Traveling again. I’m pretty sure the grumpy TSA guy wiping people’s hands down was actually either a performance artist or a guerrilla marketer from a hand soap company.
Are you reading Heritage President Jim DeMint’s new book?
Heritage, are you really supposed to be using your tax-deductible 501(c)(3) resources to promote a for profit book by President?
You might want to run that one by the general counsel.
Squashed turned 7 today!
I guess I’ve been doing this for a while.
I guess I’d rather see universities raise tuition higher for students whose parents can afford to pay, and then offer more subsidies? But I realize this kind of a political nonstarter for some reason.
That’s not at all a political non-starter for private non-profit schools. It’s probably one of the main drivers of tuition increases. Maybe the sticker price of the college is $50,000 per year—but a huge portion of that supports need-based financial aid.
The ability of public universities to follow suit is, of course, limited.
Playa to classroom. Professional, but with a post-apocalyptic flair. — Carolyn describing her wardrobe ambitions. She believes she’s currently only achieved “Don’t Fuck With Me Librarian.
gamesareart asked: I've been thinking about lately, especially given the Olympics and some conversations i've had with people, about nationalism. Do you have any wisdom, or do you think you can say something about it?
I’m sorry. I don’t really have any wisdom about nationalism. I spent a few days trying to have some wisdom about nationalism—but it just isn’t something I have feelings about.
Nationalism leads to a lot of great stuff and a lot of nasty stuff. It leads to the cold war and it leads to the putting a guy on the moon.
We’re really bad at caring about people who are a long way away. We’re pretty good about caring about people in our immediate vicinity. Friends. Neighbors. Even neighbors we don’t particularly like but would help in a pinch. Because humanity.
Nationalism is a bit like drawing an artificial border around who counts as our neighbor, broadly speaking. In some cases it’s not helpful. In other cases, it can be helpful. Try this:
>I know an American who works three jobs to try to provide for a family but is going to have to choose between pulling the son out of college and losing the home to foreclosure.
If I introduced you to the American at issue, perhaps she or he wouldn’t strike you as somebody you have a lot in common with. But maybe that shared identity “American” reinforces whatever sliver of empathy previously connected you. (Or maybe you don’t share that particular identity and I’ve just reinforced some divisions.)
recoveringhipster asked: That person thinks you're being serious. One of the dangers of Tumblr's social justice sphere... tone and intent are hard to judge in a text-based medium. People often assume the worst.
In college, a friend of mine once bragged that nobody could rival his epic foosball skills. I was surprised, intrigued, and (admittedly) a bit intimidated. While I wasn’t *the best* foosball player on campus, I liked to think I’d at least be ranked if that were the sort of thing that had rankings. And I liked to think I knew most of the people who ranked above me. The friend was an unknown.
After I won the match 10-0, the friend conceded that he wasn’t particularly good at foosball. It made me question all the other things he’d said he was good at. It’s not that I care one way or another about whether somebody can play foosball. It’s that I feel people should take their strengths and weaknesses into account when insisting on their own superiority.
Judging tone and intent is an elementary part of reading comprehension. It’s easy to trip up if you start out assuming the worst about people you don’t know. But at some point its important to either be able to distinguish the earnest from the smug from the sarcastic. And if that’s unusually difficult, maybe keep your knives sheathed until you’ve done your research?
(On a side note, I think the person at issue might just be trolling me. I’ve gotten about three bizarrely disjointed responses on three old posts from the same person. I’d believe one of them. Perhaps somebody would actually believe I was writing a book called “Put on Your Big Boy Pants and Deal with It.” But to make three mistakes of the same magnitude in about an hour? Improbable.)
Embezzled or other income from illegal activities is taxable and should be reported. — Instructions for filing Massachusetts taxes
Helpful tax hint: If you check the box on the left, you should be audited.
A few things I believe to be true:
None of these have been scientifically tested. Science isn’t the only source of legitimate knowledge. In the same sense that nails are one of the many tools we use to attach objects to eachother, science is one of tools we use to decide if something is true.
If I were attaching one piece of paper to another, I wouldn’t use a nail. Maybe a rubber cement would work better for the paper. Similarly, a needle and thread would do a better job with a split seam than a hammer and nail. It’s not that I don’t believe in nails—it’s just that different tasks call for different jobs.
Whether we’re talking about the dubious claims of the creation museum or dubious health claims made at Whole Foods, the important question is not whether a claim is scientifically proven as it is whether people are relying on it being scientifically proven. If I’m trusting my house to be held together with nails, it’s a big problem if it was actually constructed with rubber cement.
When I started writing this, I thought my conclusion would be so what. Maybe somebody wants to buy some food with claims about probiotics that have no scientific grounding. But … if somebody is paying extra for a food believing the advertising claims are tested and reliable? That’s sort of a problem. And if somebody is buying a homeopathic remedy in lieu of something that isn’t a placebo? That’s a problem.
Although … maybe peole aren’t shopping at whole foods because of dubious health claims. And maybe there’s something more to the creation museum than bad biology. Maybe organic food is a values-based decision. Maybe patronizing a Creation Museum is about staking a claim against a society that seems to take a cavalier and hostile view of what you hold most sacred. Maybe the patrons of the Creation Museum have no more plan to become evolutionary biologists than you or I have. Sure, it’s not science. But maybe it taps into something else. Maybe for some people that’s more important.
I suppose we could take a stand and say that, scientifically, this is all junk. But, scientifically at least, I’m having trouble trouble proving why it’s any of my business. I mean, I love telling other people what to believe—but that’s because I love meddling, not because I love science.