Mar
30
2010

I propose work-life compartmentalization as a case study. “Work-life balance” is how we rationalize that separation. It’s OK, we think, to put up with some unpleasantness from 9 to 5, as long as we can look forward to getting home, kicking our shoes off and relaxing, alone or among family or friends. And perhaps that’s reasonable enough.

But this logic leads many people to tolerate: stress, taking orders, doing work that we think is meaningless, filling out paperwork that will never actually be read, pouring our energy into projects we’re certain are failure-bound but never speaking up about that to avoid being branded “not a team player”, being bored in endless meetings which are thinly disguised status games, feeling unproductive and stupid but grinding on anyway because it’s “office hours” and that’s when we are supposed to work, and so on.

And those are only the milder symptoms. Workplace bullying, crunch mode, dodgy workplace ethics are worryingly prevalent. (There are large variations in this type of workplace toxicity; some of us are lucky enough to never catch but a whiff of it, some of us unfortunately are exposed to a high degree. That these are real and widespread phenomena is evidenced by the success of TV shows showing office life as its darkest; humor is a defense mechanism.)

Things snapped into focus for me one day when a manager asked me to lie to a client about my education record in order to get a contract. I refused, expecting to be fired; that didn’t happen. Had I really been at risk? The incident anyway fueled a resolve to try and apply at work the same standards that I do in life – when I think rationally.

via Less Wrong: The fallacy of work-life compartmentalization.

0 Comments
Mar
30
2010

PRESS STATEMENT
28 March 2010
CONCERNED ARTISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES
Reference: Roselle Pineda, tel. 09296454102

Cause-oriented
artists’ group slams MTRCB for “X” rating

The Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP)
joins the local film, media and creative communities in lambasting the
so-called Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) for
reverting to open fascism when it slapped an “X” rating on two films
for AmBisyon 2010 of local cable channel ANC.

This MTRCB action bares once again the repressive
soul of this relic of an agency from the martial law regime of decades past.
Under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the MTRCB has been at its most ferocious since
1986, effectively censoring the most number of films with “X” ratings
for the narrow partisan purposes of the power-hungry few. These strikedowns
expose to all and sundry the basic deceit that the MTRCB is merely a review and
classification agency.

The MTRCB should have long been sent to the dustbin
of history along with the martial law dictatorship. Its existence wantonly
violates the bold mandate of the constitution to protect freedom of expression
as an inalienable right not to be suppressed by prior restraint that the MTRCB
signifies as an institution. That Congress has not come out with a law
abolishing it 23 years after our people ratified a fundamental law with a
superior Bill of Rights speaks of the actual insensitivity to democracy of
those who have ruled the legislature and government all these years.

CAP had worked with many of today’s generation of
rising filmmakers in lobbying the passage of House Bill 6425 outlawing the
MTRCB. But this has languished under a Congress obsessed with the Arroyo
clique’s ploys to prolong itself in power.

The Arroyo regime has shown by this single act
against Philippine culture that it does not deserve at all being hosts to our
country being made this and next year’s ASEAN’s cultural capital. It is an
insult to ASEAN and the peoples of this region’s countries that the chosen
epitome of their colorful cultures would exhibit such a deep lack of respect
for cultural and creative expression.

We laud world-class Filipino filmmakers Jeffrey
Jeturian and Brillante Mendoza for holding their ground in asserting their
filmic portrayal of a country sadly lost to the mad dogs of greed and
powerlust. This MTRCB action pointedly proves the urgency of why their films
and others of similar nature ought to be made and broadcast in conscience. It
also pointedly proves why this year’s elections is all about removing the
U.S.-Arroyo regime from power.

CAP is thus intent in being part of the protests
against this abominable act of “X” ratings against the two AmBisyon
films. We likewise urge fellow Filipinos to do so, and make this season a time
to reclaim our country from the detestable Arroyo regime. ##

-30-

0 Comments
Mar
30
2010

I’m so tired of being alone,
I’m so tired of on-my-own,
won’t you help me, girl,
just as soon as you can.
People say that I’ve found a way,
to make you say,
that you love me.
But baby,
you didn’t go for that,
me, it’s a natural fact,
that I wanna come back,
show me where it’s at, baby.

I’m so tired of being alone,
I’m so tired of on-my-own,
won’t you help me, girl,
just as soon as you can.
I guess you know that I, uh,
love you so,
even though,
you don’t want me no more,
hey, hey, hey, I’m cryin’ tears,
all through the years,
I tell you like it is,
honey, love me if you can.

Ya baby,
tired of being alone here by myself,
I tell ya, I’m tired baby,
I’m tired of being all wrapt up late at night,
in my dreams, nobody but you, baby.
Sometimes I wonder,
if you love me like you say you do,
You see baby, I’ve been thinking about you,
I’ve been wanting to get next to you, baby,
Sometimes I hold my arms and I say,
Mmmmm hmmmm hmmmm,
O baby, needing you has proven to me,
to be my greatest dream.

I’m so tired of being alone,
I’m so tired of on-my-own,
…Sometimes late at night I get to wonderin’ about you baby,
Baby, baby, ya…

0 Comments
Mar
30
2010

Finally some minor victories against the corporate interest .

ACLU prevails: US Fed Judge invalidates gene patent

Cory Doctorow at 10:15 PM March 29, 2010

United States District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet has invalidated Myriad Genetics's infamous “breast cancer patent” — a patent on genetic mutations that cause breast cancer, which Myriad has exercised in the form of a high lab-fee for analysis on samples (Myriad threatens to sue any independent lab that performs the analysis).

The suit was brought by the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation, who argued that US Patent and Trademark Office was wrong to grant patents on genes, as these are not patentable subject matter. The judge agreed, saying that gene patents are patents on a “law of nature” and called the isolation of genes and filing patents on them “a lawyer's trick that circumvents the prohibition on the direct patenting of the DNA in our bodies but which, in practice, reaches the same result.”

Which sounds to me like a precedent against all patents that rely on isolated genes. Of course, this isn't over: the pharma/biotech stalwarts interviewed in the linked NYT piece are talking appeal, and I'm sure they'll try to go all the way to the Supreme Court.

via ACLU prevails: US Fed Judge invalidates gene patent – Boing Boing.

0 Comments
Mar
30
2010

This is why it is quite important for successfull Filipinos to reach out to their communities and become role models. I remember reading about how the lack of role models (non rap artist/sports star/actor/actress/singer) for african american males/females are one of the leading reasons why african americans under achieve. I think the same applies to most of the people who live in depressed communities through out the Philippines. In our country success is defined less by people like Manny Villar (pre campaign business man image that has been shattered by the campaign investigations.) and more by people like Manny Pacquiao. See when you are young and your dreams are still in flux you tend to orient your dreams to what can be achieved. Without proper role models showing you that success is possible, that hard work pays, you will probably not go that route.

Read the whole thing an excellent blog post.

All of which is a way of saying that our beliefs are shaped not just by class but by age. There’s firm research on this. This paper finds that individuals whose formative years (18-25) were spent in recession:
tend to believe that success in life depends more on luck than on effort, support more government redistribution, but are less confident in public institutions.

via Stumbling and Mumbling: Generational determinism.

0 Comments
Mar
30
2010

I’m in a state of flux right now. It really irking me.

Julian Sanchez Wins for All Time…

I bow before my master:

Grasping Reality With Our Gelatinous Meatsacks: Will Wilkinson is a little snarky about it, but basically right: Freddie DeBoer’s post on naturalism and the skeptical conclusions that follow from it is fuzzy philosophy. (The Sam Harris TED talk he’s riffing on is worse, but that’s another story.)  Regular readers will recognize this as one of my minor obsessions, an instance of theorizing “in the shadow of God.” I’ve applied the phrase in the past to describe worries that a naturalistic worldview—lacking space for deities or radically autonomous immaterial selves—creates all sorts of dire problems for morality or meaning. In most cases, I argue, the apparent problem actually stems from some hand-me-down conceptual furniture left over from the theological worldview.  And usually the way to untangle the knot is to make a Euthyphro move.  That is, you might worry that morality is in trouble without God until you grok that morality with God isn’t in any better shape: The deity turns out to be a black box that rather looks like it might do some heavy lifting on a tough philosophical problem, but on closer inspection it turns out not to make any difference…

via Julian Sanchez Wins for All Time… – Grasping Reality with Our Minions, Our Machines, and Our Mental Powers.

0 Comments
Mar
30
2010

My sensibilities tell me that I agree with this.

It seems that modern schools function in part to help humans overcome their (genetically and culturally) inherited aversions to hierarchy and dominance. Modern workplaces require workers who are far more accepting than are foragers of being told what to do when, and of being explicitly ranked, and our schools prepare kids to accept this more primate-like environment. It is “primitive” social norms that overcame the violent domination of our primate heritage, and our “civilized” schools teach us to repress such prudish forager norms.

via Overcoming Bias : Lord of the Factories.

0 Comments