Re: Takes All Kinds To Make A World Go Round

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Who knew that Joe Biden had so many fans, and that they were so, uh, enthusiastic. Or are they looking past Joe to Nancy Pelosi?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:12 AM
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Of course most of them wouldn't have as big a problem with Biden as they have with Obama, though. I wonder what the difference could be.
I wonder how the free range railroad ties taste.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:15 AM
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Why "wold"?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:16 AM
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4: Because after I saw I had a typo, I went and fixed it, and forgot to hit "save", so it never updated.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:17 AM
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I had a moment a little like this reading The Omnivore's Dilemma. There's an excellent section on Polyface Farm, a sustainable farm that treats its animals humanely and generally sounds like an ideal to be aspired to. And then Pollan gets into a bit of a conversation with the farmer about how farming methods like his could be used to supply food to cities, and the farmer says something like "I don't care if those people all die."

Which left me thinking "Hey, I don't have anything against you; until now I was thinking you were kind of neat and admirable. But I gather the feeling isn't mutual."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:22 AM
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6: To be fair, it was the customer who wanted Obama to die, not the person who works there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:24 AM
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But, to temper 7, most Christians believe in hell, and most Christians believe that accepting Jesus is necessary to escape it. Therefore I am surrounded by people who are willfully not confronting the fact that they think I will be tortured mercilessly for all eternity. Sometimes I get irate about this if I think about it too hard.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:26 AM
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I'm just waiting to hear the arguments about how it is that the Twelfth Amendment is void.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:27 AM
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That is, our Taliban can develop it's own Twelvers.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:27 AM
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And to be fair, I just checked myself by looking at the book on Amazon, and it wasn't as bad as I remember it:

When I asked how a place like New York City fit into his vision of a local food economy, he startled me with his answer: "Why do we have to have a New York City? What good is it?"

Still eliminationist, but less directly hostile thn I'd recalled, or than prayers for Obama's death.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:28 AM
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9 sounds figurative, but since it's Charley, I assume it's literal.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:28 AM
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Literally waiting. Sitting right here. Waiting.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:31 AM
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10: Is he just arguing for a radical reorganization of society? Maybe he's not hostile at all; he just thinks New Yorkers would be happier living on a big farm where they could run free and play all day.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:34 AM
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But not in a courtroom, waiting to hear legal arguments against the 12th amendment, I suppose. But of all our commenters, you'd have been the most likely.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:34 AM
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13: Now that sounds like a euphemism. And what a hostile euphemism that would be!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:35 AM
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14 -- No, I'm likely the most sympathetic to Burr.

I just wish Joe and Nancy could do a better job settling their following down.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:38 AM
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13: There's an awful lot of us. If we just all leave the cities, we're going to be standing in his pasture, annoying his cows. I'm prepared to believe that he just hasn't realized that -- he's wished us to someplace where we're neither in cities (bad) or cluttering up his farm (which I assume he wasn't extending an invitation for) without realizing that there's no such place. But the wish that cities would go away is, to the extent that it's not pure fantasy, an implicit wish that their residents would go away as well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:45 AM
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To the OP, it's probably just a matter of our perspective that we can't see how that guy is right -- not just right, but right in the kind of homespun way we're careful to shun in these here comment threads.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:49 AM
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17: there are those who comment on this very blog who have argued for radical reductions in population without seeming to grasp the implications of that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:50 AM
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what is the 12th amendment?


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:50 AM
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but right in the kind of homespun way we're careful to shun in these here comment threads.

I shun folksy like that for breakfast.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:52 AM
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21 -- Before the amendment, the second place finisher in the presidential election was vice president. After the amendment, they get voted on separately, and can run as a ticket.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:52 AM
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"Why do we have to have a New York City? What good is it?"

One has read similar questions from people who are not Obama-hating Jesus freaks. Question for discussion: Can the human mind conceive an apocalypse that is not flattering to its sensibilities?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:53 AM
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19: I could have sworn that those 'radical reductions in population' were described as the result of a birth rate lowered through the non-coercive provision of birth control options. If you spell that bit out, I think it makes a huge difference -- I wouldn't have been cranky with the farmer at all if he'd been saying "In my ideal world, we'd have a population small enough that everyone could live rurally near their food suppliers, and we wouldn't need cities. And we could get down there in a couple of generations if we could figure out some acceptable way of lowering the birthrate worldwide. But until we do that, I accept that cities are going to exist and the people in them have to be fed somehow."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:54 AM
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19 - Do you mean me, Sifu?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:55 AM
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An awful lot of the green radicals I've met (usually anarchists but maybe not calling themselves that) would probably believe that we don't need to have cities. Some of them wouldn't have thought very much about the decitification process; some of them are expecting global catastrophe to kill off lots of people, will they or never so; and some--the fabians among the anarchists--would suggest something along the lines of reconstituting cities so that they're no longer "cities" as such, with somewhat fewer people, much more intensive gardening/farming, much less economic/trade centralization and much less transit in and out. New York will probably always be a special case; I can imagine a city like Minneapolis as a sort of thick settlement in the midst of intensive gardening, but we have a lot of green space.

This doesn't mean that they have any personal animosity toward you, although some of them may well believe that you're going to die of either plague, riot or starvation in the near future.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:56 AM
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New York will probably always be a special case;

And Chicago. And Mexico City. And Beijing. And London. And Tokyo. And Cairo. And so forth.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:58 AM
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An awful lot of the green radicals I've met (usually anarchists but maybe not calling themselves that) would probably believe that we don't need to have cities.

Do they think cities are destructive? Or just unnecessary?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:58 AM
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25: I don't remember it being just you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:59 AM
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Grandma says that I'm a special case!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:00 AM
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27: Lagos! Lagos gets to stay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:00 AM
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I hadn't realized that Polyface Farm had been featured in so much national coverage (not just Pollan's book; apparently at least a few newspaper and NPR stories, too). I have the vague impression, from half paying attention the local news here, that Mr. Salatin of Polyface has a knack for saying controversial things.

I've never tried their stuff, but I must add that it seems everyone around here who has is an outspoken loyal customer. (Almost annoyingly so, in that preachy sort of way.) But, yeah, I gather he's kind of weird.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:01 AM
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Sure, but I don't think you're accurately representing my position. In case I've been careless in past arguments:

I think the world can support far fewer people at what we consider a first world standard of living.

I think we'll get to that number of people one way or the other.

I think the easiest way to get there is over decades, by only having actively desired children.

I want that because I think it minimizes societal pain, not because I want to see cities go away or heathen New Yorkers suffer.

For everyone living, I hope they get to live with as much satisfaction and autonomy as possible. I am not concerned about the unborn.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:03 AM
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32: Pollan made the place sound utterly fantastically efficient, humane, and appealing as a farm. Assuming that wasn't all hooey, I wouldn't be at all surprised by strong positive feelings about the place locally. It's just a bit of a kick in the head realizing "Huh. This nice, innovatively sustainable farmer-guy wishes I didn't exist."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:05 AM
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OK, along with a Twelver sect (is Sarah Palin really the Mahdi??) our Taliban need to develop a Khmer Rouge sect.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:07 AM
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28: I can't speak for all of them! But my guess would be that cities as presently constituted are destructive--heavy on the as presently constituted. Part of that is political; the larger the community the more difficult it is to be democratic. Part of that is the transit and the shipping. My wild-eyed utopian critique of cities would be simply that cities allow for the centralization of economic power in ways that cannot but be harmful. Do I live in rural Minnesota with Emerson? No. In fact, in mere moments I'm going to go and buy various delicious products imported from Asia at my extremely unsustainable giant-super-duper pan-Asian grocery.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:08 AM
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(I should say that while I'm very sympathetic to the 'smaller global population through non-coercive means' argument, I don't see any connection at all to eliminating cities, or any reason that eliminating cities would be environmentally desirable regardless of the population. So long as we've got a civilization where people work in fields other than agriculture, it's going to make sense for at least some of the ones who aren't farming to congregate densely so that they can work and socialize with each other without traveling unnecessary distances.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:10 AM
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32 - Not you in particular, LB. Just the people he doesn't know who aren't living like him.

I personally don't have an anti-city bias.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:12 AM
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33: I don't think I was representing your past arguments at all, and have exactly zero interest in discussing them with you again, so let's agree that I was talking about the other people who have said stupid things along those lines and not you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:14 AM
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39: Indeed, unnamed people who have said stupid things on unidentified occasions are stupid. I join you in scorning them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:16 AM
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Perfect. Love that solution.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:18 AM
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9 The Taliban aren't too fond of the Twelvers, even had a tendency to massacre them when in power, including Iranian diplomats. Our Christian variety would like to rain bombs on them.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:19 AM
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I am not concerned about the unborn.

Sort of cuts against the arguments for sustainability, but it is an inconsistency that progressives have to live with. I am reminded of the people who hated Children of Men because it implied that a world without the future that babies and children embody wouldn't be a total blast.

I might add to my previous comment that Americans will be asking themselves, perhaps publicly, perhaps not, "What do we have to have ______?" about quite a few places during the twenty-first century: Detroit, New Orleans, St. Louis, etc.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:20 AM
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Cities are hella more sustainable than suburbs. If you are going to have hella people, then cities are a good way to organize them.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:20 AM
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Deep Greens tend to wish for the elimination of cities as part of their creation of a non technological peasant utopia. Khmer Rouge meets environmentalism.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:20 AM
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I am not concerned about the airborne.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:21 AM
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40: This thread would seem to fit the bill. Tweety's right, it's not just Megan.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:23 AM
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Khmer Rouge meets environmentalism.

One of the more uncharitable synopses of Michael Pollan's open letter to Obama ("Farmer-in-Chief", I think it was titled) was "Michael Pollan: the U.S. needs its own Year One".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:24 AM
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Sort of cuts against the arguments for sustainability, but it is an inconsistency that progressives have to live with.

Not inconsistent if you distinguish between the 'never-born' and the 'future-born'. I don't give a damn if fewer people are born in the future from the point of view of people who might have been born but won't be due to birth control. I do care about those people who will actually exist at some future time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:26 AM
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48: Year Zero was the bad one.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:26 AM
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But my guess would be that cities as presently constituted are destructive--heavy on the as presently constituted.

As opposed to what - American rural areas, suburbs?

My wild-eyed utopian critique of cities would be simply that cities allow for the centralization of economic power in ways that cannot but be harmful

I'd say the reverse if anything. One of the major causes of the destruction of traditional elite power was urbanization. It is a lot easier to dominate a small isolated group in a relatively economically monocultural environment than a huge mass of people living in a diverse economy. The villages of old Eastern Prussia were a lot less democratic than Berlin in all senses of the word. Ditto for London vs rural England. Most radical movements developed in urban areas. The only exceptions I can think of off hand in Western countries are the US revolutionaries and the Russian SR's, but the former was elite driven, while the latter got wiped out by the urban radicals.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:29 AM
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50: DAMMIT.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:30 AM
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24

I could have sworn that those 'radical reductions in population' were described as the result of a birth rate lowered through the non-coercive provision of birth control options. ...

The problem is coercive scenarios are considerably more plausible.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:30 AM
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53: Indeed. I'd add that "You want a Year Zero in America!" is a pretty common absurdum to throw at Alice Waters and people like that. Frowner could probably comment with a little more feeling than I can about the irony of anti-anti-bourgeois arguments being used against the most bourgeois consumerists around.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:35 AM
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53 Have you looked at TFR's over the past few decades? Whether we're talking middle income or rich, Catholic, Protestant, or Muslim, they've crashed. Most of Europe is below replacement level. So is much of North Africa. If you go by CIA factbook figures (lower than others generally) all of the Med is except for Libya, Egypt, Israel, and Syria. Most countries in the world aren't China, yet they seem to be following the same pattern.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:39 AM
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52.2 gets it exactly right, as the kids used to say, and the Deep Greens can eat me. Sustainability seems to me to demand that as much of the population as possible should be concentrated in the smallest possible space, thus making room for the kind of diversity which might, just, if we're luckier than we deserve, limit the scale of the current mass extinction. I'd like to see billions being poured into research on vertical farming, and reduce the number of people ripping up the countryside to grow food.

Also, and Charlie and Fred liked to say, "the idiocy of rural life" leads nowhere.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:41 AM
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Thanks, Charley. I wish Palin remained the Hidden VP


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:43 AM
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and the Deep Greens can eat me. Isn't that their plan/hope?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:44 AM
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the Deep Greens can eat me

Though some ethical vegans might take comfort in the voluntary nature of this diet, the most Deep Greens find it inefficient and unsustainable to raise OFEs for food.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:45 AM
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55: I can't speak for James, but all the variations of this discussion I've seen don't focus on all the other aspects of the demographic transition, just the birth-control one.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:45 AM
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59: Caught between pwnage and yes-and.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:46 AM
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Didn't we just have this conversation?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:48 AM
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62: Unfogged, sustainability, and farming: an eternal stupid braid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:50 AM
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60: The non-birthcontrol aspects of the demographic transition are explicitly addressed here and in many of the following comments. The heat in the thread was around birth control, but that's because that's the bit that pisses people off.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:51 AM
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62: Indeed. Brief-writing makes me cranky, which makes me want to pick fights, and I saw an opening.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:53 AM
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Oh man. Okay, in an effort to not get sucked back into one of the nadirs of my long life of annoying arguments with stupid people, I'm off to do dishes. Good luck, kids!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:56 AM
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Well anyway, I don't think the customer wants Obama to die because of the effect it would have on US government policies, I just think the customer wants Obama to die because Obama is the world's most evil and malicious person.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:58 AM
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To my mind population fixated environmentalists are a distinct from deep greens, deep ecologists, etc. Definitely a lot of overlap, but still distinct.

The most annoying feature of the population fixated environmentalists is their inability to acknowledge the reality of the demographic transition. The earth's population is going to level out at ~9.5 billion. This is a manageable number.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:58 AM
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Last time I linked to this post, but I don't think anyone actually read it. Basically, what it says is that teraz is right in 55; birthrates decline as countries get wealthier, this is actively and measurably happening in lots of developing countries right now, and given current trends world population is likely to peak around 2050 at about 9 billion and then start to decline. No coercion necessary.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 10:58 AM
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But will 2050 be in time to save the strawberries? That's the real question.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:01 AM
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And it doesn't actually seem to need modern birth control. Look at birth rates in the decades leading up to WWI in Western Europe. Pundits in Germany and France were routinely freaking out over the subject.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:03 AM
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Teo, just how many blogs do you have?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:06 AM
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I'd say the reverse if anything. One of the major causes of the destruction of traditional elite power was urbanization. It is a lot easier to dominate a small isolated group in a relatively economically monocultural environment than a huge mass of people living in a diverse economy. The villages of old Eastern Prussia were a lot less democratic than Berlin in all senses of the word. Ditto for London vs rural England. Most radical movements developed in urban areas. The only exceptions I can think of off hand in Western countries are the US revolutionaries and the Russian SR's, but the former was elite driven, while the latter got wiped out by the urban radicals.

I think the idea is that through anarchist/radical democratic organizing, small self-sustaining communities can avoid the problems of giant concentrated economic power--not that small communities necessarily do this, or that one would hark back to a golden age. Small communities have more potential, perhaps?

I don't really have a dog in this fight. A lot of my friends are Derek Jensenists, he of "We've got to blow up the dams, and by we I mean 'someone who doesn't make a nice living writing books about green anarchism!'" They do think that we should all work towards small communities or towards cities organized very much as groups of small communities--not, to my mind, cities in the modernity/flaneur sense. I'm agnostic. I figure that if illness doesn't carry me off before some sort of major social upheaval, it will probably end up being a right-wing upheaval and I'll end up in a lime pit. That seems to be the way of the world.

But wait: the very best hippies I can think of are the Beehive Collective, and they actually have a fairly well-articulated decitify-the-city philosophy, with a lot of emphasis on bioregions and smaller regions producing sustainable power and so on. They also travel the Americas working with various communities to create the absolute best and most amazing popular education art I've ever seen. I just heard some of them talk about their big new work, which is about mountaintop-removal coal mining and its many, many bad implications. They're thoughtful and smart and I would tend to trust many of their views.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:08 AM
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Teo, just how many blogs do you have?

Heh, that's exactly what Bave asked when I linked that post in the previous thread. Then I said four, although only three are active, but since then I've remembered that I also have another one that I don't use.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:08 AM
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Actually, I take it back. The most annoying thing about the population fixated branch of environmentalism is the racist/anti-immigration twig that grows off it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:09 AM
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The only exceptions I can think of off hand in Western countries are the US revolutionaries and the Russian SR's

Russian SRs? Google tells me "Russian synthetic rubbers" but that almost certainly can't be right. Teraz?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:14 AM
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Wow, I didn't notice the post teo linked was written by teo until teraz asked. You have a whole blog about climate and energy now? Excellent. I'm bookmarking it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:14 AM
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but since then I've remembered that I also have another one that I don't use.

Targhandology!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:14 AM
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You have a whole blog about climate and energy now?

Yeah, although I haven't quite figured out yet what I want to do with it. I started it because I noticed that I had begun to talk about that stuff a lot on Gambler's House, where the connection was pretty tenuous. It's mostly discussion of news stories so far, with a few things about journal articles I've read while researching one of my term papers.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:17 AM
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OT: OK, this is great:

Servicemen from the Wisconsin National Guard stationed in Iraq are hearing flak about Favre from detainees locked inside an internment camp, according to the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs. Favre is persona non grata in the state after retiring from the Packers in 2008 and then jumping to the New York Jets and now the Vikings.
The detainees picked up on all the Favre talk floating around--and the Packer colors decorating the camp--and quickly figured out how to get under the soldiers' skins.
"They know Favre by name," First Lieutenant Tim Boehnen of New Richmond, Wis. told WTMJ, a Milwaukee radio station. "One of the big words they know now is shenanigan. They'll constantly talk about 'Favre shenanigans,' 'He's so good for the Vikings,' and 'The Packers have got to really feel bad about that one.' "

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:17 AM
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I just can't imagine an influential, let alone successful anti-city non authoritarian progressive movement. A huge chunk of progressives are urban, and like it, and as you may have noticed, we don't take kindly to folks whose program involves destroying our communities. In a couple discussions with Deep Greens I've suggested that they think of urban folks' reaction to them the same way they would of traditional rain forest communities told they have to see their forest clear cut for soybean production and move to the urban slums to become factory labour. Assurances that the slums won't be slums, and that working in a textile factory is awesome will not be all that persuasive.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:18 AM
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Targhandology!

Still no. It's a LiveJournal. I've used it to comment on your LiveJournal once or twice, actually.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:18 AM
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When I posted, my best guess was that the thread would spend more time discussing the linked site. Possibly mocking the grammar and poor webistry, and then contritely acknowledging the goodwill emanating from the site. I can never, ever predict how these threads will go.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:19 AM
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82: It's true, you have. I just worry that you're hurting the Targhans feelings with this continual denial of their existence.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:21 AM
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55

Coercion becomes more likely when it only affects an unpopular minority. Look at smoking.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:21 AM
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I can never, ever predict how these threads will go.

I feel that way for pretty much every time I post. As for the linked site, I was surprised they were charging $10 for a gallon of milk. Since it seemed they are more or less on the up-and-up, I assumed this was a fair price for the way they were making it. But wow, milk "done right" is expensive.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:21 AM
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84: I'm not denying their existence, I'm just saying that they're not a blog.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:22 AM
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76 SR's = Social Revolutionaries, a radical peasant political movement of the late Tsarist Empire. They won the only post Tsarist free elections, those that didn't flee got killed off by the Bolsheviks. I keep reading essear's nick as that since in Polish and Russian these kind of political acronyms were spelled out phonetically, e.g. 'Kadets' for the Russian Constitutional Democrats or Chadecja for Christian Democracy.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:22 AM
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The most annoying feature of the population fixated environmentalists is their inability to acknowledge the reality of the demographic transition. The earth's population is going to level out at ~9.5 billion. This is a manageable number.

I'm trying not to be annoying here, but what makes you say that 9.5G is a manageable number? I don't know for sure that it isn't, but our biggest current problem, global climate change, is linked to total worldwide energy use, which is linked to total worldwide population. We've got plenty of non-population-related ways of reducing emissions, certainly, but we're having a very hard time actually doing them, and it's not clear that we're going to be able to do enough, in time, to keep matters from getting very, very bad for all of us.

On the other hand, we've got this demographic transition process which is already happening in a totally natural and non-oppressive manner, that's a completely good thing! And it would certainly have saved our asses if it had kicked in at a much smaller population than we have now -- if a naturally occurring democratic transition had happened so as to stabilize the world population at, say, one billion, dealing with global climate change, habitat destruction, and all that would be way, way easier. As it is, it's going to help, but it might not help enough.

So, what's the problem with looking into the possibility of whether we can take this (already naturally occurring and non-oppressive) process, which is going to help with our current problems anyway, but maybe not enough, and speed it up through non-oppressive means, so as to get more of those much needed benefits in resource use reduction?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:23 AM
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69

Last time I linked to this post, but I don't think anyone actually read it. Basically, what it says is that teraz is right in 55; birthrates decline as countries get wealthier, this is actively and measurably happening in lots of developing countries right now, and given current trends world population is likely to peak around 2050 at about 9 billion and then start to decline. No coercion necessary.

9 billlion wealthy people with the oil gone may not be possible.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:23 AM
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democratic s/b demographic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:24 AM
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88: Very interesting. Thanks. Wikipedia has the alternate name "Esers".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:24 AM
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87: Isn't that really a label best left for them to determine for themselves? Quit being so imperialist.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:28 AM
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89

So, what's the problem with looking into the possibility of whether we can take this (already naturally occurring and non-oppressive) process, which is going to help with our current problems anyway, but maybe not enough, and speed it up through non-oppressive means, so as to get more of those much needed benefits in resource use reduction?

I expect there is not complete agreement on what constitutes "non-oppressive means".


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:34 AM
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Precisely the sort of question well addressed by the process of 'looking into a possibility', no?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:37 AM
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I think the idea is that through anarchist/radical democratic organizing, small self-sustaining communities can avoid the problems of giant concentrated economic power--not that small communities necessarily do this, or that one would hark back to a golden age. Small communities have more potential, perhaps?

If we, who are mostly urban dwellers, need to mine the internets to come up with enough kindred souls for proper time-wasting, I'm not optimistic about the pleasures of life in small communities. Also, I grew up in a moderate-sized town, and many of my high school classmates still live there, and no.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:38 AM
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I just can't imagine an influential, let alone successful anti-city non authoritarian progressive movement.

In an indirect way, I can--partly because I see it around me. (Of course, these are people who feel that they are working towards city-free-ness while living in cities.) The people I know are pretty involved with local indigenous and immigrants' rights work and with anti-foreclosure stuff, so their general approach of lots of local control, lots of autonomy, very little authority structure in groups, prioritization of land-base and farm/peasant concerns--those things get built into the work habits of the groups they're in. So "influential" in that their ideas are taken seriously and help form what gets done; influential in the sense that they get what they want exactly, no.

I do think that organizing around indigenous rights is the engine of a lot of important work in the Americas right now, and I think that's in the process of changing the whole style of the activist left for the better. (And of course, the progressive/liberal/middle class left gets the diffusion-line version of this stuff eventually). I get the sense that the types of ideological debate and group organization that fit naturally with a left based around rights discourse and mass labor organizations are no longer as effective or mobilizing--the distinctions that really seem to grab people aren't anarchists-versus-marxists/marxists-versus-other-marxists/liberals-versus-radicals as much any more.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:39 AM
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96: Well, it's not something I expect really to come to fruition either. Lately, though, I've been meeting small town radicals from outstate Minnesota who like small towns, or at least see a lot of potential in them. What's that Zapatista thing about "many worlds"? I don't think it's impossible that anti-authoritarian anti-city radicals could have a lot of impact in some places.

A lot of these folks are weak-form anti-city people, too. It's not something they think about a lot; if you sat them down and said "so, are cities a good idea?" they'd probably say no, but that's not really the focus of their work; the Year Zero approach would just seem like a waste of time to them.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:43 AM
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So, what's the problem with looking into the possibility of whether we can take this (already naturally occurring and non-oppressive) process, which is going to help with our current problems anyway, but maybe not enough, and speed it up through non-oppressive means, so as to get more of those much needed benefits in resource use reduction?

There's no problem with it, but since the desired effects are happening anyway with no intervention, it probably makes more sense to use the resources that would be expended on some sort of intervention on, say, just reducing resource use directly. Which is probably easier to do.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:47 AM
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it probably makes more sense... probably easier to do.

Maybe. But you're not claiming to know for sure that other resource reduction measures are more cost effective than non-coercive population reduction measures, and I certainly don't know one or the other way. And the overheated reaction that any discussion of population gets makes it hard to talk about the issue, which strikes me as a poor idea. Because maybe we're not going to be able to reduce resource use by other means in time to avoid problems, in which case non-coercive population-reduction measures might be a useful and necessary part of the mix.

I'm bothered by the assumption that, e.g., Josh and Rob seem to be working with, that population reduction as a partial solution to resource problems should be dismissed on first principles without getting into questions of whether there are any useful, non-oppressive, and cost-efficient measures to be taken there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:56 AM
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100 and previous: There are, of course, people working actively on non-coercive population reduction - chiefly through the education and therefore empowerment of women - which is already significantly responsible for the population reduction we do see in developing economies. It's not really the case that this is a naturally occurring phenomenon. I think we all know that, but it may be worth emphasizing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:08 PM
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Also, thanks, Flippanter, for the link to the Jensen interview in 23. I harbor a soft spot for Jensen, though I realize he's eminently mockable in some ways, so one has to tread carefully.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:13 PM
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This study found that population control is by far the cheapest.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:17 PM
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...way to control carbon emissions.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:18 PM
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95

Precisely the sort of question well addressed by the process of 'looking into a possibility', no?

But it would involve discussing means that some people find oppressive. Which they might think is a problem.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:20 PM
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100: For one thing, as parsimon notes, there are other reasons to be, e.g., promoting access to birth control and other measures that empower women, totally aside from macro-level population concerns and environmental issues, and there are in fact lots of people out there doing exactly that. For another, as dsquared is fond of saying in this context, it's not generally a good idea to look for the solutions to your problems in other people's pants.

Overall, I think population control is a very roundabout way of trying to address things like climate change, and while it could certainly be a part of the solution, all the problems (both practical and political) around it make it a suboptimal thing to focus on.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:25 PM
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To put this another way: There are two issues here. One is whether controlling the rate of population increase would be an effective way to limit resource use and the problems that result from it. I think the evidence is pretty unambiguous that it would, and that the effect would be quite substantial. The other is whether anyone should actually try to actively limit population growth, by whatever means. That's where you start to run into problems. Who should do this? How? Are the people proposing these policies the same people being affected by them? Given all those problems, I think it's probably better to leave this particular third rail untouched.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:30 PM
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I just have a very difficult time with the transition you're making from "That's where you start to run into problems," which is certainly true, to "better to leave this particular third rail untouched." When did 'running into problems' turn into a reason for a blanket taboo on discussing an area of policy?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:36 PM
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Who's talking about a blanket taboo on discussing this? We're discussing it right now.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:38 PM
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One might also add that this seems to have been framed in an either/or way. While there's no doubt that population control is extremely helpful, there's also no doubt that we cannot sustain the first world way of life to which we're accustomed even at our current population level. See resource depletion. We need not just to tweak what we're doing now, but to change our conception of the matter altogether.

We do, for example, have a history of taking the short view, when we need to be taking the long view.

Now I feel like I'm just being trite. Alas.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:41 PM
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109: Not so much you, but dsquared, Josh, Rob, go back to the earlier Megan/population thread -- there was a strong vein of not just 'the specific idea you're talking about won't work' (which, in that thread, I agreed with) but 'talking about intentionally affecting population through policy is wrong in itself.' All I'm asking is that discussion of population policy be treated as not inherently wrongful or a priori useless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:49 PM
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One might also add that this seems to have been framed in an either/or way.

Really? By whom?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:50 PM
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I think the idea is that through anarchist/radical democratic organizing, small self-sustaining communities can avoid the problems of giant concentrated economic power--not that small communities necessarily do this, or that one would hark back to a golden age. Small communities have more potential, perhaps?

It's interesting how the Jeffersonian vision influences both the right and the left so strongly in the U.S. We're getting more and more Hamiltonian, centralized, whatever, but no ideology has really been willing to speak up strongly for that since the Progressives (and some in the New Deal).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:51 PM
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111: Well, okay. I don't really care that much about whether discussing population policy is right or wrong. I just think it's a distraction from discussing more practical and less controversial policies to achieve similar ends.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:55 PM
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112: I admit I've read the thread a bit quickly. Once it turned to the question of most efficient use of funds for effecting outcomes, I jumped to that conclusion.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:56 PM
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I think just emphasizing population control as a positive would be helpful. Look how much of the rhetoric on falling birthrates sees it as negative, because of pension or economic reasons or whatever, instead of as a transition to a more sustainable population level. You see that on the mainstream press. Then on the fringes there's all this stuff about national or even racial competition. Broad attitudes are important independently of policy specifics.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:58 PM
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I have yet to meet an environmentalist who is genuinely into local control. For good reason, you can't really make it work - think forestry, fishing, mining, watersheds, etc. Or for that matter greenhouse gases. You need to handle environmental and land use issues at a much higher level.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 12:59 PM
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116: This, very much. The freaking out about European countries with falling birthrates seems insane to me, not only environmentally but, as you say, reflecting screwy racial attitudes. Each fewer kid born in a country with a First World standard of living is a gain in terms of reduced resource use. (I say, hypocritically, having reproduced at replacement level myself.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 1:37 PM
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10: I read Salatin's remark as more indifferent than actually eliminationist, i.e. seeing Pollan's "What about NYC?" question as similar to the "What about the men?" question often raised by concern trolls in feminist discussions.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 1:57 PM
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100, 111: Clearly I haven't done a very good job of explaining myself. My concern is that talking about population control as an explicit goal of public policy is putting the cart before the horse. The demographic transition is a wonderful thing, but the conditions that lead to it have benefits completely aside from population control, and would be worth encouraging even if the demographic transition never occurred. I also think that the line between "we should encourage *other people* to have fewer children" and "we must keep the undesirables from breeding!" is thinner than you do. Think of it like states' rights: yes, there's a discussion to be had about the balance of power between the federal government and the states, but there's also a long, sordid history of using "states' rights" as a rallying cry for something else entirely.

(It's also possible that I'm overreacting to the line of eugenic thinking that runs through so much science fiction. I've dealt with too many people who think that "The Marching Morons" is fact-based.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 2:26 PM
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All I'm asking is that discussion of population policy be treated as not inherently wrongful or a priori useless.

I don't think it is a priori useless. I think it has been shown a posteriori to be more trouble than it is worth. Basically, the only effective non-coercive measure for controlling population is weakening the patriarchy, which is a great thing and something I try to do my part for, but its a very slow process, slower even than the demographic shift that is occurring naturally


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 2:34 PM
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Hey wait, I wasn't on that other thread, that was a another Rob. I haven't been accused of believing anything a priori.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 2:38 PM
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I accuse rob of believing a priori that he has hands.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 2:46 PM
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I believe that Rob has priories instead of hands.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 2:58 PM
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prioritization of land-base and farm/peasant concerns

Screw that. There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your* agriculture. Farming and food are very important, but so are art and engineering.

*I don't mean you, Frowner. I know you're reporting, not necessarily advocating.

the larger the community the more difficult it is to be democratic

This is flat-out false, unless one means direct democracy in a literal sense.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 3:00 PM
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55, 69, etc.: This has been fairly well established for at least 10 years now, but I've seen it coming up in the news more lately. Is it just because environmental issues are more mainstream now?

I said this before on some other thread, but I remain puzzled by how it gets presented as a new story, as it doesn't look like there's been a significant change in the way people understand population growth at least since the late 90s, and possibly since whenever it became clear that the Ehrlich population bomb predictions weren't coming out right. I guess this simple answer is that news organizations never got anywhere by calling it "new to us." Or maybe there has been some significant change, rather than new studies consistent with old ones.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 3:03 PM
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I think it comes up through people having variations of pretty much the conversation we just had: environmental problem; reducing resource use as a solution; reducing population as a route to reducing resource use; hey, looks like it's happening spontaneously!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 3:06 PM
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But I think Time and the Economist had stories on it recently, which is what surprised me. Maybe I should have actually read them.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 3:08 PM
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126: It might be a confluence of sources. I first encountered the replacement thing in a poli sci class in the year 2001. Specifically, it was an article by someone concerned that funding Italy's safety net was untenable because population growth was negative.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 3:11 PM
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Ah, the Economist's hook is that the estimates show we're about to hit the worldwide (aggregate) replacement-level. The rest seems to be an explanation of how we've gotten there.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 3:14 PM
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129: I think that's the exact same example I got when I learned about it. Probably as part of an intro to environmental science course.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 3:20 PM
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||

Things that are frustrating: writing a bazillion pages of comments to try to get some other people to fix a document instead of just getting in there and fixing it yourself.

|>


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 3:30 PM
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Interesting Time article from 1977 on population growth that seems to consist of excerpts from a Robert McNamara speech.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 3:31 PM
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133: Hey, he did his part for population reduction. Not really a player by 20th century standards, but he did try.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 3:51 PM
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119: I read Salatin's remark as more indifferent than actually eliminationist, i.e. seeing Pollan's "What about NYC?" question as similar to the "What about the men?" question often raised by concern trolls in feminist discussions.

Agreed. Avowed city-lovers get defensive, understandably.

On a slight tangent, I've read very little Michael Pollan, but recently read this, "Playing God in the Garden", on genetically modified potatoes, and more generally, on the policies, regulations and ramifications in play in the GM field. The ways in which Monsanto and others escape regulation, the views of conventional farmers on all of this, the effects on organic growers, and so on.

Good fucking stuff. Jaw-dropping, I found it. It's a bit long, but worth the read, absolutely.

I should put some Pollan on my holiday wish list.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 3:53 PM
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Speaking of discussions that nobody wants to have again, I predict that the women who were infuriated by the xkcd strip urging men to not be paralyzed by shyness will not like this either.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 3:56 PM
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136: Huh, they don't seem like the same issue at all to me -- one was about whether it's acceptable or harassy for men to try to pick up women in public places, and the other is about how the writer wishes to encourage men generally (or at least the ones she's fucking through Craigslist ads) to fuck in a less, um, timid? and more, um, macho? energetic? fashion. Now, I'd say she's awfully free with her generalizations both about how most men fuck and about how most women want them to (are there really a lot of women who actively enjoy getting their hair pulled? Overlook it in the heat of the moment, maybe, but I can't say I ever thought of it as a plus), but it's still a very different issue.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:10 PM
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What that piece needs is a lot more citations.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:16 PM
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I don't know. It seems like in both situations the guy would worry about a remark like "Hey, cute netbook" being taken the wrong way.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:17 PM
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||

I will never get used to "fuck" or "being fucked" or "fucking" being used as positive or neutral terms for the having of sex.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:18 PM
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Heavens. It must be awfully jarring hanging around here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:22 PM
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136--what's interesting to me about that, speaking as a guy old enough to be on the wrong side of the "porn is ordinary" historical divide, is that it purports to be feminist while presenting basically pornified sexuality as the plain common sense about what women really like....


Posted by: lurker | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:23 PM
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142 -- I still live there, and it struck me that way too.

138 -- Will the research be billable? Just asking.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:26 PM
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"Playing God in the Garden" was my first exposure to Pollan, in 1999 or so. I assigned it to a class the next semester.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:27 PM
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143.2: Open source means never having to say "that will be fifty thousand dollars, please".


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:33 PM
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141: Yeah, I don't get "fuck" and "fucking" and so on as neutral terms for having sex, whether with a loved one or a casual partner. They sound like something else. So yeah, it's weird.

Anyway. Many of the things that woman says women want are completely ridiculous to generalize. She should just put a link to that in her craigslist ad or something, so men can get the idea.

Especially the dirty talk bit:

Most women like dirty talk [...] "I think I'm going to come inside you. I'm going to fill up your little cunt." It doesn't matter that you're wearing a condom; we LOVE hearing this.

Snort. I would exercise caution in using this line, guys.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:35 PM
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Frustrating work-type activities done, headed out to see what can be salvaged of Sunday afternoon.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:35 PM
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144: Yay. It's the kind of thing I'd assign as a class reading as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:37 PM
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She's got a couple of sensible points -- don't bitch about condoms; oral sex is not required but shouldn't be expected if you're not prepared to reciprocate -- but I'd agree that the bulk of it is generalizing her personal tastes awfully freely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:38 PM
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136: I once dated a woman who posted that very ad approvingly on her blog. Always nice to see the users manual in advance.

Anyway, from my experience it seems accurate enough to many womens' tastes, although the confidence about what the great majority of women want is a little jarring/annoying (people vary a ton, how can she know?).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:38 PM
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150.2: Because she's personally fucked every woman in America, of course.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:41 PM
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I wonder if the writer was British or just pretentious: "bloody", "preggers".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:42 PM
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what's interesting to me about that, speaking as a guy old enough to be on the wrong side of the "porn is ordinary" historical divide, is that it purports to be feminist while presenting basically pornified sexuality as the plain common sense about what women really like....

It appears to be an example of the new sex-positive feminism which sees itself as a contrast to sex-negative masculinism. Although the only place that sex-negative masculinism might possibly dominate is in certain tiny urban/academic subcultures that have already been mocked sufficiently.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:45 PM
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"Preggers" is pretty common slangy speech among twentysomethings in the US, IME.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:45 PM
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She might have surveyed the women she didn't fuck.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:47 PM
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One other thing -- on that whole "pound me hard", "give me a jackhammering" type thing she describes, which I find a lot of women do like. It's symbolically coded as male dominant/women subordinate, but I feel like it sort of subordinates the man's needs to the woman's. Basically turns the guy into a human piledriver / sex toy, when slow/sensual is often more purely pleasurable for the guy. Everyone's mileage varies, but unless you're about to come I find going too fast and hard can really numb out the sensation.

TMI, I know.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:49 PM
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Although I don't remember filling out a questionnaire for her.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:49 PM
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Everyone's mileage varies

Crazytalk.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:50 PM
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155/157: I guess if it wasn't one, it was the other.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:52 PM
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150: Anyway, from my experience it seems accurate enough to many womens' tastes

It must be tough out there for guys.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:53 PM
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I can understand the taste for rough sex. However if someone called me a "dirty whore" in the midst of fucking he'd have to finish by himself--provided he was still in the mood, what with the broken nose and all.


Posted by: Martha Washington | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:53 PM
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You'd think I'd remember.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:54 PM
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Hey Megan, check your rhubarb pie email, I lost your other one.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 4:54 PM
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To be fair, and scientific, one doesn't have to ask every single woman. A properly chosen representative sample will do. Not sure if, and how, a Bradley effect might be at play.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:01 PM
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WHY CAN'T MEN UNDERSTAND THAT ALL WE WOMEN WANT IS FOR THEM TO DRESS UP LIKE JFK AND THEN EJACULATE ON THE BED BESIDE US!!!1!


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:01 PM
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161 -- It's kind of interesting to me, as social anthropology (thinking about 142 and 153), that you've chosen presidentiality for this. Not that there's anything wrong with it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:07 PM
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165: Because of a Bradley Effect. Just be more honest when you're being interviewed by sociologists from now on, m'kay?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:09 PM
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I guess the conversation has moved on from resource use and what cities would look like in a libertarian-socialist utopia.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:10 PM
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161: I dunno, I might come to a meetup some day. It's not a thought I want people to associate with me.


Posted by: Martha Washington | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:11 PM
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166: Well, 142, 143 and 153, among others, are fairly hostile to the writer's tastes. It's not all that surprising that someone who shares them in part would go presidential. (Somehow, I feel the need to state that I'm not Martha. However, like her, I agree that the writer has a point, in my case about unnecessary tentativeness, which I remember, way back when new sex partners was an issue, as annoying.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:13 PM
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168: Yet, if anything, the post title fits this conversation even better.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:14 PM
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I'm not hostile to the writer's "tastes", except her taste for making unhelpful generalizations.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:15 PM
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Also, I'm completely mystified by the 'cake batter' line. (A) That there's a man out there who could do the equivalent of creaming butter? Seems unlikely. Undesirable, but also unlikely. And (B) that the problem with a man fucking like someone mixing a cake would be that he was overly gentle? I do not think the writer bakes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:16 PM
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General question, or point: I hope the men out there aren't confused about this. They aren't, right? No, women don't want you to be a piledriver/automaton; no, they don't want you to call them a pretty cunt and a sweet pussy and stuff like that, such that they'll just wilt in disappointment otherwise (unless they do, but they'd be outliers, which doesn't make them weirdos, just people who are into that, which is fine). By the same token, I hope men don't want/need women to tell them what a fine strong cock they're sporting. Words may be exchanged, but it's personal to the situation. That's personal.

I mean, good grief. Two people should be able to communicate to each other what they'd like at a given time. Hard and fast? fine. Slow and exploratory? cool! Just pretty basic, happy and no worries? very good as well!

Jeez.

I also apologize for the heteronormativity.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:16 PM
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her taste for making unhelpful generalizations.

That, certainly, is problematic of her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:18 PM
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I assumed the writer was talking about muffins or pancakes, which require a light touch (barely mixing and even leaving small clumps) if one wants them to stay light.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:18 PM
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I hope men don't want/need women to tell them what a fine strong cock they're sporting.

Well I don't just dress it up like that for show.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:19 PM
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No, women don't want

Isn't this really the same kind of generalization that we're all bitching about in the ad? People want what they want.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:21 PM
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I read 161 as condoning, uh, passionate leadership, while expressing hostility to abuse.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:24 PM
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Do you appreciate how hard it is to tie that little windsor?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:25 PM
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174 - And yet we've already heard from at least two people in this very thread who said either that she likes sex as the CL writer describes, or fuck women who like sex that way. Saying that women don't want a pile-driver, or to be called provocative names is no better.

The point that generalizations are no good stands from which ever way you look at it. Better to mock her methods from the sidelines, I say.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:26 PM
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184: Particularly given how the wattles complicate things. Maybe an ascot would be more practical?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:28 PM
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The whole notion of a mysterious entity "women", and male responsibility to magically divine their mysterious needs and satisfy them, is a very sexist spin on the process of individuals encountering each other emotionally. In a way that impacts both sexes negatively.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:29 PM
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Wattles!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:29 PM
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Fast and concise, LB.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:29 PM
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Phew. Now, 182 makes, uh, sense.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:29 PM
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Actually, if someone said to me "what a fine strong cock you're sporting" in those exact words, I'd find it quite endearing.

Unless is was part of a overwhelming steam punk affectation, then it would be a turn off.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:30 PM
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There's a lot of frustration in that ad that I can identify with more than the individual points about how women want to be fucked. The frustration, I think, comes from a certain kind of man treating a woman like a child when it comes to sex, which is gross. He feels like he has to lure her into it, or bribe her, or avoid scaring her off by being all baby-waby like he's petting bunnies instead of having sex with an adult. That's not to say that all women like porny-violent sex. Maybe she does. I sometimes do.

What scares me about ads like this are dates like the one I had last month, in which, in an attempt to be this kind of lover (Lord knows, maybe the poor fellow read this ad), a young man I had just met got really scary and rough with me. It came out of nowhere. Nice conversation, nice makeout, and then, whammo, I'm up against a fence outside my apartment building in a compromising position not of my making, crying, "Please let me go. You're scaring me."

The real issue here is that it would be nice if the people one has sex with are flexible enough to make a relationship with you as an adult, not as woman-kindergartner nor woman-sex-toy, but as a human being you might find you enjoy some things more than others with.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:31 PM
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Whoops, the 'wattles' comment was to 180. What text is doing with a dressed up rooster, of whatever athletic capacity, I admit I can't imagine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:32 PM
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what a fine strong cock you're sporting

...but, unfortunately for both of you, I'm just not that into threesomes with roosters.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:34 PM
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Your failure of imagination is not an argument.

What I'm doing is asking you to compliment it as we pass by on our way to church.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:34 PM
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183: Word.

Back on the topic of population growth, Josh gets it exactly right in 120.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:35 PM
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Dammit, LB.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:35 PM
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188: Yeah, the writer of the ad is pretty clear that she's not at all talking about overcoming resistance, but about not being tentative in a situation where consent is clear. But that seems to be something that's hard to say without giving rise to confusion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:39 PM
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187: Actually, if someone said to me "what a fine strong cock you're sporting" in those exact words, I'd find it quite endearing.

Yeah. Sounds pretty good, I agree.

To the general thing about how my 174 was overgeneralizing in the opposite direction, sure. I just wanted any men out there who were unsure about the linked post's advice to be a piledriver, etc. to know that there actually is not that kind of pressure.

Do I need to say that I'm not against hard and fast sex, what a friend used to call savage love? Consider it said.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:41 PM
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I guess the problem is that a lot of people really want a script for how to do sex, but no one wants to be treated like a character in someone else's script.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:42 PM
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196: Unless they have enough lines to get scale.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:43 PM
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to get scale.

You use a condom specifically to avoid getting things like scale.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:44 PM
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PGD gets it right in 183, of course.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:45 PM
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People want what they want.

I agree that the writer has a point, in my case about unnecessary tentativeness

The first explains the second. If you're too tentative or gentle a woman might be feeling a bit frustrated, but she's not going to freak out and/or be in pain. Plus guys vary too, and people's personal preferred styles aren't constant. The first time both people tend to be a bit nervous and tentative about communicating, and they don't have a clue about what the other wants. This is why one night stands tend to be so much better as fantasy material than reality.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:46 PM
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no one wants to be treated like a character in someone else's script

Especially when it's the script for the sorrow and the pity.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:51 PM
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200: Sure. As someone who once, in high school, spent what I remember as an hour and half cracking up (like, the kind of laughing where you feel like you're going to pass out because you can't breathe) with a guy I'd just started dating because neither one of us could quite get up the nerve to kiss each other and it just got ridiculous, I do sympathize with a certain degree of first-time tentativeness, and I'm sure it complicates Craigslist type casual sex for people with a normal humal level of nervousness.

But it can still get annoying (IIRback into the mists of the pastC) if taken to unnecessary extremes. What's an unnecessary extreme, of course, is highly situation-dependent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:53 PM
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humal s/b human.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:54 PM
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I guess the conversation has moved on from resource use and what cities would look like in a libertarian-socialist utopia

It has? No electricity, no modern tech at all, living in some godforsaken village, ya gotta have something to do.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:55 PM
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196: I guess the problem is that a lot of people really want a script for how to do sex

IF THEY'RE SIXTEEN! Or 18 or 20. By age 25 or so, I don't see why people are still looking for a script.*

I'm actually serious here.

* I gather the "do sex" phrasing is intentional.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:57 PM
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What a fine strong cock you're sporting

I knew this was reminding me of something:

"Fumbling the laces in her eagerness, at last she worked his trousers loose and gasped at what she saw. Faith! Two full shaftments in length and thick as a country sausage!"

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 5:59 PM
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if someone said to me

I sometimes think that conversation between lovers is almost inherently impossible to make sense of without context. On the page or recounted or overheard, it so easily comes off as mystifying or saccharine or vulgar.

I think it's why movies and plays so often do it badly. It's not that hard to recreate the mechanics; it's hard to build the audience up to the point where the words coming out of the lovers' mouths pull you into the intimacy rather than just highlighting what an artificial, eavesdropping exercise you're engaged in.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:00 PM
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The first time both people tend to be a bit nervous and tentative about communicating, and they don't have a clue about what the other wants. This is why one night stands tend to be so much better as fantasy material than reality.

In line with the local habit of dissenting from every generalization that does not concern Republican perfidy, I will say that my idiosyncratic experience has been the opposite. My one-night stands have been among the least halting and tentative sex I've had. It's when sex gets invested with lots of extra significance within a relationship that the mise-en-abyme of wanting-to-do-what-the-other-person-wants-me-to-do arises.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:02 PM
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208 You want good, emotionally uncomplicated sex, go on vacation for two weeks and have a fling. Long enough to get over the initial nervousness, but not to get emotionally involved, and you know it's not going to turn into anything more serious than fun sex and hanging out.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:06 PM
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188: Jesus Christ. I'm sorry.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:06 PM
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209 works the other way around too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:08 PM
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205: I doubt I have to inform anyone here that not everyone spends all of high school working through and dispelling any and all sexual confusion, insecurity, doubt, taboos, preconceived ideas, and habits through constant free-form intercourse with a variety of partners so that their 20's and beyond can be nothing but free play and meeting of fully open and self-aware minds.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:09 PM
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212: Nicely said. I was working on a version of something similar, but got stuck when I realized that while I wanted to say "Not everyone is perfectly self-actualized", I'm not clear on precisely what self-actualized means.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:10 PM
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210: That was *you*?! Dammit, Josh!

Actually, the instant I said he was scaring me, he let me go and apologized, but then instantly went all fluffy-bunny on me. It struck me as possibly not-unusual behavior from a 26-year-old who'd only stopped being a virginal fundamentalist Christian a few years before. He just had no idea what a woman might want, except that it's either violent porn sex or sweet-baby pattings.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:13 PM
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Relevant:

France was in mourning today for one of its oldest and best-loved lotharios, a giant tortoise named Kiki, who died at the age of 146.
Staff at the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes in Paris announced that its veteran resident had succumbed last week to an infection.
They paid tribute to the zoo's "doyen", whose distinctive personality and "demonstrative lovemaking" had made him a favourite with the French public.
"We are rather upset to have lost Kiki. He had been here for such a long time ...that we had kind of thought of him as eternal," said Michel Saint Jalme, the deputy director of the Ménagerie. "He had a kind of charisma ... a certain personality."
Kiki, who arrived in the French capital as an exotic newcomer from the Seychelles in 1923, when his species was on the brink of extinction, was never slow to use that charisma to full effect.
According to Marie-Claude Bomsel, a vet at the zoo, he was so vigorous in his pursuit of female tortoises that his grunts could be heard from the other end of the zoo and the Jardin des Plantes.
"To be honest, from time to time I even saw him go after a wheelbarrow. You see what we were dealing with," Bomsel told French radio. "That was one of his characteristics. We all loved him."
Frédéric Lewino, a science writer at Le Point magazine, wrote that, though advanced in age, Kiki remained "fresh" to the end.
Kiki weighed 250kg and had to be moved about using a forklift.
"However crushed they were by his 250kg, the females suffered his assaults without any complaint," he remarked.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:15 PM
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212: I'm sorry.

I didn't think my 205 was startling, so let me think for a minute, and back-track. I am sorry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:16 PM
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205 A cheat sheet giving a few hints about the new lover's red lines and necessities, updated for that night, would be quite useful, however.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:17 PM
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217: Maybe we should all make little cards to hand out.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:18 PM
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217: The courteous lover has wallet cards printed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:18 PM
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Damn you, park ranger.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:19 PM
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216: It's OK! I wasn't upset. I just know that for some people, not knowing all about how to have guiltless happy sex by 20 is shocking because they didn't grow up in a deeply sexually repressive environment, or one in which their sexual orientation isn't acknowledged.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:20 PM
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My cards will say "Enjoys pwning."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:20 PM
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He just had no idea what a woman might want

Feminism: The radical notion that women are human beings.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:22 PM
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221 Or simply because they're nerdy and neurotic.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:22 PM
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224: Indeed. Who needs external repression?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:25 PM
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A script is also handy if you are reasonably frequently having sex with people you don't know particularly well. An evening with an internet date (say, with a woman who uses CL enough to post a rant there) could go well enough to be sure of mutual desire and consent, but still not provide enough interaction for artisanal, hand-crafted sex.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:30 PM
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but still not provide enough interaction for artisanal, hand-crafted sex.

Real Doll (TM) fetish?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:32 PM
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Don't think so. I don't even know any Real Dolls.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:37 PM
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I think Real Dolls are machine-made, anyway.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:39 PM
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The handcrafted wooden ones get splintery.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:43 PM
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225 is the most concise statement of the human experience that I've read in a while.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:43 PM
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Well, I'm a little embarrassed.

221: I didn't know what I was doing by 20, exactly, but I've been a serial monogamist starting at age 17, with a lot of short affairs in between. In longer-term relationships, you get to know the shifting moods and types of sex the two of you engage in. The idea that there's something the guy wants, or the woman wants, like, *all the time*, is a little odd.

The idea that there's a way to "do sex" that will satisfy most people ... well, I suppose so. Mostly the idea would be to be into it. Avoid any feeling that it's a performance.

This is not helpful in any way. My experience has been different, because I think I must have gotten lucky.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:43 PM
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226 made me laugh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:46 PM
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That's why you have to cover them with hand-mixed shellac.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:46 PM
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because I think I must have gotten lucky

We're talking about getting lucky.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:47 PM
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234 to 230. That'll teach me to research my comments.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 6:47 PM
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I'm surprised to see people referring to this as an "ad". I assumed that there was just a subculture of people who post blog-like rants on Craigslist with the goal of being chosen "best of Craigslist".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:04 PM
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I think a lot of people probably just refer to anything on Craigslist as an ad.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:06 PM
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235: Yeah. Well. It's not like I've explored online dating, which seems a horror to me.

Although. Two of the last three affairs I had were with people I met online. That's just weird, and was somewhat coincidental. They were both absolutely excellent people. My mother thought it was freakish in the extreme, but really, it was excellent.

Nonetheless, I need to get out more in my local environment.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:07 PM
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I'd say there's better than even odds this was written by a man.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:08 PM
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It's not like I've explored online dating, which seems a horror to me.

Although. Two of the last three affairs I had were with people I met online.

????????


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:09 PM
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"Affairs"?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:09 PM
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240: If it wasn't somebody lifted your pseud.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:09 PM
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240: I was going to say that. But maybe just at even odds.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:10 PM
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Despite my bafflement at parsimon's simultaneous enjoyment of online dating and revulsion at online dating, I also try to revive the word "affair" to describe non-unethical relationships. (as an alternative to "relationship")


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:11 PM
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Dating someone you originally met online in some random context is not the same as dating someone you met by posting a profile on an online dating site. At least, I assume that's the distinction being drawn.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:13 PM
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I think "dalliance" should be revived.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:14 PM
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"Affairs"?

That's an old-fashioned term, isn't it?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:14 PM
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And what 246 said. I thought people could figure that out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:16 PM
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240, 244: Are you guys serious? Sears Tires Center line and all?

I'm doubtful.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:18 PM
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I've used "affairs" when looking for some appropriate word. There aren't a lot of satisfying alternatives.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:18 PM
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250: what, you think only women know about the Sears Tire Center?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:21 PM
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Right, it's settled: "affair" is the perfectly appropriate word to use for a certain kind of relationship. There don't have to be alternatives: that's what it is, an affair.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:22 PM
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250: No, that line was written by a woman. Actually, it's the blandness of the reported speech plus the closing conceit of one or the other that makes me wonder.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:22 PM
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It could be a dalliance, if y'all weren't such haters.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:23 PM
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"Affair" makes me think either of adultery or business. I blame french.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:25 PM
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It read female to me, but what do I know?

251 et. al. Sex vocabulary is really annoying, isn't it? You've got the crude, but that often distorts the message of what you want to say, then there's the archaic, the clinical, the sappy, and the cutesy. I think that's one of the reasons for the normalization of 'fuck' for having sex. I remember having the same reaction to the term that parsi had back when I was in college, but what else - sex is a bit impersonal, make love is only useful in certain very limited contexts.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:29 PM
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liaison? Or there's the Polish and German term for cheating 'a jump to the side' (Seitensprung, skok w bok)


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:32 PM
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This is why hand-gesturing or, larger writ, pantoming with the appropriate sounds and expressions was invented.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:33 PM
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At least call it a love affair. Or a fling.

Or a congressional convention.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:33 PM
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I am probably inordinately suspicious of everything on craigslist that doesn't have to do with selling/renting things. And suspicious of many of those ads too. I base this on absolutely no personal experience outside of the housing ads.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:35 PM
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Or the great gift phrase of the year, hiking the Appalachian Trail.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:36 PM
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I have actually used the word "affair" to describe something I was involved in (which I described here in other terms), precisely because it's so hard to find terms for this stuff. I just wasn't aware that anyone else used it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:38 PM
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I've always sort of liked the slightly out of date Polish slang expression for having sex 'puścić się z kimś' - literally to let go of oneself with someone. The French are clearly very prudish since all they do is kiss when they talk about having sex.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:38 PM
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Question:

Does one hike the Appalachian trail with one's partner, or does one hike one's partner's Appalachian trail?

There exist women whose John Muir Trails I wouldn't mind hiking, right up to their Happy Isles.

What sort of relationship involves the Pacific Crest Trail?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:39 PM
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congressional convention

A caucus.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:39 PM
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Admittedly, the person I was describing said "affair" to was my ex-girlfriend. Boy was that a bad idea.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:39 PM
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A transparently bad idea, in fact.

You entertained a lover for a certain period.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:41 PM
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I'd pay Mark Sanford money to write an article for Foreign Affairs. Like at least the cost of an issue. Maybe more.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:42 PM
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That I did.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:42 PM
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270 to 269


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:43 PM
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Unless the 'ex' part is a longstanding state of affairs, or the person in question is simultaneously into open relationships in both senses of the term, that would be expected.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:43 PM
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269 is brilliant.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:43 PM
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Yeah, I don't get "fuck" and "fucking" and so on as neutral terms for having sex

O RLY?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:44 PM
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Unless the 'ex' part is a longstanding state of affairs

This was actually the case, but it was still a bad idea to say anything.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:44 PM
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Or there's the Polish and German term for cheating 'a jump to the side' (Seitensprung, skok w bok)

No, we have plenty of words for cheating, we need words for *not* cheating.

Related, one thing that has surprised me about British media -- especially since my experience is either of sports media or a lowest-common denominator morning radio show -- is the lack of an assumption that somebody must be married. The first few times I heard one of these radio pundits or personalities refer to "my partner", or "maybe you're playing video games while your partner is making breakfast", or something, I assumed they meant "gay lover". But no, "partner" is a category, of which "wife" and "husband" may actually be a subset!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:45 PM
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Tryst?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:45 PM
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Love snuggle?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:45 PM
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That's what this was about, btw.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:45 PM
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I just wasn't aware that anyone else used it.

Sure, when the affair is to be remembered. A "love affair" also, to my ears, sounds a lot less scandalous than a mere "affair".

I'm a fan of "sexual congress".


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:46 PM
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Love snuggle?

Strictly for slankets.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:48 PM
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Related, one thing that has surprised me about British media -- especially since my experience is either of sports media or a lowest-common denominator morning radio show -- is the lack of an assumption that somebody must be married.

We've discussed this here before, actually.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:49 PM
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A "love affair" also, to my ears, sounds a lot less scandalous than a mere "affair".

The exact phrasing I used was "torrid affair."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:50 PM
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I made some really righteous pulled pork, you guys.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:50 PM
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I'm a fan of "sexual congress".

But not the kind of Congress that contains Paul Tsongas!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:50 PM
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More like the kind of Congress that contains bazongas!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:52 PM
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284 Haven't heard that one before.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:52 PM
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275 I thought it was just a couple months?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:53 PM
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Nosflow pulled his pork righteously.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:53 PM
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I've used "sexual congress" and "intercourse" quite often, but not as a description of the entirety of the relationship that included said intercourse.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:53 PM
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I've used "sexual congress" and "intercourse" quite often, but not as a description of the entirety of the relationship that included said intercourse.

Right, the relationship is the congressional convention.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:55 PM
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I once dated someone who said upfront that he was interested in an affair, not a relationship, which was an honest and helpful distinction. (However, he went on to send mixed signals about the relationship piece before I figured out that he was mostly just an jerk, albeit one who introduced me to the joys of Deborah Madison.)

Megan, I'd like to support "dalliance" as a charming word, but it seems dismissive to me. "Fling" captures it best I think, without the need to preempt the cheating connotations of "affair."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:55 PM
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"Intercourse" would be steamily clinical in the sack.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:55 PM
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Especially if you enunciated the t, the way old people say "internet".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:56 PM
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If 'make love' could be redefined as sex instead of to court, maybe we could reclaim the biblical sense of 'to know' and leave everything ambiguous.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:56 PM
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Although, it'd also be neat to be all laid back and innercourse about it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:57 PM
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Innercourse is a horse, of course, of course.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:57 PM
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The brief period when "make" was a synonym for "fuck" (early 70's?) must have been annoying.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:57 PM
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294: Always.

The problem with "dalliance" and "fling" is that they already describe their own ends. "Affairs" can go on for a while, and might have dramatic endings.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:58 PM
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The brief period when "make" was a synonym for "fuck" (early 70's?) must have been annoying.

And then confusing when people used it for peeing, with little kids.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 7:58 PM
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"Intercourse" would be steamily clinical in the sack.

It's not a verb, unfortunately, but maybe one could use split it up and use the steamily antiquated "course" and calque the prefix, as in, "course through me!".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:00 PM
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I don't even knowercourse!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:01 PM
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If 'make love' could be redefined as sex instead of to court

Do you really find that anyone still uses in the courting sense? Because I think that ship sailed a few decades ago.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:01 PM
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joys of Deborah Madison

I'm afraid to look this up at urban dictionary.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:01 PM
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"Please coarsely enter our intercourse" she uttered hoarsely.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:01 PM
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Further to 303: Perhaps we can repurpose "pitching woo."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:02 PM
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What is the usual ending of a dalliance contained in the word? Is a dalliance a one time deal? (Sincerely asking.) It also has that handy verb form.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:02 PM
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I like the phrase "to be sweet on".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:03 PM
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Especially if you enunciated the t, the way old people say "internet".

Ohmyfuckinggod, you don't have to doubleclick my clit.


Posted by: OPINIONATED AFFAIR HAVER | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:03 PM
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What is the usual ending of a dalliance contained in the word?

Alliance?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:03 PM
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I like the word "steady" instead of "girlf/boyf riend". A word actually used by my mom, despite being born in 1949, not 1919.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:04 PM
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304: "Want to come up and see my galette?"


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:04 PM
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I thought it was just a couple months?

Six or seven, fwiw. Seemed long enough for things to have cooled off a bit. (Wasn't.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:04 PM
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How about "That's someone I'm cavorting with" if you're just having a good time now and then?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:05 PM
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I think a dalliance can be extended but not dramatic.

I like the phrase "to be sweet on".

Likewise. It is used in a Decemberists song, you know.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:05 PM
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It really all depends on how long you typically dally.

If your dalliance takes a turn for the unpleasant, you could start saying you're tarrying with the negative.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:06 PM
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IT MAY CAUSE CONFUSION, BUT I REFER TO EVERY RELATIONSHIP AS A "STORMY TEN-WEEK MARRIAGE".


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:06 PM
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Come to think of it, it actually may have been "torrid love affair."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:07 PM
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It is used in a Decemberists song, you know.

Damn. I no longer like the phrase "to be sweet on".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:07 PM
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"Please coarsely enter our intercourse" she uttered hoarsely.

"Plunder me like a corsair!" Although maybe that's best used with someone into M&R.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:07 PM
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someone into M&R.

Masts and rigging?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:08 PM
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Nosflow is on fire in this thread! The kind of fire I feel in my loins for my steady main squeeze.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:09 PM
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320: M&R?

Mates and rogering? Masts and ropes? Midshipmen and rogues?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:09 PM
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SO IT'S A DAY, AND ALREADY YOU'VE FORGOTTEN 'LOVE ROMANCE'? IT WAS A LOVE ROMANCE. SHEESH. SUBLIME AND FUNKY UNGRATEFUL BASTARDS.


Posted by: OPINIONATED CORNEL WEST | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:10 PM
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M/tch M/lls expanded acronyms a lot as a kid.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:10 PM
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M&Ms and R&R?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:11 PM
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That's not what MMEAALAAK stands for.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:11 PM
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The obligatory archive link's link for 309 no longer works.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:12 PM
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Matier & Ross.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:13 PM
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Mondage and Riscipline?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:13 PM
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Munchkins & Rascals


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:14 PM
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Mighty Mouse & Rocky Raccoon


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:15 PM
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Rocky Raccoon stepped into his room, only to find...


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:16 PM
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M/tch M/lls!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:16 PM
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himself transformed into a horrible vermin.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:17 PM
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I knew this was reminding me of something:

It does seem likely that a good transitive sport would appear within a page of that sentence.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:18 PM
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Although maybe that's best used with someone into M&R.

That made me think of "M&A." Business-talk offers a whole other set of terms: merger, investment, inflation . . . .


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:18 PM
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Poor Mai Tai. What kind of vermin?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:19 PM
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without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:19 PM
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Horrible, you idiot.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:19 PM
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"Affair" suggests an involvement of the heart; it plays off "love affair", but the love word might be something the people are shy about using. Perhaps because the affair is known to be limited, can't be long-term. It's an open-ended thing that involves the heart but is scary. It might be kept under wraps. An affair like that can be for months or years.

It's the saddest, and the most powerful, thing in the world. You do it anyway, because it's like this: you'll regret it for the rest of your life if you don't.

I'm sure that ushers in thoughts of cheating, but it needn't be that at all. It's just something that people want and need to do, because they enjoy one another's company immensely. And there will be good sex. The world gets in the way of the rest.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:19 PM
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I am going to fall back on the old ways and not spell out the abbreviation.

(Actually, I think the old ways generally had someone spell out the joke, and then someone else jump in to say it was better left unexplained, followed by WMYBSALB.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:21 PM
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Who's Horrible, and why is he an idiot?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:21 PM
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I have definitely used 'affair' to refer to relationships that did not meet those criteria in 341.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:22 PM
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343: Something unpleasant has spilled on his brain.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:22 PM
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344: Really, Blume, so early in the marriage?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:23 PM
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A monstrous vermin.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:23 PM
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I bet 341 was totally out of context by now. Whatever, I'd been thinking about it, and I may have produced something sounding either morose or celebratory. Oh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:24 PM
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What sort of relationship involves the Pacific Crest Trail?

I myself have hiked parts of the Continental Divide trail. Also, the Virginia Creeper trail.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:24 PM
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But you know, none of them was "an involvement of the heart".


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:24 PM
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I'm afraid the jury is out.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:26 PM
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The use of "un" as an intensifying rather than negating prefix, as in "ungeheuer" and "Ungeziefer" and "Unmenge" etc., is one which runs me amok.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:27 PM
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346: it's okay. They were all with my outsized sense of self-importance.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:28 PM
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The use of "un" as an intensifying rather than negating prefix,

Like Unfogged?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:29 PM
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I wish I knew what PGD was trying to communicate in 349.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:30 PM
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I may have produced something sounding either morose or celebratory. Oh.

I don't know if it's so much 'out of context' as 'oddly particular,' in an over the top sort of way. Are you wanting to tell us particular stories, parsi, or just give us a general impression of the grand nature of your past affairs?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:30 PM
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I'm afraid the jury is out.

I didn't mean it as a correction, but rather as an addition. A horrible vermin. A monstrous vermin!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:32 PM
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356: I'd been trying to figure out why I term some past things "affairs," and others not. That was the best I came up with: the involvement of the heart thing. I see that it is, yes, particular to me.

Mostly people say they dated, or went out with, someone. I've really just been thinking about the terminology and when we use it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:43 PM
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I wish I knew what PGD was trying to communicate in 349.

I think it means that he wishes to have intercourse with you, nosflow.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:47 PM
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In Virginia.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:53 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:54 PM
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I am simply listing some paths I have followed in my life.

I have also walked along the Way of St. James, and I would recommend it to you as well, Ben.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:54 PM
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What about Whitney's Portal?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:54 PM
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Actually, the Way of St. James was one of the suggestions for a proposed May hiking trip, but I rejected it on the grounds that (a) it would cost too much to get there and (b) I'm not a pilgrim.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:55 PM
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I'm not a pilgrim.

But I bet we could get you one of those black hats. You'd look cute. And there would never be a question of what to wear to Thanksgiving.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:57 PM
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I'm not that kind of pilgrim either, but that's not the kind of pilgrim I meant to say I'm not.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:58 PM
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I have also walked along the Way of St. James

Starting where?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:58 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:59 PM
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Do I need to direct you to Standpipe's blog, or should I just take the blame for a poorly executed joke?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 8:59 PM
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(Further response to 356: yeah, I was over the top. Sorry about that.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:00 PM
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nosflow was the one who executed it. It was alive, before that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:01 PM
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Oh, that takes me back. Paren, what you should have done was accuse me of mind-too-fining your joke, and then I'd say that it wasn't funny in the first place.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:02 PM
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nosflow was the one who executed it. It was alive, before that.

Which means that ()'s execution was really poor.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:03 PM
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I was really asking for that, wasn't I?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:04 PM
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mind-too-fining your joke

"too"?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:04 PM
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and then I'd say that it wasn't funny in the first place.

Story of my life.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:05 PM
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AMTF, Josh.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:05 PM
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Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:06 PM
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377: YM "AM*S*F" HTH. HAND.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:06 PM
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The battle is lost, Josh.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:09 PM
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367: oh, I've walked lots of pieces of it in France, especially now that more and more areas are identifying their local paths as offshoots of the main Compostelle. The longest piece I did was from Aumont-Aubrac in the Massif Central down to Cahors. Going through Conques -- stunning cathedral and great pilgrimage atmosphere.

I'm not a pilgrim.

it's a post modern pilgrimage! Lots of hippies trying to find themselves. But lots of middle-aged Catholic women too.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:09 PM
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Or so the mullahs would have you believe.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:10 PM
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But lots of middle-aged Catholic women too.

If I'm going to spring for getting my passport stamped, I'd like to stamp a passport myself.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 9:11 PM
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||

I believe we were talking about Facebook's suggestions a while back.

|>


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:01 PM
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Anyone online at the moment read Japanese? There's a tweet I need translated....


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:04 PM
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Now Facebook is suggesting I "share the latest news" with eb.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:10 PM
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I'm sure someone is.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:10 PM
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I still don't understand how to do just about anything on facebook. Logging out is easy enough, though.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:11 PM
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I've been using it a bit more in the past couple of days than I had in a while. I just put up a bunch of pictures.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-09 11:20 PM
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Climbing Mount Jumbo, a popular pasttime where I live, sounds like it might be a euphemism.

I recently saw a tourist map for a city in central Europe that had an ad for what looks like an escort service, promising 'sincere runway models.' That vacuous expression is real? They really do like the clothes? They only say 'that's a fine strong cock' when they actually like the look of your rooster?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:49 AM
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an ad for what looks like an escort service, promising 'sincere runway models.'

"This one is Heathrow, nine-zero west. Look at the detailing on that hangar!"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:13 AM
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Discussions like this are not exactly the inspiration that I need to put on a clean shirt and go out and look for a new woman to be mad at me all the time.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:16 AM
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I would imagine that men want a sincere escort about as much as people want a just God.

Merciful, people. Merciful.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:37 AM
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It's the saddest, and the most powerful, thing in the world. You do it anyway, because it's like this: you'll regret it for the rest of your life if you don't.

I didn't find this "oddly particular" or "over the top." Fwiw, it resonates with at least one person.

Discussions like this are not exactly the inspiration that I need to put on a clean shirt and go out and look for a new woman to be mad at me all the time.

This, too, resonates.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:52 AM
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386, 387: For you, eb.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:30 AM
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||

OMG!!! I just talked to Phil Isenberg at the cafe. PHIL ISENBERG! He's like, my second favorite boyfriend after Darrell Steinberg! He held the Delta Vision hearings, and writes funny op-eds and he's brilliant and HE SHOOK MY HAND. I asked him to sign his card, but he thought that was a joke.

PHIL ISENBERG!

|>


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:57 AM
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You people. Phil ISENBERG!

I cared when y'all saw Angelyne.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:23 AM
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||

Have people heard much about these embarassing e-mails by a climate change scientist in England? I just heard about them on On Point, a WBUR/NPR.

I guess Limbaugh got a hold of it. The right-wingers don't seem to be capable of understanding that cooling in some places is still climate change and doesn't negate "global warming" as a concept.

It's weird that the e-mails were leaked.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:36 AM
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I'd just like to know how you possibly managed to avoid hearing about that until now, BG. It's been everywhere for a while.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:39 AM
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Hey, want to hear about something that happened to me? I saw Phil Isenberg at the cafe! He does big important stuff in Water, so it was kindof a big deal for me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:58 AM
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Wait, you mean Phil Isenberg? THE Phil Isenberg?


Heavy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:00 AM
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That's awesome, Megan. But I do wonder about your loyalty. What ever happened to jsmooth?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:01 AM
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I think LB may be poking fun at you. She just doesn't understand.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:02 AM
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I stopped sending Jay Smooth letters when the judge told me I couldn't any more.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:03 AM
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It's weird that the e-mails were leaked.

They weren't leaked. They were hacked and stolen.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:04 AM
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Judges don't understand true love.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:05 AM
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That's really cool, Megan. It's exciting to be able to tell someone in person that you like their policies.

/end wonkishness

On a vaguely related note, it's also a bit surreal to talk to on the phone with someone whose voice you heard a lot on the radio as a kid. Weird vacillation between feeling like you're talking with a friend (since the timbre and rhythm are so familiar) and like the fourth wall has broken down and your appliances are talking to you.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:13 AM
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407 *not* to 406.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:15 AM
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Mmm. Ran into Brian Lehrer (NY NPR personality -- I'm not sure if he has a national presence) at a neighbor's Christmas party a few years ago, and it was very weird that way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:17 AM
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The whole Climate Gate thing is stupidity of the highest order. So far, the only thing that has been demonstrated is that the denialists understand approximately nothing about science. Which is hardly news.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:33 AM
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So far, the only thing that has been demonstrated is that the denialists understand approximately nothing about science, but a whole lot about how to gin up the kind of so-called controversy that the media feels obliged to report on.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:36 AM
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Their technique is a remarkably effective one -- point to a large mass of stuff as 'damning', and keep the discussion of what's damning about it resolutely general, so there's nothing specific enough to easily argue about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:39 AM
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Their technique is a remarkably effective one only because we have a complicit, corrupt and ineffective mass media.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:41 AM
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I guess I just find it sort of surreal.

I haven't really been paying attention to the non healthcare news for the past couple of weeks. If it were possible to add automatic signatures to our comments. I would put one down that said "Fuck Joe Lieberman," because, really, that can't be said enough.

Also, I had a somewhat emotionally draining weekend and am now somewhat fried and dragging.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:42 AM
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Discussions like this are not exactly the inspiration that I need to put on a clean shirt and go out and look for a new woman to be mad at me all the time.

Grim. But I don't see what was in the thread to suggest that relationships suck. (Except the dumb thing about men needing to be dirty-talkin' piledrivers, which is silly.)

So take heart.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:52 AM
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410

The whole Climate Gate thing is stupidity of the highest order. So far, the only thing that has been demonstrated is that the denialists understand approximately nothing about science. Which is hardly news.

Some climatologists are arrogant jerks who don't like being questioned particularly by outsiders. And some of the science is pretty iffy. So there is nothing particularly surprising in the emails but it isn't going to do their image any good.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:52 AM
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But I don't see what was in the thread to suggest that relationships suck.

Nothing that says that relationships suck, but a variety of things to suggest that there are an awful lot of potential issues and expectations to negotiate.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:09 AM
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Some climatologists are arrogant jerks who don't like being questioned particularly by outsiders.

You could replace "climatologist" with practically any other profession and maintain the truth value of that statement. Still, the evidence of perfidy that I've seen trumpeted so far amounts to nothing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:12 AM
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Thing is, it gets really hard to talk to outsiders. I didn't follow the email exchange closely, but my heart just sank when I read about "value-added data". I know how that must look to the skeptical eye, but it happens all the time, and there are usually good reasons. The big models in CA water use a standardized hydrology going back to the 20's, I think, and it has been improved all sorts of ways.

Like, some times a gauge gets moved in real life, and so it measures a different streambed section, and we know the water levels didn't change those years, so the data from that gauge gets a calibrating co-efficient for the rest of its life. Or the department funding gets cut back, so now people can only read the gauges every other month, so the un-read months are interpolated. Changes like that aren't WRONG, but they could be done slightly differently if someone had a good reason. Someone somewhere decided they were less inaccurate than the original gauge output. But they also don't look like raw data. They look like data someone tampered with. It is documented. Everyone who learns a lot about models asks knowledgeable questions about which calibrations have been made.

But talking to outsiders gets painful fast. Well, you see, this is the San Jose dataset, so it did this and this here, unlike the University of Oregon dataset, which boosted this decade by this coefficient. It is detailed and boring, and if you've bought into the whole concept of modeling, unnecessary to explain, unless you're talking to someone who is going to run your model and really needs to know. Explain it several times to laypeople? A huge pain in the ass.

That could be a non-arrogant reason some climatologists don't like being questioned by outsiders.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:13 AM
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RealClimate has had a bunch of posts giving context for the e-mails.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:18 AM
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Right. When you collect data from different sources at different times using different methods, you can't do any sort of analysis on those data until you get them all normalized. This is as basic a point of statistics as there is, but oh man do lay people not understand statistics.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:30 AM
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It would actually be much better if high school and college students cut their teeth on statistics instead of trigonometry and precalculus. My job would be harder, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:34 AM
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422: Cue Witt on the same theme. They might take intro logic as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:41 AM
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oh man do lay people not understand statistics

I don't disagree with this, but I do think it's a little misleading to suggest this has something to do with what's going on here. I mean, as far as I'm aware, it's not as if there's been any genuine mass-renunciation of climate science as a result of these emails. I'd be surprised to learn that more than a handful of minds were turned, and those were probably minds ripe for turning anyway. The people who are fired up about this aren't people who are genuinely curious about the issue but who just misunderstand the way statistics work. It's people who are ideologically strongly disposed to dismiss climate science from the get-go, and whose opinions on the matter wouldn't be influenced by the soundness or unsoundness of any scientific results.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:42 AM
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418

You could replace "climatologist" with practically any other profession and maintain the truth value of that statement. Still, the evidence of perfidy that I've seen trumpeted so far amounts to nothing.

Lots of scientists are possessive about data and computer code. This isn't perfidy exactly but it isn't ideal either. And it can cover a multitude of sins.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:42 AM
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And some of the science is pretty iffy

This is as universally applicable as the comment about arrogance. Every theory has its shakey parts and problems that need to be worked on. That's what makes them fun. Dissenters play exploit this feature of evolutionary theories, too.

As a some-time philosopher of science, this is the party of the public misunderstanding of science that bugs me most. Every model simplifies. Every theory swims in disconfirming evidence. (pace Popper). If you don't understand the process by which science generates knowledge, you will misinterpret it every time.

ttaM will back me up here.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:45 AM
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424: Your fourth sentence seems to contradict your first.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:45 AM
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Oh wait, I was misreading your "but".

If you know what I mean.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:46 AM
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415: Not so much that people suck, but that the probability of repulsing/disappointing/offending/not-connecting with somebody is so high, and somebody so hard to find, and one's self-esteem so depressed after one's various past failed relationships, and one feels hard-pressed to come up with anything to recommend one (given the impending-unemployment thing and general aversion to society and all).


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:50 AM
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Again.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:52 AM
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I'm sure I could find one for the "are relationships worth it?" subthread, but it doesn't seem like much of a challenge.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:53 AM
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Maybe this one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:55 AM
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Or this one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:56 AM
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396: Looks like Megan might be able to fulfill her goal for the year after all.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:56 AM
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429: I'm tempted to say "Cheer up, it's not that bad." But there doesn't seem to be much of a way to tie a claim like that back into the conversation above.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:57 AM
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435: Statistically, Flip's position seems to have merit.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:59 AM
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426

This is as universally applicable as the comment about arrogance. Every theory has its shakey parts and problems that need to be worked on. ...

That's fine as long as the practitioners acknowledge the weak points and uncertainties when discussing the state of the art.

But I have encountered a lot of spurious claims about things like the reliability of complex climatology computer codes. Such as: Climatology codes can be trusted because they have a lot in common with weather codes which are experimentally validated. Or climate forecasting can be expected to be more reliable than economic forecasting because it is based on physical laws. Both of which are basically nonsense.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:02 PM
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Or this one.

Or, possibly but less likely, this">http://xkcd.com/443/">this one.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:02 PM
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434 - That'd be awesome, but we only shook hands. I'm fairly certain more would be required.

Hey y'all, help me write that stupid application for why I want to be in that dumb short class. I said "because my boss told me to", but that doesn't fill the page.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:02 PM
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Oh boy, I messed up the cut and paste on that link.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:03 PM
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436: He'll show you his critical region if you show him your confidence interval.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:03 PM
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429: Flippanter, I really do think that the probability of repulsing/disappointing/etc. is only that high if you measure yourself by the kind of crap that was represented in that idiotic craigslist letter. I know what you mean: when you have rocks in your boots, so to speak, or feel unfit for company, yeah, you're probably not going to feel inclined to burst onto the scene exuding confidence and so on blah blah.

If it really is the case that one feels unfit for company, okay, take a break. Otherwise, I really don't think people out there are such sticklers for perfection that one needs to present some kind of awesome package for inspection, and hope to be selected. I don't know, maybe it is that bad. But I don't think so. I wouldn't want someone who needed me to be freakin' awesome all the time. Someone who's dealing with fellow human beings is the idea.

Anyway. You, by the way, are very attractive in pixelated form at least, so relax. Everybody should relax over this relationship stuff!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:06 PM
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439: As a [camel jockey], I have already developed a strong baseline of knowledge of [camel foot care]. I want to take your class in [camel podiatry] because I believe it will allow me to supplement my practical knowledge of [camel foot care] with a stronger theoretical underpinning. [Or vice versa, depending.] Furthermore, while I have had very little opportunity to work with [alpacas], it is my understanding that your class will also cover [alpaca grooming], allowing me to progress toward my future ambition of becoming an [alpaca wrangler].

Or something like that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:08 PM
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The instructions for the essay are "One page statement describing why you are interested in participating in the class." Which I'm only barely interested in. But my boss thought of me or this and I should be grateful.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:09 PM
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Ever since I was a disadvantaged child, I used to state longingly at llamas.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:10 PM
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Everybody should relax over this relationship stuff!

Come on, Flip, get with it. Just relax already!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:11 PM
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So far, I've head about three different potentially damning things said in those emails.

First, Phil Jones asked people to delete emails relating to a Freedom of Information Act request from a climate denier for some raw data. As Andrew Leonard points out it it is always plain stupid to ask people to delete email in an email that features the FOIA in the subject line. This is definitely bad behavior, but it does nothing to undermine the case for global warming.

Second, people discussed in hard terms excluding a couple skeptical papers from the 2007 IPCC report, which wound up being included anyway. If anything this speaks to the reliability of the IPCC process.

Third, the word "trick" was used to describe a method for reconciling data sets collected by different governments. Exploiting this word choice is simply a deliberate misinterpretation of the way statistics works.

The latter two points are discussed in this Nature editorial. The email authors discuss the incident in this interview, which I haven't read yet.

Am I missing any other damning things in the emails?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:12 PM
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418:You could replace "climatologist" with practically any other profession and maintain the truth value of that statement.

Some climatologists dirty-talkin' piledrivers are arrogant jerks who don't like being questioned particularly by outsiders.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:12 PM
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Everybody should relax over this relationship stuff!

This is easier for some folks than for others, obviously. It depends an awful lot on the level of emotional intimacy you are looking for, your past experiences with emotional intimacy, issues of trust, and openess and safety. For some people, such things involve a tremendous amount of emotional risk, and whether the potential benefits justify the risks depends pretty heavily on whether you have the emotional resources to be able to afford the risk.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:14 PM
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446: I think you are not reading my message in the right spirit, Blume.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:17 PM
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440: Heh, I considered linking that one too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:20 PM
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442: It wasn't the Craigslist post; something about the ensuing discussion that I can't quite identify reminded me what a failure at love I am.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:21 PM
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447

Third, the word "trick" was used to describe a method for reconciling data sets collected by different governments. Exploiting this word choice is simply a deliberate misinterpretation of the way statistics works.

So Nate Silver doesn't understand how statistics works?

Actually, what you have is a scientist, Dr. Jones, talking candidly about sexing up a graph to make his conclusions more persuasive. This is not a good thing thing to do -- I'd go so far as to call it unethical -- and Jones deserves some of the loss of face that he will suffer. Unfortunately, this is the sort of thing that happens all the time in both academia and the private sector -- have you ever looked at the graphs in the annual report of a company which had a bad year? And it seems to happen all too often on both sides of the global warming debate (I'd include some of the graphics from An Inconvenient Truth in this category, FWIW.)


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:22 PM
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441 to 439.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:23 PM
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441: Vice versa might work better.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:24 PM
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reminded me what a failure at love I am.

I can pretty much guarantee that my record is worse than yours when it comes to relationships if that would make you feel any better.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:27 PM
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453: Alright, "trick" was being used to describe something more tricky than I thought it was. But still, Nate Silver agrees, one misleading graph doesn't do much to undermine the decade plus case that has been building for global warming.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:27 PM
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452: "Failure" is (I suspect -- I don't really know you) the wrong word. I mean, maybe some people have the sort of personalities and desires, etc. such that the world is overrun with people they can connect with meaningfully. But just because you haven't found that person out there doesn't mean you have failed; it just means there you haven't had the good fortune of meeting that person with whom you connect. It's hard.


Posted by: Di kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:28 PM
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Eh, I think there's a good shot Silver was going off half-cocked there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:28 PM
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452, 456: Also, I'm neurotic, shy, repressed, massively annoying, and happily married. Whatever your personal flaws, I'll bet they're not bad enough to be an insurmountable obstacle.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:29 PM
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You just haven't found your soulmate yet.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:31 PM
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459: Yeah, third comment on the 538 post there.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:32 PM
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The main thing I've learned from this whole "ClimateHack" thing is how little I care about the specific issues involved.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:32 PM
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The main thing I've learned from this thread is that you guys don't care if I met Phil Isenberg or get into a class I don't especially want to take.

LB cares about me. Her loving spirit is probably the reason she's happily married.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:34 PM
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I'll bet they're not bad enough to be an insurmountable obstacle.

How much?


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:34 PM
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460, though unmistakably spoken with the best of intents, borders on one of my biggest pet peeves from the happily encoupled: "There's someone out there for you!" "One day, you'll find someone who will love you forever!" Etc. You know, maybe not. However awesome you may be, you might just never find the person who clicks just the right way with your unique brand of awesomeness. Not everyone lives happily ever after, they just don't.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:34 PM
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I think you are not reading my message in the right spirit, Blume.

And I think that you have more than once recently been rather dismissive of people who are seeking romantic connections and having a difficult time of it. Perhaps you don't mean it to come out that way. Maybe it's just the style of your writing. But nevertheless.

The admonishment to 'relax' is an especially difficult one not to read as condescending.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:36 PM
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461: No, that's not it.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:37 PM
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466: I should clarify. Lots of people live happily ever after -- despite never finding their one true love. Some people find their one true love but never manage to eek out happily ever after together. Tons of people live contentedly ever after with someone perfectly good enough.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:38 PM
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466: Wasn't meant that way. More that you can't look at yourself and decide that relationship failure is inevitable. Not everyone ends up happily coupled (or, not to be monagamonormative, n-tupled) up, but for most people who things don't work out for, their own personality flaws aren't a full or inevitable explanation -- largely, things just happen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:39 PM
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468: That's especially rough, then. And especially hard to avoid feeling like a failure in the face of. It's brutal. My sympathies.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:40 PM
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465: This bet pretty much defines 'perverse incentive', doesn't it? And not even the fun kind.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:40 PM
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466: Those are widely used variations on my particular pet peeve: "everything happens for a reason." No, precious. Some things are just random.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:41 PM
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"Monagamonormativity" should not be confused with "Monongahelamonormativity", which is wrongfully assuming everyone's from Pittsburgh.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:42 PM
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466: I should clarify. Lots of people live happily ever after -- despite never finding their one true love. Some people find their one true love but never manage to eek out happily ever after together. Tons of people live contentedly ever after with someone perfectly good enough.

I was going to say, in response, to LB's original comment that one shouldn't underestimate the importance of luck and path dependence in romantic relationships just as in every other aspect of life.

The number of people who can potentially find a happy [relationship, job, place to live, ...] is larger than the number that will. Some people will end up a position in which the miss the opportunity for something that would have been successful had they tried.

Similarly the fact that someone has been successful doesn't demonstrate that their success was certain or even likely (which isn't to say anything bad about LB, of course).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:42 PM
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475 largely pwned by 470 & 473.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:44 PM
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467: No, I don't mean it to come out that way, so I apologize to everyone for whom it read that way. I'll keep a closer eye on it in future, and read with that in mind.

I was actually trying to tell Flippanter that he's hot, at least in word form, which was meant to reassure him, or make him smile.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:45 PM
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473: Yes. And, if I may add, "everything happens for a reason" spoken by someone who is rejecting you romantically sort of merits a kick in the nuts. Yes, dear, the reason is because you made a choice -- which you are totally entitled to do -- not because destiny made you do it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:45 PM
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473: Or, not all the reasons are good.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:46 PM
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at least in word form

And here I was wondering if there were cute pictures on the Flickr group. I should look at the Flickr group occasionally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:47 PM
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I mean, maybe some people have the sort of personalities and desires, etc. such that the world is overrun with people they can connect with meaningfully.

That, by the way, was top-quality bitterness and sarcasm. I can't stop smiling at that sentence.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:51 PM
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481: Why thank you, NickS. So few people out there meaningfully connect with my peak bitterness and sarcasm...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:54 PM
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I always thought that at least 50% of the reason behind Unfogged's existence in the world is to make the single people dreadfully aware of all of the things that can go wrong in the pursuit of love, all in service to Emerson's no relationships cult.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:54 PM
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478: Further still, that you found a silver lining to a bad situation does not mean that said bad situation arose just so that you could find that silver lining.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 12:55 PM
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484: Or perhaps the worstest variant, "God has a plan..." Really? Because if this was God's plan, He seems like a pretty sadistic jerk. And my new corallary, "Huh, it was apparently all in God's plan for me to kick you in the crotch."

Jesus. You people* are bringing out the bitter in me today. Off to go buy Rory a winter coat to shelter her from this cold, cruel world.

*No, I'm not really blaming you. You are all special snowflakes that melt on my nose and eyelashes.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 1:03 PM
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477, 480: The Flip is neither photogenic nor animal-magnetic, but thank you. Also has not attended a meetup.

471: The consumerist model that has crept into every crack of the human experiment makes the cruel persistence of love more than a little embarrassing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 1:04 PM
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Or perhaps the worstest variant, "God has a plan..." Really? Because if this was God's plan, He seems like a pretty sadistic jerk.

"Jesus Christ: Lord, Savior and the new co-host of Loveline with Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla! Tune in tonight and learn how 'Jesus saves' Tiffany in Seattle from her intimacy issues!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 1:08 PM
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I don't like the concept of a soul mate. Too fairy tale. Chemistry, but with a reaction that doesn't consume itself.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 1:22 PM
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Among my many vices is a tendency to provoke 'God's plan' people. "You aren't troubled by the Rwandan genocide, because God's ways are inscrutable; the only time you can understand God's plan is when it turns out that He wants exactly what you want. There's a word for that, and it isn't pious or humble. Or even religious."


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 1:29 PM
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Be realistic: Demand the impossible!
Feel no shame in your desires!
Under the paving stones: The beach!
(okay, so that one doesn't really apply)

I blame capitalism and the patriarchy. How many failed relationships could've worked out just fine if it weren't for the stresses that our corporate overlords inflict on our everyday life?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 1:34 PM
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I'm glad I'm too damned busy today to get into the Climategate discussion. Anyone who knows anything about how scientists work should not see anything suspicious in those emails.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 1:37 PM
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On the other hand, how many relationships owe their existence to stressed, overworked people being driven into each other's arms by the need to shelter from their cruel, cold, corporate overlords?

Six of one, half a dozen of the other, I always say.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 1:38 PM
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I don't like the concept of a soul mate. Too fairy tale.

Me too. Finding a soul mate seem to be about being saved from yourself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 1:42 PM
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How many failed relationships could've worked out just fine if it weren't for the stresses that our corporate overlords inflict on our everyday life?

I know of one that could be read that way, but I am inclined to blame myself rather than capitalism's star-crossing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 1:43 PM
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|| A cousin of mine is in a dance troupe contemporary ballet in NYC, and posted a white hot trailer of their upcoming show on Facebook. I'd link it if I could figure out how.|>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 1:58 PM
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This ought to work, but it takes a while to load.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:07 PM
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This bet pretty much defines 'perverse incentive', doesn't it? And not even the fun kind.

I already have this bet going with a friend of mine. We double or nothing every year. I expect to be written into his will. I may never have love, but at least I can have other people's money.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:09 PM
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Sounds like a great pickup line: "Hey, baby, come home with me and it could end up costing me a shitload of money."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:21 PM
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Sir Kraab and I have recently been enjoying a British series called "Doc Martin" about a London surgeon who becomes a general practitioner in a small Cornish seaside town. Aside from the general Northern Exposure / city-boy-in-the-country fun, the doc has no bedside manner whatsoever and is extremely grumpy and rude and short with people. We were channel surfing one night and caught part of an episode on PBS and were won over by the following exchange:

Annoying pious character who's always saying "God Bless you!" and the like: Well, you know what they say, the Lord . . . .

Doctor Ellingham (in a very gruff dismissive voice): Yes, the Lord works in mysterious ways: like malaria.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:23 PM
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Hey, baby, come home with me and it could end up costing me a shitload of money.

Only $40 so far since the bet is only 4 years old. A couple more years and I should be in real money territory though.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:29 PM
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498: "How can you say I don't love you? I'm willing to lose a bet for you!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:32 PM
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Sir Kraab and I have recently been enjoying a British series called "Doc Martin"

I haven't seen that, but liked the lead actor in "William and Mary." I kept thinking that he has the physical mannerisms of a veteran stage actor but makes it work on TV -- which I appreciate.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:33 PM
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"Marry me? I can just afford it if we do it this year -- one more year and we have to break up."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:34 PM
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I lose twice that if I procreate.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:37 PM
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I kept thinking that he has the physical mannerisms of a veteran stage actor but makes it work on TV

That's a pretty apt description.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:40 PM
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503: But it sounds like the terms of the bet are "finding love", which seems difficult to verify. It's like those match.com ads that promise 6 months free if you don't find "someone special" within the first 6 months of your membership; how will they know? And what constitutes "someone special"?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:40 PM
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504: Not to mention loss of essence.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:42 PM
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I'm also a real sucker for the Southwest of England accent.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:43 PM
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But it sounds like the terms of the bet are "finding love"

Nope. The terms are going on a date.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:44 PM
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509: Four years? I sense you're not trying to lose the bet very hard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:45 PM
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I've been without dates for periods of not quite that length, but pretty damn respectable length, and I don't even have any perverse incentives set up to encourage that—I can believe it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:47 PM
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Yeah, no perverse incentives at play here, and I nonetheless had dating interregnums from mid 2001 to early 2005, and from early 2005 to mid 2008.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:51 PM
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Nah, all I meant is that going out on a date, rather than finding love, is something that you can pretty much do by deciding to. Maybe not instantly, but it's within almost anyone's reach. So, not actively trying to lose the bet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 2:56 PM
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Yeah, no perverse incentives at play here, and I nonetheless had dating interregnums from mid 2001 to early 2005, and from early 2005 to mid 2008.

That's eerily close to being true for me, as well, if you just shuffle things around by six-month intervals or so.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:05 PM
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Did the date have to end with a kiss, or could it be people-who-could-potentially-be-interested meeting for coffee or dinner to find out if they are in fact interested? The latter is definitely achievable, especially through the magic of the internet.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:06 PM
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I have never been on date. While I can't say I have been trying amazingly hard I have asked women out before. They have just never said yes.

Did the date have to end with a kiss, or could it be people-who-could-potentially-be-interested meeting for coffee or dinner to find out if they are in fact interested? The latter is definitely achievable, especially through the magic of the internet.

Dinner would count. Coffee would be questionable. So far the Internet has let me down.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:10 PM
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I do my thing.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:11 PM
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I don't like the concept of a soul mate. Too fairy tale.

That really depends. If you are using "soul mate" as shorthand for "that one and only person in all the universe whom I am destined -- destined, I tell you! -- to love and be loved by for all eternity," then yes, fairy tale. But if you use it as shorthand for "someone with whom I connect intellectually, with whom I share a physical attraction, with whom I share emotional support and understanding, and who treats my shortcomings with compassion (and vice versa)," then it seems like something a great many people hope for and some respectable number even find. A "soul mate" in that latter sense is hardly a dime a dozen, of course. But it's not flying unicorn territory either.

How many failed relationships could've worked out just fine if it weren't for the stresses that our corporate overlords inflict on our everyday life?

How many relationships with our corporate overlords end in stress and failure?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:21 PM
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516: Huh. Not having been on the market since before the widespread advent of internet dating, I had the (clearly flawed) impression that while it was a goofy and annoying process not easily leading to actual relationships, getting to the actual 'out on a date' bit of dating was now mostly a solved problem.

I appear to have been overly cavalier. Sorry about that, chief.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:24 PM
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getting to the actual 'out on a date' bit of dating was now mostly a solved problem.

I suspect that, in addition to other variables, that the size of one's metropolitan area makes a difference in there.

I don't know where CJB is located but, living a smallish town myself, I think it's important to remember that no everybody lives in a big city.

I believe that teo has written about this dynamic.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:28 PM
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Yeah, I have to admit I don't know how the boy side of internet dating goes. For me, I put up something chatty on CL, get a few dozen replies, of which perhaps six will be literate and two don't actually offend me. I'll answer the two good ones, and half the time, that'll lead to actually meeting the dude. The other half the time, they disappear and I never know why. Still, each time I do it, I have a fifty-fifty chance of meeting someone for coffee if I want.

Honestly, CJB, I have to think that just writing complete sentences and not being overtly misogynistic in an initial email would get you past my screening process. When your bet gets valuable enough to motivate you, I think you could lose it.

On the other side, I'm told that men who post ads are flooded with spam, if they get anything. (But I've answered good ads.) So that part I'm not familiar with.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:34 PM
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Re: affair/dalliance/fling/relationship

I like and use the word "adventure", which is basically open-ended enough to cover everything from grinning cheekily at someone in the checkout line to embarking on lifelong marriage; which encompasses romance and companionship and excitement and experiment and even -- if you both/all want it -- peril. I like it because it says "don't assume any conventions! Let's see what happens!" and also that you're setting out on something together.

I actually genuinely began to tumble into the Love Quadrilateral via a not-very-serious use of the phrase "pitching woo": the recipient was flattered and amused, and even though I'd really only been meaning to cheer them up with a bit of friendly flirting when they'd just suffered disappointing a rebuff, responded as if I'd used a less obviously silly phrase. But we already knew each other, and each other's sense of humour. I don't think I'd have used it if I'd wanted stuff to happen: and yet stuff did happen and still is. So hurrah.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:37 PM
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And, there is the fact that I answer two of dozens of replies. The other guys don't find out what happened. But they shouldn't have sent me long emails about how lonely they are since their wife left them. Or start off by saying that I'll always take second place to their kids. (Sure, it may be true, but why are those your first words to me?) Or tell me that their life is so dull, and without a woman, they just watch TV all the time.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:38 PM
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Also "adventure" handily weeds out anyone wedded to the monotononormative. Yes I am a Gemini.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:40 PM
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Or tell me that their life is so dull, and without a woman, they just watch TV all the time.

You'd better start living a more exciting life and stop being alone and watching TV, CJB!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:41 PM
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It's sort of a fair claim; I'd watch less tv if I lived with someone. (However, that's not to say that being single is why my life is dull. That's just who I am.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:42 PM
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And of course there's being dull, which I certainly am, and not having the sense not to describe oneself as dull while actively trying to get a date, which doesn't seem like all that much to ask.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:44 PM
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Yeah, I have to admit I don't know how the boy side of internet dating goes.

Well from my experience you don't get people contacting you. And you probably won't hear anything back if you contact other people. This sounds more bitter than I am about it, but I have never had any success with Internet dating when I have tried it.

520: Fargo, ND so not huge, but not really small either.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:45 PM
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No, it's really not that hard to make yourself sound interesting in a limited information setting like an opening email. My general rule of thumb is to avoid mentioning my cat.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:45 PM
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Though I have never actually tried internet dating, so what do I know? Maybe there's a whole group of men out there dying to hear about cats!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:47 PM
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They're all taken.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:49 PM
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So, do people go straight from a Craigslist ad, the receipt of replies and replying back (a single exchange?), to going out on the date? Or is there usually more correspondence first, before the date?

The former would kind of freak me out, I think: too much pressure. I would want to get more of a sense of the person before meeting them blind, as it were.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:50 PM
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531: By cats.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:51 PM
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And suddenly I have a visual image of CJB.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:54 PM
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518 -- Well, Di, I think there's a lot of country between One True Love and Basic Plan. My understanding of "soul mate" is a whole lot different from your description, which, I have to say, is pretty much the minimum requirement. Give up any element and you're going to have a rough go, I'd think.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:55 PM
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Or start off by saying that I'll always take second place to their kids.

Interestingly, in the very brief period (3 months?) that I tried internet dating (as in put up a profile, not as in went on any dates) a line quite similar to this was included in my profile. I suppose it probably narrowed the field pretty rapidly. I was and am more than okay with that. I figure it's honest.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:56 PM
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Internet dating is not what I would call a solved problem. When I was out there, women on the big sites had dozens of suitors, and rarely made first contacts. I contacted 15 women; the first one went on a date with me after a clever and personal allusion to one of her favorite books, which was the worst kind of education I could have. The next 12 contacts I made ignored me entirely, which was followed by one polite decline and then a wife.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:56 PM
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I would want to get more of a sense of the person before meeting them blind, as it were.

This is completely understandable. Though you also don't want to email for too long, because you think you get more of a sense of the person than you really do. So much comes out in that first face-to-face interaction. Sometimes you can save yourself a week or two of emailing with a quick beer, after which both parties quickly take leave and pretend it never happened.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:56 PM
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Crazy Blind Date has still not yet debuted in the UK.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 3:58 PM
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your description, which, I have to say, is pretty much the minimum requirement. Give up any element and you're going to have a rough go, I'd think.

Huh. I've had sort of the impression that my description was something of a "high" if not "somewhat unrealistic" standard. I've looked a very long time and have found such a thing to be exceedingly rare.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:01 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc8w0IX4UQc

This is priceless.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:04 PM
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You couldn't give up any of those elements. The man might not have to be model-pretty, but you have to be attracted. Doesn't have to be a rocket scientist, but needs to be able to keep up with you are a reasonable number of topics. Doesn't have to be pining whenever not with you, but has to care. Has to be cool with such personal faults as you might hypothetically have (none having yet been revealed in this forum). And not be a dishrag (the basic lament of the CT poster). I don't see how you could possibly compromise any of these, but within each there's potential to go way above the minimally acceptable level. So cute your friends lose the ability to speak. Smarter than you. Burning yet controlled passion.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:16 PM
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Are you speaking descriptively or prescriptively, Charley? People end up with people who don't meet one or more of those standards all the time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:25 PM
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none having yet been revealed in this forum

You are a generous soul, Charley, but "RTFA."

I agree that giving up any of those elements creates the potential for unhappiness/disappointments/resentment. I'm just amazed that anyone ever manages to, first, find all of those things in one person and, second, actually make all the other pieces come together.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:29 PM
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Or tell me that their life is so dull, and without a woman, they just watch TV all the time.

See, this is why I don't try very hard. I am plenty aware that I am pretty dull, and that I don't have all that much to recommend me. I do know, like LB, that leading with this self-assessment at the outset of a courtship is not the best strategy, but it's hard to work up much enthusiasm for initiating interactions wherein I pretend that I am exciting when it seems inevitable that my dullness will be uncovered in short order.

I am actually somewhat at peace with this, and sort of feel that I shouldn't bother trying to date until I figure out how to live an interesting life.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:30 PM
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Do you want assignments that would lead you to living an interesting life?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:34 PM
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I could make the quantitative and everything, so you could have measurable results.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:34 PM
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You're going to try to get me to write your essay again, aren't you?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:34 PM
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545: Or just find someone similarly dull.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:35 PM
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I am willing to entertain assignments, yes.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:35 PM
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Whatever. I turned that shit in.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:36 PM
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In my brief experiences with online dating, as a guy, I'd say I got replies from 5-10% of women I contacted, and maybe a third of those ended up going on a date with me. None of those went as far as getting to a second date, but that part isn't the Internet's fault. So I think I could get a date by that mechanism if I worked at it consistently for a week or three.

And I agree 100% with 538.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:36 PM
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549: The problem is that admitting one's dullness is apparently taboo, so it's hard to track down eligible dull women.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:36 PM
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538: So much comes out in that first face-to-face interaction. Sometimes you can save yourself a week or two of emailing with a quick beer, after which both parties quickly take leave and pretend it never happened.

Sure, I can see that; there are people who are just going to be a definite No. Still, though -- and maybe I'm just being stubborn -- I seem to like the idea of at least several exchanges, via email and hopefully by phone, before meeting, if only because I think you can wind up being attracted to someone you ordinarily wouldn't pick out of a crowd, or might even reject at first glance, once you've exchanged some low-pressure repartee.

What freaks me out about the notion of online dating is that there don't seem to be enough filters in place from the get-go, whereas there are with people you'd meet in real life, or via blog/online discussion group. Someone you meet through unfogged (say) is already going to have been filtered in a certain way. But I'm sure I'm just fussing.

A friend who's done a lot of online dating told me that the principal thing is to be sure you have a very thick skin. Eek.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:37 PM
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553: Maybe you can set up a separate dating site. (FWIW, though, I think your self-assessment as dull isn't actually accurate.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:37 PM
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Try mentioning that you like long walks on the beach.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:38 PM
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Admitting one's dullness is contrarian! Perfect for a CL ad, which will get you women who think you're being self-referential and ironic.

But I could also give you assignments to make you do more interesting stuff. You live in a world-class city, so you have a ton of access.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:39 PM
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I do find the idea of online dating sort of horribly fascinating. Knock wood, it's never going to be my problem, but the idea of writing a piece of prose that would successfully convey to the 97% of the male population that would be completely uninterested in me not to waste their time without irrevocably putting off the other 3% sounds mindbogglingly difficult.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:39 PM
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555: Ha! Now that would make me interesting. I'd be the guy who set up a dating site for the dull-and-self-aware. (And thanks.)


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:39 PM
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545: See, now this wouldn't be a bad opening to me. "I don't mind doing fun things every now and then, but mostly I just want to sit home and watch TV or read a book," more or less describes me and I can't imagine anyone looking for more excitement than that wanting to stick with me very long. I don't particularly want to figure out how to live an interesting life all that much, either. I think I've kind of come to terms with the fact that I'd rather just stay single than have to be interesting.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:40 PM
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Anyone else seeing an obvious solution to Otto and ()'s respective dating problems?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:40 PM
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Also, I should have said what Parenthetical said, which is that you aren't dull. You already do things like marathons and reflect on them. Doing things and reflecting on what you've done are the two main ingredients of interesting.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:40 PM
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Wit is another ingredient, and you have that too.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:42 PM
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the idea of writing a piece of prose that would successfully convey to the 97% of the male population that would be completely uninterested in me not to waste their time without irrevocably putting off the other 3% sounds mindbogglingly difficult.

This. And thanks for the laugh. I protest the 97/3 percent split, though. Can we go for 80/20?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:45 PM
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Indeed, Otto. It sounds less like you are uninteresting and more that you just don't expect anyone to be interested in the things that are interesting about you.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:46 PM
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Can we go for 80/20?

Experience says no. 1.5% of the population is still lots of people, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:46 PM
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Ad to attract Megan:
"Not only do I do things, I would be glad to reflect on the things I do when talking to you. And I have been told that I have wit."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:47 PM
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You are kind. And now I fear I may have been engaging in compliment-fishing. Part of what gives me angst, though, is a sense I have that though my conversation skills are adequate over brief intervals, such that I can even be engaging at times, conversation with me always leads to awkward silences too soon. I feel that I have a thimblefull of interesting facets, but I need at least a handful to make a go of it.

I really would consider assignments. I am very susceptible to the paradox of choice, and tend to freeze when left to my own devices in a world of possibility.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:48 PM
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It isn't quite so mindbogglingly difficult (although I haven't found success with it, either). But you get successive tries, and more than one filter on each try (the initial text, and then winnowing responses).

There's a ton of noise (or, I guess for guys, radio silence). But the getting it wrong usually means a bland dinner at worst and a blast of emails that remind you of the horror of human loneliness. So the penalty for an ad that doesn't hit the mark isn't all that bad.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:48 PM
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Flip and CJB, FWIW, I went on a lot of internet (and before that classified ad) dates with a lot of (male and female) frogs, including a good number of perfectly-fine-but-ultimately-not-right frogs. There were some 2nd and 3rd dates and one relationship that lasted several months.

Re: not hearing back from women that you contact, I would *hate* to be on your end, but it's also hard to be on the receiving end of replies. Should you follow your instincts or give him the benefit of the doubt? Are you letting some weird bias about something unimportant (they like Stargate, for god's sake!) make the decision for you? Do you write back and tell him why you're not interested or just ignore him? (We've talked about this before, I'm pretty sure, but I lack archive Google-fu.)

You may not be looking for practical advice, so feel free to ignore this, but the responses I did answer responded to something(s) specific in my ad without claiming to be in lockstep. As important was that their profiles included something that suggested why they had written to me. My profile specifically said that I was looking for someone with a social conscience which is entirely non-negotiable for me. If their profile didn't mention something like politics or social justice, I concluded that wasn't particularly important to them.

In any case, I empathize; the whole dating scene is tough.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:49 PM
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564: The idea that 1 out of every 5 guys would be interested seems terribly optimistic from my experience. But mileage undoubtedly varies.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:49 PM
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conversation with me always leads to awkward silences too soon

Take those opportunities to make out!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:51 PM
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Anyone else seeing an obvious solution to Otto and ()'s respective dating problems?

I saw this long ago.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:55 PM
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I really would consider assignments.

When I was contemplating "getting back out there" post-divorce, the therapist suggested getting involved in activities -- church, a political group, a cooking class, etc. Are there running clubs in your area? That sounds like a genuine interest and presumably the people you'd meet in some sort of runners' club would find that interesting about you.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:55 PM
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Well, the thing to fill conversation with attractive young City women is things you've done in the City. If you're willing to leave the house, I'd give you assignments like "go to one book reading a week for a month." You don't have to like the reading. Doing it successive times will lead to opinions about book stores, stories of things that happened on public transit, opinions on what makes for a good reading and so forth.

Off the top of my head, I'd say:

Go to four book readings in January.
Go to four open mics in February.
Rate every pizzeria within a mile of you in March.
Follow a city league basketball team in April.

Stuff like that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:56 PM
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571: Mmm. The 3% number I came up with might, in fact, be too high, but I was trying not to sound self-deprecating.

568: Part of what gives me angst, though, is a sense I have that though my conversation skills are adequate over brief intervals, such that I can even be engaging at times, conversation with me always leads to awkward silences too soon.

Strong silent type seeks sparkling storyteller. You keep the conversation going, and I promise to quit it with the pointless alliteration.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 4:57 PM
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I think you can wind up being attracted to someone you ordinarily wouldn't pick out of a crowd, or might even reject at first glance, once you've exchanged some low-pressure repartee.

There are definitely lots of online daters who go through more getting-to-know-you stages, as you describe. Email, more email, maybe moving on to phone before you ever meet. But for me, anyway, the risk of being disappointed that the person didn't match up to my now too-formed idea of him was a much greater danger than me not giving him enough of a chance.

Also, the kinds of exchanges you have in the first emails don't tend to be revelatory in the same way that, say, taking part in comment threads do. There's a lot of pressure on those exchanges.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:00 PM
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Are there running clubs in your area? That sounds like a genuine interest and presumably the people you'd meet in some sort of runners' club would find that interesting about you.

Yes, I'm taking action on that front. I'll be leading a group of first time marathoners on group runs after the new year. A cooking class is an idea I should investigate more.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:03 PM
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I think you can wind up being attracted to someone you ordinarily wouldn't pick out of a crowd, or might even reject at first glance, once you've exchanged some low-pressure repartee

This may be a[nother of many] reason online dating didn't work for me. Of all the men I've been attracted to in real life, I can think of at best one whom I would have given a second look to in an online photo. Which, fine, "be less shallow and don't shoot a guy down based on his profile picture." But I'm leery enough about meeting some random stranger for a beer that it takes very little to convince me that it's a bad idea.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:07 PM
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571: The 3% number I came up with might, in fact, be too high

I'm with you on this. Lefty, atheist, single men who have some tinge of self-awareness? Right there, I'm already down to 5% of the population, generously speaking. Add in geography and compatibility on things like kids and dullness and 3% is a reach.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:11 PM
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Which city is your City, Otto?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:12 PM
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571: The idea that 1 out of every 5 guys would be interested seems terribly optimistic

Yeah, I don't know why I would be that optimistic. There's snow on the ground, which seems to make me cheerful.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:13 PM
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581: That of Saint Francis of Assisi.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:15 PM
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582: I don't mean to discourage you -- you may have broader appeal than me!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:18 PM
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583: Presumably not the one of his Holy Faith.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:18 PM
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583: Assisi?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:18 PM
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575: OK, thanks for the framework. Maybe I'll get my ass in gear this evening and work on putting some potential anecdote-fodder on my calendar.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:19 PM
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Di, what do you think will happen? I understand that I'm unusually fearless, having the strength of many gorillas and all, but I've never been in a remotely scary situation. You go to the bar, chat with a guy, realize fast nothing will happen and go home. It costs you valuable commenting time, but it isn't scary.

Also, I'll put in another plug for brunch dates, which are all broad-daylight and stuff.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:22 PM
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Yeah, you got it exactly right. Anecdote fodder.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:23 PM
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586: Yup, I'm in rural Italy! I guess I neglected to mention that all this time.

585: Touche. I live in the 415. That clear enough, smart guy?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:24 PM
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You know, I hate to be too self-pitying in public, but Megan's description in 523 of the things she finds unappealing in men -- lost spouse, kid most important, watch too much TV -- would basically be my answer to the "3 most important things about you" if I ever answered such a question honestly, which I guess I now never will.

I don't think I'm really that boring, and I have activities and hopes of meeting people the old fashioned way, but I stopped filling out the one online dating site form I was considering using when one of the categories was something like "describe a typical Friday night.". There's just no way to answer that question for me that would be both date-producing and remotely honest.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:29 PM
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566

Experience says no. 1.5% of the population is still lots of people, though.

But what fraction of them will be attractive to you?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:30 PM
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570: Sir Kraab, that online dating profile is excellent. I read it when you first posted it in that thread, and if I didn't say it then, I say it now. If I ever decide to do such a thing, I'll take it as a guide, if you don't mind -- for tone more than anything (bowling?)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:30 PM
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I live in the 415. That clear enough, smart guy?

To me? No. But I already knew where you lived.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:32 PM
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588: But he might not find me interesting! Or he might find me *too* interesting! Or he might find me just the perfect amount of interesting, luring me into letting my guard down and getting all vulnerable. At which point he might discover that I'm not interesting!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:34 PM
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591: Megan's just one woman. Don't over generalize from her likes/dislikes. Cf. Di in this thread.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:34 PM
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592: Probably a fairly large percentage of them. I find that being the sort of person who isn't bored witless by me is a strong predictor of being the kind of person I find amusing. If "people I like" and "people who like me" were independently selected small percentages of the population, that'd really suck.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:35 PM
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(595 is also probably a big part of why I somehow routinely fail to make it to meetups that involve any more than one person.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:35 PM
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596: Again: It takes all kinds to make a world go round.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:35 PM
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Well, the thing to fill conversation with attractive young City women is things you've done in the City.

There's a limit to how many concerts one can describe.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:37 PM
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Your soulmate will want to hear about all of them, neB.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:40 PM
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600: For you, I'd think the go to strategy would be talking about the meals you've prepared recently. Anyway, I look forward to reading about that in comments. I have to assume there are women in your find City who likewise like to hear about food.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:40 PM
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one of the categories was something like "describe a typical Friday night.". There's just no way to answer that question for me that would be both date-producing and remotely honest.

Yup, that question gave me pause, too, and is one of the things that led to the self-assessment I gave above (i.e., that I need to up my interestingness before I put myself out there). I wrote something generic. But at least I didn't write "There is no typical Friday night".


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:41 PM
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You know, I hate to be too self-pitying in public, but Megan's description in 523 of the things she finds unappealing in men -- lost spouse, kid most important, watch too much TV -- would basically be my answer to the "3 most important things about you" if I ever answered such a question honestly, which I guess I now never will.

To be fair, it's not the things themselves that are necessarily unappealing, it's opening a conversation in which you are inviting someone to date you with them that is not so great.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:42 PM
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593: Thanks. Crib away, though taking out bowling pretty much eviserates it, especially in Baltimore. Duckpins!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:42 PM
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I have to assume there are women in your find [sic] City who likewise like to hear about food.

And that set of women may even overlap with the set of women who like to eat food! Which brings to mind a novel idea: You could have dinner on your dates!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:44 PM
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Maybe "opening" should have been the bit in italics, there.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:44 PM
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604 is exactly right.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:44 PM
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My answer to what I do on a typical Friday night includes the (absolutely untrue) sentences "But on a Saturday night, with my suit buttoned tight and my suedes on, I'm getting my kicks watching arty French flicks with my shades on. 'Cause I'm hip.", and very little else.

Generally I can only bring myself to answer such questions in moods in which I can't bring myself to care very much.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:45 PM
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Anecdote fodder

I have what may be an annoying tendency to talk about an article I read recently, or a story I heard on the radio (heaven help us if it's something I listened to on CSPAN radio, though I usually reserve that for you guys).

I'm kidding a bit; I do mostly control this, but if something animates you, it animates you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:45 PM
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604: I hate the idea that leading with the things that are most important to you should kill your shot at getting a date. Which, I guess, is why I'm single. (Although, I have noticed that I tend to go on a bit too much about Rory when I'm nervous about someone flirting with me and have further observed that it is frequently a defensive move that effectively backs people off. So take from that what you will.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:47 PM
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This conversation is making me glad that I no longer really care about this sort of thing. It's all so fraught.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:48 PM
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610: See, I'd find it kinda hot if a woman started talking to me about something she heard on CSPAN. Then I'd start worrying that though I was more plugged in to current events than average, she'd eventually realize that I'm just a dilettante in that area.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:51 PM
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Seriously, there are a lot of women out there looking for a good listener.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:52 PM
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I hate the idea that leading with the things that are most important to you should kill your shot at getting a date.

It's all about how you present it. Telling someone "I have a daughter I'm insanely proud of": awesome. Telling them "I have a daughter and no matter what you will never be able to compete with her for my affection": not so awesome.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 5:55 PM
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596, thanks much, and 604, I know, and am personally strongly committed to the belief that succesful dating and brutally honest self-presentation don't mix. One does have to learn to play the game, which I've done before and will unfortunately have to do again. It was just jarring (totakky understandable for Megan, but jarring to me) to have the list of undesirable qualities EXACTLY track what I assume are, in fact, my undesirable qualities


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:00 PM
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Some of it is how you present it. But I've gotten emails that are thousands of words about the spouse that left them and how they won't make the same mistakes again, all appearing to be freshly inspired by my ad.

I got a long response telling me that he's never answered an ad before, and any woman he dates is going to have to accept that he has a best friend. Then he described her for paragraphs.

Every ad I post will get several versions of "I don't do much LOL. Watch TV, drink some beer. Now that I don't have a girlfriend, I spend way too much of my weekend watching TV. Hah hah. I like movies, too."

The kid ones get a lot of capitalization. "You will NEVER mean as much to me as my daughter!"

Why did you answer my ad, then? Why is that the first thing you tell me? What about being perpetually second is supposed to appeal to me?

Really, it is the utter lack of self-awareness that leaves me boggled.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:04 PM
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one of the categories was something like "describe a typical Friday night.". There's just no way to answer that question for me that would be both date-producing and remotely honest.

See, "There's just no way to answer that question for me that would be both date-producing and remotely honest," would make me chuckle and send you an e-mail.

I'm pretty sure the problem is that you guys aren't consulting us here on Unfogged enough.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:05 PM
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Mostly, when I read those, I ache for the person and think of him as Not Ready.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:06 PM
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613: No, no. The two of you would talk about the current event in question, and admit your respective shortcomings of knowledge, since nobody's perfect, and have a few flashes of the eyes, and humor, and smile and move on to discuss whatever else the CSPAN story evokes. Maybe some book you read, or maybe something else entirely.

It works okay to talk about what's interesting to you, unless the other person just flips out and says something distancing, like "Okay, I think you're smarter than me."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:08 PM
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On a typical Friday night I cry for my ex-wife and re-enact the big fights of our divorce with all the things I should have said.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:08 PM
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It was just jarring (totakky understandable for Megan, but jarring to me) to have the list of undesirable qualities EXACTLY track what I assume are, in fact, my undesirable qualities

Presidential because I am admitting things that I don't really care to have associated with my pseud.

This is a long and roundabout way of saying "it takes all kinds." I probably cannot have children of my own. I am opposed to the sort of invasive fertility treatments that would correct this, and adoption is certainly a possibility but it is not exactly the easiest road. I sincerely look at divorced men with children as perhaps better for my situation than others. To be clear, not because I think being a step mom is easy or that it is the route to an instant family or anything like that, but it seems sensible: I'd like to be part of a family with kids, I can't have them, why not look to someone who has them already? So, you know, what you fear is undesirable about you is not necessarily the case for all women.


Posted by: Martha W. | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:08 PM
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In my brief foray into internet dating I found getting a date pretty easy. About fifty percent replied, and about a third of those were interested in meeting after a couple e-mail exchanges and a phone conversation. The problem was that the chances of finding someone you're genuinely interested in 'dating' are pretty slim, and that gets frustrating/depressing. First dates coming out of real life encounters are much more promising - even if you only met the person once at a party or a bar, you already know that you can have a decent conversation and that there is at least some attraction. It may turn out that in the one on one date environment that this will no longer be true, but still the odds are far, far higher than with someone you met online. Plus as you keep going on those things you start feeling like you're going through some sort of recipe for how to act and what to say. On the other hand if all you want to do is get laid, then it's pretty easy.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:13 PM
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597

Probably a fairly large percentage of them. I find that being the sort of person who isn't bored witless by me is a strong predictor of being the kind of person I find amusing. If "people I like" and "people who like me" were independently selected small percentages of the population, that'd really suck.

What really sucks is when you are only attracted to the sort of person who is unlikely to be interested in you.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:13 PM
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I don't actually have anything against single fathers. But you should see the emails I get:

My kids will ALWAYS come first and I would FIGHT anyone who tried to come between us LIKE A TIGER!

That's how they open their email to me. I believe them! They are very clear.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:14 PM
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Shearer has a thing for lesbians.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:15 PM
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Also, the spelling and grammar errors in 616 are ultra-sexy.

622, thanks much, that actually helps a lot (and now get ready for the heartfelt 20 page letter describing every detail of my old relationships that will CONVINCE you to date me, followed by a series of intrusive text messges). Or, that's too jokey -- seriously, thanks.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:16 PM
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I would FIGHT anyone who tried to come between us LIKE A TIGER!

I've read that as long as you remain upright and facing them, tigers are unlikely to attack. It's when you bend over or they can get behind you that they spring.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:16 PM
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The kid ones get a lot of capitalization. "You will NEVER mean as much to me as my daughter!"

Okay, well at least I can safely say that I have never used allcaps. That's just wrong.

But part of the impulse to front with "I've got a kid who's my top priority" was to head off the irritating routine of 'No, I can't just get her dad to take her so that I can see you. I actually want to spend time with her."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:17 PM
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624: Damn, that would suck.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:17 PM
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I just disabled my short-lived OKC account. I was getting an absurd number of messages, even though my profile was fairly incomplete and off-putting. I went out with three dudes, and even the ones I liked I was like, good Christ, I do not care enough about these people to go hunting them down and trying to satisfy their egos for hours when I could just spend time with people who already like me.

I felt bad for not responding to the messages, because I hate it when people don't respond to me. Some of the people seemed genuinely interested and nice. But what I used to treasure so much about the internet date--the fact that, at the end of the date, it's clear that a decision has to be made about whether you like each other, unlike casual meetings with strangers--when I was 23 is what I hate about it now. We just had lunch for an hour and it wasn't *that* great and you want a kiss? And I feel like an asshole for not wanting to do you when I'm already late for therapy?

Internet dating was perfect when I was new in town and didn't know anyone. Now that my life is kind of, you know, busy, it's not fun for people to make demands on my time and emotional resources.

That said, I almost responded to a dumb hot actor kid. But if he didn't realize what was going on, I'd feel bad.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:18 PM
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Is 628 some sort of sex joke?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:37 PM
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I feel that I should second what Martha W. said in 622, though not in just those terms.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:40 PM
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admit your respective shortcomings of knowledge, since nobody's perfect

Aaaaaaaand I think you've just identified what's going to be my biggest stumbling block when I'm ready to start dating again.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 6:40 PM
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634: The unfoggedtariat issues a formal apology for this news about imperfection and the need to acknowledge it.

But nah. Strengths and weaknesses, that's all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:04 PM
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I'm surprised that teo hasn't mentioned that today's xkcd is about online dating -- more or less.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:21 PM
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About seven months ago I posted a Craigslist ad that said, basically, "hey, I'm all educated, intellectual, come off well at a cocktail party, but really I'm totally lazy and just like to lie around for hours smoking dope, having sex, watching TV, and having long conversations about nothing. Anyone else out there like that?" Got one response, we're still together, she's exactly as described. Gotta love the net.

Wish I still had a copy of the ad, I'd post it here.


Posted by: George Washinton | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:36 PM
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The idea of Internet dating gives me the fucking creeps. To put it inelegantly.

I could say that it is because people are not products to be advertised and browsed. I suspect, however, that it is instinctive distrust of what people say about themselves: perhaps at first the Internet was for pr()n, but the evolved purpose seems to be telling other people, and convincing oneself, that one is cooler, tougher, more attractive, braver, more successful, busier, more confident, happier than one really is. I can't except myself from the charge but I try not to let Commander Flippanter von Kickassenburg, D.Div., Esq., F.R.G.S., leave too many comments under my handle.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:37 PM
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384 to 636


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:39 PM
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I think internet dating really works, but you have to be both experienced and very picky. People really do reveal who they are in their profiles, and you have to be very attentive to that and know the type you're seeking. But you will have to have some bad dates along the way to developing that knowledge.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:44 PM
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I've found that the most difficult thing about online dating is becoming comfortable with being the sort of person who does online dating. That's no mean feat, but if you can get past that initial psychological hurdle (and not everyone can) it can be pretty rewarding.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:48 PM
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A recent xkcd revealed that randall munroe (a) doesn't know how to draw proper venn diagrams (b) would be better off with carroll boxes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:48 PM
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The people I think are good enough think I'm not good enough. But the people I think aren't good enough are really awful. Maybe I'm really awful. I sort of think maybe I am.


Posted by: Abigail Adams | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:50 PM
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This thread made me go back and look at the Craigslist personals for Fargo which I hadn't done for a while. It is almost completely m4m and w4w adds. There isn't a single w4m add and only a handful of m4w adds. No point I guess I just found it somewhat surprising.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:52 PM
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I'm mostly just keeping up the xkcd thing because it annoys neb. I presume this is the one he's referring to.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:55 PM
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||

Arg, stuck in my office for a while because I am too Becks-style to drive home.

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:55 PM
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637 I believe you already mentioned this under your real pseudonym, dear.


Posted by: Martha | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:56 PM
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646 How do people survive in the 'burbs without drunk driving?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:58 PM
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That wasn't a Craigslist ad, that was several years' worth of blog comments, Sifu.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:59 PM
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648 assumes facts not in evidence.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 7:59 PM
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646, 648: Not drinking at the office helps.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:02 PM
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Not drinking at the office helps.

No, drinking at a restaurant in town with a job candidate and cow-orkers. Had more drinks at a similar dinner a few weeks ago, but I guess more food also, and was able to drive home after a short walk. Tonight it seems like it will be a while.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:04 PM
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651: Helps some things. It's hard a universal panacea.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:04 PM
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Yeah, I thought that Venn diagram one was pretty embarrassing.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:05 PM
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Arg, stuck in my office for a while because I am too Becks-style to drive home.

A sign, no doubt, that you should start working from home.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:05 PM
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Ah, the not eating enough trap. That one catches me all the time, too.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:05 PM
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We'll keep you company, essear.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:05 PM
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"Hard" s/b "Hardly". Though 'hard universal panacea' might be a good line in an internet dating ad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:06 PM
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Dinners where my employer will reimburse not only the obligatory bottle o' wine but arbitrarily many drinks are problematic. Last time it was whiskey, this time cognac. Mmm, alcohol.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:06 PM
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(As you can see.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:07 PM
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643:some of the people you think aren't good enough may have deeply hidden virtue. Certainly the people who think you aren't good enough aren't looking hard enough, if at all.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:09 PM
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What you need to do is use this opportunity to browse your internet dating service and systematically write creative replies to as many as possible. Bonus points for finding commentariat members' ads. Choose gender and orientation as appropriate to the seekers. Cure tomorrow's hangover by rereading what you wrote.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:12 PM
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That Venn diagram is a complete mess.

And yet, somehow, he is still good at what he does.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:12 PM
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It's a waste of a good drunk to be stuck alone in your office.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:13 PM
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It's a waste of a good drunk to be stuck alone in your office.

Are you saying I should have hit on the job candidate?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:14 PM
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(File that under "blog comments I may one day regret writing".)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:14 PM
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665: I think he's saying "Put your genitalia in the photocopier."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:15 PM
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Nope, just asked her/him what s/he wanted to pray about and then engaged in a discussion about urban sustainability and various terms for fucking and sexual relationships.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:17 PM
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665: I think he's saying "Put your genitalia in the photocopier."

And choose "enlarge".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:19 PM
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669: I used to hand-stretch, but the Konika 2400 has such a clear image that I don't bother anymore.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:20 PM
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Shorter 668: Yes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:21 PM
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Wtf is a carroll box?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:21 PM
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672: A small freshwater turtle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:24 PM
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One point about OkCupid is that the questions like "What do you do on a typical Friday night?" can just be completely skipped. This might be a good solution for those of us whose answer might be "read blogs, watch some TV, drink wine alone, read some technical papers".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:35 PM
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I skipped that, but also "You should contact me if..." I generally think people shouldn't contact me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:38 PM
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Back in my day, we just got drunk until we weren't nervous about talking to strangers. Then, if we were me, we said something that was meant as a joke but didn't work so well because we were drunk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:40 PM
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649: you would not believe how much pot that Blume smokes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:44 PM
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Brava Martha at 622, and thanks for saying it.

My own online dating presentation tends towards a blend of earnest and chipper, which seems to work adequately.* The two Heisenbergish things that frustrate me are the inability to post something about not dating still-married people that doesn't come off as preemptively obnoxious or bitter, and the inability to post something about sex without coming off as open to hearing from a lot of creepy people.

*Uh. Well, it has in the past.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:44 PM
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Carroll boxes are tables where each row and column represents a mutually-exclusive proposition. Each cell of the table is the intersection of the proposition for its row and column (if you have both; just rows or just columns are possible), and you write in some or all of the objects in your universe that meet it, or sometimes a proportion. They're handy when you want real data in your Venn diagram and there are no intersections of more than two classes you care about. I'd call it a Carroll diagram though.

The only other interesting aspect of them is that they're named after Lewis Carroll, even though I think he used his real name for mathematics.


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:46 PM
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678: Exactly. FWIW, my most recent profile was as boring as possible, with no details at all about my emotional or sexual life, and still, fully half of the messages I got were from married guys explaining to me how their situation works and why it would be totally cool to fuck.

All the messages from non-married guys (like, all of them) are either expressing surprise and praise that such a young woman (I'm 30, FFS, and half of these are from guys younger than me) has read the books I like or apologizing for not knowing what any of them are. Tempting!

But there's not a lot to go on in that profile. The only good ask-out I got was from the guy who'd forgotten we'd dated in 2003, and it was just sort of short and deadpan.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:49 PM
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Actually I guess you can have more than two sets in the intersection, you just have to duplicate the row and column headings and structure it like a Karnaugh map. But they're less useful once you get to that point.


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:52 PM
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apologizing for not knowing what any of them are. Tempting!

I didn't mean this in a "I can't believe not everyone's read X" way, but in a "the only thing I know about you is that you're ashamed of yourself about stupid shit that I would never apologize for" way.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:52 PM
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680: You know it's getting really bad when you go to the mall and Santa says "Me and Mrs. Claus have an understanding."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:52 PM
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553: Maybe you can set up a separate dating site.

OKTorpid


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:54 PM
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I hate the term soulmate, and my BF's mother uses it to describe me. "He has a wonderful soulmate."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:57 PM
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That wasn't quite as bad as it sounds. She doesn't generally talk that way, but she did send me an e-mail where she described me that way.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:58 PM
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I wonder if there's anything to be learned from it, like that people who already have partners tend to assume, on a dating site, that everyone wants to fuck them. From the opening words, it's all, hey, it's ok, my old lady won't mind if you do what you wanna do to me...

Single dudes tend to assume there's no way you would ever fuck them. From the opening lines, it's, i'm sorry i don't know anything about anything you said but i like ur hair. maybe we could go out?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:58 PM
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OKTepid


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:59 PM
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OKTorrid


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 8:59 PM
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FWIW, the situations I was referring to are different than 687. These are separated or quasi-separated people who reveal after a few e-mails that -- oops! now that you asked them directly -- they're not actually divorced.

I recognize that people have very different approaches to the disentangling process, and marriages sometimes end emotionally long before they end legally. And many (most?) people start to date before their divorces are final. But I wish I knew better how to signal that they don't want to date me.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:02 PM
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Oh yeah, that too. That's how I started dating Max. It lasted a while, but the divorce wasn't finalized until a week after he broke up with me. They're looking for transitional figures.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:07 PM
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Now that I'm trying to catch up, I can say that I don't know if I can read these comments if I keep getting sent to xkcd.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:10 PM
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I have been watching the movie Greencard this evening. It's not a great movie, but the apartment with the greenhouse and garden that Andie MacDowell's character has is gorgeous. Someone who loved (and preferably had, but mostly wants to have) an apartment like that could win me. If you think that the 1930's represents the height of sophistication in apartments, and why, on earth, would you want anything more modern, then we might be a good fit.

I'm already taken for now, though it does disturb me slightly that his parents' house was brand-new when they got it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:10 PM
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I ruined my transitional figure before I went online.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:11 PM
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693: According to my dad, the 1930s means potatoes three meals a day and counting yourself lucky that you had all the potatoes you could every want to eat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:14 PM
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I don't know if I can read these comments if I keep getting sent to xkcd.

Links don't have to be clicked.

The mysterious donuts that were in the basement a while ago have vanished before I could sneak one! Oh well. Feeling almost sober now.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:14 PM
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696: Just out of curiosity, don't they have taxi cabs wherever you are?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:24 PM
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697: Sure. But my car is parked next to where I work, so I would have to take a taxi back in the morning. $40+ round-trip. Possibly $60. If I were in a hurry to get home, I would do that, but it seems like a frivolous expense otherwise.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:26 PM
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Weren't you the one who scoffed at a $100 train ticket?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:27 PM
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Kobe! Kobe! Kobe! Kobe! Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:29 PM
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There's a difference between paying $100 to take a comfortable train ride to someplace I need to go anyway, and paying $50 or more to take a trip that I can take for free after waiting around a while to sober up.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:30 PM
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Sorry if hanging around here and bitching about it is annoying. My office is actually a pretty comfortable place to relax in the evening, with no one around (except the grad students who are quietly puzzling over some problem at the blackboard outside my door). Meetup in my office!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:33 PM
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701: Fair enough.

702: Office meetup! Woo!

Wait, I guess I'd have to take a taxi to get there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:35 PM
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702: It would be great if you knew the solution to the problem, but just weren't telling them because you were too lazy to get up out of your chair.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:40 PM
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"lazy" s/b "drunk"


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:42 PM
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You should get up, stagger over to the board, tell them you are going to solve the problem, and then accidentally erase everything in one swoop of the eraser, then stagger back into your office.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:52 PM
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ESSEAR GO STREAKING


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 9:57 PM
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701

There's a difference between paying $100 to take a comfortable train ride to someplace I need to go anyway, and paying $50 or more to take a trip that I can take for free after waiting around a while to sober up.

How do you determine you are sober enough to drive? This seems like an iffy proposition.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 10:42 PM
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How do you determine you are sober enough to drive?

When the vomiting stops.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:22 PM
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Actually I guess you can have more than two sets in the intersection, you just have to duplicate the row and column headings and structure it like a Karnaugh map. But they're less useful once you get to that point.

I have no idea what a Karnaugh map is, but the way to get three sets in is by putting a box in the middle. I recall that there are elegant ways of getting yet more sets in, but can't recall what they are.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 7-09 11:32 PM
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711

Back on the climate side of things, I'm glad to see the Chronicle's story on snow in the Bay Area has a comments section devoted to arguing about global warming.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:02 AM
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Karnaugh maps are for Boolean algebra. The tables of ones and zeroes you box together to simplify expressions, where the label of each row and column differs from the adjacent ones in only one bit. Maybe you call them something else.


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:19 AM
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where the label of each row and column differs from the adjacent ones in only one bit. Maybe you call them something else.

sudoku ?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:31 AM
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Wait, it's been a while since my logic class--what's wrong with the xkcd venn diagram?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:39 AM
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It could probably have been saved by improving the labelling. The set on the left has two labels ("Music you like" and "Music Pandora Plays") and the intersection of the sets gets its own label in a weird way. While you can figure out what he meant, I had to puzzle at it a bit to figure out what was going on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:09 AM
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Huh. Is it throwing you off with the implicit assumption that pandora only plays music you like? Because yeah, that's false, but I imagine the joke would lose some punch if that were somehow reflected.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:18 AM
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Nah, the problem for me was two distinct labels, that on inspection were labeling the same thing, and then the label on the intersection of two sets as if it were an independently defined third set.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:22 AM
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716, 717: I'm not following. Can you draw a diagram?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:26 AM
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the label on the intersection of two sets as if it were an independently defined third set.

I guess you've never wasted an hour with this site, then. What's currently on the front page doesn't seem as funny as what I remember; it might have declined over time.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:29 AM
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the problem for me was two distinct labels, that on inspection were labeling the same thing

Huh? Which two labels are you talking about? "Music You Like" is one circle, "Deeply Embarassing Music" is the other, "What Pandora Plays if anyone is around" is the intersection of the two.

Am I understanding correctly that you'd have had no issue with the diagram if the "What Pandora Plays" section of the "Music you like" circle was relabeled "What Pandora plays when you are alone"? I'd agree that would be more technically correct, although it's pretty clear that's what was intended, so it seems like a minor quibble--hardly enough to make the diagram "really embarrassing" or "a complete mess".


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:37 AM
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"Music you like" and "What Pandora Plays" are both labels for the entire left circle.

And the intersection of "Music you like" and "Deeply Embarrassing Music" can't really be exactly the same as "Music Pandora Plays When Anyone Else Is Around". To do it right you'd want to set it up so that "Music Pandora Plays When Anyone Else Is Around" was a subset of the intersection of MYL and DEM. It was clear enough to convey the joke, and I'm sure one of the academic logicians around here could bitch about it in a more precise fashion, but the diagram was wrong enough to have me staring at it a bit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:43 AM
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722

Yes, I have a strong feeling that he labelled the left circle with one of those phrases, and then decided to use the other one, and forgot that he actually included both labels.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:47 AM
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719: She's usually labelling a point in the intersection of the sets -- Thing X is a member of the intersection of set A and Set B. Which makes sense. The XKCD cartoon doesn't do quite the same thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:49 AM
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724

And the intersection of "Music you like" and "Deeply Embarrassing Music" can't really be exactly the same as "Music Pandora Plays When Anyone Else Is Around"

Why not? Isn't that exactly the joke?

(And 721 doesn't seem incompatible with the slight tweak I suggested in 720: relabeling the "What Pandora Plays" section of the "Music you like" circle as "What Pandora plays when you are alone". That's all that's neeeded.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:50 AM
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Never having seen the Carroll boxes thing that Wolfson brought up, I'd fix the cartoon by leaving up the two circles labeled MYL and DEM, and then draw two smaller blobs, one within MYL but outside DEM, and one in the intersection of the sets, labelled "Music Pandora Plays When You're Alone" and "Music Pandora Plays When Anyone Else Is Around" respectively.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:51 AM
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726

I'm going to draw a diagram that shows that the intersection of where Brock sits and where Randall Munroe sits is a tree.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:52 AM
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725: so you're really quibbling with the suggestion that Pandora plays the entire universe of "music you like", rather than some subset of music you like? Factually, you're probably right (it doesn't), but Jesus, it's a one-panel comic.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:55 AM
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724: I'm being picky here, but Pandora is very unlikely to play literally all the music you like, embarrassing or not, ever. Saying that those sets are the same, rather than that one is a subset of the other, is not impossible, but seems both unlikely and like a claim that's got nothing to do with the joke.

(Yes, overly picky, yes, the joke is clear. But even as someone who doesn't worry about stuff like this in an academic fashion, I looked at the cartoon and spent a minute or two looking at it funny because something just wasn't right.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:56 AM
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728:Punchy information delivery is vital to effective graphics. The concentric circle diagram you're wishing for would be more accurate but less funny (because it sacrifices brevity for accuracy).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:04 AM
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730

Jesus, it's a one-panel comic.

Live by the nerds, die by the nerds.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:04 AM
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731

BTW, I dropped into this thread because I thought, "Wow, 728 comments - must be something interesting going on." Uh, no.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:05 AM
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726: well, no. I don't even think the comic is particularly funny, which I'd consider a more meaningful criticism, since that's the whole point. I'm just sort of bemused that a simple comic would be criticized so harshly for logical imprecision. Maybe I'd feel differently if, like LB, I'd originally been confused when I saw it, but I thought the joke was pretty clear.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:05 AM
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733

but Jesus, it's a one-panel comic.

A one-panel comic consisting of nothing but a Venn diagram.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:07 AM
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734

And I wouldn't have quibbled about it in the New Yorker, where I wouldn't expect precision in geekiness. It drew some boggling from me because after my initial "something's not right" reaction, I was expecting further thought to reveal that it did make sense after all, because I expect persnicketyness from xkcd -- geekiness is a global theme of the comic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:11 AM
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735

BTW, back on the online dating sub-thread, AB & I said to each other shortly after we got together that, had we not met in the meet-cute way that we did, we would surely have either A. met at a cultural event, as we're pretty well matched on that front, or B. met through a personals ad - we had both idly thought about that route, and suspected that we'd have noticed each others'. In retrospect B seems awfully unlikely, but who knows? IIRC one of the alt-weeklys was running a smallish personals section that we both read, so maybe that's why we thought it would work - small haystack.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:12 AM
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736

Maybe Randall Monroe just has had better Pandora experiences than you have.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:13 AM
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I would use three circles: music you like, music pandora plays, and deeply embarrassing music. The intersection of only the first two gets labeled "what happens when you're alone", the intersection of all three "what happens when other people are around".

I'm just sort of bemused that a simple comic would be criticized so harshly for logical imprecision.

Both xkcd's author and, one gathers, its primary audience like to think of themselves as very smart when it comes to mathematical, logical, and computer-scientific enterprises (and boy, doesn't he just love whinging ignorantly on about it). So it's amusing when he does something completely stupid.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:13 AM
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738

small haystack

And a big needle. Laydeez.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:13 AM
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739

735: I wouldn't be surprised -- people who talk about online dating talk about running into the same people repeatedly. Have you got a good meet-cute story?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:13 AM
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740

737: Yeah, that would be better looking than mine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:15 AM
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741

735: When I was google-stalking my wife, I found pictures of us at the same comedy event, with about 100 other people, a year and a half before we met.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:17 AM
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742

...google-stalking my now-wife. Nobody waits for the wedding night to google-stalk anymore.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:19 AM
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743

740: well it's not just an aesthetic difference. Ben's diagram would imply that Pandora also plays music you don't like, whereas yours implies it only plays a subset of the music you like. (And the original comic implies it plays the universe of music you like.) I think 736 is right; this is more an argument about Pandora than about xkcd.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:19 AM
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743: But even if it works perfectly, it does play music I don't like, to other people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:20 AM
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745

Ben's diagram would imply that Pandora also plays music you don't like

There can be nothing in certain intersections. You can indicate that by e.g. blacking them out.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:21 AM
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746

741: my wife attended a party at my home (and even threw up in my toilet) about a year before we met.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:21 AM
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747

The failure of parallel structure in the existing diagram is also unpleasing.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:22 AM
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748

And really, given the labels, it's ambiguous whether the universe in the original comic is music you like or deeply embarrassing music (or both, with the two being identified).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:22 AM
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749

Anyway, check this out.

The failure of parallel structure in the existing diagram is also unpleasing.

Nothing, but nothing, riles me up the way faulty parallelism riles me up!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:23 AM
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750

746: That's so sweet. If she'd have puked on your sofa, you'd have probably met even sooner.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:23 AM
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744: You don't even like music, LB. You've got no business participating in this conversation.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:23 AM
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752

My husband's highschool best friend's older brother was in Peace Corps Samoa about ten years before me -- Buck knew a couple of words of Samoan when I met him.

Occasionally the older brother and I meet each other at parties, and we laboriously drag out our shrinking vocabularies to greet each other: "Sole!" "Suga!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:24 AM
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753

749: "You know what really grinds my gears? You, America."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:38 AM
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754

Have you got a good meet-cute story?

I walked into her office to do research for my then-boss, who was an expert witness hired to testify that she was wrong about the historic significance of a building. I apologized and told her that I thought she was right about the case, and we ended up talking for 1-1/2 hours. I can still picture her appearance at the moment we met. I came back to the office (boss was out) and told my co-worker, "I'm in love."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:52 AM
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755

754: And now a parking lot proudly occupies the space where the building was.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:53 AM
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756

Aw. That is a good meet-cute story.

But you left out the important bit. Who won the case?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:54 AM
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757

746 is astonishing.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:55 AM
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758

749.1: I have that cutting board!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:57 AM
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757: well, we met through mutual friends (who were also at said party), so not quite so astonishing. If we'd met randomly, it would be much more weird.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:58 AM
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754: When I was looking for work a few years ago, I interviewed with some people who were trying to make a database of all of the historic buildings in Pittsburgh. Or maybe it was all of the buildings in Pittsburgh. They didn't hire me, which is just as well because I'm much better suited to my current job, but I'm always meaning to see how that inventory went.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:02 AM
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756.last: The horrible, horrible people who hired my boss. I think that my boss' testimony ended up being sort of incidental: the issue was that the zoning code says that an "historically-designated building" can house a B&B regardless of zoning district, and the house in question was in an historic district; so the question was whether every building in an historic district was "historically-designated building." So the specific merits of the building were a side-issue.

It's actually really a sad story: the couple had bought the house to make it into a B&B, and they ended up basically bankrupted by the whole affair, and then one died, and the other died.

But at least we found love!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:05 AM
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762

760: Hmm. I'd say that it's in some stage of incompletion. I'll ask AB what she knows.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:07 AM
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762: The only think I remember from the interview is the definition of "mansard roof" and that they didn't want to pay very much money to whoever they hired.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:08 AM
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764

There can be nothing in certain intersections.

Or there can be hella grass all living in the interstices.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:08 AM
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765

It's sort of a fair claim; I'd watch less tv if I lived with someone.

On my own I go out in the evenings, or read, or do housework. I think I've watched more TV (in the sense of actually watching it, not merely, say, having the weather channel on silently in the background) when I've been involved with someone.

Out of curiosity, I set up an OKCupid account recently. I was amused to discover that I already know most of the people in my area in whom I might be interested.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:09 AM
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766

"think" s/b "thing".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:09 AM
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767

754: That's a lovely story.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:19 AM
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768

I think I've watched more TV (in the sense of actually watching it, not merely, say, having the weather channel on silently in the background) when I've been involved with someone.

Me too. Because for some strange reason, my wife won't let me flip channels every 2 seconds when she is in the room.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:22 AM
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769

...my wife won't let me flip channels every 2 seconds when she is in the room.

Can't live with 'em, can't get them to understand that two seconds of MTV's "Jersey Shore" is more than enough for any reasonable person.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:25 AM
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770

But if I don't flip every channel, I won't know for certain that "Tremors" isn't on right now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:27 AM
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771

You know what they need to make? Tabbed TV watching, like tabbed browsing. That would be a satisfying TV-watching experience.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:28 AM
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772

With our cable, you can watch on show while scrolling the program guide below. This annoys my wife a bit less, but the guide can be wrong and you can miss a showing of Tremors.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:35 AM
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773

Has your wife considered buying you the Tremors DVD, and perhaps a portable player, so you could watch it while watching other TV? Or is it not as good when it's not being broadcast fresh?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:37 AM
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771: Yes. The 'last channel' button on the remote is truly inadequate. Two channels? That's all you can remember? It does usually suffice, but still. Sometimes a person wants to check in on the Top Chef proceedings for a few minutes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:37 AM
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773: Deliberately purchasing Tremors seems somehow so much more pathetic than just catching it when it is on the TV. That goes double for Tremors II, III, and IV.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:41 AM
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If only your wife were reading this, her holiday shopping problem would be solved!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:43 AM
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I've had some really good luck online dating after this breakup #2, but two months out of a relationship, I'm not ready to move on. Which is unfortunate, because I don't know whether it's really because I'm just not really into this guy enough (he is awesome in many ways) or it's really because I'm just not ready for the awesomeness.


Posted by: Ruth Bader Ginsburg | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:44 AM
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I don't think I watch too much (whatever that is) tv, but I do find myself doing something that I kind of hate - turning on the tv if it is quiet or I'm momentarily lonely, and then I get sucked in. That's the sort of thing I don't do when I live with someone. I just go pester them.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:45 AM
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776: We'll be exchanging gifts at her parents' house. I don't think she wants them to know that she married somebody with bad taste. Anyway, I've already asked for Wii Sport Resort.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:46 AM
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It looks to me like you can get a brand new box set of all four Tremors movies for less than $15 including shipping.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:46 AM
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775: So not pathetic. Tremors stands up to, nay, demands many viewings. (The first one, anyway; I haven't seen the others.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:47 AM
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I can't believe Kevin Bacon passed on all of the sequels.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:47 AM
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I didn't even realize there was a Tremors 4. That is going on the Netflix queue right now.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:49 AM
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767: Thanks. A couple weeks ago I had to drop off a proposal in her former office, and as I stood in the lobby, I was just looking right at that spot where we met. Kind of amazing, really.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:50 AM
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Whether Moby actually checks out Tremors is a question for another day, but it's odd to admit that there are a couple of things I seem always willing to watch again. Some Vin Diesel vehicle, let's see: Pitch Black. Its sequel is okay as well. I don't know what to say. I like the atmospherics.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:50 AM
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I've never seen Tremors, despite having been frequently told that it was awesome. I should probably rent it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:50 AM
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781: Tremors II is set in Mexico and Fred Ward is deliberately seeking the graboids. It's interesting, but lacks the compelling narrative of people trapped with no choice but to fight their way out. Tremors III is back to the same village, now transformed into a kind of tourist trap for people who want to see the graboids. The little boy asshole is now a grown real estate developer asshole. Tremors IV is set in the late 19th century, which helps because of the limited weaponry available.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:52 AM
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786: The best way to see Tremors is to catch the last 45 minutes on cable. And then see the first part two weeks later.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:54 AM
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There was also a short lived sci-fi series spun off of Tremors. I caught one episode and rather liked it, but that is all I have seen of the franchise. Its been on the back burner of my things to check out list.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:57 AM
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787: I kind of love Fred Ward. I even loved him in that bad Remo Williams movie.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 11:01 AM
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I've never seen Tremors, despite having been frequently told that it was awesome.

I saw Tremors as a summer outdoor movie, and it was awesome. I'm not sure I would have liked it as much if I was expecting awesome. But, having been dragged there, over mild protests, it was far better than I expected.

Other movies that made for great outdoor viewing experiences: Ghost Busters & Wayne's World. Oh Brother Where Art Thou, by contrast, was underwhelming. I think the format benefits movies that are sufficiently engaging to distract one from the cold, but which don't require continuous attention.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 11:29 AM
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777: That really does bite, Ruth. There've been a handful of people along the way whom I think could well have been an excellent match but who either crossed my path at the wrong time or whose path I crossed at the wrong time. There's just never any way of really knowing whether things would have turned out differently had the timing been better.

Any chance you can be up front with The New Mr. Awesome about all that and keep things low-key until you are more healed?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 11:37 AM
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Some Vin Diesel vehicle, let's see: Pitch Black. Its sequel is okay as well. I don't know what to say. I like the atmospherics.

Is the sequel the one where his character has been promoted from Toughest Dude Around to Toughest Dude in the Universe and, to celebrate, acts like a complete prick to everybody, all the time? And the planets have names that even Harry Knowles might find a little unimaginative?

OT:

The Internet has really improved the Christmas shopping experience for the man who hates crowds and the gluey smell of department stores.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 11:41 AM
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"How many degrees of Kevin Bacon is Tremors from Tremors 4?"

^^^This question, forensically deployed on your internet dating profile, would solve all problems so far raised on this thread.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:00 PM
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793: I think so, yes. The young girl who's kind of fucked up from the first Riddick movie has been transformed into the Fighten'est Lady You Ever Saw. They kick ass.

It's possible Riddick (Diesel) lacks a sense of decency and humor in the second one, which is a shame. I honestly don't know why I enjoy the first, Pitch Black, anyway: the beefy guy thing isn't it. I guess it's just the "don't fuck with me, and I do mean that" approach. Also the atmospherics. And Riddick has eyes that see things differently. I'm a sucker for difference.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:05 PM
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The young girl who's kind of fucked up from the first Riddick movie has been transformed into the Fighten'est Lady You Ever Saw.

I remember that part. They changed her name for the second movie, non sequitur-style.

It's possible Riddick (Diesel) lacks a sense of decency and humor in the second one, which is a shame.

The second one is, perhaps in tribute to Diesel's producer status, more tailored to the fantasies of drooling fanboys (lots of threatening speeches, no adversary ever lands a blow, etc., etc.).


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:17 PM
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more tailored to the fantasies of drooling fanboys

Speaking of, Underworld is another good movie to catch when it comes on cable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:25 PM
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796: They changed her name for the second movie

That was because! She changed!

I figure they didn't really know what had worked in the first movie, and took their best shot at reproducing it in the second. Got it a little wrong. Happens all the time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:27 PM
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385: If your need remains, essar, I can help.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:48 PM
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essear.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:48 PM
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You know what they need to make? Tabbed TV watching, like tabbed browsing. That would be a satisfying TV-watching experience.

If you have one of those remotes with a "favorites" button/option (or something like it), you can program it to jump between more than two channels. You don't control the order, but if you don't have too many channels programmed in, you can just scroll through them. I haven't done it often, but find it's easy to forget any show beyond the two I'm most interested in. The drawback is it can be a pain to program and then re-program it each time, but I guess that's just like opening new tabs.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 5:08 PM
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Saw Pitch Black when it came out, and I think the good thing was it didn't have an obvious star (Vin Diesel not being very famous at the time) so it wasn't obvious who was the good guy and who was going to survive. For the first half it seems like the marshal bloke is the hero and Vin is just some murderous POS. Also, it's beautifully shot - all those saturated desert landscapes.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:27 AM
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