Re: ATM: Interview the kids

1

"How do you deal with schizophrenic homeless people on the sidewalk?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:00 AM
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You guys, be serious.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:00 AM
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3

What do they think you do at your job? Do they have an accurate idea (or any idea)?

"Mom's a teacher"
or
"Mom does fancy math"
or
"Mom's one of those lazy tenured radicals who are diluting our traditional values and corrupting the youth"


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:06 AM
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4

What's the deal with Instagram?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:06 AM
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5

"Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:11 AM
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6

"Say a young physics professor was asked to speak to rich high school students; what should he say?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:11 AM
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For the benefit of the 27% crazification factor who will answer earnestly, the kids are 2 and almost 4 years old.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:14 AM
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8

"Why do you suppose all the important grown ups in your life have decided to ask you impertinent questions today?"


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:15 AM
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9

"What's your greatest weakness?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:18 AM
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10

What do they think you do at your job? Do they have an accurate idea (or any idea)?

I like this one.

Joey sometimes asks me odd questions ("Is lightening hotter than the sun?") and then says "I thought that since you teach philosophy, you would know."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:20 AM
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11

"If you microwave an egg in a plastic cup and the cup melts, should you still eat the egg?"


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:21 AM
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12

"What would you say if I told you I'd invented a totally novel sex act?"


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:24 AM
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10: explain that you're an unnatural philosopher, and the natural philosophers are the ones that know all the cool stuff.

(Answer: yes, several times hotter.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:24 AM
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"What should you do if a girl shows up on your doorstep high on meth?"


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:25 AM
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15

It is?! Lightening is hotter than the sun? That doesn't seem right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:26 AM
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16

I'd better ask the kids.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:27 AM
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17

Per the first Google hit (Discovery), it's hotter than the sun's surface, but much cooler than anywhere in the interior.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:29 AM
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18

17: But if lightning strikes the sun?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:31 AM
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19

Lightening, like shortening, is a food product without a caonical temperature.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:31 AM
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20

Seriously, asking questions to find out what was going on in the goofy little mind was useless in my family at that age. He just didn't have the verbal capacity.

Alternative exercise: give them cameras (can be a cell phone) for a few minutes, show them what button to push, give a vague instruction like "take pictures of things you like" and see what they come up with. We were charmed by the results -- mostly photos of people from the waist down, the toddler eye perspective. We resolved to pay more attention to footwear.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:34 AM
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21

"What do you love the most?"
"What scares you the most?"
"What do you want above anything"
"What do you hate the most?"


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:37 AM
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20: Sure, but if you do it yearly, it would be fun to watch them grow, wouldn't it?

This is the FPP whose parents recorded 20 second video of us between 1970 and 1995 and spliced it all together to get our childhoods on time-lapse photography, remember. (Far more impressive in the pre-digital age. Kind of a hollow achievement now.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:38 AM
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23

Also, Hawaii is a nonstop chatterbox. Her answers may be nonsensical, but I'm pretty sure we can capture ten minutes of monologue without her pausing to catch her breath.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:40 AM
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24

OK, you're in a desert, walking along, and you see a tortoise...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:40 AM
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For a time-lapse that they and others will look at later, what's the best/worst thing that happened this month. For understanding their worldview, personal questions, 21 seems right.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:42 AM
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26

Oh, forgot the fifth question which is apparently "what do you expect of life?"


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:43 AM
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27

"take pictures of things you like" and see what they come up with
We came up with lots of butts and underwear.
At the bus stop my kids and one of their friends and his 4 year old brother like to tell me questions to ask my phone (via Siri.) Often it's things like what's the biggest X in the world, where X has been house, nose, carrot, car, watch etc. Today they did bug, but Siri heard it as butt, so another parent walking by might have thought I was some kind of pervert showing pictures to little kids. Also carrot doesn't work, Siri interprets it as ^


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:47 AM
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28

At first I thought 21 was going to be


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:51 AM
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29

Why isn't my link working? I meant to link to James Lipton's questions from Inside the Actor's Studio.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:53 AM
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30

Why isn't my link working?

I don't think h-g's kids are technically advanced enough yet to answer that question.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:20 AM
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31

How much candy can you eat in one sitting? No getting up from the table, unlimited water.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:23 AM
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32

Ask them where babies come from and why things work that way.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:55 AM
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33

What is there, and how do we know?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:57 AM
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34

Why is there something rather than nothing?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:58 AM
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35

Is string theory as an approach to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity dead?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:07 AM
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36

What is everything, anyhow?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:25 AM
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37

What did people eat on the veldt?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:39 AM
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38

Who do you love more, the Analogy Ban or the Sanctity of Off-Blog Communication?


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:54 AM
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39

WMYBSALB?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 10:08 AM
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40

I think asking them to explain what you and Jammies do at work is the best idea. Also I think you should post the answers.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 10:09 AM
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41

"Who wants to sex Mutombo?"

"How many five-year-olds could you take in a fight?"

"How do you spell 'lightning'?"


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 10:13 AM
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I think this is a great project.

Have them explain a picture they've drawn.
Ask them about each other and the impending sister.
Ask them what they like to do at school.
Ask them for a detailed critique of JRoth's architecture.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 10:18 AM
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43

"Why can't you read yet?"
"What is wrong with you?"
"Name three ways in which you have failed today"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 10:23 AM
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44

"What is best in life?"


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 10:23 AM
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45

Ask them for definitions or uses of common things that they've heard in passing but probably don't really understand. The misconceptions in a kid's head are hilarious. What's a Catholic? What's Congress? What is gasoline for? What is money? What's inside a computer?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 10:26 AM
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46

"Is Pat Sajak happy?"


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 10:27 AM
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47

When are you going to get a job?

What's for dinner?

Where's our anniversary present?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 10:36 AM
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48

Do Mommy and Daddy sometimes make funny noises at night?


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 10:53 AM
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49

You can have this marshmallow now or two marshmallows and a car when you graduate from college. Do you take the marshmallow?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 11:10 AM
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50

If a chicken and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day and a half, how many pancakes does it take to shingle the roof of a doghouse?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 11:16 AM
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51

"What's that behind you?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 11:33 AM
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52

Heh. My guess posting this was that I'd get useful answers from sir kraab and Witt, and entertaining answers from the rest.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 12:01 PM
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53

52: Right about Sir Kraab, and wrong about everyone else.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 12:14 PM
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54

52. There's the problem. They're all giving questions.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 12:16 PM
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55

54: This is like Jeopardy!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 12:19 PM
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56
Why am I me, and why not you? Why am I here, and why not there? When did time begin, and where does space end? Isn't life under the sun just a dream? Isn't what I see, hear, and smell just the mirage of a world before the world? Does evil actually exist, and are there people who are really evil? How can it be that I, who am I, wasn't before I was, and that sometime I, the one I am, no longer will be the one I am?

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 12:28 PM
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57

What is Geebie Family Day?

What WAS daddy doing with that toilet?

Kid D says:
What's your favourite colour? (because it would be interesting to see how it changed)

Do you like your bedroom?

Who's your favourite family member?
[My kids constantly discuss their favourite sibling. Possibly because I quite often tell them who is the current best child.]


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 12:42 PM
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58

Which is better: dogs or cats?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 12:48 PM
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59

You could use this opportunity to improve your performance as a customer-centered parent.

Is there something I could do to make your experience as a child more enjoyable?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 12:49 PM
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60

56 is awesome.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:13 PM
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61

"Canst thou draw out Leviathan with a hook?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:17 PM
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62

What have you got in your pocketses? Nassty filthy children.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:19 PM
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63

Will you bathe me when I am old?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:21 PM
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64

Will you still need me, will you still feed me...


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:23 PM
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65

If I'd been out till quarter to three, would you lock the door?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:23 PM
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66

Damn you, SP.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:24 PM
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67

I don't remember that line from the song.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:25 PM
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68

Tell me honestly how I look in this.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:26 PM
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69

Do you really think your future is more important than my present?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:27 PM
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70

"Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of an organization that advocates the violent overthrow of the United States government?"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:38 PM
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71

"Isn't it great when all your anarchist friends turn into reactionary assholes who try to bully you into signing loyalty oaths?"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:40 PM
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72

"Hath not a Jew eyes?"

"What's it all about, Alfie?"

"Do you have five dollars I can borrow?"


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:46 PM
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73

"Is it safe?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:47 PM
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74

Okay, 73 cracked me right up.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:48 PM
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75

Can you call spirits from the vasty deep?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:51 PM
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76

How many lights?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:57 PM
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77

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 2:04 PM
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78

That one's easy- A woodchuck would chuck all the wood that it could chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 2:06 PM
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79

How much work would a network net if a network could work nets?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 3:51 PM
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80

Paging A White Bear. And Megan.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 6:48 PM
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81

"Hast seen the white whale?"

"Is there no sin in it?"

"What hath God wrought?"


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:53 PM
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82

"Hast seen the white whale?"

An actual favorite in our house! Jane very much likes to tell us that she has seen the white whale. We thought we had her trained up to say "From Hell's heart I stab at thee!" but, alas, she has lapsed.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:12 PM
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83

What name did Achilles take when he hid amongst the women?

What was the rule that regulated the succession to the priesthood of Diana at Aricia?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:13 PM
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84

How many children had Lady MacBeth?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:19 PM
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85

What song did the Sirens sing?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:20 PM
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86

For a while I had my grandmother memorize my dissertation title, and I would say, "Hey, want to see my grandmother do a trick? Grandma, what's my thesis title?" and she would obligingly rattle off a string of nonsensical words, and everyone would obligingly be entertained.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:21 PM
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87

CAAAAAAN YOOOOU FEEEEEEEEL IIIIIT?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:25 PM
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88

An actual favorite in our house! Jane very much likes to tell us that she has seen the white whale.

This is so awesome.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:56 PM
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89

85: it went something like this.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:01 PM
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90

Did you write the book of love?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:12 PM
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91

Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my angel?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:12 PM
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92

Where are the snows of yesteryear?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:13 PM
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93

What price bananas?

Do you have no bananas?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:22 PM
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94

At long last, do you have no bananas?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:33 PM
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95

Do you care?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:34 PM
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96

Do you hear the horror in the hum?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:35 PM
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97

94 is great.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:35 PM
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98

Is your drum at long last just my thumb?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:36 PM
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99

What may I know? What must I do? What may I hope?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:45 PM
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100

A Man, being born blind, and having a Globe and a Cube, nigh of the same bignes, Committed into his Hands, and being taught or Told, which is Called the Globe, and which the Cube, so as easily to distinguish them by his Touch or Feeling; Then both being taken from Him, and Laid on a Table, Let us Suppose his Sight Restored to Him; Whether he Could, by his Sight, and before he touch them, know which is the Globe and which the Cube?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:50 PM
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101

Is it all just a sick joke to you?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:51 PM
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102

He knows, now can he have them both already?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:52 PM
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103

Que reste-t-il de nos amours?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:54 PM
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104

If you had need of a ladle, would not your father give you a ladle?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:54 PM
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105

Is it not cold and wet, does your father not shake and sweat?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:56 PM
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106

If I told you that you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 10:19 PM
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107

Have you never been mellow?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 11:15 PM
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108

Have you never been happy just to hear your song?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 11:16 PM
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109

Now I have "interview the kids" in my head to the tune of m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=kpl42nuJXDU


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:14 AM
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110

Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

(Or, if you prefer: ou est les Neigedens d'antan?)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:59 AM
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111

re: 100

Molyneux. Sweet. We should all interrogate kids with classic 17th century philosophical problems.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 3:45 AM
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112

What colour is the boathouse at Hereford?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 3:57 AM
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113

106- The media lab takes your sexism into the future.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 4:27 AM
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114


"Who is the Brown Bomber? How much is a shave and a haircut?"

If he can't answer, shoot him. He's a Nazi.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 4:51 AM
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115

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 5:23 AM
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116

When are we having drinks in San Francisco next week?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 5:49 AM
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117

What colour is the boathouse at Hereford?

I'll know I've done my job as a parent when my daughters ambush me with a cup of coffee.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:03 AM
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118

111: not just 17th century! There's a talk on Molyneux' Problem at Stanford soon (maybe even today), not that I can go.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:33 AM
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119

106- The media lab takes your sexism into the future.

It somehow seems that the word "disseminate" would have been avoided in this context.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:46 AM
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120

When are we having drinks in San Francisco next week?

Can someone make this a post? I'll be in SF and free to meet up the evening of 4/1, and during the day of 4/7.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:51 AM
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121

Update: Jane now claims NOT to have seen the white whale. Shenanigans!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 11:59 AM
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122

When Thing 2 was Jane's age, she once said that "a shark pooped on my head," but now she claims not to remember anything about the incident. When it comes to marine biology, you just can't trust them.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 1:26 PM
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123

Can you hear the people sing?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 2:03 PM
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124

Wikipedia's entry on Molyneux's problem is surprisingly poor, offering responses that are either nonsense or that miss the philosphical problem in favor of the uninteresting practical answer.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 5:18 PM
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125

You don't think it's cool that they actually went and answered Molyneux's question? I think it's pretty cool.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:03 PM
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126

But I don't think the question they answered is the one Molyneux meant to ask*. "Can the human brain, after a lifetime of sensory deprivation, immediately establish a correspondence between appearance and shape?" is different than "Is coincidental stimulus required to establish a correspondence across sensory modalities?".
*It goes without saying that I don't know what I'm talking about.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:27 PM
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127

Ask them for a detailed critique of JRoth's architecture.

I actually think this is an outstanding question. Maybe "What do you like best about our house?" for the two-year-old and "What do you like best about the way our house is built?" for the four-year-old.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:34 PM
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128

There have been dozens of cases of restored sight where the doctors thought to ask Molyneux's question, and, in practice, the answer turns out to be no.

I wrote a paper on Locke on Perception for a volume that will come out sometime in the next 20 years. ยง2.5 is on Molyneux's problem, if you feel like giving constructive, destructive, or comic criticism.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:04 PM
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129

Clicking the link in 128, I realized that I have a weirdly visceral negative reaction to seeing double-spaced text that isn't easy to overcome. I think it's because I associate it with student, rather than published, papers?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:41 PM
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130

Huh, it's not loading for me.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:04 PM
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131

Is the newly sighted man allowed to see while feeling *other* things (with other shapes) first? I guess that would reduce some of the interest.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 10:30 PM
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132

. I think it's because I associate it with student, rather than published, papers?

No, it's not that. Who hurt you, essear?

131: Not in the theoretical versions, I don't suppose. In the real life cases, I don't think it makes much difference. It takes a while to be able to recognize 3-d figures by sight.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 5:09 AM
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133

Why is the Molyneaux problem a philosophy question at all? Just because historically, philosophers asked it, I suppose.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:18 AM
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134

In Molyneux' day there was no understood distinction between philosophy and science, or rather science was seen as a branch of philosophy, as it had been in the European tradition since Thales or before. You can argue that hypotheses about the nature of matter belong to science these days, but Thales' hypothesis is still regarded as philosophical.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:24 AM
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135

In Molyneux's day they also couldn't generally cure people who had been blind since birth.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:52 AM
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136

The first test case was cataract surgery 40 years after Molyneux posed the problem. The SEP article is good.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:12 AM
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126: it is of course the case that with empirical work you're answering a partial subset of the question addressed by a thought experiment. It seems very likely based on this work that crossmodal integration (at least when it comes to the integration of visual and tactile stimuli, which incidentally isn't so enormously easy a problem for regular sighted people) is a product of experience, but the experiment was on five kids of varying ages and levels of impairment, and who knows (among other things) what has happened to their brains across years of blindness. That said, as far as Molyneux's problem as originally phrased goes, they definitely specifically answered it. (Okay, they used lego shapes rather than spheres and cubes.) That's pretty rad! You don't generally see people putting dudes with lists of translations and grammatical rules into locked rooms or showing Polynesians buckets of rabbit bits.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:16 AM
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It's really good I am not in philosophy because I would just be irritated most of the time. Fucking Locke!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:27 AM
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The SEP article is indeed pretty good. And of course the empirical answer to "does crossmodal sensory integration require coincident stimulus, as a general rule" is "it's complicated".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:29 AM
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Also, though, that whole "let's go cure super poor blind kids in slums in India and get research funds to pay for it all" thing is pretty awesome even if they hadn't found any interesting conclusions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:33 AM
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What is the frequency, Kenneth?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:49 AM
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Fucking Locke!

You make a fair point.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:57 AM
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The interview went great, IMHO. We'll upload it when we get home.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 8:00 AM
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Why is the Molyneaux problem a philosophy question at all?

Why wouldn't a question about perception be philosophical?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 8:26 AM
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It seems like a neurology question, and I know I'm being so 2013 and that's not the context in which it was asked. But were it posed in 2013, no one would knock on the philosophy department door to answer it.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 8:54 AM
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It seems like a neurology question

No it doesn't!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 8:59 AM
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Oh, also:

It's really good I am not in philosophy because I would just be irritated most of the time.

Ditto.

I suppose I must have read what beamish reports in 132 amd 136 supra in Gallagher's book (you know, the one cited in the SEP article—allow me to wonder aloud whether Sifu might like it, in fact), since it's fairly recent and discusses Molyneux, but … I couldn't remember!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:02 AM
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Why wouldn't a question about perception be philosophical?

Because it's empirically testable, and those questions tend to migrate to other departments?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:13 AM
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Recently via Facebook I encountered someone (Ken/ny Eas/war/an, who might even read here? in which case, no offense intended) who had written a philosophy paper on why physical theories typically depend on second, rather than higher, derivatives. He was unaware that this was something physicists might already have well-formed opinions about.

I guess I feel like a lot of questions that would at one time have been well-suited for philosophy eventually sort of become the prerogative of people with much more experience in a particular subject.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:16 AM
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And of course since it only showed up on my feed because a mutual friend had commented on it, it appears there's no way for me to see the discussion anymore. Isn't Facebook awesome awful? Why do we put up with it?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:20 AM
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Multisensory integration is genuinly sort of an interesting case; for one thing, neuroscience hasn't done that great a job of turning up areas that definitively do the job. There's plenty of empirical work on the features of multisensory integration -- what kind of time lags people will tolerate to consider an auditory and visual stimulus to be the same object, for instance -- but without a really striking neuroscientific theory of what's happening there probably still is room for a sort of introspective, phenomenological approach, and it seems likely that whatever the empirical truth turns out to be it will have been predicted in fairly good detail by some philosopher or other. That's certainly been the case for much of the rest of research into perception. The issue, of course, is that figuring out which philosopher is right is NP-hard, as it were.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:24 AM
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150: if you look at the wall of the original poster in question it should be visible there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:26 AM
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It isn't. Lots of other things are, though. I've never really figured out the default Facebook friends-of-friends policy.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:50 AM
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146: why not? Or neuropsych?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 10:23 AM
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154: because those are medical specialties that deal with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 11:03 AM
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He was unaware that this was something physicists might already have well-formed opinions about.

Why, then?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 11:07 AM
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Because it's empirically testableanswerable, and those questions tend to migrate to other departments?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 11:32 AM
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156: Well, there are several possible answers, but I think the most general and compelling one is that we expect the laws of nature to depend on all derivatives, it's just that we're usually working in some kind of approximation where dependence on higher derivatives is small.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 11:41 AM
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158: is that related on some level to the vanishing coefficients thing you've talked about before re: quantum effects?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 11:43 AM
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158: is it actually a convention? or is it context-dependent, based on how much precision the physicist wants, and just some big typical cases are all 2nd derivatives?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 12:28 PM
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the integration of visual and tactile stimuli, which incidentally isn't so enormously easy a problem for regular sighted people
I'm curious what this means.
Although after restoration of sight, the subjects could distinguish between objects visually as effectively as they would do by touch alone, they were unable to form the connection between object perceived using the two different senses.
Does distinguish mean recognize? If not, they may not have fully developed their visual abilities yet.
The results of the touch-to-vision tests were barely better than if the subjects had guessed. However, such cross-modal mappings developed rapidly, in the course of a few days.
A few days to build a correspondence between different sensory modalities is pretty impressive. Couldn't the doctors have only allowed them to see things they couldn't touch and vice versa for those few days? For science? Maybe fit them with cangues?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 12:43 PM
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As I was lying half-zonked-out in bed I reflected that needing some time to get accustomed to a three-d visual world only makes sense: after all, people who remain blind as to the eyes need to learn how to use tactile-visual substitution systems and I don't see why it would be any different when sight is supplied by the conventional means. (People who know something about all this may now scoff.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 12:45 PM
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I'm curious what this means.

If you feel something, how well can you tell what it will look like, and vice versa?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 12:55 PM
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In what sense is it hard for people?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:04 PM
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If you feel (but don't see) something with a complex shape (like, say, some lego pieces stuck together), you won't necessarily be easily able to pick it out of a lineup of other things with complex shapes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:06 PM
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And likewise for seeing something and then have to judge it by feel later. You'll be better at it than these kids were, but you won't necessarily be perfect. It's hard!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:07 PM
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But can you see its hardness, or do you have to feel it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:15 PM
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Its hardness is epistemically transformative, nosflow. You have to experience it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:16 PM
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But I'm asking about the modality of the experience.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:19 PM
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Its hardness transcends sensation.

[...]

That's what she said.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:24 PM
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160 or is it context-dependent, based on how much precision the physicist wants, and just some big typical cases are all 2nd derivatives?

This is pretty much it. Basically 2-derivative treatments of a problem are usually the leading approximation, and often things depending on higher derivatives are many, many orders of magnitude smaller.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:29 PM
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And likewise, for seeing something and then having to judge it by sight later. I guess I don't really have a well-posed question, but is there something that indicates that there is a unique difficulty with mapping between senses that isn't there in most mental processes.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:36 PM
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The lack of question mark is only one way that wasn't well-posed.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:37 PM
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172: it's not particularly unique; we're bad at lots of things. Finding a one to one correspondence between sensory modalities without other cues isn't something that comes up much ecologically; in general if you're touching something you have the ability to look at it as well.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 1:45 PM
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It will be fun to have these recordings when your kids are older, HG. A friend of mine recently played a tape for us of his dad giving him and his brother the sex talk when they were like 5 and 6--extremely cute stuff. This friend is always saying that, because he's a science type, he doesn't really like reading; in the tape, at 5, he demands to know whether his father is about to read them a long, boring book. It's very cute.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 4:27 PM
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because he's a science type, he doesn't really like reading

!!?!?!?!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 5:39 PM
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While you science-types are here: is In Search of Memory worth reading? I considered it but then I saw some Jonah Lehrer books on the shelf nearby and figured I'd better not buy something I knew nothing about.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:06 PM
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Dunno anything about it, but it looks neat to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:14 PM
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Not a science person, but I mostly liked it. Not enough memory, though. MOAR MEMORY, PLEEZ!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:18 PM
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I really liked the old "In Search Of" shows where Spock spouted off about all sorts of truly dubious shit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:19 PM
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RWM was very happy that essentially every time she brought in a science speaker and a teacher asked "what should you do now if you want to work in X" they said "read." Apparently this blew the minds of the high school teachers, who had the (weirdly common) belief that being good at math and science meant you probably didn't like reading-related things.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:20 PM
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they said "read." "network."


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:24 PM
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176: I know, I know. I keep trying to convince this person that these ideas about science types and not reading don't make any sense.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:24 PM
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How about having them conduct a study.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:32 PM
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A couple of science people recently contacted me about a study and I am in the midst of writing them a long, advice-y e-mail. But what I really want to say is: "I am going to call your PI and make sure he knows exactly how ill-prepared your junior colleague is, before she does too much harm."

But instead I am venting here.


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:40 PM
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Now I'm trying to imagine what was in the email received.

"After waiting two to three months required for the testicles to regrow..."

"This study wasn't rejected by any IRB of which we are aware."

"All analysis was conducted in MS Excel."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:51 PM
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I was about to say that there's a limit to how far networking as a teenager can take you, but then I thought about it for a second and realized just how false that was in my case.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:52 PM
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You went illimitably far?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:53 PM
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OT: Can somebody lawyery tell me if courts often issue decisions in major criminal cases on Sunday.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:55 PM
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If 186 was to me, that wasn't the problem. They sent me an initial e-mail, which I didn't respond to within 3 days because I was traveling. They left 8 hang-up calls on my voicemail (which I know because I have caller ID), and then showed up at my office without an appointment.

I met with them for a few minutes and gave some basic advice, which the older and more experienced one seemed to be attentive to. The younger one just seemed utterly clueless, including about the deadlines and requirements of her own study.

Protip: If you are conducting a study requiring the collection of genetic material from people who may not be inclined to trust you, do your homework.


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:58 PM
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Do they know you have power over them now?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 6:59 PM
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?? I don't have any power over them.


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:00 PM
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But you're going to their PI, hoping to fuck with their careers? Rather than talking to them directly? Why? Did they do something truly awful to you? Or is it just the hangup calls and the fact that they're not as prepared as you deem appropriate?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:05 PM
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Q-tip: if you are collecting genetic material from people not inclined to trust you, use something that looks more specialized and professional than a Q-tip.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:07 PM
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I use the "Are you thirsty? Good, because I'm going to slip this glass you just drank out of into my purse." gambit that I learned from Veronica Mars.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:09 PM
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No, no, no, I'm not writing anything to their PI. I'm writing to the two people who visited me, and just sending an e-mail about their study, with all of the (free) advice they asked for.

I'm just irritated at the unprofessionalism, so I'm venting here. I have no intention of contacting the PI, in part because his comments, as paraphrased by his junior staff, do not indicate a particular interest in understanding the population he's trying to study.

(To be honest, their careers never crossed my mind -- my role is to protect vulnerable people from exploitation, not to babysit 25-year-olds who should have long since learned better.)


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:09 PM
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Vent away! Just include more amusing details, please.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:12 PM
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And to be clear, the unprofessionalism is the not knowing about their own study or about the people they allegedly want to study -- not the hangup phone calls or the showing up without an appointment. That's just garden-variety rudeness.


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:12 PM
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I've never quite understood what you do for a living, but back when I had a phone, I used to get endless hangups. It was a bit annoying, but usually better than the messages I often received. As for people showing up without appointments, the dratted public thinks they have a right to my time -- because they pay for it, I guess. I'm currently awash in "Help me, I'm doing a History Day project!" e-mails and spontaneous meetings. Now that I think about it, I'm not even sure if these projects have cleared IRB.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:17 PM
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HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW WHEN YOUR OWN STUDY DEADLINE IS? Even approximately?

How do you manage to refer straightfaced to a cockamamie "racial group" that never existed biologically and hasn't existed as a social term for at least 30 years?

How do you keep moving the goalposts in the course of a five-minute conversation, so the goal of studying "X Nationality Jewish large families" becomes "X Nationality 4-person nuclear families"?

How do you fail to grasp the point so baldly that your response to hearing the Yale debacle cited as an example of community mistrust is to respond, "We're not psychologists?" (No, you're just taking people's genetic material. No reason at all that should make them paranoid!)


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:18 PM
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Fail badly to grasp the point, not baldly. I just *thought* the point was bald, obv.


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:18 PM
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If you want to put them in touch with the students working on History Day projects here, let me know. These kids seemed to have pretty decent genetic material. At least their organs were delicious.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:22 PM
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No, but thanks for letting me vent. I feel better now.

(My job has nothing to do with this. This was a "goodness of your heart" request. Which I was/am trying to accommodate because the ostensible subject of the research really would be of great value to the public health if it pans out.)


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:24 PM
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I've often wondered why nobody has even been stabbed by or stabbed a project coordinator, if that's what this is about.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:29 PM
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In answer to your question upthread, Moby, I have no idea. But if I were a judge in a small Midwestern town about to release an inflammatory verdict, I would sure pick a moment when half the town was going to be in church.


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:31 PM
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Maybe because nobody can figure out the grant rules to see if knives are capital equipment or supplies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:32 PM
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206 to 204.

205: Or still hung-over. It's St. Patrick's Day weekend. I guess maybe the point was to keep whatever blow-up happens out of the school for at least 22 hours.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 7:34 PM
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My job has nothing to do with this. This was a "goodness of your heart" request.

Now I'm even more confused about what you do.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 8:55 PM
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I mean, aside from the ninja librarian gig on the weekends or whatever.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 8:55 PM
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181 Apparently this blew the minds of the high school teachers, who had the (weirdly common) belief that being good at math and science meant you probably didn't like reading-related things.

Yeah, I kind of remember that from grade school. Teachers always imagined that the world was sorted into mathy types or verbal types and that these were mutually exclusive. In fact, I'm dimly recalling one middle school English teacher making some kind of claim about how God gives everyone different gifts and so it isn't possible for one person to be good in all their classes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 8:59 PM
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That teacher failed to account for the sports and beauty axes.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:03 PM
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What about the dumb unathletic ugly people of the world?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:07 PM
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Some of them are good at drugs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:11 PM
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They are possessed of an innate kindness and simple wisdom.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:12 PM
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Alternatively, they have the grit, aggression, and concrete goals needed to survive in a less effete era.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:30 PM
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That might be covered under "simple wisdom."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:35 PM
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212

What about the dumb unathletic ugly people of the world?

Seems like their genes must be good for something or they would have died out.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-16-13 9:39 PM
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What about the dumb unathletic ugly people of the world?

Hewers of wood and drawers of water?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 2:57 AM
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"All analysis was conducted in MS Excel."
Yeeeaaaargh, this is so goddamn common with a lot of our collaborators. I had someone recently try to join two ~2000 item lists manually in Exhell. Surprise, they messed up and ended up requesting the wrong material for follow-up. Do you even care about discovering something or are we just doing this as an exercise?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 6:34 AM
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Excel ain't so bad for a first pass.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 6:39 AM
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I mean, assuming you use it correctly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 6:39 AM
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That teacher failed to account for the sports and beauty axes.

The ninja librarian accounts for the verbal and beauty axes. And the shuriken of shushing.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 6:46 AM
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220: Somebody once showed me how to run a regression in Excel. It seemed a clumsy way to do it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 7:14 AM
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Yeah, it doesn't seem very good for that, I admit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 7:18 AM
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You can use the Excel solver plugin to do minimization of residuals, but it's really slow and dumb.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 7:34 AM
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