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Literalists miss the unique capacity of the human mind—to convey meaning through metaphor. For something to be "literally true" does not make it somehow more important. To insist that the only truth is literal is a incredible misunderstanding of how human beings communicate the really important truths of both head and heart.
#fundamentalism #literalism #myth
When the pressure to "be nice" really means "shut up and don't make a fuss that will disturb your elders and betters".
From the article...
"Thus the form of the [Keep Calm and Carry On] slogan is a perfect expression of the infantilized subject’s orientation towards reality. The same goes for the content. The idea that the best response to any situation is just to accept existing conditions, swallow your anger, swallow your pride, and continue as best you might is an expression of a sort of ideal Britishness, the “stiff upper lip.” But stiff upper lip is, dialectically speaking, nothing more than a form of cowardice; less a level-headed stoicism than a neurotic unwillingness to confront an unjust reality."
"This last aspect of the infantilized subject’s vision of a “nicer” world is the most telling, for on the other hand, niceness is also an injunction from above. “Just be nice!” is something a parent or teacher would tell a wayward child. The injunction to behave properly, to smile and get on with it, is precisely a way of shutting down any form of social resistance. People are conditioned to be nice from the very start of school, and it is the effect of an infantilizing gentrification that this injunction is further spread by those who have most effectively internalized it. These people are the middle classes. To be nice, to “behave properly,” is simply to behave like an infantilized middle-class subject. Thus every marketing campaign or government public service announcement that passive-aggressively preaches niceness is really a violent enforcement of reactionary values that serves to preserve a crisis-stricken status quo."
#cupcakes #niceness #peerpressure
From the article:
"...a theory-free analysis of mere correlations is inevitably fragile. If you have no idea what is behind a correlation, you have no idea what might cause that correlation to break down."
"Big data sets can seem comprehensive but the “N = All” is often a seductive illusion."
"But big data do not solve the problem that has obsessed statisticians and scientists for centuries: the problem of insight, of inferring what is going on, and figuring out how we might intervene to change a system for the better."
We aren't making a big mistake: we just need to learn to shut out the noise. Learn how to make sense out of data in context - and let technology, instead of staticians, do the data crunching. And by data, I am referring to textual qualitative data as well, not just the numbers.
I'm a fan of crowdsourcing data analysis. The concept behind many eyes: put data out in the open and let everyone analyse it using a plethora of standarized statistical and graphical analyses. It works, because looking at one person's analysis sparks another person to suggest another analysis, and some of those are even more insightful. There may be other methods, but this one matches the social paradigm wuite well.
Another story from the alternate reality which will probably fall on deaf ears of those in the default reality. That's the true failure of empathy. So many people think just because it doesn't happen to them that it doesn't happen or that it's no big deal. They lack imagination (which is more important than empathy).
What if you lived your entire life under a cloud of suspicion, not as a result of your actions and character, but because of your appearance.
From the article...
My biggest challenge as a father will be to help my kids navigate a world where being black is both a source of pride and a reason for caution. I want them to have respect for the police, but also a healthy fear—at least as long as racial profiling continues to be an element of law enforcement. But I also want them to go into the world with a firm sense of their own self-worth.
After talking to my own mother, I found myself thinking back to something that happened at summer camp when I was 5 years old, my son’s age now. During one exercise, we were asked to form a circle, and the boy next to me recoiled, saying, “I don’t hold hands with darkies!” I could have felt humiliated, but I just shrugged the whole thing off. It seemed obvious that he had the problem, not me.
My parents had instilled this confidence in me since birth. They’d given me pride in my ancestry and raised me in Teaneck, New Jersey, a diverse community that had voluntarily integrated its school system in the mid-1950s. I’d grown up seeing all kinds of people treat each other with a respect that transcended race, religion, class, and every other social or demographic construct.
That upbringing is what enabled me to deal with this incident in a slow, communicative, and methodical way.
#racism #racialprofiling #discrimination
In an effort to call attention to everything, fussy design calls attention to nothing.
Then, thankfully, the artists came in and began designing. But they tend to see type as a design element. They are less well-versed in usability. They'll use colors that don't have a readable contrast, or mess with leading and line length to fit the overall design without regard to how the user tries to retrieve information.
The most usable designs (this is information retrieval, not a fine art show) have only elements which convey information, not detract from it.
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Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau, April 09, 2012 Via @GoComics
One of the many great comics you can read for free at GoComics.com! Follow us for giveaways & giggles.
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