Link roundup: November 2019

A few plugs:

There is a video of me talking about the Ace Community Survey.  Also cat and dog persons.

I wrote about my approach to putting asexuality on my resume.

And now the links:

Why I Can’t Trust You With The Term “Purity Culture” – Coyote explains purity culture, which is the Christian culture surrounding chastity, and virginity before marriage.  And then explains how “purity culture” is now being (mis)used on Tumblr, to refer to… something to do with supposed problems around social justice discourse?  It’s rather confusing, honestly.  Anyway, if you’ve ever talked about Christian purity culture, Coyote has some insightful commentary that really lays out what you’ve been talking about, even if you hadn’t realized it.

Fandom, the highest stage of capitalism? – The article pushes back against the idea that fandom is inherently radical or progressive (an idea that I’m surprised anyone believes in the first place).  I wanted this article to go a lot further than it does.  Yes, fandom is all about building an identity around a consumer product, obviously it’s very capitalistic.  My primary association with fandom is people telling me I must try Thing.  Or else they just spend copious amounts of time talking about Thing, which locks everyone else out of socializing.  And it makes rational sense–if not enough people like Thing then they will stop making it–but it’s obnoxious and a force for conformity, not progressiveness.

And while certain fandoms may have a high density of women and queer people, you have to remember that “fandom” is a category that also encompasses geeks, gamers, gamergaters, and sports fans.

This essay is just Harry Potter for people who think comparing things to Harry Potter is stupid – The whole article is a funny invective against superficial comparisons.  So, the argumentative function of a comparison, is to use something we understand and agree on as a baseline to understand an aspect of something else.  This is what I tell myself whenever I feel the urge to explain something by comparing it to statistical physics: not helping.  When people try to explain something by comparing it to incels, they’re committing the non-physicist version of the same error.

Opulence (video) – Contrapoints spends 50 minutes discussing opulence–not wealth but the aesthetic of wealth.  She provides a compelling narrative of how opulence can be positive and empowering.  I found this interesting, precisely because I have an opposite perspective.  I see opulence as a counterfeiting of conspicuous consumption.  “Conspicuous consumption” means wasting resources in a visible way, basically to demonstrate that you have more resources available to waste than other people.  To my mind, opulence goes some ways towards subverting conspicuous consumption, and yet it still holds conspicuous consumption as a desirable thing.

The Power of Voltaire’ Prayer – Marcus Ranum is at it explaining Clinton’s e-mails again, and how obviously Trump doesn’t understand any of it.  Incidentally, I just watched Burn After Reading, and now I’m imagining Trump as Linda Latzke, bringing a disk full of gibberish to the Russian embassy in hopes of getting money for plastic surgery.

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