In Which I Am Trapped in My Head and Cannot Get Out
brunette, mucha

Here's what my disability has hitherto meant to me: I have limited social skills, must constantly carry earplugs, and can't catch a ball, but that's okay because of the increased intelligence, verbal ability and Vulcan logic that are part of the package.

And I'm completely cool with that. But going to Vassar has sort of turned this situation around. As usual, I'm dealing with the interpersonal hassles that come from passing as neurotypical on a daily basis. But in my classes, my disability has abruptly stopped working for me and started working against me. As my classes move into the theoretical, jargon-heavy areas of godawful abstraction which form the srs business of academia, I find myself understading less and less of the material. I have the same feeling that I generally do when confronted with some bizzare nuance of social interaction: I can see that I am being presented with a concept which I should make sense to me, but it does not. 

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Sometimes my head is a very small and unsatisfying place to be.

Musings on the Political
brunette, mucha
The other day, I spent a few hours trying to pinpoint the fundamental difference between liberal and conservative thought. I normally go with "my opinions vs. the opinions of those other assholes," but that is unscientific and not very kind.

Some things I have heard:
*liberals are for big government, conservatives are for small government
*liberals are for regulation, conservatives are for deregulation
*liberals are for change, conservatives are for tradition.
And so on.

I'm not sure how true any of this really is. In the matter of sexuality, for example, liberals are more likely to say that what happens in private between consenting adults is not the government's business. Conservatives are more likely to say that in this case, the government should step in to protect people from harm and save Americans from their more evil tendencies. When it comes to economics, conservatives are more likely to say that what happens in third-world sweatshops between American corporations and their employees is not the government's business. Liberals will retort that the government should step in to protect people from harm and save Americans from their more evil tendencies (however, they will still buy the items produced in the sweatshops).

(Asher and I briefly experimented with a "not your business" categorization of various political philosophies, along the lines of the Religious Shit List. Libertarianism was, "What I do with my gun is not the government's business." Totalitarianism was, "All your business are belong to us.")

Then, of course, there's the names themselves. "Conservative" indicates a reverence for the past, maintenance of tradition, and conservation of resources. "Liberal" implies permissiveness, generosity, big spending, and deregulation all in one go. In Latin America, a "liberal" is an economic conservative. "Neoliberalism" is an economic philosophy of extreme deregulation. And "conservation" is a rallying cry for conservatives and liberals alike, depending on whether money, values, or environmental resources are being conserved.

There's a conclusion, of course: liberals believe in regulating the economic and deregulating the social; conservatives believe in regulating the social and deregulating the economic. But I found the thought process a lot more interesting than the conclusion.

In other news: hi, I'm Zoe, entering livejournal space after months of lurkage. Welcome to my mind.


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