I gave the following advice to one of my children, who’s now 18 and itching to get a tattoo because some of his friends and others he admires have them and he attributes coolness and other intangible qualities to tattoos.
“Tattoos are a quick and effective means of changing your external appearance, decorating yourself with symbols to enhance your social standing or remind yourself of certain human/non-human relationships or ideas. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this and many people enjoy their tattoos with few or no regrets.
I have one major concern with the easy availability of tattoos – the widespread practice of young people, who often lack the life experience to understand the long term consequences of their actions and the patience to wait out their impulses, getting tattoos as a means of quickly changing who they are, making easy but long lasting changes to their external appearance rather than doing the long and difficult work of changing themselves.”
I’m not sure whether my thoughts helped my son think more deeply about why he wants a tattoo. So far, he hasn’t gotten one. I hope if/when he does, he does so after having reflected on what he hopes to gain by it.
This BBC article covers the decoy effect, explaining how our brains are susceptible to a “trick” that sales and marketing people use to get us to make the choices they want, often to increase their profit.
If you’re interested in critical thinking and the remarkable ability of many people to delude themselves and others, it’s worth reading this short reference on crank magnetism, which may remind you of several people you know. We certainly have some people among our relatives and my kids’ friends who are walking demonstrations of crank magnetism.
RationalWiki is a good resource for critical thinking and research on ideas and people you encounter. I’ve found it well written and have not found any obvious false or misleading statements in my occasional visits to the site.
If you’re interested in the Incel movement, it’s worth reading this surprisingly thorough coverage of a surprising (to me) aspect of the Incel movement. The author also covers the virulent misogyny inherent in this movement and helps the reader gain insight into the origins of this hatred.
BBC provides evidence for what many of us have intuited for years, that performance appraisals are worthless at best and often harmful for the majority of employees. The article provides links to data in support of its claims.
It’s encouraging to see that many high profile and strongly performing companies have recognized that this process harms them and ditched the traditional formal performance reviews. Harvard Business Review reports that the list of companies ditching performance appraisals includes Dell, Microsoft, IBM, General Electric, and Lear.
I’m still surprised at people’s ability to delude themselves to justify their hatred. This phenomenon appears far more common on the right, but #NeverBernie partisans like this show the left is also capable of deluding themselves to justify their worldview.
The American Civil War Was Fought Over Slavery. To claim otherwise is willful ignorance or malice.
Idiots like this man don’t just harm themselves by their beliefs and behavior. They perpetuate one of mankind’s greatest evils, the belief that men are unequal in kind and that a greater man may rightfully hold another lesser man in slavery and use him as he sees fit. Refusing to acknowledge the cause of the Civil War and the evil for which the Confederacy fought is refusing to acknowledge that slavery is a great evil, one that was (mostly) destroyed in the Civil War but continues to live in the minds of men like this.
This refusal to confront and accept the reality of slavery and racism and the century spanning harm it has done and continues to do to human beings the world over makes it possible for men like Hitler and Trump to rise to power. These grotesque caricatures of human beings are acceptable only to those so steeped in hatred and denial that they see the most vile examples of humanity as their saviors, simply because those men promise to grant them the power they feel owed by their race and birthplace.
The state documents of secession are available and specifically call out slavery as the reason for secession. Only South Carolina even tries to be fancy about it, but their document too eventually gets to the core issue – slavery.
This Nib comic does an excellent job of explaining the origin and history of hysteria. Everyone should learn this history because hysteria is an accessible and profound example of the harm patriarchy does to all of society: men, women, and children.