Re: Animal rights

1

Bubbles outlived Michael Jackson, so I think it's obvious people need the protection more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:02 AM
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2

I'll agitate for chimps' rights when they stop ripping people's faces, fingers and genitals off.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:02 AM
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3

I'll agitate for chimps' rights when they start appearing in better films.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:15 AM
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4

The really bad films have orangutangs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:19 AM
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5

What?


Posted by: OPINIONATED CLINT EASTWOOD | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:21 AM
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6

Chimps are people, my friend.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:24 AM
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7

3: JM, I have identified the right podcast for you.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:26 AM
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8

Right turn Clyde.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:26 AM
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9

I think it'd be tough to find enough lawyers willing to take cases pro bonobo.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:31 AM
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10

Having been alerted to the existence of Spymate, I may have to retract 3. Thank God I have children to justify my watching such films.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:32 AM
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11

I have the opposite attitude. I want to find and hurt those responsible for the Air Bud sequels.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:33 AM
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12

||Speaking of films, NMM to Bob Hoskins.|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:33 AM
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13

If a chimp could speak, he would not be able to give valid instructions to counsel.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:35 AM
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14

I heard about some super amazing primate research yesterday. It would be fair to assume that the primates in question would probably not sign an informed consent to participate, if that was something they were capable of.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:36 AM
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15

No verbal slip-ups during depositions.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:37 AM
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16

If people can't sign an informed consent, you can have a guardian sign for them. Maybe every chimp needs, instead of a lawyer, an IRB.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:38 AM
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17

I'm in favor of lawsuits by chimpanzees, but I'd be pretty screwed if the same freedom were extended to cats.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:40 AM
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18

Maybe every chimp needs, instead of a lawyer, an IRB.

Chimps have already managed to get themselves largely exempted from biomedical research, the clever little ball-rippers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:40 AM
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19

Also my impression is that researchers, being fond of their faces, don't generally like to work with them anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:41 AM
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20

At least in my world.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:42 AM
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21

They can do this, too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQcN7lHSD5Y

[from a BBC thing recently]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:43 AM
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22

We don't use chimps because apparently human bipedal locomotion is more or less a unique thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:45 AM
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23

There actually are some people here who do chimp research, but it's noninvasive and voluntary for the chimps, and basically involves locking the researchers in a cage in the middle of a chimp refuge in West Africa.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:48 AM
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re: 19

Yeah, when I did a bit of reading in this area [10+ years ago] my impression was what researches stopped working with chimps when they reached adolescence, as adult chimps are just scary scary bastards.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:51 AM
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22: Really? I thought it was as easy as learning your ABC's.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:57 AM
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26

Betchy'all wish you had a Taco Cat:
http://imgur.com/a/ADctT#0


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:01 AM
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23: And then the lawyers come and demand the researchers get a bigger cage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:11 AM
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my impression was that researchers stopped working with chimps when they reached adolescence

Doing research on chimps is just something that young scientists grow out of, like Barbie Dolls.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:12 AM
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29

Kanzi is a bit of an Einstein among bonobos. I don't think he's at all typical. Nor do I have a clue whether he'd be reproductively successful in the wild. Does the ability to do that kind of trick help you if you live up a tree in dense forest with a bunch of other, less clever, apes?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:16 AM
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30

Chimps are fucking terrifying. I'm curious about the super amazing primate research, as so much primate research is... not so much super amazing as moderately delusional.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:18 AM
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31

Apes generally prefer cooked food, and have been shown to seek out food that has been accidentally cooked (like, by wildfires) in the wild, so I think Kanzi could make some real friends with that skill.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:21 AM
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32

This looks interesting.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:24 AM
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33

31: Like when the chicken falls into lava in Minecraft.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:35 AM
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34

I went to see wild chimps in Uganda, one time. We hiked through a jungle to get to a giant fig tree. The chimps were lounging in the top of the tree eating figs. When they figured out we were down on the ground, they started peeing on us.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:35 AM
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35

Can you blame them?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:36 AM
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36

Further to 32: crappy weather for it, though. Not a lot of people around.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:37 AM
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37

"Watch out for the warm rain" is what our guide told us.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:38 AM
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38

32: Back in my day, divesting in South Africa was the big deal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:48 AM
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39

I interviewed a prof in college (80s) who argued that allowing animals a voice in court would be the best way to protect the environment. A quick google doesn't lead me back to him.


Posted by: simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:58 AM
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40

I represent the trees on a contingency basis.


Posted by: Opinionated Lorax, Esquire | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:01 AM
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41

After reading a bit of the article the proposition seems less crazy than at first gloss. I'd prefer chimps and the other animals listed be completely off limits as pets and subject to very strict scrutiny as research animals. Maybe this is a step in that direction.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:01 AM
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42

So wait, what about dogs? Dogs also have a sense of their past and future, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:06 AM
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43

My firm had a major role in the biggest "animal rights" class action ever, about crappy dog food imported from China that killed dogs. We represented owners, not dogs, so damages focused on how much the owners suffered watching their pets get sick or die, not on how much the animals suffered. Similarly, in the Exxon Valdez case, we weren't able to calculate damages based on the suffering of birds and otters, although the jury probably considered that in awarding punitive damages.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:07 AM
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44

Dogs also have a sense of their past and future, right?

["Canine-Dasein" joke omitted out of human decency.]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:09 AM
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45

42: I assume domesticated animals like dogs or the soon to be available genetically engineered Wrangel Island Pygmy Mammoth would be exempt.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:10 AM
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46

45: why? Because we've bred them to be our slaves?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:11 AM
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47

Dogs have a sense of their own past, but it's often a selective, romanticized, and self-serving account that avoids any remembrance of the role they played in various genocides and human right abuses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:12 AM
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48

It occurs to me that there is somebody right down the hall from me who would likely have very strong opinions indeed about this. I think I won't ask.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:12 AM
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49

47: but at any moment a reverie could be triggered by a mere taste of a simple poop.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:13 AM
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50

46: They aren't slaves, they are benefiting from the relationship as much as we are.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:16 AM
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51

I'm curious about the super amazing primate research, as so much primate research is... not so much super amazing as moderately delusional.

Such as? I don't know specifics about primate research, except how it very broadly can seem to reflect the generation's aspirations for society.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:17 AM
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52

I'd be fine with chimps having legal rights. But don't give the franchise to baboons. Baboons are fucking assholes.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:20 AM
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53

DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THOSE MACAQUES.


Posted by: Opinionated George Allen | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:22 AM
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54

50: that's... pretty much what white southerners said about actual human slaves.

Shit, it's what Cliven Bundy still says.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:25 AM
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55

In Solly Zuckerman's autobiography From Apes to Warlords he describes the creepiness of his pre-war visit to Yerkes among his apes. 51 is right.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:25 AM
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56

I can't help it. I want Kanzi to teach the other bonobos to use fire. And stone tools. And guns. I know its wrong, but there it is.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:30 AM
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57

I lived in a house for a while with a guy who did some pretty intense research on chimps as part of a psych grad program. Like, hooking their brains up to wires for some reason, chimps in cages, lab threatened with being bombed by ALF,* etc. He gave off kind of a creepy vibe and kept sex tapes of him and his girlfirend in the house's common VHS collection. Then he left and went to business school. The end.

Anyhow, if you're thankful for the end 70s orangutang/trucker movies you have both the improving cultural level of the US population and PETA to thank, no one wants to deal with having those weirdos on set.

*those are the animal rights extremists, right? Not ALF the cuddly sitcom alien.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:31 AM
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58

you have both the improving cultural level of the US population and PETA to thank

I'm pretty sure PETA exists because I've seen ads. The other proposed causal mechanism seems unlikely.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:38 AM
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59

@57: Wrong. The orangutan/trucker genre is sorely missed. Given the current mania for remakes, I'm surprised no one has tried to revive it.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:41 AM
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60

44 ["Canine-Dasein" joke omitted out of human decency.]

Speciesist.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:42 AM
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61

I'd usually tend to agree with 58 but I watched Smokey and the Bandit recently.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:42 AM
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62

With the impending arrival of self driving cars, I think we can legitimately ask which will go extinct first, orangutans or truckers?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:43 AM
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63

61: That had Sally Field, who has two Oscars, in it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:44 AM
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64

Like, hooking their brains up to wires for some reason

The reason for doing that is that it's the only way to record the activity of a single neuron in the brain. Without doing that (and specifically without doing that to primates who have relatively similar cognitive capacities to humans) we would know essentially nothing about the mechanisms of (human) cognition at the cellular or less-than-whole-brain level, and would be essentially unable to ever draw meaningful conclusions from non-invasive methods like fMRI or EEG. The only human method that comes remotely close to electrophysiology (wire-hooking-up) in terms of informativeness is the implantation of subdural electrodes in preoperative epilepsy patients, but that population is incredibly rare and there are a lot of other very serious caveats. And the data is still not nearly as good. And, for that matter, that method (which allows the mitigation of incapacitatingly severe seizures without destruction of brain function) could never have been developed without primate electrophysiology.

Orangutan movies, VHS sex tapes in common areas and business schools are all terrible and I offer no justification for them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:46 AM
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65

Now that I think of it, 63 is probably more in support of 61 and not a rebuttal to it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:46 AM
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66

63: I thought she was best known as the sister of the guy who worked out an early model of quark jets with Richard Feynman.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:53 AM
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67

||

Oh, jesus. A student intern just brought me candy as a thank you for the end of her internship. I have done nothing whatsoever for her other than have trouble finding anything for her to do other than filing, and be grateful that she did, in fact, help clear up a huge filing problem. She got no useful training, nothing. I am going to be consumed by guilt now.

I mean, I'm still going to eat the candy, but I'll feel terrible about it.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:53 AM
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68

66: so that's why they call them field equations!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:54 AM
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69

I'd like 54 to be offered in earnest discussion with an actual African American.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:03 AM
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70

What kind of asshole would ever do that?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:04 AM
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71

This seems like the kind of thing that would have been covered a lot. but I don't remember it at all.

During the 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Field's acceptance speech contained an anti-war statement in which she said: "If the mothers ruled the world, there would be no goddamn wars in the first place."[17] Fox, which aired the Emmys, cut the sound and picture after the word "god" and did not cut back to the stage after Field finished talking

Also, that's some bad proofreading, wikipedia.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:05 AM
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72

61 makes me sad because it suggests I should avoid rewatching that movie.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:05 AM
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73

69 isn't actually a counterargument to the point in 54, incidentally. A better counterargument (if you're shopping for one) would be "analogies are banned".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:06 AM
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71: if mothers ruled the world there would be no god?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:06 AM
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75

74: You've met my mother then?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:15 AM
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76

If chimps register as corporations does that mean we can just buy them and split them up and sell off the pieces?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:20 AM
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77

76 sounds good to me, except that chimp meat probably isn't very tasty.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:23 AM
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78

||
Vaguely topical: Lab rats respond differently to male researchers than to female ones.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:25 AM
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31: Oh great, skipping right past language to foodyism. I bet they also listen to bands I've never heard of.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:34 AM
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40: We represent the Lollipop Guild. See you in court, buddy.

(One is suddenly struck by the fact that Munchkin sounds convincingly like a Jewish last name.)


Posted by: Munchkin & Munchkin LLP | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:38 AM
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81

Hey, look! There's a whole book (foreword by Alice Walker) about the comparison implicitly made in 54.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:40 AM
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82

||
Cassava swordfish pie is not as good as it sounds.
|>


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:42 AM
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83

(One is suddenly struck by the fact that Munchkin sounds convincingly like a Jewish last name.)

I had this idle thought about the trolls in Frozen, and discovered that many other people had the same idle thought.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:45 AM
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84

Insofar as google auto-complete goes. I didn't actually click through any of them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:49 AM
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85

Chimpeach the Chimp-owner!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:56 AM
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86

I don't see how anyone could think that 69 was offered as a counterargument, since it contains no argument whatsoever.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 10:03 AM
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87

So were you just being a dick or what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 10:04 AM
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88

I don't have a transcript for this video but it was perfectly interesting without sound. The URL is perfectly descriptive, in case you want to know what you are getting before you look.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 11:08 AM
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89

The mere mention of PETA seems to fill people with rage, and I've never figured out if it's based on anything or if it's like the similar reaction to unions.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 11:21 AM
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90

The whole throwing paint on people who disagree with them isn't nice. Nor is their rhetoric. I view them as closely akin to organizations like Operation Rescue and have a similar degree of sympathy for their aims.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 11:31 AM
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91

My personal lifestyle and belief system are directly threatened by PETA and their fanatical followers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 11:35 AM
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92

its, I suppose.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 11:39 AM
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93

I keep telling you guys, PETA is obviously a false-flag operation. Maybe it was real once, but clearly they are just in business to be in business right now.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 11:39 AM
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89: Do a google image search of "peta holocaust" to get an idea of some of the stunts they pull that just might piss off a lot of people.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 11:40 AM
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95

PETA is incredibly annoying from the perspective of any vegetarian (and most vegans, I suspect) who has ever tried to have a conversation on the subject of vegetarianism with any non-vegetarian. No enemies to the left? Whatever.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 11:45 AM
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96

The video in 88 can't hurt the cause of vegetarianism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 11:49 AM
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97

PETA has made it past my 'no enemies on the left' standard. I could flip back if someone were persuasive, but pretty much every time I learn more about anything involving PETA, it sounds worse rather than better. Someone needs to start (or, someone probably already has, so I need to find out about) a hard-core animal rights group that's not psycho.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 11:55 AM
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98

You ever have one of those days when more than half of your interactions with other people make you want to say "go fuck yourself"? I think I'm going to go home before I actually say that to a student or someone with tenure or something.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 11:57 AM
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99

97: I actually wrote that before I'd looked at the other thread about Sharpton, so it wasn't intended as a reference to your comment there (just in case it might otherwise have appeared so).


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 11:59 AM
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100

98: Maybe you should go hang out in the dick jokes thread. I'm even giving you fruit to bring with you and it's plenty easy to access.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:02 PM
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101

98 is the kind of day that would be improved by developing a powerful death ray for an interested patron.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:03 PM
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102

99: Hah. I'd actually forgotten we weren't in the same thread, so I took it as a reference, but not in a bad way (given that I do agree about PETA.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:03 PM
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103

PETA is not in any meaningful sense on the "left."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:04 PM
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104

90: How many paint-throwing incidents are there?
94: I think a lot of their rhetoric I've seen is stupid and counterproductive, but the vitriolic reactions to them seem disproportionate. There may also be a selection problem, where only the most offensive bits get widely publicized.
95: Why is PETA the problem in such conversations?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:06 PM
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105

103: Exactly, because Hitler.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:06 PM
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106

As to less psychotic animal rights groups, I'm fond of this place, although I am enough of a squish on animal rights issues that I feel conflicted about directing significant financial support to animal rights groups (given the depth and intensity of ongoing human rights violations all over the world, &c.).


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:06 PM
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107

I dunno about that. I'd call animal rights/cruelty generally a left issue. PETA appear to be counterproductive nutcases not actually serving that goal, but a version of PETA that wasn't all messed up would, I think, be on the left.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:09 PM
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108

I'd have to look things up, but I have the impression they're notorious for things like 'rescuing' animals and then either killing or neglecting them, and of course all the sexist advertising.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:10 PM
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109

There are plenty of other animal rights groups, but PETA gets all the attention -- pretty much for the same reasons that Al Sharpton gets more attention than other African-American activists.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:14 PM
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110

I don't know how many, but given that I've got absolutely zero moral problems with wearing fur, or eating animals, or wearing leather, or animal research, I'm not going to care for a group that supports even minor violence in support of those aims.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:14 PM
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111

102: It's not so much the substance, it's that I'm not actually brave enough to direct a "whatever" at you.

103: If you don't think of animal rights as a left-right issue I doubt I'll convince you otherwise in this thread. Think of it as an analogy if you like (and think of me as banned if you like).

104.3: Because those conversations far too often (I was of course resorting to hyperbole by saying "ever" in 95) inevitably get derailed from anything resembling the merits to whether PETA's tactics are justifiable. And if you don't defend them you wind up on the branch of the discussion that goes: "But if you really believed that animals had rights, wouldn't PETA's tactics be justified?" And that, frankly, is a really annoying branch of that discussion.


Posted by: widget. | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:15 PM
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112

I have the impression they're notorious for things like...
This is the most common reaction I see in these conversations. I'm not clear on where these impressions come from. I also don't think euthanasia is necessarily grounds for excommunication from the left, nor is sexist advertising (especially if they also use naked men, as I think they do).


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:16 PM
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113

111.3: If PETA didn't exist it would be invented for the purposes of that conversation. In fact, it may have been.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:18 PM
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114

I'm fine if people want to push vegetarianism, but veganism is obviously a cruel joke. Nobody can not eat cheese and butter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:22 PM
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115

I've never figured out if it's based on anything or if it's like the similar reaction to unions.

Right. Being offended by sexist rhetoric (lactating women are just like cows!) is the same as being against the rights of workers to organize.



Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:23 PM
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116

No way am I getting sucked into an earnest discussion of PETA with a dude whose pseud is a vegetable. Well played sir, but not today.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:26 PM
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117

113: They're really good at it, though. As a way to alienate people the "holocaust on your plate" campaign was pretty inspired.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:27 PM
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118

115 see 81. Some people are very offended by that type of comparison, but PETA doesn't intend it as an insult.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:28 PM
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119

101: Wait, patron? Are you offering something in exchange?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:29 PM
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120

118: oh then that's fine!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:30 PM
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(Hey, was it clear that I don't actually espouse the argument in 81 and 54 and whatever other comments it was? I was trying to argue that the first principles of the argument in the OP get you to a reasonably untenable place pretty quickly, but am not worried that I failed and people think I support those arguments. So, for the record, I really do not.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:32 PM
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115: My point is that they both inspire seemingly inchoate anger. Do you think most of the pushback against PETA is due to their sexism?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:35 PM
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Why do you think the pushback happens, Eggplant? In what ways is the anger inchoate?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:35 PM
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I mean, I guess you're saying that when Blume says that people get angry at them because they're incredibly offensively sexist in the pursuit of what they (but by no means all or even most) people believe to be a moral point that supersedes sexism (such that sexism in pursuing the amelioration of that harm is okay) she is being inchoate? Is that what you mean?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:38 PM
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Move that close parens over to the end of "people" there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:38 PM
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121: I didn't mean to suggest that you actually espouse the argument presented by the book in 81. It just seemed relevant. Animal rights people tend not to have a problem with being compared to animals, and don't see why other people get so offfended by it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:38 PM
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I don't really have a problem with PETA. We treat animals like shit, and its good that someone is pointing that out and I don't care too much if they are terribly dickish about it because, on some level, we as a society deserve that.

On a different note, I am enjoying this roast-beef sandwich.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:39 PM
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Animal rights people tend not to have a problem with being compared to animals, and don't see why other people get so offfended by it.

That seems like a fairly dramatic failure of empathy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:43 PM
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124: Guess again. I accept that many people, particularly someone like Blume, have coherent reasons to despise PETA. I'm unconvinced that this accounts for the majority of it, though. I don't even think sexism factors into it, for most. Of course, this is all just my impression.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:43 PM
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128: Perhaps. But maybe not as dramatic as the general human failure to empathize with the suffering of chickens.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:44 PM
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124: Guess again.

Actually, this is what I very much don't want to do. What I would prefer is that when you have something dismissive to say about the opinions of large swaths of, let's say, the left, or the commentariat, or the scientific community, you say it in enough detail that people can actually address your arguments, rather than being vaguely insulting and assuming the burden of proving your, what's the word, inchoate theories wrong falls on everybody else and then, when challenged, retreating into "well it's just my opinion" like you're an undergrad in a history seminar.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:48 PM
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peep, I hate to tell you this, but being a marshmallow chick doesn't actually give you special insight into the plight of chickens.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:48 PM
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Sexism in advertising is pretty damn common, and it's mostly done for goals a lot less principled than PETA's. There seems to be more anger focussed at them.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:49 PM
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Do you think most of the pushback against PETA is due to their sexism?

At least from the left, I think quite a bit of it is. It gets less attention now, but a few years ago it seemed that hardly a week went by without PETA devising some excuse for their young women members to get naked in public for reasons that were supposedly related to animal rights somehow.

Basically it seemed like the organization had become a collection of douchey wanna be performance artists who thought that "Hey, we convinced the girls in our group to take off their clothes!" was totally edgy. Man.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:51 PM
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PETA is racist and transphobic and has resisted every single critique of any of their bullshit. Memorably, this, where they dressed up as the Klan. Then there are the events where people have dressed up as caricatures of trans women in fur coats, because fur is ugly, like, lol, trans women. Then there are the advertisements about how gross it is when women don't shave, with lots of "wear fur" puns. Then there are the "be a vegan, don't be fat and ugly like the meat eaters" ads.

OTOH, if you want to help a group of vegans bond in an awkward social setting, you can always say "oh my god, I hate PETA so much" and suddenly everyone is trading PETA anecdotes and we're all insta-friends.

I have met very few vegans who like PETA and many, many vegans who hate them with a fiery passion. If the PETA CEO Ingrid whats-er-name were hanging from a cliff by her fingertips, I know a lot of people who would break out the boots for some finger-stomping.

They don't do any good. They make vegans look like racist, misogynist loons and they buddy up to the right in the mistaken belief that they will be able to convert old white straight dudes to veganism by showing them free softcore.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:53 PM
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Hear, hear!

Don't be confused by the fact that PETA has critics on the right, of the Cliven Bundy ilk, who think that any criticism of meat-eating is evidence of Communist conspiracy.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:58 PM
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Somehow clicking around links about PETA I managed to land on a webpage where someone was arguing that plants have feelings and should be accorded rights. Has anyone started the prokaryote rights movement yet? Or maybe the archaean rights movement?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:05 PM
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136: But one also shouldn't let the existence of a critique from the left (and it sounds like a valid, substantial one) confuse oneself into believing that it is shared by the majority.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:06 PM
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Is this where I should mention that Hitler was a vegetarian?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:06 PM
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Does emacs suffer when I kill it?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:07 PM
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More PETA fun, actually pretty mind-boggling and hilarious.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:08 PM
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133: There's also "sexism in advertising" and there's "naked women in cages" sexism in advertising. The stuff PETA does would look surprising in one of those slideshows of jawdroppingly sexist ads from the 70s.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:09 PM
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You ever have one of those days when more than half of your interactions with other people make you want to say "go fuck yourself"?

Lately it's more common for me to have a day of just not understanding what the fuck people are on about.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:09 PM
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Has anyone started the prokaryote rights movement yet? Or maybe the archaean rights movement?

The Jains?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:11 PM
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141 is something everyone should see. Now!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:15 PM
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PETA is awful, but a certain portion of PETA-hate is hippie-punching that PETA would receive even if they weren't ramroddingly stupid.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:17 PM
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141 is something everyone should see. Now!

I second that.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:18 PM
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146: That is, of course, right -- the hypothetical high-profile non-messed up animal rights group would probably get 70% of the same negativity.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:19 PM
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144: Interesting! Initially I was thinking Jain dietary restrictions must have been codified so long ago that they couldn't have taken microorganisms into account, but it looks like they've been updated over the years.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:20 PM
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Sifu and I were soobcily trying to figure out quite what the intended audience and object of critique exactly are, because it's actually kind of unclear. At one point it seems to be a stunning indictment of kittens.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:24 PM
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It's pretty amazing, the way it ricochets back and forth between adorableness and nihilistic rage and despair.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:26 PM
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lactating women are just like cows!

But this isn't PETA's point at all. PETA's point is that cows are just like lactating women.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:29 PM
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I think the idea is that you must put your kittens on a strictly vegan diet and pass a law against kittens wearing fur.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:30 PM
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I don't think that is the point, and even if it were, I don't think it makes the point less offensive.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:31 PM
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There's also "sexism in advertising" and there's "naked women in cages" sexism in advertising.

No. PETA doesn't use naked women in cages to "advertize" anything. PETA uses naked women in cages to help draw attention to the fact that we hold billions of other animals in tiny cages. If we're so offended by the women in the cages, why aren't we bothered by pigs in cages? They're not assuming you'll think that women in cages is cute or funny or a brand you'd want to affiliate with or whatever, they're assuming you'll be horrified and offended by it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:36 PM
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141 is genuinely amazing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:36 PM
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I don't think that is the point, and even if it were, I don't think it makes the point less offensive.

I'm honestly not sure I follow this. You really think PETA wants to lower the legal rights/social status of women in some way?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:37 PM
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In addition to their other crimes, judging by 141, PETA is also guilty of using necromantic magic to reanimate Edward Gorey and force him to work as their undead pamphlet-writing slave. Hey PETA, Let Edward Gorey Sleep!


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:38 PM
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If we're so offended by the women in the cages, why aren't we bothered by pigs in cages?

Maybe because they are pigs, not women.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:38 PM
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155: so, if you do not believe that women are the same as pigs, that pretty much instantly becomes extremely offensive. Right? That make sense?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:39 PM
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159: and that's PETA's point.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:39 PM
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161: so PETA's point is that if you do not believe that pigs and women are the same, something is wrong with you. Yes? Am I getting it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:40 PM
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OK, so PETA has demonstrated that they are despicable sexist idiots who think that pigs are the same as women. Fuck 'em.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:41 PM
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163: Word. I bet women aren't near as tasty.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:42 PM
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Well not if you don't smoke 'em first.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:43 PM
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They're not assuming you'll think that women in cages is cute or funny or a brand you'd want to affiliate with or whatever, they're assuming you'll be horrified and offended by it.

If their intent is to horrify, does that make the fact that the women in question are invariably young and attractive, not to mention usually naked, pure coincidence?

I find that pretty hard to believe.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:45 PM
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Well we don't let the pigs wear clothes, do we? So why would the women?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:47 PM
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Pigs wear shirts, but not pants.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:49 PM
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PETA doesn't have anything to do with the arguments forwarded by the writer of the NYT Mag article linked in the OP. Just so everyone remembers.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:49 PM
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We don't make pigs wear clothes.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:49 PM
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It's not as if PETA only depicts naked women in chains in their ads. Their point is not that women are somehow less morally valuable than society thinks they are. Their point is to prompt you to consider whether some of the moral compassion we reserve for other humans ought perhaps to be extended to other, biologically closely-related species.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:49 PM
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I don't *think* cows can feel pain and pleasure the same way as humans do, but it seems possible to me, and if that really were the case, pretty much any amount of extremism would be justified. So PETA's worldview seems horribly misguided to me, but not inconsistent and incoherent, and in that worldview, there really isn't a meaningful difference between a human and a cow. (Though putting only women, not men, in the cages does indicate a problem.)

Sort of like how evangelists, Jehovah's Witnesses, anti-abortion protesters, etc. are actually way more logically consistent than people who believe that most of us are going to hell, but AREN'T devoting pretty much every waking hour to preventing that.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:50 PM
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Do you want women to have less freedom to walk around unencumbered than pigs?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:50 PM
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(Though putting only women, not men, in the cages does indicate a problem.)

See the link in 171.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:51 PM
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Don't even get me started on growth rates. It took me like over a dozen years to get a daughter up to 100 pounds. I could get a pig that big in under six months.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:52 PM
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biologically closely-related species

Like humanity's closest relations, the sea kittens.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:53 PM
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Speaking of these topcis, I'm pretty sure that I could easily find my way to an illegal cockfight or pit bull fight without too much difficulty, but is there an underground bear baiting scene? Just curious.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:53 PM
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Also, why do cows get all the best antibiotics? I have to go to the doctor and get a prescription for that shit.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:53 PM
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@172:

I think the criticisms are less about worldview than about tactics. PETA seems to have started from the correct observation that effective activism often involves pissing someone off and arrived at the incorrect conclusion "If I'm pissing people off I must therefore be involved in effective activism."

A common mistake, but they've been unusually persistent about it.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:54 PM
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PETA doesn't have anything to do with the arguments forwarded by the writer of the NYT Mag article linked in the OP. Just so everyone remembers.

Yes, the thread was totally going in that direction.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:55 PM
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I object to the world view.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:56 PM
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166 is exactly right and urple is nuts. The ads are clearly calculated to titillate/provoke, not inspire horror at the treatment of the woman (or, per 171, occasional man) depicted. And let's not forget the whole, "dudes, if you go vegan, you'll be able to fuck your girl so hard she'll look like you beat the shit out of her!" campaign a couple years ago. But maybe the point of that was to generate revulsion at the notion of animals being bred on factory farms or something?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:56 PM
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Also, why do cows get all the best antibiotics?

And those sweet industrial strength milking machines. So far not a single response to my Craigslist wanted ad.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:57 PM
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181 -- yes, me too, which makes this a much easier conversation. I don't just object to PETA's ads, I am strongly opposed to their substantive views.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 1:58 PM
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I recently made the remark that I'd be willing to eat certain types of fish (roughly, anything that the Monterey Bay Aquarium app says is okay) if I could find one that I liked, but so far I haven't found one. A Certain Someone In My Life has decided to take that remark as the basis for a campaign to persuade me that, really, if I'm going to live in New Orleans all summer, I should be eating all the meats.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:06 PM
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The ads are clearly calculated to titillate/provoke

There's no question about that. Again, though, their point isn't that we should treat women more like we treat animals--is anyone really suggesting that they think PETA believes this?--and I doubt anyone sincerely takes that message from the ads. The point is that we should treat animals more like we treat people.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:06 PM
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PETA are about as effective at changing public opinion as the Westboro Baptist Church, but they fail to employ the WBC approach of raising money by inciting people to attack you and then suing them. A real missed opportunity.


Posted by: Cryptic bned | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:07 PM
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And that it's kind of hot to think about treating women like animals. (Yes, there are some men in their ads. No, not as many, nor treated comparably.) That may not be a central part of their political agenda, but it's a significant part of their advertising message.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:08 PM
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Goddammit now I wish that one time I'd won that charitable donation bet with Halford, I'd made him give the money to PETA. He probably wouldn't have done it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:10 PM
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They're not assuming you'll think that women in cages is cute or funny or a brand you'd want to affiliate with or whatever, they're assuming you'll be horrified and offended by it.

Searching, I found this post which claims that researchers looking at PETA ads found that they are not effective, but I didn't click through for the paper.

So I'm not surprised to see this paper published in PLOS ONE back in December: When Sex Doesn't Sell: Using Sexualized Images of Women Reduces Support for Ethical Campaigns. The researchers in the study specifically used PETA ads to see whether or not their use of objectified, dehumanized women would attract or repel people from their cause. The title gives away the result: repelled. Definitely repelled.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:10 PM
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185: You don't like canned albacore or Alaskan salmon and halibut?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:12 PM
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To be honest I have no idea what the fuck PETA's substantive views are. Oh, I could probably make a pretty good guess at the broad outline, but for all I know they don't actually believe in anything in particular. They certainly don't manage to project a coherent message (besides "yay, animals; boo, humans", maybe?) in their mass-reach advertising. I'm confident I would find those beliefs somewhere between honestly misguided and loathsome, though, assuming they actually do exist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:13 PM
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185: Mussels are on that list. They're delicious.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:13 PM
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185: Sardines are cool, right? Grilled fresh sardines will change your life.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:15 PM
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(Yes, there are some men in their ads. No, not as many

My understanding is that PETA will run a naked ad with any attractive celebrity who is willing to donate their naked self to PETA for purposes of making the ads. They can't afford to hire celebrities to make these ads. The fact that most of the people willing to get naked on camera in the name of animal rights happen to be women is an interesting fact, probably rooted in sexism, but I'm not sure it can really be blamed on PETA.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:16 PM
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191: I haven't been trying very hard, but so far I've had tilapia, trout, and cod. But the cod was super-fried and tasted mostly like a fried unidentifiable thing, so I'm not sure if that counted.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:18 PM
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Again, though, their point isn't that we should treat women more like we treat animals--is anyone really suggesting that they think PETA believes this?

Even if their intentions are totally pristine, this bring us back to the "tactics" question. Over the years I've seen plenty of evidence that PETA has alienated lots of people from their cause, including other animal rights activists, and basically zero evidence that they've managed to convince many people who weren't on board already.

Even if you're totally behind the idea that we should treat cows more like people, PETA is a net negative for the cause.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:19 PM
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I mean, don't get me wrong: PETA very definitely uses sexist imagery in their ads. But it's a commentary on that imagery, not an endorsement of it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:19 PM
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Tilapia is gross, I'd guess trout is kind of an advanced fish for the fish-shy, as are sardines. I strongly recommend waiting until you go to New Orleans and then starting to eat fish there.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:20 PM
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we should treat cows more like people

No way. We're actually pretty good at killing cows humanely.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:21 PM
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Even if you're totally behind the idea that we should treat cows more like people, PETA is a net negative for the cause.

I don't think I have any way to evaluate this. It may well be true. I doubt it, personally, but I really can't say I have much basis for that.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:21 PM
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Speaking of eating strange things: Seth Roberts has died.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:22 PM
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To be honest I have no idea what the fuck PETA's substantive views are. Oh, I could probably make a pretty good guess at the broad outline

Or you could look at their website.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:25 PM
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Keep in mind that 141 is also their website.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:33 PM
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What's wrong with 141?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:35 PM
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200 is depressingly true. Bolt guns would be a big improvement for those guys Oklahoma was trying to kill the other day.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:37 PM
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Good fresh trout is awesome. Sardines are way down on the list for the fish shy, together with things like bluefish and mackere. Deep fried cod can be amazing or it can be just generic fried something. Or you can just eat kittens, animal experts assure me that they're actually fish and I don't see them on a do not eat fish list.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:39 PM
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200, 206: What is that? General anesthesia is a thing, and there are all sorts of things that'll kill you. Why do states with capital punishment have trouble doing it painlessly, when anesthesia is a solved problem? I find this completely mysterious.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:46 PM
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141 is great, except as an expression of or product of a consistent set of views.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:51 PM
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208: I think part of it is that the states have trouble getting actual doctors to help because it's an ethical violation (and some related issues involving acquiring drugs because pharmaceutical companies don't want to sell for this purpose, or at least not openly), and part of it is that they don't actually care very much so long as they don't actually lose the Eighth Amendment cases (which is not a high bar). Mostly speculation, though; there might be someone here who actually knows.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:54 PM
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I may be handwaving here, but how much knowledge can be necessary to anesthetise someone if you don't mind killing them? That doesn't seem like you'd need a doctor. Drugs, sure, but the states need drugs to kill people now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:00 PM
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(I mean, this largely seems like a bit of a sideshow to me. The problem with capital punishment does not seem to be primarily that the process is painful, although if there is going to be capital punishment, of course it should be painless.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:03 PM
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http://www.newsweek.com/states-go-great-lengths-find-lethal-injection-drugs-249154


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:03 PM
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211: If you miss the vein or overshoot right through it (which seems to have happened in the Oklahoma case) the process takes forever. The people inserting the needle are not doctors or nurses, they are trained prison personnel. Also there have been instances where a convict's prior drug use so fucked up the veins that getting the needle in was near impossible.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:04 PM
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I don't *think* cows can feel pain and pleasure the same way as humans do
Why would you lean this way? Pain and pleasure have deep evolutionary roots and our reactions certainly seem pretty similar. I suspect this sentiment is just rationalization.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:05 PM
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That was me.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:05 PM
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215: That's more or less my take. The issue isn't (for me) death so much as suffering. I want my steak to come from happy cows who die without any warning.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:06 PM
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I don't *think* cows can feel pain and pleasure the same way as humans do

Why do you think cows have sex?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:07 PM
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I'm not sure why a massive opiate overdose wouldn't be sufficient, though, and the Feds seize plenty of heroin in any given year.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:08 PM
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218: The spirit moooooves them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:09 PM
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211: I think you'd need to create a side industry devoted to execution. Anaesthesia is harder than you'd think, and as I understand it, there are rules that make executions harder than they need to be. You can't just give an opioid OD, for example, which would probably be relatively kind. We do better at euthanizing pets than humans, and it's an utter crying shame that putting people to death is a thing the government does.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:10 PM
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The Red Cross hires thousands of people who can get a needle into a vein who aren't doctors or nurses -- I can't see manual skill being a genuine problem (barring simple indifference from the prison systems, which is probably what's going on.)

You can't just give an opioid OD

For state law reasons? Because that does seem as if it'd be a workable solution.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:13 PM
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219: As I understand it, it's hard to project a dose that will kill someone promptly, probably harder with inmates. I think I read that it was considered and rejected.

Also, LB, there are two things you have to get right for anesthesia: lack of consciousness and paralysis (not the same drug). I don't think they place a catheter (who knows), so it's three possible screw-ups.

Maybe they should hire vet techs.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:15 PM
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I read elsewhere that the reason not to do a simple opioid OD is that while the person is unconscious and insensate the body is struggling to stay alive. That means lots of gasping and trashing about that might leave onlookers feeling uncomfortable and we can't have that.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:18 PM
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if there is going to be capital punishment, of course it should be painless

This can't be an insoluble problem, so I suspect the real problem is that there are far too many people who don't share this sentiment.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:18 PM
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Why not go with the tried and true? Firing squad, guillotine, or hanging.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:20 PM
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Or you can just eat kittens, animal experts assure me that they're actually fish and I don't see them on a do not eat fish list.

Yeah but don't use the recipe in 141. Questions of felophagia notwithstanding, it's just not a very good recipe.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:24 PM
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224 is correct as well. Oh hey, Ohio's was an opioid with a benzodiazepine. I haven't been following the latest in lethal injection.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:26 PM
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What I don't get is why anybody thinks plants don't feel pain.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:30 PM
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299: I went to a seminar for a faculty candidate whose research focused on phenotype/genotype relationships. She was using plants, some of which lacked chlorophyll (so they were white) some of which had malformed leaves (one cotyledon instead of two). The boyfriend's advisor asked whether she felt terrible about doing that to those poor plants, and she spent a minute or two trying to decide whether she was being trolled.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:34 PM
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I can sit through smartypants seminars, but I can't count or type.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:35 PM
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I actually meant to write "feel sad" not "feel pain". You can really see it in their posture when they miss having water.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:40 PM
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Then there was that poor IKEA lamp.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:40 PM
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Somebody'll take pity on that poor IKEA lamp and feed it a delicious pulled pork sandwich.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:44 PM
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Plants don't have nerves or brains.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:44 PM
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235: As if our feelings come only from our nerves and brains. That's so reductionist of you, urple. dsquared taught me that consciousness requires not just something beyond the brain but whole new kinds of physics.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:45 PM
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235: so? They certainly have internal systems which communicate information about the environment and which cause them to change their behavior in response.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:48 PM
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I suppose you can always ask them to bite down on a cyanide capsule.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:01 PM
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Plants don't have teeth.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:05 PM
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We should just accord moral rights according to whether systems exhibit 'causal entropic forces,' whatever those are.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:09 PM
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I mean, there was a TED talk about it, so it must be important.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:10 PM
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Sometimes I worry that there's a critical ratio of disingenuous to ingenuous comments beyond which I start to just sound like an asshole.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:11 PM
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242: why would you think that?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:13 PM
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Then there was that poor IKEA lamp.

SHUT UP someone saw it there and took it to a warm happy home like RIGHT after the commercial ended and and and fed it lots of nice lamp food or whatever makes lamps happy.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:16 PM
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whatever makes lamps happy

It's usually pretty easy to turn them on.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:20 PM
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244: There's a moment on Community where the lawyer breaks a pencil that he's just momentarily anthropomorphized, that made me think of you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:24 PM
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I must say, the abstract linked in 240 sounds like sheer crackpottery. I'm used to seeing stuff like that in the Quantitative Biology section of the arxiv, but not in PRL.

My rule of thumb at this point is that 75% to 90% of all papers with either Thermodynamics and Evolution, Thermodynamics and Information Theory, or Information Theory and Evolution in the abstract are nonsense, and 99.9% of all papers with Thermodynamics and Information Theory and Evolution in the abstract are nonsense.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:28 PM
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Physical Review Letters is pretty much all kooky, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:40 PM
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But the pictures (and captions) from the paper linked in 240 are so delightful:


A modified version of thermodynamics causes a pendulum (green) swinging from a sliding pivot (red) to stabilize in an inverted, and normally unstable, configuration, from which it has a greater variety of options for its future motion.

Our common ancestor was a pendulum!


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:41 PM
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249 Dear Physical Review,

I never thought this could happen to me...

Sincerely,

Pendulum Green


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:47 PM
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Actually I have to take that back, the figure in the original PRL doesn't have the little human figure shown in the figure in the spotlight article. Too bad!


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:48 PM
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urple, your defense of PETA's advocacy choices seems to consist solely of they 1) didn't mean it that way, and 2) are helpless to stem the tide of nubile female celebrity endorsement offers coming their way. Gotta say those are some pretty lame defenses. They claim to have a cause they believe in, and they certainly do seem willing to throw some serious resources behind promotion. Pretty wretched return on that investment tho if it's really converting to the one true way that they truly believe in.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:52 PM
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248: They exercise very strict quality control. AFAICT the quality they look for is "likely to get media attention".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:53 PM
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Honestly, whatever PETA's sins are, they'll always have a place in my heart for that "Sea Kittens" comic book linked in 141. I mean, it's totally self-discrediting for them as an organization, but that is seriously the greatest thing I've read in at least 6 months. It's the wild tonal shifts that do it. Kind of like an even more insane Chick tract.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 5:01 PM
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253 to 252


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 5:02 PM
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halford, did you see the UK, US, France food purchase comparisons on Mark Thoma's site? If you occasionally ate a couple if green beans, you'd be French!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 5:16 PM
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French women don't get fat. Also, I gave up on not eating green beans, because that was a step too far even for me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 5:20 PM
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256 was me, my phone though forgot who I am.

Confused by 257, you are a plump woman?

French women definitely slenderer than US and UK on average, also they don't eat between meals. Ridiculous this almost never gets mentioned.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 5:25 PM
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OT: I found the source of my ceiling drip. Only took four holes in the drywall. Now I just have to figure how to duct tape copper pipe correctly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 5:26 PM
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Top beauty tip from French friend, years ago - smoke cigarettes on alternating sides of your mouth, so that you self-fumigate evenly.

It is true that symmetrically is an important factor in perceptions of attractiveness.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 5:34 PM
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She didn't have any duct tape tips, Moby, sorry.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 5:35 PM
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Look what I got in the mail today!

Stupid list-selling charities.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 5:56 PM
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All this talk of sea kittens and fish along with that whale washing up in Newfoundland reminded me of this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOZacKM7be8


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:03 PM
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||
US/UK/Europe/Anglosphere differences question: In other industrialized societies, is it common to see private vehicles bearing evidence of their owners' connections to, or support of, the military? Like, are there French Foreign Legion bumper stickers on lots of cars in Marseilles? In one half mile stretch of my commute today, I counted 4 cars with military bumper stickers. We also have the vanity plates of course. And this is in the state ranked 50th in proportion of citizens who are active-duty military.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:27 PM
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I can't answer 264, but spent some time on the commute in thinking about which little decals I'd use if I wanted to represent our family as Moomin characters. (I was stuck behind a car with one I really hate, boys and girls in Mickey/Minnie Mouse hats.) It just occurred to me that I could make Lee Moominpappa instead of Snufkin and then Mara could be Snufkin, which takes care of everyone. (Nia is definitely Snork Maiden, except that she doesn't like that Snork Maiden blushes, and Selah is Little My. If I were doing it to show off, I'd go ahead and claim Moominmamma instead of someone more dutiful.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:36 PM
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Pretty sure a family member advertised membership on the air force rifle team by way of a car/truck sticker for years. Suspect more run of the mill things (generalized Marines or whatever) are ubiquitous. Except here of course, amongst the fake USians of SF.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:43 PM
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No, but that's merely a special case of the general disinclination of people in Enlightened Topless to use their vehicle bumpers as an expressive canvas. University affiliation and political allegiances are not advertised in that manner, either.

Curiously, the "Baby on Board" craze did jump the Atlantic back in the day. New parents are crazy the world over, I guess.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:48 PM
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Actually, I know a French guy who had a very subtle souvenir of his military service displayed on his car. He explained that his old unit was somehow affiliated with the Gendarmerie (which in those days was subordinated to the defense ministry rather than the interior ministry), so he figured it might get him out of speeding tickets.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:57 PM
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I'm sure I've mentioned it here before, but I once saw a Confederate flag sticker on the back of a car in Karlsruhe.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:34 PM
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I don't know enough about other countries to answer 264, but I have to say I doubt it.

Service in WWII or Korea was extremely common among grownup men when I was growing up, and there was almost none of this display.

I think of ostentatious patriotism, the kind that would have embarrassed and possibly disgusted the men I grew up around in Ohio, as an example of what Bruce Schulman in The Seventies called the "Southernization of American Culture" that occurred then.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:39 PM
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I'm sure I've mentioned it here before

... and I've turned up two different mentions in TFA. But I kinda remember that it was even weirder than that, like there was some kind of pro-Native-American-rights thing on the same car or something like that, which I felt like I must have mentioned either here or on LJ at the time, but if so I can't dig it out.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:46 PM
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We once saw a french guy with a tattoo of a bald eagle holding a confederate flag and a dreamcatcher.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 7:57 PM
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269: Don't look back, you can never look back.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:06 PM
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272: which had the flag and dream at her, the French guy or the bald eagle?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:07 PM
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The bald eagle. It was one tattoo.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:24 PM
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273: I thought I knew what Europe was; what did I know?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:38 PM
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Now I have Don Henley in my head. And water dripping from a hole in the pipe fast enough that I have to turn off the water before I go to sleep.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:58 PM
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Following up on 66, I just saw a link on FB pointing to this Youtube video: Sally Field talked about her brother on Letterman a week or so ago. It's amusing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:58 PM
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Now I have Don Henley in my head.

You should just let him go but...


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:00 PM
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|| I hope the local hockey team doesn't blow it like they do every year because my car is parked on the street downtown near the stadium. |>


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:09 PM
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I though you were only allowed to overturn cars if your team won.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:17 PM
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Tell it to the Canucks.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:22 PM
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Moby, were you serious about duct tape or was that a temporary fix until you got a proper repair clamp?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:23 PM
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I did not duct tape a pipe. I know a guy who can solder pipes but he won't come until tomorrow.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:29 PM
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Even as a temporary fix, it wouldn't work to tape it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:31 PM
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That's what I thought, but you seem more knowledgeable, so I thought I might be missing a trick. I was, but not that one.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:34 PM
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Oh hey, just in time for the thread.

PETA asks Utah for roadside memorial for turkey deaths

Animal rights advocates want to erect a roadside memorial sign for hundreds of turkeys that died last week when the truck carrying them crashed into Deer Creek Reservoir. The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has modeled a sign after templates from the state's official Memorial Safety Sign Program to place at the reservoir in honor of "the hundreds of terrified turkeys who died here in a truck crash," according to a draft submitted Wednesday to the Utah Department of Transportation.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:37 PM
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I don't know enough not to have beer when I turn off the water for the night. Stupid bladder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:44 PM
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Sounds like a rough night for the mountain laurel.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 9:57 PM
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288. Why the fuck do you turn off the water for the night? Taps, OK. Mains? WTF?

You pretty much never see military insignia or slogans on civilian cars in Britain. It's not an intrinsically anti-military culture, there was quite a lot of pomp and ceremony when they started bringing corpses back from Iraq and Afghanistan, although it died down when the media got bored of it. But, you know, your brother's in the Navy? Good for him, nice to have a steady job these days.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 1:34 AM
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US/UK/Europe/Anglosphere differences question: In other industrialized societies, is it common to see private vehicles bearing evidence of their owners' connections to, or support of, the military?

It is common - or at least not uncommon - to see stickers in car and especially taxi windows proclaiming support for service-related charities such as Help for Heroes (rehabilitation for injured soldiers) or the British Legion.
However, not even the stupidest British serviceman would put a sticker on his car saying "Attention all disgruntled Irishmen! Pretty soon, a member of the British Army is likely to return to this unattended vehicle, get in, and start the engine. I merely mention this fact; you may act upon it as you choose."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 1:40 AM
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291.2 That's a point, although it's been less critical lately - the last soldier to be murdered for "political" reasons was killed by a nutjob who thought he was a Muslim. Might become more applicable again soon, though.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 1:48 AM
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It is still not a good habit to get into, and one which British soldiers are warned against (under the general heading of making yourself identifiable in public when off duty by, e.g., carrying military-issue bags, wearing mixed dress etc.)

killed by a nutjob who thought he was a Muslim

What's this referring to? Not Dmr Rigby...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 1:54 AM
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293.2 Is that not the case?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 2:01 AM
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one which British soldiers are warned against

You have only to take a train on a Friday night when a lot of soldiers are going home on weekend leave to see that this advice s honoured more in the breach than the observance. Luggage racks are stacked with military kit bags.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 2:04 AM
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294: Oh, hang on, you mean the nutjob thought he himself, the nutjob, was a Muslim. I read it as a nutjob who killed a soldier because he thought the soldier was a Muslim. Sorry for the confusion.
Also didn't think of Rigby because there were two nutjobs involved.
Also also, IIRC they actually were Muslims.

295: very true. A lot depends on the area you're in though - some bits of the UK are assessed as higher-threat than others, and the advice changes over time.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 2:17 AM
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295: I understand that "squaddies on trains on weekend leave" as a general category are not exactly renowned for sound judgment or good sense.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 4:06 AM
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277 to 290.1.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 4:13 AM
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there was quite a lot of pomp and ceremony when they started bringing corpses back from Iraq and Afghanistan

Hmmmm, this reminds me of these Brits I knew in a certain educational program: a couple of junior civil servants and one junior officer in the British Army. This was back during the era of peace and prosperity. The civilians affectionately nicknamed the soldier "Cannon Fodder". I think this must have been a lot funnier back during the Major government. (Actually, I guess there had been some British combat casualties in the very early days of the Major government, during the first Iraq war, but I guess that memory had dissipated in the thrilling afterglow of victory, the way it did in the U.S.)


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 4:26 AM
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297. Sadly true. But I suspect this is universal and the only reason it may not apply to the US is that nobody uses trains.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 4:28 AM
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299: there were combat casualties throughout the Major government - about 400 people were killed in Northern Ireland, and I would imagine that more than a few of them were soldiers. Not to mention the 75 or so killed in operations in Bosnia.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 4:35 AM
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301: So the civilians were just being dicks, then? I can believe that.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 4:49 AM
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I am unsure if there has been any British PM who hasn't overseen combat deaths, come to think of it.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 5:37 AM
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303: there has only been one year*, I think, since 1900 when there were no British military combat deaths.

*1968. It was nice and quiet.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 5:41 AM
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Heh. My Dad was in the army that year.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 5:55 AM
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*1968. It was nice and quiet.

Hahaha. Yes.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 5:58 AM
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And as soon as he left, it went all to pieces.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 5:58 AM
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re: 307

He was single handedly holding the Troubles back.*

* by being a Glasgow Catholic, in the Signals.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 6:02 AM
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And he was all the kept the UK from going into Vietnam.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 6:08 AM
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308.last: in the 1970s, the regiment with the highest percentage of Catholics in the British Army, due to its traditional recruiting grounds in Glasgow and the urban Midlands, was... the Parachute Regiment.
So, that went well.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 6:35 AM
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310. Did not know that. Oh shit.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 6:44 AM
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300: However, it is extremely common here to see soldiers or recruits on intercity bus trips. IME, if they are at all obvious about their affiliation, they will attract loud interlocutors who are themselves veterans, who will keep everyone on the bus up all night trading bullshit stories about their time in the service. The last thing you want to hear in such a conversation is the phrase "Navy SEAL" as this pretty much guarantees a sleepless night.

My grandfather, the garrulous Yankee sergeant, had a "Korea: America's Forgotten War" bumpersticker, but other than that, no evidence of his veteran status on his vehicles.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 7:15 AM
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My grandfather, the garrulous Yankee sergeant, had a "Korea: America's Forgotten War" bumpersticker,

Ah, yes, Korea, the hipster war. ("I used to be into Afghanistan, but then after 2001 it went totally mainstream".)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 7:19 AM
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My dad was a hipster? Does it count if he didn't get past Guam?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 7:21 AM
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I'd imagine there wouldn't have been much point in the 50's and 60's US in shouting to the world that you'd been in the military, when that was such a common experience.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 7:29 AM
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He does wear a hat all the time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 7:32 AM
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the hipster war

Helps that Da Capo reprinted Ridgeway's book from 1968. Worth it just for his opinion on the cult of victory.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 7:41 AM
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I don't think my grandfather ever did anything ironic, although he had a strong sense of irony, and he did like to fuck with people who called the wrong number.

"Hello?"
"Hi, is Diane there?"
[long pause]
[in his gravelly voice]: "This...is...Diane"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 7:43 AM
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314: my dad was definitely one. He grew a beard during his first term at university. "For heaven's sake, you look like a Bolshevik," my grandmother said. "Shave it off at once." And he did, and he has never grown another beard.

(Query: is it really correct here to talk about another beard? Surely it would be the same beard?)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:01 AM
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I mean, "another beard" would surely refer to a beard grown somewhere else on his body. If he had a beard on his chin and one, say, on his elbow, then the second would definitely be another beard. But if he grew a beard on his chin in 1961, shaved it in 1962, and then grew a beard on his chin in 1963, would it really be true to say that he has had, in his life, two beards?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:03 AM
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(Query: is it really correct here to talk about another beard? Surely it would be the same beard?)

This is correct. Your "he has never grown another beard" should be "he has never again grown out his beard."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:04 AM
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No. He grew a beard. Then he got rid of it by shaving. If he had grown a beard again, that would have been his second beard.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:05 AM
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If the beard in question were false, then, however many times he applied it and removed it, it would still be the same beard. And even if he has a closely-trimmed beard for several years, so that there is no physical beard hair surviving from the beard's inception, we would still say that was the same beard. But does a beard really come to an end when shaved off, even if later allowed to regrow in identical form and in an identical location? (Conversely, would it make any sense to describe it as the same beard if it had been regrown in a different location?)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:06 AM
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321 and 322 seem to be completely at odds. Pace urple, every man has exactly one beard, possibly in potentia, and it is always the same beard. I have a beard, which I have not yet allowed to grow out. Pace Bave, on the other hand, a beard is an annual crop. It grows, it is shaved off, and that is the end of the beard.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:08 AM
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YOU CAN'T GROW THE SAME BEARD TWICE.


Posted by: OPINIONATED HIRSUTCLITUS | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:09 AM
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He grew a beard. Then he got rid of it by shaving. If he had grown a beard again, that would have been his second beard.

He did not get rid of his beard. He shaved it off.

You don't grow another head of hair if you shave your head and then re-grow it. You just re-grow your same head of hair.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:10 AM
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(Query: is it really correct here to talk about another beard? Surely it would be the same beard?)

As Heraclitus noted, you can never step in the same beard twice.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:11 AM
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You don't grow another head of hair if you shave your head and then re-grow it. You just re-grow your same head of hair.

Well, not the same.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:14 AM
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328: exactly. Not the same. If I shave my head now, keep it shaved for the next fifty years, and then allow it to regrow a wispy fringe of white hair, is it really true to say that I have regrown the same head of hair?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:16 AM
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I'd call it the same head, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:18 AM
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If I were now to sever my own left leg, and then through stem cell therapy or whatever regrow it next year, it would not be true that I had the same leg in 2012 that I have in 2015. The leg I had in 2012 is over there in the fridge (or whatever). This leg is a new leg.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:18 AM
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I'd call it the same head, though.

What about it is the same?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:18 AM
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It remembers itself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:20 AM
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If it's true that every man has at most one beard then why the indefinite article in the common phrase "grow a beard"?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:21 AM
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It's homeopathic?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:22 AM
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Can I grow someone else's beard?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:23 AM
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337

A lifetime of beards is coiled inside every male baby's chin at birth, just like all female babies contain all their eggs in their ovaries. It's a writhing mass of spaghetti in those chins, which is gradually trimmed over the next 80 years. When you reach the end of your chin hairs, you expire. This is why women live forever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:24 AM
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As opposed to what? We couldn't say "Eggplant decided to grow the beard", it sounds silly. It's a beard to which reference has not hitherto been made in the conversation, therefore it's "a beard", just as it would be "Eggplant owns a dog".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:24 AM
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331: But if you had a beard in 2009, which you kept reasonably trimmed, and if for some reason you saved the trimmings (perhaps to make a philosophical point), by 2014 you could say that every atom of your 2009 beard was now in a drawer somewhere, despite the fact that you had had a beard continuously from 2009 through 2014. So is your 2014 beard the same beard as the 2009 beard, or a different one?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:24 AM
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I mean, I can't grow mine, so I thought I'd ask.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:24 AM
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338 to 334, clearly.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:25 AM
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You only own one dog over your whole life. Sometimes you trim it out of existence and wait for it to get reborn from another dog.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:25 AM
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338: As opposed to "his" beard? "I punched Eggplant in a nose" would sound odd (partially because it's not the sort of thing I'd be likely to do, but partially because he only has the one nose.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:26 AM
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339: aha, but that's just because a collection of trimmings isn't a recognisable beard any more than a collection of splinters is a recognisable tree. If you had a beard like Alfred von Tirpitz and you shaved or rather clipped it off in a one-er, leaving only a closely cropped beard barely more than stubble, you could keep it coiled in a bottom drawer like the villains in "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches" did with their daughter's hair, and then you could indeed say that the beard you had in 2009 is in a drawer, and the beard you have now is a different beard- because the first beard still exists.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:28 AM
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Does anybody really believe these same/different questions have an answer which is merely either "same" or "different"?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:28 AM
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344: Under that reading, I'm on my second head of hair lifetime, in that there is a Copper-Beeches-esque ponytail in a drawer somewhere.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:29 AM
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337: What about female dogs? Do they live forever? What if a female dog has a beard?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:29 AM
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343: but "his" is unnecessary. Eggplant can't grow someone else's beard. The concept is ludicrous.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:30 AM
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I could be someone else's beard, if they were special enough.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:31 AM
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348: What if he surreptitiously applies Rogaine, or some other hair-growth encouraging ointment, to a third party's face? Would he not then be growing that person's beard in the same way that a gardener grows a tomato?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:31 AM
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351

After you cut your fingernails do you grow new fingernails?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:32 AM
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339: where are the beards of yesteryear?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:32 AM
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The decision to grow the beard is still not Eggplant's in the way that the decision to grow the tomato is the gardener's. He is merely making it easier for a beard to be grown by another.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:32 AM
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You can buy new fingernails if you're too impatient to grow them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:33 AM
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But what constitutes a beard? If I have, say, 2000 hairs growing on my cheeks and chin, and I cut 99 of them off, surely I still have a beard, as indeed I do if I cut another 99 off. But what if I only have 3 hairs growing on my chin after several such operations -- is this a beard, or whiskers, or stubble, or a potential beard or the remainder of a beard?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:33 AM
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Under the rule set forth in 344, no, because a clipping isn't a fingernail. But if you slam your finger in a door and the fingernail drops off entirely, then you grow a "new" fingernail. I think at this point I have eight original fingernails and nine toenails, with three aftermarket replacements.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:34 AM
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351: hmm. No, I think you definitely regrow your fingernails. Even if you lose them completely, I don't think you grow new ones; you grow the same ones again.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:34 AM
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355: urple would argue that this is a beard, most of which has been shaved off. If you shaved off the last 3, you would have a beard all of which has been shaved off.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:35 AM
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More to the point, at what point does stubble or whiskers become a beard? (We might refer to this as the "Crockett Conundrum.") 10 microns? Surely not. 1/64 of an inch? 1/32?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:35 AM
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Actually, maybe 357 isn't true. Good point, 356.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:36 AM
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361

This is like a bad undergraduate metaphysics class.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:38 AM
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359: the procedure of removing drunken college girls from a house full of drunken college girls one at a time is meant to demonstrate the impossibility of unambiguously defining the correct number of drunken college girls to have in a house, and is known as the Sororities Paradox.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:38 AM
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I've got 99 hairs, but a beard isn't the sum.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:38 AM
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The real root of this conundrum is the conflation of beard and beardstyle (by analogy to hairstyle), which originated in the shift from saying "grew his beard" to "grew a beard" around the time when clean-shavenness became both fashionable and possible for the lower classes.

Some significant proportion -- but not all -- of this comment is made up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:39 AM
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365

Has there ever been a good undergraduate metaphysics class?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:40 AM
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361: Or an excellent graduate seminar in Barbering.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:40 AM
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In 1890, beards gained independent existence.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:41 AM
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We couldn't say "Eggplant decided to grow the beard", it sounds silly.

But we could say "Eggplant decided to grow his beard." Eggplant decided to grow a beard" can be understood as linguistic shorthand for "Eggplant decided to grow out his facial hair in the shape of a beard".

Similarly, "Eggplant decided to grow a goatee" is linguistic shorthand for "Eggplant decided to grow out his facial hair in the shape of a goatee".


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:41 AM
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around the time when clean-shavenness became both fashionable and possible for the lower classes.

Clean-shavenness has always been fashionable and possible for the lower classes. Brueghel painted 16th century rural peasants and they were almost all clean-shaven.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:43 AM
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Anyone else reading this thread in the voice of Gavin from Kids in the Hall?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:46 AM
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Just like we are the same people even as all our cells replace themselves, a beard remains the same beard, regardless of where the individual hair strands end up. (If after 20 years of never cleaning one's apartment, the accumulated dust included all one's epidermal cells from the first year, the dust would not be in any sense your skin.)

If it's shaved, it ends its existence, and a new one may later be born. Think of it as a four-dimensional beardworm.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:47 AM
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369: that was due to inadequate nutrition, not intentional grooming.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:47 AM
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Free associating Breughel => Bruggers => Bagels => Doughnoughts, and now I REALLY want some doughnoughts with sprinkles/jimmies on them. Like a beard. Of candy.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:47 AM
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369: We've talked about this before (Romans rubbing their faces with pumice, Native Americans tweezing with clamshells. I think Chris Y actually tried the pumice thing), and I have to admit that I find premodern cleanshavenness really surprising. It seems as if it would be such a hassle.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:48 AM
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Think of it as a four-dimensional beardworm woolybear caterpillar


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:49 AM
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Doughnoughts

Bready terror of the seas.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:49 AM
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||
We're not above using the commentariat to influence the outcome of online voting contests, right? Go like our video on Youtube and we get to have it presented to the NIH director. We're getting killed because they initially messed up our video and posted it without sound, we need about 300 more likes.
|>


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:50 AM
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372: really? I find that difficult to believe.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:51 AM
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376: I was kind of wondering whether it was an accepted regional variant, or a brain error caused by my mention of Admiral Tirpitz further up.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:53 AM
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377: I'll like it again when I get to work


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:54 AM
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378: I can see why that would be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:54 AM
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377: done, but is there reason to actually watch it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:55 AM
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379: It's how it should be spelled, 'cause it's a nought made of dough. Just trying to uphold the standards of pedantry so well-established by my betters.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:55 AM
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I have to admit that I find premodern cleanshavenness really surprising. It seems as if it would be such a hassle.

Not really. They wouldn't have shaved every morning. Once a week would have been fine. And ten minutes to shave once a week with a sharp steel blade is nothing. (And a sharp blade wouldn't have been hard to come by. Everyone had a knife back then.

Prince John: A knife! He's got a knife!

Eleanor: Of course he has a knife! He always has a knife! We all have knives! It's 1183!

--The Lion in Winter


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:56 AM
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re: 374

Of course facial hairiness varies quite a bit between populations. I imagine it was somewhat easier for those groups that don't typically have really hairy faces.

But I imagine people were shaving their faces even in the days of flint-knapping.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:56 AM
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381: seriously. These guys? Not obviously malnourished.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_-_Peasant_Wedding_-_Google_Art_Project_2.jpg


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 8:58 AM
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What were they going to do with time spent not shaving? Binge-watch tv on Netflix?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 9:00 AM
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350: Better to ask forgiveness than permission.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 9:02 AM
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386: all-you-can-eat pies served by the cart-load were a lot less calorically dense back then.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 9:02 AM
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re: 386

The guy playing the bagpipes has a obvious stubble, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 9:04 AM
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And some little silver coils attached to his Kangol hat.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 9:05 AM
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Coins. Coins.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 9:05 AM
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They wouldn't have shaved every morning. Once a week would have been fine.

But then you wouldn't look clean-shaven most days; at least most Europeans wouldn't. Possibly idealized based on a combination of what they'd look like for church / special occasions and stubble being more annoying to depict?

I see in Bruegel the Elder's Peasant Wedding the piper looking almost at the viewer has some distinct five-o'-clock shadow.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 9:49 AM
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I was told to expect three coins.


Posted by: Opinionated Fountain | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 9:58 AM
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393. They didn't look clean shaven most days. We've had this conversation here before. Shaving every day is a 19th century innovation (after the fashion for enormous beards died out).


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 10:13 AM
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395: and corresponding, I might note with the shift from "grew his beard" to "grew a beard".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 10:18 AM
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396: Yes, that n-gram was quite informative. Everyone click Sifu's link and learn something. Prompted me to do one for grew a/grew his mustache/moustache which is not really a good example, but it did show interesting trends on the variant spellings plus shows how it is a later-arriving concept.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 10:33 AM
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I'm late to the Beard Metaphysics 101 conversation, but I'm on Team It's a Different Beard. I have had several different beards. There was a wild, unkempt, crazy beard back in my mid-20s. Right now, I'm working with a Finals Beard (quit trimming it last Friday, letting it go until next Friday), so it's a bit thick but still razor-shaved along the neckline. Sometimes I attempt (and most likely fail at) George Clooney Stubble Beard.

These are all different beards.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 1-14 11:46 AM
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