With Such Words
if you aren't a hypocrite, your moral standards aren't high enough
Commenting To 
7th-Nov-2014 09:48 pm - weekend reading
talibusorabat: Puppy with glasses "I am who I am. Your approval is not needed." (Default)
I started teaching myself Swift, Apple's new programming language, this week. Considering I've never learned a programming language before, it's been an interesting exercise to say the least, but it's been a fun challenge.

Also means I haven't been reading quite as much. But I still have a goodly collection of articles for you perusal.

Politics & America

The Prisoners Fighting California’s Wildfires
Inmates are often insulted by the state’s claims to be teaching them how to work. Most come from poverty, where holding down two minimum wage jobs and putting in 70-hour weeks will get you nowhere fast. Many, as people of color, face profound socially and politically condoned opposition in ascending the socioeconomic ladder, regardless of how hard they work.

Ferguson Shooting Officer Unlikely To Be Charged
It is common to have a situation “that looks like a constitutional violation and may well be an injustice,” Bagenstos said. “But sometimes the Justice Department does not have the ability to bring a civil rights case under the statutes it enforces.”

Why Innocent People Plead Guilty
Against this background, the information-deprived defense lawyer, typically within a few days after the arrest, meets with the overconfident prosecutor, who makes clear that, unless the case can be promptly resolved by a plea bargain, he intends to charge the defendant with the most severe offenses he can prove. Indeed, until late last year, federal prosecutors were under orders from a series of attorney generals to charge the defendant with the most serious charges that could be proved—unless, of course, the defendant was willing to enter into a plea bargain. If, however, the defendant wants to plead guilty, the prosecutor will offer him a considerably reduced charge—but only if the plea is agreed to promptly (thus saving the prosecutor valuable resources). Otherwise, he will charge the maximum, and, while he will not close the door to any later plea bargain, it will be to a higher-level offense than the one offered at the outset of the case.

Brittany Maynard and the debate about death that America needs to have
In Oregon, physician-assisted suicide is out in the open. That means we can know 752 people used the law to kill themselves between 1997 and 2013. And we can know that about one-third of people who get the prescriptions for lethal medications don't use them, and ultimately die of other causes. We have data that lets us debate whether the law is working well or poorly. We can see if some physicians seem to be abusing it, and we can look for ways to give patients an easier death — or, perhaps, the counseling and pain relief that will let them live a few more good days.

Court Tells US Gov't That 'State Secrets' Isn't A Magic Wand They Can Wave To Make Embarrassing Cases Go Away
That's a bit of a complex sentence, but it's basically saying that state secrets may apply to specific bits of evidence, but shouldn't be used to just toss out an entire case. Kudos for Judge Trenga for not just rolling over when the DOJ said "state secrets." It would be nice if more judges did the same.

The Shame of the Borough
Kellner was still consumed by the case. It was as though he believed that if he recited the details enough times he might figure out exactly what had happened. Since his case, he said, the rabbis had become even less willing to permit victims to go to the police. Recently, when a father whose daughter had been molested asked for advice, Kellner told him, “If you go to the police, you’re probably going to end up with zero.”

Revenge porn laws: Sample text for state lawmakers.
Why is it legal in many jurisdictions to disclose a person’s nude image in violation of that person’s expectation of privacy? A combination of factors is at work. One stems from the public’s ignorance about so-called revenge porn. As brave individuals have come forward to tell their stories, we are only now beginning to understand how prevalent and damaging revenge porn can be. Another reason is that society has a poor track record addressing harms primarily suffered by women. It was an uphill battle to get domestic violence and workplace sexual harassment recognized as serious issues. Because revenge porn impacts women far more frequently than men and creates far more serious consequences for them, it is another harm that society is willing to minimize, trivialize, and tolerate. Although most people today would recoil at the suggestion that a woman’s consent to sleep with one man can be taken as consent to sleep with his friends, this is the very logic of revenge porn apologists.

Exit Strategy
The surest sign of Ryan's evolution, though, came after the shutdown ended. He was named the House's chief negotiator in a budget conference with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, whose own budget was the ideological counterpoint to Ryan's. He stunned conservatives by striking a deal with Murray that made significant concessions on spending levels and sequestration. The right wing's fiscal messiah, who in 2011 called his budget proposal "the new House majority's answer to history's call," had scaled back his ambitions, worked closely with Democrats, and brokered a meaningful bipartisan compromise.

When Your Stalker Is a Cop
Studies of stalking and stalking victims’ experiences have consistently shown that it is a vastly under-reported crime. It’s an insidious and personal experience, and many victims fear that it won’t be taken seriously, or that they don’t have enough “proof” to make a case. When law enforcement does field these kinds of complaints, it’s all the more important that officers remain open-minded and encouraging at every stage of the process. As sociologists B. Joyce Stephens and Peter Sinden wrote in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence about stalking and abuse by partners and ex-partners, “A hostile officer who makes it clear by his demeanor that domestic disputes are not his idea of real police work confirms a victim’s feelings of worthlessness and fears that nothing will be done to change her situation.”

Social Justice

#GamerGate Is Not A Hate Group, It's A Consumer Movement - Forbes
And do you know how you make all of this so much worse? Do you know how you get the worst and loudest voices to rise to the surface? Do you know how you can ensure that the real jerks out there, the tiny few who actually do go out and harass women like Anita Sarkeesian, do you know how to make sure this is the face of #GamerGate rather than actually try to figure out how to make video game journalism better? You write articles about how awful gamers are and why #GamerGate is just a right-wing hate machine. You make everyone even more angry and upset. You throw a match into the field and watch the world burn. That’s how you make sure these flame wars never die. That’s how you make sure that people never actually talk to one another. You, the guy with the megaphone, the guy up there on the pedestal, you have a responsibility beyond social signalling.

How I Left The Purity Movement
Diefendorf found the opposite of what the church promised. The men had a difficult time coping with what they called “beastly” desires in marriage. Beastly desires included: lust, pornography, same-sex desire and masturbation. The men struggled with viewing their wives as new accountability partners after confiding in their male support group for a significant period of time. This resulted in concealing their “beastly” desires from their wives and continuing to struggle in silence.

Pinterest's seventh employee on being black in Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley sees itself as a progressive place where anyone with smarts and drive can make it. But a series of sobering reports revealing just how few African Americans and Hispanics work inside major technology companies has shaken that belief. It's called the 2% problem. That's the percentage of African Americans in Silicon Valley.

Major Cyber Attack Will Cause Significant Loss of Life By 2025, Experts Predict - Defense One
“There will have been major cyber attacks, but they are less likely to have caused widespread harm. They will be stealth attacks to extract information and exploit it for commercial and political gain. Harm to an enemy is only a desire of less sophisticated individuals. Anyone who amasses the ability to mount a major cyber attack, better than their opponent, also doesn’t want to lose their position of advantage. They are likely to shift to strategies of gain for their own position, rather than explicit harm to their victim, which would alert their victim and close off their channels of attack, and set back their advantageous position,” said Bob Briscoe, chief researcher in networking and infrastructure for British Telecom.

Read whatever the hell you want: why we need a new way of talking about young adult literature
I’d like to propose a theory, one that’s perhaps not universally true, but I think there is something to it: the people who scoff at adults reading – and gaining intellectual stimulation from – YA novels are the types of people who believe that reading is, at its heart, a solitary pursuit. That’s fine! It’s certainly one way to read. And the way that plenty of people have read historically. You read with a bit of dispassionate critical distance; perhaps you watch films and television that way as well. Maybe you associate a period of deep and obsessive reading with your childhood; you “grew out of it”, you think, rather than just feeling like you became a different kind of reader. You don’t see the appeal of reading in a fannish way, occupying the space of a book for more than the span of time it takes to simply read it. (And please note here that I’m not suggesting that reading YA needs to be fannish – just that for millions, much of it is.)

I'm Rich. You're Hot.
Despite that, there’s something intrinsically creepy about sugar dating. It seems to turn the most basic of human needs—the desire for companionship—into a calculation in which men use money to buy intimacy, and women sell their time (and potential access to their bodies) to the highest bidder. But interviews with men and women who post profiles on sugar sites reveal individuals who are far more complex than the stereotypes suggest.

Rise of the Feminist Tinder-Creep-Busting Web Vigilante
Wood argues that the fact that so many women are subjected to so much filth on dating sites amounts to systemized sexual harassment. Women aren’t prepared to deal with the deluge, and OkCupid’s moderators, she argues, can only do so much.

A Natural Fix for A.D.H.D.
These findings suggest that people with A.D.H.D are walking around with reward circuits that are less sensitive at baseline than those of the rest of us. Having a sluggish reward circuit makes normally interesting activities seem dull and would explain, in part, why people with A.D.H.D. find repetitive and routine tasks unrewarding and even painfully boring.

The coward
Shyness or boldness? The strategy is subject to cost-benefit analysis of the evolutionary kind: which trait increases my chances of survival or my chances to reproduce? What would be most adaptive is switching from one response to the other, depending the situation, but our underlying biology cannot switch back and forth that quickly, Penke says. If your body is set up to react quickly to danger, it’s difficult to change to a more passive strategy fast enough to actually survive.

The Existential Crisis of Public Life Online
Is living such a public life worth the trouble? Is such a life worth being constantly exposed to vitriol and rage and threats from strangers—especially when the patterns of that abuse seem so random? Is the kind of work that would be required to sustain a “good” public, online social network possible? Is asking people to perform that moderating work something we even want to do?

Your keyboard is about to get 755 new racially diverse emojis | Cult of Mac
Even black and white displays will be supported in the proposed updated, but ultimately, Unicode says “there are many other types of diversity in human appearance besides different skin tones” like hair style, body shape, facial hair, that are beyond their scope of scope of support. But don’t worry. They’re working to make embedded graphics the new emoji, because everyone knows GIFS are where it’s at now anyway.

Now In Charge Of Congress, GOP Plans To Give Up Its Own Constitutional Powers To The Obama Administration
Part of the problem, of course, is that people have been told that this is about "free trade" agreements -- and Republicans claim to be in support of free trade. But that's wrong. The big agreements, like the TPP and TTIP/TAFTA are not about "free trade" for the most part. Most tariff barriers have been chipped away for years. These agreements are about regulations and locking in certain regulations to limit the sovereignty of various nations to pass their own regulations. It's just protectionism in a different colored coat, dressed up to look like free trade -- complete with a dollop of extra sovereignty for corporations. Thus, it seems very odd that a Republican controlled Congress -- one that insists it's all about the Constitution -- has decided that it's first order of business is to give up one of Congress' main constitutional powers to an administration controlled by the opposing party.

The Problem With That Catcalling Video
Activism is never perfectly executed. We can just conclude that they caught a small slice of catcallers, and lots of other men do it, too. But if the point of this video is to teach men about the day-to-day reality of women, then this video doesn’t hit its target. The men who are sitting in their offices or in cafes watching this video will instead be able to comfortably assure themselves that they don’t have time to sit on hydrants in the middle of the day and can’t properly pronounce “mami.” They might do things to women that are worse than catcalling, but this is not their sin.

I Used To Be Excited for Big Hero 6: An Asian-American’s Perspective
It is unfortunate that though Big Hero 6 touches upon a lot of mature themes, its “wonderfully color-blind” characters and settings—which were truly color-blind because of the non-acknowledgments of their races—are the new immature ideal to strive for in the twenty-first century, when colorblindness has little merit in an increasingly globalized and diverse society. Colorblindness is not true diversity, and we should be demanding sincere, substantial diversity for our children, so we can teach the new generations that differences are natural and should be respected. After all, the majority of our U.S. audiences—which boast about its heterogeneity—are no longer white men, and are kids who deserve to be see people who look like them on screen. These beautiful children’s stories deserve to be reflected, and children should be confident when viewing the media and viewing themselves.

Sympathy for the Nerd
Almost everyone, even the most beautiful and accomplished among us, grows up thinking of himself as fragile, vulnerable, insecure, hanging by a thread a lot of the time. So because hearing about fear and insecurity is familiar to everyone, it is very easy to forget the breadth of the nerd spectrum, or the wider spectrum of human alienation. There are so many people in the world who are truly alone, who never were invited to a single party or made one single friend, who've never been kissed, who literally do live with their parents and never, ever speak to anyone; if we learn anything from the increasingly volatile lashing out of certain nerd communities, perhaps it should be that pain is pain, and that it is real and it all ought to be taken seriously and treated with compassion, instead of going, "Ew."

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