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Before It Was Cool

Posted by Ogged
on 10.18.14

Not sure why it took me 13 years to wonder if this guy exists. Bummer, dude.


 

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Voter ID

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.17.14

So is Judge Posner an example of the elusive honest conservative? While I have only the vaguest idea who he is, I'm sure you all have well-formed opinions.


 

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One Wonders

Posted by Ogged
on 10.16.14

Does Glenn Greenwald know what he's doing?


 

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The Hellmouth

Posted by Ogged
on 10.16.14

Organic lemons are 99 cents each at Whole Foods. At our neighborhood grocery (considerably bigger than a bodega, smaller than a Safeway/Publix) they're $2.50 each. We discovered this at checkout the other day, and boggled, and told the cashier we didn't want them. She voided the charge, put the lemons in our bag, and said "These people are sick."

Incidentally, we're putting our place up for sale (we're looking for a house), and we're listing with Redfin, which does a "3D walkthrough," which is basically streetview for houses, and very cool. Sample here (not our place).


 

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Unbundled

Posted by Ogged
on 10.16.14

Maybe this is why Halford was so testy before his exit.

CBS announced a new subscription Internet streaming service on Thursday that allows people to watch its live television programming and thousands of its current and past shows on demand without paying for a traditional TV subscription ... CBS's announcement comes a day after HBO said it would start an Internet-only offering that would not require a traditional television subscription.

Huzzah. But because we can never be satisfied, let me note that if you actually watch a fair bit of TV, this could be just as expensive as bundled pricing, because each of these channels is going to cost $10-15 a month. More awesomer would be a bundled all-inclusive service with a more creative pricing model (per channels or shows or hours watched, for example).


 

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Spa day

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.16.14

Today I am going to a bridal party bachelorette thing at a Korean spa. It's one of those places where you're going to be naked and manhandled and scrubbed and so on. I generally like to try new things and be a good sport, but I also am a prude who doesn't like to be touched. I'm not at all sure how today will go.


 

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Anita Sarkeesian

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.16.14

Not breaking news anymore, and one of those stories that I can't figure out any angle to argue about, which is why I hadn't posted anything. But Anita Sarkeesian is the woman who cancelled her speaking engagement at Utah State University, after the school received this letter threatening a massacre (via RHC) and police said that, given conceal carry laws in Utah, there was no way for them to guarantee her safety.

Upskirt rulings, Texas abortion clinics flickering open and closed on a near-daily basis, the background Brianna Wu gamergate thing...lately this doesn't feel like the most nurturing place to be a woman.


 

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Will It Fit In A Delorean?

Posted by LizardBreath
on 10.15.14

Lockheed Martin announcing practically usable fusion reactors? Because if so, it's huge, right?

They're talking about having a working prototype in a year something built and ready for testing in a year, a working prototype in five years, and having it on the market in a decade. Is anyone in a position to judge credibility here? Togolosh, essear, anyone? (I saw the link at Kevin Drum's.)


 

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Even The Liberal New Republic is willing to spread FUD

Posted by Ben
on 10.15.14

about that affirmative consent law. Warning: article is aggressively blood-boiling (and approvingly cited by Jonathan Chait! I know very little about him but am getting the impression that he is always wrong about everything, y/n?).


 

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Guest Post - nukes!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.15.14

Torrey Pine writes: I was intrigued by these two different perspectives on the demise of nuclear arms control. Apparently both sides agree that... they're just not as important as they used to be. Maybe we will die of something else instead!

The dovish view:


The Selfie Generation doesn't do arms control. Its cause célèbre is the environment. This grandparent can relate. I am excited and grateful to see how much youthful energy is now directed toward healing our planet's wounds. I am also very jealous. My cause célèbre has faded. Fewer and fewer people focus on reducing nuclear dangers. Street marches are now about climate change.

The hawkish view:

A U.S. administration that started out showing sympathy with the Global Zero movement has quietly made decisions that point in a very different direction. Notably, the future of the nuclear-deterrence triad seems more assured than it has for many years.
... But these plans are fiscally and politically difficult. The nuclear establishment is returning from a long procurement holiday, and finding what you usually find: leaky faucets, blown fuses, weed-ridden yards and a pile of bills.
... But the longest holiday of all has been philosophical: Most people, even in the armed forces, have been able to spend a long time not thinking about deterrence, and the world in which such matters are discussed remains small and somewhat isolated. As the world moves into an era of multiple, sometimes unstable nuclear players and as the bills come due, that is a luxury we can't afford.

 

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Guest Post - The law is probably the simplest part.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.15.14

Nick S. writes:

". . .[A]n unusual lawsuit prompted by an insemination gone wrong. And it has set off an extraordinary discussion touching on sensitive issues of race, motherhood, sexuality and justice, though the debate begins with one basic premise: You should get what you pay for.

Jennifer Cramblett and her wife, Amanda Zinkon, wanted a white baby. They went to the Midwest Sperm Bank near Chicago and chose blond, blue-eyed donor No. 380, who looked like he could have been related to Zinkon. When Cramblett was five months pregnant, they found out that she had been inseminated by donor No. 330 -- a black man."

Part of what I find fascinating is the way in which it highlights the porous barrier between law and morality. The plaintiffs are, for obvious reasons, suing while trying to not make the claim that having a biracial baby is, itself an injury. But the article makes clear that this opens up space for everyone to read their own interpretation of events.

Heebie's take: Obviously we'll never know to what extent race is driving the lawsuit. A pair of white parents with a white baby from the wrong donor could easily sue, should the error come to light.

However, to take the race issue on directly: I believe I read an interview with Jordan Davis's mother, where the conversation drifted to the adoption case that Nick S links. IIRC, she said, "Raising a minority child is so much harder and scarier than raising a white child in this country that it's reasonable for that couple to raise the issue of race and ask for compensation."

(Maybe someone else was editorializing after the interview; I don't exactly remember. Someone made the point.)


 

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Elusive

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.14.14

Your G-spot is lies, all lies! The best part of this article is the diagram about halfway through. "Who us? We're just out for a walk."


 

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Deprogramming

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.13.14

How did you guys go about explaining (and anticipating) the aspects of traditional school topics that are most problematic and false? This is occurring to me because Hawaii is in kindergarten, and it's highly likely that she'll hear what a great guy Columbus was, today, and that's not a topic that we've talked with her about already. (Pocahontas, yes. Columbus, no.)


 

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Attack ads

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.13.14

Wendy Davis has this ad going after Greg Abbott for first winning millions of dollars for a lawsuit, after a tree fell on him and paralyzed him, and then working tirelessly to deny other litigants their claims as attorney general. Abbott is now in a wheelchair, and the big controversy is whether Davis is exploiting his disability or something.

From what I see in my FB feed, everyone is just pretending to care about the wheelchair angle while arguing their basic political preference between the two. But specifically on the wheelchair part, here's a nice link, via E. Messily, elsewhere. The ad in question is there, too.


 

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Guest Post - Procrastination

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 10.13.14

Chris Y finally got around to writing: I feel the hive mind must have a position on this. My own feeling is that any such app would lead me to throw my device from a high place into the ocean, thereby negating its value by making me unable to do any work whether I wanted to or not.

Heebie's take: I mostly use good old-fashioned anxiety to avoid procrastination. Specifically, I find anxiety so unpleasant that I usually am motivated to get stuff done before the anxiety kicks in. (No anxiety looming, though, and the task can drag out for years...)

I'm curious about whether you all buy this claim, from the article:

"In the last 40 years there's been about a 300-400% growth in chronic procrastination," which is when it becomes particularly self-defeating, Steel explains. UK smartphone users check their phone 221 times a day on average, a recent survey found. Checking emails and social media cost 36% of respondents more than an hour each day in productivity, another survey found.

There's a link to the actual paper where they got the 300-400% claim from, and it took me about two seconds to glaze over. But it smells fishy to me, at least, because people always goofed off, didn't they? I used to read the college newspaper and do the crossword and now I comment here on Unfogged, which is a far superior waste of my time.

This, however, is stupid:

Others question whether the apps are themselves a distraction from developing self-discipline. "Some would say willpower is more like a muscle," accepts Steel, "the more you use it the stronger it gets." And we don't want a future where robots become our decision-making minders, he adds.

Oh shut up.


 

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