Several items for your careful consideration …

I’ve only got random stuff for you now, but it is all good stuff. Well, not really all good, but it is most definitively all stuff.

First, we have Chris Mooney interviewing Rebecca Watson in a Point of Inquiry Podcast. Give it a listen.

I’m happy to be one of the men who supports Rebecca. Those of you who are mad at me for that please continue to comment here, because Imma write a book about WTF is going on in your heads. Along the lines of a Stephen King novel, I think.

On a more mundane and immediate note, we just received word of a four year old girl drowned in Clearwater Park. Nobody I know or anything but it reminds me, now that this is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, to remind you to be safe about water! Did you know that the typical drowning person drowns silently? Did you know that the fast majority of kinds who drown do so in sight of adults who are supposedly supervising them, but who never saw it happen? Obviously someone is doing something wrong. Don’t do that.

UPDATE: A 6-year-old Duluth boy was found unresponsive in a Cloquet swimming pond and later died at a hospital. … Cloquet City Administrator Brian Fritsinger says there were four life guards on duty at the time.

We also have an interesting phenomenon going on in the Twin Cities. The Twin Cities (but mainly Minneapolis?) and Minnesota is on the top of the list for all sorts of good things: Bike use, theater attendance, adopting people, volunteerism, and bad-ass hot dish. But we are also on the top of the list for NOT HAVING ANY REAL PUBLIC TRANSIT. We have an OK bus system, but until recently not a singe inch of rail transit! Not one!

But that was partly (and I emphasize partly) over the last few years with the opening of two rail systems: The Hiawatha Line (from downtown Minneapolis to the Airport and the Mall of America) and the North Star Line (from my house and points north to Downtown Minneapolis).

And that’s nice, but one always worries about new transit projects. All it takes is one study showing that it was underutilized or something for all the anti-good bunny-crushing yahoo to come down on public transit and stuff.

And something did happen here just now, but not that. What happened was a bad thing but with a good message. A train (carrying mainly corn) was going over a bridge over Rice Creek (a former segment of the late Pleistocene Mississippi River) and the bridge, under heavy stress from some mondo rainstorms we’ve been having, collapsed.

That was the track the North Star rail (mine) runs on. So, when Amanda went to work yesterday via car, she got stuck in the worst traffic jam she’d ever seen, and this is with the State Workers off the highway. And it has been discussed in the news. Apparently, enough people were using the North Star Light Rail Line to matter! Yay public transit! I just hope they fix that bridge soon.

And, I am thankful that it did not collapse under the commuter train…..

They may need a crane to fix that bridge. Oh, and speaking of cranes, Why Not Allow Crane Hunting? Indeed.

OK, next item: I have this question for you: What’s the diffrence between “what you said was racist” and “what you said could have been interepated as possilby sounding racist to someone who doesn’t know you in all due respect.” In my experience either one gets you “I’M NOT RACIST YOU A-HOE!!!11!!” And they are structurally the same thing. They are not “You are a racist swine, a-hole!!!11!!”

Jason Thibeault has been slogging it out with some commenters elsewhere on this very blog about the meaning of “Ad hominem” and was thus inspired to write a blog post about this in which he provides this video which I hereby rob:

Comments? Questions?

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8 thoughts on “Several items for your careful consideration …

  1. 1. I will listen to that POI only because Chris Mooney (NOT my favorite podcast host) is interviewing the most awesome Rebecca Watson, who I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with at the Oakland RAM. I totally support her position in the elevatorgate debacle.

    2. It only takes 1.5 inches of water to drown a small child. Working in the PICU, we used to hate it when summer came around, because people underestimate how top heavy their toddlers are, and how little water it takes for them to drown. One year we admitted a toddler who drown in one of the 5 gallon paint buckets the family used to store his toys. He was in the yard with dad, who was doing yard work, and thought the yard was ‘safe’. By the time he found the toddler head first in the bucket, he’d drowned in the small amount of rainwater in the bucket. Watch your children please.

    3. Awesome video.

  2. Something to keep in mind about accidents with toddler is that they mostly don’t only happen when adults are around, but when a lot of adults are around.
    Because everybody assumes that the other ones are looking after the kids.
    The only times I ever really had to search for any of my kids was not when I was alone with them, but when the whole family was together and everybody assumed that someone else was looking after them.

  3. I take it there was nothing of note in the podcast? No, I’m not going to listen to it. I am a very, very fast reader and find even professionally done audio interviews to be tedious. If the referrer cannot even find a single fact or intriguing quote to pique my interest, fuhgeddaboudit. My loss, I’m sure.


  4. Giliell: Excellent point.

    bks: There are several items of note in the podcast. Not my job to tell you what they are, despite your prescription. (DTMHTB!!!) Yes your loss.

  5. One day I chose to have the “You are a racist” conversation with my best friend. It didn’t go well. We’re not friends anymore. I say good riddance. Listening to him repeat racist, right wing talking points was getting old. I’m pretty sure he was turning into a teabagger.

  6. The Golden Rule is the tool rational people use to determine the morality of our actions. “How would I feel if that happened to me?” It’s a good tool, and serves us well in most cases. We see the problems when other criteria are used instead. Among the poor alternatives are scripture or tradition, etc.

    But the Golden Rule is NOT directly helpful in this case. Because as males, when we ask ourselves “Would I feel offended if someone offered a casual complement of my physical attributes?”, the answer is almost always No.

    I’m talking in normal setting, amongst adults. Locked in a violent prison is NOT a normal setting, and would be handled differently. No other similar situations occur to me. But in a normal setting on the street, on the job, on campus…if someone told me ‘you got a nice ass’, the response of any man wouldn’t be anything other than amusement and perhaps feeling a little flattered. When men apply the Golden Rule here, the answer is “I would not be offended if someone treated me this way.”

    In fact, it leads us to opposite conclusions. “I would feel amused or flattered if I received this type of comment.” And also, “Having offered such a complement, I would not enjoy being chastened — those women are failing to apply the Golden Rule in their response.”

    So what is being asked here id for men to ignore the Golden Rule, and instead, take it as given that the behavior is bad, without further evaluation. Rationalists are not good at that.

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