1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

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AlexTheSeal
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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby AlexTheSeal » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:09 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
Whizbang wrote:You know what the time was called when nothing advanced and man was forced to play the same role his father played? The Dark Ages.

Life strives for advancement and improvement. Resist this at your peril.


Maybe before we rush to advance we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving it such a central position in our lives.


"Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell." --- Edward Abbey

Code: Select all

10 REM WORLD'S SMALLEST ADVENTURE GAME
20 PRINT "YOU ARE IN A CAVE (N, S, E, W)? ";
30 INPUT A$
40 GOTO 10

Lulled to sleep by the one-hertz chuckle of Linux logfile writes since 1997.

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby Raen7 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:54 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:And now I have an image in my head of Teddy Roosevelt sending a telegram to Spain:
"Am in ur islands, killin ur dudes lol FULL STOP."


Dammit! I had to register and come in here, just to quote this and say that if I ever posted, and if I had a signature, that would be it. I loathe you :mrgreen:
Last edited by Raen7 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:58 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby Klear » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:16 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Klear wrote:But he might well be among the few percent of the most educated in the world. It's not that hard. Literacy and basic math is over 50 % worldwide, though.
True, but you'll note that I said "this country", assuming (perhaps falsely) that he was in one of the majority-literate countries most of the posters on this site come from.

Edit: using my secret mod powers, I have established that yes, Solarn was posting from a country with 99ish percent literacy, in which the most educated people are very educated indeed, and of which I therefore doubt he is among the top couple percent.


I just don't get it why you brought "this country" (whatever that is) when Solarn didn't mention any. I don't really even get what he meant by his post, though, so I'll just shut up now.

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby ijuin » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:48 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:But it seems highly unusual to expect that others should value our leisure specifically, when they don't also value us being fed and sheltered and so on. We value those things ourselves. We just value some more than others. And when forced to choose between leisure and other things, we are choosing others things. We can ask why we are forced to choose (why can't we have both?), and why we make the choice we do when we are forced to choose (are we really better off with the things we trade our leisure for?), but asking why others don't value our leisure specifically seems strange, because why not ask the much bigger question in the first place of why others don't value our wellbeing in general and all take care of us and each other out of the goodness of our own hearts?


Well, what I'm really trying to get at here is that our society tends to regard leisure time as a "void"--i.e. we treat it as time spent "not laboring", rather than being a thing in and of itself. Resting is seen as being allowed only for the purpose of recharging our capacity for labor.

[quote="orthogon"}
Maybe it's because if someone doesn't respond within a few minutes, there's a good chance that they won't respond at all. The e-mail / text / missed call just gets buried under all the new stuff that comes in. There must be some statistics on that somewhere.[/quote]

Maybe so, but the impatience implies a social pressure to refrain from activities that can not be paused at will. If I go to bed and sleep for seven hours, I find messages that were sent while I slept, all of them annoyed that I am not responding. Should I be punished with widespread disapproval for daring to go to sleep? What we need in combination with instant communication is an understanding that certain hours are still "off limits" outside of actual emergencies. Instead, we are seeing every caller demand the inalienable right to supersede whatever the person being called was doing. How is it that your call must ALWAYS be more important than anything that I might have been doing at the time? And if I am receiving two calls at once, and both of them demand to be given priority over the other?

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:11 am UTC

ijuin wrote:Well, what I'm really trying to get at here is that our society tends to regard leisure time as a "void"--i.e. we treat it as time spent "not laboring", rather than being a thing in and of itself. Resting is seen as being allowed only for the purpose of recharging our capacity for labor.

But what I'm saying is don't the people who take that attitude toward rest also take it toward food and shelter and everything else that they wish their lousy wetware-bot minions didn't need? Everyone values those things for themselves, and wishes they didn't have to provide them to the other people they want services from. And since all those things are all measured in the same way (in terms of money), all it really comes down to is "nobody wants to pay more than they have to". If people could pay so little that nobody could afford food or shelter either, and get the same work out of people for it, most of them would. Leisure is just the first thing people choose to forsake when they are squeezed tight.

Now, I can agree that one contributing factor to that might be the Protestant work ethic, which seems to be what you're really getting at there. People do not value their own leisure time in part because we as a culture thing that leisure is "immoral" in some way, like we are doing something bad by not constantly working. That could be a big reason why people choose to sacrifice their leisure first instead of guarding it and sacrifice other things to keep it. But it is still each individual making that choice, socially pressured though they may be to do so. Our employers aren't telling us (except as part of the overall social pressure) that we oughn't value our leisure over our food or shelter or luxuries or entertainment or anything else we buy with money, they're just telling us that they aren't willing to give us more than some amount of money in exchange for our time. Then we're each deciding that our time isn't worth more than that, and accepting the money over the time we could have kept for ourselves.
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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby ijuin » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:12 am UTC

You would be right except for the problem that most employees can't tell their employers "I am willing to work less hours in exchange for a comparable cut in pay" even if they are willing to take the pay cut--instead, many employees have the Hobson's Choice of "work as many hours as the boss wants, or seek a new employer".

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby Kit. » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:56 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Edit: using my secret mod powers, I have established that yes, Solarn was posting from a country with 99ish percent literacy, in which the most educated people are very educated indeed, and of which I therefore doubt he is among the top couple percent.

Not that I would care about it, but he might have been posting through a corporate intranet.

(at this time of day, I'm probably seen posting from the UK, a country where I've never been so far)

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:37 pm UTC

Raen7 wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:And now I have an image in my head of Teddy Roosevelt sending a telegram to Spain:
"Am in ur islands, killin ur dudes lol FULL STOP."


Dammit! I had to register and come in here, just to quote this and say that if I ever posted, and if I had a signature, that would be it. I loathe you :mrgreen:


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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby Netreker0 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:47 pm UTC

Solarn wrote:
keithl wrote:More recent ancestors got on dangerous little boats to cross the Atlantic and get away from those parasitic bastards, coming here to America to work their asses off dawn to dusk and KEEP most of what they gathered.

That's not how it went, actually. Your ancestors were religious fanatics who got on dangerous little boats to cross the Atlantic because the parasitic bastards didn't let them oppress non-Protestants.


Statistically speaking, you're more likely wrong than right. The Mayflower carried about 100 religious fanatics over, but to keep things simple, I'll credit the entire colony of Massachusetts as religious fanatics descended from Plymouth colony. The great Puritian migration brought over somewhere on the order of 20,000 to various English colonies in North America. Pennsylvania later became a refuge for persecuted religious groups. The largest group was the Quakers. To be honest, I think you'd be wrong to characterizing Quakers as wanting to come to America to "oppress non-Protestants." As a community, they are fairly insular and not prone to proselytizing. However, I'm going to be nice and give you Pennsylvania since other Protestant groups also settled there.

On the other side of things, New Amsterdam was founded by the Dutch West India Company for largely commercial reasons. The settlement of Virginia was driven by settlers and investors primarily motivated by economic reasons. Georgia was settled largely under the principles of the Oglethorpe plan, which called for a government under the principles of secular humanism fostering the development of science and an economy of free men. The first colonists to Georgia weren't religious refugees at all, but were in fact directly supported by the Crown, which wanted to establish a buffer colony between Spanish Florida and the rest of the English colonies. I think Carolina province was originally conceived as a Huguenot settlement, but that never really happened, and the colonies were largely settled by Anglicans there for the good farming. Maryland was founded by Catholic English lords with the backing of the Crown, to prove that Catholics and Protestants could coexist in a self-sustaining colony. Pretty much every Canadian colony I can remember was established primarily for the purposes of trade with the natives, fur trapping, and/or gold speculation. I've never been a huge Canadian history buff however, and if anyone can think of a Puritan colony in Canada I'll gladly concede that point.

What is most telling however is what the colonies looked like in 1776. Some colonies like Massachusetts largely held on to much of the Puritan character of its founders. However, many, perhaps even a majority, of our founding fathers were basically deists. The new Continental government was centered around economic independence from the Crown and preserving the unfettered market economy of the colonies. The rising political class wasn't comprised of religious leaders most successful and oppressing other religions, it was largely drawn from the economic elite who had been most successful in exploiting the opportunities the new world had presented.

This is all predicated on the assumption that Keithl's ancestors have been here since colonial times. After 1776, people from Europe still got on crappy little boats to come to America, and I would guess that the vast majority of them were more worried about escaping their proscribed places at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder than finding some non-Protestants to oppress.

Of course, it is possible that you know for a fact that Keithl is descended from religious fanatics because 1) you're a close personal friend, in which case I apologize for my presumption or 2) you've used less scrupulous means to determine the identity of some guy on the internet who posted something that annoyed you somehow, in which case, wow that's kind of creepy.

A lot of Solarn being a jerk to other posters for no discernible reason

Please, enumerate the ways that Whizbang is wrong.

Solarn wrote:
INTP wrote:between 13-24 your brain is not fully developed yet

Quotes please, this sounds like bullshit to me. Why 24? Why 13? What happens before 13?


Before thirteen, the average child hasn't hit puberty yet. Most people find it obvious that a child's brain isn't fully developed. By thirteen, most people are sexually mature, and sometime from the late teens to the early twenties, most people have grown into their "adult" bodies in terms of height, facial hair. Take for example, an average 17 year old girl who is as tall and as physically developed as she'll ever be, and who is comparable to an adult in many metrics of mental development (reading ability, spoken language, hand eye coordination, various metrics of intelligence). Because she looks like an adult woman and can, I dunno, do math and play chess as well as any adult woman, many uneducated lay persons such as yourself make the assumption that the 17 year old brain is as developed as any average 25 to 50 year old adult, and that any differences in behavior between the average 17 year old and the average 27 year old can be explained solely by the intervening years of education and life experience. This is not true. While many areas of the brain become more or less fully mature soon after puberty, some are not fully developed until well into the twenties--most notably areas of the frontal lobe associated with judgment.

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby W3ird_N3rd » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:21 pm UTC

kureta wrote:I agree that "everything had more meaning in the past, modern youth has no morals" is in fact a fallacy. However, these articles mostly talk about the increased speed of life and business, and they are all written after the industrial revolution. The fact that life kept on getting faster and faster after the industrial revolution does not make these statements less true. I guess the life really gets faster but the next generation, which is born into that fast life, perceives it as the norm. After a couple of decades, since the life keeps on getting even faster, the new speed of life becomes too fast for them and it is the norm of yet another generation. I do not think that "people become less moral or less polite" but I do think that life hes been getting faster and faster especially after the industrial revolution.

It's absolutely true. Look at a television program from 10 years ago. Then 20 years. Then 30. Every time you'll notice how things are explained at a slower pace and how there are less visual effects that make epileptics drop to the floor.

Obviously you have to look at similar content - a talk show today would still be slower than a 30-year old music video. Although perhaps not by much.

Eventually you'll reach 2001: A Space Odyssey. I've seen the movie in whole. At first it seemed rather slow, but I soon came to appreciate the masterpiece which it is. But I doubt most modern people would have the patience for it.

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby Endarire » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:53 pm UTC

These quotes remind me of another one.

"What can change the nature of a man?"

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby icebrain » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:45 am UTC

ijuin wrote:You would be right except for the problem that most employees can't tell their employers "I am willing to work less hours in exchange for a comparable cut in pay" even if they are willing to take the pay cut--instead, many employees have the Hobson's Choice of "work as many hours as the boss wants, or seek a new employer".

To play Devil's advocate, the work doesn't scale down linearly for any job involving more than short, repetitive tasks, where the workers are completely replaceable cogs. For example, I work as a programmer; if I only worked 20 hours a week (a little less than half), I would take (at least) twice the days to accomplish the same tasks, which wouldn't be accepted by many of our clients, since we have competition. On the other hand, he can't just throw more developers at the task, since they would need to spend time studying the problem and my code (I think Fred Brooks wrote something about this issue).

As an actress, the same is true for my mother; the theater company can't simply get two actresses to play each half of a part (unless the stage director specifically asks for it). On the other hand, everyone else on the play works full day, so they can't simply rehearse for half the hours during twice the days, since the company can't afford to pay them all that long, nor could or would they take a similar pay cut.

And programming and acting are just the two professions are most familiar with. I'm sure the same is true for most others.


TL;DR: Modern Times doesn't apply in the developed world as it used to.

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby ijuin » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:15 pm UTC

Quite true, which reinforces my point that even though we do choose to trade our time for pay, we have little choice over how much time we give up, unless we want to find employment in a completely different line of work. This is a major contributor to our perceived shortage of "non-labor" activities.

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby AlexTheSeal » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:04 pm UTC

icebrain wrote:I work as a programmer; if I only worked 20 hours a week (a little less than half), I would take (at least) twice the days to accomplish the same tasks, which wouldn't be accepted by many of our clients, since we have competition. On the other hand, he can't just throw more developers at the task, since they would need to spend time studying the problem and my code (I think Fred Brooks wrote something about this issue).


"Nine pregnant women won't make a baby in one month" or something to that effect... from The Mythical Man-Month, required reading for anyone in the software biz.

Code: Select all

10 REM WORLD'S SMALLEST ADVENTURE GAME
20 PRINT "YOU ARE IN A CAVE (N, S, E, W)? ";
30 INPUT A$
40 GOTO 10

Lulled to sleep by the one-hertz chuckle of Linux logfile writes since 1997.

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:23 pm UTC

AlexTheSeal wrote:
icebrain wrote:I work as a programmer; if I only worked 20 hours a week (a little less than half), I would take (at least) twice the days to accomplish the same tasks, which wouldn't be accepted by many of our clients, since we have competition. On the other hand, he can't just throw more developers at the task, since they would need to spend time studying the problem and my code (I think Fred Brooks wrote something about this issue).


"Nine pregnant women won't make a baby in one month" or something to that effect... from The Mythical Man-Month, required reading for anyone in the software biz.


"Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later" - Brooks's Law.

On the other hand, if icebrain worked 90 hours a week (a bit over double what he currently works) - for example, 15 hours each for 6 days each week - he wouldn't get the tasks done in half as many weeks (at least not if he maintained that pace long-term) because he'd burn out, make fatigue-driven mistakes, and generally be less productive...

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby ijuin » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:03 am UTC

Yes, and the burn-out/exhaustion from long working hours belies the idea that pay should be exactly proportional to the amount of time spent "on the clock".

From the "pay for what you get" side, the client/employer is motivated to pay in proportion to the quantity and quality of production, regardless of the amount of labor input.

From the perspective of maintaining workers in their most-productive state (either because alertness is important to the quality of work, or because you want to maximize production per hour spent "on the clock") however, it is sensible to limit how many hours any one person is working. This is the real reason behind paying time-and-a-half for overtime--not just as an incentive to the worker to work longer, but as a disincentive for the employer to push existing workers to exhaustion instead of adding more staff.

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:55 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:This is the real reason behind paying time-and-a-half for overtime--not just as an incentive to the worker to work longer, but as a disincentive for the employer to push existing workers to exhaustion instead of adding more staff.

The flip side of that incentive is that, instead of workers being able to work longer at a reasonable pace to get overflow work done, they may be instead simply told not to work any overtime, and still expected to get all their work done, meaning that workers aren't burning out from too many hours, they're burned out from too much work crammed into every single hour. It may not be desirable for either the employer or the employee to add more employees -- the employer doesn't want the overhead of having another person on the payroll just to handle their busy days / busy season (or the overhead of training a new person just for short-term work), and the employee doesn't want to have someone else to split his workload (and thus hours and thus pay) with when it's not the busy season. Just paying the employee for more hours when it's busy means that both employer and employee make more money for more work when it's busy and less money for less work when it's not, but adding the time-and-a-half disincentive for the employer to allow overtime means the employee gets paid the same for more work (in the same time, but more work per time) during the busy season and the employer just pockets that increased productivity at the expense of the employee's stress.
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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby ijuin » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:43 am UTC

Right. The "time and a half" requirement keeps the employer from trying to institute exhausting schedules as "the new normal" and instead only do so when the extra labor is actually necessary. Only the most crass of employers seriously desire a return to eighty-plus-hour work weeks as standard.

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:51 am UTC

Yes, but my point was that it makes some employers just go "no way in hell am I paying someone 1.5X their usual wages, I'll just make them work harder during the normal 8 hours and get everything done anyway or else". So instead of busy times meaning more work and more pay for the employees and employer both, they mean more work for the employees and more pay for the employers.

I understand the positive incentives of the scheme, I'm just pointing out that it has negative side-effects. (If it weren't for the time-and-a-half requirement employers would be more willing to let employees work more hours to finish the extra work instead of having to cram it all into their regular hours). I don't have a solution to propose at the moment.
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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby ijuin » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:50 am UTC

*shrugs* I'm coming from the perspective here that the employee has no ability to refuse longer work hours short of seeking a new employer. Back 200 years ago, low-level factory workers were expected to work pretty much every waking moment, and eighty-hour work weeks were pretty much the norm, with the only escape for the workers being finding a job that ends with sunset (most outdoor work) or when the store/office closes for the night.

Also, if the employer is the sort to try to squeeze every last drop of production out of workers without regard for the workers' physical or mental health, then they will already be pushing the workers to work as fast as possible in order to maximize throughput-per-hour. Why choose faster work vs. longer hours if you can get both out of your workers? Again, the availability of (and ability to get hired for) jobs that pay an acceptable rate that don't force workers to work exhaustingly fast or long is the limiting factor in the workers' ability to refuse such an arrangement.

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby OrangeAipom » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:03 pm UTC

What does Kellogg have to do with any of this?

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:21 pm UTC

icebrain wrote:
ijuin wrote:You would be right except for the problem that most employees can't tell their employers "I am willing to work less hours in exchange for a comparable cut in pay" even if they are willing to take the pay cut--instead, many employees have the Hobson's Choice of "work as many hours as the boss wants, or seek a new employer".

To play Devil's advocate, the work doesn't scale down linearly for any job involving more than short, repetitive tasks, where the workers are completely replaceable cogs. For example, I work as a programmer; if I only worked 20 hours a week (a little less than half), I would take (at least) twice the days to accomplish the same tasks, which wouldn't be accepted by many of our clients, since we have competition. On the other hand, he can't just throw more developers at the task, since they would need to spend time studying the problem and my code (I think Fred Brooks wrote something about this issue).

As an actress, the same is true for my mother; the theater company can't simply get two actresses to play each half of a part (unless the stage director specifically asks for it). On the other hand, everyone else on the play works full day, so they can't simply rehearse for half the hours during twice the days, since the company can't afford to pay them all that long, nor could or would they take a similar pay cut.

And programming and acting are just the two professions are most familiar with. I'm sure the same is true for most others.


TL;DR: Modern Times doesn't apply in the developed world as it used to.


Isn't this false for a lot of skilled labour that is generally performed in shifts (generally any skilled labour that is required at all times)? For example at a hospital: nurses need to transfer patient data to the next shift anyway, and during their absence (even if it is just one shift) a lot of the data has changed, so it should not matter whether someone works 2 or 8 shifts a week (except for the problems with fatigue or lack of practice).

It would also be irrelevant when tasks (or projects) are finished within one workday. This is true for some doctors (provided they do not run their own company (due to extra administrative work)), that is mostly because patients are transferred quickly after diagnosis to other doctors or do not require any more treatment on the short term, cases requiring an intensive follow-up either create the situation mentioned above (similar to the nurses, who generally treat similar patients). Plumbers who mostly do small maintenance projects (instead of building projects) often also do not require large amounts of time for single projects.

The jobs requiring long work hours for the reasons you mention are generally those in which projects are too long to perform within the shorter working time (as preferred by the employee) but do not require 24-hour maintenance. Other jobs may require longer work hours because of the scarcity of relevantly skilled workers or minimum amount of training required to maintain those skills (both are probably the case in most healthcare professions). Then there is the problem with requiring people to be at work simultaneously for meetings, but if that requires everyones presence full time it's usually bad planning.

In short: I agree with the "short" part to some extend, but not the "repetitive" part and mostly disagree with the assumption that skilled labour requires long projects.

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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby addams » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:20 pm UTC

Raen7 wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:And now I have an image in my head of Teddy Roosevelt sending a telegram to Spain:
"Am in ur islands, killin ur dudes lol FULL STOP."


Dammit! I had to register and come in here, just to quote this and say that if I ever posted, and if I had a signature, that would be it. I loathe you :mrgreen:

I don't know Why.
But; That is Funny.
I don't like History.

But; Teddy Roosevelt was an Icon before we had Daily Icons.
He would go over with a Thump, today.

He was Rough ard Strangely Charming, in his Day.
Today he is in a Box, somewhere.

Smokey The Bear. Remember?
Roosevelt had gone Out to Lend Moral Support to The People after a Big Fire.
I don't remember the details. Fire Storms had not been described, yet.

Everyone wanted to Please The King. It was like a King coming by.
Some one handed him a Bear Cub. He called it Smoky.

It smelled of Smoke. It lived. I don't know how long he had that bear.
They would not let him take it to Washington. It was a Pet.

It was so small and helpless. It Grew.

Then, We Got The Teddy Bear. For Teddy.
Then some Teddy Bears were Smokey.

For No TV and No Internet That man got into a Lot of Homes.
He was In Bed With Their Children!

Not Today! No Teddies. None.
What party did he Play for?

Was he a ProBusisnesss Republican?
Who Cares? HE had a bear!
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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby Sprocket » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:23 pm UTC

TL:DR
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gmalivuk
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Re: 1227: "The Pace of Modern Life"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:56 pm UTC

So clever.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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