Debunking a mesmerist, or Trump

08/06/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General


In our historical moment, the mesmerists are worth considering, for they were frequently debunked but the debunkings rarely had much of an effect. Just as the repeated corrections of President Trump’s falsehoods have failed to discourage him or his supporters, so too the mesmerists escaped their exposés unharmed.

To the charge that they were deceiving their audiences, mesmerists responded that they were expert demonstrators and analysts of deception. Yes, Dods did trick his subjects — but only in order to illustrate how dangerous other tricksters could be.


08/04/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: Bread
Trump was alone in speaking to Republican voters who didn’t want the party to remake itself, who wanted to be told that a wall could be built and things could go back to the way they were.

“Trump met the party where it was rather than trying to change it,“ Tesler says. “He was hunting where the ducks were.”

It's not the percentage of non-whites that troubles whites, it's the rate of change regardless of the base percentage

08/04/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General


So here, then, is what we know: Even gentle, unconscious exposure to reminders that America is diversifying — and particularly to the idea that America is becoming a majority-minority nation — pushes whites toward more conservative policy opinions and more support of the Republican Party.

What happens when the exposure isn’t so subtle?

When Obama was elected in 2008, there was much talk of America moving into a post-racial moment. But as Michael Tesler shows in his powerful book Post-Racial or Most-Racial?: Race and Politics in the Obama Era, the mere existence of Obama’s presidency further racialized American politics, splitting the two parties not just by racial composition but by racial attitudes.

What Tesler proves is that in the Obama era, attitudes on race drove attitudes on almost everything else, in a way that’s unique in recent American politics. The black-white divide in support for Obamacare was 20 percentage points larger than the black-white divide over Bill Clinton’s similarly controversial proposal, for instance.

Pretentiousness, sophistication, and authenticity

07/27/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: Web Wanderings


“The class politics of sophistication are inseparable from its sexual politics,” wrote Joseph Litvak in Strange Gourmets, in 1997. Litvak points out how a glance at the dictionary is all it takes to recall that “sophistication” in fact means “perversion”. For though sophistication might nowadays be defined most readily as “worldliness”, as the opposite of “naivety”, its older meaning, as well as its normative meaning, deriving from the rhetorical aberration known as sophistry, is “corruption” or “adulteration”.

In medieval Latin, the verb sophisticare was used in relation to the dishonest tampering of goods, especially food. At the start of the 18th century, the use of “sophisticated” shifted to mean something deprived of a primitive or natural state. “Unsophisticated” meant something genuine, but shifted to mean a person who was ingenuous or inexperienced. In the 19th century, the idea of something being altered also became associated with wisdom or refinement.

Pretentiousness shares with sophistication a lingering sense of “unnaturalness”; something faked, pretending, tampered with. Litvak presses the idea that sophistication is linked to perversion in the sexual sense, and therefore carries with it a latent homophobic charge. The association of sophistication with a form of urbane and knowing behaviour gets reinforced “every time advertising and journalism, loathing as they do the pretentious and the trendy, derisively dangle before their audience the perennially unpopular figure of the snooty (ie gay) salesman in the upscale boutique.” Pretension implies affectation. People are not acting like themselves, rather, their lying urbanity is trampling all over your plain-speaking truth.

Canola Oil Transfats, etc

06/08/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General


Oil Trans Content (%)
Soybean* 0.4-2.1%
Walnut* 2.0-3.9%
Sunflower 1.1%
Canola* 1.9-3.6%
Olive 0.5%
PH soybean oil** 43.6-50.2%

A consequence of transforming some of the natural unsaturated fatty acids to trans-fat during the deodorization step is a reduction in the content of beneficial ω-3fatty acids.

  • Heating bleached canola oil at 220°C for ten hours reduces the content of linolenic acid by almost 20% (5). Keep in mind that canola oil sold in the supermarket still contains 9-11% natural ω-3linolenic acid.

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