Shared posts

18 Apr 04:00

Free Speech

I can't remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express.
04 Apr 17:33

A Series of Tweets Regarding My Own Personal Sexism

by John Scalzi

Apropos to a discussion on Twitter about this Slate article, a discussion of sexism, specifically, my own:

(Quick multitweet spree about to commence in roughly 10 seconds, lasting no more than five minutes. Be prepared!)—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

Parallel to everyone should be able to acknowledge their own racism, I'll give a recent example of my own sexism –—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

I meet a LOT of people these days. If you're a guy, it's almost certain I will not remember you the next time we meet. BUT –—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

If you're an attractive woman? I have a MUCH better chance of remembering who you are. Because I'm straight and my brain responds.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

Is that a sexist response? Hell yes, it is.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

I acknowledge that it's a sexist response; I also work to make sure that my own innate sexism there DOES NOT affect how I treat people.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

(Note that the remembering you means I remember your face, I forget EVERYONE'S name)—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

It's the fact I acknowledge my sexism that allows me to try to correct for it when I am dealing with people. If I tried to deny it –—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

– I would be more likely to screw up my response. So yes, I'm still a little sexist. I keep working on it because that what you do.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

Or should do, anyway.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

Multi-tweet spree now ended.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

And then, the conversational addendums:

To the people going "But that's biology!" Well, guys, surprise: Your sexism can have a (partly) biological root! Who knew!—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

RT @GreyDuck: @scalzi Sexism isn't the biology. Sexism is not trying to be better than just your biology.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

I'm not going to worry too much that I remember attractive women better. I will worry about whether that affects how I treat people.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

Which is to say I don't find "but it's biological!" a sufficient excuse to leave sexism unexamined and unaddressed.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

RT @NeilaK20: @scalzi I need to eat meat when my bloodsugar gets too low. It's biological, but I'm not eating someone's pet. Because I can …—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

@NeilaK20 Also, pets are wiley.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

I will note that, anecdotally, all the "But it's biology!" protestations so far appear to be coming from men.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

NB: Outside the "attractive woman" thing, I will be more likely to remember you if there's something memorable about your appearance –—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

– i.e., I don't ONLY remember attractive women. But it's still a notable bias for me.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

Reminder, however: I WILL NOT REMEMBER YOUR NAME. Whoever you are. I once forgot my wife's name (briefly). I am terrible.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

To everyone asking if/hoping that I will remember you for your cleverness, I may. But remember what the failure mode of clever is.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

NB also that I directly meet/interact with literally thousands of people a year at conventions/signings, etc. Special conditions apply.—
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

And now, for everyone else, a cat picture.
John Scalzi (@scalzi) April 04, 2014

02 Apr 17:58

A nation of slaves

by Charlie Stross

George Osborne has committed the Conservatives to targeting "full employment", saying that tax and welfare changes would help achieve it.

Firstly, this is impossible. Secondly, explaining why is ... well, George Orwell coined a word to describe this sort of thing, in 1984: Crimestop

The faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction.
Today, in the political discourse of the west, it is almost unthinkably hard to ask a very simple question: why should we work?

There are two tests I'd apply to any job when deciding whether it's what anthropologist David Graeber terms a Bullshit Job.

Test (a): Is it good for you (the worker)?

Test (b): Is it good for other people?

A job can pass (a) but not (b) — for example a con man may enjoy milking the wallets of his victims, but their opinion of his work is going to be much less charitable. And a job can pass (b) but not (a) if it's extremely stressful to the worker, but helps others—a medic in a busy emergency room, for example.

The best jobs pass both (a) and (b). I'm privileged. I have a "job" that used to be my hobby, many years ago, and if Scrooge McDuck left me £100M in his legacy (thereby taking care of my physical needs for the foreseeable future) I would simply re-arrange my life to allow me to carry on writing fiction. (I might change the rate of my output, or the content, due to no longer being under pressure to be commercially popular in order to earn a living—I could afford to take greater risks—but the core activity would continue.)

On the other hand, many of us are trapped in jobs that pass neither test (a) nor test (b). If Scrooge McDuck left you £100M, would you stay in your job? If the answer is "yes", you're one of the few, the privileged: most people would run a mile. I've had jobs like that in the past. We let ourselves get trapped in these jobs because our society is organized around the principle that we are required to work in order to receive the money we require in order to eat. On a higher level (among the monied classes) the principle is different: work is performed for social status, financial income may be a side-effect of receiving rent. But people are still supposed to do something. People are, in fact, defined by what they do, not by who they are.

Now for a diversion.

As John Maynard Keynes observed in the 1930s, we produce material goods more efficiently today than during previous eras of history: our economic growth is predicated on this. Why should we not divert some of our growth into growing our leisure time, rather than growing our physical wealth? We ought to be able to make ends meet perfectly well with an average 15 hour working week—or, alternatively, a 40 hour week for 20 weeks a year, or a 40 hour week for 48 weeks a year for a ten year working lifetime.

And indeed in some cultures and countries this happens, to some extent. Here are some handy graphs of European working hours and productivity per week. Workers in Germany average a little over 35 hours a week, compared to the 42 hours worked in the UK. Want vacation days? German law guarantees 30 working days of vacation per year (and I am told medical leave for attending a spa resort on top of that). But it's all pretty paltry compared to the 15 hour target.

It's also quite scary when you consider that we're entering an era of technological unemployment. More and more jobs are being automated: they aren't going to provide money, social validation, or occupation for anyone any longer. We saw this first with agriculture and the internal combustion engine and artificial fertilizers, which reduced the rural workforce from around 90% of the population in the 17th-18th century to around 1% today in the developed world. We've seen it in steel, coal, and the other 19th century smokestack industries, which at their peak employed 30-50% of the population in factories—an inconceivable statistic today, even though our net output in these areas has increased. We're now seeing it in mind-worker fields from law (less bodies needed to search law libraries) through architecture (3D printers and CAD software mean less time spent fiddling with cardboard models or poring over drafting tables). Service jobs are also being automated: from lights-out warehousing to self-service checkouts, the number of bodies needed is diminishing.

We can still produce enough food and stuff to feed and house and clothe everybody. We can still run a growth economy. But we don't seem to know how to allocate resources to people for whom there are no jobs. There's a pervasive cultural assumption that people who don't work are shirkers or failures, rather than victims of technological change, and this is an enabler for populist politicians who campaign for support from the frightened (because embattled) working majority by punishing the unlucky, rather than admitting that the core assumption—that we must starve if we can't find work—is simply invalid.

I tend to evaluate the things around me using a number of rules of thumb, one of which is that the success of a social system can be measured by how well it supports those at the bottom of the pile—the poor, the unlucky, the non-neurotypical—rather than by how it pampers its billionaires and aristocrats. By that rule of thumb, western capitalism did really well throughout the middle of the 20th century, especially in the hybrid social democratic form: but it's now failing, increasingly clearly, as the focus of the large capital aggregates at the top (mostly corporate hive entities rather than individuals) becomes wealth concentration rather than wealth production. And a huge part of the reason it's failing is because our social system is set up to provide validation and rewards on the basis of an extrinsic attribute (what people do) which is subject to external pressures and manipulation: and for the winners it creates incentives to perpetuate and extend this system rather than to dismantle it and replace it with something more humane.

Meanwhile, jobs: the likes of George Osborne (mentioned above), the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, don't have "jobs". Osborne is a multi-millionaire trust-fund kid, a graduate of Eton College and Oxford, heir to a Baronetcy, and in his entire career spent a few working weeks in McJobs between university and full-time employment in politics. I'm fairly sure that George Osborne has no fucking idea what "work" means to most people, because it's glaringly obvious that he's got exactly where he wanted to be: right to the top of his nation's political culture, at an early enough age to make the most of it. Like me, he has the privilege of a job that passes test (a): it's good for him. Unlike me ... well, when SF writers get it wrong, they don't cause human misery and suffering on an epic scale; people don't starve to death or kill themselves if I emit a novel that isn't very good.

When he prescribes full employment for the population, what he's actually asking for is that the proles get out of his hair; that one of his peers' corporations finds a use for idle hands that would otherwise be subsisting on Jobseekers Allowance but which can now be coopted, via the miracle of workfare, into producing something for very little at all. And by using the threat of workfare, real world wages can be negotiated down and down and down, until labour is cheap enough that any taskmaster who cares to crack the whip can afford as much as they need. These aren't jobs that past test (a); for the most part they don't pass test (b) either. But until we come up with a better way of allocating resources so that all may eat, or until we throw off the shackles of Orwellian Crimestop and teach ourselves to think directly about the implications of wasting a third of our waking lives on occupations that harm ourselves and others, this is what we're stuck with ...

30 Mar 22:19

ecumenicalseeker: ramavoite: curious-commodities: submariet: ...









19 Mar 17:51

Some Powerful Thoughts

24 Mar 16:54

No Bystanders, A Powerful Anti-Bullying Campaign Narrated By Sir Ian McKellen

by Lori Dorn

Sir Ian McKellen narrates this incredibly powerful campaign for Stonewall UK, an organization whose campaign,”No Bystanders” encourages people take a stand against bullying and abuse. Stonewall provides resources for schools, businesses and parents with anti-bullying information and ask that people take this pledge against bullying.

I will never be a bystander to bullying and teasing language. If I hear it, I will call it out and if I can, I will stop it. By adding my name I promised to stand up for fairness, kindness and never be a bystander.

No Bystanders

via Pink News

15 Feb 00:09

Why action video games could be a treatment for dyslexia

by Joseph Bennington-Castro

Why action video games could be a treatment for dyslexia

Dyslexia is typically seen as a reading disorder, but many dyslexics are also known to have trouble processing sensory information. Research now reveals that dyslexics find it especially difficult to shift their attention between visual and audio stimuli. This suggests that brain training with action video games could actually improve dyslexics' literacy skills.



28 Mar 00:21

TCS - Robot Heart: Heart-Shaped Box - Nirvana (covered by Kawehi)

by remouk
26 Mar 16:05

11 Signs You're A Men's Rights Activist

11 Signs You're A Men's Rights Activist:




Click Here

Text (would be legible on actual shirt):

  1. You have no problem with the gender wage gap. But you hate having to pay for dates.

  2. You insist that it’s a scientifically proven fact that men are stronger than women. But you complain about society believing that it’s worse for a man to hit a woman than for a woman to hit a man.

  3. You believe that the age of consent is unfair and that there’s nothing wrong with having sex with teenage girls. But when you find out that a teenage girl enjoys sex, you believe she’s the biggest slut in the world.

  4. You hate when a woman automatically assumes that a man is a douchebag before getting to know him. But when you like a woman who likes another man, you assume he’s a douchebag just because he’s not you.

  5. You believe that if women want equality, they should be drafted into the military. But you also believe that the military is not a place for women.

  6. You hate when women assume that men are like wild animals. But you believe that a woman who doesn’t cover up and make herself invisible to men is just like someone wearing a meat suit around wild animals.

  7. You hate the fact that men are bullied for not conforming to their male gender roles. But when you find out that a man disagrees with your beliefs about women’s rights, your immediate response is to try to emasculate him by comparing him to a woman as an insult.

  8. You hate when women assume that there are no nice guys. But you call yourself a nice guy and act like it’s a rare quality that should cause women to be all over you.

  9. You hate when women assume that men just want to get laid. But when you find out that a man is a feminist, you assume that he’s just doing it to get laid.

  10. You hate when women make generalizations about all men. But when a woman calls you out for being sexist, you claim that all men think like you.

  11. You insist that women should be responsible for protecting themselves from being raped. But when they follow the one piece of advice that actually works, which is being aware of red flags, you complain about them assuming that all men are rapists.

This is too fantastic.

23 Mar 05:16

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dog Eat Doug by Brian Anderson for March 23, 2014
15 Mar 14:18

Mensagens políticas em porcelana por Penny Byrne

by Felipe Matula

O artista Penny Byrne cria mensagens políticas poderosas usando estatuetas de porcelana e outros pequenos objetos. Esses figuras, sombrias e humorísticas abragem questões políticas globais, cultura pop e meio ambiente.

Byrnes mistura a fragilidade da porcelana com a força dos elementos pintados/colocados na porcelana.

















+ Informações aqui: Penny Byrne

The post Mensagens políticas em porcelana por Penny Byrne appeared first on Zupi.

16 Mar 14:09


13 Mar 19:29

bookoisseur: o-youprettythings: gingerish—gal: Baby...




Baby Elephants!

bb efalunts

09 Mar 03:52

fragileoldman: stand-up-comic-gifs: He’s just mad because he...



He’s just mad because he can’t acquire all the apple juice that I’m acquiring. (x)

You have to hear the way he says this joke to truly get its hilarity.

10 Mar 01:14

Here, look at this.

11 Mar 18:08

Eerie Photos of Buildings That Have Been Digitally Reduced to Just Their Facades

by EDW Lynch

Facades by Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy

In his photo series “façades,” French photographer Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy uses digital wizardry to turn buildings into eerie, movie set-style facades. The series is divided into three parts: see series 1, series 2, and series 3.

Facades by Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy

Facades by Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy

Facades by Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy

Facades by Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy

via We And The Color, Visual News

03 Mar 15:20

Things Cats Do That’d Be Creepy If You Did Them in Real Life

by Justin Page

He takes a while to warm up to people.

In this video, BuzzFeed demonstrates how creepy it would be if you did some of the things that cats do in real life. It’s just not socially acceptable to ask someone to rub your belly, run and hide when being introduced to a new person, and to knock breakable objects off of a coworker’s desk.

Things Cats Do That'd Be Creepy If You Did Them

music by Kevin MacLeod – “Ranz des Vaches

image via BuzzFeed

10 Mar 16:06

fieldnotesfromabroad: policymic: Reddit users freak everyone...

02 Mar 23:11

"No, you can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your ‘religious freedom.’ If you..."

“No, you can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your ‘religious freedom.’ If you don’t like birth control, don’t use it. Religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.”


President Barack Obama


(via barackobama

(via ichoosecake)

28 Feb 06:25

Friday, February 28, 2014

Dog Eat Doug by Brian Anderson for February 28, 2014
28 Feb 06:27

Friday, February 28, 2014

Arlo and Janis by Jimmy Johnson for February 28, 2014
27 Feb 15:40

Seth Rogen's Congressional Alzheimer's Testimony Is Goddamn Delightful

by Erin Gloria Ryan on Jezebel, shared by Rob Bricken to io9

Yesterday, Seth Rogen testified before a Senate subcommittee, pleading for more awareness of and support for Alzheimer's research. It was — like most things Rogen does — endearing as hell. But unlike the characters Rogen typically plays, it was also brave, altruistic, and kind of badass.


27 Feb 20:20

Voyageurs, Surreal Sculptures of Walking Figures That Are Missing Sections of Their Bodies

by EDW Lynch

Travellers by Bruno Catalano

In his sculpture series “Voyageurs” (Travelers), French artist Bruno Catalano makes surreal figure sculptures in which sections of the figure’s bodies are eerily missing.

Travellers by Bruno Catalano

Travellers by Bruno Catalano

Travellers by Bruno Catalano

photos via Bruno Catalano

via Hi-Fructose

09 Feb 02:46

katiecandraw: all 8 of my Marvel animal variant covers. I had...


all 8 of my Marvel animal variant covers. I had SO MUCH FUN doing these. Thanks for letting me, Marvel! 

29 Dec 15:00

Most Women Would Rather Divorce Than Be a Housewife

by Lisa Wade, PhD

We’re celebrating the end of the year with our most popular posts from 2013, plus a few of our favorites tossed in.  Enjoy!

Here’s some great news.  The vast majority of young people – about 80% of women and 70% of men across all races, classes, and family backgrounds — desire an egalitarian marriage in which both partners share breadwinning, housekeeping, and child rearing.  The data come from Kathleen Gerson‘s fabulous 2010 book, The Unfinished Revolution.

In practice, however, egalitarian relationships are difficult to establish.  Both work and family are “greedy institutions,” ones that take up lots of time and energy.  Many couples find that, once children arrive, it’s impossible for both to do both with equal gusto.

With this in mind, Gerson asked her respondents what type of family they would like if, for whatever reason, they couldn’t sustain an equal partnership.  She discovered that, while men’s and women’s ideals are very similar, their fallback positions deviate dramatically.

Men’s most common fallback position is to establish a neotraditional division of labor: 70% hope to convince their wives to de-prioritize their careers and focus on homemaking and raising children.  Women?  Faced with a husband who wants them to be a housewife or work part-time, almost three-quarters of women say they would choose divorce and raise their kids alone.  In fact, despite men’s insistence on being breadwinners, women are more likely than men to say they value success in a high-paying career.

Look at this absolutely stunning data (matching ideals on the left; clashing fallback positions on the right):

One of Gerson’s interviewees, Matthew, exemplifies the egalitarian willing to fallback on a neotraditional family form:

If I could have the ideal world, I’d like to have a partner who’s making as much as I am—someone who’s ambitious and likes to achieve.  [But] if it can’t be equal, I would be the breadwinner and be there for helping with homework at night.

And this is what women think of that:

My mother’s such a leftover from the fifties and did everything for my father. I’m not planning to fall into that trap. I’m really not willing to take that from any guy at all.

Alas, what appears to be a happy convergence between men’s and women’s ideals — both are egalitarians — can turn into an intractable situation: a man who won’t give up his role as the breadwinner and a woman who would rather do anything than be a housewife.

Cross-posted at Ms.PolicyMic, and The Huffington Post.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

(View original at

29 Dec 17:00

What Are Rappers Really Saying about the Police?

by Lisa Wade, PhD

We’re celebrating the end of the year with our most popular posts from 2013, plus a few of our favorites tossed in.  Enjoy!

Hip-hop music is frequently described as violent and anti-law enforcement, with the implication that its artists glorify criminality.  A new content analysis subtitled “Hip-Hop Artists’ Perceptions of Criminal Justice“, by criminologists Kevin Steinmetz and Howard Henderson, challenge this conclusion.

After an analysis of a random sample of hip-hop songs released on platinum-selling albums between 2000 and 2010, Steinmetz and Henderson concluded that the main law enforcement-related themes in hip-hop are not pleasure and pride in aggressive and criminal acts, but the unfairness of the criminal justice system and the powerlessness felt by those targeted by it.

Lyrics about law enforcement, for example, frequently portrayed cops as predators exercising an illegitimate power.  Imprisonment, likewise, was blamed for weakening familial and community relationships and described a modern method of oppression.

Their analysis refutes the idea that hip-hop performers are embracing negative stereotypes of African American men in order to sell albums.  Instead, it suggests that the genre retains the politicized messages that it was born with.

Steinmetz and Henderson offer Tupac’s “Crooked Nigga Too” (2004) as an example of a rap that emphasizes how urban Black men are treated unfairly by police.

Yo, why I got beef with police?
Ain’t that a bitch that motherfuckers got a beef with me
They make it hard for me to sleep
I wake up at the slightest peep, and my sheets are three feet deep.

The authors explain:

Police action perceived as hostile and unfair engenders an equally hostile and indignant response from Tupac, indicating a tremendous amount of disrespect for the police.

Likewise, Jay-Z, in “Pray” (2007), raps about cops who keep drugs confiscated from a dealer, emphasizing a “power dynamic in which the dealer was unfairly taken advantage of but was unable to seek redress”:

The same BM [‘‘big mover’’—a drug dealer] is pulled over by the boys dressed blue
they had their guns drawn screaming, “just move or is there something else you suggest we can do?”
He made his way to the trunk
opened it like, “huh?”
A treasure chest was removed
cops said he’ll be back next monthwhat we call corrupt, he calls payin’ dues

Henderson offers Jay-Z’s “Minority Report” as a great overall example:

Of course, the rappers — in their collective wisdom — are absolutely correct to suspect that the treatment that their communities receive from the police, corrections, and courts are unfair.  People of African descent are routinely targeted by police (see the examples of New York City and Toronto), even though racial profiling doesn’t work; Blacks are are more likely to be arrested and sentenced than Whites, regardless of actual crime rates; schools and juvenile detention systems are increasingly intertwined in inner citiesimprisonment tears families apart, disproportionately harming families of color; and even Black children don’t trust the police.

Steinmetz and Henderson conclude:

We actually found that the overwhelming message in hip-hop wasn’t that the rappers disliked the idea of justice, but they disliked the way it was being implemented.

These communities, then, have a strong sense of justice… rooted in the sense that they’re not getting any.

Cross-posted at Racialicious and PolicyMic.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

(View original at

30 Dec 15:17

The awesome spare-parts sculpture of Edouard Martinet

From detritus like bicycle parts, chains, flashlights, corkscrews, spatulas, even steel toes from work boots, Edouard Martinet assembles these astonishing sculptures of birds, fish, and insects. Mainly insects. But WOW, what insects!

When Edouard Martinet was 10, one of his teachers introduced his pupils to insects, but in a rather obsessive way. Subliminally, the fascination sunk in to the young French boy. Fast-forward 40 years, and Martinet has become the art world’s virtuoso insectophile, transforming bits and pieces of cast-off junk culled from flea markets and car boot sales into exquisitely executed insect, fish and animal forms. What sets Martinet’s work apart is the brilliant formal clarity of his sculptures, and their extraordinary elegance of articulation. His degree of virtuosity is unique: he does not solder or weld parts. His sculptures are screwed together. This gives his forms an extra level of visual richness - but not in a way that merely conveys the dry precision of, say, a watchmaker. There is an X-Factor here, a graceful wit, a re-imagining of the obvious in which a beautifully finished object glows not with perfection, but with character, with new life. Martinet takes about a month to make a sculpture and will often work on two or three pieces at the same time. It took him just four weeks to make his first sculpture and 17 years for his most recent completion!

Not exactly the first thing that leaps to mind when one thinks of “scrap metal sculpture,” is this? Be sure to check the individual images on Martinet’s gallery page—he lists the specific materials used for every body part, and some of them will likely floor you. DM readers in London can see these on display at Sladmore Contemporary through January 31, 2014. If you can’t be there, a GORGEOUS book is available.

23 Jan 16:00

Impressive Thai Military Parade

Impressive Thai Military Parade

Submitted by: TSGIGOR (via Liveleak)

Tagged: mindwarp , gifs , military , thailand
09 Feb 23:03


07 Feb 09:00

Ridiculous Google Autocompletes Illustrated

by Alex Santoso

Twaggies artists illustrate the funniest tweets on the web, but in this instance Josh Mecouch of Formal Sweatpants (previously on Neatorama) took to Google search autocompletes for inspiration. And boy, people search for some really, really, really strange things:

Never put jam on a magnet

Squirrels are the devil's oven mitts

Tomorrow I will scald myself with tea

Visit College Humor for a few more strange Google searches illustrated, including "poptarts are not kleenex" and "Americans think Obama is a cactus"