Talking to Boys the Way We Talk to Girls

At a Father’s Day breakfast, my 5-year-old son and his classmates sang a song about fathers, crooning about “my dad who’s big and strong” and “fixes things with his hammer” and, above all else, “is really cool.”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with most of these qualities in and of themselves. But when these lyrics are passed down as the defining soundtrack to masculine identity, we limit children’s understanding not just of what it means to be a father but of what it means to be a man — and a boy, as well.

.. Spanish mothers were more likely to use emotional words and emotional topics when speaking with their 4-year-old daughters than with their 4-year-old sons.

.. fathers also sing and smile more to their daughters, and they use language that is more “analytical” and that acknowledges their sadness far more than they do with their sons. The words they use with sons are more focused on achievement — such as “win” and “proud.” Researchers believe that these discrepancies in fathers’ language may contribute to “the consistent findings that girls outperform boys in school achievement outcomes.”

.. The same study cited earlier research which found that parents of both genders used “directives” when teaching their 2- to 4-year-old sons how to climb down a playground pole but offered extensive “explanations” to daughters.

.. Women often say they want men to be emotionally transparent with them. But as the vulnerability and shame expert Brené Brown reveals in her book, “Daring Greatly,” many grow uneasy or even recoil if men take them up on their offer.

Indeed, a Canadian study found that college-aged female respondents considered men more attractive if they used shorter words and sentences and spoke less. This finding seems to jibe with Dr. Brown’s research, suggesting that the less men risk emoting verbally, the more appealing they appear.

.. Why do we limit the emotional vocabulary of boys?

We tell ourselves we are preparing our sons to fight

.. “Research shows that people who suppress emotions have lower-level resilience and emotional health.”

.. Say to boys: “I can see that you’re upset,” or ask them, “What are you feeling?” or “What’s going on for you right now?

Fake News Expert On How False Stories Spread And Why People Believe Them

In particular, there’s a huge cluster of websites in English about health issues because they find that that content does really well.

And if they sign up, for example, for Google AdSense, an ad program, they can get money as people visit their sites and it’s pretty straightforward. So they tried election sites, and over time they all came to realize that the stuff that did the best was pro-Trump stuff. They got the most traffic and most traction.

.. And I think there was an element almost – in some of the people I was speaking to, there was almost an element of pride saying, you know, we’re here in this small country that most Americans probably don’t even think about, and we’re able to, you know, put stuff out and earn money and to run a business. And I think there was a bit of pride in that. One of the people that I spoke to, who was a bit older – he was in his 20s – you know, he said that yeah, I mean, people know that a lot of the content is false. But that’s what works.

.. They all said that when it came down to it, the fake stuff performed better on Facebook. And if you weren’t doing some stuff that was misleading or fake, you were going to get beat by people who were.

.. And then the other type of content that performed really well was, you know, memes, like a photo that just sort – kind of expressed a very partisan opinion. These – you know, they weren’t necessarily factually based, but they really kind of riled up the base. And for the pages that were partisan pages on the right and the left, if you had stuff that really appealed to people’s existing beliefs – really appealed to, you know, a negative perception of Hillary Clinton, a negative perception of Donald Trump – even if it, you know, completely bent the truth, that would perform much better than a sort of purely factual thing.

.. So at the core of this is – there’s two factors that are at play here. So one is a human factor and one is kind of a platform or algorithmic factor. So on the human side, there’s a lot of research out there going back a very long time that looks at sort of how humans deal with information. And one of the things that we love as humans – and this this affects all of us. We shouldn’t think of this as just being something for people who are very partisan. We love to hear things that confirm what we think and what we feel and what we already believe. It’s – it makes us feel good to get information that aligns with what we already believe or what we want to hear.

.. And on the other side of that is when we’re confronted with information that contradicts what we think and what we feel, the reaction isn’t to kind of sit back and consider it. The reaction is often to double down on our existing beliefs. So if you’re feeding people information that basically just tells them what they want to hear, they’re probably going to react strongly to that. And the other layer that these pages are very good at is they bring in emotion into it, anger or hate or surprise or, you know, joy. And so if you combine information that aligns with their beliefs, if you can make it something that strikes an emotion in them, then that gets them to react.

.. And that’s where the kind of platform and algorithms come in. Which is that on Facebook, you know, the more you interact with certain types of content, the more its algorithms are going to feed you more of that content. So if you’re reading stuff that aligns perfectly with your political beliefs, it makes you feel really good and really excited and you share it, Facebook is going to see that as a signal that you want more of that stuff. So that’s why the false misleading stuff does really well is because it’s highly emotion-driven.

.. Whereas when you come in as the debunker, what you’re doing is actively going against information that people are probably already, you know, willing to believe and that gets them emotionally. And to tell somebody I’m sorry that thing you saw and shared is not true is you coming in in a very negative way unfortunately.

And so the reaction is often for people to get defensive and to disagree with you. And just in general you just seem like kind of a spoil sport. You’re ruining the fun or you’re getting in the way of their beliefs. And a lot of times when I put debunkings out there, you know, some of the reactions I get are people saying, well, it might as well be true. You know, he could have said that or that could have happened. Or, of course, you get accusations that, you know, you’re biased. And so the debunkings just don’t appeal as much to us on a psychological level. There’s some emotional resistance to wanting to be wrong. That’s a very natural human thing. And they’re just not as shareable because the emotion there isn’t as real and raw as something that makes you angry, for example.

.. So the one that comes to mind right away, this is a story that was on a website that is made to look like ABC News but its domain is slightly different. And the story that was published, you know, long before the election claimed that a protester had been paid $3,500 to go and protest at Trump rally. And this fed into perceptions that the people who are against Trump were being paid by big interests.

And that story did pretty well on Facebook. It got a fair amount of engagement. But it was tweeted by Eric Trump. It was tweeted by Corey Lewandowski, who was a campaign manager for Donald Trump, and it was tweeted by Kellyanne Conway, who was his campaign manager, not that long before the election. So when you have people in positions of power and influence putting out fake news – and I want to say, you know, there’s no evidence that they knew it was fake and put it out there to fool people. I think in each case they genuinely believed it was true because, as we’ve discussed, I think it fed into the message their campaign wanted to put out.

..

One that was really popular actually was one that falsely claimed he had given a quote to People magazine many years ago basically saying that if I ever ran for president, I would run as a Republican because conservatives are so stupid they’ll believe anything. And this was turned into a meme.

It spread a lot on Facebook. It was debunked so many times. We debunked it at BuzzFeed. Snopes has debunked it. And it just kept going and going and going because this is something I think a lot of Democrats wanted to believe.

.. But – so I think anyone who believes that fake news won Trump the election is wrong. There’s no data to support that. And I say this as somebody who’s been looking at this data in a lot of different ways. There’s no smoking gun. There’s – I don’t think we’ll ever get it.

.. 75 percent of the time, the Americans who were shown a fake news headline and had remembered it from the election believed it to be accurate.

And that’s a really shocking thing. It’s impossible to go the next step and say, well, they voted because of that. But I think one of the things this election has shown is that people will believe fake news, misinformation will spread and people will believe it and it will become part of their worldview.

Sheep are not stupid, and they are not helpless either

Sheep are one of the most unfairly stereotyped animals on the planet. Almost everything we believe about them is wrong

they can recognise and remember at least 50 individual faces for more than 2 years. That is longer than many humans.

.. The team also found evidence that sheep can differentiate facial expressions, and prefer a smile to a frown.

.. sheep can learn how to navigate out of a complex maze.

.. Sheep also have erotic preferences: 8% are homosexual, making them one of the few species that show lifelong preferences for same-sex partners.

.. sheep are capable of experiencing a whole range of feelings, from fear to anger, despair, boredom and happiness.

.. They were domesticated between 11000 and 9000 BC for the use of their woollen fleece, meat and milk. The animals have been referred to by different cultures, religious texts and even astrology for thousands of years.

.. These ancestors had mighty horns with which to defend themselves, but humans have largely bred these out of modern sheep. Nowadays, domestic sheep are bred to be big fluffy creatures, covered in wool that never stops growing so that farmers make money all year round.

.. they can deliver a painful kick to anyone who gets too close, especially if they are defending their young. They can also run fast and scale steep cliffs that many predators are not equipped to handle. Finally, their peripheral vision is impressive: they have horizontal, slit-shaped pupils that allow them to see behind themselves without turning their heads.

.. The world’s biggest producer of sheep is China, which is home to nearly 200 million of them. It is followed by Australia at over 70 million, India with over 60 million, Iran with 45 million and Nigeria with 41 million. Sudan has nearly 40 million sheep,

Donald Trump Gets Rare Bipartisan Backing for Syria Strike

WASHINGTON—For the first time since his inauguration, Donald Trump is being treated like a conventional president.

.. “In the short run, this will clearly benefit him politically,” said Karl Rove, the top political aide to President George W. Bush. “It will cause people to look at him differently, and it will cause our adversaries to see us differently.”

.. Democrats who have stridently opposed Mr. Trump’s agenda praised the airstrikes.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York called it “the right thing to do.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California called the military response “a limited, and I think an important strike, and it accomplished its purpose and sent a message.”

 .. Large numbers of Republicans have reversed their position on congressional approval for Syrian airstrikes since then-President Barack Obama weighed attacking the country in 2013.At the time, Republicans such as then-House Speaker John Boehner  insisted Mr. Obama lay out a fuller plan for action in Syria before launching airstrikes after the Assad regime carried out a suspected chemical attack in Damascus. Scores of Republicans said they would oppose an authorization for the use of military force. No vote was taken.

.. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch also praised Mr. Trump’s action, though in 2013 he said he had “strong reservations” about authorizing force against Syria.

.. Mr. Rove said Mr. Trump would lose any newfound political goodwill if he didn’t articulate his foreign-policy philosophy “within days.”

.. “He told us he would be the president of America, not ‘the world,’ ” Ann Coulter wrote on Twitter.

.. Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) said the airstrikes are “illegal, and they’re unconstitutional.” Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), the lone member of Congress to vote against the post-9/11 authorization to use force against Afghanistan, said the airstrikes represent “a dangerous military escalation into the Syrian civil war and are without legal justification.”

.. “It makes people question: If a photo of an incident that has occurred in another nation causes the president to drop 50 or more cruise missiles, is that a real well thought-out strategy, or is this an emotional reaction?”

Fake News, Obama’s Birth Certificate, Economic Nationalism

One of the things the mainstream media doesn’t seem to fully appreciate is that just because Trump isn’t having a honeymoon with the press, the Democrats, or a good chunk of independent voters, that doesn’t mean he’s not having a very real honeymoon with Republicans. They want him to succeed and they want his “enemies” not just to lose, but to be humiliated (hence the popularity of Milo in some corners, and a chunk of my least friendly e-mail).

.. Indeed, I think there’s good reason to believe that the honeymoon is more intense precisely because Trump is under such a sustained assault. Something similar happened under George W. Bush when the Left lost its collective mind and did everything it could to undermine a wartime president. Conservatives — me included — out of a sense of both loyalty and anger rallied to Bush and had a tendency to overlook certain foibles and mistakes for the greater good. We may not be at war — at least not like we were in, say, 2005 — but the Left and the media are clearly at war with Trump. And because Trump often makes it difficult for his allies to defend him on ideologically or politically consistent terms, the attachment is often more emotional than rational.

.. Politics on the right is increasingly about an emotional bond with the president.

.. You do see what he’s doing right? The guy who once literally pretended to be his own publicist hates anonymous sources? The guy who powered his way into politics by claiming “very credible sources” told him that Obama’s birth certificate was fake is upset by “fake news”?

That’s the guy who hates anonymous sources and thinks they shouldn’t be “allowed” to talk off the record? Trump says that not one of the nine sources in the Flynn story exists. But Flynn was fired anyway. Well, that’s interesting.

.. But what Trump is doing is preemptively trying to discredit any negative press coverage, including negative polls. According to Trump, the only guy you can trust is Trump. Trump is the way. Trump is the door. In Trump you must Trust.

.. If you recognize that, great. And if you want to defend it as brazen — and arguably brilliant — political hardball, that’s fine too. But if you actually believe that the only source of credible information from this White House and its doings is Trump himself, then you should probably cut back on the Trump Kool-Aid.

.. What struck me during the Reince-Bannon show was when they both insisted in various ways that they always knew they would win the election (not true) and that everything they are doing has been carried out with flawless precision.

.. The upshot here is that they want you to think that any bad news is fake news because they’ve been right about everything so far. Conservatives — far more than liberals — should understand that politicians make mistakes and never have complete mastery of the details or the facts on the ground. That is at the heart of the conservative critique of government and it does not go into remission when Republicans are in office. Blind faith in experts and politicians is unconservative no matter who is in power.

.. The “administrative state” is the term of art for the permanent bureaucracy, which has come untethered from constitutional moorings

.. The CIA is not the “deep state” — the FDA, OSHA, FCC, EPA, and countless other agencies are.

.. what I do want to say is that when nationalism gets translated into public policy, particularly economic policy, it is almost invariably an enemy of individual liberty and free markets. This should be most obvious when it comes to trade. The Trumpian case for economic nationalism is inseparable from the claim that politicians can second guess businesses about how best to allocate resources. For instance, Trump boasted today:

We have authorized the construction, one day, of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines. (APPLAUSE)

And issued a new rule — this took place while I was getting ready to sign. I said who makes the pipes for the pipeline? Well sir, it comes from all over the world, isn’t that wonderful? I said nope, comes from the United States, or we’re not building it. (APPLAUSE)

American steel. (APPLAUSE)

.. The flagship conference of the conservative movement rose to its feet to cheer protectionism and command-economy policymaking. That is a remarkable change of heart.

Bannon is desperate to launch a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure program in the name of economic nationalism. He thinks it will be as “exciting as the 1930s.”

.. Under the NRA, a dry cleaner, Jacob Maged, was sent to jail for charging a nickel under the mandated price for pressing a suit. Under the NRA, big businesses created a guild-style corporatist political economy.

.. Economic nationalism taken to its logical conclusion is socialism, with pit stops at corporatism, crony capitalism, and the like. When you socialize something, you nationalize it and vice versa.

.. The alt-right nationalists despise the Constitution precisely because it is a check on nationalism. For the unalloyed nationalist mind, it’s us over them, now and forever — and the definitions of “us” and “them” can get dismayingly elastic. (“This is the core claim of populism,” writes Jan-Wener Muller in What is Populism, “only some of the people are really the people.”)

.. nationalism is a passion — one that Rich and Ramesh believe needs to be tempered by adherence to certain principles about the role of government and other enlightened understandings about society and man’s place in it. It seems to me that when that nationalist passion runs too strong, when the fever of us-over-everything lights a fire in the minds of men

.. I firmly believe that society should have some compassion for the transgendered. And that’s true whether you take transgenderism on its own terms or if you think it’s a disorder of some kind. Cuomo is right that people should err on the side of tolerance.

Trump’s Temperament

Such is Donald Trump’s vanity and sense of grievance that he cannot help himself, even when his actions are demonstrably damaging his campaign — and even when the people closest to him are warning him to knock it off and get back on course criticizing Hillary. If he can’t stifle it for the sake of advancing his own political interests, how is he going to control himself when the national interests are at stake?

The other night, I had to have a talk with my 12-year-old son about not letting his emotions get the best of him when somebody or something makes him angry. He’s struggling with this, as adolescents do. I hope that by the time he’s 70, he’s mastered his passions — especially if he runs for president.

.. A man with this kind of temperament in charge of the world’s biggest and most advanced fighting force is terrifying. If Khizr Khan and John McCain can get under his skin and into his head like that, how in the heck would he manage Hassan Rouhani and Kim Jong Un — to say nothing of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping?

Trump: The need for a greater rhetorical emotional hit

But a problem arose. Once a level of outrageous rhetoric was achieved, it no longer provided the ‘hit’ that the people or the media wanted. Someone had to come along and up the ante to kick-start the next round of howling anger. You got ‘death panels’, you got ‘Obama’s a Muslim’, you got ‘Mexicans are rapists’ – it just has to keep escalating.

And Trump saw this clearly, so he came out and one-upped everybody. And now he’s on round two, and he knows instinctively he needs to one-up himself.