Please don’t punish your partners with public phone-reads of my posts

Today I learned that this blog has fomented marital strife in the lives of strangers.

From today’s Ask Amy column:

Dear Amy: I’m writing about a curious thing my husband does that tends to hurt my feelings. I’m not sure how inconsiderate he may be or how oversensitive I may be.

He tends to look for negative information about people and things I like. He also does this for things he likes.

For the most recent example, I regularly read the web comic xkcd. For no obvious reason, at dinner on Sunday, he handed me his phone with a lengthy blog post from a philosophy major about how dismissive the author of xkcd is toward people outside the STEM fields.

I’m not completely unsympathetic to philosophy majors, but I don’t really care. It’s just a funny comic.

That’s my work he printed out and pushed into his spouse’s face. My recent post.


In the response, Amy, well, ahem:

Dear Don’t Knock: I think you’re being oversensitive. Your husband seems to be consistent in his desire for information, along with his choice to follow that information trail to a conclusion, even an unpleasant one. He applies this metric to many and varied cultural issues, including those that engage him.

You simply want the freedom — and have the right — to like what you like, unencumbered by the ramblings of blogging philosophers. You don’t say that your husband shames you, but it seems that access to any potentially negative information will make you defensive.

Add “rambling blogging philosopher” to the list of things I’d have on my tombstone if I wanted to be buried after death, I guess!

While I don’t agree with Amy most of the time, and this time isn’t any exception (“random blogger finds it annoying” is not the same as “associated with the right wing”, plus I don’t think “sensitivity” is a problem), I do agree with the idea of sending a partner a link and opening a discussion rather than asking them to read a whole post while out for a meal.

Please don’t punish your partners with public phone-reads of my posts

2 thoughts on “Please don’t punish your partners with public phone-reads of my posts

  1. Ike

    I live with a rambling non-blogging philosopher who is very much smarter than STEMmy me. I have to explain xkcd to him. He doesn’t always laugh. He does share pleasure about some of them though. Occasionally I can get him to undertand how and why I am laughing hysterically at jokes in my field of Geology. This is philosophically useful to me, because it forces me to organise my understanding of my field to include absurdity, surprise, and camp. (Susan Sonntag, we lost you too soon!)
    He may feel stupid about it sometimes, even though he shouldn’t?

    The title of the webcomic is a joke. Xkcd is an extemely unlikely phoneme in the english language. Therefore the author is making sure that in a pre-google, America OnLine costs eight dollars an hour sorta way, that you can find his work.

    What STEMmy mes have encountered heavily and repeatedly in our liberal arts education is that we can’t possibly enjoy art/love/romance/literature/nature fully and there must be something wrong with us and special about the liberal artsy who didn’t have to take those courses. Because (implied scienceophobia and not-at-all included with real concerns about scientism-I checked) we’re scientists. Randall Monroe is poking all y’all back.

    1. 1.1

      I’ve literally never “poked” a STEM-mite the way you are describing. STEM people rule the world now. Y’all aren’t an oppressed minority. I am not sure where the defensiveness comes from.

      And as I’ve said elsewhere, for someone who makes a living off of his words and pictures, Randall seems to need a lot of y’all to explain what he actually secretly means by what he says. Hmmm.

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