“That’s student loan debt, which at over $1 trillion tops credit card debt in the U.S. today. The average burden is $28,000, but add in their credit cards and they’re graduating with an average of $35,000 in debt. It’s no wonder that people who’ve paid off their student loan debt are 36 percent more likely to own homes than those who haven’t, according to new research by the One Wisconsin Now Institute and Progress Now. What kind of society sends its young people from higher education into adulthood this way?”—We must hate our children - Salon.com (via robot-heart-politics)
Why is love a social construct? Love is an emotion and emotions do exist.
Love as a physiological reaction, a feeling, or an emotion is real. And the evolutionary psychology and biological basis of love cannot be denied. But our understanding, conception, and expectation of love is certainly a social construction (see: Anne E. Beall’s The Social Construction of Love).
Philosophically, when expressed in whatever metaphysical manner, love loses its value. This is an rookie offshoot from Barthes’ Lover’s Discourse: when love becomes a discourse, "I" am reduced to a projection of "your" thoughts. And what about thoughts? Because thoughts are not feelings, and anything that is expressed comes in the form of language and semiotics, which are both socially learned. And the cycle repeats.
The novelist Natsume Soseki once told his student off for using "I love you," in writing, stating that it is meaningless. Instead he said, "Tsuki ga tottemo aoi naa” (‘今夜月色很好’, ‘The moon is so blue tonight’) is a better expression. And I guess that is true, speak your feelings, not just use the L word that has been embedded in our brains from whichever cultural framework we are drowning in.
“Today’s words like ‘Progress’ and ‘Development’ have become interchangeable with economic ‘Reforms’, Deregulation and Privatization. ‘Freedom’ has come to mean ‘choice’. It has less to do with the human spirit than with different brands of deodorant. ‘Market’ no longer means a place where you go to buy provisions. The ‘Market’ is a de-territorialized space where faceless corporations do business, including buying and selling ‘futures’. ‘Justice’ has come to mean ‘human rights’ (and of those, as they say, ‘a few will do’). This theft of language, this technique of usurping words and deploying them like weapons, of using them to mask intent and to mean exactly the opposite of what they have traditionally meant, has been one of the most brilliant strategic victories of the Tsars of the new dispensation. It has allowed them to marginalize their detractors, deprive them of a language in which to voice their critique and dismiss them as being ‘anti-progress’, ‘anti-development’, ‘anti-reform’ and of course ‘anti-national’ – negativists of the worst sort. Talk about saving a river or protecting a forest and they say, ‘Don’t you believe in Progress?’ To people whose land is being submerged by dam reservoirs and whose homes are being bulldozed they say, ‘do you have an alternative development model?’ to those who believe that a government is duty bound to provide people with basic education, healthcare and social security, they say, ‘You’re against the Market.’ And who except a cretin could be against the Market?
To reclaim those stolen words requires explanations that are too tedious for a world with a short attention span, and too expensive in an era where Free Speech has become unaffordable for the poor. This language heist may prove to be the keystone of our undoing.”—Arundhati Roy, Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy. (via itsbeenablast)
“Every single thing you see is future trash. Everything. So we are surrounded by ephemera, but we can’t acknowledge that, because it’s kind of scary, because I think ultimately it points to our own temporariness, to thoughts that we’re all going to die.”—
Interview with Robin Nagle, an Anthropologist in Residence in NYC’s Dept of Transportation.
I’ve just started her book, Picking Up. More and more I find myself using the metaphor of trash to discuss my industry’s obsession with ‘big data’ and quant only analysis. Using quant only data without any kind of ethnographic, primary research supplement is like analyzing the trash in landfill to understand the present practices of a particular community to exclusion of other data: it can be done with limits and a whole lot of caveats. But also, I enjoy the mental picture of digital analysts swimming in piles of digital debris like click data, mommy blogger posts, and irrelevant hashtags.
“Suffering is not bad. If you understand it rightly, suffering is a cleansing. If you understand it rightly, sadness has a depth to it which no happiness can ever have. A person who is simply happy is always superficial. A person who has not known sorrow and has not known sadness, has not known the depths. He has not touched the bottom of his being; he has remained just on the periphery. One has to move within these two banks. Within these two banks flows the river.”—Osho (via slychedelic)
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”—Rick Warren (via deerhoof)
“Gay Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a Straight Pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.”—(via canisfamiliaris)
“When you grow up as a girl, the world tells you the things that you are supposed to be: emotional, loving, beautiful, wanted. And then when you are those things, the world tells you they are inferior: illogical, weak, vain, empty. The world teaches you that the way you exist in it is disgusting — you watch boys cringe backward in your dorm room when you talk about your period, blue water pretending to be blood in a maxi pad commercial. It is little things, and it is constant. In a food court in a mall, after you go to the gynecologist for the first time, you and your friend talk about how much it hurts, and over her shoulder you watch two boys your age turn to look at you and wrinkle their noses: the reality of your life is impolite to talk about. The world says that you don’t have a right to the space you occupy, any place with men in it is not yours, you and your body exist only as far as what men want to do with it. At fifteen, you find fifteen-year-old boys you have never met somehow believe you should bend your body to their will. At almost thirty, you find fifteen-year-old boys you have never met still somehow believe you should bend your body to their will. They are children. They are children.”—Stevie Nicks (via whisperingwordsofwisdom)