Linky Friday #44

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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114 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    I wonder if environmentalists hope that this doesn’t work, if it results in more fracking.

    There’s actually a serious issue underlying that. The actual and potential sustainability issues with fracking don’t end with water pollution. Even the water sustainability issues don’t end with water pollution. At the same time West Texas is basically in a water crisis (thank you, El Paso), it is pumping more and more of it horizontally into shale pockets. Clean water is a good thing, but if you’re running out of water, you’re looking at having nothing to clean anyway.Report

  2. Vikram Bath says:

    declining interest

    Is this measured by comments or hits? Because I read many of the links but rarely comment.Report

    • Chris in reply to Vikram Bath says:

      I’m the same way. I usually read them over the weekend on my phone (most weekends I avoid non-mobile computers like the plague), and I don’t like thumb typing. But I almost always read the majority of the links. I’ll be sorry to see these go, but I understand time constraints.Report

    • Yeah, commenting has declined, which is one of the payoffs for me on these posts (y’all are a wealth of cool background info and the like!). It’s entirely possible that my links are less comment-worthy, though.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Will Truman says:

        Ecch, I once worried about comments on my posts, too. I don’t any more. It’s my observation, after wondering aloud about it, that everyone reads the posts and enjoys them. I certainly look forward to Linky Friday. I’m sure others do, too.

        Here’s the deal. Speaking only for myself, but it’s true of everyone I’m sure, we all end up in our little ruts, perambulating through our usual sites. It’s a pleasure to wander through what others find interesting. Change of pace.Report

      • On some posts, I actually prefer fewer comments! To be perfectly honest, though, these posts can be tedious and time-consuming and it was starting to become something of a chore as commenting started to decline. Hopefully, before very long I will be re-energized as I run across links I am just dying to share.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        Add me to the list of disappointed readers, these were always interesting. Some weeks I didn’t comment, either because I didn’t have anything to say or any time to say it. But I can understand the time-consuming part.Report

      • Dan Miller in reply to Will Truman says:

        I totally get the time constraints thing, but I will say that I personally am a big fan of linky Friday. If it’s getting too much for you, though, there’s no shame in backing off, or even publishing one only when you feel like it. Thanks for all the work that’s gone in!Report

      • Dan, I suspect that is what will ultimately happen. It’ll start happening every other week or so, or on a more irregular basis. But we’ll see. (And thanks!)Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Will Truman says:

        Sometimes I have stuff to say about the links, other times not. Same with all essays.

        I don’t comment on Fantasy Football or the Babylon 5 threads.Report

      • Back on the Blog We Shall Not Speak Of, some folks de-lurked to tell me that they wish I offered voting posts. They said that they didn’t have anything to add but still wanted to register an opinion. Perhaps we could allow something like that at the author’s option?Report

      • roger in reply to Will Truman says:

        I concur.

        I love this regular feature and always gather up a few interesting links. The discussion isn’t always necessary.Report

      • I vote with the others who like the linky Fridays. However, I can understand if you need a break from it.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Will Truman says:

        Perhaps we could treat Linky Friday as a tag team effort, as the mighty Glyph and Chris have shown is possible with our music video aggregation.Report

      • greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

        I like linky Friday also. I can certainly throw the good links i run across in the pot.Report

      • roger in reply to Will Truman says:

        Good idea.Report

    • zic in reply to Vikram Bath says:

      Me three.

      But I’m trying not to spend too much time on the internet. I read much, but speaking steals my time away. There is work to do.Report

      • roger in reply to zic says:

        I do not understand how it is even possible for people to comment as much as they do on this site. Some must spend an average of three or four hours a day.

        We should ask people to record their times. Results might be scary.Report

  3. Glyph says:

    [S1] – Contradicting junk-food-eating stereotypes, potsmokers are skinnier – though I wonder if they controlled for drinking (many people tend to pick one vice over the other).

    [T6] I maintain that so-called ergonomic (rounded) toothbrush handles are indicative of the downfall of the West. Being nonstandard sizes, they don’t fit in every holder; being non-flat, they tend to roll over when you set them on the bathroom counter, bringing the bristles and/or toothpaste in contact with the surface.

    And for what? Did anyone ever used to think to themselves, “boy, this toothbrush is sure hurting my hand”, or, “my mouth feels clean, but this toothbrush handle could be a little more comfortable”?Report

  4. Glyph says:

    [N1] – And when local police get their hands on Army-surplus TALOS, civilian regression into serfs cowering before each passing armored knight will be complete.Report

  5. Kolohe says:

    The editors note distresses me greatly.

    E3: (reposted from a comment I made on another site about this same article)

    Total number of people killed by nuclear radiation at Fukushima was zero. Total injured by radiation was zero.

    It doesn’t help when someone overstates their case with factual incorrect information. Several of the Tepco employees known as the ‘Fukushima Fifty’ received much higher than the allowable dose, and furthermore over what anyone considers totally safe. It is very likely that we’re going to see a higher incident of cancer in this group than they otherwise would have had for their demographic profile.

    And those fifty people are the exact reason the author can claim triumphalism in the rest of the piece. They are the ones who stabilized the plant enough so that it wasn’t, in his words, a ‘nuclear disaster’. (On the scale that one actually measures nuclear disasters, it is indeed, however, in second place on the all time leader board, behind Chernobyl)

    C1: Here’s a way I think to split the difference between John Judis and Seth Ackerman – the growth of a (non-union) industrial economy and the development of air conditioning made late 20th century North Carolina sufficiently like late 19th century Ohio to give rise to parallel political structures.

    T6: that’s kind of unfair to the Laser Disc, it’s at least the Homo Habilis of media storage and delivery.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

      C1 (cont): Having now read the whole thing, I see that Ackerman does say something similar to what I wrote above towards the end. Still, Ackerman seems to have a couple of key omissions in his own narrative of how we got to the present state

      a) He completely ignores, and even seems to contradict the fact that the Solid South, as it was labelled, had a Democratic political machine that rivaled Tammany Hall in terms of efficiency and effectiveness – heck in pure electoral terms, I’d say it was superior. So when Ackerman says that congressional delegations were “more ideologically diverse than is usually assumed.” Who’s assuming that? Certainly no one who knows that the Dems were the only game in town back then and thus would be composed of all kinds of ambitious people of varying ideological hues – as long the member would accede to the political correctness of the time. And there of course may be, in his words, reactionary elites in a political machine, but to keep and maintain the machine going, the diffusion of power must and will go beyond those elites.

      b) while detailing the more arcane (but true) details of Republican party fragmented metamorphosis in the 1940’s and 50’s , he neglects to mention the Dixiecrat revolt in the 1948 Presidential election. (which was followed by the Wallace insurgency in the ’68 one). For every Mary Landrieu that kept the faith, as it were, and are still Blue Dog Democrats, there were at least 2 or 3 Strom Thrumond’s that switched (or guys like Stennis that simply either retired or died and were replaced with guys like Lott).Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Kolohe says:

        I think (a) could be re-framed, though, to say that the diversity of the Southern Democrats matters in a way that we ignore when we talk about who the Southern Democrats became. Both Southern Republicans and Landrieu are both to some extent the descendants of Southern Dems. The former being more numerous, but the latter holding on to a lot of key components. (Components that Ackerman is really interested in, at any rate).

        I’m not sure what you’re getting at with 1948. It’s true that there was a Dixiecrat revolt, but the GOP didn’t start really reaping the reward of that until much later.Report

      • Kim in reply to Kolohe says:

        also huckabee and clinton.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

        From my reading, Ackerman places the rise of the Republican party in the South in the 70’s and 80’s. While that was indeed the Galdwellesque tipping point, the seeds were sown much earlier, as the Dixiecrat revolt clearly shows.

        Moreover, Ackerman calls Judis’s theory ‘specious’ that southern Republicans and the tea party have roots in the older Jacksonian southern political traditions. The Dixiecrat revolt and its eventual absorption by the Republican party (though in a more chemically inert form) show it’s not specious. It’s not the whole story – like both I and Ackerman said, the suburbanization of the South also has much to do with the establishment of the Republican party as the political center of gravity for that region. But it’s not specious.

        For another example, the most obvious phenotypical trait that links old school Jacksonianism with modern Tea Party agitation is the distrust of central banking – to the point of advocating abolition of it, which both did (Jackson, of course, successfully). (the part where they widely diverge is advocacy of a return to the gold standard)

        The yeoman farmer with 50 acres during the 1890s-1910s is now the deputy manager of the Autozone franchise with a 3 bedroom tract house. They are basically the same people with parallel economic relationships that would underpin any Marxist analysis. And they vote for the same people that flatter them and feel their pain.

        But, due to the sweep of history and culture, those people are now primarily Republicans, not Democrats.Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Kolohe says:


        Yes, the discontent started with the New Deal. There actually was quite a bit of rural support for that in the South, but it was not evenly distributed throughout the southern Democrats, with less populist, more reactionary folks playing out another edition of the red scare. Truman’s integration of the armed forces was really the first civil rights blow to the southern Dem monolith, but they were still too close to the Civil War to consider joining the party of Lincoln, hence the Dixiecrat splinter. But it was only after Brown v. Board and the 1964 Civil Rights Act that real sustained movement toward the GOP began, and it took until the aftermath of the ’94 congressional elections to fully play out.

        Part of that delayed conclusion was, again, a consequence of being too close to the Civil War. History and tradition matter more in the south than in many other areas of the U.S., and politicians were likely to be re-elected until they died, so a lot of the older Congressmen prior to the ’80s were actually not that far removed from the Civil War and reconstruction–it was their granddaddies and daddies who’d told them of their own experiences. But probably even more, the Democrats controlled Congress, and by having such long service these guys chaired really important committees, so switching to the GOP would have cost them those plums. The smartest thing Newt Gingrich did after the ’94 elections was to offer those old dogs their same chair positions if they’d switch parties. Of course he was a southerner himself, so he understood the situation.

        But also, of course, Newt himself was the perfect example of how the Democrats’ grip on the South had already irrevocably diminished. And so in a way those final switches by the old lions were more symbolic than substantive. Had any of them been struck by a heart attack it’s doubtful the Dems could have held onto those seats anyway.Report

    • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Kolohe says:

      E3 – It’s a quibble. No one died or suffered burns from acute radiation exposure. It is likely that those employees will suffer some longer term effects from the abnormally high exposure they received, but what exactly they may experience depends on a lot of factors: How much exposure did they get, for how long, what medical care was provided prior to and/or after exposure, etc. But AFAIK, all of those employees are still alive and not experiencing any acute symptoms of exposure (if anyone has contradictory information, please let me know, I’d be very interested in it).

      Aside from that, the author is correct in that most people & media figures are ignorant about radiation itself & the effects of radiation.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        There has been one gentlemen who has since died of cancer, but it’s assessed as unrelated (and I believe that)

        It’s one thing to say that a story is overblown. It’s also one thing to say that the very worst case scenario that occurred in an unlikely coincidence of events is still not as bad as the typical health dangers accepted by automobile travel and smoking tobacco.

        But it’s a completely different thing to say it was ‘not a nuclear disaster.’ These plants are a total loss. The long term economic damage to the surrounding community is bigger than any other man made cause since WW2. This was by broad consensus the 2nd worse nuclear reactor accident in history. Saying it’s ‘not a nuclear disaster’ is too cute by half, and convinces no one.Report

        • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kolohe says:

          …and in a country that has substantial trauma associated with nuclear phenomenon to begin with, the impact is extremely difficult to exaggerate. The level of fear and concern that’s still percolating in the Japanese public’s imagination is, too, a substantial thing.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        Yes, the “not a nuclear disaster” bit is disingenuous, or rather, I’d hate to see what he considers a nuclear disaster. Perhaps a full core breach is the only thing that counts to him. To me, if the facility is a total loss; if they will at some point be entombing the reactors onsite in concrete & water core breach or no; even if the primary reason for the failure was a massive natural disaster, it’s still a disaster.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        It’s breezy little claims like that that do the most damage to the pro-nuke crowd.

        I mean, it all boils down to safety. You know who I think runs the safest nuclear plants around? The Navy.

        You know who I think runs the least safe plants? The ones whose owners are two states away and who decided to build it as cheaply as possible and run it as cheaply as possible.

        Now the difference in safety may be big or it may be small, but stuff like this Japan incident? Saying after the fact that “Oh, it wasn’t that big a deal. Wasn’t even a real problem, really” just makes people think that the latter folks (the ones operating power plants) really don’t give a crap about safety, since they’ll cheerfully spin stuff that happened just a few years ago and everyone watched happen in real-time on TV.

        Yeah, it didn’t explode. Nobody’s gonna be living there for centuries and people around it carry radiation meters and it appears to be leaking into the ocean, but who cares about little stuff like that?Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

        I understand what the guy is trying to do, he wants to give people some perspective, to understand that the situation is not black & white, and that the media is really quite horrible about presenting the facts and the degree of actual danger (i.e. treating all radiation as scary).

        It’s a hard message to construct without sounding flippant.

        Also, AFAIK, up until the plant was double punched with an earthquake & a tsunami that it could not even remotely be engineered to withstand (at the time it was built), no one had any complaints about the place. I think people really forget that the facility made it through the earthquake OK, it was the followup fast moving wall of water that took it over the brink.Report

  6. BlaiseP says:

    [N2] Homestar Runner was a staple in my home. My son would wander around the house, wearing his Mexican wrestling mask, quoting Strong Bad. Many, many happy memories.Report

  7. Glyph says:

    This is fun.

    I’ve said variants of at least 5 of these; probably 3 within the last week.Report

    • BlaiseP in reply to Glyph says:

      Does anyone still own a reg’lar old TV?Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to BlaiseP says:

        I do. I’ve never bought a new TV. Had a couple old ones given to me, had a new one given to me once by a brother-in-law who was visiting and couldn’t stand our TV, and have bought a couple at a garage sale. I may get a flat screen before the World Cup, though. Maybe. Only maybe.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP says:

        I have a regular TV in the basement. One of the main reasons I got the newfangled one is actually that I was tired dealing with the reflection off the glass. Not only was it glass, but the convex meant that if there was a window virtually anywhere in the room, the TV would pick it up.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

        During my years on the road, I got a flat screen for use as both a big monitor and a replacement for the wretched hotel television set. I just made sure it had SVGA and HDMI jacks and a stereo audio line out, so I could hitch it to my little external speaker system. Never looked back.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to BlaiseP says:

        About a year ago, our city government (in conjunction with a giant national waste disposal/recycling company) ran a one-day program where you could drop off old televisions for $10. That’s significantly cheaper than the usual disposal fee around here for the lead-doped glass tubes. I took the opportunity to dispose of the last CRT we had, my son’s old color-calibrated monitor he used when he started his graphics design studies. It was worth the $10 just to look at the immense collection of stuff that was accumulating.

        Most interesting was the large number of 1960s-style console televisions. People with those were sent to a different corner of the big parking lot and their fee was waived. I had a chance while waiting in line to talk with one of the guys working the event; he told me that there’s an actual market for the consoles as collectors items.Report

      • KatherineMW in reply to BlaiseP says:

        I had one when I was at grad school. $20 at a garage sale; a room with cable included in the rent made it more than worthwhile.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Glyph says:

      I am guilty of a couple of them. The funny thing is that I went years without a TV* and it never occurred to me to go around bragging about it. I actually kind of disliked those people that did. Even though we were more or less in the same boat.

      * – Technically, I did have a TV, but it wasn’t hooked up.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        Gah, I say some variant of #1 all the time. I try not to, but it’s SO HARD.

        #5, I haven’t said that I *only* like dark chocolate (some kinds of milk chocolate are quite good, but white chocolate is RIGHT OUT), but I have made my preference for it plain.

        #6 – yep

        #8 – yep

        #16 & #17 – not recently, but yep

        #18 – yepReport

      • Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        I did go through a long run of having a TV, but just not watching it much (I’ve since made up for lost time).

        I may have mentioned that, as much as I like Seinfeld, much of my experience of it is from syndication/re-runs (I still occasionally catch a “new” one), because while it was on during its original run, I was just never home at that time. I think from that period the only show I really watched semi-religiously was X-Files and a few late-night shows, just because their scheduling worked for me.

        But yeah, when I said I didn’t watch much TV (though I watched plenty of movies) it probably came across as snobbery; but it was really mostly a question of schedule.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

        #8 is terminally goofy. Isn’t that the entire point of this post? (this site?) (the internet?)Report

      • Kim in reply to Will Truman says:

        I often mention not having a TV, but it’s mostly in context of discussing sports.
        Though I am a fan, I normally do not watch games. Worst Sports Fan Ever.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Will Truman says:

        #8.1 The guy who tries to tell you a joke from a cartoon he saw, usually some XKCD or Far Side thing.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Will Truman says:

        For some people, Twitter is great. Facebook’s security model is just creepy. Google+ I like, post under my own name out there. But it’s more to keep in touch with friends from blogging and consulting over the years. Much more robust model, just as intrusive but far less creepy. LinkedIn is starting to get on my nerves. Got a call yesterday from some hiring manager asking for a personal reference for someone who hadn’t even asked if I’d provide one. Now that was both creepy and unprofessional.

        But then, I’m a Google-everything sort of guy, I pay for Google Drive, gmail, Google Chat, Google Docs. Anyone who found that stuff in a search for me wouldn’t find anything offensive, as they surely would down here.

        On the other side, BlaiseP and TubunMuzu are separate animals. They say preposterous and politically incorrect things. My Facebook identity has a dozen Pashto and Pakistani friends, I’m sure people with such connections are being watched. But it’s not under my own name and I’ve yet to find any pictures of me on Facebook, so there’s only so far they can reach. Curiously, Facebook is getting awfully creepy with me, saying I’ve been tagged in two photos. I haven’t. I know. I check. They’re constantly trying to get me to log back in every few days with this little ruse.Report

      • greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

        Facebook is creepy. Lots of people bring up slippery slope arguments regarding privacy and gov which i don’t find solid. But if people want to see a place where a slippery slope might be starting and in fact is actively greasing the slide, FB is the place. FB may be voluntary but that doesn’t mean it isn’t changing the social norms of people towards not giving even a thought towards privacy. That and that Microsoft xbox thingee that has a camera and mic always on.Report

    • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

      Oh yeah, I tweeted this the other day, but…Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:

        I tweeted


        (Seriously, what is the attraction to tweeting?)Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

        It’s a good way to tag articles, which is mostly what I use it for (and why I have a paltry following, I’d wager).Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        James, I have actually only Tweeted a few times, but I do enjoy Twitter.

        Create a Twitter account and follow @desusnice (he is not safe for work), and you might understand why.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Chris says:

        This guy signed up for Twitter with my email address:

        I kind of want to hijack the account and start tweeting 19th-century etiquette rules or something like that.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Chris says:


        I concur. I don’t get tweeting and I have writer friends who are seemingly good at using tweets to build their brands and audiences. It still makes no sense to me. Same with Klout.Report

      • Kim in reply to Chris says:

        Try this.
        Seriously, letting folks do an improv track ‘n response to their own show?
        they’re /good/ comedians.

        [disc: I haven’t even seen the previous season, and the twitterfeed is Still Funny.]Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Chris says:

        Why to tweet (or be on Twitter) is because it’s basically a centralization of the thoughts and (links to) the work product every blog & blogger, writer, leader, information worker, etc. etc. everywhere (with exceptions) – where everyone who you can get to look at you will also see what you have to say. It’s a big sharing machine that broke through to a public-square function that, because it is so linked to meat world social networks, Facebook never did. It’s basically just a really efficient (or maybe, relatively ubiquitous?) bulletin board. You go on Twitter to find out what lots and lots and lots of people (famous, influential, and not-so-much) are up to, have made or said, and are thinking. You tweet to let all of them know some of that about you. It’s pretty simple, really. And it’s not some people’s thing, to be sure.Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        A bulletin board is a good analogy. I see Twitter as basically the internet of old, as in the early-to-mid 90s, but prettier and with a hell of a lot more people. Depending on how you use it, it’s a bulletin board, a chat room, or an IM medium, or all three at once.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Chris says:

        Chris, yes. There are a number of functions I didn’t mention (not all the best or healthiest I’d add, but some very useful or enjoyable), but I wanted to say how a person not inclined to use the service might conceive of its primary potential use to them, and, as Will says, for those most peripherally involved or not at all, I think the most useful & easiest to understand function is a sharing/bulletin board that LOTS of people see.Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:

        There are two sides here, the demand side and the supply side.

        On the supply side, if I was trying to build a brand and a following because it was financially remunerative to my career, sure, I’d play on the fact that some people do seem to find value in it. I’m not, nor am I interested in doing so, nor do I imagine that I could be persuaded to do so. So that leaves expressing myself to a handful of people who for unfathomable reasons want to know my passing thoughts. I imagine the average content value of those recorded thoughts equaling, “I just took a really satisfying dump.”

        On the demand side, I keep getting invites to sign up for various people’s twitter accounts. But why would I want a non-stop onslaught of other people’s 146 character thoughts and links? At the risk of ending up on the list Glyph linked to, unplug once in a while, for agnostic god’s’ sake.

        This “centralization” business is not, to me, suggestive of that much value-added.

        But admittedly I’m not into social media. I used to have a Facebook account. I also used to be LinkedIn. But while it was useful for connecting to certain people, the perpetual friend/LinkedIn requests from everyone who had any kind of remote connection to me was unbearable. When students who took one class with me and whose names, faces, and performances I can’t remember, and colleagues who I actively dislike, keep asking me to join their LinkedIn network, I want to burn the fucker down. Same with Twitter. A good acquaintance of mine has invited me to join his Twitter, and I keep getting emails about it. Seriously, if somebody doesn’t respond by the second time, they’re just not that into you.. People who wouldn’t be that sadly persistent in real life enable an inhuman tool to do it for them.

        If you want to sell me, try harder. If you want to write me off as an impossible customer, that’s cool.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Chris says:

        @jm3z-aitch : just don’t respond to the LinkedIn requests. Only a few people will ever get access to my LinkedIn. I get to watch who’s watching me. Tell you what I do hate about LinkedIn, all these morons who endorse me for skills they’ve never once seen me demonstrate. That kinda damages the brand, imho.Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Chris says:

        It’s like the goddam Mormon missionaries who come knocking on my door. I’m not going to answer them, either, but they keep coming and knocking on my door, and I don’t want them knocking on my fishing door.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Chris says:

        Orders are — Nobody can see the Great Oz! Not nobody, not nohow!Report

      • Kim in reply to Chris says:

        Answer the door. ONCE. There are plenty of ways to get off the mormon lists.Report

      • roger in reply to Chris says:

        I am with James on this. I do not “get” the appeal of Facebook, LinkedIn or Tweets. I assumed it was an age thing but none of my kids “get” them either.

        Of course my wife doesn’t “get” the value of OT either.Report

      • Pierre Corneille in reply to Chris says:


        I am with James on this. I do not “get” the appeal of Facebook, LinkedIn or Tweets. I assumed it was an age thing but none of my kids “get” them either.

        Of course my wife doesn’t “get” the value of OT either.

        Almost completely ditto, except that I don’t have kids. I do have 9 nieces and nephews in their 20s and 30s, and some are more into facebook than I, however.Report

      • greginak in reply to Chris says:

        I’m not really into Facebook however it is good for some things. For one i can see nephew pix all the time, that is a good thing. They are all across the darn continent so i rarely get to see them in person. I have a few friends who are frequent FB poster( like multiple times per day) but what i see mostly is inspirational stuff or talking about the things they are doing to make their lives good. One has dealt with the cancer the others with some big life upsets. Of course this can be seen as narcissistic, but it comes off to me as their own affirmations to make their life better and looking for attaboys/girls. They don’t have the local places to go or are far away from friends so i takes the place of talking on the front stoop. Also my ex-wife is constantly talking about where her little band is playing to try and get people to come them, which makes complete sense to me. The people that weird me out are the chronic over sharing types. Those who tell everybody far to much about their personal lives. The , this is what i had for lunch or “wow its sunny” stuff is also worthless.Report

      • roger in reply to Chris says:

        “The people that weird me out are the chronic over sharing types. Those who tell everybody far to much about their personal lives.”

        And those damn cat pictures.Report

      • roger in reply to Chris says:

        Will, what do you mean it is a good way to tag articles? Do you use it as a personal reference library or reading list?

        I do not have a twitter thingie, so I am probably misunderstanding.Report

      • Just Me in reply to Chris says:

        I get Facebook and twitter. I have family spread out all over the place. Nice to be able to keep up with them. When my niece’s husband was in Afghanistan it was great to see the update and to see the photos and feel connected. Back when I was in Germany during the first Gulf War we didn’t get to communicate with our family back home like they do now.Report

      • roger in reply to Chris says:

        Is there done kind of protocol in Facebook where people are not supposed to communicate serious thoughts or correspond with each other on each other’s wallpaper?

        I am asking because neither seem to occur much in my limited exposure.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

        @roger Are you at all familiar with Diigo, Furl, Delicious, or any of the other link apps out there? They basically provide an easy and convenient way to store links. Bookmarking, except that instead of being on a local machine, it’s on a website out there. And they can be easily shared.

        I used to use Diigo (still do) as a way to flag interesting articles for easy reference later. I still use Diigo for Monday Trivia. I run across something that is a good question for sometime down the line, tag it “Trivia” and when I need a question, I go to Diigo and look up Tag:Trivia and make a post about it. (I also use it when shopping. I find something of interest and I Diigo it.)

        Twitter is less useful for indexing, but more useful for sharing links.Report

      • roger in reply to Chris says:

        No, but I will look them up. I primarily live with an iPad and use their reading list for a first screen and then I move larger, better, meatier articles to a bookmark which I then awkwardly manage. Right now I have about twenty five important journal articles which I need to study.

        For example, I have
        The Globalization of Human Well-Being by Indur M. Goklany bookmarked as well as a one hour youtube video on “How Ant Colonies Get Things Done”.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:

        Tell you what I do hate about LinkedIn, all these morons who endorse me for skills they’ve never once seen me demonstrate.

        I got endorsed for JMS by a former neighbor who’s a therapist. Lovely person, but I doubt she can spell JMS.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Chris says:

        Not trying to sell anyone – I have no agenda for anyone to use Twitter or not. I was just answering the question that was asked – why do people use Twitter?Report

    • Jonathan McLeod in reply to Glyph says:

      I will now forever picture you as the “I don’t own a TV” guy.Report

  8. BlaiseP says:

    [T6] I spent some time writing interactive educational and training material for Laserdisc. It was a godsend for outfits like Motorola, to be able to document a manufacturing process and do the training, even before a production line went in.Report

  9. Brandon Berg says:

    J1: Probably base-36. Didn’t strike me as a great screening problem, though. It’s one of those things that you either see or you don’t.Report

  10. Mike Schilling says:

    C1 make the excellent point that the South had no problem with the welfare state so long as its beneficiaries were white.Report

  11. j r says:

    C1: Ackerman is reaching, to say the least. His central thesis seems to be that since Old South white Democrats voted for FDR and favored the New Deal they can’t be like the Tea Party. This is absolutely false and predicated on the idea that you cannot be simultaneously racist and progressive. In fact, most racist and nationalist ideologies have decidedly progressive economic leanings.

    The Tea Party talks a lot about individualism, not because of any real devotion to libertarian ideas, but rather because that is the ethos of the American mythology. In reality, the Tea Party has no issue with big government spending as long as the government is spending in support of “real Americans.” This is why the Tea Party focuses on things like food stamps and immigration, but not on Medicaid, farm support or defense spending.

    The historical fact is that the New Deal was both economically progressive and absolutely in support of the prevailing white supremacy of the time. Ackerman can’t see that, because he is wedded to a narrative in which capitalists are the real evil behind everything.Report

  12. LeeEsq says:

    C1- I linked to this article yesterday but the Economist recently made the argument that the Tea Party is similar in ideas and function to the far right populist parties in Europe that are based on mythological ideas about national identity. Like the Tea Party, the far right populist parties are fine with welfare state provisions that are earned and favor the native born majority over the immigrant minority. They romanticize the past alot and find victory in defeat.Report

  13. KatherineMW says:

    I’ve been to two of the 13 gateways to hell (Hierapolis in Turkey, and Mayan cenotes in Mexico). That’s pretty neat.Report

  14. LeeEsq says:

    C2- Doesn’t Liberty University face certain ideological problems in becoming the Notre Dame of politics? Notre Dame is a Catholic university by the classroom and intellectual atmosphere seem rather doctrine free from what I know about it. The same is true at most Catholic universities in the United States. Liberty University is a bit more devoted to the doctrines of evangelical Protestantism and American conservatism. Several years ago, the New York Times had an article on how liberal students received a lukewarm response when they tried to set up an extra-curricular activitiy for Democratic Party members on campus.Report

  15. Vikram Bath says:

    All these articles purporting to tell us about the *real* Tea Party kind of remind me of the now well-established genre of telling us what Millennials are like.Report

  16. Michael Cain says:

    So, has the relatively large number of comments this week affected your decision?Report