The following question is for people who are broadly in favor of substantial economic redistribution, and more specifically in favor of a basic income or some similar plan.  If you’re opposed to those things, your responses here will not shed any useful light.

Let us suppose, hypothetically, that our Wise Social Scientists – I guess you should imagine some awesome Hari-Seldon-esque figure – made the following determination with a high and convincing degree of certainty:

The upper and middle classes will never go for an egalitarian redistribution scheme, because it is too damaging to their social identities.  And they have the clout to prevent any such scheme from being enacted.  Seriously, give it up, it’s not going to happen. The well-to-do will allow society to crumble and decay, they will throw away their own futures, before they let the government just start handing out money to everyone as though everyone is equally deserving of it. 

But they can be bought off.  They will accept redistribution, they’ll even cheer for it, so long as it acknowledges and preserves the basic class structure from which they draw their validation. 

Someone proposes a tiered system.  Maybe there’s three tiers – the UBI (Universal Basic Income) for regular plebs, the somewhat-more-generous GPI (Gentleman’s Public Income) for anyone with a college degree, and the positively-lavish ASI (Aristocratic State Income), which goes to anyone with a family member who’s paid some large total amount in taxes.  Or maybe you organize it some other way.  Maybe the size of your public income is linked to your SAT score.  Maybe there are actual goddamn blood castes. 

(For Extra Discourse Fun, we could do it racially.) 

One way or another, the basic effects of the system are the same:

* Money is still flowing from the rich-as-a-class to the poor-as-a-class, in very large amounts.  The particulars of redistribution are a little wonky, and obviously suboptimal in utilitarian terms – and certain classes of people, probably including overeducated niche artists/intellectuals and the less-capable children of the elite, make out like bandits – but, fundamentally, what you’ve got is a system where everyone gets paid and it’s all coming out of the taxes provided by the upper and middle classes. 

* The government is symbolically acknowledging the supremacy of some groups over others, even within its universal welfare system.

It’s…not what you want.  But it’s the only offer you’re going to get.

How do you feel about this scenario?  What are the correct decisions?  What details make an important difference?

Top Five Reasons Why History Is The Best Major

1. Class is basically story time. Do you want to hear riveting tales of cross-dressing slaves that escaped in a daring journey across the U.S. or how about an apocalyptic bad Byzantine battle where half the army switch sides and the other half ran away?  or what about that time a women became king of Nigeria? Yeah I get to go to class everyday and be endless entertained by these awesome stories and even better? Its all true. 

2. It makes you a more empathetic person. Its really easy to look at people in the past and make a snap judgement about them, that they are so stupid, bad, sexist, uncultured. ect ect… But as historians we have to walk a mile in their shoes and not judge them by the standards we have today. For instance important idea that we take today like umm. universal individual rights  or personally property or not having to work everyday for our physical survival hadn’t even been invented till pretty recently. History forces you to understand why people make certain decision and why they held certain views without judging them, a skill I am happy to carry into my day to day life. 

3. It is the best study of people. There are a lot of majors that study people: physiology, sociology, gender studies but those all focus on theory. History studies what real people do when faced with real situations. And it is indeed history that sparks social scientist to do their work. The reason behind the famous Milgram Experiment was trying to figure out why good people followed Hitler during WW2. History is the ultimate social experiment and gives us the best data on why people are the way they are and do what they do 

4. You get to touch the old things. You stand around in museum. See some boring rocks and some ugly paintings but when you are a history major, all the sudden its “HOLY S#&%* THESE WEIRD LITTLE BONES CHUNKS WAS TOUCHED MOTHERF@#$*$@# SHANG DYNASTY EMPEROR!!!” All the sudden the world is a magically place where everything even mundane, ugly, old things become special and amazing because there is history there! 

5. You become very ok with change. History is the study of change over time and over all history has made me a much more chill person. Its like you see that bad stuff happens and life moves on and its ok. Empires fall, major world views shift, rulers come and go but everything turns out ok in the end and life goes on. Nothing is the end of the world. 

As women must be more empowered at work, men must be more empowered at home. I have seen so many women inadvertently discourage their husbands from doing their share by being too controlling or critical. Social scientists call this “maternal gatekeeping” which is a fancy term for “Ohmigod, that’s not the way you do it! Just move aside and let me!”…Anyone who wants her mate to be a true partner must treat him as an equal–and equally capable partner. And if that’s note reason enough, bear in mind that a study found that wives who engage in gatekeeping behaviors do five more hours of family work per week than wives who take a more collaborative approach.

Another common and counterproductive dynamic occurs when women assign or suggest taks to their partners. She is delegating, and that’s a step in the right direction. But sharing responsibility should mean sharing responsibility. Each partner needs to be in charge of specific activities or it becomes too easy for one to feel like he’s doing a favor instead of doing his part.

—  Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Article: Sharks as you won’t see them on Shark Week: Intelligent and remarkably social animals

“In experiments, scientists have learned that individual sharks have distinct personalities. They appear to develop closer relationships with certain sharks over others. They can be trained to recognize shapes and colors, remembering how to complete a task months or years later — and can even teach other sharks how to do things.” 

Read more

anonymous asked:

i was wondering, since you say that fiction=/=reality (which i agree with), do you also think that representation doesnt matter? since representation would be fictional, it shouldnt have any positive repercusion irl, right? just wondering what your thoughts are, i dont mean this to be rude or accusatory. xxx

I think representation can matter, but I also don’t think it’s as important as a lot of people in fandom make it out to be? Like, if Black Panther were to be a massive box office success, that would be pretty cool, but it doesn’t immediately make society less racist or Hollywood suddenly want to make lots more action movies with black heroes.

My feelings on ‘fiction =/= reality’ are basically:

- What someone likes or enjoys or is interested in fiction doesn’t always equal what they like or enjoy or are interested in in real life. After all, lots of people enjoy dark or gritty canons but want their own lives to be happy. Ergo, liking abusive ships doesn’t make you an abusive person.

- Consuming certain types of canons doesn’t make you a bad person or changes your personality or outlook on life. For example, I like horror movies. I’ve seen a lot of them, and if I’m looking for some brainless entertainment on Netflix, I’ll go for the horror section. Has watching all those horror movies made me a violent person? No, it hasn’t.

There are also canons that absolutely set out to teach a moral lesson and influence its readers. We’ve all read those kinds of children’s books, right? But it’s not like just reading those books will totally change a kid’s mind about  something. There’s also that kid’s environment, and that’s something a lot of anti’s forget when they yell about fiction being harmful. So does the rest of the media sometimes, because it’s a lot easier to blame violent music or movies or video games when some teenager brings a gun to school than to look at society as a whole.

So, my opinion (and I am not a media expert or whatevs) on representation is that it probably kinda works the same. Yes, if you watch a movie in which a lesbian is portrayed positively, that might make you go ‘oh cool, go that random lesbian’ but I doubt it would make you immediately more sympathetic to lesbians if you otherwise live in a very anti-LGBT environment on the whole.

TL;DR, both representation and fiction =/= reality are a bit more complicated than Tumblr discussions make them out to be :p.

A brief history of the word “nigger.”

The history of the word nigger is often traced to the Latin word niger, meaning Black. This word became the noun, Negro (Black person) in English, and simply the color Black in Spanish and Portuguese. In early modern French, niger became negre and, later, negress (Black woman) was unmistakably a part of language history. One can compare to negre the derogatory nigger and earlier English substitutes such as negar, neegar, neger, and niggor that developed into its lexico-semantic true version in English. It is probable that nigger is a phonetic spelling of the White Southern mispronunciation of Negro.

No matter what its origins, by the early 1800s, it was firmly established as a derogative name. In the 21st century, it remains a principal term of White racism, regardless of who is using it. Social scientists agree that words like nigger, kike, spic, and wetback come from three categories: disparaging nicknames (chink, dago, nigger); explicit group devaluations (“Jew him down” or “niggering the land”); and irrelevant ethnic names used as a mild disparagement (“jewbird” for cuckoos having prominent beaks or “Irish confetti” for bricks thrown in a fight.)

Over time, racial slurs have victimized all racial and ethnic groups; but no American group has endured as many racial nicknames as Blacks: coon, tom, savage, pickaninny, mammy, buck, samba, jigaboo, and buckwheat are some. Many of these slurs became fully traditional pseudo-scientific, literary, cinematic, and everyday distortions of African Americans. These caricatures, whether spoken, written, or reproduced in media and material objects, reflect the extent, the vast network, of anti-Black prejudice.

The word, nigger, carries with it much of the hatred and disgust directed toward Black Africans and African Americans. Historically, nigger defined, limited, made fun of, and ridiculed all Blacks. It was a term of exclusion, a verbal reason for discrimination. Whether used as a noun, verb, or adjective, it strengthened the stereotype of the lazy, stupid, dirty, worthless nobody. No other American surname carries as much purposeful cruelty. The following shortlist is important information on the word’s use and meaning:

Naggers: Acting in a lazy and irresponsible manner.
Niggerlipping: wetting the end of a cigarette while smoking it.
Niggerlover: Derogatory term aimed at Whites lacking in the necessary loathing of Blacks.
Nigger luck: Exceptionally, but undeserved good luck.
Nigger-flicker: A small knife or razor with one side heavily taped to preserve the user’s fingers.
Nigger heaven: Designated places, usually the balcony, where Blacks were forced to sit, for example, in an integrated movie theater or church.
Nigger knocker: Axe handle or weapon made from an axe handle.
Nigger rich: Deeply in debt but flamboyant.
Nigger shooter: A slingshot.
Nigger steak: A slice of liver or a cheap piece of meat.
Nigger stick: Police officer’s baton.
Nigger tip: Leaving a small tip or no tip in a restaurant.
Nigger in the woodpile: A concealed motive or unknown factor affecting a situation in an adverse way.
Nigger work: Demeaning, menial tasks.

Nigger (as a word) is also used to describe a dark shade of color (nigger-brown, nigger-Black), the status of Whites that mix together with Blacks (nigger-breaker, dealer, driver, killer, stealer, worshipper, and looking), and anything belonging to or linked to African Americans (nigger-baby, boy, girl, mouth, feet, preacher, job, love, culture, college, music, etc). Nigger is the ultimate American insult; it is used to offend other ethnic groups. Jews are called White-niggers; Arabs, sand-niggers; Japanese, yellow-niggers. Americans created a racial hierarchy with Whites at the top and Blacks at the bottom.

In biology, heredity refers to the transference of biological characteristics from a parent organism to offspring. The word, nigger, speaks to the human heredity of Black people. Defining which characteristics of a person are due to heredity and which are due to environmental influences is often a controversial discussion (the nature versus nurture debate), especially regarding intelligence and race.

The hierarchy was set up by an ideology that justified the use of deceit, exploitation, and intimidation to keep Blacks “in their place.” Every major societal establishment offered legitimacy to the racial hierarchy. Ministers preached that God was White and had condemned Blacks to be servants. Scientists measured Black skulls, brains, faces, and genitalia, seeking to prove that Whites were genetically superior to Blacks. White teachers, teaching only White students, taught that Blacks were less evolved cognitively, psychologically, and socially. The entertainment media, from vaudeville to television and film, portrayed Blacks as docile servants, happy-go-lucky idiots, and dangerous thugs, and they still do this today. The criminal justice system sanctioned a double standard of justice, including its unspoken approval of mob violence against Blacks and there is still a similar double standard today. Both American slavery and the Jim Crow laws which followed were saturated by anti-Black laws and images. The negative portrayals of Blacks were both reflected in and shaped by everyday material objects: toys, postcards, ashtrays, detergent boxes, fishing lures, and children’s books. These items, and countless others, portrayed Blacks with bulging, darting eyes, fire-red oversized lips, jet-Black skin, and either naked or poorly clothed.

In 1874, the McLoughlin Brothers of New York produced a puzzle game called “Chopped Up Niggers.” Beginning in 1878, the B. Leidersdory Company of Milwaukee, WI., produced NiggerHair Smoking Tobacco. Decades later, the name was changed to BiggerHair Smoking Tobacco. A 1916 magazine ad, copyrighted by Morris & Bendien, showed a Black child drinking ink. The caption read, “Nigger Milk” (shown). In 1917, the American Tobacco Company had a NiggerHair redemption promotion. NiggerHair coupons were redeemable for “cash, tobacco, S&H Green stamps, or presents.” The J. Millhoff Company of England produced a series of cards in the 1930s which were widely distributed in the United States. One of the cards shows ten small Black dogs with the caption: “Ten Little Nigger Boys Went Out To Dine.”

This is the first line from a popular children’s story called, “The Ten Little Niggers.” it reads like this.
Ten Little Nigger Boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self, and then there were nine.
Nine Little Nigger Boys sat up very late; one overslept, and then there were eight. Eight Little Nigger Boys traveling in Devon; one said he’d stay there, and then there were seven.
Seven Little Nigger Boys chopping up sticks; one chopped himself in halves, and then there were six.
Six Little Nigger Boys playing with a hive; a Bumblebee stung one, and then there were five.
Five Little Nigger Boys going in for Law; one got in Chancery, and then there were four.
Four Little Nigger Boys going out to Sea; A Red Herring swallowed one, and then there were three.
Three Little Nigger Boys walking in the Zoo; the big Bear hugged one, and then there were two;
Two Little Nigger Boys sitting in the Sun; one got frizzled up, and then there was one.
One Little Nigger Boy living all alone; He got married, and then there were none.

In 1939, writer Agatha Christie published a book called Ten Little Niggers. Later editions sometimes changed the name to Ten Little Indians, or And Then There Were None, but as late as 1978, copies of the book with the original title were being produced. It was not rare for sheet music produced in the first half of the 20th century to use the word nigger on the cover. The Howley, Haviland Company of New York produced sheet music for the songs “Hesitate Mr. Nigger, Hesitate,” and “You'se Just A Little Nigger, Still You'se Mine, All Mine.” This last example was promoted as a children’s lullaby. Some small towns used nigger in their names, for example, Nigger Run Fork, Virginia. Nigger was a common name for darkly colored pets, especially dogs, cats, and horses. So-called “Jolly Nigger Banks,” first made in the 1800s, were widely distributed as late as the 1960s. Another common piece with many variations, produced on posters, postcards, and prints is a picture of a dozen Black children rushing for a swimming hole. The caption reads, “Last One In’s A Nigger.”

The civil rights movement, Supreme Court decisions, the Black empowerment movement, broad civil rights legislation, and a general embracing of democracy by many American citizens have worn down America’s racial pecking order from slavery moving into Jim Crow period and today’s institutional racism. Yet, the word nigger has not left and its relationship with anti-Black prejudice remains symbiotic, interrelated, and interconnected. Ironically, it is co-dependent because a racist society created nigger and continues to feed and sustain it. But, the word no longer needs racism, or brutal and obvious forms, to survive. The word nigger today has its own existence.

Another interesting and confusing experience in American speech is the use of nigger by African Americans. Poetry by Blacks is instructive; one can often find the word nigger used in Black writings. Major and minor poets alike have used it with startling results: Imamu Amiri Baraka, contemporary poet, uses nigger in one of his angriest poems, “I Don’t Love You,” and what was the world to the words of slick nigger fathers too depressed to explain why they could not appear to be men. One wonders how readers are supposed to understand “nigger fathers.” Baraka’s use of this imagery, regardless of his purpose, reinforces the stereotype of the worthless, pleasure-seeking “coon” caricature. Ted Joans’s use of nigger in "The Nice Colored Man” is an example of explainable expression. Joans said he was asked to give a reading in London because he was a “nice colored man.” Infuriated by the labels “nice” and “colored,” Joan’s wrote a quintessential rebellious poem. While the poem should be read in its entirety, a few lines will do:
Smart Black Nigger Smart Black Nigger Smart Black Nigger Smart Black Nigger Knife Carrying Nigger Gun Toting Nigger Military Nigger Clock Watching Nigger Poisoning Nigger Disgusting Nigger Black Ass Nigger.
This piece uses adjective upon adjective attached to the word nigger.

The reality is that many of these uses can be heard in present-day African-American society. Herein lies part of the difficulty: The word, nigger, endures because it is used over and over again, even by the people it insults. Writer Devorah Major said, "It’s hard for me to say what someone can or can’t say, because I work with language all the time, and I don’t want to be limited.” Poet and professor Opal Palmer Adisa claims that the use of nigger or nigga is “the same as young people’s obsession with swearing. A lot of their use of such language is an internalization of negativity about themselves.” Rappers, themselves poets, rap about niggers before mostly White audiences, some of whom see themselves as wiggers (White niggers) and refer to one another as “my niggah.” Snoop Doggy Dogg’s single, “You Thought,” raps, “Wanna grab a skinny nigga like Snoop Dogg/Cause you like it tall/and work it baby doll.” Tupac Shakur’s “Crooked Ass Nigga” lyrics included, “Now I could be a crooked nigga too/When I’m rollin’ with my crew.” Also rap lyrics that degrade women and glamorize violence reinforce the historical Brute Caricature.

Erdman Palmore researched lexicons and said, The number of offensive words used correlates positively with the amount of out-group prejudice; and these express and support negative stereotypes about the most visible racial and cultural differences. When used by Blacks, nigger refers to, among other things, all Blacks (“A nigger can’t even get a break.”); Black men (“Sisters want niggers to work all day long.”); Blacks who behave in a stereotypical, and sometimes legendary, manner (“He’s a lazy, good-for-nothing nigger.”); things (“This piece-of-shit car is such a nigger.”); enemies (“I’m sick and tired of those niggers bothering me!”); and friends (“Me and my niggers are tight.”). This final habit, as a kind word, is particularly challenging. “Zup Niggah” has become an almost universal greeting among young urban Blacks. When asked, Blacks who use nigger or its variants argue that it has to be understood in its situation; repeated use of the word by Blacks will make it less offensive. It’s not really the same word because Whites are saying nigger (and niggers) but Blacks are saying niggah (and niggaz). Also it is just a word and Blacks should not be prisoners of the past or the ugly words that originated in the past.

These arguments may not be true to the real world. Brother (Brotha) and Sister (Sistha or Sista) are terms of endearment. Nigger was and still is a word of disrespect. More to the point, the artificial dichotomy between Blacks or African Americans (respectable and middle-class) and niggers (disrespectable and lower class) ought to be challenged. Black is a nigger, regardless of behavior, earnings, goals, clothing, skills, ethics, or skin color. Finally, if continued use of the word lessened its damage, then nigger would not hurt or cause pain now. Blacks, from slavery until today, have internalized many negative images that White society cultivated and broadcast about Black skin and Black people. This is mirrored in cycles of self- and same-race hatred. The use of the word,nigger by Blacks reflects this hatred, even when the user is unaware of the psychological forces involved. Nigger is the ultimate expression of White racism and White superiority no matter how it is pronounced. It is linguistic corruption, an attack on civility.

To a smaller scale, words other than Nigger also remain accepted public banter in White America. In 1988, on Martin Luther King’s birthday, sports commentator Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder said (on national television) that Black people were better at sports because of slave plantation breeding techniques. “During the slave period, the slave owner would breed his Black with his big woman so that he would have a big Black-kid. That’s were it all started.” Another sports announcer, Billy Packer, referred to pro-basketball player, Allan Iverson, as a “tough monkey.” Another announcer, Howard Cosell, referred to Alvin Garrett, a pro football player with the Washington Redskins as “little monkey” during a Monday Night Football game. The comments made by Cosell and Packer did not go without any punitive consequences.

Nigger is one of the most notorious words in American culture. Some words carry more weight than others. But without trying to exaggerate, is genocide just another word? Pedophilia? Clearly, no and neither is nigger.

After a period of relative dormancy, the word nigger has been reborn in popular culture. It is hard-edged, streetwise, and it has crossed over into movies like Pulp Fiction (1994) and Jackie Brown (1997), where it became a symbol of “street authenticity” and hipness. Denzel Washington’s character in Training Day (2001) uses nigger frequently and harshly. Richard Pryor long ago rejected the use of the word in his comedy act, but Chris Rock, Chris Tucker, and other Black male comedy kings use nigger regularly and not affectionately. Justin Driver, a social critic, makes a case that both Rock and Tucker are modern minstrels shucking, jiving, and grinning, in the tradition of Step ‘n Fetchit. White supremacists have found the Internet an indispensable tool for spreading their message of hate. An Internet search of nigger using Netscape or Alta Vista locates many anti-Black web pages: Niggers Must Die, Hang A Nigger for America, Nigger Joke Central, and many others. Web searchers find what most Blacks know from personal experience, that nigger is an expression of anti-Black hostility. Without question, nigger is the most commonly used racist slur during hate crimes.

No American minority group has been caricatured as often or in as many ways as Black people. These misrepresentations feature distorted physical descriptions and negative cultural and behavior stereotypes. The Coon caricature, for example, was a tall, skinny, loose-jointed, dark-skinned male, often bald, with oversized, ruby-red lips. His clothing was either ragged and dirty or extremely gaudy. His slow, exaggerated walk suggested laziness. He was a pauper, lacking ambition and the skills necessary for upward social mobility. He was a buffoon. When frightened, the Coon’s eyes bulged and darted. His speech was slurred, halted, and stuffed with malapropisms. His piercing, high-pitched voice made Whites laugh. The Coon caricature dehumanized Blacks, and served to justify social, economic, and political discrimination. Nigger may be viewed as an umbrella term, a way of saying that Blacks have the negative characteristics of the Coon, Buck, Tom, Mammy, Sambo, Pickaninny, and other anti-Black caricatures.

In 2003, the fight to correct the shameful availability of this word had positive results. Recently Kweisi Mfume, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), gave a speech at Virginia Tech. There everyone was informed that a landmark decision was made with the people at Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Recognizing their error, beginning with the next edition, the word nigger will no longer be synonymous with African Americans in their publication.

Nigger, like the false impressions it incorporates and means, puts down Blacks, and rationalizes their abuse. The use of the word or its alternatives by Blacks has not lessened its hurt. This is not surprising in a racial hierarchy four centuries old, shaping the historical relationship between European Americans and African Americans. Anti-Black attitudes, motives, values, and behavior continue. Historically, nigger, more than any other word, captures the personal hatred and institutionalized racism directed toward Blacks. In 2013, incidences such as Atlanta born restaurant entrepreneur Paula Dean and Oklahoma football player Reilly Cooper’s comfortable reference to the word against Blacks shows that it is alive in the white vocabulary and it still does great harm.

Source: Phil Middleton and David Pilgrim, Department of Sociology,
Ferris State University 

via:  Dr. Ray Winbush

Sorry Tumblr, There Are Only Two Genders

It seems like every day, millennials find new ways to feel unique and different. Special Snowflake Syndrome is running rampant and with it comes the need to invent new things to make themselves stand out and “out-oppress” their peers. One of the ways this manifests itself is Social Justice Warriors’ obsession with gender and gender identity. Don’t believe me? Go read Complete List of Tumblr Genders (So far); there are at least 300 genders in there, and new ones get invented every day.

On Friday, March 4th 2016, a group of SJWs and feminists gathered outside the Railway Club in Vancouver where a man named Augustus Invictus was scheduled to give a talk. He was stopped at the Canadian border and refused entry on the grounds that he “has no legitimate reason to enter the country and will just cause trouble.” Internet famous journalist Lauren Southern was on the scene where she got into an argument with some of the feminists, and made a mistake of saying the words “sorry guy, but there are only two genders.” Moments later, she was drenched in urine by one of the feminists, who seemed to have taken offense at her statement. Social Justice Warriors want to be special, and they will attack anyone who tries to make them face reality.

Luckily, science and human biology does not care about people’s feelings. You can live in your childish delusions all you want, but at the end of the day, you are either male or female. Period.

“But what about transgender individuals?”

This is how Social Justice Warriors usually reply. This one is always a fun one to deal with, because by implying that there are more than two genders because transgender people exist, they are pretty much admitting to themselves that they don’t think transwomen are “real women” or that transmen are “real men.” After all, if people are whatever gender they have transitioned to then how exactly does that break the “gender binary?” Whether you are one of those people who believe that people are whatever gender they transition into or you are one of those who think people are whatever they are born as and that changing your gender is impossible, the point still stands. At the end of the day, that person is still either male or female.

“But….But…….But gender is whatever you identify as!”

Nonsense. If gender is whatever you identify as, then gender is irrelevant and nonsensical. I am yet to hear a good reason why what someone “identifies as” is relevant or important in any way. In a debate about the existence of God, if a theist states that he identifies as God, does that mean he is God and God is now real? If a student identifies as a someone who graduated summa cum laude, is the university obligated to give him that honor? This type of thinking isn’t permitted in any other form of discourse, so why would we permit it here?

“Gender is a social construct.”

Incorrect. Gender is entirely biological and based on genetics. You might be thinking of “gender roles,” which are something completely different. If your counter argument here is to inform me that gender differs from sex, I don’t have to necessarily disagree with you to tell you why you’re wrong. Fair enough. Let’s say that the current definition proposed by certain social scientists is true and that “sex” is whatever is between your pants and “gender” is what is in your brain/what gender you feel like. At the end of the day, your genitals aren’t a social construct, and neither are your brain waves.

Yes, sex is biological, and:

Yes, gender is also biological.

Stop confusing “gender” with “gender roles.”

“But gender is a spectrum”

When you hear this argument from a Social Justice Warrior, it means s/he has reached their endgame. This is the last cry of someone who knows they are losing a battle. I do not agree that gender is a spectrum, but the current consensus in neuroscience is that it is, so lets go with that. I couldn’t care less, because my point stands either way.

To suggest that there are more than two genders because gender exists in a spectrum is outrageous. Consider this;

Feelings exist in a spectrum. You could feel sorry, ashamed, angry, happy, sad, etc and each of these feelings exist in a spectrum. How happy you are about winning $5,000 in the lottery would be observably “happier” than if you only won $50. Being hit on your head by a falling fruit would make you angry, as would someone stealing your car, but one would make you measurably angrier, which I’m guessing would be the stolen car. To suggest that the anger you feel when you get hit on the head by a fruit isn’t really anger because its not as intense as the anger you feel over your stolen car is just poor logic. The anger from the falling fruit isn’t a different type of feeling, it’s just an already existing feeling at a different intensity.

Similarly, height exists in a spectrum. There are tall people who are 5’9″, 6’0″, 6’1″, 6’2″. all of these are tall people. You do not have to invent a new height name for every one of these different tall heights (mega tall, ultra tall, super tall, bio tall – I can actually imagine a Social Justice Warrior doing this). Nobody has the time to to memorize whatever special name you have invented for your unique brand of tallness. Even if we had the time, we wouldn’t want to.

What am I trying to say here, then? Just because you stray a little from the traditional norms of masculinity or femininity doesn’t make you another gender, it just makes you one of the two genders with a few distinctions. A man who loves to wear pink isn’t a “non-binary demiboy” or a “pink-transvongender-boy,” he’s just a man who likes pink. Same goes for women. No matter what side of the male or female spectrum you are, you are still either male or female. A feminine man isn’t a new gender, he’s just a man (who has some feminine qualities).

Stop trying to make yourself feel special; you aren’t.

My Backpack Essentials (University)

I have been asked to do a post about my backpack essentials. So here are some things that I ALWAYS carry around with me (aside from food, water and my purse) in my everyday life.

  • Backpack: I love this backpack. I bought it when I started my Masters degree at a new university one year ago. Since then it has been my loyal companion. It is simple and looks good no matter which kind of outfit you choose to wear.
  • Planner (the big black one): I don’t know what I would do without this precious planner. It helps me to keep track of deadlines, working schedules, sports, leisure with friends and family and it also serves as a notebook since it has so much space.
  • Notebook (the small silver one): I started to keep a notebook with me all the time so that I can write down ideas that could be relevant for my studies or my research projects. Ideas can come and go so fast. It is important to capture them as they appear in one’s mind.
  • Macbook: I bought this Macbook two years ago when I started writing my Bachelor thesis. It is small and very light (that was very important to me!). I use it to write on research papers and seminar papers when there’s some time left on the road.
  • Pencil case: a simple black pencil case that contains some highlighters, pencils, ballpens, rubbers and a ruler.
  • Calculator: Since I have some courses on accounting and finance in my Master programme I need this little buddy everyday. As a social scientist those subjects are not easy for me. That’s why I am motivated to study everyday!
  • Notepad: and of course I need paper to do my calculations. :D 

If you have any further questions or you need recommendations feel free to ask! ;) 

bunch of AUs
  • i’m a headchef and a restaurant owner and you are a feared critic coming to eat at my place
  • both our cars broke down and we just made it to this tiny gas station to wait till morning but the whole place is really creepy
  • we were both in a restroom when the building was surrounded and everyone is a hostage, except i don’t think anybody knows we’re here
  • our grandmothers met recently and are now the best of friends, trying to set us up
  • i went skinny dipping and you went skinny dipping and this is most certainly not my shirt that i’m wearing
  • i tried to use self-check out when buying lube and it froze hopelessly and you were the employee to come and help me
  • i cluelessly inherited this huge mansion and everyone in the close-by village is mean to me and you take a pity on me and help me out
  • i’m an unethical social scientist who joined this ufo believers group incognito pretending to be into it but really i’m just trying to write a book… wait are you in the exactly the same situation?
  • we’re tourists on a cruise and my bf/gf kicked me out of our room, please help?
  • i’m a museum night guard and just found you sleeping curled up in the stone-age settlement exhibition
Asian American and Pacific Islander Month: What our  fellows are researching

All month long, we’ll be bringing you stories from our Graduate Research Fellowships Program to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Month

“I develop 3D imaging systems using a combination of optics and optimization algorithms. These cameras and displays can perform better than their conventional counterparts in applications like virtual reality, robotics, and cultural heritage research. “

– Nathan Matsuda, Northwestern University

“My research focuses on investigating adaptive immune influences on brain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, I am working on engineering immunotherapeutic treatments via drug-encapsulated nano-particles to learn about disease progression, prevention, and active treatment for both paradigms.”

– Kwok (Chris) Im, Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Southern California

“I study the effects of a extremely virulent introduced parasite, Philornis downsi, on birds in the Galápagos. The larvae of this parasite live in the nests of birds and feed on nestlings, often killing them. P. downsi is a major conservation concern in the Galápagos because it is extremely common and many species seem to have no defenses against it. However, one bird species, the Galápagos mockingbird, is able to survive the parasite, in some conditions. I’m studying the nature of defense in mockingbirds against this fly.”

– Sabrina McNew, University of Utah

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Yo, pro social scientist here. That paper about the asset value of whiteness doesn't suggest the gap is "unexplained." The authors literally say structural racism is the explanation for racial inequality, and (this is the important bit) that it needs to be addressed like a structural problem. They're saying treating the individual symptoms of structural racism (education, wealth, etc.) is hella ineffective because it doesn't get rid of racist AF policies, laws, and institutions.

ok, FINE

This showwwww omg.

How does this show consistently exceed my expectations in every feasible dimension I have so many feeeeeels.

Heck, leave alone all the cool new world-building elements w/ the trial and the homeworld gems, and the unfolding Rose backstory. Leave aside the stunning, blessed diversity of female body and character types (hello socially-stilted mad scientist type, hello huge buff warrior types, hello classically pretty damsel-in-distress working through her PTSD, depression, and anger issues.)

Just look at that tiny slice-of-life filler episode w/ minor character Ronaldo trying to join the CGs and ending up getting all bossy and obnoxious and controlling about it. It’s silly, it’s funny, and it’s deep as fuck. I *love* that scene where Ronaldo accuses Steven of being the one not properly behaving like a Crystal Gem because he’s not being loving and tolerant of Ronaldo’s behavior. And Steven goes off all confused and distressed, as one does when hit w/ that kind of emotionally manipulative sleight-of-hand to one’s sense of self. But then he comes back to deliver this line:

“I *do* like love and tolerance. But you’ve been being really mean to me, and I *don’t* love that and I *don’t* tolerate that.”

Just. Holy shit, that is *so* important; that hit me *so* hard. And how much more do I love that the moral of the story was not “Ronaldo is a bad person/friend” or “Ronaldo dramatically changes his behavior and personality.” Ronaldo goes on being Ronaldo (to the full extent of irritating he can be), but he also redirects and reframes his behavior to a context where it is helpful rather than hurtful.


And don’t even fucking get me started on my feels about Lars as a character. I have a stupid amount of feelings about this angry, selfish, scared, hurtful, painfully socially insecure *mess* of a character and how the show has been handling his arc. And then the pay-off in the most recent episodes. Holy shit. Holy shit.


U know u read it in their voices (✿´ ꒳ ` )
  • Alice: You... oozing sore of depravity... Children wearing their names around their neck like they are breeding livestock!
  • Bumby Angus: A declaration of their pedigree. You could use one. They're proud to display their provenance. [laughs]
  • Alice: You brute! They can't remember who they are or where they're from. How many minds have you twisted into forgetfulness?
  • Bumby Angus: Not enough. Yours would have been a triumph! Still, you're an insane wreck. My work is done.
  • Alice: You've used me and abused me, but you will not destroy me.
  • Bumby Angus: No, the damage is done. The old Alice and her Wonderland retreat are demolished. You can't even recognize what's happened. And you're powerless to change it or move against me. I've made certain of it.
  • Alice: You corrupted my memories, but you failed to make me forget.
  • Bumby Angus: I could've made you into a tasty bit. Clients out the door waiting for a piece from a raving delusional beauty, with no memories of the past and no sense of the future. But you wouldn't forget; you insisted on holding on to your fantasies. You're mad! Like your sister.
  • Alice: Don't speak of her! You didn't know her...
  • Bumby Angus: Your sister was a tease. Pretended to despise me. She got what she wanted... In the end.
  • Alice: I'll see you charged. In prison, some half-wit bruiser will make you his sweetheart... And then you'll hang.
  • Bumby Angus: Indeed? A hysterical woman, former lunatic, roaring outrageous accusations against a respectable social architect and scientist. My God, Alice, who would believe you? I scarcely believe it myself.
  • Alice: You, Monstrous creature.... Such evil will be punished.
  • Bumby Angus: By who? By what? Psychotic, silly bitch. Your madness will be punished. Now leave, I'm expecting your replacement.

Not to be pugnacious, but math describes the world spectacularly well and we have no idea why. Why do we expect math to describe particles but not people? And how could you answer that if you don’t understand why it describes particles in the first place?

Certainly it’s easier to correctly use math to talk about the physical world (as opposed to the social world), and without math there’s a whole lot less you can say about the physical world than about humans and societies. But some of our most important insights into human behaviour are more or less mathematically derived, and we’re only getting better at that.

I think the notion that math cannot productively be used to study fields like history comes mainly from three sources.

First, there’s a lot of terrible work in quantitative social science (regressions regressions regressions). Ironically, though, this research typically comes from the people who think the least about how to use math when talking about people and who have the least faith in its usefulness. That’s a self-defeating prophecy.

Second, as I’ve written about many times before here, the tight coupling of math and the physical world has been a tremendous generator of wealth in industrial society. We poured money into getting really good at engineering and the industrial applications of physics and chemistry, thereby making mathematically intensive jobs extremely competitive, and then we developed a huge mental barrier about math where the Math People deserve big fat paycheques because they’re destined by the invisible hand to be really good at figuring out how much concrete goes where. This is an area where plenty of anti-capitalists have been completely bamboozled by the market into either hating or revering math.

Third, it actually is a lot easier to study particles with math than to study people with math. For whatever reason, the #UnreasonableEffectivenessOfMathematicsInTheNaturalSciences outstrips the  #UnreasonableEffectivenessOfMathematicsInTheSocialSciences. There’s an egotistical “humans are complicated” cop-out that a lot of people lean on, but of course particles are complicated too. I do think, though, that a big part of this story is that the warts of physical science are invisible to people in a way that the warts of social science aren’t. There are a bunch of reasons why the math that is usually employed in physical sciences both is and seems tougher; quantitative physical science rushed along rapidly for whatever fundamental reason and became pretty tough to understand pretty quickly, it was dramatically materially boosted in the last ~150 years by its industrial and wartime relevance (which is point #2), and there are also strong incentives for social scientists to tell societies exactly what to do (and look like big old dopes in a way physical scientists don’t) when the researchers themselves don’t actually have precise or accurate enough tools to properly know.

An interesting case here is medicine: they have an extremely similar mathematical toolbox to social scientists, they’re studying very similar social and psychological problems, and they constantly screw up, but even when bad quantitative medical research causes the President of the United States to throw the full weight of his office behind a flu vaccination campaign for a flu that never happens, nobody says that you just can’t use math to study medicine. The reason we don’t doubt their methodology much is that they’ve also had a colossal number of successes, which in my view isn’t because medicine is more mathematically tractable. It’s rather because medical researchers have infinite money from all the people who want to be healthy, and that means they have a ridiculous volume of research activity and their field moves forward super fast. Plus medical doctors get big paycheques and we have a habit of respecting people in proportion to how much they earn.

What I’m saying is: obviously you can use math and computers to study history and other social fields. People should do that (and others should study them qualitatively), and inevitably we’ll have good quantitative and computational models of historical processes. I also believe these subfields actually have a strong track record compared to many other social science subfields – for example, I think the definition of cliodynamics as written includes Marx. Of course this stuff is not easy to study, and it never will be, and there are tons of traps you can very easily fall into, but sooner or later someone will get really good at using tools like computer simulations to study human society and when they do they are going to learn a hell of a lot of really neat stuff.

June 12, 1937: Death of Maria Ulyanova, revolutionary and Lenin’s younger sister.

A Russian revolutionary intellectual, mathematician, physicist and French linguist. One of the first members of the Russian Social-Democratic Party and future organizer of the Bolshevik party. Several times imprisoned and exiled for her revolutionary activity. One of the organizers of the Moscow revolutionary groups. In 1908-09 studied in Paris Sorbonne. Since February revolution she coordinated the communication between Russian and European (and exiled) revolutionaries. An editor of the Bolshevik main edition ‘Pravda’. Success of the Bolshevik press was largely thanks to her attempts and work.

Via Dmytriy Kovalevich

Humans make no sense.
We’re supposedly social creatures who need and crave social interaction. We form pacts and go about our lives needing social connection.
That is what scientists have been telling us for decades.
So why is that studies show that humans are incredibly less happy being around people? Densely populated areas are reported to have a substantially larger amount of unhappiness, where as places that are far more isolated are much happier.
Not only this, but studies also report that the higher an intelligence level, the less happy a human is around other humans.

So are we social creatures..? Or have scientists just assumed we were because humans are consistently forced to live within society?