strategy of change

8

Julia Wicker in every episode

1x03 “ Consequences of Advanced Spellcasting”

5

“The President seems to change his mind based on any information that is new to him - which seems to be almost any information. That is genuinely worrying.”

Humans are weird (and diplomatic)

I’ve been reading so much of these post, and I have this idea that’s on the back of my mind. No one ever really graced the idea of what the Human government in space would be.


The humans are a respected species, well known for their curiosity, resilience, and all around outstanding and unbelievable nature.

But when they formed the Human Galactic Government no one really believed they could be real politicians. At that point, humans were only really just crewmates or other civilians. Sure they had colonies but the only real government they had was of Earth and Earth alone.

The first few years of the new organization was rocky, no one wanted to hear what they had to say because they were still considered as “Crewmates”.

The organization was mostly peaceful, preferring to end the conflict through diplomatic means. Other species were surprised that a species from a planet so harsh and inhabitable by their standards are so peaceful.

After just a decade, the Human Galactic Government has become a well-respected part of the Council, the final jurisdiction of something is not complete without the representative of the humans speaking.

But the moment one of the most feared species of the galaxy pissed them off. It was not a time people like to remember.

The Ziglaks were sending threats of war to any and all that they can find. The Ziglaks are a terrifying bunch, they can subdue any other species, but they have not seen or heard what Humans are like. They didn’t know.

All other species were rushing to form an army that can withstand only 200 of Ziglak Infantry. Humans, however, didn’t know about the Ziglak and believed that they could be reasoned with, but the moment the Ziglaks happened upon the first ever colony Earth had established and attacked. They crossed the line.

Humans declared war, and everyone was too scared to join forces, they only wanted to defend themselves.

Their only counterattack was a platoon of ships and crew. The battle was everywhere it could be broadcasted, no one missed a thing of the action.

The Ziglaks weren’t much for strategies, their tactic is just to hit em and hit em hard. Humans, however, are smart as other species noted. The platoon used very complex maneuvers and constantly changing strategies, making sure the enemy never knows when and how they were going to hit. Not even the supposed best pilots and generals could’ve done or thought of this.

The battle raged on for only one year, and since the Humans had no real proper military they just kept training and sending out platoons, makes the battle even more terrifying.

Species were saying “They’re gonna die.” “They have no chance.” And yet, they won. The Ziglaks were panicking, they had never lost to any species before!

And as the General of the Ziglak Army is cornered, he blurted out “WHAT ARE YOU?!”, with a grin the Human commander said “Haven’t you heard? We’re Space Australians. I order you to stand down and retreat to where you came. And remember. Hell hath no fury like an angered Human.”

Scared to even ask what the hell that means, the general complied and retreated.

Humans are now more respected than anyone in the galaxy, but Council members still chant “Hell hath no fury like an angered human.” Even though they didn’t know what it meant, they still chant it as a reminder that Humans are not to be trifled with.

Stim Toy Package giveaway

Summer is heating up here in the northern hemisphere so we’re giving away 2 summer themed stim toy packages this week. 

To enter, reblog and share a little something about the sensory challenges of coping with weather. Got a tip for coping with extreme heat/humidity? A strategy for adjusting to seasonal changes? A system for figuring out how to dress for comfort on a crummy day? Need help with a specific sensory issue related to the weather? Just wish it was fall already and you could wear your favorite sweater? Tell us about all the things!

On Thursday July 13th at noon ET I’ll randomly draw two winners, one for the cool colors stim toy package and one for the warm colors stim toy package shown below. 

Cool Colors Stim Toy Package

Photo description: A collection of stim toys. From top, there is a small off-white canvas zipper bag with a repeating pattern of green cacti; a plastic bead lanyard with varying colors of medium blue beads; a black flower blossom chewable silicone pendant on a black cord; a small clear plastic vial with a silver color top, filled with blue lavender scented salts hanging on a black cord; a small bumblebee made of yellow and black beads with silver beaded wings; and a medium blue lotus shaped chewable silicone pendant on a black cord.

Warm Colors Stim Toy Package

Photo description: A collection of stim toys. From top, there is a pumpkin orange flower blossom chewable silicone pendant on a black cord; a dark red mushroom shaped chewable silicone pendant on a black cord; a rectangular wet bag folded in half that is light pink with a white zipper and various pink, orange, red and yellow colored flowers, butterflies and birds printed on it; a sparkly pastel rainbow color sand filled butterfly; a rubber caterpillar on a keyring with 5 neon colored round spiky body sections and a painted on face; a white plush rabbit finger puppet.

Rules summary:

  1. Enter by reblogging and sharing something about the sensory challenges related to weather of any sort. 
  2. Two winners (1 for each package) will be randomly drawn after the giveaway closes on Thursday July 13th at noon ET. 
  3. Open to entrants worldwide.
  4. Winner must have an open ask box or other way for me to contact them on tumblr and be willing to give a mailing name/address to receive their items at. 
stuff I appreciate on “Yuri on Ice”
  • Yuri is a character that struggles with his weight, and he is a professional athlete. This isn’t a one time comment or information from an interview, it is an actual character trait and something as simple as showing what Yuri eats maintains this consistently.
  • Yuri had a bit of a crush on Yuko when they were children, but the fact they never got together doesn’t mean they are no longer friends; they care for each other, for each other’s families, root for each other and are always happy when the other is happy
  • on top of that Yuko is married to Takeshi, and Takeshi is a good friend of Yuri’s as well. The Nishigori marriage are easily Yuri’s closest friends in Japan and their daughters are fans of him too.
  • Yuri doesn’t get on Yurio’s level whenever Yurio is mean to him, the only time Yuri competes against Yurio is on the rink when they are skating cause they are both professional skaters. Yuri, an adult, does not fight a teenager but doesn’t let him win either.
  • Yuri’s friends support Yurio as well. Even if Yurio is still pissed at Viktor, Yurio does communicate with Yuko and her family and doesn’t treat them badly for being Yuri’s friends.
  • this may seem like a small thing but, the main pairing in this show is made out of two adults. Yes it may not seem like much but if this was any type of Yaoi, a literal child would wind up portrayed as the one having a romance with his coach.
  • Yuri’s problems are stated as being psychological. Mental and emotional issues affect your life and it is ok to portray that.
  • Yuri’s previous coach still talks to him and is proud of him, same as his ballet teacher. Just because you changed careers or are trying something new, that doesn’t mean that all the people you knew before are gone from your life.
  • Yurio is not used to loosing, but upon loosing to someone else that he looked down on he changed strategies and stepped up his game.
  • Yuri is not afraid to be selfish anymore. People praise selflessness, but that shouldn’t come in the way of not moving forward. Yes you can want someone else’s affection, you deserve to win at what you are working on, you deserve to feel important and to not let others tell you otherwise.
  • you can be an adult and still decide to do something new with your life
  • Yuri’s parents don’t know anything about his career besides “he got a good rank we guess”. I actually relate to this a lot cause no one in my family has the same career as me, not even distant cousins, so there’s only so much of what I do that they can actually understand.
  • that said, just because they don’t get it, this doesn’t mean they don’t support it. Sometimes all your parents know to do with what you like is tell you “sure go ahead” and that’s a form of encouragement. They found a dance teacher for Yuri and let him ice skate (which is probably not cheap) and they always watch his competitions.
  • this is an international competition. And we have people from at least 3 continents representing that. A character from Thailand? can’t remember seeing that elsewhere, a dude from Switzerland? Azerbaijan too? the Chinese boy is not a kung fu stereotype? and the American one is Latino?!?!? yes please
  • Yuri is one of those people who downplay themselves so much, that they can’t imagine other people thinking that they are amazing. But yes, you are amazing, someone thinks so, and it is ok to not fully believe that yourself at first, but don’t discourage others from looking up to you as they have their reasons for doing so.

anonymous asked:

why do you only talk about the bad things when it comes to harry? like I wouldn't like him either if I constantly focused on the negative. I wouldn't like any of the boys if I did that.

because most of his stans refuse to acknowledge any of the bad things. they brush every singe valid criticism or comment off/make excuses and that’s such a dangerous precedent to set. if harry was actually treated by this fandom like the other guys are/if he was held accountable for his actions and words and not hoisted up onto a pedestal, then i wouldn’t constantly feel like i have to keep speaking up. 

remember the fandom wide outrage after ALOTO? remember the fandom wide outrage after Liam’s Attitude interview and the duck dynasty tweets? remember the fandom wide outrage and reaction to louis in the weed video? now ask yourself why nothing like that has ever happened with harry and why there are always excuses made for everything.

none of these guys are perfect and it’s only natural for them to make mistakes but if you can’t see the difference in how the fandom treats louis’ mistakes or liam’s mistakes or niall’s mistakes vs harry’s then i can’t help you.

if this whole carolina thing was something niall’s team had cooked up, then i’d be saying these exact same things about niall and expressing my disappointment every time the subject came up.

if liam had written only angel and kiwi, his ass would have been dragged all the way back to wolverhampton by this fandom already (and i would have been just as disappointed in him for singing those kinds of songs as i am with harry).

if louis had publicly dissed/made a sexist comment about danielle on a late night television show i would have been infuriated and so, so disappointed in him.

the second the other boys screw up you bet i’ll be right there talking about it because i always do and i always have. if niall or liam or louis release a song or songs with sexist lyrics, i’ll be all over them too. but so far they haven’t and harry has. and it’s so frustrating to see because harry is better than this

i’m disappointed in him and his team because this promo is lazy and full of microaggressions and i *know* he can and should be setting a better example for his primarily female fanbase (especially after how outspoken he’s been in the past with he for she and how he’s defended girls). 

why are you okay with just settling for this version of him when we all know that the real him is so much more empathetic and funny and inspiring and doesn’t casually make sexist comments? the harry stylesTM we’re seeing now is not the one his fans fell in love with and it’s a damn shame his team didn’t trust him and who he actually is enough to let that be his selling point rather than het stunts and casual sexism.

i’m outspoken because i want better from and for him and because i’m tired of the casual sexism that continues to pervade the media and society in general. We’re living in an age where donald ‘grab em by the pussy’ trump is president so forgive me if i’m tired of hearing excuses and justifications for comments that should not be made about women in the year 2017.

it’s one thing to want to model your career after some of your icons! that’s awesome and there’s a lot of 70s music that transcends time and is worth paying homage too. but you can do that without also bringing the sexism that pervaded the 70s back with you.

adopt and be inspired by the good and leave the rest in the past. as a public figure with a wide reach and significant cultural impact, i wish harry and his team had considered the impact his words and actions would have in a world that’s already plagued with sexist ideals, beliefs, and behaviours.

i really do hope he learns from this and i also hope that he and his team can turn things around and start the next leg of his promo off on a different foot. 

anonymous asked:

I'm just scared with "Shiro" back, it will put a divide between Keith and the others because they will treat him as the leader again, not listening to the decisions Keith wants to make ;; (like they already did in season 3)

Well, to be fair they only didn’t listen when Keith made… reckless decisions. Which is good - the team doesn’t feel afraid to speak up when their leader messes up. They have seen how Keith acted before he stepped up as a leader and they know that he will need extra support (at least until he gets used to his position). When he actually presents a good plan, they listen without complaints:

^here are two examples, one back in s3e3 even before Keith got his shit together and one in s3e4. It’s always been like this - Keith has the self-confidence and presence of a leader, he just… doesn’t really use it. He never had to lead anyone but himself and the team knows this. Keith internalizes his struggles but he doesn’t actively try to appear “perfect” as Shiro does so they know what he needs help with. In a way, they are more of a team now than they were before.

And even with ‘Shiro’ back the team is still extremely supportive of leader!Keith. Shiro was already back when Lance came to talk to him in his room because “he is the leader now”. When they called him out when he wanted to pursue Lotor with the comet-ship it wasn’t anything different from what they had done in episode 3. In that episode were also these scenes:

Here we have Keith supporting and presenting a plan to ‘Shiro’ and ‘Shiro’ supporting Keith. In the first one it looks like a leader talking to their teammate; in the second one it looks like a friend talking to a friend. Even ‘Shiro’ himself is supportive of leader!Keith. The only problem is that he is used to leading, likes it and is already seen as a leader by the team.

It’s definitely possible that the team will get torn while having 2 leaders that give conflicting orders. (I’m excluding Allura here because I’m talking about in-battle leaders; Allura is and has always been the only outside of battle leader :P) We have already seen Keith and ‘Shiro’ talking over one another and almost fighting in the middle of battle over how they should proceed. But I doubt that the other team members will revert to how they were before Shiro disappeared - they have learned to take on a more active role and speak up when they have complaints. It’s unlikely that they’ll go back to blindly following Shiro when they have worked together with Keith for months now. 

A negative thing that might happen though is that the team might get divided into different ‘fractions’. Some will prefer ‘Shiro’’s style of leading, some will prefer Keith’s. Keith and ‘Shiro’ need to work their differences out before the team gets thrown into disarray once more D:

anonymous asked:

In regards to Lotor and being controlled by his parents, do you think Zarkon is even worse than Haggar in that regards? Lotor does hate him but at least he calls him father but he doesn't call Haggar mother

I mean, I think it’s noteworthy that Lotor uses familial terms for Zarkon but only in a very stilted and formal manner. He talks about Zarkon as “My father,” but there’s no caress or softness or implication of more than just the formality. Allura also refers to Alfor as “father” but there’s a world of difference in Brooks’ delivery vs. LoCascio’s in that regard.

Lotor speaks of Zarkon only in a very distant manner and he doesn’t really speak of Haggar at all unless he’s talking to her directly in which case- the only time we’ve seen them in the same room Lotor is highly tense and angry and cutting basically all the frills off what he wants to say.

There’s a coldness to how Lotor talks about his father that isn’t just because they’re both royalty and the expected formality that begets. The warmest Lotor speaks of Zarkon is when he’s selling himself to the empire at large and even then, his glowing speech of his father’s triumph is juxtaposed with how loudly, profoundly critical Lotor is of “the old ways” and how proudly and confidently Lotor says that Throk’s aggression is his own undoing.

Lotor’s criticisms of Throk don’t feel like they were actually meant for Throk. I read them a lot as Lotor is projecting. There is a reason why Lotor has particular contempt for people who are belligerent, aggressive, and refuse to take no for an answer, all traits that easily describe Zarkon. Zarkon who kept sending robeast after robeast and basically just turning up the heat on Voltron without changing strategy in any conceivable way besides reaching for a bigger hammer.

But of course Throk is similar. Arguably, Lotor set him up in that situation by baiting him out into the public eye in a way he couldn’t refuse. Of course, once there, Throk would attempt to prove himself the Good Old Fashioned Galra Way as prescribed by Emperor Zarkon himself: with aggression.

The other interesting thing of that little interaction is that Lotor’s fighting style is a giant-killer by design.

Lotor goes into situations under-armed on purpose. When he really wants to engage the Lions he doesn’t use the cruiser, which is big enough it can at least give them pause. No- he uses his custom fighter, which is a tiny zippy little thing with highly responsive controls. And he dogfights, in a way that none of the other galra we’ve seen even come close to- he dodges, zips around, and maneuvers for his multiple enemies to hit each other. 

Lotor is “that little fellow” by galra standards, and when we see him squaring off with Throk, visually, Throk brings to the table a massive, crescent-bladed chopper of a sword, compared to Lotor’s skinny little fencing rapier. And Lotor’s prior opponent before that was massive compared to him, and we see him handling both… almost exactly the way he fights ship battles, with a heavy focus on evasion and parrying done in a natural, fluid manner.

Basically Lotor seems to have built his fighting style and honed his skills with a very specific kind of opponent in mind: a much larger, more powerful foe who can destroy him in one hit if any of those hits actually land. Likely, being outnumbered by larger, more powerful opponents.

Lotor’s fighting style is tailored to take out people like Zarkon.

And I think that’s pretty damning evidence of how they relate to each other.

anonymous asked:

Your anons are always on point with their analysis

i love my anons, this is so much fun, it’s like we are all taking this course:


English 301: Comparative Study of Taylor Swift Songwriting and Music Video Symbolism and Metaphors,  Advanced Analysis (13 units)

Concepts of the self, irony, love, betrayal, the imagination and artistic creativity, and the dynamic relationship of the artist to nature and society. Studies in themes such as surrealism, romanticism, realism, expressionism and the absurd. Intensive focus on writing about symbolic concepts. Comparative, interpretive study of the treatment of artist and literary works from various periods and application to society and culture, in light of these works’ historical and sociocultural contexts. Advanced survey of fiction, drama, and poetry by artist and comparison to other artists of the past and present. Literary analysis of voice, imagery, narrative strategies and lyrics. Discourse on changing relationship between the artist and the environment. Analysis of application of the art and artist’s role in modern culture including comprehensive study of artists impact on society.    

Must have taken prerequisite courses to register:

  • Introduction to Taylor Swift
  • Fearless: Freshman Seminar
  • Speak Now:   Critical Inquiry
  • Red: In depth analysis, 2011-2014
  • 1989: Theory and Criticism
  • reputation: Taylor Swift in the Contemporary World

Lecture/Discussion. Must be taken concurrent to Directed Group Study (adv.). May be repeated six times if subject matter differs. Offered in alternate years, or as decided by Program Director (TS). Intended for majors only, no GE credit. Class held: 7 days a week

anonymous asked:

Please ignore this if you're not interested or if you've said something about it already, but how do you think the situation with the silmaril between Dior and the Feanorians would have gone, if Fingon DIDN'T die in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad?

So presumably in this AU the Nirnaeth was still lost? 

With a living High King, what remains of the Noldorin forces have a rallying point - they’re still desperate but might be able to keep themselves together better than in canon where they just lived in the woods and moped a lot. 

Hithlum is still lost which means Fingon either retreats to Gondolin with Turgon, to Amon Ereb with the Feanorians, the Falas with Cirdan’s folk or to Nargothrond with…no one actually, they’re all dead except Gwindor. Let’s run through those hypothetical:

  • Gondolin: Probably doesn’t change things all that much? I don’t see that Fingon’s presence would stop Maeglin’s capture and thus the city’s fall. As for Doriath, Fingon is missing, maybe even presumed dead, so the second kinslaying may well go ahead as it did in canon. If he survived the Fall though, he’d be in Sirion which might avert that or at least make it even more of a clusterfuck.
  • Amon Ereb: Can’t see the attack on Doriath going ahead here, or at least not as it did in canon. Dior still isn’t going to give up the Silmaril but Maedhros probably isn’t gonna cross the king standing right next to him by ordering the attack, and probably hasn’t despaired quite as utterly in this timeline. Celegorm and Curufin might still attack with their own followers while Fingon and the other brothers dick around fighting an increasingly desperate resistance until Morgoth kills everyone. 
  • The Falas: This one’s hard; Fingon likely lacks the strength of arms now to restrain them by force and Maedhros is the only one whose motivations Fingon’s survival makes any significant difference to. Though they might hold off longer, I think the attack would occur eventually but perhaps in a less direct ‘fuck it nothing matters anymore let’s murder everyone’ kinda way. Maybe an attempt to steal it with less loss of life (seductive dancing optional), or some kind of false flag bullshit because Maedhros probably cares about plausible deniability here. 
  • Nargothrond: A stronger king who’s less overawed by Turin might be less inclined to build that stupid fucking bridge. Doom is Doom though, so probably things still go to shit, maybe as a result of a bitter threeway clash between Fingon who’s mad about the lack of reinforcements and probably isn’t well liked himself given the Nirnaeth, Turin who has popular support for his dramacrusade, and Orodreth who wants everyone to stop pushing him around, he had enough of that with C+C. Can Fingon defeat a fully grown Glaurung if and when he shows up? Probably not because everyone’s caught up in Turin’s Dooooom. If he does get eaten by a dragon, the kinslaying probably does still go ahead (although Maedhros is probably slightly less mopey cause Fingon’s death wasn’t directly his fault in this AU)

anonymous asked:

No dude you are wrong. We need to be on the offensive. We need to be agressive. A change in tactics sure, but look at what the most common killer in America. Actually 3 of the most common killers occur from obesity. Food corporations are finding cheaper and more eco destructive ways of making food. Pussyfooting around and telling people everything is going to be okay and love yourself the way you are and don't change when it's in many ways a very real American crisis is absolutely immoral

In philosophy, there are strategies for effective communication (such as the principle of charity and the steel man) that encourage thinkers not only strive to accurately understand the other person’s argument but to even address particularly strong versions of their argument. These are strategies that aim to prevent folks from just talking past one another. Charitable interpretations of arguments can also help with our own critical thinking skills and aid in keeping our biases in check. This is all, of course, assuming that one actually wants to partake in meaningful and fruitful dialogue with others and not just expel self-congratulatory rhetoric into the void. I may be assuming too much here. Regardless, a good starting point for communication is to take some steps to ensure that you’re actually addressing the other person’s argument. Nowhere have I offered up feel-good platitudes like ‘everything is going to be okay’ or ‘just love yourself’ or ‘don’t change.’ Such vapid claims are not helpful because they ignore the uncertainty and vast complexity of the real world. Empty platitudes do a disservice to the nuance that pretty much every issue—if we hope to approach a meaningful understanding of it—actually calls for in this messy world of ours. 

Ignoring complexity can, as an example, lead people to think things like ‘obesity is a killer’ or an ‘epidemic’. Fatness, by itself, very likely does not kill, nor is it a disease that is spreading. People conflate fatness with real killers like heart disease because they think that fatness causes heart attacks. But this is likely false. Obesity might make your risk of heart attack higher, but even then, the literature is surprisingly complex. Nutrition and health science is notoriously young and misunderstood, and this includes the science behind body weight. Again, the complexities of these issues are all too often washed out in favor of sound bites and palatable narratives. But once you dive in, you find that it’s difficult to even effectively define what it means to be overweight. The vast majority of people, according to the highly arbitrary but ubiquitous BMI, are considered overweight or obese. But most people aren’t dying as a result. And, moreover, weight loss is not necessarily linked to lower levels of disease. Now, to be clear, I’m not saying that there are not certain health risks that are strongly correlated with having an extremely high body fat percentage. This is no doubt the case (though correlation does not equal causation). Nor am I saying that it wouldn’t be better for some fat people to pursue weight loss. That is their and their doctor’s prerogative. What I am saying is that it is not fat in itself that is unhealthy. Indeed, some studies show that having ‘extra weight’ can actually increase our life expectancy (something known as ‘the obesity paradox’). The whole point here is that it’s possible to be fat and healthy, just as much as it’s possible to be skinny and unhealthy. Except under the most extreme ends of the bell curve, weight by itself is not a good indicator of health. WEIGHT BY ITSELF IS NOT A GOOD INDICATOR OF HEALTH. Far more useful indicators are things like blood pressure and cholesterol. But, again (because I can’t say it enough), you can be fat, even obese, and be healthy, complete with low blood pressure and low cholesterol and all.

But if it’s possible to be fat and healthy and skinny and unhealthy, then why are we more worried about fat bodies than we are about high blood pressure and high cholesterol? Why do so many people feel entitled to make judgments about fat bodies instead of focusing on other, more relevant variables? The answer is clear. It’s because our culture hates fat people. We are fat-phobic. Our image-obsessed society has deemed fat as ugly—a visible marker of moral, mental, and physical failure. We spend tens of billions of dollars a year, not on being genuinely happy and healthy but on desperately trying to achieve superficial standards set for us by the rich and famous. Sure, this propaganda is sometimes veiled in health-speak, but we all know what it’s really about: slimming our waistlines and getting that 'beach body’.

On top of all this, it’s about damn time that we confront the reality that it is of no help to anyone to shame or police people’s physical appearance. Long-term weight loss has proven to be exceptionally difficult and rare. Indeed, 97 percent of dieters regain everything they lost and then some within three years. 97 percent. Fat people do not, on the whole, get skinny and stay skinny. This does not mean that us fat folk cannot be healthy!! We can eat moderately and exercise and get all of our nutritional and physical needs and still remain fat. What this does mean, though, is that so long as we propagate a culture that teaches us that fat is ugly and wrong and disgusting, then it doesn’t matter how healthy fat people get, we will continue to be ashamed of our bodies and exercise less and experience higher rates of suicide and depression and anxiety. We will continue to be bullied and harassed at increasing rates. Shame and hostility do not help people. They make things far worse. Perpetuating a simplistic and harmful fat-shaming narrative, as if fat people don’t know we’re fat and we need skinny people to keep us in check, doesn’t do anything but continue to hurt people. Frankly, it’s a bit exasperating that I have to say this, but don’t shame people you want to help. Don’t do that. And also realize that your words sometimes unintentionally hurt and shame people, and the impact isn’t erased just because that’s not what you meant to happen. If you’re genuinely concerned about others, then cultivate humility, work hard to figure out ways to effectively communicate, and educate yourself on the complexities. Shame and punishment are practically ineffective and morally wrong strategies for real change. So if we do, in fact, want a healthier society, physically and mentally, then we must foster a more nuanced, kinder approach to body image and fatness. Encouraging reasonable body acceptance isn’t hokey, idealistic, romantic bullshit—it’s a concrete and compassionate strategy for making people happier and healthier. It is, in short, the right thing to do.

There’s so much more to address here, but this post is already fat enough. I haven’t mentioned the complexities and impacts of class and poverty on weight, or the broader issue of body-policing that disproportionately impacts women, or people’s vested interest in thin privilege (’I work hard to be thin, I’ve earned this’) that may motivate fear of fatness, the side-lining of fat issues in social justice circles, the pernicious and persistent medicalizing of fat bodies, the naive notion that body weight is merely a matter of choice and willpower… The list goes on. Ultimately, though, we must work to avoid simplistic, culturally-implanted narratives that serve to further marginalize entire groups of folks. We ought to strive to find and implement patient, flexible, and compassionate approaches to the world, ones that make it a better place for more creatures. We will find that shame and aggression typically are not the best ways to go about this.

Sources: x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x

Manipulating brain activity to boost confidence

Self-confidence is an essential quality to succeed in the world, such as in business environments, politics or many other aspects of our everyday life. Furthermore, confidence is an important aspect in mental illnesses such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease, where the condition is often further complicated by patients thinking negatively of their own capacities. Recent advances in neuroscience have highlighted the plasticity of the brain, indicating it is malleable even later in life.

The international team developed a state-of-the-art method to read and then amplify a high confidence state using a new technique called ‘Decoded Neurofeedback’. This technique used brain scanning to monitor and detect the occurrence of specific complex patterns of activity corresponding to high confidence states, while participants performed a simple perceptual task. In the training sessions, whenever the pattern of high confidence was detected, participants received a small monetary reward. This experiment allowed researchers to directly boost one’s own confidence unconsciously, i.e. participants were unaware that such manipulation took place. Importantly, the effect could be reversed, as confidence could also be decreased.

Dr. Mitsuo Kawato, Director of the Computational Neuroscience Laboratories at ATR, Kyoto, and one of the authors on the study, has pioneered this state-of-the-art technology. He explained the process:

“How is confidence represented in the brain? Although this is a very complex question, we used approaches drawn from artificial intelligence (AI) to find specific patterns in the brain that could reliably tell us when a participant was in a high or low confidence state. The core challenge was then to use this information in real-time, to make the occurrence of a confident state more likely to happen in the future”.

Dr. Aurelio Cortese, of the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, Kyoto, led the research:

“Surprisingly, by continuously pairing the occurrence of the highly confident state with a reward - a small amount of money - in real-time, we were able to do just that: when participants had to rate their confidence in the perceptual task at the end of the training, their were consistently more confident”.

Dr. Hakwan Lau, Associate Professor in the UCLA Psychology Department, was the senior author on the study and an expert in confidence and metacognition:

“Crucially, in this study confidence was measured quantitatively via rigorous psychophysics, making sure the effects were not just a change of mood or simple reporting strategy. Such changes in confidence took place even though the participants performed the relevant task at the same performance level”.

The sample size was relatively small (17 people), but is in line with basic science investigations of similar kinds. The team is currently working on the development of potential new clinical treatment for patients with various psychiatric conditions.

“confession: I find it surprising that so many people hate the live action remakes and yet they always make so much money that of course it makes sense for the company to keep doing them; if they truly began to fail at the box office then it would make sense to change the strategy, but the business won’t change if it keeps making profit. I don’t know why people pretend to be surprised that more are coming.”

so i see nintendo’s strategy for Splatfests has changed a bit

they’re giving Pearl the “objectively correct” answers and giving marina the “objectively wrong” answers

so now, every splatfest is “people who actually believe the thing they voted for” vs. “people who picked marina because she’s hot”

it’s really funny that they had to resort to doing this because of the popularity split between pearl and marina. in order to make the splatfests balanced, they had to make Marina’s choices “wrong”

Shea Moisture Outrage...

It’s a bit more complicated than meets the eye. So allow me to tell you, in a nice calm way, why some people are outrage in the best way possible… a list with very brief lines. 

1) Ownership

Bain Capital (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?) is a minority owner of Sundial, the owner of Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage. So, it’s still a Black-owned company. While Bain Capital didn’t acquire the company, you can’t help but wondered if there’s some influence there.

2) Changes in marketing strategy.

When Bain Capital started holding shares, this is when their marketing strategy started to change. First, they were trying to “break free” from the ethnic section of the beauty aisle. Some people were concerned about the brand changing to accommodate a wider audience instead. They didn’t take the time to clear up misconceptions of this.

3) Changes in the formula.

One of the bigger issues that Shea Moisture seem to underplay were possible changes within their products. This may or may not be true. However, smaller blog reports issues with their products and the rumors just took a life of their own.

4) Major brands are starting to diversify and make product lines for Black women, while Shea Moisture started to do the opposite. 

Maybe it’s because of the growing backlash. Maybe it’s because they finally start to notice. Who knows? But the non-Black companies were starting to create lines that can cater to Black women and started using them in their promotions, while Shea Moisture began to include women of lighter tones. So, now, there’s started to become a hint of erasure.

5) The last straw: No darker women featured in the new campaign push.

And now we’re here. The ultimate reason why the “blacklash”. A new campaign that has racial undertones about “hair hate”. Plus, with no darker women in it? Not exactly a good push.

See, this outrage wasn’t created in a vacuum. It was smaller steps that were noticed and it should have been addressed. 

Honestly, there are more people who don’t really mind the White models, or even what the campaign is trying to push. They don’t care if Non-Black people were using the products. What they care about is the perceived message that the company was neglecting the customers who stood by them and helped them out the most; Black women who the product was made for in the first place. 

They were offended by was probably a lot of rumors that the company never took the time to address, what seem to be an erasure of Black women in general and it’s pretty much a smack in the face.

In the age of social media and niche marketing (especially the rise of hair care tutorials and the stars behind it), you think that the company would have a PR rep to talk to people and address concerns, testing out messages before putting up this type of risk. 

Now, they did SOME outreach, but it was in an indirect way and probably not the best way to do things.

So, if you think it’s because of a couple White faces… it’s not. While some people think it’s an overreaction, I understand why that reaction is there. It’s a trust factor, one that can take years to repair. 

There is more to it than this, which I’m sure some people are going to bring up. So, hang tight for those reblogs.

TL;DR - The outrage is mostly about the erasure of Black women, especially of the darker type and the misconception of the original idea behind the ad, not just the inclusion of White models, which is actually a minor point. There were problems with the way they handled advertising and marketing way before it got to this point. 

Updated - 11:21 AM: Typo. I said “ethic” when I meant to say “ethnic”. 

#MondayMotivation

What To Do When It’s Not Working

Someone asked me how can I be so sure that what I’m doing will “work out”? I didn’t understand the question, what does it mean for something to “work out”? Nothing in life “works out”, things have their natural flow and we need to keep evolving with them. 

The only constant in this life is change and if we don’t adapt to these changes - we will become extinct. Just because something is “working out” now - doesn’t mean it will stay this way forever. 

You need to be willing to adapt to changes as they occur in your journey and you do this by releasing attachment to your idea of how things “should go”. Detachment is not that you don’t care about things - it’s that you don’t care when things don’t go the way you planned and this gives you the ability to adapt your approach and try again.

If things don’t “work out” for you - adjust the strategy you’re using, don’t change the goal. Similar to football (or soccer if you’re not from the UK) when a team is losing - they don’t say: “we’re going to quit and take up basketball”. They adjust their game plan, make substitutions and come out swinging (or kicking) in the second half of the game.

This is the way I encourage you to think about your goal - if you feel as though you’re not making progress, it could be time to assess your game plan and evaluate how well it’s working out for you. Do this instead of considering whether or not this goal is going to “work out” or not.

If you need to make some changes don’t judge yourself - this is a journey and will not be a linear path, hence why so few people actually achieve their goals. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to take a long time - but in the end it will be worth it.

The climb will be difficult, but the view from the top will be worth it.

Peace & positive vibes.

Got a specific problem you need help with? Add me on Skype for a free consultation - spoonofconsciousness@gmail.com :)

To anyone who's traveling for the holidays and is stressed out by changes in routine

Take a moment while things are still calm to think over what you’re expecting to be different from your normal routine so less will take you by surprise, and plan out what you can do to mitigate the change.

- How many people will be there? Will you be staying in or going out? What sort of schedule will you be expected to keep? Make sure you give yourself time to prepare for things and budget your spoons appropriately.
- Do you always eat the same foods? Bring some with you, or ask whoever you’re visiting to stock them before you get there.
- Are there going to be a lot of people around? Plan out where you can go to get away.
- Are you going to be missing activities that you normally schedule mealtimes around? Set some alarms or ask someone to remind you when it’s time to eat.
- What stim toys and comfort items do you want to have with you? If something is too big to pack or you otherwise can’t  bring it with you, what exists where you’re going that you might be able to use instead?
- Do you have things to keep yourself occupied if you need some alone time?
- Are there people you normally talk with every day? Set up a time to call or chat with them while you’re gone.
- Will you be flying? Driving? Taking a train? What sensory experiences are you worried about, and what can you bring to help with them?
- Do you have a wide enough variety of clothes with you to account for any sensory requirements you might have while you’re gone?
- Are there any big differences between your house and where you’re staying? Pets? Flooring? Traffic noise? Make sure to bring anything you need to deal with them even if you don’t normally need it at home.
- What activities will you be missing? Are there ways you can do them while you’re away?
- What can’t you bring with you? What alternatives are available, or what are you going to do to deal with not having it?

Travel is stressful, but do what you can to prepare ahead of time so it’s not any more stressful than it needs to be.