A Teaching Moment on Sexual Assault

weeklysift.com/2016/10/17/a-teaching-moment-on-sexual-assault/

This is worse than just “objectification” of women, because we would never tolerate similar thinking about actual objects: If your drive for acquisition overcomes your impulse control, you’re a thief, period. The strength of your greed does you no credit; you’re not complimenting the wealth of the people you steal from; it’s not their fault for having such nice stuff or displaying it so attractively; and we don’t give in to the inevitability of theft whenever valuable objects are visible to people who might desire them. When it comes to object-lust, self-control is the price of staying in civilization; if you can’t muster it, we’ll lock you away”

Instead of Dumbing Down

weeklysift.com/2016/09/12/instead-of-dumbing-down/

So that’s what I suggest as an alternative to dumbing down: See if you can care about your listeners or readers enough to understand why they should want to know this and what direction they can approach it from. Then work on your own understanding of the subject until you grasp it well enough to approach from that direction yourself. In the short term, that may not be as satisfying as ridiculing their stupidity, but in the long term I think it works better.

The individual and the herd

Here’s what it boils down to: Human beings are simultaneously individuals and members of society, not fundamentally one or the other. Some issues (like free speech) are easier to understand from the individual point of view, while others (like traffic) require a social point of view.

~ Doug Muder, from The Individual and the Herd1

This is a long read and it’s *gasp* “thinky.” It’s also about *swoon* vaccination, but it’s really about individual rights and social responsibility. Repeat this phrase over and over, “an intelligent person can consider an idea without accepting it,” and give this a read.


  1. http://weeklysift.com/2015/02/09/the-individual-and-the-herd/ 

Trained to hate women?

Well, you have to keep in mind that what we learn as kids is really hard to deprogram as an adult. And what we learned as kids is that we males are each owed, and will eventually be awarded, a beautiful woman.

We were told this by every movie, TV show, novel, comic book, video game and song we encountered.

~ David Wong, from 5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women1


  1. http://www.cracked.com/article_19785_5-ways-modern-men-are-trained-to-hate-women.html 

Is anarchy the answer?

Might not be the “anarchy” you think of at first: Ross criticizes this model from both sides: First, the options offered to the people are too limited and too easily manipulated by those with money and power. My favorite expression of this situation comes from the Cake song “Comfort Eagle“

Some people drink Pepsi, some people drink Coke.
The wacky morning DJ says democracy’s a joke.

~ Doug Muder, from When Centralized Institutions Fail, Is Anarchy an Answer?

Gerrymandering

So how did the People vote (narrowly) for a Democratic Congress but get a Republican one instead? That’s certainly not what the Founders intended: The reason there are more House districts than Senate seats and all congressmen have to go back to the voters every two years is that the House is supposed to closely reflect the will of the People.

Why didn’t that work? Why didn’t the House come out with a slight edge for the Democrats, or something closer to a 50-50 split reflecting a close popular vote?

~ Doug Muder, from How Gerrymandering Painted the House Red

Why the austerity fraud matters

Really, you should read this. Foundations have moved:

But this week a controversy broke out in economics, and it actually deserves your attention. A paper that has had a major influence on public policy around the world turns out to be wrong. And not just wrong in a subtle way that only geniuses can see, or even wrong in an everybody’s-human way that you look at and say, “Oh yeah, I’ve done that.” This one was wrong in three different ways that make you (or at least me) say, “That can’t be an accident.”

~ Doug Muder, from Why the Austerity Fraud Matters

Religious freedom turning into passive-aggression

To make this work, conservative Christians need to divert attention from the people they are mistreating by portraying themselves as the victims. And that requires cultivating a hyper-sensitivity to any form of involvement in activities they disapprove of. So rather than sympathize with the lesbian couple who gets the bakery door slammed in their faces, the public should instead sympathize with the poor wedding-cake baker whose moral purity is besmirched when the labor of his hands is used in a celebration of immorality and perversion.

~ Doug Muder, from “Religious Freedom” means Christian Passive-Aggressive Domination