firecat: statue of two fat people kissing (fat people kissing)
National Public Radio (NPR) has a web page asking for comments on the topic "What does it mean to live in a nation where one out of every three people is obese." (The nation in question is the United States.)

http://www.publicinsightnetwork.org/form/apm/0d2dd143dca7/what-does-it-mean-to-live-in-a-nation-where-one-out-of-every-three-people-is-obese

The lead-in to the comment section says:
Americans are getting bigger. And it's not just changing our health, but our nation's infrastructure, spending habits, economy and state of mind. What changes have you noticed to the way we live? 

Tell us here. Your response will help shape a national reporting project on obesity.
Here are the comments I left them.

What conversations do you have - or avoid having - about weight?
Read more... )

Wiscon

22 Oct 2010 01:30 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Claimer: I have a small role working on Wiscon.

I think people who run Wiscon did a right thing by withdrawing Elizabeth Moon's GOH invitation, as a result of her writing a post that showed intolerance of Muslims, and then deleting all the comments on the post.

I disagree with the people who think it was unforgivable that the decision was not made instantaneously.

I don't disagree with the people who think it took too long. I also have sympathy for the amount of time it took, because the decision-makers were trying to deal with a situation they haven't handled before, and that's hard for a sizable group of humans.

I disagree with the people who think it is unforgivable for Wiscon's public communications to have waffled (the initial message was that we would not withdraw the invitation, then we did). It would have been better if that hadn't happened, but see above.

I agree with the people who point out that the length of time the decision took caused practical and emotional hardship for potential Wiscon attendees who felt unsafe as a result of EM's remarks.

I agree that the waffling and the delay made it look like the people who put on Wiscon might not be committed to creating a convention welcoming to people of color and third-wave feminists.

I think almost all the people who put on Wiscon are committed to creating a convention with a social justice focus. Also, we may not be working hard enough on it and may not be sufficiently well educated on social justice issues.
firecat: uhura making a scary hand gesture (uhura nichelle nicolls)
Subject line is a quote from Animal Farm by George Orwell. I'm referencing the "but some...are more equal" part, not attempting to insult any humans or any subset of humans by comparing them to animals.

I find this post upsetting: http://e-moon60.livejournal.com/335480.html
There was a lot of excellent critique in the comments to that post, but now the comments have been deleted, so I want to make my critique public. I'm only addressing a couple of bits.

Moon writes:
the business of a citizen is the welfare of the nation

I think the business of a human being is the welfare of other human beings and nonhuman life and the planet in general. (Other parts of the universe seem relatively protected from harm by us, so far.)

Insofar as the concepts of "citizen" and "nation" conflict with the above (for example, by encouraging the attitude "WE are good and THEY are bad, therefore THEIR welfare isn't worth our consideration"), I'm not in favor of those concepts.

Moon writes:
A group must grasp that if its non-immigrant members somewhere else are causing people a lot of grief (hijacking planes and cruise ships, blowing up embassies, etc.) it is going to have a harder row to hoe for awhile, and it would be prudent (another citizenly virtue) to a) speak out against such things without making excuses for them and b) otherwise avoid doing those things likely to cause offence.

How does "a group" get defined? Moon is arguing that the proposed Park51 development is "likely to cause offence" due to the terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11/01. She defines a group called "Muslims" that includes both the developers and the terrorists. But I would guess that a lot of Muslims don't think they should be lumped into the same group as the terrorists.

The group "monotheists" also includes both those developers and those terrorists. So would it be prudent of Christians to scrap their plans for monotheist cultural centers in case the plans offend people? Is it incumbent upon them all to say "As a monotheist, I think it's wrong for monotheists to attack the WTC"? If they aren't expected to do this, why not?

Then there's the phrase "likely to cause offence." To me the wording implies that offense is an independent entity or thing. It's not. It's a human mental/emotional state, based on beliefs. Wherever you have offendedness, you have some humans who believe certain things. But note that the phrase doesn't mention which humans are offended and doesn't mention what their beliefs are.

Moon writes:
they should have been able to predict that this would upset a lot of people.

So Moon is creating a set of people and labeling them as "other," as "immigrants," and associating them with the acts of a terrorist organization. Then she is arguing that the people so labeled have the following civic responsibilities: (a) understand that some people in the country they live in lump them in with terrorists and mistakenly consider them all immigrants; (b) come to an agreement about which of those people to avoid offending; (c) come to an agreement about what behaviors will "upset a lot of people"; and (d) all avoid those behaviors.

I think those are unreasonable expectations. Especially when they are NOT paired with the expectation that other citizens have a duty either to educate themselves about the groups they consider "other," or to leave them alone.

I don't expect everyone to agree with my opinion, but since this is a sensitive subject, I expect civility in the comments to this post. I reserve the right to moderate/delete/freeze comments/threads if I think there's trouble brewing.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I like being able to maintain some separation among my various accounts on the Internet.

Therefore, I'm not planning to link my FB and Twitter accounts to my LJ account or enable automatic crossposting for my LJ journal entries.

I'm not planning to auto-crosspost my comments in other people's journals to FB or Twitter.

Occasionally I hand-post the URL to one of my public LJ journal entries to FB or Twitter. Occasionally I copy and paste a comment I made in another person's journal and repost the text elsewhere. When I do this, if the entry I commented on is locked, I don't mention where the comment came from, and I remove all identifying information.

I don't care if you auto-crosspost your journal entries or your comments on my journal entries. I will adjust my posting habits with the assumption that such things might happen. (E.g., I might allow comments on DW only for my locked journal entries.)

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