Prior Future Blog of MadnessDefiner




Have you ever just…

The Moral and Social Implications of Free Education in a Capitalist Economy






flowerduck replied to your post: “Thank you…..”:
Do you think wikibooks or other open textbook projects can cut around the barriers by making a quality free learning product that addresses standards without bowing to white supremacy?

Well, short answer, yes. Are we there yet? Omg, not even close.

Not only that, but we also need to take a good, hard look at who is getting paid for anti-racism education works, and who is not getting paid OR credited for their activist work.

As a non-Black person of color who writes (maybe too often) about Black people in art and culture, I absolutely try to be hyper-aware of how I fit into the context of my writing.

I do my best to metaphorically eat this article for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Gradient Lair is one of the academic blogs I owe an unpayable debt to, as I have mentioned before.

If you look at the history of activism in the U.S., a clear pattern emerges of Black Americans, especially Black women, blazing a path, and then being plagiarized, spoken over, and rejected from movements they created. This rather disgusting trend has perpetuated itself in the information age, via social media.

I know for a fact that many academic blogs run by people of color are regularly plagiarized by white academics for their own benefit. It is a racist double standard that white academics are expected to make a living off anti-racist activism, and yet Black activists are expected to do these things for free, despite the double burden of experiencing racism while trying to teach or write about it.

The disgrace isn’t that social media is at the very cutting edge of academia today, it’s that the same people are benefiting at the expense of others, i.e. white supremacy in action. A white, male anti-racist educator commands a higher fee to speak than a Black, female anti-racist educator, and that is unacceptable.

I say all of this because, unwittingly, your question is extremely loaded. Bloggers of color are very familiar with the experience of creating activist theory and providing priceless content, then having it stolen and sold back to us by the white supremacy you mention. And yet, we keep going because the alternative is to be silenced completely.

The basic and most essential crux of this problem is that whiteness itself is framed by our culture as “objective”, no matter the topic. As if the less something effects you, the more of an authority you are on it? And yet, this only works one way: A white male is an “authority” on racism, but a Black woman’s writing on white patriarchy can be dismissed, ignored, or stolen without credit?

A “free learning product that addresses standards without bowing to white supremacy” would require that the above issues be addressed and corrected before that could be possible. You can’t achieve equality by adding three pounds to each side of a weighted scale. To address standards, we must change what we think of as “objective”, because objectivity doesn’t exist.

If you think that I am objective, dispassionate, calm, polite, or neutral, you are wrong.

And if you think any of the sources I use to either support what I say OR that I use to demonstrate bias in education are objective, dispassionate, calm, polite, or neutral, you are wrong.

I’m doing my best to analyze what we consider “facts” by stuffing them back in the mouth they came out of, and taking a good look at the source. The recent development of an avalanche of accessible info redirects the responsibility onto the learner to think critically about what they choose to accept as facts. In many ways, we need to consider how what we give our voices in support of says about us, which narratives we accept and which we reject, and how that functions within society.

good post is good

I’ve also been really frustrated when I try to incorporate social justice-related concepts I’ve picked up through educating myself online into a paper and am then stymied because so many profs will only allow peer-reviewed sources on a paper. I don’t want to plagiarize and I don’t want to appear to be pulling things out of my ass. I’ve seen plenty of blog posts that basically gather links to a ton of sociological studies or whatever and synthesize/interpret them just as any other peer-reviewed paper might but for whatever reason (lack of access, institutional bias, straight up rightful disinterest in being a part of the white supremacist circlejerk that is academia, or even the fact that a lot of journals will subsequently not allow you to publish your work for free once it’s inside their EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE publication) this work only exists on a blog out on the internet. To rehash this work in my paper (by citing the peer-reviewed studies they used but “drawing my own conclusions” more like “agreeing with what someone else already concluded”) is exactly the kind of appropriation I don’t want to partake in.

& for me this is intrinsically connected to the ways that certain sources are (wrongfully) considered objective - white, supposedly anti-racist intellectuals are neutral on the topic of racism while poc are not, men are neutral on issues of sexism while women likely have a bias, etc. It’s not an accident that the institution that validates academic work is hostile to all of these groups, who are then squeezed to the margins, seek to publish their work online on their own instead, and are then further discredited for lack of peer review they could never access in the first place. Academia, you are garbage.

I want to thank you for putting into plain language exactly how this happens.

It’s basically the story of how they/we got here. The current sociopolitical climate is incredibly hostile to Ethnic Studies in the U.S.; as each new generation is less homogenous racially, culturally, and in a host of other ways, more and more legislation on restricting diversity in education is being passed.

This is the ABCs of gatekeeping, academic elitism, and how the process of marginalization happens in academia.

re: wiki books and other free resources for education

free resources won’t do much to adequately address the problem

recently the idea of MOOCs (massively open online courses) has basically collapsed because they don’t do anything but reinforce the status quo:

A global survey of almost 35,000 MOOC students engaged in courses of the online education service Coursera found that the majority were already well-educated and employed, and mostly males.

The survey’s results, published today in a letter to Nature, suggests that MOOCs reinforce the advantages of the rich rather than educating those who most need access to free education.

add to this the reality that:

the shockingly low number of students who actually finish the classes, which is fewer than 10%. Not all of those people received a passing grade, either, meaning that for every 100 pupils who enrolled in a free course, something like five actually learned the topic. If this was an education revolution, it was a disturbingly uneven one.

so if mostly affluent white men are taking these classes and, even then, most aren’t finishing them….

what the fuck is the point?

as medievalpoc points out, the problem isn’t lack of access or some other technological issue

it is a cultural problem

Thank you for clarifying the issue; also, I didn’t know the stats for MOOCs were so low.

Honestly, it just makes me more determined to keep putting this info out there for whoever wants it. As far as I know, there really isn’t anyone else out there presenting this info in this kind of context. Or format. But luckily, it seems like it’s catching on.

"Why do you hate the shape of breasts in plate armor so much?"


Since people often ask “Alright, well this is fantasy!  Why can’t we have boob shapes in plate armor?!”  I decided to make a post about it.  My frustration has nothing to do with historical inaccuracy and I’m all for imagination and freedom— but I’d like to (very quickly) illustrate this for you:


I purposely over-emphasized the shape of the two spheres in the armor so you can really think about this. 

Look at the shape of the blue cups and the green line, think about the form of that on some beautiful ornate plate armor.  A female warrior is charging into battle.  In the midst of this, she trips!  Or is pushed over, or takes a blow to the chest!  So long as the force is on the front of her torso it really doesn’t matter for the conclusion:

She feels a sharp pain in her chest and hears the cracking of bone!  Oh no, what’s gone wrong?  Well she doesn’t have time to think about that, because she is now dead.

Her sternum just fractured, take another look at that green line, that’s where all of the pressure from any front impact is going to go because of the shape of the two blue cups made for her breasts.  The rest of the armor slides around your body, but because of the two cups for breasts that are often made in fantasy female armors, the pressure point is directly on the sternum.  The breasts are not going to stop the force of you falling onto them, and because of that the metal is going to push in and bash you in the sternum.


What does a fractured sternum do?  Why it goes right into your heart and lungs of course.

(that was the sound of all of my followers inhaling a sharp breath between closed teeth at once)

Here are three great solutions to the problem:





It is usually possible to bind the breasts when fighting if they really are far too large to fit into regular looking armor (there’s padding anyway), but most women can actually fit into a similarly sized male counterpart’s armor quite easily.  Even if that’s the case, the armor can be made to have a curve to it without putting all of the pressure in one area, which was actually a style of armor for quite some time as shown here:


And don’t even get me started on the dreaded “Cleavage Window”

The “Cleavage Window” defeats the purpose of having any armor on your torso because it means you’re just going to be leaving open the vital organs the rest of the armor is trying to protect.

If people are going to protect themselves and not have much torso protection, invest in some blocking lessons, because the best defense is to not get hit at all.  There are also advantages to not having plate armor, and plate armor was often really expensive anyway.

— Edit —

imagesupaslim replied to your post: “Why do you hate the shape of breasts in plate armor so much?”

I’d also like to add that boob bulges direct blows straight to the sternum as well, rather than making them glance to either side. Good post.


voodoo-otter replied to your post: Proposition: Kratos is a fairly unique fixture in…

I was under the impression that unrestrained rage was considered the only emotion acceptable for a manly man to express, making Kratos more like the Platonic ideal than some weird outlier.

Almost unilaterally action dudes are just unaffected and above it all. They’ll usually get a crowning moment of unrestrained rage in the finale, but that’s like the first time Goku goes super Saiyan or something, it’s the finishing move, the “you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” sting. Otherwise they’re generally sunglasses-wearing unaffected emotional robots.

Kratos, on the other hand, is like… completely incapacitated by emotions 100% of the time, he is firing on all cylinders for the duration of just about any given God of War game, which will usually end with him raging himself out and making a futile attempt at suicide. His model generally varies between “maximum angry”image

and “Whoops we had nowhere else to go and now we have to crank it up to 11”


He’s just this perpetual tornado of I AM SO ANGRY AND SAD PLEASE JUST LET IT BE OVER.

That is the story of God of War.


Louis D.K.

GRAIL Maps the Moon’s Gravity
Image Credit & Copyright: NASA, JPL-Caltech, MIT, GSFC

Gravity maps or jawbreakers, the new trivia game!


GRAIL Maps the Moon’s Gravity

Image Credit & Copyright: NASA, JPL-Caltech, MIT, GSFC

Gravity maps or jawbreakers, the new trivia game!


She wishes she was a dog