Back in Thailand and, heck, here, although less urgently, I had a Sweat Management project, of which a task was tracking down bacterial odors. The armpits were one subtask of that task:
And a much-loved pair of boat shoes was another: Read below the fold...
I rarely quote Kevin Drum, but I think he's got hold of something:
ver the last half century, various branches of government have also taken plenty of proactive steps to marginalize religion. Prayer in public school has been banned. Creches can no longer be set up in front of city hall. Parochial schools are forbidden from receiving public funds. The Ten Commandments can't be displayed in courtrooms. Catholic hospitals are required to cover contraceptives for their employees. Gay marriage is legal in more than a dozen states and the number is growing rapidly.
Needless to say, I consider these and plenty of other actions to be proper public policy. I support them all. But they're real things. Conservative Christians who feel under attack may be partly the victims of cynical politicians and media moguls, and a lot of their pity-party attempts at victimization really are ridiculous. But their fears do have a basis in reality. To a large extent, it's the left that started the culture wars, and we should hardly be surprised that it provoked a strong response. In fact, it's a sign that we're doing something right.
As far as I'm concerned, the culture wars are one of the left's greatest achievements. Our culture needed changing, and we should take the credit for it.
Fair enough. Read below the fold...
Riverdaughter is posting again; too bad she has time, but good for us:
I recently attended a younger cousin’s birthday party. My relatives sat around and compared plans. This group was a mix of ages, employment situations, number of dependents, personal wealth. The bad news for the Democrats is that no one likes Obamacare. Not one of them. In Pittsburgh, the effect of Obamacare is pronounced because two major insurance carriers in the region are battling and one of them, UPMC, refuses to contract with Highmark BC/BS. That leaves Highmark customers scrambling to find new doctors and praying that if they do have an emergency, they don’t get carted off to one of the ubiquitous UPMC hospitals where they will get socked with a massive out of network price structure. They played nicely before Obamacare but no more.
The problem of insurance plans is particularly acute for those of us who fall into the precariat class and Obamacare falls severely short there.
[And leaving this sticky again because at 133 comments the topics have broadened. I guess it's time for me to start posting on the horse race again... --lambert]
[And leaving this sticky because now I've had time to go through the comments and make some responses. --lambert]
[Leaving this sticky to remind myself that I still have things to say. And it's interesting to imagine what future historians, if any, will think of the 2008 Democratic campaign. We'd better get our thoughts and memories on the record! I'd also note, for researchers like Cannon, that Corrente's archives are incomparable, and our faceted/filterable search function is excellent. It's also sad to me that many comrades in arms from that time have dispersed. It's natural, of course. --lambert]
Joe Cannon is writing a book "that will give a precis of the strangeness that hit blogworld in 2008." He asks the following questions, which I thought I'd open up for discussion:
1) Looking back, do you think that Obama mania was a genuinely spontaneous eruption, or do you think that the whole thing was engineered by manipulators who worked the blogs using personas?
Yes. (With the caveat that I think the key manipulators, at least the ones doing the manipulation, were perfectly open about it.)
2) Do you agree with my contention that blogs (not television) were the true drivers of the national conversation during that primary fight?
3) And what do you think was the shiftiest trick employed by the Obama forces against the Clinton forces?
Texas caucus fraud.
Readers? Read below the fold...
Did you really steal the riff for Pretty Vacant from Abba?
Yeah, from SOS. Being at art school and being hip to the Dadaists and Marcel Duchamp, you'd nick something and make it your own. If I hadn't come clean no one would have ever spotted it.
I think a world where this can happen is a wonderful world. Read below the fold...
It wasn't easy! Yeah, I subscribe to Salon's news feed, so every once in awhile I hold my nose and click through to Joan Walsh, "progressive":
Ezra Klein trolled the right by declaring that it means “Obamacare has won,” which is pretty funny given that he helped lead the national freak-out over Healthcare.gov’s troubles back in October.Read below the fold...
The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.
Sure! "Critical intelligence!" I mean, how likely is it the NSA would just Hoover up everything and store it on some humongous server in case they "needed" it later? Read below the fold...
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning six months after a disastrous rollout of President Barack Obama’s signature health law, according to administration sources.
On Friday, Obama will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace her.
Sebelius, 65, gave no hint of her imminent departure as she testified Thursday before a Senate panel.
If you have not been getting mail from Corrente that you would expect to get -- for example, email at registration or email from a post that you have subscribed to -- this is why:
Over the last 48 hours the Yahoo.com domain has implemented a change in its DMARC policy. DMARC, which stands for “Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance” is an email authentication policy record that aims to prevent from address spoofing.
The change in this policy implemented by Yahoo means that any email message that uses a from address in the message headers of @yahoo.com must originate from Yahoo’s own mail servers. Messages sent through.... any other source outside of Yahoo using a @yahoo.com from address will be rejected by any mailbox provider that has implemented DMARC. This includes almost all major mailbox providers like Gmail, Outlook, AOL, Comcast and others.
The site address has been "firstname.lastname@example.org"; that's the Sender for subscriptions, message reminders, password resets, and new accounts. Unfortunately, mail from the Corrente server obviously does not originate from "Yahoo’s own mail servers," and so it bounces. You don't get the mail you expect, and my mailbox gets clogged with it. Read below the fold...
PDF from Max Tegmark. Not published April 1, from MIT, funded by NSF:
We examine the hypothesis that consciousness can be understood as a state of matter, "perceptronium", with distinctive information processing abilities. We explore five basic principles that may distinguish conscious matter from other physical systems such as solids, liquids and gases: the information, integration, independence, dynamics and utility principles. If such principles can identify conscious entities, then they can help solve the quantum factorization problem: why do conscious observers like us perceive the particular Hilbert space factorization corresponding to classical space (rather than Fourier space, say), and more generally, why do we perceive the world around us as a dynamic hierarchy of objects that are strongly integrated and relatively independent? Tensor factorization of matrices is found to play a central role, and our technical results include a theorem about Hamiltonian separability (defined using Hilbert-Schmidt superoperators) being maximized in the energy eigenbasis. Our approach generalizes Giulio Tononi's integrated information framework for neural-network-based consciousness to arbitrary quantum systems, and we find interesting links to error-correcting codes, condensed matter criticality, and the Quantum Darwinism program, as well as an interesting connection between the emergence of consciousness and the emergence of time.
Gus Christensen, a former JPMorgan derivatives trader and Goldman Sachs banker, wants to raise the New York state minimum wage to $15. The Upper East Sider, who was registered as a Republican until 2007, is now running for the state assembly as an Elizabeth Warren-style populist Democrat.
At the Lenox Hill Democratic Club dinner in February, Christensen outlined his platform: "stronger rights for workers and women, tougher regulation, cheaper housing and 'progress on inequality itself,'" Bloomberg News' Max Abelson reports. Christensen now serves as president of the club, a position some say he bought. He spent $2,600 on dues for 150 of his friends to join the club. Despite this and his "Omega watch and lapis cuff links," Christensen says he's sincere about helping the middle class.
That's the Democratic Party we know and love! Read below the fold...