ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



September 2015



What I’m Reading – September 20, 2015

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading


– “That makes any foreclosures in the city based on these documents illegal and unenforceable, and makes the King County recording offices where the documents are located a massive crime scene.” Leaked Seattle Audit Concludes Many Mortgage Documents Are Void


– “But the English teacher kept the clock, and during sixth period, Mohamed was pulled out of class by the principal and a police officer. They took him to a room where four other officers were waiting. When he entered, one officer leaned back in his chair and said, “That’s who I thought it was,” Mohamed told MSNBC.” ‘They thought it was a bomb’: 9th-grader arrested after bringing a home-built clock to school (via @washingtonpost)

– “First, what did the cop mean when he said “That’s who I thought it was”? Is this part of some racial profiling scheme going on at the school? How would the cop know who Mohamed was? I’m picturing a panicked principal calling the local cops about a possible homemade bomb by a Muslim kid while the cops flip through dossiers on all the Black and brown students at the school. I’m not saying that’s what happened. I’m saying I have questions.” Ninth-Grader Ahmed Mohamed Made a Digital Clock and the Internet Exploded (via @angryblacklady)

– “If calling things “gay” was hurtful to people, why do it? As a comedian, isn’t her job to bring joy to others? She knew for sure it wasn’t her job to reinforce negative stereotypes about the existence of an entire group of people.” Sarah Silverman’s answer to this question about ‘political correctness’ was totally unexpected. (via @Upworthy)


– “And the collateral damage of that war — of Apple going after Google’s revenue platform — is going to include the web, and in particular any small publisher on the web that can’t invest in proprietary platform distribution, native advertising, and the type of media wining-and-dining it takes to secure favorable distribution deals on proprietary platforms. It is going to be a bloodbath of independent media.” Welcome to hell: Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook and the slow death of the web (h/t @lauraolin)


– “Effie counters by saying that his summation is “not necessarily true,” and Matt Damon interrupts her again, this time by laying out what exactly diversity is. “When we’re talking about diversity you do it in the casting of the film not in the casting of the show.” Meaning that they don’t have to hire any diverse filmmakers on Project Greenlight as long as they throw a few women and black people onscreen.” Matt Damon Interrupts Successful Black Woman Filmmaker to Explain Diversity to Her (h/t @zellieimani)

– “But if you receive casting notices regularly — and especially if you’re a woman, person of color, trans person, person with disabilities, a combination thereof, or a member of any marginalized group — you probably don’t find them all that surprising. These are relatively tame examples of the sort of casual prejudice embedded in casting notices that go out to thousands of people every single day.” The Terrible World of Casting Notices (via @jennyjaffe)

– ““Stop forcing diversity down our throats! Do it naturally! SJWs ruined comics!” Apparently, most of these guys completely missed the irony in this situation. To my fellow straight white guys, let me say this: You have been pandered to for your entire life. Nearly every piece of media you have ever consumed, from comics books to TV to cartoons, has been tailored made with you in mind as its primary audience. In fact, pandering to us is one of the greatest driving forces in entertainment today. I’d go as far to say that it’s responsible for many of the creative shortcomings of today’s media.” Nerd Guys, Pandering, and “Forced” Diversity

– “UCB does not care about black people or minorities. It does, has done and will continue to do the bare minimum when it comes to maintaining diversity not unlike the entertainment industry at-large. As nine openings on house teams quietly came and went, not one POC was added, despite the fact that in the past year, two POC have stepped down. We are technically less diverse from a racial standpoint.” Why I’m Quitting UCB, And Its Problem With Diversity (h/t @allisonkilkenny)

Higher Education

– “The data reveals how much money students are borrowing in exchange for earnings after graduation. While U.C.L.A. and Penn State are both prestigious public research universities, recent U.C.L.A. grads leave with about 30 percent less debt, even as their predecessors are earning about 30 percent more money than counterparts at Penn State. Harvard students borrow barely a quarter of what Brandeis students take on, and earn nearly twice as much.” Gaps in Earnings Stand Out in Release of College Data (h/t @tanehisicoates)

‘Justice’ System

– “In North Carolina you are considered an adult at 16 years old as far as being charged,” said Sgt. Sean Swain of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department. “But to disseminate and receive sexually explicit texts, photos or videos, you must be over 18.” NC Teen Charged As Adult For Taking & Having Naked Pics of a Minor – Himself


– “The deck is stacked against plaintiffs in other ways, as well. From the first day of trial, I saw how hard it was going to be to win when every potential juror who expressed a belief that sexism exists in tech — a belief that is widely recognized and documented — was not allowed to serve on the jury.” Ellen Pao Speaks: ‘I Am Now Moving On’ (h/t @vnaylon)

– “Rachel Money opened her mailbox and saw an ad depicting the chaotic life of a mom of three next to two well-dressed men in sharp suits. And the ad asks a simple question: Part-time agent vs. full-time professionals — who would you want to represent you?” Local real estate company apologizes after its ad infuriates women (via @q13fox)


– “Beyond the reality that President Obama and his administration work closely with police officers and police departments every single day for his own security, the fact is that fewer police officers have been killed during the six-plus years of his presidency than during the first six years of any modern presidency.” Fewer police killed during Obama’s administration than any two-term president in our lifetime (via @shaunking)

– “Calling Black Lives Matter a hate group ignores the reality of how terrorism operates in the United States. It has historically — and continues to be — a primary way to uphold white supremacy. Of the 784 documented hate groups in America, the vast majority of them are actively fighting to uphold white supremacy, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.” NC Police Chief Resigns After Calling Black Lives Matter Activists “Terrorists” (h/t @jamilahking)

Reproductive Choices

– “We rarely have honest public discussions about this reality. And I understand why: Because I cannot say things like “I would not have the time and energy to dedicate to [this other part of my life] if I were a parent” without immediate and aggressive pushback, as though implicit in my factual statement is a condemnation of parenthood. Or inherent criticism of the quality of paid work done by mothers. Childfree 101: The “Women Are Designed to Love” Narrative (via @Shakestweetz)

State-Sanctioned Killing

– “But there was no corroborating evidence to back up Sneed’s story — no physical evidence linked Glossip to the crime — and transcripts show how Oklahoma City police detectives steered Sneed toward implicating Glossip during his interrogation. Sneed’s story has evolved considerably over the years — today there is mounting evidence to show that Sneed, afraid of being sentenced to die, was compelled to point the finger at Glossip in order to save himself.” Richard Glossip Set to Die Wednesday (h/t @radleybalko)

Trigger Warnings

– “There is literally no “opinion” on my humanity, my autonomy, my agency, my body that I haven’t heard a million times, and I don’t feel obliged to listen to every jackass who wants to tell me that I am less than in order to demonstrate my own tolerance.” Um (via @Shakestweetz)

– “To me, there seems to be very little reason not to give these warnings. As a professor, it merely requires my including one extra line in a routine email to the class, such as: “A quick heads-up. The reading for this week contains a graphic depiction of sexual assault.” These warnings are not unlike the advisory notices given before films and TV shows; those who want to ignore them can do so without a second thought. The cost to students who don’t need trigger warnings is, I think, equally minimal. It may even help sensitize them to the fact that some of their classmates will find the material hard going. The idea, suggested by Professor Haidt and others, that this considerate and reasonable practice feeds into a “culture of victimhood” seems alarmist, if not completely implausible.” Why I Use Trigger Warnings (h/t @DrJaneChi)

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