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On Put Your Phone Down

@Smitros : The big Pacific octopus at the Seattle aquarium has learned to recognize the pre-photo red-eye-reducing flash of an iPhone camera. When he sees it, he spreads out all his arms and turns bright red, which is octopus-speak for "fuuuuuck yooouuuu."

That is all.

NB : this may be related to the well-documented survival strategy in which smaller octopi turn red when hit with a flash of blue-filtered light (seriously, go look it up), but I prefer to think of it as the octopus going all Sean Penn on the paparazzi.

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm 2

On Put Your Phone Down

I am totally fine with all the sentiments expressed in the preceding piece. Additionally, why does it seem that virtually every other person at MoMA is taking cameraphone photos of paintings while virtually nobody at the Met is? It is a mystery for the ages.

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 10:28 am 0

On Put Your Phone Down

@Tyler Coates : I'm taking a photo of your comment right now.

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 10:23 am 0

On Compare and Contrast: Emily Gould's "Friendship" and Amy Sohn's "The Actress"

@MisterHippity : I share your concerns. Additionally, in a programme of self-improvement, I am also avoiding books by venemous hussies, catty trollops, and snide shrews.

Splenetic tarts, however, are just fine.

Posted on July 1, 2014 at 3:33 pm 0

On Internet, Why So Blue?

@happymisanthrope : I wouldn't doubt it, considering they have 12 different words to express the subtle gradations between "cock" and "dick."

Posted on June 27, 2014 at 3:59 pm 1

On Internet, Why So Blue?

@KarenUhOh : I have someone representing an "Yves Klein" on the phone for you.

Alternate take : This all makes me want to jump out a window.

Posted on June 27, 2014 at 10:47 am 0

On How to Dehumanize a Terrorist: Give Him an MBA

I eagerly await the first tone-deaf op-ed that claims ISIS is "disrupting terrorism."

Alternate take : (insert random textdump from Negarestani's Cyclonopedia here)

Posted on June 26, 2014 at 1:33 pm 0

On That Big Study About How the Student Debt Nightmare Is in Your Head? It's Garbage

@Gef the Talking Mongoose : As I understand the data...

Quoth the paper, p. 7 : "It is important to note that we measure the amount owed at the time of the survey, which will differ in many cases from the amount originally borrowed."

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 11:13 am 0

On That Big Study About How the Student Debt Nightmare Is in Your Head? It's Garbage

Post- a very casual look at the underlying paper, here's another point elided by the Times's analysis :

The study includes only people aged 20 to 40 currently paying against their student loan debt. I think it's a fair assumption that the majority of the people in this group are not incurring additional student loan debt (ie, they took out all the student loans they'll ever take out before the age of 20). As I understand the data, the paper defines "student debt" here as the balance of debt currently held, not total debt incurred. That's (one of the reasons) why it seems low -- on average, a person in this study has been paying off their debt for 10 years already, and the current debt reported reflects that.

People in this group have been spending their prime savings years paying down their student loan debt. The low numbers reported by the study just reflect the unprecedented degree to which individuals' incomes have been rerouted from savings to servicing their student loan debt.

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 11:04 am 1

On That Big Study About How the Student Debt Nightmare Is in Your Head? It's Garbage

I'm not sure if it speaks to natural cynicism or hard-won experience with census data, but as soon as I saw the phrase "young-adult households" in the original Times article, my scammy-analysis warning light lit up for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 10:48 am 0