J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

Category: Culture Rants/Shares (Page 1 of 13)

The Joy and Beauty of Consensual Violence

I’ve been thinking about why I love to watch people fight. Especially if both combatants are skilled and each has a good chance of winning. A big part of it is the vicarious thrill–imagining myself in the ring. But sometimes I wonder…am I just bloodthirsty?

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Emotional Labor and Invisible Household Work – A Male Perspective

I recently read Gemma Hartley’s piece Stop Calling Women Nags–We’re Just Fed Up in Bazaar. Hartley’s article about emotional labor and the unacknowledged work many women do in terms of managing household relationships, logistics, and schedules has been widely read and shared in recent weeks, with many couples reporting breakthrough conversations with their partners regarding the division of labor and responsibilities.

In short, many women end up managing a household by default, and are frustrated when men offer to “help” because why is it their job to manage the household in the first place? While some couples consciously choose to divide labor into “earner” and “household manager,” in many cases women end up getting stuck with both earning and primary household management roles, and that can lead to a great deal of resentment.

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How Do We Reduce Young White Male Entitlement?

Recently I listened to an episode of This American Life entitled “White Haze” about various Alt-Right and Alt-Lite movements, and the Venn diagrams of belief systems that may or may not include men’s rights, reclaiming traditional masculinity, abstaining from masturbation, anti-PC/SJW, keeping women out of the workforce, opposing non-white immigration, drinking beer together, anti-Semitism, white nationalism, casual racism, and full-blown white supremacy.

My impression was that for many members of these white male conservative groups, the main emotional issue was a sense of entitlement, manifesting as resentment and finger-pointing if such things as girlfriend, job, wealth, and status didn’t easily materialize. That, and an imagined sense of cultural oppression by liberals and feminists (though specific examples of how exactly white men are oppressed are elusive).

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Eyes On The Prize: My Current Vision for a Messy Utopia

These days, reading the national news is like watching a whirlwind of shit in high definition.

Emboldened white supremacists, the orange racist-in-chief, plans for an expensive useless wall, a government actively working to roll back environmental protections of every kind. Not to mention the very real possibility of nuclear war.

So I’m writing this post to remind myself what kind of world I’d like to live in. What kind of policies I’d like to see in place, in a more sane world.

I don’t believe in the pursuit of perfect utopias. Reaching that high is like flying too close to the sun. You have to start with a clean slate to build a perfect society, which means destroying everyone and everything and starting over. Which has been tried, several times in history, and generally ends in mass starvation and/or genocide. So no thanks.

The alternative is a messy utopia, one that builds on pretty good systems that already exists, one that takes a more-or-less empirical approach to solving problems, and one that doesn’t require perfect moral behavior on the part of its citizens. I’ve written in more detail about this idea here.

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Changing Social Norms Don’t Present an Existential Threat

I read recently fired ex-Google employee James Damore’s “left bias” manifesto with much interest. I think a lot of people (especially younger white males) feel the same way he does.

Damore’s memo starts off with some reasonable assertions that there are statistical psychological differences, on average, between men and women. No problem there, even though some of the broader generalizations struck me as outlandish, and weren’t backed by evidence. Damore goes on to assert that Google has a politically and culturally left bias, which makes me wonder what he was thinking when he signed up to work at a Silicon Valley tech company. Finally, Damore makes the leap that because the gender and ethnicity gaps in tech are not solely due to bias (but also because of innate biological differences), that Google’s diversity programs are discriminatory, and therefore they should be eliminated or opened to white males.

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Why I Started (and Stopped) Running Google AdWords

Now if I could only get paid for running ads like this one …

From December 2016 to February 2017 I ran Google Adwords on this site. At that time jdmoyer.com was getting about 12,000 views per week. I was curious if I could bring in significant ad revenue with a minimal approach, only running ads on a small percentage of the posts on this site.

I didn’t exactly need the money–I had (and still have) plenty of freelance work to pay the bills, and some additional income from music royalties and investments. But passive income is nice. I considered the pros and cons:

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