John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 233: Good Fingering

by on Jan.26, 2017, under Rum Doings

In our 233th ever Rum Doings, our topic is,

After Nick finally gets done whining and whining about how pathetic he is, we get on to a traditionally rambling, frequently sidetracked discussion of the Trump presidency so far. What might happen to NPR? We analyse Data’s poem to his cat. We read some of Trump’s tweets. And we ponder the purpose of the Women’s March.

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10 Comments for this entry

  • scotchmi_st

    For one thing bacteriophages kill a ton of bacteria. I’ve seen it written that around 50% of bacteria are killed every year by phages. Although I can’t back that up right now, Wikipedia says they infect around 70% of marine bacteria. So presumably we’d see lots more bacteria. Phages are also being researched as a possible treatment for bacterial infections.

  • Xercies

    Wow Nick was pretty grumpy this episode, guess it makes sense but I disagreed with most things except the womans march thing. It is nice they got together but what did it axhieve? What did they want it to achieve? Didn’t seem to really have a point to it. If they did something like all of them donate to planned parenthood maybe it would of done some good.

  • Nick Mailer

    With what did you disagree, in particular?

  • Xercies

    I guess that what Trump is doing is not scary, I feel the efficiency with how he is signing all these Executive Orders and what they are doing.

    Getting rid of funding for Abortion, making sure it is hard to get into this country if your from a certain place. All the people that will have control on climate change, can we really afford 4 years of gas guzzling going into overdrive in a big country like America going ahead?

    Not just that but it shows a willingness to do more which he will. The things they want to go will go…as I said it is quite unprecedented and kind of scary.

  • Xercies

    Also from what I heard the Pipeline is about water, not oil.

  • Kit

    I’m surprised that Nick didn’t catch the endothermic/exothermic mixup in Data’s poem.

  • Callan

    I do not really understand Xercies or Nick’s point that a march must achieve something or have a set aim in order to be a worthwhile. When it comes down to it no one is actually a hard consequentialist so let’s please stop with that rubbish, it is just a cheap way to avoid a more serious critique. The women marched because they felt it was the right thing to do and there is nothing wrong with that. Also if anything is privileged it is Nick’s notion that politics must be exclusively limited to a vote every four years and any other action is by definition whining. His point about women in Sudan (which he loves making in this context) is the most nonsense whataboutism possible (something I thought he finally grasped with “anti-semitism and other forms of racism” TM). His argument works equally well for the women of Poland marching last year against an abortion ban or the women of Ireland in the recent march again the abortion ban there (which was just as much a part of the women’s march). How is it not just as childish to bring up Sudanese women in this context? I really think you have let twitter identity politics ruin your brain if you think hundreds of thousands of people marching for their political convictions is privileged.

    (Note: I do agree the luvvies need to fuck off, mind you)

  • Jambe

    vis-a-vis Alexa: I’ve come to prefer Google Home, but I already had several Chromecast devices and sold my soul to Google’s [hack, cough, spit] “ecosystem”. I wish they’d sell a speakerless Dot competitor.

  • Xercies

    @I don’t have a problem with them marching that’s fine, that’s their right, but I feel its disingenuous to say they didn’t want to do it for a point or to achieve something, usually these protests do want to change something or point to something that is happening.

    My problem with these kind of protests is that:

    1)They don’t have a major point to them, they seem to go for every issue under the sun or they just go for “I don’t like this particular thing!” which means no one really knows what they truly want which is never going to do much to the things they want either.

    2)They seem to think that marching once on a Saturday is going to put any pressure on the people that will affect these issues. There was no march this Saturday, and their will be no march next Saturday I’m sure politicians are shaking in their boots about their power.

    Basically its kind of lazy and all over the place as a form of protest.

    What they need to do is understand what point they really want to go for, abortion funding, planned parenthood, anything really but it does need to be focused on that one thing. They then need to protest and put pressure on the people for that one thing. Eventually things will actually change.

    This is how Womans, Black, and Gay rights operated. I feel modern protesters seem to have failed to understand this.

  • Ed

    Gosh I hope Nick isn’t going to keep up these levels of contrarian sanguinity about the Trump presidency. I think he shows little too much faith in American democracy to somehow undo all the damage capable of being done. Most of those insititutions have been already hollowed out from within by the Republican Party, the deathwatch beetle of American politics, with Trump merely the ‘blunt object’ used to bring the whole structure down. One only has to look at the discourse around voting rights, and the clear signal from the Trump administration that they will double down on Voter ID laws, to understand that getting him out in 4 years time might not be as straightforward as Nick assumes. Also, Steve Bannon is *properly* scary, and anyone who doesn’t think as much needs to understand quite how messianic that man is about starting world war III.

    I agree with Callan this is precisely not the time to be cynical about marches and public displays of solidarity. Trump (and the Brexiteers, for that matter), are utterly shameless in their invocation of ‘the people’ to further their malign agenda. Any large scale act of solidarity, from the Women’s March to the protests against the Muslim ban*, is useful in demonstrating the lies with which these populist demagogues puff themselves up. Also, things feel quite scary right now, and sometimes it’s just nice to act in solidarity with others, regardless of how much it may actually affect change in the moment. I’ve been thinking about this with regards to the Iraq war protest, and how it was sniffily dismissed as being ineffectual in stopping the conflict. Whilst the conflict went ahead, I think it had a significant impact on how the war will be recorded in history. For good or ill, it also reduced the capacity of the West to intervene in the region in the future. These protests around Trump must be seen in the same light, not simply to protest and rescind this or that executive order, but to make sure that the enormous swell of opposition to his presidency is afforded its proper place in the historical record.

    *If Trump-sanguinity is to continue, I fully expect the next RD to have extensive discussions on how the Muslim Ban isn’t actually a *Muslim* ban, and even if it was Obama did it all first anyway.