Neologismology
prokopetz:

thelonelyscarecrow:

castiels-time-traveler:

nintendocanada:

mapsontheweb:

Map of the World by Natural Skin Color

i’m really dumbfounded that i never realized skin colour is literally just caused by being closer to or farther from the equator and the resulting sun exposure and skin darkening

actually, its an adaptation. natural selection. people with darker skin are selected for in areas near the equator, where the melanin that causes the darker color protects them from radiation and protects them from skin cancer and other health defects, and because they are healthier they can pass on that trait more. people near the poles have lighter skin because it allows them absorb more of the limited sunlight to convert to vitamin d. 

THIS IS THE THING SOME PEOPLE HATE OTHER PEOPLE OVER.Evolution of melanin levels based on geographical location.

Strictly speaking, the preceding explanations are entirely the wrong way ‘round. Sunlight does not cause adaptive skin darkening: lack of sunlight causes adaptive skin lightening. Humanity came out of central Africa, and insofar as any skin tone can be considered normative, it’s theirs - it’s us white folks who are the freaky mutants.

Pretty sure that map is wrong. The native population of northern Canada isn’t that pale.

prokopetz:

thelonelyscarecrow:

castiels-time-traveler:

nintendocanada:

mapsontheweb:

Map of the World by Natural Skin Color

i’m really dumbfounded that i never realized skin colour is literally just caused by being closer to or farther from the equator and the resulting sun exposure and skin darkening

actually, its an adaptation. natural selection. people with darker skin are selected for in areas near the equator, where the melanin that causes the darker color protects them from radiation and protects them from skin cancer and other health defects, and because they are healthier they can pass on that trait more. people near the poles have lighter skin because it allows them absorb more of the limited sunlight to convert to vitamin d. 

THIS IS THE THING SOME PEOPLE HATE OTHER PEOPLE OVER.

Evolution of melanin levels based on geographical location.

Strictly speaking, the preceding explanations are entirely the wrong way ‘round. Sunlight does not cause adaptive skin darkening: lack of sunlight causes adaptive skin lightening. Humanity came out of central Africa, and insofar as any skin tone can be considered normative, it’s theirs - it’s us white folks who are the freaky mutants.

Pretty sure that map is wrong. The native population of northern Canada isn’t that pale.

relicemporium:

philippesaner:

Anyone here post on Spacebattles?

Is the moderation actually as laughably bad as the Athene-de-modding controversy makes it look?

What do you mean?

The mods have been generally sane in this and very few people are angry at them. It’s the admins who have been behaving bad.

That so?

I don’t really know much, since I’m not actually a Spacebattles poster. I just wandered into the controversy by accident when checking out Wildbow’s Worm quest.

But if the administration is as incredibly awful as it looks here, that reflects on the site as a whole.

Plus the way people have been talking about this HBMC guy makes him sound like a bad person and a worse moderator.

And apparently moderators using their clout to win arguments is a known issue.

I normally don’t distinguish too much between moderation and administration. Are they very different on Spacebattles?

Regardless, I’d appreciate knowing more. If I’m full of it, let me know.

Get Lucky

ghostface-sella:

OK, I want to explain a certain thing properly because when I mention it, a lot of people tend to get very offended, and I don’t see why, so here’s a proper run-down of what I mean when I say it: most of your life is just luck. That’s it. Pure chance. That’s everything from you being born to where you were born to what job you get, who you end up meeting, what you contribute to the world, etc. If I had to guess why this idea unsettles people, it’s probably because we’re still stuck on a sort of meritocracy-based ideal worldview. We still think that the effort you put into something is directly proportional to what you get out of it in some way. In this view, we see life and difficulties in life as something like a balloon: the more you blow into it, the bigger it grows. It is elastic and will always make more room for your breath (for analogy’s sake, assume the balloon cannot pop). Therefore, the effort you put into school and getting good grades in science classes should “blow up the balloon” of your future science career. But if we’re to take into account the idea of the doubt of inductive reasoning, we should see that life doesn’t really work this way. You could theoretically put lots of effort into studying science, but maybe your brain just seems to lack the capacity to store it. Or you could graduate school only to find that there are no more jobs left for the kind of science you studied, or that you have somehow unconsciously developed into a type of person nobody wants to hire. The balloon model doesn’t work here. Instead, I would like to suggest a different model for life, the “game show” model. Think of it like this: you’re on a game show and the host is showing you three doors. You don’t know what’s behind any of them. The host gives you two options: you can pick one of the doors to open, or you can abstain from opening any doors. If you abstain, you get nothing. But if you choose to pick, you can only pick one door, and there’s no guarantee what could be behind it. It could be $1,000,000. It could be a swarm of killer bees. The host refuses to disclose any information about which of these is more likely, so while you can rationally assume that some options are more likely than others, you still don’t really know what the chances are. So what’s to be gained from abstaining? Well, theoretically, if you abstain, you remove the risk of getting attacked by killer bees (or something else equally life-threatening or terrifying). But you also lose the chance at $1,000,000 (or true love, or whatever floats your boat). This is a better analogy for how our lives work. Deciding to put several years of your life and much of your money into studying science in the hopes of getting a job in your field at the end of it is much like deciding to pick one of the doors. It could end in employment and a feeling of success, or it could end in debt and frustration, just like the doors could lead to money or killer bees. Here’s the problem: you have no control over which one it leads to. All you have control over is whether or not you choose to “open the door”, so to speak. Some may argue that the harder you study, the better a chance you’ll have. That may be, but the chance will never reach 100%, or if it did, you’d have no way of knowing, so we are always dependent on chance to some degree in these sorts of decisions. Almost all choices in life work this way, whether we’re conscious of it or not. There is always an element of chance involved when we make a choice, the chance that determines what’s behind the door. It’s all risk-and-reward. Now I’m not saying this is proof that your skill or time spent trying to improve something doesn’t count for anything, and I’m not saying this is proof that you should never try anything ever for fear of the killer bees. That would be absurd, if all choices really do work this way, abstaining from fear would basically force you to try and cut yourself off from everything in life, even those things you think are likely to help you. But what I’m saying is that while we may think that we have a lot of control over in our lives, we secretly don’t. There’s always that element of chance that plays gatekeeper to our decisions and arbitrarily decides if they’re going to result in something we can appreciate or not.

Why do you hate paragraphs?

Anyone here post on Spacebattles?

Is the moderation actually as laughably bad as the Athene-de-modding controversy makes it look?

An Honest Question For ProChoice People

blue-author:

anaccountofmylife:

I know there are heated debates and people have been wronged on both sides of the arguments. However, I want to ask one question to pro choice people that will help you understand where pro life comes from.

Put aside your beliefs/biases/experiences please for this question and answer honestly.

"If you honestly believed that a fetus is a human life, wouldn’t you do anything to save it from being killed?"

Because pro life people truly believe, based on science, religion, or personal experience, that every fetus is a human child. Therefore we feel we must do everything in our power to save that life. We don’t always get it right, and there are some people who are cruel and heartless, but at the crux of our argument is that life deserves to be saved.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that if I truly believed that abortion killed a person, I wouldn’t do anything like what 99% of anti-abortion agitators do.

You put pennies in a box.

You make signs.

You scream misogynistic and violent insults at women who are seeking unspecified health care services at health care facilities, some of which don’t even provide abortions to begin with.

You push laws that target the abortions that are most often life-saving, most often applied to non-viable fetuses.

None of these things really scream “I AM SERIOUSLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE LIVES OF ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS THAT I GENUINELY BELIEVE ARE IN JEOPARDY!” to me, you know?

What they instead speak of is an intense desire to project oneself into a life-or-death conflict, but one without any actual stakes and one that does not require much more than symbolic gestures on behalf of the “believers”. 

As a bonus, you get to feel better than a bunch people just normal people like you. You get to feel like you’re a crusader for truth and justice in a world full of people so evil, they’d kill babies for fun and profit.

And when you’re out on the picket line, you can engage in the deepest, most shameful impulses that a human being can wrestle with as you shout vile things at the people trying to enter the clinic. Actual people, who are often actually at the most vulnerable part of their grown lives, possibly people who are wrestling with health problems, possibly people who are dealing with the devastating reality of finding out that a fervently desired pregnancy is not safe or non-viable… and you can reduce them to tears. Such power! You and your friends can mob up (strength in numbers) and shout whatever you want this person. You can completely dehumanize an actual human being standing right in front of you.

And it’s okay.

Because you’ve got this fig leaf for your conscience where—when it’s convenient to do so, when it suits your agenda and your plans—you convince yourself there are these other actual human beings that you are standing up for.

You’re desecrating the everloving carp out of the human life standing in front of you, but it’s okay, because life is sacred. When it’s convenient. When it’s your alibi. When it’s your sword and shield.

But when it’s not convenient? Forget about it. Oh, man… if you truly believed that millions of tiny precious babies were being systematically murdered, would you be blogging about it? I’m not daring you to go out and prove your convictions by committing violence yourself, but even restricting yourself to non-violent means, don’t you think you would be doing something more than posters and pennies and posts if you really thought that “an American holocaust” (as so many anti-choice folks have crassly put it) was happening?

Man, I’m glad you asked me what we would do if we sincerely believed that there were all these lives at stake, because it really exposes how hollow the “pro-life” movement is.

Though of course, its hollowness hardly needs to be pointed out. It’s weird how many protestant Christian denominations suddenly did a 180 on abortion and the belief that a fetus was a person with a soul when it suddenly became a viable political wedge issue. Did you know that? As recently as 1979, you could have gone to a lot of the most pro-life protestant churches in the country and asked their leaders if fetuses had souls and abortion was murder, and they would have told you no, that’s some Catholic dogma that’s completely against the Bible. And they’d point to passages that suggest that no, God does not see a fetus as being equivalent to a person and send you on your way.

But then, somehow, suddenly… the inerrant word of God changed. Almost overnight. Why? Because the preachers had allied themselves with rightwing politicians, and between them, they saw a goldmine.

Because they understand the real question isn’t: what would people do if they honestly believed that babies’ lives were on the line, wouldn’t a lot of people vote for a politician who takes a bold stance against baby killing, since that demands nothing from the person casting the vote but lets them feel like they’ve done a huge good deed?

So they did that.

And a lot of people fell for it.

You give your votes, you give your money, you give your time to the cause. Not much from each individual, but it adds up. It all adds up.

And you will always do this.

Because baby killing will always be wrong, and it’s not like anyone’s asking you to fight a war, right?

That’s what politicians call a permanent wedge issue. The people who “vote life” can be relied on to vote against their interests, to vote against their neighbors, to vote against politicians who would improve the circumstances that lead people to require abortions.

Abortions go up when social safety nets are cut. Abortions go up when wages go down. Abortions go up when health care costs rise. Abortions go up when sex ed is inadequate.

But “pro-life” voters vote for politicians who are in favor of all of these circumstances that lead to abortions.

Isn’t that weird?

But you’ll effectively vote for everything that leads to abortions, because all you care about is that you get to register your vote against baby-killin’. 

The pro-life stance is about convenience and feeling good. 

Hey, blue-author’s back on my dash.

And once again, she’s totally right. I should probably follow.

philippesaner:

astrophobe:

Read More

image

I tried to reply to your reply to this, but then your reply disappeared. What’s up with that?

I really don’t get screen names.

"Things [Will Be] Like That, Back Then"

medievalpoc:

blue-author:

The thing that always gets me about the idea that the violence, racism, and misogyny in Game of Thrones is expected/excusable “because that’s how things were back then” isn’t just the fact that GoT isn’t a historical novel.

If progress was a steady, linear acceleration through time, they should be way ahead of us. They should be far more enlightened in Westeros than we are in the United States or Europe. Looking at Westeros would be looking at our enlightened future, not our dismal past.

"What are you talking about? It’s medieval fantasy."

Right, but how many years of recorded human history does this “medieval” world have again?

I don’t remember the exact figure, but I can tell you this much:

image

By the notion that human progress in a vaguely European setting should follow some sort of script moving from more brutal and bigoted to less, they should be well out of their “medieval period” and a couple thousand years ahead of us. There’s some give or take, depending on where you try to peg the “medieval phase” as starting. If we take the invasion of the First Men to be something like the Celts reaching the British Isles and displacing/killing the indigenous people, with the Andals then being analogous to either the Saxons or the French… culturally it seems more like the Norman invasion because the Andals seem “farther along”, but that moves the timeline up even further compared to ours.

But forgetting the Andals: Celts settled in Britain no earlier than 2000 B.C., which puts them about 2,500 years before the beginning of the Ye Olde Medieval England that Westeros is supposed to be based on according to the theory of “how things were back then”. According to the mythic history of Westeros, the First Men crossed over *checks* around 12,000 years ago. If we peg that date as about 2,000 BCE in real-world terms, then the approximate start of the medieval period in Westeros (again, according to the theory that progress is a matter of counting years) would have to be 9,500 years ago. If all medieval periods are about the same—which again, is the underpinning of the theory that “things were just like that back then”—then this period would have given way to something like a renaissance about 1,000 years later, or around 8,500 years ago.

Now, our renaissance kicked off about 500 years ago, so Westeros is about 8,000 years “more advanced” than we are.

"But wait! You said ‘mythic history’! Nobody knows when the first men really arrived."

By crumb, you’re right. Nobody does know that. But you know what they do know? When the wall went up. It’s been continuously staffed and watched by the same organization for a mind-blowing 8,000 years. If we wanted to get all meta, we could even imagine that formal written history in Westeros might have grown out of the Night’s Watch need to keep records.

So the invasion of the First Men could have happened more recently than 12,000 years ago, but no sooner than 8,000 and the time it would take for them to get established across the continent. But even if we assume that they could have come over just in time to build the wall… okay, medieval period begins 2,500 years later. That’s 5,500 years ago. Renaissance begins 1,000 years after that, that’s 4,500 years ago.

Even by the most generous estimate available, Westeros still has 4,000 years of enlightened modern living on us European-descended humans.

Obviously the reason they aren’t 4,000 years more sophisticated and enlightened than we are is… well, it’s a fictional world whose author requires it to be “medieval” and brutal, but more to the point, progress doesn’t work this way. The only reason their society and history mirrors ours at all is that the author has dictated that they should. Seriously. The fact that they even count the turning of years the way we do is really bizarre. The idea that they would come up with the same sort of feudal agrarian culture that we did given the completely different growing seasons and completely different logistics of keeping the population fed is mind-boggling.

We can—we must—accept that these things happened, because they are part of the premise of the story. But the narrative doesn’t assert that the sociopolitical progress of their world is somehow in a parallel, delayed synchronization with progress in ours, and in fact, it very obviously isn’t.

The bottom line: Westeros is not in a medieval Europe phase of progress. It’s in a modern Westeros phase of it. Appealing to “things were like that back then” is no more meaningful an excuse than is saying “things are like that now” about a present situation.

I really like the perspective you’ve added here. I’ve discussed the myth of linear social progress and the projection of that many people are willing to do onto fictional worlds, including that of GoT/ASOIAF. None of this would be necessary if it wasn’t for the bone-deep conviction on the part of some fans that this particular work of fiction can excuse it flaws and some very questionable choices on the part of the author with “but, historical accuracy!”

In the end, the facts are that the books and the show are racist, misogynist, and violent because people chose to make it that way. These problems are compounded upon the insistence that these narrative choices are not only true to history or “realistic”, but the implication that the creators of the book/show are somehow fettered by or forced into these narrative choices.

Intellectually I’m aware that linear social progress is partly a myth, but I find it very hard to shake the assumption that things naturally get better over time. It seems to be very deeply built into my worldview.

Not sure why.

Anyone else have the same problem?

Okay, maybe it’s not entirely a problem, but you know what I mean.

cellohray:

peaceshine3:

Via: SanCopha League

Yes

When you fear “drama” and controversy you will inevitably find yourself on the side of whoever’s in charge. Dominant powers love peace.

cellohray:

peaceshine3:

Via: SanCopha League

Yes

When you fear “drama” and controversy you will inevitably find yourself on the side of whoever’s in charge. Dominant powers love peace.