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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? on: Today at 06:50:52 am
Socialist Realism: An Impossible Aesthetic.

Yey! Finally a brainy book mentioned on here that I've read. Though it was ten years ago.

I'm a little over halfway through. I just got through the bit on Lenin's attempt at constructing and advancing the image of a 'Red Tolstoy'.

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I have a soft spot for Socialist-Realism, though artistically it was horribly romantic (which I'm not fond of) but architecturally could be functional (which I do like). I also like Brutalism so whatever...

In that case like (at least some of) the aspects of socialist realism that you don't, and don't like (at least some of) the aspects that you do. And if you like brutalism you'd love my now-former university campus. I mean that sincerely--it's the best-integrated and (for someone who doesn't like brutalism) overall least objectionable use of brutalist architecture I've ever seen. It helps that the brutalist buildings are mixed in with Colonial revival, postmodern, and in one incongruous case Gothic revival buildings in an interestingly heterogeneous way.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Long time, no see. on: Today at 06:13:50 am
He was never one of the worst posters. He was essentially a specialized variant of meme-loving f[Inks], and we have far worse than meme-loving f[Inks]s on this site.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Favourite latest post by previous poster on: Today at 06:05:41 am
I find it pretty shocking that your teachers actually dismissed a professional opinion and just imposed special ed to you because of their gut feelings. Actually, I find it shocking that this is even legally possible - I mean, don't they require some sort of medical certification for this thing. This sort of behavior is absolutely inexcusable and runs counter so many educational principles that it should be considered a serious violation. Once again, this seems to have been a terrible experience and I'm truly sorry for you.

It also means that what happened to you can't be blamed with overdiagnosis of Asperger's since if I understand correctly you were actually never diagnosed as such. It seems that the only qualified neurologist who was involved in this process actually was right all along. Just like the renowned Parisian neuropsychiatrist who diagnosed me with Asperger's was. I'm not claiming that all psychiatrists/psychologists are above all blame (in fact, in France they are blamed for having completely misunderstood autism for decades, with dramatic consequences). Still, I don't think that anyone here has solid grounds to claim that (beyond the media hype that certainly exists) Aspergers is actually overdiagnosed.
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Anime on: Today at 04:33:13 am

I'm so glad I'm not the only person here who knows about this.

He also has a song called 'Goku'.
5  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? on: Today at 04:25:31 am
I just read All That's Left to You, by Ghassan Kanafani, in one sitting. Weird and wonderful--one of Kanafani's multiple first-person narrators is a completely inanimate object. Now back to Socialist Realism: An Impossible Aesthetic.
6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Anime on: July 22, 2014, 07:17:10 pm
The great thing about Shingeki no Kyojin (whose English title was rendered by somebody who doesn't understand how English prepositions work) is the relative unconcern for stereotype in the characterization, and that's carried me most of the way through it so far, but its pervasiveness has become a little annoying, and some of the fundamental assumptions of the narrative mechanic are a good bit more cynical (and, obviously, militaristic) than I'm comfortable with.

Finding Studio Ghibli overrated is fine, and liking 5 Centimeters per Second is obviously fine, but preferring it to Studio Ghibli movies sort of stymies me. It's not objectively wrong, of course, just really alien to my tastes. Have you seen the live-action eighties The Girl Who Leapt through Time? It's done by the same director as the seventies gonzo horror classic House but it's actually really good and heartfelt.

Right now I'm watching Sailor Moon Crystal. I've been watching less and less new anime recently, except for movies, but I've also been revisiting some older series, especially space opera. I'd love to sit down and really go through Galaxy Express 999 or Space Pirate Captain Harlock some time soon, or even The Irresponsible Captain Tylor or Martian Successor Nadesico again (provided I can adequately ignore the existence of the sequel movie).

I know for a fact that Mung Beans is a fan of Legend of the Galactic Heroes. I think it has some of the same conceptual/ideological flaws as Shingeki no Kyojin but in general I like it a lot. Has anybody else seen or heard of it?
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Anti-Mormon bigotry on the Atlas on: July 22, 2014, 07:05:57 pm
I've never met a Mormon who wasn't an incredibly decent, upstanding, and generally nice person.  Ever.  I'm not sure what is is, but the LDS does a good job stamping out some really friendly folks.

Mormons are conditioned to appear decent, upstanding and nice on the surface via their missionary experience. Once you come to know enough Mormons, you realize that Mormon politeness is an idiomatic peculiarity of their unique culture rather than a generalizable personality trait.

Do you think anybody really thinks otherwise? The idea that adherence to a specific religion creates generalizable personality traits, as opposed to cultural peculiarities, in pretty much any circumstance is a little silly.

Why are you nitpicking the part of my post that is the least interesting/useful?

The way I read that post you really only made the one point in it. I'm not sure what conceptual division between the first and second sentences you're going for here.

I just wanted to point out that missionary work has an impact on how Mormons are perceived in the wider world because it characterizes there mannerisms with the wider community and also their idiomatic tendencies amongst themselves.

Okay, I understand better now. All I was asking was whether the stereotype of Mormon 'niceness' doesn't already implicitly recognize something like that (by being associated with Mormons, and since the white-and-black-clad missionaries on bicycles are the other big Mormon stereotype). If you do think that people fail to realize that I'll retract the question because you seem to know a lot more Mormons and people who live around Mormons than I do.

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I didn't take a Religion 200 class and I don't need to be condescended to because of it.

I wasn't trying to condescend. I'm sorry if I ended up being condescending anyway.
8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: what congressional district do you think has the most... on: July 22, 2014, 06:13:45 pm
OK-02.

Traditionalist Catholics who are willing to vote for Democrats.
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Anti-Mormon bigotry on the Atlas on: July 22, 2014, 06:09:04 pm
I've never met a Mormon who wasn't an incredibly decent, upstanding, and generally nice person.  Ever.  I'm not sure what is is, but the LDS does a good job stamping out some really friendly folks.

Mormons are conditioned to appear decent, upstanding and nice on the surface via their missionary experience. Once you come to know enough Mormons, you realize that Mormon politeness is an idiomatic peculiarity of their unique culture rather than a generalizable personality trait.

Do you think anybody really thinks otherwise? The idea that adherence to a specific religion creates generalizable personality traits, as opposed to cultural peculiarities, in pretty much any circumstance is a little silly.

Why are you nitpicking the part of my post that is the least interesting/useful?

The way I read that post you really only made the one point in it. I'm not sure what conceptual division between the first and second sentences you're going for here.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: MA-Boston Globe: Baker (R) moves within MoE of Coakley (D) on: July 22, 2014, 06:04:18 pm
It's the state party's own fault for not giving Juliette Kayyem the attention her candidacy deserved.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: FL: Survey USA: Crist's Lead Expanding on: July 22, 2014, 06:03:24 pm
Dominating. Lord Crist and the good people of Florida will give Dick Dastardly Scott a well-deserved thrashing!
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: what congressional district do you think has the most... on: July 22, 2014, 05:55:23 pm
UT-03.

People who regularly watch BBC America.
13  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Sister cities on: July 22, 2014, 05:50:19 pm
Boston, Massachusetts and Sendai, Japan before the quake--northeastern coastal cities with similarly sized metropolitan areas, histories of comparable length with the oldest parts of the downtown areas of comparable vintage, with disproportionately high numbers of universities relative to the population and economies and cultures still to a large extent centered around their seaports. The people of both also have infamously sadomasochistic attitudes towards their baseball teams.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Anti-Mormon bigotry on the Atlas on: July 22, 2014, 05:34:49 pm
Serious question - would people get their feathers similarly ruffled at "anti-Scientologist bigotry"? I really don't see much of a difference. There's a lot of open water between established religions that have been around for centuries and a creepy cult invented by a literal conman.
How old must a religion be before passing this test? At what point did Muhammad stop being just a creepy conman?

Would you genuinely be at all interested in the relevant sociological classifications here or is this a purely rhetorical question?
I'm interested.

One common model for this--which has its origins with Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch so, you know, take that for what it's worth (I'm suspicious of it but I'm suspicious of most other set typologies of this subject as well; memphis's question isn't actually a bad one at all except in its characteristically self-superior and intolerant phrasing and implications)--focuses on the role that a religion serves within the society or societies where people practice it, and is referred to as 'methodologically atheistic' but could as easily be described as epistemologically agnostic. A religion starts out as a cult when its tenets and practices are 'deviant and novel', but what constitutes sufficient non-deviance and non-novelty for a new religious movement to stop being a cult is unclear (like I said, phrased less derisively memphis's question isn't at all bad). Once a cult stops being a cult it can go through stages of being a sect--sometimes defined as a cult beginning to integrate itself into society in some way or another, sometimes defined as a cult that happens to have been formed as a protest against elements of an already existing religion--a church--a religious movement that dominates its host society, like the Latin Church in Western Europe in the Middle Ages or Islam in much of the modern Middle East and North Africa (obviously not only in those places)--a denomination--a church that's either splintered or lost its dominant status but maintained the good and more or less uncontroversial relationships with the rest of society that characterize churches--an ecclesia--a church whose hold on its host society has weakened or was less successful in the first place but that hasn't fallen or splintered into denomination status, like Christianity in most countries where it's still the state religion--or, depending on what sociologist's (or sociologists') work you're looking at, a few other, less universally recognized classifications.

Mormonism is, sociologically, almost definitely not a cult, because is has relatively good relationships with civil society external to itself; does not seek to entirely isolate its members from mainstream society and, indeed, seeks to influence mainstream society politically; is established as the predominant religious tradition of an identifiable geographic and cultural area; does not, despite the office of 'prophet, seer, and revelator', focus solely on the charismatic authority of any one living person but on a more diffuse, delegated set of authorities and a more or less set repository of oral or written material, in this case as in most others in the West written; does not function as a financial scam on its members or on others; has at least tolerant relationships with other denominations (although deviation from this can be the mark of an especially triumphalist dominant church as well as of a cult); is willing to accommodate at least some theological and liturgical disagreement and dissent; relies primarily on birth to replenish its membership, although it's still obviously aggressive about proselytizing; and is willing to accept or at least tolerate greater or lesser extents of involvement from different members depending on their situations and relative levels of devotion. FLDS is a cult because it doesn't meet any of these criteria except maybe not constituting a scam. Scientology is a cult because it doesn't meet any except maybe not having a single living authoritarian charismatic leader (it's unusually but not uniquely pernicious in seeking to both socioculturally isolate its members and influence society external to itself).

Islam as a whole is so obviously not a cult by any of these criteria that it's not worth discussing further, although certain movements within Islam have cult-like attributes, just as certain movements within Christianity do.

It's also worth noting that many sociologists of religion prefer the term 'new religious movement' because 'cult' in general use is so pejorative, especially those who reject some element of the above schema.
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NYC approves apartment building with separate entrance for poor people on: July 22, 2014, 05:10:23 pm
They own the building at the end of the day.

Someone owned the lunch counters at Woolworths as well.
Yes, they did. And the Civil Rights movement succeeded in tainting Woolworth's in the eyes of history as well.

What about those who were oppressed before we were able to see what the "eyes of history" saw?
What about the victims of crucifixion before crucifixion fell out of use?

Do you think you would be okay with crucifixion had you lived before it had fallen out of use? The 'eyes of history' are trained precisely by people ceasing to be okay with these things while they are still going on.
16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Your favorite kind of pie on: July 22, 2014, 04:10:55 pm
Do Americans not eat mincemeat?

Much to my fiancee's chagrin, no.

My family eats mincemeat, but only seasonally.
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Your favorite kind of pie on: July 22, 2014, 03:58:11 pm
Strawberry rhubarb, followed closely by apple. Voted rhubarb.
18  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: what congressional district do you think has the most... on: July 22, 2014, 03:53:53 pm
RI-01 or one of the Boston districts. MA-08 is likelier than MA-07. There may be some similar areas further west that I know less about.

LGBT Muslims.
19  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Chronically ill patients are allowed to grow their own cannabis in Germany on: July 22, 2014, 03:08:32 pm
I guess the Germans are going to lose their characteristic efficiency and work ethic pretty soon. HD

Do you think highly of the 'efficiency and work ethic' of chronically ill people, in general?
20  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Ask TNF on: July 22, 2014, 03:03:14 pm
Regardless of whether religious persons can be proper Marxists, can they be more or less trustworthy fellow travelers?
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who should be the face of the Democratic party? on: July 22, 2014, 03:00:49 pm
The logic of drug decriminalization is that the actual demand for drugs isn't going to change (much), but the number of people (overwhelmingly minorities) doing prison time for nonviolent offenses is.
22  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Old Glenn Beck vs. New Glenn Beck on: July 22, 2014, 02:59:03 pm
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Bacon King Institute of Comedy on: July 22, 2014, 02:58:30 pm
Obsessing over me won't help you get the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The Professor?

I don't know if you were here when The Professor turned out to be Aizen, but The Professor turned out to be Aizen, and then recently Aizen came back for real (as Panda Express), so let's hope he doesn't have Mr. Pollo as a sock as well. It's not like it's a hard comedic style to imitate (although imitating it well is another issue).
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Anti-Mormon bigotry on the Atlas on: July 22, 2014, 02:54:39 pm
I've never met a Mormon who wasn't an incredibly decent, upstanding, and generally nice person.  Ever.  I'm not sure what is is, but the LDS does a good job stamping out some really friendly folks.

Mormons are conditioned to appear decent, upstanding and nice on the surface via their missionary experience. Once you come to know enough Mormons, you realize that Mormon politeness is an idiomatic peculiarity of their unique culture rather than a generalizable personality trait.

Do you think anybody really thinks otherwise? The idea that adherence to a specific religion creates generalizable personality traits, as opposed to cultural peculiarities, in pretty much any circumstance is a little silly.
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XV: Stuck Inside of Tulsa with the Oklahoma City Blues Again on: July 22, 2014, 06:55:59 am
Have we ruled out oblomovitis as a possible cause of Bushie's woes?
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