Beware of the status quo in media.
TIL: “…when the representatives of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference filed a lawsuit against the US government in 2005 at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, they argued that, by failing to control its greenhouse gas emissions, the US was damaging the Arctic and therefore the culture and hunting-based economy of the Inuit, which constituted a violation of their human rights. As the Inuit leader Sheila Watt-Cloutier said, her people have a ‘right to be cold’. A warming climate would erode the foundations of Inuit lifeways.”
TIL: The second “t” in “torniquet” is silent.
A recent survey by YouGov America illustrates the real-life tendency to overrepresent the size of minority populations. Residents of New York City, for example, are a tiny minority of Americans, only 3 percent of the population. But adult respondents to this nationwide survey thought that a whopping 30 percent of Americans live in the Big Apple. The survey also found a consistent overestimation of the size of ethnic and racial minority groups. Respondents on average figured that 41 percent of Americans are Black when the actual proportion is 12 percent.
A study published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA demonstrates that extra attention to the uncommon around us may partly explain the bad mental math that contributes to misperceptions about other groups. When people make these overestimates, the study authors found, the result can be an “illusion of diversity” about the presence of minority groups in our social environment. That faulty perception, in turn, can have the paradoxical effect of decreasing support for measures to increase diversity.
“Psychologists at New York University analyzed text from nearly three billion Web pages and compared how often words for person (“individual,” “people,” and so on) were associated with terms for a man (“male,” “he”) or a woman (“female,” “she”). They found that male-related words overlapped with “person” more frequently than female words did. The cultural concept of a person, from this perspective, is more often a man than a woman, according to the study, which was published on April 1 in Science Advances.”
“While the bias of thinking “person” equals “man” is somewhat conceptual, the ramifications are very real because this tendency shapes the design of the technologies around us. Women are more likely to be severely injured or die in a car crash because when car manufacturers design safety features, the default user they envision (and the crash dummy they test) is a male individual with a heavier body and longer legs than the average woman.”
György Ligeti — Poème Symphonique [m/ score]
Small confession: I’m not actually an outdoorsy person if you got that from my feed. Although that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy going outdoors, I just much prefer to snuggle in my bed the entire day before boredom sets in.
Went into a quarter-life crisis in the past month and formally changed my major from ecology to microbiology—right during the final semester of my course. It’s a lucky coincidence that the elective classes I took line up with my course’s requirements for a microbiology major.
This sounds pretty concerning: Microplastics have been discovered in human blood for the first time.
Small, personal (and likely expensive) steps in achieving zero waste.
I appreciate people’s commitment to avoid using the word “expat” to refer to first-world immigrants—but perhaps we can turn it into a pejorative.