Pixel Scroll 5/16/18 Ringworlds For Sale or Rent, Moons To Let Fifty Cents

(1) PLANE SPEAKING. CollegeHumor shows what happens when a ticket agent has to deal with the argument that “My Dinosaur Is a Service Animal” (features Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard).

(2) EARLY RETURNS ON 451. Phil Nichols of BradburyMedia saw a preview screener of “HBO’s new Fahrenheit 451” and weighed in on his blog:

…The new Fahrenheit does take many liberties with Bradbury’s story (what, no Millie? Clarisse as a police informant?), but it knows what it’s doing. Specifically, it knows what Guy Montag has to learn, and what he has to become; and it knows what Beatty is in relation to Montag. Most importantly, it knows how to show the relevance of Fahrenheit to today’s world of sound bites, clickbait headlines and fake news. Bradbury said that you don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture; you just have to get people to stop reading. And that’s exactly the world Bahrani has created here….

(3) MORE WORK FOR HOLLYWOOD LAWYERS. “Stan Lee Files $1B Lawsuit Against POW! Entertainment for “Stealing” His Name and Likeness” says The Hollywood Reporter.

The epic battles in Stan Lee’s comics may be nothing compared to the array of legal fights he’s waging — which now includes a billion-dollar lawsuit against the company he co-founded.

Lee is suing POW! Entertainment for fraud and conversion, claiming the company and two of its officers conspired to steal his identity, name and likeness in a “nefarious scheme” involving a “sham” sale to a Chinese company.

POW! was acquired in 2017 by Hong Kong-based Camsing International, and Lee says POW! CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion didn’t disclose the terms of the deal to him before it closed. At the time, Lee claims, he was devastated because his wife was on her deathbed and they took advantage of his despair — and his macular degeneration, which rendered him legally blind in 2015.

Lee says last year Duffy and Champion, along with his ex-business manager Jerardo Olivarez, whom he’s currently suing for fraud, asked him to sign a non-exclusive license with POW! for the use of his name and likeness in connection with creative works owned by the company. Instead, what he purportedly signed was a “fraudulent” intellectual property assignment agreement that granted POW! “the exclusive right to use Lee’s name, identity, image and likeness on a worldwide basis in perpetuity.”

According to the complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Lee has been selective about licensing his name and likeness and will only authorize the use on a non-exclusive basis.

(4) AWARD NOMINEE. Congratulations to Cora Buhlert! Her story “’Baptism of Fire’ is a nominee for the 2018 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Award”.

The nominations for the 2018 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards, which are run by the small press Bards & Sages, were announced today.

I was going to put the link to the announcement into the weekly link round-ups at the Speculative Fiction Showcase and the Indie Crime Scene respectively, but first I took a gander at the list of nominees and all but fell from my chair, because there, a bit down the page, was my name. For it turns out that “Baptism of Fire”, my contribution to the science fiction anthology The Guardian, edited by Alasdair Shaw, has been nominated in the “Best short story” category. I had absolutely no idea about this, until I saw the nominee list.

(5) BLABBAGE. Derek Stauffer, in “Star Wars Comic May Hint At Leia’s Episode 9 Fate” in ScreenRant, says that Marvel’s Poe Dameron comic may have clues about what will happen to Leia Organa in Episode 9.

Given Leia’s weakened state in the comic, it seems even more obvious that she will end up passing the torch to Poe as leader of The Resistance at some point in the near future. The only real question is if that passing will come with Leia’s retirement, or her death.

(6) ARTISTS TO BE INDUCTED. The Society of Illustrators will honor the following artists at its Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony on June 21.

2018 Hall of Fame Laureates
Robert Crumb
Hilary Knight
Jim McMullan
CF Payne
Kate Greenaway
Rene Gruau
Jack Kirby
Heinrich Kley
Kay Nielsen

(7) NEW TO SHORT FICTION? Lady Business offers a “Short & Sweet Roundtable Discussion: Short Fiction Reading Habits” with A.C. Wise, Bogi Takács, Brandon O’Brien, Vanessa Fogg, and Bridget McKinney.

One thing I’ve learned from talking to people about short fiction is that there are many different styles of reading short fiction. There are people like me who read one story (generally online) and then stop and do something else. There are people who sit down with a print or ebook magazine and read the whole thing cover to cover. There are people who only listen to short fiction in podcast form. So I was thinking about the different ways people read short SFF, and I wanted to find out more about these differences. I also thought that since lots of people have different short fiction reading habits, people who want to try short fiction might find that different pieces of advice are helpful to different people. So I’ve invited several guests to the column to talk about their short fiction reading habits and to share advice for people new to short fiction.

This roundtable features prolific short fiction readers, so they have a lot of great ideas for where to find short fiction, but I know it can be a little intimidating when there’s so much to choose from and people who read so much! I hope this roundtable gives readers a taste of how many ways there are to read short fiction and how many entry points there are, and that there’s no wrong way to read, including how much you read or at what point in life you start reading short fiction.

(8) LEND ME YOUR EARS. From Tested in 2013, “ILM Modelmakers Share Star Wars Stories and Secrets”. News to me — the crowds of the pod races in Star Wars Episode I were half a million painted q-tips.

Don Bies: One of the cool things, whenever we’re working together, is people thinking outside the box, and trying to come up with practical solutions. And in the early days, certainly it was ‘let’s see if we can beat the CG guys at their own game.’ Michael Lynch, one of the modelmakers–he was always really good at looking at things this way–he was looking at the crowds. And when you see a crowd in a stadium you’re really just seeing shapes and colors, you’re not really seeing people or individual faces.

So he came up with the idea…of using q-tips, cotton swabs, colored, in the stands of the Mos Espa arena. So there were something like 450,000 q-tips painted multiple colors, and he even researched it to find out how many reds versus yellows and blues and greens that should be in there.

And it was a process of just days of painting. Think about 450,000 cotton swabs, how you paint them, and then how you put them in. Everyone took turns at one point sticking them into the stands. And by blowing a fan underneath they kind of twinkled, like people moving around. Ultimately they did put some CG people on top of it, but I always thoght it would be funny if they caught to a close-up of the stands and you saw a cotton swab sitting in the stands next to the aliens…

(9) ALFRED THE GREAT. Hollywood Reporter headline: “’Gotham’ Boss Sets New Batman Prequel Series at Epix (Exclusive)”. Premium cable network Epix will air Pennyworth. The series has some behind-the-camera personnel ties to Gotham, but is not a prequel of that Fox series. No cast has been announced.

Epix is getting into the DC Comics business.

The MGM-owned premium cable network has handed out a 10-episode, straight-to-series order for Pennyworth, a drama set in the Batman universe from Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller.

The series will revolve around Alfred Pennyworth, the best friend and butler to Bruce Wayne (aka Batman). The series is not a Gotham spinoff but rather an entirely new story exploring Alfred’s origins as a former British SAS soldier who forms a secret company and goes to work with Thomas Wayne — Bruce’s billionaire father — in 1960s London. Sean Pertwee, who plays Alfred Pennyworth on Fox’s recently renewed Gotham, is not involved. Casting has not yet begun and the series is set in a completely different universe despite hailing from Heller and producers Warner Horizon. (Others who have played the Alfred role include Jeremy Irons, Michael Gough, Michael Caine, Alan Napier and William Austin, among others.)


Hershey Kisses were named after the “kissing” sound made by the nozzle that drops the chocolate onto a cooled conveyor belt during their production. Hershey started making its version in 1907 but “kiss” was commonly used as a generic term for candies wrapped with a twist as early as the 1820s. Hershey managed to trademark the term in 2000 after arguing that consumers almost exclusively associated the word “kiss” with their brand versus other candies.

Source: Time


(12) SCALZI FREE READ. The Electronic Frontier Foundation enlisted John Scalzi to help make their point: “EFF Presents John Scalzi’s Science Fiction Story About Our Right to Repair Petition to the Copyright Office”.

A small bit of good news: Congress designed a largely ornamental escape valve into this system: every three years, the Librarian of Congress can grant exemptions to the law for certain activities. These exemptions make those uses temporarily legal, but (here’s the hilarious part), it’s still not legal to make a tool to enable that use. It’s as though Congress expected you to gnaw open your devices and manually change the software with the sensitive tips of your nimble fingers or something. That said, in many cases it’s easy to download the tools you need anyway. We’re suing the U.S. government to invalidate DMCA 1201, which would eliminate the whole farce. It’s 2018, and that means it’s exemptions time again! EFF and many of our allies have filed for a raft of exemptions to DMCA 1201 this year, and in this series, we’re teaming up with some amazing science fiction writers to explain what’s at stake in these requests.

This week, we’re discussing our right to repair exemption. Did you know the innards of your car are copyrighted?

… The use of DRM to threaten the independent repair sector is a bad deal all-around. Repair is an onshore industry that creates middle-class jobs in local communities, where service technicians help Americans get more value out of the devices they buy. It’s not just cars: everything from tractors to printers, from toys to thermostats have been designed with DRM that stands in the way of your ability to decide who fixes your stuff, or whether it can be fixed at all. That’s why we’ve asked the Copyright Office to create a broad exemption to permit repair technicians to bypass any DRM that gets in the way of their ability to fix your stuff for you.

Our friend John Scalzi was kind enough to write us a science fiction story that illustrates the stakes involved.

(13) HOUSE OF REPUTE. Real estate news site 6sqft profiles a celebrity abode which once housed sf author Robert Silverberg: “Former home of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia lists for $3.5M in Fieldston section of Riverdale”. Numerous photos of the inside and outside.

A stately English Tudor mansion in the historic Fieldston neighborhood of Riverdale, considered one of the city’s best preserved early 20th century suburbs, has just hit the market for $3.5 million, and it’s oozing history filled ghosts, science fiction, New York master politicians, and urban planners. Former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia moved to 5020 Goodridge Avenue after serving three consecutive terms as mayor and living in Gracie Mansion….

In 1961, Robert Silverberg, a well-known science fiction author – and not as well-known as the prolific writer of erotica novels for quick cash – bought the house. In his 1972 novel, The Book of Skulls, Silverberg mentioned the neighborhood, writing, “How unreal the whole immortality thing seemed to me now, with the jeweled cables of the George Washington Bridge gleaming far to the southwest, and the soaring bourgeois towers of Riverdale hemming us on to the right, and the garlicky realities of Manhattan straight ahead.”

(14) PROBLEM FIXER. Michael Z. Williamson’s advice is to ban the people who complain about a convention GoH.

…Your only rational, immediate response to avoid “controversy” is just to ban the person making the public scene. They’ve already told you by this action that they intend to cause trouble for at least one of your guests and that guest’s followers.

“I wouldn’t feel safe with this person at the con!”
“We’re sorry you feel that way.  Here’s a full refund.* We hope to see you at a future event.”

Then stop responding. You’ll only give attention to an attention whore.

Having seen this happen to guests at least three times, any future guest invitations I accept will involve a signed cancellation clause and a cash penalty for doing so, because once a guest has made arrangements for your event, they can’t schedule something else, and you’re eating up their writing/art/production time. They are there for YOUR benefit, not you for theirs. In my case, I currently have three novels, a collection, an anthology, all contracted, another novel offer, three on spec, an article request, three short stories and a lengthy stack of products to test and review, and an entire summer of professional bookings. I have a not-quite four year old and a teenager. Don’t waste my time then roll over for some worthless whiner….

(15) MAKING PLANS. John Ringo, in a public Facebook post, advises writers —

…With every other convention, assume you’re being set-up at this point and don’t be played for a sucker.

Oh, yeah, and as fans and lovers of liberty, never, ever attend Origins again if you ever have. Or ConCarolinas. (Sorry, Jada.) Or ArchCon. Or WorldCon.

We need a list. They never will be missed. No they never will be missed.

(16) ALTERNATE SPORTS HISTORY. Counterfactual: “Blimps Full Of Money And 30 Other Sports Fantasias In ‘Upon Further Review'”. What if football had stayed boring, or the US had boycotted the Berlin Olympics, or …?

Mike Pesca assembled the new book titled Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs In Sports History and a companion podcast. In an interview, he explained some of the book’s 31 different scenarios written by 31 sportswriters.

(17) SYMBOLISM. “Henrietta Lacks’ Lasting Impact Detailed In New Portrait” — shoutouts to unwitting donor of a cell line that has been used all over biomedicine.

When Henrietta Lacks was dying of cancer in 1951, her cells were harvested without her knowledge. They became crucial to scientific research and her story became a best-seller. Since then, Lacks has become one of the most powerful symbols for informed consent in the history of science.

On Monday, when the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., honored Lacks by installing a painting of her just inside one of its main entrances, three of Lacks’ grandchildren were there.

(18) BIRD IS THE WORD. “Dinosaur parenting: How the ‘chickens from hell’ nested”. “How do you sit on your nest of eggs when you weigh over 1,500kg?”

Dinosaur parenting has been difficult to study, due to the relatively small number of fossils, but the incubating behaviour of oviraptorosaurs has now been outlined for the first time.

Scientists believe the largest of these dinosaurs arranged their eggs around a central gap in the nest.

This bore the parent’s weight, while allowing them to potentially provide body heat or protection to their developing young, without crushing the delicate eggs.

The feathered ancient relatives of modern birds, oviraptorosaurs lived in the Late Cretaceous period, at least 67 million years ago.

(19) SF TV ARCHEOLOGY. Echo Ishii’s tour of old sf TV leads this time to “SF Obscure: Cosmic Slop.

Cosmic Slop was a 1994 TV anthology series on HBO featuring three short black science fiction movies. (I have also seen the broadcast date listed as 1995.) It features three short “Space Traders” based on the Derrick Bell short story; “The First Commandment” and “Tang”. It’s kind of a Twilight Zone vibe with George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic during the intros. (It’s as bizarre in the way only George Clinton can be.)

(20) TREK MEDICINE TODAY. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination hosts “Star Trek, the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE & the Future of Medicine” on June 2, with Qualcomm XPRIZE Tricorder Prize winner Basil Harris, Robert Picardo (actor, Emergency Medical Hologram, Star Trek: Voyager), and Dr. Rusty Kallenberg, Chairman of Family Medicine and Director of the UCSD XPRIZE Test Program.

June 2, 2018
Liebow Auditorium
UC San Diego

Artificial intelligence is already impacting healthcare is numerous ways. Are we far from the future portrayed in Star Trek: Voyager, of an AI holographic doctor with encyclopedic medical knowledge? What are the pathways that will yield the most profound results for AI in medicine? And what are the ethical and regulatory issues we need to consider as we develop these technologies?

Hosted by Erik Viirre, associate director of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination and Medical Director of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, The Future of Medicine is an exploration of these questions and more, as they impact the UC San Diego innovation ecosystem and beyond. Our master of ceremonies is Robert Picardo, actor and star of Star Trek: Voyager, where he left a cultural impact as the face of AI medicine as the Emergency Medical Hologram, known as “The Doctor.” Basil Harris, founder of Basil Leaf Technologies and winner of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE to develop a real-world Tricorder-like medical device, will share his experience developing DextER, an autonomous medical diagnostic device, and the future of this pathway for innovation. And leaders from UC San Diego will join a panel on artificial agents in medical technology development.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Standback, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, Lise Andreasen, Chip Hitchcock, and rcade for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

319 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/16/18 Ringworlds For Sale or Rent, Moons To Let Fifty Cents

  1. “Notice that I provided quotes from several Muslims of varying backgrounds, not just that one.”

    I see no reason to care about your other quotes when you have already shown that you can use any kind of bigot as a source.

  2. “Enjoying dialectics is not at all the same thing as trolling, however.”

    Perhaps for the person who enjoys dialectics, but for the other participants in the discussion, it is the same.

  3. @Contrarius: “Remember, a large majority of New Yorkers opposed the mosque as well. I already posted the numbers — you can review them here. Why are you disregarding their wishes?”

    Speaking for myself: because subjecting basic civil rights (like the right to worship) to the will of the majority is a Really Terrible Idea and sets an astoundingly awful precedent.

    But you have heard of people being slain by religious extremists. As I’ve already said, I’d be offended by a Christian church being built at the site of a mass Christian extremist attack in the same way.

    FYI, conflating all Muslims with terrorists and “two blocks away” with “at the site”? Not a good look for you. For one thing, you can’t even see the site from Ground Zero, as opposed to your caricature of it as “at the site,” as though it would be Right There flipping the proverbial finger at the damage.

    Truth is, when the original plans were made, there was no controversy. Nobody cared. Then the hatemongers got hold of it, distorted key facts, and of course the ignorant masses raised hell about it. That does not make them right. It makes them gullible. That you still believe those lies, particularly when the truth is right there for all to see (check the Wiki page you cited earlier, for instance) does not speak well of you.

    So, as I posted above, the time frame isn’t really the determining factor in whether that proposed mosque was insensitive or not.

    Bzzt! I said that the presence of vigilantes with guns at schools is always offensive, because endangering children is offensive. Doing so within two hours of a mass shooting there is even more offensive, because of the added callousness. Do not confuse the two.

    Building a new prayer space to replace a damaged building in the same area that was already being used for that purpose is a completely different scenario from building such a space where there had previously been no such thing. You’re painting this as the latter, conveniently ignoring all the evidence that the former was actually the case.

    I’m confident that many or most of those mosque builders had innocent motives, but as some of those Muslim quotes I posted earlier point out, there were inevitably some political motives involved as well.

    Hey, guess what? Make an issue controversial, and people with political motives will find cameras to air them. You are dishonestly conflating the builders with those opportunists – again, not a good look for you. Makes it look like either you skimped on the research or are deliberately twisting the facts – and there’s no excuse for either one. Not only are you attributing views to a small group (builders) based on the statements of people not in it (pundits), but you’re doing so based on the one attribute they share: their religion.

    That’s bigotry, Contrarius. No getting around it. I thought you were better than that.

    Enjoying dialectics is not at all the same thing as trolling, however. One challenges in order to be offensive, while the other challenges in order to learn personally and to provoke others to think as well. The goal aspired to, of course, has nothing to do with whether or not I am any good at it.

    You are seriously failing at your stated goal right now.

  4. If a group of Muslims brandishing guns and waving Islamic flags had showed up at Ground Zero on the day of the WTC attack, I would find that offensive, even more offensive than the guy in the MAGA hat with the flag and the gun, but only because of the scale. The mosque issue is a dog whistle packed in a red herring.

  5. @Contrarius

    Apples and oranges. The WTC was not on the whole a mosque and was not attacked for being a mosque, whether or not it contained worship space within it.

    The church was not the target of the bomb. When I said massive IRA bomb I meant massive IRA bomb. The target was the district where it was located.

  6. Playing Devil’s Advocate requires both good arguments and an ability to read the room. If you find yourself posting ever longer comments as you try to make yourself understood, or posting more and more often as you attempt to have the last word on all of the sub threads, you are doing it wrong. Time to remember Scalzi’s dictum on the failure mode of clever.

  7. Contrarius:

    How do you justify calling people racists against their own races?

    Are you referring to the other Muslim commenters you quoted? A) You did not say what race they were, B) we have previously pointed out that many are cover groups for bigots or from non-Sufi commenters, C) it is perfectly possible to be racist against one’s own race, just as it is possible for a woman to be sexist. We are washed in our own culture, and cannot help absorbing it. The best we can do is try to become aware of that and consciously work to offset those culture-instilled attitudes.

    I am aware that Islam is a religion and not a race. I and many others still consider anti-Muslim attitudes to contain a large component of racism because most of the hatred is directed toward brown people from the Middle East and South Asia. White and East Asian Muslims draw considerably less attention. There is, of course, religious bigotry as well, but it ends up feeling similar in a lot of ways. People who are virulently anti-Semitic see Jews as not white. People who were virulently anti-Catholic saw Irish and Italian Catholics as not white. There are many such examples where the dominant group in a culture “others” people who may not look very different at all.

  8. I’m quite sure that not a single person who says they dislike/distrust etc Muslims is envisioning a Malaysian; all the imagery is of Middle Eastern people. Even fewer of them are envisioning someone who looks like Richard Thompson.

    You lost all credibility on this specific comparison the moment you quoted this segment of the linked Factcheck FAQ:

    “Yes. The New York Times profiled two mosques that have been in existence for years not far from ground zero. Masjid Manhattan, founded in 1970, is four blocks away”

    and responded to that with:

    So there was already a mosque very close by.

    As if this was a point against the need for the new space, and completely ignored this, just a short distance below:

    One was Masjid al-Farah, which could fit a maximum of approximately 65 people, and had to hold three or four separate prayer services on Fridays just to fit the crowds. The second mosque, at Warren Street, accommodated about 1,500 worshippers during Friday prayers – people had been praying on sidewalks because they had no room. They lost their space around May 2009. We made the move to buy 45 Park Place in July 2009 in part to offset the loss of this space.

    Except… you can’t have ignored that, because you DID quote:

    We made the move to buy 45 Park Place in July 2009

    which is a part of that relevant section, in your VERY NEXT Line.

    Talk about selective editing.

    I am also fairly sure that most of the people polled about the “Ground Zero Mosque” who made your list of disapproving New Yorkers did not check the facts.

    In the early days of the fight for gay marriage someone polled people on the street (here in Canada) about whether they disagreed with gay marriage. Then asked why. Most of the middle of the road people against it cited as their reason that they were uncomfortable with the idea of gay people adopting kids. They were then told that gay people already could legally adopt kids, married or not. A significant number then flipped their opinion of gay marriage as “Sure, why not?” *

    Getting actual facts about a thing when you’ve been listening only to the water cooler talk and sound bytes may well alter polls, and I am skeptical that a poll about the mosque/community centre actually made sure that people had the facts and not the water cooler version of it before asking their opinion.

    * Of course, both panic about LGBT+ adopting kids and LGBT+ people marrying are horrid prejudices, and most people know it now, but this isn’t about these people being right to be worried, just about how opinion changes when presented with more info.

  9. Dear Lenora,

    When the California Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage in California in the early 1948, over 95% of the American public was opposed. When the US Supreme Court legalized it in 1967, over two thirds of Americans were still opposed. Acceptance of interracial marriage didn’t pass the 50-50 point until the mid 1990s (according to Gallup, some polls place it several years earlier… not that this is important).

    13% still disapprove. Something like 40 million Americans!

    How can we possibly allow something like this, not respecting the heartfelt feelings of millions of Americans?

    And clearly the Supreme Court erred badly; interracial marriage should have remained illegal until the very late 1990s or even until this century, when a clear majority of the populace supported it.

    That’s where letting popular opinion determine people’s civil rights and freedom from discrimination gets you.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 

  10. I’m in Massachusetts, where in 2004, following an SJC decision in late 2003, we became the first American state to legalize same-sex marriage. My mom was in her mid-70s then, an elderly Italian-American woman. Of course out of staters flooded in, trying to get our legislature to overturn the decision before it went into effect, and of course my mother got asked about it, more than once. She said that, of course she didn’t approve, but she didn’t understand what the fuss was about, and why all these people from out of state were coming here and bothering us.

    OOS: Then you want the legislature to overturn it.

    Mom: No. Why should they do that?


    OOS: But you said you don’t approve. Don’t you want to prevent it from happening?

    Mom: The Court said it’s legal under our state constitution. How is it going to hurt me if people I don’t know get married to other people I don’t know?

    See, I was raised with a strong belief that the main objection to a new house of worship of any kind nearby would be whether they had adequate parking so that they wouldn’t be a nuisance. She might disapprove of a mosque, but she wouldn’t feel any need to oppose it if it wasn’t going to create traffic and parking problems.

    I’ve never really understood the need to feel aggrieved by things that don’t hurt anyone and don’t create practical problems.

    I wonder what the questions in that poll were, and what kind of information was provided to frame them.

  11. Dear Lis,

    Was that question about polls meant for me or Contrarius?

    I’m assuming not-me, but I don’t want to ignore you if I’m wrong about that.

    pax / Ctein

  12. Ctein, I was idly musing about the form of the questions in the poll mentioned in the NYRB piece David W quoted and linked to. I didn’t see any evidence that it was identified beyond “a recent poll,” so I wasn’t really expecting anyone to have an answer.

    Sorry if I was unclear. 🙁

  13. I like your approach to new houses of worship, speaking as a former resident of Manhattan who worked in Midtown for many years and thus tended to think of both the United Nations and presidential visits largely in terms of the interruptions to traffic and transit. (This is nonpartisan: at this scale there’s no significant difference between a Bush motorcade and an Obama one.) I definitely have opinions on both theatre and many political issues, none of which are going to be changed by a politician’s choice of Broadway play.

  14. @Contrarius: I don’t want weirdos wandering around near schools with guns. I don’t feel like I can translate that directly to a wildly different and agree that this makes timeframe irrelevant, no. I’m not saying timeframe is a huge factor, either, I suppose. But a super-short timeframe definitely makes almost anything seems worse than it may really be.

    I’m not sure you’ll see this, but this reply is pretty minor and probably not too coherent anyway. 😉

  15. @Lis Carey: Your mom’s take on the legalization of same-sex marriage in Mass. was refreshingly no-nonsense, no B.S. Thanks for sharing that; I like how it sounds like she made the OOS people’s heads explode. Does! Not! Compute! LOL.

  16. Ctein: I agree quite thoroughly with you that the approval of the populace itself does not have any bearing on whether an unjust law should be struck down. I was merely pointing out that many polls are *designed* to get an uninformed opinion, and providing a concrete example as to how a poll changes when it makes an effort to inform, meaning that even taken in themselves, polls can be manipulative and unreliable and should not be trusted.

  17. Lenora Rose on May 21, 2018 at 8:29 pm said:

    […] even taken in themselves, polls can be manipulative and unreliable and should not be trusted.

    A great lead-in for what I consider one of the funniest moments in TV history. From the inimitable Yes, Prime Minister, Sir Humphrey Appleby explains how polling really works. 😀

    Edit: I was hoping that would embed the video. Apparently, I still haven’t quite figured out when the software for this blog will decide to do embedding and when it won’t.

  18. Re 8

    I remember hearing the q-tip story years ago, and then repeating it later to a sceptical listenener. As I get older I find it harder to remember where I heard anecdotes from, and how trust-worthy my sources were. So when someone expresses doubt I wind up getting embarrassed and wondering if my memory is playing tricks with me. So thanks for the validation on this one!

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