Hi John, what makes you say that Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs identifies people who are sick/hungry/whatever as "less human"? I learned about it in uni and the professor explained it to mean that it's hard to be thinking about school work when you're starving, or be productive at your job if you're really tired, etc. I'm just trying to understand your viewpoint on it. Thanks!
Right, but it’s not eating that makes us human. Lots of organisms can eat. What makes us human is making art and thinking the fancy thoughts that university professors think and achieving what Maslow called “self-actualization.” So saying that hungry or sick people cannot access “higher” needs is literally dehumanizing, because it claims the sick do not have access to the full range of human consciousness.
(I mean, Maslow literally put love between friends and family above the “basic needs,” and said that people who are hungry cannot experience love in the pure/true/real/unfettered way that unhungry people can.)
This paternalistic way of imagining need is in my opinion completely wrong. Yes, people who are starving report that it is hard to think about anything other than the desire to eat, but they also continue to write and love and read and have sex and do many things that Maslow associated with higher needs. I don’t think need is a pyramid at all; it’s a complicated web in which one need (like food) can transfigure another need (like love) without either negating the other.
I think you're great, but your view of economics is so twisted, it makes me sick. This experiment with Keynesian economics and central planning has sent the country trillions of dollars into debt. And you think handouts will help this? People respond to incentives, so why would people contribute to society when they can get things for free? And the minimum wage? I hoped you'd be smart enough to realize how horrible it is for low-skilled workers.
It was nice to receive this ask because the rest of tumblr thinks I am such a proletariat-hating capitalist.
1. The question of whether a minimum wage is bad for low-skilled workers is far from settled, and anyone who claims that it is either unambiguously good or bad just hasn’t done much reading on the topic.
2. Why would people contribute to society when they can get things for free? Well, people are slightly more complicated than you’re giving them credit for, but no matter. Welfare is not a rational alternative to work in the United States or anywhere else in the industrialized world, and instituting a minimum income would not make it a rational alternative to work, because those checks would go to people who have jobs as well as those who don’t.
3. Just as a general point, I think there is a habit among a lot of people (myself included) to take one economics class in college and think that we are experts, but generally it’s better just to do some research and understand that even economists who do this stuff for a living disagree all the time. Economics is not a science like other sciences: No one is definitively right. (That said, Keynes came out of the Great Recession looking pretty damned good, even according to his detractors.)
John, what happened to the cat you mentioned in your "Perspective" video? As a cat lover, I must ask.
After a brief and amicable custody battle, Pants the Cat went to live with my ex-girlfriend. We both recognized that my depression made it impossible for me to care for the cat.
She and I last spoke in 2009ish, at which point the cat was still physically healthy and emotionally complex, as cats are supposed to be.
I should add that while breakup narratives are supposed to be about the victimized innocent Dumpee and the horrible evil Dumper, in our case no one was horrible or evil, and I think very highly of the person in question and am so happy that she (and the cat!) are doing well.
“This morning there’s snow everywhere. We remark on it.
You tell me you didn’t sleep well. I say
I didn’t either. You had a terrible night. “Me too.”
We’re extraordinarily calm and tender with each other
as if sensing the other’s rickety state of mind.
As if we knew what the other was feeling. We don’t,
of course. We never do. No matter.
It’s the tenderness I care about. That’s the gift
this morning that moves and holds me.
Same as every morning.”—"The Gift" by Raymond Carver (via flaowww)
One of the coolest parts of our AFC Wimbledon sponsorship is the fact that we have a lot of advertising space (four boards around the pitch, one full sized page in the matchday programme) and those ads will be designed by nerdfighters, i.e., possibly, YOU!
It’s difficult for me to think of Nelson Mandela as anything but a universally-respected, wise, kind, and thoughtful asset to humanity. But he also organized attacks that would today be unconditionally condemned as terrorism. His government fought peaceful demonstrations with violence, and so he brought violence to his government. He was a fighter…once the fight got started. And he never stopped fighting, and the world is so much better because of that escalation to violence. That is the rarest sort of change, and it is a testament to his care as a diplomat, a politician, a human, and a warrior that it did not merely end in perpetual turmoil and bloodshed. To go from terrorist to president in only thirty years, with most of those thirty years spent in a cell, is an achievement I would never accept if I read it in fiction.
My video tomorrow is about inequality, and it doesn’t mention Mandela because I finished it yesterday and I had to fight the urge to remake it. But he is in my thoughts tonight, I hope he is in yours as well. If you’d like to learn a little more about his life, this short documentary is lovely.
I was a kid, and obviously very far removed from South Africa, and I want to be clear that I’m certainly no expert. But I overheard a lot of discussions about Apartheid in my childhood, because my parents and their church were involved with organizations linked to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s anti-Apartheid work. And at the time, it was very controversial. As a kid, I remember hearing that my parents were naive, that Mandela was a terrorist, that one-person-one-vote could never work in South Africa, that it would immediately become a communist dictatorship, that all the white people would be massacred, etc. And had things gone differently in South Africa—had Mandela been a less brilliant leader—the transition could indeed have been catastrophic. To me, the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is one of the great human accomplishments of the past hundred years.
The world is now mourning the loss of a great man, as well it should. But let’s not forget that Mandela (and South Africa) might’ve been free decades earlier had it not been for the fear and discomfort of white people not just in South Africa but around the world.
“He is now resting. He is now at peace. Our nation hast lost its greatest son. Our people have lost its father.”—Nelson Mandela has died, South African President Jacob Zuma announces. (via think-progress)
John, why did my TFIOS hoodie come in a different shade of blue and the first "okay" without a question mark? It simply says "okay. Okay."
First off, I love your username.
The answer to your question is that you didn’t buy the hoodie in question from DFTBA Records. I can’t control the quality of stuff people make and then sell on amazon or redbubble or etsy or etc., although in many cases the quality is very good.
I think it’s great when people are inspired by something we made to create something of their own, and I want those people to be free to sell anything that they make and etc. But I see two problems with the wide open marketplaces of the Internet:
1. On some level, you (and anyone) will always assume that I am the maker of an item related to TFIOS, or that I was paid to license the design of that hoodie (I wasn’t), because you closely associate Things Involving The Fault in Our Stars with the book’s author.
(This is also true of, for instance, a movie adaptation: Even though I am not making the movie or in any way responsible for its quality, people ask me every day to put various songs in the soundtrack, when in fact I have never even been consulted about the soundtrack and never will be.)
2. There is no way to ensure that the actual designers get compensated for their work. With DFTBA merch related to nerdfighteria or my books, we source designs very carefully (even when they are accidental collaborations) and pay royalties to the original designer. Society6 and a few other sites are starting to try to verify designers, but it’s still a bit Wild Westy.
Our hope is that DFTBA Records addresses—at least for my readers and the nerdfighter community—both of these problems in a cost effective way. I still think it’s wonderful when people design their own stuff, whether it’s for themselves or to share with others, but I can only promise that our hoodies will have the question mark. (I cannot promise, sadly, that they will be in stock, as we totally underestimated the interest in them. SORRY.)
Do you ever sign a poster/book/whatever and mess up and then get worried that some poor nerdfighter is going to buy said object and people will ridicule them buying something with a fake signature (because it is messed up)? I feel like I would end up buying back my own stuff if I ever got famous because I didn't want to sell stuff that i didn't do a good job signing. (with that said, every signature I have of yours is impeccable!)
Yes. I worry about this a lot. When you spend three months signing for eight or nine hours a day, you have a lot of time to consider your signature and the relationship that people might have with it.
That is why, when I deliver what I feel to be a subpar version of the J Scribble, I write a secret URL beneath that signature, which links to a video of me apologizing for the terrible signature.
I want to tell you something I am really thankful about.
Theo and I waited until everything was final to talk about him online, although maybe I mentioned him if you saw me in person. Anyway, I’m happy to announce that the reason I haven’t been around the internet all that much lately is because my husband and I adopted a baby!
Here’s is a picture of me with our son, Sebastian. The picture is from Maureen’s apartment, right after we got back from court.
Isn’t he the best?
Isn’t he a tiny turnip?
What does that even mean?
Isn’t it weird how one addresses babies like they are delicious?
Doesn’t he look delicious?
This is his first Thanksgiving, so I am making him what I hope to be a succulent yam glop. I am making the rest of us a succulent yam glop too, but with more marshmallows and refined sugar.
Here’s hoping you and yours are eating delectable things, no matter where you are or what you’re celebrating, or whether you’re celebrating anything at all.