[News] strange happenings of 2015

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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:25 am

Alternatively, it's because it's written in the MTA code that you can't take up more than one seat! Simple, innit? Also, for what it's worth, that post sounds like... hmm, let me find the quote... "irresponsible, hedonist dialogue that encourages malicious defacing of opponents while lacking the necessity to apply reason or admit any modicum of understanding to a contrary argument."

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Postby Xard » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:38 am

View Original PostNuclear Lunchbox wrote:Alternatively, it's because it's written in the MTA code that you can't take up more than one seat! Simple, innit? Also, for what it's worth, that post sounds like... hmm, let me find the quote...


Probably irrelevant since, uhh, "man-spread shamers" have been having countless histrionics over this for few years by now, regardless or not if said "man-spreading" actually took space of more than one seat as pointed out in this article. Also it's doubtful there was considerable grievances about "man-spreading" outside the context of feminist NGO hype machine that have considerable legislative influence in places like New York:

It's also worth noting that when criticisms of bad subway manners first began to show up on the Internet five years ago, no one seemed particularly exercised about male postures. When street artist Jason Shelowitz (or Jay Shells) surveyed New Yorkers about subway etiquette violations for a series of posters in 2010, nail clipping topped the list, followed by religion and noise pollution. "Physical contact" and disregard of seating priority were also mentioned, but with no regard to gender.


Furthermore from the original report:

“Before issuing an [adjournment contemplating dismissal] for both men, the judge expressed her skepticism about the charge because of the time of the arrests: ‘12:11AM, I can’t believe there were many people on the subway.”


Obviously this shit is not operating on common sense. Why snatch two "man-spreaders" at such time instead of, say, any man or woman using two seats to store handbags or store bags, cases of which have always been far more numerous than serious disruptive "man-spreading" going by my own experience of public transports.

The only comprehensible reason I can think of this attention being paid to man-spreading is because feminists have been drumming this up for couple of years. Otherwise you'd expect stories about arrest of "man-spreaders" be fairly common already 10 years ago. If that was the case then I'm wrong here and rank this incident under "overzealous policing" plain and simple again but as is I know of no indication these kind of arrests for "man-spreading" have happened before. Then again I'm not New Yorker.

(Taking more than one seat is definitely rude and should be dis-incentivized whenever there's little room in public transportation of course, but these sort of draconian policies are just insane.)

As a Finn this amuses me greatly because we have well deserved reputation about being pedantic about rules and following the letter of law even when that isn't sensible. Still not even we (or our even more looney neighbors over the Baltic pond) have done this kind of legislature :hahaha:

Mr. Tines wrote:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/porn-stars-may-be-forced-to-wear-goggles-under-new-californian-legislation-10286176.html


Okay, this is even better. :rofl: :rofl:

I bet this is someone's fetish as is though.
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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:51 am

Xard, these rules aren't new. It's a rule of thumb: when you're on public transportation, you don't take up more than one seat. It's a dick move and it inconveniences people who might actually want that seat. To hear you talk, it sounds as if somebody taking up two seats doesn't inconvenience the men around them as well.

If you had read the link in the article, you would see that officers also made arrests on charges of "having one's foot up on a seat" or "having a bag on the seat next to them".

What's draconian about this, exactly? You break the law, you break the law. That's it.

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Postby Xard » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:59 am

View Original PostNuclear Lunchbox wrote:Xard, these rules aren't new. It's a rule of thumb: when you're on public transportation, you don't take up more than one seat. It's a dick move and it inconveniences people who might actually want that seat. To hear you talk, it sounds as if somebody taking up two seats doesn't inconvenience the men around them as well.


Yes, I get that. I'm just being skeptical about whether "man-spreading" specifically had been targeted before. I've not heard of it being controversial habit earlier and given how silly many examples of "man-spreading" have been before I'm not at all certain these two latinos were taking that much space when they were "spreading". This just sounds like hysterics combined with some ridiculously strict law enforcement. The past examples of man-spread shaming I've witnessed on Twitter and other places don't exactly have stellar record with separating plain space hogging jackassitude from harmless, comfortable sitting (that isn't symbol of muh patriarchy either way). So combine this with obviously overzealous rules policing and I can't help but shake the feeling the duo might've not been doing much at all.

View Original PostNuclear Lunchbox wrote:What's draconian about this, exactly? You break the law, you break the law. That's it.


This is sort of like fining a person for not stopping at red lights in middle of countryside 3pm on summer night with no cars in sight. Such laws serve the purpose of regulating traffic when it's dangerous or otherwise difficult to manage. Somehow I doubt 12.11 am constitutes a rush hour during which enforcing such strict one seat policy is required.

Obviously taking, say, 2 seats space under most circumstances is dick move and in particularly strenuous circumstances, as I imagine rush hours in NYC are, fining for them is understandable. Still, as some sort of 24/7 applicable rule it just sounds absurd.


You're the NYC citizen here and you called this "overreach" already. So I think you know what I'm getting at with talking about draconian measures.
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Postby Ornette » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:07 pm

View Original PostXard wrote:The only comprehensible reason I can think of why legislators paid attention to manspreading when devicing those new rules is because feminists have been drumming this up for couple of years by now. Otherwise you'd expect stories about arrest of "manspreaders" be fairly common already 10 years ago. If that was the case then I withdraw my suspicion and rank this under "overzealous policing" plain and simple again but as is I know of no indication these kind of arrests for "manspreading" have happened before.

(Taking more than one seat is definetly rude and should be dis-incentivized whenever there's little room in public transportation of course, but these sort of draconian policies are just insane.)

As a Finn this amuses me greatly because we have well deserved reputation about being pedantic about rules and following the letter of law even when that isn't sensible. Still not even we (or our even more looney neighbors over the Baltic pond) have done this kind of legislature :hahaha:

It doesn't seem any of these people ever took MTA public transportation. There's different lines that run through different parts of the city. A decade or two ago, riding the subway wasn't really all that pleasant, so much so that you don't look at other people because you don't want to get stabbed. Are people going to complain about some seedy looking person making the people around them uncomfortable by either taking up more room than needed or smoking or playing music really loud? Probably not. Now that a lot of the city has been gentrified, and I mean a lot has changed recently, you have subway lines that pretty much run only through what are now very affluent neighborhoods, mine included. These are really nice rides, you can tell because they're newer trains, the ads are different (jewelry, diamonds, cars, high fashion, etc), you occasionally see MTA propaganda about being polite or whatever, and nobody's an asshole, like ever. These are the trains where you may get people complaining, simply because they can, but most of the riders are among the well-to-do so it's rarely an issue. Contrast that to lines that run to Harlem or the Bronx, the ads are predominately for unemployed people, night school, stuff like that, and rarely ever any "remember to be polite" message in those ad slots. You get a lot more assholes riding those trains but I doubt there's people complaining that much either. It's what you've lived with since forever. You know not to get into the car with the homeless guy, and you know during rush hour you're going to be rubbing up against dozens of people and half of them will smell like they soiled themselves. It's why people bring a change of clothes for when they get to the office.

Then, you get the lines that run into places that are on the up and coming, places that are getting gentrified by the artists and musicians. Those are all the more vocal people, but the places aren't nice enough where you won't get mugged on the train. These are the places a lot of the local press focus on, because they're the people who make the most noise. I'm sure this is where the "feminist" labels are being attributed to though I'm sure not all of them are. I know people who live in these areas, I have a cousin who does and she got mugged recently and was interviewed by a local paper.

While the case with the two guys getting arrested was definitely dumb, I very much doubt it has anything to do with the actual MTA rules, which already get applied dramatically differently depending on what train you ride. I'm sure it was a matter of the cops wanted to give these people shit and bust them for anything that's in the books, and this was the one thing they came up with. I'm not sure if people who don't live in big US cities realize that stuff like this is an everyday thing. If I go to a black neigborhood, I've had cops follow me around and I know, I know they are waiting for me to jay walk so I can get picked up. And the goal isn't to stop jaywalking, it's because I'm not black and the only reason I must be there is to buy drugs. So they want to bring me in for jaywalking (and I'm very careful to not even stray outside the white lines at a crosswalk) and they strip search me to find drugs. Doesn't matter that I'm there to see a concert.

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Postby Bagheera » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:08 pm

It's not feminist hysteria, Xard. The NYC Metro Transit Authority doesn't give a shit about Tumblr blogs. What they do care about is fleecing citizens for fines every chance they get, and by targeting male Latinos spreading out vs. white women with shopping bags they go after the easiest targets and minimize the chance of a fuss. That's all it is. Yes, it's a stupid campaign, but it's about the MTA making money, not feminists taking over. Keep things in perspective.
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Postby pwhodges » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:10 pm

View Original PostXard wrote:This is sort of like fining a person for not stopping at red lights in middle of countryside 3pm on summer night with no cars in sight. Such laws serve the purpose of regulating traffic when it's dangerous or otherwise difficult to manage.

And establishing and maintaining reflexes that make driving safer at all times. Certainly in the UK I would not expect jumping a red light on an empty road at any time to be ignored by a passing policeman.
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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:12 pm

People don't decide when the law is convenient for them to follow-- either they follow it or they get slapped with the consequences. The MTA code is perfectly clear: if you're taking up more than one seat, that's illegal, and there's really nothing to complain about if you get arrested.

Sure, if the train's not crowded, it's going to seem like a harmless thing, but it's still against the code. Just because you only leave the plastic top of your cup in the subway doesn't mean that still isn't littering.

I hear what you're saying-- if the train wasn't crowded, there was a good chance that these guys weren't inconveniencing anybody, and may not have been breaking regulations all that badly. Indeed, that was the reason why the charges were dropped. The officers made the arrest, and making an arrest is not tantamount to a conviction. The officers were simply enforcing the letter of the law as it was written. Same way as if a car runs a red light at 0300 that's still illegal-- and if they get pulled over for it and ticketed, whoop-de-shit, they're still breaking the law.

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Postby Chuckman » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:16 pm

View Original PostNuclear Lunchbox wrote:People don't decide when the law is convenient for them to follow-- either they follow it or they get slapped with the consequences.


We must not compromise in the face of such barbarity as sitting too widely.

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Postby Xard » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:21 pm

Thanks for clarifications, guys. As I've never been to New York I don't have personal experience about the system there and I overreacted. I'd just read about frankly infantilizing Yes means Yes legislation passing in Connecticut* and the headline of article Squig posted made me assume there had been some modifications to metro standards specifically focusing on bringing "man-spreading" under control like other 2 seat offender actions. So while this case is definitely absurd they probably aren't connected through same brand of absurdity (though I still wonder just how "serious" the man-spreading was since so many of the alleged aren't even rude).

Cops picking easy targets for some fine money seems like the best explanation for the absurd event, yeah.

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:And establishing and maintaining reflexes that make driving safer at all times. Certainly in the UK I would not expect jumping a red light on an empty road at any time to be ignored by a passing policeman.


I guess this is true, at least when they get to write fines :P


*Only good thing about this is that I can see some terrific comic dialogue coming up with dirty talking and role playing that sort of resembles reading out IKEA manuals more than anything else. :lol:
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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:22 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:We must not compromise in the face of such barbarity as sitting too widely.

There are laws that I think are kinda dumb too. Doesn't mean I can choose to not follow 'em without expecting a consequence.

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:30 pm

Holy crap....

Guys! Guys!

I'm trying to tell you this: this has nothing to do with feminism, Obama, vast liberal conspiracies, or overzealous paranoia!

This is a holdover from Mayor Giuliani's term. When he came into office, New York City was a miserable frigging city. They still had porn shops on Times Square.

As part of several initiatives to clean up the city, Giuliani got really hard on code enforcement, including giving all New York City law agencies new directives in how hard they were to enforce those codes. It's the same mentality that allowed 'Stop-and-Frisk' to get passed. That same mentality went into overdrive following 9/11.

It's the reason there's been a rise in police complaints against the NYPD (and other New York law agencies), but it's also the reason why New York is a 'nicer' city.

It's the kind of thing the current Mayor has been trying to curtail, and he's been running into pushback from the police unions. This is simple: there's nothing more to it than that. A mayor gave his police a blank check, and now it's coming back to haunt them.
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Postby Ornette » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:35 pm

View Original PostXard wrote:So while this case is definitely absurd they probably aren't connected through same brand of absurdity (though I still wonder just how "serious" the man-spreading was since so many of the alleged aren't even rude).

There are propaganda stuff in the ad slots, and like I said, most of them can be found on the nicer trains, so they're not exactly targeting the places where it probably happens the most. They're pretty funny, and I think most people laugh at them. Obviously, the target isn't some guy who's spread eagle on a full train, looks up at the ad and realizes "OMG, I need to close my legs and make sure the two ladies next to me are more comfortable". It's like the "Say no to drugs" or "Smoking is bad" campaigns. People who already smoke probably aren't going to stop because of some ad. People who are assholes on trains aren't going to stop because of an ad. It's more of a subconcious or awareness thing.

If you live in a place where you are constantly bombarded with way too many people taking up a really small amount of space, you kind of get used to just ignoring the people around you. Everyone has a certain glaze of apathy that's needed just to get through the day and not go crazy because you're constantly having to fight for your personal space on a train, on the sidewalks, on the bus, in an elevator, at the grocery store, everywhere. One of the things this glaze does when you're on the train is you unintentionally ignore the fact that there's other people around you, you do things like play with your phone, read a book, or stare up at the ads in a train, which are placed above the heads of people so that you can blissfully avoid all eye-contact.

It's a brilliant place to put ads, and the awareness campaign is just that. To make people aware. Kids are going to see it and like with anti-smoking or anti-drugs, slowly change the way people perceive the way they're taking up space in a very public place. I'm all for these ads and I think they're great, but anyone who thinks they're there to change the minds of the people who are already assholes are fooling themselves, misinformed, or just unaware of the situation in large cities.

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Postby Xard » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:56 pm

View Original PostGob Hobblin wrote:This is a holdover from Mayor Giuliani's term. When he came into office, New York City was a miserable frigging city. They still had porn shops on Times Square.

As part of several initiatives to clean up the city, Giuliani got really hard on code enforcement, including giving all New York City law agencies new directives in how hard they were to enforce those codes. It's the same mentality that allowed 'Stop-and-Frisk' to get passed. That same mentality went into overdrive following 9/11.

It's the reason there's been a rise in police complaints against the NYPD (and other New York law agencies), but it's also the reason why New York is a 'nicer' city.

It's the kind of thing the current Mayor has been trying to curtail, and he's been running into pushback from the police unions. This is simple: there's nothing more to it than that. A mayor gave his police a blank check, and now it's coming back to haunt them.


As far as fighting crime goes overall I'm in favor of Giuliani style "no broken windows" policies and especially so in case of massive, already unmanageable cities like New York but it looks like this stuff went in places overdrive even for me after 9/11. Which is understandable I guess, but still...

I guess the biggest reason why I'm finding this so hard to fathom is because I've always classified stuff like this under mores and etiquette, not area of freaking criminal law. Being rude in public transport is bad but it isn't criminal behavior exactly. Heck, I've been in Tokyo underground during rush hour and that's something else, even in comparison to New York. Japanese have understandably strict train etiquette. Talking in phone is seriously frowned upon for example.

Still they haven't actually criminalized such actions as taking excess space (it's fairly usual to see some collapsed, tired salaryman sleeping on a bench) or answering the cell phone and whatever. I don't see how seat hogging bans help to fight terrorism either.

I guess this comes down to Tokyo being much safer city and social pressure controls being tighter in Japan. (you don't have to avoid gazes of other people in order to avoid getting stabbed in Tokyo, they'll avoid your gaze anyway for being a scary tall gaijin! :lol:)
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Postby Gob Hobblin » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:06 pm

Well, you can be caned in Singapore for spitting on the street. And you can be fined in China for doing the same thing: code enforcements on public behavior aren't exactly a new thing.

The issue with what's happening in New York City is that they work: the city is a much nicer city. The problem is the cost. Take Stop-and-Frisk, for instance: it pretty much fell apart when it was revealed that the number of African-American men being stopped and frisked in New York City was roughly three times the actual population of African-American men who lived there, which meant that individuals were being stopped by police multiple times during the day.

When Stop-and-Frisk was ended, there was (and still is) an uptick in individuals being arrested for 'selling loose cigarettes.' This is a very tough charge to disprove on the spot, and has led to several detainments. Mayor de Blasio has been trying to curb this, but it's tough for him to do: he is not popular with the NYPD, and it's difficult to enact changes on the police agencies without department assistance (especially when the police unions are coming down very hard on him).
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Postby Xard » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:10 pm

View Original PostGob Hobblin wrote:Well, you can be caned in Singapore for spitting on the street. And you can be fined in China for doing the same thing: code enforcements on public behavior aren't exactly a new thing.


True enough, I didn't think about China (Singapore is in its own category in my mind so comparisons to it are kinda beside the point on these things). Of course laws need to govern proper limits of public behavior - for example no nudity on the Main Street - and I don't question that. I just mean for me this sort of bad etiquette is more in the category of farting than littering which in certain conditions should be fined. :shrug:

Oh well. I guess I'd understand the rationale better if I lived first hand in NYC and had to suffer daily huge masses of people and gloomy underground travels.
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Postby Ray » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:13 pm

What is it with police and bigotry against Black people? News flash Commissioner Gordon! Blacks have been considered human beings since 1863, and finally got equal rights as human beings in 1964!
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Postby Tankred » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:18 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:What is it with police and bigotry against Black people? News flash Commissioner Gordon! Blacks have been considered human beings since 1863, and finally got equal rights as human beings in 1964!


Lay off the soundbites, Ray, these issues are far more complex than simple outright bigotry.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32963426

Solar plane forced to land back in Japan due to bad weather in the pacific.

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Postby drinian » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:19 pm

The particular people in this story were Latino, Ray. The practices of the NYPD and their statistical oddities have been discussed in a lot of other forums.

I think that we need to wind up this topic.

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Postby UrsusArctos » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:21 pm

View Original PostTankred wrote:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32963426

Solar plane forced to land back in Japan due to bad weather in the pacific.


Looks a lot like a derivative of the old Helios design. A very necessary call, given the distances of open ocean he was about to cover.
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Not knowing that Monk is bi is like not knowing the Pope is Catholic - ZapX.
You're either really bad at interpreting jokes or really good at pretending you are and I have no idea which.-Monk Ed
WAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!(<-link to lunacy)...Taste me, if you can bear it. (Warning: Language NSFW)
The main point of idiocy is for the smart to have their lulz. Without human idiocy, trolling would not exist, and that's uncool, since a large part of my entertainment consists of mocking the absurdity and dumbassery of the world, especially the Internet.-MaggotMaster


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