ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Here's another good post about trigger warnings and why they are valuable.

When you include notes about content, and your policies, that helps people make more informed and mindful decisions about their lives.  When you include tools -- you may ask for an alternate assignment, here is the quiet room, this is a handout of coping skills because this class handles historic atrocities, if you are having lots of trouble please visit in my office so we can discuss it, etc. -- that teaches people how to handle challenges in effective ways that build resilience.  There are rocks, but you can climb over them.  Here is a rope.

When you do not include notes, you deny people the chance to select the classes that are the best fit for them and to cope with materials presented in progress.  There are rocks and people are dropped on their heads.  If you sustain a concussion it is because you are a pussy, not because the rocks are sharp.

When you include notes but not tools, and allow people to dodge material without compensating in any way, that  is coddling.  The rocks are taken out of the way.  Now nobody can learn how to climb rocks in a relatively safe environment.

The complaints about trigger warnings basically say: "It is okay to hurt people.  It is not okay if you want people NOT to hurt you.  Just get used to being hurt, you pussy."  Because really?  If you have triggers, there is no getting away from them.  The world whacks them all the time.  Especially if they are about sex or violence or both.  And pressuring people to remain silent about being hurt just gets more people hurt, which is also not okay.

When you put content notes or trigger warnings on a class, story, or other material it says: "I am choosing to deal with controversial topics.  I want to understand what happens in the world and hopefully that will help make it a better place.  I want to make it as accessible as possible so that more people can deal with these topics in a safe way."  You don't go into shop class and NOT have safety goggles, I hope.  If you're talking about things like rape or mass murder, and especially about some crackpot thinking those are jolly good ideas, then folks need to know that appropriate safety measures are in place.

Seriously, look around: If there are women, about a quarter of them have experienced sexual violence personally and the rest have at least fended off smarmy approaches. Probably at least one or two of the men are survivors too.  If there are Jews, they will be sensitive about the Holocaust and probably Israeli politics.  If there are black people, they will be sensitive about slavery and racism.  If there are poor people, they will probably be touchy about some money issues.  And if the group is a monoculture, that's likely to cause problems on its own and is not an ideal learning environment.  Explaining the parameters for handling challenges is just part of running a smooth class or other activity.  It is not fun for anybody if somebody has a panic attack because they got blindsided.  It is not effective if people blank out because the material is ghastly and no coping methods are available.

Of course, not everyone is equally good at listing triggers, and it does take time.  So if that's expected at college, you have to allow the extra time and make sure there's a backup person for teachers who aren't good at it.  (Inaccurate warnings are worse than useless.)  If you're doing it as a writer, you can just ask your audience to tell you if they think more warnings are advisable.


ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Here is an article about people emptying out the Little Free Libraries, which are America's answer to public libraries and bookstores closing.

You may also have heard that HitchBOT was destroyed only two weeks into its trip through America.

These actions are not random, isolated, or irrational. Instead they are coherent symptoms of a wider problem, indicating an unhealthy society.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
The title says they're for back pain, but they also fix a lot of leg problems.  These help with a wide variety of tendon/ligament muscle, joint, and nerve problems especially those caused by sitting in the same position for hours while you work. Stretching before you sit down, during breaks, and after you get up can reduce long-term tendency for problems.  Stretches also relieve acute pain when it flares up.   Take five minutes to treat a cramp when it first appears and you will lose a lot less time than if you are miserable for hours.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This article succinctly explains why Israel is a danger to itself and others.

Based on this analysis, Avigail Abarbanel believes “Israel cannot be reasoned with”, that it “is a traumatised society and it is therefore very dangerous.” Applying family therapy models, she compares Israel to the abusive husband, the Palestinians to the abused wife and the United States to the enabling neighbor.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] natasiakith, [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah, and Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "make new friends" square of my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series, and is a sequel to "Coloring In."

Warning: This poem contains some touchy material. Highlight to read the detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. It mentions uncontrolled use of a superpower, physical stress deriving from superpower overstrain, having to depend on a total stranger for help, nonsexual intimacy during a minor crisis, aftereffects of past head trauma, graphic description of disability coping skills, a close look at how superpowers can screw up your life, teen angst, and other sensitive material. But mostly it's a very positive look at Ansel being awesome again. If these are concerns for you, please consider your headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is from the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "primary colors" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest, and it fills the "Asked to give public safety lecture -- right after incident" square in my Superhero Bingo Card. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

WARNING: This poem touches on some sensitive topics. Highlight to read the detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features bullying, vile language, discrimination against assorted groups, willing and unwilling changes in hair color, nonsexual intimacies, navigation through shifting identity, boundary issues, violation of body autonomy, canon-typical violence, emotional stress, and other challenges. On the whole, though, there's more fluff than angst, and it ends on a high note. If this is touchy territory for you, consider your headspace before clicking through.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Here's an excellent way to reduce the damage done by addiction

Terramagne does things like this.  They put more effort into crime prevention, partly because the crimes can be a lot worse than here if they involve superpowers.  
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
I have long said that the pyramid of needs is only one way of organizing those values.  Check out the Blackfoot version.

For me, the need to know and understand is fundamental.  Social connections are luxuries from a philosophic point of view, although in this context I need people for practical concerns; but I just don't have as much intrinsic NEED for other people as most folks seem to.  And my transcendence can't turn off no matter what I or anyone else may do; like my sense of self, it is indelible.  The base of my pyramid is, more explicitly than for most people although it is true for everyone, the biosphere of the Earth.  No biosphere, no nothing.  Because I know that, my behavior is very different from people who place their own body's needs at the base.

They're all just concepts.  You can prioritize them in any order you want.  Some orders are more effective than others.  I'm not terribly impressed with the planetwide results of personal-body-needs as a foundation.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This poem came out of the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anthony Barrette. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

Warning: This poem discusses natural disasters.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This scale is missing a few points on both ends, but a good starting point for discussions about how a disability affects your life.  

Immediately obvious to anyone who has experienced serious impairment is that the low end of the scale needs to account for levels where your functionality continues to drop (i.e. having difficulty staying conscious or coherent, as in chronic fatigue) and where your willingness to continue suffering  drops or ends (not wanting to do maintenance tasks, considering suicide, actively pursuing it).  Of course it goes farther in the other direction too, in terms of what variety and how much you can manage: in particular, whether you feel confident making advance plans or regular commitments. That's usually the first thing to go with any disability.  It is useful to consider this end because people may have specific goals that require juggling resources to obtain.

Quality of life has two aspects, internal and external.  Internal ranges from miserable through neutral to happy.  External ranges from a drain on resources to breaking even to contributing.  Life is justified and enjoyable when you are neutral to happy, neutral to contributing a majority of the time.  When life becomes a burden to self and others, it is not right to demand that people continue, although they have a right to do stick it out if they choose.  It's the in-between parts that people argue over the most, where someone is happy but a burden, or miserable but useful.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Here's another article about police brutality, raising the question of how to dismantle this system of oppression. Because it's not about keeping the peace, it's about maintaining the unidirectional flow of violence.

Read more... )

HitchBOT

Jul. 19th, 2015 02:44 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
My partner Doug found this article about a hitchhiking robot

My first reaction was, "That poor robot!  Hitchhiking is dangerous."  Which is a sad commentary on human behavior.  Power doesn't corrupt, it reveals; which is why men are less at hazard hitchhiking but less likely to get rides, and women have an easier time hitching a ride but are more at risk.  The only protection a robot has is if someone regards it as another person's property (which it is, but it looks abandoned when posted beside a road) or anthropomorphizes it enough to treat it gently.

So there are actually two aspects to this experiment: how to humans treat robots, and how do humans behave when they are unlikely to be punished for indifference or even cruelty?   The first is the primary goal of the experiment: can robots trust humans.  My suspicion is no, so I'm surprised this one has lasted as long as it has.  That's hopeful. But then some girls make it out of drunken frat parties without getting raped, so there is a luck factor.

I'm intrigued by the construction.  This is a vaguely humanoid robot, in that it has two arms and two legs attached to a torso, sort of a head with two eyes, and so on.  I'm also intrigued that the eyes are glowing red.  That's a prevailing motif with robots.  I think it's because people often consider robots to be a threat, and red is a danger color, and some predators have eyes that reflect red at night.  So I would expect people to have a more negative reaction to a red-eyed robot than a green-eyed one.  Thus far, however, the robot has survived.  It was designed with a "rummage sale" aesthetic, so maybe that helps people think of it as cute, as something to be protected instead of ignored or exploited.  Hmm, the chunky outline may help it read as "childlike" and activate some protective instincts.

It will be interesting to see what happens.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This search engine can be set with a choice of several filters to weed out mainstream propaganda or target independent sources.  Furthermore, it's a safesearch engine that does not record user information.  That makes it a good choice for looking up things you don't want anyone to know you looked up.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Here's an article about how the West Coast could be largely wiped out, and it's not about the San Andreas. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Fireworks can upset veterans who have PTSD. The same can happen to other trauma survivors, people with anxiety, anyone with a low startle reflex, etc. Know how to help someone with PTSD or panic attack. Here are some concrete ways to say "thank you for your service" with more than just words ...

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Right now there's a rash of church burnings that targets all or mostly black congregations. There are things people can do to oppose that ...

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
So nobody in power wants to admit that burning black churches counts as a hate crime.   Or terrorism.  Hey, let's get some black folks to comment on how they feel about assaults on black churches.  Now there's a clue.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Akin to mudras, this hand exercise offers a discreet way to balance troubled feelings.  If you're freaking out and don't know what to do, try holding each finger one at a time with your opposite hand.  It's good for settling, even if you don't believe in the energy effect, because it gives you something very simple to focus on.

Profile

ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
ysabetwordsmith

September 2015

S M T W T F S
   12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags