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[links] Link salad gets by with a little help from its friends - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-11-08 05:32
Subject: [links] Link salad gets by with a little help from its friends
Security: Public
Tags:christianists, climate, cool, funny, gender, healthcare, history, language, links, media, personal, politics, publishing, race, religion, science, sex, tech
Sausages Based in Reality and Not in PunditryScrivener's Error with a round up on the Penguin-Random House merger, plus some down ballot election notes.

ikiaqqivik: Travelling Through Layers — An interesting view of the Internet. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Low Levels Of Vitamin D Could Be The Key To A Long, Sad Life

Stone tools hint at the origins of the modern human mindStudy suggests complex behaviors were handed down for tens of thousands of years. Warning, facts not valid for Young Earth Creationists and similar willful idiots.

Super-Earth Discovered in Star's Habitable ZoneThe exoplanet is one of six believed to be orbiting a dwarf star 42 light-years from Earth.

Kilimanjaro’s Shrinking Ice Fields — Man, I can't believe that liberals have been stealing the ice from top of the highest mountain in Africa just to supper their climate change hoax.

Wait a second … Did George W. Bush actually vote for Obama? — In short, no, but this story is an excellent example of Poe's Law, in that the parody is so similar to the reality as to be indistinguishable through critical thinking. (Via, in part, [info]e_bourne.)

We Need a Little Fear — A New York Times op-ed by Jonathan Haidt which is an interesting study in the media's attempts to avoid accusations of liberal bias through false equivalency. If you read what he's actually saying, Haidt is making both a pretty good case for the liberal-progressive agenda and a pretty good case for the readily provable assertions that Republicans have wrecked the economy in the Bush years, all but destroyed the social safety net under Reagan, and are working hard to make the country ungovernable under Obama. But he does so in a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone that makes the conservative position sound quite reasonable while snarking at liberals about for supposedly caring more about gay marriage than traditional marriage. In other words, Haidt willfully ignores the blindingly obvious conclusions of his own logic in favor of "balance".

Why Bill O’Reilly is Wrong about Minorities ‘Wanting Things” & the Election — Juan Cole quite effectively deconstructs the conservative narrative. I especially like this bit: O’Reilly, for all the world like a liberal arts assistant professor, explained it in terms of class, race and gender. He said that the “white establishment” is no longer the majority, and that African-Americans, Latinos and Asians are now 50% of the electorate and they, along with white women, “want things” from “the government.” […] Moreover, it is well-known that the Republican “red states” receive the most Federal aid. These states are less racially diverse than the highly urbanized “blue” states, and so are full of white people. Yep, all those blah people taking government money away from Sarah Palin's "Real Americans". Who apparently can't read a budget or a balance sheet. Of course, this being a conservative narrative, the facts are irrelevant and generally suspected of having a liberal bias.

Tea Party still has clout despite US election setbacks — Until the GOP changes enough to be willing to cut off its own rightmost wing, the Tea Party will always prosper.

Election results raise questions about Christian right's influence — Oh, God, we can only hope those willfully ignorant Bible-bangers will go back to snake handling and stunting their own children's lives, and leave the rest of the country alone. Not bloody likely, but we can hope. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Pundit Forecasts All Wrong, Silver Perfectly Right. Is Punditry Dead? — The New York Times election statistician, Nate Silver, perfectly predicted all 50 states last night for President Obama, while every single major pundit was wrong–some comically wrong.

Why political journalists can’t stand Nate Silver: The limits of journalistic knowledge — If you're interested in the whole Nate Silver/pundit issue, this is fascinating.

Faulty predictions for Election 2012 — So much for all that liberal "data" from the polling process.

How Conservative Media Lost to the MSM and Failed the Rank and File — Not that people who need to read this ever will. (Via, among others, [info]scarlettina.)

Akin and Mourdock Are the Mainstream of Today’s GOP Mourdock and Akin lost because they each made the mistake of actually trying to explain an increasingly common position by Republican officer-holders, including Paul Ryan. A point I've been making repeatedly, made much better here. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Republicans Face Struggle Over Party’s DirectionMitt Romney’s loss to a Democratic president wounded by a weak economy is certain to spur an internecine struggle over the future of the Republican Party, but the strength of the party’s conservatives in Congress and the rightward tilt of the next generation of party leaders could limit any course correction. Yep, that about sums it up. Conservatism cannot fail you, you can only fail conservatism. (Via my Dad.)

Romney Suffers 2nd Worst Home State Loss in Presidential Election History — Now that's presidential material.

Romney’s Fear of Republican Hawks Was Stronger Than His Desire for Political AdvantageSo Romney understood that he and his campaign had erred [regarding his initial statements on the Benghazi attack], he knew that they ought to retract the statement, but instead of doing that he defended his initial response and refused to let it go because he was afraid of the backlash from neoconservatives. Here is a clearly documented instance of one of the many times Romney knowingly placing political expediency over plain truth in his campaign. And I'm supposed to believe this is a man of good character? I can only judge him by his words and his actions.

?otD: What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?




11/8/2012
Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (2,400 new words on "Rock of Ages")
Body movement: 0.5 hour stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Weight: 225.0
Currently reading: Brothers in Arms by Lois McMaster Bujold

Post A Comment | 11 Comments | | Link






chessdev: alien
User: chessdev
Date: 2012-11-08 14:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:alien
Just so you know -- I very much enjoy reading your pages. And the links and commentary of the last few days have been great!
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mcjulie
User: mcjulie
Date: 2012-11-08 15:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Jonathan Haidt is always like that. Here is a fairly long and cogent critique of his work on liberal vs conservative morality:

http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-set-of-moral-criteria.html

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daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2012-11-08 16:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Re: Haidt's analysis - I see two advantages to it:

1. It challenges my own progressive preconceptions. Shows me another asteroid, if you will.
2. It sketches a way forward, by addressing issues on both sides of the political fence.

The problem, of course, is that many Republicans have been talking like obstruction is still the order of the day.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-11-08 17:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Actually, my initial reaction to Haidt's piece was much along the lines of yours. I was reading it as an attempt to push certain divisive issues into a common dialectic.

On further thought, while I don't discard my initial reaction, I found myself a lot more irritated at his false balance than engaged with his reaching out. (Assuming for the sake of discussion that is indeed what he was doing.) I think that's a meta-issue I have, rather than an inherent flaw in Haidt's piece, in that the narrative of false balance that media pursues to a point far beyond reason is a big part of what enables and legitimizes some truly poisonous insanity in our current political culture.
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houseboatonstyx: smaller-healing-buddha
User: houseboatonstyx
Date: 2012-11-08 21:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:smaller-healing-buddha
I've been meaning to do a long rant, er, analysis about this 'false equivalency' or 'false balance' thing. Yes, it's awful for journalists to give climate change deniers equal time with real scientists, etc. (And yes, 'equivalency' and 'balance' are not the same thing.)

But a frequent cry of 'false equivalency' suggests that there's a standard of 'true equivalency' that could and ought to be met. Sometimes this is possible and sometimes not. For someone (usually me) to say, "But that sort of thing happens on both sides" -- does not require me to have some exact comparison of exhaustive data. More usually, I'm suggesting that exact comparisons are NOT possible in whatever the case is.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-11-08 21:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"But that sort of thing happens on both sides" -- does not require me to have some exact comparison of exhaustive data.

To pose a deliberately absurd counterpoint, if team A takes a candy bar from their friend's cupboard, and team B violently robs seventeen banks across three states, saying, "Well, they're all crooks, as both sides have been caught stealing" would be a false equivalency. You don't need exhaustive data to see that.

There's plenty of room for common sense and casual observation in noting the difference between Republican politics and the rest of the world.
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houseboatonstyx: smaller-healing-buddha
User: houseboatonstyx
Date: 2012-11-08 22:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:smaller-healing-buddha
To say "There's some of that on both sides" is not to say "They're ALL crooks."

Recently you got one right. ;-) You compared official Republican platforms with official Democratic platforms. This is measurable, comparable; true equivalency is possible. (Assuming you used comparable dates, states, etc.)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-11-08 22:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, for a nonabsurd example, compare Republican use of the filibuster during the Obama administration with the use of the filibuster under any party makeup prior to that during the entire course of the Senate's history. Likewise their treatment of routine executive branch appointments.

Real, measurable data on the extraordinary obstructionism of the GOP is quite easy to come by. Not acknowledging those differences is a big part of the false equivalency narrative.
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houseboatonstyx: smaller-healing-buddha
User: houseboatonstyx
Date: 2012-11-08 23:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:smaller-healing-buddha
That's getting closer to something measurable. (However you'd also have to compare the filibuster rules in the various sessions, which the Majority Leader [lately Reid] has a big hand in setting.)

More important, and closer to my usual point, is ... well, I can't find a site at the moment, but R1 =/= R2. Noun(2012) =/= Noun(1950). In your own example, if the current GOP Senators are behaving differently than the GOP Senators of previous decades, then generalizations that seem to lump together ALL Republicans (past and present, Senators and laymen) --- are, well, grating to this Jill Stein voter.
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houseboatonstyx: smaller-healing-buddha
User: houseboatonstyx
Date: 2012-11-08 21:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:smaller-healing-buddha
Here's a great image, though they left out (at least) one. (At least I hope among the defeated was the one who said there's no such thing as a pregnancy that endangers the mother.)

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=487688354594827&set=a.209098285787170.60239.208899849140347&type=1&ref=nf
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curious Eve: laughing kitty
User: curiouseve
Date: 2012-11-10 07:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:laughing kitty
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
I will try not to sing out of key...

Hope you are getting by all right.
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