Edgar Mitchell, who was in orbit with the Apollo 14 lunar module while his companions explored the lunar soil, describes how he saw Earth, Moon and Sun passing by every two minutes or so, and how the study of astronomy and cosmology, where he learned that all the matter in the solar system, including ours, “was prototyped in some ancient generations of stars,” that is, it originated from stars that exploded billions of years ago, gave him a profound sense of unity with the totality of the cosmos, a feeling that can only be described as awe. “One of those words that you have a better understanding of when you see it too,” said Nicole Stott.
We need a new word for what the phrase “white privilege” describes; privilege suggests money and class exclusively. Until then, here’s one of the best definitions around.
White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks. … As far as I can see, my African American co-workers, friends and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and line of work cannot count on most of these conditions:
- I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
- I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
- When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
- Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of my financial reliability.
- I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
- I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, or feared.
Via: Maggie Koerth-Baker at BoingBoing
From: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh
“Why haven’t gay man genes driven themselves extinct?
… After investigating the characteristics of 161 female maternal relatives of homosexual and heterosexual men, the researchers have adjusted their hypothesis. Rather than making women more attracted to men, the “gay man gene” appears to make these women more attractive to men.
…Turns out, the moms and aunts of gay men have an advantage over the moms and aunts of straight men for several reasons: They are more fertile, displaying fewer gynecological disorders or complications during pregnancy; they are more extroverted, as well as funnier, happier and more relaxed; and they have fewer family problems and social anxieties. “In other words, compared to the others, [they are] perfect for a male.”
“The hubris that traders experience during a bubble can be as overwhelming as passionate desire or wall-banging anger. They are under the influence of some naturally produced narcotic, one that can transform them into different people. I have come to think of it as the “molecule of irrational exuberance,” and to take seriously the possibility that during bubbles — and crashes — the financial community turns into a clinical population…
In one experiment we sampled hormones from 17 male traders and found that their testosterone did indeed rise with above-average profits, and in other studies, with 54 traders, we found that higher testosterone led to greater risk-taking. These experiments are continuing, but the preliminary data was strong enough to be published by the National Academy of Sciences. We collected equally powerful data suggesting that the molecule of irrational pessimism — which we suspect can promote chronic risk aversion, driving a bear market into a crash — is the stress hormone cortisol.”
From the NY Times: The Biology of Bubble & Crash
For a funny, speedy grammar lesson here’s a vid of Mac Lethal about the differences between You’re and Your.
And hey, I make this mistake all the time. Also hear and here. I spell by sound which gets me in trouble with homonyms.
Mainly, I wish I could speak that fast and write verse that tightly.