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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

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

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.

… [more]
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

Keep Korma and Curry On
As far as how one might have gotten through thirty years without any Indian food whatsoever - another factor is the revolution in food distribution of the last fifteen years or so, probably coupled with there simply being an increasing number of Indian-American and/or Indian people in the US.

When I was in college - not yet twenty years ago! - to get ramen required a trip into the big city. Oh, you could get Cup O'Noodle, and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:19 PM on March 3, 2015
I think something that's understated when it comes to commercial Indian food is the vast amount of fat and salt in it. Indian can be very healthy indeed, but I think if most people realised how much ghee and salt (and oft-times cream as well) went into the Indian they get in restaurants, they would be genuinely staggered.

This would be a more persuasive argument if home-made Indian food were not also delicious, though. Oftentimes even more delicious, given someone who is a pretty decent cook.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:06 PM on March 3, 2015

nya nya nya nya
My goodness, they could come film at my house, a corner of Minneapolis where One Cat Holds Sway Over All. Various cat witches (known locally as "food apes") periodically issue forth to cast various kinds of fish and fish-related food into the maw of the Great Old Cat One.

(Actually, yesterday we found out that the cat will deign to accept small bits of pate de campagne even though it's not fish. That was pretty exciting.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:58 AM on March 3, 2015

Go together like peanut butter and babies.
I only hand wash my dishes with natural, sustainably harvested sea sponges, because I just care a little more about my kids than most people

Yes, and guess which gender of parent will be doing most of the hand-washing going forward? I bet we'll discover that washing clothes, sheets and diapers in the washing machine is also too sanitary.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:42 AM on February 25, 2015
(Just to provide a counter-argument to the "oh, hand-washing dishes isn't so bad" business) : I actually hand wash all my dishes and I sure would like a dishwasher. My family got one when I was about fourteen and I remember quite well how much easier everything got, even with having to scrub a couple of pans every night - this is particularly true because I was the one with primary dish responsibility, and I know for a fact that it was a lot less work after the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:07 AM on February 25, 2015
Benadryl does exactly nada if you're going into anaphylaxis though.

I was actually told by an EMT friend (who might have been totally wrong!) that in an emergency situation with no better options nearby crushed up benadryl (or with the capsules broken open) was a way to attempt to keep someone able to breath until better help could arrive. Maybe this isn't the case, but I always carry some benadryl anyway because I worry. ( For… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:46 AM on February 26, 2015

“Do you have a Christmas album by Aryan Neville?”
Teenage girl asks for classic rock gift suggestions for her dad.
Clerk: “How about Alice Cooper?”
Girl: “Oh no, he hates female singers”

Well, that one really isn't especially fair. But the others are fair.

I was very fortunate in that, during my prime record-buying years, Oarfolk Records (of sacred Minneapolis memory) employed a very nice girl with blue hair and engineer boots and the overall… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:51 AM on February 26, 2015
It's interesting how differently it's possible to read these. I read them very much as "I am the type of person who also expects librarians to tell me what a book is based on the fact that the cover was red, and then I get all huffy about public servants when they can't"....people who feel that anyone in retail (or any kind of public-facing) job has to be a mind-reader and they, the public, have zero responsibility for thinking their request through. (ie, "why won't you sell… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:09 AM on February 26, 2015
The VK page admin was quite professional and answered only with a, "I need a little more detail to help you identify it, please!"

I mean, I think that if the linked article indicated that all these guys gave just mean, crushing responses to the various silly questions, then I would dislike it. I think it's okay to laugh a little bit at someone's silly question (every time I've been in a public-facing retail or volunteer… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:18 AM on February 26, 2015

But Blue she said women not just white women
I really, really wish people would read some history and then work with, like, an intelligent publicist before coming out with this stuff. When someone "obviously means" one thing but their unconscious biases lead them to actually say quite another, it is disturbing and makes it difficult to trust the whole message. Someone who actually routinely thinks that, like, black women and queer women and queer black women all… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:46 AM on February 23, 2015
And of course, PA wasn't just, like, chatting on metafilter and making an off-the-cuff, oversimplified statement - the bar is way lower for those, IMO. She planned this, I assume pretty carefully. And that means hey, treat it like any big serious speech and have enough people vet it to make sure that you say precisely what you mean to convey when you are being your best and most thoughtful self.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:50 AM on February 23, 2015

A thoroughgoing rejection of science, technology, and reason itself.
Science is not an institution or a belief, it's a method. It is a very successful method of drawing tentative conclusions about the world around us, and then testing those conclusions, removing or replacing the ones that do not hold up to further empirical observations. Dispute the institutional application of the method if you want, but don't confuse the two, because they are not the same.

I dunno, the more scientists I meet socially and at work, the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:08 AM on February 23, 2015

"I sat in the middle of a catastrophe."
I will look for Jenny Diski's books now - I had no idea that she even existed, although I've read most of Doris Lessing's work and some of the work of people associated with her.

Doris Lessing was, I think, not a nice person. That "Doris and Me" essay is a bit of a shock.

I mean, I'd never really thought that Doris Lessing was a nice person - her books are, substantially, about spite, and sometimes… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:42 AM on February 22, 2015
Also, would it have killed her to say "If it turns out that I really don't like you and can't live with you, I'm not sure what we'll do but you won't be homeless"?

I mean, for fuck's sake, characters in The Four Gated City are capable of that much.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:45 AM on February 22, 2015
Did you have a chance to read all of Diski's memoir stuff? There's part where Diski gets all freaked out and anxious and depressed and finally gets it together to ask Lessing, basically, "you've taken me in and my parents don't want me back and what if you don't like me now that you're stuck with me?" And Doris Lessing gets so angry that she can't speak, storms out, goes round to friends, is absolutely furious - comes back and writes the girl a letter about how she has to grow up,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:57 PM on February 22, 2015

Defensive Architecture Keeping Poverty Unseen
It's worth reading the author's short essay about his own homelessness, which is linked in the article - he was working the whole time. It fills me with rage and hatred and reminds me - funnily enough- of this old nineties comic, The Angriest Dog In The World, about a dog who is so paralyzed with rage that he can neither move nor make noise. I would hit things if there were anything to hit.

During my homelessness, I showered at the public… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:56 AM on February 20, 2015
It interests me that while I've seen a sharp uptick in this type of architecture in Minneapolis, I actually never saw a lot of unhoused people hanging out in the first place. I mean, there are places where people go, but most of this stuff around here seems designed to prevent, say, one homeless dude from - for one single hour! - sitting on a bench somewhere. And as a result, of course, it means that bus shelters and train stations are horribly inhospitable.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:12 PM on February 20, 2015

How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life

It's not that complicated; if you decide to be nasty in public, other people can publicly point out your nastiness.

But our thresholds for nastiness vary quite a lot, and we don't have a mechanism for sorting this out other than "ignore" or "pile on and try to get someone fired". What happens when I think that someone's remark about genderqueer people is just kind of stupid and some other genderqueer person thinks… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:38 PM on February 12, 2015
I think it's perfectly legit to say "I am uneasy with a crowd-sourced punishment system which varies wildly from day to day and depends tremendously on who is being punished and for what". It's not as if the issue on the table is only "should people who create varying degrees of racist tweet be accountable in some consistent and proportional way for this in other areas of their lives" - that's a question that we might stand a chance of answering with… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:49 PM on February 12, 2015
The thing is, when someone gets fired/faces large life consequences for their actions, they're not facing those consequences because their employer/school/etc cares about being anti-racist or feminist, etc - which is why the woman who reported the dongle joke was fired. The employer/etc cares about avoiding DDoS attacks, being shamed on social media and so on. Which is why there are lots of cases like Adria's, or people getting fired for being outed as trans on social media,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:34 AM on February 13, 2015
I'm not. They didn't want someone running their PR who thought it was amusing to make public racist remarks. I think they were entirely right.

And racist remarks - like homophobic and misogynist remarks - call into question whether that person can work with people of color, women, GLBTQ people and those white/male/straight people who have friends/lovers/partners/children who are POC, women, GLBTQ etc. If someone makes racist remarks about… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:40 PM on February 13, 2015
That Adria Richards article over at Shakesville is very, very worth reading - for one thing, Richards points out some factual errors in how the story was reported.

It really illustrates how who you are depends on how the internet rage machine treats you, and that the more privilege you have going in - I would argue especially racial privilege - the more recoverable things are for you.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:12 AM on February 20, 2015
Adria Richards also points out that although she does not identify as a feminist and has pointed this out online, her actions were framed as feminist by her attackers (and implicitly, her alleged feminism was used to help whip up the mob into a frenzy). That sheds some interesting light on certain internet discourses around "feminism".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:15 AM on February 20, 2015

The Starlost
Oh my goodness, I remember Ellison's essay "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto" about the Starlost.

I particularly remember the part where he said that - and the action is supposed to take place inside an enormous generation ship with large, enclosed communities - since the camera could not film distances of more than one mile, the director said that the plot had to describe these enclosed societies as no more than one mile in… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:33 PM on February 19, 2015

Shoes were worse, table manners were better, and they had dragons

Most of this is super awesome -- but the medievalpoc blog is... problematic in it's own right (the blogger has made some alarmingly racist claims of their own, and has some ties to some really questionable people)

While I would really, really not want to get into the usual set of arguments around medievalpoc (ie, I don't especially want to discuss folks' opinions of her scholarship unless we can bring special expertise of our own to bear,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:28 PM on February 19, 2015
I was also somewhat peeved that basically the only reference it made to any particular time or place was to 14th century England, when "Medieval Europe" could conceivably encompass anything from Visigothic Iberia to the Golden Horde in Russia, Swedish Jarls, or the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. There's a natural bias in the Anglophone world to assume that what happened in England is typical of the whole continent and that whatever we imagined went on in the Hundred Years… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:06 PM on February 19, 2015

You need housing to achieve stability, not the other way around.
I've actually known a couple of homeless people - now housed, though both precariously - pretty well. I also shared housing with a guy who had been in and out of homelessness and who was dropped into homelessness again after we could no longer handle living with him and the alternative housing he found did not work out. (That was a decision that I regret, actually - I was a lot younger and I think I should have worked stuff out instead of bailing.) I'd say that I have known a reasonable… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:01 PM on February 19, 2015

"If you can move at a slow shamble, we can use you."
David Cameron is the worst and the UK sounds more and more like V for Vendetta every day. I cannot get used to the UK sounding worse than the US - that just absolutely does not compute to me. I mean, how can all these people be so awful? How, how? They're awful and stupid and they're supposed to be well-educated - it's not just that they're evil, it's that the don't even fucking read the research. This is a country… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:50 AM on February 17, 2015
I have grown up constantly and miserably aware of how much space I take up. I cringe inwardly to this day when I pass a group of teenage boys because I am expecting them to yell an insult at me.

Oh, dude, I hear that - the hypervigilance, the anxiety. It was really, really fucking hard for me to go to the gym because I freak out in locker rooms. I feel really proud of myself, in fact, that I can usually get changed (quickly, in a corner) now without… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:51 AM on February 17, 2015
I think it might be useful to distinguish between "I like doing this" and "this is a morally good thing to do, just like creating a social safety net or giving your homeless friend a place to crash". It might even be useful to distinguish between "I notice that my health is better because I do this" and "improving your health is a moral act, like creating a social safety net or giving a homeless friend a place to crash". Particularly, it is useful to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:32 AM on February 17, 2015
The moral cost to obesity is the homeless veteran that was denied housing, the food bank that has to close, and the government that can't fund public education because the government is budget-restricted. Those are all real costs.

Really? Really? That's the actual trade-off? Services to fat people - who are fat because they are bad, or else they would make themselves thin - are what is driving cuts to the VA and the schools?… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:23 PM on February 17, 2015

We are way past joking.
Okay, I have the world's most selfish question, here:

I will be in Boston for work (admin support for a ginormous conference) in mid-March. I'm also spending a couple of days just, you know, hanging out in Boston. I'll be pretty much in the city center, lodging-wise. I think that one day I'll probably go to Cambridge to do nothing but visit bookstores. The other day will be for museums and food.

First, just how difficult are things likely to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:25 AM on February 17, 2015

“We clamor for our own stories, to see ourselves in narratives..."
That feeling that white people should not be writing work that centers people of color - I really kind of get that. Whenever I encounter a novel by a man that is supposed to be this deep and profound portrait of a woman character, or when I encounter queer characters written by straight writers, I feel anxious and uncomfortable - partly because I feel like people writing from a position of privilege always get to tell those stories, and partly because I feel like I'm just… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:41 AM on February 17, 2015

If "50 Shades" had been written by a man.
I mean, some of these are pretty funny. (The duvet one, but perhaps that's just because my house is so cold.)

But the framing device is just the usual "whatever women's sexual desires can be imagined to be is wrong". If women don't want sex, or want a relationship rather than a hook-up or aren't nubile nymphets, then it's important to allege that all men everywhere are total horndogs who think about sex, on average, every seven seconds and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:07 PM on February 15, 2015
Fifty Shades of Socialist Feminism is funny. Also really cold and ruthless in a way that even left-wing women journalists are not encouraged to write characters.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:45 PM on February 16, 2015

No Pain, No Gain
One thing that bothers me about the Fifty Shades of Grey lolling/critique: the way the audience is always characterized as "housewives", with genial tolerance or genial contempt depending on the writer. (Admittedly, I have only read the Pervocracy recap and not the actual books, and they sound pretty ghastly.)

Part of this is a class thing - like, I have not known anyone who is actually a "housewife" in many years, because I don't… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:16 AM on February 13, 2015
With regard to today's lolling, you are the only person who's mentioned housewives thus far

Actually there are several references to housewives in the reviews that have been linked in this thread, the mamamia one in particular, and it's a trope in several celebrated internet recaps - the Jenny Trout one in particular. I've also seen it in reviews in the past few days (Salon, I think.). I should have made that clearer, though.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:27 AM on February 13, 2015
So, references to housewives are a thing that you've seen, but not "always" at all. It just seems weird to pretend that it is more of a running theme than it is, especially when people are clearly finding a million other reasons to have problems with 50SOG.

But I feel like it is a running theme - okay, it isn't literally true that every single review on the internet calls the book porn for housewives, but… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:42 AM on February 13, 2015

The musicians you don’t know will bore you to death
In the early days, that's how the band Low's shows always were. People would literally sit cross-legged on the floor in complete silence leaning in to catch every last note. It was really a beautiful experience for me, but I wouldn't criticize anyone else for finding it creepy or boring

Oh, ha ha, I think I saw a couple of those early Low shows. I had a friend who was super into them.

I was not mature enough to appreciate the experience, although I found the shows pleasant.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:29 PM on February 12, 2015

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