About Me

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Grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Richmond, El Cerrito, Berkeley, Oakland. My time now is mostly spent getting better at being a person, refining my time management skills, trying to read normal people books and articles, and learning how to be a force for good.

T1D Life in full effect. 

I will never stop learning, nor will I stop working to make a difference for someone.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Online Dating

I responded to a Facebook query from Helen A. S. Popkin about online dating. Really interesting question to be sure: "What is the difference between dating people you meet in real life and dating people you meet online?"

Here's what I said:
There isn't much of a difference if we take into account what a face-to-face relationship becomes. Meeting people can happen any number of ways. The success of any relationship depends on the people in it, regardless of the initial meeting. Whether or not we take as seriously, as personally, or as meaningfully, meeting online versus meeting face-to-face initially, the success of a relationship is always a toss-up. The way I figure, online 'dating' which is really online 'meeting' unless the relationship depends on an online connection over time, is exactly the same as meeting face-to-face. We only show what we wish for someone to see for a given time frame. The added bits happen over time, whether the ongoing exposure to another person is online or in person. So really, unless one inherently devalues online 'meeting', there is truly no difference in meeting online or face-to-face, if we assume that what we show of ourselves is always measured in some way by what we think people see us as. Would we inherently devalue a long term relationship that depends on Skype connections? If we make that claim, then it is safe to say that online meetings are inherently less reliable, less enjoyable, and less meaningful. But, if we ascribe the same level of meaning to a relationship that depends on internet connections that we seem to ascribe to relationships that do not depend on internet connections, we must conclude that meeting online is of the same potential value that meeting through face-to-face interactions tends to suggest.

So, what do you think?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Generally Speaking...

I have students in a number of my courses submit reading responses as part of their overall course experience. With permission, I'm posting the text of one assignment from my Social Problems course at UH Manoa this semester. If you read through it, I'm sure you'll see why I'm putting it up for all to see; this kind of work should be shared, not hidden away in the deep recesses of my downloads file.

The topic covered by the text was poverty and homelessness. Check it:

"The problem with welfare as we know it, is we’re so full of shit. Not only do we have rich people who fucking complain about being taxed for having millions of dollars, they also have the damn nerve to say that the government is spending too much “their” money on welfare programs. How fucking greedy and envious do you have to be to think of treating people this way. These clowns never had to spend a day in the damn streets working for a piece of bread. They are in their nice warm luxurious offices complaining about how they don‘t have enough. In fact, we barely spend any money on welfare compared on how much of an income the government receives. The poor that do pay their taxes are returned just a bit of what they are asked to give. And of course the media is covering their fuckery up. And even the people that aren’t piss rich are so confused with all the crap that the media shows them that they believe all these lies that makes them think that the poor are a bunch of lazy, sorry, good for nothing people that try to cheat their way to a “perfect” American dream. Oh and to add a bit of truth to these big fucking lies lets blame it on the minorities as well. They are already known for being a bunch of savage people who like violence and drugs, let’s tell everyone that they are also the ones that use up all the welfare money and don’t pay any back. Matter of fact lets go deeper into this lie and point out the single black teen mothers and call their children “mistakes” that everyone has to pay for. Oh and by the way, Diane Sawyer can eat a bag of rusty nails. Who the fuck gives her the right to judge all mothers? No one knows what these girls have gone through in their lives. Show all the blacks in magazines and TV shows all you want. The truth will always be the truth. Media is a bunch of shit put on the television and paper to fuck with people’s minds. Call them myths all you want, they are all lies. And I don’t give a fuck about what the technical difference is between poverty and homelessness. I could honestly give a rat’s ass. They both mean the same thing: human beings that are struggling in life who need help. Ever seen the homeless here in Honolulu? The other day I bought a man a sandwich and a Gatorade. When I went to give it to him, he threw it back at me. Did I get angry and take it from the ungrateful piece of shit? Of course not, this person is a human being. Their prides aren’t asking for anything, especially not a welfare check. I walked away and returned after about an hour. He had the sandwich in his lap and Gatorade next to him. He could barely accept a free sandwich and people honestly give a fuck about the definitional differences between poverty and homelessness. Something is clearly wrong.  God, how many people are there out there that are like Murray Barr. Decent, loving people whose lives are in a black hole. And this can happen to anyone, in any city, town, state, country. No one ever wishes to live that life. It’s a disease for them. And boy does it cost millions of dollars on housing and medical bills. And surprisingly there aren’t that many of them when you really look at it. Life is not perfect by all means but if we all just chipped in a bit then something could really happen. We all own what we came into this world with and will leave with, our human bodies. Everything else is temporary possession and if you think you’re entitled to everything then you are in for a big surprise the day of your funeral."

See? Brilliant. In my courses, while I do want good scholarship more often than not, these assignments ask for students to reflect on the topics and concepts, and explore their own perceptions and beliefs. One assignment like this is appropriate for this course, given what i ask of them. Seems pretty blogworthy, yeah? And worth all the possible points. Good work, anonymous Social Problems student.