Memes

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I’m alive, yeah, but we’ve been in an antechamber of heck (not the full h*ll) this morning, because Dan is updating software in all my computers in rotation, so I think I’m safe, and in comes the tech support to do necessary stuff I didn’t know it was necessary.

Now I know how the cats feel when — to their mind — I chase them from room to room with the vacuum.

Anyway, if you haven’t read this article from Richard Fernandez, you should read it.

It’s been bothering me.  It’s something I’ve sort of perceived before and been afraid to say anything about.

It’s easy to get caught up in conspiracy theories and say stuff like “the left plans it that way” but let’s face it, that’s like having a conspiracy theory of all males in the world, or of all left handed people.  Frankly most humans can’t conspire their way out of a wet paperbag.

And yet, I can predict all the paths the left will take, even the craziest ones: they always lean to the paths that favor destruction, everything that’s anti-human, and everything that will foster human misery and degradation.  Always.

Take the eco restrictions.  They don’t make any sense.  Most of them don’t do what they advertise.  But the water restrictions force us to waste time flushing our toilets repeatedly (and ultimately use more water.)  The low water washers don’t wash clothes properly and get fungus and weird smells.  (They’re also hell on people like me with extremely sensitive skins.)  The new detergents don’t wash, particularly if you have hard water, but really not at all.  So they basically make people go around in dirty clothes that smell bad.

The showers don’t manage to reduce our water flow to diurectic-gerbil-European-levels, but they do make it way harder to wash long hair, say.  Or rinse yourself properly (weirdly I read somewhere that the levels of eczema are increasing — uh?  Total mystery, right?)

There’s no low flow dishwasher that works properly UNLESS you wash your dishes first, and when we shopped for our last one, we found they’re trying to eliminate the heat drying/sterilizing.

It’s this way across a board section of things, and there is no REASON for it.  No sane reason.  Yeah “ecology” but that’s complete bullshit.  And yet it’s everywhere.

If you watch programs, like the one on future evolution from Animal Channel (I think) you can predict what species will survive by going further and further from humans every time, till in the end even birds get it and only cold-bloods remain.

Something there is that hates us, that really really hates us.  An intelligent or at least self-willed form working through humans, perverting our culture, destroying us.

Richard implies self-actuated memes.  I don’t know.  Memes are for us, now, funny pictures with words.  I get what he’s saying, but…

The traditionally religious will have opinions, of course.

And sure, it could be that…

Or it could be some kind of collective subconscious that has a death wish (fighting with our will to live as a species.)

We could be the deeply traumatized child (WWI? The French Revolution? the discovery of fire) in a world we don’t understand and wishing we could escape through suicide.

Whatever you think the force is, obviously the way to combat it is the will to live.  Which is important not to give in to despondency and despair (I know how hard it is, yes) and to fight, fight, fight with all we’ve got for life and love and light.

Even if we were destined to lose (I don’t believe we are) how would you want to go out.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.  And never surrender.

217 responses to “Memes

  1. I hear it is possible (but difficult) to buy “commercial” washers and dryers which still work. The ones built for laundromat use especially appear to be over engineered in the right directions…

    • We replaced our dryer with a Speed Queen; no bells nor whistles (no buzzers, either). Dead simple, built like a tank, and it just works.

      The 6 year old LG top loader died (bad transmission), and we swapped that for an Electrolux front loader. The E’lux uses a fair amount more water, but it gets the clothes a lot cleaner. We looked at the Speed Queen, but the toploader uses an agitator tower, and $SPOUSE isn’t fond of such.

      • Exactly. Speed Queens. Still have metal gears. Still have those noisy analog rotary switches. An excellent buy. Mine are 10 years old and the envy of my friends who bought more expensive LGs and such.

        Both washers and dryers. Both are ‘civilian’ models of commercial units.

        As to the laundry detergents that don’t work, add an 1/8th cup of Dawn. Stop. Quit laughing. It works. Adjust up as needed. Dawn helps strip the grease out, which binds the dirt and body odors into the cloths. It’s cheaper than going to states that still have phosphate cleaning solutions.

        As to dishwashers, go check out used stuff. Some places still allow you to buy used appliances.

        Same with toilets, talk to contractors who demolish or replace old stuff. Some places it’s illegal but..

        Good luck in being an enviro renegade.

        • My uncle renovated houses and brought home an “antique” toilet (originally with the tank at eye level) and a few dishwashers, one relatively new (90’s built this was in the late 90’s), the other, older one, came first. It’s a mid to late 80’s top line, then the newer one went in because they redid the kitchen in black and white, and newer and black, it was the way to go, no? But after a few weeks, my aunt demanded he reinstall the older one as it was quieter and worked better. He painted the front panel to match the rest of the kitchen but it stood out as an old look in a new modern kitchen.
          Even after he lowered the tank on that old toilet, it still flushes better than most of them out there.
          He also removed a whirlpool bath tub and shower stall, both almost new, so I helped him add a small 3/4 bath to their house (that’s where the antique toilet went), and he remodeled the old bathroom after that to take the whirlpool.

          • Would a 3/4 bath have a shower and a commode but lack a tub?

            • when renovating the dining room my aunt heard a noise in that wall with the toilet, shower and sink plumbing in it and I was off work that week (week on week off shifts) and I pulled the freshly installed and not yet painted drywall off the top half to remove a kitten that fell half way down the wall.
              4 hours later, I removed it again as well as the lower half, to remove another kitten. I needed to get a fish pole for that one as it went all the way into the shower stall where the door sill was and wasn’t gonna come to us.
              Uncle was slow closing up the new roof portion and a stray cat had a litter in the attic, and his hole for the vent was far larger than needed, and they were falling in. I nailed some boards in place to prevent any more from finding the hole. He never got it fully closed. After I moved to Texas they aquirred a kitten from yet another litter that stray had up there.

          • Anonymous Coward

            With respect to modern toilets, I would strongly recommend the Japanese Toto brand (particularly the Drake model). Works like a champ even with small tanks by using oversized flappers (maximum siphon effect) and an optimized bowl design. Have not had to double-flush or use a plunger since installing these. No one knows their sh*t like the Japanese.

            • some new ones have plenty water in them, but if you just hit the lever, and walk away they use the low required amount. Hold the lever and wait for the tank to empty and lo, the things actually flush! The Mansfields at work are like that.

        • The appliance guy told us that Tide is iffy, and more prone to developing crud. We already have to watch it; no chlorine in our (well) water, and certain dishwasher detergents Just Don’t Work (they develop a nasty gunk that fouls the drain line). We’ve had good luck with Cascade Ultra for the dishwasher, and Kirkland Free and Clear (both from Costco). The Electrolux, we’ll leave the door ajar after a run; it lets things dry out a bit.

          An old plumber once mentioned that the best toilets (in his opinion) were the 3.5 gallon ones sold in the 1970s. OTOH, we’ve had excellent luck with new style American Standard Champions, with the comfort level–AKA ADA compatible–extra height. Good luck with both the 1.6 and 1.28 GPF units. The extra couple inches adds to the siphon effect, and my knees appreciate the higher seat.

          FWIW, the dishwasher is a Frigidaire Gallery, circa 2014. I clean the filter regularly, and it is fussy about the detergent (Finish Gel and a lemon-infested variety of Cascade don’t work).

          • Oh yeah, the Kirkland is laundry detergent…

          • Eep! I’ve been using the unscented Tide for a while — it seems to be doing a good job and doesn’t irritate sensitive-skinned little one or annoy me with peculiar fragrances. (Some laundry detergents smell really weird to me.) I don’t want to cause appliance buildup, though.

            • Tide is probably fine. Sales gerbils tell some of the weirdest stories sometimes, and they are seldom true.

              • A fair point, although I took this to be a trusted repair guy. May have read carelessly.

                (I got very lucky in that the house we loved best and ended up buying was one of the ones that came with appliances, and good ones at that. I would like to keep them running well.)

                • Sales type, from an appliance store in an unforgiving town. If he was totally full of it, they’d suffer. Apply the appropriate level of skepticism.

                  • Sounds like we have different water issues. I’ll keep Kirkland’s in mind next time I’m shopping for detergent, anyway — never hurts to have a good recommendation.

                    • We cannot use scented-so Kirkland’s not an option. We use the unscented Arm and Hammer, and I apply bleach and bluing as appropriate.

                    • Note: Kirkland does have an unscented “Free and Clear” equivalent. That’s what we’re using. They call it Ultra Clean.

                • Might be a local interaction situation, too.

                  You did mention you have a well, maybe there’s something harmless in the local water that messes with something in the Tide?

              • $SPOUSE used to flip between Tide Free & Clear and the equivalent Kirkland, and she says the Kirkland was a lot better. OTOH, we have some funky water–the joys of living in a geothermal area. YMMV.

                FWIW, the dogs preferred the Kirkland.

                • I suppose it’s possible that it could cause water impurities to settle out, but the washer I’m using has been using Tide for an unknown number of years, but more than ten, with no problems.

                  • We get a bit of lime, but also various sulfates. The machine smells better when we stick to Kirkland. Got corrected: the dogs prefer Free and Clear, but don’t care which brand. The perfumes in the standard stuff drives them crazy, and we’re not fond of the scents and additives, either.

            • I have water approaching “concrete”. I use Tide (or Cheer if I can get it), not only for laundry, but also for dishes and shampoo (yes, really — 30+ years now) — precisely because it does NOT build up, and it degreases better than Dawn does. Probably depends exactly what’s in your water, tho. If it’s the usual calcium salts, toss in half a cup of vinegar with the rinse.

              • After we got a water softener and the white build up in my dishwasher still didn’t go away I discovered Lemon Shine. It’s something that actually works to clean the machines. The Amazon reviews are very educational.

                • I got the white buildup and decided, 20+ year old dishwasher. Got new Bosch [sister-in-law recommended]; same problem. Seems around 2010 the EPA decided to ban Phosphates from dish-washing detergents. I buy “Bubble Bandit” [w\ phosphate] from Amazon. No more white buildup.
                  I have skin sensitivity to phosphate for clothes, so long-cycle, lots of water, hydrogen peroxide is the best I can do.

                • Is that Lemi Shine? Closet match I saw on Amazon.

              • A local friend is a chemist, and he’s found that the only chemicals that will remove the iron/calcium/carbonate/sulfate residue will also destroy the glaze on porcelain.

                Morton Salt offers a test strip that indicates how hard your water is. I was surprised to see it was “moderate”, though I suspect the strip doesn’t test for things other than lime. We do get some amazing buildup.

          • I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for a while:
            1 bar of Fels-Naphtha soap, pulverized. (I use a food processor for this, shred first, then pulse, and it works best if the bar is kind of cold.)
            1 cup Borax
            1 cup Washing soda
            1 cup Baking soda

            Mix well and use as normal.

            Good on sensitive skin, works in the stupid energy-efficient front-loaders, no optical brighteners that make you show up on night-vision (I’m pretty sure).

        • THANK YOU!!

          I tried the 1/8th cup of Dawn when washing some pretty grease-stained shirts today (I should be wiser. I know to use an apron when cooking delicious fatty splatter-heavy stuff. Knowledge is realizing an apron would save a lot of time spot-treating and washing and rewashing. Wisdom is remembering to use the darned thing.)

          And it worked awesomely. Congrats, you just saved the environment whatever a second time through the wash is, but far more importantly, you saved me easily an extra hour dealing with the darned things. Yay!

          *hugs*

  2. It’s enough to make you wonder about the fluoride polluting our precious bodily fluids, isn’t it?

    The extreme un-self-awareness, lack of applied thinking, and mistaking intent for accomplishment is appalling.

  3. I suspect part of the problem is that, almost by definition, humans are problem solvers, fighters, ready to overcome challenges, and that we’ve created an environment wherein, for the majority, there are few, if any, problems of real consequence to challenge us.

    For example at one time it was a challenge to work one’s way out of poverty. As expected we’ll always have the poor among us but the folks living below poverty level in America today often have 3 square meals a day, color TV and air conditioning. I think many see no reason to strive for more and are bored and Bat Sh_ _ Crazy.

    A safety net is still a net and hard to escape from.

    • I’ve seen it claimed, and tend to agree, that absent those suffering from substance abuse or mental issues, the American poorest enjoy a quality of life higher than that of middle income in the rest of the world.
      Twenty or so years ago those sneaking into this country were simply after a better opportunity, an honest job, the ability to better themselves through hard work. Lately the desire for entry has escalated tremendously, but the goal seems to be to somehow slip in so you can get yourself and as many of your relatives as possible onto that endless government assistance teat.

      • Yes, well. Grump…

        We have a population who mostly have no idea how the rest of the world lives. They are also being sold a song and dance about how if we just let the government take ‘a fair share’ of the money from those who are more fortunate and have selfishly accumulated it they could put an end to poverty (never mind that some people make life choices that keep them there) and see that everyone would get health care (never mind that this would not be the level of care the people imagine).

        This flim-flam is better enabled by the fact that the government run schools are failing to teach what our nation is (theory and fact), or what the rest of the world is like, or logic, or business.

        • I want that money that I’ve selfishly accumulated to continue to grow so that I can retire, and NOT have to take any more from all you other taxpayers than I put into the system. Unfortunately, Aunt and Uncle Greedy Guts in Congress just seem to have an unending appetite for it.

          • They know how to spend it better than you.

            Plus if they don’t buy votes they can’t retire/live in luxury. They’re more important than you.

        • And it is a population that is not only guided away from seeing the different levels of living, but they are conditioned not to look.

          If they looked they would see that the human normal is not the level of comfort and opportunity that still survives in the us but that it is rule or be ruled. That is the goal that the country is flying towards. Doesn’t take any sort of conspiracy for self interests to align and form power coalitions. It happens organically.

      • Even a homeless meth addict in a tent outside of town lives better than a person hot bunking in a 19th century tenement slum.

        • To use a 19th century tenement slums for the sake of comparison sets a low standard. However if you really want rock bottom candidates for comparison try the trenches during WWI or a communist re-education camp — in all too many places.

    • This notion is nebulous and hard to express, so please bear with me.

      While I agree with your premise that it is caused by not needing to strive for survival-level existence, I don’t think it’s boredom that is the problem. I think it is something more insidious.

      I think that living on the Easy level robs people of the zest of living, and while boredom occurs due to that, I think the destructive tendencies come from wanting to do something that has meaning, even if it’s tiny, and even if it’s just restricting others from doing everything that they want.

      Without striving, and succeeding, at least a little, many people fail to see the value of what we have, what we have earned, they don’t appreciate all that has come before to build us up to where we are.

      And today, they see others, who ARE striving, and thus being more successful, and are jealous. So they want to drag them down, because they know they themselves truly don’t deserve, perhaps, even what they have, so they adopt a crab-bucket mentality, where they add restrictions on others so they will be held back with them. And one of the easiest ways to do that is to put government in the way of everyone.

      • I think you have a good handle on at least some of the motivation. A great many people who I meet or read about on the Left are either spectacularly mediocre or highly competent in some discipline that is hard to explain and so-so relevant (I’m looking at you, Chomsky).

        Now, there are plenty of Lefties who are competent at living, have meaningful jobs or avocations, and are Left for reasons other than a desire to be Important. But the ones who want to be The Anointed (to borrow Sowell’s phrase) want to Stand Out. Since they are mediocrities, they have to play games. It isn’t Standing Out to push common sense solutions that will work and thus cause the majority to adapt a habit and move on. One has to look up the names of the people who advocated sensible solutions to Slavery and the South’s intransigence. Everybody remembers the name of John Brown who insisted on a solution that could not work and got a bunch of people killed.

        Noam Chomsky knows that the average person knows next to nothing about Linguistics and cares somewhat less. This galls his hungry little soul, so he adopts a set of Religious/Political beliefs that make him stand out from The Common Herd and which have (and this is important, though he would deny it hotly, and probably believe the denial) absolutely no chance of working. If they work, he will be soon forgotten in favor of whoever came up with a practical plan to facilitate their adoption, assuming anyone bothers to remember the change at all.

        I first noticed the effects of this when I started to be interested in Politics in the mid 1970’s. I began to pay attention to the Environmental movement, in particular that part of it that is concerned with energy generation. And I quickly observed that the unifying attribute of all Greenie approved Alternative Energies is that they have next to no chance of actually working. When I first began noticing the Greenies were in a lather over the possibilities of Hydroelectric power. As I remember it, Jimmy Carter proposed to start a number of important new hydroelectric plants, and the Greenie promptly dropped Hydro as if it had a sputtering fuse. Since then they have concentrated on Solar and Wind, neither of which does anything but make the situation worse.

      • “I have worth?” UNSEEN ACADEMICALS

        • Precidely! Except, unlike Mr. Nutt, they have little worth, or worth in ways that are largely unrecognized. If Chomsky was widely lauded for his (I’m told) excellent work in his actual field, he would doubtless focus on his strength and not play the Radical Chic game.

          My Father was high enough up in his field that for him to significantly advance, the man teaching History of Science at Harvard would have had to die. He didn’t hunger after broad recognition and took his satisfaction from being a scholar, which he loved.

          *shrug*

          People ised to as him “Why History of Science?”, expecting (as he put it to me) some Cosmic justification for how it advanced civilization. It was just the most fun he could concieve of having, and he was astonished at how much people were willing to pay him to do it.

          Why Comsky doesn’t feel this way about his own scholarship is beyond me.

          • Scorn makes you stupid.

            If you get in the habit of scorning others, then you need the praise of others to value yourself– and there simply aren’t many who will praise you for doing the dishes, cooking, getting to work on time, doing a good job, and doing the laundry every day, no matter how well you do it. For a simple example.

            • If there aren’t many who will praise you simply for doing a good job, you need better friends. My Lady and I make sure to tell people that we appreciate theor work, even cart corralers at the supermarket. It makes most of them light up, which is worth it all by itself.

              And, being in the habit of praise, we remember to tell each-other.

              It pays good dividends as well. Many of the places I go remember me and I get great service.

              *shrug*

              And think about how much I save on ulcer meds.

              • If there aren’t many who will praise you simply for doing a good job, you need better friends.

                *sad smile*

                Luv, I feel blessed that I’ve got my husband, and a few friends scattered across the US.

                Real friends nearby? Even if we didn’t move so much, that would be asking a lot.

                **********

                I do try to convey to folks that they are doing a good job, and are valued. Withotu taking their time.

                • Chomsky did a certain amount of excellent linguistics work, but most of his universal grammar theory turned out to be false. That is why he hightailed it to philosophy and then to political science.

  4. I have a sense that one of the big roots of Leftism is the resentment of the old Aristocracy for the new money made in (insert sniff here) Trade. Oh, most of the current proponents of Leftism are as aristocratic as a street mutt, but the roots of it smell to me like the romanticism over the ‘simple rural life’ and deminization of the ‘dark Satanic mills’.

    And never mind that historical studies show that the factory workers were, on average, better fed and less ignorant than their rural parents.

    The idea that there was once a smple life of rural felicity (instead of a desperate life of rural squalor) seems to inform a LOT of the Left’s attitudes.

    • And the factory workers didn’t die when crops failed like countless of their rural forebears had. The romance of rural life is a bit less romantic if you start reading of the great famines in European history.

      • Robert Vogel’s The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death packs a lot of information into a slim volume, and is particularly good at dispelling the myth of a romantic pre-industrial rural paradise.

      • Ugh. This one gets me. I got into this conversation with some coworkers because of the recent Nike contretemps, with them talking about the terrible conditions in the factories and such.

        I basically told the that there are only two circumstances where I would join in their condemnation: A, if the company under attack was known *in the country where the workers were* to have worse conditions than other factories, and the workers *there* were organizing in protest, or B, if the company was using the power of the state in that country to coerce and compel workers (basically like the “corrupt transstellars” in the Honorverse). Otherwise, the people of those countries likely preferred the factory work anyway–not subject to the vagaries of weather, safe (ish) place to sleep, little bit of extra money to send home. It’s not like companies could pay the kind of wages first-worlders would expect, or even a serious premium *above* the prevailing wage in the country. That’s a good way to destabilize an economy, after all.

        But no, US/Western perspective is the only proper one.

        • I remember the human cost when they successfully shut down “Sweatshops” in the 80s.

          Kids starved. And were maimed doing dangerous work.

          The US-backed “sweat shops” sucked, but they were safe work for good pay. There.

          • Yes. If the choice is $1 a day and living in barracks vs backbreaking work in fields fertilized with human shit for a handfull of rice and space on a packed dirt floor, that dollar looks pretty good.

        • And not just the US/Western perspective, but the perspective of those places from the 20th/21st centuries.

          The Left has little grasp of how MUCH industrialization improved matters. How it killed chld labor, made farming less deadly, made new clothes cheap enough that it is NORMAL for the poor to buy new.

          Hell, the primary dietary problem of our poor is that they are too fat. How often has THAT happened?

      • Um… if the crops failed, WHO is feeding the factory workers??

        • Those farms where the crops hadn’t failed.

          Short term, the money from factory work is something that CAN’T come from farming. Eventually, the increased productivity (both from the factories doing stuff that farmers had to do themselves and from direct technology improvements) makes it so that farmers are better able to buy food when their crops fail. Nation-wide crop failure is pretty dang uncommon.

    • They don’t value hard work that accomplishes something because they simply CAN”T DO IT.
      I’ve seen them try and fail.
      Witness recently an actor was mocked and berated for working at a grocery store. Honest decent work. But it betrayed them that they are above all that and hate anybody who have the drive and willpower to drag their butt out of bed every morning and accomplish something. They are basically parasites. They want to be masters and lord it over a peasant class, and they see themselves as deserving it in their fantasies.

      • The higher education scam is also partly to blame. Manual labor is sold by government school guidance councilors as a degrading thing for those too stupid to get a degree.

        • And yet skilled trades workers can earn more than most of your BA holders, and a considerable number of BS ones too.

          • Tbh a good skilled tradesman, especially one that risks it on his own rather than just being an employee, can run circles around even stem degrees. The difference is that there is scarcity of skilled trades while there is a glut of stem, especially when you include the imported wage slaves. In addition the former is much easier to risk working on your own for than the latter

            • Further, you can’t outsource a plumber to China.

              [thinking]
              Well, I suppose you could, using internet video and support chat, and rented tools delivered by Amazon, but the results are likely to be both comical and costly (when now you need not only a plumber, but also someone to clean up the mess, not to mention the odd emergency room visit when you get in the way of that big wrench).

              • Yep.

                But you can insource China. Same with the doctors. Was only nursing homes at the time i was working but definitely a coterie of subpar doctors imported.

          • For awhile the university near me had a job posting that displayed both how disconnected from reality their HR dept. was and with what contempt they held the skilled trades.
            They wanted an experimental machinist who could run basically every know machine-tool known to man. Program CNC, use design/ CAD software. Do bench work and polishing. and teach and supervise others as well as keep accurate records and reports for the university at a department level without a secretary.
            Anybody with the skills listed could easily run his own shop with income potential in the high six figures. I didn’t have all the skills asked for and I was making 80K+ a year.
            For this superman they were willing to pay the princely sum of $27.5k a year.
            They of course had to bid out that sort of work, They did eventually take the job offering down.

          • Amidst the many commercials that annoy me, there’s one for an online college that portrays a lady machinist living in poverty, and is about to get laid off… until she gets her IT degree, and the door to wealth is now opened!

            • Yup. Lot’s of money working a temporary contract for an IT solutions company with low pay and no benefits. /sarc off And that’s before you factor in how many IT departments rely on a call center in India (and have call center employyes that try to insist that their name is John Smith in horribly accented English) for their low level tech support.

              From what I’ve heard, even higher level IT isn’t as lucrative as it used to be.

            • Don’t mention you’re a qualified welder or machinist anywhere near the oil patch. You’ll be abducted, shipped to Minot, and forced to endure a $100/hour job where you only work two weeks a month.

              (Well, I hear it’s not quite so frantic now, but that’s how it was for a while.)

    • I’m not sure about the rural aspect, at least today. More the idea that mind work or similar are higher than labor or jobs that build. They may not have the polish of what we see as the aristocracy but they think that by benefit of their beliefs or credentials they should want for nothing with no effort. Even the worst welfare cheat and rat has the same self importance.

    • Part of it might be a different focus of power– farm work, the power is nature.

      Mill work, the power is a person.

      Big difference, morally, tactically and emotionally.

  5. A certain sort of individual is driven, compelled even, to influence and change the status quo, not necessarily to improve things, but simply to say “I had a part, see my power!”
    The left of course is driven to seek control, to gather all power into a caring and benevolent government that they with their superior wisdom would by natural selection themselves run. And this time it’s sure to work. For the common good we must expunge from our histories the unfortunate fact that each and every time such has been tried before the result is death and destruction.

    • It’s one of the reasons that design by committee tends to fail.

      • Airbus. designed by committee and horrid things. Funny thing is, all those companies in the consortium that is Airbus made some of the best aircraft of their types on their own.

        • A great comparison is the different approaches Boeing and Airbus took towards adopting Carbon fiber. Airbus makes carbon fiber parts that replace aluminum ones, so their fuselages are built up out of joined carbon panels. Boeing took advantage of the material and makes 787 fuselage sections as one continuous tube.

          • add the corporate attitude of AB and I hate even thinking of flying on one of those POS things. Spirit or Frontier had/has an older 319 that, every time it landed in New Orleans, needed ground maintenance to reboot the aircraft. That post 9/11 crash in NY (Jamaica Bay?) was blamed on the copilot for using the rudder while flying, but they kindly never told anyone that in the air, the rudder moved differently than on the ground, or by the by, in the simulation software used to train said pilot. One could fly the same way in the simulator used by that pilot and the plane acted fine. The airlines had to update the sims afterwards to reflect what AB never bothered to tell anyone.
            Their processes suck. When in an emergency and fractions of a second count, what you need to do takes several seconds.

            • After the Great Mid-air Reboot, and the A340 that thought it was a chainsaw, I never trusted an Airbus product.

            • Boeing’s Philosophy is that the pilot is the ultimate controller. Airbus’s is that the engineers know better. Thus the famous crash where on a demo flight for an airline, they did a low pass over the runway, and the airbus decided it was supposed to be landing, and they ended up in the trees off the end of the runway, killing all aboard. Boeing’s pilot and copilot controls are physically linked, and have force feedback. Airbus’s joysticks are not connected and have no force feedback. The Air France ship that went down in the Atlantic after a pitot iced up went into a mode where the control computer said “Fuck if I know” and then AVERAGED the Pilot and Copliot’s inputs. The plane stalled all the way from altitude into the ocean because the copilot, in famous last words from the CVR, “I don’t know why it won’t go up, I’ve been holding the stick back the whole time.”

          • Eh, this is actually one area where boeing and ab philosophies are reversed. Panel construction is understood and ‘safe’. Unitary is less developed. Means repair and inspection need to be defined and certified. Both have reasons for use. Eventually will grow more common, just as use of composites in general did.

    • Right. I don’t think destruction is the goal, conscious or not, I think the goal is power and the destruction is just an acceptable side effect. That’s why the global warming cultists aren’t celebrating the fact that America’s CO2 emissions have dropped. The point wasn’t to reduce atmospheric CO2, the point was to make us use less energy.

      • Also expressable as: “Nothing else worked to make you so poor [cheap energy being the foundation of modern wealth] that you really need us, so now we’re trying a return to the Dark Ages.”

  6. If your problem is what everyone else is doing, the natural human problem solving process inevitably ends up at that whole mass graves thing.

    The solution? Let the largest figure things out. The left keeps launching memetic weed seeds (like “commercial concerns want to pollute” and “consumers won’t pay more to providers that pollute less”) that are facially incorrect – see this store called “Whole Foods”. And while most of those memetic weeds won’t take root in the face of contradictory reality, some do, mostly due to the heavy overfertilization of fallow young minds by the edumication system.

    But memetic competition in an environment of freely accessible accurate information actually ends up yielding memes that match reality and are useful for framing behavior – i.e. good crops, not weeds.

    I guess my solution would be to increase the bandwidth to route around all the censorship and information-crafting that leads to malformed weed memes surviving, and to overseed aggressively with memetic seedlings that fall on the “common sense” side.

    And this position is the closest thing I will ever have to my “I AM MARCUS LICINIUS CRASSUS” moment.

    “Alright, boys: They ain’t gonnna nail themselves up there – get to it.”

    • Second para should be “let the MARKET figure things out.”

      Darn you ottocorrupt – darn you to heck!

    • That’s already happening, and it’s why the Left is desperately trying to put the Internet back in the bottle before it’s too late (see: Jones, Alex). But it’s already too late. The Millennials are one of the most Left-leaning generations in history, but they’re graduating now and entering the real world and they’re beginning to see that the crap their Leftist teachers fed them doesn’t actually work in the real world. More and more of them are asking themselves “Are we the baddies?” and not liking the answer they’re coming up with. The Baby Boomers were the previous champions of Left-leaning generations, but after a decade in the real world they voted for Reagan in overwhelming numbers.

      • Hopefully. Just have run into a large chunk whose interest in sj is not as much raising the lower but tearing down the higher. As long as the endorphin high of bullying works it doesn’t behoove someone to improve everyone because you don’t get comparative benefit.

        • “the endorphin high of bullying”
          Bingo. In my observation (based on reading what they themselves wrote), the activist type performs because they need the *high*, not for the cause. This gets more and more obvious as they progress toward domestic terrorism. It’s all about the joy of being the boot on someone else’s face.

      • The 1984 Reagan landslide is what gives me real hope. The boomers somehow neglected to vote for the guy who was supposed to save them from that crazy Ronny’s nuclear-warmongering second term and restore the greatness that was Jimmeh’s triumphant time in office. When Mondale lost so thoroughly, it really pushed the Dems off their game, to the degreee that even with wishywashy George Herbert Walker Bush as the 1992 incumbent candidate running a truly lame campaign, the only way Slick WIlly won was because of Perot.

        I keep seeing different takes on whether Nancy Pelosi will be third in line or not after November, but I don’t think the Senate is actually in play. If the House does flip, the whole impeachment thing will go nowhere given the Senate, and the spectacle of the craziness the Dems are showing now but cranked up to eleventy-plus for the impeachment hearings will ensure both Trump’s reelection and the House flipping back.

        • The concern is whether there are not 20 “R” senators who wouldn’t “reluctantly” vote for impeachment because trump misremembered a date when being badgered by demo (fitting) partisans. They would figure Pence would be just as good and less “impolitic” (read: would roll over for bad press).

          As for the results of Nanzi getting gavel back, the first budgets would include riders saying that no executive branch actions may be taken without approval of the house and possibly forbidding any budget for ICE. Plus run risk of the current house of cards collapsing from both bad cash and debt.

  7. I firmly believe in the existence of evil. Whether you believe that it goes back to a certain sales-reptile in a garden, or a box with instructions saying “do not open,” or something else, there is a force in the world that encourages the worst in people. It can be through a desire for power or recognition, or greed, or just a raw love of seeing other creatures in pain. If that force manages to persuade someone that “this is for the good of all [Person]kind, and they don’t understand how much they need my wisdom and judgment,” then all the better.

    I don’t know where it comes from, or what in humans makes us incline that way, but I know it exists and should be taken seriously. I don’t believe in innate depravity (although, there are days…), but we as a species do tend toward the easy, selfish, blind path rather than the “narrow upward way.”

    • Believe similarly but won’t discuss it online. Pearls before swine and all that stuff. I’m just about done with Facebook and retreating into private areas. There is no longer any attempt at civility.

  8. One of the greatest, yet apparently least recognized achievements so far in the Trump administration has been the massive reduction in regulations across many government agencies, EPA in particular. I think I saw the original goal was to remove two regulations for each new one, but the actual outcome was a ration more like ten to one.
    All those regs were well intended, yet many based primarily on the misguided and since proven false theories of such as Malthus and Erlich. The world population is not exploding, food production has more than kept pace with requirements, what starvation has occurred is the result of politics affecting distribution not a lack of food in and of itself. There is a crying need for safe potable water in many areas of the world. Again, we have the technology to solve that problem, but politics and tradition impede that effort. Here in the US mainly water issues stem from bad political decisions such as in Flint Michigan, or over population of arid regions subject to natural periodic drought, ie most of California.

    • All those regs were well intended

      Wish that were true…

      I’ve spent too much time living where the Spotted Owl regulations did in a sustainable industry, never mind the influx of Barred Owls that handle the environment a lot better. (FWIW, a favorite habitat of Spotted Owls was in KMart signs; no word as to whether they’ll be prevented from closing stores because of this. /sarc

      I’d take it as the regulations were presented as if they were well intended, but the anti-Deplorable bias is strong. See: lawfare after a wildland fire trying (and all too often succeeding) at blocking salvage logging. For that matter, it’s now against regulations to clear brush in (spots of?) California, for fear of damaging little critter’s fweeeeelings. Never mind that it puts human life and property at risk.

      • So instead of clearing the brush, we now have wildfires that aren’t controllable, and destroy everything in their path rather than just clearing the brush the natural way and letting the rest regrow just fine.

        • And they’re pointing to the fires and going, “Must be climate change.”

          • So … was it climate change late 1800’s early 1900’s when the large devastating uncontrollable fires hit then? Like the Tilimook burn, & others? You know the areas that are now approaching or over barely, 100 years old.

            • That was just fluke weather back then. All the scientists that get grant money to study agw say its agw.

            • There were more areas back then where it didn’t matter if it burned or flooded or erupted. A lot of fools hadn’t built where it would burn or flood or be swept away in ash and fire.

              • Yep. It’s one of reasons you see an uptick in f/ef5 tornadoes. The scale was based off damage and only recently took windspeed. A storm twice the intensity of the moore 2013 tornado out in prairie with no structures was not as damaging unless trees were in area.

        • I seem to recall someone pointing out this truth and everyone else going nuts about it. Think his name started with a T.

          • Yes and no. Trump tossed blame at the water policy (smelt > people) as opposed to the history of poor forest management. My understanding is that the drought areas are not really from water as much as overgrowth and bugs. Zinke was actively bringing management up and did redirect it a bit.

        • In Utah, loggers tried to convince authorities to let them take out diseased trees before the pine beetle infestation got bad. Could have logged responsibly, obtained wood before it became useless, and contained an infestation. But no. It would be bad to take out trees. How could you even suggest that. Now, there are stands of matchsticks just waiting for the lightning strike, campfire, accident or arson to take out several thousand more acres. Every fire season, at least one of those areas goes up.

          • Eastern Oregon, high desert, Bend/Redmond/Sisters/La Pine, you could get cheap permits for firewood for down & standing dead, timber. Between 5 households we pulled 50 or 60 chords out … actually that is 4 of us, using 3 pickups & one utility trailer, cut & split the wood, for 5 households … 3 over there & two here in the valley. Do not know if that is still true. After the in-laws died, we changed to getting wood from local wood yards for 2 households. Latter has dried up now. We probably have a little over a year of burning left, ditto my mom.

            • It’s still applicable around Klamath County, although with the dry summer, power saws are currently prohibited. I expect a huge number of people getting firewood as soon as we get some moisture.

              I have a lot of wood, myself; we’ve got a heavily wooded chunk of land, and taking out 100 trees over the years hasn’t hurt. I do have a lot that still needs splitting…I’ve never needed National Forest wood, so I’m fuzzy on the details, but it was pretty cheap. The patch of NF we go through to get to town looks like it could use major thinning.

              FWIW, the Watson Creek fire near Paisley (about 50 miles NE of Klamath Falls) burend 60,000 acres of dead lodgepole that were beetle killed 10 years ago. I was dismayed to read that there’s still 240,000 acres of dead trees left in that patch.

        • And the first part of any long term solution to the problem is to airdrop members of The Sierra Club and Greenpeace into the fires, in gasoline soaked skivvies and NO parachute.

          Of course that’s the first part of the solution to a LOT of woes.

      • It is the same mindset as the apocryphal “don’t hunt, get food at grocery store where no animals are harmed” letter to ed or the apartment dweller telling the rancher on sections just to call a cop if he needs to defend himself.

        John Edwards was right in that there are two americas. But the difference between high density and low density life has grown and intermixing shrank so that neither side can accept that there are different requirements. Smog regs, gun necessity, ways of making a living, all of em vary to the point where people not only do not understand, but theydo not know they do not and substitute their needs for someone else’s.

      • “I’ve spent too much time living where the Spotted Owl regulations did in a sustainable industry, never mind the influx of Barred Owls that handle the environment a lot better. ”

        Yes. Tell me about it. Changed careers because of the Spotted Owl. I was in Forestry. Changed to Computers, along with half the world. Still ended up looking for work frequently. I was not the one choosing to bounce around, nor was I self employed. I HATED looking for work.

        Now the natural process of the Barred Owl is crowding out the Spotted Owl & inter breeding creating a new species. The environmentalists want to kill the Barred Owls because they are driving the Spotted Owl to extinction. So far the answer has not only been no, but hell no. It is natural evolution. You set the bar (made the bed, etc.) on intervention & natural processes. Deal with it cupcake.

        • And if they are inter-breeding they have to be the same species with different phenotypes (appearances and minor characteristics). Or you have to completely redefine what a “species” is, and that’s just moving goal posts, not really “solving” the “problem.”

          Maybe striped owls do better for some reason than spotted ones do, like black and white feral cats in urban areas vs. tabby-pattern feral cats in grassy rural areas. (Calicos just take over and run the place. As Athena T. Cat will be happy to tell you.)

          • “same species different phenotypes (appearances and minor characteristics)”

            Barred Owl is also bigger. But, yes agree. Which means the Spotted Owl weren’t as threatened as “cried”.

            Not that I ever believed their range & habitat was as limited as indicated or reported.

            When the preferred ecological niche is “old growth” where “old growth” = stands that weren’t even seedlings when my family got to Oregon (note: been in Oregon for the last 150+ years), plus groves that have previously been harvested or had major fires go through, … say what?!?!

            • I have come to believe that the rabid greenies must truly loathe and despise that infestation of the Earth that the rest of us call people. Certainly they are demonstrably and consistently anti progress. In joint partnership Toyota/Mazda are building a new six billion dollar factory in North Alabama on what was scrub brush and cotton fields. As expected some environmentalists “discovered” a rare species of fish living in a pond on the property so sued to halt development. Toyota/Mazda being Japanese and woke stopped all construction while they did their own evaluation. Based on their findings the development is back on track with modifications that preserve and protect the spring and pond where the precious fishies reside. Probably at a cost of a few million dollars, but what’s that against six billion.

            • And what “old growth” originally meant (trees that were getting larger around instead of growing taller) as compared to today (“pristine wilderness!!!!!!!!”)

          • I’ve yet to see a solid definition of species that adequately addresses all of the edge cases. For example, there are the species that usually don’t interbreed, but can, such as the horse/donkey, chimpanzee/bonobo, and lion/tiger. And then there are the ring species, such as the Ensantina salamander and the greenish warbler, where there is sufficient genetic difference across the geographic range of a species that interbreeding between nearby populations is possible but not necessarily between members of two population more widely separated from each other.

          • There’s a reason they had to add not interbreeding because of location or mating rituals to the definition of species– as I heard it, too many “different species” were perfectly willing to breed, and had perfectly good offspring who also had no issues breeding, so it was like declaring a blue heeler and a red australian shepherd as different species…but that screwed up both prestige and theories, so they MUST be different species.

            Finding out wolves and coyotes are more a continuum than different species didn’t help.

            *annoyed*

        • An awful lot of ‘environmentalism’ proves, on examination, to be fruitless attempts to keep nature from doing what nature has always done. Eroding barrier islands springs to mind.

      • And then it turns out that spotted owls are just an uncommon (because less viable) recessive color variation of barred owls, so when barred and spotted mate, most of the offspring are barred. Calling them separate species (and shooting barred owls to prevent “hybridization” as was done in some areas) is exactly like deciding black Labs and yellow Labs are different species (and shooting the black Labs to prevent ‘hybrids’).

        See also the ‘endangered red wolf’ (per DNA, in fact a wolf/coyote mix that happens to have the tanpoint color gene prevalent in southern coyotes).

  9. Frankly most humans can’t conspire their way out of a wet paperbag.

    THIS.

    When I am told tales of secret societies that conspire over multiple generations I find it hard to believe.  It just doesn’t comport with what I have learned about groups of people.  Solidly entrenched bureaucracies?  They are another creature altogether.  

    I do believe that certain political theories will cause trends in particular directions and that this will feed on itself.  This can be demonstrated by the patterns seen among the Marxists/Socialists.  And that particular people will attempt to coordinate a widespread push towards their preferred theory, particularly when it puts themselves in power, is a given.  Joe Stalin and Osama Bin Laden come to mind.   

    But long term planned out conspiracies break down because … people. 

    • The end goal of our unintentional conspiracists is undermined by the very fact that people rarely conspire for long. As soon as personal gain starts shifting out of alignment you get infighting. Never mind a central economy that worked for anything but war level crises would be the conspiracy to end all involving every person on planet.

    • My favorite quote on the subject:

      “Anyone who believes in conspiracy theories has never tried to organize a conspiracy on the order of, say, a surprise birthday party.”

    • Generations of conspiracy… with so many who have such a hard time agreeing on lunch. Riiiiiight.

  10. Actually, I think human action explains this very well, but it requires accepting a little more “conscious evil” than is comfortable. And I’m sorry to use Marxist-sounding class language, but these broad divisions of society go a lot deeper and older than Marxism.

    This is a thought I’ve been struggling to articulate for a few months now; perhaps this will help.

    Throughout history, the “natural” coalitions of power are the “few at the top and the many at the bottom” vs. “the not-so-many in the middle”. The “middle class”. The “bougoisie”. Merchants. “Townsmen”. “Yeoman farmers”, and the like.

    The “natural” interest of the few at the top is to keep people from having too much power and autonomy, promising “bread and circuses” in exchange for popular support, and promising to take from the middle classes to give to the poor. “They’ll make us all beggars ’cause they’re easier to please”

    The “natural” interest of the people at the bottom is to agitate for more handouts or to rebel, but with rare exceptions, the people with leadership talent are in the middle or upper classes, and the “few at the top” tend to offer leadership to divert the “mob” against the middle class instead.

    The “middle” classes mostly want to be left alone. They are traders, makers, farmers. They may have their own special interests of course, but they mostly want things to just stay on an even keel. They’re doing OK, and they’d like things to allow them to keep peaceful, orderly, and so on. (In the American founding, these were thought to make up the citizenry of a Republic, and the tension was expected to be between farmers and tradesmen).

    The eco-themed movements all make perfect sense if you realize that “abundance” is desired by the middle class but not by the “few at the top” — in a society of abundance, it’s hard to find servants. So if you convince the mob that “things enjoyed by the middle class” are a threat to them (whether due to rising seas, hotter weather, “silent springs”, or because they’re unnatural and against the will of God), you can reduce the power and autonomy of the “makers and tradesmen” and keep your power and privilege intact.

  11. I was just talking about this at MDG. mysterious forces are bullshit in stories, just a lazy copout. More on this when I get to a proper computer.

    • This kind of sounds like part of the ideas behind The Foundation series, that there are clear trends you can see take shape and influence society while being, maybe, able to predict what they will cause with time.

      • I’m more and more of the opinion that “clear trends” and “forces” are an artifact of statistical analysis and wishful thinking, that there might be an easy way to control/influence/predict society and things like the stock market.

        My thoughts are as yet hazy and unformed, but here’s a thing to consider:

        The water thing is the direct result of a bunch of work done by radical ecologists in the late 1960s and 1970s. If you go back through the legislation and see who wrote the science it was based on, and more interestingly who PAID for the science, you’ll find zero mysterious forces. You’ll find a clique. By hook and by crook, those guys got their ideas written into law. Problem being, the ideas are -bad- ones that don’t benefit us, the people the laws were written for.

        So there’s not a thing/process/force making water-use issues suck. There’s a -WHO-. Some bunch of guys, less than 100 of them I would guess. And there is money involved, because otherwise they wouldn’t bother.

        There’s no forces of history. There’s just us.

        • Problem being, the ideas are -bad- ones that don’t benefit us, the people the laws were written for.
          That is not a bug. It’s a feature.

        • I’m currently reading a book entitled “Zero Hour” by a pair of gentlemen who think that they have uncovered a whole BUNCH of “event cycles” of various lengths, from 10 year Boom/Bust cycles to 500 year” Mega-Innovation and Inflation” cycles. And that these cycles can predict just precisely when emerging technology will develop into its fullest potential. Oh, and they’re quite certain that the arc of history bends toward progressivism.

          Direct quote: “It’s just not possible to create 4 percent growth again, no matter what you do with taxes and regulations.” Copyright 2017.

          • The thing is, if the “right person” had won the election a couple of years ago under the “Permanent Democratic Majority”, these authors would be correct. Assuming the policies they support as the bounds of the possible, that level of growth is in fact not possible, and in fact the opposite of growth would have “unexpectedly” been the ongoing result, just like it was inexpicably and unexpectedly the sustained result from 2008 through 2016.

            But the bounds of the calculation got changed. “Unexpectedly”.

        • Here’s some more. Ever wonder why EVERYTHING is bad for you?

          https://reason.com/blog/2018/09/06/most-nutrition-research-is-bunk

          When you decide to make government rules based on science, you get wise guys screwing with science to get the rules they want. Its not a force, it’s a clique.

  12. Entropy seems to be an absolute force – even the galaxies will eventually die assuming we know what we (physicists) are talking about. That being said, we do not understand dark matter, dark energy and a whole lot of other things. Perhaps there is hope in the universe.

    I have noticed that certain philosophies seem to be enemies of the good and beautiful. Ever seen a beautiful Soviet statue? I notice that while the art of the French revolution was colorful, the themes were mostly death, hate and revulsion. In general, things that I (personally) deem evil are always ugly. The good always seems beautiful. I can not remember ever seeing a beautiful work of art from a leftist

    There is no record of any socialist government that did not result in massive death, in some cases globally. There is a truism that says “never attribute to evil what can be explained by simple stupidity”. I have come to thing that it is equally wrong to attribute to stupidity what is obviously evil. It is evil to refuse to learn from history or to insist that facts must conform to the world as you would like it.

    One final note: Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy has become axiomatic. It seems to be true in all groups for all time. If you are unfamiliar with it go to:
    https://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/iron.html

    There is a word for any species that does not adapt to the world as it is or is becoming. That word is extinct.

    • Jerry was one of my friends in the field. Yes, I do know the iron law.

    • Entropy seems to be an absolute force – even the galaxies will eventually die assuming we know what we (physicists) are talking about. That being said, we do not understand dark matter, dark energy and a whole lot of other things. Perhaps there is hope in the universe.

      Or outside it.

      Because the universe is a clock winding down. SOMETHING had to wind it up first.

  13. Also, since this seems like a good place to get this off my chest, I would like to say that I hate my clothes washer. Yes, it’s a front loader.

    • Although, to be fair, in the spirit of not ascribing to malice what can be attributed to stupidity, I think the low-water regulations are the product of poor rather than evil decision-making. That they exist at all just means that the government shouldn’t be deciding things such as how my washer, drier, and dishwasher work. Or my lightbulbs.

      • Government needs to watch Jurassic Park. Just because you can detect, restrict, or do something doesn’t mean you should.

      • I had a Maytag Neptune frontloader. That’s the one that is famous for the mold issue. The rubber gasketing goes moldy no matter what you do.

        It was a really nice machine, right up until the mold started giving us all a rash. Replaced it with a crappy old used toploader from the used appliance guy.

        Every few years the used machine dies, due to whatever failure. I put it in the truck and go get another crappy, old, used toploader. Buying new appliances is for rich people who don’t know how appliances work.

    • We have a front loader at RedQuarters. Trying to find a top-loader now that is small enough that Mom and I can reach over it to get to the water cut off… Yeah, not easy. So front loader that doesn’t drain, and that uses a lot more electricity. Less water? Sure. Otherwise? Yick.

  14. If you’ve never seen “Fallen” starring Denzel Washington and a truly marvelous cast, then you should. A supernatural thriller about the efforts to bring about the Fall of our modern Babylon. Five-star film no matter how you cut it.

  15. Speed Queen washer. Made in USA, solid metal, no electronics. Anyone know of an equivalent dishwasher? (Mine may be on its last legs).

    • We recently bought a Kenmore 600 top load. Damn thing has more bells and whistles than my PC. So what do I use? Just 3 settings, with all the water levels maxed out so things get cleaned better. I HATE these pieces of conservation crap and I grew up considering myself an environmentalist.

      • roomate keeps putting the monstrosity we have here on cold wash, and that does NOT get my clothes clean.

      • Actually, the right amount of water cleans better than too much does, because you get better agitation (more flexing the cloth) and more soap per pound of cloth. Enough to cover plus a hand or so seems about right, at least in my Whirlpool top-loader (which has settings all the way from “Nuke it before it breeds” to “It’s a poodle; put it on Delicate”).

  16. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Quote From The Prefix to The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

    There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.

    End Quote

    Personally, I’m wary of giving too much “credit” to the Devil (I especially dislike the “Devil Made Me Do It” idea), but like Sarah I feel that there are times where you have to wonder.

    Oh, If you haven’t read Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters”, I think you should. Especially the last part title “Screwtape Proposes A Toast”. There are elements in “Toast” that can remind you of the garbage happening in so-called Higher Education. 😦

  17. BobtheRegisterredFool

    I read Wretchard’s thing when it came out.

    Some of the possible explanations are:
    1. The devil is a real spiritual entity, independent of anything material we can empirically measure.
    2. The devil is a literary device, of no true reality.
    3. Memes.
    4. We are looking at the emergent behavior of human qualities we already understand fairly well, and don’t need to explain things with meme theory.

    I think the key insight is understanding leftism as religious practice. This explains the observations without any need to speculate about conspiracies.

    The two important factor’s are Communism’s eternally shifting Party Truth, and the dogma that ‘we does these necessary things because we are sincerely faithful, others understand that these are the right thing to do, but turn their face from them because they are impure’.

    The chaotic Party Truth constantly generates a range of ideas for behaviors that could be evaluated as virtue signalling. But what selects the ones that qualify as virtue signalling? Anything that everyone or most people like does not serve, because of the above mentioned dogma. The left values the ideas that get opposition, which selects for evil ideas.

    If the left convinces people that an idea is good, move the goalposts to the next extreme, make a painting of the opposition to that idea, and call it the right.

    There are arguments for putting homosexuals to death. There is opposition to putting every homosexual to death outside of the left, and inside of the left. If the left invariably picked things you consider most evil, we would expect different behavior on that point.

  18. Regarding the roots of the current malaise, I’d look back to that rat bastard Rousseau, and the idea that somehow civilization & possessions were the original sin of mankind. Forward on to that son of a bitch Marx and his pseudo-scientific cargo cult which has been codified into a religion in all but name. Thanks to the sodding Comintern, those ideas, those memes have been firmly planted and entrenched in our society through academia.
    And while most don’t follow the true faith of Socialism, many of the memes remain underneath and unexamined, in the same way that old religions can drift into superstitions.

    Happily, there’s also a counter current in that most people really just want to be personally left alone to make their own lives better. Even the Cntrl-Left- the restrictions they propose are seldom for their own behaviors, and the confiscations are usually to benefit them personally.

  19. I think maybe we’ve convinced ourselves that either devils and demons don’t exist because if they did exist, they’d be far more tangible and real. But I wonder if as truly evil entities that they are totally intangible, and limited to their interactions with humans to only providing each of us a ‘push’ in the wrong direction? Now the un- and anti-religious folks on the Left may take a consistently bad path without any mysterious conspiracy or plan, only because they are most susceptible to those evil creatures’ push. and those of us on the Right have to beware of fanaticism ourselves because that makes us just as vulnerable to the push as the lefties. The sheer insidiousness is diabolical, for good reason.

    • Psychological (behavioral? theological?) ‘space-time’ is warped and the ‘gravity wells’ are ‘evils’? And some sort of religion/moral code/ethical code works as repulsion (perhaps magnetism or electric charge might be a better analog than gravity).

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Emergent property of individual behavior. If you have humans in close enough proximity to interact, you have a system. What drives the behavior of the system and hence the society? Unconstrained behavior and thought individually follows the past of least effort or resistance. Aggregated into a system, the emergent behavior produces the sort of society that was normal throughout prehistory, and fairly common even during history. Only a narrow range of habits of thought and action aggregate to produce and sustain abnormal societies of the sort we like to live in. Habits that diverge from that range produce a lot more of what we call evil.

      • A lot of “No, just avoid this” works with that, too. Avoid temptation, get thee behind me Satan.

  20. There is, perhaps an archetypal reason that the Latin for “left,” is “sinister.” Or if you prefer, that “sinister,” has collected so many bad connotations.

  21. There’s an urge and an instinct in some people to try and fix things. To make things better. This is an admirable trait, and one we need more of.

    The problem is…too many of them are aiming at low-hanging fruit for solving problems. Not working on the problems that really need working on, that would require them to deal with issues and problems that have to be worked on (ex. working on water purification to ensure that trace amounts of medications that are in the system are gone, like estrogen and such-not cheap, requires research, development, taxes, etc, etc, etc), but go for the easy problem (ex. “wasting water” in First World nations, which you can deal with by lobbying and making anybody that opposes you look like a heartless ass).

    I don’t think that most of them are doing this maliciously, they just don’t have the tools to do the critical work to find the real problems.

    • Five years or so ago, one of the German news magazines had a long article about the problems environmental ideas were causing. For example, the city of Berlin had to plead with citizens to flush more often and run their taps for longer periods, because not enough water was entering the sanitary sewer systems, and the flow was not flowing. In summer. It smelled, as well as causing problems at the waste-water treatment plants.

      • This is what happens when you tamper with an eco-system.

        • It’s what happens when you don’t look at something AS a system, but focus on one tiny part. It’s what makes my day job testing software SO much fun, and it’s only getting worse

          • Could be worse. Last company worked at did not employ testers before anything went out. Programmers made change. Did testing on change. Software with change/fix was sent to requester. Done & Done.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Well, I don’t see that as a problem IF the Programmer/Coder does a Good Job testing his work.

              And of course, where I worked the “last person to make a change to a program” was the “first person to be called if the program blew up”.

              • The problem with that one, Paul, is that the section that coder last worked on is working fine. It’s the section over here that was analyzed as “not affected” coded by some other coder. The solution is a full regression test, which are easy enough to automate — except far too many managers adopt the “I don’t care if it’s crap as long as it’s Tuesday” and won’t budget the time or the resources to develop and maintain the tests.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  I hear you.

                • Yes. This. –> “is that the section that coder last worked on is working fine. It’s the section over here that was analyzed as “not affected” coded by some other coder.”

                  Only we didn’t have any auto test software. Or testing plans. Or …

              • Well, Yes, through testing before changes went out; & Yes, last person who worked on it usually got tag to fix when problems arose.

                But do you know how many comments I added because the last change I made wasn’t the root cause? After I tracked down a bug that was caused because something was setup wrong. That it worked until it was compiled with my change, did not negate something not getting setup correctly. Was a pain in the tush when discovered when you went test. Was worse when it decided not to show up until users used it.

                First 10 years, just commented & let it go. Last 2 years, when the mantra was “two weeks notice” & the final stretch when I had the date picked, not so much. At that point I was burning bridges just by leaving.

                It didn’t help that (until my last 2 weeks) I was the newest programmer (that is 12 years FWIW) and perceived as the one with the least experience. The problem with that is, yes, for that system, true. Computer Systems & Programming in general, nope, not even close; and the worse person for pulling the above, actually had the least amount of overall experience. Made worse in that we both came from a similar career changing background.

                Granted it was partly my fault as, latter it was discovered, the guys were surprised I had as much experience as I did. Not like I went around bragging about it; and I thought they had more than they did. No, there was (still isn’t) much interaction or any code review. Surprised?

              • I’m afraid that in many cases, the coders are the WORST people to ask to test their work. They won’t tend to imagine the ways that non-technical users can abuse the software and cause completely unsuspected problems.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Batch Programming for a Department Store.

                  As along as the cashiers entered the data correctly (and there were checks for that), I didn’t have worry (too much) about idiot users. 😉

                  • Ah. Yes, I can see that would be reasonable. The only two pieces of software I have tested that weren’t mine were part of Ohio’s first online school system, in which I was required to perform the actions on a script, and ONLY those actions, and report if it performed correctly, an a combination review/social meeting place website. Those were both rife with possibilities for idiots to “shine”.

                    I was setting up a pretty ambitious automated test when they cancelled the review site. Which was too bad. I kind of liked it, even though it was mostly for moms.

                  • Last system had checks & balances. To the point where we knew who originated a record & who last edited it & when. Although did not track what was changed (too much data). Also didn’t track who deleted it … which was really needed for admin to track … records didn’t just “disappear”. After a certain point they couldn’t delete some records, but until then … No, restore was not an option, & never would/will be.

                • “Well, it crashes because you’re not supposed to use it that way’ should never be an acceptable excuse

                • THIS. Functional testing is not complete until someone who has minimal experience with the system has gone through the operation.

                  • And get someone to randomly misuse it in novel ways, like myself (widely feared as “the beta tester who can break anything”)… and all I actually do is, “What does this do? Let’s try it.”

                    Was at a trade show and encountered the Microsoft rep demo’ing the then-new System Restore function. I asked him, “What happens if you pick a date from before Windows was installed?” He says … “Let’s find out.” Killed his demo setup so dead, that was the end of his weekend. But note that this particular screw-up is no longer available to the user. 😀

                    • If I could teach developers one thing, it would be: “If you don’t want a user to push a button, DON’T SHOW IT!!!!”

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      In one class I had for (IIRC) Visual Basic, I had a “don’t press this” button.

                      If somebody pressed it, a picture of a Dragon came up. 😀

                    • *snort* Yes. Class you can get away with that. Real world, not so much, in general.

                      We had buttons that were not available until certain conditions were set. That became a balancing act. One we never won. If button was visible, but unusable, we got “This won’t work.” (well yea, you haven’t met the conditions.) If button was invisible unless condition was met – “I know this exists but it isn’t there.” (again, yea, you haven’t met the condition.) Other times buttons were present or not based on how the program was triggered. Again with the “this is missing …” (sigh)

                      Latter was because when I first started we had multiple ways to do something, not using shared code. So if we got a call that XYZ wasn’t working or needed changing, it was really easy to make the change in one place & not in the other, then … oh fun. Then the way the process being done got a major rewrite, & I did it. No more was there multiple code sources for that functionality. One way. Period. The only concession I made to the perceived perception of it getting called multiple ways was whether certain buttons were displayed. One set of programs a change was made & there were 8 different places that had to be changed to keep them in sync. Before I left there was ONE. Granted there were still *4 programs that needed to be compiled to insure all got the changes, but still.

                      * Should have been only one, only difference was name, but the way the system was setup, it was easier to do it this way. Should have cheated & gone with a generic name so it didn’t matter what subsystems the install actually had paid for, but that got nixed by someone with more authority than I had. Since I was about ready to give notice … someone else’s battle.

                • “I’m afraid that in many cases, the coders are the WORST people to ask to test their work.”

                  Yes. Absolutely. Got decent at it. But even in a job where there were formal testers & test plans for what I wrote. I was the absolutely the worst person to help run through the test plans. “Yep. Know that works. No reason to check that. …”

                  One thing I cultivated at the last job, without testers, was learning which clients’ would be negatively affected with changes to particular programs. Like the ones who got fined if A/R was wrong or Payroll was dependent on. Even if a change was not for them, learned to test their data against the change.

                  Was not happy with another programmer when he changed ONE program. Did not follow through on 5 others that had to be changed because of a major difference on how something worked. Simple concept change. But the over all effect, not so much. Wish I could say that happened once. Yea. Not. He had 7 more years experience on the system than I did.

      • The same problems are occurring in San Francisco. Plus the additional one of having to flush the streets and sidewalks……….

        • I just saw an article where SF is now asking taxi drivers at the airport not to urinate and defecate in the taxi lineup because it disturbs the visitors…

          What did they *think* was going to happen when they gave the nod of approval to public elimination?

          It took me until then to realize that’s probably why some societies are so insistent that people take their shoes off when going indoors. Yeah, if I’d been walking through human waste on the sidewalk, I guess I wouldn’t want to track it in the house either…

          • “It took me until then to realize that’s probably why some societies are so insistent that people take their shoes off when going indoors. ”

            The problem being, of course, that those aren’t the societies we’re encouraging emigration from in the first place, and when they get here, the message is that “your way of life is fine, we need to accommodate it, and anyone who disagrees is raaaaacist.” If indoor plumbing wasn’t a thing in your rural village, the results are predictable.

      • A lot of modern ecomentalist solutions fixes to problems caused by yesterday’s ecomentalist solutions.

  22. Speaking of trying to kill off the human species: PJ media has an article, Voluntary Human Extinction Movement Gathers Steam. A similar group were the bad guys in episode 11 of the TV series “Salvation,” Celebration Day.

  23. For water, whether you’re on a well or city water- filter all water coming into the house down to 5 microns. That gets rid of a lot of future problems, and helps with the laundry. More than you’d think.

    For laundry detergents- use only liquids. For my one kid who breaks out with any detergent dyes or fragrances, we use the allergenic versions of Tide or All or Arm and Hammer. Whichever I can get cheapest at the time. We also use the extra rinse option on every load.

    And for extra cleaning power in the dishwasher or laundry- 1/2 TSP of (real no substitute) tri-sodium-phosphate and sodium tripolyphosphate. Both available through Amazon. If you use one TBSP of each daily you’ll add as much phosphorous to the waste stream as one human urinating daily.

    As for washing machines, front loaders clean much better than top loaders. Period. Even old ones with agitators and lots of water. We’re on our 4th one since 1994. The third one still works- we use for really ucky stuff. Interesting factoid- manufacturers consider 3 loads a week in a washer to be an average household use. I have no clue where they got that number from. When we had all 5 kids in the house, every day if not twice most days. With my wife and I and one part time kid, it’s still every day. Of course, your towel use philosophy comes into play here. When I grew up, and of course, aboard ship, used a towel for a week, hanging it to dry between uses. My wife’s philosophy- used once, it’s dirty, needs to be washed. But anyway, my point- if you use your washer once a day, you’re putting it through 2 years of manufacturer’s expected use every year. BTW, another reason we use the extra rinse option- there’s a lot of water leftover in the washer after it drains. So the first rinse is being done with quite a bit of dirty wash water in it. And the extra rinse with first rinse water mixed in…

    For dishwashers, though, they really do need to get rid of the energy star ratings. Even the older dishwashers use far less water than washing and rinsing by hand. Especially the rinsing. Actually, I think the manufacturers actually went to the EPA and told them the water usage couldn’t be reduced any more if the machines were to work.

    On water softeners- I highly recommend them. If you don’t want to drink softened water, that’s fine. Still get a softener and feed your water heater with softened water. After all, you don’t drink hot water. Your water heater will last longer, your dishwasher will clean better.

    As someone mentioned above- there are way more cycles than anyone uses. Most people use a max of 3 of the cycles available on any appliance. But- everyone seems to use a different 3. FWIW.

    • It’s like toasters.. one or two settings might be fine, but which ones? So the control goes from “slightly warmed bread” through the useful range all the way to “I could strike an arc on that carbon!”

    • The one item I’ll toss out for front loads is balancing. My top load goes off kilter with any type of linen load. Can’t be good for mechanisms.

    • Anonymous Coward

      TSP powder is also available at the local Home Depot or Lowes in the paint section. As you noted, their is a tendency to sell it alongside the worthless phosphate-free “TSP (giant font) Substitute (small font)”.

  24. We are so far so good on washer and dry which are both large capacity and about two years old as a result of kind Providence having directed additional work my way.

    By the way 3/4 of my home state of North Carolina is in the possible affected zone of Florence, which is predicted to be a major hurricane and to land fall (by my map reading) near Wilmington about 8PM Thursday (or as far south as the SC/GA line or as far north as the NC / VA line). The predicted track is still shifting; but make mention of us in your prayers if you would. I think I ‘m a bit nervous. Heh; maybe I should re-read Jeff Sanders article on if you think we got it bad now, look at the 1300s: https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/you-think-we-have-it-bad-today-take-a-look-at-the-14th-century/.

    “Ah, to sleep, perchance to dream.” Good night all.

    • The prof I TA’d with at Flat State U would look at the 250+ students in Western Civ I, and say in his growly, West Philly accented, chain-smoker voice, “The fourteenth century sucked.” Thus far I have found no reason to disagree with that assessment of the period in question.

      • Me neither, especially after reading Barbara Tuchman’s *A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century.* One of the scariest history books I’ve ever read. (Nothing tops *The Great Influenza* by John Barry.)

  25. Memetics fits with my theory of the “Headless Conspiracy” where people BELIEVE there is a conspiracy, and want to be a part of it, so they act with what they believe the goals of the (non-existent) conspiracy are in mind, hoping that they will be rewarded and brought into the fold. Even more cynical believers take advantage of these rubes and try to “lead” them.

  26. “Bureaucrats in a working system don’t need to conspire. They’re like spiders sitting at points on a community web. If one of them starts doing something for the good of the web, it’s because conditions seem to call for it—and those same conditions will also move other bureaucrats, whether they know the whole story or not. It’s as if the vibrations travel along the strands of the web, and the rest of them, following their nature, start doing what must be done-all without any direct spider-to-spider communication whatsoever.”

    – Gordon R. Dickson, “The Last Master”

  27. Is there any chance we’ll get good showers and appliances again or are we doomed by the greenies?

    • I don’t know, what are you prepared to do to remove the greenies from any position of power (including the possibility of mob action; see Greenpeace, ALF, etc.) to keep you from having them? Your answer will tell you exactly when.

  28. Incidentally– reading that article had me htting a mental wall, hard, because I kept wanting to ask “dude, you’re shocked that a Bishop BELIEVES IN THE DEVIL?!?!”

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Too many “Liberal” Clergy don’t believe in anything that’s not found in the Politically Correct Handbook. 😦

      A few years back, a Protestant Bishop was quoted as saying that Jesus wasn’t G*d. 😦 😦 😦 😦

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I’m think Wretchard is a believing Catholic. Based on some of his tweets, which I’ll admit cover a wide range of possibility.

      I think what you are noticing is just him writing to reach a particular audience.

  29. Maybe humans can’t conspire their way out of a wet paper bag. But… what if there were someone else behind it. Or someTHING else. Some thing that could conspire very well. Something with such patience as to make Job look like he’s ADD. Some thing that knew human weakness (general and specific) even better than we. Some thing that maybe didn’t CONTROL all the leftists, but could whisper into their left ear just the things to push the buttons it needed to advance its agenda. (This is a good thing to save Mother Earth. She needs you to be strong. You are important and special because of it. The ends justify the means.) What if such a thing existed and could do those things. And what if it knew everyone’s worst secret too. I wonder what that would look like. >: )↝

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