Let’s have a calm rational debate about people’s humanity

So the Ethics Centre in conjunction with IQ2 have an upcoming debate called Sex, Gender & Indentity (Title TBC) which will be about transgender “””issues”””. Uh oh. Will it be a giant case of false balance that seeks to give a platform to TERF hate as a just another legitimate, objective opinion in an intellectual debate while putting someone on the transgender “side” to make the case for their humanity? I don’t know but from the event description it doesn’t look good. Speakers are to be announced which looks similar to the other IQ2 debate pages. They’ve left the title […]

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Project claims to map global happiness using tweets

I adore maps and so usually enjoy I Fucking Love Maps on Facebook. Every now and then they post something infuriating. Because one of the best ways to bypass people’s bullshit detectors is to put your bullshit on a map. They’ve recently shared a project about “Mapping Global Happiness And Sadness In 2015″ (project page here). [Source] I’ve looked before at the problems with compiling “global” indexes of happiness/well-being etc. There’s enough opportunity for bias and confounding factors in these studies. Here, the bias is on steroids. Here are just some of the ways this project, while being pretty useful […]

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Some body positive comments just aren’t

[CN: Body hate inc slurs] You might have seen media coverage this week about the following tweet, and reactions to it. walmart underwear vibes pic.twitter.com/wo66OQGIdo — yasmin was here (@iranikanjari) December 24, 2015 When @iranikanjari (Suraia) posted the above pics, she drew loads of reponses. Of course, they were all informed, engaging and nuanced, discussing what the above pictures show about beauty standards, the intersectional gaze, cultural dialogue/appropriation and the concept of “natural” in biology/culture. JK, she got lots of positive comments but heaps of body-shaming ones which she pushed back against and the story was featured in quite a […]

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David Bowie, eulogies and statutory rape

I’m not a David Bowie fan but now that he’s died I’ve become even more aware of the profound effect he’s had on the world. Many people are grieving (some more than they expected to!); if that’s you I’m sorry for your loss. Hopefully, you’ll have also seen something in your social media feeds today about Bowie’s statutory rape(s). It’s hard to know how to refer to it since Lori Mattix who was 15 at the time does not consider it to be rape, so I’ve opted for statutory rape as something legally accurate. You will probably be interested to […]

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2016: a wishlist for the Flying Spaghetti Monster

[CN: All the things] Dear noodly overlord, I know that 2016 has already started but you’re as generous as the FSMas season is long. I know that if you look at it from one way there’s never been a better time to be alive. Last year was the first year child mortality rates fell below 6 million. The overrall deaths from war and conflict are in decline. We might be able to cross polio off the list soon. Global life expectancy is over 70, the highest it’s ever been. Only 0.4% of the world’s population are enslaved which could well […]

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On those “food around the world” photo-essays

One genre that does well online is photo-essays about food around the world. The food is often fascinating but the pieces can also elicit some interesting and simplistic reactions from the online audience. The form I’ve seen this take is people from wealthy English-speaking countries looking at examples of food from “their” countries vs “other” countries and comparing it. Here are three photo-essays that I’ve seen reveal some simplistic attitudes on the part of the audience (I’m not sure how much we can attribute this to the photographers). School lunches around the world This was a blog investigation that got […]

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10 Facebook features that harm its users

Years ago the place I worked would send out EDMs for Father’s/Mother’s Day to a database had around 40,000 users, who would get a message like “treat your father to XYZ this Father’s Day”. What do you think happened? We’d always get a few replies like “my father just died, you asshole”. With a large enough user base, even a combination of factors that you think is unlikely will happen to many of your users. As your user base rises it’s your responsibility to exponentially increase the research, thought and care you put into your user experience and functionality to […]

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Are ISIS Muslims? Insisting “no” is intellectually dishonest.

Last year, the Sydney siege prompted many to demonise people with mental illness and to claim that the perpetrator couldn’t have been a true Muslim (see my post about it for more). With the recent attacks in Europe (and it’s all about Europe), this is recurring on a massive scale. Some examples: Translation: Like McDonald’s, Islam apparently has an official brand, as opposed to being a religion of great diversity. Also, saying ISIS are Muslims means apparently being stuck with the strawman that you think of them as “being”/representing Islam. Translation: ISIS performs atrocities because their combatants are ‘crazy’. People […]

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The thinly-veiled identity of lives and rants in Sydney. Views not his own, provided by hivemind. All my original work on this blog is licensed under a CC BY-NC License. Click here for the privacy policy

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