Re: The delightfully sordid Arcade Comeaux

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I WISH TO PURCHASE THE SCREENPLAY RIGHTS.


Posted by: OPINIONATED JOEL COHEN | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:15 AM
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AND I SHALL DIRECT THIS TIME!


Posted by: OPINIONATED ETHAN COHEN | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:16 AM
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AND I WISH TO STAR IN YOUR MOTION PICTURE PLAY


Posted by: OPINIONATED R. LEE ERMEY | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:23 AM
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Comeaux was shackled and in a wheelchair, "which he had claimed was needed for mobility," Lyons said.
About 45 minutes into the trip, as they were driving through Conroe, 40 minutes north of Houston, the prisoner pulled out a pistol and ordered the guards to drive south to Baytown, east of Houston. There, he took one of the guards' gray uniforms, handcuffed the officers together and left them in the rear of the van, Lyon's statement said....
Comeaux fled at about 9 a.m., leaving his weapon but taking the officers' two semiautomatic pistols and a 12-gauge shotgun, Lyons said....
Comeaux was being transferred to Beaumont so he would be near John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, for treatment of the supposed paralysis he had suffered during a reported stroke, Whitmire said.
"There's a theory working that he staged the whole thing," the senator said. "He's a con; he's a manipulator, and he's outfoxing the people who are charged with the responsibility of keeping him securely incarcerated."

Whoa, wait, senator... there's a theory working that he staged the whole thing? You don't think he was really paralyzed?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:27 AM
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Whoa, wait, senator... there's a theory working that he staged the whole thing?

It wouldn't be scientific to rule out divine intervention too quickly.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:33 AM
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1, 2: Better outrun the Coen brothers, then.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:33 AM
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This was roughly the plot of a Chow-Yun Fat movie.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:45 AM
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The details are just astounding, like this one from the last link:
This isn't Comeaux's first time in trouble while in custody. Back in 1999, prison officials say he stabbed his wife during a visit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:05 AM
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The problem with this con is that you're out of shape when the "flee on foot" part comes.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:05 AM
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Another problem is that there's no way your wife will come and give you a ride after you've stabbed her.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:08 AM
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Some little part of me always roots for the escaped prisoner, even when he's a real piece of work. The natural human impulse for freedom.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:16 AM
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there's no way your wife will come and give you a ride

IYKWIM.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:18 AM
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Takes all kinds to make a world go round, I guess.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:20 AM
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13: Yes, where would we be without stabbing inclined rapist malingerers?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:21 AM
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If you let a convicted felon go and he doesn't come back to you, then he was never really yours to begin with.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:27 AM
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14: Everything happens for a reason, Moby.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:29 AM
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The "inclined rapist" is one of the original six simple rapists.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:33 AM
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If you combine two or more simple rapists, you have a plot for a Law & Order SVU episode. Which is why I had to stop watching that show despite my interest in looking at Mariska Hargitay.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:36 AM
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17: Speaking of which, I'm rather surprised this article hasn't been discussed here yet, at the very least the part about the "Nine Taoist Thrusts".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:39 AM
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19: "Nine Taoist Thrusts"

The symbolic phraseology of the Chinese language is always interesting. So much prettier than "premature ejaculation."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:45 AM
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Also from the articles. "He was originally sent to prison in 1979 on three 10-year sentences for rape of a child, aggravated rape of a child and burglary of a building, all in Harris County. He was released on mandatory supervision in 1983."

Less than 4 years? Gah.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:57 AM
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18: Mariska Hargitay is one of the few celebrities who was as tall as I expected in person. Colin Firth is another.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:59 AM
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22 would make for a really, really dull blog concept.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:02 AM
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23: I'm doing the best I can!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:03 AM
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24 to 20.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:04 AM
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6: aargh.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:14 AM
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21: Yeah, I'm not a big law-and-order guy, but something is seriously wrong there.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:34 AM
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I echo 27, despite find it almost impossible to even imagine that someone who isn't wealthy, and was convicted of a crime, could be punished not severely enough, rather than too severely, in the United States.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:38 AM
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Speaking of which, I'm rather surprised this article hasn't been discussed here yet, at the very least the part about the "Nine Taoist Thrusts".

That was an interesting article. Daniel Duane's book "caught inside" is good. I am totally on his side in this one.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:40 AM
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28: it's likely the child was also poor and black.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:42 AM
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I also echo 27, despite my sneaking sympathy for escapees. I love prison escape movies...I'll happily sit for two hours watching someone try to hide the rope they sewed out of typewriter ribbons.

"Midnight Express" was my favorite prison escape movie ever. "Escape From Alcatraz" and "Rescue Dawn" probably tied for second.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:57 AM
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"The Great Escape"? I always wondered why they didn't take McQueen's ball away when they put him in the hole.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 11:06 AM
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I found the NYT marriage therapy article to be an eyeroll-inducing brainfart, completely pointless. Sandra Tsing-Loh's essay earlier this year was much better writing. I think it turns out there's diversity of opinion here about writing style.

Papillon totally rocks, and that Shawshank movie with Morgan Freeman has a few good parts. Maybe having Wee-Bey and Ziggy team up in a buddy escape picture would be a way to get the Wire to the big screen, though would need a musical score.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 11:08 AM
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Ooh, thanks, I was wondering what the hapless husband's name was. Californians usually seem so happy....


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 11:12 AM
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That article (linked in 19) just induces hand-wringing in me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 11:44 AM
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30: I was looking for sentencing disparity data quickly, and the first thing I found was the chart halfway down here which covers death penalty cases in the 80s in Philly. There is a gap between black-on-nonblack and black-on-black, but it isn't as big as the subsequent gap between black-on-black and nonblack-on-nonblack. The gap between nonblack-on-nonblack and nonblack-on-black is by far the biggest.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 11:45 AM
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I am fairly sure I would fake a disability if I ever got into the Texas prison system, because of this:

"Inmates will exaggerate physical and mental disabilities to get out of work and into air conditioning, according to TDCJ spokeswoman Michelle Lyons"

In Texas, in July.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 11:52 AM
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Yeah, that NY Times piece was a ridiculous piece of navel-gazing. Incredibly narcissistic -- not even her kids made much of an appearance, let alone anyone outside her immediate family.

OT, but Stanley Fish on Sara Palin . WTF happened to Stanley Fish? He's become another casualty of the "daring contrarian" school of rote anti-liberal hacks.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:05 PM
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That article (linked in 19) just induces hand-wringing in me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:13 PM
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not even her kids made much of an appearance, let alone anyone outside her immediate family.

Maybe Weil was protecting their privacy? Why would kids or the larger community be in a piece about strengthening a marriage? Two main players are the spouses, right?

I didn't get a ton from the article, but I liked the main premise, that a marriage is important enough to bring into conscious focus and work on during relatively good times.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:14 PM
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Two main players are the spouses, right?

In theory, yes.


Posted by: Opinionated Tiger Woods | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:15 PM
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WTF happened to Stanley Fish?

He's always been a contrarian pain in the ass.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:16 PM
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Oh, sorry, I somehow double-posted.

38: Not so much navel-gazing, just painful to watch. I haven't finished it. It's glib. I'd take that kind of thing a lot more seriously, and keep it private. Maybe it ends well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:17 PM
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38b: I can't believe he's still got a job at the Times after turning in that bucket of drivel. What kind of paper publishes a defense of lying, and what kind of conservative believes "true for her" is a justification of lying? I thought conservatives liked to attribute ethical contortions of that sort to liberals and "postmodernism".

And why did he think he was going to get a copy of Palin's book at the Strand anyway? Isn't that a used book store? Surely anyone who bought Going Rogue is still working their way through it--when you have to move your lips to read it takes longer.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:19 PM
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In re the marriage article, I read this: "Last spring he cut apart a frozen pig's head with his compound miter saw in our basement. He needed the head to fit into a pot so that he could make pork stock", thought, "sounds great!", and stopped reading.

Isn't that interesting?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:27 PM
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Isn't that like the second or third sentence?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:29 PM
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Not that I read much further.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:29 PM
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Yes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:34 PM
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I suppose it's good to be reminded to freeze the pig's head before you cut it apart.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:38 PM
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More therapy-flavored closeness in an already close marriage is not a good implementation of "work on" IMO. Actually doing something together, remodeling being a popular choice, is a better way to know new parts of your partner. Most people contract that out, though, and Elin apparently trashed the foyer anyway.

Also, parents play more of a role in the article than offspring, so not just the two of them, and that's a significant choice for inclusion.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:38 PM
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#38.2. Stanley Fish writes:

"I find the voice undeniably authentic (yes, I know the book was written "with the help" of Lynn Vincent, but many books, including my most recent one, are put together by an editor). It is the voice of small-town America, with its folk wisdom, regional pride, common sense, distrust of rhetoric (itself a rhetorical trope), love of country and instinctive (not doctrinal) piety."

Meanwhile, this earnest Palin fan, who desperately wants to take Palin seriously writes:

"Should I have picked up a four hundred page book and assumed it was error riddled fluff, but that is o.k. because it was just for the folks?

How condescending is that? People are not well served when it is assumed any old dumb thing will do for us if it strokes our egos and tells us what we believe.
My grandfather never got to go to high school, but he wanted his political heroes (men like Bob Taft and Eisenhower) to give it to him straight and to get it right. He wanted men of substance.
He read his paper and his King James Bible every day and he would have had no time for books like "Going Rogue" that take his hard earned money, but don't bother with the most basic fact check."

Fish and Palin: birds of a feather.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:42 PM
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What kind of paper publishes a defense of lying, and what kind of conservative believes "true for her" is a justification of lying? I thought conservatives liked to attribute ethical contortions of that sort to liberals and "postmodernism".

This is the same sort of drivel he's been producing all along. For some reason it was fashionable in the 80s and 90s for leftists to think that acquiring knowledge was really just a power struggle between individuals rather than a process of interacting with the empirical world. As a result, what should have been thought of as a Nietzschian, fascist worldview was considered open minded and "transgressive." Now we are getting payback for that.

Fish is no different than that sociologist of science from the 90s who went into being a professional evolution denier.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:44 PM
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45: For what it's worth, we later learn that his absorption in lengthy cooking mechanics is a means to avoiding child care, in her view, so it does become relevant. Painful stuff all round.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:45 PM
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53: That's a good idea. Thanks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:49 PM
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Pleasingly, wikipedia currently informs us that Fish is a distant relative of Theodore Sturgeon. I suspect the interaction of this claim with the empirical world is poetic at best.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 12:57 PM
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55: Is he also related to Kilgore Trout? Charlie the Tuna?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:05 PM
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I suspect the interaction of this claim with the empirical world is poetic at best.

It doesn't matter! It sounds true!


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:06 PM
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||

I come here to eat sausage & ricotta pizza, not to praise it.

No, wait, I already ate it, so all that's left is praise. That's some good shit, y'all. Sola, for locals.

|>


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:07 PM
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#56. Sarah Barracuda? Maybe it's neptunism.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:12 PM
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Not that I read much further.

I couldn't make it past "I hate French kissing, compulsively disagree and fake sleep when Dan vomits in the middle of the night." That's two dealbreakers right there (I don't need attention when I puke).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:20 PM
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52: The article reads like he's auditioning for the job of chief propaganda minister for a future Palin dictatorship. He cranks out nonsense like this:

It is the voice of small-town America, with its folk wisdom, regional pride, common sense, distrust of rhetoric (itself a rhetorical trope), love of country and instinctive (not doctrinal) piety. It says, here are some of the great things that have happened to me, but they are not what makes my life great and American. ("An American life is an extraordinary life.") It says, don't you agree with me that family, freedom and the beauties of nature are what sustain us?

and sounds positively gleeful about it, like he's imagining how it might piss off a hypothetical liberal.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:22 PM
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60: It's not like it was a personals ad. She's still married at the end of the article, right?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:23 PM
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As a result, what should have been thought of as a Nietzschian, fascist worldview was considered open minded and "transgressive."

Let's be fair to Nietzsche; he has a healthy amount of respect for the truth and despised intellectual dishonesty.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:24 PM
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63: Those were probably just symptoms of syphillis.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:26 PM
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I find it impossible to imagine Nietzsche giving a positive review to Sara Palin's autobiography.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:30 PM
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like he's auditioning for the job of chief propaganda minister for a future Palin dictatorship.

"Kneel before Cod!"


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:31 PM
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I think we could stand to be more fair to the idea that that acquiring knowledge is a power struggle. I wouldn't say "just" or "between individuals", and I would concede that there were some hyperbolic demonstrations of that idea, but it's a pretty critical concept that doesn't inevitably slide down a slope to climate change denial.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:31 PM
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It's not like it was a personals ad.

No matter. I don't even want to read about a compulsive disagreer who hates French kissing.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:34 PM
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ALL DECENT AMERICANS HATE THE FRENCH WHETHER THEY'RE KISSING OR NOT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SARAH PALIN | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:36 PM
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For some reason it was fashionable in the 80s and 90s for leftists to think that acquiring knowledge was really just a power struggle between individuals rather than a process of interacting with the empirical world.

I don't think he's ever been much of a leftist, though he was a "post-foundationalist" literary theorist.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:36 PM
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"When you approach woman, carry a whiptailed banjo catfish"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:37 PM
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Sarah.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:39 PM
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65: Yes, but that's just because he hated Christians and strong women.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:40 PM
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You know how sometimes a person links to a disagreeable NYT piece, and you read the thread a little further and think, I really don't need to read that, but you can't help yourself, so you do, and it turns out to be way worse than you could have imagined? Yeah, that. Holy shit, Stanley Fish, you've outdone yourself.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:44 PM
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I think we could stand to be more fair to the idea that that acquiring knowledge is a power struggle. I wouldn't say "just" or "between individuals".

Yes, of course you are right. Indeed, the "just" is what really separated the silly positions in the science wars of the 90s from the very helpful ones. For all his Frenchiness, Bruno Latour's main point was that you can't say that knowledge is "just" a power struggle between individual human agents. Despite his flamboyant rhetoric, he had one of the most common sense positions out there. Barnes and Bloor, however, really did want to say that science was "just" the social interactions between groups of people.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:46 PM
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I like the Elizabeth Weil article a lot. A number of the exercises she describes came up in my first wife's and my last stand couples weekend (including the circling); we ended things definitively a few weeks later, in the middle of one of the exercises. The work served me well for the next round.

And this in particular:


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:50 PM
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Hey, blockquote tag, whatcha doing!

And this in particular:

Near the end of our session, Holly asked what I thought would happen if I let go of my rationalizations, if I accepted a fuller monogamy. I said I would feel vulnerable, "like a beating heart with no rib cage."

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:51 PM
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Seconding 67. Not totally off-topic, I passed half my quals last week; rocked the orals, but no-one is content with my prospectus. Still working out the political upshot of that. (And still not a candidate. Woe.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 1:52 PM
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78: Congradulations. I passed my quals in 1996 and got my prospectus approved in 2003. I'm like an anti-role model.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 2:02 PM
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T


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 2:06 PM
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I meant for spelling, not Ph.D. completing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 2:08 PM
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56: Chali 2na, perhaps.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 2:16 PM
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||

ARHGH!!! ipod Touch death.

The wifi on our ipod touch no longer works as of yesterday. I took it to the Apple Store today, and they did a fresh install to determine whether the problem was software or hardware related. Still doesn't connect, so it's hardware they say. And they do not do repairs on them.

This thing was free, but now I have come to depend on it as a calendar, for grocery shopping and for MBTA schedules.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 2:18 PM
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"I would have gotten away with it, too," said Mr. Comeaux after his capture, "if it wasn't for those darn kids and their stupid dog."

Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 2:33 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 2:50 PM
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"I ... fake sleep when Dan vomits in the middle of the night"

What a strange thing to write. How often does this happen? I lost steam before I got through the whole thing but I generally applaud the idea of paying conscious attention to one's marriage.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:08 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:14 PM
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This article displays the generally sour fruits of aughties contrarianism:

http://nymag.com/arts/all/aughts/62505/


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:16 PM
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76, 77: I really can't stand to read the rest of the Weil article, given that the premise of the relationship seems to be non-communication. I imagine it's a mistake to read the Fish thing. I guess a person could go see how the Cornel West sublime and funky love debate on CT is doing. Or maybe not.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:18 PM
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ToS is throwin' rocks tonight!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:24 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the argument of the Weil article was that paying so much attention to their marriage actually worsened things? Perhaps it was the artificial nature of the experiment, but she seemed to paint it as a problem, not a blessing.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:34 PM
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Has anyone here managed to read the whole article?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:40 PM
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Are you kidding? 10 pages of that drivel? When she wastes the best line in the first 'graf? Not bloody likely.

Also, "fake sleep when Dan vomits in the middle of the night" could be a great mouseover. Just sayin'.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:42 PM
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92: I did.


Posted by: parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:48 PM
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I read the whole article. Unimpressed.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:54 PM
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92: Well, I kind of crapped out on it when they were going to couples therapy and said to one another that maybe they shouldn't unearth things, because it might make it worse. I think that was halfway through.

That was just too painful.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 3:58 PM
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I did. I didn't think much of it as an article -- it seemed too self conscious to make much sense at all about what was going on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:01 PM
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I read it, because I'm nosy. But given that the article was what it was, a look at how therapy could improve an already good marriage, what would have made it much better? I don't understand what standard this article is falling short of.

Anything written about therapy is going to seem self-absorbed, because that's the nature of therapy. I can understand not being interested in that, but is there a perfect version of an essay about two other people's marriage that would be better?

I read it and thought they had mutual revelations, exposed work-arounds, felt additional intimacy and sometimes retreated, and stayed married through it all. I'm only mildly interested, but it seems admirable enough for two other people to do that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:02 PM
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to make much sense at all about what was going on

Could that be because they didn't enter the project intending to fix a specific problem? It'd be hard to track progress on a goal as generic as "make our marriage better".


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:04 PM
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I am approaching tentatively the conclusion that one cannot learn much from, or about, other people's marriages, no matter how many words get thrown around.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:06 PM
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(Hey, Megan -- did you notice Ezra Klein linked to an old FTA post today?)

The thing about the article, though, is that it seemed too self-protective to tell what, if anything, they got out of the therapy. There was a lot of wisecracking about their weird issues, like the pig head thing and the cooking thing generally, in ways that had to be hyperbolic (like, maybe you can spend more than your mortgage on ingredients for meals every month, but I doubt it), some mention of what sounded like more important stuff, like the jealousy both of them have about prior partners (which sounded intense and odd) but not really all that much in the way of consequences from the therapy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:07 PM
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No, huh. Was just clicking over to him for the first time since this morning. I don't watch my stats as much any more, so I missed it. Nice to know the old stuff can still be useful.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:12 PM
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The funny bit was that he didn't mention your name, just a link, so I was reading the blockquote and came to this line:

Do they think these monotonous nerds who talk in jargon (don't take that the wrong way. I'm sexually attracted to every one of them.) are making it up to promote the conspiracy?

and did a double-take: "Either that's Megan, or she'd got a doppleganger."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:15 PM
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d s/b s.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:15 PM
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I'm going to assume from what Megan says that it works out reasonably well in the end. I figured it did; otherwise she'd not have been writing about it. So that's all good.

Some here are finding the piece awful, extremely off-putting, and yeah, the writing style is a pain, but the subject matter is real, and actually pretty blunt. How many people will admit if they don't like french-kissing? I don't fault the writer or her husband at all. This having read only half the article.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:15 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:15 PM
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I remember reading that post for the first time, well before I knew Megan really existed as, like, a real individual*, and thinking to myself: Wow! This imaginary person should write about science for a living! I printed it out at the time (I'm looking for the copy in my files, just to prove that I haven't made this memory up.). I was going to use it in an environmental history class, but I never got around to it. Then I was going to give it to my colleague who writes about conspiracies, but I didn't get around to that either. Because I suck, that's why!

* Deeply committed to neutering the poor, needless to say.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:17 PM
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Also, I should add that writing about science isn't necessarily a more admirable or more important or more satisfying or more whatever job than lifting grown men bodily off the ground or whatever it is that Megan now does for a living. No disrespect intended, in other words. I just thought it was a good post.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:20 PM
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But given that the article was what it was, a look at how therapy could improve an already good marriage, what would have made it much better?

Being much shorter, probably. No editor should have chosen this piece for the cover article in the Magazine. Being something more than purely first-person reflection, possibly. Being written from a smarter, more skeptical and incisive perspective, certainly. Imagine Joan Didion.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:22 PM
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109: Having a point? Do this, don't do this, our marriage improved like this as a result of the therapy, our marriage was damaged like that as a result of the therapy, nothing really changed but it was interesting?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:26 PM
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IOW, I finished the article, and thought "So?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:26 PM
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Yes, having a point, indubitably.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:27 PM
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I was going to write about science for a living, but instead I move furniture. A better use of my talents, I say.

(Thanks. I am super flattered that you printed it out.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:27 PM
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OT, but Jesus this is a depressing series of graphics.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:35 PM
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Eh, don't be flattered just yet. I still haven't found it in my files, so the memory was probably born of the dementia I've acquired since having been hit in the head by a couch while wandering the streets of Sacramento. Also, my files are a huge mess, and now I blame you for that.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:38 PM
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Was the couch on fire? Might not have been me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:39 PM
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114: Man, oh man. Excellent use of color to increase the feeling of doom.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:39 PM
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Is throwing love-seats the updated version of throwing brickbats?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:48 PM
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100: I am approaching tentatively the conclusion that one cannot learn much from, or about, other people's marriages, no matter how many words get thrown around.

Probably all to be learned is that other people's marriages, or relationships, are as various and tentative as one's own. People do this stuff on the fly! Sometimes they fake it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 4:57 PM
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It'd be hard to track progress on a goal as generic as "make our marriage better".

Another reason not to have it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 5:06 PM
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I am approaching tentatively the conclusion that one cannot learn much

And Stanley Fish, despite being my role model, still seems to have stolen much of the column from my comments of last fall.

75:I think we could stand to be more fair to the idea that that acquiring knowledge is a power struggle.

"acquiring?" as in reading a book or bird-watching?

I'll have to think about this.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 5:15 PM
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114: I find the graph at the link confusing. Could you explain it in great detail over dozens of comments?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 5:26 PM
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Russell Arben Fox

Just checking in and...merciful heavens, it's an Old School Unfogged thread, right here on Crooked Timber. Wonders never cease.

Just some awesome boring bullshot over there at CT, still going on.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 5:27 PM
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123: Bleh. It's awful.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 5:37 PM
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Remember me talking about funding a primary challenge to Barney Frank?

Here's Jane Hamsher talking about targeting the most progressive house members.

Most Blue Dogs are to the left of their constituents. Pelosi and Frank e.g. are likely to the right of their districts, and that is where we can make a difference, if only to scare them a little.

114,117:We're going down. I think they have it scheduled for 2011, after Rahm and Obama manage to weaken the Democratic majority in the midterms. Double dip. U-6 hits 25%, fullon fiscal catastrophe with worldwide ripples, SS & Medicare no longer provide middleclass security. A plan.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 5:51 PM
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I am super flattered that you printed it out

I, on the other hand, found myself wondering just how old ari really is.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 5:54 PM
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I wrote 127. I failed to leave my name because that's how the kids are doing things these days.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 5:57 PM
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Sometimes you just want to hold in your hands a copy of the best piece of writing you ever read.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:24 PM
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No more mastrubating to the public option.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:30 PM
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Eh, it was never that hot anyway.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:31 PM
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Really? Goddammit.

I believe that getting anything passed is the most important thing, insofar as building on popular reform is possible in the future, but re-starting from scratch won't happen for another 15 years. Still, that's super shitty.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:33 PM
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it's an Old School Unfogged thread, right here on Crooked Timber. Wonders never cease.

Today's Unfogged is the Unfogged that we'll wax nostalgic about in the future.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:33 PM
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I don't understand what standard this article is falling short of.

The whole idea of therapy for an OK marriage is off, it seems to me-- as deserving of contempt as buying something in consolation for lost youth. I liked the Tsing Loh article earlier this year a lot more-- not that much of a point either, beyond stating that marriage deserves an ongoing cost-benefit assessment, but nicely written, with tastefully selected details. Not grating in any case.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:34 PM
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129: Sigh. Back to internet porn, then.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:35 PM
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No details on what's replacing it or what the deal is. The current plan, without a public option, plus Medicare for 55 year olds seems to (not very well informed about healthcare) me to be a pretty good deal, but what do I know.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:35 PM
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Still, that's super shitty.

The whole process has been pretty fucking shitty. As I've said before, I can't wait for the whole thing to just end.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:35 PM
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Medicare starting at 55 sounds like a pretty good deal in exchange for the public option, but I have a hard time believing that's what's actually going to happen.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:36 PM
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No details on what's replacing it or what the deal is.

And TPM says they don't even want to use the word "deal".


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:38 PM
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No more mastrubating to the public option.

That's okay as long as we can still masturbate.


Posted by: Hortense | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:45 PM
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The pubic option is still available.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:47 PM
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Maybe if the public option posted a better profile on OKCupid, things like this wouldn't happen.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:49 PM
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I believe that getting anything passed is the most important thing, insofar as building on popular reform is possible in the future

At the moment I fail to believe that weak reforms now make strong reforms more likely later. (Largely because I don't see any reason to expect them to be noticeably popular, and also because Medicare is popular but this just makes old people be all "I got mine!" about broader reforms.) I am feeling pessimistic.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:52 PM
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Wait, now I'm confused: is the public option unhappily single, or is it dead? Because there's no rule against masturbating to the uncoupled.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:53 PM
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142: I can see that, but on the other hand, the status quo sucks so much that even the very modest reforms in the current bill would be a big improvement.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 6:56 PM
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144: Certainly. Sadly, I'm not sure it will show to anyone, you know? The next time around, will people be like, "Yes! the incremental changes from last time were AWESOME and I love them! Let's have some more changes like that!" or will they be like "That was a lengthy nightmare and it cost a lot and I still don't feel like my coverage might not disappear without warning at any moment"? Not that keeping the current shitty public option on offer would change that, obviously.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:01 PM
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Medicare at 55 sucks because I won't be 55 for a long time. Why do baby boomers get all the perks? I want a public option for me.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:01 PM
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God knows the Massachusetts-style protections on offer are things I want very much. It's just that they're all things where I have trouble even fathoming the reality that we're not already protected from them. I will appreciate not having my insurer surprise me by finding some grotesque excuse for whisking away all my coverage the second something goes seriously wrong with me, though, it's true.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:05 PM
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Medicare is popular but this just makes old people be all "I got mine!" about broader reforms

Surely the idealistic baby boomers won't be like that.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:15 PM
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Surely the idealistic baby boomers won't be like that.

Yes, quite.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:17 PM
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FDL:who, with OpenLeft are the ones following this realtime

Medicare Buy-In pathetically weak;Medicaid Expansion nixed

Negotiators are considering limiting consumers to those who would qualify for high-risk insurance pools already set up under the Senate's health care legislation. This would mean primarily those who have been uninsured for a certain amount of time, have a history of poor health or are unable to get insurance because of a preexisting condition.

Ohh, that will be a terrific risk pool

The way this is working as we get to the wire is that progressives and liberals make one concession then another concession and then another and then Blue Dogs say "Wait a minute, we're not thru yet." Nelson will get a lot for giving up Stupak.

But we have to pass something called "Healthcare reform", right? Have to. Have to. Have to. Now. Now.

What we have to do is kill this in the House and tell Obama he has to beg progressives to save his ass.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:27 PM
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This seems to be the gist of the deal, according to the NY Times

But Democratic aides said that the group had tentatively agreed on a proposal that would replace a government-run health care plan with a menu of new national, privately-run insurance plans modeled after the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which covers more than eight million federal workers, including members of Congress, and their dependents. A government-run plan would be retained as a fall-back option, the aides said, and would be triggered only if the new proposal failed to meet targets for providing affordable insurance coverage to a specified number of people. The agreement would also allow Americans between age 55 and 64 to buy coverage through Medicare, beginning in 2011.

I don't know enough to know if this actually makes a substantive difference vs. the public option that was part of the House bill. Maybe it amounts to roughly the same thing.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:29 PM
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Negotiators are considering limiting consumers to those who would qualify for high-risk insurance pools already set up under the Senate's health care legislation. This would mean primarily those who have been uninsured for a certain amount of time, have a history of poor health or are unable to get insurance because of a preexisting condition.

Ezra Klein called this out, too, then rescinded his comment because this is the transitional plan prior to the full launch in 2013 or 2014.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:31 PM
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Chris Bowers runs some numbers

We need to see the details;all very vague and tentative;however it appears that what comes out of the Senate will be sent to the House take-it-or-leave it;no reconciliation.

"Heh. Kos just pointed out that the purpose of the 55 plus is to get the most expensive customers off the private insurance rolls." ...comment at FDL


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:38 PM
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The I AM SCREAMING AT YOU RIGHT NOW ABOUT THIS OUTRAGE quality of FireDogLake makes it completely unreadable, for me. Also, what the hell with the name.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:38 PM
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My problem with these reforms is that none of the fundamentally restructures the fucked-up operational structure of the American health insurance/health care system. Instead, its all about propping up the status quo. A public option on the the exchanges at least offered a model of a different way to do things. But whats on the table now only reinforces the crappy-private-insurance-tied-to-your-employer-while-the-government-offers-a-superior-product-but-only-to-those-subsections-of-the-populations-with-the-best-lobbyists-who-private-insurers-don't-want-to-cover-anyway system we got now.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:45 PM
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154:Thankful for Kobe

Jane Hamsher talks about her dying dog and explains the blog name. Very very long and every single word will bring a tear. Just. Fucking. Perfect.

Not for those who are made uncomfortable by the expression of passions and feelings.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:55 PM
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156 -- Wait, there's a connection to dogs AND to the Lakers? I love both dogs and the Lakers! Time to rethink everything.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 7:57 PM
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How do you feel about fire?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:02 PM
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I don't know, if we had a Canadian-style healthcare system, we'd just have researches modeling zombie outbreaks or manipulating coin tosses. (You have to scroll down for the zombies. I don't know why they buried the important story.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:03 PM
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Infinite researches!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:11 PM
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158 -- Kind of meh.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:12 PM
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I have always hated the Lakers.

Really really like fire. A lot.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:19 PM
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Staaanly! STAAANLEEEE!

I tried to post a comment on the Captive Audience post and it didn't take.

It was a suggestion that you have your relative send one loooooong email to a trusted conspirator (that would be you) who can then forward messagettes to multiple recipients.

Or are prisoners charged by the word for their emails?


Posted by: esnetroh | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:20 PM
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oh, forgive me, that should be Staaanley.


Posted by: esnetroh | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:21 PM
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It totes took, don't worry.


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:23 PM
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wispa, thank you, I wonder why I can't see it on my screen, where the comments end at #31.


Posted by: esnetroh | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:30 PM
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Try refreshing the thread.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:31 PM
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please! I did. My refresh-fu is not weak.


Posted by: esnetroh | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:32 PM
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Huh. Then I'm fresh out of ideas.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:33 PM
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Try a hard reload. Ctrl-shift-R (or Command-shift-R, or shift-F5, depending on browser and OS).


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:35 PM
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thank you, will do.


Posted by: esnetroh | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:38 PM
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omg that worked. thanks again.


Posted by: esnetroh | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:40 PM
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What we have to do is kill this in the House and tell Obama he has to beg progressives to save his ass.

This is starting to seem like the only feasible option.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:48 PM
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173: Ur makin me sadz.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:51 PM
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173: It's possibly always been the only option, except for the feasible part.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:52 PM
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Cheer up, emo prof.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:52 PM
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Anyway, in other news, I actually have socialized medical insurance here now, but I'm leaving for a few weeks during which I absolutely have to get a new eye exam and renew my prescription. So I have to use the American system and will probably end up at Costco or something. (Seriously, with the number of lenses I have, I can't wait for a regular opti-whatevericianologist.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:54 PM
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except for the feasible part.

There's that. But there's also no plan is better than a plan set up to fail.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:57 PM
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I find 177 confusing. But if that's your only feasible option...


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 8:57 PM
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179: I suppose if there are walk-ins I could do something tomorrow. I'm leaving Thursday and not returning until January.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:01 PM
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They haven't released the new regulations on the insurance industry, so I'll try to keep an open mind until I learn that, but my instinct says that Big Insurance is going to be Even Bigger Insurance.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:04 PM
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It could be something like the N(I)RA all over again.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:07 PM
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I think even if there is a Medicare buy-in, it'll only be for the people who have access to the Health Insurance Exchange[s], therefore pitifully few just like the public option.

I'm hoping that simply putting in place a system that's intended to give everyone some kind of coverage will create future impetus for the system to be improved. That's about the only kind of hope I can hold out at this point, though.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:14 PM
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OT: Anybody know a good book on the Red Scare, Wilson era?


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:14 PM
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155: it will fundamentally change insurance. A long time from now -- 2013 at least, but it will fundamentally change it.

Also, the Dorgan drug reimportation amendment tomorrow could be big.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 9:58 PM
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185.1: How so?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 8-09 10:02 PM
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The big biography of J Edgar Hoover by Gentry has some stuff on the raids and deportations in 1919.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:09 AM
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Yeas ago I saw a book advertised in the Village Voice book supplement called "Red 1919", about exactly that. Except I didn't buy it at the time and now it seems to have slipped off the face of all memory.

Unless I got the title wrong. But definitely a book exists with just this as the topic.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:16 AM
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187,188:There are some at the bottom of this Wiki page that might be useful.

1917

The Berkman Diaries, 1920-22. Course, hard to separate the anarchists and commies. A very distinguished historian of anarchism recently died, Paul Avrich


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:23 AM
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The Administration is up on the Hill lobbying against the drug reimportation bill, because it breaks the pharma deal. Disgusting, just disgusting.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:44 AM
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And McCain is railing against Obama on the floor for being in the pocket of big pharma. Ironies, ironies...


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:48 AM
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125: bob, we're going to be stuck with Martha Coakley as our next Senator. Not super progressive, and she won yesterday.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:55 AM
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Most Blue Dogs are to the left of their constituents. Pelosi and Frank e.g. are likely to the right of their districts, and that is where we can make a difference, if only to scare them a little.

It would be completely insane to primary Pelosi. If you are on the left, she is your friend, period, end of story. Frank, maybe not so insane.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 9:04 AM
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eb, Are you talking about glasses or contacts? The latter you can order online pretty cheaply. The horribly named Contact Lens king looks like a goo bet to me. (I'm planning to order from them.) Plus, they ship to Canada.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 9:05 AM
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PGD, how will it change insurance for me in Massachusetts? I don't see anything. Obviously, I care about the rest of the country, but I'd like to see better options here, like not having to switch insurers every time I switch jobs or having to take private employer plans--even when I would otherwise qualify for a subsidized plan with better coverage.

Even before the recent reforms we had guaranteed issue and community rating in the individual market.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 9:08 AM
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McManus is claiming that Barney Frank is to the right of his district? That's even stupider than his weird rant about limousine liberals in Cambridge. Massachusetts is a real place, McManus, you can't just make shit up like it's Neverland and expect everybody to buy it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 9:27 AM
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Socially, no. Economically, I'm not going to be able to defend this in detail, but Frank's a finance guy, and is not entirely unsympathetic to the needs of the financial industry. That could easily put him to the right, on some metrics, of his constituents.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 9:30 AM
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He's the chair of the finance committee. He's not a "finance guy"; he deals with them day-in day-out, and thus is likely to occasionally listen to them. On the other hand, he's extremely union friendly, does well by his district, and has a decades-long track record of working for progressive policies. Whatever you think of the decisions he's made in the three years since he took over the chairmanship, you have to weigh them against that, because that's what his constituents will do.

That said, looking at a map of his district, the only municipalities where it's remotely plausible that he's to the right of mainstream opinion are Newton (which, paradoxically, is also the most likely to be home to people who work in the financial industry), New Bedford, and Fall River. Of those three, Newton is a (very) liberal Massachusetts suburb, and New Bedford and Fall River are poor, heavily union, and heavily ethnic. The latter two places are his real power base, because he's quite a bit to the left of most of the other towns (a lot of them are semi-stereotypical exurbs full of middle-class vaguely-republican vaguely-racist masshole types -- some are very rich, some are fairly poor). He's a legend in southeastern Massachusetts politics, and a primary would fail, but beyond that, the district just does not lean that far left. He's more likely to be credibly challenged by a Republican.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 9:39 AM
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Oh, I forgot about Brookline. Okay, he might be slightly to the right of Brookline and Newton, except on Israel.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 9:40 AM
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Goldman Controlling Derivatives Legislation

Is or is not Barney in Wall Street's pocket? Barney says it is all soooo complicated.

And Pelosi did have a very ineffective primary challenge, based on the war and terrorism.

My point in any case stands, that the only way we can get a lefter Congress is to replace liberals with progressives, and progressives with radicals.

It may not be true, I do realize we replaced Coleman with Franken, but if we could regularly flip a election that radically, analysis would be useless.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 9:51 AM
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And, to be honest,. I do admit that politics does defy ideological analysis more often than not, and elections are determined by candidates, incumbency, money, and local conditions.

But for instance, assuming Frank's district is as Tweety says, there might be an opening for a economic populist/social moderate to primary Frank, running against banking, and drawing some teabaggers.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 10:02 AM
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I don't know about you bob, but I'd much rather see Cornyn retired than Frank.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 10:34 AM
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194: Contacts. The problem isn't shipping to Canada; the problem is that I really need them before I get back to Canada. And it's been over a year since I got a prescription and it's now required that you get a prescription every year (I've been rejected before for trying to buy contacts only a few weeks after the one year mark).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 10:46 AM
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I'd much rather see Cornyn retired than Frank

Yes, please.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 10:48 AM
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Ooh, so if you'd ordered a month ago, you'd have been okay. No walk-in appointments, then. Also, glasses for a month?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 10:57 AM
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200

Is or is not Barney in Wall Street's pocket? Barney says it is all soooo complicated.

Don't know about Wall Street but Frank even now is in the pocket of the housing lobby.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 11:26 AM
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206:I don't know about you bob, but I'd much rather see Cornyn retired than Frank.

Well, of course, but that kinda misses the point. It would be nice to replace Cornyn with Jim Hightower, but that is not going to happen. Cornyn's replacement is likely to be KB Hutchinson or Rick Perry, and Congress does not move significantly to the left.

Replacing liberals with progressives and progressives with radicals is the only way to move Congress any further to the left.

I could go back to the progressives or to FDR, but I will just repeat that this is exactly how we got the reforms (OSHA,EPA, War Powers) of 1968-74, by replacing liberals with radicals. There were very few net Democratic gains after 1966, but the ideological median moved. Then the issue was Vietnam;this time it can be bankers.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 11:40 AM
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PGD at 190: The Administration is up on the Hill lobbying against the drug reimportation bill, because it breaks the pharma deal. Disgusting, just disgusting.

I'm trying to find out more about this, and not yet finding anything. Help me out, if anyone knows.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 11:53 AM
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Oh, never mind.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 11:59 AM
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I'm so tired of all this health care shit. Tired of weak sauce, tired of goodies for old people, tired of how long the fucking thing is taking, tired of gloating insurance industry assholes, tired of being panda-fucked in the ear. Tired! And grumpy.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 12:11 PM
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being panda-fucked in the ear

There's one alternative therapy that isn't going to get covered.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 12:15 PM
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rfs--It will never end. Even if we passed the best system possible, on a pure policy wonk level, there would still be endless tweaking to do and ways to reform healthcare delivery.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 12:18 PM
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Even if we passed the best system possible, on a pure policy wonk level, there would still be endless tweaking to do and ways to reform healthcare delivery.

Ah, but if that happened, I'd be happy and fortunate, not grumpy and panda-fucked.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 12:19 PM
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Tired, yes. Goodies for old people aren't that bad, though. We old people are a little scared about things, after all, what with these pre-existing conditions we lug around.

An old person I talked to recently related that he'd found a way to get his prescriptions via India via Hungary (or something), so that they were 1/3 the cost they'd normally be.

Nonetheless, of course. Sick and tired of the whole thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 12:28 PM
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I would like to see more federally-funded goodies for young people, for a change. Also, please raise my fucking taxes already.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 12:34 PM
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Goodies for old people aren't that bad, though.

They aren't bad in themselves by any means, just frustratingly the same old tune.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 12:36 PM
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Very little of what's going on seems to have to do with good-hearted, right-minded social engineering, that's true. The status quo, she is strong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 12:42 PM
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Most Blue Dogs are to the left of their constituents.

On which axis? There is virtually no constituency, anywhere in the country, for the pseudo-responsible fiscal policies Blue Dogs (claim to) support. There may be support for the rhetoric, because Americans are stupid and a lot of people work very hard to tell them lies about economics, but the actual policies that Blue Dogs rally around - infinite debt for wars, but no deficit-reducing public option or job-saving money for state governments - are unpopular everyplace except hard core red districts.

It is true that many* Blue Dogs are socially liberal, but that's not what they stand for.

* or at least a non-tiny number


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 12:54 PM
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BTW, speaking of benefits for young people, our food stamps got cut basically in half this month. We don't know whether it was that I actually had income in October or that we paid off our car, but either way, going from $500 to $265 SUCKS. Hope I don't have any lean months, like this summer when I earned $200 in 2 months.

Fucking tightwads.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 12:58 PM
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Probably the former, JRoth. If you do have any lean months, reapply. Public programs like that can really suck when they effectively become a very high marginal tax rate for working more.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 1:03 PM
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219: Revealing my ignorance, but is there someone you can contact to ask what triggered the change? I'm surprised--but not really that surprised, sadly--that you weren't given advance notice, along with an explanation. (And if you're talking to someone, it might also be worth asking what exactly you need to do to obtain as expedited as possible a re-assessment in the event that you do run into a few lean months in the future.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 1:07 PM
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I believe it was Ronald Reagan who argued that we should increase subsidies to the poor to keep them working hard and contributing to the economy.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 1:09 PM
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On Barney Frank, I used to love him, but over the past two years I have been growing disillusioned. His 2008 housing bill was an enormous belly flop. His financial reg reform bill and his credit card bill were both to the right of the Senate versions (although Dodd's reg reform will no doubt be pushed right as it moves from the draft stage).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 1:18 PM
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208,209:Betrayal on Drugs ...Sirota

Betrayal on Climate Aid ...Rosenberg


Betrayal


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 1:20 PM
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195: this is a glass half full type of bill. It doesn't blow up the current health system (doesn't really touch the large employer market, where 95%+ of people already have insurance). And of course in Massachusetts you already have some reforms in place. But the combination of a mandate to purchase, guaranteed issue, government subsidies for premiums, exchanges which control benefit levels, and the type of profit controls put in through the new national risk adjustment system (very important, and almost no one has commented on them at all) are transformative to the insurance industry. They move insurers into being partners with government. Not perfect, but that's what incrementalism looks like.

The left is not happy about the insurers as partners with government, but that partnership will make it far easier to regulate hte insurers and control their behavior. Look at the history with Medicare Advantage plans. They rip off taxpayers horribly, and make out like bandits, but in most cases they treat their beneficiaries pretty well. (Not always, but in those cases government has been much more willing to address their behavior than with insurers that aren't government-supported).

Now, there's another group that makes out like crazy from the current system and is behind a lot of the price pressures that drive uninsurance -- that's the providers. They mostly got off scot-free in this bill.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 1:25 PM
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Ooh, so if you'd ordered a month ago, you'd have been okay.

If only. I actually had a huge supply of contacts, so I'm a few months over. But I learned about the one month limit last year and ended up at Lenscrafters, which was just about the worst eye appointment I've ever had. I do have two lenses left for each eye, so I might be able to avoid glasses only, which is good, because I'm very near-sighted and the glasses aren't great for peripheral vision.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 1:29 PM
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Betrayal on Gay Benefits ...including betrayal on following the law


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 1:36 PM
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Bob, your choice of "betrayal" as a leitmotif is charmingly reminiscent of freshman-dorm broken hearts. Perhaps you should ask Obama to leave your CDs and copy of A Sport and a Pastime on the landing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 2:12 PM
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It would be nice to replace Cornyn with Jim Hightower, but that is not going to happen.

And replacement of Frank by some hypothetical, as yet unnameable progressive, is going to happen?

I'm not saying Frank is unbeatable. I can't imagine, though, that there are more than 3 or 4 people living in his district who (a) match your ideological test and (b) have a public profile, and resume, that makes a challenge even remotely credible.

Of course, if you think time energy and money is better spent mounting a primary challenge that fails to unseat Frank, either confirming him that he's matching his constituents well, or weakening him for the general, well that's one way to go.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 3:36 PM
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PGD at 225.last: Now, there's another group that makes out like crazy from the current system and is behind a lot of the price pressures that drive uninsurance -- that's the providers.

The ins and outs, ups and downs, of all of this are beginning to turn my brain to mush, I admit it. But: what do you mean by 'the providers'?

There are the hospitals which explain that charges are high because you're not being charged just for the services you receive (whatever that would mean), but for the whole cost of running the place, divided by whatever, factoring in the cost of serving those who simply don't/can't pay for care.

There are the, usually separate, doctors' fees. And there are fees for tests.

Here's why I ask: the cost of health care actually, in my case, drives my being insured, not my being uninsured. I had a CT scan recently. Charge: $1800. Amount disallowed by agreement/negotiation with insurance company: $1400. My cost (since I hadn't met my deductible yet): $400. If I'd been a self-pay client, uninsured, the bill would have been $1800.

I try to think this through: who's the bad guy here?

I can see that we wouldn't need large pools of the insured in order to negotiate lower rates if the providers didn't charge such high rates in the first place. Is that all it is?

I must be missing something fundamental here.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 3:56 PM
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Perhaps it's just that more people would be insured if it didn't cost so much for insurance, and it costs so much for insurance because, what, because insurance has to pay so much to providers? Despite negotiated lower reimbursement rates?

Yeah, okay. Sorry for the partial brain-melt on this. The insurance company doesn't seem to pay much to my health providers in the end, that's all. But I haven't needed a triple-bypass.

I can't manage to see the providers as the bad guys. Not when Aetna has announced a projected dropping of 650,000 of its insured in order to be able to 'meet profit expectations'.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 4:09 PM
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The left is not happy about the insurers as partners with government, but that partnership will make it far easier to regulate hte insurers and control their behavior.

How's that "partnership" model working with the Investment Banks?

Suddenly I need to understand why the Italians and Germans in the 30s left so much industry in private hands.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 4:34 PM
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What once was thought to supplant the repressive principle of sovereignty is now seen to be planting it firmly in the heart of the modern world. For Hardt and Negri, the history of modernity is a history of the Manichean battle between a positively valued revolutionary plane of immanence, in which the desires and productivity of the multitudes are released, and the negatively valued, counterrevolutionary principle of transcendence, which denies desire and imposes order from above. In their view, what marks the liberal phase of modernity is the translation of the transcendent into the transcendental--that is, the internalization of a formerly external authority.
...William Rasch
Liberal thought must necessarily be blind to the political because of its individualism, which forecloses access to the mode of formation of collective identities. Yet the specificity of the political is that it deals with the formation of an "us" as opposed to a "them" and is from the outset concerned with collective forms of identification. Moreover, the political has to do with conflict and antagonisms and, by showing that every consensus is based on acts of exclusion, it reveals the limits of every rational consensus. It is no wonder, then, that liberal rationalism is bound to miss its nature. The political cannot be grasped by liberal rationalism for the simple reason that rationalism is predicated upon the negation of the irreducibility of antagonism. In other words, antagonism needs to be negated by liberalism precisely because it reveals the limits of any rational consensus and the inescapable moment of decision.
...Chantal Mouffe

Quotes from Legacies of Modernism
Art and Politics in Northern Europe, 1890-1950

"every consensus is based on acts of exclusion"

Berube calls us the "Manichean Left." But "Manichean" is the definition of politics, back to the 1st line of Aristotle. Outcomes are determined by who is invited to the table.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 4:57 PM
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231

I can't manage to see the providers as the bad guys ...

Ezra Klein on insurers vrs providers :

It's easy to argue that insurers are villains. It's hard to argue that their villainy is the primary problem in health care.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 5:16 PM
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234: Okay, thanks, James. Ezra's piece doesn't really answer my question, or maybe it does; it points to greater efficiency, to evidence-based-medicine in order to eliminate unnecessary tests, and so on, and I'm familiar with those suggestions, and no, I guess there's not much about that, at least that we hear about, in the health care reform bill on the table. (It also points to single-payer as a means to provide bargaining power in order to lower costs, but we all know the story there.)

I thought somehow that there was a claim at hand that health care is overpriced, and if only that weren't the case, we wouldn't be in this mess. Pharmaceutical costs are truly a serious problem. I can't, of course, say whether a CT scan really should cost $1800 (or $400); I don't see why an hour with an endocrinologist who does nothing more than review lab results and walk through a computer-provided list of question should cost $432. But then lawyers charge far too much as well.

I'm just being stubborn, I fear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 5:48 PM
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I'm no expert of medical costs. But consider that some client comes and wants me to review a couple of interesting clauses in a high value contract. Client thinks it shouldn't take more than an hour or two -- the clauses aren't but half a page together. If I say it's OK, and I'm wrong, I'll be on the hook for the million bucks my being wrong with cost the client. Somehow the 500 I get for looking at the paragraphs doesn't sound like much at all.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 5:55 PM
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236: Good example. By that reasoning, the doctor is worth whatever she charges, because the cost of her being wrong is very high.

So how do you control costs in that sort of scenario? How would you control costs in the legal analogue? Sure, you can eliminate redundant work (redundant tests) and perhaps look at eliminating interactions that are statistically shown to be ineffective (?), or shall we say in the legal case, inert -- totally unclear what this would look like -- but the fact remains that a dollar value will wind up being put on the service. Why's your $500 not $1000 or $250?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 6:05 PM
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I honestly don't know why I'm arguing this, by the way. Grumpy at the thought that insurers might get away with the thought that it's not their fault. It's not entirely, no, of course not. Still.

It's making me pick a fight here, though, which I don't need to do.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 6:11 PM
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235

I thought somehow that there was a claim at hand that health care is overpriced, and if only that weren't the case, we wouldn't be in this mess. ...

Klein interviews the CEO of Kaiser Permanente:

Yes. This is the difference in price between us and them. If you take U.S. care delivery and price it to the Canadian model - same care, same drug, same office treatment, same duration of stay - but price it at the Canadian fee schedule, we go from spending 17.6 percent of GDP on health care to 11.5. If you just put us in a single-payer system, we go from 17.6 to 16.9.

The interview links this (pdf file) set of foils which claim everything generally costs a lot more in the United States.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 6:18 PM
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236

I'm no expert of medical costs. But consider that some client comes and wants me to review a couple of interesting clauses in a high value contract. Client thinks it shouldn't take more than an hour or two -- the clauses aren't but half a page together. If I say it's OK, and I'm wrong, I'll be on the hook for the million bucks my being wrong with cost the client. Somehow the 500 I get for looking at the paragraphs doesn't sound like much at all.

So what are you saying, that it will actually take much more than than an hour or two? Or that it will only take an hour or two but your malpractice premiums are exorbitant?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 6:22 PM
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I thought somehow that there was a claim at hand that health care is overpriced, and if only that weren't the case, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Well, depending on how you define "this mess," that's not entirely untrue. The biggest problems in the U.S. health care system are lack of access (which both the House and Senate bill address pretty well) and out of control cost increases (which neither do great on, but both are better than the status quo). If health care cost less, health insurance would cost less, and fewer people would be uninsured... but not fewer enough, and that doesn't address the totality of the problems with the private health insurance market.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 6:28 PM
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The interview links this (pdf file) set of foils

Foils! Wow, I haven't heard that term since college.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 6:32 PM
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Well, depending on how you define "this mess," that's not entirely untrue.

I know.

I do apologize for having begun to become bitchy about this. Off to swim meditate.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 6:44 PM
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What we seem to be moving to is a Swiss style system with individual mandates for insurance provided by heavily regulated private insurance companies and major subsidies for the poor. The Swiss system in feel is a lot like the US one, with dealing with reimbursements and negotiating the insurance industry bureaucracy. It is also like the American one in that health care providers get a lot more money than in other wealthy countries. I'd call it the worst of the Western European systems but still much better than the American one. We spend more because we pay more everwhere - salaries from low level techs to top administrators and specialists, drug prices, larger bureaucracies, you name it, it's more expensive here.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 6:54 PM
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foils

IBM-speak. Buck got his start as a journalist stalking various bits of IBM (still does, but not exclusively) and will wax nostalgic how back in the day, about two-thirds of the mental activity within IBM was devoted to producing ever more impressive foils for internal presentations.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:10 PM
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eb--It can't be as bad as the one my BF had at New England Eye, the teaching affiliate of our local optometry school. The students' work wasn't checked, one poke him hard in the eye, yelled at him when he flinched during the modern glaucoma test, and they spilled the fluorescent eye dye on his shirt--permanently ruining it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:33 PM
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The Swiss system in feel is a lot like the US one, with dealing with reimbursements and negotiating the insurance industry bureaucracy.

I've been reconciling myself to something like this as the best we can expect. But goddamn; all my fantasies about health care reform personally relate to being freed from stupid insurance company hassles. If more people have coverage, that's more important, but boy do I envy people in countries who don't have to deal with all that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:39 PM
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244 an 247: The Netherlands is all private now, but it still sounds better than the Swiss one. I think that the government regulates what the hospitals are paid, i.e. all the insurers pay the same amount.

LB, even more than getting away from insurance company hassles, I don't want my insurance to be tied to my employer.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:43 PM
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What's a "foil"? I assumed it was a misspelling of "files".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:52 PM
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It's where you have two linear terms multiplied together and you want to see it multiplied out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:53 PM
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It's a kind of hat you wear to distinguish yourself from sane people.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:54 PM
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It's a misspelling of "files".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:55 PM
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It's when the case was cracked and you were this, again, you crooked thief.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:57 PM
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It's what REM sings during "This one goes out to the one I love..." in between verses.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:59 PM
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I used to think "foils", like "beamer", was one of those words that came from non-English speakers inventing English words for things, but 239 and 245 belie that. Maybe it's because I've only encountered them in the context of LaTeX style files, which at least in the case of "beamer" came from Germany.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 7:59 PM
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When the witches from MacBeth are baking, they say that, that, toil and trouble. This incantation helps the cookies not stick to the pan.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:00 PM
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It's what heebie is to anyone who's after earnest responses.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:03 PM
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It means a jolly good time?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:04 PM
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It's explained partway down this page under " Slides, Big Business, Federal Government, and "Yes-Men".


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:04 PM
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Beamers come from Germany, but I thought that was a pretty standard sort of colloquial English word.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:05 PM
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258: For a good time, call heebie and ask for foils?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:12 PM
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It is not what Cala used. (If I recall correctly.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:18 PM
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It's what French people wrap cigarettes in.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:23 PM
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What did Cala use for a good time?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:23 PM
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Philosophers have trolley good times.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:25 PM
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Sabres. And her from Pittsburgh!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:26 PM
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264: The Calabat is versatile.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:26 PM
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242 245

OK, OK, what do normal people call them?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 8:48 PM
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240 -- I have a deductible, and insurance companies are always looking for a way out. I represented a small law firm for about 7 years -- most of this decade -- and their malpractice carrier had gone into receivership, and the coverage was essentially worthless. So yes, I have insurance but no, just like car insurance, it's a bad idea to be anything but strictly prudent notwithstanding insurance.

I'm not interested in a 500 dollar job, if the downside risk is huge. Maybe I'll need to spend several hours making sure there aren't unreported cases, or regulations in draft, and the like before I'm completely satisfied about the downside risk. Maybe I'll write a memo that's hedged so completely that I'm barely saying anything. These aren't mutually exclusive, of course. What I'm not going to do, though, is become the insurer of the client's business affairs without an adequate "premium."

It's not just expensive because I want to be rich. It's also expensive because I become responsible. Doctors and other medical and pharma operators are the same way, I suppose. Now I'm not a believer in excessive tort reform. It would be nice, though, to see bogus claims get knocked down a lot quicker: those 7 years of litigation were pretty expensive, and we won the case by demonstrating that the claims were completely bogus as a matter of law, and had been from the start. For which the client got a final bill from me. And a bill for a retainer for the stupid appeal the plaintiff filed (and then withdrew when his lawyers realized they couldn't write a brief).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 9:41 PM
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268: overheads.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:07 AM
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Transparencies.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:18 AM
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271: Well, obviously that means one of us isn't normal.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 5:29 AM
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Slides. Really, while it might not be literally true in any given case, foils are Powerpoint slides. (While I don't know if this is speculation or well-attested history, Buck believes that the origin of Powerpoint was to serve IBM's insatiable appetite for spiffy internal presentations.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 5:34 AM
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272: It's always been apparent that one of us isn't normal. I think overheads is more common from people who use them, and transparencies from people who have worked in copy shops.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:27 AM
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274 reminds me of the ordinary divide between French/German derived words based on who's using them: it's a cow in the field, beef on the plate; sheep/mutton; swine/pork.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:44 AM
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I distinctly remember thinking that I had to buy transparencies, in order to make overheads.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:08 AM
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It's one of those silly things where the word you want is conceptual -- a graphic presenting data or outlining an an argument to be used accompanying an oral presentation -- but all the available words refer to physical means of presentation. You could take the same graphic and put it on a slide (little piece of film with a paper border that you drop into a slide projector); a transparency (larger piece of transparent plastic); or print it on paper and display it using the kind of overhead projector that doesn't use transparencies. Or you could just print it out and call it a handout. (I'm actually not sure what, originally, a 'foil' was physically. But it sounds like a physical word.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:25 AM
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Viewgraph!


Posted by: Abelard | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:51 AM
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one of those silly things

This implies, falsely, that I can bring to mind a number of parallel situations. In fact, no.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:09 AM
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279: recorded music. It's either a track (LP) or an MP3, or an album, or a clip...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:12 AM
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What would be an example of a conceptual term that isn't rooted in a physical representation of something?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:50 AM
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I suppose "mp3" isn't. And "xerox" isn't a physical word, although of course the more complete and/or generic versions of those two ("mp3 file" and "photocopy") are based on a physical metaphor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:52 AM
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Which is to say, there's nothing remotely novel about using a physical metaphor to refer to a conceptual data structure. It's pretty much universal. What's weird about presentation data is that there isn't a consistent metaphor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:55 AM
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based on a physical metaphor.

As is "xerox", via greek "xero".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:04 AM
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Sure, physical metaphors are conventional, but there's often a more conceptual name for the thing that you can drop back to. You can call the thing you have 10,000 of on your hard drive a track, or an MP3, but if that ever gets confusing, you could call it a song. I read paperbacks all the time, but if I wanted to avoid the physical implications, I could call those things novels. A slide/foil/overhead/transparency/handout is funny because of course you can make slides, or overheads, or transparencies, or handouts that aren't graphics-to-accompany-a-presentation; and there's no terse conceptual name I can think of to clarify -- you have to just describe the concept.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:04 AM
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Is "presentation graphic" terse enough? I suspect not.

As digital cameras have become ubiquitous, "image" has become much more common for referring to what were called "photos" just a few years ago. But I'm guessing that the etymology of "image" will make this a non-counterexample.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:09 AM
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A slide/foil/overhead/transparency/handout is funny because of course you can make slides, or overheads, or transparencies, or handouts that aren't graphics-to-accompany-a-presentation; and there's no terse conceptual name I can think of to clarify

Presentation matierals?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:10 AM
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Well, so if you have a "file" on your computer, what's the more conceptual description for that?

And as far as an mp3 library goes, is a podcast a song? Is an instrumental track? A movement from a symphony? A DJ mix?

I'm not exactly trying to argue with you: I think it's interesting that there's no single conceptual metaphor that's used to describe "graphics-accompanying-a-presentation". I'm tempted to blame Microsoft, for coming up with a shitty schema (PowerPoint's "slides") that hasn't really stuck.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:12 AM
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Sure, you could make a term (like 'presentation graphic'. I don't think 'presentation materials' works because I can't make it refer to a singular slide) up, but you'd have to explain it to people -- it's not currently in use as a synonym for slide/foil/transparency/overhead.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:12 AM
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"File" is a conceptual term, not a physical term.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:13 AM
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We could just all agree to call them "plates".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:15 AM
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290: Isn't "file" is a physical term (things in a filing cabinet) that's been appropriated for an electronic format?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:15 AM
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BTW, sorry I couldn't reply in a timely fashion on the food stamp thing. Here's a bit more information (including some not strictly germane, but indicative of how poorly it's run):

We get notice that the 6 month review is due Nov. 15 (or whatever), and we need to submit "pay stubs" for October. Of course I don't get pay stubs, but I submit copies of checks from clients. October is the first month since our benefits started that our family income was significantly above $1000, so we include a letter detailing our monthly income from May-Sept as well. AB hand-delivers this on 11/15.

Dec. 1 we get a letter telling us that our papers didn't arrive on time, so our benefits will be suspended (they're due to be refilled on 12/8). AB calls, speaks with the guy, and he says, "Oh yeah, they're here on my desk, and appear to be complete. I'll call if we have any questions."

12/8 arrives, and no money in the account. AB calls, is told that the paperwork never arrived. She explains what happens to supervisor, who never even fucking apologizes, but who does get things taken care of. Benefits, reduced by 47%, arrive on 12/9.

As it happens, I did get paid by a client on Saturday, so we were not reduced to buying milk on credit, but it's fucking insane. I don't know whether we'll get a letter explaining their decision (their correspondence is terse), but we will call. But this office frequently has neither a person to answer the phone nor voicemail - the phone just keeps ringing. So we're not expecting much in the way of a response.

Sorry for the boring detail. This is what you people get because I have no co-workers to bitch to.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:17 AM
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290: how you figure?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:18 AM
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288: And as far as an mp3 library goes, is a podcast a song? Is an instrumental track? A movement from a symphony? A DJ mix?

That's the point, or the problem, or something. If you break the world along physical lines, you get different breakpoints than if you do it on conceptual lines. "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" is a song, conceptually, regardless of whether it's a track on a vinyl album, a track on a CD, an mp3 file, a live performance, or a piece of sheet music. An mp3 file is physically an mp3 file whether it's a song, a podcast, or an audio surveillance recording.

You can use the physical (mp3 file) as a metaphor for the conceptual (song) and people do it all the time -- it's completely conventional. And you could have a physical description that's a dead metaphor, and has turned into a name for the concept (like 'image'. Whatever the etymology, which I honestly don't remember. Mirrors?) any restrictive physical meaning of 'image' is secondary to the conceptual meaning by now. But it can be troublesome to run into a context where there's no clear name, metaphorical or not, for the concept.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:22 AM
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295 further: I'm using 'conceptual' inexactly here -- that is, I'm gesturing at something I find interesting, but I'm not purporting to have it nailed down in any precise fashion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:25 AM
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295: but song wasn't originally purely conceptual. The whole idea that you could refer to a recording of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" as a "song" was a metaphorical leap itself.

Again, I think we're saying the same thing. The issue isn't that there's no conceptual description for "presentation graphics", the issue is that there isn't a singular one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:25 AM
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285: Again, viewgraph is an actual (albeit not terribly popular) term that does exactly what you say. I think engineers used to use the term - probably of roughly similar date to "foil".


Posted by: Abelard | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:25 AM
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294: Possibly because file was a verb first?

Hurry up and answer, neb, or I'll have to make up answers for you.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:27 AM
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296: I'm pretty much cheating, and basically parroting a lot of the cognitive linguistics literature on conceptual metaphors. I really enjoyed this book on (sort of) the subject, but the wikipedia description of it was widely hated on by people commenting here, so who knows.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:30 AM
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the kind of overhead projector that doesn't use transparencies

I have an irrational soft spot for the ELMO. It's simply adorable in a way I can't explain.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:30 AM
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297.1: And you can still see the fingerprints of that metaphorical leap in the Grammy category for "record of the year," which denotes the best recording of a song.

Am I correct that "song of the year" goes to songwriter(s) and "record oty" goes to performer(s)?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:30 AM
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btw, I apologize for "fingerprints of [the] leap." I wanted to avoid "record", and didn't think closely (or at all).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:31 AM
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The whole idea that you could refer to a recording of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" as a "song" was a metaphorical leap itself.

This is starting to feel like that 'energy' conversation where I made a bit of an idiot of myself. But do you really think that was much of a leap? 'Song' would have already have referred to something that was the same between different performances or different media -- two different people singing "A Bicycle Built For Two" were singing the same song before recording, and the songwriter could have held up the sheet music and said "Here's the song I wrote." I'm not seeing a recognition that that a recorded performance is still a song, just like a live performance, as a metaphor, exactly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:31 AM
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And 293: Argh. What's maddening is the way that this funnels help to the least needy of the qualified population -- you and AB, irritating as this is, at least have the resources and expectations to get it straightened out. Someone in worse straits probably just gets cut off.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:35 AM
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I saw a thing on the CBC that said that vinyl was making a small come back among some young people. It was still a minor portion of sales, but you could buy new records, and they were selling some new LP players.

They said that there were certain small bands which were releasing an mp3 and an LP, but skipping the CD altogether. Is this actually true?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:36 AM
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304: it doesn't matter if it was that much of a leap; it was still a leap. And you used the verb "singing"; it's an act that you do to the (composed) song. In the days before recorded music, if you said "I have a copy of 'A Bicycle Built For Two'", it wouldn't mean that you had a particularly stirring way of singing it. It would mean that you owned the sheet music. After the advent of recorded music, it could mean either that you had the sheet music or that you had a recording of a performance of it.

JRoth is right that this distinction persists in the music industry; different agencies handle publishing and performance royalties, and different awards are given out for songwriting and for performance. One of the reasons sampling law is so deeply problematic is that it tries to import a kind of law (copyright) that was designed for written works to recordings of performances of works, without really recognizing the differences between the two realms.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:39 AM
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They said that there were certain small bands which were releasing an mp3 and an LP, but skipping the CD altogether. Is this actually true?

I know of lots of bands that have done that recently. Some place in KY or TN, I think, presses vinyl at an affordable rate, though shipping it is costly (1000 LPs = heavy). It's a sort of hipster cliché at this point: "come up and listen to some vinyl" is the hipster "come up and look at my etchings".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:41 AM
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307.2 is not very clearly put. What I meant to say is that (in my opinion) a lot of the problems with copyright law is that people fail to recognize that "owning" a "song" is really a relatively loose metaphor for having access to a copy of a recording of a performance of a composition.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:42 AM
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If I'm buying music at a show I always buy vinyl, if it's available. It's much more satisfying to own.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:43 AM
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They said that there were certain small bands which were releasing an mp3 and an LP, but skipping the CD altogether. Is this actually true?

Yeah, why not? The CD is just an antiseptic repository for digital files that will quickly be turned into mp3s. The LP is artwork-ish.

Wrnlrd is probably the most famous artist on this label which does that.

Also, lots of labels now include codes to download the mp3's if you purchase the LP version of the album instead of the CD.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:43 AM
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I own a blog.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:44 AM
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It would mean that you owned the sheet music.

Or a player piano, um, reel? Or a musicbox/hurdy gurdy metal platter with spikes on it whatever you call that sort of thing. Not exactly a recording, but kinda.

I'm balking at the word 'metaphor' here. I don't think the thought process required to call a recording of someone singing a 'song', even if recording has just been invented and is new to you, is a metaphor. "Song" already meant, at least in part, something that was the same between different performances and different media -- adding a new possible medium isn't making a metaphor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:48 AM
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"Song" already meant, at least in part, something that was the same between different performances and different media

It did? Same instrumentation, same arrangement, same tempo?

I would suspect that "song" in the pre-recorded music era meant something more similar to what "symphonic composition" does today (although possibly even looser), which is to say a set of basic instructions for performing a piece of music, and lyrics to sing, subject to vast differences depending on the skill, composition, and instincts of the performers interpreting it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:53 AM
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305: Exactly. We've got time to deal with this bullshit and the determination to get the best deal we can (plus the social skills/cultural capital to do so pretty effectively). I can't even imagine how difficult this would be to deal with for a more typical/stereotypical recipient.

I must say that I've been struck by the thesis that Ezra and/or Yggles have repeated (they got it from someone else) that, basically, being poor is so shitty on so many levels that it's psychologically very hard for poor people to take the (myriad) small steps it would take to improve their lives - if life sucks and it's not getting better, why quit smoking, or go on a diet, or fight it every time an institution nickels and dimes you. I've experienced some of that passivity myself as I've overdrafted or been late with payments over the past couple years. I know that you can generally get a better deal with a phone call, and I've sometimes done it, but mostly it just feels like, "Well, I don't have any money, of course I just had a cascade of overdrafts."

Sigh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:56 AM
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I think we're foundering on the shoals of mutual imprecision, and I don't quite know how to free us.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:56 AM
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JRoth is right

New mouseover?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:57 AM
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316: Dump some of the vinyl LPs - those things are heavy once you get a stack of them.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:58 AM
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That sucks, JRoth.

I was actually getting help from a particular agency. I was due to meet with the particular counselor, so she mailed a letter to my old address--even though I had told her that I had moved--saying, I've scheduled a meeting for you for this date. If you can't make it call. But of course, the letter wasn't forwarded to me until after that date. Then I got another one a day or two later saying that another appointment had been made, and if I didn't show up to that one, they would close my case.

(I have heard that most people at this office call to make an appointment and ask whether a particular date and time works first. That, in and of itself, pisses me off, but it's not worth fighting, and I'm just going to get it transferred to my regional office. I really liked her boss with whom I dealt when she was on leave for surgery, so I'd put off moving, but this is too much. Plus, I liked the fact that she mostly left me alone and gave money to the non-profit program that was helping me)

So, now I'm writing a letter an will send it by FedEx, since my boyfriend can get a deeply discounted rate through his company. I'm in a much better position to deal with this now that I don't actually need her help that much.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:58 AM
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I must say that I've been struck by the thesis that Ezra and/or Yggles have repeated (they got it from someone else) that, basically, being poor is so shitty on so many levels that it's psychologically very hard for poor people to take the (myriad) small steps it would take to improve their lives

They got it here.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:11 AM
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I think we're foundering on the shoals of mutual imprecision, and I don't quite know how to free us.

Yeah, I'm tempted to keep on hashing it out, because that's what I do, but I've lost track of what we're disagreeing about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:12 AM
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320: Thanks. I was pretty sure it was a book, but that information was not sufficient to identify the source.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:38 AM
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I would suspect that "song" in the pre-recorded music era meant something more similar to what "symphonic composition" does today (although possibly even looser), which is to say a set of basic instructions for performing a piece of music, and lyrics to sing, subject to vast differences depending on the skill, composition, and instincts of the performers interpreting it.

This is my impression as well. In fact I more or less agree with everything that Sifu has said about history of songs and recording technologies.

That said, I can see where LB is coming from when she says that using "song" to describe a recording, while clearly an extension of the original meaning, doesn't particularly feel like a metaphorical leap.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:53 AM
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Okay, I'm back in.

"song" in the pre-recorded music era meant... a set of basic instructions

You can't mean this exclusively -- that "song" primarily means only the instructions.

"What did the soprano sing next?"

"A love song -- I don't know the name."

That's not a metaphor or an extension, that's someone using the word "song" in a primary sense. But the soprano didn't sing the instructions, she used the instructions (sheet music, lyrics) to learn and then sing the song.

I'll agree that "song" refers to the instructions. But it also refers to any performance based on those instructions. Or to all performances based on a particular set of instructions:

"What's your favorite song?"

"'A Bicycle Built For Two.' I love that no matter who's singing it, even if they're off-key."

I don't have the vocabulary for what I want to say -- I think 'conceptual' really isn't the right word. But what I was trying to use as a distinction between a word like "song" and a word like "transparency" is that "song" isn't dependent on the physical medium -- it refers to the information constituting a particular musical/lyrical idea ("idea" is totally the wrong word there as well, but I haven't got the right one) regardless of what medium is used to convey it. Extending "song" to an unfamiliar medium may be an extension, but it's not a metaphor.

"Transparency", on the other hand, literally means a piece of see-through plastic. Metonymically it means the kind of presentation graphic often printed on that plastic, and metaphorically refers to that kind of presentation graphic even when it's not printed on plastic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:10 PM
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That didn't come together into anything coherent, did it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:14 PM
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I'll agree that "song" refers to the instructions. But it also refers to any performance based on those instructions.

I think "I love that no matter who's singing it" confuses the issue, and that the reverse example clarifies it. If you like one interpretation or performance of a song better than another, you wouldn't say I like X's song better than Y's song.

I was lukewarm on "Since U Been Gone" until I heard Ted Leo perform it; then I went back and enjoyed Kelly Clarkson's version more. Now I like that song. But my feelings about the performances were different. If I were to say that I thought Ted Leo's "Since U Been Gone" was a better song than Kelly Clarkson's, I would at best be using an unorthodox usage to make a point, but more likely just be dumb.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:26 PM
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326: and what if you had both of them on your hard drive? Would that be two songs, or one?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:28 PM
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Now I'm getting down into the weeds, and I think I want to be a philosopher of language to argue about this, and I'm not and don't have the vocabulary I want. You're right, that there's a distinction as you describe between a song, and a performance of a song.

But it's not wrong, and not metaphorical or an extension of the meaning of the word song, to say "I heard this song" or "I liked that song" if your only experience was of a performance of the song. The song isn't only the instructions, it's what I called above the musical and lyrical idea, conveyed through any medium.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:32 PM
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328: I absolutely agree with you. But when it gets hairy is when you describe a discrete physical (or digital) recording of a single performance of that composition as a "song" -- that's when you get into problems like k-sky's that I point out in 327. People do refer to individual digital files as "songs", but you're making a conceptual leap to do so -- otherwise the problem I point out in 327 would be intractable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:36 PM
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I'm not seeing that as hairier than the same problem in relation to different live performances. There's some potential for confusion in either case (someone who heard a song live performed by Bob Dylan didn't hear the same thing as someone who heard the same song live performed by Joan Baez. Two songs, or one?), but calling the application of the word 'song' to a record more of a conceptual leap than applying it to a live performance, I don't get.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:45 PM
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Ha, I have a forthcoming paper/chapter that is about almost this. It is not, however, about whether it's more of a conceptual leap to think of recordings this way than it is to think of performances this way.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:50 PM
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330: well sure, to you, now, it is. But that's because you're familiar (and comfortable) with the idea of recorded music. The idea that a "song" is something that always sounds the same -- and further that a "song" is something you can own, and collect, and sell, and (if the RIAA is to be believed) steal without claiming to have created it -- is a relatively new idea. Somebody in the 1830s wouldn't have the slightest idea what you were talking about if you said "there are four songs on this [shiny disc from the future] but three of them are versions of the same song." And in fact, you wouldn't say that now, because it's confusing, because you're using two related but not identical meanings of the word "song", the latter of which predates the former. Getting the later meaning from the earlier one required a (minor) conceptual leap, because two definitions have different implications for the attributes of the object.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:51 PM
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Somebody in the 1830s wouldn't have the slightest idea what you were talking about if you said "there are four songs on this [shiny disc from the future] but three of them are versions of the same song."

Here, we're making claims about what a naive 19th century audience would think, and so I don't have any more credibility than you do. But assuming the unfrozen caveman interlocutor understood the concept of recording a live performance (which they'd have to for the shiny disc to mean anything at all), why on earth would they be confused by "There are four songs on the disc; three different performances of 'Greensleeves', and one performance of 'Barbara Allen'"?

You're interested in the copyright/piracy issues, and they're interesting. But I don't think they're anything that would be an important conceptual leap in the meaning of "song" to someone who had previously been unfamiliar with recording.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:57 PM
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331: Spill?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:57 PM
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Whoa, my research webpage is out of date. I need to fix that. The abstract for the paper itself that's available online at the moment is sort of bleah for a general audience; this is about a different, related project, but is more readable and has the relevant information in it.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:07 PM
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Neat, and yes, very much connected to this stuff. Which means I am now even more embarrassed about the confusion of my ideas. (And continue to be unsure what exactly I'm arguing.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:10 PM
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Can't be arsed to read the whole thing but...

In the pre-recording era what a song meant surely depended on 1. who was singing it and 2. what kind of song it was. It could be a set of instructions, or it could be a recognisable pastiche of what the person who taught it to the singer used to perform.

So, a lied from Winterreise would be a set of instructions under both definitions. The national anthem of your country of choice would be a set of instructions to the band master of the regimental band, and a recognisable pastiche to most other people. "Waly Waly /The Water is Wide" is a pastiche all the time.

Am I missing something? Royalties? Give them to Schubert and stuff the rest of them.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:20 PM
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333: But if Schubert's pals got together (in remembrance, I suppose, if you want to be a stickler about the 1830s bit), and three of them sang "Gute Nacht" and one sang "Die Post," they wouldn't say that there were four songs, but rather two.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:29 PM
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290: how you figure?

What makes something a file is not its being configured physically in such and such a way. As far as I'm concerned a computer file is just as much a file as a piece of paper hanging in a file folder. Really I don't know what you mean by "physical" though, I think; if it's that it applies to a physical thing, then both "xerox" and "photocopy" are. But if it's not then what makes "photocopy" qualify?

311: I dig Wrnlrd.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:10 PM
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And in fact, you wouldn't say that now, because it's confusing, because you're using two related but not identical meanings of the word "song", the latter of which predates the former.

Certainly I would. Just as I might say "there are eleven letters in 'Mississippi', but seven of them are repeats of earlier occurrences of the same letter". (Actually I wouldn't say that but only because it's a stupid thing to say. I most certainly would say "I have 385 songs by King Crimson on my computer, but lots of them are really performances of the same song". While I wouldn't say that to someone who was unfamiliar with recording technology or computers, once that person was up to speed I would expect him/her to grasp it just as easily as s/he would grasp "the bookstore has n books, but lots of them are copies of the same book."


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:13 PM
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Or "Two horses are represented in my stable: I have ten Abyssinians and three Appaloosas."


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:16 PM
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340: Yep. I was heading for the same bookstore example, and then it got too complicated (you can add in different editions, for non-identical copies that are nonetheless copies of the same book.)

339: I'm the one who started using 'physical', and I originally meant it, in context, as 'based on a physical metaphor/metonym'. If what you want to talk about is the information content of what we've been calling a 'presentation graphic' in this context, and you refer to it as a 'slide' or a 'transparency', you're identifying it by its inessential (or at least uninteresting) physical qualities rather than by any term referring to its informational content.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:19 PM
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341: I believe, on closer examination, ten of your thirteen horses appear to be cats.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:19 PM
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According to wikipedia there is a breed of horse called abyssinian.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:28 PM
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Drat you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:33 PM
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And really let's not knock the sophistication of our 18thC forebears, who were smart enough to be able to say that Childe Ballad n was a version of the same original song as Childe Ballad m (mn), and would not for a second think that therefore they sounded the same, even across performance of the same song by different or even the same people, and would probably also be able to accept without too much difficulty the proposition "so-and-so just published a collection of ten songs, all different arrangements of 'As I Came By Huntley Town', one for four hands, one for violin and cello, one for …".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:33 PM
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there is a breed of horse called abyssinian

It is an extremely small horse with soft fur and a long tail that elves ride when they go mouse hunting.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:39 PM
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348

Actually the hair is short and harsh, racist.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:42 PM
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My sister used to have the most beautiful and stupidest possible Abyssinian cat. St. Anthony would just spontaneously fall off things, frequently. But he was very lovely -- like having a tiny tiny little puma prowling around the house.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:43 PM
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Try this:

"so-and-so just published a collection of ten songs pieces, all different arrangements of the song, 'As I Came By Huntley Town', one for four hands, one for violin and cello, one for ...".

It is said that so-and-so will call this collectio, "Variations upon a traditional theme".


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:47 PM
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It is true that the use of the word "song" to mean "piece of music not performed by a symphony orchestra" is probably new.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:49 PM
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352

I miss the 1830s.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:52 PM
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The use of the word "song" to mean "piece of music performed by a symphony orchestra" is also probably new.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:55 PM
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354

It is said that so-and-so will call this collectio

My superkoranic collectio power will FINISH YOU ALL.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 3:14 PM
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355

I miss Labs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 3:16 PM
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356

At 13.3 hands, they appear to be ponies, not horses.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 3:50 PM
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355: well, he got what he deserved.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 3:57 PM
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358

Tenure, apparently.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:17 PM
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359

ST, I'm not sure what the problem is. A song is a concept, a recording is an expression of the concept. I have both tracks on my hard drive. iTunes says I have 7285 songs in my collection, but it would more precisely says that I have 7285 tracks in my music collection, because most of them are different versions of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." iTunes is imprecise and recordings are related to but distinct from songs.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:36 PM
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I also have 18 tracks by Messiaen, which could be called something more precise than "songs" as well. If iTunes replaced the word "songs" at the bottom of the display with the word "tracks", problem solved.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:37 PM
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359 to way back in 327, FWIW.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:38 PM
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"Track" in reference to a song recorded on a record came much later than "song" in reference to a discrete piece of recorded music. I would argue "track" came into usage because of a problem with the usage of "song" to refer to the recording of a performance. "Track" is less confusing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:44 PM
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I think I want to be a philosopher of language to argue about this, and I'm not and don't have the vocabulary I want.

Types and tokens.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:55 PM
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In what sense is an mp3 not a "set of instructions" (like sheet music) to be followed by an (electronic) performer? The various signal-processing intermediates, and I have about a half-dozen, could be said to be "interpreting" the code, with more discretion than usually assumed.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:26 PM
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I don't see any reason that .mp3, .docx, .tif files etc. shouldn't be called "songs".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:16 PM
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366

364: in many, many senses.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:09 PM
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Is this question related to the recent "Is there really not actually one person who was named Homer and said that junk?" question. Because that was interesting and new to me.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:14 PM
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Not really.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:18 PM
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Well, that's comforting, and I'll sleep well, with thoughts of nosflow not getting laid.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:20 PM
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367: Yes, I think it was Samuel Butler who proposed the theory that "mp3" referred not to a physical metaphor but to a Sicilian woman.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:25 PM
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You're a sweetheart, Stan.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:26 PM
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I do what you can't, flowbee.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:35 PM
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Are you bragging about boning your girl?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:45 PM
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373: I speak only of my commenting acumen, young neb.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:47 PM
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It's nonsense. But more than anything, I wanted to call you "flowbee". So I'm happy about that.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:53 PM
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Are you gonna bone my girl?


Posted by: Jet | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:54 PM
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377

Why must we resort to such contrivances when we simply wish to call each other names?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:56 PM
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I thought Stanley was bragging about boning Nosflow's girl.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:58 PM
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377: fatface.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:02 PM
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I'm far too gentlemanly for that.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:02 PM
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379: Much better. Poopypants.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:04 PM
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Oh, look. Bed. I should go to that. Buenos nachos, amigos.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:10 PM
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Is a "cartilaging" a soft boning?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:12 PM
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I don't know what was being argued about here, but frequently when you see libraries describe the number of books they have, they express it in terms of "x books" and "y titles."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-11-09 10:48 PM
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But it's not wrong, and not metaphorical or an extension of the meaning of the word song, to say "I heard this song" or "I liked that song" if your only experience was of a performance of the song.

It struck me, today, that one example of a case in which the same word can be used to describe an abstract category and a specific instance is in regards to food.

You might refer to making "Alice's Potato Salad" as a recipe, or you could say, at a potluck, "can you believe it, we ended up with five potato salads." In the latter case, the five potato salads might not even represent different recipes. In an extreme case they could be five bowls of the same potato salad recipe brought by five different people.

Similarly "meal" or "dish" could be used to refer to a set of recipes or specific cases.

This example helps me understand why I could agree with both sides in this discussion. I agree with Sifu that "song" is non-ideal word to use to refer to a specific musical recording, but I agree with LB that I don't think of it as, precisely, a metaphorical leap, to try to use the same word in both cases.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-27-09 3:39 PM
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