Ruled by the SMART people — Smash the narrative I

Yesterday someone on facebook linked an article that illuminated something for me. And it’s stupid that I hadn’t seen it before.

Yesterday here someone asked about the narrative, how liberals feel a need to control “the narrative” and how everything that runs counter the narrative must get pounded.

I thought I’d posted here, before, about the narrative but it turns out it was in a private facebook site, and one of the members took off from that post and started a podcast series called “Shatter the narrative.” I must look for a link, but for various reasons I’m using my remote computer, so will probably only do that at home.

I can’t dispose of the narrative in a single post, because the narrative has more tentacles than super Cthulhu and infiltrates every portion of our lives. The best way to put it is to say that when Reagan said liberals knew so many things that just weren’t so, he either didn’t realize or didn’t mention so do conservatives. Thanks to full control of the schools for at least sixty and probably more years, the “progressives” have fed us a myriad little lies. Not only the big narrative, the idea that history comes with an arrow and moves in their direction (though that’s part of it) but also a million little ones, things like people who live in the suburbs are unenlightened, smart people don’t get married or have kids, smart people aren’t religious, etc. etc. etc.

Even those of us who came to figure out that the big central narrative that top down government is the answer was wrong will find ourselves taking for granted one or more little tentacles of narrative that have wormed their way into our brain as an “of course”. And even when we know it’s not right, we have no clue why it’s there and why it’s become a piece of the narrative.

See, if it were only the schools they controlled, it would be easy enough to get rid of. Most of us get rid of the vast bulk of blatant indoctrination we get in school as we grow up. BUT the narrative is supported by the news, and more importantly by entertainment. The narrative is supported by movies and books, and by stuff built and embedded into those in such a way that we never examine it.

Take for instance the time a fellow conservative waxed poetic about Splendor in the Grass. Yeah. She IS a little older than I.

I’d never seen it and it is free on prime, so I watched it. And my jaw dropped. Perhaps because I was then the mother of teens and knew their female friends, the whole message hit me in the face like a wet fish.

Wait, what? The girl has a nervous breakdown because – those annoying chastity rules! – the boy is having sex with someone else because she won’t put out. This is not viewed as the boy being a jerkoyd who can’t control himself, but her overrestrictive upbringing making her neurotic.

WHAT? I’m sorry. When is the last time you heard of a teen having a breakdown because he or she DIDN’T have sex? I mean, sure, when we’re teens we’re all sure we’re going to. But most adults know that sex is not just sort of glorified jumping jacks and it’s not about freeing energies that will hurt you otherwise and what not. I’m here to tell you that the worst that will happen to a teen girl who would really like to have sex and doesn’t is that she’ll write so many sonnets she’ll acquire an amazing vocabulary of rhyming words.

Yeah, I was neurotic [Were? – Ed. Shud UP-SAH] but then most teens are, being neither fowl nor fish nor yet good red meat. But because I was neurotic, I imagine what a sexual relationship at that age would have done both to me and the poor dolt saddled with me.

So, why does no one who talks about how this book is a classic and all that mention that its premise is out there, the looniest kind of disproven Freudianism ever?

Because we’ve bought into the narrative.

I’m not knocking sex, mind you, but if you have problems, having sex particularly in a relationship that due to age/requirements of growing up can’t be stable seems like a good way to add to them. (A friend of mind gives this rule as “Don’t stick it in crazy, or crazy will stick to you.”)

Now think on how many movies and books have that premise of “teens must have sex, or they’ll go crazy, crazy I tell you!” as one of the unexamined secondary story lines. Um… most of them? Or for that matter how many books and movies have that premise about adults and sex. I mean, sure, I’m married and well I enjoy the benefits of marriage, but I’ve seen enough of the world to tell you both that it’s easier to be a celibate than in a bad relationship and also that some people SHOULD be celibate, not being emotionally capable of the involvement that comes with an intimate relationship.

However in every book, in every movie, anyone who is celibate by choice is suspect. This has infected things so far that the new Miss Marple series is all about sex and repression.

And that’s just a small part of the narrative – a bit of undigested Freud, crossed with Marx’s aim of ending bourgeois marriage – but it’s EVERYWHERE.

There are other bits that are everywhere, that we know are wrong, but that I at least never understood why. Take for instance the assumption that progressives are smarter.

This always seemed like an odd narrative. I don’t know about ya’ll but the last time I met a progressive who was smarter than I was… was… um… can’t remember. (I know several people smarter and more knowledgeable than I, but they’re all either very conservative or out there libertarian.) There is one among my friends who MIGHT be both progressive and smarter than I (she WAS progressive. I’m not so sure now.) but she never had a chance being born with a red diaper. The others? Pah. Better at repeating the narrative, sure, but heck, I know even that better than they do. And I saw the contradictions, and fought free.

So why does the myth persist? Why is it so important to them?

I’m never surprised when I post something that gets under their noses and they call me evil, or impugn my morals, or cast aspersions on my manners, my ideals or my life. That’s par for the course. It’s stupid, of course, but it’s par for the course. I mean, I remember when I was declared worse than Hitler for telling them that wishing death on those who disagreed with them was evil. Good times. The irony, too, was extra ironical and had more sauce.

BUT why the “you’re stupid.” This is particularly hilarious when applied to someone like me who has all the credentials they adore. Now I’m the first person to say this has absolutely nothing with to do with real-world intelligence, because that’s a complicated, messy thing and as I’ve proven here many, many times, I have both unfathomable heights of knowledge and competence and bizarre depths and black holes of ignorance. (Some of that through growing up in another culture where the cultural referents are different.) And I’ll grant you my typos are often the stuff of legend.

But I do have a graduate degree in Languages and Literature from a well regarded foreign university; I have read most of their “literature” and even like some of it (mostly Borges, okay?); I’ve long since resigned myself to the fact that my tastes in movies and TV run to Masterpiece Theater and BBC (sorry) and I can hold a polite conversation in the salons of the glitterati. I also happen to have a piece of paper certifying my IQ as being in the … well… very far up, and that I have a membership in a society for people suffering the like affliction. (Only I haven’t renewed in years because it is not a marker of congeniality or even rationality or much of anything. Let’s put it this way: Dilbert had it right. Most members of Mensa work menial positions and have issues navigating life. Of course so do most people.)

Again, real intelligence is a messy and complicated thing. One of my sons is a real, bonafide genius, and drives me insane, both with his obsessions with a subject or a puzzle and with his total disinterest in things he (and everyone else) should be learning. My complaints about this to my cousin-sister (we were raised together, so she’s more like a sister) who is a specialist in teaching the super-gifted brought out laughter, “But that’s typical. At that level they only learn what they’re REALLY obsessed with, so there’ s these holes. Oh, also, once they master what fascinates them, to the level they want to, they drop it and never pick it up again.” (which fits younger son and drawing.)

So, why is it the left both awards themselves the “so smart” label and praises anyone who parrots their line as “so smart” and reviles anyone who questions them as “dumb?”

We know they do it, but why?

It took this article from Sultan of Knish to make it click in place for me.

You see, they have to believe they’re smart and that anyone who agrees with them is smart. That’s because their entire belief system about government and society hinge on “government from the top down” which can only work if “the right people” are in charge. I.e. it can only work if the people at the top are “really smart.”

Hence too, their tendency to cult of personality and their cult-like belief that an ivy league school is the same as an IQ test. (Hint, an IQ test is the same as an IQ test, and even that has nothing to say to your ability to function, survive and thrive in the real world.)

So though I normally don’t talk about my IQ test or my membership in that high IQ society, because I think it says absolutely nothing about me as a person or even about my competence in my chosen field, I now understand why the two times I lost my cool and threatened to scan in my membership card it caused the troll to run away in one case forever and in another case (on Facebook) for a month which with that one is a record.

And ya’ll will forgive me if I do it more often and maybe even scan it in, right? I DON’T think it makes me superior to anyone. The ability to take IQ tests well is not in fact something that’s well paid in the real world. (Which is why I don’t talk about it.) OTOH it smashes the left narrative that all the smart people are on their side, or that intelligence can be proven by parroting progressive slogans.

And that in turn smashes their idea that they can rule by virtue of being “so smart.”

Of course, most of the progressives have the stigmata of not-so-smart kids who have been pushed beyond their depth. Oh, you know them as well as I do. You went to school with some of them. Daddy’s daughter or mommy’s son, usually from money, who had tutors from second grade on, and who were told they were SO smart, even though their grades were mostly bolstered by penmanship and manners. Remember those kids? The haunted look?

They were keeping up the smart façade, but they knew in their hearts they weren’t all that smart and so they struggled.

In the same way, our “elites” have that haunted look of always looking over their shoulder and being afraid of being unmasked. Which is why they’re so loud in parroting what “teacher” – in this case “scientists” and in particular “social scientists” say – says. Because then they can continue being praised for being “so smart.”

And why they must scream so loud anyone who doesn’t parrot received messages is “dumb” and “stupid.”

Which is okay. We bad kids in the back, making jokes and blowing spitballs, are still beating them on grades, and we know what is wrong with the pap we’re taught too.

Because in the end, reality doesn’t care if you’re saying the “approved truth” or if you’ve been “certified” smart. Reality only cares about what works. And top down government never works, not even with really smart people. (Arguably it would be worse – if that’s possible – with really smart people, because of those blind spots and areas they’re not interested in.)

Which is why the narrative that we would be fine with the “really smart” people in charge is a fable suitable for incurious, ignorant children.

And it’s why in the end, we win, they lose.

Smash the narrative. It’s about time.

 

460 responses to “Ruled by the SMART people — Smash the narrative I

  1. Of course, most of the progressives have the stigmata of not-so-smart kids who have been pushed beyond their depth. Oh, you know them as well as I do. You went to school with some of them. Daddy’s daughter or mommy’s son, usually from money, who had tutors from second grade on, and who were told they were SO smart, even though their grades were mostly bolstered by penmanship and manners. Remember those kids? The haunted look?

    Obama’s like that. At the start of his Presidency he had this huge air of groundless confidence — he’d say stupid things proudly, because no one had ever contradicted him and his whole life they’d patted him on the head and told him he was a smart boy. And now — he just looks angry and frightened, all the time, because reality has repeatedly smacked him in the face with the evidence of his own incompetence.

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    A few thoughts on the sex part of the narrative.

    First, we hear that teens “can’t control themselves”. IE they will have sex. Yet, boys are told “control yourself” when the girl says No (guys are also supposed to know that the girl isn’t willing to have sex even when the girl is acting like she wants to have sex with him but that’s another rant).

    Second, I get seriously annoyed at movies, books, TV shows where a couple who don’t really like each other are still willing to have sex at the drop of a hat. Of course, in too many of these “stories” having great sex “solves” all their relationship problems. IE they hated the other before but after sex they don’t.

    • And all those narratives may have something to do with the modern high divorce rates. I don’t know about your country, but at least here it seems relationships are often based solely on sexual compatibility, in the beginning anyway. People choose their mates based on their sexual attractiveness, try sex right at first, sex is great, hey, this is the one! and assume everything else will just magically work out even when they have already noticed that they may not be all that good a fit otherwise.

      • Myth of the romantic story. If the right elements will just align (lately, as you say, sex) then everything will slip into place (easy, now — 😐 ) and we’ll live happily ever after!! Yay!

        😐 Hmph. Reality meteor in-bound: Relationships are work!

        • Yes, that last part – you need to work at it – seems to get ignored a lot. When it stops working people start looking for a new partner rather than try to fix the relationship they have. Or too often at least one of them will, even when the other seems to be bending over with efforts to make her/him stay.

          • Yep. If it’s “right” you’ll know. But if it wasn’t meant to be…

            Bleagh.

          • The wise old fairy tales never were so silly as to say that the prince and the princess lived peacefully ever afterwards. The fairy tales said that the prince and princess lived happily ever afterwards; and so they did. They lived happily, although it is very likely that from time to time they threw the furniture at each other.

            ― G.K. Chesterton

      • Combine that with a legal system that makes it all too easy to leave and a moral system that values keeping vows slightly less than a bucket of warm spit……

    • This is also why libs support Single mothers so much. Typically because they are so often the product of such failed relationships. If they Normalize their wretched upbringing, they can feel more normal and good about themselves.

      Also, because they suck at relationships, if they work to form a promiscuous society, they still have a hope of getting laid.

      • There’s also the little fact that single mothers are dependent on the Leviathan and so will vote for it.

        (I have read with my own eyes feminists getting indignant that low welfare payments are punishment for lacking access to a male income.)

    • Bosh — of course good sex rattles the brains so that they fall into place. That is why I always recommend those who claim to not like me should get screwed.

  3. The Progs are carrying on the legacy of the French Revolution with the brilliant strategy of the underwear gnomes:

    1 – Destroy traditional society

    2 – ?

    3 – Utopia!

    Sex is a powerful force, and the Progs intend to use its free expression to undermine traditional norms. Their plan is to wreck the existing social order, leaving only alienated, disconnected individuals — the scenario they think will lead to the rise of the enlightened to power so they can usher in the Age of Aquarius.

  4. I work for a university and my experience is best summed up by a line from Ghostbusters when Stantz tells Venkman, “You’ve never worked for the private sector–it’s not like academia. They expect results.”

    The majority of university faculty have only worked in academia, only associate with other faculty members, only read works published by approved sources, and never have to apply their theories in an environment where results matter.

    It’s easy to think you’re smart when all you have to do is sit around and talk about how cool it would be if everybody just did what you said. You can ignore any inconvenient details and rewrite history to suit yourself.

    Unfortunately modern politicians (who are also mostly people who have never held a job where you can get fired for screwing up) tend to take these impractical hothouse flower ideas and try to apply them to real world, where they eventually die and rot, no matter how lavishly they are fertilized.

    • “It’s easy to think you’re smart when all you have to do is sit around and talk about how cool it would be if everybody just did what you said. You can ignore any inconvenient details and rewrite history to suit yourself. ”

      Ya know I wonder if it’s better to think of ’em as being process orientated vs outcome orientated. Depending on there level in the hierarchy thay spend there time ether coming up with exquisitely detailed plan’s for “HOW TO DO IT” and/or following other (really smart qualified people’s) plan’s for “how to do IT”, and at the end of the day when you ask how it all worked out practically speaking….. thay can only talk about what a good job thay did following the PLAN to the letter (were’s the gold star???).

      • Thomas Sowell’s argument is that such people are conditioned to evaluate a solution by how elegant it is, rather than by whether it actually solves the problem it addresses.

        • “Systemic processes tend to reward people for making decisions that turn out to be right—creating great resentment among the anointed, who feel themselves entitled to rewards for being articulate, politically active, and morally fervent.”
          ― Thomas Sowell

          I think I’m going to suggest Economics or possibly Social Policy as next month’s topic so we can read The Vision of the Anointed.

  5. I was once a local officer in that organization you mention.
    The only qualification for membership is to score at or above a certain level on any one of a number of approved tests. That, and pay your annual dues of course. Lots of folks qualify, join, and drop after a year. The ones that stay tend to have socialization issues combined with a need for some level of social interaction which the club supplies.
    Members tend to not broadcast their membership as it typically sets them up for unreasonable expectations by “normal” folks who have no clue as to what having a very high IQ does and does not entail.
    It’s handy if you travel a lot as there’s almost always a local chapter wherever you might be with a typically welcoming attitude towards visiting members.
    I will say that high IQ and common sense have at best only a passing correlation, and particularly of late the lib/prog elements have made serious incursions into the organization.

    • I will admit I dropped out and stopped paying dues when a) we moved to a town where the chapter was devoted to more than beer and bad puns (ie they wanted to do “intellectual” stuff. Sigh.) b) they featured Clinton on the cover of the national magazine with “finally a smart president.”

      • The latter would have stopped me right there.

      • Apparently they forgot Jimmah.

        • William O. B'Livion

          No, but they keep trying.

          • Oh, please. Jimmah is now a distant second worst!

            • But Jimmah was smart. We were all told that Jimmah was smart. And he was. But smart isn’t necessarily the best skill for an executive. An executive has to know how to delegate and Jimmah sort had problems with that.

              • He had other issues, as well–Like, allowing himself to become beholden to some very nasty interests. Whose guidance left us with a continuing legacy of problems, millions of dead to date, and the prospect of dealing with the death of billions in the future.

                Foreign interests opposed to the Iranians funneled money to Carter to save his bankrupt family business. Carter’s administration displayed top-down antagonism towards the Shah that resulted in the destabilization of his regime, and the eventual rise of the Iranian permanent revolution under the mullahs.

                Following his administration, the same interests that bailed him out with his family business financed the Carter Center, and his library. Carter paid them back by doing their bidding against the Israelis, as well as certifying a bunch of things like the Venezuelan elections that saw Chavez take office.

                Ol’ Jimmy-boy has more issues than just the ability to delegate authority. Some of that “inability” mysteriously happens to tie in to whatever the hell was going on in his administration that resulted in us throwing away a solid ally, and setting the stage for nine-tenths of the problems we have had to deal with in the Middle East. Just consider: No fall of the Shah of Iran, and there’s no reason for the Soviets to invade Afghanistan, which they did primarily in response to the fears that the Islamic Revolution would spread to the various ‘stans inside the Soviet Union. Plus, an intact Iranian military would have made the invasion of Afghanistan a very high-risk operation. So, bang–All the issues that flow from that little problem. Then, there is the Iran-Iraq war, and the millions who died in that.

                Frankly, if I were running things, ol’ Jimmy-boy would have been subjected to a good waterboarding, followed by prosecution for mass murder on a scale not seen since Pol Pot. Something seriously stinks about his administration, and I have a pretty good idea of what the odor stems from. You talk to anyone who worked the Iranians back in the day, and the dots are fairly easy to connect. The whole “human rights” thing came out of the clear air, right along with the guidance to tell the Iranian generals not to resist the revolutionaries, or we’d cut them off.

                • I think that there’s a deep sociopathic streak that goes wit being a Democrat. They always seem to be in it for themselves and damn to the consequences. As long as the blood doesn’t come back to them.

                  • Progressives, not Democrats. I know lots of Democrats who truly believe that if we just all had social medicine, eliminated the Department of Defense and truly communicated with each other, things would be OK. They really do want to help people. They’re just deluded as to how.
                    Progressives on the other hand are loud, rabid dogs trying to get their own way.

              • I still can’t believe someone went “Hey, a Nuke! Let’s pick him to run stuff, this’ll work great.”

                (When I was in boot camp, almost everyone guessed I was a Nuke; I was offered it, but had no interest in either the very high demand course or a six year contract. But I’m one of the normal ones. Yes, there’s an ENTIRE RATE of Odds!)

                • Yes, we are odd….

                  Never let the nukes on a boat get bored. We will be entertained one way or the other….

    • I like to mention having qualified due to similar experiences our hostess mentioned: being a blue collar, especially a blue collar who has lots of both conservative and libertarian opinions, seems to automatically stamp me, in some circles, as of course stupid. Which can be aggravating. Having passed the test well enough that I would have been able to become a member (didn’t) seems to counter that at least to some extent with that same crowd. Now most of you guys who take part in the discussions wouldn’t think that, but I assume there are more who just read, and some of those are presumably also ones who do hold that assumption – or just assume that everybody with certain political leanings, much less full conservatives or libertarians, just are dumb.

      So, hey, see, lady Hoyt does attract pretty intelligent (okay, okay, by some measures of intelligence at least) followers, and that holds even with those of us who DON’T have any degrees. 🙂

      • The job you do, as Sarah as written about before, gets similar judgement.

        The best educated group I know of are ranchers. Almost all of the ones I know have at least an AA. For some reason folks still think they’re “uneducated”….

        (note, this doesn’t include the guys that are listed as ranch hands but are the only actual unskilled labor I know of– they do only exactly what you tell them to, each time; somehow that MAYBE in in thirty became considered a standard…..)

        • Yes… and one can be pretty well read with no formal education (I do have some, dropped out before getting that degree).

          On the other hand, sometimes that crowd also seems to assume that high IQ automatically means one is Will Hunting or something. I’m okay, but I’m definitely no genius. Oh well. I suppose it’s reaching the right conclusions question. Think like me, you’re smart enough. Goes for both ends of the political spectrum (if we are going by the linear assumption), but on one end the seems to be more of the “he’s obviously lacking in intelligence, has been duped and probably should have a minder, no need to pay attention to that one” while the other end perhaps a bit more often leans towards “seems smart enough, how can he think that? Maybe if I talk with him…” judgements. 🙂

          Since most people I know in my country are more or less on the left (Greens, mostly) I do know plenty of lefties who are quite intelligent and very smart with lots of things. But most of them also seem to be people who are reluctant to look at both sides, or to really study the facts – those facts which have not gone through the ideological machine already. They seem to be sticking with the general, approved narrative because it’s, perhaps, simply easier to them in their everyday life, and don’t want to look at anything which might disrupt their sense of… I don’t know. Belonging? Most times it has been about guns, and so far I don’t think I have managed to get any of them to dig at that, even those ones who otherwise seem to be rather curious about almost everything else.

          Can’t really understand that attitude. Almost every time somebody tries to feed me something, anything, as the, 🙂 , “settled science”, I get this urge to start digging. Well, I’m afraid that attitude also makes me an unconvincing speaker as I just CAN’T say something like “This is the way it IS” without some sort of “as far as we know now/as far as I have been able to find/as far as…” addendum.

          • or to really study the facts – those facts which have not gone through the ideological machine already.

            I really have issues with this– that’s the FUN part! Poking at the facts, where they’re from, how they’re defined, if they’re being explained right…. you learn almost as much about the folks involved as you do about the thing you’re getting facts about.

            Your “Settled Science” response sounds like you’re a natural calibration tech. 😀

          • Remember, if you go digging in the facts on Settled Science, you’re not a Skeptic, you’re a Denier.
            “Proper skepticism promotes scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims,” the statement continued. “It is foundational to the scientific method. Denial, on the other hand, is the a priori rejection of ideas without objective consideration.”
            So if you look at the model of AGW/C/whatever and ask questions, you’re making an a priori rejection of the settled science and NOT wondering why none of their models can predict ANYTHING with any accuracy but they keep getting funding anyway.
            At one point I’m sure there were people who thought Phlogiston was Settled Science.

            • The interesting thing is that AGW true believers are always throwing that “extraordinary claims” thing around. But like Inago Montoya said, that word doesn’t mean what you think it does. The reality is that the AGW catastrophe is the extraordinary claim. In order for what the AGW types say will happen, physics would have to act in a new and strange way.

            • I question it because a couple of the ‘models’ (all based on the same code, with minor variations) predict warming when fed a table of random numbers.

      • Too many conflate being “smart” with holding the correct answers, not with engaging in correct reasoning.

  6. There is a part of The Narrative that has been bothering me for a while, and it doesn’t fit on either side of the Culture Wars; the essential sleaziness of the “Sexual Revolution”.

    The current batch of SJWs don’t like to admit it, the their predecessors fell for The Playboy Philosophy ™ like a ton of rectangular building materials. The flip side of that is that I think a reasonable amour of Feminine rage that feels into the SJW & GHH idiocy is based on a totally reasonable reaction to what Playboy wrought. I mean, really; go back a actually READ some of the Playboy and Playboy-knockoff crap. It’s CREEPY. And the Liberal Establishment was FULL of it, in a way that the Conservative right never was. Oh, sure, blue-collar conservative Dad bought Playboy, and masturbated over the pictures. He didn’t think the WRITING was anything but pseudo-intellectual glop intended to justify the bare hooters. The Left water to look at the hooters, but was embarrassed to say “Hey, I like tits”, so they bought into the glop.

    A few years of that, and while I think Andrea Dworkin is deranged, I also think I know what deranged her. See, the Liberal Establishment doesn’t really know what goes on outside their bubble. So if the nice Liberal Establishment males they meet are all pseudo-intellectual sexist losers (and if they but into the Playboy Philosophy™ I don’t see how they could be anything else) , imagine how bad it must be out among the Great Unwashed!

    I suspect the truth is that supposedly Male Dominated Conservative Society is a great deal SAFER for women than the Liberal Establishment. I suspect that behavior that gets a pass in the Liberal Establishment is viewed a predatory in the MDCS, and that predatory behavior gets you shunned.

    I suspect – horror! – that IF college campuses are hotbeds of sexual predation, it is largely because the liberal Establishment has made them so.

    Of course , none of this fits the SJW narrative. But it doesn’t seem to be recognized by the Libertarians or the non-Pat Robertson conservatives either. And I sure don’t want to go with Robertson; he’s a dingbat, every bit as much as Nancy Pelosi.

    The problem isn’t that we’ve abandoned some artificial Christian Values that never held sway as much as either the SJWs OR the Robertsons of the world seem to think they did. The problem is that we have accepted a distorted picture of sexuality based on the desire of one of the creepiest low-level sexual predators ever to have his own TV show to sell a slightly upmarket girlie mag.

    We need to start telling the would-be Hugh Hefners “keep it in you pants, schmuck, or at least shut up about it”.

    • Oh, yes. The liberal establishment of the sixties and seventies … it sounds like creepers now. They sexualized absolutely everything including children (we don’t like to talk about it, but that was not that rare in the hippie dippie communes. In fact it was the rigueur. And think about it: if damning up sexual energies is bad, of course everyone should be freed starting with kiddies. The backlash on that brought us the daycare satanic ritual panic of the eighties.) And yep, the … obligation to sleep with anything that moves (what? BACK IN THE EIGHTIES I was teased by friends, for being a virgin at twenty) because otherwise you’re “repressed” and “a prude” and there’s something wrong with you is creating women like Miss PIV is rape, talks to plants idiot.
      On a side note, the creepiest guys are ultra liberal. My brother’s friends who tried to talk me out of my underwear by 13 were all (and still are) leftists and it was all about “not being repressed.” They were trying to save me from neurosis, see, with the creepy penis of liberation.
      Also, even before I worked for Baen, I liked to sit at the Baen table at mass signings, because their guys are the most comfortable with their masculinity and didn’t creep me out.
      But most of these chicks never met a non-liberal male.
      A lot of the capital L libertarians have bought into mandatory sex as part of “liberation.” (And some are UNBELIEVABLY creepy.) And most of the conservatives who oppose indiscriminate sex oppose it for religious reasons.
      I am religious, but I never considered THAT sufficient reason to promulgate universal rules (and my religion is more forgiving of sexual pecadillos in general — by which you should understand the rather odd, probably highly heretical version of my religion I was taught due to odd family background, not the traditional version) so it took me a while to think back on this assumption and go “uh. This is all wrong, from real life experience.”
      I think most people don’t know the “must have sex or be neurotic” thing comes from Freud, nor that it has been thoroughly discredited. (Otherwise we WOULD be engaging in pedophilia as matter of public health. Only humans don’t work as Freud thought they did.)

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I’d define the creepy sorts more broadly than that.

        One does not need religion to be socially conservative.

        First, I reject any obligation to approve of someone and their sexual acts, opinions, and choices. I interpret demands of such through much the same lens as I would as a child, an attempt to intellectually undermine my willingness to tell an adult wanting sex no. (Okay, the vast majority of adults I knew were decent sorts, but there was one, and the stuff in the newspapers about kids disappearing and never showing up alive.)

        Now, I may have been anxious and neurotic, but I was also paying attention, and that well predated developing any interest in sex.

        Secondly, I ran opinions on sex through a sieve, stringently comparing them to my own ideas about how the world should be ordered. This involved optimizing for the welfare of children, particularly me. I felt strongly that I wanted to be the sort that would do right by his kids, should I have them. What standards do I hold myself to so that I do not go over to the enemy side as I grow up?

        Thirdly, I do not think sex is evil. I think people are evil, and if driven, perform acts of which some will be evil if they do not hold themselves to good. Sex is a powerful drive, and needs guidelines sized to it. If someone uses guidelines sufficient for weaker impulses, there will be some evil, depending. If someone uses guidelines derived from sexual impulse to control sexual impulse, there will be evil, partly depending on what flavor of impulse one is prone to. Note that this understanding of evil does not come originally from religion, but from paying attention to myself and others in daycare. I grew up; if I hadn’t, I would have either killed myself by accident, or by obliging a cop to use lethal force.

        The only essentially religious element for me is the notion of reciprocity, that what I reasonably desired as a child might be due all children. Yes, equal protection under the law, but ‘this is how the system works, and that is how it is practical to have things work’ does not make one care.

      • I am religious, but to my mind, if you leave religion out of it, plain common sense and reality are still on the side of being *really* careful who you sleep with. Heck, the science is settled! 😀

        • No argument there. Trusting someone within arms reach while you sleep *should* be something you think about, before the knockin’ of boots goes on, oh yes indeed. *grin*

        • Yes, that is my view too.

        • Professor Badness

          I am also religious, but would take it a step further. I believe that you shouldn’t have sex with anyone that you’re not deeply devoted too.
          I’ve had far too many friends and family members having casual sex, claiming their “love” could conquer all. The truth was, they were horny and enamored of each other, but not really committed. This became obvious as their “true love” fell apart over a petty squabble or jealousy.
          What is wrong with waiting for a real, committed relationship? Sex, to me, is the bonding of two people in a beautiful experience that is cheapened by taking it casually.
          As many of the Huns and Hoydens have commented already, maturity is key. But fortunately, we have some good indicators to use.
          I guess my point is, if you’re not ready to get married (i.e. mature, devoted, old enough to have a good job, etc), you’re not ready to have sex. If you’re not ready to have children, you’re not ready to have sex.
          If the general populace followed these sorts of guidelines, (which they did not to long ago), think of how many problems it would avoid.
          (I realize that many immature people have gotten married without being ready, but that’s kind of my point. People need to be mature before doing something so important.)
          I apologize to any I might have offended, but I love and respect the Huns and Hoydens too much to be anything less than honest.

          • “Do I wish to do an act that is designed to create another human being, who will need to be nurtured and protected for over a decade,” in short.

            • Professor Badness

              Exactly!

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              To the “progressives” that’s what birth control and abortion are to prevent. IE you can have sex without worrying about having and keeping a baby.

              • And flat-out abandoning those you don’t kill.

                Heck, the idea that parents might choose to put their kids ahead of their career is apparently abhorrent.

                • Of course it is. Witness all the derision heaped on “Stay-at-home moms”.

                • We have. And paid for it. So, that post, Fox?

                • “Too often, parents have no choice but to put their kids in cheaper day care that maybe doesn’t have the kinds of programming that makes a big difference in a child’s development . . . or the best programs may be too far away. And sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”

                  • *yarfs a hairball on the original speaker’s Bruno Magli pump*

                    • Not that ‘women can do this if they want to’…

                      ‘Women should do this for lost productivity’
                      seriously?

                    • As folks have observed before: that which is not forbidden is mandatory, in their world.

                    • CombatMissionary

                      Reminds me of those idiots on “Hot Fuzz.”

                      Nicholas Angel: How could this be for the greater good?

                      Neighbourhood Watch Alliance: The Greater Good.

                      Nicholas Angel: Shut it!

                  • CombatMissionary

                    Yeah, how dare we Americans think of putting the welfare of our own offspring ahead of the Greater (short-term) Good!
                    When I was engaged to my wife, I had a conversation with her. I told her that I thought it best for kids to have a mom around, so when kids came along, I expected my wife to quit work and be a full-time stay-at-home mom at least until the kids were all in school, and I would take responsibility for providing for all the fiscal needs of the family until my wife could return to the workforce at a later date, and if she didn’t like that, then that was her opportunity to walk away with no hard feelings.

                    My wife actually laughed and said, “What, like I’m going to say no to early retirement?”
                    Then the children came…
                    She’s still at home, but will return to work or school in the next few years, probably part-time at first.

                    • It’s a good thing my husband and I have such compatible mindsets, or we could’ve run into a BIG problem.

                      We never talked about what we’d do after we had kids. Established we wanted them but were married before we ever discussed the actual raising part.

                      I can’t remember when it came up, just remember me saying something like “You do realize I’m not going to go to work so we can pay other people to raise our kids, right?” and his slightly puzzled expression where he said, roughly: “Well, of course not. What’s the point if we’re not even going to see them most of the time?”

                      His mom was a pure stay-at-home, and mine’s a rancher– so she had a job where she took us with her all the time, and we’d “help.”

                    • CombatMissionary

                      That’s the best way, teaching kids to work from VERY young.

                      I spent every waking minute I could with my dad twisting wrenches and swinging hammers. I learned a lot, just by being a gopher. It’s saved my family budget as an adult. “What? Well, of COURSE I can install a gas dryer. Just have to take apart the gas main back to the furnace and tap off there… Leaks? No, I know how to use leak-tek. What are YOU on about? So what if I’ve got some live, bare, dangling wires? I’ll get it put back together by the weekend…”

                  • Mom staying home is ALWAYS the best, and I say this as someone brought up by a mom who wasn’t going to win any medals and who was a barely competent stay at home mom herself. I’ve seen me and my kids and our peers. And I CAN SEE the difference.

                    • If it ain’t the best, that woman don’t deserve to be called “Mom.” I also grew up in a stay-at-home-Mom house, and had age-mates who did not… and they were not quite right, any of them.

                      The only caveat I’d add is the ones that don’t care for their kids at all, get their d*mn tubes tied. We practically raised at least six* kids out of that one house, only two of us actually lived there. The parents of the other four, well, I’d rather they got put in jail right fast, as they rightly deserved.

                      Part of the reason all my recipes start at “feeds eight” might be this…

              • OTOH, birth control and abortion don’t prevent STD’s.

      • People keep talking about “demisexuality” as an orientation or identity, which I understand to be defined as only becoming sexually attracted to people with whom you have developed a strong emotional relationship.

        Now, I am not saying I think it’s abnormal to experience attraction to strangers. Obviously this is something a lot of people feel.

        And it’s not as if I don’t understand an interest in categories. I find introvert/extrovert, for example, an interesting and useful distinction. I actually grew up with people who get wanting to withdraw and read a book even during family gatherings, so in some ways it’s actually less “Oh, so that’s what’s going on with me” than “Oh, so that’s what’s going on with people who want to party.”

        But every time I hear about demisexuality, I find myself thinking, “There is something seriously wrong with the social group that made you feel like you needed an explanation for not being interested in sex with strangers.”

        • First I’ve heard of that term.

        • CombatMissionary

          Back in the days when I was working a flightline, I’d go to the PX with some of the guys. We’d stand around at the magazine rack, and I’d almost inevitably pick one or two up. The guys would ask me, “Why don’t you ever get the ones with the babes?” I’d deadpan and say, “Guys. Seriously. Yeah, they’re hot, but they get in the way of seeing the CARS!”

          The look on their faces was always PRICELESS.

          Yeah, the impulse for sex with strangers is there, but it’s like chewing gum from off the street. You don’t know WHERE it’s been before, so LEAVE IT ALONE. Self-preservation, as well as the desire to NOT be a thrice-divorced E-4 at 25 years old (but I repeat myself) is ALSO an impulse.

          • Yup. And every guy knows at least one other guy who has been divorced or run through the wringer.

            It makes us appreciate the good ones a *lot* more, too. A warm heart and a good soul are worth waiting for.

      • “Only humans don’t work as Freud thought they did.”

        Oh. Hell. Yeah.

        I recall really -reading- for the first time, as an adult, the theories of Sigmund Freud. It was a REVELATION.

        The revelation was that anybody who attached any importance to the collected maunderings of that Austrian fakir was an utter idiot.

        For the many of y’all not fully clued to the full reality that is Freud, his model of the human mind is a steam engine. These “pressures” you hear about that need “released”, he meant actual -pressure-. You’ve all heard “the guy blew a gasket” and the old excuse for bad behavior “blowing off steam” right? Freud meant it literally. Neurosis is actual nerve damage cause by unreleased pressure.

        None of this is ever spoken of in academic circles. I found out at age 40 from being back in school getting a PT degree. They know it, they just don’t talk about it. Because the whole Sexual Revolution is built on this whole “releasing pressure” concept, and its SO much to their benefit to keep the scam going that they just bury anything that gets in the way.

        Once I became aware of the Freudian construct I started seeing it everywhere. Its the biggest scam they have, and its been propagandized into our culture in the biggest possible way.

        That’s what make the SJWs the strident, shrill little bitches they are. They’re trying to defend a STEAM ENGINE and don’t even know it because its buried under a thousand feet of accumulated academic guano and Andrea Dworkin-esque ravings.

        The even greater balderdash that has replaced Freud is this canard that the human mind is like a Turing machine, a serial computer, with registers and RAM and a CPU and storage etc. This leads to the currently in vogue moral panic about Artificial Intelligence being the next great threat to Humanity, and Terminators are going to come and kick our asses in the next ten years. I see it in the papers all the time now.

        We are no closer to creating an Artificial Intelligence than Galileo was to creating a jet fighter. If that.

        • I believe he falsified evidence, too.

          I know that Jung did, but I’m only fairly certain with Freud.

        • I have to disagree on that last point. If technology advanced at the same rate as it did in DaVinci’s day, sure. But it doesn’t. The estimated processing power of the human brain is 20 Petaflops… we have supercomputers that can do that. We almost have supercomputers that can simulate a human brain in its entirety in real time – we’re probably nine months away from that. (If that, i bet if titan was upgraded to the latest CPUs and GPUs, its performance would improve by 50%, giving it a perfomance of 40.5 petaflops) Yes, your desktop computer can’t understand plain-language English (Watson was from 2008, and only 80 teraflops), but your desktop computer has more than likely 100 gigaflops or so of processing power- one thousandth of a petaflop. The first ‘true’ AI isn’t going to be a desktop computer.

          Once the processing power is there, the programming will come. The programming is getting there, too.

          • I have to say that I think it will require at least a five-fold higher processing power for a binary computer to reach human capacity, and more likely a hundred, but even that should be here within 10 years or so, and the software should follow close behind.

            • Five-fold means about 40 months… , assuming a doubling every 18 months… and technically., one of those increases in processing power happened in September. (And yes, I know Moore’s Law actually refers to the number of transistors, not processing power… but these days, double the number of transistors easily means doubling the number of processing cores.)

              • Yep. And the reduction in cost of SSD drives results in an effective increase in speed of well over that, for anything that is not held in main memory, allowing the usable near-realtime storage levels to increase immensely.

          • If that estimate about human brain processing power is correct, if that “almost” simulating a human brain hasn’t cut out too much of the stuff that’s important, if we can even detect all the stuff that’s involved or some kind of indication about it….

            They’d have to demonstrate a system that can text-chat on at least a World of Warcraft level before I’d believe it’s even possible, and I’d be more confident if they could, say, have a group of five with one to three computers playing in dungeon and just plain farming and they ask multiple groups who was the computer in the group.

            • I think the real challenge there is distinguishing your average Chinese gil-farmer from a computer….

              • No interaction, there, and the illegal farmers usually have some computer aid so they can do multiples.

                • Having been one of the GMs in charge of hunting down bots, a single computer – at the time – could run up to 100 bots on L2, with a bunch of pre-programmed responses, such as moving away from an area when a legit player came into the place, or logging out. Their handler would get an alert if someone talked to any of the bots so they could respond. This gets even more complicated when you have whole bot trains farming an area.

                  • Thanks, the only details I had were several years old and only for WoW.

                    • No problem – my data’s also old, but that’s how it was back then. I saw the botting problem from both sides – as a legit player first, then later as a GM. When I was no longer working as a GM, I was curious and found out that the bot program doesn’t necessarily load the actual game screen. You could have one ‘active’ character and the rest would be the train. A well kitted out computer could run perhaps 7-10 ‘leaders’ and then keep an ‘enforcer’ on standby; while the rest looked like a radar on screen with a terminal and a GUI.

                      The bots stay because they stay a few steps ahead of the security measures. Not familiar with how WoW deals with them, but one of the ways that it was handled was to make it unprofitable to use bots, I’m told.

                    • I believe part of how ALL the games handle bots is to not mention counter-measures until they’re at least one cycle outdated. *grin* I always assume anything I hear has been countered at least once.

                    • Patrick Chester

                      SWTOR has a similar problem with gold (or I guess credit) farming spamming fleet chat and some of my characters have received in-game e-mail spam as well.

            • Estimates of the human brain’s processing power run from 100 teraflops to 50 petaflops, depending on who you ask and how they are counting it. 20 petaflops is the most commonly thrown around number.

        • That’s what make the SJWs the strident, shrill little bitches they are. They’re trying to defend a STEAM ENGINE …

          Nyah – mostly they just need to get laid to reduce the pressure driving them bat-guano nucking futz.

          • CombatMissionary

            Cut them some slack. They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s hard to GET a girlfriend when you’re busy friendzoning yourself by trying to BE a girlfriend. 😉

    • Attempting to twist “The Sexual Revolution” into something that somehow benefits women is becoming more and more difficult.

      If the Left were truly concerned about the instance of sexual assault on college campuses they would support commonsense measures such as having sex segregated dorms and closing the dorms to the opposite sex after hours. Rape requires a rapist and a victim to be alone together, after all.

      Instead they are working to remove sex segregated public restrooms from campuses. That’s moved past the Playboy aesthetic and into Hustler territory.

      • I seriously think that one of the biggest hurdles that the Gay community faces is that (so far as I can see) when the heterosexual community started mocking/shunning the kind of low-level,predators that patterned themselves on Hefner, a lot of those creeps jumped to the Gay subculture. See, they are so completely in love with themselves that is doesn’t really matter to them what sex they are predating.

        My Lady’s (child molesting) uncle was one of these. During sex he moaned HIS OWN name. He presented as Gay because the Heterosexual culture wouldn’t put up with him.

        • Yes, and in the US this is a abetted by a “gay males are pedophiles” which FYI doesn’t REALLY exist in other cultures. (Maybe Greece? They have the history.)
          So these creepers go in and reinforce the meme, while creeping out all decent gay males. :/

        • Sexual behavior is a very weak thing to try to base a community on. The original “gay community” in America was brought together by the libertarian ideal that laws criminalizing sexual behavior between consenting adults were wrong and should be abolished. It had the support of people of all sexual identities who thought that the State had no business policing private citizen’s bedrooms.

          That “gay community” won its victory and moved on. Unfortunately a new group took its place and, much like the new “civil rights” movement, uses the remnants of the old group’s moral authority to push a political agenda that is in direct opposition to the original intent.

          • I don’t think you’re right about the evolution of the “Gay Community”; there was always (at least going back 100 years) a subculture for gay males, where they gathered to socialize without scrutiny from The Normals. That fed into the political scene when it got going, and in the 1970’s there was a “pupils of a Boys Prep School let out for vacation in the New Orleans Red Light District” impulse that was (to me anyway) perfectly understandable. But wretched excess isn’t a lifestyle, it’s (or it should be) a phase.

            And as the “School’s Out” might have been wearing off, the Hetero dating scene started making fun of aging schmucks with hair impacts and shirts split to the breastbone, and some of them (how many I am in no position to say, but SOME certainly. I’ve seen ’em) bailed to the Gay circuit. Where they have been ever since, exposing their titanic self-absorption to the world at every Gay Pride event, and poisoning the well for the truly Gay (For purposes of definition, I say that to be Gay you have to love SOMEBODY ELSE of the same sex).

      • Heh, being a straight woman, I liked reading Playboy for the articles, interviews, fiction stories and humor. Very rarely, I would look at the pictures, because there would be some seriously beautiful women there, with particularly interesting features that I’d actually end up studying for a long while. There was a redhead whose hair was this glorious polished copper-bronze hue and crystal-blue eyes. They had one woman whose defining feature was a fall of fascinating ash-blonde hair of a hue I haven’t really seen anywhere else (almost silver-with pale gold) that hung past her butt and they used that hair to play her up. There was this beautiful black woman who had utterly gorgeous skin – it reminded me of rich chocolate with butter melted in – and she had a lovely combo of long-lashed arresting eyes and feline grace that made me think of a cat. There was a Filipina with a golden-brown toast color to her skin, with that rare rosy, pinkish undertone, that we call kayumanggi.

        I guess I was looking at them with an artist’s eye for beauty. (I have never been able to recreate the color of that ash blonde, or that rich chocolate skin, to my satisfaction.) That’s probably why I still remember the things that fascinated me about their photos, years later.

        • I can say with relative certainty that a good bit of that perfection you admired was the work of a true artist with an airbrush.

          • Heh, maybe, but I still remember how pretty it looked. And hell, if it’s airbrushing, I’d love to be able to recreate that blend of colors ^.~

            (As for skin tones, I have been told I have kayumanggi coloring.)

          • William O. B'Livion

            Nah. They started using computerized tools in the 80s.

            I worked there for 2 years as a Macintosh Support Guy, and worked with the staff photographers, photo editors and prepress folks in addition to the editors and a few of the in-house writers.

            Nice folks, tended more liberal that progressive.

            But to Uncle’s point it’s a mix of *really* good photographers using good lighting and good shooting and *really* good editing.

            There’s lots of lovely women in the world, there aren’t any *that* lovely without technical intervention.

    • Was creepy?

      Folks are giving their body to total strangers because they’re bone-grindingly lonely…and we’re supposed to pretend it’s liberating, and won’t scar them, and only STDs and pregnancy are possible worry-inducing side effects.

      Maybe the incredibly creepy just keeps morphing?

    • Forgot to add:
      There’s a scandal going on right now with some of the even further out than normal “sex ed” stuff. Apparently there was a student conference in Oregon that told 12 year olds to use meth to make sex better, along with offering “safe alternatives” to sex, like sharing extra large nighties, or “bathing together.” Because that’ll keep a kid from having sex, playing with their boyfriend/girlfriend’s bits in the shower…..

    • In the Powerline blog post “Rape Culture,” Debunked, John Hinderaker notes this fact found in a DOJ report:

      The claim that one in five college women is sexually assaulted has been repeated endlessly, including by President Obama. But the DOJ survey says that the incidence is only 6.1 per thousand, or six-tenths of one percent. Moreover, the incidence of actual rape–which is what most people assume you are talking about if you say “sexual assault”–is only 2 per thousand, or two-tenths of one percent. The rate is 50% higher for women in the 18-24 age group who are not students.

      Emphasis added.

  7. It struck me, not to long ago, that many the progressives seem to evaluate an argument based on who is making the argument, rather than the argument itself. They go a bit nuts when someone doesn’t care who the original author of the argument.

    • Yes. Of course. Because again they have to believe the “right” things, to prove they’re smart. This has nothing to do with thinking, and everything to do with believing the “right” people who are “fit” to rule us.

    • Plays right into the whole support the narrative thing. They always measure an argument against the bulk of their belief system, and the easiest way to judge is to simply look at who started the argument.
      Why I was so thoroughly delighted at the massive consternation within the left when Bill Maher lit into Islam. Here was a vaunted one of their own speaking against their conventional wisdom which holds that anyone opposed to the US must by definition be on the correct side.

    • This is why they sing:

      Look for the union label
      when you are buying that concept or thought.

  8. I do know some very smart people (much smarter than I) who do lean left. I don’t think any ‘side’ can be said to have a monopoly on our best and brightest.

    • Um… smart and curious? And lean left and “extreme progressive” are not the same thing.
      The organization for high IQ people is very left but it’s a positional thing. These people are social outcasts and want to pose as being the cool kids. They don’t THINK about the political dogma. They also like being told if the world was ruled by the “smart” people it would be wonderful.
      I should point out I might have a big head. What I was defining as “smarter” than I was a combination of curious, searching and better read/more knowledgeable than I. The only ones of those I know who are to the left of me were indoctrinated from infancy and never had a chance.
      I’m not saying either side has a monopoly on smart, but the liberal dogma here now and what history has shown since the collapse of the soviet union predisposes the left to be either not very smart or the sort of incurious smart who is afraid of deviating. (My brother who, measured IQ at least, is WAY smarter than I, and had the grades and education to prove it, is hard left. Why? well, I think it’s because he’s a GOOD boy. In the sense he did as told when he was little, and wants to be in good with the authority figures. I was the rebel and the trouble maker. (Yes, I do know that shocks you.) IMHO this accounts for our political differences.)

      • It’s not so much that one “side” or the other has a monopoly….but one ‘side” dose have a much hire instance of fetishizing it.

    • They may be smart, but if they lean left it’s because they don’t THINK, at least not about politics.

      Take Asimov. He was a man of the left in good standing, but his stories showed the impossibility of a well-functioning managed economy. He relied on the (literally, I wonder if he was mocking the trope?) deus-ex-machina of Multivac – the massive computer that consolidated all information and used that to make decisions and issue orders (in the “I’d like a dozen cupcakes” sense, not the “Lieutenant, take that hill” one). But then he wrote a story – “The Machine That Won the War” – whose central premise was that Multivac’s decisions could fall victim to bad input data and that people couldn’t be relied on the always provide good data. But somehow he never thought about the facts that we don’t have Multivac – or anything close to it – and even if we did we can’t solve the GIGO problem, so maybe managing the economy is not the best course of action. Or he was REALLY deep cover.

      • He was not really deep cover. He blasted Heinlein over “changing sides” when he married Ginny.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          I reread Asimov’s Second Foundation recently and the whole idea of the Second Foundation was “Absolute Power To the Smart People”.

          In short, The Second Foundation MUST DIE!!!!!

          • And it does. As I recall, the Foundation series ended with the revelation that the entire psychohistory field was part of R. Daneel Olivaw’s plan for humanity. One of two plans, rather. The second was to turn humanity into a communal organism. Again, Asimov’s writing implies that the only way communism can work is without humans.

            • Well, he got that right.

              • Unfortunately, his conclusion was that we should keep communism and do away with humans.

                • Aside from being able to be a freeloader what is the appeal of Communism? What is the appeal of collectivism and one world state?

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    To be one of the “Good People” who run the Society. [Sad Smile]

                    Sadly, even if their “dream state” came about, they aren’t likely to be running the show.

                    • Yes, and bear in mind what these ‘Good People’ have in common.

                      Asimov did not have sufficient introspectiveness to recognize the fault in himself. But he had sufficient acuity to see it in others, and to mock it:

                      Mayor Indbur was the third of the name and the second to succeed by right of birth, and he was the least of the three, for he was neither brutal nor capable – but merely an excellent bookkeeper born wrong.

                      Indbur the Third was a peculiar combination of ersatz characteristics to all but himself.

                      To him, a stilted geometric love of arrangement was ‘system’, an indefatigable and feverish interest in the pettiest facets of day-to-day bureaucracy was ‘industry’, indecision when right was ‘caution’, and blind stubbornness when wrong, ‘determination’.

                      The ‘stilted geometric love of arrangement’ is what is really meant by ‘social justice’. If 1.3% of all North Dakotans are blackmailers, but 2.7% of left-handed North Dakotans are blackmailers, then something is wrong! Someone is being discriminated against! Blame someone! Sue someone! The percentages should be exactly equal for all subcategories! My pencils are not all the same length, and IT MUST BE STOPPED!

                      What this has to do with either society or justice has never been adequately explained. But then, people who use labels like ‘social justice’ tend to believe that a label is itself all the explanation that is ever needed – unless the label hurts their feelings, in which case they start measuring their pencils in a fit of pique.

                  • The ability to never take responsibility for yourself. Also, the deluded idea a one world state will end war.

                    • Gotcha. It still sucks. Nothing will ever get rid of our tendency to make war. Even with one world state there’s still civil or regional war.

                  • William O. B'Livion

                    There is a significant percentage of the world population that *want* most of their decisions made for them.

                  • I think it depends on having a level of trust in the State that most of us lack.

                    I can see the appeal of Communism, it’s a lovely theory, they just apply it far too broadly.
                    It works great as a highly simplified “this is what you should aim for” sort of morality statement. (wouldn’t be surprised if it was lifted from one, actually)
                    It works well in some rather specific situations– the family, as is classically pointed out, and some voluntary groups.

                    Maybe it’s related to that desire some folks have for a Grand Unified Theory of Everything? (I keep thinking some wag needs to mangle that until they have something that spells out “GOD.” /end cultural snarking )

                    • I saw an article on Ace of Spades that the basic reason socialism appeals is that the basic societal structure, the family, is in fact top-down socialistic, where an authority figure allocates the resources (“Let your sister have a piece of chicken, because you’ve had enough.”).

                      What people fail to realize is that the concept doesn’t scale at all.

                    • Now THERE is a concept that is often overlooked – not all systems of governance work at all scales

                    • I’ve been in the software / QA business for almost 30 years; scalibility is one of those things you will notice at some point.

                    • Explains the emotional appeal of the “you didn’t build that” thing, though– in a family, the kids can contribute, and it’s the parents’ job to get them to do it, but the– to use your example– chicken isn’t theirs. It really is Mommy and Daddy’s.

                    • I once got into a discussion with Leslie Fish about why the anarcho libertarian thing won’t work because of that very factor; I told her it wasn’t an accident that all the songs she wrote about how it could seemed to be set in a post apocalyptic world where 90% plus of the human race was dead and the rest scattered.

                      There are a few things that have to be defined for a group and everyone must abide by them, such as defining rules for sanitation, defense, and contract law. Once that’s conceded, some kind of government is inevitable, because there’s going to be some clown whose response to reasonable requests is “You’re not the boss of me!” One of the reasons we have so much government is because we stopped training / spanking that nonsense out of kids at an early age.

                    • One of the reasons we have so much government is because we stopped training / spanking that nonsense out of kids at an early age.

                      Stopped removing it, heck, started praising it….

                    • Hm…. it occurs… being the one who praises childish rebellion is a heck of a way to get someone to listen to you enough to have a good chance at choosing the targets of that hissy, innit?

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Asimov also had this “very ethical Robot” willing to download his basic personality into a young girl wiping out her personality “for the good of humanity”.

              Oh, this robot was “bond by the Three Laws” but in its opinion the girl wasn’t human (she was the result of genetic engineering by one of the Spacer worlds).

              Great Morality Dr. Asimov! NOT!

              • Consider Jack Williamson’s Humanoids. Their “prime directive”: “To serve and obey and guard men from harm” is Asimov’s three laws distilled into a single sentence.

                The results are not, happy making.

                • I’ve always liked “Don’t be a dick.” as a Prime Directive. It has the flippancy that treats the Prime Directive concept with all the respect it deserves.

                • Read Freefall and watch the author pound the Three Laws into insensibility.

                  Take this scenario. A robot is bound by the Third Law. It has the ability to conduct orbital bombardments. (Mostly so it can divert comets with volatiles to the planet.) It learns you are building a factory to replace it, thus putting its existence in danger.

                  • The Third Law does specify “so long as it does not interfere with the previous two laws.” So “don’t harm a human” would still trump.

                    However, “nor through inaction allow a human to come to harm” rule can be very nasty if carried to its conclusion, which was the case Williamson made in “With Folded Hands.”

                    • Ah, but that would need its actions to harm a human. Factories aren’t humans.

                    • But if _one_ person is in the area of effect…. For that matter, what constitutes harm? (see Williamson again)

                    • they regularly engage in orbital bombardment. Obviously they can figure out whether there’s a human there.

                    • Bill Clinton noted that Sudan’s Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory had a night watchman …

                      Of course, if the orbital robot’s programming is influenced by SJW logic, doesn’t it matter how it defines human? Maybe that night watchman’s mother regretted not getting an abortion.

    • The inherent internal inconsistency of “Left” and “Progressive.”

      I’ve known a lot of people who’ve spent some time thinking and lean a bit left. As in center-left, on some issues, with corrupted understanding of what the right seeks (aided by some idiotic and corrupt politicians on the right). They don’t think deeply about politics or human systems, but they’re not idiots.

      What they’ve missed by not thinking deeply, is the manipulation and corruption of the their center-left ideas by progressive dogmatics.

      It’s a consequence of a very complex world (IMO). We can’t all be experts on every facet of the modern world. We can’t even be passingly familiar with every aspect of the modern world. We are in the position of having to trust, at least part of the time, experts when we bump into their field of expertise. It becomes habit, most people accept some degree of credentialism and go about their business.

      From there, a lot of people who’ve done some thinking on politics, but not deep thinking, sit on the center-left. Because they trust credentials* and “smart thinkers” subconsciously they’ve fallen victim to vile prog manipulation. Because the crap permeates our culture, they don’t often run into the glaring errors — they’re busy living their lives.

      Busy living their lives — just like the vast majority of people. Most people don’t think deeply on politics (including the vast majority of politicians). They align in much the same way they pick a football team to support. Neither left, right nor middle is immune to this.

      *Often-times because they’re credentialed themselves, and highly competent in their field. Their error is in assuming all credentials indicate competency, and in believing the idiots in their own field are an aberration and not the norm…

      • Of course they think credentials indicate competence. They have credentials themselves, and went to great trouble and expense to get them.

        Those among them who are competent can’t bear to face the fact that their credentials are not what they thought they were paying for, i.e., proof of competence. So they try to explain away incompetent credential-holders as an aberration, instead of facing the fact that the system is designed intentionally to decouple credentials from competence.

        Those who are incompetent, of course, haven’t got the skills to identify the competence they haven’t got, and believe that their own incapacity represents the norm.

        At some point, the whole system has got to break down. For centuries, it was assumed that pedigree indicated competence – that aristocrats were smarter and better and more fitted to lead than commoners. Only a colossal fool or a blind romantic could believe that any longer. Titles and patents of nobility still exist, but nobody takes them as evidence of any kind of ability. I suspect that in the future, a Ph.D. will be viewed much the way that a knighthood or an earldom is now. I just wish I had some idea how to get from here to there, so I could help to speed it along.

  9. I’ve never seen “Splendor of the Grass”, so I cannot comment on it.

    But your comments reminded me of my responses to the morality play “Grease”. The songs are great, but at the end, I’m left saying, “You’ve changed everything about yourself to keep your guy. You idiot! Don’t you know that once he’s had his way with you (or twice, or three times, etc.) he’ll dump you and move on to the next chick? The only reason he’s interested in you in the first place is because you’re different. Cease being different, and he’ll cease being interested in you.” Of course, they never listen to me.

    I know the pendulum is swinging very rapidly the other way now (so rapidly, that people try to put out both narratives simultaneously, and decent people (of both sexes) are being hit by it).

    I think I once had a point I was headed to, but it’s vanished into the mist now. 😕

  10. This is why I say that there’s no such thing as an intelligent prog (and the political climate extends that to include Democrats). The underlying assumptions of progressivism are exposed as ridiculous with just a tiny bit of reflection. That’s not to say there aren’t those on the Left with substantial mental horsepower, but it doesn’t matter what’s under the hood if you never push on the gas.

    Government cannot make things better, because everyone has different requirements for better and government can’t hear everyone. If you’ve ever been in a full stadium you know that there’s no information content in the sound produced by the crowd, you might be able to hear and understand the half-dozen or so people closest to you, but the rest is just noise. And that’s maybe 100,000 people. The federal government is trying to listen to over 3,000 times that number.

    Communism requires perfect altruism, otherwise freeloaders infect the system causing previously productive people to give up and free-ride, crashing the system (or you go full totalitarian and shoot the freeloaders and anyone you think might be slacking, and that’s not stable long term either). Capitalism requires perfect knowledge, otherwise the system oscillates chaotically around the ideal market prices. Socialism requires the bureaucrats to be perfectly knowledgeable – otherwise they can’t make good decisions outside of dumb luck – and perfectly altruistic – otherwise they’ll use their power to benefit themselves and harm their enemies.

    • Thus our current situation. Those that gravitate towards power possess certain traits of cleverness and cunning so latch onto the most convenient cause du jour that provides them a vehicle to carry them into those positions of power they lust after. I would dearly love to believe that there is at least the tiniest smidgeon of truth and honor at the core of our politician’s beliefs, but given the state of our nation I fear I must doubt it now if ever existed in any of our elected officials.

    • It is not that they are not intelligent. The main issue is that most people are content to parrot what they have been told without critically examining what they have been told is correct; also without examining what it implies.

      Once upon a time I got angry because what I was told implied things that didn’t match what I was expected to accept as a matter of fact. So I started researching with the idea, “I think this is wrong, but why do I think this is wrong?” to find out what was the issue, me or the assumptions I was taught.
      It is amazing what you can find out when you study, as opposed to what you learn by just swallowing.

      • Some (many) of them reason extremely well, albeit from flawed premises. That only means they get things far more wrong. Being extremely fast is no virtue if you’re running the wrong direction.

    • Another interesting thing about the main experiment to date in a centrally panned economy, the USSR, was the moderating influence of the external capitalist system providing, in effect, corrective signals when the command economy commanders decided to expend resources to chase the capitalists, and thus accidentally followed their signaling and headed in a market-derived direction.

  11. Well said Sarah. When I was in College I kept hearing that REALLY smart people made up their own rules and mores for sex cause we were REALLY smart and it was frustrating cause we knew better (at 18) than the rules for normal people. The follow on is if we could just live the free love thing and pass it on, normal folks would, like, follow us, and repression would end and everyone would be happy.

    I guess I am not that smart because I never got past the fact that just the idea of sharing my significant other made me feel really bad and even violent. So I made up my own rules and I’m monogamous.

    There was even a best seller in the late 60s, early 70s, the title was the name of the fictional school where it took place, the something experiment, The somewhere convention, the eiger sanction, ahh, shoot.

    Anyway, well said.

    • It’s not so much that really smart people make their own rules as they can get away with breaking them because they understand the rule, know why it was put in place, AND know why it doesn’t apply in that particular case. Idiots – and all 18 year olds are idiots – are better served following the rules.

      When I was in the Navy, I had no problem crawling up a new guy’s fundament for doing something I would frequently do. It’s not hypocrisy, I would know what procedure I was violating, what I was risking, and how to react if things went pear-shaped (if I didn’t know all those things I would follow the procedure) and there’s no way for a NUB to know those things. I would even tell any NUB nearby “You don’t get to do this until you’re more qualified.” Most of them understood and learned. The rest got yelled at and learned.

      • Reminds me of when I was younger and *thought* I was rather smarter than I now know I’ve any hope of being. A wiser head put it to me this way:

        “There’s the Right Way to do this. That’s what you *will* be doing or I’ll know the reason why. There’s a million Wrong Ways to do this, and if I catch you doing any of them I will personally correct you as many times as necessary and as hard as I have to so you don’t do any of them again. Then there’s the Experienced Way, which you may, if you stick around long enough and if you survive my training, be allowed to do once you know what can go wrong and how to fix/survive it.”

        Looking back, I can see what he meant. But there was literally *no* way for eighteen-year-old me to have that understanding without the experience. There’s a reason why respect for authority is still and always will be so bloody important.

        “Smart people” who don’t do their due diligence, ain’t.

    • The Harrad Experiment.

    • Not to mention that new rules give them a chance to show off

      “Truth will not afford sufficient food to their vanity; so they have betaken, themselves to errour. Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull.” Samuel Johnson

      • Remind me, some time or other, to do a blog post entitled ‘Milking the Bull’.

        • Keep in mind that with proper application of hormones and other stimulants it is indeed possible to milk the bull. See my earlier comment about smart people getting things more wrong when building on a flawed premise.

          OTOH, it seems to me that the crowd typically gathering around here does more than its share of bull-milking.

  12. And then there’s the reaction to the Counter-Narratives that are growing.

    Those of you who follow Insty, have seen the bits on the “Sexodus”, and the pieces a year or so back, about the Japanese “herbivores”.

    It’s all starting to fit, along with GamerGate, the genesis of the Evil League ot Evil (and a tip of the helmet to our Evil Space Princess.. . . ), and the extended Sad Puppies campaigns.

    The Left is starting to get desperate, because more and more of us are now SEEING the sad little man behind the curtains, and ignoring the flaming head of Oz. . . .

  13. Admittedly, the statists have enough intelligence to gather their herds of sheep…perhaps mobs is a better term and use them to arrogate the power they want. They can manipulate and control, but do not concern themselves with cause and affect. Physical sciences are important only as tools for control and to make their narrative seem correct, but we can see that they will as soon misrepresent the science as use it to meet their goal.

    Statists may not have the intelligence to create what never was, but they have the skills and knowledge to make the mob remember what never was and what never will be

    • The problem with believing the “people are stupid” narrative is that people aren’t stupid and will react to your perverse incentives not as you want them to, but in ways that are in THEIR best interest. Raise the CAFE standards and you are probably going to have bootleg cars. Manipulate how healthcare is payed for and people WILL use that to their advantage. I mean even Gruber proved that.
      Gruber was asked a question in class about how Obamacare was enacted, which he answered. Then as part of the lecture turned right around and demonstrated, correctly, why passing Obamacare was a bad idea using the moral hazard incentive argument.:

      I’m not sure he realized just what he was doing.

      • I think it’s funny that people flame Gruber for lying, when in fact, he was being honest about his part in a dishonest process.

      • Raise the CAFE standards on cars, and while you kill off the station wagon, in response you get the full size truck based SUV.

      • I would not make the argument that people are necessarily stupid, but that there is a critical mass that can be controlled by someone sufficiently devious or manipulative. I can only speak that I look at the ‘thought leaders’ today and all there are are liars, cheats and manipulators.

        There will always be fallacies that can be used to make the people follow a poor path. People may find there way around the roadblocks that that path causes but it is like trying to drive across the country in a car only on backroads. Yeah, you can find a way to do it, but it may not be the optimal path for some, or even most vehicles, but it will be a way for power to be held by those that order that path to be taken.

  14. I’ve noted the tendency toward ‘we smart, you dumb’ in my left wing acquaintances. Hard to be friends with people who refuse to accept your value simply because you don’t accept their opinions. Which are usually wrong and a ten year old could explain it except the ten year old has more respect for age to bother trying.
    I saw the movie ‘Splendor in the grass’ when it came out. I lost respect for the actors in the movie because of the ‘message’ and don’t think I bothered with any of their movies afterwards. The whole movie rang false. However, I knew of at least one person who bought the concept. Had sex with every girl until he found one that wouldn’t put out. Married her, had kids and then they got divorced and he talks about his crazy ex. (You haven’t seen him) I met her and she ain’t crazy, but due to all the stupidity of belief in the world today, both of them live interesting lives.
    Playboy! Cool, I read playboy for years before I married. Enjoyed the pictures. I’m human and therefore a humanist. Other people can post their horse, cow, or dog and cat pictures. I think humans are special, simply because they’re people. I’ve never gotten sexually anything over a picture either. I seriously doubt if many other men did. I’m not that different from other people and we all like to see an image defining perfection.
    I being a reader though picked up some stuff from reading Playboy that really wasn’t good. Took a long time to get it out too. I had a Christian friend jump me out once about Playboy years ago. “I guess that you just read the articles, right!” My reply was “No way, I look at the pictures and ignore the articles, that’s where the poison lies.” He not being a reader (Bible either) couldn’t grasp the idea that the printed word has more power than a picture. Maybe because of the saying which isn’t true that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’

  15. So why does the myth persist? Why is it so important to them?

    Because they’re obcessed with sex and can’t imagine someone who isn’t.

    By this time, I either don’t bother watching ’em or I’m pretty good at ignoring the stupid junk.

  16. I always equate Ivy League with Socially Connected or Becoming Socially Connected. IQ doesn’t necessarily enter into it.

    The whole reason it’s the Ivy Leaguers in gubmint is because they are all networked, all self supporting and will close ranks if attacked. Why let someone else in?

    • You know… There is no diversity on the supreme court. Everyone came out of Harvard or Yale Law.

    • Whyever do you suppose that they were so vicious about attacking Sarah Palin, she of the mere state college degree…?

  17. Of course Ms. Hoyt represents herself as a very respectable wife and mother of two when I have it on good authority that in fact she is off canoodling with a very strange man indeed.
    Always fun to tease the proprietress, I can always find a use for the extra carp.
    I do hope you and Dan had a nice break from the grindstone, kiddo.

  18. Marx was a racist, a rapist, a philanderer, a thief, an exploiter of the working class, a petty conman, a tyrant, and and so on, all in his personal life.

    The Left effectively idolizes Jabba the Hut for his superb dieting advice.

  19. Control of the mass media (narrative) is a critical part of the conscious or unconscious plan for social change. One of the major factors in changing the moral and social landscape of the United States was the TV show “All in the Family”. The acting in the series was first rate, the writing was good and the production values were high. All of this contributed to the popularity of the show so that its message of ridiculing traditional family values was presented to the widest possible audience.

    One of the greatest problems with presenting a, for lack of a better word, conservative alternative to “All in the Family” is that in general the writing and acting has historically just not been that good. There are exceptions out there. A few national level actors have been known to have right-of-center political views but in general, they quickly learned to keep their opinions to themselves if they wanted to keep working. Alternatively, aspiring actors who’s moral philosophy balked at the compromises they would have to make found alternative, if less fulfilling, careers.

    In contrast to the mantra of openness to any opinion and willingness to fight censorship that the Hollywood establishment has presented over the years in films such as “The Front” with Woody Allen, “The Hollywood Ten”, or others, the movers and shakers in Tinseltown are more than willing to sacrifice profits in order to carry out their own form of censorship which involve a strict adherence to their philosophical line.

    Fortunately, we are starting to see the beginning of changes. With the advent of low cost but high-resolution digital cameras, a budding director does not need the services of a filmstock supplier, a developer and an editor to get his production ready for release. Desk-top computing software can be used to generate acceptable special effects which are not limited to stuff burning or dramatically exploding. In many cases, what were once costly background and forground paintings on glass can be generated digitally for a fraction of the cost of the hand-made versions. Productions can be carried out with less investment of time, money, and equipment and therefore many of those disillusioned actors, writers, and directors can make technically acceptable movies as a hobby and keep putting food on the table.

    Certainly, technology is not the be-all-end-all to changing the narrative. Even if it is possible to create an alternative mass art media, getting the word out is a challenge. I am hopeful though. We have seen a complete revolution in the publishing field and popular music is heading the same way. Maybe someday we’ll even get back to making complementary films about inventors and captains of industry.

  20. It’s funny, looking back, how numb I was to all the sexual shenanigans in college. Now, granted, I went to a single sex college where about half the students were there to get away from guys, and a quarter of those were (like me) academic nerds of the first water more interested in lab time on weekends than in the party scene. I went to all of two frat parties at [Southern Trade School] and was bored out of my gourd. I wanted to talk about, you know, stuff. No one else did. By the time the gal I was with decided to call it an evening, I was counting the stripes on the wallpaper, because the guys decided they wouldn’t bother with a non-drinker, non-“partier.” I had a LOT more fun with the WWII vets I hung out with.

    • It’s better to talk stuff with people who do stuff than to talk about the moon with people who don’t know how to get to the moon. Paraphrasing Mark Twain.

    • My Mother felt obliged to warn her dates in College (and after) that getting her drunk WOULD lower her inhibitions, and that her inhibitions were what kept her from spouting large quantities of Shakespeare.

      Kept the “ply her with whisky and have your way” types at bay, and got her into a lot of interesting conversations, and finally into a marriage that lasted 50 years.

    • I had a LOT more fun with the WWII vets I hung out with.

      Heh, this is why I preferred to talk with older folks.They had much more interesting things to talk about than people my age.

  21. Ah yes, the leftist meme I remember well from the late 90’s and early 00’s.

    “We’re smart and worldly and ‘nuanced‘ – you’re dumb.simple/blinkered/never left your country/state.”

    What I quickly figured out was how much of this supposed nuance was horrifically oversimplified, and how many factors – including secondary effects – were ignored. Sure, I knew plenty of “conservatives” who were just as “born and bred” and never THOUGHT about it, and thus sounded ignorant, but god so very few progressives I knew could hold an argument that didn’t involve vastly oversimplifying a position along the “they do it too” error to paint all sides as “just as bad” – and then go on about how mean and bad it is to hurt anyone’s feelings (unless they’re the oppressors).

    Stuart and Colbert attack the flimsiest straw men, and talk about how bumper stickers like “piss a liberal off: work hard and be happy” because they and their friends work hard, not realizing the secondary effects of their policies are far more directly tied to punishing success than any “cutting welfare is racism” argument.

    And in recent years, we’ve had studies done BY progressives that ended up showing (even if I think he missed a few points where the “left” maps to similar axes) that “conservatives” use a more complex moral system to determine good and bad.

    Even with the weaknesses of the former study, what was conclusively found was that it’s far easier for a conservative to guess the “liberal” position than vice versa…

    I’ve also found that people who accept the need for violence as part of their daily philosophy instead of preaching constantly getting along are in fact far more tolerant of differences, and far more willing to see where things were just a misunderstanding. I’ve seen far too many leftists of the “don’t judge” variety go totally nuts at even th most polite opposition. Even when quoting their favorite sources.

    But they’re the smart ones. And the peaceful ones. And the merciful ones.

    Right.

    • And in recent years, we’ve had studies done BY progressives that ended up showing (even if I think he missed a few points where the “left” maps to similar axes) that “conservatives” use a more complex moral system to determine good and bad.

      That’s because he messed up.

      He got too much information, and asked too many questions, before wrapping it around to an Acceptable Conclusion and/or explaining that it showed that…oh… conservatives really had a false consciousness and actually believed the same as liberals, that’s why their system was more complicated and they’re able to mimic liberals.
      Because they know it’s true, they’re just LYING about it!

      • They keep neglecting to consider that Christianity has has 2000 plus years to refine its morality. In that time it has made numerous bad mistakes, but nothing quite as bad as Collectivism pulled in the 20th century.

        I’m an agnostic, not a Christian (long story), but I consider the mark of a twit the tendency to announce that one is an Atheist, and the sit back with the smug smile of a toddler who has just dropped a LOAD in his plastic pants.

        • *grin* I think I could hum along with it, my husband was the same way when I married him….

          Mr. Wright of Scifi Write blog (also song, story, ELoE and authorship) has several really good essays about how incredibly annoying those twits you mention were, even when he was an outright atheist himself!

          • Heh. Wish I’d have known him when I was an atheist. Got rather annoying being the only one saying “fer the love of all that’s tasty and bad for you, why are y’all attacking Christians and *only* Christians? If ya don’t believe in *any* gods, there’s nothing to disprove, be happy with what ya got!” *chuckle*

            That, and probably the best way to proselytize to most folks is to be a good person and a good example, and only discuss your faith/lack thereof when asked… *shakes head*

            • *Shrug* Whatcha gonna do, the jerks seem to always be the loudest voices.

            • and their methodology seems to be, lambast anyone for any faith, especially Christians… except Muslims, because they may get violent…

              And it amazes me how many ‘atheists’ (really, ‘anti-deists’ but don’t tell them that) are members of ‘skeptic societies’ that say to ‘be skeptical about anything you are told’ and yet will go on extended rants about people who don’t buy into AGW. I was enjoying some skeptic society videos on YouTube until the guy started talking about AGW.

              • I love cryptozoology, and more solid science; so when I ran into a podcast about both of ’em I was delighted. Think “tell the story, tell the claims, point out issues/counter claims.”

                It was pretty good for the first bit, and then they got all “Skeptics Society” and stopped bothering to any kind of research to find actual issues with this or that cryptocritter, and everything became “they just say that because they’re all creationists! Science! I win!”

                They used less science than the folks they were “debunking,” and far less logic.

                Sad, really.

        • I don’t claim to be religious, but I do think a system of ethics and morals developed over such a long time, and leading to Western Civilization, needs to be respected. It works, we don’t know for sure which pieces are important, so don’t pull on that, you don’t know what it’s connected to.

        • Longer than that. Much of the Christian morality code comes from the Jewish morality code, for which exists archaeological evidence indicating that it dates back to well before the beginnings of civilization.

      • Worse, once he realized that conservatives weren’t just being bone-heads, he started to listen to them. He no longer calls himself a liberal.

        • While I knew he had been crapped on in some circles (even before that if I recall for pointing out how monolithically liberal most of his peers were, as in 95% r more at at least one convention raising hands as liberal, or was that someone else?) I had not realized he’d changed his mind…

          Cool – I’d like to see what he’s done since.

          Ironically, my distrust of big government is rooted as much in science (ecosystems, anti fragility, resilient network design, and the common point of DECENTRALIZATION ) as it is in philosophy (Bastiat, etc…)

    • “We’re smart and worldly and ‘nuanced‘ ”

      They still adore “nuance.” in the most uncritical, simplicistc, unnuanced sense: nuance=good, no nuance=bad.

      • And meanwhile, they don’t even know what nuance is. This conveniently allows them to overlook it (or outright complain about it) when it does not work to their advantage, whilst maintaining that it is only the other side that does that.

        As the sheep said in Animal Farm, ‘Four legs good, two legs baaaad!’ And when the chickens and geese complained, the pigs explained that birds have four legs, because wings are legs.

        • well, we know that they buy into the other lesson from Animal Farm… ‘all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’

        • “If you call a “tail” a “leg” a dog still only has 4 legs” – and something else labeled a leg.

          In some ways, I think this explains why many prominent programmers these days, unlike ESR, are more pro-big govt/SJW (outside of cultural propaganda when they were raised, self-esteemism, and being in a cocoon all their lives).

          A variable is an arbitrary label. Yes, there IS type enforcement, but a variable name is otherwise utterly abstract from any concrete meaning unless the programmer models the framework that way in his mind.

          Which THEN brings to mind a main conflict in Neal Stephenson’s Anathem. That of the existence of ideal and conceptual things outside of our knowledge of or understanding of them vs. the ability to redefine things outside of existence because, Chomski-like, we only understand what we can define.

          The rhetors (sp?) in that book are the ultimate example of jailhouse/sea lawyers and newspeak redefinition of terms.

  22. We bad kids in the back, making jokes and blowing spitballs, are still beating them on grades, and we know what is wrong with the pap we’re taught too.

    I was a very well behaved kid– followed all the rules to the best of my ability, recognized valid hierarchies and ignored most provocation.

    I just wouldn’t back down until I got a good answer if I thought someone was mistaken.

    I respect authority. That means that I will “challenge” it in the hands of those who are abusing it, because part of the respect is that I expect them to hold up their end of the bargain. For a teacher, that means they don’t deliberately pass on falsehoods, and they know what the bleep they’re talking about when exercising their authority as a teacher.

  23. Here’s the David Brin thread that started all this: https://www.facebook.com/thedavidbrin/posts/635566327856?notif_t=comment_mention
    The real problem I see is that the “smart” set rather than acting smart, keeps escalating. That doesn’t end well.

    • Ever since I read the last book of David Brin’s Uplift series I haven’t had much use for David Brin.

      The Galactic Overlords of Uplift use countless entire civilizations in a destructive process that kills a zillion unique living beings… to make a PHONE CALL to their buddies in the next galaxy over. This is the guy I’m taking moral instruction from?

      Bad Word to that noise.

      I’ll cheerfully take the opposite side of any argument David Brin is in just because its him talking. What. A. Dick.

  24. Has anyone found the solution to WP randomly deciding you don’t deserve to receive comments via email anymore?

    I’ve clicked through the dashboard and tried a few things, absent success so far.

  25. According to IMDB.com: “Splendor in the Grass is based on an original screenplay written by American playwright and novelist William Inge [1913-1973]. ”
    I would not have been interested in this movie in ’61; I have no reason to see it now.

    ” Take for instance the assumption that progressives are smarter.” That’s their narrative, and they’re sticking with it. Trying to convince US, and trying to keep up their spirits.

    The Progs/Libs/Lefties are a clique of middle-school girls.

    Smart: Paullie “The Beard” Krugman is reputed to be smart, and he’s a prog/lib/leftie, but he has argued both sides of questions over the years, depending on which side favored HIS side.

    • I would go to Paul Krugman if I needed advice on international trade patterns.
      Otherwise, I would not even ask him for good restaurants in New York.

      • I would go to Paul Krugman if I needed advice on international trade patterns.

        Bloody hell, I wouldn’t. The man is a Keynesian: which is to say, he does his business by aggregating things that can’t be aggregated, and dressing it up in fake-o equations to make it look all scientificalistic and learned-like. Keynesian maths tend to be on the order of multiplying apples by pears, and adding 23 if there is an R in the month.

      • I’m with Tom, I think you’ve got that backwards. I’m sure various influential liberals have taken Krugman to all the best restaurants in NYC, but he doesn’t know squat about Economics.

        • There I have to disagree with you. Your typical influential liberal is going to be the triumph of Form over Function. The restaurants they recommend are where one Sees and Is Seen. The food will most likely be something odd, small and expensive. Not that YOU’D be able to get a table.

  26. If I was the person you referred to who asked about the narrative, thanks much. If not, thanks much anyway.

  27. You look around, and it strikes me that one of the things that is most signally missing from popular culture in this sadly diminished age of ours is any sort of concept of “duty”.

    If you go back and look, during the Victorian era, the popular culture had fairly common references to subjects pertaining to the idea of what the individual owed his fellows and his society. It wasn’t exactly an accident that the Birkenhead Drill was something that happened during Victoria’s reign, and that it was honored in popular culture. Imagine something like that taking place today–The captain won’t even stay on the ship he ran onto the shoals, let alone go down with the damn thing.

    If you “do the right thing”, whether it be large or small, most people just look at you as though you were nuts. And, you probably are–Society at large has been infected by the selfish concept of “me-ism”. It’s all about what the atomic individual gets out of something, and if they don’t see the immediate personal benefit, they won’t do it. There’s no real sense of responsibility or craftsmanship across a lot of the working world. You run into it, and you’re like “Holy hell, how does this guy stay in business?”. And, it’s on both sides of the equation–The customer feels no remorse about screwing an honest tradesman for everything they’re worth and then some, and the general run of tradesperson feels no personal ownership of their work, no pride of work. I run into someone that takes ownership and pride in their work, and I’m writing their name down as well as putting their number into my phone. It’s that uncommon.

    There’s always been a bit of this sort of thing, but it sure as hell seems like it’s gone from an aberration to a virtual constant over the course of my lifetime. We had an HVAC contractor install a system for my stepdad’s shop about thirty-forty years ago. The guy made damn sure that everything worked, and he kept the system running despite the fact that the company that manufactured the components had screwed everyone involved with new, untested technology that didn’t work reliably or well. That guy’s grandson is a tech in the company now, which is owned these days by his dad and his aunt. Getting that sonuvabitch to even do the job right in the first place damn near requires putting a gun to his head, and pulling the hammer back–Just the metaphoric kiss of a muzzle doesn’t do it.

    I look back at the course of history, and I know that these things go up and down, but I’ll tell you this much–It sure as hell appears that we’re approach a depth of swing that is really unprecedented.

    One associated factor that interests me is that the stuff that is celebrated in popular culture has become incredibly coarse, and at the same time, infantile. Listen to popular music, for example–Where the hell is anything remotely adult and serious? It’s all sappy love songs, set to bad music, talking about immediate self-gratification. You can’t show me a single hit love song these days that even addresses something semi-serious, like a lover gone off to war and not returning. And, if they do, it’s all set in the most sappy of terms, with no adult agency ascribed to the lost lover–They’re always the child-like victim.

    Case in point, and it’s one that kind of took me aback: Listen to the lyrics of Roseanne Cash’s “When the Master Calls the Roll”. Something about this song grates on me, and I couldn’t figure out what, until it hit me one day. The bit that gets on my nerves comes about two-thirds through:

    But can this union be preserved?
    The soldier boy was crying
    I will never travel back to her
    But not for lack of trying

    It’s a love of one true heart at last
    That made the boy a hero
    But a rifle ball and a cannon blast
    Cut him down to zero

    Soldier boy? WTF? I mean… Yeesh. How about some respect for the man, and what he was doing at war in the first place? The song calls him “hero”, but the way they talk about him, he’s a hapless, child-like victim of things, not a man gone off to war in the service of principle. He’s facing death, and the only thing he’s worried about is the fact that he’s not going to see her again? What the hell put him there, in the first place? What was the motivation that he put service over her soft lips and gentle eyes? Why the hell did he leave that, if he’s going be so maudlin about it when the crunch comes?

    Infantilization, which is what they all do with these things these days in popular culture. Just what the hell led this man-child to go off to war, in the first place? It’s like some kind of hurricane he just happened to get caught up in, instead of the clash of wills over the continuation of slavery as an institution, and the preservation of the union. They mention that in the song, but at an abstract, removed level–It’s not the “boy” that’s talking or thinking about it himself, it’s a narrational abstraction. You don’t run into that very much with real Civil War-era songs or stories.

    Contrast that infantile portrayal of the man in that song with the final letter home of Major Sullivan Ballou. That letter probably more accurately reflects the real attitudes and adult agency of the men involved in fighting that war, and if you go back and read what remains of popular culture from that era, that fact is reflected back in most portrayals. Nowadays? The men called off to war all unwitting children, which I know damn good and well they were and are not. But, you almost never see anyone portrayed that way in the mass popular media.

    And, I don’t think that this is accidental, either. Some sea change has taken place, one of deep significance. I don’t know the cause, or if it is the result of some conscious plan, but the fact remains that one of our greater problems we face is the trivialization and infantilization of our cultural commons.

    Think about it: When was the last time you heard a song on the radio bemoaning the need for someone you love to go off and do something unpleasant for the greater good? The loss of that someone? The emotional and moral tribulations of doing what was right? When was the last time you heard a decent, uplifting song about someone doing their duty? You want stuff like that, you have to go back at least a half-century.

    Hell, you want to hear a positive message about being a soldier, these days, about the only place you’re going to find it is waaaay out on the fringes. Off the top of my head, the only really decently positive songs like that are by heavy metal groups like Saboton, and those guys are so far out on the fringe that a lot of people think they’re neo-Nazi. Whether they are or not is frankly something I don’t want to look into, because I want to keep listening to them without my subconscious putting an asterisk next to the music in my head.

    You ask me, I think that this admittedly inchoate issue is something that is nearly as important as Sarah’s Human Wave school of SF. Something very important has gone out of the public consciousness, and we should be worried by that.

    • Everybody talks about rights and no one talks about responsibility.
      During a management course in college we talked about four aspects of management (among others): Power, Authority, Responsibility and Accountability. If you didn’t have the Power to do what you said you’d do (give someone a raise, fire them) you couldn’t manage them. If you didn’t use that Power Responsibly, you’d lose the respect of your people and lose the ability to lead.If you didn’t have the Authority (my position says I can give you a raise/fire you), you couldn’t manage. If you didn’t have accountability (Why did you give him that raise/fire him?) you lost your people the ability to lead.

      Funny how the administration loves the power and the authority but want nothing to do with being accountable or take responsibility for their actions.

      • Heh. My grandfather always told me that responsibility was the flip side of a right (or a privilege). The two matters are inextricable. Everything from gun ownership to home ownership, from physical strength to natural talent, from the right to vote to right-of-way has a concomitant duty to use it well, soberly, and with respect to the potential consequences.

        My grandfather may have gotten it from wherever your college professor did- or maybe from my great-grandad. *shrug* It’s good advice. Splitting that into four principles makes it clearer, though, so thank you for that. *grin*

        • Same here.

          You can’t even own a thing without it bringing responsibility– if that thing is an animal, even more so, but even a building shouldn’t be destroyed or neglected without very good reason.

          If you have power, then you have to use that power responsibly.

        • Professor Badness

          Agreed.

      • You highlight something I’ve long observed about these people, by which I mean most of the SJW/Democrat/self-identified intelligentsia like the latest idiot to out himself, Mr. Gruber: They all want the power, the perks, the bennies… But, note this–They haven’t done a damn thing to actually earn those things the hard way. Where is any sign that Mr. Gruber labored long in the vineyards of the lower-echelon health-care industry, doing data entry or anything related to what his policies control?

        It’s a phenomenon of 20th Century America: We put these assholes in charge because they have the credentials, but never check for the experience, and more importantly, we don’t demand that they display successful experience at a task before putting them in charge of something. I don’t care where it is at in society, there is a plague of over-educated, over-credentialed dumbf**ks running just about everything thing.

        There’s an interesting book out there written by a guy named “Herman the German”, who was a German Jew that attained an Engineering degree in Nazi Germany, and who had the great good sense to get his ass out of Germany before things went seriously bad for the Jews. He wound up as a tech for Claire Chennault in China, with the Flying Tigers, and from there went on to become a US citizen and work at General Electrics turbine division.

        What’s interesting about him is that when you read his autobiography, he details a very different way of producing an engineer. The path in Germany back then was to have the aspiring engineer first complete an apprenticeship in a pertinent trade. In Herman’s case, he had to complete an apprenticeship as an auto mechanic, and that was a far different thing than we imagine from our cultural perspective. In Germany of that era and later, the mechanic was not some half-ass tradesman working under a shade tree outside the local garage. Instead, they were respected professionals, damn near at the level of a doctor. My stepdad did his apprenticeship in Germany in the 1950s, and the descriptions he gave of what it was like were mind-boggling–The apprentices had to present the cars to the master mechanic as though they were patients in a surgery, and the master mechanic would arrive on the scene as though he were a surgeon, attired in a spotless white lab coat, directing the apprentices and journeymen as though they were surgical nurses. They rarely got their hands dirty…

        Now, what’s interesting in contrast to how we do things: The German path says “Attain Journeyman status in a related trade; then seek training and accreditation as an engineer”. We say “Go ye to college, young man, and we will make you a book-engineer…”. See the difference, there?

        We do that all across our entire nation; nowhere do we demand these idiot-savant, inexperienced types fresh out of college to actually demonstrate proficiency and sense before we put them in charge of something important. Go out to a semi-major construction site–The vast majority of them are going to be run by some freshly-graduated low-status “professional” who knows jack and squat about how to get a building erected. If he’s lucky, there will be an experienced foreman who came up from the bottom around, but that isn’t always the case.

        We bid on a job not that long ago, where we were supposed to put in doors and jambs in a commercial project. Small problem–The recent graduate running the show didn’t understand that the door jambs had to be filled with concrete in order to meet the code for fire-resistance. So, he did not order the jambs until he thought it was time–Which was about six months late. They should have been installed as the walls were built, because there was no way to get the requisite concrete into place once the wall was fully erected with the headers in place. When we arrived to do the work, we found that they were not even aware that the jambs had to be filled with concrete, and just expected us to figure out how to install the things anyway, in a fully-erected wall that had been sided and finished on the interior. We took a look at it, and realized that the only way to do it according to spec and manufacturer’s instructions was to tear the headers out of the wall, and bring in concrete pumps throughout the building–None of which they were willing to pay for. So, we retracted our bid, and told the company that there was no way we could fulfill it, and still eke out even small profit. I still don’t know how they dealt with that problem, on paper, but I noted a rather interesting hollow sound when I rapped on the door jambs during a post-construction open house…

        You bring a guy into a profession where they actually build stuff, and things like that tend not to happen. They know better. I ran into the gentleman who was the foreman on that job, and his tale of woe was epic–He’d apparently told the young project manager about a bunch of similar issues, only to be ignored. I think that project may have played a role in his decision to retire not long after–The company lost a pretty big chunk of money on it, and guess who they blamed for it? Not the project manager that wouldn’t listen, but the “experienced site foreman”.

        We’ve got a lot of that running around in our economy, whether you’re talking construction, health care, or some other industry. Nine times out of ten, when you talk to the rubber-on-road types, you’re going to hear horror stories about the overly-educated knuckleheads they’ve had put in charge over them.

        We’re doing something wrong, folks. I wonder if this is why and how Rome forgot how to build aqueducts and good roads…

        • We get that at Boeing, although the experienced engineers do the important stuff, we still get newbies who decide things like the locations and spacing of fasteners, and so we get issues where two fasteners penetrating two sides of an angle are lined up nice and pretty and aligned with each other, so that the ends practically touch inside the corner, with no room to get the nut, let alone the wrench on them.

          The bureaucracy to get that changed is monumental, so there are other workarounds that usually end up destroying a nice new Snap-On wrench every few airplanes. But that is the cheaper solution.

          • I think the big question is, why the ever-loving hell do we do it this way in the first place? Seriously… Look at the descent of things in various industries–How the hell did we get to the point where someone like Carly Fiorina happens to Hewlett-Packard?

            There’s something cultural going on, with all of this. Call it the “academization syndrome”, or something. Too many people think that competency and skill come out of a box labeled “college degree”, when the reality is that the degree is itself just a starting point. And why on God’s green earth we think it a good idea to waste the time of the students at these institutions when nine-tenths of the people you talk to in the industries tell you that what they learn in college is useless, and they have to be taught how “things really work” out in the field, anyway? It’s not just engineering I’m talking about here–The syndrome spreads across a whole host of fields, whether you’re talking relatively common things like purchasing for large corporations or running a maintenance shop for the state.

            I honestly think there’s a whole field out there that we don’t formally recognize, one that takes on aspects of organization, organizational culture, and instruction/training in the organization. We’re so seriously screwed up that it’s not even funny. You talk about Boeing, for example–I know folks who’ve worked in that company for three generations. All union stalwarts. And, you know what’s funny? You talk to them, and you hear tales of their fellow employees who are incompetent. You would think that the union would have some interest in dealing with that, and what do you hear? That the union is keeping the company from disciplining that sub-standard employee, or even preventing them from getting rid of the incompetent. And, that’s completely OK with the people I know. There’s no real sense of “Hey, that’s my company, my job, my airplanes…”, and from either end of the spectrum. Management, and I know a few of those guys, as well, has no feeling of fellowship with the employees, at all.

            You look around at a lot of this stuff, and you start to realize the inherent dysfunction in all of it. What the hell is going on here, and how did it come to be? If we could understand the source, maybe we could begin to counter it, but I’ll be damned if I can wrap my head around the parochialism and anomie I see demonstrated by institutions in this country time and time again… I mean, for the love of God, why the hell do the police not see that the few bad cops out there are doing so much damage to the institution itself, and do some self-policing of themselves? It’s like people can’t foresee consequences, or connect cause with effect.

            • Unfortunately, Boeing’s issues can’t be laid at the feet of its Unions. The management has grown up in the same adversarial relationship and absent a Union would have the employees working in positively Dickensian conditions. The experience in South Carolina is proving that doing an end run around the Union is not really paying off as well as they’d hoped, although they keep painting a smiley face on it in the press releases.

              I think in the coming decades they’re going to find that tricking a slim majority into voting away their pension plan is going to also have a corrosive effect on their workforce, leading to higher turnover with the attendant loss of experience.

              • IMAO, some of this is an outgrowth of the investment sectors focus on short term gains at the expense of long term losses. Because Management is only worried about 1) their bonuses for this quarter and 2) not getting sued by some activist investor for failing to look after stock holder value, they’re trying to ring ever cent they can with the minimum of investment.
                Something has to be done to change the focus from the short term to the long term or more and more companies are going to collapse under the weight of their bad short term decisions.
                Don’t get me wrong. I think greed is good. I just think stupid greed is dumb. You can sheer a sheep many times but only skin it once.

                • There’s a piece in the Wall Street Journal this AM about the scramble at Pimco (big bond and pension fund management company) to stem losses and keep things looking good after some people left this year. It’s all about appearances and keeping investors from really digging in and looking at who is making money and who can’t.

              • I think Boeing’s problems are more holistic than anything else, and that the unions have played a major role in that entire mess, right along with the people running the company. And, the investors.

                The whole thing will likely end in tears, just like with Colt. And I suspect that the end state is going to be the destruction of Boeing as a major corporate player in aviation. Which I’m not going to be too heart-broken about, to tell the truth–I’m sickened by all sides in the story, honestly. I hear the union side from some of my in-laws, and I hear the “corporate” side from some of our clients, and to tell the truth, I’ve got very limited respect for any of them. The corporate assholes seem to think that they can build airplanes with people they treat like fungible goods, and the union workers seem to be convinced that there is a never-ending cornucopia of goodies that the company is just being mean holding out from them.

                I gotta tell you… I think our entire cultural matrix surrounding enterprises like Boeing is fundamentally flawed, and probably untenable over the long haul. Look at Microsoft, as an example of the same destructive tendencies playing out. I honestly can’t think of a single big company that I’d like to be involved with, and they all seem to morph into that sort of nightmare once they get above a certain size. We can’t seem to help ourselves. And, I honestly think it comes down to sheer culture, more than anything else. We’re doing something very, very wrong, all across the board. Why is it that every company that gets big turns into these sclerotic bureaucratic nightmares? It comes down to the people involved, and the people are all… Us. Scary thought, huh?

                • The problem is scale, I think. Once anything gets too big for a person to hold the whole thing in his head, he gets tunnel vision and thinks only about his part.

                  • And in order to keep siloing like that from happening you have to have communication and procedures and…and…and… It’s diseconomies of scale. There is a limit to how much anyone person can manage and how effectively any group can communicate. I read somewhere that once the owner doesn’t know all his employees on site, things start to slip. You start to lose control of your corporate culture. People stop pulling toward a common goal.

                  • Scale is only a part of it.

                    I think a larger component of the problem in that we just don’t transmit the “corporate culture” very well, and we haven’t done a good job of making things like craftsmanship and ownership of the product a part of the culture at large.

                    I grew up listening to my Depression-era grandmother talk about how specific members of our extended family not only survived the Depression, but outright thrived on it through hard work, and doing a superior job in everything they did at work. You could say I was brainwashed into many of my attitudes towards work and quality provided–But, it’s stood us in good stead, these days.

                    In the general public culture, where they hell is that sort of thing? Where are the guild-driven attitudes in our unions, towards providing something in return to the company, aside from blackmail for more pay?

                    In a couple of union settings I’ve experienced overseas, and in a tiny fraction of American trade-based unions, you do crappy work, and you don’t need to worry about the company coming down on you, your peers and the union are going to hand you your ass, along with your walking papers. Stuff that the unions here in the US generally not only condone but expedite will get you fired (literally) by some unions in Europe, as well as blackballed from further employment in that profession. Why the hell do our unions work the way they do, when the evidence is before us for how destructive it is? Quite a few of our unions would rather drive the business they parasitize into bankruptcy than worry about something like craftsmanship.

                    Somewhere along the line, we got off onto the wrong track with all of this stuff here in the US–Why is it that I look at things like the US Army Non-Commissioned Officers Association, and all I see is a lobbying group that’s concerned about blackmailing Congress for more benefits, while when I look at the equivalent organization in Switzerland, they’re more focused on things like professional standards, and enforcing those on their members? The Swiss Army NCO organizations have published numerous professional books for the edification of their members, over the years, and are generally found to be lobbying for better and more realistic training, as opposed to begging for benefits from the Swiss legislature. You point that out to a member of the US Army NCOA, and they just stare at you as though you were mad. “Professional standards? Education? Training? Not our problems…”.

                    That same sort of attitude is spread across the entire nation, in all of its endeavors. And, whatever the root reason is, it’s why so many of our institutions are failing and the infrastructure, both cultural and physical, is coming down around our ears.

                    Why the hell do people in academia allow things like grade inflation to happen? Can’t they see that by desecrating the standards, and allowing them to be debased, they’re devaluing their own professional attainments? What the hell happened over the last few generations that all of this has come to pass? You can’t blame just the SJW types, because they are not the only involved parties. It’s everyone, from all walks of life, across the spectrum of endeavor. Collective ‘effing madness.

            • I will state that it is not necessarily just unionization that screws up this stuff (although it is definitely not a net benefit unless you are a rep). Granted I am just starting out but I have already decided that if I plan not to off myself I am going to stay in engineering only long enough to pay off loans. Decisions are not made by people with knowledge and experience, but by who said people know. I have been pretty much explicitly told that the only way to survive is to be able to pull up and leave and to hold absolutely no loyalty to your airframe or company.Sucks, but that is how it is.

              Government of, by and for the lawyers…and their minions the business majors

            • It isn’t just one company. This dysfunction seems to have eaten it’s way right through the economy. I think one problem comes back to educated fools that never actually do anything. Back about 50 years ago, all the companies wanted “professionals” from the Ivy Covered Snob Factories with all the fancy new skills and buzzwords to manage their processes. That worked in the 1960’s because there were still enough old school types in charge to keep the stupidity lever to reasonable levels. But soon after those guys all retired. And left the clowns, who because all they had done was managed processes and never created processes were clueless, in charge. But they sounded good because they said all the right things, about the only thing they know how to do, so stockholders, who to a large degree were managers of managed funds and graduates of the Ivy Covered Snob Factories themselves went along with because that was the language they understood. Which was and is, a disaster, because the clowns are more focused on the appearance rather than the reality and like my former employer keep repeating the same stupid things over and over, in the hopes that, this time it will be different. The problem is that, no matter how many times you “restructure” and how many times you buy other companies and technologies in the end the balance sheet is still going to be trashed and the clowns will still be in charge. And the clowns dysfunction spreads right down the enterprise because, in order to protect themselves the clowns have shut down the lines of communication that might tell them that things are going to hell. And the dysfunctional company runs along on inertia until the money runs out.

            • The brilliant American philosopher Herman Kahn used the term Educated Incapacity:
              http://www.hudson.org/research/2219-the-expert-and-educated-incapacity

              that is the result of the “academization syndrome” you suggest.

              • Kahn nails it with this.: “Large organizations have the tendency to proliferate new forms of expertise and specialists who are drawn largely from a very special social and cultural milieu. Bureaucracies in our technological society depend heavily upon members of the New Class—or at least recruits from graduates of universities that emphasize liberal and progressive ideologies and viewpoints, almost to the exclusion of hard or tough perspectives. Even the practice of business seems to be in danger of becoming a professional specialty. I would guess that the more prestigious the business school and the more academically difficult the training, the more likely that the graduate will be both ideologically oriented and a narrow technician, rather than a decision maker in contact with the pressures and insights of the real world.”
                This is what I’ve seen with my own eyes. The scary thing to me is that more and more smaller companies are being purchased and assimilated into the Dysfunctional Borg without new companies to replace them.

                • And the Borg are using regulation to make sure those smaller companies can’t start.

                  • Somehow what everybody fails to understand is that means that those small companies won’t start HERE. In Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and China, well it’s a different story.

      • One of the problems with government bureacracy. No one has the power to fire anyone. Or to give or deny a raise.

    • Or, you could tune in to a Country music station.

      • It doesn’t help much. A great deal of present-day country music is ‘New Country’, which is to say, the idiotic mush of pop lyrics, set to the idiotic mush of clichéd country tunes and arrangements, so you end up getting the worst of both worlds. (Note: good country eschews these clichés: I like bluegrass and have a serious man-crush on Johnny Cash, but the people who invented Shania Twain must burn for their crimes.)

        • True, and there are even some rather lefty ideas being injected into some songs, especially by female artists (Right now I’m thinking of one where a woman is bitching about Country music tropes and how it’s hard to be a woman in a country song.) Still, it’s better than most of what’s out there.

          (OTOH, one of the most soul-wrenching performances I’ve seen and heard was Johnny Cash singing “Hurt” which was originally by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.)

          • When Trent Reznor sang ‘Hurt’, he was a hipster and a poseur putting on a show of pain to Make A Statement™. When Johnny Cash sang ‘Hurt’, he knew, because he had spent years in that kind of pain. The difference shows.

            Reznor is the kind of Leftist that George Orwell castigated, the kind that ‘plays with fire without knowing that fire is hot’.

            • I’m not sure about Reznor, but I know that Marilyn Manson turns out to be Conservative in real life.

              • I’m still squee-ing over Alice Cooper having a Christian Camp (like, really Christian) and basically doing an informal mentoring thing with some of the other “Extreme stage persona” folks to help keep new artists from burning out by trying to be their stage-self ALL THE TIME.

          • I’ve been pleased to note that the humorless, thoughless leftism is no more persuasive in Country.

            There’s also actual humor in the good stuff, new and old.

          • Reznor wrote it but didn’t know that it was really a Johnny Cash song.

      • Dr. Mauser– I think you missed that my example was a country/folk song… Roseanne Cash, y’know?

        • I did miss that, but still you’re more likely to find something like “Proud to be an American” on a Country station. I know of no such songs in Pop or Rap (certainly none that get any airplay).

    • Put your mind at ease regarding Sabaton. I’m pretty sure they’re Norse-flavored neopagans, but neo-Nazis they most definitely are not.
      Why do I say this?
      Well, when you title your song about Hitler “Rise of Evil,” that would seem to indicate that you are not a Nazi.
      Iced Earth did an entire album called “The Glorious Burden” which includes as three-song retelling of The Killer Angels, two about the AWI, and two or three about 9/11.

    • Michael Medved has long bisected Hollywood moralism into two categories: “Follow your heart” and “Do your duty.”

      It can be a depressing exercise to look at films over the decades and observe the changing ratio of those two themes.

  28. From your Sultan Knish link:
    No matter how smart you think you are, real science will make you feel stupid far more often than it will make you feel smart.

    This. THIS THIS THIS THIS. I’ve spent the past 20 years of my life feeling outrageously stupid, one mind-bending class/paradox/problem/domain at a time. I don’t know about any of these wunderkind prodigies who show up in popular culture, magically imbued in the cradle with penetrating understanding of everything, but how things worked for me is that I’d be introduced to something, not understand it, work my ass off until I did understand it, get bugged by apparent clashes and contradictions with previous knowledge, chase down these contradictions and figure out where I was going wrong (or discover some new subtlety that even the books I’m learning from don’t consider or gloss over), eventually work up to the point where I can apply the new concept in an intuitive manner. Then these tools would enable me to tackle the next layer of weirdness. And so on for 20 years of layers.

    I’ve never taken a flying leap of logic more than a layer or two deep and felt *confident* in the correctness of where I’ve landed any more than I’ve coded 5000 line complex programs before and had them run bug free on the first compile.

    • PS – about popular culture and the imperative necessity of sex thing:

      Maybe this is partially my own weirdness. In fact, more and more I’m wondering about that…

      I’ve never really been interested in sex. At all really. Going off of the sex ed, and Hollywood movies, and just about every bit of popular culture, a lot of religious admonishment, etc: apparently most people have this intense drive to get into sexual relationships with other people. I’ve never had that. To me, all these stern warnings not to perform outrageously intimate and messy acts with other people with nontrivial probabilities of bringing another life into the world and dominating your destiny were on par with stern warnings such as: “don’t do mind warping drugs”, or “nails are not food”, “suicide cults are bad news.”

      Hollywood movies are particularly perplexing. To me they always seemed like: Plot -> plot -> plot -> weird unmotivated sex interlude reminiscent of the discovery channel -> plot -> plot. The sex never interested me, it always seemed gratuitous and gross.

      (OTOH, it probably also means my genes aren’t long for the world.) I’ve known other people who apparently need relationships to feel complete. I’ve never felt any such need myself. I find myself wondering what it means for the long term.

      • I don’t think it’s so much a matter of how many people have the drive to have sex in general, it’s a mixture of how very much damage it causes if mishandled, the drive when being an essential element to the species carrying on, and when it is present it’s incredibly strong, especially if you haven’t fought it before.

        Example:
        I’ve got no interest in anybody but my husband, sexually, and I really can’t understand on a gut level how women can lust over guys they don’t even know.
        Before I was engaged to my husband and we were apart for the better part of a year, I didn’t know that I could desire sex with anyone; still never have for anyone else, thank goodness.

      • There was an indie movie producer at Lunacon a couple of years ago that explained that. What you have to understand is, that to a producer, you aren’t the market they have to sell to, it’s the movie distributers, who tend to be middle aged men. who won’t watch the whole movie. So you put a sex scene or explosion or something in the first ten minutes and towards the end so that the distributers catch it when they fast forward and they are more likely to buy the movie for their theatres. Thus you get those weird inserted scenes that don’t seem to make sense.

  29. Christopher M. Chupik

    More “smart” people:

    Neil deGrasse Tyson ✔ @neiltyson Follow
    Aliens, seeing Humans kill over land, politics, religion, & skin color, would surely ask, “What the f*%k is wrong with you?”

    • Or maybe they’d just think, “Yep, typical dominant species?” Peaceful aliens must become part of the smash the narrative series.

      • Unless they are peaceful because they are stalking horses for the real Big Bad, and they’ve been genetically modified into eloi to lull other species. Which breaks the narrative. Oops. *goes to get broom and dustpan*

      • I have some peaceful aliens. They have REALLY big guns. All the other “peaceful” aliens live under those really big guns…

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          One sub-set of my aliens is very peaceful unless they are attacked. You don’t want to be the people who attack them. [Very Big Evil Grin]

          • Asimov’s 3 Laws of Alien Behavior: 1) Their survival will be more important than our survival. 2) Wimps don’t become top dogs. 3) They will assume that the first two laws apply to us.

          • William Newman

            When he slides like a mucus vortex in his orbital, his sullen tentacle-prongs pinging your own, and grumbles “this isn’t fair dealing,” my third-chromosome sprog, leave the alien alone.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              These guys are more “you know where my territories begin, everybody knows where my territories begin and you still intrude by force into my territories. You are dead and anybody who takes your side is dead”.

              Most of the other groups of these aliens are “game players” so you don’t always know where they stand.

              But these guys don’t play games so everybody knows where they stand. [Very Big Evil Grin]

              Oh, while they are somebody you don’t want to get on their bad side, they can be very good friends/allies.

      • I’m rapidly developing the conclusion that there aren’t going to be any aliens out there to render any such trite judgment on our species.

        My guess is that they probably drowned under a tidal wave of stupidity from their deGrasse Tyson’s long before they managed to get off their planets. Instead of coming here to judge us, they’re probably still huddled up under the skin covers of their wigwams, having regressed to the Old Stone Age after the idiots swarmed their civilizations. It’s probably cyclic–Develop enough so that evolutionary pressure no longer removes the idiots from the gene pool, and you go down under a flood of morons. We’re probably as advanced as we’re ever going to get, right now, because anything past this is going to be over-ruled by the liability lawyers and environmentalist activists. In other words, folks, it’s all over but the long slide back to the caves.

        Unless, of course, we get smart and follow Shakespear’s advice about the lawyers. I’m sure he meant to include any form of “activist” in there, as well…

        • That hypothesis would be more plausible under a One World Government. As long as we have different polities with their own interests, we’ll have competition. The West may be lawfared out of space, but the whole world isn’t the West.

          Whether any of the other societies will make it is an open question of course, but the possibility does exist. And I’m still holding out hopes that private space will get us out there in sufficient numbers to make the objections of the flatlanders irrelevant.

    • Much more likely: “Yep, we remember those days. Good times, good times. Looks like we have some new soldiers to fight the Mi-Go.”

  30. In my activist days in Los Angeles, I ran into a lot of Dem and Green politicians. Not one of them, face to face, had the brains to pour piss out of a rubber boot.

    Of course every time the base of the CA GOP tried to run an accomplished, talented, intelligent local candidate the state party would run in a ringer to split the vote and doom their candidacy, just to protect their turf and their own idiot candidates.

  31. PJ Media’s Kyle Smith has an interesting column in Sunday’s NY Post supplementing this theme:
    2014 is the Year of the Liberal Lie
    … 2014 was the year when truth was optional. 2014 was the year when convenient fabrication was the weapon of choice for celebrities, activists, big business and politicians. 2014 was the Year of the Lie.

    In each case, the liars used their powerful positions to intimidate, harass, marginalize or just plain bilk ordinary people who lacked access to a megaphone with which to shout back. …

    … In the Obama years, lies are no longer lies. They’re essential tools to keep at bay the McCarthyites and their nasty slurs; they’re narratives that serve a larger, political function such as ruining fraternities or the life of a guy who dared to be a Republican on a liberal campus. They perpetuate the fairy tale that the IRS acted properly, that government isn’t corrupt, that ObamaCare is working just fine.

    In his reporting on Obama’s autobiography, David Remnick called it, “A mixture of verifiable fact, recollection, recreation, invention and artful shaping.”

    So: three-fifths lies? If the IRS questions your 60%-false tax return, try telling them you were just following Obama’s lead. You’ll quickly discover that lying isn’t allowed among the little people.

  32. CombatMissionary

    “Of course, most of the progressives have the stigmata of not-so-smart kids who have been pushed beyond their depth. Oh, you know them as well as I do. You went to school with some of them. Daddy’s daughter or mommy’s son, usually from money, who had tutors from second grade on, and who were told they were SO smart, even though their grades were mostly bolstered by penmanship and manners. Remember those kids? The haunted look?”

    Oddly enough, I just read an article a few days ago about how the Ivy League, for all it’s cracked up to be, is (my words) virtually akin to a puppy mill, in that it’s got (by and large) a bunch of kids who are prepped, groomed and trained virtually from conception to take part in the “right” clubs, participate in the “right” activities and go to all the “right” classes where they do the “right” kind of work to get accepted to the degree mill and function very well at regurgitating the “right” kind of answers. They get so used to (my words again) understanding the academic code and turning in specific type of “understood” work that, if you actually gave them an open-ended assignment and demanded original, creative, critical thinking, they’d pass out. And dare give them a less-than-optimal grade? Put them on suicide watch. It was a real eye-opener when you think that these are the people that many elect to government these days. It’s the very definition of regular people pushed beyond their depth, and that’s where I think a lot of politicians (Obama being the prime example) are these days. It’s not that they’re actually brilliant or evil geniuses. It’s that they’ve learned to survive under specific laboratory conditions, and they simply CAN’T grok the real-world, non-laboratory system they’re trying to control (i.e., ISIS), and they can’t get a grip on the fact that those ignorant bourgeoisie don’t fall in line like their training tells them they should. They sense a disturbance in the Force that’s giving them the nagging feeling that they’re not in the yacht club any more, and Toto just got eaten by the Reality Beast (or the Correiakin, take your pick), but dammit! If we’d just grant them a little more power, IT WOULD WORK NEXT TIME!

    • Do you have a link, please, pretty please. I would really like to have that on hand when I discuss the products of the IVY Covered Snob Factories. I’ve observed those kids all my life. Shared classes with them. Watched as they gat all the good stuff while people who want to do actual stuff get treated like serfs. So I REALLY want to read this.

      • CombatMissionary

        Like an imbecile, I didn’t bookmark it. But here are some things that may help:

        “Why Ivy League Schools are so Bad at Economic Diversity” talks about grooming through prep schools that virtually guarantee good GPAs while the “economically diverse” (read: poor) actually have to FIGHT to achieve.
        http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/02/why-ivy-league-schools-are-so-bad-at-economic-diversity/284076/?single_page=true

        “The Ivy League Has Perfected the Investment Banker and Management Consultant Replicator” goes into how massive amounts of Ivy Leaguers go into the too-big-to-fail leviathan and virtually ignore small business (which accounts for 80 or more percent of new jobs in this country), so they’re making money, but they’re not actually CREATING anything.
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelgibson/2014/02/07/the-ivy-league-has-perfected-the-investment-banker-and-management-consultant-replicator/

        “Harvard Gets Schooled: As Techies Flock to Stanford, MIT, Even Penn, Crimson Goes Green With Envy” talks about how Harvard has been missing the boat on innovative tech education, how the advent of online education is making the tools to be world-class innovators available to the bourgeoisie (my words) and thereby threatening the Ivy League, and how Harvard is trying to play catch-up.
        http://observer.com/2012/07/harvard-gets-schooled-as-techies-flock-to-stanford-mit-even-penn-crimson-goes-green-with-envy/

        Put the puzzles together, and you get this picture:
        The Ivy League is becoming less relevant in the creation of new jobs
        Even the Ivy League law schools have been inflating post-graduation employment numbers
        There’s a massive industry in prep schools that insulates kids from original thought and real achievement, and this industry appears to be creeping in at the Ivy league
        That culture of insulated children is on the cusp of making the Ivy League in its current state economically irrelevant to reality outside of Wall Street.

        Heck, do enough reading about the education bubble and you get the picture that even a lot of regular four-year universities are starting to get slammed hard because they’re just mills for liberal arts degrees that are irrelevant to real life, and as much as academia fights online education, there’s no way around it. The nontraditional student is becoming the norm, and will continue to do so, because the current model of academia, just like every other human endeavor controlled by powerful central accrediting bodies, is being sidestepped by the information age.

        • booked marked the lot. And found more. But the problem remains.

        • Do you delete your browser history? If it’s a couple of days ago, it should still be there if you haven’t set your history to autodelete.

          • CombatMissionary

            It was more like a few months ago. But I like to keep tabs on the whole “education bubble” problem, as in a few more years I’ll be teaching my kids how to not get cheated out of a crapload of money in order to obtain a sheepskin-certified brainwashing.

        • Ann Althouse had an interesting post about Oklahoma kids and Brooklyn kids.:
          http://www.althouse.blogspot.com/2014/12/oklahoma-boys-training-for-rodeo-make.html
          The comments are interesting.

          • CombatMissionary

            SOOO much truth in that comments section. I especially liked this (abbreviated):

            With Child 1: Careful – careful – careful!
            With Child 2: Stop that! Cut that out!
            With Child 3: Why are you bothering me! You know where the first aid kit is!

            After a while, you start learning how well kids actually DO bounce back from an owie. Soon as we learned this, wife and I put ALL the kids in martial arts, and last year, Santa brought BB guns. This year, he MIGHT just be bringing real archery sets! Don’t tell anyone!

            • Which inadvertently points to the source of the problem: too many people are having only 1 or 2 kids so they never get over the skeer.

              • According to my mom, once you get to four (reasonably spaced out), the older ones are enough help that more isn’t harder. (I’m eldest of seven.)

                • CombatMissionary

                  I can attest to that. It helps to have the older ones able to take a night or two each per week and rotate doing dishes, doing laundry, picking up a room or two, etc. Plus it helps the older kids learn how to run a house so they’re not surprised by it when they have families of their own. It’s good for kids to have a responsibility or five.

                • Oldest of 4 here, and the last 2 were 6 years after the one before. I know I got to help.

                • In a lot of the Mennonite families I see locally, the kids are all evenly spaced out- at about a year each. Of course, by the time the youngest is born, the oldest is 12…

                  If we calculate future US population by birthrate, Amish and Mennonites will soon be in the majority.

                • My best friend was the 11th of 14. Yep.

                • This is why I wanted 11.

                • I once was on a blog where someone was loftily declaring that it required pressing the older children into quasi-parental roles. Much mirth ensued as the children and/or parents of large families explained that so far from pressing them, the parents couldn’t STOP them.

                  • Oh, yeah. My brother was very much a second dad, as far as I was concerned.

                  • Large, heck, when our second born was less than two she was running after other toddlers and scolding them if they were bad!

                    • CombatMissionary

                      I’m fully convinced via observation and anecdotal evidence that this behavior has a strong statistical link to being cursed with a second X chromosome. [RUNS FOR THE HILLS] 😉

                    • Of course! Little boys tend to tackle first, as questions never. 😉

                    • CombatMissionary

                      Well, we all know that impulsiveness in boys is simply a social construct. If we just strain and grunt hard enough, they’ll be timid and shy and sweet, like little girls. [GRUNTS AND STRAINS TO KEEP FROM BURSTING OUT LAUGHING]

                    • I’ve got a five year old girl that would like to talk to you about this concept of “timid and shy.” If you work hard, you’ll get more than two words in at a go!

                    • I was more cautious– as far back as I can remember, I first had to establish you wouldn’t start “teasing” me.
                      (Which, for some reason, usually boils down to an adult being a total ass to the small child who’s sharing something they’re excited about, not some gentle jibbing or suggestions of different behavior.)

                    • I HATED adults who were so small minded they neede dto establish superiority over kids.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      I got the impression that CM didn’t believe in that “little girls are timid and shy” nonsense either. [Wink]

                    • CombatMissionary

                      My second is far more pensive than my first. The first thinks she’s mom, the second is content to live largely in a world of rainbows and unicorns, and the third daughter has decided that whenever she doesn’t get her way, it’s her job to inform you that ‘You FIAWED (fired)!’ She fires my wife and I about eight to ten times a day, minimum, but for some reason, the replacement parents never show up. 😀

                    • Shame on y’all for implying little girls are bossy.

                    • That’s not implication, that’s just stating fact (at least, among my family).

                  • CombatMissionary

                    If you go by the sheer number of repetitions, the favorite conversation for my wife and I to have with our oldest must undoubtedly be, “For the eight hundredth time THIS MORNING, YOU ARE NOT THE MOM!”

              • My mom’s identified what she calls the “two only children” phenomena– you have one kid, get him to middle school or so and then have a second.

                • My brother and I. Both technically only children. Both technically older children (only I had three parents.)
                  I had a profoundly lonely childhood. Again, I wanted ELEVEN. Himself disagreed. I guess he didn’t trust me not to make them all crazy, and 2 nuts is enough? Who knows? 😦 I’d still take another two… or four, even now.

                • I’ll bet a lot of those children will hate their parents if they find out it was intentional. I’m 14 years younger than my sister, and it sucked. It wasn’t intentional with my parents, though. There should have been two in between, but were miscarried.

                  • My brother and I were both accidents. Mom didn’t WANT children.

                  • They don’t just know, they’re suppose to be grateful that they weren’t “neglected” like kids in bigger families.

                    • I just realized – I’ll bet that argument works in the city. I lived on a dangerous rural road (it was not unusual for gravel trucks to pass our house at 60 mph, when it was really only safe to do about 40), with my nearest friends who were my age a half mile away, and I was 14 before I actually visited them outside of school.

                    • But that just PROVES you were neglected, because your parents didn’t properly schedule play dates and have you in day care with 30 of the closest in age and geography….

                    • Actually, during the summers, after I turned 4, I got to hang out with a hundred or so other kids of ages ranging from 5 to 15 on weekdays (my dad took me to work with him to the YMCA camp where he worked.

                      It was a little awkward being there during Girls’ Camp while they still segregated the girls’ and boys’ times at camp, though.

            • Younger kid likes explosions and is a genius. We’re rather surprised he reached 20.

              • Professor Badness

                That’s why my Father gave explosives handling training to my siblings and I at a young age, (about sixth grade). He knew we would get in trouble regardless, but could be held responsible after the proper training.

                • Except neither my husband nor I had the training and we didn’t know you could make explosives from household cleaners. Also the first time (Aka, what IS that crater in the backyard) he was 4. Thank heavens older brother intercepted him. He was going to try it on the STAIRS.

                  • CombatMissionary

                    Wow, that’s better than when our second (she was four at the time) took a hammer to the brand-new plasma screen right after I got home from Afghanistan.

                    • Other things younger son did: watered his daddy’s piano. (I thought Dan was going to kill him, I SWEAR.) Danced on the edge of a bathtub in socks and gave himself concussion. (I turned my back TWO MINUTES while I picked up his room.) Hosed his best friend down in a snow storm… that’s just off the top of my head.

                    • MIRACLE he lived to be 20. MIRACLE I tell you.
                      Oh, yeah, there was also not talking in school for a whole year because the teacher “patronized” him.

                    • CombatMissionary

                      Yeah. We had an experience with kids watering the piano too, and destroying the TV. But they haven’t made explosives yet. Thank goodness. You weren’t kidding about unleashing an army on the world!

                      My sister once put on Facebook, “Help! My house is gradually being destroyed by an army of my own creation!”

                  • Patrick Chester

                    So he’s like Doc from a webcomic called The Whiteboard?

                    http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autowb660.html

              • I recently read a book in which two grade-school kids were shooting a video. They wanted it to snow. So they got a fan and some flour. . . .

                The kids were not even admitted to the hospital overnight, and their mother was talking on the phone while they were still there about how the police had already ruled it an accident, since they had, after all, a video tape.

                Followed by a stern lecture about putting dust particles in the air.

          • I note a lot of Pinoys commenting there. It made me grin. Common Filipino slang for ‘the wife’ is “Commander”, said in English.

            Read the parts about grabbing onto sheep and riding them for as long as you could hang on, and the calf tag. That sounded like FUN and I’m jealous, I tell you, JEALOUS that I didn’t get to do stuff like that. I was a freaking twig as a kid but I’d have been game.

            Been teaching the seven year old to cook basic things like scrambled eggs, help in the kitchen stuff. He’ll occasionally singe himself on the edge of the pan. He knows by now to go and put the spot under cold running water for a bit, then come back and be more careful sautéing onions.

    • Grew up in a cocoon, and not chaos.

      Some them are very sincere – and sincerely hurt if you debate them or bring up other stuff. If they really like you they’ll tell you to knock off the crazy talk and that you made them feel awkward instead of getting in a screaming match.

      Don’t understand second-order consequences well either unless it’s 1) Cut welfare 2)?? 3) racist!….

      Forex – bumper sticker – “Piss off a liberal: Work hard, be happy!”

      One I know pointed out how he hates that because a lot of his friends and their dads are liberal, and VERY hard working (personal note – in a lot of ways, individual, often white, liberals often are very, VERY hard working, and quite puritan)

      OK – but what do they propose to do with the money of those who have worked hard and achieved success (as opposed to everyone who’s a citizen “benefitting” from the services govt provides…) – and what happens when you penalize something?

      Literally could not see how we could understand that there are (individually) hard working liberals, but we believe that underneath it all, they punish success by the things they choose to do to other people

      • CombatMissionary

        Yes. That’s the hardest part, is how to approach the well-meaning-but-fragile-of-ego and have a discussion that doesn’t ruin a friendship. “You know, Bob, I like you, and you’re a great guy, but have you considered the long-term effects of the welfare state on Persons Of Victimhood…?”

    • I got a middle-school death glare this past week when one of the students said if he won the lottery, he’d buy a college degree. Someone protested that you can’t do that and I said, “Sure you can, go to Harvard,” as I handed out their assignments. One young lady gave me a very, very angry look. I suspect either 1) she’s got a Harvard grad in the family or 2) she’s being pushed that way or 3) yes.

  33. IN my neck of the woods, the most well educated and smart folks were farmers. Farmers had ‘time off” in the winter time, where there was little else to do but read. Also, see where a lot of the universities are– in places like Iowa, Indiana, and other primarily ag states.

    The greatest place to meet “nerds” was the local auto repair shop. The guy who owns the junk shop is also pretty sharp, most of the time.

    It bothers me when people assume that the smartest people live in the city. That being said, I have friends who are plenty smart there, too. You can find smart people pretty much anywhere.

    There is a waitress at the diner whom I talk about literature with. Not crit theory, but real stuff. She homeschooled her kids when she was younger, and has a comprehensive classical education as a result.

    • CombatMissionary

      Laura Ingalls Wilder once posited in a column that with the rise of cheap mass publishing, the city would cease to be the cultural centers of civilization, as the masses would now have access to all of the educational tools and books as those in the cities, without the corrupting influence of life in town. I think the internet is actually bringing it to pass and showing her to be rather prescient in that regard.

    • There was an illiterate mountain man who bought the complete works of Shakespeare. Figured he could hire someone to read them to him.

      • He probably already knew a lot more of the speeches at least than he realized, since the ability to recite Shakespeare and other long works of poetry was a highly prized social skill on the frontier and on trail drives.

        • I once wrote a story and submitted it to the online writers’ group, and one solemnly warned me that both the sender and receiver of a letter have to be literate. . . .

          I have a couple of stories in progress where the heroine is a professional letter writer.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            In one of Mary Stewart’s Merlin novels, Merlin is thinking about what education the young Arthur would require. Reading (and writing) wasn’t part of it as Merlin believed that Arthur could always get people to read for him or write for him. [Very Big Grin]

            • Which shows Mary Stewart has made Merlin an idiot since a ruler has to be able to keep his scribes at least half honest.

              One of the reasons for so much bad IT is that a lot of managers (some in IT) don’t know enough about either software or hardware to avoid being lied to by techies / sales weasels.

              • I didn’t read much of the Sharpe books, but in the first in the in-universe chronology, an officer persuades Sharpe to learn to read because then he’s not the victim of quartermasters, etc.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Or she was reflecting the mind-set of people who lived in that time. It’s a foolish mind-set by our standards but likely existed.

  34. However in every book, in every movie, anyone who is celibate by choice is suspect. This has infected things so far that the new Miss Marple series is all about sex and repression.

    (Still catching up after being ill) I’m going to bow to your greater skill in reading between the lines, here, because I haven’t detected any of that, except in a few cases which mimicked my own teen years.

  35. Bill Whittle refers to that large group of people who value brains and are desperate to be in the smart club… But aren’t really. As Island 120 (for 120 IQ)