Things to Read

By way of Slacktivist comes a piece on recognizing silencing techniques.  Some are definitely too familiar.

Security guards do not always improve the learning environment.  Art teachers might be better.

Petition to drop the charges against Keira Wilmot for a science experiment gone wrong and re-enroll her in school has over 36000 signatures — does it have yours?

From an article on mammograms, and why they haven’t dropped the incidence of metastatic breast cancer: 

Mammograms, it turns out, are not so great at detecting the most lethal forms of [breast cancers] a treatable phase. Aggressive tumors progress too quickly, often cropping up between mammograms. Even catching them “early,” while they are still small, can be too late: they have already metastasized. That may explain why there has been no decrease in the incidence of metastatic cancer since the introduction of screening.

At the other end of the spectrum, mammography readily finds tumors that could be equally treatable if found later by a woman or her doctor; it also finds those that are so slow-moving they might never metastasize. As improbable as it sounds, studies have suggested that about a quarter of screening-detected cancers might have gone away on their own.

 It’s a long article, but worth reading. 

10 thoughts on “Things to Read

  1. Hah! Silencing techniques. I get those from my brother every time I post anything that sounds remotely “liberal” on Facebook. Fortunately, I lived with him for 18 years, so I’m used to the bullshit he employs to attempt to derail conversations that make him think too much/feel uncomfortable.

    And yes, I signed the petition for Keira Wilmot. Poor girl.

    • Of course it’s easier to see flaws in others than ourselves. So with that in mind, from my view as one of the “damned liberals”, it appears to me that the right in this country is more fond of silencing techniques than the left.

      I’m especially sorry it’s a family member. Lucky for me, most (though not all) of my more conservative family members aren’t on Facebook.

      • Yeah, unfortunately my entire family has opposite political and religious beliefs from me. Like, rabidly opposite, to the point where I can’t have any sort of discussion about any of my beliefs because I will be insulted and yelled down for having them. Oh well. I don’t live there anymore, and I use the delete/block functions very freely online, so it’s all good.

        • I’m sorry you find yourself in that position.

          I sometimes wonder if it’s worthwhile to engage in civil debate with rabid fans of _any_ political or religious position – maybe the constant engagement will eventually get through to some people. And maybe it is waste of time.

          I’m discouraged in my own debates on the web over the last few years, I don’t get the sense that I have persuaded anyone of much. However, my religious and political views right now are almost diametrically opposed to the ones I held half a lifetime ago, so people who took the time to discuss and debate did manage to get through to me. I’m proof it works at least once in a while.

  2. Regarding the security guard vs. art teacher article. If I had children, I’d probably be homeschooling, I don’t like where the schools are going with traumatizing para-military drills and kids now being arrested and thrown into the court system for school fights. Read about a girl who drew on a desk with a pencil taken to jail for vandalism–I would have been in jail a hundred times. As you know I have serious concerns about the growing police state and am an ex-art teacher. Well they definitely seem to spending more on indoctrinating the young people into being prisoners rather then any real education.

    To the posters above, I see both the right and left joined together with the growing tyranny and police state. Obama with all his drones and regulations to lock people up under is no different from the police state loving Republicans. Who loves freedom anymore?

    • I am not thrilled with the mainstream left in this country by any stretch, especially with respect to civil liberties and the checks and balances between government branches that are being dismantled.

      But one party seeks to discriminate against gays, dismantle the social safety net, and shift an ever-growing percentage of the tax burden off of the wealthy. The other does not. As long as that’s true, I know which side I support.

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