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Do you know what I'm talking about? Because I don't.

Nov 30, 2012 un_beknownst commented on The Ugly History of Cooking.
Charles, I see where you're coming from. But I think you're overlooking how radically kitchen maintenance has changed in the post-war era. New consumer products developed over the past seven decades- the refrigerator, the gas stove, the blender, the dishwasher, the George Foreman Grill- have reduced the amount of physical labor involved in cooking and cleaning by orders of magnitude. Combined with our industrial supply chain that abstracts the acquisition of foodstuffs (grain, milk, meat), and you have a situation where an activity was both necessary and grueling and is now optional and potentially fun.

Transportation has followed a similar trajectory- if I wanted to travel from New York to Los Angeles, it would require many months of overland travel, acquiring a coach and sufficient supplies, and my odds of reaching my destination safely were not encouraging. Now, I pay a relatively trivial amount of money, I'm seated in a large metal craft, SENT SOARING INTO THE SKIES, and in less than six hours (much of that time I spend reading, or watching a movie, or taking a nap) I'm on the other side of the country.

I'm not a technoutopian, by any means. But there are ways in which sets of technologies have made our lives demonstrably easier, such that they've facilitated social progress. Where would modern feminism be without the birth control pill? Life is hard, but we're steadily learning to use more of our brainpower to front-load more of the labor of life to make it, of not easy, then at least less daunting.
Oct 10, 2012 un_beknownst commented on America's Closeted Atheists.
"Either way, one thing is clear: The only religious group for which we still tolerate intolerance is the group that professes no religion at all."

Yeah, no. I'm Pagan. My fellow co-religionists still have to worry about losing jobs, losing custody of their children, and finding themselves the victims of violent crime, purely on the basis of their faith. And no one gives a shit. Especially not atheists- go to an atheist online forum and ask them what they think of Wiccans.
Jun 10, 2012 un_beknownst commented on Slog Bible Study: Matthew 21:18-19.
Scumbag Jesus! http://qkme.me/3pnqer
Jun 2, 2012 un_beknownst commented on Shipping People, Two by Two, to Mars.
These guys don't know what they're doing. They have no concrete plans for raising capital, developing tech, or what to do once they get there (other than for their astronauts to Not Die, and even then I'm not sure how much they care about that).

Plus, their four-person core team consists of

- A guy with a Masters (not a PhD, but a Masters) in Physics.
- An entrepreneur.
- A marketing exec.
- A graphic designer.

So... not exactly holding my breath on this one.
May 25, 2012 un_beknownst commented on Hating People Doesn't Make Them Thinner.
@105 I suppose Seattle people are more polite in real life. I live in Chicago, and in the hour it takes me to commute downtown on public transit I have 1-3 negative interactions with people about my weight. Often it's people in cars who slow down to yell vulgar shit at me before speeding off. Sometimes it's small groups of people on the sidewalk who are talking among themselves, get conspicuously quiet when they pass me, and then start cracking up once they're behind me. Quite often it's people on the bus who get up and move to another seat if I sit down near them. (And not, like, sitting next to them. I'm talking three seats over, or across the aisle. I'm not intruding on their personal space or anything. They just really don't want to be near fatties.) That's all just on my commute.

Then I get downtown, to go to class at my way-too-expensive art school. The art school hipsters are even shittier. I've had to withdraw from a class because the coursework was heavily dependent on group work, and no one in the class wanted to work with me because of my weight. And this is GRADUATE SCHOOL.

So, moral of the story is maybe I just need to move to Seattle. The hate will still be there, but maybe they'll keep it to themselves.
May 25, 2012 un_beknownst commented on Mitt Romney Uses Donald Trump to Raise Money.
Er, my mistake. The do-over happened the next morning.
May 25, 2012 un_beknownst commented on Mitt Romney Uses Donald Trump to Raise Money.
@3 Because the whole Birther thing has nothing to do with birthplace or citizenship and EVERYTHING to do with race and intolerance. If it were just about the former two, it would never have been an issue (or if it was, the birth certificate and Obama's SSN would put that to rest). They hate the fact that we have a black president, but few people want to say those words. It's all one big dog whistle.

Speaking of Chief Justice Roberts, remember when he flubbed the Inauguration Oath? All those Birthers and Proto-Teabagger types were absolutely elated at that. "Ha! You didn't give him the full complete oath! Technically he's not really President! HAHA WE WIN!" It got so bad that Obama and Roberts had to have a do-over swearing in a couple days later just to shut those people up. Which, in retrospect, kind of set the tone for the coming years...
May 25, 2012 un_beknownst commented on Mitt Romney Uses Donald Trump to Raise Money.
Apropos of nothing, I learned a new word today! 'Disquisition.' Awesome.
May 24, 2012 un_beknownst commented on Hating People Doesn't Make Them Thinner.
@98, ah, yes, I see now. Thanks for pointing that out.
May 24, 2012 un_beknownst commented on Hating People Doesn't Make Them Thinner.
I also love how this is already ranked second on the Most Commented list, beating out Dan's post asking Slog commenters to show support for a lesbian aunt forced to deal with her bigoted family.

I guess hate is stronger than love after all.