Sunday, June 26, 2016

We The Kings - Sad Song (Lyric Video) ft. Elena Coats

Game of thrones questions

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Jan 15th 2001 - Wikipedia goes online

Wikipedia is a collaboratively edited, multilingual free internet encyclopedia supported by the non - profit Wikipedia foundation. Its 23 million articles, over 4.1 million in English Wikipedia alone, have been writter collaboratevely by volunteers around the world.

Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. The open nature of Wikipedia has led to various concerns, such as the quality of writing, the amount of vandalism and the accuracy of information.

Wikipedia has become the largest most popular general reference work on the internet, ranking sixth globally among all websites on Aexa and having an estimated 365 million readers worlwide.


Saturday, January 09, 2016

Jan 9th 1839 - Daguerreotype photography process is announced

The daguerreotype was the first commercially successful photographic process. The daguerreotype is a direct positive made in the camera on a silvered copper plate.

At the time the process was introduced, daguerreotyping a brightly sunlit subject typically required about 10 minutes of exposure in the camera, so the earliest daguerreotypes were of still lifes and landscapes.

The oldest well - documented daguerreotype featuring human subjects is Daguerre's own 1838 view of the boulevard du Temple, a busy street in Paris. The street appears deserted because traffic 9which would have been horse - drwn carriages) was moving and left no impression ; but a man having his shoes shined and the bootblack servicing him are visible because they stayed in position long enough for their images to be recorded.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Question 5: "Why Can't We Just Put This Stupid Shit Aside And Treat Each Other Like Human Beings?"

"After all," you say, "I might be a white dude, but the one-room apartment I live in bears a lot closer resemblance to the ghetto than the mansion Flavor Flav lives in. If you don't want me judging people based on the color of their skin, why are you judging me on mine? To say I have 'white privilege' is a cruel joke, considering that for lunch I ate a 'hamburger' that was a wad of ramen noodles between two slices of bread."

All of that is technically correct. And I completely get why a low-income, lonely white dude is sick to death of hearing about how his movies, video games, and jokes are racist or sexist or homophobic. The logic is almost impossible to argue with: "If their problems as women are on the level of getting Hollywood to cast a plus-size Wonder Woman, and my problems involve not being able to afford heat in the winter, then it's downright evil to belittle my real problems while demanding I worry about that trivial SJW Tumblr bullshit."

In other words, why can't we start treating each other like individuals based on our position in life, and just drop all of this race/gender stuff that just clouds the issue? Wouldn't that be the fastest way to make things better for everyone?

Sure, and we could totally do that, if we were merely people. The problem is that we can't just collectively agree to make the context of history go away, any more than a bunch of leaves can get together and decide that there is no tree; the roots of history are still feeding us. Blacks are still stuck in neighborhoods with terrible schools and no job opportunities where they're being groomed for a lifetime in the corrections system. Women who want to get jobs as software engineers will find themselves in offices that are 84 percent male.

So, while race is a social construct as are lots of gender roles*, that doesn't mean they're not real -- the systems we're living under today were all built with them in mind.

And if you are a white male in America, you're among the winningest of the winning tribes -- again, even if your own life is a disaster. This is why people say you have "privilege." It doesn't really refer to anything you have, but what you don't have. You may still get shot by a cop some day, but you won't get shot because you're white. As a male, your boss might be less likely to flirt with you, but will be more likely to take your input seriously. And so on.

Changing that doesn't mean they're winning, and you're losing. This isn't about you. There is no "you" at all, outside of this larger context. It's about continuing this winning streak humanity has been on, and trying to build a world in which everybody -- from the poor white dude in the trailer park to the black trans woman in Russia -- has the best possible chance to make something with their lives. We can disagree about how exactly to do that, but as for those people talking about the "good old days" and getting back to "traditional" values? The best thing I can say about them is that they can't possibly know what they're asking for.

Original Article

Monday, November 16, 2015

Question 4: "Why Do I Get Blamed For Things My Grandparents Did?"

Here's another really simple thing that every one of us completely whiffs on every time it comes up.

There is a difference between being "to blame" for something and being "responsible" for it. It's easy to see the difference in some situations (i.e., you're not to blame for the snow, but you are responsible for shoveling your driveway), but not in others. For instance, if you tell one of my fellow white people that we're responsible for helping fix social justice issues, they'll say, "But I've never discriminated against anyone!" And they'll mean it.

This is confusing because, as kids, we were taught that you clean up your own messes, and it's easy to accidentally expand that to: "You only clean up your own messes." It then becomes natural to say things such as "Why are you talking to me about racism when I've never owned slaves?" or "Why are you yammering endlessly about sexism when every day at school I get laughed at, while cheerleaders are worshiped as idols?"

Now, we circle back to the idea I introduced at the start -- you, hypothetical white male reader, didn't own slaves or systematically shut black people out of the economy for 150 years after. But, you are part of a greater whole, and, thus, you reaped some of the benefits. In theory, we should all have learned this in history class -- not just that slavery happened, but that we were all born at a certain level because we were boosted there by a complicated set of systems developed to reserve the best jobs, schools, neighborhoods, and social systems for people who look like us.

If they try to teach this in the classroom, critics will scream that they're making white kids "feel guilty for being white." But, there's that confusion again -- telling those kids they're guilty (that is, "to blame") for being white would be wrong. Telling those kids that, as white people, they are responsible for fixing inequality is just a statement of fact. The entire concept of civilization is that things are supposed to always be getting better -- each link in the chain is hopefully a little smarter, richer, and healthier than the one before. That's why the average American today dies at about 79, but the average ancient Roman died in their late 40s (even excluding those who died in childhood). But, improving means fixing things that are broken. That is, things that other people broke.

A helpful way to look at it is to view all of human history as a Dude, Where's My Car? situation. You wake up one day and find that you did all sorts of shit -- good and bad -- that you have no memory of. And it doesn't matter because it was still you. And I'm saying, it was literally you -- if put in the same situation, you would have done the same thing your forefathers did. The only reason you've escaped guilt, and the only reason you're able to watch old Bugs Bunny cartoons and cringe at how racist they were, is because you were born in an era after other people had already done a lot of the hard work rooting out that shit. You know what your great-grandparents didn't.

 You have to keep doing that work because there are still all sorts of imbalances that need correcting. Right now, there's some toddler with a brain capable of curing cancer, and we're never going to know because he was born in inner-city Detroit, and he's going to go to a bullshit school and grow up with no positive role models. And the moment he commits a misdemeanor as a teenager, society is going to declare him a lost cause and flush him away. The process intended to discover his talent, cultivate it, and get him into a lab curing your cancer is still in shambles. Please note that it's just as tragic if, instead of curing cancer, his best-case scenario is to grow up to be a good friend and father while doing oil changes at Jiffy Lube.

Helping to rectify that situation is one of the many, many things you're tasked with due to having been born in a fairly high place in the world. It's not "fair," but that's a meaningless word when referencing things you have no control over. You didn't ask to be born half-way up a mountain, but you were, and I need you to look down and realize that mountain is really a pile of bones.

Original Article

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Question 3: "Why Do People Act Like Sexism/Racism/Etc. Are Rampant, When Even Mild Jokes About Those Things Will Ruin Your Career Now?"

One of the big reasons for that upward spike in humanity on the line graph of the previous question is we started to figure out how to get the most out of humans. For instance, 1,000 years ago, if you were a genius born on a farm, it didn't matter -- it just meant you were going to be a genius who shoveled shit. Two hundred years ago, if you were a genius who was born as an African-American, it didn't matter -- you were going to live your life as a genius slave. A hundred years ago, if you were a genius who was born a female, it didn't matter -- you were going to be a genius who stayed home and changed diapers.

The upward surge in humanity has coincided with us taking down more and more of those arbitrary barriers because humanity realized it badly needs all those geniuses out in the field doing genius things. I don't even mean "Einstein" type geniuses -- humanity needs people who are geniuses at teaching, plumbing, repairing air conditioners, rapping, etc. And for millennia, we were arbitrarily telling 80 or 90 percent of our talented people that they had to sweep floors or dig ditches, purely because they weren't also born white male heterosexual Christians. Progress came when we started pushing for things such as universal education and literacy, along with rights for minorities and women to pursue careers and advanced degrees.

Sure, we framed this as "equal rights" and a heroic triumph of empathy over bigotry, but the system always secretly had this other, selfish motive. It's no coincidence that desegregation started happening after World War II, when lots of white soldiers came home from having served alongside blacks and realized these guys were capable of greatness when given a chance. It's no coincidence women were only allowed to join the economy after that same war forced industries to turn to them in an absence of males -- and found they could do all sorts of shit that had nothing to do with raising babies or ironing shirts.

All they needed was a chance. The advancement of society has, in fact, largely been measured in how good it is at giving people chances to be all they can be. And you can see where we are in that process by looking at what kind of chances people still don't have. (Hint: If you get shot by the cops at age 16 while committing a misdemeanor, you never had your "chance" -- giving people room to make youthful mistakes without dying is part of it.)

That brings us to the problem, which is that even though these changes unquestionably made the world better, the world still had to be dragged along kicking and screaming. The big flaw in humanity is that we always cling to short-term comfort over long-term prosperity (because we see ourselves as individuals, instead of part of a whole), and certain classes of people were benefiting from doing things the old way, even if humanity as a whole was not.

This is why there are still barriers up all over the place -- only 14 percent of top business executives are women, only 20 percent of Congress. A white person is almost twice as likely to have a college degree than a black one of the same age. You weren't born in the aftermath of the battle, you were born somewhere in the middle of it.

And that is the confusing part for most people reading this. All of those numbers in the above paragraph are, after all, way better than they were a century ago. We've clearly improved. So, when some white kid on Facebook starts asking why there isn't a White History Month, it's because, in his lifetime, he's seen that minorities and other marginalized groups have made greater gains relative to his own, without realizing they're still not on his level. He's only seen the part of the game in which these groups have scored the last five touchdowns, but is missing the fact that the score was 64-0 when that streak started.

And once again, it's for the same reason: That guy (and all of us, really) instinctively thinks history began with his own birth.

Original Article
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