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Jordan Petersons New Rules Are Old News – The Nation

Posted: May 22, 2021 at 1:53 am

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Jordan Peterson addresses students at fhe Cambridge Union on November 02, 2018 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. (Photo by Chris Williamson / Getty Images)

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To prepare for writing about Jordan Peterson, I asked numerous people I know what they thought of him. They all gave the same answer: Who?

Friends, where have you been? Petersons 2018 book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, sold 5 million copies and has been slated for translation into 50 languages. His YouTube channel has 3.68 million subscribers.

According to the man himself, he is so famous that a waiter recognized him in a restaurant and thanked him for changing his life, which cannot be said, Im guessing, for any other clinical psychologist in the world, or possibly any other Canadian.

This is quite an achievement for one whose work is crammed with references to Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, the Bible, ancient Mesopotamian deities, Jesus, and Jung, and which, under a lot of sexist, conservative, mythological/biblical/evolutionary/animal-behavior folderol, basically tells men to grow up and grow a pair. Work hard, be responsible, demand more of yourself, make your bed. Peterson dragged that simple message out for 370 pages of unbelievably clotted, dreary prose, proving once again that your creative-writing teachers were wrong: Nobody cares about the quality of the writing if the message is what the reader wants to hear. Apparently there are a lot of men (most of his fans are men) who want to be told exactly how to stop making such a mess of their lives (Rule 1: Stand up straight with your shoulders back) and also that human beings are a lot like lobsters, programmed for hierarchy and combat. You can buy Hail Lobster T-shirts, pillows, limited-edition neckties, and even smartphone covers on his website. Scientists have said hes got lobsters all wrong, but whatever. I will never feel guilty about eating a lobster roll again.

You might think 12 rules were enoughby Rule 12, Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street, Peterson seemed to be reaching a bit. He obviously didnt think so, because his new book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, offers a dozen more and weighs in at 432 pages. Preorders made it reach Amazons Top 10.

Why would so many people want to be hectored by an unpleasant know-it-all whose most recent contribution as a public intellectual was advocating an all-meat diet? The rules are mostly familiar self-help platitudes, which Peterson drags out for dozens of pages each by bringing in everything from his patients and family to Isis, Osiris, and Tolstoy.

Rule 7: Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens. Rule 10: Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship. Rule 12: Be grateful in spite of your suffering. There are plenty of cats out there for you to pet.

There have always been men who want to be told exactly what to do to get what they wantin this case, women. Men, you may have noticed, have had a harder time getting quality girlfriends now that women dont have to marry to survive. They have to make more of an effort to be boyfriend material, let alone husband material, and this is not easy for the ones who think a beautiful, complaisant helpmeet should be handed to them on a platter. At worst, these young men become incels, raging at both feminists and alpha men who corner all the pretty ladies. Peterson shares their pain. Hes said some unwise things about how enforced monogamy would solve the problem, by which he did not mean the government doling out wives, as is sometimes claimed, but restoring social pressures to marry. (Good luck with that.) But he is also their drill sergeant: Clean your room. Be good at your job. Life is tough, but remember Rule 11: Do not allow yourself to become resentful, deceitful, or arrogant.

Not surprisingly, Peterson takes a dim view of feminism. Basically, he believes all women want to have babiesthey just dont want to have them with a manbaby. This contradictionpatriarchy is good, but men are flubbing itleads him into all kinds of strange places. Famously, he contends that symbolically, men represent order, women chaos. Really? Shouldnt that be the other way around? Who, after all, is cleaning and tidying, cooking, reorganizing the fridge, remembering to pick up the dry cleaning and send out birthday cards and put the parent-teacher conference on the calendarusually while holding down a job as well? Compare the apartments of single men and women in their 20s: Which sex is sleeping on sheets that havent been changed in three months? Maybe men were orderly in the distant past, for example when they served in the Roman armyall that building of forts and organizing of equipment Julius Caesar wrote about, to say nothing of keeping ones armor and weaponry polished and ready for action. But today? Theres a reason why a young man who fails to launch is described as living in Moms basement. Good old Mom. She probably still does his laundry.

I have no doubt that some people have been goaded into self-improvement by Peterson. He is quite right that peoplewomen as well as menneed meaning and purpose in their lives, need to find things they care about and to try their hardest to be good at them. Caught between the belief that they deserve to move forward without having to compete with pesky women, and the fact that the milestones of adulthood, like marriage and parenthood, may be economically out of reach, men can find it hard to resist cheap cynicism. But like it or not, we are social beings, so Rule 1: Do not carelessly denigrate social institutions or creative achievement. Fortunately for the sarcastic among us, carelessly leaves a lot of wiggle room.

When it comes to stern and sober life advice, the best book is still Marcus Aureliuss Meditations, which has been guiding people through the struggles of life for at least a thousand years and is, moreover, well-written and short. Its advice can be summarized as follows. Rule 1: Try as hard as you can to be a good, responsible, serious person. Rule 2: Be aware that much of life is out of your control. Rule 3: In any case, soon you will be dead.

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Jordan Petersons New Rules Are Old News - The Nation

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May 22nd, 2021 at 1:53 am

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Justin Trudeaus Plan to Control the Internet – The Wall Street Journal

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a plan to regulate speech on the internet by placing it under the control of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. His bill is so awful that Peter Menzies, a former vice chairman of the commission, said it doesnt just infringe on free expression, it constitutes a full-blown assault upon it and, through it, the foundations of democracy.

Mr. Trudeaus Liberals claim they merely want to level the playing field between traditional broadcasters and online players such as Netflix and Spotify. Yet on its face the bill goes much further.

To begin with, anyone who makes programs available over the internet would be treated as a broadcaster and under the thumb of the CRTC. While websites wouldnt need a formal license to operate in Canada, the commission would have open-ended power to impose conditions and require them to make expenditures to support the Canadian broadcasting system. Who has to do this and how much do they have to spend? Theyll tell us later.

The legislation also vaguely alludes to the need for the Canadian broadcasting system to serve the interests of Canadians of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds. Again, whod have to do this and what theyd have to do is anyones guess.

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Justin Trudeaus Plan to Control the Internet - The Wall Street Journal

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May 22nd, 2021 at 1:53 am

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Our pop mental health gurus are just the Blindboy leading the blind –

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Dare to express a citizens view on Covid and youll be shut down for not having a degree in epidemiology. Only those with the wherewithal to spend six years in medical school are deemed a valid voice on the world crisis were all living through.

ut the scientific purism doesnt seem to apply in the areas of psychology and philosophy, at least not in Ireland. You dont need any qualifications to reinvent yourself as a mental health guru just an impressive line in psychobabble.

Share your own mental health experience and youre a sacred cow, beyond challenge or critique. Justify it under the overarching principle of if it helps one person and nobody can argue. RT will crown you as one of the nations spiritual leaders; a member of the new clerisy that has replaced the church in preaching to us how to live and how to think.

Podcaster and author Blindboy Boatclub is exalted to Socrates. I found myself laughing while watching him deliver moral instruction from his podcast studio on Claire Byrne Live the other night. If this is one giant surreal satire, its a great piece of art. But it appears he takes himself seriously.

Ah, here a fella in his late 30s, with a bag on his head, dispensing life advice, his every platitude hung on as though he were Moses coming down from Mount Sinai.

Blindboy has never said anything I havent heard before, or thought of myself. Its Wikipedia stuff the majority of us who have suffered anxiety already know.

His contribution on Claire Byrne was his usual mix of regurgitated Jordan Peterson crossed with ancient Stoic philosophy acceptance of lifes suffering, yielding to events beyond your control, living in the now.

Yet the fact he can bring a sentence to its conclusion seems to be enough to elevate him into having magical ability.

He is talented when he wants to be, he can be the sharpest, funniest, most exciting creative in Ireland but we dont see that side of him much any more since he took a position as the nations curate. Doubtless its safer in an era of cancel culture, but I miss his anarchic art.

Blindboy is not a psychotherapist, although it seems many assume he is a qualified authority.

He mentions how he studied psychotherapy for a while, but did not complete it.

He was never a professional, although he has said he might decide to pursue it in time. He should. Benefitting from counselling does not mean youre an expert. Ive had 10 years of cognitive behavioural therapy myself, but it doesnt make me a therapist.

Otherwise, its too easy to conflate opinion with fact for example, the time on the Late Late Show when he told young men with worries about providing for a woman that such concerns were outdated because neoliberalism has made it that you must be equal, its as simple as that. In reality, its not.

Another popular figure who has veered into guru territory is radio presenter and comedian Dermot Whelan. He did a teaching course in meditation and now hes the Dalai Lama.

Whelan, who is also from Limerick (there must be something in the water), is now peddling meditation as a way to help stress, anxiety and depression.

His new book Mind Full promises to help you feel less meh, sleep better, snap at the kids less. Sounds like a bestseller? It is. Theres a real constituency for this stuff.

Its a charming book and noble in its aim, but the key message I got from it is stop drinking your head off and youll feel better. I think we already know about the breathing techniques. Theres a bit of parroting at play when Whelan talks in interviews about how: It changes the shape of your brain, it shrinks your amygdala, it shrinks your fear centre.

Another podcaster, Caroline Foran is regarded as the millennial anxiety guru who has written three books on coping with anxiety, Owning It, The Confidence Kit and Naked, after suffering a breakdown in 2014. She has admitted: I am not an expert, I dont have a qualification and all Ive ever done is share my experience.

It seems to be enough for a successful career. What does it say about how seriously we take mental illness, that we forgo qualifications in favour of amateurs? Do we deem psychology a subjective concept, instead of the medical science it is? Why do we revere those who have experienced it as the experts, instead of the actual experts? We have fallen far from the days of Professor Anthony Clare.

Maybe it comes back to the Socratic paradox: I know that I know nothing.

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Our pop mental health gurus are just the Blindboy leading the blind -

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May 22nd, 2021 at 1:53 am

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The Real Housewives of New York Are Obsessing Over ‘Cancel Culture’ – Jezebel

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A recent dinner party on The Real Housewives of New York went left, as they tend to do, when Sonja Morgan drunkenly brought up her fears about being a cancellation consolation, whatever that means. Soon all the women were chiming in with their fears and anxieties, most memorable among them Ramona Singer, who asked: Why would we want to cancel culture?

But I want to focus on Sonja at this moment because there is a darkness lingering inside of her and Im not sure we should be watching it crawl out and prance around on television.

Let me set the scene: The women were out at dinner somewhere in the Greater Hamptons. Lu was insistent on the place because she wanted to expand the womens horizons beyond Southampton and Sag Harbor. Predictably, Sonja got extremely intoxicated, while the other women fawned over Lus new man. While sitting just off-camera, the women suddenly heard her exclaim, I dont want to be a cancell ation consolation.

Im still unsure about what that means, exactly.

Of course, its totally unsurprising that a gaggle of rich white womensave newcomer Eboni, who is a total godsend this seasonmight have some anxieties about cancellation, especially when one of them is most famous for partying with the Trumps during quarantine. Add in Lus many strange comments about class, or Leahs totally disturbing respect for Jordan Peterson, not to mention that downright absurd essay in which she wrote that Harvey Weinstein couldnt have raped Asia Argento because she went on to have a consensual relationship with Weinstein for several years. The skeletons are practically clamoring to bust out of their collective walk-in closet.

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Even still, Eboni left room to surprise me. Earlier in the day, she had explained to Ramona why she shouldnt call her employees the help, explaining that my grandmother worked her whole life as a domestic, and that historically in our country describing people in the service industry as the help is totally fucked up. Ramona then condescendingly responded in a confessional that she loved how Eboni explained it to her in a non-condescending way. Back to the dinner party. Over swordfish and wine, Eboni intervened when Ramona asked why would we cancel culture? She explained that in this group, shed prefer it if they could talk amongst each other and work out their feelings, rather than cancellation. I was surprised at the amount of grace and professionalism she afforded Ramona in that moment. I certainly couldnt have done the same for someone so clearly bigoted .

Sonja, meanwhile, had been stewing in the corner. Suddenly, she once again busted out another befuddling series of exclamations, this time about poverty and the unhoused crisis happening in New York City and everywhere, really. People dont understand, we need to protect the poor because stocks are going up, the poor are getting poorer, the homeless are getting homeless-er. After she rambled a bit more, Sonja delivered the sucker punch: IVE RAISED MILLIONS FOR AIDS AWARENESS... MILLIONS FOR THE LGBT COMMUNITY. Eboni sat stunned, barely able to contain the shock painted across her face.

Ridiculous diatribes from wealthy white women about poverty aside, its become frighteningly clear that Sonja needs a break from reality television. Her friends seem incapable of helping her control her behavior in public or private. Not to mention the level of drunkenness is personally horrifying, as a sober person who understands the amount of alcohol one might ingest to get to this point.

Her continued inclusion in the cast is more troubling when you consider the official reason both Dorinda Medley and the network gave for her exit after Season 12. According to official reports, she was drinking excessively and terribly mean. Sonja might not have venom in her words, but what sort of standard is Bravo measuring this behavior against, if Dorinda was given a hiatus from the spotlight for what appears to be the same thing? Its clear that unlike Dorinda, Sonja drives ratings. Any reputable Real Housewives viewer can rattle off 10 instances in which she made the show comedic gold. As a newcomer back in Season 3, she felt fresh and exciting: r ich and just ridiculous enough to root for her in her many post-divorce tribulations.

But in the last decade, she hasnt been on an upward climb to success. Instead, she seems to be tumbling into the abyss. Worst of all, shes picking up speed.

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May 22nd, 2021 at 1:53 am

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You Can’t Beat COVID-19 With Diet, No Matter What the Internet Tells You – Lifehacker

Posted: December 17, 2020 at 8:53 pm

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In the face of so much uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, its tempting to search for answers that might help you regain some sense of control over your life. You might, for instance, find yourself reading the advice of self-appointed health experts and social media gurus, who love to make overblown and often blatantly inaccurate claims about using diet to avoid getting seriously ill from the novel coronavirus and spreading it to other people.

Their arguments can be summed up like this: A population full of strong bodies would effectively stanch the pandemics spread and hasten our return to normalcy. Also, eating the right food and fortifying ones immune system (through vitamins, etc.) is enough to personally inoculate oneself from the worst effects of COVID-19.

As science, its garbage. Worse, emphasizing healthy eating above all else is a way of casting doubt on the necessity of masks, social distancing and, on occasion, the efficacy of vaccines.

This focus on diet is shared by alternative-health gurus, medical quacks, social media grifters, and at least one celebrity chef and former presidential candidate. These people often dont deny Covids existence, or even its virulence. But they often imply that the climate of fear surrounding the pandemic is overblown and that mainstream authorities have deliberately ignored the issue of diet in their safety messaging. The true pandemic, they say, is Americas longstanding preponderance of diet-related disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and obesity.

Perhaps youve seen these ideas echoed by friends on social media, where they tend to proliferate. Or maybe youve seen the misinformation emerge at its source: by various influencers or public figures who advance these claims online, often to audiences in the tens of thousands.

One particularly brazen tweet that was devoid of much context came from the UKs Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist who cites dieting as something of a panacea in the fight against COVID.

As Nicola Guessassociate professor at the UKs University of Westminster and Head of Nutrition at the Dasman Diabetes Institutetells Lifehacker, diet is and has always been an important aspect of ensuring overall health. But there is zero evidence to support claims that eating healthier will protect one from contracting COVID or succumbing to its more serious effects.

She writes in an email:

Eating a healthy diet and...exercise is sensible as it protects us from a lot of diseasesin my view there is no evidence and no justification for pinning healthy eating on COVID-19 (unless you have something to sell). Is it worth trying to eat more healthy during a pandemic if theres a chance it could protect you against severe infection? Sure, because there are no downsides to eating less sugar, junk food etc. Lets just not pretend that its going to prevent someone from getting COVID-19 and even dying from it there are 23-year-old slim athletes who have sadly died.

Eating healthy, exercising, and taking vitamins when needed are great ways to ensure your personal health in a general sensethis is knowledge backed up by over a century of scientific study. Still, its no substitute for a coherent public health policy involving traditional epidemiological tools in the midst of a raging pandemic. Heres what you need to know about the culture of dietary zealotry and how you can spot it in its many forms.

In recent years, dietary evangelists have accrued an increasing deal of clout in the public sphere. The craze has been spurred on by celebrities such as Gweneth Paltrow, whose wildly popular lifestyle brand Goop has touted raw food diets deemed potentially deadly by experts. Podcast host Joe Rogan has also helped amplify the dietary claptrap of Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, who advocates a strictly carnivorous diet (both Peterson and his daughter, Mikhaila, claim a red meat diet cured their long standing bouts of depression).

Much of the dietary fundamentalism preaches different methods for boosting general immunity and thus warding off Covid. Paul Saladino, for example, a doctor based in Austin, Texas, recommends chowing down on organ meats and steak. The doctor T. Colin Campbell, on the contrary, is an advocate of whole food, plant-based dieting. He wrote this year: I doubt there are many people who will be content with repeated masking, social distancing, and contact tracing when changing our diet could do so much more, while simultaneously protecting social norms, job security, and our economy. UK celebrity doctor Aseem Malhotra, meanwhile, published a book promising a 21-day route to immunity through conscientious dieting that purports to prevent, improve and even potentially reverse the factors that can cause or worsen COVID-19.

Adherents of the trend arent always doctors. Australian celebrity chef Pete Evans was fined $25,000 by the countrys Therapeutic Goods Administration this year after making outlandish online claims about a device he invented called a Biocharger. Evans was charging $14,000 for the wellness platform, which he claimed was programmed with a thousand different recipes and theres a couple in there for the Wuhan coronavirus. The idea seeps into the echo chambers of YouTube and Instagram, but isnt confined to social media influencers: former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson joined in as well.

David Gorski, M.D., an oncologist and editor at Science-Based Medicine, says the notion that diet can prevent or treat illness is nothing new. The idea that diet can somehow magically enhance the immune system so that we never (or almost never) get sick is a very old alternative medicine fantasy that takes a grain of truth and then vastly exaggerates it.

This kind of dietary dogma is often devoid of the scientific nuance that pervades modern immunology, especially in light of COVID-19s recent emergence and our evolving understanding of the virus.

Dr. David Robert Grimes, a cancer researcher, physicist, and author of The Irrational Ape, builds on that point, saying: dietary zealots often make vague statements about protecting ones immune system, but this is at best a truism and at worst mindless. He explained to Lifehacker that this thinking showcases a complete lack of understanding about immunology.

According to Grimes:

Boosting your immune system is often the last thing you want to do; ask anyone with an allergy, being attacked by their own immune system, for example. During Spanish flu, young healthy people died disproportionately because their immune system over-reacted. Not only do diet evangelists give too much credit to diets ability to modulate immune response, they fail to understand any subtlety whatsoever with it.

Its important to note that many of those who preach the dietary gospel are entrepreneurs or authors in their own right. Saladino peddles dietary supplements in addition to his book; an anonymous meat evangelist who goes by @KetoAurelius on Twitter sells beef liver strips along with a hyper-masculine mantra that lauds the supremacy of beef while casting doubt on the severity of the pandemic.

The appeal of healthy eating makes sense as a tantalizing alternative to the uncertainty posed by government-mandated lockdowns, school closures, and the economic calamity wrought by COVID in the face of paltry fiscal stimulus from the federal government. After all, changing your diet is relatively easy, and wouldnt it be great if all it takes is some moderate self-discipline to make a world of difference?

There is an alluring prospect here. It allows anyone who subscribes to this logic to believe theyre equipped with unspoken knowledge that the mainstream medical community is actively ignoring. According to Grimes, the notion gives [people] a sense of power and well-being: they know the causes and cures to disease, and thus they are effectively impervious to them. This sense of control is entirely illusory, but it often flatters the believers ego.

But consciously, or not, theres an implicit level of victim-blaming that necessarily comes with this kind of individualist approachthat whoever succumbs to COVID-19 must have been doing something wrong.

Gorski says theres a definite blame the victim vibe to these claims. They imply that its the victims fault if he dies of COVID-19 because he didnt eat right or live right. Of course, that leaves out the fact that the biggest risk factors for severe COVID-19 are unalterable: being male and increasing age.

Gorski points out that making individual dietary changes can, in fact, bode enormously positive results in terms of increasing overall metabolic health in the long term, but those lifestyle adjustments often take a huge amount of time.

He tells Lifehacker:

Its possible that by becoming less obese or by partially reversing type II diabetes or heart disease with diet, weight loss, and exercise, one might decrease ones risk of death from COVID-19, but that doesnt help NOW. Such interventions take months to years, not days to weeks.

While youre not going to be able to personally eradicate the spread of misinformation (thats an ongoing job for tech companies), you can equip yourself with enough to recognize all of its hallmarks: it often offers a reductive, quick-fix approach to a multi-faceted dilemma, valorizes individual efforts to protect themselves, sells various lifestyle products, and traffics in inflammatory rhetoric about the current slate of tools used to keep people safe in a pandemic.

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You Can't Beat COVID-19 With Diet, No Matter What the Internet Tells You - Lifehacker

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December 17th, 2020 at 8:53 pm

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MSU students and professor publish research internationally – Morehead State University News

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December 17, 2020 Morehead State Professor of Biology Dr. Janelle Hare and a group of student researchers published articles in two academic journals in 2020, exploring gene damage in a drug-resistant pathogen.

Students involved in the research were Jordan Carrington, a 2019 biomedical science graduate from Somerset; Megan Peterson, a 2020 graduate with a Master of Science in Biology from Wallingford; and 2020 Craft Academy graduate Kevin Johnson from Rush. Their research involves the pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii, and its response to hybrid proteins. Articles were published in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology and the Microbiology Societys journal, Microbiology.

The article in Microbiology, co-authored by Hare and Peterson, identified that two proteins, not just one, cooperated to control the response to DNA damage that bacteria can make. This helps them stay alive after exposure to certain chemicals or radiation.

The article in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology was first-authored by MSU post-doctoral research associate, Dr. Deb Cook, who worked with Hare in mentoring Carrington and Johnson. It tested whether the two proteins that cooperate to control the DNA damage response (UmuDAb and DdrR) directly touch each other to achieve this control. Hare and her team did not find evidence that they did so but found that each of the two proteins can bind to themselves in groups of two. This is common in proteins that bind to DNA to control its use.

The work Hare, Cook, and their students did sheds light on how the DNA damage response system in bacteria can result in bacteria gaining resistance to antibiotics. Not only does the research have important medical ramifications, but it also helps students gain valuable skills.

It teaches the students the importance of the scientific method and quality control, Hare said. It also gives them a real-world view of how the information they learn in the classroom each day is gainedthrough experimentation.

Hare added she and her students are proud of their contributions to the scientific community.

We feel proud of our work, because not all manuscripts are accepted for publication. It is a lot of work and it can be hard to move through the peer-review process. But sharing our work with the larger scientific community is the final goal of any research project, so it feels good to have completed that step, she said. I also hope that their experience boosts their confidence on a personal and future professional level, to know that what they do is important and relevant.

Morehead State offers numerous research opportunities for students in every major. Our Undergraduate Research Fellowship program allows students to participate in academic research with a faculty member as early as their freshman year. Students in the program will have the opportunity to present their research at regional, national and international conferences and publish it in academic journals.

To learn more about research opportunities at MSU, visit

For information about programs in MSUs Department of Biology and Chemistry, visit, email or call 606-783-2945.

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MSU students and professor publish research internationally - Morehead State University News

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December 17th, 2020 at 8:53 pm

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Freedom of speech at universities is not under threat it is actually thriving – The Independent

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How do you measure freedom of speech? Its not a rhetorical question, though it is a timely one. According to think tank Civitas, the University of Cambridge along with 35 per cent of UK universities now falls into the red category for free speech.

Analysing campus policy, events and a survey, wherein nearly a third of staff reported workplace harassment and bullying, the results of Civitass traffic light ranking just 14 per cent of universities were designated green are enough to make a libertarian squeal. The issue of quantifying something we perceive to be a fundamental right is, once again, making headlines but surely, free speech will be defined differently depending on who youre asking.

Its a problem as old as language itself. My freedom to do or speak as I please can never be absolute if yours is to be total, too. My right to insult you undermines your freedom not to have your feelings hurt. Every system of law strives to balance these conflicting liberties, charting Venn diagrams with varying degrees of mutual reliance between their circles. The Cambridge row, it seems to me, is no different.

One example cited by Civitass researchers involves a eugenicist and a pretty window. The commemorative glass was commissioned in 1989 to honour the legacy of one Sir Ronald Fisher, a fellow (and eventually president) of Cambridges Gonville and Caius College, who died in 1962. Students petitioned the college to remove the window, and, in June this year, the powers-that-be obliged.

Far from striking cold fear into my heart, that story makes me happy. Isnt objecting to something, talking it out and reaching an agreement, completely emblematic of how free speech ought to work?

Theres a dangerous little platitude floating to the surface of my mind, thinking of Fisher and the hoo-ha of his desecrated shrine. You know the one: everyones beliefs deserve respect. That is so patently untrue that I practically convulse when I hear it. Heres a very short extract from a very long list of people whose beliefs, Id venture, do not deserve respect: eugenicists; men who think they can beat their wives; members of the KKK or Britain First; homophobes and cult leaders; and that guy I met at a party who explained hed voted for Brexit because there was a Polish person working at his local Costa. In short, something doesnt become sacred simply because it is sincerely believed, and just because something is sacred doesnt make it any more than a belief.

Lets say that Person A believes trans rights activists are dangerous and wrong. Trans rights activists, on the other hand, believe that Person As views are harmful and reductive. Youll have your own stance on that imaginary stand-off but subtracting personal feeling from the equation, were left with two viewpoints, which would fight to the death if left to their own devices. Should we strive instead for peaceful(ish) coexistence or allow one to triumph a kind of Darwinian showdown of thought?

The dons at Cambridge raised a similar point, voting earlier this month to amend the phrase respectful of to tolerate in a series of updates to free speech rules proposed by the universitys council. Although the switch in terminology might not sound like a leap, the distinction is a crucial one not least because it renders no-platforming practically impossible, for all its prominence in Civitass report.

While the recent news cycle might lead one to believe that no-platforming was hauled from the knapsack of the radical left only a few years ago, its been used as a form of protest since the 1970s. At the 1974 NUS conference, for instance, students resolved to deny a platform to openly racist or fascist organisations or societies in response to the rising profile of the National Front.

While the criteria for such no-platforming has arguably shifted since then, the essential idea remains the same. Especially in an educational environment, surely the right to object to ideas comes under the same banner as the right to have those ideas in the first place? This latest vote might be summarised as you dont have to be nice, just dont veer into hate speech as an instruction to visiting speakers. But again, isnt it subjective? Take Jordan Peterson and Nigel Farage, who both fell prey to the brutal no-platforming brigade of Cambridge before the recent vote. Today, in theory, theyd be welcome but fairs fair. If were hosting the Nigels and Jordans of this world, theyll have to accept a bit of backchat.

Not all ideas are created equal. Some come encased in a carapace built over centuries of repetition that almost obscure them from view the patriarchy, or institutional racism, are so monolithic that its hard to step back far enough to recognise them as ideas like any other, rather than representations of some sacred natural order. Other ideas are new, vulnerable, soft and fledgling rights for anyone not white and/or male are concepts in their societal infancy, and require our careful nurture. They need us to shout louder on their behalf, if only to counterbalance the scales, which place an established system of thought on one pan and a feather on the other.

A spokesperson for Cambridge University says that rigorous debate is fundamental to the pursuit of academic excellence, which is hard to object to; whether that commitment to debate ought to cover the view that some opinions dont deserve a public airing seems less clear. The university will always be a place where freedom of speech is not only protected, but strongly encouraged, continues the statement; thing is, speaking requires spates of listening if its to graduate from monologue to conversation.

The Civitas report will no doubt reignite the old guards accusations of snowflakery See?! They got rid of my favourite eugenics window! but, as ever, the hysteria about woke censorship sheds light on the debates truly fragile side. The freedom to speak, Im afraid, must make room for the possibility of being spoken over.

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Freedom of speech at universities is not under threat it is actually thriving - The Independent

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December 17th, 2020 at 8:53 pm

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Michael Eric Dyson on how not to waste this moment of racial awakening – The Philadelphia Citizen

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The day before Election Day, I met up with two of my favorite dudes, who happen to be two of the smartest thinkers on race and culture today. We gathered at West Phillys Decisions barbershop, opened 30 years ago by young head-cutters Ty Martin and Suran Cassellean iconic spot where Black men have long gathered to talk life, hoops and, uh, trash.

We were filming a segment for the forthcoming Mike Tollin-produced documentary on the way NBA athletes have fueled social change in this moment of racial awakening.

Related from The Philadelphia Citizen:

WATCH: Virtual Chat With The Last Dance Producer Mike Tollin

The Citizens virtual event found two old pals sharing an intimate conversation spanning life, deathand basketball

Citizen contributor Dr. James Peterson was the first to arrive, and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson was close behind. Dyson, whose new book, Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America, is organized around moving open letters penned to the martyrs of our original sin, from Emmett Till to Elijah McClain, the heartbreakingly gentle 23-year-old who would play the violin to soothe stray cats.

Let Dyson take it from here:

Someone called the cops on you, saying you appeared suspicious as you walked home from a convenience store in the summer of 2019, waving your arms. You wore a ski mask because your anemia made you get cold easily. When the cops arrived, you begged them to truly see you: I am an introvert, please respect the boundaries that I am speaking. You told them you were on your way home and asked them to stop being so aggressiveThe string of words that flowed from your mouth as the cops brutalized you is at once sad, because you tried your best to show that you were a meek and mild soul, and enraging, because it didnt matter what you said. They were hell-bent on smashing your body into no-thing-ness, into not-there-nessYou told them, Im just different. Thats all. Im so sorry. You told them, I have no gun. I dont do that stuff. You promised, I dont do any fighting. Then you pleaded, Why are you attacking me? I dont even kill flies. I dont meat!as if your penchant for peacefulness and your dietary discipline might somehow convince them that your life was worth sparing. But Elijah, you quickly insisted that you didnt have a sense of moral superiority over those who disagreed with your choice: But I dont judge those who do eat meat. You begged them to forgive you. No, my lovely young friend, it is they who need to beg your forgiveness and be held accountable.

This is classic Dyson; for all his insightful commentary, for all his connecting of cultural dots to advance an argument, and for all his speaking of truth to power (as when he upbraids others in the Black church for their homophobia), there is never anything bloodless in Dysons take.

Every character upon whom he fixes his literary gaze, like Elijah McClain, is flesh and blood, someone who breathes and loves, and whom other human beings love and need.

Thats why we asked Dyson to close out our third annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival, because he has a way of speaking hard truths in a way that nonetheless lead us to hope. And we need us some hope in these times.

For now, heres a snippet of our conversation that day. I had noticed that Dyson dedicated his book to one LeBron James:

To: LeBron James

Greatest basketball player on the globe

In the conversation for G.O.A.T.

Founder of the I Promise School for at-risk children

Media mogul

Global business magnate

Transformative Philanthropist

Outspoken social activist who refused to shut up and dribble

Started at the bottom, now youre here

For standing with Black people without excuse or apology

And for embracing people of all races around the world

Black men, Black women, Black kids, we are terrifiedYou have no idea how that cop that day left the houseYou dont know if he had an argument at home with his significant other. You dont know if his kids said something crazy to him and he left the house steaming. Or maybe he just left the house thinking that today is going to be the end for one of these Black people. Thats what it feels like. It hurts.

LeBron James

Larry Platt: Do you make the case that LeBron is the most impactful social change agent athlete weve hadeven more than Ali?

Michael Eric Dyson: The most impactful ever, no question. And let me tell you why. Ali, over the three years he faced imprisonment over his refusal to fight in Vietnam and was barred from fightingthey snatched his crown, and we never got to see him in his heyday. Thats an amazing thing to think about. So he responded in reaction to that. LeBron has been proactive at the height of his career, at the height of his fame, and hes leveraged everything he has. [Michael] Jordan had to wait, what, 20 years after he left the game to write a $100 million check now? No disrespect to MJ, but LeBron is doing all this at a cost thats very interesting to me.

LP: And, unlike Ali, I guess youre saying, LeBron wasnt driven to act by his personal victimhood, by something that was done to him?

MED: Thats right, LeBrons racial empathy is off the charts. But to me, its in concert with what hes been doing all along. Hes been changing the game in a way Jordan never thought to. By developing the first truly Big 3, [when James recruited fellow stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to play with him in Miami] they consciously coupledif we can borrow the Gwyneth Paltrow termand changed the economics of the game in a very fundamental fashion. Black men in control of their destinies in a game whose coffers are filled by them.

LP: He basically declared himself the general manager of the team. It was like a laborer saying, Okay, Im management now.

MED: And in the process he has reversed so many of the usual racial rituals. Theres nobody in his class, on the court, or as a change agent off it.

LP: Weve talked about this before. My concern is that the racial awakening after the execution of George Floyd will fade before we get to real systems change. When it comes to social justice, it always feels like Groundhog Day.

MED: But see, Black folk are used to repetition. Its always circular. You start, white folk get interested, then they fall out of interest. We then leverage what we have at that point. We keep moving. So Black people and other allies have to keep moving and keep strategizing even during the moments when theres a lull. You keep talking, you keep planning. Then when it catches fire among white folk, you capitalize.

But lets also put a little burden on white people. George Floyd? Like no disrespect to Mr. Floyd. But George Floyd is what awakened you? Not Emmett Till? There was a thing called slavery, dont know if you heard about it? There was a thing called Reconstruction that was quickly snatched from under the feet of Black people, read Black Reconstruction by DuBois, 1935.

Look at what happened with Jim Crow, look at what happened with separate but equal, look at what happened with sharecropping, where Black people were getting systemically ripped off, look at the book Slavery By Another Name by my man Douglas Blackmon. In other words, there has been so much information and knowledge but you can never predict what will kick off a movement.

LP: How do we insure that the opportunity of this moment isnt squandered?

MED: The thing about that is, this younger generation says thats a question white folk gotta answer, right? Cause, they say, weve been doing our job. Weve been marching for social justice, weve been addressing democracy. But when you have the resurgence of white supremacy and white nationalism and white folk are saying, hey, what else can we do? Well, go home and tell your white people to stop that crap. Thats what you can do.

But lets give credit where credit is due. To me, this is a different generation of white folk.The reason this is the biggest set of social protests in history is because a bunch of white folk got involved as well. And white folk not just merely on the street, but their bodies at stake. I talk about it in Long Time Coming their bodies are at stake in a way they werent before. Look at the two people who got killed in Kenosha, in the Black Lives Matter protest white men! And the third who got shot.

So there is a level of investment and empathy that translates white concern into something thats very tangible, that is actionable, and that demands we form a coalition to get things done. To me, thats something to celebrate and acknowledge and not just pass off as just another cycle. This is something layered, something different than what weve seen before.

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Michael Eric Dyson on how not to waste this moment of racial awakening - The Philadelphia Citizen

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December 17th, 2020 at 8:53 pm

Posted in Jordan Peterson

Sator Trailer Reveals a Deeply Horrifying Hybrid of Fiction and Fact – Collider

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Jordan Graham's supernatural horror film interweaves home video footage and occult testimonials from his own grandmother.

Don't ever let anyone tell you there's no original ideas in horror anymore. Sator, a new indie chill-festwritten, directed, produced, edited, scored, andshot by Jordan Graham, blends the foggy deep-woods supernatural horror of The Witch with his family's real-life accounts of the occultincluding actual testimonials from his grandmother,June Petersonto create a singularly unique horror hybrid.Below, we're hyped to exclusively bring you the Sator trailer in all its tension-building glory.

The film follows a man named Adam, recently rocked by a mysterious death in the family, who delves into the history of an insidious presence known as Sator that he believes has been stalking his bloodline for centuries. The script, based on Graham's actual family and their claims of making contact with Sator over the years, blends its narrative fiction with haunting home video footage and Peterson's real recollections.

Sator is quite personal to me, Graham said. It delves into my familys dark history with mental illness surrounding a supernatural entity, and uses home video footage to create an interwoven piece between documentary and fiction.

Check out the trailer below, followed by the film's official poster. Sator will debut on VOD on February 9, 2021. The film also starsMichael Daniel, Aurora Lowe, Gabriel Nicholson, and Rachel Johnson.


Here is the official synopsis for Sator:

Secluded in a desolate forest home to little more than the decaying remnants of the past, a broken family is further torn apart by a mysterious death. Adam, guided by a pervasive sense of dread, hunts for answers only to learn that they are not alone; an insidious presence by the name of Sator has been observing his family, subtly influencing all of them for years in an attempt to claim them.

"Everything about this movie could go horribly wrong, which makes it so exciting to me."

Vinnie Mancuso is a Senior Editor at Collider, where he is in charge of all things related to the 2018 film 'Aquaman,' among other things. You can also find his pop culture opinions on Twitter (@VinnieMancuso1) or being shouted out a Jersey City window between 4 and 6 a.m.

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Sator Trailer Reveals a Deeply Horrifying Hybrid of Fiction and Fact - Collider

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December 17th, 2020 at 8:53 pm

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Notebook: Miles says ‘practice and competition’ will determine whether Kendrick starts again – KUsports

Posted: December 14, 2020 at 1:57 am

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The 2020 Kansas football season will conclude much like it began, with head coach Les Miles yet again heading into a game week accompanied by some uncertainty regarding the teams starting quarterback.

Junior Miles Kendrick handled the job exclusively in KUs 16-13 defeat at Texas Tech on Saturday, but Miles wouldnt say Monday during his weekly video press conference whether he plans to stick with Kendrick again.

I think well look at this week of practice and competition and see how it goes, Miles said, taking a similar stance to what he said about the QB decision ahead of the trip to Lubbock, Texas. He was very good last week (at practices). Well have to see if he continues that pace.

Kendrick didnt start for the Jayhawks (0-9 overall, 0-8 Big 12) against TCU on Nov. 28, but thats when Miles and the staff turned to the veteran instead of true freshman Jalon Daniels. The Jayhawks already trailed by 32 points late in the second quarter when Kendrick subbed in before halftime and needed just four passes to lead a touchdown drive.

Since that series, Daniels, who against TCU made his sixth start of the season, hasnt taken an in-game snap for the offense.

At Texas Tech, Kendrick finished 17-for-29 passing, for 102 yards, without a touchdown or an interception. Kendrick told reporters during his postgame interview on Saturday he learned during practices leading up to the game that he would start.

I tried my best to perform for my football team, Kendrick said.

KU opened the season with senior Thomas MacVittie starting, but even then he split time against Coastal Carolina with Kendrick. MacVittie suffered a shoulder injury in the second half of that loss.

In KUs following game, the Big 12 opener at Baylor, Daniels made his first career start as a 17-year-old (he turned 18 in late October), and Daniels retained the job before getting hurt in a home loss to Oklahoma State.

Kendrick picked up his first career start at West Virginia with Daniels unable to play. Then Daniels returned to the No. 1 spot for KUs trip to Kansas State and appeared to be the QB who would handle the job the rest of the way, starting four games in a row before Kendrick supplanted him for the game at Tech.

Similar to last week, it seems either could be considered the No. 1 QB by Saturday, when the Jayhawks are scheduled to play host to No. 23 Texas (6-3, 5-3) at 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU).

On the season, Daniels has completed 50% of his 152 passes, for 718 yards, with one touchdown and four interceptions.

Kendrick has connected on 60.8% of his 120 throws, for 647 yards, and has six of KUs seven passing touchdowns on the year, along with five of the teams 10 interceptions. (MacVittie had a tipped ball picked off in the opener.)

After missing a game for the first time in his two seasons with KU football, senior receiver Andrew Parchment wont be back for the Jayhawks finale versus Texas.

Parchment, according to Miles, was unable to play at Texas Tech due to a sickness. KUs coach said Monday the wideout will not be with us this week, either.

Parchment caught 24 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns while appearing in eight games for the struggling KU offense this season.

Previously, Miles has said he hopes to bring Parchment and senior receiver Stephon Robinson Jr. back for next season, with the NCAA giving athletes a blanket waiver for an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic.

It isnt abundantly clear at this time whether Parchment would be interested in returning.

Although freshman center Garrett Jones wasnt able to play for KU at Tech, Miles said the young offensive lineman is expected to be back handling the snaps this week.

Taiwan Berryhill, who had to be carried off the field on a stretcher after colliding with teammate Kenny Logan Jr. on a tackle at Texas Tech, also is expected to play versus Texas, according to Miles.

He basically got a stinger, the coach said of what happened to the freshman linebacker. A very, very significant stinger.

Miles also thinks sophomore safety Logan will be able to return for the defense later in the week, as we get closer to the playing date.

After missing KUs trip to Texas Tech due to a positive COVID-19 test, defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot isnt having any real issues with his symptoms, Miles reported on Monday.

Miles said Eliot is doing fine and has continued to work with the KU staff virtually, over video calls. The head coach said Eliot should be back at the facility by Thursday or Friday.

Safeties coach Jordan Peterson filled in for Eliot as defensive coordinator in KUs narrow loss at Tech.

According to 247 Sports, KU freshman Clinton Anokwuru has put his name in the transfer portal.

Listed as a defensive lineman on the roster, at 6-foot-3 and 224 pounds, Anokwuru was a three-star signee in KUs 2020 recruiting class.

Anokwuru, from Richmond, Texas, hasnt appeared in any games for KU.

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Notebook: Miles says 'practice and competition' will determine whether Kendrick starts again - KUsports

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December 14th, 2020 at 1:57 am

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