Re: Poor widdle white people.

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No post title.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 6:40 AM
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ORLY?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 6:41 AM
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Anyone have the original PDF? I'd be interested in what the range of responses is - see how far it extends past Republicans?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 6:41 AM
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I see the chocolate ration has been reduced as expected.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 6:44 AM
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Regarding the University of Texas issue, Tedra Tedra posted a really thorough well-written article about how the woman rejected from UT wouldn't have been guaranteed a spot if she was white. It also provides a history of affirmative action.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 6:50 AM
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The findings, say the authors, show that America has not achieved the "post-racial" society that some predicted in the wake of Barack Obama's election

Did someone actually predict this?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 6:50 AM
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I have to give a talk to my firm next month for MCLE credit and I chose elimination of bias. So I'm going to talk about the UT case and this study will be an excellent addition. So thank you for posting it!


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 6:52 AM
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Having just attended an explosive public forum on a related topic, I have three primary observations* about my fellow white people:

1. They are honestly stunned when anyone responds to them as part of a representative group rather than as a special and unique individual

2. They are deeply affronted when their actions are viewed as more representative of their beliefs than their words.

3. They are genuinely convinced that their intent matters more -- not as much or less than -- their effects.

Put these three factors together, and you get a large chunk of society that is blindsided when they receive a response that doesn't grant these three assumptions. And then they react like any group of human beings being blindsided. Not pretty.

*I have actually seen these phenomena manifest among other racial and ethnic groups, but their ability to exercise power is far lesser.


Posted by: anonymous | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 6:53 AM
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I think that these kinds of surveys get messed up by the fact that there's a certain group of people who respond not with their carefully considered assessment of the situation but out of anger. I see this with my sister's father in law, who will make the most absurd claims about welfare just because they point in the general 'right' direction and have a magnitude that reflects his anger about the situation. The fact that the factual claim is incorrect isn't important to him so much as expressing his anger over the situation. It's as if the question he's answering is "What would the situation have to be in order for the average person to be as angry about this as you are?"


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 6:55 AM
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Further to 9: I think it is also sometimes an attempt to restore equity (in the mind of the speaker). In other words, he thinks the pendulum has swung too far, and so he endorses the more extreme statement in part as an attempt to try to make the public conversation on the topic "more fair."


Posted by: anonymous | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:01 AM
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I'm underwhelmed by the sample size on this survey. A nationwide survey of like 400 people? Whoa, do you need a sabbatical after all that work there buddy?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:01 AM
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Back in the good old days of the Soviet Union my relatives there would always explain every failure to get into a college or program as being because 1) they were Jewish and/or 2) they were refuseniks or related to refuseniks. Of course, we had no way to judge the truth of this. But in the same way, white people can get in the habit of blaming any failure on affirmative action -- after all, it probably seems lkely that there is at least one minority student with lower test scores and grades that got accepted.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:10 AM
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It's as if the question he's answering is "What would the situation have to be in order for the average person to be as angry about this as you are?"

That's a great way of phrasing the phenomena.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:14 AM
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Or phenomenon, rather.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:14 AM
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11: how many people should they have surveyed?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:14 AM
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True of 95% of political discourse unfortunately. It's amazing how little facts matter most of the time.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:16 AM
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WE ALWAYS USE THREE PATIENTS


Posted by: OPINIONATED SCIENTIST | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:17 AM
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The fact that the factual claim is incorrect isn't important to him so much as expressing his anger over the situation.

I'm not sure why the quote didn't appear in 16.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:17 AM
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16: For example, I'm guessing you just made up that percentage.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:17 AM
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Here's the actual paper if anybody's curious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:18 AM
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@19 The percentage in 16 is based on a painstakingly randomized survey and rigorous statistical analysis.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:19 AM
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A nationwide survey of like 400 people?

Generally gets you a margin of error around 5%. Most nationwide political polls use around about 1000 people to get a margin of error around 3%. After that, though, the marginal benefits of larger samples taper off, so they generally aren't used in opinion polling

Real stats people can correct me or fill in details.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:22 AM
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Incidentally the actual paper (it's really short! You should read it!) makess an interesting (if somewhat harder to support from this data) causal claim not mentioned (as far as I saw) in the press release, that white attitudes are driven by a sense of racial bias as a zero-sum game, where decreases in bias against black people inherently create increases in bias against white people.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:27 AM
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from the actual paper:

Respondents were recruited by an online survey research company and paid $5 for participation

So, only 400 people, because they only had $2000 to spend.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:28 AM
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"2003 University of Chicago study by Devah Pager that sent young white and black "testers" with randomly assigned "felony convictions" to apply for low-wage jobs. The study found that whites with felonies were more likely to be called for interviews than black applicants without criminal records."

This study tells the tale nicely.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:29 AM
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Related, sort of.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:29 AM
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a sense of racial bias as a zero-sum game, where decreases in bias against black people inherently create increases in bias against white people.

Is it wrong of me to translate this into: "a belief that because they're assholes, everyone else must be an asshole too"?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:39 AM
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The zero sum game thing makes sense to me. A lot of "reverse racism" perception is just mourning for privileges lost -- my perception is that I can't get ahead any more and dont have the advantages I was used to, and that's because the rules have become unfair or oppressive and are designed to benefit everyone else and I have no vocabulary for thinking that capitalism or bad luck fucked me over so therefore the blacks must be getting all sorts of free passes I'd never get.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:42 AM
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I can't tell if the "zero sum game" thing is built into the questions they asked, (as in "you have 10 racism points to distribute across whichever groups, as you see fit") or an observation that survey respondents tended to always make sure their racism numerical scores added up to a fixed number.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:46 AM
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27: I suppose not. On googling around it seems like there's been a fair amount of work from social theorists on figuring out whether zero-sum conditions were necessary for the emergence of out-group. The idea that the oppressing group might perceive zero-sum conditions when they do not obtain is pretty interesting, and potentially ties into this framework that they cite a bunch. (Way more about that framework, if anybody's super bored.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:48 AM
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29: if it were built in wouldn't you see it across racial categories?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:49 AM
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Oh, I read the article last night and was coasting on memory. So black people didn't do the zero-sum-game thing?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:50 AM
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32: look at the original paper linked in 20. It's really much more clear, and isn't actually much longer than the press release.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:51 AM
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Having just attended an explosive public forum on a related topic,

You were at CPAC?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:57 AM
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8
Having just attended an explosive public forum on a related topic, I have three primary observations* about my fellow white people:

I'm curious about what this gathering was, and/or what incidents or anecdotes led to these observations. Can you presidentialize it? Googleproof it?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:05 AM
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It's interesting to get a fleeting glimpse of the street-level effects of structural racism based on living in an integrated working-class neighborhood, while having grown up in a 90% white middle-class area. One of the things that pisses me off the most (probably because it affects me a lot more than other phenomena) is the way that the large institutions (city, power company, University, big hospitals) that exist here tend to completely ignore or take for granted the opinions of residents. It's like we're not even here a lot of the time. Even those of us, like me, who are white and have some political voice. My experience of white people is that for many of them, especially if they have a rural/exurban/suburban background, those types of inequalities are just completely invisible. Did everybody read the Kimani Gray poem?

i often wonder
where the spirit flies
when such tender bodies
are torn from us.

first impressions:

perhaps he did not know
the politics of his body.
that even small gestures
might bring the full measure
of his enemy's wrath.

or maybe, he did not
know his enemy.
confused by the step and fetch
of radio tunes cooning self-hatred sweetly.
perhaps he did not know
that the devil is also called officer.

or maybe his feet were not yet
trained to outrun cast lead,
flesh still too tender to not be torn.

so many babies flying,
flying, and i wonder,
when we'll think our lives are precious too?
my only vigil is committed action
until my spirit flies with you.

http://opineseason.com/2013/03/20/blues-for-gray/


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:11 AM
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Sometimes I think it would be great to just cede territory on shit like this if only one could invent a new term for racism that actually matters. So if people want to snivel that they've been the victim of reverse racism because [oh, whatever], they could do so, but it would be explicit in the terminology that it was a different category of experience than something stemming from actual dynamics that exist in the world in some meaningful way.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:23 AM
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Developments of the recent five decades have not necessarily been to the advantage of poorly educated white Americans.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:26 AM
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Current reading:Susan Pharr on Status Politics and Protest in Japan. The examples she uses are a young pols breakoff from the LDP; a refusal to serve tea by office women in a gov't agency; and burakumin. Studying status relations in places outside your own experience and interests can help provide a more dis-interested objective perspective.

a) The privileged don't see their own privilege, or believe it is "natural" or just. Always remember you can't see your own privilege.

b) The privileged would of course see the gain of privilege or the increase in power by those below them in the hierarchy as zero-sum, as a decrease in their own status, power, or privilege

c) In order to obtain the moral "high-ground" the unprivileged or lower-status group of course must see a gain in their own group privilege, freedom, or status as increasing the well-being of all. It is an ideological necessity that their personal liberation means a net increase in justice, fairness and freedom.

Doesn't mean it is objectively true.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:27 AM
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37: if the theory linked in 30 holds (dunno that it does, but anyhow it's fun to use for thinkin') that would be impossible, presumably, as the whole (possibly implicit, but actually in this case pretty explicit) point of claims of reverse racism is to legitimize (morally, in the minds of those on top) existing hierarchies by equating the oppressing and oppressed groups.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:30 AM
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An important question to ask, I think, when examining issues like this, is how you view the group you are examining. In this case, do you view these whites as above or below you in the status hierarchies you create according to your values. If you see them as in some way "inferior" to yourself or your group, most often morally because morals are always used to sustain and enforce status relations, you are probably enjoying your privilege in assessing their claims.

Power is always already everywhere.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:33 AM
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Sometimes I think it would be great to just cede territory on shit like this if only one could invent a new term for racism that actually matters.

I use "prejudice" instead. You can be prejudiced against anybody. Women wearing high heels. Fat people. Black people. People who live in Olathe, Kansas. Shiites. Mexicans. El Salvadorians. Unwed mothers.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:38 AM
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Hoooo boy is 8 on the money.

I was just at a software workshop, and at the end of it, when folks were just chatting, somehow the conversation brought up mentoring-women-in-software groups (I think maybe it started with a discussion of the various local community gatherings--Rails users' group, etc.--that met in people's offices). ANYWAY. One guy literally said that he felt disadvantaged as a white guy, because these groups excluded him, etc. Now he'd just shown us this talk, and so all I could think was "WAT". (This is in a room with one black guy, one Asian guy, and five white guys.) I'd like to think we got him to reconsider his egregiously awful views, and he did thank us for bringing up ways of thinking about it that he hadn't previously considered, but for fuck's sake.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:39 AM
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The zero-sum thing is a little weird, because sometimes losing privilege is going to be zero-sum. Not an unjust loss, but an actual loss. So someone who sees themselves losing privilege, but who never recognized how they were treated as a matter of being privileged in the first place, is going to feel bent out of shape because they really have lost something that they never realized they shouldn't have had in the first place.

(On preview, like x.trapnel's guy.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:47 AM
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22 Generally gets you a margin of error around 5%.

Yeah, although I would have thought you'd want 400 of each subgroup (white, black, whatever you're breaking down) to get 5% accuracy for each one.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:55 AM
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If someone will anonymize 8 and 10 for me, I'll come back later today and give further context. Thanks.


Posted by: Not this time | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 9:00 AM
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"Privilege" is kind of a muddled term for this issue because it encompasses things that are sort of zero-sum and things that aren't at all.

I can browse in a store without getting eyed suspiciously or followed around by the staff which makes me privileged compared to most young black men. I can't see how I lose anything if the staff stops making unwarranted assumptions about them.

That's very different from "who gets the job/admissions slot/promotion?", which often is more or less zero-sum.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 9:04 AM
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Richard Seymour is living a socialist politics, vicious and difficult, that deals with this issue. Or maybe a different issue. Links to This from Tiger Beatdown:

"MY FEMINISM WILL BE INTERSECTIONAL OR IT WILL BE BULLSHIT!" (caps not mine, and I won't change them)

bell hooks:

"From the onset, there has been a struggle within feminist movement [a] between the reformist model of liberation, which basically demands equal rights for women within the existing class struggle, and [b]more radical and/or revolutionary models, which call for fundamental change in the existing structure so that models of mutuality and equality can replace old paradigms."

works for me, and extends to any liberation movement. [a] is a struggle for privilege within the hegemony. Zero-sum.

No one is free until all are free.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 9:10 AM
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I remember explaining gerrymandering and affirmative action to a German dude, former east German. He was horrified. In fact he didn't believe me and came back the next week and confirmed that he had spoken with his colleagues and I was right.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 9:11 AM
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Generally gets you a margin of error around 5%. Most nationwide political polls use around about 1000 people to get a margin of error around 3%. After that, though, the marginal benefits of larger samples taper off, so they generally aren't used in opinion polling

My gut reaction was that surely those are low but throwing some numbers into this calculator tells me my gut needs to re-read some stats.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 9:13 AM
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Pro-tip: make sure to only eat stats books printed on acid-free paper.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 9:34 AM
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42: But I'm not prejudiced against white people. I've lived my whole life with white people, studied them in school for 16+ years, read about them extensively and had many in-depth conversations with experts on white people. I think I can be fairly certain that my opinions against white people are the result of an extremely judicious process of study and experimentation.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 9:52 AM
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Pro-tip: make sure to only eat stats books printed on acid-free paper.

Why eat paper if there's no acid on it?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 10:04 AM
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I think the background here really needs to be that the typical white American has suffered a real decline in living standards over the last couple of decades. (Living standards broadly measured -- yes, we have cool internet stuff and 500 cable TV channels, which is admittedly excellent, but the economic security of the typical family has declined, there is much greater labor mobilization that stresses families, and the necessities of life are harder to come by). This kind of survey result expresses the success of the right in channeling the resentment created by this decline toward the wrong targets. But the feeling of disempowerment and resentment it reflects is justified although deeply misdirected.

This is why I like the '99 percent' political frame much, much more than the 'privilege' frame, which I really can't stand. 99 percent unites people in the understanding that they are all being disempowered by a global elite. 'Privilege' is a divisive frame. 'You may feel bad, but be grateful that you're not a black person currently locked up in jail!' is awful politics.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 10:11 AM
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'Privilege' is a divisive frame.

You may not like the frame, but is there any mode of analysis that recognizes that white people get systematically treated better than people of color that wouldn't seem similarly divisive? That's got to be a set of facts you can talk about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 10:16 AM
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This makes me think that "privilege" is on its way to becoming an overused buzzword. "Underprivileged" even more so. I may be influenced by the fact that for a while I worked in a place with "underprivileged" in its mission statement, though. It's a vague, catchall, slightly manipulative term. As good democrats, we don't want to reward people who are already privileged or vice versa, but having or not having privilege is rarely an individual's fault so we don't want to punish them either, but... But still, there really are significant differences between being born in a well-off family and not, and income mobility is down so those differences are only getting more important, and it's all less race-influenced than it was a few decades ago.

On preview, mostly pwned by PGD. This is what I get for letting other Web sites get in the way of you people. And work. Figures.

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42: But I'm not prejudiced against white people. I've lived my whole life with white people, studied them in school for 16+ years, read about them extensively and had many in-depth conversations with experts on white people. I think I can be fairly certain that my opinions against white people are the result of an extremely judicious process of study and experimentation.

Maybe against white people in general, but maybe not against a particular white person you just met.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 10:18 AM
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OT: We have had one baby arrival. Dont we have more soon???


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:03 AM
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I don't know that privilege itself is a divisive term but I do feel like I've encountered a lot of wrong-headed ways of wielding it that seem more about gratifying the speaker than accomplishing anything. Unless your goal is purely and simply to be right, you don't want to go straight in and tell people "you don't deserve most of what you have." The activation of defensiveness is not usually a good path to progress.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:09 AM
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Unless your goal is purely and simply to be right, you don't want to go straight in and tell people "you don't deserve most of what you have."

Does it work to say `everyone deserves the fair shot you got'? Which might be consequentially* the same but emotionally different.

*not in the face, actual philosophers, not in the face


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:25 AM
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57: Two.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:27 AM
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I am generally in favor of affirmative action, but technically it is discrimination. Those guys have a point. In the context of college admissions, it is also zero sum.

There really isn't that much systematic legal discrimination against black people. There is racism, so you get crazy things like the rise of the prison system starting right at the end of segragation and a weak welfare system compared to other first world countries. But, those laws are generally written up in a race neutral way.

"The New Jim Crow" suggests dismantling affirmative action in exchange for dismantling the prison industrial complex.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:29 AM
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I am generally in favor of affirmative action, but technically it is discrimination.

This is, I think, why we can't walk away from 'privilege' talk, or some functional equivalent of it. If there's not an ongoing unearned advantage from being white, then affirmative action (as opposed to giving everyone a color-blind 'fair shot') really is invidious discrimination.

I'm pretty clear that there are systematic unearned advantages accruing to white people, and that well-designed affirmative action is a reasonable way of dealing with that, but there's no good way of justifying the affirmative action without acknowledging the unearned advantages.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:36 AM
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The following is really a freshman-in-college argument, but I've never been able to understand exactly if it's right or wrong:

If you redesigned all social engineering structures which seek to correct racial prejudice, and instead started using socio-economic status, would it miss the point in some giant way? Or would it basically address the underlying problems?

One white-pride gripe you hear all the time is that the wealthy black student ought not benefit from affirmative action because they're so, so privileged already and went to the fancy private school, etc. I don't think policy should be designed just to shut up wounded white people, but are there other oversights if you focus traditional race-based redresses instead towards compensating SES inequality?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:39 AM
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Does it work to say `everyone deserves the fair shot you got'?

Most people, including most white people, (mostly correctly) don't think they got a fair shot. Many of them are deceived as to why. It's pretty easy to convince oneself, particularly when you're down, that measures to remedy past discrimination against one group are the thing that's preventing you from getting your fair shot, especially since the relevant issues have long since gone beyond formal legal equality.

Personally, I think the only thing that ever actually significantly moves people's minds -- on basically any political issue you can think of -- are lived experiences, or, if that's not possible, detailed, personal anecdotes. Concepts like "privilege" are worthless (for purposes of persuasion, not for purposes of analysis), but not that much more worthless than trying to persuade by invoking other high-minded abstract concepts, including "fairness."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:44 AM
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I think that if you had a choice between social action aimed at remedying socioeconomic inequality and social action aimed at remedying racial inequality, the first would probably help more people, many of whom would also have been hurt by structural racism. But I think you'd also miss an awful lot of structural racism.

Forrest Whittaker was just accused of shoplifting in a deli; he's rich and famous, so if it were anything other than a fluke, it's about racism not about socioeconomic status. That's one incident, didn't do him any lasting harm, and so on and so forth. But if, as a black person, you're the sort of person that sort of stuff (from strangers, at school, at work) happens to repeatedly, that's going to affect the way your life turns out, and remedying socioeconomic inequality won't fix that.

Really, I think you have to work on both issues at once.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:47 AM
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The problem with the argument in 63 is not so much that it's obviously wrong in its own terms, but that (almost always) the person making it has absolutely no serious commitment to or interest in actually redistributing wealth to the poor.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:49 AM
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That too. "How can you even think about problem A when Problem B is so much more urgent and serious -- wanting to work on problem A makes you a bad person!" is much more often an argument for doing nothing in practice rather than fixing problem B.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:52 AM
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It seems to me that it's much more useful to think of aa as aimed at correcting unfair disadvantages than at correcting unfair advantages. Focus on discrimination rather than litigating whether some advantage or another in "earned."


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:54 AM
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The problem isn't that Halford can go to the convenience store without being accused of shoplifting, but the 'privilege' frame makes it seem as if it is.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:59 AM
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68: That's great so long as the situation really isn't, and can't be made to appear, zero sum. But if there's no such thing as an unearned advantage, as soon as a white person can arguably be said to have lost something in relation to it, affirmative action is invidious discrimination.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:01 PM
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Well, I can go into some convenience stores without being accused of shoplifting.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:01 PM
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The ones who aren't aware of your status as a notorious scofflaw.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:04 PM
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I'm not sure any amount of nuanced argument is going to help when the process by which people arrive at this conclusion, as Halford has described, is so irrational.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:05 PM
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It's a choice of whether to talk about the advantages people have and how to get rid of them, or the disadvantages people have and how to get rid of them.

Obviously in zero sum situations, the net result will be the same, so adopting the more aggressive frame gains you nothing. Most 'privilege'but situations are not zero sum, which makes the frame misdirective.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:07 PM
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I think you're always only talking to the marginal people -- the ones who aren't all that committed to irrationality on the subject. God knows how many of them there are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:09 PM
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I often wonder what activity(ies) the complaining white people tend to be engaged in when they feel racial discrimination's swarthy cold hand on their collars. Further to 54,* perhaps the complainers are following the lead of right-wing dipshits up and down the AM bandwidth and blaming on racism the distracted, disaffected, dismissive, discourteous treatment that they tend to receive at the hands of overworked minorities performing ill-paid jobs behind this and that counter, cash register, etc. (Cf. Adam Carolla's complaints about the stereotypical "heavyset woman of color" at the DMV, the airport, the rental car desk, etc., etc., etc.)

* "I think the background here really needs to be that the typical white American has suffered a real decline in living standards over the last couple of decades. (... [T]he economic security of the typical family has declined, there is much greater labor mobilization that stresses families, and the necessities of life are harder to come by). This kind of survey result expresses the success of the right in channeling the resentment created by this decline toward the wrong targets. But the feeling of disempowerment and resentment it reflects is justified although deeply misdirected."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:19 PM
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What makes people so certain that the problem isn't that Halford can go into convenience stores without being accused of shoplifting?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:19 PM
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Because it'd be better to live in a world where accusations of shoplifting are based on evidence of shoplifting, rather than on the race/age/gender of the customer?

Because Harrison Bergeron is a dystopia?


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:23 PM
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The only place I've ever shoplifted was in a high-end lingerie boutique in Switzerland, to impress a wealthy but deviant Spanish girl from the Canaries. Not sure where this puts me on the privilege spectrum.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:27 PM
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Slightly below Jane's Addiction.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:29 PM
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Slightly above Paul Varjak.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:32 PM
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61: There really isn't that much systematic legal discrimination against black people.

I haven't known what to make of this statement. To my eyes, NYC's stop-and-frisk program constitutes systematic legal discrimination against black people. Fortunately, efforts are currently under way to put a stop to it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:32 PM
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I'd shoplift a nuclear warhead to impress Audrey Hepburn.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:33 PM
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Who will steal Audrey Hepburn's corpse to impress Flippanter?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:47 PM
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Sorry, ladies, I'm spoken for. [Charming smile.]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 12:48 PM
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Audrey Hepburn's corpse is alive and well and living in Boston.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 1:46 PM
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||

OMFG I'm starting to get so fucking happy. I hope this turns out well.

Yves Smith

Business Week

Russia buys the bad Cyprus bank:

Laiki was purchased by a Greek vehicle (Marfin Investment Group) backed by Gulf money*. Marfin's purchase of Laiki took Laiki from being a fairly conservative local bank to being highly exposed to Greece. Laiki is definitely insolvent and needs to be restructure

gets a Mediterranean naval port and three high level military airports. Russia is probably about to lose its Syrian assets. EU and US will go gonzo. Fuck em.

*maybe our flunky Qatar? I would not be surprised if this wasn't a US-UK-Saudi-Gulf State scheme to crash the Cypriot economy. Remember Saudi and Qatar are funding half the Syrian Civil War.

Fuck America forever!

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 1:48 PM
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||

There are no coincidences, just complications

Yes Chemical Weapons were used in Syria

but it was the rebels, most of the casualties are Syrian soldiers:

US-NATO Backed Al Qaeda Terrorists Armed with WMDs

from Libya, most likely through Turkey.

We will most likely be told a different story by our President, very soon.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 1:58 PM
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63

If you redesigned all social engineering structures which seek to correct racial prejudice, and instead started using socio-economic status, would it miss the point in some giant way? Or would it basically address the underlying problems?

This is sometimes framed as a less divisive way of accomplishing the same thing. This is not the case. These are different policies and would benefit different (with some overlap of course) groups of people. So if you think they are basically the same then yes you are missing something important.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 2:24 PM
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62

This is, I think, why we can't walk away from 'privilege' talk, or some functional equivalent of it. If there's not an ongoing unearned advantage from being white, then affirmative action (as opposed to giving everyone a color-blind 'fair shot') really is invidious discrimination.

An unearned advantage of being white or an unearned disadvantage of being black? This is more than just framing, it bears on which groups if any besides blacks should be eligible for affirmative action.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 2:31 PM
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65

... so if it were anything other than a fluke ...

FWIW I was once accused of shoplifting in a deli. Wrongly of course.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 2:34 PM
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Almost 100 comments before James showed up with that. Sweet.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 2:34 PM
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I was once accused of shoplifting (wrongly) in a stationery store. On the other hand I once accidentally shoplifted English muffins from a convenience store, and nobody said a thing. Two important data points.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 2:38 PM
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92 to 91, as I originally assumed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 2:39 PM
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I tried to sell multiple used CDs (~12 copies of the same just-released album) at a Newbury Comics and they kicked me out of the store thinking I was selling stolen goods and threatened to call the cops. I had a receipt for all of them attesting to the fact that I had legally bought them at Target. Why, you may ask, has I bought 12 of the same album at Target? There were presale codes in the CD for a concert by the artist of said album, with which you could buy tickets that would resell at a value much greater than the face value of the ticket + fees + cost of the CD. However, you had to open the case to get the code so I couldn't just return them to Target. I ended up shipping the CDs to an online used music site and getting $5 per copy, so I found $60. Hooray for the first sale doctrine! My favorite part of the experience, aside from the threat at NC, was going to an independent used music store and having the guy agree to buy them only to realize he couldn't come up with ~$50 cash that day. Dude, you've got other problems if you're running a store on that tight a margin.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 2:52 PM
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93

... Two important data points

I may (or may not) once have inadvertently walked out without paying at a diner where I ate regularly. Or so the wait person claimed the next time I ate there. Which didn't get them paid since I wasn't going to take their word for it and also ensured that I never went back.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 3:00 PM
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There should be a German word for when the post title perfectly describes a comment, as is the case for 96.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 3:19 PM
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Neufposteneingerwangerzung


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 3:31 PM
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Titelbeschreibt


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 3:36 PM
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Hooray for the first sale doctrine!

Utterly off-topic, but have people heard that Amazon is seeking to set up a market for used e-books? Apple is as well. The idea is that since, when you buy an e-book, you've just bought a single license to use/read it, you might resell your license to someone else. Amazon gets a cut of the transaction. My first reaction was to ask how on earth you could patent such an arrangement; my second was that that is, as usual with Amazon, brilliant, if evil.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 4:24 PM
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See here for a sense of the ramifications of this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 4:37 PM
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Information wants to be free!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 4:58 PM
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Weird. First it's weird that you can't sell this thing that you can sell unless they set up the infrastructure for you to do it. Second that why would anyone ever buy a new e-book if there were a used one availabe?

Why wouldn't a Napster for ebooks spring up and cripple the e-book industry?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 5:00 PM
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Greek, dammit. (I'm fighting the power, Blume!)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 5:01 PM
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I'm not sure any amount of nuanced argument is going to help when the process by which people arrive at this conclusion, as Halford has described, is so irrational.

There's something else worth keeping in mind when we're talking about the aggrieved "that minorities took my spot" reaction: the more our society is set up like a winner-take-all tournament, the more applicants will be competing for each spot, and thus the more disappointed applicants there will be--each of whom might think they were the marginal candidate who would have gotten in but-for AA, even though, in point of fact, only one of them actually could have been that marginal candidate. There's no real limit to the number of people who each (legitimately, even!) think they might have been the one.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 5:17 PM
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What I'm trying to say is that the two faces of the right-wing neoliberalist/race-baiting alliance have a particularly ugly interaction effect here. The neoliberalism-driven increase in winner-take-all organizational structures and rewards means that the race-baiting is that much more effective, because there are an increasing number of might-have-beens for each desirable slot, each a (possibly even legitimate) holder of grievances.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 5:20 PM
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I hate the phrase "reverse racism." Wouldn't the reverse of racism technically be, um, not being racist?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 5:23 PM
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Why wouldn't a Napster for ebooks spring up and cripple the e-book industry?

There have been various ebook sharing sites for over a decade. We've discussed them on this very site. The trade group of German publishers, among others, took down one of the best of these a year or so ago. Others pop up.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 5:23 PM
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Conservatives benefit when they make things worse. It's a problem.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 5:26 PM
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I think the framing things like college admissions (and even more so something like med school admissions) as primarily being a meritocracy needlessly encourages the zero-sum view*. They are mechanisms for admitting people who further the missions of the institution/profession or what-have-you. They are not "rewards" and should not be viewed as such.

*And to the extent that they serve as gatekeeping mechanisms to 105's winner-take-all world the problem is further exacerbated.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:20 PM
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The dynamic that I have observed at my workplace (and in other contexts) that drives me wild is how people build their narratives for how incompetent/(some other negative trait) people got their position. If it is a black person or other minority it is due to affirmative action. If it is a woman it is that or some other explanation rooted in misogyny. If it is a white guy, it is almost* never "because they are a white guy." It's a white male canvas where the splotches of color require explanation, the canvas just is.

*Sometimes "he's part of the old boys' network," but that almost is due to specific observed pervasive behavioral patterns which do in fact indicate that the person in question has so benefited.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:27 PM
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110: see the first link in 30; "meritocracy" is one of the big hierarchy-reinforcing legitimizing myths they talk about in that theory.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 7:35 PM
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34, 35: A local suburban magazine saw fit to write an article About Race. However, they interviewed only people of one race, granted all interviewees anonymity even for mundane comments, made sweeping and highly inflammatory generalizations, and overall produced an article that was a triumph of incoherent, ignorant, and [maybe accidentally] dangerously damaging prose.

The release of the article generated a firestorm of criticism and overwhelming negative reaction. In addition, of course, there were eminently predictable reactions from people who felt that the firestorm was "proof" that white people are silenced and intimidated from talking about race.



Posted by: Not today, thanks | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:33 PM
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That same magazine saw fit to give a job to the guy who wrote the "if I were a young black boy" op-ed, after he had written it, no?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:34 PM
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Given the firestorm, which has grown to include elected officials and business leaders, the magazine's editor and the reporter who wrote the story have held several public forums on the topic.

I attended one of the forums. Even granting that I have spent a couple of decades reading, thinking, and talking about race, it was a remarkable example of tone deafness, privilege and mendacity.


Posted by: Not today, thanks | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:36 PM
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(That is, given my personal and professional interest in the topic, I know I have high standards. But they did a truly awful job of meeting even the minimum standard.)


Posted by: Not today, thanks | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:36 PM
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Given the turn this thread has taken, here are examples of what I mean by those terms:

Mendacity: The editor claimed that while he knows the income, education level, and place of residence of his subscribers/readers, he does not have data on their race or ethnicity. Given advertisers' intense interest in this data, the claim was so ludicrous as to be insulting.

He further claimed, when asked how much revenue the magazine had seen as a result of the controversy, that it takes "months" to find out how many newsstand sales a particular issue had. That may well be true -- but we all know that magazines don't make much money from their subscriptions, and if he isn't keeping very close and careful track of their advertising sales and online page views, he is beyond incompetent.


Posted by: Not today, thanks | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:43 PM
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Privilege: Both writer and editor claimed, and I have no doubt they believe, that "white people often don't talk about race," and "we wanted to start a conversation."

(The latter claim was somewhat undercut by a later admission that they had not planned any of the public forums and indeed had not expected the public response to their high-profile and linkbait-headlined article. [!] In other words, "We wanted to start a conversation, so we [threw gasoline on a fire], but we had no idea people would want to talk to us [after we set their world ablaze]."


Posted by: Not today, thanks | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 8:48 PM
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Tone-deafness: The number of times both writer and editor stated that they wanted to "learn" and they wrote the article to help people "learn" was remarkable. Nowhere in any of their remarks was there the slightest indication that they had done any reading or talked to any people to gather information on their basic assumptions before starting the piece.

More disturbingly, nowhere in their comments was there any awareness of context or awareness. One questioner asked if the reporter had wondered or asked why the white guy he was interviewing had been offered Oxycontin rather than, say, crack by a preteen mentioned in the story. The reporter said it didn't occur to him.

Another questioner asked the reporter why -- if he was concerned about the urban neighborhood that his college-student son is living in -- he didn't ask some parents of different ethnicities if they were equally concerned about *their* children living in that neighborhood. He said he hadn't thought of that.

And on and on and on. You couldn't have asked for a better live demonstration of ignorance, careless malice, and misguided intentions.

I will stop serial posting now, except to say that my notes read: "White privilege exemplified: The right to shake up the Etch-a-Sketch and write a story that is utterly ahistorical."


Posted by: Not today, thanks | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 9:02 PM
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I'm sure I've linked this egregious analogy ban violation about privilege and meritocracy before. Not today, thanks' experience made me think of it again as it's part of a set of responses to a crappy magazine article published a few years ago that set off a similar reaction.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 9:37 PM
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Oh my god the article NTT is talking about is so awful.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 9:42 PM
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Can we get a link


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 10:17 PM
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Back in the good old days of the Soviet Union my relatives there would always explain every failure to get into a college or program as being because 1) they were Jewish and/or 2) they were refuseniks or related to refuseniks. Of course, we had no way to judge the truth of this. But in the same way, white people can get in the habit of blaming any failure on affirmative action -- after all, it probably seems lkely that there is at least one minority student with lower test scores and grades that got accepted.


The appropriate analogy here would be black people blaming stuff on racism - sure, sometimes they'll be wrong, but they'll often be right. And in the case of actual refusiniks not admitted to a university program, the relevant analogy would be a black person not admitted to a public southern university during the Jim Crow era.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:22 PM
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Somewhat related to the topic of the thread, I thought this from Josh Marshall was good on the politics of race. Nothing new for anyone who's been paying attention, really, but well put.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:24 PM
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You may not like the frame, but is there any mode of analysis that recognizes that white people get systematically treated better than people of color that wouldn't seem similarly divisive? That's got to be a set of facts you can talk about.

I favor talking about it as a specific set of facts related to specific histories and situations of particular groups, not generalized privilege claims. E.g. I view affirmative action as a form of redistribution that makes a good deal of sense in the specific context of American slavery, and is likely to be more effective than purely monetary redistribution in redressing that specific wrong. (This is similar to Charley's point about redressing disadvantage rather than attacking advantage). When you make a general claim about 'white privilege' and try to institutionalize policies based around it for all racial groups it is not just divisive but it quickly gets incoherent -- e.g. Asians have superior incomes and educational outcomes to whites, what is that all about? Asian privilege, or is it just that they're so good at math?

This is an empirical and not an absolute issue; the situation in South Africa where 75+% of the population were systematically disenfranchised for forever is different than the U.S. today when the entire middle class is slipping downward. The danger in race-conscious policies is that they can institutionalize the racial divisions and resentments you are trying to overcome; the danger in race-blind policies is that they may not recognize particular issues for particular groups. In a pragmatic sense which is better will vary over time and place.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:44 PM
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I'm willing to accept that "privilege" isn't a very useful concept in the context of political debate or policy development (in fact I'm pretty convinced of that), but I find it pretty useful as an analytical concept, not just in a scholarly context but even just in thinking about my everyday experience of life and how it differs from that of other people I encounter.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 11:56 PM
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On the Amazon used e-books business raised in 100:

103: First it's weird that you can't sell this thing that you can sell unless they set up the infrastructure for you to do it.

This is specifically for e-books bought from Amazon and downloaded to one's Kindle: Amazon themselves have to deactivate your license and activate someone else's (the buyer's). They are essential to the transaction between you and the buyer; they also have to somehow pay you the monies garnered from the buyer.

Second that why would anyone ever buy a new e-book if there were a used one availabe?

They wouldn't, and that's the problem. If right of first sale applies, then the publisher and the author only get paid for sale of a 'new' e-book, and those sales would dry up. Publishers and authors get screwed for anything other than brand spanking newly published e-books, which people necessarily have to buy new.

Why wouldn't a Napster for ebooks spring up and cripple the e-book industry?

Notwithstanding 108, I don't think anyone knows how to transfer a Kindle e-book to someone else. I might well be out-of-date on the technology, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 11:40 AM
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123: Good points.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 11:42 AM
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127.last: here you go. Remove the DRM and convert to pdf.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 11:44 AM
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The problem with the resale of e-books I see is that it's difficult/impossible for anyone but Amazon to audit. The number of 'used' ebooks is limited to the number resold by first-buyers back to Amazon, just as if they were paper, unless Amazon cheats. But cheating would be trivially easy, unless the original publisher was able to do a lot of looking over Amazon's shoulder.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 11:54 AM
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129: Huh. I suspected something like that was known. So, I guess the only advantage to the set-up Amazon has patented is that the seller gets paid without having to do a thing other than mark his/her license as for sale, which will be attractive to a lot of people. That and the fact that lots of people won't know how to remove the DRM and convert to pdf.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 11:58 AM
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Well, it's illegal to remove the DRM.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 11:59 AM
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Yeah, Sifu beat me to it, but AFAI can recall, the Kindle DRM was broken soon after the thing was released. I think it was a bit more of a bother to unlock in the past, before folks made Calibre scripts to do it, but now it's pretty easy.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:00 PM
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Can we get a link

Not This Time has been pretty aggressive about not being specific, so I won't post the link until they do, but it's the magazine named after the city where the Fresh Prince was born and raised, and on the playgrounds of which most of his days were spent; the front page of the site prominently features the article in question, or did last night.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:02 PM
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130: The problem with the resale of e-books I see is that it's difficult/impossible for anyone but Amazon to audit

I'm having trouble following this. Audit how? I mean, the used paper book market can't be audited very well either. I don't see what you're saying.

You wouldn't have to sell your license to Amazon themselves, though, at least in theory; you could just mark it as for sale, and if someone visiting Amazon wants to buy it, they can. This would indeed require a fair amount of infrastructure on Amazon's part.

But cheating would be trivially easy, unless the original publisher was able to do a lot of looking over Amazon's shoulder.

Leaving aside the auditing bit, publishers have been idiots to hark their digital books via Amazon. If they have any sense at all now, they'd withdraw from Amazon and set up their own, perhaps collective, e-book marketplace. Amazon are controlling freaks. One of the views on this used e-book patent development is that Amazon has only patented it in order to keep others from doing so.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:21 PM
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So not Bel Air Magazine ("A Magazine For The Privileged"), then? (Actually it seems to have folded, sadly.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:21 PM
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135 cont'd: That is, that Amazon has no intention of setting up such a used e-book marketplace -- since the legalities are a rat's nest -- but just wants to be sure that no one else can. That is quite plausible.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:23 PM
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135.1: Amazon could sell n used copies of a book even if only one person tried to sell their copy, and pocket the difference. Nobody but Amazon knows the number of incoming and outgoing licenses, and whether they match. You can't easily buy somebody's used book and then resell it three times. No technical reason Amazon can't do that with Kindle books.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:23 PM
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That's what I meant. A physical used book, the right to resell is attached to the physical book; if you're legally in possession of the book, you can sell it, and without the physical book you've got nothing to resell. An ebook, Amazon's selling copies of the file -- it's not as if the same 'copy' of the ebook that a first buyer resold to Amazon is going to go to whoever buys it 'used', Amazon is just tallying licenses: "18 people sold their ebooks back to us, so we can sell 18 licenses and call them used rather than new." Without someone auditing Amazon's count of how many people resold their ebooks, it's all on the honor system.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:30 PM
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138 -- that would make Amazon subject to massive copyright infringement liability, though, so they never will.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:37 PM
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140 also to 139.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:38 PM
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138: Got it. Much as I find Amazon evil, I doubt they'd do that; they're in the legal crosshairs constantly.

Nonetheless, absolutely yes, I strongly dislike ceding as much control as is being handed over to Amazon these days.

People have heard that the CIA is considering outsourcing its highly sensitive data to Amazon's systems? I mean, come on. I get how that might seem smart in the short term, but long-term it's completely stupid.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:38 PM
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How do you identify an ebook as "used" anyway? If I'm buying a used paper book I look at whether the cover is attached, whether the pages have been folded, spindled or mutilated, whether somebody has spilt pizza topping over the photos. But an ebook is just a file, and unless somebody has actually gone and edited it, which Amazon or whoever can identify fairly straightforwardly, it remains a file whether one person or fifty have paid for the privilege of accessing it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:39 PM
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140: Well, if there's a system of auditing. It is weird, though -- you'd sort of have to be Amazon to be in a position where anyone would trust you to resell an ebook. Any reseller too small to audit would be on the honor system, which probably means in practice that it wouldn't be allowed somehow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:41 PM
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140: well right, why would they? Much better for them to allow legitimate resale of the 'books' and take a cut, since it is per se illegal to resell the books without them taking a cut, and this way they get a potentially endless stream of income without legal liability and with a small one-time payment to the publisher. And they can undercut prices on 'new' ebooks, which as Chris points out are identical to used ones, and force publishers to go along with their pricing scheme again, thus crushing any remaining competition in the ebook market! Win-win-win!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:42 PM
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The whole 'property' analogy totally has legs, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:44 PM
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This is all a theoretical discussion of a technical means of doing something based on an Amazon patent. Amazon would have to renegotiate its license agreements with the publishers (or set up a legal challenge over the first sale doctrine) to actually do this, probably both.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:45 PM
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How does first sale doctrine apply to a reversible license to have an arbitrary number of copies of a rights-managed file on registered devices? Isn't the whole premise of digital content providers "it doesn't"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:51 PM
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Which is to say, Amazon can't actually do this without massively renegotiating its license agreements with the publishers, and would probably have to do both that AND convince courts to broadly change the first sale doctrine to succeed. The patent is a defensive one designed to protect their control over the marketplace if it ever became legally possible to form.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:51 PM
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148 -- it doesn't, at least right now.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:52 PM
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Anyhow I totally agree that they aren't going to do this. They're just using software patents to prevent other people from innovating in a direction that would threaten their iron grip over the ebook marketplace, so that's fine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:52 PM
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147: I'd like to hear more about this part of it. The publishers are likely going apeshit about this.

or set up a legal challenge over the first sale doctrine

I don't know how I feel about this. I suppose I think that where e-books are concerned, it should be ditched: there is simply no such thing as a used e-book. Where paper books are concerned, first sale doctrine may remain in place. It's about time for copyright laws to be amended to account for the digital.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:54 PM
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They filed for the patent on May 5, 2009. They are not going do anything with this. Lots of patents are filed for reasons of "why the hell not?".


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:55 PM
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152 before refreshing. Yeah, I agree Amazon aren't actually going to do this. Apple also applied for the same patent. Buh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:57 PM
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152.last: I mean, I think providers (of content and otherwise) are pretty much hoping the first sale doctrine will go away, eventually. The idea that somebody else can resell your product and you don't get any of the money has never been a comfortable one. The court case that Carp mentioned the other day was a pretty bald attempt to knock it out for physical goods, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 12:58 PM
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152 last -- your sense of how the law should work is, in fact, basically how it does work.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:04 PM
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||
Sorry for double-posting, since I put this in the other thread, but I see Halford's in this one, and might not check the other, and I want to hurry while everyone else in the office is at some workshop:

Hey, Halford! I can't find the original post with your challenge about donating $200 if I take the "I support the RIAA" picture. What's the exact wording you want? Also, I hate you.
|>


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:06 PM
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"Illegal downloading is stealing. I support the RIAA and protecting artists' rights."

And I want no ironic expressions in the pose. Dance for me!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:13 PM
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Illegal downloading is stealing

I totally have Archer saying "hooray for metaphors!" in my head now.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:22 PM
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155: The court case that Carp mentioned the other day was a pretty bald attempt to knock it out for physical goods, too.

I didn't see that mention the other day.

I think providers (of content and otherwise) are pretty much hoping the first sale doctrine will go away, eventually. The idea that somebody else can resell your product and you don't get any of the money has never been a comfortable one

I know, but the fact is that it would be a nightmare to administer teensy payments to content providers (i.e. authors) for used beat-up paperbacks that you sell for 50 cents. Certainly, used book sellers would just stop selling them; we'd just end up pulping them instead, which doesn't seem like an optimal solution. What are you going to do about used copies of Homer?

And face it: if you bought it (where it is something physically existing), you own it and can do what you want with it. I'll cop to being a member of the ownership society to that extent.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:24 PM
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I hate you so much, Halford.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:24 PM
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161: Think yarn grotto, trapnel!


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:31 PM
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Beautiful! Enjoy an extra $200 of booze/tickets, along with the nagging sense that your soul has been permanently corrupted.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:32 PM
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Yeah, I still need to figure out if I'm doing Tuesday early morning or evening. There's a chance a good friend will be there, in which case maybe not having to rush out in the wee hours would be nice? I dunno. And who knows, I might even have a job by then.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:33 PM
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What are you going to do about used copies of Homer?

Sorry, it occurs to me that that was a dumb rhetorical question, since Homer is presumably not still in copyright, though certain editions may be. The rest of the comment stands, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:33 PM
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161: Would offering you a matching grant if you were to do a similar photo with "I support The Pirate Bay. Property is theft!" make you feel better or worse?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:43 PM
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166 -- fine by me. Now that I've brought Trapnel into his new life of whoredom, he can sell his goods to the highest bidder.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:50 PM
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You're really a terrible, terrible person, Halford.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 1:59 PM
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I'd delete that picture now if I were you, trapnel. Take the money and run.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 2:11 PM
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Already saved and preserved for posterity. Trapnel's actually a pretty good looking guy, he may have a future in Hollywood.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 2:13 PM
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It looks like a hostage photo.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 2:15 PM
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I thought of you when I saw this, jms.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 2:22 PM
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166: Sweet! Can't really do it now, everyone's back to work. Especially given where I work. But woo!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 2:36 PM
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172. Ha!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 2:43 PM
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This actually related to the OP: making white kids learn about the Natives who used to, and still do, live here. Oh, the oppression.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 2:54 PM
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I'm not buying a used ebook if it doesn't have highlights and annotations in it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 2:56 PM
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172. Oh and also, this reminded me of Cambienne, by Fabienne Christenson, who makes (mostly) natural fragrances under the brand Possets. He keeps a master vat of perfume to which he adds new ingredients (or maybe whole perfumes) over the course of the year. They're either raw materials to reflect the changing seasons or whatever new fragrance he's just made, I don't remember which. Anyway, at any given time you can get a snapshot of whatever's in the pot. I've never ordered it because it sounds like a horrorshow and also because I'm not a big fan of Possets, but some people reportedly love it.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 3:14 PM
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Thanks, xt. Good solution.


Posted by: NTT | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 3:21 PM
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127

... If right of first sale applies, then the publisher and the author only get paid for sale of a 'new' e-book, and those sales would dry up. ...

This isn't actually true. If no one bought new copies there wouldn't be enough used copies in circulation to satisfy demand.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 3:48 PM
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160

I didn't see that mention the other day.

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons .

The Supreme Court ruled that the first sale doctrine applied to books lawfully bought abroad so John Wiley couldn't prevent their importation and sale in the US.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 3:57 PM
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177: He is a she, no? I've actually used gin & chocolate money to buy Possets, though I generally don't like them as much as I like the idea of them. Never a Cambienne, though, because the descriptions are more overwrought than usual. I need to buy another Res Ipsa Loquitur, though, because that's the one Lee likes on me. I liked Hatshepsut best, but it's gone. A lot of them get better if I leave them around for a long time, and if I don't like them much I mix them into the girls' hair products I make to cut the weird scent of shea butter.

And now I am even more proud to be trapnel's grottomate. That was awesome!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 3:58 PM
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He is a she, no?

You're right of course! I don't know what happened there.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 4:14 PM
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You've probably been spending too much time in the MMA thread.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 4:16 PM
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160: Ah. I didn't see that as a bald attempt to knock out right of first sale in general, per 155. It was just an attempt to keep a particular publishing loophole in place: publishers had been able to say, "Well, okay, if someone buys a book produced here in the US, s/he owns it and can resell it here ... but if we produce the book overseas, then someone who buys it there can't resell it here !! Ha ha!"

The Court rightly called bullshit on that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 6:08 PM
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184 to 180, rather.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 6:11 PM
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But that loophole was never very clearly established in law. If it had been, particularly in the form Wiley was advocating, publishers--large ones, at least--*would* have been able to completely destroy first sale by simply printing everything abroad, maybe rearranging ownership structures so that their foreign subsidiaries actually held the copyrights, and gave just the right license for one sale, and so on. According to this account of the oral arguments,

The lawyer for Wiley (seasoned Supreme Court litigator Theodore Olson, former Solicitor General under President George W. Bush) argued that first sale rights do not apply to foreign made copies, period.

And apparently Olson had no response when grilled about what principle would stop the various parade of horribles that would follow from this. (The US Solicitor General was arguing for first sale to apply to works made abroad but "sold first" here, but not to situations like the one at issue, where it's first sold abroad, then imported for a second sale in the US.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 6:23 PM
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Thanks, trap, I see. Right, the loophole, as I called it, was never clearly established. I can't help but consider the court to have made the right call; I wasn't the only one who was surprised by the decision.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 6:44 PM
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The best conclusion is that a lot of white people are assholes. I could say more about how one of the privileges of privilege is blinding you to the ways in you are privileged, but...yeah. Most white people? Jerks, who think everyone else has it better than them. The same goes for men, rich people, straight people, and other members of various privileged groups.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 03-21-13 10:53 PM
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I had a dream last night with Halford and Trapnel in the setting of Greek mythology, where the gods who like Trapnel got annoyed at Halford's gloating, and responded by frustrating his antelope hunts, making sure all the meat he bought at market was tainted, etc., until finally Halford was forced to eat grains.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 8:31 AM
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That is fantastic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 8:40 AM
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188:Most white people? Jerks, who think everyone else has it better than them. The same goes for men, rich people, straight people

"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole." -Raylan Givens


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 9:34 AM
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189 is indeed fantastic. In other news, I just bought my plane tickets. Friday morning to Tuesday morning.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 10:21 AM
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Would offering you a matching grant if you were to do a similar photo with "I support The Pirate Bay. Property is theft!" make you feel better or worse?

Hey, Josh...


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 5:35 PM
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