Monthly Archives: August 2013

Dead man's switch

A few years ago, I started toying with the idea of leaving behind contingency letters in case I died an early and unexpected death. I usually like being fairly well-prepared for all kinds of data disasters, financial disasters, and natural disasters, so death seemed like a sensible thing to prepare for too. It sounded kind of shocking and morbid at the time, and I didn’t want anybody worrying I was some depressed teenager, so I didn’t tell anybody about it1. These things usually work better when nobody knows anyway. I got the idea from this animated TV show where a scientist leaves behind computer programs that activate automatically when he dies, so that he can get messages across to people and manipulate events from beyond the grave. If anybody ever tried that in real life, I doubt it would work… more →

Gender roles

I hate talking about gender roles. I won’t even listen to other people talk about gender roles. Within the realm of all progressive fronts of social change, cultural movements regarding gender are the most immediate. The history of nontraditional women is frustratingly short and our cultural education is exceedingly androcentric. I think it’s already a small miracle that young people today don’t think like clones of their parents. Whereas we can comfortably throw around ideas about poverty and human rights from a distance, ideas about gender roles apply universally. And above all, I feel that nobody has yet produced the right answer to the question of gender roles so far. I’ll show you what I mean. A lot of people like to throw around condescending rhetorical questions that go something like: why do you you think (foo) can’t (bar) just because… more →