Saturday, December 31, 2011

Weekend Reading: The Privilege and Poverty Edition

I considered making my year in review post my weekend reading post for the week, but that seemed a bit narcissistic, even for a blogger. So here are some other things to read:

First, via the Harvard Business Review, of all places, I came across this post about male privilege in geek fandom. It is a pretty good explanation of privilege, particularly as it applies to the "chilly climate" issue.

Then, Nicoleandmaggie wrote a post about how (and whether) they should help a young niece of theirs overcome some bad decisions, bad luck, and lack of money to get to college. They linked to an old post of John Scalzi's about poverty, which you should go read if you haven't read it before. And if you have read it before, it will stand up to a re-reading. (Incidentally, thanks to a more recent post of his that I came across after reading the old one on poverty, I finally figured out why his name sounded so familiar to me- he was the editor of my college newspaper for part of the time I was in college. You have no idea how glad I am to have finally figured this out. His 20 year old self even looks familiar.)

Finally, my friend Stevil wrote a great post about an encounter in a CVS store that helped remind me what is special about Christmas and pull me out of my pre-Christmas funk.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2012 brings you happiness and good fortune.


  1. Anonymous7:41 AM

    That HBR post is awesome. Too bad so many of the comments are so off-putting!

    A Gai Shan Life had a good post recently on poverty (we link to it this week). There's been a recent flutter around the personal finance interblogs and some other blogs about blaming the poor (she links to one of them). Political bloggers seem to be inspired by Newt Gingrich's recent comments on making poor school kids do janitorial work, and there was that ridiculous "advice for a poor black kid" article in Forbes. So there's been a lot of "blaming the poor" this past month-- just in time for the holiday season.

    It saddens me how many people don't seem to realize that being middle class or upper class means you get a lot more second chances when you screw up. Even if everything else started equal (which it generally doesn't).

  2. Thanks to both @Cloud and @nicoleandmaggie for the link to the Scalzi post. And how cool, @Cloud that you finally figured out you know him ;)

    Yeah, the thing that struck me the most in the comments of Scalzi's posts was about the "small margin of error" coming up repeatedly - 12 cents overdraft results in a $27 fee, etc. and things just snowballing (worse) from there.

  3. Toria3:58 PM

    Ha I recognize Scalzi's name as a sci-fi author.
    Will check this stuff out.


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