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Past Smalltalk When Traveling

Hi Sebastian,

This is first time actually contacting you, or anybody through blog for that matter. But you make it almost too easy(you must be bombarded with e-mail, good luck!).

I'm interested to know your strategy or preference on maximizing meaningful conversations abroad or even back home. I mean do you have any particular tactic or is it mostly random. Any public places or events that stir up conversations with strangers, any small talk lines or questions(etc. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?) that lead to insight and good conversation.

I'm from Finland and I'm going to travel a bit in asia(Okinawa, Seoul, Katmandu, Bhutan) and I find conversations as the best way to learn and experience different cultures. It would be such a waste to do it randomly if it there's is a way to do it most efficient way.

If you have any book recommendations, please make them available in amazon.co.uk with your affiliate id I would be happy to support you somehow.

Bonus "Found" Poem: Women Are Persons

On like an apple

Last week I was working on this "found poem" for Friday, but then forgot to post it by Friday. So I am posting it today as a "bonus" found poem.

The language comes from a Wisconsin case, Brown v. Phillips, in which Olympia Brown, a renowned advocate for women's suffrage, sought to exercise the right to vote. The Wisconsin legislature had passed a law allowing women to vote on school-related matters, and Brown sought under that law to vote for the election of officials whose actions would have effect on school-related matters. Brown lost the case, because the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the law allowing women to vote on school matters did not extend so broadly to cover elections for every official whose actions would effect schools.

You can read more about women's suffrage in Wisconsin here.

Though the case was ultimately not a win for women's suffrage, the part I "found" or carved out of it is the part that stands for a fundamental proposition of feminism, that "women are people." One of the arguments of those opposing Brown's right to vote was that a constitutional provision that said that the legislature could pass laws extending the right to vote to "persons" did not mean women, too, because the only "persons" whom the constitution originally gave the right to vote were males. Thus, the argument went, the word "persons" should be understood to be limited to "persons" in the sense it seemed to be used in the constitution itself: men, only.

The court soundly rejected this reasoning, as you'll see, below.

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