Monday, July 16, 2018

I will be teaching toleration again this Fall, after taking a break from the class during the Spring semester. I'd taught it every Fall and Spring semester since 2005, so was glad to skip last Spring, but I think the class is important and I'm looking forward to teaching it again. I'm going to make it a blended class. I also plan to emphasize how much *I* find myself thinking of the theories and applying them in everyday life. For instance Domain Theory, which I referenced in this blog twice recently. Good examples of the two domains are students calling me by my first name without asking first or making assumptions about my marital status (Mrs., when my surname is my patronym) or level of education (Ms. rather than Dr.) -- these are violations of social convention; there are no intrinsic consequences from the action, but it is a rule that is socially agreed upon; and animal or child abuse -- breaches in the moral domain (where intrinsic harm is caused, regardless of the social norm).

I was reminded of toleration on Facebook recently; there is a meme image being shared that begins something like "I am not the tolerant left. I am the appalled left" and continues listing items. I didn't comment (I stay far away from controversy on FB) but the meme lingered on my mind. It's true that both the left and the right are not tolerant. It's the moderate who are tolerant. Tolerance takes compromise. Vogt's book was written over 20 years ago - and we are even more divided today.  
I have been to Howe Caverns once (20 years ago?) and while I'm glad I went, I remember feeling anxious -- with my clothes on. I had a scary experience in a cave 35 years ago. No desire at all to go there again, whether clothed or naked.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

I could cite this as an example of questionable behavior leading to career success, but since I believe truth is always stronger in the end, I won't. She was one of two people in a pick-up truck who pulled up after Riverkeeper Sweep and hassled Bob. They represented themselves as Amtrak employees but would not give their names. We got their license plate number. After the train accident, she posted sensational and inaccurate stories on her TV-10-branded Facebook page. I believe they also aired on the news, but did not see the stories myself. By then I had already figured out that the guy in the truck was an Amtrak engineer. He and some of his associates had been giving me guff on the Village and Friends Facebook pages. Once the reporter's first story was posted on Facebook, I was able to ID her as the passenger in the truck. So I sent her a FB message protesting her stories and setting the record straight. Did she have the courtesy to answer? No. I considered reporting her behavior to TV-10, but decided against. I probably should have done so, but I know truth will be the victor in this case, too. A sort-of aside, a recent news story she posted on FB had a Saratoga horse racing theme. That crosses my moral domain (my prior cartoon post is also about the moral domain). The only acceptable story on the horse racing  topic is how cruel it is - not whether whichever horse is winning should come to Saratoga to break his or her leg. It reminded me, when I am done with public service and river access advocacy, back to other bucket list (a term I can't stand, LOL) items.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The days-long extreme heat waves and frigid cold snaps are a collective bonding experience for northerners.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Hot topics in social media administrator-land: Over on the Friends of Main Street page, there is lively (to the point of having to be watched) commentary about the proposed Amazon fulfillment center. At the Village page, on a post about even/odd parking for summer street sweeping, there is a polite hijack about excessive speeding on Village streets. Meanwhile the department's page is quiet, after receiving a hand-slap from the university's social media police. My co-administrator posted the verboten "SUNY Albany" (rather than "University at Albany" or "UAlbany") several times in a post.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

This will be incredible, if it happens. I had heard rumors that amazon was the tenant. I view the opposition to the project as NIMBY at its worst. That area lost the battle to stay wilderness or farmland when the Berkshire Spur went in and then Route 9 became 5 lanes. Newsflash: Don't buy a house in a development anywhere and expect it to stay rural. I also believe philosophically that consumers should have to host necessary services they use in their communities -- where should it go, if not in areas where lots of people shop amazon? Should Amish farmland be used instead of the suburbs 15 miles from Albany?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I hope the suicide-themed warning posts are over on social media. Yesterday I even got an email from the university on the topic. Two famous people kill themselves and the web goes haywire? Don't misunderstand, I feel bad that they took this action, and I have always been concerned about the incidence of suicide, but I'm not sure whether the attention is helpful or harmful.