Saturday, April 19, 2014

Men's violence and the monster myth

"One of the most disturbing moments of the past eighteen months of my life was hearing my wife’s killer form a coherent sentence in court. Jill had been murdered almost six months earlier..."

This story is interesting and inspiring. The writer lost his wife to a rapist and murderer who basically fits the 'lone rapist' idea. But it made him want to make the point that usually this is not at all what happens, that if your assumption is that the fellow who's going to do people harm is some OTHER, some MONSTER, you're working from wrong ideas that won't help you; that we need to confront that it's all of us, it's the guys next door, it's people in your workgroup, who do the violence that we see every day.

Also of interest was his point that folks would often tell him they hoped the perpetrator would get raped in prison, and how that struck him as wrong, as requiring a kind of infinite loop of rapists to punish each other.

Found, of course, through the ever-awesome Metafilter.

How to say you're sorry

I'm sure there are a lot of guides to this, but this one is wrapped in an engaging blog post from a teacher, who adopted the idea to teach to young students, starting from the idea that, "kids today aren't being properly taught how to apologize."

Well, nobody taught me how to apologize properly either. This method includes several useful ideas, and the discussion shows you how it can make a difference in both the apologizer's future behavior and the relationship between apologizer and apologizee.

I'm not at all sure apologizee is a word.

Friday, April 18, 2014

_The Rinse_ by Gary Phillips

This graphic novel rather reminds me of Brubaker's _Criminal_ series, which is one of my favorites. The story here deals with a money launderer, on a caper that tests his ability to be an honest man in a dishonest world. That's his charm, and Phillips manages to sell the idea of his money launderer with a heart of gold, mostly by making many of the other characters into scary scumbags. I enjoyed every minute of reading this book, and when I finished it, I picked it up and read it a second time. Highly recommended.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rejecting incremental change in a quest to make sci-fi a reality -- an interesting perspective

In _The Atlantic_, Robinson Meyer talks about Google's 'Google X' projects and how trying to emulate sci-fi could be limiting Google's imagination.

Key idea: they're only choosing projects that make big sweeping changes and actively rejecting incremental changes. That seems counter to how real change tends to work. Meyer's comments though are an interesting perspective on techological change and sci-fi's vision of it.