Links Pearl Harbor Day 2013

More men chat in girls’ ‘dialect’ BBC

Ban Elsevier Azimuth (Chuck L)

Scanning for Alzheimer’s Disease Has Benefits, But They’re Not What You Think Patient Safety Blog

HIV Returns In Men Who Showed Signs Of ‘Cure’ Huffington Post (Carol B) :-(

Patent troll bill clears House with huge majority InfoWorld (furzy mouse)

Mandela

Soweto comes together to celebrate, not mourn, Mandela Guardian

The Mandela Years in Power Counterpunch (Massina). Get a cup of coffee. Long but extremely informative.

Conservatives Struggle with Mandela Tributes American Prospect

U.S. Lionizes Mandela In Death … But Treated Him as a Terrorist While Alive George Washington

Humans left with no-one to impress Daily Mash

Mandela’s long walk is not yet over Financial Times

What The Hell Just Happened In Córdoba? Testosterone Pit (Chuck L). Expect this sort of story to become more common….

Mexico Housing Hits U.S. Investors as Plan Collapses Bloomberg

China pulls out of UN process over territorial row Guardian

Deadly storm lashes northern Europe BBC

Worst is over for the EU? Not so fast Joseph Stiglitz, Guardian

France fights back against German ‘Sick Man of Europe’ Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

High-tech tools let FBI track suspects online Washington Post

HOW TO TELL WHEN THE N.S.A. IS LYING New Yorker. You mean it’s not lying all the time?

Obamacare Launch

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: 10% of ObamaCare Federal enrollments could contain coverage-preventing errors Lambert

State exchanges hit data snags Politico

Obama & Holder Win Court Case, Keep Thouands in Prison Under Unfair 80s Crack Sentencing Laws Bruce Dixon

Book-Cooking Bank Gets to Keep Cooked Books Jonathan Weil (furzy mouse). More alternative universe-becomes-normal news.

The Interoil-Total deal John Hempton

Bitcoin Value in Real Time (Aby Normal). A crash today!

Why the Euro Hasn’t Depreciated Pieria

Enormous Discrepancy Between Jobs and Employment Continues Michael Shedlock. Not sure re the Obamacare charge since correlation is not causation but the trend is worth noting.

Strong Jobs Report Could Mean Bad News For Unemployment Benefits Huffington Post. Carol B: “Strong?

McDonald’s offers its low-wage workers advice on how much to tip their pool cleaners Daily Kos

Pushed Out of a Job Early New York Times

US corporate spreads lowest in 6 years Walter Kurtz

LA sues Wells Fargo, Citigroup over foreclosures Associated Press

Giving Credit for the Volcker Rule New York Times

How to commit fraud and get away with it: A Guide for CEOs macroresilience (Richard Smith)

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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62 comments

    1. robert lowrey

      That building, although it’s posted as though it just happened, fell over years ago, as I posted that exact same photograph on my FB wall, which I joined in 2008, and that’s the first pic I posted. Also, yesterday was so smoggy in Shanghai people couldn’t see in front of their faces, yet the smog in the background is just, for Shanghai, just a normal day. I looked, but couldn’t find any date, a common occurrence I’ve noticed on many online posts posing as real-time articles.

      1. bob

        Time date stamps are so f-ing simple, and yet….

        Twitter- “5 min ago” What time was that, exactly? It seems like a lot of work to do to make something less useful. So every time the page loads it’s gotta re-do a bunch of time math to display something with less information?

        I though those pictures looked familiar.

  1. AbyNormal

    about that shanghai bldg tipping over…one shouldn’t consider that a ‘the world according to garp’ moment (whats the likelihood of that happening again). its only a matter of time. when the ground is ‘over-worked’ water tables are corrupted. watch for sinkholes…a boomtown ‘heads-up’.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUdSXxjLlkw
    (pump trucks to the rescue…insane)

    fracking sinkholes are US (more showing up on Youtube than from our MSM)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHVQilCA-ao

  2. Butch In Waukegan

    De Blasio’s New NYPD Commissioner Would Have Crushed Occupy Wall Street Like A Cockroach — gothamist

    Bill de Blasio, NYC’s new Trotskyite Sandinista Commandant, was an outspoken supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement and many of the progressive values it espoused. He spoke at Zuccotti Park in October of 2011, and heralded the activists for dragging “the growing crisis of income inequality out into the light of day.” He called Bloomberg’s decision to evict the occupation in the dead of night “troubling” and said he would have let the protest “play out.” His police commissioner, however, would have swept that park clean as soon as the first twinkle fingers hit the air.

    Capital New York reports that incoming NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, known for his “broken windows” approach to law enforcement during the Giuliani administration, told a former New York City official that if he were commissioner during Occupy Wall Street he would have “cleared them out right away.” And during a speech in Manhattan last year, Bratton bluntly stated that “You can’t allow people to occupy public space.”

    1. aletheia33

      OMG the orwell prize of the day (getting hard to decide who wins, there are so many great entries, more every day):

      ”you can’t allow people to occupy public space.”

      the absurdity of this remark!

      how can one begin to analyze the deep poetry of this line, for just one example, he is using “occupy” in the sense recently invented by those he says he would remove, hence he has in fact been captured by the new meaning, by new terms, unknowingly. in this sense, his response to the people “occupying” takes their action very seriously–as an act of war that necessitates a military response.

      i hope the occupiers still at work appreciate this sign of their cultural influence well beyond their numbers.

      1. ButchIn Waukegan

        What does it mean to be a good Democrat? Support Occupy Wall Street but vote for people who would crush it.

  3. DakotabornKansan

    “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” – Dostoevsky

    BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon, “Let’s stand Eric Holder’s and this administration’s expressions of concern over mass incarceration alongside its actual record of exercising the power in its hands. When we do, Eric Holder looks a lot like a lying hypocrite, and the administration looks like it’s playing black America for a nation of chumps…Holder and Obama are the two most powerful black men in the US. They’ve been in actual power 55 months now, with a little over 40 to go. Their actions reveal their expressions of concern and feeling our pain are no more than politically expedient drive-by gestures to keep black America in line.”

    http://blackagendareport.com/content/holder-obama-are-playing-us-mandatory-minimums-drug-war-and-mass-incarceration

    David Simon’s The Wire is a favorite of mine. Simon, who made Baltimore a metaphor for our nation’s urban tragedy is an American Charles Dickens. Simon wrote in the Baltimore Sun, “America now jails more of its people than any country, including all totalitarian states. We pretend to a war against narcotics, but in truth, we are simply brutalizing and dehumanizing an urban underclass that we no longer need as a labor supply.” Simon in an interview with Bill Moyers, “These really are the excess people in America. Our economy doesn’t need them—we don’t need 10 or 15 percent of our population. And certainly the ones who are undereducated, who have been ill-served by the inner-city school system, who have been unprepared for the technocracy of the modern economy, we pretend to need them. We pretend to educate the kids. We pretend that we’re actually including them in the American ideal, but we’re not. And they’re not foolish. They get it. They understand that the only viable economic base in their neighborhoods is this multibillion-dollar drug trade. In some ways it’s the most destructive form of welfare that we’ve established, the illegal drug trade in these neighborhoods. So as long as they stay in their ghettos and they only kill each other, we’re willing to pay for a police presence to keep them out of our America. And to let them fight over scraps, which is what the drug war, effectively, is. Since we basically have become a market-based culture, that’s what we know, and it’s what’s led us to this sad dénouement. I think we’re going to follow market-based logic right to the bitter end.”

    More Bruce Dixon, on “Black Mass Incarceration,”

    “Lock-em-up laws, aggressive policing, runaway prosecutions and racist policing have all been about enforcing a new social order on population segments whose labor is no longer needed as it was 50 years ago, and for whom no jobs, training, quality housing or meaningful education will be provided. Prisons are about showing somebody who’s boss, about perceived “public safety”, about enforcing an unjust social order.

    To fight the “prison industrial complex,” like generating a movement against the “new jim crow”, is to fight a ghost. Neither of them are real. What’s real is 2 million plus people in US prisons and jails. Prisons are real, and prisons are about statecraft, not about runaway profits, not about “neo-slavery”, whatever that is, and not about “racism”, which is everywhere anyhow.

    The prison state is another aspect, along with privatizations and austerity, of neoliberal capitalism. That’s what’s real. Time to wash the “new jim crow” pixie dust from our eyes.”

    http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/black-mass-incarceration-it-new-it-jim-crow-prison-industrial-complex-real-and-what-differen

    America’s prisons are a mirror showing the soul of America. It is not a pretty picture.

    David Cole, The New York Review of Books, “Can Our Shameful Prisons Be Reformed?”

    “Three books by scholars who happen to be black men eloquently attest to these broader effects of the racial disparities in our criminal justice system. For Loury, author of Race, Incarceration, and American Values, “mass incarceration has now become a principal vehicle for the reproduction of racial hierarchy in our society.” For George Washington University law professor Paul Butler, author of Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice, “the two million Americans in prison represent the most urgent challenge to democratic values since the civil rights era.” And for New York University law professor Anthony Thompson, author of Releasing Prisoners, Redeeming Communities: Reentry, Race, and Politics, it is critical that we examine “the pervasive interplay of race, power, and politics that infuse and confuse our attitudes about crime.”

    “Our addiction to punishment should be troubling not only because it is costly and often counterproductive, but because its race and class disparities are morally unacceptable. The most promising arguments for reform, therefore, must appeal simultaneously to considerations of pragmatism and principle. The very fact that the US record is so much worse than that of the rest of the world should tell us that we are doing something wrong, and the sheer waste of public dollars and human lives should impel us toward reform. But as the authors of these three books make clear, we will not understand the problem fully until we candidly confront the fact that our criminal justice system would not be tolerable to the majority if its impact were felt more broadly by the general population, and not concentrated on the most deprived among us.”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2009/nov/19/can-our-shameful-prisons-be-reformed/

    The death of a great man, Nelson Mandela, has been marred by the tributes of shameful hypocrisy of many weasels, including Obama.

    “There is only one way in which one can endure man’s inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one’s own life, to exemplify man’s humanity to man.” – Alan Paton

    1. AbyNormal

      O the Irony…

      Florida Atlantic Football Stadium Will Be Named For Private Prison Company
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/florida-atlantic-football-stadium_n_2720223.html
      Stadium sponsorships usually involve a product that a company wants to market to consumers: Cars, in the case of the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans; or bank services, with Citi Field in New York. GEO Group’s customers are government agencies offering contracts. Prisoners don’t have a choice of where they land behind bars.
      “It appears to be a charitable gift that is trying to be a marketing vehicle, and it just doesn’t make a lot of sense,” said Paul Swangard, managing director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon’s business school. “To link themselves with an athletic department when their business is locking people up, it just doesn’t connect to me really well.”

      “The greater ignorance towards a country is not ignoring what its politicians have to say, it is ignoring what the inmates in its prisons have to say.”
      Criss Jami

      1. JTFaraday

        You know your culture is sliding down the side of the cliff when even the business professors are puzzled.

        1. AbyNormal

          thanks for the first hardy laff of the weekend JFT

          “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
          William Arthur Ward

            1. Sack Blabbath

              The bad teachers mumble or do nothing,

              The inferior teachers proselytize,
              The dreadful trachers dictate ideology as the sole possible truth from which no deviation of any kind is permitted.

              1. neo-realist

                “The dreadful teachers dictate ideology as the sole possible truth from which no deviation of any kind is permitted”

                Parents?

                Pastors? Priests? Corporate Mission Statements?

                  1. neo-realist

                    Not Fromm, maybe I’ll try it even though I’m a cat parent.

                    Reich’s function of the orgasm yes.

            2. Charles LeSeau

              The same as the mediocre ones – they just tell it wrongly, poorly, confusingly, sometimes cruelly and insultingly, or in some cases don’t even understand what they’re teaching. Some begin at a level too advanced for the particular student or students. (I have been this last kind of bad teacher myself to adult piano students; it was a good lesson to me not to ramp up the difficulty or assume that the material was more easily digestible just because my students were adults.)

              In college, I remember two particularly bad teachers I had. One was a painting 101 teacher who clearly didn’t know the first thing about classical painting (in his professional life he was an abstract expressionist, natch). Big bloviated ego on that one too, as if he was the king of art.

              The other was a calculus teacher who definitely knew his stuff but had zero talent for imparting his knowledge to the class in an accessible way. The class size dropped by about half within 3 weeks.

  4. dalepues

    13 story building tumping over. I’ve never heard of anything like this before. So that probably means all the buildings are the same, about to fall over. We bought several Chinese made machines for our small manufacturing business and as I recall they looked alright but they performed miserably. We were never able to tune them properly; they ran out of balance and could not hold a tolerance. My Mac however is a brilliant machine and it is made in China.

    1. SubjectivObject

      You get as much quality as you inspect for. I interpret that little or no [third party, unaffiliated, effective] site inspection was performed for your equipment. I was familiar with a Chinese spiral pipe mill [as alternative for a German mill] that suffered the same quality of equipment and function result. Effectively killed the viabilty of the mill for high value-added quality product.

      This is charactaristic of what I refer to as China Syndrome with respect to China production; It looks fab on the shelf [actually, this is the primary design goal] but does not perform or age well. Every step of technical manufacture has quality features that are essential for function quality of the final product. Transfer of wealth and production to offshore manufacturing did not tyically transfer the [percieved expensive] QA/QC functions. Part of offshore manufacturers making money is endemic shaving of quality controls for any/all production operations. By example, watch the service life of some cross section of consumer electronics going forward; predicting earlier and earlier failure due to materials quality [which likely will never be commonly identified as such].

      All-in-all, a shortening the out-of-the-ground to back-into-the-ground product cycle.

  5. michael hudson

    Pretty stupid article on euro/$ relations. The explanation for the euro’s strength is simple. Austerity and depression reduce imports, helping the trade balance. Income demand is more important than the price relationships on which neoliberals focus.
    And regarding “Pearl Harbor day,” for me the impotant date was YESTERDAY, Dec. 6. it was the day the Minneapolis Trotskyists were found guility under the Smith Act in 1941. The attorney general later admitted that it was a frameup, and the one thing he was ashamed of. The Communists were urging the death penalty. Later, the act was used against them after WW II. (They pretend that this was the first time.)
    If Pearl Harbor had happened a day before, they probably WOULD have got the death penalty. reading banned books was one of the crimes. (When I grew up the collected works of Lenin and all of Trotsky’s books were hidden away in my bedroom, wall to wall, much to the excitement of my schoolmates.)

    1. susan the other

      IMO all the international corporatists and globalists will never admit it, but they are faced with a wall of self-defeating ignorance. Their own and the ignorance they caused by their harsh repressions. It must cause their hearts to stop and sputter to realize that after 50 years of this kind of repression their own ideology has failed catastrophically and they don’t have a clue what to do next.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The power of myth is important. The capitalist elite are very wise and important people. When in doubt, they will just fall back on old canards, and they don’t have to see the faults until the dam breaks for a variety of reasons*. Unlike earlier times, the elite are so connected and face so few counter parties there is no way to hold them accountable.

        The collapse of important newspapers outside of New York/Washington. Local papers of record don’t command the respect of NYT among the shallow, but when there were more credible** voices, it was harder to ignore problems. Challengers develop. Senator Glass of Glass-Steagall and the Federal Reserve Act was a small town newspaperman who railed against the Southern Democrats and Republicans in Virginia, not a banker or economist. Today, that same paper is one of many owned by Warren Buffet, not really an independent voice for change or information just a paper of record for the locality.

        They aren’t aware of a problem. Much like the Democrats who seem to be in a panic over healthcare, its apparent they have no idea what is in this bill. Yesterday, there was a link to politico about older Hill Aides being outraged by sticker shock and looking for ways out of being forced to go onto the exchanges. They didn’t listen to the “left” because they didn’t have to. Now it will be interesting to see what they do. Obama has brought up his concerns about wealth inequality, but judging from his behavior to date, this is simply about how to fix his plummeting numbers. Young people lost in politics are young people lost forever.

        *The Chinese who are buying houses in California and the Pacific Northwest may be a tad brighter, but they don’t have the capitalist religious system we have here.

        **Entirely subjective, but prophets are never recognized in their own land.

  6. Todashev's big secret: they are dumb

    Only Texans and the FBI are stupid enough to believe that Mo is actually in Iran. Mo is lounging on the beach in Jedda eating מנגל‎, tying crackers and 3rd-rate FBI gumshoes in knots, sniggering like Beevis and Butthead.

    Mo’s cheekiest prank: when he’s done watching the good-enough-for-government-work malware crash in flames on the chroot-jailed browser of his idiosyncratically-compiled *nix box, Mo slips the Quantico dimbulbs two more Iranian IPs. Epic pwnage.

    That’s why the Adelmans and Feiths and Brennans of the world haven’t run with it yet. It won’t pass the laugh test without another fake terror attack to panic the masses and shut off their brains.

    1. F. Beard

      Well, it isn’t really free when we have government subsidies for, say, a banking cartel. Then it’s freedom for the banks and so-called creditworthy and slavery for the rest of the private sector.

      That is, btw, why we oscillate back and forth between fascism and socialism … government-backing for the banks. We need to learn how to create money ethically to end that wasteful and dangerous instability.

      But frankly, it might take the Second Coming before we have that.

      1. susan the other

        That illusive middle ground needs to be defined clearly. I certainly do not think it can be defined as “free market capitalism.” It needs entirely new words with more complex connections to reality. Neo liberalism is what passes now for free market blablablah. We don’t want that because hidden in the blablah is state support for the banks and big pharma and everything else you can name. The test of time is pretty reliable. That stuff doesn’t work.

    2. LucyLulu

      Is it coincidental that Sen. Coburn, advocating for closing this loophole, hails from OK, a state with no resident NFL team?

    1. AbyNormal

      “People can be surrounded by an ecosystem while they’re shopping for their food.”
      GREAT site Opti, THANX

      1. optimader

        yr welcome Aby,
        again a clever filter-feeder entrepreneur, modest investment, high quality product. Planting density only limited by available solar energy.

        The concept of a wall of basil is philosophically on my plane. I could eat pesto every day.

        I hope his hard work commercially pays off for him. Financial investment vehicles are proving to be mirage for small fry, productive ideas with a cash flow you can peel off look like the way to go if you can manage it IMO.

        http://www.chicagobotanic.org/

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Aargh, I see that it WAS old, someone sent it and Gizmodo doesn’t date its posts prominently (I had to scroll down to comments). I though the image looked familiar, though.

    2. anon y'mouse

      yes, but just imagine: by this time, there are probably people actually living in the identical building next door that didn’t fall down a few years ago. wonder if they made ANY structural improvements? (not laugh-worthy because it seems grim, but “hA, right!” right?).

      how’s that for excitement?

  7. docg

    If you were a lion, she could be your mother.

    Unless your mother is already a lion.

    In which case, what if you were a human?

    What then?

    1. susan the other

      I like this antidote because I can see that the lioness is hungry and the cub is hungry and she will soon give it instructions to stay hidden in the grass while she makes a kill.

  8. BondsOfSteel

    RE: What The Hell Just Happened In Córdoba?

    Wow, what a story. Wikipedia says plenty of police strikes happened in the US in the late 70s / early 80s. With the pressure to cut taxes / spending and the push against retirement savings, I could easily see more strikes happening.

    Detroit? Just last week, the bankruptcy judge said pension fund and bondholders would both loose, but he would try and not touch existing retirees. I.E., he’s going to cut active cop’s retirement savings.

    What’s crazy about Córdoba was that the governor couldn’t get anyone in the federal gov on the phone and like an angry customer, resorted to Twitter! I’m assuming someone would return Gov. Snyder’s phone call. (Plus, he can send in the National Guard without Obama’s nod.)

    1. docg

      What gets me, and really drives me nuts, is why does everyone seem to expect that there’s an army of people out there just waiting to read their tweets? Is half the world spending most of its time reading tweets? Is that what we’ve come to???

      1. susan the other

        I kinda liked that part. And then the facebooking of the other side. Great stuff. And Wolf Richter wrote it all up like a classic farce. That there was a big political rift between the Gov. of Cordoba and Buenos Aires is amusing also. The take-away is that politics must be of a part. The concensus of the people for the government is very important. And therefore vice versa. And yes it could happen here, at least the strikes. And it all goes to show that none of it is important enough to bother to function unless everybody is included. Everybody.

  9. just me

    A Pearl Harbor story for Pearl Harbor Day Links: 2003 interview with the author of Day of Deceit:

    http://correntewire.com/fdr_and_pearl_harbor_scott_hortons_2003_interview_of_robert_stinnett_author_of_day_of_deceit

    Scott Horton interviews Stinnett on a nearly yearly basis and I see he just posted a new interview for this year – http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2013/12/06/120613-robert-stinnett/ – which I look forward to listening to, haven’t yet. Link at top is to transcript of their first interview from 2003. As I’ve been listening to these interviews over time, the trend has been that documents onced FOIAed were being pulled back and disappeared, a long-promised follow-up book has not appeared, and also that Stinnett was still learning new things, some of which were changing his understanding of what happened in 1941. An evolving story I’m grateful to be able to hear from a WWII Navy vet who kept asking questions.

  10. LucyLulu

    Another article, a bit older (but newer and more complete info), on pre-symptomatic changes seen in Alzheimer’s. A lot of progress has been made on identifying several different changes associated with later development of Alzheimer’s disease that can be used to assist in diagnosis and prediction of eventual sufferers. Currently, treatment is limited to short-term reduction of cognitive deficits.

    Most, if not all, of the tests described show high sensitivity (that something is wrong) but poor specificity (not what is wrong). The same changes may also be seen in boxers and football players, Parkinson’s, and migraine patients, to list a few.

    http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/03/pre-alzheimers.aspx

  11. susan the other

    Good Links. Counterpunch on Mandela was good reading. The neoliberals co-opting Mandela in the 90s. And a bit I found interesting was that corporate profits faltered here in the US when their plans didn’t work in SA. I’m thinking this is still a cautionary tale because we are on the threshold of a full-blown charge into infrastructure improvement here in the US (and worldwide) at the expense of hapless taxpayers; we’re gonna spend trillions in public-private partnerships. But all that infrastructure will then need to be maintained. Like debt service plus maintenance plus another percentage for profit. Not sure how that is ever gonna happen. Infrastructure might be better served by recycling asphalt; establishing good bus lines, encouraging city living, etc. We are all Mandela now. Fed up but perennially optimistic.

  12. craazyman

    Sometimes You have to See it for Yourself

    Had lunch today with a friend who just got back from a trip to Spain and Italy. Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Florence. Most of the hot spots.

    I asked if there was any sign of recession.

    “No.” he said. Evidently the cafes and restaurants were full and lots of folks enjoying life. Young people out and about, hanging out in bistros and socializing and shopping.

    Faaak, I thought.

    “Well,” I said. Since this dude has money and is retired I asked him “Did you just go to the equivalent of Madison Avenue and the Met? Or did you actually see the places?”

    I think that ticked him off a bit.

    “I didn’t go to the slums” he said. “But we did walk around a lot and saw lots of different neighborhoods.”

    I couldn’t argue with that, since I’ve been in New Yawk immobile working my ditch digging job since the Doomers & Gloomers I’ve been reading for 4 years on this web site have kept me out of the market and have prevented me from getting rich. In fact, I’ve gone backwards.

    Well anyway. I don’t know what to think at this point. You’d think there’d be some indication from walking around a city that things aren’t great. But evidently there wasn’t, wherever he went, in fact, things looked pretty good. Well, he went there, so what can I say.

    Maybe it’ll eventually erupt into a malevolent lawless cornucopia of despair and revolt. Maybe that will be in 2036 and maybe most of us will be dead and gone. Maybe there’ll be somebody in that still distant time, who remembers now, and who says with satisfaction bordering on smugness: “See, the Doomers were right!” But it won’t be me.

    1. squasha

      fascinating…I like to ask Americans visiting here the same thing, and they always describe things in optimistic terms, vehemently contradicting evidence to the contrary. Tent cities? Rampant poverty? Fukushima radiation? You’re crazy, you shouldn’t believe what you read on the internet.

      Hence I’ve come to toy with the theory that Americans who can afford to travel can also afford to construct the sort of mental fortress Siddharta’s father built. Could be that a given culture’s status cues are simply too subtle for the bedazzled & jet-lagged to differentiate. It’s all subjective in the end, is it not? For what it’s worth, I noticed a heartbreaking increase in elderly people begging on the street on my last trip to Madrid, and electric stand-offs between police phalanxes & anti-capitalist protesters in Italy, (perhaps these are an abiding and predictable feature, I cannot say for sure) working-class neighborhoods felt pretty quiet, but my Italian friends tell me people are really hurting.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Consumer based organized tours are only useful if you don’t know anything or are carting around kids, and for the most part, they are exceptionally bland. Which isn’t to say tour outfits are bad because they offer more than just matching bag tours.

        Lets be honest, they aren’t going to take you to a place with adventurous food or menus where you can’t get hamburgers because they want you to come again, and a bad experience might be a problem for repeat customers or referrals.

        No one wants to think they spent all that money when they could have the same experience at Epcot for half the price.

        My mother’s cousin at a family reunion told the story about the time he took a spinster aunt to the old country which for this part of the family is a village outside of Quebec City. He said its pretty much a slum by Canadian standards where the poor people of Quebec City live. How many tours go there?

          1. tongorad

            The prices listed on that website are outrageous, you might as well go to Disneyland. Palookaville, ffs.
            Do it on your own for a fraction of the price.

            1. optimader

              It is what it is.. there’s a convenience cost to having a fresh road bike every morning, accommodations, meals support vehicle, sorted logistics etc etc… Personally not interested anymore in schlepping a bike to/from Europe, making accommodation arrangements carrying shit around, fixing equipment.
              We’ve priced out trying to reproduce ourselves and its turns out to be a good value,not worth screwing around w/ it.
              A great way to travel and see a country.

  13. anon y'mouse

    Yves may have posted on this back when the study(ies) were new, and although i’d come across one example of the Marshmallow study before, our instructor in one class recently alerted us to this one:

    https://rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=4622

    this is perhaps one component in the answer to why lower SES individuals behave as they do. I know that a personal testimonial to this effect really stormed the internet (and even this website) a few weeks ago, and have always personally wondered why it seems that individuals who have come from certain backgrounds behave in ways that might be detrimental over the longer term. this particular study may not answer that question, but it was very insightful to me, considering my own past experiences and somewhat limited ability to carry out ‘executive functions’ that rely upon long term, consistent willpower.

    so, when the stink-tank meme-meisters try to spin everything that happens to the lower orders as “their own fault”, this study heavily suggests that this is only partially true.

    imagine a poor, inner city student who has experienced a mini-lifetime of these kinds of moments. combine this with attachment theory and what the heck do we get, folks? (quizzes will not be graded)

Comments are closed.