Six To Ten Hours Of Hard Tab Processing

The poly discourse wars heat up, and nominative determinism strikes again.

The New York Times Magazine fired back at The Cut today in the ongoing Poly Discourse Wars with a feature about the Harvard University of polycules, a twenty-ish member group located “in the Boston area” (no, not Tufts) who are radically committed to the allegedly queer value of pretending everyone is happy. For such a short piece it was difficult to choose just one excerpt, but let’s go with this one:

Ann: My husband and I are very, very different, which is our strength. He’s a frat bro who loves sports, and I’m a radical alien witch academic nerd… We learned a strategy from the Multiamory podcast called “agile scrum,” which was adapted from business-meeting models. We utilized that format. We did that for a year and a half, at least once a month, sometimes six to 10 hours of hard poly-processing.

Look however you want to organize your relationship is fine, truly, but if you’re having a scrum once a month that lasts six to ten hours, you’re doing agile wrong in every conceivable way. Among the many questions left unanswered here are:

  • Does Ann know she sounds like an emotional terrorist?

  • Is Robert ok? (Clearly no.)

  • Why are there so many pictures of feet?

  • Is sitting “on the [hotel] bathroom floor chatting about our relationship all night” the worst date you’ve ever heard of, or just among the worst?

  • Is Nico only connected to this polycule by way of their love of gender studies?

Much to ponder. The Tabs discord produced not one but two attempted diagrams of the polycule, which give a more data-journalism view of how utterly baffling this piece is. Here’s one, by Christian Brown:

Josh Millard also posted a more annotated graph on Mastodon. Both make it clear that the polycule seems to be essentially five married male-female(ish) couples, orbited by an indeterminate number of studs, cuddle puddles, alt-wives, token transgender kid-havers, and interdisciplinary academic departments.


Perhaps the real lesson is that after many decades of media that makes traditional heterosexual monogamy sound awful, the inroads that nontraditional and alternative relationships have forged into mainstream consciousness are finally proving that, like hearing a stranger’s work call on speakerphone or being forced to listen to someone narrate a dream, other peoples’ intimate relationships are exhausting no matter what form they take.

Anyway, The Cut has already moved on to “Ending a Friendship Over Taylor Swift,” and remains undefeated.

Today In Heterosexuality: Bon Appétit’s “Shop My Divorce.”

Onan the Barbarian posted: “six to ten hours of hard poly-processing is what you do to render a frame of a pixar movie”

Roundup At The A.I. Corral:

Marques Brownlee agreed with David Pierce that the Humane A.I. pin sucks. Kevin Roose correctly noticed that A.I. companies are constantly making vague and unconvincing claims about their products, incorrectly concludes it’s a problem with testing, and hilariously asserts that “for years, the most popular method for measuring artificial intelligence was the so-called Turing Test.” Mike Masnick from a decade ago would like a word. It’s Always Just A Guy: Alex Hern suggests that A.I.’s telltale word choices are African English that has been trained into them by the massive army of cheap labor required to make L.L.M.s function at all. What if the dystopian tech was also extremely boring: The Limitless A.I. pendant will record all your conversions so you never miss an actionable learning or an app mentioned at the board meeting. Rest of World launched a global A.I. elections tracker for “the most noteworthy incidents of A.I.-generated election content globally.” And the worst thing I’ve seen today by a wide margin is The Orifice. Sam Cole I award you honorary debaser status for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

Today in Crabs:

Bill Activist Man’s nominative determinism strikes again in this story about table saw safety featuring Tom Noffsinger. No offs finger? Makes u think.

Apparently not having read James Bennet’s many thousands of words explaining that he would never do this, Tom Cotton again called for protesters to be murdered.

Today’s Song: Music Intern Sam says it’s thirty three minutes of something called “Clown Core Live.” Sam… are you ok? Do you want to talk about it?

Programming Note: Today in Tabs was going to be off tomorrow, but it’s looking increasingly like it won’t be. Maybe Thursday? I don’t know, just throwing it out there that I’ll probably be missing one day this week. Or maybe not! This has been: a very useful programming note.