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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

OTP: October 2012-THE RACE: As Candidates Prep, Attention in DC split between politics and baseball

While President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney bone up in Nevada and Colorado for Wednesday’s opening debate, back in the nation’s capital attention is split between the hard-fought presidential race and baseball playoffs.

The Nationals won the first division baseball championship for a Washington team since 1933 by clinching the National League East race Monday night.

Washington, D.C., has the only ballpark where so many Cabinet members, politicians and other luminaries routinely gather and where fans now are openly rooting for a particular president — one who served more than a century ago, Theodore Roosevelt.

“Let Teddy Win” banners and buttons are everywhere. Fans like 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona say it’s time for Roosevelt’s 500-plus losing streak to end.

[...]

“Teddy, you are the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy by the commie pinko libs in this town,” McCain said in a video played in the stadium Monday night. “But you can overcome that.”

The October 2012 “OT: Politics” thread starts ... now.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:14 PM | 6119 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, politics

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   1401. Biscuit_pants Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4260906)
For age 20-44, the male:female ratio was 96.2:100 in 1950 and 95.1:100 in 1970 (source), which doesn't seem to line up with anything.
I could not find a full sysnopsis for what I read, and it was a bit ago but here is a piece of it link
   1402. Lassus Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4260908)
Yes, every single black American was perpetually and permanently unhappy until 2008. Since then, every day has been eternal bliss for every single one.

I know you can only express yourself in extremes, but this is unbelievably childish.
   1403. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4260909)
I know my memory is bad but I seem to remember that things were not a bed of roses for minorities in the 50's and 60's and there were a large percentage of the white male population that was happy with the status quo. After reading the book "Nixonland" it seemed that for every step the society took forward, it took a 1/2 step back
   1404. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4260910)
This is a good piece of work. Black happiness, as measured by the General Social Survey at U Chicago, and standardized by the authors shows a decrease between 1972, when the GSS started, and 2008. The happiness gap between blacks and whites has closed, but that's due to whites becoming less happy.

So what's happening here is what usually happens here -- lefties project their ideas about what should make people happy onto those people, but the lefties don't have much of a clue about whether people are happy or what makes them happy.

   1405. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4260912)
Did some digging and apparently Obama's big bird ad is nor running on TV at all. It is basically a viral video meant for internet nerds who I seriously doubt old farts on MSNBC really understand all that much.


There's a Romney Ad on the Net (really an anti-Obama ad, that's a parody of Dos Equis "most Interesting Man in the World" ads, the end punchline is, "he's the most arrogant man in the world" two of the Repubs in my office hoped it to me, they thought it was great, I thought it was almost painfully lame... I guess I wasn't really the target audience.
   1406. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4260915)
I know you can only express yourself in extremes, but this is unbelievably childish.

As opposed to the mature-beyond-its-years series of "WAT," "Wow. Just wow," "Holy crap," and "Seriously. Wow" that preceded it.
   1407. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 09, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4260917)
I know you can only express yourself in extremes, but this is unbelievably childish.

As opposed to the mature-beyond-its-years series of "WAT," "Wow. Just wow," "Holy crap," and "Seriously. Wow" that preceded it.


and SBB scores a clean hit!

hey is anyone keeping score?
   1408. Biscuit_pants Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4260921)
hey is anyone keeping score?
I had 7 - 5 but I cant read my own writting so I do not know who has the 7 and who has the 5
   1409. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4260923)
The KKK was being progressively marginalized as the 1945-75 time frame rolled along, and I'm pretty sure they didn't really operate in areas that had large numbers of white (non-hispanic) Catholics


There still was a large anti-Catholic contingency, it may not compare to women and non-whites but it was definitely there.

The anti-Catholic part of the Klan was prominent in the 1920's and reached its peak with the 1928 Al Smith presidential campaign. But it had pretty much petered out by the 50's with the rise of the civil rights movement. And in fact during at least one violent civil rights skirmish, in St. Augustine, Florida**, the most prominent racist was a Klansman named "Hoss" Manucy, who also happened to be a Catholic. White Catholics in general were no more or no less bigoted than whites in general during that period.

**which centered around a "swim-in" at a "white only" beach of the Atlantic Ocean---something to do with cooties, I reckon
   1410. formerly dp Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4260924)
So what's happening is what usually happens -- lefties project their ideas about what should make people happy onto those people, but the lefties don't have much of a clue about whether people are happy or what makes them happy.


1) Your link is broken.
2) There's no projection required-- we have oral history projects and first-person accounts that serve as a historical record. In other words, we have the articulated experiences of people who lived during those eras, as members of those groups. It is true that people living in oppressive conditions can find happiness (see de Certeau's work on "making do," and the empirical studies by folks in cultural studies). This should not be used as an argument for oppressive conditions.
   1411. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4260925)
Percentage of black men ages 18-29 incarcerated:

1970: 2.193%
2000: 5.51%

Progress!!!!
   1412. Biscuit_pants Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4260929)
The anti-Catholic part of the Klan was prominent in the 1920's and reached its peak with the 1928 Al Smith presidential campaign. But it had pretty much petered out by the 50's with the rise of the civil rights movement. And in fact during at least one violent civil rights skirmish, in St. Augustine, Florida**, the most prominent racist was a Klansman named "Hoss" Manucy, who also happened to be a Catholic. White Catholics in general were no more or no less bigoted than whites in general during that period.
Sorry, I did not mean to imply that the anti-Catholic rhetoric was coming from the klan in the 50's. Again, not saying it was huge but it was no where near dead.
   1413. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4260931)
1) Your link is broken.

Here's the link:

http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/jwolfers/Papers/Happiness_Race.pdf

There's no projection required-- we have oral history projects and first-person accounts that serve as a historical record. In other words, we have the articulated experiences of people who lived during those eras, as members of those groups. It is true that people living in oppressive conditions can find happiness (see de Certeau's work on "making do," and the empirical studies by folks in cultural studies). This should not be used as an argument for oppressive conditions.

And there's Mad Men, too!!!

No, you're projecting. Those anecdotes are about as systematic as someone saying, "What are you talking about? I saw Mario Mendoza go 4 for 4."

You want people to have been unhappy for certain reasons in certain eras, but that's simply wishcasting.

(And describing the North in 1973 as "oppressive" is hysterical.)
   1414. Greg K Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4260932)
Being the "smallest acceptable household" doesn't make it the *preferred* household. In the 1700s it would have been odd for multiple generations of kin to not live together. The idea of a single Mommy-Daddy-me household would have been as odd and improper to them as the idea of a single mother apparently is to some around here.

While I think you're making good points about the changing nature of families over the course of history, I think it's worth noting that the recent move in early modern history of the family is to pull back on earlier perceptions and note that in the 17th and 18th centuries families and households quite often were father-mother-children.
   1415. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4260938)
Progress!!!!


crack

aka

the war on certain classes of people who use certain drugs
   1416. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4260941)
Couldn't find 1975 but did find data for 1979. Black women working full time in 1979 were making $524 in 2011 dollars and in 2011 black women were making $595.
   1417. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4260946)
Black women working full time in 1979 were making $524 in 2011 dollars and in 2011 black women were making $595.

Their wages have barely moved and they lag white women's more now than then, but, hey, look on the bright side -- their sons are being jailed at double, almost triple the rate!!!!
   1418. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4260947)
http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/jwolfers/Papers/Happiness_Race.pdf

Subjective well-being data reveal that blacks are less happy than are whites. However, much of
this racial gap in happiness has closed over the past 35 years. We investigate measures of subjective
well-being that indicate that the well-being of blacks has increased both absolutely and relative to
whites. These changes in well-being are found across various datasets and measures of subjective
well-being. However the gains in happiness are concentrated among women and those living in the
south. While the opportunities and achievements of blacks have improved over this period, the
happiness gains far exceed that which can be attributed to these objective improvements.



Hmmm. . .
   1419. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4260948)
Their wages have barely moved and they lag white women's more now than then, but look on the bright side -- their sons are being jailed at double, almost triple the rate!!!!

Of course you said they were making less, but never mind that, and now double down with another off the cuff claim.
   1420. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4260949)
What are you talking about? I saw Mario Mendoza go 4 for 4.


Mario Mendoza never went 4-for-4 at the major-league level. His best performances were 4-for-5 and three 3-for-3's.
   1421. robinred Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4260950)
Since then, every day has been eternal bliss for every single one
.

Except for Stacey Dash.
   1422. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4260951)
Of course you said they were making less, but never mind that, and now double down with another off the cuff claim.

Less compared to whites.

Look, even your baseline claim -- that 1945-75 was the golden era of the white guy -- is wrong; the system is much more rigged in favor of the white guy now. Look at the huge rise in executive and top-end compensation. The vast majority of those people are white guys.

Hmmm. . .

Not sure what this is aimed at. Black happiness now is basically what it was in 1972. Whites are less happy, so the gap has closed, and most of the black increases are from blacks in the south -- a rump, unrepresentative region.
   1423. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4260955)
I've got a mea culpa to put out here. I misread the chart. Black women in 1979 were making $169 in current dollars while they made $592 in 2010.
   1424. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4260961)
Look, even your baseline claim -- that 1945-75 was the golden era of the white guy -- is wrong;

Um, nobody has made the claim that white middle aged hetero males have it rough nowadays.

Black happiness now is basically what it was in 1972.

Where in the world does the study make this claim?
   1425. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4260964)
In 1979 Black females made 70% of what White males made. In 2010 they made 79% of what White males made.
   1426. formerly dp Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4260969)
No, you're projecting. Those anecdotes are about as systematic as someone saying, "What are you talking about? I saw Mario Mendoza go 4 for 4."


Well, you're using "projection" in two senses of the word. In the first sense, you're claiming that liberals are projecting their standards of happiness back onto the experiences of African Americans in the 1960s. And I'm saying that's not necessary, because we have empirical evidence to suggest that people perceived social injustices as they were living through them. The study you cite isn't really all that useful, in that it indulges and excuses economic marginalization-- IOW, in a rigidly classed society, people are more likely to accept their economic situation as fixed, and not worry about moving out of it, whereas in a society without formal and rigid class structures, people are more likely to be dissatisfied with their status, because they perceive an unrealized opportunity to move out of it.

(And describing the North in 1973 as "oppressive" is hysterical.)


Why? I don't know where you grew up, but where I lived (upstate NY), it was (is) still acceptable to not hire someone based on the color of their skin. But it's not because they don't like their race-- it's "the culture" that bothers them.

But if you're arguing that the CR movement did not go far enough, I agree with that assessment. If you're arguing that institutional racism still exists, I agree. If you're arguing that progress in the representation of race has been mistaken with progress in the material conditions for African-Americans, I also agree with that. And I don't think you'd get much argument from the folks who study race for a living. But if you're going to claim that the experience of being African-American in the US is worse now than it was then, you'll get a lot of pushback, because it does not conform to the perception of people in those groups. This is not some liberal fairy-tale. Especially because, while freedom is about earning potential and material conditions, it's also, in a democratic society, about openness. And there are far more areas (college, the mass media, and the suburbs, to name three quick ones) that are open to African-Americans today in ways they weren't 40 years ago.

The vast majority of those people are white guys.


White males are losing ground, as a group, not gaining it.
   1427. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 09, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4260975)
Tranquility is found also in dungeons; but is that enough to make them desirable places to live in?
- Rosseau
   1428. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4260989)
Look, even your baseline claim -- that 1945-75 was the golden era of the white guy -- is wrong; the system is much more rigged in favor of the white guy now. Look at the huge rise in executive and top-end compensation. The vast majority of those people are white guys.


1: The vast majority of white guys are not top-end executives
2: Back in 1945-75 some 99% of "top-end" excutives were white guys, now it's more like 92% (literally, 91.8% of Fortune 500 CEOs in 2010 were white (non-hispanic) males)
   1429. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4261024)

This seems to be going viral today:

Subject: Message from David Siegel
Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:58:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: [David Siegel]
To: [All employees]

To All My Valued Employees,

As most of you know our company, Westgate Resorts, has continued to succeed in spite of a very dismal economy. There is no question that the economy has changed for the worse and we have not seen any improvement over the past four years. In spite of all of the challenges we have faced, the good news is this: The economy doesn't currently pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration. Of course, as your employer, I can't tell you whom to vote for, and I certainly wouldn't interfere with your right to vote for whomever you choose. In fact, I encourage you to vote for whomever you think will serve your interests the best. [...]

Now, the economy is falling apart and people like me who made all the right decisions and invested in themselves are being forced to bail out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed 42 years of my life for. Yes, business ownership has its benefits, but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the costs of running a business have gotten out of control, and let me tell you why: We are being taxed to death and the government thinks we don't pay enough. We pay state taxes, federal taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes, payroll taxes, workers compensation taxes and unemployment taxes. I even have to hire an entire department to manage all these taxes. The question I have is this: Who is really stimulating the economy? Is it the Government that wants to take money from those who have earned it and give it to those who have not, or is it people like me who built a company out of his garage and directly employs over 7000 people and hosts over 3 million people per year with a great vacation?

Obviously, our present government believes that taking my money is the right economic stimulus for this country. The fact is, if I deducted 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, that's what happens to me. [...]

Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate business, not kill it. However, the power brokers in Washington believe redistributing wealth is the essential driver of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change they want.

So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company. Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.

So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn't? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of protecting and saving your job. While the media wants to tell you to believe the "1 percenters" are bad, I'm telling you they are not. They create most of the jobs. If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the "1%"; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country.

You see, I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about.

Signed, your boss,

David Siegel

(Siegel is the founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts.)
   1430. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4261054)
David Siegel and his wife and their 90,000 square foot mansion are also the subject of a recent documentary: The Queen of Versailles
   1431. GregD Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4261064)
David Siegel and his wife and their 90,000 square foot mansion are also the subject of a recent documentary: The Queen of Versailles
The movie is quite good. Siegel does seem like someone whose mouth gets far ahead of his brain
   1432. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4261080)
Yeah, that seems like it's going to do Romney a lot of good.
   1433. GregD Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4261086)
In the movie Siegel claims that he funded illegal activities for the Bush campaign in Florida in 2000 though he's such an unreliable figure that it's hard to know what to make of his bragging
   1434. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4261097)
Catching up after being a couple of days behind:
#1066 describes an interesting case, for sure. Part of the value of books has always been that you can resell them. Publishers have never worried about it too much before because (a) the resale potential is factored into the initial price; people will pay a premium for something they can possibly resell; and (b) book pricing is very complicated, with all kinds of discounts at different stages of a book's career, meaning that publishers often have new stock that they can remainder for less than used copies are going for, a calculation also factored in at the start.
The Supreme Court could issue a broad ruling, as broad as the extreme case described in 1066, in which no copyrighted work manufactured abroad can ever be resold without the copyright holder's permission.

It is unlikely to do so here, however; even if that's the best reading of the Copyright Act, there's no need to reach that issue. In the case at the Supreme Court, the petitioner (Kirtsaeng) bought the books abroad and then imported them without permission and sold them. The Court can hold that this violates the publisher's rights under the Copyright Act -- and it almost certainly will¹ -- without holding that copies that were manufactured abroad and imported with the permission of the copyright owner can't be resold.

(In any case, copyright holders are unlikely to go after a guy who sells his used textbooks on Craigslist. What happened here was that Kirtsaeng was running a massive business, importing about a million dollar's worth of textbooks and reselling them.)


¹ I would note, for the record, that this would not be a change in the law; this is how it has been interpreted forever. The petitioner is arguing for a change in the interpretation of the Copyright Act.
   1435. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4261098)
Now, the economy is falling apart and people like me who made all the right decisions and invested in themselves are being forced to bail out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed 42 years of my life for.


This has got to be fake. No one is really that stupid.
   1436. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4261120)
Craig T Nelson disagrees.
   1437. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4261137)
Yeah, I'd be telling my boss to #### off if I got a letter like that.
   1438. Tilden Katz Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4261156)
Having seen "Queen of Versailles", I wouldn't put a lot of stock in what Siegel says. A first rate BS artist.
   1439. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4261160)
This has got to be fake. No one is really that stupid.


He admits he took a chain mail and tailored it a bit.
   1440. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4261170)
He admits he took a chain mail and tailored it a bit.


Nothing looks better than tailored chain mail. Plate mail never looks quite right when you walk the runway.
   1441. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4261179)
Studded leather isn't as good of course, but it rarely goes out of style.
   1442. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4261185)
Siegel admits to sending that message?
   1443. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4261186)
ring mail for those on a budget.
   1444. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4261192)
Siegel admits to sending that message?


It's real and it's spectacular:

Shortly after we posted this letter, we found out, thanks to multiple readers, that it bore suspicious resemblances to a popular chain letter that was circulated just before the 2008 elections. Well, we just got off the phone with David Siegel, who told us the letter below is real, and that it was sent out to all of his employees yesterday. "I did use the letter that had circulated before as a guideline, but I changed it [to fit my circumstances]," he told us. "It speaks the truth and it gives [employees] something to think about when they go to the polls." He also said that its threats of possible layoffs are real, based on his assessment of the political and economic climate. He added that he "hasn't had any negative feedback" on the letter.


Gee, I wonder why he hasn't received any negative feedback...
   1445. Lassus Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4261328)
As opposed to the mature-beyond-its-years series of "WAT," "Wow. Just wow," "Holy crap," and "Seriously. Wow" that preceded it.

I'm a bit behind, but expressions of shock aren't meant to convey philosophy. I stick by both things I wrote, fully.


The movie is quite good. Siegel does seem like someone whose mouth gets far ahead of his brain.

Agree with the first sentence, fully. It was quite brutal to watch in a lot of ways. The relationship he has with his wife and children is... pretty sad. I'm not sure his mouth gets ahead of his brain, I think he's generally a rich dick.
   1446. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4261332)
All the people who say things like that Siegal letter remind me of people who say if X happens they are going to stop following their favorite baseball team (or even baseball itself). Maybe one time in a thousand it really happens.

And is SBB really claiming that Blacks, GLBTQ, etc... had it better in the "golden age" or is he just being reactive semi-randomly? We have a black president, but yeah it was better for blacks back in the day, you know when it was a huge deal that Uhura (black female) served on a star ship with real responsibility, and another huge deal when there was an actual interracial kiss (Kirk and Uhura) on network TV - GASP!

Honestly people carp about today and talk about BITGOD, but who wants to go back in time. Life is by and large better now - it is called progress. Cool TVs, Internet, better medicine, and so on.
   1447. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4261342)
White males are losing ground, as a group, not gaining it.


Minor quibble. Relatively losing ground. In absolute terms - crappy income figures the last decade NOT helping - even white males are doing better now. Much like the US, better off than in the "golden age" but relatively much worse off (Hey look the rest of the world is catching up and doing well - this is a good thing for the billions of people who don't live in the US).
   1448. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4261344)
I promised a Black Death post, but had other things to do (like parenting) and I want to go to bed. I will try to get to it tomorrow. Sorry to everyone desperately hoping for some pandemic talk this evening.
   1449. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4261385)
I think an argument can be made that it was easier to get a job, regardless of education level or race, in the U.S. in 1960 than the U.S. today. In fact, that's almost certainly true. That's not all there is to "how good life is," or whatever is being discussed, but it's more of the story for members of groups that aren't socially marginalized than for members of groups that are.

Still, as for me, there are times when I'm pretty sure I'd rather live now than in the past even though I would have had much better financial prospects starting my career in pretty much any previous decade, at least in the twentieth century. That's because the meager finances I will have will buy me a more enjoyable life overall than the more robust ones I'd have had before. As a part-time teacher, editor, free-lance writer, etc., I'll have more ability--thanks to the respective levels of existing technology--to control my environment and inputs than I would have had as a professor in 1960. The key is convincing myself that the actual quality of how I spend my time from moment to moment is more important to me than the social prestige, relative socio-economic capital, and personal satisfaction I would have had in the earlier scenario. I've been working on it.
   1450. McCoy Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4261390)
Well, the unemployment rate in November of 1960 was 6.1 as America was going through a mild recession at the time. By May of 1961 it would hit its peak at 7.1.
   1451. tshipman Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:58 PM (#4261408)
Anyone arguing on the internet about baseball (especially those people who do it from work!!!) is an idiot to say that things would have been better for them 50 years ago.

Vaux is the closest person to having a point and he's still wrong. There are a lot more music teaching jobs than there were 50 years ago, for example. (No offense to Vaux)
   1452. McCoy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4261411)
I do wonder what unemployment numbers would look like in 1960 if women had greater freedoms back then.

Unemployment numbers are going to look rosy when half the population doesn't work and the rest of the world blew itself up and even then it still hit 7.1.

Oh and Jack Welch is taking his column and going home over at Fortune. He apparently didn't like the lack of support they gave him after his tweet.
   1453. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:30 AM (#4261417)
Honestly people carp about today and talk about BITGOD, but who wants to go back in time. Life is by and large better now - it is called progress. Cool TVs, Internet, better medicine, and so on.

It's definitely a mixed bag, but the difference is that the improvements have generally been the product of conscious decisions**, whereas the regressions have been in great part the product of forces beyond our control. And obviously whether it's "better" or "worse" depends on whom you're talking to, and whether you're only talking about material advances or also about less tangible things.

But if we had to make an overall yes-no choice, then of course no sane person would want society to turn back the clock, in spite of the many good things that have disappeared or become marginal to everyday life.

**both by individuals and governments
   1454. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:44 AM (#4261433)
tshipman: You're undoubtedly right that there are more music teaching jobs overall, in terms of raw numbers, than in 1960. But there are different types of such jobs, and different types of credentials necessary to get them. I, for example, don't have a music education degree, so I can't get jobs at the pre-collegiate level. I'm considering going back for such a degree after I finish my current one, though competition is fierce in that area, too. I should have done it as an undergraduate; it was a mistake not to.

The type of (teaching) job I'd actually be looking for with my particular training would involve teaching musicology at a college. Some of my research is on the history of this field, so I know what I'm talking about; college faculty expansion has been nowhere near commensurate with student body expansion. Musicology is the first subdiscipline in music in which colleges freeze hiring, fail to replace retirees, etc. My school had 6 musicology professors for decades, is now down to 5, and plans to go to 4 when one of the current ones retires. It isn't unusual in that regard. There are typically over 100 applicants for a given full-time position. Granted, many of those overlap; that is, if there are 5 positions open in a given year, many of the same applicants will be applying for all five, so the chances are actually more like 1 in 25 than 1 in 100, except that 35 to 50 new PhDs are cranked out in a typical year (though naturally, not all of them attempt to land positions of the type I'm talking about). There are usually only about 5 tenure-track positions open each year, and 10 more full-time contract positions, counting those advertised as temporary.

The discipline sewed the seeds of its own destruction by acquiescing to the popular belief that there was no such thing as taste or judgement, only personal preference. Newsflash: if you teach that experts in your field are unimportant and unnecessary, they will stop employing experts in your field. I'm not complaining, just describing.

As for what other employment prospects I'll have, I really don't know. I don't think publishing companies maintain much in the way of editorial staffs anymore, for example. In the '60s, I probably could have gone and been a newspaper reporter fairly easily, but that barely exists anymore, either. I also could have thrown credentials to the wind and gone to work in an automobile factory or something like that, which I obviously can't do now. I will do something, and I'll work at it and do a good job, and hopefully make a living. I'll also do research. As long as I can keep a roof over my head and high-speed internet coming in through the cable, I'll probably enjoy myself for 15 out of every 24 hours more than I would have in the '60s. My passion is music--hearing as much of it as possible, "classical" variety, composed after about 1950. I can do a lot more of that now than at any time in the past. Interestingly enough, that also means I can be a better musicologist than I could have been at any time in the past, whether I can be employed as one or not.
   1455. Shoebo Posted: October 10, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4261438)
I'd much rather be 21 in the 21st century, but that just the take of a middle aged guy.
   1456. Greg K Posted: October 10, 2012 at 05:36 AM (#4261449)
I promised a Black Death post, but had other things to do (like parenting) and I want to go to bed. I will try to get to it tomorrow. Sorry to everyone desperately hoping for some pandemic talk this evening.

No worries, I believe that post may have had audience of one, and due to the time zone I was fast asleep by that time.
   1457. BDC Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4261496)
Sycophant made a good point since I was last here: that the nuclear family was very much a Puritan ideal. It was central to the Victorian ideal of "companionate marriage," as well. It was just hard to achieve in practice, precisely because Daddy kept falling down the mineshaft and Mommy expired of puerperal fever and Fido got rabies and was hanged as a witch. But even with all kinds of haphazard (if inadvertent) subsequent family arrangements, people continued to grow up well-adjusted, if you can call Puritans and Victorians well-adjusted :)
   1458. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4261512)
snapper's one valid point is that children will do better when raised in a stable family environment. But to go from that to saying that there are only two types of stable family environments (man + woman or widow/widower) is an enormous stretch. And half the friends I knew who grew up in highly religious families couldn't wait to get the hell out of that stifling atmosphere once they had their first opportunity. It's no accident that 20% of people today are fast self-identifying as atheist, agnostic, or "nothing in particular".
   1459. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4261514)
Oh and Jack Welch is taking his column and going home over at Fortune. He apparently didn't like the lack of support they gave him after his tweet.

His rantings about the BLS numbers were embarrassing and another marker of cultural decline. A formerly lauded business leader, former chairman of GE, puported rationalist and empiricist, propagating conspiratorial nonsense. Absurd.

This exemplifies the issue I mentioned above -- the significantly higher influence of anti-science and nuttery in 2012 than in, say, 1965. That's a telltale marker of decline.
   1460. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4261525)
snapper's one valid point is that children will do better when raised in a stable family environment.


I think this is underselling it a bit. He is very much right about the impact of various life style "choices" (not always a choice, btw) on median childrens outcomes. There is a reason the Mouse Divorce is preceding slowly while I make sure the Mouse Children are as OK as can be and the ex and I continue to have a good solid relationship. I could have just dumped on the marriage a long while back, but I was not willing to do that, primarily because of the Mouse Boys.

I just think he is drawing the wrong prescriptions from what he is saying. The way to encourage "good families" includes (in my opinion) plenty of sex education and free and easy access to contraception. People are going to have sex (I promise, it is really fun) and so acknowledge the fact and make having kids more of a concious choicerather than something that just happens.

And contraception fails sometimes. Several of my siblings - including myself I believe - were concieved while contraception was being used in the Mouse Parent household, including the youngest who arrived after mom had her tubes tied. If parents have a choice to not have a child, including they don't think they are ready, willing and able, then you have fewer "bad families".

I don't think social stigma, abstinence education, and religious pressure are the right ways to go about it. There is too much collateral damage. Encouraging women to have children in wedlock (or another stable long term relationship) should be done by giving the women control of when they have children, not by shaming women who have children out of wedlock.

I think snapper and I agree on a huge pile of outcomes we want to see, we just get there in very different ways. Such is life.
   1461. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4261530)
This exemplifies the issue I mentioned above -- the significantly higher influence of anti-science and nuttery in 2012 than in, say, 1965. That's a telltale marker of decline.


I would argue it is a sign of the internet age (basically the age of extreme communication). I think there have always been some nutters. The presence of the hyper-communication and the tendency to associate/communicate with people who agree with you (very enabled by the internet, you can limit yourself to the echo chamber on either side very easily) means that we hear much more of this nonsense than ever before.

Everything has a consequence and I think the increased influence you are pointing out is a consequence of modern society. A negative one I grant you, but I believe the positives of the communication age outweigh the negatives. I don't think it is a marker of decline however.
   1462. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4261538)
And contraception fails sometimes. Several of my siblings - including myself I believe - were concieved while contraception was being used in the Mouse Parent household


We came so close.
   1463. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4261539)
The communications revolution is probably the defining feature of our time, and it's turned a bunch of formerly rational people into conspiratorialist nutters and othewise unleashed a torrent of weird religion and anti-science. I'm not sure what more you'd need to conclude such a thing was a marker of decline.
   1464. GregD Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4261559)
The communications revolution is probably the defining feature of our time, and it's turned a bunch of formerly rational people into conspiratorialist nutters and othewise unleashed a torrent of weird religion and anti-science. I'm not sure what more you'd need to conclude such a thing was a marker of decline.
The issue is whether there are more anti-science people or whether we are more aware of them. Being more aware of them is a decline in the sense that it impacts one's life more, but it doesn't prove there's a decline in belief.

A classic example of this is the Scopes Trial. First there was the Mencken/Inherit the Wind view that these dummies never heard of evolution, then had to get educated by Clarence Darrow and modernity.

Then, as people saw that the Scopes case was stranger--it was a setup to bring tourism to a place that was actually a pretty modern small town, not part of some cotton south, and so came a view that the Scopes Trial and the 1920s evolution controversy in the South actually created an anti-evolution backlash in the South because of how people were portrayed in the North. The chronology made sense. Evolution becomes widespread in latter third of 19th century. WW 1 some ministers start preaching against it. 1920s some states legislate against it but no one takes those bills seriously, even the governors. Then, Scopes and the mockery of religion, and anti-evolution becomes a popular crusade.

But further research revealed that the chronology was all wrong. The reality was that in most rural school districts evolution had never been taught. The anti-evolution laws didn't stir up that much controversy because no one thought you needed a state law to keep it out of a rural district. Scopes activates a pre-existing consensus against the teaching of evolution because it shows--for the first time--there's a threat. So anti-evolution sentiment may have been stable or even declining after Scopes but it was far, far more visible.

That's possibly true now. Anti-science views have been widespread but not visible. Now they are more visible. But the question is are they more visible because they are growing more widespread? Or because latent views have been active? Or because technology or some other factor has made what was always there more evident to those of us who are not there?

Personally I doubt that people are more anti-science now than in the 1960s but that's because I have a pretty cynical view of how pro-science people were in the 1960s. What is true is that you can find a place in politics as an anti-science person in a way that was more challenging in the 1960s.

Gallup found little change in the number of people who call themselves creationists over the past 30 years, the period they have been asking that question. link
   1465. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4261562)
I think all of you guys are aren't seeing the forest for the trees. We can say that according to wages/employment/technology/leisure time indicators, we are better off today than 20-40-100 years ago, but if we're no happier what's the point? All this supposed prosperity has somehow given rise to the phenomenon of adolescents cutting themselves (14% of Canadians in that ago group, according to a study I heard about on CBC this morning). One in five US children may not have supper tonight. Fewer and fewer people, especially young people, have healthy relationships with friends and family, to the point where girls think so little of themselves that they routinely post naked pictures of themselves online. Over a third of American adults are obese.

Money, technology and leisure time do not in any way equal happiness, and never will. I'm not advocating we go Amish, but having all of these indulgences and living life on-demand has not improved our lives, if you're being honest with yourself.
   1466. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4261563)
Personally I doubt that people are more anti-science now than in the 1960s but that's because I have a pretty cynical view of how pro-science people were in the 1960s.


The rise of anti-science is a direct relation to the dispersion of science. There was no real anti-science movement in the past because people weren't taught science much at all. To your Scopes/evolution example, the reason there wasn't an anti-evolution movement in religious states/counties prior to Scopes is because it never occurred to them that they should teach science at all.
   1467. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4261566)
Money, technology and leisure time do not in any way equal happiness, and never will. I'm not advocating we go Amish, but having all of these indulgences and living life on-demand has not improved our lives, if you're being honest with yourself.

Correct. Not only that, but the increased money should have led to increased levels of rationality and empiricism and a decline in superstition and nonsense. Since, say, the mid-60s, that emphatically has not happened.

   1468. GregD Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4261570)
The rise of anti-science is a direct relation to the dispersion of science. There was no real anti-science movement in the past because people weren't taught science much at all. To your Scopes/evolution example, the reason there wasn't an anti-evolution movement in religious states/counties prior to Scopes is because it never occurred to them that they should teach science at all.
Well they taught chemistry and stuff like that. They loved Baconian science in the South. But, yes, they never considered that they should teach evolution at all, and they tried to run off the most-significant president in Wake Forest history because he was teaching evolution to college science majors.
   1469. Greg K Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4261571)
The communications revolution is probably the defining feature of our time, and it's turned a bunch of formerly rational people into conspiratorialist nutters and othewise unleashed a torrent of weird religion and anti-science. I'm not sure what more you'd need to conclude such a thing was a marker of decline.

I don't know, isn't history littered with conspiratorialist nutters?
I'd have thought paranoia about Catholics, Protestants, Puritans, non-conformists, Freemasons, Communists, Jews, revolutionaries, royalists, loyalists, pretty much any kind of foreigner anywhere, and so on have driven actual government policy at almost any time in history more than today.
   1470. Lassus Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4261572)
Not only that, but the increased money should have led to increased levels of rationality and empiricism and a decline in superstition and nonsense. Since, say, the mid-60s, that emphatically has not happened.

"Should have?" According to what?
   1471. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4261573)
Science was practically synonymous with progress in the mid-1960s, and "progress" was seen as desirable -- something to strive for and welcome -- across nearly the entire society -- the "liberal consensus" -- of that time.

Neither is the case today. We're worse off because of it.
   1472. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4261575)
"Should have?" According to what?

According to the money nutters. That isn't my belief.
   1473. Poulanc Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4261587)
We're worse off because of it.


We are worse off today because of science?
   1474. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4261589)
Well they taught chemistry and stuff like that. They loved Baconian science in the South. But, yes, they never considered that they should teach evolution at all, and they tried to run off the most-significant president in Wake Forest history because he was teaching evolution to college science majors.


Agreed.

Science was practically synonymous with progress in the mid-1960s, and "progress" was seen as desirable -- something to strive for and welcome -- across nearly the entire society -- the "liberal consensus" -- of that time.


Right. There was no conservative backlash against 60's era "progressive" movements or anything. Anti-science thinking didn't spring forth fully formed from Al Gore's forehead when he created the internet. It's the rusty, grated edge of religious culture and traditionalist values grinding against the whetstone of modernity and scientific progress/discovery. This anti-science/conspiratorial thinking you're attributing to "communications technology" or whatever is the exact same thing that happened when Galileo had the gall to suggest the sun didn't revolve around the Earth.
   1475. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4261590)
I don't know, isn't history littered with conspiratorialist nutters?


We would have never had the Protocols of the Elders of Zion without the internet.
   1476. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4261598)
I think all of you guys are aren't seeing the forest for the trees. We can say that according to wages/employment/technology/leisure time indicators, we are better off today than 20-40-100 years ago, but if we're no happier what's the point? All this supposed prosperity has somehow given rise to the phenomenon of adolescents cutting themselves (14% of Canadians in that ago group, according to a study I heard about on CBC this morning). One in five US children may not have supper tonight. Fewer and fewer people, especially young people, have healthy relationships with friends and family, to the point where girls think so little of themselves that they routinely post naked pictures of themselves online. Over a third of American adults are obese.

Money, technology and leisure time do not in any way equal happiness, and never will. I'm not advocating we go Amish, but having all of these indulgences and living life on-demand has not improved our lives, if you're being honest with yourself.


I think the above post misses the mark.

First of all "happy" is not objectively measureable. It is by nature a subjective and relative measurment. If no one has indoor plumbing then no one's happiness is impacted by a lack of plumbing. Then some people get indoor plumbing. Their happiness increases, they have indoor plumbing now! Those without indoor plumbing, well some of them might have happiness decreases (I am not one of those with indoor plumbing) and some stay the same (Very very few will have their happiness increase I should say). Then everyone (nearly anyway) gets indoor plumbing. Again no ones happiness is impacted by indoor plumbing. Everything else held steady happiness (the relative subjective measure) is now the same as when no one had indoor plumbing.

Anyone who says people with indoor plumbing and without indoor plumbing are equally well off (everything else held constant) are insane (and have never lived without indoor plumbing). Using "happy" as a measure for this sort of thing is completely and totally ridiculous.
   1477. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4261604)
There was no conservative backlash against 60's era "progressive" movements or anything.

Of course there was. It was a shell of what it is today.

This anti-science/conspiratorial thinking you're attributing to "communications technology" or whatever is the exact same thing that happened when Galileo had the gall to suggest the sun didn't revolve around the Earth.

You're doing that thing again where someone says some social marker has declined since 1965 and you say things were the same or worse in 1580 than they are now. That doesn't address the hypothesis that things improved dramatically between 1580 and (say) 1965, and those improvements have waned, if not been turned back, between 1965 and 2012.

   1478. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4261607)
This anti-science/conspiratorial thinking you're attributing to "communications technology" or whatever is the exact same thing that happened when Galileo had the gall to suggest the sun didn't revolve around the Earth.


I believe the thinking is the same. However I think there is a case to be made that the influence of that thinking is magnified by the communication age. The anti-vaccine nuts for example. People (stupid ones I grant you) are not having their children vaccinated because of things (nutjob conspriacies) they hear about in the echo chamber. Back in the day their Doctor said get your child vaccinated and they did. Now they hear about the "medical theory" from a random former porn star and don't vaccinate their kids.

The crazy has a bit more influence than it did, because the channels of information are more diverse and the "hierarchy of truth" is not as clear any more.

Of course the information age has strong benefits, but there are also costs. Both of these manifest through human nature (including oddball conspiracy nuts) which has not changed.
   1479. formerly dp Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4261608)
Science was practically synonymous with progress in the mid-1960s, and "progress" was seen as desirable -- something to strive for and welcome -- across nearly the entire society -- the "liberal consensus" -- of that time.


Only if you downplay the popularity of people like Marcuse in youth/counter culture-- one of the major strands of lefty thought at the time was to criticize the close entanglement of science and capitalism, and the reduction of science to technics. Don't forget, the 1960s were the immediate aftermath of both the A-bomb and WWII. WWI was followed by a deep cultural distrust of technology, especially of the equation between technology and progress, because it entailed the liquidation of human life on a scale never before seen. Both of those objections are of a decidedly different flavor than the righty/religious objections, but if you're talking about the complex cultural relationship to technology and science, you can't brush asides the "crises of faith" that followed WWI and to a lesser extent WWII.
   1480. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4261609)
One of the main reasons for the rising anti-science sentiment is because of the technocratic approach to management that insists there is only one way to skin a cat. Every decision is boiled down to probabilities and statistics, and that is not a very good way to operate human systems. As a civil servant, I can attest to this fact. Every thing I do is governed by a policy, which may be applicable in even 95% of the cases I deal with. The 5% in which it is exactly the wrong thing to do are disregarded, because experience, judgment and compassion cannot be quantified and accounted for in the database.

The proponents of this approach also fail to acknowledge, almost 100% of the time, that all scientific data must be interpreted by biased humans for it to take a form that can be presented and understood. Take weather forecasting for example. I think most people would agree that meteorologists are scientists, and they use numbers and formulae and precise empirical measurements of temperature, wind speed, humidity etc. to make a forecast as to what the weather will be. Despite that, their success rate at predicting what the weather will be next week or next month or next summer is not even slightly more accurate than old farmer Bill's educated guess, based on his experience and soft observational skills. Yet in our techocratic system, consulting Bill is foolish, and anti-science.
   1481. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4261613)
Anyone who says people with indoor plumbing and without indoor plumbing are equally well off (everything else held constant) are insane (and have never lived without indoor plumbing). Using "happy" as a measure for this sort of thing is completely and totally ridiculous.


You are confusing "well off" with "happy". Material goods have absulotely nothing to do with happiness. And, just because something cannot be objectively measured doesn't mean it should be disregarded. This is technocratic thinking at its best (i.e. worst).
   1482. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4261623)
First of all "happy" is not objectively measureable. It is by nature a subjective and relative measurment.


Happiness is apparently "pitchability."
   1483. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4261631)
You are confusing "well off" with "happy". Material goods have absulotely nothing to do with happiness. And, just because something cannot be objectively measured doesn't mean it should be disregarded. This is technocratic thinking at its best (i.e. worst).


I am not confusing the two I am stating that happy is a terrible measure to use for cross time, cross cultural comparisons. I am showing through my indoor plumbing example that happy does not work to do those comparisions. Nearly every person throughout history would choose indoor plumbing over its absense. It is nearly a pure good. Any analysis that claims that indoor plumbing is not worthwhile (as a happiness analysis will do) is automatically suspect.

If happiness is completely independant of indoor plumbing and I have to choose a measure of a society I will choose the one that includes indoor plumbing, since as I said nearly every human being in history would choose it over the alternative (obviously once they understood it).

Anyone who claims indoor plumbing (a material good) has nothing to do with happiness has never ever lived without indoor plumbing (especially in the middle of winter in Minnesota).

Food is a material good and so is shelter, are they immaterial? Why does virtually everyone in human history struggle to acquire material goods if they are not relevent? Why is consumerism the dominant "ism" of our age?

And people say I am an ivory tower unrealist who does not live in the real world. And no I am not saying material goods are everything, but to discount them is madness.
   1484. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4261635)
Why is consumerism the dominant "ism" of our age?


Edward Bernays, if you ask me.
   1485. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4261636)
The idea that you would be free to have a different opinion on those issues from the societal tradition is most certainly a Christian idea. Freedom of conscience is a 100% Christian idea.
Freedom of conscience seems more Jewish than Christian. After all, we don't think God wants everyone to be Jewish; Christians think God wants everyone to be Christian.
   1486. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4261643)
Speaking of madness, another group that is much better off today than in the past is the mentally ill. Mental illness, more than ever before, is seen as an illness that can be treated or at worst lived with, with accomodations made. Back in the "golden age" the mentally ill were often seen as weak or flawed, and a huge percentage of them engaged in self-medication (drugs and alcohol) with predictable results. Attitudes towards them have improved in addition to the straight up treatment improvements.

Autistic, deaf, blind and other similar groups are also much much better off than they were back in the day. Today they are treated as human beings and accomodations are made for them and the world accepts them much more readily. Even if you think (and you would be wrong) that soceity as a whole is worse off because of things like ADA and changing attitudes, those groups are very much impacted for the better by them.
   1487. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4261645)
I don't think so. Europe in the High Middle Ages (1000-1300) was doing exceedingly well. Rapid growth, rising power; hence they were able to launch the Crusades. And their wasn't a very harsh religious discipline. Everyone was Catholic, so being lax wasn't a huge threat. Most conflict were Church vs. State, not amongst Christian factions (with the exception of the wacko Albigensians). The main religious movements of this era was the Franciscans, and Dominicans, who focused on individual piety.
So, basically Catholism was very tolerant as long as it was dealing with obedient Catholics. Sucked to be a Catholic heretic or Jew or Muslim or Protestant -- but, boy, those Catholics were very religiously tolerant of fellow Catholics.
   1488. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4261648)
Freedom of conscience seems more Jewish than Christian.


Not an expert, but as someone without a dog in this fight I agree with David. Of course the Christians keep trying to take credit for the good Jewish stuff by calling it the Judeo-Christian ethos, but credit for a bunch of it should go to the Jews (IMO).
   1489. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4261650)
Most of the single mothers I know are single because they left their abusive husbands. So in that case, I guess it is their fault for choosing poorly.
Where do you hang out, battered women's shelters? You think most divorced women were abused? Really?
   1490. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4261653)
So, basically Catholism was very tolerant as long as it was dealing with obedient Catholics. Sucked to be a Catholic heretic or Jew or Muslim or Protestant -- but, boy, those Catholics were very religiously tolerant of fellow Catholics.

No, Catholicism was very tolerant, lax even, if its position as official religion wasn't challenged. No one cared if you were heretic, unless you started rabble rousing against the Church or State. In most places at most times, Jews were tolerated in Medieval Catholic Europe.

Muslims were not tolerated, b/c there was basically a continuous state of war between Christendom and Islam from 650 to 1700. Muslim pirates raided the Italian coasts well into the 16th c.
   1491. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4261658)
So, basically Catholism was very tolerant as long as it was dealing with obedient Catholics. Sucked to be a Catholic heretic or Jew or Muslim or Protestant -- but, boy, those Catholics were very religiously tolerant of fellow Catholics.


I love the bit where the Cathars are just dismissed as crazy out of hand.
   1492. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4261662)
Not an expert, but as someone without a dog in this fight I agree with David. Of course the Christians keep trying to take credit for the good Jewish stuff by calling it the Judeo-Christian ethos, but credit for a bunch of it should go to the Jews (IMO).

That statement doesn't really make sense given Christian theology. Remember, Christianity is viewed a a fulfillment of Judaism. Christianity fully incorporates all Jewish moral teaching prior to 33 AD. They are just two different stages of revelation, by the same God.
   1493. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4261664)
How about this ... happiness has a very strong regression to the mean over time. If person A has a certain happiness level and ends up shipwrecked on an island they will have a decrease in their happiness. Over time, even if nothing else changes they will have a happiness rebound, because of that regression to the mean - people tend not to stay unhappy forever.

Similarly if I win the lottery (get a new job, whatever) my happiness will increase, but over time it too will regress to the mean and go back down.

Happiness is a terrible measure for many of the uses people try to use it for.
   1494. formerly dp Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4261666)
On Planet Snapper, the church never killed anyone for asking questions it found inconvenient. And also never banned books, because it loved free thought so much. And never burned women alive for being old and unmarried.
   1495. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4261667)
Mainline Protestantism abandoned basic Christian teaching, and followed the Liberal party line (pro-abortion, pro-divorce, pro-homosexuality); there's no mystery why it failed. We're still left with all those congregants who have lost their religious attachment.

This is a little overstated, except for maybe the Unitarians, speaking as a member of the Mainline Protestants. The Episcopals are pretty liberal too.
It's not overstated. Mainline Protestantism, as well as a lot of Catholics and Reform Judaism, have abandoned religion in favor of general be-excellent-to-each-other pablum and "social justice." And as a result, their membership is stagnating or dwindling.
   1496. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4261673)
That statement doesn't really make sense given Christian theology. Remember, Christianity is viewed a a fulfillment of Judaism. Christianity fully incorporates all Jewish moral teaching prior to 33 AD. They are just two different stages of revelation, by the same God.
Keep telling yourself that. It'll convince many people who know nothing about Judaism...
   1497. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4261675)
I love the bit where the Cathars are just dismissed as crazy out of hand.

Yes, they were. Some religions are nutso.

They believed forgiveness of sins after baptism was impossible. That's a horrific, non-sensical doctrine. It basically condemns everyone to Hell.

You want me to name some more nutso religions?
   1498. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4261676)
   1499. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4261679)
The idea of the Daddy-Mommy-children single unit family - the "nuclear family" - evolved in post-War America. It's called "nuclear family" because the idea of the thing developed in the "nuclear age" - post atom bomb and all that.
The bad pop etymology... it burns my eyes.
   1500. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4261680)
How about this ... happiness has a very strong regression to the mean over time.


I agree with that somewhat. Happiness is a decision. At every juncture of your life, you can be pessimistic, negative and unhappy about it, or roll with the punches and decide to make the best of it. I saw a TED talk video once where they surveyed lottery winners and people who had become paraplegics, and after a given amount of time, the paraplegics, on average, were happier than the lottery winners. So I guess that shows evidence of regression to the mean and a decision to be happy.
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