Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Stuff To Read, June 5, 2013

Or speed-blogging, if you wish.

First,  the Republican-led Wisconsin legislators don't like the idea that journalism students learn investigative journalism:

At the conclusion of a marathon overnight session, Wisconsin legislators early this morning added a provision to the state budget that would expel the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, a nonprofit investigative journalism institute, from its offices at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. The measure also prohibits university employees “from doing any work related to the Center for Investigative Journalism as part of their duties as a UW employee.”
With the budget now cleared by the Joint Finance Committee and poised for final approval soon, journalists and educators are scrambling to preserve what is widely regarded as a successful collaborative model that both trains emerging reporters and produces high-quality investigations.

There may be more valid reasons for the move.  But investigative journalism is part of our world's total immunity system.  It gives us early warning about dangerous social and political diseases.

Second, the International Monetary Fund now admits that it may have sorta miscalculated when it placed its hand-made stockbroker shoe on the necks of the Greek people:

The International Monetary Fund is to admit that it has made serious mistakes in the handling of the sovereign debt crisis in Greece, according to internal reports due to be published later on Wednesday.
Documents presented to the Fund's board last Friday will reveal that the Washington-based organisation underestimated the damage austerity would cause to the eurozone country, which has required two bailouts in the past three years.
I hope this won't end up as one of those mistakes-were-made-now-let's-move-on debacles which never change anything.

Third, the Smithsonian Magazine has a story on the color pink as denoting girliness and all things icky.  It mentions the relatively late onset of the craziness that is pink, pink and a little purple for girls.  This is the part I especially liked:

Another important factor has been the rise of consumerism among children in recent decades. According to child development experts, children are just becoming conscious of their gender between ages 3 and 4, and they do not realize it’s permanent until age 6 or 7. At the same time, however, they are the subjects of sophisticated and pervasive advertising that tends to reinforce social conventions. “So they think, for example, that what makes someone female is having long hair and a dress,’’ says Paoletti. “They are so interested—and they are so adamant in their likes and dislikes.”
The more I've read about gender-awareness in early childhood, the more I think that this theory is correct:

It's not that girls innately prefer pink to other colors.  It's that girls and boys, possibly due to innate reasons, really want to know what it means to be a girl or a boy, and until they realize the genders are not dependent on stuff such as what one wears or what one plays with, children will gender-police themselves.