A Passion For Cubbyholes

Yesterday I took a shashay down to Otherwhere Gazette, where someone in the comments of the posts was asking what the difference was between us and the SJWs, except they had a college degree and we didn’t.

The assumption dumbfounded me. Of my friends, I’m one of the least educated ones, as Kate and Amanda pack multiple graduate degrees, Dave Freer is a doctor (of fishology. Okay, it might be marine biology) and Tedd Roberts… well, a supervisor to doctoral students, besides being a doctor himself. As for the people involved with Sad Puppies, I have clue zero what Brad’s degree is. It doesn’t normally come up in conversation. I do know that Larry has an accounting degree for which he most certainly went to college (and paid his own way.)

Myself, as most of you know, I’m about a year short of a doctorate and now not likely to ever take it, because it was in languages, but over thirty years those have gone rusty and besides what good does it do me, now?

[Addendum: I just wanted to note I also have brilliant friends without college degrees and that I don’t consider a degree a stamp of intelligence.  Never have.  I took my degree in the hopes of a secure job.  Until the third year I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know. (And then it was Swedish.)  Because the Author up there has a sense of humor, other than two brief stints teaching when Dan was unemployed, my degree has been of zero use for my actual work.  And I’ve learned more about areas like history that I never took in college than I ever did about the areas I did take in college.]

So the assumption that we didn’t have college degrees puzzled me. It reminded me of when a new girl about ten years younger than us, joined our group and assumed Rebecca Lickiss (physicist) and myself had no degrees. Why? Because we were married and had kids and chose to stay home with them. Therefore we clearly weren’t “educated.”

If you’re doing the sinal salute right now – fingers on either side of bridge of nose, head slightly bowed – yeah. I was too last night. It’s like they can’t conceive of people who have been “educated” choosing a different life path from them or even having different opinions.

I could say this was an effect of maleducation and their having illusions of intelligence. I.e. they let some college professors convince them that there is a “smart path” and a “stupid path” and the “smart path” for good little boys and girls with good grades obligates everyone to be a clone of whatever the professors envision.

I could, but we all went through the same maleducation and the same lectures which are mostly supposed to sell a point of view. And a lot of them are no dumber than we are. Yet we emerged… different. In fact, it’s almost a joke among my friends, and something that makes my kids’ blood run cold as they pursue their specialties, that few of us work at what we studied in college. And some of us have had intricately convoluted paths to get to doing what we actually enjoy.

So something different is at work here. It is in fact as though they thought that being “smart” obligated you to be an exact clone of them. As thought “smart and educated” were a category under which you get filed when you prove worthy of a college degree. (Which these days is not exactly hard. In my day, sonny! Also, get off my lawn.)

My son calls Wreck it Ralph the evilest movie ever made, because the moral of it at the end is “you should stay where you’re assigned.”

Yesterday I didn’t watch – but Dan was watching in the family room while I cooked – this movie where people got assigned a “role” and a station in adolescence. (That the authors thought there were only five and one was “thinker” was kind of funny. And sad. But mostly funny.)

I have no idea what the movie was, but what struck me was that as with Wreck it Ralph, the movie seemed to believe this putting of people in pigeon holes was a good thing.

It is a lust I’ve noticed among the people on the left, in the last oh, ten years. People should be assigned places according to their capacity judged by an “impartial” third party. That way they wouldn’t have the great unwashed crowding them about. Every person in his place and a place for everyone.

It’s all of a piece with their believing that the government must be brought into the most minute transactions and decisions affecting someone. There must be after all a government authority that decides I must have healthcare insurance, and I must have the package my ‘betters’ designed, providing for both birth control and abortion, even though I’d only need the first if I had a completely different body and I’d only have the second if I had a lobotomy. There must be a (benevolent) government dictating for whom one must bake wedding cakes. No decision too large and no decision too small when it comes to you not making it.

Because, you see, you’re just a widget, supposed to fit into a slot and do what you’re supposed to do, while all decisions, all rules control what you can do, so you’re no different than all those other widgets in the same slot.

This is of a piece with their inventing a multitude of genders (how many was it at last count, 41?) including “seeking” which means “don’t know.” It’s like they believe being a man or a woman and gay or straight means you have to absolutely conform to the stereotypes. If you don’t, you need a new word to describe what you are because every widget must be described so the right slot is found for him/her/shim/sher/blob. The seeking part always makes me think goes something like this “ZOMG, I’m not being attracted to anyone right now. I don’t know what I am. Seeking, seeking, seeking.” If you imagine that said in a little robot voice it’s just about perfect.

What amazes me is their assumption that not just them but EVERYONE would be happy in a world like that, where each human is put in a cubby and expected to live there forever.

I do them the justice of thinking their mistaken even about themselves. Particularly about themselves. A lot of the people who hold hardest to the idea that every little human comes stamped with a function (sort of like an egg) and an identification which determines his/her destiny are the sort of people who wake up on Tuesday morning and decide their real identity is dragon, something previously unsuspected in their sixty years of life. They’re the people who abandon a marriage of twenty years to “go find themselves” because apparently they somehow slipped behind the sofa cushions unnoticed. They’re the people whose resume goes from barista to physicist to astrologer and back again.

I think that’s why the lust for the ordered world. They feel out of control, bewildered by too many options, and lust for an ordered world where someone would psychically know where they belong and put them in the place where they’d be happy.

Two problems: first who can do that? We don’t have immortals among us, who can read the heart of men (yeah, and women and seeking, too) and tell exactly where you belong and where you’d be happy. Himself up there might be able to tell you that but He didn’t and gave you free will instead. Second what if there isn’t a place you’d be happy? Perhaps you weren’t built to be contented. Perhaps you’re someone who never quite fits in and pokes every away and towards the edges. Those have existed throughout history and there really is nothing wrong with being one of them.

In fact, the attempts by communist regimes to do this sort of thing were all more or less disastrous. Human beings, real human beings, aren’t easy to second guess or to “place” and tend to resist having their lives dictated to them.

So, beyond not making assumptions about the IQ or education of their opponents, I’d counsel our friends on the left (or anyone who thinks like that, though for some reason that’s mostly on the left) to possess their souls in patience and realize this utopia they seek is not only impossible, but it would be a nightmare for everyone, even the bureaucrats assigned to assigning people. (Can you imagine a more soul-eating job? For the corrupt it would be a chance at more corruption. For the conscientious trying to guess ‘right’ it would lead them to suicide.)

You have free will. Learn to use it. And kindly remove your boot off my neck and your governmental mandates off my life.

They will not bring me happiness, and I will ensure keeping them there and attempting to lord it over me doesn’t bring you any either.

Because I am not widget. I am a human being with distinct opinions, thoughts, and power of decision. You will never be able to understand the complexity and contradictions in a single human being, much less mandate what will make that person happy forever or what role they could fulfill for the rest of their lives.

And that’s a good thing.


484 thoughts on “A Passion For Cubbyholes

  1. “I have no idea what the movie was, but what struck me was that as with Wreck it Ralph, the movie seemed to believe this putting of people in pigeon holes was a good thing.”

    That was probably Divergent, based on a YA book series by Veronica Roth, and no, the caste-assignment is not meant to be a good thing; the whole plot of the series is based on the protagonist rebelling against her assigned role.

    However, it might be interesting to explore the difference between presenting a situation as something the audience is meant to find appealing and something the audience is meant to find convincing. After all, if one’s argument is that a society like that could plausibly find enough support to manifest and flourish without requiring excessive and unsustainable government force to maintain itself, isn’t that by definition contending that most people wouldn’t have enough problems with it to fight those who liked it? Which in turn suggests that the author assumes most of the audience wouldn’t, since the audience are, after all, people?

    1. I thought of Divergent reading this thread too, since a good chunk of the story is devoted to people fitting or not fitting into these slots. Although I believe the slots were chosen, not assigned.

        1. Which if you think about it, is rather accurate when one takes into account the “degrees” quite a few folks get that lead to “Would you like that in a vente “?

          1. Except at least in Divergence, there’s no “You want fries with that” groups like gender studies majors.

            They at least break things down in ways that are more or less useful.

                1. About the best thing I can say for it is that it showed someone who was suitably placed being miserable, made the dehumanization very clear, and the “no color” thing was a nice touch.

                  That said, the purpose was to Make A Statement, and the part that’s worth making will have you going “no duh!”

                  It was the book after the teacher told me how much I’d love Bridge to Terabithia because I like fantasy, so thankfully the pain at the “science fiction” story was muted.

  2. A lot of the people who hold hardest to the idea that every little human comes stamped with a function (sort of like an egg) and an identification which determines his/her destiny are the sort of people who wake up on Tuesday morning and decide their real identity is dragon, something previously unsuspected in their sixty years of life. They’re the people who abandon a marriage of twenty years to “go find themselves” because apparently they somehow slipped behind the sofa cushions unnoticed. They’re the people whose resume goes from barista to physicist to astrologer and back again.

    Cubbyholes are for other people. That way they don’t have to think.

    This reflections their fundamental belief that other people aren’t human and don’t react and have opinions and things. Most clearly reflected in their belief that changing the tax rate will produce a clear and calculable in advance change in tax revenue.

    1. Actually, the Laffer Curve theory is quite accurate. Its predictions of how the revenues change in relation to rates are very good. When considered in an ivory tower world, that is, where all other variables are kept constant.

      That is the problem with *every* economic theory, and all attempts to centrally manipulate the economy. This is equally true whether you manipulate it using “Leftist” theories or “Rightist” theories – they will fail for two reasons: there is no way to account for all economic variables (I suspect that even Unicode does not have enough capacity to assign each variable a symbol); and it is impossible to control all of those variables, even if you were able to compute their effect.

      Of course, the main problem with those using Laffer Theory is that it presumes the proper goal is to maximize government revenues.

        1. I can make a Laffer Curve skeptic scream with a few simple questions (scream because they can’t make a more coherent answer without admitting they’re wrong).

          1. How much money would the government have if they taxed at 0%? Answer: epsilon. Not quite zero, because some fool out there will voluntarily send some in, but it might as well be zero.

          2. How much money would the government have if they taxed at 100%? Answer: Only a fool will work if the government takes all the money, but there will always be a few fools. Again, epsilon.

          3. Right now, the government tax rate T is neither 0% nor 100%. The government revenue is significantly more than epsilon. Do you suppose the government has magically chosen T so that for all other values, revenue is epsilon, but for this magic value it’s more? Or is it more reasonable to assume some curve that rises from 0 when T is 0, falls to 0 when T is 100, and hits some higher value at the current tax rate?

          Question 3 is where they usually start screaming. They have been indoctrinated to believe that the curve itself is a lie, and now they have to face the fact that there IS a curve.

          The rational ones can then point out that there is a curve, we don’t know how smooth it is, we don’t know how many modes it might have, and we don’t know if the current value is on the high side of a mode or the low side. Those are all valid questions for discussion and research. But too few of them are rational. They’ve been brainwashed to think the Laffer Curve is Reagan’s Voodoo and nothing more. Many of them can’t even say what it is. Sneering at the Laffer Curve is how they show they belong to the Cool Kids Club.

          1. The rational ones can then point out that there is a curve, we don’t know how smooth it is, we don’t know how many modes it might have, and we don’t know if the current value is on the high side of a mode or the low side.

            Another drink winner! Bingo.

      1. As a recovering empirical economist, I want to jump through the interwebbies and hug you and buy you a drink. (In a cisgendered heteronormative way.)

        Oh my yes on the breakdown of theory. And the other huge breakdown of econ theories — economics studies how people handle resources, and people are not mechanistic processes. Economies are themselves living meta-things, not machines.

        Of course, the main problem with those using Laffer Theory is that it presumes the proper goal is to maximize government revenues.

        And that’s the problem when they’re using it correctly. Do we really want the government to achieve maximum efficiency in revenue extraction from the private sector? I sure don’t. I want taxation over on the left side of that curve, not at the peak.

        Nowadays Art Laffer gets paid big bucks to speak to anti-tax groups and proclaim that ALL tax rate reductions will ALWAYS result in increased tax revenues, which is psychotically and demonstrably false by his own theory. He has, I fear, become the right’s equivalent of Paul Krugman, a brilliant economist who regularly turns into a complete partisan whore in public for political purposes.

        1. So they really believe people are dense enough to fail to change their behavior when the rules change? How did they ever survive grade school with that attitude?

          1. No, they believe that raising tax rates on such items as cigarettes and sugary soft drinks will discourage consumption. So we are left with several alternative theories.

            They believe people are so aggressively driven by greed that they will continue in work hard for a marginal income increase of even $1 — that there is no point short of 100% taxation at which people will say “eff it — I’m gonna stay in bed today.

            They are incoherent in their beliefs, lacking the education (as opposed to indoctrination) enabling them to visualize a coherent philosophy of human behaviour, thus enabling them to argue that a zebra is white with black stripes or black with white stripes according to the immediate needs of their argument (see: Obama, B.H.)

            They are dishonest in their expression of their beliefs, that their real goal in advocating increased taxes is not government revenue but some alternative goal, such as a “fairer, more equitable society’ (see: Obama, B.H.)

            Some alternative not expressed above.

            All of (or some combination of) the above.

            1. So you’re saying that raising taxes is for the purpose of discouraging enterprise and self-sufficiency, and any revenue raised is merely a side benefit?

            2. Ah, but, you realize, the INTENT of cigarette taxes is to discourage consumption. Therefore, it will. But the INTENT of doubling the income tax rate is to double the revenue, and therefore that will happen, and nothing else.

              1. I’m pretty sure the intent of “sin taxes” is either punishment or money; if punishment, then they usually have a way to avoid it; if money, then they pick a safe target– and usually add in an emotionally appealing supposed benefactor, so it becomes “you’d help (bad thing) instead of (supposed good target, although it usually goes to the general fund)?”

                  1. I say it may be neither — there’s an at least 50% chance it is all about the moral frisson of striking a pose and imposing their morality upon others. Symbolic acts seem their favorite sort, after all.

  3. I always find it interesting that some people think because one doesn’t have a college degree one must not be ‘smart’. As if only through the tutelage of a professor could one possibly learn anything. There are these things called books that anyone can read if they have a mind to. Now there’s the internet – which can be used for more than just shopping or looking at funny cats. Heck, you can go to the MIT website and read some of their courseware for free.

    I don’t have a degree. I was about 40 credits shy when life intervened. I could go back and get it, but what purpose would it serve now? I don’t need it for a job, so why waste the money? I can learn what I want to learn, when I want to learn it. They can keep their cubbyholes and pigeon boxes. And stuff them somewhere, along with their lofty prejudices.

      1. Consider that, back in the 90s, a degree in computer programming was evidence the person was too stupid to get hired out of college into a real programming company, often before their Junior year. And professors of such curricula were presumptively too incompetent to merit a job with real money and power.

        Frankly, the last semester of any degree is typically spent looking for a job, and the last year is primarily the icing — the cake has already been baked.

        1. I don’t NEED to. I have them at home. The Cat Count is up to 15. . .

          And credentials ? Bachelors in Geology and Geophysics. Masters’ in IT. Multiple tech certifications. Former University Professor.

    1. I always find it interesting that some people think because one doesn’t have a college degree one must not be ‘smart’.

      That pernicious mem has been around for decades, and probably predates the introduction of “college track” and “trades” division in high schools. I heard shop teachers complain about people too dim to safely operate power equipment shoved into their classes by guidance councilors who think of the trades as something “second best.” What the councilors never grasped is that while it’s possible to be not all that bright and make a living in the trades, it’s toting lumber and carrying bricks, but not operating dangerous machinery, or acting as foreman, or owning your own business. At the upper levels it takes the same brainpower as an engineer.

      In my shop class we had a big DeWalt Radial Arm Saw. Only three of us were allowed to operate it: We were the ones that the shop teacher knew wouldn’t harm ourselves and others. Such was the effect of the guidance councilors, who channeled people who might have been happier and better suited to the trades into the college track. Apparently the never thought what would happen if only the kids who made Ds in math wound up as carpenters and plumbers.

      Frankly, there’s college grads who’d be better off – and happier – logging than stuck in an office somewhere. Likely we’d all be happier if they were logging, too.

      1. Time was “trades” was dropping out and going to work. Remember that Laura Ingalls was told, when she left school to marry, that she could have graduated from eighth grade.

      2. Good Lord yes! I let my mother and the guidance counselor talk me into college. Now I have a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering I don’t use, and a memory of working fast food to pay off my loans. I lost interest in Engineering as soon as I found out that to actually lay hands on tools, you have to be a technician.

        1. You went to work for the wrong place in the wrong company. If you wanted to play with tools and be an engineer, you needed to get into a startup testing group in a power plant, or a startup.

          1. Know that now. 22 year old green-as-grass me had the common sense of your average rock. Made myself a lot of trouble trying to please other people.

            1. Didn’t we all? This is why I dream of the by his bootstraps solution, where I send my mind back. But we’d have to send Dan’s back too, because I’m not living in marriage with a 22 year old for nobody. Ah well, we turned out well enough.

                    1. I’m not sure how I’d live my life differently but I’m sure that if I did, my younger self would be too stubborn to listen. [Wink]

            2. Yep. I stumbled into testing during my power systems class final my senior year at UT Austin. The class final test was to do a PTC 6 test on the campus combined cycle power plant. I then went to work at a gas fired plant in West Texas for 18 months before transferring to Comanche Peak and getting into the startup and Power Ascension groups. Lots of fun. Had a crew of welders/pipefitters, electricians, and I&C techs under my direct control at age 26 to do what I wanted to get done….Management generally left us alone as long as we got results and did not overspend.

      3. My son’s schedule for next year should be good and thoroughly confusing.

        His school has multiple “tracks” someone can take, and they have four electives. One of his is engineering, which is what he wants to do with his life.

        Another is basic auto mechanics (along with JROTC and orchestra).

        I can just hear a counselor freaking out because he’s smart and has an academic bent but is taking a “trade” course. The fact that he just wants to learn stuff so he can function in life will most likely be missed by some folks.

      4. In the new TV show, “The Librarians”, based on the Librarian movies, one of the characters who had been a candidate for The Librarian in the original movie is an Oil worker (not sure what exactly he does) who hides his high intelligence and degrees from his family and co-workers.

        1. He worked in the business Actually he runs the family oil business He lives in a very small town in TX. He’s a modern Heinleinian man. He has a ton of abilities and experiences. He makes Humanities bs sound reasonable. “Architecture is art we live in.” I think that his character’s name is Jacob Stone.

          Has anyone heard if Librarians will be renewed?

          1. The last word I heard was that they still had no answer.

            I don’t get TNT or streaming video. Is it any good? I’m a big fan of Dean Devlin’s work.

            1. Streaming video is great! TV w/o ads when you want to play it. You can buy the episodes at Amazon Instant video. The show is fabulous!!

              1. Sadly, I live so far in the middle of nowhere, my only Internet option is satellite. On a good day, that’s fast enough for streaming; but I have to pay $10/GB for anything over 10GB usage per month. Streaming eats that up fast. It’s cheaper for me to buy DVDs.

                1. And remember, when Obama wants high speed internet for all, he means all as inter-city victims/peons of the socialist state. If you are a rural homeowner, you don’t count. Dial-up modems are good enough. Besides, you probably vote for the wrong people too.

                  1. The utterly unsurprising effect of the stimulus money put into improving rural internet is to make my mom’s internet get objectively worse than it was in 2005. Why on earth would you spend money on something when there’s a very good chance you’ll either get undercut by someone else who’s bankrolled by the gov’t, or they’ll come in later and force you to share the upgrades anyways?

            2. Saw the other day it DID get renewed. And there was much rejoicing…

              (Now if Bethesda would just announce the next in their Fallout franchise, the month would be complete…)

            3. I’m a big fan of Devlin, too, but IMO this show was not up to his best work. Some episodes (notably the ones directed by J. Frakes) were excellent, others only seemed to work because I wanted to like them — the program needed more careful thinking out of all its moving parts and better focus on character development.

              On a scale of 1 – 10, with Leverage* at 8, I would give it a 6.

              *Benchmarking against Devlin’s track record.

              1. If Leverage is his 8, what’s his 10? What am I missing?

                Mind you, I don’t count the final season of Leverage, and season 4 is iffy. They had turned most of the writing control to a new team who seemed to have graduated from the Law & Order: SVU school of writing. “Who can we bash this week? Oh, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s bash Wal-Mart!”

                1. Leverage at 8 means some episodes were a 9.5 (the line goes asymptotic approaching 10), some were a 7 or even (rarely) a 6. On average, the series runs about 8.

        2. Christian Kane is his name. He played the Heavy in Leverage and was also good there. (And Jane from Coupling was the Grifter; she’s good in both roles, too.)

            1. He was also in the film Second-Hand Lions, playing Robert Duvall as a young man. Kane’s been pretty good in everything I’ve seen of his and has become a reason for watching programs.

          1. I really didn’t pay much attention to what he actually did. I was focusing on the fact that he didn’t want anyone from his home town to know about his IQ and education.

            1. What?!?! Why!?!?

              Only on the world of TV would they think oilfield workers are stupid.


              1. There’s a difference between being bright and reasonably well-educated, and the high genius-level of the character with his level of education. I’m sure he was afraid he would be assumed to be one of the Ivory Tower types that wants to lord it over everyone else, and would interpret everything he says that way.

                1. Shows a lack of understanding of the Oilfield.

                  As long you are competent no one cares. The amount if scientific and engineering knowledge and know-how you need to getting stuff from thousands feet underground to the surface is awe inspiring.

                  Got to play at being stupid to fit in with the blue collar types, because if they were smart they wouldn’t be working with their hands.

      5. I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes:
        The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
        John W. Gardner

      6. Frankly, there’s college grads who’d be better off – and happier – logging than stuck in an office somewhere.


        “I cut down trees, I skip and jump,
        I like to press wild flowers.
        I put on women’s clothing,
        And hang around in bars.”

      7. Oh goodness. Flashback to my college ceramics* professor (a guy who looked like a Midwest farmer, was, in fact, from Iowa, and who used to create these twelve-foot “tornado jars” that he’d install so as to loom over unsuspecting art gallery attendees) telling us about how to mix clay and the reason the mixer was in a room with a lock. For the uninitiated, a clay mixer is not unlike a cross between a concrete mixer and a blender with a long spiral blade in it. If some student’s idiot friend were to, say, reach in with a hand to clear clay off of the spinning mixer, well, apparently it was a good thing somebody heard the screaming.

        So yeah. Do not defeat the safety measures if you want to keep your arm (and possibly your life) intact. (He also told of a girl who circumvented the widely spread two-button switch for a lithograph press. Note the term “press.”)

        *This professor was annoyed at the perception of ceramics as an easy A for an arts requirement. His solution was to make sure everyone learned the chemistry as well as some history along the way. I liked him a lot.

        **He actually asked to keep one of my pieces, the tallest bottle I’d made in my third semester. For his “miniatures” collection.

        I wasn’t very good at wedging clay.

        1. Although we didn’t have these jokers in our shop class, we had heard of:
          The kids who, for kicks, tried to stop the rotating chuck on a drill press by grabbing it.
          The kids who put the drill bits in a table vice, and tried to see if they could break them.

        1. Not just math, either– they’ve got to do math with wiggly variables. Part of the waste in mass-produced furniture is that the machine can’t tell if that bit of wood is strong enough– so you either overbuild, or have a percent that break because the wood was below average.

          A carpenter, on the other hand, develops judgement that lets them know things, like… oh, “Hey, I’m moving this nail over a little bit, so that it’s on the light part of the grain instead of the dark, lowers the chance of splitting.” And that means they have to know how far the nail goes into the seat of the chair, so it won’t deform– or, heaven forbid, POP OUT– of the other side, and if they HAVE enough room on what they’re driving it into which they may or may not be able to see, and a good grasp of the force so they might use a screw instead of a nail…..

    2. My fiance doesn’t even have that. He has one semester and a trade school, and I’d judge he’s probably measurably smarter than I am (I like a man I can get into a detailed debate with 🙂 ). He gets a lot of flack from folk who just see the lack of degree (Including his older siblings) and don’t understand the difference between knowledge and intelligence.

  4. Ida know. The prospect of becoming a manticore when I retire has some appeal.

    I was once informed that I was one of 12 intellectuals in a small city. The speaker obviously did not know me all that well. I suspect, like most Odds, once someone puts me in a box, the first thing I set about doing is knocking holes in the sides, changing the windows, and turning the cube into a geodesic dome. With a good wood-burning stove just in case, and the coolest-looking bookshelves.

    1. Well, that’s the other half of it. I fondly remember the book where the three-year-old wanted to be a ladybug when she grew up, but growing up is the process of learning the actual limits of one’s abilities. Leftists partly want to cubbyhole people because they need some order, and the order that actually exists they reject. (This is why they whimper about girls’ alleged decrease in self-esteem when in reality, what the studies show is that girls are learning that they can’t all be rock stars or star athletes, and realizing that there are a lot of things that, in fact, they aren’t good at.)

    2. Intellectual doesn’t mean “leftist puke”, it just means someone who has been educated (including autodidacts) and engages in thought about social, political and economic matters.

      1. Will, in this context it meant “has at least a masters and looks down on everyone else in town and is a Midwest Progressive and artist.” Erm, not me at that time, and the rest is still not me.

  5. *delurk*

    Dammit, now I’m mentally designing bookshelfs that can sit flush against every inner face of a geodesic dome!


        1. Dan… Tell her you can make cool cat toys with it, and then let her have a new cat as trade for the 3D printer.

          1. That…might actually be the first valid reason for me to buy one… THANKS A LOT! I was trying to save up for more telescope stuff and now you’ve got me off looking at 3d printers for cat toys!

            1. Heh. I wonder where you find 3D models of a milk ring. If I could get a cat to answer just one question, it would be “What’s the fascination with milk rings?”

      1. I was really upset about where my son was going to be zoned to go to school next year after we move…

        until we went to a program at the school and learned he’d get to work with a 3D printer. Now, I’m kind of stoked. 😀

        1. ok, cheapest 3d printer is $400. The one most schools are getting now is around $2000… not like they are going to have a $40K+ 3d Systems unit.

          1. No, it’s definitely not going to be any $40K unit.

            But my son is going to play with technology that I hadn’t even dreamed of when I was in school.

            Man, I love technology!

    1. But do you want the shelves where the bottoms are parallel to the ground but each higher shelf sticks out farther (or only holds narrower and narrower books until it is only a spine), or do you want shelves who’s backs are parallel to the wall and thus need some thing to hold the books from sliding off? I was thinking of maybe narrow spring loaded “fingers” at the top and bottom of each shelf so they keep the books from falling out but if you grab one you can still pull it out or put it back in… hum… now to go look up the weight range of books so I can calculate the needed spring tension.

      1. Option 1b. I’ll put the big picture books at ground level, the old but still used text-books above them, the paperbacks on the top, and then the shelf above that I’ll put little tiny figurines, photo frames, etc.

        Is it a good or bad thing that so many of us have thought about this?

        1. Ooh, good use of the lean-space while saving folks’ backs, and of course if you have the shelves go out *slightly* more than the one below, it lowers the appeal of climbing them.

          Something at least twice the size of this ~23 foot diameter one:
          should keep the shelf-size-difference from being too big, while still letting you put the big-and-light on the bottom shelf, then the big-and-heavy above that, the normal hardbacks above that, then the lighter books above that. When you get beyond what can comfortably be reached, you put in a display-case area, and then there’s the floor of the level above.

          Oooh, might even be able to make it so that there’s no room wasted on stairwells, by just having a stair every so often…. Hm. 9 foot stories, figure a foot for all the stuff that goes under, the average rise is 7 inches, so make it a 4 inch rise, you’d need 27 of these half-steps, 5 ft 4 inch long steps, and ground floor space is over 1600 square feet… you could get a four bedroom house into there easily. Use the “extra” space for storage and infrastructure…..

          1. Did they ever come up with a good fix for all those joints, and the leaks that followed? It’s been a while since I paid attention.

          2. ” if you have the shelves go out *slightly* more than the one below, it lowers the appeal of climbing them.”

            You obviously know a different population of kids and or cats than I do… 😎

            1. Yeah. That. NOTHING could stop older son. Particularly after he learned to read. In one of our houses we gave up on the linen closet and let him make it into a “treehouse” where he hid to read. We even got him a little ladder to get into it, which was safer than what he’d been doing before, climbing another built-in cabinet.

      2. There’s always the simple solution of only putting shelves on the flat space, and using the places-where-shelves-don’t-fit to have lights, the hook for ladders, and nice little display cases.

        Really depends on the size of the dome, might just want to alternate display cases with lights, and have a comfy chair with the back to the shelf.

    2. My oldest daughter just moved into a dome about six months ago. Our solution has been to stack crates, fastening them to the wall at the top and resting on the crate beneath it. Her dome doesn’t have a very steep curve to the wall as it’s two stories tall. On the outside it has a heavy coating of plasticized concrete and is designed to withstand 160 mph winds, its location being about 20 miles inland from the Texas coast.

      1. If you have the structural strength for it, wouldn’t it be simplest to fly* the fixtures, furniture, shelving, etc.? Use guy wires to affix to floor for stability, use areas behind large objects as nooks (e.g., pile plump cushions for cozy reading area.)

        *Fly = hang from ceiling.

    3. Designing furniture that will work in smallish domes is a bitch – I’d usually build a free-standing accommodation structure for beds etc. and use the dome simply as weather protection. I did do a curved sofa once – it was really ugly. At the time- ’70’s – we could build a livable dome for around $1/ft2 using plywood struts and heavy poly skin.

  6. I once worked with a guy. He was pretty nice, and we got along well. However, he was kind of an idiot. Hell, even he admitted he was kind of an idiot.

    Oh yeah, he had a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

    Having a degree doesn’t mean you’re smart. Not having a degree doesn’t mean you’re dumb. All it means is you either went through college or you didn’t. Hell, some people don’t adjust well to the way modern education actually works.

    Some days, I miss the apprentice system for professions like attorney and architect. I’d have jumped on an opportunity like that and been so much better off.

    1. I actually like some of my kids teachers and think they’re reasonably competent. That said, I have NO patience with the eye-rolling and FUD (“they’re not certified” ) many of these ‘accredited’ teachers employ when homeschooling or private schools are mentioned.

      I taught my son to read by example. THE US Navy – even in the nuke field – and the military in general gets many of its instructors by throwing a few weeks of training at a guy who has experience. No certifications or 4 years in college.

      I’ve spent far too many years writing and grading engineering exams for my boat, and giving training and lectures, to have much respect for the “knowledge” an education degree or certificate brings, compared to simply doing the d*mn job.

      1. Likewise the USAF. You had to prove you could DO the job well, and then you went to Instructor School. 3 weeks, a checkride in the classroom, on the simulator, and in the air, and I was the youngest instructor in SAC (Made instructor Electronic Warfare Officer 3 weeks shy of pinning on Captain. . . )

    2. In my hometown, the shipyard runs an apprentice school. When I was in high school, it was considered an honorable alternative to college. It is still open today and is something impressive about it being in existence since 1919, as the shipyard has had several owners, yet all the companies have chosen to keep it open.

      1. And there is still apprenticeships for some blue collar jobs, which isn’t a bad thing at all. However, my point was that some professions also used to have an apprenticeship option as well.

        When I was a kid, my folks worked on a District Attorney campaign here in my neck of the woods. That attorney was one who had apprenticed to learn law and pass the bar exam. As far as I know, that’s just not an option anymore, which is a shame because a lot of very smart people just don’t fit in traditional education.

        1. Yup. You aren’t allowed to take the bar exam without graduating.

          Which is pure gatekeeping. There’s no rhyme or reason to it except protecting the cartle.

            1. Several of my clients are architects, and one has explicitly told me he wishes he could keep his HS interns, as it’s a lot of work to UN-train the college grads.

              1. I imagine.

                I remember Larry once saying that you go to college to get an accounting degree, then you spent your first year at work learning how to really do accounting.

                However, you have to have the degree to take the CPA exam.

                1. Try doing Network Security in a Government Environment. You need a bachelor’s degree (any will do) and at **least** ONE certification, which all have an education and career experience requirement. If that was it, fine.

                  But the certs ? CISSP (which I have) is Security Management. The test is basically a mile wide and an inch deep. Or C|EH, Certified Ethical Hacker. 1-week course where they TEACH the test, then you test, and Voila ! a level 2 DoD 8501 certification. . .

                  1. I also have a CISSP. I got it more to less to spite/annoy some people I was working with at the time (I was in Iraq and was sort of bored anyway).

                    I think that the CISSP is a fair requirement because it requires one to be at least cognizant that there are security issues other than whatever narrow focus you have. One would assume (but then working with the feds I know better) that they would *additionally* require one to have experience/ability in the narrow area they are working in. In fact when I work with a firewall guy that *INSISTS* I give him port number for common protocols I want to throat punch him and throw him in the pile out back, but that’s another story.

                    1. CISSP is useful as an indication that you can speak to PHBs about security. It shows you have some clue. I’m not convinced it helps a lot in the day to day activities of actually securing networks and systems

                    2. Now, I’m not familiar with that certification, but from the context, I think it’s likely that the network security guy where I work has one. The fun is that this guy had recently sent out an email reminding everyone to not open attachments unless they’re sure they are from who they say they are, and to verify with the senders if it was unexpected, etc. You know, basic email security. Then he sent out an attachment which, IIRC, was supposed to check for a certain virus that was out, for everyone to run. But when one of the guys on my team sent an email checking to verify that it was legitimate, he got all pissy with him for daring to question his email.

            2. *growl* Very frustrated by the regulation of architecture. One of the by-products is that there are very few detailed books on architecture or architectural design that aren’t ridiculously-priced textbooks (I mean practical ones, not “look at the pretty pictures” ones. Looking is great, but I want to make stuff!). I’m not interested in making a career out of architecture, just in designing and maybe building interesting and practical homes and offices for myself, my kin, and my kith, so a full degree program makes no sense for me. I’m still going to try to piece together a basic design education for myself when I clear a few (er, a lot) of my current projects, starting with the drafting textbook my local library has, but it would be nice if the field weren’t so locked down.

              1. Years ago, I had a studio built for My Lady. In order to get the plans passed, they had to be drawn by an Architect (NJ. We’ve since moved). The nitwit we hired took the bunches of electric plugs that we had placed exactly where My Lady was going to need them, cut them by half, and spread them evenly about the walls.

                And had the nerve to be grumpy about being told to go back and do it right, or we weren’t going to pay him.

                I probably should have shot the sonofabitch. We had 7 acres at the time, five of it dense second growth forest. I doubt anybody would have missed the silly bastard. But I hate digging ditches…

              2. You could always start with the classics: Vitruvius’ De Architectura, for example.

                My school uses a bunch of Francis Ching’s books for drafting and such, but they’re…kind of not written for self-studiers.

                You might look into Sketching on Location by Matthew Brehm. He had an excellent and simple method for constructed perspective drawings (…I can’t remember if he wrote about it in this book though, sorry). His drawing course has, so far, been the most useful and interesting course I’ve taken.

                Design Drawing by William Kirby Lockard might also be helpful. I find him a much more understandable than Ching.

                  1. I drew up the plans for my house, and commented to the family that I was the only one who had not taken any drafting in high school. They did all help me build it, so I can’t complain too much.

                1. Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve added them to my wishlist. Can you recommend a good translation of Vitruvius? Or is it likely to matter?

              3. Unless you’re getting into steel and girder construction or massive amounts of concrete, it isn’t hard. The three biggest things to learn are drafting conventions, standard size of materials, and building and electrical codes.

                Drafting has changed a lot since I took it. It’s now all CAD. There are relatively “inexpensive” house design programs out there, but haven’t used one and can’t make any recommendations. AutoCAD is the 900 pound gorilla, but is expensive as rip. Don’t know about open source alternatives.

                If you really want to go old school, all it takes is a smooth surface with a straight edge; paper (white butcher paper can suffice); a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil; a T-square; a 45 degree and 30-60-90 degree triangle; an architect’s scale; a vinyl eraser; and a template of architect symbols for things like ranges, cabinets, commodes, bathtubs, and so forth. An eraser shield and brush will help, but are not necessary. I once worked summer jobs for a man who drew the house plans on his freezer with only a mechanical pencil, an architect’s scale, and a template.

                In high school I wasted money on a lettering template. It slows you down, and once you learn a block-print style, a couple of lightly drawn guidelines will suffice. Of course, that’s not necessary with a CAD program.

                Drafting Made Simple is a quick overview, if you can find it, It will likely be woefully out of date, but will cover some of the lay-out conventions that holds true for both old-school and CAD software. Studying a set of blueprints is also a help. If you can find one of those magazines of house plans, and if the cost is reasonable, that can act as a study guide.

                Look for the book Modern Carpentry. That has been practically the bible for builders for decades. This helps with learning the structural aspects of houses and stick-frame building.

                That should get you started in the right direction.

                1. Great suggestions! Thank you. I may actually be working with large concrete structures (I have plans to build a castle, including a proper ring wall, and masonry would take it from “extremely expensive” to “utterly ludicrous”), but I have more immediate opportunities to work with stick-frame construction, and it would be a good place to start.

              4. If you have an architectural school nearby checkout their library. I spent 2 years workstudy in the Architecture Library here, was very informative.

            3. Also with engineering, one of our designers is the last person in my state to have taken (and passes) the PE exam w/o an engineering degree.

          1. I wasn’t allowed to take the teacher’s certification exam. They don’t say they don’t accept my college, they just don’t have a “code” for it. (Which is funny because Robert’s medschool aps do — since they ask parents’ degrees. And yeah, ask me how happy I am about that.) So it won’t be graded. Even though I was perfectly qualified and ready to teach German, French or ESL.

            1. *headdesk*

              You just have to find ways around that. For instance, my husband took several semesters off in order to work for tuition (and also to deal with depression.) When he wanted to start up again, they had records of his credits but they’d somehow lost or mis-entered his leave of absence paperwork, so it would be a PITA to get that straightened out. We had a friend who worked in Admissions/Enrollment who came up with a genius solution and put him in as a new student… with his earlier credits transferred in. Computer system swallowed that without a hiccup. So, on paper, my husband was the first of his class to graduate.

              There’s *always* a work-around, if there’s motivation.

              1. Not to say you *should* go for teacher certification, just that the folks who turned you down just couldn’t be bothered to make it work.

              2. I was new in the country and had no clue. Then I found colleges would hire me. Then I found paperwork was crazy. Then Dan said “Why don’t you stay home and write?”

              3. Amen to that. When my family moved to AL, and all the kids were in school, my mother wanted to go back to teaching elementary school. She had a BA cum laude from Baylor and a Masters from University of Louisville, plus ~10 years teaching experience, and before she could get certified in AL they wanted her to take ~ 2 years of undergrad Ed courses.

                Fortunately, my dad knew a lot of lawyers (insurance claims manager), and one of them found a 1950s era law that said AL and Kentucky would recognize each others’ teachers certifications…..

    3. I worked for a man who had a Harvard degree. In a conversation with Sarah, it turned out he thought Portugal was in Central America.

    4. The years I lived around New Orleans and worked as a bicycle mechanic near the Colleges drove home the saying “There’s a lot of Knowledge in College. Every year the freshmen bring a little bit in, and the seniors leave with none, so it accumulates” as being truth.
      I also was fond of hating the drive through Baton Rouge … it was filled with the stupidest people in the world … College students, faculty, and Gov’t workers

      1. I spent a couple hours on FB one day trying to explain to one of my friends how, “Overeducated” was not a null term. Every example or analogy I came up with would be responded to with, “That means they need MORE education, then.”

        Technically, she’s correct. But it’s not the kind of education that is likely to be found in college.

        1. The school of hard knocks.
          works wonders, but the left tries to ignore it and prevent anyone from going. Sadly that just makes the lessons more painful.

        2. The late Southern comedian Brother Dave Gardner used to say, “A liberal is a person educated beyond his capacity to learn.”

  7. I have two colleagues, both of whom are gay men, and both of whom have been completely ostracized from Humanities because they have bucked the trends and actually think for themselves (one is a {gasp!} Republican…the head explosions when that was discovered were quite funny). I even had one, out of concern for my ability to get tenure, tell me that I should be careful about mentioning that I spoke with him or anything outside of university business. Academia is a boiling stew of cognitive dissonance and it can be quite amusing at times.

    I agree that those whose greatest desire is to pigeon-hole and contain everybody are the ones who are most afraid of the choices before them, and despite “finding themselves” they are the most afraid of what everybody else will think of their passions and interests. My theory is that they’re flat out jealous and fearful of those who do not conform to the assigned cubby, because they recognize that those “divergents” are doing what they most like. Might be a form of OCD on the part of the conformists.

    1. “Academia is a boiling stew of cognitive dissonance”
      It’s a good line. Very good. But I still prefer the tried-and-true “wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

            1. In some fields and departments, I’m inclined to think so. When the grad students and seniors are plotting how to set up a parabolic ear on the building closest to the faculty conference room so they can record the Faculty Heavyweight Throwdown and sell the tapes, you’ve got a personnel problem. (American History faculty plus 1 versus the European History specialists, with the classics prof as neutral witness. Scorch-marks were still visible on the walls and ceiling even after the room was remodeled and repainted twice.)

      1. Green Lantern lifted the whole cantina from Star Wars.

        BTW if you are at all interested in audiobooks ya gotta try Larry Correia’s gaming stuff. they have some teasers for 99 centers. 3 micro fics for 99 cents.The longer stuff is attractively priced. The stories and the readers are awesome!!

        1. Wait, when did Green Lantern do this? LEGO perhaps?
          Or do you mean figuratively “lifted”? As in, the scene was stolen and put into a Green Lantern comic?

            1. I mostly just read the trade paperbacks when they come out, It means I’m usually a couple of years behind.

                1. IIRC in some versions of the Sinestro story before he went bad, he was considered the Best of the Green Lanterns. That is until Hal Jordan showed up. IIRC it was his envy of Hal Jordan that caused him to go bad.

    2. “Academia is a boiling stew of cognitive dissonance and it can be quite amusing at times.”

      You forgot lack of common sense. I used to be amazed at the number of university professors that would call to get a classroom opened and be bent out of shape because we were only opening it according to the time they requested rather than an hour early so they could set up.

  8. I cannot remember if it was an Asimov or Budrys short – Asimov IIRC – that I read in an already old and coverless book from my middle school years, but there was a story about a young adult going through sorting, and very upset that, unlike all his friends, he did not get sorted into a category like “miner” or metallurgist or whatever.

    Turns out they had slotted him into “none/thinker” because they still needed people to create stuff.

    OTOH – it was a condemnation of the one-size fits all for everybody, OTOH, it exhibited exactly that arrogance of “we know what’s best for you” – even for the “non-pigeonholed”

    1. Asimov was a good writer, but if you read his autobiography, you will see that he was about as leftist as it gets.

  9. That you are ‘uneducated’ is obvious because you are not living the ‘accepted’ life and conforming to the ‘accepted’ opinions. Since SJWs are incapable of listening to another side of an argument, of course no deviation from their dogma would be considered possible for an ‘educated’ person.

    My philosophy is that every person I meet has something that I can learn to make me a better person. Every person has a strength that I can rely on, and a weakness that needs my support and understanding to help them overcome their obstacles. Do a favor for someone with the anticipation that the payment is to ask them to help someone else when they need the favor. Children are to be treated as adults, with respect and dignity (O.K. this one is hard to keep with a two year old, but it is critical to their proper development in later years of childhood).

    I am clearly undereducated by this group’s standards, I only have a B.S. in Physics from William and Mary; however, my senior research was to design a computer model and simulation of the odor plume of the nearby Budweiser brewery and my current consultant role (Part-time, because I’m retired) also deals with computer modeling and simulation.

    People that are confident and self-assured don’t really need to assume that everyone else is less than they are. And no, I don’t have a lot of progressive friends.

    1. Well, many of them also admit that you can be a monster of malice and so refuse to admit to their wonderful wonderfulness and marvelous marvelousness — without, actually, of course, disagreeing because that is impossible.

    2. oh, I got the under-educated position locked … almost. I did graduate high school but refused to even consider college.
      I work in chemicals now, and can follow the chemists when they are talking about what it is they are up to. We are supposedly getting two more and recently just got one, but the two without the big degrees were joking they are going have to train the “Doctors” but they both started before a major corporation bought us, or they’d never be working in their positions (and why they cannot get promotions, even though the one is quite the organic chemist and some of her workload is to be fobbed off to the doctorate holders).

      1. Thus we see illustrated the evils of HR departments and managers afraid they’ll eventually be called upon to explain what they were thinking when they hired/promoted that nut. A certified nut is to them more comfortable than an uncertified genius.

        1. yeah, we used to have a full time HR with one of the AR guys doing some of the work. Now we have a guy who comes in from Amarillo once in a while, and all the hiring first goes through corporate via the web (all applications filled online) then when ever he gets to it before the manager actually gets to chat with the person to see if they even qualify for a second interview. Now it takes months to even get candidates to hire to fill a position. We need a supervisor in our dept. and it has been 4 months and the job has just been listed. Might be a year before we actually get one

          1. I feel for you. I’m generally happy if we have someone hired within 6 months of when the previous person left, and it’s usually 8 months before they are on the street by themselves.

            1. Well, it would help if our “betters” didn’t fire people for doing what their boss told them, or dredging up ways to rid themselves of someone who gets lots of pay for holding patents, but doesn’t have alphabets after their name, and won’t move to north of “The Frozen Tundra” (his wife said not no, but hell no) because they want R&D to be in one place (especially when one of the things they used to justify firing him happened to two other companies in the family and those have yet to be fixed, while one of ours has). The companies reputation was harmed a while back with inside trading issues, and a general acknowledgment by those in the industry of doing stupid stuff. Anyone I have met who knows the company even in passing all say the same thing when I tell them who bought us out … “Oh?! I’m sorry” so often those interviewing are happy to decide not to come work for us.

  10. You don’t have to test people to determine if they have a terminal case of this mental disease. The symptoms present plainly if you are introduced and their nostrils flare slightly, and they make a funny little head motion. Some cock, some nod, some poke their chin out, and then inform you they are to be addressed as doctor.

    1. Whenever someone informs me I should address them as “doctor”, I start asking for advice on various physical ailments. When they pop back with, “I’m not that kind of a doctor”, I tend to say, “Oh, I thought you were a real doctor. My bad. So, Bob…”

      I usually don’t have to deal with those people more than once for some odd reason.

      1. Oh, jeebus crow. That is such b.s.

        However, I do find that the worship of the graduate degree has infected a large portion society or at least those SJW types who don’t have graduate degrees but believe they should in order to be taken seriously; if people find out I have a PhD oftentimes they change how they act around me, start saying things like “well, you’re the professor…” etc. until I am forced to shut that line of talk down. For this reason I don’t usually tell people what I do for a living if asked (I say “I work at…”).

        1. For the record, I only do that to pretentious PhD’s who flaunt it out of context to the conversation.

          If I’m talking about space, and someone tells me I’m wrong and corrects me, then mentions they have a PhD in astrophysics or something, I don’t do anything of the sort. Even if they’re rude about it, at least it’s in context to the conversation.

          If they just boast they’re a “doctor” like it matters in any other context, then I tend to throw out the snark. I have friends who are entitled to the “doctor” label, but only use it professionally, because it doesn’t really matter anywhere else. The only time I bring it up is if I have a question regarding their expertise.

          1. It’s the ones who “correct” something, with utter BS, then bring up their degree as a way to shut down the conversation, that make me want to decorate the street with their face.

      2. Oh, yeah. This. We got a new troop once upon a time who had a doctorate in something useless. When he showed up in the unit he insisted he be referred to as “doctor” such-and-such. We NCOs informed him that his proper title was “Specialist,” and that if he persisted, his title would soon be changed to “Private.”
        It took us a while to get him to listen to people with experience but no degree. The body’s natural avoidance to painful situations eventually outweighs the mind’s insistence on doing painful things repeatedly… Thus proving the maxim “You can’t make somebody do something they don’t want to do. But you can make them want to do it.”

        1. Yeah, if you enlisted and you have a PhD, then you deserve to be made to want to do stuff that you didn’t want to do to start with.

          I had a couple of people in “A” School who had bachelors. One had a masters. All of them had enough sense to realize that they were enlisted (one had his college degree paid for by the Army, so he knew this before hand) and didn’t pull anything like that. However, we sure as hell used them as resources when their degrees were handy (the guy with the masters had it in biology and this was Navy Hospital Corps School).

          I suspect we just got lucky.

          1. I came into the Air Force as an Airman Basic with a BA, and believe me, I had no delusions that a degree entitled me to anything … although I did have to patiently explain it over and over again, that the reason I wasn’t an officer was that I hadn’t done ROTC. (CSUN didn’t have a ROTC program back then, likely still don’t now.)
            The one disadvantage I found early on was that guys looked at me blankly and sayd ‘Huh??’ when I tried to be funny. But I suspect that happens with a lot of female Odds.

            1. Yeah, I suspect that had to do less with the fact that you had a degree and more to do with the fact that we exist on a different wavelength than most folk.

              1. The good thing was that I was an a career field that favored the verbally quick, and one in which writing skill was almost essential. So – I got along OK, professionally.

  11. That’s a leftist stereotype. Yes, despite claiming to hate stereotypes, leftists use a bunch of them themselves (like assuming everyone who is a global warming skeptic must be in the pay of the oil companies).

    Just for the record, I have a Ph.D. in philosophy. Also for the record, I think Mark Steyn is brilliant, even though I think he didn’t even go to college.

    1. Leftists do not hate stereotypes. Leftists do not hate racism, or sexism, or any other “ism” that they claim to hate (well, maybe Facsism, sine there is a stromg streak of self loathing in most Leftists), bacause Leftists are steriotyping, racist, sexist bastards. What they hate is being disagreed-with, because if somebody disagrees with them, they might uave to THINK, and it hurts their widdle heads.

    2. Love him or hate him, Rush Limbaugh did not go to college. You don’t get to be as successful as he is by being an idiot.

      1. I used similar lines when acquaintances used to criticize the 2nd President Bush for being an idiot. I’d start by asking them: “How many types of fighter jets are you certified to fly?” and follow up with: “And what states were you governor of?” Stupid people don’t fly fighter jets, at least not for very long.

        1. Eeeeeh, truly stupid people don’t, but some fighter pilots do a really, really good impression. (No, not W. My first div-o, who really did have a degree in underwater basket weaving, and was horrified to see that I had a re-election stick for W on my car because I “seemed like such a nice girl.” In his defense on that point, I am very quiet until I get to know folks, and he wasn’t on the list.)

        2. “How many types of fighter jets are you certified to fly?”
          I asked that exact question of a woman who suffered from terminal BDS. Her head spun around three times before it finally stopped.

  12. I don’t think it is all that complicated. A lot of people are insecure about their intelligence and get a college degree to reassure themselves that they are “smart.” Those same people latch on to a set of beliefs that are presented as what the “smart” set believes and adopt them without actually considering them critically. My experience as an adult who went back to school to finish a Bachelor degree and then get a Masters is that when a university is claiming to teach critical thinking that is when they are most likely to be engaged in indoctrination.

  13. Cubbyholing should be a tool, not the rule. Also, it works less well for people and better for ideas–though even then I prefer the idea of a pegboard, where you can hang one idea from another as you build out and view patterns, rather than hiding them away in a hole where you can’t see them anymore.

  14. Back in Ye Olde Days (the ’70s, maybe?), I saw a Saturday afternoon movie where two roommates put some milk on to heat and take something to help them sleep. Something Happens (can’t remember what), and they’re found and awakened by a future civilization . . . where a computer chooses people’s jobs for them.

    Since the movie was a comedy, the consequences were more humorous than tragic, with the roommates relegated first to a museum and then to a zoo, and then people around them start to think that perhaps the computer doesn’t make the best choice.

    If anyone knows the title, please chime in.

  15. Hey! What’s wrong about deciding that you’re a Dragon!!! [Evil Dragon Grin]

    1. You didn’t really decide that – you were born that way…so really, its more you’re mom’s fault.

        1. My brother fell out of a top bunk onto concrete floor head first. He always was more successful than me. I think I missed out.

        2. Decisions decisions. Shall I waste a fireball on this Campbell or not? [Wink]

            1. Oh, you want me to throw a fire ball toward you. That means that I won’t. [Evil Dragon Grin]

            2. We set cold records for cold two or three days in a row,with the lowest at my house of -16 yesterday morning, but it got a lot warmer over last night, and now it’s near 30.

                1. In the blizzard of 78, we hit -26 in January, with a wind chill of between -75 and -100. Even though I know there are places that have worse weather, I REALLY don’t want to go through that again.

                    1. Low in the 20s? This last week or so, we’ve had below zero lows with day-time temps only in the teens.

                    2. I’m sure people living on Hoth (or in Wisconsin) would call me a “wimp” if I complained about the cold. [Wink]

                      Note, I’m in East Central Illinois. [Smile]

                1. I think we did that– my parents had a 60 degree day the other day. (Which is not as awesome as you’d think, because they’re calving, and the mud freezes again at night….)

  16. I’ve long held that the dividing line between Left and Right runs through the heart of Plato’s “Republic”.
    If you read the book, and see it as a beautiful utopia, you’re on the Left.
    If you read the book and see a horrifying distopia, you’re on the Right.

    Of course, that measure tends to put Bush and Huckabee on the Left…

  17. The assumptions leftists make about our intelligence is my number one pet peeve. I also earned a STEM degree at the College of William and Mary and nabbed “highest honors” and “summa cum laude” labels in the process. Indeed, I was partway through the admissions process to medical school (took the MCAT and got an extremely competitive score, even) when my health took a hard left turn for the worse. So yes — as Sarah might say, here are my middle fingers.

    1. I was especially PO’d when the meme about Tea Partiers being ignorant hillbilly retards started getting traction among lefty commentators and the newsw*ores … because among the leadership cadre of our local Tea Party was a corporate lawyer, a college professor (she taught accounting) the owner/manager of a small IT company, a retired LAPD captain who had his own small security firm, an AF captain retiree who worked now for the DOD (he has since, sensibly, moved on), a couple of realtors, another woman who had a doctorate in I forget what field, and a PhD who did teach Constitutional law (for real) … well, it all proved George Orwell’s point about the middle class stepping out and taking a leadership position in crisis situations. The supposition on the part of the so-called elite that everyone who doesn’t agree with them must be stupid still makes me grind my teeth.

      1. Celia, I laughed and laughed when I heard that. Mostly because, looked at sideways and squinting, they could be describing *me.* I’m ignorant of many, many things, I are a redneck hilbilly, and I was once put in the “slow” classes in school… But that’s not how they mean it at all.

        When they go after the Tea Party, all their prejudices and hatreds come home to roost. According to them, we’re Nazis, terrorists, race traitors, on the wrong side of history, bigots, violent, unintelligent, uncultured, racists, sexists, and a bunch of other unsavory things. They see folks like me as the kind of people that drag gay people and blacks to death behind out pickups. They pre-judge, and call it anything but prejudice.

        We might think they’re wrong about a lot of things and leading us down a path that will end very, very badly for all of us (them perhaps most of all), but they think we are evil. And folks who think they’re fighting evil can do horrible things and feel good about themselves afterwards, because what could be bad about fighting evil? They put masks over the humanity of others. It’s no wonder they can’t talk to us- we’re not real people to them.

        I fear it will go badly for all of us, for a time. But things *will* change. Misguided as they are, they’re still our brothers and sisters, neighbors and coworkers. We won’t be able to protect them all, or even ourselves… But from adversity comes growth. In that, perhaps there’s hope. I’m not hoping for a collapse, or a steep slide into Troubling Times. Only that things may go that way, and if they do… human beings are adaptable. Some of us, maybe even most, will find a way to survive, and even thrive.

        That’s my hope anyway.

      2. Read that line as “news-orcs.” Now I can’t get that out of my head. That’s one image I’d like to keep, actually.

        And I must admit that I am not a redneck hillbilly. I’m from flat land north of the Mason-Dixon. That makes me a hick. These SJWers never get it right. I feel so excluded.

        1. So they’re orcs, and the only way their disguise works is if they get enough people to believe their b.s.?

        2. “This is Bogtor, the Orc from Glork! Bringing you the news of the dungeon tunnel cave-in, here in the mountains of Montoc. I have one of the dungeon-dwellers here, a Goblin, who made a miraculaous escape!”

          Bogtor: “Hello, sir, what is your name?”

          Goblin(growling): “I don’t give out my Name! Someone might cast a spell on me! Call me Crom.”

          Bogtor: “Well, Crom, can you tell me what happened?”

          Crom: “It was another damn bunch o’ ‘venturers, out to ‘Clean up the dungeon, and make it safe for the town’. Damn (gurgle-spit) groups! Anybody ever think of makin’ it safe for US?”

          Bogtor: “I understand, Crom. I’ve been chased away from places before, at least until I got this news gig. Now, I move around too much for them. So anyway, what events took place here?”

          Crom: “Well, like I told ya, it was a bunch o’ ‘adventurers’, and they was makin’ their way through tunnels, that we dug, so we attacked ’em, like anybody would. But they was tougher’n us, and killed half of our guys ‘fore we even knew what hit us, but we had a ogre with us, and he was beatin’ on ’em pretty good, so this guy pulls a wand. Dunno what it was, but when he set it off, a whole section o’ wall came loose and collapsed on the ogre. Well, I knew that where we were, the tunnel was kinda iffy, an’ I got the hell outta there. Good thing I did, too, ’cause the whole thing came crashing down.”

          Bogtor: “Do you think it killed the adventurers?”

          Crom: “I dunno, man, those guys are slippery, but now look at all the creatures trapped in there! We hafta get a Goblin crew in here and dig ’em out! You got any idea how much the big guy in there is gonna scream when he gets the BILL for that?”

          Bogtor (shudders): “Well, better you than me for that job. Thanks. (turns) And there you have it! Adverturers, just a nuisance, or a credible threat?”

    2. Agreed. SJWs and their assumptions drive me up a wall. I have had a couple of run-ins with overly assumptive Leftist Anal Orifi and they haven’t always gone well… For them. I work every day toward mastering the art of the Oral Ambush and it works pretty well against people who assume that I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

      And please believe me when I tell you that no one who has spent five minutes talking to you would ever consider you as anything less than intelligent.

        1. Umm…wow. I’ve spoken to a few professional football players. Most of them are really smart. But isn’t the stereotype that football players are DUMB? Ummm…. That whole “whiplash” comment? Yeah. That’s me right now.

            1. The same people assume that “soldier” means “stupid”.

              Tactics (even just the individual tactics of an individual soldier or player) require alertness, awareness, and the ability to think on your feet — while someone else is trying to outthink and attack you! That “thinking while opposed” is a mental challenge that most self-declared smart people will never experience.

              I’m not saying all soldiers or all football players are geniuses. But survival favors those who can think, and think fast.

                  1. Well, it doesn’t help that most of what they know just isn’t so. See recent revision of dietary guidelines regarding eggs and butter, for example.

          1. That’s the idea. First time I heard it was the guy I met in my second semester Physics class. After he got to know me, he said that when I walked into class the first day, he was sure I was lost.

            Until I started trading electronics puns with him.

                    1. Given sufficient surface area and proximity, sure! Alternately, we could just hold the ceremony directly, and avoid all the impedance.

  18. I’m still chortling over the implication that if you have a college degree, you’re an SJW. That’s just … special. In a “Bless your heart” sort of way. 😉

    1. Warns you that they’re the sort who either hung around the nasty ones, are the nasty ones, or seem like they’d be the nasty ones.

      Otherwise, they would most likely have talked to folks in college who thought differently than they do, and don’t tell folks because they’re tired of being hassled for it.

  19. I’m not sure if it is predominantly the urge to shove everyone into prelabled boxes that motivates these people, but rather our behaving like cats faced with the vet carrier threatens the cozy worldview that everyone *wants* a box. (We also tend to point and laugh, which is very, very rude and microagressing and privileged and things). Prelabled boxes seem comforting, if you don’t think about it. You sit in the box and know what is expected of people in that box. Until someone decides the box is not specific enough, and splits it in to smaller boxes, and you have to decide which minibox is yours…and you end up with countless one-person microghettos. Wouldn’t it just be easier to say “everybody is different” and have no ghettos at all?

    Part of the appeal seems to be that a prelabled box implies someone else will enforce the rules. All *you* have to do is sit in it, and Benevolent Coercive Forces will magically make everything work without effort on your part. Meanwhile in the real world, you have to actually *say* “no thanks, I don’t like x” when x is offered, and you don’t get to be huffy that the offerer didn’t *know* you don’t like x.

    Choice frightens some people. They want it to all go away, even if it means everyone lives in a cardboard box. When we reject the boxes, we force them to realize we *aren’t* frightened by choice, and refuse to make choice go away. And they lash out in fear, because we made the Bad Thing come back.

    1. “(We also tend to point and laugh, which is very, very rude and microagressing and privileged and things).”
      That sentence made me realize what is wrong with SJWs. They keep getting microagressed and fall-apart over it. I’m tired of microagressing them. It is time they received a macroagression. Once they’ve been macroagressed, perhaps enough sense will have been beaten into them to put a stop to this foolishness.

        1. We have the milliHelen as a unit of beauty sufficient to launch one ship. What should we use as a unit of aggression? A milliCarson, sufficient aggression to cause the death of one innocent? (the DDT ban death toll is around a million, right?)

            1. You’re right about the prefix, no excuse. A microBush would be enough aggression to put one SJW’s panties in a wad?

                    1. You’re right there. Call it 100 million to the Bush, so the quantity to annoy one SJW amounts to ~10 nanoBushes. Wonder what the daily output of this place works out to? Got to be in the microBushes, I would think.

              1. Invalid premise. SJWs come with panties pre-wadded and are merely in search of someone to blame for that condition (being incapable of processing that, if they weren’t shoving their heads up there, the panties wouldn’t be wadded.)

          1. Carson’s death toll has run to about a million/yr since the ban on DDT went into effect. This produces a total count that puts her in third place globally behind only Mao-Tse Tung and Joseph Stalin. And she’s closing in on Stalin.

    2. Fidgets with the fire selector on my CorreiaTech Combat Wombat:
      “Uh, guys. I don’t think this thing does micro-aggression.”

      1. Looks at manual:
        “Try setting it to “Fisk”
        Watches in amused horror as summoned Correiaken devowers bystander:
        “No, no, let’s see…”

        1. That’s because you’re not using the barrel insert to fire reduced power loads. Also, incendiary rounds don’t exactly scale down– that’s one innocent hill that won’t be growing back for a while…

  20. HUH? I am a Navy-trained electronics tech (my training was equivalent to two years in normal college years). Plus I have an English Lit degree. I don’t feel the need to be educated (propagandized) any further … thank you very much. Strange ideas from the left… some of the more intelligent people I know (my late-hubby) never had a degree, but taught electronics in the military and college level.

    1. When I went into the Air Force, the AF was experimenting in the field I was in with an “intensive English Grammar course”, not to make us better at using English but so that we would be familiar with grammatical terms and what they mean before going on to foreign language training.

      They had a “pre-test” before they started the course. On that pretest I tied with one other person for second highest score. The person who had the highest (all of three points ahead of me) had a Master’s in English.

      After six weeks in the course, I don’t think anybody got a lower score on the post-test than that person with the Master’s degree had on the pre-test.

      This leads me to two conclusions:
      – College, at least in some fields, is more about “endurance” than about how smart/knowledgeable you are.
      – All the “technical” knowledge of English in the world doesn’t make you a “good writer”. 😉

        1. Cool. I used to be an Army CTT way back when. A and C schools in Pensacola. Good times. Stupid “Peace Dividend” draw-down kept me from going back as an instructor.

  21. Yesterday I didn’t watch – but Dan was watching in the family room while I cooked – this movie where people got assigned a “role” and a station in adolescence. (That the authors thought there were only five and one was “thinker” was kind of funny. And sad. But mostly funny.)

    Reminds me of Plato’s “Republic” (and as an aside I find it amusing how the word “Republic” has morphed since Plato’s use to today) where people would be assigned roles and, of course, the ruling class were people like, well, Plato.

    History shows us no end of societies where “this is your role” is established for each individual whether imposed by a tyrant or simply the way the culture is–where it’s unthinkable that one not go into ones father’s trade and besides there’s no mechanism for going into another trade.

    None of them are places I’d like to live.

    1. as an aside I find it amusing how the word “Republic” has morphed since Plato’s use to today

      Surely you know that Plato never used the word ‘republic’. The Greek title was politeia, which merely means ‘a system of government’ (any system of government).

      Meanwhile, several hundred miles to the west of Athens, a small city-state of what Plato would have called barbarians had already evolved a genuine republican government, from which he could have learnt a good deal if he had ever heard of them. They sensibly and unpretentiously called their government res publica, ‘the public thing’, and used it in a way not greatly different from how republic is used now.

      It is a pure historical accident that the word republic came to be attached to Plato’s panegyric on tyranny.

  22. You know, something just struck me as interesting that I thought you all would get a kick out of as well.

    These people saying this are the same folks who will claim to be anti-ableist, right?

    Well, the primary reason I don’t have a college degree is my pretty severe case of ADHD. That’s a disability. It’s covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act even.

    Now, when they make comments about a lack of a degree, aren’t they just flaunting their able privilege?

        1. Also see the “no vaccines because AUTISM” crowd. They’re trying to pin that one on the “uneducated Republicans” but even The Daily Show has noted that such rhetoric comes most often from the well-off liberal in Marin.

          According to this rhetoric, they’d rather see a child die from a vaccine-preventable disease than fall prey to the utterly disproven link between vaccines and autism. Speaking of ableist*.

          We won’t even talk about “don’t you use that hurtful word for people with disabilities/why didn’t you abort when you found out your child wasn’t perfect.” There’s a reason for the term “lip service.”

          *I know several adults on the spectrum who are, shall we say, incensed at being cast as the boogeyman in that little drama.

          1. Good point.

            The truth is, there are plenty of people on the autism spectrum that are outright brilliant and if a vaccine caused that-which it doesn’t-we would be poorer as a people.

            1. Husband and I spent some time yesterday trying to draw a line between “brilliant genius” and “autistic.” He proposed the theory that autism is OCD of thinking– or OCD is a subgroup of autism– and between Einstein and knowing too many nukes, we really couldn’t figure out a solid line. Even being unable to explain what you mean isn’t it, and how can we tell the folks who are so autistic they can’t communicate with anybody at all aren’t just stuck with that to the extreme? Folks like the relatives of folks here, who can’t live on their own and function at a child level? One phrase: Einstein’s shoes.

              We ended up deciding that it was more like… a variable that everybody has. You can have almost none (really flighty folks) or too much (absent minded professor) without it being harmful to normal function in society.

              1. There is also the question of whether autism is like cancer, potentially not one thing but many different things that look similar.

                1. I usually describe the spectrum thusly:

                  Everybody has filters in their heads that tell them what’s important. You know, moving car, could be dangerous, that’s important. Moving leaves, less important. Gentle breeze, safe to ignore for the moment.

                  When you’re autistic, those filters are broken, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. It’s much like being at a crowded party with everybody talking and the music turned up high, and trying to have a conversation with someone who has laryngitis. How each person reacts to this is going to depend on their own personality.

                  And for people on the far end, it’s like a constant assault of the senses, acid on raw nerves all the time. No wonder they have trouble communicating or functioning.

          2. Listening to the news is funny– usually they use the wiggle-room where they treat anybody who has a waiver for any vaccine as “unvaccinated” for the stats. (only rarely will they mention if they’re personal opposition ones) This includes if they have less than the required number of doses as of time of recording– my eldest was that, because we scheduled her appointment for the day before her birthday, which put her less than 24 hours outside of the allowable time-gap between the prior dose and the current one. Some folks also space them out more.

            There’s a school in the Seattle area that has only 35% of the student population with any of the required vaccines.

            I don’t think there’s enough hard right folks who sleep inside of the area at night to get that high a percent if it wasn’t a lefty thing……

  23. To my unending shame, my degree is in secondary education. In partial extirpation I offer that the subject area is chemistry and physics. I did that for six years, and then left the school district for a career in software development (thirty years ago now) when I had a conflict that I’ll be happy to share in private.

    1. Well, mine is in physics, but since I don’t work as one – and have forgotten a good bit of it – I don’t call myself one.

  24. *waves hand* Ooh, ooh, I don’t have a degree!

    Now, I did work for the Navy that results in any accredited school in the USA instantly granting me over seventy semester credits (45 college level quarter credits are required to homeschool in Washington state) plus actual experience in what I did, and the additional personal improvement classes I did which I haven’t submitted to the military transcript center.

    But no, I don’t have even an AA. Saving my education credits for when I can maximize the amount of education I can get out of them, and finishing a degree would end them.
    Husband’s in a similar situation, but in addition to the credits-from-while-in-service, he was a few hours short of a computer degree before he joined.

      1. You can get it for time-in-rate (it’s like lab experience!)– I can’t remember what the site is, but it’s worth grabbing it just to fill up the annoying required extra classes.

          1. I don’t especially want an electronics degree, but it’s science credits.

            The funniest one is that we get some history credits for boot camp. 😀

            1. yep, if i hadn’t been puleld from training three weeks before finishing a 39-week course, i’d have 3 hours electronics, 3 hours microwave maintanance, etc… and 2 hours phys ed credits from basic lolol

  25. On the left intelligence itself is considered a virtue and a prerequisite for all other virtues . Therefore, by signaling your intelligence you are signaling your virtue. People who disagree with them are not virtuous, signifying that they cannot be intelligent.

  26. “It is a lust I’ve noticed among the people on the left, in the last oh, ten years. ”

    ‘God bless the Squire and all his Relations, and keep us in our Proper Stations’

    It ain’t new. There has always been a segment of society that wanted to segregate people according to something like a caste system. There has always been a segment of society that wanted to be so segregated, even if they weren’t on top. The better societies learn to resist the urge.

  27. There is a meme WEB Griffin uses regularly in his books that goes:
    You judge a person’s intelligence by how closely their ideas agree with yours.
    In context it is intended as sarcasm, to point out a natural tendency of anyone to favor others who support your own beliefs, but for the SJW and the progressive left in general it apparently has the force of a natural law.

    As for education, I hold a BS with dual concentrations in Systems and Industrial engineering earned in my early 30s after fifteen years working blue collar jobs. I then got my new employer, NASA, to pay for a masters in Operations Research.
    I used to belong to Mensa, and, one of my proudest accomplishments, hold a master welder certification from the American Association of Railroads.

    1. Last I heard Doc Travis was up to something like six or eight assorted BS, MS, and PhD degrees. I think they all came from some mail order house in Cleveland, the same place that we all get our story ideas.

      1. Yeah, but on Rocket City Rednecks, he talks about his best friend Roger as one of the smartest people he knows and he didn’t go to college after high school. And Roger holds his own as a member of the cast.

        1. Shush you!
          You know you can be shunned for giving away club secrets.
          By the way, my five year membership runs out next month and I will not be renewing. Organization has gotten way to lib/prog for my tastes.

          1. Oh, no! Not SHUNNING!

            I’ve reached a stage in life where shunning amuses me. It’s a sign of the weakness and fear of the shunners. They’re so afraid that they or others might get contaminated and — gasp! — THINK FOR THEMSELVES that they have to pretend you’re not there.

        1. Doc Taylor* did WHAT?! That makes absolutely no sense at all. Why in the world would someone who lives in Huntsville go to Hooter’s for wings when Beauregards is like 10^3 times better? Completely unrealistic.

          *no relation, btw

            1. IIRC actually no. The early editions of that book have the Main Characters eating at Hooters (likely because Doc Taylor likes the place) but Hooters insisted that the later editions not mention their name.

              1. Book? Which one? I assumed it was a Rocket City Rednecks episode. (I’ve only seen season 1 so far.)

                1. I was thinking of the book _Von Neumann’s War_ which Doc Taylor co-wrote with John Ringo. On the other hand, the latest copy of the ebook mentions Hooters.

              2. Or maybe I’m “all wet”. I checked my *newest* copy of the e-book and Hooters is mentioned. [Embarrassed Smile]

                1. No, as I recall they did kick up a fuss, but then someone pointed out to them that is was free advertising, so they backed off.
                  As to picking Hooters in the first place, #1 it’s a popular spot on University drive that catches both college kids and Redstone Arsenal workers. #2 It’s a recognized chain nationwide. I will agree that Beauregards wings are better, but it’s all about what works best in the story.

          1. Maybe because the waitresses at Hooters were prettier? Didn’t sound like he and his friends were going to Hooters for the wings.

  28. Anyone who’s worked retail in a college town could tell you that degree != education or intelligence. The number of PhDs and other highly “educated” people that came through my store and left me wondering how they manage to remember to breathe each day was staggering.

    1. I worked as a multilingual secretary in a chemical firm, filled with genius level chemists. If you needed to extricate someone from a computer apparently eating him, you could lay bets (and win) his IQ was north of 160.

      1. Oh, you just triggered a precious memory. The one time I wished I had a cellphone that recorded movies…watching a hardcore computer geek (from a Certain Very Large Company) trying to assemble a camping tent–that he had just bought that day–for the very first time. The tent was winning. It looked like the Giant Blancmange from Monty Python in attack mode. You would occasionally see a flailing limb emerge from the pile of ripstop nylon. I did *not* laugh, but my expression of utter becrogglement caused one of the other people at the campsite to stifle his giggles in his bedroll… It was worth the trip, just for that. (He did manage to get the tent set up before midnight and the arrival of the Dire Wolves.)

  29. Heinlein wrote a wonderful essay about how to get a Ph.D. without actually knowing anything or doing any real work. From other things he wrote, I have the impression that one of his friends actually did what his essay describes. So it is clear that the possession of a degree doesn’t mean the owner is smart, nor does the converse hold. There are plenty of modern and not so modern wizards one can point to in order to prove that last point.
    What’s going on with this “you’re not like me so you’re not smart and don’t have a degree” reasoning is bigotry. It’s very prevalent among victim disarmers (“gun controllers” [sic]) who quite consistently describe anyone who insists on the 2nd amendment as a stupid white male southern hick with a small p****. Quite apart from the fact that not one of those descriptions is accurate, the other hilarious part about claims like this is that they are quite often made in illiterate syntax and spelling.
    The same sort of thing can be encountered by anyone who doesn’t hold with socialist politics in all its ugly manifestations.

    1. One of my aunts did something along the lines of the Heinlein essay to “earn” her Ph.D. in Education. She needed the degree for further advancement in her position as a (then) Assistant Principal; with the degree she became promotable to Principal in the school district that employed her. (She’s now retired). So her professional requirement was actually to check the Ph.D. in Education box.

      She claims that the only useful part of her return to Grad School for that Ph.D. were the courses she took in the **Psych** department on childhood mental development and how it affects learning and teaching. Those courses were based on actual research and testing and like… science (and stuff)! Needless to say, they were strictly extra and didn’t count for any credit over in the education school. They also contained clear refutation of the truly outdated theories on which the Ed. School classes were based. She claims to have “gotten away with” taking those psych courses mainly by carefully failing to mention them to any of the Ed. School folks.

      Meanwhile, her dissertation was an exercise in regurgitating the stuff taught in the ed school, while being certain to include approving citation of the work of the faculty on her thesis committee. Sigh.

      But at least she made sure to get some actual value out of the experience, even though it was essentially by “bootlegging” classes in a different part of the University.

      1. Three additional thoughts:

        * No, I don’t recall any details about which specific theories were used in the Ed. school and considered to be fully refuted by the Psych. folks. That conversation was too many years ago, and I’ve long forgetten the details.

        * She didn’t assert that the Psych research was necessarilly *correct*. Rather, she said that it had a reasonable scientific leg to stand on, including carefully designed studies, solid data, and sound use of statistics, all of which put it miles ahead of anything her Ed. School classes covered. None of that guarantees correctness, of course; even apparently strong psych findings get overturned fairly often. That said, the relative *lack* of rigor over in the Ed. School suggests that what they teach is far less reliable and relatively more likely to be bogus.

        * No, I don’t plan to name the University in question, nor the school disctrict, nor the aunt.

    2. True story: The historian Walter Prescott Webb was the last professor at U of Texas without a PhD. He didn’t need one. Except the state legislature (which only meets every other year for a reason) decided that to keep up with other states, all faculty needed PhDs. Soooo, the department cornered him, asked him questions about the manuscript of _The Texas Rangers_, said “sign here and here,” and pretty much awarded him a PhD. The book had been written toward a degree that he never finished, so they waved their hands over it, declared it a dissertation, and everyone went home happy.

  30. Maybe it’s just the dealing-with-small-children talking, but… I think some of the appeal of “everybody gets assigned” is an attempt to reverse-engineer the thing that was destroyed by throwing a fit about setting limits on your own kids, or pretty much any guidance that they resented.*

    Removing it didn’t make it so that guidance wasn’t needed, it just meant that the most ignorant or biased folks possible were the only ones giving it. So it sucked, and really hurt a lot of folks. Bad advice does that.
    So the wish is for someone with perfect knowledge to tell them– it’s an inside out desire for great** advice, a place to belong, etc.

    The desire– or flat-out assumption– of perfect knowledge is pretty worryingly common.

    *I notice it’s seldom what is actually said that’s offensive, it’s the meaning it represents that’s offensive. So whatever word is used for folks who do not develop mental abilities in a standard way will become offensive, if it’s retarded, mentally handicapped, differently abled, or whatever. So the pointed-at problem isn’t that you can’t draw a stickman, it’s that someone told you that would prevent you from becoming an awesome artist.

    ** Bad advice: it tells you the wrong thing, either as goal or method.
    Good advice: it tells you the right thing, but lacks in some areas
    Great advice: it tells you the right thing and is solid on how and where to go.
    Bad advice: trust everybody else to do the work of keeping you safe, do whatever you want.
    Good advice: be safe.
    Great advice: pay attention to the flow of traffic, use safety devices reasonably, schedule away from high-risk driving situations when possible, have insurance.

    1. *I notice it’s seldom what is actually said that’s offensive, it’s the meaning it represents that’s offensive. So whatever word is used for folks who do not develop mental abilities in a standard way will become offensive, if it’s retarded, mentally handicapped, differently abled, or whatever. So the pointed-at problem isn’t that you can’t draw a stickman, it’s that someone told you that would prevent you from becoming an awesome artist.

      The word/phrase becomes associated with the hated group and acquires a stigma. That much you’re right about. Unless you’re talking to a leftist linguist, who would tell you that people are hated on as a result of the language they’re associated with.

  31. I see this “education” thing pretty constantly among the Lefties. Sarah is correct about them loving cubbyholes, and being aghast that we all seem determined to climb out of ours. Speaking as a square peg here, many hammers have been broken trying to beat me into those round holes. Round-hole loving Lefties are my natural enemies.

    However I doubt that’s what drives the “you don’t have a degree” thing. That’s more pure snobbery, of the “no -educated- person could possibly disagree with my highly educated opinion” type.

    Also evidence that the snob doesn’t get out much, and is a 100% hot house flower.

  32. I think maybe it’s the ‘All things European are wonderful and enlightened’ idea they have going on. Europeans start slotting people into cubbyholes awfully early on, I remember my cousin in Germany stressing about it when her daughter was 11 or so.
    And then my husband, who moved from an American system to a European system in high school, they decided because he hadn’t been tracked in science earlier he couldn’t go sciences and could never be a doctor. (By the time he got to the USA he felt that was too many years more of study, since he had none of the background for med school.)
    I do wonder how our SJW are going to ever cope with the nationalist movements rise in Europe, patriotism being anathema to them but all things European being sacred.

    1. Indeed. I’m an immigrant from Holland, came here after high school. The school system there is set up on the assumption that you decide around 11 whether you’re going to be a carpenter, a secretary, or a Ph.D. Depending on the answer, you go to one of a number of different types of high school (unlike the USA where there is only one type). And pretty much at that point your path is set. It’s possible to change direction later, but it’s hard and very time consuming.
      The other thing is social stratification: the notion that the child of a craftsman should not aspire to be other than a craftsman is still alive and well. Not universal, but the “you can be whatever you make yourself to be” US spirit is, at best, rather rare.

    2. Only those things they can use as clubs. Pointing out that Europe spends less on medicine is fine; on education, not so fine.

  33. For a few decades since Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, the biggest innovators and most successful businessmen have used academia at most as a jumping-off point. One friend of mine left a PhD CS program at Stanford to become employee #12 (or so) at Adobe, where he helped develop the PDF. He did quite well. Note how frequently the people who wrap themselves in degrees are comparatively speaking less successful than they might have been had they just created their own work.

    And then you have these same people–not uniformly, but mostly–believing they are owed a sinecure. “I jumped through hoops! I was Good! I did what they asked me to!” becomes “and therefore, society owes me.” They think education should be free–that hardworking blue-collar and business sorts should be taxed into the ground so that their kind can enjoy an easy life pursuing Good. In their mind, we can all do well by entering universities and staying there for the rest of our lives. It’s as if the monasteries and convents were able to grow without limit and tax the rest of the people for God’s Work.

    Interesting that the most-degreed can have the least common sense, and the least understanding of how the world works and what motivates people to create useful things that help the world progress. Now there are people in academia who pursue knowledge and also have a good understanding of why that isn’t rewarded like starting a tech company is, but they are becoming rare as the system reproduces its own monocultural kind.

    1. Reminds me of when the tree huggers were trying to ban diesel fuel in California. They had brought in a “PHD” as their spokesman to the hearing, to prove that diesel was bad.
      When asked what trains ran on, he responded, “I know what trains run on! Trains run on steam!”
      Yeah, college education was not make one automatically smart.

  34. I also have a degree, (little good it does me in the present economy). I will forever be grateful for the college I went to, BYU-Idaho.
    As a church college, I was able to avoid a lot of liberal leaning shennanigans, but it was more than that.
    That college is unique in that the majority of the professors are required to have spent several years working in the field that they teach. My education teachers, (I was studying to be an English teacher) had actually taught in middle/high school. One had even worked his way up to being principal before leaving to teach in college.
    I took one sewing class, for my own enjoyment. The instructor had been a designer in the clothing industry for more than a decade before leaving to teach.
    They won’t hire someone just because they have a PHD, but because they can prove they have years of experience in the field.
    I really feel like my education was worth the money.

    1. Are you still in the neighborhood? I have their radio station programed on 1. Still call it Ricks, though, having grown up here.

      1. I actually moved away, then moved back. So yeah, I still listen to it on the way to/from work.

        1. I am in Poky. I think there are a couple other southeast Idahoans around here: we may need to arrange a group met-up sometime.
          I went up to UI for college and eventually came back.

    2. Instapundit linked Megan McArdle the other day:

      Another possibility is that “Undergraduates are central to our mission” is a kind of polite public fiction within the university community, the sort of thing that everyone believes ought to be true but often isn’t, like “America is a great melting pot.” And I think there is some evidence of that. Consider, for example, the way faculty are hired and retained.

      One of my favorite professors at the University of Pennsylvania, a truly gifted and amazing teacher, failed to get tenure the year I was a senior. After a grassroots campaign by his adoring students, the department reconsidered and gave him an extra year, after which he again failed to get tenure, and he went off to the West. I eventually got to ask someone else in the department why he’d been let go, and the answer was simple: His scholarly work was not impressive enough. So arguably the best and most beloved teacher in the department, the one whose class I have carried with me lo these 20 years and more, wasn’t good enough to teach undergraduates at Penn because he wasn’t publishing enough groundbreaking research.

      Does that sound like an institution where educating undergraduates is central to the mission? Not really. Or at least: It is not central to the mission of the faculty, because if it were central, it would carry more weight in deciding who to hire and retain. Most of the professors I know who are trying to get tenure seem to spend a lot of time worrying about getting enough publications in the right journals, and comparatively little time worrying about whether their teaching skills are good enough to get them that golden ticket.

      Compared to other institutions, university departments barely attempt to evaluate a professor’s skill at educating undergraduates — they do not, for example, spend much time supervising classrooms or trying to figure out how much the undergraduates have learned. Yes, they often look at student evaluations, but those are arguably better for measuring whether the teacher is good-looking or an easy grader than they are at measuring whether the students are, y’know, being educated.

      So to people outside, teaching undergraduates seems like a nice thing that the faculty would like to do, or at least persuade someone else to do, rather than an overriding priority. Individual professors may consider this central to their own mission, but the faculty as a body don’t seem to focus on it much.

      In another link he commented:

      There’s too much magical thinking. “The belief in credentials over competence has profoundly failed America over the past few years, costing us an ocean of money and inflicting terrific damage upon the fabric of our society.” Yes. But, as I keep saying, our political class values credentials over competence because they are better provided with the former than with the latter.

  35. Spent three years in college, but got no degree, so I had to learn enough rocket science on my own to be able to write the computer program to determine the payload advantage of launching a rocket from a rail into the mountains (before starting the engines)* at various exit velocities to low orbit for the WIP.

    But I can’t get some jobs in CS because I don’t have a degree.

    *Turns out that even a mach 3 boost gives a sizable advantage. I was impressed.

    1. Alas, there was a day and age when you could just prove your competence and get hired.
      But now, the guys doing the hiring don’t know anything about the actual job. All they know is what education is expected.
      Rarely is the person in charge of the hiring process actually familiar with the work involved.

  36. And they’re not even very smart about the experience they expect. In the computer programming field, there are countless examples of them requiring 5 to 10 years experience with a programming language that is 2 to 3 years old. Even if they hire the people who created the language, they’re not going to get 10 years.

    1. Yes, but the “10 year experience in a 3 year old langauge” stuff is pretty much all from HR – they are the ones who count coup and gain prestige by excluding otherwise qualified applicants from the set of resumes forwarded to the hiring manager.

      1. There can be a reason for it– if the system is set up so that X number of the “requirements” are automatically waivable, then you put in that number of “requirements” that are impossible in addition to what you really, actually need.

        1. And meanwhile, you rule out people like me. I won’t apply for a job unless I meet all the stated requirements. If the requirements are stated and not actually required, then I am being trolled, and I prefer not to work for obvious trolls.

          In a similar vein, back in the days when I was young and foolish and sent manuscripts to publishers, if a publisher said ‘No unagented submissions’, I did not send anything there. If they meant it, they would not read my submission, let alone buy it, and if they did not mean it, they were liars, and could not be trusted to honour their contracts.

      2. We have that problem at my current dept. Whoever wrote the requirements didn’t either didn’t think about them or is really convinced college is everything. A bachelors in Criminal Justice counts for more than 20 years experience on the street. And 20 years experience is counted the same as 20 minutes. We’ve historically had trouble with turnover, but in the past it was mostly due to low pay. Now that the pay has caught up we can’t get people without experience through training, and we can’t get people with experience until washing out a couple of newbies. 25 people in the dept and we’re going through an average of 3 people year.

    2. The reason they set up the requirements that way is so there will be no US applicants “qualified” and then they can turn to the bureaucrats and say “We advertised for the position and no one could meet the qualifications. We need to bring in another H1B hire (for lower wages).”

      1. The reason they set up the requirements that way is so there will be no US applicants “qualified”…

        If that were true, it would happen only in the U.S. Since it happens in other countries, U.S. regulatory BS is clearly not the reason.

        1. Really don’t care how or why they do it in other countries; all I care about is we have laws to encourage it.

          1. Then you don’t care about the truth. You just want to spew your ignorant theories about why it is done, and don’t want to hear about the real reasons. Suit yourself, but don’t expect me to take anything you say seriously ever again.


            1. Why should he care why companies in other countries do the same thing, other than for pure curiosity reasons? He was giving a reason that companies in the US do it. If they do it in Canada, it’s highly unlikely that they are trying to keep out US candidates in particular, and the conditions that may cause it there could be wildly different than in the US. But it doesn’t impact him, so it’s not a priority. Sheesh.

              1. Because Ockham’s Razor says that if you propound a US specific reason for things that happen all over the world, you are probably wrong. It is much more likely that they spring from a common cause than that each country has its own particular one.

                Mind you, copycat laws might be the reason.

                1. Thank you.

                  However, I can assure you that copycat laws have little to do with the matter. Just this afternoon, in a conversation with a friend, I was informed of a very frequent reason why jobs are listed with impossible requirements, and it has nothing to do with the immigration laws of the U.S. or of any other nation. However, I had better not tell you what that reason is, because snelson134 has decreed that there can be no other reason and he doesn’t want to hear it. We all know it is a crime to post information on the Internet when snelson134 has decreed that he does not want it.

                    1. Sorry, I’ve been ordered not to tell. And the person who gave the order said that there is ONLY ONE REASON, so you have no business to be talking about ‘reasons’ in the plural.

                      By the way, I don’t care passionately for any of the reasons, since it is not my fight. I’m just annoyed by bad logic, and rather angry at being called names when I point it out.

                      Anyway, if there are plural reasons why this is done in the U.S., and you already know them, then I won’t be telling you anything new, because all the reasons I am aware of why this is done in other countries also apply in the U.S.

                    2. The two reasons it’s done in the US is to hire foreigners AND to hire someone in-company. Or at least those were the two reasons it was done in the nineties.
                      Other than the fact it annoys me, don’t care. Never had an hankering for corporate employment.

                    3. No, you haven’t been “ordered not to tell”, you’re being a contrary jackass just because ONE person said she didn’t care about the reason for somewhere other than the US.

                    4. So, let me get this straight.

                      You KNOW the real reason, something that’s different from the experiences of several of us here. You know it so much that you’re telling everyone who disagrees with you that they’re full of it, including our hostess.

                      Yet, when you’re asked to back it up, you say you were “ordered” not to say anything? I’m sorry, but that’s a little convenient.

                      Friendly tip: If you’re going to jump into it like that, you’d better be willing to back it up with something more than “Nah nah, I know more than you do!!!!” All it’s going to do is piss a whole lot of people off.

                    5. The two reasons it’s done in the US is to hire foreigners AND to hire someone in-company. Or at least those were the two reasons it was done in the nineties.

                      Right. Now explain to me why you’re on the side of the person who said there is ONLY ONE reason why it is done, and was incensed that someone should suggest a doubleplusungood crimethinkful idea such as that there could be any other reason.

                      No, you haven’t been “ordered not to tell”, you’re being a contrary jackass just because ONE person said she didn’t care about the reason for somewhere other than the US.

                      Thank you very much for the compliment. And thank you very much for taking the side of a Know-Nothing.

                      You KNOW the real reason, something that’s different from the experiences of several of us here. You know it so much that you’re telling everyone who disagrees with you that they’re full of it, including our hostess.

                      No, dead wrong.

                      I KNOW that there is MORE THAN ONE REASON. I know it so much that I am telling everyone who says THERE IS ONLY ONE REASON that they are wrong, because I know of ANOTHER REASON. I said nothing for or against the reason that was offered, I only said IT IS NOT THE ONLY REASON.

                      When did everyone on this blog become completely flipping incapable of doing elementary dumbass logic?

                      Yet, when you’re asked to back it up, you say you were “ordered” not to say anything? I’m sorry, but that’s a little convenient.

                      Hey, I was told not to tell because I’m a fucking foreigner and nothing I can possibly say can ever have any relevance to Real Red-Blooded 100% Grade A Americans like yourselves. Well, I guess that put me in my place. Only you don’t get to tell me to shut up and THEN criticize me for not talking.

                      Friendly tip: If you’re going to jump into it like that, you’d better be willing to back it up with something more than “Nah nah, I know more than you do!!!!” All it’s going to do is piss a whole lot of people off.

                      Don’t lie. There’s nothing friendly about it. I called out one of your precious Huns or Hoydens over an obvious and elementary failure of logic, and you all jumped on my arse because of it. Everyone took the side of the person who was obviously wrong. Well, I’m sorry that I’m not good enough to be a member of your glorious fucking tribe. If I say 2+2=4, will I be wrong about that too?

                      The one thing that I hate most in the world is being told that Person X can make a statement of neutral fact and be right, and Person Y can make the exact same statement of fact and be not only wrong but deserving of ridicule and ostracism for it. Well, in this case Sarah is Person X and I am Person Y. It stinks to high heaven, and I say to hell with it.

                    6. “Don’t lie. There’s nothing friendly about it.”

                      Actually, it was a friendly tip.

                      But no, you’d rather call me a liar. Fine. Whatever floats your boat.

                      I think you’re full of it. I know politicians less full of it than you are. I don’t give a damn about whatever run in you had with anyone else here. What I see is a jackass who stepped in it, used a cop out because he can’t back up a damn think he’s run his mouth on, and then tries to act like he’s the injured party.

                      Tell you what, Tom. Grow up. You’re far to old to act like my three year old.

                    1. I said it was not THE reason. Which means that there is MORE THAN ONE reason. I was objecting to the definite article.

                      However, I’m not going to teach you to read. That’s not my job, any more than it is my job to tell you the difference between Apex magazine and Abyss and Apex. (I’m on the staff of the latter. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that, since you all seem to think it’s OK to go into random rabid attack weasel mode against A&A over a story that we did not publish.)

              2. Why should he care why companies in other countries do the same thing, other than for pure curiosity reasons?

                Because they don’t have a separate set of reasons for every country. The reasons why it is done in other countries also apply to the U.S.

                He was giving a reason that companies in the US do it.

                No, he was giving THE ONLY SOLE EXCLUSIVE AND THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!!! reason why companies in the U.S. do it. And he gets in high dudgeon if anybody points out to him that there may be other reasons, and he does not want anybody to pollute his pristine intellect by telling him what those reasons might be. He has his conspiracy theory, and that is the only theory he wants.

                But it doesn’t impact him, so it’s not a priority.

                If people are doing these things for the same reasons in the U.S. (and they are, I assure you), then it does impact him.


                Sheesh yourself.

              1. As long as you are content with your own ignorance.

                However, it would be a pity if you were permitted to inflict your ignorance on others, by persuading them that you are right and compelling persons who know better to shut up and not give their evidence.

              1. You can stop screeching at me whenever you like. You’ve made it perfectly clear to me that as a detested Non-American, I am not welcome here. My mistake for ever coming here in the first place. I didn’t know I was in a weird-arse topsy-turvy world where truth and falsehood were determined by citizenship.

                  1. Well, I think this “argument” is showing that both sides are Idiots. Please take it elsewhere. Note: I’m not a moderator here, just an annoyed bystander.

                1. Well, my longer reply was eaten.

                  To sum up: No, even though I am still mad at being charged $8 for a Molsen Export in Montreal five years ago, I don’t give a shit that you are Canadian. I still recommend Canadians as pets to those who can give them a good home. But avoid French-Canadians as they have a reputation for biting the hand that feeds them.

                2. Oh, are you non-American? You don’t look it. Several commenters here are posting from elsewhere — Pohj & Shadow come to mind — and I’ve never seen anybody disagree with them over that.

                  Maybe it isn’t your nationality near so much as your personality, taking offense and getting huffy over triviality.

                  I admit it doesn’t encourage me to look into Abyss and Apex, not that I had much interest in the first place. Getting so warped over what was an admitted memory flaw, graciously apologized for, suggests a lack of judiciousness in at least one member of the staff.

  37. Pigeon holes, cubby holes, stereotypes, bovine feces, whatever…

    I’ve dealt with way too much pigeon holing in my time. Whether it’s “He’s a nerd, he’s too scared to fight back,” or “You can’t listen to that music, you’re white.” It happens all the time. People who try to pigeon hole me usually end up looking dumb. A couple of decades ago, a couple of them ended up with badly swollen faces and in one case a broken orbital bone, but hey, I was under eighteen at the time, so it’s all good, right?

    But the truly annoying part of cubby-holing is when I have met leftists who recognized me as being intelligent and insisted on assuming that what I thought went with what they thought REGARDLESS of what I had stated previously. Seriously.

    I had a conversation with a gentleman named Sam once. Sam was very “enlightened.” He had heard me mention a few things about being a rightist and inquired as to whether I would vote for Al Sharpton. Really. See, Al Sharpton is a Christian, or at least claims to be. And I was a rightist and therefore a Christian and wouldn’t he make a good candidate?


    Yeah, my reaction was pretty much unprintable. So he asked me if there were any black candidates I would support for president. Sure. Allen West, Thomas Sowell, Ben Carson….

    His look was epic. “BUT THOSE ARE CONSERVATIVES.”

    My reply: SO AM I.

    It’s been awhile since this occurred. I’m still not sure if he’s figured out the logic yet.

  38. My Father’s specialty was the natural philosophers of 18th Century England. At the time, the Anglican Church was The Orthodoxy; if you were not willing to publicly declare as an Anglican you could not go to University, or hold certain jobs.

    A substantial proportion of the great minds of the day were Dissenters. The Orthodoxy was made up largely of intellectual mediocrities.

    What we have now is much the same thing, masked by the Left’s reluctance to admit that so many of their fondly held belief systems are basically religious in nature. Holding a college degree is a mark of not being a dissenter. It means that you have bowed down in the house of Rimmon. You have been entered into the Lodge. But they are hampered, again, by not being able to come right out and say that only certain College Degrees are really The Right Thing. Hard Sciences don’t count (they are working on it, but science is hard on orthodoxies). Engineering disciplines that still involve actually making stuff that has to work don’t really count.

    The Bastions of the Orthodoxy are the disciplines that have been corrupted into total derangement, or which were totally deranged to begin with. And as The Orthodoxy deviates further and further from observable reality, the people who are educated within it are less and less usefully employable.

    in the meantime, colleges that have not succumbed to the rot begin to pull ahead in terms of actual demand. Is Bob Jones University a hotbed of Fundamentalist Christianity? Sure, but if they teach History that is closer to reality than the History taught at, say, Yale, then in time Bob Jones University will have a better reputation.

    Naturally the Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressives HATE this.

    They also hate and fear autodidacts; we read too goddamned much, and think about it afterwards.

    If you remember at all times that when they ask if you have a degree, what they mean is “Have you pledged yourself to The Orthodoxy?”, and that the only thing preventing them from doing so is their insistence that they re not religious (which allows them to persecute people for expressing OTHER religious views), much of their silliness makes sense.

    1. “They also hate and fear autodidacts; we read too goddamned much, and think about it afterwards.” Because they didn’t have the chance to tell us what to think about it before we read it. And now, well, they’re Too Late.

    2. Honestly, when it comes to history, I identify as an autodidact. (I have a degree, but a BA in English, but when it was worth something) Now and again, because of my own novels, I have had encounters with people whose credentials are much more impressive … but I’ve always managed to hold my own, and never felt particularly at a disadvantage. Odd, that … or maybe because I am another Odd.

      1. Look; before the Liberal Intellectual Radical Prohressives took over academia, it was basically the habitation of scholars. Scholars ARE autodidacts. Professors USED to be autodidacts who have published.

        A degree in the Humanities qualifies you to study for the next degree. And damn all else.

        Now, the LIRPs,have screwed that up. They have made a degree a union card for employment just about anywhere. Fortunately this is beginning to break down, as businesses begin to realize that a degree in comparative literature no longer qualifies you to do anything, not even a really difficult crossword. It will take a while to sort out, and in the end we may have some peculiar (to us, anyway) side effects, like eespected scholars coming from Bob Jones, but it will eventually come out in the wash.

        1. We went through the same thing with the MBA craze of the Reagan years. We got over it faster because businesses have to adapt to market realities and can’t afford to institutionalize incompetence and stupidity.

          With most universities today, the latter is sort of the whole point.

      2. One World Fantasy I came in late to find I was the only non Phd in the obligatory Shakespeare panel. I then quickly realized I was also the best educated on Shakespeare there. I proceeded to wipe the floor with them, and the audience surrounded me afterwards. It would only have been better if they’d carried me on shoulders, but given my weight and the muscles of the average fan, well…

        1. Yeah, that might not have ended well.

          I gained lasting fame (?) in the department at Flat State when the prof I was assisting and I were walking back to the Department after class. He turned around to say something and discovered that a small herd of students had surrounded me and were asking questions about early Medieval England and Alfred the Great. Luckily he had a sense of humor about it. (I’d been on an Alfred kick and had been reading everything I could find about him.)

          1. Do you have an opinion of Bernard Cornwall’s Saxon Chronicles? They’re lively reading and I wonder about their “authenticity” in presenting the era.

  39. I am not the Sam Jim talked to. Always interesting, for a while, talking to someone who assumes on little or no information that you are what he/she thinks you are and agrees with her/him/whatever in all respects. I like those who work slowly to find out more about one before forming a possible theory of what one is. I remember a JWC editorial he titled “Freedom For Dumb Blondes.” I think I have that magazine in a box in my basement, but haven’t gone thru them,

  40. It’s been years, and I don’t know if it’s still there. And I just about spun up to the overhead reading it. But while underway and bored, not uncommon, I glanced through the RP 3 & 2 book (That’s the Navy Religious Programming Specialist training manual). In there was a line that went something similar to, “One of the good things about Hinduism and the caste system is that you know where your place in life is. You don’t have to make choices.”

    To be absolutely honest, to this day I find it hard to believe that ANY American could write something like that.

    1. I forgot to add- it was infuriating to think that a line like that was in an official Navy publication.

    2. We have lots of polite people! I’ve got an aunt who responded to a literal ton of fecal matter dumped in an accident by chattering cheerfully with the person about how wonderful it would be for the plants in the area. (She knew it would be. Eventually. After all the landscaping had died from being “burnt” from the too-raw manure. But she was being Positive.)

    3. Well, it’s a military manual, right? When I was in the Army, I ran into more than one person who thought that knowing your place and not making choices was just natural. Sometimes it was fun to play “dumb little private” with them.

    4. Just as there are Americans born in other countries every day (as our estemed hostess was, and Pohj seems to be, sorry to the latter, I cannot spell your name off the top of my head), it would seem that there are natives of other lands born here who have simply not yet made their way back home. That is the only real explanation I have.

  41. I learned early on that formal education, while worthwhile, doesn’t mean much in the real world particularly outside of the specialty of degree. My Dad has three degrees, of which he uses none. My Mother has only one year of college, but after she applied for and got a job in the business office of the local hospital he sat down and taught her basic accounting for two weeks to get ready for the job. She then proved proficient in evaluating computer systems, so then ended up in the IT dept.

  42. I recall reading that Jay Leno’s high school guidance counselor worked almighty hard to convince the youngster that there was honor to be found asking if folks wanted fries with their sandwich.

    If guidance counselors are so all-fired smart, why can’t they find anything better than “guidance counselor” as a career? If they ain’t that smart, then why should anybody take their advice on career paths?

    1. I’m STILL pissed at my guidance counselor for not telling me to take the PSAT as a junior since that was what one of the major scholarship awards was based on, and of the 10 kids awarded scholarships I scored higher on the ACT, SAT and had a higher GPA than 7.

  43. There are only two cubbyholes necessary: competent and incompetent.

    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
    — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

    SJWs generally only master the 12th and 17th items in that list.

      1. That was supposed to be a response to Prof Badness. We were having a discussion about Green Lantern.

        1. So I surmised.

          I am a little behind in my comics reading, but I started reading GL back when Gil Kane was drawing him and, now that you mention it, Sinestro always did seem to have a sorta Star Sapphirey vibe in his relationship to Hal. Wouldn’t surprise me to discover Sinny was acting out self-loathing over his latent homosexual desire for Jordan (well, it would surprise me that any writer had the balls to write so politically incorrect a story …)

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