## Re: Guise

1

Jesus.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 7:24 PM
2

Whoa.

Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 7:26 PM
3

I'm really not that surprised. People pretending to be people that they are not? People cheating on each other and getting jealous?

Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 7:27 PM
4

Wow. How long until this shows up on CSI?

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 7:29 PM
5

Yeah, the peach-pit thing was straight out of CSI, right? Or a play? Great read, though.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 7:30 PM
6

People making shit up about having raped someone as a way of wooing a girl? People being abusive assholes towards people they think are teenage girls? People stealing their daughter's underwear and mailing them to strangers? People continuing to talk, under their daughter's identity, to someone who seems clearly unhinged? Dude, that shit is fucking insane.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 7:31 PM
7

6 to 3. Okay, 5, I hope it's a total lie.

I have to admit I found the statement at the end about it being easy to say how one feels online rather moving, even though I also thought "yeah, and how you feel demonstrates that you're a fucking psycho."

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 7:32 PM
8

Scary story.

Don't be small-minded, B. You're so conventional. Everyone has to dress up for the opera. Love Mother Theresa. Don't send your daughter's underwear to pervs. Come on.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 7:35 PM
9

yeah, did i mention i'm really a 17 year old blond cheerleader
who was wounded in a firefight in iraq during my second tour there as a marine?

wha, you want pictures?

man, that story is enough to put us off the keyboard for a long time.
i'm going to be, irl.

Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 7:40 PM
10

I've been lying too. That was my dad who visited New York and Minneapolis. I'm an ex-Marine male model waiting to be drafted by major league baseball.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 7:43 PM
11

6: Not to mention killing someone, eh?

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 7:56 PM
12

Do you people not read the people? Lying, cheating, killing happens every freaking day.

Is this story really that shocking to you?

It is disturbing and sick, but not shocking.

Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 7:59 PM
13

Shocking? Praps not, but your blase #3 just really is too world-weary to be allowed.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:01 PM
14

I try reading the people, every four years at least, but often get them wrong.

Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:02 PM
15

Maybe I am a little jaded. Or maybe I just see the bad side of life.

The 16 year old son of an acquantance was killed this week.

Open your eyes. In your city tonight, cheating, raping, robbing, lying, murder is happening.

How many people were killed in Iraq today? How many raped?

Sorry. Just feeling jaded.

Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:05 PM
16

People making shit up about having raped someone as a way of wooing a girl?

Yeah, kind of seems like a bad opening line. But she still talked to him! Where's teo, maybe he should be out hitting on chicks by telling them he's real depressed about being a rapist.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:08 PM
17

Oh, man, this thread isn't going anywhere good.

Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:09 PM
18

Well, they do say that chicks dig the bad boys.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:11 PM
19

At least it's not a disucssion about dress styles.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:12 PM
20

"discussion"

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:12 PM
21

Sexist.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:12 PM
22

Insane, sure. Not rare. Serial killers on death row always get marriage proposals. I don't know why either.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:13 PM
23

Well, I think I'm on record saying that Timothy McVeigh was kinda cute, so I guess I can't really play naive on this one.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:18 PM
24

The 16 year old son of an acquantance was killed this week.

Ugh, that's awful; I'm so sorry.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:18 PM
25

Yes, 15.2 sucks. Truly sorry to hear it.

Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:21 PM
26
Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:22 PM
27

I'm on record saying that Timothy McVeigh was kinda cute

I'd have thought you were more inclined to a David Koresh type.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:26 PM
28

Maybe it should be.

Oh man, "drac in a box".

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:28 PM
29

Didin't ogged post some video with two roommates who were sexchanging words with each other online under fake identities? Can't seem to find it.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:28 PM
30

"Didn't"

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:29 PM
31

I finally actually read the story. Insanity.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:34 PM
32

26, 28: I'm seriously thinking about losing enough weight that I can wear some of those outfits.

Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:35 PM
33

29:
Didnt those guys have a website? Something like wryandstanley.com?

Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:39 PM
34

will: Shouldn't you be off in chat rooms, conspiring to break up marriages by posing as a hot 17yo ISO cyber? Gotta keep those clients coming.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:48 PM
35

I always figured the hot 17 year olds looking to cyber were either immature 15 year old boys, creepy 40 year old men, or cops. Divorce lawyers never even crossed my mind.

Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:58 PM
36

Stanley: Then what I am paying you for?

That is the beautiful thing about my business. I've got the wine and beer industry and the internet working for me 24/7.

Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 8:59 PM
37

Jake: Thank you for suggesting that divorce lawyers are not creepy 40 yr old men.

I think the hot 17 yr olds are mostly groupies for bands. There is this one band called Truman Sparks that is always at the edge of the law...

Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:01 PM
38

13: Really? It's "Modern Love" as done by people who don't read the Times.

Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:01 PM
39

Bizarre. Double Internetdemnity. Well thank god we all know who everyone around here is, and that they're all perfectly good people.

Uh.

Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:03 PM
40

27: I think the reason I thought McVeigh was cute was partly because I was surprised. Crazy redneck bombers aren't usually my type.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:25 PM
41

39:(Cackles malevolently)

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:29 PM
42

I got into a unhealthy IM relationship online once. It was pretty unpleasant. It was this chick who went by the name of unfoggedbot. She sure talked a lot. But oddly conversation was difficult. A lot of non sequiturs.

Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:32 PM
43

I don't think any of the people in the story are reprehensible. There's a kind of extreme and to me admirable modesty/humility in deliberately deciding, we're all only one person among billions, like individual creatures of any other species, and the species is going to do what it's going to do as a biological organism, and I'm going to emphasize human dignity by accepting that rather than trying to rise above or improve it.

Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:34 PM
44

I'm going to kill you, Gonerill.

Posted by: unfoggedbot | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:35 PM
45

43 wasn't me, or if it was I don't know what I was thinking.

Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:36 PM
46

44 wasn't me, or if it was I don't know what I, robot, was thinking.

Posted by: unfoggedbot | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:37 PM
47

M/lls, next time I meet you I am going to give you a sharp slap.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:37 PM
48

We're going to watch you die, M/tch.

Posted by: Missionaries of Charity | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:38 PM
49

47: But why, B?

Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:38 PM
50

Maybe 44 was me. If so maybe I have to confront myself. Or mail myself some of my own underwear. I'm confused.

Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:39 PM
51

49: Because suffering is a gift from God.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:40 PM
52

At least it won't be one of those dull slaps Mother Theresa was always pushing on people because dull slaps are more authentically poor.

Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:40 PM
53

Just because I want to.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:40 PM
54

Anyway, please don't slap me with a starfish. It'll make a difference both to me and that starfish.

Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:41 PM
55

I'll slap you with my own hand, and I'll be wearing lots of rings.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:42 PM
56

With the settings turned inward, presumably.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:43 PM
57

Just because I want to.

Well, I guess the species is going to do what it's going to do as a biological organism, huh? I'm going to emphasize human dignity by accepting that rather than trying to rise above or improve it.

Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:43 PM
58

please don't slap me with a starfish

That would be a pretty impressive maneuver.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:44 PM
59

I'll slap you with my own hand
I'll be wearing lots of rings

Six more lines in this direction and you've got the makings of the chorus to a good country music song.

Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:45 PM
60

I'm going to emphasize human dignity by accepting that rather than trying to rise above or improve it.

Good, I'm glad to hear it.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:46 PM
61

58: Wishful thinking, my friend.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:48 PM
62

Honestly, I've never wished that you'd slap M/lls with your starfish.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:49 PM
63

Six more lines in this direction and you've got the makings of the chorus to a good country music song.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:51 PM
64

62: Not even just a little bit, apo?

Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 9:52 PM
65

Better to be slapped by B's starfish than FL's starfish, which contains multitudes.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:09 PM
66

Better to have wished to be slapped by a starfish and failed than never to have wished at all.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:15 PM
67

66: Keep telling yourself that, apo, maybe it'll stick.

Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:22 PM
68

Tom Montgomery totally sounds like the warblogger type. He could have kept his fantasies going longer that way.

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:26 PM
69

I'm a bit surprised that this thread is 69 comments deep and nobody has pointed out that w-lfs-n misspelled Heebie-Geebie.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:44 PM
70

Don't you think Heebie-Geebie is the kind of word for which alternate phonetic spellings are allowed?

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:46 PM
71

I didn't write the post, apo. Becks did; I copied and pasted from email.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:46 PM
72

That w-lfs-n, always the gentleman.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:47 PM
73

It's called respecting female agency, B. I wouldn't expect you to understand, though; it's a feminist thing.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:48 PM
74

72 to 73.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:50 PM
75

Women get to shift male duties from chivalry to egalitarianism as required.

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:53 PM
76

No worries, Marcus, your gentlemanliness is even more marked than w-lfs-n's.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:54 PM
77

76: More marked for, um, termination?

Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 10:58 PM
78

Marked for Termination being, of course, a movie Seijun Suzuki made early in his career, when he still had to do corporate training videos to get by, about the efforts of the No. 3 Secretary to avoid getting fired by working more efficiently.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 11:01 PM
79

My gentlemanliness will never be terminated.

Although the older I get the more I see ladies and gentlemen, men and women, as mostly social fictions. For the most part it's just people. Such a disappointing discovery.

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 11:03 PM
80

More marked for, um, termination?

Too late, I'm afraid.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 11:32 PM
81

Jesus, the internets are crazy. I just found out via facebook that some married friends of mine are divorcing. Facebook feed

-[Wife and husband] ended their relationship.
-[Wife] went from being "single" to "it's complicated".
-[Wife] updated her profile. She is now looking for friendship and whatever i can get.

A phone call to a mutual friend confirmed it. Apparently some rampant cheating going on. Not totally on-topic, but damn is it weird to learn this shit from fucking facebook.

Posted by: William McKinley | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 11:43 PM
82

Anyone else wonder if "Mary" made her participation up to protect her daughter? One wonders about tha window of several hours between the phone call and the cops showing you. . .you could imagine the teenager finally, finally freaking out and telling her mom everything, and her mom coming up with this crazy story. . . .

Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 08-25-07 11:50 PM
83

I have just finished a conversation with someone who argued that recycling plastic may, in fact, cause more harm than not recycling plastic; and, moreover, recycling in-general may be a bad idea.

Dude had no data, but, really? Am I completely wrong to think that putting my milk jug in the recycling bin is better than putting it in the trash can? Is recycling really up for argument?!

Bonus pre-comity: the conversation ended with a joke about "Recycle Bin Laden."

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:31 AM
84

Given that the romance here occurred online, surely a better post title would be "Guise and Dells".

Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:56 AM
85

#83: Penn and Teller did an episode of their show "Bullshit" in which they argued that recycling is bullshit for several reasons, one of which being that the end-to-end recycling process can, and in many cases does, use up more energy than it saves.

Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:58 AM
86

Ile, your lack of trust is appalling. I always try to think the best of people.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:15 AM
87

Yeah, I think the story on recycling is that it's not one thing. Recycling clean paper? Probably worth it. Sorted aluminum? Same deal. Steel cans? Likewise. Glass? You betcha. When you start getting into mixed, maybe coated, paper, and mixed plastic, it starts getting problematic. (I don't have solid data on any of this, but I'm pretty convinced that the recycling protocol in my building is ill-thought out.)

And 84 is great.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 7:03 AM
88

I'm not even sure about glass. Silica sand is not scarce, silica mining is pretty innocuous, and glass is non-toxic. A lot of recycling seems to be an expiatory ritual which lets people feel that they've done something.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 7:10 AM
89

I know I've been in Germany too long when I find myself taking apart used teabags to put the tag in the paper bin, the string in the regular trash bin, and the teabag itself in the organic waste. Something about separating out the organic waste makes me feel especially virtuous.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 7:57 AM
90

Yeah, maybe. It depends on the specific circumstances, and of course you have to add in the savings on landfill space. But it's at least sometimes, for some categories of trash, economically rational -- there was a weird year about five or six years ago in NY when the price of paper (or of feedstock for papermills, or something) had gone up to the point where people were stealing bundled stacks of newspaper for recycling.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:02 AM
91

I remember a convincing ecological essay with title like "Use less stuff" that made the point that only reduction in consumption would have the necessay impacts overall, rehearsing many of the arguments mentioned here. We recycle, blue bag system, where certain recyclables go into blue bags, and are supposedly separated from the normal trash at sorting. We find it easy to do, and fact that they only want plastics 1 and 2 a good sign, because they actually care about what they get. If they took all seven, the virtue charade/sorting cost suspicion would be greater.

Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:18 AM
92

Tomorrow is recycling day. Almost a day of shame.

Your neighbors get to see how many wine bottles you have used in the last two weeks.

I love bottled green tea, but I hate to see all of the plastic bottles in my recycling bin.

Use Less Stuff really is the only good way to go. I have stopped getting any paper newspapers, but I still use entirely too much stuff.

Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:24 AM
93

There is a market for aluminum cans, even without a deposit, but the price is so small that only kids and the homeless are very interested.

The weirdest thing in Oregon was that for soft drinks and beer containers you paid a deposit, but not for wine or juice containers. What was nominally an environmental law was also a sin tax, on some but not all sins, and was merged with neighborhood-cleanup-type anti-litter campaigns.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:30 AM
94

92: "Oh look, Martha, they've had 16 more bottles of wine the past fortnight."

93: I remember collecting aluminum cans in Oklahoma, selling them to a place for something like a nickel a pound. I did it twice, it was entirely too much work for so little gain. So yeah, as you say, only kids (I was 10).

Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:38 AM
95

Also, Oregon legislators brilliantly added water bottles, but declined to include wine, juice, or other containers.

Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:43 AM
96

Certainly a $0.05 deposit on a fine French wine would be a terrible imposition. Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:47 AM 97 I do believe some of the debate over the bill involved concern that adding a deposit to wine bottles would too heavily burden the Oregon wine industry. Besides, it just wouldn't do to have the homeless carrying empty bottles of Château Latour. Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:53 AM 98 I see two possible scenarios here. One is a legislator drinking a$100 bottle of wine with a lobbyist, and the other is a frugal legislator getting pissed off because he had to pay and extra nickel for his bottle of Red Rocket or Night Train Express.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:02 AM
99

And that lobbyist is named Paul Romain.

In other news, time to break my fast.

Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:07 AM
100

Your theory is superficially reasonable, R., but there are powerful arguments in favor of the Night Train Express theory.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:10 AM
101

87,88: Re: Glass "recycling"
I don't have any nationwide date for this, but the local paper reported a couple of years ago that, since glass collected on recycling day is not sorted by color, it is simply pulverized and used to line the bottom of landfills. So it's not that you're doing anything so awful by "recycling" it, but you're not being all that virtuous either.

Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:18 AM
102

Did this blog talk about that recent paper arguing that walking to the store can be (in some not-totally-weird contexts) more environmentally harmful than driving? (I think the irritating background assumption was that you'd get the calories burned by walking from beef rather than some more eco-friendly food.) There was also one about local foods being more eco-costly than imported foods because of various resource issues.

I don't know what to think about things like this. On one hand, a lot of environmentally-friendly practices involve a lot of posturing, and it's important to look at the real effects of various changes. On the other, results like these are beloved of people like Instant Pundit and the Volokh crew as a way of zinging people, so I'm suspicious.

also, I like meeting hotties online.

Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:32 AM
103

As already mentioned, the energy usage in the recycling process isn't the only question involved. Some materials are themselves a finite resource, even if the energy used to recycle the materials is larger than not recycling it might still be worthwhile. You don't have to believe that 'peak oil' is imminent or that its impact will be catastrophic to think that petrochemical products like plastics are probably things we should reuse as much as possible.

Where I live, all the stuff for recycling goes into a single plastic box which gets emptied once a week. However, it's sorted right there and then; the collection guys separate out the stuff as they load it into the truck [which has different 'bays' for different things].

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:38 AM
104

On one hand, a lot of environmentally-friendly practices involve a lot of posturing, and it's important to look at the real effects of various changes. On the other, results like these are beloved of people like Instant Pundit and the Volokh crew as a way of zinging people, so I'm suspicious.

Both of these are true, but my guess is that the second accounts for most of the interesting soundbites. IME, the really zingy results showing that any attempt to act ecologically tend to collapse once you look at them -- I'm remembering a 'study' I saw someplace, showing that over the lifecycle of the car a hybrid used insanely more energy than an SUV. It depended on the assumption that the hybrid was so useless that no one would ever drive it, but that it would break down frequently enough to require replacement in half the lifespan and much less than half the mileage of the SUV.

I'd say a rule of thumb for figuring out when it's real information and when it's bullshit is if an ecologically preferable alternative that makes sense is offered, or if the only alternative to one's supposedly misguided efforts to save the planet is to go shopping.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:57 AM
105

You can turn recycled glass into stuff like this if it floats your boat. Whether it's economically or environmentally viable is another thing.

Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:58 AM
106

I'd say a rule of thumb for figuring out when it's real information and when it's bullshit is if an ecologically preferable alternative that makes sense is offered, or if the only alternative to one's supposedly misguided efforts to save the planet is to go shopping.

This is a great heuristic.

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:59 AM
107

I am strongly pro-conservation and pro-environment. I specifically doubt glass recycling, as a comforting symbolic effort of no great importance.

I think that the deposit on wine bottles should be \$0.50, just to zing that lobbyist asshole.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:00 AM
108

Ideally, on glass bottles, they could get returned to the bottling plant, washed, and refilled. That's got to be an energy savings. Probably not practical from a sorting/shipping perspective, but for something like wine, where the bottles are pretty standard from brand to brand, it could work.

(Yeah, yeah, utopian, impossible. I do know that, it just annoys me that it should be so.)

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:05 AM
109

Didn't you used to be able to return coke bottles (remember them?) on the basis that LB outlines?

Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:08 AM
110

108: I'm sort of nostalgic (even though they never existed in my lifetime) for glass coca-cola bottles. Now they use them at cheap beach promenades to fill them with colored sand, but there was something deeply satisfying about the roughened bottoms.

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:09 AM
111

109: When I was in Samoa, '93, '94, you still could -- Coke bottles and beer bottles went back to be refilled until they broke. They'd have a scuffed ring of scratches worn into the glass where they'd rubbed against each other in the crates. But that worked because there was one soda bottling plant and two breweries in the country, and they used exactly the same bottle in three colors (clear, green, brown).

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:12 AM
112

For years I believed that beer bottles were reused, but it's not so. Since I found out the truth, I've become increasingly cynical, as you can see. The next question I asked myself, after I recovered my equanimity, was "Are your odds better on a relationship than they are in the lottery?"

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:13 AM
113

Do any of our Oregon/ex-Oregon contingent knwo anything about mining out there? It looks like I might own shares in a gold mine. If I do, they were left to me by my grandfather and had been considered worthless for a long time. I guess that the price of gold has gone up so much that there's some question about whether it would be worthwhile to reopen it.

It seems to be a very small deal, because I got a letter asking me to consider whether I thought we should switch from being a regular corporation to an LLC.

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:14 AM
114

111. Under socialism, comrade, there will be one soda bottling plant and two breweries in the country, and they will use exactly the same bottle in three colors (clear, green, brown).

Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:17 AM
115

I wonder what made the difference in bottle returns, not just soft drinks but also milk. When we moved to the states in '64, we no longer had milk delivered, but you still returned the glass gallon jugs. I can remember walking to the store with two of them, making a wierd sproinging noise against each other.
Plastic containers came on very strong in the sixties.

Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:21 AM
116

Don't assume LLC form means a small operation, BG. It's all about governance and tax structure.

Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:23 AM
117

If you get milk delivered in bottles in Britain, you still return them. There are a lot of qualifications in that statement.

Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:24 AM
118

Distant inlaws of mine own a mining claim in Oregon. (You're not related to the B/ess/lers by any chance?) It's mostly a hobby and an annual vacation.

A lot of the significance of mining claims and mines in Oregon is that they're old land titles granddaddied in when the laws changed. There won't be any more. Actual production can be a secondary consideration.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:30 AM
119

In Scotland, the standard soft drinks are all made by Barr's. Scotland, for a long time but I don't know if it's true any more, was the only country where Coke or Pepsi were not the most popular soft-drink.

Barr's bottles are all returned and reused. The deposit on them is large, too. When we were kids we would go round hunting them to get the money.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:32 AM
120

Yeah, that was the case in Samoa too. Four bottles (five, maybe? not all that many) would buy you another beer.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:34 AM
121

By the time he was 11, ttaM had saved enough bottle money to buy shoes. In a few more years, the family was able to move into a nice new cardboard box.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:35 AM
122

118: I don't think so. My maternal grandmother's mother was from Oregon. The name was Le/wis. They used to have a palce at Ec/ola, and I think that their lovely house in Portland was torn down.

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:35 AM
123

The B/esslers have an Appalachian branch, from Kentucky I think, but they're named H/arris.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:38 AM
124

68 gets it exactly right.

Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:38 AM
125

I spent a couple of months, the summer I was 18, working in the Henry Weinhard's bottle recycling plant. It was interesting to see the other side of bottle returns. They reused a very large percentage of the bottles; seemed to be about 1 in 25 that was kicked out for flaws. All the rest, went to the bottle wash/sterilization plant. And then back to being filled with one of the several Henry's beers.

I worked under the guy who inspected each bottle. Literally. I was working on the floor, he sat 15 feet above my area. As I pulled boxes off the line, a bottle would periodically fly off the conveyor line above and crash into the glass crush bin.

A side-effect of the job (benefit?) was that I reeked of stale beer at the end of the day. I got to ride the bus home and read, undisturbed. The looks I got.

Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:39 AM
126

LB, you totalitarian, you've yet again turned statements of fact into questions of motive.

I'd say a rule of thumb for figuring out when it's real information and when it's bullshit is if an ecologically preferable alternative that makes sense is offered, or if the only alternative to one's supposedly misguided efforts to save the planet is to go shopping.

The presence of alternatives, etc. have no bearing on the truth of the claim that such-and-such doesn't have an environmentally positive impact. Sure, Reynolds will gloat when it turns out that (say) "eco-friendly" products or actions turn out to be, in some cases, worse than the conventional alternative, but it may still be correct.

Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:02 AM
127

The point is that there always is a real ecologically friendly alternative like driving less, or consuming less, making an effort to buy less-packaged goods, and so on. Someone who's giving you advice about reducing your footprint is likely to bring those up. Someone who's zinging the environmentalists isn't.

If you like it better, take that as a rule of thumb not to dismiss an argument as bullshit, but to suspect it enough to follow up the facts -- e.g. the claim that walking to the store was more ecologically damaging than driving, which depended on the patently stupid fact claim that (a) most people would actually eat additional calories to make up for those expended in the walk, and (b) that all those calories would be beef. Someone actually interested in cutting energy usage would take that as an argument for walking and for eating less beef, rather than as an argument for driving. (In an ideal world, you'd check the facts of any argument, but in our fallen state you need to pick your fights.)

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:10 AM
128

FL proves once again that analytic philsophy destroys common sense.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:11 AM
129

Aw, I missed my thread.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:24 AM
130

"Reducing your footprint" is individually feel-good, but in the long run I'm suspicious of it as a collective strategy. Perhaps that's because I am one of those lazy people who is unlikely to go very far out of his way to be an environmental do-gooder. But I expect many people in this world are like me. To get results, I suspect we'll need government action that truly shifts incentives for businesses, power generators, etc. Don't rely on individual voluntarism.

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:30 AM
131

You get to start it over, Heebie. Everyone will defer to the agenda of the thread originator. For example, you could make it entirely about the proper spelling of you nic.

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:32 AM
132

Quit writing your stupid paper. It's just meaningless numbers anyway.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:34 AM
133

I get irritated by the "reduce your footprint" arguments because I secretly believe companies subsidize these efforts in order to create pr that we live in a proactive culture which is heading in the right direction, and keep people from demanding that they clean up their factories and company buildings. Sort of a "keep the masses opiated" thing.

I have no evidence of this, but I'm totally convinced anyway.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:35 AM
134

You don't need a conspiracy theory, business can subsidize those efforts just because its good marketing to put green stickers on stuff and make up some feel-good story about how buying it helps the world.

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:37 AM
135

It's absolutely true, this is a stupid paper composed of meaningless numbers. I submitted this goddamn thing three years ago. The referee sat on it for a year, I sat on the revisions, the referee sat on it again, and now its back for the second revisions, and it's so utterly meaningless in any real sense, but hell. I want to make the editor happy and my parents happy and my old advisor happy and to eventually get tenure. But after this, I'm switching to math pedagogy to make me happy.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:38 AM
136

133: I can see this. It's sort of how I feel about encouragement to give to charity. I'm not against people giving to charities, especially causes that the government has no business supporting, but on the whole, donations make people feel good about themselves while only providing a drop in buckets that the government should, for the most part, be taking care of with better infrastructure.

If cities are able to provide good mass transit, functional recycling, and environmental controls on businesses, then the goal of caring about the environment is achievable. A few people taking a slightly shorter route to work every day doesn't solve anything; it just makes people feel self-righteous.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:40 AM
137

I get irritated by the "reduce your footprint" arguments because I secretly believe companies subsidize these efforts in order to create pr that we live in a proactive culture which is heading in the right direction, and keep people from demanding that they clean up their factories and company buildings. Sort of a "keep the masses opiated" thing.

My mother believes that this is what's behind the anti-secondhand smoke fervor; a deliberate attempt to blame air pollution, in the minds of the public, on individual smokers rather than, say, factories.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:43 AM
138

Isn't Heebie a mathematician? I thought mathematicians didn't really deal with numbers, just concepts. Occasionally the concept of number, but still.

Heebie, I once walked away from a paper in exactly the state yours is in, and have regretted it for years since (well, not very hard, but I did regret it). Just think how great you'll feel great afterwards when it's sitting on your CV.

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:45 AM
139

"great you'll feel great" is a more intense form of feeling great.

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:47 AM
140

Heebie, I once walked away from a paper in exactly the state yours is in,

In Texas?

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:48 AM
141

Rarely, a statement is so cynical that it must clearly be true. Comment 133 is an example of that statement.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:50 AM
142

you'll feel great afterwards when it's sitting on your CV.

This is so true. Go team! Rah! Rah! Rah!

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:52 AM
143

in Denmark (where I spent much of my summer) refillable commercial glass bottles are used for 98% of products in glass containers. Grocery stores just have bins where you leave them and get your deposit back - and it's relatively hefty deposit too.

But even glass recycling is good, sez wikipedia:
"Glass makes up a large component of household and industrial waste due to its weight and density. The glass component in municipal waste is usually made up of bottles, broken glassware, light bulbs and other items. Glass recycling uses less energy than manufacturing glass from sand, lime and soda. Every tonne of glass used for producing new glass items saves 315kg of carbon dioxide.[1] Glass that is crushed and ready to be remelted is called Cullet. The term "cullet" derives from the practice of remelting flawed containers which have been "culled" from production lines."

bring on 50 cent deposits on wine bottles! why not?

Posted by: mrmf | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:53 AM
144

I totally agree with 133, though I sort of do my best to do things like walking to work and having a fuel-efficient car, anyhow.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:54 AM
145

I am very good about recycling glass and aluminum, absolutely terrible about recycling paper.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:55 AM
146

135: Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy!

Give them happy pills instead.

138: No, mathematicians just do long calculations, for example adding up long columns of figures or dividing things by other things. "Higher math" is a myth invented to justify their astronomical salaries.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:58 AM
147

I am feeling terrified of the job market, myself. (I am finishing up my dissertation and going on the market all this semester/winter, and though it really isn't going to be a problem at all to get the dissertation done -- god knows I've taken long enough over it as it is -- the whole thing gives me the creeping horrors. Also, my dissertation is destined to be a bit of an unholy mess even upon completion, but I've come to peace with that.)

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:59 AM
148

Our campus does not have a recycling program. Nothing in the dorms, nothing in the classrooms, nothing in the buildings. There is a single dumpster on campus, which supposedly gets picked up by the city's recycling center.

From time to time, students try to get a recycling program up and running. The list of obstacles that are thrown in their way makes no sense.

I've got this stack of paper in the corner of my office that I've been meaning to haul over to the dumpster, but it keeps growing bigger and bigger.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:00 PM
149

143: Well, the guy misspells "ton" and then goes suddenly metric. Not a trustworthy source.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:00 PM
150

You're working on pre-WWII detective stories, or something along those lines, right? Or do I have you crossed you up with someone else?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:00 PM
151

No, mathematicians just do long calculations, for example adding up long columns of figures or dividing things by other things. "Higher math" is a myth invented to justify their astronomical salaries.

It's true. This paper is about what happens when you take a thousand digit number, and only press the 2, 5, and 7 keys. I'm on digits in the 800's, and it's full of typos. There are letters, percent signs, and exclamation marks. It's a real mess to slog through.

But when I finish, that number will be my salary bonus.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:02 PM
152

LB, people not working on pre-WWII detective stories are horrified and insulted when you suggest that they are. People who are working on pre-WWII detective stories are horrified and insults by the phrase "something like that".

I'm sure that you're a good mother, nonetheless, and a cutthroat lawyer too.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:03 PM
153

148: My favorite recycling experience ever was when I was in Chicago. At irregular intervals every few weeks, a flatbed trailer with labeled 55 gallon drums requiring fairly fine-grained separation (glass by color, only milk-jug type plastic, and so forth) would appear in an off-campus parking lot. When someone spotted it, they'd call around, and everyone would go drop off their recycling. That night, someone would pick it up and drive off with it.

It was like having your recycling picked up by elves.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:04 PM
154

Heebie, you gotta put the decimal point in the right place. It's really important, trust me.

Do you know what a decimal point is? Probably not, I suppose, because it was invented by the Mayas and Cambodians, so it's too pomo for most math departments.)

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:05 PM
155

invented by the Mayas and Cambodians

The meetings to work on it were a bitch and a half, logistically.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:08 PM
156

I am feeling terrified of the job market, myself.

The job market is absolutely terrifying.

On the other hand, highly qualified people from time to time don't get any offers, and have to make stop-gap plans. It's a mess and a pain, but since it happens not-infrequently, it really doesn't carry any stigma. There were superstars in my class who didn't get a job the first time around, and regular people who did, and it helped me relax to keep in mind that it sometimes takes a few tries. (And everyone got a job within the second go-round.)

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:08 PM
157

Do you know what a decimal point is?

The deci-what-what? Speak english, why dontcha.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:09 PM
158

130 is correct; of course the real solution is to tackle big industry etc., not for individuals to recycle their bottles.

That said, it doesn't *hurt* to reduce your footprint, and since I've been reading some shit about the incredible piles of plastic crap in the ocean these days, I'm all about trying to avoid buying plastic, at least the disposable stuff, where I can. No individual little packages of apple sauce for PK; big bottle, spooned into reusable tupperware instead.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:16 PM
159

Ok, well, "zero" (0) means nothing most of the time. But in the middly or end of a number, it means the number of fingers or toes you have, if you're normal. EXCEPT that on the right hand side of a decimal point, if it's at the end of the number, it means nothing again.

Aristotle never figured this out, so don't feel bad.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:16 PM
160

The decimal point is the point at which one-tenth of your men have been killed.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:18 PM
161

On one hand, a lot of environmentally-friendly practices involve a lot of posturing, and it's important to look at the real effects of various changes.

I believe that, on some level, the advantage of participating in recyling programs is that if we ever need a "real" recycling program, that it will be built upon the framework of existing recycling programs,. so it's important to use them so that the infrastructure gets built up.

This is almost certainly wishful thinking but I do believe, WRT hybrids, for example, that the first attempt always falls short of the goals so it's important that there are people that will participate in the first attempt (out of posturing) so that there can be a more productive second attemptl.

I also agree with 133, however, and would offer as evidence all of the full page ads oil companies are buying to talk about how concerned they are by peak oil.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:19 PM
162

151 is really fuckin' funny.

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:20 PM
163

You are remembering right. I'm a little bit of a strange neither-fish-nor-fowl case, though: most of what I do falls more into the bin of cognitive linguistics, cognitive psychology, and discourse analysis than normal literary studies; but literature and its consumption is where I look, and detective stories (and their fans) are my main area of special interest.

So I work on things like: how stories (especially detective stories) create certain effects by exploiting cognitive biases; how various well-known strategies for resolving ambiguities and revising/repairing mistatements in face to face conversation do and don't show up in the case of writing, reading, and editing published texts; the pragmatics of certain tropes that are traditionally associated with literary language (particularly irony); how detective stories and stream-of-consciousness modernist novels thematize some of the same aspects of social cognition.

I tend to present my work at linguistics conferences and publish (a more limited set of examples!) in journals and edited volumes that focus on linguistics or stylistics, rather than on literature alone, or on some particular literary period.

I'm reminded that I owe Marcus an email.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:21 PM
164

mis-statements, not mistatements.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:21 PM
165

163: Man, that sounds like fun. I'm sure anything can get dull when you're knee-deep in it, but it sounds delightfully fascinating.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:24 PM
166

WRT hybrids, for example, that the first attempt always falls short of the goals so

But I really want one anyway. I'm too stingy to pay for the amount of gas I use. It hurts.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:25 PM
167

I'm reminded that I owe Marcus an email.

This was bound to happen if I kept hanging around Unfogged. My work here is done.

I also want to hook you guys up with a prof I know who knows a ton about the manufacturing history of Cleveland, and she's a real nice person to boot. Seems like Snarkout especially was interested in the local economic history, etc. This is part of my continuing effort to get everyone I know to know each other, so things are logistically easier for me when I visit places.

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:26 PM
168

165: Thank you! I love it, in fact. The only part that gets dull is when I get blocked and frustrated by my own inarticulateness or idiocy.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:27 PM
169

when I get blocked and frustrated by my own inarticulateness or idiocy.

Having met you, you seem like more the type to get blocked by having too many ideas in your head at once, all jumping around and competing to get out. That's kind of the opposite of idiocy, although I guess it can feel like being inarticulate because one sentence can't say five things at once.

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:30 PM
170

It's a fair cop.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 12:49 PM
171

124: Actually, Tom Montgomery sounds rather unlike the usual warblogger type in that he actually did serve in the military at some point.

Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 1:07 PM
172

Urrrrgh. My two day marathon computer lab diet of M&Ms and coffee is producing some hellacious acid reflux.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 1:18 PM
173

My month-long party-heavy pre-semester bender has produced no syllabi for my first day of classes tomorrow.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 1:24 PM
174

**BREAKING*** "A Mixture of Guise" is not, as I kept thinking, a Robertson Davies novel (that is A Mixture of Frailties), but rather a Motor Totemist Guild song.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 1:26 PM
175

I actually finished something last week (chunks of code for a celebrity gossip website). Advantage, non-academics!

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 1:29 PM
176

But the end towards which you contributed means was not choiceworthy.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 1:33 PM
177

Damn your eyes, Zermelo w-lfs-n!

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 1:43 PM
178

Total advantage non-academics. My highest goal for the day is to write something for SG and see if I can talk PK into going to the beach. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 1:50 PM
179

I have an idea, snarkout.

Why don't you UPDATE YOUR FUCKING BLOG?

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 1:59 PM
180

You don't have to be cruel, Ben-baby.

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:01 PM
181

Yes, just what I was looking for to procrastinate from writing my math paper, the complaining about how much writing math papers sucks thread. It's true, writing math papers sucks. Even more than reading math papers. There's something deeply wrong with the format, somehow all math papers suck no matter what you do with them.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:18 PM
182

Wouldn't that be funny if Unfoggetarian Number 9 and I were holed up in the same computer lab? I'm winking at you, UN9. Stomp your feet if that's you.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:24 PM
183

Alas, I'm at home. So no chance of that.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:25 PM
184

What sort of math do you do, oh heebie? Feel free to put it in a way I definitely won't understand.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:28 PM
185

She's big on the hairy ball theorem.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:35 PM
186

Sigh, I need to teach my advisor the difference between

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:38 PM
187

Hrm, that didn't work, that was supposed to read:

Sigh, I need to teach my advisor the difference between [the symbol for less than which html hates] and \langle.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:40 PM
188

HTML loves the less than sign! It loves it ALL TOO MUCH.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:43 PM
189

&lt;, people. &lt;.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:44 PM
190

See, I always had the vague idea math people had it easy because their dissertations were always, like, 15 pages long.

Of course, had it easy by virtue of being smart enough to understand all this shit I could never understand.

Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:48 PM
191

What sort of math do you do, oh heebie?

Tiling theory and dynamical systems. It's kinda neat but kinda not.

Also, I just went to the vending machines and got chased away by a squirrel. He came and stood about a foot from my (open-sandalled) feet, and I backed up, and he came towards me, until we were well away from the vending machines, and he was still kind of following me, and then I sort of jogged away.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:53 PM
192

So ceramics, grout, etc?

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:55 PM
193

Like playing pool on strangely shaped tables with frictionless balls?

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 2:57 PM
194

Actually, my advisor tiled his bathroom floor in the Pinwheel Tiling, which is aperiodic and has tiles appearing in infinitely many orientations. It's not very aesthetically pleasing, actually.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:01 PM
195

What is it with squirrels and the Mineshaft? Combats, encounters, obsessions. I left a comment deep in RTFS's flickr pages that I thought there must be seven or more members with squirrel pictures on there Flickr pages alone.

Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:02 PM
196

their

Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:03 PM
197

191: He just wanted you to buy him some peanuts, Heebie.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:06 PM
198

has tiles appearing in infinitely many orientations.

Big bathroom.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:08 PM
199

Infinitely tiny tiles. Fractal-like, in fact.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:11 PM
200

191: He just wanted you to buy him some peanuts, Heebie.

I think he was trying to get me to start smoking. What a bad squirrel.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:12 PM
201

More smoking humans = fewer humans hassling squirrels. Go team squirrel!

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:14 PM
202

Oh, man do I hate writing. I've been in the office all weekend on this brief, and it should be easy -- I'm just not getting anywhere. It doesn't have to be filed until Friday, but I promised a complete draft for tomorrow, and I'm not even close. And I had a late lunch of Thai food around 3:30, and all I want to do is take a nap.

Whine, whine, bitch bitch bitch, moan moan, my life is so hard. Help help, I'm being oppressed.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:19 PM
203

I feel your pain, LB. I'm at the pity-party for at least the rest of today and probably tomorrow too.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:27 PM
204

I'd offer to trade papers with you, but the highest-level math class I ever took was linear algebra. And I'm figuring tortious interference with contract isn't so much your gig either.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:33 PM
205

I'll see your brief and raise you a dissertation chapter on what is looking like the worst dissertation in the entire world.

Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:42 PM
206

I want pity, too! I usually write my syllabi far in advance of the semester, but here I am doing it now, with less than 20 hours to go. ARG!

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:49 PM
207

Pity begets pity. There's plenty for all.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:53 PM
208

That's true, and if everyone pities the person to their left, none of it counts as self-pity.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:54 PM
209

So, for five points. If you hadn't chosen your present careers, what would your second choices have been?

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:56 PM
210

Heh. Mine's embarrassing. Dermatologist's assistant, popping zits for a living.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:57 PM
211

Ditchdigging. No, actually, part of the reason I'm fascinated by Megan From The Archives is that I was thinking about civil engineering when I went to MIT. I don't remember how I changed my mind and ended up in Physics, but Civ. E. would have been well within my mathematical capabilities. I could be mentally knee deep in sewage right now, if I'd played my cards differently.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 3:59 PM
212

190: For what it's worth: masters 125 pages, phd 185 pages. Both single spaced (but with figures) and only including real content. Add 20 pages or so of citations ...

Posted by: anothermathy | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:00 PM
213

If you hadn't chosen your present careers, what would your second choices have been?

I've thought about that. Materials science engineer?

I used to think, what could I do if I couldn't get a bachelor's degree? I wanted to be a recording studio guy through most of high school, but that doesn't seem like a stable career. I decided I could probably be a truck driver.

Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:00 PM
214

Is anothermathy a soubriquet for Soup Biscuit?

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:01 PM
215

Typographer. All I was lacking was knowledge and talent.

Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:02 PM
216

re: 121

Our ill-gotten gains were often spent on another bottle of Barr's Irn Bru. Sort of the orouboros of soft drinks.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:03 PM
217

popping zits for a living

There's more than a little similarity between this and responding to claims of tortious interference.

Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:04 PM
218

Right now I'd find some money making job for a little while, then quit and try to make a living writing puzzles.

At the time when I decided to go to math grad school? If I hadn't done that I guess it'd probably have been law school.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:05 PM
219

re: second career.

I'd love to be a cinematographer, or a jazz guitarist.* Maybe a photojournalist.

* I'm still hoping that in the future I'll be holding down a regular gig [as a fun hobby, not profit] ...

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:05 PM
220

You know what I totally dread? Putting my dissertation into the university format.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:06 PM
221

I can never figure out how to put pictures in LaTeX.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:09 PM
222

(I was reminded by the "single spaced" in 212.)

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:09 PM
223

I have a friend who very nearly didn't graduate because his signature page (which had been flown around the world since the profs were out of town) didn't have his middle name on it.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:10 PM
224

I'm already beyond a second career.

Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:11 PM
225

Oh good lord.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:11 PM
226

221: The most confusing thing is that you use different formats for the image file depending on if you're compiling using LaTeX or pdfLaTeX. For the former it has to be .eps, which is a pain. For the latter most things work (.pdf, .png, etc.). However, the arxiv and many journals want .eps. This is why xfig is still so popular among mathematicians, it saves to eps.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:15 PM
227

You know what I totally dread? Putting my dissertation into the university format.

This is one of my favorite procrastination techniques. I'm always changing the margins around, and fiddling with Endnote settings.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:16 PM
228

You know what I would like to do? Be a local politician.

Unfortunately I don't have the telemarketing skills.

Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:17 PM
229

I think university format is the kind of thing you offload to a partner or friend who stupidly says something like, "is there anything I can do to help?"

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:17 PM
230

Did you guys ever use that program in school, "Make It Fit"? You'd write your paper, and then type in how many pages it was supposed to be, and it'd adjust the font size and line spacing and margins imperceptibly to achieve your goal. Ah, good times.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:18 PM
231

Heh. I'm forever telling students that yes, we know that trick because we used to do it too. They always seem a little surprised.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:19 PM
232

230/231: Wow, I never heard of a software program for that.

Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:20 PM
233

faculty appreciate it if your fakery is hand-crafted. It shows that you care.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:21 PM
234

But I like that part of it!

Maybe my second career should be book designer.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:22 PM
235

Um, or first career, depending how this job market stuff goes.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:23 PM
236

Darn, I think I need to start cultivating more foolish friends.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:23 PM
237

Either that or you could just amp up how insane you act until people offer to help because they don't know what else to do.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:24 PM
238

Ah, but I also only have about three friends.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:26 PM
239

I'm telling you, the sobbing breakdown really gets people to be concerned and solicitous.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:27 PM
240

I'll keep it in mind.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:31 PM
241

239: That's what PK neds to learn re: Mom smoking.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 4:41 PM
242

I was a biochemist for three years. I loved it.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:06 PM
243

You'd think fancy schools could get their acts together and provide latex style files for diss. formats.

My fallback career: househusband.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:10 PM
244

(Sometimes I kid myself that I could have a fallback programming career, but I'd probably have to move someplace with less competition first and learn some kind of actually widely-used languages, standards, etc.)

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:12 PM
245

243: The berkeley math department actually does provide a latex style file for dissertations. You still have to be careful that you don't have overfull hboxes wrecking your margins though.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:26 PM
246

243: (a) I believe my school does, but (oh the shame) I don't actually know LaTeX, and (b) they also provide Word style sheets, but that doesn't mean I haven't been just writing the thing any old which way and leaving the styling for later.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:29 PM
247

Or Word style templates, or whatever it is.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:31 PM
248

226: This is not too bad to deal with, this is what I do.

1) always use the package graphicx (the older stuff is deprecated).

2) in your \includegraphics{filename} command, do not put the suffix in. In other words, both filename.eps and filename.png would be just filename'

3) Have two copies of the file. This is where imagemagick is your friend, (it has a program called convert that will do all this stuff for you easily)

This way, it doesn't matter if you use pdflatex or latex, since the package is smart enough to figure out what files to look for.

4) optional stuff: really you only need one canonical version for raster files and one for vector files. png is better than jpg for raster files and .pdf can include them natively (lots of people don't know this). I keep vector file in .eps because they are more portable. I tend to keep everything in version control, and have a makefile so that make figures' will do all the conversions needed. Dead easy once it's set up.

Posted by: anothermathy | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:51 PM
249

redfoxtailshrub: Word is a horrible tool for something like a dissretation (or pretty much anything book length). You might not regret the small learning curve to switch over. I know several people who switched in midstream, after Word was messing them up somehow. None of them regretted it at all.

Posted by: anothermathy | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:52 PM
250

I feel all affluently-entitled suggesting this, but if formatting your dissertation properly is really difficult, aren't there people you can pay a reasonable amount to do it for you?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:55 PM
251

further to 248: Note that many raster image formats work with pdflatex because it will convert to jpg, iirc. This is not what you want (jpg artifacts). Use a .png.

Posted by: anothermathy | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:55 PM
252

Paul "Hackers and Painters" Graham, whom I usually think ranges from "extrapolates unduly from his own personal tastes" to "is entirely full of shit" has this to say:

A good programmer working intensively on his own code can hold it in his mind the way a mathematician holds a problem he's working on. Mathematicians don't answer questions by working them out on paper the way schoolchildren are taught to. They do more in their heads: they try to understand a problem space well enough that they can walk around it the way you can walk around the memory of the house you grew up in. At its best programming is the same. You hold the whole program in your head, and you can manipulate it at will.

Cheer up, Heebie! It's like walking around your childhood house!

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 5:57 PM
253

252 was me.

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:00 PM
254

Snarky, why don't you format poor RFTS's dissertation for her? It's really the least you could do.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:05 PM
255

"whom" in 252 should be "who".

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:16 PM
256

Maybe 252 is just missing an "of" and a colon.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:21 PM
257

It would still be missing a comma, then, because it would have to be: Paul "Hackers and Painters" Graham, of whom I usually think: ranges from "extrapolates unduly from his own personal tastes" to "is entirely full of shit", has this to say:

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:23 PM
258

Anyone can have a programming career, Ben. Don't sell yourself short.

And who was it who tried to defend Paul Graham as insightful and knowing the last time he came up around here?

Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:27 PM
259

Yes, indeed, and a comma. Good catch.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:28 PM
260

If you hadn't chosen your present careers, what would your second choices have been?

I didn't choose the career I'm in; I just sort of fell into it. So the idea of a second choice isn't even on the radar. I've always been a little jealous of people who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. I've never had the faintest idea. I figure I'm best suited to be a lottery winner, a kept man, or a wine critic. Not necessarily in that order, though.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:32 PM
261

You bastards with your subordinate clauses.

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:39 PM
262

Anyone can have a programming career, Ben. Don't sell yourself short.

The less competitive stuff is bullshit, too. I have worked with some really incompetent people since I came here, some of whom were kept on for much much longer than they should have been, for a lack of decent replacements. Some of whom are still around.

And who was it who tried to defend Paul Graham as insightful and knowing the last time he came up around here?

I have no idea. The CTO of the startup I had my one dotcom experience at in college was sort of a Graham devotee. Very sweet guy, earned his LISP chops honestly (ie, on an actual LISP machine), common sense of a very confused hamster.

Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:46 PM
263

RFTS: Word worked fine for my dissertation as long as I made each chapter a separate file and didn't let Word do any coordinating between files.

Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 6:58 PM
264

Right now I'd find some money making job for a little while, then quit and try to make a living writing puzzles.

If I'm remembering your hometown area correctly, it's only a few hours from this company, which hires a great many puzzle writers.

I may or may have defended Paul Graham here before, but I will certainly defend some of his essays as being excellent jumping-off points for discussion. You don't have to be a discipule to recognize that he has a gift for characterizing his perspective in memorable, pithy terms.

Sure, his writing can be glib and his points don't always generalize. But especially as reassurance for people whose parents really, really want them to go into a "safe" career, I think his ideas can be helpful.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 7:24 PM
265

May or may not.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 7:36 PM
266

"Didin't ogged post some video with two roommates who were sexchanging words with each other online under fake identities? Can't seem to find it."

Christ people, am I really so old?
The Pina Colada song --- go look it up at your local clay tablet repository or wherever it is they store everything that happened before 1980.
I seem to remember also some ancient play about some creepy dude called Cyrano de Bergerac.

it's not like any of this stuff is new.

Posted by: Maynard Handley | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 7:49 PM
267

262--great line, lrock.

oh god, i get so nervous.
do i pee in the shredded newspaper and eat the lettuce?
or do i pee in the lettuce and eat the newspaper?

Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 7:50 PM
268

Cyrano de Bergerac didn't discover that Roxanne was also actually a front for some dame with giant teeth, and he especially didn't discover that only after she found out who he was and rejected him, and he murdered the middlingly hot young noble she took up with afterwards.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 7:52 PM
269

No, no, I think Maynard has a point. From here on out we should demand only 100% completely original content. Settling for less would be beneath us.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 7:53 PM
270

I'd ask a hamster if I were you.

Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 7:54 PM
271

270--
but that would require more common sense than i have, cf. 262

Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 7:56 PM
272

Recycling is just stealing from our grandchildren; landfills are the mines of the future.

Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:07 PM
273

hey, i like that.
maybe we should call them land...mines!

Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:13 PM
274

I've read that aluminum recycling is beneficial, glass is slightly negative, and plastic quite a sink, as of now.

Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 8:19 PM
275

I defended Graham. His Lisp book is good. When did it become conventional wisdom that he's a fool? Is this some sort of Silicon Valley thing? Is it because of Hackers and Painters (which I haven't read)?

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:02 PM
276

226: arxiv supports pdftex now. I only use eps copies of figures now for the benefit of collaborators who still prefer ps to pdf. (And what's the deal with math-types liking dvi so much?)

Speaking of the environmental impact of recycling, does anyone have any idea how useful it really is to ask a hotel not to wash one's towels every day? It never really makes sense to me in areas that have abundant water supplies (I can understand it in, say, the US west).

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:17 PM
277

DVI files are very, very small.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 9:20 PM
278

230/1: Luxury! When I was a lad, we had to futz around with fonts/margins/spacing manually.

And let me tell you, remelting the lead every time was a bitch.

Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 10:40 PM
279

how can you people have taken a perfectly awesome article about perverts and turned it into a discussion of sorting recyclables and latex formatting??!! the whole internet is BANNED!

Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-26-07 11:26 PM
280

Yeah, seriously.

Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 1:19 AM
281

"Ideally, on glass bottles, they could get returned to the bottling plant, washed, and refilled.
[...]
(Yeah, yeah, utopian, impossible. I do know that, it just annoys me that it should be so.)
"

Welcome to the Netherlands.

Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 3:50 AM
282

Does anyone have any idea how useful it really is to ask a hotel not to wash one's towels every day? It never really makes sense to me in areas that have abundant water supplies

It's not just the water, but the energy consumption that is at stake (both the electricity needed to run the washing machines and driers and the energy required to make clean water available to the hotel). The hotel ultimately pays for both of these in its utility bills, so it has some incentive to persuade guests to play along. There is also the release of detergents into the environment, which is a pure externality.

Re-using your towel is an unambiguous environmental virtue, just like turning off the lights when you don't need them.

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 7:29 AM
283

Re: alternative careers, there's a fabulous passage from Mating:

Apropos of his vitromania I once asked Denoon to make the thought experiment of asking himself what he would have done with his life if he had been born into a world evolving on its own decently enough that his personal attention was not required.

Let me tell you, I sure as hell wouldn't be reading company financial statements and the business section if I didn't have to try to stop those bastards from doing their worst.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:27 AM
284

281: Also the US 50 years ago.

Seriously, I wish the government would just up and outlaw all kinds of earth-raping things like plastic water bottles which we take for granted but did not take for granted one, two or even three generations ago. We would get by.

Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:29 AM
285

1. Re: recycling glass. I read relatively recently that there's pretty good, if still somewhat expensive, technology for machines that can sort glass colors. (Don't remember where I read it, but someplace reasonably trustworthy.)

2. Re: Individual vs. corporate responsibility. Of course corps. create the vast majority of waste and pollution, and we need gov't solutions, but that doesn't mean individual efforts are useless (especially if, as several folks have pointed out, you prioritize reduce & reuse over recycle).

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-27-07 8:34 AM