Another potpourri of microposts

It’s that time of year again. Or, I should say, that time at the end of every odd-numbered year when, following what I’ve decided since two years ago is a biennial tradition, I make a post here with a bunch of links to posts I made on my microblog (which is named Liskantope’s Tumblelog. My first potpourri of microposts can be found here.)

This has been a tough year, arguably the busiest year of my adult life (it’s really hard to compare this to anything prior to adulthood, say, high school). While I’ve been modestly productive and enjoyed some success in 2019, I haven’t been able to get around to as much blogging as in previous years, particularly not on this blog. I have made a decent number of posts on my other blog (something close to 200, which is still a good bit fewer than in the average year!), not to mention quite a lot of posts in 2018 that of course didn’t make it onto my “potpourri of microposts” list from two years ago. Yet surprisingly, on rough count it seems that I wound up with around 50% more links in this collection than the last one!

Looking over these last two years, I think my microblogging has shifted somewhat away from abstract philosophical topic and somewhat towards feeling more open with personal stuff. As before, I don’t care to add anything too personal to this list, nor am I adding posts that I consider total mistakes or find embarrassing, or posts that are only brief responses to someone else’s post. But I am sifting through the past two years on Liskantope’s Tumblelog to select some highlights and attempting to arrange them below in some decently organized fashion.

I began by writing out headings for a number of categories which looked like the ones I did for the last collection of microposts and have wound up surprising myself with how poorly those category boundaries were carved out with respect to the frequency of topics I’ve been writing about over the past two years. For instance, I’ve written discouragingly little on purely philosophical topics, and I’ve certainly written less than I thought on linguistics, to the point that it just didn’t make sense to list each of those under its own primary heading. One caveat about the linguistics posts, though, is that here I’m entirely leaving out the continuation of my “Journey Through Languages” project, which is still ongoing — I was just beginning my last phase of it in August when the demands of my new job took over almost everything else. I should be able to finish this soon into the new year, and I just might gather together all the relevant posts, as well a full master list of languages I looked through, in a separate post on this blog.

I’ve noticed also that during the past two years as compared to that blog’s earlier days, I haven’t put titles on that many of my posts, so most of what I wrote for the hyperlinks below are clumsy phrases I came up with just now, while the hyperlinks to posts with actual titles have those titles put entirely in quotation marks.

With all that out of the way, enjoy!

I. Musings on Academic Topics

A. Philosophy of religion

B. Free will and agency

C. Linguistics

D. Miscellaneous

II. Contributions to The Discourse

A. Politics (generally American)

B. Race, gender, and other dangerous topics

C. Generational conflict / children’s issues

D. Social observations

E. Low agency vs. high agency

F. Rationality in general / culture wars meta

IV. Personal

A. Notes on my personal experiences

B. Personal quirks

C. Dreaming and dream reports

E. Miscellaneous

V. Reviews (sort of)

VI. Miscellaneous life observations

So I guess I don’t know how else to end this except with a silly meme, because however sick everyone is of it at the moment, one day we will look back the end-of-10’s Baby Yoda craze with a fond nostalgia:

image credit goes to Imgflip-user MrGrnEgz

3 thoughts on “Another potpourri of microposts

  1. Responses to some of these posts (commenting here since I don’t have a Tumblr account, and commenting now because I didn’t get around to it when you first posted this).

    • Noun cases: The way I’ve heard the term “case” used, it does include non-morphological case marking (e.g. word order), but also most linguistics stuff I’ve heard/seen is aimed at conlangers, so maybe there’s a difference between how the term is used by linguists vs. conlangers. (Perhaps the question “How does this language mark case?” is more important when inventing a language, when you need to make sure to mark case *somehow* and the decision of whether to mark case by word order and whether to mark case morphologically are related, vs. when describing language where you can just focus on “What word order does this language use?” and “What’s morphologically marked?”? Also perhaps the importance of emphasizing that morphological case doesn’t need to be the same as case functions or word order…)

    The comment that started the discussion seems to be more about which case is the default; in particular, among the words where case is morphologically marked in English, the object form, rather than the nominative form, seems to be the default/unmarked form. For instance, in sentence fragments that only include a pronoun, the object form is used (“Who wants a cookie?” “Me!”/”I do”/*”I”), and most of the times when prescriptivists disagree with the natural way of using case, the natural way uses the object form (only exception I can think of, “…and I” in an object position, is probably hypercorrection).

    • Feminism and the online rationalist movement: I’ve been thinking recentlyish about why some social justice stuff I’ve seen feels off to me, and one reason I came up with is that social justice makes assumptions that make sense when dealing with race and sex but less sense when dealing with neurodiversity (which is what I most care about), particularly the assumption that people know when they’re dealing with someone who’s a minority. (This affects both discourse norms and assumptions about the causes of problems, and also assumptions about whether one can list all minority groups vs. being more open/general.) These assumptions don’t apply to LGBT+ people, but I get the impression that at least some social justice people treat LGBT+ as an exception to the general rule, whereas I treat it as closer to being central (and I see race as sort of an exception to the general rule).

    Also the idea of blank-slate-ist feminism never made sense to me. If people were blank slates, society could just write “You will follow these gender roles and like it” on people’s slates and there wouldn’t be a problem; the whole reason feminism is necessary, as I understand it, is that (at least some) people’s slates already have things on them that conflict with society’s gender roles.

    • Back-and-forth about transgender issues: From what I understand, it seems at least some people who claim “gender is a social construct” are actually saying the *concept* of gender is a social construct (I think the implication being that we can define it differently if we want); from what I understand (though I’m not 100% sure) their argument seems similar to Slate Star Codex’s “categories were made for man” post, except worded differently (and more confusingly). Other issues include that what people mean by “gender” seems to differ between different people (I consider gender = gender identity = the thing that’s female for cis women and trans women and male for cis men and trans men, but I think other people might use the term “gender” differently?), and that there’s disagreement among trans people about whether there is objective Real Gender (although I think at least part of that disagreement also involves misunderstandings…), and not all trans people agree with “gender is a social construct”.

    • Boomer vs. millennial: I’ve seen various anti-millennial articles, though not that frequently, and pretty much always when someone was saying how bad those articles were (…which means I don’t know how common they actually are in media aimed at older generations or if they’re not that common but people are talking about every single one; also my impression is that anti-millennial stuff is more mainstream than anti-boomer stuff). I don’t think I’d seen that much anti-boomer stuff that wasn’t just talking about how bad anti-millennial articles were (though I have seen a bit), and my initial thought when hearing people say that “OK boomer” was a thing was “oh, good, people are actually starting to push back against the anti-millennial stuff”.

    • Luann, in the part about talking about crushes and drama with her parents: I also wouldn’t talk about that sort of thing with my parents, especially anything sexual or romantic (…though I also haven’t ever actually been in any sexual or romantic relationships…). Based on these few data points, I wonder if there’s some sort of generational difference there?

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