This is a wee bit — coff — late because a family member had a routine procedure which required me to spend a lot of time in a hospital waiting room.

And while waiting, older son and I got to talking, and what we got to talking about was innate versus trained traits.

The truth is no one knows what the cause of the way any individual is: environment or genetics.  I mean, we know both go into it, but not what proportions, nor how easy it might be to train someone out of really counterproductive or difficult genetic traits.

We know humans aren’t cattle, whatever else we are.

What I mean is, as far as we can tell you can’t take the traits of the dam and the sire and get more or less consistently the same traits.  Part of it is because cattle is less genetically diverse than us.  Which btw means that they’re REALLY not diverse at all.

The Marching Morons effect — for lack of a better term — in which the least intelligent people reproducing over a long period of time would make the entire population moronic is possible. But it’s not possible over one or two generations, because intelligence in humans is not that simple. There are multiple traits that feed into it. And some of them are recessive and inheritance is complicated.

And then there’s environment.

Oy, environment. From what you ate as a child to how prioritized intelligence or a certain type of intelligence was in your culture all of it will affect how your present as an adult and how you express what you have.  If you talk to doctors and social workers, you’ll find any number of people who adopt kids of disparate backgrounds and all the kids mimic the parents’ IQ. Which is statistically unlikely for mere genetic inheritance.


The reasons we were talking about it was agreeableness, particularly in familial settings, which older son and I were discussing because it’s sort of how were trying to figure out my er… “life transition.”

By which I don’t mean what most people mean by “change of life” for women.  That happened years ago surgically and kind of suddenly.

No, I mean as the boys are almost flying solo, and though it’s a highly anticipated and indeed delayed (because their professional track was difficult and protracted) change, it’s affecting me weirdly.

Part of this, is my “agreeableness.”

This is not quite altruism, but a tendency to set your goals and your identity in relation to other people, which in my case, for reasons genetic or of upbringing mostly is family or adopted family.

So I have a tendency to default to “mother of all living” but more so of course my biological kids.

Which means I find myself trying to reorient and figure not…. not who I am (because I know that, unless I’m busy being a character) but how to orient what I am and how much I like other people’s needs and expectations to affect me.

What I want to do is easy: I want to write.

But it takes time to ratchet away from “pleasing others” to “producing writing” (which also pleases others in a different way.) Because this type of internal turning takes time.  Humans, like societies, have inertia and it takes time to change direction.

I’m not proposing, mind you, to stop caring for or about my family and friends. That would take quite a lot and perhaps becoming not me.  What I wish to do is stop prioritizing all of my family and friends over me and my routine and the work I wish to do.

It’s harder than you think because agreeableness is both an innate and trained trait.

Also because despite the importance put on women having jobs, society also still expects us to care for others, perhaps more than in the past, since people today have this myth of the woman as universal nurturer. (Which is not true for all women.)

It feels bad and possibly evil to wish to take time for myself and pursue my goals.  Yes, I do understand it’s not either bad nor evil, it’s a way to achieve goals which are not in themselves bad or evil.

Feeling this is bad or evil is probably non functional and stupid.  But it is there, and it needs to be dealt with in its own language, which is something very difficult, since I neither communicate well with my brain nor with my emotions.

It’s hard to take all the psych-advice books that tell you to think of yourself as worthy and not feeling guilty for pampering yourself, because it always makes me think they’re just making people become selfish.

So, what I’m trying to say: that it’s difficult for cultural and genetic reasons to even believe that you must look after yourself.  And yet it is demonstrably true. And yet if you go too far that way it is also demonstrably bad and can rip societal structures apart.

So far, the best advice I’ve found, and what I’m trying to hew to is Peterson’s “Take care of yourself as though you were someone you love that you’re responsible for.”

It’s hard to understate how powerful that idea is.  It shouldn’t be. It should be common sense. But between the demands of pathological altruism that have been built into our society and the equal demands of pathological hedonism it’s sometimes hard to hew your way without fearing you’ll fall too hard into the other pole.

But that is a good way to evaluate.

If you were in charge of another person you loved, of course you’d give them their meds and not let them eat only candy.

In the same way, if you were in charge of another person you loved, and this person had a special thing they felt called to do (and which wasn’t, say, chopping up the neighbors and putting them in a trash bag, of course) you’d try to get them time and mental and emotional space to do so, right?

So, I’m now trying to do that.  Of course not as straight forward as it sounds.  Nothing human ever is.

Agreeableness might be both trained and genetic. But it is still our job to control and aim our traits of either kind.

I’m just having trouble with the idea it’s not either easy nor instant.



84 thoughts on “Agreeableness

  1. agreeableness is both an innate and trained trait.

    Although I am in many ways a classic middle child, few who know me would deem “agreeableness” either innate or trained in me. Orneriness, cussedness, oppositional, marching to a different drummer — perhaps. But such agreeableness as afflicts me is mostly of the “Meh, not worth fighting them over” sort.

  2. It feels bad and possibly evil to wish to take time for myself and pursue my goals.

    That is the response the statists intend you to have, and it can be resolved suppressed by accepting their solution of State as minder of all things.

    Uncomfortable leaving your children in order to work your barely above minimum wage job career? Senator Warren has a solution for you! Several, in fact. And all it will cost is your liberty and, frankly, who needs that, anyway?

    1. I always get nervous when a progressive offers several solutions. It’s the one after the penultimate one that’s the killer, it seems.

      1. The trick when a run of the mill Progressive offers several solutions is to figure out which one they really, REALLY don’t want you to pick. Don’t jump on it instantly; but it’s likely to be themonky one they offer that’s worth considering.

        The trick when a smart Progressive offers several solutions is to reject ALL of them, and pick something that will work, will please you, and completely fits what they SAY they are trying to accomplish.

        It has sn’t easy, but if you do it right it should result in an aneurism. For them.

    2. And all the while they’ll insist that having it at all is the fault of (say it with me) CAPITALISM.

      Or occasionally the gender binary, or something.

  3. which wasn’t, say, chopping up the neighbors and putting them in a trash bag

    Of course not! That would be appalling! Double bag the remains, at minimum.

    Or, you know, support some organization that advocates for chopping them up while still in utero, and selling off the body parts for “scientific” research.

    I don’t want to be disagreeable.

  4. It’s amazingly difficult to tell the man you love that he needs to stop wandering into your office to chat at random times, and yes, that includes sticking his head in and asking if you’re busy.

    1. Put two people with that tendency together, and you have a recipe for non-communication and silent tug-of-war that can result in marital disaster. It’s not as bad or as common as those couples who scream at each other instead of listening, but it’s not healthy, either.

    2. A few years back, DH was getting *really* pissed off at work because he and his co-worker were under a dire deadline and they kept getting interrupted by various people, all for objectively good but less than dire reasons … so they bought a couple of those hazard-yellow warning signs that read “Quarantine Area” and hung them at the cube entrance … that actually worked.

      Might be worth a try?

      1. I have a sign, green on one side with “Putzing… disturb at will” and red (well, pink – how an elementary school teacher does not have any red construction paper is still a mystery) on the other side, reading “WRITING – KNOCK AND DIE!” Plus a lock on the door and Scottish war bagpipe music, for the temporarily reading challenged.

        Of course, I can get away with this, as I am currently catless. Needy or not, a closed door is a genetically coded challenge to any representative of Felis domesticus.

        1. I used to use “Died — will let you know when I’m resurrected.”

          First time I used it got the “what the heck?” Except it was from the group whose project I was trying to get done. They became the gatekeepers; bless their hearts. Only had to use it a few times.

          This was at the office. So, no kid, no hubby, & no cats.

          My last job I couldn’t use this. Ignore the phone, yes. But sign was useless. Was known to growl when the phone rang, before I answered; not that it helped. My last 5 months, when I’d decided to quit, ignoring the phone got really, really, easy. Sure I was shirking (not like I wasn’t doing anything, just avoiding phone), your point? I was done. What were they going to do? Fire me?

        2. Regarding red construction paper;

          I don’t know if this has any bearing, but the red that was used in the commonest brand when I was a child was poisonous. How did we know? Because every summer, when we opened up the summer house, theremwould beamdead fieldmouse that had chewed through the block of construction paper…and died when it hit the red.

          I also seem to dimly recall reading that thet red dye had been discontinued because children who chewed wads of it got sick. My reaction was “Wonder why it took them so long to figure THAT out”, which is why I remember it at all…..

      2. Some of our senior engineers either have to do work at home or take working days there solely so they are able to actually work and not be beseiged with status meetings and job fobbing.

    3. or that no, you can’t concentrate on work when they are watching things on a TV that is right next to your computer….

    4. Tell me about it. I love my wife dearly, but she has an immense knack for picking exactly the time I’m trying to read to start talking to me about something, and I have been completely and utterly unable to think of a polite way to say, “Honey, I love you dearly, but if the open book in my lap didn’t give it away, I’m trying to read, and I can’t do that and listen to you at the same time, so could you please bugger off?”

      (I think part of the reason this doesn’t occur to her is that she can read and carry on a conversation at the same time, or she thinks she can, anyway, so it really doesn’t occur to her that the interruption genuinely does wreck my ability to concentrate.)

      1. I discovered early on that if I was sitting on a park bench and reading, I was perceived as somebody who needed cheering up, but if I was reading and smoking (pipe or cigars, don’t know if it worked with cigarettes), then I was perceived as busy.

        Worked like a charm until the secondhand smoke nazis took over the world.

        1. That sounds like a basic mindset communication gap. People who prefer the company of people to the company of books naturally assume that anyone alone with a book is doing it only because they have no people available (and must therefore naturally be as unhappy as the observer would consider himself to be in that position). Smoking, however, is assumed to be one of those activities that indicates you were either already happy or became happy once you started, so nobody saw any need to provide some.

          (My own utter loathing of all things tobacco-related, on the other hand, suggests that it may be less a perception of busy-ness and more sheer simple dislike of the smell that kept people away. But that is, to put it mildly, a highly biased interpretation.)

  5. Years ago, somebody was talking about the Command of “Love Your Neighbor As Yourself”.

    As I remember what he said, it was that self-love wasn’t in itself bad as the Command wasn’t “Love Your Neighbor More Than You Love Yourself”.

    IE The Command is “Love yourself and Love your neighbor just as well”. 😀

    1. My observation is that it is mostly those who have been abused by others and internalized it who need reminders that the command is not “Love your neighbor instead of yourself” or “Love your neighbor better than yourself:”
      But since it’s easier and natural to think of oneself first, even in those cases you may get some strange combinations of self-hatred and selfishness in the same person.

  6. Any time you don’t feel like entertaining us, just put out a FOIW sign on the blog.

    I’m agreeable to that. 😀

  7. Sarah, it sounds like you’ve got a standard-issue Empty Nest gear-change (not a “problem”, not a “syndrome”, just a shifting of mental gears). You’ve been accustomed to being Mom…and now are on the verge of tossing the kids out of the nest with instructions to come back with grandchildren on a monthly basis. 🙂

    Give yourself a few months. Those mental gears aren’t synchromesh units. I’m entering that sort of transition myself…nearing retirement age (through the miracle of starting with the Feds 2 weeks after my 17th birthday), and figuring out just what to do next.

    1. Grandchildren on a monthly basis?

      Are the boys expected to set up enormous – and fertile – harems to accomplish this goal?

      Yeah, I know what you meant. But – paw raised to Ghu – that’s the first thought that crossed my mind.

        1. Isn’t that the engineer? It is the second nost expedient plausible route to the request. What else would you have him do. (I assume you’ve brought him up such thst the most expedient method if kidnapping is pushed down the decision matrix)

  8. The transition to no kids might have been easier for those of us raised overseas. We had to leave to go to college in an era when there were no cell phones, internet, air mail postage was expensive, and long distance meant scheduling through White Plains, NY at (AT&T’s) weird times. You either swam or sunk on your own. So when my kids went out on their own, we just assumed they would do fine (and they did). We sometimes wondered why the house was so quiet all the time.
    You will do fine and get lots of writing done. After all, remember that your kids’ parents managed to join two separate cultures and flourish despite any odds to the contrary.

  9. The best one on this point I’ve heard yet comes out of a very old, proud, and ruthlessly practical tradition:

    “One hand for yourself, one hand for the ship.”

    It first came to my notice (perhaps oddly enough) in a book about intuition, both theoretical and applied, written by someone who’d actually been part of a decent-sized sailing-ship crew earlier in her life.

    There is more to this than might meet the eye at first. Someone who falls and breaks their leg can’t climb the rigging, someone who falls overboard has to be rescued (if possible) at much effort and cost in progress along course. (And imagine tacking upwind while looking for someone “back there”..!)

    So to an important extent, taking care of yourself (mind and body and soul) *is* taking care of people, and not only of yourself.
    (“a special thing they felt called to do” — see above, under “soul”)

    Also remember, that not everyone *can* (even in the fine and ancient Portuguese tradition) forsee heavy weather or reefs ahead, or plan a way to navigate around such hazards. Those who can… either do, or do not.
    And there has been more than a trace of navigational lore in these pages, virtual though they may be.

    (And if I might be permitted a final moment of pure selfishness, I really do find myself looking increasingly forward to that one featuring Baron von Richtofen and Future Girl. Just sayin’…)

    1. One hand for yourself, one hand for the ship.

      Sigh. I’m going to Hell, I know that.

      As soon as I read your adage the image came to mind of a bold buccaneer, standing athwart the helm ahead of a growing storm, left hand resting on the wheel and right hand fondling his mast.

      Sigh. I’m going to Hell,

        1. I’ll be just a bit behind you two… It took me a few seconds to get that image. Quite a few more to get the intended one.

          Omigerd, that just tried to start a story line. DOWN, MUSE! We don’t do that kind of writing!

      1. First reaction: at least half the Pirates of Old are laughing right along with you (both) — not exactly a job well qualified by “plays nicely with others” and “has internalized the Golden Rule” (though the Rule of Gold likely differs).

        Second reaction: suddenly not sure that’s really okay, pirate-wise. Pillage, rape (gender or genders to be determined, and don’t forget captains like Ann Bonny and Grace O’Malley), goal-oriented or gratuitous cruelty / torture / mayhem, definitely. Maybe not that variation, though… pirates can be so unkind!

        Further inquiry may be indicated.

        Third reaction: *one* hand on the wheel “ahead of a growing storm” — unlike, say, the Concorde above Mach 1 (which it is said could be flown with one fingertip on the stick, and here let sleeping Freudianisms lie), a sailing ship had a tendency to “fight the helm” pretty vigorously and/or suddenly.

        “Yup, old Brokenhand Bill, he decided to…”
        “…and was never the same again.”

        Like the filk song says, “we’ll all go together when we go…”

        1. “Like the filk song says, “we’ll all go together when we go…””

          Tom Lehrer – Filking at the apogee of the art.

    2. Interesting. In the oil patch I’d heard it as “1 hand for you, 1 for the Company Man.”

      No doubt one was derived from the other.

      Company Man, n. The representative of the oil company or operator on a drilling location. For land operations, the company man is responsible for operational issues on the location, including the safety and efficiency of the project. Even administrative managers are expected to respond to the direction of the company man when they are on the rigsite. Offshore, depending on the regulatory requirements, there may be an offshore installation manager, who supervises the company man on safety and vessel integrity issues, but not on operational issues.

    1. I gather that it is also prudent to add something between the inner and outer bags, something mentholated or even just coffee grounds.

    2. Contractor bags, people! Sold in boxes of fifty at your local big box hardware emporium.

      No, I don’t have any empirical data to back that up, of course. Really, I don’t…

    3. In this connection also see post & comments from several months back, search terms “Yellowstone” and “hot springs”..!

    4. Waterproof canvas bag. Hefty and strong, just make sure it is truly waterproof, cause otherwise leaks.

  10. I know the image is meant to show solidarity, togetherness, unity, whatever. But I cannot help noticing in that that nobody is free until another person releases and so everyone is holding everyone back.

  11. See, this is why I’ve learned to not be agreeable:

    Government report reveals CBO was scandalously off in Obamacare estimates
    A new report from government actuaries has revealed that the Congressional Budget Office was scandalously off in its estimates of the impact of Obamacare’s individual mandate, a miscalculation that has had significant ramifications for healthcare and tax policy over the past decade. … The fact that the CBO assumed 14 million could lose coverage mainly due to the elimination of mandate penalties helped kill the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, while its later assumption that 13 million fewer insured individuals would mean less spending on subsidies from the federal government helped get the 2017 Republican tax cut across the finish line by improving the budgetary math. Yet those incredibly influential estimates now appear to have been wildly off.

    In what was literally a footnote in its annual report on national health spending projections, actuaries for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Wednesday estimated that the elimination of the individual mandate would have a significantly smaller impact than the CBO has long estimated. Specifically, the CMS report revealed that 2.5 million more people would go without insurance in 2019 due to the repeal of the individual mandate’s penalties, and the impact would be “smaller” thereafter.


    But the CMS actuaries, while acknowledging that the elimination of the mandate penalties would have some effect on enrollment in private coverage, write in footnote #2 toward the bottom of their report on national health projections, “By 2019 the individual mandate repeal is anticipated to result in about 1.5 million fewer direct-purchase-market enrollees, who are expected to be somewhat younger and healthier than those who retain coverage, as well as about 1.0 million fewer employer-sponsored-insurance-market enrollees, than otherwise would have been projected. After 2019 the enrollment effects are expected to be smaller. Medicaid enrollment is assumed to be unaffected.”

    This is consistent with other data we’ve received since the mandate was repealed as part of the 2017 tax law suggesting a relatively modest impact. For instance, after all the warnings of massive fallout from the elimination of the penalties, 8.4 million signed up for coverage on the federal Obamacare exchange for 2019, down just slightly from 8.7 million a year earlier, when the mandate was in place.

    Given the outsized influence that the CBO has on policymaking in Washington, the CBO’s misfire on the individual mandate should be a major story.

    1. part of that is the huuuuuge chunk of people who were eligible for medicaid or expanded medicaid and didnt know before the Obamacare thing made them go get it.

  12. The old airline instructions tell anyone traveling with children: “Put the oxygen mask on yourself, before putting it on your child. This is a good metaphor for how we must be “selfish” and take care of ourselves first to take care of others. As the father of a special needs son, it was crucial to take care of myself to be able take care of him.

    That same son died last year of cancer. For the 6 months he lived after diagnosis, I drove him thousands of miles for care. I did not do it in my own strength. I wrote a psalm to God just after his diagnosis and offered my grief to Him(God) as a gift. Through the hours of frustration, I kept remembering to offer myself as a gift to my son. To not serve from guilt, or feel guilty for what I couldn’t do. There were many divine appointments along the way to remind us that God was with us. I did not burn out.

    I have a friend. His wife is going blind due to diabetes and stress, but she refuses to de-stress her life due to being a victim of catholic guilt. Her mother served until she died, as did her grandmother. When we serve out of guilt, we end up like Martha, trying to impress, never being still and hearing God. Trying to serve in our own strength.

    Jesus was fond of going off by himself to pray and listen. He only did what He saw the Father doing. So the secret is to relax and do only what you are supposed to do. The hard part: The relax and only.

    1. With that, I shall sign off for the night. I’m not going to see anything more beautiful or said so well for quite a long time.

      Please take this the right way – I feel that both you and your son were blessed.

      1. The most important part of prayer is listening. For most of us, prayer is words in a bottle, thrown into a sea of mystery, addressed to “whom it may concern”. We do not know who the great I AM are/is.

        To know we are God’s beloved, to know He loves us, and then to listen for His still small voice in the midst of our journey, that is the Way. Elijah gives us the best example in his journey from the brook to the widow. Elijah is sent on a journey of trust. Each step a step of trust.

        Then he arrives and finds the widow about to eat her last meal. Elijah tells her to bake him a cake. She does. God sends us companions along the way to walk with us, to practice trusting God together with us.

        God sends us into storms to learn to trust Him. It is significant that when Peter walks on water poorly, Jesus does not calm the storm until they are back in the boat. We pray for the storm to end. God asks: “Are you following Me because I made the rain stop? What will you do, when I allow it to rain?”

        1. Yes, but He also said that it was totally okay to ask Him for fish and eggs, and that we were to ask Him for our needs.

          It is desirable to have an adult love of God, but also to have a childlike one, or even a childish one. There is not really a wrong way to pray, so long as one is not just talking to oneself about one’s own coolness, or beating oneself up unfairly with depression brain. What is great for someone “advanced” can be useless for someone at the milk and baby food stage.

          1. I like to think that God has 7 billion 3 year olds he has to deal with. None of us know fully.

            A 4 year old can trust better than a cynical 72 year old. It comes down to “Do you know who I AM”?

  13. “But between the demands of pathological altruism that have been built into our society and the equal demands of pathological hedonism it’s sometimes hard to hew your way without fearing you’ll fall too hard into the other pole.”
    Excellent phraseology of the dilemma.
    If you are always on one side of the pole or the other, then the response probably is pathological, and some changes may be in order.
    Perhaps a review of Rule #7 “Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)” would be helpful.
    I find that, sometimes, helping others is meaningful (the most important thing that can be done at the time), and sometimes it’s just expedient (that is, helping is “easier” than telling them it’s their own responsibility this time, and they need to get on with their lives).

    1. I’m becoming convinced that “demands of pathological altruism” is a best case scenario. This folk are an evangelistic faith who will tolerate not only no dissent but require you kneel at their altar. I fear they will not like the world we leave to them.

      Will Woke Progressives Allow Celebrities to Be Christian?
      We cannot exist as a pluralistic and diverse society if the price of admission to any American industry is the abandonment of religious faith to conform to the demands of the intolerant.
      You may have missed this news, but Chris Pratt, one of the most likable celebrities in modern American life, is now problematic to some people. But he’s not alone. Justin Bieber, Kylie Jenner, and Selena Gomez are under scrutiny now also. Their crime? They’ve attended Evangelical churches — such as Hillsong and Zoe — that don’t make it crystal-clear that they adhere to the new progressive sexual orthodoxy.

      That’s the thrust of one of the more intolerant Washington Post op-eds I’ve ever read, an essay by Post digital producer Drew Goins condemning Pratt for attending a church that doesn’t say that it “affirms” gay marriage and gay sex. You see, it’s not enough to be “welcoming” — loving each person who walks through the doors and inviting them to join in worship and seeking a saving relationship with Christ — these churches must be “affirming.” They must depart from Christian orthodoxy, or their celebrity members will pay a steep public price.


      it is the height of intolerance to believe that it is somehow problematic — absent any evidence of mistreatment on the job or on-set — that a person disagrees with you on matters of faith. And if it is an obligation for colleagues to go beyond “welcoming” each other to “affirming” each other’s deepest beliefs, where is the affirmation of faithful Christians?


      All of which brings to mind a passage from A Man For All Seasons:

      I am the king’s true subject, and I pray for him and all the realm. I do none harm. I say none harm. I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, then in good faith, I long not to live. Nevertheless, it is not for the Supremacy that you have sought my blood, but because I would not bend to the [demands of our times]!

  14. PS – totally off-topic, but just because it’s out there: what President Trump’s Space Force would look like as a pulp SF mag cover.

    1. Some people’s argument against the Space Force is ridiculous and makes me want to shake them violently. The need for a Space Force has been under discussion since SDI was originally proposed. *tips hat in JP’s direction*

      1. We already *had* a US Space Force… it was headquartered at Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs in the 1990s.

        It was a single building… probably all that remained after the USAF’s space budget got reassigned to NASA.

      2. Like almost everything else this happens to, it’s not a new idea. It’s been bouncing around longer than I’ve been alive. Except this was a push from white papers to keep funding to ‘defecate or get off the pot’

      3. I’m not usually for spending a whole bunch of money that we don’t have to. However, I think that mankind’s next big adventure will be space. Developing the technology for a “Space Force” is likely to give us a head start in that regard.

        Those opposed are crying “Arms Race!!!” Which is silly since it’s very unlikely that that particular race isn’t already going full steam in secret.

        1. In secret??? It is an awfully open secret, unknown only to those* willfully committed to denial of reality. The Chinese, Russians and Iranians have been working on disabling satellites controlling our GPS targeting since we demonstrated their effectiveness in taking down Saddam.

          We’re Polyphemus, able to launch devastation at will but helpless if No Man puts out our eye.

          *Okay, that’s the Gaslight Media, the Democrat Party (BIRM) and those who rely on them for information, so a majority of Americans..

        2. The primary purpose of the Space Force now is to take various efforts that are duplicated between the three branches and are duplicated effort into once centralized command structure. It will also take some efforts that are currently handled by the DoD (which all three service branches are unhappy about because that means it is being handled by bureaucrats instead of someone with a command structure to answer to) and put it under a centralized command structure that is a little more accountable to authority.

          In the future, yes, there will be other things. I know the AF isn’t happy about it, but no space fighters with laser cannons for them…

  15. “They couldn’t burn books. There were enough people around who’d sound the alarm on that. They couldn’t forbid books, because this is the US and there would be more people screaming than you could silence.”

    Of course you couldn’t burn those books. Don’t you know how much lead is in those old books?! They have to be very carefully disposed of as hazardous waste to avoid poisoning Gaia.

  16. I don’t want to sound like a Peterson Fanatic, but I just finished Rule #8: “Tell the Truth (or at least, don’t lie)” — and the Book Burning ethos (both types) follows directly from what he says there: small lies beget bigger lies beget shame to admit lies begets covering up lies begets totalitarianism in all its many varieties.
    He could have been describing the entire arc of the Kavanaugh-Covington-Smollett mindset of the Left.
    He marshalls history, religion, philosophy, and psychology to demonstrate that lying eventually destroys not only the individual, but also society.

    His personal experiences, which he exposes forthrightly (as is appropriate in that chapter!), explain a lot of things: his stand against using laws to force people to speak things they don’t believe in; his very intent attention to interviewers and careful responses to what they ask or say; and his passionate (nearly vehement) lecturing style.
    “Tell the truth, or at least, DON’T LIE.”

  17. I just had to say something about agreeableness in families. (just saw this today). If one mother is not agreeable, it can fracture the entire family. It happened in my family and made it hard to be agreeable to anyone. I see this in my siblings. So even if agreeableness is hard sometimes, imho it is a trait that is needed to bind a family together. I don’t know even know if it was inherited or environmental. I do know that environment did have a triggering affect to our isolation..

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