145 thoughts on “Hey! Check This Out (2018-)

  1. I’m not sure if you guys will like the following Atlantic articles, but I think both are important for the well-being and viability of our country going forward. They touch on racism and white anxiety and anger, which I think pose an existential threat to the nation, at least if we don’t deal with them very well.

    The First White President by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    The Nationalist’s Delusion by Adam Serwer

  2. From WaPo: Here’s What Went Wrong with that Hawai’i Missile Alert, FCC Says

    This is not good:

    The Hawaii employee who sent out a false alarm warning of an incoming missile attack earlier this month said he misunderstood that a drill was underway and believed that a ballistic missile had actually been fired at the state, authorities said Tuesday.

    Officials also revealed that the errant Jan. 13 alert, which sent waves of panic across the Hawaiian islands, was not the first such mix-up for the employee. At least twice before the false alarm, he “has confused real life events and drills,” a state investigation concluded, part of a troubled work history that had “been a source of concern . . . for over 10 years” to his co-workers.

    Letting a bad employee continue to work is totally believable to me, but I would think, that with a job so critical, things would be different. To win back my confidence, I feel like the State has to reassure me that they have a reviewed the job performance of employees, and that they can and will remove employees that are not capable of doing the job. I’m not sure how that can prove to me that they’ll do this, but it’s something the better at least think about.

  3. The Goal of Disinformation

  4. This is the Hardest Video Game I’ve Seen

    Especially of the old school variety. I’ve never seen this game, never played it, but I agree with the comment.

    I laughed out loud several times while watching this.

  5. I’m guessing the game doesn’t exist. The video is just a joke right? I mean I’m sure you can play it, but it’s not a “real” game. Either way, you are right it was sort of funny.

    1. Not sure what you mean by “real” game. Do you mean a game that people could buy and play on their game consoles, a game that was coin operated? I think you could/can purchase it. I’ve seen some youtube videos of people trying to play it.

      In any event, watching the game is interesting because it dramatically reduces safe spots and the time you can take to decide or make a maneuver. It makes you realize how many of these spots there are in the typical video game–which is wholly appropriate, especially if you had to pay to play. If this where a coin operated game, there’s no way people would play it, unless you started off with fifty lives or something like that.

  6. Are we currently living in a Matrix-like simulation?

    This just seems like a modern update of the Zhuangzi anecdote about how, after dreaming about being a buttefuly, he wondered if he was a actually a butterfly dreaming it was a human.

    The video mentions religion, and I think that the simulation idea is not a bad simile representing the metaphysics relating to God and humanity. If God is the absolute upon which reality is built–that is, everything that exists depends on God. Thinking of reality as a simulation might be one model to help us understand this.

    Of course, for atheists, some intelligent life form that existed thousands if not millions of years before us would replace God. This intelligent civilization created simulation of the universe, which created other simulations, and we’re just one of them.

    What I don’t get is why Musk believes we’re doomed if civilization stops advancing. Any thoughts on that?

  7. The Geeks Who Put a Stop to Pennsylvania’s Partisan Gerrymandering is a pretty neat (somewhat accessible) explanation of how computer models of hypothetical maps prove that the contested Pennsylvania Congressional district map is gerrymandered. It’s pretty cool stuff, and I think if I could start my college education over, this is the kind of thing I would really be drawn to.

    If I could, I would ask one of the analysts about appying his metric to a geographically strange place like Hawaii, which is divided by islands, and those islands’ regions are divided by strange and differing geographic features. This guy basic tests a district for its compactness and simplicity, which makes a lot of sense in areas that are pretty flat.

    My favorite quote from the piece: ““Metrics are just evidence,” says Jacobson. “It’s always helpful to have more evidence not less.”

    This is Tim Kurkjian’s argument about advanced metrics in baseball. More evidence is better than less evidence. Kurkjian is pretty much a moderate in the baseball world when it comes to the science-vs-religion tug-o-war, but he’s careful to say more evidence comes in different forms.

    Now I’m itching to look at Hawaii’s local maps. We only have two seats in the national House of Representatives, so that districting almost doesn’t matter, and I kind of think what we have makes sense, which is basically Honolulu in one district and the rest of the state in the other.

  8. From The Atlantic, What I Saw Treating the Victims from Parkland Should Change the Debate on Guns. The author is a radiologist who shares the difference between wounds from an AR-15 on other guns. The difference is dramatic and horrific. One of the big takeaways: AR-15 wounds are way more lethal that wounds from handguns–you’re chances of survival are far less with the former, which seems like a good reason to ban or highly regulate the weapon. Also, it’s crazy that Congress prohibits the CDC from studying gun deaths.

  9. The Onion Becoming Superfluous

    (I’m pretty sure the corked broom was a joke, although apropos of the post title, it’s hard to tell these days!)

  10. This graphic is pretty cool. How Biased is Your Primary News Source?. I like where the NYT and Wall Street Journal line up against each other. I favor the Washington Post but that’s because for some reason I feel more connected to Washington than to NY; however, I do consider the NYT the newspaper of the United States.

    Then again, I also am in a comment-opinion-analysis avoidance phase, trying to stick to news and allowing some amount of commentary every couple of days or so. I was surprised to see Reid cite the Washington Times, which I consider a bit too far on the opinion side of the fact-opinion axis, but this study puts it right at the level of CNN, which I consider to be a reasonable amount of opinion vs. fact. On the other hand, I only read a tiny handful of pieces on CNN, maybe one or two per week, depending on how interesting I find whatever Chris Cillizza is doing. What I’m trying to say is I don’t find the news part of CNN as valuable to me as the news part of NYT or WaPo, which could explain my personal avoidance of the Washington Times.

    Kind of a cool thing. I want to read the original publication for its methodology.

  11. I’m not comfortable with what sounds like a fact-opinion dichotomy, where “fact” is more trustworthy and reliable, and “opinion” is almost the opposite. To be clear, I’m not sure you’re saying this, but if you are, I don’t really agree with this framework. To me, the issue isn’t whether articles have more fact or opinion, but the quality of thinking and the degree to which the articles are reasonable–and yes, fact-based. Opinions like this are good, not bad in my opinion. And I tend to think that extreme avoidance of opinions can hurt journalism.

    I agree with you, though–looking at the methodology would be interesting.

  12. It’s not a dichotomy, it’s an amount of space dedicated to each. In the news business, they talk about ratios all the time: editorial (that is, content) vs advertising. opinion vs. fact. The axis measure the amount of one vs. the amount of the other. I’m actually surprised the WaPo isn’t further down in the opinion direction, since I feel like I’m ducking their commentary all the time.

  13. Okay, but you understand that there’s a difference between a news piece and an opinion-editorial-analysis piece, right? That’s what the thing is measuring. The number (or the amount of space) for one type and the number for the other type.

  14. OK, I guess I’m reading the first graph wrong. Doesn’t the X-axis go from liberal to conservative?

    By the way, I didn’t really understand the tyranny-freedom axis. What do they mean by that?

    Also, why is RT and Sputnik on there? Speaking of which, I forgot to mention that some other specific criteria: How often are publications factually accurate in their reporting? To what degree to publications operate in good faith, versus intentionally make up stories or situations where a political agenda supersedes journalism (e.g., propaganda). I think publications should be judged on these sort of thing more than their political perspectives and whether they have more opinions versus facts.

  15. The x-axis is liberal to conservative, yes. The y-axis is amount of news vs. amount of opinion-editorial-analysis.

    That tyranny graph was published by InfoWars in response to the original graph. You didn’t read the article, did you?

  16. I did read it, but I guess I didn’t read it carefully enough….OK I just went to look at the page. I’m looking at the descriptors on the Y-Axis, which I didn’t read the first time, mainly because they were really tiny….The scale is weird. So original fact reporting is superior to complex analysis? I sort of see those as equally important; same with fair persuasion.

  17. I don’t think anyone’s saying original news reporting is superior to complex analysis. On the graphic you’re looking at, that would be like saying being slightly conservative is better than being slightly liberal. Just because it’s “up” on the chart doesn’t mean news is better.

    But if we’re talking about biased media, opinion is more biased than fact, just as far left and far right are more biased than moderate. So the least biased would be the channels near the middle of the x-axis and higher on the y-axis, right?

    Back to news vs. opinion: I know you yearn for all kinds of context and analysis, and I respect that. However, there’s a reason news has traditionally been saved for the front section and opinion for further back in the (physical) newspaper. Journalists consider news far more important. And if people get their news primarily from sources that skew heavily in favor of (even complex) analysis, how good is their news? Maybe they have deeper understanding about fewer topics, and maybe there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Side note: When I wrote for my college paper, I got paid at a lower rate (about 20% lower) than staff reporters, even though I was an editor. My work was all opinion and analysis, while theirs was reporting the news. Far more valuable to us as a publication, at least as we saw our purpose.

  18. Just because it’s “up” on the chart doesn’t mean news is better.

    Right, but factual vs. fabricated or fair or unfair persuasion isn’t neutral like conservative liberal. I feel like factual nature of reporting, quality of arguments and the quality of arguments are separate axes.

    So the least biased would be the channels near the middle of the x-axis and higher on the y-axis, right?

    Yeah, I think that makes sense. But doesn’t this have the connotation that bias is bad, something undesirable? If so, I don’t care for lumping analysis and persuasion under the heading of bias.

    Journalists consider news far more important. And if people get their news primarily from sources that skew heavily in favor of (even complex) analysis, how good is their news?

    I might be able to agree that news might be more important, but I guess I guess I don’t see the gap as wide as others. And maybe my larger objection is to a conception of news that pretends that journalists can be purely objective–that subjective judgments are both avoidable and inherently bad.

  19. Mitchell, of course, I thought of you. I also cringed, and wondered if I should post a link. I didn’t have a positive reaction to seeing the “excising” part. I have no idea how you’re going to respond, but I’ll just post this.

    (I stopped reading at some point, because I’m probably going to reread this soon.)

  20. There’s a similar piece in WaPo today. Thanks for the link. There’s no way the film can ruin the book for me so I don’t care what they do.

  21. More Granular Details of How Office of President Works and Interesting Description of the Work of Legislatures

  22. I sometimes get annoyed when I see people recommend a thread saying something like, “Do yourself a favor and read this,” or something to that effect. I say “annoyed” because on one level the sales pitch does pique my curiosity, but I’ve had enough experiences where I feel ripped off that I hesitate. “Should I really take the time to read this?” I think. It can be annoying being in this position. Here’s a thread like that, and while it may not be earth-shattering, I did not felt the people who recommended the threat were justified in doing so.

  23. I guess that’s a sound policy. I mean, it could result in you missing out on something you would enjoy or find insightful, but the chances that this will really matter would be really low. In other words, if you don’t read it, you’re probably not missing out on much.

  24. It’s not so much a policy (except maybe with email attachments, when it’s a matter of safe computing) as an expectation that people respect my time. I don’t even have time to click everything I want to read; if someone else wants me to bump something up the list, that’s great, but tell me what you’re asking me to click and tell me why. Sometimes, someone will direct something right at me, with just a “Mitchell, you should look at this,” and rather than click, I will ask, “What is it?”

    It’s not just time or safety, but avoidance. 🙂 I have a friend who likes to Rickroll me, but instead of using “Never Gonna Give You Up,” she uses photos of people eating balut. No thank you.

  25. By the way, with regard to the video above, I realized a few things:

    1. A lot of filmmakers (especially in Hollywood TV and film) don’t really care a lot about characters–not to the point where they want the emotions to be real. Maybe saying they don’t really care is unfair. It could be a function of the style favored by Hollywood filmmakers–although I’d guess commercial factors are the primary drivers of that style. I’m thinking not only of allowing the characters’ emotions and thinking space on the screen, but also allowing action sequences to be coherent, or providing plot developments that make sense. In a way it comes to down to caring about craft, about putting in the extra time to get things right. And a lot of Hollywood films just don’t do this.

    2. One notable exception–at least with regard to the characters and acting–Showtime’s Homeland. For a spy thriller, the acting stood out for me. The type of patience and waiting for emotions and thoughts to develop really stood out for me–especially with Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.

  26. What It’s like to be Black in America

    These are not feel-good threads, but they’re both worth reading in my opinion. I should say that I don’t know these people–I don’t know if what they’re saying is true. (I found them via re-tweets.) However, the stories aren’t hard to believe, and the sad thing is that I suspect they’re not rare. I found both to be profoundly sad. I got emotional on the first one, too.

  27. I thought this was hilarious. I could imagine as a scene from My Cousin Vinny, part 2.

  28. I’m not sure if you guys will find this interesting, but I did. (Note: I didn’t get to finish the second part.)

  29. I didn’t get to watch the 60 minutes piece, but will try to later.

    In the meantime, the following is kinda crazy–almost like that Bruce Lee video with him playing ping pong with the nunchaks.

    Most impressive thing you'll see today. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/tMn2sq4NO7— Whistle Sports (@WhistleSports) May 21, 2018

  30. I found this talk interesting. tl;dr Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon are too powerful and preventing the markets from functioning properly. Therefore, we should break them up. (He talks fast, and I could absorb all of his points, but I got the main ones.)

  31. I wonder if a company was ever forced to “break up”? I didn’t watch the entire clip that Reid posted, but I recently saw a 60 Minutes piece on how Google is a monopoly. According to the 60 Minutes story, Google is used for 90% of worldwide searches. That’s a ridiculous number. And yes they drive all traffic to these searches to their own company as much as possible. Basically, now Google doesn’t produce the most relevant search results, but the results that pad their own pockets, which is why I would rather use Yahoo in most cases.

    I don’t know if we can “break up” these companies, but US should take a serious look at a moratorium on these guys acquiring new companies. Most start-ups’ dream is one of these big companies (actually called FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google) by stock market guys) buy them out, so this moratorium may have other implications, but the size and power of these companies are getting ridiculous.

  32. AT&T was forced to break up into regional “baby bells” in 1984.

    I haven’t looked at this video yet, but Google is a dominant force in its market, but this is because it created a product that was far better than its competition, in a field where it was a relative latecomer. Until Google came upon the scene, most people were using Lycos, Yahoo, or Webcrawler (which was no longer in operation when Google was introduced, I think). Web geeks preferred Alta Vista, the best engine if you knew how to use it.

    We might call it a monopoly now, but you could have said the same for MySpace in social networks just 15 years ago. The web is a fickle space. Give users a reason to use something else and they absolutely will. Should Google be broken up simply because it’s so popular? This doesn’t seem right to me.

    Before Walgreens opened its first store on Oahu, Longs had something like an 85% share of its market in Hawaii. I was at first not thrilled about Walgreens, but when a Walgreens executive shared that stat, I was like, “Welcome to Hawaii, Walgreens!” I don’t know what the market numbers look like now, but I haven’t seen any Walgreens closures, so the stores must be doing okay — not because a steel grip on the market was broken up by the government, but because competition saw a place to make some room and did so.

    For a while, shortly after CVS bought Longs, the local Longs stores were pretty crappy. So when Walgreens came along, I was happy to shift my loyalties (and I have waxed poetic about how great I used to think Longs was). Now Walgreens has gotten pretty crappy, and CVS has done some corporate social initiatives I totally admire. I’m back on the Longs train.

    If something better comes along, people will use it. Breaking up Google seems like a bad idea.

    1. Edit: I just looked it up and WebCrawler is still a thing, but it’s a metasearch engine now, and not its own independent thing. Man, still online since 1994.

  33. I was about to watch that, but holy crap. It’s 32 minutes long? That guy’s going after a monopoly of my time!

    1. For what it’s worth, he crams in a lot of information in that time frame (at times he’s talking too fast in my opinion). I think if you watch about 10 minutes, you can get a lot of information, and you’ll get a good sense if you’re interested in hearing more.

  34. I wonder if a company was ever forced to “break up”?

    I think so. Two names pop into my head immediately: Ma Bell (phone company) and Standard Oil. I don’t know if this is accurate, but if I were playing Jeopardy!, those are the two companies I’d name.

    I also read this Atlantic article, How to Fight Amazon (Before You Turn 29), which I would recommend if you’re interested in this topic. The article focuses on Amazon, and here some interesting details (some of which are covered in the video, I believe):

    Amazon does not, in some respects, look like a monopoly. According to the National Retail Federation, it is only the country’s seventh-biggest retailer by total sales. It sells more than Target, but less than Walgreens. And Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, still generates nearly three times as much revenue as Amazon.
    Yet these numbers fail to capture Amazon’s online dominance. About 44 cents of every dollar that Americans spend online go to Amazon. (The next-biggest online retailer, Ebay, gets about six cents of that dollar.) They also miss Amazon’s prodigious growth. In 2010, when Khan graduated from college, Amazon employed 33,700 people. It now employs more than 560,000, and its search for a site for its second headquarters has turned cities and locales across the country into desperate supplicants. Three years ago, Amazon was worth less than Walmart. As of this year, it is three times as valuable as the big-box king.


    For more than a decade, Wall Street allowed the company to plow any profits into price discounts. Partly as a result, Amazon has grown so large that it can undercut other companies just by announcing that it will soon compete with them. When Amazon purchased Whole Foods, its market cap rose by $15.6 billion—some $2 billion more than it paid for the chain. Meanwhile, the rest of the grocery industry immediately lost $37 billion in market value. (Amazon protests that it has no control over how investors value its competitors.)

  35. Should Google be broken up simply because it’s so popular? This doesn’t seem right to me.

    That’s not the reason.

  36. Try out this little experiment. You have to count the number of basketball passes made by the people in white shirts.

  37. I knew the results before I tried this, so it didn’t work for me. I wanted to see if it worked on you guys.

    By the way, I found that from a pretty interesting article. Tl dr; Some scientists and economists place too much emphasis on the idea that bias and a kind of blindness often prevent humans from seeing what is obvious. The author suggests that the questions or theories when making observations cause them to attend to certain details while missing others. This is unavoidable and useful way of focusing and attending to meaningful facts/details.

  38. Importance of Having 2 Factor Authentication to Your Email

    This thread goes shows examples of the spearphising attack on John Podesta. Setting up 2FA is not hard, and it seems worth doing.

  39. Not sure if you guys will like this article, but it’s about the history of cinematic attempts to adapt the novel Dune. I love this passage:

    At a meeting in a McDonald’s, he persuaded the disinterested Pink Floyd (who were finishing up Dark Side of the Moon at the time) to score the film by scorning their listlessness, shouting at them, “I offer to you the most important picture in the history of humanity! We will change the world. And you are just eating Big Macs.”

    Something else I wanted to comment on:

    And Jodorowsky would not budge on any aspect of the production, not even its 800+ page-long screenplay which would have made for a 14-hour film.

    One word: Netflix. They should take this on–shoot it in 70mm and release it in a few theaters first. A modern day 2001. (I wish they would just think about this as primarily an artistic, rather than commercial endeavor, but I know that’s not realistic.)

    Villaneuve would not be a bad choice.

  40. Some interesting things on this.

    It looks like Massachusetts hates Eli Manning. I don’t get that. At first, I thought that had to be New York or New Jersey, but I guess not. Wait, maybe it’s Connecticut, which I guess makes more sense.

    I don’t know what trap music is.

    Colorado hating NYSYNC made me wonder when this map was made.

    I want to know why Michigan people hate Pride and Prejudice (and I assume they’re referring to the novel).

    1. I’ve seen this graphic. If I remember correctly, it’s not the thing that each state hates the most, but the thing each state hates more than the other states.

      I’m trying to decide if your not knowing what trap music is is primarily attributable to your being old or your not being black, but I’m leaning in favor of it’s being because your old. I’m old and not black, but I know what it is, and I think the difference is that I pay attention to younger people. On the other hand, I specifically know a little bit about trap music because of black people on Dan Le Batard’s radio program, and because of Clinton Yates and Domonique Foxworth, none of whom are young and all of whom are black. Since it appears to be disliked most in a very white state, maybe it’s because you’re not black?

    2. Oh wait, I just clicked the reference link and now I remember. The data comes from the Hater app, a dating app where you’re matched up with people based on hating the same things. So the app presents a thing, say “asparagus.” If you hate it, you swipe right. If you don’t hate it, you swipe left. As the app collects your data, it forms a dating profile, and tries to match you up with compatible profiles.

      So you’re talking mostly about hipsters and young-ish people responding to specific prompts. People are not simply being asked, “What do you hate?” and offering “Pride and Prejudice” as a response.

      Also, the fact that there are no repeats tells me I’m probably right about it really being what each state hates more than other states, a qualifier I know I read in some similar graphic.

      I don’t hate people shooting video on their phones at concerts, but I’m not a big fan.

      1. OK, thanks for the information.

        Interesting that hipsters and younger people in Nevada (I think) and Mississippi hate feminism and anal sex, respectively.

  41. I didn’t read all the graphs in the thread (and some I didn’t understand). The ones I read and understood were pretty grim.

  42. I can’t remember if I posted this before, but here’s the an article for the world’s most famous Chinen:

    Seriously, what did you guys think? While I haven’t tried mainland poke, Nate (Iolani boy, I believe) comes off too snobbish and off-putting in my view. I admit, I chuckled at some points, but still.

    1. I contest the assertion that Nate Chinen is the most famous Chinen. A Google search for Rina Chinen returns 59,000 hits, while a similar search for Nate Chinen brings back on 47,000. Rina won the Japan Record Award for Best New Artist in 1997, preceded and succeeded by mega artists Puffy AmiYumi and Morning Musume. That’s pretty stellar company.

      1. I liked that. The tone might not have been harsh, but you don’t think think the tone from both pieces are a bit…let’s say not really representative of aloha?

      2. I’ve been keeping a daily eye on the Instagram account of Aloha Poke Co. The most recent photo, dated July 27, has received more than 8100 comments, and the number continues to grow daily. At this moment, it’s still getting more than 30 comment daily, two and a half weeks later. And THOSE comments are harsh, not to mention kind of ignorant of the concept of trademark.

        I think this WaPo writer’s position is to explain where all this anger comes from, so it might sound a little like it’s lacking in aloha, but I think it’s trying to say something like, try to understand why the backlash has been so severe. While not being severe itself.

        1. …but I think it’s trying to say something like, try to understand why the backlash has been so severe. While not being severe itself.

          I think there’s truth to this, but the tone is a tad snarky. Also, does the piece really explain the backlash well? A part of me doesn’t think so. For me, the problem I have doesn’t stem from resentment towards mainlanders “taking” from Hawai’i. I feel like the actions taken by the Chicago company seem antithetical to what I would call local style–particularly in the context of the company going after small, mom and pop establishments. The fact that the words “aloha poke” probably makes this even more problematic. Suppose a local company called “Aloha Lau Lau” trademarked the name and attempted to enforce this by telling other local companies not to use the name. I think this would also rub me the wrong way. But let’s say we were talking about “Local Motion” or “Hawaiian Island Creations.” For some reason, I’d have less of a problem if they sent letters telling other companies to stop using that name. Maybe it’s because those names are more specific and they have built a brand; while “Aloha Poke” is more generic? Plus, the former doesn’t really have the cultural component to it.

          1. You can totally read that as snarky; I get it. For some reason it doesn’t read that way to me. It reads gently to me. Light, good-natured snark.

            You can bet that if some airline had sprung up 20 years ago and called itself Air Aloha, Aloha Airlines would have been all over it with a c&d. When Island Air partnered with Aloha Airlines, adding “Aloha” to the front of its name, it was an expression of the power of the Aloha Airlines trademark. It could only do that with Aloha Airlines’ blessing.

            I spoke to a trademark lawyer about this, and he said the Chicago company’s lawyers acted unethically because the businesses it sent the c&d to pre-existed the Chicago company. That’s a big difference, although I don’t think it would matter to the majority of the people who are up in arms about this.

            I think you’re right, though. Aloha is a special word to a lot of people, and “local” or “island” poke probably wouldn’t have met such backlash.

  43. You can totally read that as snarky; I get it. For some reason it doesn’t read that way to me. It reads gently to me. Light, good-natured snark.

    I think this is also a reasonable reading of the piece.

    You can bet that if some airline had sprung up 20 years ago and called itself Air Aloha, Aloha Airlines would have been all over it with a c&d.

    Right. Would you have a problem Aloha Airlines did that? My immediate reaction is that I wouldn’t really have a problem, but I’m not sure why. Here are some of the possible reasons: 1) The competing airlines wouldn’t be a mom-and-pop operation; 2) Aloha Airlines is a local company. Suppose Aloha Airlines was a mainland company, and the Aloha Air was a tiny, entrepreneurial, local start-up. I think I might have a problem with if the former sent a C&D to the latter.

    That’s a big difference, although I don’t think it would matter to the majority of the people who are up in arms about this.

    Right. It wouldn’t surprise me if many didn’t realize this difference.

  44. This the kind that makes me think about becoming a Luddite.

  45. Have you done anything with browser settings for privacy/security? I’m wondering if your browser is blocking external content.

    I’m going to try to embed the GIF here. Let me know whether you see it in this comment.

    1. OK, now it seems to working. It just takes a long time to load and the frames are tiny. (If I click on the frames, they will enlarge, though.)

  46. I forced myself to read most of the this. (I skipped some parts, jumping ahead, so I can’t fully judge this. I also don’t feel I can recommend (or not) this, either. I will say that a part of me does feel like remembering what this story covers is important. I’ll make an attempt to explain why below.

    I have very little desire to read this, but Barbaro’s comments spurred me to take a look. Here’s a passage that comes close to explaining why I did, In begins in reference to a controversial sculpture about the people that fell from the twin towers:

    Maybe it was just too soon to show something like that. After all, not long before her husband died, she traveled with him to Auschwitz, where piles of confiscated eyeglasses and extracted tooth fillings are on exhibit. “They can show that now,” she says. “But that was a long time ago. They couldn’t show things like that then….”

    In fact, they did, at least in photographic form, and the pictures that came out of the death camps of Europe were treated as essential acts of witness, without particular regard to the sensitivities of those who appeared in them or the surviving families of the dead. They were shown, as Richard Drew’s photographs of the freshly assassinated Robert Kennedy were shown. They were shown, as the photographs of Ethel Kennedy pleading with photographers not to take photographs were shown. They were shown as the photograph of the little Vietnamese girl running naked after a napalm attack was shown. They were shown as the photograph of Father Mychal Judge, graphically and unmistakably dead, was shown, and accepted as a kind of testament. They were shown as everything is shown, for, like the lens of a camera, history is a force that does not discriminate. What distinguishes the pictures of the jumpers from the pictures that have come before is that we—we Americans—are being asked to discriminate on their behalf. What distinguishes them, historically, is that we, as patriotic Americans, have agreed not to look at them. Dozens, scores, maybe hundreds of people died by leaping from a burning building, and we have somehow taken it upon ourselves to deem their deaths unworthy of witness—because we have somehow deemed the act of witness, in this one regard, unworthy of us.

    I guess there’s a part of me that compels me to face things that are ugly or scary, if they’re true. Denying these things, forgetting that they exist is something that might worse than actually facing them.

  47. Several people have recommended this article, which covers the rape of a 16 year old. It’s a compelling, sad story. If you’re following the Kavannaugh confirmation hearing and the accusation made against him, this provides some context.

    Here’s epilogue:

  48. Funny but true. Funny because it’s true. Range find-dah! That’s his normal shot, man.

  49. I was looking for video on the Vikings team with Jake Reed, Cris Carter, Randy Moss and Robert Smith, but I stumbled onto this highlight cutup of the Cowboys versus the Vikings, Deion Sanders versus Randy Moss. But what stood out for me was Jeff George’s arm. Man, what an arm. (What a waste.) Could anyone fling the ball the way he did, while backpedaling? Whew.

  50. I’m wary of people trying to gussy up the National Anthem, but I thought this was very good. It’s risky to be creative when performing the song, but here, Willie K hits it out of the park. It helps that he’s singing with so much feeling.

  51. That Willie K performance was the talk of the town this week, and shared on several national TV programs. It’s more broken down than gussied up if you ask me, but I know what you mean. I was surprised at how good it was.

    1. Yeah, you’re right. I couldn’t think of a better phrase than “gussied up” at the time. Willie K said he used a melody from another song he wrote, a song that was about or dedicated to military personnel. In any event, it worked for me.

      I also saw some of the tweets about the rendition, most of the them very positive, which was cool to see.

    1. Seems like a fine list. Not much stood out for me. I liked Amelie, but that wouldn’t have made me list. I would have chosen Delicatessen over that one.

  52. Seattle gets an NHL team.


    I made suggestions on FB for a team name.

    I would be all in with the Seattle Grunge if I thought it had a chance but I’m sure it wouldn’t.

    So I’m all in (until I think of something better) with the Seattle Rain. So many cool shirt (and headline) ideas.

    Other ideas: The Seattle Steam (for lattes) and the Seattle Smug (for their overly self-important football fans). How about the Seattle Tech? Or the Seattle Smoke (for recreational marijuana)?

    1. I like the Seattle Grunge–but what would the mascot be?

      I don’t really care for the others, though. I also don’t really get why you think Seahawk fans are self-important, especially compared to some other teams.

      1. What’s the mascot for the Lightning or Heat? I think for the grunge it could be a musician wearing flannel. 🙂

        Seattle football fans take partial credit for their team’s success, and the team panders to this with that silly 12th man flag-raising. What other team does THAT?

        1. What’s the mascot for the Lightning or Heat? I think for the grunge it could be a musician wearing flannel. 🙂

          What about a swamp thing like mascot? That might be kinda cool.

          Seattle football fans take partial credit for their team’s success, and the team panders to this with that silly 12th man flag-raising. What other team does THAT?

          I’d say the Chiefs (although I don’t know if they have any equivalent to raising a flag). Still, I strongly disagree that this is more obnoxious then an organization and fanbase that considers themselves “America’s team.”

          1. In reply to “America’s Team”, other teams are just jealous they never thought of it first. 🙂 We fans wear that obnoxiousness well. I think nobody takes the “America’s Team” all that seriously anyway. I think “How ’bout them Cowboys” is worse. 🙂

          2. In reply to “America’s Team”, other teams are just jealous they never thought of it first. 🙂

            Mitchell, Case in point. 🙂

          3. I agree that Dallas fans are the worst, but the America’s Team thing is actually true. They are the most popular team in football, all over the country. Most hated, too, but that probably adds to it.

            Of couse you don’t think Seattle fans are any worse than any other team’s fans because you are one. The 12th Man thing is so stupid I almost can’t even. You know what it reminds me of? When you’re at like a workshop and the speaker runs on stage and tries to generate excitement by asking participants to ACT excited. “Gooood morning! Aw, is that the best you can do? I said GOOOOOOOOOD MOOOOORNING!”

            I don’t know what you do in that setting, but the one way to guarantee I WON’T wish you a good morning is to encourage me to say it again with more verve. And if I were a Seahawks fan, I would go to the bathroom during every stupid 12th Man act unless Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman, or Tom Flores were somehow asked to raise the flag, and that’s a huge maybe.

            Lest you think is my ant-Seahawk bias, I’ll just say that at ballgames I never clap along with the organist, I never do the wave, and if you gave me those stupid inflatable thunder sticks, I’d give them right back. And if I were commissioner of any pro sport, I would do away with cheerleaders. I just think fans don’t need to be told when and how to cheer.

      2. I just realized that the issue isn’t the mascot (as in a guy dressed up in a costume), but the mascot or design for the logo. Maybe something incorporating flannel?

        What about some cartoonish-looking rocker in a football context–e.g., the old Patriot helmet, with a minuteman snapping a football? That might be kinda cool.

        The more I think about, the more I like the Grunge name. It just seems like a good name for a hockey team, or even a football team. (Actually, if the Seahawks defense or DL got really good, that might be a cool nickname, too. “They make things messy and ugly for opposing offenses.”)

        1. Ooh yeah, an all-over flannel design on the helmet and jersey would be unique. Hockey helmets don’t really have designs except the goalie’s helmet.

    1. I have a feeling that Seattle people might not be keen on this. It might be controversial and divisive, if there is still a strong Mac vs. Microsoft divide. It might be like naming the team, “Amazonians.”

    2. This might actually be a cool name if Microsoft bought the team, like Disney naming (for a time) its hockey team the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

  53. Mitchell,

    I agree that Dallas fans are the worst, but the America’s Team thing is actually true.

    Whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t make the moniker less obnoxious.

    Of couse you don’t think Seattle fans are any worse than any other team’s fans because you are one.

    You don’t think I would be capable of acknowledging whether fans of my favorite team are obnoxious or doing something wrong? It seems like Don has this level of awareness about the Cowboys.

    Lest you think is my ant-Seahawk bias,…

    Given what you said after this phrase, I would say you just have a big hang up with….I’m not sure what I would call it–fans thinking they can influence the game? By the way, do you think fans don’t have an impact on the game? Specifically, with the Seahawks, I’ve heard non-Seahawk fans say that Seattle is one of the toughest places to play, specifically because of the noise. Using the logic you used with the Cowboys, wouldn’t this warrant some sense of self-importance?

    1. Fans thinking they can influence the game is an issue with me, but it’s not the issue in this case. I mean, there are people who think that if their team is ahead and they stop doing whatever they’re doing (like squeezing a stress ball or brushing their lapdog) while watching the game on TV, their team will stop playing well.

      Yes, I do think fans — specifically in the form of crowd noise — have an impact on games. But taking it to the level of being part of the team, or paying tribute to themselves, is going too far.

      My issue is not with fans thinking they can influence the game in this conversation. It’s manufactured enthusiasm. Fans should cheer, sure. And if a guy on the field starts lifting his hands to encourage the crowd to cheer more, I’m kind of okay with that. But geez: I know what I’m watching on the field. I’ll cheer when I feel like cheering, not when some guy in the scoreboard operators’ booth tells me to cheer. And don’t tell me how to cheer, either.

      You don’t think I would be capable of acknowledging whether fans of my favorite team are obnoxious or doing something wrong? It seems like Don has this level of awareness about the Cowboys.

      I’m guessing Don is aware of it because we’re all aware of it. People talk about it all the time. I actually kinda liked Jimmy Johnson’s “How ‘BOUT them Dallas Cowboys?” and didn’t think it was obnoxious at all, by the way. I mean, you win the Super Bowl, you should get to say a thing like that. Like Shaq’s “Caaaaaaaan yoooooooou dig iiiiiiiiit?” But people down call Seahawks fans out for their obnoxiousness nearly as much. I have a feeling my saying it is the first time you’ve heard it about them as a whole. I only really started noticing it after they lost to the Steelers in the Super Bowl, but it was unbearable and it’s only gotten worse.

      1. But geez: I know what I’m watching on the field. I’ll cheer when I feel like cheering, not when some guy in the scoreboard operators’ booth tells me to cheer. And don’t tell me how to cheer, either.

        But that’s not unqiue to the Seahawks, right? If this is the evidence that the Seahawks have taken their fandom too far, then fans of every team have taken it too far.

        I’m guessing Don is aware of it because we’re all aware of it.

        I disagree. I think Don, and most Cowboy fans, know that something like “America’s Team” is obnoxious–whether other fans complained about this or not.

        I actually kinda liked Jimmy Johnson’s “How ‘BOUT them Dallas Cowboys?” and didn’t think it was obnoxious at all, by the way.

        (Note to Don: Mitchell is part of a very small minority on this.)

        But people down call Seahawks fans out for their obnoxiousness nearly as much. I have a feeling my saying it is the first time you’ve heard it about them as a whole.

        Yeah, but I think this is because this bothers you more than it does others.

  54. Fascinating article about the connection between political liberalism or consrvatism and feelings of personal safety or threat.


    I find a lot to think about here (for instance, maybe this is a better explanation for why military people are conservative than the explanations I’ve heard or considered), although I also think about a lot of anecdotal contradictions.

    Interestingly (or not!) I think of Reid as generally feeling much more cautious about physical safety and yet he mostly goes against the trend. Whereas I’m generally not as concerned about safety but consider myself politically conservative. Socially liberal though, so maybe that’s a meaningful detail.

    1. Our study findings may have a silver lining. Here’s how:

      All of us believe that our social and political attitudes are based on good reasons and reflect our important values. But we also need to recognize how much they can be influenced subconsciously by our most basic, powerful motivations for safety and survival. Politicians on both sides of the aisle know this already and attempt to manipulate our votes and party allegiances by appealing to these potent feelings of fear and of safety.

      I think there is truth to this. I think people should be aware about the way fear can influence their political positions. However, I think one’s political leanings are more complicated , and while I guess the authors of the study would agree, I think this is worth keeping in mind.

      As an example, Mitchell mentions that I’m more concerned about physical safety than he is, but I go against the results of the survey. But in terms of national security, I would say I’m conservative, in the sense that I believe protecting its citizens should be one of the highest priorities of a government. But I can be quite liberal with regard to policies that seek to help those who are disadvantaged. On a related note, what is liberal and conservative can complex as well. For example, how does the sense of safety impact one’s attitude towards the role of government in society, especially versus the free market?

  55. Cool story.

  56. Mitchell (or Don),

    I skimmed through the paper, but I find myself agreeing with their conception of a political moderate. Mitchell, if you agree with a lot here, I would think that we would be not as far a part politically as it seems.

  57. Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon take Steph Curry to task for his questioning the moon landing. Wilbon extends the scolding to Jalen Rose and Marc Spears. Kornheiser says Kyrie Irving and Curry are embarrassing their universities (Duke and Davidson) and says it’s just a small step from their stances to being slavery deniers and holocaust deniers.

    There is a place for healthy skepticism. Skepticism in general is healthy, but skepticism is useless if the only standard by which you evaluate evidence is a gut feeling, or something you see with your own eyes.

    It makes me think about what I believe and disbelieve and whether or not I’m guilty of Curry’s misguided skepticism in some area of my life.

    When I was in high school, I set out to disprove the Pythagorean theorem, applying my meager understanding of mathematics to a huge problem. My understanding was inadequate, and the more I studied math the more I understood the truth (and beauty) (because beauty is truth, truth beauty) of this theorem, and the truth of the enormous number of concepts that come out of it.

    I also applied some of what we learned in science classes to the concept of halving the distance between 0 and 1, in kind of a silly, mocking way. I created an alternate math based on my new theory, and of course none of it really held up.

    I cite these examples of places where I didn’t leave my skepticism where it was. I used it to increase my understanding of the concepts I was skeptical of.

    In other periods of my life, my skepticism wasn’t exactly refuted, but it pointed me to more important issues worthier of my energies. I wasn’t convinced that ADHD is a biological / psychological condition. As a teacher, it was necessary to understand as much as I could about it, and while I still don’t know what it is, the behaviors that describe it are real. Whether Joe Student in my classroom has a condition or not, he has these behaviors, and understanding the behaviors is critical to teaching him. “ADHD” then became — whatever it actually was — a descriptor for a very large number of students with certain educational needs. That was good enough for me.

    But yeah. I’m wondering what else there is. I’m wondering, too, what is happening to our culture where Irving and Curry (and Spears and Rose, if what Wilbon says is true) feel okay expressing their skepticism in the face of overwhelming scientific and historical evidence.

    (I know Spears, Curry, and Irving have walked back their statements, but who knows what damage the original statements already did?)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *