New website opened, yay
I revamped my website and finally brought it a little more to the 21st century: no longer handmade HTML for each page! I’ll also be cross-posting my future LJ posts on the site’s blog section in the future, so I now finally have a Real Blog (TM) instead of just a LiveJournal account. Though everything will still be posted to LJ as well, don’t worry.
Opinions have been divided on the logo graphic, so I’ll have to see if I find something that’s a little more universally liked. It’s not a huge priority, though.
There was a bunch of content on the old site that I wasn’t happy with and thus didn’t move over, or just didn’t feel was valuable enough to bother with. If you want to see something that I had on the old site, please use the Wayback Machine archive.
(And now let’s see whether this “cross-post to LJ” plugin works.)
This work by Kaj Sotala is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License
So the book* that I'm reading mentions that in the Kwara'ae culture, kids around 5-7 years and even younger are responsible for taking care of their younger siblings, that in the Efe culture, children learn how to use a jungle knife and how to safely handle a fire at the same time that they're learning to walk, and that in the Aka culture, children practice spear throwing around the age of 8-10 months, prepare food over a fire at the age of 3-4 years, and have all the skills needed for surviving in the jungle when they're around 10 years old. In those cultures, children are given responsibilities and jobs based not on their age, but the level of skill that they've achieved.
I'm only getting more convinced that modern Western culture, where children might never get to do anything meaningful or to take practically any responsibility until they're adults or even older, is an enormously destructive way of bringing anyone up.
(* Hakkarainen, Lonka & Lipponen: Järki, tunteet ja kulttuuri oppimisen sytyttäjinä.)
"You know how it is, right, ladies? You know a guy for a while. You hang out with him. You do fun things with him—play video games, watch movies, go hiking, go to concerts. You invite him to your parties. You listen to his problems. You do all this because you think he wants to be your friend.
"But then, then comes the fateful moment where you find out that all this time, he’s only seen you as a potential girlfriend. And then if you turn him down, he may never speak to you again. This has happened to me time after time: I hit it off with a guy, and, for all that I’ve been burned in the past, I start to think that this one might actually care about me as a person. And then he asks me on a date.
"I tell him how much I enjoy his company, how much I value his friendship. I tell him that I really want to be his friend and to continue hanging out with him and talking about our favorite books or exploring new restaurants or making fun of avant-garde theatre productions. But he rejects me. He doesn’t answer my calls or e-mails; if we’d been making plans to do something before this fateful incident, these plans mysteriously fail to materialize. (This is why I never did get around to seeing the Hunger Games movie. Not to name any names, but thanks a lot, Tom.) Later, when I run into him at social events, our conversations are awkward and lukewarm. This is because the moment we met, he put me in the girlfriend-zone, and now he can’t see me as friend material."
Why Do Men Keep Putting Me in the Girlfriend-Zone?
"Psychologists have known about the hostile media effect for thirty years, ever since a 1982 study where they got pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian students to watch a documentary and found that:
" " On a number of objective measures, both sides found that these identical news clips were slanted in favor of the other side. Pro-Israeli students reported seeing more anti-Israel references and fewer favorable references to Israel in the news report and pro-Palestinian students reported seeing more anti-Palestinian references, and so on. Both sides said a neutral observer would have a more negative view of their side from viewing the clips, and that the media would have excused the other side where it blamed their side. "
"Note that this was not at all subtle. The pro-Palestinians claimed that favorable references to Israel outnumbered unfavorable references almost 2:1, but the pro-Israelis complained that unfavorable references outnumbered favorable references at a greater than 3:1 ratio (p < .001). Transforming a different measure mentioned earlier in the paper to a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is completely pro-Palestine and 10 is completely pro-Israel, the average pro-Israeli rated it a 3.2, and the average pro-Palestinian rated it a 7.4. These numbers were even higher in people who claimed to know a lot about the conflict.
"So even when exposed to genuinely neutral information, people tend to believe the deck is stacked against them. But people aren't exposed to genuinely neutral information. In a country of 300 million people, every single day there is going to be an example of something hideously biased against every single group, and proponents of those groups have formed effective machines to publicize the most outrageous examples in order to “confirm” their claims of bravery. I had an interesting discussion on Rebecca Hamilton’s blog about the Stomp Jesus incident. You probably never heard of this, but in the conservative Christian community it was a huge deal; Google gives 20,500 results for the phrase “stomp Jesus” in quotation marks, including up-to-date coverage from a bunch of big conservative blogs, news outlets, and forums. I guarantee that the readers of those blogs and forums are constantly fed salient examples of conservatives being oppressed and persecuted. And I don’t mean “can’t put up ten commandments in school”, I mean armed gay rights activist breaks into Family Research Council headquarters and starts shooting people for opposing homosexuality. Imagine you hear a story in this genre almost every time you open your RSS feed.
"(And now consider all the stories you hear every day about violence and harassment against your people in your RSS feed.)
"And if there aren’t enough shooters, someone is saying something despicable on Twitter pretty much every minute. The genre of “we know the world is against us because of five cherry-picked quotes from Twitter” is alive, well, and shaping people’s perceptions. Here’s an atheist blog trawling Twitter for horrible comments blaming atheists for terrorism, and here’s an article on the tweets Brad Pitt’s mother got for writing an editorial supporting Romney (including such gems as “Brad Pitt’s mom wrote an anti-gay pro-Romney editorial. Kill the b—-.”)"
Against Bravery Debates
Difficulties with using games to teach: "...staff were excited about the rather ‘different’ activities and the positive reaction received from colleagues during the development process. It was generally felt that these activities would appeal to pupils. It seems, however, that this “fun” aspect had an unexpected reaction from pupils: the questions “When are we going to do real maths?”, and “Are we still playing games?” were frequently asked. Many pupils did not take the work seriously and were not able to reflect on the thinking processes being used. The teachers, who were initially very excited about using the probability materials, seemed to be disappointed by the reaction of their pupils and were not sure how to respond. " #education #edugames