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Official BBO Hijacked Thread Thread No, it's not about that

#3881 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-December-04, 11:21

For the hearts and prayers file:

‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3882 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-December-15, 20:57

I was just thinking...https://twitter.com/...920598339534849
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#3883 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-December-17, 09:13

From 50 earthquakes hit off the Oregon coast, but scientists say they're no great shakes by Bill Chappell at NPR (Dec 8):

Quote

"Is that the Cascadia subduction zone talking?" a Twitter user replied to a USGS post about one of the 5.8 magnitude quakes. "Because that would be all kinds of not good,"

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3884 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-December-31, 06:13

Happy New Year.
Here's a History of the last 5000 years in about 15 minutes - puts the current world order in some perspective.

non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#3885 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 10:18

From David Marchese's interview of sci-fi novelist Neal Stephenson at NYT:

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M: All right, here’s another question about how we conceive of the world: One of the things that made the Baroque period so fruitful as a setting for you was the tensions that resulted from superstitious, medieval modes of thinking coexisting alongside the beginnings of the rational Enlightenment. What similar tensions between old and new ways of thinking are alive in our modes of understanding the world?

S: What we’re seeing in the Baroque Cycle is the beginning of scientific rationalism and the idea that we can find ways to agree on what is true, which was a new development. You know, Barbara Shapiro has a book called “A Culture of Fact” that tells the origin story of the idea of facts, which is not an idea we always had. Another thing I’ve been reading recently is “The Fixation of Belief” by an American philosopher named Charles Sanders Peirce. He was writing in the 1870s, and he goes through a list of four methods that people use to decide what they’re going to believe. The first one is called the method of tenacity, which means you decide what you’re going to believe and you stick to it regardless of logic or evidence.

M: Sounds familiar.

S: Yeah, this all sounds depressingly familiar. The next method is called the method of authority, where you agree with other people that you’re all going to believe what some authority figure tells you to believe. That’s probably most common throughout history. The third method is called the a priori method, and the idea is, let’s be reasonable and try to come up with ways to believe things that sound reasonable to us. Which sounds great, but if it’s not grounded in any fact-checking methodology, then you end up just agreeing to believe things by consensus — which may be totally wrong. The fourth method is the scientific method. It basically consists of accepting the fact that you might be wrong, and since you might be wrong, you need some way for judging the truth of statements and changing your mind when you’ve got solid evidence to the contrary. What you’re seeing in the Baroque Cycle is the transition from Method No. 3 to No. 4. You’ve got all these people having what seem like reasoned, logical arguments, but a lot of them are just tripping. So a few come in, like Hooke [the 17th-century English polymath scientist Robert Hooke, famed for his groundbreaking work on elasticity as well as with telescopes and microscopes] and Newton, and begin using actual experiments and get us going down the road toward the rational world of the Enlightenment. But what we’ve got now is almost everybody using Method 1, 2 or 3. We’ve got a lot of authoritarians who can’t be swayed by logic or evidence, but we’ve also got a lot of a priori people who want to be reasonable and think of themselves as smarter and more rational than the authoritarians but are going on the basis of their feelings — what they wish were true — and both of them hate the scientific rationalists, who are very few in number. That’s kind of my Peircian analysis of where things stand right now.

M: Do you see a way out of that?

S: When people find that they can obtain lots of money and power by believing certain things and following certain ways of thinking, then you can bet that they’ll enthusiastically start doing that. The reason that Enlightenment thinking became popular was that people figured out that it was in their financial best interest to avail themselves of its powers. The spread of very financially successful enterprises like, let’s say, steam engines for long-range ocean navigation was a direct outgrowth of the practical application of the scientific method. To that you could also add a lot of financial apparatus that came into existence around then with the Bank of England and various ways of managing financial affairs. In other words, people don’t necessarily follow scientific rationalism because they’re noble and pure seekers of the truth, although some of them definitely do it for that reason. More people do it out of self-interest.

M: It may be the unfortunate case that there’s more obvious financial self-interest to be gained by promoting irrational and counterfactual thinking.

S: If you don’t have any perceptible downside or negative consequences, then why not sign up with or co-sign the latest conspiracy theory? I do think negative consequences definitely exist, but maybe the cause-and-effect relationship isn’t immediately obvious.

M: What are those negative consequences? What do people stand to lose?

S: Well, the negative consequence is our entire civilization.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3886 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 11:34

Shira Ovide at NYT said:

Last year, Norway reached a milestone. Only about 8 percent of new cars sold in the country ran purely on conventional gasoline or diesel fuel. Two-thirds of new cars sold were electric, and most of the rest were electric-and-gasoline hybrids.

https://messaging-cu...896ed87b2d9c72a

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3887 User is offline   jjbrr 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 23:22

View Postjjbrr, on 2020-August-02, 16:28, said:

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Artemis and Celeste



Hello, water cooler friends old and new,

I have some updates. My family has grown since my last post: my sweet girls, Artemis and Celeste, have gotten bigger.

Posted Image

We've added their little brother to our household. This is Apollo.

Posted Image

And if Justin were here, I'd claim this bet. I have a wife!

Posted Image
OK
bed
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#3888 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-January-12, 07:56

Congratulations on the cats. And the lovely bride.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#3889 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-January-14, 12:28

Paul Krugman said:

https://messaging-cu...896ed87b2d9c72a

Yesterday I wrote about America’s surprising success in limiting the economic damage from Covid-19. Compared to expectations and compared to our handling of the 2008 financial crisis, we’ve done remarkably well. But other countries have also done well, in some cases and by some measures better. In fact, among major advanced economies, the star performer of the pandemic era, arguably, is … France.

France? For as long as I can remember, U.S. media coverage of the French economy has been relentlessly negative.

Back in 1997, The Times’s Roger Cohen described France as “America’s favorite European basket case” (although he had the good grace to make fun of his own premature pessimism 16 years later.) Indeed, in the ’90s we were told that France was too culturally stagnant to keep up with modern technology; another 1997 article was titled “Why the French Hate the Internet.” (France currently has higher broadband penetration than we do.) During the 2010-13 euro crisis, I constantly read assertions that France was next in line to join the afflicted economies of Southern Europe — “France is in Free Fall,” asserted an editor at Fortune.

The data never actually supported this negativism. What was really going on, I believe, was that business and economic discourse in the United States is strongly shaped by conservative ideology — and given that ideology, France, with its huge social expenditure, high taxes and extensive economic regulation should have been a basket case. So reporting about France seized on every negative development as a sign that the long-awaited disaster was finally arriving.

But it never did show up. Instead, the French economy just kept on plugging along. True, gross domestic product per capita is about a quarter lower in France than it is here. But that mainly reflects a combination of earlier retirement and, above all, shorter working hours — because the French, unlike Americans, actually take vacations. That is, somewhat lower G.D.P. mainly reflects a choice rather than a problem.

And while the French work less than we do, they’re more likely than Americans to be employed during their prime working years. That’s probably not the story you’ve heard; my sense is that many Americans still imagine that France suffers from mass unemployment, a vision that had some truth to it 25 years ago but has long been out of date.

And prime-age employment is where France has done astonishingly well during the pandemic. Many economists use the employed percentage of adults ages 25 to 54 as a gauge of labor market conditions. This ratio plunged in the United States during the worst of the Covid-19 slump; it has since recovered strongly but is still below prepandemic levels, even though other indicators suggest a very tight labor market — one of the divergences that have economists talking about a Great Resignation of workers unwilling or unable to return to the labor force. France, however, not only managed to avoid a huge plunge in employment but has also surpassed its prepandemic level:

Posted Image

How did it do that? When the pandemic forced economies into a temporary lockdown, Europe, France included, and the United States took divergent routes toward supporting workers’ incomes. We offered enhanced unemployment benefits; France offered subsidies to employers to keep furloughed workers on the payroll. At this point it seems clear that the European solution was better, because it kept workers connected to their employers and made it easier to bring them back once vaccines were available.

Oh, and while the French have their anti-vaxxers, they don’t have as much political clout as their U.S. counterparts, so the country has done better at getting shots in arms:

Posted Image

France also has universal child care, which reopened relatively early in the pandemic, as did schools — freeing parents, largely mothers, to return to work.

I don’t want to romanticize the French economy or French society, both of which have plenty of problems. And liberals who like to imagine that we could neutralize the anger of the white working class by raising wages and strengthening the social safety net should know that France, whose policies are to the left of U.S. progressives’ wildest dreams, has its own ugly white nationalist movement, albeit not as powerful as ours.

Still, at a time when Republicans denounce as destructive “socialism” any effort to make America less unequal, it’s worth knowing that the economy of France — which isn’t socialist but comes far closer to socialism than anything Democrats might propose — is doing pretty well.

Still not the best of all possible worlds but not the worst either apparently. More fries please.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3890 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-January-16, 08:37

From ‘I Was Not Whole’: Why a Grandfather Went Back to College by Ginia Bellafante at NYT:

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In the fall of 1959, Ciro Scala, just out of high school, was commuting to a clerical job in Times Square from Staten Island and also going to City College, uptown on Convent Avenue in the evenings. The trip home — which relied on the IRT to Lower Manhattan, the Staten Island Ferry and then a bus to New Brighton — took about two and a half hours, although sometimes it extended to three, getting him home, in every instance, past midnight. Ground down, he eventually gave up and stopped attending classes, which he did with a sorrowful resignation.

The youngest of five children, Ciro was the son of Southern Italian parents who had resisted assimilation. “They never talked about school,” he told me recently. “We had to work. The whole idea was to get a job. High school, yes, but after that, college was not discussed.” Instead he was to help support his family.

The move to Staten Island, when Ciro was a teenager, meant they had a home with a shower for the first time. Previously, the family had lived in a cold-water flat in Brooklyn on the border between Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant at a time when the area still had many factories. Bathing was a matter of standing at the kitchen sink. Ciro’s three sisters all shared the same bed — two at the head, one at the foot. In the summer when it was hot, everyone slept on the roof.

Success, of a kind he had not foreseen, would come in the decades ahead: a climb up the ranks of the textile business, which began with a stint in a mail room; a Brooklyn Heights townhouse, bought fortuitously in 1979; a daughter sent to private school; summers on the East End of Long Island. But these markers of an urbane, affluent life on the other side of the world from where he had grown up, only a few miles away, were not the endgame. He could not shake the regret he felt over failing to complete his education. Now in his 70s, he resumed the journey that had been interrupted so long ago.

“I just never wanted to die without a diploma,” he said. “I lived a life. I felt I was successful. But without that diploma I was not whole. I didn’t want to leave that legacy for my grandchildren.”

Ordinarily, I would have met with Ciro at his townhouse, where my husband and I had rented an apartment on the top floor 14 years ago. When my son arrived early, in advance of the crib I had bought, we got home from the hospital to find that the Scalas had set up a bassinet for us in his nursery. We were speaking on the phone now because Ciro was understandably nervous about Omicron.

Nonetheless, the pandemic had not struck him as a time for languishing. As so many others retreated from their ambitions, he leaned deep into his own. A few years earlier he had returned to City College; by the end of 2020 he had completed not only his bachelor’s degree in political science but also a masters in history. Eventful as that had been, it was not the whole story. Everywhere at school he saw versions of himself at 18 — students who were at once energized by their aspirations but also held back by their insecurities or need to make money, in conflict with parents who clung to traditional cultural values.

At one point, he met a young Egyptian woman who had a distinct vision for her future. “She’d talk about her family and wanting to bust out,” Ciro told me. The family owned a pharmacy. “She’d say, ‘I’m not just going to be a pharmacist’s wife.’ The family didn’t love it. She was a modern woman who also happened to be Muslim.”

All of this inspired him in still another direction. Two years ago, he approached Andrew Rich, the dean of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College, about setting up a program to help students who were the first in their families to go to college. Theoretically, this is where City College, founded in 1847 as an experiment in educating “the whole people” excels. Only 14 percent of undergraduate students are white. But the agenda Ciro developed, focused on a series of workshops around subjects like impostor syndrome, is regarded as singular in its intensity.

“A big part of Ciro’s program is at the earliest point possible to help students realize how they can take full advantage of this place,” Mr. Rich said. This was a direct line to fellowships and paid internships. “Ciro brings a distinctive commitment and compassion to making sure these kids make it through college.”

Returning to school after nearly 60 years had presented its own series of bureaucratic challenges. The high school Ciro went to in Brooklyn could not provide his transcript, which turned out to be on microfiche and thus might as well have been preserved on bark. City College had maintained a record of his time there, but still he would be required to take an entrance exam, he was told.

“I said: ‘What kind of test do I have to take? I opened a business; I closed a business. I traveled the world. I haven’t done algebra in a million years.’” Eventually he found someone who simply let him enroll; he began again, with a single course on the presidency. “And then I just kept going,” he said, “because time was of the essence.”

Moving along with a mission among people who were decades younger, he had not imagined acquiring a social life, but his classmates gravitated toward him — students from the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean. “We’d finish up after class and they’d say, ‘Hey, Ciro, what are you doing? Want to go get coffee?’ and I’d think What?” One evening he found himself joining his new friends to hear music at a tavern in Gowanus.

With Mahir Syed, whom he met in a class called The Historian’s Craft, he got involved in an ongoing text chain about the Yankees. Sadaab Rahman befriended Ciro in a class on African-American political thought. “He came in with a legal pad; everyone else was on their laptop,” Mr. Rahman, now a law student, told me. He was impressed by the way that Ciro modeled both how to use his voice in class but also how to hold back and let others have the floor. “He really helped people speak their truth; it was like having another professor in the class, a coach.”

In 2020, after he graduated, Ciro decided that he wanted to teach. Last year, he fulfilled that goal on the cusp of turning 80. Professors sent him out into the market with letters of recommendation outsize in their praise of his leadership and academic rigor and convinced that he would make an “extraordinary teacher.” He sent out many applications, a number to charter schools, where he thought he would be especially valuable, but to no avail because they typically favor young graduates of liberal arts colleges who often have little in common with the students they teach.

A few months ago, though, he got a call back from Mary McDowell, a private school in Brooklyn that specializes in children with learning differences. Soon after, he began going to work there most days as a roving substitute teacher, working with high school students. “The fact that I am surrounded by young people is extremely fulfilling,” Ciro wrote me one afternoon. “I recommend it for all adults. Spend time with young people. Don’t put the ‘mentoring’ hat on. In my opinion, that’s a turnoff for kids. Meet them at their level. Listen!”

This post has been edited by y66: 2022-January-16, 08:38

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#3891 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-January-16, 12:45

I expect City College could be a topic to fill many pages. Ciro is just who they had in mind, as I understand it.

I lived a comfortable 8 miles from the University of Minnesota, I could go by bike when my car got uncooperative.



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