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Subject: Has anyone read "Coming Apart"? rss

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Clay
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First, my score.

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How Thick Is Your Bubble?

103
The Questions
Life History

1. Have you ever lived for at least a year in an American neighbor-hood in which the majority of your fifty nearest neighbors prob-ably did not have college degrees?


I don't know, I've never lived in a neighborhood where I knew fifty neighbors.

Quote:

2. Did you grow up in a family in which the chief breadwinner was
not
in a managerial job or a high-prestige profession (defined asattorney, physician, dentist, architect, engineer, scientist, or col-lege professor)?


Yes.

Quote:
3. Have you ever lived for at least a year in an American communityunder 50,000 population that is not part of a metropolitan areaand was not where your college was located?


Probably not. I grew up in a small town but doubt it was that small.

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4. Have you ever lived for at least a year in the United States at afamily income that was close to or below the poverty line? Youmay answer “yes” if your family income then was below $30,000in 2010 dollars. Graduate school doesn’t count. Living unem-ployed with your family after college doesn’t count.Take your best guess. For estimating your family’s past income,you should multiply what you or your parents used to make by theinflator appropriate to that time. For example, if your dad made$7,000 a year when you were growing up in 1970, you should mul-tiply that by 5.61. He made about $39,270 in 2010 dollars. Youmay estimate the inflator for any particular year from these: 1940,15.66; 1950, 9.12; 1960, 7.41; 1970, 5.61; 1980, 2.64; 1990, 1.67;2000, 1.26.


Nope.

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5. Have you ever walked on a factory floor?


Yes, on a tour.

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6. Have you ever held a job that caused something to hurt at the endof the day?


Yes, about to leave for it in ten minutes.*

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People Who Have Been Part of Your Life

7. Have you ever had a close friend who was an evangelicalChristian?


No idea, I rarely discuss religion with friends. Definitely a few friendly acquintances, judging by Facebook statuses.

Quote:
8. Do you now have a close friend with whom you have strong andwide-ranging political disagreements?


Yes, several of my closest.

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9. Have you ever had a close friend who could seldom get betterthan Cs in high school even if he or she tried hard?


I think so, but we rarely discussed grades.

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10. During the last month, have you voluntarily hung out with peo-ple who were smoking cigarettes?


No, but not due to whatever this is supposed to imply.

Quote:
11. What military ranks do these five insignia represent


Oh dear, I've broken the quiz. I wouldn't know anyways.

Quote:
Sports, Pastimes, and Consumer Preferences

12. Choose one. Who is Jimmie Johnson? Or: Have you ever pur-chased Avon products?


I don't know, and I don't think so.

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13. Have you or your spouse ever bought a pickup truck?'


No, but we haven't had enough money yet to buy any vehicle.

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14. During the last year, have you ever purchased domestic mass-market beer to stock your own fridge?


No, I don't drink beer.

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15. During the last five years, have you or your spouse gone fishing?


We talked about it but didn't follow through, so no.

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16. How many times in the last year have you eaten at one of the fol-lowing restaurant chains? Applebee’s, Waffle House, Denny’s,IHOP, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, Ruby Tuesday, T.G.I. Fri-day’s, Ponderosa Steakhouse


Maybe 3-4. We go to IHOP a few times a year and I think we went to Outback once last fall for something.

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Some American Institutions

17. In secondary school, did you letter in anything?


I'm not even sure what that means and a quick google search didn't help, so probably not.

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18. Have you ever attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club or RotaryClub, or a meeting at a union local?


Nope.

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19. Have you ever participated in a parade not involving global warm-ing, a war protest, or gay rights?


Hah, holy shit some of these questions sound absurdly biased. Yes, I did several in high school band.

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20. Since leaving school, have you ever worn a uniform?


Yes, since leaving high school at least.

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21. Have you ever ridden on a long-distance bus (e.g., Greyhound,Trailways) or hitchhiked for a trip of fifty miles or more?


Yes.

Quote:
Media and Popular Culture

22. Which of the following movies have you seen (at a theater or on aDVD)?
Iron Man 2, Inception, Despicable Me, Tron Legacy, TrueGrit, Clash of the Titans, Grown Ups, Little Fockers, The King’sSpeech, Shutter Island


None, somehow.

Quote:
23. During the 2009–10 television season, how many of the follow-ing series did you watch regularly?
American Idol, Undercover Boss, The Big Bang Theory, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, House, DesperateHousewives, Two and a Half Men, The Office, Survivor


Technically none, but I went back after Lost ended and watched it all online.

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24. Have you ever watched an
Oprah, Dr. Phil,
or
Judge Judy
show allthe way through?


Judge Judy and many other "court TV" style shows.

Quote:
25. What does the word
Branson
mean to you?


It looks like a name.



Looks like a 33, but a lot of the "I don't know" answers probably lost me points.

Second, this quiz is laughably terrible. What is this supposed to gauge again? How far outside of your "bubble" you've gone? And it measures that by how far into a very specific type of bubble you've stepped instead? What?

Also, some of the questions and answers are just horrendous. My favorite is the answer to #7, where you get bonus points for being an Evangelical Christian. In what way does that represent worldly experience? Shouldn't it have been the exact opposite? "2 points if you answered yes, or if you are an Evangelical Christian then 2 points for befriending a non-Christian." Ever participate in a parade that just happens to support social issues commonly parroted by the left? Too bad, that doesn't count for our purposes here! I'm willing to hear from someone who thinks otherwise but this whole thing looks like complete rubbish.


*Started answering before work and finishing just after. Today only my feet hurt.
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Rich Shipley
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Drew1365 wrote:
I'm not sure why people find it strange (cf Stephen Colbert as mentioned in the OP; the OP himself) to talk about "white America"? Are we not allowed to discuss "white people" and the sociology thereof?


I just find it personally confusing in this context. A quiz that makes me pretend my neighbors don't exist while telling me I live in some sort of bubble for not being like people who live in some other place just makes my head hurt.
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Drew
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rshipley wrote:
A quiz that makes me pretend my neighbors don't exist . . .


Where would you get this idea?
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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As an experiment I just clicked the hotlist of games.

Out of the 50 games here are the games that had a nonwhite human on the cover:
Edo (workers in the background)
Bakong (presumably Asian lady in the background)
Smash Up (Japanese ninja)
A Few Acres of Snow (Mohawk)
Mercante (Wow! Black People!!!)
Through the Ages (Genghis Khan, out of 6 famous people through all of history)
Targi (Arab, presumably)

I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised. All of them match directly with the themes that are chosen, with the exception of Mercante, which didn't have to have black people but did. Bravo AEG! Compare this to the new Descent cover or Rex which could easily have had a black, Asian or Latino human on them but don't.
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Drew
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Okay, so I'm trying very hard to understand your strong reaction. This is a book that is subtitled "the State of White America" . . . does that make it racist?
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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Drew1365 wrote:
Okay, so I'm trying very hard to understand your strong reaction. This is a book that is subtitled "the State of White America" . . . does that make it racist?


Not at all. It's more a response to your question. I'm saying the bulk of all our country talks about are white people. It shouldn't seem strange that there is another book out where the subject is white people.

My issue is that if this quiz is representational of the kind of content and research that went into this book then it is likely to be horse hockey.
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Yes, it's problematic that the policy-making elite grew up in an upper-middle class bubble and know little about how the average American lives. That's bound to lead to policy that doesn't serve the lower classes as well as it should. However, if you really were to assemble a list of markers of cultural experience/knowledge that would serve as a signal as to whether a particular person had enough cultural experience or knowledge to adequately represent the middle-to-lower classes, would you really pick this list? Someone who watches a crap-load of popular television shows is going to make better policy than someone who doesn't?
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Drew
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sisteray wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
Okay, so I'm trying very hard to understand your strong reaction. This is a book that is subtitled "the State of White America" . . . does that make it racist?


Not at all. It's more a response to your question. I'm saying the bulk of all our country talks about are white people. It shouldn't seem strange that there is another book out where the subject is white people.


Okay, but as I said, there's a big difference between "talking about white people" (or, more accurately from your examples, "white people talking") and studying the sociological differences between various classes of white people, how they interact (or fail to), etc. yes?

 
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Rich Shipley
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Drew1365 wrote:
rshipley wrote:
A quiz that makes me pretend my neighbors don't exist . . .


Where would you get this idea?


A poor choice of words on my part. The quiz ignores many of my neighbors and suggests I should be more like people somewhere else or else my bubble is thick (whetever that is supposed to mean).

Studying white people does not make one racist. I'm just finding his methodology confusing at best.
 
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Drew
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travistdale wrote:
Yes, it's problematic that the policy-making elite grew up in an upper-middle class bubble and know little about how the average American lives. That's bound to lead to policy that doesn't serve the lower classes as well as it should.


Yes!

Quote:
However, if you really were to assemble a list of markers of cultural experience/knowledge that would serve as a signal as to whether a particular person had enough cultural experience or knowledge to adequately represent the middle-to-lower classes, would you really pick this list?


I don't know that I would. But it's a good starting place.

Quote:
Someone who watches a crap-load of popular television shows is going to make better policy than someone who doesn't?


I didn't get a lot of points in that part.
 
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Xander Fulton
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travistdale wrote:
Yes, it's problematic that the policy-making elite grew up in an upper-middle class bubble and know little about how the average American lives. That's bound to lead to policy that doesn't serve the lower classes as well as it should. However, if you really were to assemble a list of markers of cultural experience/knowledge that would serve as a signal as to whether a particular person had enough cultural experience or knowledge to adequately represent the middle-to-lower classes, would you really pick this list? Someone who watches a crap-load of popular television shows is going to make better policy than someone who doesn't?


I don't think the comment (having not read the book, I can't be sure, but I don't think) is from the perspective of "making better policy" full-stop.

Rather...better connecting with and understanding those represented. You can still pass laws that are 'good policy' in requiring warnings on alcohol and tobacco even with a very close understanding of what these mean to working class Americans...but odds are much higher than the laws you end up making on those topics WON'T really work, or have the REVERSE effect as intended, if you DON'T have that understanding and connection.

Obviously, that doesn't mean you have to 'live the trailer trash life' to make the best policy...but that if you don't at least understand what that is like...if you've lived in a bubble totally isolated from any idea about it...then odds are the legislation you write won't work the way you intend, because you can't connect with the thing you are legislating.

I think that's the argument it sounds like he is making. Not that intelligent, successful people shouldn't make laws or be ruling the country. Or that the government should be thrown over and turned in to mob rule. But, rather, that the 'ruling class' shouldn't be so detached from the majority that they cannot understand them at any level.
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rshipley wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
rshipley wrote:
A quiz that makes me pretend my neighbors don't exist . . .


Where would you get this idea?


A poor choice of words on my part. The quiz ignores many of my neighbors and suggests I should be more like people somewhere else or else my bubble is thick (whetever that is supposed to mean).

Studying white people does not make one racist. I'm just finding his methodology confusing at best.


Reminder that this is Charles Murray we are talking about. Certainly studying white people did not make him racist, in his case I'm sure it was rather the reverse.
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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XanderF wrote:
travistdale wrote:
Yes, it's problematic that the policy-making elite grew up in an upper-middle class bubble and know little about how the average American lives. That's bound to lead to policy that doesn't serve the lower classes as well as it should. However, if you really were to assemble a list of markers of cultural experience/knowledge that would serve as a signal as to whether a particular person had enough cultural experience or knowledge to adequately represent the middle-to-lower classes, would you really pick this list? Someone who watches a crap-load of popular television shows is going to make better policy than someone who doesn't?


I don't think the comment (having not read the book, I can't be sure, but I don't think) is from the perspective of "making better policy" full-stop.

Rather...better connecting with and understanding those represented. You can still pass laws that are 'good policy' in requiring warnings on alcohol and tobacco even with a very close understanding of what these mean to working class Americans...but odds are much higher than the laws you end up making on those topics WON'T really work, or have the REVERSE effect as intended, if you DON'T have that understanding and connection.

Obviously, that doesn't mean you have to 'live the trailer trash life' to make the best policy...but that if you don't at least understand what that is like...if you've lived in a bubble totally isolated from any idea about it...then odds are the legislation you write won't work the way you intend, because you can't connect with the thing you are legislating.

I think that's the argument it sounds like he is making. Not that intelligent, successful people shouldn't make laws or be ruling the country. Or that the government should be thrown over and turned in to mob rule. But, rather, that the 'ruling class' shouldn't be so detached from the majority that they cannot understand them at any level.


The problem is that, using television as an example, the most watched show does not represent the average American, rather it is just something that many Americans have experienced. That said, you never want to be the series of tubes guy.
 
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Drew1365 wrote:
Meerkat wrote:
Ok I scored a 73. But then reading what it means... still not sure what exactly that score signifies other than that I have a lot in common with "average" USA in some fashion.


What that means is that you should go into politics.


laugh Like *I* could get elected to anything with my middle of the road views on most topics. Even before I was put under the "microscope" of public scrutiny and lambasted from every side for my life choices. laugh


Though once upon a time, way back in High School, I actually did plan on going into politics as an adult. That was when I thought being a moderate would be an asset because I could relate to so many more people than the fringe elements. Oh to be that young and naive again...
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Drew1365 wrote:
sisteray wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
Okay, so I'm trying very hard to understand your strong reaction. This is a book that is subtitled "the State of White America" . . . does that make it racist?


Not at all. It's more a response to your question. I'm saying the bulk of all our country talks about are white people. It shouldn't seem strange that there is another book out where the subject is white people.


Okay, but as I said, there's a big difference between "talking about white people" (or, more accurately from your examples, "white people talking") and studying the sociological differences between various classes of white people, how they interact (or fail to), etc. yes?



I disagree, I'd posit that you could glean more about what it meant to be a Russian in the late 19th century from The Brothers Karamazov than you would from a pop nonfiction book on the subject.
 
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sisteray wrote:
I disagree, I'd posit that you could lean more about what it meant to be a Russian in the late 19th century from The Brothers Karamazov than you would from a pop nonfiction book on the subject.


I agree, but I think we're talking past each other here . . .
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Based on the scores we're seeing, it looks like those of us who don't live in a bubble tend to be conservative while those who do live in a bubble aren't. Come on lefties, get out there and see some people outside of your classist bubble!
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Morgan Dontanville
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bjlillo wrote:
Based on the scores we're seeing, it looks like those of us who don't live in a bubble tend to be conservative while those who do live in a bubble aren't. Come on lefties, get out there and see some people outside of your classist bubble!


I scored a 71 (72 if you count watching Lost on DVD). If it had asked if I had a mullet I'd be rollin' in the points.
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Lee Fisher
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I didn't see this earlier, but you can take the quiz here:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/03/white-educated-a...

46
 
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I got a 62.
 
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Rulesjd wrote:


I like you a whole lot better than 60 seconds ago. Your described method of child rearing would go a long way toward improving this nation in more ways than I can count.

May still take some issue with your opinions on other topics but bravo!


Aw shucks.

Seriously though? I thought the whole idea of being a member of the human race was that if you chose to help continue it's existence then your responsibility is to provide new members who are better, smarter, wiser, stronger and healthier than you are. I like people, just like most of you. So it would be pretty stupid to just not make the effort to raise kids who treat people well.

For the most part I think this guy Murray, whoever he is (maybe he knows who Frank Lunts/Luntz is and can tell me), seems to want his books to generate discussion. Looks like it worked among a bunch of us who didn't read his books. There is the exception (I think Travis believes he is racist. Travis must know him well to be so assertive on that point) to open-minded discussion anytime the subject is controversial. I agree the questions are pretty generic and the scoring is probably arbitrary but I don't have an issue with TV or NASCAR or most of his examples that might indicate if a person is connected to the majority of people. Urban blacks, Latino field workers, Portlandia hispters are minorities and I don't think less of them because of their limited range of experience with the majority. But isn't it somewhat true that not having a clue what the majority likes/wants/feels/needs is a sure-fire way to make everyone's life worse if you are an elected official?
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lfisher wrote:
I didn't see this earlier, but you can take the quiz here:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/03/white-educated-a...

46


46 for me, too. Which is somewhat surprising, given I did grow up in a dirt-poor family in a very, very tiny town (didn't even realize until I looked it up for this quiz, but population under 3,000!). And, heck, even owned a pickup truck for a number of years!

51 when I tinkered with the answers some (don't watch 'The Office', but do regularly watch 'Parks and Rec'...close enough, etc.)
 
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70.
 
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I got so bored looking at that quiz that I watched some Judge Judy re-runs.
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36.

I was scoring pretty well till it got to the section on buying domestic beer.

Darilian
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