Re: Necessity and opportunity

1

People underestimate the loneliness of old age. The more kids you have, the more consolation and company later. Unless you've alienated them, or they genuinely succeed and become rootless.

Flickr nugget: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pastorfuture/2431457453/


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:40 PM
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I figure his contract requires him to post a picture with each post. Most times the pictures are so pointless that I figure he's mocking the requirement.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:48 PM
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I do a lot of figuring.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:48 PM
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3: Yes, I was just admiring your figures.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:50 PM
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This post mirrors my exact thinking, when I read Sausagely's post earlier. My exact thinking.

2: I bet if pictures weren't available at the Flickr Creative Commons pool, his contract wouldn't require that.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:52 PM
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I particularly liked the picture of the stethoscope that we got for the health care reform posts. All of 'em.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:54 PM
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"Fuck pictures. I'll put up the stethoscope again."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 6:56 PM
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Maybe his repetitive artwork is a request for help with art direction -- though I doubt it will be any more successful than his years-long implicit request for a copyeditor.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:03 PM
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He doesn't put up a picture with every post. (I was wondering, so I checked.) This one and this one, for example, are pictureless. It does seem like he only started using pictures most of the time after he joined ThinkProgress, so there probably is some sort of policy influencing him, but it doesn't seem to be "every post has to have a picture."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:07 PM
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I'm not about to go digging to find it, but I do recall a post several months ago (maybe also on the topic of the Creative Commons pool, actually) in which he said something to the effect of: "I try to include a thematic picture for every post, although sometimes I can't find anything that fits." To my recollection, he didn't indicate whether that was company policy, or merely his predilection.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:10 PM
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I have had the exact thoughts mentioned in 5 and 6.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:16 PM
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What he should do is find remixable photos and apply some lens flares.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:20 PM
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13

Or one of those tilt-shift filters.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:21 PM
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14

OR BOTH!!!!!!!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:21 PM
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I don't know how thinkprogress does things, but I do know that creative commons flickr has been important for some for-profit blogs who couldn't afford big photo contracts.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:27 PM
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I should say that it's my job to find 5-6 pictures a month for similar purposes, and I'm not a very visual thinker, so I'm extremely sympathetic to how hard it is to find visually compelling, relevant, copyright-available images that don't shriek Stock Imagery.

But I'm still willing to hold an apparently paid site accountable for lousy graphics. Whether they choose to make their writers find them or not, they shouldn't shortchange that aspect of their message, what with a picture being worth a thousand words and yadda yadda.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:29 PM
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"I try to include a thematic picture for every post, although sometimes I can't find anything that fits."

This makes sense as what he's doing, but when it comes to posts like the one neb linked it does make you wonder how hard he's trying. He couldn't find a picture of a woman with a stroller? See also the interminable stethoscope.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:32 PM
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Oh, I agree with that - though I think thinkprogress is a non-profit, for what that's worth. I suspect that if they did need to grab more viewers, they'd put people on photo search/graphic design duties. I haven't read any of their blogs for a year or two, so I have no idea how they do things.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:34 PM
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19 to 16, though it works to 17 too, even though I never saw the interminable stethoscope.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:34 PM
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It would be hilarious if Yggles began running a relevant XKCD with every post.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:34 PM
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Agggh!!! What is Witt's job? I'd gotten this far: Philadelphia is operating some kind of top secret mini-census and social services program for immigrants through the library system, and Witt is the director (but since the program is secret she can't reveal herself). Now the mage search tidbit is throwing me off the scent again.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:36 PM
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You know what can be difficult to do? Figure out if an image posted without credit on someone's non-copyright concerned blog is re-usable or not.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:38 PM
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Now the mage search tidbit is throwing me off the scent again.

The immigrants are from the wizarding world.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:39 PM
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17: I agree that the picture selection seems, on its face, to lend strong support to comment 2.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:49 PM
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The pictures are just part of the neglectful charm of MY. Note to necessarily say it is not worthy of a front-page post.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:50 PM
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26

I actually had no particular intent to criticize his picture choice as such.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:52 PM
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I think he has said he finds blogs with pictures more interesting. Whence, the pictures. But I also think his hyperactive mind doesn't want to spend too much time on the drudgery of digging through search-engine discovered pictures to find a particularly appropriate one (if he wasn't so smart, he would probably be one of those male students failing Heebie's review tests).


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 7:55 PM
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I am surprised that not every Yglesias post begins "I suppose this is more or less what most people already think."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:16 PM
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29

I like the picture he's chosen for his Goldman Sachs posts.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:19 PM
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His Iceland posts feature his own pictures of Iceland, which are considerably more interesting than most of the pictures he grabs from Flickr.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:21 PM
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29: How he missed out on the opportunity to post the Gold Man-Sacks is beyond me.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:24 PM
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31: Do those pictures have Creative Commons licenses?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:26 PM
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I think even a completely banal image can help one more quickly recognize a particular post, except his practice of randomly re-using images totally obliviates this.

(Wait, obliviate isn't a word? The internet says it's only from a Harry Potter book, but I swear it'd heard it used before those were written.)


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:32 PM
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34

33.2: "obviate" may be the word you're looking for?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:33 PM
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I don't think obviate works either.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:34 PM
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"Obviate" doesn't have the right meaning.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:35 PM
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37

Defeats this purpose?

That sounds awkward.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:35 PM
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38

"abrogates"?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:36 PM
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39

31, 32: this one does! Needs a little color-correction, admittedly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:36 PM
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Renders this impossible?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:37 PM
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I should have read the sentence before I wrote 34.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:40 PM
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42

undercuts?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:43 PM
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43

"prevents" seems to work fine


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:44 PM
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44

vitiates


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:44 PM
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45

thwart. Definitely thwart.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:44 PM
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46

"casts this into deepest oblivion"


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:44 PM
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47

I suspect I must have heard my parents use it jokingly when very young, and then mistakenly absorbed it into my vocabulary. It was definitely used to mean "to erase, annihilate, or cancel out", rather than anything involving memory.

Thwarts! Yes!


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:46 PM
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48

bollixes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:47 PM
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49

Abrobvitigates?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:47 PM
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50

'Abrobvitigate' sounds like a pretty complicated scandal.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:49 PM
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Maybe something about how helpy-chalk takes away the sins of the world? But why would that be scandalous?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:51 PM
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52

I already linked to this in two other threads, but it's relevant here too, so I might as well link to it again.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:52 PM
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53

You are banned, teo.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 8:56 PM
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54

Sadly, there appears to be no turkey-relevant xkcd to link.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:01 PM
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That's okay, I think I found a way to piss off neb even more.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:02 PM
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55: Gobble-gobble hey!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:03 PM
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57

Lo, gobblegai!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:08 PM
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1 is something I worry about. All the really happy old people I know have a ton of grandkids. I think I've decided that when I'm old I'm going to find other people's grandkids who don't like their grandparents much and I'll be so cool they'll hang out with me and listen to my stories.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:08 PM
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59

or they genuinely succeed and become rootless.

Someone has a cynical idea of success.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:12 PM
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"Frustrates", maybe, although I think "obliviates" is the mot juste.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:18 PM
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Ah ha! The word that caused me such confusion regarding "obliviate" is "obliterate".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:19 PM
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62

"totally turns that plan to shit"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:19 PM
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63

"fucked up by all repetition"


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:31 PM
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foils


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:33 PM
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Seems Annihilated By Extraneous Repetition


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:35 PM
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66

Someone else can do epee.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:36 PM
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66: That went under. The feds don't like selling clean urine, even on the internet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:38 PM
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hey, thats harsh guys.

he uses two stepthascope pictures
'
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/180px-stethoscope-2.png

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/stethoscope.jpg


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:39 PM
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i don't see why you need a new unique photo. its just a way of telling you what the post will be about. since most bloggers don't have seperate feeds where you can get the topics you want.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:40 PM
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I'll be so cool they'll hang out with me and listen to my stories.

"I had this neighbor, see..."


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:43 PM
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cynical idea of success.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:44 PM
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A prof here thinks quite highly of Machado de Assis.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:45 PM
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I worry about 1 as well, but in the context of this thread I keep imagining it as a parody of a Saisalgy post complete with picture.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:51 PM
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Machado de Assis died childless. JS Bach, apparently a petty shit about privilege and money on the basis of his correspondence, had 20 children, 10 of whom survived to adulthood. Siddhartha Gautama named his only son "obstacle."

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cadavreambulant/3671493362/


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 9:53 PM
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74 is rather pleasingly Emersonian.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 10:02 PM
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74 makes me think of the buddha arranging children in his backyard and then hurdling them, perhaps competitively.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 10:12 PM
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When a river comes to an obstacle, does the river attempt to flow through the obstacle? No! The river drowns the little twerp so Sid can go out and have fun like he used to before all this enlightenment horseshit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 10:22 PM
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Witt works for the CIA's secret immigration ninja training program hidden underneath Philadelphia's Central Library (All of the books have been removed, except the one room contains DVDs and romance novels. Fortunately for them, no one has entered any of the other rooms in 22 years.) She finds poor innocent Third-World immigrants and turns them into killing machines. She talks a good talk, but ultimately Witt's business is promoting American imperialism.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 11:32 PM
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I used to believe 1: that only old people with grandkids are happy, but apparently the evidence from happiness research indicated otherwise. Old people who never had kids have more friends that they maintained through the years, which makes up for the lack of grandkids.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 11:33 PM
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That's why the miserable old people are the ones who only had one or two kids. Not enough adult kids/grandchildren to keep you company full-time in the old age, but you sacrificed all your friendships for them anyway.

Big family, barrenness, or bust: those are your options.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 11:39 PM
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i dunno, being lonely as a pensioner sounds like being lonely as a young person, but with financial freedom to tell anyone you want to go fuck themself.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-19-10 11:41 PM
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69: Isn't the title enough to tell you what the post will be about?

I'm a little confused by the trend towards including a picture with each post, especially when it's just a stock image peripherally related to the post. If it's directly related, it makes sense, but a picture of a stethoscope enhances discussion of filibuster-evading political maneuvers not at all. Since finding an appropriate (yet often irrelevant) image takes effort, why not skip it and put the effort into polishing the post?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 6:42 AM
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Yglesias has always argued in favor of pictures, and he's right that they make it easier to get into a story.

Surveying other Thinkprogress blogs, it seems that this is an institutional priority, too.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 7:32 AM
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... they make it easier to get into a story.

They do? Must be my weirdly-wired brain, but to me they mostly just take up space unless they are directly relevant to the story. Certainly the stethoscope added nothing to my understanding of anything Yglesias wrote about HCR.

I argued about something similar when I was helping with museum exhibit development - the design people always wanted to put colorful (and minimally informative) graphics all over the displays, limiting the text to no more than about 20 words in maybe 3 bullet points. I wanted more information rich graphics and detailed supplementary text (in addition to the bullet points) for people who were really into the topic. Apparently the mere availability of information rich content near a display suppresses interest among a large enough segment of the population that it's better to send the smartypants off to read a book or something. I was told this was experimentally verified, but never saw a reference to it. Presumably if I'd asked they'd have shown me a picture of a guy in a lab coat, with little bullet points telling me to shut the fuck up.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 7:52 AM
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I'm in favor of the re-used photos; they do give you a very quick visual guide to whether it's OMG another post about some damn Republican congressman so I don't have to waste my valuable synapses skimming the title.

Also, he was using Creative Commons pictures back before he got picked up by a major label & lost his indy cred.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 8:06 AM
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This is mostly off-topic, but this gallery of vandalized Tory billboards has some fine work in it. You'll probably need a Facebook account to be able to see it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 8:08 AM
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the evidence from happiness research
IME exclusively self-reported happiness assesments on surveys. So not worth reading.

Silvan Tomkins had some interesting remarks on happiness, so did Erving Goffman. All his work is available as PDF at UNLV; I'm looking forward to Felicity's Condition which I haven't read yet. EG was extremely short, also apparently suffered a complete disconnect between his deep insight into the human condition in general and in his own life.

Oh, and Penelope Trunk v Gretchen Rubin-- cagematch or panel discusiion?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 8:10 AM
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86: I'm especially fond of "I've never voted Tory before, but no one else knows the rules to polo."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 8:11 AM
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88: Quite.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 8:16 AM
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87: How do you measure happiness without self-reporting?

88: Picture 26 is "suck my goldman sachs" Very nice. "I've never voted Tory before because I'm not a cunt" is also nice.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 8:20 AM
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No more masturbating to Guru.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 8:21 AM
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91: Aw hell.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 8:24 AM
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84.2 -- I'd guess that the real concern is that people stopping to read the whole thing would disrupt crowd flow, and lessen throughput.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 8:31 AM
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I do not think that measuring happiness makes sense. Measuring intense misery, maybe, but I do not think that there is a scalar happiness metric.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/badjonni/3352511505/in/set-72157594364797833/


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 8:44 AM
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93: Possibly true. Certainly consistent with some of the other priorities that lead to otherwise inexplicable compromises of the museum's core mission.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 8:53 AM
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86: I'm especially fond of "I've never voted Tory before, but no one else knows the rules to polo."

I like the fine young cannibals joke.


Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 11:18 AM
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86: the elvis one is great.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 11:22 AM
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I hate Yglesias's repeated pictures, because they make me think I've read the post already ("No, I read the one with the stethoscope last week.") If they were an iconic method of tagging categories -- all HCR posts get the stethoscope -- I could imagine that working, but it doesn't seem to be that organized.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 11:30 AM
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I hate Yglesias's repeated pictures, because they make me think I've read the post already ("No, I read the one with the stethoscope last week.")

That is my experience as well.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 11:40 AM
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86: the elvis one is great.

Elvis was a hero to most, but he never had that haircut.


Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 12:06 PM
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100: Motherfuck him and Kobe.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-20-10 12:13 PM
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