Monday, 11/2/15

  1. Obnoxious  arbitration clauses and their correlatives
  2. Pay no heed to the gaseous man
  3. SSM and the coming surge of surrogacy
  4. Oops! Is it too late for an update?


The Sunday New York Times had a long article on corporate use of arbitration clauses, particularly to block class action lawsuits — effectively making it impossible to fight corporations over small offenses (e.g., a $30 charge on your credit card for something that benefits the issuer).

My blood boiled — until I thought “Class action lawsuit because the average ‘foot-long’ at Subway is 11 inches?”

Yup: “predatory class action suits” is the story to pair with “oppressive arbitration clauses.” You search the Times’ story in vain for even a hint that the former exist, let alone that they’re correlative to the arbitration clauses.


“The true nature of reality beckons from just beyond” is a sentiment so gaseous — especially when uttered portentously — that I’d never have listened to The TED Radio Hour” had that been my first exposure to TED Talks. And that would mean I wouldn’t have heard Open Source World, a very interesting podcast I commend to you.

Favorite single line: “It’s easier to ship recipes than cakes and biscuits.”


[G]ay and lesbian households are going mainstream, and with that change comes a demand for traditional features of the married household, including, foremost, children. The growing number of adoptions by same sex couples speaks to that nesting trend … The Census Bureau estimated that there were 252,000 gay and lesbian married couples in America in 2013, when just 14 states allowed same sex marriage. Now that all fifty states allow it by the Supreme Court’s decree, the number of married same sex couples is poised to shoot up in short order. It’s not a stretch to say that the baby market going forward could reach into the low millions, as gay couples turn to Third Party Assisted Reproduction rather than adoption to build families.

Paid surrogate pregnancies are one of those things that sound like a win-win upon first hearing but become more and more problematic, for all parties involved, the closer one looks. There’s a reason countries like France, Germany, and Spain prohibit all surrogacy, and that Canada has banned paid surrogacy. They understand what the surrogacy market can do to women and to the children they bear ….

Jennifer Lahl, Same-Sex Marriage and the Baby Business.


Some predictions suffer the indignity of almost instantaneous falsification.

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“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.