Aug 082016
 

13895232_1363555407006280_7036367322075833613_n15 Stats That Show Americans Are Drowning in ‘Stuff’ “Over the course of our lifetime, we will spend a total of 3,680 hours or 153 days searching for misplaced items”
!! Based on survey results finding average of 10 min a day looking for misplaced items. Seems unreasonably high to me, likely people are overestimating how long they spend looking for stuff on a daily basis, cuz it’s so frustrating it seems like a long time. I can’t imagine anyone would blow 10 min a day looking for things for more than a week or two before altering their lifestyle to fix that!
Still, this article confirms my personal prejudices, so I choose to share it!

Donald Trump quotes make a lot more sense when you imagine Zapp Brannigan saying them…

Two more things about The Great Wall:

First, MovieBob puts into words pretty much all my thoughts. As ususal, he is a voice of sanity. :)

Second, a few days later the Chinese director of this Chinese movie said it’s not racist. I dunno tho, that’s exactly what you’d *expect* a racist to say.

Y’all saw that Trump asked, three times in one hour, why we don’t just use nukes, since we have them, right?

UNNECESSARIAT:
“In 2011, economist Guy Standing coined the term “precariat” to refer to workers whose jobs were insecure, underpaid, and mobile, who had to engage in substantial “work for labor” to remain employed, whose survival could, at any time, be compromised by employers (who, for instance held their visas) and who therefore could do nothing to improve their lot.
… from where I live, the world has drifted away. We aren’t precarious, we’re unnecessary. The money has gone to the top. The wages have gone to the top. The recovery has gone to the top. And what’s worst of all, everybody who matters seems basically pretty okay with that.
…The bottom line, repeated just below the surface of every speech, is this: those people are in the way, and its all their fault. The world of self-driving cars and global outsourcing doesn’t want or need them. Someday it won’t want you either. They can either self-rescue with unicorns and rainbows or they can sell us their land and wait for death in an apartment somewhere. You’ll get there too.”

What This Feminist Sees in Harley Quinn
“I’ll come out and say it, she is my favorite female comic book character. Not because I admire her, but because I understand her.
She’s every negative female stereotype you can think of and then some. But there’s more to good storytelling than characters who are good role models.
She wants to live for fun and mischief and sex without responsibilities. She wants to screw a charismatic badboy (literally) without getting screwed by him (figuratively), and she refuses to accept that life doesn’t work that way.
No one’s halfheartedly dressing up the things she does for Joker as some kind of progressive, liberated forwardness like Catwoman’s ill-advised flirtations. She’s a comic book version of someone we’ve all met, of self-destructive feelings we’re all capable of. Her weaknesses and lunacy aren’t implanted in her to make her conveniently rescueable and compliant with a nonsensical plot. They’re lifelike. Human.
And that is what is missing from the majority of women in today’s fiction, far more than strength, intelligence, and independence:
Honesty. Thought. Depth.
That is how we will know when we’ve achieved equality in fiction. Not only by the number of female characters or even by what they do but by why they do it.”

Western civilization is taking over the globe. … Given a choice, young people choose Western consumerism, gender norms, and entertainment. Anti-Western governments from Beijing to Tehran know this this to be true: Without draconian censorship and social regulation, “Westoxification” will win.
A big part of the West’s strength, I hasten to add, is its openness to awesomeness. When it encounters competing cultures, it gleefully identifies competitors’ best traits – then adopts them as its own. By the time Western culture commands the globe, it will have appropriated the best features of Asian and Islamic culture. Even its nominal detractors will be Westernized in all but name. Picture how contemporary Christian fundamentalists’ consumerism and gender roles would have horrified Luther or Calvin. Western civ is a good winner. It doesn’t demand total surrender. It doesn’t make fans of competing cultures formally recant their errors. It just tempts them in a hundred different ways until they tacitly convert.

Scott Alexander rebuts withboth Chinese people and traditional Americans assimilating into universal culture in order to share a common ground – with this being invisible to people who are already assimilated into universal culture, to whom it just looks “normal”. […] the incorrect model of “foreign cultures being Westernized” casts Western culture as the aggressor, whereas the model of “every culture is being universalized” finds Western culture to be as much a victim as anywhere else.

My friends are quite talented. :) “Pokemon Go Yellow”: A Coldplay Parody by JessoLaurus Rex

Photographer Visits Famous Landmarks, Faces The Wrong Direction. Great pics!

Huh. The Green Party supports Homeopathy as an official plank of their platform(!). And they have a sizable enough anti-vax wing that Jill Stein felt she had to pander to them with circuitous hemming about the “medical-industrial establishment” when asked about vaccines, even though she has a doctorate from Harvard Medical!

“like Friedrich Nietzsche said: “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not start trying to capture monsters.” (Or something like that.)” – AV. Club

Oof. Right in the gut. :( I Am A Transwoman. I Am In The Closet. I Am Not Coming Out.
“I am a girl who has been through a lot of shit and who has grown into symbiosis with her boy suit. But what else I know is that my point is my fucking point. Do I even want to convince someone who will only listen to me when they find out I’m a girl?
Do I have to out myself to be treated like a person worth listening to? To stop my cis classmates laughing at someone who’s reckoned with the boundaries and the dimensions of masculinity and femininity in ways they never had to? Do I need their permission to speak?

I hate that the only effective response I can give to “boys are shit” is “well I’m not a boy.” I feel like I am selling out the boy in baseball pajamas that sat with me on the bed while I tried to figure out which one I was supposed to be, and the boys who I have met and loved from inside my boy suit—who believed they were talking to a boy. I feel like I am burning the history of the naked body that sits on the floor of my shower. ”

My basic problem with Trolley Problems. Sacred Values Are How Ethical Injunctions Feel From The Inside
“A perfectly rational being, of course, would have no need for ethical injunctions. But we’re monkeys with pretensions. We’re self-interested and prone to rationalization. If we say “it’s okay to torture people in very extreme cases that are never going to happen”, then you can talk yourself into thinking that this is a very extreme case, even though the actual reason you want to torture the guy is that he’s a horrible person and you want to see him suffer, and next thing you know you’re the U S Government.”

We built voice modulation to mask gender in technical interviews. Here’s what happened. (quoting FoF) – I hate clickbaity titles, but in this case the fact that the title describes an experiment but not its result is an opportunity to try predicting the outcome before reading about it.
also, fun lines from article: “programming is like sex — one mistake and you have to support it for the rest of your life.”
“you might want to do what any reasonable person would do in the face of an existential or moral quandary, i.e. fit the data to a curve.”

Fight the power! Chatbot lawyer overturns 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York

Holy crap, this deleted scene in ZooTopia would have been *amazing*!!

“the Hall of Presidents … as a representation of how America understands itself and its history, is absolutely correct. … the national mythos rests in the hands of a publicly traded corporation.
[…] We live in the capitalpunk AU.”
(also: “They say American copyright terms keep getting extended under pressure from Disney who wants to keep hold of all their founding properties, I almost wonder if it wouldn’t be less of a corruption of the civic system to just carve out special protections for Disney in recognition of their distinct role in America.”)

Powerful stuff.
“9. When I turned twenty-one, I could go to the clubs. Get dressed up, wear a coat to hide the outfit, pile into a car with friends, roll down the windows in the summer, sure, blare the music, sing along, roll the windows up when a car or truck pulled up alongside and shouted threats, hope they don’t follow, drive to the club, look around before parking to make sure no-one is staking out the street or parking lot, hide anything valuable in the car, lock it, walk to the club. Wait in the line to get in, all laughter and flirting and nervous grins and nervous shuffling and happy nervous everything, be grateful for the door-minder who was watching the sidewalk, pay, walk in.
Walk in.
Walk, strut, ease on in, breathe, breathe deep and happy and smell the smoke and beer and sweat and none of that matters because here, here no-one waits to catch you in the act of being gay.
Put vigilance down.
Put vigilance down, and dance.
[…]
14. The shooter went to a place of refuge, of joy, of celebration. He went to a place where queers go when we are told we are too queer to be seen anywhere else. He went to the place where all the shoving and flaunting of queer would have been hidden away from him.
[…]
I cannot stop anyone from murdering anyone else. I don’t have that power. But I am … done. I am done with letting the jokes and remarks slide by. I cannot continue to passively agree that I am a punchline, a threat, a bogeyman, a cautionary tale. I just, … I am done.
I can’t stop the Orlando murders, or any other murders of queers.
But I am done being complicit.”
(and yes, I dislike the use of the term “microaggression” here, but whatevs, it’s just a word and this essay is awesome)

Spoilery: The Quicksilver scene from X-men:Apocalypse. It is awesome! And only available on Facebook, for some reason?

On Taste. “it is a good idea not to develop taste in anything where developing taste will cost you more money. For instance, I would strongly advise against developing taste in chocolate. […] You should absolutely not develop taste about anything that is necessary for your life.”

I half suspect this is the most epic trolling of all time. “In line with our expectations, P [for “Psychoticism”] (positively related to tough-mindedness and authoritarianism) is associated with social conservatism and conservative military attitudes.”
You know where this is going, right? Spoilers below, I’d read the article if I were you cuz it’s short and sweet, but if you’d rather just get to the monkey:
“The authors regret that there is an error in the published version […]The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was exactly reversed.”

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Fandom is Broken. “Back in high school I had a great religion teacher. He used to have us bring in quotes from pop culture that could be applied to religion because he wanted us to understand how pervasive religion was to people a thousand years ago, as pervasive as music or movies are to us today. He believed that the future would see people no longer killing each other over interpretations of God but over bands…
I think he was on the right track when it comes to the way pop culture has replaced other things that used to give us meaning, but I don’t think he could have ever guessed it would be comic book characters and Ghostbusters that would motivate the 21st century’s holy popcult warriors.”

  4 Responses to “Link Archive 6/1/16 – 8/8/16”

  1. Calling MovieBob the voice of sanity as usual seems a bit strange. I guess we have watched different content of his in the past.

    • Could be. :) I first became of aware of him from his Pixels rant, and have tried to keep up with him off-and-on since then. I find his movie recommendations often work for me.

      I also like his presented worldview. That’s the “voice of sanity” part I refer to. For all my putting on of airs, I come from a working class family. I never graduated college. I don’t have a fancy job. So when MovieBob voices opinions, they almost always strike close to home with me. A sort of working-class sensibility, that’s been tempered by a very healthy dose of liberalism and a lot of time reading/interacting with people far more cultured than I. Often I feel weirdly trapped between the people in the street and the people in the ivory tower, and I like that it feels like Bob does too. His Great Wall video is a fine example of just that.

      • Fair enough. I am quite bad at social hierarchy so I guess I miss all of that. His love of Suckerpunch certainly turned me off him as a film critic.
        On the social commentary note I feel like he doesn’t really say much. Casting a white person may have been a financial decision and he isn’t in a position to ‘unpack all of this’. He doesn’t even mention anyone who can. His voice of sanity more just seems like a voice of ‘lets all calm down’. My idea of a voice of sanity is more along the lines of ‘how can we optimise this’

        • “Let’s all calm down” is, sadly, the only sanity I really hope for, and I usually don’t even get that. Just saying “Maybe we should consider how the Chinese people who made this movie feel, and what their motives and desires are” can make certain kinds of people go attack-crazy. :/

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