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Equal Rights does not mean Less Rights for You

I've been really frustrated with the talk lately about women's rights. So I wrote this piece that explains why your rights aren't diminished by advocating for someone else's rights.

It applies not only to feminism but to all bias-busting work.

https://medium.com/@khouse/polaroid-photos-and-womens-rights-why-everyone-should-care-about-equality-ddb1746d42cf#.uz9pc872i
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A call for peace-makers

I watched this video just now and was, of course, appalled at the lady's bad behavior - but I was truly crestfallen by the bystanders who said nothing.

How would you react in this situation? What would you do?
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Getting outside and getting creative

It's clear from the research that creativity and innovation happen in cities because of the collision of ideas.

I'm finally living in an innovative city that champions diversity and pushes me to constantly be an incrementally better person. This article does a good job of explaining why that struggle, while sometimes a challenge, is so very worth it.
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Public Spaces

When I think about actually effecting change - real change that starts in the heart - it's always been a face-to-face conversation.

This post (from FB) really helps me understand why that is, and why it's key to democracy.

Dahlia Lithwick had a post that made me go back to this idea: Democracy is not disembodied. In Wanderlust, I wrote: Only citizens familiar with their city as both symbolic and practical territory, able to come together on foot and accustomed to walking about their city, can revolt. Few remember that "the right of the people peaceably to assemble" is listed in the First Amendment of the US Constitution, along with freedom of the press, of speech, and of religion, as critical to a democracy. While the other rights are easily recognized, the elimination of the possibility of such assemblies through urban design, automotive dependence and other factors is hard to trace and seldom framed as a civil-rights issue. But when public spaces are eliminated, so ultimately is the public; the individual has ceased to be a citizen capable of experiencing and acting in common with fellow citizens. Citizenship is predicated on the sense of having something in common with strangers, just as democracy is built upon trust in strangers. And public space is the space we share with strangers, the unsegregated zone. In these communal events, that abstraction the public becomes real and tangible"
Which is why resegregation (as described by Jeff Chang in We Gon' Be Alright) and suburban sprawl are harmful to democracy itself. Daily coexistence is education and foundation. Why the voting map of the USA is islands of blue (the dense and diverse areas) in seas of red (the dispersed people who too often fear and loathe the islands, which they know from propaganda about the islands).
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On Privilege by the Privileged

A great read on privilege in the Tech sector. It's really hard to see your own blind spots, and I commend the author for taking time and care to plan this article and then execute it beautifully.

Well worth a few moments.
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I have often jokingly discussed a program called "Befriend a liberal" where a group of progressive-minded folks could be invited to speak to groups of conservative-minded folks in an open, friendly, informative way.

Lo and behold! Germany has a similar, if oddly named, program.

"Rent-a-Jew" seeks to introduce Germans, most of whom have never met an actual Jewish person, to real-live breathing Jews.

"“THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT PEOPLE GET USED TO THE IDEA OF DISCUSSING THINGS WITH JEWS INSTEAD OF ONLY TALKING ABOUT JEWS”"

And this could be key in our divided United States. What do you think?
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What a lovely and powerful read on Brainpickings today.

I think this is going to be one of the big topics in the coming years - how do we bring awareness to criticism in ways that illuminate and give life to art? To the artist? To the mind? To our own rich inner life?

I've often been frustrated with English's narrow and utilitarian approach to naming things, feelings, and unknowable murkiness. I found this profound:

"It is difficult, sometimes even impossible, to value what cannot be named or described, and so the task of naming and describing is an essential one in any revolt against the status quo of capitalism and consumerism."

It's beautiful. As is the whole article.
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Deep cover: loving your enemies

This is one of the most powerful examples I have ever seen of bias-busting.

I am humbled. Shaken to my core.

How brave. How utterly marvelous.
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