Stay F---! | May 18, 2005

Carrie McLaren stay.free at verizon.net
Tue May 17 23:03:15 EDT 2005


Hello, Here are some recent highlights from our blog, Stay F---! Daily.  
You can find many more articles, along with with links and images, at:
http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org

- - - - - - - - - - -

FROM THE STAY F--- ARCHIVES:
PRICING THE PRICELESS: THE PERILS OF COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS

How much would you pay for a case of chronic bronchitis? What is a  
hunchback whale worth? And how many poor kids can your company kill per  
year? Frank Ackerman and Lisa Heinzerling discuss the sordid world of  
cost-benefit analysis.
http://www.stayfreemagazine.org/archives/23/priceless.html

See also The Costs and Benefits of Setting Yourself on Fire:
http://www.stayfreemagazine.org/archives/23/activist_corner.html


THE CSI EFFECT
Posted by Charles Star

Thanks to TV cop shows, audiences have unrealistically high  
expectations of police departments. Investigators are calling it the  
CSI Effect. It is hard to tell if this is good for the defense or the  
prosecution: “[S]ome defense lawyers say CSI and similar shows make  
jurors rely too heavily on scientific findings and unwilling to accept  
that those findings can be compromised by human or technical errors.”  
Prosecutors also have complaints: They say the shows can make it more  
difficult for them to win convictions in the large majority of cases in  
which scientific evidence is irrelevant or absent. Now, as ever, all  
that really matters is having the right lawyer ... but anyone who has  
been watching TV cop shows knows that already.

More at:
http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org/2005/05/are_you_gonna_t.html


WAL-MART’S LATEST EXPANSION
Posted by Charles Star

No longer satisfied with being the world’s largest retailer, largest  
grocer, third largest pharmacy (so far) and (eventually) largest  
bookseller, Wal-Mart is moving into a new sector: church. In recent  
years Wal-Mart has hosted dozens of its employees’ weddings. My heart  
breaks for Beverly McCutcheon, who got married at an upstate New York  
store. She has so internalized Wal-Mart’s draconian labor policy that  
is almost seems romantic that her friends are economically imprisoned  
at work during normal wedding hours. Says Ms. McCutcheon, “We’re a very  
close family here. All my co-workers are friends. They couldn’t get the  
day off. So, I brought the wedding to Wal-Mart.”

More at:
http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org/2005/05/walmarts_latest.html


NEW, UPDATED WIZARD PEOPLE

The Illegal Art Exhibit is pleased to report that we’ve just received a  
new, updated version of Wizard People, Dear Readers, Brad Neely’s  
much-loved (albeit unauthorized) take on the first Harry Potter movie.  
For those of you in New York, we will be screening the new WP in a  
couple of weeks:

Tues., May 31, 8 pm (sharp!)
at Southpaw, Park Slope, Brooklyn
(part of our SF! issue #24 release party).

I’ve also posted lo-res mp3s of the audio on the Illegal Art website,  
where you can get ‘em for free. More at:
http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org/2005/05/new_updated_wiz.html


WIRED MAGAZINE ASKS: WHY ARE IQ SCORES RISING AROUND THE GLOBE?

Here’s another story by Steven Johnson, the guy who wrote Why  
Television Makes You Smarter (discussed here earlier). I found the  
Wired story interesting, but don’t buy it. Even if we accept that IQ is  
a viable measure of intelligence; that the different IQ tests created  
over time measure the same quantity; that the tests are implemented  
objectively, with samples representative of the population at large,  
there are problems with Johnson’s argument. For one, he oversimplifies  
the IQ findings (New Scientist, 3/2/02) and overstates his case. As  
Johnson acknowledges, the significant leaps in IQ scores are found  
mostly in a certain kind of problem solving: one measuring  
visuo-spatial relationships. Researchers point to a number of possible  
explanations for the changes in IQ, but Johnson ignores those. He also  
ignores all countervailing data (for instance, the fact that the same  
researchers have found *declining* IQs in industrial nations over the  
past five years), and attributes all positive changes to media use.

More at:
http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org/2005/05/watching_televi.html


WHAT’S THAT STENCH?

Advertising Age reports that Proctor & Gamble has come out with a  
deodorant for 7-year-old girls.

More at:
http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org/2005/05/whats_that_sten.html


GREAT PIECE ON AMERICA’S SUPPOSED “LAWSUIT CRISIS”

I’ve been wanting to do something on tort reform in Stay Free! for  
quite some time now, but this Washington Monthly article (October 2004)  
by Stephanie Mencimer would be hard to match:
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2004/0410.mencimer.html
See also the critical discussion of Mencimer’s article:
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_02/ 
005659.php#more


DEMAND IT YOUR WAY AT BURGER KING
Posted by Charles Star

With all due respect to Flava Flav, sometimes 911 isn’t to blame for  
being a joke. From Food 911 to Nanny 911, TV has done a pretty good job  
of redefining “emergency.” Currently making its way around the internet  
is this hilarious audio clip of a woman calling 911 because the Burger  
King drive-through screwed up her order. Just listen to the sense of  
entitlement in the woman’s voice and wonder at the dispatcher’s ability  
to remain polite and professional.

More at:
http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org/2005/05/demand_it_your_.html



More information about the Stayfree mailing list