Against pictures in charitable organizations and appeals

I got, out of nowhere, a magazine for a well known, audited, and considered-legitimate charitable organization that applies itself to assisting poor people in many countries. Aside from the annoyance at their having no obvious way to unsubscribe on their website, something else:

This, and other organizations I know of, have photographs of people and groups they have helped by their work in their publications and on their websites. Since I have no experience with their work, I can’t speak for the people in the pictures. They should have been asked if they wanted to be photographed, though that itself is risky.

For me as recipient of their appeal, I have this objection: how am I supposed to know these pictures are representative (and not staged)? What about them proves the people in them are what they are presented as?

Names and places aren’t given – rightly so, poverty doesn’t abolish privacy (or shouldn’t). I have to take in clues in the pictures (which are also manipulatable), and sadly a highly obvious one is race. This could make perception that the only really poor people (or the only ones they help) are Black.

The best way to be sure of their legitimacy is by independent conduct and publishing of audits on their work regularly. Catalogs do not have to be text only, but pictures can be of the works of charity themselves, and if people are needed for scale or demonstration (such as for a water pump), where and how they appear should be carefully considered.

If the people who would appear in these pictures do not fit an obvious pattern, for example being of an entire range of skin colors, there is still such a risk of pattern recognition in the unknowable readership picking up something unobvious to the designers (all poor people are left handed? have blue eyes? something else?).

A test of, at minimum, honor or honesty

This is about current day (late summer 2020) politics in the United States. It does not have personal hatred to any one or any thing in it, but if you want to be forewarned before reading on the subject, now you can be.

Continue reading A test of, at minimum, honor or honesty

Slow, modern Heptameron story seven (VII)

With a new tablet (that has some sweet features) I wanted to try my accidental find Bluetooth speaker again. On the old tablet, enabling Bluetooth once made Windows so obnoxious that I use it as an excuse to make a fresh installation.

Of course, when I first got the speaker I used my favorite sound test, but this time I wanted some musique. This lead me to a memory of earlier:

In younger says, before I could have legally driven, my mother usually drove me where I needed to be. At the time, it was school (far too far for a bus to drive). On the way, I would often listen to the radio. There was a station out of a nearby cittie that played “oldies” (ca. 1950s to 1980s). This was the first time I remember hearing Smokey Robinson and the Miracles‘ song “Going to a Go Go“.

I have always known parsing sung words are hard, and would do the best I could. More than a decade later, I am still undoing this. Sometimes, the originals are hard to forget. (One has ruined a classical piece for me and has proven the hardest to get rid of.)

Anyway, I had never heard of a “go go” and the term wouldn’t have made sense to me, so my mind “go” into “vote”. (If you think that’s so far fetched, listen to the song yourself.) The lyrics that I could pick out didn’t contradict this interpretation:

  • “Goin’ to a go go” / “Going to a-vote vote”
  • “…and don’t be shocked if you find your baby there.”
  • “Don’t you want to go?” / “Don’t you want to vote?”

The only one that would have been confusing was “There’s a brand new place I found-a, where people come from miles around-a.”, but I knew this was from the 50s/60s, that the singers were Black, and the civil rights laws were being enforced for the first time in likely living memory, so assumed it was a reference to the polling place being “brand new” to the singers.

(That “featured image” icon took me about 3+ hours to make, and is derived from this [Public Domain] and this [CC-BY: Wikimedia Commons users “G ambrus” and “Junaidpv”] ALL BY HAND. It better not be more interesting than my story… ):<…)

P O L I T I C S, and 3 independent discoverys

I live in the United States. This post is completely political. I do not use insulting language, mention any person, or encourage crime. (Some people may be trying to avoid this for emotional health.)

Continue reading P O L I T I C S, and 3 independent discoverys

Crackers in unfortunate places

By education, I am an engineer. In the professional of chemical engineering, specifically petrochemical or petroleum engineering, unit operations called “catalytic crackers” exist. These “crack” larger molecules into smaller ones. As an example, octane (nC8) can be crackt into propane (nC4) if desired.

All occupations have their own language, whether cryptolect or just technolect. In mine, these are termed “crackers” (definition 5), with sometimes unfortunate effects.

Continue reading Crackers in unfortunate places

A C-suite idea to improve society

In American English, the “C-suite” refers to all the various head positions at a firm, named because they all have “Chief” in their tituls. The most notorious by far is CEO, or “Chief Executive Officer”, who runs all of the other C-suite inhabitants. There are others, as CPO (privacy), COO (operating), CFO (finantial), CIO (information), and what ever other tituls the organization wants.

I am going to propose something that will add another “CCO” to the Wikipedian list already compiled: Chief Calmness Officer.

We are almost all familiar with the hair trigger of societal media going off half cocked1 on partial information, sometimes maliciously cooked up, often not.

Continue reading A C-suite idea to improve society

A ten cent “Chinese”

I found this bit of realia at my grand mother’s place, in the workshop of all places:

Chinesemakeup
Chinese make-up kit 10ยข / non-toxic / easy to apply / easy to remove / made with lanolin / remove with cold cream dunham products, inc., N.Y., U.S.A.

Hideous!

I have no idea why she got it or kept it. She used to work at a public school, so maybe it came from there?!