Sunday assorted links


#4 Brazil created the first app for renting goalkeepers, buy I guess it is not fit to print. Shame on you, America, shame on you.

Correction: but I guess

3. Not sure if Cowen's framing is Straussian (probably), but the suggestion seems to be that British colonialism is positive but wears off (one of the findings is that British colonial rule is positively associated with democracy at independence but not thirty years after). Along the same lines, here's a nuanced view of blackface:

I find all this pomp and circumstance to be "delicious."

Will the only victim of the Black-Face/KKK Crisis du jour be an impeached black Lt. Gov.?

File under Great Moments In Demokrat Autophagy.

Just take A.G. Sulzberger, of the NYT. He studied the rise of white nationalism in order to be an effective newspaper owner. Even in colonialism, there are algorithms that "middle managers" follow. There are, of course, universal tenets most easily discovered in the words of Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. The central tenet being Equality. It is, therefore, not difficult to suppose that A.G. Sulzberger is simply racist. Where does hate come from in the first place?

Pretending to be journalists, NYT's and Sulzberger's "hate," "racism," and "white nationalism" are flaws numbers 67, 68 and 69 on the list of moral defects.

yes that's the nuanced view

Who cares if they are Democrats?

No Virginian in 1980 could plausibly say that they did not know that blackface is racist.

But then, the Commonwealth of Virginia that had these lyrics in its state song in 1980 - 'Carry me back to old Virginny, /
There's where the cotton and the corn and taters grow, /
There's where the birds warble sweet in the spring time, /
There's where the darkey's heart am longed to go.

There's where I labored so hard for old massa,/
Day after day in the field of yellow corn,/
No place on earth do I love more sincerely,/
Than old Virginny, the state where I was born.

Carry me back to old Virginny,/
There let me live 'till I wither and decay,/
Long by the old Dismal Swamp have I wandered,/
There's where this old darkies' life am passed away.

Massa and misses, have long gone before me, /
Soon we will meet on that bright and golden shore. /
There we'll be happy and free from all sorrow, /
There's where we'll meet and we'll never part no more.'

Why yes, the South's first black governor since Reconstruction had to listen to this song, before it finally earned the title 'state song emeritus' in 1997.

And yes, I learned the song's slightly updated lyrics in elementary school - 'Virginny' was apparently too tasteless for modern sensibilities.

It’s a nice song.

And it has been retired, because let's be honest, 'darkies' sounds about as 'nuanced' as white people in blackface does today.

"File under Great Moments In Demokrat Autophagy"

Some people take character issues seriously, other support Trump.

Of course, you're correct.

Gov. Northam's serious character "issues" aren't his black-face/KKK schtick. They're his all-out support for murdering babies.

People that support Trump won't listen to "character" nonsense from evil people that think it's ok to murder 73 million babies.

Trump 2020.

Really? I still remember Coulter saying it didn't matter whether Trump was pro-abortion or not as long as he built the Wall. Or how the Evangelicals keep making excuse after excuse to justify flaws in Trump that would be used over and over against a Democrat.

I feel your pain.

The past two years must have been Hell . . . all because that drunken harridan didn't get her "turn."

". . . used over and over against a Dem." Really? By whom? FOXNEWS? The Wall Street Journal?

Apparently, the CNN, NYT, WaPost, PMSNBC, et al couldn't cover this story with a pillow until it stopped breathing.

Evangelicals trying to sprinkle holy water on every Trump departure from commom decency just to begin. Or, as I said, Coulter saying that getting the Wall was more important than the alleged abortion Holocaust. Republicans don't care about character issues, never cared.

Some of my best friends, including one son's in-laws, are Evangelicals. They don't sprinkle holy water on anything. The redneck hillbillies among them are big fans of Tabasco sauce.

They weren't sure about Trump in 2016. Now, they are convinced and 100% for him. Bankrupting/ruining Christian bakers for declining to bake wedding cakes for gay marriage helped.

In other news, a Yale newspaper has published a guide to destroying 'white boy' lives, "...urging her fellow students to follow white males around, monitor them, spy on them, screenshot them, and document everything they do, in the hopes of ruining their careers at some point 30 years down the line..." The gestapo would be proud.

You tell em, hun.

Why do your friends love a guy like Trump who will back and provide cover for his Saudi masters even when they murder and, literally and no pun intended, butcher the free press? The Saudis also ban the construction of new Christian churches in KSA. Your friends are ok with that?

You've got to be a back alley abortionist with that handle.

I’m not convinced either party takes character issues seriously.

Dems will chuck someone overboard, but only if there are no consequences.

Franken: Democrat appointed Democrat replacement
Fairfax: Democrat would replace him if he is removed
Menendez: Republican governor would have appointed replacement, he gets a pass
Northam: Republican might replace since all three are in scandal, gets a pass

This dumpster fire has nothing to do with Trump. For once.

Speaking as a Virginian born in 1963, there is absolutely no nuanced view of blackface possible, unless you are of the Trumpian 'fine fellows on both sides' perspective when it comes to white people using blackface.

What about Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder:

Sorry, I'm going to keep living in the world where that scene is hilarious. I refuse to join the hypersensitive, bullying, "That's Not Funny!!!!" crowd.

'I refuse to join the hypersensitive, bullying, "That's Not Funny!!!!" crowd.'

Look, I thought Blazing Saddles was hilarious when I first watched it in a movie theater four and a half decades ago. But less than a decade later, it was already very obvious that the movie had aged badly.

And I still find much of Blazing Saddles hilarious today. Nonetheless, the problems with that film were blatantly obvious at the same time Northam was (or wasn't - there is a reason for that distinctive KKK garb, after all) having a picture with him in it placed in his medical school yearbook.

You may find this 'essay' (more manageable twitter text) interesting -

Basically, laughing with and laughing at are not the same thing (a point noted in the thread), and 'honoring' people by following a long tradition of mockery is not a defense.

And don't forget, 'darky' was still an official part of the Commonwealth of Virginia's state song lyrics in 1996, more than two decades after Blazing Saddles came out.

I am quite aware of what Virginia's all too recent history, and no, I don't find it funny. And it is not hypersentive to wonder why it took so long to 'retire' such a lovely state song, where a slave dreams of being reunited with his owners.

Admittedly, different states have different histories, so YMMV.

"Basically, laughing with and laughing at are not the same thing"

Well, of course they're not -- but then that would be a 'nuanced view' of blackface wouldn't it? But you declared that 'absolutely no nuanced view of blackface is possible'. So which is it -- is nuance allowed or not? Are Robert Downey Jr (and Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel) part of the "Trumpian 'fine fellows on both sides' crowd"? Should they be shamed out of public life along with Northam? Keep in mind, their transgressions are much more recent and prominent -- his was a photo in an old yearbook, theirs were performances in the multiplex and on national TV.

Oh, come on. Few comedies have aged better than Blazing Saddles. Maybe you have aged badly.

Who knows? But an 11 year old Boy Scout finding the farting scene hilarious then, and not finding fart humor all that hilarious 4 decades later is probably not really much of a sign of aging badly. YMMV, of course.

And in the age of EZ pass, the shitlöoad of dimes scene is probably only funny to those who actually remember such tolls. h

@C_P - aren't you a Nazi? It explains why you find ass jokes funny (German tradition).

Blazing Saddles has aged reasonably well. And I didn't really enjoy it too much the first time.

"Stampeding cattle....through the Vatican."

'but then that would be a 'nuanced view' of blackface wouldn't it'

No, as already noted in my previous comment - ''honoring' people by following a long tradition of mockery is not a defense.' Look, I find it bizarre to have a discussion, in 2019, about people taking a 'nuanced' view towards blackface. There isn't one. A separate discussion is to what extent do pictures from 3 or 4 decades in the past reflect people today. But the idea that blackface was somehow mysteriously innocent is simply not plausible. And do note the point about a blackface Ted Danson eating watermelon as part of his 'performance' - everyone knew it was unacceptable two and a half decades ago, too. Even when your then girlfriend is African-American

'Should they be shamed out of public life along with Northam'

I have zero opinion about whether Northam should be shamed out of public life. My comment was that there is simply no nuanced view of blackface, at least of the variety presented in rayward's link. SNL dealt with this point last night too, in case you missed it.

'Keep in mind, their transgressions are much more recent and prominent'

Who cares about their 'trangressions'? The point is that everyone in the U.S. is fully aware of the role of blackface in American society for several centuries at this point. That a number of white people don't care about that history is really not surprising, especially in light of our current president's remarks concerning Americans exercising their 1st Amendment rights to chant Nazi slogans.

The point is that everyone in the U.S. is fully aware of the role of blackface in American society for several centuries at this point.

I'm aware of both racist minstrel shows on one hand and also, on the other hand, a much more recent history of Americans of various races and sexes 'cross-dressing' for fun and comic effect with good humor and no general outrage for decades until very recently when the all intersectional bullshit started hitting the fan. I don't care any more about Jimmy Fallon in blackface than I did about Dave Chappelle in whiteface. The current hypersensitivity is making relations between sexes and races and ethnic groups distinctly worse. Don't be part of the problem.

And, oh by the way, black Virginians support Northam continuing as governor by a huge margin. Do you suppose they're simply ignorant of the role of blackface in American history?

you're carrot colored dress has turned into a sinequanon

'when the all intersectional bullshit started hitting the fan'

That Ted Danson event was in 1993.

'And, oh by the way, black Virginians support Northam continuing as governor by a huge margin.'

So what?

' Do you suppose they're simply ignorant of the role of blackface in American history?'

Of course not, it is just that in a Virginia context, they expect all the white politicians to be the sort of people who find blackface normal, and thus are completely unsurprised when pictures appear demonstrating that reality. Which just might explain why Virginia was the first southern state since Reconstruction to elect a black governor in 1990. Along with why it took seven more years after that election to grant 'emeritus' status to a state song talking about a 'darky' happy to be in heaven with mass and missie.

3. Well, if they wear off, the British might invite you back - 'Ireland has dismissed the suggestion that the best solution to the Brexit impasse might be for the country to quit the EU and join the UK.

Questioned about the possibility by the BBC Today presenter John Humphrys, Ireland’s Europe minister, Helen McEntee, said it was not contemplating quitting the EU, that polls showed 92% of the population wanted to remain in the bloc, and “Irexit” was not plausible. .... Humphrys said: “There has to be an argument, doesn’t there, that says instead of Dublin telling this country that we have to stay in the single market etc within the customs union, why doesn’t Dublin, why doesn’t the Republic of Ireland, leave the EU and throw in their lot with this country?”

McEntee replied: “To suggest that we should leave? Ninety-two per cent of Irish people last year said they wanted Ireland to remain part of the European Union and in fact since Brexit that figure has gotten only bigger.”'

Really, it is easier to let others point out how delusional this is - 'The Labour MP Ben Bradshaw tweeted he was “gobsmacked” to hear the BBC suggest “that the solution to #Brexitshambles is for Ireland to leave the EU & rejoin the UK! Such woeful ignorance of history & of modern day Ireland.”

The Irish senator Neale Richmond said this was what Ireland “was dealing with” in commentary in the UK.'

Was the person that made that suggestion running about naked?

The Saxon/Sassenach was able to colonize and absorb Ulster (still part of the UK) by genocide and transplanting Scotch and English protestants.

The three other Irish provinces bloodied themselves on and off for almost 900 years resisting Saxon/Sassenach colonizations and invasions. Early in the 20th century, the Irish threw off the Sassenach yoke and gained independence - A Nation Once Again.

'Was the person that made that suggestion running about naked?'

Clever - why yes BBC Today presenters (announcer or moderator or possibly interviewer, for the colonials) go on the air naked all the time.

"The three other Irish provinces bloodied themselves ..." There used to be five Irish provinces - which have you decided to neglect?

I have Connaught, Leinster, Munster and Ulster. Do you number Meath as the fifth? Today parts of Meath are assigned to Ulster and Leinster.

If you view the EU as a mere instrument for economic ends and the UK as the largest trade partner for Ireland, then there's some sense in asking the question. May not ultimately come up in support once the calculation is done, but worth asking.

Of course, Ireland seems to view it in more symbolic terms - EU membership is about Ireland being an equal to other European nations (despite its pretty minimal size) that can use the weight of the EU successively in negotiations (and a load of idealistic nonsense about European integration, and how it prevents the Germans and French from being conquerors and destroyers towards other European countries, as they have been). The results of March may (or may not) dissuade them from this idea.

I'm not really sure how to put this, but when Ireland was a poor nation by most measures back in 1970, there was zero interest in rejoining the UK on the part of the citizens of Éire.

After joining the EU, and enjoying a number of benefits from that association, the very idea that the Irish will desire to return to the fold of the UK is hilarious.

Almost as if the Irish prefer not being part of the UK, regardless of the economic costs.

Well, I think Humphrys was probably proposing some further integration of British and Irish sovereignty for economic / trade purposes, rather than Ireland becoming part of the United Kingdom (which is a huge military and constitutional headache zero people in Britain would ever want, NI being troublesome enough), but yeah, I mean, that's basically the argument for Britain rejecting EU membership, so it's not like it doesn't apply.

Just rather odd that people who don't understand that argument - "regardless of the economic cost" - wrt Britain and EU understand it wrt UK (or rather some body extending of economic alignment between Britain and Ireland) and RoI.

'further integration of British and Irish sovereignty for economic / trade purposes'

The Irish likely have considerably less interest in integrating their 'sovereignty for economic / trade purposes' with the UK than the UK does in integrating its 'sovereignty for economic / trade purposes' in the EU. As noted here, by Ireland’s Europe minister Helen McEntee - 'Ninety-two per cent of Irish people last year said they wanted Ireland to remain part of the European Union and in fact since Brexit that figure has gotten only bigger.'

That's the assertion. Is it really the case? How much business is between UK and EU States relative UK and RoI?

However, much of the British public seem to want out of its attempts at political integration "regardless of economic costs".

Ireland could leave the EU without becoming part of the UK and have an open borders (customs and immigration) agreement with the UK (which it already has).

The EU is like a religion. Europe was doing fine until 1997 with a Common Market and a European Economic Union but now that it has become a quasi-political entity rather than a series of agreements, going back to the old way is heretical.

Congratulations. Best comment of the day.

Well, sure, if Irish politicians had any interest in ignoring the will of more than 90% of Irish citizens. Not that the British have traditionally cared about the will of anyone Irish.

And oddly, this is what is actually happening in terms of that EU 'religion' - 'Applications for Irish passports are surging – 200,000 Britons applied in 2018. About half of these were from Northern Ireland – anyone born on the island of Ireland before 2005 and anyone born there since with a parent who is Irish, British or “entitled to live in Northern Ireland or the Irish state without restriction on their residency” is entitled to Irish citizenship. The other half are Britons living outside Ireland who have suddenly discovered an affinity with the birthplace of a parent or a grandparent. The number of applications has doubled since the referendum, with by far the greater increase coming from outside the island of Ireland. That burgundy passport is now extremely highly prized.'

It appears that the right to live and work anywhere in the EU is worth spending time and money to keep, at least for hundreds of thousands of Britons. Or Irish, depending on your perspective.

relax Clockie it's an (almost) free option. Ireland will give a passport to pretty much anyone who can find it on a map. This isn't religious conversion it's common sense in case the EU plays silly b*ggers with visas for UK citizens.

Yet oddly, of all of the UK citizens I know getting EU passports (more than a half dozen), only one is going the Irish route. It seems as if the Germans are even easier to get a passport from - at least they are not completely swamped by applications.

And the EU will treat the UK with all the benefits and privileges of a non-member of the EU. It isn't as if the UK was part of the Schengen Agreement anyways - thus allowing the UK to set its own visa rules before leaving the EU (though not with the right of free movement for EU citizens, which is a separate subject).

The problem is not playing with visas - it is the fact that a German or Irish citizen can live anywhere in the EU without needing a visa at all. After Brexit, and assuming those British red lines remain in place, it is likely that the EU will having nothing to do with British visas, and each country will have its own treaty with the UK. Meaning that someone with a legal residence and job in France in 2020 will need to get a German visa to legally reside and work in Germany.

One should add that the Northern Irish voted for Remain, so it is little surprise to see UK Irish subjects attempting to retain the benefits of EU citizenship by getting a Republic of Ireland passport.

You'd almost think living in Germany might give you a less than perfectly representative sample of British acquaintances...

And you would be absolutely right, of course.

I left out the people I know living in the UK who will also be affected by Brexit, because they do not particularly have the option of adopting UK citizenship easily - and no desire to do so.

From their perspective (just like the UK citizen in Germany), Brexit means losing rights they had taken for granted.

Probably less than 70,000 people living and working in England, Wales or Scotland, all things considered. Not exactly a tidal wave considering the population size.

3. “Britain more consistently treated competitive democratic elections as a prerequisite for gaining independence, leading to higher initial democracy levels.“

Takeaways: competitive elections (and needless to say, fair elections) key to democracy. Re: British rule, in many cases the colonization process was neither deep enough nor protracted enough.

(Editorial addition by me: Brits way more fair and other-regarding re: colonies/allied populations than, say, rapacious Spaniards and e.g. venal Belgians under king Leopold. Lenin was wrong, again. Not all colonization is deleterious. The replacement of tribalism by benign nationalism is imperative but it can take a long time.)

'Not all colonization is deleterious.'

Tell that to the Irish.

Nb: the English colonization of Ireland was an example of the worst kind of rapacious colonization. It was in a manner of speaking modelled on the Norman invasion: come in, kill the leaders and take their stuff.

3. Do the effects of British colonialism wear off?

His thesis is that there has been a convergence of experience between former British dependencies and others, not that there has been institutional breakdown in former British dependencies. Electoral institutions and public debate are the mode. Egypt, the Sudans, and fragments of the Arabian peninsula are the exception. (A qualified exception is Iraq, which is currently quite pluralistic but shot-through with violence).

#3: Figures in paper show that the 'convergence' all occurs between 1985-1991. Driven by post-Cold War liberalization.

In general it does not seem to be a story of "Do the effects of British colonialism wear off?" because the British-colonized countries change less. It seems to be more an effect of "Do the less positive outcomes of other European colonization wear off?" and it seems like they have done (or put another way, the effects of post-Cold War American hegemony can reverse the disadvantage).

Thanks for #5.

A couple of comments:

1. Radar as #1. Interesting. We're also so focused on the visible spectrum due to the existence proof.

2. Invest Like the Best had a great podcast on this.

3. #8 is spot on. We are about 10^10 off from the Landauer Limit. Maybe we can do better.

As of 2018 there has not been, as far as I know, any published research setting forth a persuasive and comprehensive basis, ceteris paribus, for extending the Landau limit principle to the quantum realm, hence "maybe" we can do better is a possible understatement.

But what do I know?

4 it is quite common in recreational hockey for the goalies to play for free. The game is no fun if there isn't a goalie.

Was a goalie in junior high and, as a girl, got little play because no one wanted a girl on their team. But our team was very good and I was basically a teenage girl in a dispensable, packed-in mattress. Anyone could have done it.

There is a nuanced view of blackface, copying black comedy and song. Yellow Rose of Texas, published by a black face minstrel author likely of black origin. As were some of Stephen Foster songs copies. Had white not stolen lack musical culture, it may have been lost. We may never have gotten Lead Belly or Louie Armstrong. Racist? Sure, nuanced? why not? We have the Yellow rose of Texas, thank you.

"Had white not stolen lack musical culture": and vice versa, surely? What instrument did the great Armstrong play? How did he record his music so that he became famous? What instrument did Johnny Dodds play, Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Ory? Hell, you might almost say they were guilty of Appropriation.

Elvis admitted he played black music, so did Eminem. I don't think the black community was offended by either of their roles in profiting from their culture and ideas. On the other hand, if Chinese people profit from Western ideas, whites become very angry and elect angry people.

oh gosh, nobody is interested in Chinese music, sorry anon.

"Though I'm not the first king of controversy
I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley
To do black music so selfishly
And use it to get myself wealthy"

The irony in the lyric wouldn't really work if they were all on the same page on this one...

Washington Redskins fans, both white and black, shamelessly dress up like native Americans for games.

There is very little overlap between real musicians and people who do understand music, because life is short.

Real musicians: Christopher Walken, in a heartbreakingly Guinness-level performance, explains how musicians understand Bach, when in an otherwise unremembered movie he portrays a cellist explaining to a group of students the wonder Neruda (just kidding, actually Casals) felt when he - the Walken character - had played an almost totally botched pair of works from Bach for Casals, because of the one or two new insights the cellist (Walken) had brought to the wonderful music, in the course of his bad playing (Walken explained that he played badly because he was in awe of Casals, and that was a mistake).

People who do understand music: But someone who understands music understands this - life is short, and those times in life where we are healthy enough, and unburdened enough, to write good music, assuming we are composers, is very short. There are not an infinite amount of melodies, but there is an infinity of ways of approaching the melodies that either exist or can exist. Because there are so many different people, and we - as people who play or listen to music, or talk about it - should care for those who had short hard lives as much as we care for those who had slightly less short and slightly less hard lives. Maybe Bach "struck gold" in a celestial sense (see what I did there - the material of the writing for instruments and the transcendence of the notes as melody and harmony and rhythm and joy and love) thousands of times, and maybe, say, Alphonse Adam or Dutilleux, just to name two composers I have listened to with deep appreciation recently, struck similar gold only once or twice.

It makes no difference, we like music if we like music. Good for Bach for his devotion to the eternal liturgy of the Christian Church, as he understood it, but he is not unique in any non-trivial sense of the word, and people who understand music understand that.

"He went through Schumann and Bach, always explaining all he like that I had done" from the autobiography of Piatigorsky (typo in the original as quoted at StackExchange) (the whole passage is definitely worth reading)

#1 - Andy Warhol was Greek Orthodox, I didn't know that.

The Times can not be counted on to get anything about religion right:
Warhol was not Orthodox, he was Byzantine Catholic. That is like Orthodox in Icons and rite, but in communion with Rome.

#3: after looking at the Brexit mess, I'd say democracy is wearing off in the UK.

Well, taking back control sounds eminently democratic, even if the Northern Irish and Scottish seem to feel that their democratic opinion is being completely ignored.

What is amazing is that DUP does not even reflect the majority of voters in Northern Ireland, and yet they insist that 'democratic will' needs to be respected.

It would be rather more amazing if the DUP, as unionists, were to prize the 'democratic will' of Northern Ireland above that of the union as a whole.

It's not amazing that Scots nationalists will talk at length on about Scotland having a separate 'democratic will' as a country.

Though it would be amazing if many Scots who did not vote for independence then listen to them. The UK is not a body where each of the 4 countries of vastly different population size have a 'veto' on anything; it is one where all are equal citizens (or in the case of the Scots, overrepresented citizens given West Lothian question and until recently higher seats:citizens ratio) who come together to make shared decision on government and constitution and law (in general election and referendum). They knew that this is what the UK is when they cast that vote.

'were to prize the 'democratic will' of Northern Ireland above that of the union as a whole.'

Um, the Union is about the UK, not about membership in the EU. The clearly expressed will of the majority of the citizens in Northern Ireland is to remain in the EU - by a larger percentage than that of those voting for Brexit. The DUP represents a minority of a minority. That they have their own agenda is beyond question, of course.

'The UK is not a body where each of the 4 countries of vastly different population size have a 'veto' on anything'

I'm guessing that 'devolution' fits in there somewhere, right? Along with the fact that many Scots who chose remain in the UK also believed they were voting remain in the EU - and then discovering that no one was all interested in what the Scots wanted. Which certainly would not come as a surprise to SNP voters.

6: If musicians performed Strauss's waltzes as if they were baroque suites, would that be Bachian Strauss?

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