JRoth writes: I don't have much to say about this - I've never ghosted nor been a ghost - but my favorite detail is this one:
"After the one date in Chicago: crickets. "He fell off the face of the planet," said Ms. Scotti, who didn't see him again until he moved into her building in Brooklyn with his girlfriend three years later."
My understanding is that Brooklyn has many, many buildings. What are the freaking odds?
Heebie's take: Ghosting is basically the Fade Away, but less funny.
There are many lists ranking all the Pixar movies, but this one is closest to how I'd rank them, with a few exceptions. For example, Ratatouille is underrated on all these lists. I've seen almost all the Pixar movies (save Cars 2, Brave, and Monsters University) and most of those about ten times now, and Ratatouille is the only one I can imagine putting on without the kids around. And I know everyone loves WALL-E, and it's very well done, but I can't get all that excited about a main character who is a robot, even if he has more "heart" than the humans.
The linked list is too old to include Inside Out, which we recently saw, but I think it would go somewhere in the bottom half: a difficult conceit, very cleverly pulled off, but the movie was kind of episodic and didn't have much emotional weight for me.
Brian Phillips is very good at his job. But who knew there even was such a job? Go watch some sports and every few days or weeks write a meditative piece about what you saw. Dude, if only I'd known.
Pretty good short video from Vox about that oldie but goodie: the difficulty of judging wines blind, and the effect that knowing the price has on our brains. But one part struck me: around 1:50, she says that when surreptitiously presented the same wine, only 1 in 10 judges consistently rated it the same way. So maybe it's not impossible to judge a wine, it's just that 90% of wine judges are charlatans. Doesn't that make even more intuitive sense than "there's no detectable difference in quality here"?
Lw writes: The group reading of Capital here was really nice. Have folks here tried finding other reading groups elsewhere? It seems like coordinating timing of reading the book is important, just talking about an ambitious book with random people online might lead to Crooked Timber's comments section. Has anyone tried discussion at Goodreads? I'm slowly working through a flawed book on a serious topic, Pinker's Better Angels, I am enjoying it. I don't know that it would work here, since Pinker is not good with discussing culture or actually the present. I believe that it's a book which is intentionally overinclusive rather than a carefully pared argument, either that or he's now such a star that there's no way for an effective editor to suggest improvements.
On a related note, there are a couple of interesting-looking new-ish magazines, Nautilus and Cabinet. Other than poking around on the web and maybe twitter, how do others find interesting stuff to read?
Heebie's take: How do others find time to read all this interesting stuff?
It is perhaps counterintuitive to say so but gun control responses to mass killings - whether racially motivated or otherwise - are a deep mistake. The standard form of gun control means writing more criminal laws, creating new crimes, and therefore creating more criminals or more reasons for police to suspect people of crimes. More than that, it means creating yet more pretexts for a militarized police, full of racial and class prejudice, to overpolice.
Alex Gourevich is one of the more interesting contrarians. He had a piece in n+1 some years ago arguing that the fight against climate change was a notable and worrisome departure from progressive politics by being rooted in fear. It wasn't clear what the way out of the problem was, but that's not necessarily his fault.
Here the stakes for being contrarian are surely lower, since it not like there's real gun control about to happen that would be damaged by lots of people listening to him say not to be so quick to call for gun control. This is well argued -- especially the good-ol-boy vignette from The New Jim Crow -- but I wonder if it obscures the importance of developing strategies that drive a wedge between gun owners and gun manufacturers, the biggest beneficiaries of the NRA's work.
Heebie's take: I agree that mass killings are not the strongest case for gun control, but it's what gets attention, and that quote seems ridiculous. Other countries seem to manage gun control without necessarily militarizing their police.
Years ago, I saw a show about English cops, and that question was posed - aren't you freaked out about not having a gun? The cop said, "Control the man's thumbs, control the man." So there you have it. Militaristic bobby thumb control.
When the video of Obama's speech goes up, I'd urge everyone to watch it.
A pretty interesting look at what it means to "sound gay." The guy who is supposed exemplify sounding gay is more high-voiced than what I think of as gay-sounding, and I would have liked to hear more from the researchers, but worth a look anyway.
Radley Balko interviews a retired Baltimore police veteran who has decided to come clean about the misconduct he witnessed. It might all be stuff that we "knew," but having it confirmed by someone in a position to know is important.
SCOTUSblog trolling people on Twitter who think it's the official SCOTUS feed is pretty damn funny.
Nice day at the Court yesterday, despite the absurdity of the case getting so far in the first place, but I was also very glad to see (somewhat curtailed) disparate impact upheld.
I shall not be pacing myself this morning. This seems like a very smart way to schedule a conference.