Re: D.B. Cooper

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1. In the year after his hijacking, there were 31 hijackings in the United States. About a third were "Take me to Cuba!" and the other two thirds were for money. Still, 31 hijackings! In one year!

If you liked that, you should read this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 10:52 AM
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Also, there were other people who did the "parachute out of the plane with money" thing with greater, if temporary success than D.B. Cooper probably had.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 10:52 AM
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And, yeah, one of the amazing things about that book is the sheer number of hijackings (and also that everybody wanted to go to Cuba). In January of 1969 alone there were 8 hijackings to Cuba (only 6 worked). In one month!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 11:06 AM
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and also that everybody wanted to go to Cuba

There was a brief period where everyone shouted "Take me to somewhere the extradites criminals to the United States!" but it didn't last.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 11:11 AM
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But there were other places that didn't extradite to the US! Everybody just went to Cuba. A little later, they started going to Algeria, but mostly it was Cuba.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 11:14 AM
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So many!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 11:14 AM
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Obligatory Todd Snider link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxJUVgN8kG8


Posted by: Elvis | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 11:17 AM
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5: Nobody wants to go that far while staying awake and holding a gun on people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 11:23 AM
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Well okay Mr. Hijacking Expert. Maybe you're D.B. Cooper, huh? Huh? D.B. rhymes with Moby!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 11:27 AM
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But I he had a bomb.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 11:32 AM
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I know someone who was on the infamous flight to Entebbe. It was her honeymoon.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 11:39 AM
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Cuba also within reach of many domestic flights.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 11:40 AM
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And all international flights except the Detroit to Windsor ones.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 11:46 AM
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$20 in 1971 is about $115 now. Amazing, $20 from 1980 only gets you half that; there was a lot of inflation in the 70's.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:08 PM
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14: I hear there were also bell-bottoms in the 70s. It's important to keep people informed.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:14 PM
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Inflation hasn't changed as much as airport security, but that's more recent. Even in the 80s, it was lack enough that apparently nobody gave a shit when I kept walking through the metal detector with increasingly larger amounts of change in my pockets to see when it would beep.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:21 PM
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lack s/b lax. And I'd forgotten this but my brother once rode the luggage belt for a complete loop. He didn't even get arrested.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:23 PM
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17: Cool! I've always wanted to do that!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:24 PM
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14: And you can still get a one-way from Portland to Seattle for about that amount of money.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:24 PM
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18: Too late. You'll get arrested.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:26 PM
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16: Was it one of the luggage belts that goes back into a separate area where they unload the luggage, or was the entire belt in the luggage return area like at PIT? The latter case is boring, but riding on it in the former case was a childhood dream. (I was a boring child.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:28 PM
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It's really interesting how into air transit terrorists are. One of the stranger things about learning about 9/11 is realizing how important it was to Al Quaeda that the attack involve commercial aircraft. There are other ways of killing people, but it was really important to include airplanes because terrorist tradition!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:29 PM
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20 to 19.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:30 PM
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19: That's kind of amazing that the price has been constant in real dollars. Increased costs have clearly led to a reduction in comfort and frills, but I thought it would also lead to increased prices. My inflation sense is horrible.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:30 PM
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Everybody just went to Cuba.

No extradition treaty AND fabulous beaches.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:31 PM
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21: It was the kind that goes back into the separate area. That's why I was surprised they didn't get arrested even then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:34 PM
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Increased costs have clearly led to a reduction in comfort and frills, but I thought it would also lead to increased prices. My inflation sense is horrible.

Funny, my intuition went precisely the other way--I was surprised it was that cheap back in 1971, because I thought the one unquestioned success of deregulation was much cheaper airfares. Maybe Knecht can clear things up.

I'm going to cling to my priors, though, and say that this chart of oil prices explains everything--crude was ~$11/barrel in 2009 dollars back in 1971, compared to $60+ in the mid-late 2000s; I suspect the extremely expensive airfare that I associate with pre-Carter deregulation was partly because of massively jump in oil prices brought on by OPEC, etc.

(That said, I'm sort of double-counting here--the oil price shock was a huge part of the very same inflation that I'm then counting again when using the standard price deflators...)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:49 PM
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Errr, this chart of oil prices.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:50 PM
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27: Fair enough, I'm conflating the decreased prices of deregulation and the increase in prices with the rise in oil prices in the last fifteen years. My intuition above only makes sense in the later period. Given all that, though, it really is surprising that the prices are nearly the same (for this one flight, anyway).


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 12:59 PM
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I was surprised it was that cheap back in 1971, because I thought the one unquestioned success of deregulation was much cheaper airfares.

I believe this was the accepted wisdom for a while but has recently been pretty thoroughly walked back; not sure which of the possible reasons have validity, but inflation-adjusted air travel (after an initial dip) has stayed pretty much level in terms of ticket prices.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 1:14 PM
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22.--Any links? "Tradition!" just doesn't seem a sufficient motivator, but I would be fascinated to read about it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 1:19 PM
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Airline regulation never applied to intra-state flight. Maybe nobody noticed Oregon and Washington are different states.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 1:27 PM
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In 2008, I paid less for a plane ticket to Germany than I paid the first time I went there in 1981. Of course, what it costs for a airline ticket now depends on exactly which minute you buy the ticket, and how many previous ticket searches you've done, and all sorts of bits of magic no one really understands.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 1:28 PM
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They are still different states, right?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 1:31 PM
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34: Yes. If you can buy hard alcohol at Safeway and your liquor control board is in the pot business, you're in Washington.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 1:39 PM
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I became aware of D.B. Cooper by reading some sort of magazine article or book chapter from the 1980s called "Who Was D.B. Cooper?" It took as understood that the general American audience knew a huge number of facts about the D.B. Cooper case. This made me realize that for a few years, D.B. Cooper was a really big deal, before being dropped as a go-to pop culture reference around the time this book was published.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 1:49 PM
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I'm not an airline industry expert, but you'd expect (I think) deregulation to make prices cheaper on routes that are profitable for the airlines (eg, transatlantic, cross-country) but to stay relatively high on for short point-to-point routes like Seattle to Portland that aren't profitable, and where deregulation may have been keeping the price more low. But I have no real idea whether that actually holds true in practice.

My other big question about the airline industry is why deregulation in Europpe didn't bankrupt/relentlessly crappify the flag carriers in the same way the US majors got ruined. I gather Ryanair is insanely cheap, but Lufthansa's not (I think? bankrupt and seems (I think? Haven't been on it for years) to not be remotely as horrible as, say, United.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 1:58 PM
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"Where regulation may have been keeping the price more low"

31 -- the 9/11 report goes into some detail, IIRC.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 2:02 PM
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Some of the flag carriers did go bankrupt (Swissair, Alitalia) and many of them benefited from government subsidies well into the nineties as state owned companies. Plus the European market didn't get deregulated until much later than the US.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 2:16 PM
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37: funny, my general idea is that short intrastate flights are still relatively cheap, while long flights have become cost-prohibitive for many people. But I could be wrong; I have no hard data on this.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 2:21 PM
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I thought Jimmy James was D.B. Cooper.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 2:23 PM
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Ever since Southwest pulled out of the route, Pittsburgh to Philly is six or seven hundred bucks. Because US Air is assholes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 2:34 PM
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Not that I need to go to Philadelphia often. I already saw the liberty bell.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 2:40 PM
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This is pretty interesting on the question of airline regulation, as are Bruce Wilder's comments on the same thread. Basically, airline deregulation (usually team deregulation's go-to example of a good deregulation) mostly looks good if you ignore that there were other factors that would have put overall downward pressure on fares. And this was interesting:

One of the airline industry's problems is that it isn't "revenue adequate" or able to recover its total costs including a normal return to investors. If you thought airlines were incurring costs efficiently, then moving towards revenue adequacy would require more revenues and hence higher average fares. On the face of things, that wouldn't look good for a regulated alternative providing more secure revenues to the industry. However, there are dynamic efficiency counterbalances to the apparent static inefficiency under regulation: revenue adequacy implies having money for efficiency-improving investments. For instance, U.S. legacy airlines have somewhat notoriously kept relatively aged fleets in the air. Partly, that was a deliberate strategy that blew up when the Goldilocks conditions of the late-90s ended, and partly they don't have the money to turn over their fleets as fast as they arguably should.
The formerly regulated transportation industries shared, to one extent or another, cost structures under which an efficient carrier would go broke under econ 101 perfect competition with prices driven down to marginal costs. So the question isn't so much whether carriers will exercise such market power as they have in order to survive, but how. Real firms might or might not do that better than a real regulator. I do think there's a good case to be made for some degree of pricing and service liberalization with regulatory policing of "excessive" use of market power; that's a one-sentence version of the Staggers Act's approach to the (very successful) freight rail industry.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 2:42 PM
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42 An advantage consumers have in Europe is a good intercity train system. The equivalent type journey on a non high speed line would probably be about four or five hours. More than by plane but not so long that plenty of people wouldn't choose it at half the price. And if it were a high speed line you'd probably be looking at about two hours - i.e. nobody would take the plane except at a hefty discount to the train.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 2:48 PM
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Since this is the inflation thread... there's a piece in the NYT about some people selling a brownstone for $5M on W 94th that their parents bought in 1960 for $18K. When they bought it was an impoverished gang ridden block, now the socio-economic and the house and family became a symbol of what I guess could be called proto-gentrification in the sixties and seventies. What strikes me though is that even back then, in that kind of location, a TLC brownstone cost about as much as a nice upper middle class suburban home.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 3:36 PM
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My other big question about the airline industry is why deregulation in Europpe didn't bankrupt/relentlessly crappify the flag carriers in the same way the US majors got ruined.

It did. Bankrupt them, anyway. There are very few flag carriers that didn't go bust, get bought out by another flag carrier, or have to get bailed out by their governments. As for crapification, for some at least, they've used quality of service (relatively speaking - they're still airlines) as a way of differentiating themselves from the stupidly cheap likes of Ryanair. They also get indirect subsidies in the form of tax free fuel and until recently (?) exemption from the emissions trading regime.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 3:36 PM
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They also get indirect subsidies in the form of tax free fuel

All airlines do.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 4:02 PM
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Only because they don't drive planes on the highway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 4:33 PM
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Had just seen this map of world's busiest air routes the other day. Somewhat surprised by how short most were (although some do transverse bodies of water). Supporting data in Wikipedia. Also none in US or Europe.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 4:45 PM
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I thought there weren't that many people on Jeju. Is it a popular for vacations?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 5:09 PM
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Ah, yes, it is.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 5:12 PM
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Jeju=Korean Hawaii. I'm surprised they get that much traffic, though.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 5:19 PM
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Obligatory Far Side link


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 6:26 PM
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True fact: The author of the book recommended in 1 has edited school magazines with both Mrs. K-skys.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 6:30 PM
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Also, he sometimes writes under the pseudonym "Mr. Roboto".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 6:33 PM
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Which did she like best?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 6:33 PM
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Anyhow, the book is incredibly fun and readable and fun and also readable. I highly recommend it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 6:33 PM
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54: That's how I learned of Cooper.
|| Tyler Cowen on the radio is far, far more infuriating than on the internet.
|>


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 6:34 PM
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He, not she, I guess.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 6:34 PM
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54: Probably how I first heard of it also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 6:47 PM
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I'ma hafta bring up again the graph on the back of The Baffler No. 13 showing the number of monthly bombings in Depression Era Chicago. Imagine if there were like 10-30 bombings a month in a major city today. People would lose their shit. I guess it wasn't as big a deal back then though.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 6:54 PM
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Back then, people were bomb-resistant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 6:58 PM
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I thoght I remembered posting something about Cooper here. His parachute possibly found a few years back..


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 7:05 PM
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I thoght I remembered posting something about Cooper here. His parachute possibly found a few years back..


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 7:05 PM
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63: pulled themselves up by their petardstraps.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 7:05 PM
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And more recently as well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 7:06 PM
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||
Bumping up against lumpenproletarian/lower working class stubbornness is really frustrating. Especially when it is mixed with barracks-lawyering with little basis in actual fact. You would think, with so much evidence to the contrary readily available, that people a the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum would internalize the fact that if the law gets involved, they are probably screwed. But no.
Sigh.
Man, I wish I had some vanilla pudding right now. A shamrock shake would really hit the spot as well.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-16-13 7:50 PM
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Bumping up against lumpenproletarian/lower working class stubbornness is really frustrating.

Cry me a river, lefty.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MITT ROMNEY | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 4:56 AM
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Tyler Cowen on the radio is far, far more infuriating than on the internet.

Oh, man, I heard him on NPR the other day, and it really bugged the fuck out of me. He was all "Greater economic inequality is inevitable, and not really that bad, because workplace surveillance will insure a pure meritocracy."

I found it instructive to list the reasons he is wrong and identify the most important one. This is what I came up with:

Tyler Cowen is wrong, because even if we created a perfect workplace meritocracy--so that the members of the elite really were much better at their jobs than the masses--even if that were the case, the masses would still be able to bring society to a halt by refusing to participate. This shows that inequality is not inevitable because the proletariat retains the power to strike. And it shows that inequality is morally wrong, because the masses are making a necessary and huge contribution to society.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 5:35 AM
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Maybe Knecht can clear things up.

The price of air travel, as measured in ticket revenue per passenger mile, did in fact decline in inflation-adjusted terms in the decades following deregulation. For much of that time, unit revenues were declining in nominal terms as well. The revisionist claim is not, contra Tweety in 30, that fares didn't go down, but that they were already declining before deregulation and would have gone down anyway. I don't know enough about the pre-deregulation history to assess that claim, but I am skeptical.

Declining unit revenues have been compensated by substantial cost cutting, productivity improvements, better fleet utilization, and higher seat load factors. More recently, non-ticket revenue has come to play a much more important role in the airline P&L. A lot of that process has been ugly from the perspective of the consumer and the employees. For a while in the 80's and 90's, the savings came at a cost in safety as well, though a more aggressive FAA seems to have sorted that out.

The average decline in unit revenues disguises an equally significant increase in the dispersion of airfares on the same route. This is the crazy quilt of airline pricing, which, infuriating as it can be, really has been a boon for the consumer with more time than money.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 5:41 AM
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Now explain why tires cost so much more than used to.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 5:56 AM
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Maybe I just stopped buying shitty tires after I got a real job and a kid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:13 AM
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70: because workplace surveillance will insure a pure meritocracy

Ha! Right! And not sure what "pure meritocracy" has to do with the price of beans either.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:42 AM
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Meritocracy for me, Stakhanovocracy for thee


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:50 AM
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Great. Making up bullshit about how much work I've done is skill of mine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:56 AM
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70: Also, putting the absurdity of pure meritocracy to one side coughnepotismcoughconnectionscough, what is it about 'meritocracy' that makes it decent or moral for people who aren't the best at their jobs to be treated badly and live miserably?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:57 AM
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Wait, 75 is a good line. Someone delete it so I can write it under my own name somewhere.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:58 AM
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Dude, under the ridiculously unlikely possibility that you use the line under your real name someplace and someone remembers having seen it here (you know about twelve people read this thing, right), that doesn't mean [RealnameYou] is Cryptic ned, it just means [RealnameYou] saw it on the internet and repeated it. You're an academic researcher on an undisclosed topic relating to goats, not an assassin.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:04 AM
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Since I try never to have political discussions IRL with anyone but my dad anyway, I think it's safe.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:06 AM
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Who knows, though, your dad could be spying on you. Has your dentist installed any suspicious fillings lately, maybe in teeth that you didn't notice anything wrong with?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:08 AM
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you know about twelve people read this thing, right

You keep believing that, hippie.


Posted by: OPINIONATED NSA EMPLOYEE | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:09 AM
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Now I find myself hoping that Ned is an assassin who unwinds by pretending to be an academic researcher here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:11 AM
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How many lurkers are there? I've been feeling an urge to post my PIN and credit card number.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:13 AM
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what is it about 'meritocracy' that makes it decent or moral for people who aren't the best at their jobs to be treated badly and live miserably?
For us to have a rational, analytical discussion, we need to set aside moral concerns. Cowen is simply describing how things will be. It's up to us to adapt to our favela future.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:16 AM
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I actually have no idea at all. You could try it and tell us how many people charge stuff?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:17 AM
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Its funny how people who praise meritocracy always assume they are the ones with the merit.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:18 AM
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It is a very good line. Tyler Cowen is a deeply evil, horrible person adept in the ways of appearing non-evil (just "provocative!) to middlebrow semi-lefty meritocratic strivers. Libertarians are horrible people.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:20 AM
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In a society geared towards its own destruction, perhaps the most meritorious are those who refuse to do anything at all.


Posted by: Opinionated Verbose Bartelby | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:24 AM
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We should not stop the revolution until the last person who describes themselves as "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" is strangled with the entrails of the last George Mason professor.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:39 AM
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I'm really sick of people condescending about the middlebrow. I grew up significantly lower than that; achieving middlebrow is actually a big deal for me.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:30 AM
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90. Agreed. But can we start the revolution before then? Pretty please.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:39 AM
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91: The older I get, the thicker my middlebrow gets. When I get a haircut, the barber trims until I have two brows again.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:41 AM
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93. If you work on it you can train your brows to grow through your ears instead of joining in the middle.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:48 AM
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My whole pedagogy is based around getting students to achieve middlebrow. If middlebrow were bad, my professional life would be wasted.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:50 AM
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94: Do you offer courses? My brows seem to be growing in all directions.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:56 AM
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Fine by me, as long as you can keep them from becoming libertarians or liking Tyler Cowen.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:57 AM
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Under no circumstances let your eyebrows read The Road to Serfdom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:01 AM
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90: Hey, that was young clueless me!


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:05 AM
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95: What do all the brows mean anyway? I have an idea, but I'm not sure if that's what other people mean.

A lowbrow enjoys pop culture unselfconsciously and without any irony.

A middlebrow reveres the accepted great works of culture -- Mozart, Shakespeare, Leonardo, etc.

A highbrow scoffs at everything the other brows like, enjoys some pop culture but only ironically, and only shows respect for obscure and difficult stuff that none of the other brows have heard of.

Is that right?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:08 AM
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I think you're browbeating.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:09 AM
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the brows can only be used ironically or self-deprecatingly.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:10 AM
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What an awesome headline!

Justin Bieber's moustache: three days that shook the world


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:11 AM
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100: I'd be more highbrow-friendly than you would. Lowbrow is like you said, highbrow is someone who unselfconsciously and genuinely enjoys 'high' culture in an educated fashion (obviously, it's going to be really implausible for anyone to describe themselves this way without sounding like an ass); and middlebrow is aspirational -- someone with a sense of what they should be enjoying but not a lot of independent judgment about it and largely faking the enjoyment when it comes to anything difficult.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:14 AM
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the thicker my middlebrow gets

You should insist that it's a topstache, not a unibrow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:15 AM
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That is an awesome headline.

In the contemporary United States, there is a precise and exact definition of being middlebrow: do you enjoy uncritically (a) NPR or (b) Malcolm Gladwell?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:16 AM
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107

106: what if you can only enjoy anything uncritically?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:20 AM
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Huh, I'm not sure I know hardly anyone outside of Unfogged who would pass the 106 test.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:21 AM
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Low brow: Star Wars
Middle brow: The Emprie Strike Back
High brow: The Hidden Fortress


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:23 AM
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104: So for you the lowbrow and highbrow are authentic -- they each genuinely enjoy what they enjoy, while the middlebrow is all about trying to seem smart and cultured.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:24 AM
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Lowbrow: guests on talk shows get surprise paternity testing and get into fights with each other.

Middlebrow: guests discuss cooking and new movies and parenting tips.

Highbrow: guests discuss some tiny field of expertise that you hadn't thought about previously.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:26 AM
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anytime a metonym demands that a morphology of the head be representative of anything therein, it must necessarily lead astray and can only be used critically in jest.

It works for penises though.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:29 AM
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I meant 106 non-pejoratively. I enjoy most things uncritically.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:30 AM
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114

112.2: What works for penises?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:31 AM
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Lowbrow: Disney musicals
Middlebrow: Broadway musicals
Highbrow: Opera


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:32 AM
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114: relation of head size to efficacy. so I'm told.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:32 AM
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Huh, per Wiktionary "lowbrow" is based on phrenology.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:33 AM
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[Plagiarizing a long-ago New Republic here.]

Lowbrow = Homer
Highbrow = Lisa
Middlebrow = Marge

The also invent a category called "High-Lowbrow" (represented by Bart, in this case).

I also recall the seasons:

Lowbrow = summer
Highbrow = winter
Middlebrow = spring
High-lowbrow = fall


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:33 AM
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110: Sort of. Although I also use 'middlebrow' in a less hostile fashion sometimes, for people with a limited and not terribly well educated, but genuine enjoyment of things that would usually count as highbrow.

(Actually, I don't use these terms at all, really. I'm thinking about how I would if I did.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:33 AM
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Lowbrow: Two and a Half Men
Middlebrow: Mad Men
Highbrow: Not watching television


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:34 AM
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also invent a category called "High-Lowbrow"

Cute malapropism. It's obviously Hellobrow.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:35 AM
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115: That's one way of looking at it -- but I think of someone like Jody Rosen that writes for Slate about pop music. As far as I can tell he pretty much likes all the pop music that previous generations of rock critics reflexively despised. Where is his brow? I think by my definition he's highbrow, but I'm not sure.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:36 AM
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and now we illustrate with self-regard.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:38 AM
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Those seasons are great.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:39 AM
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I'm starting to feel rather middlebrow. Unless that ironically appeals to me, which would catapult me squarely into highbrow. Which would cause secret self-loathing, which would keep me highbrow, I suppose. Probably all brows loathe themselves, actually. Especially Hebrows.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:39 AM
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High-lowbrow = Löwenbräu?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:43 AM
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With the fourth category my lists are wrong. Mad Men and Empire Strikes Back are high-lowbrow.

Middlebrow is low-highbrow, right?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:44 AM
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HIS LORDSHIP (continuing): The question of malice is a question of fact for the jury to determine, and the jury alone. The evidence which we have heard and the demeanour of the defendant in the box leave no doubt in my own mind that the word complained of was prompted in fact by legal malice and spleen; but it will be for you to say. Far more difficult, in my opinion, is the question, 'Is the word "highbrow" defamatory or not?'

http://www.lawfile.org.uk/trott_v_tulip.htm


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:46 AM
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That was all prelude to my manifesto against they tyranny of classism and conformity in tastes.

SHAVE THE BROWS!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:46 AM
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Ah, middlebrow is like Newt Gingrich: a lowbrow person's idea of what highbrow is like.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:46 AM
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I never realized lowbrow and highbrow were phrenological terms. Makes sense, just never had parsed the words.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:47 AM
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Anyhow, my god, "middlebrow" is a far better summary of unfogged commenters than "SWPL" ever was, so maybe it's not a good term to wield in anger.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:48 AM
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125: loathing yourself is actually the first step towards loving everyone else. the people who say otherwise are self-lovers who propagate lies in order to keep the love down.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:51 AM
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Or perhaps more accurately the first step is admitting that you loathe yourself as there is no particular reason to feel otherwise and, for that reason, no particular cause for self-regard of any kind.

I mean this genuinely and not as one of those secretive insults. I learned it by reading the first book of A Tale of Two Cities, oddly enough.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:55 AM
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I don't even have a brow.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:55 AM
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Speaking of hair and things that are hard to find, we just got our first "check your kid for lice" message of the new school year.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:56 AM
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Another sign of the apocalypse -- Jennifer Lopez wears dress twice


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:56 AM
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Lowbrow = Biden
Highbrow = Obama
Middlebrow = Hillary
High-lowbrow = Bill

Lowbrow = football
Highbrow = lacrosse
Middlebrow = soccer
High-lowbrow = hockey

Lowbrow = Buzzfeed
Highbrow = Crooked Timber
Middlebrow = Reddit
High-lowbrow = Unfogged


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:58 AM
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I might be a highbrow, or something close to it. I need to work on being more insufferable.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:58 AM
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Wait, isn't high-lowbrow lower than middlebrow? Is Unfogged really below Reddit?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:59 AM
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Is Unfogged really below Reddit?

I've never been on Reddit, so I think so.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:00 AM
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No, "high-lowbrow" is the current fashion for good taste. Think, "Well Wagner is pretty good, but really he's just a poor substitute for Lady Gaga."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:01 AM
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IT'S HELLOBROW. What is wrong with you all?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:02 AM
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Hellobrow is the middlebrow way of saying high-lowbrow, heebie.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:04 AM
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Reddit is a platform for sharing pictures of cats. Unfogged only shares pictures of cats ironically, so I think that means its above Reddit.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:04 AM
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Brows before Hows.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:09 AM
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Ask Gertrude nicely to put some Neil Diamond on the phonograph and it will explain things.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:10 AM
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I think I'm SURBROW.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:11 AM
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Lowbrow = apostropher
Highbrow = LizardBreath
Middlebrow = heebie-geebie
Hellobrow = Stanley


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:18 AM
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Highbrow: Marry
Lowbrow: Fuck
Middlebrow: Kill


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:21 AM
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Actually, that looks really weird right after 149.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:21 AM
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what sort of gift should Stanley expect?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:27 AM
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153

High-lowbrow has to be ogged, right?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:27 AM
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151: But kind of...right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:28 AM
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Except the killing me part. It should be Fuck, Marry, Baby-sit For.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:28 AM
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Also, highbrow is neb.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:29 AM
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Man, lowbrows have all the fun.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:29 AM
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149 seems a little unfair to Heebie, in a way that I think is related to the fundamental attribution error. People aren't all classifiable according to the schema, but they have attitudes that are classifiable.

Heebie is a subject matter expert in math and children's books, and therefore almost certainly highbrow in both domains. But she is middlebrow on a lot of other things, that we see more often on Unfogged.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:31 AM
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Lowbrow = Cheddar
Highbrow = Époisses
Middlebrow = Camembert
High-lowbrow = Limburger

Lowbrow = Dr. Pepper
Highbrow = Ginger Ale
Middlebrow = Diet Coke
High-lowbrow = Mountain Dew

Lowbrow = French fries
Highbrow = French wine
Middlebrow = French lessons
High-lowbrow = French kiss


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:31 AM
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And by using the jargon "subject matter expert" I commit a middlebrowism myself.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:32 AM
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"If any human being, man, woman, dog, cat or half-crushed worm dares call me 'middlebrow' I will take my pen and stab him, dead. Yours etc., Virginia Woolf."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:32 AM
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161: What about quarter-crushed worms?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:33 AM
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163

Everything you need to know on the topic on one convenient chart.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:33 AM
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I think "salads" and "causes" are my favorite categories, in 63.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:37 AM
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163 is worth reading, though inevitably a little dated; the culture changes. Wine is now low-middlebrow, for example, and Sherry seems to be on its way from Highbrow to High-Middlebrow.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:37 AM
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Causes
Highbrow: Formal
High-Middlebrow: Final
Low-Middlebrow: Material
Lowbrow: Efficient


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:40 AM
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Heh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:42 AM
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Lowbrow = Slut shaming
Highbrow= Slut walks
Middlebrow = Slut-o-ween
High-lowbrow = Slut Like You


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:46 AM
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104/110 are right. Highbrows are genuinely cultured. This may make them pompous, elitist, or ridiculous, but it's not necessarily a question of class privilege. A classic working class autodidact is a stone highbrow.

Lowbrow is Orwell on McGill postcards - it may be unthinking fan service, but it's honest fun and deserves respect.

Middlebrow is what you get from people who won't dance for fear of seeming common, but won't or can't make the cognitive investment to really care about culture. It's shit because it's inspired by snobbery.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:47 AM
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Maintaining your own file system: Low-middlebrow
Internet architect for one's domicile: Aristocratic
Self-publishing (includes eclectic web magazine contributions):Low-lowbrow

The suggestions about middlebrow taste being fake or striving seem to me to be the main point. Everyone loves to denounce other people for doing this. Tyler Cowen writes a lot about signalling, let me take a few minutes to look at his archives for some links.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:53 AM
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159.1: Lowbrow should be Velveeta or EZ-Cheez or Kraft Singles or something.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 10:58 AM
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Honestly, when I saw causes in 164, I thought it was going to be like 166.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:00 AM
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what do you think of people who use "aristocrat" to mean anything but assholes and cheap vodka?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:01 AM
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There's something obnoxious about the "Which Brow Shall We Mock?" formulation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:06 AM
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173. I think it's a great act.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:07 AM
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when I saw causes in 164

Highbrow: Because
Middlebrow: is because
Lowbrow: 'cause
Hellobrow: 'cuz


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:07 AM
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Aristocrat is the top shelf vodka at my bar.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:07 AM
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What works for penises?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0495773/


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:12 AM
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Highbrow: tantric sex
Middlebrow: making love
Lowbrow: screwin'
Hellowbrow: "coupling"


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:12 AM
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153 and 171 are correct.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:14 AM
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Highbrow: the earth moved
Middlebrow: the bed moved
Lowbrow: my bowels moved
Hellowbrow: now don't move for 15 minutes


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:23 AM
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Lowbrow: Oaktown 3.5.7.
Middlebrow: MC Lyte
Highbrow: Monie Love
High-lowbrow: Roxanne Shanté


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:42 AM
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163: Eames chairs are middlebrow. There is nothing wrong with balsam stuffed pillows.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:43 AM
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182: I have heard of literally none of those. I am nobrow. Dick Gephardt, that's me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:47 AM
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re: 169

A classic working class autodidact is a stone highbrow.

Yup. Think Jimmy Reid, for example.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:53 AM
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184: I had never heard of Roxanne Shanté, and I had not thought about any of the others for about 20 years. But I recently had to make a mix for a House Party themed house party and spent way too much time on youtube. I recommend everyone checkout "Knockin' Hiney".


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:54 AM
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Tag fail. That link goes to the House Party imdb.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:56 AM
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184: I haven't heard of any of them either. I'm thinking that won't make you feel even the tiniest bit better.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 11:56 AM
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189

Has Emerson been eliminated as a suspect? I've never seen him deny it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:03 PM
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I don't know that low-grade 90s hiphop names correlate with social class 20 years later in any useful way.

I don't know the empirical answer, though. Googling:
Zadie Smith likes Jay Z's music
Krugman likes The Civil Wars and Arcade Fire
Barry O likes Kanye West's music ( at least those first few albums)
Couldn't find anything for Zaha Hadid or Lessig

I wouldn't expect academics my age (pushing 50) to get a reference to having 99 problems.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:11 PM
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190.3: I'm 50 and I know all about that! I heard Jay Z talking about it with Terry Gross! I'm hip!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:14 PM
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You professors are slackers in the looks department. A JMU professor has been selected the hottest professor in the USA.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:15 PM
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193

Lowbrow: Paul
Middlebrow: John
Highbrow: George
High-lowbrow: Ringo


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:23 PM
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187 - I believe I've mentioned that we know the guy who played the principal in Kid 'n Play's Class Act. After the shoot, he absconded with the portrait of him that hung in the principal's office set; it now hangs proudly in his garage.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:26 PM
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Frank Lloyd Wright famously put down Philip Johnson by calling him "a middlebrow. A middlebrow is someone who's been educated beyond his capacity."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:32 PM
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196

I stand behind Malcolm Gladwell/NPR as both necessary and sufficient markers to define the contemporary American middlebrow.

I don't think "aspirational" is the right idea, though of course there's an overlap between middlebrow-ness and being aspirational -- it's more being uncritically accepting of a version of popular culture that is specifically mass-marketed to an identified category of (pretty well) educated people. I don't know about the origin of the term, but I was thinking of it in Dwight Macdonald's sense, that is pop-manufactured culture designed for the (marketing) category "educated person" but that is itself fundamentally a product of mass culture and opposed to elitist values of high art.

In the 1950s, the demarcation items were Thornton Wilder's Our Town, Horizon: A Magazine of the Arts, and Hemmingway's The Old Man and the Sea. NPR and Malcolm Gladwell are the precise contemporary equivalents. Maybe throw in TED talks as well.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:36 PM
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Of course FLW is now a middlebrow taste, but he wasn't for most of his career, nor for the 25-30 years after he died. But then he got assimilated.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:47 PM
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One of the great pleasures of Spy was the binary phraseology with which they torpedoed their regular targets: "short-fingered vulgarian" and "churlish dwarf billionaire" among them. This last mauvais mot of a zinger was applied to Laurence Tisch, then the chairman of CBS.

"Graydon got a call from P.R. man John Scanlon, who was then working for Tisch: 'Look, Graydon, you've really gone too far this time. To begin with, Larry is not technically a dwarf.'

196.2 is a more careful definition, but I think that it is at odds with common usage, which is IMO snark against strivers. Nobody can manage to be meaningfully elitist in too many fields at once.

I find the labels pretty frustrating-- they're either insulting or preening. "Flyover country" is in a way accurate as a description of the distribution of capital, but anyone who would use those loaded wordfs straight-faced is buying into a bunch of bullshit. Class labels are every bit as stupid as asking about ethnic heritage for shorthand, the very phenomenon that gets skewered in those funny videos by ticked-off asian Americans.

Being frustrated with NPRs shallow coverage and looking up Syrian demorgaphics, is that middllebrow behavior? NPR has some individual good reporters, but are navel-gazing shit about the US middle class.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 12:58 PM
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Maybe throw in TED talks as well.

I've never seen a TED talk, but everything I've heard about them makes me think that anyone who gives should be punched in the face.

Is that low, middle, or highbrow?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:03 PM
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200

Some TED talks are amazing. Just the quality control is really, really problematic, and the audience should probably be punched in the face.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:06 PM
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I have seen a bunch of TED talks that I absolutely loved-- Indian water retention architecture, a software guy talking about the Indus script, maybe 10% of architect talks. My kid likes them, I watch a bunch with him. The basic structure and some talks are glib, but the fraction that are good is well above zero.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:08 PM
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Lowbrow: using literally as an intensifier
Middlebrow: being a pedant about the use of literally as an intensifier
Highbrow: being pedantic about pedantry about the use of literally as an intensifier


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:08 PM
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"anyone who gives one should be..."
Leaving out words in comments is definitely middlebrow.

200: and the audience should probably be punched in the face.

That's the thing that gets me. The whole TED circuit sounds like a pastime for the sickeningly pleased with themselves.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:09 PM
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TED talks used to be cool.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:11 PM
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203.last While this place on the other hand invites meaningful critical appraisal of the attitudes of the overeducated, leading to change wherever those are problematic, like that website SWPL.

Matthew 7:3 fits.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:14 PM
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205.2: Citing a Bible verse! How middlebrow!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:16 PM
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Since it's kind of an architecture thread, Ezekiel 40:16


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:20 PM
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Mmm. Sniping at people for being middlebrow kind of reminds me of why I thought Paul Fussell was being a jerk in Class. Oh, you mean upper class, middle class, and lower class people are all absurd in their own individual way, but "Class X" people like you aren't? Glad we cleared that up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:21 PM
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I liked the book until I got to the Class X part. That was really stupid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:24 PM
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208: and it's sort of demented, too, right? Like who thinks at this point that it's valorous to claim that the only way to appropriately engage with culture is at a high pitch of overinformed, critical elitism? It was fun when Morton Feldman said it but what weird eternal 1950s are you living in, straw person that I am apparently talking to?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:28 PM
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Talking about class at all is IMO always kind of entertaining for facile snobbery, edges into thinking about structural problems with the country, and can lead to useful insights about privilege.

But it's unsustainable, after more than the most superficial remarks, it's even more infuriating than talking about religion.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:31 PM
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I assign my students to watch TED talks, as a conscious part of my pedagogy designed to build them up to being middlebrow.

TED is the National Geographic of the digital age: It is all pop science and feel-good imperialism. This many problems but it is better than superstition and genocidal racism.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:32 PM
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It's all fun and games until Jean Kambanda gets a TED Talk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:36 PM
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214

Better than genocidal racism isn't a very high bar to clear.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:40 PM
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||

Jetpacks!

|>


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:44 PM
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214: Yes, I'm curious -- is genocidal racism actually common among your students, rob?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:50 PM
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To the best of my recollection, I've only ever watched two TED talks, both of which were guys (Reggie Watts, Tom Thum) beatboxing. So not so much talks, really.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:51 PM
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217: Surely you recall the TED talk about the proper way to tie your shoes?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:53 PM
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I would like to know more about this Feldman reference Sifu made.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 1:56 PM
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Oops. It was Milton Babbitt. My brow declines!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:00 PM
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221

This dealie.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:01 PM
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I first assumed he was talking about "Who Cares if You Listen", but that was Milton Babbitt.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:01 PM
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Too slow!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:01 PM
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Lowbrow: Fleas
Middlebrow: Bedbugs
Highbrow: Sand flies
High-lowbrow: Chiggers
Xbrow: Deer ticks


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:07 PM
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Lowbrow: Jersey
Middlebrow: Queens
Highbrow: Manhattan
High-lowbrow: Brooklyn


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:09 PM
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224 is a good merging of the other thread. I think categorization of lice varies regionally.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:12 PM
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202: High-lowbrow: using literally as an intensifier but pronouncing it the way Chris Traeger does.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:14 PM
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I think categorization of lice varies regionally.

Pubic lice are less classy than head lice, if that's what you mean.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:17 PM
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And I know it isn't what you mean, but what can you do.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:18 PM
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See other thread. Advisor in grad school mistook one for the other. I've never had lice,, never heard of an outbreak growing up (although they did whole-school checks), but now have friends who had several bouts growing up and figure it's a normal childhood thing.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:25 PM
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We had maybe one outbreak when I was at school. I blame global warming or all those hipsters with the hats.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:35 PM
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196: If, as an elderly writer, your latest thin volume is considered to be middle brow for popularity, you have done well.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:45 PM
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Catching up on the thread:

Since this is the inflation thread... there's a piece in the NYT about some people selling a brownstone for $5M on W 94th that their parents bought in 1960 for $18K.

I boggled recently when I came to this paragraph:

Ms. Doyle, who is about a decade younger, lives more elegantly in a seven-room prewar co-op on West 143rd Street in northwest Harlem that she bought 20 years ago for $25,000. Her space is wreathed with 11 windows, and includes such amenities as a dining room and the outline of a fireplace discovered during a recent renovation.

That's not much more than the $18K quoted above, but in '93, rather that '60!

Also, for people who have followed the ACA more closely than I have, how disingenuous is this?

The ACA brings a new potential player into the arena for the acquisition of health care. Stated quite simply, the law is centered on providing low cost options to people who do not make a lot of money. Somewhat by definition, the law provides those people a pretty good deal for insurance ... a deal that can't be matched by us -- or any company. However, an individual employee (we call them Crew Member) is only able to receive the tax credit from the exchanges under the act if we do not offer them insurance under our company plan.

Perhaps an example will help. A Crew Member called in the other day and was quite unhappy that she was being dropped from our coverage unless she worked more hours. She is a single mom with one child who makes $18 per hour and works about 25 hours per week. We ran the numbers for her. She currently pays $166.50 per month for her coverage with Trader Joe's. Because of the tax credits under the ACA she can go to an exchange and purchase insurance that is almost identical to our plan for $69.59 per month. Accordingly, by going to the exchange she will save $1,175 each year ... and that is before counting the $500 we will give her in January.

While we understand her fear of change, at her income level this is a big benefit that we will help her achieve.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:46 PM
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That's not much more than the $18K quoted above, but in '93, rather that '60!

The crime drop in NYC was fast and sudden, and was just happening in 1993. I wouldn't be surprised if at the time she bought there were abandoned buildings occupied by drug dealers on her block. (Also, you're contrasting a big apartment with an entire building.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:53 PM
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I first assumed he was talking about "Who Cares if You Listen", but that was Milton Babbitt.

Me too, which is why I asked.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:56 PM
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The crime drop in Sacramento was in the late 90's and I still intensely wish my parents had helped me buy a couple properties on a block with open drug dealers and abandoned buildings. I knew that block would improve (because I actively wanted to live there and my tastes are pretty middlebrow) and I was right.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 2:59 PM
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(Also, you're contrasting a big apartment with an entire building.)

I didn't mean the comparison very seriously, and I'm sure it is explicable, but I was shocked to think that you could buy a seven-room anywhere in NYC in 1993. I just assumed that NY prices started heading up earlier than that . . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:00 PM
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Prices tanked citywide in '87, but recovered in downtown Manhattan reasonably fast. But if you don't know the neighborhoods (and the neighborhoods at that time) it's easy to underestimate how far off the radar Harlem and the south part of Washington Heights were for white people. When a friend moved to 155th and Riverside in the mid-90s, it was the first time in my life I'd had occasion to get off the subway there.

So, not so much a factor of prices going up citywide, as neighborhoods that hadn't been participating in the same real estate market as downtown Manhattan at all suddenly being perceived that way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:08 PM
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I boggled recently

I love to imagine a world in which Nick S is not making malapropisms and instead thinks that his personal history of board games is worth sharing.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:11 PM
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What, exactly, do you think 'malapropism' means? Because Nick certainly hasn't substituted a similar-sounding word for the one he meant to use.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:16 PM
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'Boggle' is a real world, originally meaning the startled motion of a horse, and now mostly meaning to confound or bewilder, chiefly surviving in 'boggles the mind'


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:17 PM
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Nick has written "I boggled" when presumably he meant "my mind boggled" or some similar cliche. If that doesn't constitute a malapropism, and is instead some other form of stupidity, I don't really care.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:18 PM
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"Boggle" is a word, but writing "I boggled" to mean "I was startled," is not a correct usage of that word.

Just recently I Sorried! and that brings to mind something important about the price of New York City apartments, I don't remember what.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:19 PM
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If that doesn't constitute a malapropism, and is instead some other form of stupidity, I don't really care.

Unnecessary pedantry about persnickety points of usage is terribly annoying, isn't it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:22 PM
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Pronunciation: \ˈbä-gəl\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): bog·gled; bog·gling \-g(ə-)liŋ\
Etymology: perhaps from bogle
Date: 1598
intransitive verb
1 : to start with fright or amazement


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:23 PM
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244: Perhaps so but then my favorite people are always so annoying.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:24 PM
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Are we to imagine that Nick S shivered like a horse when he read his article on apartment pricing?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:25 PM
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During my last trip to the masseuse an unfortunate gust of wind came through the curtain and I boggled.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:26 PM
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My point in that comment was that 18K wasn't crazy cheap compared to suburban homes back then. The place went from the price of a nice house in the burbs to extremely expensive. $25K in 1993 is pretty damn low.

Prices tanked citywide in '87, but recovered in downtown Manhattan reasonably fast.

Didn't they take something like ten or fifteen years to get back to their inflation adjusted peaks? Also, I don't think the UWS qualifies as 'downtown'.

it's easy to underestimate how far off the radar Harlem and the south part of Washington Heights were for white people.

As far as living there I agree, but going there not so much, at least during the day. Nighttime I had a hard time getting a gypsy cab to let me off a couple blocks south of the 125th A stop and I felt very insecure in the building until I got to the party.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:28 PM
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Are we to imagine that Nick S shivered like a horse when he read his article on apartment pricing?

Sure, close enough.

Also the article wasn't about apartment pricing, it was about people in long-term romantic relationships choosing to maintain separate housing rather than living together -- as you could have easily discovered by clicking the link.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:30 PM
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last night, I sarr a film/ I believe it was a horror film/ I stepped outside into the rain, looked at my phone, and saw you rang, and I

boggled.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:30 PM
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250: Yes, I suppose I could click on all of your links, but then where would we be?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:31 PM
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Nighttime I had a hard time getting a gypsy cab to let me off a couple blocks south of the 125th A stop and I felt very insecure in the building until I got to the party.

This seems like an appropriate time to link to "Across 110th St".


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:38 PM
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. . . but then where would we be?

I think the canonical answer is, "total anarchy" but that doesn't really apply in this case. Somewhere other than unfogged at least.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:39 PM
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According to the CPI inflation calculator that I just looked up (because why not procrastinate some more) $25,000 in 1960 is the equivalent of about $200,000 today. $25,000 in 1993 is the equivalent of about $40,000 today. A $200,000 building (!) in NYC today is pretty unthinkable and $40,000 is a cheap house even in most rural/depressed areas.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:39 PM
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See, I could follow that link, but given past history I think it might just be another board game reference.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:40 PM
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254: I'm pretty sure that's not the canonical answer here. The correct answer is: "I would be less amused than I am now."


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:41 PM
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re: 253

After hearing that repeatedly in Jackie Brown I tracked down* the original Across 110Th Street soundtrack. It's worth a listen, I think, there's good stuff other than the title track [and some nice little spoken word clips from the film] although the title track is the real stand-out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Across_110th_Street#Soundtrack

* ordered from the US as it has just been reissued but wasn't available in the UK.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:46 PM
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After hearing that repeatedly in Jackie Brown I tracked down* the original Across 110Th Street soundtrack.

I haven't listened to the soundtrack, but it did lead me to pick up a couple of Bobby Womack collections, which I have really appreciated. Two favorites:

"Nobody Wants You When You're Down And Out" (cover)
"Daylight"


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 3:52 PM
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Pronunciation: \ˈbä-gəl\

Does 'ä' not mean what I think it means?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 4:01 PM
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257 -- You certainly wouldn't be less amusing, so there's that.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 4:07 PM
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crflrllgtdrnkndwrtsmptrmsngssmsngws


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 4:13 PM
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hrllthssrch


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 4:13 PM
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mmmmmmmltng


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 4:14 PM
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A $200,000 building (!)

We're talking a townhouse here. Where I live brownstones were going for 100K in the mid nineties. And I'm pretty sure that even ten years ago you could get a TLC brownstone in parts of Brooklyn for 200K.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 4:14 PM
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snttprtttthnks


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 4:16 PM
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lwshrtthnslvvvv


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 4:18 PM
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ssd


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 4:19 PM
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msrrnw


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 4:26 PM
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i endorse 202 and 203.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 4:27 PM
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I'm very fond of the website HiLoBrow, run by Josh Glenn of Brainiac and Hermenaut before that, part of the Baffler extended family. It includes a rondel of HiLo Heroes.

I especially like Glenn's revised generational schema, which neb has derided on a few occasions.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 5:41 PM
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271.2 -- Yeah, no. He makes a common mistake of looking at the age of a performer -- Madonna, for instance -- and judging generational lines based on her age. But Madonna was basing her early career on appealing to younger people. I look at the most famous people my age -- Madonna, Prine, Kevin Bacon, Michael Jackson -- and only the latter, because he was a child star, was popular with his own age cohort.

I guess it depends on the performing art: I would say that screen actresses are usually playing for same age/older -- looking, again, at my age, you have Annette Benning, say, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Not excatly a punk sensibility there.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:16 PM
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Prine

Such a talent.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:18 PM
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John Prine is pretty talented. And old. I don't like the scheme in 271.2, which doesn't really seem to add much insight to me (and I love those kinds of generalizations normally). But it's also a bit TL;DR at least for right now.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:26 PM
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I think Carp meant Prince. Since John Prine released his first album in 1971 and if anything seems even older than he is what with the cancer and facial reconstruction surgery and having released four albums since 1986.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:31 PM
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Or is that Standpipe territory?

Anyway, John Prine is younger than Debbie Harry.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:34 PM
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I think if you're going to play around with the OG generation schemes, you'd be better advised to pick 4-5 year cultural generations based around graduation from high school. High school culture works in about 4-5 year cycles, and people's tastes often get set around then, as argued inter-alia here.

I dunno, let's do a rough cut. I'd run pop-culture generations for HS graduating classes back to the 70s as follows:

1970-74
1974-78
1978-82
1982-1986
1986-1989
1990-1994
1994-1998
1998-2001
2001-2007
2008-present


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:36 PM
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Or, silghtly reworked:

70-74 Hippies
74-78 Hard Rockers/Pittsburgh Steelers/Disco
78-82 Punk/New Wave/Soft-Heavy Metal
82-88 Core 1980's
88-94 Early grunge, 90's recession
94-98 Core 1990s
98-2001 Late 1990s, nu-metal, Slim Shady, internet boom
2002-2007 Core 2000s, prosperity, GWB, "Indie" bands, internet but not social media-dominant
2008-present Social Media dominant, children of the recession, despair


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:44 PM
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Sorry, yes, Prince. I was young when Prine came up. Too old for Prince when he was first popular.

277 -- I feel like there's a huge gap between my HS senior year -- Frampton Comes Alive, the Fleetwood Mac album, Hotel California (ok, fall after senior year) -- and the new stuff that came on with the Sex Pistols etc just right after that. That's why I draw a pretty hard line between my age group on the one side and punk and disco which were mainstream popular with younger people.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:45 PM
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"Core 80s" could also be called "Blue Monday" and "Core 90s" could also be called "The Chronic."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:46 PM
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Halford fears techno, pass it on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:47 PM
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94-98 Core 1990s

I remember it as "The Pumpkins/Everclear Era"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:50 PM
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Maybe the first generation should run 1968-72 and the second 72-78.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 6:57 PM
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Halford, take a look at the Billboard No 1 singles charts and compare your HS freshman/sophomore years to senior year. Which do you really find imprinted?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:16 PM
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Maybe the first generation should run 1968-72

Pop culture only became an effable thing after there was a bob mcmanus to properly intepret it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:17 PM
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I find the revivalist/reconstructionist split pretty useful. It does feel like the slightly older peers I looked up to while developing my tastes were snarky pastiche artists, and that as soon as I settled into that along came all these kids doing earnest retreads and doing them well.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:19 PM
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(I'm sure it's all equally ancient to most of you folks, but to me there's a big difference between Fr/Sp and Sr)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:22 PM
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I thought there was some kind of Hilo Manifesto I could link to, but this is a pretty good essay about where he stands on the subject of middlebrow. I find that I love a number of the things he stands tall against, although I'm glad there are people like him keeping them honest.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:29 PM
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No, you're totally right, there's a big difference in those charts. My periodization for the 70s is probably off. Maybe run it HS classes of 1969-73, 74-78, 78-82


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:30 PM
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The essay linked in 288 is really excellent.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 7:42 PM
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98-2001 Late 1990s, nu-metal, Slim Shady, internet boom

I don't remember nu-metal being a thing of much import.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:01 PM
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Then you were pleasantly tuned out.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:04 PM
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I do remember some of the people on the Science Olympiad team reciting Slim Shady all the time, though.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:05 PM
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I feel like the PalmPilot was an important part of the zeitgeist. I was so excited when I got one that could store and play, like, twelve mp3s.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:06 PM
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291: I remember a trick-or-treater dressed as Fred Durst.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:12 PM
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Perhaps it was Fred Durst, but you didn't recognize him due to his Fred Durst costume.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:27 PM
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292 gets it exactly right. Nu-metal basically was rock radio* for about 5 years there, between the end of grunge (and its attendant riot of, "Well, maybe the kids will like this, let's pay them a big advance") and the rise of (basically) alt rock.

*among stations that played any new music at all, of course


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:36 PM
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I don't think I had heard of Fred Durst until "Slim Shady".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:36 PM
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I had to go to Wikipedia to see what "Nu-metal" is. Turns out I was listening to a fair bit of it, but still mostly never stopped with the grunge until alt rock. I'd heard of Fred Durst, but I couldn't have told you what band he was with. The only thing I knew about Primus was the South Park theme.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:44 PM
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Anyway, I think that what Halford's scheme misses is the effects of older and younger siblings (and, to an extent, parental age). My sister is 5 years older, and so my point of reference is much closer to her era (e.g., she's why I knew about the Violent Femmes while I was in junior high, but also why I feel anchored to a lot of late '70s pop culture, when I was 6 and younger). When I was in college, I found that a lot of the people I gravitated towards came from similar family schema.

As a result, I'd think about something more like overlapping 6 year cycles, or something: if you're a freshman with a big brother in 1984, maybe you're already familiar with post punk and even modern rock (that is, REM and such), while your classmate with only younger siblings is just starting to discover music beyond bubblegum pop.

Actually, if I adjust the years, I can probably tell a story where the one kid starts with the Replacements and the other REM. Which of course are fundamentally similar bands, so maybe a better story is between, say, Tom Petty vs. REM, culturally very different musicians but both very appealing to high school males in the early '80s.

Anyway, I do think that parent generation has an impact. AB & I both have parents who married as adults in the Summer of Love, but of course grew up with kids whose parents were young hippies that year, and it always felt like that made a difference - none of that Boomer nonsense (either socially or culturally - 3 of the 4 basically didn't like much post-Beatles music).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:50 PM
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My favorite mocking of NU-metal was a colleague at the local alt-weekly calling it "misspellcore".

I basically noticed it when I suddenly had to constantly turn off the local grunge (or whatever) radio station because this horrible shit would come on between "Creep" and "Achtung Baby". I never liked metal (and good God was my HS full of metal), but nu-metal took it to a whole new level of "what is this shit?"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 8:57 PM
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3 of the 4 basically didn't like much post-Beatles music

My parents were completely oblivious to nearly all of that. They must have known who the Beatles were, but never mentioned them. We'd do Trivial Pursuit in History class (because the teacher was mostly concerned with coaching basketball). Usually I'd clean up but I was surprised when the question was asked about which was the oldest member of the Beatles. Everybody else apparently knew the names of all of them was merely trying to figure out which was oldest (Ringo, IIRC) and I didn't know any of their names. I knew the Monkees were a knock-off the Beatles, but I also knew their names (because reruns).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:18 PM
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I was 16 or so when I first heard the tasteless joke about what would it to reunite the Beatles and I didn't get it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:24 PM
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||

The Lufthansa in-flight magazine has an interview with a mechanic, who teaches you how to overhaul the battery on an A320. I love it when advertising decides to reinforce national stereotypes.

(Replace the gaskets, refill the electrolyte, charge the battery, check that the output is 6 +/- 0.05 volts. Don't forget, there are actually two batteries -- one to power the avionics in an emergency, the other to start the APU.)

And then I found five euros. (Totally serious. It was on the ground outside the supermarket.)

|>


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 09-17-13 9:33 PM
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re: 277/278

Heh, yeah, I'd be core 1980s or early-grunge according to the Halford scheme. I 'graduated' high school in '88, but I was 16 at the time and my taste was shaped somewhat by older friends, so I was listening to a lot of the early 80s metal and indie stuff, and little bits of hip-hop. However, in the UK, I think the schema would be slightly different anyway.

My immediate peer group's taste and experiences were sledge-hammered by the arrival of dance-music and/or the whole 'Madchester'/'baggy' scene from about 1987/88 onwards, and then again by Britpop and the like in the early 90s.

So, something like:

70-75 Hippies/Glam Rock/'Bay City Rollers'
76-78 Punk
78-82 New-Wave/Post-Punk/Two-Tone
82-87 Core 1980's + Indie [C86, etc] + Hip-hop
88-92 House/Baggy/Madchester - Second Summer of Love
92-96 Brit-pop - Oasis, Blur, Pulp, et al

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Summer_of_Love


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 2:14 AM
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http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_It_Up_and_Wear_It_Out

that's my birthday No.1 from 1980. the UK works quite differently.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 5:28 AM
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Heh, not bad. My birthday no. 1 [this came up on an earlier thread] was Al Green, 'Let's Stay Together' (in the US) and T.Rex, 'Telegram Sam' (in the UK). In that particular instance, points to the US, I think.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 5:34 AM
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My poor sister drew Phil Collins's version of "You Can't Hurry Love".


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 5:54 AM
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(quick google) ROD STEWART? Oh, lord. Actually the entire year was pretty dire. Wings. Donna Summer. ABBA.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 5:55 AM
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297 292 gets it exactly right. Nu-metal basically was rock radio* for about 5 years there

The Wikipedia lists of "number one modern rock hits" in 1999 and 2000 correspond pretty well to what I would have heard on the local rock radio station during the years when I was driving to high school, and it looks like there was a smattering of nu-metal, but it's a pretty small fraction.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:34 AM
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My "high school" years overlapped almost entirely with the Britpop era, and it felt like it at the time.

Birthday number one: When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman by Dr Hook.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 6:49 AM
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I've never heard of the UK chart number one songs on my birthday for the first 5 years of my life. Never heard of the number one US song from the day of my birth, and 2 more of the first 6 years. That any of the number 1s from ages 10 through 15 could be heard on the radio today in a major city in the US is deeply fucked up.

What I was getting at above, Halford, is that I think that rather than looking at HS graduation, one should look at ages 14-15. Obviously the boundaries are permeable: when I lived in a dorm freshman year, the guy on one side was always playing Vandergraff Generator, and the gal across the hall played the Beach Boys all the time (and bunches of us would gather to sing the backup harmonies). Gal on the other side was more Judy Collins/Joni Mitchell. We were GD/JA/HT -- everyone but Vandergraff boy happily attending GD shows at Winterland. Not much genuine interest in disco or punk among anyone I knew anywhere.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 7:48 AM
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One of the top 20 UK songs on my birthday is something called "Zambezi" by The Piranhas featuring Boring Bob. I can't investigate now what this might be but am incredibly curious. Ska? D.I.Y.? Disco? Some sort of Carry On-style novelty song?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:14 AM
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"Hot Tuna." HT took me awhile. Also weren't you a bit young for Jefferson Airplane, or is JA something else? Anyhow, 14-15 is probably right, the idea (which isn't original to me) is that there are high school "generations" every 4-6 years or so that burn through teen culture fads.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:23 AM
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she's why I knew about the Violent Femmes while I was in junior high

Surely the band whose name promised to deceive the most.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:25 AM
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314: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Piranhas

Ska-punk band associated with both Pete "Stock, Aitken and" Waterman and Attila the Stockbroker, making them some weird kind of British music Erdos number high score.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:28 AM
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re: 314

Might just be a product of when I grew up, but I can think of at least three distinct waves during high school, rather than just one dominant thing. Initially, New Romantic and the tail end of punk and two-tone, then the whole 'sophisti-pop' type of sound,* then at the tail end the beginning of the rise of dance music as the dominant force that it became.

Christopher Brookmyre's novel, A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Pencil is freakishly specific for me. It's set in exactly the same time period, and the book even traces some of the same waves.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophisti-pop - although I didn't know the genre had a label until recently. I just associate it with a certain kind of look that the richer more fashionable kids at school had.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:36 AM
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Yeah, but records last a while. And Starsh wasn't as good as the transitions (Empire, Sunfighter, Chrome Nun, Manhole), which I categorize (not exactly correctly) as JA. Pink Floyd (pre-Animals!) maybe more than JA and its progeny anyway.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:39 AM
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313: a track by a Brighton punk-influenced ska band, a cover of a piece by a 1950s trumpet player called Eddie Calvert.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:43 AM
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British music Erdos number

Ooh, now I'm wondering who the Erdos/Bacon would be. Some prolific producer most likely. Though I'm sure my music journo mates will have already come up with the ideal candidate.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:50 AM
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re: 320

That's a great question, actually. Who would it be?

Probably someone obscure like Chris Thomas:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Thomas_(record_producer)

[Picked as random prolific producer bloke, not because I think he's an actual candidate for BaconErdos]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 8:56 AM
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Apparently my birthday #1 song is "You Should Be Dancing" by the Bee Gees. Could be worse, I suppose, but nothing to be excited about.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:22 AM
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320, 321: people talk about a Sabbath number. Hops to somebody who played with Sabbath.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:33 AM
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My little brother's girlfriend's mother borrowed my sleeping bag for a camping trip because Pete Townsend had left his back in the UK.

|| Speaking of hops, I've been using nosorigines for my ongoing genealogy project, and they have a page that lets you link anyone in their database with anyone else. Pretty much everyone with French Canadian ancestry is related to pretty much everyone else with it, so it's not surprising that Celine Dion would be related to Mario Lemieux. I guess I knew that Angelina Jolie had FC ancestry, but was surprised to see both Madonna or Hillary Clinton on the list. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:48 AM
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I'd guess the BaconErdos figure probably has to be from the 60s or early 70s [musically speaking] given that a lot of those people continue to resonate into the present day. Even down to the writing careers of people like Rob Davis who is both playing here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZvPtzFyrSM

and, from the ridiculous to the sublime, also wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na-rQy9PRlA


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:48 AM
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I was thinking maybe Bowie, given a) his prolific and lengthy career, and b) his collaborations with other high profile artists (albeit many of them Americans). But I'm sure there are better candidates.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:55 AM
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re: 323

Seems a slightly odd choice given the relatively small numbers of people who were ever in Sabbath, and the relative lack of connections between most of them [ok, Dio and Gillan, I suppose] and other artists or styles.

I get continually surprised by musical connections. Only discovered recently, via a radio programme, that the fantastic bass playing on the likes of 'Love is the Drug' [which influenced the likes of Bernard Edwards and Chic, and then eventually your beloved recent Daft Punk album]:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n3OepDn5GU

is by a guy who used to be in The Merseybeats of all bands.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:56 AM
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re: 326

Yeah, if it was a name-performer, rather than some ubiquitous session-bloke or producer, he'd be a pretty good candidate.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 9:57 AM
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The Swampers are good candidates.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:03 AM
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Probably Quincy Jones would be the classic American choice for a "name" musician. Or a member of the Wrecking Crew, say Tommy Tedesco, or, more familiar, Leon Russell. Great fun question though.

(I think the Sabbath Number is more "I shook the hand who shook the hand of the (industrial accident damaged hand) that invented heavy metal" than an Erdos Number).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:06 AM
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According to this, Stephen Hawking has the world's lowest combined Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath number. Bizarrely, his Sabbath number is lower than his Erdos number.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:22 AM
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I have a co-worker with a combined 11, which is pretty cool.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:26 AM
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331: Surely it can be no coincidence that Jamie Hyneman and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter have the same E-B-S number. Has it been conclusively proved that the are not the same person? Has anyone ever seen them in the same place at the same time?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:35 AM
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I could make a (half-assed) claim to having one I bet but I'm not sure what it would be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:35 AM
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No Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath Number, but I think I have a single digit Sabbath-Bacon number.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:36 AM
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!!!! The Sabbath number doesn't come as a surprise, but the Bacon number does.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:41 AM
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Depends if live performance and theatre counts. Never been in a film or on tv, but have acted in a play with someone with a low Bacon number. And have jammed/gigged with probably several people with low Sabbath numbers. I can think of at least one who has gigged with Zakk Wylde, for example.

If only released recordings and TV/film, then I have no number at all.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:44 AM
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For Bacon number I have to count appeances-as-self, for Erdös number I have to count conference presentations (for now; I should have a real Erdös number soon enough) and for Sabbath number I have to count a single that was bought by a record company to be released but then never released (since the company went out of business before doing it). So pretty half-assed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:46 AM
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If live musical performances and appearances as a movie extra count, then I might have a single-digit Bacon-Sabbath number as well.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 10:53 AM
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Oh wait the bacon number also kinda-sorta relies on a production credit. PRETTY HALF-ASSED.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:01 AM
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Er the sabbath number. So many numbers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:01 AM
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I guess if high school gigging and theater acting counts I could come up with a very very attenuated claim to have a combined Bacon-Sabbath number, conceivably single-digit. Bacon number of 2, and possible that the Sabbath number is lower than 8.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:05 AM
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re: the ErdosBacon nexus equivalent for music, for the US at least, the Quincy Jones and Wrecking Crew suggestions are pretty good ones.

Of the Wrecking Crew, Barney Kessel, maybe? Although the whole group is pretty amazing. He's dead now, obviously. But this is a guy that gigged with the likes of Arty Shaw and Marx Brothers in the 40s, played with Charlie Parker, and was on Beach Boys and Spector records in the 60s. Probably the broadest spread of most of them.

Plus it's him on Julie is her name providing a master-class in accompanying a singer without a full band:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkD_kYkRk3c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx977XZjtc4

Or maybe Earl Palmer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Palmer

who seems to have drummed on literally everything, and was on the great Jack Nitzsche produced soundtrack for the Hot Spot which had Miles Davis and John Lee Hooker together:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzBQK2IBGm8


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:42 AM
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Arggh. Tempted to go into OCD music geek mode.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:45 AM
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Ttam, you would really enjoy this movie, if you haven't seen it already.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 11:50 AM
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Wait, that was Stephen Hawking's voice on that Pink Floyd album? Not just, like, some random voice synthesizer set to sound like Stephen Hawking?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:05 PM
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344. Go ahead-- the Miles and JLH track was really nice.

How about Willie Dixon?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwIWNHwedSQ


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:05 PM
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I keep forgetting whether my Erdös number is 4 or 5. Probably the archives know.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:06 PM
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Not music geeky, but just a song I've been enjoying (since this is now the music thread): A recent-ish performance of "Seven Year Ache" by Roseanne Cash.

The thing that gets me is that she wrote the song in, 78-79 when she was 23 years old, that performance is from 2011, 32 years later and it sounds so comfortable (and the songwriting holds up well). Just lovely.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:18 PM
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233.2: Not all that disingenuous, surprisingly. Not many companies currently offer part-timers health insurance anyway, and it is true that the Exchange will better target aid to financial need. I ran the data on the single mom through the KFF calculator and it looks like that's how they calculated it too, because the result was almost identical: $835/year (or $69.58/month) paid by the person, $4,099/year in subsidies.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:25 PM
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Not many companies currently offer part-timers health insurance anyway

Speaking of which . . .


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:47 PM
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OT: I think I now understand Grassmanians. Is there simple explanation of positive Grassmanians?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 12:58 PM
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And I mean understand in only the vaguest, most basic sense.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:00 PM
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233.2: Not all that disingenuous, surprisingly.

Nice to know, and thanks for responding to a question that far upthread, I was curious. It seemed plausible, on the face of it, but I was worried that there was something obvious that I was missing.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:00 PM
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Flea (Sabbath of 3) sat in with my amateur chorus once; I was an uncredited extra in a movie starring two people with Bacon numbers of 2; and I'm listed in the acknowledgments of both of my friend Dave's pop-physics books (Erdos of 4 or 5; we were also in a high school band that made a movie together, which gives us a kind of cross-dimensional-co-authorship). So in an even smaller-ass-fractioned manner than the rest of you, I have a 9 or a 10 ESB.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:03 PM
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353: That would already put you ahead of most particle physicists who are curious about the recent progress those guys have made....

The "positive" part is some relatively simple condition, analogous to talking about the positive quadrant of a plane being the one where both coordinates are positive. Here, you label points in the Grassmannian by some sort of matrix, and the "positive" part is the one where certain determinants constructed from columns of that matrix are positive.

I thought I understood why this was important when I heard some talks on the subject but I can't reconstruct it now. Digging into that branch of the literature is something I really need to spend more time on.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:10 PM
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I ran across them a while back, but I didn't know what they were called (I think I found the wiki, because the name is familiar, and didnt read it carefully enough).
Hmm, projection matrices always have nonnegative determinants, right?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 1:39 PM
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smsntnclftd


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 2:11 PM
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bthr


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 2:25 PM
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355 is truly impressive.

I just concluded* that I have a Bacon-Erdos number of 9 - much lower than I would have expected**.

Alas, I can't think of any plausible path by which I would be connected to Black Sabbath.


* Applying similar fractional-assed standards
** Even more surprising is that the Bacon connection is shorter than the Erdos connection


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 2:55 PM
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I should figure out if anyone involved in the U of C Scavhunt documentary has a Bacon number.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 3:03 PM
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Aha! Bob Levey, narrator of famed U of C Scavhunt movie The Hunt, appeared in The Open Road, directed by Nina Gilden Seavey, who directed A Paralyzing Fear narrated by Olympia Dukakis, who was in Picture Perfect with Kevin Bacon. That gets me (also neb, maybe some others here) a Bacon number of 4.

Unless IMDb is confused and there's more than one person named Bob Levey.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 3:10 PM
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No, wait! I forgot that Ozzy himself appeared in a couple of feature films. Following that trail, I get a Sabbath number of 4, yielding an aggregate Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath number of 13!

In each case, the starting point is a publication I co-authored. If I went with more tenuous connections, I might be able to take it down a point or two.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 3:13 PM
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That gets me (also neb, maybe some others here) a Bacon number of 4.

My Bacon number is a solid three. You'll have to take my word for it, because the details would be be personally identifiable.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 3:16 PM
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I forgot that Ozzy himself appeared in a couple of feature films.

That seems unfair. Then everyone automatically gets an Erdös-Bacon-Sabbath number that's 2 + their Erdös-Bacon number. Makes it kind of trivial.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 3:19 PM
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Err, 2 + their Erdös number + 2 times their Bacon number. Whatever I meant.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 3:20 PM
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I wonder if my one scholarly publication leads to an astronomical Erdos number or no Erdos number at all -- do Erdos numbers generally peter out in non-math-related fields, or do they tend to filter into irrelevant topics generally? (Research on gifted children in adult life, in my case -- the researcher added her high-school-aged research assistants as co-authors, which seems like questionable practice to me, but who was 16-year-old I to tell her to take my name off the paper, it made her look unserious?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 3:20 PM
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Definitely the same Bob Levey. Huh. So I do have a semi-legit Bacon number, if appearing briefly (without credit) in a low-budget documentary counts, and if we allow narrators/directors and not just actors in the chain.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 3:29 PM
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367: I'd guess you have one.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 3:29 PM
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365 / 366: I took an independent path to Ozzy. It doesn't rely on Ozzy having a Bacon number of 2 - which, as you correctly contend, would be a trivial solution.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 3:42 PM
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My one scholarly publication has no co-authors, so I know for sure I don't. I suppose I've collaborated on a few web-published (in a very loose sense) technical papers via work, and there might be some tortuous chain to Erdos, but it'd be silly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 4:35 PM
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I think the animating spirit here is to torture the chain, then qualify it as tortured. I mean, I claimed the acknowledgments of a book.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 5:08 PM
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OK, I have a pretty-nearly-legit Sabbath number of 5. I played in the Cyanide Tamales with Cornelius Boots who played in Flattus with Mike Va/lerio who played on Time by Rod Stewart who was in the Jeff Beck Group with Cozy Powell of Sabbath. The first two steps are home releases, but they are all recorded musical collaborations.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-18-13 5:23 PM
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I'm fairly sure I could get to Sabbath through a long tenuous chain of joint recordings (there must be some crossover between metal and classical, if only through people like APOCALYPTICA), and I know I have a Bacon number of 3, but with zero scholarly publications I am not going to get an Erdos number. Sstuff I've written has been cited, but that doesn't count for Erdos: it has to be co-authorship. The only way I can think that I might get one is if dsquared has an Erdos number, in which case mine would be one higher thanks to our co-authorship in an eclectic but scholarly web magazine of "A Child Named Storm".

Surely using Ozzy's film appearances to work out a Sabbath number is cheating? It has to be joint recordings with someone who recorded with someone who [...] recorded with Ozzy.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 3:31 AM
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Ooh I thought of a better way to get a sabbath number. This one's solid!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 4:40 AM
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wrthhllwmn


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 9:52 AM
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Right, I think to have a remotely legit Erdos/Bacon/Sabbath number you need (a) a speaking part on commercially-distributed film or TV that connects up to Bacon, plus (b) a credited appearance on a commercially available audio recording to get a Sabbath number, plus (c) co-authorship of a scholarly paper to get an Erdos number.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 10:49 AM
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377 I think live performances are just as legitimate for the first two - it's just that there's no searchable database to prove them.


Posted by: cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 10:51 AM
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Yeah, but including live amateur performance dramatically lowers the number of almost everyone in the world who has ever acted in an amateur production or played with other musicians. For example: I happened to go to high school with a guy who was for a while a reasonably successful actor who appeared in a film with Kevin Bacon, and had a tiny role in a high school play he was in. So, including live performance, I have a Bacon number of 2. I then had a (tiny) role in a weird amateur play production we did in law school. So all those people now have Bacon numbers of no greater 3, and everyone each of them ever acted with in any high school performance ever has a Bacon number of 4, etc. etc.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 10:58 AM
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377: the sabbath number page does explicitly say that live performances are kosher, but is definitely thinking of live performances at, you know, real shows that people pay to attend.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:08 AM
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The six-degrees-of-kevin-bacon site talks about a strong form and a weak form, where the strong form is a credited speaking role (not "self") in a feature film and the weak form is an imdb performance credit of any kind. I have to rely on the latter to get mine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:10 AM
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Also with the Erdös number you need to decide if you only allow publications in peer-reviewed journals, or if peer-reviewed submissions to conferences are allowed (I think conferences that publish their proceedings in a journal format are definitely in, per the Erdös page).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:12 AM
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Huh, come to think I probably have a strained, illegitimate Bacon number -- high school play, in a high school that produced some feature-film actors. I'd need a couple of steps within the high school to get to someone with a Hollywood career, but there are at least two actors that I could probably get to who must have Bacon numbers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:17 AM
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Apparently I just made 382 up and the site does not say.

Our criterion for inclusion of an edge between vertices u and v is some research collaboration between them resulting in a published work. Any number of additional coauthors is permitted. Not normally included are joint editorships, introductions to books written by others, technical reports, problem sessions, problems posed or solved in problem sections of journals, seminars, very elementary textbooks, books on history, memorial or other tributes, biography, translations, bibliographies, or popular works.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:18 AM
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You guys are making me regret saying that my bacon number is "half-assed" with your high school plays.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:19 AM
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If you include high school plays I'd bet it would be hard for anyone in the US or UK who has ever acted in anything anywhere to have a Bacon number higher than, say, 6.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:22 AM
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Mine is significantly halfer-assed than Halford's, given that I need a couple of speculative high-school-play steps to even get to a professional actor. Also, I didn't have a speaking part. (Hermia's mother, in Midsummer Night's Dream. Not actually a role Shakespeare included in the play, but required in our production to provide symmetry to the wedding scenes.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:24 AM
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What if you authored a scholarly paper with Bacon?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:24 AM
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386: I thought that was the joke of Erdos/Bacon numbers -- that very close to anyone who might conceivably have one did.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:25 AM
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As someone who did not grow up in LA, NYC, or New Trier, Illinois and did not go to a high school featuring multiple Hollywood actors, I am fully willing to believe that my Bacon number remains 6 or higher.


Posted by: cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:25 AM
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Not actually a role Shakespeare included in the play, but required in our production to provide symmetry to the wedding scenes

Ah, high school casting adventures. We did The Sound of Music (yes, of course I played a Nazi. No, no, not the sympathetic one.) and the plum roles of Maria and Captain von Trapp were obviously too big to just be cast once, so the audience was asked to suspend disbelief when, during intermission, the Captain transformed from a 5'4" fat white kid to a 6'1" athletic black kid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:28 AM
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(Both of my plausible candidates are Bacon 2s, and given relative ages I can either make a connection to one of them in two or three steps or not at all. That is, I don't remember if either of them actually did any high school plays, but if they did there'd have to be a fairly short connection. So if I have a half-assed Bacon number, it's probably four or five.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:30 AM
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391: I played Herr Zeller. I did O.K. except that I couldn't say "Anschluss" correctly. I still can't, but it never comes up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:36 AM
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to have a remotely legit Erdos/Bacon/Sabbath number you need (a) a speaking part on commercially-distributed film or TV that connects up to Bacon, plus (b) a credited appearance on a commercially available audio recording to get a Sabbath number, plus (c) co-authorship of a scholarly paper to get an Erdos number.

Stop oppressing me!

Not normally included are ... popular works.

Ohhh, never mind then.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-19-13 11:40 AM
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What if you authored a scholarly paper with Bacon?

You could potentially have a Erdos/Sabbath number crossover via Brian May or Brian Cox.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 2:23 AM
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What if you authored a scholarly paper with Bacon?

You're 400+ years old, so you have more important things to worry about.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 2:49 AM
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re: 395

Co-incidentally, the musical acquaintance of mine used to be in a band with Brian Cox.* So, if live performance of sorts counts [consensus seems to be it does for Sabbath numbers but doesn't for Bacon numbers], I could snaffle one of those.

*Although he has more direct routes to Sabbath than via Cox.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 2:59 AM
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The link in 397 remains fairly tenuous, though. We [musical friend and I] are members of a music collective that does an annual 1 day gig/jam session, and there are dozens of us involved. Some are proper pro- and session musicians, and some are interested amateurs like myself. It's not a pro- 'paid' regular gig.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 3:08 AM
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399

396: They didn't even have peer reviewed journals than.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 5:09 AM
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400

Okay, enough with the Erdös-Sabbath-Bacon numbers. On to the Erdös-Sabbath-Bacon-Nobel numbers!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 5:12 AM
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401

The idea of a Nobel number is about a billion times more douchetastic than an Erdos number.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 5:41 AM
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402

Colonel Gaddafi has a better Nobel number than pretty much everyone on this site (1).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 5:48 AM
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403

Or, as the scientists say, one gigabag.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 5:48 AM
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404

403 to 401.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 5:50 AM
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405

OT: hilarious, though I question the statement that one's upper lip is "the worst possible place" to appear to have a moustache.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/unfortunate-bbc-moustache-for-nigel-farage-8829452.html


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 5:54 AM
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406

Technically, this is an outdoorsy thread of sorts, so I have a camping question. If a sleeping bags says it's good to 30 degrees, is it telling the truth. If it was purchased at REI does that make it less likely to be a lying sack of microfiber? And how hard will it be to sleep in a mummy sack if I'm not used to confined sleeping?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:17 AM
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407

401, 403: 402 to 401, 403; agreed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:19 AM
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408

If it says good to 30 degrees, it means "if you're a man". Women need to buy sleeping bags rated to 10 degrees colder than the actual outside temperature in order to be comfortable. (Good advice from a climbing magazine; apparently to do with different distributions of capillaries and body fat. Women don't suffer cold injury any faster than men but they feel cold faster.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:20 AM
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409

How does that work for seven year old boys?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:21 AM
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410

Women feel seven year old boys faster.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:22 AM
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411

The low will almost certainly not be below 40, so I suppose it is O.K. either way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:23 AM
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412

I question the statement that one's upper lip is "the worst possible place" to appear to have a moustache.

Perhaps it's "on a UKIP member" rather than "on one's upper lip".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:36 AM
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413

It's certainly the place where any self-respecting moustache would least like to be.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:37 AM
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414

The temperature rating on a sleeping bag, that probably assumes a pad between the bag and the ground? Would a yoga mat work for that. Because having a whole nother piece of foam around seems a waste of money and closet space.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:39 AM
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415

Sleeping bag? You'll make a nest of leaves and pine cones and like it! Now drop and give me 20!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:43 AM
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416

You can apparently spend $40 on a very fancy lighter so that you can start a fire in 80 mph winds. Because high winds are just perfect for starting fires, I guess.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:43 AM
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417

Yes, you definitely need a pad for comfort and insulation. Yoga mats are just neoprene foam, right? Should be fine.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:44 AM
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418

Now drop and give me 20!

I'd have to go to the ATM first.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:44 AM
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419

I should probably leave the REI site before I buy an inflatable kayak.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:46 AM
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420

A lighter? You shouldn't need more than a couple of sticks, some cord, a soft rock into which you have carefully worn a socket for the drill bit, some painstakingly-gathered tinder, a nice big leaf to catch the coal from the drill and several goddamned hours of kneeling on the cold hard ground watching the damned thing smoke and still not give you a goddamned coal while you remind yourself that you could have stayed home and watched Cartoon Network for free instead of this.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:48 AM
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421

Yeah, don't get an inflatable. You'll want a Klepper.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:48 AM
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422

420: I don't get the Cartoon Network. We only have sub-basic cable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:49 AM
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423

Things are tough all over. You're not missing much, apart from the Venture Bros.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:51 AM
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424

421: I do want one of those.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 6:51 AM
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425

Maybe I'll just buy some nipples and call it a day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-13 7:00 AM
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