Posts tagged these comments are golden
Posts tagged these comments are golden
I started and re-started my answer to this ask half a dozen times. Because it’s a really, really important question, but it’s also a hard question to answer in a useful way. I’m going to do my best.
Nothing is as important as what you believe is true. If I can control what you think, I can control every decision you make. I can control what products you buy, who you vote for, which of your friends you trust—and which of them you distrust; I can choose which social causes you apply yourself to, and how effectively you champion them; to a very great extent I can even decide what you’ll major in in college, who you’ll marry, IF you’ll marry, if you’ll STAY married if the marriage goes bad, what job you’ll go for, how well you’ll do in that job, how you spend your leisure hours, how you treat your children, how you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror, what you’ll eat for dinner, and if you’ll respect yourself in the morning.
EVERY DECISION YOU MAKE is based on what information you’ve accepted. So if I can make you believe what I want you to believe, I own you.
And make no mistake: my best interests are NEVER the same as your best interests. The most you can hope for from ANY source is that their interests and your interests align. If I’m a company, then it’s in my best interest if you buy my product. I am only interested in the quality and safety of my product to the extent that you will not buy it if it’s garbage, or too dangerous. If I’m a newspaper, believe me, my goal is not to make you a more informed citizen of the world. My goal is to sell newspapers.
However, it may be that my reputation is an important part of reaching my goals: and if I feed you misinformation, my reputation may be damaged. And so a degree of trust may be invested in sufficiently reputable sources, since their goal (“to maintain a high reputation”) and your goal (“to learn something”) are aligned. Be VERY CAREFUL when bestowing this kind of trust on a source, and NEVER let them act as your ONLY source. You can never know for sure how important that reputation really is to them, or for what ends they may be willing to compromise it.
"But this information is from a random Tumblr post, not a news corporation, or a professional blog. Nobody’s making money, here. So why would they lie to me?" Attention? Attention’s a big one. Those posts you see going around, full of SHOCKING CLAIMS, usually have tens of thousands of notes. Tens of thousands of people shocked - shocked! - to learn that feeding bread to ducks makes them sick, or that Charlie Chaplin was a Nazi, or that bleach mixed with baking soda can eat through concrete. It doesn’t matter that none of those things are true. It doesn’t even matter if the OP, or all of the people reblogging it, BELIEVE that they’re true. What matters is that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE had in their own interest something that was more important to them than “make sure the things I’m reblogging are accurate.”
Maybe they wanted the prestige of being the first to bring interesting new information to their social group. Maybe they were alarmed by what they read, and they wanted to keep their friends and loved ones safe. Maybe what they read reinforced some bias that they had, and so they disseminated it because they wanted it to be true. Maybe having this surprising intel on their blog made them feel more intelligent, or more socially conscious. There are lots of reasons, because there are lots of people, and every single one of those people had their own best interests.
And none of those interests are yours.
So because what you believe is SO important, and because you are the sole guardian of your own best interests, I think it’s downright reckless to accept any piece of information as fact without asking two questions first:
- Who is telling me this? Do I have reason to trust them? Should I trust them SO MUCH as to let them be the sole arbiter of what I believe on this subject?
- Who benefits if I accept it as the truth? THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. A lot of information masquerades as being in the interests of one thing when really it’s in the interests of something else. Really think about it.
When you choose to believe someone - anyone - about anything, you are giving them power over you. And skepticism is the only thing that protects you from giving that power to people who don’t deserve it.
This is a map of Asia. North Americans, you may notice this map is not solely comprised of Japan, Korea, China and Thailand. People in the UK, you may notice India is not a continent. That is, if those of you who generalize entire continents can even pinpoint India on a map. Indians are Asian, gasp! And not all brown skinned people are Indian, also, gasp! There are an alarming amount of people, of all ages, from all backgrounds, who seem to be unable to process this.
I’m ethnically Asian. Since Asia is an extremely large continent, I could be from any number of countries. I am neither from India, China, Korea, Japan or Pakistan, yet not so surprisingly, I am still Asian.
Yes, there are commonalities across regions, through the conflation of cultures, colonialism, globalization, transnationalism and movement of diasporas. Sometimes these are all the same thing. Rickshaws, rice and curry can be found across the continent. But let’s not overgeneralize. You can also find Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims and Hindus across Asia. Cantonese Speaking Chinese Muslims! English Speaking Indian Jews!
No, we are not all the same. Orientalism? (Please look up Edward Said for basic concepts) No thank you.
Geography, people. It’s important.
This pops up on my dash every so often. I reblog it again, not just because I wrote it, but because nothing has changed since I first posted this.
What’s cool about Iran is that it falls in 3 different regions of Asia so depending on what part of Iran you’re in, you can kind of get culture shocked a bit. The central and western part of the country is West Asia, the north east is Central Asia, and the southeast is in South Asia.
To the folks wondering about Russia being included, I want to mention that the cultural debates and angst about that has been going on for CENTURIES. While France has been pretty fetishized all the way back from Peter the Great, there is no question that we are not Europe, even with that influence showing really obviously in historical seats of power like St. Petersburg. Nonetheless, the whole country was under control of the Mongols (The Golden Horde) from roughly 1242 to 1480, and that left an enormous Mongolian and Tatar heritage that remains to this day. The ancient Scythians are huge in the cultural imagination as well. And besides… look at the Russians who are outside the standard “Kievan Rus” phenotype (which most folks assume is how all Russians look.)
Here are three of the 30 distinct ethnic groups in Siberia alone:
Buryat grandfather, photo by Alexander Newby
Evenk children, photo by Evgenia Arbugaeva
Young Yakut couple, photographer unknown
Thank you so much, John Oliver.
So, I’ve been waiting for someone to explain this extremely simple concept to me my entire life.
Hooooly shit I needed to read this article.
"When I interview leaders, artists, coaches, or athletes who are very successful, they never talk about perfectionism as being a vehicle for success. What they talk about is that perfectionism is a huge trigger, one they have to be aware of all the time, because it gets in the way of getting work done."
In a new video from social justice-oriented T-shirt company FCKH8, several Ferguson children lampoon the excuses white people give to avoid getting involved in ending discrimination in America and deliver a call to action to stomp out racism.
THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN
tbh I don’t see the fuss about having waiters/waitresses not being happy and enthusiastic like I came here to eat I didn’t come here to be amused by employees as long as I’m getting my food and they’re not being blatantly rude I don’t see why y’all need to go on yelp to rank a restaurant 0/5 and have an outburst on why your waitress didn’t smile at you when she poured you water
this is pretty fucking important
Over the weekend you may have heard of or seen - nude photos of celebrities were stolen off of their phones and posted online. It’s a terrible invasion of privacy, but probably the most disconcerting part of this for me is that some people are blaming the celebrities for having the nude photos on their phones in the first place.
Okay, fellow white people. We need to talk.
Let me tell you a story: I was an angry punk teenager. Not violent, but I did a shitton of…