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This viral thread on what people can and can't say due to 'political correctness' is gold.

When people decry "political correctness," what are they really railing against?

Political correctness is a loaded term. People bandy it about with eye-rolling disdain whenever someone gets called out for saying offensive, sexist, racist, or otherwise hurtful things, claiming everyone is just too sensitive these days. The concept comes up more often in social than political discourse, and complaining about it seems to be the habit du jour for many.

A recent poll by NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist found that 52% of Americans are "against the country becoming more politically correct and are upset that there are too many things people can't say anymore." NPR shared the results in an article on Twitter with a "Warning to Democrats."


Then Twitter user Julius Goat expertly took the posting, the poll, and the entire concept of political correctness to task in an epic thread.

If you want to know what underlies complaints about political correctness, make people say what they say they can't say.

Julius Goat (which is the popular Twitter account of author A.R. Moxon) is known for thoughtful, hard-hitting threads that force people to think.

"Ask them to name the things they can't say anymore," Goat wrote in response to NPR's tweet, "ask them to list each one."

"Don't allow these bullshit euphemisms," he continued. "Make them say the things they 'can't' say. They [sic] things they still say, in certain company."

Then he pointed out an obvious—but often overlooked—truth.

"No one who complains that they 'can't say ... things ... anymore' is prevented from saying anything," Goat wrote. "What they mean is, now, if they say those things, they are perceived as the kind of people who say those things. What they object to is simply personal accountability."

"The real objection isn't that there are suddenly so many things they can't say. The real objection is there are suddenly so many things that other people CAN say. Things like, 'what do you mean by that?' and 'here's why those words demean and hurt me.'"

Yup.

Goat continued, "'There are things we can't say anymore' is a phrase intended the [sic] skirt accountability. Poll the exact things. Ask those questions. 'What things?' Let's see the demographics of Americans mad they can't say n***** any more. Or f**. And a hush fills the punditry."

Goat also pointed out that the way such polls are conducted and analyzed add to the problem.

Asking people if they think political correctness is a problem is a different question than asking if people embrace the idea of demeaning marginalized people, but it's basically the same idea.

"The fact that polling doesn't ask those specific questions, but it does employ accountability-evading terms like 'political correctness' tells you a lot about the poll's complicity in the dodge," Goat wrote. "As do the articles analyzing the poll."

"Why do we only see 'Poll Offers Stark Warning to Democrats for Identity Politics in 2020' and not 'Poll Shows White People Love Slurs?'" Goad asked. "Both require the same amount of analysis. Both bring a worldview to data. Thus you can detect the worldview of seemingly neutral parties."

Those of us who think words matter need shouldn't fall into the trap of arguing about "political correctness" when the term itself—ironically—is so often used to evade accountability and to avoid calling a bigoted spade a bigoted spade. Who is actually being overly sensitive—the people on the receiving end of hurtful language, or the people who can't handle being criticized for using hurtful words?

Goat's responses to people's predictable comments on the thread are just as spot on.

These tweets speak for themselves, and they all say BOOM.

And finally, a bit of humor that highlights the absurdity of some people's claims about what feel they can no longer say:

Well done, Julius Goat. While some will never grasp the fact that "political correctness" is really just polite consideration that anyone in a civilized society should champion, this thread at least points out how ridiculous people's arguments against the concept really are. It's not that you can't say things anymore. You just can't say them without social consequence or criticism—which is how it should be in a society where everyone has an equal voice.    

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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You could say Marine biologist, divemaster and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Erika Woolsey is a bit of a coral reef whisperer, one who brings her passion for ocean science to folks on dry land in a fresh, innovative and fun new way using virtual reality.

Images courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Her non-profit, The Hydrous, combines science, design, and technology to provide one-of-a-kind experiential education about marine life. In 2018, Hydrous produced “Immerse 360”, a virtual underwater journey through the coral reefs of Palau, with Dr. Woolsey as a guide.

Viewers got to swim with sharks, manta rays and sea turtles while exploring gorgeous aquatic landscapes and learning about the crucial role our oceans play—all from 360° and 3D footage captured by VRTUL 2 underwater storytelling VR cameras.


Hydrous then expanded on the idea to develop two more exciting augmented adventures using Meta Quest 2 technology: “Expedition Palau,” a live event where audiences can share a “synchronized immersive reality experience”, which includes live narration from Woolsey, and “Explore,” a “CGI experience” to enjoy the magic of the ocean at home.


www.youtube.com

“I’ve been extremely fortunate to explore and study coral reefs around the world,” Woolsey said, sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see these important habitats decay so rapidly while the latest scientific reports did not clearly lead to widespread compassionate action.

“How do we care about something we never see or experience?” she reflected. As she discovered, virtual reality would be a powerful solution for eliciting empathy. “VR has the ability to generate presence and agency and make you feel like you’re there. It's that emotional connection that can bridge scientific discovery and public understanding”

The combination of virtual reality and the ocean’s natural breathtaking beauty is, as Woolsey puts it, a “match made in heaven” for getting people more engaged in ocean education. “When you’re floating you can look up and down and all around you…seeing a school of fish surrounding you and reefs in these cathedral-like structures. Rather than watching a video of a scientist, you get to become the scientist.”

Hydrous also has special kits to provide middle school students hands-on learning about ocean life. In addition to a journal, activity cards and a smartphone VR viewer, each kit includes lifelike 3D printed model pieces of a coral reef so that middle school students can try building their own.

These reef models even turn white when temperatures rise inside the aquarium, which mimics the real “bleaching” that corals endure when they die due to higher than normal ocean temperatures. Students really do become scientists as they figure out how to bring color back to their reef.

While it’s true that the health of our oceans affects us all, the growing threats our oceans face—pollution, overfishing, climate change—don’t always affect us on an empathetic level. Through the use of technology, Woolsey has created an innovative way to connect hearts and minds to one of the Earth’s most important resources, which can inspire real and lasting change.

“We can’t bring everybody to the ocean, but we’re finding scalable ways to bring the ocean to everyone.”

To learn more about Hydrous, click here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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