Good news! If left-wing protestors are bothering you, you can shoot them! This is particularly important in this time of rising gas prices.
I have a complementary notion to the backtalk discussion swirling into my head. Let's see if I can put words to it.
When you're trying to teach someone how to rachet up in quality to a new level, it's very easy for the student to fit the feedback into their current level and dismiss it. The student doesn't see it as something that needs discussion, because they fundamentally think they already know it. (Maybe a little Dunning-Kruger operating here.) But they are likely willing to argue the point and try to prove that they're right. A little arguing can be very effective to undermine D-K and allow a student to see that you're actually trying to communicate something altogether more abstract or sophisticated.
The context is that I was discussing with an art history professor the process of learning to write. I said I didn't really learn to write until after I graduated from undergrad. I could write flowery sentences with lots of 4-syllable words, but I was writing to sound smart and polished instead of thinking about the best, most grounded way to convey my point to a specific audience.
When she was an undergrad, she had an instructor who would sit down with her and say, "What are you trying to say in this part? These points don't support that first part at all." And she'd say, "Yes they do! Because [reasons]," and the other person would say, "They really don't - let's look at your reasons and then see what I'm saying." That was when writing well started to click into place for her.
I had instructors who would write comments on my paper like, "What are you trying to say in this part? These points don't support that first part at all." And I'd think, "Yes they do! Because [reasons]." And it would end there, because we weren't in person and I'd still privately think I'm right.
Also I probably didn't go see them in office hours to argue because [lazy].
We have not yet gotten into the world of travel/select/expensive kid sports teams (although we're probably on the brink of it) but we are about to go to our second tournament. I'm learning that tournaments require all out-of-town teams to stay at their designated hotel. In other words, you can't stay with friends in the area or shop around for the lowest rate. Our friends went to the national PONY baseball tournament one year, in New Orleans, and the requirement was to book hotel rooms for the entire 7 days, even if your team got out in the first round of games or whatever. (In Heebieville, when a team from the city league makes it to a championship tournament, a massive fundraising effort is launched to cover the costs of the hotel and entrance fees, so that it's still free for the families.)
This weekend, the tournament is 40 minutes away. Apparently the organizers are pissed at Pokey's coach for not having the team stay at the local hotel, and might have punished us with 8 am games on both Saturday and Sunday.
This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while. There is no way it could function as that sentence implies, but it's still nice to have a thread.
Episode Kobe four.
I feel like there's an actual vacuum of a meaningful Good News Network that isn't just Grandpa Befriends Local Squirrel. What it should be is updates on problems that have improved - what policies led to the advancements that led to the breakthroughs in malaria (or whatever), how the distribution issues were solved, etc. What policies were put in place to prevent [X] from happening again, and to what degree have they improved things, and what still needs to be done.
I really would like to read things that are less harrowing for my peace of mind, without being fluff. Kevin Drum attempts this sort of thing, but seems too optimistic about things that aren't yet that good.
I usually feel uneasy about scathing restaurant reviews, but this review of an upscale Batman-themed restaurant managed to delight me:
Park Row is neither a jolly themed restaurant for children and the young at heart, nor is it a destination brasserie for tourists with dollars to burn. Rather, it is an absurdly shoddily staged sort-of Batman experience that never, ever mentions Batman. Oh, sure, Gotham's presence lurks in cocktails called Beyond the Gates and Three Bridges, and in desserts with names like Riddle Me This (I'll solve that riddle straight away: it's a caramelised apple with hazelnut sablé). Still, before coming here, I'd envisaged a steroid-fuelled Hard Rock Café mated with a slick, Warner Bros theme park ride, whereas what I found was more comparable to those incredible failing grottoes that open in the UK each Christmas, where the elves smoke Marlboros behind a foam-spitting snow machine next to a donkey with conjunctivitis that makes the kids cry.
Now that I pause and look at the photos, Park Row looks nothing like those failing Christmas grottoes where the elves give the kids conjunctivitis using smoking donkeys. So maybe this is back in the category of scathing restaurant reviews that make me uncomfortable.
In general, I hate it when someone receives cruel feedback on a project that they poured their heart into and felt vulnerable about. Maybe this was born of a corporate mess, but it's also easy to believe that someone might have really thought they were creating a wonderful experience. There's some schadenfreude over the excessive prices maybe?
Minivet writes: With medium-sized groups (more than 10).
I'm involved in many local groups, most political, some not, and every option for people talking and sharing and discussing online seems to have so many tradeoffs you always want a different one.
For a while, the norm was Slack, although we understood that was a relatively ephemeral style, like a merger of Twitter and messageboards. (Free Slack doesn't let you search old stuff once allotted space is filled up.) It takes some commitment to keep following; when it's active it can be overwhelming. And a lot of older people don't seem to get it at all.
Discord is a little less corporate than Slack, and also has smooth voice and video chat, but has many of the same drawbacks, and more barrier to entry.
Message boards -- well, we've known the issues with those for decades.
Email groups are at least universally accessible, but who wants all those cascading into your inbox? Even if you filter them into their own folder.
Are there other options out there?
Heebie's take: Outside of work, the norm in Heebieville seems to be GroupMe. When our kids join a team, we're added to a GroupMe thread. Sometimes my students put one together for a class, and it's okay with me if they want to add me to it. I like the fact that groups have names (as opposed to in regular text messages) and that students or whoever can't see my phone number necessarily. The olds can handle GroupMe as long as you can get them to install the app on their phone.
My friend group and my family still use Whatsapp, having started there before it was bought out.
I am probably underestimating the functionality that people want in these collaborative spaces, though. I've never used Slack or Discord. Heebieville is generally lagging 1 decade behind the rest of the world, and Heebie U/Sadtown is generally lagging 2 decades behind.