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Philando Castile

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.16.17

It is really hard to deal with humanity lately. Or always.


 

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Pop Quiz! or bleg! whichever you prefer.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.16.17

So, if you'll remember, my tattoo artist had indigestion and referred me to a friend of his.

I really liked the friend as a person, but the longer I looked at his instagram account, the more uneasy I became with the quality of his work.

Finally I concluded that I should just let sunk costs be sunk costs, and get on the waiting list with a different high quality artist, and cancel with the nice artist.

He replied to my cancellation email:

Sorry that you have changed your mind about getting your cats tattoo done with me. It's a very large piece, and a big commitment, so I understand why you might have some doubts. I am not trying to talk you into anything, but if any of your reasons for cancelling are related to my service, demonstrated abilities, or the design ideas I had please let me know, you won't hurt my feelings.

POP QUIZ: does he actually want to know???


 

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Munch Munch

Posted by Ogged
on 06.16.17

Amazon is buying Whole Foods. Here are the last paragraphs of the stories in the Post and the Times.

"Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades - they're doing an amazing job and we want that to continue," said Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. (Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
In a defensive posture, Whole Foods, a few weeks later, revamped its board and replaced its chief financial officer. Gabrielle Sulzberger, a private equity executive, was named the company's chairwoman. Ms. Sulzberger is married to Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., the chairman and publisher of The New York Times.

Much as I'm looking forward to benefiting from the dynamic consumer-facing synergies of this deal, I think our best bet is to burn it all down.

Heavier reading about this (generally speaking) here.


 

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Metathinking Fast & Slow

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.16.17

The Thinking Fast & Slow reading group may have fallen apart, but I tell you: I use System I and II constantly when discussing and explaining things to the kids. Three recent examples:

1. your emotions live in System I, especially a strong reaction. So they're not necessarily right or wrong, but they're a response, and you need to use your System II to pay attention to them and figure out how you want to handle a situation.

2. you may not want to practice piano/reading/multiplication tables/anything boring because you ALREADY KNOW how to do it. But you know it with your System II, and we're trying to learn it on the level of System 1. System II is slow, and some things you need to know fast and automatic, so we're trying to get this into your System I.

Oh: a big place this comes up is anything safety-related. Yes, I've told you a thousand times. Your System II hears me. I need to make sure your System I knows.

3. Explaining why other people behave the way they do - unsafe driving, borderline racism, etc. Sometimes these are System II problems, sometimes System I, but it's a nice framework to have to analyze other people's behavior and decision-making.


 

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Copy Cat

Posted by Ogged
on 06.15.17

Over at CT, the Original B-Wa has a "what songs are you listening to" post. Good idea!

Here's a great guitar riff.

And here's some lovely folky stuff.

So, what songs are you listening to?


 

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All News Is Bad News

Posted by Ogged
on 06.15.17

With the news that Mueller is investigating Trump himself for obstruction, would it surprise anyone if Trump fired Mueller? And if he does, and Republicans again decide to roll with it, we'll have ourselves a legit crisis.


 

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Lazy Reader

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.14.17

My kids are suspicious of books which aren't part of a series. I remember as a kid that I also loved series of books, but there weren't so many of them, so I read plenty of standalone books. But if I'd been a kid today, I'd probably also mostly stick with series.

Which got me thinking - in some sense, the hard part of a book must be getting to know the set-up and characters, and so in a series you get to revisit your old friends that you already know you like, and skip the grind of getting to know new characters and settings.

This is why short story compilations are not my favorite. Sometimes they're really well done, but they're definitely more work than just a novel. And poetry? Argh. That's the most work of all.


 

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Various

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.13.17

1. Elsewhere Witt posted about the library-heroin situation in Philadelphia, and it appears to still be a crisis:

Kowalski, 33, who keeps the overdose-reversing drug, Narcan, behind the circulation desk, has run for the spray as many times in the last week as she did last month. In two months, she has helped save eight people. It is becoming as much a part of her daily routine as finding reference numbers and helping students log on to a computer.
And each day the crowd of young heroin users on the lawn - from all over, with cardboard boxes and sleeping bags and wheeled luggage - grows.

What a fucking mess. It's impossible not to politicize it back to Republican politicians who refuse to fund and deal with public health crises.

2. The ongoing situation where elite women's sports are dominated on occasion by transgender athletes:

In 2011, the International Association of Athletics Federations abandoned crude attempts to determine gender, and instead set an upper limit on the testosterone levels of women who were allowed to compete. The 10 nmol/L limit was set three-fold above the testosterone levels observed in 99 percent of women, and is in the low-to-normal range for men. It was reasoned that the very few women who naturally produce T levels higher than that would have an unfair advantage, and would therefore be required to either surgically or chemically suppress their testosterone levels, or not compete.

But then there were in fact women like Dutee Chand:

Chand was dropped from the 2014 Commonwealth Games contingent at the last minute after the Athletic Federation of India stated that hyperandrogenism made her ineligible to compete as a female athlete.[12] There has been no suggestion that Chand has been involved in cheating or doping--the decision was made in compliance with International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations on "female hyperandrogenism" designed to address a perceived advantage for female athletes with high androgen levels. The decision has been condemned by Australian intersex advocates.[13] The Athletic Federation of India and IAAF's actions were widely criticised as an affront to Chand's privacy and human rights.[14]

and the 10 nmol/L limit was overturned.

It seems a pretty intractable problem to me.

via Jammies


 

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Le B-Ball

Posted by Ogged
on 06.12.17

Beyond the stated purpose of showing that Lebron is a smart player, this is such a nice, understandable demonstration of some of basketball's subtlety. Captioned, so you can watch with the sound off.


 

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Guest Post - I Know Nothing About Labor History

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.12.17

Mossy Character writes: Reading this sadly dull book about the French nuclear power program, I find:

one of the most important issues unions had to contend with, intermittently throughout the 1950s and the 1960s, and increasingly in the 1970s: how to recruit technicians, managers, and engineers to the labor movement.
[...]
Belonging to the CGT [trade union confederation] would help engineers keep their priorities straight even when they rose to positions of power, thereby averting the ever looming danger of technocracy. Engineers, wrote one militant, had "a very healthy feeling of being creators, which can nevertheless stray towards technocracy if we don't show them who really profits from the...technology that they develop." In particular, engineers needed to understand that blindly proposing methods to increase productivity did not serve anyone's interest.
[...]
Having embraced rapid technological development as part of France's future, militant leaders felt that the best way for their unions to participate in that future was by recruiting those in charge of designing that development. How to effect this recruitment posed a puzzle that unions could not fully resolve in the 1960s.
Was there a turning point somewhere in mid-century, when the middle class forgot they were in the middle, and started thinking they were on top, and safe there? Or did the Anglosphere turn, and Europe didn't? Or is there nothing there at all?

Heebie's take: I can't recall if it was here or elsewhere that I was just discussing something along these lines - what it took to get engineers on board with a labor movement. I think it might have been my chair, talking about Iraq in the 70s or grad school in the 80s (in the US). But what did he say??? What was his point?


 

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This is refreshing!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 06.11.17

Stop Pretending You're Not Rich. The author is from the UK, fwiw.

Also when I went looking for the link, this article from 2016 popped up: Your Local 1-Percenters May Not Be as Rich as You Think, which is rich in its own opposite way.


 

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