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flac  ·  1495 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 23, 2018  ·  x 7


amouseinmyhouse  ·  2544 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Conversation With White People on Race  ·  

I hear what you're saying and, like everyone, I can't claim to be an authority on race. But since you shared your background with me, maybe sharing my background with you is also in order.

I grew up in an average family. My parents prided themselves on that fact. They were once farmers who escaped the lands my family had lived on for generations to find something better. They moved around a little bit but ultimately wound up in a mid sized city, occupying a mid sized home, living a middle class life, and I was comfortable.

That life afforded me opportunities. Opportunities for advancement and opportunities for ignorance. Through the former I got into good schools and I got nice work, though the latter I was protected from some of the harsher truths of life.

Down the street was a black family who was much like our own. The parents came from modest means and the children lived in modest comfort. In our little neighborhood, all things seemed equal.

And in that neighborhood they were. There was no malice, no one preventing children from being with one another, no prejudice (that we could see) and so it goes for most. But to me something seemed off, and it was. The crux of the problem, though, is that what had made the world as it was (the world I was first hand to, anyway) happened before I was born.

I learned years later what that really was. There were social and economic forces set into motion, long before I was even an idea, that still reverberate through our culture. It should be noted that I don't mean to attribute connotation to that statement (or, hopefully, any of these statements) I simply offer them as facts of another time.

In 1924 the National Housing Act began a practice called redlining where banks would draw a litteral red line on maps to mark areas in which they would not invest. These areas were primarily black ghettos, which had the consequence of ensuring economically depressed areas remained economically depressed.

The primarily black ghettos became primarily black because it's not like slavery ended and then everything became amazing. When slavery ended most blacks were only allowed to live in certain parts of the city.

So you have these primarily black neighborhoods that can't get capital investment to improve. Then you get blockbusting during the suburban flight. As blacks start realizing their situation is bad they try to get out and they start to move to the white suburbs. Once a house in a white suburb is purchased by a black family, the banks would call or visit other houses in that neighborhood and talk about how the whole place was going to pot. They would offer to buy white house for less than it was worth, get the whole block on their books, and sell them back to mobile blacks at far more than they were worth, making economically depressed and largely black areas. And because the loans were so high, owners would often default and have to move back to the ghettos.

This created an american mentality of "blackspace" and "whitespace". Ghettos are blackspace, suburbs are whitespace. This has social effects which are well ingrained in our culture, generally to the detriment of blacks and to the benefit of whites.

Most of that was quashed by the courts during the civil rights movements of the 1960's and 70's. So the language shifted from racially charged to economically charged. The Obama Administration's recent stimulus package, for example, targeted pre-existing assets, which the past 140 years of racially motivated legislation insured fell into the hands of predominantly white individuals. 1.5% of the beneficiaries of this package were black (I have the source on paper but not immediately available).

So, imagine playing a game of monopoly where everyone else gets 10 turns before you can put your piece on the board. You're at a marked disadvantage. This, generally, is what people mean when they speak of the socio-economic disadvantage to a certain group of people. It might not exist currently or in the forms that have been so well documented in the past, but it does in some way exist.

Now, this isn't to say that whites can't also be affected by these same forces. The scope of these programs is so high and so wide that, while they primarily affected minorities, there were also whites who were equally affected. Further, it seems that the current wealth disparity has far fewer of these race based caveats and are targeting, in mass, anyone who is simply not rich. This would seem to be a turning point in the constant power struggle in our world, but it doesn't erase the social, cultural, and economic disadvantages that were placed on many black families.

I'm still learning about all of this and I will be the first to say that there are likely gaps in my knowledge and my arguments. I am always researching and always seeking new information and if you have any questions I'm happy to share anything I can find.

These are deep and touchy subjects in American culture and they generally have to be navigated delicately. I've never been one for yelling matches and boasting, but I can get on a soapbox from time to time. If I did so above it was not my intent and I hope something up there helps provide some semblance of reason to what once was an unreasonable argument.

edit: holy shit I wrote a novel.

InfernalFangirl  ·  2544 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Conversation With White People on Race  ·  

Alright I've been on Hubski less than a week but y'all seem like nice sensible people so I'd like to ask a question that I've been having problems with for awhile and I think it's because I haven't been able to have a sane conversation with someone about it that doesn't devolve into people getting defensive. I'm having problems with the concept of white privilege. Well...not problems. I get it in the Louis CK sense that if I got in a time machine right now and showed up anywhere in history with very few exceptions I would probably not be persecuted or enslaved (unless I happened to land in the Irish slavery part)....otherwise I'd probably just be told to sit down and shut up because I'm a woman. Ok. I get that and I respect that. Here's the part I get confused on.

The first time I heard the term "white privilege" thrown around (on reddit, surprise surprise) I asked what exactly the parameters were for white privileges and shared my experiences as some others were. I grew up poor in a reasonably sketchy neighborhood with lots of gang activity right on the US Mexico border. I got the crap beaten out of me regularly for being one of the only white girls in my class. I got asked to leave stores on two occasions because their "clothes weren't for hueras" (the general jist of it). I took shitty jobs, sometimes several at a time and sometimes things nobody wanted any part of and dragged my way through college. I didn't get anywhere I was going with my social connections and like lots of people I scratched and clawed my way to get where I am. And I immediately got shouted down as someone trying to deny their white privilege because I could've used it to improve my circumstances and I'm sitting there going, "How? How the hell was I supposed to improve anything about that situation by being white?" Meanwhile a guy I follow on Twitter was piled on about his white male privilege when he was half Asian and grew up so poor he had been living on donated food infested with ants, but again his human experiences came down to the color of his skin and his gender with everything else taken out of the equation.

So I guess what I'm curious about is...well not so much "how am I privileged" because once again, I get in a time machine and I won't find myself in a crappy situation more than likely, but where does socio-economic privilege come into this whole matrix of privilege? Because I hear people talking about white privilege and male privilege and all these other privileges but you ask about socio-economic and they go mum. I've had frustrated friends point out it's usually "trust fund scholars who majored in gender studies" saying all this so they're uncomfortable with the socio-economic aspect themselves, but I don't think that's it.

I'm hoping someone can have a discussion with me about his because I'd really like to understand it, and it frustrates me to a degree (probably because I've seen too much of the ridiculous radical stuff on Tumblr). Yes I know, it's not your job to educate me but give me a push here or something.

StephenBuckley  ·  3461 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How should #askhubski be substantively different from Ask Reddit?  ·  

The simple answer is: Q: How should #askhubski be substantively different from Ask Reddit? A: There should be no #askhubski.

There will be/is no "whole Hubski." The entire idea of Hubski is that if you and I are part of completely different worlds and hate everything about each other, we will very, very rarely interact. Never, ideally, and if ignoring works as it ought to.

The idea of AskReddit is that you want to get people's opinions on things, or stories from people who interest you. Maybe you like hypotheticals about super powers, maybe I like stories from people's lives, maybe @mk likes questions about how cool space is. If we use Hubski as it ought to be used, as a series of diverse and interconnected communities, an ocean carefully sorted by the centrifuge of shares into an organized series of like-minded or similarly-interested people, then you'll be able to ask exactly the people whom you would most want to hear answers from.

If you like people who talk about hypotheticals, you'll follow them. And if I like people who tell stories, I'll follow them. And if we overlap, then our interests somewhat overlap! Otherwise, I won't ask you questions. And that is awesome.

Think about Hubski as high school. Not Hollywood high school- actual high school. Sure, you had a close group of friends you could talk to privately, and yes, you got all of the important gossip about a larger group of people, but did you ever really want to know if the second-string baseball player got the prom date of his choice? You didn't. Nothing against him, but unless you sat next to him on the bench or in class or on the bus and liked him, you just wouldn't care. Even if it turned up in conversation you'd think "huh. okay" and move on, and never talk about it again because you weren't interested.

That's what Hubski is. I like hanging out with the mods and the poetry people, and some people really like the programming tag, and I have some friends who like the programming tag because we both have #philosophy at the same time and we're interested in why kleinbl00 is always angry. But if your question is "Why are the Patriots So Bad This Year?" I honestly don't care. And I will not care. And if it pops up on my feed I won't share it, and I'll block the #sports tag if it gets bad. Nothing against the post. I just don't care.

In a very real sense, there is no Hubski group. The site is designed to avoid a hivemind in place of a clique attitude- no set boundaries, but definite and tight communities with a million ties to one another and no clear delimiters. So what should you "ask hubski?" Nothing! You should ask your #imagination friends what useless superpowers they want, and I should ask my #hubski friends why we don't have an easy way to block tags only from specific users, and if you're not interested in anything I'm interested in you'll never have to hear about my boring stories on the bus about this one cheerleader I love, because you and I won't interact! And if I'm constantly talking about board games and you don't care about board games at all you can eternally silence my board game chatter and still be my friend. And I will never know or care and I'll do the same to your sports!

Imagine instead in high school that if you were taking a math class, then every time someone had a question in any math class in the whole school it would be said into the PA in your room. How much math do you think would get done? That's what organization by subject instead of by user brings. And #askhubski is that, but for every question in every class in the whole school. Sure, it might be interesting to some people, but if everyone likes a question then everyone will be "talking about" (sharing) it, and we'll all hear about it. Hubski's sharing is word of mouth made into a website.

That said, if you're friends with a bunch of people who love the idea of asking hubski stuff- AWESOME! But the second I get bored of you guys, I'll just ignore you. And if I ever wanna phone up and see how you're doing I'll search for #askhubski

Don't Ask Hubski anything! Ask your friends!

PS-Congrats about the cheerleader. Seriously, dude, she's so hot and it couldn't happen to a nicer person. Do you think your parents will mind if I have some soda while we play PS2?

text  ·  #pleaseignore  ·  #
katakowsj  ·  3711 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Are we moving towards an era of communication through pictures?  ·  
I would expect that excercising our shutter fingers could only better develop our sense of how, when, why and with whom to share our images. I can see it in my four year old son slowly developing his own abilities as a shutterbug in this last week. He's now got a Lego camera that is now packed with sixty or so images that he's been collecting. He's success rate with capturing clear images is only about twenty percent right now, but of the pics he's grabbed successfully, he's immensely proud to describe to what he has been able to capture.

In additional and very emphatic agreement, it looks as though my life has been prolonged and a great deal of quality to my life has been presevered due to improved image sharing that could have easily lead me to make some very poor decisions about my health. Turns out that some slight neurological oddities had been occurring to me for the past five months. These culminated on my front yard one day two weeks ago as I had a full generalized brain seizure. Turns out that MRI imaging revealed I had a slow growing low-grade glioma type tumor. A very important image to me. The tumor has now been resected. Thanks to MRI imaging during the actual surgery, there is high confidence that maximum tumor matter was removed and I will also be having follow up treatments and MRI imaging to keep this cell material at bay for the maximum time period.

Now, though I'd like to express what I feel is the most touchy and slippery part of using imaging to communicate. From this brain tumor experience, I am confident that I was one second opinion away from being unable to ever post this experience as I am on hubski. I was one "yes, I agree doctor" from having a total gross resection of my entire right temporal lobe, based on that doctor's best interpretation of my initial MRI images. I had a very honest, hardworking, and earnest neurologist suggest to me that my current condition was immediately life threatening, I needed to be on relatively high levels of cortico-steroids immediately due to a swelling threatening lesion in my brain, I likely had other tumors around my body, and he felt his surgeon, at an excellent, small suburban hospital, should begin quickly to remove the lesion and as much surrounding material they could sacrifice.

Fortunately for me, I had images and information that I began to share. This is what allows me to continue to be who I am and continues to amaze me as I recount it. My brother has worked at the Henry Ford Neuroscience Research Center for ten or more years. I clearly remember sitting at my desktop with the image CD that the MRI center gave me. I opened the images and, not knowing what to look for, knew enough that assymmetries were probably not good. I found an asymmetrical density in my right anterior temporal lobe region, added the pics to my drop box, got on the phone with my brother and started to come up with questions. This initial fact finding got us up to why or what and then lead him on to sending it to an informed radiologist friend of his. All of a sudden the ball was in motion. Information in the form of picture images was beginning to change the direction of my life. Not that I wanted it to, but the alternative to doing nothing did not look any better.

This image sharing made all the difference. As I sat in that small suburban hospital and the folks dedicated to my care worked in earnest, it turned out that not a single one had had the necessary experience to diagnose what my condition has actually turned out to be. I hold no ill will against them, they did not know what they were looking at.

On the upside, I left that hospital with an appointment the following day at Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital (professional grade people that care, from orderlies, to the chair of neurosurgery). Turns out that the images I shared with my brother were then shared with some people that had likely dealt with this type brain tumor before. Their intuition was dead on and within minutes of my meeting with two well informed men I was absolutely convinced I was speaking with the right people. I had a surgery scheduled, a thorough description of the tumor, that from the imagees alone has proven to be 90% correct as of actual tumor pathology reports, this was the primary tumor and cause of my neurological concerns, and I was not in immediate danger of edema related intracranial pressure. The tumor has been growing for somewhere around ten years, low grade gliomas like to be persistent and attempt to return. I'll be recieving chemical, radiation treatments, and possibly on the long horizion, some form of gene therapies or vaccine possibly. It's very early to speculate much on this, but thanks to some images, but more importantly, having those images in the hands of folks that can interpret them best, my outlook on my future life has improved dramatically.

In time, I expect my four year old son, Robbie, will also see how he can get better collecting and sharing images as all people will. From my vantage point of life right now I've gotta say that the interpretation of an image carries far greater weight than I could have imagined. I came out on the better end of what could have been a bad situation had I gone along with the opinions of those that thought they knew what they were looking at rather than those folks that instead recognized complete familiarity and knowing of the images that were presented to them.

I can see from the images of my stapled head I sent to friends and family immediately following my brain surgery, I'll be excercising my shutter finger more as most everyone in the world. Sharing images is easy, fun and creative. I'll now never be able to underestimate though how interpretations of images can so dramatically change possible outcomes that so often we may not have an awareness of.

In the meantime, as I progress back to middle school math/science teacher mode, rather than dude surving tumor, I'll always have a deeper consideration for demonstrating to all kids that are willing to listen of how important our critical thinking skills are to our human condition. I expect to have a great deal of fun.


eb  ·  3738 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Privacy and Facebook Culture  ·  
While I can understand and agree with what you said. I don't think that the point of privacy, and the ones who advocate it, is the one you are making...

It is not about beeing harassed because you are not a 6'2", and, meanwhile you do, the others don't know how to handle themselves... I think It's all about the masses being used. It is about the ability to record everything you do and connect it with your persona. If you are not careful online they will know who and what are you talking to/about, what your income is (so they can estimate what your potential ability to buy is) what kind of fashion do you follow the clothes you wear (so they can select what to offer/put in front of your eyes), what do you usually buy, the places you frequent and spend your money to drink to eat...

You might remember the buzz created some months ago by the phrase:

If you are not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold..

which, funny enough, in it's original form was:

The member of facebook is not a customer, they are the product. The advertisers are the customers.

As per the label part I will quote Neil deGrasse Tyson. I think what he said applies everywhere:

Labels are mentally lazy ways by which people assert they know you without knowing you.

So since computers are becoming an everyday part of our lives, people should be more educated, more computer literate and privacy is very important!

mk  ·  3813 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why should you learn math? Because fuck you, that's why.  ·  
Ok, this is my Math story:

As a kid, I liked science and I liked to draw. In 7th grade I was in the smart kid math class. However, at some point early on in high school, I determined that I was going to be an 'artist'. By 11th grade I was in the slow kid math class. I did poorly, and in 12th grade I didn't take a math course at all.

After graduating, I learned that my parents wouldn't pay for art school. So, I squeezed into Michigan State University, and thought I was going into zoology. The one math class I had, pre-calculus, I began to fail, and I dropped it. I left MSU after one semester of drinking and gambling.

I then went to Oakland University (also in Michigan), and avoided math classes. I took general ed classes, lots of art classes, but left after 2 years and went to Boston. For 2 years I worked in a hardware store and had a lot of fun. Much of this fun wasn't conducive to learning.

After that, I returned to Oakland University and decided that I would go into astronomy. There is no undergrad in astronomy, so I figured that physics would be the place to start.

I started delivering pizzas for money. At this time, I could not remember an address more than 1 minute, if that. I had to constantly check and recheck them.

I wanted to start taking physics classes right away. But, you needed to pass Calculus I before you could. Since it was the winter, my plan was: Take precalculus in the spring, Calc I at the community college in the summer, and begin physics classes (and Calc II) in the fall.

I took precalculus that spring and got a 2.0. -I barely passed. So, I decided that I would take precalculus again in the summer, and take Calc I at the same time at the community college. That summer, I got a 2.7 in precalculus, and failed Calc I. I lied to my school and told them I passed Calc I. I signed up for some physics courses and Calc II. I listened to nothing but classical music at this time. I did not go out and have fun. The only reading I did was physics related. I got a 2.0 in Calc II. My physics courses were a mix but I passed them. That winter I got a 2.9 in Calc III. The next winter, I took 18 credits of physics: (Quantum Mechanics, Modern Physics, Vibrations and Waves, Thermodynamics, Modern Physics Lab, plus grading papers, plus undergrad reseach that got published (while learning to code in FORTRAN for that), plus I delivered pizzas. I got a 3.6 that semeseter.

Eventually, I got my PhD in medical physics. My math skills have since atrophied, but at one point, there were few physics problems that I couldn't tackle given enough time.

Math can be fucking hard, but it's beautiful stuff. When you really get into it, it's like poetry. The secrets to the universe are in it. More interestingly, it uses your brain in a way that nothing else does. You learn about yourself when you do crazy math. I do not have a natural talent at math. I didn't lay a solid foundation in math early on. But, through sheer force of will I gained compentency enough that I could find eigenvalues for a wave function like a pro.

Like kleinbl00, I've always sucked hard at arithmetic.

If you are not good at math, you aren't doing enough of it.

thenewgreen the best way to learn math is to find the limit of your problem solving abilities, and solve lots of those problems, -like hundreds of them. When you are really confident with those, move to the next chapter. Solve crazy amounts of those problems, repeat. I used to get every book I could at the library that had the type of problems I needed to learn to solve. I just kept doing them.

I think what many people misunderstand about math, is that it isn't something that you look at. or are told about, and 'get'. You only 'get' math by doing a lot of it. It takes exercise. No one can tell you how to pole vault, where you just 'get' it. Youve got to try and try and try...