Category Archives: society & culture

Painful Truths

Recently a friend posted a story about how, in an English class somewhere, the teacher was reading aloud from To Kill a Mockingbird, and how the use of the word “nigger” in a passage in the novel was painful for … Continue reading

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Music as Property

In most parts of the world, and in European/American culture until about 200 years ago, music was not something that could be owned. Musical traditions were freely shared among musicians. If you heard a troubadour play a particular tune, and … Continue reading

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Stop the World, I Want to Get Off…

The story was behind a paywall, so I didn’t read it, but the headline got me thinking. Apparently a professor in the music department at some university in England has resigned in protest at the retooling of the music curriculum … Continue reading

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Wrangling over Rights

Yesterday one of my Facebook friends got into an online discussion with one of his friends about abortion rights. It seemed to me that his friend was being dangerously silly. His friend posted a link to an essay that he … Continue reading

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In Praise of Rationalism (sort of)

When society is in turmoil (as it generally is), sorting out what’s really going on can be quite difficult. Various people may and probably will have very different views of an incident, a trend, or a belief system. Their ideas … Continue reading

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Theo-What?

Four or five years ago I decided I needed to do something to broaden what we might call my social circle — my contacts with other humans. I had had some losses during the five years before that (Owen, Kelly, … Continue reading

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The Text

Interpreting words on a screen can be a fraught undertaking. I’ve found myself in a few interactions on Facebook where feelings were hurt and friendships damaged. In asking myself whether I might be to blame or need to do things … Continue reading

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Us vs. Them

Group loyalty is such a basic human instinct that it’s likely to seem perfectly natural to us. We don’t even notice that an instinct is swaying our thought processes. I got to thinking about this this morning when I read … Continue reading

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Privacy in Public

My friend Rachel posted a cartoon on Facebook, and she was disturbed by my reaction to it. I’ll post the cartoon below, but maybe a little preamble would not be amiss. Although, since this is about gender diversity, maybe “amiss” … Continue reading

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Whose Lives?

One of my Livermore friends (naming no names) posted a truly offensive image on Facebook saying “Police Lives Matter.” I pointed out to her that this slogan is bullshit. I didn’t use the term “racist bullshit” in my reply to … Continue reading

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