In other news... (humorous news items)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Echo244 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:38 am UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:Seems like there's nothing that can't be turned into some kind of shit-slinging festival between opposing hordes of assholes.
While I am sure neither side is comprised entirely of long-suffering saints, it is disappointing that you automatically assume both sides are equally in the wrong here without knowing much about the events at all.


Amen to this.

When it comes to not judging the classics with awe, remember we're doing so from a position surrounded by more modern works that have learned from the classics, refined things, and better tailored themselves to resonate with a modern audience, their lives, concerns and society. Yes, they may not seem to shine as brightly to us - the themes may be old and dull, or not speak to our current lives, and there's probably a more engaging and more recent work that borrows much of a classic - but it's unfair to dismiss them entirely without examining the historical context and meanings.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:53 am UTC

Echo244 wrote:When it comes to not judging the classics with awe, remember we're doing so from a position surrounded by more modern works that have learned from the classics, refined things, and better tailored themselves to resonate with a modern audience, their lives, concerns and society. Yes, they may not seem to shine as brightly to us - the themes may be old and dull, or not speak to our current lives, and there's probably a more engaging and more recent work that borrows much of a classic - but it's unfair to dismiss them entirely without examining the historical context and meanings.

Agreed. What I was saying before about the classics being a mixed bag was from the point of view of someone reading them purely for personal enjoyment. I would consider it nigh on irrefutable that many of them (including ones that I don't personally enjoy reading) are seminal achievements in literature, when considered in their historical context.

Edit: I also wanted to note that lovers of fantasy and science fiction dismissing the classics is to some extent an understandable reaction, as a pushback against the long-repeated narrative (which thankfully is being challenged now) that fantasy and SF are not "serious literature". That's despite many of the classics being works of fantasy (and I would argue that sci fi is basically fantasy with technology replacing mythology). Think of A Midsummer's Nights Dream, The Tempest, Gulliver's Travels, the majority of Italian Romantic opera (I hope I've got the right period there :oops:), Beowulf, the Iliad, Faust etc. etc. - all fantasy.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:23 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:Seems like there's nothing that can't be turned into some kind of shit-slinging festival between opposing hordes of assholes.
While I am sure neither side is comprised entirely of long-suffering saints, it is disappointing that you automatically assume both sides are equally in the wrong here without knowing much about the events at all.

I should've been a bit clearer - I meant that bit as a general observation on how these political dramafests go down, not as a specific commentary on the thing at the Hugos. It just kind of blurred into my disappointment to see a venerable institution like that get dragged into this kind of thing.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Mutex » Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:23 pm UTC

UK Conservative Party continues to ignore scientific evidence

The government's official reply admits legalising [cannabis] could boost the taxman but says there would be other costs around enforcing the rules.

It adds the UK's drug policy is clear, saying: "Substantial scientific evidence shows cannabis is a harmful drug that can damage human health.

"There are no plans to legalise cannabis as it would not address the harm to individuals and communities.

"Cannabis can unquestionably cause harm to individuals and society.

"Legalisation of cannabis would not eliminate the crime committed by the illicit trade, nor would it address the harms associated with drug dependence and the misery that this can cause to families."


So any drug that has the potential to cause harm to your health should be illegal. Glad to discover alcohol is legal because it's utterly free of any health risks. Also interesting that he said legalisation wouldn't eliminate the illicit trade, rather than saying it wouldn't greatly diminish it. Because, presumably, it would greatly diminish illicit trade, but apparently if one dealer in the country is still selling cannabis illegally after legalisation it was all for nothing.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby PeteP » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:04 pm UTC

Btw to AM again, apparently there weren't just fewer profiles from woman, those that existed were almost entirely fake. http://www.extremetech.com/internet/213019-new-analysis-shows-over-99-percent-of-the-women-on-ashley-madison-were-fake

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:42 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:UK Conservative Party continues to ignore scientific evidence

The government's official reply admits legalising [cannabis] could boost the taxman but says there would be other costs around enforcing the rules.

It adds the UK's drug policy is clear, saying: "Substantial scientific evidence shows cannabis is a harmful drug that can damage human health.

"There are no plans to legalise cannabis as it would not address the harm to individuals and communities.

"Cannabis can unquestionably cause harm to individuals and society.

"Legalisation of cannabis would not eliminate the crime committed by the illicit trade, nor would it address the harms associated with drug dependence and the misery that this can cause to families."


So any drug that has the potential to cause harm to your health should be illegal. Glad to discover alcohol is legal because it's utterly free of any health risks. Also interesting that he said legalisation wouldn't eliminate the illicit trade, rather than saying it wouldn't greatly diminish it. Because, presumably, it would greatly diminish illicit trade, but apparently if one dealer in the country is still selling cannabis illegally after legalisation it was all for nothing.


The Conservatives' stance on drugs is unutterably stupid*. There was a plan by them to ban consuming any psychoactive substance, with a few exemptions (e.g. nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and approved drugs), this AFAIK was quietly shelved (it may still be on the cards - I just haven't heard anything new about it) when the press pointed out that using their definition of psychoactive substance this ban would cover both food and the scent of flowers.

There was a specific exemption made for homeopathic remedies, which ironically are one of the few things consumed by humans that don't have any psychoactive effect as they define it (or indeed any other effect, other than a placebo one).

article here

*Well from logical, ethical, economic, social and scientific viewpoints it is - from the point of view of winning votes it seems to be excellently thought out.
Last edited by Quercus on Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:46 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:45 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:There was a plan by them to ban consuming any psychoactive substance...There was a specific exemption made for homeopathic remedies,


The stupid....it hurts.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby speising » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:49 pm UTC

Are placebos psychoactive substances?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:53 pm UTC

speising wrote:Are placebos psychoactive substances?


Well, under any sensible definition, no, under their definition, debatable:-

the draft psychoactive substances act wrote:... a substance produces a psychoactive effect in a person if, by stimulating or depressing the person's central nervous system, it affects the person's mental functioning or emotional state.

I suppose it hinges on whether it is the substance that can be said to be affecting the central nervous system, rather than merely the person's beliefs about the substance


Edit: I've just noticed that the article also points out that selling petrol would be illegal under this act (as petrol is a psychoactive substance, and not listed as an exemption), which on the plus side would be the largest contribution the Conservative party has ever made towards tackling climate change.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:37 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:Edit: I also wanted to note that lovers of fantasy and science fiction dismissing the classics is to some extent an understandable reaction, as a pushback against the long-repeated narrative (which thankfully is being challenged now) that fantasy and SF are not "serious literature". That's despite many of the classics being works of fantasy (and I would argue that sci fi is basically fantasy with technology replacing mythology). Think of A Midsummer's Nights Dream, The Tempest, Gulliver's Travels, the majority of Italian Romantic opera (I hope I've got the right period there :oops:), Beowulf, the Iliad, Faust etc. etc. - all fantasy.


There's a number of things which can carry a story.

A very incomplete list: Plot, characters, writing style, world building, rule building, devices.

A lot of the classics are almost entirely carried by writing style and characters. They may be better written but what they're writing about can be like listening to a beautifully orated story about doing the weekly shopping when not very much happened.

SF tends to have more devices, rule building and world building.

Introduce a magical box and see what it might do to the world.
Introduce a set of rules and combine them to see how they play out.
Discover the worlds rules along with the characters.

Some writers like Niven thrive on introducing some magical mcguffin then playing with how it might influence society but are often not great with characters or actual writing style. Indeed that's most of his known space series.

Fantasy tends to be carried by rule building and/or worldbuilding. Creating a lore, a history and filling the world or placing a magic system into the world and seeing how people might use it.
Robert Jordan subsisted almost entirely on worldbuilding despite fans getting visibly irate when describing the physical experience of reading some of his books.

Greg egan is a master of rule discovery stories where you get to ride along as the characters decode the rules of the world.

It's hard to succeed if your writing style is absolutely terrible but you can get away with more as a fantasy writer if you can create worlds that people want to explore, devices people want to play with and rules they want to understand.

Many of the classics have pisspoor worldbuilding, they tend to just be plonked into the real world or some existing fantasy world and devices tend to only be there if they ever are as moral lessons in not meddling.

So it's not surprising that they rarely attract the same fans.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:43 pm UTC

In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby eran_rathan » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:15 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
Quercus wrote:Edit: I also wanted to note that lovers of fantasy and science fiction dismissing the classics is to some extent an understandable reaction, as a pushback against the long-repeated narrative (which thankfully is being challenged now) that fantasy and SF are not "serious literature". That's despite many of the classics being works of fantasy (and I would argue that sci fi is basically fantasy with technology replacing mythology). Think of A Midsummer's Nights Dream, The Tempest, Gulliver's Travels, the majority of Italian Romantic opera (I hope I've got the right period there :oops:), Beowulf, the Iliad, Faust etc. etc. - all fantasy.


There's a number of things which can carry a story.

A very incomplete list: Plot, characters, writing style, world building, rule building, devices.

A lot of the classics are almost entirely carried by writing style and characters. They may be better written but what they're writing about can be like listening to a beautifully orated story about doing the weekly shopping when not very much happened.

SF tends to have more devices, rule building and world building.

Introduce a magical box and see what it might do to the world.
Introduce a set of rules and combine them to see how they play out.
Discover the worlds rules along with the characters.

Some writers like Niven thrive on introducing some magical mcguffin then playing with how it might influence society but are often not great with characters or actual writing style. Indeed that's most of his known space series.

Fantasy tends to be carried by rule building and/or worldbuilding. Creating a lore, a history and filling the world or placing a magic system into the world and seeing how people might use it.
Robert Jordan subsisted almost entirely on worldbuilding despite fans getting visibly irate when describing the physical experience of reading some of his books.

Greg egan is a master of rule discovery stories where you get to ride along as the characters decode the rules of the world.

It's hard to succeed if your writing style is absolutely terrible but you can get away with more as a fantasy writer if you can create worlds that people want to explore, devices people want to play with and rules they want to understand.

Many of the classics have pisspoor worldbuilding, they tend to just be plonked into the real world or some existing fantasy world and devices tend to only be there if they ever are as moral lessons in not meddling.

So it's not surprising that they rarely attract the same fans.


I don't know, George RR Martin seems to have gotten pretty far on rather mediocre writing skills.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:19 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:There's a number of things which can carry a story.

A very incomplete list: Plot, characters, writing style, world building, rule building, devices.

A lot of the classics are almost entirely carried by writing style and characters. They may be better written but what they're writing about can be like listening to a beautifully orated story about doing the weekly shopping when not very much happened.

SF tends to have more devices, rule building and world building.

That seems like a good summary (the whole post, but it's a bit long to quote all of it again).

Thinking about it personally the things which are most important to me are characters, world building and writing style, in that order (I mean, there has to be a plot, but I don't mind it being really slow paced or having very little action). I guess it's no surprise that I tend to gravitate to the more character-driven bits of SF and fantasy, and the more otherworldly bits of "literary" fiction.


eran_rathan wrote:I don't know, George RR Martin seems to have gotten pretty far on rather mediocre writing skills.

That's because his world-building is, well, out of this world.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Zamfir » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:38 am UTC

A lot of the classics are almost entirely carried by writing style and characters. They may be better written but what they're writing about can be like listening to a beautifully orated story about doing the weekly shopping when not very much happened.

There's something to this, but I wondered how widely it holds - 'classics' is a broad concept.

I looked at the last books read by the Classics club at goodreads. As an example what people in general think of as 'classics'.
This is a group to read and discuss those books generally referred to as “the classics” or “the Western canon.” Books which have shaped Western thought over the years; books which Robert Hutchins, in his essay for the Great Books of the Western World series, considered important works in “The Great Conversation.”


My subjective take ont he work of their list. I wonder if this matches other people's impressions.
Spoiler:
Currently reading: Goethe's Faust. Strong in the SF spirit. Introduces a magic-box concept, explores what it does to the world.

Next:
Poetry of TS Eliot. Not really stories, makes them hard to fit here. Also wrote a sociology of Cats ;-)
Pilgrim's Progress. Sf spirit again? Focus on world building, characters exist mainly as props to guide the readers through the world.
Ulysses. The James Joyce version. Definitely a book about doing the daily shoppping.
Shakespeare's Henry IV and V. Historic fiction, even in the day. Not much in the sf spirit, I think? But not about the minutiae of daily life either.
The golden ass. Work of fantasy (and porn)
War and Peace- historic fiction. Weak in the SF spirit and strong in the 'daily life and characters' spirit.
Ovid's metamorphoses. Fantasy again
Iliad and odyssey. Fantasy, especially the Odyssey is strong in the worldbuilding. though obviously, focus is much stornger on writing style than we would accept in a modern work
Du cote de chez Swann. A good match for 'daily life and characters'
Plato, The Republic. Close to genuine science fiction, I think. Even if it's really non-fiction. Very much world-building over characters or plot, with a hint of Greg Egan.
Philosophy of Boethius. Too strongly non-fiction for us.
Moby Dick - many, many pages about the daily life of whalers...
Canterbury Tales. Hmm, a difficult one. Some stories are fantastic, others are straight up daily life of characters.
Huckleberry Finn. Daily life again, plot exists mostly to explore the characters.
Orestes-trilogy of Aischylos. Technically fantasy, and not daily life at all. Somehow I am still tempted to put it in the daily-life and characters category. Like, the fantastic elements are merely stylistic elements.
Paradise Lost- not much doubt here
Middlemarch - the other extreme
Les Miserables - Very much daily life and characters, even if it doesn't strive for hard realism in either
Don Quixote - Hmm again. It's a book about swords-and-sourcery fantasy, and part of its appeal are the fantasied parts. But it is a character study of a guy who doesn't actually do much out of the ordinary. I could argue this either way.


It's arbitrary and subjective, but there's a clear trend: HungryHobo's characterization of classics works well for the recent novels on the list, but not so much for the older works. And those older works have a consistent streak of fantasy to them.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:31 pm UTC

I can't tell if my arbitrary and subjective takes match yours, because I can't tell if/when your observations are being ironic. Two examples:

You do know that Boethius makes Philosophy a personified female character who converses with him? I don't see how that can be characterized as strongly non-fiction. (And doesn't it constitute a sort of meta-fantasy when the author thinks that a book he writes during his imprisonment will keep him from being executed in real life? Which, sadly, didn't work out for Boethius.)

An argument might also be made that most of Middlemarch, although technically set in the real world, mostly takes place in various characters' heads, and therefore it is ultimately a fantasy novel, too. It explores the various ideas and ideals that the characters have about each other and about life in general, which rarely match up with reality. And yet some of those dreams of happiness are worth fighting for. Caution: if you think that the plot of a book only involves action, you'll spend hundreds of pages just waiting for something to happen, and you're going to find it a big drag. But if you can see the humor in the incongruities between clashing perceptions of the same (non-)events, you're in for a big treat.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:27 pm UTC

I hope the Hugo's work themselves out. Having said that, I'm not certain why I should care. I read what I like and Goodreads has become my filter of choice, alongside word of mouth. Bless all who read the classics, they bore me mostly.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HungryHobo » Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:32 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:An argument might also be made that most of Middlemarch, although technically set in the real world, mostly takes place in various characters' heads, and therefore it is ultimately a fantasy novel, too. It explores the various ideas and ideals that the characters have about each other and about life in general, which rarely match up with reality. And yet some of those dreams of happiness are worth fighting for. Caution: if you think that the plot of a book only involves action, you'll spend hundreds of pages just waiting for something to happen, and you're going to find it a big drag. But if you can see the humor in the incongruities between clashing perceptions of the same (non-)events, you're in for a big treat.


I'd hesitate to set such a wide definition of fantasy.
Simple fiction tends to be placed in the real world with mostly real mechanics and occasionally a tiny tiny dash of magic or religion.
Miss Marple does not exist but that doesn't make it scifi or fantasy, only fiction, ditto Sherlock Holmes.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ObsessoMom » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:58 pm UTC

Yes, you're quite right. I got more than a bit carried away there.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby addams » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:18 pm UTC


From way up there.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ntain.html

I don't know.
Is it funny?

Will it be safe for The Tourests?
What an amazing view.

What is that river in the distance?
I've seen trails that are only wide enough for one human foot.

I usually turn around and go back down.
They, because they can, are building a trail.

Human trails tend to be very wide.

Cows are a huge animal.
Cows have very narrow trails.

Why?
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We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:12 pm UTC

Commuters in Taiwan will start using prepaid travel cards featuring a photo of a Japanese porn actress from Tuesday, despite protests from politicians and parents.

Yui Hatano, one of Asia’s most popular adult movie actresses, will appear on limited-edition series two cards, which can be used on the metro and bus networks and at convenience stores in the capital Taipei. The distributor, EasyCard, said it would go ahead with the 1 September release of the “devil” edition of the card – even though it is considered the more risqué of the two designs. The company had earlier suggested it would halt production of all of the cards after complaints that they were inappropriate for children.

The firm said it would redesign the “angel” edition cards in which Hatano is dressed in white, after hearing “input from various parties” and put them on sale in the middle of the month. The redesign came after it was pointed out that the image had previously been used in Japan to promote one of Hatano’s movies.

Though neither card features pornographic images, the “devil” edition shows Hatano wearing an off-the-shoulder black dress and directing what some have described as a “sultry” look at the camera.

Taipei’s mayor, Ko Wen-je, said he could not understand what had motivated EasyCard’s new chairman, Tai Chi-chuan, to “make that kind of business judgement”.

The Want China Times news website quoted EasyCard as saying Hatano was trying to change her image, adding that the cards would “cheer up” commuters.


link

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:47 am UTC

On an interesting note related to the Ashley Madison story, it appears that most of the female users on the site were, in fact, sophisticated chatbots that would try to string the men along and ask them for money. According to the link above, the site actually probably best served women seeking affairs, and, in particular, women seeking other women for affairs, since the chatbots were written to specifically avoid those encounters and only approach the significantly greater numbers of heterosexual men, only a small fraction of whom would ever have had the opportunity to interact with a real woman. The article notes that the $250 "guaranteed affair" seems to have been set up to connect the client to a third-party escort service.

So, apparently Ashley Madison was able to pass the Turing Test.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:46 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:So, apparently Ashley Madison was able to pass the Turing Test.

More able to pass the "sounds plausible to someone who's really invested in that specific outcome anyway" test, really.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Adacore » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:32 pm UTC

Ashley Madison seems like pretty much the shadiest company I've ever heard about. Presumably the reason they set it up to target people who wanted affairs was based on the old mantra about it being much easier to con a criminal than an honest man - anyone who used Ashley Madison and felt it was a scam was unlikely to pursue it because they wouldn't want to admit using a dating site for people who wanted to have affairs. One bit I read on the chat bots was that they would string a man on when he was almost out of messages (which had to be purchased in bundles of 50 or 100), then just as he sent his last message, they'd suggest meeting up, so he'd have to buy another bundle to ask for details. Then the bot would never reply again, and he'd be messaged by a new bot later.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:21 am UTC

I really fail to see how massive fraud has not been committed here. The owners must be kicking themselves as they were a hair's breadth away from floating for ~$200m as well.

I assume the hack was at least partially an inside job by someone fairly outraged by the truth of what was going on here...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby jewish_scientist » Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:36 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Commuters in Taiwan will start using prepaid travel cards featuring a photo of a Japanese porn actress from Tuesday, despite protests from politicians and parents.

Yui Hatano, one of Asia’s most popular adult movie actresses, will appear on limited-edition series two cards, which can be used on the metro and bus networks and at convenience stores in the capital Taipei. The distributor, EasyCard, said it would go ahead with the 1 September release of the “devil” edition of the card – even though it is considered the more risqué of the two designs. The company had earlier suggested it would halt production of all of the cards after complaints that they were inappropriate for children.

The firm said it would redesign the “angel” edition cards in which Hatano is dressed in white, after hearing “input from various parties” and put them on sale in the middle of the month. The redesign came after it was pointed out that the image had previously been used in Japan to promote one of Hatano’s movies.

Though neither card features pornographic images, the “devil” edition shows Hatano wearing an off-the-shoulder black dress and directing what some have described as a “sultry” look at the camera.

Taipei’s mayor, Ko Wen-je, said he could not understand what had motivated EasyCard’s new chairman, Tai Chi-chuan, to “make that kind of business judgement”.

The Want China Times news website quoted EasyCard as saying Hatano was trying to change her image, adding that the cards would “cheer up” commuters.


link


This reminds me of a couple of commercials from McDonald's and Burger King*. They featured a women posing on a beach or on top of a car in... umm... let's just say that they would fit in this magazine. It just shocked me how modern companies were using what was considered pornography until recently so blatantly to make money. I know that in the modern world the idea of a company making money through morally questionable means is nothing new; what really hit me was the fact that it was socially and legally acceptable to show this type of content in a public setting. In addition, the legal branch of these companies are designed to prevent any lawsuits, and they still gave an o.k. to these commercials. They felt that there was no chance that any lawsuits or criminal charges would be filed. If material like this is considered acceptable, than what is not? How sexually explicit would a commercial need to be before McDonald's or Burger King got into trouble?


*In case some of you do not know, these are two shoe companies that are in a heated competition with each other. They specialize in tailored, leather shoes. One reason for there success is that they sell individual pieces of leather that the customer then sews into a shoe. This way it is guaranteed to fit. This may seem like a bother to the urban consumer, but the product makes up by its longevity; it has been estimated that with proper can and maintenance, their shoes can last for decades
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Angua » Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:50 pm UTC

Have you seen any perfume ads recently?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diemo » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:15 pm UTC

Also I don't think that normalising sex is inherently a bad thing. Sex is a natural and fun activity, people should know about it.

(I don't think that the people making the adds are doing so to normalise sex either, btw).
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Chen » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:22 pm UTC

Diemo wrote:Also I don't think that normalising sex is inherently a bad thing. Sex is a natural and fun activity, people should know about it.

(I don't think that the people making the adds are doing so to normalise sex either, btw).


I think the ads are a good example of HOW sex is already getting more normalised. If people remained as conservative with regards to sex, you wouldn't have those ads out there since you'd be alienating a larger demographic. It's pretty easy to see that society has moved to be far less conservative with regards to sex as time has progressed. TV/Movies alone should have shown you that.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:28 pm UTC

Normalising sex is one thing. Using it to sell Big Macs is quite another.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:29 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Normalising sex is one thing. Using it to sell Big Macs is quite another.


Why?

How is it any different from using pictures of smiling faces, or scenic vistas, or anything else we enjoy to sell stuff?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Chen » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:36 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Why?

How is it any different from using pictures of smiling faces, or scenic vistas, or anything else we enjoy to sell stuff?


Exactly. I'm pretty sure that is what was meant by normalising sex. Making it so that it is NOT something taboo and thus is used in advertising/media what have you, just like any other, normal thing would be.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Echo244 » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:28 pm UTC

Hooray for sex not being "normalised". Hooray for it not being part of every advert or piece of media. Hooray for being able to get away from it, not have it an inextricable part of every interaction one has with the rest of the world.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ObsessoMom » Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:28 am UTC

Normalizing sex is NOT the same as normalizing the idea that women and hamburgers are both juicy, attractive objects for men to consume. (And that both are forms of chattel, I guess.)

These establishments and their advertisers have decided that, even though I'm a mom AND THEREFORE SOMETIMES BUY MEALS FOR LOTS OF PEOPLE, they don't want my money--their target demographic is ONLY young heterosexual guys. (Or "young hungry guys," as the CEO of Carl's Jr. calls them.) So I take my money elsewhere.

(The Carl's Jr. ads are by far the most offensive. It's hard to tell if they're selling hamburgers or hard-ons.)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Zamfir » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:45 am UTC

I wonder if that's the goal. Not directly to chase you away, but the message: we have one target customer group, and we are willing to alienate other groups.

If you are in the target group, then those campaigns are quite powerful. It says, we know what you like, that's what we do, no compromises to keep moms and chlidren happy. Creates an identity beyond being yet another hamburger chain.

If McDonald's tries the same, it's just sad. "We have something for everyone. Plastic toys for the little ones, boob pictures for teenagers, coffee for office drones."

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:57 am UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:(The Carl's Jr. ads are by far the most offensive. It's hard to tell if they're selling hamburgers or hard-ons.)


Zamfir wrote:I wonder if that's the goal. Not directly to chase you away, but the message: we have one target customer group, and we are willing to alienate other groups.

If you are in the target group, then those campaigns are quite powerful. It says, we know what you like, that's what we do, no compromises to keep moms and chlidren happy. Creates an identity beyond being yet another hamburger chain.

I just watched one of the Carl Jr. ads on youtube, and it makes me sad that that's apparently the sort of advertising that's effective for what is, ostensibly, my demographic. That's all kinds of screwed up.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Vahir » Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:24 pm UTC

French farmers converge on Paris in prices protest

The protesters want to put maximum possible pressure on President Francois Hollande's Socialist government, which has already given way once, just six weeks ago, with a package of debt relief worth €600m ($674m; £440m), our correspondent says.

But the farmers say that they need much more, arguing that French agriculture is on the verge of collapse.


It's a harsh world to be a modern farmer in, and a lot of people don't seem to realize it. A statistic which struck me (given by the protesters, so maybe it's biased) is that a french farmer commits suicide every two days.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:06 pm UTC

Is "farmer" defined as "the rich asshole who owns a thousand acres and uses below minimum wage labor" or "poor polish family working 14 hours a day but being paid for 8 of them"? Because if the latter, yeah, I can believe the suicide rates.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:13 pm UTC

I hate to call out such an awful statistic (a suicide every two days is a tragedy in and of itself), but for that to be useful in highlighting the conditions faced by French farmers you would need to divide that figure by the number of farmers and compare it to the average rate of suicide in France, otherwise it's pretty meaningless.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby PeteP » Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:42 pm UTC

http://www.thelocal.fr/20130910/why-france-has-such-a-high-suicide-rate Apparently 29 people a day kill themselves in france, so if 1.7% of the population were farmers that would account for 0.5 per day.

Anyway http://www.france24.com/en/20131012-suicide-rates-france-farmers-study this article says "Male farmers in France are 20 percent more likely to take their own lives than the rest of the population" to have a more meaningful number.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:19 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Is "farmer" defined as "the rich asshole who owns a thousand acres and uses below minimum wage labor" or "poor polish family working 14 hours a day but being paid for 8 of them"? Because if the latter, yeah, I can believe the suicide rates.


All are farmers. While the markets are dominated by the former(leaving aside minimum wage and whatever, it's simple to demonstrate that megafarms are wildly influential), most of the farmers are the latter.

It's definitely rough. Suicide or not, it's not a terribly lucrative life, it involves a great deal of hard work, it often ties you to your farm so there are no vacations, etc, and it's not likely to get much easier. I don't care for it, myself.


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