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The new in a bubble. (Are you a snob?)

Watch this short video by Charles Murray on the Big Think.

He has some interesting things to say about the new elite, and how they are living in a bubble that cuts them off from mainstream America.

What do you think? Does what he say make sense to you?

Closing Statement from W T

I want to thank all the members that participated in this conversation.

I am happy to report that no one owned up to being a snob on here!!!

And THAT'S a good thing! and the people around us are too precious and valuable to keep ourselves in a bubble and untouchable.

Do watch Anna Deavere's is quite............REMARKABLE.....I lack words.

And do read through the conversation, and if possible listen to the James Patterson interview on NPR that I linked below.

Here's to simple people everywhere........Cheers!!

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    Jun 30 2013: in my travels I have had the fortune to hobknob with the dirt poor all the way to the rich and famous and, what I have learned is that of all the classes of people, not one class is really aware of the others. Yes they know that they are there but, once we are in our own little nest, nothing else exists nor matter. I think this would qualify everybody as snobs or not, it is all part of the egocentric nature that we are.
    btw. let's not get too hung up on tests and studies, life is such that we can conjure up tests and studies that can and will yield the results that we are looking for.

    • W T

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      Jun 30 2013: Recognizing that humans are egocentric, and at times give in to this shortcoming, is a bitter truth.
      Your comment reminded me of an interview Oprah did with James Cameron when the movie Avatar came out.

      Here is a two minute clip from that interview, with a deep thought.
      Very apropo to what you have stated Mr. Sergi.

      What do you think of it?
  • Jun 30 2013: Seems to me that this conversation has little to do with the main point that Charles Murray was trying to make.

    As I understand the video, Murray was saying that 1.) The wealthy have enormous influence over the lives of others, through their ownership of corporations, and via campaign financing. 2.) These people live in a bubble, isolated from mainstream America, and often do not understand the consequences of their decisions. 3.) The result is bad decisions.

    I associate primarily with middle and lower income folks, in a rural area. Among them, I do not perceive any bad feelings toward the powerful, except for the fact that they seem to make bad decisions and act stupidly. So maybe Murray is right.

    I do not think this is anything new. I think this has been going on for many decades.
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      • W T

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        Jun 30 2013: Your comment reminded me of a line in a book by Pearl S. Buck, "The Good Earth"........."when the rich get too rich, and the poor get too poor, the people will move for a change".
      • W T

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        Jun 30 2013: There was a conversation on here a while back about "why do people acquiesce".
        It was interesting to read what goes on in other parts of the world, where people feel that they were born poor, and they will die poor.

        How does one get to that level of complacency?

        And isn't that living in a bubble?
      • W T

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        Jun 30 2013: LaMar, it's so easy to say "I believe how a person's life is is exactly the way they want it or they would change it."

        In some African nations, for example, this is simply not the case.
        It goes beyond this psychological analysis.

        The conversation on acquiescing was started by a young man in Africa. He brought out some interesting points.

        I personally think there is much more to it than meets the eye.....I am still trying to figure it out......
      • W T

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        Jul 1 2013: Some people just do not know they have that choice in life.

        And, this is where the problem lies. Rewiring their brains, to realize that they can change, and bring about change in their community.

        It's a slippery slope LaMar.....especially when you take into account that by wanting a change, they might be putting their lives, and the lives of their loved ones in danger.

        Some prefer to live in poverty and live a simple quiet life.....albeit hungry, and in want of life's basic necessities.

        And here, at this point of our communication, I will refer you to Greg's conversation on feeling repressed. Because everything is interconnected. Don't you think so LaMar?
      • W T

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        Jul 1 2013: Let's hope we see improvement LaMar....let's hope we see improvement.

        Time will tell.
    • W T

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      Jun 30 2013: Do you honestly think that those belonging to the upper class will take such a test? see if they are living in a bubble?

      His book is meant for everyone reading it to do a self-exam......because you do not need to be of the upper crust to live in a bubble.

      This conversation is wonderful because there are many different layers to this topic.....and alot of us have had experiences in being shunned for not being part of the "right" starts out in can be ostracized for not wearing the right brand of jeans, or not having the right type of phone.....and it goes from there.
      • Jun 30 2013: No, I do not think the upper class will take the test; if any, very few. Some of them are well aware of their bubble because they expended time, trouble and wealth to build their bubble, and value it highly. Many of them are completely unaware of their bubble, and would deny that it exists; these people read all the BEST (most expensive) newspapers and magazines and are proud of the effort they take to stay well informed.

        I think most of them will never read Murray, and many of them will never become aware of Murray.

        I think we all live in a bubble. I think your bubble is probably bigger than mine.

        I think Murray's whole idea is old news and not very important. It is good, for some of us, to be reminded of our bubbles from time to time. If Murray had proposed a real solution, that might be important.
        • W T

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          Jun 30 2013: Barry, your insights are wonderful to read.

          I really do think this man just makes a living selling books that are filled with controversy.

          But, like you say, it is good every once in a while and really take a deep and hard look at ourselves, and make sure we are not living in a bubble.

          I oftentimes think, as I write here on TED and enjoy the conversations with others, how few hispanics and African Americans contribute to the conversations.
          Why is that?

          Do you think that they might feel we are an elite group?
          I sure hope not.
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    Jun 30 2013: Just what we need another contributor to the class warfare meme.

    In my experience the wealthy are as often as not down to earth but without exception very hard working. Remember the same individuals one day may be driving a rolls and the next a pinto and back again, it is not a permanent status.

    Often these guys fall prey to the being interesting trap.
    • W T

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      Jun 30 2013: Yes Pat, I agree.

      Thank you.

      And don't you think that mainstream America has also fallen prey to the "being interesting" trap from all the media exposure that has been given to the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"?
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        Jun 30 2013: We apparently to some degree have becomes a culture of that. But the reality is that it is hard to be interesting if you aren't. Rich guys have a disadvantage in that everyone is fascinated by money.
        • W T

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          Jul 1 2013: Explain your sentence:

          "Rich guys have a disadvantage in that everyone is fascinated by money"
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        Jul 1 2013: Everyone is intrigued by money, therefore anyone who has the apparency of being rich gains tacit interest.
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    • W T

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      Jun 30 2013: Ah Kate....don't go away so soon.

      When I first watched the video, I though hmm....he has a point or two there.....but then I saw the spark in his know the spark? The one that is there when you are saying things that are not totally true, and you want to get people talking about a subject.

      I do think that many upper class people might look down at others.........I think at times it has to do with upbringing.

      Once, when I was single, I helped a friend who had a window washing business do work on a mansion in a ritzy area of Tennessee. We worked all day long.....the house owner's cook was there cooking away the whole time. The mansion was HUUUGE!

      I had already graduated from college, and had lived abroad, and I was just enjoying a vacation with friends, when I volunteered for this new experience.......window mom let me have it when I got back home and I told her what I had done.......she's a bit of a snob.

      Anyways, the lady of the house asked me where I was from.

      Then she went on and on about how well I spoke the english language. And how wonderful that I was working and making a living for myself.

      I just smiled politely and did not disclose the fact that I was a college graduate and had come back from living overseas working as an educator abroad.

      Sometimes, people assume too much, and give way to excess words.......I am guilty of this too Kate......

      It would have been nice if she continued asking me questions and found out more about me, but she stopped asking questions at my country of origin.

      Was she a snob? No, she was just an old woman who did not know any better. There were very few foreigners living in that part of Tennessee....the ones that did live there were migrant workers.

      This was many years ago........hopefully things have changed.

      BTW, did you watch the TED talk I posted? It is fantabulous. Anna Deavere is very talented.......
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        • W T

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          Jul 2 2013: I posted another link to a radio interview with author James Patterson.
          If you get the chance.....come and listen to it.

          I know you're busy......Be Well!!
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    Jun 30 2013: Yep, makes sense. Would like to add a question to his video. What grocery store do you shop at is another way to see who is in what class. I have been in Weston, FL for almost two weeks now with a friend until the end of July, does this say much? So far I feel it does from what I am use to anyways.Two bar visits to Dirty Blonds in the back so far and I feel a bit closer to base.
    • W T

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      Jun 30 2013: So Vincent, is Weston Florida elite to you?
      Do you feel out of place?

      Do you think that people can tell you are not from there?
      Do they make you feel uncomfortable?

      Hope you don't mind the questions.......I've been to Weston......and would like to compare notes.
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        Jun 30 2013: I haven't had the time and experience to fully and truthfully answer first two questions. Experiencing other parts of FL is needed more to compare to. From where I am from it seems to be though.

        I came here with a very small bag and a bicycle in the back of my little truck (I like to travel as light as possible). When I do ride my bike I surely think people can tell I am not from here. I dress casual (no spandex tights geared up pro looking). I swerve in the bike lane often to the music on my earphones. I could come across as too aggressive to be on a bike to others. An old man looked at me crazy because he thought I was going to dart out into his lane as I crossed over to the neutral ground and stopping suddenly. I cross the street when the cars are not coming my way. I just noticed today a couple biking together was just sitting there at a red light next to other cars waiting for the light to turn green. Wow, is this a law? From here to Blondie's is the furthest I have ever gone on a bicycle (20 miles there at 7:00pm and 20 back at 7:00am. The last 10 back was very rough after some beers).
        I don't feel uncomfortable, I could care less at this point of my life, it wouldn't bother me.
        What are your notes?
        • W T

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          Jun 30 2013: The Weston community went up when I was rather young....but it has been seen as a nice place to live from everybody I've ever spoken to.

          I have friends that lived there, and then moved out because they felt far away from everything......Weston has developed much since then though.

          I don't think anyone views Weston people as's a nice community with a variety of housing options.

          My favorite reason to visit Weston?.............the IKEA store!!
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    • W T

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      Jun 30 2013: You know LaMar, in my opinion, he took alot of liberties, and generalized too much in my opinion.

      The word snob is used by the Big Think.....but I think in his actual book he uses "in a bubble".

      Anybody can act like a snob.....I agree, you do not need to be of the elite.

      But don't you think that average, mainstream Americans are being encouraged to imitate the elite, and that merchants go after the lower classes to get them to buy things to make them feel "high class"??
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        • W T

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          Jun 30 2013: I agree with you on the media driven crazyness.

          Who wants to look and dress and drive the same thing everybody else has?
          Not me.
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    Jun 29 2013: The problem with what he puts forward is that there are so many people who are not elites, as he defines elites, who also show these behaviors. For example, many people who are not elites do not stock their refrigerators with beer of any kind and have not walked on a factory floor. Many do not watch 35 hours of TV a day. On the flip side, Kate Middleton, we know, has worked at a job involving scrubbing the decks of boats (which likely sometimes causes sore muscles) and because of her parents' business has almost surely walked on a factory floor and yet surely must be called part of his elite.

    Pretty much everyone who runs for national or, I think, state office, has walked on a factory floor, though few will have worked on one. Any now elite person serving national elective office who was also in the military has had a job in which a body part probably hurt.

    The broad point is surely correct that those in positions of power often have lived very different sorts of lives and have had different choices available than many others in society.

    I did not hear Murray call anyone a snob. I think of a snob as someone who considers himself superior to others. This was not within the scope of his comments in the link and I don't think can be assumed from his comments.
    • W T

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      Jun 30 2013: The word snob was used by the Big Think.......Murray calls them the new elite.

      Perhaps he generalized too least for my taste.

      Interesting, when you read the Wiki article on him you learn about his background and upbringing, and the choices he has made for his family.

      He is very opinionated, but I'm not sure that what he says is completely accurate.
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        Jun 30 2013: Oh, he is the Bell Curve guy.

        I do not doubt at all that people's differences in tastes and opportunities cause them to understand better and know more about people like themselves than people who are from different walks of life. This lack of deep contact and understanding is often replaced with assumptions.

        One of those common assumptions is that those others might label elites (like a CEO or a college professor) must look down on those whom those other people would not call elites. In truth, some people in any category are arrogant. Others are not.

        You can often tell whether people are snobs by how they talk about themselves and others but not by their job titles or degrees.

        Someone who does not drink beer may just not like it. I do not drink beer, wine, liquor, or coffee, because I absolutely do not like the smell and, of the ones of these I have tasted, the taste. It has nothing to do with elite, snobbishness... It suggests no judgment about people who like the taste of all or any of these. My sister dislikes chocolate and bananas but drinks coffee and wine. There are no value judgments about others involved.
        • W T

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          Jun 30 2013: Good points.
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      Jun 30 2013: Fritzie, I seldom take these tests as they are very general and allow the test taker to determine the outcome. As a example I do not drink (my choice), we do not go to movies, my parents could neither read or write, I was placed in a orphange, I joined the military and sought a education, live in a rural setting with only two of the resturants listed within a 100 mile radius. Just on those factors I was going to get at least an 80 or better on the test.

      JFK wrote once that his family knew there was a depression because it was in the papers ... as you say some have more options than others. Within the USA I am "very comfortable", however, on the world scale I am wealthy. I have known the rich and famous and have known and walked with the very poor.

      The key is (for me) that I know who I am ... I am comfortable with that person ... how other percieve me is something I cannot control.

      I enjoy and respect our exchanges. I wish you well. Bob.
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        Jun 30 2013: What you describe is the sort of thing I had in mind.
      • W T

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        Jun 30 2013: Robert, from the contributions thus far, I think we all feel the same.

        I wonder why this man would write such a book, and put out such a survey......could it have divisive effects in society?

        Sometimes the only reaction I have to these kind of publications is a shaking of the head....I am left a bit speechless.

        Thanks for your wonderful contribution. Mary
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          Jun 30 2013: There are many reasons to write .... money ... fame .... ego ... a cause ... etc... I could not even begin to guess.

          Just for the heck of it ... what is one of the big class hates of the day?

          Answer the 1%ers. Class warfare.

          I put out a book and a survey that not only proves you are not one of THEM ... but that THEY have no concept of the REAL (your) world, no respect for you or your woes, etc ...

          They look down on you and are class snobs proving that OWS, the 1%, and super taxes on the super rich are not only justified but the (excuse me) bastards deserve it.

          The fires are again stired and I turn a nice buck. Plus a follow on book may also sell well.

          In that scenario the combination of greed, politics, and playing on the publics emotions are all present.

          That is simply a "what if" and has no basis. I just hate being stuck in a box so I travel outside of the "box" a lot.

          I am sure someone will consider this an attack on the administration .... it is intended as a "what if" to answer your question of "why".

          Thanks for the nice comments. I wish you well. Bob.
      • W T

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        Jun 30 2013: I am not the official distributor of the "hitting the nail on the head" award.....but, if I were, I'd hand it to you.

        I think you Hit The Nail On The Head!!!

        Thanks so much for your insights Bob.
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        Jul 1 2013: What you write does not come across, i think, as an attack on an administration. You are talking, rather, about what sort of theme is a sure bet in a book. There are other "sure bet" themes too that involve uncovering, or appearing to uncover, ugly truths about groups lots of people might resent
  • Jun 29 2013: I thought the upper class always lived in a bubble of their own making.

    That is one of the reasons why people want to be in the upper class, to enjoy better things and a better lifestyle.

    I am not among them.
    • W T

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      Jun 30 2013: I enjoy the finer things in life family, my friends, and wholesome entertainment and food.

      Who could ask for anything more?
  • Jul 9 2013: I used to be a snob. Then the bastards shut down the borders next to the galleria, so no more sitting on the intercoastal with my coffee and lemon pound cake, with the other snobs. Now I'm just a dunkin' donuts slob. Some would say happier for it, and more in touch with humanity :)
    • W T

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      Jul 9 2013: I've always known snobs liked coffee and lemon pound cake......but this sitting down on the intercoastal is new for me.

      Hey, do they have Panera Bread where you live?

      Now there is a nice place for breakfast.

      Why are people snobs Tify?

      And do you know that I have seen plenty of snobs at Dunkin Donuts?
      • Jul 9 2013: Panera Bread... if it's more than a few cents, and it sound like it, i really would not know.

        plenty of snobs at Dunkin Donuts? I would'nt know when i was in America, i was always in and out.

        Why are people snobs? Well for me the answer is, people are now too lazy to do their own homework, they want all the answers given to them, and with that comes a sense of snoberry.

        I suppose the same answer is true for people that know about wine, again they've done the homework, knowing what year, vineyard, gives the best wine. Me, I buy it by the gallon in plastic boxes :)
        • W T

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          Jul 10 2013: Panera bread is not all that expensive...the quality of the breads is really good.
          They bake all the bagels and breads and muffins and's a really cool place.

          I think some people with expert knowledge of any subject may sometimes have the inclination to act snobbish......but there are plenty of really intelligent individuals, who, when you sit down and listen to them talk, you feel right at don't detect an ounce of snobbery in them. Richard Feynman comes to mind. Also, the actress Meryl Streep.....every interview that I have ever watched of her, I am amazed at the humility she displays.

          I once heard her say in an interview......"I have played some great women in my lifetime, sometimes I get confused for one"......this after the interviewer was praising her.

          You know, I once ran into the mall to get something for our home, while we were fixing it up one weekend...doing repairs.....I looked like I had been run over by a truck...paint in my hair, on my clothes, old sneakers on my get the picture.
          As I was walking towards the escalators in Sears, I happen to notice a pin on an older ladies' lapel. It was a golden pencil. I asked her, "Are you a teacher".......she looked at me up and down, and did not utter a single word...but, her husband looked at me and said, "My wife was a professor in such and such a country, she taught for many years." And with a big smile on my face I said, "I am a teacher too."

          Do you know what happened when I got on the escalator?

          I overheard her tell him......"Nowadays they let just about anybody become a teacher".

          In that moment, I realized how I had been judged on my appearance....I was snubbed.
          I was not given the benefit of the doubt.
          I was livid....and then, after I calmed down I chuckled.......people are something else.
          I learned a big lesson that did my daughter, who happened to be with me. :/
      • Jul 10 2013: as for Panera bread, in JHB, Jo'berg, no we dont get it.

        As for Sears, he's right they do let anyone become a teacher... he proves that. :)

        I must admit, i dont really get snobby, i do get pissed with people, who like the aspartame guy, just criticizes, hides begin a fake name, does no home work, add no value. Those people piss me off, specially when the litany of evidence is out there. So yes, I'll admit I'm a snob, when it comes to people who are not prepared to think, research, think again, and see many pov's on any subject and learn from it.

        As to the original question, I get that previous answer, is part of it, too many people ask questions, who could find out the answer, and you dont have time to deal with them all, so invariably you isolate yourself from them, and I cant blame people for that. How ever it does get taken to extremes where people end up not knowing the cost of basic food stuffs, and the plight of the common man. There in lays the real issue, as I posted that 99% of UK MP's are millionaires, how then can they ever really see and know the impact of laws they make. Invariably it becomes, you make laws for the people you deal with, ie other rich people. I think we can all see that happening.

        Maybe I'm a fool, but I believe that the way you treat the person you don't have to care about, really shows who you are and what your made of at the deepest level.
        • W T

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          Jul 10 2013: I think if we use the liberal definition of "snob"......then many may very well be snobs.

          Perhaps we are snobs about our race, or our appearance, or our neighborhood, or our profession, or some other personal trait or knowledge we possess.

          I don't consider myself a snob.......but, I have a friend who one time told look like a snob. I was shocked. When I asked why, she said that my face was too serious..

          I have never forgotten that. Also, people can categorize you as a snob for any number of reasons........whether they are in fact true or not......perceptions.......they affect all of us.

          I think your last sentence is worthy of pondering over:

          "the way you treat the person you don't have to care about, really shows who you are and what your made of at the deepest level."

          Did you know that there is a scriptural principle which says the exact same thing?

          "For if YOU love those loving YOU, what reward do YOU have?..........And if YOU greet YOUR brothers only, what extraordinary thing are YOU doing?" Jesus words in the Sermont on the Mount Matthew 6: 46a, 47a

          So no, you are not a fool. This is a high standard to live by.
      • Jul 11 2013: No i never know that about the scriptures. It's just the way I have always lived my life. If I can help I have a duty to. If I know, then I should educate. If a person needs time, then I'll give it, it's all I have, it's all any of us really have. Too often people can't even spend 5 minutes. Given that all you have on this earth is time, and it's something you cant take with you, it seems to spend it wisely is a good idea, and nothing can be wiser to help another person in need.

        Maybe it's a high standard, maybe it's not, but since i'm alive, I ask, why not live to a high standard. I see no value or benefit to me or anyone else if i live low.

        But that's just me.

        You face was too serious?.... That's the first time I've ever heard that one. I have to ask, what did you reply....

        As for the rest of you comments...Perhaps we are snobs about our race.... I think thats true, but it's all an illusion, and illusion of conformity, an illusion of separation, an illusion of advertising to keep us in a state of want, and to project the merits of higher value and status. But know that even a king has needs, he needs his people, as without them, he is not, and he is, only by your making. So a pauper can be king, if you so choose to treat him as such.

        People forget the best books sometimes have the plainest covers, some may call those covers stern and serious, others may look beyond the superficial, the color, the tattered edges, the fading type, the worn leather, and see that they are signs of a many traveled hands, and know that the true wonder lays within.
        • W T

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          Jul 11 2013: "I have to ask, what did you reply...?"

          I remember saying something to the effect that my face is oftentimes serious, but that doesn't mean I am snob.

          I have had people tell me all kinds of things based on my face.
          But each time it has been their perception, and not necessarily the truth.

          I do keep a serious look on my face quite often. Usually because my mind is always the stores I am taking in everything around me and calculating prices, and checking off items in my mind. I also tend to look around at other people's faces as I walk about. I am a people watcher.......and I enjoy spotting foreigners to have conversations with them.

          Your last paragraph reminded me of an illustration someone used in a talk. He held up what appeared to be a rock, and said...."this looks like a plain rock huh?, kind of ugly isn't it? Some people are like this rock, simple, plain, kind of ordinary. Yet, when you get inside, when you get them to open up, they are beautiful inside." He then proceeded to open up the rock (a geo rock) with amethyst was beautiful!!

          I have never forgotten that illustration.

          Appearances can be deceiving right Tify?

          I'm sure you get to have great conversations with all kinds of people by just accepting them for who they are, without judging them on their appearance. (There is also a scriptural principle involved in this. Believe it or not, there are many scriptural principles involved in much of what you write).
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    Jul 5 2013: To answer simply:

    I'm not a snob
    I care
    I feel now as typing "I'm a working class, equality hero." but that would be too much.

    And I have been told te so-called truth the hard way.

    So what do I do now?

    I'm not in a bubble, just to inform you of that.

    I am not an actor.

    Something's terribly wrong here and I don't want to and do not dare to say what.

    Because I'm afraid of the risk. I have been threatened with Apps, by operators.

    I am getting confused but luckily, I know who I am and what's right.

    Best wishes.
    • W T

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      Jul 5 2013: Anna thank you for your reflections.

      If you'll allow me to ask, what do you mean by "I have been threatened with Apps, by operators"?
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        Jul 8 2013: Long story, many details, Mary.
        Thanks for asking and caring :)
        • W T

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          Jul 8 2013: Ok Anna.....have a beautiful day. :)
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        Jul 8 2013: :)

        Thank you.
  • W T

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    Jul 2 2013: I do hope anyone coming here goes to listen to Anna Deavere's talk on "Four American Characters".

    It is such a moving talk. Please take the time and watch it.

    Also, and I found this quite interesting, if you scroll down the comments in the talk, you will note how some used to comment on TED...........I found this quite the comments have evolved throughout the years.

    What do you think??

    I find that her talk is a wonderful springboard for a conversation........but a conversation on what exactly?
    Any ideas or thoughts?
  • W T

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    Jul 2 2013: I am editing the title of the conversation.

    And I have this to add...............

    Yesterday Kai Rysdall, of NPR's Marketplace, interviewed author James Patterson.
    Here is a link to the 5 mintue interview (click the play icon under Patterson's picture....warning: ad plays first)

    The reason I am posting it, is that James Patterson lives in Palm Beach, which he calls the "City of Used-to-be's".
    He starts to reflect on how he sees himself as a "Big Shot" other words.......after publishing over 100 books, he could very well start to see himself as above the rest of us.......but does he? Is he living in a bubble?

    If you want to listen to the whole five minutes of the interview, which I recommend, enjoy......but if you just want to listen to the part on his reflections of the "high life"......start at around 3:50.

    What do you think?
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    Jun 30 2013: What is virtuous about the popular mainstream? It's like worshiping vanilla.
    I might suggest that those in the middle class itself have misunderstandings about who and what they are.
    Despite who Murray considers a "snob" to be there are the 1% of the 1% who the snobs consider snobs. Those are the people that are insulated from the reset of us..
    • W T

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      Jul 1 2013: What's wrong with vanilla? It goes with can throw on the topping of your choice, and get wonderful combinations. You can't do that with other flavors.

      There are people who are, like you say, "insulated" from the rest of us.

      Do you think they are truly happy Theodore?
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        Jul 1 2013: (Its strikes me as curious that you associated "vanilla" with ice cream.)

        My comment deserves a further explanation.
        Who is Charles Murray and why should we listen to him? Many commentors will be unfamiliar with him as an author and I suggest they look him up.

        That said, this is a terrible talk and it does not fully explain Murray's views. He makes some large generalities when describing our cultural divide. What he is actually hinting at is the political differences between the Red states and Blue states and their agendas. Murray is a Libertarian and feel he can therefore case stones at both groups.

        His latest book "Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010" is a "stark and disturbing picture of the growing class divide in the US, between an affluent, educated "elite" and an increasingly dysfunctional and desperate underclass".

        If we look at the comments of talks such as Rodney Brooks: Why we will rely on robots or Erik Brynjolfsson TEDTalk we can witness the dysfunctional and reactionary thinking of the American worker. This is the real problem.
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          Jul 1 2013: Thank you for clarifying your point.
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          Jul 1 2013: I would predict, that if you were to do some sort of word association experiment in which you present the word "vanilla" to a large number of Americans, ice cream would be the first association for the majority.

          This proportion would only be increased by the prior or simultaneous mention of "toppings."
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    Jun 30 2013: Hi Mary,
    I don't think/feel there is a "new elite". Some folks have been living in a bubble, and that has happened throughout history...has it not?

    There are some good comments on this thread already, which I will "borrow"!
    Pat...just what we need another contributor to class warfare.
    Vincenzo...let's not get too hung up on tests and studies...we can conjure up tests and studies that...will yield the results we are looking for.
    Kate...why should we judge?
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      Jun 30 2013: I thinik all of us feel the same way....
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    Jun 30 2013: Here is a 25 question quiz Murray provided for his PBS interview:
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    Jun 29 2013: Budweiser is swill, I'd rather skip the beer than drink it. I sat at a drafting table throughout my career so I never really experienced pain as a result of that. I have never walked a factory floor and I watch about 8-hours of TV a week... Holy crap! I'm a snob! I've got to start looking down my nose at you plebians. I've got to find out what Cristal tastes like, and Beluga caviar. I've got to start flying first-class and getting comped in Vegas. I'm glad I took that quiz and found out I'm a Broad Snob (B.S.). Someday I hope to be a Narrow Snob. I wonder if my creditors will cut me some slack on all my bills now that Charles has certified me as a B.S.? I sure hope so.
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        Jun 30 2013: Nothing wrong with a cold Bud Light for wine, there are so very many of's trial and error until you find one that you enjoy. We like to experiment alot.

        We have the muscadine grape that grows here, and we have wineries that make Muscadine wine.
        It's fruity, and pretty the muscadine grape is very good for you health wise.

        Here is a link...
        The Red Noble is our family favorite......the kids love the juice....which comes in a wine bottle to boot!!! Are we snobs? Naaah.
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        Jun 30 2013: Wow LaMar, I'll have to try that. Thanks!!!
        Kind of reminds me of the episode of Anne of Green Gables, where her friend Diana gets drunk drinking cordial.

        And, I think that Ed knows you have a good sense of humor.
        I personally have a tough time keeping up with him.....try as I might, I don't even know where to begin to reply to him in kind....using all the humor and sarcasm that his comment has.
        Edward is a very talented writer my friend.....he puts me to shame.
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      Jun 30 2013: Well, you know I love a good glass of Vouvray.............but personally I do not see anything wrong with a nice chilly Bud Light........

      I think we all have different taste buds.........and also, some things are an acquired taste.

      I remember when a friend of mine first tasted Cuban bread here in South Florida.
      She hemmed and hawed that her hometown bakery bread was far superior.
      When she went back home after living in the states two years, she realized just how insipid and low quality her hometown bakery bread was.

      I haven't taken the full 25 question quiz, don't know if I will either.......I'm just not too sure what his motive is in writing such a book.

      Any idea?
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        Jun 30 2013: There's no accounting for taste, but Mr.Murray disputes that truism by insinuating that one of the signs that someone is a member of the Elite is their taste in beer. Does anyone really think that is a reliable indicator of social standing? Maybe there is a faulty association at play here. Are all members of the elite, whether Broad or Narrow, snobs? Are all snobs members of the elite? I think the answer is "no" both times. Who hasn't known a snob who was very obviously not among the elite? Why he wrote the book? I think he wrote it in hopes of getting it published. Do I sound snobbish? Thanks for posting.this provocative question Mary. Keep thriving.
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          Jun 30 2013: Of course Edward, I agree with you wholeheartedly.....Was your tongue pressed firmly against your cheek when you said my question was provocative?

          It's really a shame that people buy into this kind of generalizations about class and attitudes.

          I will keep striving to come up with a provocative subject......Perhaps instead of the Big Think, the interview should have been on the Little Think?

          Here's to snobs everywhere: