TRC #345: Trigger Warnings + Food Labelling + Poland’s Enigma Code Breakers

Image converted using ifftoanyOn this week’s show, Darren explores trigger warnings, how they’re used, and whether they should be. Cristina bites into a segment about misleading product claims and food labelling. Finally, Pat takes on a listener’s suggestion to tap into Poland’s Enigma Code Breakers.

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Trigger Warnings


New Republic

Pacific Standard

Food Labelling

MNN: FDA could pull foods over labeling

FDA: Packaging & Labeling

CBC: 10 Misleading food product labels in Canada

Marketwatch: The most misleading product claims

Reuters: US Kellog labelling

Foodnavigator: Kellogg under fire

Nutritional Outlook: Comedian John Oliver skewers food label claims

CTV News: Danone to settle lawsuit over Activia Yogurt Danactive

Weighty Matters: Badvertising – KD Smart thinks your KD Stupid

Health Canada: Food Guide

Consumerist: Kellogg finally settles frosted mini wheats don’t make you smarter

Consumer Media: Kellog Mini Wheats Mock -up: “Arguably Better Than Hunger”

Consumerist: Kellogg agrees to tone down Frosted Mini-Wheats are brain food

Poland’s Enigma Code Breakers

BBC: How Poles Cracked Nazi Enigma Secret

Wikipedia: Maria Rejewski

Bletchley Park: Breaking Enigma

Wikipedia: Bomba

Wikipedia: Bombe

The Men Who Cracked Enigma (video)


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9 Responses to TRC #345: Trigger Warnings + Food Labelling + Poland’s Enigma Code Breakers

  1. flumped says:

    You state that exposure therapy can be helpful in treading PTSD, and I agree, it can. But exposude therapy is carefuly controlled.

    Randomly and unexpectadly running into something that has traumatised you in the past, is not exposure therapy.

    I know you mentioned this on the podcast, but I don’t think you stressed it enough. Throwing stories of trauma at PTSD victims expecting it to help them, probably wont.

    • Geb says:

      1. There is no evidence that suggests trigger warnings actually help reduce trauma.

      2. Trigger warnings may actually be harmful because they’re basically: HEY, WE MIGHT TALK ABOUT THAT THING THAT TRAUMATISED YOU! Don’t think about it!

    • Graham says:

      Spotted this article, not sure if the New Republic is a right-wing website, but I think the author (Jerry A Coyne) hits the nail on the head how ‘Trigger Warnings’ might become nothing more than censorship, how are people supposed to learn about the mistakes of the past, if they cannot be told about them because it might ‘trigger’ something.

  2. flumped says:

    Woah, that letter from the Pole.

    Okay, nobody is stealing Polish credit for the initial cracking of the Enigma. I’ve known for years about the Polish role. There have been documentaries on television about it. There’s even memorials at Blechley park of the Polish mathematicians who did the work. But the fact remains that the Poles cracked the much simpler, much easier pre-war Enigma, not the one the Germans were actually using during the war. So how about you send a little of that credit this way?

    And what’s this about selling you out?! We started a war which lead to the deaths of 65 million people for your country. UK had cities flattened by the Luftwaffe and lost hundreds of thousands of lives for your country. France got conquered for your country!

    • PatG says:

      I agree. The Polish Enigma contribution is well known and appreciated among those with more than a passing knowledge of WWII. The Armia Krajowa reports on the V1 and V2 rockets are a little more specialized but are again recognized and appreciated.

      The betrayal remarks are a little over the top. In addition to the invasion of Poland marking the start of the war, hundreds if not thousands of Poles served in Polish units of the British armed forces gaining a reputation for fearsome courage in the air and on the ground. The Western allies attempted to support the 1944 Warsaw uprising against the Germans despite the roadblocks put up by the Soviets – who sat by and did nothing.

      A case can be made that the West sold out Poland when it allowed the Soviets to retain control but the only option to not do that was to continue the war but against the Russians with the likelihood of nukes dropping on Polish soil.

      I’ll restate the significant contributions of the Polish people during WWII, while not necessarily well known in popular culture, have never been in doubt. I am very sorry that the writer feels the way they do.

    • Ian says:

      I do agree that the betrayal remarks are rather over the top and was dismayed to hear them. There are many complexities here and boiling them down to that isn’t helping any, and is an attention-grabbing tactic that introduces nothing but confusion.

      Having said that, I feel that this particular devil could use an advocate, as to not have the truth pummelled by overreaction. So let’s try to respond to what was raised here…

      About the stealing of credit… all the instances of it being awarded properly here are completely missing the point. The complaint was about what happens in the wider popular culture, as opposed to in the circles actually interested in the topic. Of course the specialists know, but more widely the only Polish contributions that exists in the popular consciousness that is at all military related (and specifically submarine related, as enigma was kind of a big deal for those) is the screen doors thing. To my knowledge (which is admittedly limited as I’ve never researched the topic) that is the extent of that – in the wider public consciousness the enigma was cracked purely by the efforts of U-S-A-U-S-A-U-S-A (and maybe a bit of help from some Brits, but U-S-A-U-S-A-U-S-A) and that is that.

      As for the “selling out” remark… hoboy. That’s a bit more difficult. There’s two ways it can be meant. It could be about the start of the war. “We started a war which lead to the deaths of 65 million people for your country” – that’s… not quite the case. The allies DECLARED war, as forced by the treaties they had signed. And then, as far as the European theater was concerned, proceeded to bravely put their thumbs up their asses and just kind of sit there for almost a year, with the occasional strategic bombing of German targets by huge payloads… of propaganda flyers. See: Phoney War. This state of affairs would have probably continued, but it was broken by the German invasion of France. France didn’t get conquered “for Poland”. This paints a picture of France bravely fighting to help Poland, ultimately succumbing to the Nazi onslaught. Once again, see: phoney war. France got conquered because France was finally attacked and then proved to be really, really bad at this “World War 2” thing, managing to lose despite on paper having every advantage, after which it switched sides (Vichy did happen, and one shouldn’t pretend otherwise). Similarily, the UK had cities flattened by the Luftwaffe because the Germans finally decided it was time they should take this war that was formally going on seriously. Poland? Naw, nobody gave much of a crap about it, in the wider scheme of things. But what’s the point I’m driving here… the point is really that even here it’s not quite so cut-and-dry “you ingrates, after all we’ve done for you!”

      The more likely thing that’s referred to, since the words used specifically are “selling out”, is the Yalta conference, at which it was decided how the post-war world should be divided. In particular, it featured the assent for huge chunks of Polish territories to be annexed into the Soviet Union, and provided such laughably weak provisions protecting Poland from turning into a Soviet puppet state, well… that it’s exactly what happened to it. One could go as far as to say that Poland was probably the only one of the western allies to lose WW2 – initially attacked by two hostile states, it was ultimately entirely conquered and partitioned by one of them, as the other allies were conveniently skipping over that fact for political and military expediency. The Polish troops who fought side by side with them did not take it all well. There were mass reports of suicides.

      There’s complexities here that go well beyond Poland, but saying that Poland was sold to buy the greater good isn’t entirely without basis in reality. It just that put there just by itself, it skips over both the complexities and the “greater good” part, and goes straight for the shock value, cheapening everything.

  3. Dave says:

    For Christina’s second segment.

    I never heard the term Kraft Dinner until the podcast, I just knew of of as mac and cheese. My wife had heard of it. We grew up on different sides of Pittsburgh. I grew up with the powdered cheese box never had the fancy “real” cheese stuff.

  4. From California: “Macaroni and cheese”

    Also, thanks for the tip on not following advice from Adam. I wish I’d have been warned before my dog’s hair caught fire, my girlfriend spent an hour at the mall after mistaking a manikin for me, and I threw in with the Zune… so many pitfalls I could have avoided.

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