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On Fullness

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.27.18

Roxanne Gay writes about bariatric weight-loss surgery and it's poignant and well-done.

I don't remember anything about the surgery, and I'm thankful for that because it means that the drugs worked. When I woke up, a nurse was peering at me and then broke into a smile. She said, "I know who you are! My girlfriend and I love your books." I was still pretty out of it, so I muttered, "Please don't tell the internet I'm here."

 

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Caught

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.27.18

Anyone want to talk about the Golden State Killer? I think the whole thing is sort of interesting.


 

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Guest Post: FaceShit

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.27.18

Mossy Character writes: Facebook in Myanmar:

Facebook has become a primary conduit for the spread of anti-Rohingya propaganda and hate speech. U.N. investigators have directly pointed the finger at Facebook as playing a "determining role" in the violence
[...]
The overall picture that these facts paint is that Facebook's role as an instrument in ethnic violence in Myanmar is a recurrent and systemic problem, and one which the company has been (or should have been) aware of for years.
Naturally, Facebook couldn't care less:
"Dozens" more Burmese language reviewers will help, but in comparison, Facebook said it would hire an additional 3,000 moderators by the end of 2018 and open a second content moderation center in Germany when the country passed laws threatening large fines if hate speech wasn't removed within 24 hours.
[...]
In Sri Lanka, for example, officials found Facebook unresponsive to official concerns about hate speech and misinformation on its platform until the government blocked access entirely.

heebie's take: I have to say, this makes me insanely angry. (Of course, who cares if I'm angry if I'm not doing anything.)


 

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Badge #540

Posted by Ogged
on 04.26.18

These comeuppance stories are so satisfying. Some people are that bad, and sometimes they get nailed for it!

What often surprises me is how invested people can be in the markers of having "made it". Her daughter goes to Yale. How is that relevant? Why on earth would anyone care? But she mentions it at least twice. I guess there really is a deep sense that the law is only for other people, and she can't possibly be one of those people.


 

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An Alfie Evans Question

Posted by Ogged
on 04.25.18

Britainiacs, please clear something up for me: on what legal basis are the boy's parents being prevented from taking their kid wherever the hell they want? As I understand things (and the reporting is inconsistent) they're even allowed to take him home, but not to Italy. What?


 

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Incels

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.25.18

A term I'd never heard before, but apparently it stands for Involuntary Celibate, and they intersect with MRAs, and they sound absolutely awful.


 

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Pants

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.25.18

Here's the only thing I have in my queue of topics: the idle observation that some of my kids are firmly in the Pants Belong At My Waist camp, and some of my kids are firmly in the Pants Belong Under My Belly camp. In fact, Pokey is best friends with a pair of twins who are, in the range of identical twins, extremely hard to distinguish. (There are many photos of them from a few years ago where even their parents have no idea which one it is.) My friend told me that one twin is a Waist-Wearer, and one is an Under-Belly-Wearer, and that is what I use to distinguish them.

(As a kid I was firmly Under Belly. As an adult, I've followed trends more - under belly when all pants were low and I was a slim young adult with no hips then anyway, and then I have been very happy that waistlines rose a few years ago, which coincided with my mature cranked-out-babies body. Today I prefer them at my waist.)

That's all I got. Do whatever you'd like in the comments.


 

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Opportunities

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.24.18

This is pretty bonkers. Southern Illinois University put out a call to professors to suggest names of recent PhDs who could be hired for $0:

These blanket zero-time adjunct graduate faculty appointments are for 3-year periods, and can be renewed. While specific duties of alumni adjuncts will likely vary across academic units, examples include service on graduate student thesis committees, teaching specific graduate or undergraduate lectures in one's area of expertise, service on departmental or university committees, and collaborations on grant proposals and research projects.

If you don't want to do this, you must not be pure and good and love what you do.

via elsewhere


 

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Guest Post - Now read this

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.24.18

Sir Kraab writes: Interesting set up for a recommended reading list: "21 Books You Don't Have to Read (and 21 You Should Read Instead)". Some of the contributing writers are clearly amping up their criticism to flaunt their transgressive cred, but there are definitely some books I want to check out.

I'm not sure what my own don't-have-to-read/read-instead combo would be. I was disappointed when I finally got around to reading Fahrenheit 451 as a adult. Maybe The Plot Against America as a substitute? It doesn't have the sci-fi element, but it's the only thing coming to mind other than Orwell, Sinclair Lewis, Huxley, and the other dystopian writers who already show up on required lists. There are plenty of current examples, obvs., but I can't think of one that's really well written.

Heebie's take: This is a good prompt! I don't have any pairings off the top of my head. Mostly I haven't read the 21 linked books that I don't have to, nor any of the 21 that I should read instead. Of the remaining, I have even fewer opinions. Here they are:

- They say not to read and I agree they're terrible: Old Man and the Sea, The Alchemist. Who even says to read The Alchemist? It's the absolute worst and I only read it because my friend's mom is in our book club and I really like the mom a lot. Farewell to Arms. Why is Hemingway on here twice?

- They say not to read but I liked it: Slaughterhouse Five, Catch-22

Additional questions: are people really recommending Keith Richard's book as a must read? And the Bible? I assume they're vaguely trying to be funny there.



 

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Teeniest of Ants

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.23.18

About a month ago, I was having teeny tiny ants periodically on my desk. No food source. With the custodian, I took everything off, wiped it down, and they went away. We couldn't locate where they were coming from.

Last week I saw one or two. Just now, I ate lunch, and left my plate sitting out with some crumbs and mustard on my desk for about 20 minutes while I played online. I just now noticed a mini-swarm of teeny tiny ants all under the plate. (But not on the plate, with the crumbs). I wiped them up and yet again cannot figure out where they're coming from.

How did they find the food so fast, yet are so gone? I can't find any sort of trail. I would not be able to see them on the carpet, unless I got very lucky to spot one, but I can't even find them heading onto the side of the desk anywhere.

I know, this is a fascinating mystery.


 

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Modern Redlining?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.23.18

I can't tell if this is new and interesting (and worth of late-stage capitalism hang-wringing) or more of the same old.

It's common knowledge that passengers pay different prices for their seats. Someone who bought well in advance is likely to have paid a different airfare than a passenger who purchased their ticket at the last minute, while those who set flight alerts have a good chance of scoring a deal.
But according to one software company, airlines may soon begin charging passengers different prices based on who they are.
...Airline websites will be able to identify customers by their IP addresses and mine data for their flying history. The revenue management system would then create a person-specific fare based off criteria like loyalty status or business/leisure traveler. Loyal customers and leisure travelers would likely pay less, while those who are willing to pay more -- like business travelers with a company credit card -- would likely see higher prices.

Sure, one possibility is that business travelers would get charged more. Another possibility is that it would serve to screw over traditionally marginalized groups. I don't have an exact mechanism except the oft-said thing around here that airlines truly don't give a flying fuck about anyone who flies less than ten times a year.

If your question is, "Weren't they already doing this?" the answer is "Apparently not." Here's a thing I really don't know anything about:

However, before airlines implement a "pure" version of dynamic pricing, reports Travel Weekly, they have to move away from the legacy distribution system put in place after 1978 deregulation. Airline pricing has a limited number of fare classes, each with their own price points and restrictions. Airlines rotate which fare classes are available through their sale cycles. While current customers may believe their fare is unique, they've actually fallen into a specific fare class.

The linked article is short, uninformative, and autoplayed an ad at me. But knock yourself out.


 

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