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Mon, May. 10th, 2004, 07:10 pm
More Interviewage

From Anthony. Good questions, by the way!

1. What do you think is the role of the individual when it comes to assuming social responsibility? Should people bother trying to "change the world," or are we all ok just being the best "us" that we can be?

That depends on what you mean by "the best 'us'." At some level, no one can be expected to do more than be their best self. The problem arises when there's no corresponding awareness that that best self had better have some meaningful, practical ramifications on the world around them. (For example, I see a lot of people say things like, "Smile at the people you see every day," as their ethical mantra. What bullshit! That may improve peoples' moods, but it's hardly a moral commitment.) I'm a great believer in acting locally, but that means more than just being a moral person in your private life. If you aren't seeking out opportunities to help people, then your "best self" is just an excuse to be selfish. Most of us don't have the ability to change the world - but that's no excuse not to change your corner of it, and to help other people change it on a larger scale.

2. Do you believe that the human race has a chance to continue in its peculiar journey for a great deal of time yet, or do you think that there's a good chance that we'll see the end of civilization as we know it during our lifetime?

Honestly, I don't know. I tend to be kind of morbid about these things - I was probably the only nine-year-old who memorized locations of nearby fallout shelters - so I would say that though I think there's good odds we're going to screw ourselves royally, that probably isn't actually a realistic view of things.

3. What do you think is one of the things that most imminently needs to happen in the world for there to be true gender equality (and if your answer is education for girls, how do you think there can be some more of that to go around)?

That's a hard question to answer because it assumes that all women face the same kinds of problems, regardless of class, race, age or nationality. The practical problems that a young mother in Guatemala faces because of her gender are very different from the ones a childless fifty-year-old CEO in New York has. Both do trace back to the same underlying cause - the devaluation of women, women's work, women's problems and women's roles - but that's no exactly a practical thing to change.

In terms of what would help the largest number of women, I think a really good start would be for "caring work" (housework, child care, elder care and the like) and for the traditionally female professions (teaching, nursing) to be valued as much as, say, investment banking. They're actually much more important and productive in real terms, which I think is part of why they are undervalued - few people have an option not to do this work, because it's so important, and because there are people who will do it for emotional reasons there's no reason to provide value in social status or in cold, hard cash. That, and we also need global, widespread access to birth control and to free or heavily subsidized child care.

4. To what roleplaying challenge would you most like to see me rise?

I'd like to see you face a situation that got you emotionally worked up out of character - and channel that energy into doing what Aniketos would do, not in letting that influence Aniketos's actions. Your successes in bringing your real-world emotions into the game work best when they're tending the same way as Aniketos's, and I'd really like to see you use an emotional charge you have as a player to do something radically different in-character. Does that make sense?

5. If you could either have access to a library that contained the original edition of every book ever written, including all those previously lost, destroyed, or hidden; or the ability to perform miraculous feats of healing, at will and with regularity, which would you take?

You bastard. I'd rather have the library - you know that - but I couldn't live with myself if I turned down the ability to heal people in need.