Due to that dadgum "catching sight of oneself in a photo" thing, I've started worrying that I'm developing something of a hump at the very top of my back/base of my neck, which could either be a premature dowager's hump or perhaps a buffalo hump. (There's a little diagram near the bottom of the first link of a man holding the trouble spot, which is in the same spot that I would like to hold.)
Either way, I don't like it, and I'm embarking on a self-prescribed PT routine to improve my posture. I already had a monitor stand that raised it up maybe 6", but I've put it on a box to raise it another 6" or so. And I've looked up some strengthening and PT stuff to boot. The alternative is probably to put away my phone more often, but let's not do anything rash here.
The thing about aging is that it's so dang unflattering.
Guest Post: A brief commentary in which I propose to revolutionize the study of economics
Moby Hick writes: Apparently, economists are pondering the decline in the labor force and finding themselves unable to fix on an explanation. One economist proposes that declining social status for men without college degrees is causing these men to leave the workforce and make everyone with nicer shoes sad. That is, non-college men have seen their wages drop relative to that of college-educated men and are thus experiencing a loss of social standing that is causing them to lose interest in work. But I am proposing that, in general, leaving aside social standing and the vast mystery that is the male mind, just paying less for labor means that less of it will be supplied. So, you could just look at the decline in real wages for workers with less education, particularly males, and real wages could sing "It's me, hi, I'm the problem, it's me." I hope to have this established as Hick's Law. I don't expect to win the Nobel Prize in Economics because that doesn't exist. It's really the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel and not at all a real Nobel Prize at all. It wasn't even funded with blood money.
Heebie's take: This is brilliant, innovative work. Analogies are banned, but previous research has established that when I spend less money at the grocery store, I end up with fewer groceries. However, I still suspect that it's the vegetables' fault. Nobody wants to be cooked into soup anymore.
Of Minor Importance
1. Did everyone but me know that Tucker Carlson and Hunter Biden used to be friends?!
"I realize you don't really know Buckley," Susie Carlson wrote via email in 2014 to Hunter Biden, a Georgetown graduate and the son of the then-vice president. "Maybe you could meet or speak to him and he could send you a very brief resume with his interests and grades attached."
Tucker Carlson offered that his son was a good squash player and an excellent fly fisherman. "He loves Washington for all the right reasons, I think," Carlson added, "and really wants to go to school here." When Biden agreed to write a letter of recommendation, Susie Carlson added a heap of praise: "Tucker and I have the greatest respect and admiration for you. Always!"
(Cue the Veronica Mars theme song.)
It really is of miniscule importance - Carlson has always been a piece of shit, regardless of whether or not he once shmoozed with someone that it would later serve him to trash.
2. Some of the Jan 6th capital police were awarded congressional gold medals. I enjoyed this video of the officers snubbing Mitch McConnell. Starting at 0:17, he holds out his hand for them to shake, and he has to just has to leave it hanging out while they each pass him by.
A Georgia Thread
For when the polls close.
Guest Post: Movie Talk!
Snarkout writes: The decennial "Sight & Sound 100" just dropped, where every ten years the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine solicits a bunch of critics + scholars + film programmers and archivists (over 1000 this time) about the ten best movies, then turns their votes into a Top 100 of All Time list. (There's a separate list with votes just from directors.) In big "let's argue about it on Twitter" news, the list is not topped by "Vertigo", which held the honors in 2012, or "Citizen Kane" (1962-2002), but Chantal Akerman's "Jeanne Dielman" (famous for ten minute sequences of Dielman doing chores as well as, uh, other stuff), a masterpiece of feminist cinema but a dark horse. (It was #38 on the 2012 critics list; it's #4 on this year's director's list.) An opportunity to talk about difficult art and changing critical tastes/efforts at representation? A moment to whine about your favorites that got overlooked? Or a chance to complain that people prefer Marvel movies to glacially-paced art films (or vice versa)? The language of film is universal!
Heebie's take: I have a difficult relationship with movies for multiple reasons, but I've totally been enjoying You Must Remember This, and specifically the Erotic 80s series. Jammies and I started the Hollywood Blacklist one, and it was interesting, but I knew so few of the players that it was less fun. It helps a lot when I have some pre-existing notion of the time and actors.
The AI Chat
As long as you remember that ChatGPT's output is orthogonal to the truth, and that you're wasting your time if you think about its "intelligence," you should sign up and let it blow your mind, or just search google and the twitters for very creative prompts that generate amazing outputs. It feels a bit like the early days of the web felt.
Check Ins, Reassurances, and Concerns, 12/4
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 forty-five