This, That And The Other

I’ve now reached that uncomfortable stage.  It’s too late to ignore the b*stards but too early to start shoot–  Er… I mean…  I’ve reached the equivalent of that uncomfortable stage in the present illness: I’m much too well to do nothing, but trying to work or even blog coherently reveals a total lack of strength underlying my purpose.  That is, I can think of ten topics, but carrying them to the end leaves me feeling dead as though I’d lifted a very great weight.  Even art, which is how I rest my mind when I feel like this, I can start, but I sort of lack the patience to finish.  About halfway through I start feeling exhausted, and then I must nap.

I’m hoping by tomorrow I’ll have napped enough to resume normal behavior.  BUT for now, I’m hoping I can just throw a bunch of disconnected topics at you, and that it will be enough.

It occurred to me, for instance, when re-reading Rousseau’s quote about his “true freedom” being found in following the opinion of the majority even when it disagrees with his, that this explains why people on the left feel VINDICATED when they carry the electoral contest, even when they carry it based on negative advertising, and not their ideas of what to do, and even when they know the polls are corrupted and distorted by fraud.  (Well, most of them must know it, judging by how hard they fight things like ID laws and proof of citizenship to vote.  There might be a few naïfs who truly believe it is all about access to voting.  But not most of them.  My mom, btw, was shocked at how lax our laws for registering to vote and voting are.)

Anyway, somehow it seems to me the left has substituted the polls for an oracle, to divine the will of heaven.  If the polls say something, then it is the “right” path of history and therefore if we were against it, we must be wrong.  This ignores, of course, the fact that history has no “right” path and that it obviously, several times, took seriously wrong turns.  At least if one considers the massacre of millions of human beings wrong.  Perhaps they don’t.

While on that, I’m very suspicious of this supposedly super-information machine that the Obama (permanent) campaign has built.  You know, the one which is supposed to have a file on every American, and therefore allow them to know exactly how each of us will vote.

Yes, I know similar claims were made for Orca, but frankly I always viewed it – had it worked, and I guarantee to you if half the volunteers had yelled at them as I did, it WOULD have worked – as spin and gloss.  What it would actually have done is get to the polls those lukewarm republicans sitting at home.  (This is assuming the lists aren’t corrupted.  Over the last two election cycles I’ve come to the conclusion the lists ARE corrupted, to a level that can’t be incidental.  But that’s another story.) Look, I don’t half believe the marketing people and other “glossy bastards” who put a scientific veneer on hunches and guessing.  Perhaps it is because like Miss Marple I grew up in a village, and if there’s one thing growing up in a village gives you it’s an inherent distrust of city slickers who think they’re superior.  If you look closely, you can see them sweat in an argument with a foot-in-the-muck farmer.  Just any foot-in-the-muck farmer.

If the Obama campaign is all that, why are they still calling me and wanting to talk to me?  Yeah, yeah, female, novelist, post graduate humanities degree, Latin country and, not least, cat rescuer, shops organic if she can help it, and oh, yeah, takes art courses.  But for heaven’s sake, my voter registration is no secret, nor is my volunteering record, including the books I read.

It occurs to me this “spin and gloss” we’re getting about the infallible campaign makes a d*mn good cover for massive election fraud, though.  Perhaps that’s just me.  Perhaps I’m a suspicious b*tch.  Or perhaps we’re – still – being gaslighted.

I think we’re a long way from Heinlein’s idea of psychometric and persuasion as “science” which facilitated the rise of the first prophet.  But we might not be a long way from using it as a cover.  And it might be enough for Nehemiah Scudder.

Other thoughts – reading science fiction is bad for me.  Lately I’ve found myself thinking, “If Puppet Masters” were really happening, how would things be any different?  Supposing the shoulder riders were at least smart enough to keep their slaves clean, that is?  In conjunction with this (you guys know one of my favorite ways to waste time is what I’d call the “National Enquirer” (before it became America’s paper of record) “side of the internet” right?) I note that sometime around the eighties, people stopped thinking of UFOs as real phenomenon, real travelers from other worlds in real physical machines.  Suddenly, come from somewhere unidentifiable, this theory of the UFOs as “Spiritual” vehicles, bringing enlightenment or whatever, was everywhere.  It spread at the same time as the wave of anti-space-travel (with the stupid justification that we have to learn to take care of Earth first.  Just like, you know, we took care of overpopulated Europe first, before moving to other lands – never mind.  Half the kids would scream about the age of exploration, unaware that yes, while people died – they always do, when cultures meet – we are now wealthier, healthier and better off than we were ever before.  Even the descendants of native peoples.  We are also more of a blend than these kids are taught, as proven by the troglodyte sleeping down the hall at the moment, trying to recover for his bout of stomach flu.)

Both these ideas, of course, are what real space invaders who seized control of our society would promulgate, to keep humans from figuring it out and throwing them off.

No, I don’t really think it’s true, but hey, it makes for a great umbrella theory for how divorced our elites are, not just from us but from reality itself (by elites I don’t mean ivy league graduates, so you may stand down – you know who you are.  I mean those people who are actually at the apex of various fields.  That many of them are ivy league graduates it’s a coincidence.  If it makes you feel better, most of them were ushered along on their beliefs, not their ability.  And if it doesn’t make you feel better – yeah, it’s doesn’t make me feel better, either.)  It would also conveniently explain away oikophobia and their determination to tear apart the very society that permits them to exist and prosper.

But I suppose the perversity of the human heart is enough to explain that.

I think these are enough crazy thoughts for one day.  Most of all I feel incredibly tired, and I hope it’s just the aftermath of the flu, and not old age setting in.

When I get old, I want to get old like Miranda, our Cornish rex cat who goes around beating all the boy-cats twice a day, as far as I can tell for having the effrontery to be alive and be young.  … a little old lady, scary beyond all reason.

Other notes:

Since I raised stories to 2.99, I’m not only making more money (expected, since each sale is worth five times as much) but I’m selling more of each short story.  As someone who never likes spending money and who is always happy when she finds what she wants at a lower price than expected, I don’t get this.  I have however long since arrived at the conclusion most people are not like me.  Which is, all things considered, is a good thing.  If all of humanity sat at home writing epic novels, who the heck would grow the food or make the clothes, let alone all the computers and stuff that have become necessary to my job?

Lest I forget – I do, rather – next time I call for entries on the “what have you done” is the time for ya’ll to ping me also with your offers to proofread, etc.  I’ll make a little section for it, and note they should call you for fees.

Also, lest I forget, Valerie Richardson, wife of my friend and colleague Pat Richardson, wishes to guest blog some places to promote her book, Wounded.  It is a Christian, non-fic, inspirational book, and I know some of – many of? – you have Christian/spiritual blogs, or blogs with a Christian/spiritual bend.  If you wish to host Val, please ping her at healedpublishing@gmail.com

And now I’m going back to bed, so maybe I too can do some guest blogging later on.  Before you get all worried, no, I’m no longer REALLY sick, or I suspect sick at all.  My breathing seems okay, and I’m no longer sick to my stomach.  BUT – who knew? – two days of little sleep and not keeping anything down, REALLY take it out of you.  Sleep seems to help and move me towards fully functional faster.  So, sleep it is.  (The fact I can sleep at all, particularly during the day, is usually an indication I need it badly.)

I’ll check by in a couple of hours.  Y’all behave, and don’t go setting fire to the blog, now.

66 responses to “This, That And The Other

  1. And I am coming off the worst cold/cough I have had in years – I think I caught it from the kids of the family we went to celebrate Thanksgiving with (and the food was awful, too.) Just when I need to be fighting fit, with two book events and a slew of client meets coming up….
    You get well soon, you hear?
    We have a long fight to take back the culture – go Wolverines!

  2. Anyway, somehow it seems to me the left has substituted the polls for an oracle, to divine the will of heaven.

    Like priests since the start of that whole scam, it is a mighty incompetent pollster who cannot construct a poll to produce the prophecy necessary to anoint the pollster’s desired agenda.

  3. I’m very suspicious of this supposedly super-information machine that the Obama (permanent) campaign has built.

    Smoke, mirrors and flashing lights, all intended to distract attention from the man behind the curtain.

    Claims of omnipotence and omniscience are the basic implements of the totalitarian state. The true test of any model is its ability to predict; drawing the targets before shooting is the proper order of events.

    • The info-mages probably use the same supercomputers that the climate predictors use for global warm, no, anthropogenic climate change, no, the climate crisis, that’s it. The forecast models that cannot back-cast even when fed with the actual data, those ones. Big computers that use lots of electricity to produce results that thus far make the Oracle of Delphi look reliable.

  4. I think we’re a long way from Heinlein’s idea of psychometric and persuasion as “science” which facilitated the rise of the first prophet. But we might not be a long way from using it as a cover.

    Heinlein was riffing off the claims of advertising executives and poly-sci practitioners, extrapolating forward (see recent discussion concerning understanding the times in which a tale was told.)

    Also growing out of that milieu was The Selling of the President and Asimov’s Foundation.

    BSers ALWAYS claim they are employing “science.” While they keep using that word, it does not mean what they think it means.

    Leave us just say that claims may exceed performance. They had the nearly full force of the national media structure and could barely eke out a popular vote significantly less than their prior result.

  5. Wayne Blackburn

    … the troglodyte sleeping down the hall…

    You gave birth to my long lost little brother?

    • Nah, that’s *my* boy. I haven’t seen him for days. I’d wondered where he ended up. I suspect he got sucked through a wormhole in his bedroom, caused by a gravitational implosion of Dr. Pepper liter bottles.

      • LOL. For those who met Robert, he looks like a smaller (but not by terribly much) version of Larry Correia. Well, younger, too. We suspect there’s a good bit of Neanderthal there. We know there’s a good bit of Amerindian (according to the doctors) which interacts funny with the Portuguese. Nicest young man you ever want to meet. Volunteers at the hospital. Empathetic. Sweet. But if you see him he looks like he just wandered from the cave and is looking for the secret of fire. I think that’s why he always wears a shirt and tie even on weekends.

  6. I’m still trying to figure out how that Liu story won the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Award. And why someone desperate to survive wouldn’t use magic to do something survival-oriented, or money-oriented in the suburbs. And why the Communist government wouldn’t have actually done anything useful with or destructive to a village full of magic-users, even if the magic was just mind-controlling a few other susceptible people into thinking you could animate origami critters with your chi.

    One of those stories that’s nothing but plotholes, except for the bits that don’t seem very realistic — surviving apocalyptically bad times only to announce that suburban American life is worse? Seriously??

    • Haven’t read the Liu story, but I’m getting wary of the more recent SF&F award winners – I’m seeing PC-ness becoming a more important criteria than merit.

      • Well, it’s a tearjerker story too. But sheesh, there’s lots of those in the world.

        It’s possible that it’s one of those “I should have voted for his other stories, so now I’ll vote for this one” cases, because apparently he writes a lot of touching stories.

        • That happens a lot – someone deserved the award, just not for that story/film/whatever. I don’t mind those so much, though.

      • I once heard an award given for a non-fiction book. The presenter praised the runner-up to the skies, then announced the winner. Turns out that someone had pulled every string that they had in order for their protege to win the award. I had a hard time taking book awards seriously after that.

    • No offense, but when I was a kid I tended to find any book that had awards on the cover was best avoided. Example, teacher said something about how I like sci fi so I’d love the book…. we read The Giver. AKA, Depressing Drek To Open Veins By, Plus Dead Babies.

  7. I’ve now reached that uncomfortable stage. It’s too late to ignore the b*stards but too early to start shoot– Er… I mean… I’ve reached the equivalent of that uncomfortable stage in the present illness

    Yes, to early to shoot the bas–I mean, glad to hear you’re feeling better. I’ve been there, so don’t push too much, no matter how bored and restless you are. Any addictive videos lying around you’ve been putting off watching because you didn’t have time?

    • This is true. You can watch an entire anime series while you’re sick, or catch up on Poirot, or lots of things like that.

      • considering going back to nap (interrupted by troglodyte in search of socks. If there were a quest fantasy in the Hoyt house, it would be The Search For Socks) and then maybe watching something. The problem is that when I watch TV I feel like ironing. Possibly there’s psychotherapy for this?

        • This may sound like a non-sequitur, but my mother, who grew up on a New Mexico ranch in the 30s, found the only way she was *allowed* to read was if she propped the book on the mantlepiece and stood as she read.

          Did you also have a busy, why-is-that-child-sitting-in-the-middle-of-the-day type family?

          • In my house, I simply wasn’t allowed to read. It was bad for me. No, don’t ask. It was mom’s thing. If I wanted to read, I had to do one of two things: either pretend it was school work or be ready to hide the book if mom approached.

            As for sleeping during the day — I’m always at best an interrupted sleeper. At worst a serious insomniac. Light makes that worse.

            • I thought I was the only one whose mom said this! She used to tell me to stop reading and come down and watch TV!!

              • Looks across the monitor. We’re siblings? Who knew. Also, they used to introduce me to people with “She doesn’t like TV. She’s odd.”

                • My parents didn’t have TV except for special occasions. Plus they also used to drag me from the books so that the family could play baseball. I don’t know how many times I have gotten hit in the nose with a ball (I wore glasses at the time.) So I am still into books and not into baseballs. ;-)

                • I can play scales on the piano while reading. I used to hide my books under the piano music and read while the fingers did scales.

                  • at one time, I had books hidden in every room in the house — this involved putting pegs on the bottom of the clothes hamper, so I could slide a book in there from the bottom, and mom would never see it, not even while emptying the thing.

                    Honestly, I wonder what she thought when she came into a room and found me sitting there, hands folded in my lap. Or why she thought it took me so long to dust and vacuum three rooms. (Book in one hand.)

                    The habit stayed with me so that the first year of our marriage, Dan would come into a room and find me sitting demurely and go “Uh, honey, you can get the book. I don’t care.” At which point I’d usually get the book I’d stashed under the sofa or table…

                    • Oh wow – I used to carry the book tucked in the front of my jeans. I had to hide it too. ;-) I do remember carrying books to school, doing my homework in the first ten minutes, and then reading the rest of my time in school. Books were more interesting.

              • I was once online in a writers’ group where people were trading stories about the time their mothers had locked them out of the house to play in order to keep them from reading — one had learned that he could bike to the library that day, a fact he never saw fit to share with his mother — and one was properly shocked and horrified, because her parents only insisted that she finish her chores before reading, and as a consequence she combined her reading and tomboy interest by shinning up trees with a book in her teeth.

                • I read Treasure Island in a tree– appropriate I thought ;-)

                  • I was allowed to read as much as I wanted. I used to read perched in a pear tree but my brother kept bugging me. I discovered a nearly level spot on the roof of our old farmhouse that was invisible from the ground and had nearly a whole summer of peaceful reading before he found me.

            • I was never denied the right to read as much as humanly possible. The only limitations were that I had to pay my own library fines, and chores still had to be done. Of course, everyone in my family was an avid reader. I think we had the only outhouse in Rapides Parish that had a bookshelf in it. My dad had a complete collection of Louis L’Amour that I coveted. A tree fell on the edge of the house they lived in (one of the many visits by hurricanes), and they all got wet. It was several weeks before the problem was discovered, and they were covered in mold (it IS Louisiana, after all).

              My only problem was the lack of a 40-hour day. Between chores, homework, school, football/play/track practice, and church, there just wasn’t enough hours left over for the amount of reading I WISHED to do.

            • My mother-in-law told me to NEVER stop a child from reading. I told her that with The Daughter we had no choice but to do so. I think that one reason she embraced home education was that it did not require interruption of her morning read to put on her clothes to go to school.

              • LOL. We both (Dan and I) marked the point at which our kids grew an odd papery appendage at the end of their fingers, which was there through everything but showering. And both the kids have made noises about shower-proof paper and how good that would be. As a fellow sufferer, I understand.

                • Shower-proof paper, they do make it. Durawrite is much superior to Rite-n-the-rain, but requires harder lead pencils or writing will smudge when wet. I have never seen books printed on it however (you can buy it in printer paper, so it would be possible to print out ebooks on it, we used to print maps to carry with us in while working in the rain on it)

        • … when I watch TV I feel like ironing

          Perhaps a subconscious need to remove plot wrinkles?

  8. I no longer trust the election process since 2010 when more adults were “legally” registered to vote in East St Louis Illinois than there were actual adults living in the city according to the 2010 census. I live on the farthest end of the same county and realized as I read the newspaper article that my vote didn’t count. Neither did my husband’s nor dozens of our friends because of vote fraud. There are bits in the paper every year about the pay for votes schemes that go down in our county, but no one ever comes and cleans anything up.

    http://www.chicagonow.com/publius-forum/2011/04/east-st-louis-more-voters-registered-than-citizens-that-live-there/

  9. My first thought on seeing this post title was “Why is she quoting my blog?” (titled “This, that, and the other thing.”) LOL.

  10. You could get outside for a bit in the next couple of days – it’s supposed to be pretty nice around here. Breathe fresh air. Enjoy the mountain view. *THEN* go beat the bas*** — erhhh — recuperate.

  11. What size socks does your household wear? We could send you some. Er, Hubby and I think that 2.99 for a short story is a little high. I read Dipped, Stripped and Dead. I laughed so hard that I cackled for minutes.

  12. ===== Since I raised stories to 2.99, I’m not only making more money (expected, since each sale is worth five times as much) but I’m selling more of each short story. As someone who never likes spending money and who is always happy when she finds what she wants at a lower price than expected, I don’t get this. I have however long since arrived at the conclusion most people are not like me.====== See, that’s what I thought when you first announced that you were raising the prices. Then, I realized that, while I’d happily bought ebooks from the cheaper section, it was always because I’d found them linked somewhere – I’d never actually bothered to trawl through it looking for good stuff, because there was just too much dreck in the way. Speaking (sorta-kinda) of short stories, are they just scattered around, or is there some kind of omnibus, or anthology where they’re collected together?

    PS – does wordpress have some kinda rules for what tags are allowed? I swear I got quote tags to work once, but I’ve never been able to repeat it.

    • I’m putting them in five packs of vaguely related stories, and selling those for 4.99, so it works out to 99c a story. Keep in mind that my short stories usually START around 6k words, so five of them is a small novel of the golden age…
      That said, I haven’t put the recent ones out in collections, yet. It will come when my stupid health relents.

  13. Two thoughts on voter fraud and voter stupidity. I stopped by the library the other day to use their wifi (since mine has been screwed up) and overheard a young lady voter having trouble getting something printed through their system. Apparently she had only a temporary library card and no official I.D. so the librarian would not allow her access to the computer system. The debate when on for quite some time while I sat at a table to the side and laughed (much to the irritation of my friend the librarian). Second, I was shopping at Sears and the young lady in front of me was trying to open a credit account. If successful, she would get 15% off her purchases. But–when it wasn’t approved, she demanded the 15% discount anyway “just for trying.” That debate when on so long I just dumped my merchandise on the counter and left. Such is the state of the voting public in the Obama Age. We are in deep, deep trouble.

    • … the young lady in front of me was trying to open a credit account. If successful, she would get 15% off her purchases. But–when it wasn’t approved, she demanded the 15% discount anyway “just for trying.”

      This is when I want to be able to access sound clips on my cell phone, in order to play Yoda’s admonition: “Do or Do not. There is no try.”

  14. May have finally submitted to the Sickness myself. I may turn back around and go back to bed in a few minutes. Not sure if to sleep, to read, or to watch Netflix from bed. I don’t even have the energy to finish dinner and I didn’t put much on my plate. Ugh.

    PS: W/r/t a comment you made earlier about not being able to sleep with light… Light-blocking curtains. And sleep masks if you can wear them. (I need to repair mine. I have a back-up, but all I need to do is sew the elastic back onto the mask and it’ll be perfectly fine.)

  15. The only Rousseau I’m familiar with is Lovell ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovell_Rousseau ); and I stopped paying attention to philosophers where I hit Goethe’s “Theory is grey; reality is green” quote.

    That said, I have a question:

    If the nature of humanity is to want Freedom, then why do human societies invariably turn into “a few Dominants ruling over a whole bunch of Submissives”?

    • I think because that isn’t the only nature of humanity. Other aspects of human nature compete. You get unstable results like in those predator-prey simulations where the prey population explodes, followed by the predator population growing and eating all the prey, followed by the predator population crashing.

    • Most people do not want freedom. Most people do not understand what it means. Most people appear to believe it means “Freedom from Consequences”, which is the exact opposite of the true meaning. Most people are perfectly happy being serfs, so long as they can have goodies. This is why Freedom (in my definition) has never been about providing that condition for others. You can’t do it. Freedom has to be taken, and defended. No, Freedom has always been about making the buggers leave me alone.

      • My family has always considered property taxes to be the bribe paid to the local governing body to leave us alone.

    • Individuals want freedome; the collective want to be ruled.

    • Various impulses compete. Humans want to be free to do as they please, and also have the tendency to want to avoid negative consequences when they have made a bad choice. They wish to be taken care of, to be kept safe. You say this sounds like a toddler? Well, yes, it sure does.