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04 April 2017 @ 08:53 pm
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I Helped Create the Milo Trolling Playbook—Stop Playing Right Into It | Observer

A really interesting read. Over the past few weeks I've become increasingly concerned about the culture of outrage. I'm not against it per se, I went on the Women's March and I remain glad I marched. But the hysterical and knee-jerk reactions to anything certain groups do, the name-calling and labelling, the refusal to debate, the implications that significant proportions of the population are on some level too evil or too stupid to be allowed to vote - this all deeply concerns me and it feels profoundly counter-productive. This article highlights one of the ways in which it is counter-productive.

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Flattering emails will get you everywhere, except when they're from junk journals

I think the spam email I got commending my expertise in "pulp and paper engineering" was better than this one, though I didn't follow that up as the author here did. TBH, there's not much in this article beyond the suggestion that someone else may be planning to take on Beall's work (and given the criticism of people like [personal profile] londonkds, one hopes someone who will apply a more consistent and moderate standards).

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Experience: I accidentally bought a giant pig | Life and style | The Guardian

Does what it says on the tin.

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Fake news is a problem for the left, too

I've been saying this since the run-up to the Brexit vote and it bothers me a lot that an awful lot of the people I say it to respond with "but the other side is much worse."

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Why sitting is not the 'new smoking'

I've always been deeply suspicious of the "sitting is bad for you" messages. Maybe it is because I believe, as a general rule, that it is better for your body to be comfortable than uncomfortable and I develop backache after an even short amount of standing (I'm fine walking or running but standing mostly definitely and consistently hurts after quite a short while - buffets, museums and guided tours all tend to be bad news for me). This article clearly believes that it isn't the sitting so much as the low levels of physical activity that are the problem.

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Why are some black Africans considered white Americans? | Black History | Al JazeeraM

I find the issue of who counts as "black" fascinating. Mind you, this headline is misleading, it is not that Sudanese descended Americans count as white, so much as they count as "brown" (a classification of which I was unaware).

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'It feels like a wilfully ignored secret': how commentators painted Stoke-on-Trent all wrong | UK news | The Guardian

It has to be said my experience of Stoke is mostly through the eyes of claraste and her family, but they expressed the same frustration as articulated in this article that the city they knew, one that was troubled but full of grassroots enterprise striving to make it a better place, was not the one they were seeing reported in the press.

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Revealed: How Isis turns normal towns and villages into theatres and factories of death | The Independent

A grim piece. To quote the conclusion "It is the Isis message. Holy judgement is about punishment and death. The town square is for execution. The place of fruit and agricultural growth is a factory for shells. The school is a place of military recruitment. The hospital is to repair men for further killing. The only joy is to be sought in paradise. Nothing Deir Hafer’s former rulers left behind had the slightest connection with life."

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This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/243490.html.
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daniel_saunders: Kafkadaniel_saunders on April 4th, 2017 11:04 pm (UTC)
Although it's not the same thing as the Al-Jazeera article, I've had trouble listing my ethnicity as 'Jewish' in the past, even though I don't know what else it could be. To me 'white' implies European descent; my ancestors come from the Middle East, even if they did arrive here via Eastern and Central Europe. More precisely, in the UK 'white' often implies Celt, Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian, and I am definitely none of those things even if I do have pink skin. I have ties of family, culture and, to some extent, language with other Jews ergo I consider myself Jewish. But I've been told that Jewish-ness is a religion (which it blatantly isn't, as the number of Jewish agnostics and atheists testifies, even if religion is a strong part of the ethnic culture) not an ethnicity.

EDIT: unrelated, but I have now read the giant pig story and am charmed by it. I think I read somewhere that pigs are the ninth most intelligent animal.

Edited at 2017-04-04 11:09 pm (UTC)
louisedennislouisedennis on April 5th, 2017 12:03 pm (UTC)
Identity is a funny thing. I would have said that 'white' in the UK covered all European identities (including those labelled Hispanic in the US), but my perception may be skewed by having grown up in a University City that was predominantly white but with a lot of non-UK academics. It certainly never occurred to me to consider my Jewish best friend at the time to be anything other than white, though that may also have followed from a much smaller local Jewish population that London (I think, anyway) and possibly that his family came (I think) via Russia and Germany.

Edited at 2017-04-05 12:04 pm (UTC)