First of all, this issue is so frustrating because you have to isolate what people mean when they talk about these two terms.
To start with, imperialism & colonialism: the French and British had colonial endeavours in the Middle East, and particularly North Africa, during the imperial era. Algeria was a French colony. Libya was colonized by the Italians. Aden was a protectorate of the British. Napoleon invaded Egypt, but his military endeavour failed. The British occupied Egypt from 1882 and oversaw the Suez Canal, until they were ousted in 1956. Of course there was also the British Raj (but then, that's not the Middle East), and most of what the British did around the Arab Gulf had to do with protecting the interests of the Raj -- the Gulf was more incidental to British imperial interests, comparatively.
But here's what gets left out of a lot of these discussions: Britain and France were actually two separate powers, often playing off an empire which was not European at all, that is, the Ottoman Empire!
The Ottoman Empire existed for centuries (since 1299), and for much of its existence, it was ascendant in most of what we now call the Middle East. At times, the European powers allied with the Ottomans. At times, they allied with Arabs against the Ottomans. Arabs were under Ottoman suzerainty, including the sharif of Mecca in present-day Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. The decline of Ottoman power and thus rising poverty and lapses of social cohesion is one ...more
So, I've been on a monster binge of watching knitting podcasts mainly on YouTube. And I've been thinking about starting my own and soo... I did. Watch it below, it's kind of long so if you're not into this sort of thing, feel free to skip.
I'm probably going to see if I can switch my funding interval to monthly rather than per post/thing because I have a goal of podcasting once a week, and if I add that in addition to blog posts, that puts me over my original 2-5 posts a month estimate for you guys on Patreon so this should make it easier.
In where Ellen introduces herself and idlecatknits, the craft room, and gets super excited about new socks.
(My show notes will improve with time. I totally winged this episode so I'll go over some details I missed on my next video.)
You can find me on the following ...more
So as I've written, I've been knitting a LOT of socks lately. And one thing I haven't done is blocked my socks. (For non-knitters, blocking is when you wet a project and stretch it into it's intended finished shape and let it dry that way. This eases out any kinks and unevenness in your knitting tension and gives the project a finished, professional look and can help hide any goofy little mistakes.)
Pretty much the only tool you can use to assist in blocking socks, besides your feet, are called sock blockers. But in my research to purchase sock blockers, I found that they're all pretty much ridiculously over priced for something I could easily make myself out of some wire coat hangars. So, I thought I'd share my process.
Luckily, materials are easy. Just grab some wire hangars from your closet or get some nicer ones from the store - mine I stole from my partner's closet (with permission) but we think they're from Target. They're a nice silver and a thicker gauge metal than what I was thinking of so they kind of wrecked my hands, but they look really nice. You'll also need a ruler (not pictured), pen or pencil and 1-2 sheets of paper that your foot will fit on. Printer paper will be fine for most unless you have ridiculous clown feet (no judging). You may also choose to use some heavy pliers but I found it was much more effective to just use my hands.
Step 1: Trace your foot! It doesn't need ...more
This last weekend I got my new gaming computer parts in the mail and I spent Sunday and Monday with a good friend building it and getting everything set up and ready to play. This is mainly a picture post with captions to tell the story. (Sorry for some potatoes.) Here's the PC Picker Parts List for those who want more specific details. Enjoy!
Computer Parts! They all arrived on Saturday. The case (not pictured) had arrive a couple days earlier.
Sunday night, putting in the motherboard first...
It has cool dragons on it... I was amused because you're never going to see this again.
Ran into a small snafu where the optical drive doesn't fit in with the size of the motherboard we got. No big deal, we managed to install all the drivers needed with some creative applications of USB drives.
All the guts are in! Minus the CD/DVD drive.
Glamour shot of the case. Nice and minimal.
IT LIVES!! The mesmerizing blue light from the power unit. The power status LED on the front of the case shoots a bright blue circle onto the ceiling too.
Here's my first set up! I've got a 42" TV as a 2nd monitor, a 24" Dell monitor for my main monitor, PC on the floor, and my old 2011 iMac off to the right, currently off because I ran out of outlets.
The total was just over $700 with all parts from Newegg. The monitor was purchased separately on ...more
One common -- and pernicious -- argument against naturalistic explanations of persons is that if people are just conglomerations of atoms, then they are not morally relevant (or that they lack moral significance; herein, I will assume that 'moral significance' and 'moral relevance' are interchangeable). The point, I take it, is supposed to be that, in virtue of their composition, anything composed of atoms would fail to have the right sort of properties to be morally relevant (whatever those sorts of properties are). For example, Christian apologist Brian Colon writes, "If all that exists is matter, then that would mean that we are nothing but matter as well. If that’s true then why do we believe that humans are worthy of respect? Humans really are worthy of respect. This is inexplicable on the Atheistic Worldview." Call this the atomic objection. In this post, I will show that the atomic objection fails spectacularly and argue that theists should not advance the atomic objection against their atheistic interlocutors.
1. What's so wrong with being composed of atoms?
At minimum, the theist needs to do more work to spell out exactly what the atomic objection is supposed to be, or why it's so objectionable to think that humans are composed of atoms. Notice that one way to make humans sound morally insignificant is with locutions of the following sort: 'humans are just x', where x can be filled in with whatever humans are taken to be composed of. For example, the materialist might say, "humans are just ...more
Sometimes I just like to draw. Here are a few quick-ish drawings I did last week.
They aren't my most polished work, but as I said, they were quick.
You can see the full album including the reference photographs here.I also accept commissioned portrait work on my ...more
New Apologetics is a Roman Catholic apologetics, theology, and philosophy organization devoted, among other things, to ministering to atheists. For a couple years now, I have been friends with the organization’s head -- Christopher McHugh -- whose arguments interest me due to their originality. Chris defends a novel version of the ontological argument he calls the Modal Ontological Argument from Divine Justice (herein: MOADJ), of which I’ve long been suspicious. However, it’s only recently that I’ve been able to articulate where, exactly, the argument goes wrong. In this post, I will offer several critical responses. I encourage Chris -- and his followers -- to offer a reply.
Chris’s theological positions are summed up in a deeply technical document entitled The Tractatus, written in the style of medieval disputatio, and is located here. To read the MOADJ, scroll down to the section entitled “The Modal Ontological Argument from Divine Justice”. If that gave you a headache to read, you’re not alone. I find it incredibly dense and difficult to slog my way through. Nonetheless, I’ve read it multiple times (I hope you’re happy, Chris!). The argument concludes that, contrary to appearances, injustice does not ultimately exist because there is a necessarily existent justice-making power that rectifies all injustices:
Since “not being an unjust situation” is situationally necessary, either there is no sense to the concept of “injustice”, or there is an infallible justice-making power which is also situationally necessary. The action of this power “redeems” and transforms unjust situations reconciling them to perfect ...more
For individuals interested in American culture or religion, the late 1970s, 80s, and early 90s are a period of time remembered as the "Satanic Panic". The Satanic Panic was a period of time in which Americans became convinced that dangerous devil worshiping cults were abusing children and murdering people in dark rituals. Police officers and courts contributed to the panic, as they bought into rumors propounded by conservative Christian groups concerning the dangers of "Satanic Cults" , and daytime television programs warned parents of a massive, widespread Satanic conspiracy endangering the well-being of their children . Stemming from the "cult scare" of the 1960s and 70s , blossoming to a widespread paranoia about devil worship in the 1980s , and finally debunked by numerous investigations in the early 1990s (especially by FBI agent Kenneth Lanning's 1992 report on Satanic Ritual Abuse, or SRA), the Satanic Panic left in its wake numerous people falsely accused of crimes, lives ruined, and murders unresolved. The unfortunate episode in American religious history inspired The X-Files (and other horror movies and television programs).
The Satanic Panic also led to the persecution of a number of minority religions, including Wicca, Santeria, Vodoun, and others, by a literal 20th century witchhunt. A recent triple homicide in Pensacola, Florida, and its subsequent description as a "Wiccan ritual" by police officers, has led members of the neopagan community to worry about the return of the Satanic panic. A neighbor of the murdered family expressed to local reporters that, “It’s frightening to think about. Especially when you ...more
As someone who is underemployed and always looking for opportunities to make a living doing what I love, I'm always trying to find ways to sell my abilities or products of my creativity. But I think it's harder than most realize.
People see the things I create all the time and go, "You should start an Etsy!"
I have, and I do have one actually.
It's a full time job just to keep it afloat and get the views you need to be seen to get found and make sales. And when you also have a part-time day job and a life to live, it's just not feasible to spend 12 hours a day trying to plug your Etsy store to make a single $35 sale.
Not to mention that Etsy has grown to be huge. It has hundreds of thousands of users. Many of which are taking advantage of the new rules that allow manufacturing to be a part of the handmade process meaning you can order bulk trinkets from China, slap a chain on it to call it a necklace and sell it for 3000% profit and it's preventing real Etsy sellers from getting business.
But by far the hardest line of competition are hobbyists. These are people who are making their handmade items for fun and not profit. Take hand knit socks for example - something I've really been into making a lot of lately. I've been cranking out about 1 pair of socks every month since January of this year. I occasionally make another project ...more
For people in the secular-o-sphere, you would have to be living under a rock not to have seen the massive implosion surrounding Ophelia Benson’s gender politics that’s been going on for the past week and a half. Heather McNamara, Heina Dadabhoy, and Jason Thibeault (among many others, I’m sure) have all provided great analyses.
I would be remiss not to mention that long before these events, Alex Gabriel wrote with nuance about Ophelia’s dogwhistle remarks, and this piece sets important background for what has been transpiring. I’m adding a brief commentary of my own, as some people are still expressing a ton of confusion over what went wrong here. Granted, if the great writers I just linked can’t convince you of the problems at hand, I’m sure I also can’t, but as a person who pays a lot of attention to how people express themselves, and what they say or don’t say, I feel compelled to weigh in.
It all began with this post about Free Pride Glasgow banning drag.
Now, I’m the kind of person who encourages nuance and complexity. I think there are many ways of approaching drag and the conversation on drag. Writers as diverse as Judith Butler and Matt Baume have written on the subversive potential of drag. There have also been discussions of the misogyny and transmisogyny in drag performances and the insensitivity of some drag performers to trans women (and this discussion is far from over). My point here is that this discussion has been had, but ...more