Re: Zeitgeist

1

It's been done.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 4:16 PM
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Yes, but it changes.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 4:41 PM
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I'm pretty damn amused by my own, actually.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 4:53 PM
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Yours is better than mine now, Ogged.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 5:16 PM
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Mine's totally lame. Although it does have kittens. (one on the first page, more on page two.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 5:21 PM
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Yours is better than mine now, Ogged.

But mine is only so awesome because it has two apostrophers on it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 5:23 PM
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Hey, I'm on your first page too, LB!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 5:32 PM
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For some reason mine has way more results than any of yours.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 5:33 PM
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9

Mine's even lamer than LizardBreath's.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 5:46 PM
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Okay, Magpie has more results than I do. But they seem to all be pictures of magpies.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 5:46 PM
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She's a pretty bird, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 5:47 PM
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Mine's not bad. Dig the horse dildo.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 5:48 PM
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13

Mine turns up this disturbing bonobo. (I think it's a bonobo, at least. Not a chimp expert, I.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 5:52 PM
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12. Ben, you do not look like a horse dildo! Have some confidence, fer chrissake.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 6:32 PM
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Mine just turns up pictures from my blog, then some orthographical marks, none of which is actually a dagger aleph.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 6:33 PM
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Only one image on a search for my Unfogged handle, but my real full name turns up some jerk who's out running around with my name.


Posted by: Zadfrack | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 6:39 PM
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I definitely have the most "not-quite-out-of-the-closet" image page.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 6:46 PM
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18

Fontana Labs's [NSFW] image results sure are interesting.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 6:52 PM
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19

Hmm


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 7:02 PM
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Mine just turns up some hockey players, a picture of me and inexplicably, a picture of Bjork.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 7:02 PM
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By the way, the preview for the big screen edition of Persian v. Whitey is up. This movie is going to fucking rule.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/300/


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 7:19 PM
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Seaching under my handle just turns up a bunch of motorcyle pictures. I get quite a few flickr pics of mine under my real name.

And I'm thrilled to discover that I've been pushed out of the top 5 pages of results in a regular search by the addition of a bed-and-breakfast owner who refers to his pug a a "junior innkeeper."


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 7:25 PM
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Gah - there are actually pictures of me out there. Pictures of me after a vodka tonic or three, partying with grammar geeks...


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 7:39 PM
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24

Did you mean logged?


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 7:49 PM
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Unflogged. Hey, that's not bad.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 7:55 PM
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mcmanus doesn't embarrass me

bob mcmanus shows why I am nonymous

(actually that is not my real name and am of Finnish-Sikh-Paraguayan descent...little lies)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 7:56 PM
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21: Whoah, very cool, but totally in uncanny valley territory.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 8:38 PM
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DE has a tattoo?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 8:40 PM
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Oddly, a search on my real name (which is neither Krugman nor Cthulu) directs you to this image.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 8:58 PM
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My pseudonym and my real name each come up with bupkuss.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 9:01 PM
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There are many John Emersons. The only John Emerson image on the first page that has anything to do with me comes from my site and is NSFW.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 9:17 PM
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My name and handle both indicate I am in fact an east coast hipster fiddler.

http://www.gswift.com/


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 9:33 PM
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Fuckin' A! Check this one out. I'm the coolest.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 9:41 PM
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A-and for that matter: a Google image search on my contemporary handle retrieves only one image, an NSFW shot of Little Sea Biscuit.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 9:46 PM
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35

Wonder what she's intending to do with those tongs.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 9:47 PM
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36

Sell them on E-Bay.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 9:49 PM
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The inside scoop on Little Sea Biscuit can be found at the Apostropher's site.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 9:52 PM
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38

wow, soft core (that's the first hit for "Katherine").


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 10:10 PM
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34: For a split second, I thought that was a nude photo of Penny Marshall.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 10:41 PM
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By the way, the preview for the big screen edition of Persian v. Whitey is up.

Greeks aren't white.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 11:01 PM
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Unsurprisingly, I'm mostly myself. Except for that weird teratoma thing, I have no idea what's up with that. Also: yay Rufus Sewell!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 11:06 PM
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40: Oh really?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 11:11 PM
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Re The 300, I'm glad that the line about fighting in the shade when the Persian arrows blot out the sun made it into the movie, because it's such a great line. However, I'd like to see a movie in which lines like that are uttered by world-weary Wilde-like decadents, because they're obviously bivalent.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 11:26 PM
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My name merits one page on Google, including links from Helpy-Chalk's blog -- r0xXx0r! -- and to this awesome post on an Ambrosia software forum: I have an EVO/N pilot named Jesus McQueen. He pilots the shuttlecraft Rectar. The no. 1 link is to this uncanny likeness. In this way the Internet makes me happy.

But someone searching under my real name might be led to believe that not only am I involved in Dallas-area musical theater, but that I've been praised as "one of the finest musical directors in the metroplex, hands down." In this way the Internet makes me sad.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 11:51 PM
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45

Oddly enough, I'm linked to the first result for Iron Cross. It's a bit disconcerting.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10- 5-06 11:55 PM
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46

So this is you, Matt?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:01 AM
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47

"View Shoppin' Coffin" is excellent.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:04 AM
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48

I should point out that it only holds true when moderate safe-search filtering is engaged, apparently.

Though I do own a pair of those boots.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:20 AM
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49

Greeks aren't white.

I tend to think of all the Indo-European language speakers as white. And yeah, that technically includes Persians. But for the purpose of using this movie to sow racial disharmony, Persian v. Whitey will have to do.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:44 AM
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50

I just got 24. Well-played, TD.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:54 AM
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51

28: I have four. The one visible in that picture was done by Spider Webb, which makes it terribly culturally iconish in the tattoo world.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:33 AM
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52

gswift,
That is a contradiction no? One presumes Indo-European includes Indian languages, and Indians are not white (even if Persians are considered to be so).


Posted by: The Blue Flautist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 3:09 AM
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53

Under what sick WASP standard are Greeks not white?

I know this has come up before and the fluid socially-constructed nature of 'whiteness' in the US context has also been discussed before, but I'd have thought most people considered Greeks white?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 3:23 AM
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Indians are not white

Well, not literally white skinned. But since the linguistic evidence suggest that the Indo-Aryan radiation out of Central Asia included India. And the genetics I've seen suggest high interbreeding.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12943158&dopt=Abstract

The difference between say, Indians and the Northwestern European Anglos doesn't strike me as more severe than the difference between those same Anglos and the Persians or the Sicilians.

Not to say this is some kind of widely accepted standard. As 53 says, this is a pretty fluid thing. It's just how it plays out in my head.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 4:26 AM
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54: I wouldn't go there (I'd go to India like a shot if somebody was paying, but...). Southern Indians don't speak IE languages. Bengalis do, but apparently the DNA stuff suggests they're more closely related to the Burmese.

Bottom line: Indians don't identify as white. Greeks (at least in Europe) do. What ttaM said.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 4:32 AM
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56

I doubt the Persians identify as white either. But "white" isn't really a good term because it's got all kinds of other connotations. For me anyways, all the Indo-Aryan groups get lumped together mentally.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 4:47 AM
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re: 56

I suspect that lumping together in that way may be a mistake depending on whether you are interested in i) genetic identity or ii) linguistic identity. The fact that various disparate ethnic groups speak languages that are related to each other is not necessarily a guide to whether they are genetically inter-related.

The idea of the 'Aryans' as some all-conquering horse-borne warriors radiating out from central Asia and displacing the populations in Europe and Northern India -- the 'old-school' view -- is much more likely a myth than reality.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 5:37 AM
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all the Indo-European language speakers as white

B-but you're including Iranians! a-and Mexicans!


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 5:45 AM
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59

Linguistically, African Americans are Indo-European. Culturally, ain't no such animal. Genetically, it's an extremely dodgy area (see the thread a few days ago when Emerson and I were banging on about the bloke who claims the British are genetically basically Basque, or Basquilly base or something).

How did this sidetrack start anyway?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 5:49 AM
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How did this sidetrack start anyway?

Well see long about February 2003, -gg-d and his friend Unf decided to start a web log...


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 6:02 AM
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At what point did you people start holding serious beliefs about what did or did not define the White Race?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 6:25 AM
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62

This whitey's name turns up "Briana Loves Jenna" once you slide past the other oddities sharing my profession.
Ogged, Surgeon General's in your CV? Impressive.


Posted by: the psycho therapist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 6:31 AM
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Round about the time I bought my first Prussian Blue album...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 6:32 AM
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64

"you people" s/b "you Nazis"


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 6:36 AM
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OT (and of interest only to a subset of New Yorkers): Coliseum Books is closing, alas. They will be having a clearance sale soon which ought to be a don't-miss event.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 6:41 AM
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13: That's a common chimpanzee. Bonobos have weird red marks aroudn their lips, like they just ate something really juicy. They also have big red genitals, but you wouldn't see that in the photo you linked to.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 7:13 AM
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Please allow me to interrupt this thread to ask: are there any ND fans out there? (Cala?) Because if so, you have to listen to this. It's an audio clip of a Michigan Sports Radio host losing his mind after MSU loss to ND. The clip is long but it gets better and better as it goes. It may honestly be the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life. This guy is either completely wasted on the air or he must have had about 5 grand riding on the game. Most likely both.

On second thought, everyone should listen to this clip. If you didn't see the game, the context was a huge comeback win, with 19 unanswered 4th quarter points by ND to sqeak past an MSU team who had been up big all night. And it was pouring rain.

Okay, back to your conversation everyone. 17- look once more thorugh the photos my handle turns up, and tell me again who's the most not-quite-out-of-the-closet?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 7:19 AM
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I am getting very different results for all of the image searches today, when I am accessing Google from my work computer, which has an IP address that makes it look like I'm in Canada. Google must maintain separate image databases at its various locations, and update them separately.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 7:27 AM
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Have you guys all seen the Nietzsche Family Circus linked by Husband X already? It's an awesome thing. Now with permalinks -- I was trying to think of some kind of "-gg-d is Friedrich Nietzsche" joke but Nietzsche's sexism is of a different sort I think.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 7:35 AM
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Coliseum books? Someone just recommended it to me as a great place for sheet music. Well, shit.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 8:35 AM
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Are you sure? I never looked for sheet music there -- it could be there is a large section devoted to it which has escaped my notice -- but I don't think they have any. The places I know for sheet music are mostly in the 50's, and there's a big store on Bowery or so.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 8:37 AM
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Like there is a really good sheet music store that I forgot the name of, directly behind Carnegie Hall, for classical and some jazz, and Colony (I think is the name) at Broadway and 50th is excellent for popular music.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 8:42 AM
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Linguistically, African Americans are Indo-European. Culturally, ain't no such animal.

Not yet, but it's onlly been a few hundred years. Even with rather stringent societal barriers, African American populations have significant levels of European genetic contributions.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 8:47 AM
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Hey! I went to Colony on Wednesday! I kind of stumbled into it on my one day in NYC, and ended up spending $50. That place is massive.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 8:51 AM
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75

Colony also sells online.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 8:54 AM
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Oh, my recommender must've gotten the names mixed up. That's something of a relief, though it diminishes the chances of my picking up what I was looking for at cut-rate prices.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 9:00 AM
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67: CHOKED ON APPLESAUCE! This is awesome. God, it must suck being an MSU fan.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 9:02 AM
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78

73: Are you arguing that black is white?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 9:02 AM
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Right, it is marginally less bad news that Coliseum is going out of business, than it would be that Colony was going out of business. Great book stores, while rare, are far more common than great sheet music stores.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 9:05 AM
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Are you arguing that black is white?

Not white, but whiter than they were.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 9:08 AM
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81

The Armsmasher image archive includes a couple polaroids of Tommy and me.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 9:16 AM
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82

Are you the one on the right?


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 9:17 AM
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83

A-and who's teh lovely lady whom you are smearing with mud?


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 9:18 AM
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Hm. 3 pictures of me, 2 pictures not-of-me. Bo-ring.

For a while, the first google images hit on "tom scudder" was the standing-on-a-box-with-a-hood-on-his-head Abu Ghraib guy.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 9:40 AM
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Oh, huh—this morning, those images that aren't armwrestling weren't showing up in the search. The nude wrestlers are, of course, the blue-bodied ladies of Yves Klein.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 9:42 AM
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86

I suspect that lumping together in that way may be a mistake depending on whether you are interested in i) genetic identity or ii) linguistic identity.

I should clarify a bit here. These are of course fairly fuzzy distinctions, especially as you increase the geogrpahic proximity. I threw out the Indo Aryan thing as I figured more people would recognize that than "Pritchard and Rosenberg." But really that's the rough grouping I'm speaking of. When I think "white" I think of that rough genetic clustering of Pritchard and Rosenberg that has Europe and Asia west of the Himalayas as one of the five major groups.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 9:59 AM
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87

You honkeys are making the baby Farber cry.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 10:24 AM
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88

Isn't the usual Unfogged line "there's no such thing as race"? Seriously, what the fuck?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 10:49 AM
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67: Brock, I don't give two rat's asses about college football, but that audio clip is 99.9% pure Grade A Awesome.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 10:49 AM
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88: I said the thing about Greeks as a specific reference to the Giant Thread in which we first had that long discussion, in which Gary was such a forceful participant (hence, I presume, 87).

I don't know what everyone else is doing. Ironic reënactment?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:00 AM
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I'm fully on board with the 'there's no such thing as race' thing. Hence my reference above to fluid, socially constructed categories.

I wasn't aware the greek thing was a reference to the earlier thread though. I read it at the time but all you whiteys type alike to me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:06 AM
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Ben, you prat, no one but the New Yorker puts the diaeresis on that "e". And even the magazine doesn't do it consistently (e.g., "neuroŽconomics"). After you liberated Unfogged from the dreadful American conventions for punctuation inside quotations, you wish to shackle us with a different burden?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:07 AM
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I don't know what everyone else is doing. Ironic reŽnactment?

Yeah, that's what I was thinking, but after a while with these things I'm never quite sure.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:08 AM
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Armsmasher, you git, I'll diærese as I please.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:11 AM
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Ben, you boob, cease and disiśrese. I'm trying to save you undo embarrassment before your date on Sunday.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:37 AM
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Armsmasher, you gormless nancy-boy, I'm sure to be over my fit of diæresia by Sunday. Besides, I'll be more concerned to ligate than to diærate* then.

*diæretion: alternate term for teabagging


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:42 AM
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I recently had to explain to my boss exactly what teabagging is and why it is a bad idea to make jokes about tea bags during otherwise-serious meetings.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:47 AM
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98

Couldn't you have let it lie?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:48 AM
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99

91 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:49 AM
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Isn't the usual Unfogged line "there's no such thing as race"?

Yes, except that's silly. If there's no such thing as race, then there's no such thing as racism. The biological underpinnings of race are dodgy at best, but as long as 100% of Americans can identify Dick Cheney as white and Condi Rice as black, we still gots race in America.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:51 AM
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98: What, my sac? On his uvula?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:53 AM
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102

Yes, except that's silly. If there's no such thing as race, then there's no such thing as racism.

There can be discrimination based on what an actor takes to exist, even if it doesn't actually exist.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:53 AM
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as long as 100% of Americans can identify Dick Cheney as white and Condi Rice as black, we still gots race in America.

Interbreeding is the solution.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 11:59 AM
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104

With those two, please just don't make me watch.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:01 PM
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105

102: Technically, yes. The point, though, is that social constructs are still existing things. Example.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:08 PM
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If there's no such thing as race, then there's no such thing as racism.

That doesn't follow at all. I still can hate you for a trait you don't actually have - or even a trait that's not even real - as long as I think you have it. If 100% of Americans believe Condi Rice is a witch, and burn her at the stake for her awful witchery, this doesn't mean Condi Rice can actually fly around on a broom or turn me into a newt. Even if Condi Rice herself thinks she's a witch, it doesn't mean she's a witch; it just means that she, like everyone else in the country, has been duped into believing a potent lie.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:14 PM
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doesn't mean Condi Rice can actually fly around on a broom or turn me into a newt

Wouldn't put it past her though.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:17 PM
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108

Granted, it was a poor construction. What I meant was, as long deep problems with race continue to exist in America (and they do), then it's not feasible to say race doesn't exist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:19 PM
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What was objectionable, though, was the discussion of race as a biological fact. To the degree that race exists at all, it's a social construct. There is no whiteness in the sense that "Greeks are white" or "Arabs aren't white" makes sense.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:24 PM
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I can't believe we're discussing this instead of the awesomeness of 67, but: I can see that race is in a sense a social construct. But in another sense, it's not. Our lumping the gradations of human variation into the categories of "black," "white," "Native American," "Pacific Islander," etc. on the census is definitely artificial, for example.

But 30,000 years ago or so, a small population of perhaps 150 humans (to hear the geneticists tell it, using their understanding of our genetic history) left Africa. This population eventually split, one group going on to populate all of Europe, the other going on to populate Asia. This is where the three broadest, most traditional scientific racial classifications come from: negroid, caucasoid, and mongoloid. These three distinct populations, each encompassing various subpopulations, lived in different environments and interbred within their groups with one another long enough to create the skin tones and facial features we tend to think of as characteristic of these groups. Is that not both "race" and biological fact?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:35 PM
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The biological underpinnings of race are dodgy at best, but as long as 100% of Americans can identify Dick Cheney as white and Condi Rice as black, we still gots race in America.

Agree entirely. The charitable explanation of people arguing otherwise on formal grounds is that they feel like being jackasses. Fair enough. That seems pretty normal; we all feel like being jackasses from time to time. The uncharitable explanation is that they want to destroy the language by which certain types of observable inequities are addressed and (we hope) mitigated. Those people are dicks.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:36 PM
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112

110 was me, sock-putteting.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:37 PM
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puppeting, I mean.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:46 PM
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112 -- you were doing a poor job of it. When you sock-puppet, the idea is to sign someone else's name.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:47 PM
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I did. In reverse. Nevermind.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:53 PM
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To clarify, I wasn't signing someone else's name to my argument, but I was signing my name to someone else's argument. Plagiarizing, the kids used to call it. I refuse to divulge my sources however. I'd like the argument to be treated seriously.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 12:59 PM
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I understand that calling them distinct populations is poorly supported -- the geographically contiguous groups you find if you sort people by skin color are not the same as the geographically contiguous groups you find if you sort them by, e.g., blood type frequencies.

To treat the argument seriously. (BTW, the technical term for putting forth an argument you don't believe in under your own name is trolling, not sockpuppeting. I suppose it isn't trolling if you do it openly.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 1:14 PM
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Brock can take this thread to 1000 all by himself.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 1:39 PM
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110: Race qua genetic ancestry might well be a biological fact (although as LB points out, maybe not a terribly well supported one depending upon the trait you choose), but even granting that, it doesn't follow that the social traits we associate with race qua skin color have any genetic origin at all. (To take one example, it's not clear that when my Italian ancestors moved here that they would have been considered white by the Mayflower crowd; but they are now, and it's not due to genetic changes in the past 100 years.)

To the extent that 'race' is often used to mean 'that collection of social traits is handed down on high from God or evolution and skin color is a good proxy', it seems wholly false.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 1:39 PM
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The socially constructed race categories that we put people into and any categories that we might define according to some biological criteria are quite different.

As LB says sorting by skin colour, or by blood type frequencies, or lactose tolerance, or prevalence of sickle-cell trait, or population prevalence of particular genes known to lead to Tay-Sachs disorder, to take only a few examples, will each give different classificatory groups and none of those will be coextensive with any particular (socially constructed) racial grouping defined on conventional grounds.

There's two senses in which one can deny that 'races' exist. One is to deny that any distinction is made in language or in social practice -- that would be crazy.

The other would be to deny that the racial classifications embedded in our social practices and linguistic distinctions reflect any underlying biological distinction; to deny, in other words, that races form natural kinds.

The fact that blackness reflects no real biological distinction doesn't mean that black people don't face discrimination.

Incidentally, part of what makes the whole 'whiteness' conversation that's been going on here over the past few months interesting to me is that Americans and Brits seem to use the term differently. Something that reinforces rather than undermines the claim that race categories are largely social constructions.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 1:45 PM
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Americans and Brits seem to use the term differently

How do Brits use it?


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 1:49 PM
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I've an idea what he means, but I'd like ttaM to say.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 1:56 PM
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Well, my sense from the previous discussions, and I may be wrong, is that the US useage seems to have more of a class element and whiteness seems, and again I may be wrong, to be particularly centred around a particular type of WASP identity. With other (pale-skinned) groups becoming 'white' only to the extent that they are accepted alongside that WASP identity.

British useage is a lot cruder and seems to come down to skin colour and nothing else. I certainly can't imagine my British friends debating whether some group X was 'white' or not, as has gone on here recently.

Note, this is only my impression from recent discussions. I wouldn't want to rest any kind of argument on it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 1:57 PM
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How do Brits use it?

Oh--I can answer that one.

They use it to mean "with milk", as in "I'd like a coffee please, white, with sugar."

It's strange, but I agree it's a good example of the social construction underlying our talk about race.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:00 PM
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Would the American idiom "that's white of you" where white = honest, loyal, good make sense spoken by a British person?


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:00 PM
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re: 125

I don't think I've ever heard that said outside of a US movie.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:02 PM
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Wouldn't that be a feature of less European immigration to the UK? In the US, 'white' means a couple of things -- it means your skin is somewhere between pink and pale beige, and that you're unquestioned as a member of the dominant ethnic group; no one's going to oppress you because of your ethnicity. There have historically been large groups of pink/beige-skinned people who, in the US, nonetheless were ill-treated due to their ethnicity (because they weren't WASPs, etc.), and so who are thought of as in some contexts as not necessarily 'white' in the second sense.

My sense of the UK is that the vast majority of immigrants and immigrant-descendants are non-pink/beige skinned, so the two meaning we have here collapse into each other. Anyone getting a hard time for their ethnicity is also going to be someone with a non-'white' skin color.

But I don't actually know if that's true. For all I know, the UK is riddled with Italians, in which case my theory is shot to hell.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:06 PM
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126 -- and yet it's an actual turn of phrase. I've heard it in the central valley and in upstate New York, and I assume it is in use in the south though I'm a stranger there.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:09 PM
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Okay, this is a propos of nothing, but.

I just followed a link to a Jersey paper who are reporting that Kean is calling for Hastert's resignation.

Down at the bottom there's a link saying "More Jersey News", and featuring this story:

"Stripper, doctor indicted in severed hand case "

I mean, isn't that just one of the most beautiful headlines ever, esp. under the heading "More Jersey News"?

As a former resident of the Garden State, I love it. Though maybe the Heading should have been "Same old same old in Jersey".


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:15 PM
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There has, historically, been quite a bit of European immigration into the UK. In Scotland, lots of Italians and Poles in the 1940s, for example. The area my Dad grew up in Glasgow was an area with a large Jewish population who'd emigrated from Eastern Europe.

So, ironically, bits of the UK are fairly riddled with Italians. In my home town in Scotland at one time all the chip shops and all the ice cream parlours were Italian run and two of the three working men's clubs in the nearest large town were Polish clubs.

You are right, though, that the largest group of immigrants, by far, have been from former British colonies in Africa, the Indian sub-continent and the Caribbean and th demographic make-up of recent immigration into the UK may be a factor in the differing usages.

However, Brits do have a full range of racist insults for various non-British but European groups and I'm sure members of those groups were and continue to be mistreated in some ways, so I'm not surely I'd entirely go along with your explanation.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:15 PM
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All population groups have an evolutionary and geographical ancestry that can be fairly well identified by visible traits. Self-identified racial groupings also correlate highly with genetic maps and geographical origins. Polymophisms, haplotype maps, specific disease prevalence, and other genetic markers for human population groups do correlate, albeit roughly, with markers such as skin colour.

Race as a social construct moves beyond the genetic basis into horrendous territory for which there is no scientific underpinning.


Posted by: Y. | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:18 PM
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128: It is in use in the South, but I've only ever heard it used ironically and accompanied by an eyeroll, to imply that somebody has done the absolute bare minimum required by politeness and no more.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:20 PM
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I know there was a substantial Polish influx into Scotland after WWII. I always wondered if the Monte Python character "Angus Potgorny" the kilt-maker who defeats the Blemonge(sp?) at Wimbledon, was a reference to that. The Bill Forsyth movie Comfort and Joy is about a comic war between two Italian Ice Cream Truck families in Edinburgh.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:23 PM
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129 -- what no link?


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:23 PM
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I mean, isn't that just one of the most beautiful headlines ever, esp. under the heading "More Jersey News"?

I once saw a local news promo that included the line "An Albuquerque stabbing turns deadly." That tells you pretty much all you need to know about Albuquerque.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:25 PM
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re: 133

Re: Comfort and Joy: the actual Ice Cream Wars -- which were real -- were actually pretty violent. There were deaths.

http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=141&id=225282004


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:26 PM
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follow the link from TPM's post about Kean.

and, no, I don't have a direct link to the stripper and the severed hand because I didn't read it. I was pretty sure that what makes for a hilarious headline would make for a tawdry, depressing story in detail.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:28 PM
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Aha:

A stripper who had a severed human hand in a jar at her New Jersey house and the former medical student who is accused of giving it to her as a tip have been indicted.

As a tip!


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:32 PM
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It must have been Gainesville, FL, neurologist J/oseph J/ames W/arner who tipped her.


Posted by: Y. | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:34 PM
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117- funny, that's not exactly how I would use the term trolling. Or not necessarily. Is this definition accepted? (And is it biologically based or is a "troll" just a social construction?)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:35 PM
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*universally* accepted. Jesus Christ I can't believe I'm being paid to draft documents right now. I'm going to be sued, no doubt about it.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:36 PM
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oh god, not the old "that's not how I define trolling" troll.

hey, I was wrong about the stripper and the severed hand being tawdry and depressing. Now I see it's really sweet, heart-warming, and life-affirming. In formaldehyde.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:38 PM
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in other breaking news, Sullivan gets uncharacteristically witty with a photo of Bush and Foley comparing what they got with what they think they got:

http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/10/one_foley_point.html

I mean, I don't usually think Sully's that funny--far too earnest and full of himself. But this is good.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:43 PM
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Look, I wasn't trolling, I was arguing the other side. And not even the other side so much as just a side to which I'm not fully commited. Does devil's advocate necessarily = troll these days? And furthermore, the reason I called it sock-puppeting is becuase it is literally not my argument -- I lifted those words copy and paste from another source. I didn't want anyone thinking I was trying to pass them off as my own. The general protocol is to say "as so-and-so argues", but I can't do that here for secret reasons.

I can't believe I have to defend myself like this here. I'm not exactly a total newb.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:44 PM
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you *definitely* do not have to defend yourself to me.

I only accused you of trolling about the definition of trolling in order to be needlessly provocative and derail the conversation from its original purpose.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:47 PM
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Dude, I didn't mean to say "You're trolling, you stop that you bad bad commenter," just that a word of equivalent connotation to 'sock-puppeting' but meaning 'making arguments you don't believe in for the sake of provoking argument' is 'trolling'. (A) I didn't understand exactly what you meant you were doing -- I thought you'd said you didn't agree with the argument you were quoting, and (B) I didn't intend to harsh on you about it.

And sure you could say "as-so-and-so-argues", just withhold the name. (I'm starting to think you work in the White House, or perhaps the CIA.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:50 PM
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Playing devil's advocate does not entail that one is a troll provided that the community is welcome to devil's advocate style debates and the arguments are made in good faith. (i.e., don't go to a feminist website and protest that men are abused, too, unless you're well-established in the community and they're welcome to it.)

Brock, sock-puppeting is generally taken to mean adopting another handle in order to express agreement with your own position to make it look as if your argument has more supporters than it does.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:55 PM
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LB- Didn't I already tell you once that I'm the President?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:57 PM
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I only accused you of trolling about the definition of trolling in order to be needlessly provocative and derail the conversation from its original purpose.

Is this that "irony" thing the kids keep talking about?


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 2:57 PM
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Cala- I know what sock-puppeting generally is, I just thought that, of all the common expressions used to describe various sorts of internet delinquency, that one came the closest. Maybe I was wrong. Can't see that it's very important.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 3:00 PM
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I think that race, like a lot of things, is illuminated by what used to be called something like "marking theory".

You don't have to argue that there's no physical substrate to racism, or no races at all, but just say that racisms exaggerate the importance of race and, in particular, stigmatize some races wrongly.

A comparable case is birth defects. Some cultures think that certain birth defects and hereditary marks are signs of devil possession, or whatever. You don';t have to argue that these birth defects don't exist or are not hereditary or not real, just that the devil possession theory is wrong. Strawberry birthmarks, for example (as far as I know) mean nothing about anything.

Arguments about race are a lot like arguments about speciation and designation of strains in zoology or botany. There are a lot of fuzzy sets that people disagree about, and when politicized (Endangered Species Act) the argument gets messy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 3:03 PM
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Perhaps it would help if I were more explicitly clear about the fact that I've never actually meant anything I've ever said in my life. Not earnestly, at least. There's always at least a touch of complete bullshit involved. Even my wedding vows. So don't, you know read too much into things.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 3:11 PM
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MOTHER OF FUCK WHY AM I UNABLE TO TYPE ANYTHING CORRECTLY!?!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 3:14 PM
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151: But even on top of that, while it would be false to say that there are no underlying biological facts which racism is a reaction to (that is, there are differing skin colors, etc.), it is (to the best of my knowledge) wrong to think of 'races' in the social sense as a crude but basically accurate way of sorting people into real biological categories.

That is, when a pre-scientific person looked at a horse and a donkey, or a dog and a wolf, and put them in different categories, that was a folk-recognition of a biological reality (I think this is what nattarGcM meant by 'natural kind' but IANAPhil). If you have six horses and six donkeys in a field, there's not going to be any biologically sensible way of sorting them other than by putting all the horses in one group and all the donkeys in the other, and there's not going to be any confusion about whether something is a horse or a donkey. When we look at people and call them 'white' or 'black', on the other hand, while that sorting is related to the geographical origin of their ancestors, there are going to be a lot of ambigious cases, and a lot of biologically sensible sortings that mingle 'black' and 'white' people in the same groupings.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 3:21 PM
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153: What, a missing comma?


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 3:24 PM
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153: Dude, don't you have a three- or four-month-old kid?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 3:37 PM
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With colic, yet?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 3:46 PM
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154: Basically, if race has any biological meaning its as subspecies. In biology subspecies classification is tricky too.

The way it's marked is the key. For example, if racial categories were only used to guide intake questioning for medical purposes, no one would object.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 3:51 PM
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154: These happen to be two species where there is no abiguity. Ten thousand years ago, the distinction between donkeys and horses wouldn't be so great. Race, of course, is ambiguous on the edges of an indefinite population group. But there are representative examples where no ambiguity exists.


Posted by: Y. | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 3:53 PM
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if racial categories were only used to guide intake questioning for medical purposes, no one would object. I think race is a superstition too.

But isn't there a recognition that treatments "normed" on white people over the decades might not work as well in black populations? In that sense, "race" is a proxy for ancestral traits that have some significance, not always present of course but often enough for the clinician to have a hunch. There are probably many such ancestral proclivities among other populations, e. g. Alcoholism and Tay-Sachs, to name two. "Black" is in these cases a not-insignificant starting point.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 4:01 PM
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re: 154

Natural kinds are normally taken to be categories whose reality is independent of our classificatory schemes. That is, there's some property or properties that mark out some group of entities as a 'kind' independently of our decision to lump them together under the same term.

To use one common phrase, natural kind terms 'cut nature at the joints'.

For a lot of contemporary philosophers (post Kripke, Putnam and others) this is often taken to mean that there is some essential property or properties that are held by that kind such that posession of such a property (or properties) is both necessary and sufficient for membership of that kind.

So, for example, on this account, having a certain number of protons and a certain number of neutrons is held to be an essential property of a particular isotope of, say, oxygen. What makes 'oxygen' oxygen is its having of that atomic structure and that's a fact about oxygen that was true pre-Lavoisier -- i.e., before we even had a word for oxygen or a way of identifying it as a particular sort of stuff.

To contrast, 'Sweet smelling stuff' and 'stuff bigger than my thumb' are examples of *non*-natural kinds.

Even if you accept an essentialist reading of natural kind claims -- and I, personally, am (mostly) inclined towards a general skepticism about essentialism of this type -- it's hard to argue that our race classifications, as expressed in our use of language and in our social practices, are natural kinds of that type.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 4:04 PM
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Basically, if race has any biological meaning its as subspecies. In biology subspecies classification is tricky too.

I'm not a hundred percent sure of the science here, but I think this is still wrong. Subspecies definition is tough, but my belief is that races aren't enough like subspecies to even be a hard call; that a biologist, looking at differences of the sort we call 'racial' in another species, wouldn't be thinking 'subspecies' -- the differences are too small, and the breaklines are nowhere near clear enough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 4:05 PM
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161: I think that "natural kinds" thinking doesn't work very well at the level of biological species either. I've been told that classification of flowering plants is especially messy.

Subspecies differences are very small, as I understand.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 4:17 PM
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I'm throwing back half-remembered things, but I think the deal with subspecies that makes 'races' not work is that you want a clear breakline of a sort that isn't available in the human species. Is Ogged, with his Mongol ancestry, white? Asian? Plenty of times and places he'd have been called black. And ambiguous cases are much more the rule than the exception.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 4:22 PM
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A subspecies + hybridize Google verifies that where territories overlap, subspecies do hybridize.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 4:28 PM
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Here's Wikipedia on subspecies:

Note the key qualifier above: to be regarded as different groups rather than as a single varied group, the difference must be distinct, not simply a matter of continuously varying degree. If, for example, the population in question is a type of frog and the distinction between two groups is that individuals living upstream are generally white, while those found in the lowlands are black, then they are classified as different groups if the frogs in the intermediate area tend to be either black or white, but a single, varied group if the intermediate population becomes gradually darker as one moves downstream.
This is not an arbitrary condition. A gradual change, called a cline, is clear evidence of substantial gene flow between two populations. A sharp boundary between black and white, or a relatively small and stable hybrid zone, on the other hand, shows that the two populations do not interbreed to any great extent and are indeed separate species. Their classification as separate species or as subspecies, however, depends on why they do not interbreed.

And it then goes on to say that when you have two different groups that don't interbreed even when they have access to each other, they're species, but if they interbreed when they have access to each other but are generally physically separated, they're subspecies.

But the key point here (as I'm reading it) is that if you don't have sharp breaklines, you don't have distinct groups, and so you don't even start thinking about subspecies. Are Arabs black or white? What about Arabs in the Sudan? Is Ogged white or Asian? Are Fijians Polynesian or Melanesian?

Hybridization is how you tell whether two differing populations are species or subspecies, but if you have gradual change without sharp distinctions, you've got one varied population, not two distinct groups.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 4:36 PM
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All of this "race" stuff could be resolved if we all donated our flayed skins to Xipe Totec and covered our bleeding bodies with cling film in decorative colours. Or with bonobo costumes. Or full body tattoos.

Rumour hath it that Halle Berry is going to play Tierney Cahill, a white teacher, in a new Dreamworks pic. Reportedly, the producers said they "wanted to cast the best actress in the part, regardless of colour". I trust this means we'll be seeing Oscar winning actor Denzel Washington as James Bond.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 4:43 PM
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"wanted to cast the best actress in the part, regardless of colour"

"actress" s/b "tits"


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 5:22 PM
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Yeah, subspecies doesn't seem to work. It seems to be a fairly weak concept anyway.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 5:32 PM
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I think the article below contains a good summary of the current thinking on the biological basis of race:


Is race biologically meaningless?
First, it is essential to point out that 'race' and 'ethnicity' are terms without generally agreed-upon definitions. Both terms carry complex connotations that reflect culture, history, socioeconomics and political status, as well as a variably important connection to ancestral geographic origins. Well-intentioned statements over the past few years, some coming from geneticists, might lead one to believe there is no connection whatsoever between self-identified race or ethnicity and the frequency of particular genetic variants. Increasing scientific evidence, however, indicates that genetic variation can be used to make a reasonably accurate prediction of geographic origins of an individual, at least if that individual's grandparents all came from the same part of the world. As those ancestral origins in many cases have a correlation, albeit often imprecise, with self-identified race or ethnicity, it is not strictly true that race or ethnicity has no biological connection. It must be emphasized, however, that the connection is generally quite blurry because of multiple other nongenetic connotations of race, the lack of defined boundaries between populations and the fact that many individuals have ancestors from multiple regions of the world.

Halle Berry is an individual with ancestors from multiple regions of the world.


Posted by: joeo | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 5:52 PM
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I trust this means we'll be seeing Oscar winning actor Denzel Washington as James Bond.

Gawd no. Washington's been hacking it up for a decade now.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 5:58 PM
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If Denzel Washington could do a good Scottish accent, he could be a good Bond.* He does sardonic and world-weary really well. In the words of the great Barry Adamson version** of the Bond theme, 'In case of danger, or event of attack, have no fear, as Bond is black ...'

* Evidence for that, however, given his performance as an English soldier in 'For Queen and Country' is poor. And, of course, it would never happen. Which is what 167 is getting at, I assume.

** Which itself references the Skatalites version.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 6:02 PM
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171: Could that be, perhaps, a result of the roles he's managed to get, rather than actual skill?

And yes, that initial comment was more snark than not. I just find it amusing that the press seems to feel that Ms Berry, albeit having a Causcasian mother, relatively light skin and strongly Caucasian features, is somehow an "African-American" actress.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 6:42 PM
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Halle reminds me tremendously of my son's ex-girlfriends, who was white and fair. Similiar faces and physiques, but also carriage and presence. I didn't say that often, and when I did people thought I was kidding.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 6:46 PM
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"ex-girlfriend". One, not several.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 6-06 6:47 PM
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Hi,
I'm doing some research on Spam ,so ,I left my email here .Thanks for you help.


Posted by: do@digspam.com | Link to this comment | 10- 7-06 3:05 AM
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Utterly weird.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 10- 7-06 6:21 AM
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