Web Hostess Live: The latest from the Web

Dec 14, 2017

See you at 2!

As Web Hostess can you help shed some light on both sides of the debate (why the FCC thinks a repeal is a good idea and why the rules were initially enacted)? I'm seeing a ton of outrage and apprehension, much of it seems justified if the sources are credible, but I haven't yet heard any of the potential benefits of the move (if there are any)

Hmm -- In an hour-long chat, I don't think there's time for me to type out thoughtful arguments for or against on either side. I'm opening this up to chatters, who might have suggestions for links, or articles they've found helpful. Here's a primer that addresses a few of your questions.

Haven't been by in a while. What are you reading right now? Or what have you recently finished?

Just finished "Murder on the Orient Express," since I'd never read any Agatha Christie, and felt very woeful about that. It was delightful. I hear the movie, not so much. You?

Hey there. Thanks for stopping by. Running a bit late, but here now -- what shall we talk about?

Late start, or did you stand us up again?

Ahh, I just saw my greeting decided to publish itself late. (But to answer your question, we're here).

I work in a small group with three other people. One leans liberal, as do I. One leans conservative. She generally votes Republican, as does her husband. In the 2016 presidential election he voted for Mr. Trump; she had decided not to (don't know how she did vote). The other is a Muslim immigrant. She may be conservative otherwise, but she does not follow the news--"It's too upsetting." I have no idea whether or not she voted in any election, or for whom. All of which I think is fair. But what bothers me is my conservative colleague has told me several times that while she and her husband used to watch the news every night, "ever since the election" they don't watch the news. Her husband refuses to watch "ever since the election." This makes my blood boil--he voted for Mr. Trump. She actually told me one time before the election that if her husband saw my Clinton yard sign he wouldn't want to give me a ride home from some event. But now he won't watch the news. He wants to ignore what he has done. How is that going to help anything?

Sure, it's okay if it bothers you -- it's you, you get to be bothered by whatever you want to be bothered by. And sure, there's something a little frustrating in someone wanting to participate in a big part of civic duty  (voting) but refusing to participate in the part where they become informed and decide how to vote. So, go forth and be bothered. So long as you know there's nothing you can do about it. And that lots of people on both sides of the political aisle ignore the news every day.

I saw this *just* after I responded to an ex on Facebook. God help me. Now what? Even worse, it's that one ex I always pine over (he broke up with me, relationship was lovely otherwise but I think I drove him nuts). I normally don't worry about "cuffing" or any of that crap and have been single for forever. But...oy, what did I do?

First of all, don't panic. You probably didn't do anything -- and it sounds like he reached out to you, first, anyway? Unless you responded to his, "Hey, what's up?" with, "I miss you, let's get married tomorrow," you're fine! The holidays might bring about nostalgia for exes, but they're also a time when we take stock and think of lots of people in our lives. You're human. You responded to a Facebook message. So what?

Sigh. This would be satire if the story were that thousands of whites wearing MAGA baseball caps were caught voting multiple times in Tuesday's Alabama Senate election. "Were 'Black People in Birmingham' Caught Voting Multiple Times With Fake IDs? / A so-called "satire" site published a story falsely claiming black voters committed fraud in Alabama's special election": 

What do you think is the most concise description for the difference between satire (which this...is not) and fake news (which...this is). Fake news is designed to make you believe incidents that aren't true. Satire is designed to make you think about issues in a different way than you have before. So, yeah. A right-wing commentary site publishing an article about rampant voter fraud in the African American community is probably not going for satire.  

In the real world, retailers can pay more to be in better locations and, hopefully, attract your business more easily. But they can't blow up the roads in front of other retailers in other, less desirable locations and make it excessively hard for you to get to the other guys. So while there isn't any neutrality in the real world of retail, there is a limit on how much better your position can be just based on your ability to pay premium rent. I have never seen anything claiming that the absence of net neutrality will end up with some sort of regulation preventing the ISP or whoever from doing the electronic equivalent of planting land mines in front of the content providers that won't pay special fees to keep themselves in premium rent locations. That is the problem. If the people paying the fees could only get a smallish advantage (like they can in the real world), then it wouldn't be an issue.

I just got out of an HOUR long meeting devoted to taxonomies. Thank goodness this chat is going, I need to clear my head of that garbage. Meetings are the work of Satan.

Taxonomies of what, exactly? ARE YOU NAMING A NEW SPECIES AND CAN WE HELP?

Hi--congrats on having a notable book on the NYT and WaPo best of 2017 lists! I noticed that the two blurbs mention a different number of fires (NYT says 67 fires but the Post says 86 or whatever). I haven't finished the book yet but is there a spoiler-free way to reconcile these two different figures? Are they both sorta right? Fun read thus far.

Hey thanks -- the confusion you're seeing is that there were 86 fires lit. But the arsonist ended up pleading guilty to only 67. He didn't say he never lit the other 19. Mostly he just said, "I might have lit some of those, but honestly, there were a lot of fires, and so I really just can't remember all of them." 

I mis-read that as Taxidermy.

EVEN BETTER (worse?)

Sorry to say taxonomies of documents for our move to SharePoint in the next fiscal yea.......zzzzzzzzz

Oh you poor thing. 

I believe that David Suchet starred as Hercule Poirot in all of Dame Agatha's books about the character.

Sorry to say, I started reading the book not to watch the David Suchet classics, but to watch the mediocre Kenneth Branagh version. 

I am an introvert so that definitely colors my view but wow do I dislike Office Holiday Parties. They seem like the worst type of "forced fun" and I skip them each year despite my boss saying I should go as part of being a leader. Yeah right. On a related note there is a party going on in the conference room on our floor right now and some of the participants are singing PROUD MARY at the top of their lungs. Help me.

But, will they have leftover food? Because if that's the case, you might be in the best of both worlds. Skip the party, acquire the goodies.

(Sidenote: I thought everyone dreaded office parties and went to them out of obligation, but I've recently had several conversation with folks whose office parties were canceled, and instead of being relieved, they are really bummed).

Should the rich pay more to get there faster? I think highways should be free for all.

You don't, by any chance, live in the DC area and take 66 to get to work, do you?

I get all my news via print (I pay for WAPo/NYT/LAT/Slate/Guardian), and even though I support NPR, haven't listened to ME or ATC since two days after the election, because just hearing that man's voice makes me want to throw up. But then, I didn't vote for him.

Branagh's Poirot was like Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock, an action hero. It might not be to your taste.

Oh, there's no accounting for personal taste, of course. I'm going off of the tepid box office numbers and the even more tepid aggregated critics reviews.

I once had to go to a meeting to discuss how to make meetings more efficient. However, ten minutes into the meeting, the boss got sidetracked into a long discussion of media strategy with the media person, which affected exactly no one else in the room. Stream-of-consciousness, multi-hour staff meetings were a daily thing there. At some point, I learned to find it funny instead of frustrating. Probably helped that I was paid by the hour. My theory is that the boss was really lonely and the meetings were her version of a social life.

Also, sometimes someone brings cookies.

OP here - I posted the Google overview of most searched for terms in 2017. They break them into categories and then provide even more info if you click on the items.

Thanks -- and sorry about the broken link.

If Roy Moore had won Tuesday in Alabama, I'd have kept the TV and radio news off (mainly PBS and NPR, respectively). But because he lost, I've binge-watched and -listened to as much coverage as I can (also reading WaPo), as a sort of victory lap!

The simplest way I understand it (please correct if I'm wrong) is that if your internet provider is Comcast, and they have a deal with Netflix, they can allow more bandwidth for Netflix streaming content, and reduce the bandwidth for other streaming services. This is a hypothetical example, but could become reality if net neutrality is repealed. The counter argument is that if Netflix is hogging all the bandwidth, then it should be forced to (or the consumer) to pay more for it, so that other "little" guys can have a fair chance. I'm not sure I by the counter argument.

Dire consequences were foretold, and yet here we are.

I mean...some people would argue that the airline experience is not so great...

... I will donate $10 to the charity of your choice. Even ... gasp ... The Donald J. Trump Charitable Foundation.

I...already said I was going to see the movie.

(Not OP) I could put up with them if the company is paying... but for us it's always a potluck lunch. Fortunately I found an excuse to be away this time.

Apparently in the wake of Harvey Weinstein, lots of companies are implementing drink-ticket rules, etc, to make sure the parties don't turn litigious. 

Due to our busy schedule, and general desire to avoid malls, we're doing all of our Christmas Shopping this year online. I hate to buy everything off of Amazon (hi Jeff), but they make it so easy to buy for everyone on your list, so 90% of our purchases are from them. However, I do feel a little guilty about all the materials and energy it takes to package and deliver multiple packages to my house. Also, my kid gets super excited every time he sees an Amazon box at our door, so it's harder to hide his gifts (this year, a superhero book). Does others have an environmental guilt associated with online shopping?

Are you my editor? We were just talking about this. I feel like this has got to be an upcoming innovation, right? A super-biodegradable material that dissolves back into the earth within a week, and somehow provides necessary nutrients?

I'm a librarian and I think it sounds super fun!

I love the chatters of this chat.

See, this is why I never reveal my political leanings at work and I don't care to know how my coworkers voted. There's a reason why the voting booth has a curtain (or divider or whatever). As much as someone says they won't judge, sometimes they do and after this past election, it's hard not to. My coworker confided that he voted for someone I really don't like, but I'm professional enough to not let that affect my professional opinion of him. At least I think I am. Who knows - he could rant about this a month from now and it could sour me so much that it may color my opinion of him and therefore, affect my work relationship with him. And I don't want that. That's why I'm annoyed he told me who he voted for. Discussions about politics, religion, sex - keep it out of the office!

I'd be curious to know how many of you (how many Americans) could say the same--that you manage to keep political discussions completely out of the office.

Our office doesn't fund our holiday party, we fund raise all year to pay for it. Then the committee spends half the budget on big ticket items to give away....so the food is terrible, no one dances or mingles, or really even looks like they are enjoying themselves. We all just scarf down the food and hurry to the giveaway part of the night. Everyone leaves immediately after. Suggestions of doing away with it are met with anger, because people who haven't won yet want to get a chance to get theirs. It bums me out so I decided not to go this year, and best choice I've made in a while!

I rewatched The Office episode of about the Dundees a few weeks ago, and I think they might have patterned it off of your Christmas party.

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Monica Hesse
Monica Hesse is a staff writer for the Post Style section. She frequently writes about culture, the Web and the intersection of the two.

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