Links: Thursday, December 4th

December 4, 2014 Links 7

Four unbelievably cute little white fluffy birds perch on a branch of bittersweet that has a dusting of snow on it.

The Impossibirds

Today’s Links:

  • Royalty, Espionage, and Erotica: Secrets of the World’s Tiniest Photographs – The cool shit people come up with just to have cool shit will always delight me.

    Mary finished her embroidery, tucking her needle away into its handsome ivory case. Before slipping the case into her sewing kit, Mary held it up to the light of a nearby window, and peered into a tiny glass lens embedded in the ivory. She smiled at the secret photograph of her favorite place—London’s Crystal Palace. In the next room, her husband, John, checked the time on his pocket watch. Making sure Mary was out of sight, John lifted the watch chain to his eye, stealing a peek at a tiny photo of a topless woman deftly hidden inside his watch key.

    In the mid-19th century, a few decades after the invention of photography, inventors began experimenting with minuscule “microphotographs” developed on glass slides, producing images that were all but invisible without a standard microscope. But the diminutive Stanhope lens changed that—concealed behind a magnifying glass no larger than the head of a pin, microphotographs could now be viewed with the naked eye.

  • How To Support Women Hockey Fans – This post speaks specifically to hockey fans, but its advice on good allyship is broadly applicable.

    An important part of being an ally is acknowledging that your view of the world is only partial. Put simply, there are things that you will never truly understand because you do not experience those things. It is tough for a lot of men to see the ways that women hockey fans are disrespected, harassed, and sexualized because they do not experience these things in the same way themselves. There are things you don’t know that you don’t know–and this applies to all kinds of issues in addition to gender. If you are not a part of a marginalized group, you should do your best to learn as much as you can by listening. Dismissing and delegitimizing the feelings of women hockey fans is not helpful. It is important to realize that you cannot be the arbiter of things that people are allowed to be upset about, as it is all too easy to dismiss concerns that would never apply to you. Calling people, say, “outrage hobbyists” (just an example) because they are upset about something that you will never experience? That is being a part of the problem.

  • #CrimingWhileWhite is Not Solidarity – Speaking of good and bad ally behavior, this post argues that #CrimingWhileWhite centers white people at a time when we should be focusing specifically on black people’s experiences.

    Yes, #CrimingWhileWhite emerges as a space where liberal-minded white people through their social media accounts are provided the opportunity to express their acknowledgement of racism and white privilege being real. Though communities of color have known this since the invention of whiteness, white awakening in 2014 is indeed still necessary as colorblindness in a post-Civil Rights era masks the reality of racism to many white Americans. However, the mere recognition of white privilege in this moment is not a call to justice and solidarity if it solely remains a space for “good intentioned” white folks to unload an array of unearned advantages they have acquired in life, which has resulted in an accrual of social benefits upon which they have built their lives. #CrimingWhileWhite actually reaffirms the outrageousness of white privilege, by allowing whites to admit their privilege while carrying on still in white privilege. It is salt being poured onto open racists wounds.

  • Feminism, Cohabitation And How Marriage Was Brought Back From The Brink – While I’m not sure I’m on board with its conclusions, I thought this was an interesting explanation for the rising and now falling divorce rate.

    What does that mean for the divorce rate? To simplify things: your grandparents, who met, wed, and lived under the old model of marriage probably stayed together forever. There was no bait-and-switch: marriage was exactly what they signed up for. It’s that middle generation—couples who got married before spousal work became “market mediated transactions” (e.g. a trip to the grocery store, throw the load of clothes in the dryer) and before the women’s rights movement—that divorced at the highest rates.
    “Think about my mother’s generation,” said Wolfers. “My mother grew up thinking she’d live in the same sort of world as my grandmother, so she looked for the right partner for that world. She looked for someone with whom she could specialize in different roles. The world changed. My mother had a lot more opportunities than she ever anticipated. And the family on the whole, they didn’t see the point of having a domestic specialist anymore. So suddenly she’s partnered with the wrong guy for the world she lives in. So think about what the implications for the divorce rate is going to be. People will realize they’re in the wrong marriage, and divorce rates will rise. The next generation will marry the right person for the time in which they live and the divorce rate will drop.”

  • Bomb Threats, Rap Lyrics, and Teen Chatrooms: When Is Online Speech a ‘True Threat’? – RH Reality Check discusses the pending Supreme Court case that seeks to define what online speech constitutes a credible threat.

    Under the argument put forward by the federal government, if a “reasonable person” would interpret an Internet rant as a threat, that should be enough to remove any First Amendment protections from that speech.

    This chasm between what constitutes free speech and what constitutes criminal threats is one federal courts have struggled with in recent years, especially after 2003, when the Supreme Court ruled in Virginia v. Black that burning a cross could sometimes count as free speech. On Monday, the Court sought to fill the divide between whether a threat can be determined by the speaker or the recipient with some middle ground. But in the case of violent online messages, middle ground may be an impossibility—no matter how hard the justices search for it.

  • Crazy in Love – An account from someone who cares for a person with schizophrenia.

    In psychosis, no event or thing is small enough to escape the tightly woven net of personal significance. A clock means a bomb, a sunset is a message, and so on. But how do you live in a world in which everything signifies? How do others who live in this shimmering, terrifying world treat you? One time B was found cowering in the restroom at a café, too afraid to leave, and was arrested. Just as much as they are implacably hostile to blackness, for reasons both mysterious and self-evident, the police are also structurally fated to hate the mad. Arrests, harassment, and lucky escapes punctuated the acute phases of B’s illness. Now, every so often, another story of police hurting or killing a mentally ill person surfaces, and I am momentarily gripped by the kind of intense, helpless pain that must be what people mean when they talk about being triggered. Still, it’s important to not overindulge in other people’s trouble, even where it affirms your own. The duty of a crazy person’s friends and family is far more practical: Our duty is to appear, as much as possible, not crazy, so that our loved one will be allowed to live.

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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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7 Responses to “Links: Thursday, December 4th”

  1. Bona

    I’m interested in the article about marriage and the slowig rates of divorce. But, although I’ve read it, I’m not sure if they have taken into account seriously how many people who could marry do, indeed, marry. This is, perhaps there are less divorces because less people get married and they do only do it if they have a clear compromise with that institution. If not, they just live together. Therefore only those who really believe in marriage do get married. And they try to save it no matter what.
    In the past everybody got married b/c living with someone w/o being married was not well considered. Even those who did not believe in marriage had to get married. So it’s not surprising they didn’t try to save it when things went south.

  2. Nu

    Who can afford a Roomba, man? That’s all I have to say in response to that marriage article.

    The Crazy in Love one made me tear up.

  3. Ridley

    @Nu: I have a Roomba. The dog is terrified of it and pees on the floor when we run it.

  4. AJ

    Delurking to say the article about microphotographs is the coolest thing I’ve read in a while.

    I came across the site while looking for recommendations of romance novels that might not be full of tropes that make me want to stab something, but I have it bookmarked for the link posts because they always have a nice mix of things I should know about and randomly interesting stuff. So thank you.

  5. lawless

    @Ridley: Doesn’t the dog’s reaction make using the Roomba less than practical, though? Or do you just make sure the dog’s not in the room when you use the Roomba?

  6. Ridley

    @lawless: The dog’s relatively new but we’ve had the Roomba for years. We just stopped using it. Adding a dog to the three cats kinda was too much for the little guy to suck up anyways. Until then, though, it was a pretty useful gadget.