Surfing the Event Horizon

What if they had a Singularity and nobody noticed?

Yes, I do know all the improbable things that have been freighted onto the idea of a Singularity. Human brain augmentation, Downloading yourself to live forever. And other Christian heresies, which always seemed improbable, impossible and/or dystopian. (Or, in more crude terms, things that make Sarah giggle when adults discuss them as if they were serious.)

But taking singularity as it was defined: a break so sudden and massive in human history that both sides of it would be mutually incomprehensible, wouldn’t it be understandable/visible only in retrospect? kind of like some bends in the road are so gradual, they’re only visible in retrospect.

Because there’s something to understand about humans and change: even the sudden ain’t really sudden.

Or, in other words: I’ve heard the entire biosphere described as a skim of dirt on the rock of the Earth.

In the same way, change in the way humans live is a thin sliver on an otherwise bed-rock stability.

Has to be. Without stability the species would have vanished long ago. Without change… Looks at Africa. Yeah, that.

But most humans hate change. Even the ones who think they’re for it. It usually means they want to design the world according to what in their brains (and only there) is a stable pattern. So that change stops.

Then there’s people like us, who change/create/move things without realizing. (Which is why the non-pink monkeys hate us. Okay, Apes. Same principle.)

Change, unless it comes in the form of violent invasion or cataclysmic events is usually slow, over centuries or millenia. S-l-o-w. And the change of communism isn’t. IT’s more a reversal to the way “things were always done.” (Glares at Africa.)

It’s very slow. VERY SLOW. Until suddenly it isn’t. Until you’re on the other side and going “How come the road behind me isn’t even visible?”

Mind you in some ways the change is all a reversal to quasi-ante. But how far away is the ante? Well, in what we’re facing, would you believe before cities?

Okay, let me wind way back.

The entire twentieth century will be viewed — I’m laying down a marker in serene confidence that when it’s called I’ll be long dead — as a psychotic fugue in the history of mankind.

Thing is it seemed logical, the culmination of a movement-towards-mass-everything stemming from mass production started in the industrial revolution. And the idea that crawled into people’s brains is that humans themselves would become a sort of collective creature and that this was “progress.” It doesn’t help that this was costume made to appeal to would be rulers who imagine themselves superior.

So they thought, if they just gave it a LITTLE push….

A hundred years later, real progress went in another direction, and people wedded to …. shall we call it retro-progress? The Future of the Past? are having memgrims, kitten fits and panic attacks which they pass on to the rest of us, of course.

But the thing is, humans were never going to be ants. Or collective beings. Thinking that could/would happen was a fugue state.

And the reaction is epic. Massive/epic.

Despite their attempts to put the genie of “distributed” (Communication/manufacturing/etc) back in the bottle, it keeps escaping them. Turns out that no, you really can’t control the beast unleashed, no matter how you try to.

So, they’ve gone extreme. The covidiocy was an extreme attempt “Just stay home and stop moving, d*mn you.”

As is the Climateocy “Just stop traveling/moving/doing things.”

Doesn’t work.

In fact, because I have a really dark sense of humor, I’ve been giggling over how everything they do just makes their vision recede/get lost.

It always was going to. It has nothing to do with reality. In fact, if they made the world communist, they’d just STARVE everyone. Communism was only possible because the US fed it. (insert rant.)

But what they’re doing in their flailing couldn’t be more designed to rush things if their councils were run by a cabal of their enemies. (They’re not. We couldn’t run a creek through a pebble bed, much less in secret.)

I started finding articles about how “everyone wants to go back to the office, and anyway only 2% of people can work from home.”

It’s bullshit. You know it’s bullshit. I know it’s bullshit. The number is probably closer to 20% and while some people do want to go back to the office, I doubt it’s most people, let alone “everyone.” Besides the articles have the same desperate wiff of “if I say it loud enough and click my heels” I’ve come to expect from other dying ways of life, like traditional publishing.

And anyway, they’re ignoring the cascade of the 20% in supporting services, etc.

On top of that, I’ve been standing on random walls and waving my arms, and screaming, but no one will listen.

There is this meme going around “there aren’t enough workers because the socialists won. They gave people money to stay home and now people want that.”

Will someone PLEASE find my eyes. They rolled under furniture, and now I can’t find it.

There MIGHT be some people like that, though I’d guess it falls more under “I had to give up my apartment and move in with mom and dad, and now I’m reorienting my life, rather than go back to what I was doing before.” But sure. In 300 plus million, I’d bet there’s some people like that.

However, the cases I know of “not going back to work?” Almost all women. Almost all working retail/service/pink collar. Almost all of them discovered they liked staying home with the kids/being mom. Also there’s an explosion in homeschooling and a lot of people don’t want their kids wearing muzzles all day. You do the math.

I know at least two of our favorite waitresses, one quit to stay home, and one works only weekends so she can homeschool.

Most of them, actually “did the math.” Most of those jobs, the women are working because they’ve been conditioned to work, but if you factor in day care, eating out, clothes, car maintenance, they’re actually paying to work.

Sure, this isn’t all women quitting to stay home with kids. But you know what? If it’s 1/4th of them, it accounts for the labor shortage. And a bunch of cascading effects, including sudden demise of the tax base.

The idiots who thought it was a good idea to do this? Not a clue.

For one, they’re not good at thinking people might do what they weren’t told to do. That’s their tragic problem. And the reason they do so many stupid things.

For another, humans aren’t good at seeing change. They just aren’t. I look at indie writers courting/rushing into trad pub and shake my head. It always ends the same way. And that’s before the covidiocy made trad pub near broke.

I saw the writing on the wall 10 years ago, but these really bright people are still thinking they can have a bright and big career. (Shakes head.)

Never mind.

It seems the bigger the change, the harder to see.

And Lord, the sh*t coming down the pike from the covidiocy. The two I mention above are MINOR and even those are Earth shattering. Or at least civilization sundering in a sense that things will change so much, we can’t see it, even in the middle of this.

Take more women staying at home. Even 1/4 of the mothers, and the results, cultural, economic, hell, health are mind boggling in 20 years.

Or take the reversal of the growth of cities, brought about by people being able to work from everywhere and anywhere. (Some people, of course. And services, probably in a new form, will follow.)

Those alone, will twist the world into a shape the 20th century won’t recognize.

And I bet you there’s a million other effects I can’t even see.

Hold on to the sides of the boat — Or your surf board — stay flexible. Remember everything can change, very suddenly, once enough momentum is acquired. Also remember stupid is gonna stupid, and probably poke themselves in the eye again and again.

Get ready to survive a change that might be nothing short of oh, the agricultural revolution.

And don’t let the retro-futurists convince you they’ve won.

They’ve already lost. Now we need to make sure we don’t.

243 thoughts on “Surfing the Event Horizon

  1. (Which is why the non-pink monkeys hate us. Okay, Apes. Same principle.)

    ::An odd rustling sound from the pile of book boxes behind Sarah pauses, then fades. The shadows that might have looked like Library stacks fade away.::

    1. Yeah, might have been better phrased as the fur bearing apes hating us hairless ones. I get where Sarah was going with that, but I can guess how the wokies would take it.

  2. I find this take very heartening!

    Largely because it validates my lifestyle, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

  3. My company has recently announced that they will continue to graciously allow (he said sarcastically) at least some of us technology drones to work from home going forward. But it sounds like they have set a quota–just like in their Diversion/Inclusion/Equity (DIE) department–of in-the-office drones, part-time-in-the-office drones, full-time-home drones, and they will just shoehorn people into those percentages. Meanwhile the office spaces will be redeveloped to remove even more privacy (no side walls between cubicles, no fixed assigned workspaces (“hoteling”), collaborative scrum rooms, etc.), and force people to “collaborate” and “interact” when all we want to do is get people to shut the hell up, quit inviting us to useless diversity meetings, and let us actually do the work you’re throwing at us at an ever-increasing pace, so we don’t have to work 55 hours a week to do it and then get yelled at because we request overtime.

    Bet your backside I’m staying remote if I can. That and the one-hour-each-way commute.

    1. Open office. No cubicle walls. Just desks as far as the eye can see. And there were no permanent desk assignments. You took a free desk, signed into it for the day, and hoped oSupposedlyt was free on the following day. The wave of the future. The building I worked out of at my previous job was set up that way. Everyone who worked there hated it

      1. Usually had open offices from 197x through 2002, though dividers (or on rare occasions medium sized rooms) for 4 to 6 engineers. The only time I had a one-man cube, I hated it, though a lot of that had to do with moving to another site while our old group was broken up. OTOH, that situation lasted a few months before my employer started the process of bailing out of the semiconductor manufacturing business.

        The final job combined at-home programming with being in the last (mostly hidden) row of an open-ish office. Since it was a consulting gig, there was a certain amount of hotelling, especially when we played the “Pros from Dover” in deepest Bavaria. OTOH, the pay was good until the client went broke.

        1. Years ago the wife worked for a subcontractor on a government contract. The sub’s expertise was needed for the prime to win that contract. (Prime had too many vowels for those in the know) Anyway prime wanted to eff over the sub so put their team into work trailers on site, 20 or so desks, each one facing another in pairs. No partitions allowed. Question asked, are book cases permitted? Permission grudgingly granted.
          I was a hobbyist woodworker, spent a week of spare time making bookshelf kits with closed backs about four feet high, one for each desk.
          Had an install party one weekend and come Monday morning every desk had become its own cubical. Still a crappy environment for skilled technical people, but marginally better and it certainly improved morale.
          Note, I worked for the government agency at that time so was meticulous in documenting that I made zero profit off the deal. In fact donated my time. Fact that my wife was very appreciative really never came up.

  4. I wonder if the history books will call it the De-Industrial Revolution?

    If there are history books by then.

    It seems to have the potential to be as big as the Great Westward Expansion. Only more disruptive.

      1. And the idea of many competing versions of events keeps the Powers that Be and their minions up at night scouring the data banks.

        How very DARE we peasants keep track of what’s going on and not believe the official records!?

        But this is as it ever was. And why satire is SO very hated by the “elite”. Because they hate being mocked as they so richly deserve and because it it isn’t “official”.

        1. I’ve been asked to write a textbook, and other things, and an account of the Covidiocy of 2020. That’s not history – yet.

          1. Coming from you I imagine it’ll be a great read even if it ends up being samizdat for a while.

            1. I have often been fascinated by samizdat techniques — both physical and digital.

              Among the things I’d like to experiment with: techniques in digital steganography, ultraviolet invisible printing, and sneakernet techniques.

              Unfortunately, one of the reasons I’m fascinated by these things is because of fear that they will be needed in the future ….

    1. The late Alvin Toffler (1928-2016) published Future Shock over a half-century ago. A decade and a half earlier than that, The Organization Man, a critique of “the idea that… humans themselves would become a sort of collective creature and that this was ‘progress’ ” was published.

      Susan, where have you and Ms. Hoyt been all this time?

  5. When millions of people started buying cars after WW2, few of them would have anticipated drive-in theaters, drive-through fast food, or the huge migration out of the city centers. The folks running ballistic calculations on Eniac never imagined the internet with 10 million cat videos. Or otter videos. (Or 500 million porn videos for that matter)

    1. Oh and you will never need more than 640k of memory.

      That’s like 3 cat videos, right?

      1. 640K is a luxury :-). My first machine in college was a (admittedly old) PDP-10, a KA-10 with 96 K of core (i.e. little iron rings on several hair fine copper wires) and a 600K swap drum.That ran an OS (Tops 10) that supported 30+ people logged in at terminals, response was decent. It played a nice game of Star Trek, and had Lisp, Algol 60 , Fortran, Basic and several editors. It only predated the IBM PC by a couple years (I think its manufacture date was 1975). It is quite amazing how far things have come, so the thought of a Singularity is not much more ludicrous than RAH writing about Triphib cars. I think the issue was that there was an implicit “then an AI miracle occurs”, but AI (and attaching to people and their consciousness) was several (like 10-20) orders of magnitude harder than the loonies like Ray Kurzweil thought.

        1. My da worked for Univac in the 50’s He liked to say we sent a man to the moon on less computing power than is included in the average clock today but we can’t send a man to the moon anymore.

          I built my first PC from parts in the back of byte magazine, 32K it was and I thought I was sh-t hot, My high School had a PDP 11/34. We used paper tape for storage.

          The original IBM PC had 512k and later you could get a board to take it to 640. Old BillyGates’s mother was friends with the IBM chairman and his dad was counsel to the board or some such. Lucky sperm. that’s how we ended up with MS DOS instead of something good.

          1. We’re too afraid of risk. The reason SpaceX is beating the carp out if starliner is because SpaceX is willing to take risk, see all the kaboom.

            Granted boeing taking risks has not turned out well since I was in grade school…

            1. Failure is not only an option, it’s an essential part of the design process. SpaceX has deliberately sent out hardware they knew could fall just to see how it failed. They had no higher goal than crash and burn as long as they could learn from it.

              1. It’s also a benefit that musk knows they’re new and having stuff go safely kaboom won’t mean he gets tossed on his ass .

            2. Before NASA the military ran the space program, and kabooms were so frequent even the Soviets were pointing and sniggering. When NASA was created kabooms became much rarer.

              The contractors working for the military were used to “test to destruction” to advance the state of the art. Those same contractors working for NASA were working under different rules and expectations.

          2. MS-DOS didn’t come solely from nepotism (though I imagined that helped 🙂 ). Gary Kildall who was the main person for CP/M was away the day IBM wanted to talk to him about the IBM PC. His wife was also part of the company so he had her do it. The IBM contingent showed up at their home/office to do the presentation and presented her with the usual giant if-you-disclose-this-we’re-allowed-to-slit-your-throat NDA that IBM used for EVERYTHING. She started to read it and balked, wanted to talk to her husband so asked for some time. IBM was in no mood to wait, they had already contracted with Microsoft for their Basic. They asked Bill Gates and Paul Allen if they could produce an OS in a very short time and they got dollar signs in their eyes and said yes and scarfed up a cross town rival in Seattle the just happened to have a lame little OS. And thus we ended up with MS-Dos instead of CPM.

            1. Seattle Computer Products wasn’t really a rival to Microsoft, but a computer hardware company that Microsoft knew about because SCP had licensed BASIC from Microsoft for SCP’s new 8086 computer board. The lame little OS only existed because Kildall’s Digital Research was running late with CP/M-86, and needed some sort of OS in the interim to get some sales for their 8086 computer boards. Microsoft didn’t purchase SCP, just non-exclusive rights to 86-DOS.

          3. It wasn’t until I read some Asimov story, I think, that I ‘got’ UNIVAC’s name: UNIVersal Automatic Computer. Before that, I had wonder how anything do so much with but a UNItary VACuum tube.

          4. Getting stuck with what became MS-DOS for the IBM PC had more causes than just Bill Gates’ family connections. Those certainly helped, but IBM’s first choice (CP/M) fell through due to failed negotiating with Digital Research (Gary and Dorothy Kildall). Rumor has it after the negotiations fell through and IBM approach Bill Gates about an OS, he initially pitched them Xenix (Microsoft’s licensed port of Unix), but IBM didn’t want to have a dependency upon the AT&T. Obtaining rights to SCP’s 86-DOS and then licensing that to IBM was apparently at least plan C.

            1. Thank you TheOtherSean. My memory was from a Public Television show in the mid to late ’80s. Fascinating that they looked at Xenix, it certainly would have worked I ran Venix on a Dec Rainbow PC (Lovely hardware, but overpriced and late like most of DEC’s PC efforts). However, that periods unixes (unices?) were horrifically complex. As complex as early MS-Dos was I can’t imagine trying to get anyone but serious techie types to use the UNIX (AT&T or Berkeley) at that time. Xenix on the Rainbow and BSD Unix on 11/730 or 11/750 were a nightmare to keep running even for someone with a fair bit of OS smarts and full documentation. And yes 1980/1981 is when Ma Bell was being busted up and AT&T got VERY possessive of UNIX as they viewed it as on of Bell Labs few commercially viable items. They’d have really stuck the price to IBM. As it was memory tells me the Venix license for the Rainbow in 1983 was several hundred dollars, much of that licensing fee to AT&T.

              1. You’re welcome. I’m not sure IBM even looked at it before rejecting it, but Microsoft was pushing Xenix as the OS of the future right up until 1985 or so when the AT&T breakup was finalized and AT&T was able to sell Unix with fewer restrictions. At that point, Microsoft was the company with the most Unix license revenue, but thought trying to outcompete AT&T in the Unix space was a dead end.

          5. My high school initially had computer access to a U of MN timeshare via teletype and acoustic-coupled phone handset modem. IIRC 60 Baud was common, if we got 120 Baud things were really cooking. And yes, programs kept on punched paper tape. When we got an Apple IIe desktop in 1979(?), we were in heaven.

            1. Do not know what our HS had access to. There was one. I wasn’t into programming then, sciences yes, computers, No. In college had to take a computer class, late enough that I got to use a teletype to interface with the computer (hubby had to use cards). Hated the thing. Despised the class. Flowcharts were a foreign language of confusing shapes. I scraped through, barely, with a C. This was 1975.

              Remember now, I spent 35 years as a software engineer and programmer. The difference? The PC, specifically the Apple IIe, and change to interface to mainframes. Surprised the heck out of me. 1983. Six months later I was getting paid to tutor not only languages, but flowcharts! Classmates and co-workers from the ’74 – ’79 era do a double take when we catch up on news (all they know is how much I despised that class) … Hubby’s response (with a lot of pride) is “I know! Right!” …

  6. …are having memgrims, kitten fits and panic attacks…

    I can usually figure out what the typo was when google can’t find a word but memgrims has me at a loss.

        1. Megrims are a carp substitute.

          “The Megrims are flat fish very similar to Rooster fish , although these two species aren´t related at all. In fact, they don´t belong to the same genus, since Megrims belong to the genus Lepidorhombus. In addition, they owe their name to their striking and upright dorsal fin, which has certain filamentous extensions that resemble a rooster crest.”

        1. I was actually thinking something along the information theory of memes as ideas….so “Headaches caused by realizing your memetic system is full of garbage”.

      1. I’m surprised there’s not more that’re well read enough to have caught that one, Sarah…

  7. Low-level perma-temp turned stay-at-home mom, here; yes, indeed, your perspective seems true enough to me.

    Mind, I think I was going to have to drop out of the workforce, anyway, to achieve the family goals. But the circumstances definitely secured it….

  8. A thing I’ve noticed is those in favor of returning to the office tend to be the lower level managers. They need to feel the importance of telling people what to do in person and (probably without admitting it to themselves) realize that this may sort them out as not offering value to the company if there isn’t an office to lord over.

    1. Interestingly, my supervisor wants us to come in at least one day a work period, while my team lead (one step down from the supervisor) sees no reason even for one day a week for anyone on the team.
      Truthfully, I think it’s probably going to be the supervisor winning out, although for me, if I have to go in, I’d at least like SOME company (yeah, we’re a SMALL team, we’ve got 8 people counting the TL)

    2. On the other hand, some of those low level managers are probably aware that some of the less motivated office drones will start slacking off if no one’s constantly checking in on them. We all know people like that, and work at home makes it more difficult to prod them into working.

      1. Or that the supervisors realize that there’s much less need for supervisors in the new dispensation. If they don’t, they should.

        1. No, the supervisors will still be needed. Someone’s got to make sure that the needed work is being done, and prod those who are slacking off. That’s the supervisor’s job. That doesn’t change just because no one’s coming into the office anymore.

          1. That’s not what I’m hearing. In NY banking anyway. There’s a whole tranche of management under threat right now. They’re talking hundreds of thousands of job losses and more to go abroad. Funny enough, the hardcore networkers seem to be the most vulnerable.

          2. In a well-running team, the supervisor’s main job is to set priorities: “Yes Jim, that’s a really cool widget, but we need the other widget the customer is screaming for first.” And also remove obstacles: “Ok, Mary, I will make the PTB understand you can’t do the work they want without access to that company confidential data,” Note that in my half century career, I have been on over a hundred teams. MAYBE six were well-running, and that’s including my combat squad in the USMC.

            1. The other really important job for the supervisor is eliminating obstacles. When I’m spending time wearing my lead/supervisor hat instead of my developer hat, I’m often dealing with software license renewals/transfers, code signing certificate renewals, escalating requests that have stalled out with other groups, etc.

          3. There’s another potential use of supervisors: they can serve as “crap shields” who can not only keep the “slackers” from slacking, but protect the “slackers” from upper management, who would otherwise burden the “slackers” with unreasonable deadlines, constant changing of tasks, and frustration that things aren’t getting done as fast as they like.

            Indeed, for all my doubts I sometimes have about “scrum”, one observation someone made about the process has always stuck out to me: it’s a way to keep track of what’s important, and who’s working on what, so if someone barges in and says “We need to fix this bug NOW!” or “I just had a BRILLIANT IDEA, we need to implement it NOW!”, the supervisor can say “That’s nice, but so-and-so is working on X, and so-and-so is working on Y, which also seem pretty important: which one of these do you want to put on pause, so we could switch gears?” — and sometimes the gear-shifting is necessary, sometimes it’s not, but either way, there’s some predictability on what gets completed (or not).

        1. Whose deadlines? Because I wouldn’t last 2 seconds under “Let’s pretend we agreed to Oct 15, this year, deadline”, when they were told what they wanted could be completed Oct 31, NEXT! year.

          Then when Oct 15, this year, is looming, “What do you mean it ‘won’t be done’. You agreed!!!!!” REEEEEEE x 1000, especially after “That date was your deadline.” Well to be fair. R&D probably agreed that XYD could be done by their deadline, and was. But what they heard was that ABCEFZ would be done too.

          I wouldn’t last, that is, if those pulling the above were in charge of deadlines. Yes. We all learned quickly to have it in writing signed off by TPTB, in triplicate. Didn’t stop the REEEEEEE but it kept our heads from exploding.

          Had one job that I set the deadlines-ish. They got a reasonable conservative ballpark WAG, from me. Usually delivered earlier, even not knowing what I didn’t know for technical issues. My supervisors went from “call in a report” because supervisor was 100 miles away at another site, to walk down the call to call in a report. Although I often did work at home, when sick child, had an assigned office. This was back in the days when a “laptop” could be mistaken for a sewing machine when packed …

          Last job. Only had “deadlines” when boss/owner called with a “I need this to show”, or client called and said “I have an auditor here, and …” or “It is payroll, and …”. Even then the implication was “stop what you are doing and get a solution out ASAP”, VS a true deadline. In fact a client who asked “How long to fix?” it was reasonable to respond “Probably a few minutes after I track down the problem” + “Now ask how long to find the problem?” 🙂 That answer was “Dang if I know.” but they never asked. Or + “How long will it take for your IT to upload current data?” Their answer to That was generally “Oh crap dang!” … Latter not a problem if WE had access to upload the data snapshot we needed, but some sites it was a huge problem. Then we got where we had visual on what they were doing, which meant solved almost immediately, or at least the steps required. Note. This is the job where they’ve downsized the office because ALL their programmers have the option to work exclusively from home, and most are doing so. Not sure how they are handling client support if they are just using switch board to forward calls to a office provided phone, or they’ve given out personal numbers (um, no?) or they added client support department so the programmers are not providing support. There is a way to determine progress VS goofing off. But it isn’t “deadlines”.

    3. I generally miss the social aspect. As a pretty hard-core introvert I got 90% of my need for human interaction fulfilled by normal office banter. Between JE’s death breaking up my D&D group as COVID hit, Z being in PA, and losing the office, I have suffered a near-total social collapse.

      With the need to find a new D&D group in “masks and vaxes to play in organized events” and “consent in gaming” BS becoming expected in groups to advertise for new players (and public play spaces), I suspect that hobby is gone.

      I could really use the office.

      1. There are at least three to five gaming groups at my workplace, and I am not cool enough to be invited to any of them. Sulk. And very girly girls with normal hobbies play D&D now.

        (Because retail means working weekends, so D&D means a lot of young retail workers socializing together.)

        1. Decades ago, one of my coworkers made up a card game (Star Commander might still have the set somewhere) and a handful of us playtested it on lunch breaks. Hewlett-Packard in the early ’80s, so geeks and nerds doing geeky/nerdy things was pretty well accepted.

      2. Yeah, that was what bugged me when I switched sites to a bunch of more-or-less new faces. The one-man cube was good for getting (some of my) work done, but I needed some interaction with people. I discovered years ago that losing friends (or simply losing contact with) for whatever reason was a stone bitch.

        1. Will observe that at least as much, if not more, productive work got accomplished around the office coffee pot as was ever done in those interminable conference room meetings.

      3. Herb, I’ve been online tabletop gaming for the last 10+ years (Fantasy Grounds/(Skype/Teamspeak/Discord)), and it can work.

      4. Or you could just advertise something “If you don’t care about the Mask and Vax crap, and prefer being around adults rather than this `consent in gaming` crap, contact me at…” and maybe wind up creating a safe place for people who hate safe spaces.

        1. Sign me up! Playing virtually might be tough, and there are substantial time differences to work out, but I’ve likewise been deprived of my gaming group by the combination of covidiocy + moving to an island in the distant western seas,

        2. My group plays via Google docs, with maps either drawn in the docs drawing program or ported into Roll20, which is an online tabletop gaming …. thing.

          Having to type in our actions and dialogue gives us an instant record of what we did, and the chat window neatly separates metagaming and table chatter from in-character dialogue.

          (You do have to trust that no one else is fudging their dice rolls.)

          I think there are a couple other platforms that are dedicated to.. uh… remote table-top gaming, but I’ve never needed to look them up.

    4. THIS – have seen this going on for last 20 years. these are the people that need to go so those of us that actually work can get our work done.

    5. I’ve honestly been back over a year at this point. Between a VPN that is is utterly painful and needing interaction I honestly prefer it 90% of time.

    6. Sorry if this ends up a double-post; I think WP ate my first attempt. WPDE.

      As a “low-level manager,” I think I’m the member of management most in favor of remote work out here on my tiny island — but then, unless there’s a meeting that must be in person or a court date, we learned from the office shutdowns last year that there’s really little benefit to our lawyers in being at the office. My experience thus far has been that if people are going to not work and merely pretend to do so, they’re more able to do it when at the office since when they’re working remotely we see results and work product rather than whether or not they’re at their desks.

      That said, it’s a small office and those above me in the hierarchy are from the era where they correlate not at desk to not working, so they’ve opposed it so far. The dynamics might also be a little different on an island where no one has a longer than 10-15 minute commute.

    7. It is more about not being able to manage “that which you cannot see”. A good manager knows who is blowing smoke and who actually delivers the goods. Bad managers have to see their people to have some sort of idea about what is going on, and even then they are faking it most of the time.

  9. I think we are going to see a lot more people not leaving home to work as vaccination requirements are enforced. And many of them will be people who do direct work rather than managerial work, such as nurses, police, and military. It’s really kind of insane, if they’re desperate to have people go back to their jobs, to get rid of people who stayed at theirs when it was risky to do so . . .

    1. Obviously, they are more desperate to control than they are to have people working.

      Firing a quarter of the medical workers for not taking a vaccine for an illness with a 99% survival rate is not a policy that screams “we care about healthcare!”.

        1. Communist Party control of healthcare was on of V.I. Lenin’s “trifecta” of things they needed to control in his view to ensure that the commies retained power and could expand their control over society, along with finance and education. The Democrats are going for the full Lenin trifecta. A healthcare system that actually works interferes with their quest to gain and keep power, thus their actions are designed to destroy it, not fix it.

      1. Clueless politicians forcing medical treatment on DOCTORS AND NURSES WHO DO NOT WANT IT is so far beyond stupid and delusional it’s in another dimension.

        It’s as bad as the CDC meddling in what they have characterized as a ‘gun violence epidemic’. They have no more business sticking their long, long noses into law enforcement than the police have treating cancer patients. Of course, they are too stupid to see that.
        There are forms of stupidity that businesses can’t indulge in. There are no such limitations on the stupidity of government.

          1. They desire totalitarian control over our every action and thought. Just look at how they now intend to treat parents who voice objections to what school boards decree as “domestic terrorists”.

          2. It’s not just the Feds. Political hacks at all levels having been showing their true colors. Who would have thought that the AG of AZ would have been purple (or was that burgundy).

        1. It’s malice.

          Lockdown was capricious malice.

          I’m not sure what exactly the malice with the vaccine is, but it would be extremely surprising for there to be no malice.

          Firing medical folks who refuse to take it does two things. One, they are possibly discredited as influences on behavior. Two, stubborn people are replaced by possible go along to get alongs.

          1. Looking at the VAERS results and considering Bill Gates’ preference for a world population about 20% of what it is now, I think I know what the malice is…

            And the VAERS results was only the short term damage. The long term stuff might just be quite interesting, for various values of terrifying.

              1. It is a program for reported issues/bad symptoms from vaccinations.

                Purely hypothetically, I may have been there when a family member was encouraged to file the report on behalf of another family member who apparently* had serious consequences.

                Anyway, VAERS numbers may be under reporting.

                *How do you disprove coincidence?

                1. Anyway, VAERS numbers may be under reporting.

                  Yes they are. One of those townhalls which have been happening included a nurse explaining how and why they are underreported.

                  TL;DR: pressure not to, plus takes 30min to fill out the form in an already overwhelming workload.


                This site takes the aggregate data from the VAERS database and makes it easier to run reports. The original data is on

            1. Thus their refusal to add those with natural antibody immunity from actually having had the virus to the totals of those vaccinated and protected. Or the stellar logic of their claim that unvaccinated somehow pose a deadly threat to those of us who have taken the vaccine.
              Get vaccinated, it will protect you from the virus! But wear those cloth masks anyway that cannot possibly filter out a virus. And impose mandates such that if you refuse the vaccination for any reason your entire life can be destroyed. (see mandatory firings and exclusion from transplant waiting lists for examples of how utterly ruthless the powers that be are becoming)

        2. When I had a commute I drove by the CDC about half the time (depending on which train station I used).

          I’m not sure they are competent to cross the street in the rush hour traffic by their HQ.

      2. Caught a radio spot– that must’ve been really expensive, was like 30 seconds before it got to the nasty part– doing a drama of you getting a call late at night, your mom fell, she’s being rushed to the ER…. and then went into “the last thing you need to worry about is if the doctor working on your mother has been vaccinated for Corona Virus.” I didn’t say anything nasty, but I did change the channel.

        Mental dialog:

        [Female dog], at that point I’m rather more worried she’ll be isolated to death to “protect” her from maybe catching something that could possibly result in you NEGLECTING HER TO DEATH.

    2. Only if they let you be unclean on their payroll. I won’t put it past the feds or most companies to make it painful

      1. I’ve seen a fair number of posts by people *remotely working* who will get fired if they don’t get the not-Vax.

        I noticed a major slowdown at the hospital-affiliated clinic’s lab, and after years of stability, a lot of new faces and voices among the medical assistants. Despicable Kate Brown set a 10/18 deadline for healthcare workers, with the “unexpected” results everybody with a couple of spare synapses did expect.

    1. I caught hell from Our Gracious Hostess several months ago when WordPress changed my name on a post to that of a nasty troll. Took a bit of figuring to unscrew that one.

      WordPress Delenda Est.

  10. Reminds me of the classic Dilbert where the Boss asks whether would like to return to the office instead of working from home–responses are “I quit”, “I’d rather be dead”, and “shoot me.” Many have also figured out that the gig economy makes more sense than any office job, which typically has no job security anyway..They’ve also figured out that many low paying jobs don’t pay enough to be worth it…

    1. Younger daughter just opined that she’d be willing to return to the office IF only they’d destroy the entire internet. Her husband’s getting beaten up on social media for something that happened at his employer’s 15 months before they hired him. This may be where she gets mugged by reality.

    2. A repair guy I follow out of NY is arguing a huge part of the labor shortage is people realizing how expendable they are when COVID hit. His theory is for most people “job security”, which really means a reliable income when he talks about it, is the main reason people put up with most jobs. Take away that secure income and they realize they’re on their own anyway so they should freelance.

    3. The health insurance is the real problem at this point, because Obamacare torpedoed almost every affordable plan if you aren’t corporate-employed. But maybe this ‘fire all the healthcare workers who actually care about healthcare’ thing will drive a bunch of good medical personnel into concierge/pay-as-you-go/freelance clinic models, and we might take a crack at that problem?

      1. Given that when I got a mammogram, there was a 33% cash discount, I bet there’s a very large market for cash-n-carry medical practices for routine care (well-woman checks, well-baby pediatrics, basic stuff). Alas, anything that needs serious hospital care is going to be the problem.

        1. There’s a cash-and-carry surgical practice in Oklahoma that will do knee and hip replacements, heart valves or bypasses, etc. I’m sure there are others; they were just the closest when I was exploring the subject a few years ago, when our new “affordable” healthcare exceeded our combined income.

      2. If Xiden goes through with the not-Vax mandate for healthcare workers, it’s going to be a mess. We’re seeing it in Oregon (active date is 10/18), and I know my dental situation will change at least a bit. Word is that 30% of the workers at the only hospital in the area will walk. (Seems to be hitting already at the affiliated clinic.)

        I’m not sure what regulatory teeth are applicable for sole-practitioners. There’s a $10K/day fine from the state for practices that don’t have all employees enslaved compliant. Black market medicine? Possible, though prescriptions will be an issue.

        1. Already hit in Eugene. To the point where Brown had to call in National Guard to take on medical duties. Next is the school districts. Neighbor has a little over a week before she is let go. She has MS. Doctor isn’t recommending she get the vaccine.

          Hasn’t hit son’s work yet. He won’t get the vax. At least as it stands now.

          1. My family practitioner was quite annoyed when I refused to tell him which doctor told me (personally, dammit) not to take the not-vax.

            I’m supposed to see the FP-MD next month for my semiannual vaccine/COVID lecture and basic health check. I don’t mind the latter, but am thinking of getting the latest VAERS results for when he starts vaccine-crap.

            1. Just had an appointment with my primary care physician. Didn’t ask me about the covid vaccine. The health care center I go to caters to migrant workers and low income. I’m employed, with BC/BS, Medicare, and TRICARE. Why there? The doctor is former Navy- a former Navy chief engineer. We speak the same language. I followed him there from another practice.

              1. I have a fair number of doctors due to various complications and the occasional catastrophic injury. The *only* doctor who has proven to be a pain in the Kung-Flu ass is the primary care guy. For my sins, I got the guy who was appointed to the Chinavirus team at the hospital/clinic, and he’s the great not-vaxx evangelist. I’d rather do an hour with a Jehovah’s Witness, another with a Morman missionary, and a half hour with an evangelistic atheist* than have the non-vaxx discussion with this guy. OTOH, it sounds like they’ve gotten all the vax-skeptics off the staff, or at least they’re being forced out.

                FWIW, I got my flu shot at an independent clinic (one who makes the not-vax takers read and sign the disclosure form, and bans them from the clinic for 3 weeks after the shot) so as to avoid the “unfortunate blunder” of getting the COVID shot instead of FluA+B vaccine. We don’t have any Walgreens in Flyover Falls, but paranoia seems to be a survival mechanism right now.

                (*) Preferably in the woods, near a deep lake for the last.

                1. So? Just tell the primary that you went to a pharmacy where the vaccination is offered. That you you didn’t actually get it, is none of his business … Or just lie. I don’t lie easily, but to shut someone up. I can sure imply a lie sometimes.

                  1. At which point he checks the database all vaccinations are supposed to be registered in, doesn’t find you, and bans you from the practice/clinic/hospital and/or calls the FBI because you have lied about a Federal regulation. You WON’T win.

                    PS: For those who say I’m blackpilling: the database is already there. My mom is in the hospital in AL, and for my dad (her one visitor per day) a vax card check with database cross check is mandatory upon entrance. So bite me.

                    1. Well. Dang. Was really hoping that database was smoke and mirrors. OTOH any bets on the odds it is accurate? Yea, I wouldn’t bet against that either. As in a Legit Vax Card holder NOT being in the database …

                    2. Well, not after they look through the FEC database to see if you donated to a Republican ever. THAT’S already been weaponized twice that I know of by various blue groups; at least one made PJ media.

                    3. I’ll probably get caught for not donating to a Democrat in good standing, ever.

                      We do not donate to political causes, ever. So they can not get us for donating to a republican cause.

                    4. (Yes, I did spend A VERY LONG TIME trying to get the kids’ vaccinations registered in the voluntary, so if you lose the records it’s easy to recover them, database. Washington State got most of them right, Texas never did manage it.)

                    5. Oregon, about as bad. When he headed off to college, he called back home because the records we provided, printed by the clinic and signed by his physician, didn’t match the “state”, plus no record of Chicken Pox vaccine. Former, IDK why, news to me, we followed rules. Latter, of coarse not. He had them, a very bad case of them, at 15 months. Proof … he had 3 scars. Okay only one of them was “presentable” but he had scars. He was 5 when the vaccine got final approval and was released. Then Whooping Cough, which he had all the shot series, and was current on boosters, AND still got Whooping Cough, at age 12.

                    6. No argument about blackpilling; they’re going full Stasi on this one.

                      Hell, even my clinic has screwed up records. In 2018, I got the fancy pneumonia vaccine that covers 23 flavors of bugs. A few days later, on an unrelated medical trip, the reaction to the shot put me in urgent care with a suspicious spot on my lungs and a prescription for an antibiotic. (Tested for flu, failed the test.)

                      Perhaps due to a ransomware attack at the beginning of the year, the clinic does not have a record of the vaccine. No way in hell am I going to get a booster of that shit. So, yeah, database will have plenty of issues.

                      I never donated to the RNC directly, though the 2016 MAGA donation sure got me on the GOP donation letter fire-starter fodder list. So between Red County, registered R and a donation, I’m screwed. Plus I have to be on the naughty list because of the failed attempts to convince me to get the shot.

                      D-day for Oregon is 10/18. Commie Kate has the state court system in her favor (not sure how many of the damned judges she’s appointed, but it’s a bunch), but there’s a suit by first responders in the 9th circus. Hearing is 10/18.

            1. It was heading that way in June. My primary care doctor (one J Mengele, it seems), wanted to know Who Told Me not to get the not-vax. (One of my too-many doctors, though another discussion said his advice was situational–he felt it OK for a 95ish year old lady to get it, but not my 68 year old body. ) We spent way too many minutes going over that crap. There had already been rumblings that doctors who “spread misinformation” would face dire consequences if they strayed from the official narrative.

            1. Am I the only one who remembers how hard they fought to keep doctors from discussing abortion alternatives? Nothing new.

        2. Are medical personnel subject to more stringent requirements than the corporate ones? If they’re running a practice under 100 people, or freelancing, that should exempt them…

          1. No, even if you are a one man practice, all the rules apply. Certainly they have your license hostage.

          2. In Oregon, every health care worker (including dental hygienists) must have the not-vax to practice. At one time there was a weekly test proposed as an alternative, but the misGovernor decided that it wasn’t sufficient, so that alternative was quashed. $10,000 per day fine for noncompliance. Not sure if it covers non-medical support staff.

            I’m going to get a new hygienist next time, assuming the dental practice is even open come February.

        3. > prescriptions will be an issue

          Whip out your plastic and you can get almost any diagnostic test by whipping out your credit card. You can get a dial-a-doc with whatever credentials you want with just a few mouse clicks. The big kahuna, why the Fed has pwned the entire pharmaceutical industry, is the pharmacopeia. (and one reason Hillary! pushed so hard for “healthcare” from 1992, and why the Lightbringer adopted the HillaryCare platform almost unchanged) Most Americans take some sort of medication, and it’s an excellent way of keeping track of people.

          1. “Whip out your plastic and you can get almost any diagnostic test by whipping out your credit card. You can get a dial-a-doc with whatever credentials you want with just a few mouse clicks. ”

            Until it’s “Not in vax database? Refuse care or lose license.” And that’s already here in many places.

            Next will be “Not in vax database? Credit card cancelled.”

        4. The Oregon Nursing board is considering extreme punitive action for all it’s members who are unclean. I can’t remember off the top of my head when the board meeting is to be for that.

        1. Where I am too.

          Bigger problem: I already was wary of doctors, but now I’m convinced that I have a 50/50 chance that if I show up, they’ll decide I deserve to be punished rather than treated. If they just turn me away for my beliefs, then okay, that’s bad enough. But if they hide their hatred, and take it out on me by sabotaging my care, then I might not know until too late. It seems wiser not even to go.

          1. I’m thinking the same thing. Right now I’m thinking concierge may be the way to go at least for some stuff. But, I’ll definitely be interviewing docs after we move. Current PCP is just phoning it in until she retires, so I’m skipping a lot of basic stuff right now.

      3. There’s a former naturopathic doc here in LeftCoast who is adamant that with the removal of vast swaths of the HC force, you are on your own. There will be no underground HC, etc.

        1. The independent clinic in Flyover County already survived an attempt by the local hospital to decertify it. I don’t recall what the excuse for the attempt was, but it was clearly a power grab to destroy the competition. (Said clinic is run by an FNP with a couple of admin people. He does a huge business doing flu shots every fall, including a day or two at the county fairgrounds.)

          I would have considered switching to him as a primary care guy, but he’s close to retirement. Not sure what the mandate will do to the clinic.

        2. There will be always some. I suspect it will be more organic. I’ll take care of my own, and any one vouched for, but not too many others. Stay under the radar.

    4. That is why California passed AB5, which basically declared most gig workers to be “employees” and required that they be treated as such. Effectively that wiped out a lot of gig jobs, much to the dismay of people who wanted the flexibility or whose “employers” couldn’t afford to hire them full time (which would have included me had I stayed in California; writers and editors were limited to doing something like three dozen pieces a year for any one client and then became “employees”). The assemblywoman who came up with it was a former union organizer; when she heard complaints about people who were put out of work her response was that they didn’t have “real jobs” anyway. Theoretically she was trying to save them from being exploited, but in reality she was trying to ensure that both they and their employers could be exploited by union bosses.

      One of the less remarked proposals of the Democratic congress is to impose the same rules nationwide . . .

      1. Have that in Oregon too. There is a very narrow lane to navigate to prevent being an employee when you want to do gig work.

        1. Working on multiple gigs a year.
        2. Own equipment. Can still VPN into clients systems. The answer to the people snooping is “own computer and software needed …”
        3. Employer can not determine where, when, or how work is completed.

        All 3 must apply.

        One way I know a few have gotten around it is they have formed an “Association”. The “Association” contracts the gig work, based on where the associate members want to take the job. Generally, but not always, around a specific technology. The one I was most familiar with (for multiple reasons) was one that programmed the handheld inventory collection devices and barcode label printers.

  11. Changing faster.

    Shank’s mare was the only way to travel for ages, with the gray mare and the stallion added before written history.

    That’s the way it was, up to the 18th century and well into the 20th for all practical purposes. My granddad’s life started with mostly horse and buggy and ended after a man in space.

    Yep, the times they are a changing, faster and faster, some for the better, some for the bitter. We can’t pick and choose the era wherein we live our four score and.. but we can choose and cherish and surround ourselves with the good, the honorable and, as much as possible, ignore the rest.

  12. I’d like to return to the office. In fact, I’d like everyone on my team to return to the office, but only for a very specific, short, time period. Our crazy crunch time is coming up and having everyone in the office will offer moral support, child-free (distraction-free) overtime (as needed), and faster communication. (It’s waaay faster to shout over a cube wall than to send a text and hope someone sees it soon) Once the crazy is over we can all go back home. We’re all working from home right now anyway, which is saving the company untold $$ in energy bills, water bills, etc. (Maybe I should ask for a raise to cover my increased electric bill?) My own manager is thrilled to work from home because it means she gets waaaay more grandma time, and she’s totally disinterested in micromanaging.

    But this last year and a half has definitely proved that people are willing and able to get the work done in a more distributed fashion where feasible.

    1. I’d like to return to the office for the 15% of the time my being in the office is more productive than sitting here. What I don’t want is to go back to my 3-4 hours a day on NJ Transit and having to get up at 5:00 am and not get home till 7:00 pm. If they force the issue I’ll probably retire again, for good this time.

  13. It’s bullshit. You know it’s bullshit. I know it’s bullshit. The number is probably closer to 20% and while some people do want to go back to the office, I doubt it’s most people, let alone “everyone.”

    It’s also highly dependent on what “back to the office” means. BoA is going back, but our group has not. The reason why has nothing to do with COVID but the fact we were scheduled to move to a new office which isn’t ready. We’ll get back to that.

    I am in that 98% or 80% or whatever percentage wants to go back.

    I do not plan to go back if allowed not to go back. Because that new office being ready means going from cubicles to open plan desks. If there is one thing designed to insure I’m less productive than at home without ADD meds it is an open-plan office.

    I’d also be bored and angry because the lack of privacy shuts off the “goofing off” I do to keep myself even when concentration gets too taxing. I’m pretty sure the panopticon nature of open offices is the real reason corporate wants them, not the bullshit teaching/collaboration reason they give. It’s the worst of all possible worlds: no privacy, constant distraction.

    I wonder how many people who’d be happy to go back to the office because it was just the right amount of regular socialization with the other monkeys we’ve been missing during extended work at home will not go back because of BS changes to the office (and that’s before the “you can’t go back if you’re not vaxxed” policy).

  14. preference cascades are ignored until they crash down … change build slowly and quietly … like a swell in the ocean as it reaches shore … its stays quiet right up to the break …

    1. When the tide suddenly rolls way, way out is not the time to dilly dally around looking for pretty shells. That’s the time to turn and run inland and up as high as you can make it before the tsunami hits.

      This is no normal low tide. Or supply chain hassle for that matter.

  15. There is this meme going around “there aren’t enough workers because the socialists won. They gave people money to stay home and now people want that.”

    For most people, there will be a point where the “living free with a lower standard of living” is good enough to better than working for a living, especially when the collapsing space between “what you get from working” and the “living free lower standard of living” gets narrow enough that working feels like being a chump.

    I think a not-insignificant fraction of the not going back to work crowd are tired of being a chump, especially service industry workers in locations where they were used to being treated poorly (several stories had people not returning to work in Martha’s Vineyard due to customer behavior…rich liberals treating the help so bad they don’t come back…surprise).

    So, yes, some of this is “give people money to stay home and they think working makes them a chump.”

    1. I suspect that the “you must mask up to work” edicts are a big part of the labor shortage, especially in service jobs.

      1. Yeah, that’s all under my “working for that much under these conditions” view.

        I was never “Fight for $15”, but having seen the entitlement a lot of people, especially well-off people, treat service workers I can’t blame them for wanting $15 to put up with it.

        Higher pay isn’t always about skills. It is often about conditions you put up with. I think COVID is getting some people to tell employers to either back them against obnoxious customers (and I’d say 60% of masked workers at a minimum is to please the Karens) or pay me a lot more.

        1. “Higher pay isn’t always about skills. It is often about conditions you put up with.”

          I think we’re in violent agreement here. I’m torn between “Well, duh,” and “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

          1. Sadly…I mean, we live in the $0.77 for a $1.00 mantra from feminists and when you point out over 90% of workplace deaths are male they look at you like “what would that have to do with it”.

    1. The last Singularity in the strict sense was language. The next Singularity in an equally strict sense would have to be something that makes post-Singularity thinking as incomprehensible to us as verbal thinking is to the pre-verbal.

      In the meantime, there have been at least a few lesser or weaker Singularities since the development of language, and I expect at least a few more before the next strict-sense Singularity.

      1. It’s possible the current singularity is computing in general and the internet in particular.
        My neurologist told me that children who do not learn handwriting, but instead use typing and swiping for everything, have unusual formations in the language centers of their brains. Some regular parts are missing and other parts are added. Even the ones who do not exhibit language difficulty. I thought it very interesting.
        Also, just as in olden times when newcomers came to town and brought disease and even epidemic with them, the sudden (in historical terms) ability to contact anyone on the planet at all times has brought mental disease upon the less mentally hardy.
        The internet is full of flat out insane people who have large followers that they are infecting with mass hysteria.
        It took mass communication on a world wide level to get the COVID hysteria off the ground.

  16. I enjoyed this post. I think we spend too much time on singularities and not enough on the process leading up to them. I’ve been thinking about how bad we humans are at dealing with slow motion developments. Going back to China yesterday. No one should be surprised about it, everyone knew it would happen, we saw how Japan has played out and Japan has been playing out for 30 years with no end in sight yet we’re all still surprised when it happens.

    Many things happen slowly then all at once but others just keep grinding on. Reading Braudel is good for this if you can look past his Marxist tendencies. It’s usually not terribly intrusive in any case.

    1. You’re referring to the announcement that a second Chinese company was set to follow Evergrande’s path?

      1. Among others, there’s no shortage of zombie Chinese firms but I was thinking mostly about population. Same sort of thing though, the Chinese local government ponzi has been obvious for at least a decade. Problem is that the market can remain irrational longer than one can remain solvent.

        Even should the CCP manage the fall of the property developers, the destruction of capital is epic and will last for a long time. Virtually all Chinese private savings is tied up in Real Estate. I still expect drama, probably crashes, and possibly revolution but I’m having to adjust to the fact that it might be a slow grind lasting decades. I hate waiting.

          1. I think someone used that in a novel already. China doing virus research accidentally unleashes a zombie plague. Except this version has more paperwork and 0s on the paperwork.

    1. Yeah, if there are rational people in the future they won’t be able to understand what’s happening now. “Did they not see what they were doing?”

  17. I’ve been applying for jobs, and I got notices from two different places I’ve applied for.

    One employer had about 192 applicants for the job.
    The second had 168 applicants for the job.

    It’s been rough applying for work. And, the local school systems are trying to move back to “in person” classes as fast as they can…in California. Which, after the last eighteen months of sheer “Stranger Danger!/Large Gatherings Are Bad!/Wear The Mask” propaganda is causing a lot of people to look into homeschooling.

    And, I can’t blame people that don’t want to go back to the service jobs. The pay is probably even worse now, since they don’t have any seniority for promotions. Health care probably sucks-I know that I’m getting better care via Kaiser than I was through Aetna. And, as long as OnlyFans doesn’t cancel out doing adult content, most of the women that can work waitress and counter jobs can make more money and have better tools for blocking casual sexual abuse.

    Give it a few years, I’m thinking that our “we must unite, under the leadership of the Woke Elect” leadership will discover that they really shot themselves in the foot.

    (I’m hopeful for the “Rapture of the Nerds”-type Singularity. If only because I would prefer to have the choice of living forever or die trying-as long as continuity of identity and memory and choice was consistent.

    (Okay, that and the idea that I could choose to be whatever I wanted to be-in all the particulars-has some appeal to it.)

    1. Give it a few years, I’m thinking that our “we must unite, under the leadership of the Woke Elect” leadership will discover that they really shot themselves in the foot.

      Oh, I so hope to see that and enjoy the whinging and tears and the golden feeling of a wide grin.

      1. Why do I think it’s about 2-1/2 feet higher than the feet? OTOH, they claim the Earth is overpopulated. Now they can have a valid excuse to not procreate. [VBEG]

  18. Leftists are simply incapable of comprehending why we don’t want to be assimilated by the leftist borg.

    1. Considering what the Leftist Borg consists of, who does?

      Unless they’ve been tricked, forced, or that they’re desperate for any kind of connections with anyone at all.

  19. Those are certainly some intriguing observations and possibilities to go with them. 🙂 Working at home doesn’t sound too bad in theory, especially if I pick one of the more rural relocation options, but I have four feline distractions so who knows how that’ll work out (C says “Hi everybody!” on that note, and that may be literal since he’s been in and out of my lap meowing his head off for the past 30 minutes) and it’s going to take some work before I’m qualified for one anyway. And the making sure we don’t lose part is what keeps me up at night, unfortunately. Not sure what I can do about that part other than hope for the best.

  20. This country needs to come to a consensus about whether economic growth is wanted or not, and if not, then split apart. I can’t remember who, but I read somewhere that for now it’s car parts in short supply, but if the bottleneck continues it will be parts for the bigger things like the electrical grid, nuclear plants, water treatment, etc.

    This means dealing with the whole Climateocy-crowd, which seems to want things to collapse. Why are all those ships parked at the LA harbor and not being unloaded? I haven’t yet heard of a good explanation for it, yet Biden and Newsom seem uninterested in doing anything about it, even though fixing the problem would be beneficial to a whole lot of people. I hate the idea that everything has to severely break down before it is addressed, but I guess that is human nature.

    1. No mystery about the ships. The entire logistics train from port to store is fscked up. And once you overload a node in a system its ability to handle cargo drops to a fraction of its capacity until you can completely clear it out.

      Except that the node after that is also choked. And the one before it. And there aren’t nearly enough drivers, or worse trailers to move things around, because the other nodes can’t unload the trailers because they are also choked.

    2. Why are all those ships parked at the LA harbor and not being unloaded?

      The proximate cause seems to be a lack of trucks to drive the containers away from the port container yard. As in, the longshoremen could lay on more shifts and so forth, but they literally have nowhere to put the unloaded containers.

      Why there aren’t enough trucks and truck drivers seems to be very multi-factorial. I’ve heard:

      – LA traffic is so bad that the huge number of trucks that would be necessary can’t get through
      – Covidiocy driving truck drivers out of the business
      – California regulations making truck driving less worthwhile
      – Two or three others that I can’t remember right now

      I’ll note that as far as I can tell from looking at, Seattle, Tacoma, and Oakland are “busy” but not above capacity at all. All three have 4-6 ships docked, and no crowd of anchored ships waiting their turn. I don’t understand why some of the load on LA/LB isn’t being distributed to the other West Coast ports.

        1. Ship size. The smaller ports cannot handle the larger container ships. Literally cannot. Older container ships were stacked 6 and 8 high above the main deck, 5 or 6 below.. The newest 10 high and 8 below. Ship length and draft have also increased. There a re a limited number of port facilities built to handle the larger vessels. It’s a big investment.

          1. What the Port of Houston and Savannah can handle is a lot different from, oh, a lot of other places. And some deep-water ports are inland, which doesn’t help a lot. (Great Lakes)

      1. And trains- takers 100 100 car trains for a large container ship. Trains right now are backed up- stationary outside Chicago. Truck shortage.

        And the truck (and trucker) shortage was caused directly by government action.

        All highway rest stops nationwide were closed- and some had blue portapotties put up for truckers to use- with no running water to wash their hands. Explain how that makes things more sanitary and safer….

        Just one of the many indignities truckers (and business travelers) suffered during the covidiocy.

      2. “Why there aren’t enough trucks and truck drivers seems to be very multi-factorial. I’ve heard:”

        California’s not very truck friendly, go figure. You’ll get cited if you haven’t washed your truck before entering the state.

        Most truckers, company and owner/operator are paid by the miles driven. If you’re sitting in a line at the port waiting to be loaded, you’re not making any money towards the truck payments. If you have a choice, you’re not going to go there.

        I drive for a company with about 750 trucks. Last year we ordered new trucks to be delivered in March. We just got them two weeks ago. Because these were ordered mostly to replace existing equipment, the older trucks were breaking down a lot. My shop alone has about thirty trucks, and we’ve had two to three of them down at any point in the last six months, sometimes for three or four weeks because the shops couldn’t get parts. I just heard one will be down for at least six weeks at another location.

        I don’t imagine we’re anywhere near unique in that, makes things a lot harder to move freight for everyone.

  21. There’s another hiring problem, and it appears to be software.
    Today the local branch of a grocery store had a hiring fair and got slammed, which they did not expect because they’ve been getting nothing through their website. My kids among the applicants. One of them used to work there, so his interview was very much pro forma, catching up on stuff, and then:

    “How come you didn’t apply to come back sooner?”
    “I’ve applied for seven jobs here this year.”

    Seems the software is rejecting people the store management would really like to interview: including the kid who got fired because the hours scheduled to work system required logging out and logging back in, not hitting refresh.

    So. If you happen to be looking for a job and the company websites are giving you ‘Thanks but no thanks’ emails, print out a resume and go find the local manager. I’d suspected this earlier, and J. had shared an article on it at one point, seems one of the big U’s did a study, but management is catching on.

    1. Unsurprising.

      I mean, I am really bad at job searching, and filing a resume online is a little bit less social anxiety for me.

      The number of times I’ve heard “we /have/ to hire through our online application system, which isn’t working very well, please, please, please rewrite your resume to fit the position so that it might work”…

      1. “Our software is junk but it cost soooooooo much so please we need you, try to fit into the octagonal tesseract required so that we can start the interview process.” In other words.

        1. Fairly large bureaucracy, and it was probably a combination of legal /and/ required by their largest customer. Not a place that has since much covered themselves in glory, so it may simply be FUBAR.

        2. One of the local real estate brokerages just put out a shiny new website. It’s crap. Glad I’m not in the market any more.

      2. Something I ran into years ago; if you hadn’t worked in more than three months, they discarded your resume, according to the headhunter I was working wiht.

        1. Yup.

          I got interviews anyway, and some of were even not with government agencies filling out their list of mandatory candidates.

          Fundamental conceit of employer HR is that they can meaningfully sort through so many people, and find good ‘fits’.

          Fundamental conceit of kids trying to land a basic entry level position, enough blind trials of the formal system will eventually see a success.

          Formal system is the aggregate of HR bureaucracies at each employer. ‘Design’ of the formal system is based on assumptions set by lawyers and by federal bureaucrats.

          The design assumptions of the formal system are basically crazy, and the formal system does not work very well. There is a reason why the advice to try the informal system is very often given.

          A large bureaucracy that is moving around people internally can have a small enough group to draw on to actually be able to use an informal process to build teams that might work out well.

          Someone small enough to avoid legal and bureaucratic oversight can do an employee search that is narrow enough to be sanely plausible.

          Between those, you get people in HR who are very good at what they do, and can pull out successes despite the process, and despite how poorly formal training in HR has equipped them.

          The essential issue here, trying to match the measurable parts of a bunch of ‘candidates’ to measurable parts of ‘holes’ in organizations is an inherently sloppy process. It basically would not work if the criteria of the reality weren’t quite a lot looser than the theoretical model suggests. But, to satisfy the legal and regulatory requirements, HR has to pretend otherwise.

          Fit to a hole has some relevance, but whether or not other unmeasurable things are wrong with an organization are more relevant.

          1. One of the several reasons I left IT was the crazed insistence on wanting 3 to 5 years of “experience” with particular software packages that had only been on the market for a few months.

            I figured the requirements were probably deliberately written that way so nobody would qualify, and then they could simply discard all the unwanted applications and simply hire the one they’d picked already, but it got to be such a universal thing I decided not to play that game any more.

            1. Saw that too. Frustrating. When I retired, and didn’t care about getting hired, thought about calling them out on it. Only problem is, by then, most hires go through temp to hire. How are the temp companies even to know, although they should.

              Last time I ran into it was C#. Back when it had officially been available for less than 6 months and betas available about 18 months. Every job … 3 to 5 years C# experience (did it count I had 20+ years experience with C and C++? Nope.) Sigh. Ended up at an entry level position with a small firm, with the salary to go with it (1/3 of the prior salary, and less salary than 14 years prior). I had over 20 years software development experience. Insulting? Yes. Still better than $0 when we were bleeding savings covering 2 households (ONE of those households was hubby living in our travel trailer during the week). We were lucky we had those savings, we’d always saved one salary, but we’d loosen the purse strings to live to the higher “more stable” salary … mine … opps. Cut back enough that the unemployment covered the short fall, but then unemployment ended and savings bleed began.

  22. For myself, I’m pretty much unable to work from home, despite my job (software development) being perfect for it, for precisely one reason: my oldest child is three years old. That means a constant stream of interruptions: “Daddy, look what I built!” “Yes, that’s a very nice Duplo house. Well done!” Which is important, and I’m very happy to look at his Duplo constructions when I’m at home. But when I’m at the office, I can actually get work done for multiple uninterrupted hours at a time.

    Now, once our youngest is 5-6 years old and old enough to understand “This room is where Daddy works, so when Daddy is in here, you don’t interrupt him”, then I could work from home all day and be perfectly happy with it. But for now, if I want to get any work done, I have to go to the office.

    1. My niece, who has Lupis, so she must work from home as this all goes endemic (it isn’t going away). Cheating = Grandpa with Grandma’s help. Grandpa retired expecting to play golf. but with Covid and the second granddaughter’s birth, grandparents are daycare (and now homeschooling). Grandpa loves it. He feels he missed out on helping raise the 4 girls. Grandma OTOH didn’t go back to work until great-grandma retired and was able to help them out. Oldest was in middle school.

  23. I apologize that I haven’t had the time to read all the comments here because of the rapid devolution of things at work. I’m part of a like-minded group of resisters that clustered around the few of us that were willing to be vocal, and this is the last paragraph of what I sent out to the group an hour ago:
    I’ve often talked of “crisis design engineering” in a software development context because human nature means no action is taken to fix something until there is a crisis. As Jefferson said, “…mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable….” I would have preferred the crisis to come earlier and be, consequently, less life-altering. Still, although I may be wrong, I can feel things start to coalesce. So many of us are confronted with issues that can longer be sidestepped and ignored even though ours may be different from those who feel their school boards are not listening to them or their streets have become unsafe with a breakdown of the rule of law, or their means of employment are taken away by more subtle means than those employed against us. Some of us may even have grievances about things that others of us may favor, but there was a reason the US armed the USSR in World War II. The enemy of my enemy is my ally, and those who are coerced against their will are also allies, just awaiting something that signals a hope of success. Even if John Adams was right about fireworks and parades, no rational man would have agreed with his optimism given the circumstances of the colonies in 1776. Maybe what Bismarck is supposed to have said is still true, “God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.” Let us hope so.

  24. Now Schumer is crowing about ‘pulling us back from the financial cliff’ by opening the door for ANOTHER 1/2 TRILLION dollars in debt.

    No, Chucky, you dumbshit, you just jumped off that financial cliff.
    Negotiating with an enemy that can’t be trusted is incredibly stupid.

    1. CS is stupid enough to think that he hasn’t put his head in the noose, and kicked away the chair.

      1. Chucky has gotten away with his schtick across several administrations now; changing positions randomly, stabbing people in the back, and generally being hard to tell from an enemy agent. Yet he maintains his power base and few people in the government care to criticize him, much less oppose him.

        Whatever he has, it has protected him so far, and he likely expects it will continue to do so.

      1. The real punch line is, AOC has a fancy economics degree and lacks even a child’s understanding of economics. It takes a LOT of education to make somebody that stupid.

  25. Two words: Supply. Chain.

    For the last 40 years, North America’s supply chain has been concentrated in China. EVERYTHING you buy and use is made in China. That’s suddenly coming to an end.

    There’s a singularity right there.

    1. And even when things don’t come from China, supply chain is a mess. Insufficient trucks/truckers, temporary COVID-related shutdowns, staffing shortages, etc. Or like with chips (at least in some cases), having canceled orders when COVID struck, and when things picked up again you find yourself at the back of the queue, or find out that the fab has retooled and isn’t making your chip anymore.

  26. He’s known as an anti-vaxxer- well before the coviudocy, I might take this with a grain of salt, though it backs up a lot of other things leaking out.

    Click to access us-covid19-vaccines-proven-to-cause-more-harm-than-good-based-on-pivotal-clinical-trial-data-analyzed-using-the-proper-scientific–1811.pdf

    What I would take as gospel is the next link. Since the beginning of covidiocy, we’ve known that worse outcomes were associated with low Vitamin D blood level. With more data analyzed, it appears that with a Vitamin D blood level of 50 ng/ml or greater, your chances of dying from the dreaded covid are essentially zero. If- IF- you get it at all. My last tested level is 60 ng/ml. If at this point in the covidiocy, if your doctor hasn’t ordered up a Vitamin D blood level test, he or she is behind the eight ball. If you ask for a test- and they refuse- the doctor is guilty of malpractice. One single predictor works better then anything else- Vitamin D blood level before contracting the dreaded covid. If you live in a free state, that is, not the Dictatorship of New York, you can walk into a lab or pharmacy and order one up. I can’t…..

    For a lot of Vitamin D info, paste the following in the search bar of your favorite search engine
    https://www.medrxiv vitamin d study
    There’s a lot of information out there.

    1. I’ve heard mutterings that the CDC wants vitamin D made a controlled substance, available only by prescription.

      Am I being unreasonably cynical, that such a move would not surprise me in the slightest?

  27. Why would I want to go back to the office?

    Never mind that I’d be exposing myself to diseases that I’ve avoided for the past 2 years.
    I’d lose that extra hour of sleep I’ve been getting.
    I’d be putting a lot more wear and tear on my truck commuting.
    I’d be more stressed from dealing with idiots on the road commuting.
    Going round and round the parking garage looking for a spot.
    Winter Driving.
    The joys of mandated masking and social distancing enforced.
    Less flexibility for doing personal appointments.
    Increased consumption of cafeteria food.
    People walking into my office and interrupting me throughout the day.
    Having to get fully dressed for business. (What do you mean Bunny Slippers aren’t approved business wear?)
    Stare at cubical walls versus looking across the lawn into the woods and watching all the wildlife.

    1. Never mind that I’d be exposing myself to diseases that I’ve avoided for the past 2 years.

      This, and the ‘leaky vaccine’– where the vaccine makes you not feel so bad when you’re sick, so you spread a nastier form of the virus because you’re able to muscle through better– is what I give the most credit for the major drop in flu cases.

      Kids don’t spread it at school, parents don’t spread it at the office, BOOM! there’s a massive drop in the “I don’t need to worry about it, I’m vaccinated” boogy-man.

  28. Being a stay at home mom is paradise, and once you get a taste of it, nobody wants to go back to the two-person working couple. Dad gets a happy mom, home cooked meals, kids who are engaged and educated. The weekends are no longer spent desperately cleaning, shopping, doing laundry, paying bills, and getting ready for the upcoming week. All that is handled during the week now, so weekends are relaxed and fun. The cost of living suddenly dives because you’re not eating out all the time, spending money on Mom commuting, extra car, her business wardrobe, etc.

    The communists hate this, because a stay-at-home mom is an engaged parent, and now that the government schools have been exposed as the indoctrination centers they are, moms are revolting. And the government is sending the FBI after these moms. What a disaster… for the communists. We’re going to win this.

  29. The problem with your argument is that it is working for the Chinese, even for Russians (to a good extent). China is a model with a history of thousands of years… ofc they had and will have uprisings but they amount to nothing.
    And today the majority of citizens in many countries (Australia, UK) are perfect sheep and go along.
    So if they managed to take control now (and this now might last 100 years) we all will go the way of China. Don’t forget that now they have an advantage they never had, we are monitored like in no other time, and the control they can exert is greater than ever.
    So I wouldn’t be so optimistic, but I hope you are right.

    1. Uprisings are a sign you have lost the Mandate of Heaven. Historians may record it calmly, but it’s not negligible to you, or to many of your subjects.

    2. China and Russia have never had a government that wasn’t authoritarian. That gives people a very different view of the acceptable or “proper” role of government. The same goes for the UK and Australia. A monarchy and the social class distinctions that are still in place in many ways still have an impact in those countries. Our history and our relationship with government is very different. Colonists and immigrants came here because we are NOT like any of those countries. We are not those countries and we will not be going down the same path.

  30. Long time lurker, occasional poster… Really appreciate the community here. It helps me know there are others in the world. Sigh. Anyway, hammer coming down at work (North Alabama, lots of .gov/contractor work) and it’s get stabbed or get bent. So guess I’ll be getting bent. Trouble is, here, for my field, (“cyber”) not much choice that isn’t on the gov dole. Might just turn into a house hubby for a few months and do all the fixes that need done. Then maybe look for things.

    As many have stated, it’s a season, a turning. I’m worried, but also excited to have a change and a new stage in life.

    Would really like someone to start up a nice USAian church around here…

    1. Oh, would you? Tag, you’re it.
      When we’re done unpacking there will actually be pieces of flag and certificates headed out.
      A friend is looking into legalities. Mostly so service members can be buried with a scrap of flag on their tombstone.

    2. One of the households down the street is a house husband, software, after being furloughed in the 2002 DOT com bust. He isn’t the only one locally who gave up on the computer industry.

  31. Replying to: morph1ne says:

    “Anyway, hammer coming down at work (North Alabama, lots of .gov/contractor work) and it’s get stabbed or get bent. So guess I’ll be getting bent. Trouble is, here, for my field, (“cyber”) not much choice that isn’t on the gov dole. Might just turn into a house hubby for a few months and do all the fixes that need done. Then maybe look for things.” October 8, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Um….if the agencies sack a large portion of their cyber people, perhaps the ex-employees should all go home and change hats. That would help the agencies understand just why they needed so many people around in the first place.

  32. the sheer number of NY license plates here over the last year pretty much shows people are leaving the large cities.

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