5:03 PM yesterday
commented on SL Letter of the Day: Gonna Boil My Laptop After Answering This One
Dogs fall under the "vulnerable and unable to give informed consent" rule that applies to those populations that are too young, under coercion, imprisoned, feeble minded, etc., or in whatever situation that makes it impossible to give fully informed and appropriate consent as equals for participation in a sexual act. It is an a form of abuse.
commented on Former Boston Phoenix Staffers Start Online-Only, Ad-Free Alternative Weekly
What a pity they are so poor they can't afford colored pixels...
Gee guys, can we make a faux weekly that will channel all that youthful anger into something safe like the arts and a lot of writing that says "FU the establishment" a lot?
The first issue sure doesn't say anything but that. If this is real I hope they start saying something interesting and useful real soon. Especially telling is the very witty astrology section that I definitely enjoyed as a work of writing while cringing at the repetition of the use of sun signs as if they were astrologically meaningful. Sun signs do not predict anything. Useful astrology is much more complex but I doubt this "magazine" will be providing anything like that.
commented on The Homeless Children of NYC
I looked into the Hunger and Homeless numbers back in 2007 and noticed that there was an increase of approximately 17% Hunger and 13% Homelessness every year starting with the Reagan presidency. The systems in place to help the needy were already overrun before the recession started, with wait-lists for housing over 3 years even if a person could get on a list. 18% rise in homelessness is a huge jump.
commented on Let's Put an Assault-Weapons Ban on the Ballot
"Putting something on the ballot and voting sure beats marching in circles carrying signs."
I agree, but carrying signs is also a good complementary strategy if you can get any media coverage because people are more likely to think about stuff they see covered in the media.
commented on Now You, Too, Can Take Part In the Only College Class with a Trailer Narrated by Stan Lee
I love the concept of a MOOC. There has been a recent push towards education going online and this is the creative next step... though it is not clear if they will go all the way and have folks inhabit the gender roles as avatars. The "college age" are familiar with online MORPGS. Why not create an educational situation using these tools. Makes perfect sense to me, and for the minimal cost of a monthly fee, getting to "play" a college course would be a fun way to learn :)
@2 the "sacred" was spoken in jest and reflects the fact that "college" is "done" in a manner reminiscent of the middle ages more than the current world. This new process is groundbreaking and will scare the pants off traditional education providers if it works.
commented on Americans Love Their Cars to Death
Good point Charles... and I love how your comments on the video cause me to look at it with more open eyes. To try and see past my own cultural blinders. We are a culture that prioritizes our ability to move about freely. Perhaps we have become so specialized that being unable to exchange goods is kind of like a blocked artery in the body that can lead to great difficulty, illness, and even death. Yet we little cells of a bigger organism are perhaps not yet aware that we are a part rather than a whole?
commented on The Endingness Is Near: Pablo Helguera's Piece at the Henry
Thank you for a lovely look through a "beginner's mind" at this thought provoking work of art. I have bookmarked this article in my creativity file. You clearly got a lot out of the piece and seeing it through your eyes has stretched my understanding of the process.
We know that decay is necessary for growth. What is no longer, becomes the rich soil in which the new will grow, but the process of decay is often painful and awkward. Finding the beauty in that final silence is quite foreign to our culture and you have expressed this sense of awkward confusion well. The silence, the emptiness, had to be there for the piece to form and is required for anything new to form.
commented on One More Regret
Since matter is always dancing (vibrating is the scientific term) it is a bit simplistic to say it is "dead." When chemists get into the depths of matter they have discovered that it is in constant motion. When physicists go even deeper they discover that "matter" apparently appears and disappears from the background of "space" that turns out to not be the big nothing it was imagined to be. It even occasionally moves backwards in time; and distance as we measure it, via what we assume to be the big nothing between it, often is a meaningless construct.
Both matter and space may indeed be vibrantly alive and unified in ways we may someday be able to measure. The assumption of "dead" is premature.
Dec 23, 2012
commented on Responsible Gun Owner: Twenty Dead Children a "Drop In the Ocean"
Both gun-control opponents and advocates writing here bring up the same common ground. They do not feel safe. They want to feel safer. Gun-control advocates feel threatened by guns and less safe when they are around. Gun-control opponents feel that guns make them safer from other threats (hence the emphasis on all the "other" problems "out there"). The data suggest that both sides are correct depending on the way one looks at the history.
Thank you 55 for bringing up what I feel is the most needed point here. The letter writer is making the assumption that gun-control advocates want to take his guns away. What we really want is to make something that is very dangerous safer. The reason guns are becoming more dangerous than cars is that we clever humans have figured out ways to make cars safer. We can do the same for guns. Seat belts, air bags, DWI laws, required insurance and inspections have made cars safer without removing them.
The world is a scary place for all of us. We all want to feel safer. But feelings and reality are not the same thing. The data tell us that guns in the home make people less safe way more often than they make one more safe. It is a costly security blanket. One of the ironies is that we want to feel safe so that we can have greater freedom. But a bunker is only a self chosen prison. We need to get together and find a better way to feel safe that supports the freedom we really desire.