President Obama puts his toe on the scale as Trip Director Marvin Nicholson weighs himself in the volleyball locker room at the University of Texas in Austin, Aug. 9, 2010 (Pete Souza)


Morning everyone – or afternoon/evening/night.

It’s another one of those Sundays, a bit busy-ish with work, but I’ll be dropping in and out through the day and will update later. So, chat away 😉


PS From the archives (thanks Cluny!)

210 Responses to “Morning!”

  1. 1 4morefor44
    November 25, 2012 at 8:59 am


  2. 6 desertflower
    November 25, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Morning! Congrats, 44!

  3. 7 amk for obama
    November 25, 2012 at 9:04 am

    GM folks

    • 15 Pamela
      November 25, 2012 at 9:07 am

      WTG 4more! This picture never fails to bring a resounding laugh, well done Chips! Start the day off with a roar! 😆

      • November 25, 2012 at 9:08 am

        Cracks me up too Pamela! Poor Marvin 🙂

        • 17 Pamela
          November 25, 2012 at 9:27 am

          Marvin looks as if he has no idea either, which adds to the fun… What I think is also very cool, the way the mirrors all around show all sides of the silliness, even the very attractive SS guy (known on the blog as The Silver Fox) is laughing, and that is something we seldom see! 😆 (right Carolyn and HZ?) 😆

          • November 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

            This was Pete Souza’s line on the photo:

            “We were walking through a locker room at the University of Texas when White House Trip Director Marvin Nicholson stopped to weigh himself on a scale. Unbeknownst to him, the President was stepping on the back of the scale, as Marvin continued to slide the scale lever. Everyone but Marvin was in on the joke.”


            • 19 Pamela
              November 25, 2012 at 9:35 am

              Hilarious! Just perfect in so many ways! PBO, the life of any gathering he is involved in! Was ever a President loved more than this man? Will there ever be? (no) 😆

            • November 25, 2012 at 11:45 am

              Can’t count the amount of times I’ve seen this picture and this is the first time I’ve noticed the Secret Service guy smiling. He never smiles, so he must have felt safe there. He has a nice smile.

          • 21 carolyn
            November 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

            Right! The silver fox has grayed over the last four years like the President has, and they both are even more attractive…..I like grayhaired men! My own husband grayed early, and women have always thought he is handsome. As I still do. A great picture for the morning, thanks Chips!

          • 24 HZ
            November 25, 2012 at 11:22 am

            Good Morning Pamela and my TOD Family. Yes, that gave me laughter deep within as well. I love our president and those around him. The fun that he has with his team is so refreshing. Marvin is a special one as well.

            Oh, yes Pamela, our SS known as ‘The Silver Fox’ is causing the blood pressure to rise just looking at his smile. Thanks Chips for this wake up call. All those fine men in one room with our POTUS, a lady can have all of this. Just saying.

            Have a beautiful day everyone. It is really lovely here on the westcoast.HZ

  4. 26 amk for obama
    November 25, 2012 at 9:08 am

  5. November 25, 2012 at 9:11 am

    The president did not sign that ban on the EU emissions bill. He had ten days, environmentalists did not want him to.
    It’s public information and I have not seen anything about it.

  6. 36 amk for obama
    November 25, 2012 at 9:11 am

    The day after the election, Obama went to campaign headquarters in Chicago to thank Messina and his staff and volunteers. In a rare show of emotion, Obama teared up reminiscing about his own early days as a community organizer. The 43-year-old Messina describes it as one of the most amazing moments of the entire campaign.

    “And I remember being an undergraduate here at UM, and not knowing my place in the world, and being a young community organizer, organizing mobile home parks in Missoula, and wanting to just be part of something bigger than me. And you know, I got to do that, the president got to do that – lots of people here in Missoula are going to get to do that, because of a good education, because they’re going to work hard, and because of the opportunity this country offers. And that was a reminder to everyone that this is still the greatest country on Earth, and we can still make it if we try.”

    Messina is waking up in a giddy mood these days (despite the pain of watching the Cats beat the Griz) and enjoying a well-earned vacation. He says he wants to continue to serve the president, but he’s not sure in what capacity.

    He has said that serving as Obama’s campaign manager was the most important thing he would do in his life. I’m guessing that’s the only recent prediction he’s wrong about.

    Nice ending there, don’t you think ?

  7. 40 amk for obama
    November 25, 2012 at 9:13 am

      • 44 amk for obama
        November 25, 2012 at 9:27 am

        A great read.

        That sensitivity to inequality has stuck with Obama throughout his rise in politics, from Chicago’s South Side all the way to the White House. He remains largely a pragmatist in his approach to governing. But beneath his tactical maneuvering lies a consistent and unifying principle: to use the powers of his office to shrink the growing gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else.

        If presidents set missions for themselves that are greater than winning the partisan battle of the moment, then this is Obama’s. Viewed through this lens, the imminent debate over the “fiscal cliff” is not simply a war over taxes, spending and how to tame the nation’s mushrooming debt. As Obama did in legislative fights during his first term, he also will be striving to reduce a three-decades-long wave of rising income inequality that has meant that fewer Americans have prospered while more struggle to get by.

  8. 45 Ladyhawke
    November 25, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Ezra Klein Slams Boehner for Pretending They Can Still Repeal Obamacare

    By Heather


    Ezra Klein took a shot at John Boehner and the Republicans for pretending that they can still repeal Obamacare through the congressional oversight process. As ridiculous as that assertion is, that doesn’t mean they’re not going to do their best to still attempt to chip away at it where possible, but at this point, pretending that they can use the oversight process to somehow repeal the law, is just ludicrous.
    And as Klein noted, Boehner is up against the insurers and pharmaceutical companies who are now working with liberal advocacy groups, who both want to see as many Americans insured as possible for varying reasons. One wants more customers and the other wants to see as many people as possible have access to affordable health care.



  9. 46 amk for obama
    November 25, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I haven’t heard from our MY cutie potatie, stef cutter. Any one ?

    • November 25, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Hopefully she’s lying on a Caribbean beach!

    • November 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

      And Jen Psaki? Word is Stef Cutter us going to the Private sector, and Jen is becoming the WH press SEC.

      • 74 amk for obama
        November 25, 2012 at 9:32 am

        Oh noez. Damn you jovie.

        • 75 HZ
          November 25, 2012 at 11:39 am

          Amk, you are so special. I have laughed through this entire conversation. Now, I will tell you something that is so out of this world. I was retiring for bed last evening, and out of the blue, Stephanie Cutter just popped into my mind, like “Where is Stephine Cutter?”

          So we hope that there is something so very special waiting in the wings for her. She is such an intelligent, beautiful young lady. I hope she will stay and be in a great position in the administration. However, wherever she chooses to serve, she will be a total successful gift to the world. Such a fireball of energy, compassion, and stays on message. And she will even feels no pain when the pundits go off message in her presence. I love her so much, and I wish her the very best.

          We love you Stephanie, but Amk really, really, loves you. We are watching him. He is trying to take a trip to some island to soak up some sun, I hear. However, we will keep your secret Stephanie.

          ((((((((( Lots of hugs to you, Amk.))))))))))))HZ

      • 76 dotster3
        November 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm

        It was Jen Psaki that announced she was leaving. I saw her interviewed on that. I haven’t heard any future plans for Cutter.

  10. 77 utaustinliberal
    November 25, 2012 at 9:32 am

    UT Austin: the BEST college EVER. Bleeding orange and voting blue.

    • November 25, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Hook em Horns! You bet!!! It has surely been good to my daughter … two master’s and now a Ph.D. candidate. People really, really, wondered about us 3 years (I think that is right) ago when we played Texas for the national championship : our vehicles have both University of Alabama and Texas Longhorn stickers on them. Plus I have “Keep Austin Weird” stickers on mine!

  11. 79 amk for obama
    November 25, 2012 at 9:42 am

  12. November 25, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Good morning Chips and the TOD family. I hope everyone have a wonderful after-Thanksgiving Sunday. >3

  13. 85 amk for obama
    November 25, 2012 at 9:58 am

    A couple get stranded in a desolate island. Then the wife spots a bottle with genie in it. On letting him out, the grateful genie grants them each a wish.

    The man, who always regretted marrying a woman who was one year older than him, wishes for a younger wife.

    Poof, he is turned into a 70-year old man.

    Moral 1 – Be specific when you wish for something.

    Moral 2 – Men are idjits.

    Oh, you ask what the wife wished for ? Well, she wished she were back home.

    Moral 3 – Women are smarter (and mean).

  14. 88 cluny
    November 25, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Hello all. One from the vault – adorable! You can see why those girls are so smart – their parents wisely didn’t do the baby talk.


    • November 25, 2012 at 10:07 am

      He just carries on embarrassing himself, his bitterness is comical. Shut up and go away, McCain, you worthless fool.

      • 100 desertflower
        November 25, 2012 at 10:10 am

        So true. Why is this man still MY senator? I’m embarrassed, yet again, by the voters in AZ…..what a waste of a senate seat.

        • November 25, 2012 at 10:16 am

          Honestly, his only agenda now is self-obsessed rage and bitterness – why would any state want that representing them in the Senate??

          • 102 desertflower
            November 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

            From edwina’s link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/25/michael-tomasky-on-how-john-mccain-humiliated-himself-on-susan-rice.html

            Well, live by the moral sword, die by it. In the same way conservatives couldn’t see that Mitt Romney was going to lose because they believed only themselves and their own self-reinforcing propaganda, I think McCain probably isn’t aware right now of what a joke he’s becoming. He probably only goes to constituent meetings where they cheer on his desperate antics. I notice from cruising the Arizona papers that they’re not really laying into him yet—just a few guarded criticisms and expressions of disappointment in the letter columns and such. Most importantly of all, establishment Washington has adored him. As long as those shields are there, he can ignore people like me and the MSNBC crowd.

            The papers and other “news” outlets here are all in the bag for him….this place is as corrupt and inept as the day is long. It permeates
            every bit of govt here….ALEC runs rampant and the “journalists” are lazy…so the majority of people are ignorant and uninformed. It takes actual WORK to get to the truth. They can’t handle the truth, and much prefer to pretend this moron is a sliver of what he used to be.

    • 105 amk for obama
      November 25, 2012 at 10:09 am

      I say let the impotent rage on. His own party doesn’t give a s*** about him.

      • 106 desertflower
        November 25, 2012 at 10:13 am

        No they don’t…but the voter’s obviously only think of him as a war hero, regardless of the true incompetence of this man. They have NO clue as to what he’s really about. Lazy voters.

  15. 107 andogriff
    November 25, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Morning Ms Chips! Morning everyone… so great to wake up every day and remember that WE WON!!!

  16. 117 amk for obama
    November 25, 2012 at 10:56 am

  17. 119 GGail
    November 25, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Good West Coast morning Chipsticks!

  18. 121 a4alice
    November 25, 2012 at 11:06 am

  19. 122 GGail
    November 25, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I’m preparing my stomach to watch MTP so I can see Rev Al at the Round Table segment. Thankfully Sen. Carl Levin is the first guest of Idiot Gregory.

    • 123 jacquelineoboomer
      November 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      I recorded it so I could just float through the others to get to Rev. Al. Will watch later – need to eat, first!

  20. 124 Jazz
    November 25, 2012 at 11:08 am

    re UT’s “jackals” and “jackasses” characterization of the WH pool, reminds me of this comedy skit that includes “PBO” taking questions from the WH pool: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnNghQl2Jcw

  21. November 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

    THIS IS AWESOME!!! Kid ask MTV head why they dont play music videos anymore……

  22. 126 utaustinliberal
    November 25, 2012 at 11:38 am

    You’ve got an hour or three to waste? Try this website. Elon James tweeted this out and it’s mind boggling. 😀


  23. 136 collegekay
    November 25, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Good morning folks 😉

  24. 137 GGail
    November 25, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Wow – David Gregory re-appeared as a human being on today’s MTP! His questions were not “hair on fire” and the guests gave fair and balanced answers. I’m in SHOCK that I watched and enjoyed the whole program!!! 😯

    • 138 Nena20409
      November 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      What exactly were asked by that toll and what were the answers. I have not watched MTP that much. So watching it when repeated on MSNBC is encouraged by GG? I must confess that here at TOD and HP Sunday rundown with Jason are where I get what the Sunday shows are up to. Jason on HP is off today. So your input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you GG.

      • 139 GGail
        November 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

        Nena, I am very poor at reciting. 😦 However, it would do you no harm to watch MTP this time. You WILL be impressed and greatly surprised that it’s David Gregory. Plus the panel, was fair and balanced.

        Where’s UT or jovie? They are much better at re-telling than I am!

  25. November 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Good morning TOD family. This should be a interesting week coming up.

  26. 143 relellit
    November 25, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Good Morning, Todville and chips.

    I almost fell over when I read that old goat McCain said he’s open to talking to UN Ambassador Susan Rice . Now he wants to talk????? McCain actually thought his bitter, witch hunt justified him going after President Obama through Susan Rice. What a whimsical, old goat he is . It must be that short term memory lost. It was just yesterday he said he would do anything to block her.

    But those others Senators Graham and Lieberman; Ugggh, just won’t back down. The meme is now that she should have taken responsibility.

    Rep. Peter King – chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and another Republican who has sharply criticized Rice – said the U.N. ambassador should have gathered her own research before appearing on Sunday morning shows to discuss the Benghazi attack.


    So let them write all the murder stories they want. It only shows the nation and world what they really are; a bunch of zoo animals in a cage trying to get power and attention when it is nothing there for them to get!!!

    4morefor44 congrats you got 1st.

    • 144 Nena20409
      November 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      Lieberman…..not a senator that I defend, was not on the Witch Hunt to thwart Amb Rice’s SoS confirmation. Graham, Ayotte and the 97 House members were.

      • 145 jacquelineoboomer
        November 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm

        Agree. But Lieberman was on every other McFuddyDuddy witch hunt for years. He’ll be falling off the stage in disgrace, soon.

        • 146 jacquelineoboomer
          November 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm

          They’ll all fall off the stage, just like Gary Bauer in ’00 (sorry – this oldie still makes me laugh):

    • 147 jacquelineoboomer
      November 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      I recall that Amb. Rice offered to speak with McFuddyDuddy. He’ll probably take the credit, but she got there first, since she’s not afraid of the likes of him. Plus, if she were, the President has her back BIG TIME.

    • 148 anniebella
      November 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Did Condi Rice gather her own facts before she came before the world and lied?

      • November 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm

        Exactly. And had Susan Rice gathered her own facts, she would still have had to have them vetted by the security agencies -> same result. But this is not about logic – it’s about these guys trying to save face.

  27. November 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm


  28. 155 utaustinliberal
    November 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    The ad’s pretty awesome; especially with that Morgan Freeman *chills* voice.

  29. November 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    • November 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm

      Hey forus50 just wondering thats Ted Williams right? also some good articles in Sunday Review http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/opinion/sunday/is-this-the-end.html?smid=tw-share

      • November 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm

        Yeah I am of the opinion (based on what I’ve read) that it’s too late now to reverse climate change. I guess on the plus side it won’t be a mystery how we’ll die. Seriously, this is just incredible that the GOP has almost single-handily destroyed not just the US but the planet by making climate change a political football for the past 20 years and getting NOTHING done to fix the problem.


        • November 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm

          A book you might want to pick up: “An Optimist’s Tour of the Future.” Call me a pollyanna, but I think we might pull all of it out after all.

          • November 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm

            I’ll get that for Christmas as most have pretty damn dire warnings. Looking forward to reading another perspective that isn’t GOP garbage.

          • 161 a4alice
            November 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm

            Thanks for that LL. The men in my life (my brother, my husband) are are all of the global catastrophe ilk and sometimes I feel despondent when i look at my nephews, nieces who are beginning their own lives with new babies what will happen to that generation? I’ll look this up.

        • November 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

          Or… just create an unlimited amount of methane for energy by breaking down algae in biodigesters, convert the remaining digested biomass to charcoal, and put it all back in the soil — locking up as many millions of tons of carbon as you please, while supercharging the entire global economy (including the lives of the extremely poor).

          But then again, I can hardly get anyone to read the article that puts all this out there for free. So yes, I guess you’re all going to die. =)

          Too bad, but was reading an *entire* article really worth the effort? You don’t want to live *that* much do you? Of course not. =)


          • November 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm


            Ok, I bit because as a former Catholic the guilt stays so you guilted me into reading it. 🙂 Very, very interesting.

            Please understand I do not have a science background so my comments may be entirely out of place or invalid. But as a layperson if the goal is to make people aware of options for correcting climate change and it looks like you are somewhat frustrated that you can’t get people interested to read an *entire* article then I would helpfully suggest a couple of things;

            1) Make the content easier for the average person to read 2) Make the title more interesting – “Amazon introduction to future” isn’t too eye catching and 3) tweet about it regularly in a positive way with a link to the article. ( You might have one that is for the science crowd and another article that is something shorter and bullet-point for the rest of us). 5) People read this but then can’t translate it into action that they can take. Is this something that needs congressional approval or funding or just public awareness…? What can the average person do to help make this a reality?

            Thanks again for your more than fabulous idea for a better world.

            • November 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm

              Hey, no problem, forus50. There’s a ton of alt-energy/environmental articles out there — I’m just surprised that something like this can go into the public domain a year-and-a-half ago and make barely a blip.

              To sum up: Yes, I have boiled it down to tweets, and to a 10-sentence summary I put at the beginning of some emails I sent out a while back. One PhD actually told me it was a little too long to grasp — ironic, given that it started with that 10-sentence summation.

              As to the title, the writing style — I was working on a book when this whole concept came to me in a rush during the debt-ceiling debate. Given that a default would have potentially obliterated the entire world economy, I put everything together in a rush and published it.

              Though occasionally someone will read the article if I’m particularly loud about it, I just haven’t seen any real interest. Yet there’s no shortage of people complaining about global warming and superstorm Sandy.

              Ironic, don’t ya know? 😉

              • November 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm

                Hang in there and keep pushing it. It will happen. I’m a manager at my company and I always have to remember when me or others don’t get things done or right the first or second or third time the fact that babies fall down on average 200 times before learning to walk. If only adults had that much patience…

          • November 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm

            I would read the *entire* article but you just exhausted me w/ your post…. you have forced me to go back to random .gif’s

  30. November 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Since the Fox News is displaying banners touting doomsday for 12.21.12, I’m wondering if their viewers are Christmas shopping? I’m just sayin’.

    • 172 Nena20409
      November 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Fox is now contradicting their propaganda. So by showing the Maya 12-21-12 prediction…..Fox is now disavowing the Holy Book? The Maya Civilization or life on earth was not in the Bible.

      So Fox uses Fear but probably without any explanation?

      • November 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

        And not to be a pedant, but there is NO Mayan doomsday prediction. It’s just the end of a cycle in their calendar. That’s it. New Agers have latched onto it as a way to make money. A great website is http://www.2012hoax.org. I know no one here believes the world will end in a month, but it’s disgusting how networks like History Channel are stoking this fear of doomsday.

        • 174 Nena20409
          November 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm

          LL….I appreciate your post. I was trying to mock Fox…..I failed to show that with my post. I will be visiting the site that you have linked. Thank you.

        • 176 susanne
          November 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm

          hey, if a librarian can’t be a pedant, then there is nobody who can! thanks for knowing stuff, liblib!

      • 177 Pamela
        November 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm

        Thoughtful of them to give their ‘viewers’ a bit more than 3 weeks to get their stupid asses ready, come what may! 😉

        • 178 jacquelineoboomer
          November 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm

          Some of them have been “preparing” for whatever for years … they went from stockpiling gold to stockpiling silver. That oughta be enough, eh?

          And I laugh.

  31. November 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Does anyone else believe that if the GOP re-elects Reince Priebus, that they are signalling that they have no intention of changing course?

    • 180 desertflower
      November 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Here’s your answer. They will never change…still holding hostages and trying desperately to take away the safety net for millions..

      “I will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country, only if Democrats will do entitlement reform.”

      — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), in an interview on ABC News, on his willingness to break his pledge not to raise taxes.

      • 181 desertflower
        November 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm

        They need to quit using the word “entitlements”…last time I looked at my paycheck, I’M PAYING FOR THOSE!

        • 182 Ladyhawke
          November 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

          5 Words And Phrases Democrats Should Never Say Again

          By Jill W Klausen


          1. Never say Entitlements.

          –Instead, say Earned Benefits.

          While the word “entitlement” was originally coined by Democrats as a way to illustrate that the receiver of the attached benefits was entitled to them by having worked to earn them, or having been taxed to support them, it has been re-defined by the right as akin to a spoiled child who acts as if they’re “entitled” even though they are not.

          “Earned benefits,” on the other hand, cannot be twisted or misconstrued to mean anything other than what what they are: something the recipient has actually earned, as opposed to something they are being given. Social Security and Medicare are paid into through taxes deducted from employees’ paychecks, or the paychecks of one’s spouse or parent. No one who hasn’t either personally paid into these programs, or been the spouse or child of someone who has paid into these programs, or, in the case of Medicare Part B, paid a monthly premium in order to receive them, can extract benefits from these programs.


          More good suggestions here……


          • 183 desertflower
            November 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm

            Someone should pass this good info to the Dems in Congress. I have read this before, but definitely worth sharing and posting again. Thanks, Ladyhawke.

        • 184 desertflower
          November 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm

          I’ll only do the right thing if you do what i want….Nope. Didn’t change

      • November 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm

        He needs to be careful what he wishes for: reform can mean a whole whole lot of things the GOP hates.

    • 186 globalcitizenlinda
      November 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      I hope they re-elect him

    • November 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      Seems that way to me.

  32. 189 Ladyhawke
    November 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm





    Rachel Maddow exposes the baselessness of the ridiculous hectoring by Senator John McCain of the U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice and wonders why someone who is so FREQUENTLY WRONG on Sunday morning talk shows is so frequently rebooked for Sunday morning talk shows.



    NOTE: Re-posting from yesterday because the more eyeballs that see this brilliant segment from The Rachel Maddow Show the better. John McCain is a media created phenomenon. This segment should be required viewing for the lazy media stenographers who have fluffed him up and given him deference he does not deserve. How can someone who has been so frequently wrong have any credibility at all?

  33. 190 Allison
    November 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Hello Chips, I got a new laptop. Having problems signing-in. Can you allow me to post. Thanks!!

  34. November 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    This is a quote from a really interesting article on collective intelligence — a group’s ability to solve problems, learn things, adapt, and get things done. Note the point about the effect of including women… up to the point of groups that are 100% women.

    Oddly, this article made me think of The Obama Diary. =)


    We found that, just as with individuals, there is a single statistical factor that predicts how well a given group will do on a very wide range of different tasks.

    Interestingly, when we did this work, we thought that there might be such a factor, but that it would really just be essentially the intelligence of the individual people in the group. What we found was that the average and the maximum intelligence of the individual group members was correlated, but only moderately correlated, with the collective intelligence of the group as a whole.

    If it’s not just putting a bunch of smart people in a group that makes the group smart, what is it? We looked at bunch of factors you might have thought would affect it: things like the psychological safety of the group, the personality of the group members, et cetera. Most of the things we thought might have affected it turned out not to have any significant effect. But we did find three factors that were significantly correlated with the collective intelligence of the group.

    The first was the average social perceptiveness of the group members. We measured social perceptiveness in this case using a test developed essentially to measure autism. It’s called the “Reading the Mind and the Eyes Test”. It works by letting people look at pictures of other people’s eyes and try to guess what emotions those people are feeling. People who are good at that work well in groups. When you have a group with a bunch of people like that, the group as a whole is more intelligent.

    The second factor we found was the evenness of conversational turn taking. In other words, groups where one person dominated the conversation were, on average, less intelligent than groups where the speaking was more evenly distributed among the different group members.

    Finally, and most surprisingly to us, we found that the collective intelligence of the group was significantly correlated with the percentage of women in the group. More women were correlated with a more intelligent group. Interestingly, this last result is not just a diversity result. It’s not just saying that you need groups with some men and some women. It looks like that it’s a more or less linear trend. That is, more women are better all the way up to all women. It is also important to realize that this gender effect is largely statistically mediated by the social perceptiveness effect. In other words, it was known before we did our work that women on average scored higher on this measure of social perceptiveness than men.

    This is the interpretation I personally prefer: it may be that what’s needed to have an intelligent group is just to have a bunch of people in the group who are high on this social perceptiveness measure, whether those people are men or women. In any case, we think it’s an interesting finding, one that we hope to understand better and one that already has some very intriguing implications for how we create groups in many cases in the real world.

    • November 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks a million, Ralph. Not surprising that you thought of TOD!

      Very helpful in my work…Tweeted.

    • November 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Know Malone’s work, well. Fundamental to much of the ‘why’ and ‘what’ we are building the systems we will be bringing to market in the years ahead.


    • 196 desertflower
      November 25, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks, Ralph….I can see how this reminded you of TOD:) Wait until amk wakes up and reads this! Wimmin rule…he’s gonna love it!

    • November 25, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      Oh, and I’d add that at the level of forums, I think *effective* moderation help enormously. I’ve seen way too many places incapacitated by angry trolls tearing everyone down — but at a subtler level, the ability to move beyond conflict for the sake of conflict, rigid ideology, or simply going endlessly in the exact same circles is incredibly important if your online discussions are going to have any real great value.

      Otherwise, you have a place to vent, or a still-life photo of an unchanging set of views, but little more.

      There’s a great phrase from artificial-intelligence (AI) research: “A dog that can run in circles a million times faster is still just a dog.”

  35. 202 desertflower
    November 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    IMPORTANT MUST READ from Booman….we’ll need to get our rears in gear for this one!


    If you thought ALEC was defeated …

  36. 205 Ladyhawke
    November 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm


    (An excellent website to explore & bookmark for future reference.)


    Who We Are

    Posted by The Winning Words Project · July 07, 2012 4:43 PM · 1 reaction

    The Winning Words Project was created as a resource to bring Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, and even moderates together, to learn, discuss, formulate, and share the moral language that is needed in our political discourse, in telling our story of how we envision tackling the issues facing working families in America today and into the future.

    We are a group of people who have a variety of expertise in politics, history, medicine, marketing, and business; who have extensively studied the work of professional linguist and distinguished professor, Dr. George Lakoff; esteemed professor of psychology, Jonathan Haidt; Neuroscientist and Emory Professor, Dr. Drew Westen; as well as “The Wizards of Madison Avenue” — the real “Mad Men” (Bill Bernbach, George Lois, Ed McCabe, Mary Wells, Marion Harper, Julian Koenig, Steve Frankfurt, etc.) who gave us many of the memorable ads that have shaped our world.
    Meet the people behind the project …



  37. 206 jeff
    November 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I read how Melissa Harris Perry was criticizing the president for the turkey pardon saying how he didn’t pardon enough actual humans. God I can’t stand that woman and wish she would just shut her mouth. Ahh well sorry for saying anything about it but I was hoping that Melissa changed her attitude but I guess I’ve been wrong.

    • November 25, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      I don’t dislike her that much but then again I don’t watch her – I just click on links to good stuff she says and try to ignore the rest. But what I found interesting about the whole pardon thing is that she assumes that President Obama was not pardoning people that he should have. How would she even know that those individuals were not worthy of being pardoned? In fact that’s probably the case, as President Obama is all about helping those who have been wronged. She just assumed that since he had pardoned so few that he had failed.

  38. 209 utaustinliberal
    November 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    For fans of Parks and Recreation, this is hilarious.


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