Race and Culture Again: Bessie and Lois

Jim Crow

Here's a chunk of memory that bubbled up when Facebook friend Dre Morell posted on The Old Jim Crow Etiquette.In 1950s Texas, when and where I was born, pretty much all of the Jim Crow stuff was in effect. Of course what you'll read in the linked article was in addition to the separate white and colored drinking fountains, separate white and colored restrooms, the No Negroes policies at "white" swimming pools and schools. I remember several conversations among adults where a black teenager … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Seeing The Brackets

Bracket copy

Look at the illo attached to this post.You'll notice two main things. One is the pair of brackets with "My Thing" inside them. The other is a large space filled with other stuff, such as "data, info, facts, details, research, opinions, views, past experience, science."Imagine that the large space on the graphic, both inside and outside the brackets, is the universe of all possible information on some subject. Imagine further that the small space inside the brackets is that specific small … [Read more...]

Catholic Church Flexing Muscle in U.S. Hospitals

According to Wikipedia: The Roman Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health care services in the world. It has around 18,000 clinics, 16,000 homes for the elderly and those with special needs, and 5,500 hospitals, with 65 per cent of them located in developing countries. In 2010, the Church's Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers said that the Church manages 26% of the world's health care facilities. The Church's involvement in health care has … [Read more...]

A Short, Short Post on the Idea of Souls

souls

I kinda wonder how broadly the idea of ensoulment affects what we consider is acceptable to think and do. For instance, it occurs to me that war and the death penalty are easier to contemplate in a social matrix of soul-belief. Sure you're killing people's BODIES, but you're not affecting their real selves.Likewise I wonder if our rather casual approach to drug use is somehow a result of that same idea. If you think your brain is YOU, that any change or damage to it is a direct assault on … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: ‘Yeah, We’re Fucked.’ Now What?

I'll tell you about one of my sort-of-hidden motivations behind my thoughts about the necessity of Beta Culture.I've told this anecdote at least once here, but I'll repeat it: I was in New York City a few years back, specifically to meet PZ Myers at a Seed Magazine event, and I got to meet a climatologist at the same time. Drink in hand, and jokingly, one of the first things I said was "Tell me the truth. Are we fucked?" Dead seriously, he replied "Yeah. We're fucked."Some years before … [Read more...]

Thoughts on “Privilege”

I've been hearing a lot about "privilege" lately, and I confess I continue to be disturbed by the subject, and how it is most often applied.I recognize that I have ADVANTAGES over some other people. For instance, I have the advantage that I'm healthy enough to donate blood, strong enough to carry a neighbor's groceries, perseverant enough to hold a job, bright enough to learn fresh skills or read a book in a day, creative enough to come up with novel ideas and think about things in new … [Read more...]


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