One of the strange things about the left, born of their ideological overlay on the world, is that they are so often right in all the wrong ways.

Take diversity, for instance.  (I’m not using it.)

They are forever complaining about the lack of diversity here or there or that other place, as well as trying to advance diversity by law, by dictating the “correct” proportions of people in any position or organization.

For instance I understand that new directives insist on a certain number of women on the director’s board of any corporation.  We’ll revisit this.

As someone from Yale (rebellion, in the belly of the beast. I’m sorry I couldn’t find the link just now) the “diversity” the left likes to emphasize is a diversity of skin colors. To be fair to the left, though, he did them an injustice: any external characteristic will do.  Look at any show they get a free hand to cast — even historicals where it makes absolutely no sense, but never mind — and you’ll find people of all skin colors, all sexual orientations, all sexual organs, (Well, I don’t know. It’s not like I ask strangers to drop trou. I presume that they haven’t yet demanded to examine sexual organs for deformations or warts as a means of making sure they have all of those, too, but I could be wrong) and if they can get them, with handicaps proportional to their existence in the population.

What they can’t seem to get is the actually important (to improved functioning of an enterprise)  “diversity of thought and life experience.”

Are those really that important?  Yes, within reason, and as applying to the enterprise at hand, which the left’s autistic concentration on diversity of groups only, and their belief that individuals in those groups are interchangeable widgets fails to grasp. Though perhaps it is also because real diversity that applies to the enterprise at hand is almost impossible to head-count and enforce, which means it is not amenable to their favorite top down solutions. It is more, honestly, the sort of thing you write “company management” books about, and perhaps tests to identify people who come up with different and creative solutions.

To make this a little more concrete, before I dip into the enterprise/industry I know best, and where diversity is perhaps the least well understood:

Both my grandfathers were carpenters: one of them a cabinet maker, the other a specialized carpenter who had made a study of woodwork throughout the centuries, and how to restore it. Both were very good at their jobs, and remunerated accordingly.

The first, my dad’s dad, was the one around whose workshop I grew up.  He was retired –no, really, seriously — which means he only worked about normal hours (until his lungs became too bad to work at all) and usually only for people he liked.  From hanging out with him, I retained a love of really good wood which served me well in buying incredibly cheap but good furniture at garage sales in the Carolinas in the late eighties.  And though I never learned — the things we later recriminate ourselves for — his formulas for varnish and wood filler, which he mixed himself, or even how to use all the hand tools he owned (someday I’d like to learn, but time is growing short, now) I did know enough to refinish things so you never knew how cheap I was or that, for instance, the little colonial-village cherry desk that now holds my publishing computer (as far as I can tell built and carved in Pennsylvania sometime in the late eighteenth century) cost me $5 (And was covered in fifteen layers of paint, including the inevitable 2 metallic layers.)

I never saw my other grandfather at work — though he had a workshop, by the time I remember it, he mostly used it to hide in and read when the family was over and he didn’t want company. I did work with him on setting out my parents new vegetable garden and flower garden, after we moved, and he taught me math, and spent a lot of time telling me stories of his misspent youth — but I have visited castles, palaces and churches where he restored dry-rotted and/or broken woodwork.  As you can imagine there was a lot of work of that sort in Portugal, where there’s a castle or palace every ten miles, and it was difficult, intricate and well paid. (Though he spent most of that on loose women and crazy writers. We all have our vices.)

Anyway, my paternal grandfather was a one-man enterprise at least in retirement, but I’m given to understand maternal grandfather at one time had a couple of dozen workers in his “company” (it wasn’t that, but it’s hard to explain.)

I have no clue how he arranged it, except to know being smart and a perfectionist, he probably had a diversity of specialists: People who could remove the affected portions, people who would do the rough-in, and detail carvers and guilders. For various reasons, I know he was capable of doing them all, but I’ve seen the scope of some of his jobs. One palace would have taken him most of his work life. And few people were as …. universally curious as he was about the various facets of the work.

Now, the reason I’m sure there was a diversity of specialties is because I’ve done that sort of work (where it’s too massive for one person, so each is responsible for a portion) and outside of the very roughest sort (and sometimes even then) you specialize.  If you are, say, cooking 500 rissoles for a party, you have someone make the dough, pass it along to the woman who rolls it out, pass it along to the woman who puts the filling in, pass it to the woman who cuts them out, then to the woman who rolls them in egg, then to the one who rolls them in bred crumbs, and finally to one or two frying-specialists.  You do not give the most clumsy and slapdash woman in the group the job of rolling out the dough, because it would be all uneven and some would burst. The same for the cutting. So you put her on the fryer and pray.  (I have a long scar up my arm for failing to control the temperature properly and getting an explosion of oil up my arm, but the rissoles turned out all right and in time, so no big.)

So, grandad had specialists in various things, we can assume.  But let’s say for the sake of diversity of knowledge and experience, that he considered hiring someone completely different.  Say, for instance, a lawyer, or perhaps a professor of classics (which grandad who had taught himself Greek and Latin would have loved, actually, for the conversation) would that have added to their efficiency and their output?

Well…. uh…. no, because in those terms those people were basically untrained apprentices, no matter how smart or how great their knowledge. It would be like putting me in charge of rolling out the dough.

In that sense “diversity” is as absolute bollocks as the “diversity” the left preens on.  Sure, it’s diverse, but it has nothing to do with the diversity needed for the actual work.

Now, if grandad had found say an archeologist or chemist who had either unearthed a workshop from the 14th century and made a study of tools and paints, or investigated bits of woodwork for “what they actually used” and been able to afford to hire him, I expect that “diversity” would have been welcomed and probably improve both their techniques and their proficiency.

From which I turn to the industry I know best.

The left is correct that diversity is preferable to a mono-culture where you have people of the same background who have all been taught the same.

And I’m absolutely sure this would be best demonstrated with some branch of science (though there the challenge usually comes from foreigners or those differently trained and on the fringes) but I know nothing about this, so we’ll go with the arts and literature.

The arts first, because where I was writing this, it occurred to me part of the issue the left has is SEEING past their training in a certain model.

At one time we lived in Colorado Springs within (if I didn’t have the car for some reason, as back then my eyes weren’t changing so fast as to make it near impossible for me to drive) walking distance of Bemis school of art.  We were also doing well enough, relatively, for me to splurge on a couple of art classes a semester.  Which meant sometimes there were no art classes center with my interests, or that didn’t require expensive material fees. Which means that I took everything from “how to draw naturally” to “Drawing from sculpture models.”

That later is the method taught in The French Academic period.  For me, it was just, really, a way to get some practice. But at one time this was the passport to proper art.  You drew classical sculptures, chosen for the proper proportions, so you learned TO SEE things that way. Which meant that if you got in someone whose features were less than perfect, your eye and hand would automatically correct.

This was of course great except for the fact that after a while the result of that school all looked the same.  Van Gogh was one of people who went against that rigid frame of “seeing” (After trying to conform. Apparently he got the worst possible views of the statues, because the teachers didn’t think much of his effort) and I think we’ll all agree that we’re better for his efforts. (Well, I’ve learned to love his work because one of my sons is a rabid fan. And it has enriched family outings and discussions.)

So diversity was absolutely needed (otherwise I expect the art would have got more and more repetitive and irrelevant [though one is tempted to wonder how much more irrelevant it would get that what happened to art in the post-modern world, but that’s something else again.]) but the establishment protected itself against it.

Which is one of those unfortunate characteristics of the human ape. We’re tribal. We tend to tribe up.  And tribing up is almost always a function of  how alike we are.

The funny thing is for any intellectual enterprise we identify as tribe more those who think exactly like us than those who look exactly like us.

So, take traditional publishing — please, I’m not using it — which is staffed almost exclusively and increasingly by females who have all gone through the best schools, be they ivies or ivy-adjacent.

There is a trained perspective that comes with this, a way of looking at the world, a way of interpreting what you see. The fact that this is mostly the Marxist model merely reflects the academic fashion of our times.  (The Marxist model enthralls universities because it’s a just-so tale that sounds profound and can be used to discover ever finer nuances in the society, which only the academic can correct (or even see) and which therefore confer a great sense of unearned superiority.)

The more this tribe controls/ed the decision makers on what gets published, be it as analysis or entertainment, the more the writers who are allowed past the gate/given large advances and vast rewards, are those who echo the characteristics and training of the ones doing the gatekeeping.

This would be fine and dandy, if — in fact– the vast majority of the American book-buying public were the same. If we’d all gone through the same ivy league schools AND BEEN CONVINCED of the same model (instead of doing barely enough pretending to “pass” while internally making rude faces and flinging bits of chewed paper at the lecturers. Not that anyone here — coff — would do that.)

Just as if all consumers of art had been trained in the Academie’s way of seeing, the art would have been right on target. But, alas, people hadn’t.

And most people who consume most reading, particularly genre books in the US (as I’ve described many times, and am not revisiting) found themselves increasingly allienated by what was being marketed to them as science fiction or fantasy or mystery.  Not even, to be honest, because of the political interspersion, (for those too young to remember, even those of us who knew the game was rigged rolled our eyes at those, and took them as the price to read anything at all) but because those works often had nothing to do with what attracted us to the genre to begin with.  As I’ve said before, I might love reading planet colonization stories, but they shouldn’t be a long, long, description of growing tomatoes in another planet, with very little else holding it together.  And I might love fantasy, but there’s only so much I can take of magical battered wife or daughter, or whatever before I grow bored.  As for mystery, is it too much to ask not to be able to guess from page one that the guilty person is the one who is rich or has conservative views? Because that’s not what mysteries are supposed to be.

And so, the vast majority of readers slow or fast wandered off.

At which point the tribe holding the offices of gatekeepers tribed up MORE and held it firmly that the only reason to reject their product (Other than low-brow preference for movies or video games, or whatever) was the LACK OF EDUCATION of all those people out there.  And the next phase was to imagine themselves as martyrs for the “faith” of Marxism, seeking to “educate” the public.  Like so many — far less interesting — Joan of Arcs, they clutched their hammer and sickle to their inconsequential breasts and stepped into the flames of not selling at all, FOR A GOOD CAUSE.  The cause, of course being virtue signaling for their fellows from exactly the same background (no matter how diverse the external characteristics.)

And this is why indie publishing/Amazon/etc is making such a huge dent in the industry.  Why? Because the industry lacked all diversity where it mattered: diversity of thought.

Had they got in a crass and brash businessman/woman (though more likely a man, since women have a different style) who would want to make money at any cost, the establishment would have resisted this very real diversity of thought, and done all they could to sabotage him into giving up, rather than changing and preserving their jobs and their industry.

So…. yep, human enterprises need diversity.  Diversity of skin color? Who really cares? Unless you think with your skin, in which case you are a curious species of alien, no one really SHOULD care.  Unless, of course, the job is having various sunblock systems tested on you.  Or serving as models to advertise something.

BUT barring that, what you need is diversity of thought. All human enterprises, arts, schools, government…. everything periodically needs fresh blood, and a new perspective.
And because of the human ape’s tribal inclinations, all will resist it.

Which means…

Nothing. It certainly doesn’t mean that the problem can be solved from top down regulation and supervision, and certainly not governmental prescription.

Why not? Well, because it would take an intimate knowledge of how EVERY field operates, which ways it’s going wrong, and what it needs. And let’s face it, the people who know the field are part of the tribe and blind to its blindspots.  And the ones who don’t are likely as not to dictate that a publishing house should hire a classical violinist to oversee its Science Fiction line, or a carpentry outfit must hire a French chef.

So…. the left has a point that diversity is needed and valuable, in practically every human endeavor.  What they’re wrong about is what diversity is, what type of diversity actually helps and how to fix it.

Other than that? Yeah, completely right.

What do we do about it? Nothing.  See, the thing is that the narrow minded tribalism of places completely “eaten” by the Marxist left brings on their own demise.

It doesn’t matter how hard you wear the skin of the freshly-killed enterprise/area of endeavor, and demand respect; if you are unable to make it function, it will disappear and something else will arise to fulfill that function.

Which — in our day and age — given how widespread the rot is, means we have to get ready to take the impact when things start failing.

Build under, build over, build around.

Because what can’t go on won’t. But civilization must go on. Those who can must do. No matter what the establishment thinks of us.


125 thoughts on “The-Verse

  1. Somewhere I heard a line that went something like this “Modern Diversity is people with different “skin color” singing the same song”.

    IE Skin color, “sexual preference”, “which sex the individuals”, etc doesn’t really matter to the Left as long as the individuals have the “Proper Beliefs”.

    If you lack the “Proper Beliefs”, then it doesn’t matter that you’re Black, Gay or a Woman.

    1. “I’d like to teach the world to sing and drink up all the coke” diversity?

      People of all sizes (from anorexic to thin), all colors (so long as their features are symmetrical and photograph well), all religions (so long as they aren’t the sort of fanatics who adhere to their faith teachings), all gathered together on a hillside to sing of the joys of drinking Kool-Aid Coca~Cola.

        1. All religions really teach the same thing!

          Was in a group once where a woman kept posting that and then citing moral teachings, and I pointed out every time that if you look at the Four Noble Truths, moral teachings are PART of one of them, and if you look at the Nicene Creed, you might argued that the “forgiveness of sins” came close, but neither one put the emphasis on moral teachings when defining what they taught.

    2. Indeed – as we saw in that recent 2nd Amendment march in Richmond, VA. If you don’t mouth the right platitudes, you might be green with purple spots and you aren’t the right kind of “diverse,” dontchaknow.

    3. I wonder if it might be a variation on the American ideal that Chesterton was talking about in ‘What I Saw In America‘?

      Now a creed is at once the broadest and the narrowest thing in the world. In its nature it is as broad as its scheme for a brotherhood of all men. In its nature it is limited by its definition of the nature of all men. This was true of the Christian Church, which was truly said to exclude neither Jew nor Greek, but which did definitely substitute something else for Jewish religion
      [Pg 8]
      or Greek philosophy. It was truly said to be a net drawing in of all kinds; but a net of a certain pattern, the pattern of Peter the Fisherman. And this is true even of the most disastrous distortions or degradations of that creed; and true among others of the Spanish Inquisition. It may have been narrow touching theology, it could not confess to being narrow about nationality or ethnology. The Spanish Inquisition might be admittedly Inquisitorial; but the Spanish Inquisition could not be merely Spanish. Such a Spaniard, even when he was narrower than his own creed, had to be broader than his own empire. He might burn a philosopher because he was heterodox; but he must accept a barbarian because he was orthodox. And we see, even in modern times, that the same Church which is blamed for making sages heretics is also blamed for making savages priests. Now in a much vaguer and more evolutionary fashion, there is something of the same idea at the back of the great American experiment; the experiment of a democracy of diverse races which has been compared to a melting-pot. But even that metaphor implies that the pot itself is of a certain shape and a certain substance; a pretty solid substance. The melting-pot must not melt. The original shape was traced on the lines of Jeffersonian democracy; and it will remain in that shape until it becomes shapeless. America invites all men to become citizens; but it implies the dogma that there is such a thing as citizenship. Only, so far as its primary ideal is concerned, its exclusiveness is religious because it is not racial. The missionary can condemn a cannibal, precisely because he cannot condemn a Sandwich Islander. And in something of the same spirit the American
      [Pg 9]
      may exclude a polygamist, precisely because he cannot exclude a Turk.

    4. I once saw a sweet old lefty library lady driven to acLefty tears by a SocJus grifter who’d convinced her she was the dirty dog keeping her Brown brethren and sistren down. So there’s folks for whom “we want the melanin-advantaged to be welcome amongst us” is a real thing.

      But most of my privileged NWL crew want a lovemy decorative human palette in the movie of their lives. I have from time to time suggested that one or another shade belongs to a human bean who may have other plans.

      Interestingly, they’ve listened. Maybe that’s the clue. There’s no hope for the gri fters, but the useful idiots can be reached.

  2. What they can’t seem to get is the actually important (to improved functioning of an enterprise) ‘diversity of thought and life experience.’

    Oh, Sarah, that would merely threaten their appreciation of themselves as wise and virtuous. They much prefer the security of superficial measures of diversity. Draw what conclusions you will from that.

    1. Not necessarily RES. I’m in the belly of the beast (again) with this one.

      They want EASY diversity, because it’s the new positional good and because it’s like being “purpose-driven” in the cult of SocJus. I’ve been using “Diversity is our challenge” to (so-far) good effect.


  3. The thing is, it is possible to quantify at least the potential for “different life experiences and upbringing” among the people you’re hiring for your company or admitting to your university. However, this requires, among other things, breaking out of the “racial and sexual identities are the only ones that matter” notion that the corporate progressives and academics have been pushing for the past several decades.
    In point of fact, I would argue that it would require leaving racial identity out of things entirely. Fact: Sasha Obama and Hunter Biden have far more in common with each other than the former does with Shanequa Jackson from the 9th Ward of New Orleans, and than the latter does with Will Duncan of Backwoods Hollow, North Carolina.
    What it would require would be taking into place of longest residence and place of birth, family income, educational background, and occupation, religion or lack thereof, hobbies, etc., and then seeing to it that the people you brought in had as broad a base as possible.
    If this sounds like a bureaucratic nightmare ripe for the potential for gaming the system, congratulations, it is. It would, however, be far more likely to result in all the different kinds of diversity occurring within an organization or institution than the current one. That those institutions controlled by the left are barely interested in economic diversity, let alone regional diversity, is extraordinarily telling about what the true motive is–keeping the current folks on top.

    1. … requires, among other things, breaking out of the ‘racial and sexual identities are the only ones that matter’ notion that the corporate progressives and academics have been pushing for the past several decades.

      Heh. Imagine a university admissions interviewer writing a recommendation along the lines of, “This applicant has spent the last five years working construction, he is a hunter, taxidermist and avid gun collector; I found him extremely articulate and very uncomfortable to be with. Recommendation: full scholarship.”

      1. A study found that Ivy League schools found membership in Four H and Junior ROTC were a positive disadvantage, especially leadership positions.

    2. … with Will Duncan of Backwoods Hollow, North Carolina.

      Point of order! As a Tarheel I am required to advise you that Backwoods Hollow is in Tennessee.

    3. Actual diversity of background and thought also requires being comfortable around people of different backgrounds and perspectives, and many of the folks in the upper middle class *aren’t.* They’re not comfortable with the true upper class, and resent it because it shows that they’ll never be a part of it. They’re nor comfortable with the lower class people because it reminds them that there are people worse off than they are, who have reason to resent *them* for the same reasons they resent those above them. And they think by associating with them it “stains” them.

  4. One interesting sorta example for the sciences is Climate Science. Some of the domains involved include fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and computational methods. Mechanical Engineering covers fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, Computer Science covers computational methods, and Meteorology covers all three.

    Issue is, Mechanical Engineers and Meteorologists have some radically different ways of understanding those concepts.

    Basically, you have the model, the model’s prediction, the measurement, the measurement’s error, and the differences. In Mechanical Engineering, the differences are avoidable, and you work to avoid them, for a given time and model cost in improving the model. You use a low error model to understand where success and the known failures are, so you can make a trade off decision that takes human welfare into consideration. Accurate, audit-able notes are critical. In Meteorology, differences are unavoidable, and people aren’t as careful with your past mistakes. The point where prediction errors are a problem is where your audience stops paying any attention to your future predictions of harmful weather.

    Aerospace engineering is similar to Mechanical in content, but very focused on the aeronautical and space applications. Aerospace engineers/pilots are not zero, and would have some interest in the intersection of meteorology and mechanical engineering.

    1. Well, turning your business model into “OMG we’re all going to drown!” for every shower, and “Snowpocalypse!” for every dusting of snow hasn’t helped their creditability much either…

      Wealther must hew to the Narrative!

    2. Actually I believe the Meteorology academy sees the point where prediction errors are a problem as where the prediction errors starts to impact the success of their grant applications.

    3. Way back when I was looking at ugrad I had a conversation with the dean of flight ops at Fl tech. At the time I wanted to major/minor in AE and flight ops (can’t due to faa regs anymore). He was a fan of the idea that needed both. AF agrees with many of their pilots. Just can fall back on having done airborne flight testing personally.

  5. Though [grandad] spent most of that on loose women and crazy writers.

    The rest he wasted.

        1. Ummm…I’ve never met anyone who believed himself to be insane, no matter how moonbat, howling-at-the-heavens nuts they were.

            1. Looks around. Turns on the TV, sees Impeachment Theatre and shuts it off.

              IF this world is sane I’d rather be nuts. Count me among Puddleglum’s Army.

              1. Turns on the TV, sees Impeachment Theatre and shuts it off.

                Your typing fingers to God’s eyes … Or heck yes (reader’s choice)

                Even worse depending on who is talking (ShityShift, or one of the cronies …) Sham-peachment-preachment for sure.

          1. Yeah, we haven’t met in RL, have we.

            I would, in theory, like to be sane. And there are definitely people crazier than I am.

            But there are definitely parts of my thinking, and periods of time that I can work out do not fit definitions of sane.

            1. That’s one of the arguments for that.

              Another argument is that certain past successes can be attributed to madness or culture (which is related). Trying to duplicate the process requires duplicating the mindset. Mindset can be cultivated to some degree; one can choose to do so. I have at times come to suspect that some of my decisions in that direction were deeply unwise.

  6. (The Marxist model enthralls universities because it’s a just-so tale that sounds profound and can be used to discover ever finer nuances in the society, which only the academic can correct (or even see) and which therefore confer a great sense of unearned superiority.)

    This academic “undetectable fine granularity” also simplifies soft-sciences academic publishing – it’s still publish or perish, and if one can write ones papers on imaginary distinctions and get it past peer review, ones career is much easier than if one had to actually do actual research and create new knowledge like those “technician” PhDs over in the hard sciences or engineering buildings.

  7. And the next time you see a pontification from the Los Angeles Times on the topic of diversity, keep this in mind:

    Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

    Nicholas Goldberg – caucasian man
    Jon Healey – caucasian man
    Kerry Cavanaugh – caucasian woman
    Mariel Garza – caucasian (hispanic) woman
    Robert Greene – caucasian man
    Carla Hall – caucasian woman
    Karin Klein – caucasian woman
    Scott Martelle – caucasian man
    Michael McGough – caucasian man

    1. While they may beat their breast and publicly wail and moan about White Privilege, the white & wealthy woke are still doing all they can to put their spawn in the right schools, and get them the right jobs.
      Diversity is good- as long as it doesn’t affect their own bottom line

      1. So far as I can tell the (extremely racist) lefties think being white is some kind of magical superpower that lets you magically oppress everyone else. Personally, I think the whole “somehow this weird little group from the colder climes built some of the biggest empires” boils down to “Well, when the climate where you live SUCKS and you’re BORED out of your mind during those long dark winters…”

        1. And you’re looking for SOMETHING to spice up your hideously bland meat and root veggies … well, what can you do? Especially if you have the ships and desperate gourmands seeking new flavors…

          1. IF you understood Portuguese and their fixation with food that whole maritime way to India would make PERFECT sense.
            Oh, I’m officially not even pre-diabetic, anymore, just “normal.”
            Could NEVER have done it in Portugal. there, passing up cake is considered bizarrely demanding.

            1. Heh, and going by my ancestry…well, English food is generally BORING, and Celt food (especially Scottish food) is, as the man in “So I married an Axe Murderer” said, based on a dare. Which is not the same thing as “tasty.” (Although given what I’ve read about Roman food…so much yikes. HOW did they not all die of food poisoning?)

              Going and seeing if those Other People Over There have better food (and cooler stuff, and prettier women) is a fundamental force of human nature!

              1. There’s a REASON that a standard room off a Roman banquet hall was the vomitorum…. just sayin.

        2. Yep.
          And shadow and I have white privilege just OOZING off us.
          You know the funny thing? Until about two years ago I hadn’t realized people PERCEIVE me as Latin in person. And no, I don’t KNOW why. I mean, even with thyroid working, and looking properly tan, I look “middle coloring.” It must be something to the way I stand/walk or my expressions. Hell, in our first apartment they thought I was MEXICAN which is on the face of it absurd.
          And maybe it’s not expressions/etc because they also identify the boys as Latin on sight. Which, you know, younger looks like he escaped from a yeshiva. Older looks…. vaguely mixed race, but he has Dan’s coloration. Heck, he tans darker, but that weird reddish tan of Englishmen.
          BUT somehow people perceive me as Latin. When the dime I dropped I reviewed in my head what I AM SURE were several times people tried to put me in my place/be racist to me.
          Like the times guys tried to harass me I was completely impervious by reason of Odd. A few of them I didn’t even register they were trying something bad. The others? I assumed “Oh, they’re annoying people in a bad mood.”
          And I went on. Which I think makes me white.

              1. A lot of accent stuff is very suggestion based– and that’s before confusing factors like “learned English from Brit tv” get involved.

                I’ve seen linguists identify a Chinese accent as Indian, and a Korean accent as “hm…second generation I think?” when they can’t see who is talking.

                1. Which is the ONLY thing that explains why A FRICKING MENSAN who had heard I was Portuguese before meeting me (and was CLEARLY unclear on what Portuguese actually SOUNDS like) kept insisting I sounded EXACTLY like Ricky Ricardo, while the rest of the people looked at him like he was nuts.

        3. I’m sorry. I’m a pre-retirement conservative Christian gun-owner white male. Which means I left any inherited influences over 4 decades ago. Now it seems to me that you can’t oppress unless you’re in a superior position to do so. Since I didn’t do anything special to gain that superior position, and the only thing I did to maintain it is go to school, work hard, and save, which any one can do, that must mean that I actually AM superior to the whining lefties.

          Hey! I like that. 😉

  8. … ivies or ivy-adjacent

    The ivy-adjacent are, in many ways, the worse due to barely suppressed sense of inferiority and resentment. Their inclination is often to out-ivy the ivys and they are vastly less prone to questioning whether the ivy-education is better.

  9. I might love reading planet colonization stories, but they shouldn’t be a long, long, description of growing tomatoes in another planet, with very little else holding it together.

    Far, far better to make it a tale of bold adventure, telling the heroic struggles of the bureaucrat administrator who battles the reactionary forces of the unenlightened in order to establish a regulatory structure striving to balance the need to preserve the natural environment against the needs of the colonists.

    Hah-ha, I keed! No administrator gives two hoots about the needs of the colonists.

    1. Don’t laugh, I’ve read some Soviet-era Russian SF (translated) that boiled down to that… Every now and then some publisher would print a “best of” volume of Soviet science fiction. Even cherry-picking (and I’m sure with considerable editorial, er, help) they never rated better than “birdcage liner.”

      1. Either that or they were horrid grey goo. It is really still the case with Russian SF, look at the Stalker and Metro games.

  10. Had they got in a crass and brash businessman/woman (though more likely a man, since women have a different style) who would want to make money at any cost, the establishment would have resisted this very real diversity of thought, and done all they could to sabotage him into giving up, rather than changing and preserving their jobs and their industry.

    What, you mean like Rupert Murdoch did with newspapers and TV news? But how, then, is the public to be protected from Wrong Ideas?

  11. So…. the left has a point that diversity is needed and valuable, in practically every human endeavor. What they’re wrong about is what diversity is, what type of diversity actually helps and how to fix it.

    I s’pose everybody here has partaken of the group exercise that starts with, “You’ve crashed on the far side of the moon and need to make your way to the lunar base. You salvaged these twenty-five items from you ship; rank them according to usefulness …”

    Your group of five has

    a) a physicist, two chemists, and two geologists

    b) an HR administrator, a marketing analyst, an advertising executive, a janitor and a pre-school instructr

    c) five Navy SEALS.

    Which group is least diverse? Which group would you put money on surviving?

    1. Well, I would look at you and say “insufficient information.” Okay, (b) is probably right out, although those could just be their jobs, not their interests. One or more could have knowledge that is useless for their professions – but critical to survival.

      I would also most likely reject (c) also, though! Unless you add the specification Space Navy SEALs. Highly trained people, yes, in a lot of different areas – but not in anything like the postulated environment.

      Quite possibly, with more information, I would pick (a). If the geologists are field geologists, they will be able to identify oxygen and water bearing rocks. If the chemists are industrial chemists, they will be able to figure out how to extract that oxygen and water (or crack the water for oxygen, just as good). If the physicist is an experimental physicist, he will be experienced in jury-rigging the equipment needed using whatever is at hand.

      As pointed out – the important thing is what kind of diversity you have.

      1. Yeah, but the most diverse set, is definitely the one with the lowest chances, barring skills and experiences beyond the occupation. The janitor is the only one whose occupational skills aren’t strongly oriented towards larger groups of people, which is not the situation of interest.

        1. Which is why it would be the least likely group. But, again, insufficient information.

          Time, of course, also enters into this. With thirty seconds to choose my group, it would probably be the SEALs. Give me two or three minutes to ask simple questions of the scientists, and they could be the top choice. The last group, I would only choose after a fairly extended amount of quizzing.

    2. Given the way SEALs train, they would probably have already worked through possible scenarios and means of escape, rescue, or survival before they left Earth. It’s part of their job. If nothing else, they would be used to the idea of being on their own and fixing their own problems.

      The physicist, chemists, and geologists… fifty, or even thirty, years ago, I would have put them first. But modern physics is mostly math and computation, and you can have a successful career as a chemist or geologist without ever seeing any lab work or dirt other than what was unavoidable in school. Nowadays there are too many academics and sararimen with those titles to make a call.

      The others… I hope they have some nice red shirts to die in.

      1. Seals are also well-used to operating in an environment where continuing to breathe cannot be taken for granted…. which is why they are going to be at least partially prepared for space.

    3. When I went through one of the similar exercises (plane crash in northern wilderness) in Squadron Officer School, the Special Ops pilot and I had the same idea, we are taking control of the one .45 pistol and then the rest of you are going to do the rest of the exercise our way.

      I have a feeling the SEALS would quickly come to the same conclusion if no one in the other groups exhibited any usefulness in short order.

        1. Mary, the “powder” of modern firearms contains “oxidizers” so they work in vacuum.

          I seem to remember that gunpowder would also work in vacuum.

            1. In fact, the “optimum” ranking for the objects, as developed by NASA, anticipates using that recoil as a rocket booster while leaping in lunar gravity.

              Holding at your center of gravity to prevent spinning ass over tea kettle might prove a problem, but if you have to cross a crevasse it might prove significant.

        2. Come on you can’t be serious, this is 1950’s SF stuff. Gun powder has its own oxygen or do you think that cartridge’s are pressurized?

        3. Please note that I stated a “similar” exercise with a scenario of a plane crash in northern wilderness. I guess I should have specifically stated it was the Terran northern wilderness, not lunar 😉

          While others have pointed out that firearms will probably work on the Moon (I don’t know that it has actually been tested), that is also beside the point, focusing as it does on tools not the persons using them.

    4. I would pick the Navy SEALS to survive for several reasons.
      1. They have been trained in survival skills and how to evaluate a situation, then develop plans to deal with it, including backup plans.
      2. They are almost certainly the most physically fit, and probably the most stable emotionally and mentally, at least while the situation demands their complete focus.
      3. They understand how to distribute tasks to the individuals most competent to analyze and accomplish them. Any individual’s specific or specialized knowledge applicable to the situation will be icing on the cake.
      4. They understand teamwork and likely won’t sabotage their chances of survival by playing ego-games to see who gets to be in charge. So if/when the SHTF, they will have each other’s backs.

      IMAO. 😉

    5. The option to pick from among the groups would make for a more interesting exercise. The Pre-School instructor, for example? If he/she is a GOOD one, then you might need them to keep everyone from killing each other on the trek. (It’s a helluva skillset that lets you keep tiny savages from killing themselves and each others, and a GOOD one might have the imagination to make it work on a group of stressed-to-the-max adults. Maybe.)

      But otherwise, yeah, not enough data.

      Although I’ve yet to meet an HR admin who was worth ANYTHING. Ugh, HR.

    6. Honestly, the first. Seals may be too earth centric. Second, well it’d make good reality TV

  12. re the French Academic Period….as the German armies closed in on Paris in 1940, the following interchange took place between Picasso and Matisse:

    Matisse: But what about our generals, what are they doing?

    Picasso: Our generals? They’re the masters at the Ecole des Beaux Arts!

    Picasso’s remark is entirely consistent with the observations of Andre Beaufre, later a general but in 1940 a young captain on the French General Staff. Although originally thrilled with his General Staff assignment…

    “I saw very quickly that our seniors were primarily concerned with forms of drafting. Every memorandum had to be perfect, written in a concise, impersonal style, and conforming to a logical and faultless plan–but so abstract that it had to be read several times before one could find out what it was about…”I have the honour to inform you that I have decided…I envisage…I attach some importance to the fact that…” Actually no one decided more than the barest minimum, and what indeed was decided was pretty trivial.”

    1. Shirer wrote a whole book about that, “The Collapse of the Third Republic.” Not nearly as popular as “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”. He went into the French military’s problem in detail. Essentially all officers were graduates of the same Ecole, which permitted no deviation from procedure, and what could be described as bureaucratic arteriosclerosis.

      Every French officer knew what the problem was, but there was no way to fix it within the system, and breaking the system wasn’t something they were willing to go. So they watched the Germans roll in and made the planned responses they *knew* wouldn’t work, but nobody had the authority to change…

      Reading that book is like watching one of those B-grade horror movies where you cringe, knowing exactly how the victims are going to get killed. Except it was in real life, and half a million Frenchmen died because of it.

      1. A key lesson for folks overly impressed with numbers in predicting the outcome of military operations.

        The French had more armor, and it was in most cases at least as good as the PANZER MK II’s and III’s still prevalent in the Wehrmacht (probably inferior to the MK IV’s but IIRC they had not reached full TO&E numbers as of the summer of 40).

        The reason the military has the pop culture reputation it does has nothing to do with courage or skill of the French soldier in the field, and pretty much everything to do with it’s senior military and political “leadership”.

        Although I know this is the case, I still enjoy making the occasional “Best unit in the French Military is made up of foreigners” wise-ass crack even though I know it’s not true. Some lines are too good to pass up sometimes. But I do have a hard time coming up with the name of a decent French General (Napoleon was Corsican. Maybe Leclerc?)

        1. That’s the way it’s been for a very long time. The French troops are very good (jokes about cheese-eating surrender monkies aside). The French leaders are the exact opposite.

          On a side note, while French tanks eere a problem for German tanks, they also tended to be slower and *much* less reliable. I once saw an estimate that one-third of the vaunted Char B1-bis tanks – which were almost invulnerable to German anti-tank guns – broke down while traveling from the day’s jump-off point to the German lines they were intending to attack.

          That’s pretty bad.

          It also explains why the Germans didn’t worry too much about upgrading their own tanks until they got smacked in the face by the T-34 and KV-1.

  13. Then again, Modern Art, Architecture, and Classical Music all became pretty much monolithic and uniform.

  14. Extending the analogy. What we seem to have in trad-pub these days is the fry cooks determining how the dough should be rolled – and that they, therefore, are the best qualified to teach dough rolling.

    The person teaching dough rolling should, in a sane world, be the expert dough roller. It is no accident that the most successful publishers of genre fiction are those who had editors that were previously successful genre writers. (Very few of those left, BTW, which explains a lot.)

    Which is why I usually open MGC first (or first after the news, anyway).

    1. The person teaching dough rolling should, in a sane world, be the expert dough roller.

      Are you kidding me. Those expert dough rollers are so hidebound in their dough rolling technique that they are no longer able to teach! Let the dough MAKERS do it. They are closest to the dough.

  15. I self-identify as a sane writer… although my late hubby used to say that I lied for a living. Yep, his eyes used to twinkle when he said that.

  16. All that crying about diversity is just crocodile tears anyway. Sure, there probably are some “true believers” (dangerous people thems) but for the most part, “Diversity” is all about having knobs to turn to tweak their enemies with. These people believe perception is reality, so if they can get people to believe their enemies are against, or have a lack of “diversity” and are therefor bad, then they’ve won. If they truly cared about diversity, they would quit being racist against any minority that doesn’t share their viewpoints. And don’t get me wrong, I’m using the word racist on purpose. Just watch how they treat any minority that doesn’t tow the party line. How quickly the knives come out because that damn –insert appropriate racial slur– should know their place. (as if a racial slur is ever appropriate)

    This is also why the move Left has gotten more and more absurd over time. Whenever they notice the knobs aren’t working, they HAVE to crank it even harder. They have to look even harder to find something, anything to use. So you get things like “Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are RACIST!” or “white guy smoking menthol cigarettes” (happened to a friend), or “white guy trying to pick up black girl” (same friend)

  17. Hey. *I* can be the insane writer. Well, I don’t think I’m as completely bat guano crazy as some of the talking heads and political pontificators whose droppings I have encountered, but how would I know?. But I’ve always been at least a little bit Odd. I know my thinking (especially about my own personal affairs) isn’t entirely plumb and square, although recognizing it and fixing it are two entirely different things.

  18. So, for my job (a fed gov job, alas, but one needs a steady paycheck and, in the age of Obamacare, affordable health insurance. Or at least the sort that means you can get okay medical care withOUT going bankrupt on the deductible), we have to do x hours of “diversity” training every year. This is largely viewed in the same manner such things were viewed in school: Well, it’s an hour or two we don’t have to be doing much of anything in an unexciting job–at least, it’s that way for those of us who are not field-going, heh–and so whatever. And sometimes, they pick a really interesting historical documentary or PBS special or whatever, and you do learn somewhat interesting things. (My favorite thing to date was about what the roads in the US were like before they came up with the interstate system. Cross-country–or even inter-state–travel in the 1920s really WAS an adventure…)

    The one they did yesterday, though, was about the “struggle of being black middle class” and, although a few of the history bits were interesting (if nothing new to anyone who has read/watched anything about the 1960s civil rights movements), it was full to the eyeballs of “dog whistle” and “coded language” and generally stating, in every way they could manage, that white people in America are always and forever racist and oppressive to black people. Of course, the only “racist” presidents they showed were Republicans (Nixon, Regan, and a mention of Bush Jr.) Not a word was said about how the “War on Poverty” absolutely gutted the black middle class–although they did bring in the 2008 real estate crash and how THAT did it (but because racism, not because a lot of people–not just black people–were eager to snap up the predatory loans the banks were offering and then were shocked–shocked, I tell you–when it went bad). They did mention how the bailout money was supposed to have helped consumers, and cried racism when the banks didn’t do that (but carefully failed to mention that it was OBAMA’S administration that was helping them.) But yeah, it was full of that sort of garbage that basically says it’s all white people’s fault, and the ONLY PATH to middle class-dom for African Americans was GOVERNMENT JOBS, and the eeeeevil racists keep trying to make the government smaller so they CAN’T (because that’s the only reason, of course, to want smaller gov)…and on and on. Yeah.

    Some of our hispanic coworkers were straight up PISSED, because they a.) also think it’s a load of hooey, and b.) are very tired of the approach that ONLY black people are discriminated against and everyone else is oppressing them, always.

    I wish we knew who had picked THAT “documentary”–they’d be getting a very grumpy talking-to from most of the office, I think, if we did. (But of course, since our office is almost totally white–with a sprinkling of hispanics–we’d all be racist for being annoyed.)

    Meanwhile, I am reminded of the cheerful, huge nurse at the hospital in Laramie–a black man moved up here from Alabama–who told my parents when they were there with my grandmother than the most astonishing thing he’d discovered about Wyoming wasn’t the insane winters (though they do suck), but that…people didn’t seem to CARE what color his skin was. (There are probably a handful in Wyoming–but given that our entire state population is barely more than 600k, that’s not gonna be many people.) People were just…friendly to him, and so far as he could see didn’t even notice he was black. (Of course we do–people notice that like hair color or similar–it’s just…most of us don’t CARE. But of course, according to the lefties, that’s racist too, because then we’re ‘ignoring their experience as victims of oppression’ ::spits::)

    1. I had to endure yearly sexual-harassment-awareness classes during my last decade in the Big Blue Machine. My fellow senior NCOS (both male and female) were pretty blunt during the question-answer segments, back then.
      I feel your pain… and also, some bitter amusement. Sexual harassers dealing out cr*p? Learn to deal efficiently, cupcake, when it is directed at you. Sniveling is unprofessional and immature; hand it back, with fearless wit and invention – and problem solved.
      15 minutes – can we conclude that class is over, and we can go back to work? Thanks. Stuff to do…

      1. I’ve got a coworker (a couple actually) who is former Navy. She said she liked the sign one of her officers had that said “Sexual Harrassment will be GRADED”

        But ugh, I hate that sort of stuff. Frankly, if someone is actually going to a harasser (and I’m not talking about off color jokes) they’re gonna do it regardless of the training. Unless there’s an actual power imbalance at play–as in, boss harassing subordinate–I am definitely of the opinion of “Deal with it yourself.” And withering sarcasm is an excellent tool.

        1. They are supposed to fight in a WAR and harassment bothers them and they have to run to someone to make it better???

          1. “Harassment” included blackmail for sexual favors, and use of sexual favors to get blackmail material.

            Which has been a weakness in those fighting wars as far back as we’ve got records.

            1. “History, sir, will LIE!” — Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne, Maj Gen, British Army, 1777.

      2. I was in the Marines around the time of Tailhook. Yea, the officers and high enlisted got out of line, so the REST OF US (lower NCO and Enlisted) had to do that training over and over and over. I even overheard some officers who were probably AT Tailhook when it all went down laughing about how they were able to get out of the training, when it was mandatory for the peons.

    2. You know the left REALLY believes that? That black people must have government jobs to have paychecks. I’ve actually heard them, when they think they’re safe, claiming this is because black people can’t do intellectual/hard tech jobs.
      Know what? My black friends in intellectual/hard tech jobs must be as white as I am.

      1. I’m pretty sure that’s how the lefties view them. If they weren’t OPPRESSED(tm) and denied jobs in the private sector (because according to that documentary, it’s nearly IMPOSSIBLE even now for black people to get a job in the, gasp, private sector!) they must actually be white. Or traitors somehow.

        One of the stories of oppression shared was of a guy and his pregnant wife visiting New York City, and a cab driver ignored them–and the black guy was dressed up in a really nice suit, even!–to pick up a scruffy white guy instead, and the first thought that popped into my head was “Honey, it’s NEW YORK CITY. They’re probably not being racist, they’re just being jerks.”

        Also, the fact that the “big success story” that was squiring the ‘documentarian’ around was that congressman from Maryland who is NOTORIOUSLY corrupt, and was screaming racist at people last year when he got called out on the filthy, rat-infested state of Baltimore was telling as well.

        1. LOL. Yes. The cabbies are whimsical. And most of them are Arab.
          Because I look (when thin) mediterranean/middle Eastern (you should see dad) they usually ignored several people to pick me up. And were always perfectly polite. And at least two offered me food. (No, I didn’t take it. I’m not stupid. I was thirties but looked twenties and had no hankering to end up in a brothel in the UAE.)

          1. My only real experience with cabbies was in Romania, but it was enough to tell me that the breed ARE in fact, almost universally a**holes. (I also compared them to my grandfather’s stories of cabbies in Tokyo after he was sent there to recover during the Korean war.)

            Though the one who went on a long rant, just post 9/11/01, about how much Americans sucked, and then asked my companion and I where we were from (she looked and sounded Romanian, but even though I spoke the language REALLY well and didn’t have much of an accent, the six-foot redhead was obviously a foreigner–they just usually assumed German or British) was my favorite. The expression on his face when my companion blandly said “Oh, we’re American” was priceless.

            It also annoyed them greatly that we weren’t NAIVE foreigners, and wouldn’t let them go anywhere before they turned the damn meter on. Even had to step out the cab a few times when they tried to claim “Oh, it’s broken” or “Oh, it’s no big deal, I won’t overcharge you.”

            And they all drive like lunatics.

        2. it’s nearly IMPOSSIBLE even now for black people to get a job in the, gasp, private sector!

          That is true, and when they are able to find jobs in the private sector the jobs those are menial, dead-end service sector jobs, like Herman Cain’s pizza joint manager position.

          1. That a large percentage of Black males have a criminal record might have something to do with their problems finding jobs.

    3. a lot of people–not just black people–were eager to snap up the predatory loans the banks were offering

      The CRA, signed into law by President Jimmy Carter, actually harms “those whose interests it was intended to serve.” For example, “when underqualified borrowers secure loans so that banks can make their ‘virtue quotas,’  ” it increases the odds that “their neighbors’ property values will decline” when many of those borrowers default. Worse is CRA’s false promise to work magic for “distressed, low-income neighborhoods” that can’t “attract bank investment” — making it less likely that “residents and local governments” will “collaborate on what makes their neighborhoods attractive to investors — lowering crime, improving schools, and keeping streets and parks clean and safe.”

      1. Sorry, that wasn’t what caused the problem. The problem was that the banking laws were changed so that the banks were allowed to put mortgages together and them sell them as securities. People thought mortgage backed securities were SAFE and bought them. Even banks that should have known better bought them. The mortgage loan companies no longer had any skin in the game. They gave loans and then sold the securities. They made their money on the TRANSACTION and they were NOT affected by the loans being bad or good. The buyers of the securities were stuck with the bad loans. The mortgage loan companies made as many loans as quickly as possible to cash in before people realized that the securities were bad. They didn’t care who they made loans to or for what. They made their money on the transaction and no accountability if the loans were bad that was the problem of someone else.

        If that law hadn’t been passed the bad loans would never have been made.

        1. Did I say that was what caused the problems?

          What I said was that the underlying practices did more harm than good. Slightly different topic.

        2. You really need to read a little more background. That law was passed because the banks said pretty much as one: “If you are going to force us to have no standards where borrowers who check off the Victim group boxes are concerned, you have to help us deal with the financial fallout. Otherwise, we will simply issue NO residential mortgages to anyone, and you can deal with it yourselves.”

          At least two major regional lenders actually followed through on that.

      2. And when underqualified borrowers who don’t actually virtue signal don’t meet the standards, the banks find they can’t have any.

  19. One thing that anyone using a draw knife should do is wear a leather apron.
    Look at the pants

  20. what if…

    The Marxist model enthralls universities …

    Because it’s Christianity without Christ. The greatest story ever told: good, beautiful and true… Every human h eart* cannot help but respond. But. To live it requires an act of God. Requires a miracle.

    So you but get the engagement with the truth , and sell them into slavery with the lie. Because there are no miracles sans God.

    *Hypothesis assumes Christ is who he said He was. Though if it works even without same, that’d be interesting.

  21. Mark this day down.

    Because today I found a meme claiming that Malthusian overpopulation claims are “racist bullshit.”

    IOW, a concept that has been heavily pushed by various and sundry leftist groups has, as of the middle of January 2020, been declared incorrect and badthink by leftist groups.

    I think the timing needs to be noted.

    1. Yeah, I have seen the “claims of overpopulation are racist” argument before. It goes like this: regions with high birthrates are overwhelmingly poor and black/brown, therefore any concerns about overpopulation are because of white people fearing they will be outbred.

      The fact that certain segments of crazy have made that exact claim (about being outbred) are only icing on the cake.

    1. I have no idea. I don’t watch TV and we don’t have cable. The closest I come is bingeing on a British mystery series in Amazon Prime. And I haven’t found any decent ones since we finished Midsommer.

  23. If you demand and REQUIRE “diversity” by color, race, etc., for all employees in a company what does this say about the words of MARTIN LUTHER KING who said you should be judged by your character not your skin? Do we tear down statues to him and eliminate the record of his life?

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