Linky Friday #171: The Benevolent Text


Will Truman

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

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169 Responses

  1. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    H4: Because of the pipes?Report

  2. Avatar j r says:

    From E3:

    That sort of disciplinary gap is highlighted each year in the annual faculty salary report by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. This year’s was released today.

    It is important that every discernible difference between any two or more categories of people be subsumed into an “X Gap” framework. Within that framework, those differences can be sufficiently identified, measured, studied, blogged about, and turned into academic papers, that can then be used as the basis for news reports and more blog posts and more academic papers. Academia is very conservation minded. It uses every part of the animal.Report

  3. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    E6: Both links go to the same page. Edutainment always seemed like a weird thing to me. Even as a kid I never found it that educational or entertaining but luckily my parents didn’t expose Saul and I to it. Things like Sim City or Oregon Trail could be fun but a lot of it was just as tedious as the article says.

    To a certain extent I could understand the anxieties of immigrants parents when it comes to education but this is really taking it too far. There have been more than a few people who stopped having relationships with their parents because they weren’t allowed to have much of a childhood.

    F6: Look at me, look at me. I’m so sexually and romantically enlightened and everybody should learn from me. You shouldn’t be resentful or angry when I push my escapades in your face while expecting you to pay for them while excluding you to a monastery. Than when I totally get over this and want something more traditional, your just an awful and evil person if you can’t accept my wild past which I will constantly talk about and rub in your face.

    H3: This seems nice. How do we get Americans to pay for it? This is a social welfare system and Americans aren’t that in to it.

    P4: Considering the amount of inspracrap in my Facebook feed, this is scary.

    P5: Seems contradictory to P4 above it and P6 and P7 bellow it.

    P6, P7: Science as determined that Jean Calvin was right about the wretchedness of man. News at 11.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

      P4: That one went straight up on my FB wall, in the hopes that my friends will read it and the number of crap memes will noticeably drop off.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

      How is H3 social welfare?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:


        The article mentions that there is automatic compensation for the victims of medical malpractice. Probably nothing huge like millions of dollars but enough to cover pain and suffering and pay for what ever needs to get taken care of medically and rest and recover.

        Where the Europeans have a welfare state, the United States has tort law. Sometimes tort law seems like the only way ordinary and/or poor people can get a form of justice and compensation in the United States.

        The problem as I see it is that there is a strong faction on the American right that would love to get rid of tort law but not provide anything in the alternative. No universal health care, no welfare state, no failsafes, etc.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to LeeEsq says:

      P4: I bet I could make ‘newborn babies require constant attention’ sound profound in the right circumstances. All we’d have to do is make it a metaphor:

      ‘Wise teacher, why are you spending your time teaching the basics to people who do not understand any wisdom at all, instead of your disciples who have spent years studying your teachings?’

      ‘Newborn babies require constant attention.’

      This is, of course, because there is no such thing as ‘profound’.

      Or, really, there’s just one profound thing everyone should know: All things are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true, false, and meaningless in some sense.

      In an ideal world, that would be the response to every single meme, or at least every meme trying to make a point.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    F6: just from the still frame, it does seem easier to be sex positive and positive about sex, when you, and everyone around you, are younger and better looking than the general population.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Kolohe says:

      Eh…the sample of self-identified polyamorous and sex-positive people I’ve met suggests otherwise.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Seconding Brandon. I haven’t seen any correlation between physical attractiveness and self-identifying as polyamorous and sex-positive. Most of the very attractive people I know would have just as bad reaction to a suggestion of polyamory as a more average person. There is some correlation with youth but thats mainly because the older sort use different terminology to mean the same thing.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to LeeEsq says:

          Polyamorous people over 50 are called swingers.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Brandon Berg says:

            Or that they are in an open relationships. I like the older terminology more because it seems more honest and less entitlted. They aren’t usually trying to come across as more self-enlightened than anybody else.Report

            • Avatar j r in reply to LeeEsq says:

              Eh. Every generation should get the chance to think that they invented some completely novel way to live while brushing aside all the stale, old things of the past. It’s part of growing up, especially the part when you get older and discover that it wasn’t all that novel and then when you get even older and see the next generation carrying on the tradition.

              Plus, there is always the chance that some of them will figure out a completely novel way to live.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to j r says:

                And what about those people who are excluded from the process? What do we get?Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Not everything is about you.

                The moment that I figured that out was a very liberating point in my life.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to j r says:

                The world might not be about me but my life is about me. Why should I be robbed and have the robber stick it in my face?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Who is sticking what in your face? Are you mad you don’t get to weigh in on how others self-identify?Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Kazzy says:

                Everybody who keeps talking about it on the Internet or in real life, who insults you for being frustrated, and all those damn couples that keep making out and showing affection in public.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

                This is where discussions of inequality inevitably lead.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Serendipity, baby. #sexmarxism is trending on the twitters for some reason.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Dear Goddess, I’m gonna sound like my mother…

                Be happy for them. Like, be truly, honestly happy for them. I know this will sound like something out of an inspirational pamphlet, but if you allow yourself to be happy for them, and let go of any resentment or bitterness that they are happy, you’ll find yourself being happy.

                And, take it from a guy who had to learn this as well, happy people are very attractive*.

                *This is coming from a guy who is an ugly version of Michael Chiklas, but has been happily married to a beautiful woman for over two decades.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                This is like acting the ant not to resent the grasshopper.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to LeeEsq says:

                I resent pretty cis lesbians.

                No really, I do. They have it so easy.

                I mean, they don’t have it easy “big picture.” It’s complicated. Each life has its own contours. We all have a cross to bear.

                But from the perspective of a frumpy trans woman on the sidelines, yeah, watching them float across the dance floor, drawing all the eyes —

                I have this friend Leah. She’s a really cool cis dyke, kinda does the “sporty butch” look. She’s a hot local DJ. Plays in a cool kinda electronica/shoegaze crossover band.

                She lands the hottest darn femme gals like OMFG it’s amaze!

                I love her I hate her I love her I hate her.

                She’s really cool, actually. Whenever I see her, she says hi.

                On the other hand, I used to get crazy jealous of this dude I knew from drama class, named Brian Warner, cuz he dated this totally hot girl I knew. (He later started a band and changed his name to Marilyn Manson. Totally true.)

                So anyway, I’ve been personally envious of a variety of interesting people in my life.

                Resentment, envy — these are natural things. Of course you feel them.

                Feelings come, they surge through us. We gotta take ’em and ride ’em. You cannot shut them down.

                But you got choices in what you do and what you say.

                I’ll never say a bad word about Leah. She’s totally nice. She’s also gorgeous and amazing and gets amazing women. Good for her.

                She’s amazing. She’s so fucking cool. I love to go dance when she plays. I love her whole routine. Her band is cool. Her DJ skillz are be-fucking-ond.

                Of course I’m jealous. OMG. I wish I wish I wish.

                Why can’t I be one of the pretty ones?

                She’s so fucking cool. She’s really nice. It’s no surprise she gets hot girls. Who wouldn’t?

                (Well, not me. I’m not down for butch. I’m down for femme. I could be her wing-woman.)

                She’s really cool. I hope she’s happy. She makes me crazy jealous.

                I deal with it.

                Brian Warner, on the other hand, as his band got big, and as he got famous, totally fucked over some friends of mine. He’s actually an asshole — at least he was at the time. (No I won’t give details. Please don’t ask.)

                Am I still jealous of him?

                Fuck no. I’d rather hang with Leah’s crowd, any time any day.


                Of course you feel resentment. What are you going to do with it?Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

                I have no idea what I’m going to do with my resentment. On an intellectual level I know it is not helpful but it is very satisfying emotionally. It also seems like a good defense against a blatantly unfair system.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to LeeEsq says:


                Seriously. Find a good therapist. Not only are they good listeners who don’t judge, but they often have rather practical suggestions for how to deal with it.

                And unlike us Joes on the internet? They’re at least trained and experienced with dealing with such things.

                Too many people see mental health professionals as just for the mentally ill.

                But they’re an invaluable resource for people struggling with social issues or their own hang ups. They do a lot of interpersonal counseling, and it turns out humans are awfully bad at communication and understanding sometimes

                If it’s bothering you this much, generating this much resentment — it’s a good place to talk without judgement, and he or she will probably have some rather useful advice.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Morat20 says:

                @morat20 your assuming that I’m not in therapy.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to LeeEsq says:


                Man, it makes me sad to hear you’re suffering so much. I (of course!) don’t know the solution or will even offer any advice except this: every time our desires are frustrated is an opportunity to reflect on the origins of those desires and how they drive us. Not biologically, I should add, but psychologically and reactively.

                Yes, I’m going Buddhist here…Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Actually, I didn’t assume either way. It’s just a good option, and a lot of people don’t think about it. (Therapy is for crazy people! Or sick people!).

                And a lot of guys hate getting help like that.

                You were asking for suggestions, I gave one. If it’s one you’re already in it, great. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Keeps talking about what? Their romantic lives?

                Would you rather EVERYONE go to the closet until you find a way out of yours?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Ban high-capacity relationships!Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

                @jaybird — Win!Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                And don’t have too many stories about them in one magazine.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I’m dying. You killed me!Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to LeeEsq says:

                What did a bunch of polyamorous post-hipsters in Bushwick rob from you?Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to LeeEsq says:

                @leeesq — Dude seriously. People aren’t going to hide their happiness. They are not going to turn their smile to a frown when you pass. Instead, they’re gonna smile, shine, and dance. And you?

                I dunno. What the fuck. Figure it out.

                It seems like, you’re getting more and more bitter. Is it helping you? Cuz I kinda think it will sink you.

                I wonder, in all seriously, are you in a place where your insides are full of scar tissue? Cuz women have their own shit — and bluntly, I don’t think many women are gonna want “angry, bitter man resentful at how supposedly ‘easy’ we have it.” Just saying.

                Figure out how to make your life work. The role that other people play in that — well that is up to them according their freedom and your freedom. That is all.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

                Women seem to want to make it easy for them and hard for you. So yeah, I’m full of scar tissue. I’m tired of going out after date after date with nothing to show for it. For the expectation of having to know how to do anything with nothing but mutually inconsistent advice and with people that demand absolution and non-judgment but want to judge you on every little thing they can think of.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

                These women who don’t even get a chance to ask you out on a date, because of social rules?

                These women who have to deal with the inability of other women to be nice to them?

                You’re allowed to get old, to get fat, to be something less than perfect. Do you give women that privilege?

                You can go find people that Have Problems And Will Tell You about Them — or you can go find another potential minefield of “I’m perfect, you gotta be too”

                I’m a disagreeable person, i’m not terribly nice, and I don’t know how in the hell I stay married. But that’s me.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to LeeEsq says:

                @leeesq — When it comes to love and romance, I don’t have it easy.

                But look at what you are becoming. Do you want to become that?Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

                Not really but I can’t say that I like any of the alternatives better. The proposed alternative to toxic manhood is just as unpleasing as toxic manhood because it seems like a call to self-sacrifice. Either way seems like a lose-lose scenario. On my current path, I become the angry and bitter person that nobody likes. The other option is trying to remain happy despite continual bachelor or being content with whatever I get.

                This isn’t considered a proper way of seeing relationships but I disagree with the idea that “the past doesn’t matter because they are with you now.” The past does matter. The reasons for doing something are just as important as what is done.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to LeeEsq says:

                I assume you know better, but…you keep this stuff under wraps when you’re actually with women, right? It’s one thing to vent anonymously on the Internet, but you let a woman know that you’re not successful with other women, and you might as well be telling her you’re a pedophile.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                Yes, I know not to do this when out on dates or in public.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

                What are women doing that makes this seem to be the case? Do you really think their goal is to make it difficult for men in general and you specifically?

                And what do you mean… “…nothing to show for it”? Was your time on these dates excruciating? Did you hate every minute of it? Were you worse off for having gone? Or are you saying that because you didn’t get a kiss or laid you were somehow failed, robbed, and/or deprived by your date? Jesus, dude…Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Kazzy says:

                The date where the woman I met started texting other people under the table, I think really was a waste of both our time and we were both worse off for having gone.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to j r says:

                Plus, there is always the chance that some of them will figure out a completely novel way to live.

                I’m a proponent of the efficient sex hypothesis.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to j r says:

                Pretty much this, that each generation has people who think they discovered sex.
                I’m old enough to remember “free love” of the hippie era, and all the permutations that involved.
                It’s the pundits and marketers who cover alternative sexual relationships in the gauzy negligence of “young model types getting it on” when of course the truth is very different.

                Which compares nicely to the other article about parents and children learning of each others sexuality.

                Given that most swingers are middle aged:
                1. What does this tell us about the cliche of the “horny adolescent”?
                2. What about the toe-curling moment when young people discover that their parents have a more adventurous sex life than they do?Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Pretty much this, that each generation has people who think they discovered sex.

                To be fair, the alternative is too horrifying to comprehend.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Brandon Berg says:


              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to North says:


                Speaking of fishing men…no offense, but as far as I’m concerned, when two men go home together after a night on the town, they just sit quietly holding hands and watching Downton Abbey. Literal Netflix & Chill.

                I’ll be happy to indulge any similar fantasies you might wish to construct around hetero…handholdual relations.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                There’s also the massive increase in STD transmission in those senior communities. Viagra giveth AND taketh away.

                But yeah, I’ve seen the local kink scene. It’s middle-aged or older, overweight, but also pretty happy and well-adjusted.

                What it looks like, actually, is pretty much any sci-fi convention, only with more leather and less sexual harassment (which tends to lead to more women involved. Strange, that).Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

                Sounds more like Viagra giveth, and keeps on givething after the getething has goteth.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Pretty much this, that each generation has people who think they discovered sex.

                I wonder, tho, did this generation discover muffing? (#nsfw)Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to veronica d says:

                Dare I ask?

                Nope. Turns out I dasn’t.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                [cw: very specific talk about something you might not want to know about]

                [but who are we kidding. you all will read this]

                It has to do with these.

                You see, estrogen makes certain things — well — shrink. And when they have shrunk enough, um, well, you’ve heard of “tucking” right? Well tucking is really tucking. In other words, they go somewhere, up inside. In fact, they go to the place I linked to above.

                For cis folks, this is kinda uncomfortable. Drag queens do it, but mostly for short periods. They get used to the discomfort. But we happy trans, after a few years of estrogen, they kinda just go on up easy peasy. Anyway, there are a lot of nerves up there. Those nerves can be stimulated. So, you know, you can kinda put your fingers up along with them and …

                Okay I’ll stop now.

                Anyway, I’m sure my generation is not literally the first group to ever try this. But they didn’t have synthetic estrogen back then, so…Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to veronica d says:

                Huh. You learn something every day. Some days more than others. Is that nerve tissue incorporated into the vagina during reassignment surgery?Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                [cw: graphic discussion of MTF sexual reassigment surgery]

                No, the nerve tissue comes entirely from the penis, at least in most modern procedures. During the surgery, the head of the penis is removed, which is then reattached to form an external clitoris. The shaft is then “inverted,” to form the walls of the neovagina. Later, usually in a separate procedure, the material that formed the scrotal sack is transformed to form the labia. (Not everyone has that part done. It turns out to be mostly cosmetic.)

                There are other methods, but this is the most popular. It works well. Sensitivity typically returns fully, as it all heals. The neo-clitoris is functional, although one should understand that the anatomy of cis women includes quite an elaborate internal clitoral structure, which accounts for much of the female orgasm. Trans women do not get that. We get many of the effects female orgasms (including multiples), but those come from the hormonal effects. (It’s really nice. If dudes understood, you’d all be on estrogen and the species would die out.) But that hyper-explosive “oomph down low,” we don’t get that.

                On the other hand, we do “light up all over” like cis women do, and we do get the generalized erogenous zones — just touch my neck! I dare you! — so anyway, it’s complicated.

                The neovagina is not self-lubricating. It is often not as deep as a cis woman’s. We, of course, have no cervix, nor uterus. But other than that, casual observers pretty much cannot tell.

                I have friends who, during their gynecological exam, have been told they need a pap smear or pregnancy test (or whatever), to which they respond, “Oh, I was born without a cervix/uterus,” to which the doctor responds, “Oh. Okay. Yeah that happens sometimes” — all of this while the doctor inspects the trans woman’s surgically installed junk, seemingly clueless.

                That’s what is known as advanced passing.

                Don’t ask about dilation.

                (I have an actual medical diagnosis of “cervical agenesis,” which is pretty hilarious. I mean, it’s true. My cervix indeed failed to develop as it should have.)Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to veronica d says:

                As a young teen — just before the days of internet porn — I remember looking at Playboys and thinking, “Maybe it’s weird but I’d kind of like to put my tongue in those places.”

                Then the internet porn thing happened. And I realized my original idea was far from it. I mean, seemingly DOZENS of people also began thinking about that in the early 90s.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Kazzy says:

                {File under things I have learned about @kazzy }Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to veronica d says:


                Heh… if the fact that I enjoy performing oral sex (in part because of a general oral fixation) feels worth noting, file away good friend. 🙂Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Kazzy says:

                @kazzy — Oh. I thought you meant — uh — something else.

                Tee hee.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to veronica d says:


                It was much later that I became curious about other stuff… and longer still before I tried it. That one… I was glad to learn I hadn’t invented it.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

                You need to be careful of the staples.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Am I the only person who wishes the headline writer for that article hadn’t used the term “toe-curling”? It has a completely different connotation to me than apparently was intended.Report

          • Avatar Turnip in reply to Brandon Berg says:

            Not usually. Swingers have sex with other people but not relationships. Polyamory is about having relationships with other people, which usually include sex. Think of Open Relationship as the big circle in the Venn Diagram. Swinging is one smaller subset of open relationships, Polyamory another subset. And a lot of us are over 50. 😉Report

          • Avatar veronica d in reply to Brandon Berg says:

            @brandon-berg — There are some specific differences between swingers-in-general and poly-folks-in-general. Mostly, the median swinger is into a kind of sexual freedom, whereas poly folks tend to have a wider pool for “committed” relationships. In other words, poly folks maintain multiple boy/girl/zirl-friends at any one time, while swingers just fuck a lot of folks.

            Of course, real life is more complicated that this, but these ethos do seem to play out.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        The first time I lived in Hawaii, I lived next to a nude beach – where everybody was collecting Social Security or pretty close to it.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Kolohe says:

      It’s interesting that the video starts with talking to the real estate developer – what real-estate specific measures did they take to support polyamory for their tenants? They don’t really go into such mundane stuff in the teaser videos.

      One of the really nice thing about our new house is that the master bedroom has three closets. Is that the kind of thing they did? Also I guess better-than-average soundproofing between rooms within suites would be nice. Not necessarily to the level you’d want between suites, but better than the average apartment offers (not just for sexy reasons, but also for very unsexy reasons of the amount of discussion and talk and mutual support and checking in that needs to support any relationship, combined with the presence of partners who maybe don’t need to be part of this particular emotional conversation but do need to study and then get to sleep early).Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to dragonfrog says:

        Also I guess better-than-average soundproofing between rooms within suites would be nice…

        As someone who lives in a poly-ish house, yes, this! Please please! This!

        OMG it’s so distracting.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to veronica d says:

          Frankly I struggle to think of many home construction scenarios where there is such a thing as too much sound proofing in of itself. As a cost/practical consideration that’s a tradeoff but has anyone anywhere complained that “The house contains sound in its own room too well” ever?Report

          • Avatar Kolohe in reply to North says:

            Brie Larson.Report

          • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to North says:

            As much as I’m not a fan of the kid’s habit of shouting across the house rather than coming out of her room, I do like that when she has a nightmare and calls for us, we can hear her.

            The new house being a two-storey lines up nicely with these preferences – we can hear her across the hall at night, and if she wants to talk about what’s for breakfast, she’ll have to walk down to the kitchen rather than waking up anyone who has a later wake-up time.Report

  5. Avatar Chris says:

    F1: Evolutionary psychologists are wrong about everything, even more than social psychologists. In fact, an evolutionary psychologist is a psychologist whose work wasn’t rigorous enough to be a social psychology.Report

  6. Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

    E3: My brother was a chemistry professor. His specialization was such that he was very marketable to the petrochemical industry. To be blunt about it, he could have doubled his salary with a phone call. He earned a bit of money on the side consulting, but he turned down various offers of employment. At one point the person trying to hire him asked what it would take to reel him in. His response was “What you can’t give me: tenure.”Report

  7. Avatar Alan Scott says:

    So we discussed the Hail Hydra Captian America on here a bit ago. I though this was an interesting follow-up.Report

  8. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    E2: I was never able to do the go to class and exams in PJs or Yoga Pants that many American students seem to do (though more women than men IIRC.) I generally just wore jeans and a shirt to exams. I’m suspicious about whether dressing up really causes better success rates if everyone dresses up. Oxford is one of the classic cases of a university that is hard to get into but nearly impossible to fail out of as far as I can tell. Sort of like Harvard Law is too embarrassed to admit that they could admit a dud so they grade much more generously than other law schools.

    E4: Interestingly most of these universities seem to be outside of the United States. Wiki says that George Mason University stretches back to 1949 but the name change did not happen until 1972.

    H1: I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the hours we ask for in-training and junior attorneys. Jezebel ran a pretty fair article about how the new overtime laws will affect various people:

    The focus on creative jobs and you had people who think/hope that the new regulations will give them more reasonable hours and also people who worried that their employers would be forced to go out of business. The thing that I find interesting is how a lot of crazy hour jobs eventually go away to something more reasonable but not everything. Physicians stop working the crazy hours. Investment bankers, people who stay in consulting (McKinsey type stuff), and many lawyers generally don’t. At my old firm, we billed everything on a contingency basis, yet the bosses were old school workaholics and expected 60-75 hours of everyone a week. There are a lot of lawyers in the Bay Area who are very wealthy but also have burned through four wives because they just work and eventually their wives just leave them because the husbands are never around. Another firm has mandatory Saturday half-days (interestingly this firm also shuts down for lunch everyday from 12-1.) I think part of the hours issue is that a lot of lawyers don’t know how to break out of the billable hour drug. Though McKinsey allegedly only allows people to bill seven hours a day, yet that is another 8 AM to 12AM job.

    I think long-hours are fine if they exist for a few years or are connected to higher pay. I am not sure that it is fine in industries where entry level people make 30-40K for many years.

    H3: Europeans have a welfare state and my suspicion is that a robust welfare state gets rid of the need for strong tort laws that favor plaintiffs. If a European is hurt in a serious accident, they know that they will be treated for their injuries very well. Not so much with Americans. Here we would have the worst possible worlds again, no tort laws to compensate individuals and no welfare state to give medical care to all if the Walter Olsons of the world had their way.

    P7: Of course a Randian was involved.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I am willing to bet that the super long hours thing for law firms is a holdover from when the firm was started, and all they had was the ability to work as hard as possible to make cases, rather than pay staff. This is similar to most small businesses such as my mother and brother have started. While they are property management and architechture respectively, the idea that when you are starting out you need to put your nose to the grindstone, so to speak, to make it is not wrong. And further, when you do become successful, the need to make sure that everything is going correctly leads many owners and principles to be that guy, who works six or seven days a week and often expects the people under them to have the same work ethic, as those are the traits that help build a successful firm. It does suck to be under someone like that, as I found out working in the managment team of a smallish mechanical company.Report

      • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Aaron David says:

        What I don’t understand about this is that it seems blindingly obvious to me that quality of work declines sharply when you’re sleep deprived or 10 hours into a shift. why haven’t, insurance carriers gotten tired of defending malpractice suits and dropped the hammer? I can’t imagine being entrusted with life and death, high complexity decision-making at the end of a 30-hour shift, but doctors seem to think that’s normal.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Don Zeko says:

          From what I understand, sleep deprivation affects everyone differently, and can even lead to better work product (akin to someone being drunk — lowering inhibitions).

          Also, from what I understand, the military has nice shiny pills that help keep people aware and awake.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Kim says:

            Also, from what I understand, the military has nice shiny pills that help keep people aware and awake.

            Sure they do, and they use them very sparingly, because they burn a person out.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

              *snickers* If the commander can’t win the exercise without putting the troops through 20 hour days, he can’t win the exercise.

              Some things are deservedly reserved for combat use only.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Kim says:

                No exercise, short of SOG exercises, has troops on the go for 20+ straight hours. Doesn’t happen, and I’d be surprised if the SpecOps guys do that very often.

                We all got very good at taking combat naps whenever & wherever we could.

                But here is the thing, if at all possible, the military does NOT want troops or commanders making critical decisions on short sleep. Sometimes it is unavoidable due to the nature of combat, but it is the exception, not the norm.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                In the more civilized age of 18th century combat, officers scheduled nap times for battles.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Kim says:

                What areas of human endeavor fall outside of your knowledge, Kim?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Don Zeko says:

                My knowledge? Why, nearly all, truth be told. But I do know someone who has worked for the military (well, multiple militaries). He’s really good at what he does. Here’s something he did while not employed by the military:

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Don Zeko says:

          That, as far as doctor training goes, is a great question. Have the residency training hospitals been covering it up? Dunno.Report

          • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Aaron David says:

            I know if I was taking a med mal case in front of a jury, I would want to know how much sleep the doctor got before he saw the plaintiff every single time. And if that doctor confidently asserts that she can remember all of these details perfectly on two hours of sleep? Dude, just do yourself a favor and cut a check.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Don Zeko says:


          1. I suspect that they don’t really care;

          2. There is a firm part of human psychology that seems to think doing long hours when is good, necessary, character building, and moral.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Aaron David says:


        Maybe in some cases but I think it depends on how the firm makes money.

        If you charge clients by a billable hour, the incentive is to work as many hours as possible and to get your associates to do the same. A lot of people eventually burn out from this though and move to firms that a smaller, have different life work balances, or use different billing structures like flat fees or contingency fees.

        Age of the founding partners also matter. I’ve interviewed at firms where the founding partners were in their late 30s to early 40s. These guys have young families and want to spend time with their families. My older bosses were from a generation that did not expect fathers to be that hands-on with their kids.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I think long-hours are fine if they exist for a few years or are connected to higher pay. I am not sure that it is fine in industries where entry level people make 30-40K for many years.

      That’s something that will sort itself out, if the people working those jobs agree with you.

      P7: Of course a Randian was involved.

      No, not “of course” at all. Rand’s philosophy and novels were very much about the celebration of individual achievement, and put a lot of stock in the concept of desert. If there’s some tenuous historical thread connecting the “everyone’s a winner” unconditional self-esteem movement of the ’90s to Rand’s Objectivism, it preserved none of the substance—which the article acknowledges if you read to the end. I guarantee you that if she had survived and continued writing novels long enough to see it, she would have parodied the 90s self-esteem movement.Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        “That’s something that will sort itself out, if the people working those jobs agree with you.”

        Yup. They did sort it out. By electing someone who updated the wage threshold to a modern level.

        Elections *are* the market sorting itself out.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Maribou says:

          They really aren’t. Politics and markets are different. They operate by different rules, and the outcomes they produce have different properties. The market sorting this out would consist of people choosing the best jobs available to them, and employers offering subpar compensation for what they ask having to improve their offerings or reduce their demands to hire the workers they need.

          The political thing that actually happened sidesteps this process entirely, and simply forbids certain types of employment arrangements. Given that it wasn’t correcting any obvious market failure, this is likely to be less efficient than a market solution.

          I suspect that the reason the employers Saul was talking about were able to get away with the wages and hours he views as questionable was that a lot of people have a particularly high preference for working in those specific industries and are willing to make sacrifices to do so. This raises the supply of labor to employers in those industries, lowering the market rates. Which is to say, it’s not clear that the market wasn’t already working.

          Incidentally, I found this puzzling:

          Indeed, employers can (and some likely will) recalibrate pay rates to account for the new law in order to avoid spending more money, reducing an employee’s hourly pay to account for their new overtime earnings. Judy Conti, federal advocacy coordinator for the National Employment Law Project, told me in a phone interview that she believes using this tactic would “backfire” on employers, as workers would likely pack their bags (although one can imagine circumstances under which that might be difficult).

          If employees have options that they prefer to their current jobs at their current hours and pay, then why do we need the regulation in the first place?

          I get that you’re happy that your team won and got to have its wicked way with those nasty employers, but it would be nice if you could be gracious in victory and not slander markets by conflating them with politics.Report

          • Avatar Maribou in reply to Brandon Berg says:

            “The market” in the context of employment is “the people who get hired and the people who hire” and the actions that they take to affect the relationships between them.

            Regulation enacted at the behest or under the supervision of elected officials is part of the market system. (There are acts of “the market” that are part of the political system, too, cf lobbyists.)

            I’m not missing the idea that markets and politics are two separate spheres, I’m rejecting it. It’s not slander to say what actually happens.Report

          • Avatar Francis in reply to Brandon Berg says:

            “Politics and markets are different.”

            True, but they’re also intertwined. The credit card industry, for example, only works because there’s a massive amount of trust throughout the entire financial services industry that everything will clear. Building that trust was both thru the acts of the marketplace participants and thru the acts of various governmental actors including both the judiciary and the regulators.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    More on hours:

    A lot of law firms started staff attorney positions during the recession. Staff Attorney positions are not on partner-track and the lawyers spend most of their time doing research and writing motions. They generally get paid a bit less than associates. If a 1L associate makes 180K a year, a staff attorney might make 125K a year. I always thought that staff attorneys would have more reasonable hours than associates and need to make fewer billables. Turns out I might be wrong:

    Though one thing that might be odd about me is that I never got the allure of the so-called brass ring jobs like McKinsley and Big Law.Report

  10. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    H1: The long hour for physicians in training kind of makes sense because they might have to deal with emergency, stressful situations or epic surgeries with little chance for rest or sleep, especially if they work at an ER room or in a hospital. Its like combat I guess, you have to get used to it by doing it.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Many of the junior doctors I worked with in Ireland were working a hundred hours a week. It’s hard to describe what working 100 hours a week is like. Saying “it means you work from 7 AM to 9 PM every day including weekends” doesn’t really cut it. Imagine the hobbies you enjoy and the people you love. Now imagine you can’t spend time on any of them, because you are being yelled at as people die all around you for fourteen hours a day, and when you get home you have just enough time to eat dinner, brush your teeth, possibly pay a bill or two, and curl up in a ball before you have to go do it all again, and your next day off is in two weeks.

      That is from the SlateStar, and he seems to have a bit of experiance being a doctor and all.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

      A working year during my gig on the budget staff for the state legislature was divided into two parts — during the session, when 60-70 hours/week was what it took to get everything that had to be done finished on time, and the inter-session with regular hours, less comp time and vacation. The second session I was there, when the wheels came off the economy, involved particularly long hours. The staff was awarded 25 days of comp time, which combined with vacation time, meant people were gone a lot. I remember one week that summer where I was the only one in the office.

      Any way, it didn’t seem to be something that anyone had to get used to — you just did it. The staff members who had been doing it for years didn’t seem to be any better or worse at making the adjustment than the new hires.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Funny, I don’t recall that kind of crap in the military. I mean, we’d do drills that took you to exhaustion, but the point wasn’t to get you used to it, it was to help you understand what you will be like on short sleep & under stress, and then your trainers would help you develop ways to handle it & cope.

      So if the whole point of medical training with ridiculous hours is to condition doctors to the occasional emergent situation, and there is no formal training regarding recognizing your personal deficiencies, and developing techniques to handle & cope, then it’s kinda pointless, isn’t it?Report

  11. Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

    T5: It seems to me that the problem with requiring strong passwords that are changed frequently is that this inevitably leads to passwords written on notes taped to the monitor. Really, how could it not? This is fine if your concern is a Russian syndicate hacking your system as they try to get into everyone’s system. But if your concern is more narrowly focused on someone wanting to break into your system specifically, then making it vulnerable to a hundred bucks slipped to the cleaning lady is a poor strategy.

    My personal experience is that it is often quite silly what sites require the strongest passwords. My SABR membership is an example. Heaven forfend someone steals my password and reads back issues of Baseball Research Journal without paying for the privilege!Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

      Training people in how to make a simple cipher for the password they tape on their monitor is neither hard not difficult (you put in letters that are irrelevant — sometimes great gobs of them, and refrain from actually labeling it a password).Report

    • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

      The answer is pass phrases. Computationally infeasible to break and easy to remember. Sites that restrict password length and require special characters are just making it worse in every dimension.Report

  12. Avatar veronica d says:

    [F3] — File under “duh.”

    [P7] — This one is important. If you only one of these links, read this.

    The problem seemed to be that high self-esteem is a mixed category. Some who have it are presumably healthily and accurately confident in themselves. Their sociometers are functioning well. “If you went up to Einstein and told him he was stupid,” says Baumeister, “he’s not going to get mad.” Narcissism, though, is different: It’s the desire to feel you’re superior. “Narcissists believe they deserve to be treated better than other people,” he says. They also lack the moral values of people with genuine high self-esteem.

    Yep. What we want to foster is achievement, not empty esteem. This is like, duh, what else could we want?

    It is amazing that people could get something so obvious so wrong.

    I don’t find his challenges to feminism at all challenging. They certain go against what a lot of feminists were saying in the 70’s and 80’s, but Dworkin/MacKinnon are — well, they have an important place in history. They responded to the ideological climate of a certain time and place. But today they get read in a historic context, not as “This is really how it is right now.”

    [F1] — Obviously written by a cuck!

    Heh. But honestly, I can understand why someone would hate to be deceived, in the sense that honesty matters. On the other hand, say you raise a kid to age 16, and they are wonderful and smart, and you’ve shaped them in so many ways, and you have shared so much, and then it turns out that (by some circumstance) their genetic code ain’t your genetic code — like so what?

    I’m adopted. My siblings were as well. It never really mattered much.

    There seems a correlation between men who obsess over this topic and men who are sexist jerks. I suspect this is not an accident. Possession, property, power, control — these ideas run deep and manifest in strange ways.

    There is room here for emotional growth. Men, step up.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d says:

      Deception can be a bad thing. But, dude, there’s a difference between “I’m in a relationship with a lover” and “I got drunk, had sex — that was that.” (There is furthermore a difference between those and “I got drunk and fucked a full bar”)Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Kim says:

        @kim — Huh?Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d says:

          I think that people manage to get the whole “cheated on” idea confuddled — as it’s really bifurcated. There’s the whole “I’m too insecure to get out of one relationship before getting into the next” shtick, and then there’s the “I did a stupid thing, once!”. I’m sure there are others, if I think about it.

          But yeah, people really shouldn’t be so crazy about the cuckoldry aspect. It’s still your kid. (Also, Japan has now created a genre of cuckoldry porn).Report

          • Avatar veronica d in reply to Kim says:

            I mean, if some one-night-stand tracks a man down and is like, “It’s your kid, play up” — well he’s gonna want a paternity test. Obvi.

            If a wife gets preggers, and she’s been unfaithful — well, this is hard, but she should tell her husband. That’s rough. But she should come clean.

            The reason is simple, and it is beyond just honesty (although it is about honesty) — but it also gives him a chance to step up. It respects him as a loving, thinking person. If she doesn’t trust him that much, then why is she sharing a life with him?

            Okay so, that question is complicated. In my parents days there were a lot of economic things that would bind a woman to a man, but that is less true now. Anyway, it is unwise for a woman to let herself depend financially on a man, unless she has no other choice.

            A goal of feminism is to ensure that as many women as possible have other choices.

            But back to the marriage, she should trust him, love him, and meet him with honesty. He will either forgive her, or he will not. If he is some raging “MRA” type, well get out of that marriage anyhow. If he is Captain-Mc-Patriarchy — yuck! If he’s “that’s not my kid, that’s his kid!” — as if kids were property, as if humanity can be reduced to some pile of these amino acids instead of those amino acids. A human is a human. A child is a child. Patriarchal jerks are patriarchal jerks. Blah.

            Give him a chance to rise above. He just might.

            On the other hand, she’s a cheating bitch. So there is that. He’s gotta deal with it somehow.

            Poor kid.Report

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to veronica d says:

              That’s some pretty harsh stuff to say about a man whose only crime is not wanting to spend six figures and eighteen years of his life raising the child of his cheating wife and some other man. Holding it against the child is wrong, of course, but actually devoting that level of resources to raising him or her is going way above and beyond.

              There’s a word for agreeing to raise a child who has no biological relation to you: Adoption. And I think people who do that—like the grandfather whose name I bear—are swell, but I don’t think anyone should be expected to, especially when the child’s mere existence—through no fault of its own, but still!—is a reminder of that time his wife cheated on him and wasn’t even considerate enough to use a condom so as not to risk exposing him to STDs.

              Every day, hundreds of thousands of people choose to make their own kids instead of adopting someone else’s. If you’re not going to give them crap about it, I don’t see how you can judge a man in that situation more harshly.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                It’s funny when a certain sort of man comes along to confirm my point.

                Anyway, a woman in these cases should give the man a chance to step up. He gets to decide, based on his feelings toward her, toward the new child, toward the situation. Honesty is hard. So is forgiveness.

                There is a certain sort of man where — well, she is probably better off if he storms out the door. Same for the kid.Report

              • I thought V’s comment was really quite fair. The man should be told, then it’s his choice. It’s unfortunate that the kid is caught in the middle of this problem, but it is what it is.

                I’ve seen people dismiss the agency of the father, and to suggest that the only moral course is to raise the kid as his own, and there are dangers with letting men get away with not supporting children that aren’t theirs, and so on. But it didn’t seem to me that Veronica was taking that stance.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Will Truman says:

                @will-truman — Well, sort of. I mean, yes I agree with what you say.

                It’s like, look, being cheated on sucks, and surely the man has a right to leave, and fast. That cuts both ways. If he cheats on her, she has a right to send him packing. But not every relationship breaks up. Some survive. It’s complicated and deeply personal.

                Obviously she should be honest.

                But the “grrrrr that’s NOT MY KID!!!”

                It’s like, even if the kid has your genes, they ain’t your property.

                Like, your spunk ain’t magic, and that other set of genes from that other dude might be just as good as yours. The kid themselves, like OMG. Human biology is like fucking magical, but your personal biology really isn’t. You’re just another meatsack. It’s what in your mind that matters.

                Anyway, this fixation with bio-spunk-magic seems irrational to me, and really does associate with a certain sort of patriarchal attitude. And as I said, if the dude is the sort who would go batshit cuz the kid “ain’t his” — well she might not want to be with a guy who thinks that way anyhow. I bet he has a cluster of other beliefs about humanity, masculinity, race, fatherhood, and so on, that are really gross.

                Maybe, maybe not. I’m talking correlations here.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to veronica d says:

                The genetic aspect is more or less drilled in to us, though. If it’s your kid, you have to take care of it (unless the mother and the state happened to both give you leave, or you simply can’t). It doesn’t matter if it was some fling with a broken Trojan or your spouse of eight years. It’s yours. It’s right there in the genetics. Legally, but also morally when I was going through (deadbeat dads are the worst, etc).

                The flip side of that is that if it’s not yours, you don’t have to take care of it. It’s your call. Just as the lack of obligation between you and the baby’s mother does not relieve you of an obligation if the child is genetically yours, being in a relationship with the mother doesn’t impose a moral obligation if the child is not yours. That obligation, per the previous paragraph, is assigned to someone else.

                Those may not be the best rules, but they are the rules. MRAs didn’t invent them.

                My wife and I have a biological child, but we might adopt our next one depending on the hand fate deals. And I’m perfectly cool with that. I would have been fine with adopting both. We’d love them either way. But that’s a personal and an intimate decision. Those are similar dynamics to the man who finds out that it’s someone else’s kid. (Depending, to some degree, on the relationship that exists or existed prior to his finding out.)Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Will Truman says:

                @will-truman — Right. It’s the man’s decision, in the end. It’s a hard decision. Certainly I’m not going to bust in on some guy who just found out his partner cheated on him, and like judge him. He’s got some hard shit to figure out.

                Like, if we’re talking that individual man in that hard circumstance. But that’s not really my point.

                But the men who obsess on the topic — I mean, look, it’s not an accident that the alt-right Trumpies ended up with “cuck” as an insult. In fact, the whole “cuckold” thing is a long standing obsession of MRA types. Like, they are paranoid about it.

                And then there was the Robin Hanson stuff. It’s like — I don’t even want to summarize it. If you’re curious, easy enough to Google.

                (And yeah, I know there is a race angle to all of this. So, I don’t want to try to come down of if it is more race or gender. It’s both, and in both ways gross.)

                So like, if you are a woman, then don’t cheat. If you don’t cheat, this won’t be an issue. (Don’t cheat if you’re a man either. Don’t cheat if you’re hella genderqueer. Don’t cheat. If you wanna be poly, then be poly.)

                Anyway my point is, if you are a woman, I would suggest you particularly avoid men who seem overly concerned about cuckoldry. This preoccupation does not exist in a vacuum.

                I know a guy who left his wife because she couldn’t get pregnant with HIS KID. He was magic-spunk-obsessed. He was also a cruel, sexist goon. I don’t think these are unrelated facts.

                She is better off now. It was hard for a few years, as she adjusted. But the men she dates now are better people. She got burned and learned an instinct about men. Good for her.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Will Truman says:

                I’ve seen people dismiss the agency of the father, and to suggest that the only moral course is to raise the kid as his own, and there are dangers with letting men get away with not supporting children that aren’t theirs, and so on.

                She’s not saying that he should be forced to, but she’s expressing clear disapproval of men who choose not to. “Men, step up.” See also her snotty response to my response. Clearly she disagrees with something I said, and all I said is that men who do choose to adopt are going above and beyond and that those who men who choose not to raise children conceived through their wives’ infidelity don’t deserve to be scorned for that choice.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                I think it’s mostly quibbling over #’s of angels on pin heads at this point. Note, in her original comment the designation of the woman in this scenario: “Cheating bitch” so it’s not like either are getting off scot free here. It’s just a matter of emphasis.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to North says:

                The woman clearly gets off quite a bit easier. She just gets called a nasty name. The man gets to be the worst person in the world because he felt betrayed enough to ditch. He wasn’t a real man.

                Can anybody really imagine an opposite scenario happening? A man suddenly appearing with a very young baby and explaining to his wife that this baby is the child of his and his mistress but the mistress died in accident so can the wife raise it as her own. I guess statistically that this might have happened on occasion but chances are that most women would just leave in anger. Nobody, not one would accuse her of “not being a real woman” if she did. But if your a man who gets betrayed in one of the most gut-wrenching ways if your a heterosexual man than your not a real man if you fail to make the right choice.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to LeeEsq says:

                The woman clearly gets off quite a bit easier.

                In this scenario, the woman is pregnant.

                You say she is getting off “easier.”

                Please go sit alone for a while and contemplate what you just said. Seriously try to think it through.

                There is a point where one’s perspective has narrowed so much that — you just need to step away for a while and think.

                The woman who is pregnant, who is going to bear a child — she does not “get off easier.”



                I never used the phrase “not a real man.” You did. Why did you think of this phrase?

                (We all know why you thought of this phrase. Again, self reflection.)


                I never said the man was the “worst person in the world.” In fact, I said I would not judge a specific man who faces these circumstances. Go reread what I wrote. Read more carefully. Distinguish what I said from what you think I said.

                The differences — those came from your mind, not mine.

                Self reflection.


                You are teetering on the edge of a misogynistic cesspool. Don’t fall. I’ve seen the men who fall. You don’t want.

                It’s a trap.


                Men who become viscerally angry at the mere thought of “raising another man’s kid” — those men form a special breed. This is not about real-life men facing a tough choice, nor their pregnant partner, who made an error and now likewise faces a very tough choice.

                Again, to be clear, this is not about the rare-but-existent real life situations that some couples face. Such people have to figure out their own path in a very difficult situation. I do not judge those people, at least without knowing their specifics. It is always very complicated.

                Instead, this is about the imagined scenarios spun up in the minds of those who gripe about cuckoldry. That is a separate cultural phenomenon. Very few men will face this. However, they obsess about it a great deal.


                Again, we’re talking about responses to a scenario, not real life.

                The correct responses look like this:

                “I don’t know. It would hard to trust her again.”

                “I’ve been cheated on before. I don’t think I could forgive.”

                “I’d try to forgive, maybe once. I don’t know. Plus, raising a kid is more than I bargained for. But maybe. It depends on how much I loved her.”

                Those are difficult, but decent responses. Those are what I would expect from kind-hearted people.

                Misogynistic creeps talk differently. Their responses are angry, ugly, patriarchal, and gross. They look like this:

                “No fucking way I’m raising some other guy’s kid.”

                “It ain’t mine. Fuck her. Throw her to the curb.”

                Can you see the difference?


                I cannot get pregnant. I cannot make anyone pregnant. This will never be an issue in my life. The first sort of man, however, he seems like the sort with honest but fair values. I would date a man who said something like that, if I was otherwise attracted.

                The latter sort — KEEP IT AWAY FROM ME!Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

                This is the same sort of pressure used on men who don’t want to date single mothers. Its not attacking actually misogyny, its using the accusation of misogyny as a cudgel to enforce a certain sort of behavior. There is nothing illogical about not wanting to be pushed into the deep end of the relationship pool with full responsibilities at the start.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to LeeEsq says:

                @leeesq — Holy changing the subject, Batman.

                I mean, people are going to make their dating decisions according to their own best interests. But I’m talking about something else here, a particular kind of social viewpoint about women and children.

                But whatever. People can date who they want. I’m totally down with that.

                For example, if women to a large degree don’t want to date a certain kind of man, for example — just throwing this out there — men who have been single for decades, that would be totally reasonable for them, correct?

                This is about fairness, right? And fairness cuts both ways.

                That’s the whole point of fairness, yes? One-sided fairness makes no sense. It would be the opposite of fairness.


                The thing about being trans is, I spent decades living “as a man.”

                I mean, I knew I wasn’t. But whatever. It’s complicated. The point is, when men talk about the pressures they face, I usually can understand. I felt those pressures also, at least a version of them, filtered through the mind of a confused trans gal.

                Like, the pressure the stoic, to never cry, to be “manly.” I felt that shit. It was awful. I hated it.

                There is much that is unfair to women, but there are things that are unfair to men. I could list other things. I expect most of the men on this forum would be nodding along.

                I never felt any pressure to date single mothers. Like, it was never a thing.

                In other words, you are full of shit and I know you are full of shit.

                There is no legislation proposed to force men to date single mothers. No one will ever attack you on the subway cuz you would not date a single mom. It’s just — no, sorry.


                There are ways that dating is “unfair.” There are other ways that it is totally fair. Like everything in life, it’s a bunch of stuff.

                We all got problems. Some of our problems our “outside of us” problems. Others are “inside of us” problems.

                I’m transgender. That’s an “outside of me” problem. I can’t help being trans. I cannot help how others see me, how they judge me for this. It is written on the outside of my body, the way I am shaped.

                Short guys cannot help being short. Fat people, to a large degree, cannot help being fat. These are “outside of them” problems.

                Our personality, our character, our self-image, our attitudes — these are “inside of us” problems. They are about our own hearts and minds.

                I’m too shy, to the point of being socially phobic.

                It sucks being transgender, at least sometimes. There are all kinds of hard shit I have to deal with. Tons. Probably more than most of you, if we’re all gonna be honest.

                When it comes to dating, my big problem is shyness. That’s no one’s fault but mine. It ain’t unfair. I own it. I gotta deal.

                You have “outside of you” problems. No doubt. But so does everyone on this forum. All the dudes here are “cerebral” types. None of us are Hollywood leading actor material.

                How are your “outside of you” problems worse than anyone else here? What does “fair” even mean?


                Lee, you are a misogynist. Sorry, but you are.

                It has nothing to do with whether you would date a single mom.

                It is clear you don’t want to be a misogynist. You’re not like one of these MRA creeps, who hate women, and who like themselves that way, and who hang with other guys who hate women and get all down with their woman-hate. You’re not like them.

                But still, your misogyny shines through, every time we talk about gender and relationships. You never show any empathy or understanding to the pressures women face. You relentlessly complain about the pressures you face. Your views are completely one-sided. You complain about fairness, but not for anyone else, only for you. This is childish.

                Women don’t want to date men who have been single for decades because we fear they will be emotionally stunted. Are we wrong?


                I’ve mentioned before, I’m mildly autistic. Thus I’m not always so good at the empathy thing. I am much better at the analysis thing.

                (Look, I’m not a robot. I cry in movies. I love my mom. I hug my best friend when she is sad. But still, my empathy seems to work differently from other people’s.)

                My point is, I’m not gonna hold your hand. I might tell you something that is true.

                It is clear to me that you are hurting. But it is also clear to me that have a deeply flawed notion of women and relationships. I suspect these things are related.

                Let me add, sometimes causality is complicated. You have situations where A causes B. You have situations where B causes A. But then you have situations where A and B are interactional, each feeding back on the other, and where the initial cause is lost in history.

                You are hurting. You have a poor model of relationships. You cannot empathize with women. These things are interactional. They are entwined.

                Inside your heart there is a knot. You will find neither happiness nor satisfaction until you figure out how to untie that knot.

                That knot belongs to you. Stop blaming women.Report

  13. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    T2: And that’s why you’ll never be cool.Report

  14. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    “Not only did parents get a happiness boost from family-friendly government policies, but non-parents reported feeling better, too. They also benefit from guaranteed sick days (children aren’t the only group that gets sick) and vacation days, not to mention the intangible benefit of living among families whose daily life isn’t polluted by instability and fear. Interestingly, monetary government subsidies, whether in the form of child allowances or monthly payments, had less of an effect on happiness than policies that make it easier for parents to combine work and parenting.”

    Once again, America’s puritanicalism gives us the worst of all possible worlds.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      They never explore cultural biases toward stuff like “it’s very important to say exactly how you feel” or “it’s very important to not tell strangers, including pollsters, that you’re unhappy”.

      If they could do a study on that and print those outcomes, it’d make studies like this one a lot more interesting.Report

  15. Avatar notme says:

    Obama, the million Muslim president.

    Sorry libruls, you can have a high trust society or a diverse one but you can’t have both.Report

  16. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    T4: And this is why our desktop machines, and the SiliconDust cable box that delivers video over the household LAN, are connected by 100 Mbps full-duplex switched Ethernet.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      No dice. Clinton had a shiny deal all worked out with Trump– let him go make all the sturm und drang he wanted, then give him something nice after he’s done getting her elected.

      He’s no longer taking that deal.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kim says:

        You need any extra tinfoil, or are you good?Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

          How’s your forensic accounting skills?Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kim says:

            Look, Kim, there’s a line between cynicism and conspiracy theory, and when it comes to Clinton you blazed over it somewhere north of the speed of sound.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

              I know a forensic accountant, and he’s damn worried about hidden debt, countries and corporations alike (as in the question is whether the Powers That Be have the recession hit before or after the election). Now, I can tell you that, and you can look up the data to prove that everyone else is worried too. I expect you to at least look at the independent evidence before you disclaim my claims about Clinton.

              Or do you really believe that ExxonSecrets is a conspiracy theory too? [Actually, it is a real conspiracy. Follow the money, and you see who’s paying. Just like the Astroturf they call the Tea Party].Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

              And cynics don’t generally lay burnt children at their own feet. Thing about cynics is they generally do jack all.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Morat20 says:

              Only the speed of sound?Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Its just about as a plausible explanation for Trump’s actions as anything else.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Well if he does at least we’ll know for sure.Report

  17. Avatar Joe Sal says:

    [P7] he brought down the ‘social’ self esteem movement, ha! Anyone else notice how the manifestations of authority were remarkably absent in the entire piece except for the one mention?Report

  18. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    This has to be one of the most insane things I have ever read, it is only a show:

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      During the 19th century, there were great writers and scholars able to turn the phenomenon like massive crowds and leisure shopping into works of genius like the Madness of the Crowds or the Theory of the Leisure Class. We really don’t have a writer of this caliber for modern social phenomenon.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Kids Middle-aged people these days…Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      As someone who is somewhat involved in fanfic (But not with Outlander in any way, never even seen the show), my immediate response is that real person fic sorta squicks me out.

      But that’s not actually the problem here. Because the dirty little secret is: All fiction is the same. All fiction is taking the universe, and rewriting it…fanfic is just starting with someone else’s universe.

      It just used to be, or at least it used to be for the last century, people had a bit of restraint for not explicitly including real individuals in fiction that are still alive.

      Yes, yes, there was a bit of an exception for the super-super-famous, sometimes you’d get someone that was clearly intended to be Obama, or the Queen of England, or whatever, and there were clear-satirical shows like South Park that would feel free to cross the line and trap Tom Cruise in a closet, but *generally* you had pastiches of real people, not actual real people. Even famous people. (Dead people, OTOH, are entirely fine, assuming they’ve been dead long enough.)

      And then we got real person fic. Which is, really, no different than any other fiction, in that it takes the universe (the real universe, not the universe of the show, so, technically, real person fic probably isn’t ‘fan fic’.) and write a story in it…it just ignores the established norm of ‘Not including actual recognizable people as characters’.

      But, again, this is not actually the problem.

      The problem here is apparently it’s gone past *fiction* into outright conspiracy theory. And when a notable segments of *any* group believes a conspiracy theory, especially a theory based on things actually important to the group, and that other people think is rather offensive…said group will, in fact, tear itself apart.

      And, of course, it’s the internet, so it keep magnifying.

      An interesting example here might be what happened with the Xena fan community, way back when. There are two, mostly incompatible ways of watching Xena and Gabrielle, or at least incompatible ways of *discussing* Xena and Gabrielle.

      The community…just agreed to disagree. Literally. One side is called ‘text’, the other side is called ‘subtext’. They had different newsgroups and everything, and generally just segregated themselves…and in other places, mixed places, well, if you believed subtext, you said as much in your post, and people just went with that, or with text if you said that. Or commentators completely ignored the other side. What you *didn’t* do was argue which interpretation was correct. Period. That was totally off-limits.

      Admittedly, this doesn’t work as well here…the anti-conspiracy Outlander fans seem to have a pretty valid point that a) This isn’t really any of fandom’s business anyway, and b) It is alleging that either the stars of the show are lying to everyone for no reason at all, and either cheating on their respecting SOs or their SOs are in on it….so regardless of how you read it, it’s kinda shitty behavior to ascribe to everyone involved. I can see why fans get pissy about it.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to DavidTC says:


        I was involved in fandom while in college. I even wrote some fanfic myself but then I just sort of dropped out of it and now I am awed by the huge amounts of intensity that goes into it.

        It just seems like a huge amount of energy spent on arguing about something that should just be for entertainment. I don’t think there is anything wrong with fanfic or possibly even realfic but pouring over the entirety of everything because you need something to be true suggests a lot of really sad people to me. Maybe that is uncharitable but I am just awed by the amount of energy that is spent of this stuff and that it can get into Vox as being newsworthy.Report

  19. P5 [defense of self-help books]:

    I’ve long (for how long, I’m not sure) maintained that self-help books are cheaper than therapy, and therefore shouldn’t be sneezed at. But then Svoboda says, “Bibliotherapy is probably best undertaken with the guidance of a trained therapist – someone who can help readers assess how well the approach is working, offer advice on how to put self-help principles into practice, or recommend stronger treatment if appropriate.” Too much credential-norming going on, in my opinion.

    Slightly tangentially, I’d posit different kind o self-help books for consideration. E.g., self-help a la “12 steps to make your life fulfilling” and self-help a la “some suggestions for how to deal with/solve this problem.” The latter seems more promising.Report

  20. Bruce Japsen says that we can save money on four surgeries.

    Get them for the price of three?Report

  21. Avatar imgur says:

    Enterprises having a large website with a lot
    of traffic influx will require the reseller hosting package.

    One should keep in mind that communication lines for live support are kept open for paid accounts, who are given top
    priority. The amount of space required by a website
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