Morning Ed: Society {2016.04.14.Th}

David Marcus explains why conservatives like a show about biker gangs and liberals about British aristocracy.

Daniel Payne makes the case for barnyard chickens for your yard, and everything you need to know to make it happen.

Attention Mike Schilling! This may be of interest.

An interview with Johnathon Schaech, who you may recognize as the asshole lead singer on That Thing You Do, but is also known for being Ellen Degeneres’s fake boyfriend prior to her coming out.

My daughter is, unfortunately, at the age where I have to watch what I’m watching around her.

The coloring book trend is not just a society page trend piece! Pencil-makers are working to keep up!

If you’re a smart dude, women in STEM careers may not be the optimal place to look for a partner.


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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121 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Society {2016.04.14.Th}

  1. What Murali noted. I actually did a Google search for the article and was unimpressed. Like many such articles he uses critics of liberalism, in this case Joel Kotkin, to try to understand the liberal point of view but more congenial conservatives voices for the conservative point of view. You can’t use conservatives for conservatives and conservatives for liberals. That is inherently unfair and bad research. If David Marcus actually turned to actual liberals he might find that lots of liberals and leftists hate Downtown Abbey and do not watch it. Many of us see it as fundamentally conservative and hierarchical show that celebrates an era we don’t want to go back to. Norman Lear an editorial to the New York Times on how PBS is betraying its core mission by airing all these BBC shows.

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    • There are so many reasons to hate Downton Abbey that I don’t really work my way down to its politics. Yes, it is gorgeous. And yes, the acting is excellent. But oh, Lordy! The writing is execrable. It is the sort of writing that gives soap operas a bad name.

      As for the politics, in tepid defense, it does come through that the situation of the help was non-ideal, and they realized this and were not entirely happy about it.

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      • Once shopping became a leisure activity and holidays a mass industry, domestic servants abandoned service to work in the new stores and hotels in droves because conditions were a lot better. Male domestic servants preferred factory work over the service even in bad, non-unionized factories.

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        • The utility of domestic service to ordinary employers (e.g. a pair my great-grandparents, who employed two domestics in 1915) declined with the automation of domestic life and the dispersal of skills in operating domestic machines. You also had changes in taste and fashion. A great many people who could afford domestics in 1928 had to dismiss much of their staff over the succeeding five years and grew accustomed to living without it, reordering their lives accordingly in ways which had an effect on the domestic standards among their circle of friends. In Britain, the declining relative economic fortunes of the peerage and gentry also had an effect on the demand for domestic service. One might also note that the share of national product accounted for by public spending in America went from 10% in 1928 to about 28% in 1958, and much of the difference was accounted for by direct taxes (including high marginal tax rates). This would also have an effect on the consumption of real estate and on the consumption patterns of the patriciate.

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      • Having never watched any of Downton Abbey, I shall choose to think of it as a serial form of Gosford Park (which is an excellent movie, and basically skewers the artistocracy every moment they’re on screen and much of the time they’re not).

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        • You will be sadly disappointed when you see the actual Downton Abbey. The show is a soap opera, not a satire. There are some socially liberal politics (like attacking homophobia) but it is much more pro-Artistocracy and presents them as paternalistic.

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      • @leeesq

        If, like me, you find the writing of Downton abby horrific, and loved Gosford park (truly what a director can do!) look into The Shooting Party, both film and book. Fantastic both of them, and was used as the basis for much of Gosford Park in the literary sense. Also, not very long, as it was written in the age before the writers threw everything at the wall trying to look intellegent.

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      • Speaking of soap operas, I caught a preview for the new Grey’s Anatomy this morning (a show I stopped paying any real attention to years ago), and it was for some new fresh hell the staff has to go through. I remarked to my wife that if actual hospital staff had to endure all the physical and emotional trauma these fictional ones do, they’d all be PTSD basket cases.

        Perhaps that is why we have such trouble with PTSD. The folks on TV handle it all fine.

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      • Only to be expected from a bunch of BBC washed up old hasbeens. It’s a miracle they could make something even remotely watchable.

        [Not so much of a miracle as F is for Family or Torchwood, of course. There remains a difference between “network really trying” and “tax scam” and “distract the fans-style Not A Real TV Show” respectively].

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    • If David Marcus actually turned to actual liberals he might find that lots of liberals and leftists hate Downtown Abbey and do not watch it. Many of us see it as fundamentally conservative and hierarchical show that celebrates an era we don’t want to go back to.

      …and a lot us liberals just, uh, don’t watch soap operas. I find myself a bit baffled with so many people doing that, in fact.

      Norman Lear an editorial to the New York Times on how PBS is betraying its core mission by airing all these BBC shows.

      It seems a bit odd to think BBC=conservative. Downton Abbey is *one* show.

      Googling for this article, it seems that PBS is also airing a show called ‘Wolf Hall’, about the Tudors. (Although at the time the article was written, it appears to have…one episode. So how anyone can tell where *that* show sits, politically, is beyond me.)

      The claim that this is neglecting PBS’s core mission, which is (according to him) produce documentaries, is just wrong. Documentaries is just *one* of PBS’s missions.

      There actual core mission is as follows: PBS is a membership organization that, with its member stations, serves the American public with programming and services of the highest quality, using media to educate, inspire, entertain and express the diversity of perspectives.

      I’m not sure how relevant it is *now*, but I do know that, when I was growing up, PBS was essentially way only way to get exposed to any foreign culture at all, even if that exposure was Red Dwarf.

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    • Right.

      The article talks of women who don’t want men of “greater intelligence,” not that they don’t want men who are intelligent-full-stop. In other words, a woman in STEM might want a man just as smart as she is. And look! She is surrounded by them. So the link text, that smart dudes should avoid STEM gals — well that depends. Are you an insecure jerk who wants to feel dominant? Then indeed, avoid smart techy women. If you are smart and want someone like you, then go STEM!

      Note, here is the actual paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jasp.12354/full

      Consider this:

      Although the close relationships literature suggests that both men and women desire intelligence in their partners […], when it comes to preference for partners smarter than oneself, there is reason to believe that women, on average, would have a stronger preference for smarter partners than men. Research by Prentice and Carranza (2002, Study 1) examined the content of gender stereotypes by asking undergraduate students to rate how desirable and typical it was in American society for a woman/man to possess a series of attributes. Of particular relevance to the present research was their finding that the trait “intelligence” was viewed as less desirable in a woman than in a man in American society (Prentice & Carranza, 2002, Study 1). It therefore seems plausible that women, relative to men, would desire partners who are more intelligent than themselves, given the gender norm that intelligence is less desirable in women than in men.

      Later,

      To provide initial evidence for the assumption that (a) women show stronger preference for smarter romantic partners than do men; and (b) that preference for smarter partners is linked to traditional gender role attitudes, 947 heterosexual, English-speaking undergraduate students at a large, moderately selective public research university in the Eastern United States (461 women, Mage?=?19.02, SD?=?3.96; 732 Caucasians, 88 Asians, 70 Blacks, 39 Hispanics, and 18 did not indicate ethnicity) reported their preference for smarter partners (i.e., “I would prefer to date someone who is smarter than I am” and “I would feel comfortable dating someone who is smarter than I am”; r?=?.41, p?<?.001) on a scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) as part of a larger mass testing survey.

      There are a few more experiments done, which look like this:

      A few weeks after completing the preference for smarter partner items (two items, r?=?.56, p?<?.001) described in the preliminary study, participants came to the lab in same-sex groups of up to five and were seated at private cubicles. They were told that the purpose of the study was to examine the relation between aspects of people's personality and cognitive outcomes. After giving consent to participate, they were randomly assigned to one of three priming conditions.

      In the romantic goal prime condition, participants were given the following instructions:

      Please think about a time when you wanted to be attractive/romantically desirable to others. Think about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to this goal of wanting to be perceived as desirable. Now, please write an essay in the space below describing what you were thinking, feeling, or doing to be desirable to others.

      In the intelligence goal prime condition, participants received the instructions:

      Please think about a time when you wanted to appear competent/intelligent. Think about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to this goal of wanting to be competent/intelligent. Now, please write an essay in the space below describing what you were thinking, feeling, or doing to be competent.

      In the control condition, participants received the instructions:

      Please think of the objects that you see in this room. Now, please write an essay in the space below describing this object in detail.

      Next, participants reported how anxious, worried, tense, ashamed, and insecure they felt at the moment on a scale from 1 (not at all) to 7 (very much); these items were later averaged to create a composite measure of anxiety (five items, ??=?.77). They also completed the Body Surveillance subscale of the Objectified Body Consciousness scale (eight items, ??=?.76; McKinley & Hyde, 1996) in reference to how they felt about their bodies (e.g., “I think more about how my body feels than how my body looks,” reversed). Participants were then given 20 minutes to complete a paper and pencil test that consisted of 30 challenging questions (e.g., complex algebra, math word problems) from a quantitative section of the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).

      So this is a combination survey data and self-report. It measures what men and women say they want, not their actual behavior. Those often don’t match, particularly in romantic and sexual contexts.

      Anyway, if I get some free time later today I’ll read the whole thing. But the summary is bullshit.

      Please stop summarizing gender badly. It’s difficult. There are already so many bogus preconceptions. We don’t need to reinforce them.

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      • So this is a combination survey data and self-report. It measures what men and women say they want, not their actual behavior. Those often don’t match, particularly in romantic and sexual contexts.

        This seems to be true of an awful lot of social science research, frequently taken at face value.

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      • So I read a fair portion of the thing, at least through “study 1”. Okay, so the upshot, this was a “priming study.” They were following some previous research, which found that, when primed with the idea of romance and being desirable, women showed worse outcomes on math tests, and/or less interest in math and technical subjects, when compared with men. In this study, they wanted to see how these results were conditioned on belief in traditional relationship structures, which include a dominant man and a submissive women. Instead of testing that directly, however, they chose to use “desires to have your partner more intelligent that yourself.”

        Okay, so they tested that. Then they got a bunch of people together and randomly “primed” some of them to think or romance, but some of them to think of other stuff. Then they tested them.

        Indeed, for the women who wanted to date someone smarter than themselves, they did worse on the math parts when primed for romance and desirability than the women not thus primed. However, women who did not express a desire for a smarter partner showed no priming effect, meaning that if you don’t expect your partner to be smarter than you, then thinking about romance doesn’t affect your ability to math.

        Now, this does not show that “women in STEM” cannot be of the first sort. After all, these women may simply avoid romantic thinking while at work. This could simply mean that such women, at work, compartmentalize.

        In any case, nothing here strikes me as groundbreaking. I still expect to find a variety of women, both in and out of STEM, with a variety of romantic interests.

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    • Heh. There’s a survey floating around that purports to quantify how much of a sheltered, elitist bubble you live in WRT rural, blue-collar culture. One of the questions has ten TV shows, obviously picked to be five on each side of the question. I’ve never watched an episode of any of the ten.

      I’m still wondering why not having personally owned a pickup truck is that big a deal, though.

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      • Well, see, when you have to ford rivers in your truck, you’d rather have it be a truck instead of a car because it might just be a lil’ high…
        (Pickups are nearly mandatory some places).

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  2. Don’t know about today. Found my wife (of 36 years in August) and her Masters degree at Bell Labs when I was working there. At that time, there was a huge rash of Labs people marrying each other. All of the couples that we were friends with in that group that we’ve kept in touch with are still married.

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  3. I am going to echo Lee’s criticisms of the Downton article. Conservatives would be up in arms if Rachel Maddow talked with Chris Hayes about why conservatives liked Sons of Anarchy. The article generally seemed like bad pop psychology and trying too hard.

    Also the article is three years old. Why post?

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      • I am much less inclined to be generous to Jew-hatred coming from academics or college students. If conservative college students or a student government or professor said something homophobic or racist against people of color or misogynistic than people would be screaming for blood. Well, I say it is time to call a spade a spade with Jew-hatred to. These people are anti-Semites and they deserve to be treated as such. They deserve no more generosity than a Neo-Nazi.

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        • If I may, I’d like to ask a quasi-hypothetical question that will touch on some tricky topic and which I will do my best to be thoughtful about and I hope others can do that in return.

          It seems reasonable to consider how a person’s identity (or various aspects of their identity or various identities within one person) can impact their understanding of the world. And provided this person has power, it seems reasonable to consider how their identity and understanding of the world influence how they wield that power. And when many/most of the people in power all have the same or similar identities, giving them the same or similar worldviews, it seems reasonable to consider whether that power is off-balanced some how.

          For instance, it seems reasonable to ask what problems might arise from a US Senate that is overwhelmingly white and male. Even if we might conclude that, no, there are no problems, the question seems a reasonable one to ask.

          So, if all that is reasonable… would it also be reasonable to ask similar questions IF (and this IF is doing pretty much all the heavy lifting here… I really don’t know the numbers) a large share of major power players in the media were Jewish? I’m not talking about Jewish conspiracy or “Jews control the media” stuff. I’m asking if there is room to have a genuine conversation about what the impact might be of a large share of major power players in the media (or any other industry) being Jewish? In much the same way we’d wonder about a large share being white (they are!) or male (they are!). Or is that different for some reason? I can speculate why it might be… but I’m not sure. And recognize I have no own worldview and biases and blind spots that might make this seem reasonable to me when it is in fact not.

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          • When it comes to Jews having disproportionate power, the classic troupes of Jewish control always rare their ugly head. Saul and I had casual conversations with people who said that there were too many Jewish congress people or Senators, etc. If somebody should say that there should be so many African-American Senators or Representatives because they are this amount of the population than they would be regarded as racist. There is no reason why Jews should be limited because there aren’t that many of us that you could make in good faith.

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            • I’m not arguing for limiting Jews in anyway. I’m wondering if considering how someone’s Jewish faith/heritage/identity might impact their worldview and how they exercise power is a fair conversation to have or is inherently anti-Semetic? I don’t know the answer. I have a feeling like that conversation CAN happen genuinely but that it is probably unlikely to.

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              • I tried rereading that opinion piece and substituted “the patriarchy” for “Jews” and it provided some food for thought. It seems to me that it’s either OK to question the impacts of a genuinely disproportionately represented group in power structures or it’s not.

                The discussion is fraught because there are people who are happy to use that legitimate question as cover to push really terrible ideas, but this brings me back to my general discomfort with making certain questions “off limits” because some people will try to take things in a bad direction. I’d rather see those ideas called out when they eventually show up as conclusions rather than stomping down on anybody who starts the discussion because we know that deep down, he’s a bad person and is just pretending to be doing this in good faith.

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                • I think that, in general, there’s a strong case to be made in favor of closing off certain areas of discussion. It’s actually not even a hard call–there are many reasons why discussion of something would not be useful. I also think that when people throw thing like this sort of discussion of excessive Jewish control in that box, they are being entirely reasonable. It’s a double whammy of people having, in the past, very frequently used it as a bad faith cover for advancing vile policies and for being such a central feature in stuff that is straight up lunatic conspiracy theory.

                  Could the question be asked innocently? Sure. But that’s not the way to bet, not (IMO) by a long shot. There are many failure modes in discourse, and falsely assessing that someone is arguing in bad faith is not always the most important one to avoid.

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                  • So what would the rules be for permanently shutting down really bad avenues of investigation / discussion? A lot of people seem to employ an “I know it when I see it,” rule set, and I’m not very comfortable with that.

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                    • — I dunno. What do you think the rules should be?

                      But more importantly, what are the rules for passing rules? After all, we can list all kinds of rules here, but unless people agree with our rule-passing-process, it seems likely that we’re wasting our breath. Furthermore, is there any way to enforce these “rules,” once we pass them? In other words, what is the point of these so called “rules”?

                      I suspect requests like these, “Oh give me the rules,” are in fact a bad faith debate strategy, which ask your opponent to lay down their cards while you hold your cards close.

                      So lay down your cards also. That seems fair. What do you think the rules should be?

                      I like the Popehat approach to this: you can say what you want, but if you piss people off, there might be consequences. Like, you might lose all your friends. You might lose your job.

                      A lot of people don’t like that system. I get it. They want speech without consequence.

                      Under this system, the “rules” are the emergent aspects of social power. The rules are (in a sense) “what you can get away with”. But “what you can get away with” is not arbitrary. It is governed by the varied moral sensibility of large numbers of people and the collective influence they have.

                      I’d say, this is at least an honest appraisal of how things work, instead of a bogus set of “rules” that are just wasted breath, since no one will follow them anyhow.

                      So the question is, given history, should we (you and I) regard these transparent attempts to spread antisemitism as morally disgusting, and work toward a harsh response in the court of public opinion? Should we do the same for homophobia, transphobia, racism, etc.?

                      I think perhaps we should. Bigotry is not symmetrical to the rejection of bigotry. They are opposite things.

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                      • I agree with (as I so often do). And I’ll add an additional reason that I don’t see a lot, but that I think has merit in this age of inter-tubes:

                        I think there is the flawed sense that if we can avoid seeing something happening we can go on pretending that it isn’t happening. Except that of course it still does. And I think the more these discussions happen in their own dark corners (especially on the internet), the darker and more twisted they can get.

                        An open discussion about something like this, for example, can be valuable and even necessary. But if we were to declare that even discussing this is anti-semtical, then I think we don’t really shut down that conversation. That conversation goes somewhere else and is likely to become something far darker and anti-semitic than it would have been had everyone been discussing it in the daylight.

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                      • I spent a couple minutes typing and deleting the first sentence of the response to @troublesome-frog’s question, and I have to say a lot of my struggle was to find something to say that hadn’t said already, and better than I did.

                        I’d probably demur from thinking the question of whether there are rules/what are the rules is itself likely to be asked in bad faith. I can offer no better justification for this that in my experience some people are just very uncomfortable with the idea that they navigate these discussions without rules to follow.

                        Nonetheless, even when asked in good faith, I think the question best answered with an explanation like @veronica-d’s.

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                      • Hi everyone. Back from dinner with a real keyboard.

                        First, calling this “bad faith” was too strong a claim on my part. I’m sorry about that. It’s not bad faith exactly, but it’s something short of that.

                        I’ll say this, of all my years talking on the Internet, I’ve noticed a few discourse strategies that bug the crap out of me. One is the whole “so what you really mean is X” thing, where X is not what you said. We’ve all seen that. People who put words in your mouth, but clearly made no attempt to really understand you.

                        The second is people who want to play “burden of proof tennis.” I cannot prove all that I say, but neither can they. I’m empiricist. I seek objective demonstration, when I can get it. But politics won’t wait for science, and often we are struggling with the balance of evidence, which ain’t the same as proof. This cuts both ways.

                        The third discourse strategy is what I call, “Playing Socrates.” This is when you demand that your opponent do all the work, state their position, lay out their stakes, while you sit back and pick at them, never asserting anything yourself.

                        This is fine when you are actually Socrates. But you ain’t. And this is not a Platonic “dialog.” It’s a real conversation among actual people.

                        There is a difference between stepping up and stepping back. If you’re going to ask me to lay out my position, in all its strength and weakness, then lay out yours just the same.

                        Trust me, no one ever wins a dumb internet debate, but we all struggle around the boundary of truth. If you’re hiding your truth, you might feel like you’re winning, but you ain’t.

                        The problem with asking for “rules” is it’s really an attempt to rules lawyer. Fuck that. I cannot put up a set of rules that you cannot rules lawyer to heck and back. But so what? Neither can you. Life doesn’t work that way.

                        That said, I don’t want give free rein to antisemites to spew their garbage. People who “just want to ask questions” about the “Jewish Conpsiracy” or whatevertherfuck — look, we’re not stupid. We can see the subtext, see the context, know where this comes from.

                        It’s really fucking obvious and we ain’t gonna turn off our brains.

                        It’s actually not about silencing people. On the contrary, they should speak up, state clearly what they believe — the point is, we should see what they are saying in all its hideous glory, and respond accordingly. This is what it is, Jew hate. We see this plain as day and should treat it for what it is. Full stop. Full measure.

                        Fucking Nazis.

                        We can talk about the nature of contemporary American Jewish experience and its relationship to white privilege. God know Lee and I have locked horns about that before. The point is, it’s a complicated topic, like all privilege conversations are. But this ain’t the same as talking about Jews in Hollywood or Jews in banking or Jews in the government or the media or the secret power of Jews — never mind the word “cabal.”

                        That shit is so fucking obvious and ugly and it’s cesspool and WE’VE SEEN THIS BEFORE JUST STOP WE KNOW WHAT THIS IS.

                        Fucking Nazis.

                        Blah.

                        Anyway, the point is, not topic is “off limits” exactly, but there are topics that ring alarm bells. These alarm bells exist for good reasons. If you sound like a Nazi, I’m gonna assume you’re maybe a bit of a Nazi. I don’t like Nazis.

                        Godwin be damned.

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                      • I suspect requests like these, “Oh give me the rules,” are in fact a bad faith debate strategy, which ask your opponent to lay down their cards while you hold your cards close.

                        So lay down your cards also. That seems fair. What do you think the rules should be?

                        To be clear, you’re asking me what my rules are for declaring a topic permanently off limits for discussion and investigation? I don’t have any. I think it’s a silly idea. I do think that if we’re going to make the “idea death penalty” an actual thing, there should probably at least be some intellectually consistent rules that we apply. Especially if we’re going to go from “idea death penalty” all the way to the idea that certain facts simply can’t be mentioned lest people come to conclusions that have been given the death penalty. If somebody is going to go ahead and claim the power to do that, some ground rules don’t seem like too much to ask, because places that do that a lot tend to be really terrible places.

                        I like the Popehat approach to this: you can say what you want, but if you piss people off, there might be consequences. Like, you might lose all your friends. You might lose your job.

                        That’s cool. That’s the marketplace of ideas for you. But that’s not what I was responding to.

                        So the question is, given history, should we (you and I) regard these transparent attempts to spread antisemitism as morally disgusting, and work toward a harsh response in the court of public opinion?

                        When you say “these” are you referring to the quotation from Gabriel Knight in the original article? Because I don’t think I see a transparent attempt to spread antisemitism there. Which is why I’m not very comfortable with bringing down the sledgehammer of justice here. I don’t think a, “Can you explain what you mean by that?” is too much of a sacrifice to make.

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                        • That’s cool. That’s the marketplace of ideas for you. But that’s not what I was responding to.

                          Really? Because I believe what and I are describing is using the very mechanisms of that marketplace to keep dangerous and inferior products out of it.

                          Because I don’t think I see a transparent attempt to spread antisemitism there.

                          I don’t either. I think I see a poorly disguised attempt to spread anti-semitism there. Bigotry is rarely presented without a pretext, and in the case of bigotry against Jews, that pretext is routinely based on the charge that we have too much power.

                          Which is why I’m not very comfortable with bringing down the sledgehammer of justice here.

                          Given that the sledgehammer in this case consists of harsh criticism, I can’t really say I agree. That’s a key element of maintaining social norms.

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            • Just as a point of order, I’m pretty sure the reaction to an argument that there should be about six times as many African American Senators as there are currently would be to regard the person making at as racist.

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              • I want to make sure I understand you correctly: You are saying that the idea that African-Americans are underrepresented in the Senate and that it’d be better if there were more African-Americans in the Senate is a racist idea?

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                • No, I evidently missed a key word in when I typed that sentence. I think African Americans are underrepresented in the Senate and that it’s not a racist idea to think there should be more of them in the Senate.

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                      • Well intentioned folks in a constructive manner?

                        Again, I’m not asking for a pass for real anti-semitism masquerading as something else. I’m talking about genuinely discussing the impact of disproporionate representation.

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                    • So *IF* (big if) Jews are overrepresented

                      Actually, that’s a spurious if. Jews are heavily overrepresented in a wide variety of elite schools, occupations, and positions. At 2% of the US population, they’re 10% of the Senate, a third of the Supreme Court, 20% of Nobel laureates worldwide, 25% of the student body at Harvard, and it goes on. If people complain about blacks being underrepresented at something, it’s a pretty good bet that Jews are overrepresented.

                      And great for them, they earn it. It’s not like they’re getting special preferences. Ironically, it turns out the Master Race is actually Jews. Who knew?

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                      • 25% of the student body at Harvard, and it goes on.

                        That particular meme was promoted by Ron Unz and discredited by a private citizen in Chicago, a statistican, and a sociologist. The true figure is more like 8%.

                        The Jewish population of the United States is now about 1.8% of the total. Even if there were no Jewish working class people, they could not constitute more than 6% of the bourgeoisie. They are very prominent in greater New York City (where they are 10% of the population) and in certain occupations (the largest of which would be the legal profession, wherein the Jewish segment IIRC is by some accounts north of 20% of the total).

                        You read Steve Sailer, and you get the impression that he just never notices Jews who are not opinion journalists, bond traders, or studio executives. These are contextually tiny segements of the workforce. The Jews employed as real estate agents, school teachers, jewelers, accountants, dentists, and solo practice lawyers – i.e. the Jews you know if you live in a provincial city – are people he doesn’t see.

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                    • So the inverse of that is that whites are OVERrepresented.

                      It’s not really the same thing to my mind at all. I’d argue there’s a specific problem with under-representation, in that it’s at least arguably likely that the Senate would be better served by a more racially diverse composition, because people tend to have meaningfully different perspectives on account of their race.

                      So *IF* (big if) Jews are overrepresented, can that be a problem?

                      I suppose it’s not technically 100% impossible, but…

                      Can that be discussed?

                      …the benefits of doing so seem remarkably small compared to the benefits of a social norm against lines of discussion that have a strong likelihood of segueing into anti-semitic conspiracy theories and justification for discrimination. Indeed, it’s exactly this sort of concern about “Jewish over-representation” that led many prestigious universities to have quotas on the maximum number of Jewish students admitted through the 1960s or so.

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        • My problem isn’t whether people would be calling for blood, because in any of these situations, some do and others don’t. It’s certainly not obviously the case that a conservative student or professor wouldn’t find a lot of defenders for racist or homophobic speech.

          It’s more that the people who seem to be the most willing to accept and articulate that stuff that might at first glance look not-racist is racist-as-hell in context seem to be ignorant (all too often willfully ignorant) of how similar dynamics can play out with anti-semitism.

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            • Well, there are a couple of instances that, while they don’t quite rise to the level of Shoah, do put holes in the idea that various white groups cannot be the victims of mass horror, such as the Irish Potato Famine or the Holodomor. Its much easier to decide that the Irish or Ukranians are simply “white” and leave them as oppressors.

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            • This is certainly true.

              Nonetheless, they should know better. Not just because that’s a dumb and reductive and wrong way to look at things, but because so many of them not only purport to know better but actually seem to know better in other circumstances. Seeing folks who’ve used the word “intersectionality” without irony do this… well, the phrase, “YOU HAD ONE JOB!” comes to mind.

              Also, I can’t say it never goes beyond that. Hell, if Jews were just another bunch of privileged white people, what this dude got in trouble for wouldn’t even bear mentioning.

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    • Anti-Semitism has always been about the Jews being too powerful and disproportionally influential in one form and another. This makes it come across as resistance rather than hatred to a lot of people on the Left because a lot of the Left sees racism as something directed by the powerful and privileged as those lacking power and privilege. Many people on the Left code the Jews as white rather than as people of color, particularly if they are people of color themselves. Since a good chunk of vulgar leftism is about evil white people oppressing good people of color than anti-Semitism looks even more justifiable to them. The German socialist pointed this out when he noted that “Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools.”

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  4. Edmonton has just begun allowing backyard chickens, with layers of regulation something like what is described in the article.

    They don’t allow slaughtering chickens in the city – you have to take your hen to an abattoir. Because somehow the whole process of putting the bird in a crate and driving it to a noisy unfamiliar location to be handled by unknown people is more humane than a hatchet and stump…

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  5. Interestingly enough you are allowed to have chickens and not roosters in Queens (maybe the whole of NYC).

    Unsurprisingly, backyard chickens are popular in the Bay Area. The big issue is that you have to be careful for predators. Friends have had their chickens killed by foxes and other animals. You also need someone who can take care of your chickens if you want to go on vacation. This is harder to do than for say a dog or a cat as well.

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    • , There is a very good reason not to let roosters out among people. They are territorial jerks that will attack and have the ability to do great harm. Plus they have a tendency to make a great deal of noise early in the morning.

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      • Millennials are a large market and AMC probably did their research. The cell phone ban probably does turn away a market potential and more people will just deal than not show up.

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        • The cell phone ban probably does turn away a market potential and more people will just deal than not show up.

          AMC is confused. They don’t understand the boundaries of their business.

          The people who want to text during movies are the same people who want to talk during movies…and who want to get up and go to the restroom during movies and pause them, and maybe order some pizza.

          Aka, they’re *people watching movies at home*.

          You have to be in a certain mindset to want to go to a movie theater, an immersive mindset. You prepare, sit, watch, exit.

          Millennials might not be willing to do this…which means *they aren’t willing to go to a movie theater*. Literally, they just don’t want to go to a movie theatre and deal with it…and lack of cell phones is a very small part of this. Lack of talking and strangers are much bigger parts.

          You let them rent a large room with a dozen seats in it, connected restroom, let them bring food, give them control of the movie starting and stopping, let them talk or have sex or whatever…maybe they’ll come.

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    • All those restaurants, grocery stores, car dealers and furniture stores that are no longer patronized by those burger jockeys will be happy to have the burger machines as customers, I’m sure.

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      • um. The whole argument for the $15 minimum wage is that minimum-wage earners don’t have enough money to do those things now. So the restaurants, grocery stores, car dealers, etc. are already not being patronized by the people who were making minimum wage.

        And you’ll say “but those people who lose their minimum-wage jobs will go on welfare!” and I’ll reply “what’s so great about a shitass job like flipping burgers that we want someone to do that to support a family for a whole career? Why not just give ’em money?”

        And you’ll go on to say “but they’re cutting welfare benefits!” and I’ll reply “yeah, and I agree that sucks and shouldn’t happen!”

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        • And you’ll say “but those people who lose their minimum-wage jobs will go on welfare!” and I’ll reply “what’s so great about a shitass job like flipping burgers that we want someone to do that to support a family for a whole career? Why not just give ’em money?”

          What if I were to reply, “Because go too far in that direction and it ends up being a subsidy not to the poor people, but the employers who get their labor for peanuts?”

          This is (IMO) a tricky balance to strike, and this sort of thing already occurs with various means-tested programs that employed people are eligible for (like Medicaid). It also goes the other way, through various benefits that employers are mandated to pay for.

          (I’m skeptical that a $15/hour minimum wage is appropriate for the entire state of California, and worry that this particular experiment will, at the very best, be a heavily qualified success and at worst will be a near-disaster.)

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          • My prediction is that it will be fine(ish) for the parts of California people care about and not give for the parts people don’t.

            If it turns out not fine for everybody I expect the proposed diagnosis is that it’s unfair and the rest of the country must raise their minimum wage to even the playing field.

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            • My prediction is that after some widely-publicized restaurant closures, the biggest impact will be to the value of commercial property.

              The big 3 for a restaurant (so I’ve been told, but I’m glad to be corrected): labor, cost of goods and RENT. If labor goes up and the owner can’t raise prices because he’s located in the poor part of the Central Valley or cut his profit margin any further, then the only thing that can give is rent.

              Sure, the existing restaurant on the site may go out of business if the landowner won’t renegotiate. But people like eating out so eventually someone’s going to come back to the landowner with his own pro forma balance sheet — showing higher embedded labor costs — and insist on a lower monthly rent.

              I admit that my ignorance regarding the pricing of commercial property is vast. But just sitting on my brains and trying to work out first principles, I would think that rent is essentially set at the point where the entrepreneur get can get just enough return to his risk-adjusted capital investment.

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              • I must admit that I’ve watched many, many more episodes of “Restaurant Impossible” and “Kitchen Nightmares” than is in any way good for me… But I am stretching the limits of my fallible memory to think of even one case where the salary paid to the staff was the reason the restaurant called for help.

                Yes, the margins are tight, and that’s a big reason why 5 of 6 or 6 of 7 new startups fail. And a potential of $1k/day for a big setup is a big deal. But, generally, marginal costs of staff salaries is not currently the major cause of failure, I don’t believe.

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            • My prediction is that it will be fine(ish) for the parts of California people care about and not give for the parts people don’t.

              Yeah, that is my fear as well. It’s less obvious to me how it will play out around the (IMO pretty likely) negative impacts on the parts of California people don’t care about.

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          • “go too far in that direction and it ends up being a subsidy not to the poor people, but the employers who get their labor for peanuts?””

            The argument is that if businesses automate low-skill positions in response to rising minimum wages, then this will be a bad thing because low-skill employees will lose their source of money. My counter-proposal is that if you think people ought to have a minimum amount of money, then this is what welfare is for.

            So there won’t be a subsidy for employers, because the people getting the welfare checks will not be working.

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        • So the restaurants, grocery stores, car dealers, etc. are already not being patronized by the people who were making minimum wage.

          Why would you say that?
          Of course they are being patronized now- minimum wage people still spend their money, they just have less to spend than if they made more.

          Making these people unemployed makes our overall society better off, how?

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          • “Of course they are being patronized now”

            I thought that the whole point behind “we need a higher minimum wage” was that people didn’t have enough money to do things.

            If they actually do have enough money to do things then why do we need a higher minimum wage?

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  6. “Even if the question of whether Jews run society’s institutions were open for discussion, there is no way that it could be debated seriously without devolving into hate speech. ”

    … because apparently numbers were never invented. Or cashflows, or forensic accounting, or half a dozen other tricks and things to look at.

    Jews don’t run ALL the banks, but predominantly Jewish Run banks were responsible for the 2009 crisis (largely due to arcane historical reasons that are Interesting If You Care about that sort of thing).

    “To ask the question implies that Jews are a uniform, monolithic entity — one that transcends borders and cultures, becoming a threat to nation-states everywhere. ”

    … no, it doesn’t. Do we really think of Catholics (a somewhat uniform, monolithic entity) as a threat to nationstates everywhere???
    (One might be able to cough up enough bile to say that Muslims are religiously obligated to advocate peacefully against democracy… But if you REALLY believe that, you need your head examined.)

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    • Do we really think of Catholics (a somewhat uniform, monolithic entity) as a threat to nationstates everywhere???

      Er, that was an extremely common motivation or pretext for all sorts of incendiary and bigoted anti-Catholic rhetoric up until, I dunno, maybe 1960 or so. The Church as an institution is a somewhat uniform, monolithic entity, but Catholics, as, say, a large demographic group in the US, are anything but. I sometimes (half-)joke that, “I’M CATHOLIC AND I VOTE!” is the world’s least informative bumper sticker.

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