ALL PARENTS MATTER – Boycott Father’s Day 😀

My buddy Dean — a father on Father’s Day — posted something I’d not considered.

According to professor David Theo Goldberg, “All Lives Matter” reflects a view of “racial dismissal, ignoring, and denial”.

On Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill Maher expressed support for use of the “Black Lives Matter” phrase, stating that “‘All Lives Matter’ implies that all lives are equally at risk, and they’re not”. …

P.S.

I’m OK with the use of Blue Lives Matter. Police and law enforcement are also at greater risk than the general population. Of course they voluntarily signed-up for that risk.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

I post on Juneteenth, the day celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.

Small Great Things (2016) was recommended for those who want to learn more about racism.

The American author, Jodi Picoult, is a white woman.

I’m a super privileged white man.

And I did learn from this book.  Especially many of the subtle instances where Black Americans are stereotyped by oblivious whites.  It made me wonder how many times I’ve done the same things.  I am often oblivious of the feelings of those around me.

The story concentrates on an African-American labor/delivery (L&D) nurse, Ruth Jefferson, in charge of newborns at a Connecticut hospital.

Ruth is ordered not to touch or go near the baby of a white supremacist couple. After the baby dies in her care, Ruth is charged with murder, and taken to court.

Small Great Things is being adapted into a film starring Viola Davis and Julia Roberts.

P.S.

I happened to have recently read a big chunk of The Innocents Abroad (1869) by Mark Twain, one of the best-selling travel books of all time.  Of course Twain was a humorist, skilled at making me laugh.

He’s an American imperialist abroad, mocking everyone and everything he finds abroad.  It was off-putting.  Later in life he became an ardent anti-imperialist.

Twain was an adamant supporter of the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of slaves, even going so far as to say, “Lincoln‘s Proclamation … not only set the black slaves free, but set the white man free also”.  Yet in his travel book you have to call him a racist.

That I found also off-putting.

The only instance of praise for anyone in the first part of the book, however, was for an African American tour guide working in Europe.  The only good guide they had in months.

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow

Radicalized is a collection of 4 novellas released on March 19, 2019 as a reaction to Trump government chaos.

The issues discussed are very current.

It’s one of the books contending in the Canada Reads 2020 contest.  I’m slightly surprised at that as one of the four is a rant against the American non-health care system.

I recommend it IF you are interested in these themes:

… explores such issues as digital rights management, police brutality, radicalization in internet communities, and doomsday preppers. …

… American medical care, immigration, white male rage and technological monopolies …

Those who did not like the book consider it too preachy.

I quite liked the first story, Unauthorized BreadA refugee, Salima, confronts the software controlling installed in her kitchen appliances after the companies who created those appliances suddenly cease operations.

Cory Doctorow is one of the Tech gurus I’ve been following as long as I’ve been following Boing Boing, which won the Bloggies for Weblog of the Year, in 2004 and 2005.  The web version launched January 2000, a “directory of wonderful things“.

In February 2020, Cory Doctorow left Boing Boing to start Pluralistic.net, a blog that brands itself as having “No trackers, no ads.”  Of course I’m now following it too.

Cory is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licences for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.

 

make sure you have ID when stopped by police

Standard procedure for bad cops is to say you “fit the description of some imaginary criminal as an excuse to question / hassle.

While I feel badly for the good police officers wrongly accused, at this one moment in time it’s OK with me.

If they can’t handle public scrutiny, get a new job.

#BlackLivesMatter

 

FOX News: “Not Racist, But #1 With Racists”

My bible the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I’m not a racist.  But am I an anti-racist?

I believe I am.  I hope I am. 

Here’s the checklist:

If you watch FOX National News, you are a racist. You enable racists like racist President Trump.

Robot dog patrols Singapore Park

Did you see the Black Mirror episode called Metalhead?

A woman hunted down by robot dogs?

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I was reminded of Metalhead after seeing this Spot robot patrolling Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park to remind people of safe distancing measures starting from Friday (May 8). 😶

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I’m a Humanist

Author Yuval Noah Harari would say my religion is Humanism.

My bible the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The first Humanist Manifesto was issued by a conference held at the University of Chicago in 1933.

Signatories included the philosopher John Dewey, but the majority were ministers (chiefly Unitarian) and theologians.

They identified humanism as an ideology that espouses reasonethics, and social and economic justice, and they called for science to replace dogma and the supernatural as the basis of morality and decision-making.

So far, so good.

In 1941, the American Humanist Association was organised. Noted members of The AHA included Isaac Asimov, who was the president from 1985 until his death in 1992, and writer Kurt Vonnegut, who followed as honorary president until his death in 2007.

They advocate in Washington, D.C., for separation of church and state.

There is a sub-set called secular humanism that consciously rejects supernatural and religiosity.

I wouldn’t go that far, myself.

But I do believe strongly in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

 

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

I really enjoyed these 3 books by Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari.

Like Bill Bryson, he can make academic subjects interesting and lively

Critics call it sensationalist infotainment.

He is a simplifier. I like his frequent analogies to well known references.

There are endless interesting factoids.

Critics complain he gets some facts wrong by over-simplifying.

In Sapiens he postulates that humans now rule the earth because of our ability to organize and coordinate in large numbers.

Bees, ants and other species cooperates even better, but they are too inflexible to evolve. And have comparatively small numbers.

We are the only animal that can believe in things that exist purely in our imagination, such as gods, states, money, human rights, corporations and other fictions, and we have developed a unique ability to use these stories to unify and organize groups and ensure cooperation.

TED

He feels humans will continue to evolve, likely into some computer / human hybrid.

Click PLAY or watch his TED Talk on the topic on YouTube. (17min)