Re: I'm Not Afraid Of Inflation, Because My Savings Are All In Jars Of Quarters Under My Bed.

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Its funny, a lot of bankers and economists would call inflation over 10% a national emergency.

But this really just reflects class interests. The poor can handle inflation up to 15%, but any unemployment is too much. The rich, particularly the investor class, can handle unemployment up to, lets say again, 15%, but any inflation is too much.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 6:42 AM
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You might consider putting a portion of your non-equity investments in TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities). Stocks generally will increase with inflation, but bonds will not. TIPS are like bonds that increase with inflation.


Posted by: Kevin | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 6:46 AM
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Why don't you move your savings into cash accounts? (Or at least a big slug of it?)

I'm not sure that's an especially good idea for most people, but it's not a terrible idea either, and for someone with your neuroses, I would think it would be a big boost to your mental well-being.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:00 AM
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Personally, I'm convinced the hyperinflation is going to come just slightly too late for me to really benefit. So I'm doing everything I can to stretch out all my debt repayments.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:04 AM
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Also, for what it's worth, I read the Drum post as "worried" about inflation not in the sense of being worried about his financial portfolio, but just in the sense of expecting a significant uptick in inflation in the near-medium term, despite there being no objective indications of that. So your irrationality "in exactly the opposite direction" strikes me as somewhat orthogonal to his point.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:15 AM
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An irrationality somewhat similar to yours: my father, who is 64 years old, is absolutely convinced that social security will no longer be there when it's his turn to start collecting.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:19 AM
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6: Now *that* is a pessimist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:41 AM
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Sorry, wait, he's 63--turns 64 next month. But still.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:46 AM
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a certain amount of inflation is a good thing from the point of view of reducing inequality.

I don't think this is necessarily true, if wages for lower classes are stagnant while prices rise.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:54 AM
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John Maynard Keynes may have been the most profound thinker during one of the most profound eras in human history. From early Probability thru the Economic Consequences of the Peace to the Treatise on Money and General Theory with the articles and essays in between he learned lessons nearly impossible for most of us to accept. Radical uncertainties and social illusions.

There are circumstance when a nation becomes isolated and the global system cannot balance (Weimar,Zimbabwe), but in most cases inflation/hyperinflation happens when the masses have an excess of confidence in the longterm future. Or in the case of asset inflation, when the investing class has that excess of confidence in their class dominance.

Currently the investing class feels dominant (they really aren't so smart) and the working class is looking down a long tunnel and seeing a headllight rushing toward them. This characterizes the 20s rather than the 70s.

Plan on hyper-deflation.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:57 AM
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9: Maybe not necessarily -- few things are literally necessarily true -- but generally, poor people have more in the way of debts than assets, and inflation is going to help rather than hurt them. If you get inflation that applies only to prices and not to wages, that's going to be hard on people, but that's going to have to be fairly significant before it overwhelms the other effect.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:12 AM
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3: Because everyone sensible tells me that's a stupid thing to do. I'm not going to let my neuroses override all the reasonable advice I'm getting unless I can come up with some argument, rather than nameless dread, that supports the course of action my neuroses are pushing me towards.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:14 AM
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Braudel in his series of books on capitalism says the same, that inflation is good for the working classes/is an effect of the strengthening position of workers as compared to the other classes, at least in the historical period he surveyed.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:14 AM
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11 -- If your wages don't go up, you get no debt relief from inflation. All you get is the price hit.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:19 AM
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14: If your wages don't go up at all, sure. If your wages go up, but prices go up more, you've got a problem with current expenditures, but your debts are still shrinking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:20 AM
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rather than nameless dread

You want me the name the dread?

Global Warming; Peak Oil/Peak Resources (Gallium);Peak Credit;Globalization, Inequality and Wage Deflation;etc etc

It can't go on. you know it can't go on. Just cause I can't predict the exact nature of the Fail doesn't mean the Fail ain't coming.

And Fail = deflation.

How do you invest for expected Fail & deflation? You don't, you borrow, spend and party. See 20s. See Oughts.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:32 AM
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Second voice for TIPS as a way to hedge against inflation that doesn't require active maintenance. There are also foreign bonds, accesible via index funds and ETFs. All large economies have the same debt problem, though, so it's not clear that much is gained that way. Oh, and Brazilian and Korean bonds for retail US investors are usually dollar-denominated, so that's not easy either. Gold and silver ETFs for 10% of assets is easy. There are very good chinese counterfeits of even slightly valuable silver coins circulating now, so staying away from antiques is wisest.

The way I look at it, I have skills that will allow me to earn a living without taking degrading work. I don't think social collapse is likely, and even financial collapse (in the sense of say the NYSE disappearing) seems pretty remote. IMO the likeliest inflation is with respect to useful physical assets-- copper, jet engines, backhoes, and the like. But Intel, Cisco, Boeing, GE, and Genentech are all US companies; this place works really well and will likely continue to attract capital and people for many decades. Most of what is necessary for a comfortable life in a postindustrial world is cheap and will stay cheap.

In my mind the likeliest dislocation will be that economically productive places will expel old people, and I'm not sure how well I will like Cleveland or wherever I wind up. One point to make is that this has happened before in other places-- GBP lost half it's value 1967-1984, and the Ostblock collapse in the 90s led to a real loss of wealth for millions who found a way forward without completely collapsing. Argentina recently, too. Paying detailed attention to the experience of middle class people in those crises may be a helpful benchmark. Nothing that radical will happen in the US.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:39 AM
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||
Michele Bachmann is a wonderful kind of crazy. Also good to know the the Japanese-American internment is a bad thing again.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:53 AM
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From reading memoirs of people who suffered genuine financial collapse (Cuban bourgeois 1960, Chinese intellectuals 1976, Jews in Germany 1932 or Egypt 1956) I concluded that the best diversificaion of investment is high end jewelry. Could be gold bars, but jewelry is actually more portable and is fun to wear on suitable occasions. The last several thousand of our investment portfolio is pretty baubles. In all scenarios I find plausible, it will never be cashed in except perhaps at an estate sale, when it will bring in much less than its cost. In the event of complete disaster--when all of our wealth represented by electrons in some purported database turns out not to exist -- it might go some distance, or at least leave us less worse off than if we didn't have it.

Has the strategy worked? The mediocre engagement ring I scrimped for months to buy in 1985 would sell for less today than it cost. The 401K has done much better.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:55 AM
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Because everyone sensible tells me that's a stupid thing to do.

I'm not sure who "everyone" you talk to is, but there's nothing wrong with holding a large cash component in your retirement portfolio. I wouldn't literally put dollar bills under your mattress, of course, but FDIC-insured CD's are fine. Your overall return will be lower, but so is your risk. And since it sounds like you believe the risk in stocks and bonds is higher than the market expects, that wouldn't be an irrational move at all.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:58 AM
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19: From knowing some Zimbabweans I have concluded that gold is a good investment when everything is going to shit, and land is too, as long as you are confident you can hold on to it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 9:05 AM
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Armaments!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 9:11 AM
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Bullets, Beans, and Bibles!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 9:13 AM
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Brave words and bloody knuckles!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 9:22 AM
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A pot-crapping dog in every kitchen!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 9:23 AM
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Sorry, I'm suffering from irrational exuberance.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 9:25 AM
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The mediocre engagement ring I scrimped for months to buy in 1985 would sell for less today than it cost.

Me too. I thought the cubic zirconium bubble would never burst...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 10:03 AM
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27, alas, was me.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 10:04 AM
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I don't know what's going to happen, but 'they' (the mysterious figures who control the financial markets) are in control of it all

Anti-semite.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 10:43 AM
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I think your reasoning is wrong LB. Jars of quarters may be less vulnerable to fire, but on the other hand bills are much more portable and easier to conceal. Bills stuffed in the mattress are the way to go.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 11:00 AM
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18: Bachman has her history right, in this case. Census data was used to assist the internment of Japanese Americans.

I know fearing the census is a tea-bagger thing to do, but there are legitimate privacy concerns with the way that data has been handled and still is handled.

Census information about individuals is private and was private in WWII, but Roosevelt exploited a loophole that still exists today: the census bureau can release aggregate data for very very small aggregations. Once you know that there are two people of Japanese ancestry living on a certain block, it is easy to simply go there and look at the names on mailboxes to figure out where they are.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 11:01 AM
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31: Agreed - I'm mostly just amused that the internment of Japanese-Americans is back to being a bad thing. The real fears she's stoking are of census data being used to round up teabaggers, which would require collecting data about political orientation, something that's not being done.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 11:26 AM
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32: Au contraire. They're going to round up whoever answers "American" for race.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 12:04 PM
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Shorter Vatican:

"The lurkers jews support me in e-mail. Also? HITLER."

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 12:55 PM
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Part of the problem the Populists had in the late 19th century in getting a rural-urban alliance was that deflation was hurting them because of their debt (hence all the currency agitation), but helping urban workers because their wages were more valuable.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 1:04 PM
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35: Nice, but you are going to have to say much worse things about the populists to get Emerson to come back.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 2:35 PM
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18- Nice try, buddy. I'm not falling for your rickroll trickery this time!


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 2:44 PM
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Personally, I have a different financial concern: that I won't know where my money is. I have a checking account, and a savings account tied to it with tiny automatic deductions, and a 401(k) or something with a contribution by my employer, and something else set up by my family as a graduation-from-college present, but I make the minimum recommended contribution to them if I even remember and get around to that much. I keep all the paperwork (and yes, my filing system is disorganized and bulging) so I'm not really worried about losing something completely, just being baffled when I finally try to figure this stuff out and/or having less in there than I "should".

I'm only 27 so this really isn't a big concern, just a niggling little worry. It only even becomes noticeable when my parents or my more financially-minded peers get to talking about their plans and I'm reminded that I would have to spend 20 minutes digging through paperwork just to definitively state what mine actually are.

6
An irrationality somewhat similar to yours: my father, who is 64 63 years old, is absolutely convinced that social security will no longer be there when it's his turn to start collecting.

Can't he already start collecting? Maybe there's a reduced rate if you start early or maybe he would have to be formally retired to do so, but either way, I think it's theoretically possible for him to personally verify SS's solvency he wants. I think my parents are doing something like that already, or plan to do so before they turn 65. (Apparently, my mother is about three weeks older than yours, Brock.)


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 3:48 PM
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Because everyone sensible tells me that's a stupid thing to do.

Everyone `sensible' told me to buy a huge house on margin on stock options in 1999. Fortunately...


My Depression grandpa thought watered land was pretty fine; so do some Nicaraguan acquaintances. It's important to be able to be subsistence farmers instead of going into peonage, when the city jobs dry up.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 4:04 PM
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#38: I have the same sort of problem: four or five company pension plans, at least one of which actually went negative in 2008 and none of which will amount to more than a couple of euro after retirement...

I've actually become more and more skeptical any pension plan will actually work for me when I hit retirement age, still at least thirty years away.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 4:56 PM
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(Apparently, my mother is about three weeks older than yours, Brock.)

How do you know how old my mother is?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 6:38 PM
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Another brave soul boldly attempts not just a Sandra Lee recipe, but an entire Sandra Lee dinner party!

|>


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:17 PM
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Is it just me, or did the DNS for the site disappear? Of course, if it did, nobody's going to be here to respond. (Let's hear it for dnscache.org....)
|>


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:30 PM
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43:It's not just you.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 7:47 PM
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That would explain why it's been so quiet all day.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 2-10 8:22 PM
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So it appears I'm the only one with unfogged's DNS cached. That's terrific! It's just me!

I'm strippin' down. Free and easy unfogged for Sifu, all day.

Thank god.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 7:45 AM
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Flllllyyy meeee toooo thheeee moooon aaaaand leeeet meeeee plaaaaaaay aaaaamooong the staaaaaaaaaars

[ twirls in happy circles, wang flapping ]


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 7:49 AM
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I'm not even putting this in pause/play symbols, even though it's irrelevant to anything anybody else said -- because it's just me! HAH! WOOOOO! -- but I tell ya, non-existence interlocutors with who were around for the relevant thread, I found this NYT Magazine article about pre-war Jewish photography and the ways it got manipulated in the service of Holocaust-influenced sentimentality very informative vis a vis our discussion of the origins of the term "schmaltzy".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 7:54 AM
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Hm. It seems like it's going to take me a while to completely fill up the sidebar with comments, but you know what? It's worth it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 8:00 AM
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Cannibals are the new zombies.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 8:05 AM
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Fucking Wired. A study (with a small sample size) shows that 2% (or so) of people may be able to drive competently while talking on a cell phone. WHAT SHOULD THE HEADLINE BE?

Think You're Good at Driving While on Your Cellphone? You May Be Right

NO YOU MIGHT NOT YOU FUCKS.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 8:08 AM
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Yes, before you say anything, imaginary-Josh-that-can-get-the-DNS-to-resolve, Wired has sucked for decades. I still like pointing it out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 8:09 AM
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I wonder if all this solo commenting will make me crazy and paranoid, like I'm in solitary or something?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 8:09 AM
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DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU DEGGOFNU ALL COMMENTING AND NO READING COMMENTS MAKES SIFU A DULL BOY AAAAIIIIIIIGHHH


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 8:10 AM
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Well, only five more comments, anyhow. That's a relief.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 8:11 AM
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It was me and the posse with Bunny (D)
We were cruising in the Jags and the Lambourgini,
When low and behold there appeared a mirage,
He was hooking up a car in his daddy's garage.
We stopped short, did a double take,
He was looking so fly, I thought I wasn't awake.
He was obviously hooking up bass, I asume,
But then he turned a little button and the car went boom.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 8:12 AM
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We like the cars, the cars that go boom,
We're Tigra and Bunny and we like the boom.
We like the cars, the cars that go boom.
We're Tigra and Bunny and we like the boom.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 8:12 AM
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ROT13 REPRISE!

Jr yvxr gur pnef, gur pnef gung tb obbz,
Jr'er Gvten naq Ohaal naq jr yvxr gur obbz.
Jr yvxr gur pnef, gur pnef gung tb obbz.
Jr'er Gvten naq Ohaal naq jr yvxr gur obbz.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 8:12 AM
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Do I have any concluding thoughts, after this great adventure to fill up the sidebar with my comments?

Well, I'm glad you asked.

First of all, I think it's impossible to understate the importance of the coming baseball season to the peace process. If there's one thing all people -- good people, bad people, space people -- can agree on, it's the excitement of baseball.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 8:14 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 8:53 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 9:01 AM
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All of that from your iPhone, Tweety?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 11:15 AM
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Or not.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 4:26 PM
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Hmm, I wonder if iPhone has an algorithm to use something like "last known good" the IP address since it is working for this site right now. (Whatever, I guess not surprising that it hones in on the IP. ) This comment posted after a hosts file edit; the domain itself and NS records appear to be OK, just seems to be missing A records and that may well be something done intentionally.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 4:55 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 3-10 5:09 PM
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I justed edited /etc/hosts so I can watch the Sifu and ToS Hour.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 1:58 PM
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"Fascinating".


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 3:49 PM
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So this is what Tweety was doing on this lovely weekend!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 3:57 PM
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For what it's worth, the Powers that Be are aware of and working on the situation (Seems like a good time to violate the sanctity of off-blog communication).


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 4:08 PM
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Beckett!

(This is the baseball thread now, right?)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 6:05 PM
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UNFOGGED DIED FOR SOMEBODY'S SINS BUT NOT MINE.


Posted by: ZOMBIE JESUS | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 7:02 PM
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I'll have you know that the lurking Jews support me in email. Or so the one said, but he also said he was 2000 years old.

Anyways, what DID happen to the DNS entry? Exploding heads or something?

m - that was in really bad taste... but it was Easter!


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 7:19 PM
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Hey, an IP, neat.

I was hoping it would come back for real today so I could be all like "it is risen!" Oh well.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 7:44 PM
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This reminds me a little bit of the site switchover when there was the weird zombie site that ever-fewer people could comment on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 7:45 PM
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Also this is still pretty boring. Don't make me fill up the sidebar again! That shit got freaky.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 7:48 PM
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I could do it, too. I could do it easy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 7:49 PM
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It's just that it would be boring. Not like last time. Plus, I'm occupied reading annotations to a horrible comic based on an apparently unreadable book series that I'll never look at. So you know, things are pretty hectic. Oh! And I'm occasionally checking in on the sox getting their asses handed to them. I'm swamped!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 7:53 PM
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Yeah I might not have it in me. Stupid red sox. ToS, care to join in?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:03 PM
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I just learned the IP from heebie's LJ. Hi Sifu!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:10 PM
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Hi! And how are things? Let's talk, um, that physicist dude getting his whole trippy pothead E-8 thing shot down.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:13 PM
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The site would pick a weekend when I'm sick, cooped up and going kind of stir crazy to go down.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:13 PM
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The trippy pothead E-8 thing was obviously wrong from the beginning, except the tiny part of it that wasn't obviously wrong, but wrong in a more interesting and subtle way, which was explained by Jac/ques Dist/ler on his blog like two years ago and in a paper on arxiv one year ago. Old news.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:16 PM
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Things that were very strange to read, even though I don't quite have to relevant background to know how strange they really must be:

[For this goofy stoner comedy featuring Ed Norton playing his own twin] I drew very heavily not only on my own history but in particular of the history or the essence of my mentor at Brown, Martha Nussbaum.

You don't say.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:17 PM
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82: well aren't you a buzzkill. Okay, imagine that the E-8 shape is inscribed on the back of a turtle!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:18 PM
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YOOOUUUUUUUK!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:20 PM
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The tao of E8 is not the true tao.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:22 PM
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I wish I knew enough about it to engage. Poor choice of leading conversational topic, Sifu!

Why was it so obviously wrong? Is there any possible way to summarize?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:23 PM
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83: If only there were some sort of classicist around who might have an opinion about Martha Nussbaum!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:23 PM
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88: classicists with both the wherewithal and the motivation to edit /etc/hosts seem to be thin on the ground.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:24 PM
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There should be an emergency mailing list or something to send out instructions.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:25 PM
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incaseofunfoggedemergencybreakglass.com


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:27 PM
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Maybe just get on chatroulette and let everybody know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:27 PM
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Why was it so obviously wrong? Is there any possible way to summarize?

It's hard to know where to start. He was trying to fit a bunch of things into one unifying structure, when they don't look alike at all. So traditional GUTs involve putting gluons, W and Z bosons, and photons all together in one big symmetric structure. This is sane, because they're all spin-1 particles that transmit forces. Li/si was trying to do this with everything else too -- quarks, leptons, gravity. But these things are obviously much less symmetric; e.g., quarks have spin 1/2, not spin 1, so you have to explain how if they started out as part of the same big symmetric thing they end up looking very different. And this was done, at best, at a very handwaving level that just didn't look plausible. (We know one way to do relate particles with different spins like this -- supersymmetry -- but it doesn't do what Li/si wanted.) And there's a whole "um, gravity doesn't work that way" story that I don't know how to say in a condensed form. What Dist/ler did was to ignore all these physics issues which everyone knew didn't make sense and try to abstract away just one plausible and mildly interesting mathematical statement from Li/si's paper, which also turned out to be false. His blog posts are pretty technical, though. Lub/os Mo/tl wrote down most of the physics reasons why it didn't make sense, but of course he's a crazy offensive loon, so you can decide whether you want to poke around his website to see what he said.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:36 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:43 PM
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Huh. Well, yup, that sounds pretty wrong. The mathematics as summarized did lead me down a pretty entertaining wikipedia garden path, so he can be proud of that. And the E8 shape per se sounds kind of neat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:50 PM
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Actually, parsing 93 a little more thoroughly, would this imply that a GUT that accounts for gravity is unlikely to have any symmetry?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 8:58 PM
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95: E8 is fun. It also appears in string theory, in a much more plausible way, but of course that doesn't have the "surfer dude outsider fights the establishment!" charm that generates media attention and lovingly-crafted Wikipedia articles.

96: Unlikely to have a symmetry relating gravity to other stuff. GUTs don't account for gravity (except wacky surfer-dude GUTs); GUT means "a theory that unifies the strong, electromagnetic, and weak forces". Gravity is a different sort of beast from all the other forces. You can only say that something like string theory unifies gravity and the other forces if you adopt an almost contentless definition of "unify" (they're all predicted by one theory, but there's no symmetry connecting them).


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 9:08 PM
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Really? I would think a GUT that didn't include gravity would be only moderately grand. I thought I learned as a kid that a real GUT would account for all four? Maybe that was before anybody knew anything about gravity.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 9:12 PM
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Oh hey look.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 9:24 PM
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I think just about enough people have figured this out to have between one and three commenters on unfogged at any given moment.

So, um, goodnight!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 9:29 PM
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Hi oudemia!

I'm amused by the idea of semi-secret, accessible-only-by-IP internet hangouts, but since the ToS is here, this is clearly not so exclusive.

98: I'm failing in my attempt to track down when the "grand" label got attached. No idea if it was disparaging, self-deprecating, or pompous. It wasn't in How/ard and Shel/ly's original paper.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 9:41 PM
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Phew!

Thanks for posting the /etc/hosts/ tip at Heebie's place, essear.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 04- 4-10 10:12 PM
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There are tips? I guess I could have waited for essear instead of googling. The last time I edited the hosts file it was, ironically, to block unfogged.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 1:25 AM
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Oh, those are mac only anyway. Whatever. I just searched for "hosts file vista" and found the directory that way.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 1:28 AM
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You know what? I'm just going to keep commenting. If you've made it to this thread, you've got most of the information you need already to change the hosts file in Vista, you just need to get to the file in the right way.

First you open Notepad, but you have to open it as an administrator. If you open it normally, you won't be able to save your changes. If you aren't an administrator, these directions won't help you. Odds are, if you set up the computer and are the only one who uses it, you are the administrator.

1. On the start menu, right click on the Notepad icon and choose "Run as administrator."

2. This will give you a prompt about user account control. Choose "Continue." Now you can open the hosts file.

3. Choose "Open" from the File menu.

4. Find the directory. It should be here:

C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc

You can browse to it, I guess, but you can just paste that directly into the address bar, hit enter, and go right there.

5. Odds are the directory will look empty. (If you already see a file called "hosts" skip this step.) That's because Notepad is looking only for .txt documents. So find the dropdown menu on the lower right - where it says "Text Documents (*.txt)" - and change that to "All files."

6. You should now see a file called "hosts." Open it.

7. Add a line to the end of the file reading:

72.232.176.2    www.unfogged.com

Ideally, that gap would be a full tab, but the line should work as long as there's at least one space between the two items on the line.

7. Hit Ctrl-S to save the file.

That should be enough; it was for me. If you go to www.unfogged.com, you'll get the blog now.

I have not written directions for tech stuff, so maybe it's not clear enough. In that case, it's too bad you won't be able to comment to tell me how useless these instructions were.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 1:58 AM
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And yes, these instructions are longer than the Mac ones, mostly because in Vista you have to do the administrator stuff first. Otherwise, you could just go straight to the file. I think in XP you could just do that, but it also made things less secure. I don't know how it works in 7.

However, you should not have to reboot, which I say only because the possibility was brought up elsewhere.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:02 AM
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And and, you should be very careful with what you do with the hosts file, since it can mess with how you access the internet. Technically, you're already messing with it to get to unfogged, but presumably you want to do that. But it can be used for all sorts of nefarious blocking or redirecting you might not want to happen.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:08 AM
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Anyway, I'm going to bed and I likely won't be on my own computer most of tomorrow, so I won't be able to comment. Hopefully someone else can help if this doesn't work for you.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:10 AM
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105 works fine on a Win 7 machine, with no reboot required.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:24 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:08 AM
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Noticed that iPhone quit working just yesterday, so they may just have some kind of longer TTL that they use--I wonder if they are also slow to pick up changes?

On PCs at most you might need to do "ipconfig /flushdns" after the change (I think XP at least defaults to cache "negative" DNS entries for 5 minutes) to get it to work immediately rather than waiting a short bit.

Another potential gotcha on Vista is that in some scenarios Notepad or other programs might save your hosts file edits with a ".txt" extension which does not show up directly if extensions are hidden (it will show as type "Text" rather than "File"). Can simply change the file name after you set it to display file extensions.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:15 AM
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111.1: actually, my original Long Timeout was on firefox -- my phone quit working sooner.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:00 AM
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We demand front-page post.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:37 AM
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Hi, snark!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:46 AM
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I think it says something rather lovely about Unfogged that we're willing to go to such lengths just to keep commenting here.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:57 AM
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There are some really tantalizing front-page-post possibilities right now. Think of all the secrets that could be revealed! Presidentiality thrown off! Off-blog communications treated irreverently! Trolls allowed free reign! Dogs and cats living together learning the site's IP address!

Yesterday there coulda been something about the Lord of /etc/hosts, but I suppose the time for that has passed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:58 AM
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115: well it would, if this place wasn't dead, dead, dead! Get to the commenting, people!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:58 AM
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I registered itsmole.com! Now I need to decide what to do with it.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 11:35 AM
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Cock it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 11:38 AM
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Cocking it doesn't work in the long run.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 11:39 AM
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The world needs moleornot.com.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 1:12 PM
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Mole or Knoll?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 1:43 PM
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What the world... needs... is... mole! Sweet! Mole!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:41 PM
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OMG it works.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:42 PM
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You need to get Battub.org and CockedIt.biz and have them both resolve to itsmole.com


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:43 PM
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Hello, everybody.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:43 PM
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Hello, apo.


Posted by: Everybody | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:46 PM
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That was weird. Did you guys draw on me while I was passed out?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:48 PM
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Back. See if it lasts.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:48 PM
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Yay, whoever got it working again, almost certainly Ben but maybe Becks!

And I promise I won't break the blog by posting about inflation again.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:49 PM
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Well geez now just anybody can comment? Not sure I'm interested.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:50 PM
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Huzzah! The brief era of high productivity is over!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:51 PM
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I want to thank Sifu Tweety for getting me unbanned. It was a long weekend.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:53 PM
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128: No, but you are now known as the White Reggie Love.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:53 PM
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130: And I promise I won't break the blog by posting about inflation again.

See how bad it was during the '70s!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:55 PM
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135: oh, yeah. You couldn't even get to a blog.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 2:58 PM
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Wow, it's back. I was sure it had something to do with the Large Hadron Collider. First Unfogged went down, and then the whole universe would be sucked into nothingness.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:02 PM
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136: And slo-o-ow! I remember that it took like a decade just to get DNS to start resolving.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:02 PM
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137: Give them time.

Hello, everybody! Glad you finally showed up again.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:07 PM
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/etc/hosts reverted to normal.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:08 PM
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That was really stressful.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:14 PM
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Does the RTFA rule apply to comments written during the lacuna? Will they be on the test?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:18 PM
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Considering how many of them were my boring answers to Sifu's questions, presumably you should feel free to skip them.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:24 PM
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1: The rich, particularly the investor class, can handle unemployment up to, lets say again, 15%, but any inflation is too much.

By "the rich", do you mean people who save money? I'm not rich at all, but I do save my hard-earned money and put it in investments that can be diluted (read: taxed, or really, stolen) by inflationary monetary policy. So yes, 10% is way too much. Some quick math shows that it doesn't take very many Carter-like 10% inflation years for the Fed to steal nearly everything you've saved. This btw, is the main reason the gov't uses bullshit measures to state inflation, the debt level, etc. If everyone understood what they were doing to us, we'd hang them Louis XVI-style.

Of course, there are inflation-resistant investments - and ironically LizardBreath, blue chip stocks are one of them. When the dollar falls to 10% of its value, a GE microwave will merely cost 10 times as much. As much as corporations get attacked for being soulless, there's not a much better place to put your money unless you're a goldbug.


Posted by: cassanthropy | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:27 PM
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143: fascinating answers, essear. Fascinating!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:29 PM
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Hooray!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:36 PM
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144: Since the median savings rate is 0, I'm comfortable saying that the poor don't benefit from policies that focus on preserving the value of savings.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:36 PM
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No! I haven't finished my papers yet. Or done my taxes. Can't this wait until April 15th?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:36 PM
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Also, I'm glad to see everyone back. But now I have to go.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:37 PM
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19: Has the strategy worked? The mediocre engagement ring I scrimped for months to buy in 1985 would sell for less today than it cost. The 401K has done much better.

The depreciation on your jewelry is the cost of your insurance - the premium. It's worth less now because the U.S. hasn't had a "Germany, 1932" situation - yet. Of course, gold is up 50% from 1985 at the moment.

It's smart to keep 5% of your liquid net worth in something that will be worth something when the shit hits the fan. Maybe you'll never need it - we should all hope so.


Posted by: cassanthropy | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:39 PM
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Also, someone on a listserv I'm on keeps typing "open access" in ALL CAPS in just about every message, as he uses the phrase in just about every message. It's kind of hilarious.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:43 PM
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147: Since the median savings rate is 0, I'm comfortable saying that the poor don't benefit from policies that focus on preserving the value of savings.

You don't have to choose between responsible monetary policy and "helping the poor." And, inflationary monetary policy creates poverty. Although, for more about helping the poor, see Malthus. You cannot buy Utopia (or an "egalitarian world" or "fairness," or whatever you want to call it) although that's exactly what the welfare statists have been trying to do for 80 years, and it's exactly why they needed fiat money -- and got it.


Posted by: cassanthropy | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:44 PM
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I'm investing all my hard-earned dollars in pastry futures.

||

From the "people are strange" file: prospective buyers just cancelled their contract to buy our old house, which they loved, because I made the mistake of passing on the prior owner's disclosure statement in which she told us, among other things, that her husband and son had died in the house umpity-teen years ago.

|>


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:46 PM
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Does the daffy goldbug libertarianism come with the DNS?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:47 PM
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I KEEP MY SAVINGS IN GHOST REPELLENT


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:48 PM
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I keep my liquid savings in type 0 negative blood. I figure I'm good for a juice cup, a cookie and a sticker once a day for the rest of my life. I got no worries.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:51 PM
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I'm really amused by the on-topic comments starting within an hour of the DNS coming back online. cassanthropy, were you tormented all weekend by your inability to post a reply to LB's post?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:53 PM
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I'm also amused that the Greenwald/Kerr debate at Crooked Timber keeps going, but I lost the will to keep reading it around comment 300.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:55 PM
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The funny thing for me about that is that Greenwald annoys the crap out of me. I agree with him about lots of stuff, but I find him totally unreadable -- I sort of wait for other people to link to him when he says something important.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:57 PM
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I can't read Greenwald either. And I thought all the CT posters were basically reasonable people. So I went in, not really knowing who Orin Kerr was, expecting to find Greenwald being taken to task for unreasonably attacking someone who is almost on his side. And yet!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 3:59 PM
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153 -- Specific performance?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:00 PM
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Hello all. It's been a while.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:02 PM
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But seriously, LB, when are you going to post the proof that the judge considered every argument that could possibly have been made in all possible worlds? And don't even try to weasel out of it and say that wasn't your claim!

</Kerr>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:02 PM
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161: No, they have a free pass if they don't like the disclosure statement or anything else for the first ten days. And there will be another deal; it's a decent house in an excellent location. I'm just boggled that OMG Death!!! is a dealkiller at that much remove. My fault, really, for passing along the old disclosure statement. The statute that requires disclosure of material facts expressly excludes that sort of thing.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:09 PM
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They probably saw your gaunt, haunted look, Neil.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:11 PM
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Apparently these are more the "here, have some ice cream" sort of ghosts.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:13 PM
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159, 160 Yes. Except that I do occasionally read VC and thus know who Kerr is. He really is the most reasonable and honest of the bunch these days, though that's not saying much. Still, knowing Kerr and knowing Greenwald, I figured that Kerr had written something basically anodyne and unobjectionable and Glen had gone all Greenwald on him in response, but no. Talking about VC, IIRC, they at one point had Tyler Cowen, Jacob Levy, and Randy Balko. The latter is a hard core libertarian, but a non partisan and very principled one. The former two are pragmatic soft libertarians with an interest in left wing arguments. Now VC is made up entirely of Republican party operatives.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:23 PM
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Actually, I rather like Greenwald.

As my dear old Gramma Diane told me on the way down to the convention protests, "Someone's gotta tell 'em."


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:31 PM
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Republican party operatives

IMO, this is a serious understatement, because it does not sufficiently account for the monomania which seems to afflict so many of the conspirators.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:31 PM
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167: I didn't recall that Radley Balko ever was on the VC. Are you perhaps thinking of Randy Barnett? He is still listed as a contributor.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:35 PM
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Let me guess - the authoritative DNS for unfogged.com is in southern California and was fibbing about their redundant fibre/generator/sysadmin devoted to the point of sub-hood?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:36 PM
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I read VC in spurts, maybe 6 or 8 months apart. And even then, only a few of the posters. Trouble is, the commentariat there has a high percentage of trolls and loons. I always end up impressed with Anderson's fortitude.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:41 PM
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Yeah, Greenwald's not so bad. It's that whole decency over civility thing. Greenwald's occasional stridency is a welcome change over the careful, careful wordings of many, if not most, in the blogosphere.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 4:46 PM
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It's that whole decency over civility thing. Greenwald's occasional stridency is a welcome change over the careful, careful wordings of many, if not most, in the blogosphere.

Except for the whole 'why aren't they more civil' shtick he occasionally gets on when he or his friends are under attack, cf his interactions with the Balloon Juice crowd. Not that they're particularly polite themselves, but pot meet kettle.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:00 PM
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170 I think you're right.

169 What I mean is that they are deeply involved in Republican party politics at a high level and they see pushing whatever the current party line is as a top priority. This was always true of folks like Volokh himself, but to a lesser degree than today. Also, it is simply unimaginable to me that the present day Volokh would tolerate someone like Levy c. 2004 with his constant diatribes against Republicans.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:09 PM
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||

If anyone is well versed in the insurance industry and might want to do some for-hire writing (copy, journalistic-style), please drop me an email.

I do not have more specifics at this point.

|>


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:17 PM
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172: Agreed. Oftentimes, reading the VC is like reading Althouse or Reynolds--like, are you looking to be trolled? This first comment remains my favorite take on Reynolds to this day. Fucking chickens!


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:21 PM
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Weirdly I always got the impression that Volokh himself was not a Republiberticon. But I rarely read there anymore, as the commentariat is a menagerie of troglodytes.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:21 PM
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Arguing about VC posters seems so 2004/5. There have been a few Henry posts in the last few months like that, where I wonder what year it is. I usually ignore them, especially the comments.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:24 PM
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176 - Is this something Ned and I could help you with?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:25 PM
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174: I haven't seen the Balloon Juice thing, though I'd started looking for it when someone -- you? -- mentioned it previously. I wound up getting sidetracked over there (I've never read that blog much), and never did find the thread in question.

I'm not sure it's necessary to get into the weeds about Greenwald -- I certainly don't disbelieve that he might go off the rails at times.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:27 PM
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Balloon Juice is a good one, always trolling the Washington Post.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:29 PM
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Also, am I the only one surprised Tim Burke still apparently reads here (to guess from his most recent post title)?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:30 PM
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Oh, sorry. I wrote 180. And I hope to write more speeches for you. Did the mayor follow our stage directions?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:31 PM
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184: I hope that I'm around next time that comes up. I only did one entry, but I feel like I have a lot to give.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:39 PM
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Dude. You wrote that incredible short story using only words that start with the letter "A". We'll definitely need you for speechmaking.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:41 PM
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Oh, I forgot about that! That was fun, too!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:43 PM
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This is kind of funny: so, what did you guys do on your unfogged vacation? Well, there was the Greenwald v. Kerr debate ... also some weird shit on LGM about Alt/house (that was SEK's fault) ... turns out Balloon Juice is pretty interesting, I never knew ... confirmed that I cannot stand TNH at ML, which is too bad ....


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 5:55 PM
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41
How do you know how old my mother is?

I meant, "Apparently, my mother is about three weeks older than your father, Brock," of course. Sorry about that. I noticed the problem, but apparently the blog was already banished by the time I tried to correct myself.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:01 PM
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188
This is kind of funny: so, what did you guys do on your unfogged vacation?

Very little blog reading. I've scaled down on that quite a bit (as far as ways to procrastinate at work go, tvtropes.org is about as good), and never did it much on weekends anyway. Instead, I did my taxes (not quite finished, but close) and otherwise had a boring weekend. Balloon Juice has got less interesting for me recently as well. For example, getting in a fight


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:08 PM
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... For example, getting in a fight [INSERT INOFFENSIVE BUT OTHERWISE ACCURATE DESCRIPTION OF RECENT EVENTS HERE] with Greenwald. Yeah, he's smart and does good work, but damn is he annoying.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:08 PM
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Daaaamn Cyrus got dropped.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:09 PM
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192 would have been funnier as 191. Want to trade?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:10 PM
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193: You're not so fast now that the DNS is back.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:12 PM
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Unexpected technical glitches per 189 and 190 illustrate why you should always wear clean underwear when commenting.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:13 PM
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195: I confess, 190 was just me screwing up my HTML on the strikethrough tag. I'm very, very sorry.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:16 PM
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On the rainy day topic, I made a huge batch of meat sauce over the weekend (3lb of ground beef and pork worth). Most for the summer and some for the lasagne verde I'll be making next weekend. But the spring weather also inspired me to make some fresh ricotta gnocchi with fresh herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, and mint) and romano in the parmesan role and decided to see if they could work with the meat sauce. That they did surprisingly well. The rosemary was unnecessary, but the mint/sage combo offered a perfect sharp, fresh contrast with the richness of the sauce. Yum.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:22 PM
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Do you have fresh herbs already? I'm envious. This weekend saw the taking down of 3 medium-sized cherry trees (not the good kind of cherries), which I resisted, but they'd grown to almost completely block the morning and early afternoon sun from the garden area in the last couple of years. My housemate just made an executive decision: they're gone.

On the positive side: garden. With herbs.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:36 PM
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I tried to learn how to ride a bike, but failed. I will keep trying. I am trying to learn how to balance first--just scoot along and coast with the seat lowered, not worrying about pedaling yet (yes, I had to figure out that you alternate pedaling). I can't even do that. Maybe I have an inner ear condition interfering with my sense of balance. Or you know, I just suck.

I'm trying to learn on a small fold-up bicycle I borrowed from a neighbor, since my legs are so short I can't reach the pedals on my boyfriend's road bike, not even with the seat lowered. Any other tips? A friend suggested buying a kid's bike from CL and learning with that. Such ignominy. I am learning on the street in front of our house (yes, I have basically moved in after five months), and the 8-10 year old kids are always riding by as I'm struggling. I can feel their smug superiority as they mockingly ride by with their fancy tasseled bike handles and Hannah Montana decals.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:48 PM
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184: We won't know until Friday! So far I haven't heard anything about the second draft, which was much easier because they gave me some instructions instead of just a pile of departmental reports.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:49 PM
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Kobe says it's easier to balance the faster you go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:49 PM
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Kobe seems off-balance by a comment today.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:51 PM
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I guess he doesn't. Well, I say that.

Anyhow, two things about learning to balance a bike: first of all, you need to remember that the key issue is not your own sense of balance, but the way the gyroscopic effect works to keep the wheels upright. To understand this, take a bicycle wheel, hold it in your hands by either end of the axle, and have somebody spin it. Then try to turn it. You'll see that it wants to remain level. The second thing is that smaller wheels are going to be slightly harder to balance with, so a foldable might not be the best immediate choice.

And, you know, it might take a while to get used to it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:52 PM
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Shorter Sifu: get one of these.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:55 PM
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Taller Sifu I'd say.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:59 PM
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203: Hmm, good to know. Maybe I should get my own learning bike. What is a good and cheap bike? What would one call a not-road bike? Like, should I search for "commuting bike" or something, if I mostly want to ride along city streets and a paved trail along the Marina? Do they come in different sizes for differently sized people, particularly us petites? I'm not actually looking to ride along with crazy Berkeley traffic though. I just want to have fun on the weekends in a more efficient and less painful way than trying to run the ten miles.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 6:59 PM
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If you're looking to ride on bike paths and paved trails, get a road bike. They have very small frame sizes. You can probably pick up some old ten speed for not much money. If I can't convince you to do that, the kind of bike you want is called a "hybrid".

Also, traffic's not as scary as you think, but maybe that's a lesson for another day.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:02 PM
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Thanks, Sifu.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:08 PM
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Don't know why I am torturing myself by watching this basketball game. Lamest Final Four in years. Michigan State was beat up, West Virginia was weak sauce, Butler is not really that good and Duke is insufferable as always and are going to win. Gah. If Kentucky makes like maybe two fucking 3s against WVU, Duke would be home right now.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:12 PM
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209 gets it right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:12 PM
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I'm sorry, the only way some mofo has fresh herbs already is outsourcing their garden to Mexico.

Oh, wait, there's a few leaves of sage in my garden, I could cook with those.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:15 PM
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211: teraz has not described the source of his herbs, but one assumes they were not the wilted pathetic things one finds in the average supermarket. An above-average supermarket! Greenhouse.

There's actually some mint already growing, but you know: it's mint. It can't help it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:23 PM
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Nice post on your blog over there, Tim.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:26 PM
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what did you guys do on your unfogged vacation?

More like an unpaid furlough, I think. Anyway, I spent this weekend breathing in a fuckload of pollen. Did you know that if there's enough pollen in the air you can actually see it float to the ground in clouds? I just sat there and watched it and wondered "What is this yellow shit doing to my lungs?"

confirmed that I cannot stand TNH at ML, which is too bad ....

I'm curious. Why is that? (It isn't one that I'd ever fit into comfortably, but I sort of admire the community they've built over there.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:26 PM
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yes, I have basically moved in after five months

"[F]ive"?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:30 PM
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213: Nice post on your blog over there, Tim; be a shame if something happened to it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:33 PM
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Oops, I meant four. Things have moved so fast, it's hard to remember.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:33 PM
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I almost always buy herbs. Once in a rare while I'll get myself a rosemary and/or thyme plant. With luck it lasts a summer. Sometimes they're dead within a month. It's not that hard to find perfectly decent herbs in stores, at least not here in NYC. The only seasonal exception among the main ones is basil, which tastes far better at a much lower cost in the summer months.

I spent my uf withdrawal getting rid of a nasty virus (digital) and reading (analog).

I liked TNH a lot more before she threatened authors or wannabe ones who criticized PNH in one of the genre race food fights a year or so ago. It was your classic case of him leaping to the defense of a friend who had been racist and sexist in that oblivious white privilege sort of way that can happen to any white male in this society, but then rather than acknowledging what he'd done, throwing a nasty hissy fit at those who pointed it out. Given that the NH's are two of the most powerful people in the genre, that was a threat that they could back up. Not nice.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:44 PM
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214: I'm curious. Why is that?

Mm, she's just completely lost it at least twice now in the last month or so, on long threads having to do with the nature of online communities, and more recently with right-wing violence. She's donned her moderator hat to completely slam (certain) dissenters. Remarks like "you've been warned" and "oh, how common" (multiply these numerous times, generate extremely long snotty comment, do it again 2 hours later) and, well, it's been unattractive to the point that I'm not inclined to read the place any more. Add in the number of commenters who woo-hoo in response to such comments, and I think the commenting environment there is so severely constrained that it's beginning to seem ugly to me. There's an awful lot of pearl-clutching.

Sounds like a ridiculous overstatement, but it really has seemed that bad, on those threads. I regret this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 7:52 PM
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Did you know that if there's enough pollen in the air you can actually see it float to the ground in clouds?

Oh, ick. I remember one spring day in Ithaca when the whole atmosphere seemed to turn yellow. Though I think my allergies still didn't react to that as badly as to almost any random day in the Ohio Valley.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 8:01 PM
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(It isn't one that I'd ever fit into comfortably, but I sort of admire the community they've built over there.)

Built? They pretty much imported it wholesale from Usenet, which is what always made TNH's supposed reputation as an expert on the creation and maintenance of online communities a mystery to me.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 8:09 PM
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Ah, but what you don't know is ........................


TNH

Built usenet!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 8:11 PM
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T(I)N(C)H.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 8:11 PM
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Belle: AWB just learned to ride a bike this year, so she can give you a fresh perspective on what learning is like. But what Sifu said -- the only trick is getting the bike going fast enough that it's stable. That's not terribly fast, somewhere around jogging speed, but you have to learn to start aggressively rather than tentatively. Once you've got the hang of that, which generally takes an hour or two of frustratingly failed attempts, it's easy -- you don't need to balance, really, the bike does it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 8:12 PM
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223: Tunch!


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 8:24 PM
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in one of the genre race food fights a year or so ago

That "racefail" thing? I didn't follow that, have no desire to follow it, and based on what I know of it, I am perfectly prepared, if it becomes necessary, to declare everyone involved a douche and be done with it.

she's just completely lost it at least twice now in the last month or so, on long threads having to do with the nature of online communities

Hm. I haven't read ML regularly in a few years and lately I only look at it now and then, briefly. (Confession: the only time I actually participated at length at ML was in a thread about Stephen King the serious author. I bailed when my criticisms of such got more grief than I expected.) I have always thought that the N-H's can be awfully proprietary with their blogs, but I've tended to excuse them on the grounds of A) I don't comment there and mostly don't care about it B) they do know a lot about publishing and C) NERDS!!!


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 8:28 PM
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226.2: Yeah, I actually don't read it very often, but went through a phase in the last month or so.

It may be that the strong proprietorship is just a thing, but frankly, it's seemed recently to resolve to: TNH is never wrong in either substance or tone. Ever. Just ever, m'kay, and get that through your thick skull, and then thank TNH for the privilege of being allowed to post on her blog. Just like all these other people are doing, see (really, they are).

It's the weirdest damn thing, but oh well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 8:37 PM
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There's a style of discussion that annoys me, where one poses as above the fray and does a sort of "pox-on-both-your-houses" thing even in cases where one side of a dispute is obviously right, and where if it is pointed out to one that, um, that side is actually correct, one does a whole "well, yes, but their tone is so rude and I am so far above all that" act. One science blogger who I otherwise rather like does this on occasion. And I tend to associate it with TNH as well, though I don't read ML often enough to know if this is a fair assessment.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 8:44 PM
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What I mean is a sort of "correctness is so passé, the important thing is to be respectful of your interlocutors instead of arrogantly sure of oneself" act which is in itself inherently arrogant and sure of itself. Probably this comes to mind because Sifu's questions led me to take another look at some of the maddening blog discussions of 2007-08 on Li/si's E8 theory where the people who pointed out its total wrongness were roundly condemned in just this manner for their disrespectful tone.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 8:47 PM
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203 reminds me of a demonstration of angular momentum in a physics class that almost got me to think about reconsidering my decision not to major in physics.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:07 PM
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229, 230: It always comes back to physics, doesn't it?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:15 PM
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It's almost like you've been reading some of the Greenwald v. Kerr discussion, essear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:16 PM
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Everything I've ever seen from the makers of ML about moderating comments, and for some reason people think they have interesting things to say about moderating comments so those pieces get linked to, has indicated that things would turn out as they're being described on this thread. But I've never read ML itself.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:18 PM
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the makers of ML

Shouldn't this be "the Makers of Light"?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:22 PM
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That should be "the Makers of Light™" dot com.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:27 PM
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Incorporating the makers of Electrolite.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:28 PM
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232: Right, that too.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:31 PM
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The Bloggers of Light.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:32 PM
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The Loggers of Blight? (I don't actually read over there, so I don't know if that works.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:33 PM
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But I've never read ML itself.

There's actually a lot of really great commentary there. Which is why it's kind of freaky/sad when it all goes bananas. TNH does not have the lightest touch, and it can become suddenly grotesque when she brings down the hammer. I think a lot of people just shut the fuck up and wait until it's over; it's a strange sort of game.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:41 PM
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There's actually a lot of really great commentary there.

The times people have linked to the threads saying this and I've clicked through, I've found it to be not bad, but not really worth reading except when linked, and even then not really. But - moderation incidents aside - that almost certainly reflects the subjects I'm interested in more than anything else. Outside of ML, I'd never heard of the NHs and still know them only for ML.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:48 PM
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Yeah, TNH turns it up to 11 a lot. I couldn't handle it myself, but it seems to work for Making Light (for certain values of seems and works.)

The amazing thing about bicycle mechanics is that pretty much the entirety of it is understandable by a bright Victorian teenager.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:49 PM
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Further to 224: My bike-riding so far consists of one good whole day with LB and one 3.5-mile ride around my park with Bave, and not again, due to [stupidity]. But learning mostly consisted of (a) getting the thing going, and then (b) learning how not to freak out. I'm still soft on (a) and terrible at (b), but the time will come. On both occasions, I started out getting spooked by light gusts of wind, leaves, children, cars a block away, etc., and then gradually becoming pretty fine. But (b) especially is going to take more riding. Summer is coming!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:55 PM
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241: Yeah, about the same here, actually. The occasional political thread can be interesting; and poster abi is good. It's an odd place.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:56 PM
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Skimming, I cannot tell what we're talking about. Bikes, herbs, Making Light, money? God damn it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 9:57 PM
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244.last -> 245


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:00 PM
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Here's a question: What should I write about myself for my alumni-departmental newsletter, given that I was kind of a shitty and unfocused student at the time? Ought I acknowledge my shittiness, or just trumpet the great successes I've had since, and credit them to the alma mater?

Here's another question: Should I apply for a one-year position in a midwestern state, as a way of getting the hell out of Dodge for a while, even though I'll probably regret it? (There is housing involved, and a living wage, and I'm more likely to get it than any other job I'm applying for.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:01 PM
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I cannot tell what we're talking about.

Pollen and how awful it is and how it will certainly shorten my life by years.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:04 PM
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247.1: "I can ride a bike now."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:05 PM
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249: "I no longer drink cough syrup recreationally."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:06 PM
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We're talking about bike riding and not basketball?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:12 PM
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251: Comments 15-18 in the tech thread say what needed to be said. I;m too grumpy about the result to endorse 19.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:15 PM
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"My time at Alma Mater U gave me a firm foundation from which to distance myself."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:18 PM
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What should I write about myself for my alumni-departmental newsletter, given that I was kind of a shitty and unfocused student at the time? Ought I acknowledge my shittiness, or just trumpet the great successes I've had since, and credit them to the alma mater?

The latter.

Should I apply for a one-year position in a midwestern state, as a way of getting the hell out of Dodge for a while, even though I'll probably regret it?

Yes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:22 PM
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I figured yeah, the latter, but everything about what I'm doing now seems pretty odd given what I went to college to study (biochem), the courses I took (creative writing, film), and the grades I got (er...). They let me get away with a lot of bad behavior that was not good for someone pursuing graduate school, but at the time, they treated me like someone who had to be tolerated lest I drop out of undergrad. But. Well. It's only 500 words. I think I can do it without offending anyone.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:30 PM
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I think I can do it without offending anyone.

Get Ned to do it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:32 PM
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Why do you have to do it at all?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:33 PM
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"This school learned me good. I can write five hundred words easy. One two three..."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:38 PM
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There are good midwestern venues, and not so good. North or south of I-80?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:39 PM
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257: Hilariously, I was asked to write it by the person who failed my MA thesis, saying it was too embarrassing to admit into the college library. She has since discovered that I've made a little name for myself and likes to introduce herself as my adviser. It is true that she is the reason I became a lit major, but her reasons for mentoring me at the time are... suspicious. I'm glad she's proud of me now that I'm more successful, but her love-hate relationship with me, and the department's love-hate for me, are hard things to address.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:39 PM
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259: North.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:40 PM
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I'm glad she's proud of me now that I'm more successful, but her love-hate relationship with me, and the department's love-hate for me, are hard things to address.

So don't address them. In 500 words it should be pretty easy to avoid that stuff. Focus on what you do now.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:42 PM
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East or west of Gary, IN?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:43 PM
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Bigger than a breadbox?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:44 PM
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Ok, civilization, then.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:44 PM
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I feel like I owe some sort of letter about what I'm up to these days (and of thanks) to one of my high-school science teachers. But I can never manage to write it when I sit down and try.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:45 PM
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265: You know I'm from KS, right?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:45 PM
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(It's not a totally hard and fast rule, of course: Iowa City is civilized.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:46 PM
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I probably should contact my old grad school adviser soon about, uh, possibly figuring out a way to finish the dissertation.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:47 PM
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I don't tend to think of Kansas as Midwest. I think of Great Plains as a different region.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:47 PM
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267 -- My brother lives in Prairie Village. I am familiar with that part of the world.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:48 PM
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268: Basically, "on" I-80, so not much of an exception.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:48 PM
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The Midwest is admittedly not the most coherently defined of American regions.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:49 PM
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263: Lake Michigan wears Gary, Indiana like a chancre.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:49 PM
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"I wish either my professors or I or indeed both of us, as we were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what we were about when we educated me; had we duly consider'd how much depended upon what we were then doing;--that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of her body, perhaps her genius and the very cast of her mind; ..."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:55 PM
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I'm not too sure what standard Carp is using, but South Dakota, North Dakota, parts of Minnesota, Northern Michigan, and parts of Northern Ohio are quite sucktastic indeed if the standard is "civilization."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:55 PM
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275 is cute. A literary thing might be a way to avoid snarkiness.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:55 PM
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"Had I words enough, and time..."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:58 PM
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273: True that. I've had stupid* battles at various places on the web about it.

*Well, I've been reasonably flexible about it, but have felt compelled to not let prescriptive geographic dogmatists win the day.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 10:59 PM
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The funny thing for me about that is that Greenwald annoys the crap out of me. I agree with him about lots of stuff, but I find him totally unreadable -- I sort of wait for other people to link to him when he says something important.

Also true of James Howard Kunstler. The undercurrent in both of "When will everyone but me admit that they are both wrong and stupid?" is utterly palpable.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 11:01 PM
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276 -- The worst of Minnesota is better than the best of Oklahoma. I'd pit Northern Ohio against the Texas Panhandle any day of the week. Even the Dakotas compare favorably to any largish swath of Dixie.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 11:04 PM
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There must be people that find Greenwald very readable. I'm not sure of Kunstler's audience, but Salon's is fairly large. I think.

I suspect my issue with Greenwald is that he's - at least when I've checked - a single-post per day blogger but writes nearly as much as or more than multi-post per day bloggers - which is good for details, but often I don't want to get that far into it. I'm not against longer reads entirely, but I prefer them when they're more retrospective.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 11:06 PM
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Kunstler's audience is substantial. I've never read any of his stuff, but I know lots of people who have, and many of them appear to like it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 11:08 PM
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282: He effectively often posts several times a day, what with all the addenda. I used to read him attentively, but the same goes for Bob Somerby.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 11:49 PM
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Yeah, but I was including that in the lengthiness-of-one-post measure, since the updates tend to be on the same subject (at least when I've checked). Somerby is someone I've found readable, but for whatever reason - lack of time, maybe, especially since I first read him when I was cutting way back on blogs - I've never read him regularly.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 5-10 11:54 PM
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I call cherry picking on 281! To cherry pick back, St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, MO, and Lawrence, KS are all pretty nice. As far as Oklahoma goes, I liked Tulsa a lot, actually, but admittedly only spent a week there.

Also, does Texas count as the midwest? I say definitely no. (Oklahoma is a closer case.) Would you say "I have an offer from a midwestern university" for a place in Abilene or Dallas? That would be totally bizarre. I mean, Indiana is at about the same longitude as Mississippi, but I don't think Mississippi counts as "midwest." Midwest is non-Dixie by definition, I think.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:33 AM
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It is disturbing to think that there are entire states that make my hometown (or the bigger of my two hometowns) look pretty damn good.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 1:33 AM
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Sifu Tweety is mistaken about the gyroscopic effects of bicycle wheels: they don't have enough angular momentum to add significantly to the stability (unlike those of motorcycles). The increased stability is almost exclusively due to the greater lateral accelerations induced by minor turns.
He probably doesn't know anything about computers, either.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 5:06 AM
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Given that this is the odd thread, I just found this on the bit of Concrete University's website where they make all the staff list all their research interests:

``Sea Turtles in Vanuatu:
Abstract: Lying on beaches waiting for turtles''.

Unfortunately, the staff member in question seems hard to follow up on.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 5:45 AM
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South Dakota, North Dakota, parts of Minnesota, Northern Michigan, and parts of Northern Ohio are quite sucktastic indeed if the standard is "civilization."

Hey, we're not that bad. We have indoor plumbing and everything.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 5:59 AM
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288: having done that demonstration I describe above, I fail to be convinced by your assertion. A URL might do the trick.

It doesn't really affect my larger point, which is that the bicycle is more stable than a stationary object balancing the same way. But I also don't believe you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 5:59 AM
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I'm hurt: relying on your experience over the words of an imaginary internet commenter. Turns out it's more complicated than I remembered.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 6:15 AM
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292: it's reasonably amusing that the section on the nature of the problem exactly recapitulates our discussion. Also the pictures are awesome. And, in a way, we're both right (a way that involves us both mostly being wrong, seemingly, but still)!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 6:25 AM
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That paper is kind of a "duh" moment, too: I knew that about the center of gravity! That's why track stands are possible!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 6:30 AM
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Okay now I think I should actually finish reading the paper before commenting more. Christ. It's like a goddamn potboiler, all the twists and turns.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 6:32 AM
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Aaaaaand that's very interesting, and now that I think about it, pretty intuitive. Doesn't really help Belle Lettre that much, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 6:40 AM
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It tells her what kind of bicycle to avoid. I think having URB IV races would be entertaining.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 6:55 AM
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I had a low-rider-y beach cruiser with big ape hanger handlebars, a banana seat and a reversed stem and it was indeed both hilariously fun to ride and fairly difficult to keep going in a straight line. Actually, I had another bike (a Huffy BMX) with similar bars and a similar seat that was even tougher to keep straight. I'll have to think about why that was -- probably some combination of slack Huffy geometry, a straight BMX fork, and the aforementioned ridiculous customization.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 6:59 AM
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286 -- My I-80 Rule, like my I-90 Rule, applies coast-to-coast. Or would, if it was to be taken more than about 40% seriously.

Here's a dispatchfrom "civilization" for you. And another.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 7:12 AM
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Kobe3!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 7:21 AM
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300: Fuck the aphorism, this one I'm attributing to malice.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 7:29 AM
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Sifu Tweety is mistaken about the gyroscopic effects of bicycle wheels: they don't have enough angular momentum to add significantly to the stability (unlike those of motorcycles). The increased stability is almost exclusively due to the greater lateral accelerations induced by minor turns.

Wait, what? I don't get this. What lateral accelerations?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 7:30 AM
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Bicycle stability is a solved problem, and has been for over a century. Physicists keep attacking the problem in large part because they are exposed to the incorrect explanation in intro physics courses, realize sometime later that if the centrifugal theory was correct turning a bike would be impossible, and therefore believe it's an unsolved problem. But the engineers who designed bicycles back in the day had a pretty good understanding of the castoring forces and the CG lowering effect that are behind bicycle stability. Physicists however, are a bunch of arrogant shits who can't imagine that mere engineers ("the Oompa-Loompas of Science") might ever understand anything that physicists don't.

Belle - my advice is to remove the pedals so they don't get in the way (watch out for threads that go the "wrong" way), lower the seat until your feet easily touch the ground, and scoot around until you are comfortable, Going faster makes the bike more responsive. Also make sure you have neosporin and bandages in case of road rash. And most important - have fun!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 7:39 AM
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Yeah, that was poorly phrased (I should start appending this to all my comments). I was trying to breifly describe the centripedal forces on the rider as he turns in response to tipping.
['Yeah, that was poorly phrased.']


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 7:39 AM
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Physicists however, are a bunch of arrogant shits who can't imagine that mere engineers ("the Oompa-Loompas of Science") might ever understand anything that physicists don't.

Whee! Broad generalizations are fun!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 8:30 AM
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305: They are! But let's face it - there's a bit of a SuperFreakonomics thing going on with the constant rediscovery of bicycle stability. You've also no doubt run into plenty of arrogant dismissal of non-physicists unless your gradschool experience was completely different from mine and that of every other physicist I've talked to about this.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 8:37 AM
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306: Yeah, I went to a talk a couple of weeks ago by a physicist working on a biological topic who kept saying things like "the biologists tell me this is nonsense, so I know I'm on the right track!" It was a pretty amazing display of arrogance.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 8:52 AM
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Comity!

Just to be unambiguous, I include myself in the "arrogant shit" category. It's not arrogance when you really are smarter than everyone else!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 8:54 AM
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It's pick on essear hour. I think that string theorists are now at a disadvantage in any public argument because some of their public defenders are incredible assholes (Lu/bos is the most obvious example, but lots of anonymous assholes used to pass through the comment section at Wo/it's back in the day), and its popularizers (like Ka/ku) have been responsible for astounding levels of bullshit in their public pronouncements. Together, these'll lead anybody who's not an expert to greater skepticism.

Also, Li/si seemed to inspire some weird and disproportionate fury. Except in the incredibly unlikely event that Li/si's theory was true, it was clear that his fifteen minutes of fame would soon be up. Talk of the rebel surfer physicist is much less pernicious for the public discourse than popularizations of the anthropic principle, for example.

Anyway, I hate the exceptional Lie groups. They should be handicapped with metal weights, Harrison Bergeron-style.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:03 AM
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Oops, I missed pick-on-essear hour, apparently.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:05 AM
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I have the same reaction to econophysics. I can only assume that the triumph of econophysics over economics is inevitable, since it would put explaining the economy in the hands of the only people less qualified to understand how it works.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:09 AM
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311 -> 307. I'm not actually talking to myself.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:12 AM
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I was going to call this "Walt talking to himself hour" but then I realized I don't actually know if that is different from any other hour.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:15 AM
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309: I don't have time to get into a discussion right now, but it's interesting that "public argument" here seems to mean only "argument on a blog"; it's not as if anyone outside of blogdom thinks Lu/bos is an influential person. (Ka/ku's savvier, since he seems to be legitimately famous and widely viewed by the public as a leading string theorist despite the fact that he hasn't worked on physics in decades and was never really important in the first place.)

I see the Li/si hoopla as symptomatic of broader problems with "science journalists" -- as is the fact that they ever paid attention to people like Wo/it and Smo/lin. Public education about what's going on in theoretical physics is not such a big deal, but the same sort of journalism plays into the hands of more pernicious people like climate-change deniers, so I do see it as a problem.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:19 AM
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311: The final triumphant theory of economics will be the one that best serves the interests of the rich and powerful.

If you were to set out to create a theory of economics that maximized your chances of getting grants, highly remunerative speaking gigs, and large donations to your institution, how would it differ from Chicago School economics? I suggest the answer is "not very much at all."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:24 AM
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313: I only talk to you, but in my head.

314: Weren't you complaining about blog discussions of Li/si back in 229? And if you think the big problem with science journalists is that they paid attention to Woi/it and Smo/lin, you're insane. Honestly, this is the kind of bullshit that gives string theorists such a bad public (as in "argument on a blog" public) image.

315: Touche. I just looked at some econophysics stuff, and it actually looked sort of unobjectionable, as long as you accept the equations "econo = financial markets" and "physics = exotic stochastic processes".


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:32 AM
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Sorta-kinda but not really relevant: Smart goes with liberal, atheist, and monogamous, apparently.

That describes me pretty well. Except for the smart part.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:36 AM
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And if you think the big problem with science journalists is that they paid attention to Woi/it and Smo/lin, you're insane.

It's not the big problem, it's a symptom of the problem. Journalists like "daring underdog takes on the stodgy, conservative scientific establishment" stories, but usually the stodgy, conservative scientific establishment is right. Like I said, it doesn't matter when the topic is something as arcane as quantum gravity. It matters when it's climate science, or evolution, or medicine.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:41 AM
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Should I apply for a one-year position in a midwestern state, as a way of getting the hell out of Dodge for a while, even though I'll probably regret it? (There is housing involved, and a living wage, and I'm more likely to get it than any other job I'm applying for.)

Of course you should. This is one of the best ways to keep afloat in academe. Also, if you have housing, a living wage, and interesting work, it really doesn't matter if you lack the amenities that NYC residents have.

People call the ability to order a wide variety of take out ethnic food "civilization," but its just another luxury. When people say that northern Ohio is uncivilized (to take a nonrandom example) they are really just saying "I am so pampered and privileged I can't imagine how the peasants even make it through the day."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:42 AM
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317: Monogamous for men, but not, apparently, for women.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:45 AM
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the amenities that NYC residents have

I'm not thinking of food so much as friends.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:47 AM
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And if you think the big problem with science journalists is that they paid attention to Woi/it and Smo/lin, you're insane. Honestly, this is the kind of bullshit that gives string theorists such a bad public (as in "argument on a blog" public) image.

Also, to possibly rile you up before I run off for a lunch meeting: I'm not a string theorist. But Smo/lin is a crackpot, full stop.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:49 AM
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319: New Yorkers don't realize this, but there are places in the Midwest that have internet connections.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:49 AM
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Anyway, I hate the exceptional Lie groups.

I hate Fox News too, but they don't really talk about econometrics much.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:49 AM
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Friends are a more serious issue, but we'll still be here for you!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:50 AM
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I don't even own an amenity.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:53 AM
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323: I am aware of this, having lived in various places around the Midwest for the first 23 years of my life. The issue is moving somewhere for just a year. It takes me a long time to make friends, and I do get very lonely. I've gone ahead and applied for short-term jobs overseas, just because I've never traveled and it would be worth it to be lonely if I got to really try something new. But moving somewhere short-term where I'd have to buy a car, probably, and not know anyone, while potentially productive professionally, might not be worth losing the knowledge that I can just go out to dinner with someone who likes me on a whim.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:55 AM
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Econophysics means what? A formalism to detect and characterize short-term correlations in prices? Construction of portfolios that couple to some exotic quantity in the markets? Black-Scholes?

The person whose writing always makes sense to me is Emanuel Derman, and he's pretty humble about the useful scope of stochastic methods. Who (or who else) is good to read?

I loved living in Columbus as a grad student, but I had grad student's built-in social cohort and an SO. Your money goes farther in the midwest. The meaning of friendship changes a lot as one ages, dinner on a whim stops being so simple; busy metropolis full of skilled eccentrics is a way to hide this. Possibly to change the social reality and keep dinner on a whim simple, but I don't think so.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:07 AM
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not, apparently, for women.

I read the claim as exclusivity obtains for all women, regardless of how they test, while only the cleverest men know that you're always supposed to go home for dinner.

This is a pretty transparent way to claim that our current bereaucratic collectivized environment is optimizing for sheeplike calculation. IQ tests merely detect this.

With that doubtelss unobjectionable remark, off to swim.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:13 AM
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327: I take forever to make friends too, so you have my sympathy on that point. Only one year is likely quite tolerable, especially in the age of Facebook, Skype, and the like. If you make a regular Skype date with one or more of your NYC friends it will help to take the edge off the isolation (personal experience). And, of course, your imaginary Internet friends are always here for you.

320: Indeed. Boyz...
That fits my experience pretty well - the liberal atheist smart women I hang around with tend to be [insert polite and nonjudgmental word for "slutty" here]. I'm quite happy with that.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:13 AM
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Once you get to Cedar Rapids I'm sure you'll be amazed by the eagerness with which your fellow cosmopolitan faculty members are glad to meet someone who shares their worldview.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:13 AM
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Once you get to Cedar Rapids

Do not go to Cedar Rapids. I was there for a semester doing an internship and boy did I hate it.

Being as the University is in Iowa City I don't think AWB would be going to Cedar Rapids anyway.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:17 AM
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[insert polite and nonjudgmental word for "slutty" here]

Snicker.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:22 AM
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Okay, Cedar Falls then.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:26 AM
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Or Ames.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:27 AM
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Iowa City
Sioux City
Sioux Falls
Cedar Falls
Cedar Rapids
Grand Rapids
Grand Island

Okay, there aren't any colleges in Grand Island.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:32 AM
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Okay, there aren't any colleges in Grand Island.

But Hastings and Kearney aren't far and have colleges.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:35 AM
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[insert polite and nonjudgmental word for "slutty" here]

"Awesome".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:40 AM
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[insert polite and nonjudgmental word for "slutty" here]

Always interested in someone more attractive than Moby.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:41 AM
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"Kobe3!" s/b "Kube!".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:43 AM
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Iowa City is awesome. That would be a great job, even for a year. Isn't Coe in Cedar Rapids? That's a good school in the regional liberal arts college scheme of things (certainly both the folks I know who have gone there and have taught there are smart).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:44 AM
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It's not in Iowa. (I'd rather not specify.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:52 AM
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If you're too ashamed to mention the city, it must be Council Bluffs. But I didn't know there was a college there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 10:58 AM
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If it's any consolation, AWB, there's a good chance I'm moving away this fall. (I know you have many other friends.)


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:01 AM
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344: I know! What is there for me here? And yet it's hard to leave.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:05 AM
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The issue is moving somewhere for just a year.

Yes, this. It would be one thing if the market were such that taking a one-year job were likely to guarantee better things for the next year. But with the way things are now, I'm not quite sure I'm willing to take that risk.

I probably fall into that "pampered and priviledged" group. Whatever. Walking to bars is a priviledge I'm not going to give up easily.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:13 AM
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346: You can walk to bars in the midwest. I've done it many times, though never in Iowa.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:18 AM
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But can you walk to a bar in the town where SLAC (job market code for 'small liberal arts college) is located? That's the real question.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:20 AM
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Walking to bars is a priviledge I'm not going to give up easily.

You'll have to cripple her, villains.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:22 AM
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Come back to the Midwest, AWB! If you're north of I-80, you're practically next door to the Twin Cities. Lots of good bars here.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:23 AM
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You'll have to cripple her, villains.

Or hire me at a really good SLAC. I dare you, German departments!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:24 AM
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Apparently, I'm not going to give up thinking there's a d in that word easily either.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:27 AM
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You're looking for a "really goo SLAC"?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:28 AM
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I feel compelled to admit that 353 was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:30 AM
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OR working in an epartment, or perhaps she's just 'aring people.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:30 AM
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MWF seeks really goo SLAC with walkable bars for pedantry, erudition. No suburban campuses need apply.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:32 AM
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I don't believe there's a university campus in America near which one could not both live carless and walk to a variety of bars. Just because you're in the midwest doesn't mean you have to move to suburbia.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:33 AM
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If you were to set out to create a theory of economics that maximized your chances of getting grants, highly remunerative speaking gigs, and large donations to your institution, how would it differ from Chicago School economics? I suggest the answer is "not very much at all."

The funny thing is, that's exactly what Chicago School economics would predict. So really, it's yet more validation for the school of thought.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:34 AM
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Being able to walk to bars is not a way to not be lonely, IME. But maybe that's just me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:37 AM
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357: that must be a difficult belief to maintain.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:38 AM
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359: Oh, I agree with that, and I can understand your dilemma. I was just responding to a few particular concerns expressed above.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:38 AM
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Moving somewhere for a year sounds horrible. More horrible than the other normal horror stories of academia? Hard to say.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:42 AM
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I don't believe there's a university campus in America near which one could not both live carless and walk to a variety of bars.

This is possibly the most inaccurate thing ever posted here.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:46 AM
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Were it not for the parenthesis, I would see "the town where SLAC (job market code for 'small liberal arts college) is located" and think "that's Menlo Park, not Palo Alto, right?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:47 AM
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This is possibly the most inaccurate thing ever posted here.

What? No, this is!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:51 AM
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360/363: example? I've never seen one. Lots of students are carless. And lots of students drink.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:52 AM
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And lots of students drink.

Not all that many undergrads go to bars these days do they? Most are under 21, and I have a vague belief that college-town bars card intensely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:53 AM
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AWB could walk to lots of rockin' keggers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:54 AM
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There's a difference between "good town for students to live in with everything in walking distance and no need for a car" and "good town for postdocs/young faculty to live in with everything in walking distance and no need for a car", as I learned when I took my current job. Rents can be superexpensive in some such places, and students only get by because of dorms (or willingness to live in crowded or shoebox-sized spaces).


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:55 AM
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358: That's exactly what I was thinking. It's all very self referential and ouroborosy and stuff.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:56 AM
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366: There's Deep Springs College.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:57 AM
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college-town bars card intensely

Some do, in some college towns. There were some bars walking distance from Stuffwhitepeople Like University that really had serving alcohol to minors as a big part of their business model, and were in constant conflict with SLU and the rest of the village.

Also a kid walking home drunk from that bar fell into the river and drowned.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:59 AM
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367: I have a vague charmingly naive belief that college-town bars card intensely

Some do, but there's always the two or three that everyone knows to be very lax, accepting anything that even sort of looks like a valid ID.

Example of a non-walkable university campus: University of Nebraska at Omaha. 15,000 students, in a city of over 400,000, and you're pretty screwed if you don't have a car. The bus runs there, but poorly and infrequently.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 11:59 AM
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371: A couple decades ago, they sent me a ton of junk male.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:00 PM
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Moving somewhere for a year sounds horrible

After the third or fourth time it becomes unbearable, and it is god awful to do if you have kids. Once or twice if you are single or childless still seems to me a reasonable price to stay in the business. But that may just be me.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:01 PM
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373: Except UNO is really just a vo-tech school that kind of got out of hand. If you went to Creighton, you'd have much less trouble living in Omaha without a car (though I'd still want a car in Omaha).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:01 PM
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Moving somewhere for a year sounds horrible.

* cries *


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:02 PM
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Don't worry, snarkout. She didn't really mean that the process of moving itself might take a year.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:04 PM
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376 is overly harsh on UNO. I should have put it more clearly that UNO was originally intended as a commuter school and has shifted in its mission more rapidly than the neighborhood around it has shifted. And there isn't much room nearby for more standard student bar stuff. Also, UNO keeps taking money from UNL because Omaha can run the board, legislature-wise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:05 PM
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377: No, snarkout, don't cry until you read 375.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:08 PM
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Just rejoining this thread, I am still confused about *how* one should learn how to ride a bike, but have brushed up on some high school physics. I also feel great sympathy for AWB (nothing much to say other than "I'm rooting for you!") and feel less bad about my own plans to default from academia, not sign up for short-term jobs or fellowships that will take me away from comfortable happiness to the misery of being lonely in the bleak midwest, and just find a job tangentially related to law and organizations. Probably HR stuff or consulting.

Goals for this weekend: try that scooting thing without pedals and be less tentative about getting acceleration. Maybe bake some cookies. Maybe actually do some work.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:11 PM
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they sent me a ton of junk male

Bring your male junk to Deep Springs!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:12 PM
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382: I didn't even consider going because the mail said the school was male.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:13 PM
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be less tentative about getting acceleration.

That's still too tentative. To get started on a bike you have to be not tentative at all -- it's one of those things where it doesn't work until suddenly it does.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:14 PM
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Non-walkable universities are all over the Southeast. Even the campuses are barely walkable. Although, there isn't much to walk to and everything is closed on Sundays.

I think there is some truth to the idea its easier to make friends in a small college town in a relatively red state if you're liberal and working at the college. Some of the divisions among different groups that you can find in big cities suddenly don't matter. For instance, the overlap between the 'arty' crew and the 'science' crew is greater - there's only so many parties/bars for non-frat/sorority types.

Foodwise it can be hard (there's no local butcher, bakery, wine shop, or good farmer's market). But I eat much more local (from the one CSA in town) and sustainable (deer! rabbits! ag school that grows and sells its own grass fed beef! aquaculture shrimp!) than I did when I was in California.

That said, a one year position might mean that you're going to have to start looking for another job as soon as you get there.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:14 PM
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386

371: not a university.

University of Nebraska at Omaha might be an exception; I've never been there. I find it hard to believe.

It's possible there's a grain of truth to 369, however. But would AWB really need something bigger than a shoebox?

And besides, getting a single bedroom in a big rental house near campus might help with the loneliness. If AWB doesn't mind a bunch of undergraduate roommates.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:17 PM
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Ride in a flat park if you have fat tires or an empty parking lot. Have someone push the bike from the back to get you going, and pedal. Accelerating from a stop is harder than proceeding in a straight line or turning gently; getting those down first so that there's no fear about what to do once you get moving is a common way to proceed.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:19 PM
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Do they sell training wheels for adult-sized bicycles?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:24 PM
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Actually, I kind of doubt my 369 applies to anywhere in the Midwest, at least for my standards of what "superexpensive" means.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:29 PM
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Can't you (BL) get your boy to lay hold of your seat and push you from behind, as it were, accelerating that way, will you or nill you?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:34 PM
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388: Google says yes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:34 PM
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get your boy to lay hold of your seat and push you from behind

I'm sure you could find volunteers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:36 PM
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This is just me, perhaps, but riding on grass would not have worked for me--the bumps were what made me lose control of the bike. Also, being pushed also would not have worked for me, as I needed to feel in control of what I was doing. What did help was watching the video halfway down this page a billion times.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:37 PM
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I'm glad my innuendo wasn't too subtle, apo.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:38 PM
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You have perfect pitch, neb.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:44 PM
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Until I read this article over lunch, I had not known that the original DFHs were from Kansas.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 12:49 PM
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Menlo Park, not Palo Alto, right

It's not so easy to live in either of these towns without a car, and the university is set back so much that walking distance becomes a matter of "how long are you willing to walk?" There is a free shuttle, though.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 1:21 PM
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And SLAC itself is actually located on unincorporated land in San Mateo County, albeit with a Menlo Park address.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 1:25 PM
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There is a free shuttle, though.

Don't fall for that. The last time I tried to plan on using a free shuttle, I got to what I thought was the departure point and was handed this.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 1:25 PM
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386.last is a joke, right? I'm pretty sure it is, but just checking.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 1:40 PM
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(deer! rabbits! ag school that grows and sells its own grass fed beef! aquaculture shrimp!)

And yet no local butcher!

400: Why would it be? Let's say you get to your one-year position before the term starts, in mid-summer. The term starts in the fall. Job announcements go out in … the fall (or late summer, I don't know how it works with you guys). Applications must be received in time for receiving departments to make decisions as to interviews at the MLA, which takes place at the end of the fall quarter/semester.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 1:49 PM
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386.last, not 385.last.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 1:51 PM
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Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 1:54 PM
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Yeah, 401 pretty much describes it. Sucktastic. No thanks.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 2:15 PM
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376: I used to live ~1/2 a mile from Creighton. There are certainly students there without cars, and it is technically possible to walk to the Old Market from there, but my impression was that the carless were mostly confined to campus. I don't know if it's gotten a lot better since the late 1990s, but when I lived in Omaha, the area around Creighton was hellofa sketch -- 6 murders in 6 months in a 6 block radius of my rental house. I'm a big guy that people usually don't fuck with, but even so I was pretty cautious about walking around there late at night.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 2:34 PM
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405: The area looks better now, but I have no idea if it is actually safer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 2:40 PM
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Now that you mention shootings, I think my brother's house* got a bullet through it (over break when he and his roommates were gone).

*It may have been the neighbors. I can't recall. I also don't remember if his place was within walking distance of campus or not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 2:45 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised to hear that things are not quite so dire as they used to be around Creighton/Downtown Omaha. Still, it has to be said that there is no critical mass of student-oriented amenities in Omaha. My experience was that a lot of the students who would normally be habitues of coffee shops and copy shops and comix shops and studenty bars and that sort of thing wound up spread out across this vast swath of midtown Omaha where there was a lot of really decent rental housing at very reasonable prices. Part of that was due to some historical peculiarities of Omaha's development (e.g. the concentration of young men and businesses that serve them in Sarpy County; Nebraska's liberal annexation laws; the proximity of Lincoln) but a big part was, I think, that nobody in Omaha has ever cottoned to the idea of a student-oriented district, as it runs against the grain of the town's deep-seated reactionary politics.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 2:53 PM
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Nebraska's liberal annexation laws

I still can't believe Omaha ate Elkhorn. That used to be so far out in the country.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 3:03 PM
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I have decided by fiat that moving for a year with a baby is awesome because we're doing it, and what we do is by definition awesome.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 4:07 PM
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410 is surprisingly convincing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 5:07 PM
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Goals for this weekend: try that scooting thing without pedals and be less tentative about getting acceleration.

Sounds like a plan. Or combination of plans.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 5:12 PM
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(We're also going somewhere very pretty, for a job that should be fun and good for my CV -- but I like to think that this just proves my point!)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 5:15 PM
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Moving with a baby is doable. We moved with Caroliine from Auburn to northern New York without any more stress than for any other move.

The bad part comes when you move with kids who are old enough to have friends and an attachment to a place. This can start as early as 2 or 3. Moving once they start school is a really bad idea and I have zero desire to do it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 6-10 9:36 PM
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