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Monthly Archive: March 2013

Mar 31 2013

How To Get People To Care When It’s Not Personal: On Rob Portman

I’m going to talk about Rob Portman now even though that bit of news is pretty old at this point. (Hey, if you want to read about stuff in a timely manner, go read the NYT or something.) Brief summary: Portman is a Republican senator from Ohio (yay Ohio!) who used to oppose same-sex marriage but changed …

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Mar 28 2013

Occasional Link Roundup

I’m on spring break! I get to read a lot! Enjoy. 1. Chavisory talks about emotional discussions: It took me a long time to learn that almost whenever someone tells you that you’re being “too emotional,” what they mean is that you are being perfectly appropriately emotional about something that they simply don’t want to …

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Mar 26 2013

I’m Going To Rant About Those Little Equal Sign Facebook Profile Pics Now

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I get it. The cute little red equal signs all over Facebook today are an easy target. It’s not Real Activism. It doesn’t actually help anyone. Get off your ass and Actually Do Something for the cause. Right? Yes, nobody should fool themselves that changing their profile picture will convince the Supreme Court to disregard …

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Mar 26 2013

All These Years I Thought I Was Just Lazy

[Content note: eating disorders/weight loss stuff] My arms are on fire. When I woke up this morning I felt the burn immediately. I’ve been stretching and moving them around all day, simultaneously wincing and savoring the feeling because it tells me that I’m getting stronger. I’m on spring break right now and have been taking …

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Mar 25 2013

Not All Beliefs Deserve Respect

“I’m not trying to be ‘that douche’ but it kind of pisses me off that people here accept other’s beliefs only if they’re liberal. What if I tried to post advertising all over about why ‘I’m not an ally’ or why I think abortion is about the most disgusting crime someone can commit? I hate …

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Mar 23 2013

Viewing History Skeptically: On Shifting Cultural Assumptions and Attitudes

I’ve been reading Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, Lillian Faderman’s sweeping social history of lesbians in 20th century America (this is the sort of thing I do for fun). At the beginning of the chapter on World War II, Faderman makes this insight: If there is one major point to be made in a social history …

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Mar 20 2013

How (Not) to Respond When People Change Their Minds

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the process of changing one’s mind. For those of us who like to try to persuade people, it’s important to think about that process and how it happens and how to facilitate it, but even someone who doesn’t spend most of their free time yelling on the Internet …

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Mar 18 2013

Come to Skeptech on April 5-7!

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m going to a new student conference in at the University of Minnesota this April. It’s called Skeptech and it’s being organized by Campus Atheists, Humanists, and Skeptics (CASH) at the U of M and the Secular Student Alliance at St. Cloud State University. The lineup of speakers is fantastic and …

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Mar 17 2013

More About Justice and Less About Revenge: On Reading the Steubenville Coverage Too Early in the Goddamn Day

[Content note: sexual assault] I don’t want to hear anything more about the “ruined futures” of Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond. The verdict did not ruin their futures. They ruined their futures, when they made the decision to rape someone. I don’t want to hear anything more about how you shouldn’t drink if you don’t want …

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Mar 14 2013

Does Telling People to “Think Positive” Actually Help? An Informal Survey and Some Protips

Positive thinking is the bane of my existence. Not because I can’t do it, but because I’ve so often been exhorted to do it in the most unhelpful of ways. I’m someone who prefers to talk mostly about the neutral or negative aspects of my life to friends and family because I don’t want to …

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