[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Sunday, 2019-05-12

Bodily autonomy

Filed under: Philosophy,Science — bblackmoor @ 18:35

I’ve seen a lot of good arguments against oppressing women — and a lot of hypocritical and/or morally bankrupt arguments for it.

I’d not seen this take on it before. The place I found it had it as an image, so I have transcribed it here.

If my younger sister was in a car accident and desperately needed a blood transfusion to live, and I was the only person on Earth who could donate blood to save her, and even though donating blood is a relatively easy, safe, and quick procedure no one can force me to give blood. Yes, even to save the life of a fully-grown person, it would be illegal to force me to donate blood if I didn’t want to.

See, we have this concept called “bodily autonomy.” It’s this… cultural notion that a person’s control over their own body is above all important and must not be infringed upon.

Like, we can’t even take life saving organs from corpses unless the person whose corpse it is gave consent before their death. Even corpses get bodily autonomy.

To tell people that they must sacrifice their bodily autonomy for 9 months against their will in an incredibly expensive, invasive, difficult process to save what you view as another human life (a debatable claim in the early stages of pregnancy when the vast majority of abortions are performed) is desperately unethical. You can’t even ask people to sacrifice bodily autonomy to give up organs they aren’t using anymore after they have died.

You’re asking people who can become pregnant to accept less bodily autonomy than we grant to dead bodies.

(copied from a user called fandomsandfeminism)

Naturally, when I was looking for the original source for this (which I didn’t find), I found some hypocritical and/or morally bankrupt responses to it.

But here’s the thing: if your first reaction, on reading this, is to try and find some ethical loophole that will allow you to continue to oppress and enslave women while the tattered scraps of your conscience maintain plausible deniability, you are a terrible person. Take a long look in the mirror, and ask yourself how you became this shallow mockery of a human being.

Friday, 2018-12-07

The problem with libertarians

Filed under: Philosophy,Politics — bblackmoor @ 10:40

I was a capital-L Libertarian for a decade or so. The thing is, they are absolutely opposed to the initiation of physical force, because it’s the single greatest infringement of another person’s liberty. I think this is a good thing. For one thing, it would make the USA far less of an analogue of the Empire in Star Wars.

Gadsden flag

There are, unfortunately, two rather significant problems with libertarians. First, although they are opposed to the initiation of force, far too many of them fetishize the idea of retaliation. Once you do that, it becomes very easy to rationalize any violence or atrocity, because after all, “they started it”. You’ve seen the Gadsden flag, I assume, the one with the snake? “Don’t tread on me”? That’s not a celebration of living in peace and harmony: it’s a fetish symbol for someone who wants the opportunity to use violence and is looking for an excuse.

The second major problem with libertarians is that they are purposefully blind to the fact that physical violence is not the only form of coercion. A libertarian is perfectly fine with a single company buying all of the patents on a life-saving drug and then demanding your life savings for a dose of it, because that’s not physical violence — but it is obviously a direct “your money or your life” form of coercion, to everyone not blinded by their religious fervor. And it is a religious fervor, make no mistake. When you adhere to a creed or philosophy in defiance of the clear and measurable harm that philosophy causes, you have become a religious zealot — a fanatic.

Monday, 2018-10-08

Happy Columbus Day!

Filed under: History,Mythology,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 07:43

Happy Columbus Day! Much like St. Patrick’s Day, this day has very little to do with the actual historical Christopher Columbus (who was by all accounts a truly despicable human being, although he may also have been a completely typical example of his time). What we are actually celebrating is the spirit of exploration that is tied so firmly to the American spirit. We are explorers and pioneers. We went where no one had gone before. We are risk takers who follow our dreams even when the people around us claim that we’d fall off the edge of the world (not in Columbus’ era — those folks knew the world was round). It’s also a day to celebrate the contribution that we Americans have gained thanks to Italian immigrants and (if we’re lucky) our Italian ancestors. These are things worth celebrating.

If you use this as an opportunity to complain about Columbus, Imperialism, or colonialism… well, there are good reasons to be aware of those things. But that’s not what we are celebrating on Columbus Day.

map and telescope

Saturday, 2018-09-08

Criticizing the wallpaper on the Titanic

Filed under: Philosophy,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:41

Pick big fights with your enemies, not small fights with your friends. “Micro aggression” is nonsense, when there is macro aggression to worry about, and there is no such thing as “cultural appropriation”. Culture spreads and changes, or it stagnates and dies — there is no third choice.

There is too much at stake for us to get distracted by pettiness. Don’t be the wanker criticizing the wallpaper on the Titanic.

Saturday, 2018-06-30

Not all complaints are valid

Filed under: Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 11:16

There are legitimate complaints to be made, and there are genuinely bad people who are the reason for those complaints. But as anyone who has worked in customer service knows, not every complaint is reasonable. Many — perhaps even most, it sometimes seems — are not.

If you need to go 100-200 years back to explain why something is “bad”, it’s not bad — you are just fishing for things to be unhappy about. Focus on what’s bad now. Robber barons, for example, are bad — and you don’t need a history lesson on the origin of the phrase “robber baron” to explain why. Private prisons and the racist impact of Drug Prohibition are both bad — and you don’t need a history lesson on workhouses or the Atlantic slave trade to explain why.

History can provide background to what is bad now. It’s really good for that. What history does not do is make something bad now merely because of events that took place before any of our grandparents were born.

Wednesday, 2018-05-16

Definition of “incel”

Filed under: Philosophy,Society,Writing — bblackmoor @ 08:59

[in-sel]
noun

  1. Someone whose behaviour is so repugnant that not one of the approximately seven billion humans on Earth will have sex with them.
  2. Someone who blames others for their mental and social shortcomings.
     
    “Yesterday Ryan wrote a Facebook post calling himself an ‘incel’. He claims that all women are shallow and exist to torture men by ‘denying’ them sex.”

Origin and etymology of incel

blend of involuntary and celibate

First Known Use: 1997

Monday, 2018-05-14

Let’s say you reduced Earth’s human population by half

Filed under: Philosophy,Science,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:38

Fun fact! The Earth’s human population has doubled since 1971. So if, hypothetically, someone were to snap their fingers and kill half of the Earth’s population, they would set our inevitable self-destruction back by less than two generations. Hardly seems worth it, really.

population growth chart

Sunday, 2018-05-06

Theodore Roosevelt on the cowardice of cynicism and the courage to create

Filed under: History,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 09:19

This week’s “Brain Pickings” features a 1910 speech by Theodore Roosevelt, admonishing people to do something, rather than merely criticize what others do.

“The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twisted pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt.”

Fun fact! (And somewhat relevant due to yesterday being Cinco de Mayo, celebrating when Mexico helped the United States win the American Civil War). When Roosevelt gave this speech in 1910, there were no border controls between the USA and Mexico. There was no such thing as a Mexican “illegal immigrant” in the USA until the 1920s, when white supremacists in the USA starting imposing quotas on immigrants based on their country of origin. (There were earlier laws regarding immigration, but these did not actually prevent anyone from Mexico from coming to the USA freely. Earlier laws mainly focused on Chinese immigrants, and on preventing the importation of “contract labor”, which is to say, slaves in all but name.)

Theodore Roosevelt

Fun fact! Increased “security” at the USA-Mexico border in the early 1900s had the perverse effect of increasing the number of permanent Mexican residents in the USA, because it made it more difficult for them to go back home once they got here.

Wednesday, 2018-04-04

Two different perspectives on what “progress” means

Filed under: Philosophy,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:14

Psychologist Valerie Tarico has written a very interesting article, “Political Narrative II: Why Some Progressives Are Tearing Each Other Apart“. I have said, many times (and sadly, I think I will have many opportunities to say it again), clinging to past grievances — no matter how valid they are — is not the way to make a better future. At some point, you must put the past behind you, if you want to move beyond it. We need to focus on making tomorrow better than today. Not perfect: perfection is not an option, and we will never make any progress if we insist on that. Just make tomorrow better than today.

As an aside, this also provides me with an insight into some of my more conservative friends. I see them making comments (often defensive comments, as though they’ve been attacked) about “liberals”, but those comments seem to come out of nowhere. It’s because those defensive comments aren’t aimed at me, or people like me — they are aimed at what this article calls the Structural Oppression group.

I look forward to the day when one’s skin colour, facial features, and sex are as easily changed as hair length and hair colour are now — and are finally treated as the superficial traits they are.

Friday, 2018-03-16

So about those first and second Amendments to the U.S. Constitution…

Filed under: Civil Rights,Philosophy,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:21

At the risk of pouring gasoline on a bonfire, I think we have erred by making the Constitution part of our national religion. People shout out the numbers of Amendments like they are magic spells to ward off evil.

The Constitution is not holy text carved into tablets by a god. The rules our government operates under were written by people who thought they were a good idea at the time, just like all of our other laws. And just like all of our other laws, what people actually intended is subject to debate, how they will be implemented is subject to the discretion of later generations, and they can and should be changed when later generations decide that’s a good idea at the time.

It wasn’t that long ago that oral sex was illegal in Virginia. Just because someone wrote it down and people voted on it, doesn’t necessarily make it wise or right or even reasonable.

They’re just rules. Rules can be changed.

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