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Growing Up in a Cocoon
The first comment on that story....yeeesh.

It is an accurate title.

Sorry, that's not really a supportable argument.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:02 PM on February 22, 2014
there were numerous causes

Oy. Yes, there were. There were conditions that made it likely and no war erupts because of a single causal factor. And yet, when South Carolina seceded, they seceded specifically over slavery - they say so overtly in their Declaration of Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union. When it comes to talking about causes, it makes a good lot of sense to listen to the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:08 PM on February 22, 2014
Brandon Blatcher: as it happens I asked an AskMetaFilter question about re-enacting years ago and found that it's not uniquely American, which surprised me. If you mean re-enacting specifically Civil War battles, then I'm not sure.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:22 PM on February 22, 2014
Apparently at least Germans do it.

There's no way to make the states' rights argument without also saying that Black people aren't human beings; its only utility is the (rather shallow) concealment of that claim.

Absolutely. And the whole idea of saying the Northern states committed the first hostilities neatly skips over the fact that the Southern states were actually holding millions of people hostage under a violent... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:25 PM on February 22, 2014
Eh? Regardless of...

You missed my last comment. Read up.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:33 PM on February 22, 2014
Even aside from the holding of human beings as hostages, it was the federal government's refusal to give up the federal fort at Sumter that prompted the South to fire those first shots. They were simply defending what belonged to the Union - it was clear from the multiple previous seizures the rebelling states had made that the Confederacy had begun an armed attempt to, indeed, occupy federal property. If that doesn't qualify as initiating hostilities I can't imagine what would. It would... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:40 PM on February 22, 2014
on of our civilian instructors told the platoon that "if you're stationed south of the Mason-Dixon Line, you're part of an occupying army,"

That's kinda funny in light of how hard Fort Gordon and the surrounding communities worked to be spared from BRAC. People were begging the army, and its thousands of jobs, to keep on occupying.

This stuff is like that first comment in the thread of that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:10 PM on February 22, 2014
In the sense that it's a social tension, okay. Then the productive question is "what would it take for it to be over?"
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:18 PM on February 22, 2014
I think some people feel (and then bolster that feeling with rhetoric thought) that the South or any state could leave for whatever reason it felt like or no reason at all,because to deny that is to allow government control over one's actions.

This is probably the sentiment today, but it's mind-twisting that it's the exact opposite of the secessionists - they were pissed that the federal government did not exert control over... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:43 PM on February 22, 2014
Doesn't the Confederate Constitution ban the abolition of slavery?

Yes:

Article I Section 9(4)
No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.

posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:56 PM on February 22, 2014
and yet they're held more personally responsible for it. Of course, they have all benefited from being white in America regardless of their family line's relative culpability.

I really don't think that [Southerners] are held more personally responsible for slavery. What some of them - and some Northerners too - are held personally responsible for is their impulse to continue debating a bad-faith point, and to use that debate to elide and avoid the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 12:30 PM on February 23, 2014
Just a note, "legitimate" has a meaning. Well, it has meanings, a colloquial one (something like "real") and a specific one, meaning "conforming to the law or to rules." In the specific definition, legitimacy is not in the eye of the beholder - it's in the degree of conformity to the rules in place. I think much of the argument is coming from a quibble over which meaning of "legitimate" is in play.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:36 AM on February 24, 2014
It wasn't really about slavery at the begining either

It certainly was - abolition wasn't the only question; much of the legal activity was about limiting the expansion of slavery.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:38 AM on February 24, 2014
Miko, the argument isn't over the defintion of legitimate, it's over whether that concept has any real meaning.

I agree with you in general about the philosophical aspects of legitimate - the Revolutionaries would have been treasonists if they'd lost. The Treaty of Paris confirmed their legitimacy as a nation and formal diplomacy began soon after that. But legitimacy in a government is also a product of recognition by other governments. No existing... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 9:49 AM on February 24, 2014
Howard Zinn has done something important in history, and is often admired for raising up for discussion generally suppressed histories in America, but he is not regarded as a very good historian in academic terms. He's too polemical. His work is more important outside academia than inside it. It's a mistake to conflate "Howard Zinn" with "leftist historians" - those are Venn diagrams with only a little overlap. People outside the academy tend to overestimate his scholarly... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 5:56 AM on February 26, 2014
Hm. But usually when you win you get to be thought of as a freedom fighter.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:50 AM on March 4, 2014
Why do you think that person was stupid? There are a lot of possibilites about why he wouldn't sell -- possibilities which include her being very valuable/skilled/hard to replace, and also her being the target of the owner's sexual interest, or the special favorite of a family member.

That's what this is about - an system in which cash isn't the only king. Legal owners of property can do with it what they want - even destroy it.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 11:19 AM on March 4, 2014
Vesey wasn't a slave any more when this went down.

I understand the facts of the matter as well as you, localroger, but I think your point of view is naive. It would not necessarily occur to the owner that Vesey, even as a free black man, could do or would dare to do him any ill in an act of revenge. This was a total white-dominated police state. It's not as though people were fully empowered or seen as full citizens and independent men because they had manumission... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 2:50 PM on March 4, 2014
Yeah, I have to agree, localroger. You vastly underestimate the power network of the white owner class - total hegemony. It's appealing, I'm sure, to think that if they were just as smart as you they'd know enough to fear, not dismiss, the enemies they made daily, but they were as smart, and some much smarter. The idea that you knew if you did a black person wrong on the individual level, they might feel empowered to enact retribution that you'd have to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 3:35 PM on March 4, 2014
I can't figure out why there aren't.

Because people, on the whole, are smart enough to do a simple risk/benefit calculation. You usually don't win against the house. We aren't all revolutionaries .
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 4:07 PM on March 4, 2014
They thought owning people was fine.

And that thought distinguished them from the many people at the time who articulated a clear moral objection to it. They had the opportunity to consider not owning people, and they rejected it. Relativism does not apply; they lived in the same moral universe, with access to the same ideas, that we do.

I have no problem understanding this as evil. People are capable of evil. They do evil... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:07 AM on March 5, 2014
Almost universally, unless we are careful and lucky in who we put in authority over us, we are all Eichmann.

I tend to agree, though I place serious weight on the power of individual moral reasoning and the examples of people who did attempt to change the systems they were within convinces me that people did have the opportunity to consider and object. They made moral decisions. We all make them, all the time - insofar as that,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:55 AM on March 5, 2014
What I'm suggesting is that your average Southerner benefiting from slavery did not often have exposure to clear, cogent, complete arguments for immediate abolition

You're arguing it based on what?

It's just not true, corb. Sorry. Facts are against you.

I get a strong whiff of trolling.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 10:21 AM on March 5, 2014
I just realized I meant to respond to this:

Did war reenactments start with the Civil War or originally center only on the South, or something?

They actually started during Reconstruction, at annual picnic-type events which honored Civil War veterans in both North and South. A whole lot of our public memory of the Civil War can be traced to the atmosphere around those picnics, which influenced more people directly than even... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 6:02 AM on March 6, 2014
. Reenacting the battles that actually took place there and in general sort of acting as docents and historical interpreters at specific Civil War oriented sites.

Yeah, even those are usually private associations, not employees of the site - just hired for the event. Many of them do a decent job running interactive educational experiences, kids' games, and sharing historical information. There is a vast, amazing network of living history reenactors... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 1:33 PM on March 6, 2014
I do like the idea of rogue historical reenactors roaming the countryside, though.

Me too. I'd be all over that.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 4:35 PM on March 6, 2014
They understand that war is bad, m'kay, but inasmuch as it has happened anyway it involves a lot of totally cool forces colliding in ways worth studying and remembering.

Yeah, and I'm sometimes really moved talking to veterans about their combat experiences - because even when they were objectively "bad," they were also very powerful and unique, and those people felt emotions they had never access to before and in many cases never really... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 4:38 PM on March 6, 2014

Doctors: Buy Visine but buy other things with it
Wow, the refresh experience is....really something. Glad I'm 100% stone cold.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:58 PM on March 4, 2014
Nothing on refresh here either, tried in two browsers. Onion video does not have a great compatibility track record so no surprises.

I'm not sure if waited through the first half of the video before determining nothing had changed - but the first part of the video is the same for all of them.

If that didn't work, you can just use the links to the individual videos at the top of the thread.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 5:14 AM on March 6, 2014

Dahl, Ogilvy, Fleming, Coward: Churchill's little dirty trick squad
I just read the book The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington which is all about this. Actually, I read about 2/3 of it. I flagged after a while; it really got down in the dry diplomatic detail of air rights and the future of gas prices and so forth. It was pretty darn intriguing, though, to imagine this time - and it is a lot more "blackmail and cajole" than this interview lets on.

It's not much that you wouldn't expect these... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 9:22 PM on March 3, 2014

The Philadelphia Accent
See also Sean Monahan

I'm so glad he came up. I've been sitting on those Philly Tawk videos for a long time thinking of making a post, and hadn't gotten around to it. He's very, very good.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 9:53 PM on March 2, 2014
Just a note, snowcones and water ice ("wooder ice") are different. Italian ice is even different. They're all variants. Italian ice is frozen fairly hard and is a cohesive mass. Water ice is quite soft, one step stiffer than a slushie. Snowcones have large ice granules which are doused with syrup. They're related but unique not just in name, but composition.

It confuses matters that outside Philly, "Rita's Water Ice" carries the name "Rita's... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 9:55 PM on March 2, 2014
I lived in Philly for a few years, taught school there. One of the things that totally puzzled me at first was the kindergarten kids asking for "Crowns."

They meant "Crayons."

The other thing that struck my ear strangely at first was "Hollow-een" for "Halloween."

I didn't even grow up that far away - on the northern end of the Jersey Shore. We had a totally different accent, 1.5... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 10:12 AM on March 3, 2014
Don't forget mischief night.

We had that growing up in NJ so it didn't seem funny to me. But it was a total shock to realize that almost no other part of the country even has it.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 3:20 PM on March 3, 2014

But you should see the size of the ones that got away
Pretty much true throughout the Atlantic across a great number of commercially fished species - in the 50s it was routine to land 50# cod and 400# halibut. Today, an 8# cod is considered huge.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:17 AM on March 3, 2014

Scale invariant art
Fractalicious.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:33 PM on February 27, 2014

Meanwhile, back in the People's Republic of Zuckerstan...
I gave it a good read. I think the author has some pretty important points that offer a rare breath of fresh skepticism for the hullaballo in Boston and elsewhere around "innovation." "How new is this future, really?" It's worth asking, and worth examining the social costs and community impact of the breathlessly plumped-up "innovation economy." Thanks for posting.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:16 PM on February 27, 2014

Love the True Detective theme? A brief intro to The Handsome Family
So the Angelfire CSS circa 2003 is what the hip kids are into today? \

Seriously, I love the music.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:06 PM on February 27, 2014

Involuntourist Reflex
I'm agreeing with emptythought and clockzero and scody. This is a more complicated phenomenon than this post lets on.

I don't know. I think the point of these trips are for the participant to grow.

At my church, we have an annual ceremony where we send off a contingent of the youth group to Columbia to help at an orphanage. Then two weeks later we see them come back and tearfully recount how deeply they were changed. I am... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:06 PM on February 26, 2014
If people are doing volunteer tasks that are meaningless, it is also the fault of the program developers. It is a tough thing to design truly useful volunteer tasks that different people can do with minimal training, a low skill level, and in a short time period. It can be done, but it takes a focused effort on the part of an organizer. If volunteers aren't doing successful work, that's not really what anyone wants - but it comes down to the program staff who are developing the volunteer tasks,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:35 PM on February 26, 2014
If they really cared, they would work to empower these people instead of fostering this benefactor-receiver relationship.

So the question is - how would they know about "these people?" How would they learn about the orphans in Kenya or Cuba? How would they find out about the issue, select an organization to donate to, and feel connected and needed enough to send that organization a substantial sum of money?

As I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 6:28 AM on February 27, 2014
She is really really young, after all. I'm sure at her age my thoughts were similarly profound in my own estimation.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:33 PM on February 27, 2014

An Ad You Won't See During the Super Bowl.
That was really enjoyable, Rumple. Cribbing like mad for future presenters I might be able to hire!
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 10:27 AM on February 27, 2014

"the only widely published author on the Florida payroll."
Zora Neale Hurston did sing. She collected music, but one of the things she found helpful was to start off a session of music collecting by demonstrating singing a song or two of her own, to encourage others and get them started. So these recordings really are her, not others.

I came across a bunch of these while doing research for a sound experience in an exhibition a couple years ago. The Florida WPA archive is really interesting, and not just for Zora.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 6:54 PM on February 25, 2014

Shelf-Reading
I think it's pretty interesting, and considering people I know personally who both accept the scientific consensus on, say, climate change and evolution, but reject scientific consensus on healing, diet and nutrition, there are honestly a fair amount of conflicting attitudes.

Thinking about why this is gives me a fair amount to chew on. I'm not sure that attitudes to science as an entire discipline explains the dichotomy. For one thing, there is a "fear of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 9:37 AM on February 24, 2014
I'm sympathetic with raw-milk ideas in general (a big foodie) but the only two times I've eaten a young raw milk cheese, two times separated by years, I immediately threw up. It's put me off trying any more. It might be just me or just coincidence, but twice burned...

I wouldn't hesitate to drink fresh milk just out of the cow raw. But the reason for pastuerization wasn't world domination directly - it was lengthening supply chains. You have to have... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 3:07 PM on February 24, 2014

A political, emotional, even moral issue.
"Those are my disclosures over the past 24 months: I'm not gonna go through them all, but I can send them to you if you like. I'll just simply state I think it's important that I be transparent; I have received unrestricted investigator-initiated funds from the Coca-Cola company, from Dr. Pepper, so there are some industry connections....so, I do have an iron in the fire, if you like."

Spend some time on that disclosure slide. I think that's about all I need... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:56 PM on February 22, 2014

Trusting God
You disagree with others about what being a Christian means; but you say it's wrong for me to suggest that anyone might be incorrect.

Those are two different things. I am entitled to disagree, and to assert my own viewpoint and pursue my faith and practice, and to unequivocally call it Christian. As I do so, no one else (unless by my own agreement) is entitled to determine whether or not I am a Christian. No one else even has that power, according... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 1:19 PM on February 20, 2014
I don't think there's anyone preventing initiatives toward developing a multi-denomonational consortium on those issues - we have them on others. I do think that the more theologically liberal among us should not cede the field of "Christianity" to more conservative thinkers, which is the only reason I usually speak up.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 11:00 AM on February 22, 2014

Brian Williams performs "Rappers Delight"
That is far better than it has any right to be.

Saw it this morning and put it on Facebook with almost that exact quote: "much better than it deserves to be."
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 9:16 PM on February 20, 2014

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