I’ve been blogging here at Patheos for a week now, and these are my first quick takes in situ, so it seems appropos to give you all a little more of a sense of who I am outside this blog. This is probably as good a sum-up of my life as you can get:
I had a lot of trouble explaining all the rules of roller derby to my language tutor since it was only my third week of ASL classes.
Of course, you’ve all been getting a different kind of introduction than I planned with what has turned into a series of posts on marriage and bisexuality. Thanks to everyone for their civility thus far. I appreciate the answers people gave to my open question and I’ll be giving you answers to two of yours. So, coming up in the next few posts, you’ll get answers to:
- Why I believe it’s important for be to be out as a bisexual even if I’m currently dating a boy. (Katie has already given a solid response in-thread).
- What I think legal marriage is for (and your hint here is that I’m a pretty big soft paternalist).
Oh, and speaking of soft paternalism, I was very upset when I saw in the NYT that some towns plan to stop fluoridating their water.
“I’m in opposition to putting a medical treatment into the public drinking water supply without a vote of the people who drink that water,” said Norm Roche, a newly elected Republican county commissioner who spent 10 years doing policy research for the county Water Department and who led the turnaround effort. “We had a dozen to 15 doctors, dentists, dental hygienists and chemists here who want us to continue this practice but who could not agree themselves on how best to use fluoride.”
So because there’s a difference of opinion on the optimal dosage, they should stop altogether? There’s a reason we don’t hold a referendum every year to decide which vaccinations should be mandatory for schoolchildren — most voters don’t have the technical background to evaluate the risks.
The main concern is cutting costs and avoiding fluorosis – white spots on the teeth caused by excess fluoride. Let me say, I’ve had fluorosis and so has my brother and I find it massively preferable to losing a good third of our teeth to decay (as my father did, growing up before fluoridation). By all means try to optimize the dosage, but scrapping the program is insane. Next thing you know, they’ll try to de-iodize salt!
Oh, ok. I guess that rant means there’s one other introduction to which Patheos readers are entitled. Don’t be thrown by occasional health policy and philosophy of medicine rants; there’s a reason I listed my interests on twitter as epidemics, epistemology, and ethics. Occasionally, I’ll interrupt ethical or theological discussions with wonky science rambles (though I maintain that my transhumanism posts mesh with the general purpose of this blog).
Anyway, on the general health-beat, I strongly recommend the book I’m currently reading: Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. It’s stellar.
I’m not the only one who likes to blend geekery with comparative religion, but, of all my fellow weirdos, somewhere on the list of my favorites is the guy who presented a talk titled “Did Jesus Die for Klingons, Too?” at a DARPA conference.
These have all been fairly quick takes, so for this penultimate one, I want to point you to a longer article with a strong recommendation to read the whole thing. ”Could You Forgive the Man who Shot You in the Face?” tells how Rais Bhuiyan tried to stop the execution of the racist man who maimed him. It’s a powerful example of radical forgiveness, and reading the piece is it’s own reward, but, as a more short term reward, the last take is a time lapse video of a bridge being dismantled.
A time lapse video of a bridge being dismantled:
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!