Friday open thread for those in need of such.

It’s yours….

Standard FYI clause: I generally wait about 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would typically open a thread (roughly noon, EST, back when such a thing was typical…!), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

114 Comments

  1. Much thanks for the thread, not least because the ‘new and improved’ Disqus won’t let me read the comments, much less participate. Seems it only works with the most recent version of browsers, and the work computer (and my laptop, for that matter) are running XP, which isn’t compatible with new browsers. So I’m blocked from all but the actual article. Spiffy.

    • It’s your own fault you didn’t switch to a user-friendly freeware Linux OS.

      But in the meanwhile, I share your hatred of DISQUS and their self-destructing urges. DISQUS!!!

      • I’m pretty sure my employer won’t let me do that to his computer. Hell, he won’t let me have Solitaire on this computer.

        • koolaide

           /  September 21, 2012

          yeah. I’m screwed at home where I’ve got xp. at work and the loaner laptop I’ve got newer but still. blech.

        • By the way, TNC has a thread up about the commenting system, and I quoted you as not being able to comment anymore.

    • caoil

       /  September 21, 2012

      Oh ho, is that the problem? Maybe when we switch up to Windows 7 I’ll have more luck…

    • Captain_Button

       /  September 21, 2012

      Other “features”:

      It no longer tells you how many comments you are seeing like “250 of 300”.

      When you click “load more comments” you get something like another 50 instead of another 200.

      It takes even longer to load and is more slow to scroll.

      They have done something to the indentation of replies, not sure what. this might be a good thing if it prevents long back and forth subthreads from getting thinner and thinner.

      • I just complained politely on Twitter. Fingers crossed I have more power than I think I do.

      • koolaide

         /  September 21, 2012

        There’s also a different “auto organize” for posts. The new default I found when I went was “newest” which did seem to screw w/ the indents of comments. and also? upvoting sucks. sucks tons.

        • Hate upvoting. Really, really hate it. I have a feeling I’ll stop commenting if it continues, and that I won’t be the only one.

          Wow, that would suck. That’s my community, and it got turned into an 8th grade lunch room overnight.

          • koolaide

             /  September 21, 2012

            I suppose that I can avoid the practical impact of upvoting by staying in the ‘oldest first’ view, right? please tell me that’s right?

            Also, as taylor16 points out at the mothership, the limit on nesting only to 4 is highly problematic for the Horde and our “To The Margins!!!!” commenting

            • taylor16

               /  September 21, 2012

              If you switch to “oldest first,” it seems to stay that way as you click in and out of various posts. If the regulars stick to that, it should really negate any “lunchroom cool kids table” type of pattern from happening. If trolls or newbies want to come by and wreak havoc, the people on “oldest first” probably won’t even notice.

              Also, yeah, as I said over there – we don’t have to be screaming and fighting to have comments go 5 or 6 columns deep. I think that’ll be the major problem.

          • TNC feels that we’re mature enough to handle it.

            We’ll see.

          • corkingiron

             /  September 21, 2012

            I really hope you won’t, EE. The Khan claims to like that function because it makes his mod job easier. SInce that is likely to extend the life of the Mothership, upvoting is something I’m prepared to live with.

          • Dex

             /  September 21, 2012

            I feel like this is an uncharitable characterization. If your take is true, then the previous iteration might have been at best a 9th grade lunch room. This idea that the previous incarnation didn’t have in-jokes and flagging and dnf and popularity contests and all the like is just simply false. Let’s not forget that it was possible before to sort by best rating and popular now in the old system, and that we can sort by old/new in the new system as well. I mean, I get that people think it’s a downgrade, but the caricatures being drawn are getting pretty out of hand.

            The guy’s trying the best he can and I guess I thought we owed him a big of support, even if it does turn out to be terrible.

            The general rule of all websites is that ALL comment sections suck. And yet it seems just fine here and just fine over there, despite drastically different commenting systems.

    • watson42

       /  September 21, 2012

      I have the same problem, along with *serious* company-enable security enabled on my browser. It sucks. Plus I get really spotty signal on my smart phone from my desk, so I can’t even use that. Damn you, Disqus!

      Also: Help, help, I’m being repressed!

      • Captain_Button

         /  September 21, 2012

        Bloody Pixel-Stained Technopeasant!

        • watson42

           /  September 21, 2012

          Look, just because some watery tart gave *you* the latest browser….

    • Electronic_Neko

       /  September 21, 2012

      Oh, is that it? We just did some kind of patch to IE and I though that’s why everything was weird.

    • Is it wrong that I’m terrified my endless blogflogging will be downvoted?

      • watson42

         /  September 21, 2012

        Not gonna happen. Come on, fashion! Doctor Who! HATS, for god’s sake!

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  September 21, 2012

      I have had that particular Disqus format on other sites. With much lower traffic, it’s OK.

      But I *hate* the downvoting aspect of it. It doubles the echo-chamber effect, because on any topic of any intensity partisans mindlessly downvote people on the other side *in addition to* mindlessly “liking”/upvoting their own partisans.

      And then making posts migrate based on vote? Does nothing but move snark and echo chamber winners to the top (and cute animal videos, I guess, for a silver lining).

      Seriously dislike.

      • It’s exactly that sort of thing that my own mothership is trying to do with its comments. Where I work, I think that’s valuable, because there’s no strong tradition of honest engagement, good faith argument, or in fact even basic literacy in the comments. But for a joint like TNC’s… I’m not a fan.

    • mythopoeia

       /  September 21, 2012

      I have an XP computer that’s running Firefox 15.0.1 with no difficulties. Can you get FF to work?

      • I can give it a go on the laptop at home (that one also has Mozilla, although I don’t use it, so I can try that.) But putting new software on the work computer? Not happening.

        • Jetamors

           /  September 21, 2012

          Do you have USB access? I think you can run FF or Chrome off a USB stick without actually installing anything on the computer.

    • efgoldman

       /  September 21, 2012

      Seems it only works with the most recent version of browsers, and the work computer (and my laptop, for that matter) are running XP, which isn’t compatible with new browsers. So I’m blocked from all but the actual article. Spiffy.

      Its more likely your employer’s security settings. I can read front pages at the Atlantic and Mother Jones just fine, but no comments. Something in the company’s security settings thinks disqus is social media, which we may not access.

      • No, we’re in the same situation, I think. I can read TNC’s articles. But instead of comments, I get a message from Disqus telling me I must use one of the following upgraded browsers.

  2. DISQUS!!!

    ELVES! TOOLS!

    RISE UP!

  3. David L

     /  September 21, 2012

    One of the quotes below is from Peggy Noonan, one is from Rick Perry. I’ll let you guess which is which.

    “Earlier this week, I called [the Romney campaign] incompetent, but only because I was being polite. I really meant ‘rolling calamity.'”

    “Church and state separation is the devil’s work.”

    • That’s too easy. Rick Perry can’t spell ‘incompetent’.

      • True, ‘dat.

      • David L

         /  September 21, 2012

        Then it’s time for round two: What is the nationality of the person who said this?

        “Let’s be blunt and acknowledge the biggest threat to the [American] economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over the Republican party.”

        (Answer here)

        • Chinese.

          (Now going to check).

        • Well, I was not expecting that!

          • David L

             /  September 21, 2012

            I was not surprised by someone from that country having that opinion, but I was surprised by someone in that job stating it that bluntly.

            • ExpatJK

               /  September 21, 2012

              This was really done for the local audience. Labor has been down in the polls for months (and would lose badly if the election were held today), and they are trying to frame the Coalition (Abbott’s party) as crazy out of touch right wingers a la the Tea Party. I do find the Coalition to be crazy out of touch right wingers, but the Tea Party they aren’t.

        • efgoldman

           /  September 21, 2012

          Ozzie, but I read the original post this morning.

  4. Add me to the list of people who aren’t fond of the new Disqus format…

    But on to the blog flogging! Yesterday I posted a piece about whether the shape of the glass you’re drinking out of makes a difference in what you taste. After some testing, I’m provisionally willing to say ‘yes’.

    http://cocktailchem.blogspot.com/2012/09/does-glassware-really-make-difference.html

  5. Project Runway Recap: http://wp.me/p10bqa-317
    Phillip Treacy fashion show! http://wp.me/p10bqa-30G

    • koolaide

       /  September 21, 2012

      omg. I saw that pig helps goat thing yesterday. so hysterical. I want to know so much more about it. where is this mythical land where goats & pigs hang out together, swim, and forage while a man films and declares heros?

      • …a petting zoo?

        According to the iO9 post, at any rate.

        • koolaide

           /  September 21, 2012

          gotcha. I saw the vid at buzzfeed (I think) and didn’t properly investigate further.

          • But maybe it’s a petting zoo in a mythical land. Look, anything’s possible, really.

            • koolaide

               /  September 21, 2012

              I often need reminders that anything is possible. Sometimes I get caught in the self-limiting trap of thinking only a very few options are available.

      • Electronic_Neko

         /  September 21, 2012

        (But why didn’t the jerk with the camera just put it down and rescue the poor little goat?)

        • koolaide

           /  September 21, 2012

          Maybe the same reason Wonder Woman flies an invisible plane but yet is still visible?

        • A point made by iO9 as well!

          I got the powerful impression that he’d seen this drama play out before (goats are really stupid), and likely would have saved the goat had the pig failed in his/her mission. (Or he likes young goat on a spit, so wouldn’t have).

  6. koolaide

     /  September 21, 2012

    I am immature. I am still laughing about Mitt’s make-up job for his Univision interview.

    Also, too. I *really* hope the Romney flailing helps down ticket Dems. Really.

    • efgoldman

       /  September 21, 2012

      I may have posted this yesterday, but the greatest comment on the story at Buzzfeed:
      I am the Juan Percent!”

      • koolaide

         /  September 21, 2012

        there’s a mexican mitt twitter feed now… it’s amusing.

  7. In more pleasant news, my preferred radio station, WTMD (streaming at http://www.wtmd.org) is pledge-driving. That part isn’t pleasant. The good part is that to promote it, they’re asking listeners to create 3 song ‘mixtapes’ and they’re playing the ones they like. I tossed one in yesterday – ‘Songs I Heard for the First Time on Homicide’. Apparently, the announcers fought over who got to play it! The morning guy won, but I didn’t get the e-mail about it playing until after the fact. Still managed to hear the back half of my mixtape by accident. It was:

    Barenaked Ladies, ‘What A Good Boy’
    Morphine, ‘Buena’
    The Iguanas, ‘Boom Boom Boom’

    They announced my name and my Homicide-love on the air, then played Best Coast (TNC alert) and a new band called Electric Guest, which I mention because the other day someone on the OTAN bemoaned the lack of good R&B music out there. He must have missed these guys. So an excellent musical morning commute for me.

    • Aw, I love stuff like that! Such fun. (Also, your Homicide love is clear indication of your general excellence. FYI, and etc).

      • 🙂
        I have a handy book, ‘Homicide: Life on the Streets, The Ultimate Companion’, which, while not ultimate (it was published before Season 6 was done, so only 5 1/2 seasons are covered) is chock-full of good info. Like what songs were played in every episode.

  8. caoil

     /  September 21, 2012

    Opinions on preserving tomatoes?

    So far all we have for our crop is a zillion cherry tomatoes (though the full-size ones will ripen soon, I hope). I’ve seen a bunch of sites that suggest just a simple washing & freezing and bagging will be fine. Has anyone tried that and been successful? Or was too much flavour lost? Alternatively, I might do something else, recommended by a friend – he roasts them in the oven with olive oil and garlic for 24 hours on very, very low heat (like 60-70 degrees). They don’t preserve it, because they usually just eat it within a couple of days, but it can be frozen and then thawed for use.

    I don’t want to go through the day-long boiling sort of canning for the tomatoes, so any other suggestions for things that have worked would be gratefully accepted.

    • watson42

       /  September 21, 2012

      I’ve done the washing & freezing thing with normal-sized tomatoes and wasn’t thrilled with the result – they lost something in the freezing though I’ve had success with freezing things like herbs and hot peppers. It may be that they didn’t freeze quickly enough. If you spread out the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet or something to cool them down quickly it would probably work better.

      • David L

         /  September 21, 2012

        I might also recommend the Alton Brown method. Which was 1. refrigerate the items overnight, 2. put dry ice in a cooler (but do not seal it air tight or it might explode), 3. after the air in the cooler has a chance to get cold, add tomatoes. Allow to sit until frozen solid, then quickly package and move to a standard freezer.

  9. watson42

     /  September 21, 2012

    Random thoughts for Friday:

    Open plan office spaces suck. Especially for anyone with any sort of PTSD or hypervigilance. Or who handles confidential information. Or who needs to be on the phone.

    This year’s apple crop has been pretty awesome so far. I want to go apple picking and bake lots of pie.

    The amount of crazy coming out of the woodwork because of the election is….remarkable. My fear is that the crazy will just double down if they don’t win.

    My COBRA and my contract position will end at the same time. I am trying hard to stay productive and not freak out. But I think I need to buy some whisky before then.

    Lastly, I miss you guys.

    • Sadly I don’t think bits of my order from The Whisky Exchange can be dropped at your location as they wing their way towards Portland. Otherwise I’d be happy to contribute to the cause. A rain of minis!

      • watson42

         /  September 21, 2012

        Thanks! I have fond hopes of someday being in geographical proximity with you so we can have an epic whisky tasting somewhere. 🙂 Perhaps at a scientific meeting somewhere…

  10. Romney is trying to dump his taxes on a Friday after the worst week in his campaign.
    It won’t work:
    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/romney-artificially-inflated-2011-taxes-after-decrying-idea
    Unless of course he gaffes really hard over the weekend….

    • Electronic_Neko

       /  September 21, 2012

      Wait, wait, wait. After being ADAMANT that he wouldn’t release his taxes and making such a big deal about standing by his principles, he’s going to cave?

      I guess it was a lose/lose scenario for him, but geez. Stick to your word on something, even if it’s a stupid thing.

    • This at least suggests some bottom-line level of campaign competence. This is exactly when this news should be coming out if you want to blunt its impact.

      • This is what we’ve been reduced to as an electorate. Searching for “bottom-line level of campaign competence” from one of the contenders for the White House. Oh, Mittens.

    • koolaide

       /  September 21, 2012

      Is he really going to release all his taxes? AND give everyone a weekend to go through them?

      • koolaide

         /  September 21, 2012

        (now sees story & Craig’s post. Ah, so it’s only 2011. Bah. It’s the big group we want…)

        • Well apparently he’s going to give estimates for his tax rates for the last 20 years. Whatever that means, I have no idea (it’s in the form of a letter from his accountants, so at least it’s not just a random string of numbers that Mitt pulled out of his ass.) Honestly, if you’re not going to release the full returns, I don’t understand why you’d bother doing this half-assed tax rates thing. It rebuts Harry Reid, I guess, but it also seriously suggests that there is something in the full returns that he wants to hide.

          • I keep thinking I can’t be anymore gobsmacked by the weirdness and shooting-self-in-foot-ness, and then: BOOM.

          • koolaide

             /  September 21, 2012

            I think it must be an attempt to refute Reid’s claims. Otherwise there is no point to it. And it re-enforces the fact that Mitt just won’t release the tax returns. Is there any chance he’d get asked about the tax returns (or their absence brought up) during the debates? I’m going with a big NO but surely….

            • I disagree, I think it’ll come up. Mittens will give a boilerplate response of paying “just what he owed, not a penny more” and the President, not wanting to come off as a bully, will not pursue the issue. On some level, the terribleness of the Romney campaign in all sorts of other dimensions has allowed him to get away with the tax thing. Personally, I’m happy to have the Obama campaign talking about the 47% thing instead anyway. Once that happened, Mitt’s personal finances seemed less important, since it’s him explicitly saying what his taxes can only hint at (that he’s a sneering plutocrat who’s contemptuous of working-class Americans, and plans to make the lives of his rich peers much more comfortable at the expense of the majority of the citizenry.)

              • koolaide

                 /  September 21, 2012

                welll, yeah, the 47% thing is a much bigger boon (fingers still crossed) for Obama than a document dump. but still…

          • baiskeli

             /  September 21, 2012

            USA: We want your tax returns.
            Mitt: Hell No!
            USA: We want your tax returns.
            Mitt: Hell No!
            USA: We want your tax returns.
            Mitt: OK, here is a hand-written piece of paper signed by me stating I paid my taxes.
            USA: Umm, are you serious?

    • Bob Jones' Neighbor

       /  September 21, 2012

      “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.”
      — F. Scott Fitzgerald

    • Mitt’s not even doing a clean job of dumping the tax info:

      1) only giving 2011, where the expectations are that he’s got to release a full decade’s worth AT LEAST, like all the other candidates
      2) only giving a SUMMARY memo of the 1999-2009 range of tax returns, which doesn’t prove much of anything. And no, having it notarized doesn’t help
      3) the info he gives for 2011 – where he’s somehow adjusted his tax payments upward so that it doesn’t look as bad – contradicts what he’s said before about not paying more than he had to.

  11. baiskeli

     /  September 21, 2012

    Can I just say the new Disqus interface is about as appealing as the Bubonic Plague. Seriously is their business model ‘piss off your users every few months’?

    Also, our older car (the one I use and we nick-named ‘Smokey’) died a couple of days ago (one cyclinder gone, another on the way, needs new engine, not worth it). Given that, I’m junking it and going carless for a few months (bike it, public transportation) (my wife drives the other car). I really only drive 2000-3000 miles a year. The car served me well but I’m sad because I have really grown attached to it. Probably get a used Mazda3 hatchback (2008-2009) in a few months.

    • Captain_Button

       /  September 21, 2012

      Seriously is their business model ‘piss off your users every few months’?

      It works for Facebook….

    • koolaide

       /  September 21, 2012

      condolences on the car. I had a similarly beloved old car give up the ghost this year.

      • baiskeli

         /  September 21, 2012

        Yeah, this car was good to us, and was comfy, sporty and just plain good.

    • watson42

       /  September 21, 2012

      I was thinking of you and your car the other morning whilst I waited at the autoshop. My car hit 10 years old, and it’s like someone flicked a switch – small things keep going wrong with it. Wtf Honda? It’s like the car has a secret self-destruct timer built in.

      If/when I find a permanent job, I’m thinking replacing my car with a used light pickup. But no more Hondas for me.

      • baiskeli

         /  September 21, 2012

        So I have a 2000 Acura Integra (the one that just went to the great Highway in the sky), and a 2007 Honda Civic.

        I have to say, we are hating the Honda Civic, only 40,000 miles on it and we’ve been having issues, now we have another with the engine rattling and a couple of dashboard lights that just burnt out. grrrr!!!.

        The Acura up until its recent demise gave us nary a problem.

        So the Honda Civic problems, and the crappy service I received from the Honda dealer when something in the transmission broke a month after the warranty run out guarantees I’m never buying a Honda product again.

        There was a time when Honda stood for reliability, but it seems since the mid-2000s they’ve gone downhill. Our in-laws bought a new Honda Accord in 2004 and had so many problems with it. They sold it and bought a used 2004 Mercedes. Now, German cars are not known for reliability, but the Mercedes has been miles ahead of the Accord in reliability.

        • watson42

           /  September 21, 2012

          Yeah, exactly. My sister has a Honda that’s from the mid-90’s with 190K miles and still going strong. My 2003 Civic has only about 60K miles and I’ve had to put a couple thousand dollars into it over the last few months, not including replacing the hybrid battery three months after they told me it was fine AND one month after the warranty ran out.

          • I’ve got a ’97 Civic HX with 250K. It very nearly didn’t pass smog this last round, however. We’ve had to put some serious money into it, more maintenance-stuff than failure-stuff but the only time it left us on the side of the road was the day we discovered the low fuel light had stopped working. I looove it, even if it smells a little and drives less like a car and more like a collection of car parts all moving in roughly similar directions. (It’s been hit a few times.)

        • I drive a ’96 Saturn. It’s not fancy, but it gets me there and back–and I’ve had zero problems. Every so often I take it in to my very wonderful mechanic who does a once over and fixes and tightens things. In the last 2 years I’ve spent $400 on maintenance and $200 on oil changes.

        • My 2001 VW GTi has been shockingly good to me. Including the 80K mile mandatory work, I’ve spend well under $2000 in maintenance on it over almost 6 years of ownership. And it’d be half that if the catalytic convertor hadn’t gone out just after the warranty period. And I’m the fifth owner. I know some of it is just luck, but it’s been really, really good to me. And the intake noises are fabulous as well.

      • Thankfully mine is still at ~90%, but there are some little things going. The backup lights aren’t getting properly engaged. The automatic dimming rearview mirror has gotten a bit uneven. Nothing big, but I do need to schedule some repairs.

      • Ian

         /  September 22, 2012

        Light truck: My wife’s 2002 4-cylinder Tacoma is the greatest truck ever made. It blew a coolant hose once when it was 50 below. That’s it. Nothing else has gone wrong ever.

    • I said this to Emily on Twitter, but Disqus has actually had this layout as an option for months. xoJane’s been using it for a while, and I think it was actually June or July when I disabled it and reverted to the classic look on my own site.

      In this case, the fault isn’t so much with Disqus as it is with The Atlantic for switching without warning and without reasoning.

      (Although actually, I think on Atlantic sub-sites OTHER than TNC’s, the combination of up- and down-voting may actually help clear up the worst messes. But the low-contrast look is hard to read and follow.)

      • Sorry, I’ve been avoiding my @ replies for a little bit and didn’t see it. I’ll redirect my/ The Horde’s irritation.

      • But the low-contrast look is hard to read and follow.

        Can you choose your own text color?

  12. VlogBrother, co-Crash Course Founder, and Nerdfighter Extraordinaire Hank Green explains why YOU.MUST.VOTE.

    I❤ the VlogBrothers so much.

  13. Captain_Button

     /  September 21, 2012

    A Conservative History of the United States

    1500s: The American Revolutionary War begins: “The reason we fought the revolution in the sixteenth century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown.”—Rick Perry

    1607: First welfare state collapses: “Jamestown colony, when it was first founded as a socialist venture, dang near failed with everybody dead and dying in the snow.”—Dick Armey

    1619-1808: Africans set sail for America in search of freedom: “Other than Native Americans, who were here, all of us have the same story.”—Michele Bachmann

    I thought the Jamestown colony was a bunch of gentleman entrepreneurs who planned to get rich despite not knowing how to farm or being willing to do demeaning work. And somehow ended up starving.

    I’d call it “Too many chiefs and not enough Indians” except…

    VIa the Daily DIsh: Ideology Poisons Everything

  14. Look, I know everything I’ve posted over the past couple of days has been awful, but here’s something sweet: https://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/in-which-your-host-brings-you-something-sweet-and-funny/ And funny!

  15. I just left this in the complaints thread:

    I want your job to be easier, I truly do. I say that with all sincerity, and I’m so grateful for all you’ve done all this time.

    But I agree with everyone who says that the new layout is difficult to read and follow, and I think that the cultural changes that will be created on these boards by up/down voting will lead me to no longer comment or engage with comments. Which is not really your concern, but it makes me sad.

    I’m sorry, this sucks.

    • If they want to make a shift, I’d rather they did away with the ‘like’ system rather than adding downvotes. The topics that get discussed around there are obviously controversial and there are probably lots of people who would be willing to downvote stuff they don’t agree with rather than engaging with it. Maybe there are moderator tools to reverse that, but it seems like more work for TNC, not less.

      • I had gone back in time to reread “On Labor” and its discussion the other day — can you imagine if we’d had downvotes when that hit? Ye gods.

        • It makes my head hurt.

          I loved your comment re: “from my experience, across the web…”. Because let’s face it – you have some experience across the web.

      • From his past statements on the subject of comments, and the whole huge post he had awhile back about how he was thinking about changing the comment system, I think this is the only available ground for him that doesn’t require abandoning Disqus, which is more likely than not an impossible choice given that The Atlantic is not a wholly owned subsidiary of TNC Enterprises, Inc. This is the closest thing to his dinner party framing that is available to him.

        The “cream rises to the top” aspect of up and down-voting is I’m sure what is attractive to him. That a user has to specifically and deliberately view the comments arranged by time of post, and that only a very limited number of them are shown, means that the draw on his time is practically nil. Anyone who’s going to see a seriously down-voted comment has gone out of their way to do so, so the urgency of moderation is greatly reduced.

        On top of that, it is a useful way to make sure the comments he does engage with are worth engaging with. I say this as someone that recently got smacked by him directly for damaging the conversation with a comment I posted fairly shortly after a blog post went live. If this system was in effect, the comment would have been down-voted to oblivion and he wouldn’t have bothered to waste his time or attention on it. It would have been shoved out on the street outside the dinner party.

        There is something to the idea that up and down-voting encourages groupthink. I just don’t see how the previous system didn’t do the same thing in a much harder to manage way for the people who actually have to manage the forums.

  16. koolaide

     /  September 21, 2012

    Am totally enjoying the ‘History of the World in 100 Objects” series from BBC 4Radio — it’s from a couple of years ago but I hadn’t listened to it before.

    • It’s a great series. The website can be fun to play with as well, but there’s something about learned British people speaking to me that trumps the rest.

  17. Neocortex

     /  September 21, 2012

    I thought Emily might appreciate this Occupy Rosh Hashanah sermon (both text and video at that link), delivered in Zucotti Park during the Occupy first anniversary protests. I know Emily has some ambivalence about Occupy but she’ll probably enjoy the sermon itself.🙂

    Two people got arrested during that for burning incense while praying. There was a kosher vegan meal, pomegranates, apples, and honey. People had to pass prayer books over the barricades because park security said the boxes were too large to be let in.

    The next day, 180 people were arrested, and most of those were beaten in the process. Undoubtedly some of those people are on the video. But that night people were celebrating.

  18. cofax

     /  September 24, 2012

    Well, as a result of the changes at The Atlantic, the comment threads there are now read-only and unthreaded for me.

    Sigh. It’s not my fault my employer has us locked into a proprietary version of Windows 2007, with Javascript disabled!

    • Oh man, I’m so sorry!

      I think we can bank on TNC not doing daily OTANs anymore. Whenever I host one, make sure you come hang with us!