Re: Not A Good Week For Rhymes-With-Uber

1

That is terrible, and may push me into not using them either. I already felt bad about the pricing. Thing is -- and I'm sure I'm not alone in this -- I don't use it because of the price, I use it because you can order it on your phone, see where the car is, have record of who the hell you're driving with, and don't have to deal with payment or tip.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 11:11 AM
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I don't use it because of the price, I use it because you can order it on your phone, see where the car is, have record of who the hell you're driving with, and don't have to deal with payment or tip.

That's hardly exclusive to Uber. Addison Lee does all that, for instance, over here. Not that they're a particularly palatable company either, but at least their raison d'etre isn't to skirt regulation.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 11:40 AM
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I'm trying out Flywheel, which at least around here is supposed to give you the app-convenience of Uber with actual taxis.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 11:43 AM
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That's hardly exclusive to Uber. Addison Lee does all that, for instance, over here.

Calling up a car that's not in my country is probably not going to be much use to me.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 11:44 AM
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Here in Philly, AllCity taxi has an app for calling a cab. I believe you still have to pay the driver, but they are legally required to take credit cards.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:03 PM
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So, if they don't have a working reader, your ride is free?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:05 PM
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I was already mad at them for having a shitty attitude about accessibility.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:06 PM
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In the DC area there's been talk of putting together an app for regular taxis. I don't know if it would cover payments as well, but since the cabs all have credit card readers it's NBD either way.

I've avoided Uber because I don't trust random people and especially don't want to have to talk to them. Somehow taxi drivers seem like a safer bet even though there's no screening process that I'm aware of. At least this latest news lets me put a veneer of political correctness over my irrational fears.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:10 PM
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I was fired from a temp receptionist job in college once for being aggressively quirky (well, and failing to show up on Patriot's Day because I thought it was a holiday for all businesses in Massachusetts), and it served me right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:15 PM
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Wrong thread.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:16 PM
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Rhymes-With-Uber

Tuber - The app that lets you order potatoes from your smartphone.
Gruber - Generate quotes that convince conservatives that all their crazy Obamacare conspiracy theories were correct, right from your smartphone!
Boober - Rejected by Apple, but it doesn't matter--Tumblr can be used for the same purpose.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:19 PM
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There's boobs on Tumblr?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:20 PM
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all have credit card readers it's NBD either way

No way, dawg. Not having to get out a card, wait for a swipe, sign/write in tip, is a big difference in convenience. I mean, first world problems and all that, but in the context of the service, it's a big deal.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:24 PM
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What are Lyft and Hailo? Those are the other ones I've heard about.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:26 PM
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There's boobs on Tumblr?

Seek, and ye shall find.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:28 PM
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There's boobs on Tumblr?

Oh hell yes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:34 PM
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I thought that was just chatroulette.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:37 PM
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There are boobs EVERYWHERE! You just have to know how to look.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:40 PM
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Subtly, is what I was told.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:43 PM
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Lyft is still somewhat less evil maybe?

I am okay with companies existing to skirt regulation when the regulation is horrible and captured by monopolies. Might not apply outside Pennsylvania.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:48 PM
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the cabs all have credit card readers

Magnetic readers? A few months ago I had to contend with one of those ancient impression-based devices. Took about two minutes to pay.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:49 PM
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Clay tablet?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:53 PM
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21: In DC they're required to have actual readers I think (from one of a handful of approved vendors), possibly with the impression devices as a backup? My understanding (via drivers so possibly self-serving bullshit but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt) is that the processing fees are huge and really screw the drivers so maybe that's some incentive to resort to the "backup"?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:58 PM
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I bet the processing fees apply whatever the card mechanism, so the real pressure is to get you to pay cash if you can.

Which segues nicely to my sense that this is more about visibility than about the actual scumminess of the organizations; taxi companies (not individual drivers, generally) are very, very corrupt, but usually local and locally-connected rather than national and tech-world-visible.

Uber still has a long way to fall before they're actually as bad (which is not to say that they're good).


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:10 PM
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24.1: Could be, or it could be they're using an unofficial processor when they take an impression. Lots of DC cabs now have stickers that say "if the driver tries to process your credit card with Square or anything other than this device strapped to the back seat he is BREAKING THE LAW and you should snitch by calling this number!" So there does seem to be a real "problem" with drivers using alternative processors and god forbid the service providers chosen by the taxicab commission should not get their due.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:19 PM
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Cab drivers hate credit cards because you can't avoid paying taxes on income that reaches you through a bank. Income tax, even just on the tips, costs quite a lot more than processing fees.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:23 PM
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24.3: On the other hand, even given the existence of horrible taxi cab companies and medallion monopolies designed to fuck people over, I'm not sure I want to encourage Uber's attitude "your puny 'regulations' are in the way of our disruption, broseph!" We get enough of that as it is.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:24 PM
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27: Yeah, I've already had an assfull of their antics here. The city tried to accommodate them with modifications to the regs but they're still threatening to leave town because the city doesn't want to budge on the mandatory driver background checks and vehicle inspections just like every other ground transportation outfit.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:33 PM
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I refuse to believe anyone actually holds the sentiment expressed in 13.2, particularly in a world in which people routinely use credit cards to buy cups of coffee.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:37 PM
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You've never heard anyone note how great it is that with Uber you don't have to fuss with payment or figuring out tip?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:44 PM
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Particularly useful when you're, say, drunk and don't trust yourself to calculate a reasonable tip, or otherwise handle money (or at least get paranoid when you can't remember doing it correctly). Knowing that something is paid up, regardless of my state of mind at the time, is great for my peace of mind the next day.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:49 PM
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In an NYC cab you have to swipe -- but the little machine is in the back seat with you. Then you are presented with a variety of tip percentages (or none or other) to choose from. You don't need to think or do any figuring.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:54 PM
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Not having to get out a card, beg the driver to accept it as a form of payment, say "no" to his repeated offers to take you to a nearby ATM, wait for a swipe, sign/write in tip, is a big difference in convenience.


Posted by: Otto Von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:55 PM
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Huh. NYC yellow cab drivers don't bitch about taking cards at all. (I think it's happened to me once? Maybe?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:57 PM
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31: Do you trust yourself not to accept excessive surge pricing while so drunk as to worry about handling money or doing simple tip math? Knowing my $200 fare was paid up would not be great for my peace of mind.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:05 PM
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25 to 26. Of course 26 is right, cash much preferred to credit, but cab drivers in DC are in fact trying to get away with using nonapproved credit card processors (like square) with market-rate fees, which wouldn't help with taxes.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:06 PM
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What are Lyft and Hailo?

You'd have to look 'em up, I guess.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:11 PM
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We have Hailo here and I use it a lot. I am quite happy that it
uses actual taxis so the drivers are all insured to carry passengers, have been vetted by the Gardaí and have their vehicles inspected for faults annually. Hailo takes a 10% commission.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:11 PM
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Cabs in NYC tend to work much better than those in other jurisdictions. Hence, Uber and its cousins were not born there. In SF one was historically made to feel at least a little bit guilty for pulling out the plastic.

That being said, the last couple rides in actual cabs I've taken have had back seat swipe machines, and a bit of research reveals that this is a consequence of recent regulatory changes.


Posted by: Otto Von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:12 PM
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35: There was an incident in this area a while back where Uber charged over $500 for a trip from the airport to downtown. IIRC it's been sorted out now, but that dynamic pricing will bite you on the ass if you're not careful.

The only credit card cabs I've dealt with had a little swiper and automatic tip calculation so the total extra effort involved is getting the cards out of your pocket and signing a screen. Still more effort than dinking around with a smartphone, but not by a whole lot.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:13 PM
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SF cab drivers sometimes moaned about taking cards years ago but I haven't experienced that in years. 13.2 is kind of pathetic, for the reasons in 27, 29, 32 and 35. At least here in SF taxi drivers get more extensive background checks AND the taxi companies are required to carry comprehensive insurance. Those too wasted to handle the logistical nightmare of paying cab fare, you might want to check in to some recent stories from LA re uber rides that went longer than expected, including ending up in motel rooms the driver thoughtfully secured.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:15 PM
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uber rides that went longer than expected, including ending up in motel rooms the driver thoughtfully secured.

Yeah, Uber kind of gives me the creeps. I have total faith in the goodwill (admittedly, not the driving skill or judgment) of medallion cab drivers, but not so much randos who signed up with Uber. (Admittedly, the faith is unexamined, but I literally don't think I've ever heard a story about a yellow cab driver doing something interpersonally scary to a passenger. They get mugged, but I don't hear anecdotes the other way around. Maybe I'm living in a fantasy world and they're not actually that safe.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:22 PM
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I literally don't think I've ever heard a story about a yellow cab driver doing something interpersonally scary to a passenger

Only in Anchorage perhaps.

Ali is the third Yellow Cab driver in recent years accused of sexually assaulting women in their cabs, following Chidiebere Nwokorie's August 2011 arrest in a Ship Creek assault. Anchorage police said multiple women reported Nwokorie had assaulted them; his bail was initially set at $5,000, but later increased to $50,000 after an outcry from the victim in the case. Nwokorie's trial has been repeatedly delayed, with its most recent starting date -- Monday -- now delayed to October.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:25 PM
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But the convenience of handing over your home and work addresses, your mobile number and credit card information to be permanently retained by a private company that's gone out of its way to brag about evading any kind of legal or social accountability, however do I resist! What a mystery.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:26 PM
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I wonder if any of this would mean anything to me if I hadn't spent the last 20 years erasing the habit of using taxis. Maybe once a year does using a taxi even cross my mind, and I don't think it's because I'm afraid I might leave a 25% tip. It's just about never the case that neither driving, nor busing, nor biking are too inconvenient. And it's very, very rare for me to be inebriated and unable to walk or bus home.

Anyway, I disliked Lyft because the whole pink mustache thing seemed way too annoying, but it turns out Uber is the evil one. Which is weird, because no one who speaks German could be evil.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:31 PM
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s/b "sufficiently convenient". I really should have rephrased that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:35 PM
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I don't mean to defend Uber--they seem genuinely horrible in many ways--but their model really is more convenient than the alternatives.

And I can recall at least a couple fairly recent cases of cabbies raping passengers around here--not yellow cabs (if I recall) but suburban dispatch cabs.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:44 PM
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This really is an unexamined belief -- I could be just wrong about NYC cabbies, or maybe they're reliable because the medallions are so crazy expensive that scary drivers get fired at the first complaint? which would be an NY (and similar tight-market big-city drivers) thing, not cabbies generally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:48 PM
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47.1: It's a service for citizens in good standing and credit to finally get the convenience they deserve in society. I think we should outsource voter registration to Uber. Efficient.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:51 PM
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Tangent: I was in Manhattan briefly for a wedding a couple of weeks ago. Trying to hail a cab early Saturday evening wasn't going well, but we eventually got a ride from a black car with some dispatch-looking gear but definitely no meter (I didn't get to check if it had livery plates), and we paid more than I would have expected to in a taxi - about double what we paid later for a taxi on the way back, in fact.

Was that sketchy? A minor "black cars aren't supposed to answer street hails" violation, or more seriously problematic?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:52 PM
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This really is an unexamined belief

Some googling reveals at least a handful of cabbies assaulting passengers in NY. I didn't click through to verify that they were all yellow cab drivers.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 3:00 PM
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I don't think 48 needs to be so hesitant. All you're saying is that doing background checks is not utterly pointless.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 3:01 PM
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Undoubtedly crimes are committed by cab drivers. But cab companies don't immediately and super aggressively attack any suggestion they may have liability.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 3:08 PM
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50: They're really not supposed to answer street hails. In my neighborhood, where the black cars come home to roost and yellow cabs are few and far between, black cars pick up people on the street all the time, but in downtown Manhattan the driver was being pretty bold. Not wildly unusual, but he's not supposed to do that and I think it gets enforced downtown.

52: Yeah, but I don't even know if cab companies do background checks, I just firmly believe that yellow cabs are safe.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 3:08 PM
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where the black cars come home to roost

Racist.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 3:22 PM
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In my experience cabs are only really an option at airports, hotels, or in Manhattan. I hate using them even then because they give me motion sickness due to the way cabbies drive. I've started using uber a few times (in Nashville and Samta Barbara) and it's so much better. For me the main thing that makes the difference is the map showing where the car that's coming to get you is. You can see that they really are coming and how long it will be. Whereas calling a cab just puts you in a no information zone of having know idea if you'll get a cab or not. It's miserable. So basically Uber can be as evil as they want and I wouldn't ever call an actual cab.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 4:06 PM
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The good publicity keeps piling up.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 8:02 PM
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I take cabs all the time, and they're fine, so I've never seen the appeal of Uber. I guess avoiding the awkwardness of paying the driver would be a plus, but the cabs I take always take cards (even in rural communities, where they usually use Square or something similar) so it's not that big a deal. I guess it really does just depend on how much the taxi system sucks in a given location.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 8:57 PM
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56: The Flywheel app, although I haven't actually used it yet, shows taxi locations in real time as well. Seems like a copyable feature.

A recent new advantage of Uber is you can also enter your destination in the app beforehand and it gets sent to the driver's phone.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:16 PM
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Off-topic: a student in my class tells me he needs to take the final exam at a much earlier time on the day it's scheduled because he has to fly to a med school interview the next day and he claims that if he takes the exam as scheduled it will cause him to "miss his hotel's check-in time." Does that make any sense to anyone else? I've stayed in a lot of hotels and pretty frequently arrived pretty late and I don't remember it ever being a problem.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:40 PM
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No, that makes no sense whatsoever. Check-in time is to limit how early you arrive, not how late.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:42 PM
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This is the fourth time this semester I've had a student request to take the exam at a different time than everyone else, which is the sort of thing that never in a million years would have occurred to me when I was a student. The worst excuse was "I have another exam that day and so I'm really stressed out".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:46 PM
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The weird thing is that I think there actually could be a problem: you can't get flights from here to the west coast that leave late in the evening, so I could believe that if he took my exam he'd miss morning meetings the next day. But the hotel excuse seems really fishy.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:51 PM
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you can't get flights from here to the west coast that leave late in the evening

Really? That seems weird, but then my sense of when it's reasonable to expect flights to leave is probably totally skewed by living in Alaska where they leave at all sorts of ridiculous times.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:53 PM
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No, wait, there is a JetBlue flight that leaves late enough. Gah. I don't want to be an asshole, but I also don't want to proctor an extra exam just to make life slightly more convenient for one student.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:54 PM
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One of the worst things about Uber is that opposing them puts you in the awkward position of defending taxi companies.

They are very easily the Wal-Mart of transportation options. They're incredibly appealing because they're inexpensive and convenient, and their hidden costs are that they don't just pay poorly, they undermine better-paying jobs.

The underlying assumption of the "gig economy" (or "sharing economy") is that there's no sustainable way to make a living off something you could call your job and give only 8 hours of your day to, so your private life can be turned into a "privatized" life -- you can rent out your home through AirBnB or your car through Uber. Since it's not really a hotel, or a job, or a ride, you avoid regulations, but since it's so convenient you undermine them entirely.

Tom Slee is a good place to start with this stuff.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:56 PM
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65: I've always thought it would be cooler in places with honor codes and no need for proctors. If he has no credit card, he could lose the room if he checks in too late.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:59 PM
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When I lived in that region, the latest west coast flights - at least to LAX - were around 10 PM from JFK and got to LAX at about 1 AM. I think latest flights from Logan were maybe an hour earlier, but I always went with JFK since I could get there without having to use time off from work to travel.

There are probably some hotels that still close the desk after midnight, though I've never run into that. I have stood outside in below freezing temperatures to check in at a motel where the night "desk" was a window and they didn't let you into that part of the building after midnight.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:00 PM
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I would assume the room is billed to the place he's interviewing, not to him personally.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:01 PM
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Since it's not really a hotel, or a job, or a ride, you avoid regulations

Well, that's up to the relevant government agencies to decide, and they've certainly pushed back strongly against these companies (admittedly without much success overall).

It does definitely seem like regulatory arbitrage is the entire point of these companies' business models, because aside from that I don't see how they aren't just taxi/hotel/etc. companies with particularly good apps.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:03 PM
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If that's the case, does he have control over the flight? Sometimes when places are paying for the interview process, they make the arrangements in inconvenient ways.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:04 PM
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If he has no credit card, he could lose the room if he checks in too late.

I doubt that, actually. Most hotels these days seem to impose minimum notice requirements for cancellation, which means if you just don't show up at all they still charge you, but if you show up in the middle of the night they still have a room for you. If he's a student at essear's institution I also doubt that he doesn't have a credit (or at least debit) card.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:07 PM
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Tell him to call the hotel and let them know he'll be arriving late, but is still intending to keep his reservation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:08 PM
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Do med schools really pay for flights and hotels for applicants? That's the sort of thing I associate more with people applying for actual jobs.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:08 PM
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74: I guess I was thinking that if grad schools pay for visits med schools definitely would, but I was forgetting that grad school visits are for admitted students only and he hasn't been admitted yet.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:11 PM
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Tell him to use Uber instead of flying and just sleep in the car.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:13 PM
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When I was teaching at your fine institution there were by default alternate times scheduled for people to take exams because it was assumed someone would have a conflict for athletics or stress or whatever. Those were pretty large courses though.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:15 PM
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Somehow I doubt even the power of Disruptive Innovation! will make a car able to drive across the country overnight. But someone should probably text Clay Christensen to make sure.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:16 PM
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Self driving cars don't get tired. So it's just a matter of solving the speed problem.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:18 PM
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All he has to do is call the hotel and arrange for late check in, it is that simple. The request is not reasonable if that is the only basis.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:18 PM
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75: Med school most definitely does not pay. Nor do programs always pay for residency and fellowship interviews. Still, not a good excuse.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:26 PM
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72: debit sure, but maybe not a credit. I was flown out for a job interview once, and I had to pay for the room even though the company was going to cover it. My limit barely covered the room fee.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:27 PM
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73 is right. It's a bullshit excuse.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:29 PM
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I had a friend in college who had really great grades and thought that she couldn't handle one of her finals because of the schedule. She just didn't show up. There was one freebie where you got to take the final in the middle of the next semester. I think that she and her roommate claimed to be sick. She probably could have done it, but she might not have gotten an A.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:30 PM
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There's boobs on Tumblr?

Tumblr, NSFW porn blogging, and the challenge of checkpoints


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:41 PM
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85: That's a really good post.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:58 PM
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After I wrote to the student explaining that I was unconvinced there's a problem, he now claims he didn't know what "check-in time" meant that there's no way he can get to the hotel before 4 AM. I guess this time if I call him on it he'll tell me he never heard of time zones?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 11:14 PM
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Uh, somehow I lost a word or two in the middle of that comment.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 11:15 PM
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Yeah, now it seems pretty clear he's just fucking with you.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 11:18 PM
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So why take the test early on a pretext? Am I being uncharitable in thinking that a possible reason is to be able to circulate the questions to later test takers?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 11:25 PM
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One of the worst things about Uber is that opposing them puts you in the awkward position of defending taxi companies.

I have only one purpose, the destruction of Uber... If Uber invaded Hell I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.


Posted by: Opinionated Winston Churchill | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:05 AM
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Not to shill for Hailo or anything but it has all the handy features of EvilApp (except of course you pay actual taxi rates as set down by the regulator).


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:27 AM
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If you want to be a little bitch, ask him if he'd like you to email his interview contact person and explain to them why he'll be a little sleepy at his interview.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:34 AM
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||

Anybody still touching themselves to Jimmy Ruffin should have stopped three days ago.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:38 AM
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Addison Lee drivers are legendarily terrible and aggressive, though admittedly I have only ever been challenged to fisticuffs by a black taxi driver, so screw them both. I am pro-Uber simply because it seems to annoy both these groups of people.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 3:02 AM
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I'm glad I'm not an academic any more, because my default response to requests of the 'can I do my exam at a different time from everyone else?' is, basically:

'Er, no. And why the fuck are you even asking?'

As has been discussed interminably before, even the idea that such a thing might even be possible would never have occurred to me as an undergraduate.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 3:13 AM
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Local minicab drivers here [west west London] are bloody awful. Not just aggressive, or selfish, but just plain bad drivers. Wallowing all over the road without paying attention.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 3:14 AM
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there were by default alternate times scheduled for people to take exams because it was assumed someone would have a conflict for athletics

96 to this. There are actually universities where it is considered acceptable to miss a final exam because you would rather go and, essentially, play in the park with your friends? These are real universities? With adult students?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 3:54 AM
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(on rereading 95 I should clarify that it was a (black taxi) driver, not a (black) taxi driver)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 3:57 AM
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Calling up a car that's not in my country is probably not going to be much use to me.

I wasn't trying to be facetious, I was just going on what I knew. I assumed there must be an equivalent to Addison Lee in the US (ie a large, regulated minicab company which isn't completely tech-averse), especially in the North East. The advantages cited for Uber in 1 don't have anything to do with the crowdsourcing aspect of it - they're all things that can be done by ordinary licensed minicab firms, and at least in the UK, are done.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 3:58 AM
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The two main taxi/minicab companies here are extremely nasty and have vicious monopolistic practices, but I've always found the drivers OK.

OTOH, in Rotherham, which is literally contiguous to Sheffield, the drivers are up to their necks in this shit (trigger warning: organised abuse of 1400 children while the police did nothing for 15 years), which has made me less sure about the guys here, rightly or wrongly.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 4:11 AM
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98 isn't very fair to student-athletes. It's not easy to juggle a team plus class, and they have no say over their schedule. Often they'd prefer to take the test with everyone else instead of early. But it's nice to have a standardized way to handle it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 4:12 AM
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It's not easy to juggle a team plus class, and they have no say over their schedule.

Well, they do, though. Sports teams are flexible about their lineups, they have (or should have) reserves for exactly this reason. What would happen to an athlete who missed a game because, say, she had a broken leg? Or a parent's funeral? The idea that sports should take precedence over final exams for a full-time university student, scholarship or not, is ridiculous.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 4:17 AM
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But it's going to be a conflict for a huge number of students on the same thing. Frex, it's not rare for the NCAA tournament to fall on finals week, depending on the sport.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 4:34 AM
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98 isn't very fair to student-athletes. It's not easy to juggle a team plus class, and they have no say over their schedule. Often they'd prefer to take the test with everyone else instead of early. But it's nice to have a standardized way to handle it.

But the university (and/or the NCAA) does have complete say over the schedule - so don't schedule the games to clash with finals. I realise this would involve a re-prioritisation of academics versus sport, but that's kind of the point.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 4:42 AM
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Well, they do, though. Sports teams are flexible about their lineups, they have (or should have) reserves for exactly this reason. What would happen to an athlete who missed a game because, say, she had a broken leg? Or a parent's funeral? The idea that sports should take precedence over final exams for a full-time university student, scholarship or not, is ridiculous.

Yes, but it happens at thousands of universities for thousands of students per university, because that's how universities work here. They have student athletic programs.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:15 AM
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One, but not both, of those "thousands" should be "hundreds". But still.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:16 AM
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I can't tell if the college sports comments from British people are trolling or honestly naive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:20 AM
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I guess essear's student probably just booked tickets home for winter break too early without knowing the finals schedule and is making an excuse, but this kind of request doesn't seem too hard to accommodate. My department had a few spare rooms for students to take exams outside their scheduled time when they had a documented excuse (they'd leave their stuff with a secretary and just go in with a pencil or pen and any other little stuff, like a calculator or water bottle) or if they required accommodations like extended time. During finals, they could usually be dumped in another course's final, with the prof or TA checking on them midway through to answer questions. It wasn't really that inconvenient. In a pinch, profs would leave them at a desk in the hallway near their office. I'd ask to see a copy of the med school confirmation of the interview date and the plane ticket as documentation. I'm surprised this seems to be the minority view, but it just doesn't seem like the timing of the final is more important than (basically) a job interview.

Med school interviews are the final step before admission, and students pay out of pocket. They usually have a choice of two weekends, but interview season usually ends in January or February, so the student probably picked the date that fell over winter break. Odds vary by school, but they're usually under 50% that they'll be admitted, so students try to interview at every school that offers. If the students really does have an interview, they begin early in the morning and last all day, and it seems lousy to expect a kid to do a cross country flight, get little sleep, and then be on their game for all day (and sometimes 1.5 day) interviews.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:23 AM
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re: 108

I think we all just think the arrangement sounds bloody stupid.

I'd ask to see a copy of the med school confirmation of the interview date and the plane ticket as documentation. I'm surprised this seems to be the minority view, but it just doesn't seem like the timing of the final is more important than (basically) a job interview.

That sounds fair enough. But, if it were me, I really would want to see the confirmation.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:28 AM
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It sort of evolved over time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:33 AM
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109 seems totally reasonable to me personally.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:38 AM
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108 I was going to go with quaint.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:38 AM
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110: I can't work out why this conversation didn't happen:

"Hello, Student X? This is the head of admissions at Medical School Y. We'd like to offer you an interview for a place at the school and we're prepared to fly you out and pay for your hotel. Can you make date Z?"
"That's great news! But I have a final exam in the afternoon of Z minus one. Is there any chance we could do the interview the next day instead?"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:41 AM
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that's how universities work here. They have student athletic programs.

As do universities in Britain! But somehow we manage.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:43 AM
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How many British universities have athletic departments with revenues over $100 million?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:46 AM
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108. Honestly naive. A university is about learning and, to be realistic, credentialing. NOTHING should take priority over these. Sports is what a minority of students do in their spare time here. Also, the number of English or Scottish Premier League footballers who have been to university can be counted on the fingers of one foot.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:47 AM
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109: He hasn't bought a plane ticket yet. That much is clear from the way he's asked the questions. I agree it would kind of suck to get into a hotel at midnight after a cross-country flight and have an 8 AM interview, but it seems like the kind of thing-that-mildly-sucks that we all put up with all the time.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:48 AM
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114: my guess is the student now realizes that's the conversation that should have happened, but it didn't, either because he was so excited about the interview that he just didn't think to cross check the schedule of his exams, or possibly because he wasn't sure what the norms were and worried that asking to change to date would not be kosher. Either way, he's now already accepted the interview, and he is worried that going back to them and saying, "um, can we reschedule, I have an exam", will not be well received. So he's trying to fix the problem on the other end, by rescheduling the exam.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:49 AM
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116 reminds me indirectly of the guy I was talking to recently who was describing the shift from "We are a bank and our job is to help our customers make money, and earn fees for doing so" to "We are a bank and our job is to make money off our customers". I suppose the point is that the university isn't there to help the student-athletes; the student-athletes are there to help the university.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:50 AM
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118: I agree it would kind of suck to get into a hotel at midnight after a cross-country flight and have an 8 AM interview, but it seems like the kind of thing-that-mildly-sucks that we all put up with all the time.

The really unkind thing would be to say "You want to be a doctor? Start learning how to handle sleep deprivation."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:51 AM
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I mean, I'm somewhat sympathetic and I haven't given him a definite answer yet, but I'm more inclined toward "no" since he's giving me weird versions of the story that don't make any sense (getting to the hotel at 4 AM? what, he's going to walk from the airport?) instead of just saying "this schedule is going to be kind of inconvenient for me".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:52 AM
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121 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:53 AM
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120: Basically. It doesn't help the smaller schools much, but they feel they must try.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:53 AM
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I only ever taught once, but it was at a big school with a well developed sports program. The athletic department was watching the students and making sure they coordinated with their teachers about absences. I'm sure the subtext was something along the lines of "you will be sure to excuse these students for the next meet*", but the athletes were very definitely coached on how to be polite and it was very much more pleasant to deal with them than any other student making an excuse.

* They were runners.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:10 AM
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If you let him take it early would you use the same exam? There is the whole cheating possibility.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:14 AM
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114: The conversation is more like "Student X, we have two possible interview dates where you'll be one of about 100 students interviewed in threes and perhaps singly as well, sometimes in teams of five with problem-solving questions, and given campus tours and informational seminars. Which date works for you?" Student X, "The January one because I have classes I can't miss for the other date." The student books all travel and pays out of pocket. There is no reimbursement. It adds up when they have multiple interviews. They also have to send handwritten thank you notes afterwards. It is a lousy system.

I have a friend who did a med school interview days after his father committed sucide and burned their house down. He didn't feel like he could afford to miss his chance to get it. Does that help wit how messed up the system of med school admissionis?

118: Yeah, there are some situations where that's unavoidable, but I think that letting the student take an final early just isn't a big deal if that's the real reason. Hard to figure what's up with the weird assumptions about time, but if he takes a 10 pm flight, checks a bag, gets in a 1 am local time and then has to drive to, say, Irvine, it probably wouldn't be 4 am, but it would still suck. It does happen in life, but I think if it's avoidable, then it's fine to ask to reschedule. Maybe the student thinks if he exaggerates, you're more likely to agree it's unreasonable. I think it's not really an interaction I'd want to have, trying to suss out what he's up to; I'd just want document saying he's got an interview scheduled. My former students would have booked the plane ticket, too, thinking a prof would never make them cancel. This happened a few times where they'd booked travel home or for a cousin's wedding. Rescheduling finals for that was a definite no, and they were furious about the change fee/missing the wedding.

126: If he takes it earlier the same day, he could give the others a 2-hour heads-up? That shouldn't be too helpful. Or essear could change a few key details about the questions. We sometimes scheduled early exams so the end coincided wit the start of the later exam.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:20 AM
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Ugh, with, not wit x2. I promise that's not a crazy regional accent.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:22 AM
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I know what school he's visiting and what the flight schedules are. The "10 PM flight" scenario isn't what this is about--it's a 7 PM flight. It's completely realistic for him to be at the hotel at midnight.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:24 AM
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117. At least at a state funded university in much of the US, the economically structure is a sports franchise (or maybe two, football and basketball) collectively owned by the university's alumni. The current students (that is, future alumni) are less important; faculty less important still, especially so if they do not bring in grant money.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:25 AM
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I think he's bullshitting you about the specifics because he's afraid you won't give him the early exam, but wanting the early exam isn't unreasonable for ydnew's reasons (with documentation of the interview).

He shouldn't be bullshitting you, but it seems unnecessary to teach him a life lesson about that under the circumstances, although no great harm done if you want to. If you wanted to be saintly, you could give him the early exam with a lecture about how he shouldn't bullshit people he's asking for favors, allowing you to both not screw him over and still give him the heads up that he's not fooling anyone, but the lecture sounds awfully awkward and it's completely superogatory, although it'd probably do him some good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:27 AM
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129: can you just say "this still isn't making sense--I'm not necessarily opposed to moving the exam time if the current time will be a significant inconvenience for you, but moving it is a big inconvenience for me so I need to understand what the issue is. Why do you think you couldn't you get to the hotel before 4:00 am? It seems like you would be there at a reasonable time."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:29 AM
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At least at a state funded university in much of the US, the economically structure is a sports franchise (or maybe two, football and basketball) collectively owned by the university's alumni.

OK, this is even weirder than I thought. The alumni own the sports teams? Not the university?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:32 AM
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They also have to send handwritten thank you notes afterwards.

!!!!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:35 AM
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133. No, the university owns the team, and the athletic department controls the firehose of money from televised games. But alumni contribute generously to the state university, the alumni organization is a powerful intermediary with the state government, the alumni get cheap seats for the games compared to professional costs.

The alumni own the team roughly the same way that banks own legislators.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:38 AM
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The alumni are a big deal in this. I am happy with how our recent gubernatorial election turned out, but I would be even happier if I didn't think that the incumbent lost because he challenged* the Penn State alumni machine.

* There was no moral or legal way for him to not have done at least what he did, but if it didn't cost him the election, it turned a contested race into a sure loss.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:42 AM
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The student may also not be as experienced and efficient a traveler as essear, and is giving himself more of a margin of error.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:42 AM
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134: Exactly. I learned this when one of my trainees was applying. He walked over and asked me whether the notecards he'd purchased were pretty enough but not overly feminine. Can you imagine working in the mailroom for admissions and shredding hundreds of thank you notes?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:43 AM
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I have a friend who did a med school interview days after his father committed sucide and burned their house down.

Holy shit that's terrible. I feel suddenly much calmer about all the crazy bureaucratic rigmarole I'm having to deal with.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:45 AM
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The athletic department was watching the students and making sure they coordinated with their teachers about absences

Yes, my wife's experience also. It's like having helicopter parents with the right and authority to intervene.

So we're in college town this past weekend, in a snowstorm. You have to contain yourself when you go into their apartments, because of the squalor; they seem not to be able to look after themselves at all. Almost overwhelming impulse to roll up your sleeves and clean, which needs to be resisted. My son's girlfriend, beautiful and delicate, running across the snow in what look like fairy slippers.

But at breakfast the next morning, she speaks enthusiastically about classes, about the discovery of Bunyan, of Blake, making many connections.

The glory of college, but it pays not to look at the details of their lives too closely, and to just keep your fingers crossed.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:48 AM
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Clark Kerr explained the American university "The three purposes of the University?--To provide sex for the students, sports for the alumni, and parking for the faculty"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:57 AM
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137: No, that's the thing. There is literally no flight that arrives late enough that the time he's talking about makes sense.

I'll decide after I look into how hard it is to reserve a room for him to take the exam in on that day. I already have to figure out a way to reserve another room for a super-long block of time for a dyslexic student.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:59 AM
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It's ironic how modern and free from medieval systems of patronage the 800-900 year old university I work at sounds by comparison.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:59 AM
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141: judging from my time there, my alma mater is at best scraping one out of three on those criteria, unless you count the provision of bike racks as "parking".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:02 AM
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118, 121 and 123: Okay, but this totally sucks. It is fucked up that doctors are so sleep deprived. It is bad for them and bad for patients.

I am seriously messed up by sleep deprivation. In general, I don't like going all out about accomodations for people with psych issues (the person with ADHD who demands a private room, for example), but the assumption that sleep deprivation is a a-ok is a real problem, say, for people with manic depression.

I am not saying that this is the case with your student. Almost certainly not, but if it were, he might be embarrassed to say so and request a formal accommodation.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:07 AM
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So where exactly is the pressure/norm for handwritten thank you notes* coming from?

*Thank you for what? Granting the interview? Whatever accomodation was made during the visit? A pair of socks from your aunt?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:09 AM
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I'll decide after I look into how hard it is to reserve a room for him to take the exam in on that day. I already have to figure out a way to reserve another room for a super-long block of time for a dyslexic student.

Isn't this the sort of thing that could be done by your administrator or assistant or whoever it was you were supposed to be using more?



Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:11 AM
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143, you know how you have local soccer teams that are seen as a kind of public trust rather than a business, with local businesses and rich people helping them out and getting prestige by being on the board?

Here all our professional teams are extremely profit-driven and soulless and are always part of a cartel structure that produces predictable revenue. No promotion and relegation. The teams that people have sentimental attachments to (regional or otherwise), and have varying degrees of ambition depending on which benefactors happen to be in charge at the moment, are college teams. And in Texas, high school teams.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:12 AM
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And in Texas, high school teams.

I think that this might also apply to Michigan. I know somebody who is still actively involved in coaching his old high school football team. During the season, he flies out to Michigan every weekends.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:16 AM
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146: Thanking the faculty for taking their precious time to interview the students. Like after a job interview, you're supposed to thank the interviewer, right? Remember, this is a group of highly competitive students, and nobody wants to look "bad" by sending something electronic or not sending anything. I think it would be kind of the med schools to tell applicants that it's unnecessary, since they have pretty much all the power.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:17 AM
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146: It's that extra touch which shows that you really want the spot/job. You're coached to do it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:17 AM
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I am seriously messed up by sleep deprivation. In general, I don't like going all out about accomodations for people with psych issues (the person with ADHD who demands a private room, for example), but the assumption that sleep deprivation is a a-ok is a real problem, say, for people with manic depression.

I am not saying that this is the case with your student. Almost certainly not, but if it were, he might be embarrassed to say so and request a formal accommodation.

Fair point. But getting to bed at around midnight and having to get up in time to be in an interview at 8 is not really "sleep deprivation", is it? That's "a slight annoyance" for most people.

And, serious point: if this student is indeed in such a position that he simply cannot function properly and rationally without at least eight hours uninterrupted sleep the night before, then he should not be thinking of becoming a doctor! (Or a firefighter, or an army officer...)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:19 AM
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145. When I was injured this spring, the ER resident treated visible cuts with stitches. Both she and the attending failed to detect a broken vertebra, because I had feeling in my feet and did not scream in pain when they palpated my neck. After I repeatedly asked for an X-ray and a nurse kindly intervened by calling a doctor in another department, the resident came in to explain what the cat scan found. She was so tired that she could hardly speak. I had googled using the phone in my pocket to interpret the hand gestures that the nurse made while she said fracture, so that I could fill in the words that the resident was trying to say. Despite just having looked at the x-ray, the resident was unable to answer my question about displacement of the bone fragments.

Nobody ever noticed the broken bones in my hands.

The hospital is in a zipcode where median income is 3x us median. I do not want to think about treatment for highway accidents far from a big city.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:26 AM
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152: I totally agree with you that he should not be becoming a doctor if that is an issue. I was thinking of an issue which is bigger than the specific example at hand.

What I am saying is that I think society ought to be set up so that the default is that people can get proper rest. We would all be healthier.

My point is really that I think it's bad for people to make the need for sleep a kind of moral weakness that becomes a competitive disadvantage. There are a lot of fields where people push themselves to work crazy hours where it's really not necessary. And people who say that giving up sleep is no big deal--just mildly annoying--are contributing to the problem.

I don't mean to be humorless, but it's kind of like someone who has a stay-at-home spouse or money for a nanny not understanding the challenges of child care. "Well, I put up with not getting sleep, so.."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:28 AM
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I don't understand 154.4.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:31 AM
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re: 154

I don't think anyone* is trivialising the effects of long-term chronic sleep deprivation. But the described scenario isn't that. It's just someone getting what, to most people, is a fairly normal night's sleep.**

* especially me. Small child, long commute, etc. Always always tired.

** I know some people need more, but this is a one-off thing, not a change in daily routine for the next however many months/years.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:32 AM
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154: I agree with this on the perniciousness of chronic sleep deprivation. But this is, basically, "you have to get a little less sleep than optimum on this one occasion". I really don't think it's comparable. Getting up an hour earlier than usual, once, really is no big deal for a healthy human being.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:33 AM
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I don't understand 154.4.

Blume doesn't even see breaches of the analogy ban.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:34 AM
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115: Just that people vary wildly in how much sleep they need, and some people really are triggered by losing only a few hours of sleep.* If that's outside of someone's experience, they are not likely to be aware of the problem in the same way that somebody who has never dealt with childcare doesn't even see some of the structural issues that women face.

Like I could probably manage to get to an interview that day, but I would absolutely have to go to bed early either the next night or the day after or else I would probably get in a car accident.

*Clearly such people should not be doctors in the current system unless they are interested in becoming pathologists.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:39 AM
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155, some people need more sleep than others. People who only need 5 hours sleep should be aware of the advantage they have over people who need 8 hours sleep.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:39 AM
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156: I'm not trying to make a strong case for this particular student who sounds like he's probably messing with essear.

What I am saying is that essear has a pretty punishing travel schedule. So, his views on what is reasonable for sleep deprivation, jet lag and the like may be ratcheted up above what is truly reasonable.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:43 AM
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in the same way that somebody who has never dealt with childcare doesn't even see some of the structural issues that women face

Ah. I was confused in multiple different directions. As a person whose kid is in full-time daycare (but still believes herself to understand "the challenges of childcare"), and who also "put up with not getting sleep" for the first five months of that daycare situation.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:45 AM
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The hospital is in a zipcode where median income is 3x us median. I do not want to think about treatment for highway accidents far from a big city.

There was an interesting study that found that if you are badly injured, you may be better off being uninsured, because hospital ERs are more likely to transfer an uninsured patient to a level one trauma center at another facility (the medically appropriate decision), while they are more likely to admit a patient with good insurance to their own facility, even if it can't provide the best trauma care.


Posted by: kermit roosevelt, jr. | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:07 AM
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Thanks Obamacare.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:09 AM
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163: BMC was always the place to be if you got shot. When I was in the ED recently, they had no beds in the hospital, so 21 people they wanted to admit weren't being transferred or admitted and were just boarding in the ER.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:12 AM
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And I think it is a level 1 trauma center. They certainly get people brought in by helicopter.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:17 AM
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150, 151: I really, really hate this kind of thing, particularly for job interviews. "No, really, an important part of how well you'll do the work is how well you can perform abject gratitude for the opportunity!" Feh. Politeness is one thing, required gratitude for negotiating an employment/educational relationship that is supposed to be mutually beneficial kind of turns my stomach.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:21 AM
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167: Well, then, maybe you're just not a good fit.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:25 AM
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The kid is going through a weird transitional time, and the stakes, to him, seem very high. Cut him some slack, Jack.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:25 AM
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168 is awesome, peep.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:27 AM
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One of our unpaid volunteers just got a job elsewhere in the organization, and came by my office to thank me for all the training and guidance I'd given him while he was working full time, for free, doing significant useful work for us. Which I, of course, thanked him for in return -- all the training and guidance I gave him, such as it was, was in service of not having to do the work myself, so I personally (and in theory the organization in general) have more reason to be grateful to him than the reverse. But my sense of social norms in the workplace is that all the thankfulness is supposed to flow uphill: the peons are supposed to be delighted for the chance to work, and even more delighted if their supervisors are not abusive, or even maybe helpful. Again, feh.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:31 AM
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Cut him some slack, Jack.

I'm a pushover usually but it's hard to see what the compelling reason is here to accommodate this student.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:37 AM
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170: Thank you! You're hired!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:44 AM
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171: That is correct. When I email the attorneys I work for I always end the email by asking if there's anything more I can do for them and then thank them.

But not entirely true -- they usually thank me, when I do something for them.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:48 AM
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Giving a makeup exam at all is several hours work (writing and checking a new exam, figuring out when and where to give it, and proctoring). The more people the harder it is to coordinate. An early exam is especially onerous because it's an earlier deadline and it any be combined with people who need alternate arrangements for a sickness.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:50 AM
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171: Is the government on more solid footing with unpaid volunteers doing actual work than the private sector is?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:54 AM
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essear should say -- "I would love to help you out, but I can't give you the exam earlier, because that's when I'm going to be writing it."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:54 AM
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Politeness is one thing, required gratitude for negotiating an employment/educational relationship that is supposed to be mutually beneficial kind of turns my stomach

Mine too. Just when I'd convinced myself we don't agree about anything.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:56 AM
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176: Yes, we have a specific exemption. I find the whole thing kind of horrifying, but I don't run things around here. (I do put some effort into chatting with people about how obviously creepy the program is.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:57 AM
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To make it even more obvious, put your hand on their thigh during the conversation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:59 AM
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Hey, where'd that come from? I'm very fond of bicycles.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:59 AM
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Is the government on more solid footing with unpaid volunteers doing actual work than the private sector is?

You could say that, yeah.
http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2014/11/prison-labor-complex


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:59 AM
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182: I can't believe they had the nerve to argue that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:01 AM
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Our organization doesn't pay interns, and has the additional stipulation that interns can't apply for jobs at the organization for 6 months afterward, because we don't want to give them an unfair advantage.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:09 AM
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183: Are people *required* to work as firefighters? Some of them might like it, but that's pretty dangerous work for $2/day. You couldn't get me to do it for love nor money, but if I were forced to as a prisoner. Shudder.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:11 AM
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We don't have that, and it is an unfair advantage for them -- probably worth it for them, but it means that there's a route to a job here which is 'work for free for upwards of a year, and then we'll hire you even if you're outside our normal standards for experience'. Which really kind of sucks for anyone who might want to work here but can't manage the year of full-time work for free. (We still hire senior people normally, when we do. But junior slots have been getting filled by volunteers since the legal-employment market crashed in '08/'09.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:13 AM
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184: I know that in Canada there are 6-month paid internships with some of the government agencies. FSIL is doing one with Health Canada. She can apply for a job with the agency, but she is an external candidate. Right now, the only jobs being posted are for internal candidates.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:13 AM
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We don't have that, and it is an unfair advantage for them

I'm not saying its not an unfair advantage, but at least the advantage (unfair or not) is some form of compensation. And, given that junior people are rarely hired anyway - taking these people out of the running entirely just seems like a means of shitting on interns.

There are also strict rules against hiring people who've working as consultants or contractors. Because why would an organization want to bring on employees who have a demonstrated track record of working well with the team in a particular office?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:20 AM
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Which really kind of sucks for anyone who might want to work here but can't manage the year of full-time work for free.

I'm pretty confused about this. What sort of person can manage a year of full-time work for free? Do these people you "hire" for internships all have wealthy families?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:21 AM
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You can't create a caste system if you let people jump up easily.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:22 AM
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189: I think that the not-rich must be living at home with their parents and working at Starbucks on the weekends.

I knew someobody who was headed toward public service from HLS, but she took a summer job at a corporate firm in NYC so that she wouldn't have to take on so much debt the next year. It only worked, because she could live with her Mom.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:24 AM
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somebody


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:25 AM
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189: They're on the range from wealthy (one was an orphan who inherited a building on the Upper East Side. I internally refer to him as "The Plutocrat." Nice kid, very hardworking.) to just still living in their childhood bedrooms, I think. I mean, you can be supported by your family for a year or so without their actually being wealthy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:27 AM
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188.3: Argh. Although the rule the other way is good or at least defensible.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:27 AM
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There's a guy I interviewed but don't work with who, from the biographical details that came out in the interview (history of prior jobs, why are you moving to NY) being supported by his employed girlfriend. There's lots of ways for a non-income-producing adult to get by for awhile.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:30 AM
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+seems to be.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:30 AM
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Lawyers are the new drummers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:34 AM
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182, 183: The AG has since disavowed that argument.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:40 AM
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I mean, you can be supported by your family for a year or so without their actually being wealthy.

If your family lives in the NYC area and you can live in your childhood bedroom, I guess so. If your family has to mail you a check every month for rent and groceries, then I disagree.

I do suppose living with a spouse or significant other who has a (paying) job is a workable option, but damn.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:40 AM
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I didn't realize there were people working year-long unpaid internships anywhere. I'm familiar with lots of unpaid summer internships (which was longer than I could personally afford), but a full year?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:44 AM
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I mean, generally you're right. We had The Plutocrat, two women who were, I think, getting checks from their parents (although one of them might have been being supported by her employed lawyer boyfriend), a woman who was living in a childhood bedroom, an Orthodox Jewish guy with a wife and kids where I don't know what he was doing, but speculated that he was getting family/community support that he was going to pay back when he could... I obviously don't actually know everyone's financial details, but at least some of them seemed to be living off wealthy parents.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:46 AM
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They're not timelimited, they're volunteer positions that last indefinitely until the volunteer finds a job somewhere, probably here. The ones we've hired directly, though, have all, I think, worked for a year or more.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:48 AM
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183: Are people *required* to work as firefighters? Some of them might like it, but that's pretty dangerous work for $2/day. You couldn't get me to do it for love nor money, but if I were forced to as a prisoner. Shudder.

We had a whole thread about that, didn't we? Short answer: no, they "volunteer".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:48 AM
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202: Jesus, really?? "Come work for us for free for as long as you want" is even worse than "come work for us for free for a year in this one-year structured program from which you will graduate with more employment credentials".


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:51 AM
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Also, possibly the worst thing about that LGM story is that these volunteers are, by virtue of risking their lives at below minimum wage for the benefit of the community, unwittingly denying themselves the possibility of early release. WTF?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:54 AM
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That's not even really an "internship" at all--that word implies something more structured. You're literally just asking people to come work for you for free in order to have some additional experience they can put on their resume. (And also maybe they will get actual training, I guess.) That's horrifying.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:55 AM
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Also illegal, surely.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:57 AM
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205: well, they aren't because that argument got chucked out.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:58 AM
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206: Yeah, at least the prisoners get paid something. And there's a time-limit on their sentence.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:00 AM
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I'm not sure. The argument that got chucked out was the one about the not-fire fighting prisoners. The law treated fire fighters separately.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:01 AM
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210 to 208.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:01 AM
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||

What does supporting Prevention of Violence Against Women Day mean to me? I need to provide a short answer. Help me out here....

"Its an excuse to wear orange, a team color of the Orioles." isn't going to cut it.

|>


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:15 AM
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212: The day I decided to give up Jello Pudding Pops.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:25 AM
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87 I guess this time if I call him on it he'll tell me he never heard of time zones?

Rather, he tells me he's never been to the west coast and forgot that there is a time change. Huh.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:30 AM
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198, 205, etc.: I looked up the filing they seem to be reporting on, and it looks like the state was resisting the plaintiffs' demand that the state grant to the full minimum-security population the same sentencing credits it was already giving to fire-camp volunteers as an incentive (or, alternatively, to minimum security prisoners who didn't qualify for fire-camp duty and thus had no way of "earning" those sentencing credits), arguing that if they had to do that why would anybody bother to join the fire camps? (Simple answer to stupid question: increase the fire-camp incentive!) That's still of course sick and depraved, but not quite the same thing as arguing that you can't release all these release-eligible prisoners because we need to keep them on the fire teams. (The bit about losing "an important labor pool" that looks like a quote from the state in the Buzzfeed piece linked at 182 is in fact simply quoting the LA Times' not-quite-right paraphrase, I think; but maybe I missed something there.)


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:32 AM
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For baby lawyers in the US the overwhelming majority of them are coming out of law school with both undergrad and law school debt. If they can't get a job at a big firm (and few can swing this) they nowadays have to figure out how to volunteer for 1 year and possibly more in order to have any chance of being hired for an entry level job at a public agency when there is absolutely no certainty that any entry level position will be available at the 1 year slightly plus mark, or there won't be a hiring freeze, etc. And in at least a couple of agencies here in No. Cal. there is a strict limit on how long you can volunteer. I know of at least one attorney who volunteered for about 2 years in the CA courts, no job at the end of it, then nearly a year in an increasingly desperate search, and finally a job at a very small firm that I have difficulty believing is paying him much.

If this isn't the perfect set-up for creating a completely entitled, patrician legal profession I don't know what would be. It's revolting.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:36 AM
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If they can't get a job at a big firm (and few can swing this) they nowadays have to figure out how to volunteer for 1 year and possibly more in order to have any chance of being hired for an entry level job at a public agency when there is absolutely no certainty that any entry level position will be available at the 1 year slightly plus mark, or there won't be a hiring freeze, etc.

Is this a general thing? I was hoping our practices were at least unusual.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:43 AM
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214: That's hysterical. He's either bullshitting you about some reason he doesn't want to share about the schedule he wants, or he's so stressed generally that he's lost his mind.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:44 AM
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Nope.

Most DAs in the greater Bay Area have waiting lists for volunteer prosecutors. Larger municipalities do what yours does. The CA courts are stuffed with volunteer clerks at the trial court level. US Atty offices have robust volunteer programs.

Welcome to the new legal profession.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:45 AM
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Most DAs in the greater Bay Area have waiting lists for volunteer prosecutors.

What about public defenders' offices? (Something tells me I won't like the answer.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:49 AM
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It's funny, I just interviewed a candidate today. She didn't look hungry, but then she's got a solid resume -- she'll get a place somewhere.

I thought the associate hiring market had generally gotten better (from a recent graduate's perspective) in the last few years. But I suppose that doesn't mean a lot of people aren't still getting screwed by the new normal.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:52 AM
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My impression is that it fell off a cliff in '08 and '09, and while it's recovered some since then, it's still pretty brutal by pre-08 standards.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:58 AM
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Do I need to start feeling guilty about eating Jello pudding? I mean more guilty than I already do for being an overweight slob.... Bill's not still under contract with Jello, is he?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:59 AM
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One particularly cruel bit about all the volunteering, is that my understanding is that any temporal gap on the resume, over a month or so, is the kiss of death -- if that happens in your first couple of years out of law school, your career is probably permanently screwed. So our volunteers really, really need to get indoors at our office rather than holding out for paying work, because it keeps their resumes looking as if they were continuously employed. (Well, they are employed; they're doing real work to our real standards, they're just unpaid.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:01 PM
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Why don't you pay them?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:04 PM
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"Your honor, can we hold court outside. It's such a nice day."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:05 PM
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As far as I can tell, it is the same at public defenders' offices (I personally know more prosecutors than defenders, just a quirk of a professional volunteer affiliation).

Yes, the gap in the resume is pretty much a mark of doom. And any recovery in the baby lawyer market has to take account of the fact that there are a LOT fewer lawyers being produced - not something that is in itself problematic, obviously, I am though extremely concerned re: the homogeneity of new lawyers.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:09 PM
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I am though extremely concerned re: the homogeneity of new lawyers.

What?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:16 PM
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225: Me personally? I don't have the money. The office? Generally, we 'don't have the money', specifically we have a policy that bars hiring anyone less than two years from law school graduation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:17 PM
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228: That is, that they're all going to be the kind of kid who can count on family support, like people who work in publishing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:17 PM
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specifically we have a policy that bars hiring anyone less than two years from law school graduation

This is bullshit if it means you are actually hiring them and just not paying them.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:19 PM
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he's so stressed generally that he's lost his mind

Honestly, this wouldn't surprise me. I had a number of friends go through the dental school application process (which I suspect is not quite as stressful as medical school, but I've no real idea) and all of them were medicated by the end of it. I wish I was joking, but the combined pressures of finishing their university education, the four million extra curriculars they were still doing to look attractive to various schools, exams, funding, applications, etc was pretty awful. (And none of them slept much, even if that's not such a big deal in dentistry as it is in medicine.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:19 PM
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The policy pre-exists the volunteer program; I think they'd give up volunteers rather than giving up the policy, if that were the choice.

But you're absolutely right, it sucks. I'm reasonably vocal about it around the office, but other than that I have done nothing to bring it to a halt.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:21 PM
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PS Essear, I'm pretty sure Blume is right - this is exactly the sort of thing you should be outsourcing to the staff of your department. They should be able to do it in two seconds flat, because it's pretty routine. Also, have a grad student proctor the exam for you. Offer them a baked good or something; they can read/study/etc while doing it and know they've done you a favour.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:21 PM
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229 missed the chance to blame Buck's Challenger.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:22 PM
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233: Unless you throw yourself on the gears...

I guess law offices don't have a lot of gears, though. Throw yourself on the filing cabinets?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:24 PM
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The policy pre-exists the volunteer program

No, the policy pre-existed the volunteer program. The former policy against hiring anyone less than two years from law school graduation has been changed. You are now happy to hire them as long as you don't have to pay them. That's shitty.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:36 PM
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You don't have a policy against hiring anyone less than two years from law school graduation has been changed; you just have a policy against paying them for their work.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:37 PM
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has been changed


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:38 PM
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I'm reasonably vocal about it around the office

Are you arguing that they should be paid or that they should not be hired?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:48 PM
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What I typically say is along the lines of "It makes me kind of nauseated thinking we have these kids working full time, doing real lawyer work, for free. That's really not right." I don't actually offer solutions. I also don't even work on the same floor with anyone who makes that level of decision, and am not sure of the names of who that might be (I mean, I know the elected big boss's name, but I'm not sure in practice which high-level underling makes decisions about the volunteer program). So my discomfort isn't terribly effective.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:51 PM
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But I suppose extended conversations have been under the assumption that either the paid attorneys would work longer hours and handle larger caseloads if we didn't have the volunteers, or that we'd hire more lawyers with two years seniority. I've never heard anyone suggest that we might pay attorneys fresh out of law school.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:52 PM
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Do they at least get to steal office supplies?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:56 PM
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Is there a limit on the number of volunteers you are wiling to take, or do you accept all comers?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 12:57 PM
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243: If they can find some, sure.

244: We hire as if for paying jobs; resume, writing sample, interview, and so on. There's not a fixed number of slots I'm aware of, but we're obviously not taking more people than we have chairs for.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:00 PM
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The public sector long relied on private firms to provide paid training for a couple of years and then the pyramid structure of firms provided a steady stream of applicants for public sector jobs with a few years experience under their belts. There are significantly fewer firm jobs right out of law school these days. And large firms are also under a lot of pressure to not bill for work by first years. The entire system of providing basic professional training is entirely screwed up, and of course the only "solution" is for it to be subsidized by the trainees.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:00 PM
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246: Right, this is why 'no one under two years seniority' used to make sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:02 PM
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Also there's the glaring issue that law school doesn't actually provide much relevant professional training...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:03 PM
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Well, at least the good schools don't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:04 PM
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230: My cousin basically did this to get into international human rights law. His parents kind of fucked up their finances, so he won't inherit anything, but he did unpaid internships at the Hague and all that. He works for the ABA at a reasonably interesting job but it doesn't pay a lot, so, unless he gets a good governmental type job, he won't be able to offer any kids he has the same opportunity. As it is, he gets some loan forgiveness and has roommates well into his 30's.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:04 PM
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When my cousin was working for a big firm, they sent him, as a volunteer, to the office of the district attorney to work for many months. He got paid, the firm got to get him some experience without fucking up their own cases, and the DA got free labor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:05 PM
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To be fair it is decent basic training for writing appellate briefs, so I shouldn't complain.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:05 PM
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Maybe there needs to be some kind of legal equivalent to Teach for America. They can send young lawyers into inner cities to help underprivileged youth sue each other.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:06 PM
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246: In the early 2000's I thought that there were some jobs with the Feds straight out of law school for honors grads. Maybe the AG's office. The IRS too.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:06 PM
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Today he has a house in SF and Napa.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:06 PM
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245.2: okay, but then you can't pretend that this is purely a charity endeavor you're undertaking for the benefit of the candidates to help them out during difficult job market.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:07 PM
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Today he has a house in SF and Napa.

Next meetup, Moby?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:09 PM
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We're not very close.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:12 PM
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Shucks.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:13 PM
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246: Right, this is why 'no one under two years seniority' used to make sense.

Does the opposite phenomenon also exist?

In the sciences there are lots of things you can apply to that specify you should have less than three years post-doctoral experience, or less than two years, or less than five years. If this is all to avoid having to pay the slightly higher mandated payscale for people with experience, it seems pretty pound-foolish.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:14 PM
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256: We're not.

Boy, I started this conversation disgusted with the program, and by now I'm defensive enough that I'm considering arguing that it's not that bad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:17 PM
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To 254, I think you're thinking of the DOJ Honors Program (and maybe others -- I don't know about the IRS), which so far as I know still exists. From my limited, out-dated knowledge, I don't think it's very big, and I think it's pretty selective -- the people who get hired that way could probably swing firm jobs were they so inclined, and it's not really a solution to the problem under discussion.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:19 PM
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261: I could probably come up with a frivolous argument that the program violates due process if it would help you get a head of steam up.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:20 PM
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It's a terrible system! There is no way the entire set up doesn't lead to the profession becoming even more white and wealthy!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:22 PM
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If somebody does challenge the program's legality, you should have one of the unpaid interns handle your defense.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:22 PM
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We're not.

Then I'm confused... on what basis are you justifying not paying them anything?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:23 PM
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This ground was best covered in Plato's allegory of the dog licking his balls.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:29 PM
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267 covers it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:32 PM
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Plato really was ahead of his time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:34 PM
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But really, we don't justify it. They are, explicitly, 'volunteers' rather than 'interns' -- we're not purporting to selflessly train them, they're providing us with free labor out of the civic-minded generosity of their little hearts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:35 PM
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Plato's dog was the real genius.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:35 PM
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(And then they come into my office and sheepishly ask if they can take next Thursday off. I wanted to shake the kid. "We're not paying you! Don't ask if you can take the day off, tell me you won't be in! I mean, being considerate of people's schedules is one thing, but what is wrong with you that you look as if you're asking me for a favor?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:37 PM
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Because they aren't paid, they can shop up on holidays.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:38 PM
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Oh, not literally next Thursday -- this was a conversation from months ago.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:40 PM
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I was going to ask. Actually asking permission to take Thanksgiving off would be a little strange even if you were paying them.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:41 PM
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Never mind. I was making a joke and apparently not typing "show" correctly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:43 PM
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270 seems pretty hard to square with 245.2.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:53 PM
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For better or for worse, it's not just the legal profession. A friend of mine worked full-time (maybe not 40 hours, but there were enough nights and weekends that it might as well have been) for a well-known international nonprofit for about a year or so, doing administrative and maybe even management work in some sense, for free.

As for how she paid for it, her husband works in IT.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:55 PM
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Having a bad day, urple? Or just no injustices that need righting closer at hand?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:56 PM
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277: How so? They volunteer out of the goodness of their hearts, we allow them to if they meet our standards and we have space for them. What's the inconsistency?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:58 PM
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279: Not everybody is as lucky as you in that regard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:59 PM
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They are, explicitly, 'volunteers' rather than 'interns' -- we're not purporting to selflessly train them, they're providing us with free labor out of the civic-minded generosity of their little hearts.

It is pretty civic-minded of them, but it gets me wondering... why pay the lawyers who are 2 years out? Surely there are enough similarly civic-minded lawyers-who-are-between-jobs-but-would-prefer-not-to-have-gaps-on-their-resumes to staff your whole office.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:02 PM
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I have a sign over my office door that reads, "I haven't raped a child in x days." I'm already over 100!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:02 PM
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(Just found out I didn't get a job in a different bureau of this office that I'd applied for a while back. Bleah.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:02 PM
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Probably too soon for that one, right?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:03 PM
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Should it still read '99'?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:04 PM
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284: that sucks. I'm sorry.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:04 PM
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why pay the lawyers who are 2 years out?

Well, we don't necessarily. We have a fixed? (I mean, it changes, but there's a number) number of paid positions for which we hire attorneys with more than two years experience. Then we have a more fluid number of volunteer positions for which we hire anyone who applies who meets our standards, including lawyers without two years experience. But there's no rule against hiring a volunteer who's two years out -- I can't think of when we've hired one at that stage, but we've definitely had them working here past the two year mark.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:05 PM
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I can't tell if 280 is serious or if you're just arguing this out of defensive orneriness, per 261.2. I may drop this whole issue soon, because it's putting me in a bad mood.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:06 PM
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286: is there a thoughtful account of how the Penn State scandal figured in the governor's race? And did you see that there's a new -- and apparently incredibly damning -- documentary titled Happy Valley?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:06 PM
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It's serious that I don't see an inconsistency. As I've said from the beginning, I agree that the program is a bad thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:07 PM
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290: I honestly don't want to know if Corbett could have won by being a bigger asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:08 PM
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290: Buck can amuse himself for a surprisingly long time constructing sentences referring to combinations of Beaver Stadium, Happy Valley, and Pleasant Gap.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:09 PM
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284: Sorry. There are other bureaus in the sea. I've been illegally dumping them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:09 PM
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283: that sucks. I'm sorry.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:10 PM
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293: yeah, it's all a bit much, actually. I mean, sure those kids suffered, but now I have to try to keep a straight face around the donors.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:11 PM
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295 made me laugh and then feel bad that I laughed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:11 PM
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290: I've been trying to decide if I want to see that documentary. Apparently the guy who made it had a showing in State College recently.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:12 PM
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284: Sorry to hear it.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:13 PM
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Inappropriate jokes aside, I'm sort of stunned -- though I shouldn't be, of course -- how much time and energy people here spend talking about these issues. Everyone is very disappointed when I don't have an opinion other than: "That's some deeply shameful shit that happened here. Speaking of which, big-time revenue sports have no place on college campuses. And all universities are corrupt. Have a nice day!"


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:15 PM
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Further to 298: This comment at The Dissolve (from a current student) has more info on the screening. Highlights include an audience member calling Sandusky's adopted son (who says he was abused by Sandusky) a liar and people cheering when Paterno appears on screen.

And I did not realize that Sandusky's wife still maintains he's innocent.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:17 PM
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298: I'm sort of friends with the NPR producer who did the (in)famous TAL about State College. She apparently received death threats. Which is to say, I'm surprised that guy had the guts to screen his film here.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:18 PM
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301: you'll be stunned -- stunned! -- to know that the faculty bubble in which I reside contains precisely zero defenders of Paterno or Sandusky.* Indeed, our contractor says that Paterno should be exhumed and dragged through the streets and Sandusky should die a miserable death in prison.

* Though I know a couple of people who think Spanier is getting railroaded, though they can't stand the guy.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:20 PM
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There are, of course, lots of "409"* signs downtown.

* Is that the right number?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:22 PM
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There is a hand-lettered sign reading "Room 420" on the door next to my office. It does not look that suspicious because my office is Room 419.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:24 PM
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And all universities are corrupt.

So basically you've got this article about UVa as a shortcut on your phone keyboard?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:27 PM
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Anyway, I believe I am on record here stating the more than the money, Penn State wants to get back credit for its wins.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:28 PM
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306 is just one example among many (see also: Columbia, Yale, and everywhere else). And of course the case of sexual assault is just one example among many instances of systemic corruption. In the end, I'd like to think that what I do for a living is more ethical than running drugs for one of the Mexican cartels, but I definitely could be wrong.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:32 PM
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307: I've never understood the justification for taking the wins. I mean, it didn't enrich the NCAA in any way, so why?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:34 PM
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Punishment? Hitting them where it hurts?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:35 PM
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Right. That's what hurt most, except for when they murdered Paterno.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:36 PM
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Deterrence? The motivation for the coverup was the good of the football program, so a reasonable punishment for the coverup is to do the damage to the program that the school administration was hoping to avoid?

Or were you being sarcastic about not understanding it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:36 PM
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Sorry, yes, I was making a bad joke about the NCAA.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:38 PM
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262: Didn't see it as a solution. It was just interesting to me that the Feds were okay with providing some of the training instead of requiring people to go the private sector route first.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:39 PM
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Sorry, I'm deficient.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:40 PM
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I don't think you can be held accountable for my incomprehensible joke.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 2:52 PM
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Sorry to hear that, LB. That stinks.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 3:13 PM
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306: that article is literally blood-boiling.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 3:35 PM
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290. There's a "Happy Valley" in the area around Amherst, Northampton and environs in MA. I think that one was inspired by a certain recreational drug, though.

Given that pro sports corrupt society, it's hardly shocking that semi-pro sports corrupt colleges and universities. So I guess I'm with Von Wafer on this.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 4:15 PM
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318: What part strikes you as particularly horrible? People have been saying that and I'm honestly curious what's pushing them over the top in this case rather than other ones. Obviously my judgment is skewed by having done sexual assault survivor support work in an even Greeker school.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 4:20 PM
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Come on, "tuba" was right there


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 4:23 PM
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320: oh, they're all bad! I don't read a lot about them, though, and the part where her friends earnestly debate whether getting her to the hospital is worth the social shame—no more party invites!—makes one want to claw one's eyes out.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 4:43 PM
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Their other two friends, however, weren't convinced. "Is that such a good idea?" she recalls Cindy asking. "Her reputation will be shot for the next four years." Andy seconded the opinion, adding that since he and Randall both planned to rush fraternities, they ought to think this through. The three friends launched into a heated discussion about the social price of reporting Jackie's rape, while Jackie stood beside them, mute in her bloody dress, wishing only to go back to her dorm room and fall into a deep, forgetful sleep. Detached, Jackie listened as Cindy prevailed over the group: "She's gonna be the girl who cried 'rape,' and we'll never be allowed into any frat party again."


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 4:43 PM
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Oh, yeah, that was awful and yet they were also probably right about the probable, from what I've heard. It's just that no one knows that suffering in silence is often even worse than the social ostracism.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 4:54 PM
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Probable fraternity/social group response, that is.

I know I've previously trash-talked even UVA's rape response students for being creepy in excessively hitting on people at a conference for students involved in collegiate sexual assault responses.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 4:56 PM
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How do I resign from this species?


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 5:21 PM
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326: don't worry. We'll be gone soon enough.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 5:23 PM
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That was supposed to be signed: "Opinionated Human Race." I've never been good at gimmick comments.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 5:30 PM
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You keep promising, Wafer, but I want results. Some kind of "ultimate answer," or something.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 5:33 PM
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The bit in 323 is where I stopped reading. Apparently even the governor of Virginia has felt compelled to comment on that story, so maybe (who knows?) a little something will happen.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 6:09 PM
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323: Fortunately, my students tell me feminism is dead, because a physicist wore a douchey shirt or something and got called on it, thus proving that feminists have nothing else to do.

The article made me sick.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:48 PM
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Don't worry, UVa is all over it...

Mark Phillip, a former U.S. Deputy Attorney General, has been chosen by the University of Virginia Rector, and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, the university's policy on sexual assaults. Phillip was also a judge, and a prosecutor. He was also a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, the group at the center of the rape allegations.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:02 PM
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because a physicist wore a douchey shirt or something and got called on it

Not that I think feminism's dead but that guy kind of got crazily flamed over that. The shirt was a handmade birthday present from a female friend whose husband does his tattoos. This is him in the shirt.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:13 PM
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Yeah but gswift that doesn't make it a reasonable thing to wear to a giant press conference. AIUI the dude himself was apologetic in the aftermath.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:21 PM
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Well yeah but I felt kind of bad for him. Poor fucker seems like he just got all excited and wore a festive present from a friend. Probably kind of sucked to overnight become the poster boy for women not being welcome in the sciences.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:24 PM
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Oh hai this seems like a good place to present my situation today:
There's a shower room in the bathroom on my floor where I go to change from bike clothes every morning. Today it was occupied so I tried the next floor up, also occupied, came back down and waited a few more minutes until person came out. Someone I didn't recognize but it's a big place with frequently changing/visiting group members so didn't think much of it. When I went in to the shower room, on the bench there was a... male deposit. I went back out to see if I could get a better look at the person but he was gone, and unfortunately if you had to ask me for a description all I could say is young black guy, about my height, with big headphones and baggy light blue hoodie. Given that description which to myself sounded like "stereotypical black hoodlum" I didn't really want to bother calling security up to deal with it (assuming it was even his material) I tried just washing it away with the shower hose since there's a drain on that side of the floor but unfortunately the floor isn't sloped well so the water ran out under the door, at which point I gave up and just left the situation for someone else to deal with. I guess they probably would have had him on one of the security cameras somewhere in the building. Should I have bothered doing anything?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:28 PM
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I am not in any way capable of offering advice for 336, but holy shit.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:36 PM
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Well, the funny thing is I texted wife about the situation but was more oblique and just said the guy had left something gross in the shower and she assumed it was holy shit. I clarified later when I got home. The potential sex offender aspect makes the situation seem more problematic to me.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:39 PM
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"I didn't report the crime because a black guy did it" is pretty much the quintessential caricature of a liberal. I probably would have done the same thing, just because he could have denied it, but if there had been a way to prove it, I would have reported him. But I don't think I would have stood there aerating someone else's shit in an enclosed space, so points to you for that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:40 PM
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I didn't report the crime because I didn't have much description beyond black guy, same would have applied for white guy.
At the risk of identifying workplace, if there's one place you don't want to leave DNA evidence it's this place because we will fuck you up good.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:42 PM
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That is, I'm already bad with faces and hadn't really bothered to look at his, although I tried after I found the stuff and would have remembered his face if I had caught him on the way out but I didn't get another look.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:43 PM
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Do you guys have security cameras? You know a decently narrow time frame for when he left? Say something to security because " potential sex offender" might be a real possibility and there's been other things happening in the area or in the building you're unaware of.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:46 PM
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Yes many security cameras at every entrance and most stairways, and I have the time down to about a 5 minute window because I have the time I texted my wife right after I got in the shower. I guess I'll email them, I know the head of security.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:50 PM
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Getting so a man can't take the edge off in a shower without everybody getting all judgey these days.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:51 PM
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I texted my wife right after I got in the shower.

You know those things aren't waterproof, right?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:51 PM
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Well yeah but I felt kind of bad for him.

I felt bad for him too but it is worth noting that he also said (of Rosetta), "She's sexy, but I never said she was easy." But yes, poor schmuck.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:53 PM
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Our single-use bathroom at work doesn't have a shower but it used to be an enclosed stall with a door and then a sink outside, which no one would use if there was someone in the stall because privacy. Then they renovated it and removed the stall door but put in two sinks, which makes no sense because the door to the hallway now locks and so there should only be one person in there at a time anyway. I also have suspicions about smelt-it-dealt-it stuff when someone coming out warns an incoming person about odors, but that's also not always the case. And the cleaning people are never going to get those drips of blood off the wall, but I'm very sure they're not mine because I'm vigilant, so I just pay attention and don't worry. (The end.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:53 PM
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(But schmuck, nonetheless.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 8:55 PM
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Students looking to challenge the relevance of feminism would be better advised to point to the role played by women administrators, from the president on down, in blocking and deflecting and obfuscating the prosecution of this hideous crime.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:01 PM
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God, that shirt. How did everyone else involved in setting up that press conference fail to point out to him how stupid it was?

On the bright side, #feministhackerbarbie is making me laugh.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:06 PM
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Well shit the guy I emailed has out of office autoreply set until after Thanksgiving and I don't really want to email it to his team list which is like 50 people. Maybe he'll check his email while out.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:07 PM
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This is going to be a spider man situation where Uncle Ben dies because I didn't act in time, isn't it?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:15 PM
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This is going to be a spider man situation where Uncle Ben dies gets spooged on because I didn't act in time, isn't it?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:26 PM
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Gswift beat me to it! But yes, bitten by a radioactive spermatozoon, SP...


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:35 PM
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And so.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:39 PM
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I hope the dude wasn't thinking of Mike Nichols.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 9:59 PM
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I just realized the dude didn't leave a big pile of shit. I guess I'll go to bed now.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:02 PM
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It was a gendered deposit.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:09 PM
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Reason 857 why the female orgasm is superior.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:10 PM
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I just realized the dude didn't leave a big pile of shit. I guess I'll go to bed now.

And in that moment ogged realized that it wasn't actually true that girls don't poop. And he was overwhelmed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:15 PM
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Yes many security cameras at every entrance and most stairways

This, by the way, is where you're going to find out that most security cameras are shit when it comes actually identifying people. Usually it's some combination of terrible image quality and too high an angle. "Yep, that's almost certainly the blurry top of the black man's head that rubbed one out in the shower room".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 11:58 PM
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God, that shirt. How did everyone else involved in setting up that press conference fail to point out to him how stupid it was?

Essear, I have to admire the balls of the "what, a roomfull of physicists unaware of social norms?" stance you're taking here.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 12:04 AM
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APROPOS OF NOTHING, OF COURSE...

Most people who drink to get drunk are not alcoholics, suggesting that more can be done to help heavy drinkers cut back, a new government report concludes.

YEAH, THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING...wait, cut back?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 12:18 AM
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320: I found that article more upsetting than most campus rape accounts, and I'm not dead sure why -- it might literally have just been more vividly written than most. I think the described rape might be more shockingly evil than a lot of stories: there's no deniability at all, no 'pushing past boundaries' or 'everyone was at least kind of drunk' (not that those are excuses, but there's something softening the coldblooded evil). Her date coldbloodedly plotting to have her gangraped, while it's not worse than a messier story would have been, is maybe more horrifying?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:07 AM
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A lot of reasons! It's not just one perv: it's a social norm. It's not just this once: they've done it before. It's not trying to get sex with a deniable bit of force: it's brutalizing someone sexually. "Grab its motherfucking leg" is chilling. And the lack of support in the aftermath is horrifying, as is the blind loyalty to UVA. The whole thing really makes humanity look like a failed species.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:26 AM
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The whole thing really makes humanity look like a failed species.

This.

Lots of things are making me feel this way at the moment. UK politics, definitely, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:27 AM
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364: I agree it was an unusually vicious crime, and the audacity of her 'date' in being sure he would get away scot-free on such a serious, provable charge is part of what makes is so chilling. at the same time, it makes me wonder if there still isn't a part of our psyches that leaves the door of acquaintance rape shimmied open with a bit of colorable defense for the rapist? like that the possibility of him convincing himself it wasn't rape is there? nothing like the 'it was an honest mistake by a good young man who may have had a little too much to drink' bullshit you get from social conservatives, but something along that axis, way, way closer to the y axis of 'premeditated forcible gang rape.' separately, her 'friends' should all get haemorragic ebola cancer fever of the pancreas and then die of thirst on an oasis in chad, unable to communicate with the friendly but mentally slow man near them, and paralyzed so that they can't reach the water playing in the clear fountain three metres from their arms.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:36 AM
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284: I also just found out that I didn't get a job that I interviewed for a while back. I wonder whether anyone in the history of time has ever gotten a job after getting a rejection, because their resume was kept on file.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:38 AM
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re: 368

We've certainly offered positions to people, after another candidate has turned it down, or otherwise let us down. I don't think in those cases the person actually took it [found something else meanwhile, or visa issues].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:39 AM
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Those are both totally reasonable points and I don't disagree at all! I wasn't trying to sound like a blasé monster, which is probably how it came across.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:40 AM
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if there still isn't a part of our psyches that leaves the door of acquaintance rape shimmied open with a bit of colorable defense for the rapist

Sort of? But more like a utopian belief that if social norms (see that very strange CT thread I've been overly involved in this week and that just keeps going) were changed so as to remove every vestige plausible deniability on the messy cases, there'd be less rape, because the rapists must, largely, be internally relying on that kind of deniability? And then you read the UVA story and realize, that no, they just don't give a fuck.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:41 AM
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I found the friends almost literally unbelievable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:42 AM
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It seemed sad, so I didn't read it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:47 AM
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The whole thing really makes humanity look like a failed species.

And everybody has a share!


Posted by: Milo Minderbinder | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 6:47 AM
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Re: The gross article

Frats are often the sole option for an underage drinker looking to party, since bars are off-limits, sororities are dry and first-year students don't get many invites to apartment soirees. Instead, the kids crowd the walkways of the big, anonymous frat houses, vying for entry.

Sororities are dry? What kind of double standard is that?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 7:07 AM
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Frats are often the sole option for an underage drinker looking to party, since bars are off-limits, sororities are dry and first-year students don't get many invites to apartment soirees. Instead, the kids crowd the walkways of the big, anonymous frat houses, vying for entry.

Sororities are dry? What kind of double standard is that?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 7:09 AM
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Well, if the girls can get drinks in the safety of their own houses, how are you supposed to lure them out to be assaulted? Be reasonable.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 7:18 AM
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The limitless, Kurosawa-like corruption of the institution is the most important part of the story, and it leads me to wonder why no young woman, her life destroyed like this, has ever gone into the house armed and killed them all?

And I'm stuck on the crime itself, what motivates it. The limit of my intention, ambition and sin has always been consensual congress with one woman/girl. This guy already had that, but wanted more. What? The thrill of degradation, domination certainly, and also the forging of an indissoluble bond with his friends.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 7:27 AM
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Unsurprisingly UVa is #4 on this list of "work hard, play hard" colleges. (code for "Are you a douchus maximus? Apply here!"). Many of the usual suspects but they do go with a contrarian twist for #1.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 7:49 AM
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Fraternities are filled with sexual predators and prop-up-the-patriarchy bros, full stop. Revenue sports on college and university campuses are inherently corrupt and contribute to the pervasive rape culture, full stop. College and university administrators are poster children for the banality of evil, full stop. (And, really, most faculty probably aren't all that much better than their paymasters.) It's a great time to work in higher education! Full stop!

Still, I love teaching, love reading good stuff, and love writing bad stuff, so what's to be done? Not to mention, I have a mortgage. And the kids gotta eat (and, if we're to embrace middle-class mores, have braces).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:03 AM
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But at least we don't make people work for free. Oh wait, the graduate students...fuck, I'm as bad as LB.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:03 AM
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You don't pay your graduate students?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:05 AM
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I wonder to what extent some of this shit can be blamed on declining state support for higher ed. The shameless obeisance to donors is certainly a big part of the equation -- both in the elevated status of revenue sports and the kid gloves with which fraternities are treated -- and that mostly didn't used to be a thing at public schools. So really, you're all to blame.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:09 AM
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366: This. I cannot wait to be out of the UK again in a couple of weeks and to be able to treat the destruction of all of the things that ever made me feel - this is embarrassing to type - a vague ember of pride in being British as just another foreign affairs story, rather than a source of apoplectic rage.


Posted by: Seeds | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:11 AM
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382: we pay them fuck all, and there's no job waiting for them at the back end, so the ethics of are pretty questionable, particularly given that they're here -- and elsewhere -- in large measure to provide cheap labor.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:11 AM
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Well done to anybody who successfully parsed that sentence.


Posted by: Seeds | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:11 AM
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386 to 384


Posted by: Seeds | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:12 AM
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369: I meant when future jobs come up.

I thought I had a good connection with the person but could tell she had some concerns about my background. I've wondered whether it might make sense to contact her via linkedin.

It feels wrong to me, and my sense is that she probably can't tell me what I could do to improve my chances next time, but I am trying to work on reaching out more.

Didn't mean to detract from the discussion of that horrific rape.

I think alameida's comments about the plausible deniability of other rapes makes sense. But I also think that the gang rape makes it more viscerally shocking.

Like, I could imagine being more traumatized by gang rape than by having a stranger grab me on a street with a knife, so-called "real rape."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:15 AM
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381: You pay them something, don't you?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:15 AM
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388: part 4 is about the article and not my own self-absorption.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:15 AM
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389: Sorry, forgot to preview.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:17 AM
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389: yeah, we do. So I'm not quite as bad as LB. Phew, that's a relief, because she's history's greatest monster.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:18 AM
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384: What happened in UK politics recently?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:18 AM
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So really, you're all to blame.

I shouted out "Who covered up Sandusky?"
When after all it was you and me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:19 AM
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378: re: bonding among bros. I was particularly chilled by the kid in her anthropology seminar who hesitated but then did it when egged on by the other guys.

re: frat culture. I think there's something different about the ones with their own house. We had Finals clubs (one of which got shut down by the alumni because of bad behavior) with beautiful buildings and dining rooms. One of them did not let women in at all. Many of the others were known for sexual assaults.

There was a new, unrecognized fraternity (fraternities had been banned) when I was in college. As far as I could tell they didn't really host parties as a fraternity.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:20 AM
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392: Actually she's only 3rd after Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. I think you and George Soros might be tied for 4th.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:22 AM
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re: 393

The Tories being even more extreme in their 'kick the poor; funnel cash to the rich' ideology.

The rise of UKIP, and a general lurch to the right from the two big English parties, with a general level of xenophobia and racism in public discourse that I wouldn't have generally credited as possible 10 years ago. A Labour party that is no longer worthy of the name.

Bastards in the ascendant, everywhere.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:22 AM
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376: My recollection is that lots of places with sororities have to circumvent laws against brothels. Like, in New Orleans, there are no sororities, because more than some number of women living together with different last names are defined as a brothel.

It's okay for fraternities to hire people in for the night to run a brothel, it's okay for them to recruit their classmates to basically staff a brothel unwillingly. But ladies living together? No way, they've got to be up to no good.

And this: her 'friends' should all get haemorragic ebola cancer fever of the pancreas and then die of thirst on an oasis in chad, unable to communicate with the friendly but mentally slow man near them, and paralyzed so that they can't reach the water playing in the clear fountain three metres from their arms.

There was a fraternity at my school, where the guys who pledged there, we thought, were generally turned from basically nice guys to assholes. I knew a guy at a different school in a different part of the country who said, no, that frat has the nicest guys in the school. I don't know whether there's actually a difference, or whether his definition of "nice" is very different from mine and can encompass good-looking BMOC types who treat women like dirt.


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:25 AM
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This story is especially brutal (number of people, length of time, consciousness of victim), and told in a way that brings out some really heartbreaking details ("it's leg", the last rapist from her class, her friends' in the car, the follow up comment from her date afterwards). All rape is tragic, but this particular story hits especially hard.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:27 AM
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I wonder to what extent some of this shit can be blamed on declining state support for higher ed

I think this is a good point. My wife's a co-author of a book on the subject, and it's my impression also. Clark Kerr was quoted way upthread, and I was thinking of him and his generation while commenting last night and this morning.

Those of us who read the Higher Ed press will be familiar with the UVA president's vicious struggle with the Rector, herself a woman, over the future of the institution and educational values. In that fight, it's been easy to side with the president, and to realize now what pressure she's under. It makes the story sad, because so much is at stake and higher education has so many enemies.

But this crime, this pattern, mustn't stand. You can't win this battle but lose your soul.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:27 AM
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Yesterday I heard the term postdocalypse to describe the academic employment situation.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:27 AM
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Monster, history's greatest (female division): LB
Monster, history's greatest (male division): Jimmy Carter
Monster, Frankenstein's:
Monster, blasé : Thorn



Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:33 AM
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I think this is a good point.

UVA -- along with Michigan -- takes great pride in leading the way among the eager-to-privatize publics. My current institution is doing everything it can to make up the stagger. My old institution was too. All of the senior administrators had long since either accepted or embraced the fact that Kerr's vision for the UC system was well and truly dead. I mean, Jerry Brown, a nominal Democrat, remains eager to hamstring the UC system, so that fight is pretty much over.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:38 AM
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And I think the last number I heard for Penn State was ~11% state-funded.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:40 AM
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My institution is periodically talking about going back to private. State funding is at a record low. I don't see that the senior administrators have a choice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:40 AM
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403: William and Mary should do that. It started out private. Is it ay better than UVA? I know two guys who went there and liked it. No women.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:42 AM
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Which is to say, the new funding model is ever-increasing tuition, ever-increasing numbers of out-of-state students, and ever-increasing obeisance to donors. Which means that amenities, including recreational facilities and opulent dorms, will become ever-more luxurious; revenue sports, and especially football, will become ever-more important; and deans, as well as the consultants they hire, will become ever-more omnipresent parts of the higher education scene.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:42 AM
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They liked it because there were no women?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:43 AM
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407 unintentionally to 405. I don't think there's a choice either. The public has rejected public goods.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:44 AM
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403 and 405: Is the benefit of going private that they can charge as much tuition as they want. Nothing prevents them from having a big endowment as public institutions.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:45 AM
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407: For grad and professional schools, I don't think they limited the number of out-of-state students.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:46 AM
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410: There isn't much room to raise tuition. The benefit of going private is mainly in expectations. People think of a public university as something they have already, through their taxes, largely paid for. When tuition goes up, they blame the university, not the state.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 8:48 AM
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410: Also, for Michigan, they're hamstrung by state "oversight" on policies. A while back, they were forbidden to give domestic partner benefits, which hurt their efforts to bring in good faculty. The state legislature sometimes threatens to cut funding over course content, programs, stuff that should remain untouched.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 9:27 AM
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290: is there a thoughtful account of how the Penn State scandal figured in the governor's race?

Not that thoughtful, but this story captures the dynamic pretty well--it eroded part of his natural base of total fucking assholes.

Schmidt said the group believes Corbett, among other missteps, did not give Paterno the benefit of due process. As governor, Corbett was a member of the university's board of trustees when it moved to fire Paterno in the days after Sandusky was charged. Paterno, said Schmidt, "was a victim of a stampede to judgment and Tom Corbett was leading the charge.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:03 AM
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I shouldn't have read that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:06 AM
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In theory, most of the people concerned about his role in the Sandusky scandal could have been concerned that he took so long bring charges. That would be reassuring if I believed it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:10 AM
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There is a conspiracy theory that Corbett threw the blame on Penn State and Paterno to cover up for his having covered up for Sandusky and Second Mile when he was Attorney General.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:20 AM
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No matter what Corbett did, there's no way Penn State and Paterno are blameless. The new AG investigated Corbett's investigation and didn't find anything incriminating beyond the fact that a huge proportion of the PA state legal establishment emails porn to their colleagues on state computers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:25 AM
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That's incriminating? Good to know.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:27 AM
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418: But they clarified earlier this week that it wasn't child porn, The children's images in question do not meet the legal definition of child pornography, Renee Martin, Kane's press secretary, said on Wednesday. "But they weren't children playing in a sandbox, either," she said.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:47 AM
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I'm picturing the discussion with the IT guy after requesting more disk space for e-mail storage. "Take it out of the public defenders' budget. Blame FOIA!"


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 10:59 AM
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290: And did you see that there's a new -- and apparently incredibly damning -- documentary titled Happy Valley?

This confused me briefly as I was "invited*" to the Pittsburgh premiere of a documentary 365 Days: A Year in Happy Valley last year that looked much more like a "we're back" celebration (I was half tempted to go for science, but decided that being in a crowd of hyped up alums might have proven fatal.) Here's the trailer. A very different thing than this new one.

*It was a repertory theater we frequent and got invited because we are on their "list,"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 12:41 PM
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Right, so, clearly everyone else is off for the weekend exactly when my Internet choke lets up on me; this is getting embarassing in the comments sidebar; but I have been wondering, would an cooperative of drivers be better than either the taxi system or Uber?

problems to solve:
*medallion-rentiers
*unserved groups and areas
*constant-effort vs constant-yield strategies and their effects on the drivers and on the city
*driver and rider safety
*??


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 11-21-14 3:44 PM
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A "medallions for the homeless" program might solve those first two problems.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-25-14 6:26 AM
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Don't suggest that. The city will try to sell rights to corners with lots of people to ask for change and some cover from the rain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-25-14 6:28 AM
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Very thorough rundown of how Uber fits into the London cab situation.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-19-15 1:52 AM
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I didn't know that the excuse for black cabs being allowed to use bus lanes is "oh, they need to be able to reach the kerb to pick up passengers". That's impressively brazen. And since the bus lanes are also the cycle lanes, you're putting:
- large vehicles that stop and start frequently, with limited visibility
- aggressive, entitled drivers who are apt to manoeuvre suddenly without warning
- and cyclists

all in the same stretch of road. Nice going guys.

Black cab drivers are, in my experience, significantly more worrying than the average driver - as are Addison Lee minicab drivers. Yesterday I got cut up at a traffic light by a car which turned out not to have a minicab licence sticker in the back window, and I was amazed because that has almost never happened to me before. Every time I see aggressive, careless driving, it's from a black cab or an Addison Lee driver.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-19-15 2:34 AM
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Every time I see aggressive, careless driving, it's from a black cab or an Addison Lee driver.

I have a slightly different set of London-driver stereotypes that includes those drivers, and some others. Certainly other non-Addison Lee minicab drivers, especially those driving people-carriers/mini-vans; and white-van wankers.

Plus, a largely non-overlapping set that comes from my endless motorway commutes to Oxford from west London. Where the wankers are overwhelming drivers of some kind of arschlochwagen, or Chelsea tractor; and ethnosociologically, basically, guys like me: 40-50 something white blokes. With a slightly smaller number of entitled white women of similar age.

Funnily enough, boy-racer types, almost never feature.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-19-15 2:46 AM
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The difference may just be where and when we are on the roads - I don't see very many generic white vans at all when I'm cycling, and not many people-carriers because I think I'm not in school-run territory (I'm inner-city enough that I think the kids just walk to school; certainly I see a lot of them on foot), so I don't associate them with misbehaviour. But I bet the west London-Oxford run is full of 40something white people just anyway.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-19-15 3:02 AM
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426: That article explains something I didn't understand the last time I was in London. I tried to take a cab, and the driver handed me a card with a mobile number to call first. It must have been a minicab. (I don't remember what it looked like.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-19-15 3:09 AM
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re: 429

Yeah, lots of people-carriers where I am. Mix of mini-cabs, and (stereotyping) hijab wearing women on the school run. (Still stereotyping) non-hijab-wearing women seem to favour the 4x4 Chelsea tractor over the people-carrier.

On the motorway, there's a very tight correlation between Audi, BMW, and Range Rover Sport drivers, and dangerous/asshole-ish driving.

White-vans round here tend to be a mix of surprisingly polite and considerate drivers, and borderline homicidal aggressive pricks.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-19-15 3:38 AM
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