14 December, 2017

LSE BREXIT – Brexit appealed to white working-class men who feel society no longer values them

LSE BREXIT – Brexit appealed to white working-class men who feel society no longer values them: "Our focus is on subjective social status, namely, a person’s sense that they are accorded the social respect or status associated with full membership in society. There are good reasons for thinking that economic and cultural developments have combined to depress the subjective social status of white working-class men.  Since social status is typically conferred by levels of income and the quality of one’s occupation, shifting patterns of employment that have eliminated well-paid, medium-skill jobs and forced many men into more precarious positions may well have undercut their own sense of where they stand in society.  At the same time, shifts in cultural frameworks, marked by an increasing emphasis in mainstream discourse on racial and gender equality, may have threatened the subjective social status of any who may have relied on the notion that they were white or male to underpin their own sense of social standing.

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13 December, 2017

Mimi O’Donnell Reflects on the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Devastation of Addiction - Vogue

Mimi O’Donnell Reflects on the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Devastation of Addiction - Vogue: "Twelve-step literature describes addiction as “cunning, baffling, and powerful.” It is all three. I hesitate to ascribe Phil’s relapse after two decades to any one thing, or even to a series of things, because the stressors—or, in the parlance, triggers—that preceded it didn’t cause him to start using again, any more than being a child of divorce did. Lots of people go through difficult life events. Only addicts start taking drugs to blunt the pain of them. And Phil was an addict, though at the time I didn’t fully understand that addiction is always lurking just below the surface, looking for a moment of weakness to come roaring back to life.
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Sasha Cohen: Olympic figure skater on life away from rink | SI.com

Sasha Cohen: Olympic figure skater on life away from rink | SI.com: "As you might imagine, competitive life didn't leave me much time to fully develop personally or experience the many rites of passage that those in the normal world go through, like prom, joining a sorority or summer backpacking. When I competed I was constantly resting between practices, in bed early and visualizing my next performance as I fell asleep. I didn't have the bandwidth or desire to be involved in the social fabric of life. I couldn’t believe what my first year of retirement was like: Without the stress and mental weight of upcoming competitions, life felt like a permanent vacation. I could now enjoy the Fourth of July instead of being the only one training at the rink and running sprints at the track. I could go to bed late, eat pasta and simply goof off with my friends at the rink. It seemed too good to be true—and it was, because it came with a price.

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ValueBasedPugs comments on Medical Professionals of Reddit, When was someone's self diagnoses surprisingly accurate?

ValueBasedPugs comments on Medical Professionals of Reddit, When was someone's self diagnoses surprisingly accurate?: "The results of this are not a coincidence. Waste in the medical system accounts for $750 billion of $3.2 trillion in total expenditure (nearly 1 in 4 dollars) (If I paid $120 for running shoes and the salesperson immediately threw $30 in the toilet, I would feel scandalized that I paid $120). This is the result of, in order of significance: 1. Repetitive or unnecessary services - especially labs, 2. Ballooning administrative costs, 3. Inefficient care, 4. Inflated prices, 5. A set of smaller factors that, together, are significant. And when it comes to increasing costs, JAMA articles point to Rx, medical devices, and hospital care accounting for >90% of pricing increases.
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ValueBasedPugs comments on Medical Professionals of Reddit, When was someone's self diagnoses surprisingly accurate?

ValueBasedPugs comments on Medical Professionals of Reddit, When was someone's self diagnoses surprisingly accurate?: "The results of this are not a coincidence. Waste in the medical system accounts for $750 billion of $3.2 trillion in total expenditure (nearly 1 in 4 dollars) (If I paid $120 for running shoes and the salesperson immediately threw $30 in the toilet, I would feel scandalized that I paid $120). This is the result of, in order of significance: 1. Repetitive or unnecessary services - especially labs, 2. Ballooning administrative costs, 3. Inefficient care, 4. Inflated prices, 5. A set of smaller factors that, together, are significant. And when it comes to increasing costs, JAMA articles point to Rx, medical devices, and hospital care accounting for >90% of pricing increases.
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10 December, 2017

The Russian family of six, cut off from all human contact for 42 years in the Siberian wilderness | Abroad in the Yard

The Russian family of six, cut off from all human contact for 42 years in the Siberian wilderness | Abroad in the Yard: "In this week’s Smithsonian Magazine, writer and historian Mike Dash recounts the amazing story of the Lykov family, who fled from civilization to the Siberian wilderness in 1936 to escape the Communist purges.  They were discovered living in a mountainside shelter by Soviet geologists in 1978, having been totally isolated from the outside world for 42 years.

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09 December, 2017

Andrew Sullivan: Let Him Have His Cake

Andrew Sullivan: Let Him Have His Cake: "The smartest and most nuanced take I’ve read on the subject is that of philosopher John Corvino. He argues that there is indeed a core right not to be forced to create something against your conscience but that in this particular case, the act of creation is so deeply entwined with hostility to an entire class of people that antidiscrimination laws overrule it. It’s worth reading, but he still doesn’t quite convince me. The baker is clearly not discriminating against an entire class of people; he is refusing to endorse a particular activity that violates his faith. Kennedy was absolutely right in oral arguments to make a distinction between an identity and an activity. The conflation of the two is just too facile.

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07 December, 2017

The Adopted Black Baby, and the White One Who Replaced Her - The New York Times

The Adopted Black Baby, and the White One Who Replaced Her - The New York Times:

Marge Sandberg slowly blotted out her cigarette in an ashtray.
“Listen carefully,” Amy recalled her mother saying, “because I’m only going to tell you this story once.”
It was around 1970 in Deerfield, Ill., and Ms. Sandberg told her youngest child a closely guarded secret about a choice the family had made, one fueled by the racial tensions of the era, that sent a black girl and the white girl that took her place on diverging paths.


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RaeADropOfGoldenSun comments on This library has a directory for topics people might be embarrassed to ask for.

RaeADropOfGoldenSun comments on This library has a directory for topics people might be embarrassed to ask for.:

My friends and I occasionally get bored and play The Library Game. We each have 5 minutes to think of a question, then we trade questions and have an hour in the library to answer them with no use of technology whatsoever. The questions get really complex (like last time mine was “you’re shipwrecked in the South Pacific in the 18th century and you lost all your money in the wreck, you need to be back in Spain in a month. What do you do?”) and the person with the most complete answer wins.
I’ve learned by now that librarians tend to react to “Hey, I have a weird question and also you can’t use your computer for it....” with a lot more enthusiasm and a lot less scorn than I’d expect. Especially if it’s a slow day and you can tell they were bored too.


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(1) Desafinado by Joao Gilberto - YouTube

(1) Desafinado by Joao Gilberto - YouTube:





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06 December, 2017

XanderTheGhost comments on Before and after - 95 days clean from heroin today. I had money to buy myself new clothes for the first time in a very long time and I feel amazing.

XanderTheGhost comments on Before and after - 95 days clean from heroin today. I had money to buy myself new clothes for the first time in a very long time and I feel amazing.: "It's amazing how, at only 95 days, my thoughts and actions are literally completely opposite of what they were when using. Yes, the guilt is crushing at times. Oddly enough, despite the shit things I've done, the one that sticks with me is that I stole my dead grandfather's pills from a safe after he died. Feels like he knows but I can't make amends with him. I don't let the guilt consume me anymore though. I can't. My life is too happy and I'm starting to give back to the world finally instead of always being on the receiving end of help. My goal is to have my cup overflow so that I have enough stability and happiness to do for others what so many people did for me. Thanks everyone. Means the world."



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STELLAReportFinalFinal.pdf - Google Drive

STELLAReportFinalFinal.pdf - Google Drive:

A common experience was "I didn't know that it worked this way." People are surprised when they

find out that their own mental model of The System (in the Figure 1 or Figure 2 sense) doesn't match

the behavior of the system.



More rarely a surprise produces astonishment, a sense that the world has changed or is

unrecognizable in an important way. This is sometimes called fundamental surprise (Lanir, 1983; Woods

et al., 2010, pp 215-219). Bob Wears four characteristics of fundamental surprise that make it

different from situational surprise (Wears, R. L., & Webb, L. K., 2011):



1. situational surprise is compatible with previous beliefs about ‘how things work’; fundamental

surprise refutes basic beliefs;

2. it is possible to anticipate situational surprise; fundamental surprise cannot be anticipated;

3. situational surprise can be averted by tuning warning systems; fundamental surprise

challenges models that produced success in the past;

4. learning from situational surprise closes quickly; learning from fundamental surprise requires

model revision and changes that reverberate.



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Tina Dupuy: I Believe Franken’s Accusers Because He Groped Me, Too - The Atlantic

Tina Dupuy: I Believe Franken’s Accusers Because He Groped Me, Too - The Atlantic: "D.C. was decked out and packed in for the inauguration of a young and popular new president. The town was buzzing with optimism, and one of the many events on our list was a swanky Media Matters party with Democratic notables everywhere. Then I saw Al Franken. I only bug celebrities for pictures when it’ll make my foster mom happy. She loves Franken, so I asked to get a picture with him. We posed for the shot. He immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh. I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice.

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Why are America's farmers killing themselves in record numbers? | US news | The Guardian

Why are America's farmers killing themselves in record numbers? | US news | The Guardian:

Dr Zidek says the wellbeing of farmers is inextricably linked to the health of rural communities. “The grain prices are low. The gas prices are high. Farmers feel the strain of ‘I’ve got to get this stuff in the field. But if I can’t sell it, I can’t pay for next year’s crop. I can’t pay my loans at the bank off.’ And that impacts the rest of us in a small community, because if the farmers can’t come into town to purchase from the grocery store, the hardware store, the pharmacy – then those people also struggle.”
Indeed, it is Saturday afternoon, and downtown Onaga is practically deserted. There’s a liquor store, a school, a few churches, a pizza place, a youth center and boarded-up storefronts. “You need to have a family farm structure to have rural communities – for school systems, churches, hospitals,” says Donn Teske of the Kansas Farmers Union. “I’m watching with serious dismay the industrialization of the agriculture sector and the depopulation of rural Kansas … In rural America,” he adds, “maybe the war is lost.”


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Why are America's farmers killing themselves in record numbers? | US news | The Guardian

Why are America's farmers killing themselves in record numbers? | US news | The Guardian:

We were growing food, but couldn’t afford to buy it. We worked 80 hours a week, but we couldn’t afford to see a dentist, let alone a therapist. I remember panic when a late freeze threatened our crop, the constant fights about money, the way light swept across the walls on the days I could not force myself to get out of bed.
“Farming has always been a stressful occupation because many of the factors that affect agricultural production are largely beyond the control of the producers,” wrote Rosmann in the journal Behavioral Healthcare. “The emotional wellbeing of family farmers and ranchers is intimately intertwined with these changes.”
Last year, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that people working in agriculture – including farmers, farm laborers, ranchers, fishers, and lumber harvesters – take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation. The data suggested that the suicide rate for agricultural workers in 17 states was nearly five times higher compared with that in the general population.
After the study was released, Newsweek reported that the suicide death rate for farmers was more than double that of military veterans. This, however, could be an underestimate, as the data collected skipped several major agricultural states, including Iowa. Rosmann and other experts add that the farmer suicide rate might be higher, because an unknown number of farmers disguise their suicides as farm accidents.


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TIME Person of the Year 2017: The Silence Breakers | Time.com

TIME Person of the Year 2017: The Silence Breakers | Time.com: "This uncertainty can be corrosive. While everyone wants to smoke out the serial predators and rapists, there is a risk that the net may be cast too far. What happens when someone who makes a sexist joke winds up lumped into the same bucket as a boss who gropes an employee? Neither should be encouraged, but nor should they be equated.
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On the soul of the College: Reflections on the importance of reflection – The Williams Record

On the soul of the College: Reflections on the importance of reflection – The Williams Record: "It’s one of the great structural paradoxes of this place that reflection – so essential to learning – is so counter-cultural to the routines of campus life. If an extra hour were to fall out of the sky into today, most of us would spend it knocking a few more items off our lists, doing a little more thorough job on an assignment or grabbing some much-needed play-time with friends. These ways of spending time are necessary, important. But the tendency among us is all toward filling spaces up – not emptying them; all toward productivity, not pondering.

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Life Without a Destiny — Susan Fowler

Life Without a Destiny — Susan Fowler:

Sometimes I look at this list. Then I look at people who have singular destinies, and I'm in awe and I'm jealous. It hurts a little.  I want a singular passion. I want to be driven by only one goal, not ten thousand goals. Because having ten thousand goals is paralyzing sometimes, and you can never truly dedicate yourself to something the way that that something deserves. Because having ten thousand goals means you always feel like you're searching for the one
People tell me I can't do all the things I want to do, and they are of course wrong, because I can and I do and I will. But I still can't ever reach my greatest, deepest, most secret goal, the goal I left off that list: to have a singular passion. Maybe that's ok. Maybe my life will always be about running toward that unattainable goal, trying and loving everything I find along the way. And maybe at the end, when I have to give an account of my life, I'll say that I never was anything, but I was everything


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FBI Agent Peter Strzok & Robert Mueller Investigation | National Review

FBI Agent Peter Strzok & Robert Mueller Investigation | National Review:

I am not claiming that there is never crossover between law and politics. There are, after all, philosophical disputes inherent in the law, and a lawyer’s adherence to one side or the other tends to track his political bent of mind. As long as these arguments are made in good faith, though, this is healthy. Ironically, in the Clinton pardons matter, I was more sympathetic to the liberal-Democrat Clintons than were some of my liberal-Democrat colleagues: I have an originalist predisposition that executive power is meant to be checked by political restraints (Congress and the ballot box) rather than by judicial means; progressives tend to see the executive law-enforcement agencies as a quasi-independent check on the chief executive, and the courts as the means of ensuring the president is not above the law. Still, these arguments take place within well-known jurisprudential lines, and they matter in only the rarest criminal investigations. By and large, even if a suspect is a Marxist, the politics of the people investigating him shouldn’t matter any more than the politics of the surgeon who operates on his aching back.



I don’t know Agent Strzok, but people who do tell me he is an exceptional intelligence agent. They say his transfer — effectively, his demotion — to the FBI’s human-resources division is exactly the sort of thing that should be celebrated . . . in Moscow.


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Life Without a Destiny — Susan Fowler

Life Without a Destiny — Susan Fowler: "Sometimes I look at this list. Then I look at people who have singular destinies, and I'm in awe and I'm jealous. It hurts a little.  I want a singular passion. I want to be driven by only one goal, not ten thousand goals. Because having ten thousand goals is paralyzing sometimes, and you can never truly dedicate yourself to something the way that that something deserves. Because having ten thousand goals means you always feel like you're searching for the one. 

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