Rob Henderson on language and morality

Morality has some similarities to language. Both are human universals, even though the specifics of each vary by culture and change over time.

Both morality and language are governed by certain rules. Though languages differ, they all have some underlying similarities. Same with moralities. Though the specifics differ, all languages have rules about nouns. And though the specifics differ, all moralities have rules about harm…

Finally, morality is “real” in the same way that language is real. Both can change, but both still operate within certain constraints. There are rules to every language, and rules to every morality. Saying morality isn’t real is like saying language isn’t real. We don’t have a choice about whether they exist. They preceded us. Though the specifics might be unfamiliar to us today, people were speaking and adhering to moral commitments long before we were born. Language and morality will be around long after we’re gone.

https://mailchi.mp/8c9121b08d49/human-nature-and-envy-10134758?e=506c288f2b

Translating Amanda Gorman

Is experiencing white supremacy all she is? And if not, why do her translators have to be people just like her?

Our racial reckoning has put many new ideas afloat. One of them is that a black female poet’s work should only be translated by other black female people. Or at least black people…

The logic is supposed to be that only someone of Gorman’s race, and optimally gender, can effectively translate her expression into another language. But is that true? And are we not denying Gorman and black people basic humanity in – if I may jump the gun – pretending that it is?

https://johnmcwhorter.substack.com/p/translating-amanda-gorman?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoyNzk5MjAwLCJwb3N0X2lkIjozMzk4NjMxMCwiXyI6ImNpWEY5IiwiaWF0IjoxNjE2MjU4NjU0LCJleHAiOjE2MTYyNjIyNTQsImlzcyI6InB1Yi0yNzIyMzQiLCJzdWIiOiJwb3N0LXJlYWN0aW9uIn0.3nE4p85gCGII1AcxTGOl1E8HW0ZDXJm9UvGvuVpRdXw

No, Shawn Bradley Wasn’t Paralyzed in a “Bicycle Accident”

THE MEDIA FLUBBED THE LANGUAGE OF THE FORMER NBA PLAYER’S DEVASTATING INJURY AFTER HE WAS HIT BY A DRIVER WHILE ON HIS BIKE.

While we cyclists clearly love our bicycles, it’s more likely that Bradley would just be very, very sad that a car hit his bike—not grievously injured.

Simply put, the media missed an opportunity for a slam dunk with its headlines and stories on the news, and similarly missed a chance to begin to right a long-running wrong against the cycling community. As Henry Grabar wrote for Slate, “A child falling off his bike in the park is a bicycle accident … Getting rammed from behind by a car is not a bicycle accident.” And yet, for decades, media reports have used this framing when reporting on cyclists who are hit by drivers and injured or killed.

https://www.bicycling.com/news/a35880731/shawn-bradley-paralyzed-hit-by-car-during-bike-ride/

Did Amazon “steal,” “withhold,” or simply not “pass on” delivery drivers’ tips?

Interesting commentary on language. To be fair to the headline writers in the publications below, the FTC complaint itself uses the word “withholding.” To say “stealing” would be editorializing. Good discussion nonetheless.

Below a headline that states: “Amazon to Pay Contract Drivers $61.7 Million After FTC Probe Finds It Stole Tips to Pay Wages”