Skepchick Quickies 5.16


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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    1. Vexorian,

      I feel the same way, but I’m far more upset with the people who are more concerned about Jolie’s breasts than her life or the well being of her children.

  1. As a former Arizonan, I am amazed that the whole state isn’t covered in a hateful hotspot. My conclusion is that most of those terrible people aren’t hip enough for twitter. (The median age in the last town I lived in was 55.)

    1. I’m a native Arizonan and I have to say, it’s not as bad as it seems, especially now. I swear, the old people keep us down. I live in the Melrose District — the gayborhood — and it’s awesome. We’re solidly blue here in Phoenix. And Tempe, which I also really like. I PROMISE WE DON’T ALL SUCK!

      1. I grew up in Tempe. I know it doesn’t all suck, but Arpaio got reelected, Jeff Flake got into office, Jan Brewer is still around, SB1213 had a half-dozen sponsors trying to open the door for climate change denial and (quite probably) creationism, etc., etc. It is very, very draining. I just moved to a state that already has marriage equality, and it’s nice to think I’m in a more progressive place.

        I lived in boonie-ish Arizona for a couple years, and it was incredibly alienating. I literally did not go out once socially with anyone in town. I went out with my wife, or I drove back to Tempe to hang out with friends. It’s appalling how openly racist, sexist, and homophobic a lot of Arizona really is. I just keep looking at the elected officials and think that they were voted in.

        1. I grew up in the middle of nowhere Arizona — Phoenix was 3 hours away. So we couldn’t even “drive to Tempe”. I had like, three gay friends. In the 90’s. So maybe you just didn’t try hard enough, honestly.

          Also, it’s kind of shitty when progressive people just up and leave, instead of trying to make Arizona a better place.

          I actually worked on Paul Penzone’s campaign. You say that Arpaoi got reelected, but … did you even know how Paul Penzone was? Most people didn’t, because most people didn’t even fucking bother — even the progressives. That’s also kinda shitty.

          It’s not the worst state, and it’s getting better. We have our share of assholes, and you won’t get any defense of Brewer or Flake out of me, BUT, in general, that’s just the old people. The old people who are dying off.

          Also, you do realize that a state is far more than its politicians, right?

          I bet your state has its share of shitty politicians, and yet you don’t define your state by those politicians.

          Look, I have worked closely within the Phoenix LGBT community. We have more gay bars per capita THAN ANY OTHER CITY IN AMERICA.

          You were blinded by Fox news and what those shitty politicians WANT you to see. If you had just opened your eyes, paid attention, maybe volunteered some….instead of hiding out in your house and only popping out every now and again to drink at a bar….maybe you wouldn’t be so bitter.

          I live half a block from a really great gay church. I’m an atheist. I go to that gay church every couple of months. The pastor knows I’m an atheist.

          People don’t give this city enough of a chance. And hell, maybe if they did, we’d have a better chance of voting in better people. Instead, people just hide in their houses, only to venture out for a beer at a random bar, and then they leave, and when they finally leave after doing nothing at all in this city to make it better, they bitch and moan.

          Well, I’m going to continue to be proud of my city, and to be honest, some non-native who doesn’t even live here anymore isn’t going to change that at all.

          1. Ah, you grew up in Tempe; clearly I can’t read. But the rest still stands.

            I’m not even a native of this city, and I bet I know it better than you. A shame. :(

  2. No offense, but that map is quite fitting for Bad Chart Thursday. It’s mildly illustrative, but to draw any kind of conclusions at all from it would be foolish.

    1. Unless I missed it somewhere this chart doesn’t control for population density at all. Therefore you are going to see higher numbers in dense areas.

      I also wonder about the geotagging, most people I know only use it when traveling so they don’t necessarily represent where they are tweeting from.

      1. I suspect rural areas are going to be less accurate or impossible to geotag. Also, there’s the whole twitter vs. other services user bias. And the bias of what constitutes a hateful word. I really don’t think that map is telling us much.

  3. I totally misread the wording on that last one. I was hoping for a satire piece about male privilege entitled “some of my best friends are men.”

  4. Great selection of articles today Amanda. I loved the article by Pollan. I always felt the whole “Probiotic” wave hitting the food industry had a familiar woo-like feel to it, it’ll be interesting to see where the real science leads. I also liked how he initially felt pride that he had pride in his non-Western biota only to realize he had no idea if that was a good thing or not. Unfortunately, we’re now going to see the usual mix of deluded people/charlatans claiming how we should all try to have non-Western bacteria populations. I guess a skeptics work is never done. I’m also happy to see they’re not offering free ponies like the GE/GM people did. This may have something to do with them not having such a big financial stake in it.

    As a Gamecock I am intrigued by the apparent low level of homophobic tweeting in South Carolina. While the churches hold great influence in the Palmetto State, there was an active LGBT community (OK, not so much the T) at USC. Sure the GSA had to sue to be recognized and get student funds, but once established they were able to hold events (lip sync and drag queen contests) with out much fuss from anybody else. The prevalent attitude at the school was that you’d have to be pretty brave to come out in South Carolina, so they got some respect even from those who felt they’d burn in hell.

    1. This was a great read. It is amazing the potential that this will have for future medicine. But of course, like stem cells, the wooers are already subverting the progress.

    2. I’m claiming trademark rights on “Paleo-biotic”…made from genuine simulated mammoth milk, just like our paleolithic ancestors. Available soon at Whole Foods. Huge marketing opportunity.

  5. Does the Twitter hate map show the hate per capita or per twitter user or per tweet or just the raw number of hate posts from each area? I wonder if they selected or presented the data in a form to show their own area (northern California) in the best possible light (just like I would do unless I was particularly annoyed with my family, friends and neighbors at the moment.) Agree with the good doctor that we have an excellent candidate for Bad Chart Thursday here,

    1. I posted about it above, but what words you select to constitute hate speech seems like an easy way to skew the results in a desired direction.

  6. From the GM article, quoting one of the scientists who performed an independent study
    ” Few similar studies have been conducted, says Snow, because the companies that own the rights to the technology are generally unwilling to let academic researchers perform the experiments.”
    This is the point I have been trying to make every time this topic has come up here.

  7. I admit, I feel Angelina Jolie having a mastectomy is a terrible thing. I’m not saying she shouldn’t have done it, I think it was the right choice. And that’s what makes it terrible. Having to have a part of your body removed out of fear of such a horrible disease is just a terrible thing.

    I haven’t been around that long, and already I’ve lost far too many people I love to cancer. So, while it does make me a little sick inside to think about having to make that sort of a sacrifice, Angelina Jolie, from what I’ve seen, has been extremely brave, and hopefully her example will help other women to make the best decision. I’m not sure I could ever be that brave or handle something like that so well, and I hope I never have to. So, yeah, anyone who’s upset about it because they felt attached to someone else’s breasts has nothing but my utter contempt.

  8. This is why I love doing Quickies. The “hate map” seemed iffy to me and I knew posting it meant I’d get some awesome take downs of it.

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