Mar. 25th, 2008

jackofallgeeks: (Default)
So, Here
is an article that addresses the question of what to do if you're the owner
of a large company and your child's 'behavior' online causes you trouble.

I know, practical every-day advice we can all use.

But that's not the point; I have a few issues with the premise itself, not
to mention the resolutions they suggest. They cite an example where an AT&T
exec was working on a merger with BellSouth and his son blogged that the
policies involved were abusive to the customer and against his (the son's)
personal beliefs. Might strong words, true, but the "child" in this example
was 21 years old. As I recall, 18 is old enough to become a legal adult, so
the implications that a 21-year old is still a child, and ought to be
properly managed by their parents, is infuriating. As noted in the comments
on the Digg page that directed me, kids are people, not pets; this
holds at any age but even more so when they become legally accountable for
themselves. I repeat it: legally accountable for themselves.

Some of their suggestions make a bit of sense for an actual child, like
explaining to them that their behavior can have rammifications on you. That
only holds, though, if the child can reasonably be expected to not know
this; at 21, or 18, or maybe even younger, I think the "child" is well aware
that people might take notice of what they're saying and act on it -- I
imagine that's part of their point. I don't even know what to say on their
suggestion to "seek legal council." What are you going to do, sue your son?

The world today is much different than it used to be; the Internet lets us
all get out there and say our part, and fewer and fewer of the things that
were considered "personal" and "private" are maintaining that tag. And
while there might be an argument for allowing parents to remove the MySpace
content of their minor children and that such children need to be taught the
proper level of responsibility which an online presence requires... There's
a line where "children" become "people," and they deserve to be respected as
such.

On Beauty

Mar. 25th, 2008 02:38 pm
jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
"Why is intelligence or oratory ability better than looks?"

I just heard that over the cubicle wall; some guy is discussing acresses and
modles with a girl who sits over there. He's gone on to say that it comes
down to what society rewards, that if she were as smart as she is pretty
she'd still be better off playing up her looks, and that they work as hard
at being pretty as other people work at what they do... except then he goes
on to say that it comes down to minimizing effort for maximized reward, and
so the logical conclusion is that they would be putting for less effort...?

I think the obvious answer to the question stated above is that looks are
transitory, that you can lose them or have them taken away from you as
easily as you got them, and that they say very little about who you are as a
person. Intellectual ability is different -- perhaps age will steal your
intelligence, and perhapse a catastrophic accident will rob you of your
mental ability, but those are far less sure than the fact that your body
will degrade with time, and attractivness fades. Nevermind that looks are a
have/have-not sort of thing, that if you don't have it you can't get it --
except maybe through surgery or an improvement in style, though in the
latter case I'd argue you "had it" anyways.

And that plays into my next point: philosophic arguments about the objective
nature of 'beauty' aside, renown for attraciveness relies solely on the
opinions of others. You can be objectively smart, and you can have
objectively high oratory skill, regardless of what people think of you;
"beauty is in they eye of the beholder," as they say.

I'm reminded of a line from House -- I love that show, and really need to
get around to watching my DVDs. Anyways, The Girl (can't recall her
character's name) asks House why he chose her and he said because she was
pretty. She got upset and started saying that she'd worked hard and got
good grades in med school, et cetera. House returned that he grades hadn't
been the best in her class, but noted (not in so many words) that she'd
taken the higher road, that she was pretty but had actively worked to become
more than that, to succeed in her ability rather than in her looks -- when
it would have been easy for her to just skate by on being attracive.

I imagine someone might come by and argue that it's not easy being pretty,
that it takes a lot of work and discipline to maintain a fit body. I can
attest to that, if only in the negative: you can't live the way I do and
expect to rank high on "beauty." But it's a different kind of effort, and a
different kind of aim. It reminds me of a discussion of happiness (I think)
by some greek philosopher or another (probably Plato) wherein it's noted
that Fame can't be Happiness because it rests on the opinions of others.
And even if you work hard at it and get good at it and recieve rewards for
it, it's still a lesser thing because it can be recinded.
jackofallgeeks: (Default)
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Because when it comes down to it I can be very Type-A Alpha-Dog, and that sort of intensity rubs people the wrong way.

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John Noble

August 2012

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