Linky Friday #169: Psychedelic Pork


Will Truman

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

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81 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Cr1, Cr5; its scary how there seem to be so many people that don’t see anything wrong with such immoral behavior.

    Ci1: Houston is a giant suburb with some urban like features in parts.

    R3: I found this article less than impressive when my brother posted it on Facebook. Either nuclear power is objectively safe or it is not. Sometimes your going to have to let science speak for itself even if it goes against your ideological worldview.

    Ci4: Yes, we do.

    Ci5: How hard could it be to manufacture a metal triangle to be used in an orchestra?

    E1: This should produce a lot of heat.

    E3: Sumner’s piece is right on. To me the problem is that economists are trying to be rational about humans and humans can be irrational at times. For most people, a strictly rational economic life would be with a lot of work and very little leisure or creature comforts because the big disaster could come along at anytime and your going to grow old even if it doesn’t come. In aggregate we know that this would drive people mad and that its a way to societal poverty because people aren’t consuming much.

    E4: There is always a price to pay, its just often not paid by the person who should be paying it because people are bad at justice.

    TV3: Even as a nerdy kid I always thought that Doogie Howser’s concept was ridiculous. It suspended my disbelief that any insurance company would allow this.Report

    • Avatar Mo says:

      TV3: The 80s were full of TV shows with ridiculous premises. That was half the fun. Mr. Belvedere, Bosom Buddies, Charles in Charge and Small Wonder were also pretty silly concepts.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        A bar in Boston that was more brightly lit than most Kmarts of the time and quiet enough you could be heard across the room.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      R3: There is value in determining that certain demographics assess risk in different ways. That was where the value of that article stopped. Everything past that point is partisan pot-shotting (which is very typical of Vox).Report

      • Avatar DavidTC says:

        R3: There is value in determining that certain demographics assess risk in different ways. That was where the value of that article stopped.

        It seems like that article could have been a *lot* smarter than it was.

        The idea that minorities and women, who often suffer with the ‘system’ doing nothing to help them, then turn around and assess something like nuclear power, which requires a *trustworthy* system to be safe, at a higher risk, is both a) obvious and b) something I have literally never heard anyone point out and has obvious political implications.

        People who, in their interactions with systems tend to come out ahead, tend to ascribe less risk to things that require them trusting a system. People who, in their interactions with systems tend to come out behind, tend to ascribe *more* risk to such things.

        Really really obvious, and something I’ve never seen applied as any sort of generalization. I’ve seen specific examples, where people failed by a specific system no longer trust that system (The police, their school system, etc.), but no one has seemed to use it as a generality.

        It has all sorts of implications. For a completely random example, the unbanked: Yes, a lot of them *can’t* get bank accounts, but is it possible the poor have been screwed over so many times by various systems that they ascribe more risk to the banking system than is ‘correct’, so are willing to spend more to avoid that poorly-assessed risk?

        But the article spent so much time trying to get there, and then just wanders around the point for a bit, it’s like ‘Wait, shouldn’t this be the *starting point* of an interesting article? How is this a *conclusion*?’Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Cr4: Probably not this punishment exactly but I do think that judges should look more for non-jail punishments especially for misdemeanors. Though the jail thing for misdemeanors is often interesting. I remember reading that a lot of poor people might like jail as a punishment over fines because the county jails are usually so over crowded that the sheriff lets them go early or they can serve their sentence on days off from work (if they have work.)

    Tr2: Private contractors won’t shorten security lines. Getting rid of TSA rules will shorten the lines.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Private contractors are going to want to keep their customers happy. The customer is the Federal government and not the people going through security.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Tr2 – Private contractors can be ramped up and down as needed. TSA employees are not as flexible. Basically, in order to avoid long lines at any given airport, the TSA would have to hire enough employees to handle the max passenger load, and then keep them all on the payroll full time, even when not needed. Private contractors can have an on-call staff that can be employed during peak times, and furloughed at other times (or something like that – maybe a mix of full & part time, etc.).

      Reducing TSA rules would help a lot as well. The whole shoes thing continues to be an utter joke.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        It doesn’t seem to work this way in retail. When was the last time you were at a store where every cash register was operated even during busy times?Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          Retail can be unexpectedly slammed. The TSA has no such excuse. They can contact the airlines and airport and get a very good estimate of exactly how many people will be flying out at any given time, with probably at least 2 weeks lead time (I bet @veronica-d would know better, but I bet most aircraft will be have at least 80% of their final bookings done at least 2 weeks before the flight).Report

          • Avatar veronica d says:

            I actually don’t know that side. I understand schedules, fares, and the faring rules. Regarding the timing of inventory, that falls under “revenue management,” and while I know some of the math they use, I don’t actually work with the day-to-day.

            The thing is, I don’t work for an airline, nor do I handle bookings. I work on an application that finds cheap fares, so mostly we consume industry data feeds, including their inventory (“availability”) feeds. But I spend much more time looking at test data than live data.

            (I’m pretty far removed from “ops,” so I don’t see the daily ups-and-downs.)

            (That said, recently I’ve been doing a lot of custom work for one of the “big three.” I’m learning way more about their internal shenanigans than I could ever really want.)

            (And I cannot believe I just spelled “shenanigans” correctly the first time.)Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              Sorry, my bad, I thought you worked with airline booking software and would have an idea of such things.

              Still, if my experience with booking my own flights is any indication, most aircraft are almost as booked as they are going to be about 2 weeks before the flight.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @oscar-gordon — Depends on the airline and the market. But the thing is, the major airlines are REALLY GOOD at revenue management (which is industry speak for inventory control).

                Pricing is handled real-time, with various “cabin classes” coming on- and off-line, several times per day. These “cabin classes” (it turns out) are mostly coach seats — in the sense that the airlines create dozens of virtual “cabins” which represent the same finite set of seats on the plane. (You also still have literal cabin classes, such as first class and business class. The point is, for the three actual cabin classes, there are many-many-many “cabin classes” sold at different price points.)

                The point is, a “seat” in inventory has little relationship to the physical seat on a plane. It’s a virtual notion, a “willingness to sell at price X.” The “price X” is the cabin class. (Modulo the fact that first class and business class still exist, although they too have multiple “cabin classes.”)

                Okay, so the reason for this nonsense is simple: there are no rules on how fast airlines can change inventory. That’s a real-time feed. Fares, on the other hand, must be published in advance, according to industry regulation, and can take hours to update. Plus they pay to push into that data feed. So they change fares every few days, but inventory every few minutes.

                The goal is simple: fill up the plane, charging the highest fares the market will bear.

                Obviously. But it’s tricky, right. The airlines have revenue experts who get good at this, such as, they keep track of which conventions are in which city on what days. So it’s not just “seasonal.” It’s not just “stay over Saturday night.” It’s not just “fly the red-eye.” Those are their old attempts at variable pricing. (Which still exist, and have to be accounted for in software, and dammit I hate the airline rules). But the real-time projections models have gotten really good. They know that a big music festival is schedules in Cow Town, IN in August, and they know to bump up the fares to nearby airports.

                When is the last time you flew on a plane that was less than “nearly full”?

                The big airlines are actually two businesses crammed together. One is the part that flies airplanes. It’s the minor thing. The other is the part that uses advanced models to control revenue. That’s where the winners do their thing.

                (There is an old adage among military buffs: amateurs think tactics, professionals think logistics. So it goes for the airlines.)

                Anyway, it’s a lot of fun for an optimization nerd such as myself.

                I just wish it was convex. It isn’t convex.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Holy agnostic Jeebus! You managed to make airline inventory pricing and control a fascinating read. Well done!Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                I just wish it was convex. It isn’t convex.

                Most of the interesting questions/problems aren’t convex. If they were, anyone could solve them and they wouldn’t be interesting.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:


                she shouts into the endless void of spaceReport

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I can’t remember where I learned it, but yeah, I know about the models and the way modern airlines tweak fares and inventory to maximize revenue. I agree with @north, it’s quite fascinating. I wonder when the technological tipping point was for being able to employ such models in real time?

                But to my original point, I’m betting the TSA can, whenever they want, get a very good estimate about how many people will be hitting the security lines in any given airport, on any given day, probably at any given time. The airport has to know how many planes are taking off and when they are scheduled, and it knows this far in advance. The airlines have a very good idea how many bodies will be on those planes. I’m pretty sure the TSA actually already knows all of this, since they scan passenger lists for threats/no-fly lists, so if the security line is longer than, say, 20 minutes, the TSA has screwed up their personnel scheduling or they are severely understaffed that day, and they should have known two weeks ago that they were going to be understaffed.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Ah yes.

                I bet the answer has something to do with incentives.

                (Which is to say, the “yay free market” nerds are right sometimes.)Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                Is this similar to the “dynamic pricing” models many sports teams/stadiums use these days?Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @kazzy — Probably. I’m not familiar with the process.

                Hotels face the same problem. If you pull back the lens, you’ll see the same business problem. An empty seat earns you nothing. If you sell it for a dollar, you’re up one dollar. However, if you sell all your seats for a dollar, you lose big. So yeah, “variable pricing,” however you can achieve it.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Funny thing, at my work we have a “travel” division, under which we have two sub-divisions: flights and hotels, the two industries with the most opaque pricing models possible. Which is where we come in. We can make things slightly less terrible for the public.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I think dynamic pricing basically uses algorithms to change prices in real time based on demand and other factors. So two people can end up sitting next to each other but having paid very different prices for their seats based on when they bought and what was happening at that moment.

                More here:

              • Avatar veronica d says:


                The annoying part, with the airlines, is this: if the flight hasn’t sold well, then in the last few days the price will drop a lot. After all, an empty seat earns them nothing. They’ll do about anything to get a warm body in there. But they also are very good at making sure that doesn’t happen. So it’s a game. There are websites and forums dedicated to gaming the system — add to this the byzantine system of fare combinability rules, which sometimes you can “trick” the system and get a great price if you’re willing to change planes in some wildly out-of-the-way place.

                So it’s a game within a game, but I don’t want to play games. I just want a fair price to go see Mom.

                Blah. Everything is terrible. Moloch wins again.

                (I don’t know these tricks, even though I work in the industry. It’s a forest-for-the-trees thing. I know the trees really well, but not the forest.)

                (It’s that ADHD hyper-focus thing. I know what I know in ludicrous detail, at the expense of perspective.)

                That said, Google Flights has some nice tools that help you make decisions, without having to become a price-war-nerd:

                (My opinions don’t represent those of my employer. Full disclosure: blah figure it out.)

                Actually I think it would fun to work on the revenue models, instead of the minutia of rules evaluation, which is what I currently do. That said, I don’t want to work for the airlines themselves. They don’t seem like progressive employers.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I’ve seen a couple companies (I think Casper mattresses is one?) that goes the other way: no sales, no special pricing, no coupons, everyone gets the same mattress for the same price no matter when you buy it.

                I’m not sure that is a better model but it is an interesting approach. It’ll be interesting to see how “the market” responds.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                A bit tangentially, but I was pretty attracted to Carmax because they didn’t try to upsell me, didn’t want to haggle, and basically said “Here’s all the cars, there’s the prices, it’s not gonna change”.

                They still had the usual pressures of people working on commission, but even their hard-sell was less annoying because they weren’t trying to load bells and whistles to pad the cost.

                It was…nice. I walked in, told them the rough idea of what I was looking for “four door, minimum mpg of X, maximum mile of Y, no older than Z” and we’d start going through the lot.

                I bought new a few years later and noted that Toyota, at least, had moved to a somewhat similar model. I think online sales had a lot to do with that.Report

      • Avatar Nevermoor says:

        Tr2: The answer is simple. Pre-Check.

        All the benefits of 1990s travel, with the added ability to feel superior to those in the crazy lines.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          Yeah, I finally bit the bullet and did that. Got my interview later this month.

          As an aside, pre check interviews for young children is ridiculous and massive waste of time. It’s something that can be verified the first time the kid flies.Report

  3. Avatar j r says:

    From TV7:

    There’s a whole new crop of young girls growing up in an age of Instagram hearts, Facebook likes, and Tinder swipes, and these ladies are being conditioned to think that acceptance by complete strangers is the be-all, end-all of their existence. An acceptance, mind you, that is predicated on their physical appearance.

    I’ve long noticed the effect of Daria, but can’t say that I’ve seen it at as much of a positive. It’s interesting that he author doesn’t connect the dots and see how the Daria-fication of one generation led to the exact thing that she laments. Once snark and smugness rules, it is inevitable that shallowness will follow.Report

    • Avatar veronica d says:

      I’ve long noticed the effect of Daria, but can’t say that I’ve seen it at as much of a positive. It’s interesting that he author doesn’t connect the dots and see how the Daria-fication of one generation led to the exact thing that she laments. Once snark and smugness rules, it is inevitable that shallowness will follow.

      You’re going to have to do a little more to connect those dots. Daria was certainly snarky, but that hardly resembles being shallow, nor image obsessed, nor dependent on the judgment of strangers. You can’t just wave your hands and insist the latter comes from the former.

      As a society, we’ve probably become on the whole too ironic, and Daria was on the leading edge of that. But she wasn’t alone on that path, and she was — well — a she, which believe me, when you’re a gal, seeing a girl like Daria out there is priceless.

      There is a thing about being sardonic. I don’t know. This is gendered. Men can be aggressive, loud, obnoxious. If a woman tries those things — well I’ve met a few women who can pull it off, but not so many. But to be — quietly snide, the observer, the one who rolls her eyes.

      There is this Tweet that got passed around, which I cannot find, but it said something like,

      There is nothing more intimate than the look that two women share when a man is speaking.

      Heh. So many of my female friends reblogged that. Cuz we know. That eye roll! I’ve done that!

      But we let him prattle on, cuz to confront him is to prick his male ego — the most fragile thing in the universe. It just ain’t worth the trouble. We’d rather share the look.

      Daria was amazing, a role model, my very queen of all that is cool. I wish I could pull that off, but I’m too much of a goofball.

      Anyway, you often encounter this thing where, a fair number of women really relate to a thing, and a bunch of men strongly dislike it. I have theories as to why this happens.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        I have to confess, I am also a big Daria fan. I came to the cult long after the show was off the air but she was just so deliciously deadpan! What is not to love?!?!Report

      • Avatar j r says:

        You’re going to have to do a little more to connect those dots… You can’t just wave your hands and insist the latter comes from the former.

        I didn’t.

        My beef isn’t with Daria. My beef is with the folks who use the character Daria as their avatar for snark. Once snark and smugness become the dominant mode of conversation within a certain ecosystem, the internet for example, then conversation invariably becomes more about status signalling than about meaningful communication. And once conversation becomes about status signalling, it becomes about jockeying for status within that particular community, which is another way of saying that how other people perceive you becomes the most important thing.

        The physical appearance thing is a canard, because it’s always about physical appearance. The body acceptance advocates don’t say it’s OK if you’re not beautiful, they say you ARE beautiful, no matter .

        Don’t know why you chose to make this about sex and offer all of those random, subjective characterizations about half the population. The kind of focus on snark over substance happens in an awful lot of male dominated communities. And there are scores of male internet writers who can cop a smug pose better than anyone.

        Anyway, you often encounter this thing where, a fair number of women really relate to a thing, and a bunch of men strongly dislike it. I have theories as to why this happens.

        If it makes you feel better, I can start naming things I dislike that a fair number of men really relate to. I’ve made numerous comments here on how I generally dislike comic book movies.Report

        • Avatar veronica d says:

          @j-r — I’d say, there are always going to be pecking orders in life, and while I won’t defend the social space of every person with a Daria-themed Twitter avatar (or whatever). That said, I certainly find the Daria-esque social aesthetic quite attractive.

          Which, right after high school I was besties with this one girl, and we really did form a kind of Daria-Jane duo. It helped us survive the hostile spaces we found ourselves in. (Funny thing, we were both trans and didn’t yet know it. This is, I suspect, not a coincidence.) The point is, snarky “outsider status” is a powerful bonding tool.

          Of course, most of us grow up and find ourselves, and while in some ways I’m still that girl, I’ve learned to play the social games. But still, right now I have one best friend who I spend most of my time with, and we don’t really quite “fit in.” And yeah, we’re a Daria-Jane duo. We make smug comments about the people around us.

          (Except I couldn’t tell you which of us is Daria and which is Jane. It’s a complicated mix.)

          On “status signalling” — we’re social creatures, and so far as I can determine, “status signalling” means “normal human interaction.”

          Of course, it doesn’t feel good if you’re on the wrong side of it. Nor are all of us particularly good at it. But when you take the “outside view” and start seeing it as sociology rather than just normal engagement, well maybe stop overthinking things. Holding the “outside view” is actually going to hurt your chances of genuine engagement.

          No one owes you “meaningful conversation,” and certainly not on your terms. After all, you might be a colossal boor. And each of us from time to time must navigate a social space with an insufferable boor, and he will assault you with his to-him-meaningful nonsense until you want to jab a fork in your leg.

          Like, imagine being a woman stuck on a date with this guy. Okay, now imagine you’re not on a date with him. Instead you’re at a professional event, and you kinda don’t want to offend him.

          Hmmm. How to handle?

          You don’t necessarily want to confront him. That’s a no-win, particularly if you are a woman. (That’s a complex topic. I know women who make it work. I know many who do not.) You probably don’t want to engage with him. You certainly don’t want to debate him, and end up in some “Dictionary fight,” or else some other conceptual chess match, moving around abstruse notions that have little relevance in your life, but that he insists are super-duper-important. (Often he’s just a clueless nerdboy who learned about women from fanservice anime, and about politics from one of those X-Y graph political compasses, and economics from bloggers who thinks the “invisible hand” somehow achieves a consistent global optimum, and so on. In other words, it ain’t worth your time.)

          Anyway, round and round it goes, and the boor gloms on to me. At that point, OMG I wish I could pull off a full Daria status kill.

          Sadly I’m not witty enough. But I can aspire.


          This is gendered. It’s not an accident that Daria has become a feminist icon. Not to all women, but to those of us who were nerds, or nerd-adjacent. She is us. Likewise she uses discourse strategies that work for gal-nerds, which are not identical to what works for guy-nerds.

          I mean, not always everyone all the time. But often enough.


          If I see someone posting Daria memes, there is a good chance that I have a lot in common with that person, particularly if, like me, they grew up watching the show. Even more if they are a woman.Report

  4. Avatar notme says:

    Hillary’s email apologists are at it again.

    Albright: ‘Nobody is going to die’ from Clinton emails

  5. Avatar notme says:

    San Jose Mayor Justifies Mob Violence. Sure pelt folks with eggs and burn American flags b/c it’s Trump’s fault.

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      I am reading both the article you are linking to, and the one that it is linking to… and I am not seeing anything at all where the mayor said the violence was justified.

      Can you provide the quote or statement or whatever you’re seeing where he does this?Report

      • The headline of the linked Weekly Standard piece is “San Jose Mayor Justifies Mob Violence”. If you want to appreciate notme’s worldview, you need to stop reading past the headlines.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        The mayor is saying that the violence is justified/caused by the irresponsible behavior of the trump campaign.

        Let me also say that these actions by folks on the left reinforce evertying that I already believe about them and reinfoce my support for Trump.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        Maybe read the SECOND GOD DAMN PARAGRAPH

        “At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign,” the mayor said. Apparently it was downright “irresponsible” of Trump to even set foot in California’s third largest city.

        And yes, the Liccardo quote shows up in the Washington Post story.Report

        • Avatar RTod says:

          Yup. Still don’t see it.Report

          • Avatar notme says:

            Clearly you don’t want to. Liccardo is saying that the violence against Trump supporters is the result of Trump’s own “irresponsible behavior.” In other words the violence is justified by Trump’s behavior. Is that simple for you?Report

            • In other words, that one sentence quoted with no context is all anyone would ever need to know about Liccardo.Report

            • Avatar rtodkelly says:

              Well, yeah, that’s simple. But it’s also you adding s**t.

              I personally think Trump is greatly responsible for what is happening. And yet, I do not condone violence.

              You, also, probably think some people are responsible. Do you therefore condone it?Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                I was taught that i can’t control what others say or do but can only control my own actions.

                Funny that liberals blame trump for the actions of his opponents but don’t blame Bernie for the actions of his own supporters.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Is there a semantic resolution to this dispute? The phrase “take responsibility for his irresponsible behavior” implies, to me anyway, that Trump’s behavior is causing the violence, not that it justifies the violence. (“Causing” is not synonymous with “justifying”; I think even you’d agree with that.) That is, it’s possible to hold both those beliefs without contradiction!

                An example of a person who does hold those views happens to be Liccardo. His statement from yesterday:

                I condemn all acts of violence committed against people who exercise their rights to free speech and assembly

                You very well may disagree with Liccardo’s claim that Trump’s behavior is causing violence, but to infer that Liccardo thinks his behavior justifies the violence is a mistake.Report

              • Avatar rtodkelly says:

                And you’re an attorney?Report

      • Avatar notme says:


        Did that answer your question?Report

  6. Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

    E2: Weird traditions stick in surprising ways. If we had never heard of tipping and I tried to open a restaurant and said, “I’m going to pay the servers peanuts and ask the customers to voluntarily pay their salaries based on a mix of their whims and a rule of thumb,” people would look at me like I was crazy. But now that we do it that way, stopping it is next to impossible.Report

  7. Avatar DavidTC says:

    [Tr3] – This campaign is kinda dumb.

    I, and I suspect most people, pretty much *already* assume someone screwed up when there’s a car accident.

    I mean, yes, there are the ‘Driver had a heart attack’ or ‘Tree fell in highway’ car accidents where it wasn’t anyone’s fault, just bad luck, but we have an entire set of drivings rules designed to keep cars from running into each other, so barring some sort of actual Act of God, someone clearly did something wrong.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      That’s not the objection. The objection is that “accident” is too generous, and implies that there is no moral fault, papering over negligence or willful misconduct.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC says:

        …except, in my mind, accident *doesn’t* imply lack of moral fault. It implies lack of *intent*. (Which, barring a few incredibly rare exceptions, accurately describes cars running into each other.)Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Unless you can establish an intent to cause a wreck (e.g. road rage), or a considerable degree of willful negligence (like getting blitzed), chances are nobody wanted the collision to occur, ergo it happen accidentally – an accident.Report

      • Avatar Hoosegow Flask says:

        But since we don’t immediately know the intent or degree of negligence, shouldn’t we default to a neutral term? If two cars crash, I can say definitively that they crashed. I can assume it was an accident, but I don’t know that, and quite possibly can’t ever really know.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          That’s a pretty good point. It IS inarguable that they collided. It’s not really known if it was accidental or deliberate. (I mean the betting odds are “accident”, but sadly the latter is not exactly unknown).Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          Collision strikes me as a perfectly neutral term that expresses nothing with regard to intent or negligence.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC says:

            But ‘collision’ is just factually wrong some of the time. Someone who is going too fast on a turn, slips off the road, rolls over, and ends up upside down down a hill didn’t ‘collide’ with anything.

            What are you going to call *that*? A ‘car flip-overing’?

            In fact, talking about a ‘car collision’, without qualifies, usually means that *two* cars collided with each other. We wouldn’t say that someone that hit a tree was in a ‘car collision’. We generally say they were in a ‘collision with a tree’. Or, rather, we’d say it in a less stupid way, like their car collided with a tree.

            So even if ‘collision’ technically works for hitting a tree, it gives an *actual* wrong implication. (As opposed to the just-plain-wrong idea that ‘accident’ implies no fault.)

            And we have same problem with ‘crash’! We don’t talk about someone having ‘crashed’ their car when they sideswipe another car and just lose a mirror. A crash implies something serious happened.

            ‘Car accidents’ are things that accidentally happen with cars. Anyone trying to replace that term has to come up with a equally generic term that covers *all* car accidents.Report

  8. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    [E2] I hate it when reportage describes this as “customers did not appreciate the no-tip policy”. Customers appreciated it just fine, it’s owner that didn’t like it–because customers were spending the same dollar amount they did before, which (given the price increase) meant they were ordering less overall.

    The diner side of the equation was a different story. While many guests “appreciated the clarity” of not having to add 20 percent at the end of the meal, he said patrons didn’t necessarily adjust their spending accordingly, ordering less food and requesting bottles of wine at the same prices as under tipping – scenarios that can result in the restaurant taking in less revenue. When Stulman “tweaked” prices down in an experiment, he said guests “started ordering complete again.”


    • This is, tipping is a hidden cost in the sense that people don’t figure it in, even though everyone knows it’s there. Making it an explicit cost causes things to appear more expensive.

      The obvious solution is to keep prices the same, and add a notice to the bottom of them menu that a 15% service charge will be added to all orders.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC says:

        The obvious solution is to keep prices the same, and add a notice to the bottom of them menu that a 15% service charge will be added to all orders.

        Yeah, that one seems sorta obvious to me also.

        As I have mentioned before, my local grocery store that isn’t Walmart adds 10% to all of its prices at checkout, in what is a transparently silly attempt to have lower prices…but I guess it works?

        As an aside, how does wait staff *actually* feel about the lack of tipping? People do realize it’s going to entirely change pay scales for wait staff, right?

        Like, people who work during busy hours will no longer get paid more, and people who work at other hours will no longer get paid less. And this effect will be larger the higher the prices are. In high priced restaurants, people at busy times currently can end up getting paid like $50 an hour, and people at unbusy times might only get $20…are people going to be willing to work the busy times for $30 an hour? Especially if the people who might have only one customer at a time *also* get paid that?

        Staff used to jocky to get busy times…now they’ll jocky to *not* work those hours.

        Places that are looking into doing this might actually want to look into some sort of *scaled* pay, different pay based on different times, or, hell, some sort of per-customer bonus.

        Granted, this is a thing that is true in *all* retail work, not just tipped work. And it occurs to me that it’s a good question why *no one* has bothered to implement stuff like this, where different hours have different pay scales.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          A lot of manufacturing pay a shift differential to people who work evening and night shifts, although it isn’t much (like $5/hr max – been a while since I worked a job that ran 3 shifts).Report

          • Avatar DavidTC says:

            Yeah, having extra pay for night shifts is not completely unheard of, but that’s more ‘paying more for hours people don’t want to work’ vs. ‘paying people who are ten times as busy at certain times than other times more in the busy times’.

            It seems odd that hasn’t caught on in the service field. I mean, way back when, when I was a Walmart cashier, bonuses and promotions were partially calculated based on how fast you rang people up, supposedly….but not based on how many people you *served*. Of course, considering how little control we had over our shifts, that probably would have seemed a bit unfair.

            OTOH, part of the actual rules of being a cashier are ‘if you are free, look at, and maybe even greet people looking for a line to check out, instead of hanging back and waiting for them to choose a lane’.

            That was a rule because customers are dumb and don’t realize the lights on the register tell them what registers are open, and will do dumb things like get in a line behind another person instead of a empty register next to them, if the person at the empty register is tidying up or something. Which means, if us cashiers wanted avoid work, all we had to do was..not pay attention to customers looking for places to line up. ‘Oh, here’s someone walking up, I will step back a bit and straighten some stuff, and, tada, they went to the line next to me’. Hence that being against the rules, and they *would* warn cashiers who did that.(1)

            Having people actually get paid a bit extra *per* customer would automatically result in that. At some point, it almost becomes commissions…except instead of pressuring to buy more stuff or more expensive stuff, cashiers would be limited to pressuring people to…check out? Which they need to do anyway. (I guess, in theory, they could be trying to get people to check out *too soon*, but they’re really too far away to talk to 99% of the people still shopping, and the rest are probably going to wave them away. ‘Need to checkout?’ ‘Nope.’)

            But anyway, the pay variation based on ‘amount of actual work I did that shift’ is something that tipped workers are *used* to having, so I suspect there’s going to be a lot of changed expectations if this ‘no tipping’ catches on. (OTOH, I’m not sure it *will* catch on.)

            1) This was back in, I think, 2000, when Walmart actually *staffed* stores, and there’d be like six registers open and a manager in just that area and other managers that would walk through. Nowadays, who knows. I never see *any* managers just standing around on the floor anymore.

            EDIT: Of course, if you actually *did* have to do something, like clean up a spill or your register got too full of stuff customers left behind and you had to take all that to customer service, you were supposed to *switch your light off* so customers couldn’t get in like…at which point the managers would wander over to see what you were doing, but obviously if you were doing some real thing, it was fine. It was *pretending* to be busy so customers would avoid you that was the sin, not actually being busy.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        “The obvious solution is to keep prices the same, and add a notice to the bottom of them menu that a 15% service charge will be added to all orders.”

        Yelp review: “worst restaurant ever, got our bill and there’s this bullshit extra fifteen percent ‘service charge’? Fucking bullshit, don’t go here.”Report

    • Avatar El Muneco says:

      National teams are weird. Theoretically, it’s an honor, and not your day job. So the compensation is just reimbursement for expenses plus whatever honorarium the selectors decide to give. After all, if it’s insufficient to cover your lost time, the player can just turn the national team down – god knows players have done that for all sorts of selfish, peevish reasons, so “I can’t afford to” is far from the least reasonable excuse ever made.

      The problem is that the TV market for sports that both women and men play is almost reversed. Women’s international competition draws as many eyes in the USA as men’s, and is closing the gap worldwide (it will never catch up, but it could close to be a significant fraction). On the other hand, men’s league play – even in MLS – draws shirt sponsorship deals and national TV games, and worldwide contracts with vapor trails of zeroes rarely seen outside the federal budget. While the women are functionally semi-pro – even some of the best have to barnstorm in Australia during the seasonal break to make ends meet.

      The women do have a moral case that the value they provide to the national FA’s TV contracts is – in the USA – possibly greater than the value of the corresponding male national team player, so they deserve a better split of the take. And given the realities of the league structure, they need a better split of the take to remain fully professional, thus keeping the standard of play high, thus keeping the Womens’ World Cup a competitive spectacle.

      But since it’s not a job, there’s no collective bargaining, because it isn’t really a salary. It isn’t even a stipend. So, yeah, legally, I’m not at all surprised. Morally, US Soccer are being, in more than one metaphorical sense, cocks.Report

    • In response, the team’s coach said “That’s not completely fair, but it’s true that our real strength is our defense.”Report

  9. Avatar notme says:

    When law enforcement asks a company for cellphone records to track location data in an investigation, is that a search under the Fourth Amendment?

    Not according to the The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals who upheld what is known as the third-party doctrine: a legal theory suggesting that consumers who knowingly and willingly surrender information to third parties therefore have “no reasonable expectation of privacy” in that information — regardless of how much information there is, or how revealing it is.

  10. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Muhammad Ali: “I’m the king of the world. I’m pretty. I’m a bad man. I shook up the world.”

    Damn. I remember anxious days waiting for and then watching the Thrilla in Manilla in my living room as a kid. Between rounds I’d jump around and mimic Ali’s slippery defense turned lightning quick into devastating offensive combinations. That’s one of the most vivid memories of my childhood. No lie. (Don’t judge.) Something about that guy hit me and went deep.

    Since last night I’ve been been going thru the old fights and it just keeps hitting me: he was one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful, impressive, extraordinary athletes ever, a combination of focused power, grace, beauty, pizzazz. His flurry in the sixth against Liston sends chills up and down. And not just because it was a display of great boxing, but because of the … majesty … of Clay. Of Ali. Who he was and who he became.