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Saturday, August 04, 2018

Observations - 4th August 2018

"I'm glad I grew up in the 80's, where we learned to fight back against bullies. A story with no villains has no heroes."

The Texas Revolution is a cautionary tale of open borders and uncontrolled migration - when it was Americans who were rushing to settle in Mexico, not vice versa (see also: Dilemma: The Syrian Refugees are just like the Pilgrims / The Pilgrims were genocidal religious extremists)

Who checks the bias of the ones checking bias?

It is interesting that 20 years ago Ahmed Best got a lot of flak over his portrayal of Jar Jar Binks, just as Kelly Marie Tran is today. But the narrative framework being used to understand the former and the one being used for the latter are very different

Whataboutism used to be called pointing out hypocrisy (and considered a good thing).

"I find that view pathetic in many ways, but I do have to admit that I think Nietzsche's famous "God is Dead!" passage does strike me as an accurate description of *why* identity is becoming the central force in modern politics. The gods have been destroyed by the enlightenment, and people are looking for something "real" to believe in. In that sense, identity has a leg up over abstract commitments like classical liberalism or humanism. Ultimately, I think the benefits of liberalism are also real, but they are separated from direct observable reality by a series of logical steps. Whereas, "I'm black, and you're white" has a reality that is right at the surface"

"So a depressed person genuinely believes he's worthless. Is it appropriate to call him worthless in accordance with how he perceives himself?"

[On intersex people 'proving' that sex isn't binary] "Genetic defects are what you are arguing to be treated as the norm and in turn you are arguing to justify permanent physical changes to one's body in encouragement of a psychological dysphoria."
"Would you let a minor get a nose job, liposuction, or a boob job if they are suicidal due to a negative body image?"

"If it's unofficial, it's hazing or ragging. If it's sanctioned, it's team-bonding, resilience-building, being a sport, mandatory OBS or conscription."

"Strangely for a country which professes to hate state control, Americans prefer the interventionist traffic light to the natural minarchism and self-regulation of the mini-roundabout"

"Wakes are purposeful. They serve to comfort the living that have been left behind. They celebrate the life of the person who has passed and band together the living so they can support each other through the loss. Weddings, on the other hand. Entirely pointless. They're basically a very expensive announcement to the world that the couple can now do the nasty with social approval."

Maybe the American predilection for, in drama, endangering the world in order to save just one person is linked to their culture's exalting individualism

So Yogalingam is a real name. So is Gaylord, but the risque meaning of gay is quite recent, while Lingam has been associated with the penis for 5 millennia

"A car is really one of the underappreciated heroes of modern child rearing. It's a self propelled, all in one diaper changing station, rain shelter, noise insulator, stroller carrier, breastfeeding cover, extra clothes / supplies carrier and white noise generator. Oh, and it can serve as a cause of all that child rearing too."

"We have a proverb that essentially states in the land where a prophet (or imam) is martyred, that land will be cursed. And having prayed at the Tomb of Jesus Christ / the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and seeing where the crucifix was planted, I can see that this must be the only reason that Israel and Palestine continue this way 70 years later."

According to City Time Traveller 2's Intramuros (Manila) episode, one difference between Spanish and Dutch, British and Portuguese colonialism was that the latter were about economic exploitation but the Spanish were also about cultural transformation, including religion. Also Casa Manilla is cool because its base is stone and its top is wood

"I often wonder how History would have viewed the USA if we had the bomb but not used it. “You had the capability to end the war, a war which killed hundreds of thousands of allied forces and millions of Japanese civilians, a war that left Japan fragmented and half under occupation by the Soviet Union, yet you failed to use it""
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