Autodidact: self-taught

Dec
10
2012

What the Internet Did This Week

by V. L. Craven

From The Guardian:  Writers’ Favourite Classic Book Illustrations with Pictures . The captions make it, for me. Beatrix Potter was… interesting. [Bonus 1: I’ve just started playing Peter Rabbit’s Garden on my iPod and it’s lovely–really captures the feel of the books, but without the horrors. Bonus 2: The illustration below was Bryan Talbot’s choice for the article. Complete set of Dore illustrations of with the Longfellow translation of The Divine Comedy in this 30MB zip file .]

Does anyone else hear ominous music… ?

This article from Slate  explains why we think disasters make people regress to their primal selves, when it’s simply not so. Bonus info: There’s something called ‘disaster science’ and I’m loving the new term ‘elite panic’, which is when white people get a-scared the non-white people are going to start looting and robbing the second the electrics are off for more than ten minutes. The big takeaway from this article is that people are kinda great when it benefits the entire tribe (meaning all the people).

Brown people are going to take my stuff!

Gawker has an article about an advice column  about how men can best deal with women-times . The title of the article is ‘MEN: Is Your Lady on ‘a Period’: Learn How to Deal in the Most Ridiculous Period-Advice Column Ever’ and I thought I was in for one of those delightfully amusing advice columns from the 1820s. But no. How I wish that had been the case.

I’d be remiss if I left an article on genitals of the other sex: Fleshbot has an…enlightening article about 3-D printing your willy . So, so very NSFW . My husband read this part to me, (italicized bit was his commentary):

They even hand mix their own colors, and not only do they do four flesh tones (cashew, caramel, hazelnut, and chocolate) [WHY ARE THEY ALL FOODS?!] but they can also capture undertones, such as the reddish-purple luster of a swollen dong. They’re true artisans.

The article is hilarious and reminds me a great deal of Grant Stoddard’s excellent I Did it For Science column on Nerve.

Here is an image of a 3D printer, as I’d like at least the *images* in this post to be safe for work.

And apparently, since sex seems to be the unofficial topic of this week’s links, have an article from The Atlantic entitled Where Masturbation and Homosexuality Do Not Exist , which is about the Aka and Ngandu tribes in central Africa. When a population has a high infant mortality rate but relies on having several children, sex, though enjoyable, is used as a reproduction tool (sorry). The article also discusses the way Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich Democratic societies (WEIRD)–which is even better than ‘elite panic’–approach the idea of sex when studying non-WEIRD groups. I find the sociology of anthropology very interesting, so this article was a great read.

These people are both WEIRD and would love it in central Africa, where I’d bet there’s no abortion, either.

Oct
08
2012

If Monsters Weren’t Real We’d Turn on Each Other

by V. L. Craven

5 Reasons Humanity Desperately Wants Monsters to Be Real The ways in which demonising entire groups of people benefits society. I was going to add some thoughts to this article, but David Wong covers everything. Yes, it’s on Cracked, but it’s an excellent introduction to group-think in terms of Us versus Them. Here’s an image from the article:

Before you get too smug…

Hell, Stanley Milgram began his experiment because he thought Americans would have morals about torturing innocent people–that the Holocaust couldn’t happen in the States, because Germans lacked compassion.

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