patience_limited's recent activity

  1. Comment on Quantum droplets win the 2019 Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition in ~science

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    Thank you for elaborating. You reminded me of this article, which talks about recent bouncing droplet experiments. My physics understanding is very rusty and ends after physical chemistry, so I...

    Thank you for elaborating. You reminded me of this article, which talks about recent bouncing droplet experiments. My physics understanding is very rusty and ends after physical chemistry, so I can't comment on the fluid mechanics and acoustics that underlay the photograph.

  2. Comment on What Did ‘Authenticity’ In Food Mean In 2019? in ~food

    patience_limited
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    On a personal level, I can respect any cook who's trying to make food that tastes good, looks appetizing, and is served in a welcoming environment. Innovation is a bonus, not an essential feature....

    The Twitter debate was a bit of a tweetstorm in a teacup, with each side consisting of smart people who care deeply about how their culture’s cuisines are interpreted by a white supremacist society. And the core of what they were arguing about is authenticity — what it is and who gets to define it, as well as what counts as a taint on a cuisine and what has been lovingly adopted into the traditions. Lucky Peach’s book 101 Easy Asian Recipes cheekily billed itself as “100% inauthentic,” putting okonomiyaki in the same book as “Mall Chicken.” New restaurants like Call Your Mother and Nightshade ditch verisimilitude for a more open-minded approach to their cuisines, with Call Your Mother advertising itself as “Jew-ish.” The authenticity is not the sell, and in fact, it sounds a lot like “fusion.” It’s clear that something about the conversation on authenticity has changed, broadening into a debate about innovation, interpretation, and change and recognizing that no cuisine, or culture, is static. Welcome to Authenticity 2.0.

    The question of which cuisines can be “elevated,” and by whom, drives much of the authenticity debate. Eater’s Jenny Zhang wrote about how that dynamic was depicted in the Netflix film Always Be My Maybe, in which Sasha Tran (played by Ali Wong) plays a hot-shot chef who runs a number of fusion restaurants. The viewer is “meant to side-eye” her career, writes Zhang, until her childhood sweetheart reminds her “Asian food isn’t supposed to be ‘elevated,’ it’s supposed to be authentic” — homey, traditional, and not subject to innovation through Western ingredients or new techniques. As white chefs face outrage for cooking cuisine that isn’t their own, nonwhite chefs are saddled with guilt or confusion for straying from tradition. Both situations are driven by the notion that European food is upscale and innovative, while basically everything else is inherently cheap, casual, and stagnant.

    On a personal level, I can respect any cook who's trying to make food that tastes good, looks appetizing, and is served in a welcoming environment. Innovation is a bonus, not an essential feature.

    Elaborate stories about cultural authenticity, tradition, personal history, ethnic signifiers, etc. shouldn't be necessary to ensure that they can earn a reasonable livelihood, but it's part of the theatre, salespersonship, and marketing of running a restaurant and not just a kitchen.

    The dining world is as subject to culture wars as everything else, but this is a diversion from the fact that every kitchen is an independent craft workshop, dedicated to manufacturing maximally serviceable products, given the locally available and affordable materials and labor. Regardless of who is nominated as a premier spokes(man, usually) for the trade or cuisine, searching for "authentic" food culture expressions is as ridiculous as searching for "authentic" snowflakes.

  3. Comment on Quantum droplets win the 2019 Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition in ~science

    patience_limited
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    Aside from the artistically stunning photograph, the article provides brief background information on the physicist who captured the shot, and the underlying physics experiment.

    Aside from the artistically stunning photograph, the article provides brief background information on the physicist who captured the shot, and the underlying physics experiment.

  4. Comment on The famous pasta-making women of Bari, Italy, are worried that a crackdown on contraband orecchiette pasta could threaten their way of life in ~food

    patience_limited
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    I'd just seen the documentary about Evan Funke, the American chef who studied at the school of Alexandra Spisni in Bologna, Italy. Handcrafting in the age of increasingly sophisticated automation...

    I'd just seen the documentary about Evan Funke, the American chef who studied at the school of Alexandra Spisni in Bologna, Italy.

    Handcrafting in the age of increasingly sophisticated automation depends on wealthy patrons, as Evan Funke's case illustrates. Even at the poverty wages these expert women make, the comparatively low wages of the people who buy from them won't support their craft forever, especially given complex regulation and taxation.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Why I'm possessive about apostrophes in ~humanities

    patience_limited
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    This Financial Times opinion piece is by turns satirical and mocking of grammar Nazis, and punctilious and a bit mournful about linguistic changes imposed at speed by the demands of our...

    This Financial Times opinion piece is by turns satirical and mocking of grammar Nazis, and punctilious and a bit mournful about linguistic changes imposed at speed by the demands of our technologies.

    A person of my acquaintance regularly has to advise, "Don't bother with the apostrophe" when giving his surname, because it invariably causes database snafus.

    Longer digression on limitations in use of punctuation for e-mail

    As a former mail admin, I can't count the number of times I had to tell people, "E-mail addresses can't have your preferred punctuation." [RFC 5322, the original ASCII specification for SMTP headers, allows apostrophes as printable characters, but doesn't require support of all printable characters in local names. As an example, Windows Live Hotmail still only permits dots, underscores, and hyphens.]

    This doesn't even begin to account for non-English punctuation. Internationalized Unicode in e-mail addresses still isn't universal as of 2019, so forget apostrophes, dingbats, guillemets, jù hào, non-English alphabets, etc. if you want your e-mail to be delivered with certainty. Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, and the other big players can support UTF-8 encoding for local names and domains, but there's no guarantee it's enabled for smaller providers.

    [And, you kids, I do end sentences in text messages with full stops, so FYVM if you think that's passive-aggressive.]

    6 votes
  6. Comment on Limited eating times could be a new way to fight obesity and diabetes in ~health

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    I'd guess that the point is to ensure a prolonged period of fasting each day (14 hours or more). The paper indicated that the researchers didn't direct the participants to fast during specific...

    I'd guess that the point is to ensure a prolonged period of fasting each day (14 hours or more).

    The paper indicated that the researchers didn't direct the participants to fast during specific hours, just to avoid eating outside a 10-hour window of their choice.

    There's some evidence that eating immediately before sleep contributes to weight gain, but who knows whether that's the case in the context of intermittent fasting.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on Limited eating times could be a new way to fight obesity and diabetes in ~health

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    Part of the discussion in the paper involves people who have adverse reactions to fasting longer than 14 hours at a time. Given that the study group is already obese and at least pre-diabetic,...

    Part of the discussion in the paper involves people who have adverse reactions to fasting longer than 14 hours at a time.

    Given that the study group is already obese and at least pre-diabetic, it's good to know that they can still withstand as much as a 14-hour fast without nausea and faintness.

    OTOH, based on my experience with fasting and eating only a single meal per day, it's no guarantee that your caloric intake will be less than your energy expenditure even with proper meal planning.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Limited eating times could be a new way to fight obesity and diabetes in ~health

    patience_limited
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    The original study reported seems to have been decently well designed and has an adequate, if not great, sample size. The intervention effects are mostly modest, in the neighborhood of 3 - 11%...

    The original study reported seems to have been decently well designed and has an adequate, if not great, sample size.

    The intervention effects are mostly modest, in the neighborhood of 3 - 11% improvements in metabolic indicators and weight, but the ease of achieving them is surprising, as are the reported improvements in wellbeing. Fasting insulin and thyroid hormone levels are more distinctly improved (21% and 13% respectively), as are days of perceived refreshing sleep (30%).

    Since the participants were already obese and suffering metabolic syndrome, this study shouldn't be interpreted as proof that the time-limited eating intervention will prevent these conditions, but the mechanism suggests that it might. The study only continued for 12 weeks - more research is needed.

    7 votes
  9. Comment on A History of Haggis in ~food

    patience_limited
    (edited )
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    Cool history, but just about every animal-consuming culture on Earth has a blood sausage tradition.

    Cool history, but just about every animal-consuming culture on Earth has a blood sausage tradition.

    1 vote
  10. Comment on I Worked for Alex Jones. I Regret It. in ~misc

    patience_limited
    (edited )
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    There's a helpful video good for understanding what you need to know about Alex Jones: "Narcissist's Beloved Paranoia". Footnote: the author of the video, Sam Vaknin, is a very curious and...

    There's a helpful video good for understanding what you need to know about Alex Jones: "Narcissist's Beloved Paranoia".

    Footnote: the author of the video, Sam Vaknin, is a very curious and concerning person, too.

    7 votes
  11. Comment on What are the best and the worst purchases you've recently made? in ~talk

    patience_limited
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    Best recent purchase: Uniqlo HeatTech garments ($15 - $25 USD), especially the fleece and Ultra Warm versions. Unbelievably useful during the recent cold snap, both as underlayers and as pajamas...

    Best recent purchase: Uniqlo HeatTech garments ($15 - $25 USD), especially the fleece and Ultra Warm versions. Unbelievably useful during the recent cold snap, both as underlayers and as pajamas or standalone clothes. They've withstood washing very well, come in a variety of pleasing colors, and don't absorb stink the way my older Columbia underlayers did. I got through 90 minutes of snow-shoveling at 0° C in a HeatTech long-sleeve shirt and down vest without either chill or excessive sweat.

    Worst recent purchase: HEAD brand running gloves from Costco. I don't know who designed those gloves, but they're worse than useless if the insulating fleece gets even slightly damp, and they take forever to dry. I left them in the car after scraping the windshield in the morning, and was risking frostbite from putting them on again.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on Why Racists (and Liberals!) Keep Writing for Quillette in ~misc

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    Power goes to the best and loudest storyteller. People don't make decisions on the basis of their lived experience so much as the explanatory framework for that experience. Whatever coherent,...

    Power goes to the best and loudest storyteller.

    People don't make decisions on the basis of their lived experience so much as the explanatory framework for that experience. Whatever coherent, plausible, and emotionally satisfying explanation hits first, that's the liferaft people cling to until it proves impossibly unstable. And when masses of people find themselves adrift at the same time, like after the most recent recession, they're desperately seeking a new story to construct their lives around.

    Neoliberalism's stories failed, socialism isn't acceptable given generations of negative storytelling (propagandizing), but racism, classism, and sexism stories have been endlessly circulated (if only in whispers).

    A new generation of ambitious, moneyed autocrats is knitting together emotionally satisfying fables of natural or god-given race, gender, and class hierarchy which just happen to grant them legitimacy and power - that's how the process works.

    18 votes
  13. Comment on Why Racists (and Liberals!) Keep Writing for Quillette in ~misc

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    I've sampled a few of the early articles, and ran the hell away when I saw the same old Bell Curve statistically meaningless and pseudoscientific crap in new dressing. I found the project...

    I've sampled a few of the early articles, and ran the hell away when I saw the same old Bell Curve statistically meaningless and pseudoscientific crap in new dressing.

    I found the project reminiscent of the old Fusion Magazine, the outlet of the now nearly forgotten U.S. Larouchite movement. Fusion got a few reputable scientists on board at the outset, then veered off in directions none of them would have countenanced, coasting on the early injection of respectability.

    There's a more comprehensive list of noxious activity here.

    There are also similarities to the current period of Reason Magazine, the ostensibly libertarian intellectual "free minds and free markets" publication funded with Koch brothers' money.

    There have always been heterodox third-way movements claiming that they now have the intellectual high ground the other political poles abandoned. Often, the movements aren't organic, but quietly funded and
    steered by established wealth to manipulate the political conversation, as with Reason Foundation's libertarianism, "radical centrism", and more recently, "heterodox science".

    While Quillette claims to be funded by small donor contributions, there's a clear background attempt to replicate the success of the Koch's mainstreaming of free-market fundamentalism and anti-environmentalism. Only this time, it's for mainstreaming white male supremacy and anti-democracy.

    19 votes
  14. Comment on Why Racists (and Liberals!) Keep Writing for Quillette in ~misc

    patience_limited
    Link
    Whatever errors of orthodoxy or dogmatism are present in Left discourse at the moment, at least the underlying drives are towards mutually valid truths, equity, and just redress of historical...

    Whatever errors of orthodoxy or dogmatism are present in Left discourse at the moment, at least the underlying drives are towards mutually valid truths, equity, and just redress of historical wrongs.

    Quillette makes truth claims, but they inevitably bend towards reinforcement of existing race, gender, and class-based power structures, positing "natural law" arguments for expanding them.

    Quillette was founded in 2015 by Claire Lehmann, an Australian who in 2017 also served as an on-air contributor to the Canadian far-right, anti-Muslim network Rebel Media, where she once delivered a “report” titled “How feminism has fuelled obesity crisis.” Her Rebel Media colleagues included white nationalist Faith Goldy—who was fired shortly after participating in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia—and Gavin McInnes, founder of the “Western chauvinist” group the Proud Boys, which rewards its members for committing violence against leftists.

    While Lehmann calls Quillette “independent,” “centrist,” and even “a community of liberal humanists,” the publication showcases racist pseudoscience purporting to show that people of color are intellectually and morally inferior to whites. Many of the writers of its race pieces are proponents of the Human Biodiversity Movement (HBD), a euphemistic name for a campaign to advance scientific racism launched in 1996 by Steve Sailer, a blogger for the white supremacist website VDare.

    Suborning public intellectuals, by giving them a platform to broadcast their grievances at losing power and suffering accountability, is just more impetus for rightwards movement of the Overton Window.

    Lehmann told Politico that Quillette’s goal is “to broaden the Overton window”—that is to say, expand the limits of acceptable discourse. She didn’t stipulate that she wants these limits broadened only to the right, but she didn’t have to. Writing in Quillette, Lehmann said the Overton window should be shifted so that people can more openly denounce “immigration,” for example by trumpeting the Muslim heritage of sex-crime suspects.

    24 votes
  15. Comment on What's the education system like in your country? in ~talk

    patience_limited
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    U.S.: The United States has a deeply fragmented education system with multiple bureaucratic layers. In broad strokes, the national bureaucracy sets standards, but provides inadequate resources and...

    U.S.:

    The United States has a deeply fragmented education system with multiple bureaucratic layers. In broad strokes, the national bureaucracy sets standards, but provides inadequate resources and oversight to ensure equitable outcomes.

    There are huge disparities in public school funding down to the level of individual schools, regardless of location. The federal government only provides 8% of overall school funding; the rest derives from property taxes, which vary drastically depending on state, county, and city levies. School boards (usually elected) determine allocation to each school, including funding by curriculum choices.
    There's a significant (10%) proportion of students in religious (78%) or other private schools. Another 6% of students attend "charter" schools, which operate outside the standard public education system (often run by private corporations) despite receiving public funding. If you follow U.S. news, you'll see mentions of "school choice" and "vouchers", which are basically means of diverting public funding to subsidize religious private schools that parents would otherwise have to pay out of pocket for their children to attend.

    Overall, U.S. total spending on primary and secondary education is in the top tier globally; we spend as much per student on average as does Norway. [At the college level, U.S. education costs twice as much per student as elsewhere.]

    Lobbying influence has established bloated textbook publishing monopolies; mandatory standardized tests result in diversion of billions of dollars to testing companies, all as you would expect with few safeguards against regulatory capture. Teachers in the U.S. are the worst paid professionals, with average income close to poverty level in many locales.

    That's before beginning to discuss the impacts of race and family income inequality.

    With that preamble done, the basics for U.S. education are:

    Primary school, split in elementary and middle divisions:

    • Elementary: Kindergarten (age 5) through grade 5 or 6.

    • Middle: usually grades 6 - 8 or 7 - 9 depending on state.

    Secondary or high school: grades 9 or 10 through 12.

    There's no nationwide public test for high school graduation. Students seeking college admission usually take one or both of the private standardized tests, SAT or ACT. It's rare for high schools to offer complete trade education, though there are partnerships with trade schools and community colleges for accelerated study.

    Post-secondary education usually divides into community colleges, trade schools, and universities.

    University education is required for most professional jobs; community college or trade school certifications are the usual entree' to working class roles.

    8 votes