Linky Tuesday: Hot & Cold Wars


Will Truman

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

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82 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Wa1: Its surprising that so many people on my side of the aisle still have a near mythic respect for the United Nations despite all its problems and that it really is a third world dictator’s debate society. Still doesn’t stop them from bringing it up when they pass resolutions against Israel for the umpteenth time.

    Wa4: She’s right.

    Wa5: Yes.

    Es5: Bull. Clinton wouldn’t get into a cock contest with North Korea that could lead to nuclear war for one thing.

    Te5: Miracle of miracles, I agree with the National Review on a social issue. It seems like the most extroverted and the most introverted are trying to make like difficult for everybody else at times in the current climate. Either for a master of all sorts of tact and non-verbal communication always out and about or your shut in and communicate on the Internet.

    Ho4: Most of these houses aren’t bad looking besides the stone one in New York. They need a lot of work to become habitable but they have the look I like.

    Tr4: Most people aren’t as good drivers as they think they are. Its a great argument for driverless cars.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Ho4: Those aren’t $50k houses… they are $250k projects that you buy for $50k.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      My (original) blurb wasn’t clear, but for Es5 was a reference to foreign policy as it pertains to Russia specifically.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      Marchmaine has it right. Also a lot of the houses are next to areas with little or no economy. Antwerp, NY is in the far north of New York and is closer to Canada than any U.S. State. The town is also nearly 18 percent below the poverty line.

      It’s too far to be a country house for someone.Report

    • Avatar Creon Critic says:

      Wa1 – It’s a deeply flawed institution and these points in no way justify or excuse the profound wrongs done to the victims of UN peacekeeper abuses.

      I would say that imagining an important role for the UN is synonymous with imagining an important role for diplomacy, norms, and international law in interstate relations. The UN is important to the international system for the same reason the State Department is important for American foreign policy. As mediator, as repository of expertise, as universal interstate diplomat, the UN can plan a role that no single state can play – just look at the Cuban Missile Crisis alone and the role the Secretary General played. The UN, imperfect as it is, remains one of the safeguards for many values that’d simple be crushed by raw, Great Power politics. As one SG said, “the United Nations was not created in order to bring us to heaven, but in order to save us from hell.” Even recognizing its flaws, that’s why I see the UN as deserving a great deal of respect.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        The problem isn’t with the UN as such, but with the Peacekeepers. The controlling hierarchy is seriously flawed and it’s nearly impossible to get any kind of accountability out of it.Report

  2. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Wa1: Oh, this isn’t a problem in just the Congo. It’s a chronic problem, and has been for decades. When I was in Somalia, the ‘joke’ going around was that it was good that UN troops wore the sky blue helmets and arm bands, it would make it easier to shoot them if you ran across one having sex with a local.Report

    • Avatar Creon Critic says:

      I agree with the need for accountability. Another possible solution would be more wealthy nations with disciplined, more well paid armed forces taking up the peacekeeping missions. IIRC the troop providing states for these scandals are not on the highly developed end of the spectrum. And even then, wealthy, highly disciplined armed forces aren’t wholly immune from abuses like this occurring, including the United States’ armed forces.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        No, they aren’t immune, but they have better (relatively) structures in place to deal with such abuses. The reason (IIRC) the better militaries tend to not allow troops into the Peacekeeper roles is precisely because doing so puts those troops under the control of the UN in ways those military COCs find problematic.Report

        • Avatar InMD says:

          There’s also the fact that those troops tend to come from countries where public opinion at least nominally matters. Absent a strategic interest of some kind peacekeeping is a no win for democratically elected leaders. At best no one really cares. There can also be percieved imperialistic undertones that make the locals even more hostile. You mentioned Somalia above…Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels says:


    Soley said he is trying to make the units affordable to people earning up to 120 percent of the area’s median income. In 2017, 120 percent of median income was $68,950 for a single person and $78,800 for a two-person household. He plans to achieve that by building small, 400-square-foot units

    What this shows, maybe unintentionally, is the problem.
    If even 120% of the median income can afford only a tiny 400 s.f. unit, then over half of the people can’t.

    Half of the people there can’t even afford the tiniest possible unit built as cheaply as is possible.
    It just confirms for me that what we have is not a cost problem but a wage problem.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      It’s both & neither. What it is is a disconnect between the wage signal and the housing price signal.Report

    • Avatar trumwill says:

      Like Oscar says, it’s more of a disconnect than a “cost” problem or a “wage” problem, specifically.

      However, people with lower wages can afford housing elsewhere. That indicates to me that if we have to choose between the two, it’s a cost problem. Well, an availability problem that’s translating into a cost problem.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        Isn’t asserting that we have a cost problem just a fancy way of saying “The Rent Is Too Damn High”?
        How would we reduce cost?

        As we’ve discussed here many times, the essential components of cost- Land, materials, labor- aren’t able to be changed in any significant way.

        Reducing regulations, building more density; these things only affect the cost and price of rent very slightly.

        It may be possible to spread out job centers such that we don’t have too many renters trying to purchase too few apartments; But aside from massive governmental social engineering like rezoning and infrastructure development, I am not sure how we would do this.

        It just seems like the component most amenable to public policy is wages.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Correction: Reducing regulation and building more densely without enraging the entrenched interests (homeowners who want their neighborhood to remain single family, or their view changing, or traffic increasing etc…) only effects the cost slightly though as LA and NY showed even building a bunch of luxury level stuff has a noticeable effect on rents.

          I would, however, agree that the easiest level to adjust for us liberals is wages because the people who’s oxen most obviously get gored by that aren’t people we liberals prioritize giving a damn about. Of course you crank up the minimum wage without impacting supply then that just means the existing housing stock gets bid up even more and rents magically remain too damn high.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          Or by fixing travel/transportation. Lots of low cost places I could live if air travel was not such a colossal fecking headache. High speed rail would even be effective if we could figure out how to build it without spending the equivalent of a small nations GDP for every hundred miles of track.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          Just because there’s a problem doesn’t mean there’s a solution.

          If the number of units is fixed and everybody’s wages go up, it seems to me that the most likely outcome is everybody just bidding all of their newfound wages against one another because you still have more people wanting to live in these units than you have units to live in. Now they just have more money to bid against one another. The fundamental problem remains.

          So the most obvious solutions are to either increase the number of units for people to live, or decrease the number of people bidding on the units. The main attempts I’ve seen to do the latter involve is to prevent foreigners from buying. You could also do something with the tax code, discouraging people from buying large units that otherwise could be three or four smaller units. Politicians aren’t generally keen, however, on “Take that wealth somewhere else, buddy.”

          We’ve talked quite a bit around here about the supply side. There’s a lot the government can do there (if we include “getting out of the way”). Both libertarian-friendly ways such as build-build-build, or as Lee points out liberal-friendly ways like building lots and lots of public housing where rents are controlled and managed by the government. (This can also go towards the demand side by decreasing the number of bidders by adding eligibility requirements to eliminate actual bidding altogether.)

          In any event, the above solutions (some of which I like, some of which I don’t) all seem more likely to have an impact than paying everybody $30/hr.Report

          • Avatar North says:

            Well there is one way I suppose. If you crank up minimum wage too much then as prices skyrocket and employers automate and minimize employment opportunities as much as possible you should see declining demand by people to live in that area absent outside countervailing factors. Making a wasteland of the city, however, doesn’t strike me as a desirable way to solve housing issues.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            @oscar-gordon @will-truman
            Oh absolutely, to all your points.

            Which is what I referred to a “massive governmental social engineering”.

            Remember the suburbs themselves were just such an example of social engineering, and it was a massive effort involving land use laws, appropriating land in the name of the people via eminent domain, banking regulations, securitization of the mortgage markets, constructing and financing physical infrastructure and so forth.

            Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

            As far as wages, it could be a combination of things. Minimum wage is one, but the ACA is actually a wage issue as well, since it provides income security .An expanded EITC credit has been floated as well, and increased funding for public transit.
            All these things put more money in the pockets of renters moving the needle higher on the median wage.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              massive governmental social engineering

              You use those words in the presence of libertarian and libertarian-leaning folks as if we don’t associate some serious baggage along with it. 😉

              I’d use “massive investment in housing and transportation infrastructure”.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Massive top down social engineering and socialized infrastructure through coercive taxation of fiat currency and confiscation of private property, all for the benefit of the people.

                Go big or go home, my friend.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Worked great for Venezuela.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I know it was a throwaway snark, but I think its funny how we use these shorthand examples of economic determinism.

                Socialism= Venezuela [but not Norway]
                Capitalism= America [but not Haiti]

                I call it economic determinism, because it assumes economic policy has an inevitable outcome, as if all other factors like culture, political development are irrelevant.

                In this view, public control of the factors of production gets you Venezuela and the gulag, free market control gets you America.

                Except American suburbs are exactly what I described- top down social engineering, land confiscation etc.

                Except they also are an example of free market capitalism.
                Or maybe some mixture of the two.

                But even so, they prove that capitalism works and socialism doesn’t.
                Or vice versa.

                One of those two!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Whatever you do, don’t compare cultures.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                The rape, looting, and genocides of the native populations of the Western Hemisphere and Africa can be explained by something other than pathological European Enlightenment culture, I am quite sure.

                Economic anxiety for starters.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Welp, back to not understanding why Venezuela and Norway are different, I guess.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Don’t get me wrong, I am actually a firm proponent that culture is the strong driver of political outcomes and is a good explanation for the two nations differences.

                But cultural comparisons are usually done as a form of moral judgement or a just-so story to explain a comforting narrative so I am wary of them.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Did you read Wa1 yet?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Yes, and…?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If you hadn’t, I’d have considered your bringing up the rape of Africa, among other continents, merely poor timing.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I appreciated the snark, for what it’s worth.

                When it comes to culture, a failed state is less about a failed culture and more about that culture’s ability/willingness to toss the bums out.

                The Norwegians seem perfectly able and willing to give leaders who are abusive and/or busy robbing the country the old heave ho. The Venezuelans seem unable &/or unwilling to do the same, same with the Haitians. We do the ritual every 2 years, although as I get old and cynical, I am less certain we are actually tossing the bums out, rather than just forcing them to play a game of musical chairs, where we don’t take any chairs away.Report

              • Avatar James K says:


                This is a problem with arguing over thick concepts like “capitalism” and “socialism”, we are all paying attention to different aspects of each system.Report

          • Avatar aaron david says:

            One other way is to remove the locus of desire, lowering both rents and population. I am thinking of Berkeley specifically, thus the east bay in general, which is partially driven by the university. Remove that, leaving the building and such, and much of the drive to live there is gone, along with a huge chunk of the drivers, students. It is a state gov’t facility and thus can be moved to some area that needs a financial driver, such as Humbolt or Weed.

            You could do this with Hollywood and Amazon with the right incentives, it’s just a nudge…Report

            • Avatar North says:

              Heh, while you’re talking about doing impossible things why not just change zoning to allow a ton more density. That’d be a hell of a lot easier than moving a university out of an area*.

              *As in cutting your leg off would be easier than cutting both your arms off.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                You can get a university to move if the land is valuable enough! Concordia Austin picked up and moved to the burbs. Of course, I think they sold their land to UT, so that doesn’t help.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Sure, but if you’re a politician and keeping your job is your priority (which for most politicians it is) I’m pretty sure trying to do higher density housing is better for your career than trying to get the prestigious local university to move out (as in drinking poison is better for your health than jumping into lava).Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Housing is a big old mess of a problem and an intergenerational conflict on an epic scale of parents screwing their children.

    There are some progressive policy points in the Republican tax scam like lowering the mortgage deduction (or placing a cap on it) and lowering/eliminating the SALT deductions. One problem is that these are being done in service of really horrible ends. This makes it hard for Democratic politicians to keep them going even if they should accept the end of these deductions. Both parties have a group of upper-middle class or lower upper-class voters who feel and think they “middle class” but whose taxes need to be raised. These are professionals and regular voters.

    Another problem is that two or three generations of Americans have most of their equity tied up in their home values or a good chunk of them do. Getting rid of various deductions will lower housing prices but those older people vote so…..

    Then there is the fact that human psychology and democracy make things like upzoning very hard. The way other countries handle these issues is through anti-democratic technocracy. My girlfriend’s family lives in a single-family home in Singapore. They are surrounded by other Single-family homes but high rises and public housing is all around them. If this were the United States (and maybe other Western countries), everyone would revolt and say no. Singapore is a quasi-Democracy and the technocrats can simply say no. I suspect that the local MPs don’t really need to listen to constituents the same way local politicians in America need to listen to their constituents.

    What I suspect is going to happen is that housing is going to be really horrible for late Generation Xers and Millennials but better for the next generation (hopefully).Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      DavidTC had it right when he commented some time ago that it’s strange for people to have established their primary residence as their primary savings/investment vehicle for retirement. That’s how you get that inter-generational screwing and how you disconnect the price of housing from the price from wages (IIRC rents tend to mirror mortgage payments).Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        I concur but this was a policy choice and thing that happened way before we were born and now we are living in this world.

        As I understand it (which is very anecdotal), the Greatest Generation saw their houses as houses. My maternal grandparents were in the same house from the early 50s until my grandmother died in 2000. My grandfather died in 1989 or 1990. It was a very modest Cape-Cod.

        My parents (or a certain subset of them) generation were the ones that started to see housing as an investment that could be flipped or they moved more frequently as income went up. When I was born, my parents rented a small house. When I was three, they bought a larger house. When I was around 10 or 11, they bought an even larger house. They also redid and updated homes with aid of various mortgage packages created by the banks.

        So now a current generation needs to suffer the consequences.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:


          What policy encouraged wrapping savings into the primary residence?Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

            Partially the policies that made it easier to do home-mortgages and made house ownership for the masses as a goal. This turned people from renters. Partially because investing is still incredibly and risky for the average American including well-educated Americans. The finance industry figured out how to taking the boring mortgage and make it a lucrative bond/investment. And then people got into flipping, etc.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              Making it easier to buy X doesn’t necessarily lead to X becoming a singular investment vehicle for entire demographics. I can buy a car pretty easily, but cars in general depreciate pretty steadily. Only a few makes and models can appreciate in value, and only with considerable care by the owner.

              Perhaps it was the Great Depression and the loss of trust in banks for a generation?Report

              • Avatar North says:

                I gather that 30 year mortgages are a uniquely American phenomena vs shorter term ones elsewhere in the world? Also down payment requirements are generally higher elsewhere? Both as a result of government supports. Perhaps that wider time horizon makes houses a better investment vehicle?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Maybe? I don’t rightly know, which is why I’m asking.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw says:

                30 year mortgages weren’t common in the U.S. until after WWII with one of the G.I. bills. The law was supposed to be compensation to veterans, increase the housing supply and create construction jobs. I’m not sure when this transitioned to private loans; I find a source for 1948, but I can’t tell if that was just for the GI bill or not.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Yeah for some reason I thought FNMA and Freddie were involved somehow but I can’t find any references.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain says:

            Or lack of policies — public pensions in the US are relatively small, and there are no guarantees about housing for the elderly.

            Having reached a certain age, so the subject comes up over dinners with friends and acquaintances, you realize that the cost of housing if you own a house with a paid-off mortgage, or a mortgage payment that was fixed >20 years ago, is considerably less than renting. Maintenance, taxes and services basically. The bank’s not taking a cut. No outside property owner is taking a cut.

            Note that the best known of the various property tax initiatives — Prop 13 in California, the Gallagher Amendment in Colorado — were initially sold on the grounds of not pricing the elderly out of their paid-for housing.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              That’s incentive to own and have it paid off, it’s not incentive to treat it as a constantly appreciating asset that exists to bolster the nest egg.

              It’s nuts, we all agree it is. Right now, my house has appreciated more than 50% since I bought it in late 2014. We are thinking about getting a place with a bit more space, but after looking around our neighborhood, even if we sold, the cost of a larger place would be great enough that we are seriously considering adding on to the house over the garage instead. $150K remodel is more cost effective than moving.

              It’s all due to a tightly constricted supply.Report

            • the cost of housing if you own a house with a paid-off mortgage, or a mortgage payment that was fixed >20 years ago, is considerably less than renting.

              I bought ten years ago at the housing peak. At this point the principle on my mortgage is about even with the value of the house. The thing is, my mortgage/property tax/homeowner’s insurance payments are substantially less than I would be paying in rent in the same area, for considerably less house. The rental market today is absolutely insane. I knew when I bought the place that prices were at their peak. It was the right time to buy for other reasons, and I knew I was in it for the long haul, so I gritted my teeth and signed the papers. I never thought it would turn out to be the right short-term financial decision, too.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Most other developed nations haven’t quite fetishized the single family home with a quarter acre of land the way America has; except maybe Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Apartment and high rise living is seen as perfectly acceptable for middle and upper class people in other countries. Most other developed countries have a strong tradition of good public housing. This makes having realistic housing policies workable.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        And in some countries renting is perfectly acceptable and they still have a high bar for who gets a mortgage even professionals might be barred from getting mortgages. I suspect American racial politics also fuels the desire to own a home. “Those people” are renters.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          The preference for single family homes dates from the colonial period.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            “European colonists preferred to live in detached homes surrounded by expansive manicured lawns rather than huts or shanties.”Report

          • Avatar PD Shaw says:

            The prefence didn’t originate in colonies though:

            This changed in 17th-century Holland. The Netherlands was Europe’s first republic, and the world’s first middle-class nation. Prosperity allowed extensive home ownership, republicanism discouraged the widespread use of servants, a love of children promoted the nuclear family, and Calvinism encouraged thrift and other domestic virtues. These circumstances, coupled with a particular affection for the private family home, brought about a cultural revolution.People began to live and work in separate places; children grew up with their parents (rather than being apprenticed to strangers, as before); and the home, securely under the control of what we would now call the “housewife,” was restricted to the immediate family. This intimate domestic haven was always a house. Seventeenth-century Dutch cities and towns were composed almost entirely of houses built in rows, side by side, wide or narrow depending on the wealth of the owner.

            Why Do We Live in Houses, Anyway?

            There is some characterization (the Russians love their children too), but this residential style is transferred to Great Britain and is transferred to the British colonies. In the 1830s, the Anglos left New Orleans to create a residential district next door with a bit of lawn and shrubbery, and separation from commerce and other people (the Garden District). It’s not simply the matter that land is cheap in that swamp.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Wa4 – I went to the NYC 9/11 memorial about 5 years ago (just before the museum and tower were completed). I found it remarkable that we had to go thru all kinds of security checkpoints to get to the memoral plaza, while at the Pentagon memorial, one can walk right up and thru the entire (memorial) site, on an active military installation, at one’s leisure.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      Wa5 – Is France reconizing Syrian Kurdistan on the dl – or, is Macron being clever, realizing he has a orage de merde legal with these guys, and found a way he could have his Gitmo Gâteau and eat it too.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      If NYC can’t buoy itself with feelings of self importance, I’m pretty sure the city would just sink right into the bay.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Could it be that in the Pentagon, you’re surrounded by people carrying deadly guns at all times?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Maybe, but they’re less visible than the NYPD.

        To be Scrupolously Fair, the 9/11 NYC site gets far more daily visitors and is surrounded by ‘natural’ chokepoints, while the Pentagon memorial site is essentially in a converted parking lot (though one closest to the building), surrounded by other massive parking lots, and has clear sight lines in all directions, some of which literally go for miles.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    OT but Slate launches into a partially correct view of why reviewers and non-reviewers have different reactions to the same media:

    What I think the writer is missing is that reviewer’s just might have different wants and needs from art/entertainment than a general audience. Many are arts-educated like me and if they are also like me have educated themselves out of liking the more populist stuff. There is a lot of great stuff out there, more than anyone can read or watch or listen to in a lifetime, why waste time on the crap.

    But lots of people seem to have an honest and sincere love of “So bad it’s good.” I don’t understand it. Why torture yourself with the Room if you can watch Jules and Jim or Love in the Afternoon or go see the excellent DaVinci exhibit and Hockney exhibit at the Met.*

    *I got memed as Mr. Fancypants when I said this.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      You could have stopped at “different wants and needs.”

      PS. Since when did they play hockey at the Met. They play at the garden in NY. Get your facts straight. Darn fake sports/ art criticism crossover.Report

    • My go-to example in classical music the summer outdoor pops performance of 1812 Overture and Bolero. If I had a friend who didn’t know anything about classical music but was classical-curious, I totally would take him to that concert. Come to think of it, I probably will be taking my kids in a year or two. But go on my own? How much are you paying me?

      Moving to film, there simply is no way that someone seeing multiple films every week can have the same reaction to any given film as the casual film-goer.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        I think the issue is how many people are not classically curious (or any form of art curious at all) and/or are fine with just staying at the 1812 Overture and Bolero and the Summer Pops concert.

        As I understand it, modern symphonies have a problem with just having a really old and aging audience. They have gotten younger butts in the seats with gimmicks like video game night or sing-along night but they have had big issues at translating this to getting people to come see them perform Shostakovich or even Mozart.

        We have been through this a lot before and I think Lee is somewhat right (but possibly overstating the case) that there used to be a bit more of a requirement towards cultural literacy. This was especially true if you were an upper-middle class professional.

        This has changed and the change seems to be something close to an ultra-revolt. Today’s professionals largely feel no need to be into what is usually dubbed “high culture”. Look at how many people in their 20s-40s (and people with college and advanced degrees) can engage in endless amount of talk regarding the comic books and extended toy commercials of their youth or wrestling.

        Or they want to be appear intellectually inclined, it is all about the TED talk (oh so very corporate friendly) rather than an essay about J.M.W. Turner that appeared in the London Review of Books. Or evening knowing who Turner is at all.*

        The person who called me Mr. Fancypants for saying “Why watch the Room when you can watch Jules and Jim” has a graduate degree. I find this shocking and will fight against it.

        *The corporate-friendly Vox crowd is often at the forefront of smacking against high culture probably because they have no idea what to do with a Turner painting or a Truffaut film because you can’t graph it.Report

        • Avatar Maribou says:

          @saul-degraw Assuming you literally said “why do X when you could do Y?” I would guess you got Mr. Fancypants’d not for having a preference, or even valuing your preference above someone else’s, but for asking why their preference isn’t your preference and communicating that it baffles you. You’re the one who went there, first.

          As to why that happens, I blame Oscar Wilde. No one takes aesthetic questions earnestly anymore. (Did you even ask it that way?)Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          Why should I be curious about “high culture” when you probably have no idea what happened in the game last night?Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

            Walking Star Trek Encyclopedia Brutally Mocked by Walking Sports Encyclopedia.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              The thing is, I don’t actually have a problem with Saul having no idea about the game the other night. But he seems to have a problem with me not knowing about the art things he cites. So I’m trying to understand why his culture preferences (lots of art, little sports) should be preferable to my own (little art, lots of sports). Odds are, we are roughly equivalent with regards to passion and knowledge and investment in our given preferences and the lack thereof in those we aren’t so interested in.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Oh, that’s easy. Any mouth breather can learn to understand ‘sports’, but appreciating art requires an education in the topic at an appropriate Ivy or SLAC.

                Was that smug enough?Report

        • Avatar Brent F says:

          I’m highly educated by any reasonable standard. I have no idea what to do with a Turner painting or a Truffant film either, or much of an off-hand conception of what they are or why anyone considers them important. Nothing you’ve been saying makes me think my life has been particularly diminished by their absense, particularly when contrasted to other intellectual pursuits that interested me more than arthouse films and visual arts.

          You can push back on this all you want, but you’re not really putting forth much of an arugment for why things would be so much better if knowing these things was considered required for an adult in polite society. All I’m hearing is pretty much that you like these things so you think everyone else should be forced to like them.

          I’m exactly the sort of person you are decrying here and I’m giving you a chance. Tell me why what I’ve been doing with my life that’s been working for me is wrong and why things would be better if I was more like you.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          I am more with Saul here, because of my inner conservative disposition.

          As much as I think the Traditional Canon and High Culture rightly deserve to be interrogated and challenged, updated and constantly revised, it is a valuable thing nonetheless.

          There is a benefit to having a diverse group of people form a consensus on what our cultural traditions are, what things are special and sacred to us.
          Even if, and especially if, we are constantly arguing about what should be part of it and what shouldn’t.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Well, you got memed because “Hockney exhibit at the Met” is pronounced going to the Minnesota North Stars game.

      {ok, that’s a deep tracks hockey reference}Report

  7. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Notice: Explainer on James Damore’s recently-filed lawsuit against Google in the pipe. May not publish it until tomorrow. Interesting stuff, though, and I look forward to the hive mind dissecting it.Report

  8. Avatar Hot Cha says:

    [Te2] from the story: “my friend, James Damore…”

    yeah good luck with *that*Report

  9. Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

    Ho1: Who’d have thought that arming both sides in a bidding war wouldn’t make the product affordable?Report

  10. Avatar Maribou says:

    Te2: The problem with accusations of serial stalking is that actual serial stalkers tend to react to the accusations with the same disbelief, accusations of being bullied, counter-lawsuits, counter-claims, etc. that people who truly are just being bullied by a clique do.

    The exact same. (That’s why they can get away with it for a long time, usually.)

    So I read a story like this, with equally plausible complaints from both sides, and (despite the author’s claims otherwise) no *clear* to outsider power differentials, and I just throw up my hands. Wow. A Mess.

    Someone(s) are definitely being awful to someone(s) else here.Report