Google Glass – Life’s Russian Dashcam

I just love those Russian Dashcam compilations on YouTube. And more importantly, seems like every driver in Russia has one too! Makes for a never ending supply of these videos.

Every other day there seems to be a new story about some hapless dude being a victim of a false rape accusation. It just sucks to be in that position because it’s her word against his. It is scenarios like this where a video footage would come super handy.

With wearable computing all the rage in 2013, prices likely to become more affordable down the line, storage prices following the same trend, it’s just a matter of time before most of us have a Google Glass type device always switched on and recording. I, for one, don’t think it’s such a bad idea. Screw privacy. I’d rather be protected from some inebriated person filing a false claim that about privacy. So come on Google Glass and competitors, let’s make those devices affordable.

The Proper Time and Place for Men’s Rights

How does one approach the issue of men’s rights in a country like India, for example, where every week there seems to be a story about a man raping a woman. Or Pakistan, where girls are being targeted and attacked for pursuing an education. Look at places like Bangladesh and China where sweatshop workers mostly women*, bear the brunt of greedy and often inhumane working conditions. India has a ridiculous female infanticide rate. Women are automatically relegated to certain roles and limited to them by virtue of their gender. Dowry related killings often end up with the woman being harassed even killed. I’ve heard more stories about women being victims of domestic violence than men. How then, as a man in one of these region, can you begin a conversation on men’s rights.

Lets move to the western hemisphere and look at most of the developed nations. Things are a complete opposite it would seem. Waves of feminism has resulted in laws that are skewed against men by default. Child custody cases are almost always judged in favor of the mother. I suspect that’s because of the “mother knows best” attitude that is almost always unchallenged. Do men have any parental rights in these countries anymore (check the options available for a woman at pregnancy vs. those available for a man). If the disparity in the options doesn’t bother you, you’re missing the point. Domestic violence automatically considers the woman as the victim (what about the men? The automatic response from the radicals is “Yeah, what about them?” Sigh). When it comes to assault charges a woman’s word is the only needed evidence. So much for due process. Been falsely accused? “There there.” (pat on the shoulder). Let’s not even go into education, now a place where you can’t even have a discourse without radical feminists disrupting the peace.  What about men’s shelters vs. women shelters.

Seems to me, that the east could use with a dose of feminism. But perhaps this time we can have it limited to where females receive equal rights and consideration without undercutting men. Seems like the west can make do with a dose of men’s rights. And no, no one wants to do that by taking away any rights that women have fought over the years for OR stopping them from being considered equally in the future. The biggest problem in both cases is getting all parties to exercise some restraint without going overboard. As humans, it seems we have lost the ability to be balanced in our approach to any situation. The thoughtlessly executed “knee-jerk”, throw punches without looking, shoot first ask questions later approach always results in unintended consequences for everyone involved.

All of this brings me back to the original question. Is there a proper time and place for men’s rights? If humans had the decency to consider everyone’s rights equally we wouldn’t even have to ask this question in the first place, would we?

* contends that 80-95% of sweatshop workers are  young women between the ages of 15-25. While I don’t call “bullshit” on this outright, I would like to see the data on this and arrive at my own conclusion. Thank you.

Cross Border Political Criticism

As the world progresses, so does the resistance from political powers against criticism. India is a perfect example. World’s largest democracy but the moment you, as a citizen, say something against a member of a political party or a political party itself that’s a quick ticket to jail. Russia is another example where clamp downs seem to be in full force. China and North Korea often come to mind for its open stance on freedom. So what if you find something the government is doing to be unconscionable and you feel like voicing your opinion?

Maybe the answer lies in outsourcing. For example if Country B’s citizens were to air criticisms on Country A’s government and vice versa, it’s not like the government can put you in prison for talking about another country right? The criticisms are aired and no one goes to jail. Right? Right?

Sigh. Why is it that all of a sudden people can’t take criticisms?  Discourse, heated or not, has been the cornerstone of humanity’s progress since The Enlightenment maybe even before. And curtailing it just because you don’t like what’s being said is a very dangerous precedent. We might soon find ourselves not being able to say what we feel like for fear of being oppressed. Oh wait., that’s already happening in many parts of the world. Even in the ones where we didn’t quite think it would happen.

Rape Liars – Where is the Outrage

Is it me or has there been a tad bit more spotlight on false rape cases. The latest one on the radar was the one with Linsey Attridge. Here’s the background as taken from the article I want to discuss. This well written article was in the Daily Mail of all places

The 31 year-old from Aberdeen, Scotland, falsely accused two strangers of sexual assault in  a twisted bid to trap her boyfriend into their ailing relationship.

The single mother-of-one claimed that two men broke into her home and committed the violent attack while her partner was away playing football.

She then punched herself in the face and ripped her clothes to make the story appear more credible, before spending three days trawling social networking site Facebook to find innocent users she could ‘identify’ as responsible

Did you read that last paragraph? Just like that scene from “Fight Club”. Anyways the authorities did their due diligence and found out that she was lying. All go to court and what does she get?

200 hours of unpaid community service

Does that seem fair to you? There are people in prison some even serving long sentences after being falsely accused. DNA exonerations, when in the news, don’t even cause us to bat an eyelid these days. While I don’t have any statistics, I’m sure a majority of the falsely accused, time-serving folks are men. Which brings us to the real question

Why in God’s name isn’t there any outrage against those that lie and falsely accuse?

There is plenty of outrage even protests against rape. And while it has often taken a “men shouldn’t rape women” angle it is supposed to be “rape shouldn’t happen to anyone PERIOD” (Yep that’s right. Rape is not gender biased). False rape accusations are just as serious. Lives are ruined, reputations tarnished with no chance of repair. So yes this is very very serious. And if there isn’t just as much outrage against false rape accusers, as there is against rapists then it isn’t right.

As Peter Lloyd puts it ever so brilliantly

Gender pay gap? Let’s sort the gender sentencing gap too.

Damn straight!

Poverty : Data is for losers

I came across a post titled “Pay Gap Deniers”  (cached version here) which tried to explain that the “gender wage gap” is not a result of choice of free will but rather forced (at least that’s what I thought it wanted to say).

At the 3rd paragraph, the author Joan C. Williams, writes

Forget the wage gap for a minute. What is the face of poverty in the United States? A mother and her child.

At this point, I decided to stop reading and go find some numbers. The website has some statistics from the 2011 census that breaks down poverty by sex. According to their numbers, in 2011, 13.6% of males and 16.3% of females were classified poor. Yes, according to the data, there are more poor females than males. But does that make a mother and child the “Face of poverty in the United States”? Umm, don’t think so. And it takes someone with absolutely no heart to look at that and go “Yeah, look at the numbers. There is inequality there. We have to work on that”. No, you’re missing the point. What we should work towards, is 0% poverty across genders.