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Dan Austin
06-28-2008, 10:09 PM
Just to be contrarian, I must say I find tattoos to be completely pointless at best, and I believe a truly centered person has no need for them or interest in them. They do speak to the emotional maturity and enlightenment of the bearer. And, despite the fact that I am not the least bit religious, I have to wonder if any mortal artist is worthy to paint on God's canvas.

Trish Greene
06-29-2008, 12:15 AM
Just to be contrarian, I must say I find tattoos to be completely pointless at best, and I believe a truly centered person has no need for them or interest in them. They do speak to the emotional maturity and enlightenment of the bearer. And, despite the fact that I am not the least bit religious, I have to wonder if any mortal artist is worthy to paint on God's canvas.

ouch, I hate when people are "not the least bit religious" and then go and quote something about God. It kind of nullifies the point they were trying to make in the first place..

Any who...back to topic..

I am planning on getting an aikido related tattoo.. to mark my accomplishments and hard work, I just haven't found the design that I would like to get quite yet.

Dan Austin
06-29-2008, 08:33 AM
ouch, I hate when people are "not the least bit religious" and then go and quote something about God. It kind of nullifies the point they were trying to make in the first place..

Any who...back to topic..

I am planning on getting an aikido related tattoo.. to mark my accomplishments and hard work, I just haven't found the design that I would like to get quite yet.

Sorry, but it's true. I'm usually reminded of this thought when I see an attractive woman with a tattoo, at which point the world's greatest tattoo artist may as well be a kid with a can of spray paint. If you're attractive, it's a blemish, and if you're not, it doesn't make you any more so. If you don't get a tattoo, are you going to forget about Aikido? Why not put an A on your forehead, so you can think about Aikido every time you brush your teeth or put your makeup on? And get a bone through your nose with some feathers attached and a lip plate while you're at it to show everyone what an interesting, enlightened, confident, and free-thinking individual you are. :rolleyes:

Trish Greene
06-29-2008, 09:39 AM
Sorry, but it's true. I'm usually reminded of this thought when I see an attractive woman with a tattoo, at which point the world's greatest tattoo artist may as well be a kid with a can of spray paint. If you're attractive, it's a blemish, and if you're not, it doesn't make you any more so. If you don't get a tattoo, are you going to forget about Aikido? Why not put an A on your forehead, so you can think about Aikido every time you brush your teeth or put your makeup on? And get a bone through your nose with some feathers attached and a lip plate while you're at it to show everyone what an interesting, enlightened, confident, and free-thinking individual you are. :rolleyes:

I guess Beauty is in the eye of the beholder at this point. An attractive women to you is one with inner confidence that radiates to her external being, without the trappings of makeup or jewelry or tattoos or stylish complementary clothes? With everything that you put on your body, permanent or non-permanent, you makes a statement about who you are. I really don't think God cares about what you are wearing, I think He cares about where your heart is.Where your heart is (internal radiance) is what will reflect what is on the outside.

Mark Uttech
06-29-2008, 09:46 AM
Early this morning I dreamed I was at a potluck under a picnic tent when a white donkey appeared and started eating off the tables.
"Hey!" I yelled, as I grappled with the donkey; "does anyone know
who this belongs to?! Does it have a brand?! "(tattoo). And when I woke up, the donkey and this thread were gone.

In gassho,

Mark

jennifer paige smith
06-29-2008, 09:52 AM
Early this morning I dreamed I was at a potluck under a picnic tent when a white donkey appeared and started eating off the tables.
"Hey!" I yelled, as I grappled with the donkey; "does anyone know
who this belongs to?! Does it have a brand?! "(tattoo). And when I woke up, the donkey and this thread were gone.

In gassho,

Mark

What an ass!:p Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

In Gosh-Oh-My Side,
Jen

(Just in case it isn't obvious, this is also a joke.)

Dan Austin
06-29-2008, 10:34 AM
I guess Beauty is in the eye of the beholder at this point. An attractive women to you is one with inner confidence that radiates to her external being, without the trappings of makeup or jewelry or tattoos or stylish complementary clothes? With everything that you put on your body, permanent or non-permanent, you makes a statement about who you are. I really don't think God cares about what you are wearing, I think He cares about where your heart is.Where your heart is (internal radiance) is what will reflect what is on the outside.

Fine. So what is the point of the tattoo then? I can't speak for God, if there is such a being, and it's up to Christians to rationalize ignoring what the bible says about tattoos. I'm not a social conservative either, I'm all for gay people getting married, etc. The question is the thought process of getting a tattoo. If Ueshiba is the light of my life, I would be content to keep that information to myself until such time as it arises in conversation. It's dubious to claim that it's a deeply personal thing, and yet I have to display a tattoo of an old man on my body for the world to see (or a few people to see, depending on where it is). It's a deliberate call for attention or lack of thoughtfulness, and the reasons for that are what people will wonder about when they see a tattoo. In many people's experience, there is a significant correlation between emotional immaturity, lack of centeredness and true confidence in oneself, or whatever you want to call it, and things like getting tattoos. For example there's a reason that most of the people you see stretching their earlobes and getting lots of facebolts are teenagers. Body modification is simply a matter of degree. Life is somewhat cruel in that wisdom comes later than when you can best take advantage of it, but teenagers thinking stretching earlobes is "cool" is because they're immature teenagers. It takes a long time for some people to grow up and realize that the only statement such things make is that that person may have some issues.

Women who want to be cool and trendy may not realize the impact of getting a tattoo in terms of how many men will view them. Many men think, hey, if she's willing to do something pointless and cavalier with her body, maybe she'll do other pointless and cavalier things with it, like going home with me after a few drinks. There's a reason tattoos on women are often called "tramp stamps". There is enough of a statistical correlation between casual attitudes about sex and getting a tattoo that men have picked up on this. It's similar to smoking, if she smokes AND has a tattoo, your odds of a one-nighter are even better. Unfortunately for women who enjoy this sort of attention, it puts them further from the "take seriously" category into the "pump and dump" category. Of course they can always find partners who are festooned with tattoos as well - who may themselves be more likely to be difficult longterm partners due to the mentality that lead to them being festooned with pointless body art. For anyone vacillating on the subject, I would strongly suggest a less permanent attention call to a particular developmental phase along the road to adulthood, but to each his own.

jennifer paige smith
06-29-2008, 10:44 AM
Which Woman?
Which Japanese?
Which Culture?
Which God?
Which Man?

www.larskrutak.com/ articles/Ainu/02a.jpg

Dan O'Day
06-29-2008, 10:46 AM
Of course tatoos have been around for thousands of years and have played an important role in/as rituals for many cultures.

A friend of mine has a sister who operates a tattoo salon/museum in Fort Bragg, CA. She and her partner have traveled the world over studying the history of tattoos in different cultures. They spent quite a bit of time in Japan in fact and have collected quite a bit of information and tattooing artifacts from that region.

She wrote a book sometime back on the history of tattoos. I can't remember the name, I've got a copy somewhere that she gave me. Anyway...a wonderful woman she is. A beautiful woman and she is tattoed head to toe.

Since it was brought up by a recent poster I feel compelled to add my thoughts on the beauty of women. Pretty much being female is all it takes and even that is not a steadfast rule in my book.

I always identified with a Sean Connery quote from an interview years back. He was asked what he finds most beautiful in a woman and he replied that he found something beautiful in most women.

Back to the ritualistic use of tattoos...It is fairly universally accepted that American culture is lacking in a "deepness" which allows people to feel more connected to each other, the earth, the 'verse - as they say in Firefly - or what have you.

Thus it is not uncommon for folks in the USA - maybe other western nations as well - to seek out methods and means to further their connection/acknowledgement of the mystery of life.

Good stuff as far as I'm concerned. Anything to break free of the "lust for duty" as McClure so aptly put it in his masterpiece, "Beginning with a line by Di Prima".

Alright...I know this is not the poetry thread but I can't help myself...Just a few lines from the beginning of that piece....

Beginning With a Line By Di Prima

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination!" The only love that shatters is the love of depondance and horror. The only honor that shines is the one that smashes the lust for duty.

Wow!!! I haven't read that for years. Great stuff. Great stuff...

So people search and try to connect to some meaning...purpose...to balance the incessant drive of intellect with a deep breath of, of, of...who knows what...a poem, a sculpture, a painting, a rock formation, the movement of an insect along a leaf.

Tattoos...Yep. I'm for them. Beauty...Yep. I'm for that too.

jennifer paige smith
06-29-2008, 10:48 AM
I meant to give you a picture, too.
Here it is. All 14 blocks long of an address but....

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.sciencebuff.org/images/dynamic/other/women.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.sciencebuff.org/ainu3.php&h=961&w=642&sz.

Carl Thompson
06-29-2008, 06:56 PM
There is nothing new about pre-judging people by the pigmentation of their skin. In some cases, for whatever reason, that pigment was added voluntarily. Like less permanent body ornamentation (crucifixes, kippah skullcaps, dhotis, turbans etc), we should endeavour to respect and understand people's differences, whether they are inherent and unchangeable or elective expressions of that person's culture or beliefs.

Respect and understanding are things I have felt a lot of in Japan, despite having a significantly different ethnic and cultural background from the norm. My tattoos have been no trouble at all in aikido. We have at least one tattooed Japanese girl in the dojo too.

hapkidoike
06-29-2008, 10:25 PM
Dan Austin:
First:
This claim needs some evidence to sand up to any scrutiny:
They (tattoos) do speak to the emotional maturity and enlightenment of the bearer.

Also what criteron are we going to use to determine 'emotional maturity'(which will generate an entirely different argument) If you have evidence present it. I suspect that you don't and all anyone has to do is find ONE instance to falsify your absolute claim. So you must either revise it or abandon it.

And, despite the fact that I am not the least bit religious, I have to wonder if any mortal artist is worthy to paint on God's canvas.
Fine. So what is the point of the tattoo then? I can't speak for God, if there is such a being, and it's up to Christians to rationalize ignoring what the bible says about tattoos. I'm not a social conservative either, I'm all for gay people getting married, etc. The question is the thought process of getting a tattoo. If Ueshiba is the light of my life, I would be content to keep that information to myself until such time as it arises in conversation. It's dubious to claim that it's a deeply personal thing, and yet I have to display a tattoo of an old man on my body for the world to see (or a few people to see, depending on where it is). It's a deliberate call for attention or lack of thoughtfulness, and the reasons for that are what people will wonder about when they see a tattoo. In many people's experience, there is a significant correlation between emotional immaturity, lack of centeredness and true confidence in oneself, or whatever you want to call it, and things like getting tattoos. For example there's a reason that most of the people you see stretching their earlobes and getting lots of facebolts are teenagers. Body modification is simply a matter of degree. Life is somewhat cruel in that wisdom comes later than when you can best take advantage of it, but teenagers thinking stretching earlobes is "cool" is because they're immature teenagers. It takes a long time for some people to grow up and realize that the only statement such things make is that that person may have some issues.

Women who want to be cool and trendy may not realize the impact of getting a tattoo in terms of how many men will view them. Many men think, hey, if she's willing to do something pointless and cavalier with her body, maybe she'll do other pointless and cavalier things with it, like going home with me after a few drinks. There's a reason tattoos on women are often called "tramp stamps". There is enough of a statistical correlation between casual attitudes about sex and getting a tattoo that men have picked up on this. It's similar to smoking, if she smokes AND has a tattoo, your odds of a one-nighter are even better. Unfortunately for women who enjoy this sort of attention, it puts them further from the "take seriously" category into the "pump and dump" category. Of course they can always find partners who are festooned with tattoos as well - who may themselves be more likely to be difficult longterm partners due to the mentality that lead to them being festooned with pointless body art. For anyone vacillating on the subject, I would strongly suggest a less permanent attention call to a particular developmental phase along the road to adulthood, but to each his own.

hapkidoike
06-30-2008, 01:30 AM
I apologize for the jacked up quoting in the last post.

And, despite the fact that I am not the least bit religious, I have to wonder if any mortal artist is worthy to paint on God's canvas.

We house great works of art within all kinds of houses of worship, and we might even call some of those halls works of art. We decorate the inside and outside of those buildings with sculpture, paint, tapestries, and whatnot. If my body is a temple what is the difference between an awe inspiring stained glass window and a Slayer tattoo on my chestevileyes (I don't have one, but Slayer is pretty friggn badass, and yes I can give you evidence). It is merely decoration.

In many people's experience, there is a significant correlation between emotional immaturity, lack of centeredness and true confidence in oneself, or whatever you want to call it, and things like getting tattoos

Trying to make a universal statement without actually committing to it. Who are these people that you say feel this way? Can we talk to them? See them? Back your claims up with some evidence, that is all ask. Also, define this centeredness that these people lack.

And about the women issue, do you have any evidence for this? It seems like you want to speak like you are an expert on those who decide, for whatever reason, to engage in 'body modification' (tattoos, scarification, peircing, brandings, etc.) but are not willing to share any of your evidence with us. This suggests to me that you don't know a whole lot of folks with tattoos.

Dan Austin
06-30-2008, 08:43 AM
We house great works of art within all kinds of houses of worship, and we might even call some of those halls works of art. We decorate the inside and outside of those buildings with sculpture, paint, tapestries, and whatnot. If my body is a temple what is the difference between an awe inspiring stained glass window and a Slayer tattoo on my chestevileyes (I don't have one, but Slayer is pretty friggn badass, and yes I can give you evidence). It is merely decoration.


The "body is a temple" line comes from the biblical "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received form God? You are not your own; and you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

If you aren't the owner of your body, I don't see how deciding to brand yourself with a heavy metal tattoo honors God, but even people who call themselves Christians will make excuses for what they want to do. You may not be a Christian, so that point may be irrelevant to you, but I'm supposed to debate emotional maturity with someone who says he can "give evidence" that "Slayer is pretty friggn badass"? I think I'll have to pass. Thank you for providing another data point of correlation. Again, to each his own, and until you are beyond the need for such things you won't understand why not everyone thinks tattoos are cool or that they say positive things about the bearer. Enough said. Everyone has the right to expect that their freedom to make choices is respected, but not that the choices themselves must be.

James Davis
06-30-2008, 10:16 AM
Again, to each his own
Could've stopped there, yeah?:D

, and until you are beyond the need for such things you won't understand why not everyone thinks tattoos are cool or that they say positive things about the bearer.

For me it's not really about being "beyond the need for such things". There's not really a "need" at all. I look at my tattoo the same way that I look at my scars. In my experience, most people with tattoos have a story behind them, whether they choose to share it or not.

lbb
06-30-2008, 01:37 PM
Fine. So what is the point of the tattoo then? I can't speak for God, if there is such a being, and it's up to Christians to rationalize ignoring what the bible says about tattoos. I'm not a social conservative either, I'm all for gay people getting married, etc. The question is the thought process of getting a tattoo.

But you don't know what "the thought process of getting a tattoo is", and you wouldn't know if you had ink on every square inch of your body. All you know, at most, is your own reasons for doing or not doing.

In many people's experience, there is a significant correlation between emotional immaturity, lack of centeredness and true confidence in oneself, or whatever you want to call it, and things like getting tattoos.

Cite please? Something other than anecdotal impressions.

teenagers thinking stretching earlobes is "cool" is because they're immature teenagers. It takes a long time for some people to grow up and realize that the only statement such things make is that that person may have some issues.

Dan, you really need to learn the difference between inference and implication. What you're writing is all about the former and nothing of the latter.

Women who want to be cool and trendy may not realize the impact of getting a tattoo in terms of how many men will view them. Many men think, hey, if she's willing to do something pointless and cavalier with her body, maybe she'll do other pointless and cavalier things with it, like going home with me after a few drinks. There's a reason tattoos on women are often called "tramp stamps".

Wow, this certainly took a turn for the ugly. When you say "many men will view them" and "many men think", are you in fact talking about anyone's attitude but your own? And is it an attitude to be proud of?

There is enough of a statistical correlation between casual attitudes about sex and getting a tattoo that men have picked up on this.

Great, a statistical correlation! So, you can provide a cite, right?

It's similar to smoking, if she smokes AND has a tattoo, your odds of a one-nighter are even better.

Again..exactly who is it who thinks this? Who takes this demeaning and disparaging attitude towards others?

Unfortunately for women who enjoy this sort of attention, it puts them further from the "take seriously" category into the "pump and dump" category.

Who puts them in that category?

Use "I" statements...use "I" statements...

Dan Austin
06-30-2008, 07:41 PM
Tattoos and body piercings in the United States: a national data set.

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006; 55(3):413-21 (ISSN: 1097-6787)

Laumann AE; Derick AJ

Section of Dermatology, University of Chicago, USA. a-laumann@northwestern.edu

"Other associations were a lack of religious affiliation, extended jail time, previous drinking, and recreational drug use."

"CONCLUSION: Tattooing and body piercing are associated with risk-taking activities. Body piercing has a high incidence of medical complications."

----------------

Unattractive, promiscuous and heavy drinkers: perceptions of women with tattoos.

Body Image. 2007; 4(4):343-52 (ISSN: 1873-6807)

Swami V; Furnham A

Division of Public Health, University of Liverpool, Whelan Building, Quadrangle, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69 3GB, United Kingdom. virenswami@hotmail.com

This study examined social and physical perceptions of blonde and brunette women with different degrees of tattooing. Eighty-four female and 76 male undergraduates rated a series of 16 female line drawings that varied in 2 levels of hair colour and 8 levels of tattooing. Ratings were made for physical attractiveness and sexual promiscuity, as well as estimates of the number of alcohol units consumed on a typical night out. Results showed that tattooed women were rated as less physically attractive, more sexually promiscuous and heavier drinkers than untattooed women, with more negative ratings with increasing number of tattoos. There were also weak interactions between body art and hair colour, with blonde women in general rated more negatively than brunettes. Results are discussed in terms of stereotypes about women who have tattoos and the effects of such stereotypes on well-being.
---------------

Tattoos can harm perceptions: a study and suggestions.

J Am Coll Health. 2008; 56(5):593-6 (ISSN: 0744-8481)

Resenhoeft A; Villa J; Wiseman D

Psychology Department, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ 07738, USA.

OBJECTIVE: Health researchers have claimed that perceptions toward a person with a tattoo are more negative than are perceptions toward nontattooed persons. However, support for this has been obtained almost completely by nonexperimental research. PARTICIPANTS: In 2 experiments with 158 community college student participants, the authors found that tattoos harmed perceptions. METHODS: Students viewed a photograph of a female model with and without a visible tattoo, and rated her on 13 personal characteristics. RESULTS: In Experiment 1, ratings of a model with a dragon tattoo were significantly more negative (p < .05) on 5 of the 13 personal characteristics than were ratings of the same model shown without the tattoo. In Experiment 2, which included different participants, a different model, and a different tattoo, the authors found that a dolphin tattoo led to more negative ratings on 2 of the 13 characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: The authors discuss possible impacts of tattoos on person perception as well as implications of the results for college student healthcare providers.
---------------

And this one is just for amusement:

Modern tattoos cause high concentrations of hazardous pigments in skin.

Contact Dermatitis. 2008; 58(4):228-33 (ISSN: 1600-0536)

Engel E; Santarelli F; Vasold R; Maisch T; Ulrich H; Prantl L; König B; Landthaler M; Bäumler W

Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Regensburg, 93042 Regensburg, Germany.

BACKGROUND: Modern tattoo colourants frequently consist of azo pigments that not only contain multiple impurities but also are originally produced for car paint and the dyeing of consumer goods. OBJECTIVE: In order to be able to assess the health risk of tattoos, it is important to determine the pigment concentration in human skin. METHODS: We tattooed excised pigskin and human skin with a common tattoo pigment (Pigment Red 22) under various conditions. After tattooing, we quantitatively extracted the pigment in order to determine the pigment concentration in skin. RESULTS: The concentration of pigments ranged from about 0.60 to 9.42 mg/cm(2) of tattooed skin (mean value 2.53 mg/cm(2)) depending upon the size of the pigment crystals, the pigment concentration applied to the skin surface, and the respective procedure of tattooing. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, high concentrations of colourants are injected into the skin during tattooing and based upon this quantification, a risk assessment of tattooing ought to be carried out.

------

Yes, injecting yourself with pigments intended for use in automotive paint is quite sensible, yes indeed. A true sign of a mature, thoughtful outlook in life. There are many more studies (as if this is really necessary), for example those that show health care providers think more negatively about patients with tattoos, which affects the quality of healthcare. The bottom line is tattoos are more prevalent among the lesser educated, the younger, people who engage in risky behavior (sex, drugs), have done time, etc., and this is why people who see someone with a tattoo make the natural calculation that this person is statistically more likely to be some form of nitwit, slut, loser, ne'er do well or what have you. It's worth pondering the reasons why this association exists, what qualities the young, lesser educated, foolish, and troubled have in common, and why they're more likely to think tattoos are a good idea. I think I already did that, and whether you call it a lack of emotional maturity, lack of centeredness, dissatisfaction with aspects of their life, or what have you, it's one of those things that really shouldn't need to be explained. There is no sensible reason to "express oneself" with a tattoo, there are only foolish reasons.

With regard to Aikido-related tattoos, either you're not particularly good at Aikido, in which case getting a martial arts tattoo is doubly laughable, or else perhaps you're exceptional, in which case what you do on the mat will show Aikido's place in your life by the evident fruit of thousands of hours of blood and sweat. Similarly, if you want to show how much your wife means to you, be a better husband instead of getting her name on your arm. If you absolutely love a particular band, get a guitar and learn all their songs. Invest yourself in your passions, not in meaningless ink about your passions. If you still feel an irresistible urge to display these things for other people, you can always get a nice collection of T-shirts.

Finally, for those who have tattoos already, all is not lost, and a mature perspective is always within reach. It's possible to get to a point in life where you can look at them and honestly say without embarrassment, yes, of course it was a dumb idea, but there they are, and who hasn't done dumb things in life?

jennifer paige smith
06-30-2008, 08:21 PM
Please click on this link.
http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/bodyart/exhibition_highlights.html

I went to this very awesome and inspiring installation at the New York City Museum of Natural History. Very educational and intriguing.......Everyone should visit the museum.

Aikibu
06-30-2008, 08:23 PM
Tats are cool with me though I don't have any. But like punk music which defined my generation (the 70's yes I am OG) what happens when something that espresses a person's spirit and personality gets sucked up by the mass culture meme?

Good Tats are like Art...Bad Tats are like Ads...and I guess thats left up to the eye of the beholder.

Theres nothing I like more than a beautiful woman whose Tats express what kind of spirit she is. :)

WIlliam Hazen

eyrie
06-30-2008, 10:29 PM
The bottom line is tattoos are more prevalent among the lesser educated, the younger, people who engage in risky behavior (sex, drugs), have done time, etc., and this is why people who see someone with a tattoo make the natural calculation that this person is statistically more likely to be some form of nitwit, slut, loser, ne'er do well or what have you. Whoa... that's a bit of a gross generalization. Tattooing, as a body art, has been an integral part of many cultures as far back as 3300BC. Whilst it *may* be true that *some* people *may* tend to associate tattoos with certain undesirable elements in society, I'm not sure how you can take the "religious" stance whilst judging people on how they choose to adorn their body with impregnated pigmentation dye. Seems... hypocritical... to me.

As an aside, I love how the Japanese have taken the art of tattooing from wood block printing to an artform using the body as a canvas... as depicted in some of these excellent and intricately detailed works pictured in these:
http://www.amazon.com/Tattoos-Floating-World-Ukiyo-E-Japanese/dp/9074822452
http://www.amazon.com/Bushido-Legacies-Japanese-Takahiro-Kitamura/dp/0764312014/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b
http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Tattoo-Sandi-Fellman/dp/0896597989/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

Now... did someone mention "branding"? Now that's an extreme body art!

hapkidoike
06-30-2008, 10:55 PM
If you aren't the owner of your body, I don't see how deciding to brand yourself with a heavy metal tattoo honors God, but even people who call themselves Christians will make excuses for what they want to do. You may not be a Christian, so that point may be irrelevant to you, but I'm supposed to debate emotional maturity with someone who says he can "give evidence" that "Slayer is pretty friggn badass"? I think I'll have to pass.

No I am not a Christian (but the frontman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Araya) for Slayer is) and I do think that I own my own body. First, just to be thorough I will show you what evidence I have for my claim that Slayer is indeed 'badass'. Dont worry it wont take long. By 'badass' I mean having or showing a very high level of technical ability in a specailzed field, such as to say 'Jet Li's kicks are badass (or well executed)' or 'Evil Kenivel was such a badass (he could do things with a motorcycle others could not even imigane). This is obviously not the only usage of the term, and if you take issue with my definition that is a diffrent discussion entirely. There can be little argument that the members of Slayer have great technical ability. Listen to Reign in Blood and that will become apparrent. Also this has been documented by music critics (Wikipedia Article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slayer#Style)) . Futhermore, Slayer is not a heavy metal band, it is a thrash metal band.


Thank you for providing another data point of correlation.

What data point did I provide? The one that shows there is a guy out there who likes Slayer and likes to hassle people who make bad arguments? Well thats a fact, I like to hassle people who make bad arguments.


Again, to each his own, and until you are beyond the need for such things you won't understand why not everyone thinks tattoos are cool or that they say positive things about the bearer. Enough said. Everyone has the right to expect that their freedom to make choices is respected, but not that the choices themselves must be.

I do 'understand' why some people take issue with tattoos, to the degree that I realize that it can be a religious issue, a social taboo and sometimes just downright prejudice (along with some other reasons I am sure). All these are fine, for I have my own set of prejudices against different groups, I just think mine are 'better' (this was meant sarcastically, sure everybody has prejudices but I am not really trying to assert that mine are 'better' although some of our prejudices can serve us well). And what does it mean to be 'beyond the need of such things'? What things? I don't 'need' anything but food, water, and some protection from the elements. Everything else for all of us is just window dressing.

Also to suggest that you won't define your terms based on the belief of the person questioning them is B.S. The question is just as legitimate if I ask it or if a person who listens to jazz or opera. The two things have nothing to do with one another. If I were to say that Miles Davis was a badass and was willing to back it up would you have responded the same way? What about Wagner or Nina Simone, all of who I do indeed think were badasses. I used the Slayer refrence mostly because when people think of metalheads they often think of men and women with tattoos. Imagery of the folks that listen to Wagner is not the same. To suggest that you will not define your position based on some unrelated fact about me suggests that you are unable to defend your position. If that is the case just admit it, everybody holds positions that they are unable to defend. What I take issue with here is your suggestion that you won't defend your position based on the person questioning it. Arguments do not rely on the men making them, they stand or fall on their own merits.

peace,
bettis

hapkidoike
07-01-2008, 12:25 AM
One more thing Dan. All of your case studies reference OTHER peoples perceptions about folks with/without tattoos. They say nothing to support your claim in post #7 that:
there is a significant correlation between emotional immaturity, lack of centeredness and true confidence in oneself, or whatever you want to call it, and things like getting tattoos
These studies engage peoples beliefs about tattooed people, as opposed to tattooed people and their 'maturity' or 'centeredness' in general. I can see how you could confuse these things but they are not logically the same.

lbb
07-01-2008, 06:22 AM
The bottom line is

I am never impressed by anyone who attempts to assert his or her ownership of the truth by making statements about what "the bottom line" is.

Ron Tisdale
07-01-2008, 06:39 AM
I've been avoiding this thread like the plague...

Now, after reading it, I know why... :D

Best,
Ron

Dan Austin
07-01-2008, 07:52 AM
I am never impressed by anyone who attempts to assert his or her ownership of the truth by making statements about what "the bottom line" is.

And I'm not impressed with people who don't have a real argument and resort to pseudo-pithy one-liners. The statement you're referring to ("The bottom line is tattoos are more prevalent among the lesser educated, the younger, people who engage in risky behavior (sex, drugs), have done time, etc.," is a fact backed by studies. I shouldn't have to explain that that doesn't mean that everyone with a tattoo falls into those categories automatically, only that there is a real correlation which makes the negative view of a tattooed person not simply a matter of blind prejudice. The natural question, "why did the person feel the need to get a tattoo?", is where you can do your deep thinking.

It would be a waste of time to repeat myself further, so I'll leave the tattoo fans to their own designs, as it were. Best of luck. ;)

Trish Greene
07-01-2008, 10:32 AM
It would be a waste of time to repeat myself further, so I'll leave the tattoo fans to their own designs, as it were. Best of luck. ;)

After reviewing this conversation.. I think this is the best statement I have seen yet!!

One of these days, people will start looking at who the person is on the inside, and not judge what's on the outside.

To each their own.

HL1978
07-01-2008, 03:31 PM
I can appreciate the aesthetics of the artwork, but hate to see what they will look like in 20+ years.

The latter is why I think people should think 2x before getting one.

Bronson
07-01-2008, 04:27 PM
I have tattoos for one simple reason, I like them. I and the others I know with them didn't get them to try to make ourselves attractive to the opposite sex we got them because we like them, period.

You don't like them and that's fine, so you don't have to get one. But I fail to see how me or anybody else having a tattoo efffects you one whit.

I don't hear the proponents of tattooing saying that everybody should be required to have one, yet I often see the opponents saying that nobody should be allowed to have them.

Tell ya what. When you get all the affairs in your own house and life settled and in perfect order then you can start on mine. Until then why don't you turn your self-righteous knob a little to the left.

Bronson

graham
07-01-2008, 05:51 PM
Many men think, hey, if she's willing to do something pointless and cavalier with her body, maybe she'll do other pointless and cavalier things with it, like going home with me after a few drinks.

Sounds like these men you know are idiots.

Personally, I think that tattoos on women can look quite cool, but I'm probably emotionally shallow like that. I guess the other option is that it's a matter of personal taste, but that's surely too easy.

Oh, as you brought up God, you might be interested to know that in the Bible Jesus has a tattoo on his thigh and God 'the Father' has one (or many) on his hand.

What a strange thread.

Kevin Leavitt
07-01-2008, 06:50 PM
Doesn't it speak a little of someone's own self evovlement and emotional and spiritual maturity about how much they judge another?

I thought one of the big lessons to be learned in budo is to turn inward in upon yourself and reflect on self and seek to improve your self.

To thine own self be true....

Judge not, unless ye to....

Stuff like that.

Carl Thompson
07-02-2008, 12:24 AM
I've been avoiding this thread like the plague...
Now, after reading it, I know why... :D

It kinda gets under your skin. :D

The "body is a temple" line comes from the biblical "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received form God? You are not your own; and you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

If you aren't the owner of your body. I don't see how deciding to brand yourself with a heavy metal tattoo honors God, but even people who call themselves Christians will make excuses for what they want to do.

You realise Jesus probably had a modified body too don't you? It's maybe debatable regarding tats, but he almost certainly had a more painful and physiologically drastic alteration in a rather intimate area -- a common practice among most male Jews. Forget merely painting on God's canvass -- this guy had a section of it cut away!

And I'm not impressed with people who don't have a real argument and resort to pseudo-pithy one-liners.

So a short and snappy line about argumentum ad hominem (http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/person.html) probably won't go down too well then?

One of my tattoos was partially inspired by Slayer (a bit like the Divine Intervention cover), whom I also think are a baddass band. I understood that some people might want to judge me unfairly when I got my tattoos done, so I guess that is one advantage I have over people who are discriminated against for the skin pigmentation that they were born with.

The statement you're referring to "The bottom line is tattoos are more prevalent among the lesser educated, the younger, people who engage in risky behavior (sex, drugs), have done time, etc.," is a fact backed by studies.

No, that is a prejudice backed up with some out-of context articles. If you confine the context, you can find any correlation you like, such as hair colour, culture, religion and so on, but taking that and using it to judge anyone in any context who shares that characteristic is prejudice, pure and simple. Similar links have been made between crime and skin pigmentation that people inherited as a racial feature. They too ignore deeper issues, selecting only what is needed to back up a prejudice rather than a full, scientifically rigorous exploration of available data. The work of Blumenbach (http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Blumenba.html) was used in a similar way to back up Nazi ideology during the Second World War. Choose a cultural, ethnic or behavioural feature you don't like and tack on some specious research. Incidentally, some of the horrors of that period of human history have been described in chilling musical form by the likes of Slayer.

I shouldn't have to explain that that doesn't mean that everyone with a tattoo falls into those categories automatically, only that there is a real correlation which makes the negative view of a tattooed person not simply a matter of blind prejudice.

Yes it is blind prejudice when you categorise people you don't know by the exterior, without examining the content of their character and I would like you to explain it when you assume that I am more likely to engage in risky behaviour or have a poor education because of any form of self-expression I have chosen.

Dan Austin
07-03-2008, 04:09 PM
It's pointless to go around and around with people who will say 2 + 2 = 4 is a matter of context, or who insist on responses to a point that has already been addressed. For example, to the person who said, in effect, "I got my tattoo because I liked it" - that's a disingenuous non-answer. If you continually peel away the layers of the "why?" onion you'll eventually get to the truth of some underlying need for attention, confidence, belonging, etc. These reasons are a major part of why tattoos are perceived negatively.

Carl, you say that you knew when you decided to get a tattoo that you might be judged unfairly - leaving aside what that says about your decision to do it anyway, it's also not the case that all judgments are unfair. If I walk down the street wearing a rainbow wig, carrying a large stuffed animal and singing loudly, I can cry about my right to self-expression and being "judged", but it is perfectly fair for people to have a reasonable suspicion that I'm an idiot or have some mental problem or personality disorder. The idea that people have to get to know the "real" you to make some valid statistical inference about your mentality and a host of other factors is not true. If they do happen to get to know how wonderful you are on the inside (even though you're crying for attention on the outside for some reason) and refuse to give you any credit for that, that's certainly unfair. But it is not incumbent on people to invest that effort, personally or professionally. If a hiring manager has a short time to decide between two candidates who are identical except for one having tattoos, it is both valid and fair for him to believe that there is a slightly higher risk for the tattooed guy to be the one who's going to call in sick on occasion because he was out partying the night before. This is apart from other considerations such as whether a percentage of customers will get a negative impression of his business if the position is a customer-facing one.

The only other point worth making here is that you seem to be mixing definitions of "prejudice" to call any judgment of an individual unfair. Prejudice can refer to any opinion, including a favorable one, not just unreasonable antipathy based on uncontrollable factors. To avoid confusion, we're really talking about "first impressions" or "sizing people up". There is no disagreement that it's grossly unfair to judge people on factors they have no control over, such as their ethnicity. However, people can and do devalue themselves in society by their actions and choices, and the petty thief and the professor are not equally valuable to society, so saying that no one can make judgments about another due to things they *have* control over is not true.

Sizing up unknown people is something everyone does constantly. Take the same actor, dress him a certain way, and people will get different impressions about his character. Show women a picture of the same attractive 25 year old male model dressed like an executive in one photo and a McDonald's employee in another, and they'll rate the executive as more attractive. How people look and act gives an impression of their other qualities because there are valid correlations. If you're working at McDonald's, odds are you're not the best and brightest. Is that a fair impression? Yes, because you probably spent your high school years listening to Slayer and smoking weed instead of hitting the books. ;) Like it or not, tattoos fall into this category because of similar correlations.

Ignoring tattoos specifically since anything further will be repeat, the more interesting issue is sizing people up in general. Not only is it perfectly fair to make statistical evaluations on seeing people, but it's wired into us precisely because it's a valuable skill. To bring this back toward martial arts and the question of whether it's "fair" or "enlightened" to do so, the following article serves as an interesting and cautionary example:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3357

Right off the bat, the author says "I had been sensing sketchy vibes on the train right from the beginning: it was packed full of unsavory, creepy characters, wannabe gang members, or otherwise hardened, indifferent looking people". So immediately, as everyone does, he swept his environment and made an assessment of the likely character and mentality of his fellow passengers by their appearance alone, without getting to know them as human beings. This is a fundamental survival process all animals do, because there are such strong correlations between appearance and behavior. He then immediately refers to his aggressor as "thuggish looking". Is he being racist? Unfairly judgmental? Should he arrange to have tea with this gentlemen and hear his life story before making an assessment of his likely character?

In the very next paragraph a main reason for his problem becomes evident. He was wandering around the city the prior day, feeling people's "energy", enjoying hippie thoughts and doing his aiki thing to love the world in the spirit of true budo. Then he gets on the train, and probably sits there with a beatific peaceful look that says "easy mark" to anybody within sight of him. Funny, in photos of Ueshiba he seems to look pretty serious when he's out and about. Go figure. So that was one mistake, but the major mistake is one that seems common to virtually every real crime case (see for example Strong on Defense, by Sanford Strong), which is to ignore feelings of unease. In every case in Strong's book, the victims (that survived) said later that they had felt something wrong, but they ignored it, essentially due to social conditioning that says you should feel guilty if you make snap judgments about people based on things like how they look. After all, you wouldn't want to offend the guys who look like gangbangers by avoiding them, you might give them a complex! Wearing pants half past their nuts is just free expression, they're probably on the way to the library to study for their organic chemistry exam, and you really shouldn't cause any angst. The author of this story says the same thing right from the start, he sensed sketchy vibes due to the "unsavory" characters. Like other crime victims, he tried to maintain his love, peace and chicken grease hippie guilt trip about not being "judgmental", and paid the price. So yes, not only is it perfectly fair, it's perfectly sensible, and those instincts are wired in for a reason. Now if the author had had armfuls of tattoos, it may have helped give a different impression to his attackers by looking a bit more unsavory himself, but enough about that. ;)

As an aside, I think Stanley Pranin's rant in the comments section of the article is complete nonsense. All things considered, 10 bucks is cheap compared to the myriad possible bad outcomes had he felt the need to prove himself. Protecting loved ones is one thing, pretending to be Batman and doing things the police are far better suited to do is another. The author shouldn't feel bad if he learned a valuable lesson on trusting instincts and going with your impressions for only 10 dollars. Having put himself in a bad position, he made the right choice for what no doubt felt like the wrong reason (being afraid), but Pranin's "I'll handle it" attitude is what makes widows and fatherless kids unnecessarily. That's a different discussion, which people can have if they like. I don't have anything further to add about tattoos that I haven't already said here or elsewhere, so if you quote pieces to me and don't get a response you'll know why: see earlier comments. I have nothing personal against anyone here who happens to have tattoos, but I also don't feel in any way guilty or unjustified in assuming other things about you until proven otherwise, and I have better things to do than wait around for that proof. ;) Seriously, in court, you're innocent until proven guilty, but in real life, the survival instinct and common sense has it the other way around. Everyone should respect your right as an individual to make your own decisions, but no one is obligated to respect those decisions. To each his own...and all the consequences that go with it.

clwk
07-03-2008, 04:47 PM
As an aside, I think Stanley Pranin's rant in the comments section of the article is complete nonsense.
Dan, I checked out the article just to follow up on that statement. I mention this because I do not recall having ever read a nonsensical rant by Stanley Pranin. I was correct. The rant in question was officially posted by Mr. Pranin, but he pasted it in from a forum thread. The actual author (as attributed in the post itself, at least) is Jason Wotherspoon. I thought that was worth clarifying. I will not go so far as to blame you for the misattribution, because the presentation was somewhat confusing. However, I am not sure it was necessary to cite Mr. Pranin by name -- especially since the tone and 'voice' of the rant were entirely different from those Mr. Pranin always writes in, especially on his own web site. In this case you seem to have misjudged the situation by crediting the apparent label and ignoring the myriad other clues contained in the substance. But enough of my snide ironic moralization: my real point was just to clarify this so readers would not be left with a mistaken impression.

Chhi'mèd

Carl Thompson
07-03-2008, 07:29 PM
It's pointless to go around and around with people who will say 2 + 2 = 4 is a matter of context

No, unless we are advanced maths theorists, most of us agree with that as an absolute. You are not saying that. You are saying

x (tattoos) = y (risky behaviour etc), which IS a matter of context.

I pointed out that there is little difference between that and

X (black skin) = Y (criminal)

Carl, you say that you knew when you decided to get a tattoo that you might be judged unfairly - leaving aside what that says about your decision to do it anyway, it's also not the case that all judgments are unfair.

Did you follow the link on argumentum ad hominem (http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/person.html)? You also went on to make an unfair judgement by the way:

If I walk down the street wearing a rainbow wig, carrying a large stuffed animal and singing loudly, I can cry about my right to self-expression and being "judged", but it is perfectly fair for people to have a reasonable suspicion that I'm an idiot or have some mental problem or personality disorder.

So if someone was at a Mardi Gras or on their way to a fancy dress party, they would be an idiot too would they? I pointed out that you are deliberately misusing context to discriminate against people for behaviour you do not like. Of course we discriminate positively and negatively on a personal level all the time. We usually take in a whole range of factors and bear in mind contexts.

The idea that people have to get to know the "real" you to make some valid statistical inference about your mentality and a host of other factors is not true.

It is the taking one characteristic (tattoos, black skin, Judaism, wearing a suit etc) which one has a private dislike of, finding a situation in which it may have been a valid indicator of something else one dislikes and using it as a way to diminish anyone who has that characteristic in all situations, that is objectionable here. I might associate the Mafia with black suits and I may successfully identify a gangster by that and other characteristics in certain contexts. Does that make the mourners at a funeral gangsters?

I hope you can overcome your prejudice. Then we could maybe train together someday and learn from each other.

Dan Austin
07-03-2008, 08:00 PM
Dan, I checked out the article just to follow up on that statement. I mention this because I do not recall having ever read a nonsensical rant by Stanley Pranin. I was correct. The rant in question was officially posted by Mr. Pranin, but he pasted it in from a forum thread. The actual author (as attributed in the post itself, at least) is Jason Wotherspoon. I thought that was worth clarifying. I will not go so far as to blame you for the misattribution, because the presentation was somewhat confusing. However, I am not sure it was necessary to cite Mr. Pranin by name -- especially since the tone and 'voice' of the rant were entirely different from those Mr. Pranin always writes in, especially on his own web site. In this case you seem to have misjudged the situation by crediting the apparent label and ignoring the myriad other clues contained in the substance. But enough of my snide ironic moralization: my real point was just to clarify this so readers would not be left with a mistaken impression.

Chhi'mèd

Thank you, I'm not familiar with his tone and voice, I just saw "Stanley Pranin writes" to indicate that section.

Ron Tisdale
07-03-2008, 08:39 PM
Exactly, you didn't examine the context.

You made an ASSUMPTION. An incorrect one to boot.

Par for the course, apparently.

B,
R

Dan Austin
07-03-2008, 09:23 PM
It is the taking one characteristic (tattoos, black skin, Judaism, wearing a suit etc) which one has a private dislike of, finding a situation in which it may have been a valid indicator of something else one dislikes and using it as a way to diminish anyone who has that characteristic in all situations, that is objectionable here.


It most certainly is objectionable, and if you can't see that that's not what I've done here, I can't help. Tattoos are voluntary, black skin is not. I said nothing about dislike, private or otherwise, nor did I say it's fair to "diminish" anyone and/or extrapolate one thing in isolation to "all situations." Your comment is a strawman. You're assessing me as "prejudiced" based on your misreading of what I wrote, using a definition I rejected as unclear and biased, attributing thoughts and attitudes to me even though I specifically said judging based on uncontrollable factors like skin color is unfair, etc. I'm sorry you feel the need to resort to such a tactic, but misrepresenting contrary views and calling everyone prejudiced who doesn't agree with your choices in life is a dodge. You're the one who made the decision to get the tattoo. No one is obligated to respect your personal choices or agree with you as to their merit. If it makes any difference, I'll repeat, again, that statistics do not dictate the value of a particular individual; just because you have a tattoo doesn't make you a bad guy. That's a separate issue from whether getting a tattoo itself is a good idea. Even good people make bad choices, and if getting a tat is the worst thing you ever do, well, you're probably ahead of the game. In any case this discussion was not intended to be personal, and I wish you the best.

Kevin Leavitt
07-03-2008, 09:52 PM
You are prejudice against people with tattoos. That is very apparent and clear to me. You automatically assume something about their character based on the sole fact that they have a tattoo.

Dan Austin
07-03-2008, 10:44 PM
You are prejudice against people with tattoos. That is very apparent and clear to me. You automatically assume something about their character based on the sole fact that they have a tattoo.

With the caveat that prejudice is a loaded word, I would agree with the latter statement. However, it is an *assumption* made about a *voluntary personal choice*, in the absence of any other information about a person. If I get to know someone and think they're great, then the *assumption* was incorrect and I won't hold it against them. I'll still think it's a pointless thing to do, but it's not a big deal compared to something real about their character. But as a first impression, yes, it makes a negative impression as it does for many people, for all the reasons mentioned. Making assumptions based on things about people's appearance is normal, and not automatically unfair, unless the assumption is held above all evidence to the contrary or based on things outside the person's control.

clwk
07-04-2008, 12:31 AM
With the caveat that prejudice is a loaded word, I would agree with the latter statement. However, it is an *assumption* made about a *voluntary personal choice*, in the absence of any other information about a person. If I get to know someone and think they're great, then the *assumption* was incorrect and I won't hold it against them.
I haven't really followed this thread, just happened to see your previous post (because, by the way, I tend to like your posts -- so no hard feelings). In the spirit of constructive discussion, I'd like to add a twist to this. Let's set aside the personal choice issues. You might be right, doesn't matter. The thing is, when you simply observe someone's body superficially, you don't have enough information to judge how it became the way it is. My reasonable argument would be that people change, and it is only by accident that most people's bad decisions (I'm stipulating just to avoid the other line, okay?) aren't so readily apparent. That's probably worth considering. My unreasonable argument would Godwin this thread: *just like that*.

Chhi'mèd

Carl Thompson
07-04-2008, 01:28 AM
This is a straw man argument…

It's pointless to go around and around with people who will say 2 + 2 = 4 is a matter of context.

Who are these mathematically-challenged people?

You also hoist yourself with your own petard by revealing the logic behind your viewpoint. My tactic was to dissect your ideas and their implications (including the diminishment of people who favour certain practices you dislike), not you personally.

If I misunderstood your meaning here, I apologise. However, it looks like you mean the association between tattoos (2+2) and risky behaviour (=4) is not a matter of context and that it is not worth going "around and around" with people who disagree with that. Have I got that wrong? Also, can you show how that pattern changes when you factor in the electiveness of the characteristic? People also discriminate against those who "elect" to become members of certain religions after all.

If a hiring manager has a short time to decide between two candidates who are identical except for one having tattoos, it is both valid and fair for him to believe that there is a slightly higher risk for the tattooed guy to be the one who's going to call in sick on occasion because he was out partying the night before.

What if I decide to only hire tattooed people because I think folks with virgin canvasses have a slightly higher risk of calling in sick on occasion because they were out partying the night before? Would that be unfair? How would that unfairness differ from yours?

Kevin Leavitt
07-04-2008, 06:23 AM
Dan wrote:

With the caveat that prejudice is a loaded word, I would agree with the latter statement. However, it is an *assumption* made about a *voluntary personal choice*, in the absence of any other information about a person. If I get to know someone and think they're great, then the *assumption* was incorrect and I won't hold it against them. I'll still think it's a pointless thing to do, but it's not a big deal compared to something real about their character. But as a first impression, yes, it makes a negative impression as it does for many people, for all the reasons mentioned. Making assumptions based on things about people's appearance is normal, and not automatically unfair, unless the assumption is held above all evidence to the contrary or based on things outside the person's control.

People do make CHOICES for a myriad of reasons. "Good" or "Bad"? well I think that depends on many, many factors.

One thing that my studies in eastern philosophy, specifically through Aikido have led me to realize that "good" and "bad" are and ATTACHMENT that we as people put on things based on our own experiences and associations. They are not ultimate and what is good for one may not be bad for another.

One might assume that putting a hand on a hot stove is always BAD, however if you did it to stop a 2 year old from burning his hand, it might be a GOOD thing.

Ma'ai, the study of the distance and engagement between people is something we study greatly in aikido (or should). Our goal should be to expand our knowledge of that GAP....Ma'ai.

you have stimulus and response...in between it we have CHOICE. What assumptions we make about something can affect the skillfulness of the choice we make. If we limit ourselves to our very first thought, experience, or approach the situation with a preconcieved emotion (prejudice) then we will make a decision that is limited by that self imposed constraint.

Mushin, or no mind is what we should strive for. It certainly is not easy, but that is what we should be looking for in any situation.

It is not about the choices the other person makes...you can't control them....

it is about the choices YOU make. Why limit yourself and dismiss someone at first contact.

We are supposed to learn this lesson in aikido.

Does that mean we must ignore the input such as a Tattoo? no. If I see a guy walking down the street with barbed wire tattoo'd around his neck, with a swastika on his forehead with the words HATE tattoo''d on his knuckles...certainly that is information will be considered in my assumption (prejudice).

I'd consider that person in a different way than one that might have a beautiful japanese scene tattoo'd on their arm.

It is probably impossible to not to be predjudice based on this input, and probably a wise thing to highly value that information at some level.

However, I think it is also important to increase our skillfullness in the situation and take in more information before we make your "move" for our "final cut".

It could be that the guy with the "bad" tattoos has evolved or transformed and has overcome his ways and is working on reaching out in a positive way now. It happens.

Philosophically, how are we ever going to evolve if we are not willing to look deeper and help heal?

I do appreciate your honesty in this subject. We are all not above predjudice, I'd like to think that I am, but the fact is, we all struggle with it, even if we don't think we do.

Practicing aikido should be considered a way to help us understand ourselves and our emotions so we can more skillfully interact with others.

Dan Austin
07-04-2008, 09:30 AM
However, it looks like you mean the association between tattoos (2+2) and risky behaviour (=4) is not a matter of context and that it is not worth going "around and around" with people who disagree with that.

What I was referring to was that I already posted one study showing a *statistical* link between having tattoos and other risky behavior, in addition to studies showing that people generally make this association already based on personal observation. I can see that if I post a dozen more studies you'll likely ignore them as well. To me, that association is not seriously debatable. I'm not sure if you're getting the distinction between a statistic and an individual case. Perhaps this is because statistics are often misused to characterize individuals despite any other information and/or deny that they can be in the "doesn't apply" range of the statistic, a practice which I've said several times is unfair.

What if I decide to only hire tattooed people because I think folks with virgin canvasses have a slightly higher risk of calling in sick on occasion because they were out partying the night before? Would that be unfair? How would that unfairness differ from yours?

For two reasons: first, the statistical association backed by population studies is that people *with* tattoos are more likely to enjoy excessive partying. Secondly, I said nothing about *only* hiring people without tattoos, the example I gave was of two identical candidates who *only* differ in tattoo status. Obviously, a tattoo by itself is minor compared to other factors, it's just not completely neutral.

jennifer paige smith
07-04-2008, 09:35 AM
So you still can't genuinely 'read' people. That's OK.

Or if you can, there is then the next step pf applying energetically the quality you sense is missing to complete the circuit of chi.In which case you can apply your wisdom, constructively.

Dan Austin
07-04-2008, 10:08 AM
it is about the choices YOU make. Why limit yourself and dismiss someone at first contact.


To be clear, I said nothing about dismissing people, and I agree that limiting oneself is unnecessary. If I see someone with a tattoo, I don't run screaming, and I don't point and laugh. But I do take note of it as part of an impression. I think everyone does, consciously or not, and in the case of tattoos why not? If I can see it, the person put it in plain sight on purpose.


Does that mean we must ignore the input such as a Tattoo? no. If I see a guy walking down the street with barbed wire tattoo'd around his neck, with a swastika on his forehead with the words HATE tattoo''d on his knuckles...certainly that is information will be considered in my assumption (prejudice).

I'd consider that person in a different way than one that might have a beautiful japanese scene tattoo'd on their arm.

It is probably impossible to not to be predjudice based on this input, and probably a wise thing to highly value that information at some level.

Exactly, although the use of the word prejudice is loaded, because its most common usage refers to unreasonable antipathy toward ethnic groups, so it's clearer to simply talk about impressions. But just as there is a degree of difference between a barbed wire neck tattoo and a mellow Japanese scene, there is also a difference between having any tattoo at all and having none.

However, I think it is also important to increase our skillfullness in the situation and take in more information before we make your "move" for our "final cut".

It could be that the guy with the "bad" tattoos has evolved or transformed and has overcome his ways and is working on reaching out in a positive way now. It happens.

Philosophically, how are we ever going to evolve if we are not willing to look deeper and help heal?

This is true, however most of the time we simply don't have time to do this. In a practical sense there will invariably be other indicators than tattoos to make distinctions between, say, the active gang member and the guy who has renounced that lifestyle and now tries to help kids avoid it. As I've said, a tattoo in and of itself is not something damning, but that doesn't make it a non-entity, nor does it mean it's unfair to get impressions from it. Apart from that not everyone can be healed by love and understanding, and it's dangerous to think so, as the mugging victim on the train discovered.

I do appreciate your honesty in this subject. We are all not above predjudice, I'd like to think that I am, but the fact is, we all struggle with it, even if we don't think we do.


I think one of the benefits of online discussions is the ability to be completely forthright about a given topic, even if it's not always clear where you're coming from. In this case, like in many things, there is a gray area where a degree of making judgments about people is fair, and it's unnecessary and counterproductive to be absolutist and insist that you're lacking in humanity if you ever do it. So, if it provides any interesting food for thought, you're welcome.

Dan Austin
07-04-2008, 10:10 AM
So you still can't genuinely 'read' people. That's OK.

Or if you can, there is then the next step pf applying energetically the quality you sense is missing to complete the circuit of chi.In which case you can apply your wisdom, constructively.

Jennifer: stay off the BART, don't travel alone, and carry a weapon. Best of luck. ;)

Cady Goldfield
07-04-2008, 12:35 PM
I really don't think God cares about what you are wearing,

Actually, maybe He does, since in the Hebrew Tanakh (the "Old Testament"), the Jewish people are expressly forbidden to get tattooed or to otherwise "mark the skin." Apparently, this was to help differentiate themselves from the "heathens" around them.

That didn't stop my Uncle Louie from getting a tattoo when he was in the U.S. Navy during WWII, tho'. ;)

jennifer paige smith
07-04-2008, 02:42 PM
Jennifer: stay off the BART, don't travel alone, and carry a weapon. Best of luck. ;)

How about shellfish?

Carl Thompson
07-06-2008, 09:34 PM
What I was referring to was that I already posted one study showing a *statistical* link between having tattoos and other risky behavior, in addition to studies showing that people generally make this association already based on personal observation. I can see that if I post a dozen more studies you'll likely ignore them as well. To me, that association is not seriously debatable. I'm not sure if you're getting the distinction between a statistic and an individual case. Perhaps this is because statistics are often misused to characterize individuals despite any other information and/or deny that they can be in the "doesn't apply" range of the statistic, a practice which I've said several times is unfair.

I'm glad you agree that misusing stats is unfair and I am not ignoring them -- I am trying to understand your usage here. You do not seem to be separating individual cases and stats at all. I pointed out that your research was specious. To me, you were effectively saying that your stats can be fairly applied to every situation (100% of the time guilt by association). Now you seem to be suggesting that other things can balance it out, like maybe the tattoo is a minus point and the owner of it has to have some other plus point to put him back in credit -- while the other non-tattooed guy starts off in the black. The use of stats reminded me of those employed by Terry Pratchett in his comic fantasy novels, in which he explains that scientists dismiss the possibility of magic existing as millions to one, but that wizards know that millions to one chances happen 8 times out of 10. Employing folk with an assumed 10 out of 10 statistic that other statistics (and heap of flawed logic that equates human worth with their education level, pants-altitude, job type, sexual liberty and other prejudices) all just adds up to a mess of negative discrimination, not a scientific argument. I hope we are getting past that.

If a hiring manager has a short time to decide between two candidates who are identical except for one having tattoos, it is both valid and fair for him to believe that there is a slightly higher risk for the tattooed guy to be the one who's going to call in sick on occasion because he was out partying the night before.

If it is fair to use your select reports to treat two equally qualified people as unequal, then how would it differ from selecting stats from cultures where the opposite prejudices and statistics occur (e.g.: where tattooing shows religious devotion or non-drinker status and non-tattooed are the heathens, more likely to drink etc), such as Yantra tattooing in southeast Asia or the Straight Edge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_edge)scene in North America? The Laos IT company only hiring tattooed devotees or the punk only going for X's would be the yin to your yang. It is an apagoge (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/apagoge) that mirrors and exposes that kind of prejudice. It is creating a subclass of people with fewer job rights because of a characteristic one doesn't like. Flipping a coin would be fairer than guilt by association. You may recall the Ainu were mentioned earlier. If you refused a tattooed Ainu woman a job on the grounds of her ethnic practice you would be guilty of discrimination on cultural grounds.

And I actually disagree with the caveat you mentioned. Another reason why electiveness (beyond control) is not an issue here is that we do sometimes correctly discriminate based upon stats and scientifically accurate theory about permanent characteristics. Insurance companies cross the line sometimes (and this will get more complex in the future (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gattaca)), but the stats showing a higher incidence of risky behaviour in male drivers are backed up by the testosterone-releasing obviousness in (or sometimes above -- as you pointed out) a male's pants. It's a cross I'll grudgingly bear. And much as I have grown to love you during this discussion, if I were looking for a partner to make babies with, you would be automatically disqualified as a potential breeding partner, despite the fact that statistically, every person on the planet has one testicle and one ovary.

That is why your misuse of statistics to claim this
"The bottom line is tattoos are more prevalent among the lesser educated, the younger, people who engage in risky behavior (sex, drugs), have done time, etc.," is a fact backed by studies.

…as a reason to discriminate is out of order. People get tattoos for many reasons (ethnic, religious and even medical not to mention dumb ones and non-elective tattoos such as the ka-tzetnik numbers that were forced upon Jews in Nazi concentration camps). We make judgements all the time based upon external appearance, our own personal experience, likes and dislikes and whatever. If we automatically stop at the surface (denying people job rights, their dignity etc), even when we know that….

… that doesn't mean that everyone with a tattoo falls into those categories automatically

… we are being unfair. You are effectively advocating a subclass of human beings who have fewer jobs rights based on something as simple as a practice you do not like, even though you know you could be wrong. I'm not saying you should ignore anything. If someone has "I hate Jews" tattooed on their forehead, it is the fact that that person hates Jews that is wrong, not the medium of expression. If someone has a crucifix tattoo and says they got it because they love Jesus, they probably love Jesus. That is the content of their character. They just happen to have chosen to manifest it in a way you don't like, but big deal. Negative assumptions about a person based on tattoos could be correct but they could also be wrong, Same goes for assumptions based on suits, scars, hair colour, names... we start with impressions. That's natural. Final judgement of human worth and rights should go beyond that.

Carl Thompson
07-06-2008, 10:18 PM
Just to explain what I meant by "X's"…

http://www.xsisterhoodx.com/images/articles/February/straight-edge-hand.jpg

The letter "X" is the most prevalent symbol of straight edge. Commonly it is worn as a marking, symbol or tattoo on the back of one or both hands, though it can be displayed on other body parts as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_edge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_edge)

Cady Goldfield
07-07-2008, 09:41 AM
Discriminating against people with tattoos may be wrong because we see prejudicial behavior as wrong, but the reality is that people act from their gut, based on their personal experience or exposure.

If they have only met tattooed people who were criminals, exhibitionists, cultists (such as biker groups), or were otherwise immature, irresponsible, etc., then that is how they will perceive all people with tattoos. It's unfortunate, but that's how we're wired.

Kevin Leavitt
07-07-2008, 11:27 AM
unfortunate....and we have an art that is really centered around fixing how we are wired. Fortunate for us!

lbb
07-07-2008, 12:50 PM
Substitute "African-Americans" or "Jews" for "people with tattoos" in that one and see how it sounds, Cady. Not very good, huh? "That's how we're wired" doesn't sound like a very robust excuse then.

Not only do we need to transcend our "wiring", we also need to be wary of referring to prejudices -- whether unconsciously learned or eagerly acquired -- by terms that suggest that they are immutable conditions.

Cady Goldfield
07-07-2008, 06:44 PM
Mary, when you sub in those terms, it just drives the point in deeper that humans ARE wired that way. It's not an excuse, it's part of a bigger pattern of behavior that has to do with the nature of replication of self. Humans, like all other living organisms, engage in behaviors that, at their root, are meant to advance one's own genes (one's "own kind"), sometimes intentionally at the expense of others who are "not like one's self."

It's complex in humans because we have all of these layers of social behavior to complicate things. We have "memes" mimicking the behavior of genes. But it boils down to advancement of "self" and ones that are "like one's self."

In an abstract, convoluted and, IMO, perverted way, prejudice is connected to self-preservation. This is not to say that such behaviors as prejudice are the only path to replication and advancement of "self" -- it is just one of many behaviors, others being much more benign.

Back to the personal experiences and their effect on perception: My mother once told me that she met a woman in college who was amazed that my mother didn't have greasy hands. The only Jews she had ever met, had greasy hands! Come to find out, the woman had met only two Jews in her life -- they owned the corner market, and every day they cut butter to sell. Hence, greasy hands. My brother once met a man on a train who was equally flabbergasted that my brother didn't have horns -- the guy had never met a Jew, growing up in a small Midwestern town where the rumor was that Jews had horns (I think based on a photo of Michelangelo's statue of Moses, with the abridged rays of light emanating from his forehead... often misinterpreted as horns!). ;)

It's -that- easy to become prejudiced.

I certainly don't endorse prejudice, having been the butt of it myself many times. Besides, my Uncle Louie had a tatt, and he was one of my favorite uncles. ;)

And I do agree that we all can and should transcend our wiring. Behaviors can be modified or changed. However, the person has to desire and be willing to change. In the case of simple ignorance (like the woman and her perception of Jews with greasy hands), it is fairly easy -- they usually just need more first-hand education and exposure to people who are "normal" and tattooed (or whatever the source of prejudice is wrapped around). But the hardcore types are a tougher nut to crack.

jennifer paige smith
07-07-2008, 09:21 PM
Mary, when you sub in those terms, it just drives the point in deeper that humans ARE wired that way. It's not an excuse, it's part of a bigger pattern of behavior that has to do with the nature of replication of self. Humans, like all other living organisms, engage in behaviors that, at their root, are meant to advance one's own genes (one's "own kind"), sometimes intentionally at the expense of others who are "not like one's self."

It's complex in humans because we have all of these layers of social behavior to complicate things. We have "memes" mimicking the behavior of genes. But it boils down to advancement of "self" and ones that are "like one's self."

In an abstract, convoluted and, IMO, perverted way, prejudice is connected to self-preservation. This is not to say that such behaviors as prejudice are the only path to replication and advancement of "self" -- it is just one of many behaviors, others being much more benign.

Back to the personal experiences and their effect on perception: My mother once told me that she met a woman in college who was amazed that my mother didn't have greasy hands. The only Jews she had ever met, had greasy hands! Come to find out, the woman had met only two Jews in her life -- they owned the corner market, and every day they cut butter to sell. Hence, greasy hands. My brother once met a man on a train who was equally flabbergasted that my brother didn't have horns -- the guy had never met a Jew, growing up in a small Midwestern town where the rumor was that Jews had horns (I think based on a photo of Michelangelo's statue of Moses, with the abridged rays of light emanating from his forehead... often misinterpreted as horns!). ;)

It's -that- easy to become prejudiced.

I certainly don't endorse prejudice, having been the butt of it myself many times. Besides, my Uncle Louie had a tatt, and he was one of my favorite uncles. ;)

And I do agree that we all can and should transcend our wiring. Behaviors can be modified or changed. However, the person has to desire and be willing to change. In the case of simple ignorance (like the woman and her perception of Jews with greasy hands), it is fairly easy -- they usually just need more first-hand education and exposure to people who are "normal" and tattooed (or whatever the source of prejudice is wrapped around). But the hardcore types are a tougher nut to crack.

I disagree that it is wiring. I would suggest it is closer to a bad software program. Once you see it's flaws, you develop better software.
And I would also like to point out that the difference between what you're saying and what was has been said earlier (by others) is that once a prejudice, or bad software, was exposed the person no longer held their previous view point. "I used to think all jews had greasy hands, but i met one who didn't. I guess that idea is incorrect." rather than "I believed jews had greasy hands I've met more jews, and I see they don't all have greasy hands, but i held a belief that they did, so they must." People do develop.slowly, but they do.

jennifer paige smith
07-07-2008, 09:29 PM
Mary, when you sub in those terms, it just drives the point in deeper that humans ARE wired that way. It's not an excuse, it's part of a bigger pattern of behavior that has to do with the nature of replication of self. Humans, like all other living organisms, engage in behaviors that, at their root, are meant to advance one's own genes (one's "own kind"), sometimes intentionally at the expense of others who are "not like one's self."

It's complex in humans because we have all of these layers of social behavior to complicate things. We have "memes" mimicking the behavior of genes. But it boils down to advancement of "self" and ones that are "like one's self."

In an abstract, convoluted and, IMO, perverted way, prejudice is connected to self-preservation. This is not to say that such behaviors as prejudice are the only path to replication and advancement of "self" -- it is just one of many behaviors, others being much more benign.

Back to the personal experiences and their effect on perception: My mother once told me that she met a woman in college who was amazed that my mother didn't have greasy hands. The only Jews she had ever met, had greasy hands! Come to find out, the woman had met only two Jews in her life -- they owned the corner market, and every day they cut butter to sell. Hence, greasy hands. My brother once met a man on a train who was equally flabbergasted that my brother didn't have horns -- the guy had never met a Jew, growing up in a small Midwestern town where the rumor was that Jews had horns (I think based on a photo of Michelangelo's statue of Moses, with the abridged rays of light emanating from his forehead... often misinterpreted as horns!). ;)

It's -that- easy to become prejudiced.

I certainly don't endorse prejudice, having been the butt of it myself many times. Besides, my Uncle Louie had a tatt, and he was one of my favorite uncles. ;)

And I do agree that we all can and should transcend our wiring. Behaviors can be modified or changed. However, the person has to desire and be willing to change. In the case of simple ignorance (like the woman and her perception of Jews with greasy hands), it is fairly easy -- they usually just need more first-hand education and exposure to people who are "normal" and tattooed (or whatever the source of prejudice is wrapped around). But the hardcore types are a tougher nut to crack.

I disagree that it is wiring. I would suggest it is closer to a bad software program. Once you see it's flaws, you develop better software.humans are nature. nature thrives in diversity and dies in mono-culture. we are wired as nature and we operate in communion wth many types. it is bad software that mucks up the machine.

And I would also like to point out that the difference between what you're saying and what was has been said earlier (by others) is that once a prejudice, or bad software, was exposed the person no longer held their previous view point. "I used to think all jews had greasy hands, but i met one who didn't. that idea is incorrect." rather than "I believed jews had greasy hands I've met more jews, and I see they don't all have greasy hands, but i held a belief that they did, so they must."

People do develop.Slowly, but they do.

lbb
07-08-2008, 07:16 AM
I guess I should state up-front that I'm not a fan of sociobiology, which seems to me to tend to find an explanation that fits the available facts, and conclude that it has found the answer. When I see a pigeon with a broken wing on my lawn, it could have got that way because of a cat...or it could have been hit by a hawk, or by a car. Sociobiology, it seems to me, yells, "It's the cat!" every time. By positing certain kinds of "wiring", sociobiology conjectures an explanation that fits the available facts, and presents it as the answer...which seems to me to lack rigor. But I digress.

Besides its lack of rigor, I detest the "wiring" argument because it's taken as an excuse. It's an argument that prejudice is biological, and a lot of modern pop psychology/sociology equates biology with both inevitability and virtue. Our caveman ancestors did it, so it must be good! Never mind that modern human beings, at least those of us living in the west, have the benefit of a safer environment, a vastly more reliable food supply, and many generations of learning -- let's act like there's no alternative to a life that's nasty, brutish and short. Let's be tribal and insular and suspicious and contemptuous of whatever is different. Above all, let's never, ever examine our own attitudes, what's been taught to us, and question whether they're functional. They were functional for the cavemen, so they must be functional for us...

...right?

jennifer paige smith
07-08-2008, 09:54 AM
I said it twice. Mary said it better. Thanks

jennifer paige smith
07-08-2008, 10:05 AM
here is a link that is interesting to me regarding people and civilization.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_tribalists

and another http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael_(novel).

Keith Larman
07-08-2008, 10:08 AM
Obviously just because we're wired somehow (be it from nature or from nurture) doesn't excuse behavior. It merely helps explain it. Fortunately that faint glimmer we call self-consciousness allows us the luxury of realization which gives us the opportunity to act.

Some, unfortunately, don't have sufficient insight to do see it in the first place. Others see it in themselves but don't have the inclination to change.

That "wiring" is not an excuse. However it is always part of a relevant explanation as to the causes of behavior.

First impressions are a powerful thing in human behavior. And those impressions color much of our subsequent dealings with people often until something really dramatic happens to force us to change our ingrained attitude.

Of course tattooing has become more mainstream in the last decade (full disclosure -- I have a tattoo of my daughter's name on my shoulder). So it has become more socially acceptable than it had been. But let me ask those who find society discriminates against them about things like implanted facial claws. Obviously this is more extreme and less "acceptable" in this society. Do you think a firm in need of a public relations spokesman should have to hire this guy?

http://summerchild.com/horns.jpg

Okay, an extreme example, but is it any different? We as a society have many things we find within the range of acceptable. Personally I don't understand the incredible obsession most women have with makeup and fancy hair. And don't get me started on shoes that deform women's feet... The only time I have ever seen my wife wearing both makeup and in a dress was the day we were married. Now I don't mind makeup and all that jazz, but if you came from somewhere where makeup and the like was just not done many people would look very odd. Probably not quite as odd as the fella above, but you get the idea...

Anyone who chooses to adorn themselves in a way that is well outside the usual social norms will call attention to themselves. And as such face all sorts of different behavior simply due to their adornments. But I would say in some extreme situations one goal of many *is* to gather that attention in the first place so it is somewhat disingenuous to get upset when they get that attention.

But it is a long continuum of all sorts of shades. What will fly here in Southern California without even a blink may be be out of place on a street in Des Moines.

Shades of grey...

lbb
07-08-2008, 10:24 AM
Of course tattooing has become more mainstream in the last decade (full disclosure -- I have a tattoo of my daughter's name on my shoulder). So it has become more socially acceptable than it had been. But let me ask those who find society discriminates against them about things like implanted facial claws. Obviously this is more extreme and less "acceptable" in this society. Do you think a firm in need of a public relations spokesman should have to hire this guy?
Keith, with respect, I think "have to hire" is a bit of a red herring here. To my knowledge, there have been very few challenges to a company's right to hire (or not) based on appearance. The few challenges that have succeeded that I know of, have done so only when the plaintiff (under burden of proof) demonstrated convincingly that their appearance had no impact on their job function. No firm would ever have to hire the guy in your picture as a public relations agent, so why raise it as an issue?

Likewise -- to directly address another red herring that's been raised more than once in this thread -- there's nothing stopping you (the generic you, not you you) from having any attitude you want, positive or negative, towards someone else based on appearance. There's nothing forcing you to associate with them. Your freedom to think they're icky and not want to go out to Chili's with them is not under threat. But when personal opinions get expressed in a public forum, and people who read them believe that they're a product of bigotry, they can call it what it is. If you put it out out there, people will react -- to bigotry as well as to embedded facial claws.

Aikibu
07-08-2008, 10:51 AM
LOL....All this talk over tats...I'll bet the dude is the picture does not practice Aikido but then again that could be my "prejudice" talking...:)

When I see someone like that I ascertain that thier appearance gives me a hint as to whats up with them...LOL

To me it comes down to judgement and like my sponsor once said...

Judge all you want just don't wish the other person any ill will because they appear different than you.

Thats something you can teach any three year old or some dummy like I used to be. :)

William Hazen

Keith Larman
07-08-2008, 11:59 AM
Mary:

Actually I wasn't judging one way or the other. The point of the examples I gave was to push at the limits hopefully to help folk understand. I worked for 17 years doing research in industrial psych -- our speciality was in HR. Issues like this come up all the time and they reflect (in general) society's unease with certain things hence some of that "leaked" into my post.

It is a variable, flexible thing that changes over time with fashions. Honestly that's why I brought up lipstick and makeup in general -- ultimately how is that different from tattoo's? The point being that once it settles into a societal context that context becomes relevant. Some things are socially acceptable, others are not. Understanding how people react to those things is important. It in no way justifies bigotry or poor behavior, but if you are going to affect positive change you do need to understand the etiology of the reaction.

So... My only point was that discounting sociobiological explanations as somehow lacking rigor is unfairly dismissive itself. There are all sorts of sociobiological explanations for aspects of behavior. They're real, they're important, and they operate at a fundamentally basic level in most people. That doesn't make it "right", of course, but it is a powerful force.

Keith Larman
07-08-2008, 12:10 PM
LOL....All this talk over tats...I'll bet the dude is the picture does not practice Aikido but then again that could be my "prejudice" talking...:)

Can you imagine the damage to the mats? :D

I guess one thing I find interesting about these discussions is the whole notion of judgements. All of us do it all the time. Good, sincere people try to be objective and fair, but the reality is that it is a part of our makeup. We make snap judgements subconsciously with every new experience -- it is part of being human and a powerful tool as well for survival.

There is a book by Malcolm Gladwell called "Blink" which covers some of this stuff quite well. The book is somewhat an "armchair psych" book, but it has some good stuff in it. Those "first impressions" and "instant judgements" are part and parcel of our psychological makeup. Lord knows we are not purely rational beings. Nor would that be a very good survival mechanism anyway...

lbb
07-08-2008, 02:00 PM
Some things are socially acceptable, others are not. Understanding how people react to those things is important. It in no way justifies bigotry or poor behavior, but if you are going to affect positive change you do need to understand the etiology of the reaction.

That's assuming, though, that someone who's the target of bigotry sees it as their mission to "affect positive change" (which generally seems to mean, getting people to think nice). In reality, a lot of people who are targeted by bigotry can't afford the luxury of trying to influence people's attitudes, and would happily settle for some moderate controls on the bigots' behavior. A woman with a tattoo probably doesn't care that some bigot thinks that she is a skank ho, as long as said bigot keeps his uncivilized bigoted hands to himself and his uncivilized bigot opinion behind his teeth.

So... My only point was that discounting sociobiological explanations as somehow lacking rigor is unfairly dismissive itself. There are all sorts of sociobiological explanations for aspects of behavior. They're real, they're important, and they operate at a fundamentally basic level in most people. That doesn't make it "right", of course, but it is a powerful force.

That's an assertion; I still don't see evidence to support the "bigotry as a result of wiring" argument. Again, the fact that it's an explanation that fits the available facts does not point to it as the answer; it merely fails to rule it out.

Keith Larman
07-08-2008, 05:46 PM
That's an assertion; I still don't see evidence to support the "bigotry as a result of wiring" argument. Again, the fact that it's an explanation that fits the available facts does not point to it as the answer; it merely fails to rule it out.

Quite true, but I'm not really invested enough in this discussion to dig up old textbooks from storage to start quoting studies. Honestly I didn't think it was all that controversial and I've got work to do.

Cady Goldfield
07-09-2008, 06:25 AM
Mary,
I find much in sociobiology to be quite feasible. I've had enough exposure to evolutionary ecology during grad school to see strong patterns between genes and behavior; I'm not one for believing in supernatural-spiritual causes for human/animal behavior.

A big misperception and misconception people have about evolution is that it somehow means that an organism or species is moving toward a superior or optimal state of being. That is incorrect; evolution is more "tao" -- it is a plasticity within living things, thanks to a large cache of genetic material -- to adapt to change. Organisms or groups that possess certain genetic material that confers some advantage in a particular environment, or in withstanding an environmental or circumstantial change or catastrophe -- will survive to pass along their genes. Their "kind" will thus proliferate.

This happens on every level, from the simplest bacterium to the more complex organisms.

However, much of the genetic material every life form carries is a lot of useless junk -- the baggage of mega-millennia. Most is benign, some potentially harmful but currently repressed and buried by the plethora of other genetic material.

Humans have a very complex set of social behaviors, all programmed, in my belief, by genetic coding. There are a number of variations, but they all boil down to one basic thing: survival and replication of genetic material. Most behaviors are influenced or molded in some way by environment, and may, under those pressures, become "perverse" and ultimately prove lethal to the possessor. Nature is not a perfect system, and there are many, many failures along the way, both on the individual and the species level. But you'll note that even with the passel of lethal or deleterious behaviors we have in our species, humanity, we still have no trouble whatsoever in proliferating and surviving. That the world human population is rocketing toward 9 billion and more is testament to that.

We humans have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees; we're fixated with what's happening at nose-level now. But prejudicial behavior in humans is a tiny tip of a huge iceberg of other ramifications, all ultimately pointing back to a bigger (yet microscopic) picture centered around genes, genes, genes.

Mary Eastland
07-09-2008, 07:37 AM
This thread makes me want to finally go get my tattoo...I am thinking about a small red winged black bird. I wish it didn't hurt :eek: ...that is the one thing that is drawing me back. :cool: Mary

Spookin
07-09-2008, 10:39 AM
Just to be contrarian, I must say I find tattoos to be completely pointless at best, and I believe a truly centered person has no need for them or interest in them. They do speak to the emotional maturity and enlightenment of the bearer. And, despite the fact that I am not the least bit religious, I have to wonder if any mortal artist is worthy to paint on God's canvas.

A truly centered person would not pass judgment on someone for having tattoos (whether they truly believe it or just to be a contrarian).

Further, I would add that a contrarian is "a person who takes a contrary position or attitude; specifically: an investor who buys shares of stock when most others are selling and sells when others are buying".

Wikipedia states that "in finance, a contrarian is one who attempts to profit by investing in a manner that differs from the conventional wisdom, when the consensus opinion appears to be wrong."

I ask a simple rhetorical question: What exactly are you trying to profit from by taking an opposing view towards the common acceptance of tattoos?

Keith Larman
07-09-2008, 11:05 AM
That's an assertion; I still don't see evidence to support the "bigotry as a result of wiring" argument. Again, the fact that it's an explanation that fits the available facts does not point to it as the answer; it merely fails to rule it out.

Yeah, I was going to leave the discussion but your comment stayed in the back of my head last night as I was working on a really nice blade. So much so that I managed to stick the thing in my leg -- so much for having proper focus, neh? :o At least this time I don't need stitches. I wonder if I could get workmans comp for that sort of thing...

I only wanted to add that it is absurd on the face of it to ascribe all bigoted behavior to "wiring" as you put it. I don't know anyone who takes such an extreme view.

I think the reality is that we all have a propensity towards some degree of "sticking with your own" or for some degree of distrust for those who "stick out too much". And those things are to some extent hard wired as part of a survival mechanism. But as I tried to say before, that is no excuse for anything. Merely an explanation of the propensity. An explanation for the grouping we tend to see all around us. We are ultimately social creatures and our survival often depends on our ability to assimilate with our "group". Protection, support, extended families, etc.

But it is a far cry from saying there is a propensity for something to saying that sort of propensity has a value judgement attached such as it is somehow "okay". Of course not. It just "is". Nothing more, nothing less. That was my reason for talking about that wonderful attribute we all have of self-awareness. We can still choose what we do. We can choose to go against those biases and propensities that naturally occur. And we have the ability to decide to take a higher, more enlightened and noble path. That is ultimately what makes us human and I think capable of being truly worthy beings.

My only real point is to argue that we shouldn't pretend the propensity doesn't exist just because we don't like it.

But again, I really don't have an emotional attachment to this whole issue. I'll let you and Cady work out the details. It's been too long for me as well since graduate work and those boxes with all those books are deep on my storage shelves in the workshop... Who knows, maybe everything has changed in the last 25 years too. So maybe I'm way off base...

Regardless, I like my tattoo. And I have good friends with tons of them. I am also friends with a couple pretty darned good tattoo artists. And I've even been encouraging my wife to go ahead with that tonbo tat she's been thinking about for years. A dragonfly is a perfect max for my lovely wife of 20 years...

So my opinion with respect to tattoo's is really quite simple. As my dad used to say, "whatever zaps your zipper". I can admire quality art regardless of the canvas... ;)

Ron Tisdale
07-09-2008, 11:19 AM
A) ain't nothin' zappin' my zipper! :D

B) Hope your leg is ok! (do you do this often? Makes me feel like less of a klutz!)

C) I have a fear of needles...no way I could ever get a tat.

D) That does not make anyone else a bad person for getting one...

Best,
Ron (I think that passes the on-topic meter...)

lbb
07-09-2008, 02:05 PM
Hmm, lotta good food for thought here. I should say, btw, that while I've got a skeptical attitude towards sociobiology, I'm not denying that "wiring" or "genes, genes, genes" could be a factor (or even the original causative factor) of prejudicial behavior -- I just haven't yet seen evidence that convinces me that it is the cause.

I also find myself heading into the realm of metadiscussion, as I alternately find the discussion about causes interesting, and then wonder where it leads us. If (big if) the ultimate cause of prejudice is biological, how does it help to know that? Is it like knowing that you've got a family tendency towards a certain kind of cancer -- or does it create an excuse? And, if we can make the argument that prejudice was somehow functional in the ancient past (or could be said to be "functional" in some ways now), does that not get in the way of going beyond prejudice?

p.s. Keith, sorry about the stab wound! :eek:

ChrisMoses
07-09-2008, 02:23 PM
I can appreciate the aesthetics of the artwork, but hate to see what they will look like in 20+ years.

The latter is why I think people should think 2x before getting one.

Then again, how good do I think I'm going to look anyway in 20+ years? ;) I don't look that good to begin with! :D

Personally I like tattoos a lot more than (unnecessary) cosmetic surgery. I'm guessing Dan isn't in the NW where just about everybody has some holes and some ink.

Cady Goldfield
07-09-2008, 04:24 PM
Gravity + Time/Age = Tattoo Disaster

:D

Cady Goldfield
07-09-2008, 04:37 PM
Mary,
Keep in mind that xenophobia is an established, natural behavior among many species of the so-called "higher primates," including chimpanzees, bonobos and humans. Prejudicial behavior is quite likely connected to that natural sense of suspicion and hostility toward members of the same species but different "tribes." People with tatts may be viewed with suspicion by conservative business establishments (a "tribe" of sorts) similarly to a lone female or renegade male chimp who shows up on the "doorstep" of an unrelated troupe of chimps and wants to be admitted. ?Quien sabe? :)

For fun, Google "chimpanzees" and "xenophobia" and browse through some of the bodies of work done over the past 60 years or so. Jane Goodall, of course, is the best known of the bunch of researchers/observers, so you could Google her name with the above, as well. If I have time next week (swamped this week), I'll do it, too.

lbb
07-10-2008, 07:02 AM
Yeah, but Cady, just because I can observe the same behavior in two groups (of humans, or one group human and one group animal) doesn't mean it derives from the same cause OR that that cause is biological. That's all I'm saying.

Cady Goldfield
07-10-2008, 04:21 PM
But Mary, we are (biological) organisms (besides being Budo Babes With an Attitude).A biological organism can't act from any other impetus BUT one rooted in biology/Nature.

That's all I'm sayin'.

jennifer paige smith
07-10-2008, 09:04 PM
Or you could skip 'biology' altogether and nature would still exist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature

Chris Parkerson
07-10-2008, 09:25 PM
Or you could skip 'biology' altogether and nature would still exist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature

didn't George Carlan (rest his soul) say that??
"what do you mean we might destroy the world...
no we will destroy ourselves, the world will still be here...."

jennifer paige smith
07-10-2008, 10:21 PM
didn't George Carlan (rest his soul) say that??
"what do you mean we might destroy the world...
no we will destroy ourselves, the world will still be here...."

yeah. he did say that. and the joke would definitely be on us.

from one heyoka to another;) .

Aikibu
07-14-2008, 11:56 PM
Yup Professor James Lovelock must be smiling to himself after reading the end of this thread. :)

William Hazen

hapkidoike
07-16-2008, 11:07 PM
Recent article about tattoos in the Guardian (via fark.com)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/16/fashion

I thought it was half interesting.

Dan O'Day
07-18-2008, 02:08 PM
Rites of passage and associated rituals are non-existant in a meaningful way in industrialized society.

One need not read Joseph Campbell to understand the value rituals of a meaningful sort play in the development of a given human being.

It is clear that a need exists for these rituals and many in society seek out their own in the face of being presented with no guidance from their elders except to get a job and "make as much money as you can for that and that alone is success".

Each generation rebels to one degree or another against that incredibly powerful falsehood of wealth gathering being the primary purpose of life. The falsehood is so very strong though that most cannot keep up their rebellion for too long.

By the time they are twenty five or so most have acquiesced and pledged to the War Machine. In the meantime tattoos, for many, are just one act of rebellion against the War Machine.

The War Machine has no need nor time for human development via rites of passage or other rituals which support and celebrate life and awareness. Therefore any wrench thrown into that massive and seemingly unyeilding set of gears is right on with me.

Get tattoed, be a hippy, run nude in the streets singing everything from Norah Jones to Hank Williams, quit your corporate job and grow lettuce and pick it daily, celebrate Bob Dylan and cherry pie fillin', your favorite rant, Sarah Vaughn's niece's aunt, join with terrifically tattoed troops traipsing toward tinsletown under virgin wrappings extrapolating yonder Zeus!

Whatever, just say NO! to the Machine!

YeeHaa!!! Ride 'em CowFolk!