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by Vorpal
27 Jul 2021, 11:44am
Forum: The Tea Shop
Topic: I don't like living in England....
Replies: 1246
Views: 31055

Re: I don't like living in England....

Ben@Forest wrote: 26 Jul 2021, 3:51pm I can't say disagree with much of that, but it is again so loaded to the US experience. African slavery, though it evidently contributed to domestic wealth here, simply wasn't the huge pool of domestic labour it was in the US. Mainly white people built railways, dug crops, mined coal and operated power looms, often in appalling conditions and with a huge amount of child labour (and mainly without the vote.)

I'm not trying to equate the experience of the British working class to slavery, but at the same time our experience was not that of the slavery, the Jim Crow laws or the official segregation of the US. It is a false equivalence to make it so.
I am not trying to create any false equivalence, but I think the similarities between racism in one country and another are hard to underestimate.

TBH, I though for years that the UK was a little better than the US, and Norway was better, yet. My work place is more diverse, despite a lower population of ethnic minorities, I didn't observe as much racism, and my children are taught about diversity and inclusion in school, not just as a matter of formal lessons, but integrated into the development of social relationships in the classroom, and a diverse body of teaching staff. But, more recently, I have heard and seen extreme racism, and as my children get older, I have learned that racist language, humour and stereotype jokes are common among teens. I've indirectly observed similar things in the UK.

My Black and POC friends report many similar experiences between the US, UK, and Norway, in difficulty finding work, being called derogatory and racist names, or simply experience the sort of subtle prejudice and microaggressions that can be difficult to pin down as racism, but a white person is less likely to experience.

There are some things unique about the US experience; one is simply that racists are more comfortable being open about their racism. And I think that this is what resulted in my observing less overt racism in the UK than the US and less in Norway than the UK (more about this in a bit). The other thing is that while Black and POC folks in the US have a higher probability of being impacted by systemic racism, the individual experience on a day-to-day basis is probably not as different as you might think. A Black American friend living in Norway said that there were more differences from one office to another in the US than between the US and Norway. That one company might have a diverse work force and reasonable social environment, and another is a day-to-day battle against anything from a barrage of microaggressions to overt hostility. She's only worked a couple of places in Norway, but has other friends here who work in a wider variety of situations.

Back to my observations... I recently realised that there are two problems with using what I observe to understand racism. The first is that being white, I will never observe the full extent. There are some parallels with sexism, but it isn't the same. I do experience less sexism in Norway, and I thought that had implications for racism, but I no longer think that. The second problem with using my observations is that when people are less overt about racism, they are also less likely to talk about it, or address the problems. It is much easier to pretend it isn't a problem, and IMO, this is especially true when the manifestations of systemic racism are more subtle (i.e. difficulty getting a job or a mortgage, rather than bias in the justice system). They've done some studies here, swapping names on CVs and what have you. A CV with a Norwegian name is the most likely to be selected for interview. The same CVs with clearly African or Islamic names are the least likely to be selected for interview.

Few countries are without any history of slavery. The specifics may differ. The UK has, to my knowledge never allowed ownership of people, as such, but servitude & forced labour have persisted into modern times, despite regulations and policing.

Of course what I write is partly anecdotal, but there is a case to be made by someone with more expertise that the lack of background of slavery and segregation make it more difficult for society to confront the racial power differential, rather than less. If the gap is smaller, the unwillingness to acknowledge it is disproportionately larger. And in the US, the government has legislated against discrimination, and used the power of the courts to back it up. In other other countries, the governments are complicit in racist practices. Even where they are not, refusing to acknowledge them, making proof burdensome, or not imposing significant penalties, makes it extremely difficult to fight against in any practical or legal manner.

Norway does some things well, but folks with far more expertise than I persistently criticise the Norwegian government for not taking the far right, extreme racism and Islamophobia seriously enough.


That's a lot of words to deny false equivalencies, but the heart of this issue is that racism from the victims perspective looks remarkably similar from one country to another. It doesn't really matter whether the N-word is said with a British or American accent, does it? It doesn't matter whether the football results or a BLM protest prompt a racist remark.
by Vorpal
26 Jul 2021, 3:07pm
Forum: The Tea Shop
Topic: I don't like living in England....
Replies: 1246
Views: 31055

Re: I don't like living in England....

I wasn't trying to suggest that racism and oppression are unique to the Western world. It's just the only one I have any knowledge of.

I would not think to write about racism in China, at least not with considerable research. I am cautious even about writing about racism in places where I have witnessed it. Because I am white. Although I come from a mixed race family, however 'woke' I might like to think myself, what I have observed is yet different to what my cousins have experienced.

That said, just because Critical Race Theory begins with the supposition that systemic racism exists, calling it a theory doesn't make the systemic issues go away. The main reason CRT exists is because people spent so much time arguing about *whether* systemic/institutional racism/oppression exists, that they were getting nowhere with what to do about it.

As a white person, I don't feel that I can or should get any mileage out of arguing about the validity of CRT. I prefer to read stuff about it written by Black authors, and to oppose racism as best as I can.

IMO, the biggest problem with most of this stuff is that groups of (mostly) white people are tying to decide what racism should or shouldn't be, and IMO, it's not their place. It's not their place to decide if CRT should be taught. It's not their place to decide how to teach the history of slavery. It's not their place to decide how much oppression remains in our societies. Yet, that is exactly what happens. They argue about what should or shouldn't be taught; text books paint slave traders as business people and leaders without adequately acknowledging the forced labour and death that underlaid their wealth, etc.

The book I quoted above, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo provides an excellent perspective on modern racism, and I highly recommend reading it.

p.s. the 'incredibly simplistic' definition of woke I used came from a Black friend, and I'm inclined to accept her definition. Oluo uses the word without defining it, though her discussion suggests that she defines it more along the lines of: accepting that privilege exists & being willing to check your own privilege when challenged.
by Vorpal
26 Jul 2021, 8:57am
Forum: The Tea Shop
Topic: I don't like living in England....
Replies: 1246
Views: 31055

Re: I don't like living in England....

Author Ijeoma Oluo wrote:
The most common defintions of racism are as follows: (1) Racism is any prejudice against someone because of their race. Or (2) Racism is any prejudice against someone because of their race, when those views are reinforced by systems of power. While these two definitions are very close to each other in many ways, the differences between these two definitions of racism drastically change how you look at and address racism in America.
For the purposes of this book, I'm going to use the second definition of racism: a prejudice against someone based on race, when those prejudices are reinforced by systems of power. And this is the definition I recommend you use in your day-to-day life if your goal is to reduce the systemic harm done to people of color by racism in America. Let me explain why.
When we use only the first definition of racism, as any prejudice against someone based on race, we inaccurately reduce issues of race in America to a battle for the hearts and minds of individual racists--instead of seeing racists, racist behaviors, and racial oppression as part of a larger system....
The truth is, you don't even have to "be racist" to be a part of a racist system.
While they were clearly writing about the USA, the same systems of oppression exist in the UK, and most other Western nations, as a result of the history of colonialism, slavery, and the exploitation that accompanied those.

Whatever the dictionary definition, 'woke' is simply recognising the systems of oppression, and the behaviour that results. TBH, I don't think that any white folks really need to use the term.

For folks who want to 'get along', recognising, and helping to address the racism in the system is necessary.
by Vorpal
23 Jul 2021, 3:40pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Europe July.????
Replies: 538
Views: 12524

Re: Europe July.????

pwa wrote: 23 Jul 2021, 1:53pm
willem jongman wrote: 23 Jul 2021, 12:25pm Interestingly the FT site solves the puzzle about German Covid deaths: their excess mortality is much lower than their reported Covid deaths. So they must have been reporting many people as Covid deaths who would have died shortly afterwards anyway. Their excess mortality is remarkably low, and matches their low infection rate.
I suppose another explanation is that measures designed to reduce Covid transmission also reduce transmission of influenza and other diseases, so death from or assisted by those diseases will be down on normal levels.
willem jongman wrote: 23 Jul 2021, 2:01pm Yes but not only in Germany.
The effect of this has been significant in Norway, where for several periods in the last 18 months, excess deaths have been below average.
by Vorpal
23 Jul 2021, 1:57pm
Forum: Cycle Camping sub-forum
Topic: Pertex Quantum, condensation and a sleeping bag
Replies: 37
Views: 646

Re: Pertex Quantum, condensation and a sleeping bag

I guess you know that condensation occurs from your breath adding moisture to the atmosphere... I can see a couple of possible ways that this is transferring to the sleeping bag (besides that mentioned: it is more likely to come into contact with the walls of the tent).

First, a question... are you using a mattress or insulator under the sleeping bag?

If not, the most likely answer is that the sleeping bag is being kept cool by proximity to the ground, and therefore collects condensation.

Otherwise that explanation must be in how quickly the tent warms in the morning.

Insulation, like in your sleeping bag, reduces thermal conductivity.

During the period when things are cooling down in the evening, this helps you keep warm & reduces condensation.

During the period when things are warming up in the morning, this could mean that the surface of your sleeping bag warms more slowly than the stuff around. Because this surface is (slightly) cooler, that is where condensation occurs.

The conditions must be such that it warms very quickly in the morning, otherwise, a warm body in the sleeping bag should normally prevent that sort of condensation.

Of course, if you have a condensation problem in the tent, it may be hard to discern one aspect of the problem from another.

Condensation can be a problem, especially in the mountains, because there can be fairly extreme differences between day and night during the summer.
by Vorpal
23 Jul 2021, 6:29am
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Europe July.????
Replies: 538
Views: 12524

Re: Europe July.????

Astrobike wrote: 23 Jul 2021, 12:02am
I have to a agree with please point me to a NL forum where I can sit on the side lines and gloat at all the faults the NL has.
At the end of the day you could give us all a break and use a German forum.
Mods has this not got out of hand for a cycling for A cycling forum ?
This thread has long since become yet another covid thread, and recovery is beyond me.
by Vorpal
22 Jul 2021, 9:46pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Child's First Bike
Replies: 19
Views: 489

Re: Child's First Bike

groberts wrote: 22 Jul 2021, 8:05pm Just to say it looks like we've found a good 16" Isla CNOC at a good price and it's blue (the most important factor from her point-of-view!) to be picked-up on Saturday.

Many thanks for everyone's help.

Graham
Fantastic luck!
by Vorpal
22 Jul 2021, 9:39pm
Forum: Cycle Camping sub-forum
Topic: Pertex Quantum, condensation and a sleeping bag
Replies: 37
Views: 646

Re: Pertex Quantum, condensation and a sleeping bag

gloomyandy wrote: 22 Jul 2021, 7:22pm Could the greater condensation be because you are in it? Extra heat from you and possibly water vapour as well?
This was my first thought.
by Vorpal
22 Jul 2021, 9:35pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Europe July.????
Replies: 538
Views: 12524

Re: Europe July.????

ossie wrote: 22 Jul 2021, 8:37pm
pwa wrote: 22 Jul 2021, 4:41pm I know it is a bit too early to express a view on this, but has anyone else noticed that the increase in reported UK cases has stalled in the last few days? Could it be that the virus is struggling to find people without sufficient antibody levels? Or is it just that people are choosing not to get tested now? It will be interesting to see what the latest relaxing of restrictions does to the case count.
Yes I noticed this but positivity appears to be frowned upon on here.

I think the football resulted in a major rise in cases so we're reaching that peak and its now tapering downwards. Today when shopping in a supermarket 50% weren't wearing masks. This weekend is the first big test since the football. Pubs, restaurants and nightclubs are back to normal with no restrictions. I'd expect to see a significant rise in the next two weeks.

That said and as an aside, schools break up - that may counter things in a good way.
I think it is probably a result of test capacity & lag. If you look at the data by date of test taken, it's still going up, every place except Scotland which has already begun school holidays.
by Vorpal
22 Jul 2021, 9:03pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Quads get tired too quickly...?
Replies: 45
Views: 1533

Re: Quads get tired too quickly...?

quads = quadriceps = general term for the large muscle(s) on the front of the thigh
by Vorpal
22 Jul 2021, 12:56pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Quads get tired too quickly...?
Replies: 45
Views: 1533

Re: Quads get tired too quickly...?

Slothman wrote: 22 Jul 2021, 11:50am Thanks again for the replies.

I suspect my issues stem from more than one place.

I reckon you are all correct in that...
I would recommend taking a look at 531colin's bike fitting guide linked in his signature.
by Vorpal
22 Jul 2021, 9:03am
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: Rim snapped off
Replies: 16
Views: 598

Re: Rim snapped off

I don't recommend riding that at all.

If someone turned up on something like that to ride with me, I would either loan them a bike, or a wheel, and not go out like that.
by Vorpal
22 Jul 2021, 8:38am
Forum: The Tea Shop
Topic: Covid-19 : 2nd Lockdown 2020 : 3rd Lockdown 2021
Replies: 989
Views: 25919

Re: Covid-19 : 2nd Lockdown 2020 : 3rd Lockdown 2021

It seems a waste to change jeans or trousers everyday, if I can just change underwear, instead?