1. Mossy Char writes: Missing women thread?
Heebie's take: We know that indigenous women have been disappearing for years, but this is the new part:
On Monday, the government-appointed commission that has been investigating the claims announced its explosive conclusion: Canada's indigenous women and girls are "under siege," and their deaths and disappearances amount to "a race-based genocide."
Such is the new reality for America's schools, which are hastily erecting a massive digital surveillance infrastructure, often with little regard for either its effectiveness or its impact on civil liberties.
Social media monitoring companies track the posts of everyone in the areas surrounding schools, including adults. Other companies scan the private digital content of millions of students using district-issued computers and accounts. Those services are complemented with tip-reporting apps, facial-recognition software, and other new technology systems.
Needless to say, it's creating a lot of false positives, and the third-party companies aren't pinky-swearing to destroy all data at the end of the school year.
And perhaps most troubling, what are the legal and ethical considerations for schools when students plug their personal devices into district-issued computers, leading Gaggle's filters to automatically suck up and scan their private photos and videos?
That's happened numerous times in Evergreen schools, Gardner said.
One student was flagged for having photos of himself taking bong hits. Other students were flagged for personal photos showing fights and nude images that could be considered child pornography. Evergreen school administrators responded by notifying parents, police, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
3. I took a hot yoga class yesterday, which is maybe my second yoga class ever, and the other one was maybe 20 years ago. I am not yet sure how I feel about it. I feel like I should be working on my flexibiity - in the last six months, I started watching the footage that the gym owner posts of each class on Instagram Stories, and it's the most footage of myself in motion I've ever seen. (It occurs to me that I've almost never seen video footage of myself in motion before this, except the occasional store surveillance TV.)
I move like a sawhorse robot. Other people's torsos seem to twist, like a stick of gum might, but mine is more like a thick eraser. I move like my dad.
Anyway, I think I liked the class, but I'm having time-and-money-heartburn.
This article on Alzheimer's in women is fascinating, rattling, and enraging in equal parts.
They walk in the door, and sometimes there are women who are clearly having a problem, but they do not 'test' impaired. A doctor wouldn't be able to give them a diagnosis of dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment because their cognitive performance is still good even though they're clearly dysfunctional in every other aspect of their lives. But they don't score impaired. This came out a few years ago, that the tests we were using to diagnose Alzheimer's were not sensitive enough for women at the early stages. Because women score better than men on cognitive tests and always have. The cognitive score declines a bit with menopause, and then after menopause, but even women with a diagnosis of early Alzheimer's may score better than men with the same diagnosis of Alzheimer's.
So the doctor can see plaques on the brain, they know these women have Alzheimer's, but they're testing well on cognitive exams.
They're testing fine! We couldn't see the plaques in the brain until 10 years ago, we didn't have the technology. So now that we had the technology to find the plaques, we actually understand that we probably misdiagnosed women forever. And that could be one of the reasons why some treatments don't work that well in women. There's also this whole thing, because we catch them too late, that the typical Alzheimer's drugs work better in men than in women. And one possibility is that men and women with the same symptoms do not have the same brains. The men's brains are still here, but the women's brains are down here...
[She holds her right hand up high, representing men's brains, her left hand down low, representing women's brains.]
So women start getting Alzheimer's basically the moment that menopause hits, if they're going to get it?
Yeah, if they're going to get Alzheimer's, it looks like the disease starts when your brain is the most discombobulated it's ever been past puberty. Whereas puberty was an explosion of joy and hormonal health, menopause is the opposite. There's a crisis. Your brain is going through a crisis, and that's when Alzheimer's probably kicks in. Which means that women start the disease when they're in their late 40s/early 50s. In some cases before that if they get surgical menopause. And so you live with these changes in your brain and then, let's say it takes 10 years to develop the symptoms, then if you go through menopause at 50, you might get symptoms earlier at 60. Whereas if you're a man, and these changes happen to your brain just because you're aging chronologically, then you might get it at 70 or 80. So, that might be part of the problem: that women have more years to experience the disease. Not because they live longer, but because they start earlier.
I'm reading a book right now, I forget the name cause I probably have Alzheimer's too, but I'm reading a book right now about women and data bias. [Note: Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez.] The author has this part where she talks about how they studied Viagra --
Yes! Female Viagra, which was tested in 23 men!! and only 2 women.
Yeah, but they studied Viagra, and they found that with women, it completely eliminated period cramps for four hours at a time with no side effects. And the doctor that discovered this went back to the NIH, twice, and said, "We need further studies on this. This is the holy grail for women," and they said, "Well, dysmenorrhea is not a real issue." So we now know everything we need to know about penises and how they get hard, and how Viagra can make them harder, but nothing about how Viagra could be helping the other 50% of the population, enormously.
The post title is so dumb, I'm sorry. I have a rule that I must post fast and impulsively and go with whatever I think first.
Ydnew writes: I have no idea what to say about this, but apparently, incels sometimes decide to get plastic surgery to make themselves more attractive to the laydeez. From one plastic surgeon in Indiana who's disingenuously surprised to learn that his young, male patients wanting square jaws and cheekbones that can cut glass are what one might call "psychologically abnormal."
(I think this hasn't been linked even though it's about six months old.) Totally unrelated, this couple was interviewed about their finances, and they are awful. Let's hate them together?
Kate: Frankly, what I imagine is one of us will die from stress, and the life insurance will pay things off.
Tom: Yeah, we have good life insurance. We're better off dead.
Kate: Right. [Laughter.] Things have gotten really hard, but I don't think we could even afford to get a divorce. We certainly can't afford to live apart. I mean, it's cheaper for us to stay married."
They sound relatable except they make $160K/year as a household. She makes $70K because she couldn't be bothered to use her law degree for which she is paying loans.
Heebie's take: Oh my god, the first link is unreal.
They tried "gymceling" and "steroidmaxxing" (incel-speak for bodybuilding and taking steroids). They tried jelqing (penis-stretching exercises) and mewing (chewing hard foods to bulk up the masseter muscles, said by British orthodontist Mike Mew to augment the jawline). They tried pulling on their faces to reshape them. They got into skin care.
Eppley's range of services includes shoulder widening and narrowing (the clavicle bones are broken, then reconstructed), deltoid and quadriceps implants, and rib removal. Some 10,000 blog posts on his website respond pragmatically to patients' queries: "Do Neck-Muscle Implants Exist?" They could. "Can My Face Be Changed to Look a Lot Like Someone Else?" Perhaps, pictures needed. "Am I Too Old for Skull Reshaping at 57?" He's had patients who are over 70. "What Is the Maximum Size of Testicular-Enlargement Implants?" The largest Eppley has done so far is seven centimeters in diameter.
Here's the thing: this is regular old body dysmorphia. This part isn't why incels are terrible, destructive, awful people. They are terrible, awful, people because they hate women, regardless of whether or not they talk themselves into these stupendously weird surgeries.
And, oh my god, the second link is also unreal. I find this couple maybe slightly more sympathetic than Ydnew does: they found themselves in a nightmare scenario, and have coped by doubling-down, over and over and over again. They are waiting on some deux ex machina to come lift them out of this hell they've created for themselves.
Kate: We're always broke. We shop at Goodwill. We have a garden so that we can have fresh vegetables instead of going out and having a decent meal somewhere. We don't have fancy things in our house at all. But we do spend a lot of money on food. Like a huge amount. Organic and vegan this and that. Insane amounts on fresh produce. It would not kill our kids to eat a sleeve of ramen noodles every once in a while. Our kids are used to sushi. On a Friday night, we'll go to Whole Foods, and my son Luke will get a $15 thing of sushi and a smoothie. It's kind of crazy that we haven't reeled this in. And the only reason we have nice clothes is because we have...
Tom: Credit cards. Yeah.
Kate: Like, when my son went to prom, we didn't rent a tux because we didn't have the cash, but we bought a suit because we have a Nordstrom card.
No, wait, Ydnew is right. I do hate them.
They are so caught up in shame, and not letting their kids and everyone know that they're faking this lifestyle, that they just keep faking the goddamn lifestyle forever and ever, and just keep ignoring reality forever.
Have we discussed this update to Kevin Drum's 2012 lead crime hypothesis article? There's a decent amount of follow up research, largely supporting the hypothesis. (The update is from 2018.)
Mossy sent this link in, on the role of Richard Holbrooke in establishing refugee immigration in the US:
Holbrooke, an assistant secretary of state at the time, was a man obsessed above all with power and his own place in the pecking order; but he was also genuinely moved by human suffering and driven to use the power he possessed to do something about it. This impulse stemmed from his time as a junior diplomat in the early days of the Vietnam War, when the mission was less about firepower than "nation-building" (essentially bombastic social work). Holbrooke made it his new mission to save the refugees from the aftermath of that disastrous war.
I think it's inherently heartwarming when a gruff asshole turns their annoying obsessiveness on something so good for society. As long as I don't have to deal with the gruff asshole, let them use their abrasive powers for good.
On Air Force One, during a flight to Japan for a G-7 summit, Holbrooke badgered Carter and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance to double the monthly quota of Southeast Asian refugees allowed into the United States from 7,000 to 14,000. Holbrooke could be annoying--it was one reason many people disliked him--but in many cases, including this one, he could be effective.
Wear them down, you abrasive ass. Wear them down.