'...“Reality,” wrote Philip K. Dick, “is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” And yet how are we to be sure that what we observe actually is? After all, so much of what we experience as reality is the product of our remarkably flawed perception.
Some 2,400 years earlier, Plato explored this very question in his famous Allegory of the Cave — perhaps history’s most masterful figurative inquiry into the meaning of life and the nature of reality — found in Book VII of his Republic (free download; public library).
"If your job is to serve your community — every member of it — then that’s what you do. You can’t as a firefighter decide you’re not going to put out a blaze in an atheist’s home. You can’t as a postal worker decide you’re not going to deliver mail to a transgender person’s apartment. And you should not be permitted, as a county clerk, to decide your private feelings overrule your official duties. Your obligations are spelled out in your job description. They include issuing marriage licenses. If that’s a problem, then I guess it’s time to look for another job, huh?"
Getting Men to stand up for the rights of Women is a wonderful step towards gaining equality. Edit: in response to critics and comments:
Obviously, this is not your typical Empower poor Women project. Unlike other campaigns, it addresses the issue of men's mindsets, which is central to any sustainable change in the place of women in a society.
Furthermore, it acknowledges and takes into consideration two important factors:
1) a change in the status and empowerment of women affects men at just as much. One cannot change the status and options of one half of the population without causing major disruption to the living circumstances of the other half. So, to go beyond the symbolic nature of a few token women in positions of power, a change in the mindset of the whole population must occur.
2) this is one of the first internationally supported campaigns that does not simply try to impose its views of the rights of women onto a culture, but actually works with the culture (most often dominated by men), to effect change. Respecting the historically evolved views of the male population towards women, however bizarre they may seem to outsiders, is an integral aspect of getting those views to change.
Yes, it is not a short-term solution, it will not show results as quickly as getting a few women to be visible as shopkeepers or daring politicians, but ultimately, I am convinced that this is the better way.
Check out the website of the campaign here: http://www.heforshe.org/
PS: ping and : would love to hear your take on this.
#fightlikeagirl #afghanistan #women #treadlightly
Where did I get the impression that you believe in God? From you of course. You wrote that God placed man and woman
upon the Earth. Which is so untrue. Did you not? If that's not your belief, why write it at all? What are your beliefs if that was bullshit?
I'm atheist and unmovable from that fact.
I do quite like you although it seems from my writing I don't. I only write to someone when their point of view is worth challenging which implies respect. As I've said, I prefer female company and would prefer them as leaders in all facets of life as most men are, frankly, quite simple. You seem intelligent but seem to need to tell us about how bad woman have got life. In fact, so mdo many men.
I can't paint (or draw) worth beans, but to imagine someone creating such art while virtually blind is just awe inspiring.
Apart from admiring his talent and ability to see, despite his handicap, I am in awe of the drive he must have had.
This extraordinary man has been both hero and role model to me for many years now. That he can still talk about compassion, when he knows exactly how the people of Tibet are made to suffer under Chinese occupation, is simply humbling.
I was blessed to see him in Vienna a number of years ago, and, though I was in a cheap seat far from the stage, his personality filled the hall pervasively.
May he live many, many more years.
May his spirit of joy and compassion touch many more people.
and ... may the Tibetan people soon be free of occupation and suppression.
#dalailama #freetibet #tibet #treadlightly
Art is a form of communication. Whether the artist's intention is to commemorate an event, teach a lesson through a story, honor an institution or just express personal feelings, there is always communication involved.
All images, whether paintings, drawings, or photographs, are made to communicate something. Often times, those works that carry a definite 'message' come off as heavy handed, or quickly descend into pathos and Kitsch. (for an extreme case: think sad eyed religious figures on black velvet)
It is rare to find paintings that address the coming Climate Change (and yes, it is coming) in such a way that the quality of the work itself does not get smothered by the message. Today's artist, Mary Iverson, manages this feat quite wonderfully in her paintings.
Regardless of the messages, these works are in and of themselves, as aesthetic visual images, intriguing objects. The perspective guidelines lead the eyes, drawing our attention to various parts of the paintings we might otherwise overlook. The playful variation of detail and blocky areas make one curious: why detail here, and not there?
All in all, these are powerful paintings, both from an aesthetic point of view and from their messages.
Have a wonderful day, and tread lightly
#treadlightly #art #climatechange
They are interesting to look at for sure, but I see them as a novelty, a sign of the times, rather than a body of serious art. I have always preferred a beautiful scene produced by skilled painting on my walls. An exhibit of this type makes for an interesting night out before a nice dinner with the dinner being the highlight of the night.
My work tends to enshrine the outdoors, in its natural setting as well as under agricultural management, for its beauty and calming value, so Mary Iverson's apocalyptic view is antithetical for me.
ps: I thought the usage of the word "embiggen" under each picture was interesting.
Beaches - by
Once upon the good old days on Miller Beach
When school was out with nothing more to learn or teach,
You played along the shore with all your pretty friends
Regardless of a world where space and time descends.
Such seasons fade as night persists to day, although
I still recall your small transistor radio.
Abandoned to the joys sweet summer’s green age brings,
You tanned and talked of boys and other teenage things,
Then blending noisy Rock and Roll commotions
With glistening skin and fragrant tanning lotions,
You freed them to the breeze across the sunny sand
To me, your small transistor radio in your hand.
We lived in worlds of yours and mine too far apart.
At best, you stayed a secret of my dreaming heart,
But as the world of time and space went passing by,
We lived our lives to complicate or simplify.
A million miles from here, a million years ago,
Yet still I hear your faint transistor radio.
I sailed away toward the Mediterranean seas
Where rows of olives grow to scent the morning breeze,
And there a vast and placid azure mirror lies
In calming smooth repose, between Athenian skies,
Afar from frigid Indiana sand and snow,
Away from you and your transistor radio.
Along some cold and jagged weather ragged reach
Of stormy Winslow Homer watercolor beach
The gale blew windward strong to meet my bow with rain,
I beg don’t get me wrong I’m not one to complain,
I wept. Don’t ask me why, it was so long ago,
The memory of you and your transistor radio.
Now, here upon this dry and ancient desert plain
I rock and think of you and watch the monsoon rain.
No way to navigate this old Sonoran sea,
No Miller Beach, no sweetly scented melody,
I have my little cat, my pipe, and coffee near,
Transistor music ever gently haunts my ear.
And even though my table waits with cups for two,
There is no you, my love. Oh, God, there is no you.
#treadlightly #poetry #poem
does an excellent job of formulating ideas and questions that have been bouncing around in my head for quite a while. Now I don't have to worry about actually formulating them, just read his post, it's excellent!
#ethics #treadlightly #technology #selfdrivingcars
What bugs me about this is that we make these kinds of decisions all the time. There are plenty of concrete, real-world cases that actually happen: do you swerve into a tree rather than hit a pedestrian? (That's greatly increasing the risk to your life -- and your passengers' -- to save another person)
I think that part of the reason that we're so nervous about computerizing these ethical decisions is not so much that they're hard, as that doing this would require us to be very explicit about how we want these decisions made -- and people tend to talk around that very explicit decision, because when they do, it tends to reveal that their actual preferences aren't the same as the ones they want their neighbors to think they have.
For example: I suspect that most people, if driving alone in a vehicle, will go to fairly significant lengths to avoid hitting a pedestrian, including putting themselves at risk by hitting a tree or running into a ditch. I suspect that if the pedestrian is pushing a stroller with a baby, they'll feel even more strongly this way. But as soon as you have passengers in the car, things change: what if it's your spouse? Your children? What if you don't particularly like your spouse?
Or we can phrase it in the way that the headline below does: "Will your self-driving car be programmed to kill you if it means saving more strangers?" This phrasing is deliberately chosen to trigger a revulsion, and if I phrase it instead the way I did above -- in terms of running into a tree to avoid a pedestrian -- your answer might be different. The phrasing in the headline, on the other hand, seems to tap into a fear of loss of autonomy, which I often hear around other parts of discussions of the future of cars. Here's a place where a decision which you normally make -- based on secret factors which only you, in your heart, know, and which nobody else will ever know for sure -- is instead going to be made by someone else, and not necessarily to your advantage. We all suspect that it would sometimes make that decision in a way that, if we were making it secret (and with the plausible deniability that comes from it being hard to operate a car during an emergency), we might make quite differently.
Oddly, if you think about how we would feel about such decisions being made by a human taxi driver, people's reactions seem different, even though there's the same loss of autonomy, and now instead of a rule you can understand, you're subject to the driver's secret decisions.
I suspect that the truth is this:
Most people would go to more lengths than they expect to save a life that they in some way cared about.
Most people would go to more lengths than they are willing to admit to save their own life: their actual balance, in the clinch, between protecting themselves and protecting others isn't the one they say it is. And most people secretly suspect that this is true, which is why the notion of the car "being programmed to kill you" in order to save other people's lives -- taking away that last chance to change your mind -- is frightening.
Most people's calculus about the lives in question is actually fairly complex, and may vary from day to day. But people's immediate conscious thoughts -- who they're happy with, who they're mad at -- may not accurately reflect what they would end up doing.
And so what's frightening about this isn't that the decision would be made by a third party, but that even if we ourselves individually made the decision, setting the knobs and dials of our car's Ethics-O-Meter every morning, we would be forcing ourselves to explicitly state what we really wanted to happen, and commit ourselves, staking our own lives and those of others on it. The opportunity to have a private calculus of life and death would go away.
As a side note, for cars this is less actually relevant, because there are actually very few cases in which you would have to choose between hitting a pedestrian and crashing into a tree which didn't come from driver inattention or other unsafe driving behaviors leading to loss of vehicle control -- precisely the sorts of things which self-driving cars don't have. So these mortal cases would be vanishingly rarer than they are in our daily lives, which is precisely where the advantage of self-driving cars comes from.
For robotic weapons such as armed drones, of course, these questions happen all the time. But in that case, we have a simple ethical answer as well: if you program a drone to kill everyone matching a certain pattern in a certain area, and it does so, then the moral fault lies with the person who launched it; the device may be more complex (and trigger our subconscious identification of it as being a "sort-of animate entity," as our minds tend to do), but ultimately it's no more a moral or ethical decision agent than a spear that we've thrown at someone, once it's left our hand and is on its mortal flight.
With the cars, the choice of the programming of ethics is the point at which these decisions are made. This programming may be erroneous, or it may fail in circumstances beyond those which were originally foreseen (and what planning for life and death doesn't?), but ultimately, ethical programming is just like any other kind of programming: you tell it you want X, and it will deliver X for you. If X was not what you really wanted, that's because you were dishonest with the computer.
The real challenge is this: if we agree on a standard ethical programming for cars, we have to agree and deal with the fact that we don't all want the same thing. If we each program our own car's ethical bounds, then we each have that individual responsibility. And in either case, these cars give us the practical requirement to be completely explicit and precise about what we do, and don't, want to happen when faced with a real-life trolley problem.
I stumbled on this video this morning and my first, spontaneous reaction was laughter and a sense of righteousness in the response to such comments, made by no less than a Nobel Laureate. Women have it tough enough to gain acceptance for making contributions (in any field) that are just as intelligent and worthwhile as any man's.
So yes, there is a large element of righteous anger shown both in the video and in the #distractinglysexy campaign on twitter.
And then, there is the other aspect. The one that shows how in our day of social media and global networks - which provide almost immediate world-wide dissemination of ideas and information - the reputation of a man can be all but destroyed.
Tim Hunt is a biologist and Nobel Prize winner (see here: http://goo.gl/6rheOM), who taught at University College in London - yes, he was forced to resign from his position as honorary professor. He has since also resigned (or been sacked) from other posts he held, such as the Royal Society and the European Research Council.
In his own words:
“I am extremely sorry for the remarks made during the recent Women in Science lunch at the world conference of science journalists in Seoul, Korea,..
_ I accept that my attempts at a self-deprecating joke were ill-judged and not in the least bit funny. I am mortified to have upset my hosts, which was the very last thing I intended. I also fully accept that the sentiments as interpreted have no place in modern science and deeply apologize to all those good friends who fear I have undermined their efforts to put these stereotypes behind us._
In my own career I have always tried to treat my colleagues with respect and kindness, whoever they are, and am proud to have developed and mentored the careers of many excellent young scientists who will be tackling tomorrow’s biological problems long after I have left the scene. I would like to ask that people accept my apology as heartfelt and judge me on my record"
Suddenly, the twitter posts and the video no longer seem so funny. Certainly, the remarks were rather stupid. But I honestly believe him when he says that they were an attempt at humor, and more about himself than his general attitude toward women.
To be so humiliatingly shamed and lose all respect for his life's work is a horrible consequence for a few unreflected, throw-away comments, hot even meant seriously. Would that the same shit-storm forced many politicians or CEO's, who say and do much worse things, out of their positions where they do much worse damage.
Please do tread lightly in your own dealings with the reputation of others.
#treadlightly #publicshaming #reputation #socialmedia
Just so you know, I tend to delete and report comments that can be seen as hate speech. You may want to keep that in mind.
- Change Coachpresent
- BAWAG P.S.K.2008 - 2013
- open to learning, new ideas and thinking
- compassionate towards others, especially those who are weaker, or have difficulty fending for themselves
- engaged for a society whose main definition of freedom is not necessarily the freedom to make money, but rather freedom of ideas, speech, development and privacy
- and above all, the ability to be amazed and laugh about absurdity, irony, myself, others - to take myself lightly
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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