March 17, 2007

"Women can be hilarious... but fewer of them bother trying because they don’t get the same rewards for it."

Says John Tierney. And by "rewards," he means sex. It's evolution talk, of course. You wouldn't "bother" to be funny just because you like to be amused. If you want to be amused and you're female, it's less trouble to dispense sexual favors and get some guy to go to the bother of being funny. That's the theory. I'm not giving advice, just rephrasing the theory.

IN THE COMMENTS: Galvanized makes a good point about aesthetics:
Women, in conversation, are very aware of being judged by their appearance and, thus, feel others find them most attractive when they are smiling and/or laughing and most at ease in being reactive. To be funny sometimes requires affectation of the expressions, voice and body that may not be physically flattering. God forbid! LOL Men, on the other hand, understand that their wit and intellect are socially valued -- the content they contribute in conversation -- and, thus, feel the need to draw attention (strut their stuff in a comedic way when their physique alone doesn't draw), and what better way to draw out a positive reaction than through humor? It's all part of the dance. Comedy is a beta male's best response to an alpha's dominance because, hey, they all gotta find a mate. In the end, we all know that women are just as entertaining, but many women simply feel that leaving the comfort zone and being funny compromises beauty and therefore opt in favor of being aesthetically pleasing rather than intellectually stimulating. Plus, like it says, we just don't have to because we're not usually the initiators and can sit back and watch. In short, women are taught early on (sadly) that funny is not pretty, comedy is not becoming, shtick is unflattering, and also to wait to be approached and hope to be noticed. To court reactions with humor seems to be doing the male's job.

Some, however, do feel secure enough in their looks and risk it or just don't care and buck the system. I do believe, however, that it's innate behavior of the sexes, with some exceptions, thank God. Many women will always be overly conscious of their appearance because our instincts tell us that beauty draws, as many men will always believe that they are socially superior because that arrogance assists them being the initiators. But, again, I appreciate the exceptions to the theory.
She's speaking in terms of learned behavior, but I assume you could present easy laughter as something that would be selected for in evolution.

Downtown Madison, on St. Patrick's Day.

So I go downtown today, and of course, it's St. Patrick's Day, but I'm just looking for a little walk and a stop someplace where I can read the newspaper and drink some coffee. Still, I had my camera, and there were things to see.

Down at the campus end of State Street, it's looking like this:

Peace march

Cooking up a peace march, apparently.

Peace march

But up at the Capitol end of the street, there's a different crowd:

St. Patrick's Day parade

With a different attitude:

St. Patrick's Day stroller

The sun is shining. The parade is about to begin. First, the pipers:



Then, the 132nd Army Band Wisconsin National Guard:

"It's crazy. It's like having a mini-constitutional convention every time you pick a Supreme Court justice."

Says Justice Antonin Scalia.

You may also be interested to know that he reveals what he thinks about whether Congress has the power to regulate marriage: "No, I don't see anything in there. I don't see any authorization of the federal government to do that." So presumably, in Scalia's view the Defense of Marriage Act, which among other things, absolves states of the obligation to respect same-sex marriages made in other states, is unconstitutional. Someone asks the obvious follow-on question whether the Constitution obligates a state to recognize another state's same-sex marriages, and he judiciously holds his tongue.

How the candidates fare in the YouTube marketplace of ideas.

The statistics are right there for everyone to see. We don't care much about the official campaign videos they are dumping over there. We want to see them in their unplanned comic moments.
... Clinton's most watched HillCast, titled "Roadmap Out of Iraq," comes nowhere close in popularity to the video showing her singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" off-key at a rally in Iowa. The HillCast has been viewed more than 15,000 times since it was posted on Feb. 17, the out-of-tune moment nearly 1.1 million times since its posting on Jan. 27.
I'd be worried sick about human nature if it were the other way around.

And what we really love is a guy like James Kotecki:
Several times a week, Kotecki, a self-described "political geek" turned YouTube celebrity, advises presidential candidates on their campaign videos -- from his dorm room at Georgetown University....

Kotecki has one recurring message to the candidates and their expensive media advisers: "The Web isn't TV." As in, Web viewers don't expect to be spoken to, they expect to be spoken with. It's a passive experience vs. an interactive one.
"The Web isn't TV." That's profound -- I mean, with respect to YouTube. YouTube looks like just an easy place to put stuff that would be on TV (if only it were way better or paid for or something). What makes YouTube not TV? The searching and sorting mechanisms, linkability, embeddability, displayed statistics and comments, the ability of viewers to put up response videos, like Kotecki's...

Let's watch some Kotecki:



Actually, Kotecki is a little too scripted and artificial for my taste. But I love the idea of this genre, talking back to the campaign videos. If the candidates do what Kotecki wants and talk back to the talk back, it's going to get mighty talky, and the candidates might get suckered into talking too much to people who are really only a sliver of the electorate. So many dangers lie ahead. So many bloggable dangers. Vloggable dangers!

Why, one could vlog advice to Kotecki about how his videos are a little too scripted and artificial. And there's another thing about the difference between the web and TV. You can't tumble into infinite regress on TV.

ADDED: Kotecki stops by the comments and defends himself against the charge that he's too scripted. Here's Kotecki's blog. Whatever I said about taste in vlog-styles, I have to approve of his taste in templates.

Here's Koteck talking with Jeff Jarvis about campaign videos.

Hey, Glenn's back.

He says we guestbloggers did our "usual topflight job," but he reveals that he got "a few grumpy emails" from readers who don't like him to be away, and he's got to know that Richard Brookhiser was all:
Instapundit - Glenn Reynolds = 0
Nothing is harder than simple.
It's irksome the way Brookhiser assumes that the assignment was to imitate Glenn. But that is a problem with guestblogging. It gives the impression that you are trying to be the same as the person you're filling in for, and you know a lot of readers will judge you by your failure to do what you may or may not be trying to do. So maybe you do sort of try not to disappoint them, but you're also trying to use the opportunity to show them what you are. But then you are Hybrid You. You don't want to be Hybrid You, you want to be You You, and you want Richard Brookhiser to love you, right? You know, I'm just kicking myself. I forgot to ask WWRBLTR.

ADDED: And it goes without saying -- though it's not nice to leave it unsaid -- that I'm really happy to get to read Glenn again, and I feel honored to have been asked to guestblog again.

Thinking about Professor Kingsfield again.

Writing the previous post, I ran across a couple of bloggers who talked about going back to my Kingsfield column in the NYT a few weeks ago. (TimesSelect link.) I described a talk by John Jay Osborn Jr., the author of "The Paper Chase," and wrote:
... Osborn says [law students] hate law school, and they hate it because the law professors don’t care about what the students think. “You come in here with a skull full of mush, and you leave thinking like a lawyer,” said Osborn’s sadistically Socratic professor, Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. This legal discipline deprives students of “their own narrative,” as Osborn put it, and they need to learn how to struggle, as Osborn’s protagonist Hart did, to “reclaim” it. They need to resist what law school tries to impose....
Here's Greg, a law student who actually has had Osborn as his lawprof:
Because Prof. Osborn didn't cold-call, didn't even assign people to be "up" for a particular class, it was the narrative of a few that we heard most from.
This is the #1 problem with relying on volunteers. I, myself, have used volunteers through most of my 20+ years teaching law. It is more relaxed and does give you the good feeling that you're not intruding on anyone. But of course, you are. You're intruding on the minds of everyone in the room, even if they are passive and silent. They may avoid the fear and pressure of getting put on the spot, but that doesn't mean they're having a fine time listening to the students who enjoy engaging with the professor.

Osborn wants to empower students to "reclaim" their "personal narrative" in class, but you've got to picture that in practice. Just because the opportunity is offered doesn't mean the students will respond in proportion to their need for personal empowerment or the value of their personal narrative to the classroom experience.

Most likely, the students who bring the most empowerment to class will do the most talking. These may be the extroverts or the students who came from families or great schools that got them comfortable with exposing their minds. Having to listen to these already-empowered students may very well disempower the students who are more introverted or whose families did not debate politics at the dinner table or whose high schools were substandard holding pens. It may strengthen some students over others -- perhaps males over females or white students over minorities students.

If we care about diversity, we need to worry about a teaching method that activates some and not others. Even if you rankle at "diversity" talk like that and prefer to think in terms of individuals, you should care about systematically empowering some individuals over others. Well, if you rankle at "diversity," you probably hate "empowering" too, but the point remains! If you're going to have a classroom where students do some of the talking, it's best to get the full range of students talking, especially if the students are going into a field like law, where speaking is going to be part of the work.

Here's another law student blog post, from Aaron of The Stopped Clock:
One of the best student experiences I had in law school was being taught by J.J. White, who was probably the most like Professor Kingsfield of any professor at UM. He knew his material cold, and I had the impression that he spent more time reviewing cases and preparing for each class than did most of his students....

Had every professor at UM been like him, I would have had to work a lot harder and I would have learned a lot more.
Aaron's post is pretty rambling and entails an awful lot of personal narrative. It's hard to tell what he's driving at. And then it ends with a question for me. Hey, Aaron, I'm the lawprof. I'm the one who wants a neo-Socratic revival. That is, I'm the one with the questions. No answers for you!

By the way, I love Prof. Osborn, who sent me a nice note about the NYT column, in which he cleverly pointed out that I used personal narrative and told my own story in the column. He's quite right! Here I am, leading up to a conclusion that rejects the idea of opening up the classroom to students telling their own stories:
When I was applying to law schools in 1977, I really didn't need an anti-authoritarian novel about a young guy who lets a love affair with the professor's daughter eat into his study time. I was married and -- it seemed then -- a little old for that sort of frippery.

I was 26. What I needed was to get serious after years of underemployment inspired by books and movies about defying authority. I had to set aside that obsolescent hippie balkiness and adopt a pragmatic attitude for the task ahead. ''One L'' -- which was new then -- laid out the facts about law school and got you just scared enough to fire you up for the challenge.
And of course, "One L" is a personal narrative too. (And where's my letter from Scott Turow?!)

I'm not against personal narrative. As a blogger, could I be against personal narrative? Actually, I could. A blog could be much more personal than this, and it could also be utterly impersonal. Like a law school class, you've got to choose where you want to pitch it. Unlike a law school class, you've got a full range of choice. I think it would be downright abusive to make my law school class as personal as this blog... and to make this blog as personal as it could be... well, that would be crazy, wouldn't it? Or are you just waiting for the day when I lay my inhibitions aside and tell you what I really think... and what I really do?

"Distorted rumors" of a law school class.

Cap Times columnist Joel McNally restirs the pot on the UW Law School Kaplan controversy and quotes my NYT column from two weeks ago. He also evokes my column from the week before that -- read it in TimesSelect -- which speaks more generally about teaching law school and challenging law students beyond their comfort zone. I had just heard a talk given by "Paper Chase" author John Jay Osborn Jr., and I was using the book "The Paper Chase" and the character Professor Kingsfield to say something about what we lawprofs should be doing today.

McNally on Kingsfield:
Kingsfield was the fictional version of a real-life Harvard law professor who instilled such icy terror in the hearts of his students that one of them turned the experience into "The Paper Chase," a best-selling novel and popular film in the 1970s.
Actually, according to Osborn, Kingsfield wasn't a real professor. He was a fictional concoction, to provide drama. Osborn's own contracts professor was quite lovable.

Here's McNally on the Kaplan controversy:
... Madison law professor Leonard Kaplan... somehow finds himself having to defend a lecture that apparently unintentionally offended some Hmong students who may or may not know what was really said.

What prompted the uproar was an e-mail circulated by a Hmong student who wasn't in the class. The student later admitted her e-mail "wasn't well-informed," but that she still found whatever was said in the class offensive.

Other minority students, who actually did hear Kaplan's remarks in the class, said the e-mail took portions of Kaplan's lecture out of context. They said Kaplan had described racial stereotypes that had been used against Hmong people in a discussion of how the law can conflict with different cultures.

In a letter to the dean of the Law School, Kaplan said: "Had I made the hateful comments strongly attributed to me, I would repudiate them without hesitation. I did not make them."

But apparently it doesn't matter that the complaint against Kaplan "wasn't well-informed," as his accuser now says.

The Law School is scrambling. The university is scrambling. We hear the sort of vacuous apologies that have become familiar in recent years. If anyone was offended, all sorts of folks are officially deeply sorry. What's really offensive is a university that worries more about how students react to distorted rumors of what a professor might have said instead of what was really said or what he was trying to teach his students.
I think McNally has carefully phrased this, but do want to call attention to two things that might be a little hard to see. First, the concession that the email reporting supposed quotes "wasn't well-informed" doesn't mean that their complaint lacks substance. Second, the university has taken an interest in what really happened. While "distorted rumors" may have inflamed emotions, there are still real students who had sat through the class who are talking with administrators about what they had perceived.

There is no way to go back and see what happened in a situation that wasn't recorded. In a sense, you could say that anyone's report of what was said in the past is somehow "rumor," but that's not very helpful. Indeed, the students' first-hand reports of what they heard in class are not even hearsay in the legal sense of the term (because it is not offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted, only to prove what was said).

I'm not looking to restir the pot here myself, just linking to McNally because I've been linking to the mainstream media's coverage of this story all along. McNally is saying something very close to what I've been saying, which you can read by clicking the "Kaplan story" label below. There is a serious conflict and a lot of well-intentioned individuals attempting to resolve it right now. I wish them well.

It's that day when I say...

Happy Birthday to John!

Nina's birthday

Happy St. Patrick's Day to the rest of you!

Waiting for the parade

March 16, 2007

Flickr collections.

I love the new "collections" feature in Flickr. Here are mine.

Go Badgers.

I just got the email saying that they're projecting the basketball game on the big screen in room 2211 at the law school. I hope everyone's happy and stays happy.

"It was over in an instant. That career path was terminated."

Valerie Plame testifies.

UPDATE: The AP report is rather harsh:
She revealed little new information about the case, which sparked a federal investigation and brought perjury and obstruction of justice convictions of Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. No one has been charged with leaking her identity.

Still, Plame's appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was a moment of political theater that dramatized Democrats' drive to use their control of Congress to expose what they see as White House efforts to intimidate dissenters....

News cameras whirred and spectators craned their necks to catch a glimpse of Plame as the blond former operative took her place alone at the witness table for her 90 minutes of testimony.
The one significant thing seems to be this:
Plame said she did not select her husband for a CIA fact-finding trip to Niger. Wilson later wrote in a newspaper column that his trip debunked the administration's prewar intelligence that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium from Africa.

"I did not recommend him. I did not suggest him. There was no nepotism involved. I did not have the authority," she said.

That conflicts with senior officials at the CIA and State Department, who testified during Libby's trial and told Congress that Plame recommended Wilson for the trip.
That's a conflict to be resolved. Is it anything or do the words "recommend" and "suggest" have some subtle meaning that will be revealed later, erasing the conflict? That's just mystifying.

"The 20 Worst Cover Songs in Pop Music History."

According to Cracked. Can't trust Cracked? They have the videos to prove it.

Some of these are new to me. For example, I didn't know Hillary Duff sang "My Generation," let alone that she changed the words to "hope I don't die before I get old." Actually, I think Cracked is revealing too much of a distaste for young women singing guys' songs. And not enough of a sense of... odd for Cracked... humor. I think Britney Spears singing "Satisfaction" is pretty amusing. Of course, I'm just watching it once, not having it inflicted on me repeatedly. But I think a bit of a mismatch in a cover song is nice.

And does Cracked have a conservative slant? Read this (about Counting Crows doing "Big Yellow Taxi"):
We absolutely loved the way that lead singer Adam Duritz (the hairy Fraggle wearing the arty-fart Dr. Seuss hat in the video) changed up the phrasing to make it more liberal than the original Joni Mitchell version. Because if there's one thing that Joni Mitchell could've improved on, it was being more liberal. That made all the difference to us. We've since started buying organic apples.
More liberal phrasing? I don't know... You listen to it. I can't.

On the radio.

Here's a radio interview with me... about blogging.

"In partisan Republican circles, the pursuit of voter fraud is code for suppressing the votes of minorities and poor people."

An editorial in today's NYT:
In its fumbling attempts to explain the purge of United States attorneys, the Bush administration has argued that the fired prosecutors were not aggressive enough about addressing voter fraud. It is a phony argument; there is no evidence that any of them ignored real instances of voter fraud. But more than that, it is a window on what may be a major reason for some of the firings.

In partisan Republican circles, the pursuit of voter fraud is code for suppressing the votes of minorities and poor people. By resisting pressure to crack down on “fraud,” the fired United States attorneys actually appear to have been standing up for the integrity of the election system....

There is no evidence of rampant voter fraud in this country. Rather, Republicans under Mr. Bush have used such allegations as an excuse to suppress the votes of Democratic-leaning groups....
These are very harsh charges. I want to know more. If there really is "no evidence of rampant voter fraud in this country," is there some evidence of something less that "rampant" fraud that deserved investigation? Should we simply equate concern about voter fraud with Republican politics and, further, link that to hostility to the poor and minorities. This is a dramatic, bulky, bulgy packaging of issues!

And don't forget: Rove is at "the epicenter of the imbroglio"! So, I see: there's a big aura of suspiciousness to all of this. All I'm saying is, let's unpack the parts and try to understand what happened.

ADDED: I think the evidence of voter fraud here in Wisconsin is quite convincing.

Let's talk about AutoAdmit.

If you've come here because some blogger has informed you that this post shows me in a contradiction, you need to read the UPDATE below.

Over on Instapundit, I wrote:
DEFENDING AGAINST REPUTATION DEFENDER. If you followed the AutoAdmit controversy -- see this WaPo article -- you should check out this response from Jarret Cohen of AutoAdmit. Where do I stand on AutoAdmit (a website where law students and prospective law students sometimes talk raunchily about particular individuals)? Well, my original response to the WaPo article was somewhat supportive in the face of what I thought were demands for too much repression, but then I Googled "althouse autoadmit" to find my old post for that link, and check out what came up first. Now, I've got to laugh and say yes, this is life here on the internet, but I'm old and I have tenure. I really do see how something like this can disturb a young woman who's in the job market, though I still don't think law firm partners are dumb enough to take obvious junk like this seriously in hiring decisions. (And given this attitude, I couldn't get too steamed when feminist bloggers railed about my failure to exhibit proper deference to the fears and feelings of women.)

If you want to talk about all this, come over to my blog, where I'll set up a post with comments.

This is that post, so talk.

ADDED: To the fool who thinks that the post about me on AutoAdmit made me see the problem a different way: You are utterly and completely wrong! Learn to read, fool.

UPDATE: I see this post has been linked again by someone who thinks he's discovered some amazing inconsistency between this and my earlier post. But this blogger is wrong and is either vicious or a poor reader. Let me spell it out for people who don't know how or won't take the time to understand something that is written in a sharp, short style.

(So, really, to my readers who understand, don't bother with what I'm about to write. It's in a style that doesn't represent what I'm trying to do here.)

Some people seem to think that my position in this post shows me changing my position and becoming more sympathetic as result of reading a thread on AutoAdmit that was about me. These people are absolutely wrong. Let me spell out why they are wrong.

My position was originally and has remained that I simply do not believe what was in the Washington Post article: the theory that some Yale Law students failed to get the jobs they wanted because some nasty boys expressed sexual thoughts about them on a website called AutoAdmit.

I never said the boys who expressed those thoughts were wonderful. I was concerned that the women were overreacting and inclined toward the repression of free speech. I don't think you can control the internet the way you might control speech in a school or workplace (using a "hostile environment" theory).

In the Instapundit post, I drew attention to the thread about me to demonstrate my own ability to laugh, to accept the internet for what it is, and not to react with demands for repression. That is, I was modeling what I believe to be the right Free Speech position.

I then concede that my demonstration of the right attitude is not as strong as it would be if I were younger and had job insecurity. I anticipated a reader who would say, sure, it's easy for you to laugh it off, you're not in the same position as those women.

I wanted to make it clear -- though when you have bloggers standing by to denounce you, you can never be clear enough -- that I knew my demonstration of how to laugh it off was not fully convincing, because it's easier for me to laugh at what I think they should laugh at too.

I "really do see" that a "young woman" -- that is, a woman with less experience learning how to deal with life's hard knocks -- might be "disturbed." Being disturbed doesn't mean you are justified in making causal connections between the things that disturbed you and other problems you are having in life, like not getting the job you wanted. And being disturbed doesn't mean you ought to have the power to control the things that are disturbing you.

To say that I can understand how something disturbed you doesn't mean I think you're better off getting disturbed than laughing it off the way I did. It just means I'm not going to criticize you for not having the ability to laugh it off. But I still do think that you should.

March 15, 2007

"An ambiguously worded political compromise written hundreds and hundreds of years ago."

That's Matt Yglesias on the U.S. Constitution. Hundreds and hundreds? It would have to be at least 400 years old to justify "hundreds and hundreds."

TimesSelect is now free if you have an "edu" email address.

Cool!

Bloggingheads... the movie.



(Via Bloggingheads.)

Women and opinions.

Tom Maguire, my co-guestblogger over at Instapundit this week, observes that it's the second anniversary (tomorrow) of that Kevin Drum blog post about why there aren't more women in political blogging.

Wait! Why didn't we observe the second anniversary of that Maureen Dowd column about women columnists (which Kevin talked about):
While a man writing a column taking on the powerful may be seen as authoritative, a woman doing the same thing may be seen as castrating. If a man writes a scathing piece about men in power, it's seen as his job; a woman can be cast as an emasculating man-hater. I'm often asked how I can be so "mean" - a question that Tom Friedman, who writes plenty of tough columns, doesn't get.
Or even the second anniversary of my blog post talking about Dowd's column and also linked in Kevin's post):
It takes a lot nerve to put your harsh, straightforward words down on paper. You can feel entirely squelched and intimidated, yet still have those things inside you, and you could say them if somehow someone managed to give you the go-ahead. I know I've found myself able to write a lot of things down in this blog, but I've also gone many, many years holding my tongue. There may be a lot of men clamoring to speak first, easily finding a way to talk over the women who have just as much to say. It may take a little something more to unleash what women can say. Maureen Dowd doesn't explain how she was able to let loose. Someone saw she had it in her and gave her the forum, and from there she had to force herself to do it. But clearly, she could.
Frankly, I didn't even feel like I had opinons until I started writing. I had to get over the barrier and start writing, then, obligating myself to write or just falling in love with writing, I had to force myself to generate an opinion. Then there was learning how to deal with the push back. It's so unfairly easier to push back women. I really identified with that Maureen Dowd column. Women pay a price for showing some nerve. Nevertheless, it's worth it.

What's your favorite...

... building? America's choice is the Empire State Building. And we don't care so much for those showy new things. The Milwaukee Art Museum did okay, though. Number 59. I've been there:

Milwaukee Art Museum

ADDED: Sad Google search that I did, meaning to spiff up this post.

What would Gandhi...

... have thought of Daniel Pearl?

Rejecting the right to use medical marijuana.

This was a later stage of the case in which the Supreme Court determined two years ago that Congress had the power under the Commerce Clause to ban home-grown, home-consumed marijuana, even where the state had tried to set up a program regulating the medical use. A question that remained was whether some extremely ill persons could claim a constitutional right to use marijuana out of necessity in the face of great pain or death. The plaintiff in the case, Angel Raich, asserted that she needed marijuana to stay alive.
With obvious reluctance, the three-judge panel [of the 9th Circuit] said there is no right "deeply rooted in this nation's history and traditions'' to use medical marijuana to reduce pain or ward off death. California, whose voters enacted the nation's first law legalizing marijuana for medical use in 1996, has been joined by only 10 other states. The remaining states and the federal government recognize no such right, the court noted.

A brain-teaser for Bluebook nerds.

Here.

Flow/flOw.

A video game based on the theory in one of my favorite books, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's "Flow."
A deceptively simple video game called "flOw," in which players control the feeding and evolution of an aquatic organism, is making waves in the $30 billion market better known for fictional blood and bullets.

The game forsakes typical testosterone-fueled activities of killing, racing and blowing stuff up. Inspired by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Flow Theory, which holds that people are happy and fulfilled when they are fully immersed in what they are doing, "flOw" is pure Zen.
Let's get a better description of flow than happy/fulfilled/immersed/Zen. In his book -- at page 49 of the 1991 Harper Perennial edition -- Csikszentmihalyi describes flow in terms of 8 components:
First, the experience usually occurs when we confront tasks we have a chance of completing. Second, we must be able to concentrate on what we are doing. Third and fourth, the concentration is usually possible because the task undertaken has clear goals and immediate feedback. Fifth, one acts with a deep but effortless involvement that removes from awareness the worries and frustrations of everyday life. Sixth, enjoyable experiences allow people to exercise a sense of control over their actions. Seventh, concern for the self disappears, yet paradoxically the sense of self emerges stronger after the flow experience is over. Finally, the sense of the duration of time is altered; hours pass by in minutes, and minutes can stretch out to seem like hours. The combination of all these elements causes a sense of deep enjoyment that is so rewarding people feel that expending a great deal of energy is worthwhile simply to be able to feel it.
(I originally typed that out to use in this article, which I wrote for the "Bloggership" conference. I say that that blogging is a flow experience for me. But this post isn't about that.)

Now, looking at that description of flow, I think you can see that all good video games produce flow, whether they are called "flow" or "flOw" or "fLoW" or whatever. The real question -- assuming you decide you want to live in flow -- is whether you should be finding your flow in games that have been manufactured to produce a flow experience. You can see that part of flow is becoming absorbed for long periods of time in something of a trancelike state. The book highlights individuals who find flow doing productive or healthy things like surgery and rock climbing. If you're finding your flow in something that is sedentary, uncreative, and nonlucrative, well, it might be okay. But maybe it's a problem. And I say that as someone who used to throw away a stupid amount of time playing games like Tetris.

Not an idle question.

Who are the best liberal bloggers?

"The language of war is victims."

Says Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, taking responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, "from A to Z." He invites us to see it from his side. He's not happy that people -- especially children -- had to die for his cause.
His actions, he said, were like those of other revolutionaries. Had the British arrested George Washington during the Revolutionary War, Mr. Mohammed said, “for sure they would consider him enemy combatant.”

March 14, 2007

"American Idol." I didn't watch it. But then, I did.

I didn't watch "American Idol" last night. I just didn't care. But today, I got home from work, and making dinner and pouring a glass of wine, I put on the TiVo and scrolled through the thing. By the time I get to the end, the results show will be on, so maybe this is an efficient way for a nonvoter to watch.

Some random notes:

1. The theme was Diana Ross. After weeks of saying the "boys" are worse than the "girls," they finally combined the "girls" and "boys" and forced them to sing girl songs. What's the sense of that? [CORRECTION MADE: I had "boys" and "girls" reversed in the part about who they were saying was worse, as anyone who knows the show -- or, really, anyone who assumes I'm rational -- would realize.]

2. Ross seemed highly scripted. At the very beginning, her speech was weird, as if she may have ill-fitting false teeth. In the individual sessions, she was gracious and helpful, but I had the feeling that she had people helping her and intensely managing her image. She's a good enough actress to take direction. And I think she had direction and took it. Clearly, she did not wander into the show unprepared and did not fall into the trap of believing in her own divahood.

3. Melinda Doolittle is giving off an "Ugly Betty" vibe.

4. Chris Sligh was sunk by a terrible arrangement. He tried to call attention to the problem, but they tried to hang it on him. It's not fair when the music is at odds with the vocal choices. Especially when the instrumentation is awful. Chris and Diana have a hair moment together. He conceded that his doesn't go out like hers. She revealed the secret: You've got to tease it. I make a mental note to tease my hair tomorrow. (I remember back in the early 60s when teasing your hair was a moral issue. You'd try to secretly tease it. People would say you teased it, and you'd lie and say you didn't. And it was a health issue. Anti-teasers were always sounding the alarm. Your hair will fall out! You'll go bald!)

5. LaKisha Jones ("Kiki") was profound and elegant singing "God Bless the Child." I'm not a sucker for LaKisha, but... that made me cry.

6. Phillip. I like him!

7. Sanjaya. Hair recurled. Still 17. Fan favorite. Bad, but we'll keep him. Every year, there's a young guy that we embrace and keep beyond his talent level. This year, that guy is Sanjaya. I like the way he appears to understand what's happening, and he's riding his ride to the end, with a sweet, happy attitude.

8. Blake. He's my favorite. And I don't even understand the current trends. But there's something sharp and knowing about him. There's humor and lightness. There's style. We don't need to be generous or empathic to like him. It's pop music. Right there. That means something.

9. There were others. I'm not writing about them because I don't wanna.

10. Oh. A word about Simon. A few weeks ago, he amused me by saying to somebody -- no one cares who anymore -- "You sang through your nose! And halfway through you looked like you'd been boiled." Well, last night, he looked like he'd been boiled. Seriously, you'd think he'd have people helping him with his image. If he fell asleep under a sunlamp, don't they have makeup for that?

UPDATE: Brandon. Phil! In the bottom three. Commercial. Diana. Who's the other? Hayley or Sanjaya, but they string it out. Another commercial. It's Sanjaya! I think Brandon will be leaving. And Phil is sent back. So it's Brandon or Sanjaya. C'mon! It's Brandon, right? Yeah. It's Brandon, who's nice and good, but just didn't throw himself out there.

"I Love the Sasquatch."

Get some perspective.

On the sun and the moon. (Play the video!) (More here.)

"I haven't written about the U.S. Attorney's story because I'm having a hard time figuring out just how big a deal it is."

That -- from Orin Kerr -- resonates with me:
Parts of it are obviously very troubling: I was very disturbed to learn of the Domenici calls, for example...

At the same time, several parts of the story seem overblown. U.S. Attorneys are political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the President, and the press seems to overlook that in a lot of its reporting....

So in the end I don't quite know where I come out based on what we know. Without knowing where I come out, I don't feel I have much helpful to add. I realize that this may mean I am missing a big story.
The sheer intensity of the effort to make this the big story of the week is bringing out the resistance in me.

"The agile, articulate Greta, with her keen legal mind and rugged, strong-jawed persistence, will be on the scene to unearth every lie!"

"Is Coulter truly oblivious to her gender weirdness? It's no coincidence that words like 'tranny' and transvestite' clog the anti-Coulter blogs."

The loves and hates of Camille Paglia. Often absurd, sometimes offensive.

Is that what Andrew wanted me to think?

Andrew Sullivan has a "Face of the Day" feature. He doesn't tell us what to think of the face, so I'm torn between thinking about what I think of the face and what I think Andrew thinks or wants us to think of the face. With this one, of Judith Nathan listening to her husband Rudy Giuliani, I'm getting a total Nurse Ratched vibe. Is that just me or is that what Andrew wanted me to think?

On being bored watching movies.

We were talking about movies last night, and Henry said:
I hate movies.

It's not the movies, so much. It's how long they are.

After one hour of predictable complication, the second hour of predictable resolution is unbearable.
I sympathized, mostly. Not that I find everything predictable. Actually, I don't. My boredom takes the form of viewing each scene as something to be gotten through, to be tolerated. I have the feeling that nothing will happen, even though I constantly tell myself, it's a movie, something always happens, in every scene. But it's just going to be one of those movie things, that happen because something always has to happen to make it a movie. Two characters are having an ordinary time, and my usual boredom kicks in: Nothing will ever happen. I realize: But this is a movie, so it must. I reach a new level of bored: Yes, something violent will happen or be revealed or someone will get very concerned or upset for some reason.

For example, "Spellbound," which I watched last night: People would be sitting around talking about a swimming pool, and Ingrid Bergman would draw the shape of the pool on the tablecloth with a fork, and Gregory Peck would get all upset. That's not a good example of the way movies bore me though, because there's a cool little mystery about why parallel lines freak him out, which is what you remember if you haven't seen the film in a long time and decide to give it another go. But there are many unspiffy scenes with actors pretending to be psychiatrists, gliding along gloomily through a shadowy house that you're supposed to believe is a mental hospital.

Ingrid Bergman is either in her glasses, with her hair pinned back, and icily fending off what today we'd call sexual harassment but was apparently the daily norm at this place, or she's got the glasses off, her hair is mussed, and she's hot for her new boss -- Gregory Peck -- so that she'll get up in the middle of the night, put on a gorgeous bathrobe, and glide on up the shadowy stairway and right into his bedroom, in search of sexual harassment. I'm complaining about movies, but I loved that scene. Not only did icy Ingrid's sexuality emerge, depicted by a surreal sequence of opening doors that really felt like emerging sexuality, but her bathrobe had parallel lines on it, so Gregory Peck got another chance to subtly freak out. And poor icy Ingrid wasn't going to get to float through the doors quite yet.

And on to more scenes, scene after scene, with shadowy stairways and fusty, harass-y psychiatrist/actors and windblown outdoor shots to get your hopes up about Ingrid's sexuality and Gregory getting all worried again and when is that Dali dream sequence going to show up so we can turn this off and go to bed?

March 13, 2007

I had this notion that I could watch a movie, a real movie...

I have a whole bookcase of DVDs, all things I bought, thinking them worth the money. But then I don't watch them. I rarely buy anymore, because I know this tendency of mine. What is this resistance about? I ask myself. Am I afraid to plunge into the world of fiction? Unlike you -- I bet -- I was married to a novelist. But there are documentaries. Not all the films are the distortions of a fervid, novelistic mind. But the distortions of the documentarian's mind might be much worse. Let me extract something from my collection. Something old and familiar? One of those abandoned new things? Sitting here, after 7, with the sky not yet completely dark, I feel some need for beautiful images. Something luscious and mysterious to rescue me from a night of horrid, TiVo'd karaoke -- the new round of "American Idol" that I feel some vague obligation to simulblog. But I'm going to choose something more aesthetic. I have an idea of what would be suitable. I need to merge with some images. More later.

MORE: I said it in the comments:
The movie I felt would suit me was "Breathless," but I couldn't find it, and I later learned, it's not in my house. So I picked "Spellbound," which has some impressive black and white faces, but is actually rather phony and old fashioned... not as crisp as I'd remembered.

It did keep me from watching "American Idol" though! I just don't care about it. Sorry!

Blair versus the veil.

Blair's view. The (very sympathetically presented) response.

CORRECTION: Both links go to the same place, so you'll have to click within the link to see Tony Blair's attack and the response.

"I don't want to pick on Al Gore."

"But there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data."

The NYT has an article on scientists who think Al Gore is overdoing it on global warming:
Some of Mr. Gore’s centrist detractors point to a report last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body that studies global warming. The panel went further than ever before in saying that humans were the main cause of the globe’s warming since 1950, part of Mr. Gore’s message that few scientists dispute. But it also portrayed climate change as a slow-motion process.

It estimated that the world’s seas in this century would rise a maximum of 23 inches — down from earlier estimates. Mr. Gore, citing no particular time frame, envisions rises of up to 20 feet and depicts parts of New York, Florida and other heavily populated areas as sinking beneath the waves, implying, at least visually, that inundation is imminent....

So too, a report last June by the National Academies seemed to contradict Mr. Gore’s portrayal of recent temperatures as the highest in the past millennium. Instead, the report said, current highs appeared unrivaled since only 1600, the tail end of a temperature rise known as the medieval warm period....

In October, Dr. Easterbrook made similar points at the geological society meeting in Philadelphia. He hotly disputed Mr. Gore’s claim that “our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this” threatened change.

Nonsense, Dr. Easterbrook told the crowded session. He flashed a slide that showed temperature trends for the past 15,000 years. It highlighted 10 large swings, including the medieval warm period. These shifts, he said, were up to “20 times greater than the warming in the past century.”

Getting personal, he mocked Mr. Gore’s assertion that scientists agreed on global warming except those industry had corrupted. “I’ve never been paid a nickel by an oil company,” Dr. Easterbrook told the group. “And I’m not a Republican.”
Read the whole thing.

I think somebody was traumatized as a young child by Porky Pig.

That's my theory. For one of the items anyway.

Poor Mickey... but he kind of deserves it.

I finally got around to watching the new episode of "South Park," which helped me understand why Andrew Sullivan is needling Mickey Kaus like that. I laughed a lot, especially in the first few minutes, which you can see in the clip that's currently on the front page here. (And help me figure out how to make this a permanent link to that clip.)

If you'd rather see Mickey Kaus just yelled at outright, rather than taunted with references to cartoons he doesn't watch, go here and watch Bob Wright get incredibly -- and uncharacteristically -- steamed about Mickey's failure to condemn Ann Coulter for using the f-word... the other f-word.

"... law prof Ann Althouse writes."

Aw, you had to say "law prof." It added so much weight to that opinion.

Do sociopaths care what people think?

Yes! That's the problem. I'm getting corrected over at Dr. Helen's. Think she's right? Like her Bill Clinton example?
Think of the psychopathic and narcissistic traits of a Bill Clinton type--he was very sensitive to what people thought of him--almost to a fault in that he wanted to be loved and admired by everyone, yet lied to the American public about his affair with Lewinsky, and used friends to lie on his behalf.
Wait! Bill's psycho? Maybe he's just very human but way more talented than average. She's the psychologist though. I just riff in the psychology realm.

March 12, 2007

I made a decision.

I got to the point where I'd entered the phone number and all that was left was to push the "send" button. To push the "send" button would really be to make the decision. I pushed the "send" button!

If you're not getting enough Althouse here.

Remember, I'm guestblogging on Instapundit this week. Go over there if you need an extra dose.

"Still, my goal is to ski over to Switzerland today and I am told that this morning, Switzerland is closed."

Nina's weekend in Cervinia continues.

"There is a coke-y aspect to comedy. It is a very heady drug. It's like a dessert drug."

"It's like eating a lot of cream pies. And drama's like a savory meal. It hits different buttons. It takes you on a journey.... If everyone's ready for you to make dessert, and you say, 'I'm gonna come and do a savory chicken. It's got minerals and carbohydrates,'" Eddie Izzard frets about rejection.

What's the right skin thickness?

Dr. Helen writes about something we were just talking about on Bloggingheads....

(Wait a minute! Are you getting a little queasy? Althouse is blogging about Dr. Helen writing on her blog about diavlogging with Althouse and (her husband) Instapundit, and at the same time Althouse is guestblogging on Instapundit and appearing on Bloggingheads with Instapundit and Dr. Helen. Don't worry. I expect Maxine to show up in the comments and deal with this alarming involution. Or just start a blog and call it Alarming Involution, write something brilliant, and send me the URL, so I'll have something to link to while I have this instalanching power.)

Dr. Helen writes about Albert Ellis and something called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.
Ellis encourages people to "keep moving, moving, moving and to try scary things and not to give a s**t when they are rejected."
In the diavlog, Dr. Helen put it this way:
"He says the best thing that a person can do is to be rejected over and over and over and not give a shit. I think that's really good advice. He says you basically arrive when you can basically be rejected and just not care."
There were no asterisks in the speech on the diavlog, and it was possibly the only time anyone's ever said a bad word in the whole history of Bloggingheads!

Anyway, I didn't say it during the diavlog -- though I thought it -- but I think that maybe some people could come out well at the end of getting "rejected over and over and over" until the reach the stage where they don't "give a shit," but that this also sounds like a description of a sociopath!

Ellis himself seems to have developed his theory as a technique for picking up women, which Helen describes. He just forced himself to talk to every single woman, accept the rejections, and keep going.
Of the first 130 women he went up to, he got only one date, he said, but "with the second 100, I got good and made a few dates"—and, eventually, got to be "one of the best picker-uppers of women in the United States."
I remember reading some Henry Miller book a long time ago -- "Tropic of Capricorn"/"The Tropic of Cancer" -- and he described a technique of rubbing up against women in the subway on the theory that you'd eventually find someone who liked it. Well, it's not a crime to talk to women, but I'm just saying that rejection-insensitivity could be evil.

I think it's liberating to get a thick skin and squelching to dwell on what other people think, but I wouldn't go so far as to say the goal is not to care at all.

Death and "The Sopranos."

Fabulous promo (via Throwing Things) -- but it's full of spoilers if you're not caught up on the old seasons:

"Chuck Who? Poll Finds Few Opinions About Hagel."

I have an opinion: No one even cares that no one cares that no one has an opinion about Chuck Hagel. Plus, this is a TimesSelect link, so let's ignore it.

Stirring up doubts about Rudy's judge-picking tendencies.

The LA Times reports the evidence -- served up by his conservative opponents -- that Giuliani, as mayor, appointed some liberal municipal judges. This is offered to counter Giuliani's assertion -- intended to satisfy social conservatives -- that he will appoint "strict constructionists" to the federal bench. For example:
One judge approved by Giuliani, Rosalyn Richter, had been executive director of a gay rights organization, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, before being named to the bench. After her initial appointment by former Mayor David N. Dinkins, Richter changed the questions asked of potential jurors to be more welcoming to gay and lesbian couples. She was later reappointed by Giuliani.
One answer from the Giuliani side is that NYC municipal judges don't do any significant constitutional interpretation. Since they only handle family matters, criminal misdemeanors, and small civil claims, their approach to constitutional law didn't matter.

The problem with that answer is really what is a problem with the "strict constructionist" rhetoric in the first place. I wrote about that last month in a NYT column, where I was somewhat sympathetic to Giuliani's attempt to speak in terms of appointing "strict constructionists," but ended with the crucial concession:
[T]hat doesn't mean we should be naïve. The next president will select real individuals to be judges, and no matter how diligent they are, they will bring something of their humanity to their interpretation of the law, a version of humanity that will express something of the president's cast of mind.
Presidents will all -- one hopes -- pick scrupulous, excellent individuals to be judges, but they won't pick the same individuals. Even within the category of those who can be portrayed as "strict constructionists" -- they all claim to follow the law! -- judges lean in different directions.

In this light, it doesn't matter that Giuliani's municipal judges did no constitutional interpretation. Giuliani is not a social conservative, and we shouldn't expect whatever "strict constructionists" he nominates to channel the values of social conservatism. By the same token, we shouldn't fall for it when socially conservative presidential candidates use the term "strict constructionists" to cloak their agenda. They aren't just looking for judicial excellence, they are trying to infuse the courts with their values.

If a President has the appointment power and names extremely well-credentialed persons like John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer, they will be confirmed, despite the entirely appropriate suspicions that the President is trying to make the Court conservative or liberal. If you don't like it when that happens, my answer will be: Tough, we elected a President.

Burt Young is spamming me!

A second comment proves it. [Previous incident: here.] Did you know Burt Young's first film role was "Gimpy, the hunchback" in "Carnival of Blood"? What's a guy like that doing promoting his website by spamming blogs?

ADDED: Can I get a jangly, wistful guitarpop song called "Burt Young Is Spamming Me"? Like this.

Don't you like pop songs with the names of celebrities in the titles? I do, but, racking my brain at 5 a.m. CDT, the only one I can think of -- what does this say about me? -- is "Timothy Leary's Dead."
Timothy Leary's dead.
No, no, no, no, He's outside looking in.
Timothy Leary's dead.
No, no, no, no, He's outside looking in.
He'll fly his astral plane,
Takes you trips around the bay,
Brings you back the same day,
Timothy Leary. Timothy Leary.
Timothy Leary was not dead until long after that song came out. And actually, that song is called "Legends of a Mind." Who knew? So my big, clever list of pop songs with the names of celebrities in the title has a grand total of 0 items on it. Is it too much to ask -- at 5:29 a.m. CDT -- that you contribute some items for the list? Because with 0 or even with 1, it's not really a list, is it?

And don't get suckered into thinking about: 1. that sound-of-one-hand-clapping question what is a list with 0 items, 2. the pedantic puzzler whether it's "rack your brain" or "wrack your brain," and 3. the legal issue of whether the celebrity's name tends to get purged from the title to fend off litigation.

Give me some pop song titles that have names of celebrities. And don't give me ones with historical (or fictional) characters. When I say "celebrity," I don't mean King Arthur. And I really don't mean Jesus. (We could have a long list of Jesus.) I want things like -- okay, I finally thought of one -- "Bette Davis Eyes."

March 11, 2007

Oh...

Noooooooo!

Why did the Wisconsin State Journal refer to me as "conservative commentator Ann Althouse"?

Well, let's look at the context:
WEST BEND Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Annette Ziegler has presided over 22 cases involving companies in which she owned stock worth more than $50,000, a Wisconsin State Journal review shows....

Supreme Court rules require judges to withdraw from cases in which they have a financial interest that is more than "insignificant"...

Ziegler is considered the conservative candidate.

The winner of the election will replace the usually right-leaning Justice Jon Wilcox, who is retiring. Ziegler's election to a 10-year term on the court would keep the perceived makeup of the court the same. If [the other candidate, Linda Clifford,] wins, the court could move to the left....

Conservative commentator Ann Althouse told a statewide radio audience Friday that Ziegler's approach to conflicts of interest makes her question the conservative jurist's fitness for the high court.

Althouse, a political blogger and UW-Madison law professor, said on Wisconsin Public Radio's "Week in Review" that "the more (conflict cases) there are, the worse it gets." She criticized Ziegler's public statements to an audience in Spring Green that she uses a "gut check" to decide when she's got a conflict of interest.

"I think a judge that puts the rules aside and relies on instinct is, first of all, revealing something about her thoughts about law in general. Second of all, if you go on instincts, you should have good instincts. And these don't seem like good instincts," Althouse said.

"Not disclosing that (conflicts) looks especially bad because you don't give other people the chance to judge, so I just think there's a whole cluster of concerns of about one's fitness to be a judge, under the circumstances."
That looks like that blatant journalistic bias, an effort to bolster my opinion by making it seem as though my normal instinct would be to support Ziegler. In fact, I have never said one word about which of those two candidates I would support and have scrupulously avoided taking sides.

AND: I should add, in case you're new around here, that I never use the label conservative for myself and repeatedly say that it is not apt.

MORE: And check this out. Here's former Madison mayor Paul Soglin (who calls his blog "Waxing America"):
But what I find most damaging to the Ziegler campaign is the normally tepid Ann Althouse speaking directly to the matter. Althouse prefers to raise attention to political issues without entering the fray...
Apparently, lefties statewide are toasting me.

Why do people with so little to say take so long to say it?

I can't be bothered, even when it's about me! Can somebody give me a "shorter Pandagon"?

ADDED: Wow. It looks like that Pandagon link crashed the Bloggingheads server. How tragic! All those those wonderful people out there who could be looking at me.

MORE: Oh no, it wasn't the Pandagon. It was mini-y2k killed the server. (Back now.)

"The people who denigrate lottery players are like 10-year-olds who are disgusted by the idea of sex..."

... "they are numb to its pleasures, so they say it’s not rational."

Looking presidential.

Fred Thompson interviewed by Chris Wallace this morning.

You know, listening to him, you can have a lot of trouble not getting mesmerized by his sonorous voice. I wonder which candidates will seem lightweight alongside him -- purely as a matter of form, not substance. I'd say, #1: Mitt Romney.

ADDED: Here's the video. I had trouble getting it to play, but fiddle with the buttons and you can probably get it to work.

MORE: Here's some better video (of a different segment of the show).

"People cannot see that a story about Mr. Dahmer is a story about all of us."

Dan Barry writes about the minister who baptized Jeffrey Dahmer (TimesSelect link):
“He was seeking redemption,” [said Roy Ratcliff, minister of the Mandrake Road Church of Christ in Madison], recalling how Mr. Dahmer often spoke of being the worst of sinners. “He was seeking forgiveness.”...

Every Wednesday for months afterward, Mr. Ratcliff met with Mr. Dahmer to pray. The convict said he should have been put to death for his crimes, and his minister agreed. He talked about suicide, something the preacher had flirted with many years earlier, after being fired from another church. A shared faith drew the different men together....

After a discreet memorial service at the minister’s church in Madison, after the notorious surname had slipped into the recesses of public consciousness, Mr. Ratcliff continued to be identified as the man who baptized the serial killer. Both in and out of the Church of Christ community, some embraced him for it, while others shunned him.
Well, he also wrote a book about it. As Barry puts it: "'Dark Journey, Deep Grace,' has sold poorly — perhaps, he says, because people cannot see that a story about Mr. Dahmer is a story about all of us." Oh, please! It's one thing to recognize the proper role of a minister baptizing someone who has committed murder. It's quite another to read the book he writes about a famous serial killer. I haven't seen this book, but is it the best book to read if you want to curl up with info about Dahmer or if, alternatively, you want to read a book about Christian redemption? What's with Barry/Ratcliff acting like people are shallow for not wanting to read it?

Finally, people are openly admitting they don't want to sleep with their partners!

It's the new separate bedrooms trend. You know you want them. It's not about sex:
More likely, it has to do with snoring. Or with children crying. Or with getting up and heading for the gym at 5:30 in the morning. Or with sending e-mail messages until well after midnight.

In a survey in February by the National Association of Home Builders, builders and architects predicted that more than 60 percent of custom houses would have dual master bedrooms by 2015 ...

Not everyone wants to talk about it. Many architects and designers say their clients believe there is still a stigma to sleeping separately. Some developers say it is a delicate issue and call the other bedroom a “flex suite” for when the in-laws visit or the children come home from college. Charles Brandt, an interior designer in St. Louis, said, “The builder knows, the architect knows, the cabinet maker knows, but it’s not something they like to advertise because right away people will think something is wrong” with the marriage....

“As a social pattern, this could increase,” [said Pamela J. Smock, a University of Michigan sociologist.] “A lot of people I know fantasize about living in the same apartment building as their husband — but in a separate apartment. That could be next.”
And then, there's the ultimate fantasy, getting your husband to go live in another city.

But really, I love this trend and think people shouldn't be embarrassed by their personal, physical sleep needs. They should perhaps be embarrassed by leaving a larger environmental footprint, but the house doesn't really need to be bigger. The husband can be tucked away in a rather tiny room. A snug fit is better for a man.

As for sex, why not a third room? The sex room. (The architects will figure it out.) Or even a third apartment. Get a cheap, squalid one in a bad part of town so it will be like having an affair.

A $200,000 bonus to Supreme Court law clerks for signing on with a law firm?

No. Don't be silly! That was last year's rate.

Oddest -- and saddest -- reason for paying so much, from the managing partner at Sidley Austin, Carter Phillips: "they're used to working hard. They can't get through their clerkships without putting in significant hours, so you know they can put in 2,200 hours at a firm."

Why not just buy two lawyers?

Three fervid writers.

Linked (by me) on Instapundit. Reserved over here for comment purposes:
"A LOW, THROBBING, VIOLENT, READY-TO-RUMBLE HUM DRIFTS past the espresso machine, past the rack of alternative weeklies, past the wall exhibit of photos from a faculty member's trip to Florence, past the plastic tub where you put your dirty cups and spoons." RLC reads something rantish in the NYT and rants back -- with pictures of "the menacing black hole that unnerved the Times writer."

"I WAKE UP AT NIGHT AND I SPIN, countless thoughts, tripping over each other. My crazy work schedule this semester, the bid for a new condo, I’ll be moving, everyone’s moving, I’m in Cervinia but the Law School is just emails away. I need to write more, I need to moonlight, I need to sleep."

"THE UNEASY, 'INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS' SENSE that regular people, who were funny-shaped and neurotic and sincere and inefficient, were suddenly having to compete with -- and losing to, and inexorably being replaced by -- a new kind of 24/7 success cyborg that had had doubt and depression and down time genetically engineered out of it."

A warrantless search based on the smell of marijuana?

Well, it ≈ imminent destruction of evidence. The Utah Supreme Court said no.

IN THE COMMENTS: Sippican sez "Dave's not here." And -- thanks to Google -- I get it.

Official responses on the UW Law School controversy.

There's this, from "senior faculty of the UW Law School." And this, from Chancellor John D. Wiley. Discuss.

(If you need background, all my old posts are here.)

Blogging on Instapundit, I take my first political shot at...

John Edwards! I wasn't lying in wait to get Edwards. It's just that this WaPo article popped up today.

Losing an hour, gaining a blog.

Did you enjoy jumping ahead an hour? I did. I got up naturally at -- what was it?... I looked at my Cingular cellphone and saw it was 5:15. That's great. I don't want to be up at 4:15. I turned on my computer -- yes, it's the first thing I do -- and saw it was 6:15 by the computer.

So, the computer clock figured out the early Daylight Savings Time, but Cingular did not? That's pathetic. But I'm glad to realize what a good night's sleep I got.

Meanwhile, I am gearing up to take on parallel blogging duties. I'm filling in -- along with Tom Maguire and Megan McArdle -- for Glenn Reynolds over on Instapundit. I'll have to dream up some extra things to say!

And don't worry. I will keep things going over here. I've done Instapundit blogging a few times in the past, and it gives me an interesting chance to see my ideas fall into two categories, things for Instapundit and things for here. Some of it has to do with length (and photography), and some of it has to do with politics versus eccentricity -- not that I think that Glenn would get upset if I created a vortex over there.