My wife and I were talking about "blue zones" where people live particularly long lives, and I mentioned that I didn't have much interest in living a long life, which prompted her to mention all the things she'd like to do--personally, professionally, in the community, to the house, in the garden, etc. Wow. I told her, "I want to make enough money to pay for college and die in my sleep." Do y'all have these things, these...ambitions?
Obviously the Times doesn't have to work very hard to make these people seem ridiculous, but my question reading the piece was, "What the fuck do these people even do?" I mean, I basically know, but it would be more instructive if everyone who doesn't actually make something gets a job title that describes not "what" they do (they sit at a computer and manipulate symbols) but a subscript that describes the kind of symbols they manipulate (words, numbers, code, images) appended to their degrees of separation from the money spigot.
Someone made an entire parody issue of the New Yorker. I LOLed at the movie reviews.
This is certainly a fun read:
He had even more scorn for critics of the Jesus's-wife papyrus, deriding them as "county level" scholars from the "University of Eastern Pee-Pee Land" who think their nitpicking of Coptic phrases can compete with scientific tests at places like Columbia University and MIT that have yielded no physical proof of forgery.
Via you, there
This line from Krugman the other day has stuck with me:
Sometimes it just seems to reflect a judgment on the part of the grifters that people who can be persuaded that President Obama is Muslim can also be persuaded that there are easy money-making opportunities the establishment doesn't want you to know about.
It reminds me a bit about the Nigerian scam artists, where the phishing cliche is a feature, not a bug. It selects for the people who still fall for the dumbest of dumb shit. The Republican party has become a phishing expedition for the dumbest shitheads. (Yes, there's plenty of dumb lefty stuff, but "Enjoy your transgender bathrooms. We just lost America." is impressively incoherent. It seems like it's written from an actual outsider position that is mostly super uninformed but genuinely doesn't like both parties. Maybe this isn't evidence of anything.)
Also, Trump firing the Washington Post is magnificent. This is funny, via E. Messily.
A particularly depressing subset of people on the sex-offenders registry are those who committed (or didn't but plea bargained) offenses when they themselves were minors.
Via E. Messily
As the Chronicle reports, the league invited Personal Capital to deliver locker-room speeches on financial education and spread awareness of their online spending management tool. Over 50 players, "ranging from rookies to veterans," chose to sign up for this tool and log all their spending between December and March. A decent sample of the league's 450-plus players, but perhaps not a representative slice of it--just a self-selecting group of players who went out of their way to use this particular budgeting tool after hearing the seminars.
So where do they spend their money?
You might be unfazed by a new study that told you the average player in the NBA--where the average salary last season was $4 million and the median salary was just shy of $2 million--spends $42,500 a month...But would you be surprised to learn that he spends much of that money on that essential staple of suburban strip malls, the clothing brand Express? Or that Express was the brand these NBA players spent the most money on, by a long shot--nearly three times as much as the closest competitor, Whole Foods? That these guys with earnings beyond mortal comprehension are actually rocking clothes comparable to what I wore to look nice at bar mitzvahs?
Yes. Yes, I am surprised, and also amused. I suppose Express is the Cheesecake Factory of clothes.
Our kids are so relentlessly mean to each other that I worry they'll be unduly mean to their peers who aren't in contentious sibling relationships themselves. This morning, a girl from Pokey's class (who is an only child) called out to say hi to Hawaii, and Pokey and Hawaii, being together, instinctively mocked her pronunciation in a way that was really cruel and gratuitous and it horrified me. (I said something sharp that they barely acknowledged, and then the moment got away from me.) And yet, if they leveled that kind of insult at each other, it wouldn't even register as something for me to intervene in, because it is relentless and I can't.
There was something nagging at me about the Nicole Hannah-Jones piece I linked below, a reaction that I'd also had to her prior This American Life piece on the school integration program in New Haven, and it finally clicked clearly enough for me to say it.
There's really good, strong, statistical evidence that going to economically and racially integrated schools is good for poor and minority kids, and either harmless or also beneficial for richer, whiter kids. Integrated schools are the economist's $20 on the street -- the mystery is why no one's picked it up.
Except, it's not really a mystery: the answer is some combination of racism and stupidity on the part of white parents. (Stupidity being intended to cover people who on some level sincerely believe that the presence of a substantial number of minority kids in a school is evidence that the school is bad enough that going there would be an injury to their own children. It's hard to judge someone who's just trying to protect their own children on the basis of their sincere beliefs about the world, right? Wrong, it's not hard to judge people like that -- having those kinds of sincere beliefs means you're kind of a racist idiot.)
So the problem with how to make integrated schools, is how to woo white parents who will make stupidly racist decisions in favor of increased segregation (or very, very carefully managed 'diversity', meaning tightly controlled percentages of minority kids and almost complete isolation from poor kids) if they're left to use their own uninfluenced judgment. And that's what just clicked for me as a emotional? rhetorical? problem with working toward increased school integration.
I do believe that integrated schools are better for poor and minority kids. But wow is it hard to advocate wholeheartedly for the kinds of things you need to get them, because what you need to do to get integrated schools is to reassure and coddle white parents who would otherwise make stupidly racist decisions, and really, who wants to do that. And I'm having that strong emotional reaction, and I am white parents. It's got to be a profoundly ambivalent, upsetting experience being a minority advocate for integrated schools if you're a black parent thinking "If everything goes right, my kid now gets to go to school with the children of people who had to bullied or bribed into letting their kids associate with her. Whoopie!"
This doesn't get me to any policy ideas, or solutions; I just pinned down a reaction I was having to the discussion and thought I'd share it.
This is a good article about the mild language that People uses to describe abusive relationships.
Good lord, that's awful.