Activity from Frowner

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Meet Addy
It always struck me (as a white person; I was just too old for these dolls when they started getting wider distribution in the nineties) that the Addy doll was maybe the most interesting, because she had a real story. The other dolls seemed historically inaccurate to me, despite their trappings. I remember thinking that it was so interesting that there could be this doll which was designed to recognize the existence and weight of slavery, which was something that not a lot of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:58 AM on May 29, 2015

Consciousness Began When the Gods Stopped Speaking
I find it a little troubling from a racial standpoint to suggest that the indigenous peoples of the Americas were not "conscious" at first contact. I mean, that's all kinds of fucked up.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:31 PM on May 28, 2015

Money for nothing
The first compact disc I ever purchased for myself - and indeed, the first one I had ever handled - was The Quality Of Mercy Is Not Strenen by the Mekons, an expensive import reissue. I do still have it...in fact, I think I still have virtually all my CDs.

The truth is, I listen to less music now because I hate dealing with MP3s. Also, I really miss making mix CDs for people. I admit that I do enjoy being able to hear just about… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:22 PM on May 28, 2015

"It’s embarrassing to be such a cliché"
(Re "breeder": As I encountered the term, it was an eighties thing that the gays/lesbians used to refer to straight people - an insult from a time when being gay or lesbian was a lot more universally stigmatized than it is now and when, although some GLBTQ people had children from earlier relationships, it was very, very difficult to have children with a partner. The point being, it was very much an insult aimed at a powerful, dominant and often hateful group by a very marginalized… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:58 AM on May 27, 2015
The thing is, we all might change our minds about big life choices. I wish I had gone on the Oxford Semester in college because I surmise that it would have set me on a much more fulfilling and respected career path. I could have - I qualified - but for stupid reasons, I didn't. I wish I'd gone to the fancy college that admitted me that I turned down for political reasons. If I'd done one of those two things, I would quite possibly have a much, much… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:15 PM on May 27, 2015
And that's one thing where I do feel sympathy for the childfree who feel guilt tripped. Because who the fuck doesn't want nice food and good vacations and fun activities and a nice home? I have a kid and still want those.

Or, honestly, "not to have to struggle to take kids on the bus because I can't afford a car; not to have to figure out how to make it on one salary because I'm never going to make more money than childcare costs and I'm unlikely… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:11 AM on May 28, 2015

American Idiocy - Vol.542
baby, it's time to boogie
before those fixed assets depreciate


Isn't this basically

"then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust"

only using an accounting metaphor? Slightly less lyrical, but the same idea.

In terms of songs about the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:28 PM on May 25, 2015
I think that a problem with the linked article is that the author doesn't have a clear fix on what she expects popular music to do and how this relates to the role of popular music through (let's say for the sake of argument) modern Western history.

We can infer from the rest of the website (which has some music articles) that the people associated with this project* want popular music to wake up the sheeple, convey important revolutionary information,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:11 AM on May 26, 2015
You know, yesterday at work someone did something that, though not their fault, was a fool thing and very frustrating, and I found myself waving my hands in the air to indicate that I did not care about making them feel better. (I mean, I did this alone in the office.) It wasn't much of a dance move, though, so I am now skeptical about the whole thing.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:42 AM on May 28, 2015

The Theology of Consensus
I've been part of organizations that operated by consensus for most decisions and that worked pretty well - at least as well as the similar organizations that ran on voting. (It's a mistake to think that voting solves the problems of power - holy gee, the faction building alone will break your heart, and one of the worst, most fucked up and racist processes I've ever been part of in a radical scene was run on a vote.)

A lot depends on your organization.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:16 AM on May 27, 2015
(I mean, if there is one thing that is truly bourgeois in activist circles, it is the idea that only Too Much Radicalism prevents a loose agglomeration of people with very different experiences, understandings and goals from coalescing immediately into a process-based group run like...run like what? Have you ever sat in on a union meeting? A faculty meeting? A neighborhood organization meeting? A grant proposal review group? Basically, I guess, middle class people expect… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:22 AM on May 27, 2015
( I really, really like the etat routlette thing, actually, and may propose it should I get back involved with a particular project.)

What would actually be useful might be gathering some information about times where consensus is felt to have worked, times where it failed, times where voting worked and times where voting failed.

I suspect, honestly, that there are plenty of organizations which have such foundational problems that any kind of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:48 AM on May 27, 2015
And one more comment - the single most important thing I've found in making groups work on any basis is to take the time to do appropriately chosen group-building stuff. Training for Change, an organization with a rather peculiar underlying ideology, has some excellent tools and trainings for achieving this - whatever little ability I've developed in this area, as an introvert and a grump, has almost all derived from being fortunate enough to attend a two-day intensive… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:58 AM on May 27, 2015
(drawing the pejorative "anarchist", you might add. I dunno, I am personally acquainted with probably ten people who call themselves Leninists and with two people who call themselves, incredibly enough, Stalinists - when I think about "Leninist" tactics, it is with some acquaintance with Leninists. The Stalinists are, I tend to think, mostly just confused.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:30 AM on May 27, 2015
It's simple, really.

Look at Occupy.

Look at Selma.


It's really, really important not to say that the primary difference between these events is one of decision-making process (and clothing choices??!!). This does a huge disservice to civil rights organizers by underestimating the depth and breadth of their work and the many years of organizing that culminated in events like Selma… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:22 AM on May 27, 2015
Some very useful organizations emerged from Occupy. I mean, I had no connection to the movement then or now, but calling it a failure because it (eventually) ended and gave way to other things is taking Occupy to be the termination point, rather than a beginning, of a movement, and that doesn't seem to match to the reality of how it drove organization in other ways and in other places (the movement for a higher minimum wage, Occupy Sandy, etc.).

See,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:04 PM on May 27, 2015
But Quakers, especially here in the midwest where I live, are a remarkably homogenous people with a comprehensive set of shared values. We value process over product; one of the very best business meetings I've ever been part of ended with us minuting our failure to achieve unity.

I think it's really important for us to have an understanding of when homogenousness is a virtue and when it's a flaw, because I think we often default to "all the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:49 PM on May 27, 2015

Doctoring, Without the Doctor

I assume that there is a supply problem for dentists as there is with doctors, where they control the number of medical school graduates and create barriers to doctors from overseas freely entering the profession here. (I assume that the theory is limiting supply will push up salaries, which clearly works, but at significant social costs.)


Part of the "supply problem" is also because to teach more dental students, you need more… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:26 AM on May 27, 2015

The Human Toll of Quiverfull
ernielundquist - i feel like i read a book at some point where the "wifely dutes/incest" thing was a plot point. i thought it was Bluest Eyes but it's not what i'm thinking of. but i know i've read of it before enough to know that it was "accepted" in just the way you describe. that people tut-tutted but did nothing.

There are fairy tales (versions of Katie Woodencloak and Thousandfur spring to mind) where after the wife dies, the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:20 AM on May 26, 2015

PUT AWAY YOUR FEET YOU HEATHEN
Wear whatever you like, but know that I will be judging you according to idiosyncratic preferences derived from childhood experience, random ideas picked up from books, my own deep fears about fitting in/being different and some fuzzy, largely inaccurate ideas about an idealized sartorial past! Plus some notions derived from received ideas about whiteness and masculinity! Know too that I will never turn my gaze on myself to wonder why I spend all this effort judging and so little effort… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:16 PM on May 22, 2015
Hooves and paws are filthy messes too, much of the time.

Ahem, my cat has beautiful paws, thank you.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2015
Wait, surely no one actually believes that cut off jeans are a blight on humanity? I would personally suggest some kind of desensitization therapy if that's the case - I mean, that must be like believing that t-shirts are a blight on humanity, or knit hats are.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:09 PM on May 24, 2015

"So, what do you do?"
"Have you ever heard of books about imaginary stories? They're a little bit like TV shows like Mad Men or Stargate Atlantis - things that never happened!"

[Checks for understanding, does not attempt to see if listener has any background in field]

"Those books are called fiction, and there's all different kinds! I teach a class about one kind!"

[Gently correct misapprehensions about… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:45 PM on May 23, 2015

Ouch. Nope, that isn't it at all, in my experience.


I mean, I should say that I know a number of professional, grant-holding scientists, and they generally seem quite well-socialized and perfectly able to give the elevator version of what they do. You would think it would just be the Significance portion of your average proposal, though.

I did get the tiniest taste of the difficulty of balancing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:57 PM on May 24, 2015

Unreal Food For The Real World
The driving force with this article isn't as much that she's a historian (notice how dodgily she employs historical example, even if her other work is better) but that she's writing for Jacobin and clearly swings marxist in some way. The key political aspect of the article is right at the end - she's basically saying "we need industrial food production to keep food prices low for the proletariat and we need to organize the proletariat who themselves… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:50 AM on May 23, 2015

"Has anyone ever told you that you look like someone famous?"
Some people think Sandra Bernhard is beautiful, for starters.

Most of the "Sandra Bernhard, despite being thin and having a conventionally attractive body, good skin, good hair and a wide, full-lipped mouth is actually ugly" business is about homophobia and fucked up racial double-binds around how we as a society read/rate large mouths - which are something highly desirable on some women some of the time, but which are then put down on other women at other… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:41 AM on May 22, 2015
Okay, Whelk, the only celebrity I even vaguely resemble is a fat James McAvoy. (I have an irrational fondness for James McAvoy for this reason, despite being virtually entirely unfamiliar with his work.) Now the question is, is this a transitive property? Can I safely visit New York, or is it the sort of place that can only handle one fat James McAvoy per metropolis?

I mean, my sense is that Based On Photos I Have Seen Of The Whelk, that whole "fat" bit may… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:31 PM on May 22, 2015

“There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking it-self is dangerous.”
Something occurs to me - when I was coming up in the nineties, Arendt was the Unacceptable Frankfurt Scholar because she was too centrist. Now it seems like she is the Unacceptable Frankfurt Scholar for entirely other reasons...I suppose it really boils down to the fact that she is both the best-known one and a woman.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:18 AM on May 21, 2015
As a non-Jewish person who has read Eichmann In Jerusalem (but who might not be familiar with any anti-Semitic undertones that would have been obvious when it was written) I did not find the widely criticized passages on the Jewish leadership in various countries to suggest anything negative that was particular to Jews. What I took away was very much "this is what happens in communities under terrible stress, and these are some bad decisions that… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:15 PM on May 21, 2015
I guess what also strikes me is how deep victim-blaming runs and how deep guilt and shame must run, since it's obvious that for a lot of people, even talking about those Jewish leaders who made bad or self-serving decisions is pretty much the same as saying "people deserved what they got" or inviting other people to say it. Which, I suppose, is a sign of my situation as a non-Jew, because I don't have to worry that people are going to say that my… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:30 PM on May 21, 2015
I feel like when people say "could Naziism happen here" they are usually asking two different questions -

The first one is a moral question - ie, could something of comparable moral horror happen in the US? Which, obviously, it could, did and does. That seems like an ethics-plus-history question.

The second is "could the same kind of social violence with the same intensity, visibility and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:55 AM on May 22, 2015

I’m never seeing my Astoria friends again!
Do you New Yorkers ever...meet each other at points equidistant from each others' homes? Here in flyover country, that's how I often see friends.

This whole thing is actually deeply reassuring - everyone I know in New York can't seem to get a date to save their lives and it used to make me feel inadequate by proxy, and I never understood that it's because y'all don't date outside a ten block radius.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:45 PM on May 21, 2015
WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT, Frowner lives in FLYOVER country? I just assumed San Francisco.

Yes, I live in a place known to all as "a cold Omaha". I don't want to blow up my spot or anything, but the rents are low, it's pretty liberal and we have a strong history of GLBTQ activism. Also it's very bike friendly.

I had this idle dream of moving to San Francisco right after the dot com crash but could never afford it now.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:09 PM on May 21, 2015

You can't outrun a bad diet
A friend started exercising and dropped close to a hundred pounds with no dietary changes. I started exercising and...dropped zero weight, slightly reconfigured my shape, gained a lot of strength, etc.

I think it's worth considering the whole "so far it seems virtually impossible for people [in the aggregate] to lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off, no matter what they eat or what they do" business.....sooooooo "go forth and exercise a lot… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:08 AM on May 18, 2015
The funny thing is that I didn't actually see much "body recomposition" until I started adding 30 minutes on the elliptical to each workout. I had begun with weights and pilates - first weight machines and then dumbells (because I wasn't flexible enough for good form on barbell squats) and while I gained some strength and flexibility, it wasn't until I was pushing myself on the elliptical that I began to see real changes in body shape in terms of thinner legs and flatter stomach.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:10 PM on May 21, 2015

Tortoises Try Tiny Pancakes (as classical music plays)
Honestly, this makes me think that like so many tiny cute things up to and including cats they are not actually cute, just tiny. Seriously, look at their beaky jaws! and scaly feet! And imagine them trampling Tokyo. Not so cute now, huh?

They would probably eat us if they were big enough, not unlike cats would.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:56 PM on May 21, 2015

“Being unseen is devastating, and so is not seeing.”
I thought this was a very good piece, essentially religious in its outlook. An optimistic vision of Norway that I would prefer to be true. What he writes about the "harmlessness" of Norway is pretty much my social vision, that hierarchies should get reduced and reduced until even profound disagreements have little power to really harm. Which is strange, because I think of Knausgaard as a very conservative writer.

I remember reading about all this on… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:55 AM on May 20, 2015

Can a single conversation change minds on divisive social issues? No.
I always wonder why people do that stuff. Part of me feels sorry for the grad student, even though I understand that he made those choices every step of the way - it's not like one little decision among many was bad.

It also makes me wonder just how many other similar papers are fake - what if this guy felt empowered to fake his stuff because there's more of a culture of fakery than we know?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:56 AM on May 20, 2015

I'd just need to exercise more, and hide my shell-cordovan boots
He's not a faculty member. The Stanford directory divides people into four groups: faculty, staff, students, and "affiliates," a sort of catch all category. He's an affiliate.

So when he's described as "faculty" in the ad, it's really just showing off? That's even better.

God why are people so terrible?

I recognize that group houses are really hard to put… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:53 AM on May 14, 2015
(That even leaves out people who, like, had to try different meds!)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:54 AM on May 14, 2015
Lakness is unemployed, per the article.

Oh, and they don't want anyone who has gone to protests because people who are political can be pushy. And yet, of course, they want to "save the world". Not through protest, naturally, that's pushy. Emma Goldman, Cesar Chavez, Silvia Rivera, Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners, ACT-UP, the protesters at Ferguson - all pushy, much too pushy to be housemates with.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:23 AM on May 14, 2015
Yeah, I remember that time that I lived with two girls who wore a lot of make-up. One of them also wore vintage dresses every day and the other one dressed in hard femme rocker get-up. I couldn't face the pressure that their appearances placed on me and so I said that they both had to start dressing like me and stop wearing make-up.

Also I made my other housemates stop reading books about math because it made me feel pressured to learn more math. And I made the cat… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:56 AM on May 14, 2015
I do not think this is a hoax. There's too much that's real-googleable and it seems like one could pretty easily figure out who some of the people alleged to live there actually are - one does not want to dox someone merely for being silly, but most of them are associated with Stanford and have rather idiosyncratic professions.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:24 PM on May 14, 2015
You know, I find it much easier to take now that it seems like this is just coming from one neurotic. I do understand the stress and madness of being de facto house parent, and one could easily see a sort of stubborn youngish person believing that he could force a successful group house into existence - the social version of engineer's disease. Really, he'd probably be better off hand-picking three or four friendly acquaintances who want long-term housing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:39 AM on May 20, 2015

Generational thinking is just a benign form of bigotry
This is so nice!

Since I’m a ‘Gen-X’er born in 1977, the conventional wisdom is that I’m supposed to be adaptable, independent, productive, and to have a good work/life balance.

This is not what they were saying about us in the nineties. It's a particularly hilarious illustration of how whoever is youngest will always be defined as the bad failures - we were bad failures when we were in our twenties, now it's the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:46 AM on May 19, 2015
My mother's parents fit it precisely, with the exception that they claim to vote Democrat so I'll always have certain aspects of healthcare. I don't argue with them because I'm living on stock dividends they gave me.

I mean, my point isn't that there are no evil selfish people of that generation - it's that as a blanket descriptor it's almost useless - and, I would argue, actively harmful when it's used to attack things that benefit… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:33 AM on May 19, 2015
But there are some clear and lasting differences in generations. The American WWII generation assumed power when the war ended, and basically ran the country until Clinton. It was their show for 50 years.

But who is "they"? Working class women? The black middle class? Latina lesbians? Mill workers from the Smokies?

There are some tightly defined ways in which "generational" analysis is useful - I think it… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:51 AM on May 19, 2015

Sex and gender doubleshot
I bet the reason Stars In My Pocket was not mentioned is that it's a really difficult book to get into and you don't get to the gender stuff until you've gotten through Rat Korga's story. In my experience, people who read relatively serious but popular SF and fantasy often don't read much Delany both because of the difficulty of some of his work and because of the way he is culturally positioned - it's all either pulp covers in old mass market paperbacks or those immensely… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:59 AM on May 19, 2015

Santa Monica says "Later, dude!" to AirBnB
I personally like staying at hotels, because I like the idea that at least some of my money goes to sustain working class jobs in the community; I like the idea that workers at hotels have some ability to unionize and I choose union hotels when I can; I like the idea that workers at hotels have some legal protection in terms of work standards, and I think those standards should be more aggressively enforced rather than junked entirely by privatizing lodging; and I like the idea that I have a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:22 PM on May 14, 2015

Dead Malls Make Excellent ReEducation Camps
WE DID ONLY GOOD THINGS TO SCIENCE FICTION. I WILL NEVER APOLOGIZE, EVEN IF YOU MAKE ME PLAY STUPID PHONE-BASED GAMES.

San Francisco, though - believe me, I regret it as much as you and possibly more since I remember what it once was.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:32 AM on May 14, 2015

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