Is a very good game.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
has an autistic kid. Stuart Chaifetz
sent his autistic kid to school wearing a wire.
Stuart Chaifetz listened to the recording of what his son's teachers
said throughout the day. Stuart Chaifetz
So, he released a Youtube video in which he tells the story, plays parts of the audio recording, and articulates his angry.
Now, what the teachers said to those kids was monstrous. Their conversations in the classrooms were completely unprofessional. Let's be clear: The teachers were assholes who deserve to be fired.
I have to say, though, that Stuart Chaifetz is being irrationally angry about some aspects of this situation. Yes, the teachers were unprofessional. Yes, the teachers obviously did not care for the well-being of the students. If he'd focused upon that? This would have been a great public service that uncovered the deleterious conditions of his child's classroom. Unfortunately, he did the thing parents do where they go beyond reasonable criticism and start to become overly emotional and, so, irrational about their child's treatment. Let's deal with these components to the video.
"They treated them as if they were sub-humans who could never tell what they were talking about."
Dude, your kid is autistic. While he may not be sub-human, in terms of genus / species classification, he does have some fucked up genes, and so falls in the lower intellectual spectrum of the species. When his teachers talked about getting drunk, or their social problems? He most likely did not understand what they were talking about. He might have understood the general sentiment of being frivolous and entertained rather than serious and instructive, but, again, he's fucking autistic. If he could understand exactly what his teachers meant, he wouldn't be in the class.
That does not excuse what the teachers did. It simply points to a flaw in the father's reasoning.
Complaining that the teachers treated the students as autistic kids, who couldn't tell what was going on, isn't a reasonable criticism to make. One hopes that a teacher, charged with the task of instructing autistic kids, will treat them as autistic children; that's the point of the fucking class.
The problem, in this situation, is that the instructor exploits the autistic kid's shortcomings and inability to report their conversations about liquor and sex. The teachers took advantage of the kid's disabilities in order to slack off.
That's the complaint to make that speaks to the true problem. Faulting the teachers for treating autistic kids as autistic is a retarded complaint to raise, since that's what you want them to do. What you don't want them to do is exploit the autism.
"They called my son a bastard."
Your fucking kid doesn't know what "bastard" means. If they called your son a "shit-faced cunt dropping", but said it in a nice way? He'd probably giggle like a bastard and have a grand time.
Granted, calling an autistic kid a bastard is unprofessional. But the linguistic utterance is not at all deleterious to your child's self-conception. He's not consternated about his self-worth, having been called a bastard by his teacher. He doesn't know what the damn word means, so it really isn't harmful to him.
The person to whom it is harmful and angering is you, the father. Because you know what "bastard" means, and you've that lingering insecurity that results from the knowledge that you have shitty sperm that produces autistic bastards.
All of that? That's a problem for you, not your son. It is harmful to your self-conception, and your feeling of self-worth. Your son doesn't give a shit about the linguistic utterance.
Now, to be fair, the fact that the teacher is calling the child a bastard is probably indicative of their incredibly problematic attitude towards the child. "Bastard" is not a term of endearment to be used towards one's students. Again, it's an entirely problematic term.
But it's problematic for the teacher to use it, and it's problematic for the father to hear it. The kid doesn't know what it means, so the term isn't at all problematic, with respect to the child's own experience of the situation.
The way to go with this quote isn't to get all huffy about the term directed at the child. The way to criticize the statement is to focus upon the attitude it belies in the teacher.
All of that being said? The part where they tell your son that he'll never see his parents again, and then sort of laugh while he's crying? That earns the teachers a special place in hell. So, yeah, Kudos for wiring your son and releasing this video.
But maybe tone down the parental empathy, and focus upon the genuine problems of the situation, rather than the parts that just hurt your feewings.
I realize that most people don't empathize with marine life to the same degree I do. Over time, I've come to accept this fact, in the same way that I accept all the other things about which persons disagree with me: I am correct, because I am awesome, and everyone else is just plain fucking wrong.
It's a coping mechanism.
Regardless of the degree to which you appreciate the wonders of marine life, I think we can probably agree that the BP oil spill causing Gulf Coast Shrimp to evolve-away their eyes is pretty damn fucked up.
"SCOTT EUSTIS: We have some evidence of deformed shrimp, which is another developmental impact, so that shrimp’s grandmother was exposed to oil while the mother was developing, but it’s the grandchild of the shrimp that was exposed grows up with no eyes."article two:
The dispersants are known to be mutagenic, a disturbing fact that could be evidenced in the seafood deformities. Shrimp, for example, have a life-cycle short enough that two to three generations have existed since BP’s disaster began, giving the chemicals time to enter the genome.It is not the case that oil was spilt, some seagulls died, and now we've cleaned it up and we're good. Rather, the shit has entered the ecosystem to such a degree that the fucking shrimp fucking don't fucking have fucking eyes.
BP's oil spill rendered shrimp to be eyeless.
Discussing this in terms of how many dollars we ought to fine them is more than laughable.
BP's oil spill caused a species of animal to lose its eyes.
Fuck if I know how to rationally react to that.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Having filled my philosophy bookshelf, I am presented with the need to reorganize it in order to find room for more books. Obviously, texts shall be first organized by philosopher (Plato, Spinoza, etc.) and then by the philosopher's date of birth. The problem is that I have to decide what counts as a philosophical text.
Currently, the texts of Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes are on my shelf. Since I purchased these texts for philosophy classes, I placed these texts upon my self within the Greek philosophy section. Yet now I wonder if they deserve a spot on my philosophy shelf at all, given that they are not technically philosophy.
My main dilemma is that I want to include Aristophanes, because I really like The Clouds. Since Socrates is a character in his play, I could categorize Aristophanes' work as philosophical. But if I include Aristophanes, I am obligated to include Sophocles and Euripides. If they are included, I probably ought to include Ovid as well. And then Gilgamesh, and the list goes on and on as I continually add more literary works from antiquity.
The question is further complicated when I try to assess the works of Dante. I took a seminar on Dante in which we compared his works to Aquinas. While Dante does not articulate a philosophy, he does invoke themes from Aquinas when crafting his narrative. Additionally, I have the Lectura Dantis texts that touch upon the philosophical tones of the plays. Do these count as philosophy, philosophical, or some third thing?
This seems to be a tension I could use in order to make this decision: We distinguish philosophers from those who utilize particular philosophical ideas as components of a story or some larger project.
However, if I make a distinction between those who do philosophy, and those who use philosophical ideas, how then do I organize my books on mathematics? My books on infinity and zero utilize philosophical themes, but is mathematics philosophy proper, or an outgrowth of philosophy? If it is merely an outgrowth, that makes it akin to Dante and Aristophanes, who seem to not merit space upon my shelf.
Further complicated the mathematical issue is the text 'Geometry and Chronometry in Philosophical Perspective'. It has "philosophical" in the title, and yet it is about mathematics. Does it get a spot?
I'll probably lose some sleep trying to figure this out. If the internet has any suggestions I'd be happy to read them.