268 posts tagged philosophy
Are ugly people oppressed? – Jonny Thakkar – Aeon
We don’t choose the configuration of our facial features any more than we choose our skin colour, yet people discriminate based on looks all the time. As the psychologist Comila Shahani-Denning put it, summarising research on the topic in Hofstra Horizons in 2003: ‘Attractiveness biases have been demonstrated in such different areas as teacher judgments of students, voter preferences for political candidates and jury judgments in simulated trials … attractiveness also influences interviewers’ judgments of job applicants.’ From the toddler gazing up at the adult to the adult gazing down at the toddler, we ruthlessly privilege the beautiful. The ugly get screwed.
….Finally, back to the idea that “information is physical.” What does that mean? Baggott summarizes the two possibilities thusly: “The scientific interpretation acknowledges that information is not much different from other physical quantities [like, say, temperature]. But, as such, it is a secondary quality [italics in the original] … The metaphysical interpretation suggests that information exists independently of the physical system, that it is a primary quality [original italics].” He concludes that he has no problem with either interpretation, as long as nobody is going to attempt to pass the second one as science. I couldn’t agree more.
If identity captures something about the relatively polished social persona we present to the world, then character—in my view—captures something about the wholly idiosyncratic and potentially rebellious energies that, every so often, break the facade of that persona. From this perspective, our character leaps forth whenever we do something “crazy,” such as suddenly dissolving a committed relationship or leaving a promising career path. At such moments, what is fierce and unapologetic about us undermines our attempts to lead a “reasonable” life, causing us to follow an inner directive that may be as enigmatic as it is compelling. We may not know why we feel called to a new destiny, but we sense that not heeding that call will stifle what is most alive within us.