Showing posts from December, 2010

Defining race and ethnicity in South Africa

This is part 1 of a 2 part series. You may find the full series here:
Defining race and ethnicity in South Africa.
Defining race and ethnicity in South Africa, part 2.

This is shameless linkbaiting on my side. A recent troughleader post (We are not all Africans, black people are!) asserts that only black people can be truly African. I'll reserve judgement on whether this is true or not, but this post is such an easy target for a sadist like myself so I couldn't resist dishing out a few slaps on the wrist. What can I say? Give me a barrel of fish and a shotgun and I have a fun-filled afternoon.

I'll quote segments from the blog post in bold, and debunk them blow by blow:

A Neanderthal skull. Any species that had dentistry advanced enough to survive death for a couple of hundred thousand years is obviously superior to ours. Then again, our mammaries tend to be non-biodegradable so maybe we show potential.

Historical revisionism is generally a legitimate re-evaluation of existing u…

Tragedy of the Commons: Game Theory for Noobs

The tragedy of the commons refers to a problem encountered when public resources are shared for private gain.
Commons here refers to a collective resource, which in its original context referred to a pasture for sheep.

Blaring it all out
The tragedy of the commons was first described by Hardin. Hardin observed a patch of green pasture surrounded by very barren land in North Africa. He investigated and found that the green pasture was privately owned land, while the surrounding barren nightmare was commonly held land, or commons.

A flock of sheep. Their behaviour is characterised by the donning of ceremonial Che Guevara t-shirts, a fondness for the band System of a Down and selective mind filters which only allow the writings of Karl Marx, Noam Chomsky, Jacques Derrida or Slavoj Žižek to leave its sediment inside their hive mind. My name is bleating heart liberal and I approve of this message.

The owner of the green patch in the centre had immediate incentive to protect his own land from de…