Saturday, February 25, 2012

Links! Get your hot links here!

I would like to make a post about each of them, but lately I have a) been sort of pre-occupied with other things and so not posting a lot of substance, and b) working on three long and substantive posts that just keep growing more and more intricate and because in one case I  worry about how they will be received (not personal info, just opinions that make me uncomfortable) I keep postponing publishing.

So some links:

I have long been a vocal opponent of "anti-vaxers."  This story of a little girl who nearly died from pertussis is a great example of why.


For those who are concerned about Google's new privacy policy,* the good folks at EFF have tips on how to reduce its impact.  This link also includes links on how to cut down on your accessibility online.

Speaking of privacy, the way in which marketers gather and use the information about what you buy is really scary, when Target can find out you are pregnant before your family does. [Very long, but very worthwhile reading.  Also includes information on how the neurology of habits which I found fascinating.  The pregnant teen story is on page seven, if you are only interested in that.]

A couple of links about Christianity:

From Abilene Christian University's Professor of Psychology Richard Beck, "Bait and Switch Afflicts Contemporary Christian Society". **

From, "Ten Thing I Wish the Church Knew About Homosexuality."  I actually think the church** knows these things -- they've been told often enough -- they simply ignore them.


And, on a lighter note: "The REAL Personality Types." They have me pegged.  Exactly.  And, for the record, I just want to say that Friends IS a really, really stupid television show.  Not too familiar with Anais Nin, though.


*A good friend at lunch yesterday mentioned that people were aghast that she was not more concerned about privacy issues, given that she was a sysadmin and general computer geek. "That's because I simply assume I have no privacy anymore," she said frankly. I was horrified, but upon reflection decided that she was probably right, which horrified me even more. I have always assumed I was too small a minnow to attract anyone's attention, but the News International scandal in Britain made it plain how easy it is for unscrupulous individuals and organizations to get access to your private information.  People become objects of interest through no action of their own, such as having a child murdered or having a spectacular incident involving a celebrity.

**It is a mistake to talk about Christianity and "the church" as though it were a monolithic whole.  While it certainly has its very conservative faction, mainstream Episcopalianism holds far different views than Southern Baptists and Roman Catholics on a whole host of Scriptural and social issues.  (This would be different than the Anglican Communion outside the US, which, other than a few outliers (New Zealand, South Africa) is very conservative, especially on the issue of sexual orientation.)


  1. Re your first note: I've come to accept the idea that humans had a brief fling with privacy in the 20th century, but during most of human history, we lived in villages where everyone knew your business. Now we live in a global village, and if people care to know my business, I guess they'll figure it out soon enough.

    1. Interesting... the friend I mentioned in the note grew up in a small town, and in a tight knit community. I did not.

      In a small town, the people who knew your business had faces. Facebook and Google don't. I don't know what they will do with what they know. It is probably not more than try to sell me gadgets I don't need, but I only have their word that on that. The global village is controlled by sometime shadowy entities. That makes me nervous. Of course, I may be unnecessarily paranoid.

      In some sense it is rather silly of me to be concerned about privacy on the Internet. I have voluntarily surrendered a lot of information about myself on this blog. I have always used my own name on the Internet (one of the advantages of having a disarmingly common name -- you would not believe how many "Pat Greene"s there are out there).

      It boils down to control: who gets to decide what other people know or what gets made public? Who gets to use my information? I recognize that in most things in life control is illusory, but I am enough of an idealist to believe that that should be otherwise.

    2. "the people who knew your business had faces" ... yes, and you (generic you) probably hated half of them. Gossip had terrible consequences then -- think about the Salem witch hunts.

      I would much prefer to live in a world where my private life would be my own business, but I guess I have come to think that's utopian.

    3. I think we're dealing with two different threats to privacy. The village still exists, as do the potential consequences of gossip; the virtual village is simply more dispersed than the the physical one. The cases in the past few years of kids hounded to the point of suicide after their sexual orientation or other embarrassing information was plastered on the Internet is evidence of that.

      The large scale privacy threats from governments or corporations are more amorphous, and I admit that my level of paranoia is in part a reaction to that uncertain nature. I know what my fellow villagers can and are likely to do, and can to some extent prepare for it. I only imperfectly understand what my government or large corporations can do with my information, and perhaps unreasonably, that makes me nervous.

      "I would much prefer to live in a world where my private life would be my own business, but I guess I have come to think that's utopian." You're probably right, there.

  2. Thanks for the link soup! I like the Ten Things I wish the Church Knew About Homosexuality... They are stated with such clarity.

    And the personality types are a hoot, and far more illustrative than the boring descriptions the standard MBTI folks put out ;)

    love, the resident shrink

    1. I keep snickering over the Rocket Scientist's personality description.