Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

Ugh. Are you exhausted by having to constantly explain how gender works to people?
It’s mainly one idiot, but hey, I’m here for my readers.

You make the mistake of believing that people are a blank slate and that society imposes traits and values onto people.
It’s not a mistake. People are mostly a blank slate, and society absolutely imposes traits and values onto them. 

How do you deal with incompetence and/or unprofessional bullshit at work?
I don’t tolerate incompetence or unprofessionalism at work, though I recognize that I’m quite privileged in that I don’t have to.

Condemning the burning and looting of buildings and businesses (many owned by minorities and innocent people) is “fascist”…. damn Coke, when did you become so ideologically possessed? Are you really that angry at the world that you can’t see how insane you sound?
You’re the one going on and on about the buildings. Dude, fuck the buildings. I care about people, not property. I care about justice, not law and order. If you didn’t know that about me after ten fucking years, then you haven’t been paying attention, and yes, if you’re looking around at what’s happening in America right now and all you can think to bitch about is looting, then you are a fucking fascist. Deal with it.

PhD student here. Wrote a paper. Terrified of hitting send on a journal. I don’t really need advice, just wanted to borrow your confidence for a moment. I can do this. I’ve worked hard. I’ve double-checked my numbers. I have a solid argument to make. I got it. Thanks.
You do, in fact, got it. Also, hitting send gets easier. Also, congratulations!

What is the answer to the failing political institutions in the US? Please don’t respond: voting and electing new reps.
The answer is political engagement, and yes, that means voting. It also means relentless activism and participation in the process.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on Biden’s potential VP picks. Who do you think is best for the job at this point? And who do you think he’ll actually choose?
In terms of best, I think it’s a coin toss between Kamala Harris and Susan Rice. I’d be ecstatic for either one.

Why not Warren for VP? She was the best candidate, and I feel like Biden’s VP is going to be POTUS.
2020 was Warren’s shot, and she lost. She’s too old to be a viable two-term candidate in 2028. That said, I’d be overjoyed to see her as AG or Treasury Secretary in a Biden administration.

If you could learn anything right now, what would you choose?
French, Arabic, and Italian.

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19 thoughts on “On fun-sized advice

    • CQ says:

      Well, duh. To the extent that people are not a blank slate, it would be well established in genetics. Also neurology and endocrinology. But my dude, the nature versus nurture debate is simply not a black and white proposition. I’m far more justified in stating that “people are mostly a blank slate” than you are stating that “people are not a blank slate.”

      • Whatsamind says:

        That’s a very Lockean conception of mind and that shit got kind of played out in the 17th century.

        Anyway, I don’t think the tabula rasa is a hill you want to die on…

        • CQ says:

          Yeah, I’m not doing the whole innatism versus empiricism thing. Are you just caught up in the metaphor? Because it’s pretty obvious that genetics and epigenetics can account for the slate, but not at all what’s written upon it.

  1. Mati says:

    You haven’t explained how someone knows that they are male/female, beyond basically describing it as a feeling in a previous post. Is that really good enough? How do we know an effeminate man from a ‘woman born in a man’s body’?

    • Chris says:

      If someone can know they are gay, can’t they know this?

      It’s a very small percentage, so some people might be exploring ideas out loud, like saying, ‘I might be gay’ when they are not.

      • Mati says:

        @chris having an indisputable feeling of attraction to your own sex is not the same as feeling like a woman, because being a woman is not a feeling.

    • whoami says:

      “effeminate man” and “woman born in a man’s body” are two vey different flavors of trans, you need to train your palate bro

    • Actual_scientist says:

      What do you mean ‘good enough’? Why do you think you get any say in what gender another person is, let alone more than that person? Nobody has to prove themselves to you.

  2. Emilio lizardo says:

    DCQ, i think you should discard the mind/slate analogy totally. It’s a platonist concept that harms reasoning more than it helps.

    You could see the mind in light of cybernetics: a goal-driven mechanism with limited pre-programmed tolerances to feedbacks. The basic objectives are written in genome a and developed in brain circuitry, while the expression of said objective are modulated by interection with environment.
    In novels environments/with novel Technologies the system can go astray (see drug, junk food dipendency).

    But the basics impulses/reactions are still there: greek statues are handsome stil today, optimates/populares dialectic can be seen in today politics. Of course natural selection for novel problems prevent history from repeatings itself. Not from rhymes, though.

    Returning to the main point, the slate analogy call this questions: can you write cursive in a clay tablet? Would chinese peoples not develope a tonal language if the all forgot their current one? Would rednecks be able to not marry pregnant if the were all growth in a strict puritanical education?

    I believe that what we call culture is just the the median, or the mode, of the sum of all interections between all our intuitions about world and rationalized instincts hardwired in our brains. If this variables are too dissimilar between groups, here we have subculturs. I advice reading the following books: the 10000 years explosion, albion seed, farawell to alms and of course the pinker’s blank slate, which i know our lady-host has already read.

    This are my 2 cents.
    Sorry for my english.

  3. M says:

    I don’t know why I keep coming here. That’s reason enough to critisize me.

    Of course lives are more important than buildings. We should 100% understand riots in their appropriate historical context. In a word, riots are understandable. There is no value in condemning them, because that invalidates the very real feelings of communities. There are people complaining about buildings and chaos because it destabilizes their illusion of safety and stability. Fuck them.

    If you work a minute in public health, you’ll come to realize that properties aren’t just corporate businesses with deep pockets. Properties are also grocery stores that address food deserts, pharmacies, libraries, housing, cultural institutions, and business run by local community members. Public health has an increasing focus on environment resources, and public health workers spend a lot of time developing infastructure in communities that get passed over again and again for improvement or commerce.

    Saying “fuck buildings” does not fully capture the situation. You can both accept the riots as an expression of valid anger, and understand that you are watching communities hurt themselves. This is overwhelming sad.

    Here in Minneapolis, the rich, white end of the neighborhood has already recovered. The miles – and it is miles not just a few locations – of predominately POC or immigrants neighborhoods and all their business are still boarded up. And no one is coming with funds or actions to fix them. If you cheer burning things down, but aren’t here to rebuild, fuck you very much.

    If you actually know anyone that lives in these nighborhoods, the mood is mixed. I was surprised by articles in the NYT that got details of the neighborhoods so very wrong, and the national need to paint a picture that didn’t reflect reality – no matter which way it was spun. There is variation in opinion about what happened. Duh. There are many POC communities, and multiple Black communities, Around here, I don’t hear people coming out against the riots, but I do hear some – not just a few – that would rather there weren’t riots. There are as many opinions on the riots as there are people. Of course. You will probably learn more about communities and thoughts if you talk with people in those communities, rather than a priviledged woman who used to like to party and talk about coke on the internet.

    A friend of mine is an older Black woman, with chronic disease concerns, and she depends on the pharmacy and grocery stores near by to make her life livable. She now relies on church based groups to bring her groceries and other supplies. Things have improved, but they will not be back to normal until the holidays at the earliest, and with the COVID pandemic, some things will never recover. After the riots, I had to drive past 7 grocery stores to access food, because all other locations were trashed. That’s fine for me. I have a car, money, and time. But there are a lot of people for which that is a major barrier. Have you thought about those people?

    Sure you are bailing people out of jail by donating on the internet and cheering burning things down by using the right twitter posts, but where are you in these efforts to rebuild? You are so foaming at the mouth for blood, that you aren’t focused on actually helping people rebuild. And that is privilege.

  4. OT says:

    Thats the Kamala Harris who made her career off getting backpage shut down and supports FOSTA, SESTA? Or the one that was a former cop?

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