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  Propaganda and the 4T
Posted by: pbrower2a - 05-14-2016, 08:34 PM - Forum: Society and Culture - Replies (4)

Extracted from an old discussion (from 2010):

Propaganda is the norm of 4T communication. Details of reality recede before a desired and sponsored image, whether it is the mind-numbing pageantry of Triumph of the Will or the sophisticated (but tightly-scripted) banter in Casablanca.


Any political entity in Crisis mode must get people to do things contrary to the usual assumptions of ease and hedonism in other times. Nobody now pretends that the war work was easy or perfectly safe. Women who a few years earlier would have been troubled by a broken fingernail and were averse to the aesthetic offense that was the factory had to replace men who had gone off to war. The American soldier, now the Real Man, had to do combat but needed all the supplies available of ammunition, weapons, transport equipment, fuel, and of course food. Rosie the Riveter was almost a Socialist-Realist stereotype that one might expect in the Soviet Union, then the epitome of regimentation and shared sacrifice, at least in its own propaganda -- that one could do heavy, dangerous work and still be very much a woman.

The real Rosie the Riveter almost never looked so good as did the poster image. She was often a middle-aged, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed woman who had worked to supplement a meager living. The poster image was never a black or Hispanic woman. The woman with a career as a factory worker looked it. Maybe it was to appeal to the margin of people who might otherwise do trivial work or stay at home and be 100% domestic. The model for the Norman Rockwell image on the Saturday Evening Post cover proves as marginal as a defense-plant worker could be.

We are now at least five years away from the conclusion of a Crisis era, and probably ten. It is unlikely that the most successful appeals of the American elite will be the glorification of elite greed, the brutality of rapacious plutocrats through their enforcers, or the promotion of the fake populism of anti-intellectualism. We are at most in the Dust Bowl phase of this Crisis era, and if anything the 2010 election shows that the American electorate still pines for the promises of cakes and circuses as a substitute for economic justice.

Americans in the Second World War didn't fight on behalf of the "economic royalists", whether big landowners in the South or heirs of Gilded-Age fortunes. Such would have been failure. That said, we are now being asked to give our all -- and get as little as possible, especially economic security and economic justice, on behalf of elites that now look like the sorts of aristocratic plunderers that many American fled from in Russia, English-ruled Ireland, feudal Mexico, southern Italy, and the most backward parts of the German and Austrian empires. Let us not forget the great internal migration of blacks from the old South, where ownership was everything and toil came with serfdom in all but name.

Work has dignity only when it is well-paid reward for genuine toil. This Crisis will not be won by the investment bankers, by executives who affect aristocratic lifestyles while aping Simon Legree, or by gangsters.

Update: We seem to have made no progress toward the resolution of the existing Crisis Era in the last six years. The 2014 midterm election was an unambiguous victory for the economic royalists of our time. America can become the sort of society in which almost all human efforts go to paying off economic elites who who better resemble feudal lords than capitalists. We will be taxed to indulge an elite that offers neither representation (the US House of Representatives now better serves political donors than the people in districts) nor service. We are now at least five, and perhaps ten, years away from the resolution of this Crisis.

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  Is classical music dead as a creative activity?
Posted by: pbrower2a - 05-14-2016, 07:47 PM - Forum: Society and Culture - Replies (20)

I was going through the Obituaries in the old T4T Forum (as if you didn't notice), and I found one obituary that started a discussion. I will start with the obituary, essentially a Wikipedia article that may since have been updated. After five and a half years I would expect such.

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (Polish: [ˈxɛnrɨk mʲiˈkɔwaj ɡuˈrɛtski]; English pronunciation Go-RET-ski;[1] December 6, 1933 – November 12, 2010)[2][3] was a Polish composer of contemporary classical music. According to Alex Ross, no recent classical composer has had as much commercial success as Górecki.[4] Górecki became a leading figure of the Polish avant-garde during the post-Stalin cultural thaw.[5][6] His Webernian-influenced serialist works of the 1950s and 1960s were characterized by adherence to dissonant modernism and drew influence from Luigi Nono, Karlheinz Stockhausen,[7] Krzysztof Penderecki and Kazimierz Serocki.[8] He continued in this direction throughout the 1960s, but by the mid-1970s had changed to a less complex sacred minimalist sound, exemplified by the transitional Symphony No. 2 and the hugely popular Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs). This later style developed through several other distinct phases, from such works as his 1979 Beatus Vir,[9] to the 1981 choral hymn Miserere, the 1993 Kleines Requiem für eine Polka[10] and his requiem Good Night.[11]
His name remained largely unknown outside Poland until the mid-to late 1980s, and his fame arrived in the 1990s.[url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henryk_G%C3%B3recki#cite_note-12][12]
In 1992, 15 years after it was composed, a recording of his Third Symphony, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs—recorded with soprano Dawn Upshaw and released to commemorate the memory of those lost during the Holocaust—became a worldwide commercial and critical success, selling more than a million copies and vastly exceeding the typical lifetime sales of a recording of symphonic music by a 20th-century composer. As surprised as anyone at its popularity, Górecki said, "Perhaps people find something they need in this piece of music [...] somehow I hit the right note, something they were missing. Something somewhere had been lost to them. I feel that I instinctively knew what they needed."[13] This popular acclaim did not generate wide interest in Górecki's other works,[14] and he pointedly resisted the temptation to repeat earlier success, or compose for commercial reward.

Apart from two brief periods studying in Paris and a short time living in Berlin, Górecki spent most of his life in southern Poland.

Górecki's music covers a variety of styles, but tends towards relative harmonic and rhythmical simplicity. He is considered to be a founder of the so-called New Polish School.[30][31] Described by Terry Teachout, he said Górecki has "more conventional array of compositional techniques includes both elaborate counterpoint and the ritualistic repetition of melodic fragments and harmonic patterns."[32]
His first works, dating from the last half of the 1950s, were in the avant-garde style of Webern and other serialists of that time. Some of these twelve-tone and serial pieces include Epitaph (1958), First Symphony (1959), and Scontri (1960) (Mirka 2004, p. 305). At that time, Górecki's reputation was not lagging behind that of his near-exact contemporary and his status was confirmed in 1960s when "Monologhi" won first prize. Even until 1962, he was firmly ensconced in the minds of the Warsaw Autumn public as a leader of the Polish Modern School, alongside Penderecki.[33]

Danuta Mirka has shown that Górecki's compositional techniques in the 1960s were often based on geometry, including axes, figures, one- and two-dimensional patterns, and especially symmetry. Thus, she proposes the term "geometrical period" to refer to Górecki's works between 1962 and 1970. Building on Krzysztof Droba's classifications, she further divides this period into two phases: (1962–63) "the phase of sonoristic means"; and (1964-70) "the phase of reductive constructicism" (Mirka 2004, p. 329).

During the middle 1960s and early 1970s, Górecki progressively moved away from his early career as radical modernist, and began to compose with a more traditional, romantic mode of expression. His change of style was viewed as an affront to the then avant-garde establishment, and though he continued to receive commissions from various Polish agencies, by the mid-1970s Górecki was no longer regarded as a composer that mattered. In the words of one critic, his "new material was no longer cerebral and sparse; rather, it was intensely expressive, persistently rhythmic and often richly colored in the darkest of orchestral hues".[34]

The first public performances of Górecki's music in Katowice in February 1958 programmed works clearly displaying the influence of Szymanowski and Bartók. The Silesian State Philharmonic in Katowice held a concert devoted entirely to the 24-year-old Górecki's music. The event led to a commission to write for the Warsaw Autumn Festival. The Epitafium ("Epitaph") he submitted marked a new phase in his development as a composer,[13] and was described as representing "the most colourful and vibrant expression of the new Polish wave".[35] The Festival announced the composer's arrival on the international scene, and he quickly became a favorite of the West's avant-garde musical elite.[34] Writing in 1991, the music critic James Wierzbicki described how that at this time "Górecki was seen as a Polish heir to the new aesthetic of post-Webernian serialism; with his taut structures, lean orchestrations and painstaking concern for the logical ordering of pitches".[34]

Górecki wrote his First Symphony in 1959, and graduated with honours from the Academy the following year.[24] At the 1960 Warsaw Autumn Festival, his Scontri, written for orchestra, caused a sensation among critics due to its use of sharp contrasts and harsh articulations.[24][36] By 1961, Górecki was at the forefront of the Polish avant-garde, having absorbed the modernism of Anton Webern, Iannis Xenakis and Pierre Boulez, and his Symphony No. 1 gained international acclaim at the Paris Biennial Festival of Youth. Górecki moved to Paris to continue his studies, and while there was influenced by contemporaries including Olivier Messiaen, Roman Palester, and Karlheinz Stockhausen.[7]

He began to lecture at the Academy of Music in Katowice in 1968, where he taught score-reading, orchestration and composition. In 1972, he was promoted to assistant professor,[24] and developed a fearsome reputation among his students for his often blunt personality. According to the Polish composer Rafał Augustyn, "When I began to study under Górecki it felt as if someone had dumped a pail of ice-cold water over my head. He could be ruthless in his opinions. The weak fell by the wayside but those who graduated under him became, without exception, respected composers".[25] Górecki admits, "For quite a few years, I was a pedagogue, a teacher in the music academy, and my students would ask me many, many things, including how to write and what to write. I always answered this way: If you can live without music for 2 or 3 days, then don't write...It might be better to spend time with a girl or with a beer...If you cannot live without music, then write.”[37] Due to his commitments as a teacher and also because of bouts of ill health, he composed only intermittently during this period.[38]

By the early 1970s, Górecki had begun to move away from his earlier radical modernism, and was working towards a more traditional, romantic mode of expression that was dominated by the human voice. His change of style affronted the avant-garde establishment, and although various Polish agencies continued to commission works from him, Górecki ceased to be viewed as an important composer. One critic later wrote that "Górecki's new material was no longer cerebral and sparse; rather, it was intensely expressive, persistently rhythmic and often richly colored in the darkest of orchestral hues".[34] Górecki progressively rejected the dissonance, serialism and sonorism that had brought him early recognition, and pared and simplified his work. He began to favor large slow gestures and the repetition of small motifs.[39]
Main article: Symphony No. 2 (Górecki)
[Image: 200px-Gorecki_cropped.png]

A performance of Górecki's Beatus Vir conducted by Włodzimierz Siedlik. The piece was composed to celebrate Karol Wojtyła's appointment as Pope
The "Symphony No. 2, 'Copernican', Op. 31" (II Symfonia Kopernikowska) was written in 1972 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. Written in a monumental style for solo soprano, baritone, choir and orchestra, it features text from Psalms no. 145, 6 and 135 as well as an excerpt from Copernicus' book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.[40] It was composed in two movements, and a typical performance lasts 35 minutes. The symphony was commissioned by the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York, and presented an early opportunity for Górecki to reach an audience outside of his native Poland. As was usual, he undertook extensive research on the subject, and was in particular concerned with the philosophical implications of Copernicus's discovery, not all of which he viewed as positive.[41] As the historian Norman Davies commented, "His discovery of the earth's motion round the sun caused the most fundamental revolutions possible in the prevailing concepts of the human predicament".[42]
By the mid-1980s, his work began to attract a more international audience, and in 1989 the London Sinfonietta held a weekend of concerts in which his work was played alongside that of the Russian composer Alfred Schnittke.[43] In 1990, the American Kronos Quartet commissioned and recorded his First String Quartet, Already It Is Dusk, Op. 62, an occasion that marked the beginning of a long relationship between the quartet and composer.[44]
Main article: Symphony No. 3 (Górecki)
[Image: 50px-Gnome-mime-sound-openclipart.svg.png]
Symphony No. 3, 2nd movement
[Image: fileicon-ogg.png]


Sample from the 2nd movement

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Górecki's most popular piece is his "Third Symphony", also known as the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" (Symfonia pieśni żałosnych). The work is slow and contemplative, and each of the three movements is composed for orchestra and solo soprano. The libretto for the first movement is taken from a 15th-century lament, while the second movement uses the words of a teenage girl, Helena Błażusiak, which she wrote on the wall of a Gestapo prison cell in Zakopane to invoke the protection of the Virgin Mary.[45]
The third uses the text of a Silesian folk song which describes the pain of a mother searching for a son killed in the Silesian uprisings.[46] The dominant themes of the symphony are motherhood and separation through war. While the first and third movements are written from the perspective of a parent who has lost a child, the second movement is from that of a child separated from a parent.

Despite the success of the Third Symphony, Górecki resisted the temptation to compose again in that style, and, according to AllMusic, continued to work, not to further his career or reputation, but largely "in response to inner creative dictates".[47]
In February 1994, the Kronos Quartet performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music four concerts honoring postmodern revival of interest in new music. The first three concerts featured string quartets and the works of three living composers: two American (Philip Glass and George Crumb) and one Pole (Górecki).[32]

His later work includes a 1992 commission for the Kronos Quartet entitled "Songs are Sung", "Concerto-Cantata" (written in 1992 for flute and orchestra) and "Kleines Requiem für eine Polka". "Concerto-Cantata" and "Kleines Requiem für eine Polka" (1993 for piano and 13 instruments) have been recorded by the London Sinfonietta and the Schönberg Ensemble respectively.[48] "Songs are Sung" is his third string quartet, inspired by a poem by Velimir Khlebnikov. When asked why it took almost thirteen years to finish, he replied, "I continued to hold back from releasing it to the world. I don’t know why."[49] His music has been used by the New Jersey-based Lydia Johnson Dance company during one of their performances.[50]


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  Millenials blame parents for their laughable fragility
Posted by: Kinser79 - 05-14-2016, 07:20 PM - Forum: The Millennial Generation - Replies (7)


Pulled this off the old forum before the shut down as someone made a thread there about it.  Normally I don't care for National Review but the article is interesting.

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  The Supreme Court
Posted by: Bronco80 - 05-14-2016, 04:56 PM - Forum: General Political Discussion - Replies (23)

I'm staking out territory on this thread since this tends to be up my wheelhouse, and we're likely to get a bunch of opinions over the next six weeks.

I feel guilty about feeling hopeful about a death (Scalia), but unfortunately the Constitution forces those kind of feelings when it comes to the Supreme Court.  The biggest short term stake in this presidential election is far and away the balance of power at the Court.  If Scalia does get replaced by Garland or (hopefully) someone further left, there's going to be a long laundry list of terrible precedents that I'd like to see overturned ASAP.

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  Article: The Ghosts of ’68 Haunt the Election of 2016
Posted by: Odin - 05-14-2016, 04:22 PM - Forum: Theory Related Political Discussions - Replies (34)

On the old forum there was a thread talking about how the 4T is often a reflection of the previous 2T, so I thought this article was interesting.

Quote:Watching the mad, mad, mad, mad world that is the 2016 presidential campaign, I was trying to remember a presidential campaign that was as jaw-dropping, at least in my lifetime, and easily settled on 1968.

For those too young to remember, imagine: As fighting in Vietnam rages on and the Tet Offensive makes us all too aware of the futility of our Southeast Asian military fiasco, Minnesota Sen. Eugene McCarthy decides to run as an antiwar candidate against incumbent President Lyndon Johnson. Supported by an army of “Clean for Gene” college students knocking on doors and making phone calls, McCarthy does surprisingly well, and then New York Sen. Robert Kennedy gets into the race, too. Johnson makes a surprise announcement that he will not seek a second term in the White House and McCarthy and Kennedy duke it out in the primaries.

In the midst of all this, civil rights giant Martin Luther King Jr., is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, and riots erupt across the cities of the United States. Two months later, Kennedy is murdered in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel just minutes after winning the California primary. In August, eight years after his defeat by John F. Kennedy, the Republicans bring back Richard Nixon as their presidential candidate and the Democrats select Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who has not run in a single primary, as their party’s standard bearer. Simultaneously, a police riot against protesters outside the Democratic convention in Chicago leaves an indelible image of chaos, tear gas and blood. Nixon wins the election with a well-executed campaign set to the accompaniment of dog whistle signals against minorities and left-wing dissenters.

Oh, and one other thing — Alabama Gov. George Wallace, arch segregationist and race baiter, runs as the third-party candidate of the American Independent Party, campaigning as a rebel populist seeking the votes of the angry, white working class. He wins almost 10 million votes and carries five states in the South.

All of which brings me to one of the curiosities of that manic ‘68 campaign season, a slim volume written by Russell Baker, former New York Times columnist and veteran White House and congressional reporter. First serialized in The Saturday Evening Post, it was published as a book under the title Our Next President: The Incredible Story of What Happened in the 1968 Elections.

But here’s the thing: Baker’s book was written before all the events I just described. It was imaginary, a work of speculative fiction that soon found the real thing giving it a run for its money. And yet, much of what Baker dreamed up presaged what really happened and is eerily reminiscent of what’s going on in 2016 America.

In the book, President Johnson is indeed as besieged as the actual LBJ – “being ground in a politics of frustration more bitter than any could remember since the Depression election of 1932,” Baker writes. “A seemingly endless war, record food prices, rising taxes, intractable poverty, a surly unmanageable Congress and now an incipient revolution of race – and Johnson bore the burden of public blame for all.” It’s all too similar to the climate today.

But in Baker’s version of history, Johnson uses his legendary political wiles to create a scenario that he believes will lead to his reelection – Hubert Humphrey is made to step down as vice president, becoming secretary of state, and Kennedy is named as the next vice president, creating a Johnson-Kennedy ticket. Pandemonium ensues.

As in the actual summer of 1968, there are race riots that impact the campaign and as is the case in 2016, the Republican Party is in complete disarray, riven by a plethora of potential candidates, many of whose names may now seem unfamiliar but all of whom were genuine presidential possibilities – Mitt Romney’s father, George, the governor of Michigan; Ohio Gov. James Rhodes; former Pennsylvania Gov. William Scranton and Illinois Sen. Charles Percy, among others. There’s Nixon, of course, New York’s Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and, oh yes, California Gov. Ronald Reagan. After much shouting and disruption, eventually they choose as their slate New York City Mayor John Lindsay and running mate John Tower, conservative US senator from Texas.

George Wallace is prominent in Baker’s story, too, running just as he really did in 1968… and in 1972 (when he was shot and forever after wheelchair-bound)… and in 1976. Here’s Baker’s description of the Southern populist’s campaign:

Quote:Wallace’s crude animal reaction to the complexities of American society found a sympathetic hearing that summer among millions baffled by the speed at which the future was hurtling upon them and frustrated by their individual impotence against the tyranny of vast computerized organizations spreading through American life. With his snake-oil miracle cures, Wallace satisfied a deep public yearning to be deluded with promises of easy solutions.

And here’s Baker’s version of Wallace inveighing against protesters: “If I ever get to be president and any of these demonstrators lay down in front of my car, it’ll be the last car they ever lay down in front of.”

If, as Mark Twain supposedly said, history does not repeat itself but certainly does rhyme, Russell Baker’s description of the state of the union nearly 50 years ago and a Wallace candidacy that’s so very much like Donald Trump’s is as blank verse from the past, reflecting a national mood that today is perhaps even more confused and enraged.

I’m far from the first to draw the parallel. George Wallace’s own daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, recently told National Public Radio that both men have played to our basest instincts. “Trump and my father say out loud what people are thinking but don’t have the courage to say,” she said. “They both were able to adopt the notion that fear and hate are the two greatest motivators of voters that feel alienated from government.”

And back in January, Dan T. Carter wrote in The New York Times:

Quote:Both George Wallace and Donald Trump are part of a long national history of scapegoating minorities: from the Irish, Catholics, Asians, Eastern European immigrants and Jews to Muslims and Latino immigrants. During times of insecurity, a sizable minority of Americans has been drawn to forceful figures who confidently promise the destruction of all enemies, real and imagined, allowing Americans to return to a past that never existed.

An aversion to spoilers tempts me to not tell you how Baker’s story ends but you may have trouble tracking down a copy of this long out-of-print little book, so here it is: the three-way election – Johnson vs. Lindsay vs. Wallace – is deadlocked in the Electoral College. As per the Constitution, the choice of president is turned over to the House of Representatives, and the Senate chooses the vice president. A series of maneuvers, miscalculations and skullduggery ultimately results in a second President Kennedy.

We should be so lucky.

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  Has the regeneracy arrived?
Posted by: Bronco80 - 05-14-2016, 03:30 PM - Forum: Turnings - Replies (325)

It sure feels like it here in the US given the events of this year, but before expounding further I'm curious if this had been discussed much in my absence on the old board.

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  Study: What Kind of Voter Is Most Susceptible When Pols Pile It High and Deep?
Posted by: Odin - 05-14-2016, 02:54 PM - Forum: General Political Discussion - Replies (26)

The results are predictable. Big Grin 

Quote:Millions of voters this election cycle are shunning “the establishment” and the meaningless platitudes that practiced politicians chew up and spit out like bubblegum. Scientists behind a recent study have come up with a technical term for this political treacle: “bullshit.” And they’ve found that people’s ability to detect it correlates with their political views.

The authors of the PLoS ONE study said they found that people who identify as conservative are more likely than their liberal counterparts to find such meaningless statements profound. What’s more, vulnerability to bullshit is linked to support for specific candidates—with Ted Cruz devotees the most likely to dredge up meaning in phrasal cow patties. The study, conducted by two German psychologists with no clear dog in America’s presidential pit bull fight, has created a real you-know-what storm. “I knew there would be a little bit of a brouhaha” over the study’s formal terminology, says cognitive psychologist Mark Runco of the University of Georgia, who edited the paper. “It happens to be timely and use an unusual label—that is to say, ‘bullshit.’”

The study’s social scientists—Stefan Pfattheicher, a psychologist at the University of Ulm, and Simon Schindler of the psychology department at Kassel University—focused on a particular form of BS: “pseudo-profound bullshit.” On first blush these grammatically correct statements seem to possess deep meaning, but they contain little logic.

Consider, for example, “Hidden meaning transforms unparalleled abstract beauty.” The scientists asked 196 test subjects to rank how profound they found a series of such empty axioms. Thrown in the mix were logical but mundane statements like “A wet person does not fear the rain.” Test subjects next ranked their own conservatism or liberalism, with a mean response of 3.33 on a 1 to 7 scale of liberal to conservative. Finally, they ranked how favorably test-takers viewed the three highest-polling candidates in each top party—Republicans Cruz, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump; Democrats Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. (Mean favorability views on a 1 to 5 unfavorable to favorable scale were as follows: Cruz, 2.13; Rubio, 2.42; Trump, 1.94; O’Malley, 2.54; Sanders, 3.53; and Clinton, 2.76.)

After Cruz supporters, Rubio enthusiasts were found most likely to draw inspiration from prosaic dung piles, followed by Trump acolytes. To test whether or not Republicans’ supporters were also more easily inspired by non-BS than Democrats’ supporters, the scientists looked at the subjects’ reactions to true but mundane statements. They found Clinton and O’Malley supporters were most likely to find meaning in the mundane. In other words, conservatives were not more easily inspired than liberals by statements in general—just by what the researchers deemed pseudo-profound BS.

The authors note that the study does not conclude that conservatives are more commonly hoodwinked by all brands of BS. For example, they may be no more vulnerable than liberals to outright lies. Past studies have found conservatives to be less reflective, potentially making them susceptible specifically to pseudo-profound hogwash. “It’s preliminary work, like any area of this research,” says cognitive psychologist and fellow bullshit aficionado Gordon Pennycook of the University of Waterloo in Ontario. Pennycook was not involved in the study, but the authors relied on a list of bullshit statements that Pennycook had created for his own papers using random Internet phrase generators. (To sample more pseudo-profound truths, like “Consciousness is the growth of coherence, and of us,” click here.) Pennycook thinks the new study is consistent with some preliminary research his team had completed earlier. “It seems like a pretty straightforward study,” he says.

But once the two German scientists published their findings in late April, stuff hit the fan. Internet users transformed online comment sections into a veritable merde storm, accusing the authors of bias and questioning their analysis of raw data. Meanwhile a Reddit group waxed philosophic about whether or not the pseudo-profound statements did in fact possess deep meaning. “The future explains irrational facts” enjoyed some online support.

One online commenter worried that the media would cover this story in a reductive, immature way. (To which this reporter takes great professional umbrage.)

Meanwhile the authors have gone into media hiding: “There are already some hot discussions about the article on the Internet. We do not want to add fuel to the fire” by commenting more on this story, Pfattheicher wrote in an e-mail.

But Runco defends the authors from accusations of bias. “It’s as unbiased as most psychological research,” he says. The researchers examined a testable question, and their statistical methods were sound. He also says several other traits have been found to vary with political opinion, so there’s precedent for this research.

The authors of the paper seem to smell potential for further studies in the field, writing that “research on bullshit is still in its infancy.” And no doubt, the presidential race will give social scientists a fresh pile of material to shovel through. As the authors put it, “Bullshit is prevalent in all our lives.”

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  Generation X as risk-takers
Posted by: pbrower2a - 05-14-2016, 08:08 AM - Forum: Generation X - Replies (10)

[Image: quote_icon.png] Originally Posted by HopefulCynic68 [Image: viewpost-right.png]
I remember a radio commentator saying a couple of years ago (in context of a discussion of evaluating risks) that the Crocodile Hunter would eventually lose if he kept gambling. Ironically, this doesn't even appear to have been a high risk sort of thing, or at least no more than most diving.

[Image: irwinfamily_wideweb__470x379,0.jpg]

When I look at this picture, part of me finds myself wondering if he himself fully grasped the risks he was taking in his life.
Belated but I think germane:

He understood the risks. He knew how to tease a crocodile and get away with it; he knew that once on land he could outrun them. He would never have teased a bear, big cat, wolf, or even a dog (including the Australian dingo) in the same way. Anyone who teases even a well-behaved golden retriever as Steve Irwin teased crocodiles had better have good medical coverage -- including psychiatric care. You can't outrun a dog.

That wasn't a particularly big crocodile (it may have been the less dangerous freshwater crocodile), and surely nobody better knew croc behavior than did Steve Irwin. That said, he was as much an athlete as a showman and a biologist, and he would have had to have retired from his more daring deeds as his athleticism began to fail him. Reflexes and foot speed typically slow drastically in one's forties, which explains why one sees few major-league athletes in their mid-forties. Irwin was close to having to retire from his way of doing things because of the natural and predictable decline of his athleticism.

Crocodiles and alligators are ambush hunters that capture unwary prey typically at the water's edge, where the lurking reptile has all the advantages
against a mammal in the awkward position of drinking water, taking an unwise excursion into the water, or flying low (bats; this also applies to birds).

Like most Reactive adventurers, Steve Irwin was approaching the age at which he had to give up measured daring for caution. Reactives typically leave the adventures for those that they have groomed -- or get killed.

Quote:Last edited by pbrower2a; 12-08-2007 at 05:28 PM. Reason: addition

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  Obituaries -- names from the old Forum
Posted by: pbrower2a - 05-14-2016, 07:57 AM - Forum: Old Fourth Turning Forum Posts - Replies (18)

(starting with the earliest)

Johnny Carson
Spencer Dryden (drummer)
Phillip Johnson (architect)
Samuel Francis (essayist)
Sandra Dee (actress)
John Raitt (Broadway performer)
Peter Benenson (founder of Amnesty International)
Ossie Davis (actor)
Bobby Short (singer)
George F. Kennan (diplomatic great)
John DeLorean (car by his name)
Andre Norton (SF writer)
Terry Schiavo (cause celebre for the resuscitate-everyone group)
Mitch Hedberg, comedian
Pope John Paul II
Saul Bellow, novelist
Prince Rainier of Monaco
Andre Dworkin (radical feminist)
Peter Rodino (led impeachment against Nixon)
Col. David P. Hackworth (promoter of advancement through military ranks)
David Sutherland, D&D artist
Chet Helms, rock impresario
Gaylord Nelson, former US Senator
James W. Stockdale (POW hero, Perot's VP choice)
James Doohan (Montgomery Scott in the original Star Trek)
General William Westmoreland (top US general in the Vietnam War)
Peter Jennings, ABC TV news anchor
John Johnson, editor of Ebony and Jet  Magazines
Barbara bel Geddes, actress
Robert Moog, inventor of Moog synthesizer
Jude Wanninski, conservative thinker
Chief Justice William Rehnquist
Bob Denver (Gilligan of Gilliigan's Island)
Don Adams (Maxwell Smart of Get Smart)
M. Scott Peck, self-help guru
Simon Wiesenthal, hunter of Nazi war criminals
August Wilson (no live link)
Nipsey Russell, comedian
Rosa Parks, pioneer of the Civil Rights struggle in the South
Peter Drucker, management expert
Link Wray (discoverer of the "Power Chord" in rock
Pat Morita, actor
Alfred Anderson, last soldier to hear the guns go silent for the Christmas truce
Stan Berenstain (co-writer of the Berenstain Bears of child literature)
Clarence Laking, last Canadian WWI veteran
Senator Eugene McCarthy
Richard Pryor, comedian
someone identified as the Queen of Bootleggers
Senator William Proxmire ("no Golden Fleece to line his coffin!")
Jack Anderson, journalist
Shelly Winters, actress
Wilson Pickett (obscure)
Lew Rawls, singer
Coretta Scott (Mrs. Martin Luther) King
(Western Union telegram services)
Al Lewis ("Grandpa Munster")
Betty Friedan (Feminine Mystique)
Wendy Wasserstein, writer
Friedrich Engel, Nazi war criminal, a/k/a "Butcher of Genoa" -- bad guys make history too.
Peter Benchley (Jaws)
Dave Tatsuno, secret photographer of the Topaz 'relocation' camp
Phil Brown, actor
Curt Gowdy, sportscaster
Andreas Katsoulas (SF writer)
Don Knotts, comedian
Claude R. Kinsey, escaper from a Nazi POW camp
Darren McGavin, actor
Octavia Butler, novelist
Dennis Weaver, actor
Harry Brown, financial writer
Jack Wilde, child actor
Dana Reeve, handicap advocate
Kirby Puckett, HOF baseball star
Ali Farka Toure (sorry, link dead)
Gordon Parks, photographer
Luna (dead link)
Slobodan Milosevich (dictator, kleptocrat, and war criminal -- roast in Hell!)
Maureen Stapleton, actress
Buck Owens, country music performer
Lyn Nofziger and Casper Weinberger, two figures of the Reagan Presidency on the same day
Stanislas Lem (Solaris)
Gene Pitney, singer-songwriter
Reverend William Sloane Coffin
Muriel Spark, novelist
Arthur Winston, perfect attendance on his job as a Los Angeles bus terminal worker (missed only the day on which he buried his wife)
Scott Crossfield, first test pilot to fly at Mach II
Tom Dundee, folk singer
Jane Jacobs, social critic
John Kenneth Galbraith, economist
Louis Rukeyser, business journalist
Jean-François Revel, French social critic
Floyd Patterson, boxer
Jaroslav Pelikan, scholar on Christianity
Lew Anderson (Clarabelle the Cow on Howdy Doody)
Frankie Thomas, actor (Space Cadet)
Senator Lloyd Bentsen (great one -- and Texas is largely a political sewer now)
Marshall Fenwick, study of popular culture

Desmond Decker, reggae singer
Leon Wiel 109, who won decorations for heroism in both WWI and WWII for France
Frank Muther, survivor of Bataan Death March who got a memorial started
Ken Lay, one of the biggest economic criminals ever (Enrob Corporation)
Aaron Spelling, RV producer
Arf Mardin, pop music figure
Syd Barrett, guitarist for Pink Floyd
Jim Baen, SF writer
June Allyson
Mickey Spillane, mystery writer
Elmer Hendl, one of the most decorated WWI military chaplains
Jack Warden, actor
Harry Oliveri, inventor of the Philly cheesesteak sandwich (medical nightmare)
Ta Mok, Khmer Rouge mass murderer (Roast in Hell!)
Pamela Waechter, murder victim
Elizabeth Schwartzkopf, opera singer
Susan Butcher, dog-driving champion at Iditarod
Arthur Lee, rock musician
James Van Allen, physicist (Van Allen radiation bands)
Alfredo Stroessner, Paraguayan dictator
Glenn Ford, actor
Steve Irwin, wildlife showman
Ann Richards, former Texas Governor (successor would be George W. Bush)
Jeff Cooper, rewrote the Marine Corps 'book' on the use of small arms
Ed Benedict, creator of The Flintstones
Freddy Fender, Tejano musician
Christopher Glenn, TV/radio journalist 
William Styron, novelist Sophie's Choice
Ed Bradley, TV journalist
Jack Williamson, SF writer
Jack Palance, actor
Milton Friedman, economist
Bob Altman, movie director
Boz Burrell, bassist
Jean Kirkpatrick, former Ambassador to the United Nations
Moses Hardy, last African-American veteran of WWI
Chilean dictator Pinochet (Roast in Hell!)
Elizabeth Bolden, then the oldest living person (116 in 2006)
Lamar Hunt, billionaire
Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records
James Brown, "Godfather of Soul"
US President Gerald R. Ford
Sadam Hussein, horrific tyrant, warmonger, and serial mass murderer. Roast in Hell! (I called him "Satan Hussein").
Peter Boyle, actor
Del Reeves, country music singer
Mamofuko Ando, inventor of ramen noodles
Yvonne de Carlo "Lily Munster"
Benny Parsons, auto racer and commentator
Art Buchwald, political cartoonist
world's oldest person (age 115 in 2007, WWI vet)
his successor, then 114 in 2007
Molly Ivins, liberal columnist in the lion's den for liberals (Texas)
Anna Nicole Smith, gold-digger
Lothar-Guenther Buchheim, author of Das Boot
Arthur Schlesinger, historian
Brad Delp, lead singer for Boston

My first post there:

Quote:Much delayed. I see Johnny Carson as one of the leading characters of the Silent Generation, a prime example of a memorable contributor to the American character.

The Silent may have had the largest collection of self-effacing comics, and as such types as Johnny Carson, Alan King, Bob Denver, and Richard Pryor leave the scene through death, we are going to miss them as we become more deadly in our seriousness in increasingly-dangerous time.

We need to poke fun at ourselves when egos bloat among people whose egos have no justification. But even without deaths we notice that the likes of Andy Griffith, Dick Van Dyke, Tim Conway, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, and Bill Cosby no longer creating the humanistic comedy that we once thought the norm.

The Silent, a generation that many of us remember from youth (I was born in 1955) are now... old.

Comedy is not as easy an art as it looks.

Jack Stone, eccentric character
Kurt Vonnegut, author
Boris Yeltsin, first President of the Russian Federation
David Halberstam, political critic
Bobby Puckett, novelty singer "Monster Mash"
Mstislav Rostropovich, cellist (first of my entries as an obituary -- others to get asterisks)*
Walter Schirra, astronaut
Jerry Falwell, television preacher
Phillip Kaiser, diplomat
Stanley Miller, biologist
Don "Mr. Wizard" Herbert, TV star
John Barber, tuba player
lady Bird Johnson, former US First Lady
Ingmar Bergman, great Swedish director
Tom Snyder, TV host
former King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan (couldn't the world have left well enough alone?)
Michelangelo Antonioni, Italian director
Bill Walsh, football coach (San Francisco 49ers)
Lee Hazlewood, singer-songwriter
Rocco Petrone, director of launch operations at NASA during the 1960s
E. Howard Hunt, political dirty work in Watergate
Brooke Astor, heiress and philanthropist
Leona Helmsley, entrepreneurial bully and convicted criminal for tax fraud
Noah Charles Pierce (dead link)
Richard Jewell, wrongly-accused of terrorist act
Luciano Pavarotti, opera tenor
Madeleine L'Engle, writer of children's books
Sir Tasker Williams, WW 2 Hero
Robert Jordan, fantasy writer
Marcel Marceau, mime
Lois Maxwell, actress
Robert Goulet, singer
Porter Wagoner, country music singer

Fup, senior cat at Powell's Book Store
Washoe, chimp who used sign language
Norman Mailer, writer
Paul Warfield Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima*
Beverly Sills, opera singer
Laraine Day, actress
second-to-last survivor of the RMS Titanic
Ira Levin, novelist*
Dick "Don't squeeze the Charmin" Wilson
Vladimir Kryuchkov, KGB chief and plotter against Gorbachev *
Evel Knievel, stunt motorcyclist

Quote:Two disparate, elderly figures of music:

Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)

It's been a bad year for classical music -- Mstislav Rostropovich, Beverly Sills, Luciano Pavarotti, and now Stockhausen.

-- and

Ike Turner (1931-2007)*

Floyd Red Crow Westerman (dead link)
Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria
Dan Fogelberg, singer-songwriter

Bill Strauss, 60; Political Insider Who Stepped Over Into Comedy http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...121802158.html
(the William Strauss of the theory)

Oscar Peterson, 1925-2007 *


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  Word Filter
Posted by: Webmaster - 05-13-2016, 09:55 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

I installed a word filer to block a few profane words; those words will cause some networks/firewalls to block the site.


Edit 05/14/16

After receiving feedback and doing further research I decided to disable the filter.  I ask that poster avoid inappropriate language in subject lines.

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