Vox analysed the impressive economics of Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson: An economic analysis

But how does Homer Simpson represent America? Vox did some calculations to see how he stands amongst the rest of the US and how he represents the “upper lower middle class”.

His salary from the nuclear plant was pretty bad, at least by today’s standards: $37,416 (adjusted for inflation). According to Vox’s calculations, that puts the Simpsons on the zip wire of lower and middle class. Of course, they’ve tasted morsels of the upper class high life (when Marge got that pink Chanel suit and when Homer got hair).

(Full article including list of jobs)

The Ad Hominem Fallacy Fallacy

One particular phrase uttered by cocky know-it-alls is “ad hominem” or, in full, “argumentum ad hominem”. They also like to say things in other languages to sound more intellectual.

What is ad hominem?

Ad hominem is a logical fallacy whereby someone tries to undermine a person’s argument by attacking them rather than addressing the argument made.

But those on the losing side tend to throw it around when they’ve been backed into a corner and think they’ve won “something” and ad hominem is being used incorrectly pretty much every time.

Two wrongs don’t make a right

That’s where writer Stephen Bond comes in with his brilliantly written article on the fallacy’s fallacy. Once you’ve read it, you’ll see just how difficult it is to call “ad hominem” and in fact, there’s not much point because you’re arguing on the internet.

Follow the link and read The Ad Hominem Fallacy Fallacy here.

(image via Skepchick.org)

Man submits 52,438-word dissertation without punctuation & passes

However, for one man the latter was one load off his mind. His 52,438-word thesis contained absolutely no punctuation whatsoever. Quite a contrast to the Tyler the Creator thesis we featured a while back.

Patrick Stewart wrote ‘Indigenous Architecture through Indigenous Knowledge’ without any commas, full stops or other such marks for a reason: to raise awareness about the “blind acceptance of English language conventions in academia” as well as making a point about Aboriginal culture and colonialism (his first draft was initially rejected because he wrote it in the Nisga’a language).

“There’s nothing in the (UBC [University of British Columbia] dissertation) rules about formats or punctuation”, Stewart told the National Post. Well played, sir. If only I could have got away with that at university.

Indigenously related: A Native American superhero exhibit at The Heard Museum in Arizona.

(via Time)

It's Not Hip To Be Square: What Is A Hipster Really?

But has it always been that way? Well, the truth is they aren’t the first hipsters to walk the earth.

A quick search of the term “hipster” on Wikipedia brings up two examples: one from “contemporary subculture” and one from “1940s subculture”. By definition, the former relates to the hipsters we know today, described as coming from a “mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior”. From this perspective, the term first came into prominence during the 90s before gaining a new life in the past five years but looking at the term’s previous history in the 1940s, everything changes.

In 1948, American literary critic Anatole Broyard wrote an article called A Portrait of the Hipster where he described the hipster as a “the illegitimate son of the Lost Generation” longing “to be somewhere”. Brossard’s article continued, describing terminology of the hipster such as “jive” – described as “a philosophy of somewhereness”, “solid”, “out of this world, and “drag” amongst others.

Norman Mailer in his essay “The White Negro” described hipsters as “philosophical psychopaths living on the fringe of society” but the crux of the essay depicted them as white people appropriating black culture through their adoption of black styles, vernacular and jazz music as their own as well as their choice of living in abject poverty. He also discussed the idea of hipsters living a life surrounded by death and choosing to disconnect from society with their own brand of existentialism.

Looking at the two produces stark contrasts in definition and subculture but in some cases, there are similarities. There’s a sense that the current hipster (or as I like to call them “fauxhemians”) chooses to look dishevelled and absent from the mainstream culture as do the hipsters of the 40s.

But getting into the nitty-gritty of their motives is where the likenesses branch off. Fauxhemians are more aligned with indie music while hipsters were lovers of cool jazz and the former’s association with organic produce is a unique development. The reason I call them fauxhemians is because their lifestyles seem to be closer to those of the bohos of pre-20th Europe (although they are said to be descendants of the 40s hipster) rather than their appropriating American counterparts.

Their disconnect from mainstream society isn’t related to a life centred around death; rather it seems to be a choice purely in the name of paradoxical individualism, as perfectly depicted on 2000s TV series Nathan Barley. They even have their own brand of racism and sexism, involving “ironic” Kill Whitie Parties and appropriation of Native American headdresses supposedly to satirise political correctness and repeated uses of the terms “bitch” and “slut” amongst others.

Truth be told, it’s a complicated subject to form a complete picture of how the movements are all related and what they truly mean to those involved. But one thing’s for sure – the new hipster isn’t going away any time soon and they’re not quite as cool as their 1940s cousins.

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