Thursday, June 19, 2008

Long ass shorters, Part 2

There may end up being a part 3 coming tonight. I'm not sure how much more I can take right now.


Obama inspiring suits among black teenagers seems about as likely as McCain inspiring Goth kids to scrape off the black nailpolish and put on a cardigan.
How many mistakes can you spot in this one sentence? Should we start with the fact that no one really calls themselves goth anymore unless they're over 30 and at a Ren Fair? They're called emos now, Megan. Second, I wasn't aware John McCain was the first goth kid to win a major party nomination to the highest office in the land, following a centuries long national history of enslavement of and discrimination against goth kids. Megan, you're a fucking moron.
I don't know where Battiata grew up, but in my high school, anyone who had come in dressed like Barbara Bush would have spent the next few years ruing this decision at their very own cafeteria table. I wore . . . well, baggy jeans. Also ratty sneakers, tentlike t-shirts, and flannel shirts about eight sizes too large that used to flap around my girlish figure like a shroud. Nonetheless, I seem to have managed a rich and fulfilling life.
Let's see, is that because you're a rich asshole who had a rich and fulfilling life all but guaranteed for you at birth, or because you dressed like Kurt Cobain in an attempt to irk your Mom for a couple years? I think even Megan can answer this one.

Everything I needed to know about econometrics, I learned from Arnold Kling:
Correlations are, at best, suggestive. They are not by themselves evidence--nay, not even if you cross your arms, scowl at your opponent, and say "Well, then give me another explanation for this astonishing correlation!" Until you've got something better than a simple correlation, the burden of proof remains upon you.
Unless you are Megan McArdle, in which case mere assertion of something is sufficient to consider it proved, what with being an infallible source of secret wisdom unavailable to plebs who don't have high def tv.

Iraqification: Ladies and gentlemen, the most pointless post in the history of the internets.
Reader Ann asks me to comment on progress in Iraq, and the media's coverage, or lack, thereof.

I'm not really qualified to assess progress in Iraq; I know little about their political system, and less about military matters.
And yet, she goes on.
I think economic progress is underreported; their infrastructure has either returned to, or exceeded, prewar measures, and by all reports is still rapidly improving. This matters a great deal, not only for quality of life, but because the more there is to destroy, the more stake people have in peace.
I think the introduction of My Little Ponies to the US military has made Iraq a magic place that smells like baby powder and reminds me of my elementary school playground, but I have better drugs than Megan.
I can comment a little on the severe difficulties of news coverage in a war zone, particularly Iraq. It isn't safe, so reporters are limited mostly to Baghdad or embeds, which are not the whole story, and probably dramatically skew their perception of the situation; Baghdad is in the Sunni triangle. Also, someone recently pointed out something I hadn't thought of: most of the people who speak English in Iraq are Sunnis, privileged in the previous power structure. That is going to skew what people see. There's also the fact that bombings are dramatic, easy to see, instant; progress is slow and often hard to measure.
So Megan doesn't know what's what, but still...

In no way does Megan's previous support for a pointless war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars induce her to want to find signs of progress in a nation we have fucked for generations. Don't mention depleted uranium, either, she'll just call you a dirty hippie. Oh, and the punchline?
Journalism, like most things, is harder than it looks; without great care, it can go very wrong.
But if you put literally zero effort into it, there's no risk and you're golden.

By request: growing your own: No, no pot jokes. Too easy. I just want to highlight the following;
So if you're going to have a vegetable garden or stock, you want to carefully consider the opportunity cost of your time. You could be taking on extra work to pay for food. Unless you make a very low wage indeed, you will probably spend less time earning the money to buy the food than you would growing it yourself.

Yes, you may say, but I can't find a decent job for only a few hours a week at my convenience. But wait! Don't forget that your leisure is also an important opportunity cost. After all, if you didn't value it pretty highly, you'd already have another job.
The natural state of man, in Megan's mind, is a wage earner. If you didn't value pooping as a material good, you'd spend that time every day working a fourth job, you lazy shitter.
And lots of people, through some sort of tragic congenital failure, actually enjoy gardening.
Megan, what the fuck is wrong with you?

Actually, there's gonna be at least two more posts from me today. I know the grad school post has already been touched on, but there's no way I can avoid responding to it. Then a final catch-up shorters.
N once again, if anyone has any ideas for a new poll, please, help meeeeeeeee.


Anonymous said...

You've got to adore Megan's advice about growing your own. "If it takes more of your time than you feel it is worth, you shouldn't do it."

Thanks, Megan! This is the profound knowledge that an MBA brings! And enjoying gardening is a "tragic congenital failure"? Why? Because SHE doesn't like to do it?

NutellaonToast said...

Wow, I didn't realize the thing that I did that was deeply connected to my childhood, honors the memory of my mother, gets me fresh vegetables and friuit, generates feeling of connectedness to nature as well as a sense of accomplishment after a long debilitating illness was a congenital failure.

I am a lot less informed than I thought I was.

oh wait, I'm still in grad school. I can't say that until I finish.

Anonymous said...

I'm incredibly lazy and even I can be bothered to have a veggie-and-herb garden! (My secret? raised beds/lasagna gardening. No tilling or spading and few weeds.)

What a revolting woman. Maybe I should apply to be an "expert" blogger with The Atlantic... Looks like easy money to me.

spencer said...

"The natural state of man, in Megan's mind, is a wage earner. If you didn't value pooping as a material good, you'd spend that time every day working a fourth job, you lazy shitter."

This is probably what attracted her to economics (but not enough, apparently, to get an actual degree in the subject) in the first place. It's a very common way of looking at the world among those people.