A potpourri of microposts

This blog was born at the start of the calendar year 2016, almost two years ago.  But I may or may not have mentioned that I run another blog under this pseudonym: my Tumblr blog (although I prefer using the term “tumblelog” for it, for the same reason that “dumbledore” sounds pleasing to my ears), which is exactly one year older, and on which I’ve made many more posts than here.

Over there, I tend to write in a more spontaneous, off-the-cuff manner; I’m a little more personally open and inclined to focus my writing on concrete, day-to-day events rather than attempts to deal with abstract, broadly-applied ideas.  I also make less of an effort to be thorough, hence the fact that I write these things on a platform intended for microblogging.  However, some of them do end up rather long, so “microposts” might make the above title a bit of a misnomer.

Anyway, I decided that I have so many of them by now that I might as well take a page out of The House Carpenter‘s book and put up a links post here where some of my more substantial tumblelog entries are arranged in order of subject matter.  These are only a small fraction of all my entries on the other blog, but I chose these for being generally self-contained, usually stand-alone posts written by me but a few are exchanges in which I took a main part, and nothing too embarrassing or difficult to stand by today.  Only in a couple cases (which I indicated here at the time) has one of my posts on this blog been based in part on things I’d already written over on the other one; those things are included in the links below.

Anyway, enjoy!

I. Philosophical musings

A response by Tumblr user voxette-vk on my “Obligatory election-day post on the rationality of voting” with my response to that — November 8th, 2016

Bullying: two opposing rationales — August 2nd, 2017

On moral offsets — August 29th, 2017

More on moral offsets — August 31st, 2017

A response by Tumblr user voxette-vk to “A word on politics, free will, and God” with my response to that — November 1st, 2017

Bryan Caplan and the deserving/undeserving poor — November 13th, 2017

More on Bryan Caplan and the deserving/undeserving poor — November 14th, 2017

Response to Tumblr user voxette-vk on Szasz’s model of mental illness — November 18th, 2017

II. Political/social musings

A. General

A few thoughts on shootings — October 21st, 2015

On accusations of double standards in politics — September 13th, 2016

On fear vs. hate — January 15th, 2017

On “being dramatic” (in the wake of Trump’s election) — January 23rd, 2017

On Punchgate — February 6th, 2017

On “Resist!” — July 29th, 2017

B. American presidential politics

Donald Trump and pro-bullying rhetoric — May 15th, 2016

Bernie Sanders and protest culture — May 22nd, 2016

On belief in Donald Trump and the tooth fairy — August 6th, 2016

A reaction to the political writing of H. L. Mencken with follow-ups here and here — August 18-24th, 2016

A weird observation on the election discourse — October 7th, 2016

On the fallacy of assuming Trump has principles — October 23rd, 2016

A plea to certain would-be Trump voters — November 6th, 2016

A smattering of American history trivia — November 10th, 2016 (a list of factoids about American presidential elections which I think is my longest “micropost” ever… and I even forgot a few things I intended to put in!)

Contra Alexander on Trump’s comments about Mexicans — November 18th, 2016 (this is the most popular, in terms of likes and reblogs, of the “serious posts” I’ve ever written)

On the immediate aftermath of the 2016 election — November 19th, 2016

An exchange on a particular Trump-related SSC post — November 26th, 2016

C. Social issues

Some thoughts on “emotional labor” — October 26th, 2015 (my opinion on this topic has mellowed somewhat as I’ve come to understand more of what is meant by “emotional labor” in a pop feminism context, and I no longer entirely endorse this post)

Some thoughts on Tumblr user Hotel Concierge — December 6th, 2015

Another reason not to draft all arguments as soldiers — August 9th, 2016

On comparing too unwanted attention to no attention (with respect to gender) — October 8th, 2016

On the “bathroom bill” — March 8th, 2017

On the dangers of walking alone (with respect to gender) — March 25th, 2017

A few thoughts on pride — July 11th, 2017

On the Google memo controversy — August 19th, 2017

On “broader pattern” activism — August 22nd, 2017

A weird social insight on personal strengths/weaknesses — October 3rd, 2017

A few assorted thoughts on “Me Too” — October 26th, 2017

A long rant on courtship gender norms — November 10th, 2017

On courtship gender roles and harassment with a brief follow-up — November 20-21st, 2017

III. Linguistics posts

On American pronunciations of foreign words — June 12th, 2015

Comparison of Spanish and Italian — February 10th, 2016

Pointless rant on some recent trends in casual English — September 3rd, 2016

Plan for my “journey through languages” project — June 11th, 2017 (ended up being only the Indo-European family; see notes below for my commentary when I was finished)

“Journey through languages” project: the Turkic and Uralic languages — November 25th, 2017

Some random factoids about the Italian language — December 4th, 2017

IV. Personal

1. General

On my creative productivity — August 5th, 2015

On strength of insults — January 19th, 2016

On avoiding confrontation — June 9th, 2016

On my own doormat tendencies — September 7th, 2016

On my gullibility — November 28th, 2016

On clothes and materialism — December 13th, 2016

Musing on nostalgia — April 2nd, 2017

Dealing with personal aversions — April 23rd, 2017

On being a minority English-speaker — May 8th, 2017

A “ladder of life” metaphor — June 18th, 2017

On normative vs. empirical intellectual interests — October 19th, 2017

2. Social groups

Musing on Male Nerd Culture — January 2nd, 2015 (this was my first real post, in the aftermath of the Scott Aaronson Comment 171 debacle)

On the way Freddie deBoer feels geeks feel — December 21st, 2015

On self-perpetuation of minority status — August 9th, 2017

Musing on social lives and rationalist social groups in particular — August 23rd, 2017

Musing on sex-casual culture — September 2nd, 2017 (this was one of my more controversial effortposts, and I’m afraid that my attitude was somewhat misunderstood due to being hard to express; see notes below for some responses and my replies)

On nerd culture as viewed in the Slate Star Codex commentariat — October 4th, 2017

3. Dating nonadventures

My experience with a certain app — July 3rd, 2016

On finding a date versus finding a job — August 25th, 2016

4) Dreaming

A Hamiton-related dream — February 6th, 2016

Losing interest in lucid dreaming and a follow-up — April 24-25th, 2017

A bit of sleep paralysis — September 2nd, 2017

5) Rationalist community / meta

One year since discovering this online subculture — May 31st, 2015

On Tumblr writing styles — April 15th, 2016

On what I envy in the writing style of H. L. Mencken — August 24th, 2016 (see Mencken posts linked above)

On what it means to be a rationalist — May 22nd, 2017

On writing voices — May 31st, 2017

V. Reviews (sort of)

Random rantings on Questionable Content in 3 parts (a review of strips #1- 3000) — December 5th, 2015

A brief review of Star Wars VII — December 24th, 2015

A few thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — October 4th, 2016

A few comments on Ten Things I Hate About You — October 25th, 2016

My reaction to South Park season 20 — December 10th, 2016

My brief reaction to Arrival — January 22nd, 2017

A few notes on Master of None and dating/feminism — May 10th, 2017

My reaction to Thirteen Reasons Why — June 10th, 2017

An exchange on Bojack Horseman and its depiction of asexuality — October 15th, 2017

My reaction to Please Like Me — December 7th, 2017

On the depiction of depression in Please Like Me — December 8th, 2017

VI. Miscellaneous

On colorless mana symbols in (the Magic: The Gathering expansion) Oath of the Gatewatch — January 10th, 2016

On a certain style of not-quite-satirical humor — February 26th, 2017

On Garfield’s hatred of Mondays — March 20th, 2017

A mathematical interpretation of comparing apples to oranges — March 23rd, 2017

A brief complaint about how some people criticize fiction — September 7th, 2017

On behalf of myself and all the staff here at Hawks and Handsaws, I want to wish you a happy and fulfilling Winter Solstice and holiday season!

20f5f63321abae830b2874ed5e49fe22                         Source: SoulArteEclectica

2 thoughts on “A potpourri of microposts

    1. At the time I wrote the above-linked post over 2 years ago, I had seen relatively few attempts to explain the concept of “emotional labor” in a feminist context. The term had mostly just been casually tossed out without any definition provided, and I had to interpret it from context. My interpretations, plus the occasions where the definition was made a bit more explicit, pointed to a situation of women allegedly being constantly required to perform emotional labor directly for the men in their lives.

      Starting soon after I wrote that post (when I saw a link to a large collection of forum comments by women complaining about emotional labor), I was gradually exposed to a much broader idea of “emotional labor” which didn’t focus so much on men being the direct recipients of women providing emotional labor as women constantly being expected to perform the more “emotionally laborious” roles. And a lot of instances of his not only do ring true to me from what I’ve seen of society but also logically follow from the patriarchal norms that we were once deeply entrenched in, and I agree women have every right to complain about them. (E.g. being expected to reach out and negotiate social get-togethers, provide support and comfort to children, etc.)

      From reading my old post, one can see that I was at least somewhat aware of those possible interpretations but that my main exposure at that time had been to the “men are emotionally needy and feel entitled to women providing emotionally for them” complaint. And I did and still do resent that claim on a personal level, given that in practically all of the real-life man-woman relationships I’ve known closely the net direction of emotional labor seems to go the other way, probably owing directly to patriarchal assumptions, and this likely affects me personally as a man, etc. Part of the problem causing these confusions IMO is that many of the people throwing around terms like “emotional labor” are being sloppy about what they mean by that, I suspect partly because they consider the different phenomena fairly interchangeable (on a causal level) owing to an implicit “patriarchy causes only unpleasant things for women, and conversely any unpleasant thing is probably a Thing for women and caused by patriarchy” assumption.

      I do have qualms about appropriating the term “emotional labor” from its original meaning in the context of job requirements, but nowadays I at least see why it’s a pretty logical term to refer to some of the tasks we as a society tend to assume women will take on. Now very recently I’ve been exposed to how “emotional labor” is sometimes being used in the context of discussions about race, where apparently “demanding emotional labor” = “demanding to be educated” = expressing skepticism or bewilderment about a particular PoC’s views on some topic with potential racial underpinnings… but that’s a rant for another time. (Sorry for such a late response.)


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