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We understand the tantrums already, can we stop reinforcing them now?

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grownops

Ann O’Connell is sad. She voted for Trump, and now people are judging her.

I love Meryl Streep, but you know, she robbed me of that wonderful feeling when I go to the movies to be entertained, she said. I told my husband, I said, ‘Ed, we have to be a little more flexible, or we’re going to run out of movies!’

I know your pain, Mrs. O’Connell. I can no longer enjoy Rob Schneider movies, myself. But look on the bright side: we can still hate Susan Sarandon together!

We also have the tiresome Jonathan Haidt, professional apologist for conservatives, who is very concerned about how we “react” to the actions of right-wing craptastic nincompoops.

We are in a trust spiral, said Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University. My fear is that we have reached escape velocity where the actions of each side can produce such strong reactions on the other that things will continue to escalate.

The whole article has this tone, that gosh, it’s awful how people are horrified at what the current administration is doing, and we should all just stop being upset and be nice to the Mrs. O’Connell’s of America. Conservatives are wrecking the educational system, they plan to demolish the EPA, they’ve made a goddamn racist the Attorney General, but those rude liberals are making people uncomfortable at Meryl Streep movies. The New York Times, and lots of media outlets, love these stupid little stories that let them be all charitable towards cranky old racist people who elected a cranky old incompetent racist, while at the same time chastising those horrible liberals and practicing a little veiled extortion. You better tell Mrs. O’Connell how sweet she is, or else!

Protests and righteous indignation on social media and in Hollywood may seem to liberals to be about policy and persuasion. But moderate conservatives say they are having the opposite effect, chipping away at their middle ground and pushing them closer to Mr. Trump.

Oh, fuck that noise. If ‘moderate’ conservatives think they have to vote for a bumbling buffoon who is taking a wrecking ball to our country because a hippie called them a mean name, then they weren’t so moderate to begin with, and they are making bad decisions on invalid grounds. I will not have sympathy for that, and it doesn’t matter how sternly Jonathan Haidt wags his finger at me.

These pieces are annoyingly common: we need to understand these awful people. We need to empathize with them, or they’ll keep doing the same stupid things. Unfortunately for these myths, the strategy doesn’t work. The people in the NYT story are unrepentant, would do it again, and all they’ve got is so-called moderates threatening to do it some more if they don’t get their way! I don’t believe it. This is what the regressives always do: “give me a cookie and maybe I’ll stop doing this.” Then, a minute later, “Ha ha, suckers!”

As for understanding, here’s what these stories always miss: yes, we already understand these people. We understand them all too well. Why are you whining at us? We’re not interested in trying to understand them even more, but in getting them to stop wrecking everything. That’s all.

Here’s a case in point: a very long, very thorough explainer about 4chan, lulz, Pepe the frog, anonymous, gamergate, and the rise of Trump, etc., etc., etc. We know it all already. There’s this subculture of young adults who are resentful of their circumstances (I can even sympathize with some of that resentment — they can have valid reasons for their unhappiness with those circumstances). Some may be single and living in their parent’s basement, for instance, and I know it’s tough getting a job, getting a job with prospects for advancement, finding a partner, finding a partner who actually respects you as a person, and so forth — but that does not justify erupting into ranting anti-feminism, just as the unemployment rate does not explain lashing out and electing a billionaire (reputedly) who isn’t going to do a thing to help those circumstances…but might cause others to suffer, too. We’re told over and over again about how miserable these shitlords are, and I understand, but I’m done with understanding. I want to know what to do next.

So that extremely thorough article ends with this:

However, as we have seen, the right’s anti-feminist message is one that only provides a momentary sense of relief (“you are acting powerful by retreating into video games and the internet!”) but like scratching a mosquito bite, it ultimately causes more dissatisfaction. That is to say, they only solution they can offer is, “keep retreating!” Likewise, Trump and the mocking cruel anguish he represents is not a genuine solution to the electorate’s powerlessness, but rather, simply the one closest at hand.

An adult does not freeze in mute horror when a child throws a tantrum. Nor do we generally regard such emotional outbursts as meaningless. Likewise, the left should not be paralyzed with horror by the deplorables, but rather view them of as a symptom of a larger problem, one which only the left can truly solve.

Fine. They’re spoiled children. My wife and I are familiar with kids: we raised three. And yes, when they were very young, they would occasionally have tantrums, and we would patiently (or impatiently) reprove them, and remove them from the circumstances that triggered the problem, and we gave them time and opportunity to learn and grow up, and they got better, much better, and became responsible, thoughtful, intelligent adults. Parents are familiar with these behaviors, and responsible parents can deal, and lead children to more mature responses.

The 4channers are in their 20s and 30s. Mr Medford, the guy who complains about being ‘pushed’ to vote for Trump, is a 46-year-old business owner. Mrs McConnell is 72. Or look at PewDiePie, the 27-year-old who gets paid $15 million a year to shriek on YouTube for the gratification of alt-right wanna-bes. What are we supposed to do? Give them a time-out? Tell them no, they don’t get to buy that cheap plastic toy at the supermarket check-out stand? Be patient and wait for them to grow out of this phase?

The answer so far seems to be that we’re supposed to reassure them that the mean liberals will be clucked at if we call them out, they’ll get a fawning interview with Bill Maher, and the NYT will run a reassuring feature on their sad plight. Even after they put a blundering, bush-league, racist, sexist in the most powerful position in the country.

Yeah, there’s a larger problem. The responsible Left is not going to solve it by continuing to coddle and reward stupidity, even if it is perpetrated by privileged 72 year olds having a tantrum and demanding special treatment.

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CrystalDave
5 days ago
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Seattle, WA
angelchrys
5 days ago
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Overland Park, KS
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acdha
5 days ago
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“If ‘moderate’ conservatives think they have to vote for a bumbling buffoon who is taking a wrecking ball to our country because a hippie called them a mean name, then they weren’t so moderate to begin with, and they are making bad decisions on invalid grounds. I will not have sympathy for that, and it doesn’t matter how sternly Jonathan Haidt wags his finger at me.”
Washington, DC
WorldMaker
7 days ago
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«If ‘moderate’ conservatives think they have to vote for a bumbling buffoon who is taking a wrecking ball to our country because a hippie called them a mean name, then they weren’t so moderate to begin with, and they are making bad decisions on invalid grounds.»
Louisville, Kentucky

Butcher: which part of the leg do you want? Me: All of it, in five pieces please

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This ABC News chart seemed to have taken over the top of my Twitter feed so I better comment on it.

abcnews_trumptransition

Someone at ABC News tried really hard to dress up the numbers. The viz is obviously rigged - Obama at 79% should be double the length of Trump's 40% but not even close!

In the Numbersense book (Chapter 1), I played the role of the Devious Admissions Officer who wants to game the college rankings. Let me play the role of the young-gun dataviz analyst, who has submitted the following chart to the highers-up:

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_accurate1

I just found out the boss blew the fuse after seeing my chart. The co-workers wore dirty looks, saying without saying "you broke it, you fix it!"

How do I clean up this mess?

Let me try the eye-shift trick.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_hollowfave1

The solid colors draw attention to themselves, and longer bars usually indicate higher or better so the quick reader may think that Obama is the worst and Trump is the best at ... well, "Favorability on taking office," as the added title suggests.

Next, let's apply the foot-chop technique. This fits nicely on a stacked bar chart

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_onecut1

I wantonly drop 20% of dissenters from every President's data. Such grade inflation actually makes everyone look better, a win-win-win-win-win-win-win proposition. While the unfavorables for Trump no longer look so menacing, I am still far from happy as, with so much red concentrated at the bottom of the chart, eyes are  focused on the unsightly "yuge" red bar, and it is showing Trump with 50% disapproval.

I desperately need the white section of the last bar to trump its red section. It requires the foot-ankle-knee-thigh treatment - the whole leg.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_onebigcut1

Now, a design issue rears its head. With such an aggressive cut, there would be no red left in any of the other bars.

I could apply two cuts, a less aggressive cut at the top and a more aggressive cut at the bottom.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_twocuts1

The Presidents neatly break up into two groups, the top three Democrats, and the bottom four Republicans. It's always convenient to have an excuse for treating some data differently from others.

Then, I notice that the difference between Clinton and GW Bush is immaterial (68% versus 65%), making it awkward to apply different cuts to the two neighbors. No problem, I make three cuts.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_threecuts1

The chart is getting better and better! Two, three, why not make it five cuts? I am intent on making the last red section as tiny as possible but I can't chop more off the right side of GHW Bush or Reagan without giving away my secret sauce.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_fivecuts1

The final step is to stretch each bar to the right length. Mission accomplished.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_fivecuts_rescaled1

This chart will surely win me some admiration. Just one lingering issue: Trump's red section is still the longest of the group. It's time for the logo trick. You see, the right ends of the last two bars can be naturally shortened.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_fivecuts_logo1

The logo did it.

***

Faking charts can take as much effort as making accurate ones.

The ABC News chart encompasses five different scales. For every President, some percentage of dissenters were removed from the chart. The amount of distortion ranges from 15% to 47% of respondents.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_distortion1

 

 

 

 

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popular
12 days ago
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CrystalDave
12 days ago
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Seattle, WA
jepler
12 days ago
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Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
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christophersw
11 days ago
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"Faking charts can take as much effort as making accurate ones."
Baltimore, MD
fxer
12 days ago
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where is the Broadcast Television Graphic Artist Intern Code of Ethics we so desperately need
Bend, Oregon

Mom Adopts a “Dog”

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vaspider:

gallusrostromegalus:

So y’all keep blowing up my notes with the various Family Lore stories I’ve been telling, so I guess I should tell one on my parents now.

My Mother’s Father was part of the United Auto Worker’s Union, and during the 50′s and 60′s, was on strike a lot. My point is, grandpa got himself an entirely deserved reputation for being a sucker who loved animals, so people would dump thier pets on him. Hence, my mother grew up in a house with pets such as Picket the one-eyed tomcat, Tweety the Bald canary, Dummy the cat, Stupid Son of Dummy, Spooky Garbage Dog and Chiquita the Tarantula.  Eventually Grandma put her foot down when Grandpa brought home Gerta the Saint Bernard.

I say all this because it provides some context for how the following occured.

Mom and Dad had just moved in together (my parents dated for six years and were engaged for 13 days, driving everyone on both sides insane), and unfortunately, My mother’s German Shepherd, Cops, has just passed away due to bone cancer.  After mourning for a bit, Mom and Dad decided to get a dog together, as a couple.  

For context, my father had never owned a dog in his life.  His mother had ‘Pretty Bird” the budgie as a child but parrots are alien life forms, not pets.

So they go to the Palo Alto Animal shelter to adopt.  The year was 1987, and at the time, Palo Alto was… not a great place.  Lots of drugs, gangs and poor civic managment.  Mom told me that she learned to identify different types of gunfire while living there. They get there, and mom explains that she’s always had a preference for Big Dogs, and the guy’s face lights up.  Oh Yes, he says, We have a Big Dog.  For expirienced owners, yep, adoptable today, here we’ll give you a discount even-

Somehow my parents were not suspicious about this.

They were shown to the Animal in question, a Gorgeous blue-sable beastie with pretty golden eyes who immediately pressed herself against the fence and gave them the best PUH-LEEEEEEASE TAKE ME HOME puppy eyes 100lbs of canine can do.  Mom and Dad fall in love instantly.  They sign all the paperwork and take her home for $10, and name her “Mazel” as in “Mazel Tov.”

Within the hour, it becomes clear that something is amiss.

Cops had lived with his kibble stored in a plastic garbage can in the garage for six years without incident.  Mazel figured out how to open doors and got the locking lid off the can in six minutes, horking down about four pounds of the stuff before my mother notices that it’s been weirdly quiet.  Most dogs bark at or chase squirrels.  Mazel stalked and caught one the second day, presenting it to my mother like an offering.  Mazel knew all her commands but would clearly stop to consider before obeying, and trained my dad to give her good treats within a week.  The locks on the side-yard gate were undone, and she took a stroll around the neighborhood, but always retuned home for dinner.

After a week of gradually realizing that Mazel was smarter than most of the professors my mom worked with, they took her to the Vet for a routine checkup.

Dr. Hamada walked into the exam room, dropped the clip-board and said “Where the HELL did you get a Wolf?”

After a bit of prodding and a very-angry-dr.hamada-calling-the-pound, they determined Mazel was a high-content hybrid, probably with a husky, but was going to be a lil shit her entire life.  OK, said Hamada, I don’t like destroying animals and you’ve got a lot of expirience with dogs, so I’m okay with letting you keep her, but you should keep her away from small children because her Prey Drive could kick in.

Two years later, mom got pregnant with me.

Mazel noticed instantly, and reacted by digging a large hole in the yard and catching even more squirrels for mom, because she needed the protein or something.  That what you do when the Alpha Bitch is preggers, right?  Dig a den and ply her with food?  On the advice of my grandmother, my mom stayed overnight at the hospital once I was delivered, and dad went home with a shirt that had moms and my scent on it.  Mazel spent the whole night puzzling over it.

The next morning, when mom came home with me, there was the sudden and instantaneous recognition of PUPPY!!!!!! :D:D:D!!!!! PUUUUUUUPPY!!!!!!  and Mazel turned into the most aggressively maternal being I’ve ever met.  Playing with me on the blanket, sitting under my chair at meals (I was a messy eater), sleeping under my crib, teaching me to walk by letting me hang onto her fur and shuffle around.

Dr. Hamada thought mom was a madwoman, until he saw me holding Mazel’s mouth open and sticking my face in so i could look at her teeth.  He gave up when my mom announced she was pregnant with my sister.

I’m making living with a Wolfdog sound awesome, but it did come with some drawbacks:

  • Mazel did have to be muzzled at the vets, because she had Opinions about having things stuck up her butt.
  • HAIR.  One of my chores growing up was to brush her out every week and I’d frequently end up with more hair than animal.
  • the only way we could reliably get her to stay in the yard was with an overhead tether with a STEEL cable, which she chewed through anyway.
  • Do you like waking up by being hit in the face with half a dead animal? No? Wolfdogs may not be for you.
  • More than capable of opening the fridge and eating everything if you’re not watching
  • Will get into everything if not otherwise occupied.  Including eating your tax forms.
  • Howls along with sirens at 4 AM.

PROS of growing up with a wolfdog, as a small child in the 90′s

  • I was afforded a degree of freedom normally associated with a pokemon trianer. It was no big deal for me and my sister to walk three miles through my not-really-good neighborhood to the Froyo if I took Mazel with us. People tended to leave us alone when we had 100lbs of overprotective Apex Predator following us around.
  • WINNING at Pet Day at school.  There wasn’t actually a compettion but Billy’s hamster sucks in comparison to an animal that is perfectly willing to demonstrate how she can snap an oak branch in half on command.
  • PTA moms losing their shit because Mazel would walk down the block by herself to come pick ups up from school.
  • Grew up associating the word “Bitch” with teeth and the willingness to rip an asshole’s face off for being rude.  Never changed the definition.
  • Learned the I-Own-This Strut and Murder-Stare from the absolute best.

When she was 17, Mom and Dad decided to add another room on to the house.  They rigged up the overhead tether so she could be outside but not underfoot for the contruction guys.  One morning, mom came out to notice them all milling in the side yard entrance, muttering worriedly.  When mom asked what was wrong, one of them explained that Carlos forgot to bring the Hamburger.  What do you need a hamburger for?  Asked mom, and they pointed down the side yard to where Mazel was sitting, doing her best Viscious Alpha Bitch Stare.

Apparently they’d never realized that she was on the VERY end of her tether there and couldn’t actually get to them, and had been scamming them for a big mac a day for a month.  Mom had my six-year-old sister pull her away to show she wasn’t dangerous and tired her best not to laugh but kind of failed.

Mazel ended up living to be 19 and a half, and except for some minor arthritis, remarkably hale until the day she passed away in her hole in the back yard while taking a nap.  I maintain that Death had to wait until she was sleeping to get a crack at her, or she would’ve taken his scythe for a chew toy.

tbh this sounds like one of @seananmcguire‘s stories and I do not doubt it a bit bc I know all of Seanan’s stories are true. XD

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bibliogrrl
19 days ago
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OMG I totally had to go back and check that this was not a Seanan story when I was halfway through. :D
Chicago!
HarlandCorbin
19 days ago
Laughed until my eyes watered!
CrystalDave
19 days ago
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Seattle, WA
angelchrys
19 days ago
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Overland Park, KS
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The Food Lab's Top 30 Hot Sauces, in No Particular Order

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Naming a "best" hot sauce is an impossible task, so I won't even attempt to limit my hot sauce recommendations to a single bottle, or even to a top five or 10. Nope: These are 30 of my favorite hot sauces. Read More
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CrystalDave
19 days ago
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bibliogrrl
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Chicago!
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"There are six people living in space right now. There are people printing prototypes of human..."

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There are six people living in space right now. There are people printing prototypes of human organs, and people printing nanowire tissue that will bond with human flesh and the human electrical system.

We’ve photographed the shadow of a single atom. We’ve got robot legs controlled by brainwaves. Explorers have just stood in the deepest unsubmerged place in the world, a cave more than two kilometres under Abkhazia. NASA are getting ready to launch three satellites the size of coffee mugs, that will be controllable by mobile phone apps.

Here’s another angle on vintage space: Voyager 1 is more than 11 billion miles away, and it’s run off 64K of computing power and an eight-track tape deck.

In the last ten years, we’ve discovered two previously unknown species of human. We can film eruptions on the surface of the sun, landings on Mars and even landings on Titan. Is all of this very boring to you? Because all this is happening right now, in this moment. Check the time on your phone, because this is the present time and these things are happening. The most basic mobile phone is in fact a communications devices that shames all of science fiction, all the wrist radios and handheld communicators. Captain Kirk had to tune his fucking communicator and it couldn’t text or take a photo that he could stick a nice Polaroid filter on. Science fiction didn’t see the mobile phone coming. It certainly didn’t see the glowing glass windows many of us carry now, where we make amazing things happen by pointing at it with our fingers like goddamn wizards.

That, by the way, is what Steve Jobs meant when he said that iPads were magical. The central metaphor is magic. And perhaps magic seems an odd thing to bring up here, but magic and fiction are deeply entangled, and you are all now present at a séance for the future. We are summoning it into the present. It’s here right now. It’s in the room with us. We live in the future. We live in the Science Fiction Condition, where we can see under atoms and across the world and across the methane lakes of Titan.

Use the rear view mirror for its true purpose. If I were sitting next to you twenty-five years ago, and you heard a phone ring, and I took out a bar of glass and said, sorry, my phone just told me it’s got new video of a solar flare, you’d have me sectioned in a flash. Use the rear view mirror to imagine telling someone just twenty five years ago about GPS. This is the last generation in the Western world that will ever be lost. LifeStraws. Synthetic biology. Genetic sequencing. SARS was genetically sequenced within 48 hours of its identification. I’m not even touching the web, wifi, mobile broadband, cloud computing, electronic cigarettes…

Understand that our present time is the furthest thing from banality. Reality as we know it is exploding with novelty every day. Not all of it’s good. It’s a strange and not entirely comfortable time to be alive. But I want you to feel the future as present in the room. I want you to understand, before you start the day here, that the invisible thing in the room is the felt presence of living in future time, not in the years behind us.

To be a futurist, in pursuit of improving reality, is not to have your face continually turned upstream, waiting for the future to come. To improve reality is to clearly see where you are, and then wonder how to make that better.

Act like you live in the Science Fiction Condition. Act like you can do magic and hold séances for the future and build a brightness control for the sky.

Act like you live in a place where you could walk into space if you wanted. Think big. And then make it better.



- Warren Ellis - How To See The Future (via mindlessmunkey)
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CrystalDave
19 days ago
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Seattle, WA
bibliogrrl
19 days ago
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Chicago!
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angelchrys
21 days ago
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Overland Park, KS
CrystalDave
21 days ago
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Seattle, WA
popular
21 days ago
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kemayo
21 days ago
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Alternately... I have a kid. But she's fairly self reliant, and can handle herself if I sleep in.
St Louis, MO
adamcole
21 days ago
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Who wants my fucking kids
Philadelphia, PA, USA
kleer001
22 days ago
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True... But then again this attitude is an evolutionary dead end.
ryanbrazell
22 days ago
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L O L

This was actually my same train of thought this morning, when I slept until 11am.
Richmond, VA
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