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"By our unpaid labor and suffering..."
When folks are all "but if we pay reparations to African-Americans, what about Native people, what about.....etc, etc" my thought is "sure, why not"? Why not figure out some sort of reparation for everyone? Why not shake things up? We fought an entire series of bullshit engagements in the Middle East justified by a bunch of lies this past decade....and we can always find the money for that. We can find money for the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:44 AM on May 22, 2014

First misery, then boredom, then anxiety
I like this a lot. One of the things I like about it is the tone - very often, this type of piece is written in a tone (not a vocabulary) that makes me feel excluded, like it's for, you know, cool revolutionary people (or white rich people in their early twenties!) only. I can't quite put my finger on what creates this tone, but I noticed immediately that this piece was not written in it and did not make me think "yeah well all this radical theory obviously isn't for people like me,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:08 AM on May 22, 2014

Field testing
This is a good reminder - the community center where I volunteer needs to establish a "no Google Glass [or similar device]" policy pretty soon, before these things get more common. We also need to front and center our "no recording without permission" policy - in theory, that covers many of the drawbacks of Google Glass, but we have a lot of vulnerable people around and we don't want to create the feeling that someone could be recording them or being stalky in some other way... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:57 AM on May 21, 2014
Honestly, for me I'm far less worried about clandestine recording than the normalization of recording. If some creep comes in to the place I volunteer and he wants to record people clandestinely, that's really bad news - and we would have to totally redo our security practices if that happened. But what I worry about is the glassification of everything so that when we say "don't record, this is private", people are just like "what the fuck,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:25 AM on May 21, 2014
Glass is more likely to be a problem for me on a subway or in a Starbucks because, whoops, I wore a skirt or a scoop neck T-shirt and I bent over to pick up some litter. Tease.

I find myself wondering how ubiquitous personalized surveillance is going to change our whole experience of embodiment. In the past couple of years, I've found myself much more aware of how I am sitting or standing, whether what I am reading is visible to people, whether an... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:05 AM on May 21, 2014
It's not knowing, it's normalization. Right now, even though there's reddit creepshots and so on, a guy who does that is a gross asshole and his victims have some social traction. When it's totally normal to be filming people without permission all the time, all of the sudden everyone's body is a public body all the time and there's no social traction for pushback.

"Oh, it will just be a new social norm!" Yeah, that's... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:12 PM on May 21, 2014
(What I was trying to say, I think, is that the more socially vulnerable people are, the more need they are likely to have to compartmentalize their lives and maintain some privacy, and the more blowback privacy violations are likely to have. Someone who is wealthy and privileged will be less vulnerable to Stuff Being Revealed and will be less likely to have ordinary but disastrous secrets - the low wage worker with a chronic illness can be fired as a bad risk to their... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:41 PM on May 21, 2014

Babies & Toddlers: Social circle killers - also uber manipulative

Speaking as someone who never had kids, it seems like if people gave serious thought to what it means to have kids and raise them to adulthood, the population rate would plummet. I'm amazed and frequently shocked by the cynical-to-hateful things people say about their harried/frustrated/asexual lives as parents and their ungrateful/poorly-behaved/lazy/etc. kids while chatting around the water cooler/coffeepot. (Similar to the shocking things married people will blurt out to
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:27 AM on May 21, 2014

At least someone can afford to pay down their debts.
Now, they don't list how many folks left jobs. But, what roles are those 670 people doing ? I know the conservative riff is "gender and diversity specialist", but really, 670 administrators ?

Well, it seems reasonable that you'd be hiring more "administrators" than faculty (although that ratio is pretty terrible) because they usually lump in secretaries, grants administration, accountants, the person who manages memberships at the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:30 AM on May 19, 2014

CREW MUSTIE TUIE
My only concern about weeding is that...well, I am interested in old stuff. I'm interested in old small press and regional stuff in particular - I collect, for example, feminist science fiction from the seventies and eighties wherever I find it. I'm also interested in left-wing novels set in radical political milieux, regardless of quality. And in a bunch of other similar stuff where the point of looking at the thing is not "my goodness, this is just as entertaining as Harry Potter!... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:06 AM on May 17, 2014
If a book is unread in a library, does it provide information?

How often does a book have to be read to be valuable?

If a library houses, say, a collection of rare small press feminist novels which are accessed by interested parties and academics a few times a year, are those books useless? If they contribute to scholarship but are not read by a mass audience, are they useless? If I'm working on a book about radical history... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:12 AM on May 18, 2014

All sorrows are less with bread.
God, a low FODMAP diet is 100x worse than a low gluten diet!

Actually, I would much rather have people believe that gluten is the root of all evil than that FODMAP is/are...as soon as this research becomes better known, I am sure to have four or five friends who have decided that the FODMAP diet is for them, and that they are now avoiding stone fruits, cauliflower, onions, chocolate, apples, lentils, etc, while still being vegan and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:32 AM on May 14, 2014
(I mean, in fairness, I have a friend with pretty serious health issues who really can't eat most stuff - that does happen.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:33 AM on May 14, 2014

Meanwhile, most of the people I know who eat GF but aren't celiac do so for weightloss reasons or because they think it makes them feel better and again, I don't know why I should object to that because HOW DARE THEY REFUSE BREAD or something. No one has ever snatched a roll out of my mouth yelling "Bread is poison!" and so I don't feel obligated to hate on their desire to not have croutons on their salad, or to avoid crackers.
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:13 PM on May 14, 2014
Oh, and it's not appropriate to cook quinoa because quinoa imports destabilize the Bolivian economy, etc.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:14 PM on May 14, 2014
Frowner, have you considered telling your friends to STFU? They sound really awful.

They are, in many respects, delightful people. And I wouldn't need to cook for them if I didn't want to, and it's true that I have discovered a bunch of really tasty new recipes (ask me about maple caramel corn! Or popped amaranth bars with apricots and sesame seeds!) and it's true that I feel a lot more food guilt than I really need to...I've... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:25 PM on May 14, 2014
(While we're on the topic of food and people with restricted diets, I thought I would link this vegan salted caramel corn recipe since I've found it to be a great dessert/party food problem-solver.

I actually make it with maple syrup and soy-free buttery spread, and I boil the syrup to ~260 degrees, which takes 8 - 10 minutes....but I have served this to a great variety of people with a great variety of dietary restrictions, and it is always popular. Also, you can use... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:44 AM on May 15, 2014

"When you’re a fat woman, taking up space is an affront to femininity."
If people keep alienating people who keep trying to make a connection with you, flawed as they may consider it, where the fuck do this first group of people think they'll end up? With a group of people with a "pure" or "correct" ideology? Jesus H. Christ.

What actually strikes me - as a person who grew up a woman and has been varying degrees of fat their entire life* - is that I am so fucking sick of the whole... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:44 AM on May 14, 2014

You Think You Get It. YOU DONT YOU DONT YOU DONT!!!!!!!
I don't think those tweets are especially nonsensical - they seem precisely like what a smart kid with smart parents would tweet if he lived a life of great economic privilege but was not from a right-wing/one-percenter background. I think they're pretty cute, actually. That whole family seems like they're doing things just about as right as you can if you're in such a weird cultural position.

Almost anything is amusing if it's slotted into Garfield.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:19 AM on May 12, 2014
Besides, "You think you get it but you don't, you don't, you don't" is something I think all the time - sometimes directed at others with chagrin, sometimes directed at myself with chagrin and/or astonishment. "You think you get it but you don't" is a good thing to keep in mind in many aspects of life.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:26 AM on May 12, 2014

It's only supposed to be 30% of your income
The thing about the apodments is that sure, they'd be great if they were ~225 square feet and had a tiny kitchen. I would love a teeny apartment (except somehow I have a mortgage on a giant crumbling victorian instead) but 150 square feet is really, really small. My bedroom, which is a nice size but not a master suite giant suburban bedroom, is about 185 square feet, excluding the closet.

The funny thing is, I lived in an itty apartment that was, in its entireity,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:10 AM on May 11, 2014
I actually knew some folks who grew up in tiny, cramped apartments in Shanghai - like, one friend slept on the couch in the living/shared/dining room, her father had his own tiny room and the whole place would have been more cramped except her mother had died tragically young - and they wished they had more space. My students were six to a dorm room, and although people often had good friendships, they complained constantly about the sheer lack of space and quiet. I'm not saying that no one... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:55 AM on May 11, 2014

National Climate Assessment
Money can't save a rich person from lung cancer, but it's going to save them from the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of life on this planet? Right.

Well, I certainly hope so. If me and mine are going to die miserable deaths from heat, hunger or preventable disease, I'd at least like some assurance that two hundred years hence the world won't be just a few domed utopias with Henry Kissinger VI, the Reagan descendents and the Pinochet... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:48 AM on May 7, 2014

The "vast wasteland", revisited
Okay, all else aside: the average American watches five hours a day of TV? Really? Where do they find the time? Who are these people? Is it skewed really high by retired people? Even in my most miserable depressed period (student teaching!) when I'd come home, overeat, cry and watch TV until I could fall asleep, I never topped three hours per weeknight, and I thought I was watching a huge amount of TV.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:17 PM on May 5, 2014

On Being One's Own Fairy Godmother
There is some hilarity, for me, in the fact that this woman apparently experiences her life as one of abnormal, invisible fatness and homeliness while still being thin, blond and white. I'm not sure if this is because she's had a run of bad luck, lives in a really weird part of the world or has an unrealistic sense of how she is perceived.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:23 PM on May 3, 2014
The thing is, I have no doubt that she does experience feeling-bad-about-her-body, etc. I have no doubt that she gets the usual shit that women in media get, and that this is tough.

At the same time, there's something weird about the colonization of the "I'm going to live my life despite my imperfections" genre of speech by women who basically meet the beauty standard, who are already pretty much at the very top. It's like getting applauded... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:23 PM on May 3, 2014

Britpop: A British Disaster
Low rents and high living; devastating personal problems; out in Camden every night, tight as a boiled owl.

Oh my god, this was such a great essay. I mean, it's a jeremiad, but this guy - he's a few years older than me, and he's got it, that was the nineties.

A lot of this sudden buoyancy would have been from Ecstasy, of course – still, there was also a genuine sense of optimism in the real world, for a couple of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:47 PM on May 3, 2014

A Monstration In St. Petersburg
Wow. How incredibly clever. I am blown away.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:53 PM on May 2, 2014

Your crush mileage may vary.
At my 20th high school reunion I confessed to a woman that I had a crush on her in 4th grade. You wouldn't think something like that would still horrify someone, but you'd be wrong.

And this sort of thing is why I would rather gnaw off a forearm than go around revealing crushes. (I mean probably if I literally had to choose whether or not to gnaw off a forearm, I would tell people I had crushes on them instead. At least if it was... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:59 AM on May 2, 2014

"I think I'm an okay writer, but a very good storyteller."
I try to leave out the parts people skip.

I really like that - almost but not quite a paradox.

The thing is, it takes intelligence and skill to write successful schlock - it took me a long time to realize that.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:26 AM on May 1, 2014
The last unputdownable book I read was W.G. Sebald's Rings of Saturn, which has no plot movement whatsoever other than some guy wandering around Suffolk and feeling a vague sense of loss.

Oh, I've been wanting to read that forever! Thanks for reminding me that I need to take steps to obtain a copy.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:48 PM on May 1, 2014

The madness of the suburbs: who knows it but you?
I really like this. It's like a really good fanzine from the nineties somehow.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:08 AM on May 1, 2014

The world is headed for a post-antibiotic era
What I worry about isn't so much just getting an infection (although that worries me plenty); I worry about how much more dangerous surgery is going to become, and cancer treatment, and everything that lowers your resistance.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:00 AM on April 30, 2014
this is the first miracle he needs for his eventual canonization. can i be appointed as the advocate before the sacred congregation for the causes of saints if i'm not catholic?

Obama municipality.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:01 AM on April 30, 2014
While this pretty clearly effective against a whole bunch of infections, and is pretty clearly at least mostly safe, but there are good reasons why this strategy will probably never be used in the West.

Why can't we have the phages? Just capitalist wickedness?

I know some phage researchers and I have been consoling myself by thinking that phages may help with the antibiotics situation.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:31 AM on April 30, 2014

maybe this could've gone in my last post
Let's take bacon as an example... 30 to 45 minutes or so with a coffee maker, but five to seven minutes with a stove. Sometimes people are like "Oh, you must be stupid... Don't you realize that it's much more efficient to cook with a stove!!!???" ... OF COURSE I know that. But that's not the point. This is one of my main interests! I know it's an unusual one, but some people like to dance, sing, paint or race with cars. I don't. I like to try and make different things edible... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:26 AM on April 30, 2014
Do take note that she cooks a cat with the coffee maker. No joke.

It took me a while to be confident that this was a joke (although the photo where she is holding up the "dead" cat is pretty clearly posed, with a surprisingly compliant kitty). I think this is because I unconsciously associate 1. cooking lamb hearts; 2. "extreme" cooking; 3. Swedes (my family is Swedish-American with some degree of connection to Sweden remaining)... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:34 AM on April 30, 2014

The devourer and the devoured
This was a great essay - thank you for linking it! I'm especially interested in serious amateur scholarship like this. And the writing style was, I thought, very good - fluid and distinctive without being affected or cloying.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:34 AM on April 29, 2014
Maybe (probably) it's because I'm bitter from my own slightly fucked up childhood but anything that has a whiff of "this is not your problem, dear, this is MOMMY'S problem. See how much more mommy suffers!" just creeps me out a bit.

I think it's worth reading the essay - the point of the essay isn't "look how difficult the mother had it" at all. It's an attempt to establish what kinds of evidence exist for the entwinement of the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:28 PM on April 29, 2014

No Exit
On the other hand, this makes me feel great about having a pink collar "career" in a large midwestern city. "At least I don't need to attract venture funding and I have my own house with my own room and everything, and I don't need to have Google 'hangouts' with brogrammers or provide 'paleo plates' for wealthy people," I find myself saying.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:01 PM on April 25, 2014

Higher self-perceived attractiveness increases support for inequality

"What's surprising is that we find that most people seem to endorse hierarchy when they think they're attractive and oppose it when they think they're not," Belmi said.


It all depends on whose ox is gored - that's the great truth of social movements. I try to ignore this great truth as much as possible because it's too depressing and what the hell, in a hundred years we'll all be dead.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:44 AM on April 24, 2014

3 levels of lasers. It's rescanning the udder and looking for the teats
I keep find myself thinking about the brutal and miserable life of farm laborers (so brutal and miserable, in fact, that it looks pretty bad even in light-hearted and nostalgic books like All Creatures Great and Small) and I imagine a wonderful future where regular working people are all dead of starvation, preventable disease and war, and a tiny fraction of elite humanity - the descendents of the Pinochets, the Kissingers, the Fricks, the Thatchers - enjoys a paradisical... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:02 PM on April 23, 2014

"Everybody dies someday - At least I saw Provence first"
A lot of travel looks just like the postcard and you're not missing that much if you don't see it in person.

Honestly, there are five-minute sights. I've been to a couple of Famous Chinese Places (ruins, mostly, and god knows, the Great Wall at Badaling) where while it's cool to see it in person, it's...quick. (So obviously, plan your day around something other than Spending Hours At The Ming Tombs.)... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:28 AM on April 22, 2014

Growing-ups
I add that the fiftysomethings and the millenials should not fight but should join forces - they have even more in common than the rest of the working class. The millenials have nothing, the fiftysomethings basically stand to lose everything if Even One Little Thing goes wrong, and then they'll be in the same employment boat as the millenials except older and creakier.

"Kids today are so lazy and selfish, their parents should just kick them out" and "you... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:02 PM on April 18, 2014
That sounds great, Frowner. It would be nice if fiftysomethings voted like they wanted to join forces with young people instead of voting, like, the opposite of that.

Look, 47% of the fiftyish people voted for Obama and tend to vote leftishly. (I mean, for certain values of "left", but I think an awful lot of those people would be glad to vote for a lefter candidate. ) That's a huge number of people. Lots of fiftyish... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:10 PM on April 18, 2014
(Also, it just seems insane to me, the amount of ressentiment in this whole discourse - "oh, I hate working class blue collar democrat baby boomers because their union got them a pension deal, what can I do to help the Republicans and our corporate masters loot their pension system?" It also buys into a lot of right wing stuff. Why do people get pensions? Because their union negotiated for them and the workers and their employers paid into them, or because the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:15 PM on April 18, 2014
Frowner, I don't see anyone here arguing that anyone's pensions should be taken away. I would love to see a resurgence of pensions.

But everyone is always saying the equivalent of "look at those spoiled older people living in luxury - we don't get pensions". What is that except sheer resentment? I never hear people say "look at those older people - how can we get what they're having?" And I never hear people... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:23 PM on April 18, 2014
I love having the option to move far away and happily availed myself of it. But more and more I realize that for many, even most, people it's weird and can be severely disruptive. The endlessly relocatable worker-cog ideal aside, you can end up in a part of the country you've never been, feeling culture shock you didn't expect, trying to work through a job hunt with few resources and no one to give you a hand. I think that's much more of a barrier than a town's perceived dullness... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:11 AM on April 22, 2014

Mali's Ancient Manuscripts
I just want to say that thanks to the "Americans don't know enough geography" turn in a recent thread on the blue, I did a bunch of geography quizzes, I can visualize Mali on a map and I know where it is in relation to various nearby Important Things - and yes, this does help me to understand the story and the situation. Geography seems to be worth the effort.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:51 AM on April 22, 2014

15 famous landmarks, put into context
The Forbidden City is actually right next to Beihai Park, which is Very Large For That Type Of Thing. The Forbidden City itself, IMO, seems much bigger than it is. I've biked past and around it many times (sadly, not in recent years) and walked through it a couple of times. It feels pretty epic, especially if you go in the off season. Part of that is by design. The thing that's surprising to me is how little there is that feels human scale and private, unlike other big famous places I've... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:59 PM on April 19, 2014

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