Social Engineering and its Failings

It never fails. Whenever I post about something that a vast number of people have issues with: from ADD to “being on the spectrum” to serious anxiety issues, to a million other things, someone either here or on FB (usually on FB) plants feet square, puts hands on hips and goes “Yeah, right. We’d never heard of those problems forty years ago and now it’s everywhere. This isn’t real.”

Okay then. Spits on hands. Let’s have it, shall we?

You’re making a lot of very weird assumptions Some of course are that because issues weren’t diagnosed they didn’t exist. Almost everyone “on the spectrum” or with “sensory issues” or even with ADD and anxiety or other problems can look back through the family tree, and as the realization dawns on them, slowly cover their face in their hands and go “oh dear Lord.” Because you see the signs galloping through the family tree as far back as human memory goes.

Look, these problems are a problem because for the last 100 years crazy people have been social engineering, instead of trying to figure out how and why some things existed. Or because those things were “bad” according to their new and “urgent” doctrine.

Kind of like what they’re trying to do with fossil fuels, they’ve done with everything.

Take anxiety. I only realized recently that I have near-crippling anxiety, and it’s been getting worse. (Eyes times we live in.) Why did I only realize it recently? Because I pray for it. That is literally my treatment. I hand it up and say “You deal with it.” Does that solve it? No. But it allows me to sleep and kind of function. And then –that looking back thing — I realized I came from a family of obsessive pray-ers who get more so as they age. And who came through some incredibly bad upheavals looking like they didn’t have any anxiety at all.

But praying is evil bad, religion is the opium of the people, and there are probably a lot of people to whom the concept is actually alien. So they medicate.

Or take ADD — please. No, seriously, I don’t want it — which people say is treated with “legal meth.” They ain’t wrong, but running around assuming everyone getting it is just looking for a boost and “pretending” is mental. Particularly when it’s kids.

Now legal meth — eh. Adderal — and a bunch of the other medications have hellacious side effects, and I’m seeing if I can control it with sleep hygiene and routine. It might work. Well, it doesn’t banish it, mind. But it makes me functional enough to get my work done and not forget the turned-on stove or the unfinished email… most of the time. (Illness and sleep interruptions play hob with that.) Mostly because Adderal makes me psychotic, and when I crash it makes me incredibly depressed. (No, that’s not the lack of patience. Right now my lack of patience is that I’m tired. Really tired.)

But do you know what else treats ADD? Nicotine. And if you look back, not that far back, either, all the people in “thinking positions” smoked. Heck, dad started smoking at 12 (and quit at 31 because MY lungs couldn’t take it.) which probably accounted for his academic success versus the brother who didn’t. Even in my generation, in Portugal, that was normal. I didn’t, because I couldn’t. (I smoked for a year, and got a pneumonia that wouldn’t quit, so I stopped.) But I lived on enough espresso to sink a battle cruiser all through school. I didn’t eat, I just caffeinated.

Somewhere over the last 40 years tobacco became the forbidden. Now, before you yell at me, yes, due to the method of conveyance — ANYTHING burned and inhaled has that issue — it caused health issues, sometimes severe ones in susceptible people. Though I’ll also note generation “everyone smokes” broke new horizons in longevity, so you figure it out.

Note this is me speaking: tobacco was not only a non-starter for me because of smoke, but I’m one of the very few people who could and did legitimately object to second-hand smoke because of ridiculously reactive lungs.

But after the war on tobacco, TPTB started telling us pot — with same delivery mechanism — is just fine, and possibly health-enhancing. Tilts head. Yeah.

BTW pot smoke in public is worse on me than tobacco. I don’t detect it, often, because I no longer have an accute sense of smell, but I can detect it by “oooh. I can’t breathe.”

At the same time we have a war on e-cigarettes, which do not in fact have the problems of burning stuff being inhaled into your lungs. Yeah, they’re still nicotine, which raises your blood pressure, does things to your heart rate, etc: As does anything effective for ADD.

Has anyone done a study on nicotine versus micro doses of meth and long term effects of both?

Well, no. Because the church of experts has excommunicated tobacco and nicotine and you will not partake of it, sinner. NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT HELPED.

You will either take a medications for your ADD, or you’ll lose your job/be unable to finish your studies, and here, have some pot for your depression and anxiety.

In the same way in the last few decades, we’ve demonized alcohol to a ridiculous amount. No, I’m not saying alcohol doesn’t have dangers. EVERYTHING HAS DANGERS. And yes, alcohol addiction can cause serious problems. What addiction can’t? (Except perhaps to prayer, and even then, unless you’re a contemplative monk, you’ll have another life.)

However the size and shape of the problem became clear to me when I realized they were defining “has a glass of not high alcohol wine with dinner every night” as alcoholism for women. (No, not me. We can’t afford that, even on cheap Verde Wine. Mostly I drink Adam’s Ale or tea with meals.) By that definition all of Portugal, Greece and Italy are raging alcoholics.

Now besides having bad effects in excess, alcohol in small doses has a ton of good side effects, including aiding with brain connection pruning, which might help delay Alzheimers or other dementia. It also helps with anxiety. In fact humans have used it in small amounts for most of history.

But it is evil bad. You will instead use these medications, all of which also have side effects, some of them heinous. However, you don’t want to be an evil alcohol drinker, do you?

(And yet weirdly life expectancy keeps dropping. Uh. Must be bad luck.)

As for “aspergers” and the lowest reaches of the autistic spectrum (the high reaches are something completely different yet again. At that level, it’s completely non-functional and well… scary) … after spending some time reading actual books written during the regency I started wondering if most of the English nobility was “on the spectrum.” It “tastes” like it. But they had a work around: they had incredibly detailed etiquette that guided you through 99% of situations, even if you couldn’t “read” people.

It’s a good thing the 60s liberated us from all convention and manners and now it’s “just” what feels good and how it feels, and how do you react to people…. except even I — when tired, frazzled, etc — have issues with that. And I’m so functional I might not (maybe) be on the spectrum. Maybe. It might just be introverted weirdness. With luck and a following wind.

Then there is the treatments for the common ills of menopause. I’ve heard people on the right fulminating on this as on Viagra. “Women just want to keep having sex way too late. It’s like men taking viagra.” Facepalms. HARD.

In women the after effects of menopause or being post-menopausal are not restricted to sex. Not even vaguely. And if you think they are, the women in your life must be very forebearing. There’s memory loss (as in inability to keep a memory in mind) and that’s the kindest. There’s issues with sleep. There’s…. just nasty stuff, okay?

Yeah, my foremothers did it, uphill both ways, with a grandkid on each hip. And I’m so glad for them. But you know what none of them had? A thought-job. One in which I have to channel coherent thought, complex chains of ideas and manage the emotion for it all.

No, I don’t take medication. (Because if you live long enough it will lead to dementia earlier than you might otherwise have had it. And in a triumph of hope over my perpetually breaking down body, I hope to live long and write to the end.) BUT I DON’T JUDGE THOSE WHO DO.

Because we live unusual lives. And the last 20 to 30 years of our lives, when the kids are grown MIGHT BE the only time we have to accomplish what we must do. And what we must do requires functional brains.

Which leads us to “There wasn’t all this cancer when I was little.” Cancer is the failure mode of human cell replication. One of them. If you live long enough you WILL get cancer. Whether you die of it or not depends on a lot of things. (And Biden’s promise to “cure cancer” (which is not a single thing, and can’t really be ‘cured’) is chilling if you know this.) BUT if you live long enough FOR YOU (not the next guy. It’s genetic) you WILL get it.

So.

None of these things are new. Some had coping strategies going back to the beginning of humans. Those are broken through the “experts” of the 20th century. And therefore people must medicate.

Is medication the best way to go? Who knows? Until we grope our way back to sanity and actually test things, in reproducible tests, no one knows.

However, and no matter how I choose to accommodate for my own issues — chronic depression, ADD, being an older woman, anxiety — which in my case is to avoid meds as much as possible as long as possible, but knowing there might be a time I can’t, THIS IS MY HAND DEVOID OF STONES TO THROW.

These problems aren’t new. Except for the ones which are longevity related, they’ve been with us forever.

What we have is a society that kicked the crutches away from the people who need them, and now shames them for using new ones or being unable to do without.

And that’s evil. Which I guess is what we expect from TPTB.

Don’t you join them. Let your brothers and sisters in this screwed up time cope as best they might. Suggest other help if they need it.

But stop throwing stones. You too might need a crutch eventually.

270 thoughts on “Social Engineering and its Failings

  1. All excellent points. I would add that society has changed exponentially in the past 75-100 years, in that most jobs now require office work and intense social interaction as opposed to agricultural/mechanical employment. We didn’t evolve to handle this kind of work.

          1. Yeah.

            My grandmother had “beautiful manners”…. high functioning autistic AF. She wanted to be good/kind, but the “mind read folks and do what they want” nonsense was NOT HAPPENING. Her love language was “you asked for this, I’ll give it to you as best I can.”

            To be fair, Scottish. Very common thing.

        1. Mood. So much mood.

          …I kid you not, someone tried to get me maliciously fired today because I didn’t respond to her “How you doin’?” in… whatever manner she thought must be appropriate. We’re talking full on called in the manager and said I’d called her a racial slur, no less.

          Fortunately, I’ve been working there 8 months already and absolutely no one believed it.

          But still. Gadzooks.

          (For the record, I was extremely surprised because everyone else was in “just do this as fast as possible and don’t talk to me” mode. So what I managed, failing my social script roll, was “I’m… working?” Aaaand she blew up from there.)

  2. Slightly off topic, but I’ve heard that Germany is legalizing recreational pot usage and my first thought was about Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel “Brave New World” with its soothing, happiness-producing drug called Soma. 😦

    Oh, when it comes to Social Engineering by government, I think of the following quote from the Federalist Papers.

    “If Men were Angels, We would need No Government. If Angels were to Govern Us, Government would need No Limits. ”

    Since Angels don’t govern us, then of course governments will go seriously wrong when they attempt “Social Engineering”.

      1. They’re not that smart. It isn’t social engineering, it is a vote-grab and a new taxation source. If a politician wants to be “cool” they talk about legalizing weed. Trudeau did that. Canada called Trudeau’s bluff and elected the little poseur, forcing him to really legalize it.

        Sort of. It’s legal if you paid the tax. Which they really jacked up, so surprising right? Thus, here we are four years out, and most of the big weed companies that started out in 2016 or so are bankrupt or bought-out. This is because stoners tried the New Weed as it were, found it expensive and went back to their former suppliers. Illegal weed is booming. Because taxes.

        Burlington Ontario currently has something like 200 weed stores. Pretty much all of which are essentially money laundering operations. You can tell which ones are laundering by who stays in business. The legit stores are all going under. Taxes, regulations, etc. Crime pays.

        As far as being Soma, weed is a huge failure. You would think that with 200 weed stores in one little town that everybody is wandering around wasted all the time, right? Nope. Weed, as it turns out, is just not that much fun. Kinda boring, really. Also wicked hangover if you get the wrong strain, which with 200 stores staffed by kids who don’t know shit from clay, is a thing. Current weed is very, very strong, you can have a really unpleasant day if you smoke the wrong thing. (Illegal weed is another level of bad, they sometimes spice it up with fentanyl and artificial cannabinoids. Those news stories of guys trying to eat each other’s faces off in the park, or lighting themselves on fire, that’s the artificial cannabinoids. Instant permanent brain damage.)

        Government can’t make money selling drugs, is the bottom line. They really want to, and they’re trying, but they can’t. Central command and control guarantees failure. Unionized public employees and whole cubefarms full of middle managers guarantee failure.

        On the bright side, legalization has been quite a boost for medicinal weed. CBD is very effective at cutting inflammation, and if you get the right strain for your own personal brain it is often fabulous at cutting down anxiety. Of course if you get the wrong strain it will freak you out, so experimentation is not advised. THC works on sleep problems quite well, IF you get the right thing in the right dose with the right delivery method.

        Notice how narrow the band for success is there? Ask a physician who specializes in weed. (Note, I am not a physician.)

        Looking ahead in the Phantom Crystal Ball, next up for legalization is magic mushrooms. Plenty of reputable studies are showing that it can be very powerful at knocking down depression (if you do it right, and if there’s a doctor involved.) There’s a cottage industry of people microdosing it and having positive results at managing their various ailments. But that won’t be why they legalize it. Again, it will be Cool Vote Factor and hope for taxes from recreational sales. I predict very disappointing recreational sales, getting wasted on mushrooms really is not much fun from what I hear.

        1. Regarding central command and control, Thomas Sowell (I think) once mentioned a tractor company in the U.S.S.R. which receiver a government order for a batch of tractors. The government specification called for the tractors to be painted in green oilproof paint. The factory had access to red oilproof paint, and green non-oilproof paint, but those were not according to the specification. To supply tractors that were not per the government specification was a criminal offense, and trying to get the specification changed would be an almost certainly futile bureaucratic mess. So they came up with a series of perfectly plausible reasons why they could not fill the order for tractors.

          1. There’s a book written by a guy who ran a sawmill in the USSR. It details the obscene lengths he would have to go to just to get logs. He ended up running what was essentially a black-market, off-the-books lumber operation so he could make good on his official quota.

            But we don’t have to go to the history of the USSR for abundant examples of Soviet-style insanity, we can just look out the window and see it happening right here in Ontario.

            For example, magic mushrooms. There is good scientific evidence, randomized controlled trials, which indicate that ‘shrooms can be effective at treating intractable depression. The kind that normal SSRIs doesn’t touch. Currently mushrooms can legally be prescribed for treatment, but as a practical matter you can’t get them legally. The Ministry won’t approve the prescriptions in a timely manner, or at all in some cases. People widely ignore the law and go get their ‘shrooms from the illegal market, hoping they don’t get some bad ones.

            Same with other novel approaches to depression like LSD, MDMA and a couple of other off-label applications. Legal, scientifically supported, promising, and not available because of official foot-dragging, stonewalling and obfuscation.

            But you -can- get assisted suicide issued for depression, and many people have indeed done so.

            Which certainly tells you something about centralized power and how it is used.

        2. Magic mushroom is either legalized already or in the pipeline in Oregon. Won’t help in the fact that the things do not have to be cultivated in Oregon; they grow wild … (at least in the coastal range, east up into the cascade range, from north to a good ways south, if not all the way to the border, cascade range; coastal goes south into CA).

        1. We have a beautiful decorated chest we used to hold our feast gear. I wish we’d thought of using straps on the lid to hold our utensils like that. (Looking closer, that chest is somewhat larger.

        2. We built four boxes like that for the patrols in my boy’s scout troop. But we did it with A-frame legs, and the door is on the side, and hinges down to form a work counter. All the cookware was sized to nest inside each other. Includes two plastic dishpans for washing and rinsing. We also did one for the scout leaders because we decided that the boys should be the ones experiencing the learning curve, not the leaders. Note that they are not backpack camping gear, but more like a portable chuckwagon for long term, easily reached camping locations.

            1. They are an excellent item for your when TSHTF planned bug out. i.e. you have enough time to grab stuff around the house and pack; rather then just grab the go bag as you race out the door.

          1. Local troops have these chuck style boxes, door on front, that folds down for prep surface. Also carried 8 poles, ropes, and 8 (2′, 6″x2″) bundled flat boards, for two tripods with two poles tying together, with flat boards (rolled out on top), for the box + room for the two burner propane stove. Not all troops did the latter, but most do (did?), one form or another. Along with a water jug tripod. This was one set per patrol + one set for adults. Lots of practice with lashing. Lots of practice. Only vehicle camping. Did not have to depend on picnic tables onsite, nor take collapsible tables. Just had to replace poles once in a while.

            There was one or two (depending on how many were working) rocket pocket propane stoves and water boiling pots, per patrol, for backpacking.

  3. I’ve long speculated that many modern mental disorders are the result of inadequate alcohol consumption. We evolved in environments where it wasn’t safe to drink the water. For millenia our ancestors went through life at least mildly buzzed. Maybe we need that level of social lubrication to keep down fear and worry, and without it…social anxiety, depression, and assorted other fear responses proliferate.

    1. Alcohol DOES take the sharp edges off. For many, it also creates OTHER problems.
      As a society, we’ve enshrined the concept that anyone whose work involves a lot of analytical/symbolic thinking is smarter than other people. And, that those who work with their hands are somehow just dummies.
      Many people would be much happier in jobs involving more body movement and less sitting. But, that wouldn’t give them a reason to feel superior.

      1. Except that, say, colonial era Americans used to drink at a level incomprehensible to most folks and until work started shifting away from agriculture, the percentage of drunkards aka alcoholics was lower than now. Why? Perhaps because drinking is self limiting if you have to do hard physical work the next day and to earn your ale?

          1. Small-beer. A safer-than-water beer with a lower alcohol content that was considered safe for children and for when you did not care to feel buzzed.

            1. Still have to boil water for small beer; given the way government water supplies are trending, if one has the fuel and the space to do it, making small beer at home might be the Next Big Thing.

              An interesting web page on small beer – https://renegadebrewing.com/small-beer/ – with a number of links to Youtube vids.

    2. Thing is, genetic inheritance is weird, and there are at least three groups of populations where alcohol metabolism is concerned, and modern Americans do not only inherit genes from one of them.

      Native Americans versus Europeans versus lots of other world populations.

      Long term, drinking is probably going to eliminate the NA alcohol genes from the population, massively unhealthy genes those.

      Short term, it is absolutely licit for people to assume they have risk factors, and strictly avoid alcohol.

      1. Aye. I avoid alcohol because of medications–I have enough anticoagulants in my system, and they don’t need any help. In addition, Mom’s side of the family has a bunch of addictive susceptibilities, with one of her sisters having had Self, Spouse, and Offspring having serious alcoholism. (Possible exception of one cousin. Maybe.) Other sister, not quite so bad, but…

        I’ve had close encounters with issues, and I’ll get my jollies/stress relief via other, usually nonaddictive (he said, hopefully) means.

        1. I was diagnosed last year with a (thankfully very mild) case of atrial fibrillation. My cardiologist mentioned he had just read that just one drink was enough to trigger an episode and two or three increases the risk substantially. So, no more bourbon for me. No great loss.

        2. I was diagnosed last year with a (thankfully very mild) case of atrial fibrillation. My cardiologist mentioned he had just read that just one drink was enough to trigger an episode and two or three increases the risk substantially. So, no more bourbon for me. No great loss.

          1. I have a not-so-mild case of AFIB (caught too late for any surgical fix) and the warfarin that keeps me from serious problems contraindicates alcohol.

            I had three weeks in Bavaria around ’01, and not being able to drink major brands of beer is no great loss. I missed the great craft beer trend, but drinking such offends my sense of survival.

            I do miss Jim Beam. A bit.

    3. While a small percentage of the overall population, there’s pretty much always been a lot of people who don’t touch alcohol. More recently, our previous president is one of them.

      Also, my understanding is that a certain minimal amount of water is required by the body just to keep systems clean and functioning properly If you don’t get it, you’ll eventually die. Other liquids won’t work as a substitute. Settled populations end up developing resistances to the bugs that run around in their water supply, allowing them to drink with fewer life-threatening illnesses. That doesn’t mean that people in ancient times drank as much water was we do now. But it does mean that there’s never been a time in which people didn’t drink at least some water. All those wells that were dug long ago weren’t just for washing clothes.

      1. Wine contains water. (And the Greeks drank very watered wine.) Beer contains water. Food contains water.

        There were plenty of people who did not drink plain water. The wells were for making soup.

        And the wells also had large eels living in them, as a filtration/anti-algae system, in many cases. So yeah, you got to drink some eel poop too.

  4. “THIS IS MY HAND DEVOID OF STONES TO THROW.”
    Of course it is. There is no room for stones. It is full of carp.

  5. As I’m slowly learning more about autism and the spectrum, I’m becoming persuaded it is not in fact a thing, or at least a single thing. I’m suspecting it’s many different things that may or may not be related to each other and are only being lumped together into one giant blob because the end result is the people with them have similar difficulty navigating the expected environments.

    And because there’s now money involved, everything gets tagged as it and treatments get as standardized as possible to streamline processing of payments.

    Our oldest (4) got tagged as mildly autistic because she has sensory issues (blinking things, and certain classes of sounds like a crowd signing or being in a plane in certain flight modes) and because she doesn’t really have conversations with other people. However she builds whole imaginary worlds in her head and has remarkable awareness of how things go together for her age. She basically macgyvered a firefly costume out of random stuff a few weeks ago.

    I’ve also known another guy who was also autistic. He could not manage enough proper control over his joints to walk normally. It wasn’t joint deformities either. He just could not manage the IO control to run any of them at their full and normal range.

    These don’t seem like a spectrum to me. The closest I can see is they all seem to be something about the IO not being normal, but that’s it.

    1. For at east half a decade, I’m sure, my working theory of autism is that like cancer is a lot of cancers, there are a lot of autisms.

      The commordities in some cases with weirdly fragile health are kinda a huge hint.

      1. One thing to remember about medical diagnoses is until recently (like last 20 to 30 years) they were almost wholly based on symptomatic descriptions. But one thing we’re finding is there can be LOTS of different ways to get to similar symptom sets. Depression is a classic. in the 80’s we started to find that a series of drugs known as Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRIs) helped MANY depressed people. But for others they just did nothing or had bad side effects or made people suicidal. Looks like there are SEVERAL variants of depression as well as several variants of the genes that code the sites for Serotonin handling. Right now I’ll bet you 75% of the mental health drugs have the sentence fragment “Is thought to work by …” in the wad of paper we all throw away from drugs.

      2. Well, the actual name is Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Autism.
        And about a decade ago, they folded a bunch of other PDDs into β€œautism” for reasons incomprehensible. (But probably related to bookkeeping and federal funds.)

        It’s become a catch-all diagnosis, and it was pretty broad to begin with. My oldest is legitimately autistic. Non-textbook presentation, but that’s β€œnormal”.
        My youngest was diagnosed with autism, because that way, she’d be sometime else’s problem. That was not at all helpful. To her. The state psych program got themselves another discharge, though. And that’s what really counts.

    2. When we put our son in daycare (play dates for where he was) we were very explicit about his early sensory issues. When things got too chaotic he’d volunteer self isolate into a corner. He’d rejoin when he was ready. It got so that when he did so, he had two friends (same age within days), who would join him being quiet (it was adorable). This continued into the toddler room (18 – 30 months). Preschool not as much of a problem because more structured and not so chaotic. Still was an ongoing problem, especially with his cousins, even now. (Cousins are his age down to, just now 21, 6 girls, and the youngest another boy … Chaotic, is an understatement. I’m deaf when we are all together and they leave. Now we are adding in nephew-in-laws (5 so far), great-nieces (3), and great-step-nephew (1). Love them to pieces, but dang.)

      1. D. Thank you for sharing your story. Sort of the same with my son. Loud noises would scare him too. Luckily he’s just mildly on the spectrum and will eventually join society as a functioning adult. I hope your son can fully join society too. My son’s focused thoughts are amazing. Right now, he is self-teaching himself to code a new form of game maze. He taught himself how to read by 4 just by watching those kids “alphabet” shows.

        There’s likely hereditary aspects too, and back when I was growing up, they didn’t diagnose it well. I was very functional, bright, photographic memory, but never had the “loud noise” problem. I think the loud noise problem sort of comes from sensory overload and they cannot process so much external stimulus/information at the same time. I think the ability to mentally focus excessively is also likely a spectrum symptom.

        I also would like to thank this board in advance for still putting up with me. I sometimes don’t filter myself as well as I should and will attempt to keep it toned down a notch. Filter control is also a spectrum symptom so for sure, no official diagnosis is needed for me.

        1. Thanks, tomDeplorable. Son is well past the daycare/school/college years. Earned Eagle. Earned a college degree. Has been working, including supervisory position at his last job (gave it up to get away from swing and unbelievable long hours).

          Now, grandchildren OTOH … won’t be seeing those anytime soon. We like his roommates because we know they pay their share of the housing costs (okay, we *live with him … rent and housing is impossible locally, only child and he gets everything anyway).

          Housing is so bad, that a lot of his friends, who haven’t moved out of the area, if not on housing assistance (spouse legally blind), have moved back home with spouse and children in tow, even with both spouses fully employed at more than minimum wage jobs. We are NOT in Portland, Seattle, LA, San Diego, or San Fransisco. The other part of it is the cats. He could not leave Silver behind. Now that she’s gone, 2 of the current 4 have attached themselves to him …

          1. D. My son is 14 and freshman in high school. Loves school here in Florida. In the area I live in, the high school focus of excellence is an Engineering Academy. I think he will keep taking to it well, but hardest thing is keeping focus on doing homework and listening. Usually, it is so boring (he knows it all pretty much already), that he loses interest.

            Glad we didn’t put him on Ritalin, etc. Many like my son can mature out of their condition as best as possible. Look at me! (LOL).

            I do hope you and your son can make it through the tough times ahead in whatever city you are out west. (I hope he can get a girlfriend too, but it’s hard if he is living at home., since girls don’t usually like his living arrangement at home.) If things go Looney Tunes, Florida will not be good either. Wife wouldn’t stand for a rural lifestyle unfortunately, but I was raised on a farm and have “life skills” that most people don’t have. So I will muddle through I hope. Cheers!

            1. We aren’t too far off from the “inlaw” arrangement as it is (we did not have him early, not by choice, but same none the less). Which is why I worded it the way I did. But yes, it is more difficult. More difficult yet, is actually making the effort (sigh).

        2. Regardless of cause, boys on the autistic spectrum all appear to be 10 times more susceptible to gender dysphoria. Do NOT let them fall into the clutches of quack psychs.

          1. THIS. My son is normal young man and already has a platonic girlfriend. Nothing more serious than that so far. I do hope he finds a good woman someday for marriage when he is older.

            For sure, they need to take away the licenses of psychs promoting this perverted stuff instead of Dr. McCullough who has shown the danger of the VAX.

          2. Girls, too. One place in England had NINETY PERCENT of the female student body on the spectrum declare themselves trans.

            When you’re young and don’t fit in and are socially awkward, an ideology that purports to tell you “why” you’re that way and how you can be “fixed” sounds amazing.

    3. I agree, at least in large part. Even the original Aspergers’ Syndrome seemed – I may be misremembering – to have mutually contradictory symptom possibilities, which suggests to me they’re looking at multiple things under the same name.

      (I know “you shouldn’t self-diagnose”, but after learning that Asperger’s was ever a thing – before it was no longer a thing – I could never decide if I was high-function/mostly-adapted Aspie or just ‘standard (as if there was such a thing), happy introvert’ – or, indeed, if there was much daylight between the two to begin with)

      I think a lot of ‘get their back up’ oppositionalism you hit occasionally, may be because diagnoses do tend to come in faddish waves, like beanie babies and tulips and bitcoin.

      And people tend to either embrace the fad or bitterly oppose it, with little “okay, that explains why I’m/they’re like that, now let’s deal with it instead of treating it as an excuse or a mortal sin” in between.

      1. The “nice” thing about the Asperger diagnose that I got was that it got me Social Security disability payments.

        It was useful to know but I still don’t use it as an excuse.

      2. When you take the tests to get a proper diagnosis, a lot of things in your history are going to suddenly make amazing sense.

        I tested absurdly high on some scales, bottom third on a couple that explain a lot about my life. Example, terrible face recognition. I just don’t see emotions on people’s faces unless they are very obvious. You know how they say “read the room?” I can’t read the room. At all.

        Which makes social situations and jobs SO much fun. Solution? Self employment. Works great.

          1. Right? When you’re the boss, you pay people to read YOUR face. ~:D You don’t have to sweat trying to read theirs. More time for getting on with the job.

            1. Not about “being the Boss” πŸ˜‰ but how the diagnosis helps clarify things in my life.

              Of course, I was unemployed for some time when I took the tests and having the diagnosis got me Disability income.

              The Lady trying to help me find a job insisted that I take the tests.

              It was obvious to her that I was really trying to find work and apparently knew something about Asperger syndrome.

        1. Any free online tests that are any good that you know of? πŸ˜€
          I’m bad at putting names with faces unless they’re distinctive, and yeah, ‘read the room’, what madness is that? Non-blatant body language is mostly a mystery to me, and I’m half convinced most of those who swear they can read the more subtle cues are just lying to themselves in ways that are never tested for accuracy…

          Most definitions I can find say “at least one of the following” and I usually fit a decent number in some fashion. Makes me a great fit for introverted IT nerd – so which came first? πŸ˜€ I’m honestly occasionally amazed at how my mental equilibrium is fairly even.

          In ‘ancient humors’ terms, I’m mostly choleric with secondary split between sanguine and phlegmatic. And yet the modern definition of choleric suggests a harsh and easily-provoked temper, which is… just not me. Most of the time.

          Myers-Briggs terms, I’m an I(n/s)T(j/p), with a learned -A on that – I’ve learned not to second-guess myself too much.

            1. 57/75, which is 76%, better than most. If I strictly filtered on “did I see this exact image before…?” I think some of those were same person different haircut. I know I’m not faceblind, but I definitely have trouble with “what’s your name again?” about 4-5 times before I can make the connection of “this is the name that goes with the face/voice”. I have no idea what “normal” peoples’ association time is, other than they always seem to remember names better than I do.

              1. That is a terrible test for faceblindness. It has too much non-facial information, including hair and clothes.

                You want the Cambridge Face Memory Test, which removes distinguishing features like hair, ears, and skin color. https://www.bbk.ac.uk/psychology/psychologyexperiments/experiments/facememorytest/startup.php?r=8&p=0&d=1&dn=0&g=0&m=68f7d848edeaebd6cc29371b806b3017

                If you grow up with the condition, as opposed to acquiring it through a brain injury, it is easy to underestimate just how bad your facial recognition abilities actually are. You develop ways to cope and usually can recognize those you know (in context at least) more often than not.

                As a side note, developmental prosopagnosia was only identified by neuroscientists less than 30 years ago. A guy named Bill Choisser started connecting with similarly affected individuals on the internet in the late 90’s and was eventually put in touch with cognitive psychology grad student looking for a thesis subject.

        2. Yes, getting my diagnosis explained a number of things. For example, my entire life everyone assured me that social situations would get easier and they never did. The depression and anxiety showing up out of nowhere when I was eight is now explained as well.

            1. Oh, my ghod. If I had a nickel for every well-meaning soul who told me that…

              Okay, sad truth time, fellow weirdos. 66 years old, still waiting. Not holding my breath, let’s just say.

              1. Add a dime for every time that you believed them about “just try harder,” and you paid attention…to the stuff they didn’t want you to notice. Supposed to hear/notice/remember what they MEAN, not what they SAID. (or wrote!)

                1. I’d be able to buy Twitter.

                  This is what I was referring to with my self employment comment earlier. The constant drip-drip-drip water torture of “do what I meant, not what I very clearly said, in writing” all stops when you don’t work for Them anymore.

                  Less stressful. Double-plus good.

      3. I’m an introvert – high functioning. πŸ˜‰ If I were in public school today, I’d be categorized as being on the spectrum because I don’t bother learning social rules, even when I probably ought to. I never did figure out all the stuff associated with being a “proper high school girl” like the Popular Girls. Acting dumb, wearing makeup, doing social things shudder, for what end goal? Instead of eccentric introvert, today I’d be tested to a fair-thee-well to see what money I could bring into the district by being diagnosed. Blargh.

        1. I don’t ever recall seeing a diagnosis of Blargh in DSM-III. Is it one of those new categories those pysch nuts of the APA shoveled into the new manual?

        2. I am introvert at large scale events. Very small groups I can handle. My problem is my empathy is over the top. I get overwhelmed resulting in shutdown and withdrawal. Oh yea, when standard family gatherings were 100+ …. so much fun. I did learn coping mechanisms, but still exhausting.

      4. When our sons ( identical mirror image twins) were having problems, we took them to Kaiser (late 80’s). After 2 years Kaiser gave us a “diagnosis”. “They seem to have a long term mental health problem. Kaiser does not treat long term mental health problems. Good luck in finding someone who does”. They had made their diagnosis. They didn’t treat it.

        We had taken to calling whatever this was, “Invisible Dragon”. After we finally got a diagnosis of OCD, (what Howard Hughes had), I realized that invisible dragon might be a better description. The diagnosis puts a person into a not well defined box, with a false promise that an “expert” knows what you have, and can treat it.

        Invisible Dragon admitted it was real. Admitted it was dangerous. Said it was hard to see. How do you fight an invisible dragon? First you admit the dragon is real.

        This started a journey of experimentation, with no drugs actually approved for pediatric use, but of possible help, and danger. This gave us hope. When Howard Hughes was diagnosed, all his money could do nothing to help. We had a chance. A dangerous journey started.

    4. As a self-diagnosed Aspie and parent of two autists, I would agree. A “spectrum” is about as inaccurate a metaphor for it as they come. So far as I can tell, human neurology graphs to a 3D bell curve: all the points in the dome of the bell are Normal or “Neurotypical,” and anything down on the lip at all is “On The Spectrum,” never mind that “spectrum” patient #1 has none of the symptoms of it in patients 2, 3, or 4– they’re elsewhere around the bell, and the shortst line between them croses the Normal pretty firmly. All it becomes is Atypical Neurology.

  6. Yeah, this.

    “Cancer is the leading cause of death in older adults.”

    Yes, because they are now living long enough to get cancer . . .

    1. Beat me to it.

      I also think the reason we “have more cancer” today is a matter of being able to detect it (especially early stages that might not get bad enough to affect you before you died of something else in previous eras).

      And especially prior to the last 50 years or so cancer deaths might well have been written off to other causes.

    2. Yeah, we’ve made a lot of progress on other things that used to kill people before they lived long enough to get cancer, like heart disease, viral diseases, and getting one’s arm caught in the thresher.

      1. Yeah, if I’d have been born a hundred years earlier instead of the current age, I’d have died at age 6 of an infection (which put me in the hospital on an IV drip for a week as it was). And that would’ve been on top of being crippled due to an undeveloped hip joint that had me in a brace for the first year of my life.

        Plenty of opportunities in the following years for a respiratory infection or strep to have finished me off. If I had survived to get married and have children, my wife would’ve died of “puerperal fever” after our second child was born. But that would’ve been our first living child, because without a very talented doctor and modern nonsurgical intervention, our first would’ve been stillborn.

        And if I had survived to middle age somehow, I’d have also been partially paralyzed by now, due to a cerebrovascular problem that only an MRI could detect. And even if detected, there were only 5 people in the world (as of 15 years ago) who were capable of operating on that location in the brain. Oh, and there was a postsurgical infection that almost killed me, but hooray again for antibiotics.

        Anyway, a very long-winded way to say that as insane as our current age may be, and however I may romanticize seemingly less complicated times, I wouldn’t trade it. Plenty of people here whose stories would be different only in the particulars.

        And the fact that our “expert” idiots in charge seem to be doing their best to drag us back in time 100 years doesn’t make me happy…to say the least.

        1. In a pre-modern world, I’d either die of rhumatic fever as a child, or of sepsis, or I’d die of blood loss delivering my first child. (Unless I was done in by something I literally did not see coming, since my eyes are off kilter.)

          I like modern medicine, and lens grinding, and so on!

    3. Mom, 88 (in two weeks), has had 3 instances of skin cancers removed, over the last 4 – 5. One that is slow growing, and grows out. (Pepper found first one.) One on her shin, one on her scalp, and one on her hand. Always looking for the next suspect “scab” to show up. She’s officially to the point with the doctors of, she calls: Immediate appointment for biopsy with PA. Biopsy confirmed, immediate appointment with outpatient surgery.

      Third time she called, front desk tried to put off the Biopsy, PA called back, she was in the next day. Biopsy report came to her, she tried to get it “sooner rather than later” but was put off by front office (doctor hasn’t even seen this yet). When she got in, doctor told her she really needed to be in sooner rather than later … Not happy when we both told him “She tried.” Response? “That won’t happen again.” (Granted her reason was she wanted too be sure it taken care of before she left on a European trip and not wait until she got back. It was, barely. But still … she wasn’t wrong to want to get it done, Now.)

      1. I would have died from peritonitis at age 20 when the ovarian cyst ruptured. Though it gets a little more complicated because Mom took DES as an anti-miscarriage drug and that apparently caused reproductive issues in daughters…

    4. For sure, improved life expectancy has led to more cancers being detected. However, there still is at least a secondary environmental effect (chemical toxins, UV radiation, poor nutrition/vitamins, etc.) that can cause genetic damage to DNA that result in cancer. Our modern society definitely has more exposure to toxins and many don’t get a good diet (junk foods mostly).

      1. And we have less “exposure” to other stuff (for example, all sorts of “food” toxins from what we would consider unsafe storage and handling – toxins from bacterial and fungal contamination). (Shrug) You don’t know. WE don’t know. But assuming that we have more exposure to toxins may be “Golden Age” thinking.

        1. Like Ringo speculating our less severe reaction to new diseases may be connected to all the “chemicals,” in modern food.

          1. Guys, I grew up in a “natural” environment. You don’t want to know. No, really, you don’t want to know.
            Since the 18th century people have used a lot more hazardous substances than you think and until recently used them with ABANDON.

        2. Over the past 50 to 75 years, we’ve created a whole raft of synthetic chemicals that humans were never exposed to before. Some of them mimic hormones and mess with the endocrine system. Others cause epigenetic changes that we may be only beginning to see the effects of, two to four generations later. (The high rate of autism, maybe? Who knows?)

          Jury’s still very much out on how much and what kinds of harm we’re inflicting on ourselves with that brand-new chemical stew.

        3. No one dies of stomach cancer from eating smoked meat much of the year, at least not in the first world. “Hut lung” from constant exposure to hearth smoke is not found in the first world, either, and those were very common into the early 20th century.

          1. Yeah food (especially as we start to go heavily from agrarian to living in cities) at the end of the 19th century was appalling. With limited refrigeration (ice basically ) getting food from the country to the city without it spoiling is hard. And once there storing/displaying it is even harder . Sauces of all sorts (especially catsups/ketchups which were not necessarily tomato) were a common trick to make food vaguely palatable although they did little for healthiness (and themselves might contain dubious items ). Hunt (the founder of Hunts Ketchup) put his ketchup in clear glass to show off the quality and purity of his sauce(s). He also used his money to push hard for the first FDA food rules to give him a leg up on the competion who were copying his sauces.

  7. Engineering requires a solid understanding of the parts you’re using to build with. Their nature, functions, limitations, and how they interact with all the other parts.

    The parts of a society are people. The ‘Social Engineers’ don’t take the trouble to understand people at all. They want to build a society out of people as they wish they were, not as they actually are. A society that will mold people into ‘The New Soviet Man’ or whatever absurdity their delusions require.

    And they are Shocked, Shocked! when it doesn’t work out according to their Perfect Plan.
    β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”
    There is no shortage of people convinced they can create the Perfect World. They just have to eliminate all those imperfect people who don’t fit in it.

    1. The other problem with social engineers is they behave like they think any one person they grab off the street is an exact duplicate of the rest of the people in the world. Some of the less dishonest ones will factor in a range, but they still think everyone will fall inside that range.

      1. I believe the term “belief in a narrow Gaussian distribution of widgets” may apply to that idiocy… πŸ˜‰

        1. Gaussian distribution? You give them far too much credit. If they heard the term they’d just look at you funny. They believe ‘All widgets that look the same are the same’.

          When people of certain appearance do something they’re not ‘supposed’ to do, the ‘social engineers’ can’t process the dichotomy. Hence their insistence that Larry Elder, Herschel Walker, Candice Owens and Leo Terrell are ‘White Supremacists’ even though they all look black to everybody else.
          β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”
          “If you don’t vote [Democrat] you ain’t black.” β€” Biden, pre-FICUS

          1. They all look human to me.
            Of course, the Left tries to dehumanize anyone who opposes their positions. Which makes it easier to round them up for reeducation or removal without others raising objections.

          2. It was a comment regarding “range”, and I know most of them have no idea what that means, although they may recognize “bell curve”.

    2. Whenever the Best & Brightest try to change society, they never consider feedback. They suppress it or they ignore it. Their genuine shock seems to be when someone on their own level points at them and says, “You’re the imperfect people who don’t fit in.”

      BTW I was impressed when Finland ended its guaranteed income experiment prematurely. The program wasn’t working as expected; they didn’t continue the failure or, worse yet, expand the program in hopes that it might work somehow, somewhere.

      1. Oh, yeah, that’s usually their response when their Perfect Plans bring about chaos, misery and destruction β€” “It’s not working! We have to Try Harder!”

        When you try something, and the situation gets worse, more of the same is unlikely to improve it.
        β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”
        Why do so many idiots believe that our problems will be solved by the same shitheads that caused them?

    3. As an engineer — a real one — I wish people wouldn’t use that phrase. But I kind of get why they do. It’s a metaphor.

      1. My job title is “Software Architect”. Rolls eyes. I loathe the software/construction metaphor. One of these days, I want to write the book There’s no Gravity in Software.

        1. If ‘there is no gravity in software’ how do programs crash? πŸ˜›

          Why do systems ‘go down’? What is ‘low-level programming’? πŸ˜€

        2. Software Planner?

          Come on people. What does describe what we do/did? Because we all know, NOT having some planning is a plan for software failure; from simple to complex. It is called “Fail to Plan. Plan to Fail.” “A Miracle Happens Here!” is hilarious, but it sure is not true.

  8. I think the hard physical labor that the older generation did is what has them living longer, frankly. Looking at my own family tree, several relatives died of complications from drinking too much or smoking-related illnesses (including nonsmokers living with smokers). But they almost all were in tremendous shape otherwise. My maternal grandmother was making clothes by hand and making bread from scratch a day or two after returning home after cancer surgery. I’ve also heard stories about my paternal grandfather, who was a mining inspector, tiring the young engineers out as he took them through mines because he went up and down ladders without pausing to catch a breath.

  9. Some people are not normal. Not even close to the acceptable range of normal. Serial killers, pedophiles and megalomaniacal cult leaders are only the most extreme examples.

    Declaring not-normal people to be normal, forcing other people to treat them as if they were normal, will not make them normal, or make them fit into a functional society. There have to be actions and behaviors that are unacceptable or you will wind up with a dysfunctional society. Like the ones we see breaking out in big Democrat cities.
    β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”
    How can imperfect people create a Perfect World? How could imperfect people live in a Perfect World?

    1. “Hey, the problem here is purely that society is causing problems by discriminating against otherwise functional people” is purely terrible advice for managing any flavor of mental health challenge.

      Mental health problems can sorta be described and classifed as a tendency to make a particular kind of poor choice or decision. If you have a decision that fits the criteria you tend to decide badly on, you very often get a bad decision no matter how much you struggle to instead make a functional choice. Pretending that this tendency is never real sets you up for failure.

      Blaming society is only really very functional for people who aren’t really ill, but identify as ill, because of self-diagnosis, and being in a social environment that treats self diagnoses as a status symbol. You don’t get those environments when mental illness is strongly stigmatized. (Thus, an aggregate argument that stigmatizing mental illness is good for those genuinely ill. Less otherwise normal people being a bad influence.)

      Anyhow, the related argument that mental health problems are well addressed by using a bureaucracy to force other people to change there behavior is likewise non-functional. THere really is such a thing as a toxic environment, but the answer is leaving, not trying to convince crazy HR people to treat folks normally. If you have serious problems with a mental illness, a lot of the problems come from you, and a lot of the answers also need to come from out. Otherwise, you set yourself up for a lot of problem later in life.

      1. This is what’s driving me crazy — the stupid, indescribably harmful notion that “mental health problems are well addressed by using a bureaucracy to force other people to change their behavior.”

        It’s like treating type 2 diabetes by telling everyone who has it that it’s all those OTHER people who are abnormal. And then putting enormous amounts of propaganda into convincing everyone that they can simply “identify” as diabetic or cis-metabolic, and it will be so. More than that, forcing people not to recognize the abnormal condition that diabetes is when it’s staring them in the face. Let’s just see what happens when people with normal metabolism start injecting themselves with insulin and diabetics stop taking it.

        Everybody knows that’s a recipe for disaster, yet that’s exactly what’s being done with gender dysphoria. It’s a real disease, and the small number of people who really do suffer from it need REAL help. Not this cruel charade.

        1. Yep, current “treatments” for gender dysphoria are insane. By analogy if you had a young woman (or man, but that’s rarer) that had Bulemia or Anorexia would you say, “Oh Sweetie you’re absolutely right, you’re way too heavy lets give you Bariatric surgery and some nice semaglutide injections to get your weight under control” ? Of course not if you did they’d pull your license hopefully before you killed too many patients.

          Mental illness is hard to address for MANY reasons
          1) huge complexity and interrelationship of issues that we are barely just beginning to get the edge of understanding on.
          2) Massive stigma even in today’s society. Especially in, I’m afraid, many of my evangelical coreligionists who feel that you should be able to pray it away and that drugs are bad. To which I say they should try to pray away acute appendicitis or Lock Jaw (Note: Maternal grandfather’s father died of Tetanus, was a devout Christian Scientist)
          3) Idiots who have decided that having people avoid reality (no I don’t have that plumbing, or don’t want it) is a rational choice (?!?!?!?!), or at least it gives them good feels to affirm the mentally ill
          4) unwillingness to assert control over the severely mentally ill due in part to past excesses. It is now VERY hard to get someone committed even if you have a direct familial relationship.

          This is yet another one of those problems where there are no perfect solutions and the insane tendencies of the “liberal” types is actively choosing detrimental solutions.

          1. Tetanus immunizations work, and pretty damn well. I suppose there are a few cases where someone died from tetanus even though they were immunized, but you’d have to do some significant research to find it. Side effects are minimal. Rabies shots work too, if started soon enough. Higher risk, but the disease is supposedly 100% fatal once symptoms start, so who’s going to complain? There are a lot of immunizations and injected treatments that work, to varying degrees of success, and duration, and with varying degrees of risk. But they’ve all gone through a fairly thorough testing regimen, and have long term observation of efficacity and risk, and are considered to be significantly less risk than the diseases they stop.

            Newer vaccines don’t have those longitudinal studies. And I want to say that between 1990 to 1995 or so, is when it seems that the government and pharmatech companies started rushing through things without adequate testing, and with increasing levels of coercion to be injected. e.g. the anthrax vaccine.

            1. Great Grandad died in the 1920s (27? 28? I’d have to look in my genealogy stuff). Quick look shows Tetanus vaccine would have been unusual in 1920’s only discovered in 1924, came in wide use in 1938, with standard use given to US military in WWII, broad use in public in 1948 after the war when it was combined with Diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccines as DTP. Modern DTaP shows up in 1992 thats nearly 30 years ago now.

            2. “Tetanus immunizations work”
              ….
              They do. Doesn’t mean there aren’t outliers, which is why anytime I’ve been in a situation where a Tetanus shot would be recommended, if the answer to “have you had your tetanus shot is” is “um, yes, less than 10 years ago but can’t give a specific year”. Or more than 5 less than 10.

              Whooping Cough (given usually with Tetanus every 10 years) is also an outlier. I’ve been vaccinated less than 10 years prior, and gotten Whooping Cough. Same with our son, in fact his was less than 18 months prior. Mine? Was in the > 5, < 10, years. Note, Whooping Cough is no fun as an adult. Don’t remember having it as an infant/toddler, but mom said I did. Also when we informed the school that our son had Whooping Cough, we caught a lot of grief. Gave grief back in the form of the date, batch lot, clinic, and doctor who ordered, who actually gave the shot, notarized. (Whoops. Do not yell at me about endangering the fragile students.) Whooping cough was going around the (open concept) office. I wasn’t the in the first dozen to have it either. Worse, had a coworker whose triplets weren’t old enough for the vaccine (she did not get it, neither did any of the triplets).

        2. It’s like telling fat people they’re not fat, and all those health problems are not caused by being fat.

          Don’t wanna be a fat ma-a-a-an
          Don’t have the patience to ignore all that
          Hate to admit to my se-e-e-elf
          I thought my problems came from being fat

          1. I wonder if it would work, if the hadn’t already spent four generations telling people who aren’t fat that they are fat, or assigning “fat” as the cause of problems that predate the weight gain?

    2. “Declaring not-normal people to be normal, forcing other people to treat them as if they were normal, will not make them normal….”

      THIS!

  10. We are not limited to the false dichotomy of ‘fight the Russians now by treating Biden as an ally’ OR ‘surrender to the Russians by refusing to do any small thing that could really screw over the Russians’.

    If we really have a pressing national interest in fighting the Russians, now, and directly, then the Democrats can show their belief in that national interest by resigning. They need to resign so that we could possibly have military leadership that we can afford to trust. After the Afghanistan withdrawal, there is no reason not to suspect that any commitment of US troops against the Russian will result in Biden abandoning them to a Russian prison camp. The Democrats can address this reasonable suspicion by resigning.

    Until they resign, we are entirely free to consider that their Ukraine messaging is purely propaganda for a domestic audience. Mostly an audience of idiots and morons.

    The Russians have through their actions said very loudly that they will never voluntarily have any form of peace with the USA, or with any of their neighbors. Peace with them mostly only means that their have screwed up their logistics and or military hardware too much to do anything.

    Their actions mean that we basically don’t owe them anything in terms of reciprocal behavior. Concepts of reciprocal behavior underlie American cultural norms for sanity and for peace. Randomly nuking the Russians would be breaking even with how they have treated us, and have treated their neighbors for hundreds of years.

    Little things, not involving randomly nuking them, are what we should be doing, if those little things offend them or screw them over, cost us little to do, and do not offend our own sense of how we ought to behave. Like investing in better missile defense. The hissy fits the Russians go into over such small amounts of research money are well worth it.

    Taking seriously the Russian ability to deliver anything right now is a symptom with two possible causes. 1. Being an ancient fossil, who has not kept up with the last forty or fifty years of engineering developments, and is not up to date on technical training. 2. Having never developed any skills in collecting and analyzing intelligence.

    If you have a modern understanding of tech, with a statistics background that would have been considered very extreme during the 1950s, and have put even a minimal effort into following the intelligence from this war, you can work out that it is pretty safe to assume that the Russians have nothing. If this is so, the only danger to Americans lies in i) giving the Democrats any support because of the invasion of Ukraine ii) avoiding any small action that annoys the Russians.

    Cost or hazard or danger to Europeans probably should not bother us at all. Forming the EU is a significant amount of the harm that they have caused themselves.

    1. I freely admit to feeling a bit of guilt at my happiness when I discovered that my favorite addiction (Lindt dark chocolate truffles) are made in the US under Swiss supervision. So when the EU goes dark this winter, I can still maybe get my treat. Yes, it is selfish. Yes, I know people over there who are seriously worried about older relatives if things get bad, and export chocolate is the least of little things compared to that.

      But I was still happy to see that my treat will be available at least through December. (Unless things REALLY get crazy quickly.)

  11. I drink so much coffee…I’m 4’11” and (now) 125 lbs, and I drink half a 12 cup pot per day on a normal day.

    On bad days, I drink more. Without it, I can’t keep track of what I was doing, or what I’m supposed to be doing next. And it does help with my stress and anxiety levels (oddly enough).

    Alcohol. Yes. I use that as evening painkiller on really bad days, when I know I won’t be able to sleep through joints screaming. Or panic-attack suppressant when I want to watch a movie with my other half. I don’t drink to excess, and it does cause reflux issues.

    I used to smoke. My mental health was so much better when I did; however, my mom had serious COPD (from several years of working in so much side-stream smoke that she wasn’t able to see the window ten feet away from her desk), and would not stay out of my cigarettes…so I quit.

    I would not start smoking now–it smells awful. And I don’t want to affect my other half’s asthma with it. And don’t want to trigger the kids’ allergies into full-blown asthma. But there are definitely days and times where I do miss it.

    I do not condemn other people’s crutches until they turn them into reasons to stop attempting to function.

    1. I’ve tried Ritalin, adderal, and nicotine.
      Nicotine works by far the best, with fewer and less severe side effects.
      Self-administration sorry means I can just take the edge off, when I need to. (Not to mention the ritual involved helping to settle and focus one.)

      Unfortunately, both my wife and insurance company would flip their (censored) if I used it on the regular.

  12. The Democrats can only see other countries as clubs to beat their domestic political opponents with, not as actual threats to their own power. Hell, half of the Democrat elitists are taking payola from multiple foreign countries. Some of them are entirely owned by foreign governments <cough>Omar<cough>.
    β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”
    Negotiating with an enemy that can’t be trusted is just plain stupid.

  13. People in the media and so on like to point to the Victorians as starched, stiff, repressed, and determine to impose “proper behavior” on everyone Or Else. (Sort of as if they were three generations of Oliver Cromwells, without the real Cromwell’s sense of humor or fondness for dancing and music. Anyway.) And then they create a world of social roles and stereotypes far stricter than any Victorian would have tried to impose. Back then, women were out exploring Africa and South America and working as meat inspectors and running ranches and businesses and doing other things. Now? We’re supposed to be protected and sheltered because we’re victims except we’re also full of GRRRRRlll POWR!!

    Pish tosh. I’d rather have a Victorian society’s rules and social room.

    1. We’ve gone from “I Am Woman! Hear Me Roar!” to “I Am Woman! Hear Me Whine!”. 😑

    2. This, exactly – Victorian women weren’t nearly as sheltered and confined as everyone assumes now. Victorian women were also battlefield nurses during the ACW, ranchers, managers of businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, travel writers, officers of the law, doctors and all sorts of interesting things. I think only the spiritless and most-conforming, the proto-Karens of the day, were those sitting in their parlors, tut-tutting about Miss So and So who was out there, following her dream and having a wonderful time doing it.

      1. I suspect that a lot of why people view the Victorian era as so prudish is because it was a dramatic change from what came before. During the reign of George III’s sons (yes, plural), you had this near-catastrophic situation where suddenly there were no legitimate heirs to the British throne. There were lots of illegitimate heirs. But there were no legitimate ones. And the reason was because too many people (at least in the upper classes) were sleeping around, or at best co-habitating with a long-term mistress. Marriage simply wasn’t happening, particularly in the royal family. George IV had one legitimate daughter, who predeceased him. His brother who succeeded him, William IV, had lots of illegitimate kids, but no legitimate ones. So there was a mad scramble by the royals to clean up their acts to make sure that at least one legitimate off-spring from the next generation was available to sit on the throne (William IV, for instance, dumped his long-time mistress and the mother of his kids to marry a princess who he apparently remained faithful to, even though she didn’t bear him any kids). This apparently trickled down through the rest of society, causing a snap from a society with fairly loose sexual mores to one that was fairly strict. That didn’t mean that everyone was up-tight and repressed. But it did mean that you suddenly went from a society that permitted nearly everything in public to one that enforced at least the appearance of propriety. And it all happened very quickly.

        And since everyone was very much aware of how quickly the change had happened (they only had to look at what their own parents had been doing quite publicly), it got a reputation.

        1. At the same time, groups like the Methodists and other “fringe” religious groups were working among the poor and working class people in England and the US, encouraging self-help, education, and self-improvement. That had effects too, even among the non-religious. But that later was seen as hypocritical, and too Jesus-freak and judgmental.

        2. I remember a scene in the Count of Monte Cristo where Dumas makes some snarky comments about how scandalous it would have been if one character had shown up to the opera with her husband, but it was perfectly fine for her to come with her lover.

  14. I’m, not unexpectedly, noticing some EAAADs (Extreme Age AADs, to coin an acronym. ) symptoms but seem to be finding enough workarounds to get by OK. I expect most folks do. Let’s see, how was a going to finish this paragraph…. πŸ˜‰

  15. On Social Engineers, I remember a joke where the self-named “Smartest Man In The World” grabbed a back-pack instead of a parachute to escape a falling plane.

    Social Engineers imagine themselves as “Extremely Smart People” but make stupid mistakes while trying to “improve” society. πŸ˜‰

  16. Back in the day, Boeing handed out “greenies” (Dexedrine) pills to its employees like candy. Up too late last night? Or just not feeling sharp today, for whatever reason? Go to the company nurse and get some greenies. Any employee could have some for the asking. I started with the company just as that era was ending. Boeing was a mighty, innovative company back in the days of the greenies. Not so much now. Hmm.

  17. If you read Dashiell Hammett’s novel The Thin Man there’s a dead-on depiction of a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome . . . written a decade before Asperger described it scientifically.

    1. I have heard people seriously discuss whether the character of Israel Gow, in one Father Brown story, is autistic rather than the simpleton they describe him as.

      I have also seen a discussion by autistic people of what happened in days of old; they discussed changelings and how they might die, and one also observed that he couldn’t go into London, too noisy, so fewer stimuli and more repetitive work might have suited the higher functioning ones just fine.

  18. My husband’s grandmother drank two glasses of red wine, every day, starting when she was in the convent. (Why yes, she was French. Grandfather took her out of the convent and brought her to America). When she was in a home, the doctor remarked that technically she could be considered an alcoholic, but at her age there was no sense in worrying about it, so she kept getting her red wine. She passed on at 89.

    1. alcoholic my sore butt. In Portugal a bottle a day is normal and they’re not the slightest impaired. It all depends on metabolism. They’re acting like all of are amerinds.

      1. Absolutely. The good thing was the doctor was reasonable and saw no reason to spoil one of an old lady’s pleasures.

  19. Also a lot of what I call, “food magic.” Eat the special food, in the special way, and be rewarded. It used to be things like the, “three day grapefruit-tomato diet.”
    Now the food fanatics seem to be on the keto/carnivore theme. I don’t mind, but as far as they’re concerned we should all eat nothing but red meat and green veggies. No potatoes, no rice, no bread, no sweets, no alcohol.
    No thanks.

    1. I have to to be on that. I cheat sometimes, but I have to.
      I think it’s the direct result of pushing all the carbs in the 80s. They destroyed people’s ability to uptake insulin. So now we have to be carnivores so as not to be diabetic. SIGH.

      1. A lot of the folks I see advocating this say the same. They tend to point to old photos where almost noone is exceptionally fat and everybody ate what they wanted -before the “food pyramid,” got pushed.

        1. I’m sure. That, plus the push to “be as thin as possible.”
          To be fair, both Dan and I have lousy metabolisms and diabetes galloped in our families way back. So, we have no choice. I LOVE potatoes.

            1. Of course most of our grandparents did far more physical labor than most of us. Heck Maternal grandfather was a small time dairy farmer from the 1920’s into the late 40s. Also did work as a lineman for CL&P, oh and was a volunteer firefighter and auxiliary police officer.

              1. Most of our female grandparents wore girdles, and/or other corsetry.

                Most people had pooch bellies, but it did not show as much with constructed clothing. Even for men, who did not have girdles.

                  1. My conspiracy theory for the day is that the push against corsetry was a far-too-successful attempt by men to make women wear less clothing.

                1. I wouldn’t say Grandad was fat, but he was certainly powerfully built and heavy set. He was getting a little rotund in his 60’s, pictures I’ve seen from 1940’s and 50’s show no paunch but powerfully built. Think a Tolkien Dwarf scaled up to about 5′ 5″ or a classic heavy weight wrestler. Lineman takes massive upper body strength due to all the climbing and working at or above your head with heavy tools and items.

      2. My insulin is just fine. Too fine. Slow sometimes, but when it gets in gear, hypoglycemia is the result. OTOH never went on any Carb only diets. Or even now, carb-less (I like my fresh made rolls).

  20. They are pushing pot because they are still thinking of all the old weaker versions that acted as a sedative rather than the newer amped up versions that can make people psychotic; they love pot and hate tobacco because they think pot will serve the purpose that the drugs in Brave New World did; pacify the populace into being compliant.

    Essentially they want to achieve the same result that the gorram purple-bellies did in Firefly-create a mechanism to turn the population into mindless drones who serve the rulers.

    1. The other set is that they still fight against the 50s dad in their mind. Pot was done by the slacker, the hippy who the stereotypical authority figure always came down on. So since everything our rulers and masters do is either to feed their narcissistic need to be superior than us and the past and their hatred of the periods where men created beautiful things.

    2. They really don’t think that. They want to tax the weed, and they want to get re-elected. That’s the whole thing.

      Weed is legal in Canada since 2018. Despite the media paroxysm of Experts Warning of Blood In The Streets!!!11! leading up to legalization, nobody cares. I live here in Kanuckistan, and I can tell you it is not a big deal.

      Just remember that the media lies about everything. They lie about guns, they lie about religion, and they lie about weed.

      All those negative weed stories coming out now are because they want to get clicks from the gullible public all worried about the Demon Weed becoming legal in the USA. Lies.

      All those -positive- weed stories about how it cures everything and it’s super good for you? Also lies. Same reason.

      Annoying, isn’t it?

      1. I think you may be missing my point-wanting tax revenue and promoting it would apply to tobacco as well. I was pointing out why they love weed but hate tobacco; because only weed has the potential to sedate the populace in their view. Yes, they want the tax revenue, but that is a simply an extra for them. They think people smoking weed will all be like Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

        If you are aware of my other posts here, I am the one who constantly notes that prohibition (alongside socialism and appeasement) never works, and have always thought that banning weed, booze, tobacco, etc., is idiotic and doomed to fail. If people want to smoke, drink, etc., I have no problem, although I ask they not smoke cigarettes anywhere near me because I find the smoke noxious.

        1. I have no problem, although I ask they not smoke cigarettes anywhere near me because I find the smoke noxious.

          …………..
          Or anything that puts out a smelly vapor. Anywhere that is public space, or even rotating public space (hotel rooms), or near there. If they want to ruin their owned vehicles, RV’s, and homes, fine. Otherwise, no. Just the residual scent of someone walking by outdoors is noxious. (Indoors? Let alone an elevator? OMG – NO!)

  21. I wasn’t aware that the rightist loons had started attacking treatment for menopause. It fits though, as the worst of them see women as second class moral inferiors.

      1. My camp? You are mistaken rather awfully. I am a Republican and have been one since I could vote. I am, however, a moderate who decries the alliance with the neo non conservatives who like big government and government interference. The bunch so far to the right that the true name is fascism but we can’t open that can of worms.

          1. Yep, I hear “rightist”, I hear that the person using it is Lefty.

            Of course, I really doubt that non-lefties think that there are that many real fascists in the US.

            Thus anybody who talks about American Fascists are on the Left.

            1. No. I come from the Republican party of less interference in people’s lives. And the neo non conservatives are all about being micro and macro meddlers.

            1. Sweetheart, update your references a smidge.

              I was married late, my mother was married late, I’ve got a teenage daughter, and my mother was still in single digits when Barry Goldwater ran.

              If you’re too lazy to make a rational argument, at least use shorthand that doesn’t predate my grandmother being my age.

            2. No madam, but your ilk claimed he was going to get us nuked.
              you’ve never seen a big government you don’t love. And you’re TEDIOUS. The unforgivable sin on this blog is being tedious.
              We’ve heard your nonsense. It’s blared by the MSM. we’re tired of it.

            3. Chick, your ilk made Barry Goldwater LITERALLY HITLER because he hated our friends zee commies.
              WHY DO YOU HAVE THREE PROFILES ON FB?
              AND WHY ARE YOU A SERIAL HARASSER?
              I suggest you get treatment. The next two years will be very hard on you otherwise.

              1. One profile and only one. There was one that was trashed years and years ago when FB had one of its meltdowns.
                And my family backed Goldwater all the way. You are frightfully self righteous, all things considered.
                As for the next two years, I suspect they are going to be as grim and miserable as the last two. And unlike you, I am not salivating or sexually stimulated by the idea of a partisan war in my country.

                1. Uh, just what blog are you reading to think Sarah in particular is actually getting off on this stuff…?

                  1. …or that she’s in favor of a civil war here, something she has repeatedly stated would be a disaster, one only surpassed by lying on our backs and waving our paws in the air.

                    Sheesh…

                2. :pushes glasses up:

                  Lady, your profile picture is tied to your email.

                  So even though you changed the user name to not have your last name, we know you’re the same person.

                  So we can connect your prior stuff here, to your prior stuff on Faceborg.

                  We would be hard pressed to care less what your family did, when we are dealing with what you are doing.

                    1. Let me explain the reason I called for a free for all: She’s been banned by IP name and email, and she’s still posting. That takes EFFORT to go where she’s not wanted.
                      Also, the comment of mine she answered on facebook about the next two years sucking happened after I BANNED her on FB which proves she’s using a secondary account to read my page.
                      I’ve never had anyone that determined to be an ass on my blog of FB.
                      Hence my UNPRECEDENTED calling for free for all.
                      Fire at will.

                    2. :eyebrow raise:
                      While I don’t expect you’ll got to the legal effort… deliberately circumventing a ban also triggers harassment, stalking or similar laws in many states.

                    3. Well, I’ll see if there’s anything “left” of her in the morning.

                      I’m heading for bed. πŸ˜‰

                    4. Again, I said I’m calling a free for all. I can’t remember the last time I did that.
                      She’s tedious, annoying, and circumventing a ban. which is very interesting.
                      Also, you backed goldwater Valley-girl, like I backed Obama.
                      You have yet to see a commie idea you don’t love, from the current educational sh*t show to open borders to covid lockdowns to– You backed them all. And recently too.
                      Kindly move to a country you fit in. I suggest North Korea.

                3. I am not salivating or sexually stimulated by the idea of a partisan war in my country.


                  WHY do left-wing idiots always go there? Whenever you have an opinion they don’t agree with, they immediately accuse you of some sort of unfathomable and bizarrely perverse sexual fixation. What The Actual Fuck, Over? What is wrong inside their heads?

                  I’m sure there’s grist for a thesis on abnormal psychology in there somewhere.
                  β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”
                  β€œI have looked into the darkness, Na’Toth. You can not do that and ever be quite the same again.”

                  1. :giggles: Remember the bonus point that she’s throwing sexual accusations at the gal who has seven kids and is not opposed to more.

                    I have, ignore all TMI aspects, a healthy supply of “stimulation” at home.

                    I don’t need politics for the bedroom.

                    1. Well, I guess that also means that everything about Valeria could be a fabrication. Maybe not a woman at all. Use of language does indicate that it’s probably an American though. Here’s a thought. Could Valeria be a three-letter agent attempting to get any of us to say something actionable by them? (Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me.)

                  2. Similar to Lefties on guns. They weirdly genitalize guns, then try to remove them. Their recent “trans” obsession is more of same.

                  1. Sometimes it’s the best course. I have essentially zero experience of her(?), so except for the occasional obvious BS such as led to my prior comment about her claim of Sarah’s desire for civil war, I’m pretty much restricted to watching the developing auto-da-fe (since “bloodbath”was deemed objectionable πŸ™‚ ).

                    Popcorn!

                  1. Well, we now know where little Rhinos come from. “I am the GOP because I’m descended from people who served the GOP.”
                    Served… on a platter. With an apple in its mouth?

                4. “And unlike you, I am not salivating or sexually stimulated by the idea of a partisan war in my country.”

                  I’m not salivating or sexually stimulated by a full septic tank, which you and your fellow Leftists mimic expertly. However, I DO recognize it’s presence, recognize that I can’t have a healthy house with it present, and recognize that the way to deal with it is to flush it out and dispose of the contents. When I’m done, I can remove the residual stench, and move on.

            4. You’re engaging in the practice of believing you know other people’s motives by inference…and those motives are what you see as bad.
              It makes it hard to find common ground.

  22. We’ve a few at work who do the “I’m on the spectrum” as an excuse. I got a scowl when I replied “Everyone is somewhere on the spectrum, that’s why it’s a spectrum, just like half everyone you meet is below average.”

    1. “Just think for a minute how stupid the average person is β€” and then remember, half of them are even stupider than that!” β€” George Carlin

  23. I miss my nicotine so damn much. Still. 9 November 2006 because I was going to miss breathing more. And I don’t want to vape because I’ll go back to Marlboroughs in a heartbeat. But I miss nicotine so damn much. And how in the HELL did I finish college without it? I have no idea.

  24. “But do you know what else treats ADD? Nicotine. ” You’ve just said what me and my generation, at least some of us, have been saying for a while now. (just turned 86) That is one reason it was given so generously to soldiers, (all military) during wars up until Vietnam? And maybe they did then, I don’t remember and I wasn’t there. I do remember the advertising during WWII.
    As for alcohol, my dear older sister whose husband is in hospice at home, has a little bit of Irish Creme as a bedtime sleep help, and it works. She won’t go into the liquor store and buy it though, she has my husband do it for her. One of the aides is an alcoholic and she doesn’t want to cause any harm. I can’t take it because of chronic pancreatitis but if I could, I would.
    Granny Clampett knew what she was doing. I take that elderberry stuff, sans alcohol. My daughter made me just the juice.

  25. β€œYeah, right. We’d never heard of those problems forty years ago and now it’s everywhere. This isn’t real.”

    And when they say “40 years ago,” they usually mean the 60s and 70s.

    Not the 80s.

    They say “20 years ago” for the 80s!

    1. I still have to catch myself thinking of those years in those terms! Getting old sucks, huh?

      1. Like that cute meme about “what you think Final Fantasy looked like 20 years ago” and shows an 8-bit, and then “what final fantasy actually looked like 20 years ago” and it’s 3-D and all. πŸ˜€

        1. Yep, like that, though the one I remember compared IV (16-bit) with X (3D). It’s jarring either way of course.

      2. Well yes as Larry Niven said “Getting old is not for Sissys”. And even though I’m certain there is something beyond my particular current physical existence i’m still happy to stay this side of the grass for the present. thats the alternative to getting older at present.

    2. “Did I hold Juanita yesterday/ or was it fifty years ago?” Ian Tyson

      In my mental world, the 80s were about 30 years ago, 9/11 was about 10 years ago, and I finished College 2.0 only a year or so back. Now, I know better intellectually, but that’s my default mental setting. (I do want the knees I had in 1990 back, and my weight in 1993. With my current muscle strength. It’s not too much to ask, is it? looks up at Ceiling Cat with hopeful expression)

      1. I once asked $HOUSEMATE (and myself) “When did the Modern Age begin, as far as you are concerned?” And we both figured it was, roughly, sometime in the 1950’s.

        And yes, I do tend apparently spend time much earlier than that decade. And later, of course.

        1. Far as I’m concerned, the Modern Age began in the 1970s when electronic calculators became available for less than $100. Cheap computational power is an enabling technology, which leads to all sorts of other advances.

          In the early 1980s we were told that with the rise of computers, paper would be a thing of the past. The Paperless Office is coming! πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

          None of them ever considered that one computer can crank out more paper than a hundred secretaries typing 100 words a minute…
          β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”
          β€œWhen have any of our plans ever actually worked out? We make plans, we show up, and all Hell breaks loose!”

          1. Yeah the rush to make accurate working ICBM’s and land men on the moon meant that we needed (relatively) condensed computational power. which led to ICs which led to microcomputers. Which means I sit on a 4.5 GHz laptop with a fancy ass linear algebra co-processor (graphics card) which probably is more computational power than the US universitys and government had at the time of the moon landings. Considering mid 50’s the place where computerts take off we’re about 70 years down range. Aircraft/ space vehicles went fast by 73 we were winding up the moon landings, there were SST’s flying and military craft (SR-71, Mig 25, XB70) capable of Mach 3 sustained and edge hypersonic craft (X-5 at mach 6 in bursts). I suspect if flight had gone as fast as computers did we’d have bases on Alpha Centauri or Barnard’s stars planets. I’m very lucky my career as a computer scientist has spanned much of that increase in computation.

                1. If I have to have SuperMarionation I want Thunderbirds. Thunderbird 1 for me please…

                    1. Somehow Stingray never made it to the TV Stations in my area. Thunderbirds! was my favorite TV show, it was Channel 5 Metromedia (had been Dumont network) out of New York City. except on Labor Day Weekend, then Ch 5 was home station to the Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. It was on at 7AM in the morning. It and Col. Bleep (On WFSB out of Hartford at 6AM, right after some weird farming thing) were the reasons a 6 year old me were up that early on a Saturday morning. Ah the days of Saturday morning cartoons on all 3 (well 4 including Ch 5) major channels from 7am to Noon. Cartoon Network/Boomerang just don’t quite cut it.

  26. ADD, smoking, like all of my mom’s brothers? Check. (Hard to say for sure about two older, pipe smoking, hard charging brothersβ€”one signal corps captain who pulled wire to the Danube and retired as telecom manager; the other heavy bomber instrument tech and farmer and store co-owner. Younger two figgetty.)

  27. If you want to use nicotine to help with you ADD, you might try using it as a topical treatment. I can’t inhale nicotine either, but it helps better than anything else when I’m having an IBS attack. Instead of vaping, I put a drop of vaping liquid on the inside of my wrist. Symptoms stop in less than 10 minutes and I’m not hacking up a lung.

  28. Manic-depressive/bipolar.

    Read “Hamlet” and think really hard about the character ol’ Will was trying to talk about.

    On Asperger’s… My biggest problem is that it became a catch all for anyone with socialization issues.

    “Alcoholism”.

    I tend to have three drinks and a cigar on Saturday evening. By many folk’s standards, my habituation/expectation means I’m a severe alcoholic.

    “Eyeball pickup! We need an eyeball pickup on aisle three!”

  29. Given David French, James Comey, and the p3d0-friendly bunch at the Lincoln Project all claimed to be “Republican”, I’m not certain that’s enough to do more than draw contempt when one claims that and pushes leftist agitprop.

    But the fitty-cent army keeps on trying the stuff no one believed even back when Goldwater was actually running for something.

    We don’t give a tinker’s damn about the labels people apply to themselves. We care about how they behave.

    Don’t be a stinker.

  30. Oh! Oh!

    On the Social Anxiety stuff– I’m going to ignore the cause/effect on the normalizing of emotional abuse/manipulation and stuff– because I want to suggest a really adorable and fun anime, Komi Can’t Communicate
    https://www.justwatch.com/us/tv-show/komi-cant-communicate

    In the new tradition of (Japanese) entertainment that also teaches you How To Adult in effective ways, it’s about a girl with crippling shyness and the very, very strange classmates at her school– there’s a lot of stuff most of us Odds here will recognize, especially the part where when she’s having a meltdown internally because Oh My Gosh I Need To Speak To This Person!!11!!1! the other person is going “oh wow she’s so cool and stern and confident, and maybe really judging me harshly.”

    Average geek watching this: “Nope, I’m not thinking you suck, I am thinking oh my gosh how can I not make this a complete disaster, I am terrified.”

  31. Did someone speculate about Georgian/Regency gentry possibly being on the spectrum? Here’s my favorite fictional interpretation of that idea, the 1980 Mr. Darcy.

      1. The Jane Bennet interpretation that’s charitable to both him and Lizzy, at least. I incline to the idea that in the book, Lizzy is, between her determination to show off her wit and charm and prove he can’t make her angry, giving off signals that can be read as more coquettish than she intends. (Plus of course, she has to be at least subconsciously attracted to him, or the whole story falls apart.) He is undeniably a jerk at the Meryton Assembly, but I disagree with the people who think that because he can’t read Lizzy’s mind at Netherfield Park and Rosings, he must either be autistic or a complete scumbag. The bit where he thinks he’s having a casual semi-flirtation with a country belle at Netherfield and had better cut it off before he raises her expectations sounds to me like someone whose social skills are about at the level of the average Georgette Heyer Corinthian, and I wouldn’t put those guys on the spectrum.

        1. Yep. Of course. BUT at Meryton Assembly the kind interpretation is that he’s not reading things very well.
          ALSO btw I DESPISE people who think Bingley is despicable of weak. He’s hamstrung by the fact he needs Darcy’s patronage to be accepted by the ton. So, of course he defers to him.

          1. Weak, I don’t know, but Darcy, Lizzy and Mr. Bennet all at different times express the opinion that Bingley’s more of a pushover than he needs to be. The 1980 adaptation has about the only screen version of Bingley I think much of as a romantic lead: reasonably attractive, funny (this is one of the few versions to retain his teasing of Darcy), and reasonably intelligent (the more recent adaptations make him dumb as a rock, which the book does not, saying that he has a good understanding, if not on the level of his “clever” friend).

  32. I’m NOT circumventing a ban, I’m replying to emails sent to me, beotch.

    :coughs: That doesn’t follow, you ill-mannered bearer of false witness.

    Being banned doesn’t make it so you cannot subscribe to comments by email; it should, however, keep you from commenting where you have been banned.

  33. This is going to seem like a subject change, but I argue that this is all about the same phenomenon Sarah is describing here:

    Both the rules of society, including laws, and the existence of TPTB who make and interpret them, ultimately and continually depend upon acceptance by the community, meaning not just experts but the broader lay public. This system can be gamed, and those who really understand it already do.

    There is a new paper by two law professors that explores this, and I recommend it.
    Here.

  34. Wow. I enjoyed this one. I agree that these modern crosses that people are bearing (ADHD, ass burgers, Authority Oppositional Disorder , something like that… I was told when I was subbing, leave Johnny alone. Don’t tell him anything or he’ll never shut up… etc.) were never diagnosed back in the day. Actually, they were, but not by doctors, but by regular people. For instance, if you go back far enough, it was all about the ‘humors.’ People were mercurial, or they could be melancholic, or phlegmatic, shit like that. Later in history people with these tempers or moods were diagnosed as unsociable , or cranky, cantankerous, moody, that sort of thing. These morphed to, ‘full of shit,’ son-of-a-bitch, mother fu*ker, that sort of thing. Then, that is now, we get the ‘nobody’s fault’ diagnosis, alcohol dependency syndrome, whatever.

    I like the business about nicotine, ’cause I used to love smoking, just like Sherlock Holmes did. It focused the mind, calmed one, and left ugly yellow stains on one’s finger. But who cared? I tell my adult chillin… ‘If I was ever diagnosed with an incurable illness, I’d sell the truck and go out and buy ten cartons of Winstons. They were my bliss. My first tech-writing job… we, about 78% of us, had ash trays on our desks, right next to the typewriter (I used a portable electric.) There was a pall of smoke in the building from your knees up to the ceiling, so if you did not smoke… you did, just by virtue of breathing, unless, of course, you lay down under your desk to catch a breath of air. Gosh. I haven’t had a smoke in forty years and now, after typing about it, I could use one.

    Well, I’ll let you all go now. Oh… by the way… just a heads up for anyone on here that has read any of my books… One of my short story collections, Talk to a Real, Live Girl and Other Stories, will be FREE all day tomorrow and Tuesday on Amazon. Check it out!

    1. …and Leftists’ heads have been exploding for literally days!

      Karma is so sweet… πŸ™‚

  35. =>”But they had a work around: they had incredibly detailed etiquette that guided you through 99% of situations, even if you couldn’t β€œread” people”

    There are many days when I really regret that we have lost that. While it had it’s own issues, it was an excellent regulator of public behavior and prevented a lot of problems.

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