Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
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  • U.S. Politics Part 5: Same old Thread...Just New.

    When people say "the truth has a liberal bias," it makes me think of when I was teaching community college writing courses. One of the big goals in college writing courses is learning how to evaluate sources.

    I taught for just a few years, and it was before the whole social media/fake news era, but we had Google and Wikipedia to lead students astray, and I learned something.  If you expect students to take an intellectual/analytical approach to writing, as was expected in college, there are some topics they just can't write about, because there are no sources that are considered valid in that space.

    One obvious example was any argument based on religious faith. Faith wasn't the only theme when this happened, but it was the clearest one.You can't use a faith-based holy book to make an academic argument because academic arguments have to be based on evidence. You can't find evidence-based sources to prove the arguments because there are no evidence-based sources to prove matters of faith. It doesn't stop these things for being true for these people; it just teaches them they aren't considered true in the context of college English class.

    It was easy to deal with in class, because you can explain this to students if they propose a faith-based topic, give them a choice, and they will take one of two paths. Most will just avoid the conflict altogether and write about something more "academic." A brave few contrarians will decide to take you and the system on and try to make an evidence-based argument on matters of faith, and they will fail, because they are just two completely different systems of thought. I thought of these students differently than some of my colleagues who would snicker about them in the office, lecture down to them in class, and give them lists of banned topics; even though I'm an atheist, I have some respect for religious faith. Maybe because I came from a working-class Catholic family and went to community college myself, I know how isolating it can be and how much of a culture shock college can be if you come from certain communities.

    So- I would try to be real with them about it, I would counsel them and coach them on the difference between academic vs religious arguments, and if that didn't work, I would even go so far as to walk them through the process of trying to find evidence-based sources.  But there just aren't any academically evidence-based sources to back up ideas that are a matter of faith. All they could ever find was spurious kind of "fake science" or "fake history" articles that existed online at that time and I would have to reject as valid sources. They would get frustrated sometimes, but I never had a student get truly angry about this. They would eventually back down from their topic and pick one that had sources they could use, maybe because they realized what I was teaching them, maybe only for the practical reason of getting a better grade and using their time wisely. It's better not to die on the Freshman Comp hill when you are taking night classes as a single mom or whatever. Ten weeks would come and go, we'd get a new crop of them and start over and never really have to deal in depth with any of it. 

    But in the real world it's not so easy just to compartmentalize. I think we learned by Trump's election that there are lots of people out there who are willing to take him on as an act of faith, even if they have to hold their noses, when there is little evidence that he will be able to do anything he promised, or even wants to keep his promises, and much evidence to the contrary. I'm not necessarily talking about religious believers, but people who have some faith in him to be better than Obama or better than Hillary or whomever else they think is the liberal devil this week. Maybe they are just adherents to the religion of chaos and destruction, horrible racists and uneducated trolls. But maybe they believed in something they saw in him, something populist and anti-establishment and anti-academic. Sooner or later this faith became true enough to enough people to impact an election. We, with our academic "liberal" bias, know that they are being manipulated by Russian bots or whatever... Or we think so anyway. But what if they weren't? Maybe they just had a laugh at that stuff but actually hate Muslims and Mexicans (not that I am saying that's valid, but it's not fake news that Trump spoke against them). I think a lot of these voters love their money more than their fellow human, and a faith in tax breaks was a motivator, when we are now seeing that the tax breaks only really benefit Trump's rich cronies. Maybe they lost their factory job and have some kind of misplaced faith that Trump is going to work that out for them because he came and talked to them in person and all Hillary did was call them deplorable on TV. I happily voted for Hillary, but I do think she should have made more of an effort with those voters, because I actually think she would have been good for them, but how would they ever have known? There were lots of places Trump went that she didn't even try in, probably because someone in her campaign did some math and decided based on evidence that she couldn't win there. But everything they do plays out in a larger sense on TV and internet and I could see that being taken as an act of snobbery. 

    I don't really know what my point is here, all of this is just making me kind of think and remember this big divide in thinking that I saw when I was teaching. It's important to remember that people perceive and understand the world as real in one or the other of these spaces, even oftentimes both.
  • U.S. Politics Part 5: Same old Thread...Just New.

    If they want to sell the idea of registration they could just make it free to get the licenses and such. When Washington started issuing concealed pistol licenses in 1961 the fee was five dollars, now its near 70 for a first application, I dont  want bureaucrats raising the fee every time they want to bleed cash out of gun owners. So it should be no cost. since it is a civil right and all 

    This is tangentially related, but would you support the state providing free identification to all citizens, particularly for voting purposes?
    I absolutely think Identification should be free. 

    Hell since I said the gun license should be free then the free gun license should be perfectly acceptable ID for voting purposes 
     As you have stated that you are a libertarian, I am surprised to hear this view that IDs should be free! Nothing is free. It costs the government money to make your ID. Whenever the government gives something for "free" it's been paid for through other means, most likely taxpayer dollars. So when the government charges you directly for something, that's putting the cost on the individual rather than the collective taxpayers. You can choose whether or not to pay for your ID and you do not have to pay for the IDs of others. Isn't it a libertarian dream?
  • interviewing and Job hunting advice

    See I’ve only worked licensed occupations where there’s a shortage. “Do you have x license?, welcome aboard!” 

    these types of things are foreign to me, the last job interviews I’ve been to have basically been salary negotiation and fairly laid back. 

    Tip: never be honest about your previous salary, what you make plus 25% so you actually get a raise when switching jobs. 
    That's true. I've had a few "interviews" for adjunct teaching jobs where *literally* one of the first things out of the interviewer's mouth was something like... "Okay, so this is the book you'll be using."

    That's higher education in the 21st century for ya!
    Adjunct teaching.. not really a job... more  like a punishment lol
  • TACOS!!

    OK, tacos are the best. I'm white, but tacos are like soul food to me!

    The only kind of tacos I am not super enthused about are the crispy shell kind, but I'm not going  to lie, we used to eat a lot of them when I was younger and you could get them super cheap, and if I see a deal where you can get a bunch of them for cheap I will still pick them up sometimes.

    When we make them at home, we usually use soft flour tortillas because I think they are easier to handle, and our tacos are really more like mini-burritos. At home we just make kind of gringo tacos where we do ground beef, some kind of beans (whatever we have on hand), onion and pepper and some spices, and put them in the tortillas with cheese, sour cream and salsa.

    In my neighborhood we have a lot of taquerias, but my favorite does these type of corn shell tacos, like street tacos or whatever. There's nothing overly special or different about them, but they are just super delicious. This is a photo from when they used to have beef or chicken ones for $1  but my favorites there are cochinita pibil. 

    Another taco of note from my past is from Trini's in Omaha, which has what they call "deep fried puffy taco" where they fry a flour tortilla until it is puffy. Here's a pic, not my pic.

    Last for now, a memorable taco experience was at Hello Betty's in Oceanside, CA. Again not my pic,but what made these tacos so great was the view haha. The tacos were good but here's a picture of the view. It was like the perfect situation, sitting on the rooftop deck, having tacos and drinks and looking out at the ocean.

  • Science and tech stuff

    I've been taking a look at the work of Amy Webb, a futurist who writes about tech-