Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Friday Open Thread

by In Wales Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 10:28:20 AM EST

Friday, not a day too soon


Display:
Another bleugghh day. I spend too much time sat down lately and so if I spend a few hours on my feet my knees hurt. Mann, I so have to start exercising regularly, but when your knees hurt, how ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 10:59:33 AM EST
Well, you know there is yoga or this: Qi Gong for Healthy Joints & Bones with Lee Holden

or this : Sonnon FREE TO MOVE Joint Mobility

and I am sure there are many other, even gentle, ways to reactivate the joint and especially the knees. :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:08:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do they require any equipment ? I bought one yoga vid that came highly recommended (yin and yan yoga - Simon Law) but I couldn't do any of it cos it needed mats and soft supports I don't possess.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:38:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know the Yin and yang Yoga, but basically you should not need any props to do Yoga. However, if you are really serious about it, with time it's would be worth investing in a Yoga mat, which are usually thin but sticky, to give you a good support in standing exercises.

I found a trailer of Low's yoga program, doesn't look anything special to me.

If you want a video, maybe this would be helpful: http://www.himalayaninstitute.org/store/product/0586eb3d-8f1a-4778-967f-237b577de509.aspx

Once maybe you worked with this you can move on to the Low program.

But whatever kind of yoga you do, you have to respect the limitations of your body. Every body has limitations, though they might differ. For me yoga is also exploring the limitations and then gently moving beyond the limitations, one 1mm at a time. :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:48:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. The low video starts with a warm up invovling a "bolster", a big support cushion which I simply don't have a substitute for.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:06:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only thing that works for me is to wear Birkenstocks most of the time.  If I have to wear regular shoes/boots I feel it that evening and the next day.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:05:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm a dockside man - winter and summer. Not only are they comfortable, but they are also a useful signal to the Swedish speakers ;-)

I suppose the origins lie in pretending that you own a boat.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:21:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. STOP drinking alcohol!

  2. Get on tylenol if you need to.  Stop using alcohol as a pain killer.

  3. WALK every day.  Make sure you have good shoes for it.  I recommend 1 - 1.5 hours EVERY day.  I'm always at it at the crack of dawn.

  4. Wean yourself off of all (tylenol) pain killers.

This is what I did for my disintegrating lower spine over the last 8-9 months and I don't regret it.  I don't miss the alcohol at all.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:36:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't use alcohol as a pain killer. I drink 2 - 3 times a week. What the heck is tylenol ? Sounds addictive and unhealthy, I'll pass thanks.

I do walk most days, to the paper shop. But if it's raining my enthusiasm dies.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:05:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tylenol = paracetamol.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:31:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh god, I avoid that stuff. It's in lemsips which I take when I've got a cold, but apart from that I never take it. Ever.

If I have a really bad headache I'll take ibuprofen, but that's it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:05:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, have it your way.  Just trying to help.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 07:49:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whenever I have knee trouble, there's only one solution - get thee to the swimming pool...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:01:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I said last week or the week before to just wait until the wingers started physically attacking the reporters at these insane McCain-Palin rallies.  The wait's over.

Why are these people not being arrested?  Or are the pigs in Greensboro in on it?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:01:27 AM EST
As usual IOKIYAR.

And I'm sure if questioned McCain would point out that angry Clinton-ites extreme left-wing bloggers have been killing respectable conservatives for years

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:03:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As usual IOKIYAR.

Probably true with the cops.  Should've taken his knees out straight back.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:13:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The more Kos reports about how deranged the activities of Palin and her family are, the more you wonder how all this publicity is playing back in alaska. I mean, seriously, is this stuff too much even for the party of Ted Stevens, or will they just go "she's our gal" and ignore it ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:02:17 AM EST
Her approval rating dropped 20 points in Alaska since she was chosen as veep.  It's still at 60% though.  I gather they're not the sharpest knives in the drawer up there.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:07:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess when push comes to shove, they just can't vote against the republican.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:41:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would they?  Alaska's one of the biggest welfare states in the Union.  It makes DC look like a Randian fantasy land.  And the GOP always wants to give them more.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:47:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloomberg.com: China Mulls Letting Four Brokers Try Margin Trading (October 17)
Citic Securities Co. and three other brokerages may be allowed to offer loans for stock purchases as China's government seeks to bolster the market after the benchmark index slumped 66 percent this year.

...

The China Securities Regulatory Commission aims to lure investors and expand the nation's capital market as slumping stock values erode trading. Brokerages may earn 6.6 billion yuan ($966 million) of interest income from margin trading and short selling next year, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported Oct. 6, citing an estimate from Haitong.

...

At a conference in the Chinese capital today, Shang urged banks to avoid the kind of financial innovation that caused Wall Street to unravel this year under the weight of writedowns of mortgage-backed securities.




A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:08:34 AM EST
[Runs around with hair on fire yelling DON'T DO IT!]
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:13:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Paging Martin Wolf:

China now preparing next crisis.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:19:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hello. Sitting here at my host's place waiting for a ride. I normally bike in but it's pouring. Obama will be speaking at KC tomorrow and we're all going to see him. Jill Biden will be in the office on Sun. Weekends are prime canvass time and this will seriously screw our numbers. Fun recent overheard conversation between two young (late teen) interns in the office on religion - does Catholicism provide a proper 'god high' or do you need the fainting and speaking in tounges of pentacostalism to truly feel connected to god. The girl arguing the latter is very liberal, including on social issues. One rather surprising thing I've run into here are pentacostals who are strongly feminist, pro-choice, pro gay marriage, pro left wing econ policies, and otherwise resemble the secular liberals I meet in NYC, both in views on policy and personal life, but are born again pentacostal. Didn't know they existed.

I slept in and took a morning off yesterday after feeling sick the night before. Asked the boss if I can go home early that night. Later thought - it's ten fifteen at night, I'm a volunteer, and I'm asking if it's ok if I leave 'early'. Another eighteen days.

by MarekNYC on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:25:56 AM EST
Did you catch the new Ras poll out of Missouri?  O52-46M.  In a Rasmussen poll.  Lookin' good.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:37:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Got to be an outlier.  Too weird to accept based on Missouri's electoral history of close elections.

If it's true and holds, Mississippi and Georgia aren't far behind, Indiana will definitely flip, Obama is looking at 400+ EVs, and I'll have to go have a quiet lie down.

This is not the election map to which I've grown accustomed.

What the hell is going on out there?


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:58:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not an outlier.  I think it's too generous, but taking MoE into account it's about right.  I suspect Missouri is running about O50-47/48M right now.

Indiana and Ohio move very slowly.  I don't think Indiana's going to come through in the end.  I've been skeptical of Ohio all year, even though I'm leaning towards a small win for Obama simply because of the blowouts in Michigan and Pennsylvania coupled with a good few polls showing Obama with a decent lead in OH.

Speaking of Ohio...

BIG NEWS: The Supreme Court has thrown out the GOP's attempt to suppress the vote in Ohio.  I'm curious to see how the vote broke down.  Liberal justices + Kennedy?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:06:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Early voting numbers are looking good in both Georgia and NC.

NC first: One day of early voting, and the Tar Heels are already up to 174,000.  52% are Dems (compared with 45% of registered voters), 32% Reps (compared with 32% of RVs), 16% Indies (compared with 22% of RVs).  25.8% are black (compared with 21% of RVs).

Similar pattern in Georgia.  Black folks are 35.8% of the 636,000 voters so far.  So, in both cases, we're seeing black folks running 5-7 points ahead of their proportion of RVs.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:45:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Life's a beach ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:22:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, yes, I've met left-wing Pentacostals.  It's really weird.  Almost every Pentacostal I've ever met was extreme-right, to the point that Pat Robertson looks like Michael Moore next to them.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:44:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Membership of a group is not determinative of the individuals comprising that group.  

Even Pentacostals have trailing-edge members that drift into sanity.  :-)


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:02:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bell curve identity politics?

You could probably play bell curve identity pin ball - drop in a meme or a talking point just so and it will spend the next few weeks ricocheting around pulling floaters out of some groups and into other groups.

I suppose this isn't far from what happens already, but if you had some cool graphics and bells it would be easier to get the high score.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:15:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, okay, that's true, but the primary experience I've had with a Pentacostal -- think I've told this story before -- was this preacher who used to stand on campus and yell at us between classes.  Called all the girls "whores" and shouted at us for our "demon drink and drugs and sex" and stuff (which, of course, only got people to cheer for booze, drugs and sex).

Until he called the wrong guy's girlfriend a whore and got hit in the face with a large Styrofoam cup of coke.  Everybody laughed.  Even the cops got a kick out of it and refused to do anything.  ("Well, ya called his girl a whore!")  Didn't see him again after that.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 07:18:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nate Silver discussed the apparent manipulation going on at Intrade, in which a rogue investor was inflating McCain futures.  CQ Politics is reporting that, after an investigation by the company, Intrade has confirmed it.

Apparently it's a firm protecting other positions and hedging other investments, whatever that means.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:31:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One rather surprising thing I've run into here are pentacostals who are strongly feminist, pro-choice, pro gay marriage, pro left wing econ policies, and otherwise resemble the secular liberals I meet in NYC, both in views on policy and personal life, but are born again pentacostal. Didn't know they existed.
Welcome to the Heartland, Marek!  "There are stranger things...."  Pentacostals are essentially estatic mystics who go for direct spiritual experience.  Thus, while most might formally think that they are literalist-fundamentalists, they give primacy to their direct experience and are therefore much more malleable.  Some of the Pentacostals were among the first in this region, including Arkansas and Oklahoma, to integrate their congregations.  Baptists are a different story.  A recent quote from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette will give you a bit of the flavor. The subject is ongoing managerial disfunction at the Arkansas Cosmetology Board:
Rep. Daryl Pace, R_Siloam Springs....Pace described the board as the "biggest bunch of not-getting-along people I've ever encountered except for my own Baptist Chruch."
Local humor, to boot.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 01:00:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say 20% of evangelicals I've met are of the left-wing sort. I mean, it is possible to actually read jesus' message in the bible, which does not include, well, pretty much anything social conservatives push for.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:03:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course you can go to the old testament for all the sociopathic god-stuff you'll ever need.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:58:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have become aware that there seem to be less and less women joining the discussions here on the OT, but also on ET in general. Maybe we have more women than I think.

Could the women with names with do not obviously indicate their gender come out and declare themselves? it would be interesting to know.

Also if you do not join in regular discussions here, could you tell us why?

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:25:51 PM EST
My name may not readily identify my gender to some people who are afraid of double l-s, so I'll clarify by identifying myself as a man.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:29:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[Cyrille's Macho Moment of the Day™ Technology]

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 01:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it would have been nicer if you would have resisted.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:05:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course comments from the few regular women posting are also welcome! :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:30:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:43:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do I count ? And if so, as what ?

Reason being that I was recently sent a survey by a national charity that asked if I was either male/female/transgendered, so I guess I'm kinda betwixt and between on that one. Yes, I did make a comment :-))

As to why women don't comment, we do tend towards the technocratic side of politcs which can present as a barrier to entry. If you don't really know that particular subject you can't comment on the general level on how you feel about things, you have to go in at the insider level and not everybody can do that. Even I'm cutting down on my comments outside of OT, and I've never considered general ignorance a deterrence to letting people know what I think.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:00:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks Helen, of course you count. I think you got a point there. It really would be nice to have more women on ET.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:03:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the recommends - however, it would be nice and appreciated if you would also comment, so maybe we can get an idea as to why so few women participate and maybe even find a solution.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:04:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm drowning in too much work to comment much in the OT since I don't have enough space in my head to wrap it around all the comments on US elections.  

Plenty of diaries I don't have much time to read right now hence few comments elsewhere.

I guess to a new passer by it could be difficult to see how to find a way into some of the dialogue on the OT where people pick up on a long running theme or banter.  Also if people feel their knowledge levels don't allow them to make a comment of any worth then they would keep lurking without commenting.  But that applies to anyone, not just women specifically.

I've said this before but it was afew talking me through the site and the people, that persuaded me to stick with it, otherwise I would have looked for a while and then wandered off and not come back, just because I didn't know how to find my way in.

It's always a touchy subject when we bring up the issue of gender but I don't want the site to come across as being a 'boys domain' or aggressive in any way through the type of language being used etc. I don't think we've had any big uncomfortable rows for quite some time and that is certainly a good thing.  

I think there is a wider subject range than there used to be, which may bring in areas of interest to more women perhaps.

Maybe ET is a site that fewer women than men are likely to come across when browsing.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:22:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks In Wales, that might be a aspect, that this is not the kind of site women are looking for. And maybe those who would be interested are just to busy.

And still right now there are more or less 4 - 6 women who show up regularely and comment or uprate comments. That is not much.

Maybe then another question might be, what kind of topics would be of greater interest to women? I have been wondering about that too?

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:34:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What kinds of topics would be of more interest to you? You're a woman.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:35:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know what interests me but I wouldn't say I am a typical woman or could represent female opinion!  Plus it would also be presumptuous to assume that women are not at all interested in economics or 'male' topics and would rather only see shoe blogs instead.  

I do think that diaries that can touch on daily experiences are a way for non specialists to comment.  eg when you've discussed your experiences of dealing with your child's school, or when people have talked about their experience of healthcare.

It is a shame ephemera didn't stick around.  And hopefully when Sassafras is back on form we'll see her on occasion again.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:46:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I absolutely disagree that it is either wind energy or shoes. There's all sorts of stuff in between ;-)


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:53:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i miss eternalcityblues...

i know she's reading, but i hope she/you has/have more time soon to comment more, lovely photodiaries too.

deAnander too

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:59:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and amanda2006, Sassafras, Gaianne....

Where is Izzy, stormy....???

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:27:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wouldn't say I am a typical woman or could represent female opinion

Is that what this is about?

You're a woman and you regularly write about your life and about issues of inequality. I don't think much more can be asked of you. I don't think the answer is to come up with some sort of composite portrait of the average woman and her interests and then go and find someone to write diaries matching those interests. Or is it?

"Women's topics" is whatever it is that women discuss (yes, it sounds like circular reasoning but it is not). Therefore the way to get more women's topics on the site is for the existing women on the site to lead more discussions in it. And a diary is just that, an excuse for group discussion.

You said elsewhere it's not as simple as just writing more, but there is no other way.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 09:23:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You could add your issues about this focus because it's not either, or.  For a male to give the female solution, or viceversa, is too easy.  There is always more than one way.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:51:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In this medium there is no other way that to write diaries and comments because that's all that the medium is. (Well, you can embed pictures and youtubes in your diaries and comments but that hardly affects my point)

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:56:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's for your third sentence. I don't understand the other two. Can you explain what you mean?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 02:01:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what kind of topics would be of greater interest to women?

In my sole opinion which no one is required to share, I don't think the crux of the matter is that the topics don't appeal to women.  Women are diverse and have interests and opinions as varied as men do.  I personally appreciate blogs directed to women, but don't think that's the solution.  I suspect it is more in how the topics are presented and the overall tone of the conversations...  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:53:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you look a dKos and FireDogLake, both of which have high female readerships, they do tend to have a lot of personal views about issues and how they affect them personally. So people have a way in to an issue from somebody's personal journey through them.

So although they also do the technocratic thing on the front page, they have a balancing effect in the general contributor diaries looking at things from the other end of the telescope. So the site has a more personal feel.

We have very few personal experience diaries here, I've written a few (some of which were very personal and I had some offline criticism over them), but there have been others. rg's series on music is a wonderful example that it isn't just a girl-thing. But, generally, technocratic is the site's comfort zone.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:54:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:55:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree too. I pretty much stopped writing about personal experiences or opinions about topics that really interst me, like consciousness, mind, etc., as I recevied as responds links that proved that science showed that my experiences are wrong.

I also feel if I have not a few links to back up my opinions it's better not to post them.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:33:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Post them!

:D

Honest to god, when I post here, I post the most personal stuff in the world.  I post insane opinions unacceptable in most circles, which are only now becoming accepted here because I've continued to post them.  Certainly not everything I write is based on facts and figures.  I realize I am the last person who should be giving advice on the subject (but maybe all of my experience has made me wise - how do you know?)  But if you have something you are passionate about and you think would be beneficial to impart to the world, and a great outlet like ET to use for your medium, go for it.  Of all the people here besides J, you've probably made the biggest investment in ET.  I don't think you should have to feel the way you do.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:52:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seconded. I still remember the conversations about shamanism we had. Not because of what was said, but the relief among those who posted that they could say such things here, they hadn't thought it was acceptable.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:13:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I've really appreciated your writing about your experiences.  I'm not just saying that to be "supportive", but because it gave a lot of us an opportunity to learn and talk about something most of us know nothing about but should try to understand.  

They say men prefer to talk about events in terms of problems and solutions.  Maybe women prefer to talk about events in terms of personal experiences.  I have no idea if there is any truth in that.  

BTW, I wanted to tell you, there was a trans-gendered girl on America's Next Top Model this season.  It's probably lame that I feel the need to tell you that.  But I thought it was interesting.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you. I've sometimes felt I went over the cliff with some of that, I keep thinking I have something to say but don't want to get in the way.

I was aware of the Isis thing, and but I know that she was on the receiving end of some of the very unkind commentary, both by her fellow contestants as well as the more cerebrally challenged of the US commentariat.

As for the difference about how men and women approach things, again, I think it's true as a tendency across populations, but not necessarily for individuals. I have a female friend who keeps telling me her problems and I sense her frustration when I try to "solve" them for her when she really just wants sympathy. But equally I don't think she quite gets how distressing it is for me to listen to her problems and not be able to help cos she won't take advice.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:08:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And of course, we have a little transgender kerfuffle over here with Stonewall (think HRC) wanting to give an award to a lesbian journalist who is a notorious transphobe who has written many articles, particularly in the Guardian, repeating her dishonest, misinformed and unscientific tirades against the transgendered community.

She is probably the most prominent lesbian "feminist" writer in the UK and never hesitates to give the transgendered a kicking. And when we, who have no such pulpit from which to transmit our distress, protest we're told we're bullying and silencing her views.

The most annoying thing is that Stonewall are powerful enough that they have managed to actually get two prominent transgender advocacy organisations to back down on protests. There is a suspicion that some people were told their career prospects in the wider LGB community were under threat if the protests became "official", so we got shafted.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:36:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anthropologically, every subject is interesting. To me, anthropology is above science, even though metrics are used within it. It deals with both the logical and the illogical.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:42:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The proper study of mankind is man.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:10:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]

But if you have something you are passionate about and you think would be beneficial to impart to the world, and a great outlet like ET to use for your medium, go for it.

Well said.

Fran, if someone tries to say your personal experience can be disproved - that's their problem. But if you presented your personal experience as proving something general, they are entitled to question that. You would only need to back up your report on your own experience with links to evidence if you were claiming some general significance. If not - as poemless says - "go for it".

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:15:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Direct experience is primary and cannot be denied.  We can only discuss it, hopefully with a degree of compassion, sometimes with insight.  It does not have to be statistically significant to be meaningful.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:14:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I should have said "cannot be denied without serious consequences!"

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 10:31:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
links that proved that science showed that my experiences are wrong.
Not possible.  At best science might provide explanations for your experiences, it cannot "prove" that they are the "only", the "correct" or even the most appropriate explanations for any person's experience.  Unfortunately we have culturally normative explanations for some experiences and, among many, a strong tendency to pejorative labeling of those who do not subscribe to those explanations.

About fifty years ago Kurt Godel demonstrated that any axiomatic mathematical system that could prove as true all propositions known to be true would also prove as true propositions that could be shown to be false, and conversely.  And that is for mathematics.  Unfortunately, the implications for other fields are often ignored.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 11:00:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
About fifty years ago Kurt Godel demonstrated that any axiomatic mathematical system that could prove as true all propositions known to be true would also prove as true propositions that could be shown to be false, and conversely.  And that is for mathematics.  Unfortunately, the implications for other fields are often ignored.

Um, more like 80 years ago (1931), and what Gödel proved is that 1) a formal system that contains arithmetic contains true propositions unprovable within the system; 2) the consistency of such a formal system cannot be proved within the system.

I don't know that the theorem has implications for fields that don't contain arithmetic, except in lowering our expectations of consistency and completeness.

It's not about experiences being right or wrong, but about being generalisable. And you're right about the issue being one of interpretation even if there is agreement on the phenomenon.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 11:10:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect there are implications for any axiomatic system of thought.  I  see it, along with the work of Heisenberg and Schrodenger as underpinning the work of Korzybski.  The timeframe I cited was more appropriate to when I became aware of Godel than when his work was published.  I didn't think long enough about the remark.  For a long time I thought his work was relatively new when I became aware of it in the early '60s at an open lecture at the University of Arizona.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 12:15:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like I said, IMHO the main implication is the expectation of non-provable truths, not any actual logical implication. I doubt the method of proof extends to other domains.

Who's Korzybski?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 12:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Korzybski

I think the main implication of Incompleteness is that some truths are axiomatic and based in (horror...) subjective experience. They can't deduced because they're primary qualia.

If put two similar things next to each other, you experience the twoness of the similar things rather than eighteenness similar things. (Ceteris paribus, etc.) The experience of numberness and of basic addition and subtraction is probably innate, although some cultures develop it much farther than others, while others barely develop it at all.

Some animals can count too, after a fashion.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:26:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See Subitizing and Counting from wikipedia:
Subitizing, coined in 1949 by E.L. Kaufman et al.[1] refers to the rapid, accurate, and confident judgments of number performed for small numbers of items. The term is derived from the Latin adjective subitus (meaning sudden) and captures a feeling of immediately knowing how many items lie within the visual scene, when the number of items present falls within the subitizing range.[1] Number judgments for larger set-sizes were referred to either as counting or estimating, depending on the number of elements present within the display, and the time given to observers in which to respond (i.e., estimation occurs if insufficient time is available for observers to accurately count all the items present).

The accuracy, speed, and confidence with which observers make judgments of the number of items are critically dependent on the number of elements to be enumerated. Judgments made for displays composed of around one to four items are rapid[2], accurate[3] and confident.[4] However, as the number of items to be enumerated increases beyond this amount, judgments are made with decreasing accuracy and confidence.[1] In addition, response times rise in a dramatic fashion, with an extra 250 ms - 350 ms added for each additional item within the display beyond about four.

... So, while there may be no span of apprehension, there appear to be real differences in the ways in which a small number of elements is processed by the visual system (i.e., approximately < 4 items), compared with larger numbers of elements (i.e., approximately > 4 items). Recent findings [7] demonstrated that subitizing and counting are not restricted to visual perception, but also extend to tactile perception (when observers had to name the number of stimulated fingertips).

Counting requires sequential attention while perception of numbers up to about 4 doesn't actually require sequential attention.

But is this qualia? Applying sequential attention within the subitizing range doesn't lead to different results.


A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:46:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But is this qualia?

No.

Qualia is the mental state of "knowing what it is like" to have a particular mental state.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 02:09:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, and what it is like to subitize as opposed to count is just about irrelevant to arithmetic.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 02:12:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the main implication of Incompleteness is that some truths are axiomatic and based in (horror...) subjective experience. They can't deduced because they're primary qualia.

Axioms can't be deduced because they're axiomatic.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:47:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But what makes them axiomatic?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 02:02:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Induction from experience.

Also, thinking again about subitizing, it is not only repeatable but also people can agree on the result. The qualia (what it feels like to subitize four as opposed to counting to four) is irrelevant to a large extent. It's just extremely interesting that we can subitize and it may even have linguistic implications for grammatical number, but just because your native language doesn't have counting numbers doesn't mean you can't learn them, and the possible connection between perception and grammar is not so surprising since both perception and grammar involve the same brain.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 02:08:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The qualium is the underlying experience of numberness and the very basic experience of abstraction of numberness from individual subitized items. Counting seems secondary here, but it's a way to recreate the experience using a primitive inductive method.

I'd be surprised if basic arithmetic - certainly addition, possibly subtraction, probably not anything more advanced - wasn't similarly rooted in experience.

But the basic point was that arithmetic is rooted in experience, and doesn't exist independently of it. Trying to prove it using formal logic makes for an interesting scenic trip, but eventually you end up standing over a hole which logic can't fill for you.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 08:21:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that's basically what Lakoff and Núñez argue in Where Mathematics Comes From (which I highly recommend), which builds on the earlier Philosophy in the Flesh.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 08:25:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And what about idiot savants that have an intuitive grasp of arithmetic relationships and even calendric/numerical and numerical/calendic?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 08:40:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because you declare them to be axioms.

Axioms - to use the term strictly - establish the Rules of the Deductive Game you're playing, intellectually speaking.  Nothing prevents anyone else from declaring other axioms and playing other games.  This is exactly how non-Euclidean geometries is/are developed.  

Deductive Truth arises from the manipulation of the Terms and Operations, within the Axioms, of A Deductive System - as guided by the particular Interpretation of that system.  Even within the good old Categorical Logic there are two Interpretations: Aristotelean and Boolean.  

Verification of the results - the Truthyness of the Truth Value ;-) of a particular Axiomatic System - is a whole 'nuther topic.

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 02:17:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who's Korzybski?

He created General Semantics. I mentioned him several times here.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:37:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We have a lot of personal experience writing here, but mostly by Americans it seems.

I just don't like writing about myself - why should my personal experience be of interest to anyone else? It's safer to write about what can be reasonably expected to be a shared experience. I guess one of the things I'm wary of is getting feedback that my writing is narcissistic because I'd be writing about stuff which is primarily interesting because it's about me.

Interestingly, I don't think other people's personal writing is narcissistic and almost always recommend it.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 07:32:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of the best personal-experience writing on ET comes from a non-American male.

I'll let others supply the name.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:47:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 12:48:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
politics, economics, energy, all very male-dominated areas, with expectable results!

that's what the site was born around, then it attracted some women, and though way out of balance still, the women helped make this ET more colourful, more human, more connected, more feeling, more soulful.

i see ET as reflecting the world as it is, mostly male-dominated, mostly bent on solving problems women would probably not have allowed to occur in the first place.

i'm also guessing that there are way more men online than women at any point in time or space. internet probably existent more because of males than females, who are more connected to the real world, rather than the cybersphere, with its somewhat virtualised realities.

i think the males are probably more interesting in real life than we allow ourselves to be on the net, speaking as one currently inhabiting a body of the male gender(!).

i wish there were more women here, as i'm not alone in this, i expect ET will attract more females in time, though i don't expect it to be a particularly swift evolution, for some reason.

while the main subjects and issues raised and debated here remain those that are traditionally male-oriented, then the disparity will reflect that reality.

it would have been amusing if it had been inverted. say the blog originated with a woman, and the subjects around which it rotated had been more traditionally 'female', maybe shoe-shopping, maternity leave, child-raising, fashion, whatever, and to every 50-or-so women there was a man, throwing in comments and diaries about global oil prices, currency exchanges, windmills, and the latest political machinations...

when i think of ET reversed, it gives me greater understanding of how i'm intuiting fran feels, and i am even amazed there are any women on the blog at all.

as Jung says, we are all both and we need to fully experience both sides of our natures to be completely human.

i'm physically male, but my soul is female. to understand that, studying how women are (the feminine principle) is fundamental to balancing the apparent contradictions between the genders, within me, and reflected into the greater world around my little sack of skin.

ET's best attributes transcend gender, imo, but after periods of transcendence, it's wonderful to have the female input here. i can appreciate that if i were female, i would probably notice much more how 'male' this site is.

ET is a public sphere, and we after all are private people, there's only so much of myself i'm happy to put online for all to see, because i am not that much of an exhibitionist, at least in this medium anyway lol.

women are shyer than men, and intellectualise less than men, in my experience. they also take less conversational risks, and tend to more conservative mindsets. before you flame this transparently sexist comment, i want to add that this site would be FAR less interesting if it were all-male, and i wish for more female input as much as anyone, maybe more.

in the interests of balance...

the women here at ET contribute mightily, and i suspect are as unconventional and progressive in real life as their contributions, which make be numerically less, but make up for that in many subtle, delightful ways.

gender anonymity adds to the mystery also... i like not knowing, and guessing!

:)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 12:34:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
melo, please notice how many! little cubicles are set up for, and 'expected' of women in your comment...  The limitations are suffocating.

If the expectations are that small and that rigid, it is not surprising that males feel so threatened when any woman cannot fit into them.  It doesn't take much.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 05:02:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you don't like the balance or content/readership of a community blog,

Just.write.more.diaries

on different topics.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 05:14:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What we've tried to discuss is that it is not quite as simple as that.  It's easy to say write more, but how can people do that when they don't think their subject will be interesting to others on the site or if they find things a bit intimidating to put something out there and risk whatever may come their way.  

I gave it a go and it went ok so I stayed and I'm very glad I did, but it is much easier to not get involved with a site like this.  What I and others are interested in is attracting newcomers and keeping them interested and active, and that involves identifying what keeps people from contributing in the first place.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 05:53:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
_It's easy to say write more, but how can people do that when they don't think their subject will be interesting to others on the site or if they find things a bit intimidating to put something out there and risk whatever may come their way. _

I'm sorry but just because people don't find something interesting they don't descend into the comment thread and attack the diary and this site is terribly civil in its debate standards so I don't know why people need to feel intimidated by "what may come their way". As for not thinking their subject will be interesting to others a diary is like somebody's personal blog and they have wide latitude in the choice of topics, and in fact there is a quite broad selection of topics covered on the site.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 09:06:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahhhhhh, In Wales, today you are psychic and writing my comments. Thanks!!!!

And Migeru, I can see metavisions point in challenging melo and I also think melo can handle it - I even have a hunch that he might enjoy this kind of "fight"/Challenge. What is more it might lead to another interesting discussion, which I would be very much interested in. :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 06:03:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not defending melo from metavision, I'm saying the solution to the problem you see is for you to write more. It is the same solution to the other problem you see, which is too little focus on central-eastern Europe and too little participation by people from that region.

Write.more.diaries.

Look, the traffic on this site is not that high - it tekes less than 5 recommendations for a diary to make the recommended diary list. Sometimes we have diaries where the discussion in the comments is basically carried on by two or three people and the writers don't complain.

You can attract different people just by writing different diaries.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 09:03:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
really?

that's how you perceive my comment?

obviously i shold post less, or not on this topic, if i am

a. that densely chauvinistic

b. that inarticulate

c. that insultingly suffocating without realising it.

back to square one.... :)

er, thanks for the feedback, meta-v, i am less reconstructed than i had fondly hoped, obviously. thanks for the gentle judgement, points duly taken on board!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 07:15:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
melo, I'm carefully re-reading your comment and I see your usual good intention, but maybe you are trying to understand the current imbalance, on ET and the wider world, as the only possibility and that´s not hopeful.

I don´t know, but the parts about the ´gender dominated´ and the ´gender subjects´ and women´s qualities just don´t fit for me at all.  I don´t want to be classified by those, I have had roles and molds all my life and I don´t want any more.  

This doesn´t have to stop you from writing anything, or disagreeing with me, you know that, so don´t give me the abc´s.  You know your square is fine with me, even if this time I don´t agree because I don´t fit.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 08:26:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the only possibility? far from it.

i think it's just that the progressive blogosphere, like most techy things, is presently male-dominated.

as the net becomes more 'normal', and as more women become progressive bloggers, i expect things will even out, to common benefit.

i'm very interested in the psychology of gender, which is why i take the high risk of misunderstanding in participating, and worse, being misunderstood, in these dragon-infested realms!

sorry if my thinking is still boxy, i'm working on it, thanks again for the educational feedback...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 09:21:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it the diary/comment structure or something else? Because we are all free to put up whatever diaries we like, on any subject (as you do).

It is a conundrum to which I don't know the answer. The OT is often mini-diaries and again, everyone is free to broach any subject. But the only way I can see to create the content in which you would be especially interested and comment upon, is to write the diary.

I understand your frustration - I post far fewer diaries these days of the cultural subjects that interest me, because the work of creating them tended to exceed the feedback. As you, I believe there is a wider context in which the themes that are common here need to be discussed and understood. Everything is connected to everything else ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:49:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But we are familiar with ET now.  My first diary was appalling and I didn't know what I was doing. Subsequent ones got better but then I wasn't prepared for the type of responses I got - the rigour of the argument.

I'm not bolshy enough to just wander onto a new site and write whatever I want to write, sod anyone else and whether they want to read it or not.  There's always some element of self doubt when one is new to something, especially a social 'network' such as ET.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:00:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with that. The 'rigour of the argument' responses are designed imo to impose an artificial structure on discourse that is just ONE method of discourse. Sometimes I find the classical approach stifling and unsuited to the what-iffing type of exchanges that interest me.

Since the rigour of the argument types represent a majority here, they vote with their feet when a non-conformist diary comes up. It's a narrowing process.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:09:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Oh come on Sven, look at the response poemless's diary about her parents' trip to Europe got - one full of personal experience - and lots of comments - hardly the majority voting with their feet. But when someone introduced a bit of rigour of argument, I plead guilty to responding in kind :-) But I also welcomed the diary, as did so many others.

The problem is you like to free associate but to include some general assertions and then get upset if someone questions them. I welcome all kinds of diaries, but if you include some general claims about the world expect to have them challenged - it's part of the fun :-)  

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:25:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True. Fran wanting to write about her metaphysical experiences, though, will never fly on this site. That's independent of gender, though, I think.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:27:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See, here it already starts, things of the mind and consciousness are declared metaphysical! :-)

And if I talk about my experiences, i also mean my experiences with my studends and clients and how shifting thinking can solve problems - nothing metaphysical about it, at least not for me.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:36:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, I can't find the story in your diary history. Although this isn't the place to argue about it. Look at it this way - my personality meshes pretty well with the people who run this site. While there is a community spirit here, debate and criticism is the primary driver of this site, with support and encouragement coming in second.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:53:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can't find the story, because there never was a story about metaphysical experiences.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:11:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I recall you getting shot down by a bunch of comments, though. Was what I am referring to in the evening thread?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:17:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Look at it this way - my personality meshes pretty well with the people who run this site.

That´s a very definitive statement and implies some exclusivity to follow.  Do you mean FP´s?  Do you mean Fran doesn´t run this site?  Is there a test to find the meshing?

While there is a community spirit here, debate and criticism is the primary driver of this site, with support and encouragement coming in second.

That opinion may describe part of the problem, which is not always present, but at times that tone is uninviting.  Having all four, and more drivers, would be ideal and may bring all the hundreds of lurkers out of hiding to add the balance we need.


Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:47:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That´s a very definitive statement and implies some exclusivity to follow.  Do you mean FP´s?

This site was started by Jerome and to a strong degree reflects his worldview. That can change, but even without physical censorship, like minds are attracted to each other which strongly hinders such a shift away from dominant views. Even on a site like dkos which has probably 100x the active users of this site, markos' worldview can be seen in most posts.

That opinion may describe part of the problem, which is not always present, but at times that tone is uninviting.  Having all four, and more drivers, would be ideal and may bring all the hundreds of lurkers out of hiding to add the balance we need.

I think you're answering your own question.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:44:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
like minds are attracted to each other which strongly hinders such a shift away from dominant views.

You mean yours and Jerome´s minds?  Dominant views?  I haven´t seen dominant views confirmed, unless you are talking about some very reasonable theories, but I do see bad communication habits repeated and defended.  

I didn´t ask a question, I expressed one of many possibilities, but I keep hearing the denial of anything different from ´what is because it is´.  
Rationale please.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 07:03:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I stated an opinion that changing this site will be difficult. I did not claim that it is impossible or should not be attempted.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 07:45:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Be who you are, traveller, but not a psychic.  Never doesn´t exist.  (;

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:42:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I welcome all kinds of diaries, but if you include some general claims about the world expect to have them challenged

BINGO!

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:28:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Challenged is fine. Government of the terms of response are not fine.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:46:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Who does this "governing" - and how ? You are free to ignore responses and to respond to those you deem appropriate, state your reasons for feeling a response is inappropriate, etc.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:52:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not aware of censorship on this site. Banning does occur for ideological reasons on sites like dkos and red state. The worst case here is you get no response or a number of arguments against whatever thesis you put forth.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:56:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a great deal of censorship here - almost all of it self-imposed ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:08:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know what is to be done about that. I do understand that Fran is frustrated and perhaps has had enough of how this site operates.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:30:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
slow down, and stop projecting things on me. I would like to see more women on the site, I would like to see more openness toward other ways of thinking, but that does no way mean that i had enough how this site operates. There is always place for improvements, however, that does not mean that what is, is bad.

And the purpose of my questions tonight was simply to get the women involved and find out how many women are currently participating. :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:36:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And we ended up with a bunch of men debating...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 07:20:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... while the women became silent!
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:38:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually a phenomenon I have observed repeatedly in groups, that often as men start 'debating' or 'take over' that women become silent and passiv. As soon as the men leave they become more lively again.

It can also be difficult for a female group leader to keep the men in place, and keep them from taking over - hard work, I can tell you! :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:42:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, Fran, it's very difficult without having a committed group here for a period of time, but it is really important to bring it up.  I'd expect everyone to have some concern about how they contribute here.  

  1. We really want the male input without changing the subject, going on tangents, etc. and some have tried, but many clearly abstain.  There are different messages in that.

  2. This concerns us all and it's too much work for one person, or just one FP to run (+InWales, Migeru)
   A. LIVE BLOGGING A META SUBJECT
   B. DOING THE SALON
   C. Still having a life.

I hope we can continue to talk about this off hand and more members take time to comment.


Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 05:34:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to be clear, my comment above was not about ET or the FP group, but groups I work with in my other life. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 05:36:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and thanks for the support. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 05:40:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, not really. The most active women on the site all took part in the discussion. You just failed to get any other women to stop lurking. Maybe they didn't come out of lurking because the men jumped in first, but I don't know, they'd have to be the ones to say why.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 09:12:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You just failed to get any other women to stop lurking.  

It should have been a ´group´ effort and Fran deserves credit for the all the time and effort, yet even regular male posters ´failed´ to join in.  Maybe because it´s Friday.  

Just because people are uncomfortable talking about social skills and want the rest to take behaviorist steps, doesn´t mean the effort isn´t  worth it, or isn´t necessary, or is a failure.  But it is thaat level of discomfort that can keep people away.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 02:16:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Metavision, you know as well as I do that in English 'to fail to do something' doesn't mean it's a failure, it's just that something didn't happen.

The sentence you quote is in response to Fran's claim that women became quiet at one point which isn't true, it's just that no women other than the usual participants joined the discussion. Regular male posters weren't asked to join in. Fran stated by asking women whose login names are not gendered to come forward.

I didn't say the effort was a failure or not worth it. Stop putting words in my mouth.

I thought I was the one who was uncomfortable talking about social skills and that doesn't keep me away.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 02:22:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This "regular male poster" has not contributed as Fran posted at the top of the thread [emphasis added]:

Could the women with names with do not obviously indicate their gender come out and declare themselves? it would be interesting to know.

Also if you do not join in regular discussions here, could you tell us why?

By that I assumed Fran was interesting in hearing from women who read, but do not contribute, to ET.  A class to which I am not a member.

I endorse, even applaud, Fran's effort and given the purpose - and problems - I felt the least I could do to 'further the Cause' was to Shut Up.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 02:39:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since you have the power to see such things - are people lurking?  Can you tell that?  Are we assuming something (women lurking) that might not even be correct?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 02:20:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I would like to see more openness toward other ways of thinking

This has an implied general claim (i.e. it's not just a claim about YOUR experience) so a request for evidence is justified. What is the evidence that there is a significant general lack of openness towards "other ways of thinking" here ? - apart from the fact that YOU have got SOME negative responses to SOME comments/diaries ?

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 07:38:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Buddhist goes into a pizza parlour and says' Make me one with everything'.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 05:05:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it is one of his most lucid posts to date.  Even I could understand what he is saying.

 could pull some other tell-tale remarks from Dkos. I could pull Helen's comment re: London Yank. Instead I'll pull this, to illustrate the fluidity and volume of the www attention span.

Really,  I am an African American (AA) female. Oddly enough, I have always been AA and always will be associated, really and conversely, figuratively, within the prevailing or dominating cultural history and language of the US (or "Anglo Disease").

I understand and accept that there are a number of (1) liars posting comments and articles on the www and (2) readers who are either predisposed to validating celebrity/constant stimulus or (3) intermittant bystanders (LOL). I am not one of either (given my www habits). Whether one believes any of this or not is your problem, not mine. I'll tell you (pl.) why, and you will not like it.

Dissociation is a clinical mental disorder denoting a host of "magical" processes. Of which is the assumption of juvenile ego centricity; that only "white" males participate in www (VOIP "technologies etc"). Further, females (not merely "women") evince in language a peculiar and easily detected "voice," or sexual-orientation that connotes a normative political passivity. Deviants are presumed to be "male" or "monster" in principle (self-identified female author), regardless of the merits of a rhetorical, intuitive and/or empirical arguments. In www discourse the female who does not voluntarily identify (her)self by image or declaration is deviant.

The astute social spectator recognizes the threat to normative cohesion in so-called democratic discourse, broadcast, ambivalence toward and exclusion of individuals who are NOT categorically "female." Sex and gender however are irrelevant in any SERIOUS debate of human "rights," that is exercisable POWER TO LIVE UNMOLESTED conferred by state monopoly in law enforcement.

If anyone forgets I am "an African American (AA) female," I won't hold it against you. I won't expect you to "weight" my contributions to www party line technology in consideration of "conservative" or "liberal" ideology. Either the content is sensible or its not. And I can discern in the feedback who "free thinking" and who is not.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:10:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, it must be my English skill, but i have the impression I do not understand what you are saying.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:23:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What did I write is confusing?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:52:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting, looking at the ratings, the men seem to understand what you wrote, but from the comments it seems that the women are confused. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:38:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trippy!

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:40:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you mean this: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/167018/trippy_trick/

I am not sure I understand you either. :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:47:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
trippy:

  1. To be used as a comment when something out of the ordinary occurs--weird, but comical, strange, odd.

  2. Stoners tend to use this comment when reacting to other Stoners' stories, comments, etc.  

http://www.slangsite.com/slang/T.html

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:00:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trippy!

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:08:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
er... Count me with the women on this one!
by Bernard on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 06:13:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No - I don't understand it either.  It's all very kcurian to me...


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:53:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of kcurie, I assumed he was female when I first came to this site.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:30:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was going to point out that I am a very handsome,  well-tempered funny heterosexual thirtish bloke...which generates 1 kcurie of radioactivity constantly...

and I just happen to wish one day I can have a chat with Ms Curie, her husband allowing, inside a  Murakami novel :)...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 07:18:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it my spelling or my ideas? Je je jej eje

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 07:14:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe it is, because you are in touch with your inner female. :-D
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 06:10:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Her posts make me feel like I'm in grad school again.  I can usually parse them together if I read carefully enough.  Usually.
by Zwackus on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:45:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This time I really have to take your word at an intuitive level.... (;

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:03:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no memory of what I said to LondonYank, but in context I do not think you approve. Okay fine.

Nevertheless, whilst I take the point that we have no way of knowing which of our correspondents are male or female or, more specifically, we assume all are white male until otherwise self-denoted (Digby was assumed to be male for years), it is undeniable that Fran's point is correct; in terms of contributions we are a male-dominated site.

Even tho I have many personal reasons for wanting to blur the assumed culturally-imposed differences between individuals of each gender, I am aware that, across a population, there is a different flavour that women bring that is different from men, As I remarked above. More personal, more involving. analytical but at the micro- rather than the macro- level. I'm reluctant to take this further.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:08:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My "approval" is silly. In the case of LondonYank, I sat with a LOL (not typed). You said, "him." I said, "her," because, ahem, LY had actually posted a photo tha I'd seen. In a generalizable way, I think it important for me to illustrate where gender --and race!-- stereotypes fail.

I've a great respect for your contributions, both personal and academic, to this forum. That admission does not mean that I will not, from time to time, disagree with you. Are we all good now?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 05:46:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for reposting your "Really" comment.  It was posted >6mo prior to my starting to follow ET.  Knowledge of your gender does affect, to some extent, how I interpret posts.  You often are, as you say, cryptic, which has connotations of hidden and secret.  I try to take people as I find them.  You have brought a lot of information and links to the site at various times and I have profited from some.  Whatever you are comfortable with is fine with me, but less cryptic would be preferable to me, and I am glad to have another self identified female on the site.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:49:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cryptic is as cryptic does, to paraphrase an American icon.

AR, like I've said elsewhere, I can lead a body to water, but I cannot --will not-- make it drink. Usually, say 80% of the time, I post source links --usually not MSM file--  that inform my opinions no matter how "cryptic" I imagine they will be received. I have great confidence in the intelligence of my fellow-citizens, in there maturity. My purpose is to educate. It is not to train.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 06:09:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Woman.  Present.

Thank you for bringing it up, Fran, because ET seems  out of balance right now; in topics, in depth, in personal interest, in regular members posting, in mutuality....  

Honestly, I have enough crisis to deal with and the latest episodes of misogyny, that seemed to go right over everyone´s head, were the perfect excuse for me not to bother with diaries or much else.  It really saddens me to read people who have been aware and sensitive, writing in gutter language, or just glossing over it.  

I felt like I don´t know anyone here and can´t contribute because I´m not going to expose myself to that level of commentary.  If I feel that vulnerable to the tone, I don´t think new women would feel comfortable and any new men would use, or copy the same behavior to fit in.

I know ET moves in stages, but I hope we all get through this stage and stay more aware of a wider sense of the DUAL, human interest and balance.  One big crisis after another, one endless campaign after another, we become addicted to the frenzy and it narrows our vision away from the big picture:  human progress.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:55:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From my own experience I've found there are times when newcomers, men and women, both, are discouraged from contributing, here, for the sighs and put downs in response to comments that don't comply with 'common ET knowledge'.

That a newcomer should be expected to have read all the archives and absorbed the entirety of ET 'wisdom', as though it were one's entry card, is not likely to attract return visitors.

It's less a gender issue, in my view, than it is one of being challenged to successfully jump on to a fast-moving train.

.

by Loefing on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:49:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I'm sure I've alluded to the fact that some of our conventional wisdoms have become so utterly detached from msm cw that for newcomers there doesn't seem to be a clear path to understand how they go from a to b.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:10:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, technically given that we seem to have a rather better record of tracking reality than they do, it's probably more accurate to say that it must be a culture shock for them to realise there's intelligent life outside of the bubble.

There's probably no quick answer. We can't put up summary papers, because they'll be at least as long as diaries stories are.

Some gentle marketing of the 'we called it ahead of time - now read on' kind might help. Perhaps.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:17:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's still question as to the path from a to b, ET's accumulated wisdom notwithstanding.
by Loefing on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:18:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I think you're onto something here.

The problem is, we can't even begin to gauge this until someone new comes in with the self-confidence to put up diary saying, "I don't get (a), (b), (c)..."

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 06:14:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks to everyone who joined in to this 'debate'/discussion. I found it very interesting, though it confirmed what I suspected, very few women present on ET currently. And some good information too - even though there is not yet a solution. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:49:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a real issue, and a frustrating one for me. I've tried to keep the FP balanced in terms of gender (we had SusanHu initially, DeAnander, then poemless, and now stormy and Izzy who have unfortunately not been around much), but either out of unavailability, bad luck, or chasing them away (and that's the real question) they have not influenced the FP as much as I would have liked.

I would still note that both Fran and In Wales post regularly, with their themes, and definitely influence the site, in a very positive way. I can only encourage others to do the same.

Or maybe I should write less?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 05:18:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You certainly shouldn't write less!

I don't think the issue is that there is too much of your stuff or too much of a certain theme but more that there is not enough of other themes.  It's a bit chicken and egg - we need more themes that appeal to a broader range of interests, but we also need people with a broader range of interests to write the diaries and comment on them and thus fuel more interest...

I wish I had more time to write about all the things that interest me.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 05:49:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for writing my comment, In Wales. I absolutely agree!

And I also think that for Jérôme to write less is not the answer. But having broader topics and views, hopefully also more writing from women would be very helpful.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 06:00:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't.You.Dare!, write less, or more for a pointless  reason.

This is not, repeat, NOT, about changing anyone to accommodate anyone else!!!  That would become a resentment that leads nowhere.  Integrating men and women in a natural way should be ....´nat-ur-al´ and not some business textbook nonsense that just becomes another excuse not to do it.  

This is about being conscious, aware and respectful about 'the other'.  That´s all!  ´The other´ being women, being the poor, being other races, being......    It´s doing what you do in a social context.  It's that simple.  

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 06:17:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The social contexts of an online community are not fully understood yet. At ET we are trying  to work them out, along with many other communities.

Prior to the Intertubes, social contexts were often discrete. Family conversations, pub dirtdishing about the bosses, poker players' interdeal chitchats, teenage BFFs up in the bedroom, stag nights, hen nights, board rooms, club discussions, AA meetings, WI lectures, cafes, bus stops. Each context has its own rules and freedoms. Each context has its own behaviours. They were discrete because they were rarely overheard - 'were' because many of these contexts are now eavesdropped upon.

In online communities, almost everything is 'overheard'. We carry over our RW behaviours into this world because we are lazy. We haven't yet adjusted to the overhearing. But it will come - if we persist in the right spirit. An online community will become another discrete social context with its own rules and freedoms.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 06:52:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
unavailability, bad luck, or chasing them away (and that's the real question)

Well, SusanHu has gone insane, DeAnander has gone feral and poemless is still here (and taking the top two slots on the recommended diaries list.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 10:18:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
okay, stand by for my 5-part history of American bellydance. Ha !!!

Seriously, I have a feeling I'm gonna be writing some "surprising" diaries after this conversation to push the envelope a bit. {bwa-ha-hah}

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 08:21:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You should!!  Your diaries are always a great read.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 08:28:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ole' and hurrah!  Now, there are some juxtapositions I look forward to.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 08:39:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeayyyy! I loved the one wrote a while ago and I would like to read more about it. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 08:57:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New chapter in the saga of Putin's pets:

"Her Free Life is Over"


(image c/o robertamsterdam.com)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's black labrador dog, Koni, Friday was given a collar that will allow her master to track her movements by satellite.

Putin interrupted a meeting of officials who were discussing the virtues of the Russia's new satellite global positioning system GLONASS to monitor cattle and wild animals.
"Can I use it for my dog?," he asked, according to the account of the meeting posted on the government website www.gov.ru

Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, a close friend of Putin, said the collar, which weighs 170 grams (6 ounces) and is equipped with transmitters, had been ready for Koni some time ago and now was the time to test it.

It was immediately slipped on the dog.

"She looks sad," Ivanov said. "Her free life is over."

"She is wagging her tail. That means she likes it," Putin said.




"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 12:54:36 PM EST
The guy's got a lab -- more than enough for me to dismiss the American media's portrayal of him.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 01:23:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I really liked his reaction to the baby tiger. It was genuinely excited and pleased, I found it very endearing.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 01:48:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While watching Rachel Maddow last night she cut away to John McCain and Barack Obama who were speaking in turn at the annual Al Smith Dinner sponsored by the Arch-Diocese of New York.  The tradition is for the presidential candidates to roast each other at this event.  All speeches are to be humorous.  Neither disappointed.  I provide the links below.  Someone with more HTML chops could embed the videos.  They are a humorous antidote to the poisonous atmosphere that is developing in the campaign.  Looks like McCain wants to hold tight to some of his pre-campaign persona.  He was probably the funnier.

McCain:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27231593#27231593

Obama:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27231610#27231610

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 01:17:08 PM EST
Yea, McCain was funnier, he had a lot of genuine laugh lines (the Hillary joke was best) and Obama just didn't.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:42:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One word says both 'hip' and 'hot' in French. It's 'Obama'
By Dion Nissenbaum, McClatchy Newspapers

Obama's visage appears between the svelte curves of fashion models on Europe's most prestigious runways. His speeches are remixed into thumping music tracks in underground dance clubs. His campaign slogans are the foundation for modern art hanging on trendy Parisian gallery walls.

In Europe, Barack Obama is much more than the Democratic presidential nominee. He's the hip new thing...

"Barack Obama represents our hidden consciousness, our hidden dreams," said Helene Faussart, who's half of Les Nubians, the Grammy-nominated Parisian Afro-beat duo. "He really represents the America we imagine it to be."

...

Earlier this month at the Paris Fashion Week, at least four top European designers unveiled dresses, skirts and tops featuring images honoring Obama.

One Parisian art gallery recently tore up its schedule and asked dozens of artists to produce pieces for a special "Obama in Paris" exhibition that's already become one of its most popular shows.

"It's Obama mania," said Catherine Meyer, one of the artists who contributed to the exhibition. "It's very fashionable."

by Magnifico on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 01:40:40 PM EST
Didn't Clinton have a bit of a cult European following as well?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 01:59:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and i can't find one medvedev t-shirt!

obama is iconic...that combination of intellect and smile don't come around too often...

he's so global, and the funny thing is that while i don't think americans care much about that, the rest of the planet sure does...

we'd all do anything to have leaders a hundredth of that calibre.

take the chance, america!


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:19:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And we're the shameless capitalists?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:24:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I walk around Chicago, which has an acute case of Obamamania, where it's almost become noticeable when someone isn't sporting a button or t-shirt or hat or some other Obama paraphernalia, I'm a bit baffled by our cult-of-personality double standard.  In Russia, it's a sign of fascism.  In America, it is a sign of hope and change for the better.  Huh...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:31:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But that's typical people in Chicago very close to an election, not a Paris fashion show.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 02:40:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hell, even the Chicago Tribune is behind Obama now.  Isn't that the GOPer paper in Chi-town?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:30:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, yes it is.  This is not normal electioneering I am talking about.  If Chicago had not torn down all their concrete Soviet-style public housing projects, I'm sure gigantic facades of Obama would be painted on the sides of them right now.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:38:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They've already got those in New York.  Honestly, must y'all really play second fiddle every time? ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:06:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I demand pictures!

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:17:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's one, and another, and this one I like, and so on.

So! :P

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:59:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you think there are any giant murals of Bush in the Deep South?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:20:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well not murals but how about the second picture

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:25:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Palin. A field full of corn.

This would be wrong, how?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:27:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At first sight.. the "Sarah America" looked like moose antlers.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:33:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's actually remarkably unpopular in the South.  The South was originally his one stronghold, obviously, but it caught up with the rest of the country in opinion polls as the shit kept piling up.

Plus, for the whole mural thing, you have to be in a city.  And the Bushie-style whitefolk generally stay away from the cities in the Deep South, because there's "Coloreds" and "hoodlums" and "student radicals" and stuff.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:45:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you just proved my point about the cult of personality.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:52:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, these are heavily-black areas, I suspect, and I can appreciate -- or at least try (mindful of the fact that I'm a white dude who grew up in the 'burbs) -- the emotions behind it.  Like some at FiveThirtyEight said, talking about the long lines for early voting in ATL: "This vote is 400 years in the making."  There's a personality cult to it, and that's just sort of an unfortunate effect of politics (all campaigns are based on personality cults to one degree or another), but I recognize that there's a lot of history playing out for a lot of people -- many of whom never believed it would in their lifetimes.

Same with Hillary and the history of a viable female candidate.  I didn't appreciate that as I should have.  It didn't really occur to me what it meant until my grandmother (big for Hil) passed away.

But, like I said, I'm a white guy.  We've got hundreds of years of presidents who look like me, so I'm, I guess, more cognizant of my own inability to fully appreciate the significance after this year.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 07:02:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 From Firedoglake:
 
 Department of Veterans Affairs regional offices have been ordered to immediately stop shredding documents after an investigation found some benefits claims and supporting documents among piles of papers waiting to be destroyed.

Worst part of it?  "Supporting documents" included things like birth certificates which are difficult to replace.  Not only wouldn't your claim be approved, you wouldn't be able to apply again, or vote, or get a driver's license, and so on.



Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 03:31:53 PM EST

PARIS, Jun 23 (IPS) - The announcement by the Paris municipality that water services will return to public hands by 2010 is in line with a global trend of ending privatisation of such services.

Mayor Bertrand Delanoë announced Jun. 2 that the municipal administration would regain control of all water services for the city, ending a private monopoly that has lasted more than 100 years.

The contracts with the world's two biggest water service companies, Suez and Veolia, will not be extended after Dec. 31, 2009.

"We want to offer a better service, at a better price," Delanoë said. "We also promise that prices would be stable."

Delanoë said his administration will encourage other municipalities in the Ile de France region around Paris to end privatisation of water services.

"That France, once known as the heartland of water privatisation, is embracing a return to public management of water services, is a strong signal in this new pattern," Olivier Hoedeman of the Water Remunicipalisation Tracker told IPS. The group, a sub-division of the Amsterdam-based Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and the Transnational Institute, documents the decline of water privatisation.

Good news? For me, yes. The idea that veolia, however venerable and well-connected, can control the water supplies sets a precedent that I oppose.

I like Paris. I like Delanoe. But here's a challenge for him--here's the other side of the coin:
The prefecture de Paris will propose before the Council of Paris on monday it's plan to install 1226 video surveillance cameras ,at a cost of between 44 and 50 million Euros.
50-70 units per arrondissement.
The right is smiling, the left, including the PCF, represented by Ian Brossat, is fighting.
Instructions to the supporters on the right were: "Don't say "surveillance! Say "Video protection!"
The greens had a nice take- they said "It is important to see who is willing to install screens between people, instead of relationships."


Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:01:38 PM EST
A few random comments...

Thanks everyone for reading those crazy diaries about my parents in Europe!  So much wonderful feedback!

A black cat crossed my path yesterday.  It was a small thing.  I don't know what it was doing on campus, hunting lab mice?  

I'm unintentionally reading a book about cannibalistic sex.

I've been offered a lovely promotion - with no pay increase (yet).  madness.  I blame the cat.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:02:43 PM EST

How do you read a book "unintentionally" ? Though I can imagine why you might want to claim this - given the subject-matter :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:45:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It wasn't my intention to read a book on the topic.  But I find I am.  The author was recommended to me for her writing about Yugoslavia, so I checked out a bunch of her books.  This just happened to be the one I picked up first.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:54:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I've read in a comic strip, years ago: if a black cat crosses your path while you're driving your car, it's bad luck -- for the cat...
by Bernard on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 06:24:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US election question!

Idle curiosity - if a candidate ends a primary or the general with a big pile of unspent cash from contributions, what happens to it?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:03:51 PM EST
Future Presidential library?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:10:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They keep it and do what they want with it.

No, I'm not kidding.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:00:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow.

I always suspected that but still - wow.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:04:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, as a practical matter, most of it winds up going to help other party members in competitive races, assuming the seat is safe.  Even in Obama's case, he'll likely wind up spending almost all of it to try to ensure victory by as large a margin as possible, and the rest will be transferred over to the DNC and other committees or to his PAC.

So it's still Wow but not as Wow as it sounds in practice.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:14:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's more the thought that there's nothing to stop him buying a house or a personal jet with it, if that's what he wanted to do.

It makes the lobbying business even grubbier because the cash isn't necessarily ring-fenced for public service, which really - in nicey nicey world - it ought to be, to whatever extent that's practical.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:24:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be fair to all of them, I may be wrong about the legalities of it.  Ask me about how Milwaukee, WI, handles its sewerage and water supply, and I can tell you a lot.  Ask me the fine points of campaign finance law, and I'm bound to bullshit at least 20% of it. ;)

In the end, the model of lobbyists steering contributions is doomed, in my opinion, as far as it being a great way to gain influence goes.  It just can't compete with the small-donor model.  Both will go on, of course, but inevitably the influence of the lobbyist falls, especially when you can, as Obama has, run partly on not taking their money and perhaps get even more donations.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:42:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you are generally correct.  But I have 2 caveats:

  1.  FEC laws are a bitch.  So much campaign money goes just for lawyers to answer questions like this.  It's worse at the state level.  But still, you can't just take the money and go home, there are lots of legalities and filings, and I think it also depends on where the money came from too, I mean, if you went for public financing or not.

  2.  Rarely does a campaign come away with a large surplus of contributions after an election.  Mostly, they come out in debt.  Campaigns are just so expensive.  When you hear about "war chests", those are often personal funds.


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:50:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I completely agree.  Campaigns are incredibly expensive to run, and the campaign finance laws -- hell, even just getting into a primary -- are offensive.  And you really couldn't run a proper national campaign on the public financing amounts.  The organizing alone, done well, would eat up at least a hundred mil.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 06:55:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We should just start setting up a setion in each thread for US stuff, to keep us in our corner so we don't intrude too much on important European stuff (like we do too much). Anyway, that all said, I have to pass this on to folks - the sheer political brilliance...and bravery...of the Obama campaign. Below is a link to a 7 page letter they have just sent to the Dept of Justice, requesting that the investigation into Attorney General wrongdoings be aggressively expanded to include the investigation of voter suppression by the Republican Party and the McCain campaign. Its an amazing letter. Check it out:

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/Obama-Mukasey/

I think if Obama wins, we are going to be surprised by the assertiveness of this President for justice. Here's hoping anyway. But right now, no more Democratic passivity....

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:22:15 PM EST
I think if Obama wins, we are going to be surprised by the assertiveness of this President...
I hope and suspect you are right.  The letter is a good sign.  Hope he sent a copy to Pelosi and Reid. Now I am really looking forward to how he uses the 30 minutes he is buying on several networks on October 29.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 02:06:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For me there is still the question - what will he use the assertiveness for. I am sure he can be assertive and will be.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 02:27:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Top Wall Street bankers to receive $70bn pay deals | Business | guardian.co.uk

Financial workers at Wall Street's top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40.4bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in bonuses, for their work so far this year - despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash, the Guardian has learned.

Staff at six banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup will pick up the payouts despite being the beneficiaries of a $700bn bail-out from the US government that has already prompted widespread criticism. The government cash has been poured in on the condition that excessive executive pay will be curbed.

Pay plans for bankers have been disclosed in recent corporate statements. Pressure on the US firms to review preparations for annual bonuses increased today when Germany's Deutsche Bank said many of its leading traders would join chief executive Josef Ackermann in waiving millions of euro in annual payouts.

The sums that continue to be spent by Wall Street firms on payroll, payoffs and - most controversially - bonuses appear to bear no relation to the heavy losses incurred by investors in the banks. Shares in Citigroup and Goldman Sachs have declined by more than 45% since the start of the year; Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have fallen by more than 60%. JP MorganChase fell 6.4% and Lehman Brothers has collapsed.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:32:58 PM EST
Well of course. All fo the money has been to ensure that nothing changes, the merry go round continues and everybody gets their obscene bonuses. Wasn't that what Paulson wanted all along ? Cos if he didn't he'd have done something different.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:45:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why don't you add this link in the Salon to the other links about this topic. :-) (Special focus section)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 05:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AT!  Palin's gonna be in Roswell tomorrow.  Get your jokes together now for tomorrow's Open Thread!

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 10:21:37 PM EST


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