Re: Clap Clap Clap

1

With regards to the post title, he did often talk through, and thus limit the length of, some of the clapping. That was a notable improvement.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 9:22 PM
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(Caveat to #1: I heard only the last ten minutes driving home and noted this tendency, plus the NPR commenters noted it in their post-speech analysis. And they can't lie to me, because I donated money. QED.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 9:32 PM
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He didn't mentioned it in the speech, but I am reliably informed that Obama is planning to sell our nation's kittens to Goldman Sachs for fuel.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 9:35 PM
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Cutest fuel ever!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 9:36 PM
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The best part was when he said "Once again, back is the incredible the rhyme animal B. Ridin' Air Force One, McCain said Freeze! But then I won. Can I tell 'em that I never really proved where I was born??


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 9:41 PM
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TJ is lying to you. What Obama really said was "Can I tell 'em that I never really proved where that I was born?"


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 9:45 PM
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Oh, also, a bit of a surprise announcement: in lieu of a tax rebate, ever taxpayer will be receiving an electrified llama.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 9:47 PM
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Ollamanos!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 9:48 PM
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ever taxpayer will be receiving an electrified llama.

A lead-tainted electric llama from China.

max
['Because we're supporting free trade!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 9:51 PM
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8: Exactly. Olla, meaning pan. Manos, meaning hands. Basically, the plan is, we're all going to panhandle.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 9:52 PM
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I'm holding out for a guanaco.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 9:54 PM
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2: I donated money. QED.

*I* donated money. WQED.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 9:59 PM
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12: Ooh, they stole the Obama logo, just like Pepsi. Or maybe he stole Pepsi's.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 10:05 PM
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Obama was excellent. Jindal shit the bed.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 02-24-09 10:41 PM
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Olla, meaning pan.

Also the term used for large Anasazi storage jars.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:07 AM
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shit the bed

Now this is a phrase I would be quite happy never to hear again.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:09 AM
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My punchline for the rest of the Obama administration is going to be, "Don't forget, he also said he'd cure cancer."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:04 AM
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Bobby Jindal sounds like a children's show host from the seventies.

'Today we're going to read a story about the little engine that valued free enterprise and the hard-working Americans that could! We have to be worried, though, children, because a centrally planned economy and handouts for people who don't deserve them could drive up taxes and delay the end of the recession. We wouldn't want that, would we, children?'


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:15 AM
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18: Indeed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:31 AM
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He said he was going to close Guantanamo Bay and shlep all his prisoners to Bagram Airbase, where those interfering human rights organizations can't get in.

Then he rubbed his hands and went Bwah-ha-ha-ha and peeled off his mask and turned out to be George W. Bush's supersmart clone.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 5:17 AM
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Now this is a phrase I would be quite happy never to hear again.

THEN STOP DOING IT!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 5:47 AM
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||
I realize that the study described in this WaPo piece, "A Drink a Day Raises Women's Risk of Cancer, Study Indicates", was specifically using data from the "Million Women Study", but it makes for a bit of a WTF? writeup.

Romansini is hardly alone. At least half of U.S. women drink sometimes ...

In the meantime, several experts said women should consult with their doctors about whether they should drink.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 5:52 AM
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Now this is a phrase I would be quite happy never to hear again.

Ha, since I think Obama's speech could well have been subtitled, "A Plan for Unshitting the Bed".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 5:55 AM
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16: How do you feel about "screwed the pooch?"


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 6:21 AM
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23: "Listen up bastards! You've shat yourselves into this mess, but you can't shit yourselves out of it, and I'm not going to start shoveling until you stop shitting!"


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 6:48 AM
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22: I happened to watch ABC News last night (I rarely watch television news programs) and they had this godawful segment about that study that was full of all these stern warnings that women should not drink at all because no amount of drinking is safe, and it seemed weirdly moralistic about it. Somehow I have a hard time believing that all the women doctors they interviewed don't drink any alcohol at all.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 6:58 AM
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re: 26

I don't even listen to all the puritanical shite anymore. Endlessly conflicting pieces of moralistic advice backed by flimsy epidemiology.

"Don't drink, it causes cancer. Drinking more than 2 units in a day is binge drinking. Drinking less than 2 units a day increases your risk of heart disease. Drinking exactly 2 units a day causes thickening of the veins in the left thumb, etc."


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:03 AM
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26 -- I watched it too. Didn't you just love the segment on special little items in the budget. Some six figure amount for research on blackbirds and mormon crickets, and the reporter is breathless: 'They're taking your money and giving it to crickets! Mormon crickets!'

That's a paraphrase, but this is what they were saying.

Are Mormon crickets as imprudent with their money as 'regular' crickets?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:18 AM
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#13. It's remarkable how tightly that ad campaign tries to hang on to Obama's coat-tails. The TV ad even uses variations of the phrase "Yes We Can." They're not the only ones: Time-Warner cable is running an ad with the tag "The Power of You" (or some such line), linking themselves to the civil rights movement with clips from the marches and from Obama's Inauguration. It's really shameless. "We did not face Bull Connor's dogs just to pay too much for high speed internet!"


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:19 AM
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Don't be silly -- they've all got a year's worth of canned wheat stashed away someplace.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:20 AM
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It is only in America, though, that the outright lie is publicly stated that foetal alcohol syndrome can be caused by a few glasses of wine.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:23 AM
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Are there adult-ed classes on epidemiology? I'd really like to be moreliterate about these things, or rather, numerate.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:26 AM
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You people laugh, but alcohol carried off my mother when she was only 87. One of the civilized, communitarian things about Wobegon is that the liquor stores make home deliveries to the elderly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:26 AM
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25: The sad thing is that Obama refuses to shovel the shit right back on top of the shitters. It's like he's never read Dante. What kind of Christian is he, anyway?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:28 AM
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27: The solution, of course, is to have a drink so you don't think about all the conflicting reports. And then have another.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:28 AM
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31: After heebie got that advice from her ob/gyn about weight gain and discovered that the recommendations were something of a leap from teh statistics, I asked somebody I knew who was pregnant what kind of advice she was getting. She basically parroted back teh same info.

However, she didn't think that all alcohol was always bad past the first trimester. In fact, she'd heard that in the third trimester Guinness was supposed to be quite good.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:30 AM
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31: I beg to differ. Does Saudi Arabia not exist in your mental universe. There a single drink can cause both fetal alcohol syndrome and maternal death by stoning.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:30 AM
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Mormon crickets? You mean the hordes of locusts that nearly killed my ancestors?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:31 AM
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Guinness is quite good even if you're not pregnant. Don't let the crickets find out though.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:32 AM
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You would think that people would be able to come up with some genuinely wasteful spending. Volcano monitoring, fruitfly research, study of killer locust swarms: all of these sound pretty useful to me.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:32 AM
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Although I suppose Mormon crickets won't be going after the Guinness . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:32 AM
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From wikipedia, we find that the Mormon cricket is no cricket at all. I might have known.

We still shouldn't be giving them thousands in taxpayer funds.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:35 AM
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31: You know what's really weird about this? I had a friend in the process of getting a doctorate in biology who had an embryology professor give a class of (presumably mostly non-pregnant) graduate students the "Even one glass of wine at the wrong moment can damage your baby" lecture. And I was pregnant at the time, so she passed it on to me; kept on trying to show me pictures from her textbook of babies with no faces, just a forehead above a chin, and similar developmental defects.

There still wasn't any real epidemiology backing it up, but even in a graduate biology program, the message was being sent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:38 AM
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liquor stores make home deliveries to the elderly.

When I first met the Vodka God, one of our local celebrities, he was in his early-nineties and he was getting a case of vodka a month by taxi. That continued until he finally died at the age of 101.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:39 AM
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re: 32

I read a couple of books a few years back. There is some accessible stuff out there. I'm afraid I can't provide a reference, though, as (stupidly) my bibliographic database only includes stuff I specifically quoted from or cited in my thesis.

FWIW, I did find a historical introduction to epidemiology more interesting than contemporary text books.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:42 AM
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Imagine if they reported everything that increased by 2% the chances of something terrible happening to you. "New studies show that no amount of being in an automobile is safe! Consult with your doctor before driving."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:46 AM
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42: Wikipedia write-up is pretty great:

Some research indicates the Mormon cricket's cannibalistic behavior causes swarming behavior. Crickets attack the cricket in front of them every few seconds and must move constantly forward to avoid attacks from behind.
"The cannibalism will continue until morale improves the swarm moves ass."
When a large band crosses a road it can cause a safety hazard by causing distracted revulsion on the part of the driver, and by causing the road surface to become slick with their fluids.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:46 AM
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It is only in America, though, that the outright lie is publicly stated that foetal alcohol syndrome can be caused by a few glasses of wine.

If you really care about your baby, you won't even question the dubious logic upon which this lie is based.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:48 AM
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28: Yes, I heard the Mormon cricket bit too. Those crazy Mormons, giving earmark money to insects!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:49 AM
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the outright lie is publicly stated that foetal alcohol syndrome can be caused by a few glasses of wine

30% of American women admit to drinking during their pregnancy and 8% admit to binge drinking. Given the nature of the question, one can safely assume that the actual rate for both figures is higher. Fetal alcohol syndrome is estimated to occur in between 0.0002 and 0.002% of live births here. Seems pretty clear that half-assing it won't get results. You'd need to drink like a full-blown alcoholic.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:52 AM
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46: Uncle Buckle the Safety Buffalo here to remind you:
Don't lie on the ground.
Never touch dead things.
Look both ways before going outside.

</national lampoon>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:52 AM
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However, she didn't think that all alcohol was always bad past the first trimester. In fact, she'd heard that in the third trimester Guinness was supposed to be quite good.

Worked for me!

When a large band crosses a road it can cause a safety hazard by causing distracted revulsion on the part of the driver, and by causing the road surface to become slick with their fluids.

... filed under "Lesser-known Dangers of Heavy Metal".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:53 AM
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When the revolution comes, the roads will slicken with the fluids of the state-sponsored Mormon crickets!


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:57 AM
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54

Wikipedia says at the top of the article:

t is unknown whether amount, frequency or timing of alcohol consumption during pregnancy causes a difference in degree of damage done to the fetus. Thus, although prenatal alcohol exposure does not automatically result in FAS, the current recommendation of the US Surgeon General is not to drink at all during pregnancy.

And yet further down:

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists conducted a study of over 400,000 women, all of whom had consumed alcohol during pregnancy. No case of fetal alcohol syndrome occurred and no adverse effects on children were found when consumption was under 8.5 drinks per week.[54] A review of research studies found that fetal alcohol syndrome only occurred among alcoholics; no apparent risk to the child occurred when the pregnant women consumed no more than one drink per day. [55] A study of moderate drinking during pregnancy found no negative effects and the researchers concluded that one drink per day provides a significant margin of safety, although they did not encourage drinking during pregnancy.[56] A study of pregnancies in eight European countries found that consuming no more than one drink per day did not appear to have any effect on fetal growth. A follow-up of children at 18 months of age found that those from women who drank during pregnancy, even two drinks per day, scored higher in several areas of development.[57] An analysis of seven medical research studies involving over 130,000 pregnancies found that consuming two to 14 drinks per week did not increase the risk of giving birth to a child with either malformations or fetal alcohol syndrome.

Someone has a strange idea of what "it is unknown" means!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:57 AM
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Other doctors recommend a beer to nursing mothers. Presumably these are Satanist doctors.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:59 AM
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54: it's one of those cases where all the evidence and the entire rest of the world thinks A, but the US government thinks non-A. The only neutral point of view is to say "it is unknown whether A".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:00 AM
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54: Every article in Wiki is an anthology assembled by complex processes of bargaining, bullying, sneakingess, and compromise. Wiki is not reliable on controversial issues, though a critical reading can find good stuff (e.g. your longer citation). And apparently, the stupid one is the US Surgeon General, if he's accurately cited, rather than the Wiki editor.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:02 AM
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re: 56

Our own beloved government adopts the same policy vis a vis cannabis. Because the facts send the wrong signals ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:03 AM
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Wiki is not reliable on controversial issues

It doesn't appear that this is a controversial issue, though. It's not "some experts say even small amounts of alcohol are dangerous, and other experts say they are not"; it's "experts say small amounts of alcohol are safe, and the U.S. government has its head up its ass".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:08 AM
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Back to the original post, what did he say about entitlement reform? Medicare definitely needs reforming as part of total health care reform, but I'm suspicious of most social security reform.

I'm worried that he's trying to appeal to the "serious" people. I want to stop that.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:11 AM
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60 was I.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:12 AM
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You people laugh, but alcohol carried off my mother when she was only 87.

And now poor John is an orphan! He should do PSAs --- "She thought one drink a night couldn't hurt.....and now there's no one to tuck me in at night..." as he struggles to hold back the tears.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:15 AM
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59: "Controversiality" is a social fact. There are enormous debates about the ethnic affiliation of various past heroes or even whole ancient states, where either the question is undecidable or one side is completely wrong, but these controversies last forever.

Bible archeology and textual studies of the Bible and newly-discovered contemporary manuscripts will always be controversial, because the data conflict with the doctrines of every organized Biblical religion whatsoever. (And the data do not really back the neo-churches which use the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi texts either -- a lot of wishful reading).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:21 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:25 AM
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Die, racist pig troll! Die! Die!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:26 AM
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30% of American women admit to drinking during their pregnancy and 8% admit to binge drinking....Seems pretty clear that half-assing it won't get results. You'd need to drink like a full-blown alcoholic.

I beg to differ. 30 percent of Americans are really fucked up, and 8 percent are really really really fucked up. Now we know why.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:32 AM
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60: he gave a shout-out to social security reform with no specifics. Still too much, but whatever.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:32 AM
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Talking Points Memo has the video of David Brooks calling Jindal's ideological choices "insane" and "a disaster for the Party."

There's certainly a lot wrong with having a media that's so attuned to political currents, and it's unfortunate that, come the revolution, we may not have an adequate excuse to shoot comrade Brooks. But still, it's nice to see the weathervanes pointing in the right direction for a change.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:34 AM
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65: I was googling around for cases of internet trolls getting their ass kicked in real life in response to their trolling. The closest I could find was a guy who got his house trashed for ganking a woman in World of Warcraft.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:38 AM
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The closest I could find was a guy who got his house trashed for ganking a woman in World of Warcraft.

The kneejerk reaction from my playing days is that he probably had it coming.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:44 AM
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Just hand Brooks and Gerson over to me, no problem.

Of course, there are only four people in political opinion media that I'd spare at this moment: Maddow, Olbermann, Krugman, and Bill Moyers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:46 AM
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There are few famous Mennonites.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:47 AM
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Also, I acknowledge 70 as a not-sane reaction. It's just the first reaction on a purely emotional level. I never trashed anyone's house.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:47 AM
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As I understand, we know who ToS is and approximately where he lives.

He's definitely degenerating.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:48 AM
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I would ask what "ganking" means, but someone would probably call me a noob.

["That guy's sleazy, so I hope 'murked' means something bad."]


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:51 AM
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74: is ToS the crazed id of a regular poster, or is it a total outsider? He has a weird relationship to this place, different than a normal troll.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:54 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:55 AM
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He's been around forever in his present form. He got started at Kotsko's, I think.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:57 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:58 AM
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80

See what you get for talking shit about electrolyzed water?


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:00 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:01 AM
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Just ask at the gas station.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:01 AM
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76: Right; he's had a similar screwy relationship with other blogs in the past.

He's not (I suppose I can't know this for certain, but I'm pretty sure) a dual identity for anyone else who posts here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:01 AM
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he's had a similar screwy relationship with other blogs in the past.

See? Emerson's right, relationships are just no good.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:08 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:09 AM
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65: note to any passing law enforcement: mcmc is in fact German. His comment translates as "The Racist Pig Troll! The! The!" No threat is intended.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:12 AM
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#76: See also here, here, and here for some backstory.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:18 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:18 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:21 AM
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Is there any legitimate empirical research out there on trolls?

I was wondering if there are any female trolls out there that I am just unaware of. Do women never get the urge to troll? I've never trolled myself, but I do understand the urge. I'd troll Tom Friedman if he had a comment section. Do any of the female unfoggetariat ever have the urge to troll? (I'm not counting Dr. B as a real troll.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:27 AM
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90: Was An/nie A/ng/el a real woman? That was some serious performance art trolling, there. Search around at Sadly, No. She also had a blog.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:32 AM
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90: You'd want a tight definition of 'troll' before you started doing research. Male/female is tough, because you're going on screen names -- there's no reason to think the ToS has to be male, although I'd be as surprised as you are if that weren't the case. But for female-named trolls, there's plenty on every feminist blog I've ever read. B gets them, Pandagon, Twisty, Amptoons. The dynamic works out a little differently, but there's trolling going on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:35 AM
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75: "Ganking" is killing someone (in a game) without them having the slightest chance of escaping or fighting back, either because your character is more powerful or because they're at a disadvantage for situational reasons (such as being in the middle of a fight with the Deadly Dragon of Death and/or Taxes).

I half feel like I should write this comment presidentially.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:36 AM
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Is there any legitimate empirical research out there on trolls?

I'd love to read it if there is. I'm fascinated by troll psychology--not the kind who drive by to make an offensive comment or two, but the kind who devote years to it--because as slothful as I am, I have trouble imagining devoting that kind of effort to something so frivolous.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:36 AM
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A Happy New Year of the Ox!
the predictions are the dissonant earth ox year (harshlah hemeeh shoroon uher jil) is going to be peaceful and abundant


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:37 AM
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Lisa rea on alt.religion.kibology did some quality trolling back in the '90s.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:37 AM
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90: you clearly don't waste enough time on the net. Trolling is universal. Styles differ, I guess.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:38 AM
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There was a NYT article a while back about trolls, but IIRC, we didn't think it was very good. You know, it was the one about that guy who harassed the family of the girl who committed suicide, and they visited that other guy who pretended to be a multi-jillionaire due to credit scamming while trolling it up. I believe the only motivation any of the trolls gave was "lulz," aside from one lengthy quote from some pompous douche who thought he was like altering our experience of reality and whatnot.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:39 AM
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as slothful as I am, I have trouble imagining devoting that kind of effort to something so frivolous.

yet you post on Unfogged regularly.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:39 AM
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I have trouble imagining devoting that kind of effort to something so frivolous

says a commenter on Unfogged.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:39 AM
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The NYT is, of course, not "research." You could do a decent dissertation I think, but in what department, I don't know.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:40 AM
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Ganking?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:45 AM
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The only thing more frivolous than commenting on Unfogged is getting pwned on Unfogged.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:45 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:46 AM
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(I'm not counting Dr. B as a real troll.)

Sexist.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:47 AM
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If 103 is to 100 and 99 then 102 should meet 75 and 93.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:47 AM
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Holy shit. It almost sounded coherent. Grammatically, anyway.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:48 AM
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per 103, I was really hoping that 105 would be pwned. Alas.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:48 AM
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ToS, you half-wit retard, nobody cares about what minimal content your droppings occasionally contain. The issue is that you're a boring dick who has just been repeating yourself for months. It isn't satire, it isn't even trolling. It's just a collection of verbal tics, like a dog that barks every time the clock chimes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:53 AM
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Ooh, and 108 gets to meet 106. What a happy party!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:53 AM
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It would be an interesting subject to have research on, but it seems like it would be hard to get very far with just the original content of the trolling, and without going behind the screen names to the actual persons involved, which is difficult by design.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:54 AM
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By the time I checked the thread, all ToS's comments had been deleted. Clearly, this means I need to spend more time at Unfogged while at work. (Don't worry, not asking to have them re-posted.)

I'm actually a little confused; I read Balloon Juice regularly, and I'm pretty sure I remember a commenter there in the past named the other steve and he wasn't particularly trollish. Maybe it's just two people commenting with the same handle. Steve is, after all, a common name.

Also, this makes me wonder about something from around when I first started reading Unfogged, whenever that was. (2007, probably, maybe a little earlier.) I definitely remember seeing some comment threads where most if not all references by number to previous comments were off, and sometimes off by the same amount throughout the thread. I assumed that was because some comment higher up in the thread had been deleted and even the number removed, throwing off the sequence. Here, though, the number and time of the troll's deleted comments are left in, and just the content removed.

So the question is, am I remembering wrong and there were no such comment threads, or did I assume wrong about the cause of them, or am I remembering correctly but the method of handling trolls has changed in the meantime to avoid that confusion?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:22 AM
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60:Bg asked about entitlement reform. Obama did mention it, pretty cryptically, in last night's speech.

Nobody really knows what they have in mind, and everybody is guessing based on their biases. Jane Hamsher & Ezra Klein are throwing daggers at each other about it. Here is Tyler Cowen, linked to piss everybody off.

SS & Fiscal Policy


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:24 AM
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ToS stands for Troll of Sorrow rather than The Other Steve, and only that one guy's comments have ever been deleted (um, systematically. One or two comments , I'd guess less than ten in the history of the site, have been deleted for other reasons.) But you're right that the deletion process changed as you describe.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:25 AM
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Further to 114: That is, deletion isn't a policy for handling trolls generally. It's a policy for handling this one guy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:26 AM
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I briefly trolled Bi/ll Qu/ick's site (don't ask me why) before there were many liberal blogs (~2002). I didn't consider it trolling, he's post some dumb libertarian trope and I'd point out that he had some fact wrong and he'd go apeshit, so I'm guessing he considered it trolling.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:31 AM
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Oooh, just to make up bullshit as an example of what might be goin on. According to, I think, Bruce Webb & the experts, just an increase in the FICA cap and we won't need to ever draw down the SS Trust Fund at all.

So that money, some or all, perhaps with my name of my portion of it, could be used to buy equities, just a few trillion worth. Add in some add-in or carve-out accounts for younger people, and boomers selling as they pay retirement expenses, and you can triple the Dow and S&P in a year. Foreign investment might follow with more trillions.

Yes, it's a bubble, and will crash as baby boomers die off. But in the meantime the velocity could pay for like, everything.

The above could also be ignorant insane idiocy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:34 AM
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"Trolling", broadly speaking, is just being an annoyance to the community. This can include being right when everyone else in the community is happy being wrong, or just insisting on bringing up a point that runs agains the prevailing zeitgeist of the place. So I defend trolls as valuable members of the ecosystem. But ToS definitely tests even my ability to see something valuable in the phenomenon, although occasionally there's an inspired line or two in his barrage of insults.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:42 AM
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Cool, that's the third version of 118 I've seen appear in reloading.
Of the sites I read, Saiselgy is the worst with trolls. They seem to outnumber his non-trolls.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:51 AM
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1. Of course there are female trolls.
2. Of course B counts as a troll.
3. Trolling was much more fun back in the old days. Now you have to be more subtle.
4. No really, bob.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:00 AM
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Oh I forgot:

5. "Ganking" used to just mean "stealing", like "I ganked his password". Apparently it has evolved.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:02 AM
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"Trolling", broadly speaking, is just being an annoyance to the community.

Unfortunately this has become standard usage, but it's wrong. It's to all intensive purposes wrong.

Trolling derives from the fishing term for slowly motoring along towing a fishing line. The aim is to goad people into an aggressive response, or in the more extreme forms to generate a flamewar that shuts down all discussion. The essence of trolling is bad faith. The origin of the term is on Usenet.

['/my lawn, get off it']


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:32 AM
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Of the sites I read, Saiselgy is the worst with trolls. They seem to outnumber his non-trolls.

These seems finally to have changed at his latest place (CAP). Don't know if there's a mechanism or what - or maybe the election took it out of the trolls a bit - but there's usually an annoying hack or two and the remainder of comments are more or less on-point. Nothing like the bad old days of Al the First.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:33 AM
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122 gets it exactly right.

But isn't the fishing thing "trawling"? As in, what a trawler does?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:34 AM
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Trolling and trawling are different activities.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:36 AM
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124: nah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:37 AM
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122
It's to all intensive purposes wrong.

Maybe, but what about more relaxed purposes?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:37 AM
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Well, mine was less informative, so it hardly counts as a pwn.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:38 AM
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123: Ahhh, Al. That brings back memories. I think I started reading political blogs when the real - well, "real" - Al was still around but was just starting to get imitators or parodists.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:42 AM
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"Trolling", broadly speaking, is just being an annoyance to the community.

More narrowly, it is deliberately trying to be an annoyance to a community, over a period of time, for rewards that aren't immediately obvious. Cranks, contrarians, true believers, and people who just like to argue, I get. Trolls AKA "griefers," I don't. I understand the urge to be obnoxious or disagreeable; I don't understand the urge to spend time being merely obnoxious or disagreeable to people who aren't much more than words on a screen.

(Now with 25% more pwnage!)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:46 AM
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I don't understand the urge to spend time being merely obnoxious or disagreeable to people who aren't much more than words on a screen

Being obnoxious and disagreeable in person tends to result in getting one's ass kicked. Words on a screen, not so much.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:53 AM
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I feel like people are misinterpreting trolling, in its classic sense. It isn't that you're being obnoxious or disagreeable to somebody else, necessarily. Done well, you're trying to incite them to be over-the-top obnoxious and disagreeable to you, hopefully en masse, without having to exert much effort yourself.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:59 AM
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A troll will say X not because the troll believes X, but because the locals are galled by it. I don't, actually, see the use of this in the `ecosystem'. It's the `crying wolf' version of making people examine their assumptions.

But, you know, spam is actually the aliens learning how to entice us, and trolling is the aliens exhausting our immune responses to spam, so it all makes sense in the larger ecosystem.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:06 PM
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Trawling is a kind of net fishing. Trolling is a kind of hook-and-line fishing. Both involve dragging something behind a boat.

The origin of the term is on Usenet.

In the Middle Ages words had all kinds of weird meanings. We live in the modern world now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:15 PM
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||
Meanwhile...
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:18 PM
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135: I just knew that whole story could get more sordid somehow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:19 PM
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Oh, a whole year of health insurance. Well she should be grateful.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:20 PM
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A troll will say X not because the troll believes X, but because the locals are galled by it.

A troll will often pick a site at which his or her sincerely held views will be correctly regarded as beyond the pale. I don't comment over at Red State because if I did so, I would be trolling.

(I don't read anything at Red State because if I did so, I'd have to gouge my eyes out.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:21 PM
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114: Of course there have been a few mass comment deletions for non-troll related reasons. If you see missing comments on a thread in the fucking archives it's more likely you've run across one of those than something troll related.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:22 PM
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||

I've complained before that the Pirates are now broadcast on the local hate-radio station. Last year it wasn't too bad, as the primary made for some more interesting takes on things, and McCain was so pathetic that I could laugh at them. But I'm listening to the first spring training game*, and I don't know if I'm going to be able to handle the (literally) insane Obama-hate.

* What?

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:23 PM
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I don't understand the urge to spend time being merely obnoxious or disagreeable to people who aren't much more than words on a screen

Since I just happened to be reading this thread recently I offer R McMP's perspective

On the MrBungle tip, it is my considered opinion that he just enjoyed getting people riled up and seeing what happened and then, when things like the town hall hosted by evangeline did happen, he liked to keep tweaking them. It was 100% pure performance. MrBungle himself was a perfectly nice guy, offline. (I was a [make-believe] friend of a [real-life] friend, we talked, he struck me as someone who was doing the MrBungle schtick simply because he was less likely to get busted for that than for flushing cherry bombs.)

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:28 PM
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Oh, I've known lots of people who are terrible trolls online who are super nice in person. Usually they grow out of it, but, you know, the internet's not a real place.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:31 PM
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OT: I was reading that thread to see if I had linked to any Amy Bruckman papers.

At the time I hadn't been able to find the one I wanted, and I'm still not quite sure which one I wanted. But this looks like a very interesting set of MOO/MUD links


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:34 PM
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I once found myself trolling at a Mormon blog. I'd participated quite usefully and sincerely in one thread about authority and fundamentalism, then found myself reading the site regularly and leaving increasingly nasty and provocative comments when gay or feminist issues came up. I don't think it was too long before I realized that I was trolling and everyone would be better off if I left, but I was fairly embarrassed by my own behavior.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:40 PM
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Usually they grow out of it, but, you know, the internet's not a real place is serious business.

I've known one guy who was just as giant an asshole in person as he was online. It was remarkable.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:43 PM
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You know, I get the old-school definition of trolling as low-effort-messing-with-the-ignorant-and-naive-for-the-hell-of-it, but the broader definition of troll as in 'persistent online nuisance' describes something. Is there a rival word I don't know that people who use troll narrowly prefer?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:43 PM
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Is there a rival word I don't know that people who use troll narrowly prefer?

"Griefer".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:44 PM
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I was kind of trollish on a forum where I used to hang out when the Iraq war started; it was this peculiar place with a lot of family/childrearing/domestic stuff/chitchat threads populated mostly by women, and a political discussion area dominated by a bunch of hard-right men (Ace of Spades, the play-doh/bacon guy, hung out there) and run/moderated by a woman who annoyed the crap out of me.

So I'd chat in the warm 'n' fuzzy threads, and then get into these blistering arguments in the political area, and butt heads with the moderator about whether I was behaving appropriately. I stopped posting when I realized that most of the entertainment value I was getting out of the place was annoying the moderator.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:49 PM
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You do realize that ToS has successfully changed the topic of this thread to trolling?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 12:57 PM
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149: If he wants to be proud of that, let him have his pleasures. However, it's not like it takes a lot of work to get the Unfoggedariat to change topics. This place has an odd mix of obsessive focusing and frivolous tangents.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:09 PM
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||

I am reading something by foreign authors who seem to be convinced that "X is anything but Y" is an elegant way to say "X and Y are the same thing". I can't quite decide if that's a sensible way for someone unfamiliar with idiomatic English to parse the phrase.

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:15 PM
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145: oh, me too. It just doesn't correlate well.

146: no. The people you're talking about are trolls, it's just that they're bad at it. If people know you're doing it, you fail.

149: I didn't see any of his comments.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:18 PM
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But, Essear, what if they know English perfectly well, but have different ideas about the nature of identity?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:19 PM
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||

For some reason, 151 reminds me of a debate I had with my old advisor, (who is native-born. But still.)

In a paper, he'd written a complicated integral, and then written, "Formally, this is equivalent to..." and then had a really simple integral.

For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what the hell the simple integral meant. The domain didn't make any sense with the integrand, etc. So I asked him.

He said, "That's why I said formally. This is the intuitive idea, that roughly speaking you're integrating these big, blocky concepts." In other words, sort of a platonic forms use of the word forms.

I think he's utterly full of shit, and that when you say formally, that means that your next line should include every last little precise detail. Because you're being formal.

I'm so right, I just know it. Right?

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:25 PM
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146: Is there a rival word I don't know that people who use troll narrowly prefer?

"Troll". I liked the classic sense, but that troll's so far out from under the bridge that even Cindy Kandolf couldn't put it back under.

Actually I'm fine with the expanded use of the term to describe any general intentional (broadly defined*) provoking of angry, overwrought or voluminous responses, the more subtly done the better. Just don't like it being expanded to anyone being obstreporous, assholish or contrary in general. But then again, why have an opinion? The Internet is best treated as a Found Object.

*For instance, I thought Ogged really was quite good at trolling his own blog—I've not much of a clue as to his intentional stance, but it worked.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:25 PM
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154: You are formally correct.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:27 PM
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See, I disagree somewhat on the definition of trolling. I think that definition emerges from a desire to ascribe malevolent intentions to anyone who pisses you off. Maybe a troll should be defined as someone who is actually *trying* to get a rise out of people, but in actual practice anyone who *does* get a rise out of people, regardless of intentions, is quickly labelled a troll.

Also, people who intend to needle others but do it in a way that doesn't actually piss them off often don't get called trolls.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:30 PM
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I don't think intentionality is necessary to define somebody as trolling. People can be natural, intuitive trolls.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:33 PM
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154: I've noticed "formal" used in at least two different ways by theoretical physicists. One way is "this is true at the level of abstract manipulations as long as you don't think too hard about what they mean, but it might take a lot of work to make precise if you're really thinking about it". Like people blithely write down integrals over infinite-dimensional spaces of functions and manipulate them "formally", meaning that if you stop and think you notice nothing is well-defined or convergent or generally sensible, but somehow you get the right answer anyway. I guess that's the one your advisor used. The other use of the word is for things that are very precisely mathematical and rigorous.

My impression was that mathematicians use it more in the former way, but probably use both definitions also? In one of my undergrad classes, we were told that "the goal of category theory is to make that which is formal, formally formal", which I think might be mixing the two? Like "formal" at the level of "this is true by abstract nonsense and vague analogies and drawing arrows between things" (the sloppy way your advisor used it), but "formally formal" in the sense that those arrows are given rigorous definition. But it could be I'm misunderstanding the quote.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:35 PM
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seem to be convinced that "X is anything but Y" is an elegant way to say "X and Y are the same thing"

Maybe s/he is reaching for "X is nothing if not Y". Might seem to have the same -thing word + negating word form.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:39 PM
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||

Seems the New York Times story regarding "Dating a Banker Anonymous" was the result of an online prank.

However, the Washington Post had what amounted to a sequel on its front page this morning.

|


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:39 PM
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159: yay, dimensionless integrals!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:39 PM
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Like people blithely write down integrals over infinite-dimensional spaces of functions and manipulate them "formally", meaning that if you stop and think you notice nothing is well-defined or convergent or generally sensible, but somehow you get the right answer anyway.

Continuing—if Mark Wilson is to be trusted—the tradition of Heaviside.

Of course he was a practical man with whom the theoretical physicists might not want to associate.

Apparently late in his life he replaced all the furniture in his home with large rocks.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:44 PM
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154: I think you're completely right, but I don't have a PhD and have probably read more research papers in most social and hard sciences than I have in maths.

The adviser should have said something like "Conceptually, this is equivalent to:" and then explained the big chunky generalizations in the integrand and domain.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:45 PM
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159: you took category theory in undergrad? So great!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:46 PM
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Like people blithely write down integrals over infinite-dimensional spaces of functions and manipulate them "formally", meaning that if you stop and think you notice nothing is well-defined or convergent or generally sensible, but somehow you get the right answer anyway.

In other words, I can no longer make invidious comparisons between economics and physics? There's no comparison? Anything really does go?

But aha! Physicists at least care if they get an actual right answer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:47 PM
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Apparently late in his life he replaced all the furniture in his home with large rocks.

It was sturdy furniture, if a bit on the heavy side.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:49 PM
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"this is true by abstract nonsense and vague analogies and drawing arrows between things"

If this is good enough for mathematics maybe I can convince my advisors it's good enough for me, too.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:49 PM
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165: Yes, but I think it was part of an algebraic topology class? Which may not have been an undergrad class.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:52 PM
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159: Huh, we always used "hand-wavey" as the term of art for manipulations of the former variety. "Formal" was reserved for the hideous stuff where you break down every little step to whatever level you need in order to show it's valid without a doubt. In my mind, notions of mathematical formality are inextricably bound to this work, which gave me a spontaneous headache the one time I saw it on the shelf of the library while picking up my set theory books and thought "Hey, I've heard of that! Let's see what this looks like."

Flipping to a random page in the middle? Very bad idea. Should've stuck with the intro or at least the beginning of a chapter.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:55 PM
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In other words, I can no longer make invidious comparisons between economics and physics? There's no comparison? Anything really does go?

I don't know what economists do. (Probably I should read a book about that, someday.) But no, physics is not "anything goes". It's just a different set of rules than in mathematics, maybe logically less stringent, but still strict in its own way. (Self-consistency, consistency with experiment, having rules that tell you when your crazy approximation breaks down and when it's at least qualitatively right if quantitatively wrong). I would hope economists have similar strategies.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:57 PM
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"Formally, this is equivalent to", I would read as meaning something very specific that's not exactly what you or your advisor meant -- something like, if you disregard all the superficial features of something, and only look at it structurally, it has the same underlying structure as something else. I'm not coming up with a clear realworld example, but something like "Formally, plea bargain negotiations are equivalent to repeated purchases of wheat futures on a thickly traded exchange."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 1:59 PM
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161: I am so empathetic to the plight of the newly stricken financial types I'll offer them a blindfold. We can get those cheap at Brooks Brothers, there are plenty of brick walls at empty factories and I'm sure no shortage of volunteers for the firing squads. Their fuckin' angst problem is easy to solve.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 2:02 PM
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170: Hmm. For me hand-wavey is a more inclusive term than formal. Any argument that makes unjustified assumptions or relies more on gut feelings than logic is hand-wavey. Formal means, in particular, relying on some set of well-defined rules for manipulating expressions or diagrams (sort of like heebie was implying, it's somehow about the form of the things you're working with), but applying those rules in a rote way even if they strictly don't apply to the thing you're dealing with. Sometimes formal things turn out to be correct, sometimes not.

An example:
Say you know some things about infinite series of real numbers, but not about matrices. You might, e.g., formally say that the exponential of a matrix is exp(M) = 1 + M + M^2 / 2! + ..., which turns out to be a sensible thing to do, and you can manipulate that series in ways that turn out to be sensible. But to do it formally is to not bother to check when it converges, etc., just to blindly forge ahead by writing down things that are analogous to things you know work (in this case, for numbers) in a case where you don't know in advance that they do (for matrices).

Dammit, my internet time-wasting is entirely too closely related to the things I'm avoiding doing with that time. Can't we talk about trolls or bacon or something?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 2:03 PM
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I agree with 172. It's good to have a non-mathematical example to illustrate the concept.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 2:06 PM
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174: Ok, I can see the distinction you're making, though 174.2 would've been the classic example of hand-wavey stuff (complete with shoddy marks on the exam, as I learned the hard way during graph theory) unless you went back and proved convergence to a well-defined value and whatever other properties you would formally need for the steps you used the definition in.

Also, no, no bacon. But LB reminded me too much of work when she said "Formally, plea bargain negotiations are equivalent to repeated purchases of wheat futures on a thickly traded exchange." and I thought "Oh shit, that would've been a terrible idea."


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 2:13 PM
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170: In France it was Bourbaki, which was a collective. Mandelbrot says he came to the US specifically to get away from Bourbaki, of which one of his uncles was a member.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 2:16 PM
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173: Biohazard, when did you become such a class warrior?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 2:17 PM
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173: Biohazard grew up on turnips because his father played the stockmarket, and the stockmarket won.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 2:22 PM
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"Formal," in the sense that heebie assumes it should mean, is roughly equivalent to "according to form." Or to put it yet another way, there's a form, a specified routine or sequence or process that the thing in question is supposed to go through, and if it is formal then it has gone through that form.

"Formal," in the sense that heebie's advisor seems to be using it, could just as easily have been "form-ish." As in, a form exists, and this is similar to it. You can tell right away that it fits the broad outline of the form. It might be formal in the other sense as well and then again it might not, but it's close enough to work with for your current purposes.

I think "formish" could be a useful word.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 2:34 PM
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Formishly, the formula for formic acid is equivalent to other Carboxylic acids.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 2:44 PM
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146: the broader definition of troll as in 'persistent online nuisance' describes something

Internet Fuckwad.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 4:01 PM
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Formishly, the formula for formic acid is equivalent to other Carboxylic acids.

This makes me antsy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 4:14 PM
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178: It's the whining of the hyper-privileged that drives me bug-fuck nuts, along with the attention paid to the little darlings' grief. The NYTimes article about how difficult it would be to survive on a mere $500K/year reminded me of one in Fortune magazine in the early-or mid-Fifties about how to live on a measly $50K. That was about 10x what my father made back then, I think.

The distraught schmucks can't live without their Perrier? I bet they can't live under regular old tap water for very long either. They can suck it up or die, either works for me.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 5:26 PM
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184 made be briefly think Biohazard was suggesting Perrierboarding Bankers. Which, sweet thinking!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 5:28 PM
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What boggle me is that the bankrupt beggars are continually making ultimatums as to what they are willing and not willing to accept. They really don't realize what's happened. They've been strutting around for so long that they've forgotten how to negotiate a weak position.

But how can I criticize them? It's still working for them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 5:47 PM
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But how can I criticize them? It's still working for them.

Exactly.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/3358846/the-banks-reverse-takeover-of-britain.thtml


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 5:49 PM
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Also, perrierboarding is a great word.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 5:49 PM
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134:The origin of the term is on Usenet.
In the Middle Ages words had all kinds of weird meanings. We live in the modern world now.

Oh, you kids, with your lack of history, always refusing to deal with the practical realities of tradition! And people wonder why history repeats as farce. Get off my lawn!

155:Actually I'm fine with the expanded use of the term to describe any general intentional (broadly defined*) provoking of angry, overwrought or voluminous responses, the more subtly done the better. Just don't like it being expanded to anyone being obstreporous, assholish or contrary in general.

Intentionality is at the core of the definition. The original meaning of troll was meant to apply to a person playing tricks or pranks. If the banker's wives anonymous thing is really actually fake, then that is a damn fine troll. Impressive, and not cruel. Actual trolling in the water is a relaxed activity, unlike churning the lake in a speedboat.

157:See, I disagree somewhat on the definition of trolling. I think that definition emerges from a desire to ascribe malevolent intentions to anyone who pisses you off. Maybe a troll should be defined as someone who is actually *trying* to get a rise out of people, but in actual practice anyone who *does* get a rise out of people, regardless of intentions, is quickly labelled a troll.

That's the problem with the change in definitions - 'troll' is treated as some kind of technical term which allows the user to play 'tag, you're it', which in practice it means 'that asshole that I don't like'. That makes it easy to avoid real issues, and turn a provocative discussion a food fight, while avoiding responsibility for turning it into a food fight in the first place.

You know, I get the old-school definition of trolling as low-effort-messing-with-the-ignorant-and-naive-for-the-hell-of-it, but the broader definition of troll as in 'persistent online nuisance' describes something. Is there a rival word I don't know that people who use troll narrowly prefer?

If I were talking about someone is deliberately trying to rile people up for dishonest reasons, so as to disrupt discussion, I'd call that a flametroll. (Example: 'You Jews just don't understand that you deserved Hitler. So you should stop lying about Auschwitz.') I think concern trolling fits very well for people who are actually pushing agenda x, while pretending to support agenda y, such as all those fake people who showed up on Yggles blog last night in the Jindal thread to declare that Obama should now dread Jindal, even though Jindal actually tanked. (Although in that case, that person or persons might be better labeled a spin troll, since they were just laying down the RNC official line.)

I generally find that trollin' 'em back is the best cure for that kind of trolling, since dealing with it is all about not letting people get to you.

Then there are the other kind of (relatively sane) people who tend to get labeled trolls. There are the ones willing to touch the third rail (contrarians), either because they just like being contrary, or they actually just disagree somewhat, the people who are genuinely annoyed by you because they generally disagree with you and are now annoying you back, and the tone deaf.

For that second group, if I had to come up with a term, I would use 'gaffing', which is a process wherein you use a long pole with a big hook on the end to catch fish. Most of what McManus says that causes people to say he's trolling would be better described as gaffing. ('You liberal yuppies have your sympathies in the right place, but you just don't get it!') I think a lot of what B did that people described as trolling would go under that term as well.

Which brings us to ToS. ToS may be trolling, flametrolling, flaming, and so on, but the repetitiveness and the complete incoherence puts him into a completely different category: k00k. The jargon file entry I found at the not jargon file link says:

[Usenet; originally and more formally, net.kook] Term used to describe a regular poster who continually posts messages with no apparent grounding in reality. Different from a troll, which implies a sort of sly wink on the part of a poster who knows better, kooks really believe what they write, to the extent that they believe anything.
The kook trademark is paranoia and grandiosity. Kooks will often build up elaborate imaginary support structures, fake corporations and the like, and continue to act as if those things are real even after their falsity has been documented in public.
While they may appear harmless, and are usually filtered out by the other regular participants in a newsgroup of mailing list, they can still cause problems because the necessity for these measures is not immediately apparent to newcomers; there are several instances on record, for example, of journalists writing stories with quotes from kooks who caught them unaware.

That definition sort of overlaps with crank. (See here at crank.net for example!) I tend to think of cranks as being somebody with a kooky hangup, or sometimes someone who has the correct position but is out of favor, whereas your actual kooks are mentally ill. A crank could turn out to be right, and probably has a perfectly normal life beyond the subject of obsession. Whereas a kook is usually only right on accident, because they say so much random crazy stuff that they just hit the jackpot occasionally.

max
['This comment is too long.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 5:59 PM
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Among thoughtful educated, sophisticated people, lot of times this kind of argument goes meta:

Me: "The bankrupt bankers are unbelievably arrogant. They seem to think they still own the world."

Educated sophisticated person: "Well, they're in a tight situation. A lot of people are gunning for them, and they have to protect themselves down somehow. Getting several trillion dollars from the government by threatening to bring the world economy crashing down is really the only card in their hand. They've done remarkably well, I'd say."

This is a good example of the difference between the apodictic reading of a proposition and the problematological reading. From the apodictic point of view, the sophisticated person's response is adequate: it looks at the face of the proposition and answers it based on it's meaning.

Problematologically, however, the response is wrong. The unexpressed context is misread (possibly deliberately), which means that the question to which my statement was an answer is mistaken. My question was not answering the question "What would a normally rational, self-interested person do in that circumstance?"

My statement was answering the question "Just why is it that you think that a few bankers should be impaled and left out in the hot sun until expiration?" I had left out the context, because I had thought that every normal human being was thinking the same thing I was. Finding that to be true, my response cannot be to respond to the sophisticated person's clueless statement. What I must do is explicate the problematological and make it explicit.

This has been an introduction to the philosophy of Michel Meyer. Rhetoric, Language, and Reason(Penn State, 1994) is a good introduction.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 6:24 PM
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S/B "The bankrupt bankers are unbelievably arrogant. They seem to think they still own the world."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 6:25 PM
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189: k00k

Oh, yes, that's right. Not many of them around any more, seems like.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 6:39 PM
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187: Among thoughtful, educated, sophisticated NPR people, a lot of the time this kind of argument goes meta:

Me: "The bankrupt bankers are unbelievably arrogant. They seem to think they still own the world."
Thoughtful, educated, sophisticated NPR person: "Well, they're in a tight situation. A lot of people are gunning for them, and they had to protect themselves somehow. Getting several trillion dollars from the government by threatening to bring the world economy crashing down was really the only card they had in their hand. I'd say that they've played it remarkably well."

This is a good example of the difference between the apodictic reading of a proposition and the problematological reading. From the apodictic point of view, the sophisticated person's response is adequate: it looks at the face of the proposition and answers it based on its meaning.

Problematologically, however, the response is wrong. The unexpressed context was misread (possibly deliberately), which means that the question to which my statement was an answer was mistaken. My question was not answering the question "What would a normally rational, self-interested person do in that circumstance?"

My statement was answering this question: "Just why is it that you think that a few bankers should be impaled and left out in the hot sun for a few days until they expire?" I had left out the context (i.e., left the statement apodictic), because I had assumed that every normal human being was thinking as I was.

Finding that not to be true, my response could not be to respond directly to the sophisticated person's clueless statement. Doing so would lead me into an endless and pointless argument about the wrong thing. What I had to do instead was to explicate the problematological context, making it explicit rather than apodictic (assumed).

This has been an introduction to the philosophy of Michel Meyer. Rhetoric, Language, and Reason (Penn State, 1994) is a good introduction.

(There were too many mistakes for an introductory philosophical lecture)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 6:42 PM
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Naomi Klein won the Warwick Prize this week, 50k awarded by a half dozen faculty, including China Mieville. I usually have a half dozen books open;I even finish some. Decided to put down Lenin, Pareto, and a cultural history of Edwardian Europe (Bely in St Pete kind of thing) and give her another couple hours.

As Latin Americans had just learned, authoritarian regimes have a habit of embracing democracy at the precise moment when their economic projects are about to implode. Poland was no exception.

There are none so deaf as those without ears. Or something. Chicago still rules.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 6:45 PM
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186- What makes you think they're in a weak position? They have no money left to lose, yet they control these huge businesses that are still essential for the functioning of the economy. Short of doing something criminal, they can run that business however they want for their personal gain because if it fucks the business, well, it's hard to see how it could be fucked any more than it is. So they threaten to shut down lending, stop the flow of money, whatever, unless they get what they want. So what if they can't make money on those transactions they'd be forgoing- they're sitting on a worthless pile of crap anyway, might as well take it for a ride.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 6:48 PM
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195: That gets meta and self referential again. The bankers are in a weak position because they're bankrupt and the government could legally nationalize the banks have security escort them from their offices, change the locks, and look for things to prosecute.

But of course they're in a strong position because Obama, their friends in the media, and their friends in the two parties would never let expropriation happen, even though a lot of people in the general public would support my impalement plan.

Being "too big to fail shouldn't help", because that doesn't need to mean "too big to nationalize". But the bankers happen to know that they're living in the good old U.S. of A.

In most contexts, though bankruptcy is regarded as a weak position.

Akerloff: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 6:59 PM
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195:Geithner & Bernanke want to keep the zombie banks on life support until, until...

Look, my initial reaction to 634 billion for health care reform is optimism like everybody else. But if a "Disaster Capitalism" scenario is being unfolded, it will be a lot easier for the elites to slash one government program than thousands of private corporate plans.

And if Bernanke can manage his episode of well-timed barely out-of-control hyperinflation, something Naomi tells us they have massive experience handling, they may be able to do anything when the people get terrified.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:01 PM
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I'm getting more and more serious about going after our local Blue Dog asshole with a primary campaign. A Hooverist moron.

For all I know, Obama will campaign for him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:05 PM
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Apparently the Obama administration is changing, once again, the way inflation is calculated.

If you have high inflation, it can make the GDP numbers look better. Then they can say we are out of the recession, even tho wages have not gained, and now is the time for high interest rates and "fiscal responsibility".

There is a lot of history. And I won't trust Obama until Naomi Klein is Treasury Secretary, Stiglitz is at the Fed, and Perelman is running the CEA.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:09 PM
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One of my neighbors was playing trombone in his back yard just now, not at all well. Maybe he was just blowing on a length of pipe. It was eerie because I though the noise came from within the house, and I was home all alone. The TV wasn't on either. I asked if my mind had finally gone.

Fresh mashed potatoes / mashed turnip / sauerkrauet / butter is amazingly filling and tasty. I'm going to put in bacon next time.

The turnips are in defiance of Brad DeLong.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:20 PM
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I'm getting more and more serious about going after our local Blue Dog asshole with a primary campaign.

I'm worried that you might lose, John.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:21 PM
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Don't worry. Recruiting a candidate is Job One.

The guy gets 75% of his money from PACs and doesn't deign to talk to county chairmen.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:34 PM
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Fresh mashed potatoes / mashed turnip / sauerkrauet / butter is amazingly filling and tasty.

I've never had the sauerkraut version, but potatoes mashed with turnip is very good. With butter, of course, and also with a bit of milk (though buttermilk is even better).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:36 PM
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And healthy. And actually home-growable. It's funny that back-to-the-landers don't fetishize potatoes, turnips, and cabbage.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:38 PM
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It's funny that back-to-the-landers don't fetishize potatoes, turnips, and cabbage.

Well, it's funny, of course, in a "ha! isn't that rich?" way, but then again, it's not at all funny in the sense of odd or expected or what have you.

John, your problem is that you're thoughtful and educated enough to be sophisticated, but that you stubbornly and steadfastly refuse and resist the cultural trappings of thoughtfully educated sophistry.

Yes, of course the bankers are evil. Myself, I would vote to nationalize, but maybe that's just me.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 7:55 PM
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FWIW, here is the first breakdown I have seen of the Obama healthcare "plan".

By Stirling Newberry, who is now a temporarily restrained regular at Firedoglake. Sean Patrick Kelly, who I think is running The Agonist from India right now, apparently kicked Newberry off his blog for excessive Obama bashing. Or Newberry quit rather than face censorship. Or something. I should be careful, there are legendary tempers.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:01 PM
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It's funny that back-to-the-landers don't fetishize potatoes, turnips, and cabbage.

This is because a diet of potatoes, turnips and cabbages is the nightmare from which we are trying to awake. (K. is from California and would like to eat fresh local produce year round, but the agricultural realities of the Allegheny Plateau are grim.)


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:15 PM
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My most recent experience of Washington leads me to think that a particular flaw in that culture is how much time political people there spend (and how socially respected it is) on the equivalent of the Is-he-a-troll, what-does-it-mean-to-troll meta-discussions that we just had in this thread.

There is a moderate upside to endless discussions along the lines of "What did Obama have to do in this speech? Did he do it? Why do we think that? Did Jindal mean his response? If not, why not? Why would he say X if his agenda is to push Y?" It does make you a better multi-level thinker and a somewhat more long-game thinker. But I think it also encourages you to think of everything as the product of political consideration, which is a lousy way to think about the world.

On reflection, this entire comment is obvious. I'm letting it stand, just in genuine gratitude that I don't have the type of job that requires me to deal with those people regularly. My brain gets tired of interpreting.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:16 PM
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they may be able to do anything when the people get terrified.

Hanging from lamp posts isn't their idea of fun. There will be winners if there's a total meltdown but it won't be the people publically identifiable as being in charge when it happens.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:19 PM
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This is because a diet of potatoes, turnips and cabbages is the nightmare from which we are trying to awake.

The nightmare = the blight on the crops, I'm pretty sure. When potatoes/turnips/cabbages grow like weeds, it's all good.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:25 PM
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208: I don't think your point is that obvious to those who haven't experienced it, but I do think it's a valid point.

As a way of making you feel your comment was more substantive than mine, I'll point out that my dinner conversation included a tangent on the fact that, boy, dudes in DC sure use a lot of "product" in their hair.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:26 PM
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It's funny that back-to-the-landers don't fetishize potatoes, turnips, and cabbage.

They don't? Who are these back-to-the-landers of whom you speak?

208.1 and .2: The term "meta-" discussion is overused and misused. Ha. Seriously, though. Such things are not only perfectly reasonable, but actually wise, to discuss. Admittedly exhausting if neverending.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:30 PM
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Potatoes, turnips, cabbages and butter. That's the secret.

And kale and wheat bread.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:32 PM
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Potatoes, turnips, cabbages and butter. That's the secret.

Yeah. And please don't ever substitute oleo for butter for spurious "health" reasons. Though for reasons of a budgetary nature, just do what you need to do, needless to say.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:37 PM
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208.1 and .2: The term "meta-" discussion is overused and misused.

Do you think I misused it here, though? I think it's really what I meant to say. Maybe there was a better way to phrase it but it isn't obvious to me.

Such things are not only perfectly reasonable, but actually wise, to discuss. Admittedly exhausting if neverending.

Right, that's my critique. Nothing wrong with discussing them, even helps to hone certain skills. A lot wrong with only ever analyzing the world on that level.

butter. That's the secret.

Butter is the new bacon.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:39 PM
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And please don't ever substitute oleo for butter for spurious "health" reasons.

For cripe's sake. Can we at least throw in some garlic?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:44 PM
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Where I come from back-to-the-landers only eat basmati rice flown in from the Punjab. Perhaps in the Punjab they fly turnips, potatoes, and sauerkraut in from Iowa.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:56 PM
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215.1: "Meta" is used in that way these days, colloquially, yes, but I'd venture that it's technically incorrect. Metaethics, for example, treats of the nature of ethical theories.* So, a meta-political discussion would take as its subject matter not really the longer-term, or backroom, political strategies employed by a given politician (Jindal, Obama), but, say, the nature of politics. We might call that political theory, which is not what the beltway crowd is engaged in for the most part, I don't think.

*A person can take issue with this and claim that metaethics is also ethics. I'd be sympathetic.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:57 PM
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216: Yeah, garlic is good. But butter is better than margarine, or any solidified vegetable oil, no question. It's not only more delicious, it's also more nutritious!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 8:59 PM
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Sure; there are storage garlics that flourish anywhere potatoes do. (Lots more regional garlics than I expected -- I think there's a Salish one, as there's an Ozette potato.) Dried apples and berries; dried tomatoes and mushrooms (easy to transport; spices ditto). Some eggs. Orange squashes, some of the sweet roots. Parsnips.

Amusingly, the usually-impeccable Monterey Market here in Berkeley has sold me indifferent parsnips twice. I've decided that they are as much a foreign and unseasonal food here as winter strawberries are in most of the world.

And I'm missing good winter food; it takes at least three months to fill up on it properly. I might get bored of it in a nine-months-winter climate, but the Colebrooks are getting really good at winter greens gardening (it must be the aptonym).

I am confused by your back-to-the-landers, Emerson. Shouldn't they be eating wild rice? And duck?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:00 PM
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I am confused by your back-to-the-landers, Emerson. Shouldn't they be eating wild rice carp? And duck carp?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:03 PM
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We've gone meta on meta. Let's talk about that!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:03 PM
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Huh. Jon Stewart went with the Mr. Rogers comparison for Jindal instead of the Kenneth the Page comparison. Interesting. I thought the latter was more apt.

Obama as Jimmy Stewart was clever, though.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:10 PM
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Carp as available, duck in season. Wild rice is 100 miles north. My brother has made cattail-root muffins, and has described them as tasting like an equivalent quantity of swamp.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:14 PM
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Mr. Rogers was totally obvious, I thought. "Can you say "Bad government! Bad!" Sure you can."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:15 PM
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Then they drank me in the kitchen,
and they drank me in the hall,
But the drunkard he used me worse,
he a-bashed me agin' the wall.

Tye-re-i-ga-re air-y-an, Tye-re i-ga-re-e,
Tye-re-i-ga-re- air-y, and the barley grain for me.

Youse all need to get with the wholesome goodness of ancient grains. The barley grain for you and me, and with butter not margarine.

Hey, you know who's even funnier than Jon Stewart, and without even trying? Ricky Gervais, that's who.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:17 PM
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226: Hey, you know who's even funnier than Jon Stewart, and without even trying? Ricky Gervais, that's who.

Lazy bastard, though. Of course he's consistently funny, he's only had to do like what, 24 episodes of television?


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:47 PM
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Hey, you know who's even funnier than Jon Stewart, and without even trying? Ricky Gervais, that's who.

This isn't true.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:48 PM
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It's hard to say. Day in and day out, Stewart is mildly amusing. Maybe really funny once in an episode. Every so often he's hilarious, and those are memorable, but on average it's nothing to get excited about.

But yeah, Gervais doing the same thing that often wouldn't manage to be hilarious all the time either.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:51 PM
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Ricky Gervais tries really hard.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 9:53 PM
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Ricky Gervais is touchingly earnest at times, but seriously, when it comes to being funny, he doesn't even have to try.

(And yes, of course he's a lazy bastard. But that's just what appeals to me, frankly. I guess I'd want to marry him or something if I weren't already married and etc.).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:12 PM
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I don't find him funny, particularly. Painful and unwatchable (in his intentional way), yes, but not funny.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:16 PM
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Unwatchable, Sifu? really? I find him painfully funny, so there's where we differ, I guess.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:20 PM
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I guess!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:24 PM
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I endorse 232 unreservedly.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:25 PM
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Me too.

By the way, I wimped out of my obscenities today. Just couldn't do it. 8 am is way too early for that. ('Sides, the boys in my class already look at me sideways, I don't need to give them more).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:32 PM
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8 a.m. is absurd for that! I can't imagine what you were thinking.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:48 PM
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I don't know if I find Gervais painful to watch, but I've never really gotten into the Office. I'm only partway through the first series. I've watched the American version all the way through most of this season, but almost gave up because of Steve Carell's annoyingness in the similar role. So it could be the role.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 10:50 PM
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Kenneth the Page is funnier than Jon Stewart or Ricky Gervais. And Alec Baldwin is much funnier still. I love 30 Rock. Totally unexpected, since SNL has sucked balls for decades now.

THe banking thing is funny. Nationalization is a buzzword and a distraction...think about it, why the fuck would you want to own one of these companies? It's a disaster that taxpayers own AIG.

The question is whether this thing is being wrapped up responsibly and well, which is something that no one can really fully know from the outside, but since all the external indications are no, it's not, everyone is getting more and more grouchy and pissed off at everything.

At a deep level, I don't blame the bankers, although in a just world all their bonuses for the past five years should be confiscated. THe entire fucking society was sold out to speculation and get-rich-quick, it's like blaming an animal for adapting to the ecosystem.

An interesting nationalization debate would be whether the core parts of the financial sector should be run as a form of public utility, by salaried bureaucrats. *That* would be an interesting debate, with much to say on both sides, but the left-wing part of the national debate is still too impoverished to make it possible.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02-25-09 11:14 PM
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re: 230

If you read longer interviews with him, he's incredibly analytical about what he does. He can talk for hours about the nature of comedy, the construction of moments of humour, and so on. Famously, the Office is/was extremely tightly scripted. More Beckett/Pinter than improv.

I don't find his stand-up particularly funny, although it has its moments, but he is a very clever writer.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 12:30 AM
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240: I've had the same response to Steven Colbert. Who I don't find particularly funny, but in interviews is, likewise, very intense, articulate and intelligent about what he's doing, even if I don't find it quite effective on The Colbert Report.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 12:52 AM
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I love 30 Rock.

Me too! Yes, Alec Baldwin is very funny, it's such a great role for him.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 7:39 AM
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Hey, Mary Catherine says "Oleo"! I thought only my mother-in-law said that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 9:16 AM
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I've spent the whole day getting to comment 242 in this thread, but before I reload I must say this:

John Emerson should totally run for Congress. I've got a check for $100 ready to go, & I'm completely serious.


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 4:39 PM
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I'll solicit here once we're serious. I won't be the candidate though.

Minnesota has gotten tame since the time of Congressman Shoemaker, who entered Congress directly from prison (and who was arrested twice for assault during his two-year Congressional career. )


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 4:54 PM
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