Open Thread and Link Farm, Boyblunder’s Pics are Private Edition

  1. Antisemitism in the Labour Party – what’s going on? — Crooked Timber
  2. Hugo Awards: Double Nominations: kevin_standlee
    Another idea from Kevin Standlee regarding adding a third stage to the Hugo Awards, to make it harder for a small minority of voters to game the nomination. This one allows people to vote for works, rather than against works, in the middle stage.
  3. I love this 1969 photo of Hillary Rodham (not yet) Clinton. (Thanks, Mandolin.)
  4. Accidental Republican candor about voter-ID laws | MSNBC
    This time from former Senator Jim DeMint, current President of The Heritage Foundation.
  5. Long story; short pier: Pellucid limpidity
    Hard to sum up. Kip quotes an argument against the idea of transparency in prose, and further arguments about the last few minutes of Urinetown betrays the show. I don’t agree with the quoted argument about transparency – just as I’m against the idea that transparency is always the superior choice, I’m against the idea that it’s always an inferior choice – but it’s interesting.
  6. Breeding Dory | Hakai Magazine
    Researchers are racing to figure out how to breed blue tangs in captivity before Disney releases “Finding Dory” next month, because otherwise demand for the fish could be terrible for wild blue tangs.
  7. Preserving community character is impossible – Vox
    The last sentence seems like a stretch to me (just because a community makes a conscious choice doesn’t mean it will be the right choice, or even that a “right” choice is available to be made), but the basic point about the inevitability of change seems on target.
  8. Resettling the First American ‘Climate Refugees’ – The New York Times
    An entire community is being resettled – at a cost of tens of millions of dollars – because their current location is being destroyed by climate change. (Indirect link.)
  9. Many Middle-Class Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck – The Atlantic
    “Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them.”
  10. After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight –
    It’s sort of terrifying how their bodies changed to force them to regain the weight. And the article doesn’t even get into the long-term harm that can be caused by rapid weight loss and by weight cycling. (Indirect link.)
  11. The day we discovered our parents were Russian spies | World news | The Guardian
  12. Shooting from the Hip | SINMANTYX
    I’ve already linked once to this skeptical look at evolutionary psychology, but I’m linking it again because there’s now an interesting exchange in the comments between the blogger and a researcher who works in EP.
  13. Christian Homeschool Leader Announces Conference for Arranging Child Marriages
  14. Lawsuit Claims A Transgender Girl Is Ruining Her Classmates’ Lives By Peeing | ThinkProgress
    Thanks to Grace for this link (and dozens of others I’ve forgotten to credit her for over the years.)
  15. Gay Marriage Won, But Other Liberal Causes Will Probably Struggle To Copy Its Success
    Although looking this, it seems to me that I’m right to be optimistic about the future of trans rights.
  16. Conservatism’s Constitutional Agenda
    “That, in a nutshell, is the conservative constitutional agenda against the liberal state: restrict the meaning of commerce and the scope of the Commerce Clause, expand the meaning of commercial speech and the scope of the First Amendment’s protections.”
  17. Fame Is Other People
    Interesting essay on being friends with the girlfriend of a Glee celebrity. “She stays off Tumblr, which, as home to much of the Criss fan fiction, is for her ‘a very scary and angry place.'”
  18. If you think college faculty are liberal, it’s only because American politics has twisted your perspective
  19. The last great masculine delusion: What even Grayson Perry doesn’t get
    “With all deserved praise duly paid, there was a crucial point missing from the programme and it was this: Masculinity is a political construction.”
  20. The Inside Story of How Bill Clinton Sacrificed Prisoners’ Rights for Political Gain
    “If it was unclear how proposals to shorten appeals for state prisoners related to federal terror cases, prosecutors nonetheless applauded Clinton’s remarks.”
  21. Why the media will lift Trump up and tear Clinton down
    Shorter VOX: Because ratings.
  22. Eyes on Trade: New Data Reveal That Obama’s Korea Trade Pact on Which the TPP Was Modeled Resulted in Doubling of Trade Deficit
  23. Jane Jacobs believed cities should be fun — and changed urban planning forever – Vox
    “Jacob’s lack of traditional expertise worked in her favor. Her theory of how cities worked was based on how she saw people behave, rather than how architects hoped they would behave.”
  24. Future President Trump has some thoughts on climate change
    Of course, any other Republican nominee would have been likely to have equally ridiculous opinions about climate change and policy – albeit perhaps less ridiculously expressed.
  25. Would prosecutors be less aggressive if significantly more monies were devoted to indigent criminal defense?
    The blogger argues probably not, but thinks it’s worth doing anyway.
  26. The Finger Swipe Order | Ordinary Times
    “By ordering a defendant to use her fingerprint to unlock her phone, is a judge effectively ordering her to testify against herself? Keep in mind, you can’t be legally ordered to reveal a password.
  27. Texts between Jimmy Olsen and his friend who draws fanart
    Very funny (and short) Superman fanfic.
  28. I enjoyed this three-minute science fiction video:

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14 Responses to Open Thread and Link Farm, Boyblunder’s Pics are Private Edition

  1. 1
    Sam says:

    Re: #21

    Is “media” short for “television media” or something? I don’t watch TV News, but I read the Times, Wapo, and various other newspapers, and I’ve seen almost zero positive coverage for Trump, since he’s, well, you know, completely crazy.

    That’s why I don’t really buy the argument that the media is responsible for Trump or intentionally manipulating the narrative. I think the responsibility for Trump lays solely at the feet of the Republican Party.

    Also, if ratings will be helped by six months of Trump and the media is completely amoral, why not shoot for four to eight years of great ratings?

  2. 2
    Ruchama says:

    I’m not sure about “positive” coverage, but there has been a ton of coverage of Trump, and he definitely seems to be a “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” sort. About a month or so ago, a friend of mine was ranting about how NPR and the NY Times were biased toward Clinton and completely ignoring Sanders, and I was thinking, “What? I’ve seen a ton of stories about Sanders there.” The way their websites are set up, the Times was kind of a pain to check for things like that, but NPR was easy. And what I found was that there were about 10% more stories about Clinton than about Sanders, but that difference was dwarfed by the difference between either of them and Trump — there were more stories about Trump than about Clinton, Sanders, and I think also Cruz, combined.

  3. 3
    Sam says:

    I’m kind of of the school that if, for Trump, “any coverage is good coverage,” then the voters get what they deserve.

    When the media report that the poll leader of one of the two major parties wants to ban Muslims from the U.S., or mocks a disabled reporter, or says that P.O.W.s aren’t war heroes or some other piece of bigotry, the media are just doing their job. When people VOTE for him, that’s when it becomes awful.

  4. 4
    Sarah says:

    “When the media report that the poll leader of one of the two major parties wants to ban Muslims from the U.S., or mocks a disabled reporter, or says that P.O.W.s aren’t war heroes or some other piece of bigotry, the media are just doing their job.”

    I agree with this – those are things the media should be reporting. But I also think that a great deal of the impact of those stories, which are legitimate news, was diluted by the fact that the media also reports whenever he complains about the size of his hands, or what a former butler of his thinks about the sitting president, or whether one of his ancestors changed the family name – none of which are really newsworthy as far as I see it, and all of which contribute to painting him as an eccentric, interesting, or humorous character rather than a horrifyingly bigoted one.

    I wish “any coverage is good coverage” weren’t working out so well for him, though. I do wonder what kind of coverage would cause a hit to his poll numbers, when so many of his supporters seem not to be affected by the coverage of his actual views.

  5. 6
    Sarah says:

    Desipis, that blog post seems to be talking about a quota system – i.e. where minority students are accepted even if they don’t otherwise meet the qualifications for acceptance, solely in order to fill a quota.

    Since quota systems are explicitly unconstitutional in the U.S. and (*theoretically*) all forms of race- and ethnicity-based affirmative action currently enacted in the U.S. only come into play when choosing between two students who are otherwise identical and equally qualified, I don’t see how current acceptance policies could “give rise, indirectly, to experiences of marginalization for black students” the way the ones assumed by that quote would.

    I.e., the authors of the article are not describing reality when they say “affirmative action also involves using different admissions standards for applicants of different races, which automatically creates differences in academic readiness and achievement.” (I’m not convinced that a single statistic about how much higher Asian American students’ scores are on a single test is sufficient to assert that any students are entering university with less “academic readiness.” When I was applying for colleges a decade ago, it was made very clear to us that most modern universities use a holistic scoring system to grade applicants, and SAT or ACT score is only a small part of that. I would need a lot more from the authors before buying into their premise that schools are accepting non-Asian minority students who aren’t “academically ready.”)

    And when Judge Fleming in 1969 said “If in a given class the great majority of the black students are at the bottom of the class, this factor is bound to instill, unconsciously at least, some sense of intellectual superiority among the white students and some sense of intellectual inferiority among the black students,” he is describing a quota system which no longer operates in our universities. Since his premise is wrong, I’m hard-pressed to find his conclusion meaningful.

  6. 7
    Ampersand says:

    It’s also worth noting that even if there’s zero affirmative action AND there are no traits considered other than grades and SATs, the Asian American students admitted to a typical school would still have higher average high school test scores than the white students, who would in turn have higher average test scores than the African American students.

    Here’s a simplified example: Consider the incoming test scores of five applicants from three groups, Yankees, Mets, and Dodgers:

    Yankees: A A A C D
    Mets: A A B C D
    Dodgers: A C C D D

    Now, suppose the school admits anyone with a “C” or higher average. There is no other criteria, and no AA. Nonetheless, the average scores of admitted students from each group are:

    Yankees: A-
    Mets: B+
    Dodgers: B-

    Different average test scores among different groups isn’t caused by Affirmative Action. It’s caused by the fact that if Mets (on average) have higher test scores than Dodgers, then the same discrepancy will usually be true of subgroups of Mets and Dodgers (such as those students who meet admission criteria).

    It’s also odd that male students and legacy students – each of whom benefits from things similar to Affirmative Action – don’t seem to have these problems.

    And finally, I’d like to see some statistics on the average SAT and GPAs of Black students admitted into (say) Yale (where one of the biggest kerfuffles happened), but I suspect that they’re actually all quite high.

  7. 8
    Harlequin says:

    Also, the premise of the article desipis linked is wrong: these protests aren’t happening only at the leftiest of lefty universities. The authors link to a list of conservative-friendly and -unfriendly universities with a traffic light rating system. True, 29% of their “red light” schools and 28% of their “yellow light” schools had protest movements that put up demands on (which I used as a list of antiracist protests that isn’t subject to recall bias), but so did 11% of their “green light” schools. Of course, there are other obvious differences between those schools, including whether or not protests are a common form of student speech, which are equally plausible as explanations for why there’s a difference.

    Another sign they’re wrong: as has been found by multiple studies, black and Latino students have the highest graduation rates at the most elite universities (though they still lag white and Asian students). It’s true that graduation rates overall are lower at non-elite schools, of course, but the gaps in achievement (not just the overall rates) are also much larger at some of those schools. So, in fact, a place like Yale should have less racial unrest than less prestigious schools if the essay desipis linked was correct.

  8. 9
    Jake Squid says:

    If you heard about a documentary on Competitive Endurance Tickling, how great would you imagine that would be? It’s way better than that.

  9. 10
    Ampersand says:

    That is the oddest movie trailer I’ve ever seen. Wow.

  10. 11
    Harlequin says:

    I only barely managed to click on that (even the thought of endurance tickling had me piling pillows around my sides to prevent anyone touching me, and nobody else was home!) but it was well worth the watch, and not too torturous, if anyone has similar issues to mine…

  11. 12
    Jake Squid says:

    My first thoughts on hearing that Competitive Endurance Tickling exists were, “Of course it does. I’d be terrible at it. “. Then I watched the trailer and it was different and more awesome than I imagined it would be.

  12. 13
    Ben Lehman says:

    I really want to see that movie. (Like Harlequin, I have a serious negative reaction to tickling.)

  13. 14
    Ben Lehman says:

    A post by a disabled former Sanders supporter about the campaign’s treatment of her as a disabled person, and trying to get a position about disability rights out them.

    The story of “I tried to get a position out of the Sanders campaign, or a meeting, or anything, for months, and only got the runaround, whereas Clinton has a policy and a plan in place” seems remarkably similar to the story of the USVI superdelegate who switched his support to Clinton.