Recommended Reading for June 1, 2010

fiction_theory (LJ): The internet IS real life

The problem with impeaching someone’s anti-racism based on attendance at a specific march or even public rallies and protests in general is that it assumes that a) attending such events is a more real, valid, and important means of expressing anti-racism than any other means, specifically online and b) that attendance is a feasible option for everyone.

Marching at a rally or attending a protest is all well and good, but it’s not something that is an option for everyone. It’s quite ablist to ask such a question as though the privilege of being able to attend excludes the antiracist work of those who use other venues.

Mattilda at Nobody Passes: Closer

Somewhere between sleep and awake, a new day and last night and tomorrow, like they’re all in a circle around me but I’m somewhere in bed where I can almost read the sentences except they blur away from me, and I keep thinking maybe sleep, maybe this is more sleep except I don’t know if I want more sleep.

thefourthvine (DW): [Meta]: The Audience

I will not bring up my disability, because I don’t talk about it here, except to say that if that part of me appears in a story, it will be as either a clever gimmick (and a chance for a main character to grow as a person) or a sob story (and a chance for a main character to grow as a person). (No, there will never be a main character just like me. Most of the time I think that’s normal, and then I look at, say, SF and think standard-issue straight white guys must have a whole different experience on this issue. How weird would it be, to have basically all mainstream media written for you like that?)

Ian Sample (at The Guardian online): Bone marrow transplants cure mental illness — in mice

The team, led by a Nobel prizewinning geneticist, found that experimental transplants in mice cured them of a disorder in which they groom themselves so excessively they develop bare patches of skin. The condition is similar to a disorder in which people pull their hair out, called trichotillomania.

lustwithwings at sexgenderbody: Do I Owe Everything I am to The Internet?

Despite their lack of a body, my friends are still quite active in the world of Social Networking which acts on the physical world in much the same way things on our mind do. The contents of the Internet affect the physical world through many of the same processes as the contents of a mind, yet the contents of the Internet as a public mind can affect many more minds, and many more bodies than a private mind.

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the link! I love this site and you folks have been on our blogroll for months.

    -arvan

  2. A 2008 study, but Mind Hacks posted a link to it today so I thought y’all might be interested nevertheless:

    Disease Rankings

    ranking the “prestige” of a decently sizable list of illnesses, disorders and injuries. Heart attacks and leukemia are apparently the most prestigious. Mental illnesses are, as you might expect, grouped at the bottom, with anorexia and schizophrenia squeaking in just under AIDS, and fibromyalgia last. The abstract of the original study notes that this might have some effect on what specialties prospective doctors choose, which patients get treated–and, I would think, what gets research money and probably also a factor in how patients are treated?

    (Sorry if this has been posted here before!)

  3. I’m a bit confused by the study because I have no idea how they’re defining prestige. And who on earth thinks of prestige when they think of medical conditions anyway? Is prestige supposed to be some combination of the severity/potential life-threatening nature of a disease? Or it is supposed to imply that doctors who specialise in certain things are more flashy than others?

    I don’t get it!

  4. I’m not sure exactly what “prestige” means, either, but I’m guessing it means something like that doctors who treat certain diseases are considered more important? Anyway, looking at that list, it seems like the ones at the top of the list are generally potentially fatal, and the usual treatment for them is either surgery or something intensive like chemotherapy or radiation. The ones toward the bottom of the list are more likely chronic diseases that affect quality of life but generally aren’t fatal, and the few that are fatal are the ones that are incurable — the ones at the top of the list are things like cancer, where someone can be declared cured after being cancer-free for a certain period of time, or things like appendicitis that require emergency surgery and then the patient is better, and the doctor is a hero. The bottom of the list has a lot of things like arthritis and AIDS and MS, where the doctor might be able to prescribe drugs or therapy that make the patient feel better or live somewhat longer, but the doctors don’t have that same “I cured him/her” ending that they’d get with the others.