Activity from Frowner
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Lost in the Holacracy
This is like someone took anarchism and subtracted all the actual positives, right?
I mean, sure, maybe everyone will no longer have boring, staid old titles, and people will "self organize"....but I bet the pay structure will stay the same, and if the workers decide to 'self organize" so that people get, say, paid parental leave or the right to wear green and silver liberty spikes to meetings or something, I bet the boom will be lowered pretty damn quick.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:14 PM on March 30, 2015
I mean, the main feature of contemporary management theory is to attempt to compel everyone to act and speak at all times as if their paid labor is a hobby and we live in a financially equal society.
Work is not a "tribe" (which is a creepy and offensive enough term to use on the face of it). Work is the system where the people with the money tell you what to do, accepting your advice when it doesn't cut into their money and accepting your pushback only so… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:18 PM on March 30, 2015
Hot Town, Summer in the City
This is another reason why I get pissed off when I get included as Gen-X. Born in the late 70s and I never saw any of those scary we're-all-gonna-die-in-a-nuclear-holocaust movies or shows that everyone and Douglas Coupland says shaped the generation. Kids like me at that point had Red Dawn and Rocky IV; not sure why you're gonna show them Threads or The Day After when they're 6 or 7 years old. The whole nuclear war thing didn't make any sense to me at all, even as a child. The worst it… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:33 PM on March 25, 2015
If you want something that is queasy-sad (and in its own way I feel like it's more haunting than Threads) you might look at Raymond Briggs's graphic novel When The Wind Blows.
Apropos of nothing at all, I wonder what would have happened in the eighties if there hadn't been such a ramping up of the Cold War along with the AIDS crisis. So many good people worked so hard just to fucking get the word out that nuclear was is not a survivable event and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:51 AM on March 26, 2015
My parents didn't let me see The Day After; I didn't watch it until college, long after I had become (to the limited extent possible for a suburban teenager) active in anti-nuclear politics.
Admittedly, my sainted freshman global studies high school teacher Mr. Jarvis (to whom I would probably credit about 1/3 of my entire adult politics and who was a fantastic human being who deserves many medals) did show us a documentary about the effects of the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:56 AM on March 29, 2015
Actually, my employer-provided insurance got worse and more expensive, and provided my employer with political coverage to axe a bunch of stuff that did not, legally, need to go. (We had, yes, the "Cadillac plan", which is just good insurance, basically). I hate this. I really do. I try not to think about it, because I totally like Obamacare.
The thing is, I would rather have minor problems now, with the assurance that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:31 PM on March 27, 2015
Making More Time For Work
You didn't have to be some kind of genius to predict this; in fact, I find the whole "oooohhh, the internet has helped polarize society into entitled Silicon Valley assholes and part-time delivery workers, who could have predicted it" thing to be pretty disingenuous. Lots of people did predict it; it was obvious, has been obvious to anyone who has a worker-centered or working class outlook on the world.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:23 PM on March 27, 2015
What is up with bra sizing, anyway?
Also those online "find your size" widgets don't work well if you are a non-standard size - whenever I try with my actual measurements, it tells me that I should be wearing a band size that is larger than my actual measurement around the breasts....in an A cup. I'm not sure how it would even stay on my body, and there's exactly one maker who even produces them. This is hilarious, as I have no real trouble finding my actual size.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:41 AM on March 27, 2015
A Clean Version of Hell
Seriously, the guy who cut himself up, broke a hole in his own skull, used a razor to remove a testicle...but of course was deemed totally sane with an "antisocial disorder". And he wasn't even a violent offender! He had this whole long story of being a non-violent bank robber who befriended a Chinese-American heroin dealer in prison, the heroin dealer was murdered by white supremacists right in front of him, the white supremacists targeted him, he ended up in the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:10 PM on March 26, 2015
One of the subsidiary points of the article is that people end up in these places who are not actually giant security risks. Like the bank robber I was talking about above, for example.
And honestly, the idea that the Unabomber is literally so dangerous to the people around him that he has to be in a supermax prison seems pretty silly to me. Leaving aside any questions about prisons qua prisons, a weedy guy who sent mail bombs is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:01 PM on March 26, 2015
In the interview, she explains clearly that she said that Obama follows her on Twitter, not that she had "ties" to Obama. She says that she intended this to illustrate that she was a respectable person.
Also, think about if someone were trying to arrest you and sock you in a mental hospital. What would you say? And couldn't almost anything you say seem delusional except if it were absolutely… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:26 AM on March 27, 2015
Anti-LGBT Bill Leads SalesForce to Reduce Investments in Indiana
I have family in Indiana and visit there two or three times a year. I'll be very interested to see if the "no gays" signs start going up. Admittedly, Cummins is a big deal where my family lives and I cannot believe that they're going to be cool with the recruitment problems they'd have if things got out of hand. And I mean, when they say frog, local people jump - without Cummins, a huge chunk of the state economy will dry up and blow away.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:33 AM on March 26, 2015
Reactions to 'The L Word' Ten Years On
I'm sorry, but only LA lesbians remotely resemble L word types. To the rest of us, they look like Sex & the City with bright pastels, and those are the men.
This was what was so confusing to me, and has in general been confusing to me about queer women characters on television - none of them ever, ever seem even like Super Hot Actress versions of actual queer women I see in life. In a way, I find it more depressing than before -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:49 PM on March 25, 2015
No, no - the original Amazon was located just off Loring Park on the edge of downtown. It did look like Madwimmin, and that part of town - eighties real estate contraction-era into the early nineties - was Pretty Queer. Ballet of the Dolls is still there, I believe.
Amazon moved to 38th and Chicago after they won their lawsuit and lost their lease. But the world had changed and frankly 38th and Chicago wasn't that good a location for them. I think they were… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:30 PM on March 25, 2015
What I was trying to get at with the "kick-ass" characterization thing was that in some ways I almost preferred it when there weren't queer characters rather than having shitty, depressing, reified, palatable-to-straight-and-male-audiences queer characters. That's not actually a position I would defend, because it's probably better for kids to see the mere fact of being queer as normal and acceptable, but it feels that way sometimes.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:26 AM on March 26, 2015
I would prefer not to.
This is a fascinating article, especially the bit about the different pace of office work in its early days.
However, this has got to be a typo:
One exemplary office, of a New York commission house that sold western and southern produce, was only twenty-five square feet in size but managed to house four partners and six clerical workers, all men. One was an office manager; two clerks handled the major accounts, while a fourth handled… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:41 AM on March 25, 2015
I always thought - possibly because I first encountered Bartleby as a figure for passive worker resistance - that Bartleby would "prefer not" not because there was anything wrong with Bartleby but because the work itself and the work environment were personality-decaying and world-eroding; that the mystery wasn't why Bartleby would rather not but why everyone else would rather. That there was some grain of resistance in Bartleby so that he would… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:27 PM on March 25, 2015
Burmese slaves in the global fish trade
What happens is that slavery (and near-slavery - it sounds as though the other men on the trawlers are as close to slaves as makes no difference, if they get locked up for saying that they want to leave) is used in the periphery to keep prices down in the metropole. That is, food prices have to be low in the center so that voters (and other "legitimate" political actors, and political actors with any kind of power) have less incentive to change the system and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:57 AM on March 25, 2015
It's not a "conspiracy" in the sense that evil cabals meet; it's a "conspiracy" in that it's a function of capitalism that works consistently in certain ways. Prices have to be affordable at the center because people at the center can vote for the powers at the center, or, failing that, riot. Capitalism isn't a conspiracy, but it works like a conspiracy.
Although I bet - given the various food riots elsewhere in recent years -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:24 AM on March 25, 2015
(Consider food stamps, actually - food stamps are a politically acceptable way to feed people "cheaply" (although getting more and more contentious as the right gets stronger) and we certainly don't have food stamps because the government is full of nice, caring people who just want grandma to eat something besides cat food; we have food stamps because a society where the working class is starving is an unstable society.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:26 AM on March 25, 2015
I almost entirely removed the words "no" and "don't" from my vocabulary.
Another way to give feedback is to phrase things in terms of questions. This is a good form of feedback if you aren't sure what the correct course of action is and you want to spark a discussion. Be careful not to hide unspoken expectations behind questions, however. Questions leave space for people to misunderstand expectations or feel condescended to.
Yes, I think it's really tricky to ask good questions when giving feedback. Not only do I find it… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:34 AM on March 23, 2015
I do know that when I'm teaching, I get a lot better results with positive feedback than with negative feedback.
And I also notice that group discussions go better when we steer away from the "this is bad because" line - what invariably happens when we're looking at a text and someone leads with "this is bad because [of political or aesthetic or whatever-by-fiat] reasons", we almost inevitably (and this is a group of fairly intelligent, sophisticated… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:16 AM on March 23, 2015
The Mid Century Menu, as seen in cookbooks and brochures
The thing is, everyone is all always "lol fifties food", but several things occur to me:
1. Food distribution was insanely different in the fifties. The whole "almost everyone in any kind of semi-urban area has access to a huge variety of fruits, vegetables, sauces and other ingredients" thing is a nineties thing. Even when I was growing up in the eighties in a middle class suburb, you bought garlic bulbs in a little box, for… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:59 AM on March 17, 2015
(Also, pre-packaged foods were a Thing far before I had originally realized - pimento cheese, for example, dates back to the late 19th century and is the result of improved canning and distribution of pimentos. But there's lots of twenties and thirties food that is just as dressed-up-convenience as the fifties - it just appeared before color photography was the norm in magazines and isn't as entertaining to reproduce.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:02 AM on March 17, 2015
Actually, I think aspics were a high-culture thing that became a low-culture thing - I don't have my books handy but if memory serves, you get a LOT of fancy aspics and moulded dishes in the 18th and 19th centuries on the tables of the great. Riz a l'imperatrice, for instance, which I'd really like to try.
I can't find the blog with a cursory google, but there were all these receipes in the 19th century where you would make a jelly and put it inside an aspic, or you'd… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:36 AM on March 17, 2015
Vis-a-vis wine jello: it just so happens that at the bottom of this page are recipes for claret jello and rum punch jello. I mean, they're Victorian so they're called "jellies", but they're jello. IIRC my Victorian novels correctly, claret jelly was something strengthening that you'd send to an invalid.
Actually, I bet you could serve the Devonshire junket at the very bottom to great acclaim at any fancy hipster party - and I may try just that, substituting… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:09 AM on March 17, 2015
Life as a ghost
But the ones who blatantly flouted the system, like that engineer dude who was full aware of what was going to happen and was given multiple chances to change his mind before his resignation was accepted without penalty -- nope, that's your own fault. Seriously, are you even kidding? Look after the wife and kid you've already got.
Besides, the punishment is so harsh. Honestly, when I was in China I did not realize how harsh. Let's just assume that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:21 AM on March 17, 2015
"fabrics and furnitures and experiences to which I will never belong"
Ha ha man just when I think I'm ready to ease up on the rage bucket class warrior thing I am reminded, no, this is my eternal duty, fuck that chair, fuck that launch party, burn it all
Can I think this while also still liking my own personal chairs, several of which are no-name midcentury modern via the thrift store back in the late nineties when you could still find good chairs at the thrift store? Could we burn the social systems… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:17 PM on March 11, 2015
Okay, that's good. If I can't [sit comfortably on my large secondhand originally custom-built-somewhere-in-Wisconsin sofa] to it, it's not my revolution.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:43 PM on March 11, 2015
but like holy shit we are nowhere close to that world as reality and god what I wouldn't do for like a chair that doesn't fuck with my lower back issues, won't fall apart in three years, and doesn't cost more than $50 new
And I mean in theory wasn't this what a lot of the mid-century stuff was supposed to do? Not the, like, Mies chairs with the leather upholstery, but all those Eames-ish bent plywood chairs and so on?… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:46 AM on March 12, 2015
How Finding a Fat YA Heroine Changed My Life
The thing about The Cat Ate My Gymsuit and Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack is that the fat girl is pathologized primarily for her fat; the books revolve around her being fat. I remember reading The Cat Ate My Gymsuit when I was twelve or thirteen and while I liked that the fat girl got to be the hero, it also just basically reinforced the idea that what was most important about her was how she came to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:38 AM on March 12, 2015
How Silicon Valley (WANTS to) Shape(s) Our Future
It all ties in with an underestimated undercurrent that shapes the Silicon Valley more than anything else: the counter-culture of the 1960s and the deeply anchored roots of San Francisco's hippie movement.
A-ha-ha-ha, Der Spiegel, you are so cute when you're naive.
Why yes, the hippie movements of the sixties would have been totally down with undemocratic corporate control of virtually… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:19 AM on March 11, 2015
(Every time anyone gets all techno-utopian on me, I start talking about Google's military robots and asking people just how they think those are likely to be used and on who. It cuts that "don't be evil" and "but but smartphones" shit right out.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:21 AM on March 11, 2015
You should probably read this book before you go around accusing other people of being naive
Yes, but - when "hippies" and "counterculture" are invoked in the popular press, they're not literally talking about the connections between various early cybernetics people. They're invoking hippies-peace-freedom images in order to appeal to what is popularly believed about hippies, San Francisco, etc.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:47 AM on March 11, 2015
(Although I agree that breaking out what we mean by "hippies" is politically essential.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:48 AM on March 11, 2015
(You know what - and now I will bow out of the thread - on mature reflection, I think that my first couple of comments at the start of the thread were not helpful. I stand by their content in a "what I think about the world" way, but as "how can we productively talk about this linked material" comments, they were quite poor, and I really should have realized that I was ranting and not done it. It would have been much more interesting and useful to discuss… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:03 AM on March 11, 2015
To Google's credit, they stopped taking DARPA money shortly after being bought. So I don't think it would be fair to say Google has "military robots". Heck, even with military funding, I don't think Boston Dynamics ever put a weapon on anything.
Okay, I am a terrible person because I said I would not comment and now I am. It's true, I misspoke about Boston Dynamics - they are not literally developing military technology for the Pentagon or… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:44 PM on March 11, 2015
Media consumption habits of liberals and conservatives in US
There is now in this country in my lifetime a pro torture constituency.
Well, really, the only reason we remember a time when this basically wasn't true is because The Evil Commie Empire tortured people and we used to define ourselves in opposition to the Evil Commie Empire, which meant that official national ideology had to occasionally unequivocally endorse free speech, just trials, lack of torture, etc. Now that we're defining ourselves in… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:19 AM on March 11, 2015
I am not claiming it didn't happen anyway, then or since, but at least defining itself as anti torture goes back in US history to well before the Cold War.
Maybe a formulation would be that the acceptability of torture as part of US practice is something that has been uneven and contested, because certainly police torture and torture by private security was acceptable in the 20th century up through the sixties. (I mean, it's de… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:59 AM on March 11, 2015
Maybe we're talking slightly at cross-purposes here.
I think - and probably did not say clearly - that what is interesting is when there's some kind of broad national opposition to torture that is clearly articulated versus when there is a clearly articulated support of torture, particularly in terms of "we define ourselves as a nation by [feeling this way about torture]". Obviously there's no point at which every single person and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:25 PM on March 11, 2015
Pink Slimer for girls, blue Slimer for boys...
What I'd like to know - will we ever be able to have a Ghostbusters film with two black Ghostbusters? (Or, for that matter, Ghostbusters played by other actors of color?
That is what seems so freaky-deaky to me in all this. Even when I was nine and saw the first movie, it struck me as sort of weird that good old Winston Zeddemore didn't seem to have as much schtick or as much to do as the other three.
It's not that there's… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:42 PM on March 10, 2015
The Lauren Bacall Collection
That's so interesting - a lot of it looks like much fancier and more expensive versions of photos from late sixties/early seventies decorating books in terms of color and the older wooden furniture. I don't know enough about furniture to really say what is in this apartment, but the decorating books all have what seems like an odd mixture (to contemporary eyes) of early American, provencal and early Spanish/California, either reproduction or actual antiques, plus some vaguely Ming touches...and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:09 AM on March 10, 2015
Of course all pianos are basically photo storage. Or at least, you have the grand for the photos and an upright elsewhere for daily use. And the photos should all be in sterling frames, but simple, not the fussy plate ones you see sometimes now.
Back before the Depression, one side of my family was proper rich - not rich like the one percent now of course - my great-grandfather worked and had to work -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:30 AM on March 10, 2015
Hell on earth.
About the "necessity" to bomb Japan in order to save lives: Japan was trying to surrender. See this from Jacobin:
The most damning evidence against the firebombing can be traced to August 19, 1945, when Walter Trohan of the Chicago Tribune finally published a piece gracefully titled “Roosevelt Ignored M’Arthur Report on Nip Proposals” that he had been sitting on for seven months.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:31 AM on March 9, 2015
New scrutiny on re-homing of adopted kids
Also, families who adopt a high-needs child naturally don't have much support from anywhere else because we don't have a meaningful social safety net, and as a society we disapprove so much of parents who struggle to parent. So I imagine that it just gets worse and worse, people don't want to talk about their struggles and their judgement erodes. One strategy for all this would be providing more resources and more relief care - after all, kids need homes, and while screening parents is a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:10 AM on March 9, 2015
The idea that there should be no oversight except by amateurs is ridiculous.
People are doing a complicated thing that is hugely important, they're doing it under pressure and in bad circumstances. And they only do it once - it's not as though a family trying to rehome a child has a lot of experience assessing the potential new homes. Plus, they don't have access to all the databases that the state does, and they probably don't have enough savvy… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:52 AM on March 9, 2015
"Everyone will land, but some people fly first class"
Yes, but - okay, look, Justine Sacco gets shamed all over the internet for her racist tweet, and loses her job, and that's good, and all who participated should be proud of themselves. Cheryl Abbate gets shamed for her handling of a reactionary student in class - and certainly suffers more than Sacco - and that's bad, and John McAddams should be fired. Many people believe both these things, and I would argue that they are only incompatible if we try to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:32 AM on March 4, 2015
Why yes, a mob of goodies chasing some baddies is TOTALLY DIFFERENT than a mob of baddies chasing some goodies!
But it kind of is, right? I mean, it's a bit different if one is, say, executing Mussolini or if one is killing "heretics" outside of Munster in 1535. Because otherwise all we're saying is that not only are "good" and "bad" utterly matters of opinion (which is, in a way, what I believe) but… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:05 AM on March 4, 2015
Well, speak for yourself. Having watched a few internet shaming campaigns, I incline toward the view that they are generally ineffective whenever they might be ethical and somewhat less than ethical whenever they are effective. It's hard to shame the powerful and easy to shame the helpless.
I don't know what I think. (I don't really know what "I" am as an identity, anyway, except limited.) On one hand, I don't care for… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:14 AM on March 4, 2015