mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Salena Zito drove down U.S. 30, also known as the Lincoln Highway, to get in touch with "America's heartland".

Yet it remains the best route to America’s heartland, populated by voters whose moods elude most pundits in this election cycle. These are people disconnected from New York’s cosmopolitan pace or Washington’s political elites. They value small-town connections to family, community and livelihoods; they rarely consider moving, despite a lack of opportunity.

Here's what she didn't mention:  80% of Americans live in urban areas.  Quoting from an article on the 2010 census:

In 2010, a total of 80.7 percent of Americans lived in urban areas, up from 79 percent in 2000.  Conversely, 19.3 percent of the U.S. population lived in rural areas in 2010, down from 21 percent in 2000. At the same time, the population of urban areas grew by 12.1 percent, much faster than the country's growth rate of 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010.

So, contrary to her narrative, these people are moving -- or, rather, the people she's interviewing don't, for obvious reasons, represent the entire historic populations of their towns.   

The idea comes down from Jefferson, the idea that the farmer is the true, unspoiled American that the rest of us should be inspired by.   It's a silly idea, and has been silly from Jefferson to today.   When pundits aren't laying down the law based on the people they know in the big coastal cities, they vacillate between sneering at everybody else and praising the people who lead the lives they don't understand.  (Helloo, David Brooks.)   

Smalltown, USA still exists, and people live there and enjoy it.  But it's not the real America, any more than New Hampshire is real America.  It's an America, but one that should be neither exalted nor despised.   Most of us live in the cities, and we've chosen to do so.   We're real, whether we're in Indianapolis or Charlotte or, yes, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York.

The lesbian Tejana in San Antonio is as real and true and representative as the middle-aged white guy in Chappell, Nebraska.  
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)

Peninsula a surprise find south of S.F.

CARL NOLTE: Dyed-in-the-wool San Franciscans are famous snobs. It’s New York without the attitude. So it was with some hesitation that we joined a gastronomic expedition to the Peninsula.

Apart from the incoherence of the writing -- snobs, but without the attitude? -- the idea that good food stops at Daly City cuts Nolte off from any chef or cook (or customer) who can't afford the rents in the City. I've had some magnificent Ethiopian in San Jose, for instance. If you insist on formality, Chez TJ in Mountain View has had a Michelin star for seven years now.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
The Anita Borg Institute published an article encouraging women to edit Wikipedia. [e: Whoops, broken link. Fixed.]

The first section, about creating an account, contains the following advice:

Do not use obviously feminine names, such as SuzyQ or Pam I Am.

Do not use feminine titles like Miss, Ms, or Mrs.

Do not incorporate hobbies, interests, family status, religious affiliation, etc. For example, Knit Nut, Fairly Feminist, and Lovemykids are not the best usernames if you want to avoid Wikipedia gender-based harassment.


Another casual comment: "Edit summaries are supposed to be civil and about content, but bully editors abuse them. " What do you do if that happens?

A friendly or neutral-sounding edit summary (look for the words “good faith” or “AGF”) indicates you can safely proceed to discuss the revert. However, if the edit summary uses “you” or “your” aggressively; Wikipedia jargon (that an experienced editor knows a new user would not understand); or obvious insults (often in the form of questions such as, “Are you kidding me?”), it is time to disengage and decide what to do next.

If you thrive (or at least know how to survive) in such a situation, read up on the consensus-building process and go for it. However, if you feel uneasy, either abandon that article and move on to another, or seek help at the Wikipedia Teahouse.


I am bitter and tired, I admit this, but I genuinely don't see why women should invest their scarce time and resources in contributing to a public resource, no matter how valuable, that tolerates the behavior described.

Edit: I missed this gem.
perhaps join the Wikipedia Gender Gap Task Force (GGTF). The task force has been breached by some editors whose motives for participating are questionable, but not all men on GGTF are thugs, just as not all women there are friends. Many rational, civil editors on the task force really do want to discuss and narrow the gender gap.

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