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May 28, 2014


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Not been following Corrie of late but surely there are multiple cast males married to women orders of magnitude more attractive than they are?

(and this all of course pales into insignificance compared to Eastenders where Max - Max! - is an unstoppable sexual dynamo).

So can you be more specific - and perhaps even give us a picture of the world's most perfect woman in question?

Miguel Madeira

"Gambetta and Steffen Hertog show (pdf) that terrorists are disproportionately drawn from engineering backgrounds"

I think that the paper does not show that "terrorists are disproportionately drawn from engineering backgrounds"; it show that islamist terrorist are disproportionately drawn from engineering backgrounds (in contrast with left-wing terrorists, who usually had a social sciences background) - I think that point change everything.

Curious George

'Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog show (pdf) that terrorists are disproportionately drawn from engineering backgrounds in part because they think that "if only people were rational, remedies would be simple."'

Fascinating that (Islamist) terrorists come disproportionately from engineering backgrounds.

If they really do tend to have a "rational", scientific way of thinking, I wonder why they take the scribblings of ancient Middle-Eastern goatherds so seriously? A moment's reflection reveals the Quran as Daily-Mail-strength bullshit.

Life is full of mysteries.

Jim M.

dear Chris,

Like Roger, I am somewhat surprised to see you spurn an opportunity for some gratuitous eye-candy.

Are you not well, perhaps? ;)


"...why is the world's most perfect woman married to a man with no redeeming qualities?"

If Carla is the perfect woman, then Tina is no 2. She will be sorely missed.

It grieves me that Peter had both of them.

An Alien Visitor (Take me to your leader)

"This is the mindset of the terrorist down the years - a desire to impose by force order and "justice" onto what are messy random processes."

The problem with this idea is that the opposite is actually true. It takes imposition to enforce feminism for example, it takes throwing yourself under the queens horse, or getting the state to introduce legislation. Liberalism is always delivered with deadly force. So who are the terrorists now?

Miguel Madeira

"It takes imposition to enforce feminism for example, it takes throwing yourself under the queens horse"

I think you are using a very broad definition of "imposition"; how "throwing yourself under the queens horse" is "imposition"? You think, for example, that "sitting in a whites-only seat in a bus and being arrested" (IMO, a similar situation, some decades after) is also "imposition"?


The way I've heard it broken down is that right-wing terrorists tend to have backgrounds in engineering and physics, whilst left wing terrorists have social sciences as their background. The former applies not just to islamists, but to right-wing terrorists from Christian backgrounds.

As for Curious George's query on why "rational" islamists engineers place so much trust on a religious text with obvious flaws, it is because those prone to extremism and inflexibility are happy to adopt the doctrines that reject moral relativism. If they are people of faith they become religious extremists. If they are non-believing engineers they may choose some sharp ideological belief (I don't know, Kant?). Right wing terrorists are reactionary and look towards ancient principles that govern things. Furthermore, implicit in their backgrounds is the possibility that they simply don't have enough education in social sciences to accept the squishy ambiguities of the real world. They are equipped with religious upbringing and mathematical equations. They either are unable or unwilling to consider shades of grey. Engineers are more vulnerable than scientists here, because engineering needs to take shortcuts for practical reasons (tabulated figures, correction factors, etc). So not only does the background nurture inflexibility, but it resembles religious texts in that it requires you to follow things even if the underlying causes are not evident.

On the other hand, left wing terrorist are, for the most part, looking to upset the traditional order of things. It may be easier to nurture these beliefs in the social sciences where history, psychology, politics, etc, may inform the would-be extremist on how those who win conflicts lead the course of history.

This topic touches on something I came across recently, and which I had heard mentioned years ago. Silicon Valley is nursing its own brand of extremists:

Basically they believe democracy is dead and "tech" can save the world. But, as someone once put it to me, for these crew "tech" is mainly programming, where it is easier to delete the bad stuff and start from scratch and copy the parts that work. Couple that with the high earnings of the sector in the past two decades and you have a different mindset from the rest of the tech world.

If you are an expert in a different sort of "tech" you may not have such high hopes about a technocracy. An off-shore oil rig working in perfect order still has oil leaking from the "perfectly" plugged hole. No amount of "tech" can make that process pristine. Chemists deal with the un-bending laws of chemistry and still find themselves mired in uncertainty. Meteorology can't even predict what's next on the telly. The list of engineering and tech fields where the experts may retain some humility is larger than the guys in California who think they can crack anything real world problem if only democracy were abolished.

An Alien Visitor (Take me to your leader)

To have liberalism you need an entire state apparatus to enforce it. Liberalism is an order in itself, it isn't messy randomness or a natural outcome of people left to their own devices. It needs to be imposed and it is an order imposed by force.

The idea that bourgeois economics represents all that is natural in the world is a conceit with a long history.

If you get rid of imposition you are not left with some ideal liberalism.

So I ask again, who is the terrorist here?


So, the absence of feminism was spontaneous? It was all random? Nice chaos theory you have there: A butterfly flaps its wings and halfway around the world women can't vote.

Jacques René Giguère

Sorry but the one mass murder engineer you refer to wasn't an engineer. He failed his Cégep ( a Québec pre-university institution)and failed to be admitted to university. He was rejected by the Canadian Army. His rejections were by typically male institutions. We don't know if women rejected him but men clearly found him wanting.


Seems to me some young men are totally unshaggable until they mature up a bit around 23 or so. Set against the likely marketplace they are likely seen as yuck by any girls. Add to this my impression this chap was a spoiled brat we have a classic teenage angst case headed for disaster. I wonder why he chose (or had chosen for him) engineering.

Not so sure about engineers having a tendency to terror. Education in the Middle East and Asia tends to focus on engineering or medicine - where the jobs are - not much call for Meeja Studies or Eng Lit. For fairly obvious reasons that region of the world is where most terror comes from. Would you trust a PPE grad with a detonator?


I am not sure romantic matching is as random as all that. There is an old Italian saying: if you want to know who's the most powerful man in the room, follow the most beautiful woman.

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