Author: Crissie Brown

Morning Feature: A Jihadi Failure (Meta-Monday)

Usually Monday is a light day.  I joke about the faculty of Blogistan Polytechnic Institute recovering from their weekend, as a segue into what’s on tap for Morning Feature in the coming week.  I’m not sure what’s on tap for Morning Feature this week.  I had a plan last Monday, but given President Obama’s announcement last Tuesday the rest of the week turned to exploring legal decisions by Judge Sonia Sotomayor. So today I’ll note what I do know about the week ahead, and then offer a few words on jihad, the Islamic word for “struggle,” and why I think the anti-abortion fanatic who murdered a doctor in Kansas has failed in that struggle. First, as always, let’s recognize and thank last week’s diarists.  Last Tuesday, gulfgal98 offered a wonderful discussion of state tax policy in Low Taxes – Pennywise and Pound Foolish?  Amazingly, this was her first diary.  I say amazingly because it so well-written you’d think she wrote these every day.  Last Wednesday our Professor of Mediamaternity, theKgirls, explored some contemporary parenting challenges in Kids and the Media.  It was an articulate and challenging essay.  If you missed either, take a moment to read them and let our guest diarists know you appreciate their efforts. This week our Professor of Mathematical Geekology, plf515, returns with a discussion of P-Value and the Cult of Significance.  Don’t let the...

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Morning Feature: Fair, Not Fair, or Unfair? (Homo narratus, Part IV – Non-Cynical Saturday)

“That’s just unfair,” Springoff the First said as he saw the Four of Clubs. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard one of my kids claim something was unfair.  We’ve all heard it.  We’ve all said it.  Here on DKos, hardly a day passes without someone writing about fairness, whether explicitly or implicitly.  We say it when life hasn’t given us or someone else what we think they deserve, for good or ill.  It happens often enough that you’d think the universe is fundamentally unfair.  But is it? (More) Fair, Not Fair, or Unfair? This week we’ve explored Homo narratus, humans as a storytelling species.  We not only like to tell stories; it’s fair to say use stories to organize stimuli into experience.  And sometimes the stories we use cause us problems. We began by exploring two common forms of human storytelling.  Wednesday we looked at age-and-change narratives, those “When I was your age” stories we endured as children and now make our children and grandchildren endure.  Thursday we had fun with geographic hardiness narratives, where regions compete for who endures the worst of Mother Nature’s offerings.  Yesterday we looked at pessimistic “the story of my life” narratives, and how they can lead us into self-fulfilling prophecies.  Today we look at fairness narratives. “The summer of poker.” Casa Crissie got swept up in the poker craze along with the...

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Morning Feature: Borrowing Jacks (Homo narratus, Part III)

I’m sure it’s happened to you.  You’ve sitting at home in your farmhouse in East Outer Blogistan, no one around for miles and miles, save for your spouse, significant other, roommate-who’s-just-a-friend-really, or your woozle or pootie.  It’s late at night but that’s okay because you and the aforementioned played a game of Monopoly all the way to the end.  If the aforementioned was a woozle or pootie, you probably won.  Still, you’re surprised to hear a loud, long knocking at your door.  “I’ll see who it is,” you say pleasantly.  You pull on the fuzzy slippers – not the ones with the kooky eyes on springs, but the other ones that don’t make you look quite so silly – and pad downstairs.  You get to the door and…. Trust me, it’s happened to you.  Just as your intrepid Kossologist is sure this week’s Kossascope will happen to you, or someone.  It’s in the stars, after all. (More) Borrowing Jacks This week we’re exploring Homo narratus, humans as a storytelling species.  We not only like to tell stories; it’s fair to say use stories to organize stimuli into experience.  As we’ll see today, that can be a problem when we try to predict the ending of a story we’re still living. We began by exploring two common forms of human storytelling.  Wednesday we looked at age-and-change narratives, those “When I...

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Morning Feature: You Think It’s Tough Where You Live? (Homo narratus, Part II)

Yeah, so you get the occasional dusting of snow.  Or you can’t get to the grocery because the roads are clogged with scientists tourists hoping to shoot video of a tornado that will end up on TV.  Maybe the ground wiggles once in awhile.  But here in South Blogistan, we’re gearing up for another hurricane season.  You want tough?  Lemme tell you about the time the wind drove a hibiscus blossom right through a reinforced concrete wall. (More) You Think It’s Tough Where You Live? This week we’re exploring Homo narratus, humans as a storytelling species.  We not only like to tell stories; it’s fair to say use stories to organize stimuli into experience.  As we’ll see tomorrow, that can be a problem when we try to predict the ending of a story we’re still living. But that’s for tomorrow.  First we’re exploring two common forms of human storytelling.  We began yesterday with age-and-change narratives, those “When I was your age” stories we endured as children and now make our children and grandchildren endure.  Today we look at geographic hardiness narratives, where regions compete for who endures the worst of Mother Nature’s offerings. In keeping with my classmate Aristotle’s suggestion that rhetorical forms are best explored in the form’s own medium, we’re exploring these stories with stories.  Which is to say, yesterday we told “When I was your age”...

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Morning Feature: When I Was Your Age (Homo narratus, Part I)

We human beings love to tell stories.  Well, we used to.  Back when I was your age we did.  We’d sit around the front porch … no wait, this was back before front porches.  We’d sit in the street in front of … no wait, this was back before streets.  We’d sit in the dirt … no wait, this was in the days before dirt.  Heck, sitting was a new invention back then.  My parents stood through their entire childhoods….(More) When I Was Your Age This week we’ll explore Homo narratus, humans as a storytelling species.  We not only like to tell stories; it’s fair to say use stories to organize stimuli into experience.  As we’ll explore later in the week, that can be a problem when we’re trying to predict the ending of a story we’re still living. But that’s for later in the week.  First we’ll explore two common forms of human storytelling.  We’ll start today with age-and-change narratives, those “When I was your age” stories we endured as children and now make our children and grandchildren endure.  Tomorrow we’ll look at geographic hardiness narratives, where regions compete for who endures the worst of Mother Nature’s offerings. In keeping with my classmate Aristotle’s suggestion that rhetorical forms are best explored in the form’s own medium, we’ll explore these stories with stories.  Which is to say, today we’ll...

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