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greatexpectations

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albany ny yo
« on: May 23, 2012, 03:00:40 pm »
+7

- 25 year old electrical engineer living near albany, ny.  born in north jersey, college in rochester ny.
- i was introduced to dominion via jonts26 back in October 2010. i loved it and i proceeded to go buy the base set a few days later. i am also a big fan of puerto rico, poker, and scrabble.
- my username is based on the book of the same name. no deep meanings, i just happened to be re-reading it when i created the isotropic account. i am also a big fan of a song by the same name.
- i read a lot. too much maybe. currently working my way through the song of ice and fire series. i have read and own almost everything written by tolkien and orson scott card. i have also read a lot by: asimov, bradbury, camus, clarke, dostoevsky, gogol, huxley, lewis, and vonnegut.  really i will go for just about any sci-fi/fantasy or classic literature.
- i help maintain a FAQ for the forums. check it out.  lots of info in there and everything is sourced.
- some other varied interests - sabermetrics, distance running, longboarding, awful puns, community, ice cream, traffic cones, and soccer.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 03:04:40 pm »
0

Sabermetrics, awful puns, score!
Alas, though, your kind of sci-fi and fantasy is not my kind of sci fi and fantasy... :(

paddyodoors

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 03:10:20 pm »
+1

- 25 year old electrical engineer living near albany, ny.  born in north jersey, college in rochester ny.
- i was introduced to dominion via jonts26 back in October 2010. i loved it and i proceeded to go buy the base set a few days later. i am also a big fan of puerto rico, poker, and scrabble.
- my username is based on the book of the same name. no deep meanings, i just happened to be re-reading it when i created the isotropic account. i am also a big fan of a song by the same name.
- i read a lot. too much maybe. currently working my way through the song of ice and fire series. i have read and own almost everything written by tolkien and orson scott card. i have also read a lot by: asimov, bradbury, camus, clarke, dostoevsky, gogol, huxley, lewis, and vonnegut.  really i will go for just about any sci-fi/fantasy or classic literature.
- i help maintain a FAQ for the forums. check it out.  lots of info in there and everything is sourced.
- some other varied interests - sabermetrics, distance running, longboarding, awful puns, community, ice cream, traffic cones, and soccer.

+1 for the intro, but also for sabermetrics, Dostoevsky (and a few of the other authors on your list).  ;D
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paddyodoors

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 03:10:53 pm »
0

Sabermetrics, awful puns, score!
Alas, though, your kind of sci-fi and fantasy is not my kind of sci fi and fantasy... :(

WW, y u no like Asimov?
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WanderingWinder

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 03:12:17 pm »
+1

Sabermetrics, awful puns, score!
Alas, though, your kind of sci-fi and fantasy is not my kind of sci fi and fantasy... :(

WW, y u no like Asimov?
He of the SO many books, not TOO many good?
Eh, I don't know. Just a little dry, doesn't have the interesting issues I want to talk about so much. His style is also not my favorite. Not saying he's terrible, but... it doesn't entertain me nearly as much as I want such things to do.

greatexpectations

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 03:13:51 pm »
0

Sabermetrics, awful puns, score!
Alas, though, your kind of sci-fi and fantasy is not my kind of sci fi and fantasy... :(

sabermetrics and baseball are the chief rivals of dominion in what i use to waste time at work. though i usually run under a different user name at fangraphs and tango's site.  i was actually able to get an article up on the fangraphs community blog a while back. 

and i didn't mean to categorize any of the listed authors as being under any sci-fi or fantasy heading. i was just saying that outside of the listed authors i have a general interest in those genres.
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greatexpectations

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 03:17:21 pm »
+1

well i said i read a lot by asimov, i'm not going to say i loved it all.  i've also read a lot by huxley and i am still confused as to what my motivation was for that. asimov has some (i think) brilliant short stories though.
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jonts26

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 03:20:28 pm »
+1

I find that I like asimov's short stories way better than his novels. I think he's brilliant at creating and expressing ideas, but when it comes to characterizations and plotting, he isn't really all that good.
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jonts26

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 03:21:41 pm »
+1

Also, greatexpectations, we have a lot of the same interests. Weird...
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yuma

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2012, 03:25:09 pm »
0

dostoevsky, gogol

I am diving into Dead Souls now, about 1/6 of the way through. hasn't been my favorite thus far, but hopefully it will pick up?
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WanderingWinder

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2012, 03:28:16 pm »
0

Sabermetrics, awful puns, score!
Alas, though, your kind of sci-fi and fantasy is not my kind of sci fi and fantasy... :(

sabermetrics and baseball are the chief rivals of dominion in what i use to waste time at work. though i usually run under a different user name at fangraphs and tango's site.  i was actually able to get an article up on the fangraphs community blog a while back. 

and i didn't mean to categorize any of the listed authors as being under any sci-fi or fantasy heading. i was just saying that outside of the listed authors i have a general interest in those genres.

Your use of wOBA saddens me. Such an overrated saber-stat (though, eh, not such a bad one). Is Wright's career platoon split really that far off of a normal one? I guess a bit. But grabbing my copy of the book... seems not that stable yet? I'm guessing lots of sample size issues here.

paddyodoors

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2012, 03:29:46 pm »
0

Sabermetrics, awful puns, score!
Alas, though, your kind of sci-fi and fantasy is not my kind of sci fi and fantasy... :(

WW, y u no like Asimov?
He of the SO many books, not TOO many good?
Eh, I don't know. Just a little dry, doesn't have the interesting issues I want to talk about so much. His style is also not my favorite. Not saying he's terrible, but... it doesn't entertain me nearly as much as I want such things to do.

Fair enough -- and I actually agree with you on his novels.  I don't find them particularly catching... I actually had to "force down" the last three of them.  There is some completist itch within me that demanded to be scratched in that circumstance.  :-\

However, I did really like his short stories, and I feel like this is where his writing style shines.  The content of most of them is solid, too -- often times examining the line between "living" beings and "artificial" beings (did I say examining or blurring?.  Having read Asimov made me appreciate other sci-fi that examined that same line ("Measure of a Man," "Author, Author").

{edit: ninja'd on the short stories point by greatexpectations and jonts26}
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greatexpectations

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2012, 03:33:31 pm »
0

I am diving into Dead Souls now, about 1/6 of the way through. hasn't been my favorite thus far, but hopefully it will pick up?

i read that 4? years ago now, so i can't remember much that i won't confuse with his other works. but him and dostoevsky both can be really frustrating at times and then brilliant at others.  maybe it just has something to do with the translations?  i remember similar feelings when reading the count of monte cristo. 

i enjoyed their stuff, but it is not quite something i would pick up on a whim for light reading either. 
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greatexpectations

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2012, 03:42:12 pm »
0

Your use of wOBA saddens me. Such an overrated saber-stat (though, eh, not such a bad one). Is Wright's career platoon split really that far off of a normal one? I guess a bit. But grabbing my copy of the book... seems not that stable yet? I'm guessing lots of sample size issues here.

i'm not sure i would call wOBA over-rated, but in my defense i was a little fresher in the saber-world back then.  i would definitely approach that article a little differently now.  i would want to throw some other numbers in there as well as some pitch-fx plots.

as for wright, his career wOBA splits are .430(L) and .368(R). 1126 and 3274 PA respectively.  offhand i think the average wOBA platoon split is .025 points. even with some regression i think he has a favorable split. 
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 04:06:30 pm by greatexpectations »
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yuma

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2012, 03:47:29 pm »
0

As a slight takeover of this thread, but since it is on the topics of books I think it is ok, anyone here on Goodreads? At the minor risk of revealing my real name, here is my account - http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3660669-jed-l - I am always looking for new friends on it and for new books to read.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 04:17:22 pm by yuma »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2012, 03:51:49 pm »
0

Sabermetrics, awful puns, score!
Alas, though, your kind of sci-fi and fantasy is not my kind of sci fi and fantasy... :(

WW, y u no like Asimov?
He of the SO many books, not TOO many good?
Eh, I don't know. Just a little dry, doesn't have the interesting issues I want to talk about so much. His style is also not my favorite. Not saying he's terrible, but... it doesn't entertain me nearly as much as I want such things to do.

Fair enough -- and I actually agree with you on his novels.  I don't find them particularly catching... I actually had to "force down" the last three of them.  There is some completist itch within me that demanded to be scratched in that circumstance.  :-\

However, I did really like his short stories, and I feel like this is where his writing style shines.  The content of most of them is solid, too -- often times examining the line between "living" beings and "artificial" beings (did I say examining or blurring?.  Having read Asimov made me appreciate other sci-fi that examined that same line ("Measure of a Man," "Author, Author").

{edit: ninja'd on the short stories point by greatexpectations and jonts26}

Well, all this talk means I should maybe read his short stories, which I have little experience with. Measure of a Man is such a good TNG. Author, Author would probably quite good if it didn't feel like such a blatant concept re-use of the exact same idea as Measure of a Man. I probably agree with jonts here, in that my impression of Asimov is not so much that his ideas are bad, more that I don't like the execution of how he writes them into a story. And ultimately I'm looking for stories (or have been) when I read it.

WanderingWinder

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2012, 03:56:39 pm »
0

Your use of wOBA saddens me. Such an overrated saber-stat (though, eh, not such a bad one). Is Wright's career platoon split really that far off of a normal one? I guess a bit. But grabbing my copy of the book... seems not that stable yet? I'm guessing lots of sample size issues here.

i'm not sure i would call wOBA over-rated, but in my defense i was a little fresher in the saber-world back then.  i would definitely approach that article a little differently now.  i would want to throw some other numbers in there as well as some pitch-fx plots.

as for wright, his career wOBA splits are .430(L) and .368(R). 1126 and 3274 PA respectively.  offhand i think the average wOBA platoon split is .25 points. even with some regression i think he has a favorable split. 
According to The Book, 2000-'04, average platoon split, RHB, is .017 wOBA. And it stabilizes after ~2000 PA vs LHP. So regress it around 64%, you get a split skill estimate of... around .033 wOBA.

Also, you don't have to call wOBA overrated - I am. I'm pretty close to alone on this.

jonts26

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2012, 04:02:48 pm »
+1

I like wOBA. It's pretty much the gateway stat that got me into sabermetrics. I'm curious to see why you think it's so overrated. I figured the concept of linear weights is pretty solid at this point.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2012, 04:07:19 pm »
0

I like wOBA. It's pretty much the gateway stat that got me into sabermetrics. I'm curious to see why you think it's so overrated. I figured the concept of linear weights is pretty solid at this point.
Oh, don't get me wrong, it's a fine stat, like way better than something like BA or SLG. And when I first read about it, I absolutely loved it too. The more I go on, the less I do, but I still don't think it's bad per se. It's a nice rough guesstimate. It's just, I don't think it should be the go-to stat in nearly the way it is.
In fact, it's precisely because it's based on linear weights. Well, ok that's most of it. Baseball ain't linear.
wOBA tells you what's better/worse in an average position in an average lineup against an average pitcher with an average game state (Actually, it doesn't even do this, since it is a per-PA thing, and games last per-out; so teams with higher OBP and the same wOBA will outscore those with lower OBP and the same wOBA). The percentage of times where this is the case (or even close, depending on how you define close) is incredibly low.

greatexpectations

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2012, 04:19:07 pm »
0

As a slight takeover of this thread, but since it is on the topics of books I think it is ok, anyone here on Goodreads? At the minor risk of revealing my real name, here is my account - http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3660669-jed-layton - I am always looking for new friends on it and for new books to read.

i have never heard of it, but it seems interesting.  strikes me as being quite similar to what last.fm is, just for books instead of music. to get off topic real quick, last.fm is pretty great for music fans, especially those with a statistical interest. this is my page over there.

when it comes to books, i just manage a google doc that lists all the books i own.  i'm just shy of 300 these days.  when i am looking for new reads i typically turn to the advice of a few different friends or bloggers/writers/musicians with similar interests.
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greatexpectations

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2012, 04:22:36 pm »
0

Oh, don't get me wrong, it's a fine stat, like way better than something like BA or SLG. And when I first read about it, I absolutely loved it too. The more I go on, the less I do, but I still don't think it's bad per se. It's a nice rough guesstimate. It's just, I don't think it should be the go-to stat in nearly the way it is.
In fact, it's precisely because it's based on linear weights. Well, ok that's most of it. Baseball ain't linear.
wOBA tells you what's better/worse in an average position in an average lineup against an average pitcher with an average game state (Actually, it doesn't even do this, since it is a per-PA thing, and games last per-out; so teams with higher OBP and the same wOBA will outscore those with lower OBP and the same wOBA). The percentage of times where this is the case (or even close, depending on how you define close) is incredibly low.

if it isn't your go to stat for offensive production then what is? are your problems with it more at an individual level or on a team level? i will gladly concede that it might get a bit more attention than it should, but it's simplicity and completeness are still pretty appealing to me.
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paddyodoors

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2012, 04:37:42 pm »
0

Well, all this talk means I should maybe read his short stories, which I have little experience with.

...

I probably agree with jonts here, in that my impression of Asimov is not so much that his ideas are bad, more that I don't like the execution of how he writes them into a story. And ultimately I'm looking for stories (or have been) when I read it.

Yes, I think you should.  Just an opinion, though.  The stories are better when we don't have to sit around with the characters for very long, like we have to do in the novels.

Measure of a Man is such a good TNG. Author, Author would probably quite good if it didn't feel like such a blatant concept re-use of the exact same idea as Measure of a Man.

For the past few years, I've been rewatching all of TNG, DS9, and VOY.  The reason for it is to share them with my wife, who has really come to love them.  My first impressions of Measure and Author were similar to yours, but seeing them again has allowed me to focus more on the subtle yet substantial differences between them.
- At first glance, it is important to note that these two were created written half-a-generation apart (over 12 years).
- In Measure, Data was then thought to be a totally unique, apparently unrepeatable being (Soong being the only known successful creator of the positronic brain {Asimov's term!}).  He is threatened with slavery and potential annihilation at the hands of a scientist/engineer.  The crux of the matter is whether this being has the right of self-determination, or is he bound in servitude?
- In Author, however, the Doctor is a program (a commonly distributed one), and thus clearly not unique, at least at face value.  Establishing his uniqueness is one of the pillars of his defense.  And the underlying issue is that of property - not necessarily self-determination.  Does this being have the right to own the fruit of his efforts?  A fundamentally different question than the one about slavery.
- Structurally, they may play out similarly, and I have a gripe with that.  But, when viewing them again after several years, I have really come to appreciate their differences, and thus give them both merit.  And you're looking for story?  I think the humor in Author really really helps it a TON.

Obviously, I'm not trying to tell you that your opinion is wrong.  Just sharing some things that I've seen that are a little more than surface-deep.  Maybe you've seen them, too, and still stick with your original position.  No worries.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 04:41:32 pm by paddyodoors »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2012, 04:40:50 pm »
+1

Ironically, there's Lore (B4 just... doesn't exist), and if you remember, the underlying issue in MoaM IS property. The claim is that Data is the property of Starfleet. I'm well aware that there are differences, and I like both. I just can't call Author great because it's not original enough. Otherwise it would be, and one of the best episodes of VOY.

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2012, 05:47:50 pm »
+2

I find Asimov's short stories to be superb.  Reading later sci-fi, it is fascinating to see the tremendous influence he's exerted over the genre.  Any of his short story anthologies is probably a great read.

The Foundation trilogy is a bit more polarizing.  Some people don't like all the dialogue.  I kind of like it.
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greatexpectations

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2012, 09:36:52 am »
+1

I find Asimov's short stories to be superb.  Reading later sci-fi, it is fascinating to see the tremendous influence he's exerted over the genre.  Any of his short story anthologies is probably a great read.

The Foundation trilogy is a bit more polarizing.  Some people don't like all the dialogue.  I kind of like it.

i would agree, he had a lot of influence on the genre.  because of that, i think that he gets a bit of a pass for some of his work while simultaneously being heavily criticized by others.  almost reminds me of the beatles. 

i was a fan of the foundation series as well.  i can see why others might not like it.  really i am just glad that folk out there are reading. seems like it's something the current generation of kids is less and less interested in.
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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2012, 09:43:51 am »
0

i would agree, he had a lot of influence on the genre.  because of that, i think that he gets a bit of a pass for some of his work while simultaneously being heavily criticized by others.  almost reminds me of the beatles. 

But The Beatles also made music that is still great by today's standards....

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2012, 09:49:04 am »
+1

But The Beatles also made music that is still great by today's standards....

right.  but they also made some music that is pretty bad by most standards. and i would argue that asimov had some works that are still pretty good by today's standards as well.

i was just saying that because of their heavy influence on later work they don't really get judged by the same standards as others.
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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2012, 09:51:32 am »
0

But The Beatles also made music that is still great by today's standards....

right.  but they also made some music that is pretty bad by most standards. and i would argue that asimov had some works that are still pretty good by today's standards as well.

i was just saying that because of their heavy influence on later work they don't really get judged by the same standards as others.
I was making a little bit of a backhanded jibe at Asimov, but his ideas were certainly very important, you'll get no disagreement from me there.
The Beatles of course made some music that's bad, but... well, anybody who makes a lot of stuff is most likely going to have some clunkers. And they didn't make very much at all that's bad.

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2012, 02:33:11 pm »
+4

For some reason my real (olneyce) account isn't working right now.  Won't let me reply to any threads.  But couldn't let this conversation go by without comment.

I actually ranked every singles Beatles song on my blog a few years back:
http://www.heartachewithhardwork.com/2006/05/beatles-from-worst-to-first-1-206-191.html

Out of 206 songs, I would say only the bottom 10 or so are 'bad.'  The bottom 50-60 are only so-so: some very good elements, but not fantastic.  But I have "Till There Was You" at #141, and I would say everything from that point up is an actively good song. 

I like Asimov quite a bit, but it's very much in spite of the awkward writing.  I think the original Foundation books are especially good, in part because they're more vignettes than actual full novels.
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greatexpectations

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2012, 02:50:55 pm »
+1

For some reason my real (olneyce) account isn't working right now.  Won't let me reply to any threads.  But couldn't let this conversation go by without comment.

I actually ranked every singles Beatles song on my blog a few years back:
http://www.heartachewithhardwork.com/2006/05/beatles-from-worst-to-first-1-206-191.html

Out of 206 songs, I would say only the bottom 10 or so are 'bad.'  The bottom 50-60 are only so-so: some very good elements, but not fantastic.  But I have "Till There Was You" at #141, and I would say everything from that point up is an actively good song. 

I like Asimov quite a bit, but it's very much in spite of the awkward writing.  I think the original Foundation books are especially good, in part because they're more vignettes than actual full novels.

well there goes my afternoon.  i'll have to flip through some of that list. i got distracted by the rest of the blog, especially the music posts. some good stuff. anyone who can simultaneously appreciate the beatles, the gaslight anthem, stars, defiance ohio, and lady gaga is ok in my book. 
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theory

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2012, 02:57:19 pm »
0

It's funny that you discuss federalism on your blog.  I studied federalism quite a bit while in law school and I think you're giving the concept of subnational governance short shrift.

Suffice it to say that federalism makes a great deal of sense, but is often coopted by various political factions.  There's no particular reason why it has to be associated with slavery / denying gays the right to marry, or rather, no particular reason why the states would get those issues wrong and the federal government would get it right.

The easiest rationale for federalism is by looking at Congressional earmarks.  When the federal government pays for things that return a strictly local benefit (e.g., when the federal government pays for resanding of New Jersey's beaches), NJ representatives in Congress get to reap the political benefits with very little of the cost (e.g., higher taxes).  In other words, you get to impose externalities on everyone else.  Really, it should be NJers who decide how much they are willing to pay for those beaches to be resanded, and whether they are worth the benefit returned.

Of course, federalism requires some amount of preemption, and indeed in the US practically everything is preempted by the federal government, either expressly or implicitly (implicitly because of a natural conflict, or sometimes because the federal law is designed to be comprehensive and any state law in the same "field" is deemed preempted -- see ERISA, NLRA, etc.).

The real value of federalism is just, well, different people want different things.  Some states want to pay more in taxes and get more services.  Others want to pay less and get fewer.  You get closer democracy when people are closer to their government.
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Fabian

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2012, 02:57:34 pm »
+2

olneyce, as a self proclaimed Beatles connoisseur, this looks like a very solid list after quickly looking at the bottom 10! Good work.

Edit: Ok, For No One made the top10. Stamp of approval.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 03:01:12 pm by Fabian »
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paddyodoors

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #32 on: May 24, 2012, 03:16:05 pm »
0

It's funny that you discuss federalism on your blog.  I studied federalism quite a bit while in law school and I think you're giving the concept of subnational governance short shrift.

Suffice it to say that federalism makes a great deal of sense, but is often coopted by various political factions.  There's no particular reason why it has to be associated with slavery / denying gays the right to marry, or rather, no particular reason why the states would get those issues wrong and the federal government would get it right.

The easiest rationale for federalism is by looking at Congressional earmarks.  When the federal government pays for things that return a strictly local benefit (e.g., when the federal government pays for resanding of New Jersey's beaches), NJ representatives in Congress get to reap the political benefits with very little of the cost (e.g., higher taxes).  In other words, you get to impose externalities on everyone else.  Really, it should be NJers who decide how much they are willing to pay for those beaches to be resanded, and whether they are worth the benefit returned.

Of course, federalism requires some amount of preemption, and indeed in the US practically everything is preempted by the federal government, either expressly or implicitly (implicitly because of a natural conflict, or sometimes because the federal law is designed to be comprehensive and any state law in the same "field" is deemed preempted -- see ERISA, NLRA, etc.).

The real value of federalism is just, well, different people want different things.  Some states want to pay more in taxes and get more services.  Others want to pay less and get fewer.  You get closer democracy when people are closer to their government.
















... theory, you have just now called forth all of my wat.
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theory

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2012, 03:28:52 pm »
0

federalism: the principle of governing a country both by a national government and subnational governments.  In the US, the "federal" government is the national government, and "state" governments are the subnational governments.  (Local governments, e.g., towns and etc. exist wholly at the pleasure of the state governments, so they don't really count.)

Varies by country.  Our national government dominates the states.  Canada is the reverse.  And Germany is just fascinating.
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paddyodoors

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2012, 03:36:41 pm »
0

federalism: the principle of governing a country both by a national government and subnational governments.  In the US, the "federal" government is the national government, and "state" governments are the subnational governments.  (Local governments, e.g., towns and etc. exist wholly at the pleasure of the state governments, so they don't really count.)

Varies by country.  Our national government dominates the states.  Canada is the reverse.  And Germany is just fascinating.

Yes thank you.  Thank you for that.

You called forth all of my wat due to the combination of the subject, length, and context of your post.  Content?  I think I might be in agreement with you on most of it.  It was the circumstances that raised my eyebrows.  :o ???

However, I am pleased to report that, as of three minutes ago, my eyebrows have returned to their standard position.  No harm done.
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The 9th Doctor

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2012, 03:46:34 pm »
+1

It's funny that you discuss federalism on your blog.  I studied federalism quite a bit while in law school and I think you're giving the concept of subnational governance short shrift.

Suffice it to say that federalism makes a great deal of sense, but is often coopted by various political factions.  There's no particular reason why it has to be associated with slavery / denying gays the right to marry, or rather, no particular reason why the states would get those issues wrong and the federal government would get it right.

The easiest rationale for federalism is by looking at Congressional earmarks.  When the federal government pays for things that return a strictly local benefit (e.g., when the federal government pays for resanding of New Jersey's beaches), NJ representatives in Congress get to reap the political benefits with very little of the cost (e.g., higher taxes).  In other words, you get to impose externalities on everyone else.  Really, it should be NJers who decide how much they are willing to pay for those beaches to be resanded, and whether they are worth the benefit returned.

Of course, federalism requires some amount of preemption, and indeed in the US practically everything is preempted by the federal government, either expressly or implicitly (implicitly because of a natural conflict, or sometimes because the federal law is designed to be comprehensive and any state law in the same "field" is deemed preempted -- see ERISA, NLRA, etc.).

The real value of federalism is just, well, different people want different things.  Some states want to pay more in taxes and get more services.  Others want to pay less and get fewer.  You get closer democracy when people are closer to their government.
Hmmm, I disagree with a lot of this.  The essence of my disagreement is that Ďlocalí government is worse and worse the more that technology reduces the significance of distance.  The relevance of state identity has declined by a factor of dozens over the centuries.  And to the extent that state identity remains, itís mostly parochial, and not in a positive way.  When things get bigger and more streamlined, the potential for disfunction goes down and accountability goes up.  When things are local and diffuse, the reverse happens.  The Ďparticular reasoní that states would be more likely to get major issues wrong is that theyíre more insular and provincial, less cosmopolitan, more secure in their practices and habits, etc. 

Now, if you are a conservative, those might sound alright.  But Iím trying to make an argument about why federalism is structurally conservative Ė and thatís something that has been true throughout American history. Go back to John Marshall and Alexander Hamilton.  Without them, we might never have empowered the national government in the early 19th century Ė and the rest of our history might never have happened. 

While Iím not in love with earmarks, I donít see the problem being a federalism issue at all.  Earmarks are a perfectly rational response to the problem of complicated lawmaking.  Itís a form of logrolling, that allows you to cultivate majorities on big appropriations bills.  If you really want to get rid of earmarks, you can do so.  But it comes at the cost of erasing the practical arrangements necessary to make law.  Or: you can eliminate some of the other significant hurdles: the de-facto-60-vote-filibuster, Senate malapportionment, multiple veto points, etc.

Searching the archives, I see I wrote about this back in 2010:
http://www.heartachewithhardwork.com/2010/11/im-falling-all-over-you-like-a-bad-jacket.html

Also, any idea whatís wrong with the olneyce account?
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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2012, 03:56:57 pm »
0

Can we please get a couple forks? One for the federalism, which I could just about... I dunno, but it would be long... on, one for the music, which is also good, and neither of which really have anything to do with the intro here.

greatexpectations

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2012, 03:58:49 pm »
+3

Can we please get a couple forks? One for the federalism, which I could just about... I dunno, but it would be long... on, one for the music, which is also good, and neither of which really have anything to do with the intro here.

haha i'm mostly ok with it.  it seems as if a few of the intro threads have headed this way.  which to me seems sort of the point.  why share some of our non-dominion interests if we don't expect to discuss them at some level.
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paddyodoors

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #38 on: May 24, 2012, 04:05:10 pm »
0

Can we please get a couple forks? One for the federalism, which I could just about... I dunno, but it would be long... on, one for the music, which is also good, and neither of which really have anything to do with the intro here.

haha i'm mostly ok with it.  it seems as if a few of the intro threads have headed this way.  which to me seems sort of the point.  why share some of our non-dominion interests if we don't expect to discuss them at some level.

Dmanit, repeated clicks of the +1 button only produce a closed loop which never results in the true amount of +1s that I was hoping to give to your post.
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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2012, 04:13:24 pm »
0

Can we please get a couple forks? One for the federalism, which I could just about... I dunno, but it would be long... on, one for the music, which is also good, and neither of which really have anything to do with the intro here.

haha i'm mostly ok with it.  it seems as if a few of the intro threads have headed this way.  which to me seems sort of the point.  why share some of our non-dominion interests if we don't expect to discuss them at some level.

And I know how you're big into debates on governmental systems.
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greatexpectations

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2012, 04:23:02 pm »
0

And I know how you're big into debates on governmental systems.

that is enough sass out of you.  i'm not particularly a fan of debating government systems but really i am up for a debate on almost anything.  especially if it would mostly involve sitting back and watching WW, theory, and olneyce go at it. 
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theory

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2012, 04:23:27 pm »
+1

It's funny that you discuss federalism on your blog.  I studied federalism quite a bit while in law school and I think you're giving the concept of subnational governance short shrift.

Suffice it to say that federalism makes a great deal of sense, but is often coopted by various political factions.  There's no particular reason why it has to be associated with slavery / denying gays the right to marry, or rather, no particular reason why the states would get those issues wrong and the federal government would get it right.

The easiest rationale for federalism is by looking at Congressional earmarks.  When the federal government pays for things that return a strictly local benefit (e.g., when the federal government pays for resanding of New Jersey's beaches), NJ representatives in Congress get to reap the political benefits with very little of the cost (e.g., higher taxes).  In other words, you get to impose externalities on everyone else.  Really, it should be NJers who decide how much they are willing to pay for those beaches to be resanded, and whether they are worth the benefit returned.

Of course, federalism requires some amount of preemption, and indeed in the US practically everything is preempted by the federal government, either expressly or implicitly (implicitly because of a natural conflict, or sometimes because the federal law is designed to be comprehensive and any state law in the same "field" is deemed preempted -- see ERISA, NLRA, etc.).

The real value of federalism is just, well, different people want different things.  Some states want to pay more in taxes and get more services.  Others want to pay less and get fewer.  You get closer democracy when people are closer to their government.
Hmmm, I disagree with a lot of this.  The essence of my disagreement is that Ďlocalí government is worse and worse the more that technology reduces the significance of distance.  The relevance of state identity has declined by a factor of dozens over the centuries.  And to the extent that state identity remains, itís mostly parochial, and not in a positive way.  When things get bigger and more streamlined, the potential for disfunction goes down and accountability goes up.  When things are local and diffuse, the reverse happens.  The Ďparticular reasoní that states would be more likely to get major issues wrong is that theyíre more insular and provincial, less cosmopolitan, more secure in their practices and habits, etc. 

Now, if you are a conservative, those might sound alright.  But Iím trying to make an argument about why federalism is structurally conservative Ė and thatís something that has been true throughout American history. Go back to John Marshall and Alexander Hamilton.  Without them, we might never have empowered the national government in the early 19th century Ė and the rest of our history might never have happened. 

While Iím not in love with earmarks, I donít see the problem being a federalism issue at all.  Earmarks are a perfectly rational response to the problem of complicated lawmaking.  Itís a form of logrolling, that allows you to cultivate majorities on big appropriations bills.  If you really want to get rid of earmarks, you can do so.  But it comes at the cost of erasing the practical arrangements necessary to make law.  Or: you can eliminate some of the other significant hurdles: the de-facto-60-vote-filibuster, Senate malapportionment, multiple veto points, etc.

Searching the archives, I see I wrote about this back in 2010:
http://www.heartachewithhardwork.com/2010/11/im-falling-all-over-you-like-a-bad-jacket.html
I'm very far from a conservative.  The point is that we associate states with the "wrong" decisions (Jim Crow, anti-gay bigotry) when there is really no reason to do so.  (See, e.g., California & medical marijuana.)

Moreover, it makes a whole lot of sense to me that in a country with so many different values, you have -- to some extent -- governments that take those into account.  My voice is much more heard at the neighborhood level, and less so at the state, and less so at national.

Let's use beach resanding as an example, again.  NJ residents would probably be willing to pay $x to get their beaches resanded.  But when you make this a national decision, all of a sudden, the NJ representative is going to want more than just $x, because he's no longer bearing all of the costs. 

Welfare is a classic example of how some programs can't be subnationalized.  (You get a race to the bottom -- no state is incentivized to increase welfare payments when all that'll do is drive out high taxpayers and drive in welfare recipients.)  But there's a lot of decisions I would prefer to be made on a more local level.  Why does the national government pay for an Indiana museum devoted to the history of Indiana's politics, or something?  It encourages bad spending decisions.

The problem, as I see it, is that most of the anti-federalism arguments are really just thinly-veiled "everyone should do what I want" arguments.  Of course I'd like everyone to engage in similar policies to me.  But if I recognize that others feel the same way, and consider the risk that a national government will impose their values and their beliefs on me, then hell yeah I want to be able to make my own decisions.

Quote
Also, any idea whatís wrong with the olneyce account?
No idea.  Can you post, anywhere? 
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theory

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #42 on: May 24, 2012, 04:26:14 pm »
0

Fixed the olneyce problem, btw.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #43 on: May 24, 2012, 04:58:16 pm »
0

Okay, first of all, governmental set-ups are way way overrated. A government in which one person has ALL the power can be better than any government that we've seen, so long as that person does the right things. A government in which EVERYONE has the SAME powers can be just as good, again, provided that they do the right things. Now, people will try to rig governments so that it sits in one way or another, but there are invariably other people rigging things other ways, and generally, when you close one door, you open another. No system will make everything perfect by itself (though there are lots of systems which essentially ensure problems....). But I really don't care what's democratic or not. Who cares? I mean, seriously, why does that matter. I care about what's right.
Having said that...
I'm a big fan of unitary governments. In fact all the problems that theory is pointing to as endemic of these systems, I find with the kind of federalism he's advocating. Obviously, I don't really want congress deciding when my local schools should start. They don't know anything about these kinds of problems. But at the same time, neither do the people in the state capital (gasp! I don't live in or all that near to my state's capital, I'm giving out as-yet-undisclosed personal information!). Of course, I'm not really sure that the local school board does either. In fact, I'm pretty sure they don't. But I guess they have a better chance than the other groups. Now, who has the power there? The state, actually, has the power over this. Why? Really, there's not a good reason why you need state-level governments. Have a national government, they sublet local decisions to local groups, maybe lots of decisions, on a case-by-case basis, but if those local groups screw up, they can take back responsibility and power.
Take a look at the health care law "Obamacare" (though I hate that term; why do we always have to slap politicians' names on things?) that's going through right now. The argument against it is that the national government doesn't have the power to do that. Ok. I don't care. (Well, actually I think they probably DO have the power, but like I said, I don't care). I really don't. SHOULD they have the power to do it? Of course they should. They're the national government, this is something that's very relevant to every person in the nation, this should absolutely be in their domain. Indeed, I don't really see how the state level is going to do better (oh, I mean, they can come up with a better law for sure, and some of them would; but this has nothing to do with them being states as opposed to the country, really).
There's local issues, and there's national issues. It only makes sense for the national level to determine which is which. (Actually, there's local issues and global issues - ideally you have a united... universe, say, and you have local v universal issues, but we're a LONG way from that...).

Okay, so let's look at your beaches example. Here's the problem. "the NJ representative is going to want more than just $x, because he's no longer bearing all of the costs." There. Right there. Now, this isn't a problem with the system, it's a problem of greedy, selfish people. You can have a national system where a local group is like 'hey, we'd like to do this local thing, all these people have agreed to pitch in, let's do it'. And the national people are like 'ok'. And so they benefit from it, they pay for it, you're fine. Now this sounds like it's federal, but it's still unitary. I'm sure you know this better than me, but lots of Europe is like this. UK is like this. You can have the national people try to get into the payment for all this stuff, who's putting what money in, who's getting what out... they can do this, potentially, we're looking at something increasingly close to communism here, but it will be very hard. More generally, what you do is, people bring up a New Jersey sand beach thing. Ok. National people figure out where it's localised to, make a specific bureaucracy for that problem, give them some parameters, go. Boom. Not that it's easy, but... states really don't do that better. I'm in New Jersey and on the beach, I'd want $Q improvements. But my rep goes to the state and asks for more than $Q, because it's not just my beach area that's paying for benefits that only help my beach area.

chwhite

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #44 on: May 24, 2012, 05:02:29 pm »
0

I don't think federalism is entirely bad, and it certainly made sense back in the 1790s when all economies were by necessity local, but today I think it tends to do more harm than good.  My main problem with federalism is that it breeds "race to the bottom" situations and makes it hard to deal with externalities.  For example, take a look at Delaware, which has set itself up as a corporate tax and regulatory haven.  Or, in an example that's closer to my particular interests, environmental issues.  West Virginia might want to have lots of highly-polluting coal plants because they have coal and it's cheap there, and let's say New Jersey doesn't want to allow dirty coal plants because they're concerned about their own air quality, or concerned that rising sea levels from climate change will ruin their beaches, but TOO BAD because federalism means WV can keep pumping out all the coal power they want, and the air currents will carry pollution across state lines.  Or look at the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.  The Chesapeake is one of Maryland's most important resources, as it supports a lot of fishing and tourism industry that relies on a clean bay which can support all sorts of wildlife.  But the bay is hit hard by pollution from upstream farms and cities in Pennsylvania, who just dump their manure etc. because it's not their problem.

Factors like this are why I believe that the state is actually a really bad unit of local control, because it often doesn't correspond to the groupings which are actually important.  We'd have much better outcomes if subnational governance were organized along things like metro areas or watersheds.

The world has become far smaller, far more crowded, far more interconnected, and as a result a strictly federalist approach is sure to create more of these problems.  I mean, it's not *all* bad- if California wants to allow pot and Oklahoma doesn't, then that's fine by me.  But far too often, "local control" can be a smokescreen for people and industries who want to escape any control at all.

Moreover, it makes a whole lot of sense to me that in a country with so many different values, you have -- to some extent -- governments that take those into account.  My voice is much more heard at the neighborhood level, and less so at the state, and less so at national.

Well, the problem is that governance is also less professional at the local level- you have things like part-time state legislatures basically just passing laws written completely by lobbyists because they don't have the expertise, funding, or resources to do anything else.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #45 on: May 24, 2012, 05:15:40 pm »
0

Welfare is a classic example of how some programs can't be subnationalized.  (You get a race to the bottom -- no state is incentivized to increase welfare payments when all that'll do is drive out high taxpayers and drive in welfare recipients.)  But there's a lot of decisions I would prefer to be made on a more local level.  Why does the national government pay for an Indiana museum devoted to the history of Indiana's politics, or something?  It encourages bad spending decisions.

The problem, as I see it, is that most of the anti-federalism arguments are really just thinly-veiled "everyone should do what I want" arguments.  Of course I'd like everyone to engage in similar policies to me.  But if I recognize that others feel the same way, and consider the risk that a national government will impose their values and their beliefs on me, then hell yeah I want to be able to make my own decisions.
In what way is the state/local system going to be better about this. Most pro-federalism arguments are really just thinly-veiled "everyone should do what I want" arguments. That's because most arguments are self-centered, because people want to be that way.
This absolutely IS a conservative (American conservative, classical Liberal) argument - I don't want to be imposed upon, let me do things for myself. The purest form is anarchy. Then you get (in US) something along the lines of Libertarianism. Now, this is actually quite a reasonable system. I disagree with it in some ways, but I agree with it in others. I have big problems with these impositions.
Strangely enough, I am quite conservative, but American politically, I tend to be liberal. Actually, I'm a really weird thing that doesn't really fit in a box. I mean, I look at things from an ethical standpoint. Everything through the lens of ethics, because well, if you're doing what's right (which is what ethics tells you...), then how can you find fault with that? So I think, ok, what is government? Basically, it's force. People banded together, you stick the force in one place to be able to dish it out, keep order, whatever. But laws are all about force. If nothing happens to me if I don't pay my taxes, then the tax laws are just pieces of paper. Why they matter is that they can seize things 'from me' (what exactly is mine is also not so clear as most people think on the surface) or do something to me to enforce what's on those pieces of paper. Now given that, you look at things ethically. There's a lot that you can say people should be doing, ethically. But there's a lot LESS that you're ethically fine FORCING them to do. Where that edge sits should be the boundaries of the government's power. Note that this has very little to do with what is local/state/national, very little to do with federalism. Federalism doesn't matter that much. So, where do I think force ends. You have to protect people's basic rights, basically. So, you need to protect them in one way from getting killed, so you have military, you have police, you have fire departments. You need to make sure that they have basic necessities - so you have health care, food, water, clothing shelter. And that's about it. Now, how far does that go exactly, is not so clear. Ok, but beyond this, there's some other things. You may well want to re-sand the beaches. Fine. Nobody's stopping you. Get a bunch of people together to pay for it. Ok, use tax money for it? See, I can't really see this. Because can I justify seizing things from Jimmy down the street who hates beaches, just because I want my beach to be nicer. I really can't. So, but maybe you have your group together, but it's really hard to organize, and once people have agreed to it, they need to honor their agreements and such, yadda yadda yadda. So you go to the government and are like 'hey, get somebody to do this for us?' And they're like, "Fine, we will do that. So long as you know, you pay the guy." And there are going to be things like this that just everybody agrees to. Like all these kinds of regulations that make sure people aren't just lying all the time. That's a big deal. I still find it tough to even force these things through, but society sorta de facto does that, because if you don't agree to it, nobody's going to want to do business with you.

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #46 on: May 24, 2012, 05:16:21 pm »
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...you have things like part-time state legislatures basically just passing laws written completely by lobbyists because they don't have the expertise, funding, or resources to do anything else.
You think that doesn't happen at the federal level, too?  :o

chwhite

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #47 on: May 24, 2012, 05:18:52 pm »
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...you have things like part-time state legislatures basically just passing laws written completely by lobbyists because they don't have the expertise, funding, or resources to do anything else.
You think that doesn't happen at the federal level, too?  :o

Oh, I know it happens at the federal level too.  But the problem is more intractable at the state level.
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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #48 on: May 24, 2012, 05:54:05 pm »
+1

revolution 9 : beatles :: possession : dominion
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chwhite

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #49 on: May 24, 2012, 06:16:22 pm »
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For some reason my real (olneyce) account isn't working right now.  Won't let me reply to any threads.  But couldn't let this conversation go by without comment.

I actually ranked every singles Beatles song on my blog a few years back:
http://www.heartachewithhardwork.com/2006/05/beatles-from-worst-to-first-1-206-191.html

Out of 206 songs, I would say only the bottom 10 or so are 'bad.'  The bottom 50-60 are only so-so: some very good elements, but not fantastic.  But I have "Till There Was You" at #141, and I would say everything from that point up is an actively good song. 

I like Asimov quite a bit, but it's very much in spite of the awkward writing.  I think the original Foundation books are especially good, in part because they're more vignettes than actual full novels.

Hey, I actually like Revolution 9.  Of course, it does stretch the definition of "song". 
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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #50 on: May 24, 2012, 06:24:19 pm »
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The Beatles are nice and all, but have you heard about the word? It was my understanding that everyone had heard...

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #51 on: May 24, 2012, 06:25:59 pm »
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Hey, I actually like Revolution 9.  Of course, it does stretch the definition of "song".
So the Possession analogy is perfect.  Interesting thought experiment: how could we completely blow up the idea of the song/game.  Up is down, left is right, good hands are bad hands, block that kick...
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chwhite

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #52 on: May 24, 2012, 09:29:10 pm »
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Hey, I actually like Revolution 9.  Of course, it does stretch the definition of "song".
So the Possession analogy is perfect.  Interesting thought experiment: how could we completely blow up the idea of the song/game.  Up is down, left is right, good hands are bad hands, block that kick...

I think Rev 9 is actually less "out of left field" than most people think.  The thing is, one thing the Beatles did (and this is also one of the things that made them great) was look for inspiration and new sounds in a lot of areas which were pretty far from standard pop music.  The most famous and influential of these tangents, of course, was George Harrison's raga kick, but McCartney's olde-timey music-hall stuff and Lennon's exploration of Karlheinz Stockhausen's musique concrete (which of course is what "Revolution 9" is) really come from the same place.

Revolution 9 is no more out of place in the Beatles' discography than "Within You Without You".  Okay, maybe it's a tiny bit more out of place.  But not that much!
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 09:35:49 pm by chwhite »
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greatexpectations

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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #53 on: May 25, 2012, 12:23:22 pm »
+1

Hey, I actually like Revolution 9.  Of course, it does stretch the definition of "song".

i hope you mean that you like revolution 9 the same way you like transmute.
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Re: albany ny yo
« Reply #54 on: May 25, 2012, 02:27:05 pm »
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Hey, I actually like Revolution 9.  Of course, it does stretch the definition of "song".

i hope you mean that you like revolution 9 the same way you like transmute.

So, I was flipping through some classical music record buyer's guide one day a few years ago, and one of the appendices was giving an overview of some electronic and avant-garde music.  And they singled out "Revolution 9" as being just as technically accomplished, and more emotionally affecting, as most of Stockhausen's work.  And I have to agree- it's a sometimes food for sure, I'm not claiming it's better than "A Day In The Life" or anything, but when in the right frame of mind it's a genuinely powerful piece of music.  It absolutely succeeds on its own terms.

I personally happen to have a pretty deep interest in music that tries to break down the boundaries between "serious" and "popular", that brings classical techniques to a popular audience, or rock techniques into the concert hall.  These days it's folks like Bang on A Can, Bryce Dessner (of the National), and Sufjan Stevens who are most active in that sort of stuff, and they're among my favorite artists.  And honestly 99% of the time I prefer their stuff to Revolution 9.  But that doesn't mean I can't like Rev 9 too.
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