Tied to the Madman

There is a poignant scene in one of the Giovanni Guareschi Don Camillo books, (set in mid-century Italy, where communism and Catholicism are fighting it back and forth. They’re humorous, profoundly human, and easy reads. The stories are like 200 words each.) in which, during a period of high strife, the priest goes out to bless the river. Btw, if you need examples of how to be a flea on the side of the commies, that character is terribly subversive in little ways (as well as liking to hit them on the head. I might have taken him for a model when I was a pre-teen. Sigh. And Comrade Don Camillo is the best book for how to turn things on their heads if you’re in deep hiding in a lefty stronghold, either professional or geographic.)

Anyway, in the little village on the Po river where the priest and the communist mayor fight it out, the river is an ever present danger, and people cope with it the way they have coped with such things throughout history: every year the priest goes to the river and blesses it, in the hopes that it will become (I am remembering in Italian, the English translation is probably different) “A well behaved citizen and stay within its bounds.”

Now, this is not magic, of course, and the priest explains that. Blessing the river does not guarantee that the river won’t burst out of its bed and flood the village (later on in the book there are accounts of a flood, and if you think that a book can’t paint a picture, be sure it can. For the rest of my life, I’ll carry the image of the priest saying mass in the deserted and flooded village, while across the river, on the safe bank, his flock who fled the flood kneel on the muddy soil at the tolling of the consecration bell. BTW Guareschi is the writer I’d like to be when I grow up. Trained as a journalist, he uses minimal words, but the images stay with you.) It’s just that blessing it gives people hope it won’t, and allows them to live in a precarious place, at a precarious time without losing their minds. (It is important to remember that whatever else humans are, they’re creatures of ritual and habit, and sometimes those are the only panaceas for difficult situations.)

Well, the communists have their dander up, so they tell the priest they want to march in the procession to bless the river with their flags and paraphernalia and the priest says no, they say anyone in the procession will get beaten. They demand the priest cancel it, and people lose their minds. So, the priest says he’ll go alone, if needed. Needless to say, the communists follow, in what is an intimidation maneuver (they have no new moves, really.)

So, Don Camillo, without looking back, gets to the river and prays that the Lord will keep the river within its bounds. And of course, because he knows the audience at his back, he says “If the houses of decent people could float, I’d ask you for a flood like Noah’s. But since the houses of decent people are made of the same stone and brick and sink like the houses of scoundrels, I beg you to make the river behave.”

In case you’re wondering what went wrong in America, and why we are where we are: we forgot our houses can’t flood.

While the business of America is business, and we went about being business like, realist and productive, like a nation composed of middle class people who just want to live in peace, we let our institutions of learning, the government and every other “official” mechanism get infested with Beardo the Weirdo. (The females are worse.)

While the rest of America and the rest of the world recovered from the craziest ideas of the mid sixties to the mid seventies “Everyone must have sex with everyone else! Kids are sexual! Swallow all the pills that make you see weird things! The noble savage was totally a thing, and if we become savages we’ll be noble! The west is the worstest civilization ever, and the rest were all peaceful, sweet and wise” we didn’t realize, or didn’t care that the universities didn’t.

This was stupid, because we are in fact tied to the madmen.

From the universities came the people who staffed the media, the government, the arts, and the knowledge industry all of which are, yes, addicted to credentials.

People ask why Trump was so bad at hiring for government: Well, because he had to mind credentials, and credentialing is now corrupt at all levels, from your elementary school kids to the highest judges in the land. (Hello Queijada Brown, you incredibly ignorant and stupid creature. I don’t know if you started stupid but having achieved the level you don’t know what’s a woman is quite a high mark of how far you’ve come.)

Trust me on this. There are people who are still knowledgeable and productive in their fields, but even in stem this means that they had to learn a lot on their own, and a lot of it against their training. Yes, there are still good STEM programs, but they’re not the ones you expect, and they’re despised by all right thinking — and wealthy — people.

As for non-stem, what happened to it was the result of trying to make the soft sciences into “Science”. Most of the studies are irreproducible. Most of the cherished shibboleths are as useful as blessing a river against floods: they might make you feel better, but they really don’t do much more.

The problem being that instead of being faced with reality and reigning in, Academia and the “factories of (mostly counterfeit) knowledge” were ignored and allowed to spin more and more out of control.

And most of the insanity pouring out right now is traceable to that. As is, btw, the assumption that the insanity means you’re “smart.” Because it’s associated with the “good” credentialing institutions.

That whole discussion in the old post about “if boys and girls were fed the same and had the same expectations set, they would grow up to be exactly alike” is what went into the universities in the seventies. It’s what I was taught as “science.” There were “experiments” that indicated this. (No, not really. What they indicated is that countries with better nutrition had their women grow taller and be stronger. No one looked at the boys.)

The whole “The world is coming to an end because humans are a cancer upon the Earth” whether from overpopulation (Snort giggle), overusing water, growing too much food, etc, were accepted “science” of the seventies (and mostly based on the “work” of Paul Ehrlich who is really a horror novelist masquerading as a futurist. Also, who wouldn’t know things like why we pasture cows in certain land, etc or even the water cycle if it bit him in the flesh part of his back. In fact, the man is a running (Screaming, moaning, idioting) advertisement for what a little bit of knowledge of statistics can do to a weak brain infected by perpetual panic and a greed for money.)

The whole “eat the bugs” is based on that and also on that old chestnut “Diet for a small planet” which was considered sane as late as the eighties. (It should be called “Diet for idiots who don’t realize we don’t live on spiney oak, but cows and goats do.”)

Worse, this garbage which had no contact with reality went into the universities in the mid seventies, and what came out is even crazier.

“Men and women could be exactly alike” (ignoring the true science of human biology) went in and what came out was “you can be any sex you want, and sex doesn’t really exist and gender is a construct.”

And the problem, ladies, gentlemen and curious aardvak is that we’re tied to the madmen.

We, the people who can still find reality with two hands and a seeing eye dog still need credentials. We need to hire people — doctors, or lawyers, or engineers — with credentials. We need to send our kids into these factories of insanity for the credentials. It’s all very nice to say “My kid won’t see the inside of a university, ever” and of course there are trades you can learn that are just as lucrative, but in the end it amounts to giving up the fields that require university credentials to the madmen.

And we’re tied to the madmen, who have now decided all knowledge is white supremacy and they’re just going to award degrees and posts depending on your paintchip color, your sex (which doesn’t exist, but it’s essential, nonetheless) and your impeccable Marxist beliefs. (Hello again, Queijada Brown, you sub-moronic life form.)

So…. What do we do? I don’t know. I know our houses won’t float any more than the madmen’s. But I also know that a flood is coming.

And that afterwards we’ll still need some institutions and some credentials, and that–

Well, what can’t go on won’t.

Part of that feeling you have of an impending storm that levels all things? I think metaphorically we’re getting ready for Noah’s flood. And like that one, it will be worldwide.

But be aware the waters will recede, no matter how awful the cost.

Build your arc, whatever shape that might take, so you and yours can come safe through the flooding. Move to a safer place, establish a network you can trust, make whatever preparations you need. (And here, I’ll point out Noah was right: two by two is easier. Don’t try going it alone. At least have friends.)

And, knowing the Huns, and who you are and what you do: learn. Lay in stocks of knowledge: real knowledge, real things, and real equipment to procure knowledge and real equipment to build and make real things.

At the end of this, we’ll need to rebuild the networks of knowledge. And some of us are addicted to the stuff and can’t help it. Read, write, practice. Learn whatever you can, even if it seems silly at the time.

Get ready to take the weight, because the structure is screaming and groaning, and the waters are already rising.

Be not afraid. Be prepared.

377 thoughts on “Tied to the Madman

  1. I speak as someone who grew up with parents who took Ehrlich as gospel (only far more seriously than they ever took Christianity): your words on Ehrlich are far too kind.

    And huh. I’ve gone through a lot of academia, and kept running up against, it seemed to take a kind of crazy to become a Ph.D. and I realized I just didn’t have it. I wasn’t thinking that kind of crazy, but….

    1. Either you are a touch touched, or you can fake it really, really well (yo!). I was blessed to have an advisor who accepted the proper noises, AND who had been in the Real World™ before going into academia. I came out of grad school as sane as I went in (one minor break-down that only lasted a few hours). thoughtful kitty look Not that that’s a high bar . . .

      1. It’s probably my inner contrarian but I left graduate school more conservative than before.

        1. Possibly a lack of being able to successfully compartmentalize your thinking, so that beliefs they were trying to instill kept stubbing their toes on your observation of reality.

  2. As I wrote this week at Chicagoboyz, with regard to a post about a favorite author by another Hun:
    “It’s the notion of a dying civilization that haunts, especially in this year. One has the sense of standing on a crumbling wall, looking at the odds and knowing that even if you win for the day, tomorrow there will be another assault, and another after that. Many of us are now standing on that wall, or lighting the fire in that tower, resolving to resist the barbarian horde, but there is a single overwhelming difference. In the times that Rosemary Sutcliff wrote about, the enemies of the Pax Romana were barbarians from outside, intent on conquest, wanting land and riches for themselves, and to brutally quash anyone getting in their way. In our own time, the barbarian savages, hungry for power above all and motivated by the unquenchable thirst to destroy through famine, plague, economic destruction, and open warfare against all of those who stand in their way … are none but our own ruling elite.”

    1. The thing that such people—the folk who want to burn it all down and rule over the ashes—don’t seem to understand is that if you are at the top of a pyramid, breaking the foundation stones means that you tumble down.

      1. They certainly lack imagination, but I think some of them do know, I think most of it is guilt and I hate you daddy.

          1. Robert Nozick wrote a lot about this in trying to describe why all the professors at Harvard were lefties, he was a libertarian. In his telling, the Harvard professors were tops in what they valued — good grades — and the world didn’t value good grades as much as they did. This is intolerable.

            I love how so many professors are all about confiscating other people’s property, but get all worked up about plagiarism, which is essentially confiscation of their property. This accounts for the rather hysterical footnoting I. American academic work. Fish don’t see the water in which they swim.

            1. They used to get worked up about plagiarism. Now they largely don’t if it would discredit those pushing the narrative, or where it would be against Woke.

          2. We tried that under Kennedy, Johnson and McNamara, hiring bright kids with no life experience from Harvard and other Ivy League schools to help run the country…The result, as described in detail in David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest, was the prolonged horror of the Vietnam War,…Which the Pentagon knew could never be won….

                1. Bingo. Tet broke the Viet Cong and but a huge dent in the NVA – and the US media declared that the war was over and the US had lost, and that South Vietnam was worse than the north because of corruption, and the Whiz Kids believed the press.

              1. Even those who were putting out Vietnamese/ Russian/ Communist propaganda were amazed at how quickly the American media ate it up.

                1. We’re a great country served by boneheaded intelligence and sub-moronic journalists.
                  Those who fail at either profession can get top marks at colleges of education, though.

                  1. It’s almost worth an entire essay, but If I hadn’t already learned enough about religion to be suspicious when I first encountered Freudian and Marxist ideas, not to mention those of a dozen or hundred other noted intellectuals, I might have believed everything I encountered in school. Critical thinking? Does that mean not accepting everything you read in the social studies textbooks as established, proven fact? Blasphemy!!!

                    1. It’s been long enough that dismissing these ideas is experienced as literal blasphemy by most people, which is why we annoy them so badly.
                      Ah, well, I aim to misbehave.

                2. And now they range the entire spectrum from maybe we weren’t perfect to how dare you! not trusting the media is a threat to democracy !

            1. I went to Vietnam shortly after the Tet offensive. What the media described and what I saw were like different universes. The Tet offensive was a total failure for North Vietnam. It left their army in ruins, Officer and NCO corps shattered, moral gone, equipment and supplies depleted. It was an “all in” desperation bet that failed. They lost the war then on the ground in SEA, but won it in America’s newsrooms.

                1. To be fair, Westmoreland et al. had been saying we had it in the bag, so Tet was a shocking surprise to the public and cemented the “generals are lying” narrative. So even after Westmoreland was canned and Abrams took over with a better plan, there wasn’t much anyone could do, especially since the Democrats were out to get Nixon with any weapon to hand.

              1. As I said. Pyrrhus might be one of the last people in the world to believe that bullshit. Unless he gets his news from Russia. They know America was “humiliated” in Vietnam and Afghanistan. (Rolls eyes.)

                1. We weren’t “humiliated” in Afghanistan until after January ’21. It takes a -Democrat- special kind of leadership to so thoroughly wring military disaster from the back molars of a triumph in only seven short months.

                  Yes, we’d been there way too long, and propped them up far too much, but we weren’t losing the war anything like the media pretended.

          3. Because F them and the donkeys they rode in on.

            That comment you made about the “soft” sciences? 100%. Ever since I was at university I’ve called (for instance) political science and sociology the basket-weaving degrees of the liberal arts.

            1. Hey, I went into language and literature because at LEAST the language was real. (And what I acquired in cultural insight has helped greatly in writing.) FIRST I had to rid my brain of ALL theory of literature, which is MORE rewarmed Marxism and worse than useless, actually bad.

              1. Theory of literature was thoroughly anti-thinking by the time I trudged through the halls of academia. It seeks to destroy actual intelligent thought by ruthlessly punishing the curious mind and enforcing dull, turgid critical theory if not outright Marxism in all its tawdry forms. Studying it actually makes you dumber, if you don’t consider it the horrible warning that it actually is.

                The world would be vastly improved if nigh all literature professors found fulfilling new jobs in waste management or fast food, and students were taught a mix of the classical literature and more current works, like David Weber or Brandon Sanderson. Or our host. Heck, my stuff is still crap hack work, but I’d put it up against the sorry weak sauce that gets forced onto students because it fits with diversity, inclusivity, and equity.

                Students would be better served reading Thomas Sowell than Ta Nahisi Coates any day.

                1. A word of caution, if I may. Most challenging U course I ever took was a 3rd-year English course (for which I had absolutely none of the pre-reqs: gotta love the freedom of being an unclassified adult part-time student who has not declared a degree/certificate-worthy program).
                  This course was on the structure of grammar in the English language. Note this is not learning grammar, but about how the various systems of grammatical analysis (4 different systems as of the late-70s, with the old “noun verb adverb prepositional phrase” system being only the first three lectures) were a reflection of how our brains processed information.
                  No, this wasn’t science. It was more like philosophy applied to everyday communications. But it was NOT mindless sloganeering.
                  I fully believe it is possible to get a non-STEM degree that is actually mentally rewarding and enriching. It won’t be easy, and I suspect very few students today actually reach anywhere near that level. But I don’t agree with a blanket condemnation of non-STEM/medical/dental/agricultural degrees, or of the employees delivering them. Yes, most are propaganda masquerading as educational growth – but there are a few, rare exceptions that may be worth preserving.

                  1. Yes, there are a few good ones, even now — but precious few, and rare enough that the blanket condemnation is deserved. (Got a graduate degree in English lit in the early 2000s and worked in higher-ed until 2019; that’s the perspective I’m working from.) You can find some nifty things dumpster-diving, but the dumpster is still just a pile of garbage at the end of the day.

                  1. For the record, the only Tolkien I have ever tried to read was “The Hobbit” which I gave up at page 53 I think it was. Sorry, Sara, I don’t like phantasy–too much mindless proto-medieval dreck. I am slowly reading through Anthony Trollope; for modern literature I used to like the deliciously amoral financial thrillers of Stephen Frey. OK, I have a history degree which I don’t really use in work–but I know how (and what) to research and especially use indexes at the backs of books. As for college courses–music theory. I caught that in the fine print leading into my junior year Boston U. had just started allowing technical arts courses to count for the history degree humanities requirement. I had to fight to get it accepted–but I did a year of music theory instead of Music Depreciation which I knew cold–a self-education you can’t get anymore as FM Radio has changed since the 1960’s. I was self-taught previously–so now I was learning real counterpoint and harmony and to cadence ii-V-I and not IV-V-I. Not until early November did a body of my fellow students come to ask what a history major was doing in the Honors top section of the Theory class!
                    Maybe I should have figured out a way to make a living at that but there are very few careers to be a second H C Robbins Landon (yes, I like Haydn too much!). What there isn’t enough of is cross-disciplinary approach. As in the art historians never talk to the business-railroad historians and vice versa so Mary Cassatt is the sister of Alexander Johnston Cassatt, President of the Pennsylvania Railroad, so never catch on in her brother’s successive portraits that the up and coming executive of 1880 who gets passed over for the top job next year is in the 1882 portrait the man who has quit the PRR’s service and will spend 17 years in a semi-wilderness as a sometime Director of the PRR before achieving Greatness in 1899 when the PRR comes to ask him to be their President.

                    1. Sarah. And Fantasy. Your spelling is worse than mine.
                      You’re allowed not to like Fantasy, but you are missing that NOT ALL FANTASY IS PSEUDO-MEDIEVAL. Go read Monster Hunter International. You may thank me later.

                      I also am not that fond of Tolkien. I came at him too late, I think. I loved the Hobbit, but the rest…. was a struggle. It’s just not my preferred mode. I can tell he’s a great writer, it’s just not my thing.
                      As I tell my friend who writes (very good — hi Dan B. — epic fantasy) it’s just NOT my thing.
                      As to the rest? In the name of what is this infodump? I’ll let the Huns deal.

                    2. I read The Hobbit in college–OK, light read, but Bored of the Rings tweaked my interest. Some years later, I read the Ring Cycle (oops, wrong ring 🙂 ) The Lord of the Rings, at which Bored made more sense. (P.J. O’rourke should have the Jester spot in Heaven, assuming they let him in. And assuming he wants to be there.) IMHO, Hobbit seems to have been intended as a YA novel, with LOTR for more mature readers. The followups, for serious Tolkien fans…

                      I read the followup books, Silmarillion and some of the others, but the grand style got in the way. All but Sil* got donated in the great culling.

                      Agreed on MHI as a great read, and various other fantasies set in the current era. TXRed’s Familiar series is my personal favorite, though others by Amanda Green or Cedar Sanderson also are really good.

                2. If more students read and discussed the classics (Homer, Xenophon, Dante), they’d GET the references in Weber, Sanderson, Flint, Ringo, and others.

                  1. Yes. The foundation that a classical education sets prepares one for life in many ways. Not least of which is a moral and psychological one, I would argue. Weber, Sanderson, Flint, Ringo, and the rest do write fine tales that even one without that knowledge can appreciate.

                    But there is so much more that one can get, I think, when you get the references. Like echoes of the past ringing through. If one is savvy enough, they can begin to see how all those little bits add up to a greater harmony.

                    The lessons that enough people thought important enough to study through dozens of generations across a vast swathe of cultures in time are worthy story fodder, I think.

                3. “The world would be vastly improved if nigh all literature professors found fulfilling new jobs in waste management or fast food…”

                  Great. So we’d have garbage piling up on the streets, and incorrectly -processed food that would be likely to poison us…

                  How about instead we use them as fertilizer; we can “denature” manure, so it should be at least theoretically possible to do the same with them.

                  1. Heh. I get where you’re going with that, but fast food already sucks. Waste management is… kind of like construction in a way. Nobody really cares or notices the WM guys unless something goes wrong. Sort of like plumbing. It just works. Until it doesn’t.

                    Outside aberrations like the NYC racket, there is very little patience from the truck boss on slackers pitching cans. And even less slack given to drivers. Somewhat like construction, or really, any job with the sort of rubber meets the road type, you will either get with the program rapidly, become intimately familiar with the body’s healing process for injury, or fired. Quickly.

                    I find no difficulty in my conscience for any of those three outcomes, should they occur to any such newly entrepreneurial lit prof in the gritty world of capitalism.

                    Killing is such a messy, expensive business. There are bound to be suitable applications for them. Wal-Mart greeters perhaps?

                    1. Nah, WalMart greeters are usually nice older folks, and seem to really like people. I’ll stick with denaturing into a useful product; any organic fertilizer is messy, just ask Ringo. 🙂

            2. The Reader has a characterization of the social sciences (from his perspective as an engineer). The Reader’s son, who double majored in psychology and economics somehow never appreciated it.

              Psychology – 50% science (from biology and chemistry) and 50% bulls***.
              Economics – 50% common sense and 50% bulls*** (the bulls*** starts when you see calculus)
              Political Science – 25% History (not a social science) and 75% bulls***.
              Sociology – 100% bulls*** (with an exception for the works of Thomas Sowell, which are common sense and clearly illuminate the fact that common sense ain’t all that common).

              1. I am sorry to inform the Reader that I have spotted a typo in your post. Psychology and economics are not 50% science, but 5%, at least these days. Psychology cannot reproduce its experiments in any meaningful fashion, and is nigh completely swallowed up by wokeism, Dr. Peterson notably excepted. Apart from the Austrian school economists, most are quite thoroughly red. I have very little respect for what passes for economic models these days, especially the fed.

                1. The Reader begs an additional correction. Economics has no science content no matter what school you mention. The Reader rates Economics as 50% common sense based mainly on Austrian economics and Thomas Sowell today and the legacy of Adam Smith and his compatriots in the 18th Century. For psychology, again the Reader looks at the entire body of work not simply the current disaster.

                    1. The Reader will agree to disagree here. He believes the laws you refer to are very real, but not science. And yes, there is an infinite amount of wishful thinking among economists today and those who depend the rationalizations of those ‘economists’ for political support.

                    2. Einstein’s quote “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” goes double for mathematics applied to human behavior. That way lies gibberish.

                    3. Economics is at least as much about human behavior as it is about money, so, any science in there is really squishy. I always say the stock market is ruled by greed and fear. When greed predominates, the market goes up. Fear makes it go down.
                      “I have looked into the darkness, Na’Toth. You can not do that and ever be quite the same again.”

                    4. Economics is at least as much about human behavior as it is about money,

                      That economics is about money is one of the greatest misconceptions. Economics is the study of cause and effect relationships in the allocation of scarce resources that have alternative uses. Most of the problems related to economics comes from trying to use it for things it’s not. It’s not about how to run a particular business. It’s not about how to invest in the stock market (or any other investment vehicle). It’s not about how individual businesses or persons will behave. It’s kind of like Statistical Mechanics in that it deals with how populations in aggregate. For example a system of voluntary exchanges with prices determined by a free market, resources will tend to shift toward their more valued use. “More valued” in this case being demonstrated by more people being willing to pay more for it.

                      This may simply be considered “common sense” to the point of being banal but going the next step to thinking about second and third order effects is rare enough that it can hardly be called “common”. Sowell goes into that quite a bit in his book Applied Economics, Thinking Beyond Stage One.

                2. I’d toss Rodney Stark in as a good sociologist. At least, that’s what he calls himself. The rest of us know that he’s a very good historian-of-religion who uses a few tools of sociology (and quantitative analysis [Cliometrics]).

        1. The reason why they’re not worried is that (1) they really don’t give a crap about their children or grand children, (2) they expect to have enough to be well off by the time they die anyway, so people dying around them isn’t a thing for them. (3) They don’t really believe in life after death, so they don’t care about Judgement Day.

          1. Their publications and academic legacy are their eternal life. Which is rather sad, but explains why the senior academic specialist in Precolumbian Amazonia had to be physically restrained from attacking a much younger biologist who discovered the reason for the “black soils” of the Amazon. He’d accidentally undone her entire life’s work, and now she had . . . nothing.

            1. Read a story about a guy who had to stop talking to an Egyptologist about revised carbon dates and the actual Old Kingdoms timeline, because they were in the middle of the desert and he was worried the guy would commit suicide.

              1. Hahaha…There was a similar reaction by Egyptologists (not the brightest bulbs around) to the conclusive evidence that the Sphinx had suffered considerable water weathering, which places its origin to several thousand years before they had claimed, since there hadn’t been rain in the era since 9-10,000 BC…..

                1. Well, the Sphinx was a rock. The Sphinx monument was basically making a natural rock shape, which apparently had been worshipped, into a carved rock shape. And then later, the carved rock got dug out of the sand and messed with, quite a few times. So all the dates are probably correct.

            2. This happened a lot in the history of Anthropology. Can’t say much for other disciplines, but the way the published defended their papers seemed like they were more afraid of being proven wrong than anything else. Serious, visceral fear.

              This, more than anything else, is the easiest way to tell the serious scientific minded person from the rest. Science thrives on doubt and finding the theory that survives all the others. Only fools and charlatans chase consensus in that situation.

      2. They will happily make Hell to rule, as long as they can maintain their belief that they will -rule-.

        1. This. One thing crossover did was make me go read a lot about malignant narcissists.
          The piece of the puzzle I needed to finally cut ties with one of those that had bedeviled us for DECADES is that they don’t care if they make their lives utter shit, so long as they make YOU suffer. They will destroy their lives to have you experience inconvenience.
          It doesn’t make any sense, and it’s what kept us tied to him as in “He can’t be doing this on purpose. No one would live like that on purpose.”
          But it’s true. It’s the only thing that makes sense. They need to HURT you more than they need to survive.
          I honestly am torn on whether it’s mental illness or possession. It is that broken.

          1. There are a few shaken psychologists who’ve looked into it who are just as torn. Most, though, lean toward the science of the brain, and their experiments indicate that malignant narcs, possibly even more than sociopaths, are sadistic. As in their brain responds to someone suffering at their hands exactly as if they’d gotten a hit of cocaine.

            Meaning it is precisely like dealing with a hardcore addict. They do, in fact, need to hurt you – need to degrade you, make cry, make you break, to get that next fix of pain and suffering – more than they need food, sleep, or even survival.

            I honestly hope more people learn from what I went through, because I’m still picking up the pieces even now. I would not wish the things that happened on my worst enemy.

            And the thought we have an entire political class of these people makes me physically ill.

            1. The other part of it is that they THINK EVERYONE IS LIKE THEM. Only this made sense of some of this person’s snit-fits when something went wrong. He thought we were doing it on purpose to upset him. (And I mean, things it would never occur to us to do.)
              It also explains why our “elites” assume we’d do to them what they’d like to do to us.
              And yeah, me too.

              1. If they think I want them to die, they’d be correct. Well, not quite correct…I’d be content with merely destroying everything they cherish instead. I never wanted to hate anyone, but they’ve done a damn fine job of teaching me how it’s done.

                1. I’d be happy if they just left me, and everyone else, alone. However, I’ve seen that’s a pretty forlorn hope. So exile or extermination is really the only choices. And I doubt any of the places we exiled them to would be very happy with us for doing so.

                    1. I suggest that the current work on effective rocketry (Musk, for one) may provide a solution; a minimal amount of “tweaking” may allow a decaying orbit into the sun, with an appropriate “cargo”.

                    2. Unfortunately that is energetically infeasible. Throwing anything into the sun requires a LOT of delta-V.

                    3. A flimsy re-entry vehicle without a heat shield would do just as well and would be a spectator sport as well.

                    4. Yeah, I know; we don’t have to overcome all of the 30kps orbital velocity, but even allowing for simply “grazing” the surface is beyond any capability I’m aware we have.

                      Pity; it would be so entertaining…

                1. If you read Ringo’s “Black Tide Rising” series, that’s essentially what “Night Walker” said they should do if they ever caught the one who invented the plague; since it would be physically impossible to devise any punishment which would be appropriate to the level of the crime, just put a bullet in his head, forget him and move on. There’s a lot to be said for that, not least that it wouldn’t burden the conscience with something you “know* is morally wrong.

                  1. I had a somewhat…different idea:

                    Corporal Condrey carried a large yellow plastic bowl full of popcorn. “It’s ready, Ma’am.”

                    Lieutenant Faith Smith nodded. “Thank you, Corporal. Set it on the table, if you will.”

                    Sergeant Decker held out a bottle, beaded with condensation. “Your Razzleberry Tea, Ma’am!”

                    She accepted it with a smile. “Thank you, Sergeant.”

                    She bent down and murmured conspiratorially to their prisoner, “I like Razzleberry Tea. Really really like it. Nectar of the Gods, this is. ‘Course, we’ve only found a few cases, so I have to ration it out. Save it for special occasions, ‘cause they’re not making it any more. Then, a couple months ago I found out the bottling plant burned down. Care to take a guess WHY IT BURNED THE F- DOWN, YOU SORRY SACK OF SH-!?!

                    “So I’m going to sit right here, eat popcorn, drink one of the last bottles of Razzleberry Tea on the whole f-ing planet, and watch the worthless wanker that caused it all get et by your own God-damned zombies. That’s my idea of quality entertainment.”

                    1. Can’t fault that; it’s essentially my preference. But I never claimed to be either nice or rational in that kind of scenario. 😉

            2. The Reader has speculated (personal observation, not research) that the human species has addiction to something hardwired into it. In certain circumstances it can be a survival trait. In others, not so much. The addiction to making others suffer would fall in the not so much category.

              1. That would be very disturbing when combined with the tendency to attack pretty much anything that is “like an addiction.”

                ….like applying it to food wasn’t bad enough.

                1. Chocolate
                  Dark ale
                  Potato chips
                  Knob Creek bourbon
                  Anejo tequila

                  I can quit whenever I want! Really!

            3. Thanks for this little side-thread. I tweaked a scene in the next Familiars book to better fit what you, Sarah, and others have described. The scene makes a lot more sense now.

                1. The world is chock full of viler villains than I could create. I much prefer the ones in fiction, that get their comeuppance on the regular.

        2. The self hatred was an intentional thing, I think. People that have that are easier to control than those with enough self respect to tell other people to go stuff themselves. That ravenous envy is why they try to destroy the nuclear family. No one should be able to be that happy, that loved, if they can’t.

        3. In the days before internet I read that not just humans but other primates will damages themselves to the point of nonsurvival as long as they can harm their enemy.
          Origin of dont cut off your nose to spite your face.

      3. Society doesn’t have to survive forever, just long enough to delay the collapse until after they are dead.

      4. “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.”

        “Paradise Lost”, John Milton

      5. “And Yertle the Turtle, that marvelous he,
        Is King of the Mud; that is all he can see.” — Dr Seuss

      6. The (oncoming) generations are looking at the current mess we’re living in, and a significant percentage is saying “This all came from the decisions the 60’s hippies made; It seems that they made some very bad decisions”.

        From that, there comes a ‘correcting force’ to shift society away form that certain madness into something closer to sanity.

        The USA has had periods of social madness – the Religious revivals (The ‘Great Awakenings’) of the past come to mind; when the next generation sees how those ‘moral rules’ result in a dysfunctional society, they don’t want to live that way, and the rules get changed.

        Consider the biggest ‘social Insanity’ we’ve seen recently; prohibition didn’t last long; people wanted their beer, whisky, wine; and all the screams of the progressives who said Prohibition would bring a paradise were shown to be wrong – it brought a sort of hell to 90% of the population.

        The current ‘Green’ fad is ending earlier than I expected – the German Green party didn’t consider that maybe – just maybe – all their plans for solar panels and windmills couldn’t supply the baseline needs of the Country, and the natural Gas they bought form those friendly Russians might stop.
        The upcoming winter – and Germany gets really -COLD- means the responsible politicians know they won’t survive as employed public officials when it’s 0C in Munich.

        Reality has a way of educating even the dumbest creatures.

      7. But you have the construction backwards. It’s the elites that want us to think they’re the foundation. They are not.

    2. I believe this to be an incorrect analogy. Our eletes believe they are purifying our institutions and societies. All of their actions all of their rhetoric are geared towards this….cleansing and purifying and getting rid of the barbarians.
      We are the barbarians….andnif you dont believe me….with whom would you side, the germani.
      c tribes or the Romans.
      The Mongols?
      Our self styled elites are ignorant killing the host the better to reproduce themselves. They are not the barbarians.

      1. They are going to die screaming. I don’t know how or when it will turn, but probably not far off. I have in my head an image of them trying to escape. Helicopters lifting.
        But it will be too little too late. They’re going to die screaming in vast numbers, and I wish I had it in my heart to feel sorry for it.
        I feel sorry, instead, for the millions of their victims.

        1. They will die screaming in vast numbers

          This makes me sad beyond belief because I know what awaits them if they do not repent of their evil first.

          They may be my worst enemy, but I wouldn’t wish it on them however much they deserve it.

              1. Saul of Tarsus.
                But I think we’re going to get a really big spanking, so that everyone turns. I don’t like it. The Author is being Himself again. I don’t want me and mine to suffer.

  3. “Men and women could be exactly alike”
    That suddenly reminds me of John Varley’s 1970’s and 80’s stories in which body modification surgery was an outpatient activity and casual sex change surgery was merely just another type of body modification. They were popular at the time, but I don’t recall much detail anymore.

      1. And IF it were that way: if you could actually change (not just cosmetic) but change between sexes and back, with no issues, no scarring, no loss of function and fertility, I suspect most people would TRY it at least, probably when young. I mean, you can have moral objections to it (all Christians would, because of the unity of body and soul) but individual autonomy is individual autonomy. You could and perhaps should preach at people, but not coerce them either way.
        But that’s not what we have. What we have is evil maiming surgery disguised as sex changes.

        1. There is no medical technique known that can turn ovaries into testes, or vice versa. Nor is one ever likely to be discovered. That differentiation takes place so early in embryonic development that surgery can’t touch it, and even if it could be, the difference between X and Y chromosomes is built into every cell and every organ system in the body. There are so many people that can’t tell the difference between fact and fiction, even when the fiction is explicitly labeled as such, that it’s not really too surprising that the idea that they can be changed has caught on. Sexual reassignment surgery is strictly cosmetic, so its advocates are generally ether ignorant or liars. I’ve seen too many people who ought to know better fall for the propaganda. I’ve also seen too many people, evidently liars who detest being caught out, who turn to rage and DARVO when such medically obvious facts are pointed out to them. And too many people who are cowed by the outrage.

          1. Confutus I think in Varley’s stories the persons personality was being transferred into a clone which had been genetically manipulated and then grown from scratch via changing the 23rd pair to the correct set. Yes we have NO clue how to do any of that. Heinlein does it two different ways, in “I Will Fear No Evil” the male protagonists brain is actually transplated. In “Number of the Beast” the process used on Andrew Libby is more like Varley’s with basically the clone using the X from Libby duplicated making it female. Getting the personality in there is left as an exercise for the reader. So basically NONE of this is feasible or even conceptually possible under current capabilities or foreseeable capabilities. Hey Matter transporters are just as much fantasy 🙂 .

            1. I haven’t read Varley. Chalker used “indistinguishable from magic” technology. Fun to read about, if you aren’t squicked out by the notion, but by no means to be taken seriously.

            2. I’m pretty sure the personalities were not being transferred into clones, but it has been a very long time.
              As I recall it was “storefront” surgery in a Lunar(?) colony entirely devoid of pathogens.
              But there was a Varley story about personalities held in computer memory: “Overdrawn at the Memory Bank” maybe?

              1. Yes. John Varley 1976. Also part of the same universe as the Ophiuchi Hotline. Lots of causual sex sex changes man hating lesbians human to nonhuman transitions and general hate for humanity. I believe he was undergoing a nasty divorce at the time. I still read everything he wrote at the time.

            3. Don’t forget Lapis and Lazuli in ‘Time Enough For Love’ — twin clones of Lazarus Long with duplicate X chromosomes.

              Do NOT tell The Senior to ‘Go F- yourself’. HE COULD.
              Edna Mode: “No capes!!”

              1. Imaginos said

                Do NOT tell The Senior to ‘Go F- yourself’. HE COULD.

                And did if I remember correctly. “Time Enough For Love” has many strange Oedipal/Electra relationships. I sometimes wonder if RAH was doing that just to jerk peoples chains after the ’60s and responses to “Stranger in a Strange Land” where grok had briefly wandered into common usage.

                  1. I suspect the more extreme things there were mostly chain-yanking. Sure, I’m pretty certain that he was an absolute horndog who flaunted a LOT of conventional mores, but I think he still had SOME limits. He just wanted to put out that with sufficiently advanced technology, many of the things that “everybody knows” won’t hold true any more.

                    1. Oh – just remembered. I was sitting here thinking how nanotech would change the game if/when we are able to come anywhere close to what has been predicted, and I remembered a plot bunny I had a few years ago:

                      Laboratory is working hard at building self-replicating nanomachines to do things like continuous production of chemical products, or do cleanup operations, or all sorts of things. Eventually, after they are successful, they find that some of the nanos released into the environment to do specific jobs are changing, branching out, and expending into new environments. It becomes an unstoppable plague, and the machine race that created them is eventually destroyed by the organic nanomachines they created.

              2. ARRGH. Late last night I remembered. Lazarus Long’s twin clone sisters are Lapis Lazuli and Lorelei Lee.
                “Once upon a time when the world was young there was a Martian named Smith.”

          2. That differentiation takes place so early in embryonic development that surgery can’t touch it
            Yes indeed. I cannot add anything to your comment.

        2. Yup, we’re not Beta Colony. The best modern medicine can do is produce semi-convincing fakes.

          Fiction is not quite so limited. Lady Donna Vorrutyer took some of her late brother’s cells to Beta Colony to provide her with Y chromosomes and grow the appropriate ‘bits’ to become Lord Dono. Not an easy process, or a cheap one. As Ivan Vorpatril observed, Lady Donna had effectively killed herself to be reborn as Lord Dono.
          Sanity is like most things — best practiced in moderation.

          1. Well, LMB is rather inconsistent on the difficulty of the change. On the one hand, it was a “perfectly ordinary Betan body mod”, one which some people underwent several times in a lifetime. On the other, it was a form of technotorture, which Miles compared to having all his bones replaced, one at a time, and one which took a great deal of determination, and anger. It only took one round of open heart surgery to convince me that another was high on the Do Not Want list.

      1. That sounds right, although as I recall there were a number of stories set in that same Future History.

        1. Yes there were a number of stories that incorporated medical technology including sex change, learned from the Ophiuci Hotline, by growing an opposite sex clone and then I think a zero rejection chance brain transplant. The story that dealt most directly with it was “Options”.

            1. Were Millennium”, “Steel Beach” and the “Titan/Wizard/Demon” trilogy part of that universe? It’s been about 40 years or so, and I don’t have a good grasp on that.

    1. “Steel Beach,” where the protagonist beings as a man, switches to fertile female, gets pregnant, gives birth, and after a moment of revelation finds her child dead and ends the novel as a neuter.
      The backstop was aliens had come to the solar system, and exiled humanity (or a remnant of same) to the Moon for their crimes against the environment. The casual sex changes were a symptom of boredom, as the humans had been told they were forbidden to leave. The protagonist of “Steel Beach,” became part of a group attempting to break the alien blockade.

    2. I can’t believe no one has mentioned “All You Zombies…” although of course that wasn’t recreational.
      BTW, how many people have seen the movie version, “Predestination”? It’s excellent although I’m sure completely incomprehensible if you haven’t read the story.

      1. There’s a piece I read some years back. An individual had just died and was being escorted by “God” to being reincarnated. In this story reincarnation isn’t linear. One can go back and forth in time between incarnations. The person comes to learn, before being incranated into the next life, that everything and everyone, through the entire history of the world, was this one individual just being moved back and forth again and again and again. God, basically, wanted a friend and so was making one giving this one individual the experience of all life (once finished and is permitted to remember all past lives).
        The way, I would do it were I writing the story would be to close the loop and have “God” be the final incarnation of the multiply reincarnated individual.

  4. On my t-shirt today:

    “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

    Marcus Aurelius

        1. I call top bunk. Easier to see enemies coming — and when my amazing girth collapses the whole rickety thing, fatally crushing the sleeping progtard on the lower bunk, well…oops…

  5. There won’t be a worldwide flood again, it’ll be fire. That’s the real message of the rainbow.

    But between now and then, each of us may meet our own “payday. [insert Romans 6:23 here]

    Just be ready to give an accounting of how you used what you were given when asked.

      1. Who knew all those elitist leftists were secretly Christian? They don’t really believe the flood will come again. They just say it will, to bring down beachfront prices.

      1. Aye. Now I have a ham radio station up and running (mostly 🙂 ), I’m finding myself a bit reluctant to get on the air. Part of it is the quirks of the digital mode I’m using (it breaks long sentences into small chunks, meaning code and jargon/shorthand is important).

        My timing is off; I like to monitor at 3-4AM, but the activity seems to be early evening…

              1. I just threw you a twenty through paypal as well, since it’s a new billing cycle. If my email address shows in that when you get it that’d work for a discord invite as well as it’s my cell phone’s address where I’m more likely to check discord.

                1. All right. But again, I’d need to be on the other computer, so it might take a couple of days.
                  Oh, for those wondering, the Hoyt household is spinning off the younger expansion module at last, in the next couple of weeks. So now we’re lost in lists of “Oh, yeah, we abandoned that in Colorado, so we should get you one.” And “do you have any idea where the box of your towels went?” (He lived alone briefly while at college. For values of alone, which included 6 roommates. So things got lost, broken er… probably not precisely stolen, but you know. Then he helped us in the chaotic move, and lived with us that time, and more stuff got… weirded. So. confusion is.)

                  1. No worries. It’s not like I’ve oodles of free time lately, as luckily work has been busy. Unluckily, I’ve been trying to spend more time with the new girlfriend and get her house set up to sell so she can move in with me.

                    1. unfortunately we’ve decided to make this leap of faith as the market is turning, not sure if she’ll be able to sell for a decent price any more though central Florida shouldn’t crash as hard as other areas, as people are still fleeing occupied territory.

                  2. The last time we moved (in a hurry; we had two weeks from offer accepted to moveout date), the following decade included comments like “I didn’t know we packed that!”, and “I think it was in the box that got accidentally donated”. And, there’s the all-time favorite: “How did that get packed with these?”. (Nobody else to blame; we did our own packing/dump runs/donations/move to storage and the interim business of closing the deal. Whee.)

                    1. We did our own, too. And there’s like five boxes with stuff that I have no idea what to do with, in the middle of the family room. I don’t know how that ended up together, and none of this made any sense.

                    2. I have to laugh.

                      When we moved from Corvallis: Six pickup loads, one was the new second refrigerator (which lasted 27 years, and 4 moves, but that is another story), rest was donated furniture, half of one pickup was opened but not used, wedding presents still in original packaging.

                      Moved from rental to purchased home: One small moving truck (didn’t have the help).

                      Moved south 110 miles, with a moving company. Just packed everything up and let moving company (someone else paid for it) move everything except electronics. Minor purging once we got everything. Less than one large moving truck. There was spare room for another family’s overflow (also being forced to relocate by employer).

                      Moved southwest into current home from rental. Again. Just packed everything up and moved it. We did get a big moving truck to move everything, at two or three trips. We didn’t tetras pack the truck. Again, any purging occurred as we were unpacking.

                      Our biggest purges have been after helping to dispose of belongings from estates, which I’ve mentioned before. Still have items we could purge, just not willing to let go. My childhood Bryer Model Horses (the original solid type from ’60s, and yes they are worth money) haven’t been unpacked since a cat tried to kill itself with them. (Cat, model horses, and bookcase came tumbling down. Cats and model horses survived.) I won’t be getting rid of them, ever. That is just one item. Hubby has stuff from his dad and grandfather that hubby has used in the past, but admits now that items are just taking up room and should sell or donate. Not sold. Not donated.

                    3. That move was interesting. We had the house ready for listing just before Labor Day weekend. There had been a few nibbles the week before, but our agent was going to do a big open house that weekend. So, we went to Flyover Falls and made an offer on one of the places we had considered.

                      When we got home, we had two offers on the house. The one we accepted wanted two weeks to close. A phone call to Oregon and it was doable. We hoped.

                      Plan A was to pack/store and move ourselves. U-Haul was not a good option for a multi-day rental, but Ryder was. We got (eventually) three storage units, one for shop stuff and other things I didn’t want to mix with the household items. (Tools, various seed dispensers and seeds, and so on.)

                      Loading the storage units happened simultaneously with dump runs, donation runs, and toward the end, selling the old pickup to the scrapyard. We moved with a car, pickup and tent trailer full of basic needs, and proceeded to do the things that pretty much had to be done right away.

                      It was clear that Ryder wasn’t going to work for the move up here. Two fragile dogs needed to stay put and the truck depot was 180 miles away. So, punt, and Plan B. Called a moving company for the household stuff. The third unit was mine to figure out. I had an idea–actually it worked.

                      I drove down to meet the movers at the storage unit. On my return trip, I loaded a mill-drill in the back of the pickup along with the hoist. The movers got there a few days later (three customers in the big trailer, we were in the middle). Protip: Don’t let them talk you into skipping the checkoff. It worked (might have been how we lost the box of Tupperware), but wasn’t a good idea.

                      Trip two started with a train to San Jose. Rented a Budget truck with a liftgate, and most of the remaining storage unit got loaded. The metal-working lathe wasn’t going on, but that was trip 3. The big truck was OK, but bog-slow climbing hills.

                      Trip three was with a utility trailer and the trusty hoist. Loaded the lathe on the trailer, stashed them in the storage unit and picked up a few things not available in Flyover County. Modular bookcase for the win, SAS shoes and Two-Buck Chuck wine. I closed out the storage rentals and left on Halloween. Two days later, we had snow.

                      (The mover said they would have taken the shop stuff. Even though it was more work, I’m happy I did it that way.)

              2. And done. Please, it’s what I’m here for, Sarah . . .

                Well, I’m not actually 100% sure I got the emails right. Actually, bounce from what I thought SheSellsSeashells is. So, uh, drop me a note Sunbee19 at the gmail dot com, Seashells?

  6. Absent a printed copy in English of Diderot’s Encyclopedia (There is an online translation project at https://quod.lib.umich.edu/d/did/; good for 1750s technology level), I find Lewis Dartnell’s 2014 “The Knowledge” a pretty good resource, though Dartnell is an optimist IMVHO.

    1. I rather like the Foxfire books – interviews with Appalachians for cooking and blacksmithing. Will have to put Dartnell on the reading list. Where to hide it, though? We’ve downsized, and I’m out of shelf space.

      I want to like the Global Village construction set group, but the name gives away the ‘too much cloud cuckoo land’ sort of hippie. Tough to imagine a scenario where it’d be useful. Think my next hobby project will be fertilizers from various levels of available low tech.

  7. It would have been interesting to ask that nominee if they were a woman, and if so, how could they tell?

    Of course that would have required expecting that a Supreme Court Justice nominee could not tell the difference between male and female, to even consider that line of questioning, so I’m not surprised the opportunity was missed. One does not expect someone to assert that yellow takes like kumquat in a formal hearing outside of an insane asylum, but here we are…

    1. She would spin and spin and spin. She wouldn’t care since she knew the fix was in.

      Heck, she misidentified the source of our rights during her questioning by the Senate, and it didn’t affect her confirmation vote one bit.

  8. Dealing with madness, eh? That tracks. No one who takes a look at the screeching harpies on the nooz would take them seriously. At least, no one sane.

    When I was young, I had a great aunt that went a bit bonkers. Great Aunt Tia was a character. She’d had a stroke, see, so her words were limited. That’s it for yes. No, she knew that word quite well. You, and me, and some curse words. Her vocabulary could fit on a 3×5 index card.

    She smoked like a freight train, drank like a fish, and was quite insane, for all the time I knew her. She howled at the moon, tried to bum cigarettes from toddlers, started fights with inanimate objects, and either forgot or didn’t care to bathe herself regularly. Making sure she had her basics was a full time job for several people.

    When I listen to the nooz on occasion, my litmus test generally goes like this:

    “Does this sound like something Great Aunt Tia would get up to?”

    When dealing with the mad, it requires quite a lot of attention. Like looking after toddlers, they will get into anything left unattended with one thousand percent certainty. Just as Hollyweird has been red for decades, so has the business of education. Many of the honest professionals that were stubbornly hanging on either died or retired sometime between the late seventies and early two thousands.

    We left education, the media, and entertainment hanging out in the open, as it were.
    Now they are all infested with leftists, like maggots in the flour. There were too few minders, and many of those that did were not in a position to do very much about it. And if you’ve ever heard the expression “blind leading the blind,” when the mad lead the credulous, the deluded, and the dumb, it is worse.

    They’re not harmless, these people. Not when they are in positions of power that decide things like, oh, say, transportation, taxes, and whether or not it is legal (or legally permissible, regardless of what the law actually says) to burn, loot, and murder. They need proper minders. Responsible adults that can make sure our ship of state does not burn down, fall over, and sink into the depths of history.

  9. It seems that the people who seek power and control over others see us only through a telescope, as individuals easily overpowered by their organized forces, or as ants, to be stepped on, or fumigated away.
    They hope to retain and grow their power in a zero sum game by taking power away from us, the people supporting the civil society which allows them to exist.
    Their power, and their structures of power exist because enough people believe in them to keep these people and power in their place.
    Their belief in their own power, and the righteousness of that power, keeps them from realizing that they are the very few who are standing on the red X.
    Most of the power of these actors is personal power and dependent on personal trust or mutual complicity in other crimes, and rather than being on the top of a power pyramid, their pyramid is inverted, and the power they exercise is dependent on their presence to function at all.
    They try to bring chaos, to collect more power. They must collect more, because in their zero sum games, anyone else could become a threat at any time. There can be no real trust between them, only a consensus in interests.
    An older map, “Purple America” had a county by county breakdown of population by R and D, showing that there are likely conservatives in every county, far too many to keep track of over time.
    The power mongers see only what the chaos they make might do to us. They neglect or discount what their chaos will likely do to them.
    John in Indy

  10. Twitter has learned nothing from Elon Musk. They just banned an Israeli doctor for suggesting a link between the COVID19 not-a-vaxx injections and the sudden emergence of Monkeypox. There’s an article on Substack about it.

    Their first reflex is always to shoot the messenger, and then go after everybody who listened to the messenger.
    ‘Progressives’ suppress free speech because they don’t have the means to suppress free thought.


  11. I assume that there will shortly be a very large die off globally. I suspect the end result of that will be that most of the kleptoparasitic classes will be dead. Unfortunately they won’t die alone but take with thema large number of perfectly harmless sorts who just got caught up in the rmess

    1. You’re presuming that the parasites either actually got injected with the wuflu-vax that the peons have been getting instead of, say, a saline solution, or that they maybe got a “real” vax instead of the phony-vax.

      Which, considering the sort of people who will have avoided getting the jab (Hi everyone here!) if there is a die-off from this and the parasite class thinks they’ll rule over biddable lefty “take care of me and I’ll lick your toes clean” people, well they might be in for a bit of a surprise…

      1. The die off comes because parts of the world runs out of food and/or fuel because of the various mismanagement decisions of the various national governments etc. this leads to riots and insurrections where the leaders and their bureaucratic underlings are killed

        1. For once, there is a reason to take lesson from leftists here. No, not by pointing and laughing, we’re in the same boat with them. What I mean is, a time of chaos such as you describe is also a time of opportunity.

          An entrepreneurial minded fellow with access to, say, the means to produce fertilizer, or a petroleum processing plant, could come out quite well assuming he keeps his feet and does not allow his business to be nationalized.

      2. I’d argue the insane vampire squid model explains them better than any sort of conspiracy.

        Basically, because bureaucracies can’t actually function according to their own rules, the actually operate by brainwashing themselves, so they all believed and still believe in to lockdown, the shot and everything else they did, because to even consider otherwise requires admitting that one brainwashed oneself, and then that one supported great harm.

        And, since all of this is done by extreme propaganda, the directives are all simplified to five second sound bites, so they become shot good, mask good, not isolating bad.

        The people at the top don’t understand what’s going on any more (and probably less) than the people at the bottom. So it ends up being just a giant headless blob doing whatever makes most of its middle management feel good, rather than operating with any direction.

        We see this in corporations too, but most of them when they hit that state die ugly instead of shambling along eating things. At least they used too when gov’t wasn’t injecting cash and free loans to keep their rotting corpses still moving.

        Intel looks like it’s at high risk of heading that direction right now, if Gelsinger can’t manage to chainsaw the rot out.

        1. Intel must have the most incompetent sales management in the world. They had a technology (Optane DC Persistent Memory) that they spent $10 billion on but their distributors didn’t even know what it was, and neither did almost anyone else.

          Then after 3 years on the market (10 years development beforehand) they canceled it, leaving customers who had bet their companies on it hanging out to dry, while all the while claiming that they are “continuing development” after writing off their inventory and having no production capabilities left.

          I have spent a couple of man-years optimizing a novel algorithm for that technology. It happens that my code will work fine on regular memory or even an SSD, but a lot of other people aren’t so fortunate.

          1. I heard about that on Moore’s Law is Dead’s news roundup last week. Apparently Intel’s earning calls were way worse than expected.

            It sounds like they weren’t expecting Optane to really show why it was worth it until Sapphire Rapids, and with that getting delayed to 2023 at the earliest, and likely to be going up against the 96 core Genoa-X, that’s not going to be good.

            And with their Arc unit going rogue, it sounds like they’re going through their product lines and figuring out what parts they have to canabilize to keep the rest alive. Going to be really interesting over there for a while.

            Hopefully only for a while though. We need competition, or we’ll have another Intel 10nm tomorrow (tomorrow never comes) on our hands.

            1. Actually I have heard from someone who was at Intel during the development phase for Optane that they had oversold its speed to a big potential customer who then canceled their order when Intel couldn’t deliver something faster than DRAM.

              Ok, so I get that it was a big development risk that didn’t make it to that specific finish line, but what they did come up with was still AMAZING technology; why couldn’t they have sold what they did have? I’ve proselytized for it at every opportunity but most of the people who could have benefited from it still had never heard of it when it was canceled.

              1. Interesting. Hadn’t heard that. I really thing the main issue is Intel is having some serious problems now, and didn’t think Optane would have much return for some time, so cut it off to focus on getting their core business in order.

                Even if Optane is reasonably successful, if they lose the server market, they’re in serious trouble.

                Remember Sapphire Rapids is their Alder Lake based server chip, with a max of 60 cores. And they’re looking to be competing with the 96 core Zen 4 VCach server chips, not the 64 core Zen 3 VCache or 96 core non-vCache Zen 4 chips it would have been had it come out on time.

                I’m not even sure it’s the money that’s the issue. Selling it off and shutting it all down does free up cash, but I suspect there’s an aspect of CEO processing time here too. I’m thinking that they’re needing to focus on righting their server business first. The GPU work, despite the head of that unit apparently lying to the rest of the company about the state of things, still aligns more closely than Optane does, but depending on what their probe finds, that could very well get shut down too.

                I’m expecting executives to get legit fired over the stuff that’s gone down with Arc. Not those silly little golden parachute firings, either. Full on defenestrations here, heads mounted on pikes outside the corporate office type things.

                I do hope they’re able to salvage Arc, right now it’s hard to tell how deep the rot is, and whether they’ve got the money to root it out and fix it. We shall see.

                1. I don’t even know what Arc is; I guess I’ll have to research that.

                  Ok, I get that they have to focus on important stuff.

                  But the point with Optane is that it was a way to do things on servers that no one else could do.

                  Of course that also poses a risk with respect to “single-source” components, but that is what CXL was supposed to remedy because it isn’t vendor-locked, meaning that you could have bought Optane pmem from Intel and plugged it into a CXL port on an AMD motherboard or the like.

                  Now all that is gone.

                  Intel has spent billions and has nothing to show for it other than some very unhappy customers.

                  Of course I don’t have any internal knowledge of Intel’s corporate situation, but I can’t see how that was a good decision.

                  1. I’m not saying it is a great decision, more that it seems to have been the least bad of the available options.

                    Consider the situation they’re in with CXL. Their CXL motherboards are going to launch well after AMD’s, at a time when AMD’s server CPUs are also going to be better than their own offerings. Best case for Optane is it drives adoption of their competitor’s CPUs platform.

                    For Intel, is that money better spent on getting their own core platforms back up to speed with AMD’s, or selling a product, that, good as it may be, can only work on their core competitor?

                    And this likely does screw them long term in the Optane market as well, since they’ve spent all that time building the market and building open standards that competitors can use to enter it, but they’re at risk of having another Netburst, or worse, a Bulldozer generation in their hands if they can’t get their house in order.

                    Arc is/was Intel’s GPU entrance. Turns out the heads of the division were not being even remotely honest with the rest of the business units, and its turned was would have been a rough launch into a major fiasco. Things have gone bad enough it’s looking like they may even have major errors in the silicon itself, that they’d may have been hiding for two or more quarters while they tried to fix them in drivers. And they’re showing up in the follow-on chips too.

                    It’s bad enough there is concern that fixing the problems may be more expensive than starting over entirely.

                    Thing is GPUs are a big factor in the server market, so I think they have to have something that can fill that role, or they risk not even showing up as AMD is offering fully integrated x86 solutions, and nVidia is driving Arm based server solutions.

                    And, Intel still hasn’t solved the chiplette production problems. One of AMDs big advantages right now is they can dice up their products into clusters of small, optimized chips. They can use cheap, reliable processes for parts of the products that don’t need the cutting edge, and just buy the expensive wafer space for the parts that need it. And because the chiplette die sizes are tiny, they can get way better practical yields than Intel is with their monolithic dies.

                    So right now, their manufacturing process isn’t as capable, and it’s more expensive than their competition, who is also producing cores that are just as fast, and can pack more in per CPU, while on their other flank, nVidia is working hard to make ARM much more common in the server space.

                    Also their Raptor Lake CPUs are going to launch at least a month or two after Zen 4. Zen 4 chips are already shipping to reviewers, so technically, AMD could launch it in a couple of weeks, but it looks like they’re wanting to make sure supply is ready at launch. Intel has not even started sending out NDAs to tech reviewers yet.

                    They’re is a really bad spot right now, and its going to take serious work to dig themselves out.

            2. Funny – I wrote a guest post for Sarah (that kept getting lost) called Moore’s Law is Dead – Now What? a few years ago. It talked about a bunch of potential technologies that would potentially continue to improve performance for a while yet.

    2. I presume there will shortly be a very large die off globally.

      Weren’t we promised a winter of disease and death last year. Leave it to the Dementia Regime to pick this promise to deliver on.

        1. Well it wasn’t actually “disease” then either if you look at the data.

          More like just the excuse for totalitarian goose-stepping lockdowns.

          The excuse may be different this year but the recommendation will be the same. More totalitarian goose-stepping lockdowns.

          1. In Europe it is going to be energy usage this winter. The European governments are going to cover their own stupidity in being dependent on Russia for natural gas by draconian regulations on energy usage. They are already passing thermostat limits that are uncomfortable on both ends of the range.

  12. “Queijada Brown”

    OK, my Portuguese is practically non-existent but did you just call our newest Supreme Court Justice “Cupcake”?

    Two thumps up…

      1. Is there a Portugese word for not-so-fresh cheese? That would be more appropriate. 😛
        “I found some cheese.” [chomp!] “Awful stuff.”

        1. LOL.
          I am annoyed at her made up “oh, so ethnic” name and decided to substitute one of my choosing.
          She could also be Aquentada Brown. (Warmed up)

          1. She doesn’t have a name. She is the Diversity Justice. Her only qualification is to be the affirmative action hire and should be recognized as such.

    1. “Cupcake” in Spanish and, I think, Portugese is the same word: cupcake. English isn’t the only language that steals words on occasion.

        1. Cracks me up how they insist on “translating” even straight-ass English words, as if we’d say something different.

          1. I figure that they’re trying to translate the “tone” that the borrowed word is used for– and a lot of our stolen words aren’t used the same as where we got them– but it doesn’t stop me from cracking up from these big, scary guys running around growling out “okay!” in a cute accent.

            1. I’ve been watching a Korean drama with English captioning. I don’t speak one word of Korean, but It’s amazing how often a recognizable English word or phrase shows up in the Korean dialogue.

                1. But they don’t use the English Okay. They use another word that they translate as okay, I’m slowly starting to recognize “yes” and “no”, and that one, (This is a courtroom drama, after all) but that’s about the extent of it.

        2. I remember being in a teppan yaki restaurant when I was a kid in the 70s, listening to two servers talking to each other:

          S1: [rapid fire Japanese]
          S2: [rapid fire Japanese]
          S1: Oh yeah? [rapid fire Japanese]

      1. Anyone else here old enough to remember when De Gaulle ruled that the French would not use English words? I believe “le hot dog” and “le cowboy” got his panties in a twist… 😉

  13. The thing that is missing these days is wisdom. There’s too much knowledge and information in existence now for one human mind to comprehend. So we sort of are doing a Adam Smith division of labor to increase “mental” productivity of society by having “educated specialists”. This means you can be educated in one field and really still know nothing about anything else. Think how bad it is for people who get their news from MSM or TikTok! Their brains are filled with vacuous imagery and they have no intelligent independent thoughts.

    Wisdom comes from curiosity, the thirst for knowledge, and by doing. By critically examining facts and questioning them, wisdom arises from learning to tell right from wrong and truth from lies. Enforcing the equal outcome goals of our educational system simply dulls humanity to mediocrity. Allowing excellence to grow by watering the best minds with wisdom will lead us to the stars.

    1. Wisdom and good judgement often come from having made bad decisions and using bad judgement and then living with the consequences. Look around you and ask yourself, how often are leftists suffering the consequences of their own actions? How often do their poor decisions and judgement come back on them?

      This is a large reason why they appear as children to us. The tantrums, the whining, the not-at-all clever stratagems- these are childish things, for those who never suffered for their mistakes.

      1. Sounds like the average legislator.

        Having had a real job, where results count, having to support oneself and a family on earned income, seems more and more rare among the elected.

        ‘Community organizer’, indeed.

        What’s the line from Douglas Adams?
        “The Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B was a way of removing the basically useless citizens from the planet of Golgafrincham. A variety of stories were formed about the doom of the planet, such as blowing up, crashing into the sun or being eaten by a mutant star goat. The ship was filled with all the middlemen of Golgafrincham, such as the telephone sanitisers, account executives, hairdressers, tired TV producers, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, public relations executives, and management consultants.”.

        It’s a Golgafrinchan world, we’re just living in it.

        1. It’s a Golgafrinchan world, we’re just living in it.

          Don’t forget it’s a world commissioned by mice as an experiment.

          That’s an important bit.

        2. It’s worth remembering that, having disposed of their ‘useless’ people, the Golgafrinchans died from a plague that could only spread because they had exiled all the people who admitted to having the skills necessary to contain it.

          Central planning at its finest.

          1. Yes they kept the epidemiologists but sent the telephone sanitizers off.

            Then they died from disease spread by unsanitary telephones.

            Douglas Adams was a prophet.

  14. Prior to the “Pandemic”, I really could not imagine how Hitler’s final solution was so successful at killing. Or Mao’s revolution. Or Stalin. It was hard to wrap my mind around the sheer numbers of people who had to cooperate or at least turn a blind eye to what was happening all around them.

    Watching people that I had previously thought to be intelligent and “moral” jump on the lockdown, face mask, vaxx mandate bandwagon in spite of so much evidence that they were destructive to more people by far than they ever helped has been an eyeopener for sure. The minute someone invokes SCIENCE! I know they mean POLITICS!

    But, looking on the bright side, I know who I can and can’t trust in the coming days.

    Too bad so many are beloved family members.

  15. Sarah, you are our Lodestar…a very dangerous position. Take care…I’m so old I don’t care any more, tho I worry about my Wife and Kids.

  16. I just figured the “eat bugs” thing was being pushed because a) some people think it’s avant-garde and they like to see other people squirm, and/or b) someone was trying to get us used to the idea of eating famine foods

    1. I’ve been reading a book about wild foods in Britain, and the author points out at one point, “If you are starving, lime [and beech] leaves are food.” They don’t taste good, they are less nutritious than things that appear later, but if the choice is “eat young tree leaves that don’t have much flavor or die,” well, you eat beech and lime leaves.

      1. That’s the thing about starvation options. They’ll keep you alive. But they taste vile. If they tasted good, they’d be in supermarkets during more normal times.

        1. “You can live on it — but it tastes like shit.” — Crocodile Dundee

          Walt: “Are you actually enjoying that?”
          Guy eating a bat: “Naah. Needs garlic.”

            1. As Wiz Zumwalt says in one of Rick Cook’s Wizardry books”With enough wasabi even rat sashimi is edible”. I tend to doubt it…

              1. Rat actually tastes a bit like squirrel, from what I recall. For other weird stuff, no bugs, but snake can actually be really good if done right. Kind of like lean steak, salt rubbed and marinated in a good sauce. Gator meat isn’t awful, either. Not a fan of possum, but again, with enough hot sauce…

                Haven’t tried it myself, but sloth is supposed to be legendary awful. But then again, I’ve not eaten spiders or the like either, which I’m given to understand is more of a thing in the Far East than here.

                I’m known as the picky eater in the family, though.

                  1. The crispy alligator appetizer at Pappadeaux always taste like gamey Chicken McNuggets to me.

                    1. Gator has to be prepared right. Here in DFW, there’s a Cajun place off Belt Line, Nates, that knows how.

                    2. There’s a restaurant in Jacksonville, FL, called Clark’s Fish Camp. I never knew I liked alligator until I had their alligator appetizer. All light and puffy and perfectly battered and NOM. (This is also the place where my pickle-hating husband and I nearly came to blows over the fried dill pickles.) But it’s generally not my happy culinary place.

                      I’m always reminded of Pratchett’s “Interesting Times” theory of food: “When you see somebody making traditional delicacies out of a pig’s ear, what’s that tell you?” “Well, that they’re resourceful…creative…” “Tells ME that some other bastard pinched the rest of the pig.”

                  2. Gator – lutefisk of the New World.

                    Garrison Keillor, may he soon go to his eternal reward, at least got it right when he opined “Nothing in the world is quite so dead as lutefisk.”

                1. All I can personally comment on are squirrel, rabbit, ring-necked pheasant, ruffed grouse, and groundhog. Squirrel and rabbit were just, eh, game meat. Pheasant didn’t taste bad but was pretty dry; I hardly remember the grouse. Groundhog (at least the big old ones) required hours of baking after cracker-crumb breading, but my elementary-aged self complimented my mom on cooking “some good groundhog!” (Not that I’d ever had it done any other way, or by anyone else…)

                  1. I’ve had rabbit, pheasant and grouse. Rabbit makes a nice stew. The pheasant and grouse seemed like gamey chicken. We have a bunch of these in ND, so when SHTF there’ll likely be poaching. There’s also quite a few coyotes. I’ve never had ‘yote, and would prefer not to, but push comes to shove no one’s gonna miss them as opposed to the pheasant and grouse.

                2. Fascinating, you were (I presume) eating cooked rat. Doesn’t me surprise it tastes like squirrel as they are related. I have in general left rodent (bushy tailed or otherwise) off the menu. I had rabbit (long ago) but I can’t remember what it tastes like which means it was unremarkable. Sashimi of is carefully prepared uncooked fish or other seafood. Usually it uses very rich fish (e.g. tuna aka toro). Prepared well it can be quiet tasty, although the texture leaves something to be desired in certain cases. I suspect rat sashimi would leave a lot to be desired 🙂 .

                    1. Western Washington is overrun with rabbits, for certain values of “overrun”. They’re everywhere in my neighborhood, and the Seattle Times recently ran a story about how some well-meaning sort back in the 20s imported a bunch of eastern cottontails and then let them loose. So when SHTF…

                    2. Pet rabbits turned loose and feral (there are local wild rabbits, but they are tiny forest rabbits, barely fit in my hands). No fear, but cautious enough that not easily approachable. They graze lawns. Don’t have any in our immediate neighborhood but they are in abundance around a lot of businesses outside downtown (have to have some lawn and greenery), golf coarses, and other neighborhoods. Surprisingly the homeless haven’t eliminated them. Also wild (imported) turkey flocks both rural and urban. While deer are in the hills and outlying fields, not a problem in city proper. Not sure what the coyotes, bobcats, cougars, and bears, are finding in the Willamette River corridor through town (posted night home video as proof). It is safe to fish the Willamette River these days (wasn’t in ’60s through ’70s), not to mention McKenzie, the tributaries, and lakes.

                    3. Understood. Where I saw the feral pet (large) rabbits, while there were flowers, they generally were in large tall planters (are rabbits as agile as cats?) or the more prolific in invasive perennials (dang things are difficult to get rid of pulling, repeated trimming back, and weed spray), otherwise shrubbery where low ground grazing does not have impact, deer can on younger plants, but not rabbits.

                    1. I have read, actually – that the taste of the game depends on what it has been eating. Wild boar who have been munching almost exclusively on acorns and corn – very tasty. I would guess that a country rat or a squirrel (or any other rodent, having fattened on corn, or some other grains would taste pretty good, but a city rat fed on garbage … not so tasty at all. YMMV

                    2. “I always maintained that a rat who had the run of the ship’s bread locker made a dish fit for the King, let alone a midshipman.” Horatio Hornblower

                    3. This is true. Also, it matters a lot how fast you get the carcass drained, butchered, and the meat cooled down. And how much fat is in the meat. Gamey, lean meat doesn’t have much good taste in it by itself. City vermin also are like to have seriously nasty parasites and diseases in them. They can infect pets, too, that eat the carcasses.

                      And for humans, yeah, they probably taste pretty nasty. Not worth the experiment, that.

                  1. When I had rabbit at home, it was unremarkable, but when a coworker brought in a crock pot with rabbit, potato and jalapeno stew, THAT was really tasty.

                    1. My mom also frequently cooked rabbit – it was cheap protein, and we had a near neighbor who raised them for food purposes. It is interesting to survey food preferences with regard to culture. Most Americans boggle at rabbit. French don’t boggle at horse (yes, I ate horse at a youth hostel in France, once … kind of sweet and very stringy.) Hindu boggle at beef, for the most part, Muslims and Jews boggle at pork … Chinese and Asians are OK with cat and dog, mostly, and some South Americans OK with guinea pigs. It’s all animal-flesh protein, it’s just that there is a very, very strong cultural preferences for some, and violently against others.

                3. The trick with rat is to cook it completely. You don’t know what parasites it might have, so cook until overdone. (Or so I have been told by several people who ate various rodents on various continents.)

                  1. Well, yeah. All wild caught game should be cooked completely, really. Spending a few days with the runs is no fun at all when you’re more than a day’s walk from any kind of civilization. Critters have almost always got some sort of low level infection going on, if not two or three.

                    It’s why good stew is the staple of long trek camping. It’s practically holy. You just have to boil the hell out of it. ;p

                4. Have a cookbook from the 1800’s. Reciept for cooking possium starts out with boiling the meat in salt water (changing the water every day) for three days…

          1. Well, we can turn half of them into that and feed it to the other half. That is what you meant, right? 😉

        2. Actually, a lot of famine foods are very nice, if you are eating them voluntarily. But after people eat them during a famine, they are a bad memory trigger. Lots of Irish cuisine changes after the Famine, a lot of dislike of seaweed and fish and wild herbs.

          1. There was a joke in Scotland about WWII rationing, whale meat being on the menu.

            One guy would show up to a restaurant week after week, digging in with great gusto. The owner (wanting to actually make money, and with a limited client base given rationing) finally went over to the guy and offered to reserve a table if he’d just leave his name, given he enjoyed the cooking so much.

            “Certainly. My name is Jonah… and I’ve waited a long time for this.”

    2. Beyond Meat is underperforming. they “guided lower” today and are letting staff go. It was down 8% on the day to Close at $32 Some poor sap payed $197 for it a couple of years ago and it’s down from $154 a year ago. I guess that the schmeet isn’t as big as it was made out to be. It’s almost as though the amount of time this crap gets discussed on social media isn’t related to the demand for it. A constructed narrative, in fact. Crazy talk, I know, but it just could be that things aren’t nearly as bad as we’re being told they are by people with an interest In making things bad and that the more time we spend listening to these a$$holes, the unhappier we are because their unhappiness affects us and makes us think in terms of famine and civil war which can only happen if we allow it to by listening to a$$holes on social media.

      Just sayin.

      1. When I tried being vegetarian a year or two, I had and disliked the pseudoburgers. If I really wanted something non-meaty as a burger-ish meal, I’d get some tempeh. It didn’t pretend to be anything but soy, and it took flavors well.

        OTOH, I haven’t been a vegetarian for almost 30 years.

          1. We’d go for weeks as vegetarians when I was stationed in Greece, and that was mostly because what was available in the regular weekly street markets was so darned good, and fresh from the farm; excellent vegetables, eggs, cheeses. Meat was a little on the pricy side locally, and what was in the base commissary annex was usually a little limited.

        1. Friend of mine is a semi-vegetarian. The other day I gave him a couple of avacadoes. Next days he was telling me about making an avocado-sour kraut sandwich and would I like one. . .

  17. 4 years ago when I started warning everyone about what was coming, I got a lot of grief.
    Now I think everyone is looking around and starting to finally see the writing on the wall.
    Of course for a lot of people it’s just too late to pull up stakes and go someplace safer, and more will just continue to ‘put it off until tomorrow’ which when it arrives will be too late.
    Oh well, I tried, again, but at this point I no longer feel any guilt for other folks not paying attention.

      1. So many times when I warned about how the leftist insanity was going to spread out from the college campuses I was told “no way that can happen”, it’s just a small fringe of insane radicals. Yes, they are a small fringe of insane radicals, but they have captured all of things that enable their insanity to be spread and pushed throughout society. Their insanity can be defeated but not without pushing back. Wishful thinking that it will go away or blow over will not do it.

    1. You should never feel guilt for having adults disregard informed warnings. Horse, water, drink. Regret, yes. But not guilt; they made their decision.

  18. Going off on a tangent … re credentials … does anyone here have any insight into the level of woke culture at CO School of Mines? Asking for a family member …

    1. Cursory look says they take lefty money. Renewables, Build Bandits Bolshevik, environmentalist money, etc. Campus reform has an article about them offering “exam support” to moose limbs during Ramadan. No such support offered to any other faiths.
      That’s the con.

      The pro is, they are also a serious engineering college, by the looks of it. Student culture, couldn’t tell you. Most colleges have some form of woke activism in the student body though, even serious engineering schools. Even explicitly Christian schools, too.

      1. I don’t know about Colorado but – https://www.sdsmt.edu/ In South Dakota there is a really good engineering program. They used to be a really good school but I have not been back to SD for a couple of decades. They’ve got an “inclusion” office there now but it looks (on paper anyway) fairly benign. Worth checking on anyway.

          1. My high school combined physics and chemistry into one two-year class. In the first year, we were taught the basics of a slide rule. By the next year, almost overnight, it was calculators.

            1. My brother taught me slide rule when I was 6. I no longer remember it.
              Younger son found a slide rule in a thrift store when he was 13, and has taught himself to use it. He says he has an odd sense he should.
              Like the rest of the “clone line” (his designation) alternating male and female through the generations (not joking. He looks like my male clone. Exactly. And I look like dad’s who looked like his mom’s) he has a touch of Celtic “future sensing.”
              I don’t like woo woo stuff. But it has a tendency to find me.

              1. The Reader made it through electrical engineering with a slide rule. In fact, it saw 2 generations of engineers through Ye Olde Land Grant U (the Reader’s father was the first generation). Once a year the Reader takes it out of its case, aligns and lubricates it and then does enough math with it to ensure the memory is retained. The Reader believes that the value of a slide rule to engineers is it forces the engineer to think about whether the order of magnitude of the answer makes sense. The Reader had some fun over the years at the expense of young engineers who slipped a couple of decimal points in their Matlab code.

                1. I went to college where the debate was between the aluminum Picketts and the bamboo, Posts (I think I have that right–never owned one). With humidity ranging from steambath in summer to dessicated in winter, I opted for the Pickett. Have to dig them (one regular Log-Log, and a pocket natural-log) out and get them handy for misadventures in electric grids.

                  1. I had a beautiful K&R (I think) aluminum-magnesium rule that I won by coming in second in the “Mathletics” intermural competition. It disappeared many years ago and I can’t even find one like it on ebay or I would replace it.

                  2. I have two general-purpose slide rules, a Pickett N4-T and a K&E Log-Log Decitrig. Both still work fine, although I haven’t actually used them since around ’75 or so. I also have a few “specialty” slide rules; mostly cheap cardboard, but they work.

              2. All the Celts are fey to one degree or another.

                I had a circular slide rule at one point. I still have a couple of regular slide rules put aside since we never throw anything out.

                I studied economics, which is not a science, but there was a lot of math. Pointless math for the most part but very mathy. SCIENCE, meaning clanks and stinks doesn’t really address any of the really interesting questions. Economics, politics, psychology do address interesting questions. The problem is they try to act like they’re clanks and stinks and reduce really complicated things to simple arithmetic. Sad really,

                1. I learned slide rule from dad in 8th grade. Used a slide rule through Christmas Jr year of college. Calculators were available before then, but I couldn’t afford it. Barely could afford the $90 slide rule I did buy. That Christmas, the neighbor won/earned a calculator from his sales job. Sold it to mom and dad for $100 (retail by then was down to $250 or so). Good/bad news. Those of us using slide rules weren’t held to the same accuracy, to the decimal accuracy.

              3. High School class, upon being told “no calculators” for an upcoming quiz, some wiseguy (not ox) piped up, “What about slide rules?” and got the reply that they were acceptable. The next day about a third of the class showed up with such – and knew how to use them.

                1. I had one of the first 4 function calculators on campus, and then one of the first HP45s. The ’45 didn’t garner that much attention, (Came out a year or so after the HP35) but when I asked permission to use the 4 banger, it was usually granted with the proviso that the proctor be allowed to play with it for a while.

                    1. Once you get used to it, it’s more efficient doing it that way with complex formulas. I confess to having a soft spot for the Pole in question, since I use his logic (slightly enhanced).

            2. @ Confutus > “In the first year, we were taught the basics of a slide rule. By the next year, almost overnight, it was calculators.”

              Almost ditto. We learned slide rule in HS math class, and my first year in college (1970) every engineering-science student on campus wore a slide rule hooked to his belt (seriously, it was an article of clothing, and most Engi’s were male back then).
              First day of the next fall: everyone was wearing TI calculators.

              We have several of the antiques here, including a circular one.
              Some of my favorite episodes in the Heinlein canon involve space astrogators navigating by slide rule.

              1. I loaned my slide rule to my little sister in ’78 for HS. Never got it back. Dad had a small slide rule as well as a circular one (couldn’t lend me one back in ’74 because he was still using it in the office). In the ’80s all 3 disappeared. I expect we’ll find them when we clean out the house in another 15 years or so. Mom is 88 this fall, and doing great. I can predict she is going to be gone sometime in the next 15 years. Either because of, well, you know, or because she can’t live in their house alone anymore. Or maybe I should say “the grandchildren will”, in 15 years, I’ll be 80.)

            1. An abacus is an extremely difficult device to calculate values for transcendental functions on. On the other hand slide rules don’t add. On the third hand, the Reader would have more fingers to count with.

              1. Hmmm… “extremely difficult”. Yeah, I’d say so, about like doing ballistic calculations using Roman numerals. 😉

          2. High school I went to had a combined Chemistry/Bio 2 year cycle in trimesters. Learn basic chemistry, some organic nomencalture and a tiny bit of electro chem for 2 trimesters. Then move into cellular Bio and things like Krebs cycle actually make a bit of sense. next year move to more descriptive bio and genetics (punnet squares etc). End with a trimester of ugly chemistry things like concentrations delta H and Gibbs free energy. First trimester I had a Dietzgen 12″ student model Bought at the Weslyan bookstore. My Dad had his brothers 8″ circular, had issues getting it to work. Chem teacher looked at it and noted that the arms which act as the cursor were loose which meant calculations were almost impossible. Damn shame a 8″ circular is like a 24″ straight and so has finer markings (2 places with accurate .25 markings in the 3rd place). By second trimester 4 function calculators were cheap enough that I got one for about $25 (it had square roots too very fancy). Some SOB stole it from my locker second year and I ended up with a TI-16 (ln, Log, scientific notation no trig ~$90, wanted a Ti-58 but they were like $250) for the last bit of chemistry and got a TI-30 when those popped up a year or so later for 1/3 the cost of the Ti-16 When I worked at Raytheon I found that the old radar and systems engineers were far better at estimation and checking results than my peers as they had had to do all the stuff by slipstick and so had done all the scientific notation stuff in their head

      2. don’t know about now, but 30+ years ago my choices were North Dakota State University (fairly woke now), Colorado School of Mines, and South Dakota School of Mines.

    2. Well, they decided their primary mode is now ECO engineering. The Earth is buuuurning up.
      Son recoiled from that. His friends who went in went woke and stopped talking to him.
      Mind you, that was 10? years ago. Might be better now. What are the odds?

  19. Several times I have seen people make the argument that one should hope for the President to succeed, even if the president is not of your party, using the metaphor of a pilot flying a plane. You want the pilot to succeed because if the plane crashes we all crash with it.

    What they miss is that in some cases, you don’t want the pilot to succeed because the pilot is deliberately making a “controlled flight into terrain” (that’s “crash” to me and you). Of course it’s not a perfect metaphor because “crash the plane” is the default and requires skilled, deliberate action to avoid, while when it comes to a free society “crash the plane” requires deliberate action and “goes on its merry way” is the default. But…go with it since that’s the metaphor that has been presented.

    So, when I say “I want X to fail” what I mean is “I want them to fail to succeed in taking actions that will foul up free society so much that it will take generations to fix, if at all” and I base that on expected outcomes, not the claimed desired outcomes.

    1. Enemies are enemies.

      Hostile would be mass murderers are trouble, even if they are officially your own head of state or head of government.

      There has been a breakdown of peace in this country, between the communists and everyone else.

      To hope that a communist is effective is to cheer on attempted murder.

      To chide me for opposing Biden, or most other Democrats, is an attempt to guilt trip me into accepting my own murder. I refuse.

      1. Bob the Registered is Making Sense again… or still.

        As, I think, Rush Limbaugh once put it, “I want the President to fail BECAUSE I want the COUNTRY to SUCCEED!”

  20. Yep the flood coming.

    Nope the house don’t float.

    However based on personal flood experience, Fairbanks flood of ’67, the house may well be there after the waters recede (Was around 20 days before we could get back in to check our house but it was still there!), you repair and refurbish enough to get through the -50° winter and then start building bigger and better. Been there, done that and flood, fire, earthquake or our duly appointed president, Buck Fiden, with grit and determination I/we can do so again!

    Meanwhile plan, prepare and no need to go to college to study practical ballistics.

  21. What they indicated is that countries with better nutrition had their women grow taller and be stronger. No one looked at the boys.

    Oh that is one HECK of a trick, that’s evil– but technically true!

    The women, when fed better, DID grow as big as the prior generation’s (malnourished) men.

    I bet you could show this with comparing some carefully selected demographic of 1920s-1950s Japan vs average Japanese women.

    That is, the daughters (that were not starved) grow as big their (starved) fathers.

    ….I feel the need to steal this.

    1. “Biden called himself the vice-president today:”
      He’s correct. It’s Obama’s third term.

  22. “Tied to a mad man” might be what my team at work was thinking after I started… but I think they’re seeing at least some method now…

  23. I had three skips of college, mostly due to circumstances and my poorly diagnosed ADHD/depression/anxiety disorder.

    First skip was JC followed by SJSU in the mid ’90s. Could see the rot, but there were still instructors that taught and enough lower-level people that were rolling their eyes at the stupid. Had a mental blow-out and just went looking for work and got into tech and muddled along.
    (1-Best sex-ed class I ever had was at SJSU. Instructor was very clear about why you kept your polycule small and loyal and/or only engaged in monogamy, ABC, and never sleep with someone drunk that you wouldn’t sleep with sober.)
    (2-I should have realized I was an idiot because I thought I could work enough part-time jobs to live in San Jose. In the early ’90s. And commuted from Oakland to San Jose by public transit “until I found a place.”
    (Feel free to laugh at me. I kind of deserve it.
    (You live and you learn. Or you don’t live long.)
    “Muddling along” didn’t work well, so I went back to school. Evening program at SFSU, ’05-’07. The few sane teachers were getting visibly grey. The adjunct professor scam (which I blame for a number of reasons why professors got desperate to appeal to the Powers That Be) was seriously taking over. And, despite being promised, very sincerely that the program could be done in the evenings, there was one class that was only taught in the middle of the day, two days a week. Because the only person that would teach it would only teach it one semester a year, at that time and that time alone.
    (3-Oh, and the one class in the GE requirements that I was interested in by name? Pretty much a Marxist indoctrination camp.)
    Then, I muddled along some more, then we have the Crow Flu, and I had a chance to finish my degree program at SFSU in a semester. Buildings were either extremely new with the “overbuilt for graft reasons” or “deferred maintenance” in ways that was worrying. One teacher…she either was having the start of some dementia issues or was very tech inept. Another…when you ask a question about gestalt theory in media, mention The Hero With A Thousand Faces and your teacher looks like a deer in headlights… And the third, she was clearly teaching the class from somebody else’s notes.
    I passed and got my degree this year. I’m glad I got it, I wished I had gotten it years ago, but I had gotten it.

    Students…I had a definite “get off my lawn” grumpy feeling about the students I was with. One male student, I swear to God he either needed to talk from his diaphragm or squeeze his balls and go falsetto, because the half-and-half was annoying the hell out of me. Female students were either unformed or had a perpetual resting-bitch-face appearance. Trash in corners was common. And, conversations were barely better than most high-school graduates.

    I think that if the education process was better handled, I’d have finished years ago-and in much less time. But, education was a product, became even more of a product, and now it feels like a veneer applied to cheap particle board.

  24. that old chestnut “Diet for a small planet” which was considered sane as late as the eighties. (It should be called “Diet for idiots who don’t realize we don’t live on spiney oak, but cows and goats do.”)
    As best I recall, the central idea of the book was that the human diet needs balanced protein (amino acid types). No single plant provides this, but carefully chosen combinations of plants can provide a protein diet which is just as balanced as meat protein. Corn and beans, wheat and milk, etc.
    That is about all I can recall, after more than 40 years.
    I don’t know if the authors ever considered that there are vast amounts of land which are not suitable for growing food crops but are suited for pasture on which cattle can graze.

    1. Is my memory of Diet for a Small Planet in any way incorrect or incomplete? Want to get my memory correct.

      1. Keep in mind this is my memory of it — I read it in the 80s — but it was very clear that you could feed more people with a vegetarian diet, because cows take so much vegetation to grow, and that could go directly to feed humans.

        1. Thanks. I certainly don’t want to go on a low-meat/no-meat diet and see the return of various health problems.

        2. And they’re right that cattle take a lot more vegetation to feed than humans – there’s a significant calorie-to-food decline there, but IIRC, you find that the land that much of the cattle’s diet is grown on is NOT good land for human-edible crops.

          1. One of the second-order effects of the Black Death was that marginal land wasn’t being used for farming, so it could be used for pasture instead, meaning that meat was cheaper and more available to the lower classes, improving overall health for the population.

            1. A lot of marginal land was already out of production after 1310 in northwestern Europe and Britain, because of the shift in the weather patterns. The colder, wetter weather meant that there was no point trying to farm parts of Scotland, Dartmoor, and certain parts of the Holy Roman Empire and Scandinavia. Eastern Europe didn’t suffer as much cold weather in the early part of the century, but they had flooding problems later. (Their turn to lead the “early misery index” came in the late 1500s-1600s.)

          2. And the fodder off that crappy land they eat is utterly indigestible to those of us that are not ruminants (Leave it for Ox!!!). Even the corn that’s grown for them is not really suitable for humans. All starch almost no sugar, and the cows eat the whole darn thing. Growing Alfalfa fixes nitrogen back into the soil. Apparently these folks Never heard of Jethro Tull (Historical figure not the band…). Grand father had a small Dairy farm into the late ’40s (had been thinking of dumping it late 30’s but oncoming WWII convinced him he wanted to be able to make his own milk and butter. after surviving the great depression via farming)

            1. oncoming WWII convinced him he wanted to be able to make his own milk and butter. after surviving the great depression via farming

              One of the reasons paternal extended family did better than maternal extended family during the depression. While the former lost timberlands to taxes (during depression), they didn’t lose farmland, that had the big gardens, milk cows, sheep (wool and meat), chickens (meat and eggs), not to mention the wildlife in the woods, crawdads and fish in the rivers, and creeks. Not all extended family members had land for this, but those that did had enough to thoroughly share with anyone they could reach or reached out to them. Oh, they had limited resource options when it came to shoes, cloth, and other goods, But not food.

              My maternal grandparents spent WWII in Colorado in an apartment. Depression near a mine, in a one room cabin (no running water, kitchen stove wood heat. Cabin sits on the side of a hill above a road on rock scree, tree duff, and under a forest. No place to have a truck garden. No fish in the creek. I know grandpa never hunted until after WWII and they came to Oregon. Grandpa moved grandma and their two girls into the apartment at the start of WWII when the call up came because 1) Cabin was no place for her and the girls to be left alone, and 2) Cabin belonged to the mine, if he wasn’t working there, they weren’t able to stay.

  25. The U.N. was aware that the world population increase trajectory was leveling off as early as 1960, 8 years before Ehrlich published “The Population Bomb.” But pointing out that things were handling themselves (frequently through the truly heroic efforts of people like Norman Borlaug) did, and will, not get you onto talk shows, invited to All The Right Parties, and inundated with lucrative grants and publishing deals.

  26. But pointing out that things were handling themselves (frequently through the truly heroic efforts of people like Norman Borlaug) did, and will, not get you onto talk shows, invited to All The Right Parties, and inundated with lucrative grants and publishing deals.

    Which tells us important things about the people doling out grants, not to mention the “intellectual elites”.

  27. “butbutbut Brazil is burning down the rainforest to make cropland!!!”

    Because they’re using 20th century equipment to do 19th century farming, you dolt.

    1. Yep. The technique worked fine when the population was at 18th-19th century levels. Now? Not so much.

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