Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanks for the Tabs

Apologies to any readers who find the "too many tabs" posts overwhelming... but that's why they're  here (because the tabs are overwhelming me, too).

First, two quotes from

“We have shifted from biological racism to cultural racism. Sixty years ago most people in America believed that Blacks were biologically inferior, made-by-God inferior. Today there is a cultural racism that says that Black parents are not giving their children the right values, and it’s often offered as the reason for why Blacks are not doing as well as other groups. It associates ‘Black’ with a range of negative assumptions that are so deeply embedded in American culture that people who hold them are not bad people. They’re just ‘good Americans,’ because it’s what American society has taught them. Researchers put together a database of ten million words from books, newspapers, magazine articles, various documents. They found that when the word ‘Black’ occurs, what tends to co-occur is not only ‘poor’ and ‘violent’ and ‘religious’ but also ‘lazy’ and ‘cheerful’ and ‘dangerous.’ Being violent, lazy and dangerous, other research shows, are widely held stereotypes about Blacks. All racial ethnic minority groups are stereotyped more negatively than Whites, with Blacks viewed the worst, followed by Latinos, who were viewed twice as negatively as Asians. Southern Whites are viewed more negatively than Whites in general. There is a hierarchy.”

Dr. David Williams, “No, You’re Not Imagining It,” from the September 2013 issue of Essence.
“Look at the difference: In 1977 I bought a small house in Portland Oregon for $24,000. At the time I was earning $5 per hour working at a large auto parts store. I owned a 4 year old Chevy Nova that cost $1,500. Now, 36 years later that same job pays $8 an hour, that same house costs $185,000 and a 4 year old Chevy costs $10,000. Wages haven’t kept up with expenses at all. And, I should point out that that $5 an hour job in 1977 was union and included heath benefits.” an anonymous online commenter on the current economy.
Vaginas are like "little Hoover vacuums," and other things abstinence lecturers get paid to tell teens (from Mother Jones). Such as these gems: "the HPV vaccine only works on virgins" and "dateable girls know how to shut up."

Faith healing: religious freedom vs. child protection (by Harriet Hall at Science Based Medicine). Just a taste of the crazy:
In 1997...a 6-year-old boy in Oregon died from a necrotic bowel due to a hernia that could easily have been treated. The pathologist’s first reaction was “Not again!” He and his associate had compiled evidence of 18 children who had died over the last 10 years from curable diseases in a Followers of Christ congregation of 1200 people. That worked out to 26 times the usual infant mortality rate. And it wasn’t just children: followers’ wives were dying in childbirth at 900 times the usual rate. One died of a type of infection that hadn’t killed anyone in America since 1910.
Old Testament vs. New Testament journalism by Jay Rosen. Objectivity as a journalistic value is a 20th-century invention (aka the New Testament). Not a bad invention, Rosen says, but we're best off with a balance between activist journalists like Glenn Greenwald (the Old Testament, in Rosen's terminology) and objective ones.

The future must be red, black, green, and female by Bob Jensen. One of the best summations I've read on finding a way forward in this world.

Do our bones influence our minds? (from The New Yorker). There's this stuff in our bodies (particularly our bones) called osteocalcin:
As we age, our bone mass decreases. Memory loss, anxiety, and depression also become more common. These may be separate, unfortunate facts about getting old, but they could also be related. “If you ask physicians the best things to do to prevent age-related memory loss, they’ll say exercise,” Kandel points out. Does exercise help partly because it works to maintain bones, which make osteocalcin, which in turn helps preserve memory and mood?
Game play has no negative impact on kids, UK study finds. 11,000 children were involved in the study.

New spin on hydropower (from Ensia). Small turbines offer big opportunities to transform energy from flowing water into electrical current.

Also from Ensia: Changing the global food narrative. The dominant story about the future of the world food supply is logical, well known and wrong.

Why aren't there novels about women that aren't about love? "Literary girls don't take road-trips to find themselves; they take trips to find men."

The messy link between slave owners and modern management (from Forbes).

A TED talk by the Rational Insurgent showing nonviolent resistance campaigns are twice as likely to succeed as violent insurgencies.
Researchers used to say that no government could survive if five percent of its population mobilized against it. But our data reveal that the threshold is probably lower. In fact, no campaigns failed once they’d achieved the active and sustained participation of just 3.5% of the population—and lots of them succeeded with far less than that. Now, 3.5% is nothing to sneeze at. In the U.S. today, this means almost 11 million people.

But get this: Every single campaign that did surpass that 3.5% threshold was a nonviolent one. In fact, campaigns that relied solely on nonviolent methods were on average four times larger than the average violent campaign. And they were often much more representative in terms of gender, age, race, political party, class, and urban-rural distinctions.
Colin Woodard, author of American Nations, analyzes the divide on gun control from region to region of the U.S. The article also gives a neat summary of the book, so it's great for the time-challenged.

Female aggression is not so much sugar and spice, according to recent research cited in the New York Times. And our negative body images may not come from media:
[One researcher] found that women’s dissatisfaction with their bodies did not correlate with what they watched on television at home. Nor were they influenced by TV programs shown in laboratory experiments: Watching the svelte actresses on “Scrubs” induced no more feelings of inferiority than watching the not-so-svelte star of “Roseanne.”

But he found that women were more likely to feel worse when they compared themselves with peers in their own social circles, or even if they were in a room with a thin stranger, like [a lab] assistant who ran an experiment with female college students. When she wore makeup and sleek business attire, the students were less satisfied with their own bodies than when she wore baggy sweats and no makeup. And they felt still worse when there was an attractive man in the room with her.

“Sexual competition among females seems to increase due to circumstances that tend to be particularly common in affluent societies,” Dr. Ferguson said.

In traditional villages, people married at an early age to someone nearby, but young men and women in modern societies are free to postpone marriage as they search long and far for better options. The result is more competition because there are so many more rivals...


peppery said...

Good stuff, thanks for the links! But I don't really know what to make of that NYT article. Where do women who are attracted primarily to women, rather than men, fit into all this?

Daughter Number Three said...

Clearly, the NYT article is heteronormative.