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AnSionnachRua  ·  2627 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I Am Not My Internet Personality, and You Probably Aren’t Yours, Either.  ·  x 4

The issue of internet-mediated persona versus real-life person has been around since long before the advent of social media, and I think it's a lot more complex than simply that the former is fake and the latter genuine.

The internet's a different place, sure. You're physically and temporally dislocated from the people you're interacting with, allowing great scope for manipulation of the image you put out. You can pose on Craigslist as a member of the opposite sex, or pretend to be a Nigerian prince, or just act like a belligerent arsehole with little fear of repercussion. And the way we communicate is definitely different - I don't usually talk like this in real-life. I swear a lot; I pause and say "um", I mispronounce words - communicating on the internet in false-time allows me to slow down and consider my words and sentence structure, and try to make sure I don't make any mistakes.

But I don't swear in front of my grandmother. The idea that communication on the internet is somehow intrinsically fake (and the corollary that offline communication isn't) has never rung true for me. Online interaction is a particular kind of mediation - so is pretty much every space in life. The internet just offers a capacity for performance that is usually impossible in real life - a meek 15-year old nerd threatening to murder another player in a game of League of Legends, for example. Equally, though, this form of mediation allows for a great amount of openness and sincerity; people are often willing to share things with friends online that they would almost never say online. It just goes both ways.

We are more or less constantly mediated by the circumstances in which we find ourselves. As I said above, I don't swear in front of my grandmother. That doesn't mean that the "real me" doesn't swear (and that doesn't mean that the non-swearing me is not the real me).

I teach English as a second language in Dublin. Mostly I teach junior groups; Italians of 16-18 years. I was chatting to a couple of the other teachers about how we act in class - re-using the same jokes over and over and acting as if they're spontaneous. Sure, it's a bit facetious. But I just said goodbye to a lovely group of students today and the connection we had was not somehow unreal.

When I'm at work I wear a shirt and slacks and black shoes. When I went to a staff party at a pub last summer, I wore jeans and a leather jacket and had my septum piercing out. Some of my colleagues were a little shocked at this difference, but it doesn't necessarily imply that my "work persona" isn't me.

When I'm at home in Mayo I talk with a Mayo accent. This also happens when I'm drunk.

I write letters to people quite a lot. I imagine I sound quite different in them. The manipulation of one's image that takes place in writing on the internet, whether intentional or otherwise, is not new.

Is the real me the me talking to you late at night in a dark room talking about serious issues in my life? Sure. So is the me making bawdy jokes. So is the me sitting alone in my room typing into Hubski.

We perform constantly, in many different contexts. That doesn't necessarily mean that none of that counts as "real". Mediation is more-or-less ever-present, whether online or offline. I don't mean to go all hippy on you and suggest that people are super-complex chimaeras or shape-shifters; there's plenty of consistency. There's also plenty of seeming inconsistency, but lack of consistency doesn't imply that certain parts are fake and certain parts are real.

People certainly act "fake" on the internet at times, but we've been doing that in real life for thousands of years. But I suppose all of the above is a fairly pointless aside because the ultimate point of the article is basically true - online and offline personas, even if they're equally "mediated", are often quite different, as anyone who's met someone online and then in person can tell you. And also I seen to have veered way off the topic of the differences between how people present themselves on social media and how they act offline. Sorry if I'm not particularly lucid; my brain has pretty much turned to mush in the past two years.

(Yeah I'm totally different in person BTW.)

coffeesp00ns  ·  2533 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Transphobic violence in the punk community  ·  

As I mentioned to you in my PM, I'll talk with you out here, not because I've got something against private conversation, but because I am a.) unashamed of who I am, because there is nothing "wrong" with me, and b.) willing to be an educator, and If i'm going to be an educator, it might as well be in a classroom, and not in a private session.

The biggest and most important thing I'd like to impress upon you - and really if you get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING out of this conversation other than this fundamental point - is point B. Not the whole thing, just this part:

    willing to be an educator

The key word is willing. Not every person in a minority is willing, interested, or able to be an educator. On top of that, it is not your right to have an educator. That phrase can sound a little B.S., but the basic concept comes down to this - there is a difference between "I'd like to know about this, can you tell me more?" and "I need you to explain this to me. If I don't get it, then it's not a thing."

You've not really said either of these things, but you did say,

    Conversely, if I didn't take the time to post my doubts, you wouldn't have been able to further attempt to educate me on the issue, and by proxy, anyone else feeling confused about the matter. When people stay quiet on a matter that concerns them, they're stifling their own personal growth, because they're isolating themselves from healthy feedback from people who think differently.

and yes, this is true. However, it is not minimum_wage's job to educate you or anyone else, especially when the information is relatively widely available, and no harder to get a hold of than when you were writing a paper in high school.

So seriously, that's like the "sunscreen good, no sunscreen bad" of communicating with people who are part of a minority, or anyone really - young, old, male, female, anyone whose experience in life is different from yours.

But I'm not here to shit on you, nor for you to feel shit on, which is just as bad as actually being shit on. So let's move on, though it might not feel a whole lot like moving on.

I've got another stumbling block that we're going to have to get over - and this one's a doosey for a lot of people, especially because of the questions it raises the further we get into this discussion (a lot of which get answered with "genetics is complicated").

That stumbling block is this: Gender Binary doesn't exist outside of the societal construct we are familiar with.

What we are all taught in school (and which is reinforced by lots of things in our society, such as gendered marketing), that XY is male and XX is female, and never the twain shall change, is a huge simplification of what we know and have observed about humans and how our chromosomes work. Just zip down to the bottom of this wiki article on Kleinfelter's Syndrome and you'll begin to see what I mean. XXY,XXYY, XYY, XO... It's like a bad game of tic tac toe down there. All of these things are genetic disorders which are completely ignored by a gender binary that says "XY male, XX female". Like, what does that make these other people, some of whom present and are raised male, some of whom present and are raised female.

(side note: when I say "present" here, i mean "how they are generally perceived in the world". It's fewer letters that way, and it's sort of part of the "lingo".)

Now, hidden in that list of chromosomal disorders are two that are really interesting for the topic at hand:

XX male syndrome - in which someone looks like a guy, and develops as a guy, but is sterile and may have small testicles.

Kleinfelter Syndrome - as mentioned above. XXY chromosomes, and the most common Chromosomal disorder. Between 1:500 and 1:1000 men have this condition. that means there are approximately 318 000 men in the USA with this condition, as a conservative estimate. from the wiki -

    Often symptoms may be subtle and many people do not realize they are affected. Sometimes symptoms are more prominent and may include weaker muscles, greater height, poor coordination, less body hair, smaller genitals, breast growth, and less interest in sex.

This is leaving Hermaphroditism completely off the table, even though it relates here for similar reasons.

Also of interest is Androgen Insensitivity syndrome - in which an XY karyotype human has difficulties absorbing the proper amount of testosterone. It's also pretty common at 2-5:100,000. It has 3 forms, Mild, Partial and Complete insensitivity, varying in intensity. Someone with a Mild form might have malformed sperm, but also be less hairy than usual and have a higher voice. Partial insensitivity is a wide specturm (there's a scale from 1-7, and it usually includes levels 2-5). with PAIS you could look like anything from a man with a small penis and some breast development (not unlike Kleinfelter's) to a masculine looking woman with a large clitoris.

You already know what complete insensitivity looks like, because I showed you. I lied to you in this paragraph:

    What we are all taught in school (and which is reinforced by lots of things in our society, such as gendered marketing), that XY is male and XX is female,

under XX is a picture of a woman named Eden Atwood. She is a woman with CAIS. She is an XY karyotype human who developed from the womb as a female. While she is not one of them, there are cases of XY women giving birth, and even one case where and XY woman gave birth to another XY woman - That shit's a scholarly journal, not Ripley's Believe it or Not.

I might as well let the cat out of the bag with the other picture, too. I couldn't find any pictures of XX men (it's not a super common syndrome), so I put in a Picture of Buck Angel, famous Trans Man porn star. Buck is born XX, and transitioned in his... 20s i think?

All of this is to say - The human body is INCREDIBLY COMPLICATED. People often ask the question of "How do Trans People exist?" when really, the question should be "With all the other crazy shit our genetics do, why are we surprised that trans people exist?"

So, that was a lot of writing. I hope you got through it with most of your brain intact - It's a lot to take in.

Trans people, for a minority that represents an estimated 1% of the population, are surprisingly well researched (or surprisingly poor researched, depending on your perspective). The TranScience Paperdex is an incomplete list of the studies that a have been done regarding trans people. Some of them are obviously extremely out of date, but it's an interesting body of work.

Trans people are also nothing new. People cite Christine Jorgensen as a famous early modern case, but really she is just the first trans person that modern western media ever got a hold of. There are many examples of "Third Gender" peoples, all the way from the earliest writings we have in Mesopotamia. Third Gender people are mentioned in the writings of Plato, show up in Old Israeli words, and are even in some current cultures, such as Hijra people in India, and kathoeys in Thailand.

So, now that (hopefully) I've convinced you and others that trans people aren't just mentally ill, or a new fad, onward to specific questions from you.

    I don't know if feeling like you're the opposite gender of what you were born is natural or unnatural.

Is feeling like the opposite gender of what you were born "natural"? Yes. It's just not super common.

    I don't know if undergoing hormone therapy and even surgery to correct such a feeling is right or wrong.

First I'll point out how much total bullshit there is to get onto hormones in the first place. like, I've been head on the road towards hormones for more than a year and a half, and only recently got onto step 1, which is not full hormones. It required hours of counselling sessions, and repeating my "story" over and over to various people until I got sick of minutiae and created a "Party line" that I used for everything to keep a consistent story. To get Gender reassignment surgery I will likely be on a wait list for over 2 years.

Nothing about this is fast or easy, nor is it a snap decision.

But packed into this is also some other questions - what happens if you don't like it? Can we fix the feeling another way?

Well, we know that giving trans people more of the hormones of their expected Karyotype gender makes them feel worse (nor is there any evidence that hormone imbalance exists in trans people), and we also know that Hormone Therapy is associated with a greater quality of life in trans people.

We, unfortunately, have some pretty decent case examples of what happens when you give someone cross-gender hormones and they don't want them. David Reimer springs to mind, though his whole story is sad and it's not just about cross-gender hormones). Feminizing hormones were also used in the UK as part of the Labouchere Amendment (also known as Section 11). They were used to punish gay men who got caught, by reducing their libido and making them sterile. It played a factor in Alan Turing's suicide.

Basically, if you don't feel better on hormones, then don't take them. You can stop at any time, and many of the effects will reverse (though not all). Hormones are the best treatment we've got for Gender Identity Disorder. There are risks (including things like kidney damage), but hey, it's better than the alternative.

This isn't a "just because we can, doesn't mean we should" situation. this is a "we finally have a way for these people to stop hating themselves" situation, and a "wow, these people have been hiding in corners for centuries and just want to be treated like human beings" situation.

Anyways, this post is long enough, and I'm sure question will come up, so rather than pre-empt them, I'll just let them happen.

What does it mean to be human? It's complicated.

STEP ONE – Music

    Youth and youth, don't be rude
    It's time to eat some good food
    For the poor underwealthy
    Need to be healthy
    You know
Hubski is demographically US-centric site so I thought I'd tip a hat to the influence Jamaican history has had on the UK. For this, I will need to make a classic Jamaican dish.

PEAS AND RICE!

Play the music.

STEP TWO – Procure Ingredients

In order to be the inception of the Grubski challenge, I want to do this in eight steps for EightBit but also use only eight ingredients, e'ight?

Here are my eight: Rice, Black Beans (what Jamaicans call peas in peas and rice), Onion, Scallions, Coconut Milk, Garlic, Chilli, Chives.

The music you are listening to is One Step by Max Romeo (Maxwell Livingston Smith) one of the artists that brought reggae to Britain in one of the waves of cultural immigration that introduced a Jamaican diaspora to London. He was banned by the BBC for suggestive lyrics in his hit Wet Dream (which he insisted was a song about a leaky roof – suuuure it was Maxwell) and founded The Upsetters who worked with Lee Scratch Perry and went on to form the Wailers, so he's surely worth a listen. Born in 1944 he left home at 14 and worked on a sugar plantation before being spotted in a talent contest at 18.

Sadly, refined sugar has historically been intertwined with the slave trade and huge fortunes (Tate & Lyle) were built on the labour of slaves. Apart from the karmic debt of pain on your plate implied by sugar, it's terrible for your health. No sugar was used in the creation of this dish.

STEP THREE – Prepare Ingredients

We're going to finely chop our onion and grate or dice our ginger (I prefer fine dicing as I like the crunch of ginger root on the tooth). Drain your black beans, measure your rice, slice your scallions, crush your garlic, shiver your timbers and pass the doobie.

STEP FOUR – The Fry

In a little oil, brown your onions and ginger for a few minutes – cover the raas clart dish, we've talked about this before, it keeps your onions moist– and then add your dry rice and fry in, allowing it to be covered in oil and flavour. Add your black beans and allow to heat through. Throw in some salt and pepper and your chilli.

STEP FIVE – The Simmer

Now you can measure your cup of coconut milk and a cup of water, stir through, cover and allow to simmer

STEP SIX – Rum

While we're waiting for the rice to cook through, let's pour ourselves a shot of rum; of course. For this particular dish let's use La Negrita, often considered little better than a cooking rum but shut up.

Jamaica was getting along quite happily before the Spanish in 1509 and then the British around 1670 settled there and implicated it in the Atlantic slave trade. Due to its fabled beauty it became a favourite place to jump ship for privateers; meanwhile the 18th century slave-powered cultivation of sugar and coffee made it a valuable jewel in the British crown. It wasn't all plain sailing for the Brits, though, there were over a dozen slave uprisings which saw self-liberated communities establish themselves in the interior of the island.

In the 19th century, some of these 10,000 black freemen were employed in militias to keep the enslaved population in check; for example in the widespread revolt known as the Baptist War. A post-mortem review of this uprising was part of the impetus in the 1830's for an abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire. Thereafter for Jamaica it was a slow struggle towards increasing independence marked 100 years later by the founding of the PNP, the socialist People's National Party, which Max Romeo endorsed and in support of whom he wrote songs. The PNP themselves chose his single Let The Power Fall as their theme song for their 1972 election campaign. (They won.)

How's the rice doing? Looking good? Nice, nice.

As part of the West India Regiment, Jamaicans fought for Britain in WWI making up around 10 of 15 thousand troops. They settled in small numbers in Britain thereafter and went on to fight in WWII, but the largest influx was post-war. Trigged by a hurricane in 1944 but most by the promise of post-war jobs, a wave of immigration through to the late 60's (continuing in smaller numbers thereafter) led to a thriving and vibrant community establishing itself and bringing with it culture, cuisine and music.

One hugely popular genre which took off in the UK was ska. Here's the outrageously attractive Millie Small singing My Boy Lollipop, probably the first breakthrough ska hit in the UK in 1964.

STEP SEVEN – Stir In The Fresh

By now your rice and peas will be fluffy and cooked through, so you can throw in your chopped scallions, your garlic, your chives and any other cheeky spices you have to hand (cumin for me). Stir through a little more, keep the heat low, you're almost ready to serve.

Hugely influential in the UK, Jamaican music brought reggae, influenced Indian bhangra, and fused punk and reggae to produce two-tone – the soundtrack to my eighties – and thereafter trip-hop, jungle, dub-n-bass. All my jams, yo.

What's that, you don't know what two-tone sounds like? Why, here, brave reader, have an earful of this hour-long mix you can enjoy while you're eating your modern peas and rice.

STEP EIGHT - Youth and youth, don't be rude, It's time to eat some good food

Now your rice is ready, I suggest you serve it with something cold and dark; perhaps a Mahon Negra; and some hot sauce for extra kick.

Meanwhile you can wander through the history of Jamaica and the UK on Wikipedia. The influences are profound.

In this dish: one can of black beans, one cup of long grain rice (with one cup of coconut milk and one cup of water), one small onion, a tablespoon of fresh ginger root, a handful of chives, one garlic clove, one scallion (spring onion), one chilli. Serves 2 - 4 MAYBE.

No sugar was harmed in the making of this dish; and know what else? It's totally vegan.

user-inactivated  ·  2455 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Carbon dating suggests early Quran is older than Muhammad [really?]   ·  
This comment has been deleted.
insomniasexx  ·  2462 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How did you find out what you wanted to do in life?  ·  

First step. Read these. The advice in here is expansive and awesome:

edit: here's a post list w/ a few more.

Step 2: Never take a single word of advice. Take it all in. Let it simmer and stew and marinate in that brain / heart of yours and make decisions based on what you think and feel. Your decisions will be influenced by the mountains of advice but the decisions will be yours and yours alone.

Step 3: Don't make any big decisions you don't have to. Make little ones and enjoy the journey. I planned on working in television (like I did in high school) instead of going to college. I figured I would figure it out. I hated school and spent more time trying to figure out how to not go to school and keep my valedictorian status than actually going to school. Then I got into NYU Film unexpectedly. Then I dropped out of NYU film two years in because I lost my passion. Then I worked nights editing shitty movies and TV shows for next to nothing (maybe like $50/night). Then I took off to Australia for three months with some Aussies I had met at a bar while doing cocaine one night (no joke). Then I got back home, moved in with my parents, and accepted a job at $13.25/hr editing product videos. Then I taught myself web development. Then I quit my job and started my own business creating websites for people. And here I am. I just turned 25. If you had asked me where I would be at 25 when I was 16, I would have said, "Doing cocaine and producing indie films and living a rockstar lifestyle." I don't produce films (although I occasionally get a corporate video bullshit gig) and I don't do cocaine anymore. I also make websites. WTF? How did that happen?

Life changes and it changes fast. The best thing you can do is roll with the punches and make sure whatever you are doing, you are passionate about. You are never too old or too young to do something big or change the direction you are headed. There is a big difference in being non-committal and giving up, and changing directions though.

I was 100% passionate about film until I wasn't. I tried really hard to find that passion again and spent a lot of time thinking there was something terribly wrong with me and that I had some lack-of-motivation disease (there's a motivation/passion enzyme in your thyroid right?) It turns out I was just over it. I sobbed to my parents for literally an hour straight, sitting on a grimmy NYC curb, before the words, "I want to drop out of college" left my lips. Then I sobbed and tried to catch my breath for another 4 hours or so.

If you don't have passion for something right now, do what you like best and explore the surrounding areas. Eventually you will find something. You are young as shit. I have friends pushing 30 who are still running away to foreign lands and snorting coke and haven't even tried to figure out what they want to do with their life / what their passion is.

Learn as much as you can now though. Real life is not conducive to picking up new skills, FYI. Go learn to solder or some shit. I don't know. I wish I had the time to learn that right now.

kleinbl00  ·  2548 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Let's talk about following each other.  ·  

We've had this discussion before.

(FYI: lists don't embed)

That said, vomiting forth a million links and leaving context to the user is rude, so I'll try and be concise. I will undoubtedly fail.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

THE TWO DIMENSIONS OF HUBSKI

Hubski is unique amongst news aggregators in that it is a two-axis community.

- Sociability (X Axis): Content dissemination and ranking via user affinity. Example: You find a post about a subject you'd never care about otherwise because you follow me.

- Discoverability (Y Axis): Content dissemination and ranking via subject affinity. Example: You find a user you'd like to follow that you would never have found if you weren't both interested in #architecture.

Team Hubski promotes the X-axis and deprecates the Y-axis at every opportunity. Team Hubski has admitted they were wrong to eliminate tags (the only accommodation on Hubski for the Y-axis), but every Hubski update regarding the Y-axis is an attempt to make y a dependent variable of x.

There are many problems with this, not just the one tacocat pointed out. However, it's a useful exemplar:

1) lil shared a NYT article that she found interesting. She searched #nytimes.com and found nothing (search problem) so she posted it, and tagged it #deathpenalty (tag problem).

2) kingmudsy pointed out that he'd shared the exact same article three days previously, but had tagged it #uspolitics and #nebraska (tag problem). He then asked if he'd done something wrong, why wasn't it being shared.

3) Discussion is had about how maybe this tag, maybe that tag, maybe we need a "super follow", maybe following is broken - in other words, how can the X-axis be augmented to overcome the total deprecation of the Y-axis?

Search is hard. Follow is easy. Associating with people you find interesting is human nature. But finding friends through discovery is, too. In real life, you go to church or the pub or the links or the hoe-down because there are people who largely think and act like you do. In real life, you take cooking classes or go to the baseball game or an SCA convention because you like cooking or baseball or LARPing and will either enjoy or eschew that activity depending on the people you find there.

If people put continuing ed catalogs together the way Hubski uses tags no one would ever find ANYTHING.

Every social network developed on the Internet is a network first and social last. Nobody who has coded one of these things has the first clue about social engineering. This is why Twitter is the world's most efficient hate machine, why Reddit is a brigade engine first and foremost and why Facebook functions entirely to concentrate the trivialities of people you would have long since otherwise lost contact with.

Hubski is different.

Right off the bat, y'all figured out that there needed to be some social affinity in the way sharing worked. This was insightful to the point of revolutionary: people experience differing opinions and polite disagreement in real life with their friends. With people they know. With people they have a social obligation to be polite to. I have to be polite to a friend of my friend, even if he's a blithering idiot. There's no such requirement on Twitter, Tumblr, Hacker News, Reddit, Yick Yack, any of them. That force of politeness is friction and it's a good thing.

Reddit is a virtually frictionless place. This is why one community can feel A-OK about SWATting another - Reddit is a super-effective engine for gamifying public shaming. Any of the drive-by communities that depend on total or conditional anonymity function the same way - if you're just another car in the traffic jam of the Internet, I can call you a shitstain at the top of my lungs and feel not at all bad. Hubski ain't like that, and it's a good thing.

When I look at "active posters", two of the top 20 have lines through them. I mute and ignore minimum_wage and theadvancedapes; they do the same to me. We have mutually demonstrated an inability to be civil to each other and these choices keep us out of each others' grilles. I would imagine that a vast swath of Hubski follows all three of us, however, and the system allows everyone to enjoy our content without having to watch us carve into each other like a scene out of an Erroll Flynn movie.

Social works. The X-axis is robust. Don't fix it, don't break it, don't worry about it, don't mess with it.

What DOESN'T WORK is the Y-axis: the ability to find things independent of who shared them.

- Search is useless.

- Tags are a joke ( Literally a joke - a system that allows "ironic tagging" and has no mechanism to preserve taxonomy is a system destined for anarchy and nihilism).

- URLs have no similarity comparisions - any &utm=bullshit appended to the end of a link will make Hubski decide it's fresh and shiny new.

- There is no taxonomy for subjects.

- There is no discoverability for subjects.

Beating the dead horse:

________________________________________________________________

Reddit has the problems it has because there is no mechanism to defend Redditors from each other. Hubski will never have those problems because Hubski protects personal relationships first and foremost. Hubski's problem is that once it gets big enough, nobody will be able to find anything they didn't discover socially because tags just as useless now as they were when Hubski launched.

I've been saying this for four years now. Are we finally to the point where Team Hubski acknowledges that search and taxonomy need to be built out in order to support future growth?

lil  ·  2532 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Germany to legislate 30 percent quota for women on company boards  ·  x 2

    Can you make some examples of how feminists have tried to improve the lives of men?
Because of feminism, more women have been able to get educated. Because of education, they have been able to contribute to running all societal institutions: political, judicial, educational, spiritual, financial and so on. Thus, they have improved the lives of men, by taking some of the pressure off them. They don't have to feel responsible for everything all the time. Women can help.

Because of feminism, women have been able to get more jobs. Occasionally these jobs are well-paying. Even at 77% of what men make (Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/equal-pay/career), these jobs allow women to contribute to feeding their families. Men don't have to feel totally responsible for supporting their families. Women can help.

Without feminism, women would be stuck in the 19th century.

Are you familiar with The Declaration of Rights and Sentiments produced for the Woman's Rights Convention, Held at Seneca Falls, N.Y., July 19th and 20th, 1848. Here's a bit of it. I think you'll find it interesting.

    The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.

    He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.

    He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men—both natives and foreigners.

    Having deprived her of this first right of a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.

    He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.

    He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.

    He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master—the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.

    He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes of divorce; in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given; as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of women—the law, in all cases, going upon the false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands.

    After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.

    He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration.

    He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction, which he considers most honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known.

    He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education—all colleges being closed against her.

    He allows her in Church as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church.

    He has created a false public sentiment, by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society, are not only tolerated but deemed of little account in man.

    He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her conscience and her God.

    He has endeavored, in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.

    Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation,—in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States.

Meanwhile, it's obvious that you feel aggrieved and you probably have good reason.

mk  ·  2469 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What freedom of speech isn't  ·  

IMO it is important that people be able to discuss unpopular ideas and to share unpopular viewpoints. Many of the beliefs that are commonly held to be acceptable today were once unpopular. Also, if you haven't challenged your ideas, you likely haven't thought them through very well, which is an intellectual failing. However, as kleinbl00 states, it matters how you communicate your ideas, for if you aren't willing to respect your audience, then your audience has little reason to listen to you.

Of course, it is difficult to feel respect for those that hold some beliefs, particularly those that do not respect other groups of people a priori. For example, if someone proclaims to hate obese people, should I be expected to speak to them respectfully? Some might argue that if a person is unwilling to give respect to a group of people, then they do not deserve to be given respect in turn, even from those they do treat with respect. IMHO this is a mistake. I do not believe it is fruitful to engage ignorance with a lack of respect, and I think there is plenty of evidence to support this. Furthermore, I don't want ignorance to pull me into combative exchanges where the outcome is not in question. I'd much rather be someone that seeks to understand the cause of the ignorance, and when possible, someone that works to reduce it. I know that I have been ignorant, and continue to be ignorant. I know that the path to reducing my ignorance depends in part upon other people.

I am concerned about the extent to which political correctness and trigger warnings have stifled intellectual discourse. IMO the very concept of microaggression is microaggressive. Not one of us is without fault, and no one can understand or anticipate the complete spectra of perception that our words might elicit. To be intellectually curious means to be not so tender that words are dangerous regardless of their context.

In regards to Hubski, I am interested in creating fertile ground for thoughtful conversation. The actual topics being discussed are not unimportant, but the quality of the exchanges are of primary importance. To the extent that the parties involved are willing to tolerate combativeness or a lack of politeness, I am not concerned with the tenor of exchanges. However, if someone does not want to be a part of a conversation, or doesn't want to read it, they should have that option.

Our goal has been and will continue to be to provide fertile ground for thoughtful conversation. The freedom to discuss most any topic is an important element of that formula. However, IMHO the boundaries of the definition of freedom of speech aren't as interesting as many people make it out to be, and I am not interested in exploring the finer points of those boundaries to the significant expense of our primary goal.

_refugee_  ·  2355 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Interactive Map: How Many People Have Been Shot Near You This Year?  ·  

WARNING; you incited a small novel. (Many people from DE flee DE and gladly put it behind them. I feel the opposite. So I thought about why I stay a fair bit.)

I have lived and worked many different places. I grew up and went to college and all in DE, so I'm a true native, although my family stayed in suburbia and out of Wilmington for the most part. I've never lived in Wilmington proper before (though I have lived in one or two other 'bad areas' of Delaware; at one place there was a shooting on my street, no injuries though).

Currently, I work in Wilmington and have for the past 3 years (nearly!) because that's where my job is. Wilmington is a big center for banks due to Delaware's business-friendly tax and incorporation laws, so there is a lot of opportunity in my field there. I am moving to Wilmington because I wanted to get out of Newark, because I was frustrated with it for a number of reasons, and I helped my friends move into a great apartment complex (in a good part of the city on the outskirts of town) and decided to seize the opportunity, move somewhere really nice, and also get to be near/with friends.

Those aren't necessarily very strong reasons to answer, "What's keeping you in Wilmington?" but I wanted to start out with them because I think me being in Wilmington is more of a "thing that happened" than continued active decision. More specifically in response to your question, I freely admit I am a Delaware girl, have always been in love with the state, have always loved the parks, suburbs, and general feel of the area of DE in which I've grown up and lived. I like to quote Lord of the Rings when Bilbo speaks to Gandalf about Frodo: "He's still in love with the Shire." There are people I've grown up with who couldn't wait to leave DE, and denigrate it in their wake. There are people I know who scoff at people like me who (although not technically correct in my case; I've lived in PA and MD, too) "have never left." Heck, there's lots of literary tropes about how small towns are evil, or bad, or small-minded, or if you want to grow and develop as a person you need to leave them. Lately I have been thinking that there seems to be a general air of disdain, often, about people who "never leave" their hometown. But why? What is wrong with loving the area where you grew up, and continuing to love it, and staying there? - I don't think anything really. But sometimes people try to tell you that such feelings are hokey, or that people who stay are people who "never go anywhere," instead of maybe "people who love this place and want to stay." That's more what's keeping me in Delaware, though, not Wilmington.

I can't help working in Wilmington unless I were to move to another state where we have other worksites, or began WFH full-time (which I do not want). I have considered on and off moving to VA - work's HQ is located there; the housing market's pretty buyer-friendly; I've always wanted to live in a slightly more southern climate (weather-wise); etc. But recently while discussing this with a coworker she raised some potential pitfalls to doing that, which frankly bother me enough at the moment that I've decided for now, I definitely don't want to move to VA.

In the meantime, MD tax rates are just freakin' ridiculously high, so I have no interest in moving there (lived just over the border in MD for a year which is how I know that). I enjoyed living in PA but no longer have anything that draws me there; my brother has graduated and moved to Portland for grad school, the friends I lived with have all coupled up and are living with their S/Os and not looking for roommates, and I no longer have a job in PA either, one of the reasons I moved out there in the first place. So if I were to move, the states nearest me that would allow me to keep working out of Wilmington aren't good options in my mind, so I'd have to move further away and probably transfer to a different work site.

And right now, there's simply nothing persuading me to do that. I mean, I guess you could cite Wilmington's crime rate and say that should be a persuasive factor, but I don't have a family and don't plan on starting one in the short-term. Most of the Wilmington crime is drug-related and usually committed by male persons of color against other (often also male) persons of color. Some parts of the city are very, very bad, but I don't live there, work there, or go there, so the impact - besides being aware of it - is minimal. I have friends who are very committed to Wilmington and they feel strongly about standing by their city and working to redeem the community there, as opposed to simply fleeing and abandoning the city to fall into itself. I do think there is a point there that is valid, although I'm no city's savior or martyr and know that.

Meanwhile so much of my life is in Wilmington, Newark, and the surrounding areas. Many very dear friends, many very dear memories, my current boyfriend, etc. Honestly, I was saying at Thanksgiving the biggest drawback about living around here is that there is no way I can get out of going to my family Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, unless I want to have absolutely NO relationship with my family - and I'm not there, by any means.

Once I wrote a poem that began,

  "I live inside my memory, I cannot help it." 

I really love revisiting past places, past times, past moments. I love the comfort of knowing how to get places. I love running into other native Delawareans and getting to swap stories from middle school and discover that we went to the same place for kindergarten, or etc. I love that it's a two-hour drive to the beach and I've been there and done it enough that I kind of know my way around even though I probably only make the trip a half-dozen times or so a year. I love all the country roads, I love knowing and going to all the state parks, I love the farms that start to pop up as you head away from Wilmington and Newark. I love that sometimes, I can take someone I really care about and go on a 30-minute drive with them and point out numerous meaningful places from my childhood and recount random stories that make up a part of who I am, just because I drive by places and they jog my memory. I love that I know the house with the best Christmas light display every year and I love bringing new people to see it.

There are drawbacks to living in the same place and knowing all the same people - they know all your past mistakes and drama - but I've been improving my life and growing up and being pretty straight and clean, post-college. I live and interact with people in such a way that I am not embarrassed by my choices or most things(people) I've done over the past 5 years. I have cut out the poisonous friends and, even though I'm still living in the same town they probably live in, I don't run into them, not more than maybe a chance meeting in the street once a year, and when that happens I don't have to engage. I am proud of my life and who I am and where I've gotten, especially compared to when I've been down in the past. So I feel like the common complaint of living in the same place for too long, that "you know too many people and too many people know you/about you," doesn't come into play in my life very much. And I have always felt that the best part of traveling is coming home - I do not have an innate urge to go new places, break new ground, go someplace totally different where no one knows me.

Besides, the Poet Laureate for the state has just retired, which means there's an open position. She held the post for like 8 years, and while she's a good poet, I kind of feel like I am one too. And I feel like being a native makes me a better candidate for the position than not! ;)

(It's been a running joke since college that I'm going to become poet laureate of Delaware. I have done basically nothing to accomplish this, but then again, how does one get that kind of post anyway? Who knows. Prestige, I guess. Prestige and writing regional love poems.)

Side note - best thing about the passage you quote above?

| that Wilmington just got its first homicide unit.

The police chief actually vocally opposed this development. Crazy hubris IMHO - there is a clear violence/crime problem in the city. But the push to add a homicide unit came from an outside review and I think he just didn't want to agree with any of the suggestions that came from it.

Anyway. That's why I live in, basically, the same area (certainly same county) where I grew up and went to college and why it doesn't bother me - why I actually enjoy and like it. Wilmington is kind of a side effect of those choices. But again...I could flee Wilmington for its crime rate, or I could stay and try, in some small way, to help fix it and its problems. I don't think that Wilmington's problems would be improved in any way if everyone who could afford to leave it left.

user-inactivated  ·  2369 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: #PrayForParis: When Empathy Becomes a Meme  ·  x 2

    A perfect solution for the average human.

I agree, 100%. Without the cynicism.

So here's the deal. Whether you want to admit it or not, we are all in our own ways painfully average. In comparison to the whole, we're all in the middle of the pack. The things that make us as individuals unique and successful, be they intelligence, athleticism, skill sets, or character, are meaningless when we stop focusing on individuals.

Everyone always wants to point out places like Facebook and say "Look at it. It's full of idiots." Shit, if we're being honest, I've done it from time to time and though I try not to, I'll probably do it again down the future. But, well, yeah. Duh. If intelligence is the metric you want to focus on, the majority of Facebook is going to fall short. Know what? Facebook is full of unathletic chumps too. It's full of morally questionable people. It's full of people who don't have one iota of musical talent. It's full of people who don't know the first thing about fixing a computer or wrenching on a car. But that's because you're looking at Facebook as a whole. Stop. Look at each, individual person on there, and look at them seriously, and you'll see that Facebook, like Hubski, like Reddit, like 4Chan, like your local bar, like any place that people decide to congregate, is full of amazing, fascinating, wonderful people. You might not like certain groups of people as a collective whole, but if you take them away from that group, view them in the lense of an individual, you'll see that maybe they're not so bad.

So let's look at Facebook, let's look at this "solidarity" shit that they pull. It's so easy to point at them, to criticise them, and say "Ha. They're showing solidarity by clicking a button. It does nothing." However, you're wrong.

For one, it does show solidarity. It shows that we understand that horrible things happen in the world and that we as a collective whole are saddened by it and don't condone it one bit. Look at all those countries with their citizens waving tiny little American flags after 9/11. It was the world saying "America, we don't always love your government but we love your people." It's a small gesture individually, but when enough people do it as a collective whole, it becomes something big and has the potential for good. Think of charity. Your individual dollars are near useless (unless you're a big giver like Bill Gates). However, the collective dollars of a whole community suddenly has the power to bring about results.

Two, it brings awareness to issues and creates dialog. Awareness and dialog are two big keys towards education. Education is one of the most important keys to bringing about change. If you're looking at seeing the whole world overnight change on a single issue, you're going to be sadly disappointed. However, every time people rally around something, enough individuals change to start having a ripple effect. Look at the polls focusing on gay marriage between the early 2000s and now. People change as individuals and that individual change can eventually change the world.

Three, it allows people who in situations like these would normally feel powerless and helpless to at least feel something. Let's face it. What have any single one of us on Hubski done to help out in Paris? Nothing. The events still affect us though. They cause us to feel worry, sadness, shame. The people on Facebook aren't any different. They're feeling the same thing. Clicking that button though, for them, let's them feel they're doing something, however small. You wanna say it's meaningless? I say it makes them feel a little bit better and all of that collective betterness, as a whole, has meaning and purpose.

We're focusing on the wrong thing. Stop focusing on what Facebook does poorly and instead focus on what it can do well. Facebook is full of average people. If we want to look at it in hopes of finding shining examples of exceptionalism, we're going to have a bad time. However, as a platform of the masses, if steered in the right direction by chance, it could easily have a large impact. Hubski on the other hand has a different set of flaws. It's full of great, intelligent people. It's very small though. Think a crazy donation drive to combat global hunger would get very far from Hubski's support? No. Of course not.

We need to stop focusing on what makes groups shitty in an effort to make ourselves feel superior. These people are our neighbors and they need our love and encouragement. We should stop saying "They did something good because they're selfish." We're all selfish. We're animals. It's part of how we get by in the world. The thing is though good deeds, large or small, even if done for selfish reasons, are still good deeds and they can bring about good things. Finally, we should stop saying that something is useless because it has no discernible, immediate effect, whether it's prayer, a solidarity button, or what have you. The fact is, those acts come from a good place in the human heart and promoting that kind of behavior promotes thoughts that encourage us to be better people.

Let's face it. We're all shitty people. Anything we can do, to be slightly less shitty, shouldn't be shat upon.

thenewgreen  ·  2536 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: America's struggle  ·  

I think that preference exists and racist exclusion exists too. To say, "I'd never date a black girl," to me is racial exclusion. To say, I prefer blonde hair is preference. Our preferences tend to be a byproduct of past experiences. That's just a fact. You grew up next to a gorgeous girl with red hair and always dreamed of kissing her... but never did. Guess what? You're likely to have an attraction for redheads. Still, if you're not interested in forging new experiences, you're stuck only preferring a small subset of the opposite sex. Your loss.

If you grew up only eating McDonalds, you're likely to eat similarly as an adult. Guess what dude? There's a HUGE banquet out there, with many flavors, shapes, sizes etc. and they're all worth getting to know. Humans can be awesome, all hues of them. My advice to anyone reading is to take the time to get to know as many as you can, regardless of ethnicity. Attraction is born out of interaction.