Lebroning open thread

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Yikes, Tommy

(#318296)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Tell us how you *really* feel, why don't you?

As scandals go, this falls a few orders of magnitude short of chasing Mr. and Mrs. Grifter Owner out of town with bags of cash, and even farther short of this low moment:

But I suspect that Tommy is going to be a tad less visible from now on, even though the fact that most of the people who know him don't despise him and the fact that his role is almost completely ceremonial these days will spare him a fate like Sterling's. It's bad for the brand to be associated with wishes that (more or less) law-abiding people be hit by a bus*, even if said hypothetical organic speed bump would be (fairly accurately)** described as a dimwitted gold-digging homewrecker by Mr. Lasorda's generation.

*--now, if he was particularly good at *throwing* people under the bus, he might be considered Presidential timber.

**--Tommy's generation would probably not bother to add "shamelessly self-promoting," but I'm glad to throw it in.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

"Rick and Morty" made me laugh

(#318278)

It's a comedy show on youtube if you're looking for some comedy.

Subtle

(#318244)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Also--*waves to the east*--"thanks for putting this together, anonymous Cavs fan!" :-P

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

A few series where Pistons players fell over on their own accord

(#318283)
brutusettu's picture

and then picked up foul calls on Cavs players, LeBron learned some lessons well.

My NBA boycott is on hiatus

(#318257)
Bird Dog's picture

I watched most of the second half of the Pacers-BulletsWizards, and the Pacers are in trouble.

I also watched a chunk of the Clippers-SonicsThunder game, and it's amazing the Thunder won so many games with such bad defense. Giving up 91 points in three quarters is bad.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

The Spurs Look Shaky, Too

(#318259)
M Scott Eiland's picture

It would be crazy not to pick them over the Blazers, but if the Blazers somehow pull it off. . .they're playing with house money at this point, so if they somehow manage the epic upset of the dynasty team this city will go absolutely a****it.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Dear nightmares, allow me to introduce P. urarachnoides

(#318225)

or the "spider-tailed adder" of western Iran. 

In their 2006 paper, Bostanchi et al. described the structure of the tail, which is formed of the last pair of subcaudal scales, much enlarged, and a single enlarged dorsal scale. The elongated components are modified lateral scales. X-rays taken by the team showed that the caudal vertebrae extend well into this structure and are not deformed or modified. Bostanchi et al. also speculated that the function of the modified tail might be to augment caudal luring behavior exhibited by many vipers. By mimicking a solfugid, birds or other would-be solfugid predators could be enticed to approach within the viper's striking distance.

If it sounds like they're describing a snake with a tarantula-like tail, it's only because they're describing a snake with a taratula-like tail.

 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Interesting critter

(#318292)

I thought the spider/scorpion-looking tail would be a defense mechanism to scare away predators, like the rattlesnake's rattle. BUt it's actually a lure for catching prey.

B-Roll Fail

(#318221)
brutusettu's picture

Step 1A: Mention relatives of the SK ferry disaster.

Step 1B:  Show pictures of random mourning Asians.

 

 

 

"In SKorean Ferry Disaster Segment, Fox News Shows Wrong Asian People"

 

Fox News Site link

at about the 1:40 mark, someone at Fox randomly picked sad looking Asian B-roll, those people aren't a group of Koreans.  

 

 

It's not like there was just one person in the footage, there are a dozen+ people there.  It doesn't look like a group of Koreans.

 

h/t Loomis of LGM

 

 

Hey

(#318230)

It was a tragedy of global proportions, and everyone has a right to mourn.  Fox could have shown a crowd of mourning Swedes or Costa Ricans.  It just so happened they picked some people who were Asian but not Korean.   I'd hate to think that you think that Fox thinks that we think they all look alike.  That would be awful.

 

True story:  after the Virginia Tech shooting,  our administration here (1493 miles away and approximately 0.0% +/0.01% of our students from VA)  set up emergency grief counseling sessions.  You can't take the risk of being insensitive.

 

 

 

 

Stephen Hawking is wasting his brilliant mind

(#318206)

worrying about artificial intelligence systems destroying humanity:

 

An explosive transition is possible ... as Irving Good realised in 1965, machines with superhuman intelligence could repeatedly improve their design even further, triggering what Vernor Vinge called a "singularity"

 

One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand. Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all. ...

 

Although we are facing potentially the best or worst thing to happen to humanity in history, little serious research is devoted to these issues outside non-profit institutes such as the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, the Future of Humanity Institute, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, and the Future of Life Institute.

 

Only 4 think tanks worrying about a problem that is nowhere on the horizon?  

 

As a research program, an artificial general intelligence system has been mostly dead for decades. Despite a few notable exceptions, including some "deep learning" projects in universities and Google recently hiring crackpot futurist Ray Kurzweil, AI research is mostly dedicated toward specialized expert systems, typically with the potential for relatively short-term commercial application. I follow this stuff reasonably and get more out of math-y developmental psychologists than computer scientists.

 

I think an eminent scientist like Stephen Hawking could be exercising better judgment about where to focus society's attention.

Wire cutters

(#318222)

Always keep some within arms reach.

 

"worst thing to happen to humanity".   Yeah,  he's overreacting.  If AI gets really intelligent,  there'll be something or somebody out there smarter than us.  Maybe Hawking thinks that's a novel situation, but most of us already live with it every day.

 

What I worry about is developing something that is rapidly self-replicating but not intelligent.

 

 

 

 

"I worry about something self-replicating but not intelligent"

(#318227)

I think as long as it has young blood we should be OK with this.

We already have the Tea Party nt

(#318239)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

Selfish Little So And Sos Probably Don't Even *Have* Blood

(#318228)
M Scott Eiland's picture

We'll need to send little Matty Yglesias out to beat them vigorously about the head and shoulders with a 90% tax bracket.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Given His Prior Complaints. . .

(#318223)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .I have to assume that the *worst* thing possible would be a bunch of aliens who acted like human beings did during the Age of Exploration, who had also invented artificial intelligence that had gotten out of hand. In the words of that "Bear Cavalry" motivational I've seen floating around, "Yeah--we're f***ed."

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

OK

(#318226)

I'll concede that swarms of swarms of robots who dress and act like Conquistadors would be a bad thing.

Wouldn't Alan Turing's principle apply to the singularity as

(#318214)

well? What I mean is, it wouldn't make much difference whether we actually build a self-generating artificial intelligence, or we simply build a system that behaves enough like one to make no difference in terms of results. 

 

You could think of the singularity as "runaway recursion" in any system capable of outstripping human decisions and replicating its own powers far beyond our capacity to control or understand. Certain systems... for example electronic automated trading on stock markets, already behaves something like that definitnion of a "singularity."

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Mimicing general artificial intelligence

(#318229)

is really the only concern here.

 

An artificial expert stock trader that outperforms humans isn't going to outsmart us when we want to turn it off b/c it can't reason about how to avoid being turned off. Expert systems problem-solve only in specific domains.

 

Despite something resembling work on a general problem-solver in a few areas like Google Brain, there isn't much progress or resources associated with that kind of AI research. The singularity ranks somewhere below even Benghazi as a pressing societal concern.

I agree

(#318236)
HankP's picture

what we'll see is a natural language super query system with ways to handle idiomatic expressions, similar to a ship's computer on Star Trek. But true machine consciousness with the ability to self-program? A long, long ways off and not something anyone needs to worry about.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

An automated stock trader has a built-in

(#318235)

feedback mechanism designed to prevent us from turning it off and punishing us if we do. Namely, we lose money. The Turing principle says it doesn't matter whether a system can actually reason about its own actions, only that it can act as if it does. A stock trader system certainly acts as if it has outstripped human trading and is taking steps to see that it is replicating by expanding in current markets and migrating to new ones. 

 

In other words, automatic trading systems are already manipulating human economies according to their own logic and needs.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

There's no understanding in an expert system

(#318238)
HankP's picture

just extremely fast lookup and cross correlation. Nothing that we would call thinking.

 

Look at it this way, to impute thought to an expert system implies that a universal Turing machine has consciousness. Do you really want to make that proposition?

 

 

I blame it all on the Internet

But I'm not imputing thought, just pointing out

(#318243)

that some expert systems already outstrip human decisionmaking and contain feedback mechanisms that punish us for trying to control them or turn them off.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I don't think so

(#318247)
HankP's picture

the system isn't punishing us, we're punishing ourselves by putting the system in an environment that is dangerous (financially) and we didn't think through what pulling the plug meant. We also didn't plan for the system to fail gracefully. But that's entirely on the people who designed and installed it.

 

If you stick your head in a guillotine and make it impossible to get out of it without releasing the  blade, that doesn't make he guillotine intelligent.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Give the guillotine a moral algorithm and start

(#318248)

plugging in the facts of your case, and it starts not to matter.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

That's the point

(#318252)
HankP's picture

there is no "moral algorithm". There are only rule based conditions and results and no understanding.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Rule based conditions = moral algorithm, then morality chip. nt

(#318275)
mmghosh's picture

-

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

There is no morality without self awareness and understanding

(#318277)
HankP's picture

would you talk about the morality of rocks, or of plants? It doesn't even make any sense.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

I think we're getting hung up in semantics.

(#318285)

Like that ever happens. Anyway, what I meant by "moral algorithm" is simply that the guillotine decides, based on rules and inputs, whether a convicted enemy of the people is going to receive the death penalty or life in prison. The rules are simply a points system, and the points are awarded by inputs entered by the executioner. They include the conviction itself with, say, a three-part level of severity entered by the revolutionary committee, the crime itself (with some crimes being classed on a graduated scale as more heinous than others), mitigating circumstances, character witnesses if any, prior service to the Revolution if any, mens rea of the crime, and popular acclaim and revolutionary bloodthirst as judged by polling the crowd and/or yays/nays on the day of the execution. Of course executioners can be bribed in both directions, crowds can be packed in both directions, etc.  

 

Given all of the above inputs, plus a random factor that can sway a few points in either direction, the guillotine will arrive at a score and either drop the blade or not. In this case the machine begins to approximate a judge and jury.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

It's an algorithm

(#318299)
HankP's picture

but it ain't moral, unless you think morality can be condensed into simple rules (it can't, or at least no one's been able to do that). It's just the programmer trying to reduce his idea of morality into a rule based system. It will also be subject to the errors that we find in current software and limited to situations that the programmer has thought of ahead of time - and I can tell you that no programmer thinks of every eventuality when they're writing code.

 

It would be a system that kills people based on the programmer's subjective criteria, but no way of actually balancing concerns except according to a formula. I would say that's not morality and no one would accept it's findings as such.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Again, it's just semantics.

(#318302)

Moral judgments obviously are made when compiling the code, so you could call what the machine is built to do a kind of "a priori automated moral judgment". Just going by outcomes alone, whether the blade drops or not in a particular case would be largely predictable but unpredictable in detail, just like 95% of human moral judgments, and that's the key feature I was getting at before. If you can't tell the difference between a machine making judgments and a person making judgments, then the difference can't matter a great deal. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

That's so far off it's not even wrong

(#318315)
HankP's picture

let's look at a simple case - one person kills another. Guilty, right? Well no, because they claim self defense and we generally don't consider people culpable when acting in self defense. So now the algorithm has to be able to handle self defense claims. But what's the definition of a self-defense claim? Self-defense is defined as the right to prevent suffering force or violence through the use of a sufficient level of counteracting force or violence. But how much suffering? You wouldn't excuse a shotgun blast to avoid having someone getting a splinter in their finger. So now you have to program every possible definition of "suffering", as well as other words like "force", "violence", "sufficient", "counteracting", etc. etc. You'd also have to program some way to handle "proportionality", "knowledge of alternatives", and a way to balance those competing ideas.

 

What you basically get is an ever expanding program that always has giant blank spots when judging actual cases. In the absence of understanding these meanings, you're just allowing the programmer to determine who lives and who dies. And if you try to remove the programmer in favor of "objective" metrics, you still need a way to get that information into the system making the data entry person the moral agent since they'll need to determine how to encode these various parameters.

 

Nope, without cognition there can't be morality. All you have is a killing machine that can be manipulated by whoever designed it or is running it, who the becomes the moral agent making the decision. An algorithm can't even determine the truth or falsity of statements in a language as simple as arithmetic, expecting it to make decisions in an area as amorphous as morality is foolish at best.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

That's funny.

(#318437)

As I read through this I thought that while the programmer is trying to add complexity to a deterministic rules based system in order to try to make it appear more human the law layers rules on top of human judgement in order to make it less so.

 

I really see no reason why they couldn't meet in the middle. "The law is an [stuborn] ass, but the law is the law"

 

To quote you:

 

All you have is a killing machine that can be manipulated by whoever designed it or is running it, who the becomes the moral agent making the decision.

 

Is this the law or an AI? Hard to tell.

The problems are fewer than you think.

(#318321)
mmghosh's picture

And certainly programmable.  But let's say the iJustice (TM) program could handle 80% of routine cases and refer on the 20% of the supposedly morally ambiguous parts.

 

Anyway, this is already happening.  Say Source A tips off a low level functionary in the Afghan government that a militant could be present at so-and-so wedding party.  The functionary passes along the information to his local ISAF commander, who activates Las Vegas.   The information is routed through a program that analyses for (a) previous credible threats from Source A (b) % of positive "kills" and so forth - and hey presto, Hellfire on its way.

 

http://www.juancole.com/2013/04/innocent-victims-currier.html

 

One could also build in an autocalculator of compensation for innocent collaterals, and autotransfer into bank accounts.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

I don't think so

(#318325)
HankP's picture

one of the richest companies on the planet can't even create a reliable secure OS, let alone write reliable programs. Techno optimists always seem to take what can be done in principal and assume that it can be done in practice, which is a horrible mistake. I see the results every day.

 

But once again, the machine isn't making judgments. At best, it's just computing what the programmer told it to do. If you think a system of morality can be reduced to if|then statements, I'm pretty sure you haven't thought it through.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

yogi berra

(#318334)

"in theory, theory and practice are the same. in practice, they aren't."

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Stoning a couple to death for adultery fits your criteria.

(#318329)
mmghosh's picture

It would be a system that kills people based on the programmer's subjective criteria, but no way of actually balancing concerns except according to a formula. I would say that's not morality and no one would accept it's findings as such.

Formula:  

Adultery::Bad.  

Evidence::Yes

Sentence::Stoning

 

There is no actual logic to this except arbitrariness about what constitutes morality.  This above was accepted as morality for many centuries.

 

Perhaps we can get rid of Jordan's moral guillotine, and simply lock people away to allow for error correction - a recursive program could re-look at the evidence, say yearly, with a self correcting algorithm written in.  Isn't that a parole board?

 

It could be done.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

I Am Reminded. . .

(#318324)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .of a single panel cartoon that dates (IIRC) from the 1970s. Two men in lab coats are standing next to an old-style tape reel mainframe computer. One man is looking at the equally old style output results on a spool of paper while the other stands by. The caption reads: "You realize that it would take ten thousand human mathematicians working for twenty thousand years to make a mistake this big?" :-P

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Yep. The net result is a moral judgment

(#318322)

that wasn't actually made by a "person."

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

If you write down a moral judgment

(#318326)
HankP's picture

is it you making the judgment or the pen and paper? Because that's what your argument sounds like to me.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Well, laws are written down. Are laws moral judgments?

(#318327)

We often act as though they are, allowing the written laws to make decisions that we would consider moral decisions (example: what to do with a person convicted of armed robbery). I don't see any particular difference between written laws and coded algorithms.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Now you're just f!cking with me

(#318328)
HankP's picture

the symbol is not the thing. And recording on paper isn't creating or understanding.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

I think we're arguing about different things.

(#318331)

I'm not saying a written law replaces a human being who makes moral judgments, I'm just saying the results are hard to distinguish. That's all the Turing Test implies.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

and what I'm saying

(#318332)
HankP's picture

is that after several thousand years of development the written law (and moral codes) aren't something that work without interpretation or at least an understanding of the human condition.

I blame it all on the Internet

Compilation reads source and generates executable modules.

(#318304)

As for passing the Turing Test, unless the machine started making excuses for itself, I wouldn't call it even remotely human-like. 

That Turing Test...?

(#318308)
Jay C's picture

Most likely the machine would be programmed, or self-program, to attribute any flaws/problems/bad results to outside agencies: most likely, its human programmers. IOW, shift the blame: how much more "human" can one get....???    ;)

+1.

(#318290)
mmghosh's picture

-

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Rules-based systems don't produce moral outputs.

(#318276)

Morality is what you won't do under any circumstances.  Surprising how few such conditions exist for even so-called moral people.  Morality isn't rules-based.  It's frame-based, a completely different paradigm.  Here's why:

 

Some old moral systems such as Torah-based Judaism have rules.  But such rules never satisfy present conditions.  Can a child use rollerblades on Shabbos?  And if so, how far could he go?  The Orthodox have a constraint on how far they can walk on Shabbos, the eruv.  The observant Jew would take his question to his rabbi, who might not know and would then have to consult other authorities. 

 

Rules never suffice.  Furthermore, humans are always making exceptions to their rules.  For instance, the Orthodox Jews, Amish and other heavily rule-based moral cultures make immediate and drastic exceptions to save a life.  Only frame-based reasoning , with its own problem domains and resolution of seeming contradictions can possibly give people any guidance. 

Perhaps some sort of hybrid system.

(#318438)

Rules based toreflect the laws, that are just rules after all, and a heuristic component that could be fed past data from millions of cases to reach a conclusion.

Your turn, conservatives

(#318156)

The right answer to the Clippers ownership challenge is to sell it to the people of Los Angeles. Green Bay, not billionaires, is the model.

 

Wait ... Newt Gingrich said that?

In Fairness. . .

(#318159)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .even the bastion of incompetence that is the Los Angeles city government could probably do a better job of running the Clippers than Donald Sterling has, and the Clippers would be a far more profitable enterprise than any number of boondoggles the state of California has engaged in. In the unlikely event that the NBA sells the franchise to the city, I will have no per se objections, though the actual practice might prove me to have been overly optimistic.

That being said, Newt Gingrich is about as useful an "expert" on useful conservative positions these days as I am regarding useful coaching techniques for women gymnasts.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Once the dems goat a supermajority

(#318163)

and could override Republican obstructionism California's fiscal house was put in order quite quickly. The supermajority is gone now though so I expect the Republicans will do their best to screw things up as much as they can.

Goating a supermajority

(#318174)

The goating ceremony, or paseo de cabra,  that obscure custom only known in states formerly under Spanish rule,  in which the party earning a two-thirds majority of a house is entitled to parade a show goat on the house floor,  and mock the opposition with traditional songs and dances.

I'd Suggest. . .

(#318175)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .that the California Republican Party adopt an all-goat slate for candidates for the state legislature and statewide offices in 2014. The competence level of the ones elected should be as good or better than the current ones (and those from the past eighteen years), and feeding them would be cheaper.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

An "all-goat slate" for the CA GOP?

(#318176)
Jay C's picture

I thought they had done that already....

Chewy Stringbeard. . .

(#318178)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .the Grand Gnawer of the Hircusian* International Brotherhood, would like to have a word with you regarding defamatory comparisons directed at his membership, possibly to be punctuated by chewing a hole in one of your tires. :-P

*--Capra aegagrus hircus.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Your Turn, Liberals

(#318139)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Anthony Kennedy is an equal opportunity PITA on the Court, and this time he gets to annoy No-Life Newdow and other foes of cermonial deism.*

 

*--tell you the truth, I wouldn't have minded so much if this one went the other way, if the decision was a narrow one noting that "equal access" seems to have been theoretically advocated but not carried out in practice, and that the lack of practice was fatal to the prayer custom. But the annoying man seems to have a point that closely monitoring "equal time" here would itself pose Establishment Clause issues. Public minded gadflies will probably take it upon themselves to make sure everyone gets their fifteen seconds of invocation here, and that's all right.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

The gadflies are already getting their 15 minutes & won the case

(#318212)
brutusettu's picture

The prayers won't always be an explicit test, but there's danger of implicit test of a pure religious nature.  The heathen's and nonbelievers are obviously wrong and they won't be listened to sort of de facto test.

 

 

Then there's the side issue of people praying after the start of government meeting, making sure they get the wording right, that they are "God, I'm a sinner, have mercy " all the while thinking in their heart "at least I'm not a tax collector."  

 

I'm not so sure that government agencies should start their meetings with mini-religious ceremonies. 

 

 

do deist pray to the god in public?  Do they pray to God?

 

 

ceremonial deist????  I've got an Eiffel Tower to sell, anyone interested?

If you can only be good at one thing, be good at lying.

(#318118)

 ... Because if you're good at lying, you're good at everything. 

Ignore the unemployment rate, Yellen and others

(#318112)

Yglesias makes the case here, with this graph showing the nub of it:

But if the 6.3% unemployment rate doesn't indicate a reasonably healthy labor market, what indicator should we look to instead? 

 

Wages rising, is one plausible answer:

 

The unemployment rate, which counts people actively seeking work, overstates labor market slack during good times, because some people are always between jobs. Even during the halcyon 1990s, the rate bottomed out around 4 percent.

 

Since the recession, however, the unemployment rate has understated slack, because millions of Americans have stopped looking for jobs that do not exist.

 

Wage inflation ... is basically a summary of the balance between supply and demand. Employers raise wages as they find it harder to hire and retain qualified workers, so the market, in effect, is constantly judging the extent of labor market slack.

 

... Mr. Blanchflower found affirmation for this theory in Friday’s jobs report. In the traditional view, the decline of the official unemployment rate should have indicated that the labor market was closer to good health, and it should have put upward pressure on wages. But the unemployment rate fell entirely because people stopped looking for work, not because they found jobs. And wages did not rise by even a penny.

 

“What happened today is entirely consistent with what we said would happen,” Mr. Blanchflower said in an interview by telephone on Friday morning. “Hourly wages were up two pennies last month, and this month they’re flat, and that tells you there’s too much slack in the labor market. And all the other stuff is just noise.”

U.S. uninsured rate plummets

(#318095)

It is no longer debatable that Obamacare is responsible for a very significant expansion of health insurance, an expansion that won't be measured in millions but in 10s of millions:

 

The 4.6 percentage-point drop since Obamacare enrollment launched is the equivalent of 14.4 million people gaining insurance.

Baste with additional 7-up if necessary

(#318080)

There was an LGM thread on 7-Up ham

(#318117)
Jay C's picture

I saw this old ad on a diary at Lawyers, Guns & Money the other day: many commenters pointed out that, odd as it might look, there actually is some sort of tradition (Southern, mainly, I think) of using 7-Up - and other sodas - in cooking: something about the acidity/lemon/sugar. Personally, I'll pass....

 

Though that thread did provide me with a literal LOL experience: it lead me to revisit, after a long absence, James Lileks' Gallery of Regrettable Food - in which the 7-Up recipes from God-knows-when do have a cherished spot.

In Louisiana, Cajuns use root beer to glaze a ham.

(#318104)

n/t

Ignorant and backwards

(#318106)

Coca Cola is the proper marinade for ham.  Maybe RC as a backup.

Big Red for carp balls. -nt-

(#318109)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Coca-Cola Cake

(#318294)

This Coke cake recipe was contributed by Lee Avery Catts to "Atlanta Cooknotes" and was published by The Junior League of Atlanta.
Ingredients
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Coca-Cola
1 ½ cups small marshmallows
½ cups butter or margarine
½ cups vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cups butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
1 box (16-ounces) confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
Preparation

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr  15 min
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, sift the sugar and flour.
Add marshmallows.
In a saucepan, mix the butter, oil, cocoa and Coca-Cola. Bring to a boil and pour over dry ingredients; blend well.
Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk just before adding to batter along with eggs and vanilla extract, mixing well.
Pour into a well-greased 9- by-13-inch pan and bake 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and frost immediately.
Coca-Cola Cake Frosting

To make frosting, combine the 1/2 cup butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa and 6 tablespoons of Coca-Cola in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over confectioners' sugar, blending well. Add vanilla extract and pecans. Spread over hot cake. When cool, cut into squares and serve.

They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...
-- General John B. Sedgwick, 1864

If I'm reading that correctly, it contains just over 3 cups of

(#318295)

sugar, and only 2 cups of flour. At what point does one draw the line between cake and a candybar?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Let's not forget

(#318298)

The entire box of confectioner's sugar for the frosting. 

They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...
-- General John B. Sedgwick, 1864

Lot Of Butter/Margarine In There, Though

(#318300)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Does anyone here have professional experience that would be relevant to determining where the traditional line has been? It certainly looks like a borderline case between pastry/cake and candy, to say the least.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I'd call it

(#318307)

an emetic. 

You're Not Wrong

(#318312)
M Scott Eiland's picture

And I *like* sweets in general and Coca-Cola in particular, recent dietary successes notwithstanding.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

With the baking powder/soda, buttermilk and carbonation

(#318303)

I'd say it's a cake of some sort.  Candy would be a melted sugar something-or-other. 

Agreed

(#318310)

Based on my wife's experiments,  I'd say it's going to be like a very heavy brownie,  one of those ones that's almost fudge but still has some bready texture.   And yeah,  the carbonation ought to help.

It gives your gravy an unusual, delicious flavor. -nt-

(#318102)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Yikes

(#318115)
M Scott Eiland's picture

If the mythical sugar ban ever takes place, this will become the moral equivalent of chowing down on endangered animals in PC eyes.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Carcassonne, France

(#318078)

My IP in London and Frankfurt were blocked...lol...it happens to me...still here is my latest Missive from Barcelona/Moulins de Rei

Dear All
 

No, I´m not there yet, but from here in Northern Spain, I am within striking distance, maybe 350 km across the Pyranee Mountains, which did look like a fierce barrier when I flew over from Frankfurt. Being a bit of a Medievalist, I´ve always wanted to go a to Carcassonne and so I will brave or try to avoid the feared Spanish Auto Pista toll Road system by going parael to AP7 North.
 

 

Forgive the spelling and other errors in this....I am typing on my Hotel´s computer with no spell check and on a Spanish Keyboard!
 

Well!
 

Yet, as my brother has wisesly pointed out to me, my problems, problems every day that I must surmount, (how does one opperate an automated parking cashier from an underground park in Barcelona, Spain?!? Or will I be trapped down here forever....) these are not normal people problems, these are not the concerns of the poor and the downtrowden, or even regular people...I lost my ability to have my Chrome Book connenct in Spain, so I have to borrow computers or trade stocks on my 4 inch cell phone screen....this is a problem, we´re talking money here! But, as Michael has noted, these are not the problems of most people...and if I have to trade on less than perfect knowledge, this is still not what other people worry about.
 

Let me interrupt with a story, I was with a lovely Bolivian woman, an Agronomist, doing post doctorate work at the London School of Economics....and she eventually asks, Äsks, So, what do you do?

I had to answer, I´m a Lawyer, but mostly I make money trading stocks now....
 
This was not an adequate answer.
 
Yes, I have to take medicines every day, anti-convulsives for pain, thyroid, several blood pressure meds...and this is an excuse for what exactly?
 
I have had fantistic luck on this trip. My 30lb shoulder pack spilled open onto the far away hard tile of London-Heathrow upon landing, but my cameras and lenses landed on my heavy, well padded winter coat.
I could not find my way in Moleins de Rei, Spain, and I was complaining to Michael in a gas station by phone, when a nice, lovely young woman offered to drive me there. Last night in a small Spanish bar-restraruant, real Madrid playing Valincia on every television, they still fed me well, none of my very poor Spanish being understood at all. In a paper thin side street in Barcelona, I have to make a u-turn with a thousand teeming tourists surround me, but, in the end...
 

The night was pleasant, the breeze off the Medeterrian soothing...
 

I have problems....my cell phone seemingly will not accept a re-charge of money....I am trying to live on what a student stipend would be....so after some trouble in a small store with my terrible Spanish, a baker comes out and gives me a baguette so hot it burns the fingers even through the paper wrapping...he smiles, I buy a couple of green apples.
 

Yes, life is difficult...let´s get on with it.
 

Best Wishes, Trraveller

 

Definitely try to get to Carcasonne

(#318119)
Jay C's picture

I've been there -  I won't say anything now, but will definitely recommend it. The town itself is something to see, but the region around it is one of the more pleasant bits of France for touring in (IMHO).

Carcasonne will be fabulous. On to Les Baux and Banon

(#318218)
mmghosh's picture

- no cheese like chevre.  Lucky!

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

A Note from Carassonne, Southern France

(#318280)

...and yes, Catchy, I will try to take your advice...but still living off oatmeal, fruits, raw vegitables and whatever protein in legumes and stray meats I can pick up ....there are benefits here, but after 8 days I am hungry....lol

 

Dearest Brian:

Even after I meet Dana in Logorno, Spain, on May 9th, I still have 10 days on this voyage....this has been and will be a long time wandering. Surprisingly, the body is doing well...there have been several tests, almost boot camp like; I got locked INTO the forests surrounding the Fortress Salses, in Southern France....and had to climb several high fences to get out....lol....great adventures everywhere. And I hope a re-birthing of myself. Pain is a gentle companion, a reminder of real mortality, but my life will be mine, and I now intend to gain again moral relevancy....I don't know how yet, but that is the plan.

 

So I am doing well....lol

 

You are of course correct, the Autopista's in Spain are fabulous and are to be embraced....but there really is no choice...one literally cannot drive from Barcelona to the French border without getting on and paying a toll....but once I surrendered to this...cost....I have followed your advice and enjoyed the effortless driving and endless vistas with good joy.

 

I think I'm going to spend a third night here in Carcassonne...it is just my city, sometimes if you are lucky it works out this way. It is small and sleepy, but quintessentially old France, so I love it. I am staying outside of town in a little hotel in the middle of a grape vineyard. Farming and countryside stretch to the horizon and it is dark-dark at night.

 

35 Euros...but as you know, the dollar isn't worth dirt, so we do the best we can.

 

If you love Gdansk, Poland, stay an extra day yourself!

 

I am glad you are doing well.

 

With Real Affection, Nicky

 

 

Rely to Traveller

(#318076)

I'm always amazed by your sense of adventure!

 

But what is this? "... I am trying to live on what a student stipend would be.."

 

Good grief, loosen those purse strings.

Good video

(#318069)
Bird Dog's picture

But I'd rather see it in just one diary.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Moderator on duty - dupe deleted

(#318074)
Jay C's picture

or "Unpublished" - hopefully I haven't bollixed the site by cleaning it out.

You did good, kid nt

(#318197)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet