April 5th, 2002

marble

How Society Tries to Justify Its Taboos with Fake Biology, or: Why Not to Trust Your Doctor

Jayelle recently posted links to articles on discrimination against the intermarriage of cousins, and why such discrimination cannot be rationalized for biological reasons (for the record, I personally am descended from several sets of 17th to 19th century intermarried cousins, as well as other intermarried relatives much further back); and on a deaf lesbian couple who deliberately tried to have a deaf child (and succeeded). Jayelle's entries, and my comments on them (which are pretty extensive), can be found here and here.
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    silence
marble

Are You Proud of How You Use Your Free Time?

While driving home I was behind a car whose license plate frame said: "Born to golf, forced to work." It made me think: no wonder so many people in this country are so depressed all the time, when not only are they forced to work, but the only thing they can imagine wanting to do with their free time if they weren't forced to work is to hit little white balls around the ground trying to get them into holes. What kind of a fulfilling sense of purpose in life is that? The only difference between most people's leisure activities and their working hours is that if they're paying for the privilege of performing ridiculous mindlessly repetitive utterly meaningless acts just killing time and whiling their dwindling lifespans away instead of being paid to perform those same acts then they're supposed to magically think it's fun. Games are stupid. What sort of person wants to look back on their life when they're 80 and say to themselves, "I know I've lived up to my life's fullest potential, because I won more Doom/Myst/FreeCell/MS Hearts/golf/poker/Pac-Man games than anybody else!"?

Of course it gets tiring to work on only one thing all the time, and you have to do something else to take a break. But if you have several projects going at once, you can usually find something to switch to that will give you an actual accomplishment to be proud of when you're 80. Write some web pages. Draw some pictures. Read some books. Go someplace. Have some meaningful conversations. Just don't spend all your waking hours playing a silly game that actually means nothing to you.
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    Paula Abdul: "Straight Up"