Categories
Activism Future Building Society

Overcoming defensive reactions to entertain different ways of living

Replied to On Natural Wine by Alicia Kennedy (From the Desk of Alicia Kennedy)

Neither natural winemakers or drinkers nor vegans are the powerful ones here. If you’ve been thinking they are, perhaps it’s time to interrogate why you feel that way—to ask how we can move forward for a better world, instead of mocking anyone trying to do things a bit differently.

The actual similarities between natural wine and veganism are, at the end of the day, about giving a shit.

If there is a commonality between natural wine and “the vegan movement”…, it is that people who do not participate in them overstate the influence and strength of both of these concepts. They are threatening because of the perceived “aggression” of the believers, forcing bottles imported by Jenny & Francois and Impossible Burgers down everyone’s throats! (This is not happening.)

Categories
Activism Future Building

Police Scorecard

Bookmarked Police Scorecard (Police Scorecard)

The Police Scorecard evaluates police departments based on quantitative data on arrests, use of force, accountability and other policing issues to make progress towards more just and equitable policing outcomes.

Disappointed to see how poorly my city’s police department scores on data. In 2018 (?) a blatantly racist interaction with police got a lot of publicity here (fortunately no one was harmed, and the racism was more on the people who called the police but the police could have declined to respond). After that, the PD made a lot of nice words and gestures, including investigating body cams. But the overall rating is on par with Seattle’s, which is notoriously bad — I’ll never forget the Native American woodcarver the Seattle police murdered for having a knife in 2010 — and the per capita funding is higher than most communities (🤔 though do they adjust for cost of living differences? I wouldn’t expect an officer’s salary in WA to be the same as in KS for example).

The “incident” certainly raised the public’s awareness and interest in dealing with racism (at least on a superficial level — still plenty of NIMBYism over housing), and spurred changes in the administrative side of the government, so something positive did come out of it even if the police didn’t actually change much. The entire city government also received training on racism and bias. I think the police got more than City Hall folks like me, though I wasn’t super impressed by the half-day training I got, which focused on the metaphor that the US isn’t a melting pot (homogeneous) but a stew (lots of ingredients). That feels like barely enough to even start talking about the issue.

See also: An interactive advocacy website about police

Categories
Activism

Unite Against Book Bans

Bookmarked Unite Against Book Bans by Jan Carmichael (uniteagainstbookbans.org)

1269 ATTEMPTS TO BAN LIBRARY BOOKS IN 2022

Unite Against Book Bans is a national initiative to empower readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship.

Get your fucking religion out of our public institutions.

Categories
Activism Websites

An interactive advocacy website about police

Liked Should SPD Do It? (glitch-hello-website.glitch.me)

If you had control over Seattle’s dispatch system, when would you send an armed police officer, and when would you prefer another option?

Categories
Health Science

The Geek’s Guide to Long COVID

Bookmarked The Geek’s Guide to Long COVID (guidetolongcovid.com)

The Geek’s Guide To Long Covid is offers information on how to use technology like apps and wearables to collect data, monitor your health and self-advocate with medical staff. Plus general info and news on Long Covid.

Signs of autoimmune disease, difficulty exercising noted 1 year after COVID (CIDRAP)

Two studies published today in the European Respiratory Journal describe long-COVID findings, one revealing signs of autoimmune disease in 41% of blood samples taken 1 year after recovery, and the other showing that 23% of patients still had exercise intolerance a year after hospital release.

Small sample size? (106 studied + 56 baseline)

Two-Year Health Outcomes in Hospitalized COVID-19 Survivors in China (JAMA Network)

In this longitudinal cohort study that included 1864 patients, the most common symptoms at 2 years after SARS-CoV-2 infection were fatigue, chest tightness, anxiety, dyspnea, and myalgia, and most symptoms resolved from 1-year to 2-year follow-up, although the incidence of dyspnea showed no significant change.

People still short of breath two years later 😔

 

Categories
Activism Political Commentary

Overrepresented majority

Bookmarked overrepresented majority (ORM) « Definitions « (selfdefined.app)

Underrepresented can imply that the group can do more to represent themselves.

Meanwhile, the overrepresented majority is usually the group that possesses the power to influence which groups are majoritised (and subsequently receive power) and which groups are minoritised.

When using any term for a group, it’s important to contextualise it into people. So, for example, “people from the overrepresented majority are less likely to be affected by this change”

Categories
Activism Environment Lifestyle Reflection Reuse

Selling a lifestyle

Replied to On Selling a Lifestyle by Alicia Kennedy (From the Desk of Alicia Kennedy)

I’ve been attempting to separate myself from my own “content creation” for social media, because I am increasingly confused about what I or anyone else gets out of it.

A question I’ve been grappling with is whether to show a life is to sell a lifestyle.

While she’s talking about the food industry, I feel like this is true of many fields, including a lot of sustainability. Would zero waste have taken off if Bea Johnson didn’t have a beautiful home? If her zero waste looked like my zero waste: reusing shoe boxes and random cardboard boxes for storage, mismatched bulk food storage jars, and hand-me-down furnishings?

A lot of the zero waste lifestyle feels performative — the jar of trash ffs! — and competitive, with questionable ROI for the environment when it comes to time and money. It’s become a bougie class signal, that you have time to swim against broken systems, using affluence of money or time to claim moral superiority.

But we can’t escape wanting to look at nice things, fancy things, extravagant things. We want our lives, lived and depicted, to be desirable. The question of the late-capitalist climate change age is, can we tame these desires? Can we make what is sustainable and real desirable instead?

Zero waste should be about making do with what you have and what you can get secondhand. I hosted a zero waste workshop through my old work, and I wanted to interrupt the speaker when she started down the rabbit hole of things you could buy so you don’t have plastic in your house. No! Keeping what you already have is the best for the environment, not replacing it when it still works! That’s the zero waste / minimalist aesthetic, not the practice. It makes people feel good about themselves while having little impact. It becomes absorbed into their identity so they feel obligated to, for example, recycle everything they personally can, even if it doesn’t make a real difference.

I went through the Taco Bell drive-thru the other day, and they had a promotion for TerraCycle, a dubiously effective program that lets people mail in their trash “recyclable” sauce packets and other commercial packaging not viable to recycle curbside — passing the responsibility from the producer to the consumer, and letting Taco Bell greenwash their single-use waste.

This focus on minutiae and individual action / personal choices has siphoned off a lot of energy from more productive environmental efforts. There is no sense in shaming people for using a straw in their cocktail — or, lauding them for skipping one if they got to the restaurant in an SUV. People want cookies for making these visible choices, then decline to consider the individual changes that would really make a difference: switching from a car to a bike or the bus, moving closer to work and into a smaller home, installing insulation and swapping gas appliances for electric, and buying less stuff period. Yes, those kinds of changes are hard and expensive — which is why most people’s energy would be put to better use pursuing advocacy for systemic change and holding corporations accountable.

This is a tough topic because I too want to live sustainably, and in accordance with my values. I work on environmental behavior change programs! (More feelings there but that’s for another day.)

I’m getting better about not feeling guilt for waste that isn’t my fault. This weekend I threw away a ton of single use utensils that have been cluttering up a precious kitchen drawer. I didn’t ask for them, I don’t have a use for them, and we have no system for reusing or redistributing unused single-use items. Better to instead support enforcement of Washington’s law that businesses are supposed to ask if you want a utensil before giving it to you. My individual item is much less important than the scale of the utensils the restaurant distributes to every one of their customers, every day.