The tech world struggling to get its sh** together:
Uber continues to show us all what a not-nice company it is. The latest scandal is threatening a smear campaign against a journalist who was critical of them.
I am not an Uber user. I came across an article earlier about women being harassed by their Uber drivers, and that was enough to put me off using them. I'm also broadly sympathetic to the arguments against these services based on labor issues. But I also recognize that these services also helped address a problem that many people- particularly Black people and people in poorer neighborhoods- have getting taxi service.
This post by Jem Yoshioka does a better job than I ever have of explaining why I'm increasingly disenchanted with the "open internet" movement. They need to reckon with the multitude of ways speech is suppressed and the fact that their focus on only one way is de facto prioritizing the speech of straight white men over the rest of us.
Last week, I linked to Erica Joy's post about feeling alienated as a Black woman in tech. She has written a follow up that is equally worth your time.
Feminist rage inducing:
A bunch of you sent me links about the Barbie "I can be an engineer" book that turned out to give the exact opposite message. I happen to follow Pamela Ribon on Twitter (she's very funny!) so I saw her post that started it all when it came out.She also tweeted a link to a response from the author of the unfortunate book. You can rewrite the book on this fun site.
Warning: the next two links are very, very disturbing- particularly if you follow the links to the Rolling Stone article.
Roxane Gay addresses the Cosby case and the recent Rolling Stone article about rape at the University of Virginia with her characteristic insight.
Woman who are trafficked in the US are often "branded" with tattoos. This article tells their story, and the story of a survivor who has started a charity to help them get those tattoos covered with better ones. Here's a link to the charity, called Survivors Ink.
Feminist chuckle inducing: neither a raccoon nor a sea lion be!
Raccoons giving advice when you don't want it.
"Pardon me, I couldn't help but overhear..." // Wondermark #1062; The Terrible Sea Lion http://t.co/mow0vnmWSS pic.twitter.com/7gByjQ4mAD
— Wondermark.com (@wondermarkfeed) September 19, 2014
Fighting the tide of the preposterous... I like this one in part because it reminds us of the origin of the anti-vaccination movement. When I was a kid, the kids in my class who weren't vaccinated had libertarian parents, not lefty parents.
I've seen a lot of people share this link to an article about a man with a tapeworm in his brain, I link to it primarily for this passage:
"The worm’s rarity means that little is known about its complex lifecycle and biology, however it is thought that people may be infected by accidently consuming tiny infected crustaceans from lakes, eating raw meat from reptiles and amphibians, or by using a raw frog poultice – a Chinese remedy to calm sore eyes."
Pull this story out next time someone tells you alternative medicines are always safe.
Great, thought-provoking things:
The Toast has launched a new sister site called The Butter. It is helmed by Roxane Gay, so I am not at all surprised that it is posting such great things. This post from someone who said something racist is one of my favorites.
Julie at A Little Pregnant writes so well about infertility and this post about not being in the midst of it anymore is no exception. Here is a snippet, but go read the whole thing:
"It's not like you forget it, the grind of infertility, once you've had children and distance. The best way I can describe it is that it's no longer who I am, but it's still who I have been. (It will never be who I was. I wonder if that's true for anyone.)"
I did not have to deal with infertility, and opening my eyes to how incredibly lucky I was (and making me more aware of the pain I could cause by talking about it) was one of the first mind-broadening experiences I got from being online. It is far from the last!
I really liked today's Tungsten Hippo quote. It is from one of the books that makes me love short ebooks so much- The Sixth, by Ali Immran Zaidi is mind-bending, thought-provoking, and impossible to categorize, and I don't think it would have worked at all as a longer piece of writing.
The just plain fun:
Because I always have to end with some fun....
Randall Munroe's explanation of dimensions is as awesome as you'd expect.
My husband found this tumblr of maps without New Zealand. It is probably not quite as much fun if you're not a Kiwi or someone who knows a lot of Kiwis, but it thoroughly amused me. And speaking on New Zealand: how does New Zealand to Iceland sound for a commute?
This video of ice crystals forming inside soap bubbles is awesome. As the site says- the kids should see it!
That's it for this week. Happy weekend, everyone!