I found this thread pretty amusing (NSFW, terrible anatomy warning): https://old.reddit.com/r/menwritingwomen/comments/buu9fr/i_a_man_have_arrived/
I'm intrigued by the moral implications of this geoengineering (aka ocean fertilization): https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/5/24/18273198/climate-change-russ-george-unilateral-geoengineering
Of course many people effect the environment far more than this one experiment, but we ignore it morally. Like, it's okay to affect the world as long as you do it ignorantly and without any intention. Only when an individual expresses intentionality is it treated as a moral threat.
But if we have defectors, then beautification through artifice becomes the baseline, and no one is allowed to be comfortable with themselves. We enter the self-loathing self-image that is so dominant in the female experience.
"Metrosexuals" are defectors. I honestly don't know how the wind blows, I'm not sure if this will really end up being a thing. I'm old enough that I'm past it, whatever happens. But I see this as a downside of liberalization, it allows defectors.
In a conversation about Spanx, I realize that men don't participate in that kind of body-modifying artifice in part because we police each other: there's a stigma, held by men and applied to other men, against self-beautification, especially done artificially (including makeup).
There's a sort of prisoner's dilemma here: so long as heterosexual men maintain a unified front, we preserve expectations that men are unadorned, and that being comfortable in your body is preferable to artifice.
Interesting point in https://pca.st/episode/d8f0ab10-ba87-0133-2e57-6dc413d6d41d
The academic who is interviewed suggests that something like a mindfulness retreat may be a traumatic experience in a way Buddhist meditation is less likely to be, because there's a lore in Buddhism that this is a divine path laid down by a benevolent force. That very expectation helps fill what you make room for.
I wrote another blog post, “Users want control” is a shoulder shrug – thinking about control vs value: https://www.ianbicking.org/blog/2019/04/users-want-control-is-a-shrug.html
I wonder if social media has become a convenient Other. I'm listening to people talk about the younger generation, their own children, and pinning the changes on social media and not at all on themselves... that the generational change is just some weird accident, not the change deliberately created by the generation before (or at least reacting to the generation before).
I think the arguments of UBI as a job replacement tool is misguided at best. But as a way to replace a wide swath of anti-poverty measures it could be great. By being universal it provides value and consistency that can benefit everyone.
In this I suppose I align with the older Libertarian arguments for UBI, it's one of the smallest-government safety nets you can provide. Decreasing the size of government isn't a top priority for me (and I'm not a Libertarian), but it's still a nice feature.
We already have solutions to that basic problem through a large number of social programs. UBI doesn't change the basic social contract, it just fixes a bunch of problems in how we try to achieve these societal goals.
Need-based programs create complicated bureaucracies, fickle providers, inefficient direct-service providers, and frequent negative rates of return when someone tries to better themselves or their family.
So I guess Andrew Yang wants a universal basic income pegged to the productivity of AI. Maybe that's just to counter AI's influence on the economy, or maybe you could think of it as a dividend on automation.
I don't personally see any good reason to link automation and UBI. I like UBI simply as a technical solution to a societal requirement: that in a modern wealthy society we don't want anyone to starve or be overly deprived, irregardless of anything about the person.
Any superheroes that take the law of equal and opposite reaction seriously? Like, you can imagine people being very strong, and I suppose you'd also have to assume various body parts could take extreme pressure, but you still need to support the weight you carry with something, and superhuman inertia doesn't really make sense.
I put up another blog post on a subject I've been thinking about a lot lately: http://www.ianbicking.org/blog/2019/03/open-source-doesnt-make-money-by-design.html
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