Page: 1

Jaime Espinoza

Profile Information

Member since: Wed May 14, 2014, 03:49 PM
Number of posts: 703

Journal Archives

What was the last word you had to look up?

I read a lot and have for decades, from pulp fantasy to postmodernist essays. I play Scrabble at a fairly good albeit not world class level. Also, I have a decent grasp of Latin and Greek and a smattering of other ancient languages which are the roots of many of our words. I'm no genius by any means, but my vocabulary is not a small one. So it's rare indeed these days I come across a word I need to look up. It happened just yesterday though. The one that stumped me was "welkin" meaning the firmament of the sky.

I can even remember the last one I looked up a couple of weeks ago, although I could get close enough to the gist from Latin. A "sodality" is a fraternal club or group, often religious in nature.

Two fairly short, non-technical words that had somehow escaped an avid reader for 40 years before this month. Before those I think it had been years since I came across one.

So what strange but non-technical words were new to you lately?
Posted by Jaime Espinoza | Thu Jun 26, 2014, 09:27 AM (11 replies)

Who would you hate for an in-law?

The most frequent choice may surprise some, but I could have predicted its massive lead with quite stunning accuracy.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/06/13/pew_report_on_political_polarization_americans_will_accept_a_variety_of.html
Posted by Jaime Espinoza | Fri Jun 13, 2014, 02:20 PM (3 replies)

Is it really a surprise that poverty causes violence?

I hate to continue a locked thread, especially a racebaiting one, but the last response of the person who originally seemed to be accusing black folks of being inherently homicidal or some such nonsense surprised me greatly.

When I pointed out that the great majority of the difference disappeared when corrected for socioeconomic factors, I expected if anything the usual know-nothing bluster about bootstraps. Instead the response was an attempted "gotcha" as if he had "caught" me in an inappropriate suggestion that poverty causes violence.

Moving away as I should from the personal, I'm somewhat surprised that this could be questioned. This is a sincere wonder, not in any way a feigned gotcha or trap.

Why would poverty, mixed as I established with its concomitant lack of education and opportunity NOT cause a greater propensity to violence? Remember generalizations are not universal. It would be absurd to infer that I claim all pooor folks are violent or that no rich people are. This discussion should be about correlation, not spurious imaginary truisms.


Let's consider for a moment. Contrast A and B in various cases.

A doesn't have enough to eat. B is well fed. Both see me, an easy target for mugging, with a sack of groceries. Who is more likely to hit me over the head and take it?

A lives in an unheated room in a leaking tiny apartment. B lives in a comfy McMansion. Who is likely to be deterred from crime by the threat of being put in a small, but heated and dry prison cell?

A went, briefly, to a gang-infested poorly served school where teachers stayed only long enough to get a better gig, with few books, fewer amenities and no positive role models. B went to a private college prep school. Who is more likely to value immediate gratification over education?

A has few employment opportunities where he lives, and all of them are menial minimum wage jobs. B has a degree, a network of colleagues, and a wide range of cushy job opportunities. Who is more likely to seek the high risk but reasonable reward life of violent crime?

Posted by Jaime Espinoza | Fri Jun 13, 2014, 01:59 PM (17 replies)
Go to Page: 1