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Some Tweets

Posted by Ogged
on 11.12.16

This storify is a quick, helpful overview of how to maximize the chances that your opinion is heard. (Whether your rep has any sway is a separate question.)

Heh.


Heh again, despite pot-kettle issues.


Will be one of those where you look back and say, yup, right again, Onion.



 

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Escapism

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.10.16

Can we talk about the best ways to check out? I'm thinking recommendations for totally immersing books. Ways to phone it in at work. Things to do that are either versions of FUCK YOU, WORLD, or versions of going back to bed. (But seriously on the absorbing books.)


 

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In Their Infinite Wisdom

Posted by Ogged
on 11.09.16

She's going to win the popular vote, you know. Thanks, slavery! Still paying off for the racists, 200 years later.


 

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Let Us, Who Are So Good At Predicting, Predict

Posted by Ogged
on 11.09.16

So what's going to be his plan, insofar as he--or Steve Bannon, or Jared Kushner, or whoever ends up being the real power whispering in his ear--has one? There's very little they can actually do for the people who voted for him, other than deliver a bunch of hate. Ban Muslims, check; deport a bunch of people, check; goodbye abortion rights, done; repeal Obamacare, almost certainly. But in four years, after having total control of the government, all those screwed, angry bigots will remain screwed. Are they going to go full stabbed-in-the-back? What's his plan?


 

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Sorry, Everybody.

Posted by LizardBreath
on 11.09.16

Remember this site from after the 2004 election? I found it stupidly sad then -- hey, we may not be able to get anything useful political done, but we sure can make a heartbreaking website!

I wonder if the guy is taking submissions again.


 

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Cry, cry, masturbate, cry

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.09.16

The steps of grief:

(1) Analyze - the pundits and pollsters are wrong about everything. Statistically, it's amazing that they can be wrong so much.

(2) Analyze - this country is vile, racist, sexist, and rotten to the core. I can't articulate my shock and despair.

(3) Self-care - Step away from the internet. Don't forget to get some exercise. Eat some comfort food. Hug your loved ones.

(4) Analyze - what horror is coming down the road? A cabinet of Giuliani and Christie? No, back to step 3. I can't think about this yet.

I'm mostly in (2) and (3), with some (1). I can't handle (4) yet.


 

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Ladypants.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.08.16

For the record, I am wearing a pantsuit today, or rather a blazer with (non-matching) pants. First, I love any old reason to dress up. But second, the FB group has actually been legitimately uplifting and cheering. Now let's go make a lady-president.


 

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Results thread

Posted by Ben
on 11.07.16

Discuss here.


 

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Surprising as this may seem, James Gleick doesn't understand time very well; or, the White Knight had a point

Posted by Ben
on 11.07.16

In one single column, he proposes to dump time zones, move to UTC, and get rid of daylight savings time, a trio of recommendations he seems to think are related, even though any one or two of them could be adopted without adopting the other two or one. He seems most concerned with the idea that time zones are somehow pernicious, despite apparently not understanding what might be said in their favor.

In the coming all-UTC utopia, for instance, there would be "No more wondering what time it is in Peoria or Petropavlovsk"! As I write this, for instance, it is 18:04 UTC, and lo and behold, it is also 18:04 UTC in Peoria! But—here is the thing—I already don't need to wonder what time it is in Peoria, because as I write this, at 10:05 PST, it is 10:05 PST in Peoria. Peoria is not Kanye West: it is not in the future. (Nor is it in the past!) Whatever time it is in San Francisco, it is that very time in Peoria, however denominated. So, in fact, Gleick's utopia is already at hand.—perhaps it has occurred to you that my knowledge that, when it's 10:05 PST in San Francisco, it is 10:05 PST the wide world 'round is not really what is captured by talking about wondering what time it is in Peoria. Perhaps, you think, what someone who so wonders is wondering about is more like "what time does are Peorians reading off their watches and clocks right now?" or "what time would a Peorian say it is?". Now, I am not a Peorian, and have never met a Peorian (to my knowledge), and have never been to Peoria, so I don't know what their peculiar chronometrical habits might be, or whether they accurately report time to "outsiders". But consider: suppose I knew that, if I were in Peoria, they would report the time as 18:04 UTC, just as it's 18:04 UTC in San Francisco. How the fuck does that help me? What does it mean that it's 18:04 UTC? Here is what I still don't know: what is the, like, human time in Peoria? Is 18:04 UTC too late to make a call? Too early? Will people be at work, or lunch? You know what does help me with that? Knowing that it's 12:04 in Peoria. If we were on UTC and also had at least kept time zones, then if I knew that I was UTC-8 and Peoria UTC-6, I'd have something to work with. But then I'm in the same situation as I was before Gleick's proposals—I have to know how to translate between my local time and Peoria's local time, and until I know how to do that I'm stuck wondering "what time it is" in Peoria, except I've been disadvantaged because the names for times I can now work with have been decoupled from all the cultural knowledge I have about their significance. Something like "18:04 UTC" or indeed "10:04 PST" is a name for a moment, but when I want to know what time it is in Peoria, I don't want to know what they call the time. (But isn't 12:04 CST also a name for a time? Yes, but 12:04 CST is at least an informative name.) Moving to UTC seems to reintroduce the uniformity lost by getting rid of time zones, but in fact it just papers over disarray.

As for the supposed benefits of getting rid of Daylight Savings Time—"Our biological clocks can stay with the sun, as they have from the dawn of history"—I just don't know what he's on about. This metafilter comment seems much more reasonable:

The idea of DST is simple. The day gets longer and shorter, but does so in terms of Solar noon -- when the sun is at it's highest point in the sky. Sunrise *and* sunset move closer to solar noon during winter, and away from summer. There's some picky details* that generate a bit of noise, of course.

So, in Chicago, in late June, around the summer solstice, you have 15 hours and 14 minutes of sun -- defined as when any part of the sun is above the ideal horizon. In late December, around the winter solstice, you have 9 hours and 10 minutes of sunlight -- basically, six hours less sunlight. Solar noon in Chicago tends to be around 11:48-53AM in Chicago on Dec. 21. Sunrise is at 0715, 7:15AM sunset is at 1622 -- 4:22PM. At the summer solstice, the day is, for all intents, six hours longer. So, we move sunrise back three hours, and sunrise ahead three hours, and we get sunrise in June at 0415, 4:15AM, and sunset at 1922, 7:22PM.**

Well. That's kind of sucky, isn't it? Sun's up at 4:15 AM. That's not useful to the vast majority of the people. Sets at, for all intents, 7:30PM. Wouldn't it be nice if we could change the center point, take some of that really early daylight and move it to the evening?

Well, that's daylight savings. Instead of solar noon being (ideally) near local noon, we move it an hour forward, to local 1PM.

Sounds great! Moving the notional middle of the independently of when the sun is actually directly overhead seems like a totally reasonable thing to do (and it's something that could be done even if everyone named times in UTC, and even if time zones were gotten rid of—it could be done city by city! Instead of shifting your clocks, you'd just shift what UTC hour you centered your day on. Of course, it's a lot easier to shift a clock.

As for the supposed "efficiency benefits that come from a unified time zone" that Gleick refers to, it seems as if he didn't actually read the blog post he links, because its authors actually advocate having banks open and close at the exact same UTC hours everywhere, which means that bankers' biological clocks would definitely not stay with the sun, and the bankers whose shifts are now 2am to 11am or whatever might think that their new workday is itself a more serious drawback than the elimination of "it's five o'clock somewhere". And, of course, people who actually need to work with times can and do already use UTC.


 

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Scrape.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.07.16

My town has a higher pain tolerance than your town.


 

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Guest Post - Anti-PC Tweeter

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.07.16

President Automaton writes: Some fodder. Relevant context. And this. And finally, the fact that "Liberal Studies" at NYU is not a program that offers tenure

Heebie's take: NYU has at least one very unpleasant faculty member.


 

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