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Aug 31 Corydon commented on NPR Believes in Miracles.
I won't get into the whole theism vs. atheism thing mostly because I'm not a 21 year old college kid with a bag of pot handy.

What I will observe is that human beings seem to have a fairly deep impulse towards religion and spirituality. I'd hazard a guess that even the most committed atheist will feel the stirrings of something when coming to a particular spot in the mountains or a clearing or a spring or something. Likewise, we love our rituals. Just as Dan said, even if you don't believe in it, for someone raised Catholic, there's something comforting about the rhythm of the liturgy.

People believe in this stuff because they want to. Some of them on a really deep level. It's hardwired into humanity. You could, as some do, take that itself for a sign of the presence of a creator. But even if you don't, it's still there.

Eighty years of Soviet atheism and the Russian Orthodox church is still there, even growing. Millennia of hardship and slaughter and diaspora and Judaism, truly the religion that will not die, is still going strong.

So the whole "is there or isn't there?" argument is kinda beside the point. People are going to proceed on the basis that there is. Might as well get used to it.
Aug 31 Corydon commented on Here Are 6 Reasons Why Trigger Warnings Aren't Bullshit..
Just to be clear: people are saying that warnings give people the option to withdraw, restore agency, and all that.

In every class, you get a syllabus. I'm in one right now that deals with genocide and holocaust studies, something that could be acutely triggering. The appropriate time to deal with that question. Is at the beginning of the semester, one on one with the teacher. You can do talk through concerns and decide if the class is right for you.

It's inappropriate to ask to be exempted from having to study one part of the coursework while everyone else has to go through it. If you can't handle part of the course, you can't handle the course. You do have options (i.e. agency)

1) Take a different, equivalent course with different materials.
2) Wait until you are in a position to take the entire course.
3) If the material in that course is required for your major or degree, consider another line of study.

But you should not get a free pass for any material just because it's particularly difficult fo you. Nor do you get to arbitrarily alter the class to suit your circumstances. That's not fair to the other students or to the teacher.
Aug 31 Corydon commented on Here Are 6 Reasons Why Trigger Warnings Aren't Bullshit..
On that last point, the one about structural violence, you absolutely must start with the fact that we live in what is absolutely and without a doubt the least violent human society there has ever been, anytime, anywhere.

We talk about what it is for things to be "normal". Well normal for the human species is pretty darn brutal.

The point being, society reaches a point of diminishing returns when it finds itself catering more and more to traumatized individuals. That's a hard, cold, callous sounding thing to say, but it's important.

The reality is, if we're going to choose between students of criminal law being able to candidly discuss rape or assault and battery or domestic violence in class and avoiding those subjects because someone might have entirely justifiable difficulty with those topics, then honestly, I think the best solution is for that person to withdraw from law school unless and until they can do the work.

Not everyone is cut out to be someone who deals with these hard situations. No matter how much you may want to be a lawyer or counselor or police officer or whatever, you may not have the psychological wherewithal to handle the job. Just like I, at my age, can't just go run off and enlist in the Army. There's nothing wrong with that; we've all got different strengths and weaknesses.

My concern is that we are now raking the discussion to a place where we are being asked to artificially limit speech where it should be most free, and alter standards for no good pedagogical reason.
Aug 26 Corydon commented on Police Reports Illustrated: Shoplifter Gets Caught, Provides Cheesy Answer.
@2 Right? These are awesome. I love, "Let's go have clear sinuses!"
Aug 24 Corydon commented on EOD: Don't Worry, Hillary's Team Is Right On Top of This "Vagenda of Manocide" Thing.
You know, most of the knee-jerk anti-Clinton commentary from the right is pretty boring stuff. But I have to admit that that sign made me LOL. Very well played!
Aug 23 Corydon commented on Americans May Not Be As Open To Mixed-Race Couples As They Think, UW Study Says.
"Society ingrained that we shouldn’t mix. Our nation is founded on that kind of ideology and it’s still woven into our culture today."

Do we really think it's true that it's only "our nation" and "our culture" that have ingrained this?

I'm not sure I know of any nation or culture that doesn't.

In which case, it's entirely possible that this kind of response is something that is hardwired into us.

Which actually makes some sense, if you look at things from the perspective of someone living in a tribal unit of 100-150 people whom you have lived among your entire life. There are very strong reasons for not venturing too far away from your own group. The guy from the next village over might be OK. The guy who talks funny from a hundred miles away (that's about a week's worth of travel on foot) will be highly questionable, and for good reason. As distances and differences grow (differences in language, belief, appearance, music, dress, everything), the more and more questionable those choices are going to seem.

And it's also very well documented that the more differences there are between groups of people, the more they tend to "objectify" (to use the term employed by the article) each other, i.e. fail to see each other as individuals. For proof, consider the comments sections on any political posting on the internet (liberal or conservative).

Of course, different people have different levels of tolerance for differences, which is probably what the study is revealing.

But beyond that, when we look at many bi-cultural couples (a far superior term than bi-racial), I wonder how many of them result in one partner assimilating more to the other partner's culture in a very unequal way, rather than simply blending the two. I suspect that that happens a lot. And then the couple really isn't bi-cultural any more, is it?

That also suggests another potential avenue of inquiry: members of cultures who feel themselves to be in a strong position may by more likely to be comfortable with bi-cultural couples because they know, at least on some level, that such a couple is likely to acculturate in their direction. However, if you feel that you are in a weak position culturally speaking, then you are far more to police the boundaries of things like intermarriage, mixing between cultures, etc.

Anyways, lots of opportunities for more research.
Aug 22 Corydon commented on Sexist Trolls Tried to Derail the 2016 Hugo Awards. They Failed..
What @6 said...hasn't anyone actually read The Left Hand of Darkness?

Anywho, I'm assuming all of this inside baseball is just a tidbit. Any chance of reviews of some of the winners and nominees popping up? I'm looking for a new writer to fall in love with :)
Aug 19 Corydon commented on What's So Funny About the Naked Trump Statue?.
@38, you consider the Stranger to be mainstream? This particular little cultural distributary is so far from the great rivers of media in this country that I'm not at all sure it even empties into the same body of water.
Aug 19 Corydon commented on What's So Funny About the Naked Trump Statue?.
@36 It's not really worth arguing. I use the term Byzantine in my own research of course because it's a handy reference that everyone who's interested in the era will get.

But, you know, there really isn't a bright line to draw between the two. Justinian published the Corpus Iuris Civilis in Latin in the 6th century. And that was wholly based on prior Roman legal sources. The whole imperial administrative apparatus didn't undergo any sudden shifts. The culture did become markedly more Christian as the centuries passed, but that too was a process rather than a sharp event.

Besides, like I said, they still thought of themselves as Romans. And Greek was always the dominant language in the Eastern Mediterranean, so even that wasn't much of a shift.

In the end, it was a figure of speech. I chose a term that was a little more off the beaten path to our modern ears when talking about this time and place. It's not wrong...there's no one correct answer. It's like calling Charlemagne the Emperor of the Romans. Sounds a bit off to us, but not at all controversial back then.
Aug 19 Corydon commented on EOD: Everything As Fuck.
Funny, I haven't seen any of those either. Not even Game of Thrones.

It's like that whole overloaded thing mentioned at the top of the piece, the bit where there's so much pop culture going on that's worth paying attention to, that it's just short circuited my brain. And now pop culture doesn't work for me any more. At all.

I kind of like it actually. I've got a lot more time to do other things now. But it does sometimes make for some strange conversations with people; it's almost as if I live in a world with trees and mountains and cities and books and stuff while they live in this strange other place with all these bizarro-people.