We Are All Time Travelers

Humans are strange creatures. Because of our extended childhood, where we absorb much of what we learn about the world, often by tales received from our elders, and our increasingly long lives which now often approach or exceed a hundred years, we are all time travelers. We’re people walking around 100 years later with a picture of the world acquired in very early childhood and often relayed by an elder whose view of the world was already outdated.

Now, the extent to which we are time travelers depends on how much we keep abreast of things, how much the change experienced in our life times has been processed by us, and how much those who transmitted their world view were aware of changes in their lifetimes.

In this I think we Odds have a bit of an advantage, because we often fail completely to get the idea of the world they were trying to transmit to us, and then go through the world like strangers, keeping track of everything that happens, with a sense of wonder and “oh, wow.”

But not always. In things that aren’t our specialty, or things that we actually care about. There we often internalize our early views, and never ever ever get rid of them.

I like to make fun of boomer women, because why not? when they say that their third grade teachers discouraged them from STEM, mostly because I grew up in a country where it made sense to assume a woman was the dumbest in group if everyone else was male, etc. Not that it was true, but that it was what the nature believed, and spoke about and made jokes about it, in public.

If I’m to understand it correctly, American women a little older than I believed their third grade math teachers knew everything. Or something.

But the truth is that their continuous claims of all the exploitation of women, particularly for bookish women were acquired in their pre-teens, probably by reading books, which might themselves have been ridiculously biased. (This also explains why most of them still believe in the great pre-historic matriarchies, all of which have been thoroughly discredited.)

But it is not only them, of course. My mother had issues with things I did growing up, because the world inside her head was the world she had survived to climb to relative safety and middle class life. Because those lessons had been hard learned, and she couldn’t just shrug them off.

And I’m sure I, myself have blind spots. Not as many, perhaps, since I was required to change countries and cultures, and then learn how to work with each wave of technology. And having kids also helped because it showed me how things were, for instance in school.

I’m forever shocked when people say things like “schools favor boys” because that hasn’t been true since I’ve been in the US. I’m equally surprised, when people say things like “I worked through college and kids today can too” ignoring that university costs ten times more, and the kids are required to do a lot more make work.

It’s always a bad idea, forty years later to say “I did blah blah and the kids can too” without looking into what’s actually going on, as a rule of thumb.

But beyond that, so many things we thought we knew and things we thought were established have been shaken loose by genetic information. For instance, if you haven’t read about Neanderthals or human origins in the last… 20 years, everything you think you know is wrong.

That’s partly what makes the current would-be elites so funny. They’re running — loudly — on outdated science while trying to force us all to live the way they thought would be ideal in the 70s.

Including you know trying to reduce human population, which is already being reduced by rapidly falling birth rates, and whose specter might always have been a mirage, conjured by over reliance in bureaucracy’s ability to count heads.

How do we solve this? How do we shake the picture in people’s heads?

I don’t know. Not conceding to “everybody knows” and demanding proof is one of those was. My younger son’s famous ‘question everything.’

The other is not being afraid to challenge great big “theories” that all the “smart” people believe. (I’m looking at you Global Warming.)

From Freudian interpretations of historical figures to the economic history of the United States, to our ideas of pre-history, if you learned it in school, actually at any time, it’s like an outdated or misconceived theory, since disproved.

Its time for those who can to study and become informed, because being time travelers might cost us the future.

318 thoughts on “We Are All Time Travelers

  1. Certainly the nutritional errors of the 1970’s did us a lot of harm, pushing inflammatory seed oils and carbs. Teicholz’s book Big Fat Surprise was a real eye-opener. It lays out the flawed science, the politics, and the evidence on both sides.

    1. Having recently read some on the history of prion research, I wonder how much Teicholz gets right. I suspect in this case as other sources support it, and the biochemistry works, she got it right. And, fwiw, I have read Big Fat Surprise.

  2. In one Richard Feynman’s books (and not one of the super-dense ones about esoteric physics) he mentions having issues because the data doesn’t seem to be right. But it’s at an outlier point, so is subject to error. BUT… the original was ALSO at the outlier point and ALSO subject to error. Result? Over time, the right result ever so slowly crept in, as corrections kept showing up… and the Original Authority was growing more distant in history.

    1. And so Science crept forward, one death and/or retirement at a time… 😀

      Not so much today, though. Science is not the realm of scientists any more, but of bureaucrats. The Science Will Be the Official Position! The Science can only change when such change benefits the bureaucracy.
      A good Zombie Apocalypse novel is at least as believable as anything we’ve heard out of the ‘Publick Health Authoriteez’ over the last two years.

      1. I keep thinking of faster-than-light. Which was a Forbidden Thought in the physics community until about 20 years ago. Now…the younger people are starting to think in FTL terms.

        Which is a Very Good Thing.

    1. A blogger I read a lot noted it’s been that way for a while with the very structure being more suited for middle class girls than anyone else and this was well before all the wokeness and other insanity got exposed in these past few years.

      1. I learned that school is something you can be good at independent of any other consideration. Following directions and sitting still are big parts of that.

        It’s no accident, as the Marxists used to say, that teachers are overwhelmingly middle class girls and have been for generations.

        My mother was a teacher as is my daughter. Number two son dropped out of the Education degree because all the girls in it were stupid. He’s going to go through an alternate program since his goal is to teach at his old all boys Catholic school. I hope he does, they need him there.

          1. Unfortunately, I believe your “in mathematics” is too restrictive; for many today, perhaps even a majority, a period after “competence” would have been fine. ;-(

    1. Mary this is the best one liner I have read in a while. In fact, henceforth it’s my new catchphrase. thanks

  3. Just about everything I learned in elementary school, apart from the 3R’s, was somewhere between highly suspect and plain wrong…Educating yourself is the process of learning that fact in detail, and the reasons you were subject to such propaganda…

    1. Aye, after elementary school there was some stuff that was Useful…. but mainly what was learned was self-taught. A good teacher doesn’t so much teach (though some of that happens, yes) but enables learning.

      1. I frequently tell my own progeny to keep in mind that nearly everything that i was taught in grade school has be proven false in the intervening years.

        1. At least 2+2 still equals 4. Except the Woke now scream that’s racist. Sigh.

        2. My mother says that everyone knows in kindergarten if they are smart, good looking, or rich; and those are the ones who make it. The rest are doomed to mediocrity and enduring school until they get out. I t is believable…

    2. What’s really troubling is that it seems like the majority of Americans still unquestioningly believe whatever someone with a PhD, MD, or any other doctorate tells them. And the number who believe anything someone who claims to be, or is titled, as a Constitutional scholar is just plain nuts. Seems like nearly all the so-called Constitutional professors are so solidly on the Federalist side of the equation, they’re all the way into totalitarianism. And consider this, the Proggies don’t need to stack the Supreme Court. All they need is for some crazy to assassinate one of the conservative SCJs, and they get to put another jellyfish in his or her place. Far easier than trying to stack it. Which is why the Kavanaugh harassment is so disturbing.

        1. I have a friend who has extremely depressing things to say about the state of the legal profession in our state. They don’t know Constitutional law. They were never taught it. If they had, there’d be lawsuits over the voting machines which are violating our state’s constitution.

          Our governor, our secretary of state (who signed the contract on those machines), our state AG, and our state legislature are all running interference for the company that owns those machines, even though it means handing the election process over to the communists. It’s insane.

          1. Don’t forget that they’ve also probably been warned that any hint of Badthink will result in loss of law license / employment / whatever. We’ve already seen that with the lawyers who just won the gun control case, anyone who provided legal assistance to President Trump re the election, etc.

          2. Re: the electronic voting machines, I think it’s…interesting…that out of all of them — Diebold/Premier, Sequioa, ES&S, Hart Intercivic, all US concerns — the one company whose machines ended up capturing the entire US market (or being chosen by the US government to do so) is a Canadian outfit called Dominion. Names are very important things.

            1. Not really Canadian. It was started by 3 Venezuelans to rig elections for Hugo Chavez. After Chavez got sort of dead, they moved to Spain for their health. Angry mobs, torches and pitchforks do not promote good health, you see. The company’s current ownership is hard to puzzle out, but seems to be headquartered in Barcelona. The servers are in Germany. So American votes were counted in Germany, and all the data is still in Germany.
              Elections are far too important to be left up to a bunch of uncontrolled voters. The Party MUST exercise oversight and management to prevent mere voters from electing the wrong candidates!

              1. Well, I got my info on origin/ownership from a cursory look at Wikipedia, so…yeah. The head honcho is a Canadican from Canadia, though, so I think at least in that respect it wasn’t inaccurate.

              2. I object to the current reality we are living in.

                The company that sold the voting machines used to interfere with our elections was started by people who were working on rigging elections for Hugo Chavez? And people can still say that even questioning that there was fraud in our elections is a threat to our democracy?

                You couldn’t use that in sci-fi/fantasy. It would violate plausibility and the necessary suspension of disbelief.

                1. You’re missing the central point. Today, “democracy” (usually phrased as “Our Democracy!”, with sobs) has been redefined to mean “absolute rule by the Left”. Free elections no longer have a part.

                    1. ‘Absolute Rule by the Democrat Party‘ is, by definition, Democracy, right? Right?
                      Only idiots believe they know how other people should live their lives. The stupider they are, the more blindly they believe it.

                    2. True, at least in the US, but “democrats” is only one part of the Left. And it’s a worldwide problem.

        2. My law school Constitutional Law professor was recently ordered to take Continuing Legal Education on civil procedure, he botched his trial so badly. I am not making this up! https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article213415624.html

          I’m sure there was a bit of a liberal judge putting a thumb in the eye of an outspoken conservative, but on the other hand, Kobach really pucked up his case, trying to do things like introduce surprise witnesses like he was Perry Mason.

          And my response to the news was “Of course he did. He went to Yale and doesn’t know the first thing about the actual practice of law.”

          1. Unfortunately, your link leads to a subscriber-only page. But your comments are, also unfortunately, all too valid today. (Obama claimed [or was claimed] to be a “Constitutional scholar”.)

      1. If they open that door… are they willing to deal with the obvious consequences should one, you know, THINK about it. NOT saying such would be Good. It would be murder, and therefore Evil. But obvious is still obvious.

        1. I’m retired military, so it was part of my job to consider all possible worst case scenarios we could think of. (And Murphy has a great track record of throwing the ones we didn’t consider at us.) Usually that just meant logistical supplies and breakage rates; but that also consisted of personnel and base security. I remember a time when one of the local terrorist gangs in Europe thought it would be cute to point something out the window at me when I was departing the base; I hope the police made things very uncomfortable for them after I phoned it in. Of course by that time I was at least 10 kilometers down the road. I suppose the rubber I left is still visible, but I am glad for the escape and evasion briefings they gave us. (And glad I didn’t have any incontinence from it – cloth seats are hard to clean.) Since I already know I’m on at least one government watch list, letting them know I know what they might be planning in a public forum doesn’t increase the risk. Our shady government organizations usually stick their own hands in the garbage disposal when they try to get too clever and think they know more than the rest of us.

          1. If you aren’t in at least one watchlist by now, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

      2. That’s why I say things like, “OK, this in the textbook is not correct. Here’s why. Here’s the latest that I have been able to find. Here are my sources. This may change, or it might not, as we learn more about [thing].” Or “For the purpose of this class, we will assume X. There are ongoing studies/research/other sources that say Y, but because of [outside the classroom reason], stick with X for the test and follow-up material.”

        1. I remember my old NY State textbook teaching us about how China was modernizing by making pig iron in the backyard and how that was a good thing. This was right around the time they shifted entirely from History to Social Studies. No good has ever come from studies.

        2. I remember a professor who told us about radicals of the 60s and early 70s (this was in the late 80s, when I finally finished college). She was lecturing to a class who hadn’t finished preschool, and had very little knowledge.
          Except for me – I lived through that era as an adult, and bloody well knew she was talking nonsense. As this was just a “fill in the elective” course, I kept my mouth shut.
          But, it made me very aware of just how skewed academics were becoming.

            1. I did.
              I had to repeat the class with a different professor.
              And had a target on my back afterwards.
              That was back in 1991.

      3. Did you see where Elena Kagan warned about the “legitimacy” of the court being an issue if they “fail to conform to public opinion”?


        Judges should be nonpartisan, not focused on personal policy preferences. Which is a hell of a thing for a liberal activist judge to say.

        The entire point of having an independent judiciary is to isolate it from changing public sentiment.

        1. Funny how the ‘legitimacy of the court’ is only an issue when they disagree with the ‘Progressive’ agenda.

          What those Leftroid assholes need most is for everybody to stand up and tell them, “You’re full of shit!”

          Soooo many lamp-posts in desperate need of decorations…

          Now imagine a Supreme Court in which Queen Hillary appointed three justices. On second thought, don’t. Nobody on our side deserves that much mental agony.
          It is so much easier to check credentials and victim group status than to evaluate ability.

          1. Lefties (when they agree with the Supreme Court): The Supreme Court Has Spoken! If you disagree with the Supreme Court, you’re evil, stupid and I don’t have to talk with you.

            Obviously, it’s a different story when THEY DISAGREE WITH THE SUPREME COURT. 😡

            1. Sorry, crude, yes, but I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THESE JOKERS. If they actually were an alien species, hostile to Earth Humans, what would they do differently?

            2. I thought it was a dead document, given the level of federal adherence to it.

              1. Leftists almost always say the polar opposite of what they mean, so you can be sure that when they say the Constitution should be a living document, what they mean is it should be a dead letter.

                If you’ve ever been in an organization that has tried to maintain any “living documents,” you probably know that they become meaningless dead letters in pretty short order — and that’s only if they weren’t DOA or even DBA (dead before arrival). At least, that’s the way it’s been in every job I’ve ever been part of. Even “living” documents that I’d like to keep for my own personal purposes tend to suffer the same fate.

                Nobody pays attention to “living” documents because the document can never keep up with whatever changes it’s supposed to reflect. And really, why bother updating the thing, when it has no authority anyway? Everyone is going to do whatever seems best in the moment, not whatever is in that outdated and ignored “living” artifact.

                And further proof that the progtards are full of shit when they say the Constitution needs to be a “living document” is that IT DEMONSTRABLY ALREADY IS. It’s been amended…what…26 times now? And despite their efforts to make it otherwise, it still is a living legal document and the supreme law of the land. Which of course is their real bone of contention, because they very much want to kill it and get it out of their way.

                1. 27 amendments – so far. And that was a cause of a bit of hilarity back in ’92 when I mentioned the 27th Amendment in a social gathering, and was promptly and loudly ‘corrected’ by a teacher at the base school on Kwajalein that there were only 26 amendments. A teacher of civics and government, ironically.

                  1. Considering how famous that one was, and how much publicity it got (over 200 years to pass!), I assume you laughed in his/her/its face?

                  2. “Well, if you want to not count the stupid Prohibition Amendment AND the Amendment to De-stupid that stupidity, then you’re still wrong and it’s 25.” But…. hooves, horns, tail…

                    1. The 21st Amendment did more than repeal the 18th. It also exempted alcohol from the Interstate Commerce Clause and limited freedom of interstate travel by forbidding carrying alcohol into ‘dry’ areas. The Reader is personally familar with this; Ye Old Land Grant U he attended was in a ‘dry’ county for his freshman and sophomore years.

                      Ask a young person what a ‘dry’ county is today and you’ll get a lecture about climate change…

                    2. Which is Mighty Interesting as I’ve seen liquor stores that seeming made NO SENSE in the ‘Middle of Nowhere’… BUT… just across the county line. So… one of those “technically illegal, but they can’t watch everyone all the time” things?

                    3. Pretty much. Everyone at Ye Old Land Grant U knew where the nearest one to campus in the adjacent county was.

                      Knowledge of and access to stills was scarcer – Ye Old Land Grant U was in a pretty rural area and there were stills in the woods. You needed a trusted introduction to have access.

                  1. Look, James Madison didn’t WANT to be the father of the constitution, you know. He always wanted to be a lumberjack!

          1. I would say her behavior does not preclude her being high. However, I suspect the issue is her view of what a text is and how one interprets it. The traditional view (the one say conservative scholars use with respect to biblical texts) is that the text is an attempt by an author to communicate a message to a particular audience using a particular textual form. The scholars try to look at what the meaning was to the audience at that time by looking at the language, the form (is it a poem or history?) similar documents of the type and period commentary (E.g. for the New Testament the writings of the Ante Nicene fathers, for the Constitution one might look at the Federalist and Anti Federalist papers). Having done this one can then try to apply it to their own situation by analogy, a process referred to as exegesis. But the modern view is that this exegetical information CAN not be determined or for some “scholars” does not and never did exist. The Text ONLY means what it means to the reader, there is no other meaning present. This is combined with the modern teaching that nothing is absolutely true, only true or false for the person examining the fact. This method of text handling is referred to as eisegesis (sp?). Thus Judge Kagan’s view that the Constitutional text is outmoded and not relevant, Modern “liberal” judges tend to lean to “community” and international standards. It is not clear to me if their intent is self delusion, trying to avoid the issue of the text (religious or otherwise), or honestly rebellious and evil. Likely I should embrace the power of And. Unfortunately this ludicrous method of text analysis pervades modern teaching about language, religion, historical analysis and even slowly Math and science.

              1. Ran into it with one teacher in High school, others did not ascribe to it. In college it was far less as the Professors were happy that we could actually form sentences. English Profs at an Engineering school tend to be happy the students see anything past the actual text as Engineers can be a bit, well literal.

                1. That’s because if they don’t tend to be literal, things tend to blow up, fall down or expire when the “magic smoke” is released. “It will be OK because I want it to be OK” doesn’t play well in reality. And reality always gets the deciding vote.

                  And yes, I was an engineer; I just didn’t play one on TV… 🙂

      4. The Reader would like to see a future where only the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is a lawyer, and the other members CANNOT be lawyers or have been to law school. Interpreting the Constitution is not a job for lawyers.

        1. This. I’d go get some very bad-tempered flight test engineers from Pax River, but that’s just me. (Navy flight test plans are considered contractual documents…and you have not seen word-parsing until you’ve seen a pack of Test Pilot School graduates at it)

  4. We used “Jurassic Park” to illustrate to our teen kids that our knowledge of the world is always subject to challenge and change. The terrible lizards were thought to be ponderous tail-draggers who could barely move, with wrinkled bare skin. This theory was upended when researchers realized how much dinosaurs were built like birds. Then along comes Caihong Juji, found in Mandarin, with feathers!

    Another “aha” moment came when I learned about the Younger Dryas event, the meteor that hit the North American continent about 10k years ago. When I was in school, I was taught that human hunters came across the ice bridge from Europe, colonized America, and hunted all the large fauna to extinction. So, men with spears took out mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, giant sloths, giant beavers, short-faced bears, (takes a deep breath), and dire wolves? What? That was “science.” Accepted “fact.” But now we understand an extinction-level event wiped out this major fauna. Grog with spear didn’t do it.

    Most happily, how did I learn about the Younger Dryas event? From my youngest son, who’d been listening to a podcast about it. Amazing. (We did it, honey! high fives husband.)

    1. Like all science, the meteor burst theory is just an educated guess. As frustrating as it is, the evidence and analysis isn’t conclusive either way. But at least people, including researchers, are considering different possibilities, rather than relying on some old fart pontificating how smart he is and that nobody should question him.

            1. So were epicycles, phlogiston, luminiferous aether and spontaneous generation.

              Although I’m not entirely sure about spontaneous generation. Banana peels certainly seem to conjure up fruit flies out of nothing.

              Alchemy was about half science, half delusion. Astrology was considered science for a long time.
              “The Science Is Settled!!” we are told, again and again — but then ‘The Science!’ changes every week, and somehow it’s always exactly what the politicians need it to be.

                1. Grapes locally. Which is why ALL fruit, other than bananas, reside in the refrigerator, whether they should be there or not.

                  Fruit flies were why we got rid of the cherry and apple trees in the yard when we bought. Cherries were picked off by the squirrels and birds long before they were ripe anyway. Apples were falling off the tree well before they were ripe. Both spawned fruit flies by the cloud. Apples resulted in drunk wasps. 100% not worth it.

                    1. VERY mean drunks. The home I grew up in had 2 apple trees (Jonnared and Golden Delicious) and fruit would fall if in the autumn (we did get to enjoy some of it) and the yellow jackets/wasps were like clouds until the first frost (usually a week or two after the apples really started to bail round about Columbus Day). My buddies and I stayed the heck out of the part of the back yard where the trees were as going there was an invitation to be stung.

                    2. The Reader learned that at a tender age when detailed by parent unit to clean up the rotten peaches on the ground in our yard when we returned from an extended vacation. Our peach trees grew like weeds and were just as prolific.

                    3. Apparently some people swathe figs in gauze, to keep them from falling to the ground and being lost to edibility, and to keep the bugs and birds from eating them.

                      It sounds like you all needed to swathe the entire tree!

                    4. Oh, yes. Back when we had fruit trees I found myself running to house trying not to scream (I was whimpering) to get lemon juice on the web between my thumb and forefinger where the yellow jacket got me.
                      Lemon juice is a miracle cure.

                    5. I once mowed over a yellow jacket nest near the pear tree in the back yard. The results were – not fun . . .

                2. I’m still trying to figure out how squirrels came to infest ye olde ancestral homestead within a few years of my parents planting a walnut tree.

                  In the middle of the fricking desert.

                  1. Plant it and they will come :-). Although Carpathian Walnuts did seem to slow them down a bit…

              1. Astrology was science, or partly so — up until the 18th century, when they split astronomy off into its own discipline and left astrology with the woo-woo bits.

                1. When the Moon is in the 7th House,
                  And Jupiter aligns with Mars.

                  Bleah. The rest is utopian nonsense and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

                    1. Oh, and I binge watched the 2nd season of Picard this week. OMG! Talk about heavy handed messaging on CLIMATE CHANGE, and VIOLENCE, and RACISM IN AMERICA, and HOW EVIL ICE IS FOR GOING AFTER ILLEGAL ALIENS!

                      Absolutely no carp for the producers, writers, and actors. Carp are too good for the likes of them!

                    2. Shatner reportedly had… words… to describe Nu Trek at San Diego Comic Con.

                    3. Watched the first season; from what I’ve seen of the second I won’t repeat that mistake. Also watched the first 3 (4?) seasons of ST Discovery (and is it just an accident that it can be abbreviated STD? I think not…) 🙂 . But Stacey the Whining Non-Governor Parasite as Queen Mother (pardon me, “President”) of Earth finally did it for me. Not only “No”, but…

              2. Of course one of the problems that phlogiston solved was what does light travel through? Because of it is a wave, it must have a medium to be a wave in.

                I gather there are a whole bunch of theoretical physics models that more or less end up creating that medium for light to be a wave in, so it’s quite possible that phlogiston turns out to have been right. Or not. The scientific process is weird like that. The only certainty is uncertainty.

                Which is probably also why it ends up being a terrible system to build governments around: a government’s legitimacy must be unassailable, and a system based on perpetual uncertainty is about as assailable as it gets.

                1. That’s Luminiferous ether, which came from trying to make a correspondence between electromagnetic waves and mechanical waves too exact. Phlogiston was the theory of combustion before Lavoisier got the bright idea of weighing reactants before and after a reaction and found the phlogiston theory had it backwards. Burning things meant combining with oxygen, not giving phlogiston off. Caloric theory, the theory that heat was a weightless fluid was credible, until it was found that heat could be created by friction, and there was an exact equivalence between mechanical work done and the amount of heat created. Epiycles were a decent approximation for the motions of planets, until Kepler found that an ellipse was a better one. And so it goes with other theories. It’s not really fair to deride theories that have been since been superseded. They were usually an advance in understanding over previous knowledge. “We see farther, because we are standing on the shoulders of giants”, as I think Newton put it.

                  1. And of course trying to detect the motion of the Ether led to the Michelson/ Morely experiment which gave an utterly unexpected result the C was a constant and heads us into special and general relativity.

                    1. This experiment for me always defined science: They already “knew” there was ether, they just finally figured out how to prove it… and proved themselves wrong. This doesn’t happen in any other discipline. Just the sciences.

                    2. Another one I Iove from a similar period is Rutherford bombarding gold foil with Alpha particles and some came back at the source
                      “It was quite the most incredible event that has ever happened to me in my life. It was almost as incredible as if you fired a 15-inch shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit you.”

                  2. Thank you.
                    And people to realize that today’s “knowledge” will be superseded, but not by diktat.
                    We should not be expecting or looking for “the next Newton”
                    For that was not a Newton, but Einstein.
                    We should not be expecting or looking for “the next Einstein”
                    For that was not an Einstein, but [REDACTED by Historical Continuity Editor].

                    But.. the approximations are getting better each go ’round.
                    You can some really neat stuff with Newtonian mechanics.
                    You can do some seriously astonishing stuff with Einsteinian mechanics.
                    Now, ponder what those who might be versed in… trans/post-Einsteinian mechanics might accomplish.

                    1. OK, your “[REDACTED by Historical Continuity Editor]” almost caused me to fall off the chair; well played! 🙂 (SHHHHH! His initials were ZC…)

                    2. > “For that was not an Einstein, but [REDACTED by Historical Continuity Editor].”

                      Orvan, you know you’re not allowed to take the Babylon Bee’s time machine on joyrides. 😛

                  3. Epicycles were introduced to explain the anomalous movements of planets when Earth was assumed to be the center of the universe. Putting us in our proper place as the third planet orbiting a minor star removed the need for epicycles.
                    There is but one greater sin than to be right when those in power are wrong — proving it.

                    1. Not the center, the most base.
                      Completely different mindset.

                      Sitting at the bottom of a well, looking up at the radiance of mysteries closer to God than you, is not an egocentric stance, but one rooted in humility.

                      I object to projecting our sins of hubris onto the past. They had their own problems, they don’t deserve to be our scapegoats.

                    2. Wrong. Epicycles were introduced to explain the anomalous movements of planets when the orbits of all the celestial bodies were assumed to be circles because that was the most ‘perfect’ shape. Kepler’s ellipses removed the need for the epicycles, not Copernicus putting the sun in the center of the solar system.

                      And at the time, the Copernican system was just as complicated with epicyles as the Ptolamaeic. In fact, mariners continued to use Ptolamaeic calculations of the position of the planets for quite a while, because they corrected predicted the positions of the heavenly bodies.

                      In high school, I defended the Ptolamaeic system against the Copernican (no fun defending something you knew was the winning side) using only the evidence available at the time. I won when the class voted on who had made the best case.

                    3. Epicycles were introduced to explain retrograde movement when, for example, Mars appeared to stop and reverse direction as it passed through conjunction. They might have been re-purposed later, but that was the original reason for epicycles.

              3. > “Although I’m not entirely sure about spontaneous generation.”

                Joking aside, look up abiogenesis: https://www.vedantu.com/biology/abiogenesis

                tl;dr version: spontaneous generation of a sort DOES happen in conditions like Earth is believed to have had billions of years ago, but then the life created by that process changed the atmosphere too much and those conditions are no longer found outside of a lab.

      1. I’ve read three plausible explanations for the Younger Dryas. Which tells me that people are taking it seriously, and are finding possibilities, but none of the theories account for enough results to be the smoking gun (or hole). That’s how it’s supposed to work. I like that. (Part of the problem is the chronology – nothing provides enough agreed-upon, fine-grained dating to be conclusively first cause.)

        1. Part of that issue is that the mega-fauna didn’t all drop dead on August 13th, 10,000 BC, and no medical examiner provided a certificate of death listing time and cause. Horribly inefficient bureaucracy back then, you know. And the only thing they seem to have improved in the past 12,000 years is their ability to mis-file stuff (clay tablets being bulkier and therefore harder to misplace, but easier to break), and make bad decisions.

          1. Visited the Berengia museum in Whitehorse, Yukon (before the current Canadian insanity) and remember them talking about prolonged drought helping do the megafauna in. No mention of Younger Dryas event.
            On the whole, Canadian rangers/docents seemed to be pretty balanced. Their take on “climate change,” was, “We don’t really know why the ice started melting up here around the 1850s, we just know it did. We’re drilling more ice cores to see if we can find an answer.”

            1. Umm, end of the Little Ice Age? Just a guess, of course.

              Today’s ‘Climate Scientists’ are taking much of their climate baseline data from the last half of the Little Ice Age. Surprise, surprise! It’s gotten warmer!

              1. Just because that happens to coincide with the later industrial revolution and the widespread burning of fossil fuels? Apparently, correlation is causation, and there ain’t no such thing as coincidence. Except as far as I can tell, there are still a couple of missing steps in the proof.

                1. They were honest about that, saying the ice melting just as industrialization was taking off wasn’t proof of a connection, which was ine reason to do more ice cores. Compared to the hysterical dogmatism we see here it was refreshing.
                  Mind you, that was in 2016. Now, under the rule of the Pretty Tyrant, who knows.

                2. It can be extremely difficult to distinguish correlation from causation, but honest researchers will do their best, and admit when it’s uncertain (which it usually is). I suspect we’ll never have a definite answer, just as with the extinctions at the K-T boundary: multiple candidates, no clear way to assign probabilities.

                  Me, I’ll go with your “What did you expect to happen after the Little Ice Age? Kumquats?”

  5. “It’s always a bad idea, forty years later to say “I did blah blah and the kids can too” without looking into what’s actually going on, as a rule of thumb.”

    It’s also a mistake, forty years later to say “I did blah blah but the kids now shouldn’t or can’t because things today are totally different (and besides we know better now)” without looking into whether and how things have changed.

    1. Sigh. Things aren’t better. What the colleges did was turn themselves into scams to finance beardo the weirdo’s retirement on the backs of college kids and their parents. Trust me on this. We had an up close and enlarged view, and we were not the worst of it.

      1. Uh, I presume you know what was meant. Which, to me, sounded like, “question everything.” What was possible decades ago might not be automatically possible today. BUT what was possible decades ago might still well be possible today. Now, as to if doing that thing is a Good Idea might well have change, possible or not. Thus do things need looking into.

        1. My method of college finance is still operational today.
          It merely requires you to be accepted into the U.S. Military and utilize their educational resources.
          Note that wokeism is hard at work in even that predominantly night school educational environment. And I’ve encountered far too many combat vets with degrees who have totally bought into the Prog-Soc elitist rule concept; which is not entirely surprising considering the military is based on a hierarchical command structure.

          1. I’ve never been able to try the “why don’t kids do that for college?” trope.

            It was complicated 50 years ago.
            A) Tuition waiver, based on the result of one (count ’em, ONE!) admissions/aptitude test. Perhaps a thousand or two of these were offered per year in the state. (Still had to pay fees and housing, but tuition was a major chunk of the costs for everybody else.)
            B) Survivor’s benefit, since my father had his last heart attack in November of my freshman year.
            C) $50/month allowance from Bank of Mom covered pizza and tobacco personal items.
            D) Summer jobs took care of non essential luxuries; the nice stereo plus the 8 year old clapped out MGB. That also covered the clothing budget that B didn’t fill.

            Some of these items might be doable, but I wouldn’t expect/wish/recommend that combination, especially “B”.

            OTOH, the MS program is most likely available through larger employers. (Course of study approved at work, I fronted the money, upon an acceptably good grade, tuition/books reimbursed.) YMMV.

                1. Younger son ALMOST died at ONE from asthma. So…. We were in “experimental treatment” territory. Which probably did neurological damage. Sigh.

                  1. Winces Yeah, ow.

                    …At least three time Lyme survivor here? And that’s just the times they know I had it – is very likely I may have caught it before it was identified, given where I lived.

                    The last recognized time I went to the doctor and insisted I had it again due to familiar stabbing headache pains. Doctor didn’t believe it, but drew blood for a test and gave me antibiotics anyway since I was sick with something. (At one point I hadn’t slept in over 3 days, couldn’t slow my heart down enough.)

                    …Over a week later the test comes back positive. Cue very startled doctor grudgingly telling me to “as I prescribed, keep up with the antibiotics….”

          2. > “It merely requires you to be accepted into the U.S. Military and utilize their educational resources.”

            But these days you’ll have to take the clot shot, get brainwashed by people who think that pronouns matter more than competence and readiness, and possibly even end up being ordered to attack Americans by an illegitimate CiC.

            It might still be available, but it is worth it?

        2. Yes. I took the part I quoted as being an expansion into “how things were done in general 40 years ago” from the original working-ones-way-through-college example.

          Yes indeed, working through college is not an option today (and was tough and only marginally possible even 40 years back). But there are a pile of other things that kids did do 40 years ago that now cause pearls to be clutched as being bad, wrong, badwrong, and “INCONCEIVABLE!” for kids to allowed to do today.

      2. MOST of the costs that students are complaining about are for graduate/professional schools. The average student getting a Bachelor’s degree has to pay back around $17K.
        Now, that WON’T be an Ivy education, nor at a HBCU (they not only cost more, but deliver a shoddier product). And, those students who charge their ‘fun times’ will pay more. Same with those switching majors.
        Also, don’t ask people who have the job you want what to do about schooling. Instead ask THEIR bosses what skills/training they would like to see in their new hires. And, don’t look at AVERAGE wages – what does the beginner make? How many openings are there, and how many people who’ve prepared for the jobs? Divide the number of people by the available openings and you will know how many people you will have to beat out for the job. Keep in mind, those with money/connections will be the likeliest to get the jobs.

        1. “Divide the number of people by the available openings and you will know how many people you will have to beat out for the job.”

          Make sure that availability number includes people outside the US, especially for anything involving information analysis, such as radiologist.

            1. Pro tip for Engineering students: No drugs, no DUIs, no Disorderly Conduct, no other crimes. Foreign nationals can’t get a security clearance. If you keep your nose clean, you CAN…which opens up a lot of potential jobs.

              1. Yeah this! The Reader many times had to explain the ‘rules’ for access to Special Access Programs to young engineers. It is the reason he had no social media presence until he retired in 2018 and hadn’t left the country since 1992. One of his favorites was explaining to a mentee why a hiking trip in the Balkans was a BAD idea.

              2. And if you are male make sure you signed up for selective service when required. Not having registered is an almost immediate disqualification for Secret or above clearance (and probably not a good sign for Confidential). Truthfully if you’re mechanically oriented and don’t want to do college keep your nose clean and hit the machining courses at the local Voc/Tech school. Senior Machinists when I was at Raytheon had pay similar to senior engineers, and were FAR harder to find, and They would pay a fair bit of the cost for you to get a BS at one of the local schools A manufacturing ME with actual practice is a very valuable creature indeed.

                1. Here in Dayton, a lot of companies are training and paying machinist trainees. A lot. And similar for other jobs. Alas that I have no mechanical inclinations, because that is good money.

                  1. I’m with you on that. Found making things fascinating in Junior High shop, but it was clear from my output that I did NOT have much talent in that direction 🙂 .

    2. This, @Deep Lurker.

      I paid a bit over $2,500 a year back in ’80. I paid a bit over $7,000 for my kids to get a more or less equivalent degree in 2015. Not quite 3x. I was earning $3.10 as an orderly, my son was earning $12.50 as a cashier. Just over 4x.

      I hear the same every family reunion. I have two nephews roughly the same age, same engineering degree (different but fairly equivalent schools), one saddled with horrendous college debt, the other debt-free. The difference? One set of parents decided to take lower pay in lower cost Indiana, the other set of parents opted to take the higher paycheck and live in Colorado. It’s hardly the fault of the Boilermaker that his folks had the foresight to choose a state whose in-state tuition was less than half that of the Oredigger.

        1. What? Or are you speaking of the total price tag, all 4 years?

          Looks to me as though my BiL was exaggerating some. According to https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/engineering-doctorate?schoolName=colorado&_sort=rank&_sortDirection=asc Colorado School of Mines is around $20k, not the $35k he was saying. Purdue is about the same price that what my other BiL said, just under $10k, less if you take at least some of your degree at their remote campuses. CSM is ranked #42 in engineering schools, Purdue is tied for #10.

          I’m still thinking BiL#2 made the better choice.

              1. Seven. Eight. AND they will arrange it by not having the classes available you need to graduate, but you have to stay enrolled, so you don’t pay loans and your year of enrollment counts. If you pause, when you go back they can demand you take or retake yet other courses. Don’t get me started.
                As I said, “it’s a scam”

              2. One of the grad school profs was flabbergasted that I wanted to finish in seven years total (two for masters five more for PhD). I remembered what it was like having a Real Job™ and income. Plus I was a decade older than most grad students. Tick,tick,tick, tick . . .

      1. I paid <$2k my freshman year, ’74 – ’75, for everything, not living at home. I think it was up to $3k, minus the car, last 4 years. Paid for by working USFS during summer (some, but not much OT, as I was not on a fire crew), and working for the School of Forestry school forester (fencing, planting, monitoring wood cutting and collecting fees). $2.15 – $2.95/hour. Did come out with a $8k loan. Mom and dad paid room and board first year, but after that I was on my own. They did come up with help if I ran short spring terms.

        Community College, ’83 – ’85, don’t remember tuition being too outrageous, and book material was mostly provided by instructors. Don’t count living expenses because by then that was a sunk cost. Technically living at home because, well by then, we were the home and paying for it, not our parents. Did pay for some of it by tutoring, but not really required to cover it.

        Back to university ’87 – ’89. That was a wake up call. $800/class + to me, very expensive books. But that was one class a term so not the full time discount. Besides employer was paying for successful completion. Paid up front, but got compensated on back end, for the first 4 terms (employer moved out of town). Was a wake up call, at almost $1200/term tuition costs. Not counting expensive books. No loans. Did work 1/2 time to help pay for it (10/hours Tues/Thurs). No loans. Also, we finished paying off our prior loans in ’89.

        Fast forward to son’s college. $18k – $30k/year between ’07 and ’12, for everything, including room and board. While people have commuted daily from Eugene to Corvallis, really not the best idea for most 18 – 22 year olds. No loans. Between 528k funds, us, and what the kid earned before heading to college, and summers, we managed to get him through.

        All state public schools, in tuition state/county costs.

      2. Having had younger daughter decide to attend the my (and my wife’s) alma mater I can compare prices pretty directly. My fall 1979 Tuition room and board was ~$6300. Younger Daughter started 2014 Total cost Tuition Room and board was ~$53000. Feeding my number through an inflation calculator yields ~20,550 as inflation adjusted price, so ~2.5 x inflation. Comparing her initial Salary to mine they are comparable (hers a bit better Mechanical Engineer vs Computer Science for me) adjusting for inflation. This is a good engineering school (no not that one 🙂 ) in Massachusetts. Other Engineering schools were similar or more . She applied to some of the same ones I did, but I don’t remember the prides there lo ~45 years ago. Her debt is similar proportionally to what I came out with or a bit less. She can thank her mom for teaching many summer courses of Intro Chemistry for that…

      3. My first Alma Mater went from 18K/year (private women’s liberal arts college) to 80K/yer between 1991-2021. Grad school at Flat State went from $100/credit hour to $1200/hour in 6 years. Plus books, of course. We joked that the price of books was how the governor recouped in-state tuition. This was without lab fees or similar additional fees.

        1. I know the average PER YEAR after the kids got a loan for half was around 14k per kid. There was no way they could work long enough to pay for that, not to mention all the labs and stuff.

  6. Ask any group of high school students a question these days and they will invariably answer with information and context from a movie they’ve watched! They don’t read books! They don’t have firsthand experiences. They only have perceptions!

    We have created an entire generation of lemmings. They are all headed for the cliff, this is simply Darwinism in action.

    1. EVERYONE that age answered from movies. Even my parents generation. Because visual is immediate.
      Then they grow up. (And some of them read voraciously. Readers for fun seem to be constant around 21%)

    2. I don’t know about that. My son has been reading his way through a bunch of the WWI literature . he’s reading Junger now with Barbuze next for contrast. he’s been through the English ones like Sassoon and Graves He’s developed a fairly sophisticated view on the whole thing and has already identified that the war poets were not at all representative of the people who fought the war. Yes, I smell a PhD in his future. Sigh.

      1. Has he found the series Dennis Showalter edited? If not, you might see if you can find one or two for him. They have volumes that look at different parts of the conflict that often get skipped, like Africa, or the Pacific, or Mesopotamia. [Full disclosure, I knew Dr. Showalter and he wrote me a job recommendation. However, I purchased these books for my own use and found them very useful.]

        1. No he has not. Thanks for pointing that way.

          My grandfather went through Gallipoli, Salonica, and then Palestine so I’ve always been interested in the secondary fronts.

          He has an interesting question, what was the reaction of the Irish troops at the front when the ‘16 broke out? From family history, we know that many felt betrayed, but it doesn’t seem that much work has been done and it’s not clear if there’s enough material to really find it out. We’ll see what, if anything, he does with it.

          1. I don’t know about the Irish in WWI. But the Poles fighting in Italy almost pulled themselves off the line when they found out about the Yalta Conference, and it’s assignment of post-war zones of influence in Europe. Reportedly the only reason why they didn’t is because they were told that there was no one to take their place in the line.

    3. You were the hopeless kids for the old farts of decades past who were the hopeless kids for their old farts repeat all the way back to the beginning of time.

      Any argument based on “the kids are just hopeless” is simply someone who has failed to mature enough to recognize the difference between a kid and an adult. And either does not have the memory, or the honesty to recall their own kidhood.

      TL;DR: a fool.

      1. She’s not a fool. But the media, and here the right media is complicit, paints all young people with the idiot brush. Unless you have kids and friends (I have friends of all ages) the right age, you’ll never know they’re selling you a bill of goods, since right and left agree on this. (The right out of “All is lost. Give up.” GRRRR.

        1. Perhaps not a fool (and who’s definition?), but someone who needs to be smacked with reality until they stop throwing sand in the machinery we need to get out of this.

  7. The funny thing about me (I’m almost 65 and definitely female) was that I never bought into the “I can’t do math” because my mother was the B of A Science and Math award winner at her school in 1953. I grew up “knowing” that women were as good at math as anyone who is wired that way. Not every person is. One brother is, one isn’t. One daughter isn’t, one is. My father had to go to summer school to take algebra over again when he was in high school, but had an AHA moment that summer and never looked back. I never looked at myself as unusual until a college instructor told me that I should go into teaching because I was so enthusiastic about math. Bleagh, I hate teaching and because I’m good at math, I’m not a good teacher of it.

    1. Look, I never bought into any of it. The people who really want to do it, don’t.
      My husband sucks at teaching math, because he’s a bona fid mathematical genius.

      1. I’m only slightly above average at math. What I do have, in spades, is ‘number sense’ – the ability to look at a result or graph, and say, ‘That doesn’t look quite right’.
        But, you can go a long way with basic skills, and a willingness to learn the parts you don’t know.

      2. My father, who was scarily smart, was an absolutely rotten teacher. My brother and I were totally traumatized by his efforts to teach us, at pre-school age, how to tell time. We knew he was going to lose his temper by about the third wrong answer, we’d be in tears, Dad would be frustrated beyond all measure, and Mom would go to the kitchen and grimly pour herself another glass of wine.
        Eventually, I learned to tell time on an analog clock in junior high…
        To his credit, Dad gave amazing nature walks!

        1. My brother once tried to teach long division. Next thing I knew he was teaching me COBOL but NOT long division. It was weird. Like there was a hole in his head.

          1. My husband started out a math major, late ’60s, to be a HS math teacher. His first teaching practicum experience, he left the San Diego College and moved to Forestry at Oregon State. His statement was “Figured I couldn’t kill one or two to make an example of them.”

            He did fine teaching and tutoring our son in math. He did great coaching sports. He did great with Scouts. Teaching in front of a classroom. Nope.

            Not happening. OTOH with coaching or scouts, it was up to me to organize things (well not so much scouts as that has their own way involving the youth themselves). Then the adults/parents would complain to me. Example. Baseball batting lineup was the same every game, who the kid was next to. Where the last up to bat, was at the end of the line to start next game. If you missed a game and the lineup put you toward the back? To bad. Since no kid, up to HS (where kidsports ends), had a reasonable excused absence, there were no exceptions. Kids got it, even if absence was due to parents. Parents, not so much. More than a few times my response was “This is how it works. This is how it has worked for the last X years. Get over it.” There were other consequences regarding missing practices.

    2. before they were little solid state electronics, Calculators were often people, in a group, off in a room, and were many times majority women (war time it was almost all women).

        1. I think it depended on what job they were working on. Those who worked out the artillery tables, etc. were Computers, iirc. Those doing massive accounting and inventory maths were Calculators. My mom’s step-uncle did Calculations as a side job when he was still in college. Dad worked for a hardware store and at inventory they’d count items and boxes of items, and state the price, and Unc could do the math in his head and write it down. That was before Ma and Dad ever dated. Small town.

          1. Military required us in tech school to do statistical calculations manually. Huge columns of numbers, without the aid of electronic calculators. Boring and tedious work, and the very brief satisfaction at the end if you got the right result. First thing I did when I graduated and reported to my first base was buy a TI-30. I swear I would have married that thing. Yet now look what we have today. A lot has changed in 45 years.

            1. The Reader notes that the application of computational power to statistics over the last 40 years has not been an unalloyed good. Too many math / statistical illiterates plug ‘data’ into complex statistical tests they have no understanding of. The result of ‘Eureka we have significance’ is worthless at least 99 times out of 100.

              1. And yet again, I beg to remind everyone (because some of you might not know this) correlation or statistical significance doesn’t mean there is a cause and effect relationship between the things being measured; only that they fit the mathematical model. What it does mean is that there MIGHT be a relationship. That can only be ascertained by research, observations, and testing. And even then you have to beware of your biases in whatever sampling and calculation methodology you use. Even random noise can occasionally take on a briefly repeating pattern.

                1. Now if only you could tie down the “climate experts” and Leftist “economists” and other such idiots and beat on their heads until that sunk in… along with the difference between “model” and “observed reality”. And the fact that reality always wins.

  8. I am not horrendously worried about current college age kids. Yes, there are large numbers of them who have no clue about history, logic, etc. But there are also a good proportion who are truly intelligent, genuinely curious, and definitely eager to learn, and who understand the value of criticism. At the same time, I would strongly suggest (as I have for decades) that parents of high-school seniors encourage their kids to take a year or even better, two, of walk-about/gap year(s). Don’t push them into college right away. Have them get a full-time job (or two or three), let them live at home, but have them earn and save money, and learn some life skills. They’ll figure out what they do and don’t like, and what they’re good at. Then let them decide about college.

    1. The difficulty with letting them do that (take a year or two off for a gap year) comes when you realize that the only way they’re going to be able to do college is with scholarships–which have to be applied for their junior and senior years of high school, and if awarded, must be accepted and used pretty much immediately following. We ran into this with my younger child especially. I would have liked to have given both of my children more time to figure all of this out. There wasn’t a good solution, though.

      As for if I regret sending them to college at all–yes. Yes, I do. My son would have done better with trade school, and–both of my kids have been radicalized and currently aren’t talking to me. What an expensive disaster educating them has turned out to be.

        1. I was hardly rich; got out of the Corps in 1967 as an E5 Aviation Radio Repair tech with excellent training. My “gap year” was from 1967 to 1976, when I switched from design lab tech at [old company defense contractor] to engineer at [new company defense contractor], and was required to get my EE degree (no complaints; I was reimbursed). I found out later that it wasn’t about doing the work, with which I had no problem, but about the part of government contracts which paid according to the number of “degreed engineers” on the program, the familiar “credentials vs. ability” garbage.

      1. Wow. So sorry.

        Our son got a partial college scholarship out of HS for Chemical Engineering. Sounds fancy. However, he learned that he didn’t Like Chemical Engineering (ended up not keeping the scholarship). He like Chemistry. Likes working with his hands, and the challenge. Graduation timing sucked, locally the jobs dried up (evaporated with the companies who were bought out for their patents). He is still looking. He does not want to move to California or east coast. He is building cabinets. Decent pay. Has been supervisor, but left that company for more sane hours, both working times, as well as fewer work hours (working swing minimum of 60 to 70 hours a week, understaffed, gets old in a hurry). Was recruited into the new company.

        We’re not sorry he went to college. Even if he never uses the degree or does something that requires a college degree. OTOH he is a conservative, or more so than we are. Not sure how we lucked out there (good parenting I guess, … oh wait …). His college, OS (Corvallis), is slightly more sane than the UofO (Eugene), but slightly, is faint praise.

        1. Both sons earned scholarships for colleges that would have cost us double what going to nearby school while living at home cost.
          I would like to point out, maybe their base tuition is lower than what we paid, but then there’s lab fees, and special project fees and fees fees. And they kept going up.

          1. Son earned a 50% tuition scholarship to a private school in Arizona. That meant $25k in tuition alone. Didn’t count living expenses, or books, or fees, or flying him back and forth.

            I’m with you on fees, and lab fees, and the splitting of classes for lectures, labs, and an hour for discussions. Required to take the same term, but often couldn’t get into all of them scheduled the same term. I mean this typically earned more hours than we did back in the day, but still.

            When I took Chemistry, it was a 4 hour class, scheduled for all 3 above at the same time. Got into lecture, got into the lab and practicum (whatever they called it). Forestry classes were 5 hours, every one of them; 3 hour lectures and 2 hours lab, except the labs often were 4 – 6 hours on Tuesday or Thursday (which really messed with scheduling non forestry classes).

      2. “…radicalized and currently aren’t talking…”. 😦

        All my sympathy; you can only hope they’ll mature out of it, which many do. Best wishes for reconciliation!

  9. Tell me about it. I still think of the ’90s as “recently”. It’s still too new to be retro, dang it!

  10. Future is receeding
    Think timing ain’t quite right
    We are time traveling here, by our own device….

  11. College is a bad example in so far as today I strongly feel caring, responsible parents should not allow their children attend university.

    However I am in the I did and paid my way over 60 years ago and ain’t no reason kids can’t now, camp. The main thing delimiting our actions is knowing, for one reason or thirty others, that it can’t be done. Yes, of course some things are physically, economically, or whatever, impossible we all know that. On the other hand we all knew it was impossible to run a mile in less than four minutes,

    until Roger Bannister did so.

    The time machine; Felling, bucking, splitting a few cords of firewood seems harder and takes longer this year. Ah, at least I can look back and remember the halcyon days when I was a spry 82. 😉

    1. Trust me, it’s not impossible, no. But you need to be in certain regions and taking certain degrees. (If my kids had been in humanities, they could have done it, because they knew most of it going in. The question then being why would they?)

  12. The first commandment is still the most important one. Humility is not an easily acquired virtue. So many people think skepticism means dismissing anybody who disagrees with what the current “smartest people” all know instead of questioning all assumptions, and then accepting the useful ones but constantly remembering that they are still assumptions. I went to college in search of the classical idea of learning how to become an educated person. The learning I best remember in college came from unexpected places.

    One was having an intellectual debate with a history prof. about whether FDR deliberately let the disaster at Pearl Harbor happen. He treated my adolescent notions with dignity and seriousness and we turned into a class-wide lesson on historical research and applied logic.

    Another was being challenged by a friend over who wrote Shakespeare. We spent a day in the library researching the history and details of all the claims, and it was quite enlightening. Not sure I ever convinced him of the meaning of what I learned, but I convinced myself on a topic that I had no previous knowledge of.

    A third was from one of the “flaky” classes on The Poetry of Rock Lyrics.” That was where I learned a true appreciation of poetry especially that appreciating poetry was not about decoding it for meaning as if it were an algebra problem in the way my high school classes had inadvertently taught me. That poems were not lectures, but the best were evocative of meaning in a way that, at its best, bypasses the analytical part of our brain.

    I can only wish those types of experience on our younger generation despite the dogmatic insistence of our lumpen bureaucratariat on the mindless repetition of accepted “knowledge.”

    1. FYI, Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. The doubts come from people who don’t know THE TIME PERIOD. (Shakespeare is absurdly well documented for the time, and changed his signature very little FOR THE TIME.)
      So “know the context is important”.

      1. And a lot of the “Shakespeare couldn’t have written Shakespeare” comes down to class prejudice. “The petty bourgeoisie aren’t capable of that!”

        You can use the same logic of “only someone who had experienced these things could have written so accurately about them” to prove that the author of “Independence Day” we only know as “Roland Emmerich” was nothing but a pseudonym for John McCain.

        1. Especially since his early plays can be positively silly about court. They improve, AFTER the point at which he was hobnobbing with nobles and royalty.

      2. Because Francis Bacon, Queen Elizabeth and Christopher Marlowe had so much free time to meet up on a regular basis and collaborate on plays. It’s not as if they had anything else to do, or anything . . .

      3. Yep, that’s what I discovered. Did you know that the first written questioning of Shakespeare’s authorship was in a farce? It was a joke people! To show how stupid the characters were. When some character asked, “Who wrote Shakespeare?” and the first moron says, “Francis Bacon.” Second moron replies, “No it was Finis, I saw his signature at the end of the play.” It was the equivalent of the mid-20th century, “Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?” joke. Every other “proof” was just as silly.

          1. Yep, it’s from High Life Below Stairs, vintage 1759. And the rest of their evidence is just as stupid. I was trained to parse and validate the Gospels. The, somebody-else-wrote-Shakespeare stuff was almost too stupid to bother refuting. Even when they finally settled on “Shakespeare was too stupid to write those plays,” they ignore all the counter evidence that Bacon was too well-educated to make all those stupid mistakes.

            If you make the claims outlandish enough, they’ll get publicity, and people will forget that they’re absurd. What was that academy award winning “documentary” that said Manhattan would be under 12 feet of water by now? And then Eeek-gore went out and bought a beach house with some of the money he made.

  13. I’ve gotten to the age I can show how old I am by how many doomsdays I’ve outlived: the New Ice Age, the Population bomb, the ozone hole, Y2K, the ice-free Arctic, 2012 and the nuclear wars of Reagan, Bush and Trump.

        1. Not before mine. I remember very seriously discussing with the mob of neighbor children that I walked with from Vineland Elementary School that perhaps we should split up and walk home in smaller groups, so that the “Russians” wouldn’t waste ammunition, machinegunning our larger group from the air.
          I also remember the ‘duck and cover’ drills, in school. I fancied that the air raid siren warbling away was some giant pterodactyl, flapping in circles over the school, looking for bad, disobedient children.
          Some of us had watched too many movies…

      1. Not Eisenhower. But around for Kennedy.

        I remember rivers burning.

        Gotten now a Zombie Crisis is more believable than any crisis, including climate crisis, they can come up with now.

        1. Considering the chilling speculation of the effects of either the CCP virus, or the mRNA vaccines for it, on the brain, and the concept of a zombie plague becomes way too real.

        2. Zombies are brainless, unfeeling automatons that feed off the intelligence of others. Sounds like we already have a horde out of DC. We need a snowcat

          1. “We need a snowcat”

            That reminded me of Chapter 26 from Monster Hunter: Alpha, with Earl, Aino and the snow-cutter. Good times…

      2. “Were you around for the nuclear wars of Eisenhower and Kennedy?”

        Raises hand, yep. At least then the idea was individuals building bomb shelters not the government mandating them. Duck and cover actually came in handy for Russian schoolchildren when the last big meteor slammed Siberia a few years ago. The blast shattered all the windows, and the kids were safe thanks to an alert teacher who saw the flaming glide path.

  14. Schools these days favor girls, in the sense that schools make it easier for girls to succeed at school. And of course, this not good for anybody, including girls. But that led me to think further about how, exactly, schools fail girls, especially girls who are not odds. (not that they don’t fail those kinds of girls too, but looking at the average, here)

    If there are masculine characteristics that were trained through many traditional male activities, that are clearly being suppressed in schools, what are the feminine characteristics that are not being trained in today’s schools that favor girls?

    And I come to the conclusion that schools do not teach girls how to move beyond the (instinctual feminine?) categorization of everything as “nice” or “mean.” They don’t teach girls how to cooperate – just how to obey and enforce the rules – is that what socialization is? Which doesn’t deny the fact that a certain amount of socialization is necessary – we’re social creatures. Is that what the feminine does, maybe? Socialize, usually through story?

    People talk about girls as if they cooperate more than boys, but I don’t see, at the moment, that anything about the feminine is naturally cooperative, at all. “Socialization” is not the same as cooperation. “Nice” isn’t cooperative. “Nice” can kill, or quarantine, or maim, out of “kindness,” to enforce the social structure.

    So what is the traditional structure that controls the feminine extreme of using story to enforce compliance? Can and should we use it? How should it be modified? I admit, I don’t think the merit hierarchy works here, at least not in the sense of competitive contests, but I may be wrong. It seems like it should be something different.

    1. Girls don’t, if they’re not trained to. I’m not sure they do if trained. I never experienced it.
      The main way they fail males AND females socially is in “dirtying” friendship.
      There is no longer a platonic ideal of friendship (which everyone needs in life, honestly) only “if you’re that close you must want to have sex with each other.”
      That’s horrifically bad for society and humans in general.
      The other part of this of course is that meritocracy is practically non existent in school. It’s all victim points and sucking up.

      1. And it doesn’t just screw up the friendships. It also screws up people who want a relationship, eventually with sex, but not as the be-all-end-all of life.

  15. He almost did. I remember my parents giving me instruction as to what to do if the bang happened during the Cuban Missile Fiasco and they weren’t home for some reason. We had a basement and were a suitable distance from a target…

      1. Regardless, I’d prefer that we never end up in a situation in which the Russians feel a need to test that theory. Unfortunately, some of the idiots in Washington keep suggesting ideas actions (ex. Enforce a no-fly zone) in Ukraine that will lead directly to such a test.

          1. About thirteen years ago I began to assume the idiots in Washington are enemies of America.

              1. But also of such Americans as are people but not human on account of being dragons or some such.

      2. It’s a fair question. IIRC, Dr. Pournelle let slip on his blog that the estimates were for a 30% dud rate for our own warheads in the mid-60s. Soviet warheads? Probably 50%. It would not surprise me if the peace was kept in the 1970s mostly because nobody knew what the real reliability numbers were.

  16. If I had a real time machine I’d go back and kick my arse for using Nacho Cheese Doritos and Doctor Pepper to quit smoking.

  17. Speaking of time travel, we are rapidly closing in on 3 years since a certain bat virus Absolutely Did Not Escape from a certain Chinese lab where they Absolutely Were Not performing certain prohibited experiments which Absolutely Were Not Gain Of Function…

    Now I’ve got a weird feeling. Could it be a symptom of Sarcasm Fatigue?

    1. The Reader has been wondering about that. The Chinese response seems all out of proportion to the threat, even adding in the CCP preference for totalitarian responses to any threat. We have seen that the virus mutates pretty rapidly and that it was loose in China for a while before getting to the rest of the world. What if the version that got loose (was released?) was actually more deadly than what we have seen in the West? This is speculation – the Reader has no data.

      1. Puts mind to the fiction of Clancy, where the weaponized biological agent is tested against prisoners, and their caretakers (also prisoners). But upon initial release, was scary, but those infected and died initially, were those who were medically compromised. Much deadlier pathogen, but known in the wild as burning out before it can spread. Tried to make it just as deadly, but spread before burning out. They failed, even though their “tests” showed otherwise.

        1. Don’t recall that one; the only weaponized biologic in Calancy’s books I remember was the weaponized Ebola in Rainbow Six. and it would have worked as designed by the Gaiasts(?) to “Save The Earth” but was prevented from being released.

          I always thought the poetic justice meted out at the end was wonderful, but I’m not a very nice person.

              1. Yes. Executive Orders. Ebola by Iran (although I didn’t remember which middle east idiot state).

                I always thought the poetic justice meted out at the end was wonderful, but I’m not a very nice person.

                I agree 100%. Both statements. Guess I’m not very nice either.

                1. Yeah, I think I remember it. But I was specifically referring to Rainbow Six; Ebola modified to be air-vectored by a coalition of “Greenies” who wanted to reduce the global population by about 98% by spraying it through misters in (IIRC) Australia at (again, IIRC) a sports event with 100k or so in attendance, to be spread around the world when they all went home. The Rainbow crew (antiterrorist strike force; no relation to the current morons and their idiot flag) found out and stopped it, then dropped off the perps in the middle of the Amazon jungle, with no equipment or supplies. As I said, poetic justice (“You like unspoiled nature; enjoy!”).

                  1. Been a long time since I read Rainbow 6. I have it (now) in ebook form but haven’t reread. Rainbow 6 takes place after Executive Orders. End of Executive Orders had President Ryan breaking to a live feed, where the source of that Ebola plan, gets a large laser targeted missile down his chimney. President Ryan then clearly states that biological weapons are weapons of mass destruction and the US would have been justified in flattening Iran in retaliation, but one arrogant person, in secret, was the source, so President Ryan didn’t want to punish the whole country.

                    1. I think I remember that; Ryan was being urged to destroy Qom, right, and chose to hit the perp’s (Ayatollah’s?) house alone.

                    2. Yes. Along the consequences of “You thought you could get away with it because to retaliate is defined head of state does something, entire country is tar painted.” Ryan changed that definition. “Nope. We know the people would be just as appalled at what you did. They don’t have the capacity to punish you. Guess what, we do. We can spare your people doing so.” To the rest of the world? “Watch and learn.”

      2. Early on, there was a theory running around that the local version of the virus in the initial release was much nastier than what the rest of the world got. But even if that was the case (and while I originally gave the theory some consideration, I no longer do), there’s no evidence that the current version in China is any worse than what the rest of the world has. Instead, what we appear to be dealing with is a combination of political power plays (Xi dealing with possible rivals), and an inability to admit that Beijing’s “Zero COVID” policy will not and cannot work.

        There’s something to remember in this. Videos that I was watching about the Chinese bank protests that are happening right now noted that up until now, Beijing has done a very good job of keeping their citizens unaware of problems in other parts of the country. The CCP can’t stop all rumors (though it definitely tries to). But the censorship of the news means that citizens in, say, Hubei don’t hear about problems in Shanghai. Thus each province tends to assume that most of China is doing just fine, and only their locale is dealing with whatever serious issues afflict them. As a result of this, Chinese citizens tend to view their local government officials as the source of whatever problem currently afflicts them. So they appeal to the central government in Beijing, completely oblivious to the fact that in many cases their current afflictions are the result of policies implemented by the very people that they’re appealing to for relief.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if the news blockade is in the process of bursting. There seems to be a lot more going on than is usually the case in China. But for the time being, most Chinese citizens likely don’t realize just how widespread the problems in the country are, and how much the central government is to blame. And as a result, when citizens get upset over things like the COVID lockdowns, they get upset with their local leadership. They don’t get upset with Beijing.

          1. Internet addiction is a real problem for teenagers in the three East Asian countries. There is some evidence that the CCP wants to cut out non-official education sources for the youth, as they apparently started going after things like tutoring companies and the like. IIRC, that started a couple of years ago, though I might have the time frame wrong. So a desire to control the access to information for teenagers might very well be a factor in the game ban. But also remember that internet addiction is a real thing over there. So there are practical, non-political, reasons for implementing a policy like that.

            1. You say “internet addiction is a real thing over there” as if it isn’t also an addiction here. Admittedly, here it’s mostly “cellphone zombies”, but the principle is the same.

              1. Sure, it’s a thing here as well. But there haven’t been stories of people here in the US literally dying during days-long binges on the internet.

                I suspect part of it might be related to the use of internet cafes in that part of the world. Internet cafes pretty much don’t exist in the US (the closest thing is free wireless access at places like Starbucks), where nearly everyone can get internet at home. But at least in China (I’m not sure about Korea and Japan, though cafes are popular there was well, from what I understand), it’s not uncommon to not have home internet. So if you want to do anything online, you go to the cafe. And once you’re there, well, if you want to get up and do something else for an hour or more (such as eat, or maybe sleep…), the computer that you were on will be taken by the time you get back. So why would you get up? It’s safer to stay at the computer.

                Or at least that’s my theory.

                1. Oy… OK, I’m unfamiliar with that, never having used a public internet connection other than in motels during trips.

  18. From Twitter, a very instructive thread on just how violent the 1970s were. We tend to forget how much political violence was going on at the time. I have theories as to why we’ve been allowed to forget . . .

      1. I remember. Some of that happened in Eugene. Burning of Romania Truck Dealership down by the UofO, for being gas guzzlers, comes to mind.

    1. Rote Armee Fraktion. The Black Panthers. The PLO and all of it’s offshoots [“Splitter!”]. And those were just some of the big names, not all the other groups and individuals.

      1. Greens. Red Army Faction. Europe had dozens of violent terrorists operating all over the place. The one thing that I haven’t seen, yet, is organized violence by the huge numbers of Muslim immigrants to those countries. I fully expect to see it happen, because most of them are not assimilating into the native country cultures, and their numbers are growing…

        1. Moslem infiltrators don’t proceed to organized violence until they’ve driven the ‘infidels’ out of their enclaves with unorganized violence and established areas of sharia law.

          Does the French Army still patrol Paris in squads of four, with battle armor and submachine guns?
          Those who do not remember the lessons of history are doomed to repeat the mistakes. Those who do remember are doomed to watch everybody else repeat them.

    2. That’s right. I didn’t even think of it that way — it was just part of “normal” growing up. When I got to college in 1976 and joined AFROTC, I was part of the first AFROTC class to wear uniforms on campus again, because the protests had made that dangerous (they bombed the field house, where ROTC (among other things) offices / classes were. Before my class, they used to wear normal clothes to the classes and then change into uniforms.

      Just like inflation under Carter was part of my “normal.”

      1. Wife and I got to be experts at pretending to be Germans when I was last stationed in Europe. Sales people all over Europe would speak to us in German, and look doubtful when we told them we were really Americans. Except the French. They immediately believed me whenever I tried to speak French. Not even the worst Nazi on the planet would do to the French language what I do to it. (Remember that hearing disability of mine? No idea why I mangle French. I don’t have any problem with German, Spanish, Korean, or Japanese pronunciation.)

        1. I got approached several times, especially in my road trip through Europe in the autumn of 1985. I had practiced so successfully at blending in, that American tourists approached me, and asked for guidance…
          Me – fairish, brown-haired, with a fair-haired child in tow, driving a Volvo.
          I took this as evidence of how very well I had learned to blend in.

          1. Even in the 1990s and on, I was taught to blend in as best I could. I usually got mistaken for being English, or maybe Canadian (neutral accent), unless I was speaking German. Then I often get pegged as Austro-Bavarian. I’m fine with that!

            1. In France I was German, in Germany I was French. Everywhere else, including sometimes Portugal, I was German or English on Italian. To Italians I was from Milan. To Englishmen I was CLEARLY American. Or Scottish. (WHAT?)
              <Shrugs. Anything but Portuguese in Europe in the 70s.

  19. Without going into a long and boring personal history, I’ve had numerous bruising encounters with lower-division college education where I couldn’t make tuition and couldn’t maintain the focus on a specialty if I did. I finally escaped with an AS in “Individualized Program”. At some point I decided to make a virtue of necessity. I wasn’t going to wait around for the next on-ramp into the system and went bushwhacking through the underbrush of books in the library. After a few deep dives into interesting-to-me but practically useless subjects like the history of mathematics, symbolic logic, and geochemistry, and enough trips through modern history to be familiar with the landscape, I became less and less comfortable with the standard Marx-and-Freud theory of everything that’s baked in and fed to college students these days. I never liked it in the first place, and now I am a true unbeliever. I can do my own time travel, thank you, and The World isn’t what they think it is. It never was.

  20. With respect to Global Warming…it should be remembered and never forgotten that the IPCC, which seems to be the primary heat source, is a government organization designed to give advice to governments. That may or may not be a fine and wonderful thing, but it isn’t and never was a scientific organization and doesn’t and never did science. An organization that did science would give attention to the doubters and naysayers and give, or at least try to find, full and convincing answers to their objections. It wouldn’t slander or censor them. (The same goes for epidemiology and epidemiologists.) Admittedly, there are those who will remained unconvinced no matter what the evidence (cf. the Flat Earth Society), but honest scientists recognize that the easiest person to fool is yourself, and the best preventative is to take seriously all the reasons why you might be wrong.

  21. I think the response may not be to question, but to assert and confront. Politely (until the opposition throws a fit), but firmly. Honest folk will be willing to discuss the subject. Leftists will throw a tantrum.

  22. Humans really cannot affect global heating or cooling. Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines blew more ozone-depleting gasses into the atmosphere than humans have since thd beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

    The “answer” our fellow travelers always off wr is more government and less personal liberty.

    It won’t be me, for reasons I have previously explained, but not all those younger than Boomers is going to exhibit our patience. The leftists will keep pushing, f around, and find out.

    I hope I’m in Heavrn by then.

    1. Brilliant People: Let’s put reflectors in space to send back the solar radiation and stop global warming!

      Farmers, Botanists, and People With a Clue: You don’t like eating, do you? Because plants need solar energy and CO2.

      Climate Historians and Paleo-Climate Researchers: What part of “causes of continental glaciation” do you not understand?

      1. Thanks! I’m ambivalent about it; but I have family members yet to reconcile with, so yeah, I probably need more time.

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