Assorted links

by on November 1, 2012 at 8:31 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Impatient idealism.

2. The new placebo hospitals?

3. Discussion of Proposition 35, from California, on settling the penalties for child trafficking.

4. GMU to launch a South Korean campus.

5. What is the opposite of “utensil”, or “cat”?

Anthony November 1, 2012 at 10:03 am

The opposite of utensil is disutensil. The opposite of “cat” is “prey”, because to a cat, everything is either cat or prey. (Though one of the commenters has a better answer to the opposite of cat question.)

Brandon Berg November 1, 2012 at 10:30 am

There’s a simple productive rule for forming the antonym of any noun: Just prepend “anti”. The opposite of cat is anticat. The opposite of utensil is antiutensil.

This also works for proper nouns. Antietam is the opposite of Etam, for example. And Anti-Steve, of course, is the opposite of Steve.

Careless November 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Assume, for the moment, the teacher was looking for “dog”

Wtf? This is sixth grade? My four year old thinks that dogs and cats are opposites.

rluser November 1, 2012 at 11:18 am

My immediate thought for antonym of ‘cat’ was ‘road kill’ but perhaps I am simply morbid. In some circles perhaps “slurp” would work.

Steve Fritzinger November 1, 2012 at 11:19 am

My son was asked to supply the antonym of “barracks”. We decided it was “flashlight”. A barracks is a large building full of soldiers. A flashlight is not large, is not a building and is not full of soldiers.

Turns out flashlights are the antonym of many things.

Dan D November 1, 2012 at 11:26 am

Thank goodness, I was afraid the trip Tyler and Alex took to Korea was to plan the opening of the North Korean campus of GMU. I’m glad you gave the South Koreans the first opportunity instead.

Becky Hargrove November 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Opposite of cat: dog

fred smalkin November 1, 2012 at 10:53 pm

+1

Opposite of utensil: hand.

She’s just not thinking creatively.

Hopaulius November 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Opposite(s) of utensil (a useful object): trinket or bauble.

Sam November 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm

A cat is small, cute, furry, and understands that if there’s nothing to do that will obviously improve your life, the thing to do is find a warm sunny spot and sleep in it.

The opposite of ‘cat’ is therefore ‘politician’.

Careless November 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm

But cats are evil.

Ricardo November 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Why was it necessary to build an island to establish the Free Economic Zone?

In what ways is the Free Economic Zone economically more free than the rest of the country (presumably called the Repressed Economic Zone)?

Claudia November 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm

1) Maybe Hanson should tell those young folks to read the starfish story. Sounds like they are confusing saving the world with making themselves seem important…different goals. So impressed he worked signalling into the story …

2) Utensils: Spaghetti and Cat:Cactus. I bet this teacher cracked up laughing when she got a note from a parent complaining that she made the kids think. Welcome to life a bunch of problems with no clear answers and quirky graders.

Daniel Dostal November 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I am quite certain the best “outside the box” answer to the teacher’s question is to get a better teacher.

Adrian Ratnapala November 2, 2012 at 5:46 am

Damn straight.

I’m all for fuzzy questions with fuzzy answer, but not questions where any answer has to be B.S. We can leave that subject for grownups.

Brock November 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Incheon is a nice idea. I think I’d like to build an artificial island off the US Northeast coast, with quick ferry service to Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. I’d sell it as “Like Manhattan, but with low taxes and big slurpees”.

Anyone think The Donald would assist in finding funding for that?

So Much For Subtlety November 2, 2012 at 12:13 am

Someone came up with such a plan in the 70s. I think. The idea was, off hand, to dredge out the Erie canal so it could take proper sized ships, dump the material off shore, build a series of islands, which would then have massive coal fired power stations on them – thus avoiding the North-East’s planning permissions and problems with sulphur.

A bit of a win-win for everyone I guess. But then how does your plan differ from Atlantic City? Or this one – only without the coal fired power stations?

Brian November 1, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Sorry. this is a softball:

What is the opposite of Paul Krugman’s economics?

James Oswald November 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Newsbiscuit is a fake news website, like the Onion.

Mark Thorson November 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Next thing you’re going to tell me is that these things don’t work. I know they work.

http://www.spellingmistakescostlives.com/nonscience/placebo_nocebo/index.htm

GiT November 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Anyone have any opinions/good sources on the prop 35 issue?

I’m suspicious of the “law and order” retributive moralism behind the whole thing and the easy, unconsidered confluence of popular and political opinion around a yes vote (how can you be against punishing sexual trafficking!), but haven’t come across a compelling case for the no vote. Any considered judgments out there?

TED November 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm

1. Interesting that any fines generated will benefit police and “advocacy” organizations, rather than actual victims. Kind of puts the police and advocates in the role of pimps, while asserting that women don’t deserve to be paid for sex work.

2. Invariably, some fool will soon take comprimising pictures of a 17 year old he’s with, later to be charged with “child pornography” and now “child trafficking” and sentenced to life in prison.

3. “Human trafficking” is a can’t-lose cause or any activist or advocate seeking funding. Lurid descriptions of “sex slaves” get everyone’s attention, and the moralists on the right and the feminists on the left think they’re rescuing someone. Never mind that most human trafficking is not for sex, most acts of prostitution are between consenting adults, and that criminalizing sex work most hurts those women selling sex for survival.

4. Ironically, today’s talk about human trafficking mirrors almost exactly the talk of “white slavery” 100 years ago. History repeats itself. The white-slavery issue brought us the Mann Act, which would wind up being used to prosecute interracial couples. Invariably, the true victims of this law will be far different from the evil human traffickers it is supposed to oppose.

GiT November 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Thanks! Another person I had talked to fit this bill into a sort of “non-profit-industrial-complex” narrative where this legislation would be an accomplishment various ngos could pin as some sort of achievement – a little medal to justify further funding and all that, which resonates with your 3. Your points make me feel more secure in my future no-vote.

Adrian Ratnapala November 2, 2012 at 5:55 am

Well if the problem is that victims don’t come forward, then this law (as presented in the LA time articles) seems totally useless. And since the burden of proof should always be against new laws, so you should vote “no” even without TED’s excellent arguments.

Brent Royal-Gordon November 4, 2012 at 11:35 pm

The pimp is largely a myth—the vast majority of women in the sex trade are not in the employ of a violent man who confiscates most of her earnings. Yet belief in pimps is so strong that nearly any male in a sex worker’s life—a guard in her employ, an escort service owner she works with, a family member she supports, a roommate she splits the rent with, even a friend who gives her a ride now and then without getting anything in return—will be interpreted as a pimp by law enforcement.

That’s the status quo. Now we’re adding immunity to the mix—if a sex worker is arrested and can finger a “trafficker”, she gets off scot free, but if she can’t, she faces criminal sanctions. And prosecutors will be pushing her to accuse someone, anyone, of trafficking her: convicting a common prostitute is one thing, but putting a trafficker away for twenty years would be pretty valuable at the next DA election.

All the incentives line up to create a lot of iffy trafficking convictions. That means it’s dangerous to be associated in any way with a sex worker, further isolating them from mainstream society.

Margin November 2, 2012 at 8:12 am

“Non-utensil”. “Non-cat”.

Eli November 3, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Is there a reason why CA measures get so much more attention than the others? Does its population make it a leader in state legislative issues?
As a Californian, I’m always surprised to see the nationwide and even worldwide attention paid to CA ballot propositions. In 2008, Prop 8 felt like a matter of national moral conscience, MR has spoken on Prop 37 (GMO labeling) several times, and now 35 as well.

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