Parable of the Polygons

This week no less than two people mentioned this site to me, so let's talk about it! It's about how personal bias works on a systematic level.

Because the site's interactive, you have to play the games to understand its point. Click on this link to go there:

Parable of the Polygons

The Trial

Let's talk about this story. It's from Michael DeForge's cartoon Sticks Angelica.

Coffee Date!

Hi all, tonight let's just chat! We'll meet at the studio and then go to a cafe. See you!

Valuing Human Beings

Last week's discussion gave us a very interesting sequence of questions.
This week we're going to take a look at them:

"Are rights as a concept the best way we can go about describing valuing human beings?"

To answer this question, first we probably should ask:

What's the reason we should value human beings?

If in the answer we find we do need to value human beings, then we need to find a way to value them, and that's when we get to rights as a concept. So, then the real question is,

"Are human beings fundamentally valuable?"

If we can answer this question, then we can talk about the methods of how to value them, and deciding if rights are a good way to go about doing that.

The Children's Rights Problem

All of the material for today's discussion came from a PDF document on a website called The PDF is called, "What Does 'Equality' Mean for Children in Relation to Adults?"

So for our discussion today I have three questions that maybe ask the same thing:
Can the concept of ‘equality’ be meaningfully applied to relationships between children and adults?
How do we raise children in a way that acknowledges the cognative/developmental limitations of children while at the same time respecting children as autonomous individuals?
Do children have certain inalienable rights?
Is there a better way to ask these questions?

Recognizably Human

Well-being is not just a question of the wealth or pleasure that a person has; it is a question of how people manage to live their lives and the ability they have to do certain things that are important to them. -Professor Amartya Sen, 1979.

Human worth or dignity has implications for all types of relationships, including political ones. At the same time recognising and respecting this fundamental equality of worth or dignity means arranging social relationships in a way that recognises and respects the differences inherent to human beings.
The social arrangements that may best provide the conditions for recognising and respecting that equality should involve the provision of equal basic capabilities, which allows each person to stand as equal in her society. [This should take into] account both freedom and well-being, [but also take into account social] processes that can impact the idea of justice.
Recognising fundamental human worth and the need to create social relationships that respect this is accompanied by the demand that society work actively to remove existing socially derived inequalities.
p. 73 Justice as Equality: Michael Manley's Caribbean Vision of Justice by Anna Kasafi Perkins

Human beings are of fundamental worth simply by being human. Human society should be arranged to recognise and respond to this underlying equality.
--p. 73 Justice as Equality: Michael Manley's Caribbean Vision of Justice by Anna Kasafi Perkins

Agree or disagree?

Reinventing Organizations

Reinventing Organizations is a book which does a good job of describing aspects of the new ways people are finding to work together. The book organises worldviews into groups and lables them with colors. This is somewhat useful for understanding people's different approaches to organisations. Here's some exerpts which hopefully present the main ideas in the book. The book is worth reading in its entirety. You can buy it at the site, or also download it for free and give the author a donation.

Some questions from the book
Can we create organizations free of the pathologies that show up all too often in the workplace? Free of politics, bureaucracy, and infighting; free of stress and burnout; free of resignation, resentment, and apathy; free of the posturing at the top and the drudgery at the bottom?
Is it possible to devise a new model for organizations that makes work productive, fulfilling, and meaningful?
Can we create soulful workplaces―schools, hospitals, businesses, and nonprofits―where our talents can blossom and our callings can be honored?

討論逐字稿: Difficult is Good? 2014/10/24 discussion

Towards the end of the discussion:
How much should it matter to you what other people think?
Oh, a number! That's cool!
I think it should matter to the extent that you have to take care of other people
It's like personal boundaries.
On the internet there's this concept, "My rights end where yours begin" MYEWYB for short, meaning, there's a limit at some point to what I want, when it starts intruding on what other people want.
It's really hard to find that boundary, of thinking enough about other people!
It's hard to ask this, where's your boundary? You can't just ask this.
Our culture doesn't have any way of saying it!
It's hard to ask about it!

Sometime people won't tell you, they think you should know.
Sometimes they don't even know.
Unless you push their buttons--
There's a story I read on the internet, two guys were sitting in a cafe across from a jewelry shop, and a mom wanted to pierce her daughter's ears, and the girl kept saying 'No' but the mom had it done anyways. So the girl learned that saying 'no' just results in being forced. She learned that no doesn't mean anything when you're not in power.
But we do this in small ways, too. One time we left a restaurant but the two year old with us didn't understand that the restaurant was closing and it was time to go and everyone was outside already, he was having a good time. So he refused to leave. And instead of spending the time to explain to him, I just grabbed him. When he saw everyone outside he finally understood, but still, I broke his trust, and violated his 'no'. So the problem is, when you're dealing with people who don't understand everything, who are in your care, is this kind of situation. When are you overstepping bounds or not?
So it's because parents don't trust their children, so they force them to do things?
Well, there is that, they don't trust them to know enough.
There's so many aspects to self-trust, all of the things we talked about today, they're all a part of it, it's a very complicated picture!
And your growing-up background will influence how you trust yourself.
Does Taiwanese culture have any message like of 'you're not good enough'?
Sure, yes!
Where do you suppose this message comes from?
Education, school--
Comes from history, tradition. Colonialism.
It's related to colonialism? How?
We were colonised by Japanese, they stratified people, and the KMT came doing the same thing, delegated the force to the people.