Filed under: DEFINITIONS,Uncategorized — tkm March 27, 2008 @ 15:0 pm

“Gadfly” is a term for people who upset the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or attempt to stimulate innovation by proving an irritant.

The term “gadfly” was used by Plato to describe Socrates’ relationship of uncomfortable goad to the Athenian political scene, which he compared to a slow and dimwitted horse. The Christian bible also references the gadfly in terms of political influence. Specifically, the book of Jeremiah, chapter 46 verse 20. The term has been used to describe many politicians and social commentators.

During his defense when on trial for his life, Socrates, according to Plato’s writings, pointed out that dissent, like the tiny (relative to the size of a horse) gadfly, was easy to swat, but the cost to society of silencing individuals who were irritating could be very high. “If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me,” because his role was that of a gadfly, “to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth.”


Filed under: DEFINITIONS,Uncategorized — tkm May 3, 2007 @ 11:0 am


“Stereotyping” is a generalization about a person or group of persons. We develop stereotypes when we are unable or unwilling to obtain all of the information we would need to make fair judgments about people or situations. Where prejudices lurk, stereotyping is seldom far behind. Stereotyping is a tool used for propaganda and divisive politics. Advocates for public policy changes often have to overcome social stereotyping, while opponents of public policy changes often seek to reinforce them. Negative stereotyping is a key feature in prejudice, racism, sexism, ageism, and so on.

I would have hoped by now stereotyping would be on the decline, but in Portsmouth, Ohio it’s still going strong. Social stereotype is commonly used by people wanting to increase their self-esteem. Stereotyping tends to make the giver feel superior in some way to the person or group being stereotyped; stereotyping ignores the uniqueness of individuals. Stereotyping is not only harmful in its own right but does damage by fostering prejudice and discrimination. When unjustified stereotyping is applied to individuals and/or groups, the result is often negative. Many individuals in Portsmouth, Ohio even today discriminate against the female gender and believe a parallel exists between the position of women and that of the slaves. In their view, both are expected to be passive, cooperative, and obedient to their master-husbands. This type of stereotyping and negative attitude is not only expressed and promoted by the males of Portsmouth, Ohio, but accepted by many women who live in our community.

Positive Responses to Prejudice and Stereotypes

Understanding the nature of prejudice, scapegoat, stereotypes, and discrimination is the first step in combating these practices. All of us have prejudices about members of groups different from ourselves. We should, however, recognize that we are not acting fairly if we treat people differently because of these stereotypes and prejudices. Each one of us deserves to be considered a unique human being.

All of us face peer pressure when confronted with a joke which puts down a certain minority. It takes courage to raise objections to these jokes and pejorative names and to actively fight the prejudice and bigotry which they foster. It is important to stand up against injustice, and fight the discrimination, stereotypes, and scapegoating which have served as the precursors to persecution, violence, and genocide.


Filed under: DEFINITIONS,Uncategorized — tkm January 9, 2007 @ 14:0 pm

Definition of the word “Shall” by the Oxford English Dictionary.

The verb shall has a very long and very complex history in English. “In the second and third persons, expressing the speaker’s determination to bring about (or, with negative, to prevent) some action, event, or state of things in the future, or (occasionally) to refrain from hindering what is otherwise certain to take place, or is intended by another person.”

It is the imperative mood, that is giving an order or command, that is achieved with use of shall. “Shall” is what the English translation of the Bible uses in the Ten Commandments. Shall commands something be done. However, be aware there are many other uses of shall, other moods, including the subjunctive, that are different.

But in the Bible and in law the meaning of shall is clear: it is a command or order that something must or must not (shall not) be done.

See below an example of misuse of the word “Shall” by City Council, the Mayor, the Auditor.  These Public Officials show us daily why our City is in the mess it is today.



Filed under: DEFINITIONS,Uncategorized — tkm November 1, 2006 @ 21:0 pm

Adophenia is the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.


Filed under: DEFINITIONS,Uncategorized — tkm @ 21:0 pm

Paranoia is a term used by mental health specialists to describe suspiciousness (or mistrust) that is either highly exaggerated or not warranted at all. The word is often used in everyday conversation, often in anger, often incorrectly.

An unmistakable sign of paranoia is continual mistrust. People with paranoid personality disorder are constantly on their guard because they see the world as a threatening place. They tend to confirm their expectations by latching on to any speck of evidence that supports their suspicions and ignore or misinterpret any evidence to the contrary. They are ever watchful and may look around for signs of a threat.

Because persons with paranoid personality disorder are hyperalert, they may take offense where none is intended. As a result, they tend to be defensive and antagonistic. When they are at fault, they cannot accept blame, not even mild criticism. Yet they are highly critical of others. Other people may say that these individuals make “mountains out of molehills.”

Symptoms of Paranoia:
Symptoms of paranoia and paranoid disorders include intense and irrational mistrust or suspicion, which can bring on sense of rage, hatred, and betrayal. Some people suffering from paranoid personality may have a high capacity to annoy or enrage others because of rigid and maladaptive behavior. Some identifiable beliefs and actions of paranoid-related disorders include mistrust, taking offense easily, difficulty with forgiveness, defensive attitude in response to imagined criticism, preoccupation with hidden motives, fear of being deceived or taken advantage of, inability to relax, argumentative, abrupt, stubborn, self-righteous, and perfectionistic.

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