Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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Hugh Akston
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

Post by Hugh Akston »

Painboy wrote:
24 Oct 2019, 22:43
I'd have to see more evidence to really come round to it but it's an interesting thought.

How single men and women are making politics more extreme
The more freedom we have, the more there will be very feminine and masculine subcultures too, and this might explain a great deal of recent political developments — in particular the campus identity politics movement and the alt-right. The former is heavily female, while the latter is overwhelmingly male — in fact, not just male, but populated by men who seem to have difficulties with women.
That article feels like the result of feeding NRO, the Federalist, Bloomberg, the New Yorker, and Teen Vogue into a chatbot programmed to write thinkpieces.
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JD
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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Painboy wrote:
24 Oct 2019, 22:43
I'd have to see more evidence to really come round to it but it's an interesting thought.

How single men and women are making politics more extreme
The more freedom we have, the more there will be very feminine and masculine subcultures too, and this might explain a great deal of recent political developments — in particular the campus identity politics movement and the alt-right. The former is heavily female, while the latter is overwhelmingly male — in fact, not just male, but populated by men who seem to have difficulties with women.
Interesting but it also strikes me as a bit of a just-so story. I do think there might be something there, but the author doesn't really present any evidence per se for his theory, just kind of says "this seems reasonable, therefore it is settled."
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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JD wrote:
25 Oct 2019, 10:22
Painboy wrote:
24 Oct 2019, 22:43
I'd have to see more evidence to really come round to it but it's an interesting thought.

How single men and women are making politics more extreme
The more freedom we have, the more there will be very feminine and masculine subcultures too, and this might explain a great deal of recent political developments — in particular the campus identity politics movement and the alt-right. The former is heavily female, while the latter is overwhelmingly male — in fact, not just male, but populated by men who seem to have difficulties with women.
Interesting but it also strikes me as a bit of a just-so story. I do think there might be something there, but the author doesn't really present any evidence per se for his theory, just kind of says "this seems reasonable, therefore it is settled."
Yeah it's not a very well written article. It's one of those articles that I'm like "Well this is an interesting idea. Let's see what you've got to support - oh the articles over already."

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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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I didn't know about the invention of the button leading to more form-fitting and gendered clothes (though in retrospect this makes sense and ties in with other oddball bits of historical trivia I've gleaned over the years -- Puritans and other flavors of Christian saying that "buttons are a vanity," for example; I'd always figured that was a reference to buttons that were decorative in addition to being functional, not to "buttoned clothes" in general).
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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I don't think the Puritans objected to buttons on those grounds but on the grounds that they were expensive affectations when perfectly good tie-strings could get the job done.

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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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It's kind of weird that buttons showed up so late (Wikipedia says "Functional buttons with buttonholes for fastening or closing clothes appeared first in Germany in the 13th century") considering that it's not like they require any particular technology or precision to make. It sounds like they went in and out of favor for centuries before taking their current form.
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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D.A. Ridgely wrote:
25 Oct 2019, 14:36
I don't think the Puritans objected to buttons on those grounds but on the grounds that they were expensive affectations when perfectly good tie-strings could get the job done.
Could very well be, although -- speaking as someone who admittedly has no idea how to actually take pieces of fabric and transform them into clothing -- it seems that, regarding something like a button-on shirt, tie strings would not hold them together nearly so well as even basic buttons (specifically if the goal is for the clothes to be form-fitting and flattering as opposed to merely "keep the clothes on without them falling off."
JD wrote:
25 Oct 2019, 15:02
It's kind of weird that buttons showed up so late (Wikipedia says "Functional buttons with buttonholes for fastening or closing clothes appeared first in Germany in the 13th century") considering that it's not like they require any particular technology or precision to make.
Quibble -- this is something I know from reading the "Little House" book where teenage Laura Ingalls gets a paid job sewing shirts for bachelor men who lacked wives to foist the task upon -- buttons don't require much technology but they required a SHITLOAD of precision to add to clothes, especially when everything was made by hand. Laura wrote how she thought making buttonholes was the worst aspect of sewing (and she hated the task so much that she learned to do it quickly and efficiently solely so she could get it over with ASAP) -- there's no margin of error because, if you cut just ONE thread too many the hole will be too big to hold the button in place, and just ONE thread too few and the hole would be too small for the button to fit through.

Which, come to think of it, completely contradicts my earlier stated theory a la "Huh, I'd think only *decorative* buttons were a vanity" -- even plain ugly buttons still require a major expense in labor to make -- or at least, there's a lot of work required to make the holes through which to put those buttons.
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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Jennifer wrote:
25 Oct 2019, 15:37
JD wrote:
25 Oct 2019, 15:02
It's kind of weird that buttons showed up so late (Wikipedia says "Functional buttons with buttonholes for fastening or closing clothes appeared first in Germany in the 13th century") considering that it's not like they require any particular technology or precision to make.
Quibble -- this is something I know from reading the "Little House" book where teenage Laura Ingalls gets a paid job sewing shirts for bachelor men who lacked wives to foist the task upon -- buttons don't require much technology but they required a SHITLOAD of precision to add to clothes, especially when everything was made by hand. Laura wrote how she thought making buttonholes was the worst aspect of sewing (and she hated the task so much that she learned to do it quickly and efficiently solely so she could get it over with ASAP) -- there's no margin of error because, if you cut just ONE thread too many the hole will be too big to hold the button in place, and just ONE thread too few and the hole would be too small for the button to fit through.
I'll ask my wife for her opinion on buttonholes, although I was also thinking of toggles as a kind of proto-button. I wouldn't have thought that making buttonholes was particularly more precision-requiring than many other kinds of sewing work. Today, of course, you can quite literally put a piece of fabric in a sewing machine, choose one of fifteen buttonhole styles, then hit "go" and have it do the whole thing for you. (Then in eighteen months you can just throw the entire machine away when it breaks down and the shop informs you it cannot be repaired any cheaper than just buying a whole new one.)
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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I often think about lifestyle choices that create day to day experiences sufficiently different that those in that mode of living simply don’t understand those living in other ways. Race may be one of these - that’s the charge anyway. Sex and orientation. Class. But other stuff too. I suspect city mouse/country mouse is a very large divide. Kids/no kids. Married long term / single long term. Spenders/Savers.

I think the right view of intersectionality is about ways of living in a broader sense and I think politics is much about filtering these lifestyle tribes through the shitty preference aggregator that is democracy in a two party system.

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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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JD wrote:
25 Oct 2019, 15:45
Jennifer wrote:
25 Oct 2019, 15:37
JD wrote:
25 Oct 2019, 15:02
It's kind of weird that buttons showed up so late (Wikipedia says "Functional buttons with buttonholes for fastening or closing clothes appeared first in Germany in the 13th century") considering that it's not like they require any particular technology or precision to make.
Quibble -- this is something I know from reading the "Little House" book where teenage Laura Ingalls gets a paid job sewing shirts for bachelor men who lacked wives to foist the task upon -- buttons don't require much technology but they required a SHITLOAD of precision to add to clothes, especially when everything was made by hand. Laura wrote how she thought making buttonholes was the worst aspect of sewing (and she hated the task so much that she learned to do it quickly and efficiently solely so she could get it over with ASAP) -- there's no margin of error because, if you cut just ONE thread too many the hole will be too big to hold the button in place, and just ONE thread too few and the hole would be too small for the button to fit through.
I'll ask my wife for her opinion on buttonholes, although I was also thinking of toggles as a kind of proto-button. I wouldn't have thought that making buttonholes was particularly more precision-requiring than many other kinds of sewing work. Today, of course, you can quite literally put a piece of fabric in a sewing machine, choose one of fifteen buttonhole styles, then hit "go" and have it do the whole thing for you. (Then in eighteen months you can just throw the entire machine away when it breaks down and the shop informs you it cannot be repaired any cheaper than just buying a whole new one.)
No doubt buttonholes (and clothing in general) is definitely one of those things which, for us today, are literal orders of magnitude cheaper than for people back in the day, solely because machines do the bulk of once-human labor -- the number of perfect buttonholes that machine can cut and sew in a single day is likely more than the number of perfect buttonholes Laura could've made in a decade, even had she done nothing else during that time.

But -- speaking as someone with no personal experience hand-sewing -- it does sound reasonable that making buttonholes would require more precision that other types of hand-sewing, because of the "all or nothing" aspect -- either the button DOES fit through the hole and remain in place, in which case it's doing its job; or it does NOT fit or will NOT stay fastened, in which case it's useless (and depending on where that particular button is located, that one useless button might well render the entire garment useless).

Compare that to, for example, "The garment itself is a little too big, or a little too small" -- a too-big garment is still eminently wearable, though perhaps not as attractive on you, nor as suitable for certain "professional" or "dress to impress" occasions. And a garment that's just a little bit too tight (not "You're in danger of bursting the seams," more "Things are pressing into you just a bit") is uncomfortable to wear, and equally not-ideal for dress-to-impress occasions, but at least remains a functional garment in terms of protecting you from the elements and covering the bits required to avoid illegal-indecent-exposure problems. Ditto for things like "These sleeves or pant legs are a little too long or too short" -- you can still make SOME use of that garment. Indeed, if "too long" is the problem, that's super-easy (though a tad time-consuming) to fix if you already have the basic sewing skills. But apparently you can't get ANY use of a buttonhole that's even a little too big or a little too small for its button; you absolutely NEED to have a Goldilocks "just right" insistence.
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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JD wrote:
25 Oct 2019, 15:02
It's kind of weird that buttons showed up so late (Wikipedia says "Functional buttons with buttonholes for fastening or closing clothes appeared first in Germany in the 13th century") considering that it's not like they require any particular technology or precision to make. It sounds like they went in and out of favor for centuries before taking their current form.
It seems to me (without looking anything up for actual facts) that sewing button holes is a whole lot more time consuming than sewing tie strings, when everything is sewn completely by hand.

And then the millwork on a fine scale required to make a lot of individual buttons when there was no such thing as mass production.
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Kolohe wrote:
30 Oct 2019, 18:54
JD wrote:
25 Oct 2019, 15:02
It's kind of weird that buttons showed up so late (Wikipedia says "Functional buttons with buttonholes for fastening or closing clothes appeared first in Germany in the 13th century") considering that it's not like they require any particular technology or precision to make. It sounds like they went in and out of favor for centuries before taking their current form.
It seems to me (without looking anything up for actual facts) that sewing button holes is a whole lot more time consuming than sewing tie strings, when everything is sewn completely by hand.

And then the millwork on a fine scale required to make a lot of individual buttons when there was no such thing as mass production.
Yeah, this. I think we forget how, for example, housing nails once had to be made by hand and that people used to burn old buildings to the ground, then scavenge the ashes to recycle the nails. And fastening clothing or anything else by cord is just intuitive. Someone has to go to some lengths intellectually to come up with buttons and buttonholes that are just the right size and in just the right places.

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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

Post by Jennifer »

Semi-related: I wonder how much time passed, between humanity's invention of fabric clothing (as opposed to wearing tanned animal hides), and the invention of the sartorial standard "The clothing you wear ought to be smooth rather than wrinkled"?
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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BTW, I asked my wife, and she did confirm that making proper buttonholes is a lot of work, so much so that there are even master-level classes solely in how to do it properly.
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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Jennifer wrote:
31 Oct 2019, 16:06
Semi-related: I wonder how much time passed, between humanity's invention of fabric clothing (as opposed to wearing tanned animal hides), and the invention of the sartorial standard "The clothing you wear ought to be smooth rather than wrinkled"?
Hmm, good question. The Chinese were ironing clothes a thousand years ago, but I don't know about ancient times.

I wouldn't expect it to come about before the first cities and social stratification, though.
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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Image
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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Can't remember if this has been posted here before, but I thought it was interesting. Basically, millennials are doing fine in absolute terms, but relative to other groups and to history, not as well as you would expect. They seem to have been hit particularly badly by the post-2000 economic slump and the crash of 2008, and I wonder if some of their continuing weakness has to do with that one-two punch coming early in their careers, leaving them a step behind out of the starting gate, to mix metaphors. The graph is not terribly precise, but it looks like something similar might have happened in the 1970s, where younger groups were more affected than older ones.

Image

source: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/11/millenn ... oblem.html
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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The lumping of age groups creates interesting effects. Wages for gen z are quickly rising and a certain band of millennials - roughly those hitting the job market from 2007-2009 are uniquely far behind, while younger and older millennial college graduates are not nearly as bad off. Further the spread between fully completed 4 year degree and those who did not is uniquely bad for millennials. So the whole story is more like wages for college graduate more or less continue to hold up after a pause in the 2007-2009 period. There is a long running trend of wages for HS only workers stagnating or declining.

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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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JasonL wrote:
13 Nov 2019, 11:03
The lumping of age groups creates interesting effects. Wages for gen z are quickly rising and a certain band of millennials - roughly those hitting the job market from 2007-2009 are uniquely far behind, while younger and older millennial college graduates are not nearly as bad off. Further the spread between fully completed 4 year degree and those who did not is uniquely bad for millennials. So the whole story is more like wages for college graduate more or less continue to hold up after a pause in the 2007-2009 period. There is a long running trend of wages for HS only workers stagnating or declining.
Don't suppose you break apart 4-6-8 degrees and STEM vs Lib Arts?
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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You can, but I don't have that within age bands on anything I've seen. The story as I understand it is STEM wages are higher out of the gate but corporate LibArts do better late career.

paywall: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/20/busi ... aries.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/dereknewto ... 1fe3e42539

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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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I have a pet theory too, that I'd like to see some kind of historical analysis on - I think there has been dramatic inflation in expected wages for graduates over the past decades. I remember talking to many members of the OWS graduate cohort back then - they had expectations of $70k for any 4 year degree right out of the gate. Going back to right before the financial crisis, they were still 30% or more overestimating real earnings potential. I have this theory that one of the things driving ok boomerism is the expectations gap for that group when they hit not only the reality of wages, but the reality of wages in a bad recession. They went from being 30% unrealistic to 50% unrealistic. Business majors notoriously have the biggest gap between expectations and reality. They tend to view themselves as having come out of harvard business school even though they are BAs at State U.

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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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Here at State U. we tell them that all degrees are equally valuable, all educations are equally good, and the prestige hierarchy is built on lies. There are germs of truth in that: An inflated grade at Harvard might not mean you learned very much, and you can always bust your ass to learn more than expected at State U. The prestige hierarchy is built on a whole lot of bullshit. But some of that bullshit is just the noise surrounding the signal. Some of that noise shouldn't be valuable but is and them's the breaks.

But spend enough time lying to them, and a few poor fools might actually believe it.
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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JD wrote:
13 Nov 2019, 10:40
Can't remember if this has been posted here before, but I thought it was interesting. Basically, millennials are doing fine in absolute terms, but relative to other groups and to history, not as well as you would expect. They seem to have been hit particularly badly by the post-2000 economic slump and the crash of 2008, and I wonder if some of their continuing weakness has to do with that one-two punch coming early in their careers, leaving them a step behind out of the starting gate, to mix metaphors. The graph is not terribly precise, but it looks like something similar might have happened in the 1970s, where younger groups were more affected than older ones.

Image

source: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/11/millenn ... oblem.html
Comparing the ratios:
1967 - 42700/58000 = 80.87%
2017 - 69000/85800 = 80.42%

I'm not seeing a great difference there.
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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Aresen wrote:
13 Nov 2019, 11:52
Comparing the ratios:
1967 - 42700/58000 = 80.87% wtf: I think you meant 52,800 here instead of 58000, although your math is correct for 52,800
2017 - 69000/85800 = 80.42%

I'm not seeing a great difference there.
I agree, but I also think there's some significance to the fact that they went from being the middle tier, making 105% of the lowest group's income, to being the lowest tier, making about 89% of the next-highest group's income. And of all three groups, they've had the lowest income growth, increasing by only about 61.6% over the time span, as opposed to 62.5% for the 38-53 age group and 72.8% for the 54-72 age group. That last bit does actually make it look like Boomers have taken a disproportionate share of the increase in wealth, which gives me a little more sympathy for Millennials.
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Re: Fragments of an avotoast anthropology

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I'm curious what scaling for a 3 person household means. That would seem to make older generations appear poorer because the households were bigger, but at the same time, raising kids was cheaper back in the day.
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