online offline: some brief reflections on bad behavior

Some folks believe that the Internet is somehow different from the “real world.” Some folks believe that, because of the anonymity of the Internet, people will invariably behave worse online than off, that they will say and do things that in the “real world” they would never consider saying or doing, morals and ethics be damned.

I believe that’s a crock of shit. Sometimes (a lot of times) people behave badly. Period. Where and when that happens is most likely a factor of specific circumstances. And to the extent that I’ve seen people behave spectacularly poorly in a wide array of circumstances, both online and off, I cannot sustain the belief that people behave quantitatively or qualitatively worse on the Internet than they do in real life.

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still rabble rousing after all these years

I read an interesting opinion piece in the paper this morning about Supreme Court-nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s supposedly racist comments. The issue of race comes up not infrequently in the continuing, and to some belabored, conversation about Asian-American Western Buddhists and non-Asian-American Western Buddhists. It came up over the weekend thanks to the Angry Asian Buddhist, and in the comments thread you can see a number of folks suggest that it’s time to move the hell on from this conversation.

I’m not letting it go. I’m not letting it go for the following reason: ignoring this conversation or wishing it away is actually dangerous to the future of the Buddha Dharma in these United States.

buddhism by the numbers?

I wanted to share with my loyal readers a letter to the editor I’ve sent off to Tricycle. I’m sharing it for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t think they’ll publish it. And second, I think my point needs to be out there as much as possible, spread far and wide across the buddhoblogsphere, because I think I’m right. I know that sounds awfully egotistical of me; but when it comes to this issue, to hell with being a “good Buddhist.”

endorsement, racism, and other matters

But the real reason why I’m not reciting the litany is because that’s not what I wanted to write about. What I wanted to write about is how, now that our two biggest contenders are a white woman and a black man, over the coming days and likely straight on through November, we’re going to be hearing a lot about race and gender. And I’m willing to bet that most of it is going to going to be pretty asinine.

happy mother’s day

Some Mother’s Day cheer from Working for a Change: Moms were seen as less competent and committed. Moms were half as likely to be hired as childless women or men with or without kids. Moms were offered $11,000 less in starting pay than non-moms. And, just for good measure, they were also judged more harshly […]