Category Archives: Modern life-as-we-know-it

How can white people talk to each other about racism?

racism-blind-to-racismWell, sure, but rather than get into a shouting match, I’ve compiled a list of suggestions, drawn from various sources, like this, from The Dot, and this, from The Seattle Globalist, and this, from Baltimore Racial Justice Action.

In short:

  • Get educated
  • Prepare for defensiveness
  • Stay calm
  • Be personal
  • Understand that racism can be subtle
  • You will probably fail the first few times out

What else? What am I missing?

My fellow ‘Muricans…

jurandoPart of becoming a citizen of the U.S. of A. is taking some tests. The civics test makes sure the would-be citizen knows enough about American history to, well, pass a test.

I took a civics practice test and got 90 percent. I missed the year the Constitution was written (by two years, but that counts) and I mis-identified a state I actually know very well.

I’m not proud of that. Here. See how you do.

Phubbing is a thing and you should stop it now

When you pay attention to your phone instead of a person in front of you, that’s a new kind of snubbing — or phubbing.:

A group of 276 participants took several questionnaires that measured their experiences of phubbing and being phubbed, as well as scales for internet addiction, smartphone addiction, self-control, and fear of missing out (FOMO). These all bore out in the expected ways: the people most likely to be glued to a screen while surrounded by friends were low in self-control, high in FOMO, and higher on the scales for internet and smartphone addiction. (It’s still questionable whether one can really be “addicted” to the internet, but these scales basically measure whether a person uses it compulsively, and whether it interferes with their life.)

The most interesting thing this study found was that people who reported phubbing more often were also more likely to be phubbed themselves. The authors, from the University of Kent, suggest several possible reasons for this. One is a simple retaliation—if you’re trying to talk to someone, and they’re on their phone, well, two can play at that game.


Wonkette read Speaker Ryan/Trump supporter’s economic plan

paul-ryan-did-a-beefcake-photo-shoot-and-its-the--1-16008-1349971706-12_bigSo you won’t have to.

Here. Read Ryan’s “A Better Way” for yourself. I promise it won’t take long.

Do you think Speaker Ryan’s website was hacked?Because why else would there be so many holes in it?

Frankly? You can’t afford to live here.

screen_shot_2016-05-21_at_9.24.19_amOr there, either.

Check out the minimum income it takes to live in ‘Murica, from Mental Floss.

Connecticut? It ain’t cheap.

They’re coming to our bathrooms! (Or, “Fear Itself,” Chapter 3)

652x360Leftover sends this, a really awesome essay by Elizabeth West at CounterPunch on the use of fear in public discourse, from  center of the universe for the battle for civil rights, the lowly (but necessary) bathroom to the Zika virus.

…perhaps what ought to scare us most are the devastating tornados of intentionally generated fear and loathing for one another that seem to be wrenching people right and left, off their feet and out of their minds. And many of us, we are frightened: building walls, banning people from the US based on their faith–to name just two of these whirlwinds–denote a madness, a profound disconnection from the innate capacity of human intelligence to analyze and solve the problems we face. This sort of fear—a projection onto the other–contracts and paralyzes. It shuts down minds, sends us scuttling in circles, robs us of the ability to see the big picture. It is a virus that makes us weak and distracts us from responding to the real crises.

To start your Monday: Science!

And thanks, Leftover, for the link.