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Living Out Loud


It's wise to avoid relatively din-free public places when meeting friends who shout instead of conversing. There's a café I frequent where everybody's usually reading or writing or talking quietly...with the occasional exception:

"How'd your IRS thing go?" the little man yelled to his approaching friend.

His friend's face went red, almost from bottom to top, like in a cartoon.

On the bright side, Little Bigmouth didn't ask, "Test for crabs come out okay?!"


In other rudeness news, when somebody shushes you because you're shouting into your phone, avoid announcing, "It's not a library."

We're well aware of that, as we can all see the Starbucks logo all over the place.

Which means it's probably not a boxing match, either.

So...kindly shut the fuck up.

Posted by aalkon at August 25, 2007 1:03 PM


I belong to a stats reading group that meets in cafes periodically to discuss articles, and sometimes we get very loud. There's a software package many of us use where you can run a regression analysis without showing any results (very handy sometimes!); all you have to do is insert the word "quietly" before the "regress" command. Perhaps we all need to quietly regress.

Posted by: Lena at August 25, 2007 1:21 PM

It comes down to showing consideration for other people. Sometimes somebody will get exuberant in the moment...fine. But, willful ignoring of the fact that there are other people in the world who probably aren't so interested in your life seems to be the problem for far too many people.

I'm tempted to ask the guy if his problems with the IRS are through, but he wasn't the loud one but yet another sufferer of the loud one. Of course, he didn't tell the guy (politely or otherwise) to pipe down. Your friends really should be your first line of defense against being an asshole.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 25, 2007 1:46 PM

> (very handy sometimes!)


Posted by: Crid at August 25, 2007 5:53 PM

But if I don't shout how will all the babes in the joint know that I am buying 10,000 shares of Microsoft and having my Mercedes detailed.

Posted by: Mister Man at August 25, 2007 6:16 PM

My personal favorite, is all the folks who like to come out of the bar behind my apartment, screaming and yelling in amusement. Never mind that there are apartments skirting two sides of the parking lot. They just think it's grand and fun to act as complete and utter assholes.

My absolute favorite, is the ones who like to piss in the parking lot. Especially the ones who do so, right behind a van that has sat out, directly under my balcony. We get a wonderful reek wafting in, when we have the windows open and when I'm out smoking. My partner said something to an asshole out doing that the other day, he said "don't stare then, bitch." She ran in and got some eggs to throw at him - we keep some rotten ones in the fridge for just such occasions.

Posted by: DuWayne at August 26, 2007 12:06 AM

DuWayne, photographs, photographs. Take a picture, send it to me, and I'll post it if it's clear enough. Or set up a free blogspot blog with photos of the offenders. The egg thing might be considered assault.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 26, 2007 6:37 AM

Quick answer to your question, Crid: When you want to run a model as an intermediate step (i.e., to use the results only as input for a subsequent analysis), the regression output is only a waste of paper. Quietly regressing allows you to run it without producing a sheet of coefficients you don't need.

Posted by: Lena Cuisina, Numbers Cruncher (and Butt Muncher) at August 26, 2007 11:32 AM

We'll try to do that. The problem is that it usually happens at night and we don't have a flash for our cheap digital cam.

Actually, it is the minor assault charge, which is a $45 fine. Having talked to the police about it, they (of course) recommended against it, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. They also said that they would be required to cite someone for urinating in public, if it ever came up. The fine for that is up to $105. My neighbors who are within range of the smell have offered to cover the cost of the ticket, if it ever comes to that.

Posted by: DuWayne at August 26, 2007 12:45 PM

Lena, I almost followed that.

So why isn't this stuff built into Excel, or available as an add-on?

Posted by: Crid at August 26, 2007 1:10 PM

I just mean, why do we still need outboard statistical packages in 2007? If you can edit web pages with Microsfort Word, why can't you do regression analysis in Excel?

Posted by: Crid at August 26, 2007 1:11 PM

You can indeed do regression in Excel, but there's plenty of stuff it can't do -- like make adjustments to correct biased standard errors resulting from multi-stage sampling designs, without which we violate the assumption of uncorrelated observations that is behind most tests of statistical significance.

Can we talk about oral sex now?

Posted by: Lena at August 26, 2007 1:50 PM

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