Re: I notice that no one is interested in whether Utahraptor is hot or not

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I had been under the impression that the advent of blue tooth et al had made the appearance of talking to oneself socially acceptable.


Posted by: JH | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 12:46 PM
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Tween-looking girls' faces are sometimes just shaped that way. I get those looks just for leaving my house.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 12:49 PM
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1: The girl was thinking, "I can't believe that nerd is talking to a dinosaur on the phone."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 12:50 PM
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I recently noticed that I've adopted a friend's habit of making random "boop" and "beep" noises when walking alone, for instance in grocery stores. I've decided to just go with it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 12:52 PM
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How do you know what your friend does when alone?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 12:55 PM
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Stanley and his friend have one of those relationships where they can be alone together.

Or, Stanley has come across his friend without his friend knowing he's there until after the robot sounds have been overheard.

Or, Stanley's friend has been distracted and forgotten Stanley was nearby.

Or, Stanley has had his friend surveilled.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 12:57 PM
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5: Well, that was unclear wasn't it? He makes the noises when he's doing tasks alone, like, say, hauling an amp. "Boop beep boop. Boop."

I tend to make the noises when I'm in circumstances that involve me walking alone, such as in grocery stores. "Beep. Boop."

Alternatively, and on preview, all of neb's explanations.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 12:59 PM
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Alternatively, Stanley's friend could have told him one day, "You know, Stan, sometimes when I'm alone, I just have to be making boop-boop-beep noises."


Posted by: JH | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 1:00 PM
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When he's doing tasks along but in the company of others who aren't doing those tasks, I hasten to clarify.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 1:00 PM
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Er, "alone". Curses. Back to work.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 1:00 PM
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I, for one, think the Daily Show doesn't hire enough ornithomimids, whereas dromaeosaurids have had more than enough media spotlight.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 1:05 PM
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Therizinosaurs are the best. Feathers and sickle-claws.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 1:12 PM
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But only the second smartest.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 1:25 PM
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Therizinosaurs are the best.

CharlizeTheronosaurs are the sexiest.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 1:31 PM
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Personally, I'm partial to the Doyouthinkhesaurus, but it's pretty rare that you actually spot one.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 1:34 PM
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I have to find some RW Emerson to teach this fall, but holy crap is he boring. Boring boring boring. In my fantasy world, Early American Lit survey skips from about 1810 to 1860.
|>


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 1:40 PM
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None of us stand a chance with any sexxy dinosaur if Mojoceratops is around.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:09 PM
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16: Not enjoying the refulgent summer? What about his essays on newspapers and the press. Those seemed interesting.

(Also, I really like The Blithedale Romance. Other American lit from the time period? I've had trouble reading more than a few pages, but then I've read very little American lit from any time period.)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:15 PM
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I am enjoying picturing Ms. Fox and Mr. Longrich from that article involved in a multi-year grudge that turns into love.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:16 PM
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That was the Hawthorne I was thinking of assigning. For Emerson, though, I can't find anything I don't hate.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:18 PM
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For Emerson, though, I can't find anything I don't hate.

You could piece together an anthology of sorts from TFA. "The Assembled Emersonian Commentary on Carp and Relationships."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:21 PM
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I don't usually talk out loud but I fairly often catch myself making the faces that go along with the conversation in my head.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:28 PM
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I guess I should note that the undergrads I know of who were assigned that Hawthorne mostly did not like it. Interesting, but dull, they thought. They clearly had not read enough dull literature, but they were young, then.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:34 PM
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16: No Melville?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:37 PM
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It's not just a class on Emerson and Hawthorne, no.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:41 PM
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21: Speaking of John, I swear everywhere I go on the Internet no matter how random, he is commenting there. So even though I think I don't really think this is him, I was taken aback to notice the last comment in the WaPo thread on General Mattis was by one "emersonjohn". It read:

The Limbaugh fascists and Palin retards at the little tea parties may consider my political views liberal. However, I believe there is a special class of human evil which rules by fear, cruelty, torture, and death. The Taliban is an especially nasty strain of that breed, and I wish General Mattis and his troops good shooting. I hope he hunts the Taliban into extinction.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:42 PM
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Sorry, that was to 16? No, I like Melville. Poe too. I just can't teach Moby-Dick, and probably don't even have time for The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, which are the things I like best. I'm just really really into 1760's-90's American stuff and am tempted to center the whole course on it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:44 PM
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26: I also noticed that, but I'm assuming it's a different John Emerson.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:44 PM
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26: I saw that too, but truly doubted it was Brother E.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:44 PM
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I did not notice that, and cannot believe you all read WaPo comment threads. Even when they're linked.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:50 PM
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I bravely read the comments in order to tell others not to. Or something like that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:53 PM
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I do whatever essear tells me not to do.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 2:55 PM
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And the blog fell silent, as essear carefully calculated his next move.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 3:17 PM
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It is raining like crazy right now, which gives me an excuse to wear my rain boots, which will conveniently cover a spider bite on my shin.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 3:32 PM
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I often perform dinosaur battle raps (both sides!) while walking down the street, and everyone, including the tween-looking laydeez AND their assumed parents, looks on in quiet awe.

Sadly, these epic performances are not reproducible in comment form.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 4:18 PM
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Is your dino rap name Cretaceous D? Are your rhymes Jurassick or Triassick?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 4:23 PM
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John Emerson at OpenLeft today


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 4:34 PM
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37 posted as I was reading it, so a money quote for MC

"For progressives, the world Obama wants to see will be intolerable. If we can't stop him, we're probably defeated for good." ...JE


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 4:36 PM
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My dino rap name is K. T. Boundary. Duh.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 5:21 PM
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Stanley up at 4: I've adopted a friend's habit of making random "boop" and "beep" noises when walking alone, for instance in grocery stores.

Huh. We should tell Brock about this, so he doesn't feel like an outlier with his bathroom fist-pumping and elevator gesturing!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 5:36 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 6:07 PM
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37: thank you, that is good and I wouldn't have seen it without the link.

It an interesting mix of really interesting comments, that I'll need to puzzle over, and things that seem either banal or false, but its a good attempt, and I'm going to be thinking about it for a while.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 6:16 PM
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Nick, it may be worth clicking over to the Alterman article in The Nation that Emerson links to early on as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 6:31 PM
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43: It is never worth "clicking over to the Alterman article," unless one wants a lesson in social climbing and namedropping that would have embarrassed the late Pamela Harriman.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 6:44 PM
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Oh. Perhaps I'll finish reading it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 6:49 PM
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It's a really fucking long article, but so far I'm not seeing what you describe.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 6:52 PM
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Has he called anybody his "good friend" yet? Criticized some obscure cable television talking head while suggesting himself as a replacement? Mentioned sitting next to Kofi Annan and Sean Penn at the Beacon Theatre benefit concert for Jesus Christ I don't even care?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 6:59 PM
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I"m really not seeing it at all, Flip. So.

To 47: No. Not yet, anyway. To whatever extent he may do that at other times, it doesn't seem to appear in the article at hand.

I've just jumped to the last page, and it's still not there. It is quite a long piece. Apparently he can keep a lid on it, then.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 7:17 PM
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We should tell Brock about this, so he doesn't feel like an outlier with his bathroom fist-pumping

Hey, if my beep-booping gets me into the same category as the Brockian Bathroom Fistpump, I'm honored. That comment still cracks me up every time I go into a particular bathroom at work.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 7:26 PM
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It's really a long disquisition on the brokenness or dysfunctionality of the system, which is probably why Emerson linked to it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 7:27 PM
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Will someone please delete 41? Because it's pretty fucking creepy, even considering the source.

Having now been chivalrous, I'm off to kill an Afghan villager or two.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 7:30 PM
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49: I don't know, Stanley, someone randomly uttering "Beep" and "Boop" in the grocery store might make me look twice. Of course it's totally charming. It's a lot better than what I suspect is my own expression of grim determination in the grocery store, so I endorse your Booping.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 7:34 PM
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43

Nick, it may be worth clicking over to the Alterman article in The Nation that Emerson links to early on as well.

I thought the article was long and boring.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 8:11 PM
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It is long and kind of goes on and on, yes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 8:17 PM
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I was once walking down upper broadway late at night with a girlfriend. I was less kempt than usual - unshaven, unshorn (I still had shearable material back then), and wearing a shapeless olive green anorak patched with duct tape. A cop car drove by, came back around the block and slowed down to our pace. Not only did the cops keep giving me suspicious looks, they didn't even hand me five dollars at the end when we reached our apartment.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 8:17 PM
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|
AUGH we have to move, landlords are moving an elderly relative into our wonderful apartment.

I think I'm going to need a day of mourning for the gigantic Wedgewood stove alone.

DID NOT NEED ANOTHER SCHEDULE SHOCK.
>


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 8:48 PM
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I've taken up distance walking for exercise and last weekend, about 2/3 of the way through a 9.5 mile route, I was sneered at by a teenager on a tiny bicycle. To be fair, I was looking remarkably unkempt and had donned a big floppy straw hat to keep the sun off my face, but he was riding a bicycle approximately half the height of a normal bicycle, feet stuck out in front of him, sneering away as though he didn't also look utterly ridiculous. I pursed my lips and tried to shame him with a glance but it was futile.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 9:23 PM
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Alterman's blog, which I guess is kind of still around, had a bunch of stuff along the lines of what Flippanter was suggesting. It also had some interesting stuff, and interesting guest posters too. Given that Alterman has some real historical knowledge and skills, his journalism that I've read has tended not to really show it, even when relevant to what he's writing about. I've sort of dropped out of paying attention to politics at all, so I haven't read this piece.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 9:47 PM
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I picked a bad time to wander away from the computer for several hours and miss low-hanging fruit like 32, didn't I?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 10:21 PM
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59: That wasn't low-hanging fruit. That was T-ball.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 10:27 PM
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You play T-ball with fruit? What a waste of food.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 10:29 PM
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I've taken up distance walking for exercise and last weekend, about 2/3 of the way through a 9.5 mile route

I've been trying, in a smaller way, to do that. Now that the heat wave is past, I'm going back to walking to work and back, but that is only 6 or 7 miles both ways.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-10 10:38 PM
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I'm also a random booper. It's automatic when I'm backing up to do the little beep beep sound forklifts make. I also supplement nature when it fails to provide the appropriate beep, bongs, plops, and boings that ought to go with things like dropping stuff in the trash, jumping, or falling down. Also good: Fwoosh.

This habit helps people know that they ought to maintain a safe distance from the crazy person.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:04 AM
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random booper

I thought the Random Booper was killed in the same plane crash as Ritchie Valens.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:18 AM
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Robust McManlyPants!


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 10:04 AM
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63.1: I don't think I'd have the presence of mind to utter "splat" when falling down.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 10:26 AM
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Robust McMP! I was thinking about you a couple of days ago! Hello!!!!!1!1!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 10:44 AM
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FYI, Utahraptor is way hotter than Dromiceiomimus.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 11:15 AM
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The Flip-Pater constantly makes ridiculous noises in idle or thoughtful moments, a habit that I, in horror, notice in myself increasingly frequently. I'd like to be able to compare it to Thomas Jefferson's habit of singing to himself under his breath, but come on.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 11:16 AM
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I really liked Emerson's piece, but it had some flaws -- smearing Obama is actually not helpful, because realistically lack of progressive turnout in the midterms is a bigger political threat to actual progressive causes than naive faith in Obama's infallibility, and there wasn't much real data behind the Rush-esque reduction of the Democratic coalition to blacks, Jews, and commie-symp intellectual elitists.

One point he didn't make: if you do want to target less educated whites and solidify their loyalty to the Democratic party (win back the Reagan Republicans, the eternal chimera) then nominating Obama instead of Hilary was a disaster.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 11:52 AM
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70: I agree that smearing Obama is not helpful, but I don't see that declining to smear him particularly helps in increasing progressive turnout, either. I'm really rather stumped by the apparent lack of interest/enthusiasm in voter turnout among Democrats. These are midterm elections; anyone plausibly called a progressive is surely not on the fence over whether Republican control of Congress might be just as good as Democratic.

I frankly find it difficult to wring my hands over progressive causes when we're looking at threats to merely liberal ones.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 12:44 PM
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70,71:Well, isn't this interesting?

The Third Bush Term ...Eric Rauchway. Mostly a cut-and-paste about Interior, but with an intro.

I don't know if I am still banned over there, but I was interested in Rauchway's opinion, as a historian of the Depression and New Deal, in Obama's statement that "Government Can't Create Jobs."

I also had thoughts I didn't post yesterday in line with ER's "bring X revolution to fruition", in that Republicans since Reagan move the system out of equilibrium and Democrats move it into a New equilibrium. William of Orange was to be mentioned.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 1:02 PM
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"For progressives, the world Obama wants to see will be intolerable. If we can't stop him, we're probably defeated for good." ...JE

72 last was going to explain the above "obama bashing" in a way that could explain why some of us find him particularly dangerous.

I don't care about soccer


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 1:08 PM
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Obama stated that Government Can't Create Jobs? I can imagine a context for that statement, I guess.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 1:12 PM
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"The Revolution was made to preserve our ancient indisputable laws and liberties, and that ancient constitution of government which is our only security for law and liberty.[98][99]" ...Edmund Burke

Glorious Revolution

Unlike in the English civil war of the mid-seventeenth century, the "Glorious Revolution" did not involve the masses of ordinary people in England (the majority of the bloodshed occurred in Ireland). This fact has led many historians to suggest that, in England at least, the events more closely resemble a coup d'├ętat than a social revolution.

The GR is considered a triumph of liberalism, yet the class system (in danger during the 17th century), among other inequalities like the treatment of Catholics, was preserved for what, 250 years?

My contention is that this is typical, that liberalism is in itself a system to preserve and protect inequalities.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 1:25 PM
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among other inequalities like the treatment of Catholics

On the plus side, we had an iron-clad excuse not to marry anybody in the royal family.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 1:32 PM
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Mark Thoma has linked to the Rauchway. I commented there.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 1:45 PM
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It's about "rents." "Revolutions" disempower previous rentiers and bring new ones to the fore. But, like the "free market" nobody really wants to compete on an equal basis. Rather, they want their privileges protected and increased. This, is what liberalism does, it institutionalizes the privileges of a top layer of political rentiers.

The rentiers of the 50s and 60s were WASPS, industrialists, and white blue-collar men, among others. The "Revolution" of the late 60s empowered (yeah,yeah, an ongoing process) educated women and educated ethnics, and for a short while, less-educated ethnics.

The process since 1970 has been about making the gains of the new interest groups secure and stable by weakening their immediate competition. The top rentiers, old money and Waltons, are always threatened by a civil war beneath them. Even, or especially, Republican Presidents have been on board.
FIRE and entertainment over manufacturing is good for women.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 2:05 PM
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Obama's statement that "Government Can't Create Jobs."

this statement is a good example of how ideology works, in that it is plainly and obviously false but seems uncontroversially true to many people.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 2:06 PM
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Does someone have a link to this statement?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 2:31 PM
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Here you go, ari.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 2:35 PM
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80:Adam Bink at OpenLeft, (scroll down just a little, Geithner is first) quotes Obama from a TAP interview with Tim Fernholz. Duncan Black and Yglesias both picked it up, among others.

Should I link to the TAP piece?

I don't lie much, ari.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 2:36 PM
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Thanks, neb and bob. And bob, I wasn't implying that you had lied. I wanted a link: so I could taunt eric with it.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 2:43 PM
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Can government create a job so important that no one is qualified to fill it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 2:45 PM
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Secretary of Dating Nosflow?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 2:46 PM
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After all the work Rauchway did in arguing against Amity Shlaes, I wouldn't be surprised if ER didn't see that statement and become immediately disenchanted with Obama. Thus "Third Bush Term"

But that is making things up.

We do have a little evidence that Obama is sincere, for instance, Obama's inordinate pride that ARRA didn't create net new Federal jobs. I don't have a link for this, but I remember it well.

There is also the various shapes of his stimulus proposals, the way HCR came out.

A strong version of "Gov't Can't Create Jobs" is 25th Amendment Time, but weak versions, that any gov't job means one less private job or that only private jobs increase productivity, are still variants on freshwater economic psychosis. But harder to prove in court.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 2:48 PM
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but weak versions, that any gov't job means one less private job or that only private jobs increase productivity, are still variants on freshwater economic psychosis. But harder to prove in court.

true, but even conventional economic theory wouldn't say that a government hire means one less private hire when you are well below full employment.

This government doesn't create jobs thing is a DC truism -- Republicans are constantly saying it and no prominent D dares to publicly disagree. A more sensible conservative version might be, we do not want a government-led economy over the long run and we are afraid this is what we are heading towards. But "government doesn't create jobs" is brilliantly maximalist way of putting it that at one stroke delegitimizes not just mainstream Keynesianism but even the most common-sensical uncontroversial sorts of collective action. Like mocking "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 2:57 PM
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Last one for a while:

Lenin of the Tomb on "Women and Labour"

One of his commenters found above greatly offensive, and linked to Lynne Segal

I read both, but they need study, and since "Lenin" ended:

I suggested previously that the phrase 'work-life balance' inadvertently revealed something about work under capitalism, namely the fact that the majority of one's waking hours are not spent alive, but labouring in a sort of undead capacity. If work and life are separate and opposing modes of existence, then the tendency of the former to increasingly dominate the latter outside of formal working hours, structuring our 'fun', commanding and regulating our socialisation, governing how we conduct ourselves in public, etc., means that capitalism is almost literally sucking the life out of us. That this process is advancing most rapidly for women confirms that the feminization of the proletariat is not automatically a liberation for women - not without the struggle and solidarity it makes possible.

I have an excuse to return to my zombie book.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 3:02 PM
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Also, the whole job creation thing is tricky in economic theory because at full employment equilibrium *no one*, not the private sector and not government, can create a new job. Economic theory is more about production than employment levels.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 3:05 PM
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From the link in 82, the very end of the (short) Adam Bink is good:

it doesn't make a lot of sense to me that this Administration has been saying for a year and a half "our Administration's stimulus package has either saved or created x number of jobs" over and over and over again, but then stomps on its own message in a quick effort to appeal to business and Wall Street.
And they wonder why no one in the public thinks the stimulus worked. Just a thought.

This kind of thing on the administration's part is increasingly infuriating; concession after concession, first acceding to Republican talking points (once they've bounced around the media echo chamber for a bit), then actually shifting policy accordingly.

Now they're apparently folding into the Dem box of serious concerns the need for low- or no deficit spending, and being all big-eyed and worried that any additional spending be offset, paid for. (cf. Benen's post on the shift in David Axelrod's rhetoric regarding the combined unemployment-extension-plus-aid-to-states bill. Now the aid to states part of it is, meh, not so much.)

I swear to god, if Republicans declare that there aren't enough neon pinks and yellows inside the beltway, the Dems will show up in psychedelic hues, acknowledging that the public has had a legitimate concern there, yes indeed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 4:39 PM
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||
I just got banned from Alas A Blog for calling them out on their holier-than-thou, anarchist-trashing shenanigans!

I feel so Emersonian and McManusesque!

Stupid liberals.

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 5:21 PM
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Does "Banned" over there mean the same thing that it does here?

Or is it even more severe?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 5:26 PM
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Having just glanced at Alas A Blog -- since I totally can't imagine what Natilo might say that might be bannable -- I don't see it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 5:38 PM
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"Banned on Alas A Blog" is like a T-rex stomping on your house, while "Banned on Unfogged" is like... finding five dollars? No, something else.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 5:44 PM
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Further to 93: never mind.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 5:49 PM
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My non-beep-booping personal quirk is, when at a crosswalk that includes a countdown with its walk signal, to occasionally imagine a stadium-sized crowd chanting the numbers as they count down. When the signal changes, there is wild applause.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 5:52 PM
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Maybe I'll go over to "Alas A Blog" and make comments with way too many hyphens and see if anybody notices. Because that's how you tell somebody cares.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 5:52 PM
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Anytime I play a game I imagine it's being narrated by Martin Tyler.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 6:01 PM
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97-- If you're ever in need of help with hyphen-overuse-related-activities, allow me to recommend my egregious-hyphen-overuse services.

Also, just because I know mentioning it will make Bob happy, this liberal's day was totally ruined by 81 and 82.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 6:11 PM
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Natilo, for what it's worth, and my editorializing isn't necessarily called for, your banning there is too bad; it's an interesting discussion, and an interesting blog (I'm aware of it but don't read it on any regular basis).

A comment like that made here would probably garner a "Wait up, whoa, let's unpack this, you hothead" followed by 200 careful comments, or 50 heated ones; but you're known here, fondly, to be operating in good faith.

Every time I read a moderated list blog I'm a little freaked out when the heavy hand comes down.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 6:40 PM
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I'm halfway convinced that the Obama administration was created in a lab to test just how quickly I could be driven insane by watching a nominally Democratic administration spout right-wing bullshit all day every day.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 6:43 PM
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followed by 200 careful comments, or 50 heated ones

It's like you don't even appreciate the bad puns.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 6:47 PM
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96: I always count down out loud, and when it's done, yell "Happy new year!"


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 6:50 PM
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A comment like that made here would probably garner a "Wait up, whoa, let's unpack this, you hothead" followed by 200 careful comments, or 50 heated ones....

We're all pretty well used to one another's hobbyhorses (cough XKCD cough procedural liberals cough geeks cough the latest awful thing some government official said cough SWPL cough). That wins a little indulgence when it comes to things that might otherwise get dismissed or attacked as trolling or whatnot, but I suppose it also creates a little complacency when one would really prefer to shock Mom and Dad the audience (e.g., by calling Gandhi a sellout).


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 6:52 PM
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You're worse than Hilter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 6:56 PM
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Racist.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 6:57 PM
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Heterophobe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 6:58 PM
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"Don't commit your hate crimes here! Hate crime!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:00 PM
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Water waster.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:00 PM
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104: Hey, I think Frowner expressed reservations about Gandhi in that thread too. She just did it in, you know, a tone of reasonableness.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:01 PM
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Are you calling me fat?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:09 PM
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OT: Do people sincerely enjoy True Blood? Wouldn't a DVD double feature of Gidget and Modesty Blaise provide a more efficient dose of "Everyone Campily Loves, Pursues [Girl]"?*

* If that's what you're into. I like The Venture Bros.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:15 PM
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112: yes, people do.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:16 PM
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Gandhi was kind of chubby, for a guy who did so many hunger strikes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:16 PM
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Not me, mind you. Other people.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:18 PM
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I am suddenly gripped by a desire to visit the Bay Area just so I can strangle some of the people quoted in this article.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:19 PM
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As far as I can tell the only reason to watch is that Anna Paquin is hot. On second thought, so is her friend. Two not very good reasons.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:20 PM
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111: I could scarcely do that, what with your stories of banging your ribs against the cliffside while hang-gliding in Utah or Alaska. No, I was just making a snack.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:22 PM
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118: I didn't get hurt at all in Alaska! I'm fine! Productive member of the team!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:23 PM
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"Unfortunately, public health advocates say, the consequences of rejecting vaccination are not strictly personal"

No shit.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:24 PM
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"In her home, Ms. Long treated whooping cough with herbs, homeopathic remedies and craniosacral therapy, as well as antibiotics. Recovering, but still occasionally coughing, she remains ambivalent about vaccines. "They're not a panacea," she said. "They're putting very strong chemicals into a child's body that may or may not work."

Argh.

(By the by, you'd think that vaccines would be the easiest sell to pro-homeopathic types: just take a tiny, attenuated bit of the thing that makes you sick! And you're better!)


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:27 PM
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WTF is craniosacral therapy?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:29 PM
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...as well as antibiotics.

Okay.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:29 PM
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...just take a tiny, attenuated bit of the thing that makes you sick! And you're better!

I don't know if that will work for homeopathic types, but it really pisses off lesbians.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:30 PM
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Given the location of the sacrum, and context, I suppose it must mean they have their head up their ass.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:31 PM
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122: Head massage, I think, as practiced by osteopaths. Mary Baker Eddy probably wouldn't have approved, so we avoid it.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:32 PM
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WTF is craniosacral therapy?

A cheerful pat on the head for the baby, followed by a discreet slap on the ass for the mommy.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:32 PM
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"My feeling is that the pediatrician's office is full of sick kids," she said, "and she's not sick, so there's really no point in going and exposing her to sick kids."

Of course, later in life they're never going to get coughed on by some recent immigrant from Hellholeia, or travel outside of Marin, so it's all good.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:41 PM
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Would I take things too far by suggesting a similarity between the people who shun vaccines and people who start fights about Who Is More Local?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:44 PM
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This is really kind of frightening thing: it's not just about fears over autism due to vaccinations, but the line about keeping one's child from the pediatrician's office (and the fact that this is Marin County) suggests that there's a very creepy division occurring between 'clean space' and dirty space.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:46 PM
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Marin County, at least the part of it I saw, seemed pretty clean. Certainly cleaner than Pittsburgh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:49 PM
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Sonoma County was really dusty. That, and the limited sense of humor of the people at Jack London's house* is pretty much all I remember.

*When they show you his burned house, they hate "To build a fire" jokes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:52 PM
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129: The guy who got in a fight about the non-local pigs was just drunk (and passionate). He had a point otherwise. So yeah, I'd say you'd be taking things too far.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:55 PM
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There's a ton of dirt in Marin, but it's all natural dirt in its natural habitat, so it's cool.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:55 PM
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Now, Napa. That is a clean county.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:56 PM
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non-local pigs

FBI?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 7:59 PM
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"there's a very creepy division occurring between 'clean space' and dirty space."

During the great 'flu flap I saw doctor's offices with two waiting rooms set up for "coughing/sneezing" and "other". It's not a totally silly idea but actually non-effective unless one goes for the full contagious disease precautions.

One doc friend of mine showed me a gadget his kid gave him for pressing elevator and traffic light buttons and for depressing the door bars on public buildings too.

And then there was that Oprah show about how far e. coli spreads in the air when a toilet is flushed. That panicked one person I know into making up a printed set of rules for her house-guests about how to "air-lock" the corridor leading to the source of deadly evil.

Bottom line? Most people have NO idea of how to evaluate what passes for science and health reporting in the media and to then make rational decisions about actions and risks. (This is not a new observation with me though.)


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:02 PM
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that Oprah show about how far e. coli spreads in the air when a toilet is flushed.

I don't know about the Oprah show, but I remember my mom telling me a few years ago that the toothbrushes should not hanging or sitting a mere foot or two from the toilet -- they should really be on the other side of the room, because.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:06 PM
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Damn, that's the second time I've dropped a word in a comment.

^be


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:07 PM
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138: reasonably well debunked by the knuckleheads of Mythbusters. Put your toothbrush in the toilet, if you want. It's as clean as anything else in your bathroom.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:12 PM
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137: That panicked one person I know into making up a printed set of rules for her house-guests about how to "air-lock" the corridor leading to the source of deadly evil.

Well, that's kind of goofy. If the toilet flushing is spreading germs, they're spreading germs all over the person flushing the toilet. What's the point in 'airlocking'? Maybe there's a point in putting the toilet seat down instead?

128: Of course, later in life they're never going to get coughed on by some recent immigrant from Hellholeia, or travel outside of Marin, so it's all good.

If they don't get coughed now on they'll never develop a strong immune system! Hello, amerindian imitator!

m, i didn't inherit those genes


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:16 PM
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One doc friend of mine showed me a gadget his kid gave him for pressing elevator and traffic light buttons and for depressing the door bars on public buildings too.

A glove?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:16 PM
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142: a monkey.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:17 PM
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... that was wearing gloves.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:17 PM
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It's as clean as anything else in your bathroom.

Well, some of the time.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:18 PM
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Bottom line? Most people have NO idea of how to evaluate what passes for science and health reporting in the media and to then make rational decisions about actions and risks.

Boy, is that ever true. In related news, my state senate has refused to pass a ban on texting while driving. (Yes, it's part of a larger bill about teenage drivers, and yes, there are issues with the bill. Even so.)

If I thought it would help, I would grab the legislators by the lapels and say:

U.S. TRAFFIC DEATHS: 37,000 a year (plus many more injuries)
APPROXIMATE DANGER OF TEXTING: Same as driving drunk
VALUE OF SOCIAL SIGNALING TO DISCOURAGE TEXTING: Immense.

But no. I strongly suspect it's because they all like to use their BlackBerries when they're driving. ARGH.



Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:18 PM
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143: Shouldn't there be a link there?

a monkey


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:24 PM
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I don't understand the relation of 146 to the quote in 146.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:25 PM
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You can get a monkey to press the elevator buttons, but they suck at texting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:25 PM
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142: I was going to go with "a stick"?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:27 PM
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148: Just don't make Witt shout again, please.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:31 PM
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Well, this is a very interesting Boston Globe article:

Facts don't necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. [...]
One avenue [for countering this tendency] may involve self-esteem. Nyhan worked on one study in which he showed that people who were given a self-affirmation exercise were more likely to consider new information than people who had not.
In other words, if you feel good about yourself, you'll listen -- and if you feel insecure or threatened, you won't. This would also explain why demagogues benefit from keeping people agitated. The more threatened people feel, the less likely they are to listen to dissenting opinions, and the more easily controlled they are.

If you ignore the necessary fiction that this is a new finding (!), it's quite a decent article, with the more useful bits at the end.

(Via, via.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:31 PM
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152: Science can't explain the Pennsylvania legislature.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:34 PM
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The relation is one of relatedness, Sifu. Witt said so quite clearly.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:34 PM
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I don't understand the relation of 146 to the quote in 146.

Sorry. My thought process:

1. People are not very rational at evaluating risks.
2. State legislators are no exception to this human tendency
3. Driver texting is an objectively risky behavior
4. Legislators, who have the power to socially discourage texting while driving by passing legislation that fines or otherwise punishes people for doing so, are refusing to do so.
5. One possible reason for this is that they are inaccurately assessing risk (ooh, let's waste our time passing meaningless resolutions about dumb stuff that we can't control, instead of potentially controversial stuff that we can)
6. Another possibility is that they are accurately assessing other risks (getting caught themselves, failing to get re-elected)

Does that make sense?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:36 PM
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155: The preponderance of evidence is that the entire Pennsylvania government is deliberately fucking with peoples' heads to see how long it takes before we snap. For example, we can't buy wine in the grocery store because kids might be able to buy wine from a private store. But, adults want more convenience, so they are putting wine vending machines in grocery stores. To stop kids from getting wine, you have to scan your state ID. To stop kids from using somebody else's ID, there will be a guy on a video link looking to see if your picture matches the ID. Instead of just letting the clerk who is already there look at your ID, like in 48 other states.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:43 PM
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156: Now, now, Moby, we can't fix the liquor problem quickly, you know. Otherwise how would Whole Foods recoup the money it expended getting a special exception?

And nothing will ever top the time I got carded -- complete with the clerk scrutinizing my license and typing my birthdate into the cash register -- for buying one very small tube of SuperGlue.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:47 PM
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Your Whole Foods has a special exception? You guys get all the nice shit and we get the Pirates.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:49 PM
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In all seriousness, although I know this makes me sound like a broken record, it once again comes down to race. The last time there was a serious effort to abolish the state stores, a major push to keep them was made by people who felt strongly that the system creates well-paying government jobs in poor and black neighborhoods (true) and that there is little chance those jobs will be replaced if they go away (probably also true) and therefore it is worth preserving the state store system (was probably true then, given that the realistic alternative on the table was a weird version of privatization that was almost guaranteed to enrich a few key white politicial players).

I had to take some guests through North Phila. recently and they got a crash course in the decline of Philadelphia as a manufacturing and textile center, complete with panorama of abandoned factories. You forget what an emotionally affecting visual it is for the people who don't see it every day.

A large percentage of the black middle and professional class in Philadelphia really did up and move to South Jersey, and the people who are left have few resources and even less recourse.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:53 PM
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Speaking of germs and the Bay Area, I just received a belated birthday present: The Great Bay: Chronicles of the Collapse by Dale Pendell. I'm about halfway through. It is very, very good. Probably my second favorite Bay Area Utopia/Dystopia so far.

Stupid liberals.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:54 PM
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Utopia/Dystopia

Is it that hard to tell which it is?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:55 PM
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a major push to keep them was made by people who felt strongly that the system creates well-paying government jobs in poor and black neighborhoods (true)

And, I might believe that was the reason if they didn't have the "beer distributor" system which does nothing but enrich people whose grandparents were politically connected and make it more difficult to buy reasonably priced beer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:56 PM
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158: I swear I've linked this before. A couple of the Whole Foods and Wegmans stores got around the state liquor laws by opening in-store "pubs." Super upscale. I've never actually seen one, but I know people who have been to the Plymouth Meeting one.

Article here.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 8:59 PM
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And if they hadn't been perfectly willing to allow you to mail order Pennsylania wine (and only PA wine) until the Supreme Court stopped them by pointing out that you can't set barriers to interstate trade.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 9:01 PM
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162, 164: Right. Just in case it isn't clear to non-Pennsylvanians, all I meant by 159 is that there were enough (black and white) legislators worried about the jobs to create a majority when you added them to the (white) legislators who didn't want to change the system for the reasons Moby outlines. Their interests happened to overlap, that's all.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 9:05 PM
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163: I thought you were saying that Whole Foods could sell wine to go. I had heard of the carry-out beer and the drink-in wine. That's not even half enough because they beer is too expensive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 9:05 PM
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Probably my second favorite Bay Area Utopia/Dystopia so far.

Which is your first favorite?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 9:05 PM
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167: Given where they put the United Federation of Planets, maybe Star Trek counts?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 9:22 PM
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Would I take things too far by suggesting a similarity between the people who shun vaccines and people who start fights about Who Is More Local?

The linked piece provides a surprisingly accurate (for the NYT) picture of Portland. People take that shit seriously here. I should check if the new vegan belt store down the street sources locally, because if they don't, they're asking for a smackdown. As parsimon pointed out, though, the writer downplayed drunkenness as the proximate cause of the incident.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 9:23 PM
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Orange County rather than Bay Area, but KSR's Three Californias trilogy is a dystopia/utopia that I remember fondly. Each book presents a different future Orange County - a low techpastoral post nuclear war one, a high tech ultra capitalist military industrial complex hell, and an anarchist-environmentalist utopia.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 9:28 PM
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Further to 169: In any case, in response to Flip, the vaccine-shunners and local-sourcing foodies may be similar, but IME here there's no clear correlation. The latter tend to argue the benefits of local distribution and quality of food, while the former seem generally motivated by fear and a poor understanding of statistics.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 9:38 PM
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The guy who wants "local coffee" in Oregon has a poor understanding of something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 9:40 PM
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I thought Natilo might just be thinking of Ecotopia, which isn't exactly Bay Area, though, but further north.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 9:40 PM
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150: 142: It was some sort of brass hook-like + handle thing that was supposed to be worn on one's belt.

I'm thinking of marketing a butt-pack specifically designed to dispense new and store used vinyl gloves for the common possible contamination scenarios and the occasional impromptu prostate exam.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 9:50 PM
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167- I'm curious too. The only other Bay Area-specific dystopia I know of is a Jack London short story (I think called The Scarlet Plague? But maybe post-apocalyptic doesn't count as dystopian? I didn't think it was all that great anyway.)


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 9:53 PM
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I think that Earth Abides also counts as a Bay Area-specific dystopia.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 10:21 PM
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116: Marin county is its own area. A diseased, crazy, wealthy area.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 11:19 PM
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Following on the distinction proposed in 175, Earth Abides seems more post-apocalyptic than dystopian. IIRC, most people are wiped out by some disease, probably as a result of anti-vaccinators (only now has the cause been revealed).


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 11:32 PM
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Post-apocalyptic definitely differs from dystopian, and not merely in that dystopias needn't be post-apocalyptic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-11-10 11:34 PM
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Utopia/Dystopia: There's a lot that have an element of both, not necessarily at the same time or place.

Here's my list, in rough order of liking:

1. Ecotopia
2. The Great Bay
3. The Fifth Sacred Thing
4. Ecotopia Emerging
5. End Times: Notes on the Apocalypse
6. The Iron Heel
7. After the Deluge

(I'm not really sure about the 3 Californias -- Most people wouldn't call OC "The Bay Area", would they? I mean, it's just not. And I've only read part of one of them anyway. I only know Earth Abides from Mike Davis' description in Dead Cities. There's also some quasi-BAUDs, like SM Stirling's AH novel Conquistador, and John Brunner's The Shockwave Rider, which is only partly set in the East Bay. I guess you could say the same about Ecotopia, although it's clear that SF is really central to the whole plot of the book. Also, I must be forgetting a couple.)


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:24 AM
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Oh, duh, also in the quasi-BAUD/honorable mention category are: William Gibson's Virtual Light and All Tomorrow's Parties, and Bruce Sterling's Holy Fire (just barely). Also I gather that one or two of Cory Doctorow's novels might well qualify, but I doubt I will ever read them.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:31 AM
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My "Free Roman Polanski" t-shirts have worked their magic!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 6:13 AM
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Also, Always Coming Home probably qualifies, I should read that soon.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 6:26 AM
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the occasional impromptu prostate exam

Ah, good ol' college days.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 6:39 AM
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150: 142: It was some sort of brass hook-like + handle thing that was supposed to be worn on one's belt.

So, it was an onion. A brass onion.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 9:14 AM
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A brass onion.

I told you about the walrus and me, man.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 9:19 AM
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Also I gather that one or two of Cory Doctorow's novels might well qualify, but I doubt I will ever read them.

Gosh, I don't know why anyone would ever want to avoid something nurtured, promoted and protected by the Nielsen Haydens (cough RaceFail cough) like it was the Gospel According to Robert A. Heinlein.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 11:04 AM
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Has he called anybody his "good friend" yet? Criticized some obscure cable television talking head while suggesting himself as a replacement? Mentioned sitting next to Kofi Annan and Sean Penn at the Beacon Theatre benefit concert for Jesus Christ I don't even care?

That's the Alterman blog, not the Alterman article.

Gosh, I don't know why anyone would ever want to avoid something nurtured, promoted and protected by the Nielsen Haydens (cough RaceFail cough) like it was the Gospel According to Robert A. Heinlein.

What?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 11:13 AM
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188: Google "Race Fail 2009"

Doctorow's sort of a SF insider, mediocre talent, but with the right connections, such as the Nielsen Haydens, who are suspect in their own right.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 11:16 AM
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If Ned actually did Google RaceFail, he'll be gone all day.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 12:56 PM
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Speaking of potential RaceFail:

Scientists have found the reason why blacks dominate on the running track and whites in the swimming pool: it's in their belly-buttons, a study published Monday shows.
...
"It so happens that in the architecture of the human body of West African-origin runners, the center of gravity is significantly higher than in runners of European origin," which puts them at an advantage in sprints on the track, he said.
The original article is online. I am just starting to read it, dude is a mech e prof at Duke and it builds on "Constructal Theory" which is something he developed. "For a finite-size (flow) system to persist in time (to live), its configuration must evolve such that it provides easier access to the imposed currents that flow through it." I'm smelling crank even without the sensationalistic reporting.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:35 PM
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Wait, my blog kicked off RaceFail (which I've never heard of and still don't understand)? Wow, I must be very important.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:43 PM
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Fucking engineers.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:45 PM
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191: Related: France's Christophe Lemaitre became the first white man to run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds when he clocked 9.98 on Friday, the French athletics federation said. (Although apparently Polish runner, Marian Woronin ran 9.992 years ago which was (inexplicably to me) rounded up to 10.00.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:47 PM
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191: Dude quoted elsewhere on his overarching theory (originally developed to explain river basin shapes).

"What I'm telling you is totally, let's say, the upside-down of what the proponents of chance and non-determinism have been promoting for more than a hundred years." Bejan said. "This is--how should I say--the end of the story. The end of the argument. A law of physics that says it all, and it takes less space in a future physics book than all this debate that currently has led to things such as chaos and chance and fluctuations and turbulence and other buzz words that mean 'I don't know'.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:56 PM
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Sorry, I'm suddenly fascinated by this Duke prof and his awesome theory. Here he is from an article on applying it to school rankings, "Science and education flow on the globe like water in a river basin," Bejan said. Personally, I think he is an agent provocateur planted by UNC.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:13 PM
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If you only think with your cortex, you lead a sad half-existence, and you miss out on the ineffable beauty of his jewel-like brain.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:31 PM
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Great crackpots, the real-life Charles Kinbotes and Pierre Menards of the world, are kind of a treasure. Too bad the lame ones like the surfer-dude-physicist get so much media attention.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:36 PM
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One more, then I'll quit. "THE SECRET OF GOLDEN RATIO revealed by roumanian professor Adrian Bejan".

The theory says that flowing systems - from airways in the lungs to the formation of river deltas - evolve in time so that they flow more easily. Bejan believes that this same theory can be applied to the natural design that connects vision and cognition and thus explains the popularity of the golden ratio. Bejan argues that the world - whether it is a human looking at a painting or a gazelle on the open plain scanning the horizon - is basically oriented on the horizontal. For the gazelle, danger primarily comes from the sides or from behind, not from above or below, so their scope of vision evolved to go side-to-side. As vision developed, he argues, the animals got "smarter" by seeing better and moving faster and more safely." As animals developed organs for vision, they minimized the danger from ahead and the sides," Bejan said. "This has made the overall flow of animals on earth safer and more efficient. The flow of animal mass develops for itself flow channels that are efficient and conducive to survival - straighter, with fewer obstacles and predators." For Bejan, vision and cognition evolved together and are one and the same design as locomotion.

Hence the golden ratio. Q.E.D.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:37 PM
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I have a Golden Ratio tale, but can't tell it online.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:59 PM
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I've actually met Be/jan a couple of times in an academic context. He seemed not at all crankish (intense, but within the normal range for senior STEM academics) and to be quite well respected by the engineers round here. Hard to square that with THE SECRET OF GOLDEN RATIO etc; I'm quite shocked.


Posted by: Abelard | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:09 PM
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201: Yes, he appears to be quite respectable in his field with a number of "conventional" books (his Convection Heat Transfer for instance is seemingly used as a textbook) and he has a named chair at Duke. I really don;t know anymore than I found with some web searches.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:22 PM
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160 and subsequent -- what about Pat Murphy's post-apocalyptic magic realist piece The City Not Long After? What we need is more post-apocalyptic fiction set in Emeryville, really. Maybe at the Ikea.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:35 PM
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202: Plus some of the other stuff might in part be due to some misreporting or misinterpretation. But also he would not be the first scientist/engineer to be well-regarded in one area and way off base in others.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:36 PM
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What we need is more pre-apocalyptic non-fiction set in Emeryville Bonus bees in honor of Megan!


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:45 PM
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I'm having way too much fun now reading this Bejan guy's stuff. It actually looks like some of these papers might be reasonable -- he's making various arguments for why certain networks found in nature, roads, etc are close to being optimal in some way -- but it's all pretty trivial and not very novel and he thinks he's discovered the grand unifying principle of the universe or something. It's all kind of Wolframesque.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 6:23 PM
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It's all kind of Wolframesque.

I'm so very happy that's become an adjective.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 6:34 PM
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191: Because Blacks are earth people and Whites are water people? And yes, he's far from the first highly intelligent guy to go off the deep end with some grand theory of everything.

On the other hand, it's newly discovered exotic particles all the way down isn't all that satisfying either.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 8:21 PM
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On the other hand, it's newly discovered exotic particles all the way down isn't all that satisfying either.

Arg. This is not what particle physics is about. Not to mention that the last time a new particle was discovered was 15 years ago, and people had already known it existed for nearly 20 years before that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 8:29 PM
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207: Tungstenian.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 8:32 PM
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And yes, he's far from the first highly intelligent guy to go off the deep end with some grand theory of everything.

Yeas ago when I first started reading up on biology I came across Walter Elsasser's The Physical Foundation of Biology. An Analytical Study and tried several times to slog through it, assuming that the problems I was having with it were all me (I knew he was pretty accomplished in geophysics, (and apparently in physics before that)). I was very grateful when I eventually come across a piece by Francis Crick that dismissed it as all pretty much crap.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 8:56 PM
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209: The Wiki article on particle physics gives that impression. So, what IS it really about? I keep reading "If we find this one, which we'll name 'Debbie', after my daughter, then ..."


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 6:04 AM
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