From the world pool: November 20, 2016

Well, I suck at updating my blog, don’t I? I haven’t done a world pool collection since October 18th. And as I had a lot of stuff to post two weeks ago—and almost got to it but didn’t quite—I now have an enormously long list of links.

Much of it had to do with the American election. I’m still going to post some of it, if I think it’s relevant to the aftermath, though I must say that the aftermath on its own is generating an ever-growing cascade of things to read.

This is a VERY long blog post, so I’m going to put the actual links under the cut. 

Socio-political commentary

US election

Hillary Clinton is a 68-year-old woman. And plenty of people hate her for it. (via @ChrisBoese)

A woman her age is supposed to be invisible. But Hillary Clinton, who is 68, refuses to disappear — and there is no shortage of people who despise her for it.

The Yale Record Does Not Endorse Hillary Clinton.  Shade.

A people’s history of Donald Trump’s business busts and countless victims.

Don’t call Clinton a weak candidate: it took decades of scheming to beat her.

(And by the way, though the counting of votes isn’t finished, in the popular vote she’s well over a million votes up on Trump as things stand now.)

The obedience test. “There is never one single test, a poll asking “is it ok to kill Jews?”

Tressie McMillan Cottom: Digital Redlining After Trump: Real Names + Fake News on Facebook

Facebook has created a set of perverse incentives by responding piece-meal to issues of civil liberties and public speech. Because the “real name” policy is important to its core business, it allocates resources to policing it. Those resources are, based on how many reports of racism and sexism on the site that go unbanned, presumably greater than the resources allocated to other types of speech acts on the platform. Therefore, to influence public discourse users can and do, by many accounts, target the accounts of people who disagree with them by reporting them not for content violations but for violating the real name policy. The latter is more likely to get the attention that comes with additional resources and is a more efficient means of silencing unwelcome if not illegal or unethical speech.

Your friends and relatives did this—now what can you do?

You can’t say that you’re for progress and then stay quiet because it’s too awkward. We’ve tried changing the minds of racists, and it hasn’t worked. So it has to come from you. Not the you that posts “woke af” articles (like this one) that only your friends can see, but the you that goes home for Thanksgiving and silently digs into the green bean casserole while someone talks about Black Lives Matter being thugs.

The Trump Memos: The ACLU’s Constitutional Analysis of the Public Statements and Policy Proposals of Donald Trump

Glenn Greenwald: Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit.

Ijeoma Oluo:

  • Good Morning, America. Welcome To Your White SupremacyThere will be a lot of hand-wringing and excuse-giving and scapegoating in the upcoming days as we try to grapple with what just happened. But let’s not get it twisted: Trump will be our next president, not because Hillary is unlikeable, not because of third-party voters, not because of an enthusiasm gap in black voters. We have elected violent white supremacist patriarchy into office because the vast majority of white American voters chose to elect violent white supremacist patriarchy into office.
  • Questioning Safety Pin Solidarity Revealed Why I Can’t Trust White PeopleAll of these people, the hundreds of people who spent yesterday talking over, insulting, and dismissing a black woman for asking why a tiny, silent, symbolic gesture would be the weapon of choice against violent oppression—they are all wearing safety pins. All while wishing that this black woman would just shut up and be grateful that they’re doing even that. (This is what she’s talking about. It’s performative allyship—it makes the person doing it feel good, but doesn’t actually accomplish much. And oh look, it can be a fashion statement!)
  • We Have To Create A Culture That Won’t Vote For TrumpPeople will stop voting for Trump when it is no longer acceptable to vote for Trump. And we don’t get there by yelling “NO” once every four years. We get there by never letting anything slide, never letting anything go. By treating every racist microagression, every sexist joke, every ableist assumption like the threats to our future that they are. Together, we can make sure that this never happens again.

Laurie Penny: Against Bargaining.

As I write, fascism is being normalized on every uplit screen and white liberals are turning away to gaze pointedly at their own navels. Asking how much of this is our fault is more comfortable than asking what the hell we do now, because it’s a question with an easy answer. “All of it was our fault” is the easy answer. It’s the wrong answer, but it’s the easy answer, because if you can persuade yourself that it’s your fault, that means you still have control.

Sarah Kendzior is a journalist and anthropologist specializing in authoritarian states, and unfortunately she’s been right about far too much this year. Read her work, including this: We’re heading into dark times. This is how to be your own light in the Age of Trump.

Authoritarianism is not merely a matter of state control, it is something that eats away at who you are. It makes you afraid, and fear can make you cruel. It compels you to conform and to comply and accept things that you would never accept, to do things you never thought you would do.

You do it because everyone else is doing it, because the institutions you trust are doing it and telling you to do it, because you are afraid of what will happen if you do not do it, and because the voice in your head crying out that something is wrong grows fainter and fainter until it dies.

Crowd-sourced reading list on authoritarianism.

Watching the Election from The Post-Truth Future.

“This weekend, American media report that anti-Trump protests have turned racist. And the people who are most poorly treated in America’s racial dynamics, the Chinese, have been unfairly targeted again.”

Love Doesn’t Trump Hate.

The solution to our president-elect is not love, it is accountability. Love is a Band-Aid solution that allows white folks to continue to evade accountability. To continue to avoid the reality that the overwhelming majority of white folks elected Trump and those who didn’t were at the very least complacent. Accountability is essential to creating these loving and supportive communities that are wrongfully imagined as solutions. Love is only effective alongside working to dismantle white supremacy, it is not a solution in itself. 

Racism and Black Lives Matter

Michael B. Jordan, Danny Glover Star In Haunting Police Brutality PSA

America has locked up so many black people it has warped our sense of reality.

Facebook lets advertisers exclude users by race. 

Satterfield added that the “Ethnic Affinity” is not the same as race—which Facebook does not ask its members about.

Uh huh.

Facebook assigns members an “Ethnic Affinity” based on pages and posts they have liked or engaged with on Facebook. When we asked why “Ethnic Affinity” was included in the “Demographics” category of its ad-targeting tool if it’s not a representation of demographics, Facebook responded that it plans to move “Ethnic Affinity” to another section. Facebook declined to answer questions about why our housing ad excluding minority groups was approved 15 minutes after we placed the order.

This Baltimore school replaced detention with meditation. The results have been incredible. 

Alicia Garza on the beauty and the burden of Black Lives Matter.  (via Ashley Ford)

The disturbing reason why we don’t believe young, black women are really doctors (via @tressiemcphd)

When Tamika Cross heard a woman screaming for help for her husband, who fell ill on a Delta flight last weekend, she sprang to action. The young black doctor, on her way home from a wedding in Detroit, took off her headphones, put her tray table up and unbuckled her seat belt…. Cross, a fourth-year resident at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, raised her hand.

“She said to me, ‘oh no sweetie put ur hand down, we are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel, we don’t have time to talk to you,’ ” Cross wrote in a Facebook post that has gone viral. “I tried to inform her that I was a physician, but I was continually cut off by condescending remarks.”

18 books every white ally should read.

Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves. It’s not the job of people of colour to do it for you.


Standing Rock Syllabus.

These are the native leaders you should follow to learn about the Dakota Access Pipeline.


Question: Please, list me all of those female architects, scientists and great minds that male architects and scientists ripped off. No, really, I am curious to see all of these female inventors and pioneers you’re speaking of. Answer: okay!

Sexuality and gender

A map of gender-diverse cultures

On nearly every continent, and for all of recorded history, thriving cultures have recognized, revered, and integrated more than two genders. Terms such as “transgender” and “gay” are strictly new constructs that assume three things: that there are only two sexes (male/female), as many as two sexualities (gay/straight), and only two genders (man/woman). Yet hundreds of distinct societies around the globe have their own long-established traditions for third, fourth, fifth, or more genders. 

This is fascinating. It’s linked from a page about a documentary called “Two Spirits”.

The Navajo believe that to maintain harmony, there must be a balanced interrelationship between the feminine and the masculine within the individual, in families, in the culture, and in the natural world. Two Spirits reveals how these beliefs are expressed in a natural range of gender diversity. For the first time on film, it examines the Navajo concept of nádleehí, “one who constantly transforms.”

A Survivor Of Gay Conversion Therapy Shares His Chilling Story.

The first step ― which usually lasted six months ― [is] where they “deconstruct us as a person.” Their tactics still haunt me. Aversion therapy, shock therapy, harassment and occasional physical abuse. Their goal was to get us to hate ourselves for being LGBTQ (most of us were gay, but the entire spectrum was represented), and they knew what they were doing…. The second step of the program, they “rebuilt us in their image.” They removed us of everything that made us a unique person, and instead made us a walking, talking, robot for Jesus. They retaught us everything we knew. How to eat, talk, walk, dress, believe, even breathe. We were no longer people at the end of the program.


Internet Privacy 101: VPNs, Encrypted Messaging, and Anonymous Browsing.

Mental Health

What helps, what hurts. A guide to helping friends with depression.

If you’re not a survivor, don’t…

Locking people out of conversations unless they clear some arbitrary bar of ‘traumatised enough’ isn’t just misguided – it’s damaging and offensive. It others people with traumatic personal histories and creates an artificial gulf between ‘survivors’ and ‘non-survivors’. It discourages empathy by treating trauma as something that happens to a distinct group of People Who Aren’t You. It pressures people who’ve lived through trauma to embrace the abuse that’s been inflicted on them as a defining aspect of their identity. It demands that people who are already suffering subject themselves to painful scrutiny over whether their experiences have been bad enough to ‘count’.

Sinead O’Connor: 8 Good Reasons  A good song for times of despair, I think.


Performative Social Justice.

6 Signs Your Call-Out Isn’t Actually About Accountability.

No matter how long you’ve been politically conscious, you’ve probably figured out by now that activists are by no means perfect. Even while we’re trying to end oppression, we can sometimes make some harmful mistakes ourselves. So how do you address oppressive mistakes in your community?

Samantha Swords: Fear, Fantasy and the Way of the Sword. Transcript here.

So the thing is, if I’m afraid, and I can overcome it, I know you can too. You have to make a decision, every single day. You have to decide, am I going to follow the thing I love, which gives me strength, gives me confidence, or am I going to hide and let that thing, that thing that I can’t quite look at or deal with, am I going to let that rule my life?

And it’s a decision, guys. It’s a decision to be a hero. And I promise you, once you create a practice of being a hero, one day, you’ll wake up, and you will be that person. 

Canadian issues

Why Adam Capay has spent 1,560 days in solitary. This is absolutely appalling.

She also met privately with a correctional officer who’d reached out to her earlier. She asked him if there was anything that management wouldn’t want her to see. “Ask to see Adam Capay,” the officer said. “He’s been in administrative segregation for four years.”

(Also, I do want to put up some links relating to what Canadian activists can do in the face of the results of the American election and what it’s unleashed, but that will have to wait for another post.)

Art + Design + Music

Creative people’s brains really do work differently.

“I Can’t Make You Love Me”: A 25th Anniversary Oral History

Playful Seniors Wear Organic Materials to Personify Nature


Blind people gesture (and why that’s kind of a big deal).


Shoelace advice.

Does your dog really want to be petted?

On Writing

The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin.  I was sorry to see that Ursula K Le Guin didn’t win the Nobel Prize for literature, as she is my favourite author. But here’s a great article on her. One of the things that I love about her is her beautiful, sly sense of humour. Which is likely why I loved this:

Le Guin dresses well, but casually, favoring T-shirts, and wears little jewelry, though occasionally she puts on earrings fastened with clips or magnets. “You put the stone in front and a tiny magnet behind your earlobe,” she explains. “The trouble is that if you bend down near the stove, for instance, all of a sudden your earrings go wham!—and hit the stove. It’s kind of exciting.”

More seriously,

By breaking down the walls of genre, Le Guin handed new tools to twenty-first-century writers working in what Chabon calls the “borderlands,” the place where the fantastic enters literature. A group of writers as unlike as Chabon, Molly Gloss, Kelly Link, Karen Joy Fowler, Junot Díaz, Jonathan Lethem, Victor LaValle, Zadie Smith, and David Mitchell began to explore what’s possible when they combine elements of realism and fantasy. The fantasy and science-fiction scholar Brian Attebery has noted that “every writer I know who talks about Ursula talks about a sense of having been invited or empowered to do something.” 

Not a bad legacy, whether you get a Nobel or not.

Zadie Smith: dance lessons for writers.

Just cool

10+ People Who Turned Log Piling Into An Art Form. I want to see this in my community!

Typewriter museum.

Just for fun

OMG. She’s a better dancer than I am; she never looks at her feet.

Whirled Beat.

World’s fastest piano juggler. I… didn’t know piano juggling was a thing. Did you?

4 thoughts on “From the world pool: November 20, 2016

  1. Have watched the US elections from afar with disbelief. Most people I have spoken to locally are worried about the US election result because it is going to have effects well beyond US borders.

    Am travelling at the moment, but will read all your links when I have time again.

    1. We’re sitting here in Canada watching with our mouths in our laps. The consequences of this won’t just be felt in the US. It’s damned scary.

      But enjoy your travelling! I’m glad to see you posting again. :)

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