Purely a figment of your imagination

What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz


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Fear, Anger, Hate, Suffering

It’s been an unbelievable few days and now I’ve stumbled home in a daze after shedding some tears at today’s news, I will try to collect myself here.

At the weekend we saw the massacre of 49 mainly Latinx LGBT+ people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando,FL. This act of homophobic terrorism shook the whole world and I walked down to Old Compton Street to be with the community at the vigil here in London and pay our respects.

Today one of our Labour MPs has been murdered by a man apparently shouting “Britain First” (the name of one of our openly racist and nationalist political groups). She was a passionate activist who was trying to serve people in her work. I did not know her, but friends did, and extremely high praise is all I have seen.

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Double standards in judgement

This makes me very, very angry.

Originally posted via StorifyFavicon for https://storify.com

The victim in the Ched Evans rape case was relocated and given a new identify because people took it upon themselves to judge her a liar, him and his friends heroes because he kicks a ball for lots of money – they harassed her relentlessly.

There’s been a lot of coverage of the #Pistorius trial. A man who shot Reeva Steenkamp through a door in their home, who was feared by her and her loved ones before the act but that’s apparently not relevant.

Thumbnail for Oscar Pistorius would be allowed Paralympic sport return, says IPC
Oscar Pistorius would be allowed Paralympic sport return, says IPC

Oscar Pistorius will be allowed to compete in the future after being found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend. The South African double amputee runner was said to have acted “negligently” when he fired shots through a toilet door, killing Reeva Steenkamp, but in the “belief that there was an intruder”, judge Thokozile Masipa said in her verdict in Pretoria.

#Gamergate sees Zoe Quinn harassed by gamers because her ex saw fit to tell the world she slept with games journalists, and people claimed she “did it for reviews” (and it seems she didn’t – and anyway, personal lives should be just that, no?), covering their blatant misogyny with accusations of “corruption in journalism”.

Originally on Twitter:

Y’know what fucks me off about the likes of Pistorius, Ched Evans et al (apart from their criminal acts & pain they caused): hypocrisy.

Man is convicted of a crime but, Society: “Well he’s paid for it, work & personal life are separate, he has value, let it go”

Woman is accused by ex-lover and random guys of having consensual relationships loosely related to work “OMG CORRUPT BITCH GET LOST”
And people hound women, harass them, until they leave their industry, their career. Because their personal lives are up for public scrutiny.

This sexist, hypocritical bollocks fills me with pure rage. That these pathetic people are listened to when their hateful motivation is clear.

And abusive, dangerous men are let back out into society, back into their positions of power, to reoffend, to hurt more people. Because men.

In all these cases we are told the men deserve due process, reserve judgement, and all too often they are allowed back into their roles in public life, roles that carry responsibility, prestige, huge earnings, opportunities to repeat offend and ruin more lives.

But the women? No, the women can’t be trusted. They’re lying bitches, they had it coming, they can just stop listening to the abuse if it bothers them that much, but these industries aren’t for them anyway.

Can we stop this?


Links

Thumbnail for Minister criticises Pistorius rulingMinister criticises Pistorius ruling

A South African minister has said the acquittal of athlete Oscar Pistorius of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is “extremely disappointing”. Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga told the BBC she thought the judgement was “based on technicalities, not on facts”. Ms Steenkamp’s parents have also said “justice was not served”.BBC

Thumbnail for Ched Evans is a rapist - he does not deserve to waltz back to Sheffield UnitedChed Evans is a rapist – he does not deserve to waltz back to Sheffield United

Does a footballer stop being a footballer when he’s a rapist? That’s the question being bandied around this week in relation to the former Sheffield United player Ched Evans. The 25-year-old sportsman was convicted of rape in April 2012, jailed for five years and is due to rejoin society in October. HOLLY BAXTER

Thumbnail for Misogyny, death threats and a mob of trolls: Inside the dark world of video games with Zoe Quinn - target of #GamerGate - TelegraphMisogyny, death threats and a mob of trolls: Inside the dark world of video games with Zoe Quinn – target of #GamerGate – Telegraph

“The graphic and specific death threats I have received have been terrifying.It’s really just about hurting women, which they have been quite good at. Four women, I think, have withdrawn [from the gaming industry] now saying it’s not worth it.” But trolling women is not what gamers claim that ‘GamerGate’ is all about. RADHIKA SANGHANI


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Substituting for ‘crazy’

As I’m sure I’ve argued before, words really do matter in some contexts. They both reflect and define our realities, and can indicate to each other what we feel and think about things, as well as what’s acceptable in groups.

People might now switch off because “omg the PC police” but, try replacing “political correctness gone mad” with “people would like respect” and see how things look…

booksinsane

Yeah, no, it really isn’t

Today’s subject is the increased use of terms that usually reference mental ill-health being substituted for descriptors of the unusual and notable like baffling, unconscionable, inexplicable, astonishing, amazing, awesome, fantastic, brilliant, shocking, clever, super, awful, despicable, outrageous, indefensible, unfair – and many more besides; I am (sadly) not a thesaurus.

That’s a big range of stuff to throw words like crazy, insane, mad, batshit or mentally ill at. I think it’s more common in America (especially insane) but seems fairly ubiquitous now, especially in clickbait headlines (a root of many ills).

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London Skeptics: Truth and Lies In Advertising

A talk by Richard Burdett on the changing face of advertising during his career, and what kind of untruths we should actually be concerned about.

Given today I’ve been wound up by Brands jumping on the current advertising Bandwagon of ’50 Shades’ (because it glorifies abuse and could be doing some real damage – I wish brands would place their profits a bit lower in importance but that’s a pipedream) – here’s some stuff from last night’s skeptics meeting on Advertising.

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On being a “digital academic”

It's me

It’s me

A colleague asked me why I “left science” last year. I don’t really feel like I have; my dayjob involves writing about the amazing research and related goings-on at the place where I completed my PhD. I still feel connected to science; I’m just not at the bench.

Perhaps I’m lying to myself, but I’ll run with it.

While I may not be a practicing academic, many friends and colleagues are. As I now (and, for the last 15-odd years, always have) spend a lot of time online and with social networking, I watched a Google Hangout that was run by jobs.ac.uk today: Being a successful Digital Academic.

People often fear social networks, but I’ve defended them before and will continue to do so. I wouldn’t be in the position I am now without this blog, Twitter and the time I’ve spent on them, as well as the people I’ve met through them.

The hangout contained lots of useful tips for academics who are or might want to venture into the world of online chat, promotion and networking. You can find my notes here on Google Docs and the Piirus blog, too. Continue reading


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Charity Challenges

I’m sure you’ve heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge. More and more people are doing it – film you or a friend dumping a bucket of ice water on your head, post it online, make a donation to charity, and nominate some other people to do the same.

In the UK social media circles – due to a shift that probably happened in the US where this is a better-known disease perhaps because of Lou Gehrig, the famous baseball player who suffered – it seems the most common cause to donate to is for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research charities. ALS is a form of MND; a degenerative disease that leads to muscle degradation, paralysis and eventual suffocation. Our famous sufferer is Stephen Hawking.

The Wellcome Trust did a great video explaining the condition, for those who’d like to learn more:

A wonderful friend from university whom I have seen far too little of in recent years decided to nominate me yesterday as he took the challenge. Having done the right thing and made a cup of tea ready for the aftermath, he decided to donate to Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund. I’m sorry I haven’t been “a good sport” as he put it and made my own video, but you can watch his and, if you like, read on for some more thoughts on the phenomenon and my explanation of why I’ve decided to donate and write this instead.

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Prejudice itself isn’t the only problem

I’d say it’s more often about getting people to admit to it.

I actually don’t think “more people admit to racism” is necessarily a problem. In fact, in a way, I’d say that’s a good thing. Bear with me.

Avenue Q’s “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist” may be comedic but it’s true. Power/context/history important – it’s a song though, not an essay.

Everyone internalises prejudice, it’s impossible not to when growing up in a society that has inequality. We’re all sexist because of the messages that objectify and diminish women and this being true through history. We’re all racist because of messages that other and categorise certain races, and the history of it.

So what is the real problem? It’s people who are deluded and think they are not part of it. We all are. By not calling things out we are complicit. By parroting things we know to be wrong and/or reductive and offensive, we are making sure those problems continue.

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