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  • Showing only topics with the tag "identity". Back to normal view
    1. I've recently been trying to confront the fact that a lot of the things I want to do online work best if they've got some connection to my real life identity (or will eventually, almost by...

      I've recently been trying to confront the fact that a lot of the things I want to do online work best if they've got some connection to my real life identity (or will eventually, almost by necessity, become connected). Things like working on open source software, writing, etc. almost always seem to lead back to other people knowing at the very least your real name and probably your email address.

      I know that my threat model for people going after my identity is a lot different from someone with nation-state level adversaries like Ed Snowden or various activists, but I still find it hard to decide what gets to be connected to what. Do I put my real name on my GitHub account? Do I post things on my GitHub blog to here? Should I have my real name on my Twitter account? What about the fact that some of my usernames resemble each other?

      I'm not necessarily looking for advice about my particular situation, but I would really like to hear how other people have dealt with such situations and what you generally think about things like identity compartmentalization.

      37 votes
    2. DISCLAIMER: The reason I’m writing it is that there are some things I’m afraid to ask IRL to not be labeled as “not woke enough” but I honestly want to learn the whys and hows of some things....

      DISCLAIMER: The reason I’m writing it is that there are some things I’m afraid to ask IRL to not be labeled as “not woke enough” but I honestly want to learn the whys and hows of some things. Incidentally that’s something I think could be improved in “leftist” circles, because if people feel they can’t say things but don’t get chances to actually change their minds it’s just a bandage and not a solution IMHO (plus this whole idea that people have to be perfect and not make a single mistake is really counterproductive I think). On the other hand, I understand it’s not the job of a minority/oppressed population to educate the “other”, but at this point, my questions are mainly in the edges and all the info I see online is actually not consistent. Hopefully, I won’t say anything horribly wrong lol.

      1. My first “friction” is with the whole concept of cultural appropriation. I don't know if you've read the Cosmopolitan article on "don't dress your kid as Moana this Halloween". But that article pointed to another article by a Fiji woman that said it's OK to dress as Moana as long as you don't try to copy traditional garbs, etc.. I usually understand the points of view but in this case (as well as in the recent case of the qipao) it seems that even the affected people don't agree on the gravity of the thing. I've also seen discussions on whether it's appropriate for a white kid to dress up as The Black Panther (obv no blackface) and I've seen more white people saying it's "cultural appropriation" than black people saying that. There are some blatant cases like blackface, or wearing religious/spiritual stuff to a party, or using the “n” word, and it's obvious to me why shouldn’t they be done, but other cases seem to be more about “well if you’re doing this and you’re only doing because it’s cool then it’s bad”. Which I can relate to but yeah, it doesn’t feel very productive.

      My usual approach with cultural appropriation and correct behavior is “I’ll do it if I think it’s not offensive and if someone complains or tells me it is offensive I’ll learn and not do it again or ask for permission” (for example I give dap to some black friends who initiated it, but I won’t give dap to a random person I just met). How do you navigate this? How do you navigate the pieces of your identity that you feel are misrepresented (and sometimes ridiculed) and how do you navigate your interpretations of other identities? Since I’m asking controversial stuff, could someone explain to me why drag isn’t offensive? Isn’t it men dressing up as women and taking feminine stereotypes to the extreme? Like, I enjoy RuPaul but I’m always wondering why people find it cool.

      1. Speaking of identity, what forms an identity? I mean, if I start going deep then I am the only person with my identity, and I have problems and people hurt me and I hurt people, but we usually get around it by talking, empathizing, and not assuming the worst of each other all the time. But if I look at certain pieces of my identity: I’m poor, I grew up in a violent city, I had to be ultramasculine to survive, I am a woman, I am not white, I have a disability, I have BPD, I know how to code… In each of these facets I have reasons to feel “oppressed” or “guilty”, to feel like I’m a “victim” or to feel like I’m an “oppressor”. But none of these thoughts really give me much to do about it other than masturbating to my self-pity or self-righteousness. Furthermore, whatever all the things I am I’m also a member of a society that I think has the potential to get better if we all row together. So how do we combine the fact that we are all individuals but at the same time we have all these identities that make us feel angry/sad/guilty and at the same time we’re all in the same boat? How do you deal with this?

      OK I have many more questions but maybe this is enough for now… Again, I appreciate your understanding and your help!

      17 votes
    3. Good morning! I was listening to the CBC radio on my way to work and there was a very interesting discussion about how people choose to interpret the results of DNA tests. I did a quick search and...

      Good morning!

      I was listening to the CBC radio on my way to work and there was a very interesting discussion about how people choose to interpret the results of DNA tests. I did a quick search and unfortunately couldn't find the radio broadcast on CBCs site.

      Points mentioned (from my memory):

      • People don't look at the results of a DNA test and go "this is who I am", instead they use it to cherry-pick who they want to be
      • Statically, "white" people tend to identify with a more "exotic" finding in their test
      • Example used included a person that chose to identify with who they thought they would pass as; results showed Native and Celtic blood, and person went with Native because he didn't believe they physically passed for Celtic

      The cultural appropriation part:

      • When non-minorities, who have generally not been raised or have much interaction with the minority they are now choosing to identify with, they can skew, more specifically flatten stats. For example, for a person who's always identified as caucasian to start checking off boxes for a minority, they are potentially 1) disregarding the consequences there are to race (discrimination), and 2) pumping up the stats for minority representation.

      As a visible minority myself, I just find it in poor taste. I would love to think people who find a little bit of Asian blood will go and try to discovery more of what it is to be Asian, but I would definitely roll my eyes, if you just come up to me and say "I'm 1/64th like you".

      So thoughts? Has anyone done a DNA test and how did it go?

      19 votes
    4. Let’s imagine two women: Millie and Bonnie. Millie has a body-wasting disease. Her body is slowly breaking down, organ by organ. The only organ which is untouched is her brain. However, the body...

      Let’s imagine two women: Millie and Bonnie.

      Millie has a body-wasting disease. Her body is slowly breaking down, organ by organ. The only organ which is untouched is her brain. However, the body that supports that brain is deteriorating, and she is near to dying.

      Bonnie is a healthy person who suffers an unfortunate accident. She takes a sharp blow to her head which damages her brain, killing her instantly, but leaving her body intact and healthy.

      Due to the magic of non-existent futuristic medical technologies, doctors transplant Millie’s brain into Bonnie’s body.

      Who is the resulting person? Who is walking around? Is it Millie because it’s her mind, or is it Bonnie because it’s her body? Or is it someone else?

      For legal purposes, we identify a person by their physical attributes: fingerprints, retinal patterns, dental history, face. According to that methodology, this person is Bonnie, because she has Bonnie’s physical attributes. If she used Bonnie’s passport, she would be able to travel because her face and fingerprints match the photo and fingerprints in the passport. She would be accepted as Bonnie.

      However, this person does not have any of Bonnie’s knowledge or memories. She remembers Millie’s life and friends and education. If we asked her to sit an academic exam about a topic that Bonnie learned, she would fail, but she would pass an exam about a topic that Millie learned; she is therefore entitled to use Millie’s academic qualifications as her own. Her encephalograph would show Millie’s brain patterns. She would recognise Millie’s family and friends.

      If Millie and Bonnie each committed a crime before the transplant, should the post-transplant person be held responsible for either crime, or both, or neither? If she was in court, a witness would identify her as Bonnie, who was at the scene of one of the crimes. However, she would not remember committing Bonnie’s crime, but would remember Millie’s crime. Can she be held responsible for a crime she doesn’t remember committing (that brain is now dead)? Can she be held responsible for a crime noone saw her commit (that body is now dead)?

      So… who is she? Is she Millie or Bonnie, or is is she some new composite person: Minnie?


      Partly inspired by a couple of science fiction works:

      • 'I Will Fear No Evil', by Robert A Heinlein

      • The Star Trek DS9 episode 'Dax', by Peter Allan Fields and D.C. Fontana

      18 votes