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joined 2022 September 05 23:29:36 UTC


User ID: 756



0 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 05 23:29:36 UTC


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User ID: 756

I think we’re also just at a less interesting place in the overall culture war. (And I like to hope are spending less time at our computers that 2020-21, anyway?)

This seems very common in media that isn't good enough to be well liked by either men or women, or where they try to have a basically masculine plot, but with a Mary Sue lead, as though that would appeal to large segments of either sex.

This is the first I've heard of True Detective, Season 4. I generally like Fargo because it's a good mix of detective stuff, characterization, and interesting cinematography and music, along with a tiny bit of fantasy. The TD4 trailer looks like a less interesting Fargo knock off.

Do you and your peers have families and houses with yards to accommodate families? Activities and education for the kids? Those (along with certain health issues) are things that can take up any amount of money you're willing to throw at them. I probably make less than you, but am currently spending much of it on a mortgage for a house with a decent amount of space and two cars to get around the kind of area with a decent amount of space.

Buying nice "vintage" clothing at thrift stores, both living near the sort of thrift store that regularly has nice things, and having the knowledge and patience to find the nice things also comes across as extremely bougie, with a bit of hipster thrown in. More so than just buying the sweater new, something someone who makes a lot less might be proud of, and see as an accomplishment. I remember someone commenting about how she bought nice boots once, and realizing she was an adult now, and could buy a $200 pair of boots she had always wanted now! Which was empowering for her.

while remaining essentially the same in their perception.

Did they?

I don't know what clothing you and your wife wear, but in general is seems like clothing primarily signals things about youth/age/region/tastes/subculture, and signals about wealth very little unless your wife is buying those bespoke ballgowns from the Oscars or something. Plumber is by far the most enthusiastic describer of clothing in the SSC-sphere, and is credibly an actual plumber.

There's a certain class of mostly older women who wear large pieces of turquoise jewelry. It's especially common among realtors in their professional photography. As far as I can tell, it signals "fussy and hard to work with," but I assume they're going for something else. Regionally sensitive PMC? I'm not exactly sure, but it's consistent enough to be meaningful and intentional. Turquoise jewelry is not so cheap that people don't think about buying it, but not so expensive that even a burger flipper working their first job couldn't save up and buy an elaborate piece if they really wanted to. Or couldn't get it at a second hand shop at a steep discount. But they generally don't, because it's a signal from a previous generation, from a time when a person could spend 10% of their income on clothing, and actually project a meaningful image. From a time when people inherited things for reasons other than nostalgia, and there weren't a bunch of china tea sets in the second hand stores for $10.

Keeping slim and in shape later in life signals status, and it does seem like there's a trend of people over 30 who want to show how young they still are training for and running marathons and climbing mountains. Especially the training part. our user name seems to fit into that pattern?

BMW 3 Series

I looked this up. It just looks like a sedan? A nice-ish sedan. I'm surprised you're getting comments on that car, were they joking? Is it because you have to find a special mechanic or something? I'm trying to recall people around me talking about cars, and other than comments about "compensating" or "mid life crisis," it's mostly been for hobby cars that they clearly put some personal attention into, like turquoise muscle cars that people decorate for car parades. I have heard some shade thrown at the big trucks that look like they haven't ever been used to haul anything, and likely never will, but I do also see a lot of expensive trucks genuinely hauling things (RV looking trailers if they're well off, but still), so it can be hard to guess.

the money seems to evaporate into nights out, travel, concerts, and house renovations.

My workplace tends lower middle class, with less money than yours, very far from the coasts, and I have been surprised by how many people talk about taking their kids to Disney World, especially, and also parties with a lot of other kids at trampoline sorts of places. It's not that we don't go on trips ourselves, or wouldn't go to Disney World on principle, but these are the same people talking about how they hope they can make it to their next paycheck, as though credit is not a thing. Are they not using credit because they're worried they'll go too far if they start, or just exaggerating about needing to wait until actual payday?

And what fascinates me is that one set of consumption patterns is judged as normal, even blue collar, while another is judged as fancy, bougie, aristocratic.

Sure. Construction contractors sometimes make a decent amount of money, but they will buy pickup trucks and take their kids to Disney World with it. They will not buy nice suites, because where would they wear them? Going to the opera costs the same as going to three regular movies, but then you have to sit through an opera. Visibly training for running events is extremely bougie.

Blindsight, because people have been mentioning it here and other boards a lot lately. So far (20%) I think I mostly like it, but am having trouble imagining a lot of the descriptions, especially of the ship and the planet thing they're observing.

I think there's something to this.

There's some enthusiasm from my parents' generation for Tony Hillerman's novels, set in the Navajo Nation, especially because he was a careful observer and puts in a lot of interesting local details. There's a TV adaptation from a couple of years ago that, in general, looks rather good (I haven't watched it because cop shows aren't my thing), so the top hits on Google are things like this:

WINDOW ROCK-Despite fine acting, suspense and entertainment featured in the first episodes of the AMC mystery series “Dark Winds,” overall the show misses the mark when it comes to accurately portraying Navajo language and culture, say some Diné experts.

Navajo is one of the most difficult languages in the world for outsiders to learn. That's why it was used instead of code during WWII. Also, speakers like to teach it wrong so they can laugh about it (source: my mom was living on the Reservation for a while. She is not bitter about it, and figured they're entitled to their fun) The Navajo youth most interested in careers like acting are least likely to learn it, because that would require growing up with their grandparents, herding sheep or something. There is not a large pool of Navajo speakers who are also attractive actors. And yet:

One thing learned in the first episode is that if a non-Diné actor wants to depict a Navajo character, they need to have Navajo language lines down and support to do that. “C’mon Hollywood, do better,” said Clarissa Yazzie, who is also a popular social media influencer. In a TikTok critique, Yazzie spelled out how some of the actors’ mispronunciation of words changed their meaning to the point of distraction and shock.

Lol, "social media influencer" as representative of traditional culture. The lesson is mostly just not to try.

I think there's something to this, and that it's unfortunate. American Indian culture is often quite interesting.

I do like what the Ojibwe adjacent areas have been doing in Minnesota, with "Indian Education" teachers in the schools, both academically supporting native youth, but also making popped wild rice and leading field trips to the art and culture exhibits, leading plant walks, and inviting drum circles to assemblies. It adds regional flavor, which seems good. Not that (clearly!) Minnesota doesn't have their own problems, but Ojibwe teachers and artists are, on he whole, doing good work.

That might have been too salty, it's a mixed bag.

The Santa Fe Museum Hill Indian Arts & Culture museum is quite good, especially when they have a traveling exhibit up. There was an excellent glass art exhibit a couple of years ago, and the current Dine (Navajo) weaving display is also quite good. https://www.indianartsandculture.org/current?&eventID=5406 They are, especially, very good at things like lighting an integrating a bit of technology in a way that improves the experience, rather than having a bunch of broken tablets embedded in signs, as I've sometimes seen. They have a couple of other spaces with also excellent lighting and use of color to improve the experience.

I've mostly just been feeling like the older museums have a lot of interesting reproductions and scenes, and the newer ones tend to have a lot of flat panels with words and images that might as well have been a website (would be better as a website!), but it could just be based on where I personally have visited.

There was a recent change to the "Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act" which has led to several of the best natural history museum museums simply shutting down their Native American exhibits last week, rather than (what I would naively expect, based on the title) removing human remains from display or something. For instance, The Field Museum papered and curtained over their displays. The American Museum of Natural History is closing two exhibit halls.

This seems like the sort of rule that looks like it might make sense initially, of not grave digging and talking to descendants, until everyone is suddenly reminded that archeology largely is grave digging, and finding descendants is often fraught, with plenty of Tribal Council politics even if a museum can figure out the right authorities to talk to.

I can't tell if this was the intention of the President's Office when they passed the rule, and how much will be left after everything settles (or if it won't settle, and everything will just sit in storage awaiting a change of zeitgeist).

Admittedly, I already mostly go to the local natural history museum for the animatronic dinosaur, and my state has lots of Pueblo Ruins museums, but they're not very good, and run in partnership with the Native American communities. It isn't clear how this will affect locally interesting museums about communities not continuously inhabited since the most archeologically interesting period, such as the Dickson Mounds museum (I recommend stopping by if you're in the area!). Their most interesting parts for non-archeologists are landscape, reproductions and dioramas anyway, so perhaps not much. The Milwaukee Natural History Museum has an unusually enjoyable Native American section (very good in general, go if you're in the area!), but iirc it was also mostly reproductions and dioramas as well.

Ultimately, I suppose it will probably not deteriorate the experience all that much for non-archeologists once the dust settles, but will be one more step of history museums in general toward irrelevance.

I like podcasts for driving, cleaning, and weeding. I sort of like them for painting, but only fun fluffy ones, serious podcasts are more stressful when enagaging in creative handwork then when driving or cleaning, perhaps because I have no illusions about liking the latter activities.


I have fairly specific tastes in fun, which tend to revolve around "adventure." The adventure doesn't have to be distant or expensive, but it does have to be surprising (I once had a nice little adventure getting stuck in a snowy ditch in an acquaintance's neighborhood). Once my husband and I got stranded in a distant state due to a polar vortex, and just kept driving around, finding a place to stay each nice. It was great fun.

This is much more difficult and expensive with young children.

America has a great many good qualities, but opportunities for socially interesting spontaneity (especially with children and no close relatives nearby!) are not among them, and my husband and I tend to experience that as grueling sameness.

We'll probably just continue to be fairly boring while the kids are little, I guess?

I really enjoyed The Righteous Gemstones, largely for this reason. They're all living and filming in South Carolina, and the attention to cultural details is great.

One possible framing, seen in Neil Howe's writings, is that there are two different kinds of "strife" periods, and they tend to alternate. The kind we saw in the 70s (and the Great Awakening) he and William Strauss termed a "prophetic" generation in young adulthood/artistic zenith, and the one we have now (and the 1930s - 1940s, and the Civil War) they term a "hero" generation in young to mid adulthood. The "prophets" tend to be more cultural and belief oriented, producing some interesting preachers, dreamers, stories, revivals, culturally important festivals, and whatnot. The "heroes" are more likely to produce moral certainty and the kind of war everyone (who recounts it later) is really sure included a Right Side of History.

I don't know whether these trends are real or illusory, and will not defend it, but find it interesting and suggestive.

They do this, it's called student teaching.

Some states do let people start teaching before earning their degree, and some do allow the degree to be from a much cheaper community college. My daughter's pre-K teacher just sent a letter home about this, asking to include activities with the kids in her (regional college) coursework. I am unworried, it is pre-K, I can teach her to read and count myself if it comes to that.

Anyway, it's true, but not any more true than for at least half of jobs currently requiring a college degree. An admin assistant doesn't really need to study... whatever it is that the median low level administrator studied in college, yet here we are.

It seems like there's been a bit of a grandpa core trend going lately. I first noticed it when a couple years ago most of the baby clothes (for both sexes) were suddenly little grey cardigans with low saturation knit pants. Then the women's sections were selling waistcoats with their softly tinted cable cardigans. And the Swift song, of course. Coatigans are apparently still on offer (eg https://www.lemaire.fr/products/felted-cardi-coat-dark-mustard-fall-winter)

Personally, I've been enjoying the recent iterations on knitwear (I am a woman, but the textiles on the sweaters and even low cost t-shirts my husband buys have shifted noticeably lately). I buy a lot of stuff from Uniqlo, which has been advertising its "3-D Knit" manufacturing process over the past couple of years, and I do like some of the results, especially the edges, and the way it handles transitions between different stitches. It looks like I am not imagining things, there are articles about a technological movement away from knitting then sewing bolts of fabric, towards machines that knit in the round and waste less thread, apparently starting in 1999, as well as need less labor to piece together. Looking at the (fairly inexpensive) sweater I'm wearing, all the seams are completely flat and the rows line up perfectly, and there aren't very many of them (no shoulder seam or side seam, for instance).

Something, something rising pants waists: "Hamza Abou Ammo first got the idea for cropping his T-shirts from his wife, who had been doing it herself from a young age." (https://www.gq.com/story/male-crop-top-tiktok-trend) Every time TikTok trends make their way into my field of view, I find myself confused.

Dyed hair, painted nails, and cardigans? According to the TikTok via GQ, crop tops (but all the examples look terrible)

It seems like a man wearing clothing associated with women is a much stronger signal of sexual preference/identity than the inverse, creating a stronger barrier for men who aren't actively trying to signal that.

the fact that many people can go their entire lives without ever having to get blood on their hands represents the strength and prosperity of our society, but that doesn't mean the dirty work isn't getting done. Or that failure to do it will not have negative consequences.

Yes, that makes sense.

I would expect many liberals to know this. My democrat relative who lives on the Chicago South Side and served in Vietnam certainly knows this, but maybe you're using "liberal" as something more like progressive or woke? I suppose there are some regular liberals who really believe the propaganda.

I don’t understand what you mean.

In a state of nature, the unproductive, unpleasant crazy person would have long since starved, frozen, been driven into the wilderness, or perhaps been killed by others. I meant the enabling behavior of everyone else other than the crazy homeless person (enabled by surrounding civilizational resources) and the man confronting him (possibly representative of a state of nature).

I think so, but mostly wonder why this was the main concrete example from the OP, since in a Hobbesian state of nature the worrying crazy person would have died of any number of things long before that point. I feel like it might be just throwing me off, but am not sure, since I don’t really understand what he’s getting at.

Yes. Tried writing a thoughtful response expressing confusion but interest. Got a quick, careless, boring reply.

I'm having a bit of trouble following this.

I did, in fact, read Leviathan and participate in a discussion group about it, but don't remember all that much about it. It seems obviously true that it's better to live in a society with basically functional norms and consequences around interactions between individuals, groups, and governments than not. And that there are a lot of examples of what that "not" looks like, and they can get really bad.

Present day America certainly is inculturating a social norm that some people might act extremely unpleasant in public, and everyone else needs to politely ignore that unless they are actively harming someone (or maybe not then depending on the kind of harm). Public schools actively cultivate this dynamic from the earliest years with the way they integrate the very least integratabtle special education children, by letting them scream and bite in the name of "inclusion" (though there are limits on the amount of biting and scratching that is tolerable, since they don't want to lose staff constantly), rather than letting them have quiet, privacy and space, whether or not they would prefer that (the screaming, biting ones certainly do look like they might prefer it), and no matter the cost. There's certainly an argument to be made that this is bad.

On the other hand, violent schizophrenics attacking people on the subways is obviously not the default. Warring clans might be the default. Subways are not the default. Millions of strangers all peacefully taking public transportation to their cubicles every day, ignoring the one crazy person screaming threats is absolutely the opposite of a default way of managing society. It is a wonder of civilization. The default, given the possibility of a hundred million people cooperating and a few defectors, might then be to hang or exile the defectors. But we are generally so secure (And in general we are! That's precisely why almost everyone just ignores the screaming crazy person, because it so rarely escalates to violence) that we're tending toward complacency which, yeah, is probably a mistake.

Can things break down surprisingly quickly and violently? Yes. Liberals probably know that? Apart from actual wars, they do know about things like gang violence in cities, even very wealthy cities, even with tons of various expensive "programs." Just, maybe they will say that it isn't done right, or isn't enough, rather than saying that the neighborhood has degenerated into a state of nature and needs to be civilized by force. But the liberals have a bit of a point, in that when the US government tries to civilize by force, it has often done a terrible job of it.

I spent some time living with a Albanian family in Kosovo. They had been shelled during the war, then mostly rebuilt, though a co-worker mentioned several times that he was concerned that they used to have a lot more cows, herds of cows they would lead through the fields, and now they only had a few, and he interpreted that as poverty and dysfunction. I have never had any cows, and they do seem like a very tough culture, optimized for toughness and not getting swallowed up by the surrounding civilizations, no matter how many sons had to go serve as janissaries through the years. But America can and does swallow them and everyone else up anyway, because that's what we're optimized for. Conservative Americans seem to think this is a fair trade, since we're all much better off materially in America. I'm unsure what the conservative Albanians think, other than that they like and are attached to their cows, flia, clothing, fields, and everything else.

That was unusually rambling, because, again, I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. Perhaps my own social milieu is too much of a mix of conservatives, liberals, people underwriting Dreamer loans, people who have had to change jobs because their workplace suddenly started operating entirely in Spanish with the thermostat at 90 degrees, people who have read Hobbs, and people who milk goats to notice?

I am pursuing a job, and indeed it takes up the bulk of my day (~80 hours a week or so). [...] (mid-late 20s highly-educated Asian-American women looking for a serious relationship/marriage) [...] singing karaoke, playing board games and trivia.

Do you expect the job to stay like that for a long period of time? Do you have any plan for what you will do if you do find someone?

It seems like the lack of slack in our day is both making it more difficult to pursue the sorts of social events where you might meet a woman, and also will be hard to manage if you do find a compatible woman, let alone one considering a serious relationship with the possibility of marriage.

Who would that be?