Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My question at io9 about the effect of popular entertainment on behavior

In The Secret Twist In the Bobo Doll Experiments That Turned Kids Mean, Esther Inglis-Arkell concluded, "We can all admit that what kids (and adults) read and consume probably does have some influence on their behavior."

I replied, "We can admit that's the argument of every censor. But it assumes we are nothing more than the product of what we read and consume. If this is true, slash fanfic involving children and young teens should worry everyone. Is that your belief?"

My comment is still "pending approval" and hasn't been answered. #NotHoldingBreath

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

On civility, disobedience, and yo mama

I left this as a comment at Corey Robin's The Reason I Don’t Believe in Civility is That I Do Believe in Civility:

Civility is not bourgeois. Working class people of all hues know the meaning of "Didn't your mama teach you any manners?" Bourgeois civility expects obeisance, but simple civility expects equality, and equals don't treat anyone as inferiors, which is the essence of incivility.

When I think of what's civil, I think of civitas and civil disobedience and the example set by the civil rights leaders, including Malcolm X, who said, "Respect everyone." He believed you should be prepared to send anyone who laid a hand on you to the graveyard, but he never suggested you should stop respecting others even then; he only said you should be prepared to stop them. If I had a time machine, I would arrange a meeting between Brother Malcolm and Citizen Tom Paine. I think they'd agree about a great deal, including the way we should treat each other.

ETA: Excellent advice for revolutionaries: “Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.” ―Thomas Paine

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Respect everyone, post #3: Kadampa Buddhism

"Do not contemplate your own good qualities, but contemplate the good qualities of others, and respect everyone as a servant would." —Atisha, Kadampa Buddhism

Earlier:

#1: Respect everyone

#2: the "respect" quote of the day is by Anthony Bourdain

Friday, August 29, 2014

Our Minnesota State Fair trips—mostly, seed art!

Emma and I only made two trips to the State Fair this year. I brought along my old iPod and took a few pictures, which I rarely do because my general philosophy is that you can experience an event or record it. And okay, if experiencing recording something is your idea of fun, fine, but it ain't mine. So most of our State Fair experience is not recorded here.

Emma does like to take pictures sometimes. On our first trip, she decided to take pictures of things that amused her, so I decided to take pictures of her taking pictures. (Yes, inside, I'm still thirteen.) If she posts hers, I'll add a link.

Click pics to bigify them.

A warm-up picture that I like, even if it's not in focus.

My favorite picture of Emma taking a picture.

Just because.

 Emma realizes I've been taking pictures of her taking pictures. (That sign amused her.)


 
Steampunk made it to the fair.

Dr. Who did, too. In seed art, like the next few pics.









I wish I had a better picture of the piece on the right. Emma thought it would inspire a great book cover.

Anti-racists have yet to convince Minnesota's Asian community that "Oriental" is offensive. (ETA: As noted in a Twitter discussion, I don't remember hearing anyone refer to a person as Oriental in ages. But the word is still very common in business names.)



Butter sculptures being carved of Princess Kay and the princesses of the Milky Way. No, I didn't move—the platform rotates so everyone can get a good look at art in progress.

A bird of prey at the DNR area.

Emma and Betsy Pucci Stemple.

Proof that Republicans are stealth socialists.

A selfie.

A twofie.

This is a horribly unrepresentative record of our time at the fair. Maybe next year, I'll take pics of what we eat. Which always includes deep fried cheese curds in the food hall, honey lemonade, honey ice cream, all the milk you can drink, and craft beer. We had the beer-battered onion rings at the Ball Park Cafe for the first time, and they were mighty fine. But really, it's the greatest state fair. You can't go wrong.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

All I care to say about Anita Sarkeesian, the tl;dr

The tl;dr: Everyone should be treated with respect, but the social justice community has a Munchausen syndrome problem, so we should always question their claims, especially when those claims add to their fame and their bank account.

The longer version: All I care to say about Anita Sarkeesian

ETA: I italicized the first part of the first sentence for people who read too quickly. As for the second part, learning to question may be life's most important lesson. If you question your opponents, question your allies too. Ashley Todd and Meg Lanker-Simons had very different politics, but in both cases, it was right to want some proof from them.

ETA 2: Well, if I did want to say something more about Anita Sarkeesian

ETA 3: Hmm. And if I said more about Anita Sarkeesian, I would cite this.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Russia, what's better, what's worse—a note by Rachel Rubin

In a message (shared with permission) Rachel Rubin wrote,
I am writing this in Moscow, and thinking about our conversation about Russia's before/after. I have been asking everyone old enough to remember to tell me one thing that is better, and one thing that is worse. It's actually been really painful, if fascinating--all the senior citizens with pensions gone, etc. One street artist (incredibly gifted) answered the question for a long time, summing up, "Well, now we have all these things (cars, cellphones, etc.) that we didn't have before. But now we are all about those things."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Socialist Bible: What does "the poor will always be with you" mean?

Capitalist Christians love to cite Matthew 26:11: "For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always." The saying references an older saying that capitalist Jews like, Deuteronomy, 15:11: "For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land."

So long as there are natural disasters, there will always be poor people. When a disaster occurs, the victims need to helped generously, with hands wide. These sayings have nothing to do with perpetuating systems of economic inequality. They simply acknowledge that we will always need to help when help is needed.

This post was inspired by What Jesus knew about income inequality (Opinion) - CNN.com, which takes an approach that philanthropists like, but which Jesus's saying about the two mites rejects.

Luke 21:1-4  "And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had."

Excluded by intersectionality

Over at my other blog, I've been doing a series of short posts recording cases that were overlooked by most identitarians because they involved white men, the people who are excluded by the bourgeois theory of intersectionality: Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage: excluded by intersectionality. Maybe they'll become an article someday; maybe they'll be useful for someone else.

And if there's anyone reading this who hasn't heard of SJWS, two points:

1. I envy you.

2. Social justice warriors are not social justice workers. Social justice workers work offline for justice and believe in treating everyone with respect; SJWs do not.