Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, January 07, 2021

Can a man experience an abortion? No, but apparently he can suffer sympathy stress over what might have been:

These days, he channels the grief into activism in a burgeoning movement of “post-abortive men.” Abortion is usually portrayed as a woman’s issue: her body, her choice, her relief or her regret. This new movement — both political and deeply personal in nature — contends that the pronoun is all wrong.

We had abortions,” said Mark B. Morrow, a Christian counselor. “I’ve had abortions.”

Morrow spoke to more than 150 antiabortion activists gathered recently in San Francisco for what was billed as the first national conference on men and abortion. Participants — mostly counselors and clergy — heard two days of lectures on topics such as “Medicating the Pain of Lost Fatherhood” and “Forgiveness Therapy With Post-Abortion Men.”

This seems to be a natural outgrowth of the pre-natal hyper-involvement manifested by couples who declare, “We’re pregnant”. If having a baby is characterized as a team effort, then it follows that not having a baby would be just as much a shared experience.

Or maybe it’s just another disembodied view of reproductive rights, with a focus on the fetus above all else:

In the end, [Houston lawyer Chris] Aubert says his moral objection to abortion always wins. If he could go back in time, he would try to save the babies.

But would his long-ago girlfriends agree? Or might they also consider the abortions a choice that set them on a better path?

Aubert looks startled. “I never really thought about it for the woman,” he says slowly.

Yeah, I recognize a set-up “gotcha” moment when I read it. It doesn’t invalidate the fundamentals here: At root, just as the woman is the one who has to bear the nine-month pregnancy, the woman’s the one who bears the direct physical and emotional scars of an abortion. The male partner can empathize all he wants, but ultimately, he’s doing so just so he can say he’s along for the ride, for whatever reason — emotional, political, whatever. The heavy lifting remains with the X chromosome.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/07/2021 10:56:26 PM
Category: Politics, Society
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The Neuros OSD (Open-Source Device) looks like a great example of how to combine robust digital-media capabilities with user-friendly design:

The OSD is a versatile recorder. Using a memory card or a U.S.B. storage device, it saves copies of DVDs, VHS tapes and television programs from satellite receivers, cable boxes, TVs and any other device with standard video output.

Because the OSD saves the recordings in the popular compressed video format MPEG-4 (pronounced EM-peg), the programs can be watched on a host of devices, including iPods and smartphones. The OSD is for sale at Fry’s, Micro Center, J&R Electronics and other locations for about $230..

Using the OSD for daily video recording demands no special technical background, and no PC is required. Setup is easy: Plug a U.S.B. hard drive or other memory device into one side of this lightweight unit, and plug the TV and, for example, the DVD player into the other side.

I’ve got little patience for overwrought DVD conversion software, so the OSD sounds like the path to lesser resistance for me. Not only can I see saving the content off a few of my video discs for iPod viewing, I’ve also got a bunch of stuff on tape (video and, yes, audio) that could use a digitized resurrection.

For tech-heads, the buzzworthy aspect of the OSD is that it’s a slick example of finished-product hardware that’s manufacturer-sanctioned for hacking:

Products like the OSD are a good example of a small but growing trend toward openness, said Jimmy Guterman, editor of Release 2.0, a technology and business newsletter published by O’Reilly Media of Sebastopol, Calif.

“The open source hardware movement parallels the earlier open source software movement that started off as a renegade thing 15 years ago,” he said. “Now it’s the center of I.T. at many major Web sites like Google.”

The comparison to software is interesting, because feasibly, it’s way easier to create code than to create a hunk of hardware. Instead of tinkering with cobbled-together computer parts or cracking open devices that weren’t intended to be cracked open, Neuros Technology makes it as inviting as possible for the technically-inclined to experiment. Although I think that’s still a divide in the computing world: Code monkeys versus wire-grabbers.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/07/2021 10:34:01 PM
Category: Media, Tech
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