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Guest Post - Unfogged 2.0

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.09.16

Mossy Character writes:What the cool kids are doing these days:

The members rely on the group's hive mind to make decisions large and small.
It is a constant stream of brutally frank chatter about relationships, work, sex, race, gender and, yes, cats, along with a bizarrely large quantity of nude selfies.
Like us! But hosted by a respectable zillion-dollar advertising corporation, instead of imaginary people with weird ancient blogging software.

Heebie's take: They kind of sound like fun? Frankly, not more fun than us. You all are pretty goddamn amazing. I can't think of many things I want to talk about that we don't talk, entertainingly and informatively, about.

BUT, if I were an upscale LA 20-something, I bet that group would be a blast.


 

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STEM trend

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.09.16

Since Hawaii started watching TV, PBS has definitely shifted its programming. In 2010-2011, there was a lot of Word Girl, SuperWhy, WordWorld, and Martha Speaks which are all about reading and vocabulary, and none of those are currently in rotation on our local station. New shows are: Odd Squad, Peg + Cat, Nature Cat, Ready Jet Go, and Wild Kratts. These are all about math and science. The funding trend seems clear.

There are some that break the pattern - Dinosaur Train and Sid the Science Kid have been on this whole time, others come and go and return periodically. Clifford, Daniel Tiger, Maya and Miguel, Curious George, are just sort of about being kids and solving life's problems.

Generally PBS seems to have about 3-5 shows in rotation at any given moment, and then they regularly swap them out. Maybe that's just our local station. Also, now that I am stopping and writing this post - wow, there are a lot of different shows on PBS.


 

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Assimilated

Posted by Ogged
on 04.08.16

I have to confess something horrible and disturbing. I think emojis are really useful in one situation: ending a conversation when you have nothing left to say, but don't want the other person to wonder if you got their last message.
"Great working with you."
"You too."
👍


 

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Feature Request

Posted by Ogged
on 04.08.16

Twitter needs to put a death dagger † next to trending names if those people are, in fact, deceased. That would save me from thinking "Oh shit, he died?" at least once a day.


 

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The Bechdel Data

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.08.16

Pretty impressive undertaking - analyzing film dialogue for 2000 films for gender composition. The article has some great data visuals, although occasionally it made scrolling weird. I particularly like male/female lines by minute - mostly male movies love to end on a female line, apparently. I assume a warm embrace is involved.


 

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Call a Swede!

Posted by Ben
on 04.07.16

Do it!

I heard they tried it out in Finland first, but had to cancel the program when it turned out that the Finns never said anything to the people who ’phoned them.


 

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Guest Post - gender neutral pet custody

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.07.16

E. Messily writes: I was on board with this project until it got to the part about maintaining gender neutrality at the vet.

Heebie's take: for real.

While all of this was unfolding, friends would ask me: How is your cat? "They're better" or "The same. The vets don't know what's wrong with them," I'd say. "Wait a minute--are they both sick?" people would reply, confused.

I don't understand why the author couldn't call the cat it and say "The vets don't know what's wrong with it." Because it's dehumanizing? Insufficiently confusing?


 

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I'll Read This

Posted by Ogged
on 04.07.16

It might not surprise me, but it will satisfy me.

The ideal HubSpotter is someone who exhibits a quality known as GSD, which stands for "get shit done." This is used as an adjective, as in "Courtney is always in super-GSD mode." The people who lead customer training seminars are called inbound marketing professors and belong to the faculty at HubSpot Academy. Our software is magical, such that when people use it--wait for it--one plus one equals three. Halligan and Dharmesh first introduced this alchemical concept at HubSpot's annual customer conference, with a huge slide behind them that said "1 + 1 = 3." Since then it has become an actual slogan at the company. People use the concept of one plus one equals three as a prism through which to evaluate new ideas. One day Spinner, the woman who runs PR, tells me, "I like that idea, but I'm not sure that it's one-plus-one-equals-three enough."

There's definitely some of this programmatic inch-deep culture creation going on at my coding camp, with some of the same "oh, the person who disappeared? mutually beneficial decision!" kind of stuff. But they do seem to prepare people for jobs (which we've just started applying for), so it's not just marketing.


 

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Guest Post - the clothes make the man?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.06.16

E. Messily sends in: My "Straight" Clothes Don't Fit Me Anymore, via The Toast.

A fairly high number of people have assumed/asked if I was gay. I have received various reports about why- my wardrobe, my unkempt legs, just some sort of unapproachable vibe...

Heebie and the author are kindred spirits:
"I would prefer to have a shit ton of clothes I love. I would prefer to be so overwhelmed by choice that I must plan my outfits in advance." Really the whole Geebie family. They love their outfits at this house. It's very aesthetically pleasing! They all look great all (most?) of the time.

I am a very different person. I like drawers full of nearly identical things (pants in this one, shirts in that one) and I just have to grab one of each without really looking. (I also like fancy dresses, but only for special occasions.)

Heebie's take: First, the link is a good, light read.

Second, an observation: E. Messily and I are exact carbon copies, style-wise, on cooking vs fashion. If I have to cook, I want to do it the way she gets dressed: drawers full of nearly identical things and I just have to grab one of each without really looking. (I also like fancy meals, but only for special occasions.)

E. Messily cooks the way I get dressed: "I would prefer to have a shit ton of food I love. I would prefer to be so overwhelmed by choice that I must plan my meals in advance," or so I imagine E. Messily's internal narrative to go. There are always various foodstuffs in various stages of preparation - some intended for that night, but others on the stove or in the fridge - sauces reducing, things soaking, meats marinating - for a later dinner.


 

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The Brokered Convention

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.06.16

So, what is your personal favorite outcome for the Republican Convention? What mess would give you the most schadenfreude satisfaction? I go back and forth between rooting for Ted Cruz to somehow woo enough delegates, so that he can get his ass handed to him in the general, and rooting for a complete irreversible civil war within the Republican Party.

My actual prediction is this: Trump will fall short of 1237 heading into the convention, but he'll have lined up ~10-15 free delegates and buy them and cover the gap, and thus secure the nomination on the first vote. The Republican party will line up behind him and will not formally fracture, although they're clearly still self-destructing.


 

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The Texas Huff

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.06.16

I've been privy to some ridiculous drama lately. One very small fraction of it involves C, a woman in her 60s, born and bred in Texas. Another person (a man, not from Texas) has been making inappropriate (secretarial) requests of C, recently under a particularly burdensome deadline. Everyone who hears the story reacts similarly: "He really is being terrible! But also, C really needs to learn how to say no."

So I asked her, when the story came up again, "Why didn't you just say no?" and she said, "Oh, I can't! You know me! I went like this" - and she demonstrated a huffy sigh, and pausing and putting her own materials to the side with deliberate attitude - "and I thought maybe he'd take back the request, but he didn't."

I think I would have been attuned to the huffy sigh, but I'm also not surprised that he wasn't. It wasn't as exaggerated as, say, the sigh of a 12 year old who is feeling put out. Just a measured deep sigh.

Anyway: I retold the story to a friend who was raised in Texas, and her reaction was, "Oh, the sigh! That means C was really pissed off, like I will cut you mad."

So there you have it. If you're in Texas and someone sighs deeply at you, back away slowly and then run like mad.


 

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Guest Post - Hunger is psychological

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.05.16

JRoth writes: This seems a perennial subject around here, and one that I've asked about in the recent past. Unfortunately, I'm not convinced that this fairly convincing overview actually helps since, as I read it, the only solution is mindless, rigid consistency.

Heebie's take: I basically had the same experience as the author - the benefit of a low carb/high fat diet is that fat and protein seem to curb my hunger, so I don't find it too unpleasant to keep tabs on how much I'm eating. Whereas carbs/sugar drive my appetite up. I do believe the studies that say diet composition doesn't affect your metabolism, but that's not the full strength of what the low-carb/high fat people claim - they also claim it affects your hunger and a whole bunch of other things.

However: number three, below, is not my experience whatsoever:

I tried a simple formula. First, moderately low-carb. The Atkins and Paleo diet purists would scoff. I reduced my carbohydrate intake by about 90 per cent and in doing so came nowhere near a low-carb diet. I wanted to avoid the super-high death-carb diet that most of us eat most of the time. Second, a little higher fat. I know some people swear by high fat and snack on entire sticks of butter. I don't know what the research is on that kind of thing, but all I wanted was to avoid the extremity of a diet stripped of fat. Third, I could eat as much as I like at each meal. That last proposition was the hardest. When you want to lose weight, it's hard to wrap your mind around the concept of eating more. I simply had to trust a bizarre psychological twist: if I try to eat less, I'll end up eating more.

I can really enjoy quite a lot at every meal. I would not maintain a stable weight if I were not keeping an eye on my portions.


 

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Forgotten Female Action Stars of the 1910s

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.05.16

Chris Y sends in: Nothing to add, really.

Heebie's take: For example,

A clip from a 1916 episode of The Hazards of Helen exemplifies the heroism on display in "serial-queen" films. In it, Holmes, the railway telegrapher, battles vagrants, who've caused her to lose her job, atop a moving train. She spies them from a distance, makes her way across beams suspended above the tracks, jumps onto the moving train, grapples hand-to-hand with one of her antagonists and falls into the water with him. In the end, she gets her job back.

 

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Big Business Blowhard Buffoons

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.04.16

If I can speak broadly about the business community, and more specifically the half that have misgivings about Trump - either they don't agree with him, or maybe they do but are sensitive to the fact that he alienates a lot of people - about those people, I have a hope. I'm hoping that Trump ushers in a new archetype - the Business Buffoon, who is blustery and offensive and thinks their money will solve everyone's problems and egocentric beyond all comprehension. And further, I hope that those borderline business types have a second thought, from time to time, about not wanting to portray themselves as Business Buffoons.

Descriptions like "blowhard" and "emperor has no clothes" have been around a long time, but I'm thinking that the Trump pheonomenon will drive the point home to some people who have historically fawned over naked blowhards, but are aware that Trump is widely detested.


 

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Panama papers

Posted by Ben
on 04.03.16

Probably deserves a thread? Here's a background thing with an annoying autoplaying but pausable video; general Süddeutsche Zeitung page.


 

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A Man, A Plan, America!

Posted by Ogged
on 04.03.16

This is something else. Take away all the racialist pseudo-science that people managed to convince themselves of over the next decades, and you have this very simple proposition: they have their tribe, we have ours, and this is how we stay on top.



 

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Guest Post - Vox gets told

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.03.16

Trivers writes: Adam Johnson has some very harsh words for Vox about their tendency to assert a consensus of experts while providing little to no evidence of a consensus. I'm fairly certain that this piece has temporarily crashed the FAIR website, so here's a backup link.

When I see something like "economists agree..." as much as I do in Vox, I wonder why in the hell I'm even reading these people with no economic credentials if so much of what they're going to do is relay the opinion of their favorite economists to me. There are plenty of actual economists or financial experts who do great blogging -- Dean Baker, DSquared, Brad DeLong, John Quiggin, and Conor Sen, for example -- and plenty of economists who write for mainstream outlets -- Paul Krugman and Noah Smith come immediately to mind -- and I can read these blogs just as well as any of Vox's writers can.

But for all that they purport to relay, free of ideology, the opinions of economists, they're unlikely to link something like, for instance, this 2013 Brad DeLong piece stocked with paragraphs by multiple economists who 1) agree that the federal minimum wage should be raised to $9 an hour and indexed to inflation and that 2) a low minimum wage constitutes an effective subsidy to purchasers of low-wage labor when the EITC makes up the difference between what the employer pays and an actual living wage. You're unlikely to see this for the same reason that you're unlikely to find an explainer called "The Cash Back On The Credit Card In The Ad Banner Is Quite Literally Paid For By Taking Food Off Of Poor Families' Tables" in which it is held that Economists Agree that credit card perks constitute a net transfer of wealth from poor credit card debtors to wealthier zero-balance cardholders. These are simply not the kinds things that the people who are paying for the whole operation want Vox's audience thinking about.

Heebie's take: I was musing just now to E. Messily about whether or not I would have been a critical reader of the NYT if I'd been 38 in 1995 and hadn't been reading all these interesting things linked by you all. As is, I sort of simultaneously grew up reading the NYT and reading criticisms of the NYT.

The same applies to Vox - would I have drank the koolaid if it had been around as a magazine, pre-internet? Probably so. I'm pretty dumb.


 

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