A friend sent me a link in which Lawrence O’Donnell seems to be under the impression that Libertarianism requires having no opinion on the morality of sex —or worse: that it requires a liberal inclination regarding the morality of sex. He quotes Penn Jilette and other libertarians (I count myself among them) who subscribe to the idea that “anything goes” regarding citizens’ liberties surrounding consensual sexual acts. He then labels Ron Paul a fake libertarian because he is of the opinion that sex for pleasure is immoral (thus, according to Paul, the demand for the contraceptive pill is the product of immorality in our society). Apparently, disagreeing with Penn Jilette on the morality of sex somehow contradicts libertarian ideas, according to O’donnell’s reasoning. Lawrence O’Donnell is, like a lot of people —many self-described libertarians included, I’m sure—, unequivocally wrong about this.
First the hospital tells you it’s best to pay for your medical procedure up front, as they will give you a discount if you do. Awesome. You pay it. Then you get a bill from the hospital saying that you still owe. You call and ask, and it turns out that first figure you paid was based on their estimate (read: educated guess; also: shot in the dark) of how much your insurance would cover, which of course they overestimated because why the fuck wouldn’t they?
Then comes the flood of bills from every doctor, nurse practitioner, anesthesiologist and specialist who even sneezed in the general direction of your fifteen minute medical procedure. And you start paying like crazy, thankful that —at the very least— you don’t have to pay the exorbitant amount the insurance is getting billed for these services.
And then after you’re done paying all of those, it turns out your first visit with the doctor (the one where he didn’t really see you, but his nurse practitioner did) hadn’t yet made the billing rounds yet, but now it finally came through and guess what? You owe some more money on that as well.
Needless to say, this is a case of terrible user-experience.
So we moved this past weekend. Again. I just made a quick review of how many times I’ve moved in the past few years. Ready for it? Since 2004, when I left my dad’s studio apartment in Condado, Puerto Rico on account of me being an irresponsible, unreliable, incomparable slob with not an ounce of aim in life, I’ve moved ten times. Sorry, I made a mistake there… The correct figure would be ten fucking times.
Lately, it’s as if any expression of attraction exhibited by a heterosexual male towards a female is regarded as inherently sexist.
The latest example I’ve come across is Andy Lester’s account of a presentation he attended at OSCON last Tuesday, where Andrew Aksyonoff used examples of a database of people that documented, among other aspects of their person, their sex, age, and a vague thing called hotness. Of course, being a —presumably— heterosexual male, Mr. Aksyonoff presented a use case in which one may want to rank women according to their age or hotness. Mind you, the tables also allowed one to do the same with men.
Well, it turns out that this use case appears to be rooted in nothing less than pure, unadulterated sexism. Because why else would anybody ever want to select or rank people based on their sex, age and hotness if not to put them down, objectify them and treat them like second-class citizens, right?
I came to realize something recently: For the past few years I have reduced my opinions and my experiences to short bursts of often ineloquent ramblings that, if admittedly clever on my better days, don’t do a very good job of describing my condition or position. What’s worse, the past few years have also seen an equally disappointing dumbing down of my consumption of media. I don’t have time for thoughtful reads, for long form video, for engaging podcasts; I can’t be bothered with contemplation, with pause, or meditation. It is a direct result of various factors, not the least of which is my daily use of Twitter and its ≤140 form.