People who dominate.

People who are dominated.

Who belongs in which group? Think about the people you know and how they relate to you or to others. Many people fall into both groups in their interactions with different people. In charge, subordinate, superior, smarter, older, younger, indifferent. Wives, husbands, siblings, students (except for what directly affects their grade), children.

Not listening is aggressive. I do not need you, I do not have to regard you as equal.

Not listening is passive aggressive. I do not find you worth listening to, but I don’t want to say so openly.  Or, I am being discounted by you, so I will retaliate quietly, by ‘not hearing’ what you say whenever I think I can get away with it.

I’m not putting friends in either group, you see, because that is how you know someone, whether they’re related to you or not, is your friend. They listen to you. They accept that what you say is valid. They act with what you say as a factor in their decisions.

People who listen are the people you want in your life.

Do you listen?


My Face Is Up Here

June 25, 2011

This would work far better for me if it were Guittard, or Droste, or Lindt…uh, okay. I’ll stop thinking about it now.


Anyways :

Calling It Like It Is

June 11, 2011

Let’s put the blame on the offenders – yes!

Wonderful post.

If only he knew what I really wanted  (ignoring that fact that most of us live in a nebula of vague wants, not clear and specific star-points).

If I have to tell him to say he loves me, it loses all its meaning (men don’t seem to think talking about feelings is as important as women do).

Men are so different from women  (and women are different from men) (and you are different from me) (and everyone is different from everyone else)

But –

We are also all the same. We all want to be shown that people respect us, like us, love us… we all want to feel connected.

So, hey, why not go out on a limb here and tell people what you need, and ask them what they need, and then start being kind to each other !

And now for the final three comics in Non Sequitur’s week long exploration of Argumentative Reasoning  (first three here)  or: why we have so many problems understanding facts.

Wouldn’t it be brilliant if politicians and media were required to state facts clearly, without spin? And cite their sources, and list consequences of the advocated actions? Of course, it would be so boring to most people that no one would pay any attention.

Argumentative reasoning is a hot topic just now.

Essentially it is the idea that we make our decisions based on immediate, unconscious emotional reaction; then, equally unconsciously, we select arguments or proofs that support our emotional bias.

As far as I can tell, this idea explains all of the global warming controversy in this country. If people actually looked at the facts… well, let’s not get optimistic.

Cherry-picking evidence is the great boon of the internet. Instead of being alone in your head, you can click away until you find myriads of like-emotioned people to support any ol’ whacky premise you can devise.  And plenty of political groups who are pretending to agree with your views so they get your votes.

What would happen if people actually analyzed the track records of the people they vote for? But then, I keep wondering why any woman would support fundamentalists, of any religion. Do they really think their whole purpose of living is to be a slave? Domestic servitude, domestic prostitution,and a brood-mare to boot. What sane person would *choose* that life for themselves and their daughters? And yet, women follow fundamentalism and its political arms, such as the tea party.

I cannot see a good argumentative reasoning for that. Which, of course, exposes my confirmation bias. But I will keep trying. I want to understand how people come to the conclusions they do, and what would convince someone their life is *systematically*  without any value.

If the tea party got into control, how long do you think women would be allowed to hold public office, let alone have the vote?

Humor can sometimes open a crack in a closed mind. With that faint, wistful, wishful hope, here’s three comics from Non Sequitur:

Two articles in the Guardian this morning. Both thoughtful and thought-provoking.

The first is an interview with the author / Martin Amis /. Apparently he likes to stir controversy, and is fond of the phrase  “if I lost half my brain, then I’d do… whatever the questioner had asked”. This time, he was asked if he’d ever write children’s books.

Well, of course that got a furious response from children’s authors. Rightly so – you need a very good mind to write children’s books, but it is a particular type of writing. And Amis is, in his provocative way, indicating that he hasn’t that type of mind. For him and his style, it would be a hardship. So why the fury?

I would be angry, too, I’m sure. But the fury displayed in the comments? Equal arrogance, far more vitriol.I don’t write kid’s books, but even so, if he said he couldn’t write in my style, even implying my style is a lesser style only shows his ignorance and ego. Or, more accurately, his love of stirring up wasp’s nests.

He also mentions that the fast-accelerating population shift to far greater percentage of elderly people will cause social upheaval. Again, a valid point. Again, he chooses to express it in a provocative way: euthanasia booths on every corner with a martini and a medal for those who use them.

Predictably, people react as if he’s saying “round ’em up and shoot ’em where they stand.”

He is not.

Think of the words. He’s a writer. Words matter.

A martini. A celebration. A drink associated with conviviality. So – a wake, a celebration of a life.

A medal. Why do we give medals? To acknowledge courage or achievement far beyond the ordinary. He is saying that he recognizes the extraordinary courage it would take to commit suicide, even if one is in pain and without hope of cure.

Yes, he is deliberately riling people. But underneath that irritating manner, he is stating truths. He is a writer who delights in complexity and style that children are not capable of appreciating. He would, truly, have to deny much of his way of writing to tone down the vocabulary, the plot lines, the themes to a children’s level. He’s not claiming he’s better than those who can write for children. It’s as challenging in its own way as his style is for him. But it’s not his style. So ignore him. Be glad of good writing wherever you find it – and don’t judge other styles by your own.

And don’t force other people to live when they no longer wish to. Give them the ultimate respect and dignity of allowing them to choose their time, and to die peacefully, without pain. If your religion forbids suicide, then don’t do it. But don’t you dare force others to live by your beliefs. Just don’t. That is evil.

And with all that in mind, the / second article /  is about a man who has devoted decades to compiling a ‘Good Book’ – how people can live ethically and wisely. No religion to stir hatred and violence against others, just thinking compassionately and caring about each other. Sounds good to me. He is an advocate that everyone can and should be able to study philosophy – a conclusion I have also reached. Learning to think, and to think clearly, is crucial to our being able to survive in this crowded and rapidly altering world.

Asked about religious people being offended by plain-speaking atheists, he replies,  “My rejoinder is to say when the boot was on their foot they burned us at the stake. All we’re doing is speaking very frankly and bluntly and they don’t like it.”  Absolutely true. The religious response of killing those who disagree is still around, and even in the US deliberate, malicious, vindictive actions towards non-believers are far too common – and endorsed by the government all too often.

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