Tag Archives: rights

Ability to Inhibit Prejudices Diminishes with Age

As we age we become less able to inhibit prejudiced inferences, relying more on ethnic and sexist stereotypes to interpret situations, research into the science of prejudice suggests.

There are a lot of clichés thrown around about the elderly, but one that seems to be true—or at least is backed up by research—is the belief they tend to be more prejudiced than younger people. This phenomenon—noted in The New York Times as early as 1941—is widely assumed to be the result of socialization. After all, today’s senior citizens grew up in an era when racism was widespread and gays stayed in the closet. Of course they aren’t as open-minded as their children and grandchildren.

A decade ago, a research team led by William von Hippel of the University of Queensland challenged that assumption. The psychologists proposed that older people may exhibit greater prejudice because they have difficulty inhibiting the stereotypes that regularly get activated in all of our brains. They suggested an aging brain is not as effective in suppressing unwanted information—including stereotypes.

Matthew Yglesias recently noted that current marriage equality acceptance in the U.S. decreases with age, suggesting that equal marriage rights are inevitable as the older generations cease to have voting power and/or die. When I consider this in light of the above, however, I wonder if this really is the case?

via Intelligent Life

The abstracts of the two papers discussed in this article: Stereotype Activation, Inhibition, and Aging and Aging and Stereotype Suppression.

Working With Children – Fear & False Accusations

This news report comes as no surprise.

While in the past, adults would have helped children in distress or rebuked those misbehaving, there was now “a feeling that it is best not to become involved”, it said.

Report author Prof Frank Furedi, of Kent University, said: “From Girl Guiders to football coaches, from Christmas-time Santas to parents helping out in schools, volunteers – once regarded as pillars of the community – have been transformed in the regulatory and public imagination into potential child abusers, barred from any contact with children until the database gives them the green light.”

This is the consequence of fear-mongering at its finest colliding with years of poor news reporting. Give the public something to worry about, and they will – taking it out of all proportions in the process.

Instead of relying on Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks, adults should be allowed to use their “discretion and professional judgment” to decide who should work with children.


The “iPod Tax” and the Desperate UK Music Industry

How did this one sneak in under the radar?

The UK’s Music Business Group is requesting that a tax be levied on technologies that allow ‘format shifting’. To you and me that means that if you can transfer or copy your music from it, to it, or using it, it should be taxed. The reasoning behind this? Let’s have the BPI explain:

Enormous value is derived by those technology companies and manufacturers who enable consumers to copy. UK creators and rights owners are legally entitled to share in this value – as they hold the exclusive right to reproduce their music – but are currently excluded from the value chain.

Hands off Ctrl-C / Apple-C, pay up now!

via BBC dot.life

Unsubscribe from Human Rights Abuse

Unsubscribe is an Amnesty International campaign asking you to ‘unsubscribe’ from the human rights abuses undertaken around the world in your name. Illegal detention and torture are just two of the acts that are common place in the so-called ‘War on Terror’, and guilty or not, people deserve better treatment than what they currently get in (illegal) prisons around the world.

To raise awareness of this campaign, Amnesty produced two excruciatingly powerful films showing, for real, the CIA-endorsed torture techniques enhanced interrogation procedures currently used around the world on prisoners who are yet to face a trial (i.e. in the eyes of the law, they are still innocent)*.

Waiting for the Guards depicts the horror of Stress Positions, held for a measly six hours.

The Stuff of Life shows us – in a real and unambiguous way – that ‘waterboarding’ is torture, not an interrogation technique. (Currently only available on the campaign’s main page.)

Whether or not you agree with the politics (although it’s difficult not to), these films are worth a watch – they are exquisitely directed and produced. The making of clip for ‘The Stuff of Life’ is also worth a watch.

* Only 1 in 10 people at Guantanamo are expected to face charges (and a court) – the rest will be set free without charge.

Photographer’s Rights in the UK

This morning I read an interesting BBC News article titled Innocent photographer or terrorist? that tackles the issue of illegal stop and searches of photographers and the growing incidence of this in the UK. A good accompaniment to my previous post, The Photo Police.

It reminded me of this handy little booklet on Photographers’ Rights in the UK produced by Linda Macpherson in conjunction with The Camera Club of London.

Some years ago it was said in a judgement that there is “no law against taking a photograph”. This implies a general freedom to take photographs that, sadly for photographers, does not really exist. There are, in fact, many legal restrictions on the right to take a photograph, and it would be more correct to say that one is free to take photographs except when the law provides otherwise.

So the question is, when does the law provide otherwise?