Re: Grow Up, You Kids

1

Since
1) I have no idea what your post is actually about
and
2) you invoked old school blogging.

I will lead the comments with something off topic.

Yglesisas seems to be contagious. From an internal banner (or whatever those theoretically pithy sentences they embed in their piece are called) in a Sarah Kliff Vox piece on the ACA challenge:

ANY DEAL OBAMA WOULD EXCEPT IS TOO SMALL FOR REPUBLICANS TO PROPOSE


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 9:45 AM
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That article about Justine Sacco in the Times revived my fantasies of uprooting the internet from my life altogether, which obviously is impossible but still.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 9:51 AM
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I haven't read this but the author is a smart guy. I can only hope it's significantly better than the crappy anti-satire piece by A. Bady a while back, but that shouldn't be hard to achieve.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 9:57 AM
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That was me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 9:57 AM
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Like every time I do remove the tiniest bit of internet from my life, it's good. Even the birthday greeting thing on fb, which is fun in its way, not having to decide "do I know this person well enough to bother deciding between plain old happy birthday and coming up with something clever" is an ocean breeze blowing upon my soul.

I'm putting off getting up and going to jail is the reason I am posting all this value-subtracting horseshit.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:00 AM
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It's also hard to see this as parody when plenty of folks make similar comments about Africa and AIDS, and mean it.

Sorry, Nebuchadnezzar, but this might be the dumbest sentence alive.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:04 AM
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I'd sort of forgotten that the (especially the left-ish political) blogosphere went through a Daily Outrage phase. Granted, I think that phase corresponded to the bleakest years of Bush II, so there was a lot to be outraged about.

I used to be hesitant to criticize twitter on the grounds that it moved me into get-off-my-lawn territory. These days, though, I feel confident in stating my opinion that twitter is total sh*t.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:04 AM
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there are still plenty of lefty sites that do nothing but Daily Outrage.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:07 AM
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6: that's true.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:08 AM
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8: I thought that most of the daily outragers had migrated to tumblr/twitter by now.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:09 AM
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I mean, it's both true that it's harder for any random person who comes along to see it as parody given that it's the sort of thing that someone might actually say ingenuously, and that the sentence is rather dumb, since it wasn't supposed to be seen by random persons who came along by chance without context and that's how parody works.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:10 AM
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IMO humor takes a lot of context in order to work. Broadcasting something funny from a stage to a diverse audience is really different from making a friend laugh.

I actually like twitter a lot as a link exchange medium-- I think it's good for journalism, exchanging pointers to articles, images, or music. I don't try to have conversations there, that seems ill-considered.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:13 AM
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3: "Shame is an integral part of how we put people in their place."

Not exactly making an unimpeachable case for shame's moral altitude there, bro.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:19 AM
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What's the fancy word for assuming a posture of satire or parody as a way of expressing the thoughts of a persona one would like to try on for a while in order to discharge uncomfortable thoughts of one's own without actually endorsing them?


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:19 AM
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or whatever those theoretically pithy sentences they embed in their piece are called

A pull quote.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:20 AM
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Is it "stand-up comedy"?


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:20 AM
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The problem with the "it's parody!" response is that so so so much "parody" is just cheap, lazy shit.

There's also the problem Aziz Ansari and Dave Chappelle have run into: you might mean it as a joke aimed at the folks in the know, but it'll get picked up by people who take it as an opportunity to kid on the square.

And I'd be a hell of a lot more sympathetic to the Jon Ronson excerpts if the examples he looked at of people having their lives ruined by Twitter mobs weren't all white folks.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:21 AM
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14: kidding on the square? ha-ha-only-serious? bullshitting?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:21 AM
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17.1 is true.

Somewhere on twitter someone tweeted about like Schrödinger's satire, which is when someone (i.e., some white dude) says something offensive and then decides whether or not he was engaging in satire or parody after observing the reactions it draws.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:24 AM
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17.2 something something iterability something something communication Derrida, if I actually knew anything about Derrida I'd both know whether or not there's a real point-having joke to be made here and how to make it. Language: not able to ensure its own proper interpretation since the get-go.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:26 AM
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I second 18's "kidding on the square".


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:26 AM
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Though I think in "kidding on the square" one isn't merely trying on the persona or attempting to discharge the thoughts; that's what makes it on the square.

Kidding on the triangle? Kidding on the trapezoid?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:28 AM
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Somewhere on twitter someone tweeted about like Schrödinger's satire, which is when someone (i.e., some white dude) says something offensive and then decides whether or not he was engaging in satire or parody after observing the reactions it draws.

Ah, the Jonah Goldberg gambit.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:30 AM
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Could I get Vox to pay me for a thinkpiece about Poe's law and Quinean indeterminacy of translation? [that is parody]


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:33 AM
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Further to 17.1: it's not even that is lazy, it's that it's not saying anything interesting. Please, if the point you think you're making with your "parody" is "racism is bad!" or "sexism is bad!", just do everyone a favor and keep your mouth shut. Or find a way to say those things that don't sound exactly like the bullshit that sincere assholes spout.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:34 AM
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Remember Yoshida Kenko! Someone pretending to be an asshole is often just being an asshole.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:37 AM
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That article about Justine Sacco in the Times revived my fantasies of uprooting the internet from my life altogether, which obviously is impossible but still.

We've cancelled our home internet, starting March 13. My sister has never had home internet and her house is so restful. The tug to check just isn't there. (No, I don't have a smartphone.) Her current motive is that she doesn't want to fight with her boys over screentime and video games, but mostly I think she just never liked the internet and gets plenty of at work.

Now that we have the kid, our routines can't take having small chunks pulled away. The morning is nice and peaceful and I get lunch packed and milk pumped if I keep on pace. Eight minutes lost to the internet set me back too far. It goes!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:41 AM
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Back in the glory days of Theory (or postmodernism, or cultural studies, or whatever you want to call it) there was an annoying game people would play that went like this:

1. I say something deliberately ridiculous such as "The Gulf war never happened!" or "The laws of physics are arbitrary constructs that have no more validity than witchcraft!"

2. Since I'm a reasonable person, obviously I can't really mean what I just said.

3. Therefore the burden is on you, the listener, to come up with a non-absurd reading of my statement, thus doing my work for me, so to speak. If you take me at my word, you're not playing the game correctly.

There seems to be a similar game with white guys making racist/sexist remarks. This version of the game is even dumber than the original.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:45 AM
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||

So, how long does a car alarm have to keep going off, every two minutes or less, before it's fair to go from "Ok car stuff is complicated and I guess I shouldn't make too big of a deal of it" to "It would be totally reasonable if someone were to break that guy's windshield with a brick"? Is it more or less than 3ish hours, I mean, hypothetically speaking?

|>


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:47 AM
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Relevant: http://jezebel.com/man-who-terrorized-brianna-wu-for-months-says-he-was-ju-1687689719


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:48 AM
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"Grice", the hot new party game.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:48 AM
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30: that's what actually initially reminded me of the Kenko thing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:48 AM
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2, 27: I could understand withdrawing from "internet life"--no social media, no blogs, etc.*--but I honestly can barely even imagine cancelling internet service altogether. How would l check the weather? How would I lookup the hours for a restaurant? How would I get instructions for unclogging my garbage disposal? How would I comparison shop for a new printer? How would I check a fact that was being contested in an argument? How would I order toothpaste? How would I contact a plumber?

* Although ironically I had a completely inactive fb account (that I did not check) for years and only started using it because more and more 'real world' event planning was happening through fb messages and groups, etc., and it was becoming very inconvenient to not be tuned in to that.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:50 AM
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The riff to Swans' "Sex God Sex" is fantastic.

|>


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:52 AM
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God, putting the Internet down (at least for non-purely functional purposes) is such a beautiful dream. It seems both so healthy and so impossible. Is this how heroin addicts dream of sobriety? I guess I actually would miss seeing pictures of people's kids and pets in Facebook, as long as they don't brag too much. The rest is just the equivalent of drinking to get through the workday.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:52 AM
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I think I've seen something critical of the NYT piece on Sacco, but I'm not sure where. Maybe just on twitter (of course on twitter) but maybe somewhere else too.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:52 AM
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I would probably need to start actually saving those giant books full of local phone numbers that for some reason still get dumped on my doorstep twice a year, instead of using them as firestarters (a function for which they are ideally suited). But... really, would I have to do that? Actually pulling out a phonebook to look up a number is almost unimaginable.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:57 AM
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I actually like twitter a lot as a link exchange medium-- I think it's good for journalism, exchanging pointers to articles, images, or music. I don't try to have conversations there, that seems ill-considered.

Have you looked at this.cm?

(Someone showed it to me recently, and it appealed to the part of me that only likes social media which isn't actually social -- present company excepted, of course)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 10:59 AM
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I'm with Urple. I'm not online until I get to work because all those good reasons that you all are saying, but I want the option of checking my email or the weather. I guess I'm saying that I'm better than you all. Or at least more virtuous? Better.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:00 AM
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I'm not online until I get to work

This seems like a good goal. I waste time online every night before bed and every morning before I get out of bed.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:03 AM
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36: Shakesville had a response from Adria Richards, the woman who made the complaint about the dude making dongle jokes.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:03 AM
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Although I would probably want to at least do a quick check of email since that's how I find out whether there is something urgent that needs to alter my morning routine.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:03 AM
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I mean, good lord I'd hate to be grading right now without Unfogged or FB for distraction, even though I'd finish much quicker. It's just such a boring task.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:05 AM
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God, putting the Internet down (at least for non-purely functional purposes) is such a beautiful dream horrifying nightmare.

My home internet has started dropping constantly over the last few days. It's a bad thing to be without internet. Supposedly my super speedy new internet is going to be up and running in a week, though, so I can't really be bothered dealing with Sky's customer service to try to fix the crappy internet. Especially since last time it took them a month.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:06 AM
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And I'd be a hell of a lot more sympathetic to the Jon Ronson excerpts if the examples he looked at of people having their lives ruined by Twitter mobs weren't all white folks.

This is a phenomenon related to the "Nobody I know is actually racist, therefore when I say racist things it's obviously a joke" phenomenon. To Jon Ronson it's self-evident that minorities and women are constantly being bullied, so he points out some unusual instances when white men are bullied by minorities and women. Then readers say "Ahem, Jon Ronson, it's not just white men who get bullied, you oblivious piece of crap".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:06 AM
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36 - I've seen criticism of its tremendously unsympathetic take on the Adria Richards PyCon incident; personally, I felt that it the Sacco hook was much better handled by original-howling-mob-alerter Sam Biddle at Gawker.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:06 AM
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I'm pretty good about staying offline when I get home. I do go online in the morning though. Especially these days I need to know whether or not it's too cold to walk in to work. Just stepping outside for a minute is way too low tech.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:06 AM
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How would I check a fact that was being contested in an argument?

If I gave up my internet, I'd be involved in about 99.5% fewer arguments.

That's why I can't give up the internet.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:06 AM
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Email and functional looking up phone numbers or whatever seem qualitatively different from the non-functional Internet. Really what I want is some soviet-style anti-frivolity regime that shuts down all political discussion, social media, and online entertainment options (other than maybe things that play music). Once again I can't see a way to get what I want without seizing power and imposing a personal capricious dictatorship.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:07 AM
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I'm not online until I get to work.

Whether you're "online" before work or not, you (or rather I) need to have online access before work to download podcasts, newspaper, RSS feeds etc for consumption during the day.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:08 AM
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Is it more or less than 3ish hours, I mean, hypothetically speaking?

Way less. Its 10 minutes. 15 on Sundays.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:10 AM
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The rest is just the equivalent of drinking to get through the workday.

I always wonder if I could get away with that. I don't actually see many people and I think I could avoid face-to-face contact with everybody for an afternoon. Still, it's really hard to math after even two beers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:10 AM
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What would be ideal would be if I personally had no access to the internet, but had a servant following me around all day who had internet access. My internet butler, so to speak. "Jeeves, what's the weather forecast this weekend?" "Jeeves, what time does the breakfast place on Chestnut St. close today?" "Jeeves, what were the names of the first ten roman emperors?" "Jeeves, anything I really need to see on fb right now? (Cat pictures don't count. Unless they're really good ones.)" "Jeeves, what was Duke Ellington's best album?"


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:11 AM
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Heh. My sister keeps and uses the Yellow Pages. It takes a couple steps, but she can find out when the hardware store closes. Most things can be done another way or wait until the next day. If it is dire, I could call someone and ask them to search something for me. Or walk three houses down to my friend's apartment and use her wireless.

If they want to see her, people have to text or call her (or stop by, since she and her friends moved into the same neighborhood for that purpose).

My boyfriend has been practicing for having no home internet by using cookbooks. That will take a bit of adjusting for me, but I have faith that I can also do that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:12 AM
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I don't even bring the Yellow Pages into the house. They land on the stoop and I put them into recycling.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:14 AM
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That's what I do now. But the next one that lands on my porch will get brought inside.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:15 AM
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Agree with 33. There are lots of parts of the Internet I'd like to avoid (which ones depends on the time of day), but cutting myself off from the Internet entirely seems only slightly less practical than elective enucleation. (I was going to call it "oculectomy" until I Googled the correct term. Another Internet success story!)

"But people survived for thousands of years without the Internet," you might be thinking. Yeah, and it sucked.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:15 AM
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Calling people on the phone is the worst, though. UGH


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:16 AM
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My sister keeps and uses the Yellow Pages. It takes a couple steps, but she can find out when the hardware store closes.

I loathe calling and talking on the phone. The rise of getting information without having to talk to someone outloud may be one of my favorite things about the past 20 years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:17 AM
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They land on the stoop and I put them into recycling.

If you have a grill or a firepit, they are wonderful firestarters. Tear our a small handful of pages at a time; the book will last you all summer.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:17 AM
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58 is true. My aversion to the phone is so strong that it occasionally hurts me professionally. Still, the phone! Fuck that.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:18 AM
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52: As I've probably mentioned before, my dad was an architect back in the days of the three-martini lunch, and he claims there was an informal rule that work requiring calculation was reserved for the mornings. with afternoons for things like meetings that would work fine in an alcoholic stupor.

(He also does a great imitation of an alcoholic engineer he used to work with who had a very acute eye for safety hazards in designs, described as ways you could hurt yourself drunk: "Nah, that railing has to be six inches higher. You come out of that door, you've had a few, you stumble, take a couple of steps, you're going pretty fast -- boom, headfirst over the railing and down the stairwell. It's got to be high enough to stop you, not let you overbalance over it..")


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:18 AM
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I'm currently sitting at the end of a very narrow series of tubes so my connection is dead slow. I'd love to say this means I'm spending less time screwing around on the internet, but it just means more time waiting for things to load while staring into space. No internet at all would simply mean even longer periods of staring into space, I think.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:19 AM
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I can't imagine going without home internet; as Urple said, a lot of it is functional. I could drop cable. If you're looking for a job, you might not want to look at work, so home Internet is useful for functional purposes. There are plenty of work places where shopping for an appliance at work would be frowned upon.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:20 AM
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Still, it's really hard to math after even two beers.

I'm not so sure you haven't been drinking already.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:24 AM
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If they want to see her, people have to text or call her (or stop by, since she and her friends moved into the same neighborhood for that purpose).

Per the * in 33, I'm not sure anyone actually wants to see me quite enough to go through all that trouble. Real world events just got planned without me. If that's not a problem for you or your sister, well, maybe you've both got a more magnetic personality than I do. But I'm generally short on pleasant social interactions, so I need to eliminate points of friction for them, not create obstacles.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:27 AM
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It is not so excruciating to say "what are your hours today?" and "great, thanks".

Whatever, y'all. You don't have to go without home internet. I've seen it work well for my sister's family and I want to have at home the feeling I have there. So we are turning it off. I expect there to be small penalties (like going to a closed store occasionally) and it still seems worth it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:29 AM
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I want to start a tumblr composed entirely of times that my kid's principal texts a photo of his computer screen.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:30 AM
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Even though the phone sucks, if a hypothetical capricious dictator offered you the choice of (a) no internet, lots of telephone, solid middle class jobs everywhere and three-martini lunches for the professional class or (b) internet, much less telephone, raging inequality, and no drinking at work, I think option (a) wins by a mile. I do try not to give into nostalgia* but I mean really.

*let's stipulate that someone has already made the "what about minorities and women" point, it is cheerfully conceded.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:30 AM
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67: I am not at all challenging your decision--sorry if I implied otherwise. I'm just amazed at it, actually, because I find it so unimaginable to think about applying in my own life.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:31 AM
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When Facebook came around and I opted out, I also missed social occasions. I am not so magnetic that people always remembered to text me special. But I do have enough social occasions in general (or can initiate them without the Facebook) that I changed my mind about Facebook.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:32 AM
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Can I have like a one-Manhattan-and-one-pastrami-sandwich lunch instead of a three-martini lunch? If so I'm in.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:32 AM
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I'm interested to hear about Megan's experience but constant internet doesn't really seem like the kind of thing you can unilaterally opt out of. It takes a dictator.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:32 AM
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(a) no internet, lots of telephone, solid middle class jobs everywhere and three-martini lunches for the professional class or (b) internet, much less telephone, raging inequality, and no drinking at work, I think option (a) wins by a mile.

(b) is what I'd prefer in my own life. But now I'd feel guilty picking it, so thanks for nothing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:33 AM
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*let's stipulate that someone has already made the "what about minorities and women" point, it is cheerfully conceded.

Well but really! AND phones.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:33 AM
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I mean, I do have enough social occasions that I didn't have to change my mind and join Facebook.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:33 AM
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41: thanks. That is exceedingly fucked up.

A. grew up in Minneapolis, in a home filled with domestic violence and then in foster care, lacking many of the basics that most of those in the middle- and upper classes take for granted. (In fact, just a few weeks before all this happened, A. had written a brave post about the obstacles she's faced and overcome to become a successful tech professional.)
The daughter of a Jewish, city-born mother and a Black, Southern-born father, A. had some early awareness of racism, by way of people who would get angry and yell at her parents. But it was in fifth grade, when she was moved to a new foster home in the suburb of Eden Prairie, where everyone around her was white, that she was called an N-word for the first time on the school bus.
[...] The man was re-hired by another company in a matter of weeks. . . . A. was not so lucky. After her employer [ ] publicly fired her, the volume of threats sharply increased. She fled her home, was forced to sell many of her belongings, and couch-surfed with friends for nearly a year--all the time, looking over her shoulder.
A. also notes: "Before this happened to me, I had worked in tech for 15 years, had lived in San Francisco the last 3 years, and my Google search results were pretty awesome, highlighting not only my technical knowledge but my consistent contributions to the tech community through mentoring, teaching, talks, and volunteering my time to organizations building diversity." They don't look like that anymore.

No Internet at home would mean no working from home, which is a big dealbreaker, unfortunately. Very stringent rules would probably be worthwhile, though.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:36 AM
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If it weren't for the Internet, I'd have to buy a car even though I only drive roughly once a week. That's a lot of money and maintenance work for very little time actually using the car. (Car2Go and Zipcar kind of depend on the Internet or something a lot like it.)

I'd also have to find room in my house for 99 more books or so, and AISIMHB, my house isn't big. (That's the number on my e-book reader. Sure, I could read less, but that's less fun. Or I could get books from libraries more or sell or give away my used books more, but those take work. And my wife has an e-book reader too, although she doesn't use it as much as me.)

Just a few examples; most from this thread also apply to me somehow.

69: The concession pretty much completely undercuts the apparent point of that, don't you think? I mean, choosing between the fantasy of pre-Internet life and the reality of post-Internet life, the fantasy wins, sure. Just like the fantasy vs. the reality of a lot of things. So what?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:37 AM
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If I weren't reassured by my sister's experience, I'd have a lot more doubt. But she's never had home internet and rarely misses it (I get phone calls asking for a look-up maybe twice a year). It works fine for her and our situations and priorities are similar.

It is OK to miss things or to delay responses for a day or weekend or to look things up in books. Mostly the penalties are small. When they seem like they might be big, I will walk three houses away to Monica's house and do my taxes.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:37 AM
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We thought about getting a paper newspaper, but that is clearly madness.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:40 AM
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This no-internet thing is insane. Do you all REMEMBER trying to change plans once everyone had left their houses, if something came up?* Or how boring waiting in line at the post office is, and how you'd get madder and madder if something infuriatingly slow caused everything to grind to a standstill, but now you just hop online? I no longer worry if I'm picking the best possible line at the grocery store, because I'll stand idly, and if I get bored standing idly, I'll get my phone out. It is the BEST. Or listening to messages on your phone? Or just...not knowing so many things that you find delightful on Wikipedia?

*I suppose cell phones are allowed in this stupid regression, just not smart ones?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:40 AM
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To be completely serious for a moment, I've got a rule that I don't turn on the radio or anything on my commute, and use that as my brain-quiet-time for the day. I do think there's a need for brain-quiet-time. But don't take away my internet for the other 23 hours.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:43 AM
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53: Way ahead of you.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:43 AM
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Do you all REMEMBER trying to change plans once everyone had left their houses, if something came up?

No?

I do remember forgetting my keys and having to wait outside my dad's apartment for a really long time on occasion, but it taught me the VIRTUE OF PATIENCE.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:43 AM
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I remember that people used to keep plans once they'd left the house.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:44 AM
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80 -- paper newspaper is great. You read it over breakfast, you get some news, DONE with the news for the day. It's awesome.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:45 AM
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82: Most people who do that probably just want to be able to concentrate on their texting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:45 AM
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DONE with the news for the day

Or at least for yesterday.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:45 AM
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I remember that people used to keep plans once they'd left the house.

Yeah, and sometimes this sucked! "We'd all prefer that spontaneous plan that my coworker threw out, but because two people had to leave early and are no en route to crappy plans, we all have to follow through on that. Sure would be nice if we could redirect them to join us elsewhere."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:47 AM
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To Jon Ronson it's self-evident that minorities and women are constantly being bullied, so he points out some unusual instances when white men are bullied by minorities and women.

That's part of it. But the gamergate types (for example) are troglodytes who are intentional political actors.

Sacco is a different case. Her victimizers are often folks who haven't thought it through very thoroughly, and are capable of learning. So there is an actual service involved in reporting her case. Moreover, as someone who wasn't inclined to say mean things about Sacco (I hope the archives back me up on that), I still learned stuff from reading about her situation.

In any event, there has been - quite appropriately - a lot of reporting on gamergate, and I don't think reporting on Sacco takes anything away from that. If we're going to go down that route, we might notice that there are starving children in Somalia, and why should we be wasting time with Anita Sarkeesian's First World problems?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:49 AM
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Being an adult means sometimes not doing what's immediately appealing because one has made prior commitments. I'm sorry you can't handle that, heebie.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:49 AM
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I don't have to handle that. It's great.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:50 AM
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89: I actually kind of hate that process of renegotiating what's going on midstream. It always seems to turn the evening into a couple of hours of wandering from location to location before the group of people settles someplace.

This is why I've given up completely on socializing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:51 AM
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It always seems to turn the evening into a couple of hours of wandering from location to location before the group of people settles someplace.

What on earth. Your friends are ridiculous.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:52 AM
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For me, the opportunity cost of the internet just got really high. The alternative isn't the book I'm reading or gardening. (When it was, I didn't turn off the internet although I knew I would be retrospectively happier had I gardened instead of being online.) Now the alternative is baby Steadfast and I worked so fucking hard to get him. The second alternative is an orderly house and good food and those are really, really motivating to me. The third alternative is taking the dog to the river, which doesn't sound good compared to the internet, but I know from experience is always, always better, so I can use a rule to decide that one. The fourth alternative is book and gardening and those are still pretty good, if maybe break-even with internet.

Last is boredom relief, and on good days the internet trumps that. On bad days, the internet itself is boring and costs me sleep. Oh yeah! Sleep! The internet costs me maybe one to one-and-a-half hours of sleep a day and that is no good.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:52 AM
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Whatever, y'all. You don't have to go without home internet. I've seen it work well for my sister's family and I want to have at home the feeling I have there. So we are turning it off. I expect there to be small penalties (like going to a closed store occasionally) and it still seems worth it.

It seems like a good plan. At this point I'm habituated to home internet (and, like half the people in the thread, think it proves it's worth if it means that I have to make fewer phone calls) but for a while I was in a situation without home internet, but the option to walk a couple of blocks to use the internet, and that was great.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:52 AM
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You all are neurotic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:56 AM
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Speaking of the internet, how long should it take to upload three GB? I want to know if my office has shitty bandwidth or what.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 11:58 AM
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Honestly, I'd have so many fewer interesting people in my life, if I weren't online. I've got a handful of local friends that I adore, but nothing like the breadth and fascinatingness of the people online, who are also real individuals that I care about very much.

Also If there were no internet, no one would ever read anything I write. I love that there is a (tiny) group of people reading what I write. That's a really vast part of where I draw meaning.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:00 PM
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Or at least for yesterday.

That's the problem. For example, in the olden days, I read the paper newspaper, knew generally how the Dodgers were doing and if they'd announced any major transactions. Now I spend my time on a Dodger blog that constantly says things like "unless you've been asleep under a rock for the last 10 hours, you already know from Twitter that [the Dodgers signed some not very important role-playing middle reliever]." There is zero reason why this is urgent news for me personally yet it is psychologically impossible not to treat it as if it is.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:00 PM
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And that the voices that I read no longer get edited and filtered through a few newspaper and publishing houses. The internet is amazing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:02 PM
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I agree with heebie. The Internet is great. (My phone autocorrected "heebie" to "Bernie." I'm going to count this as another point in the internet's favor.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:05 PM
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I have to say, this particular thread is not a good argument for Internet use.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:06 PM
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In other news, my flight this morning was delayed due to thundersnow. That would be much less meaningful to me without the Internet.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:07 PM
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Speaking of that same blog, I'll concede that the internet does allow for sweet interactions like this one between ballplayer and female sports reporter about being a female sports reporter.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:07 PM
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I'm not swearing off the internet at work. I expect to still see my internet friends forty hours a week. If I were blogging, I could go to a café to do it.

Honestly, I shouldn't argue the case since I was persuaded by gauging my mood in an internet-less household, not by being convinced. People who are happier with the internet should have the internet.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:08 PM
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Ah, Adria Richards is who I was thinking of.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:12 PM
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Other people were arguing for a completely internet-free life, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:13 PM
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There are plenty of apps to keep you off various sites, or the internet altogether. It's a pretty good middle-ground, if it's really a problem for you.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:13 PM
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109 -- I've tried, but they all have workarounds. It's like an alcoholic locking the liquor cabinet in the home and throwing away the key, but you can still walk to the bar down the street.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:15 PM
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Speaking off, somebody is opening a new bar by my house. It sounds a little too high concept, but maybe it will work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:16 PM
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-f


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:16 PM
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they all have workarounds

Try Self-Control (mac only). Not even uninstalling it disables it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:16 PM
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66: I've gone internet free at home for long stretches, but that didn't keep me from responding to FB invites away from home. No internet at all, ever, would have been a big change, but no internet for the 10 hours a day I'm at home wasn't a big change, since I was asleep for most of that time anyway.

I'm not doing it right now because I basically work from home, but when I was internetless and working outside the home, it didn't really seem like a big deal. I couldn't work from home, and I didn't keep up with random internet news the way I normally do, but those aren't really big life changers, or at least they weren't for me.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:17 PM
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Wow.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:17 PM
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Ogged, out of curiosity - how much internet did you swear off of, back in 2008? How long did it take to quit missing it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:18 PM
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"Wow" was to "Not even uninstalling it disables it."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:18 PM
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how much internet did you swear off of, back in 2008?

Dude, that was a long time ago; I can barely remember. I think that I was still online plenty, but as a reader/lurker. I did stop reading Unfogged pretty much entirely for a few years though.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:23 PM
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I think I would be okay swearing off the internet if I had someone else doing it with me. If I had a small community doing it, I could probably even be happy. But if it was just me doing it by myself, no, that would be miserable.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:24 PM
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I think I would be okay swearing off the internet if I had someone else doing it with me.

By "someone else," I mean a spouse or partner. (In my case, a spouse.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:25 PM
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Whose spouse?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:25 PM
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113: Is that safe? I was thinking of trying it. I need to block unfogged for defined periods of time, but I wouldn't want it to be permanently blocked.

I saw a PC-only app that costs money which recommended self-control for Mac users.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:26 PM
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If Mac users had self-control, Apple wouldn't have all of the money.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:28 PM
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Based on my spouse's reactions, there are fewer more urgent EMERGENCIES in our house than a temporary internet outage. I honestly think that most days my wife would prefer our furnace/ac go out than have our internet go down.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:35 PM
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This thread is making me agitated because I'm arguing that I'm so virtuous that these pitfalls don't ruin the internet for me, while simultaneously self-sabotaging via internet, because I'm on a time crunch to get these proofs graded. But they are SO HORRIBLE and why did I assign so many of them, and I keep doing the pellet-bar-unhealthy-Internet thing, in order to have an argument about what a self-disciplined saint I am. At least I don't have to talk about racism with 18 year olds tonight.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:35 PM
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Nobody told me there were pellets. Can I have one?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:36 PM
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Although she's gotten slightly better about that over the last few years, but only because she's gotten a proper smartphone she can huddle up to if our home internet access is down for a minute.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:37 PM
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123: Very funny, but I meant the open-source Self-Control app that ogged and Cosma recommended.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:39 PM
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my wife would prefer our furnace/ac go out than have our internet go down.

You can keep her warm, but you can't keep her entertained. Wait...


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:39 PM
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I haven't finished the thread (my eternal refrain), but I'm not online at all when I'm at work, so I only get to go online when I'm home. I can't imagine cutting it off, in large part because I'm so far from family and friends.

The office-job life - especially when you have a somewhat reasonable expectation of not getting in trouble for being on the internet for personal reasons at work - is so different than my current job. So different. Going from a quasi-academic's life (well, grad student with plenty of various jobs) to working a tightly regulated retail job (aka, there are lots of retail jobs where you're not expected to be actively working all day/can be on your phone/on the computer, but not mine) was such a massive change. Get paid way less, but all of your time is the company's.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:44 PM
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130: Right, that's basically what I meant in 64. Man, was retail unpleasant.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:48 PM
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. Get paid way less, but all of your time is the company's.

Sounds awesome.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:48 PM
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It is not so excruciating to say "what are your hours today?" and "great, thanks".

Really? You would just up and interrupt someone with a phone call like that? History's greatest monster.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:59 PM
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Megan, does no one want to Facetime your baby?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 12:59 PM
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If you all get momentum and swear off the internet en masse, I'll be sad and lonely. Feed your beast.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 1:06 PM
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I am one of the more phone averse people I know but it occurs to me I am pretty ok with insubstantial phone conversations, especially ones where I don't have to ask anyone about a family member's meth habit.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 1:10 PM
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130: Right, that's basically what I meant in 64. Man, was retail unpleasant.

I hadn't gotten there yet! But yes, exactly.

Get paid way less, but all of your time is the company's.

It's not actually bad, just really, really different. Instead of surfing the web, your downtime/slacking is chatting with a coworker, etc. I just wanted to point out (like BG did) that the perspective of 'I can get my internet at work,'* does not work in many occupations.

I do think that having a no-internet household would be very very difficult with kids past the age of 13 or so. I am sure there are some families that can pull it off, but ... yeah, I don't know. What about when a kid is at the age where they need the internet to do school work, etc but are also busy enough that they're not going to get things done within library hours? I know that's way in the future for Megan, it just strikes me as something that would be very difficult to maintain. Especially since so much teen socialising happens online.

*Caveat - I know Megan is saying that's what works for her, specifically, not a blanket recommendation.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 1:14 PM
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FaceTime plus babies: ladies and gents, I have a new worst nightmare!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 1:25 PM
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136: Not so bad if it's your job.

I have a serious phone aversion to calling people I don't know and like well (and sometimes even then) which has hurt me in the past. I have found, however, that it was not so bad when I was calling someone as part of my job. Something about being in a role (even as a canvasser) made it easier. I don't know if it was the idea of having to interact in real-time without visual cues that made it hard, but I'm trying to work on it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 1:26 PM
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I know that's way in the future for Megan, it just strikes me as something that would be very difficult to maintain. Especially since so much teen socialising happens online.

I don't think you can assume she'll turn into a cougar seeking out dates with teens.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 1:29 PM
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Something about being in a role (even as a canvasser) made it easier.

Yeah, I have the same feeling -- I hate phones in propria persona, but phonebanking can be kind of fun, hamming it up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 1:34 PM
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I didn't have internet at home for a year or so (organisational incompetence / short period of very mild poverty and then I decided to keep it up) and it was kinda fun but I don't think I was any happier really.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 2:32 PM
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You would just up and interrupt someone with a phone call like that?

They don't mind. They're standing behind a counter, bored, not looking at the internet.

134: Come to think of it, no. No one has suggested facetiming my baby.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 3:30 PM
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You are who they think you are.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 3:38 PM
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Iris is in 5th grade and her teachers are putting stuff up on the internet. It must not be required, because this school certainly doesn't have a demographic profile where home internet can be assumed, but it sure is handy. It would make assignments actively more difficult than otherwise (e.g., assignment rubrics are on the website, and projects can be turned in electronically - paperless schooling at last!).

Aside from that, 2 home offices, so it's a pretty moot point.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 4:15 PM
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this school certainly doesn't have a demographic profile where home internet can be assumed

swplbrag.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 4:21 PM
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Actually, JRoth, you're just the man I need to talk to. Any thoughts on how (thoughts on whether or why conveniently not solicited) best to install floating shelves in a kitchen? The shelves are 36" long, 10" deep, and 1 3/4" thick solid walnut, and you can assume the drywall can be entirely removed if necessary. Best online suggestion I've seen so far is allthread into the studs, with several inches sticking out; drill corresponding hole in the back of the shelf (1/16 larger than thread, for purposes of leveling), apply epoxy, insert shelf onto rods, level, done.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 4:26 PM
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I believe the correct Classical Greek is "duhthos".


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 4:32 PM
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You could make brackets out of cob.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 4:53 PM
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||

Followup to 29: it turns out you don't need to call 311 to make a noise complaint anymore in Minneapolis, they have an online form you can fill out if you want. Also they will absolutely tow a car away, or at least if you tell them the alarm was going off for eight hours.

The towing amused me more than anything because they shut the alarm off in order to tow it, so I can only assume there's some legal vengeance going on there or something.

|>


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 4:57 PM
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Cob is better for ledges than shelves.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 5:05 PM
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That depends. Some folks make cop using mud. Some folks make cob using carbon fiber and space-age polymers. Robocob.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 5:28 PM
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Stanley killed you and took your pseud, didn't he?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 5:31 PM
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Sorry. Cob trolling is just a cheap thrill.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 5:32 PM
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||
Hey can anyone reccomend a fudge recipe that is good?
|>


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 6:26 PM
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155 cont: no cob


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 6:32 PM
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150: That's awesome. I think that Halford had a similar alarm issue, but I think that it was his neighbor's house's alarm (fire alarm maybe?).


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 6:49 PM
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155: I don't have a specific recipe, but if you're not good with the candy-making perfect temperature/texture thing, which I'm not, recipes with marshmallows as an ingredient are a reliable cheat to get a fudge texture without having to worry about whatever the hell firm-ball means.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:10 PM
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I'm certainly no expert, but have had real success with the harder stages (laydeez).


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:12 PM
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This sort of recipe


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:19 PM
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147 is exactly what I did as a carpenter's assistant back in my youth*. Get a jig for ensuring that the drilling into the studs and shelves is perfectly level.

*Amazingly, this was in the kids' bedroom of the home of the landlords of some of my best college friends (the carpenter was based 35 miles outside the city; I have no idea how they found him to do this work). 20 years later, our friend/colleague who babysat Kai for a couple years married one of those kids, and we are now all friends. It's a really small town. Oh, and when the landlords** moved to a different house about 10 years ago, I did the driveway layout for the landscape architect they hired.

**nicknamed "Neil and his bitch wife L/sa", an assessment neither their son nor DIL would dispute


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:24 PM
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We used to make something like that when we were kids except we had evaporated or condensed milk in it. Also, we made it in one of those griddle pans.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:26 PM
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Yep. We had shelves made with condensed milk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:28 PM
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Mmm. Sticky.

I've never been good with candy. I try making it occasionally, and we'll mostly eat anything, so it gets eaten, but it's never right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:30 PM
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It's really hard to make candy and come out anything close to commercial candy on units of taste/dollar. Or at least much harder than it is for baking a cake or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:32 PM
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You can make Buckeyes and you can get them to taste as very good, but why not just go buy a bag of Reese's Cups for less than the cost ingredients?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:35 PM
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Some work connection of Buck's was outraged by the price of Williams-Sonoma peppermint bark, and now makes it in industrial quantities and sends it to everyone he knows for Christmas -- presumably he's doing it cheaper than he could buy it, because that's the point, but I don't actually know.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:37 PM
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Why can't he just buy candy in the CVS like a normal person.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:39 PM
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Also, what are you doing making Buckeyes? You come from Nebraska and live in Pennsylvania. Aren't they an Ohio-only foodstuff? There has to be some kind of intellectual property issue making them out of state.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:39 PM
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I'm an Ohio State alumni.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:40 PM
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On the whole turning off the internet at home thing: it strikes me that this principally becomes an issue* if you are prone to having a problem with self-control. If you can't or don't want to be distracted from more important concerns when at home, don't go online when at home. Plenty of people take this approach.

Plenty of people also don't have the ability to go online when at work: these people are more likely to need internet access at home. I see that Megan, who is turning off home internet access, has been commenting here during what are normally work hours. If you can do that, great, you may not need home access.

Obviously there's no single pattern that's right for all persons: what does seem inescapable at this point is that having no internet access is going to cause problems.


* Unless you just can't afford home internet access, as many people can't.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:41 PM
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170: All of you?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:42 PM
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170: Are not, unless there's more of you than I think there are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:42 PM
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We didn't do Latin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:42 PM
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why not just go buy a bag of Reese's Cups for less than the cost ingredients?

Greater peanut butter to chocolate ratio in buckeyes. Also the possibility of using better chocolate.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:43 PM
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A girl in my high school was branded a pathological liar for telling a few friends she'd tried to eat an actual buckeye thinking it was a candy one, which is indeed unbelievably stupid. I was raised to call real buckeyes horse chestnuts and I used to sneak them into the house so I could polish them and plan all the grand things I could do with them. I did use some as doll heads, not very successfully, but my parents vetoed my plan to hammer holes in them and string them up as a bead curtain. I don't think I had a buckeye candy until my teens, though they're ubiquitous here at Christmas.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:57 PM
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171: also I hear that water is wet and if you go outside in New England in the winter you should wear warm clothes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:59 PM
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There's not a lot of people know that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 7:59 PM
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176: They make good doll testicles if you have a large enough doll.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 8:01 PM
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179: I do not, nor do I plan to make one of cob if that's your next suggestion.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 8:03 PM
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You can also put them in your cheeks, to give yourself apple cheeks, if you don't have any crabapples.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 8:05 PM
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177, 178: I know, I know. Just wanted to belabor the point that if you really want to rough it, go without internet access at all. I hear that some people used to do that. Try not to be shocked.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 8:06 PM
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But parsley, whom did you think you were enlightening with such horse chestnuts of wisdom as "Plenty of people also don't have the ability to go online when at work: these people are more likely to need internet access at home."?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 8:08 PM
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177.2 is something that, thinking back, I think some people I went to college with should have been told, though about Minnesota rather than New England.

That might be a bit unfair, I guess. They should have been told that with the qualifier "what is warm in (picking mostly randomly) Kentucky is not what is warm in Minnesota in February". But there was still a noticeable learning curve there.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 8:21 PM
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nosflow, I was trying to be measured. Sometimes that calls for stating the obvious. I generally hate stating what seems to me to be obvious. Overall, what Megan is proposing, and is doing, isn't particularly radical or taxing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 8:25 PM
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But what were you even being measured about? What called for stating the obvious? Who, I ask again, needed that obvious thing stated to them? Did you imagine us ignorant of that?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 8:27 PM
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I'm ignorant of Latin plurals.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 8:28 PM
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Plurum?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 8:29 PM
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Pleurum.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 8:31 PM
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I'm moving towards less time online outside of work because fucking hell the seemingly universal adoption of the Upworthy style and constant new outrage of the minute is just too damn much. I increasingly enjoy the no internet access aspect of my trips to Yellowstone and the family cabin up in the Sierras.

Easily the bulk of my social media time is work related stalking of felons. It yields useful information and some laughs but it's also not doing my misanthropy any favors.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-24-15 9:39 PM
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I'm giving up the Internet for lent. Giving up the 2am to 4am leisure time on internet. Mostly.

Web pages 1995 vs 2015: https://twitter.com/rgarner/status/565143263779504129.

If you do not have internet you can get info or stuff by magic.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 12:17 AM
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God, that twitter link is just so much of my "fuck off internet" vibe lately. But hey, watch the unfogged stock rise by sheer virtue of being a sane place to have a discussion.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 12:27 AM
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Fudge:
Put 8oz butter, 1lb caster sugar and 1 tablespoon golden syrup into a saucepan.
Mix over a low heat as the butter melts. Simmer for about 5 mins. (I have actually switched to medium heat for this bit but I like a dark fudge with a deep flavour.)
Add 1 can condensed milk (about 14 oz I think - DO NOT GET CONFUSED WITH EVAPORATED MILK) and simmer gently for 20 mins, stirring constantly. The colour will gradually get deeper. Occasionally you will be scraping up darker bits from the bottom of the saucepan, don't worry about this but just stir them in, but if it's happening a lot you may want to lower the heat.
Around the 20 mins mark it should have a nice pale toffee colour. Remove from the heat and beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla essence and 1 teaspoon vinegar (yes, really. I use white wine vinegar).
Pour into a suitable baking tray or dish -the one I have is very roughly the size of an A4 sheet of paper but a bit narrower, with sides about 1 inch tall. It will work fine with something of different dimensions, too. You should either lightly oil it or line with waxed paper.
Score lines into the fudge with a sharp knife to mark out the squares and let it set. This takes a few hours but if you're in a hurry you can put it in the fridge (or just out into a cold place). The top surface will probably look a bit uneven where you tipped and scraped the last bits out the pan, so you turn the pieces upside down when you put them into whatever dish you're using to serve it.
I often melt some dark chocolate and pour over to create a thin top layer. If I do this I don't score
the fudge until the chocolate has set.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 12:44 AM
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155: USE A COMBINATION OF MARSHMALLOW FLUFF AND GUITTARD CHOCOLATE PAILETTES. yep, that recipe on the side of the fluff jar is awesome. I think I doctor it somehow...more, and more bitter, chocolate obvi. um, additional unsalted butter? I often make them fancy by putting flavored white chocolate ganache on it, white chocolate with 1 T grand marnier and grated orange peel, say. just a thin layer. I have made fudge many ways, and made for real candies, and marshmallow fluff is seriously the actual best, not merely the easiest--which it also is. NO SHAME.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 2:06 AM
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emir that sounds hella good but is not fudge. unless you forgot to type the part where you add SO MUCH chocolate to the boiling sugar mixture. that's toffee, kind of. I mean, I would eat all of it, but I don't think that's fudge.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 2:09 AM
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the hilarious thing is that fudge is canonically supposed to have been invented by young women at vassar or one of the other all-women's colleges as something they were able to throw together in a hasty way on the illegal burners in their pre-WWI dorms. so one always wonders, why the fuck did they happen to chance to want to throw together such a tricky fucking candy? even the condensed milk is a cheat code for the candy making process--milk and sugar boiled together as a syrup. afaik it didn't feature in the original. and sorry--it's easy to fuck up fudge. too dry and crumbly! doesn't cohere oh well best ice cream sundae ever! with the fluff it's child's play.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 2:17 AM
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Chocolate, marshmallows in fudge? What is this laxity!


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 2:30 AM
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Fudge is butter, milk and sugar. Anything else is optional flavouring.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 3:23 AM
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Looks like we have a right/left side of Atlantic divide. It's not toffee because texture (by the time you're adding flavouring it should be thick and sandy).
I believe the Scots have a further in between fudge and toffee thing called tablet.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 4:22 AM
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198 is right, except it's properly made with cream rather than milk (though evaporated milk is quite a good substitute). I was fascinated by 196, as an inferior version made with milk, sugar, and butter smuggled out of the school dining room was one of my comfort foods during the hell of boarding school.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 4:36 AM
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Tablet is what I get when I try to make fudge, because my timing is crap.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 4:39 AM
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Yeah, tablet has a slightly chalky crystalline texture. It tastes like you are mainlining sugar. It's the heroin of sugar/milk confectionary. It's totally obvious as you it it that it's really not healthy in any shape or form.

See also, macaroon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaroon#Scottish


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 4:46 AM
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202. Scottish health foods FTW. The odd thing about macaroon is that there are several things that go by the name and they're all inedible.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 5:07 AM
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Essentially all fudge sold in the U.S. is chocolate fudge. Occasionally they'll sell other variants, but they identify them as being chocolate free as opposed to considering chocolate-flavored fudge as chocolate-added.

A hot fudge sundae ia ice cream with a chocolate sauce (with condensed milk?)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 5:56 AM
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I'm really only looking for chocolate fudge, because it is so delicious compared to any other kind.

I'm making it for a fundraiser at a montessori school, so I'm torn about using marshmallow fluff. Also about corn syrup. I guess golden syrup would sub?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 7:11 AM
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I always thought fudge flavors without chocolate were perversions and the result of marketing gone mad, like "martinis" without any martini ingredients. Apparently this is historically inaccurate.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 7:13 AM
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I don't mean to make fun of you (or, at least, not in a bad way), but are you actually thinking there's a meaningful health difference between corn syrup and golden syrup? In fudge? I mean, use whichever you want, but I really wouldn't sweat the montessoriness of it all.

(Also with the marshmallow, which is sugar and gelatin. Again, this is already candy.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 7:15 AM
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206: No, I think the Brits have forked off the American women's college fudge tradition, which as I understand it included cocoa. (Also, linguistically, I believe that 'fudge' meaning 'fake' -- 'I fudged the data a little' -- predates the candy, which was just like almeida said: bullshit candy that you could make on the sly in your dorm room.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 7:18 AM
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206.1 is what I also thought. I'm going to forget I was ever told this was wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 7:20 AM
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205: As long as some kid with dubiously cleaned hands helped, it's Montessori good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 7:22 AM
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A hot fudge sundae ia ice cream with a chocolate sauce (with condensed milk?)

If my mother were here, she'd box your ears. It's true that most ice cream shops call their warm chocolate sauce "hot fudge", but they're lying. Chocolate, butter, and, yes, condensed milk, but it's close to a solid before you heat it, unlike e.g. chocolate syrup.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 7:23 AM
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207: I don't think there is.


Posted by: Turgid Jacoabian | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 7:26 AM
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Organic corn syrup?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 7:28 AM
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208: I wonder if the terminology became conflated rather than forked off? Tablet is actually closer to what I would call proper homemade "fudge" than the smooth, shop-bought variety, and apparently has a longer history than the American version, dating back to the early 18th century at least.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 7:36 AM
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I'd believe that -- Brits had tablet, and encountered American (default chocolate) fudge, and started calling a smoother version of tablet 'fudge'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 7:37 AM
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hey, america invented fudge, sorry, and it has all the chocolate in it, NOT SORRY. that stuff sounds good, like I say, a soft version of toffee, but it ain't even sort of fudge. turgid jacobian, I think worrying about putting sugary fake things in candy is kind of silly and you should boldly cast your vague health feelings aside. you're just boiling up a fuckton of sugar and butter and cocoa to begin with. so much sugar. "wow," you will say to yourself as you add 2 1/2 c sugar to the pot, "that's a lot of sugar." candy-making is inherently a somewhat unhealthy occupation. that you are also adding pre-boiled sugar with gelatin is not really a defect to my mind, although I'll admit that I too feel a twinge of embarrassment when the checkout person scans the jar of marshmallow fluff. also I promise it is so, so worth it in terms of consistent, easy, delicious results.

I remember now how I doctor it: follow the recipie on the side of the fluff which calls for cocoa powder (because you cannot boil chocolate for so long.) up the butter. take it off the heat and add high-quality chopped 80% cocoa pailletes or shavings, the amount in a normal bag of chocolate chips, say, and more vanilla than is called for, and stir till the chocolate is melted. then pour it into a plastic-wrap lined tin pan so that it ends up a shy 2". after it's set you can do the fancy white chocolate top layer thing but it's frippery. good luck with whatever you choose, and emir, I would be very pleased if I ever had the chance to eat your 'fudge.'


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:04 AM
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al, I'm not worried in the slightest about healthiness of the fake stuff--I'm trying to "sell" it at a fundraiser for the SWPLs.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:17 AM
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You know them, we don't, but are even SWPLs (the ones who will buy homemade candy at all) going to be put off by the difference between corn syrup and golden syrup, or by marshmallow? I could imagine a food snob being pissy about marshmallow as a cheat, but they wouldn't be buying bake-sake candy. I have a hard time picturing someone who's fine with chocolate and sugar, but put off for health reasons by corn-syrup and marshmallow. (Not saying that there's absolutely no one like that, but few enough that I wouldn't bother planning for them.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:32 AM
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211: What do you mean by solid? The stuff I have in my house from Trader Joe's is not like Hershey's chocolate syrup. It has the texture of frosting as opposed to a solid block.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:37 AM
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Use Karo syrup and organic marshmallows.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:41 AM
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218: I can absolutely imagine them. Think of heebie's moms-listserve: pretty bad at weighing risks.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:42 AM
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(Despite thinking of myself as a generally literate writer, I look back at my comments and realize that I have absolutely no consistent sense of hyphenation. I just throw them in at random. I wonder when I was supposed to learn that bit.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:44 AM
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221: You know your audience and we don't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:45 AM
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I have a hard time picturing someone who's fine with chocolate and sugar, but put off for health reasons by corn-syrup and marshmallow.

On corn syrup, there are a lot of people who steer away from corn syrup but are okay with plain sugar, which is viewed as less processed. It's plain cocaine, not crack, so it's ok in small doses. That may be insane (I honestly have no idea), but it's not uncommon.

On marshmallow, it's not a health point--including marshmallow turns the candy into something that vegetarians can't eat. (Most vegetarians won't eat marshmallow because of the gelatin.) So you need to include a warning (if you're being considerate) and you may end up excluding some of the kids.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:51 AM
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Forgot about the gelatin problem for veggies. Damn it.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:52 AM
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224 exhibits a culinary fastidiousness I do not ordinarily associate with the author.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:54 AM
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sucrose and fructose are different molecules, metabolized differently. I do not know whether or not there's much of a health outcome associated with too much fructose, but it's not an unreasonable concern on its face.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:56 AM
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224 is very thoughtful.

(They sell vegetarian marshmallows at places like Whole Foods. I just used some to make fondant.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:56 AM
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Just put some Lucky Charms cereal in some baggies and be done with it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:57 AM
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Well, we are leaving the school after this year.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:57 AM
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Oh, true on the non-vegetarian marshmallow. That I can see as a real issue. On the corn syrup -- isn't Karo for candy-making purposes a different thing chemically than HFCS, which is the stuff everyone worries about? (I checked, and Mother Jones says yes. HFCS is about half fructose, Karo has no fructose at all.) But admittedly anyone who worries that much about about HFCS probably isn't going to listen to you distinguishing Karo from it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 9:58 AM
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hey, america invented fudge, sorry, and it has all the chocolate in it, NOT SORRY.

Per the OED fudge is "a soft-grained sweetmeat prepared by boiling together milk, sugar, butter, etc.". Admittedly the OED is not a culinary encyclopedia but the Larousse Gastronomique is not available online, to my knowledge.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:01 AM
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Think of heebie's moms-listserve: pretty bad at weighing risks.

So true! But they're pretty relaxed about sugar and junk food.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:03 AM
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228: What's used in these marshmallows in place of gelatin? Is gelatin only sourced from animals? I know that with glycerine, it's usually from animal fats, but you can get it from plants too.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:06 AM
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I don't think I can pretend that TJ's market is some mysterious other into which I have no insight. 220 was (mostly) intended seriously.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:08 AM
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Agar? I don't know if it's a good universal substitute for gelatin, but I think that's what veggie marshmallows are made of. (That is, I don't know if they'd work the same way in fudge.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:08 AM
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But literal gelatin is definitely animal only.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:09 AM
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Tapioca, mostly.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:10 AM
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Ingredients: Tapioca Syrup, Cane Sugar, Tapioca Starch, Water, Carrageenan, Soy Protein, Vanilla.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:11 AM
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They get stale quickly but taste great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:14 AM
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Admittedly the OED is not a culinary encyclopedia

OED is also from the wrong side of the pond. Of course they are going to have the wrong definition.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:16 AM
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214/5 The internet tends to support this hypothesis, but it also suggests that fudge was invented in America in the 1880s. I find it hard to believe that something so obviously derived from halva is less than 150 years old, so I'm inclined to imagine there's more to it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:17 AM
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242: If 'fudge' as a word was first applied to chocolate fudge (rather than pre-existing non-chocolate tablet-type confections), isn't late 19th C perfectly plausible? Chocolate candy is 19th C.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:21 AM
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Yes, but in that case the interesting part of the question remains unanswered. If somebody decided to try flavouring their rather-softer-than-tablet with chocolate in 1880 and marketed it as "fudge", that only pushes the question back to "When did people start making rather-softer-than tablet and flavouring it with vanilla, flaked almonds, rum and raisin or nothing at all?" I couldn't care less about the trade name; it's the history of the product that matters.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:30 AM
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Maybe they didn't? Adding enough chocolate to make what an American would recognize as fudge to a tablet type recipe would change the texture a great deal -- there didn't have to be a three-step process of chalky tablet, to softer-non-chocolate-confection, to Vassar College dormroom chocolate fudge.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:34 AM
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Marshmallows are pretty gross no matter what they're made from.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:35 AM
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People ask me: Why do you write about fudge? Why don't you write about the struggle for power and security, and about love, the way others do?

They ask it accusingly, as if I were somehow gross, unfaithful to the honor of my craft.


Posted by: Opinionated Fudge-Loving MFK Fisher | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:35 AM
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I've now reached a level of attention deficit disorder wherein I will absentmindedly tab away from an Unfogged thread I haven't finished reading to load the main page and look for new comments.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 10:57 AM
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211: What do you mean by solid? The stuff I have in my house from Trader Joe's is not like Hershey's chocolate syrup. It has the texture of frosting as opposed to a solid block.

Yeah, that's what I meant. It's a solid in that it won't really pour, and if you scoop some up and turn the spoon upside down, it's pretty much going to stay there. Similar to Nutella, I guess, but maybe a scoche thicker, because it's still quite thick when heated, while Nutella only needs to be a bit warm to start running, and I think would be thin at hot fudge temps (could be wrong about that, that's just my sense of Nutella's heating properties).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 11:17 AM
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245 may be right; 246 is right beyond question.

I found a site which suggests that the term fudge was originally applied to batches of commercial toffee which failed because not hot enough and therefore had to be discarded; thus by transference to the stuff as now known. Plausible. "Fudge" as slang for nonsense, rubbish is traced to the late 18th century, so that would underlie the failed toffee.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 11:36 AM
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246 is wrong. Try the kind from Whole Foods.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-25-15 11:37 AM
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