Re: A Comprehensive List

1

What number is the front-page posting from one of apo's comments kind?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:12 PM
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Wha? That is bullshit. Mr. Too Good Too Post Very Often Bitch.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:15 PM
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2: Yeah, you tell him.


Posted by: Hurry Up And Write First Comment Before Apo Noticed Bitch | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:19 PM
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If I worked in an entomology department, I would totally have a sign over my desk (after I got tenure of course) that read: "Life Ain't Nothin' But Itches and Honey"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:22 PM
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2: Little bitches that point out too/to errors.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:26 PM
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I'm imagining a third-grader not sure what to do with this vocabulary.

Knock Knock.

Who's there?

Bitch.

Bitch who?

Bitch you thought I was going to say banana.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:30 PM
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I do not like this normalizing of the term "bitch." Boo. Is not funny.

Carry on. No fuss.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:37 PM
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I do not like this normalizing of the term "bitch."

You're a little late for that, I'm afraid.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:39 PM
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7: I concur, but that's a tough argument to make around these parts.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:50 PM
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I know.

Meanwhile I'm chortling at this. It may be old hat for all I know, but funny.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:51 PM
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Don't Think They Fart in Bed Bitches?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:56 PM
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#85, uncreative? #79, triflin'? I dunno.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:57 PM
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Maybe #76 if "geeken" is "geeking". (But may be some other slang--urban dictionary has one proposal.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:02 PM
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I also concur with 7, but had to go for the knock knock joke.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:19 PM
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But we learned it's OK if it's on Arrested Development, right?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:26 PM
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Was it Bikini Kill or one of the other big riot girl bands that had the song "All Women Are Bitches"?

Hey, anyone else going to the Detroit Social forum this June?


Posted by: Renfrow | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:35 PM
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8, maybe 12, 29.

And is this really "normalizing"? This, obviously. But the post at the link?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:18 PM
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But the post at the link?

I can't speak for anyone else, but I thought we were simply being offended by a broad social trend.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:27 PM
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Flann O'Brien was a grammar-correcting bitch, so I feel pretty great right about now.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 12:55 AM
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10 is hilarious. Please remove the google from my yahoo! You have no right!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 7:00 AM
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21

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Real life pwns Carl Hiaasen.

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Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 7:23 AM
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16 - Queercore band Fifth Column. It was on one of the International Pop Underground compilations.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 7:48 AM
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post makes me think of some old school hip hop that i can't quite place


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 2:46 PM
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If you're havin' girl problems
I feel bad for you son
I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 2:50 PM
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21 is a true slice of America. I mean, couldn't this have happened to any of us?

On the OP, I apparently am the designated "get the neighborhood teenagers into the R-rated movies bitch." However, once again I was busted by the ticket taker and had to go in with them. So if anyone needs a review of She's Out of My League, let me know.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 2:59 PM
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Jay-Z? Old school? Hmmmmm .....


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 3:13 PM
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On the OP, I apparently am the designated "get the neighborhood teenagers into the R-rated movies bitch."

Young teenagers? I can't really imagine those rules being enforced unless the kids look really, really, young.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 3:14 PM
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Re: 27.

The youngest is my 14 year old (who could pass for a not-yet-shaving 17 year old. A few of the kids are 17. People are uptight here in UMC-land.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 3:18 PM
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Looking for something else, I came upon this account of Charles Lincoln, the "brains" behind Orly Taitz:

Mr Lincoln told me, (this is verbatim, not paraphrased) "My relationship with Orly is definitely a problem in my life. She's crazy. She's a bitch. In fact she's a crazy bitch, but her bitchy craziness is for whatever reason right for me in a lot of ways. And honestly, I think Ben Franklin must have been a very smart fellow. He always recommended older women as lovers (Google it: some fairly funny stuff that the guy on the 100 bill wrote when he was 40, in 1745, 31 years before the Declaration of Independencel) and until now I never EVER agreed. But really and truly, Orly's better in bed than 99% of the much younger girls I've ever met: you name it, hotter, hornier, wetter, tighter, more of a nympho than I've ever met in fact. Her only limitation is on kinkiness: she won't even bite or let me bite her. Maybe that's part of her craziness---she is very straightlaced, conservative, "normal" and for that reason never "got enough" when she was younger and always had to channel it to other things, and now she's finally cheating on her husband and totally wants to let loose but doesn't quite know how....."


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 5:36 PM
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I probably should have google-proofed some of that.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 5:38 PM
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google-proofed

Mmmaybe. Charles L/incoln? Who? Huh. Well, it looks like there's no shortage of information rumor out there about the matter.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 5:56 PM
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23: Jeru The Damaja, "Da Bitchez"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-13-10 7:14 PM
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33

Jay-Z? Old school? Hmmmmm .....

That song is six years old, grandma.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:02 AM
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21: Hiaasen basically writes nonfiction. But anyways, I'd think that bikini-area-shaving would be even more dangerous than other distractions while driving...


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:56 AM
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||
OT Nerdcore:
A different type of old school that I suspect might find a few fans here.
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Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:43 AM
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Cheese grits are good. I'd been avoided them because of the whole yellow-gelatinous appearance of grits. My apologies to the many people who tried to get me to eat grits and had to put up with me saying things like "Why, I still have enough teeth to eat corn the regular way?"

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Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:43 AM
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Spring forward up my ass. I have hundreds of miles to drive today (including a stretch through the now-notorious Chautauqua County) and yet here I sit groggy and demotivated.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 9:06 AM
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I have been drawn into a really stupid discussion on PHILOSOP about whether the Fat Man version of the trolley problem is biased against fat people. The whole thing has been a catalog of common blunders in talking about prejudice. "I'm certain no offense was intended." 'How can Phillipa Foot be prejudiced against fat people! She helped found Oxfam!"

Grr,

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Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 9:21 AM
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38. Unbelievable. Memo from HR to all philosophy departments: "The trolley problem will henceforth be posed so as to hypothesise a man in a suit of armour."


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 9:26 AM
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A great big fat man-sized suit of armor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 9:29 AM
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Gilbert Murray is my favorite Oxfam helper-founder. Up the Euripideans.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 9:31 AM
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38, 39: You know, I almost think this one is kind of reasonable, if you think of fat issues as something to worry about at all. "Fat" in the trolley problem, only makes sense if you're thinking about it as a ludicrous extreme -- a fat guy isn't going to stop a trolley better than a skinny guy unless we're talking about someone at the Mr. Creosote level. So it does come off as sniggering at the ludicrousness of fat people -- "Your momma is so fat that she got hit by a truck and said 'Who threw that rock?'"

Oh, I'd put it way, way down on the list of things to worry about, but there's something reasonable there. All the history of the trolley problem might make it not worth walking away from the fat-guy example, but if someone were coming up with it for the first time now, I'd think it was a bad idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 9:39 AM
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A great big fat man-sized suit of armor.

King Henry VIII, specifically, by name. With no overt mention of his appearance.

LB, I suppose you're right in principle, but doesn't "a big man" or any reasonable alternative automatically translate as "fat" to most people. The real question to me is whether the trolley problem is worth saving.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 9:44 AM
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I don't have a strong opinion on whether the thought experiment is biased. I was mostly upset with the way both sides were making their case.

In particular everyone was doing that thing that Witt was complaining about the other day, where you switch from talking about whether what someone said was biased to whether the person is a bigot. Hence the comment about Phillipa Foot.

I did wind up sending around this video on the fallacy to people in the discussion, and I enjoy having the opportunity to share it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 9:48 AM
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43: I remember seeing a row of suits of Henry VII's armor in the Tower of London with gradually increasing girth as he aged.

Yeah, the problem is that stopping a trolley with a human body at all seems kind of absurd. Maybe push a person of any size across the overhead power cables, shorting them out?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 9:49 AM
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Yeah, every self respecting primary school kid in England knows how to draw Henry VIII with seven lines, but it's never the handsome young athlete they come up with. I blame Holbein, me.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 9:55 AM
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33: But takes its title and chorus from significantly older tracks. (Although, hip-hop purist that I am, I don't really consider anything post-Run DMC truly old school.)


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 10:10 AM
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44: Top comment on that video: "YOUR A FAGGOT´╗┐".

No, see, you didn't watch the video. The point is not that that other commenter is a faggot, it's that what s/he said was faggy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 11:01 AM
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49

48: No, now it's "Kill Yourself".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 11:03 AM
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47 - heh, I'm with Natilo.

I was quite proud of my 11 year old this morning when she recognised the Beastie Boys on the radio this morning. (From their voices, not the song.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 11:16 AM
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it's that what s/he said was codes as faggy


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 12:18 PM
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OT: A fine example of I've got mine anti-development NIMBYism on the front page of the NYT website.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 12:56 PM
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49: Awesome. YouTube comments are a kind of ritualized language. If they eliminated all instances of "your a faggot", "kill yourself" and "fuck you", they probably wouldn't need nearly as much bandwidth.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 1:40 PM
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44: I was just trying to prove I could miss the point as well as any philosopher.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 1:51 PM
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52: That seems pretty mild, actually. Anti-, but resigned.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 2:04 PM
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I thought the fact that trolley problems were offensive to fat people was so obvious that nobody bothered mentioning it. The idea that this is a non-obvious point to practicing philosophers is freaking me out.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 2:07 PM
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But would a man in a suit of armor actually die by being hit by the trolley? Sounds like the obvious choice to me.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 2:08 PM
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Actually, the biggest man I've ever had sustained interaction with was a philosopher. He wore sandals without socks all year. The was somewhere well north of where you might expect to keep all of your toes when so shod.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 2:11 PM
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What if, instead of a fat man, you placed an atomic bomb named "Fat Man" in front of the trolley? Surely that would be more ethical.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 2:21 PM
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What if, instead of a fat man, you placed an atomic bomb named "Fat Man" in front of the trolley?

What if you just cut to the chase and call in Doctor Manhattan.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 2:26 PM
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Is that the guy with the blue wang?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 2:27 PM
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61 to 29


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 2:30 PM
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I thought the fact that trolley problems were offensive to fat people was so obvious that nobody bothered mentioning it. The idea that this is a non-obvious point to practicing philosophers is freaking me out.

That one variant on the trolley problem. It's not non-obvious (as I think rob said); it's just that the details don't necessarily matter. It's a question about sacrificing the few for the many, and how our calculations, considerations, and intuitions about that change. From the practicing philosopher's perspective, any similar thought experiment will do. The details kind of disappear.

Actually, I can see how this could turn into a nasty fight.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:03 PM
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I think somebody should rebuilt the trolley on Forbes Avenue in Pittsburgh. For more concrete philosophy examples.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:05 PM
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65

You'd have to sketch the problem in some detail, for those of us not familiar with Forbes Avenue in Pittsburgh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:23 PM
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65: Its right near an an ice cream shop and several all you can eat buffet restaurants.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:35 PM
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Why doesn't anybody ever ask about the trolley? What if you end up killing a few hundred passengers in the terrible accident that ensues? Or just the driver? Or is it a trolley-bot?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:44 PM
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I always assumed the trolley was remotely operated and carrying uranium ore.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:48 PM
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Oh. Here I was hoping it was near a bunch of overlapping highway overpasses or something.

And then! The person you've thrown over the side will bounce off the edge of the highway below ONTO the highway below that! And then! The resulting 7-car pileup will cause the first of those cars to be forced off the side of the road ONTO the highway at the bottom, at ground level, onto the railroad tracks! Which will activate the railway crossing lights, and the train will grind to a halt. Should you do this? There are five people tied to those tracks, you know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:48 PM
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Real people don't ride public transit. That is, the whole experiment is biased against public transit riders. The only question is whether the headline will read "TROLLEY CLAIMS FIRST VICTIM" or if it will be "TROLLEY CLAIMS FIRST VICTIMS."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:49 PM
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In the UK (or the rest of Europe), do they call it the Fat Man and the Tram problem? Or, better yet, do they envision stopping supermarket trolleys?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:49 PM
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Problem with the railway crossing lights bit there, but I'm sure we can tweak it as necessary. Moby knows the details.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:50 PM
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Why doesn't anybody ever ask about the trolley?

Ah yes, the scenario described in The Cowboy Fireman:

Oh we will all remember / That forty-fifth of May / For there were many gallant hearts / All filled with fear that day

They buried that poor fireman / Where the prairie wind blows wild / He killed two hundred passengers / But, Thank God, He saved the child


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:54 PM
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63: If that's the case, then I suspect it's a membership test. If you're willing to put up with the idea that pushing a fat man in front of a trolley will stop a trolley, and then you're a member of the club. A bunch of ideas in economics serve the same purpose: "Markets always clear! People have perfect foresight!"

If I repeat this comment two more times, it will summon the ghost of John Emerson.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:55 PM
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71: How about the Tram and the Pram? Will no one save the baby?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 3:57 PM
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71: My grandmother was killed by a supermarket trolley, you insensitive lout.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:03 PM
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61 to 58


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:05 PM
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66: It is, but mainly I work and live near what used to be served by the trolley.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:05 PM
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And the bus that replaced it isn't swipple enough.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:07 PM
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Well, a true capitalist might ask how much that trolley, even if a bot, is worth, and how much productivity would be lost if it failed to reach its destination, compared to how much productivity would be lost by the death of those five railwaymen (not much! easily replaceable in a recession!) or by the loss of the fat man (none! fat people do nothing but eat corn chips and complain about skinny people in advertisements!).


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:07 PM
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53: Or Huffman encoding.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:10 PM
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82

79 to 76


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:11 PM
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83

My sister shook a supermarket trolley while I was in it, until it overturned and I broke my arm. I probably shouldn't have been standing in the large basket area, but this was before they really emphasized that kids need to be seated near the handle.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:13 PM
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83: That's freaky. My wife did the same thing to her kid brother when she was a kid.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:34 PM
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85

80: You realize that after the Revolution, when we shoot all of the teabaggers, that you'll be stuck working in a museum doing re-enactments, so that future schoolchildren know why we shot them.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:35 PM
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I ran over my little brother's arm with a T-bird (1968 or so model), but it didn't break the bone or cause any damage that you could see after a day. I was three or four.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:36 PM
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84, Is your wife's maiden name "accent"?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:36 PM
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87: No it's "Fatman", which really makes this thread personal.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:38 PM
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You really should have done that name-merging thing, Somefatguy.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 4:42 PM
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90

88: Of the Maine Fatmans?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 5:23 PM
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I thought the fact that trolley problems were offensive to fat people was so obvious that nobody bothered mentioning it. The idea that this is a non-obvious point to practicing philosophers is freaking me out.

Walt and I are on the same page. Especially on this:

I suspect it's a membership test. If you're willing to put up with the idea that pushing a fat man in front of a trolley will stop a trolley, and then you're a member of the club.

There are times when it's useful to stipulate some operational definitions and guiding assumptions so you can have a discussion about particular aspects of a problem. Building a whole field around agreeing* not to talk about wide swaths of human experience is pretty problematic, though.

*I am not arguing that this is a conscious agreement, although I wouldn't rule it out. Especially for economists.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 6:19 PM
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91 was me.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 6:20 PM
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93

What if you end up killing a few hundred passengers in the terrible accident that ensues?

What if the passengers are all fat, and removing them from the risk pool lowers health care costs for all of us? Come to think of it, that's a proposal trolley that John Mackey might be able to get behind in front of.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 6:21 PM
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91: Building a whole field

Not really. The trolley problem is a by now a classic thought experiment in philosophical ethics, not in economics, though the fact that it tests intuitions about utilitarianism means there has come to be overlap. In any case, it originated in a Philippa Foot paper in the ... 80s? 70s? and the topic at hand was, I think, abortion and question of the sanctity of life.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 6:33 PM
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Trollop. Fucker.
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Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 6:46 PM
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95: Do you post those things when you find them, or do you keep a list and parcel them out when things seem slow?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 6:50 PM
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My stupid new Senator's website is so bare bones that I can't even e-mail him to tell him that I strongly support passing healthcare legislation and want him to drop his opposition.

I wonder if I should call.

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Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:04 PM
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that is, waste day-time hours and cell phone minutes on calling.

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Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:05 PM
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94: To be clear, I was responding to the whole of Walt's comment about membership tests. I do think stuff like this is an important flag for laypeople -- being aware of shared assumptions in different fields helps you assess how their professionally-inculcated biases may affect people's judgment.

I realize I just used some loaded terms, but I actually mean them fairly neutrally. I have a background in library work; I have a strong bias towards the free flow of information and the right of the user to obtain that information privately (that is, without being monitored).

Naturally, I also have biases on how different fields do or do not train their members to take notice of the wider effects of their actions. Latest example: Urban planning student looking at me blankly when I suggest that she might consider contributing to the public discussion on the first rewrite of the city's zoning code in more than a half-century. Moi? Involve myself in the petty concerns of my fellow citizens? C'est incroyable!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:06 PM
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98: You youngsters and your wacky land-lineless lives.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:07 PM
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landline-less?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:07 PM
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land-line–less


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:08 PM
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97: Try comments@scottbrown.senate.gov


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:11 PM
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Naturally, I also have biases on how different fields do or do not train their members to take notice of the wider effects of their actions. Latest example: Urban planning student looking at me blankly when I suggest that she might consider contributing to the public discussion on the first rewrite of the city's zoning code in more than a half-century. Moi? Involve myself in the petty concerns of my fellow citizens? C'est incroyable!

Heh. The recasting of planning as a "profession" focusing on "technical" analysis and eschewing "advocacy" has been a really remarkable development over the past few decades. It drives a lot of my fellow planning students here crazy, but it seems to suit some students just fine.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:11 PM
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your wacky land-lineless lives.

And yet! Today my 1-year-old niece proved that she can indeed discern what an old-fashioned Bell Telephone is used for, never mind her parents' near-umbilical attachment to their iPhones.

Someone please tell me to buckle down and stop dinking around on the Internet.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:13 PM
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Darn it, teo, I was really hoping you were going to come along and tell me that she was not representative.

And to be clear, I think that anybody who has lived in the city for a decade and plans to continue doing so (as the person in question has) ought to weigh in. Urban planning students probably have more and different expertise to contribute, but I would think she ought to be minimally alert even if she wasn't going into the field. After all, she's going to be living with the results for the next 50 years.

I really wish there were a humanly possible way to mandate the development of critical thinking skills.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:16 PM
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Here, Witt.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:17 PM
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108

Further to my 94, in double-checking my recall about the origins of the trolley problem, I must correct myself: the fat man variation was introduced by J.J. Thomson a bit later, it seems.

My point was that thought experiments in philosophy which have now become classic* ways of wading into the issues at hand are historically conditioned; Thomson might or might not have structured the thought experiment in that way were she constructing it today. Who knows. Looking askance at an entire field for something like this is troublesome. We can't rewrite the original papers in which these things were presented.

* Classic because scores of subsequent papers have been written in response, and you just can't follow the unfolding discussion if you're not clued in to the original thought experiment as it was presented.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:22 PM
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Darn it, teo, I was really hoping you were going to come along and tell me that she was not representative.

Well, she certainly isn't representative of the students I know in my program, but the general mindset is so widespread in the discipline as whole that it doesn't surprise me that there are students out there who buy into it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:24 PM
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109: On the other hand, it isn't unknown for civilians to hear the title "urban planner" and think "jackass who is going to dick with my streets."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:37 PM
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97: BG, my understanding is that operation is so bare-bones, they're asking potential interns to hand-deliver their resumes.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:45 PM
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110: True. A good friend started his career with the planning department here and after 8 years or so resigned in disgust, as it was more about lockstepping one's way through statistical analyses and telling communities what to do than about listening to the communities themselves. Subthread merge: membership is marked by jargon and what attention to what detail is evinced. This is sometimes a good thing, sometimes not a good thing, but avoiding speaking any language at all is impossible.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:47 PM
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110: Indeed, which is why the change happened in the first place.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:47 PM
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it was more about lockstepping one's way through statistical analyses and telling communities what to do than about listening to the communities themselves

It's always about the statistical analyses and never about listening to the communities; in some cases it's about telling them what to do, and in other cases it's about shutting up and letting them do whatever they want. The deciding factor between the two tends to be the demographics of the community in question.

So, yeah. Lots of problems with this career field.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:51 PM
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112-114: Don't worry. I hate the game, not the player.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 7:53 PM
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Don't hate philosophy, though! Or political theory!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:04 PM
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I've known too many people who studied political theory.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:05 PM
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Eh, I have no particular stake in that game. I'm pretty sure I don't want to do that sort of planning.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:05 PM
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117: And?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:08 PM
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117: I've known too many people who studied political theory not to hate political theory.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:10 PM
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Oh, that's too bad.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:18 PM
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Do you post those things when you find them

Yes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:18 PM
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These sentiments are very startling to me, by the way. Speaking to 120.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:23 PM
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121: Just joking. They were no worse than anyone else in grad school.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:23 PM
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124: Okay. I was getting a little freaked out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:36 PM
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what an old-fashioned Bell Telephone is used for

Monopoly?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:38 PM
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126: I always try to get the car or the little doggie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:40 PM
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127: Doggie!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:45 PM
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128: Roll for it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-14-10 8:51 PM
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I thought that the prejudice against fat people was kind of implicit in the point of the problem. We, as a society, care less about fat people, so sacrificing one of them isn't such a big deal. Who do you swerve into: a fat 40 year-old guy or a cute little kid?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 7:26 AM
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130.last: Are they standing in the road or on the sidewalk?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 7:57 AM
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Dang. Read 130 as saying "for" instead of "into".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 8:00 AM
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129: Roll in garbage for it.

132: You shouldn't be reading Unfogged while driving anyway, JP.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 8:04 AM
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After reading the references to fat men, I am now hearing a cow bell....Spotcheck Billy got down on his hands and knees....


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 8:06 AM
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Fatimas, the mid-twentieth century cigarette brand, advertised by a orientalist picture of a Arabic woman, were popularly called "Fat Emmas," thus managing to insult fat people, women, and Arabs. (Compared to the number of smoking-related deaths caused by the cigarette, the offense was marginal.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 8:53 AM
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So this job I applied for in the UK just sent me their equal opportunity employment monitoring form, in which they asked me to specify what kind of white I am. I've never been asked that before, at least not in a professional setting! I went with "Various European." (The options were British and Irish.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:19 AM
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136: I would have been so tempted to write "trash" in the blank.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:21 AM
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I always envisaged it as a tiny little trolley, the sort of thing pumped along the rails by Cleavon Little and his friend at the start of "Blazing Saddles". So a fat man would quite probably derail that.

'How can Phillipa Foot be prejudiced against fat people! She helped found Oxfam!"

Which, I suppose, is a charity for making people fatter. Makes sense!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:24 AM
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137: This would be true! Maybe I should have put "Don't get me started."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:28 AM
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But does the British checkbox mean "from Great Britain"? "From the British Islands"? "From the British Islands"? What are the poor excluded Channel Islanders to do?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:30 AM
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Err, make one of those 'Islands' into 'Isles'.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:30 AM
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136. Once you've worked in Britain a while, it'll become clearer how British racism is subtly different to American racism. Not least in the way that attitudes to Irish people pan out. I can remember in my lifetime pubs with a notice on the door saying "No dogs, blacks or Irish". "Various European" sort of places you above the fray, so probably a good choice.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:34 AM
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They don't have a checkbox for "Bear"?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:36 AM
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Yeah, the UK monitoring form offers a lot more categories than the US EEO form, and in doing so makes it a lot more complex. Are you African black or Caribbean black? Are you Irish white or British white? It also offers several "mixed" options. (Don't know about the UK, but in the US "mixed" is deprecated; sounds like a dog breed.) What if you're British-born and black? Are you always still African, no matter how many generations have passed? If so, why is Caribbean a separate category? What to do with USians, many of whom have no clue what our ancestry is, or whose ancestry has been purposefully erased to cover tracks of miscegenation?

I know they're well-meaning, these forms, but the difference between them makes it clear how weird they are.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:36 AM
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Which reminds me, I'd like to see a rewrite of that Procul Harem tune into "A Whiter Shade of Trash". Preferably performed by the Asylum Street Spankers.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:42 AM
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142: Yeah, I was talking to a faculty member at a British college who was saying that, there, the most intense academic racism is directed at Caribbean black students, which is not the case here. IME, Caribbean immigrants tend to have had a pretty good secondary education, compared to students coming out of the crappier American schools.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:45 AM
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105: I beleive the techincal term is "dorking around on the loserweb."


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:46 AM
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144. Isn't there a place for 'other'? There usually is, to accommodate all the Malagasys and Fijians who apply. If there is, I would say 'American of European ancestry' or something.

Caribbean is a separate category for obvious historical reasons. Whether British born black people identify as British or their grandparents' country of origin entirely depends on the individual. Likewise people whose grandparents came from the subcontinent, with or without a stopover in Uganda.

I wouldn't be intimidated by this. Most people just tick the nearest fit and never think about it again.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:52 AM
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Are you always still African, no matter how many generations have passed? If so, why is Caribbean a separate category?

Because there are quite a lot of black people in Britain whose families migrated here from the West Indies, and also quite a lot who migrated here from - say - Ghana or Kenya. If you were born in the UK, you could either self-identify as one of those or just tick "black British".


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:53 AM
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There are "Other" boxes, but they all say "Please specify." There is also the churlish "Decline to specify." No option for "Who the hell knows? Get Skip Gates on the line!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:55 AM
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Is there a "one-drop rule" for Irish? I don't remember what I checked on the form the one time I applied somewhere in Britain, but I do remember being confused about what to check.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 9:55 AM
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150. In your shoes I'd say Other: 'US citizen, mixed European ancestry'. Checking 'Decline to Specify' is OK.

151. This is about self identification. If you think you're Irish you are. If you think you're not, you're not, even if you've lived in Dublin all your life.

For various reasons, I know quite a few Irish people of at least partly African origin. They would drive the designers of these forms doolally in short order.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:00 AM
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The disabilities list is also more specific than the US form, which just asks if you need accommodations, with no boxes to tick for various disabilities. The UK form has a list of several. I'm not saying these things are better or worse, just different.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:06 AM
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150: Clearly what's needed is a comprehensive list:

Types of British
1) Dirty dumb assBritish
2) aint got no ass British
3) Dusty trick British
4) Fishy British
. . . .


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:07 AM
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153. Welcome to the wonderful world of New Labour's obsession with quantifying everything.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:13 AM
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It's a good thing they haven't got round to putting sexuality on application forms:

Do you fancy members of your own sex
1. Exclusively
2. More often than not
3. No preference
4. Seldom
5. Never
6 Other, please specify.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:17 AM
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For various reasons, I know quite a few Irish people of at least partly African origin.

You know Phil Lynott???


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:17 AM
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Sadly, no.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:18 AM
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I should probably refrain from normalizing the term "British", though.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:18 AM
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In China I was good friends with someone whose mother used to date Phil, way back in the day. The mom in question had been a model, was quite thin, was named Elizabeth, and went by Lizzy. Said friend speculated that the band was named after her mother, but wikipedia says no.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:22 AM
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151. This is about self identification.

I'm not sure this was clear on the form I was filling out, though I've long since forgotten what it claimed to be asking for exactly (race? ethnicity?). I feel no sense of identification whatsoever with Ireland or the Irish, having only set foot on Irish soil for a few hour layover on a flight to Scotland. But my extremely limited information about family history (which is pretty much limited to knowing the surnames of my four grandparents) suggests that a lot of my ancestry is likely to be Irish.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:23 AM
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#156. That's what the US census needs: a place for the Kinsey scale. Michelle Bachmann would shit her pants on the House floor.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:23 AM
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145 makes me realize that there needs to be an all-female cover band named Bitch Sea Power.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:25 AM
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160: You were in China, M/tch?


Posted by: Matt Weiner's Ghost | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:28 AM
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156, seriously. It's only a matter of time. I can see why the disabilities form needs to know if you have sight, hearing or mobility impairments, but why add dyslexia, Asperger's, and mental health difficulties, unless there are specific necessary accommodations required? Maybe this is American paranoia talking, but a lot of academics would probably rather their future employers didn't know about these things before a job has been offered. No need to disclose, I guess. Is there affirmative action for dyslexics in academia? (A gf of mine is a very successful dyslexic academic who works her ass off to make sure no one ever knows.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:32 AM
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I GOT 99 PROBLEMS BUT THE BRITS AIN'T ONE


Posted by: OPINIONATED FDR | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:08 AM
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They would drive the designers of these forms doolally in short order.

Do people really say "doolally"? Because I plan to, as often as possible.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:09 AM
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165: in my very limited experience, British universities are pretty good about helping dyslexics - they get specialist software, etc. You'd be daft not to reveal it on your form.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:10 AM
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Do people really say "doolally"? Because I plan to, as often as possible.

You're a filthy neo-imperialist, Kraab.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deolali


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:11 AM
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165. I won't disagree. A lot of employers though have one size fits all forms which cover everybody from Head of Faculty to canteen dishwasher, so it may be that there are some imaginable jobs with the college where that information would be useful. Or they're just unthinking bureaucrats in HR. I'd believe either.

The thing is, nobody gets asked about stuff they *don't* declare on a form, so the usual practice in Britain is to adopt a minimalist approach to completing everything except the core skills and work history bits - don't go minimalist on those.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:18 AM
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167 reminds me that, this past Friday, while Sir K and I were in the company of her niece and her niece's friend, both about age 12, we came up with a wizard cocksucker new verbal expression that is sure to soon be all the rage. What you do is you add the phrase "dot com" to the end of a sentence. Hilarity ensues.

It basically functions as an intensifier, (akin to "to the max" in Valleygirl Speak), although we haven't fully explored all the possibilities of its use.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:20 AM
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168: That's interesting. I've run into a lot of otherwise-enlightened American academics whose attitude toward dyslexia is that, well, clearly those people should do something less academic with their lives if reading and writing is so hard for them. Where there aren't accommodations, these end up just being misguided questions of job-appropriateness.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:20 AM
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170: Damn, I should have known better than to trust a Brit. I'll bet you toast the Raj with your gin & tonic, OFE.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:21 AM
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Everyone should start using it now.com.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:22 AM
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Hilarity ensues dot com.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:22 AM
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Sort-of-pwned dot com.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:23 AM
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I knew a guy in college who emphasized words by saying "double you double you double you dot [word] dot com."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:25 AM
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Is there a "one-drop rule" for Irish?

Around these parts, at least at this time of year, the answer to that would seem to be "yes."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:26 AM
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178: I can't remember where I saw it, but I remember seeing a study showing that, even if the Irish were shagging and pumping out babies 24/7/365.com and sending them all to America for the last 200 years, there's no way the number of people in the States who claim Irish heritage is remotely possible.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:30 AM
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179: Don't tell me all those "KISS ME" T-shirts are just a scam! I feel I've been had.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:32 AM
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179: Racist.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:35 AM
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I wonder where and when the "kiss me, I'm Irish" thing originated? I don't think I've ever seen "kiss me, I'm Italian" or "German" or "Japanese" or the like, and I don't think being all kissy kissy is generally part of the Irish stereotype. Maybe it started as a way to kiss the Blarney Stone by proxy?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:41 AM
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182: I thought it was just part of the Irish diaspora breeding conspiracy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:44 AM
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I did once have a equal ops form to fill in that only had a few categories, but I was a bit surprised to find that the first one was White, and the second Irish. Which seemed to imply that the Irish aren't white?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:45 AM
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184: Right. The Irish are Mexican.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:46 AM
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Handy link for the archive-impaired.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:48 AM
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184. I've seen that too. Totally dumb HR clerks designing forms they don't understand. (Anyway, I've heard or black Irish and red Irish, never of white Irish).


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:49 AM
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186: Finally.com! It's about time there was an accomodation for my disability.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:51 AM
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there's no way the number of people in the States who claim Irish heritage is remotely possible

I don't know how they arrive at those numbers, but to my amateur eye, it seems entirely plausible, bordering on a mathematical certainty, given the number of Irish immigrants to the U.S. and the number of generations that have elapsed since the peak immigration years.

Back of the envelope, 5 million immigrants doubling in population every generation, with an average duration of four generations gives you 80 million Americans of Irish extraction -- well above the proportion who claim Irish ancestry.

And that's even before you factor in the legendary fecundity if Irish Catholics.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:51 AM
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...fish being a very prolifick dyet...


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:53 AM
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189: ummmm, before someone calls me on it, population doubling every generation would in fact call for above average fecundity. That said, you could plug in a more plausible assumption and still easily arrive at one in five Americans accurately claiming Irish ancestry.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:54 AM
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well above the proportion who claim Irish ancestry.

Are you talking about people who tick Irish-American on forms, or some other metric?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:56 AM
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Isn't the math even more plausible if you count on Irish people having babies with non-Irish? Most Americans who claim Irish ancestry (like me) are only a little Irish.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 11:57 AM
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Read M/tch's link reminds me that Ogged's main posting strategy was trolling his own readers.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:02 PM
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Also, Kotsko is a monster. The archives reveal all.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:05 PM
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still easily arrive at one in five Americans accurately claiming Irish ancestry

But way more than 20% do apparently, is the thing.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:12 PM
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194: Once he started getting bored, anyway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:13 PM
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Wait, the post was by FL. I have dishonored Ogged's memory, and by extension, the memory of generations of Mexicans.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:16 PM
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Four years later, Kotsko's wish is still coming true.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:23 PM
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But then later he muses on how nice it is that ToS hadn't followed him over to Unfogged.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:25 PM
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But way more than 20% do apparently, is the thing.

Census Bureau says 12 percent . If the article is relying on surveys administered at bars on St. Patricks Day, I'm willing to believe that the proportion of self-identified Irish is measurably higher.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:26 PM
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The "ogged is Mexican" joke is my single most-favorite Unfogged in-joke. Of course Kotsko hated it. The man hated happiness, both for himself and for others.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:31 PM
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Reading Kotsko explain the concept of "Troll of Sorrow" is like reading a science-fiction novel where they explain the concept of how a light bulb works. Was there ever a time where we didn't know about the Troll of Sorrow?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:36 PM
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203. Yes.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:37 PM
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Was it before or after you first got electric light?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:38 PM
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"double you double you double you dot [word] dot com."

I don't remember where I picked it up, but "dub dub dub" is much easier to say.

Also, if you have to refer to the apostrophe "'" in conversation, please call it a "tick" that's much easier to follow than any of the alternatives like "single quote".

But I assume that everybody already knows both of those things.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:44 PM
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I don't remember where I picked it up, but "dub dub dub" is much easier to say.

"Wuh wuh wuh", here.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:46 PM
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201: I imagine it was based on a survey that asked specifically whether one had any Irish blood, as opposed to a form where one ticks off one box. I wish I could find it, but I don't remember where I saw it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:47 PM
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"Dub dub dub" is the first three words of the pretentious tech guy national anthem.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:48 PM
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I do believe it was the awkwardness of "double you" etc. that he found amusing.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:48 PM
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This page has some interesting statistics.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:49 PM
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"Dub dub dub" is the first three words of the pretentious tech guy national anthem.

Yes, I suspect that I picked up the habit from a pretentious tech guy. But it is useful.

(I know that picked up "tick" and "bang" from the New Hackers Dictionary but they're useful too).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:53 PM
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Nick, you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. For example, there is an excellent term for referring to apostrophes in a sentence: "apostrophe".


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 12:58 PM
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Nick is challenging a central tenant of the Apostropharian Creed, and is therefore to be shunned.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 1:14 PM
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Nick, you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

I think it's mostly a problem if you work with SQL on a regular basis.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 1:17 PM
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Nick is challenging a central tenant of the Apostropharian Creed

M/tch, meanwhile is challenging a central tenet of the nosflowian creed.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 1:24 PM
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216: Apostropharianism is at base just a big real estate scam.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 1:26 PM
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215: You mean you object to people saying "quote" when they're actually quoting? Are you insane?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 1:34 PM
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218: I think we're talking past each other. Imagine that you are explaining to someone that they should type

replace(myString,"'","''")

Saying " type replace, paren, mystring, comma, quote, tick, quote, comma, quote, tick, tick, quote, close paren" is much easier than trying to use either "quote" or "apostrophe" for the apostrophes.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 1:44 PM
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I would say "Switch to Perl", which is even quicker.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 2:07 PM
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The thread apo linked to in 199 is the greatest Unfogged thread ever.

Highlights include Tia: "I am seven, and I like it that way. It is a prime, and I have many more years of John Derbyshire's attention to look forward to."

And John Emerson: "By the power of Ogged which has been vested in me, I declare Osner to be guilty of fraud. He is now an outlaw and can be abused freely, as though he were Ogged himself."

I notice you people have driven all of the funny people away. Plus Ogged, but he was more of a diversity hire anyway.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 2:12 PM
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165, 168, 170- but they aren't asking because they want to know about you particularly, it's so they can prove that they had x number of applicants and x hires with whatever characteristic, over the past 10 years, so they aren't discriminating, and are eligible for whatever kind of money they get that would go away if they were discriminating.

At least, that's what the USian forms are for. If you want accommodations, you have to do a whole separate thing later- "yes" or "no" on the form doesn't have anything to do with the process, as far as I can tell.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:04 PM
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why Irish gets its own category


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03-15-10 10:16 PM
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223: At the bottom of that page:
Back to Circus Animals
Forward to ... (Prisons)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 5:18 AM
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Good spot EM. Strange how his answer seems to stop in the middle.

We will continue to look carefully at other concerns to ensure that the Irish community has full access to the rights and opportunities. of what?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 5:38 AM
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Back to Circus Animals
Q:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Protection of Animals Act 1911 with respect to circus animals; and if he will make a statement.

and A
We have made no formal assessment of the effectiveness of the Protection of Animals Act 1911 with regard to circus animals. In 1998, there were 1,107 prosecutions made under the Act, but these figures do not show details of the animals involved or the profession of the defendants

Man, I wish we had a Commons.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 5:53 AM
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THE rights and opportunities. All of them!

"of British citizens"?

I wonder if someone just put that aside to polish up later, forgot that they hadn't figured out how to phrase it and thought they were finished. I do this all the time. And write comments to myself in footnotes. It is an extremely embarrassing habit.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 5:56 AM
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Man, I wish we had a Commons dot com.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 6:23 AM
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That would be so fetch dot com.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 6:24 AM
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Me too dot com.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 6:28 AM
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227 is almost certainly true. 90% of PQs (Parliamentary Questions) are never answered on the floor of the house; there aren't enough hours in the day. A written answer is sent to the MP who asked the question, and it's recorded in Hansard.

How it works is that the Minister's private office forwards the question to my wife the relevant civil servant, who drafts a response and sends it back with a background brief. The quality control at this stage is inevitably variable, but private offices are mainly staffed by insanely ambitious 20-something graduates who never sleep and occasionally drop the ball because they've never really learned to read. So something like this could get through easily enough.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 6:28 AM
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I just can't get over the fact that someone answers the questions, and then puts the answers on the internet, and then if you want to know why something is a way, you can find out! Amazing.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 6:37 AM
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Speaking of parliamentary bodies (smooth transition there, buddy.), what is going on with this trick?


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 6:45 AM
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232: the House has yet to publish a FAPQ list... Some of the questions are absolutely splendid. 1994 was a particularly productive year.

Nursery (Official Visit)

Q8. Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Prime Minister what further plans he has to visit a children's nursery.

The Prime Minister : I have no immediate plans to do so.

Milton Keynes

Q10. Mr. Butler : To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to visit Milton Keynes.

The Prime Minister : I have no immediate plans to do so.

St. Winwaloe's Day

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what plans Her Majesty's Government have to celebrate St. Winwaloe's Day.

The Prime Minister : None.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 6:46 AM
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Can members of Congress not interrogate the Cabinet in America? It seems absolutely basic. And the parliamentary process was in place before 1776 as far as I know, so you'd think the people who were obsessed with checks and balances would have grabbed it with both hands.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 6:49 AM
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no, we have State of the Union addresses instead. Basically the same thing though.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 6:58 AM
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I think everybody should celebrate St. Winwaloe's day (and his mum's). From Wikipedia:

"Winwaloe was the son of Fracan, a prince of Dumnonia, and his wife, Gwen Teirbron (or 'Gwen the Triple-Breasted')"

"He apparently acquired a priapic reputation through confusion of his name with the word, gignere (Fr. engendrer, 'to beget') and was thus a patron of fertility as one of the phallic saints."


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 7:04 AM
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I've always thought State of the Union addresses were a bit one sided - the President talking to Congress about what he wants to say, not what they want to hear about. Plus, I don't think there are supplementary questions, are there?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 7:06 AM
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No, they're not the same at all. I was being bitter and ironical.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03-16-10 7:26 AM
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237: blimey. Winwaloe sounds like rather a racy sort of saint. I wonder why Paul Flynn wanted the government to celebrate him?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 4:33 AM
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Flynn had a mad constituent who wanted a question asked, and what else could he do?

(By the way, what are the rules on FOIA requests in America? Most questions are basically FOIA requests, except for the oral questions, which are merely debating points.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 5:27 AM
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I wrote draft FOIA opinions when I interned for a federal judge during kaw school. We used to joke that FOIA officers got paid by the page withheld.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 6:43 AM
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241: Wow, I didn't know there were any questions other than the oral questions. How are they asked?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 6:45 AM
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243 to 231


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 6:49 AM
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Additionally to 244. Also, I believe a list of written questions to be answered that day is read out in the Commons each day.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 6:51 AM
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Taking 241.2 seriously, one would not ask what the President plans for St. Urho's Day. One would ask for all documents relating to the President's public activities on St. Urho's Day. And you can't ask the White House, but instead whichever executive department you think might have the relevant information. You'll get a letter in a week telling you that they have a huge backlog, and then in several months, a few heavily redacted pages.

Is St. Urho's day celebrated anywhere other than Butte? Looking up this year's festivities, I found that Butte now also has Kneivel Days. Come one, come all!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 7:03 AM
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Whoops!

I don't think a normal person has the ability to figure out how to navigate the FOIA, but I could be wrong.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 7:04 AM
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247 -- Wouldn't it be great if there were people trained in the application of such things, who were readily available for hire?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 7:12 AM
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Perusing the Kneivel Days links, I see that there will be a jetpack demonstration. And one of the bands has this to say:

It's no secret that today's music business is not what it used to be. In almost every way the musical landscape is a post-apocalyptic wasteland of auto-tuned teenie-boppers, neon-clad frat-core, and a million faceless fallout boy clones. It seems that quality has declined as fast as listeners attention spans and the future looks dark for real music. But everyone that has seen a Mad Max movie knows that the wasteland breeds a smarter, tougher brand of hero. And that hero knows how to kick ass.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 7:17 AM
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Congress interrogates cabinet members all the time in hearings. Of course, unless someone has a particularly big axe to grind/political hay to make, it's usually softball questions and dreary prepared statements that everyone is familiar with before they are read, but it sounds like that's not too different from most of the written questions in Blighty.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 7:19 AM
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Right. I thought there must be some way of doing it.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 7:22 AM
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testified today before a session of the House Ways & Means Committee. Rep. Pugsley J. Snaggletooth (R-Wyoming) asked Secretary Geithner whether he felt that the federal income tax was anti-Christian and against the Constitution. Geithner replied that, while he was in favor of motherhood, puppies and monster truck rallies, the income tax would have to be preserved for now.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 7:44 AM
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the income tax would have to be preserved for now

Well you have to pay for the White House St Winwaloe's Day party somehow.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 8:16 AM
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Better interfaces to UK parliamentary information, mostly built by friends of mine: www.theyworkforyou.com, www.publicwhip.org.uk

UK Freedom of Information Act tools: www.whatdotheyknow.com

Weirdly, I was invited to a party in the Commons last night! The Labour Party Irish society! And you know what? They ran out of glasses and had to stop serving drinks.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-17-10 8:42 AM
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