Learn to listen. This is especially difficult for members of dominant groups. If someone confronts you with your own behavior that supports privilege, step off the path of least resistance that encourages you to defend and deny. Don’t tell them they’re too sensitive or need a better sense of humor, and don’t try to explain away what you did as something else than what they’re telling you it was. Don’t say you didn’t mean it or that you were only kidding. Don’t tell them what a champion of justice you are or how hurt you feel because of what they’re telling you. Don’t make jokes or try to be cute or charming, since only privilege can lead someone to believe these are acceptable responses to something as serious as privilege and oppression. Listen to what’s being said. Take it seriously. Assume for the time being that it’s true, because given the power of paths of least resistance, it probably is. And then take responsibility to do something about it.
Sociologist Allan G. Johnson from The Gender Knot
(via Linda Hu @oursickstory)
— Learn to listen…
The existence of good bad literature — the fact that one can be amused or excited or even moved by a book that one’s intellect simply refuses to take seriously — is a reminder that art is not the same thing as cerebration.
Beyond the labels of “Generation X” and “Generation Y,” the feature documentary film ReGeneration takes an uncompromising look at the issues facing today’s youth and young adults, and the influences that perpetuate our culture’s apathetic approach to social and political causes.
Focused on how today’s education, parenting, and media can shape us, the film follows three separate walks of life representing today’s generation. Each brings their own unique perspective – from an inspired collective of musicians working outside the corporate system, to a twenty-something conservative family about to welcome the birth of their second child, and a group of five high-school students from the suburbs looking for their place in society. Their stories are interspersed with the knowledge, wisdom, and personal reflections of some of the country’s leading scholars, social activists, and media personalities, including Andrew Bacevich, Noam Chomsky, Talib Kweli, and the late Howard Zinn, among others.
We are encouraged to over-share, for commercial reasons (just as we are encouraged to over-consume, but that’s an issue for another time). We are discouraged from imposing reasonable limits on access to our shared information, again, for commercial reasons. (And the mechanism employed for discouragement is a combination of benign neglect and ignorance on the one hand, with behavioural marketing on the other—”if you tell us where and when you went to school we can put you in touch with your long-lost high school friends!”)
Moreover we are actively discouraged from maintaining any separation of spheres of identity. Facebook was written by students, for students; one of its pernicious hallmarks is that it assumes that human beings possess but a single identity (which can be harvested by Facebook, needless to say). Ask any teacher whether they want to share their private life and relations with their students! Or parents with children, for that matter. Real human beings live complex lives in which they occupy different roles which are exposed to different people. Facebook tries to bundle everything up into one amorphous blob, and makes it relatively hard to hold information back from some categories. (G+ at least comes with the concept of circles, which is an improvement; but is it sufficient? After all, Google—like Facebook—is essentially the photoluminescent lure dangling in front of the sharp-toothed maw of an angler fish advertising company.)
Not an April Fool – Charles Stross
— Stalker apps and privacy