Taboos for Totalitarianism

Taboo topics are topics we cannot talk about or allow because they evoke emotions we as a culture don't want to feel or acknowledge. Examples of these are war violence, rape, addiction, gender issues, shame, mental illness, etc. Laura Mappin believes that being able to fully discuss and address taboo subjects is one of our culture's immune responses for a saner world. She believes that taboos of this sort make our society weaker and ripe for takeover by those who can exploit these taboos. Laura has constructed a graph that illustrates her points. Can this diagram help humanists communicate what we're about? 

The first part of this talk will introduce a diagram relating taboo topics and the health of society. 

The rest of the time will be a facilitated discussion about whether this makes sense to you from your own humanist perspective and whether this graph is a useful mechanism to put forth humanist concepts. 

Laura Mappin is an artist working to shine light on all taboo subjects that cause undue hardship on a few just because of others' attitudes. She has BS degrees in Computer Science and Math and now applies that education graphing taboos and human behavior and creating art that lightly laughs at our predicament.

***For those who want to keep the discussion going...many members like to go to Dolores Cafe after BAH events. Please join us!***

Sponsored by the Bay Area Humanists

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  • Mark D.

    I didn't understand the presentation at all. I didn't get what the presenter was trying to say.

    November 2, 2013

    • Laura M.

      Sorry to hear that, Mark. My sense from the questions and discussions throughout the talk was that many did get it.

      I'm sorry we didn't get to hear from you and get to address your questions during the meeting. If you'd like to ask questions now, I hope you feel free to do so.

      November 4, 2013

  • Ming L.

    Oi ya yai ya yai I was just floored by the website link from the discussion below. I had looked forward to hearing a discussion on taboos but this is way beyond my earthly comprehension. No I am not easily biased but do recognize a preoccupation when I see one. I am just surprised that this got the endorsement of Humanists (?). Undoubtedly the very well done website is created by a very smart person and I did enjoy the creativity presented on the intro http://bit.ly/1igMwpU

    October 28, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I looked at the taboos website. It seemed thoughtful. Most of the BBS posts seemed to be about feeling not cared for. I thought that was discussed in a pretty friendly way. So, I'm baffled as to your meaning, Ming.

      October 31, 2013

    • Ming L.

      Hi Byron, well then it is a good website now and that is wonderful. It is best to leave well enough alone. Please enjoy your meetup discussion. This is my last post.

      October 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    People seem to map a lot of different things together, having stock categories for whatever doesn't conform to some "standard" view.

    October 26, 2013

    • Laura M.

      oh let's do talk in person. I think online communication is great up to a point.

      October 28, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I agree.

      1 · October 29, 2013

  • michelle

    Working. :( Are the meeting always the 1st Saturday of the month? That way I can ask ahead to have off.

    October 29, 2013

    • Phil C.

      yes - the other event is always on the last Sunday of the month

      October 29, 2013

  • Laura M.

    Thanks for your comments, Byron. I look forward to meeting you and discussing this further in the group. I hope at least to present a tool to help each of us more clearly state where we stand. But we'll see if it works that way :D

    Preview info is here - http://bit.ly/1igMwpU

    October 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I like your diagram. It is necessarily incomplete. That allows for the possibility of (self) consistency.

      October 26, 2013

    • Laura M.

      :) I offer it as a tool to facilitate discussion - if it's helpful. There are so many things about it that I'm still thinking about. And its rabbit hole potential is huge.

      In general, I do think it has the potential to describe what a lot of us are trying to describe about where we stand. And I think it has potential to reflect where we have been heading with various laws and treatment of humans over time. Will be an interesting discussion nonetheless. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

      October 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Apparently, it can be difficult to know if one is actually logged into Meetup, which could explain some data discrepancies.

    October 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    That is to say, that some things which people find painful to discuss, weaken society.

    October 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I agree with Laura's idea that weaken society and that psychopaths do exploit such taboos.

    October 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    There seems to be some overlap between groups meeting. This can be a bit confusing. It feels like my comments are being edited by someone else, but overlap might explain the situation.

    October 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Friday, I heard Andrew Solomon discuss his book, Far From The Tree, on Terry Gross' NPR show. It explains so much. I went out and bought it. It is so relevant to this upcoming talk. Solomon, a self-described gay man, examined several topics, but the implication is that there are many other things that can cause the apple to fall far from the tree. It's not just about sex, gender and attraction, or the like. In combination the apple could fall, very far from the tree, very, very far from the tree, ... and so very far from the tree.

    People far from the tree are nervous to tell anyone about it, because they either have been attacked for it, or fear being attacked for it. Since it can be all sorts of things, which they may not have even realized, they could have any number of things to "come out of the closet" over. Furthermore, one person can have many reasons to do so.

    October 15, 2013

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