Posts tagged people are people
Posts tagged people are people
Kirk Hamilton, Kotaku:
The 2013 Game Developers Conference is over. The chatter of the show floor has faded, the bathroom lines have evaporated, and the various stacked hangovers have worn off. The week still feels like something of a blur, but squint your eyes just so, filter out the noise and the music and the glowing laptop monitors, and a theme starts to take shape: Change is in the air. Change for the better.
If I had to boil the week down to one pithy phrase, I suppose I’d choose “We can do this better.” If I was given the opportunity to add a second phrase, it’d be “We can have our cake and eat it, too.”
Really great, in-depth, thoughtful write up. It’s going to take more than one GDC to effect real change but the zeitgeist certainly seems to be shifting. Exciting stuff.
Walter Olson, Cato Institute:
Last week I observed that Question 6, the same-sex marriage law, had racked up strong vote totals in many Republican areas of Maryland and even carried two big GOP-leaning counties. When I wrote that piece I was working from broad county-level election returns. Now that I’ve had a chance to dig into the precinct-level returns, I can report that the story is bigger than I had realized. From the county numbers we knew that many Romney voters in Maryland must have crossed over to support same-sex marriage; now it turns out that Question 6 actually carried many of the state’s best-known GOP strongholds. Republicans voted for Question 6 in serious numbers around all the state’s major centers of population: in the Baltimore and Annapolis areas, in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and in Frederick. And while the trend showed itself everywhere from small farm towns to blue-collar suburbs, it appears to have been strongest in the best-educated and most economically successful Republican communities.
The country is changing. If the Republican Party doesn’t change as well, it risks its very existence.
Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian, on gay characters in comics:
This year, finally, the industry embraced [gay] readers as mainstream publishers offered prominent gay plot lines. Archie Comics’ first gay character, Kevin Keller, was married in January; Marvel’s X-man Northstar was married in May; and DC Comics reintroduced the Green Lantern as gay in June.
The Boston Globe, earlier in the summer:
When news emerged earlier this month that Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford said he’d been called a racial epithet by an off-duty Leominster police officer before a minor league game in New Hampshire, reaction was swift. After an internal investigation, which turned up additional racist comments, the Leominster mayor fired the officer on Thursday.
But the epithet itself still has sports fans and commentators scratching their heads. Allegedly, the officer called Crawford, who is black, “Monday.” Monday? The day of the week? Is this really an insult, and one that has anything to do with race?
OK so consider this a tentative link. There are a lot of great statistics in this article about how women view themselves vs. how men view them, and a lot more too. Unfortunately it is also full of a lot of bonkers evolutionary biology stuff some of which really doesn’t sit right with me. I recommend trying to make it through the whole article, switching to “skim” briefly if you can’t hold your nose any longer.
Really good op ed in The New York Times by Stephanie Coontz on gender equality and how we’re not there yet:
Scroll through the titles and subtitles of recent books, and you will read that women have become “The Richer Sex,” that “The Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys,” and that we may even be seeing “The End of Men.” Several of the authors of these books posit that we are on the verge of a “new majority of female breadwinners,” where middle-class wives lord over their husbands while demoralized single men take refuge in perpetual adolescence.
How is it, then, that men still control the most important industries, especially technology, occupy most of the positions on the lists of the richest Americans, and continue to make more money than women who have similar skills and education? And why do women make up only 17 percent of Congress?
This reactive response to progressing gender equality in this country as having exalted women over men is pretty much hogwash, and Coontz has loads of numbers to back that up:
… the median wages of female managers are just 73 percent of what male managers earn.
… the percentage of female electrical engineers doubled in each decade in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. But in the two decades since 1990 it has increased by only a single percentage point, leaving women at just 10 percent of the total.
… a 2010 Catalyst survey found that female M.B.A.’s were paid an average of $4,600 less than men in starting salaries and continue to be outpaced by men in rank and salary growth throughout their careers, even if they remain childless.
And there’s a lot more, including a bit on the “masculine mystique” and how gender expectations harm men as well as women. Feminism is for everyone.
Nick Perry, AP:
New Zealand lawmakers on Wednesday overwhelmingly cast a first vote in favor of a gay marriage bill that was given impetus by President Barack Obama’s public support of the issue.
The proposed changes can be directly traced to Obama’s declaration in May in support of gay marriage. That prompted center-right Prime Minister John Key to break his long silence on the issue by saying he was “not personally opposed” to the idea. Then lawmaker Louisa Wall, from the opposition Labour Party, put forward a bill she had previously drafted.
“If I’m really honest, I think the catalyst was around Obama’s announcement, and then obviously our prime minister came out very early in support, as did the leader of my party, David Shearer,” Wall told The Associated Press. “The timing was right.”
I wonder if Obama’s announcement actually had any effect on what’s going on in New Zealand or if this is just lip service. Words do have power.
From Sharon Begley’s profile in the WSJ of Ben Barres, born Barbara Barrres, a neuroscientist who underwent sex reassignment therapy:
As an MIT undergraduate, Barbara was one of the only women in a large math class, and the only student to solve a particularly tough problem. The professor “told me my boyfriend must have solved it for me,” recalls Prof. Barres, 51 years old, in an interview. “If boys were raised to feel that they can’t be good at mathematics, there would be very few who were.”
Although Barbara Barres was a top student at MIT, “nearly every lab head I asked refused to let me do my thesis research” with him, Prof. Barres says. “Most of my male friends had their first choice of labs. And I am still disappointed about the prestigious fellowship I lost to a male student when I was a Ph.D. student,” even though the rival had published one prominent paper and she had six.
Whole piece is really good. Very interesting to hear from someone who has been on both sides of privilege.
A tumblr user known only as “black-ink-on-pink”:
So I’m reading various things on tumblr, related to Legend of Korra, the portrayal and representation of dark-skinned characters in fiction, and the question that comes around is: Why is this even important?
Let me answer that for you.
David Crary writing for the Associated Press:
Prior to repeal, various conservative groups and individuals — including many conservative retired chaplains — warned that repeal would trigger an exodus of chaplains whose faiths consider homosexual activity to be sinful. In fact, there’s been no significant exodus — perhaps two or three departures of active-duty chaplains linked to the repeal. Moreover, chaplains or their civilian coordinators from a range of conservative faiths told The Associated Press they knew of virtually no serious problems thus far involving infringement of chaplains’ religious freedom or rights of conscience.
According to this piece published on September 22, 2011, there were 2,900 chaplains on active duty in the U.S. military at the time.