Service With A Snarl
Question Answered

Friday Ephemera

Like apple bobbing. || Modern problems, a possible series. || Limited edition of note. (h/t, STG) || Daddy-daughter time. || Dad moves deployed. || Maximum style points. || Meet the neighbours. || Snowball fights in art. || Life skills. || Flag mystery. || A lot can happen in a minute. || At last, a mushroom colour chart. || Size matters. || Sounds from around the world. (h/t, Things) || A guide to San Francisco’s street faeces. || Heh. || Not unlike eyes. || Butterflies. || He does this better than you would. || It almost sounds like a woke prayer, which I suppose it sort of is. || Why woke comics don’t sell. || Target lock acquired. || Today’s word is trajectory. || And finally, festively, via Damian, ‘tis the season of good cheer.

Comments

pst314

What, it's Friday again? Already?

pst314

Meet the neighbours

Continuing a topic from the previous thread, I think that boy needs the sort of education that is conveyed by a load of birdshot at close range. Hmmm?

pst314

On second thought, in the Spirit of the Season, how about a shotgun load of pulverized coal? Much as farmers would shoot trespassers with rock salt?

Steve E

What, it's Friday again? Already?

For me Phriday Ephemera has always been Thursday night ephemera.

Steve E

For me Phriday Ephemera has always been Thursday night ephemera.

Forgot to say it's still the best night of the week.

pst314

For me Phriday Ephemera has always been Thursday night ephemera.

Me, too. But I have always been willing to be sufficiently "multicultural" to call it Friday--even as I continue to insist that David doesn't know how to spell aluminum. ;-)

pst314

Why, I even went so far as to stop offering David very stale chocolate cookies, and started calling them biscuits. Wasn't that a laudably diverse thing to do? [ Glances admiringly in mirror. ]

Steve E

Why, I even went so far as to stop offering David very stale chocolate cookies, and started calling them biscuits.

You have no idea how confusing it is to be a person of my age living north of the border. A cookie is a cookie but we don't have your southern biscuits. Chips are chunky and served with fried fish but they also come in a 200 gram (note the metric) bag with flavours (please note the "ou" in flavours) like ketchup, salt and vinegar, and dill pickle. A chesterfield is something you sit on and not something you smoke, though there are few who use the word anymore.

We've been losing our British heritage since the end of the Second World War (note: not World War Two). I fear when our Queen (Elizabeth II) dies we shall lose the Monarch as our Head of State. There's something to be said for a relatively neutral head of state versus the line of assholes who have been both Executive Head of Government and Head of State. A Chief Executive can afford to be and should be an asshole for the sake of his constituency, but the Head of State should always represent the ideal of His/Her nation.

God Save the Queen!

pst314

We've been losing our British heritage since the end of the Second World War...

Inevitable process due to proximity of Ungrateful Colonials? Or due in large part to failure to consciously hang on to native identity?

I, for one, favor nations cherishing and preserving their cultural heritages. (Well, mostly. There are exceptions.) What was that passage in Niven's Ringworld where the protagonist is offended at how uniform the entire world has become?

Steve E

What was that passage in Niven's Ringworld where the protagonist is offended at how uniform the entire world has become?

Firstly, the world has hardly become uniform (Spoken like an American). Secondly, why refer to science fiction when the real world is all around us. Though you're not wrong about living in proximity to the "Ungrateful Colonials." As far as hanging on to native identity, we have watered down our British identity through immigration. Our great sin is that we didn't have an identity for the new arrivals to embrace.

Embarrassing as it is to say we "hosers" define ourselves as being "not American." Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Great White North.

Steve E

(Spoken like an American)

Masters of the Universe and all that. ;-)

Daniel Ream

Inevitable process due to proximity of Ungrateful Colonials?

Trudeau. Both of them.

Dad moves deployed.

The somewhat disturbing thing about that video is that Dad is a significantly better dancer than his teen daughters.

While I realize that nobody cares about indie tabletop roleplaying games (because they're not really all that important or relevant in the grand scheme of things) I've been horrified/fascinated at the speed and extent with which ludicrous identity politics has infested the hobby.

From the RPG Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall:

It is absolutely okay to play this game in private with your group of friends, even if you're not all Chinese-American/Canadian.

How very gracious of you to permit the gwai lo to play your game. In private.

However, if you would like to do a recorded play of the game and you are not Chinese-American/Canadian, we encourage you to include Chinese-American/Canadian players or ask someone who is Chinese-American/Canadian to moderate the game for you. We strongly believe that representation is important on-camera, when playing this game.
When I met [my co-author] on-line for the first time, I knew we were kindred spirits. We were both Chinese-Canadians (though [my co-author] has long lived in the US for work) and both into tabletop gaming. We were both also irritated by how our culture has been represented in gaming in general.

Oh, my. I'm sure it's disturbing to see one's own familiar sense of home and fami...

As a Chinese-Canadian who grew up in Northern Ontario, I am somewhat distanced from my own heritage —there were not a lot of Chinese families in Sault Ste. Marie. Also, my parents grew up in Brunei, having escaped the Japanese occupation of China during WWII. As such, I've never really identified strongly with the culture of China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan.

Oh.

I should note that her co-author goes by the nom de Internet "Banana-chan".

I am torn between never playing this game as hard as possible, and playing a pirated copy simultaneously on Twitch, YouTube and Discord with my 40-something white friends. Doing our best James Hong impressions.

Squires

Embarrassing as it is to say we "hosers" define ourselves as being "not American." Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Great White North.

About twenty years ago I was out boozing with a buddy in NYC when we found ourselves sharing a table with two girls who chose to confess to us that they were from Canada. Taking a firm grasp of all my wealth of charisma, I looked at them and said, “Yeah. We tend to forget that you people are even up there.”

I cannot say that anything has changed.

pst314

Firstly, the world has hardly become uniform...

I am perfectly aware that the world has not become uniform. Why would you think otherwise? Sheesh.

However, I have read comments by Westerners from earlier in the 20th Century lamenting that Europe and North America were becoming more alike than they had been. So there has been a process of slow homogenization at work, regardless of how far we may think it will go or how quickly.

...(Spoken like an American).

What in God's name did you falsely infer about the thinking behind my comment?

Secondly, why refer to science fiction when the real world is all around us.

Because in that story the earth of 850 years in the future had indeed become radically uniform--same shops, same foods, same fashions, same fads, and so on. Even a disappearance of distinct races due to centuries of migration and intermarriage. In contrast, today's world is not uniform, no matter how much we may notice (and praise or deplore) trends in that direction. The story posits a global endpoint.

pst314

“Yeah. We tend to forget that you people are even up there.”

The plight of the much smaller neighbor?

pst314

Please for the love of God!

Steve E

I cannot say that anything has changed.

To the great annoyance of the Laurentian Elite. The ruling class here walk the line between wanting to be noticed by Americans while disdaining them. Unfortunately that attitude has found its way down to the hoi polloi who, with no evidence, think they're better than our cousins.

I could share some tales of conquest with some lovely American girls as well--on their home ground or mine. ;-)

Though, I must say, my greatest shame came around 9-11. I was in San Diego on business on that horrible day. We had a wonderful woman from Wisconsin as part of our business team. I still remember how upset she was when we returned "home" when a large group of Canadians felt it was "deserved." To my mind, sanctimony is the greatest sin.

pst314

Mistral for black serial killer who targeted elderly people because four jurors did not want to send a black man to prison for the rest of his life. The jurors all agreed he was guilty. Some of them refused to convict him simply because he was black.

Liberalism is a disease. Leftism is stage four cancer.

Squires

While I realize that nobody cares about indie tabletop roleplaying games (because they're not really all that important or relevant in the grand scheme of things)

The point of the exercise is that nothing shall remain untouched, and that there shall be no escape for you.

I do hear that Games Workshop is predicted to do splendidly going forward, in light of their recent moves, both apolitical and political, to alienate much of their fan base.

The plight of the much smaller neighbor?

We don’t forget Texas is there.

To my mind, sanctimony is the greatest sin.

And a luxury of living in the shade provided by the Great Satan.

If the Islamic crocodile somehow achieved its dream of eating America, I don’t see Canada being spared from its appetite down the line.

Steve E

I am perfectly aware that the world has not become uniform. Why would you think otherwise? Sheesh.

If I have misunderstood what you were implying, I apologize. I tried to soften the comment about "Spoken like an American" with my follow on comment.

However, your "defence" immediately refers to homogenization based on comments from "Westerners." So what am I to think? A McDonalds on one corner, with a Starbucks and KFC on two others anywhere in the world may imply commercial homogenization. It does not, however, mean cultural homogenization.

Perhaps my ignorance of your Niven reference should have tempered my comment. It's still not clear what side of it you propound. When you quote from modern fiction (which can be interpreted from different positions) it's not necessarily clear which interpretation you're putting forward--Poe's law and all that.

To be honest, I found it all a little condescending. But that's more a comment on me than you.

Steve E

To my mind, sanctimony is the greatest sin.

And a luxury of living in the shade provided by the Great Satan.

Too true!

Daniel Ream

Unfortunately that attitude has found its way down to the hoi polloi who, with no evidence, think they're better than our cousins.

This article dates back to 2004; my experience has been that the attitude this woman encountered has been endemic in Canada from the 1990s up to today.

https://web.archive.org/web/20200517134106/https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/2004/11/28/before-you-flee-to-canada-can-we-talk/878044e8-18e6-4648-8efb-d2894be29ef5/">https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/2004/11/28/before-you-flee-to-canada-can-we-talk/878044e8-18e6-4648-8efb-d2894be29ef5/">https://web.archive.org/web/20200517134106/https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/2004/11/28/before-you-flee-to-canada-can-we-talk/878044e8-18e6-4648-8efb-d2894be29ef5/

Daniel Ream

TypePad seems to have difficultly with archive.org URLs (the current URL is behind an annoywall)

Steve E

TypePad seems to have difficultly with archive.org URLs (the current URL is behind an annoywall)

I used the last part of the link and it arrived at the article with no pay wall. Copy and paste.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/2004/11/28/before-you-flee-to-canada-can-we-talk/878044e8-18e6-4648-8efb-d2894be29ef5/

This does capture the zeitgeist, but I think it predates the 90s. In the 60s and 70s I think Canadians looked down their noses at Americans (without reason) while sporting a greater British sensibiltiy than they do today. This came from some misplaced feeling of superiority. Starting in the 80s, maybe the 90s, it seemed to come more from a place of envy and disdain.

John D

Like apple bobbing.

Definitely needs the 'Mission Impossible' music. :-)

John D

Target lock acquired.

BOOM

JuliaM

"Meet the neighbours"

That's not in Texas, I'm assuming..?

David

Morning, all.

The somewhat disturbing thing about that video is that Dad is a significantly better dancer than his teen daughters.

Yes, the young ladies really need to up their game.

BOOM

It does, I think, get to the nub of things.

Joan

Modern problems,

How does a chicken break into a house?

PiperPaul

How does a chicken break into a house?

Maybe the house is in a co-op development and the chicken doesn't know what punctuation is.

It kinda offers one explanation for the road crossing question though.

Tom

A guide to San Francisco’s street faeces.

Ha, ha. No.

David

Ha, ha. No.

It’s the first time I’ve seen the term “poop heat map.”

But then, I wasn’t previously aware that ‘child’s toe’ is the standard unit of chocolate measurement.

asiaseen

How does a chicken break into a house?

Peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck peck...

What surprises me is it managed to drop an egg 8ins or so on to a metal door without it breaking (the egg I mean)

David

What surprises me is it managed to drop an egg 8ins or so on to a metal door without it breaking (the egg I mean)

A while ago, I learned that you can throw an egg onto a lawn from about thirty feet up and it won’t break. Most of the time.

asiaseen

“poop heat map.”

Hot shit

Farnsworth M Muldoon

It does not, however, mean cultural homogenization.

The difficulty is that it is happening, it is a slow process, it generally flows only one way, and we are not exactly exporting our best "culture".

pst314

We don’t forget Texas is there.

There are endless memes, some of them quite funny, comparing how the rest of the world sees America (only New York and LA, and maybe a gargantuan Texas) vs. how Texans see the USA and the rest of the world.

pst314

If I have misunderstood what you were implying, I apologize.

Thank you. Reaching understanding is paramount.

Your Niven comment

In Larry Niven's story, set 850 years in the future, the entire Earth has become homogeneous, thanks in part to transfer booth teleportation technology. The 400 year old protagonist finds this intolerable--he wants the stimulation and pleasure of variety and so is glumly wondering if it is time to take another "sabbatical" and go exploring in interstellar space. The author did not go into a great deal of detail, which is just as well as at the time he was still young and that was only his third novel: He wrote what he knew so the earthbound scenes were in California which passing references to other cities around the world.

It's pretty obvious that cultural mixing is going in many directions, and it seems that immigration from South Asia and Africa is a chief driver in one direction while exports of TV and movies and books and music are chief drivers in the other direction. And then there's China and Japan...

However, your "defence" immediately refers to homogenization based on comments from "Westerners." So what am I to think? A McDonalds on one corner, with a Starbucks and KFC on two others anywhere in the world may imply commercial homogenization. It does not, however, mean cultural homogenization.

Think about the spread of rock and roll, heavy metal, death metal, rap, and so on. I have read laments by French writers over the decline of chansons, replaced by American-sounding pop music genres.

I occasionally hear radio stations broadcasting Mexican bands, which are refreshingly different--less drums and you can hear the voices over the instruments--but it remains to be seen if native-born Americans will be influenced.

I have read that many very local languages and dialects are dying out around the world--which is perhaps inevitable with rapid wide communication and broadcasting.

It is certainly true that in spite of rock music in clubs and American ghetto graffiti on bridges, France remains culturally very French. But I think that a Frenchman from 100 years ago would see various ways in which France has become more like America. And an American from 100 years ago would see ways in which America has become more like various other nations.

But then there are also the self-imposed ghettos: Many Muslims immigrating to Europe self-isolate and refuse to assimilate. What will this mean in another 50 or 100 years? And that brings up the matter of undesirable cultural imports, from Sharia Law and religious intolerance to various sorts of criminal gangs. And undesirable cultural exports, such as gangster rap and much of the rest of our whorish entertainment industry.

So what will the world be like in 100 years? I don't know, but I suspect more uniform. And all those smaller nations seem the ones most likely to lose their distinctiveness, something which I would hate to see happen. The populations of the Scandinavian countries are each much smaller than their continental neighbors--only about the same as metropolitan Chicago's--and their history/art/culture/etc have value. And haven't some Scandinavian political or intellectual figures said that Scandinavians do not have have their own culture and thus have nothing to preserve? (!!)

pst314

What surprises me is it managed to drop an egg 8ins or so on to a metal door without it breaking

And yet when I drop an egg 6 inches onto the refrigerator shelf it always breaks. Is it possible that "factory farm" chickens lay eggs with significantly thinner shells?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

We don’t forget Texas is there.

Mainly because like NY and CA they won't shut up.

Meanwhile, it is uncertain if two of those were originally called "The Boris".

pst314

Mainly because like NY and CA they won't shut up.

In my youth comic opera Texans were stock characters in fiction.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

If for no other reason (legion though they may be) this is why no one should pay any attention to the FDA.

pst314

this is why no one should pay any attention to the FDA.

I'm surprised the tweet did not also say that the ingredients should include large amounts of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

WTP

this is why no one should pay any attention to the FDA.

The FDA's tweet is actually the least disturbing thing that I see there.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Meanwhile, an apparently paranoid person.

24 reviewed papers, the specificity (ability to detect true negatives) of the LFTs is over 90%, the sensitivity (ability to detect true positives) between 30 and 90% - IOW a coin toss.

Sam

no one should pay any attention to the FDA.

Unconscionable tweet considering we are in a Pandemic of The Fatinated.

WTP

24 reviewed papers, the specificity (ability to detect true negatives) of the LFTs is over 90%, the sensitivity (ability to detect true positives) between 30 and 90% - IOW a coin toss.

Yeah. Here's the thing with all these statistics...they're bullshit. Where/how is the "true" negative or "true" positive determined? The tests can only be verified by other tests. The ostensible value of statistics are based on random events in a discernibly true domain. Pulling different colored marbles out of a bag where the total/true count is known. These medical statistics, it's just a wild ass guess as to where the right answer is. Similar to political polling and damn near everything else in the real world that so many"scientists" try to apply statistics to. Which is why engineers may rely on statistics to get them into the ballpark of what is required, but then they throw a considerable just-in-worst-case cheat factor on top. And they often even get that wrong. But everyone pretends that these statistics in far more uncertain domains actually mean much of anything. The only stats in this whole stupid mess of a pandemic that mean much of anything at all are excess deaths. And what good does that even do? It's all tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Where/how is the "true" negative or "true" positive determined? The tests can only be verified by other tests.

That's a BFO, and, mirabile dictu, the way medicine works for damn near anything short of maybe a commininuted fracture.

...but then they throw a considerable just-in-worst-case cheat factor on top.

Yes, in much the same way we have CI intervals.

...Sensitivity from individual studies ranged from 37.7% (95% CI 30.6–45.5) to 99.2% (95% CI 95.5–99.9)...

The numbers come from an actually good and balanced paper, my main quibble being they refer to PCR as "the gold standard" though it was never designed to be diagnostic, nor is it immune from numerous false positives from the previously known coronavira.

Sam

A disease so severe we quibble over confidence intervals on tests to see who actually has it...

anon a mouse

"What, it's Friday again? Already?"

Why yes, yes it is. That's why I wait until this time to catch up on the Friday Emph...ermph... er, stuff.

"Mainly because like NY and CA they won't shut up."

Ok, then. Meet at High Noon. At Buc-ee's.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Elsewhere, speaking of tales told by idiots, we have a tale of woe from Portland, Oregon.

...I parked my green 2011 Subaru Outback on the northern flank of Mount Tabor and went for a stair run. I left my wallet in the glove compartment and my laptop in my backpack on the back seat.

It never occurred to me that they might be imperiled. After all, the houses on the block where I parked are each valued at close to a million dollars.

Scroll down to see what a million clams gets you in Portland...

I paid the tow fee—$266—and the man pushed open the gate, signaling me to leave. I asked my friends if my car would explode if the catalytic converter had been stolen.

OK, it is a millennial in Portland, I'd hardly expect her friends to know either. However, to add to the insult of leaving all her crap in the car which was stolen, insult!

They had ripped off the rear license plate, disabled the alarm system, and scraped off my Bernie Sanders bumper sticker.

Portland is MAGA county, baby.

Sam Duncan

“Unfortunately that attitude has found its way down to the hoi polloi who, with no evidence, think they're better than our cousins.”

Sounds a lot like a large number of my fellow Scots with our own cousins to the south. The only difference being that the direction of travel is reversed: the attitude started at the bottom and has gradually worked its way up to the alleged “elite”.

“Just be sure you know what ingredients are in your chocolate first.”

Yeah. Sure. I'll... I'll get right on that.

Sam

This was far funnier than expected.

asiaseen

My backpack with the laptop and my wallet were gone, as were letters I’d kept for the past seven years, ones I had no intention of anyone ever reading.

She kept 7yr-old letters in her car?

Sam

Airline CEO: "Masks are not necessary on airplanes. Here's data on HEPA filters proving our point."

Stewardess Union: "But FEELZ."

Any bets on whose argument will prevail?

anon a mouse

"She kept 7yr-old letters in her car?"

That's nothing compared to what some leave in their cars.
Trust me, I've seen things...
*shudders*

Daniel Ream

my main quibble being they refer to PCR as "the gold standard"

Enough to reject the paper out of hand. PCR is a terrible diagnostic test; lab cultures are the true gold standard but they take 7 days to complete, making them ill-suited for rapid tracing.

The Manitoba Director of Public Health was dragged into court under our equivalent of FOIA laws and forced to admit the following:

- compared to a proper lab culture test, only 50% of positive PCR tests were truly infectious. At a cycle count of 18
- Manitoba has been running its PCR testing regime at cycle counts of 30-40

Although it's not on the record, unofficial reports are Ontario has been using cycle counts in the high 30s.

What this means is that every single "case count" metric you've heard has to be cut in half at least, and practically much larger. The false positive rate goes up logarithmically with cycle count so it's not easy to estimate without more data points, but at a cycle count of 36 it's somewhere between 50% and 93%.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

She kept 7yr-old letters in her car?

She does raise cluelessness to a stratospheric heights, though.

I asked family and friends to spend their Thanksgiving morning driving around Portland in search of my Subaru. It was, after all, just 145 square miles of city to cover.

Only 145 square miles, or 6 times the area of Manhattan, or Brooklyn and Queens combined. A mere bagatelle.

They had left a hooked iron tool in the passenger seat that curved gently on one end. This tool appeared to have been used to pry open the window...

Anybody can be a neurosurgeon or rocket scientist if they just apply themselves.

However, it appears as the twig was bent, so grew the tree...

My dad trailed behind me, in socks and slides, ankle-deep in mud.

I am guessing that socks and sandals may not be the best footwear to go looking all over town for a stolen car in the winter in the famously hot and arid Pacific Northwest. I could be wrong, though, maybe it is pandemic required footgear.

anon a mouse

"a hooked iron tool"

Hmm. "Crowbar" is likely discomforting to the author...

"famously hot and arid Pacific Northwest"

When last I was in the Seattle area I couldn't help but think "this is just like Amarillo"

Uma Thurmond's Feet

"As Canadian as possible under the circumstances."

What a lovely legacy.

pst314

She kept 7yr-old letters in her car?

How many of you all have known someone who had sedimentary layers of stuff in her car? :-D

Steve E

What a lovely legacy.

Indeed. Thank you for posting that.

She lived at a time when left and right in Canada could still be civil to one another. Peter Gzowski was a raging progressive but he could at least make a cogent argument and would back it up with his view of the facts. I'm not sure today's progressives could be as thoughtful and create such a nuanced aphorism. Today the left's strongest argument is Shut Up. And to be fair, far fewer people on the right can be so positively introspective than in the past.

Oligarch

I'm just glad a twitter commenter is trying to coin the term Gingx. I've been waiting g for this moment.

pst314

I can think of some appropriate responses to such attacks: Muslim 'migrants' attack Polish border guards, shout ‘F*** your mothers, racist f***s!’

Farnsworth M Muldoon

This is wild - classicist vs. some TikTok nutter who claims:

1. Rome didn't exist, it was invented by the Inquisition.
2. Vesuvius didn't erupt.
3. Latin was invented in the middle ages. What we think is Latin is really Greek. Or something.
4. Most of the artifacts were made by Victorians.
5. Other miscellaneous inanity.

It is utterly insane, the tiktoker looks exactly as one would expect. The whole thing is long, but you can jump around.

pst314

classicist vs. some TikTok nutter

Perhaps it is time to track down these liars and trolls, and expose them to their families, friends, neighbors, and employers.

WTP

It is utterly insane, the tiktoker looks exactly as one would expect. The whole thing is long, but you can jump around.

Look...basically, no one, not even conservatives..."conservatives" has the balls to stand for much of anything. In the absolute abdication of any serious, openly stated and firmly advocated form of resistance, idiocy will fill the void. Probably the stupidest thing that Mark Twain (or Benjamin Disraeli or Otto von Bismark or WTF ever) said was "Never argue with an id. They will drag you down to their level and defeat you with experience." Granted, this sounds like wisdom. It's kinda funny and it does contain an element of truth. But much like John Lennon's Imagine, it's a bloody stupid principle to live by. Hell, even Lennon understood that his was just a bloody song.

Chester Draws

Firstly, the world has hardly become uniform

There are increasingly large parts of it that are in many ways.

I play GeoGuessr, and there are some very obvious "tells" about where you are. But the list of things that are the almost exactly the same everywhere is staggering.

See a guy in a NY Yankees cap? Could be *literally* anywhere. I don't buy traditional souvenirs, but I do like to buy T-shirts from where I visit with interesting pictures and preferably a small bit of the local language. I travelled Eastern Europe a bit, and it was extremely hard to find them -- basically all the shirts had writing in English, or something rude in the local language.

See a burger joint or pizza place? Literally anywhere. Kebabs too now, for a bit of "diversity", but buying local street food is increasingly difficult.

Poor African man on the street selling tat? Anywhere.

90% of the cars are the same. 99% of the clothes. Most of the movies -- they don't even bother taking the titles out of English now half the time.

You see a new housing development and you have to search for minor details to tell even the continent.

We all use the same computers and phones, playing the same games and using the same software.

The one thing holding the tide back is language. But as all the world heads to speaking English, even that is breaking.

Directrix Gazer

On the one hand you're right, WTP, that at some point we have to draw the line and fight back. On the other hand, though, there are important issues relating to effectiveness and efficiency to be considered. The fundamental problem is that there's a nigh-infinite morass of stupidity and confident ignorance out there.

Put bluntly, they outnumber us, even before you add in the so-called "bullshit asymmetry principle."

Do I tackle the pomo-spouting literature professor on a science-fiction Discord channel I'm on, who viciously attacks anyone who posts writing improvement tips as being literal Nazis (if you think there's such a thing as effective style, or useful conventions for writing prose, well you're one step from loading the Jews onto boxcars goes the logic)? How about the lady on my Next-Door posting about how frightened she is of the possible danger posed to our community by jet contrails? How about the guy in the Instapundit comment section who thinks negative numbers are an illogical conspiracy foisted on the world by crazy mathematicians?

And that is to say nothing of the titanic torrents of idiocy pouring forth from the million moron mouths of the internet about my field of expertise, a subset of defense analysis. I'm sure most of us are in the same situation regarding our respective areas of competence.

It seems sometimes that one could devote one's whole discretionary time to confronting it, and it would be no better than flinging a droplet of water onto the desert sands. For instance, I did tangle with the professor noted above. She became discomfited when her tactic of flinging a lot of references to Wittgenstein, Derrida, and various semioticists came up against someone who knew what she was talking about better than she did. It ended with her claiming two blatantly contradictory things at once in successive sentences of the same paragraph. A little while later she left the channel, apparently for good, though I have no idea how much I contributed to that.

Was it worth the hours I put in? Could they have been better spent on a productive enterprise? The only reason I engaged her was that she made a direct attack on me. In the end I didn't feel like I'd won anything; indeed I felt like crap. Arguing with an unbalanced, disingenuous sophist is like trying to wade through tar.

It used to be that we could rely on the common sense common people to keep this kind of insanity from building up a head of steam, at least outside of intermittent bouts of mass-hysteria, and get on with real work. Does our era truly mark an excursion from common sense or is it merely an instance of such a hysteria? What are the best fulcrum points for us to stick in our various levers so that we can shift society back to sanity? I don't know.

David

Dangerous thing detected.

pst314

An admission that there just aren't that many qualified black candidates: Fury over Oxford University plan to hire academics based on how woke they are

David

(Tiny) warp drive discovered (sort-of, in theory, maybe).

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Funeral procession of note.

pst314

Funeral procession of note.

Could have been written by Terry Pratchett.

pst314

(Tiny) warp drive discovered (sort-of, in theory, maybe).

[ (Tiny) spark of interest felt. (maybe) ]

asiaseen

Oxford

And won't those academics pushing for increased wokeishness be surprised when they find themselves being cancelled.

asiaseen

Could have been written by Terry Pratchett.

Other way round - so many of the weird things in his books happened in real life

pst314

Other way round - so many of the weird things in his books happened in real life

Has Terry talked about the weird things that inspired his books?

David

Quick thinking detected. In Chile, I believe.

Via Holborn.

pst314

Good: The court...decided that administration officials could be personally liable for violating the First Amendment.

Making individual officials suffer is key to ending leftist oppression.

asiaseen

Has Terry talked about the weird things that inspired his books?

Nothing AFAIAR dedicated solely to the topic. In some books there are explanatory footnotes and in The Folklore of Discworld some other examples.

Steve E

(Tiny) warp drive discovered (sort-of, in theory, maybe).

Here's another graphic of someone making a tiny warp drive.

pst314

In some books there are explanatory footnotes and in The Folklore of Discworld some other examples.

Thanks, I'll check it out. Hopefully it will contain much that was not covered in footnotes.

(The ice cream man funeral procession immediately reminded me of the funeral of the clown Beano in Men at Arms.)

David

Question asked.

pst314

Good thing they don't have wings.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Question asked.

And those who identified as agender, queergender, or non-binary - indicating they identify as neither male or [sic] female - were mischaracterized 100% of the time.

Whoa. Mindblowing and shocking. We will never achieve true gender equity in The Glorious World of Next Tuesday until facial recognition software can correctly guess someone's imaginary pronouns and flag.

Sam Duncan

“Funeral procession of note.”

My grandparents lived near a crematorium (no wisecracks, thank-you). That kind of thing is surprisingly common.

Mind you, the ice cream business in Glasgow has a... reputation, so who and what exactly was being celebrated is open to discussion...

pst314

Professor of color denied funding for failure to pledge support for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

pst314

We will never achieve true gender equity in The Glorious World of Next Tuesday until...

So you too read the excellent People's Cube.

pst314

My grandparents lived near a crematorium (no wisecracks, thank-you). That kind of thing is surprisingly common.

Must be a regional thing. I've always lived near funeral parlors and have never seen anything so eccentric.

David

I’ve always lived near funeral parlors…

Is it a lifestyle thing?

pst314

Is it a lifestyle thing?

When I lived in the city it was a combination of "high density urban neighborhood" plus "right off mass transit to downtown jobs". Likewise for my parents. And when I moved to the suburbs it was a "walking distance to commuter train station" thing, which put me across the street from a funeral parlor and within a mile of two large cemeteries.

But come to think of it, I overstated the case: It was true in my hometown, but not when I moved to another large city, and then became true again when I moved out to the suburbs.

But if you'd like to believe it's a lifestyle thing then please post the Charles Addams cartoon of your choice. That will guarantee a laugh from me.

David

[ Slurps indecently large gin and tonic. ]

Directrix Gazer

The many omicrons of Trek.

Directrix Gazer

Oh dear, it appears I quite mangled that link. Were there only an edit button...

David

Oh dear, it appears I quite mangled that link.

[ Un-up-bargles horrifically up-bargled link. ]

Steve E

Covered here before, but a good take.

Rex Murphy: The not-so-magical erasure of J.K. Rowling

Darleen

I’ve always lived near funeral parlors…

My grandfather was mortician and when my mother and her brother were little, they lived in the apartment over the mortuary. They moved into a nice suburban home when he was hired by Forest Lawn (the original, in Glendale, CA ... the placed mocked by Evelyn Waugh in The Loved One), He was there over 40 years moving from mortician to memorial counselor.

semi retired conservative

Rex Murphy: The not-so-magical erasure of J.K. Rowling

One of the few remaining people that makes me somewhat proud to be an inmate of the Great White North.

[Goes back to sucking on a bottle of 12 year old El Dorado dark like a baby with dependency issues]

pst314

[ Slurps indecently large gin and tonic. ]

I hope that doesn't mean you're still not fully recovered, David.

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