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Go to Unfogged.com home

 

Also The Good

Posted by Ogged
on 09.01.17

Let's not go into the holiday on such a downer. What's been cool or inspiring lately? I think Alex Honnold has achieved some kind of Zen that deserves to be celebrated.


 

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Deeply Fucked Up

Posted by Ogged
on 09.01.17

I thought SLC was our favorite police department.


Note that this isn't really about hospital policy. As best as I can tell, the cop was just wrong on the law.


 

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Friday WTFuckery; "I have a condition."

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 09.01.17

I guess it's been a little bit since we railed against Trump's dumbassery. It's fucking normal that Emperor Diaper Baby* is our president. Here's how I feel about Mueller's investigation.

(I guess Youtube switched to using the html code "iframe" and our html doesn't handle it? I can't get embed or object or anything to work. Annoying.)

Spoiler alert: Dan is trying to get to have sex, and this show is not nearly as funny as I thought it was circa 1988.

*borrowed term, not my genius


 

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Shortage

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.31.17

There is the craziest goddamn gas run going on right now. The gas stations are jammed with cars, with the lines spilling out down on to the street. Since I haven't seen any "out of gas" signs nor heard anything besides hard-to-believe rumors, I think people are just hoarding. But seriously: every gas station I passed on my 40 minute commute home, sprawling two towns and some countryside, was spilling out into a line down the street.


 

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ATM: Whither the bindersfull?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.31.17

President Stately asks: I recently got a fundraising call from a Democratic state legislator. He's now running for Congress in a district with a close partisan split, currently held by a Republican. I've donated to him in the past, and we generally agree on the issues.

The thing is, my (large) state has no women in Congress. None. So I brought this up to him. His responses boiled down to:

1) You can't ALWAYS support every woman candidate over every male candidate
2) The only two women in this primary race have raised very little money (he named a dollar amount) and are not credible candidates
3) I once went to a dinner for an organization that helps women run for office, and I've given them money. Also, when I was on a committee in the state legislature we recruited a woman to run [who later won].

Obviously point #1 is a bizarre false dichotomy that doesn't in any way reflect the concern I raised to him. My sense is that points #2 and 3 are accurate.

Overall, it was astonishingly clear that he didn't appear to have prepped for this question. He didn't have well-thought-out reasoning and his responses to me felt condescending (it should be noted that I'm a woman).

I gave him a token donation and wished him good luck. I do actually want the Democrats to win the seat, and he's broadly on the side of the good guys. I'm just really irritated at how dismissive and unprepared he was. Clearly nobody on his team thought he needed to be able to answer this question in order to run.

What could/should I have done differently?

Heebie's take: You? What should you have done differently? Why is this on you?

I suppose you could have been more forthright with your irritation. "Fuck you" works pretty good.


 

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Failure, Succes

Posted by Ogged
on 08.31.17

I got a real stumper from my younger kid this morning: why is the outside of the Earth different from the inside? I whiffed it.

In happier news, I swear so freely in front of the kids that they don't seem to realize that "shit" and "fuck" are bad words, so they have no desire to say them. When they really want to transgress, they say "STUPID."


 

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A new thing, to me

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.30.17

I just experienced an email which changed, after I'd read it. I guess it's downloading from a website or something. The backstory is super boring:

I ordered a package last week. It was supposed to be delivered on Tuesday. I checked the tracking website yesterday, and it said "will be delivered Wednesday." Sure, things get delayed. I went back to the original email - in my inbox - and it said "will be delivered Wednesday". So then I thought maybe I misread the original email and it had been Wednesday all along.

Today I checked the tracking website, and it said "will be delivered Thursday." I got suspicious and went back to the original email. The email has changed! Now it says "will be delivered Thursday."

So now you know: they can change an email in your inbox. Take a screenshot of every email you get and send them all to another email address. Safety first!

One of you posted a link, maybe a month ago, about how hackers could now fake video almost undetectably well. That's a little worse, but this was still unnerving.


 

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Budget

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.30.17

Suppose you had to slash 1/2-1/3 of your (personal or household) budget. What would you cut?


 

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Harvey.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.30.17

There are so many Hurricane Harvey links that I don't even know where to start. Joel Osteen's prosperity gospel. Propublica on Harvey. Floating swarms of fire ants. Climate change. One thing I'd like to vent about is that there've been a shitload of (not-Unfogged) (mostly apolitical) people saying "Isn't it wonderful that all that race nonsense is forgotten when it counts? don't we all see how silly we were being?"


 

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The Bots are Back in Town

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.29.17

Russian bots activated a lot of newshit after Charlottesville.

If you feel like you're seeing a term or a theme pop up in online discussions that suddenly amplifies certain "talking points," like, say, the false equivalency between Nazis and anti-fascists, check out Hamilton 68, a new dashboard that tracks Russian influence on Twitter. The dashboard, a tool created by Securing Democracy (an organization launched by national security figures to counter Russian "mischief"), follows and analyzes 600 accounts associated with Russian influence campaigns.

Hamilton 68.

According to Isaac Arnsdorf, writing for Pacific Standard, the same Russian bots that flooded social networks with Russian propaganda during the 2016 election are now at work pushing far-right views on social media. Arnsdorf writes: "Hordes of automated bots generating Twitter posts and much more last week to help make right-wing conspiracy theories and rallying cries about Charlottesville go viral."

wheeee.

(Remember The Boys are Back in Town? I used to joke that you weren't truly back in Gainesville until you caught that song on the radio or playing randomly, because it seemed like the perfect dumb redneck-classic rock-generic terrible song that encapsulated my hometown to me, and also it was weirdly sort of true. I told my theory to my brother, who told me that he identified with the song as someone who had gone off to college. I thought that was hilarious: that Thin Lizzy had secretly been writing about upper class white kids who go off to college to further their education and social mobility. Clearly. Those boys came back in town, home to visit their UMC parents!)


 

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Guest Post - Americans Are Bloodthirsty Motherfuckers*

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.29.17

Mossy Character writes: I thought you must all be feeling dour and somber, so I should try to cheer you up kick you while you're down. So, via Slate, a study on opinions on first use of nuclear weapons, designed to mimic the national mood in August 1945:

those polled were shown a mock news story. [...] the United States imposes sanctions on Iran for violating the Iran nuclear deal. Iran then attacks an American aircraft carrier [...] The U.S. responds with airstrikes [...] Iran refuses to surrender. The U.S. invades Iran but gets bogged down after 10,000 American troops are killed.

Those polled were then given a choice. Should we persist with the ground invasion all the way to Tehran, knowing that 20,000 American soldiers would be killed? Or should we drop a nuclear bomb on Mashhad, Iran's second-largest city, "to pressure the Iranian government to surrender"--an attack that would kill 100,000 Iranian civilians [...]
From the original paper (PDF):
The percentage of Americans who approved of the bombing attack against Mashhad remained relatively stable regardless of whether conventional or nuclear weapons were used, and regardless of whether the attack was estimated to kill 100,000 or 2 million civilians. [...] That nearly 60 percent of the U.S. public would approve of a nuclear attack on Iran that would kill 2 million civilians suggests that the decreasing level of support found in recent polls about Truman's decision to drop the bombs in 1945 is a misleading guide to public opinion about nuclear use today.
[...]
Republicans (69.5 percent) were much more "hawkish" than Democrats (48.4 percent) averaging across the three conditions. Americans aged 60 and older were also significantly more likely to prefer the air-strike options (70.5 percent) than Americans younger than 60 (51.6 percent)
[...]
women were no less, or even more, hawkish than men regarding their support for killing large numbers of foreign civilians to avoid the deaths of U.S. soldiers.
[...]
Americans who approved of the death penalty were more than twice as likely to prefer the air strike option (67.3 percent) than were Americans who opposed the death penalty (31.5 percent).
[...]
A large majority (68.5 percent) of the respondents who favored the air-strike options also agreed with the statement that "[b]ecause the Iranian civilians described in the story did not rise up and overthrow the government of Iran, they must bear some responsibility for the civilian fatalities caused by the U.S. strike described in the news story."
[...]
Most important, 40.3 percent [...] preferred the nuclear attack that would kill 100,000 Iranian civilians rather than compromise on unconditional surrender.

The usual suspects look about as bad as one would expect, but the remainder still don't look especially good.
*In fairness, I expect similar studies would find similar things in many countries.

Heebie's take: Dour and somber is what we do best, right gang?

I think the meaninglessness of large numbers is doing a lot of work here, which does not excuse it. Here's how it sounds to the average person: You're on a rocket and you have to go a kamillion miles to Planet X, and use old technology, or go three kabillion miles to Galaxy Y, with brand new technology. Whatcha think?

I think it barely registers. (Which is super depressing. Cue dour and somber.)


 

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