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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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   2201. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:17 AM (#4272204)
To clarify for people like me who couldn't piece any of this together, apparently spearchucker is a racial epithet.

I only knew this one from the movie M*A*S*H, and there they explain the black football player / surgeon also threw the javelin in college.
   2202. Greg K Posted: October 16, 2012 at 04:17 AM (#4272216)
Which is a sign of the decline of our society. Society as a whole is poorer for us being here posting about baseball with largely anonymous people, than out playing softball or bowling (or even watching the ballgame at the local bar )with our friends and neighbors

This is certainly true for me. I broke my finger a couple weeks ago and so haven't been to any of my club's baseball games or training sessions...it's depressing!
   2203. McCoy Posted: October 16, 2012 at 06:02 AM (#4272221)
Wisconsin loves bowling and has a ton of bowling leagues. Would anyone here say Wisconsin has a healthy society?
   2204. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 07:45 AM (#4272234)
Would anyone here say Wisconsin has a healthy society?


Hey now, neighbor state! Wisconsin is OK, though it is funny to drive through the small towns with the bars, church, bowling alley, and five houses.

We are in flyover country, but Wisconsin and Minnesota always score well inthe liveable categories, voting percentages, and school testing. Hey bowling and high participation in voting!
   2205. Greg K Posted: October 16, 2012 at 07:54 AM (#4272236)
We are in flyover country, but Wisconsin and Minnesota always score well inthe liveable categories, voting percentages, and school testing. Hey bowling and high participation in voting!

Is there much curling in those parts? One of the biggest things I miss about living in Saskatchewan is the ability to go curling at the drop of a hat.
   2206. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4272246)
I think there is curling, but I have no first hand experience. My brother would know more, except he lives in California and does his curling there (He loves curling, I have never done it - no reason why, just never came up).
   2207. just plain joe Posted: October 16, 2012 at 08:41 AM (#4272249)
I only knew this one from the movie M*A*S*H, and there they explain the black football player / surgeon also threw the javelin in college.


I think it should be obvious to all that the director/screen writers called the black surgeon "Spearchucker" in an attempt at humor. It is along the same lines as referring to Catholics as "herring chokers" or Germans as "square heads". One also needs to remember that M*A*S*H was set in the early 1950's, when people's sensibilities weren't as PC as they are now and it wasn't as objectionable (in most parts of society) to express racist sentiments in everyday conversation.

I grew up in the upper south and I can tell you that "spearchucker" is indeed one of the many derogatory and insulting terms that white people used to describe African-Americans. For Mark Sanford to refer to the President as needing to come out chucking spears is insensitive at best and might well have racist undertones. In any event it is easy to see this remark as being directed to the Republican base, to remind them that President Obama is one of "them".
   2208. formerly dp Posted: October 16, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4272257)
Wisconsin loves bowling and has a ton of bowling leagues. Would anyone here say Wisconsin has a healthy society?


What do you mean by "healthy society"? From Putnam's standpoint, it looks like there's a lot of organized political participation there, and that's certainly a sign of an engaged and active populace not content to be passively ruled.

And on a board where a lot of people play fantasy sports, this idea that people don't game in formally-structured settings should also seem a little suspect. Beyond fantasy sports, you've got the highly organized and structured cooperative and competitive video gaming, with games like WoW requiring people to work together on a massive scale with people who are geographically distant (just like the modern workplace). Several of my students play competitive Tekken/Street Fighter tournaments organized by kids under 25, that draw pretty sizable crowds. Snapper's gripe is just a nostalgic lamentation over the disappearance of a society that never actually existed in the first place. Putnam's concern more connected to the problem of democratic socialization and legitimation crisis.
   2209. Shredder Posted: October 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4272299)
Wisconsin loves bowling and has a ton of bowling leagues. Would anyone here say Wisconsin has a healthy society?
They have Congressmen that can run sub three hour marathons. That seems pretty healthy.
   2210. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 16, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4272345)
They have Congressmen that can run sub three hour marathons. That seems pretty healthy.

You must be referring to Rosie Ruiz Ryan.
   2211. Lassus Posted: October 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4272347)
I grew up in the upper south

So, Maryland? :-)
   2212. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4272373)
And on a board where a lot of people play fantasy sports, this idea that people don't game in formally-structured settings should also seem a little suspect. Beyond fantasy sports, you've got the highly organized and structured cooperative and competitive video gaming, with games like WoW requiring people to work together on a massive scale with people who are geographically distant (just like the modern workplace).

But you do realize that those people are less connected than people who "game" with others in person, or work with people in the same location. They don't know each other as well, are less likely to interact outside the specific venue, and are unlikely to do neighborly things (watch your kids so you can go out, feed your cat while you're away, buy you groceries if you're laid up with a broken leg, etc.)

. Snapper's gripe is just a nostalgic lamentation over the disappearance of a society that never actually existed in the first place.

I call BS on this. I was born into such a society. We lived in Ozone Park, Queens, NY and my Mom's family had been there for 70 years. Within 5 blocks we had my grandparents, my uncle, and two sets of great-aunts and uncles. My family knew pretty much everyone in the area. The butcher, baker, and greengrocer were on the third generation of their families selling to our families. I can still remember my grandmother going into to the corner bar to find the least drunk guy to drive a pregnant neighbor to the hospital.

That society absolutely existed. And, if I could, I'd gladly give up my suburban 3000 sq. ft. house to live in a 2 BDR apt in a two-family house in that neighborhood that existed when I was 0-10.
   2213. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4272380)
Would anyone here say Wisconsin has a healthy society?


I love Wisconsin, and I'm not sure what about Wisconsin society is especially unhealthy. Except for alcohol consumption they are probably at or better than the national median in most statistical measures. Wisconsin even has a better-than-average obesity rate. They're just big-boned.

Furthermore, I've had more pleasant experiences (by rate) with random strangers in Wisconsin than I have had in any other state. I'm a clean-cut white dude who's traveled extensively in the South, so I have a lot of experience with random strangers being nice to me. Wisconsin beats them all.
   2214. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4272386)
Snapper's gripe is just a nostalgic lamentation over the disappearance of a society that never actually existed in the first place.


I call BS on this. I was born into such a society. We lived in Ozone Park, Queens, NY and my Mom's family had been there for 70 years. Within 5 blocks we had my grandparents, my uncle, and two sets of great-aunts and uncles. My family knew pretty much everyone in the area. The butcher, baker, and greengrocer were on the third generation of their families selling to our families. I can still remember my grandmother going into to the corner bar to find the least drunk guy to drive a pregnant neighbor to the hospital.

To a lesser degree that describes the Cleveland Park neighborhood in DC that I grew up in. Everyone knew nearly everyone else on the block and many others in the surrounding blocks. The only chain stores were a local chain druggist who competed against several independents, a pair of small supermarkets among other neighborhood owned grocers, and an Amoco and and Esso gas station. Everything else was pretty much a one-of-a-kind shop where the owner was around and knew all of his regular customers by name. It wasn't Mayberry by a long shot, but for a city of that size it was a fair approximation.

The downside was that it was much more culturally homogeneous than it is today, both in terms of race and religion, which meant that it would be a long time before many of my friends ever had to deal with the fact that the outside world wasn't one big Cleveland Park. But it was also much more economically diverse, which reflected the far lesser economic stratification of American society as a whole. If only someone could have waved a magic wand and eradicated the generations-old racial prejudices from the bloodstream of that neighborhood, it would have been an ideal place to grow up in, but in hindsight the inbred quality of neighborhoods like that resulted in a whole henhouse full of chickens that came home to roost in the next decade. Even back then, there was no free lunch.
   2215. Chicago Joe Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4272387)
That society absolutely existed. And, if I could, I'd gladly give up my suburban 3000 sq. ft. house to live in a 2 BDR apt in a two-family house in that neighborhood that existed when I was 0-10.

That pretty much describes the neighborhood I live in now...
   2216. GregD Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4272392)
There are lots of neighborhoods like that in Philly; we lived on a block where 3 family members owned different row houses, and that wasn't unusual at all in some neighborhoods. Some of those neighborhoods are more dangerous or less convenient or less well-schooled than people with lots of options might tolerate, but some of those old neighborhoods might well have been more dangerous and less convenient than people recall, too. My wife's family are multi-generation Williamsburg, Brooklyn natives who left, and every family gathering is full of talk with their thousands of cousins about the good old days but they experienced things they wouldn't tolerate happening their children, multiple muggings, a park worker hung from a lamppost at the local playground after he called police on a gang, a heightened sense of gang turf that determined where they could go and with whom. They loved it for themselves but wouldn't want it for their children; they loved having grown up in there but wouldn't risk others growing up there. They became middle class.
   2217. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4272393)
That pretty much describes the neighborhood I live in now...

Now all you have to do is find snapper a job out there and start the ball rolling.
   2218. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4272395)
Some of those neighborhoods are more dangerous or less convenient or less well-schooled than people with lots of options might tolerate, but some of those old neighborhoods might well have been more dangerous and less convenient than people recall, too.

I always find it amusing that although the crime rate in Cleveland Park is if anything even lower than it was in the 50's, the idea that elementary school aged children might just be left to themselves without adult supervision between school hours and dinner seems to be met with charges of virtual child abuse.
   2219. just plain joe Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4272400)
So, Maryland? :-)


No, in Kentucky actually, hard by the Ohio River.
   2220. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4272402)
There are lots of neighborhoods like that in Philly; we lived on a block where 3 family members owned different row houses, and that wasn't unusual at all in some neighborhoods. Some of those neighborhoods are more dangerous or less convenient or less well-schooled than people with lots of options might tolerate, but some of those old neighborhoods might well have been more dangerous and less convenient than people recall, too. My wife's family are multi-generation Williamsburg, Brooklyn natives who left, and every family gathering is full of talk with their thousands of cousins about the good old days but they experienced things they wouldn't tolerate happening their children, multiple muggings, a park worker hung from a lamppost at the local playground after he called police on a gang, a heightened sense of gang turf that determined where they could go and with whom. They loved it for themselves but wouldn't want it for their children; they loved having grown up in there but wouldn't risk others growing up there. They became middle class.

Right, but those downsides didn't exist in the 50's and 60's. Crime was virtually non-existent in those neighborhoods.

The crime came in the very late 60's, and 70's, as part of the general breakdown of order (i.e. the liberal governing class lost its nerve) which is why my family moved to the suburbs.
   2221. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4272403)
And, if I could, I'd gladly give up my suburban 3000 sq. ft. house to live in a 2 BDR apt in a two-family house in that neighborhood that existed when I was 0-10.
If I had a childhood like that, I'd be nostalgic for it, too. Instead, from years 6-15, I lived out on the edge of the Southern California desert, below the poverty line, in a sprawling neighborhood of rundown old lots and abandoned businesses. There was plenty of space to run around, but temperatures regularly went into the high 90s and the daily first-stage smog alerts would make your chest hurt if you ran around too much. Crime was common. The dropout rate was enormous. Anyone who could move away DID move away.

The myth of the Great American Community isn't that it existed, the myth is that it existed for everyone.
   2222. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4272405)
It wasn't Mayberry by a long shot, but for a city of that size it was a fair approximation.


Fewer lynchings, I suspect.

All of our neighbors in the trailer park knew each other, of course.
   2223. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4272406)
nstead, from years 6-15, I lived out on the edge of the Southern California desert, below the poverty line, in a sprawling neighborhood of rundown old lots and abandoned businesses. There was plenty of space to run around, but temperatures regularly went into the high 90s and the daily first-stage smog alerts would make your chest hurt if you ran around too much. Crime was common. The dropout rate was enormous. Anyone who could move away DID move away.


The rest became Angels fans.
   2224. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4272407)
Now all you have to do is find snapper a job out there and start the ball rolling.

The problem is, a neighborhood like that is great for those from there, but as a newcomer, you can't just magically create all those ties. It takes generations to build the type of community ties my family had when I was growing up.
   2225. GregD Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4272408)
I always find it amusing that although the crime rate in Cleveland Park is if anything even lower than it was in the 50's, the idea that elementary school aged children might just be left to themselves without adult supervision between school hours and dinner seems to be met with charges of virtual child abuse.
This seems universal. Most neighborhoods are safer but people let their kids do less without supervision. Some of it is--not a nice thought!--the impact of the reduction of family size. My wife's mother lost 2 uncles in their adolescence to them going to swim in the East River with friends at 6 and 8, and never coming home. When you have 2 kids, your level of surveillance goes up because you can and because everything rides on those two. The other thing is knowledge; cases of crimes against children are so much more publicized now. All the people of my in-law's generation in NYC talk about the Etan case as the moment when every parent they knew stopped letting their kids go out by themselves at a young age. Obviously there had been cases of child murder before, though.

Knowing all this doesn't change it. We live in a much safer neighborhood than my wife grew up in and in a much, much safer iteration of the city, and yet we would never let our kids go out by themselves at young elementary school age, and if we did, we would as you say have cops on us like bees.
   2226. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4272418)
Crime was virtually non-existent in those neighborhoods.


It was perceived as such in part because many crimes (such as rape and child or spousal abuse) were almost never reported to the police, for cultural reasons.
   2227. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4272421)
This seems universal. Most neighborhoods are safer but people let their kids do less without supervision.

You've got to define your time frames. Most neighborhoods are safer than they were in the late-60's through early 90's, but not safer than they were in the 50's and early 60's.
   2228. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4272422)
The rest became Angels fans.
Only the lucky ones. The rest became Dodger fans.
   2229. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4272423)
But you do realize that those people are less connected than people who "game" with others in person, or work with people in the same location. They don't know each other as well, are less likely to interact outside the specific venue, and are unlikely to do neighborly things (watch your kids so you can go out, feed your cat while you're away, buy you groceries if you're laid up with a broken leg, etc.)


Ummm .. BS. The people I interact with in the most neighborly ways are not my immediate neighbors. My game friends watch my dog and feed my cats (and so on). I am very close friends with people all over the world. If I and the ex die, the boys will be custody of a good friend in Alaska. I have roomed at games conventions with people I only knew previously online - many of them are friends. Some friends of mine I see in person once a year, but interact with all year long and have been friends of theirs for 20 plus years.

In today's society people move. Much much more than they did in the 1950s for a whole host of reasons. The online world helps us maintain those connections and build on them, and form new connections based on common interests. Back in the day if no one in your neighborhood shared your interests (or hated you because you were different - race, orientation, whatever) you were SOL. Now you are not.

Just because you felt more connected BITGOD of your youth, does not mean society is less connected now. Differently connected, but not less so.
   2230. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4272424)
The myth of the Great American Community isn't that it existed, the myth is that it existed for everyone.

B.I.N.G.O.

-------------------------------------

Now all you have to do is find snapper a job out there and start the ball rolling.

The problem is, a neighborhood like that is great for those from there, but as a newcomer, you can't just magically create all those ties. It takes generations to build the type of community ties my family had when I was growing up.


Depends on what sort of neighborhood you mean. If you're limiting it to the type you grew up in, you're likely right. But though the one I grew up in shared most of those same traits you describe, new neighbors were always welcomed and had no problem fitting in.

-------------------------------------

I always find it amusing that although the crime rate in Cleveland Park is if anything even lower than it was in the 50's, the idea that elementary school aged children might just be left to themselves without adult supervision between school hours and dinner seems to be met with charges of virtual child abuse.

This seems universal. Most neighborhoods are safer but people let their kids do less without supervision. Some of it is--not a nice thought!--the impact of the reduction of family size. My wife's mother lost 2 uncles in their adolescence to them going to swim in the East River with friends at 6 and 8, and never coming home. When you have 2 kids, your level of surveillance goes up because you can and because everything rides on those two. The other thing is knowledge; cases of crimes against children are so much more publicized now. All the people of my in-law's generation in NYC talk about the Etan case as the moment when every parent they knew stopped letting their kids go out by themselves at a young age. Obviously there had been cases of child murder before, though.

Knowing all this doesn't change it. We live in a much safer neighborhood than my wife grew up in and in a much, much safer iteration of the city, and yet we would never let our kids go out by themselves at young elementary school age, and if we did, we would as you say have cops on us like bees.


Granting all that, I would have felt absolutely suffocated growing up in the sort of hyper-supervised childhood of today. I frankly can't believe it doesn't block the development of critical social skills.
   2231. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4272428)
Whatever word it was that that cop called Carl Crawford at a minor league game.


Yes, that was "Monday".
   2232. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4272431)
It was perceived as such in part because many crimes (such as rape and child or spousal abuse) were almost never reported to the police, for cultural reasons.

Just look at murders, assaults, muggings, and burglaries, which are generally free of that bias.

Comparing 2010 to 1965 (earliest stats I can find) for NYC (population is basically the same), you have murder basically the same (866 vs. 836), aggravated assault way up (43,867 vs. 27,464), robbery the same (28,473, vs. 28,182), and burglary way down (64,973 vs. 183,443).

Forcible rape is only up slightly (2771 vs. 2320) so, I'm not sure there was as much under-reporting as you think.
   2233. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4272435)
In today's society people move. Much much more than they did in the 1950s for a whole host of reasons.

That's bad too.

My family has moved a whole 30 miles since we hit Ellis Island. I don't understand why people move so far away from their families.
   2234. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4272438)
I frankly can't believe it doesn't block the development of critical social skills.

Who says it doesn't?
   2235. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4272440)
My family has moved a whole 30 miles since we hit Ellis Island. I don't understand why people move so far away from their families.


Perhaps you might consider the plight of someone who was not born into a family with roots in the economic hub of New York, Snapper.
   2236. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4272441)
I don't understand why people move so far away from their families.

Sometimes they live in small, boring, retrograde places and you want to live and make money in a place like NYC.
   2237. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4272442)
That's bad too.

My family has moved a whole 30 miles since we hit Ellis Island. I don't understand why people move so far away from their families.


So the fact that it has changed and does not accord with your experience means it is bad? Everyone should stay in a certain geographic area? Economic efficiency gained from moving, the need to move for health reasons, the desire to see the world, go away to college, meet someone and move to where they are, advance your career through moving -- all that is bad too?

Is good defined as how snapper and his family grew up and lived? Really, there is not room enough for many different ways of living life?
   2238. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4272443)
Perhaps you might consider the plight of someone who was not born into a family with roots in the economic hub of New York, Snapper.


Yeah. There's an alternate reality in which my parents stayed in west Kansas and I am a semi-literate amphetamine manufacturer.
   2239. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4272444)
Yes, that was "Monday".


I've heard most every racial slur on the planet, live and in stereo, but I have no idea what "Monday" means in that regard.
   2240. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4272445)

Perhaps you might consider the plight of someone who was not born into a family with roots in the economic hub of New York, Snapper.


Well, most of the people I'm talking about leave NYC. There is tremendous out-migration of native born New Yorkers (incl. CT and NJ) which is matched by in-migration from other states, and countries.

I certainly understand if you're from a tiny town having to move to find work. But in major metro areas, that's generally not the case, yet people move all over for no apparent reason.

The one I simply can't fathom is affluent retired people moving to Florida, or Arizona, or wherever, and being thousands of miles from their kids and grandkids.

   2241. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4272449)
The vibe I get from some (not just snapper) is:

In all of history, the "right way" to raise children was discovered in the US during the 1950s. No other way of raising children or structuring a society can ever be as good.

And I think that is a ridiculous way of looking at the world.
   2242. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4272454)
Is good defined as how snapper and his family grew up and lived? Really, there is not room enough for many different ways of living life?

It's not actually how my family lived after about age 8; we moved to the suburbs, and I hated every last thing about suburbia.

But, we all have a good that's the way we'd like to see the world. Mine is small c conservatism. Stable families and communities, traditional moral values, distributivist economics. You may value change, I like stability.
   2243. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4272457)
The one I simply can't fathom is affluent retired people moving to Florida, or Arizona, or wherever, and being thousands of miles from their kids and grandkids.


It's even better when they ##### and moan because you won't abandon your life and move to St. Petersburg.
   2244. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4272458)
In all of history, the "right way" to raise children was discovered in the US during the 1950s. No other way of raising children or structuring a society can ever be as good.

No, people knew how to raise children before that too. It's just that in the 1950's, we finally reached the level of prosperity where the average working class family had some level of financial means and comfort.

The people and institutions in my family's neighborhood were just as strong in 1910-1940, but they were freaking dirt poor!
   2245. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4272459)
I certainly understand if you're from a tiny town having to move to find work. But in major metro areas, that's generally not the case, yet people move all over for no apparent reason.


People make decisions about their own lives for reasons that work for them. I am accused of being part of the "Liberal Nanny State" lovers, but I am firmly convinced that freedom means accepting that people make their decisions for their life (not yours) and that's OK. Their reasons don't have to be apparent to you, they can be valid nonetheless.
   2246. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4272460)
I certainly understand if you're from a tiny town having to move to find work. But in major metro areas, that's generally not the case, yet people move all over for no apparent reason


Some people who are born in rural settings prefer urban lifestyles. Some people who are born in urban settings prefer rural lifestyles. Is it really impossible for you to consider the possibility that someone born to a working class family in the City would prefer to live in a less...hectic place? (Also, consider the possibility that some people are born into families in the city and that those familial relationships are *abusive and bad.*)

The one I simply can't fathom is affluent retired people moving to Florida, or Arizona, or wherever, and being thousands of miles from their kids and grandkids.


Old people don't like cold weather, Snap.
   2247. DA Baracus Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4272461)
Well, most of the people I'm talking about leave NYC.


Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side.
   2248. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4272462)

The one I simply can't fathom is affluent retired people moving to Florida, or Arizona, or wherever, and being thousands of miles from their kids and grandkids.


It's warm, it's geared towards people their age, and it's generally cheaper. At a certain point, all you want to do is go to the Galleria mall and then kvetch about Rascal House closing.
   2249. The Good Face Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4272463)
In all of history, the "right way" to raise children was discovered in the US during the 1950s. No other way of raising children or structuring a society can ever be as good.

And I think that is a ridiculous way of looking at the world.


It's self-evident that however children were raised in the 1950s was the worst possible way to raise children; it produced the Baby Boomers.
   2250. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4272465)
People make decisions about their own lives for reasons that work for them. I am accused of being part of the "Liberal Nanny State" lovers, but I am firmly convinced that freedom means accepting that people make their decisions for their life (not yours) and that's OK. Their reasons don't have to be apparent to you, they can be valid nonetheless.


Some people who are born in rural settings prefer urban lifestyles. Some people who are born in urban settings prefer rural lifestyles. Is it really impossible for you to consider the possibility that someone born to a working class family in the City would prefer to live in a less...hectic place? (Also, consider the possibility that some people are born into families in the city and that those familial relationships are *abusive and bad.*)


I'm not saying people shouldn't be allowed to move. I'm saying as a society, we should value family, friends and community more, and our individual preferences less.

That's actually a big problem with the "nanny state"; it reduces reliance on family/friends/neighbors, and weakens those ties.

   2251. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4272467)
No, people knew how to raise children before that too. It's just that in the 1950's, we finally reached the level of prosperity where the average working class family had some level of financial means and comfort.
Except for the quarter of the population living below the poverty line. This line of nostalgia is the worst.

It's self-evident that however children were raised in the 1950s was the worst possible way to raise children; it produced the Baby Boomers.
Snapper's exhibiting this now.
   2252. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4272469)
But, we all have a good that's the way we'd like to see the world. Mine is small c conservatism. Stable families and communities, traditional moral values, distributivist economics. You may value change, I like stability.


I actually value most of those things also (for certain of the traditional moral values). Since getting married and having the boys I have done everything I could to give my boys stability and community. Heck the ex and I are going to continue sharing the house (for the foreseeable future) in order to provide stability for the boys.

But other people make other choices and I don't presume to say my choices and lifestyle are correct and their choices and lifestyle is wrong or bad for society.

I do value change to a degree, but more to the point I accept it, it is inevitable. Some is good, some is bad. Work to shape the present and future, but fighting change is like ordering the tide to halt. It is unproductive and seems very unsatisfying.
   2253. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4272470)
It's self-evident that however children were raised in the 1950s was the worst possible way to raise children; it produced the Baby Boomers.

I was talking about the general neighborhood culture, not child-rearing in specific, but yes, the permissiveness shown to the Boomer generation was a disaster.
   2254. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4272471)
Except for the quarter of the population living below the poverty line. This line of nostalgia is the worst.

And economic growth wouldn't have continued without wrenching social change? Please.

Snapper's exhibiting this now.

Not a Boomer, sorry.
   2255. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4272476)
I'm not saying people shouldn't be allowed to move. I'm saying as a society, we should value family, friends and community more, and our individual preferences less.


The wonderful about modern technology though, is community can now stretch around the globe. As a believer in strength through diversity I think the mobile life style of the present has increased diversity and made our nation (and world) stronger.

My children know people from cultures all over the world, from many countries and religions. I think that gives them a better understanding of the world and helps them more than knowing the same number of people who were all like them in most every way.

My boys are growing up knowing the world is a huge and diverse place, which I don't know if people from BITGOD knew, growing up with only the kids next door. How does that make society weaker?
   2256. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4272478)
And economic growth wouldn't have continued without wrenching social change? Please.
Not for everyone, no.

Not a Boomer, sorry.
You've sure got that Boomer nostalgia working for you.
   2257. Lassus Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4272479)
And economic growth wouldn't have continued without wrenching social change? Please.

Snapper, populations never stand still. Ever. The world moves on. Whatever social stagnation you're going for will work just as well as abstinence programs to stop pregnancy, which is not at all.
   2258. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4272481)
But, we all have a good that's the way we'd like to see the world. Mine is small c conservatism. Stable families and communities, traditional moral values, distributivist economics. You may value change, I like stability.

I'm generally partial to that model, for most people, but it doesn't work for the talented and the ambitious. I speak for many when I say there was no way my home area was going to hold me, particularly pre-Internet when I came of career age.

With small and unrepresentative exceptions, Americans don't really go in for blood and soil and never really have. It's quite possible we'd be bettter off if we did.
   2259. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4272483)
I've heard most every racial slur on the planet, live and in stereo, but I have no idea what "Monday" means in that regard.


As I understand it, it's simply just a code word. It would be like if all Yankee fans decided to call all black Red Sox players "afflecks". It doesn't mean anything, it just allows people to communicate between themselves in code, in public, without repercussions.
   2260. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4272486)
I would have felt absolutely suffocated growing up in the sort of hyper-supervised childhood of today. I frankly can't believe it doesn't block the development of critical social skills.

Who says it doesn't?


The more relevant question might be why don't these helicopter parents act upon that recognition?
   2261. Chicago Joe Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4272490)
It's quite possible we'd be bettter off if we did.

How so?
   2262. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4272495)
As a believer in strength through diversity I think the mobile life style of the present has increased diversity and made our nation (and world) stronger.

My children know people from cultures all over the world, from many countries and religions. I think that gives them a better understanding of the world and helps them more than knowing the same number of people who were all like them in most every way.

My boys are growing up knowing the world is a huge and diverse place, which I don't know if people from BITGOD knew, growing up with only the kids next door. How does that make society weaker?

I've traveled more than ~99 percent of the population and I've spent years living outside the U.S. in places where I'd routinely go weeks without seeing another American. But as much as I've enjoyed it, I still don't understand (or buy into) this whole "diversity" cult that seems to value diversity simply for diversity's sake.

Even if all of the quoted text above is true, in what tangible or relevant ways does that make people better off today? Does webcamming with some Hindu guy in Bangalore make up for not knowing your neighbor's name? Does playing an online game against a guy in France make up for not having any old friends within a 20-mile (or 100-mile or 500-mile) radius who can watch the kids or share a holiday meal? Does talking about baseball (and politics) online with a bunch of people who mostly hide behind aliases somehow make up for not having 10 close friends a couple blocks away?

It seems absurd to suggest that the "mobile lifestyle" has made things better vis-a-vis relationships and community. At most, the internet has slightly mitigated the loss of family and community that people experience in today's highly transient society. And at worst, the internet is giving us a generation(s) of passive-aggressive people who hide behind their high-res screens and find any reason not to answer the phone or return a call, as if the slightest amount of human interaction would require therapy.
   2263. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4272497)
I would have felt absolutely suffocated growing up in the sort of hyper-supervised childhood of today. I frankly can't believe it doesn't block the development of critical social skills.

Who says it doesn't?

The more relevant question might be why don't these helicopter parents act upon that recognition?


So before we go to far down the cliche tunnel - does anyone want to quantify "hyper-supervised childhood" and/or "critical social skills"?

As a parent I would love to hear all about the social skills I am depriving my children of through hyper-supervision.

I say, while in the background the boys, home from school because of conferences, are putting away clean dishes and reloading the dishwasher. I am WFH this aft because of said conferences. Mostly when they are home they are here alone (having reached ages where it is OK), perhaps hyper-supervised by the dog or something.
   2264. Chicago Joe Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4272499)
The more relevant question might be why don't these helicopter parents act upon that recognition?


I think the increased awareness of the bad things that could happen drives you into paranoia.
   2265. GregD Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4272500)
I assume they are prioritizing other things, especially development of complex intellectual abilities. I hate helicopter parents but I think it's wrong to put the whole blame on psychology. They are living in a moment where the broad middle seems to be dissolving, and where holding a place in an increasingly competitive upper class requires an enormous amount of effort. If this continues, many children of privileged people are going to end up in crummy spots. That's okay by me, as a principle, but I can't blame people for 1) recognizing this and 2) trying to counteract it. Of course you could be more relaxed about school when the worst kid in your son's prep school went to Dartmouth (literally true of my father's prep school class.) Helicopter parents are responding to real stresses even if they probably aren't responding in the most-useful way.
   2266. Chicago Joe Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4272501)
Mostly when they are home they are here alone (having reached ages where it is OK)

When did you determine was the appropriate age for that?
   2267. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4272504)
As I understand it, it's simply just a code word. It would be like if all Yankee fans decided to call all black Red Sox players "afflecks". It doesn't mean anything, it just allows people to communicate between themselves in code, in public, without repercussions.


Pretty much, yeah. It allegedly started among cops, and they picked that particular word because "nobody likes Mondays".
   2268. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4272505)
Forcible rape is only up slightly (2771 vs. 2320) so, I'm not sure there was as much under-reporting as you think.


That, or it still tends to be under-reported, which seems more likely to me.
   2269. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4272510)
Pretty much, yeah. It allegedly started among cops, and they picked that particular word because "nobody likes Mondays".

Which, researchers now say, isn't true.
   2270. The Good Face Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4272513)
I assume they are prioritizing other things, especially development of complex intellectual abilities. I hate helicopter parents but I think it's wrong to put the whole blame on psychology. They are living in a moment where the broad middle seems to be dissolving, and where holding a place in an increasingly competitive upper class requires an enormous amount of effort. If this continues, many children of privileged people are going to end up in crummy spots. That's okay by me, as a principle, but I can't blame people for 1) recognizing this and 2) trying to counteract it. Of course you could be more relaxed about school when the worst kid in your son's prep school went to Dartmouth (literally true of my father's prep school class.) Helicopter parents are responding to real stresses even if they probably aren't responding in the most-useful way.


Very good post.
   2271. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4272514)
Even if all of the quoted text above is true, in what tangible or relevant ways does that make people better off today? Does webcamming with some Hindu guy make up for not knowing your neighbor's name? Does playing an online game against a guy in France make up for not having any old friends within a 20-mile (or 100-mile or 500-mile) radius who can watch the kids or share a holiday meal? Does talking about baseball (and politics) with a bunch of people who mostly hide behind aliases somehow make up for not having 10 close friends a couple blocks away?


Now turn all those (pretty good) questions around and ask how any of that makes it worse?

Also realize the false dichotomy, it is not either or, it is both. I have many friends locally and friends around the world. If I trade off some local friends for some global friends, society will suddenly crash? Of course not.

It is a global world. Understanding that Muslim kids have certain beliefs matters. Knowing my Indian coworker's uncle just died over the weekend and is already cremated (because of their beliefs) does make it easier to understand those cultures. (And many more examples, just choose two from experiences in the last week).

Since we are a global world and communicating with the rest of the world the whole thing goes better if we understand the rest of the world and not just the WASPs (or whatever) in the neighborhood we grew up in. You can know those folks and all the new neighbors that moved in, and have global friends.

And by no means is it diversity for diversities sake. There are real tangible benefits to diversity. I have been on many project teams, the best functioning ones, the ones that deliver the best results, have a bunch of people who are very different. Teams full of any one type of person fall quickly prey to reinforcing group think and fail much more often.

I saw a study recently that looked at the performance of companies based on the diversity of the board of directors (female percentage I think it was) and those with a more diverse board functioned better (higher rates of return). Obviously that is not absolute proof (any more than my experience is), but from everything I have seen in my life and read about, diversity does lead to better decision outcomes.
   2272. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4272524)
Now turn all those (pretty good) questions around and ask how any of that makes it worse?

I didn't say diversity makes things worse, just that diversity doesn't, in and of itself, make things better.

And by no means is it diversity for diversities sake. There are real tangible benefits to diversity. I have been on many project teams, the best functioning ones, the ones that deliver the best results, have a bunch of people who are very different. Teams full of any one type of person fall quickly prey to reinforcing group think and fail much more often.

But you're describing the tangible benefits of having diversity of thought and diversity of experience. That's rarely, if ever, what liberals are referring to when they talk about "the value of diversity."
   2273. DA Baracus Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4272525)
As I understand it, it's simply just a code word.


Yup, like how in restaurants they call blacks "Canadians."
   2274. Chicago Joe Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4272528)
Yup, like how in restaurants they call blacks "Canadians."


I've heard that before. Is that a Warren Moon reference?
   2275. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4272530)
When did you determine was the appropriate age for that?


It was a judgement based on their maturity. We stretched out the time they (together or separate) spent without adult supervision. I am not sure the exact ages but it was not too much after the youngest got to be around 10 (elder 18 months older) that it was OK they spend time at home alone.

We travel a fair amount and both of them have handled getting separated from the pack and being on their own for a while in strange places very well. Basically they know what to do and not to do. The simplest test is are they wise enough not to start a fire and burn down the house, and if the house is burning down do they know what to do.

Once they pass that test you let they loose, but by bit (and hope).

Funny anecdote heard Sunday from a friend. His daughter (13 or so) had friends over for a sleep over. They wanted to play truth or dare, but couldn't think of any good dares. So they downloaded an app. First dare they looked at was "really gross", they realized it was not an appropriate app and so deleted it and searched for a kids truth or dare app. Found it and went on about their sleepover.

You can't shelter them from the world, just give them the tools to deal with it.
   2276. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4272537)
But you're describing the tangible benefits of having diversity of thought and diversity of experience. That's rarely, if ever, what liberals are referring to when they talk about "the value of diversity."


No I am not. Diversity in background, culture, gender, race and so on leads to great diversity. Having a bunch of hetero middle aged white Anglo Saxon Protestant males with diversity of thought and experience is better than the same group without the diversity. Of course almost any group of qualified folks that include groups from other cultures, other genders, other sexual orientations, ages, races and so on will almost certainly be more diverse than the "diverse" middle aged white guy group.

One of the reasons the US is an truly great nation is that we are a melting pot. Pretending we aren't is silly.
   2277. DA Baracus Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4272542)
I've heard that before. Is that a Warren Moon reference?


I don't know. I think it's nothing more than a code word that won't offend anyone if they over hear it.
   2278. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4272545)
Quick political update: Romney up to +0.6 at RCP, but the more interesting thing is that he now leads Obama in favorability by +0.4, an ~8-point reversal in just the past week. (Somewhat paradoxically, Obama lost an ~8-point edge in favorability over the past week but it hasn't translated into a further erosion vs. Romney in the electoral horse race.)
   2279. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4272549)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday denied Ohio's request to curtail early voting in the state leading up to the November 6 presidential election.

Ohio, critical to the election hopes of Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, began early in-person voting earlier this month but planned to cut it off on November 2, the Friday before the election, except for members of the military.

The Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party had sued Ohio officials to restore early voting right up to election day eve. Republicans opposed their efforts, saying a cutoff was needed to reduce voter fraud.

In states that allow voters to cast ballots before election day, early voting and extended voting hours are thought to benefit Democratic candidates because lower-income people, who tend to vote for them, are more likely to work odd hours.

Earlier this month, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a U.S. District Court order that reinstated early voting in the final days before the election. The state had appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court.

In a one-sentence order on Tuesday, the high court denied the state's petition for a stay of the appeals court decision.
   2280. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4272555)
No I am not. Diversity in background, culture, gender, race and so on leads to great diversity. Having a bunch of hetero middle aged white Anglo Saxon Protestant males with diversity of thought and experience is better than the same group without the diversity. Of course almost any group of qualified folks that include groups from other cultures, other genders, other sexual orientations, ages, races and so on will almost certainly be more diverse than the "diverse" middle aged white guy group.

One of the reasons the US is an truly great nation is that we are a melting pot. Pretending we aren't is silly.

This is just liberal pablum, and essentially non-responsive to my prior comment(s).

It's absurd to suggest that, ipso facto, a team with an American, an Indian, and a Mexican is somehow stronger because of diversity than a team of three Americans or three Japanese. You keep extolling the virtues of diversity without actually describing the actual real-world benefits.

If School A has 50 math teachers, all of whom are white males, and School B has 50 math teachers from 50 different countries, what quantifiable value does School B's diversity add?
   2281. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4272556)
I grew up in the upper south and I can tell you that "spearchucker" is indeed one of the many derogatory and insulting terms that white people used to describe African-Americans. For Mark Sanford to refer to the President as needing to come out chucking spears is insensitive at best and might well have racist undertones. In any event it is easy to see this remark as being directed to the Republican base, to remind them that President Obama is one of "them".
Easy if one is predisposed to see patterns in random shiny objects. The racial epithet is "spearchucker." Sanford did not call him a "spearchucker." Nor did he say that Obama needed to be "chucking spears." And the idea that someone who would actually think of that would need to be "reminded" that Obama is black is, well, nutty.
   2282. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4272559)
The more relevant question might be why don't these helicopter parents act upon that recognition?

I think the increased awareness of the bad things that could happen drives you into paranoia.


That's a good short answer.

--------------------------------------------

I assume they are prioritizing other things, especially development of complex intellectual abilities. I hate helicopter parents but I think it's wrong to put the whole blame on psychology. They are living in a moment where the broad middle seems to be dissolving, and where holding a place in an increasingly competitive upper class requires an enormous amount of effort. If this continues, many children of privileged people are going to end up in crummy spots. That's okay by me, as a principle, but I can't blame people for 1) recognizing this and 2) trying to counteract it. Of course you could be more relaxed about school when the worst kid in your son's prep school went to Dartmouth (literally true of my father's prep school class.) Helicopter parents are responding to real stresses even if they probably aren't responding in the most-useful way.

And that's a reasonable defense of helicopter parents. By coincidence, our goddaughter just started sixth grade in the same public "middle school" (AKA junior high school BITD) that I went to over 50 years ago, although then sixth grade was still part of elementary school. The neighborhood is more diverse and much wealthier, though in many ways it's little changed from the late 50's.

But to say the least, the Alice Deal of 1956-59 and the Alice Deal of today exist on two different planets, and the good parts and the bad parts are very hard to separate.

Good parts:

----Infinitely more diversity in every way, partly due to more flexible school zone boundaries and partly due to the increased diversity within the school zone itself.

----Much more sophisticated classroom instruction. She's being taught levels of subject matter in sixth grade that we didn't get until the eighth grade. This past weekend she went down to Johns Hopkins (the DC branch) to take part in a mock UN debate in which she had to play the part of the Iranian ambassador to the UN, and got heckled by some of the other participants! BITD the only time we sixth graders left the school was to visit Mount Vernon or go downtown for one of those FBI propaganda tours where we could shoot public enemies with a futuristic looking pretend gun.

----Vastly improved facilities, including access to the adjacent Wilson High School swimming pool, which didn't exist until the 70's and is now even bigger than ever.

Not-so-good parts:

----An insanely controlled environment where she's allowed only four minutes between classes, needs a special chaperone to use the bathroom, and has policemen stationed in the school cafeteria. What they call "mingling" is actively discouraged, and any loud noises are met with stern lectures and threats of punishment. The atmosphere she describes seems positively Orwellian in many ways.

----Highly standardized testing and "pre-testing" where she's not allowed to keep her corrected tests, and in fact isn't even told what questions she may have gotten wrong. Virtually no personal interaction between her and her teachers.

----Three hours of homework a night---again, this is a sixth grader.

And yet she's doing very well, and if she emerges in one piece (which we all know she will---Christ, she's already bilingual and is learning ####### Japanese) she's going to be well set up going forward.

And yes, while in many ways I'd go absolutely nuts as an 11 year old in that sort of an environment---in sixth grade all we ever did was play baseball and other sports, watch TV, and read comic books at the local drug store, never with any adult supervision---this is the world she lives in, this is the world we live in, and if the Alice Deal of 2012 were like the Alice Deal of 1956, she'd be facing a bleak future indeed.

   2283. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4272560)
My 2 cents is that with the internet and email it is definitely a lot easier to keep in contact with a wider circle of friends and acquaintances. That being said, it was more personal to write a letter or call someone on the phone than send a text message. It does seem that more of our communication with society is of an impersonal nature. I used to play basketball with a group of guys once or twice a week in San Jose and then play softball on Friday's at Twin Creeks with a bunch of guys I met through an old job. Unfortunately I am no longer able to do either but I still keep in contact with the guys from the softball team which still gets together for other things. That being said, most of the time with the way the job market is, there are a lot of people that I used to work with that I no longer see nor would want to keep in contact with.
   2284. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4272562)
This is just liberal pablum, and essentially non-responsive to my prior comment(s).


Incorrect.

If you are not going to follow the chain of logic I can try again, but your knee jerk reaction will be just to dismiss what I say (based on my experiences in this thread), and I am busy right now. But if anyone else cares I will gladly discuss in more depth later.
   2285. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4272573)

I asked you to quantify the specific ways in which diversity is, in and of itself, a net plus and you responded by saying "The U.S. is a melting pot ..." That's the very definition of pablum.
   2286. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4272576)
If School A has 50 math teachers, all of whom are white males, and School B has 50 math teachers from 50 different countries, what quantifiable value does School B's diversity add?


A wider range of teaching styles, perhaps an ability to relate to a wider variety of students, and ability to relate word problems in different ways with different cultural references...

What does the student body look like?
If the student body is diverse, but all teachers are white males, that indicates to the student body that only white males can be mathematicians.
   2287. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4272595)
If the student body is diverse, but all teachers are white males, that indicates to the student body that only white males can be mathematicians.

If one of the best arguments for diversity is because of alleged signaling benefits, the case seems very weak.

The simple fact is, diversity is only an issue in a very small number of places around the world. Kids seem to be learning math just fine in China despite ~99.9 percent of the teachers being Chinese.
   2288. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4272597)
I asked you to quantify the specific ways in which diversity is, in and of itself, a net plus and you responded by saying "The U.S. is a melting pot ..." That's the very definition of pablum.


But you're describing the tangible benefits of having diversity of thought and diversity of experience.


So which is it? Am I describing the benefits of diversity like quote #2 from Joe, or am I not (as the quote #1 from Joe suggests)?

Seriously what sort of proof would you accept? What do you want? First you didn't like how I talked about the benefits (though you acknowledged I did) then you claimed I did not talk about benefits at all. This is why your post was incorrect - you refuse to set goal posts without moving them.

Decide what your question is. Be specific and don't conflict with your post prior. Then I will gladly answer your questions (when I am less busy).
   2289. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4272600)
   2290. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4272604)
Kids seem to be learning math just fine in China despite ~99.9 percent of the teachers being Chinese.


Considering the Chinese have finished ahead of the US in the International Math Olympiad for the past 17 years, maybe the US should have more Chinese math teachers....


   2291. BDC Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4272611)
I still don't understand (or buy into) this whole "diversity" cult that seems to value diversity simply for diversity's sake

Quite apart from any arguable utilitarian benefit, I'd say that diverse communities are often great to live in because they don't privilege a majority. Homogeneity is fine if you are one of the homogenous, and generally lousy if you happen to be a misfit in even the smallest way. In diverse communities, by definition nobody's a misfit. I moved from Queens to Dallas in 1988 (one of those people who unaccountably couldn't find work in New York :) and felt like a total minority in a lot of settings (though I'm your basic white person, my background is Catholic and Slavic and bearded and small-import-driving and non-gun-sport-oriented). Now I teach at one of the most diverse universities in the US (it's gotten that way since I arrived) and live in a community that's very mixed in ethnicity, in a state where white Anglos (like every other group) are now a minority. It's great; and it's not that I've suddenly gained prestige from staying white while that diversity has flourished; quite the opposite. It's just that I don't feel anybody cares anymore. In homogenous groups, people really care about whether you're of the right stuff.

You may well agree, Joe. I do think that when people talk about diversity as a goal in itself, they mean a lot of what I mean by it.
   2292. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4272620)
Considering the Chinese have finished ahead of the US in the International Math Olympiad for the past 17 years, maybe the US should have more Chinese math teachers....

Perhaps, but that goes to my original point: To the extent diversity is a net plus, it's a net plus when someone brings a better idea, not a different skin color or religion. Using the latter as a proxy for the former is silly.

So which is it? Am I describing the benefits of diversity like quote #2 from Joe, or am I not (as the quote #1 from Joe suggests)?

Those two quotes weren't inconsistent in the least.

You seem to believe that Mexicans and Panamanians must think differently simply because of their different ethnicities, and that mixing the two groups will yield some sort of synergy. I thought these types of stereotypes were anathema to the diversity movement, not the rationale behind it.

Seriously what sort of proof would you accept? What do you want? First you didn't like how I talked about the benefits (though you acknowledged I did) then you claimed I did not talk about benefits at all. This is why your post was incorrect - you refuse to set goal posts without moving them.

If the benefits of diversity are so obvious and plentiful, it should be easy for you to list or quantify them.
   2293. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4272621)
we are a melting pot. Pretending we aren't is silly.


You were a melting pot, which is why it worked. Immigrants were expected to conform to and adopt mainstream western Judeo-Christian values. Sure, they were still allowed to keep singing their traditional songs and eating their traditional food, but in essense they were expected to become "Americans".

Human nature will always (under our currect mode of consciousness anyway) cause us to gravtitate toward culturally similar aggregations. Families --> communities --> regions --> nations (those that formed naturally, not those that resulted in divvying up the spoils of war). The idea that a whole bunch of people can live happily in a town/city/country, while not sharing many core values, has been proven false so many times its not funny. We might like for that not to be true, and it woudl be great if it weren't, but it is. It may seem that we can all get along, but when economic conditions become less than favourable, the differences between the factions become more apparent.

   2294. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4272627)
Perhaps, but that goes to my original point: To the extent diversity is a net plus, it's a net plus when someone brings a better idea, not a different skin color or religion. Using the latter as a proxy for the former is silly.


If you think diversity of race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, and age are not good proxies for diversity of thought and experience then you are really clueless.

Pick 5 middle aged white guys, hetero and protestant. Now pick 5 people with different backgrounds, ages, ethnicity, sexual orientations, and religions. You really think there is as much diversity of thought and experience in both groups? Really?
   2295. Lassus Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4272630)
One added benefit of a goal of diversity is that it annoys Joe.
   2296. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4272631)
Regarding helicopter parents - they are destroying our society. They raise children that have no self-esteem - the opposite result of their intented goal. Their children never develop the self-esteem, self-reliance and critical thinking that can ONLY arise from having to solve their own problems. Of course the problems the children are facing should be age appropriate, but the idea that your children will be safer, smarter, or more emotionally stable if they're never allowed to experience the bad things in life along with the good is very short sighted.
   2297. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4272654)
You may well agree, Joe. I do think that when people talk about diversity as a goal in itself, they mean a lot of what I mean by it.

I actually do agree with most (if not all) of that. My biggest complaint with the diversity movement is how it seems to have taken on a life of its own. The whole business of "celebrating diversity" seems to have moved from fighting for a colorblind meritocracy to a checkbox-type system that rewards people precisely because of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc.
   2298. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4272656)
Pick 5 middle aged white guys, hetero and protestant. Now pick 5 people with different backgrounds, ages, ethnicity, sexual orientations, and religions. You really think there is as much diversity of thought and experience in both groups? Really?

There actually could be more in the former. Though you're not alone, you're projecting the deterministic thinking that pertains in "minority" groups to white people. That exercise doesn't illuminate anything true.

There really isn't much "diversity" in the modern liberal, "minorities are defined by victimhood," philosophy at all. And that philosophy extends to a wide range of "ethnic" groups. So you'll see a lot of superficial "diversity" among people who think and perceive almost identically.
   2299. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4272664)
If you think diversity of race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, and age are not good proxies for diversity of thought and experience then you are really clueless.

Pick 5 middle aged white guys, hetero and protestant. Now pick 5 people with different backgrounds, ages, ethnicity, sexual orientations, and religions. You really think there is as much diversity of thought and experience in both groups? Really?

For Pete's sake, I never claimed a white male and black woman didn't have different thoughts or experiences. I'm asking how those different thoughts and experiences are, ipso facto, a net plus in any given work environment — e.g., math instruction or engineering or brain surgery — such that achieving diversity should be a goal, let alone a top priority.

I might agree that hiring five Rhodes scholars from five different backgrounds is better than hiring five white Rhodes scholars from Manhattan, but I don't buy into the idea that the benefits of "diversity" can trump actual credentials or subject-area expertise, which is what affirmative-action and diversity cultists seem to believe.
   2300. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4272676)
EDIT: Second sentence of 2298 should read ... "deterministic thinking you believe pertains ...."

Rushed through that one; always a danger in this area.
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