Aliens Among Us

I have in the last week come to the conclusion there are a vast number of aliens among us. And no, I don’t mean alien conspiracies, lizard aliens or space aliens, though the way this year is going, I might have to apologize to the people I laugh at for believing in those.

I mean that a vast number of young people, ostensibly and obviously human, born of human parents, have lived in conditions so different from the rest of humanity throughout history (and most places) and been taught so little of the real world that they’re effectively aliens.

Which is why stuff like the anti-work movement exists.

I’ve always assumed these were a few deranged people who smoked the bad pot, or something.

I mean, how can you be anti-work. To exist in the world requires work. Biologists call what an organism does to survive “How it earns its living.” And well, it’s obvious if you know anything about economies, or work, or you know, how food gets to the table, that “I don’t want to work, I just want to do my art” is not … viable. Not over a large amount of people.

If you’re not making a living, someone else is making it for you, and while at some point that’s viable — I made almost nothing for years, but I contributed in other ways, and my husband wanted me to do those things and the writing, and we collectively deemed it worth it. But he was working for my benefit, and it did limit our options — if it’s a private arrangement, it’s not a viable SOCIAL arrangement.

Yeah, sure, primitive societies might not have work as we view it, but Lord, do they have work. It might be short bursts, but it’s usually dangerous and often maiming. And it leaves you exposed in — to us — unimaginable ways.

Since the seventies, the left has been talking about the “inevitable” future where the robots did all the work. This is bullshit, which they would understand if they understood reality (which they don’t.)

Even in the world of magical robots, robots will need to get fixed/adapted to new situations/ improved. And if you just said “Robots can do that” you fail. Because that is when you hit “Facebook bot” level of understanding of what robots can and can’t do.

Can we greatly improve things, so people’s work is less … onerous? Sure. But to the point of no work? Um…. no. Partly also because….

Okay, so I have a friend who is an end-of-life nurse (Actually, weirdly, I have three of those. Uh.) I was told that when people have nothing left they want to do/need to do, they die. The age doesn’t matter. To an extent health matters only marginally. There are people alive who should long since have died, but they have things to do, so they stay.

Reviewing the history of my family, this would seem to be true.

And before you say “But I’m really driven to do my art” or whatever…. dude, dude, dude. Art you don’t get paid for/that no one wants/has no meaning in your daily life will not keep your interest. Trust me. I speak “I struggled for years to produce because I saw no result to what I did.”

So the land where we all “just do what we want” is called “civilizational collapse.”

But that’s okay, because robots don’t actually work that way.

However I didn’t realize how widespread the crazy was until…..

Okay, so a few weeks ago, friends were talking about the Little House In The Prairie” books, which I read as a kid but didn’t remember AT ALL.

I binged them through the final days of house closing, even though it meant giving money to Harper Collins. In the process I found copyright is held by a child of a literary agent, and realized there were no direct descendants (though there are collateral ones) of the family. So I did a research dive for my satisfaction.

Holy mother of crazy idiots, Batman.

So, I kept stumbling into sites that said Pa was a “Terrible provider” because sometimes they were near starving. And, oh, yeah, they were evil because they tried to steal lands from “Native Americans” and her treatment of race was wrong, and and and…..

But what stuck out to me is these people had no clue how hard life was, back then. Or in many places in the world now. That you could do “everything right” and still almost starve. Or that, you know, agriculturalists have been pushing out hunter gatherers since the dawn of agriculture, because hunting and gathering is a really inefficient use of land, and more people can make a living in agriculture, and that’s how things work out.

That’s when I realized, in horror, that these people are aliens among us. They not only don’t know: they don’t know what they don’t know.

And some of them have power and come up with fantasies like “the great reset” and think that will work on real people.

Aliens. They’re utter and complete aliens.

And they’re destroying humanity.

317 thoughts on “Aliens Among Us

  1. 1. This is one of the reasons I encourage camping. And not “glamping” camping, not in an RV, and probably not with a shower house nearby. (I’ll grant you bathrooms, because backwoods bathroom techniques need practice. It’s amazing how many subtle life lessons you can pack into a single weekend if you catch a kid young enough that they don’t automatically hate it because it’s not a video game time.

    2. I have some thoughts about slavery and the rise of machines, and how people think we’re so much better than slave-owners based on many things, some of them correct—but that taking the moral high ground when you have a clothes-washer and dryer to remove a full day of work, electric stoves and microwaves to cut cooking time below a half hour, and other various and sundry appliances to do all the work that used to be reserved for servants or slaves (not to mention all the farm equipment) is, shall we say, myopic.

      1. Yes, and no. They know the basics, such as the need for shelter, and possibly firewood. But they don’t know how hard the work is, or the amount of time involved. Making a simple shirt in one of those games consists of gathering a few leaves, clicking a button to turn the leaves into cloth, and then clicking another button to turn the cloth into a shirt. Gathering the leaves is the hard and time consuming part, when in reality, the time consuming part is everything that comes afterwards. I was actually shocked when a video game (The Amazing Cultivation Simulator) had a crop growth cycle that lasted an entire season (something that got me into trouble when the temperature dropped before my first crops were ready to harvest).

          1. Renactors… SCA, fur trade, viking, whatever.
            I have had the opportunity to attend classes or experiences doing:
            – From dirt (special dirt, but dirt) to Iron. That’s a full weekend just to smelt the iron.
            – sheep to sweater –

            Read about flax plant to linen (shudder).
            And preparing the poles for a tipi.

            So many many people hours of labor to produce things from raw materials with raw tools

          1. Oh, yes. Using Poison Ivy leaves to wipe one’s bum after doing the necessary is – contraindicated. Please don’t ask me how I know. Oh, OK. A ‘friend’ thought it would be a funny prank to substitute leaves in the privy . . .

      2. The “messy parts,” though? I remember my Grandmother saying once that, yes, they had the outhouse, and yes, they had Sears Roebuck – but the outhouse had to be moved and back filled every so often, and that catalog had to be rationed for her family of seven on a Kansas farm. (Fortunately for her, the four elder siblings were all brothers.)

        1. Kept the corn husk and used that. If no corn husks (some areas corn doesn’t grow easily), might have a rag that can be wet. If lucky, a basket of rags, so one or two rags weren’t reused by everyone! A society where the left hand is unclean because that was the one that was used to wipe. Didn’t matter if ability to wash was present. Using the left hand for handshaking, eating, or writing, is forbidden in the culture. (Left hand dominate? Sucks to be you.)

        2. I’ve read of pioneer days in Texas where folks whose outhouse had a pit beneath it were considered well-off. Most folks in that particular area had outhouses where the waste just dropped on the ground beneath the seat. When the pile got big enough, then the outhouse was moved and the pile buried. I’m not sure if this was due to laziness, lack of time for digging pits, or soil too rocky or thin to make pit digging possible.

          1. Well, there are plenty parts of Texas one needs to blast any sort of hole, and others where digging isn’t all that easy even when bedrock isn’t “right there”. Old Sales manager had a house in Aledo, TX and said every foot of soil on his property was trucked in. Then where I lived in Alvarado, bedrock was down quite far, but the soil was like digging concrete, except in wet weather when it was like digging coyote glue.
            One of the houses my BIL built, it was digging in a rock pile with that gumbo/glue clay as mortar.

            1. My family lives in Northern California. When we decided to expand our driveway, we rented a jackhammer to get the soil broken up. Because outside of a thin layer of soil (or what you put on it), it’s pretty much clay until you hit the water table (which is 10-12′ deep, if you’re lucky). There’s a reason why for our small garden in back we have a rototiller-breaking up the soil manually would be a pain.

          2. Much of the soil in Texas is similar to mine here in Southern Arizona. Might as well be digging through concrete.

            If I were to put an outhouse in my back yard, it would take at least two days – sunup to sundown – for a hefty male to dig a proper pit. Possibly three. On a farm or ranch, there is more than enough other work that needs to get done.

            1. I’ve tried digging holes in my own backyard, for various purposes, mostly for planting trees and deceased pets … and about eighteen to twenty-four inches down is pure caliche, basically natural concrete. And the soil on top of it is basically clay. Good for bricks, and not much else.
              If I had known then what I know now when I bought the place, I would have hired someone with a tractor to scrape away the top twenty inches of soil all the way around, and bought a truckload of good fertile topsoil to spread around, over the caliche layer.

          3. got to thinking and remembered this when April Wilkerson moved from DFW down to near Canyon Lake, TX:

            should start at the big saw(l) used to trench for power.

            1. Go read Larry Correia’s saga of the construction of his Evil Lair on Yard Moose Mountain. It starts out with:

              “I couldn’t just build a house on an empty lot. I had to spend two years building the empty lot first.”

      3. It’s my opinion that you don’t know jack about camping or the outdoors until you get out there and bruise yourself and get dirty. It’s a spiritual experience, I don’t think it comes through the tube.

        1. Ah, the joy of waking up and discovering that a), your air mattress is trying to float out of your tent and b) the sleeping bag is wicking up the cold water. Which is why you woke up.

            1. Oh, yes. One fine Pennsic morning a few decades ago. One reason we now have a big tent and a rope bed.

                  1. No, my first War was Pennsic 10, and this was a few years after that. Yes, I was there for 13 and the Pennsic Plague.
                    I’ve come to realize the Pennsic Plague and the Gainesville Grippe (college epidemic) are probably reasons I’ve been skeptical about this stuff.

            2. Waking up in a puddle of ice pretty much cured me of back-pack camping. The Scout troop I was a part of for a year, had a leader who adored that kind of experience. Hiked to a popular camping spot in the Angeles National Forest in early springtime, when the snow was about half-melted during the day – just enough to run through the bed-down sites … yeah, my mother wondered why I came home from every one of these expeditions sick as a dog with some kind of cold or flu. OTO, I had a whole new appreciation for the travails of Napoleon’s Army retreat from Moscow…
              And the chow cooked over a campfire in those circumstances was vile …

    1. With me, it is unlikely that the work would have been done with servants or slaves.

      If we first assume that I’m somehow not dead, it seems likely that I would not have had the funds for the work to be done very often.

  2. P.S. The key lyrics are in the chorus: “You’re just a middle-class socialist brat from a suburban family and you never really had to work.”

    1. My Polish girlfriend in Panama was Shocked. Shocked! that I would be working on the Day of International Labor Solidarity (May 1).

      1. We need a day of Worldwide Anticommunist Solidarity. I suggest March 4, if for no other reason than it sounds like “march forth.”

  3. I know a whole bunch of artists and journalists with degrees in Art, or jouirnalism, or Film critic, or what-have-you.
    I know two, (2) who actually are good enough, and hustle enough, to make it profitable. And even then, them’s some slim margins.

    1. TRUST ME. I make a living, but how regularly is….. interesting? Some years I have middle class income, some years we’d starve if Dan didn’t work. And you can’t PREDICT it.
      And I HUSTLE and work.

    2. I know of one. He was already an accomplished artist running his own business of marketing and selling his art when he came to college.
      In pursuit of a business degree. IIRC, with a side flex into accounting.

      He had a rather dim view of art majors.

      (Because it’s a small world, and I know a few of you are/were involved with the CAF, I’m probably not the only one here who knows Craig. Good guy. Phenomenal illustrator.)

      1. I knew of ONE person who made a living at her art. Sold original oil paintings and kept the copyright. Got European commissions for huge oil paintings (one hung in husband’s office at work until buyer arranged shipping). Sold framed prints of her copyrighted paintings for $900/per and this cost was the discounted cost we got because we worked with her husband!!!! Framing the prints did not take $900.

        Know others who dabble in art, including my sister, niece, grandfather, and others. While all have sold their art, none can be said to make a living at it. Another relative has kind of, sort of, made a living through her art, but, while she’s sold pieces, she makes the money teaching art, and music, not because the art sells.

        1. I’ve known a lot of folks that did art and nearly none of them have made a living of it. Some of them were excellent. One kid I knew in meddle school did bird drawings that approached Audubon levels. Only success was a peer of my younger daughter, really bright and extremely talented in art . She ended up going to Brown and RISD for a dual degree BA in CS/MFA in art in 5 years. Last I heard she was working at Disney Animation. Keep looking for her name in credits but so far not yet. Honestly she’d have done fine no matter what 🙂 .

    3. What’s ironic is that with a thriving capitalist economy, there is a lot more money going toward those people, but almost all of them are so far left that they do everything they can do to destroy it.

      1. And such artists as are allowed to art in their society would be rigidly controlled for propaganda purposes.

    4. The younger kid next door back in Jersey went to music school and is making a living at music. He’s Left, but he works his butt off rather than whining about having to work. If he’s not working on his own music, or performing with a band, he’s lining up recording and producing work for others. He’s gotten a world tour out of it, appeared in the background in the last year of Letterman with the band he was with at the time, and had a few songs show up TV shows, but it largely isn’t glamorous and he has to keep working at it.

  4. I’m not so sure about some of them. Like Swalwell, and Zuckerberg, and the White House Security Advisor Sullivan. They just look creepy, like they came from the very bottom of the Uncanny Valley.

    The mayor of Chicago is definitely a Deep One wearing a human suit made by something that never got a good look at a human.

    1. ESR has an essay about the reality of the lizardoids or lizard people.

      Basically, a way to grok sociopath by people who aren’t into the formal theory of psychology, but can still tell that something is really off.

      Zuckerberg gets mentioned a /lot/ in that respect.

      Dumpsterfire take on it would be to describe such labeling as ‘racism’ against ‘the neurodiverse’.

      I, of course, disagree strongly with such critique.

      Mentally ill has always been a difficult bad thing to be. First, you have some tendency to make a sort of terrible decision. Secondly, people who aren’t messed up have had extremely limited patience and tolerance for most of history and prehistory. They lived too close to the bone, so, ice flows, etc. Being able to tolerate a nut who makes suicide attempt level bad decisions, to keep them alive, etc., is a very very recently affordable thing. The medical techniques to rescue people from lots of types of suicide attempt are very recent inventions.

      This shit of “you will be made to accommodate my ‘differences’ ” is itself a bad decision. Bureaucracies are very blunt force tools. More people are harmed by brute forcing accommodation through bureaucracies from everyone, than are helped. Logical next choice of bureaucratic policy is ‘no accommodation for mental health differences’.

      Also applies to some of the new cultural nonsense out of the effin’ public schools. Really terrible cultural values for good mental health results

      Aliens as lizardoids, or aliens culturally.

      The aliens aren’t taking part in the American metaculture consensus peace agreement. Under that agreement, we are actually justified in violent force, until they are dead, or decide to stop messing around and settle down to peaceful living.

      1. Adam Schiff ought to have his picture next to uncanny valley in the illustrated dictionary. I work with a lot of guys like Zuck, he’s just weird. Schiff now, he’s a lizard.

      2. On the other hand, there is something to be said about keeping around the people whose presence prevents Heinlein’s “bad luck.”

        Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

        This is known as ‘bad luck.’

        The problem is one of correctly distinguishing the critically-important despised ones from the ordinary annoying dud crackpots.

    2. Zuckerberg is far on the autist spectrum.

      It’s been rather interesting seeing all the people who chatter endlessly about acceptance of neurodiversity (as usual) deciding not that way, mock him the moment he became the acceptable target.

      1. Yeah.

        I object to mocking him for being…well, like he was socialized by Lt. Data, but not for objecting when he does something actually wrong!

        There are a LOT of the “accept neurodiversity” folks who set off my internal alarms as trying to shame folks out of noticing danger signs. Same shtick as the “oh, it’s just a little rule, you’re not lame are you?” tactics that are the most efficient identifier of child abusers.

      2. As soon as the money flow slowed down. No one said a word about Weinstein or any of the pedos while the money was flowing. As soon as it slows down, bang.

    3. G*d, so did I. Da Mare of Chicago looks like not much human…
      Zuckerberg has the most likeness to Data from Star Trek. Any bets Da Mare of Chicago looses form and sleeps in a bucket at night, like another Star Trek character?

      As for ‘work’, a very wise person observed that being “retired” just means that you do the work you want to do, not the work that you have to do.
      Currently, I have ‘work’ coming out of my ears – everyone has a book project they want help on, all of a sudden, and I have no less than four projects since the start of the year, and a couple of more about to drop.
      The first year of the Covidiocy, I think that I had only a single one, all year long.

      1. Zuckerberg looks a lot like H.P. Lovecraft, actually. There were Jewish folks who lived in Rhode Island, and it’s possible that the Lovecrafts had some intermarriage they didn’t admit to….

        1. Lovecraft being an anti-semite is iffy.

          It appears the two groups of people he wasn’t phobic level afraid of were Jews and gays.

          1. Well, considering that Lovecraft married a nice Jewish girl, I would say he definitely wasn’t an anti-Semite by that point in his life.

            But yeah, I don’t actually remember much in the way of nastiness against Jews in his work, not that I have a great memory for that sort of thing.

            And honestly, he seemed more to be panicked by anybody or anything strange to him. He just wrote his panic out in a really articulate way.

            1. That last bit is the key.

              Lovecraft wasn’t istophobic…he was legitimately mentally ill. He was panicked, as in curl up in a ball and rock panicked by almost any kind of people outside his experience.

              Late in life he came to understand this and was actually getting help with his mental illness. Had he not died in his early 40s a very different man might be remembered.

              But where is the fun in acknowledging that when you can write a Cthulhu rpg, make a ton of cash off his popularity, and get accolades for how morally upstanding you are by denouncing in that game (and making that denouncement your led in advertising).

          2. People who belonged to groups that he ranted about in letters, and who had met him, refused to believe he had written those rants. Apparently he didn’t connect the views to real live people.

            1. That is why Matt Huff’s book, and the adaptation, was so cruel. The rules of common politeness would have constrained him from being mean to a fan, if nothing else; and he had the usual fannish sense that common interests or being a fan of oneself meant friendship.

      2. Whoever did the Second City Cop blog always referred to her as Groot. Never saw the movie, but the promotional cups at Dairy Queen were a tolerable likeness of her. 🙂

      3. Ha! So I’m not the only one to make that connection. Zuckerberg strikes me that way, too. He has a very convincing human-like face, but somehow always looks too…smooth. You know the look.

      4. “Currently, I have ‘work’ coming out of my ears – everyone has a book project they want help on, all of a sudden,”

        *counts back*

        Yeah, so a lot of people actually took the shutdown as a sign they should get around to writing that book, didn’t they?

    4. The mayor of Chicago is definitely a Deep One wearing a human suit made by something that never got a good look at a human.

      Or an attempt at making a female version of a cheap Chinese knock-off of Beetlejuice, by someone who had only heard the name and not actually seen the movie (or heck, even the cartoon, which ignored much of the movie anyway).

  5. Sometimes they do know, but they don’t realize that they know. So you have to ask them questions and be all Socratic and everything. If there’s one area where they understand a process, sometimes you can work from there.

    For example, that Ilhan woman came out in support of the Ottawa gelato shop lady.

    A lot of Middle Eastern and African Muslim women seem to have a really intense relationship with sweets and ice cream. I mean, I’ve told the story of the women who were offering me ten bucks, to buy a couple of sundaes that only cost about three bucks, because we had been closed for ten minutes and they really really really needed a berry sundae. We’re talking full force feeling me out if I just wanted to be paid more than ten bucks. (We were closed. We didn’t even have any berry sauce left. The answer was, “Sorry, no.”)

    So maybe there is one area of life where Ilhan has sound ideas of respect and goodwill (and possibly she’d eaten that Ottawa gelato on a congressional junket).

    With politicians, I’m afraid that a lot of them figure, “Aeh, everybody else can work like dogs to make this work, and I can just stand around virtue signaling and eating bonbons.” Unless it’s their one area.

  6. In other news, they busted the global Facebook head guy… meeting a kid in a hotel for nefarious purposes.

    Apparently there are some rather unique job requirements for certain elite jobs….

    1. Okay, I read that wrong. Jeren Miles, head of Global Community Development for Facebook/Meta.

      Scarily, he not only looks like you’d expect, but he looks kinda like that guy on the FBI “help us find the person in this footage” page. (I’m not saying he _is_ that guy.)

    2. I swear, the past couple of years make Pizzagate seem reasonable and are pushing the media ahead of SF fandom in hiding pedos.

  7. Last year, I got a lot of stares from some proto-feminists who asked, in 100% seriousness, why Japanese and South Asian women didn’t complain about being denied their rights (pre-1900 here). When I pointed out that they didn’t know any better, because they never saw what “women’s rights” might be, the students’ jaws hit the floor. In their world, “everyone always” knew about rights, and about being denied them. It was an excellent question, and I’m very glad the students asked it and the follow-up questions.

    1. In “Dragonseye,” which I suspect is the last Pern novel McCaffrey had much hand in, one of the problems the good guys have to solve is how to make sure everyone knows what their “Charter-given rights,” are in a culture that’s becoming increasingly illiterate. (Their solution is to write catchy songs which spell out the rights in an easy to remember form). But at least it occurred to her that deliberately backsliding from a high-tech culture would have bad consequences.

      1. The birth of what we’d see in the Harper Halls in that book was pretty good. I enjoyed all the discussions about preserving knowledge. This is very interesting given the colony was supposed to be low-tech agrarian paradise and the price the fools who decided that leveed on their descendants.

        I doubt today any mainstream publisher would let her do that.

        1. I wanted to reach into the book and shake the “head teacher,” who decided to “modernize,” the curriculum by removing almost all Terran history. Oh, and establish the guild system.
          And yeah, I don’t know how the, “girls have land rights, so their fathers are (sometimes forcibly) marrying them off to form political alliances and increase the amount of land they control,” motif would work now. McCaffrey implied the lack of female candidates being withheld from the Weyrs was one reason for the active recruitment of male homosexuals.

          1. The guild system seemed a natural byproduct of the mindset that set out to create Pern. I’m not saying it was good, but I did think it made sense given the mindsets on display in Dragonsdawn and its collision with the realities of life.

            I’m not sure about her politics or ideology, but the reality is Pern is a thumb in the eye of the “back to nature” types which end up in them finding as much of the forgotten tech as possible.

            1. Not entirely. They expected to have the computer, silicates, and plastic. The planet was lacking in resources for intensive manufacturing. Not lacking in resources. The original colonists weren’t expecting illiteracy. Between Thread and the Volcano raining on their heads, they left a lot of items behind that they expected to be able to use. But definitely agree. They were forced in to “more” back to nature than they had planned. As it turned out definitely a thumb to the eye of the “back to nature” types

        1. It does. Now figure out how to file and shelve 500 pages of a material that weighs far more and takes up far more space, and will break when dropped. How much will textbooks for 25 students weigh? How long to inscribe and fire them?

          And, of course, we send boxes of books all over the world because we have mechanized transport. The dragons could possibly substitute, but for whatever reason didn’t.

            1. Basically, they became illiterate because That Is What She’d Written in the backstory.

              Realistically, you’d have fewer resources and people wouldn’t be reading and writing for fun– but the ability to leave a sign to tell folks what to do is simply way, way too useful to not keep going.

              Especially when the enforcement mechanism is going to have folks inside, for extended periods.

            2. I didn’t say it wouldn’t exist. I said it wouldn’t exist in a form that will easily support mass literacy. What percentage of those Hittites could read and write, again?

                1. Interesting thing- you know how Terry Pratchett had that character that did letters home for guys (dwarves) who went to work in the city?

                  It was a Real Thing. Scribes could write a lot smaller, which takes up less space, and still be read. Some relatives in the world wars did it for the guys who could read and write, but not write *tiny*.

                  Obviously, the folks getting the letters could read, too– but pretty much any time you don’t have the ability to inexpensively and easily send stuff, you’re going to want professionals who can do a better job with the given resources.

                2. Barbara Reynolds noted there’s a fair amount of correspondence from Assyria- women running weaving businesses in their homes writing to their merchant husbands to request supplies. (And the occasional slave).

                  1. There is a fair amount of Sumerian correspondence from everybody, often written personally and not by scribes. People were writing family letters every month or so. And of course writing home to Dad with Intel was a.big part of the job of a Sumerian princess, which was why greater Sumerian kings married their daughters only to lesser Sumerian kings. The daughters were supervisors and spies, basically.

                    This is also why the few Sumerian princesses sent to Egypt were unhappy, because Egyptian kings did not realize that the princess was supposed to be Pharaoh’s boss (and head queen), and instead she was treated like a foreign concubine with money. So they stopped sending Sumerian princesses, and just sent letters.

                    King Solomon, OTOH, is a perfect example of a guy who thought he was the greater king, but actually ended up being bossed like a lesser king.

                    King Ahab is an even better example, because Jezebel did not have any competition with the bossing. She also had the traditional princess job of becoming head priestess for a god with a cut of the funds, and thus had to get income by promoting Baal and getting people to worship him.

                  1. What part of “we have OVER A DOZEN surviving examples of people writing complaint letters to a guy in the chosen culture” makes you think that reading was, in any form, uncommon at the time?

                    The usual problem is that we have no evidence one way or the other; in this case, we have an example of someone using Thread-proof materials having a large number of letters of complaint, AND they managed to survive a ludicrous amount of time.

                    Combine this with the similar trend in studies of things like “the Dark Ages,” so named because we didn’t have any evidence of stuff so it was concluded that it didn’t exist– then, oops! Technology gets better, we can both find and spread around evidence better, and it turns out that the assumptions that absence of evidence was evidence of absence were wrong.

              1. Pern was not completely illiterate. There is plenty of reading done by major characters. What was lost was a lot of texts. The skins used for writing were often not maintained and faded.

                    1. Yeah. You lose myriad small Holds of 20-40 people, and focus on rebuilding the places that are left, and that’s a lot of info to be lost.

                      Of course, it’s also hilarious that she had a society that stayed largely the same for 2500+ years. That’s… not supported by human history.

              1. Based on what?

                We can’t even get accurate literacy statistics for modern US populations, heck even for graduates from a single school– how on earth do we think we have a reasonable notion of what percent of people could read back then?

                1. It’s not possible to say what the percentage was, but it’s pretty clear that while “most” is probably wrong, so is “only a tiny guild of scribes” also wrong. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have those thousands of letters to and from the Assyrian quarter in Hattusas, or graffiti on the pyramids, or a dozen other clues and indicators.

                    1. There was an interesting theory that I saw that part of what lead into the (alleged) broader illiteracy of of late Rome/early dark ages was loss of access to papyrus as the sources became more and more chaotic and less controlled. Scribe written books on papyrus were expensive, but not out of the reach of the middle classes. Once you have to go to parchment and vellum the prep time for the material starts to rival/dominate the scribes effort. You can see this as there are a lot of latter middle age documents (often books of Hours or other devotionals) written over older documents (palimpsests) because the target material was considered more valuable than the contents. Some clever techniques have actually let modern folks read those underlying texts. In that theory things start to move again when Paper comes through Persia via Asia, and then really takes off with printing presses a few hundred years later. Block printing was known in Asia, but the Persian/Arabic calligraphy was fundamentally part of the process and was not really suited to block printing like the Roman characters.

                  1. :nods:

                    The evidence we *have* is that it was reasonably common to write, which given the technology means it was likely even more common to read; saying if it was “most” or not would depend on the definition one is using for literate. For example, to use the middle ages definition, was someone illiterate if he could read and write in the local language but not in Latin? For the old tablets– did he have to be able to read all three forms of writing we’ve found, fluently?
                    Did he have to read *and* write it?
                    Use the American history form, where somehow it being normal to have the Bible, Twain and often Shakespeare, along with a custom of sending letters to family and friends, *still* didn’t mean you were ‘literate’?
                    (No idea what standard they were using there, honestly.)

                    1. When I took the course in “Intro to the Ancient Near East” back in college one of the things that was noted was that the syllabic writing system of cuneiform and later with Phoenician derived alphabets literacy became much more widespread as compared to the pictographs of Egyptian.Heiroglyphics. The existence of a scribe class, people whose job it was to read and write, does not mean that others couldn’t, just that it was troublesome enough that it was often convenient to pay someone else to do it.

                2. Akshully, I know that I was once in a class size of one.

                  Obviously, I am illiterate and never read anything.

            3. True, but she set up a self-consciously “advanced,” culture that had a bunch of blind spots. Clay simply didn’t occur to them. To them “paper,” whether page or printout, was the only legitimate medium.

              1. And my reas was less worry about literacy (though there was some of that due to at least one holder deliberately denying his people access to education) and more about the information not surviving to be read.

                They also had to reinvent anything that they went back to, and with how the computer systems were failing, they couldn’t reliably get at a lot of the techniques they needed.

        2. I suspect that Anne M. got an idea from stats on “illiteracy” that were…well, they were offered as if someone couldn’t read at all, when they were closer to not reading for enjoyment.

          Like how you’ll be informed that X% of a city is illiterate, but they can read menus, read the instructions on a box, read… well, all kinds of stuff, but they’re definitely not at in-depth reading proficiency.

          1. I would point out most, if not all, of the major characters, were literate. The issue for F’lar, Lessa, and company in the first trilogy was missing texts, not the lack of skill in reading them.

            1. A good example of that is the grubs. When F’lar first takes the thread-eating grub to the relevant Guildmaster he slaps it down saying the skins tell him to watch for the grubs. The reason had been lost of why to watch for them so they just assumed they were bad.

              An illiterate man wouldn’t reference reading the skins.

            2. If I remember right, the illiterate characters were mostly the Not Elite/background folks, with a heavy dose of acceptable moral condemnation because they weren’t appreciative of the inherent goodness of reading.

              As an emotional sell to her audience, extremely easy. 😀

              The problem came in at the end, with trying to explain/justify that world building.

    2. Our schoolhouse, like every other US military schoolhouse that trains foreign military students, has to teach human rights, and one of the lessons is about defining what human rights are, and discussing how different cultures come at that question differently.

      Iran, for example, thinks that its people have the right to not be assaulted by unIslamic advertising, photos, etc that would tend to create a barrier between believing Muslims and God. They legitimately view Western insistence on free speech as an assault on their human rights. Which is really difficult for Westerners to properly grok.

      Women’s rights in places like Pakistan and India run into issues about the rights of families and clans or castes. The idea of universal human rights gets a lot of pushback in these kinds of areas because there are competing rights and duties that, again, most Westerners don’t really grok very well at all.

      And the woke insistence that, for instance, failing to use someone’s pronouns correctly is a violation of their human rights just makes it worse

  8. People are amazingly unaware that for the entirety of human existence, the norm for the vast and overwhelming majority has been profound poverty. But that’s okay because being nonproductive will magically fix it. Idiots.

    1. And they don’t even known what poverty is. They really think having a TV, a car however beat up, indoor plumbing, a meal every day and often with meat, and such things is nothing.

  9. Right before I got kicked out of the Heinlein Fan Facebook group, I had a refreshing time beating the stuffing out of a “anti-work” idjit who claimed Heinlein believed in this concept. Seriously.

    Heinlein goes into great detail in “The Cat Who Walked Through Walls” regarding this concept, when Colin Campbell and Gwen Novak end up with a “anti-work” traveling companion, Bill. Every argument about “anti-work” is brought up by the dullard Bill, and countered by Colin and Gwen. It was so much fun to read. And I beat the “anti-work” Heinlein fan over the noggin with this until he ran away crying. It was a pleasant exercise.

  10. You’re just realizing this?

    I knew something was deeply, deeply wrong with the current generations when I started hearing normal sexual attraction described not as ‘normal’ but as ‘cis genderism’ and how all PV sex was rape because it didn’t fall under today’s guidelines of ongoing consent.

    Opposed to work? They’re opposed to LITERAL REPRODUCTION.

      1. Yeah but it didn’t break into the ‘mainstream’ – to the point where I could actually hear it and hear it taken seriously – until not too long ago.

        1. Being taught at colleges is pretty mainstream. Difference is, video and spreading said video is easy.

          Kind of like most of the rest of the moron stuff you can pick up off the Tubes can be found in writing, much earlier, generally from stuff like talks given to clubs.

          Sometimes you have to do some serious digging to find what they actually said, since there’s a couple of generations of paraphrasing/cleaning up going on.

          But that’s easier to do, now, too.

          (Look at folks’ response to Alfred Kinsey’s research when they get it in the original, with all the context, like “included being the victim of prison rape as evidence of homosexuality”, although I warn you that it got worse, especially with the child abuse.)

          1. I only recently found out that the probable reason for Freud coming up with the Oedipus and Electra complexes was that these kids he was treating told him they were being sexually abused, he asked the parents, who said “they’re totally making this up,” and because he believed the parents, he had to come up with reasons why kids would have sexual “fantasies” about their parents.

            That… was a rather nasty thing to find out. (I won’t use the word “surprising” because I know better.)

    1. Hmph. If you’re doing it right, you don’t have brain cells to spare for “ongoing” verbal ANYTHING.

      1. Snerk. Not quite true. Enthusiastic repetition of some monosyllables is definitely possible when you’re doing it right.

    2. You might want to look at who’s actually pushing that nonsense– or did you sleep through the “all sex is rape” nonsense that got public in the sixties, as part of the power disparity*, and hasn’t exactly been quiet since then?

      It ain’t “the current generation” that that’s whole hog in it. The folks she’s pointing at are a couple of generations nestled into it, far enough for the hypocrisy that can make it mostly function to fall apart.

      * it, of course, didn’t apply to any of THEIR very obvious abusive situations to force someone, usually female, into sex, complete with the “only place for a woman in [organization] is on her back or on her knees” type stuff, which seems to have had a very long Marxist group history. Funny, that.

    3. I’m opposed to LIBERAL reproduction. Keep the Leftists from breeding! There’s too many of the things already.

        1. At least some of the Left do breed, though usually in lesser numbers than more normal people. Most of my relatives who were Left had kids, but no more than two and mostly only one. The tendency of the Left to corrupt others’ kids is more troubling, yes.

  11. Damn it, Sarah. I was thinking of writing a guest post called “Aliens and Robots” but you’ve gone and stolen the thoughts right out of my head.

    1. WEll, this is parts of an elephant.

      Our leftist opposition are magical thinkers, and are basically compelled to tactics selected from ‘predicted to work from theory’.

      We can crowd source trying to figure out WTH is going on, or what to do about it, because our actions don’t need to confirm to theory, and we largely do not have a religious need for society level predictive theory.

      Folks working on the same area of cliff side are going to find similar bits of elephant.

  12. My first thought “aliens among us?” I live in South Texas, there are many aliens among us, then I realized you were writing about those who don’t have a clue. I can’t say any more than you just did.

  13. Or that, you know, agriculturalists have been pushing out hunter gatherers since the dawn of agriculture, because hunting and gathering is a really inefficient use of land, and more people can make a living in agriculture, and that’s how things work out.

    “This stuff Just Happens” vs “if I work hard, I can cause this stuff to happen much more reliably, and we don’t starve so much.”

    With predictable results when the guys who have no mental slot for how a thing can come to be comes across a field being harvested by those who planted it… hint, their idea of “fair” didn’t include “sharing”….

    And that’s with relatively obvious situations– one of the kid websites has a retelling of the Billy Goats Gruff, where the Troll showed up and planted flowers on the side of the river the goats had left, then objected when they rotated back across. (So my kids now have THREE perspectives for telling the Billy Goats Gruff story, all compatible with the limited information. THIS is how you teach kids to read and think critically! I can’t remember if it was Education dot com or Starfall, sadly, but I do think it’s on purpose– they did two full tellings of Jack and the Beanstalk.)

    1. Well, they’re free to wear masks if they want. If they want to force others to wear masks for everyone else’s safety, those students can compel the mask nazis to wear handcuffs and shackles for everyone else’s safety, too.

    2. Thing is, a lot of ‘student protests’ are basically proxies used by the administrators to justify doing what the administrators want done.

      The administrators can recruit fruitcakes, guide them to student organizations, and then back channel ‘suggestions’ to the organizations.

      1. ^^Bingo^^

        “If you go to the protest that I selected, in support, I’ll give you a good grade on this day. Nobody is FORCED to stay…but here’s the extra work you have to do, instead.”

        1. (Had a high school teacher that put an end to that, by breaking ranks in the “go or get extra work” wall– you missed his class, you had a pop quiz, bare minimum. Folks who showed up for class got a review before the quiz.)

          1. I remember the quiz *every* day teacher. It was billed as an A-F class like all the rest, but in practical terms, it was pass/fail. Lecture, review, quiz every. Single. Day.

            I liked that class. Many others did not. But those that passed found the next class in that subject much easier, as their grounding in the material was rock solid.

            1. I had a college physics professor who used that as his means of taking roll. You got half credit just for turning in a piece of paper with your name on it.

          2. A decade or so ago, I had to take undergrad calculus to qualify for the Masters program. Teacher was 20 minutes late one night (Yes, it was a night class. Those were the only kind I could take). Teacher proceeded to give those of us who hadn’t skipped at 15 minutes extra credit….and the loudest, “I’m only here because my parents are paying for it,” type, complained.

        2. Mid-60s at a U of CA. There was an anti-Vietnam War protest on campus. Physics (!!!!) prof took roll (large undergrad into engineering physics course) and then said he was going to turn his back and wouldn’t notice if anyone left for the protest.
          He was shocked to discover that no one took him up on it (engineering and physics majors not much into protesting)

          1. Mid 80s at Georgia Tech… the No Business as Usual protesters came to protest Tech’s research into SDI.
            (Wow, look at all the cars with Emory parking stickers in the visitor lot…)
            Of course they protested in mid campus, not over by the research buildings.
            And they were most perplexed when Tech students pushed them out of the way to get to class.

      2. I suspect that is what the Wokies in corporations are doing with the Twitter mobs. They figure they get the Twitter mob going and use the excuse of the Twits to convince the rest of management to do what they want.

        1. Especially when the Twitter mob becomes a real mob that shows up outside their business to throw bricks through the windows, or just occupy the lobby so no customers can get in.

          That’s how Barack Obama helped get the CRA through in Chicago: community organize a mob to show up and block the bank customers from getting in.

  14. Regarding the, “I don’t want to work, I want to do my art,” hasn’t it occurred to them that “doing art,” IS work? You’re expending energy for a desired result.

      1. You wouldn’t get it if you paid for it. My experience with the “I want to do my art” crowd is that they will wait on their Muse to show up and do the work for them. Because, y’know, if the Muse isn’t there then obviously it’s not TRUE art.

    1. Well, in a lot of cases, they’re not really even working on their art. When ILOH did his post with a letter classification of the tier of writer that you are, finishing your first novel was not near the bottom. It was pretty close to the middle. That’s because a lot of “artists” will claim that they’re working on art. But somehow, they don’t ever seem to finish it. Instead, they find excuses to not put in the necessary work.

      1. Because they’re comfortable that way. Both emotionally, in that they don’t have to put their art out there for people to criticize (or praise), and financially in that they don’t have to sell their art to get by.

        The thing is, man was made to strive. You don’t have to be starving to be an artist, but you should be hungry. Because when the art gets tedious (and it always will, at some point), you need to have a reason to keep going.

      2. You have to get from Z to N before you reach “Authors who’ve published a book or maybe some short stories.”

      3. Like the British ‘author’ given a big government grant about…hmmm, I think it’s been close to 15 years ago now. Still hasn’t published a word.

        Meanwhile, the International Lord Of Hate has 3 or 4 novels being published this year. I think that makes him a D on his list.

      4. It’s much easier to just putter around, to write endless notes on a project than actually push through the process of writing the prose, especially the difficult parts, to fiddle around paint and canvas, but never produce a finished product. Only do the easy parts, and avoid the hard parts. Understandable when one is ill and the “easy” parts are all that are manageable, but if health is an issue, finished products are essential.

        (And then there’s the “oh shiny” problem, which I’m struggling with right now. A whole pile of projects in various states of completion, and then a cool new idea shows up and it’s all I can do not to drop all those other projects and run off to start writing it. I’ve been struggling with that all my life — most of my juvenilia is beginnings that got abandoned when I got another idea that was more exciting — and it’s a big reason why I have multiple file cabinets full of stuff in various states of incompletion).

        1. But how can you write one thing when something else is jumping up and down in your head yelling, “Write me! Write ME!”

          Getting those hyperactive goblins nailed down on paper (or computer screen) can get them to settle down and shut up so you can work on what you ‘should’ be writing. If you tie them down and lock them in a closet instead, they can suffocate in there. Even if they survive, they’re not likely to be very cooperative when you let them out. You could miss out on something amazing.

          I generally write stuff down when I think of it. That way, it won’t get lost.

        2. I have, literally, thousands of note cards all catalogued and outlines written. Connected English prose, I have none. A lifetime of frittering.

      5. Which cracks me up, because *I* am in the middle of that list, having published a book and a couple of short stories, and I Am Not A Writer. (In short, I consider A Writer as one who must write or go bonkers—or do both—and I’m just someone who occasionally gets challenged, or a reader who overflows. What I really am is An Artist, and I make no claims about the quality of the art thereof. Because sometimes, a kid-level project is enough to get the jitters out.)

  15. The relentless, impotent desire to make impossible fantasy into reality by whining and screaming instead of by working is the reason violence is inevitable. “Politically acceptable” thoughts cannot withstand scrutiny so alternate opinions are THIS close to being jailable offenses. (As of yesterday, they are in Canada, of all places.) But we’re not walking a tightrope any more. We’ve started the tumble to the ground.

    I’m not eager to see the destruction start, but I respectfully disagree that it’s a mistake to start things first. It really doesn’t matter. The deranged “elite” are playing with people’s lives like it’s a game with no real consequences. Well, there are consequences. That’s a hard truth they can’t avoid.

        1. We can’t be arsed to stop them from starting the fires, why should I believe we’ll throw the arsonists in the fire. A lot of people will say as the arsonists hoist them into the air to toss them into the fire that now isn’t the time to fight back because it’ll make us look bad.

          1. After Waco, there was a groundswell of support for gun rights and limitations on government power. Until Oklahoma City.
            Do not do your enemies a minor injury.

            1. Yep, we have to be pure or else they win.

              Why bother to oppose them then. The last pure human was executed just shy of 2000 years ago.

  16. We’ve had major infrastructure issues at the casa this week (I posted about them over on the Diner) and yesterday we had a guy from a septic tank company come out to check our septic setup, the day after two guys came out and ripped out and totally re-did every piece of drain plumbing in the house. I actually asked the wife, idly, “I wonder what kind of training you need to go through to drive a poop wagon?” Not really mocking, genuinely curious.

    Guy gets here in his poop wagon, towing a little teeny backhoe on a trailer. Over the next three hours, this 30ish gentleman articulately explains to us what he’s going to do, uses an iPad to figure some stuff out and let us sign some releases and an invoice, expertly finds our septic tank (we didn’t even know where it was and we’ve been here 8 years), takes his teeny backhoe up into the backyard, expertly digs the soil from over it and opens it up, uses another specialist tool to smash a solid crust on top, explains to us about enzymes and why we need to put some down our toilet, vacuums the tank out, jets the input line clear, closes up the tank, puts the dirt back over it, packs his teeny backhoe back into the trailer, and leaves.

    That dude needs a way better title than “poop wagon driver.” “Septic doctor,” maybe. Or “crap celebrity.” Or toilet paper disposal technician.” Whatever you call him, guy was a pro. And if it wasn’t for him and millions of garbagemen and poop wagon drivers and electrical linemen and highway workers and roofers and manual laborers and all the other “dirty jobs” guys like him, we’d all be in the dark, stranded, and up to our armpits in shit.

    1. …on a completely unrelated note, I WANT THE TEENY BACKHOE. Because it is teeny.

      And OK, it would be great for the garden. But mostly it is a teeny backhoe.

        1. I know a guy who is building a miniature bulldozer. Fully functional, and about the size of an ATV.


    2. The father of one of my good friends in grade school owned a septic tank pumping service – and he made about twice as much as my dad, the research biologist.
      I’m certain that the services of Susan’s dad were worth every penny to his customers.

    3. The septic system expert out here is named Digger Jim. I so wish his name was John because digger John would be the best name ever for his business! He also has a whole crew of guys who will install water hydrants, lay pipe, grade land, install fencing, etc. He does very well, financially, and he and his wife take great vacations.

    4. I just re-read, “Armageddon 2419,” and “The Airlords of Han,” otherwise known as, “the original Buck Rogers,” story.(Nothing like the TV, and BTW, Anthony Roger’s is never called, “Buck,” in the book).
      But Nowland’s portrait of the Hans is a fun house mirror version of today. The most powerful people in Han society are the maintenance crews who actually know how to do physical labor.

  17. They’re completely divorced from reality…and yet they win.

    And they keep winning.

    Even when they don’t win everything, or when they seem to have setbacks, they still make ‘progress,’ in the same sense decay makes progress…and that’s the key.

    Stuff like this used to confuse me, then something clicked into place: they’re not successful because they’re so brilliant or they’re such exemplary strategists – their vision and capabilities are obvious – they win because they’re on the side of entropy.

    When you’re on the side of entropy, all reality bends to you. You serve destruction, dissolution and the heat-death of the universe.

    Or maybe that’s the wrong word. Call it something else if you want. “Sin,” or “total depravity,” “things fall apart and the center cannot hold.” Either way, we say reality is on our side, but in my darker and more black pilled moments (which are becoming more and more frequent) I fear that on a deeper reality, reality is on their side, barring something like divine action.

    1. Even when they don’t win everything, or when they seem to have setbacks, they still make ‘progress,’ in the same sense decay makes progress…and that’s the key.

      If you are going to tally that up in the accounting — and it is perfectly reasonable to do so — you have better be doing it on both sides.

    2. Reality doesn’t pick sides. Neither of us has reality on our side. They have chosen to deny progress because everything comes with a cost, and they wish it weren’t so. But we understand and are all right with costs. Costs are factored into everything we do. We aren’t like them, cowering and complaining about the universe not being good enough for them. We plan, build, and improve.

      The other side has been indulged for a very long time but they must now grow up. They cannot be coddled any longer.

      1. So, the sides are really:

        Costs are something we put up with, cuz everything has costs
        Costs are something we dump on someone else.

    3. On another odd side-note, I was talking with a religious friend about if whether this desire to reshape reality with words and beliefs might somehow be a corruption of God’s command that Adam name all the animals.

      1. Or is it the desire to be a god, to will things into being? Very destructive for a human who cannot know everything, even about one topic.

      2. I thought it was a fulfillment of that command. In fact, I’ve always read that command as highlighting what makes man unique in all creation. Consider, the Host knows the difference between right and wrong, is eternal, and has free will (all are required for War in Heaven to occur) yet the Host is not human. Adam could lose eternal life (although his soul is eternal) yet still possesses something the Host does not. He is, physically, an animal, yet is more than the animals given his free will and eternal soul.

        God gave man the power of creation. In naming the animals, Adam laid his mark upon them and their natures, defining them.

        All that man creates, or near all, starts with words. That is the nature of man. The desire to reshape reality with words and beliefs is our birthright. The corruption is not in the creation, but in trying to create out of line with the greater creation that surrounds us. Look at Tolkien’s examples. Morgoth could create, but lacking the Flame he could only create within the framework of the World that Iluvatar imagined. While the orcs were twisted elves and the trolls were imitations of ents, the dragons seem a unique creation of Morgoth that could not sustain themselves in the world because they were created without the flame.

        Morgoth realized this and as was said, “He often traveled into the Void to search for the Flame, which he couldn’t get because it was always with Iluvatar.”

        So, no, the desire to reshape reality with words and beliefs is a fulfillment of God’s command as long as it is done, as God’s command was, within the limits of that which was already created. The corruption is thinking the baseline can be rejected and replaced.

        At least Morgoth, in his search for the Flame, understood that and only failed in not realizing the Flame didn’t exist independent of God.

        Modern leftists think the Flame exists within themselves.

        1. “Though now long estranged,
          man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed.
          Dis-graced he may be, yet is not dethroned,
          and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned,
          his world-dominion by creative act:
          not his to worship the great Artefact.
          man, sub-creator, the refracted light
          through whom is splintered from a single White
          to many hues, and endlessly combined
          in living shapes that move from mind to mind.

          Though all the crannies of the world we filled
          with elves and goblins, though we dared to build
          gods and their houses out of dark and light,
          and sow the seed of dragons, ’twas our right
          (used or misused). The right has not decayed.
          We make still by the law in which we’re made.”

          JRR Tolkien, Mythopoeia

          Click to access JRR%20Tolkien%20-%20Mythopoeia.pdf

    4. Just said this about black pilled over at Insty and think it is highly relevant to readers here (maybe the Discord too, but I think too many there are too far gone to hear):

      “I hear people complaining about black pilled individuals who think the left wins no matter what. Has anyone considered telling people for decades it wasn’t the right time to fight even when, in the past two years, they’ve locked people in their homes, aided and abetted riots, and done their best to turn every instrument of government into a partisan political weapon that still telling people “now is not the time to fight” eventually gets heard as “don’t fight, we can’t win”?”

      If we can’t fight back because that will give them justification or cover or whatever no matter what we do isn’t that essentially saying “the Left can do as it wishes and any pushback we give makes us the baddies” and if that is so isn’t that essentially saying “the Left always wins”.

      As for “but they aren’t aligned with reality and thus can’t win”, sure…but if they slaughter us on the way to their failing utopia we lose as much as them. Every day we cede ground is one day they are closer to cattle cars.

      Yet, fighting makes us look bad, umn ‘kay.

      With allies that like no wonder so many people wind up black pilled, especially with the (to be honest, hugely deserved) collapse of the Church Militant in our country (no, I do not think God failed…the Church Triumphant prevailed the moment the Son of Man was born, but the Church Militant in the US hid from a worse than usual flu and deserved the believers for fear of a cold).

  18. The more our government fights the “War on Poverty” and “helps the homeless” the more anti-work idiots we will have. Right now they can see lots of people grifting getting by without working all around them. Why shouldn’t they be given a free ride as well? And rather than wind down the transfer payments we already can’t afford from the productive to the non, our elected officials keep finding new ways to “help”.
    This won’t end well, and I don’t think it can continue much longer.

    1. The most useless group of all are our elitist ‘leaders’. If it weren’t for politics, they’d be panhandling for nickels on a street corner.

      Instead they’re masquerading as statesmen, panhandling for millions. Support a bill that benefits some big company, and then they ‘just happen’ to make some highly profitable deal. Or get a $5 million ‘advance’ for a book nobody will ever want to read.

  19.   I was told that when people have nothing left they want to do/need to do, they die. The age doesn’t matter. To an extent health matters only marginally.

    If only…I contend this is untrue because I’m still alive.

    Art you don’t get paid for/that no one wants/has no meaning in your daily life will not keep your interest. Trust me.

    Trust here…the minute you realize you’re putting aside money to hire beta readers you shut down your editor and never write another word of fiction again. Art has to connect to someone to matter.

    1. What Mom wanted/needed to do the last 20 years of her life was take care of Dad. Then he died, and she didn’t have a job any more, so she laid down and waited to die. But it took a lot longer than she expected, and eventually she got up and went back to making things, until the dementia took over. Dying is hard, even when you have nothing to live for.

      1. Did you go down the rabbit hole of Rose Wilder Lane? Highly recommend “Ghost in the Little House” about her, along with a chapter before and after she edited it.

  20. TANSTAAFL should be tattooed on the foreheads of such aliens, but in reverse letters so they can read it in their mirrors

      1. Which is exactly the point Manuel Garcia O’Kelly Davis makes in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress: “If not for that (the ‘Free Lunch’ sign) these drinks would cost half what they do.”

        They toss the word ‘Free!’ around a lot. What that really means is, ‘Somebody else has to pay for it, but the connection is not obvious so it’s Free!’ Like all the Free! stuff they demand from the government.

        1. Free shipping just means the cost is built into the price (although I’ll admit it does make comparison shopping easier, especially when I’m checking prices from sellers on multiple platforms).

  21. Man(Mankind) needs work, for quite a while it defined men, most conversations with strangers that were over 20 minutes included a ‘what do you do’ query.

    Men also need diverse interests. I stopped working for money over 20 years ago. Early on, back when I was working, I noticed how many hit retirement and pretty much wilted and died. Sadly their whole life was defined by their work and when the work was gone, so was their life. Hence I developed many satisfying interests before exiting the work force.

    The aliens ‘mongst us, don’t understand the need for work and their other interests seem quite limited, mostly to busybodying other folks lives.

  22. If robots can maintain and repair other robots—and build them, because robots have to come from somewhere—then robots have become a second, parallel biosphere. And there’s no certainty that it will simply exist alongside our biosphere, let alone directing much of its activity to maintaining us in it. One of Asimov’s later stories, “That Thou Art Mindful of Him,” had a little parable about this, where two robots are assigned to decide what counts as a human being for the purposes of the Three Laws—and end up concluding that to be human is to be rational and ethical, and that robots are rational and ethical and thus count as human, and indeed as more human than biological human beings . . .

    1. I personally prefer Gene Wolfe’s robots – or ‘chems’ as he calls them from his Solar Cycle.

      The chems have an interesting means of ‘reproduction’: each ‘male’ and ‘female’ chem has within its programming half the schematic for a new chem, and they have to combine them to construct a new, unique ‘child.’

  23. Well, the Great Reset was set up by people who fully understand what they are doing, AFAICT. But yeah, the minions? Aliens.

    Remember the CHAZ (or the CHOP, or whatever the hell it ended up being called)? And the “farm” a few of them tried to start? THOSE WERE THE ONES SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW THEY NEEDED A FOOD SOURCE. The rest were dumber than that, or expecting that, as top warlord, they wouldn’t have to know, they only needed power over the ones who did know.

    1. It cracks me up, how many liberals end up becoming effectively conservative, just by virtue of staying sane instead of running after the latest and greatest wokeness.

      1. I think you have cause and effect reversed.

        The left classifies a number of things as conservative.

        Among those things is sanity, by the standards of American culture.

  24. Haven’t been able to read all the comments yet, so don’t know if this has already been said (eye doctor dialated my eyes so still having a bit of trouble reading…)

    We likely will develop robots capable of doing all of the things people do, but by that point, they will also be people.

  25. “So, I kept stumbling into sites that said Pa was a “Terrible provider” because sometimes they were near starving. And, oh, yeah, they were evil because they tried to steal lands from “Native Americans” and her treatment of race was wrong, and and and…..”

    The amount of dumb in the “terrible provider” argument exceeds the weight limit of the measuring device. The “fish don’t notice the water” thing fits here, because they can’t be seeing the massive infrastructure and logistics that underpins food appearing at the grocery store, in condition to stay fresh for multiple days, so that they can buy it and eat it conveniently without going through the risk and backbreaking labor of farming with primitive tools.

    There’s honest ignorance where one simply has not been exposed to the facts and given the opportunity to learn. And then there’s bag of hammers plumb idiocy that refuses to even engage with information in front of their face in ten foot tall flaming letters. Low tech farming is HARD. I’ve quite literally DONE IT. The possibility of starvation, even with careful planning and diligent labor, is NOT INSIGNIFICANT, given isolation from support that would be common in a frontier setting.

    The corruption of education necessary to advance such ideas as farming with primitive tools is EASY is of a piece with all the other vile things that are being taught. People will *die* if they take this kind of thing seriously, and there is no one to save them from themselves.

    *grumble grumble stupid stupid moonbat ignorant maleducated naive pro-fascist wannabe useful idiots*

    1. Hey, high tech farming is hard. I should know, I’ve done it. It’s just far more productive than grunt-labor subsistence farming. I could haul a wagon loaded with 4 tons of hay in from the field in 10 minutes with a tractor, then unload it into the blower that shot it into the hayloft in another 5 minutes.

      I’ve carried hay bales. I’ll take the tractor and wagon any time.

      Then again, one of the reasons I wound up in electronics engineering was to avoid both alternatives.
      I used to live on a farm. I know what bullshit smells like.

      1. Heh. I never got to use the tractor and the harvesters were contracted. I’ve no doubt in the least the high tech stuff is hard, too. I’ve broken ground with a shovel and a hoe, tilled it, laid in fertilizer, picked rocks, planted seedlings, picked more damned weeds than actual crops by a long stretch, and cooked and ate what grew to live on. It sucked.

        I also got the heck away from the farm as fast as I could. Much respect, seriously much respect to modern farmers. But I just am not temperamentally suited to the work.

    2. And you and Sarah between you have perfectly outlined my argument for needing to get these people away from the controls YESTERDAY.

      They are more than capable of engineering the non solar equivalent of a Carrington event through a combination of ignorance that “can’t be seeing the massive infrastructure and logistics that underpins food appearing at the grocery store, in condition to stay fresh for multiple days”, or light and heat at the flip of a switch, or clean water and waste disposal; and contempt and hatred for those of us who do that work.

      We’re engaged in an all-in bet with no backup that these people will finish eating each other before they hit the limits of the ruin the modern world can tolerate before that web of infrastructure falls apart beyond repair. I pray you two are right that they won’t get there, since the lives of everyone I care about is riding on it too.

      “Think it possible in the bowels of Christ that you may be mistaken.”

      1. My alternative bet has several differences in assumption.

        One, I think we remove them, instead of waiting on them to completely self destruct. I think their self destruction is making it easier. I also think that we can remove them without /needing/ to say anything on the internet about specifics. Open communication on the internet has uses, but I am fairly sure that where coms about specific actions are concerned, the internet is not essential. Except for carrying certain ‘no-go’ signals.

        I think internet communications do have a role in mental health for people who aren’t in a place that is stable without extra help.

        Two, I am estimating critical technical capabilities as being a little more robust than you are.

        Third, I am nuts, I know that I am nuts, and my interpretation does align with trying to keep myself stable, and pointed in productive directions. These desires could be completely screwing up all of my conclusions.

        Fourth, I have been hammering the drum of provable unknowns when it comes to forecasts. Yes, this has been a hobby-horse, because I am crediting myself with having done some of the work. I could be entirely crazy on this point also.

        I suspect that I must sound like I am trying to ruin possible fixes.

        I actually am concerned that I’ve missed something somewhere, and that my previous decision not to do certain things was a mistake.

        1. Internet communications also serve the role of providing a lot of truly meaningless chaff that requires the attention of human analysts, and a lack of action resulting from that chaff helps lull those analysts into a sense of complacency. Let the the Internet be full of a hundred million anti-regime ranters, full of sound and fury that signifies nothing but anger. Let the Biden* Regime’s thugs waste time and attention chasing a billion bogus so-called threats.

        2. “Two, I am estimating critical technical capabilities as being a little more robust than you are.”

          Bob, I don’t know your background; mine is 30+ years in the IT field, the last 10 focussed on software testing. That may have over sensitized me to the “house of cards” nature of modern technical and supply chain infrastructure, which the last two years should have demonstrated.

          1. Bob, I don’t know your background

            This is true.

            My background is basically a set of blinders, that is different from what your background suggests.

            I may in fact have a much worse view of the whole than you do.

        3. And again, while I know Sarah and a number of other people don’t believe it, I hope we run the table, or at least don’t end up wearing a barrel. I just don’t see it happening if the Left is in charge of pretty much anything besides their own lives, somewhere else.

          1. I believe that you want to win.

            Item one, despite knowing that I am crazy, when the question is “Am I crazy, or is the world crazy”, I mostly suspect that the world is crazy.

            I actually have extensive experience in knowing that ‘person X is having mental issues. I /must/ keep some distance from their thinking, to keep them from driving me more nuts’. Okay, the folks I learned the skill to survive were actually crazier than anyone here. I still have it close to hand, even when I don’t need it. I look at the disagreements here through that lens. When Ian and Foxfier have a long argument that isn’t resolving, that I can’t follow, I assume it may or may not be an issue of temporary stress on someone’s part. In conclusion, I look at a lot of people without certainty about what is going on with them, and sometimes I am wrong in my guesses.

            In fact, I am certain to be wrong, because I have a practice of holding conflicting guesses in my head, at the same time.

            Item two, what are the criteria for a political group or alliance? I have authoritarian tendencies, and I am hanging out with Libertarians here. Basically, any question of alliance with a libertarian is between me and the libertarian in question. I’ve been out of step with libertarian orthodoxy on drug legalization, and on gay marriage. (If marriage is a contract, then employment law is a claim that society can dictate which forms of contract are acceptable between consenting adults.) As I don’t accept being compelled to change my opinion, I don’t expect to be effective in compelling others to change their opinions.

            I have forms of victory that I am seeking that depend only on my own choices. I am also seeking forms of victory that depend on the actions of others. I think these last are possible, but I cannot promise to deliver those victories. I don’t entirely trust that /I/ will deliver the limited victory that depends only on my own choice.

            My victory is not necessarily your victory, and your victory is not necessarily my victory.

            You may be able to have your victory without me delivering anything.

            I may be able to have my victory with without you delivering anything.

            Yes, we do have common enemies.

            Agreement between us about what to do about them will only ever be consensual.

        4. “Two, I am estimating critical technical capabilities as being a little more robust than you are.”

          My concern is that the technical systems ride on physical ones. I just picked up a semi from the shop. We had it delivered to us in October. Before we could put it in service it broke down. We’ve been waiting for parts since then. It had about fifty miles on it. We’ve got several other new trucks out of service, and others that need basic service that we cannot do without until we get the others fixed. It’s been bad for two years, but the last six months have been horrible.

          The laptop class isn’t getting a dang thing done, for good or ill, if the laptop’s still sitting on a dock for a month.

      2. Something that was Athens when I was a boy will not be there for my sons. This is a world that Thrasybulus has coloured like himself, a grey world that does not like ideas any more. It has banned the plays of Euripides because they made men think. It’s the kind of world that would like to give Socrates the hemlock bowl.

        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.

        — Rosemary Sutcliff, The Flowers of Adonis

  26. It really does feel like we’ve been conquered by aliens. I mean, just look at the pod person conformity of our media, all those diverse voices speaking the same dogma. Look at the terminology of the Cult: “Thought leaders”, “influencers”. What, was “Puppet Masters” too on the nose for them?

    1. That’s going to be a line in one of my stories: “I see the trained seals are all barking in unison.”

      My character recorded video of Speaker Pelosi first trying to bribe, then threaten her into handing over ‘the secret of immortality’. Every one of the left-wing media talking heads calls the video a fake. In exactly the same words.

  27. Laura Ingalls Wilder books were a big part of my literary upbringing. The books were terrific, partly because they were authentic. And very uplifting/hopeful.
    The TV series? I watched a couple and it seemed stupid; my sister and her husband love the TV series, though.

    And Dick Van Dyke is 96 and dancing in a new music video with his wife, only a few years younger at 50, and her three man backup singers. It is the cutest, most well done thing you’ll see today. Really fun.

    Work is necessary, always and forever as long as people exist. It’s part of what it is to be a human being, I think.

    1. We’re not supposed to use that word anymore.

      I think we’re supposed to say “Roma’ed”.

      1. I watched a very nice Czech tour guide and an academic wince as they translated what a gent (with two enormous, and quite well behaved) Alsatian* dogs said in German when one of our group was gushing over the dogs. The gent smiled a rather toothy grin and said, “I feed them Gypsies.” Two weeks later, a Hungarian prof and I had a fascinating discussion about the Roma, and he expressed some satisfaction that the Belgians et al were getting to see just why Hungarians, Romanains, and others were not as fond of the Roma as western Romantics were.

        *Old-school German Shepherds. These were waist-high to me at the shoulder, about 150 lb each, lovely thick black and grey coats, very polite but non-nonsense dogs.

        1. I was very shocked to find out that WWI Germany exterminated something like 90% of the Roma during the Holocaust—and that group included pretty much all of the upper and middle classes. So basically, what you’re seeing is the effects of killing off everybody in a group but the grifters.

          (Which is also why there are perfectly nice Roma out there—but they’re largely broken away from the group and culture. It’s that learned survival culture that’s the problem.)

  28. That’s when I realized, in horror, that these people are aliens among us. They not only don’t know: they don’t know what they don’t know.

    It’s not what they don’t know that’s the problem. It’s what they “know” that ain’t so. (Channeling Ronald Reagan)

  29. An Ode to Lady Liberty:

    I’ll be seeing you
    In all the old familiar places
    That this heart of mine embraces
    All day through

    In that small cafe
    The park across the way
    The children’s carousel
    The chestnut trees, the wishing well

    I’ll be seeing you
    In every lovely summer’s day
    In everything that’s light and gay
    I’ll always think of you that way

    I’ll find you in the morning sun
    And when the night is new
    I’ll be looking at the moon
    But I’ll be seeing you

    1. Well then. Shades of Cardinal Francis George.

      “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history”

      1. George’s successor is Cupich, who may well die in prison but not for defending the faith. Quite the contrary, alas. I fear the church is in the hands of its enemies. Chrysostom probably didn’t say “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their sign posts.” But he certainly expressed that sentiment. The church will endure and rebuild civilization as it has before, but it too will have to undergo purgation.

    1. Grew up around Trust Fund Babies, generally Grandma’s Money, much older parents who’d never had to work.

      They’re noisy and obnoxious– and yes, I still feel bad for them, since their parents didn’t bother to raise them. Even while recognizing them as often deliberate threats who can and will mess folks up for Making Them Feel Bad, even if it’s only by existing when the theories that give them comfort says that one shouldn’t.

    2. I would revise that to “Libertine Socialists”.
      They want all the personal freedom with none of the responsibility.

      1. Ahh, but the Libertarian party is now very Libertine, and, from what I hear, being overwhelmed by them. I’m wary whenever I hear anyone say they are Libertarian in the zoomer age group.

          1. At least in my areas (west coast states, north-central US, relatives who’d visit either) that’s been the norm for “libertarians” since the mid-90s.

            I usually describe ’em as College Libertarians, although I keep trying to remember to call them Libertine-ians or some such, because most of them were college kids.

            It is incredibly frustrating to be somewhat familiar with Libertarian philosophies, go “oh, Libertarian, that’s interesting–” and think you’re going to get some decent conversation, and a few minutes in you find they run the range from pot-headed liberal that mistakes being aggressive with having a reasonable argument, through sanctimonious “everyone has a right to do what I say they should want” totalitarians, with occasional scattering of “exactly like a Democrat, but cooler!

      1. It reminds me so much of that liberal SF con in Texas, where they bragged about wanting to kill all the Type A’s, get free food and housing, all so they could then get to working on the hard problems.

  30. I grew up in a cop family, and I know my Dad shielded me from the worst of the stories and the incidents.

    I still knew how bad it could get, and not that far from the streetlights.

    (I never reveled in dancing close to that edge…I knew how close “on the edge” could become “over the edge” and without any warning at all.)

    I’m back in school, and far too many of these kids have never been hungry, really hungry. Or been somewhere that they were scared for their lives. Or were so angry that they were a danger to others.

    And, the teachers aren’t any better. In some ways, they’re worse.

    I know that we’ll never truly win the war against entropy. That we may never truly beat death. That we may never have the earthly paradise.

    But, I’d never stop questing for an end to death. An end to want. I just know it’s a war that will never, truly have a victory.

    (Also, I look at some of my characters, and I think about what Adelaide’s response to some of this stupid would be. There would be certain words…and certain bodies…)

    1. I had to take an ethic class while going for my Masters. The teacher was a prominent defense lawyer. The classes generally veered from ethics to defense pretty quickly. One of his themes, though, was how easily and quickly you can change your whole life with one bad decision.

      1. It’s scary how quickly things can go bad. Especially if you put yourself in places where things are on the edges of the borderlines.

        There’s a lot of things that I regretted never doing, one way or another.

        But, I didn’t get into the kinds of trouble that people got into doing those things.

    2. “And, the teachers aren’t any better. In some ways, they’re worse.”

      Indeed. Callow youth might have the defense of ignorance, thin shield that it is. The adults can claim it not, for the willful blindness that comes with their mad ideology requires that they reject inquiry into things that are deemd “hate” or “-ism” or “right wing…” Even when such things involve such blatantly obvious virtues as being on time, proper grammar and spelling, the scientific method, hard work, and faithfulness to one’s chosen partner.

      1. I’m afraid it was inevitable. What will be interesting is what comes next. Trudeau is acting like a spoiled child and hasn’t really done this properly. His case is very weak and will only stand up if it’s never examined. The key is to make sure it’s examined. Should the fix be in, well, the truckers will just have to stay home. Irish democracy and let the cities starve.

        I’m praying that self interest will prevail since specking sense from politicians is just too much to ask.

        1. What would make me happy is a bunch of people coming up to 24 Sussex Drive, walking on on Trudeau-preferably at dinner-and telling him that he can either resign with something that looks like dignity, or there will be a vote of no confidence and he will be dragged out.

          Because nobody wants to see what happens next.

    1. Oh, I was rather hoping they’d at least delay that for long enough for some sense to start coming in; say from the Canadian financial industry / about half of everyone who has a bank account there.

      But hoping and expecting can be very different things, sometimes; and Turd-eau had made it rather clear in recent days that the only reason he hasn’t checked for polyps multiple times a day is that he goes through political life (at least these strange days) with “eyes wide shut”… or else, he’s so secretly guilty, or beholden to things like the WEF-wets (see just below, “Great Reset”), or both, that his world and ours have very, very little in common any more.

      Two more things: if anyone has any pointers to actual news specifics on this, they’d be most appreciated.

      And second, if Trudeau Junior really, truly is going Full Aussie Jackboot on Canadians… I cannot expect that to go remotely similar to what’s been happening Down Under in Oz and N-Zedd for weeks now. (“What’s beneath the Nice in Ca., eh?” “I don’t know, but go read Kipling’s ‘Et Dona Ferentes’ for a good guess.”)

      And a third more thing: word is, from a news source that already has a reporter “embedded” with the U.S. equivalent of the Freedom Convoy, that it’s (supposedly) about to set out around Feb. 23.

      If Emperor Justinian really has managed to arrest / imprison his political enemies (who started out as only disagreeing with one of his more outrageous policies) by then… that may put the closing days of February here in the U.S. in a much different and far higher-stakes context.

        1. That’s the day of Korea’s Independence movement that was brutally suppressed by the Japanese. And the name of a nice IT operation around Y2K that failed almost as gloriously.


          1790 – The first United States census is authorized.
          1896 – Henri Becquerel discovers radioactive decay.
          1946 – The Bank of England is nationalized.
          1947 – The IMF begins financial operations.
          1953 – Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses; he dies four days later.
          1954 – Armed Puerto Rican nationalists attack the US Capitol building.
          2003 – Management of the USCS and the USSS move to the DHS.
          2003 – The International Criminal Court holds its inaugural session in The Hague.

          I t’ink I van stay home, you betcha… /BadMovieSwedishAccent

        2. Heard that one, too… so the odds-on guess seems to be, someone has a clue about Operational Security. But of course, we’ll see shortly either way…

      1. Oh, they’re doubling down:

        “LAMETTI: “Evan (ph), we already do this with respect to terrorist financing. We already do this with respect to money laundering. What we are doing is extending the same kinds of principles and procedures to this situation, which is funding of illegal blockades. It’s — it’s — this isn’t — this isn’t new — this isn’t new under the Sun, Evan (ph), this is something that the police and financial institutions already do together.

        As the J6 protesters and other folks are finding out, “I have made it legal” is our rulebook.

        1. “with thousands of armed riot police on the other side.”

          Where do they find all the Good Guys?

    2. He really has no idea what a grassroots movement is, does he? He really thinks he can take out a few people and the whole thing falls apart.

      1. That’s precisely what Wretchard is saying here:

        “The establishment’s counterinsurgency doctrine is based on the assumption the opposition is a mirror image of themselves. In other words, a conspiracy with ringleaders, rabid ideology and secret funders, like themselves. There are no “root causes” — how could there be?”

      2. It’s projection. They know that their “grassroots movements” are nothing of the kind–note the professionally manufactured signage with similar or identical sentiments, for instance, and those which ARE more grassrooty are uniformly violent and chaotic. Therefore, a right-populist non-violent protest MUST be professional and organized by those dastardly extremists. If they can just cut off the head of the snake, the rest of the snake will be trod upon forever, and mounted as a talisman against the disease of populism.

      3. The left never does. Their idea of a “grass roots movement” is fifty people all wearing matching new SEIU t-shirts.

  31. “And some of them have power and come up with fantasies like “the great reset” and think that will work on real people.”

    It took me a while to actually dig up the reference; but here’s a pretty decent (if long and detailed) introduction to that little Plan For Total World Domination, from a bit over half a year ago at Uncover DC:

    uncoverdc dot com/2021/07/02/the-great-reset-covid-19-cyberattacks-china-blackrock/

    As far as I can tell, this whole “Great Reset” thing isn’t even quite one coherent plot to take over the world and reshape it to enshrine a sort of new techno-aristocracy over all the other (peasants), as something more like a grab-bag of assorted ideas that all work more-or-less together in tandem (if we’re dumb enough to fall prey to them)… to either give them what they want, or (far more likely) outright wreck civilization.

    I’ll also note, here, there are multiple references to the World Economic Forum and such Web sites… like a true-blue Bond villain, these nice folks just can’t help bragging about their plan out loud and while its outcome is very much in doubt. (Thank Heaven for all such favors!)

      1. Definite thumbs up, when it came out I was startled that the elevator version is “Yep, folks really are saying that, in public, on record, they’re totally serious and they’re not crazy guys on the street corner. Now, for more detail!”

  32. “Employment is nature’s physician and is essential to human happiness.” Galen 2nd century AD Physician & Philosopher

  33. “There’s no substitute for hard work. You have to get up, leave the cave, kill something, drag it home, and eat it.” Dave Ramsey

  34. ” I was told that when people have nothing left they want to do/need to do, they die.”

    That’s what has me worried. I retired seven months ago, and quite frankly am getting bored out of my skull. I’ve got a very intermittent job guest lecturing, but it’s not really enough to keep me busy. Writing a memoir (after 40 years in flight test, I’ve got some stories) is interesting…and I’ve got to train for the World Muzzle-Loading Championships in August. But after that? I may wind up looking for a full-time job. Even if I have to move to get it.

      1. If there are infinites yet in this world, I’d propose a few candidates beyond human stupidity, suffering, and want:

        Worthy causes and Things What Need Doing, many of them small.
        Children that need good role models.
        Broken things that need fixing.
        And story ideas that need writing. Because honestly, can they not just slow down even a little bit sometimes? Either pressure washer or dry as desert. Gah.

    1. If you have a mind, see if there are local charities/volunteer groups. I’d you’d like an excuse – sorry, a reason – to travel, there are volunteer disaster relief/rebuild or other groups. We belong to a Methodist one that doesn’t require being a Methodist to join and I know the Baptists have at least one. You get the chance to do useful work, see the country, meet new people and serve God.

    2. I know a lot of the Costco and Walmart folks work there basically because it’s a job. You see people, etc.

      Are you interested in volunteering? Library or something?

    3. Get a hobby. A guy I knew on my mission had retired a year or two before I arrived in the area. His wife told me he’d been utterly and completely bored with nothing to do as a result.

      Then he discovered RC aircraft.

      Find something you like that you can afford, and that you can get absorbed in.

  35. “They not only don’t know: they don’t know what they don’t know.”
    And – they don’t WANT to know what they don’t know!

  36. Sarah, I’d like to get your thoughts.

    I feel like the tyrants are having their policies written, perhaps by the Chinese. Weird things like Biden calling America the ‘Homeland’. Very Nazi sounding. I think Americans typically call it ‘Our Country’. And policies assume a shame culture. Whereas the west is typified as a guilt culture. Although the left are a shame culture ( I call them the peer pressure people).

    Do you think the left will be shocked by the reactions of the guilt culture to shame culture policies?

  37. I had such an interesting time with the Meet the Candidates forum last night.

    One of the questions given to the 4 of us running for the 2 Select Board seats was, “Do you believe the 2020 election was fair and honest?” All three of the Dems running said, “Oh yes, there was nothing wrong.” I was the only voice that spoke up and said, “No, the statistics don’t support it; and the massive resistance to investigating if it was fair or not was a strong indicator that they had something they desperately wanted to hide.”

  38. Actually, it’s worse. Those without children by the age of 40 or so are parasites on the rest. Consider: By then someone else’s kid is drilling your oil, harvesting your grain, smelting your steel, trucking your food and goods. The childless are just parasites. On society, as well. Having no stake in the future they only can vote for what they think is best for them; their time horizon is short and they have no hostages to that future. Countries like this have no need of being defended by other people’s children – they don’t believe in their own future enough to populate it, so what is being defended? Those still childless by 40 should be disenfranchised and disallowed for any position – appointed, elected, hired – at any level of government.

    1. By the age of FORTY? These days? not even vaguely strange person.
      We had kids young for our generation, and they were born in our late twenties/early thirties.
      Adjust everything up 10 years.

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