Morning Ed: Society {2016.02.10.W}

Will Truman

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

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48 Responses

  1. Damon says:

    Loneliness: “Remember, though, how justified we are in socially isolating smokers and the obese because their behavior is so unhealthy.” If it’s akin to “solitary” in prison, are those who advocate social isolation then, advocating torture?

    Gay Cake: Don’t see any difference. Freedom of association.

    McD’s BF: Hey, sometimes you want biscuits and gravy or grits or eggs and bacon at night. Pie is also good for breakfast and so is lasagna.Report

  2. veronica d says:

    Loneliness sticks a lot. I’m not sure what we can do. Many lonely people are weird and socially phobic. But still. We can at least acknowledge that it’s a tough grind.

    Yep, I’m a night owl who goofs off. My employer indeed seems to understand people like me.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to veronica d says:

      Good for them. And you!Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d says:

      My wife has a night owl who works for her. She does good work, but often fails to communicate when she will be in late because she stayed up all night working.

      If your rhythm is off, you have to have good communication skills.Report

    • Troublesome Frog in reply to veronica d says:

      For as crappy as my last employer was on many fronts, they gave me no grief for my “wake up when you wake up, even it it means coming in at 11:00” policy. Some middle management grumbled about it, but they worked 9-5 and a lot of the people they complained about worked 11-midnight, so they were overruled.Report

  3. notme says:

    I thought we were all done there?

    Obama admin sends troops to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    Re: Morning Person v. Night Owl

    I think the only solution to this issue is to become a truly 24/7 society. I wonder happen though and whether the costs (lighting, heat, air conditioning, etc) are seen as outweighing the gains. There is probably some left over cultural fear of night time from when it was truly dangerous to be out late. Do we know how many morning people v. night people are out there? Is it a 50-50 split? Are most people somewhere inbetween? How would this work for education? Are there enough nightowl kids to justify having school run in shifts?

    What I’ve noticed in a lot of offices is that the night shift work is usually just keep stuff running for the morning. Almost every law firm I’ve worked at with a word processing department, has word processing work during the graveyard shift. The lawyers and paralegals get everything ready during the day, word processing makes it look pretty and official at night, and it gets filed the next morning. IT also seems to be an option for night-owls as is infrastructure construction. the NYC subways does their repairs at night.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      How would that play out in practice, though?

      It seems to me that it’d be more likely to result in 24/7 white/pink collar work and 9ish to 5ish for white collar jobs. (Obvious exceptions for outliers in Tech, of course.)Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

        According to Saul we already have 24/7 pink collar/low level white collar work in some fields like big law. For historical reasons, many jobs were done when people were asleep for a variety. The night in night soil refers to the time when human and other waste was collected. Bakers worked and often still work late at night/early in the morning so people can have fresh bread. There were always law enforcement and other emergency personal that work late in the night because stuff happens. The MTA does most of the repair work on New York’s transit system at night. It is also a twenty-four hour service.

        Basically, modern society is already a 24/7 hour society in many ways. There are and were always people up working, playing, or doing something illegal during the sleeping hours. This is especially true in big secular cities like New York, Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo. Saul is probably just arguing for formal recognition of this.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

          So a truly 24/7 society would require the powerful to be night owls too?

          I suspect that if they wanted that to happen, it would have happened already.

          This is one of the weird things about we, as a society, abandoning “The Sabbath”. We went from all workers (notable exceptions: wives, mothers, etc) having a day off to only powerful workers having a day off. More people jointed the notable exceptions so, I suppose, we had lessened inequality, I guess.

          Moving to a truly 24/7 society will result in the truly powerful working bankers hours. And more people joining the notable exceptions.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

            And it just hit me: Duh. I’m childless.

            How much of our schedules is built around the fact that kids need to go to school and parents, for some reason, want to spend time with their children sometimes?Report

            • Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird says:

              Quite a bit.

              This is thing often overlooked by people who throw up spaghetti strands against the refrigerator when it comes to public policy, I’ve noticed over the years. Like, when someone in my state pitches the idea of moving away from a classroom setting to entirely online elementary and secondary education as a way to save on taxes, without considering that public schools are actually designed to provide two functions: education and free daycare.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                You also forgot that schools serve as a socialization mechanism. Even forgetting the day care and socialization reasons for school, entirely online elementary and secondary education seems like a terrible, terrible idea for a variety of reasons. Kids who need a little or a lot of extra help won’t get it because the lack of real life interaction makes it harder to see who is struggling. Everything will become a route and class interactions and discussion nearly impossible. Science labs would disappear. It won’t work period.Report

            • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

              One of my many thoughts on the day my son started kindergarten:

              “Holy shit! I’m going to have to be up at 6:30 every weekday morning, possibly for the next 13 years.”

              Of course, I was in grad school at the time, so many were the mornings on which I took him to school, went to the school breakfast with him, drove back home, and climbed back in bed.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Chris says:

                6:30? You rat bastard. 5:30 for me. If I’m lucky.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Kazzy says:

                I’m up at 5, every day, if he sleeps through the night.

                It’s the only way I can have some coffee and catch the weather before he’s up and talking a mile a minute.*

                *Just last night, I asked my wife, “Tell me again, why did we teach him to talk?”Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Oscar Gordon says:


                Your critter is about 5, yes?

                For me, it is actually the younger one that causes more difficulties. Mayo will usually sleep until about 6:30 (and even then I have to rouse him) and then will zone out in front of the TV for a few minutes with his breakfast drink. But Little Marcus Allen? Ugh! He crawls this way and that way and gets himself caught in places he shouldn’t be or is trying to keep up with me going a million miles an hour or just wants to be held or decides he wants to eat and then not eat but then eat again and sometimes he sleeps until 6 but sometimes its 4:45 and fucking Christ why did we celebrate him gaining mobility?

                Before he could crawl, I could sleep until 6 and have a relatively calm morning. Now, I’m up at 5:30 and still feel like I’m always rushing out the door.Report

            • PD Shaw in reply to Jaybird says:

              It’s not just children; any social aspect places restrictions on all possible scheduling arrangements — children, spouse, parent-care, co-workers, employees, utilities, clients, etc. From a personal perspective, I provide business services and it is to my advantage to have a business-hours norm (roughly 9 to 5) for a whole host of reasons, but the primary reason is selfish, I want non-work time.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to PD Shaw says:

                My ideal schedule is one where I go to work first thing in the morning, work until mid-afternoon, then be able to run any and all errands I am inclined to run because everything else is open 24/7.

                And all it requires is a bunch of people who don’t spend time with their kids in the evenings.Report

            • Zac in reply to Jaybird says:

              This entire subthread just reminds me how glad I am that I got a vasectomy.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

            I suspect that many powerful people are already night owls and are just prevented from acting as such because of their spouses, kids, and the law requiring them to be day birds.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

              If we could get spouses and children out of the way, maybe we could finally have a truly livable society.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

                I was just trying to guess what my brother meant by a 24/7 society and pointing out that in many ways we are close to being one. What I wrote isn’t something that I believe to be necessarily right or just.Report

              • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

                After the last two nights of hell, I just want a child that will g-d sleep. That’s my version of “livable”.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Glyph says:

                Have you considered swaddling? Or it’s closely related cousin smothering?Report

              • Glyph in reply to Kazzy says:

                She’s two, and she’s sick, so hopefully this is temporary, because I can’t live like this.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Glyph says:

                I am incredibly fortunate in that I can function pretty well on an average of 5 hours of sleep per night. But I’m a psychopath. I often go on 10 mile runs and think, “Man… if only I slept more than 3 hours last night, I probably could have cracked 11.”

                I should rent out my services. Send me your infants, I’ll return them as fully-functioning five-year-olds.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Glyph says:

                Not to make fun of your situation, which I lived through on a regular basis many years ago, but I am always reminded of the multiple choice test titled “Are You Ready to Be a Parent” someone gave me back in those days. The correct answer to the question “How much sleep do you need each night?” was (d) sleeping makes me irritable.Report

          • Murali in reply to Jaybird says:

            My wife used to work at KPMG. A lot of the partners used to keep just as long or even longer hours than the executives (e.g. till 2am especially during peak periods)Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        Basically like I described now. A universal 9 to 5 ish schedule is just too easy for the sake of coordination.Report

        • Some jobs need to be 100% coordinated. A lot of jobs don’t, though.

          Nearly every job I’ve had would have been fine with a “core hour” setup, where you had some flexibility but needed to be in the office between 10-4 or 11-3 and from 8-5 you needed to be willing to make a good faith effort to be responsive if someone needs to ask or tell you something.

          This actually would have been better for some employers because they would need someone to finish a job that landed on the team’s desks at 4:30.Report

    • Alan Scott in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      and, look at the examples of “night owl” we’ve seen mentioned in the thread. People working 11am to midnight. Those people are going to be just as fucked up by a midnight to 8am shift as people who are at work & awake at 6am.Report

  5. aaron david says:

    As others intimated, 9-5 (or set your own schedule) is for the white collar crowd. Someone else setting your schedual, that is for the working class.

    Oh, and its OK to isolate smokers and the obese because, again, they are of the working class.Report

    • I wasn’t aware that we isolated smokers? Unless by “isolate” you mean restrict where they can smoke? Not quite the same, though.Report

      • I agree with some time place restrictions and disagree with others, but I was referring more to cultural attitudes.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:

          I often think about the fact that literally none of my friends would classify as “smokers”. Some of us (self included) enjoy the occasional cigar. A few are semi-regular pot smokers but that mostly dried up once the children arrived. Some were ‘social smokers’ in high school. But, yea, none of my friends smoke. Was this just chance? Was there some sort of “sort” that happened somewhere along the lines? I’ve made friends in numerous circumstances (e.g., high school, college, post college, work) so I can’t point to a single pattern that explains it… at least not one that is easily identifiable. But it stands out. And does make me wonder…

          The thing is, I don’t really have any objections to smoking. I grew up around smoking via my dad (though I wasn’t regularly in his presence). Sometimes the smoke bothers me and sometimes not but it isn’t something I make conscious effort to avoid nor is it something I see as a moral issue.

          One of the difficulties about the question of “isolating” smokers is the conflation of the health issues and the moral issues. All things being equal, I prefer a smoke-free environment to a smokey one, for both health and comfort reasons (and this preference has shifted to a requirement with the children afoot). But I’d resist being told I “isolate” myself from smokers because I don’t think I would. I might isolate myself from smoking, but that is different. That is a behavior, not a person. If I had a friend who was a smoker and we went to the bar and he wanted to step outside for a smoke, it’d be of no bother to me. And on a nice day, I might even join him (not in smoking, but in going outside).

          Now, some anti-smoking measures are “morally” based and do seek to isolate smokers in the hopes of expunging their habit. But there is so much overlap between the health/comfort angle and the ‘moral’ anger that it is really hard to separate them out.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

            That there is almost always *some* health angle does make it hard to tease out, sometimes. But some of the arguments are so flimsy that the only reason they carry the day is a near complete disregard for the experience (convenience, emotional well-being, etc) of smokers themselves.

            Which is more of what I am talking about. Less the laws and actions and more the attitudes behind them.

            One example I like to point to is when Washington state passed a law allowing for cigar lounges. Cigarette smoking in them was explicitly banned in them.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:

              What are some other examples? I’d be curious how many I might have been “snookered” by.

              It does increasingly seem like there is no where for smokers to smoke.Report

            • greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

              That WA laws sounds impressively silly. However i think calling what smokers go through “social isolation” is a bit over the top. It’s not like smokers smoke all the time. Well few do, the number of 3 or 4 pack per day smokers is pretty low at this point. Smokers have plenty of opportunity to mix with us “regular” folks, just not when smoking which is most of the time. Not being able to smoke and socialize with “polite company” at the same time isn’t exactly isolation.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to greginak says:

                “Isolate” might have been the wrong word but I think the idea that we are willing to treat smokers (and the obese) in a particular way because we associate those behaviors with the poor rings true.

                And when laws target smoking in private residences, I would argue that a degree of isolation results. If Anytown, USA bans smoking in private residences, they are essentially telling smokers not to live there.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to greginak says:

                As I say, it’s not the laws (or not just them) but the attitudes behind them. The Washington law isn’t just silly. It’s indicative of the mindset that a 300-acre campus should have nowhere on it where smoking is permitted. That in an entire airport, where people are often laid over in a day of travel, we cannot allow a single venue where smoking is permitted (including, increasingly, outside). A mindset where people only endorse smokers for losing their jobs because they smoke on their own time. A mindset that is disappointed they cannot put grotesque propaganda on cigarette packs to jar smokers into quitting.

                These things didn’t come from nowhere. A smoker’s impact on a non-smoker’s life has decreased (which is a good thing! To a point at least.), but instead of resulting in relief, anti-smoking attitudes have become ever more hostile.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

                You need to switch to pot.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Kolohe says:

                I used to joke that in the future I would have to assure a questioning police officer that my vaporizer had pot rather than nicotine.


                Last year Ottawa passed an ordinance that banned vaping unless it had marijuana (and you had a medmar card).

                So I don’t really make that joke anymore.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

                In defense of non-smokers engaging in such behaviors:

                smokers shouldn’t be smoking anyway.Report

  6. Kim says:

    They rebooted Hunter X Hunter, except now with more creepy gay stuff, actual plot (glare at the author, he wasn’t done writing last time, kinda like Martin), and less quality music. I should totally write a review.Report