Always, in any government, among any people, there are certain forces for evil that take many shapes, but which are rooted in the same base and evil characteristics of the human soul, in the evil of arrogance, of jealousy, envy, hatred; and to certain people the appeal is made to yield to one set of evil forces. To some it is made to yield to another set, and the result is equally bad in each case. The vice of arrogance, of hard and brutal indifference on the part of those with wealth toward those who have not, is a shameful and dreadful vice. It is not one whit worse than the rancorous hatred and jealousy of those who are not well off for those who are. The man, who, either by practice or precept, seeks to give to any man or withhold from him any advantage in law or society or in the workings of society or business because of wealth or poverty, is false to the traditions of this republic.
Wether you love it, or hate it, we get the government we deserve — the government we collectively earn. Each individual one of us, through our minute by minute actions, contributes to the fabric of our society.
If not “I”, then who? If I “check out”, ignore it all, or bury my head in the sand, then that is exactly my contribution to society. “NO!” I say. I’ll stand up for Morality. Ethics. Philosophy. Principles. Rights. The Rule of Law. My goal is not to “rage quit” from this Republic. I will not bitch, moan nor leave. But rather, my goal is to speak up when I’ve something positive to say, to contribute positively to society, and to engage others in meaningful discourse.
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”
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.
Ideally, this is going to be an effective conversation. You have a topic you want to discuss that will likely result in a decision or two. You are confident in your version of the truth and you feel no matter what happens in this conversation, you’ll be able to adapt.
Problem is, there is another person in this conversation and from the moment they open their mouth, it’s no longer just about the topic, the conversation is now about how we are having it.
~ Rands, from An Ideal Conversation 1
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.
When you combine the science of recognizing deception with the art of looking, listening, you exempt yourself from collaborating in a lie. You start up that path of being just a little bit more explicit, because you signal to everyone around you, you say, “Hey, my world, our world, it’s going to be an honest one. My world is going to be one where truth is strengthened and falsehood is recognized and marginalized.” And when you do that, the ground around you starts to shift just a little bit.
~ Pamela Meyer, from Maria Papova’s The Language of Lying: Animated Primer on How to Detect Deception1
I have seen this happen more times than the number of yaks I’ve shaved. At nearly every job I’ve had, I’ve walked this fine line. I’ve had performance reviews where I’ve been called pushy, aggressive, assertive, abrasive, or bitchy simply for speaking up in a similar manner to that of my male colleagues, and on the other side of things, I’ve been interrupted and spoken over more times than I can count. I’ve worked at places where I was the only one being interrupted (backstory: I’ve been the only woman in a lot of engineering departments), which has bothered me. But I’ve also worked at places where everyone interrupts each other all the time. For a while, I thought that was better. “At least I’m not being spoken over because I’m the only woman; the guys get interrupted too,” I thought to myself. But everyone interrupting everyone else really isn’t that much better.
~ Katherine Daniels, from On Interrupting Interrupt Culture1
For, let’s say, the first half of my life, I was always the one doing the interrupting. As I’ve begun to listen, I now realize how much everyone interrupts everyone else. When I’m relaxed and on my game, I try to have a meta-listening happening so I can tell when to stop talking to keep the conversation working. As best I can manage, when I’m interrupted, I simply stop talking.
But sometimes, just for fun, I like to toss this in quietly while the interrupter is still speaking…
Oh! I’m sorry, did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?
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
Postman argues that our modern concepts of childhood and adulthood (and the gulf between them) were birthed by the printing press. Literacy became the dividing line between these stages of life; adults were competent readers, children were not, and they thus had to become adults by mastering written language.
~ Brett Mckay, from The Printing Press, Literacy, and the Rise and Fall of the Secret Society of Adults1
You laugh, and then you probably think to yourself (like I did), “oh crap…that’s me…many, many times.” Whether it’s a delayed flight, or slow service at a restaurant (where we’ll overeat and then complain about being full) it’s amazing what we can complain about just so we have something to complain about!
~ Steve Kamb, from Does It Really Matter?1