But What Is The Alternative?

I was a pre-teen in the seventies, which means that long before I hit the jaded age of fourteen when older men tried to use it to get me to peel off clothes, I was used to hearing “we’re all naked under clothes.” (Later on I greatly regretted most of these idiots hadn’t read Heinlein so I couldn’t say “nul program.” So instead I had to say things like “We’re also all clean under our dirt, so I see you don’t intend to shower ever again.”)

There were other just as crazy aphorisms that passed for “deep thought.” I’m honestly not sure what caused this, whether it was more people than ever being pushed to higher ed they weren’t really qualified for, but that made them want to sound “intellectual” or that the Soviets were diligently working with their wrenches to take apart the ability to think of the new generation. Or perhaps for whatever reason mass media and TV just encouraged a ridiculous wave of aphorisms that not only didn’t mean much but that aimed to destroy rather than build habits, patterns and ways of life that led to success.

You know, crazy stuff like “What difference does a piece of paper make to whether we’re married?” (Other than meeting potential obligations to potential children, and getting the buy in of both sets of inlaws and recognition of society that protects well…. mostly the woman who puts more biological investment in the relationship, none, really.) And “If it feels good do it!” and– Well, a lot of you are old enough to have heard all this cr*p growing up. And the younger ones, trust me, the current spate of crazy is well anchored in a barrage of crazy — to my certain knowledge — from the sixties and seventies.

I fell for some of them too. The unflappable Miss Almeida was not unflappable when this stuff came at her from someone she respected. So for a long time I bought my brother’s “romance is the opium of womanhood” long before I realized where the origin of that nugget came from, or that my brother — never having been a woman — was in fact assuming that without having romantic notions to encourage her to care about attachment and feelings, young women would be as “free” and sexually available as men wish they’d be. Of course now we know that’s the rankest and most absolute bull excreta, and that in fact women have — surprise! It’s not like we evolved to be the caretakers of children or anything — a different set of sex related hormones that encourage attachment to sexual partners and incidentally children.

But the excreta of “pseudo-profound-social statements is now everywhere, and yesterday I was hit in close proximity by two bits of crazy. And suddenly it hit me “And what is the alternative, precisely?”

One of them was in an otherwise unexceptionable animated movie that husband was watching (in the after-matter, which husband always watches, we found the people who created it were exceptionally woke, but fortunately what they thought was “African-American” culture was in fact just American culture, and if you didn’t know they were all borderline crazy, the movie is touching and cute. Oh, it’s total theological bug f*ck nuttiness with an extra side of nuts, but it’s so crazy that it doesn’t even pretend to have any touch with traditional religion, and so it didn’t offend as much as more “plausible” works, and less than most depictions of the after and pre (!) life in movies, even from the forties.

So about halfway through I got hooked, and put aside the post I was supposed to be writing, and took up my crochet.

But there, in the middle of it, the main character is talking to a high school student, and quotes someone (I want to say Marcuse, but I spent all day yesterday on three hours of sleep, so I’m not going to make any promises it is right) about how schooling is how the upper classes keep the lower classes from committing violence.

I was not in a good mood, partly because of lack of sleep, so my answer was “No, it’s not the upper classes, which is Marxist bullshit. It’s the culturally dominant classes. And yes, it is, but it’s stopped working, which is why the capital is surrounded by barbed wire and filled with an occupying army.”

Of course, the people writing the movie consider themselves the “lower classes” while the upper classes are some prototypical villainous Victorian male, probably twirling his mustache as he puts them down. We’ll leave aside this charming illusion of the crazy Marxists, though I’ll be glad to expound on the inner mechanisms of it in another post, if you guys want. It needs a whole post, though.

Instead, and leaving aside the fact that the leftist cultural dominance tracks with extreme attempts at suppressing violence, probably because they like quiet and obedient widgets for “subjects” of their experiment, let’s instead think about the alternative.

Look, all of human civilization has been an attempt to suppress inter-personal violence, or at least keep it within bounds that don’t prevent us from assembling in numbers larger than clan or tribe. Almost any reading of the records of older cities will quickly come to the conclusion that people used to be a lot more interpersonally violent. They just were. Even in early modern England, well…. Let’s say men died young because they fought over the most stupid things.

And that was already a state-nation, where people identified with the nation was though it were a race, and had not only forgotten their early tribal affiliations but their micro-kingdoms (the regional association, which given travel in that time probably had a lot of genetic backing) before it was unified into “England.” So the fights were rarely tribal or regional (though there were family feuds.)

Even families, as such were a lot more violent. And yes, I know, I’m a proponent of the swat to the butt, at least for kids who don’t respond to anything else. However, if you read original sources, getting beaten into the ground was considered fairly normal for kids being raised oh, before the 20th century. And well into it depending on time and place. And it was in no way considered abuse. (Part of it was much larger families, and parents who lived so close to the bone they really couldn’t take time off to supervise your every move until you were rational.) And yeah, a lot of us have mothers whose families were considered weird because their husbands didn’t beat them. Or at least the family tradition was not to beat your spouse, and if you were beaten, your husband was shunned. But this was enough of an exception to be considered “strange” and occasion remark. Oh, that beating your children, might extend well into adulthood, so no one would think badly of a fifty year old father who clouted his 30 year old son, though the opposite would cause extreme shock.

Take that last sentence: even in much more violent pre-modern societies, there were boundaries to the violence and an hierarchy. And sure, you can consider those who got beaten oppressed by comparison to those who did the beating. I’m not even going to argue (though I could) but the point was keeping violence within boundaries acceptable TO THAT SOCIETY.

Look, humans are not angels. We are corporeal beings, and not particularly nice ones. I’m not going to say “ree, we’re exactly like chimps” because we obviously aren’t. Even when my idiot friends were sure we’d only split from chimps 250 thousand years ago, I wanted to say “We’re still not them because they surely haven’t come half this far in that time.”

But we are built on a template of great apes, and the remains we find of hominins and other man-tribes show that their lifestyle was in fact close to that of great apes everywhere. And do you know what you call a baby chimp found by a genetically unrelated band? Snack.

So, sure, let’s assume that education — public or not — is a way for a culturally dominant “elite” to suppress generalized violence.

What is the alternative?

The left is assuming violence is justified and on their side, because of course their idea of social dominance, and the model they implement is to take control and rob everyone. But throughout history they are an exception, in fact. Even the “bad old kings” were trying to do the best they could for their tribe or micro nation. They often screwed up and followed their own desires, because human, but the idea of noblesse oblige is very very old in humanity. And most people at least try (Unless they’re all ‘et up with Marxism and self-righteousness, because bullsh*t means never having to say you’re sorry.)

Instead let’s look at it as meaning what it says “education” (by which we can mean everything we do to tame the toddler-beast and up through specific knowledge of how to get ahead in life) is a way to suppress inter-personal violence.

Well, yes. And we’re all naked under our clothes. And wearing clothes isn’t natural, maaaaan.

But what is the alternative? The civilizational process of mankind, from band to clan, from clan to city, from city to nation, accomplishing things that could only be accomplished by many people cooperating without violence is a process of suppressing unnecessary violence and waste of human life.

What is the alternative? A world in which everyone’s hand is against everyone else? Well, we know what some of those look like. I’ve read enough stories about current day Afghanistan which read like the worst nightmares of ancient Greek playwrights. The women and children always get it worse. Yes, sure, the young men also get ferociously winnowed down. But if you’re a woman or a child, or an elderly person, you’re fodder for horrible death.

In the same way, later, while doing my instapundit link rounds, I saw an article about how 2 + 2 is colonial thinking imposed on non-white populations, and are alien and evil, compared to their native ways of knowing.

After I got my eyes from under the sofa, I took a deep breath and asked “What’s the alternative?”

Because, you know, I’ve heard this before, but I never thought about precisely what their nonsense would entail.

Sure, we’re giving up the internal combustion engine, bridges, anything better built than a hut made of rough stones, and probably — let’s be honest — crops. The horrendous thing is that this might be completely acceptable to them, since they don’t realize what supports their ability to live in relative comfort.

Let’s instead explore what this means at the interpersonal level and how much eschewing simple math would make living with other human beings impossible.


Well, you try going to Walmart, or the local farmers’ market, for that matter, and handing in four one dollar bills to pay for $50 worth of something. When the person getting the bills looks at you, tell them that according to your native way of knowing you, that morning, decided that 2 plus 2 equals fifty.

See how far that gets you.

Or let’s say you contract for the delivery of something — these days, mostly, office supplies, for us — you’re supposed to get 20 reams of printer paper, but you get four. And the delivery people explain that 2 +2 CAN be twenty, and how dare you disrespect their native ways of knowing?

“Seven years as a shepherd Jacob served, Laban father of Rachel, beautiful shepherdess” but at the end the father decided to give him his oldest daughter, because to his way of thinking the 7 years to acquire his youngest daughter’s hands MUST be 14. Hey, now, it was his native way of counting.

Humans have partly got this far, and now enjoy untold prosperity which had practically eliminated famine (until of course the covidiocy starved the third world) because “colonial thinking” defeated that of isolated tribes.

Or perhaps more cogently: those who won a clash between two populations generally (there are exceptions, like Greece and Rome and to an extent India and Great Britain, and perhaps to an extent America and Japan) imposed their mode of life on the defeated. Though they might culturally appropriate that which was worthy in the culture of the defeated.

Look, it makes sense from the POV of the survival of the species. If you go back far enough, those tribes, groups and cities who conquered the others had superior knowledge and therefore a superior culture. (Evolution and selection are very slow, so you have to think of this in Paleolithic terms. Almost all the exceptions are in fairly sophisticated levels of development, and mostly they’re the result of the older/defeated culture having become decadent. Which means conquest probably saves them from going extinct slower and in more interesting ways) Or one better able to survive.

It is no coincidence that most of the advances come from densely packed areas, where clashes were inevitable and absorptions and counter absorptions of cultures a constant.

Is 2 +2 a colonial way of thinking? Oh, probably. But that was probably way back when the colonization of the homo sap by the Neanderthal (culturally, that is. Well, that seems to have been the direction) occurred, because we have trade going that far back, and trade can’t survive without counting.

In fact, even though the concept of zero is also fairly sophisticated, we’ve come across very few tribes that don’t have a concept of counting, or a concept of numbers over 5, and those are usually highly isolated and tiny tribes. Because arithmetic is a darn useful skill, as is everything we’ve built on it from accounting to architecture.

And what’s the alternative? People walking around “Sensing” the numbers? Be real. That’s not native to anyone but the crazier tribes of Homos New Agicus, a tribe who uses cannabis in such vast quantities they’re sure to become extinct.

The alternative is never “death or cake.”

When idiots run around with blunt aphorisms, demanding you dismantle civilization, ask them what their alternative is. And stop them when they start talking of rainbows and unicorn farts, and ask them the exchange rate of the unicorn fart to the rainbow. Because if it’s a civilization, we have to know.

You want to eschew controls over violence? Basic arithmetic? Clothes?

Well, sure. I believe you’re ultimately free to do what you want, as long as you pay the price.

You’re free to take all your clothes off, and take off to the forest with your buddies, where you can live as though 2 plus 2 equals 20, or potato, or chicken.

We don’t care. Heck, you probably won’t live long, but if you do, you’ll be a fascinating ethnology-experiment.

What you won’t be and can’t be is able to shame us out of living our lives as civilized human beings, who have enough to eat and can trade a known quantity for a known quantity. Because you know, there really is no alternative. Not an alternative that allows humanity to survive.

And if you hate humanity enough you don’t want us to survive, I have an easy solution: You go first. After which the existence or non-existence of humanity stops being your problem.

As for me, I’ll call out the crazy every chance I get. And until you present a viable — note viable — alternative that uses your “ways of knowing” I’ll slam the register closed and tell you, “No sale. Go fish.”

523 thoughts on “But What Is The Alternative?

  1. Some of this nonsense implies that we can’t expect “nonwhites” to do what “society” expects “whites” to do.

    IE Things like getting to work on-time. 😡

      1. I think you may be guilty of reaching conclusions unsupported by evidence. For example, an alternative supposition could be the people promulgating this might be fully aware of its inanity but are promoting it as a weapon against the United States in an effort to promote inter-tribal warfare and collapse our society.

        They don’t have to be racist to throw one of Eris’ Apples into our midst.

        BTW: wouldn’t it be a neat villainess for comic books graphic novels, to have a character able to throw such apples into the midst of pursuers? [Insert “horse apples” joke of your choosing]

      1. And to think, at one time the goal was to become Americans, hard-working, industrious, clever Americans.

        Now it seems (OK, it is) that the goal is to be just the same as you were wherever you came from while taking advantage of all the benefits from being in the US…

    1. Pretty much this …
      I have lived next door to a lovely African – American lady for more than twenty years. She’s a retired civil servant, an long-time church-goer. We have watched he grandsons grow up – all of them hardworking kids in various blue-collar (mostly food service) jobs. If they had ever been given to the urban thug lifestyle, their granny would have taken over the beatings when their parents got tired.

  2. was in fact assuming that without having romantic notions to encourage her to care about attachment and feelings, young women would be as “free” and sexually available as men wish they’d be

    Well, it kind of works.

    If you can abuse a woman to the point that she thinks that she is worth so little that romance is a nonsensical and even damaging desire, far beyond herself– she’ll be more likely to be highly sexually available.

    Also nuttier than a squirrel’s breakfast, and very likely to turn to more direct forms of violence, against herself or those around her.

    But hey, short term, there’s sex!

      1. I know it feels like it sometimes. >.<

        They really aren't the majority. They also know that being identified is to be prey, and you can’t help anybody if you’re dead.

        (“Everybody knew” that the boy who is now my husband “must be” gay, because he could be trusted to sit there and make sure a random drunk girl emptied her guts safely, and then got home in one piece. And even then he could only act as obviously as he did because the football players all liked him, and so did the other geeks.)

        1. because he could be trusted to sit there and make sure a random drunk girl emptied her guts safely, and then got home in one piece

          I can’t imagine how low someone’s standards must be / how fucked in the head they must be to see someone puking out their guts and the primary thought be “Hey! Piece of ass!”.


          1. Keep in mind that a lot of guys in that situation would NOT sit around to make sure nothing untoward happened to some random, can’t hold her liquor, girl. Not his relative, not his concern.

            1. One of his “turn it into a joke” lines in college was that of course he held back the hair for (random girl), he knew how hard it is to deal with long hair.

              :pause, shake out shoulder-length curls*

          1. Just use the Log Horizon scene about open and secret perverts, it roughly fits.

            “You didn’t do something obviously perverted, there must be some other secret perversity I just haven’t seen.”

      1. This is why my advice to male family members on the practical implementation of the “Don’t Stick It In Crazy” rule is that it requires significant and extensive vetting, which is what the whole dating thing is actually about. This includes careful interviews with the Mom, and spending time with extended family to assess the crazy Aunt count.

        Note that this process is not normally compatible with picked-her-up-in-a-bar, but can be compatible to met-her-at-church given sufficient and thorough investigation.

        1. I also note that the entire cultural context edifice faced by male youts these days seems to be specifically constructed to encourage their breaking the DSIIC rule.

        1. The algorithm looks for a recognizable filename suffix such as “.jpg” or “.png” at the end of the text string. You need only strip the extraneous text from the string you tried to copy and paste:

          Also, wowsa bazongas! O_O

        2. Ah! Looks as if that “extraneous text” served as a password to the Reddit server to provide the requested content, a measure doubtless implemented to help prevent so-called “hotlinking.” I’ll try again with a copy saved to ImgBox:

  3. Complex things break apart when you decide that reality doesn’t matter. A list might include planes, bridges, roads, and electric grids. This idea of 2+2 equals whatever you want it to be is insane.

        1. “There’s a hole in the bucket, Dear Liza, a hole….”

          “Well fix it Dear Henry, Dear Henry, Dear Henry…..”

          1. Can’t Pi=3
            I R .1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679 short
            because Raaaaaccccisssst
            cooperage is a lost art

            1. There’s quite the crowd of bystanders in my imagination, watching ‘enry and ‘Liza like a tennis match.

              1. I’m ‘Enery the Eighth, I am,
                ‘Enery the Eighth I am, I am!
                I got married to the widow next door,
                She’s been married seven times before
                And every one was an ‘Enery
                She wouldn’t have a Willie nor a Sam
                I’m her eighth old man named ‘Enery
                ‘Enery the Eighth, I am!

                1. Mrs Moore, who lives next door,
                  Is such a dear old soul,
                  Of children she has a score,
                  And a husband on the dole!
                  I don’t know how she manages to keep that lot, I’m sure,
                  I said to her today as she was standing at the door;

                  “Don’t have any more Mrs Moore,
                  Mrs Moore, please don’t have any more!
                  The more you have the more you’ll want, they say,
                  you And enough is as good as a feast any day!
                  If have any more, Mrs Moore,
                  You’ll have to take the house next door!
                  They’re alright when they’re here,
                  But take my advice, old dear,
                  Don’t have any more Mrs Moore!”

                  The little inn she uses is called The Wooden Hut,
                  She’s first one in at opening time, and last out when they shut!
                  And when she’s had a few she tries to do the lah-de-dah’
                  And gets so ratty when they shout at her across the bar;

                  “Don’t have any more Mrs Moore,
                  Mrs Moore, please don’t have any more!
                  The more you have the more you’ll want, they say,
                  you And enough is as good as a feast any day!
                  If have any more, Mrs Moore,
                  You’ll never get to your street door!
                  Too many double gins
                  Give the ladies double chins!
                  Don’t have any more Mrs Moore!”

                  She’s had a lot of husbands who in love with her have fell,
                  This one is the seventh one, and he don’t look too well!
                  A year ago she married him, and on their wedding day,
                  As they were walking down the aisle, I heard the parson say;

                  “Don’t have any more Mrs Moore,
                  Mrs Moore, please don’t have any more!
                  The more you have the more you’ll want, they say,
                  you And enough is as good as a feast any day!
                  If you have any more, Mrs Moore,
                  I don’t know what we’ll do, I’m sure!
                  Our cemetery’s so small,
                  There’ll be no room for them all!
                  Don’t have any more Mrs Moore!”

      1. Pi is equal to three to one significant figure.

        Before the Pi button it was 355/113.

        1. Interesting, if I recall my grade school teaching right, we were told it 22/7

          And some quick searching, it looks like we’re both right(ish) for values of pi…

          1. Yep. Also, 355/113 is a pretty good approximation of pi. There’s a proof you can work out using continued fractions that ends up showing that the denominator of the continued fraction of abs(pi – 355/113) is very large, meaning that abs(pi – 355/113) is a very small value. Quite a bit smaller than abs(pi – 22/7), in fact.

            Of course, 710/113 is a much more useful value… grin

          2. 22/7 is what I first learned as an approximation of pi in grammar school. I learned of the 355/113 approximation is college. By then calculators were ubiquitous but only the more expensive ones had a pi key so 355/113 was committed to memory by a generation of engineers.

            An interesting thing about the 355/113 fraction is that is does not appear in any of the known sequences that converge on pi. 22/7 does but not 355/113. That may just be a cosmic accident or it could indicate there is an, as yet, undiscovered sequence that converese even faster than the known sequences.

      2. Augustus De Morgan (yes, that one) wrote a book A Budget of Paradoxes* and he spends some time writing of the nonsense of, as he called them, ‘Circle Squarers’.

        * Project Gutenberg has it.

        1. Petr Beckmann wrote a book A History of Pi
          Too recent for Project Gutenberg, but Amazon has it.

  4. I read a book about India that noted that one of the worst things that they adopted from the English, from the John Company forward, was the Victorian beauracracy, where permission to act was a requirement. They are getting over it now, but it has been a burden.
    The current acts of the destructive left are done by individual actors with the common goal of destroying the functioning, high trust society we have built, in hopes that this time their bullsh*t will work, and that they will become the rulers in hell, instead of their more likely utility as fertilizer.

      1. Maybe from the same place my mother got “Liberry”. Took me a while to find the extra ‘r’ as a yout.

  5. When I woke this morning I sensed that I was 21. Why see the doctor next week?

    We would all be much better off if truth was the foundation of education. Now we have some truth, lots of fiction, therefore an indoctrination of horse manure.

    There’s a faction out there that says, let them have their way but we just won’t cooperate. They will quickly see they can’t maintain things they need, let alone improve on them, and things will crumble. The sooner the better. That’s the accelerationist view. Understand it, but it seems lazy and dangerous.

    Maybe I’ll be 22 tomorrow.

    1. Lazy yes, because sometimes? You just gotta push ’em towards getting it right so they don’t hurt themselves (or someone else)…
      Dangerous? Would you want some yahoo who thinks 2+2 can equal 420 and that means it’s time for another toke, man? running your local nuclear (or even non-nuclear) power plant?

      1. At least in the power industry, you have to (or at least I had to @ 20 years ago) the POSS/MASS test, a kind of civilian ASVAB test. ‘Course, that may have subsequently been dispensed with because racist. Lord, I pray not . . .

  6. I’d be somewhat interested to see where someone who was a firm believer in the “if it feels good, do it man” aphorism, who wasn’t a “trust fund baby” wound up.

    On the other hand, I’m betting I can already think of an example, Chris McCandless.
    Yep, “living off the land” with all the prep-work most people give to a grade-school book report seems to have worked out for him…
    Oh, wait, no it didn’t. Died of starvation (not a pleasant way to go.)

      1. Which is why the state of Alaska finally sent in the National Guard to get the bus out of where it was, to stop idiots who didn’t have a clue from trying to walk out to it and having to send out rescue parties to keep them from joining McCandless…

          1. I’d suspect the lawsuits from little Johnny and Janes’ parents of “why didn’t you go save my precious angel who thought it was a good idea to go hiking hundreds of miles into the Alaskan wilderness with only his crocs, a LL Bean jacket, and a knapsack with a bottle of water and a couple candy bars?!? That should’ve been enough!” would be enough to drive the state of Alaska into bankruptcy…

            Frankly, those sort of idiots are also the sort that could probably get lost walking in Central Park and need to be rescued.
            During the day.
            In June…

            1. Sounds like an opportunity: spread Bigfoot style rumors, with the addendum that the dangerous thing is a custodian of nature.

              A frigid wasteland isn’t what I would normally think of when using the term “honeypot”, but it would work.

            2. One of the few good laws I remember California passing before I left was that if you deliberately went down a cliff or somewhere else where it was posted, and/or no obvious trail, and got stuck, that you owed the state for the cost of your rescue.

            3. Oh, we get those lawsuits anyway.
              And in the words of one judge, “If every hazard in the Chugach mountains was placarded, you would not be able to see the Chugach mountains, because they would be completely covered in placards.”

              Every year, we get people missing. Sometimes we find the bodies. Sometimes we don’t. Mother Nature is not tame, and it is not friendly. Alaska will kill you unless you’re good, and you’re lucky. And no matter how good you are, sometimes your luck runs out…

              1. I’m reminded of an episode of Alaska State Troopers…
                Trooper stops a guy driving his quad on the side of the road (maybe walking? It’s been a while,) guy informs the PO he’s carrying a pistol, PO calmly takes it from him. PO asks why he has it, guy responds for bears.
                PO looks at the pistol, tells the guy “this is only a 9mm, all you’re going to do is piss off the bear with it.”

                1. You can kill a Kodiak bear with a 9mm, but he’ll have time to eat you first. 😛

                  1. There are at least two documented cases of someone killing a bear with a .22 – one of them was a .22 Short – but absent ridiculous levels of luck, I’ll go for the .45-70.

                2. My first summer in Alaska was spent chasing forest fires and other oddities in the central valley south of Denali. At the time, the .454 Casull was The Most Powerful Handgun in the World, and most of the guys in the fire camp were sporting them. I had brought along my S&W Highway Patrolman .357 Magnum, and was regularly ridiculed along the lines of, ‘What are you gonna do with that if we get attacked by a bear, throw it at him?’ My response was usually, “I don’t have to run faster than the bear, I just have to run faster than you.”

              2. I bought two books while we were in Anchorage a few years ago. One was, “Oh, No, We’re Going to Die!” and the other was, “Oh, No, We’re Going To Die, Too!” All stories about close calls boating, flying or just trying to get around
                in Alaska.

                1. A gift shop in Delta Junction sold a locally produced picture book of various places and events from the area. One spread was a series of photos of a bear, first just looking at the camera over its shoulder, then standing looking straight on at it, then down on all fours and getting bigger in each frame. The last was basically jaws and claws. The proprietor said that the publisher had bought those pictures from the photographer’s widow.

        1. I’d have left the bus in place to help winnow the populace of people who are too stupid to live. Alternatively, I’d post a sealed, solar-powered radio beacon in a prominent nearby location with a simple button and a sign saying in large red letters, “Push button for rescue.” In smaller but very readable black text below this primary imperative, the sign goes on to say, “You will be billed $160,000 for forcing taxpayers to accommodate your willful idiocy with a highly trained rescue team and a very expensive helicopter. Have a great day!”

          1. Quite a few years ago when the Coast Guard had a spate of rescues of ice fishers who were too dumb to check the ice conditions before going out on same, there was talk of charging people the costs of their rescue…

            The outcry of “but they’ve already PAID for it with their taxes and the government should keep them SAFE” put paid to that idea…

            1. Arizona has a “stupid motorist law” which stipulates that motorists who become stranded by driving around barriers to enter a flooded stretch of roadway may be billed for the cost of their rescue. It hasn’t been invoked often, but it’s on the books.

              1. What it needs is a clause saying if we determine you did that, we’re leaving you out there and going home. Have a nice day.

            2. If they have to send a helo to lift you out in a wilderness rescue situation, you are going to be receiving a hefty bill unless there are obvious circumstances beyond your control, and probably even then.

              1. When I was recovered from Griffith Park with a shattered ankle, I was not billed for the helicopter. Or at least if I was, it went to someone else and I never saw it.
                I didn’t get to ride in the helicopter; it spent 40 minutes looking for me with a search light. They were then able to direct the ambulance to my location.

                1. It seems a simple matter to require each entrant to purchase an insurance policy covering the potential recovery expenses at trivial cost to the hiker/camper.

                  What steps would be necessary to prevent inappropriate profiting on such policies I cannot say, but I am confident that those administering the system will find ways around them.

                  1. 1.) If cost-covering is required, there is no incentive to keep costs down. (See: college tuitions.)
                    2.) With no incentive to keep costs down and the imperative drive of “if it only saves one life!”, the policies will quickly become expensive.
                    3.) Which will lead to hikers, hunters, fishers, campers, etc. not purchasing them. (See: Obamacare)
                    4.) Which will lead to the state trying to task people with fining the scofflaws who do not purchase the mandatory insurance. (See: Obamacare fines)
                    5.) Which will lead to…

                  2. That’s an interesting thought.
                    Those entering the National Forests around here are encouraged (optional, last time I looked) to by an “Adventure Pass” for $10. The price could be bumped up to cover “rescue insurance”, for a cost probably similar to buying accident insurance for airline flights. Actuaries could probably determine a fair price for such insurance, and we can expect the actual price would be double or triple the fair price.
                    Griffith Park is a city park, with no fees or passes required for entry, and this includes the rock quarry where I had my misadventure. (The tunnel in the quarry is featured in a number of films, including “Panic in the Year Zero”.)

                2. Glad to see that you are still with us. Having an accident like that can be (and is, often) fatal. So good for you. Hope the ankle healed well.

                  1. It healed well enough, eventually. They spent four hours the following morning installing a small hardware store in my leg. The doctor came to me a few days later and told me he had managed to preserve length and orientation. I guess he’s really good at solving three-D jigsaw puzzles.
                    I spent nine months in a cast, and the metal was removed eighteen months after the break.
                    The memory quit sneaking up on me after about three years, and I still don’t have a “weather leg”.

                    1. You’re lucky, believe me. the pressure changes involved with being back east are killing me.

          2. The problem is: said sign implies that rescue is available and able to come. Which it’s not, between wind, weather, and other emergencies.

    1. As a survivor of the sixties, I can tell you most (ok, maybe not most but certainly a sizeable plurality) of “if it feels good do it” folks ended up dead. Keep stuffing brain killing chemicals in your body, and eventually, if it doesn’t kill you directly, you make a stupid mistake… Engage in very promiscuous unprotected sexual behavior in anonymous bathhouses, when a new virus hits… Etc. Watched a lot a acquaintances and a few friends just burn themselves up doing what felt good.

          1. There can still be selection pressure if dying early leaves the children in a worse position to reproduce.

      1. ::nods:: seen it happen to people as well. Play the hedonism game too long and the old adage “the wages of sin” comes true, collecting payroll deductions along the way.

  7. You know, crazy stuff like “What difference does a piece of paper make to whether we’re married?” (Other than meeting potential obligations to potential children, and getting the buy in of both sets of inlaws and recognition of society that protects well…. mostly the woman who puts more biological investment in the relationship, none, really.)


    In the grimdark of $CURRENT_YEAR are we sure there are protections on net if recognized by the state? And if there are in law, are there in law-as-applied-in-reality?

    1. It is as much about the signing of the contract as it is about the law specifically. There is something about a formal signature / announcement / blood oath that makes men keep it, even if the only force behind it is metaphysical.

      I think it ties back to the pack formations methods, where guys would declare allegiance to a leader, just, in this case, claiming a similar bond of honor to a wife instead.

      I’ve also noticed that that does seem to be a general difference in their approaches too.

      So, while it does not, specifically require a piece of paper, it *does* require some form of Declaration of Intent. It can be a paper signed in front of a judge, or it can be simply standing in the town square and Declaring it before God and Man, but it must be some form of bond of honor.

      1. None of those require the state per-se….

        Need witnesses? The ceremony provides that and is not the paper.

        Formal announcement? See the ceremony. Also that happens in the newspaper. Again not the paper spoken of.

        Oath? Say it with me: cer-e-mo-ny.

        1. I think we’re saying the same thing in different ways.

          The State only really becomes involved if there is a breach of contract / oath there, but it does need to know that a contract was signed and what it was to enforce it.

          1. Yeah. I’ve always argued that the state only became involved in marriage because it found a way to make money off of it (marriage licenses). Prior to that, the church held the parties in the contract responsible for upholding that contract.

            1. Similar case (pun intended) in anglo-saxon murder law: was handled between the involved parties through the courts — a separate concept from the state — until a king decided that he wanted a cut of the weregild.

              Now, legally speaking, it is impossible to be the victim of certain crimes. Because it is handled as “The $POLITY vs $CRIMINAL”. For bonus pants-on-head silliness this is excused as making sure that victims get justice.

              A murder. With no weregild. Called “Justice”. I think Orwell had a few choice lines which cover that one.

            2. The peasants did as the Church said, and the nobility did what was advantageous to themselves.

              When the peasants started getting property, marriage got way more complicated than “holy matrimony,” particularly once divorce entered the picture. Sure, the church could make a ruling for, say, child support… but *enforcing* that ruling is the privilege of the State. At which time, it became much simpler just to treat a marriage as a type of contract and let the State handle all the non-religious bits.

          2. And in our society the state is involved, period.
            HOWEVER note in DST I have “register it and announce it” and there are services that keep the records of unions.
            I don’t have a philosophical problem with that, but as RES says, there needs to be soemthing other than “we shacking up.”

            1. It provided a conundrum some years back: if finding a pastor that would be considered legitimate was unlikely…. and didn’t consider the state to be a legitimate officiator of marriage…. that is a problem.

              Not least because most of the guys doing that are doing so with explicitly evil intent.

          3. It used to be in certain places, Idaho being one of them, that publicly declaring yourselves husband and wife – even by, for example, signing as hotel register as Mr and Mrs – was good enough to be official in the eyes of the state.

              1. Betrothal was equivalent to marriage. Thus a pregnant bride on the “official” day, as long as officially betrothed, was no big deal.

                1. Well, it got a little — vague. But a couple who had said the words of marriage in the future tense and then had intercourse had said the words of marriage.

            1. I’m familiar with the “publicly representing themselves as husband and wife” thing, too– it’s quite good for preventing the various frauds that folks can pull, against partners and neighbors.

            2. Colorado allows couples to marry themselves…be their own officiant. But you still have to pay a license fee. The reality is that civil unions are marriages without the involvement of the state directly. You can draw up legal documents giving health proxy, etc. to your partner. About the only way you wouldn’t be covered is in court where the spousal communication thing holds.

              I’m just spitballing here.

      2. I can say this here, as $SPOUSE$ never visits – but, in the long period before I could convince her to do “that piece of paper,” I had a will that made her the sole heir. (Didn’t have to worry about hitting the estate tax limits back then.)

        Slightly better for her financially-wise, actually, as I had debt larger than what the creditors could have laid on in cash in my hypothetical estate. Absolute community property is a very flawed legal notion. Had a sister who was royally screwed by that. (Twice! Highly intelligent electrical engineer – very stupid judge of spousal fidelity and financial honesty.)

        1. Not a legal expert, by any means. Just to be clear.

          Oregon doesn’t have common law property. Even when married one has to be explicit as to legal title. Any kind of property, real estate or vehicles or … Thus the house and the vehicles are both setup as AND with full right of survival. So if one of dies, the other auto inherits, individual half can’t be willed to someone else.

          Now for us. There is no difference to what we brought to the marriage. We started out together broker than broke. We earned and saved together.

          1. Well, at the time I drew that up, we were about the same (one of my best friends was a lawyer, so it only cost me a notary fee). I was uncertain, though, just when (or if) I would ever convince the stubborn woman.

            As it turned out, when I finally got her to stand in front of the Monsignor, we were only broke…

  8. It occurs to me that the proper response to the 2+2=4 crowd might be to ask them what a non-Western nation that developed before colonialism (China most immediately comes to mind) thinks 2+2 is.

    1. Math as a whole supposedly being white supremacy ignores the Chin, Arabs, Greeks et al who made what we have today possible. To think 2+2 does not =4 is to deny their contributions to the world.

      1. But according to (some) interpretations of CRT, those Arabs, Greeks, and Chinese *are* white . . .

        1. just when they are not full Marxists/Maoists, by chance, I am sure, especially the Greeks. Like longtime Dem George became a White Hispanic because he shot some black kid who was beating George’s head on the sidewalk

          1. Yyes, like that exactly. Of course, with a surname like Zimmerman, how could he have been anything but the whitest of white bread?

              1. Inform them that Occasional-Cortex promoted you to a black person last year. If you can, get a picture of the look on their faces as they try to process that and share it with us.

    2. I suggest you ask the next innumerate wokester if he’s cleared that anti-racist arithmetic with his personal drug dealer. I suspect he’ll get a “no sale.”

    3. I think it was Insty who proposed a quick and dirty cure for the 2+2=Unicorn crowd. To wit: if they “work” 40 hours, pay them for 30. Or -10. (Or if they buy an ounce of High-Lakes Special, charge them for 5.2 ounces. Giving them Peoria ditch-weed instead is optional.)

  9. If you refuse $4 for stuff in the morning, the alternative is $0 for *even more* stuff that night once word gets out that your store isn’t woke enough. I’m pretty sure that $0 is the upper bound too, because fire, insurance deductibles, and bleaching out blood stains sound expensive.

  10. “The answer depends on your culture” thing for math has been around for a while. I remember seeing either Bloom County or Doonesbury making fun of it. It does make me wonder though, about some of the diehard liberals I know.

    One of my former colleagues is a chemistry/biochemistry prof and he is so far to the left it’s not even funny. He teaches nursing students. His biggest complaint has always been that they are clueless as to the difference between 0.5 and 0.05 or in other words, the difference between cure and poison. I kinds want to ask him about this latest “cultural” trend and if he grades his students differently depending on race and gender…

  11. What is the alternative? I always query what are the alternatives.

    Schooling to keep them down or non violent? I see it as Pavlovian Classical Conditioning. Bell rings, go the the next class. Learning to work to the clock instead of until the job’s done.

    A lot of my buddies over the years have been natives, Eskimos and Indians. “Lookie there, sun’s topping out 4 fingers high above the mountain, time ducks, geese coming soon!” or “Last snow’s gone, caribou come through the pass real soon now.” or “Dwarf Dogwood’s blossoming, time to move to fish camp, salmon coming up the river real soon!”, or “Hey, George’s crew got whale, we all go to beach haul it in, butcher, store, all the meat and fat, work day and night until job is done. Then we celebrate!”. Folks telling time be the seasons, working until the job’s done, not 9 to 5. For may on my buddies from the villages, the 9 to 5 western concepts were hard to adapt to.

    My point? If the environment in which we live changes, yep, we change some of the ways we do things. That’s simple good sense.

    However the left’s, the woke’s, the Marxist’s moves to change the way we live to remake the world , the great reset, the New World Order, you won’t own anything and you’ll be happy, is just plain crazy!

    1. Modern Western ideas of time are results of the timekeeping used by the old Catholic ‘liturgy of the hours’, tightened up by the requirements of getting factory labor together after the Industrial Revolution, and a side order of naval timekeeping requirements spilling over into landside life. Prayers had to be said on time, workers had to arrive at the beginning of their shifts, and ships needed more accurate directions than just “that way.”

      Timekeeping is so ubiquitously ingrained into Western life it’s like air; I can see three clocks from where I’m sitting, and a fourth if I turn my chair. A clock might be useful on a stove, but there’s no need for one on a microwave, or a refrigerator, or an MP3 player, or an outside thermometer, or…

      When the tightest schedule you have to keep is “until the job is done”, Western timekeeping isn’t just alien, it’s insane and counterproductive.

      1. On a somewhat longer scale, time keeping is bound up in civilization’s earliest roots. Be ready for the Nile flood, or starve. Count seven weeks between the early grain harvest and the late grain harvest – We Jews are still doing that between Passover and Shavuot. Keep track of food stored during the winter, to get through to planting still having seed corn, and harvest still having food.
        Hunter gatherers don’t need calendars. Farmers and cities do.

        1. “Hunter gatherers don’t need calendars. Farmers and cities do.”

          It seems to me that a hunting/gathering society would also need the concept of a calendar, in order to know when to move to the river when the fish are spawning, or visit the field where the wild grain ripens at mid-summer. Show up too late, and the fish have gone back to the ocean. Show up too early, and the plants have barely flowered. Either way you go hungry. Too many misses and you die of starvation.

          Hunter/gatherer groups needed to be intimately aware of when and where their various prey species or plant foods were going to be available, so they could plan their moves accordingly. Also, when did the rains come each year, and when would the rivers flood and make travel impossible. Etc.

      2. The major reason why Western timekeeping became so ubiquitous is because it allows massive coordination between people and that creates a society that will outcompete others. From just one perspective, a military that is capable of saying “Everyone attack at 0400” is going to be far more successful than one that can only say “Attack on my signal.” What if the messenger is captured, or weather or geography block the signal?

      3. Er, maybe not a *clock* as such on the microwave, but I use the ‘kitchen timer’ function a lot, even without having the magnetron energized.

        1. Presumably a clock on the microwave would enable you to program it to cook meals while you are away, just as the clock on your coffee maker permits you to set the timer to have the coffee brewed and steaming when you stumble into the kitchen.

          What you could safely prepare in the microwave on a timer I cannot imagine. Ramen?

          1. The dishwasher does NOT have a displaying clock as such. There is a display and it is a timer, and it can be set to start later (set it up, and then go take a shower… the dishwasher has been ‘armed’ but the shower water isn’t varying). I wish the clothes washer had such an option. The microwave? The timer has to be there for what is being heated (even the 1970’s twist-knob model had the knob as the timer). The clock itself? Yeah, that isn’t *needed*, but it’s just there – and I suspect by now people would squawk if it wasn’t. Having an option to ‘blank’ the display when not in active use? That might be good. And while I’m dreaming, can we get people to STOP using BRIGHT BLUE LED’s everybloodywhere? Amber or red or green will do nicely. That blue took longer to work out… well, that was – for some now – a lifetime ago. Get over it!

            1. (Glances at range and microwave. Both green.)

              I’m lucky, I guess. The only blue LEDs in the house are at the computer. The satellite receiver/modem uses 5 to show status, and my router lights the only blue led it has to show that WiFi is enabled. The rest of those are either amber (not ready for prime-time) or green. Bicolor for the win.

              1. The power button on my new monitor hangs out the bottom. It’s B*R*I*G*T* blue and annoying. I have to keep something in front of it to keep the rage factor down.

                For that matter, I have a Post-It over the lights on the router. Even in my brightly-lit room, and out of my field of focus, the lights were annoyingly bright. The Post-It looks stupid, but it dims them just enough to be bearable.

                1. The previous cable box had five glaringly bright green LEDs. I put a piece of cardboard on top, with a flap bent down to cover them.

                  1. My glue gun gets a LOT of work for stuff like this. Duct type tape with the sticky side out, covering any joints, and enough glue-gunning to hold stuff on.

            2. I have a ham radio that has a digital display. I have come to expect things with digital displays to have clocks, and for no rational reason whatsoever, I am deeply annoyed that it doesn’t have a clock.

              Having said that, I’d much rather have no clock, than a clock that loses a minute or so every few days, like my microwave. I don’t expect the timekeeping to be exact, but it should be much better than that!

              And I second the “no blue lights, please” motion. Amber and red are reminiscent of the fires we used to use to keep our kitchens warm. Green, when dim enough, at least preserves night vision, enabling us to see everything in black and white. Blue, however, disrupts our sleeping patterns!

              1. My answering machine gains several minutes a day. Kind of weird when I listen to a message, and the damn thing says it was left tomorrow afternoon…

              2. That’s… odd.. the microwave clock should be synched to the 60 Hz (or Hz depending on where in the world you are) and keep fairly good time. I am presuming you are not off-grid, of course. Note, “fairly good” and not ‘perfect’. Some drift happens as the network(s) adjust to not mess each other up.

                1. Most electronic devices with microcontrollers use the micro’s core or peripheral clock for timekeeping. Usually good within a few seconds a day. Getting a tick from the line frequency takes additional components — a diode, resistor or two, maybe a cap — and the board space for them. Using the micro’s internal clocks just takes a little programming.

                  1. When the system clock used a quartz crystal, it might’ve been sensible for timekeeping. As it’s now generally not, it might be less expensive, but it is also – as is demonstrated – cheap. As in, how a father does NOT wish his daughter to look.

                    1. There’s also not much choice when the device is powered by a DC wall wart. There is no line frequency.

      4. I think the microwaves get a clock because most of the function has to be there, and the code/hardware to implement a clock is trivial. Ours tends to fail less in glitches than the range clock, though the coffeemaker clock is the winner. (5 clocks in the kitchen, the fourth is the weather station. OTOH, it dims the display at night. 5th is a phone 🙂 )

        I have two clocks on the laptop. The default is Day Date HH:MM, and I added a seconds clock to help me do some physical therapy exercises. They hurt too much if I do them too long…

        1. Ditto the MP3 player. To play back music at the right tempo, you need to have an internal clock that tells you when a second has passed, so you can make sure that you’re playing back exactly 44.1k sounds during that second. That doesn’t mean the clock has to be set to the correct time, but it does have to have an accurate idea of the length of a second. And once you have that, making it display the time on the screen (and letting the user tell the device what time it is) is trivial code, which you might as well add because some people will want it and it’ll cost you practically nothing to add it.

          1. It also helps in trouble shooting– that’s an output of the clock that doesn’t require the system be opened to check it.

          2. …and then someone has to set it, and keep track of Daylight Saving Time, and…

            That’s why I had black electrical tape over the flashing clock on the VCR. I have better things to do than try to figure out which combination of random buttons to press to set a freakin’ clock.

            1. I have a younger co-worker who claims to be GREAT at action video games (the co-workers he plays on-line with have another opinion….). The funny thing he evidently never learned how to tie his shoes or never bothered (I am amazed he doesn’t trip constantly) AND he has almost no idea how to set things on his watch (a bog-standard Casio). I keep suggesting someone ought to write a game where the either the first thing to do to get started, or some critical part of the ‘boss battle’ is tying shoes and setting a watch, including alarm.

              If someone ever did that, I suspect 99.99+ % of gamers would be going, “WTF?!?” and the rest would be laughing so very hard….

      5. Well, now, I walk one way through the house and I can glance at the clock on the range. Walking the other way, it’s more convenient to quickly peek at the one on the microwave.

        (I really should look at the time on the Kindle a bit more often. Fewer white nights (maybe) if I did.)

        1. I wouldn’t care how many clocks were in the kitchen if only they would agree on the current time.

          1. You seek a Consensus of the Clocks? You’d deny their individuality?

            What if one clock ‘feels’ that it’s 2AM even though the sun is rising? Can you —

            Gack, I can’t type any more of this. My brain rejects it reflexively. Anyway, you get the idea.

                1. I have port 123 open for NTP, and all my stuff just hits the Naval Observatory clock. But I don’t think Windows got ntp support until Vista.

                  — TRX (still running XP on the CNC machine)

                  1. I’d recommend using Linux to run that CNC machine, but when I tried it myself (experimentally — I didn’t have a CNC machine to run, and I still don’t 😦 ), I found it was a pain to set up — among other things, it required a kernel compilation to provide precise real-time control.

                    Having said that, (1) it’s been years, so perhaps it’s easier to set something up like that, and (2) if I had a CNC machine, I’d likely try to use Linux anyway, because I’m rather stubborn that way, so YMMV and all that.

                2. For some reason, my Raspberry Pi computer is, and remains, an hour off (slow) regardless of how I try to tweak it. Granted, not a Linux maven, and so far (at least) accurate time on my home computer hasn’t been a critical issue.

                  1. Sounds like it’s set to the wrong time zone. Try the timezonectl command and see what it’s set to. U.S. Eastern Time is Z – 5, Pacific Time is Z – 8. Check the Daylight Saving flag, too.

                  2. D’OH!!! Make that ‘timedatectl’ command. What were my fingers thinking? 😀

  12. You would probably like a book called “Real Philosophy for Real People” by Robert McTeigue, which applies your “What’s the alternative?” criterion to the major schools of modern thought (falsely so called) and demolishes them like a row of bowling pins. It’s extremely readable and systematic.

  13. Of course, this whole “2+2 is colonialism” is really just fancy talk for “2+2 is whatever I say it is, OR ELSE”. Just like “we all have our own truth” doesn’t mean “my truth” is just as valid as “their truth”. It means their “truth” is valid and mine is SHUT UP OR ELSE.

    There’s always an OR ELSE implied with this stuff.

    1. It’s not really even that. It’s a way to find fault with those who insist on using logic to try and refute the demands of the woke.

    2. There’s always an OR ELSE implied with this stuff.

      Sometimes a certain definitional flexibility is in order.

  14. I wonder if part of this is that there is money to be made by making people angry enough to be controlled?

    People have proposed that this is just media AI finding rage drives clicks, so the AI is steering everything towards endless rage. I wonder if this is the AI oxygen catastrophe?

    1. There’s political power to be gained from the mob. This has been known and understood since the bad old days of Greek democracy, and fomenting mob violence has been standard operating procedure for revolutionaries for the past two and a half centuries. However, since mobs tend to be both indiscriminately destructive and fickle, the wise statesman does not employ them as a tool of statecraft. I’d prefer not to name names, but I do have a little list of those who have disqualified themselves from consideration as wise statesmen.

      1. Point. Though it may just as easily be the media mavens, thinking only in engagement metrics, and not knowing why mob rule was such a bad idea the last time it got tried.

        I imagine the isolation does not help either. I know the last time I was working night shifts at a customer site, I got very… strange…

        There are other people here, so it’s not as bad, but it is not easy to humanize a name on a screen.

        On the one hand, I want to go back into the office to have contact with humans again. On the other hand, I do not believe I can trust them when I do.

    2. It’s not AI, it’s just the basic rule of measurement incentive: “If you measure something, that thing will improve.”

      Measure clicks, system optimizes for more clicks.

      Now if we could just get the system to measure and incentivize for something actually positive, like reduction in lines or word count of administrative law.

  15. This doesn’t even fit as a comment to this blog but I’m going to post it anyway.

    I took my sister in for a colonoscopy this AM. Patients go indoors with the muzzle, the ride home waits outside. When the muzzle face brought another muzzle face out, and they parked by me and started talking to me like they knew me…. I started yelling. They just stood there. I looked at the muzzle face who was literally a foot away from me. It was my sister.

    I didn’t know I’d lost my shite with muzzled people as much as I appear to have lost it. I can’t take this 100% muzzle anymore. I just can’t. God help us, please.

      1. Thanks so much. It helps to know I’m not the only one being pushed toward murder.

        I think self care means an extended trip to Free America, yes, good suggestion. Maybe Idaho? Maybe Wyoming, as I’m looking to see if that would be a good fit for a move.

        Yes. I think self care means a week in Free America. I’ve lived in FL before this, so it might be a good spot. I won’t fly, but a few days on the road is a good time, too.

        1. I personally can’t read emotions from people’s eyes, so the masks drive me up the bleeping wall. I’m not a people person but I at least need clues X over there isn’t planning to kill me!

          1. I thought the habit was to have a plan to kill everyone in the room? VBEG.

            But seriously, these days best to assume bad intent most places, and be pleasantly surprised when things don’t go sideways.

              1. I’m stuck between “Nice to have ambitious goals,” and “crew served weapons”

            1. It’s good to have the plan, but the question is, how do you know whether or not you need to execute it?

                  1. William Daniels also was featured on the popular (1982 – 1986) hospital drama St. Elsewhere in the role of Dr. Mark Craig.

                    Guess what notable personality trait the three roles had in common.

                    Hint: it was not a mild-mannered, indulges-fools-gladly disposition.

                    Two quotes:

                    Dr. Wayne Fiscus : I have a hunch.
                    Dr. Mark Craig : So did Quasimodo.

                    Dr. Mark Craig : Do me a favor, say “moose and squirrel”.
                    Natasha : [in her thick Russian accent] Moose and squirrel.
                    Dr. Mark Craig : That’s what I thought.

                    A clip from the show’s Season 3 finale.

                    1. Believe you me, I– a Star Trek fan!!– feel that each time I have to remind Wars fans that the Expanded universe, or Exended, universe, or whatever teh heck they called their APPROVED BY THE COMPANY fandom thingie– was formally invalidated by Lucas (rude terms here), not by anyone after the f’in vampire had sucked most of the juice out and passed the desiccated corpse on, where it was resuscitated with infusions from the expanded canon.






                      Of hearing folks scream about Disney, when Disney’s biggest sin was not DESTROYING all of Lukas’ “my ex isn’t here, I am going to remake the awesome without her!” story and taking on Zahn’s cannon.


                      Shut it the F down, and quietly. Tip. Toe. Away.

                      But noooooo, we had to respect pscyho mc what are humans, and go “Love thus slaughter ENTIRE – GENERATION OF KIDS.”
                      ….’cus that’s logical.

        2. Outside of Idaho’s blue cities, very few – other than the tourists – bother with masks, regardless of what’s posted.

    1. My co-worker doesn’t think that people are getting fed up with masks. When I brought up Texas and Florida, he claimed that they were fringe (because California has more residents; that was seriously the reasoning he provided).

      However, I’ll also note that while I wear my mask at my desk when he’s around (as per instructions from HR), his comes off the moment he sits down if the two of us are the only ones around.

      1. 🙂 You can tell your coworker that if he/she told me that and we were somewhere I’d not be caught, I’d kill him with my bare hands.

        You know I mean it, too.

        I’m sorry you have a jerk for your desk mate.

          1. If you figure out how to get Miami et al out of the State, I’ll help.

            I lived in Big Pine and Key West for about six years, and going to the mainland was culture shock enough. Miami? Ick.

      2. Here’s a video report from the lesser of the two major annual Experimental Aviation Association events, Sun’n’Fun in Lakeland, Florida, just concluded. Ponder that EAA is very much demographically shifted to the right on eth age curve:

          1. Yeah, I’ve been watching the various planes circling the runways at Sun ‘n Fun. A C130 at about 200 yards altitude is… unsettling. OVERTAKING ON THE HIGHWAY an F-16 idling at that same height is amusing.

      3. My rule is that I’ll go along with the mask theater as long as everyone else does. If one other person takes their mask off, mine will turn into a little purple blur as it goes from my face to my purse.

        Of course, with that sort of co-worker, it might be hard to tell if he’s the sort who would turn you in for an offense he was just as guilty of.

    2. I asked the gas station clerk: “Why are you wearing that stupid thing while sitting in that booth all alone?”

      “Company policy.”

      They believe ‘Policy’ can be used to excuse them from responsibility for everything that is useless, counterproductive, stupid, wasteful, all the way to downright evil.

      1. Long before this China Flu nonsense, I saw buttons at SF/F cons that read “It doesn’t have to make sense, it’s FILL-IN-THE-BLANK policy”.

        With “FILL-IN-THE-BLANK” being company, military, government, etc. And yes, I saw several versions of the buttons. 😉

    3. On the mask topic, had a couple interesting interactions over the last couple days regarding same…
      Yesterday, coming out of a restaurant, I was being sort-of-kind-of-but-not-really a bit rebellious and only holding my mask over my face. Held the door for a fellow coming out, joked about the lack of mask on him, at which point he stated he won’t wear them unless asked, at which point he showed us his mask…
      “This thing is as effective as my governor” was printed on it (3 guesses what state we’re in.)

      Today, I went into the hardware store to return a couple things, asked the guy in front of me if he was picking up or returning (signage from where I stood was slightly unclear,) he (fully face-diapered) commented to me how “signs are hard,” several times. Mask stayed in my pocket, took care of my return (not a peep from the cashier,) and headed out.

      I’ve gotten to the point, I’ll put it on IF a staff member of the establishment ASKS me to put one on (and I didn’t leave it in the car or the house,) otherwise? I’m done.

      1. “This thing is as effective as my governor” was printed on it (3 guesses what state we’re in.)

        Oregon … California … New York

        I’ve seen this mask here … Oregon …

      2. I love my current locale. Though I am an inmate, errr, resident, of Colorado, the county I am in reflects my attitude of “I don’t give a f*ck!” I won’t wear a mask outside of the main office at work (corporate policy) and then only if a director or higher is in town. If a business tells me I have to wear a mask to enter, I turn around and will never give them my money again. Gee is it good to be a cranky old bastard.

  16. Not an expert, but I’m sure Toltec, Aztec, Mayan, and Incan math were all the 2+2=4 variety. Though a case can be made that the Aztecs, if none of the others, were colonizers, though they tanned well so might get a pass.

        1. >> “Ancient Babylon used a base-60 system. No wonder they never finished their Tower…”

          And in binary there’s no such thing as 2+2 in the first place!

          1. Sure there is. “Number Two” is merely represented as “10” rather than as “2”. It’s the same number no matter how it’s represented!

    1. Pretty sure Toltec, Aztec and Mayan Math was Priest Math. Serfs did what they were told, or they got volunteered for the next ceremony day.

  17. Agreeing on reality is a vital thing. It’s like the ground rules of baseball-if you don’t agree and play by the rules, you’re just a bunch of people on a field with bats and balls making random swings all over the place. However much you hate the rules, either you play by them, change them in a process that allows some level of consensus, or you shouldn’t be there. One way or another.

    (Insert long rant that I’ve had over the years that the problem with Mage:The Ascension is that the developers stuck the Tecnocratic Union (i.e. the Technomancers) as the heavy The Man bad guys, when having the Traditions (the nominal “good guys”) run things let the world sink into the chaos of the Middle Ages and mage-warlords that didn’t give a crap about anything other than their own particular little hobby horses and agendas. And, the idea that if you’re a big enough psychopath/sociopath that you could reshape the world according to your own whims should terrify you to no end and make the Union seem even more “viable.” Portray them as being captured by their own systems, yes-that they’ve forgotten for the most part why they are there and why they do things. That they’ve done the most to lift the human race out of the muck and up to the stars. And, there’s still wars to be fought-and monsters to be slain. Just, sometimes the monsters are on the inside of your own organization.)

    (Insert side note about how when GURPS did an adaptation of the Old World Of Darkness, it was much more viable than the original game lines. And the J Jonah Jameson, “HA HA! You’re serious?” laugh as well. And the long, childish cold-war between White Wolf Games and SJ Games.)

    Which says everything about these people-they can’t win with the rules how they are, and if they were to tell people why they want to change the rules, being called “childish” would be the kindest thing that would happen and they know it. So, it’s all misdirection, deception, lies, and treachery until the day the knives come out.

    1. So what you seem to be saying is, the right is playing by MLB rules and the left is playing CalvinBall?

        1. Full contact CalvinBall

          And of course, if you return the favor they call Mom & Dad in to arrest you even if there’s video evidence they started it (Kyle in Kenosha has entered the chat)

          1. In Calvinball the rules apply equally to both sides, even if subject to change without notice. They way Teh Left plays there are two sets of rules: variable rules, for them, and fixed rules, for us. They like the rules as explained in the classic (pre-rapist) Bill Cosby “Toss of the Coin” routine:

            “The Settlers say that during the war they will wear any color clothes that they want to, shoot from behind the rocks the trees and everywhere, says that your team must wear red and march in a straight line.”

            1. Fixed rules for us? Then we could figure them out. No, variable rules for us, determined after they decided to declare us guilty.

              1. No, the rules are still fixed: we’re guilty. Determining how and why are minor details.

                It is part of the “feminization” of the Democrat Party.

        1. I miss the daily dose of new Calvin & Hobbs … FYI. Our 6th cat, was Hobbs, gray and black “tiger”. He lived to be 20 years old.

    2. Insert long rant that I’ve had over the years that the problem with Mage:The Ascension is that the developers stuck the Tecnocratic Union (i.e. the Technomancers) as the heavy The Man bad guys.

      “But the Technocracy hates anything that doesn’t fit into their reality and would destroy all magical beings.”

      “These ‘magical beings’ consist of vampires who treat humans like cattle, werewolves who would wipe us all out in order to return the world to its pristine state, and fairies who will f- things up just for the heck of it. Why WOULDN’T you want to wipe them out?”

      I’m generally on the side of the Traditions, but certainly the way that the WoD was written, the Technocracy had a good point.

      1. Bingo, and other adjectives. I think the entire game-line went downhill when even a weak mage couldn’t reliably turn vampires into lawn chairs and margaritas. (And, thus ended my only LARP experience because I did just that and brought lawn chairs and margaritas for the girls there.)

        Look, the Technocracy had issues-not the least of which was an inability to clean their own house of their worst actors or realizing that they had become some of the things they had hated. But, in comparison to even quite a few of the “good” factions in the OWoD? Not all saints, but definitely not all devils.

          1. …and, that just clicked one of the really creepy things about all of the White Wolf game lines. Some very scary protagonist-centered morality (which hit peak cringe in Beast-The Primordial, and the very uncomfortable otherkin/trans-trender text), Maybe better writing would have called this out better, but…yea.

    3. Ugh, GURPS is the worst, clumsiest game system ever.

      Normally I like SJ games products, but GURPS sucks; in this case I’ll back White Wolf all the way.

      1. I’ve seen worse than GURPS. I’ve USED systems worse than GURPS. The thing is that GURPS wasn’t built for “high-power” gaming, and you shouldn’t try to force it to do so.

        1. Once was in a superheroic GURPS game. Didn’t work.

          Though the GM was happier when he was reading a GURPS fantasy source book and it suggested that for gods you could try supers, and he made the connection.

  18. > you, that morning, decided that 2 plus 2 equals fifty. … See how far that gets you.

    What’s wrong with that? That’s how Congress handles the national budget.

  19. The problem is, the people who argue that 2+2=4 is colonialism, or racist, or whatever aren’t forwarding an honest argument. Those A-holes know and accept just as well as anyone else that 2+2=4. They are just say it to exert power. They used to have to work for that power but now that they have enough people snowed (or cowed), they can say anything. 2+2=4? Racist! Peanut butter sandwiches? Racist! Personal responsibility? Racist! Individuality? Racist! Property rights? RACIST!!! Being born with less melanin (particularly if male)? Racist… Pointing all this out? That’s racist too. Frankly, as a white male, I’ve been branded racist so many times I no longer give a shiff, So I’ll keep on judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin (somehow, that has also declared racist), and the 2+2=colonialism crowd can go do something anatomically improbable with themselves.

      1. Also, there are nine planets. (minimum)

        Depends entirely on how you define the word. The IAU made a crappy definition (though in some ways better than it might have been), but it isn’t possible to define this with the level of bright lines we want.

        That said; the planet / exo-planet part of their definition is complete bull.

        1. The problem isn’t that it’s hard to define clearly.

          It’s that they broke their own rules to redefine it, unclearly.

          1. This is true. But it bugs me to no end that the example everyone latches on to “Pluto is a planet reeeeee!” is by far the least objectionable issue. Hell; a better set of definitions would probably end up with the same label for different reasons.

            The only thing none of this will do is change that there is a lump of matter with such and such properties, moving with such and such orbital characteristics.

            1. It’s a good example, because the rules are there in black and white.

              Before, Pluto was acceptable as a planet.

              When they wanted to flex, but couldn’t manage to do so by the rules– they broke their rules, redefined terms, and then demanded everybody pretend they were respectable.

              When that didn’t get a great deal of respect, they “compromised” by making up a new term.
              No idea if they bothered to follow the rules that time; much like WorldCon, they’d shown what they were, why would I argue the price on something I won’t buy?

              1. Deciding the current definition isn’t working and a better one needs to be figured out isn’t “breaking their rules”. Rather it is the natural result of any field that is rapidly gathering new data that doesn’t fit what it expected.

                Doing a shitty job of it means that not only do you get the mockery of screwing up, but break your ability to make the definitions you need to *work*.

                1. Ah, so you’re not familiar with that drama.

                  Short form.

                  They had a method to vote on adjusting rules to try to make for a consensus.

                  They knew that they couldn’t get enough folks to vote on the desired redefinition, in part because it looked like a hit-job on Pluto, so waited until enough people had left, then held a vote– although they didn’t have enough people for it to align with their own existing rules.

                  Bog standard “gut it, skin it, wear the skin as a suit and demand respect” behavior.

                    1. That’s what I’ve read.

                      On the other hand, there are Kuiper Belt objects out there that seem to be about as large as Pluto, if further out, so we should decide whether or not those should be counted as planets. Men of good will can disagree over how many planets are in our solar system, but the number almost certainly isn’t 9.

                      But I don’t see that issue being so important that parliamentary shenanigans are warranted. That tells me that something more emotional was at play.

                    2. Ceres was a planet for a while by that definition. Until it was found to be the largest (by a fair margin) of a similar class of object in the same orbit, at which point it was demoted to “asteroid”.

                    3. Some of the things I heard were because it was a way to smack Americans, who keep finding all kinds of stuff in the IAU– so at least take “their” planet away– and worse the proposal they were actually voting on, legally, would make an entire class of “Pluto-type planets.” With two of the other three discovered by Americans, even.


                      Long quote:

                      IAU President Ron Ekers explains the rational behind a planet definition: “Modern science provides much more knowledge than the simple fact that objects orbiting the Sun appear to move with respect to the background of fixed stars. For example, recent new discoveries have been made of objects in the outer regions of our Solar System that have sizes comparable to and larger than Pluto. These discoveries have rightfully called into question whether or not they should be considered as new ‘planets.’ ”

                      The International Astronomical Union has been the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since its inception in 1919. The world’s astronomers, under the auspices of the IAU, have had official deliberations on a new definition for the word “planet” for nearly two years. IAU’s top, the so-called Executive Committee, led by Ekers, formed a Planet Definition Committee (PDC) comprised by seven persons who were astronomers, writers, and historians with broad international representation. This group of seven convened in Paris in late June and early July 2006. They culminated the two year process by reaching a unanimous consensus for a proposed new definition of the word “planet.”

                      Owen Gingerich, the Chair of the Planet Definition Committee says: “In July we had vigorous discussions of both the scientific and the cultural/historical issues, and on the second morning several members admitted that they had not slept well, worrying that we would not be able to reach a consensus. But by the end of a long day, the miracle had happened: we had reached a unanimous agreement.”

                      The part of “IAU Resolution 5 for GA-XXVI” that describes the planet definition, states “A planet is a celestial body that (a) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (b) is in orbit around a star, and is neither a star nor a satellite of a planet.” Member of the Planet Definition Committee, Richard Binzel says: “Our goal was to find a scientific basis for a new definition of planet and we chose gravity as the determining factor. Nature decides whether or not an object is a planet.”

                      According to the new draft definition, two conditions must be satisfied for an object to be called a “planet.” First, the object must be in orbit around a star, while not being itself a star. Second, the object must be large enough (or more technically correct, massive enough) for its own gravity to pull it into a nearly spherical shape. The shape of objects with mass above 5 x 1020 kg and diameter greater than 800 km would normally be determined by self-gravity, but all borderline cases would have to be established by observation.

                      If the proposed Resolution is passed, the 12 planet in our Solar System will be Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Charon and 2003 UB313. The name 2003 UB313 is provisional, as a “real” name has not yet been assigned to this object. A decision and announcement of a new name are likely not to be made during the IAU General Assembly in Prague, but at a later time. The naming procedures depend on the outcome of the Resolution vote. There will most likely be more planets announced by the IAU in the future. Currently a dozen “candidate planets” are listed on IAU’s “watchlist” which keeps changing as new objects are found and the physics of the existing candidates becomes better known.

                    4. Aside from politics I can see a reason why someone might want to classify Pluto differently: a consistent definition that includes Pluto will also define Ceres and a couple other belt objects as planets.

                      Probably the best way to cut this knot is the simple definition Foxfier posted, and layer on top of that an informal understanding of Dwarf Planet. At least until a better classification can be worked out.

                    5. Redefining Pluto made a sort of sense – it’s not in an ecliptic orbit and thus is more ‘odd other thing’. However, the definition used is garbage and the means of getting the definition even stinkier garbage. Something more sane, such as requiring an ecliptic orbit and sufficient gravity for spherosity (another definition problem, I know) would have also booted Pluto, but brought in Ceres.

                    6. As was pointed out by the head of committee that made the original proposed definition, they didn’t use that one because the existence of Pluto meant that Neptune failed to clear its orbit.

                    7. The reason that Pluto got the boot is similar to why Ceres got the boot back in the mid 19th Century.

                      Yes, Ceres was once the 9th Planet; with Vesta as the 10th, and then suddenly a whole bunch of other asteroids and Ceres and Vesta got “demoted” with the discovery of the asteroid belt.

                      Then the number of “planets” started to explode again because of the detection of hoards of other Kuiper Belt Objects, at least one of which, either Eris or Sedna I think, was larger than Pluto.

                      There still may be another planet hiding in the Kuiper Belt because we still haven’t accounted for the oddities of Uranus’ orbit which lead to the search for Pluto in the first place. It could be our missing “super-earth”, though I like the theory we have a primordial black hole hanging out there.

                    8. > Redefining Pluto made a sort of sense – it’s not in an ecliptic orbit and thus is more ‘odd other thing’

                      If Pluto isn’t a “planet”, then neither is Uranus.

        2. Here’s the definition that they turned down, before the everybody-went-home-already last minute thing:

          The part of “IAU Resolution 5 for GA-XXVI” that describes the planet definition, states “A planet is a celestial body that (a) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (b) is in orbit around a star, and is neither a star nor a satellite of a planet.”

          1. I like that definition, but I would have to confess that, having made a deep dive into the definition that booted out Pluto, I decided that “(b)” shouldn’t be a condition, either.

            That way, we could talk about “rogue planets” that have been booted out of their solar systems — or perhaps even planets that were never a part of a solar system, if such a thing exists.

            And yes, that means the Moon, Titan, and Ganymede, among other objects, will become planets — but I consider this a feature rather than a bug. How many “moons” does Saturn have now? How many of them are little asymmetrical chunks of rock? Heck, Mars’s moons are likely captured asteroids! To me, it makes sense to distinguish between “planet moons” and “asteroidal moons” — particularly when some of these moons even have an atmosphere!

            1. I think the modifier of “rogue planet” works because it recognizes that the planet is wandering from normal planet place– similarly, a note that “this moon is a captured planet” would work, too.

              Have we found any rogue planets, incidentally?

              1. A Rogue Planet is one that does not orbit a star, but spends most of its time wandering the eternal night between stars. A planet that has been flung out of its native star system by its bigger neighbors.

                I guess even planets can be bullies. 😀
                Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks they called it witchcraft. Now they call it golf.

                1. Okay then – rogue-ish planet. It seems all well-behaved but will get out of line given an opportunity.

            2. Figured out part of why I like this definition more– because it encompassed what was already agreed on, rather than trying to redefine stuff.

    1. I do think that a lot of people have stopped caring about being labeled “racist”. I certainly have. But unfortunately that process isn’t going as fast as I’d like. Too many people still are cowed by threats of being labeled. We must do even more pointing and laughing and eye rolling, I guess.

      1. I have found that the only appropriate way to respond to claims of racism is to then ask the accuser if they are going to call you a poopy-head next, or if they are going to go straight to the nuclear option of calling mommy to protect them.

  20. Much “Deep Thought” is only indicative of the cesspit in which the deep thinker is standing.

    Include me out.

  21. You’re free to take all your clothes off, and take off to the forest

    Yeah, no, they want to wave it around in town. Back when SF was a city full of nutballs instead of an echoing wasteland where nutballs still roam, they did away with all the public nudity laws so the annual pride parade participants and parade watchers could go nakers. But the result was the naked guy was the last person sitting on the strangely available seat at the coffee shop or McD.

    Join me in going “Ew.”

    1. Who’s going to see you and praise your rebellion against conventional morality out in the forest? The gnats and mosquitoes?

  22. Once upon a time I flummoxed a teacher by claiming that 2 + 2 could be 22.

    You see, translated to Roman Numerals the equation normal people accepts is:

    II + II = IV

    If I wrote the “I” on the blackboard a little sloppy it can be seen as an “1” which made the left side of eth equation:

    11 + 11

    or 22!

    Some years later, when I learned about alternate number bases, I quickly determine that, in base 3, the equation come out to.

    2 + 2 = 11

    I never took it seriously. I was just funning around. Which may be the biggest difference between us and them: We can laugh at ourselves.

      1. It’s too bad we don’t have 12 fingers. In some ways hexadecimal is a lot easier for some kinds of operations.

        1. Base 60 is our ancestral birthright! The only vestige remaining to us is the measurement of angles, and by extension time. We must reject the patriarchal base-10 hegemony and return to kindler gentler curvier Bablylonain base 60!!

          1. We never abandoned base 60! We just use it for time keeping, right along with base 24.

            Base 12 is for measuring small distances.

        2. Someday we will meet a species with twelve fingers, and they will be shocked that any intelligent race would use any base other than twelve.

        3. You can count to 12 on one hand. Use your thumb as a pointer and use the joints on the other four fingers. Using both hands you can get to 144. And 12 plays much better with fractions.

          1. You can count to 31 on one hand (1023 if you use both) if you use base 2. In that counting method our hostess’ legendary upraised fingers = 132.

        4. Para’s already pointed out that hexadecimal is base16, but I have wondered if 12-bit computing would offer any significant advantages over 8-bit. I understand that 12-bit computing used to be a thing once upon a time but 8-bit won out, and I’m not sure why. Was it just because 8 bits was enough and the extra components cost too much back then?

          1. Maximum efficiency.

            1011 — last 12-base number
            1111 — last 16-base number, using all the configurations possible

            1. Um, what? I didn’t say base 12, I said 12-bit. I think you’re having a different conversation than I am.

                1. Okay, but that still doesn’t make sense. All you did was count from 0 to 11 in binary and that’s not how memory addresses work. If you want to count in binary all the different addresses possible with 12-bit words then you need 12 digits, not 4. So it would be from 000000000000 to 111111111111, which in decimal would be 0 to 4095 (assuming you’re using unsigned integers). So there would be 4096 addressable memory locations, not 12.

                  I honestly don’t know what you’re trying to convey here.

          2. Because 12 bits is halfway between 8 (2^3) and 16 (2^4) and is a poor ‘fit’ for binary numbers. The natural steps are 8 bits, 16 bits, 32 bits, 64 bits, and so on. 12 bits can only address 4,096 words of memory, so for a useful memory space you still need 2-word addresses.

            I think it also makes addressing inside of memory chips more complex.

            If you need more than 8 bits, might as well go to 16. Motorola made the 6809 processor, which is sort of a hybrid 8/16 bit design.

            There were also a couple of 36-bit computers. Did not catch on.
            Susan Ivanova: “I do not like Santiago. I’ve always thought that a leader should have a strong chin. He has no chin, and his vice-president has several. This to me is not a good combination.”

            1. >> “Because 12 bits is halfway between 8 (2^3) and 16 (2^4) and is a poor ‘fit’ for binary numbers. The natural steps are 8 bits, 16 bits, 32 bits, 64 bits, and so on.”

              I don’t understand WHY having your word size be a power of 2 is better. What’s the practical advantage?

              >> “I think it also makes addressing inside of memory chips more complex.”

              How so? I understand it’s not a good fit with memory chips that were designed to work with power-of-two word sizes, but why wouldn’t designing them around multiples of 12 work just as well?

    1. Ah, similar to this count-on-your-fingers trick:

      Right hand: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6.

      Left hand: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

      6 + 5 = 11.

      I have eleven fingers!!

      1. Why can;t mathematicians tell the difference between Halloween and Christmas? Octal 31 = Decimal 25.

  23. I think the best answer I heard to the “What difference does a piece of paper make to whether we’re married?” question came from talk show host Ken “The Black Avenger” Hamblin, who asked if it makes a difference in your answer whether the guy asking to borrow $10,000 to star a business is “a guy shacking up with your daughter” or your son-in-law.

  24. … assuming that without having romantic notions to encourage her to care about attachment and feelings, young women would be as ‘free’ and sexually available as men wish they’d be.

    Because who wouldn’t want to be mauled by some clumsy ox (nothing personal, Orvan) twice your weight?

    As it happens, there is research (which I cannot be bothered to search out) indicating that it is men who are more romantic, that women are capable of being appallingly, ruthlessly pragmatic. In this perspective, romance is a courting dance men do to display their willing commitment to their biological offspring.

    Might be true, might be heavily culturally bound – hoomans is the cwaziest people, to borrow from an old Popeye cartoon.

  25. .. schooling is how the upper classes keep the lower classes from committing violence.

    If the lower classes lack incentives against committing violence there soon will be neither upper nor lower classes, there will merely be death and destruction where once civilization had stood.

    And yes, these days what passes for “education” is justification for lower class destruction instead of the ladder into the upper classes that Booker T Washington once recognized.

    1. It is one of the charms of “capitalist” societies that one ascends through the classes according to what one contributes to the general welfare. Education had been intended as a route for lower classes to contribute more than their mere muscles permitted – and as a way for upper classes to enjoy the benefits of their status, through investment in the Arts, for example.

  26. “In the same way, later, while doing my instapundit link rounds, I saw an article about how 2 + 2 is colonial thinking imposed on non-white populations, and are alien and evil, compared to their native ways of knowing.”

    Anthropologist here. The “native ways of knowing” thing has been around since before Lawrence of Arabia found out that Bedouin clothing and tents work really well in the desert. If you want to hang out in the desert and not suffer, you talk to the locals and find out what they’re doing.

    Victorians resisted this, and assumed that their knowledge of conditions in Europe could be applied directly to Africa, India, Jamaica, or the untracked wilderness of Southern Ontario.

    Which was stupid. Locals always know better than visitors. There are right ways and wrong ways to do things. The right and wrong ways CHANGE depending on where you are.

    You want to know the right way to build a house in India, you talk to an -Indian- architect because he knows that snakes can climb drain pipes. He knows that the monsoons are going to flood that basement. He knows the windstorms will rip that roof off.

    But if you want to know the right way to build a house in England, you go look at those 500 year old thatched cottages. That’s the right way.

    The Indian house will not work in England. The English house will not work in India. The English know this, because in typical pig-headed fashion they did it wrong and after a bunch of guys got bitten by snakes, they figured out what the Indian guy already knew.

    But what does the Indian guy know about building in Canada? Nothing. Talk to the Canadian guy, who knows you have to make someplace to push all the SNOW that’s coming this winter, and you better have your concrete poured and cured by November. Also that you need a basement, because it gets damn hot in the summer.

    The Lefties are all pretending as hard as they can that the Indian guy, because his ancestors were disrespected by pig-headed Brits, knows everything there is to know about houses, and if we’d only give him a chance his Indian house would be great in Alberta.

    You want to live in the wilds of Borneo, you talk to a head hunter. You want to go to the moon, you talk to Werner Von Braun. In Borneo, math is less important than mosquito control. In space, you get the math wrong you’re going to die.

    Where we are now is that all of the above is considered RAAAACIISSSSS and would most certainly get me kicked out of an Anthropology program in Ontario. This is why I chose house painting over a career in Anthropology in 1979, and I have never regretted it.

    1. Ideally, you’ll have folks from both places, and ask them why they do stuff.

      And they’ll have the cultural framework to be able to answer constructively.

      On the failure side, you get the “cutting the end off the roast because great grandma’s pan was too short.”

      On the success of actually respecting folks who are experts in their fields– which means that they must be open to the possibility of there being a new trick they haven’t learned, or being able to create such a trick, my dad learned the trick of feeding cattle in the morning to avoid night-births, from a guy who’d worked with much smaller herds than dad grew up with. When you have so many cows that you feed all day, it doesn’t work. When you have few enough to be done feeding before noon, they eat, then tend to give birth while chewing their cud, and nobody is late to breakfast.

    2. Hadn’t framed it this way in my head before, but this:
      Ideally, you’ll have folks from both places, and ask them why they do stuff.

      And they’ll have the cultural framework to be able to answer constructively.

      Is exactly what their screams of racism and stuff is designed to destroy.

      1. Yes – if ‘cultural appropriation’ is evil, then good ideas cannot ever be stolen adopted outside of strict cultural bounds, and anything that achieves objective measurable positive results has to be condemned as oppressive.

        The thing that got me about the Federation vs. the Borg was that the Borg were actually a melting pot culture, albeit represented in Fed propaganda as a forced assimilation assault on the freedoms of the Feddies. In contrast, the Feds were a non-aggregate mix-and-match stay-in-your-lane imperial construct with no cultural commonality at all between the human-ruled “member” worlds, except maybe for the humans and Vulcans, who are trivially cross-fertile anyway, suspicious, that.

        “Hi, we’re the Borg. We’d like to offer your individual instances the opportunity to contribute your unique cultural diversity into our aggregate cultural context to build a greater common aggregate pan-galactic culture, but if you tell us to go away we will. Here’s how to contact us. Have a Nice Day.”

        1. ….while I recognize technique, the whole “forcibly mind-raping everyone and imprinting them with what the Borg collective had decided was good” is a lot more evil than the Federation.

          And I agree with the homicidal psychopath dragon-man and the insane capitalist goblin, the Federation is insidious…..

          A lot of the worlds they visited weren’t humans, by the way. They just looked a lot like humans, and could tell everyone who visited to do things Their Way or Else. Biggest evil thing in the Federation was that they required a one world government to join, and they’re freaking morons. “Oh, yeah, we’re trading these planets, you guys can stay if you want. The Soviet Japanese dragon-men are totally not going to horrifically murder everyone. Same way the angry space elves are totally trustworthy about that whole cloaking device thing!”

          1. If TehFeds are in fact worse than even the Ferengi say, not just soda-pop sickly sweet insidious but in fact soft-glove imperialists with a shadowy secret police arm and a hard lock on all the internal propaganda streams, then if the happy-Borg showed up out at the border colony worlds using the greeting and method I mentioned, and the implants and enhancements and augmentations are all voluntary and, in fact, no worse than those John Ringo has the galactics using in the Troy Rising series, would the official Fed propaganda to try and keep Fed subjects from defecting to the Borg en masse not look like “forcible mind rape and overwrite your brain with a soulless collective”?

            As a referent, I’ll point to the stuff the USSR told Soviet “citizens” about the USA.

            1. So basically if absolutely every bit of evidence we have doesn’t exist.
              Nah, thanks, that’s worse than the “women of tissue paper” thing.

              1. Well, more “If the ST franchise is Fed propaganda, what alternate fact pattern can sit behind what is shown under the assumption that the Feds are in fact the baddies?”

                1. Like I said, I’m familiar with the technique, I just do not enjoy it and it leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.

                  Similar to the “Belle was actually horrible because Gaston was her only friend in town.”

                  Stuff that takes what’s shown and adds stuff– especially if you can use stuff that was shown and then dropped off the thing, and doesn’t matter what they say about themselves, how they view themselves– that’s fun.

                  Thus my head-cannon of “there are a ton of non-Federation planets and a thriving everybody else network of societies. Also religion. They mostly avoid the Federation because those guys are kinda annoying.”

                  1. Well if I were actually world building it, it would probably be “Kirk’s Feds were honest, and Picards and Siskos Feds have a lot of stuff that’s creepy and hidden and not what it appears to be – what happened and how do they get back to first principles?”

                    That’s actually the boiled down dilemma to my ST-fan-founded-colony folks in one WIP – there’s so many handles to yank the STTNG/DS9-era governmental system towards baddieness that some people in charge could not resist, but there are others who signed on to Be Like Kirk, and thus the basic conflict in their military, kicked along a bit by my MC from a nearby colonial government based on the US.

                    1. There were a lot of things in Kirk’s that suggested possible corruption, and a century later LOTS of big old warning bells were going off (even before the “invaded by body-snatching pizza” episode where they blew up a bunch of the chain of command…and then nothing happened).
                      There was also religion in TOS, and some suggestion of it being commonly known in folks’ grandparents time in TNG (the creepy mental assault guy was helping Mrs. O’Brien remember the paintbrush for writing oriental characters, and there were a couple of religious related items in the mental image.)

                      I just object to re-writing the good but seriously flawed folks as super-powered villains, and the bad guys as fluffy good guys, when there’s no evidence to do so.

                      Seriously, the fact that Barclay exists shows that humanity isn’t totally different….so where are all the others like him? And Worf’s brother? (The real one, not the blood one.)
                      And so on.

                      Oh, and Sisko’s dad….. Whoof, Sisko’s dad.

                    2. In DS9, I remember only One Good Bajorian Religious Leader and she got left in Gamma? Sector never to be seen again. 😦

                    3. Basically the Bajoran pope, yes.

                      Then there was Kira’s boyfriend who was either angling for Pope or not, and it was either another boyfriend or that same one that founded the Islamic Space Terrorist Xenophobes and tried to recruit her but I’m pretty sure he was a Bajoran bishop thingie too, then you got Bajoran Pope Medicini who ended up seduced by the space dragon demon worshiper.

                    4. I agree with everything you wrote – I just was thinking ST TNG was always encountering Big Bad Aliens, and if you read stuff from the first season production they introduced those capitalist Ferengi as the main bad guys and they just didn’t fly as a serious enough strategic opponent, thus the Borg.

                      But how Fed society handle a friendly advanced hyper connected individual-rights-honoring cybernetic society that welcomed anyone that wanted to immigrate? Even without any of the grimdark all-the-good-guys-are-bad-guys stuff in the Fed, their encountering the HappyBorg and dealing the consequences would make for great storytelling.

                    5. ? Even without any of the grimdark all-the-good-guys-are-bad-guys stuff in the Fed, their encountering the HappyBorg and dealing the consequences would make for great storytelling.

                      ::looks sideways at the FanficBeingFiledClean folder::

                      Oh, you mean like the guys who all run like crazy from the Federation include folks who have non-destructive, smaller nanobots than the Borg, whose cybernetics can’t survive outside of a body very well– can sort of be used to hack running power systems and such, but without active shielding tend to rot fairly quickly– who make a living as traders among the “no, we don’t have a one world government, thank you” folks?

                      ::tries to look innocent:: Oh, no, I don’t find that concept utterly fascinating at all. Especially if it lets me give a character an excuse for pretty anime hair on a bishi that does pakor…..

                      (We’re shown anti-gravs that are like the size of a brick and four of them lift shuttlecraft. Why is there nothing like this in shoes and gloves, with inertia-damper costumes? Justified by moving cargo, really for Rule Of Awesome space pakor!)

                    6. I might or might not be in the middle of a book (I posted stuff here) where the “magic” is of that kind.
                      Of course, the poor bastages (for more reasons than that. They’re a feminist/equalitarian experiment gone utterly wrong.) got marooned for a few thousand years, and all they have to explain it is “magic.”

                    7. And I totally didn’t make it so that part of why they shield, besides protecting the nanobots, is to make sure that the established filters on the teleportation system didn’t “clean up” the nanites in their system, which generally killed the host.

                    8. The enormous two-hundred-mile-across ship in the form of an enormous smiley-face seems to not notice all the phasers and photon torpedoes and such fired at it as it enters the Sol system, gently slowing and diverting the ships that make desperate suicide runs, and braking to a halt over Earth, not orbiting but holding position.

                      “Hi, sorry to poke our noses in but we are the Grob. We just moved in across your spinward border next to the Klingon Empire and we wanted to stop by and say Hi. It looks like we’re more technologically advanced than you, so we’d be happy to talk about appropriate tech transfers, and we would also be happy to accept immigrants of whom we approve – sorry, no baddies allowed. What’s that? Well, immigrants do need to assimilate, but it’s all voluntary. No, no mind rapeyness. We have rules. Forced implants? Oh, you’ve met the Borg. No, no forced implants, though most immigrants get an implant set just to connect and take advantage of the life-extension stuff. You want to decide who we sell to? No, I don’t think so, we’ll trade tech with anyone who does not qualify as a baddie in our eyes as long as they have something we want. We don’t do exclusivity contracts or licensing or whatever it is you’re talking about. Okay, then, we’ll be toddling along now. Nice meeting you! BuhBye!”

                    9. the teleportation system didn’t “clean up” the nanites

                      Now this is brilliant – they come across as luddites or anti-tech specifically because the stupid primitive transmat technology is so indiscriminate. Same thing with medical care.

                      That’s just got tons of fun built-in for misunderstandings and condescention. Very nice

                    10. “Why are all you guys invisible to our sensors? What are you hiding?!”
                      “We’re walking around in PERFECTLY COMFORTABLE levels of radiation and you psychopaths keep KIDNAPPING PEOPLE AND KILLING THEM IN THE PROCESS! Of course none of us wants you to get a transporter lock on us, the few folks who survive take years of therapy to recover normal function and stop having nightmares about it!”

                    11. And what kind of “teleportation” system are you using? Matter into Energy back to Matter can over a thousand standard years cause massive damage to biological cells. We found a much better system.

                      What you don’t live over a thousand standard years? Your medical technology is worse than we thought.

                    12. >> “He can be a bit heavy-handed with the satire there.”

                      I still want to see him dunk on the Warhammer 40k universe some more, though.

          2. Biggest evil thing in the Federation was that they required a one world government to join

            I always wanted to see an episode where one side of a bicultural world decided to commit genocide on the other side because they realized it was the only way that they would ever be able to join the Federation.

            “Oh, yeah, we’re trading these planets, you guys can stay if you want. The Soviet Japanese dragon-men are totally not going to horrifically murder everyone.”

            To be fair, that wasn’t the Federation’s idiocy, it was Picard’s. Picard’s orders were to move the people out of the way of the Soviet-Japanese dragon-men, but he decided to make up the “You can stay if you want” policy on the spot so that he could feel good about not taking the Pseudo Native Americans away from their land.

            Really, every death in the Maquis-Cardassian war should have been hung around Picard’s neck for that move.

            1. They did let Cardassian locals stay on their planets, so it couldn’t be JUST Picard.

              (…Spellcheck? Why are you suddenly not recognizing Cardassian?)

          3. > ….while I recognize technique, the whole “forcibly mind-raping everyone and imprinting them

            That’s what the Feds are doing with public school. And drugging “unruly” children. And the new racial criticism sessions.

            If they had a way to lift their little skulls and reprogram them directly, they’d do it in a heartbeat.

            1. They have not, yet, kidnapped my kids.

              And some of the SOBs would do it, yes.

              Which is part of why I object so strongly to the Borg being recast as good guys.

      2. Absolutely. You have idiots screaming “CULTURAL APPROPRIATION!!!!” when a designer takes style elements from clothing native to somebody else’s culture, that means we can’t learn anything.

        Chinese straw hats. There’s a really good reason why everybody wears those things in SE Asia, but if I can’t play around with them because of political correctness, I’ll never find out the reason.

        It’s sabotage. We see you, Lefties.

        1. Cultural appropriation is one place where I’m a Marxist: “Customs and ideas from each culture according to their abilities, and to each culture according to their needs!”

    3. There’s a series of books that were popular at the beginning of this century, called The Not So Big House and its sequels. They were written by a Minnesota architect, and they’re full of great advice—and a few site-specific bits, like talking deeply about basements, large windows to the south side, a heat exchangers, all of which are not that great in my high-water-table, very hot summer location. My elementary school had covered hallways that were open, tiny rows of windows on the south side, and a HUGE wall of windows on the north side, next to the grassy area between the halls. All of which was designed to shed heating the months surrounding summer, since the place didn’t have AC. (And, you know, earthquake safety.)

      It’s why the Three Little Pigs works very differently if they’re the Three Little Architects. The first one goes to the Southwest and does straw bale adobe housing; the second one does “stick” construction on the West Coast, and the third goes to New England to build with brick, and they all live happily ever after because they’re adapted.

      1. The problem comes, when pace Heinlein* the idea that how you dress and eat and build houses is every bit the same as higher-order cultural artifacts like how you control interpersonal violence, raise children, and with whom and under what circumstances you create them. And this despite that even the obvious variants (and success rates) in these.

        No, the real spanner in the works is when the bright-eyed biologist goes in for Social Darwinism because ethical monotheism is just a local invention of a bronze age tribe, just like their rules regarding livestock management.

        *Who (to be fair) got it in mother’s milk with stories like Daddy Long Legs, and grew up in an era when Fabian socialism wasn’t criminally ignorant.

        1. Trying to figure out the best, fastest, cheapest way to do something is also a high-level cultural trait. This is the “Whiteness” thing the SJWs scream about all the time, how the damn White people walk into Africa with their streamlined notions of how to do stuff.

          There’s a certain justification for complaining about how Europeans behave in Africa. They try to make it like Europe. South Africa was like Europe for a hundred years, and finally the Africans have almost succeeded in driving them out.

          Problem being, it will be a pretty crappy place to live and raise children after all the Whiteness gets burned down. Say what you want about Europe, nobody starves there.(Except when Communists use starvation as a weapon, but that’s a different discussion.)

          One of the things about North America and Europe that people don’t generally understand is that this is a very inhospitable environment. Without Western technology and Western cultural traditions, it is extremely hard to make a living here. There were not that many people here when the Eevile White Man showed up. Maybe a million in the whole continent. Canada was nearly empty.

          Nearly 400 million now. Digging stick vs. 800hp John Deere with 60 foot seeder behind it. Culture makes a difference.

          Africa, conversely, is a hospitable environment. You don’t -need- European technology and cultural orientation to get by. Making the place into Europe is stupid, and it annoys the locals. But they do want the antibiotics and the flush toilets and the air conditioning and the washing machines, those things are pretty handy. Particularly for women, who do all the work. Working that out is an ongoing process, seemingly mostly hindered by international aid organizations.

          1. All this – yes.

            Say what you want about Europe, nobody starves there unless their government wants them to

            Extra “this” -ing.

            One quibble: Africa is *mostly* hospitable. For a culture developed in truly human comfortable environment you want Polynesia. Or near where I live. Or possibly some of the other rainforests.

            At this point, my understanding is shallow, so this is a line of investigation only. Africa’s year-round “you won’t all die every Killing Season if you do not prepare for it” is combined with seasonal droughts and regular periods of enough vegetable calories, but not enough cholesterol / protein. Lacking the latter is death on brain capacity. And by brain capacity I do not mean “intelligence” but neural development. That plus inbreeding has got to take a toll on tribal populations.


            Humans are also creative; they trade, they migrate. Human beings want what they want more strongly than they want what they need. Also most “answers” like my speculation only ever address parts of the question. Were I a betting woman, I’d say the “reason” for Africa is like the “reason” for eye color. YMMV. Widely.

                1. There are places where they lost the ability to fish. Oddly enough, archeological evidence points to the knowledge actually being lost. (The Secret of Our Success by Joseph Henrich is polemic but still gives many reasons to believe that innovation is not half so important as transmitting the knowledge of innovations, which is not so easy as it looks.)

          2. The Road to Hell, by Michael Maren. (The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity) It turns out that those primitive-looking garden plots of a dozen different things were excellent insurance against bad years–something would survive that you could eat. Not so much with the big cash crop farm the so-clever outsiders insist on for “development.”
            Africa’s a big place with lots of climates, some much more “hospitable” than others, and even areas that seem lush don’t always have good soil.

            1. Two words for all the Greenies and hand-wringers screaming that I’m a racist: Palm. Oil. Purpose: biodiesel.

              I will note at this time that “agriculture” in any organized way started in the Fertile Crescent, aka Iran/Iraq, aka the desert. Most probable reason, they were tired of starving when the grain was thin some years, and started growing it on purpose.

              Africa generally supports populations of humans (historically) with less effort than what we see with grain agriculture. Always a new plant or tree coming into fruit all year around.

    4. Now there’s a hell of an epitaph:

      “Bitten on the ass by a cobra while taking a dump”

        1. There’s a filk titled, “Black Widows in the Privy,” extolling them as undetectable murder weapons.

            1. I used to be prey for prowling cougars, once upon a time. They’d sneak up behind me and whisper “Do you want a drink, handsome?” when I was at the bar. Rrrrow!

              Alas, I am no longer a kid. ~:( Too many miles, low maintenance.

      1. That’s when I got mine too. We’re -old-. ~:D

        These days Anthropology is utter SJW horse-doody. Years ago (1990s?) I tried to read some articles in American Anthropologist. They were not even English. Impenetrable jargon with lots of using “scapegoat” as a verb. The field is completely destroyed by post-modernism and “Studies” idiots.

        1. Slight clarification; I got my bachelor’s in 2005. 🙂 But as far as I could tell from the literature anthropology had been moving steadily left like everything else in academia.

          1. I’ve been having a giggle using my Old Geezer voice and saying stuff like “You young whippersnappers, I remember back in ’79, when I was a kid…” and then some shit like phones were attached to the wall and cameras had film. The eye-rolling is epic, and then they say “ok Boomer”. ~:D

            1. “I remember when phones were attached to the wall, and people were FREE.”

              There was a science fiction story, long ago, about a future in which everybody had Dick Tracy ‘2-way wrist TV’ watches. They spent all their time talking on the things. One scene had a whole bus load of men going home from work, on the phones with their wives, constantly updating them with the bus’s progress.

              40 years ago, I thought it was satire.
              “I warn you, Mariel, do not be overconfident. If I were married to Londo Mollari, I’d be concerned.”

              “G’Kar. If you were married to Londo Mollari, we’d all be concerned.”

              1. “Space Cadet” where main character is waiting to check in for classes only to have mom and dad call on portable phone (in his shoe). Foreshadowing the cell phone or helicopter parenting? Or is it “And”.

                “Get Smart” and the shoe phone …

                I remember when slim trim princess phones were “in” … then it was designed with “gasp” push buttons. I remember a working oak phone with separate ear and mouth pieces where one used a lever to ring central switch board and asked for the party wanted. Or at least I remember it hanging on the wall. Wasn’t long before they had a regular phone and a party line … yep remember party lines. FYI, Aunt has that old oak phone from my great uncle’s place. We have same type of antique oak phone from hubby’s side of the family … I think his grandparents used it. To be clear, I was 22 when I graduated in ’79.

                1. Ah, yes, party lines. Knowing who’s having a conversation by the ring pattern, and the almost inevitable drop in signal quality as one (or more) of your neighbors drop in on the conversation in order to get a leg up on the latest gossip. In our case, it was usually (wheelchair-bound (polio)) Mrs. Gay.

    5. And if you want to get to the South Pole, you learn from the folks living in Arctic conditions, who can tell you thing likes “dogs can deal with this, horses do not.” and so on.

  27. … to his way of thinking the 7 years to acquire his youngest daughter’s hands MUST be 14. Hey, now, it was his native way of counting.

    Leaving aside this tale is more about Laban’s insistence that the first born daughter MUST be first married (a theme addressed by Willy the Shakes in his telling of Petruchio’s bet about wedding Katherine) I recommend applying this principle more broadly. When pulled over by a cop for going 55 in a school zone, insist that you identified as only going 20; when the judge fines you $500 give him a ten-spot and tell him to keep the change, insisting the bill is equivalent to a thousand dollars and denounce the judge’s colonialism. When sentenced to twenty years to life be sure to turn up at the warden’s office after a week and demand to be let out, having served your time.

    I also encourage people advocating this principle to apply it to their federal income tax calculations.

    I understand that many “Woke” Silicon Valley corporations already use this principle in calculating Time Sheets and wages.

      1. I expect that Laban entered the agreement fully expecting to have married Leah off well beforehand. And then, well, why not get rid of both of them at the same time?

      2. Yeah, if Laban’s only issue had been that Rachel couldn’t get married before Leah, he could have pulled Jacob aside after 6 years and 7 months or so and said, “Look, here’s the deal…” and seen what they could have worked out. The fact that he pulled the substitution in such a way as to keep Jacob from figuring out the difference until the next morning says that he was really hoping to stretch 7 years to 14.

        Then again, I have a hard time feeling too bad for Jacob given that he and Rebecca played almost the exact same trick on Isaac as Laban and Leah played on him. Biblical times were big on what goes around comes around.

      3. Alternatively, a merciful God intervened and gave him a wife who wasn’t perfectly awful (if hawt). But he persisted and ended up stuck with Rebecca as well

        1. It should be noted that Leah was by far the most fertile of the women who bore Jacob children (a full half of his sons, iirc). So there might be some truth to that…

          1. They were both pretty awful, IMHO. Leah went along with her father’s plan and stole her sister’s fiancé, while Rachel stole her father’s household idols (presumably made of gold or some valuable material, otherwise I don’t see her motivation for stealing them) when they left. And they were still harboring bitterness towards each other years later: see the mandrake incident in Genesis 30. That one happened after Leah had already borne four children and had another two by proxy via her maidservant, so probably at least 7-8 years after they got married to Jacob.

            Hopefully they mellowed some with age, but I’d bet that Jacob only started having peace and quiet in his marriage after Rachel passed away.

              1. It does; having to share a husband is an awful situation. And it also does terrible things to men (mostly the men who can’t find wives because other men have multiple) and to a culture (mostly because of the abundance of men, usually young, who can’t find wives). It’s just a sucky situation all around.

                And just in case this needs clarification: I didn’t call Leah and Rachel awful people based on their (understandable) bitterness towards each other over having to share a husband. I called them awful based on their willingness to steal. In one case, a fiancé, in the other case, some presumably-valuable household go(o)ds.

                1. On top of the direct damage, for a society to go polygamous you either have an elite forcing the issue, or you have most men so poor that a woman is rationally calculating that 1/Nth of a rich man is better than an entire poor man.

                  That too has terrible consequences.

                  1. As I recall, the authorities here in Texas never did sort out why there was such an imbalance between boy kids and girl kids in that “not FLDS but sort of looked like them” group a few years ago. Supposedly the boys all ran away, but . . . I don’t think many people believed that. I suspect sex specific infanticide played a role, just in the reverse of what happens in Asia and Southwest Asia.

                    1. I know there were a significant number of young teen boys who were basically abused enough to run away– or just flat out abandoned. They were usually over baby age when a parent converted, though.

                  2. Or dead men.

                    Seven women will take hold of one man on that day, saying: “We will eat our own food and wear our own clothing; Only let your name be given us, put an end to our disgrace!”

                    1. That too.

                      But emergency rebuild-the-population measures — while damaging — are just that: emergency measures. They are also self correcting so long as no one gets the idea of enforcing it across generations, which brings us back to the original options.

                    2. Unless the conditions that require it continue across generations. For a good example, see Grayson in the Honor Harrington series.

                    3. Some early Grayson gene-engineers secretly gave their fellow Graysons a greater immunity to heavy-metals but accidently did some damage to male reproduction.

                      Basically for every live birth of a male, there were three live births of females.

                      And because men had the more dangerous professions having multiple wives was more possible for the entire society, not just for the rich/powerful men.

                    4. Endemic warfare. Mind you, the case I described was that of a major war, but even low-level warfare can ensure that there are some spare women around for second wives.

              2. My pastor (who’s in most respects a good guy but is a little further left than common sense should allow) likes to point to Jacob, along with David and Solomon, as a counterpoint to those who argue that the Bible defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. After which I always go for what seems to me the mic drop line. “No, the Bible doesn’t DEFINE marriage as being between one man and one woman. It’s a thousand page argument for why marriage OUGHT to be between one man and one woman.”

                1. It is interesting that by Christ’s time on Earth, the Jewish Religious Leaders had decided that “Multiple Wives isn’t a Good Idea”. 😀

                2. *shakes head* Your pastor is also apparently pig-ignorant of how trading systems worked before money was invented. At that point, in the gifting culture of barter/trade, you could only trust someone for long-distance trade in large amounts if they were kin. Thus, David and Solomon’s “wives” are a measure of their trade relationships with neighboring tribes.

                  The invention of money means we no longer have to marry a woman of the tribe off to cement every single trade alliance, (or, if our tribe is not important enough to rate a marriage, to formally give her as a concubine), and thus letters no longer start “To my cousin the king of Cypriot” to formally remind the recipient of the familial ties and obligations. Of course, if you explained that, and then asked him if he thought moving past using women as commodities is a good idea… He’d probably hit cognitive dissonance and refuse to think about it.

                3. ….is he seriously that ignorant of the Bible? Or just kinda blinded by his own cleverness?

                  No, it doesn’t say “thou shalt have one husband and one wife.”

                  Himself just spent umpty-squat centuries slowly dragging them forward to “hey, women are real people, too. And even kids! All the people are people!”

                  One of those steps was the requirement that if you had more than one wife, both of them had to get EXACTLY the same stuff. So you didn’t have Established Wife getting a young effectively-slave to abuse, and you didn’t have old faithful wife dumped for Sweet Young Thing, but in a time and place when marriage was pretty much the only support system, there was a route that did a better job of preserving justice while keeping that escape route open.

                  As was dryly summed up by one IIRC rabbi on EWTN, “so, by the time of Jesus, the Jews were monogamous.”

                4. A few things worth pointing out to your pastor –

                  Jacob’s wives caused murderous division amongst his son’s
                  David’s wives that we know about were usually widowed women whom David married (which provided support for them in a society where that might have been a problem for a widow).
                  The method that David used to acquire one of his later wives got him into a *lot* of trouble.
                  Solomon’s wives led him astray.

                  Not exactly a ringing endorsement of polygamy there…

                  1. Blaming the antics of Jacob’s sons on his wives is unjust. In the text, it’s Jacob’s favoritism toward Joseph, and his prophetic dreams that he’s willing to tell his brothers that do all the heavy lifting.

            1. Rachel stole her father’s household idols

              I’m not a Biblical Expert, but stealing the household idols may have been seen as stealing “his luck” or stealing “the blessings that the household gods laid on his household”.

              She might have wanted the “blessings” for the household of her husband or might have wanted to punish her father for his actions against her husband.

              1. One source that in some places it seemed that household gods represented the property–sort of like title.

            2. I’ve said for years that Islam allowing multiple wives is a sufficient explanation for Muslim suicide bombers…. 😎

              although it isn’t strictly a joke.

              1. I think there’s something to that. To quote the great Mark Steyn, “Excitable young men who can’t get any action are not a recipe for social stability.” Having a way to get rid of the excess men after the powerful all take their four wives would seem a necessity in such a society.

                Also, you’ll note the reward for suicide bombers is 42 virgins. In other words, “Hey, if you can’t get a woman here, just martyr yourself, go to heaven, and it will be one endless sex party with as many women as you can imagine.”

                1. “I don’t know, I can imagine quite a bit.” Han Solo, on the subject of rewards….

            3. Father Mitch touched on the household idols thing– it doesn’t make sense to us because we don’t HAVE household gods, but it’s like….like she stole his mojo.
              The power of his house.

              So they left, and took the guns, the security system, the dogs and the locks off the doors.
              Which was rather a no-no since they were supposed to be following He Who Is.

    1. “I also encourage people advocating this principle to apply it to their federal income tax calculations.”

      Amusing but unwise. Then again, those who advocate this unprincipled principle make Hunter S. Thompson in the depths of an ether binge seem like a paragon of well-reasoned consideration.

      To err is human,
      But this you must learn:
      Don’t be human
      On your tax return!

  28. Since Science is raaaaccciiiissss and all, here’s a cool instance of that science stuff succeeding purely for us all to denounce:

      1. Yep. I have some still photos that look just like that landscape. (Some of the dark blobs, though are hardy – or perhaps foolhardy – sage brush. Come to think of it, those would be a good species to look into for terraforming; shouldn’t need all that much gene tweaking.)

    1. They keep calling it a “helicopter”, but it’s a drone about the size of a box of tissues. And I don’t even think they make a toy helicopter with a rotor span that small.

      Mars has an average surface pressure of ~.09 psi compared to Earth at ~15 psi. Yet Mars’ gravity is .38g. That’s asking a hell of a lot from a tiny rotor and some batteries.

      I have no idea how it can fly. I can only conclude it is made out of Cavorite.

      1. The thing that bothers me is they plan on just ABANDONING the poor thing.

        Sure, it only hops for 90 seconds max, and does not have any instruments on board aside from the tiny bw downward-pointing cam, and the rover has real science to go do, but I just don’t see why they could not send the helo hopping ahead of the rover every week or so to see if it can be useful, say, looking at rough patches from above, at least until it dies or crashes.

        Yes, I am lobbying for its use in “hold my beer” mode on Mars.

  29. Is 2 +2 a colonial way of thinking? Oh, probably.

    Oh, most certainly – it stems from the conquest of the twelve-fingered people by the ten-fingered tribes. That is why base-10 math superseded the base-12 which is at the root of our chronology and geometry (60 minutes to the hour, 360 degrees to a circle/sphere.)

    Or maybe it is an artifact of the Moorish occupation of Iberia, bringing as it did their decimal counting system, employing the concept of 0 as placeholder. Which is why it is widely acknowledged that the Islamists invented Nothing.

    1. The zero “no count” symbol and concept as a placeholder in positional numerical representation first appeared in Babylon in the third century BC, and then apparently independently in Myan calendars around 350 AD.

      The mathematical power of the zero ends up being credited to India about 600AD, from whence it was spread with moslem conquest and commerce, and subsequently developed.

      So zero is of course raaaacccciiiiisssss.

      1. Yes. I am still looking for a Muslim “golden age” contribution to Western Civilization that wasn’t basically Mafioso. Conquer, forcibly convert, and control the territory leading to other nations, then limit access to these countries’ products, unless it goes through you.

      2. The moslems, though, did not get it from the Indians but from their Syriac Christian subjects. Bishop Severus Sebokht, of Kinnesrin, was writing about the cleverness and usefulness of the Hindu notation in the early eighth century. You don’t get anything in Arabic on the subject until the late tenth, from memory.

        1. According to what I found, Severus Sebokht wrote about the Hindu notation in AD 662 and the famous Arabic works on Hindu numerals were written in AD 825 and AD 830. So you’re approximately right about the gap of about 200 years between Sebokht and the Arabic language texts, but it was mid-seventh and early ninth centuries respectively.

          1. Thank you. It has bee a while since I read the details, and couldn’t be bothered to check.

      3. So zero is of course raaaacccciiiiisssss.

        But if nothing is raaaacccciiiiisssss, everything is raaaacccciiiiisssss!

      1. Considering footwear wasn’t a big thing back when number systems were originating, base-20 makes just as much sense as base-10.

        Which leads to punch line of the old joke, “Why are women bad at math?”

  30. When idiots run around with blunt aphorisms, demanding you dismantle civilization, ask them what their alternative is.

    It is worth noting that this technique is deemed extremely effective by many on the Left, who howl their praise when told of the feminist (I think it was Gloria Steinem, but, really, who cares?) who addressed a heckler’s question, “Are you a lesbian?” by asking, “Are you my alternative?”

      1. A few years back (before the Woke garbage got started), a Liberal/Progressive critic noticed (with dismay) that “her kind of people” couldn’t create Bright Futures.

        IE The Liberal/Progressive authors could not write stories about Futures based on their ideals that were near-utopias.

        They wrote grim-dark universes where “they” hadn’t won so things got worse.

        1. They can’t create Bright Futures in the real world either.

          Every place they ‘won’ turned into a despotic shithole of death squads, concentration camps and mass graves.

          1. No argument there.

            But earlier Liberal/Progressive writers were able to create beautiful futures based on their ideas.

            Likely less than realistic when you put a critical eye to them but they “looked beautiful”.

            My “guess” is that the earlier Liberal/Progressive writers were optimistic but modern Liberal/Progressive writers are pessimistic even about their ideals.

  31. “What difference does a piece of paper make to whether we’re married?” (Other than meeting potential obligations to potential children, and getting the buy in of both sets of inlaws and recognition of society that protects well…. mostly the woman who puts more biological investment in the relationship, none, really.)

    Worked with a guy whose significant other, with kids, had financial reasons to not remarry after being widowed. Do not know the circumstances, those were not mentioned. He commented that they went to a lawyer and setup a contract that was equivalent to a marriage certificate. One piece of paper VS 4″ of paper, that just set up the legal between them, and allowed him to continue to parent her kids, JIC. Didn’t touch they buy in from either of their families or her children’s paternal family.

    1. Sure. But they had a contract. And their families knew.
      They had a piece of paper.
      This was used for “we love each other, we don’t need a piece of paper.”

      1. “we love each other, we don’t need a piece of paper.”

        I know. Just showing what that one little piece of paper meant.

        Then there are the jurisdictions where “we love each other, we don’t need a piece of paper” + “we are cohabiting.” Suddenly discovering they are wed by common law, at least in that jurisdiction. Doesn’t apply to any jurisdiction where common law isn’t recognized, which also can be an eye opener to one of the couples, not in a good way either.

        1. I’m not sure about that last sentence. My Family Law class covered this briefly: New York State hasn’t done Common Law Marriage since 1933; however, common law marriages from other states are recognized. My class was state-specific, but I suspect “recognizing marriages from other states that would not be legal if made in this state” is widespread 🙂

          1. Article IV, section 1 of the Constitution (Full Faith and Credit) would seem to demand that states recognize valid Common Law marriages from other states.

          2. Article IV, Section 1:
            Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

            Basically marriages from other States have to be recognized. And in the Obergfell case SCOTUS could have upheld the Constitution simply by ruling that regulating marriage isn’t one of Congress’ defined powers but each State had to accept any other State’s recording of a marriage as a valid one.

          3. See “full faith and credit” clause, US Constitution. Of course, its supposed to apply to ALL such documents… like CHL…..

          4. Depends on the circumstances. For instance, if you’re married in Iowa, and your spouse dies, New York will certainly recognize the marriage for purposes of inheritance. If you take a vacation to Iowa in the order to marry when you are both residents of New York, it’s a bit dicier.

            1. It shouldn’t be.
              Two of my relatives traveled to Tennessee to marry. They were first cousins and their home State didn’t allow first cousins to marry. This was after her childbearing years were over. Never a problem.

              And with destination weddings being a popular option I’d be surprised if any State would bother to make a fuss.

            2. There’s case law covering this sort of thing, largely due to things like people getting married in Vegas.

          5. It has been over 40 years since i had to take an intro in a class that covered property and some legal stuff. The Common Law Marriage issue came up in one case where the couple lived in Common Law in Idaho. He was killed on the Job in Oregon. Because Oregon does not recognize Common Law, she was not entitled, even after suing, to any spousal benefits. Something that was kind of an eye opener. Now, is that true? Has it changed in the last 45+ years? IDK.

        2. Well, Lee Marvin and (IIRC) Clint Eastwood found out that not having that little piece of paper didn’t save you much money.

          Nor did a legal bar to that little piece of paper constitute a shield, as Liberace, Billy Jean King, and Merv Griffin discovered.

        3. I know of one couple that went the common law route (GA) because his ex was nuttier than a pecan orchard and threatened physical harm to all involved, including the kids, if he legally married. If he just “shacked up,” well, she was still his wife (in her own twisted mind) and so wouldn’t touch him, the kids, or the other woman. The ex wife probably should have been institutionalized.

      2. My co-worker had the oldies station on today and “Can’t buy me love” was playing.

        It finally hit me today that the singer is actually talking about looking for “love” without getting married.

      3. I knew a couple in Vienna whose family were dead shocked when they discovered after they had passed on, that their grandparents were unmarried… For the past 20 years.

        Despite a wedding “announcement” the widow and widower neither wanted to loose their pensions, so they simply shacked up. I do not recall if they got a priest to marry them (likely – both Catholic) but no gummint papers were signed.

        So “community buy in” and “gummint papers” are two separate,albeit intersecting, sets.

  32. “One of them was in an otherwise unexceptionable animated movie that husband was watching ”

    *looks at description*

    I haven’t seen the movie, but was this Soul?

  33. I don’t know, as a sentient fungus from Aldebaraan, currently living on Earth’s moon, all I know of human anatomy and behavior I learned from reading Shonen Jump. As such, I know that the typical human social interaction is being punched through a wall, and that this never has any adverse consequences for health.

    Violence can regulate violence, but folks may not like how that works out compared to self-restraint and discipline.

    A lot of the talking points are the product of vicious morons. They haven’t been faced with a consequence for anything they’ve said, and think that there can never be any consequences but those they wish for.

    A little bit of thought raises some possibilities why some of those ideas might be unwise to implement.

    1. As such, I know that the typical human social interaction is being punched through a wall, and that this never has any adverse consequences for health.

      Thank you, I needed that laugh. XD

  34. I was used to hearing “we’re all naked under clothes.”

    Was this really a thing people said while stone-cold sober and not on any mind altering substances? Because it sounds like the sort of thing that seems really profound when you’re drunk out of your skull and that you’re absolutely humiliated if anyone ever mentions afterwards.

      1. Simple response to the statement: (Looking the person from head to to) I can imagine you with your clothes off and strongly request you keep them on.

        Less polite alternate: Tell you what – you keep your clothes on and I won’t toss the contents of my stomach on your feet.

        1. Yeah, not a lot of supermodels at the I-wannabe-nekkid protests.

          Of any genderical-election.

  35. You know, crazy stuff like “What difference does a piece of paper make to whether we’re married?”

    One of the best responses I’ve heard to that line is, “Since it makes no difference, and it will make me happy, why not get that piece of paper?”

  36. I cannot believe this post has gone on over twelve hours without anybody pointing out the obvious error:

    What’s not the alternative.
    Who’s the alternative.
    What’s on Second.

  37. This reminded me of a movie named ‘Dogma’. Wherein a fallen angel is lecturing a nun that ‘It doesn’t matter what you believe in, as long as you believe in something.’

    Which struck me as bullshit of the rankest sort. Said so, loudly.

    Which later was connected to an argument in which someone insisted that “You have to respect what someone believes, no matter that it is.” That led to ‘Bullshit. I have to respect someone’s freedom to speak what they think, but I’m also free to tell them they’re full of shit.” Which didn’t go over with some, because obviously you HAVE to respect someone’s belief. I asked if that means the beliefs of a nazi were just as worthy of respect as those of Raoul Wallenberg? Which didn’t get an actual answer.

    1. The day I commence to take religious instruction from fallen angels is the day I take up residence in Hell.

  38. Too good not to share:

    Pub Owner Throws Lockdown Leader Out
    The U.K. is finally emerging from a brutal coronavirus lockdown, with over 90 percent of the 70+ population vaccinated with at least one dose. After the country had one of the worst winter outbreaks in the world, deaths there have dropped from over 1,000 per day in February to about 25 per day now.

    Outdoor seating for pubs finally reopened this month, but so much of society is still restricted that one pub owner decided to speak out when opposition Labor Party leader Keir Starmer showed up on Monday.

    Rod Humphris, landlord of The Raven in Bath, first clashed with Starmer outside the pub. He reportedly accused him of supporting the lockdown that had him down for months, as well as having children wear masks.

    The landlord waved a graph at Starmer: “Do you know what the average age of death with COVID is? According to the Office for National Statistics it’s 82 years and three months. The average age of death normally? Eighty one years.”

    As Starmer gaped, Humphris concluded:

    “You have failed me. I have been a Labor voter my entire life. . . . You have failed to ask whether lockdown was functioning. Do you understand? Thousands of people have died because you have failed to do your job and ask the real questions.”

    Starmer replied that hospitals had been “completely overwhelmed” with cases, adding: “They have been on the front line keeping people alive, so I really don’t need lectures from you about this pandemic. Thank you. Shall we go in?” At that point, Starmer entered the pub with his security detail.

    Humphris was furious. “He walked into my pub without asking and I threw him out. Or at least, I did my best to throw him out — his security got in the way.” Starmer finally left as his security guards manhandled the pub owner.

    But Humphris isn’t finished trashing the politician, telling the Daily Mail: “He has completely failed to ask the questions that needed asking, like, why did we throw away our previous pandemic preparedness? Why have we just accepted lockdown? Why have we just accepted the loss of all our freedoms?”

    Sounds like Rod Humphris is better informed on issues than most of the so-called “experts” backing the lockdown. He certainly has the courage of his convictions.

  39. HarrisBiden quietly issued an executive order that seeks to silence any political opposition by declaring that anything deemed to help the Russian Federation is illegal and allows the immediate complete expulsion of the person doing so, along with any families or organizations, regardless of any actual intent.,


    As we all know, anything that contradicted the Democratic Party line has been called “Russian disinformation”. By formally issuing an Executive Order that without trial or due process authorizes the complete barring of any commerce with such person (in a way that would make the Ferengi Commerce Authority jealous as to its reach), they have essentially declared that they can outlaw anyone at anytime by merely claiming that they are advancing the interests of Russia, This is the kind of decree that dictators such as Hitler, Mao, Chavez, Lenin, et al., all issued in order to set the stage to disappear political opponents.

    Expect this E.O. to be cited by the tech oligarchs, finance, web-hosts, etc., to cutoff anyone who voices dissent to the Democratic Party line.

    The reason Democrats are so anxious to pack the Supreme Court is so they can appoint justices who will go along with Democratic Party totalitarianism and persecution and elimination of political opponents.

    1. I knew that five seconds after I heard about their scheme to stack the court. They want to turn the Supreme Court into a bench of nodding bobble-heads that will rubber-stamp their blatant violations of the Constitution.

      Nothing is illegal when you own the law.

      There was a scene in Blake’s 7 with, I think, Dayna and Vila where she tells him some of the bad stuff the Federation did to her family.

      Vila: “And it wasn’t even a crime.”

      Dayna: “You mean it wasn’t against the LAW.
      There is no greater sin than to be right when those in power are wrong.

    2. Same countermeasure that I have articulated before.

      Stuff that can be understood as helping the Russian Federation is so broad a category that there are relatively few policy clusters that are absolutely outside of it, especially when you extend it to the general case of all hostile foreign nations, not just the Russians.

      Ergo, the policy of murdering all of the foreign people of the world.

      Obviously, if you are not willing to sacrifice social spending and environmental regulation in the service of exterminating the Russians, you are a tool of the Russian Federation.

      So the fuckers have just allegedly criminalized advocacy for their own policy opinions and preferences.

      Allegedly, because lawyers and judges have the appearance of being a criminal conspiracy, and until that is resolved nothing that they sign off on is binding.

      But yeah, if I say that we should kill the foreigners, and one of you says that this is a crazy goal, that should not be pursued, the latter statement is criminal under this executive order. If I concede that this is a crazy goal, with very weighty reasons against implementing, I’m somehow a fan of the Russians.

      It is the culture of Moscow (by exposure to an internet crazy dude) that convinced me that cultural destruction was an important enough priority that population exterminations may be the best of the American foreign policy goals. Eliminating the Russian population in general means that you are nearly certain to eliminate the Moscow culture, and ‘pulls up trouble by the roots’.

      Such policy of mass murder is hugely expensive in many ways, and we cannot afford the build up with the costs of either current or left preferred social and environmental policies.

      I think policy of extermination should be the starting point of the US foreign policy debate for three reasons. 1. If you are considering mass murder, you are less likely to talk yourself into tolerating an obnoxious foreign behavior for the sake of coexistence. 2. It gives an appropriate amount of negotiating room when it comes to the question of tolerating obnoxious international agreements. 3. I’m expecting vigorous debate, that will only select extermination if it is the least bad alternative.

      This last is a reason I am profoundly concerned about suppression of speech that opposes cases that I argue.

      Sarah, note: I would not be opposed to seeing this as a post here, or at instapundit. Though, the alleged kiddy fiddlers are up to so much nonsense that this one bit might not be worth your time, even to copy a refutation.

    3. Interesting prohibitions they have in that decree Executive Order:

      (A) malicious cyber-enabled activities;

      Posting something online that the Democrats don’t like.

      (B) interference in a United States or other foreign government election;

      Such as campaigning for the ‘wrong’ candidates?

      (C) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the United States or abroad;

      Exposing Democrat election fraud and illegal campaign contributions.

      (D) transnational corruption;

      Ummm, Bunter Hiden? Naaaw, the drug-addicted pervert totally earned all those millions and they had nothing to do with Papa Joe.
      My grandpa voted Republican until the day he died — but he’s been voting Democrat ever since.

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