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The year 1969 comes up to you and asks what sort of marvels you’ve got all the way in 2014.

You explain that cameras, which 1969 knows as bulky boxes full of film that takes several days to get developed in dark rooms, are now instant affairs of point-click-send-to-friend that are also much higher quality. Also they can take video.

Music used to be big expensive records, and now you can fit 3,000 songs on an iPod and get them all for free if you know how to pirate or scrape the audio off of YouTube.

Television not only has gone HDTV and plasma-screen, but your choices have gone from “whatever’s on now” and “whatever is in theaters” all the way to “nearly every show or movie that has ever been filmed, whenever you want it”.

Computers have gone from structures filling entire rooms with a few Kb memory and a punchcard-based interface, to small enough to carry in one hand with a few Tb memory and a touchscreen-based interface. And they now have peripherals like printers, mice, scanners, and flash drives.

Lasers have gone from only working in special cryogenic chambers to working at room temperature to fitting in your pocket to being ubiquitious in things as basic as supermarket checkout counters.

Telephones have gone from rotary-dial wire-connected phones that still sometimes connected to switchboards, to cell phones that fit in a pocket. But even better is bypassing them entirely and making video calls with anyone anywhere in the world for free.

Robots now vacuum houses, mow lawns, clean office buildings, perform surgery, participate in disaster relief efforts, and drive cars better than humans. Occasionally if you are a bad person a robot will swoop down out of the sky and kill you.

For better or worse, video games now exist.

Medicine has gained CAT scans, PET scans, MRIs, lithotripsy, liposuction, laser surgery, robot surgery, and telesurgery. Vaccines for pneumonia, meningitis, hepatitis, HPV, and chickenpox. Ceftriaxone, furosemide, clozapine, risperidone, fluoxetine, ondansetron, omeprazole, naloxone, suboxone, mefloquine, – and for that matter Viagra. Artificial hearts, artificial livers, artificial cochleae, and artificial legs so good that their users can compete in the Olympics. People with artificial eyes can only identify vague shapes at best, but they’re getting better every year.

World population has tripled, in large part due to new agricultural advantages. Catastrophic disasters have become much rarer, in large part due to architectural advances and satellites that can watch the weather from space.

We have a box which you can type something into and it will tell you everything anyone has ever written relevant to your query.

We have a place where you can log into from anywhere in the world and get access to approximately all human knowledge, from the scores of every game in the 1956 Roller Hockey World Cup to 85 different side effects of an obsolete antipsychotic medication. It is all searchable instantaneously. Its main problem is that people try to add so much information to it that its (volunteer) staff are constantly busy deleting information that might be extraneous.

We have the ability to translate nearly major human language to any other major human language instantaneously at no cost with relatively high accuracy.

We have navigation technology that over fifty years has gone from “map and compass” to “you can say the name of your destination and a small box will tell you step by step which way you should be going”.

We have the aforementioned camera, TV, music, videophone, video games, search engine, encyclopedia, universal translator, and navigation system all bundled together into a small black rectangle that fits in your pockets, responds to your spoken natural-language commands, and costs so little that Ethiopian subsistence farmers routinely use them to sell their cows.

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Scott Alexander, Promising The Moon.

We’re living in the future. And it is on the way to get better, at least with some work…

(via cyborgbutterflies)

But we still can’t teleport. Sorry.

(via joeofshadows)

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My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and remember to like, comment and subscribe if you’d like to see more works like these!

maxistentialist:

(via shadesdaruma)

I think format incompatibility will strike us in far shorter time than it took Ramses II’s hieroglyphs.

(via joeofshadows)

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"You don’t need religion to have morals. If you can’t determine right from wrong then you lack empathy, not religion."

Unknown  (via juicyisnotcouture)

Which goes hand in hand with the Humanist argument that if it takes the threat of burning forever to keep you in line, you aren’t a moral person. A moral person does what is right without threat of punishment or promise of reward.

(via shelderon)

Honor god or honor yourself, whichever, but if you want to get right, honor each other.

(via sparklebiscuit)

When people defend the role of organized religion in our civilization, it seems like they usually fall back on how it makes people act morally/ethically. Considering that the vast majority of things in the news that make me sick are done by people who profess faith—and quite often BECAUSE of that faith—it seems like that’s the one thing religion is consistently bad at.

(via joeofshadows)

(Source: copulati0n, via joeofshadows)

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I feel a solo.

I feel a solo.

(via thepopeismyhomeboy)

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Henna problems.

She’d just better be worth it.

(Source: uzmama, via theliberalarts)

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mishasminions:

tunte:

tom-aiac:

This is true art right here.

Humans are great

#PHOTOGRAPHY

This is what public art is for.

(Source: best-of-memes, via thepopeismyhomeboy)

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"Faggot"

narcolepticbunny:

sueishappy:

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When I was a freshman in high school I used to say ‘faggot’ without knowing the full context of what it meant. Used to think it used to mean ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’. When I learned it was a derogatory word for homosexuality I felt really guilty over how many times I’ve said it

Knowing further in its meaning now is heartbreaking

I’m not a fan of being the pedant asshole, but the etymological mythology in the first half of that series of images doesn’t really serve anyone or anything. Louie (the TV show source of the scene) certainly doesn’t have a responsibility to be historically accurate, especially in regards to the feelings and words of fictional characters who are by nature flawed- it is not an educational program. But people in general do have the responsibility to examine what they hear, where they heard it, and determine whether it should be spread as truth in “educational” posts. The feelings associated with derogatory words that are historically coupled with social and physical violence are reason enough for something to impact an audience as emotional, not academic, truth. The reality of discrimination and violence against oppressed peoples (now and in the past) is dark and disgusting enough to impact an audience without repeating fabrications.

(above comment written by probablynotcalligraphin. Tumblr for some reason clipped their text and copy-and-paste was the only way I figured out how to preserve it in its entirety)

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Unravelling the Israeli Arab 'rape by deception' case

last I had heard of Sabbar Kashur, he was appealing the conviction, and I figured there would be another chapter to the case, hopefully a happier one, of justice being done.

Turns out there was a bloody Norse saga.

The accusation against him wasn’t rape by deception, it was old fashioned rape-by-force. The accuser had been taken to a hospital the night in question and showed injuries consistent with sexual assault. However, she did not file charges until she discovered the accused was Arab. There is much questionable to her story. She claims the sex was non-consensual from the start; he claims it was. The prosecution did not want to go to trial with an unreliable witness for a victim, so they offered Kashur a plea deal of 18 months for rape of deception (a category that exists in Israel and several American states), which he accepted. This was reduced to nine months on appeal.

There is much that is troubling to this case. Had the accused been Jewish, it is much more likely to have been thrown out altogether. In the sentencing, that Kashur misrepresented himself not only as single, but as a non-Jew, was taken into consideration as another factor in assuming that he was not a suitable romantic match. That is an obviously racist assumption, and it would take a very special person to maintain anti-Arab racism is not widespread in Israel, and that there is much injustice, especially for those internally displaced.

As for the principle of deceptive rape, there are arguments for and against: deception does void consent in all other areas of the law, so why not sexually? However, there is such a tradition of private and intimate mistruths in human sexual relations, that it poses a real danger of arbitrary and abusive enforcement. Further, Would a cheating spouse be committing rape by continuing sexual relations with a non-cheating spouse? To what degree of generality are we to define “deception.” I had sex once with a woman who later came out as a transman; in being self-deceived about his gender identity, was I raped? Was he? These are the sorts of deceptions you don’t find applicable to contract law, so unless the perpetrator has actually misrepresented themselves, Don Giovanni/Donna Anna-style, in the fashion of the cases that inspired the Massachusetts deceptive rape law, in which the woman did not initially fight back because she thought, in the dark and a state of sleep and semi-consciousness, the rapist to be her partner, the law should preserve some degree of caveat emptor if it is to function as intended.

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Palestine Plan of Partition with Economic Union,Proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question

I know my Middle Eastern history, but I was surprised I hadn’t realized this before: the UN partition plan would not even have been a full partition, but more self-governing enclaves within a single state. Jews would be the majority in one, Arabs in the other, and there would be a common economy and currency, with no real foreign policy. Jews accepted, Arabs refused to accept any agreement that did not give them total political control of all the land, despite several years worth of riots and pogroms against Jews, and a flood of Jewish refugees that was at that point unstoppable (the British had tried).

Essentially, this was essentially consociationalism, basically what has kept Bosniaks and Bosnian Serbs off each others’ throats since Dayton.

In the end, after the war, Arabs remained in the Israel, while all Jews were forcibly removed from all areas of Arab control. Israel was established as a single sovereign apparatus, and not merely an entity, within Palestine. After Jews were stripped of citizenship, their belongings confiscated, and deported from their ancient homelands - predating Islam or the arrival of Arabic language, culture, and identity - in Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, and elsewhere in the Arab world (and in numbers greater than those of Palestinians who became refugees), and act that never drew UN scrutiny despite being a crime against humanity, there was no possibility of a single-state solution or reason to trust being subject to an Arab majority. And you can imagine which Israelis are the ones most racist against Arabs. Hint: they’re not of European descent, but they make up the majority of Israel’s Jewish population. Further, to minimize or justify such an act of persecution because of a conflict other people were having with other Jews elsewhere, to justify such massive and criminal retaliation against a domestic minority group because of actions by their distant brethren in another country, is a racism far beyond any implied by simple nationalism.

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House Dems Demand Answers On Why GOP Govs Rejected Medicaid Expansion

How to do clearly partisan political theater right, because it forces Republicans to resort to facts, a point on which those who declined the Medicaid expansion are notably weak.

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The saddest thing is that the people who take the bible as some literal, factual textbook for answering questions fail to employ it in its most beautiful and useful purpose: to question your ethical assumptions, your sense of responsibility to others and to society, the balance between social conventions and individuality, how to assimilate new data and values into existing moral structures, and how to approach critically a text marked with a dizzying array of redaction, compiled from multiple independent sources composer over millennia. That is an incredibly important document, but sadly, it is cheapened and simplified most by those who try to pass it off as an unerring font of definite answers.   

The saddest thing is that the people who take the bible as some literal, factual textbook for answering questions fail to employ it in its most beautiful and useful purpose: to question your ethical assumptions, your sense of responsibility to others and to society, the balance between social conventions and individuality, how to assimilate new data and values into existing moral structures, and how to approach critically a text marked with a dizzying array of redaction, compiled from multiple independent sources composer over millennia. That is an incredibly important document, but sadly, it is cheapened and simplified most by those who try to pass it off as an unerring font of definite answers.   

(Source: where-my-sidewalk-ends, via dorothyinwonderland)

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godlessmen:

Cartoon: Sincerely screwed
Source: Source and comments

godlessmen:

Cartoon: Sincerely screwed

Source: Source and comments

(via dorothyinwonderland)

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anonymousatheist420:

Via funnypics.weerga.com

How to construct the next Big Lie.

anonymousatheist420:

Via funnypics.weerga.com

How to construct the next Big Lie.

(via dorothyinwonderland)

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Lost: The Next Generation

Lost: The Next Generation

(Source: opiumdreamgirl, via theliberalarts)

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The Case Against a Mammoth Frick Collection Addition

The fact is that the Frick is perfectly well loved as is. People revere it precisely because it isn’t (yet) like all the museums that have been busily remaking themselves for big crowds and blockbuster shows. For a few months last year, an exhibition of Dutch pictures on loan from the Mauritshuis in the Netherlands turned the museum into something akin to an outlet mall on Black Friday. That’s not what the Frick does best.

Haven’t we seen enough cultural and civic institutions self-immolate under the vanity of their boards and the ambitions of their directorships? We’ve seen this script play out already several times: An expansion that breaks the bank and removes the institution from its old niche, leaving it adrift, uncompetitive, and non-viable. Instead of imposing the business-world culture of infinite-expansion-or-death on their fragile little toys, boards could do their job of safeguarding the mission of their charge, expanding accessibility and education, instead of “growing the brand” in the most banal ways possible. 

For instance, if they want to make a splash with money, instead of putting The Frick in debt and moving on and washing hands when it inevitably begins to drown, the standard practice in the corporate world, they could invest in the endowment, add more outreach and events, and perhaps reduce that $20 admissions fee. 

But that would mean more hoi polloi crashing the gates, and would not impress at the country club, now would it?

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