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Hotkey ',' to Corner the Global Energy Market.
I have stolen a tray and used it as a sled - admittedly, this was in 1993 and it was a different world. The practice was called traying, and it was wonderful - trays make great sleds. College students today probably just take trays to make porn photos on tumblr or something; things have gotten a lot more sophisticated than when I was that age.

I recognize, though, that there is a problem involved in all of this - the people who take the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:25 AM on March 7, 2013
I don't know - my college dining experience was actually pretty healthy, and the food court that we have here at the Large Land Grant Institution is just jumped up fast food, basically - pizza or bagels and cream cheese or fancy-yet-very-caloric mexican food for every meal is just way more fat and salt and calories than a pretty ordinary plate of, like, the Sunday red-beans-and-rice or the pretty ordinary sandwich bar and salad choices we had. I don't know what I'd do if I were a college kid... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:53 AM on March 7, 2013
My college went from having (when I was there) real staff who got paid meaningful wages and benefits and who were employees of the college (and therefore, whose kids got the employee tuition break) to being an outsourced service (shortly after I left). The outsourced service was more deluxe, or so I hear - pizza available at every non-breakfast meal, fancier desserts - but the wages were shitty, the benefits were shitty and the cafeteria workers lost the tuition break. And this at a nominally... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:33 AM on March 7, 2013

2012 Rise In CO2 Levels Second-Highest In 54 Years
I'm not actually worried about the whole "you live in the city what will you do when there is less food" thing, or the "buy farmland and train your kids to [do useful thing]" line.

What do you all think is going to happen when there are shortages massive enough to affect those of us in the well-situated parts of the world? Do you think government is going to disappear and the lucky and smart will retreat to their farms? No,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:30 AM on March 6, 2013
At this rate, why should I bother putting money in my 401k?

I was just talking with a friend about whether we thought things were going to be bad enough fast enough that we didn't need to worry about retirement. Our consensus was that we were slightly too old (late thirties and late forties) to trust to total social collapse coming in time.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:55 AM on March 6, 2013

Don't call it the Harlem Shake
The dance "craze" at the time was best described as "white man's overbite"—if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about.

What is the white man's overbite? I must know.

I've played music at some dance parties where the vast majority of people were white...I have mixed feelings about the whole "lol white people dancing" thing because if you spend some time watching a white... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:48 AM on March 5, 2013
Yes, we can all say that if I dance at all to popular music I am dancing styles originated by African Americans and therefore [reducing arguments about race, context and specifics to a flat abstraction]. But I'm still going to look and feel stupid if I try to twerk, and I'm still going to have people of color who I actually know think that it's a stupid, bad, culturally appropriative idea, even though they don't care if I'm also out there flailing away to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:59 AM on March 5, 2013

How Pegging Can Save the World
I read the Hugo "planning to murder his ex" piece when it was live. This is what I remember:

That he decided that he and his girlfriend would both be better off dead - both were depressed and messed up and drunks, if I remember correctly. He tried to kill them by turning on the gas but it didn't work.

The part that was creepy to a lot of people was how he had this whole sort of gross "I am so special and I was really messed up... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:43 PM on March 1, 2013
Or did he actually turn on the gas? Maybe he just planned to and was too high? Oh lord it was creepy though.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:44 PM on March 1, 2013
I mean, what would be nice would be if people could work through their anxieties (which I think are kind of about homophobia and toxic ideas of masculinity and femininity) to the point where people could genuinely try this whole pegging business to see whether they'd like it, not because it would be a social justice transformation but because quite a few people enjoy the process and it seems a shame to miss out because you have stupid received ideas that men... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:32 PM on March 2, 2013

Privilege to pee
Does anyone have any good links to accounts of the lived experience of gender dysphoria? That's the part about being trans that I have the most trouble understanding and empathising with - as a cis person, I've never felt "right" or that my genitalia and body fits my self-conception, I've just sort of bumbled along and dealt with things like the development of secondary sexual characteristics as they arose. I'd say that my physical body is pretty orthogonal to my... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:46 AM on February 27, 2013
I am just not sure what kind of "harassment" we're envisioning here.

1. I was harassed by girls in the girls' bathroom when I was a bullied child.

2. If a boy is going into the bathroom claiming that he identifies as a girl specifically in order to push his way into a stall with a girl, grab her, name call her, etc etc...those are things that should be stopped because of behavior, not gender. They are things that should be stopped if a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:48 AM on February 27, 2013
a) "The whole idea of 'gender' is a social construct and completely meaningless/damaging, especially to gay men and all women"

b) "My child is VERY firm in being a male/female and must be treated by these same norms as he/she wishes regardless of the wishes of the cisgendered majority"

This is actually an interesting question!

I feel like it's sort of a trick question, though,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:02 PM on February 27, 2013
Don't get me wrong - I'm all for allowing people who have gender-reassignment surgery switch the bathroom they use. These people have made significant sacrifices to change their lifestyle, so I'm willing to assume good faith on their part."

Until I started actually learning about this stuff, both for myself and because of my milieu, I had a lot of wrong ideas about how easy it is to access and afford gender-reassignment surgery,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:08 PM on February 27, 2013
I actually would like all the biological details. I know that surgery is expensive, and I have friends who can't afford it and have fundraisers and such, but I do not have any trans friends who do not want the surgery on anything but financial grounds. In fact, that has been raised a lot in the thread - that you have body parts that are wrong and don't belong there. I know if I woke up tomorrow with a penis I would freak out and try like hell to get it fixed. I cannot imagine, as a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:20 PM on February 27, 2013
end up with a working

Okay, that was a hugely bad way to phrase that. "Working" genitals are the ones that do what you want them to do. I was trying to get at "some folks would prefer not to have a surgically created penis that does not function in the way that a non-surgically-created one does in terms of getting hard and getting not-hard, etc".

I want to state clearly that everyone gets to pick!... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:27 PM on February 27, 2013
Including, among others, that they like the genitalia they currently have and see no need to change.

That too! I was thinking that but somehow got nervous about saying it because I feel some anxiety myself about not wanting to change certain aspects of my gender presentation and body because I am comfortable with them for me, even if they may read as feminine.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:30 PM on February 27, 2013
Also, thread, we seem to have forgotten that trans men exist. Either because of the situation in the FPP or because it's lazy to talk about trans women as a dangerous other, I don't know.

Trans men get a pass on a lot of this stuff while everyone panics about trans women, I think, due to a weird mixture of sexism and misogyny - it's really all about the centrality of cis men and their anxieties about their genitals. A trans woman must not be a real... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:13 AM on February 28, 2013
You know what? I've seen some penises in my time and they did not blind me. I am alternately bemused and disturbed by this whole "there is a penis in the locker room! Whatever shall we do?" line. If there's someone staring at you or behaving badly in some other way in the locker room, it's reasonable to complain. If you're not expecting a penis-having person in the locker room, it's reasonable to find out what is going on; if you are a penis-having person who... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:15 PM on March 1, 2013
(I add that as a girl-living person of eight years old, I was actively instructed by the staff at my local YMCA to use the boys' locker room - there was some work being done on the girls', the boys' was supposed to be cleared out for girls to use, but between the time that I left my stuff there and the time my swim lesson ended, the staff had finished the work and (very stupidly) decided that now girls should go back in the girls and boys in the boys. (I assumed they'd been... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:24 PM on March 1, 2013

Also, who is harmed by this accomodation? Colleen Francis still was able to use the locker room - even the main, big one. The swim team of girls got to have their own space.

Honestly, the accommodation is "eh" to me - I think things like that need to be worked out among people who treat each other respectfully as individuals. In some situations, that accommodation could be respectful - like, if Colleen Francis felt comfortable... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:35 PM on March 1, 2013

“New Orleans is easy pickings,”
We always used to call them crusties or gutter punks around here until a few years ago - but I have been told that "crusty" actually used to be a specific music subculture ("crustcore"?) and "gutter punk" was an aesthetic, where as "oogle" is about the whole drunk/dirty/patched/fucked-up thing.

I've met a lot of oogles from volunteering in radical and anarchist spaces. I used to know a traveller kid/para-oogle pretty well. (It was... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:43 PM on February 27, 2013

Effects of Bicycle Helmet Laws on Children's Injuries
I wrote a big post but then decided that I'd simply observe that I was a fat kid who rode my bike a lot. It's worth remembering that biking has lots of health benefits (and regular exercise mitigates a LOT of health problems that come along with being significantly fat so it is absolutely worth it and a good idea) but it doesn't mean that if you bike you will be thin, and it doesn't mean that if you're fat you aren't biking.

In fact, I am fairly fat... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:10 AM on February 27, 2013
I've never, never understood why helmet laws were such an issue. I cycle a fair amount (although that's gone down a bit since I got a motorcycle), grew up where helmets were mandatory until the age of 18 and wearing one just seems normal. The cheapest helmets run for $15, and some very well-rated and reviewed ones are still between $60 and $100. Not a huge investment in the long run. I could have stopped wearing on when I turned 18, but that would be ridiculous. And, as I did manage to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:58 AM on February 27, 2013
This is a bigger problem than helmets. Why should safety suffer because your cops are racist?

If the public safety benefit is marginal (which it obviously is, or the research would not be so equivocal), and there's no way to reign in the cops, it's foolish to give the cops more power to harass and assault. If we do not now have a police force that can be trusted to implement public policy so that it actually helps the public (and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:03 AM on February 27, 2013

The Channing Tatum America Didn't Know It Needed
I assumed they meant Rainer Werner Fassbender there for a minute, and I was thinking "a quart low on reliability, yes, but mystery?"
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:04 AM on February 24, 2013

The myth of universal love
....and guess what gender and race good old S. Asma belongs to? And his general physiognomy? Short, swarthy and chubby or blond, blue-eyed and thin? And his social class? Is he one of the few proles teaching at Columbia? A short look at Wikipedia is revealing.

My contention, speaking as a whitey of northern European descent, is that folks like me tend to feel that it's too much of a drag to be worrying about "fairness" and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:06 AM on February 22, 2013
Oh wait, he's at Columbia Chicago, not real Columbia.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:07 AM on February 22, 2013
Besides the impracticalities of such redistribution, the problems here are also conceptual. Say I bought a fancy pair of shoes for my son. In light of the one-tribe calculus of interests, I should probably give these shoes to someone who doesn’t have any. I do research and find a child in a poor part of Chicago who needs shoes to walk to school every day. So, I take them off my son (replacing them with Walmart tennis shoes) and head off to the impoverished Westside. On the way, I see a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:14 AM on February 22, 2013
or jsturgill's tl;dr version
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:14 AM on February 22, 2013
I mean, the whole problem is that it is just so blindly selfish and privilege-y to frame the whole "what do we do about human suffering" matter in this way - it's the "have you stopped beating your wife yet" of philosophy questions.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:16 AM on February 22, 2013
Nowhere, at all, does he suggest that we should not care about or attempt to alleviate the sufferings of people in other countries.

See, what I was trying to get at is this is the wrong way to frame things - the idea that "we" (implicitly white, educated, secure, privileged - arbiters, philosophers, masters) pick and choose how we allot our feelings (as we might develop an investment portfolio) among those closest to us and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:45 AM on February 22, 2013
These days middle class liberals seems far more concerned with equity than equality; with ending discrimination on the basis of irrelevant characteristics like gender and sexuality rather than ending poverty.

It's certainly worth reading the other linked posts, by the way - they show you precisely who you're dealing with.

In another post, someone was wondering who our Chesterton was....I'd almost nominate... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:50 AM on February 22, 2013
Zizek and Badiou, who are both communist philosophers

I'm assuming that "who are both communist philosophers" is not meant to be some kind of "see, see, left wing philosophers take a similar tack to Asma" (who I keep wanting to write Asda or Asbo) as some kind of "if you're objecting to Asma on political grounds you can't because Zizek"...even if you accept that "loving all" versus "loving some" is a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:34 PM on February 22, 2013
Frowner, that was meant to be an argument for left-wing misanthropy, which can have more beneficial impacts on humanity than all the pious sentimental pity in the world. Another problem: Asma's idea that the civil rights movement and feminism are a kind of tribalism also has something in common with anarcho-communist philosophy of Jacques Ranciere, where this would be solidarity with the oppressed.

I always wonder what the fuck Zizek has done for the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:41 PM on February 23, 2013

Blame Nirvana

Er, are these really all that weird? Or were pre-Nevermind major labels going through a very conservative phase?

Yes, actually.

That's why all these "weird" albums are so male and/or straight, why a lot of them hinge on the "scandal" of talking about assholes or shit, why they are simultaneously so self-serious and so non-intellectual. That doesn't mean they're all awful or... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:03 AM on February 22, 2013
And K Records! I had a lot of K records releases. And Kill Rock Stars. A lot of it is nauseatingly twee now.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:06 AM on February 22, 2013

The New Essayists
I wonder what responsibility David Foster Wallace bears for all this? Everyone is name-checking Sedaris, but when I read all this "I am behaving badly just as anyone would" worm's eye view of humanity, it seems like a lazy person's Wallace, a way of making a vaguely Wallace-esque observation but then totally letting oneself off the hook.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:26 AM on February 22, 2013

Leftover at 27?
Honestly, the actual articles make it sound like women are gaining power and choices and there's a lot of cultural pushback, but the power and choices are nonetheless real. I suspect that a lot of government rhetoric about leftover women is rooted in fear that women will be happy being "leftover", or will accept marrying later and making atypical choices about partners or children, or will marry foreign men.

I suspect that this is very... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:49 AM on February 21, 2013
China has a long, long way to go before they can have an anti-establisment movement that empowers individuals.

I guess I want to add that China has had all kinds of mass movements that empower individuals, from the awful and scary (the Cultural Revolution, which really did diffuse a lot of power in many ways) to labor organizing, women's rights movements, literary and cultural movements and mass uprisings like the Boxer Rebellion and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:31 AM on February 21, 2013
China has a long, long way to go before they can have an anti-establisment movement that empowers individuals.

And there's a lot of labor organizing and environmental stuff going on in China, or so I hear. Plus, of course, let's remember back to Tian An Men - that was not just Beijing, it was in cities all over. (Shanghai actually was not violently repressed - so I heard from a Shanghainese friend - because Beijing is always just a little bit afraid... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:34 AM on February 21, 2013
China has a long, long history of being occasionally nouveau riche and authoritarian with some ajustments at the top in the name of "reform",

See, I think this is a description that could apply to pretty much any "modern" state - it could certainly characterize the Harding administration or the first Roosevelt administration if you simply take it as a generality.

I mean, I speak as a white Westerner, so I'm... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:05 AM on February 21, 2013

Black History Month for White People.
"The most common racist behavior is white liberals lecturing everyone else on racism during Black History month.

I mean, I think there's some truth to this - that when white folks talk about racism, we need to be pretty careful and thoughtful, and even if we're doing absolutely our best possible, we're still going to hit some wrong notes, say some dumb stuff, etc. I think that when other white folks use this fact to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:07 AM on February 20, 2013
(I think that people of good will keep their eye on the ball - recognizing that organizers (especially white ones) are going to be flawed sometimes and fools sometimes, and that not being foolish isn't an option, but that it's still possible to come together at times to make things happen. - I don't mean "oh, don't criticize white people...I realized after reading corb's comment that this could sound like "don't say negative things when white people do dumb... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:16 AM on February 20, 2013

Why have the white British left London?
The [white] folks I know from the UK have talked about needing to leave London because it's so expensive and social policies are in place that make London more welcoming to global financial elites than ordinary people - London, like New York, is becoming more and more of an elite playground with a disenfranchised service staff. The people who they see as "replacing" them are the global wealthy - and since white people are, globally, a minority, it's no surprise than an influx of rich... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:45 AM on February 20, 2013

Privacy vs. Pseudonymity

Tumblr as I know it is about varying forms of social and racial justice and the accompanying drama, hatred, "that is not your image to reblog, culturally appropriative person!" stuff, etc etc. I'd say I have learned more from tumblr politically speaking than from any other platform, despite some of the drama.

It's a little disconcerting and very postmodern in a Fred "Ric" Jameson way to go from a post... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:03 AM on February 19, 2013

Can someone explain what is meant by the fuss/controversy about reblogging?

I suspect that there are many controversies over reblogging. Some include:

1. Reblogging while stripping away a key portion - ie, someone has written a comment about an image and you just reblog the image while still showing that it's a "reblog" - giving the impression that the person didn't make any comments
2.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:28 AM on February 19, 2013

Link between number of romantic partners you have and substance abuse
For some reason, this article/study makes me really uncomfortable. Maybe because it comes off as sort of slut-shaming? I think maybe my reaction here is a little knee-jerk, but I'll be interested in the other responses people have to this one.

Well,obviously one does not know why these things correlate - but if you want a totally speculative potential explanation that does not slut-shame, what about... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:09 AM on February 15, 2013

Super No
I am somewhat confused about why you'd hire Card to write Superman anyway - I mean, none of Card's work that I can think of is about Superman figures (Ender isn't superman; the kid in the proto-Mormons-plus-magic isn't Superman...maybe the closest figure to Superman is the heroine of Wyrms, and she's really more of a mopey, embittered Batman figure.)

Although in a way it makes sense - there's a lot more pressure... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:20 AM on February 14, 2013

One Billion Rising
I know this specific campaign is new, but Eve Ensler's been doing Valentine's Day (V-Day) performances of her Vagina Monologues (usually with proceeds donated to charities supporting women's interests) for a long time now. I wouldn't say that it's outside the usual channels.

See, to me the Vagina Monologues stuff is so far outside the usual channels of activism, whether non-profit-led or grassroots, as to barely count as activism or draw activists -... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:08 AM on February 14, 2013

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