Blog: Touching

Date: 2018-Mar-04 07:29:49 EST

This weekend I started to get serious about apartment hunting; it's something that's both a lot of fun and pretty awful at the same time. I like seeing the variety of apartments (on Streeteasy) and imagining making them a home, and the judging, and all that. I don't like the actual planning of visits and paperwork. The former reminds me a bit of one of my favourite books as a child - it was a large collection of floor plans (some with pictures), and I imagined walking through them. My parents probably thought this was weird, but there was a lot about me that they probably thought of that way.

I'm a little weirded out at this new culture that some people are trying to build; I'm someone that really doesn't like being touched, but I see this as a defect and it's something I've been improving on over the years. I don't think it's reasonable to ask for consent for casual contact, and I think the old, messy, non-explicit norms are a lot more workable and less self-alienated than this new explicit consent people some are aiming to build. The harms from miscommunication are less bad taken as a whole than the continual autistic norm this would construct. Like a number of the social changes being pushed by certain parts of the left, I hope this doesn't end up winning. I get worried when I see some universities make it an explicit/expected policy though, just like other things I see as bad ideas.

On Friday after work I went to an AMNH event about ocean ecology. It was a good end to the week; the format was more-or-less lightning talks from scientists and activists (and in this rare case, I don't use the term perjoratively). I tend to get fairly steamed hearing about people doing irreperable environmental damage for the sake of their economic interests; it's one of the times where I still, after all these years, wouldn't mind some quite harsh direct action. Because it's about the very big picture.