Links Du Jour – Help Out Astrosphere, Hacked Off With Harassment And High School Philosophy (Yes It Does Exist)

Links Du Jour – Help Out Astrosphere, Hacked Off With Harassment And High School Philosophy (Yes It Does Exist) December 29, 2012

Dr Pamela Gay writes:

I run the non-profit Astrosphere New Media, which pays for+CosmoQuest ‘s servers, the production of many Hangouts, and 365 Days of Astronomy. This year, our donations were down a lot but our costs were up significantly because of all our new programs. If you are looking to reduce your tax liability, can you please consider giving? And even if you aren’t looking to reduce your tax liability, and you just want to support a small team working hard to do a lot, can you consider giving? 
Learn more –
Donate via paypal –

A very sobering and staggering account of the issues faced by the hacker community – by Asher Wolf with Dear Hacker Community, We Have To Talk:

I know a lot the community doesn’t want to talk about this stuff. I know I didn’t personally try to build a bridge between wannabe-crypto-users and hackers so I could deal with shitful sexism, misogyny and down-right crappy behavior.

I know most people would rather just delete a sexist webpage or image, apologize for the offensive comment, or shitty behavior and move on. Again.

But things aren’t changing for the better. And pasting anti-harassment rules on conference wikis doesn’t seem to be making a dent in obviously unacceptable behavior of some arseholes.

Yes, of course, there are arseholes in all communities. But some communities make sexists, misogynists, harassers and general arseholes truly unwelcome.

Unfortunately, the hacker community seems to flounder at making progress in the area of human relations.

“We’re trying!”

Yeah, I hear you, but it’s not good enough. Not good enough by far.

Apparently Huffington Post doesn’t know about high school philosophy classes existing in other countries (including, for example, in my home state of Western Australia where I’ve taught it)… but it’s good they’re supporting the practice – For A Better Society,Teach Philosophy In High School:

To those who say philosophy is impractical (and thus that learning how to think is impractical) I say: nonsense. Our society is dysfunctional because we have forgotten how to think, if we ever truly knew how to think at all. Although we as a society believe we are in possession of all truth, we are not. To study philosophy is to learn how woefully ignorant we are, and this knowledge can perhaps teach us humility, can perhaps suggest to us that the other side may have some value after all.

By the way, the Philosophy for Children methodology suggests that you should teach it at an earlier age – more details here.

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