Kids These Days – Riding the Catastrophic Change Wave, Part II

“We had a great civilization going, and we’d have made it, if only it weren’t for those darn kids.” Or perhaps you prefer “we are in a time of declining decliney decline, and nothing can save us from declining till we crash.” Or perhaps “Kids these days don’t want to work. In my day–“

I hope you’re happy repeating USSR agit prop, because that’s what all of those were at their origin. To be fair they fit in very well with the idea of the heroic parents who walked uphill both ways to school, in snow up to their knees, and whose children are pampered little flowers who ride the school bus. And both are what’s known as “prevalent and ineradicable bullsh#t”

However, if you haven’t caught on yet, the idea that our civilization was declining, that we were in decadence “like the Roman empire” and that children were corrupt hedonists were indeed propagated by the USSR. As was the sixties “rebellion” and the idea of a righteous generation who, of course, believed all the communist bullshit. The boomers, as depicted in the media, and as we know them in the humanities are indeed “kids these days” destroying civilization into their 70s and now complaining about the younger kids, as they tantrum their way to the grave. On the good side, they didn’t get their way on their own, it took pervasive and unified propaganda, of a type that’s now hard to deploy on younger generations without the mass industrial means of communicating.

The people who swallow the MSM hook line and sinker are now mostly older than I, not “kids these days.”

But… They have it too easy!

Define too easy. Go ahead, do it. Because what you’re seeing is where your challenges were mitigated for them, not where they have new challenges you never even thought of.

Take for instance me. Yeah, my dad walked five miles to school each way, rain or shine. I had it easy, as I mostly rode the train or the bus.

But my dad, though he grew up under a socialist regime too (we both did. I just got hit by both, national and international socialism, and the instability in between) had a certain amount of stability and of knowing what to expect.

My challenge? Curriculum could and did change sometimes three times a year. School might or might not convene. A teacher might teach us what was on the curriculum, or he might have us paint a revolutionary mural…. None of which helped with the fact that in 9th grade a placing exam happened, which I had to answer whether or not I’d ever been taught.

Not only didn’t my parents see that challenge, but they would both berate me for not knowing things they knew at my age — not only had no one taught it, but I’d been kept busy NOT learning. Honestly, without Summer vacation, I’d be illiterate — and tell me how easy I had it and why was I complaining.

This gives me great empathy with “kids these days.”

Yes, they grew up with more “material goods” and greater ease than most of us did. Not all of them, mind you, but the average. But the question is: does that really make their lives easier?

I noticed early on, and remember my kids are in and heading for their thirties at speed, that the kids were being kept busy with busywork. And graded mostly on busywork. You could have straight As, but you didn’t turn in the worksheet, or you colored the flowers on it the wrong color (in 10th grade) and you’d fail.

They weren’t being TAUGHT anything, but they were being kept very busy with make work. And my countering it, often ran into the stone wall of “but we don’t have time” — because they were scheduled after school, too.

And it got appreciably worse in the same school system three to four years later, when younger son hit it. For one, all the halfway decent teachers had quit or been run up the ladder to administrator.

Look, I come from a place where my ancestors lived for a very long time. There are things we know about the family line. “Will eat History for breakfast and ask for more.” “Usually good at math, but might transpose digits.” and “Will learn languages, whether naturally good at them or not.”

So when my kids couldn’t — not wouldn’t. COULDN’T — learn French I became concerned. And did a deep dive into their class.

They weren’t being taught. That’s the easy part. The difficult part is that they were being kept so busy NOT learning that they couldn’t learn even accidentally.

They were given French teen magazines and told to cut pictures, and make collages. They were taught to sing French songs. What they were never given was the basics with which to decode those things into language- learning experiences.

“But that’s because it was easy on them.” Well, actually no. It was easy on the teacher. I mean, she could have fun and be the kids “friend”. Unlike my favorite languages teacher who gave us vocabulary sheets every day and tested and corrected every night.

The kids, meanwhile, felt like failures because they weren’t learning. And everyone told them how easy and fun this should be. They thought it was their personal failure.

Let this fit in as a micro cosmos for “Children these days.”

Our kids are stressed — you’d be shocked to know how many, particularly girls, are on psychiatric drugs by prescription — and unhappy, and running in place, all the while being told how easy they have it, and “pull up your socks, young thing.”

Kids aren’t raised only by the schools. They’re raised by a culture. As broken as ours is — and it is. They are the generation being raised by the generation that was raised by the boomers, who were raised by the lost children of world war II — it retains that “Grandpappy lived in a wood cabin, in the snow, and he made good. So, look at all I have, I should do better!”

Only…. it’s almost impossible. It starts in the schools. And btw, of course, I’m sure there’s exceptions, but let me break in here to say both boys and girls are being broken in peculiar and different ways. And are being denied what they most need, while being told it’s all THEIR personal fault.

My kids were 12 or so when I realized in every class the boys were falling behind. There’s a reason for this. Boys were being asked to do the impossible for them.

You see, boys and girls mature at different speeds. In general, boys of 12 have no sense of time or scheduling. Girls do.

By 12 the “button counting” had got to “Must deliver work on this day, in this way, without being reminded.” Now both kids are ADD (AF) but still. They were being asked to do things they couldn’t do. They sort of managed, because they were more afraid of me than … well, anyone. BUT it left marks in anxiety, depression and self-loathing.

Meanwhile the girls were excelling in school, partly because at this point the process is pretty much designed for the average female.

Remember men and women are different, at the nervous system level. We were shaped by evolution. Men are good at short-burst, difficult, competitive tasks. Women are good at indoor, repetitive tasks involving a lot of boredom and conforming to senseless standards. Which is what schooling has devolved to. Mostly because almost every teacher is a woman, but also because it minimizes work for teachers. The fact that it also renders politically-correct results, in that the boys give up and all award-winning students are female, is just icing on the cake.

So, girls are being told they’re so smart, and they can have it all, and why would they throw themselves away on a family and children. Note, this was already true in my day. In the 80s I was shunned at every social occasion because I stayed home and tried to write. It was just an excuse to be a housewife, and my being such meant I was both stupid and lazy.

This is the pressure the girls are under. They are taught to deny perfectly normal instinctive longings in favor of “having a career.”

And of course, mostly people don’t have a career. They have — at best — a job.

Now, at least most girls are leaving schools and colleges with credentials and usually have an easier time than boys finding jobs. The problem comes after, because their “ladies A” schooling didn’t in fact prepare them to do the JOB. Which is why when they go into the workplace, the “real” job must be social justice, or something like. Because they can’t actually do the job.

And then there’s the boys and men in their parents’ basement. Or working at making a game. Or whatever. Why? Because most young men with degrees or not (And graduating requires more than it did of you, trust me. Doesn’t mean they learn more, but they have to jump through some insane hoops) are having a heck of a time finding work.

We’ll go into this later, but a lot of those “now hiring” signs seem to be something else, because people can’t actually get hired. And at a corporate level, they prefer to hire foreigners on work visas. Chances are high your hospital is being taken over by China-trained physicians, for instance. Which will end in tears, because the training is not the same. But there we are. In the same way, they’ve started showing up even in engineering jobs where clearance is needed.

Why? Well, they’re cheaper. And also since the schools aren’t producing enough people with the right credentials to take the jobs, the leviathan of our government is making it easy to import what looks like from the credential side the same type of thing.

BUT to every family, the kid who is unemployed or under employed; the girl who has a job but is increasingly more neurotic and unhappy; the family that breaks apart; the kids that never are born is a private tragedy. Each family feels a deep sense of shame and failure over these.

I only know because I know several of them, at a lot of socio-economic levels, and across the spectrum of many many ways to fail.

The liberals have an easier time of this. They can say it’s systemic this or that, or that their kids is some special form of disabled and therefore just can’t do this.

BUT the conservative families eat themselves alive. Because they tried. They tried so hard. And they have standards to which they held their kids and —

It took me till the middle of last year to go “You know, if it’s one kid here and there it’s a personal failure. If it’s everywhere, all at once, and most people in this age range are failing…. it’s the system that’s broken.”

This was particularly funny because I’ve seen this before. As a writer, I came into a field where they’d publish your book, on a smallish print run and put it in the book store. IF IT FAILED TO BECOME A BESTSELLER OVERNIGHT IT WAS BECAUSE YOU WERE A BAD WRITER. And of course, most books failed to become bestsellers, given they had no publicity and people didn’t even find them till they were out of print. But each writer was assured it was his or her fault, and lived with the shame of failure, and tried to do better while being paid less.

This kind of abusive system destroys people. And it’s everywhere right now, but it’s particularly in education. They’re preparing and training kids to a world that doesn’t exist, and then blaming them when they fail in the real world.

Now, yes, most kids try, and probably about half find some kind of job and start clawing their way upward. But most of them are extremely under paid (the boys) or extremely pushed (the girls) and finding no time to marry and have kids, or even to plan to purchase/own a house.

They’re flailing and drowning, and throwing them anvils while saying “In my day we knew how to swim” is not helping anything.

Education as set up is eating the seed corn to keep education majors happy. This can’t go on.

Fortunately there’s indications it won’t. The covidiocy sent people home to teach their kids.

Is it too little too late?

Might be. Might not. The future is a very long time. Right now I’m just saying what’s broken. Because half the fight is knowing you (or your kids) aren’t alone.

Only when we internalize that, can we start fixing things.

287 thoughts on “Kids These Days – Riding the Catastrophic Change Wave, Part II

  1. “The kids, meanwhile, felt like failures because they weren’t learning. And everyone told them how easy and fun this should be. They thought it was their personal failure.”

    … That’s a vicious enough mindset when it’s true (because you’re naturally inclined toward it because learning does come easily to you, so you never needed to develop the skills to study, and then you hit a situation in which you really need those skills you don’t have).

    It’s definitely abusive if you’re deliberately inflicting it on kids.

    1. And kids are getting this piled on them in schools at least since my kids were in.
      AND even the ones who manage to “make it” don’t really learn what they need to know, or not so it will work in the real world.

      1. I know somebody who has a kid that had a couple of teachers with this mindset that have LITERALLY left them with PTSD about doing algebra+ math. They freeze up.

  2. For girls IMO, there’s an additional problem.

    First, they’re being told that they are Super-Beings that can do “anything”.

    But, they are also being told that they are “helpless beings who can’t stand their feelings being hurt”.

    IE They are both Super-Beings and are Weaklings who get their feelings hurt which causes them to fail.

      1. If they were only Idiots who don’t know the difference between “sexual touching” and plain-old touching, it would be bad enough.

        But I suspect that the “rule makers” know the difference but are wanting to separate boys from girls. Allowing the girls to be taught complete garbage about males thus making boys the Enemy. Of course, boys will learn that “girls” are the Enemy.

        These “instructors” want to destroy human society. 😡

        1. And even if they don’t view girls as The Enemy, they’ll reach the understanding that society and the laws are so hopelessly stacked against them (family courts and civil courts especially) that entering into any sort of relationship isn’t worth the risk because one wrong move – or even a move that is retroactively interpreted incorrectly – and you lose everything.

        2. A young (female) friend had to deal with sexual assault from another female who defined herself as lesbian. The school administrators refused to do anything because sexual assault was only between male and female. And the male had to be the aggressor, which raises an entirely different set of questions.

          EVERYONE is being defined as the enemy.

      2. This is 1000% correct. I was a teacher until covid and work in a therapist’s office now. You definitely feel like you’re King Canute. I’m not even a clinician, but you hear it day in and day out just scheduling appointments and screening the clients. Maybe it’s because our office specializes in kids with additional, autism, and mood disorders but we have a wait list a mile long.

  3. You talked about “foreigners on work visas”…few white-collar areas have been hit harder by that than IT.

    A peculiar thing happened when a couple of native Indians (“dot, not feather,” as my politically incorrect Depression-era dad used to say) reached the middle-management level in my particular department, and one even became the department head. Suddenly, weirdly, all the new hires…were Indian. Well, not quite all, but probably 80 to 90 percent. The rest were scattered among various “diverse” racial groups. As near as I can tell, I am the junior-most white male American native still working in my department and I’ve been there OVER NINE YEARS.

    The Indians are allowed to “take care of their own” and want to work with “their own” because…they’re “diversity.” Never mind that they’re now 60+% of my area. Never mind that Diwali is more important than Christmas in the middle of a red state. Never mind that we haven’t had a white male hired in our area in 3+ years and they didn’t stick around for long. They’re considered “diverse” for the magic DEI score and the ESG ratings so it’s OK.

    I’ve told my daughter not to go into IT. If you put me in front of a bunch of high schoolers, I’d plead with them not to go into corporate IT, especially if they are American-born and white (and double-especially if they are male). You will either lose out in the hiring process because the company is trying to tick boxes for diversity quotas mandated by the C-suite, or your job will be outsourced to an international contracting company where the mass ranks of overworked Indian IT drones will do your job at half your skill but one-third your pay rate (most of which goes to the contractor, not the employee), so the company considers it a win.

    1. “A peculiar thing happened when a couple of native Indians (“dot, not feather,” as my politically incorrect Depression-era dad used to say) reached the middle-management level in my particular department, and one even became the department head. Suddenly, weirdly, all the new hires…were Indian. Well, not quite all, but probably 80 to 90 percent. The rest were scattered among various “diverse” racial groups. As near as I can tell, I am the junior-most white male American native still working in my department and I’ve been there OVER NINE YEARS.”
      Saw this in IT over the last thirty years. Now it’s in hospitals, and the imports are Chinese.
      There is NOWHERE to run. We’re going to have to fix it. Somehow.

      1. A lot of Chinese, but not just. Also from South Asia and Southeast Asia as well.

        I used to think that the fact that I am very good at communicating was my trump card compared to my technical skill. I am a good writer (for corporate stuff) and a good speaker and fairly eloquent for what I do–no author, but I can get points across in a business environment. The thing is, that doesn’t matter any more. A command of the English language doesn’t matter when (a) half the people you’re communicating with are also foreign with no better grasp of the language than Poosnap your QA engineer who’s writing mangled English reports, and (b) the other half don’t care because they’re used to reading said mangled English. I think I’ve backed myself into a bit of a corner with it.

      2. Yep, from what I’ve seen, dot Indians are even more nepotistic than other non-white groups in our society…

        1. They may well be, but after all, it’s not really abnormal for members of a group (be it ethnic, class, or anything else) to “look after their own.” The thing nowadays is, only certain groups are allowed to do it by law, and certain ones are forbidden from doing it by law.

          1. True, and between two equally qualified applicants, I see nothing wrong with it..But they are hiring less skilled people because of ethnicity…and in fact, once you depart from standards based on merit, there are going to be problems…But the really bad part is that our people are hiring less qualified folks just to gain diversity points, and putting qualified whites on the streets

              1. I would note that, strictly speaking, I would not want to run the US as a jobs program for Americans.

                I’m also not into ethnic factions enough to want to hire people simply because they are competent.

                WElfare can be pretty bad for the soul, and hiring people when you don’t need them to do stuff can be pretty welfare-ish.

                It would be really nice if I had solid business plans, etc., for employing everyone who could use a job. I’m kinda really bad at that sort of thinking, so I have fewer of those ideas than I really should.

                1. That’s why a lot of various small businesses are better than a few mega-corps. Small businesses don’t need and can’t afford Borg-like bureaucracies.

                2. I don’t want to run it as a “jobs program” for Americans, either, but the fact of the hiring of unqualified people because of ethnic nepotism, as well as groups of said ethnicities freezing out their own coworkers by not speaking English while discussing work projects, is really hurting people.

    2. Son in Law had to spend several months in India when he worked for Infosys, an Indian IT company that’s one of the biggest sources of Indian coders in the US. He doesn’t work there anymore having left after about six months. interesting story about cultures that was.

      The Indian school system is so corrupt, even the jewel IIT, that they made it company policy that everyone had to go through training and pass a series of exams — boarding school for IT graduates, This was around the time the noise around visas began, so Infosys was hiring several Americans, mostly to talk to clients but also as a hedge against restrictions.

      The Americans, by and large, knew what they were doing and passed the exams with no trouble; the Indians not so much and the certification washed out a lot of Indian Com Sci graduates who couldn’t code at all and couldn’t learn to code. Were they upper middle class white girls they would have ended up at Twitter, but most ended up at other Indian IT firms since Infosys’s failures were more qualified than the graduates.

      1. I believe it. The skill I’ve seen from Indians here is generally on par with anybody else but those are the ones that actually make it onto H-1B visas or move here to make a career and a life in the US. The ones back in India are…uneven, let’s say. I’ve worked with a lot. They are generally trained to perform rote tasks without any sort of deep analysis, you tell them what to do and they do it reasonably competently but you’d better be exact. Their success comes from the fact that a lot of IT tasks are like that, and their sheer number and lower cost of employment. And of course technology making international working possible. Although, I was working for a credit card company back around 1998 and they were starting on Y2K remediation…by sending tapes of source code via DHL from Virginia to Mumbai and back a few weeks later. And the remediation efforts were so bad, there were four or five of us here working on fixing what the eight or ten of them offshore had missed or screwed up.

        1. One place I worked (about that time) had a Pakistani/Indian supervisor who told an American trainee that the code worked and that he was to ignore the warning messages.

          The trainee still couldn’t make it run and asked me for help.

          It took me less than five minutes to see the problem.

          The “code did work” but it was code that took “various actions” based on a switch being set. However, what the supervisor “missed” was that the switch was never set.

          Maybe some other Pakistani/Indian would have spotted the problem but that person “didn’t see the problem”. 😦

          1. Exactly the sort of thing that I ran into. That, and if something broke, it was like, “Oh, this broke. Guess I’ll send out an email to people that won’t be in for five more hours and just sit here” instead of expending a little extra effort to dig in and get the train back on the rails. It was like James T. Kirk hit them with a little illogic and they started sparking and stuttering.

        2. My experience exactly, though I wasn’t directly involved with IT. I do wonder if we might have worked for the same firm, a credit card company with systems and back office in Bombay. They had a Roman officer with the wrong plume for what they thought on the card, I worked at some of the others too, but that’s where I was in ‘98.

          1. No sir, not that one. Mine used a notably foul-mouthed movie star as a spokesperson at one point. And it might not’ve been Mumbai, I don’t know what it was. It was being done by Tata Unisys Ltd, I know that much, but I don’t remember exactly where. Three of us had the job to start testing the changes and fixing the fixes once we got the tapes back.

            I also worked several years for a (former) large outsourcer and integrator. Basically I was the Happy Anglo Face on this end of my system, gathering requirements and dealing with the customer while I had a couple of guys in Hyderabad doing the heavy lifting. Again, most of the offshore folks I worked with were somewhere between pretty darn good and “are you sure you weren’t just delivering tiffin to the office and got offered a job there by accident?” The common thread was that none of them showed any sort of ownership interest in making the system better–not unexpected since they’re contractors at one remove–and they did exactly what you told them. No more, no less. Which drove me nuts sometimes because I always worked with people who could read between the lines and work independently. Mostly, they couldn’t. Their competition to get one of the few slots to snag a visa and come over to the States to do in-office work was VERY cutthroat and intense.

            1. Ah, I know of the foul mouth actor who used to ask what I had in my wallet. Almost went to work there myself in the early 90’s when they were still somewhat new,

        3. in the later 90s and early oughts there was an effort by several vfx studios to offshore their work to India (and Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, depending on the studio).

          What ended up happening is they had to have a US vfx artist basically go over the work and ‘fix’ it to make it usable. One us artist for every 5 or 6 of the overseas workers. They ended up cutting it down so the only stuff being sent overseas was paint and roto. (rote works that doesn’t require deep analysis)

          1. That rote work seems to be what works best for offshoring. But so much of IT requires its own sort of creativity. Like, I work in quality assurance. In QA you don’t just need to be an expert on your assigned system, and competent with tech, it really helps if you have a slightly Odd bent to your mind about how to use and break software. The best of the imports/offshores do, of course, but the vast majority do not, to a much higher percentage than folks I’ve met who have been educated here. I guess it’s cultural and maybe something in the educational system, I’m not sure as I’ve never been out of the country.

              1. And based on working with a number of them, they CAN’T go back, because their cultural rewiring won’t let them.

                The company I work for wanted to transfer one back to manage a large team (100+) in Bangalore. He came back basically by saying “I can come back and perform for you, or one of the other Big Tech firms, but I’m coming back.” He said “Back here, everyone is focused on getting the job done; there, the focus is on the process, and I just don’t think that way any more.”

                1. We had to take a work training on Indian culture a few years back and this was one of the things mentioned, process is very important over there. That, and they are used to a far more top-down hierarchical structure at work–not leadership by consensus, leadership because “I’m the boss and I said so.”

    3. I work in IT. Whenever anyone asks, I tell them, “I don’t advise anyone go into IT unless you really love computers.” It’s not just the non-citizens being hired for a fraction of the cost. It’s also the technical institutes running ads (though in fairness I don’t see so many of them anymore) on TV, telling you that you should quit your job, take classes with them, and make huge amounts of money in IT.

      And then, since the IT department doesn’t contribute directly add to the bottom line (it’s a multiplier, and the effects of those are always hard to gauge), if you do manage to get a job, then you’ll probably lose it the moment someone at Corporate HQ decides that the company needs to save a few bucks somewhere.

      1. Back in the late ’80s, I was boggled that the Local Private University (part time MSEE student) never found an instructor to teach C. All they had were for Pascal. I learned it (picked it up previously on an 8080(!) ), but I’d rather give myself a root canal than do a major project in Pascal. OTOH, the UC extension program actually taught C. Did several major projects in C.

        Of course, the division I worked for was sold off when the Dot Com Implosion V 1.0 hit. The manager who went all in on the Boom ended up as CEO after his big bet went toes up. Go figure.

        1. Worked a project in OMSI Pascal on DEC PDP 11/44s; RSTS, iirc. Not bad, really – prior projects there (before I showed up) were DEC BASIC+. Actually started with Borland TURBO PASCAL to play with, never wrote anything harder than a D&D V3 character generator in it.

          I’ve always felt that C has all the power of Assembler with all the clarity of Assembler.

          1. When I took CS 101 and 102 as a sophomore it was Fortran and Pascal on ancient timeshare Univac terminals.

            If I’d waited until I was a junior it would have been C on Macintoshes.


            1. When I took the CS intro class in ’75 it was Basic on a mainframe (do not know) using teletype machines (OTOH it wasn’t on cards, hubby got that one). I spent a lot of time trying to come up with curse words I didn’t have (very hard, my 18 year old vocabulary was limited). “I’m never touching a computer again!!!!!!!!”, with tears, was very prominent.

              In 1983, the classes were on these new Apple’s (not Macs, yet), the “new” IBM PC’s, and mainframes using the “new” terminals for the Fortran/COBOL/Pascal/RPG, etc. Huge difference. I loved it. Made a 35-ish career out of it. Started working in C and C++ in 1990.

              Our first Apple (IIe) was $2800 (used it through 1990. Then it went to my folks for 7 years. Then we donated it to the grade school for the daycare for the preschool games … Still worked.)

            2. Highschool and BS were punch cards (various types–the FORTRAN II mainframe used an obsolete (by 1970s standard) Hollerith code), while MS let me use my own computer for the Pascal. Not sure which computer it was, both were DOS and a couple flavors of not-quite IBM compatible.

              Continued with my own computer for the C extension class (’93 or so), and when I did a consulting job, I could shift the program either with a laptop for sneaker net or email. I had a 56kB dialup link, so sneakernet was less of a hassle… Coding at home was on a Pentium 4 running Linux, with compiles and debugging on the client’s hardware.

          2. felt that C has all the power of Assembler with all the clarity of Assembler.

            Naw. C is a lot easier to write in than Assembler. I wrote a lot of C & C++. I can Read Assembler, if I have too, sloooowwwwwly. Write in it? Not so much (not that I tried, who knows, but I doubt it).

            1. Well, I hate conventional C syntax – I want
              [blockquote]statement {
              code }[/blockquote]
              laid out as
              }[/blockquote]Yes, I could write it the way I liked, and the darned pretty-printer would reformat into ‘standard’.

              And, as an (well, long former, now) applications programmer, I think memory management is for compilers.

              If, however, you’re writing a compatibility library so you can port 2 million lines of ‘application’ from BSD Unix to VMS (or the other direction), C seems a pretty nice tool. My own C was mostly embedded database calls, very cookbook.

              But, to brighten up a bit, while remembering Pascal, I poked around yesterday and found an old discussion group where the guy who actually wrote OMSI PASCAL (Bacchus?) popped in last March or so and joined the conversation. Memory lane!

              1. C/C++ was great for small tools that were a PIA for say Visual Basic (long story). Not to mention being used on a DOS interface well into 2010 on the Falcon/Intermec/Symbol devices. The other concept it was good with is it really, really, taught paying attention to memory management, pointers, and what happens when you violate either. Not a bad ability to have when dealing with tools that hide and buffer programmers from these icky sticky concepts.

            2. Very true.

              And you could make it do tricks. Tell the young whippersnappers nowadays that you could cast a string to an integer with no trouble and they don’t even understand you.

          3. I always considered myself one of the Last of the Mythical COBOL Wranglers. I graduated in 1987 and stayed in programming in COBOL through 2004 when I accidentally switched to QA (literally, I applied for a QA job in another state on a whim and somehow got it) and never looked back.

            1. The Reader knows that you were not the last. A couple that have been long term (40+ year) friends worked COBOL for an insurance company for their entire careers (through several buyouts and other corporate transitions). She retired a few years ago, he this year. They worked mostly from home for the last decade or so.

            2. Set wayback to Spring 1970:

              The high school class had a final exercise in COBOL. Since there were about two keypunches for the class of 20 or so, the rule was that we had to write the program down on a coding sheet before we could start typing. I recall complaining about writer’s cramp, and was not able to get the program to compile by the end of the year. Not sure if anybody did.

              It didn’t help that the machine was brand new, with our HS one of (or “the”) first to get that machine. Major teething problems, with lots of bleeding edge technology, and the class instructors learning the quirks of the machine as they were teaching us. As I recall, the mid-term report cards used the old (8K byte Burroughs, core memory no less) computer, and there were serious threats to ship the NCR back, postage due. OTOH, their flavor of assembler was human readable. Mostly.

              “You can tell the pioneers in the field. They’re the ones lying down with arrows in their backs.”

            3. My aunt made her retirement by knowing both COBOL and some of the more modern languages (not sure which one). Bank hired her to update their system before Y2K. They paid VERY well for her to write a way to export their database in a way the new software would understand so they didn’t have to re-type the whole thing.

              1. The first thing I had to do in 1990 is update the timberland system to deal with Y2K. They had to run the year by year 10 year annual growth by year end. Little more complicated than most Y2K because legit stands established 1800’s were still in the system. By 1995 was working on the design to take the system to full blown database instead of standard COBOL flat file and integrate into GIS systems. Never got to finish it because division sold and out of a job.

            4. see your COBOL and raise you RPG… as in RPG/III, RPG/400 etc.

              My wife’s entire professional life (87 t present) as a developer has been on the IBM S/36 and AS/400 (iSeries, I, System I, whatever the heck IBM is calling it these days).

              RPG of various forms, now days more C.

              1. Started out on RPG on System 36. That company moved to Portland in early ’88 to be able to participate in the AS400 rollout; I stayed in Eugene. Then (it is a small world) my 2004 (to retirement) job, the boss started writing the original iteration of the system in COBOL on an AS400 by renting space from my old boss. I think I got the interview for the job because that firm’s name was on my resume. By 2004, the system was long off AS400 and on Windows servers with database data storage using Delphi as the programming tool.

  4. We pulled number two son from school when we found out the bully’s stood at the front of the class, we “fixed” the problem, taught him gobs of Latin and all the math he’d missed and sent him to a good, old fashioned Catholic boys school that knew how to handle boys. Best move we ever made.

    Now, we were going to send him to a boy’s high school anyway because what’s good enough for his brother, me, my da, my grandads, etc., going back per omnium seriatim was good enough for him, but I really think that single sex schools are best for boys. My daughter went to an excellent girl’s school, but she would have done well anywhere since she’s a girl and most girls do mature earlier and sitting still and doing what you’re told — the most important skills in school — seems to be more common in girls than in boys.

    Yes, I convict myself of double plus wrong think, but lefty sister did the same with her boys. What they say I should do and what they do themselves are seldom the same. Gotta maintain their edge after all.

      1. Regardless of whether it actually is slightly better for one gender or the other, there’s a blanket default assumption on the left that if an organization ran both a boys school and a girls school, the boys school would have better supplies, equipment, personnel, etc…

        1. many on the left went to uber expensive private schools followed by even more expensive universities. They’d know all about better supplies, equipment, personnel, etc., Then again, the public schools, here at least, spend nearly as much but the students don’t get the supplies, equipment, personnel, etc. Teacher’s Union, administrators and old fashioned graft sees to that.

          I pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation to pay for some of the highest rated public schools in the nation and still I sent my kids to Catholic school, at great additional expense, because I wouldn’t surrender my children to the Borg. Best move I ever made.

          I think it may come that we all have to opt out of the borg, either religious schools, homeschool, or simply people of a common mind and you have to be careful about the religious schools too. I was a Jesuit boy and they’ve completely lost their minds. Didn’t send my boys there,

          1. Best new trend “property tax money follows the child” be it public, private (regardless of type, so includes religious or gender based), home school varieties.

            When our son was in school, not a lot of good examples of the home schooled. Just weren’t. We were exposed through sports and scouts. I know they couldn’t have been typical. OTOH fast forward 20 years, for middle school and HS today? 100% would home school. Then we still had, more or less, something to say that our son’s teachers and administrators would listen too. They also had some critics, which we did ignore (no we were not stopping being tutors by having him explain his homework to us … Rubber Duck teaching.) HS still had options that we couldn’t have provided.

          1. Eh… “Grass is greener”. The “separate but equal” attitude toward racial segregated institutions (thank you so much, Plessy v Fergusson…) adds to it by providing an historical example of a policy that matches up with what they believe.

        2. The boys school in my hometown has infinitely better resources—because there were several very rich parents who would do things like donate a swimming pool, things like that. The girls school I went to, not so much—but we were smaller, and the boys school (about four miles away) would let us use their facilities for things like track or swimming anyway, so it’s not as though we suffered.

          Both schools had religious sponsors. My high school was sold off in 2009 in a move that made many of the teachers livid due to the lack of warning.

    1. I sent my daughter to an all-girls Catholic high school, and it did wonders for her. The teachers were very focused on learning; no excuses for not getting the materiel, and by god, Sister Mary Conjugate would see that you learned. The classes were small – I think her sophomore algebra class was all of five girls. The girls were not much distracted by the presence of boys, although most of them did have boyfriends. And one of the best parts was school uniforms. I laid out $300 to fit her out in the plaid skirts and white blouses when I started her there, and for the next four years she stayed approximately the same height and shape. Back to school shopping for us meant another six-pack of white socks and maybe a new notebook binder.
      I’m all for separate schools for boys and girls. Cuts down on the drama by about 95%.

        1. > “but guys are far more predictable”

          [smears strawberry jam on chest, puts on clown nose and rides a unicycle while yodeling the Stat-Spangled Banner backwards]

          …You were saying, ma’am? 😈

          1. Yep. That’s guy-mischief. Relatively easy to predict, often easy to spot, and messy but generally free of long-term damage to all involved. Guys tend to be aboveboard. (Note – I’m blessed not to have that many problems with students of either sex. It just happens that I can catch and deflect guy-stuff far more easily than girl-stuff.)

            1. Scouts — “Why do the scoutmasters know what we are planning on getting into before we do?” (When there is a nano second for them to do something unplanned. Which was avoided.)

              Me: “Not sure. Maybe because they were once scouts?” (Neither the scoutmaster, nor my husband, were allowed to tell stories from their youth. Absolutely 100% forbidden!) (Me? I got away with “knowing” because all moms have eyes in the back of their head … Don’t ya know. Was not about to let that myth die.)

  5. It’s funny, but the heath care system is still stuck in the mindset of “careers”, not jobs. And most “careers” are chock full of nuts, err, credentials, for everything under the sun. I get asked half a dozen times a year if I want to get X, Y, or Z certification by the manager of our department, who came from nursing. It’s like, “I’m 64, know more than the people teaching those courses, can do the job better than anyone else you can hire; why would I want to sit through a boring class for a week and spend another thousand (or more) of the company’s money?”

    I probably gave our hospital and the application company we have a contract with multiple heart attacks a couple weeks ago when I complained that the technicians they’d put on our upgrade didn’t know what they were doing, wasted 4 hours of nearly a dozen people’s times trying to put an unnecessary fix in, and couldn’t effectively communicate because their English was so heavily accented, and they spoke too fast, for anyone with even a small hearing impairment to understand. GASP You can’t say that about people of color from India! Yeah? Watch me.

    You know, in the old days, grandparents often did better at raising children than the parents. Probably because they had more practice, and hopefully learned what worked and what didn’t.

    1. It’s called wisdom, it’s what we trade our youth for. It’s up to us to get good value.

  6. Hey, I could walk to a school today, and it’d be uphill (one way) and in the snow.
    as it is, I drove past said school and went and got lunch

    1. Ha! Good choice.

      Where I live, it’s so hilly that any travel more than about a quarter-mile really is uphill both ways. And it does indeed snow here, and I’ve walked to school (college, but still) many a day, so…

    2. The hills to and from school were barely noticeable, though Some People never bothered to clear their sidewalks. In theory it was a citation offense, but seldom enforced. One or two were gifted with a largish firecracker on a 5 minute delay fuse. [Looks innocent while pocketing the lighter.]

      1. Could have walked to school as a kid, it was less than ¾ mile from the house, but the buses had to go past anyhow, and we only needed to make the road to save the walk . . . except when I hit 7th grade, and some knob decided we should go to a school 7+ miles away from the house. I’d have loved to leave at least an M80 for them, if I knew who it was.

  7. The culture says a college degree is what defines you as a successful human being. Except that only 37% of kids who enroll in a “4-year college” manage to complete that BA/BS in 4 years. You know how many complete it within 8 years? 49%.
    What happens to the rest? Well, they’re officially a failure now, plus they have crippling debt and nothing to show for it. (Those who graduate still have crippling debt but at least have a paper to wave around.)

    1. And in about 9 cases out of 10, from what I have seen, that piece of paper qualifies them to do exactly what they were qualified to do when they graduated high school.

      1. I didn’t learn programming in high school. I learned it at a local community college. Between jobs, I went back for a four-year degree. Much of what I was “taught” about programming in the four-year degree, I had already learned in community college and “on the job”. But HR idiots asked for that “piece of paper”.

        1. Same thing I did. I learned the official terms and how to write extensive “design” documents. (How may design documents did I write after getting the bachelors? None.) Was the process any better than what I learned getting the AA degree while learning different programming languages? No. There are exactly 4 major areas:

          (1) What needs to come out of the system?
          (2) Why?
          (3) What is going into the system?
          (4) How is this done now?

          Neither the community college nor the 4 year computer science university taught either C, C++, Visual Basic, or Java. To be fair the community college was before C++, Visual Basic, or Java (C might have been in use. Definitely wasn’t taught. Still mainframe based.) The university, C++ was just being released in beta, so C should have been taught somewhere. I learned C/C++, Visual Basic, C#, all by working in them and taking a week long seminar. Java took the week long seminar but never worked in. Languages took at the community college: Mainframe (MS) Basic, RPG, COBOL, Fortran, and Pascal, were all used somewhere in my career.

          1. Biggest point the profs made when I went to college (83-88) made was, “Don’t learn a particular programming language – learn to program, and learn to pick up an new language.” One associate prof with much industry experience told us “you should be able to pick up a new language in 6 months to be decent in it – year, year and a half to strong proficiency.”

            The starting language was Pascal, but by mid sophomore classes we were splitting out to C, Modula-2, AWK, bash, assembler. Junior year brought the survey class – 8 languages in 10 weeks (Fortan, COBOL, SNOBOL, C, Pascal, APL, Lisp, and Prolog).

            1. In 2004 I shocked my boss by being proficient in Delphi less than a month after I got the computer. Might have been brand new with Delphi (and 20 years from Pascal). I did have 21 years experience by then. Well less than six months to be strongly proficient in both Delphi and the extensive system being worked on. Also the first job I had were other people actually knew and understood the code … If I had a question I could go ask if I couldn’t figure it out myself. By then I had a system to get up to speed fast. I wasn’t used to having anyone I could ask for help.

              When I got the 4 year degree the programming languages in use were: Schema (first two years, so I never used it), then Modula-2, ending with this “new thing” coming out of the AT&T labs called …. C++ and SQL 🙂 … Just got a taste. That was winter ’89.

              1. It helps that modern programming languages all seem to have some basic things in common. I’d be shocked to find one that didn’t have branches and loops. Or a high-level one that didn’t use variables.

                1. Yep. The hard part is learning what the tool is hiding sheltering the programmer from that is not readily documented. Do not have to worry about memory management, or pointers, are two quick ones. Until they kick you.

            2. There are two things
              A man must do
              Before his life is done:
              Write three lines of APL
              And make the suckers run!

              And, I learned quickly that AWK is the only utility where every darn syllable of the man page is significant.

        2. My first job recruited heavily at my college (14 of the 19 people in my class to learn how to program “the company way” were from there) so everybody had a four-year degree. Two and a half years later I moved back home and all the people I wound up working for at my new job had two-year degrees from the local community college…which I also had. I got an Associates from the community college and then transferred to a four-year school, and none of the technical programming classes transferred so I had to come in as a sophomore and re-take so much stuff. Basically, three years at a decent public college to get one job I wound up not sticking with because I couldn’t stand living in the wasteland outside DC. After that, a two-year degree would have served me just as well for the rest of my 32 years in the biz.

      2. First week of nursing school my program gave us all a test of ‘current knowledge’ of nursing things.

        Last week in the program, we took exactly the same test.

        I’m pretty sure my score went down. Since I really did learn stuff for that BSN, I think the test wasn’t all that useful.

  8. While I can see the other side of the argument a little bit – in that I have had the supreme misfortune of “working” with young people who genuinely Did Not Want To Work and either knew how to game the system in order to ensure they could continue to collect a salary and not get fired while putting in minimal effort, or else naively thought that their “employer” would pay them simply for showing up and existing – overall I agree with you, though I do think you missed several points.

    First, not only are students not taught anything, but employers aren’t willing to train their new hires at all: they just throw them to the wolves as soon as they walk through the door and complete New Hire Orientation (if they’re lucky). Hence why employers are now demanding multiple years’ experience for even entry level positions.

    Which leads me nicely into my next point, the Catch-22 of Minimum Required Experience. You can’t get a job without first having the Minimum Required Experience, but you cannot gain the Minimum Required Experience because you’ve never had a job. And you can’t get a job to gain that Minimum Required Experience because you don’t already have the Minimum Required Experience, etc. and so on and so forth ad nauseum.

    And assuming you do have the Minimum Required Experience, odds are good that an actual human recruiter will never see your resume because most big corporations (and, I’m given to understand, smaller ones too) use computer algorithms to filter out “undesirable” or “unqualified” candidates’ resumes. But nobody seems to know how those algorithms actually work; only that they appear to filter out EVERYONE, sometimes because the algorithm didn’t like or couldn’t understand the resume’s formatting.

    And assuming you actually found your way past the algorithm and HR’s interview process, congratulations, you’ve just been thrown to the wolves with zero training and are now working for an employer that views you as an easily-replaceable widget. And because they view you as an easily-replaceable widget, they will treat you like dirt, pile on additional responsibilities well above your pay grade and job description that you cannot refuse without risking your employment, and expect you to be loyal to The Company above everything, up to and including your own family. Work/life balance. HAH! You can spend time with your family when you’re dead, or after you’ve been fired because you took time to take care of your sick/dying relative even though your supervisor (who spends every other month on vacation in Bora Bora) didn’t approve of your PTO.

    And if you work in a customer-facing position, you get the extra joy of being treated like subhuman filth because you work behind a counter. And even if you follow all of the rules to a “T” you will still get in trouble because you upset the customers. The only reason Captain Kirk never believed in a no-win scenario is because he never worked in a customer-service position.

    And then they wonder why no young people want to work. Because who wouldn’t want to work in an extra-special hellhole like that?

    Seriously, I’ve been working almost constantly since I graduated college and my current job is the first one I’ve had were my supervisor and leadership chain genuinely care about their subordinates and don’t treat us like dirt, and even though we’re expected to work hard we don’t have to worry about getting fired at the drop of a hat. Two years in and I’m still not used to it (despite my family’s insistence that I should be “over it” by now).

        1. Once upon a time, I was an independent/gig contractor. For one rather interesting short gig, I had to prove “computer adroit” via “test”. The HR minion could find no such test in their system. “… but I found a computer typing test. Ok?”

          “Will the check clear? Sure.”

          Thirty five WPM, with no errors. Adroit enough, apparently.

          And that may be the only typed document I ever produced with no errors on round one.

          Gig paid good.

      1. I’m not sure if it was reality or apocrypha, but in the late ’90s a story was going around about a help wanted ad for a brand new programming language/technique. Naturally, the posted requirements were for several years experience for the month’s old technology.

        (Rumor had it that the positions were filled, leading one to make uncomfortable guesses.)

        1. There was a joke about a church wanting a young man with 30 years of experience in being a pastor. 😉

            1. The Reader thinks there might be some truth to that one. He took a 5 day / week required thermo class at 8 am so he could take it with the ‘old guy’ prof who had a (deserved) reputation for teaching instead of the same class at a sane hour with a newly minted assistant prof who had a terrible reputation as a TA. It was worth it – even on Friday’s when the Reader had been up most of the night writing the week’s lab reports.

        2. I remember hearing a version of that story. Version I heard was that the person who’d invented the language/technique eighteen months before applied for a job to teach/implement the thing, but HR wouldn’t hire them because they needed five years’ experience with the thing. Five years’ experience on a thing that had been invented a year and a half before.

          1. When I was looking to switch into tech in 1999, I literally saw a job listing asking for ten years’ World Wide Web experience.

            At that time, the only person in the entire world who had ten years’ experience was Tim Berners-Lee. Okay, maybe also the people in his lab at CERN.

            1. Saw a similar ad for C++ experience. Based on the date and the years of experience requested they were looking to hire Bjarne Stroustrup.

        3. Happens quite a bit. One of the dirty little secrets of H1B is that you aren’t supposed to use it except for skills that aren’t obtainable locally. So you advertise the position in such a way as no one meets the requirements and presto! “not obtainable locally”, call up Bangalore.

          1. As someone who has had a real H1B visa twice now (and left the US afterwards both times thank you very much) this stuff annoys me intensely.

            The first visa was back in the mid 90s so the abuses and counters weren’t so bad. The second, about a decade ago, put me in direct competition for a spot with large companies who wanted hire another cheap Indian or Chinese to do substandard work at a submarket rate price. AIUI a certain amount of behind the scenes string pulling had to be done to get me in legally (various people suggested semi-seriously that I just fly to Tijuana and walk north).

            My suggested solution is simple. You rank visas each year by salary to be paid. Grant only the top N and don’t grant any ones below say 4x median income. And because we know companies lie, the gross salary plus standard government SS payments etc. is required to be paid in advance into an escrow account that is disbursed to the visa holder directly less IRS witholdings

            1. The visa increases the value of the job without costing the company more. Habib will do the job for 70k that Justin would ask 100k for because both the difference in typical living standards, school costs, and the visa is probably worth 10k easy per year. Need some way to charge companies for it, sorta the opposite of bonuses for lateraling cops, medic certs for fire departments, background proctology, etc.

              1. Like I say. The way to do it is simply only grant visas to the top N offered salaries with a floor that is high ($120k/year perhaps). It makes hiring an H1B expensive instead of cheap so they have an incentive to try and find the person locally first. It also makes the H1B be used for what it is supposed to – namely be used for experts you can’t find in country

                And for fun, if I were congress I’d retroactively enforce the minimum floor on all existing H1B visas too. You have H1B visa? you must be paid a minimum of $120k/year henceforth.

          2. At a former employer about 20 years ago, we’d started bringing on H-1Bs. At the time, I guess it was a rule they had to post them on a bulletin board before the visa process or something. They posted one job for a “lead programmer/analyst” on new database tech that I knew had been custom-written for a guy who had just started (they had hired the guy before I saw the notice posted). I was also a “lead programmer/analyst” and my pay grade in the company was “14.” This job was posted at pay grade “10.” That was at least 30% under the prevailing pay for that position, which WAS a lead position and should’ve been a 14. So they were screwing the guy out of God knows how much money.

            Sad part is, I knew the guy and he was an absolute rock star. Technically whip-smart, easy to work with, probably the best H-1B I ever worked with. And here he was working for junior programmer pay.

        4. Pretty sure that’s real; either Java (1995, most likely candidate) or ADA (1983), if I recall correctly.

          1. C# was one. It had been out a month! Not even beta users had 5 years experience on it.
            Java was another.

            One I liked was “Require 10 years experience on Universal Program Generator for handheld computers and C code” (Falcon), in 2002 …

            Um. The first release was late 1996. I know. I was brought on when the program was brought in company (from contractor) to finish it and get it to release that year. I was the ONLY one who worked on the subsequent releases. For a time I was writing contracted programs with it between releases, until they brought someone on to do exactly that. All the other programmer and I could do was laugh … Neither of us were willing to move to the job location. Me because of hubby’s job. The other programmer because of his own private woodland timberland acreage. Neither of us followed up.

        5. I literally saw this with Windows 10. A job posting was asking for someone with at least one year of experience with it, when it had only been released a month or two before.

          1. Part of the confusion is that a lot of software is “early released” to a sometimes large group of customers; they may actually have more time than the official “general release” date.

            1. confusion is that a lot of software is “early released” to a sometimes large group of customers; they may actually have more time than the official “general release” date.

              Not wrong. Just it is never as long as the job requirement. MAYBE if someone was on the internal alpha/beta test teams. Maybe. The UPG example I quoted, the software was only 4 months old when I got my hands on it, after which I was the primary and only developer. In 2002, when I encountered the job listing, the software was only 6 years old, from inception to final release. I couldn’t qualify on the “10 years experience” …. That and I wouldn’t move to Seattle …

        6. I have seen an actual such ad although it was something like several years experience in Program 5.0. You could have had several years experience in Program, just in 4.0 or 3.0, etc.

      2. You made me laugh, I feel so much the same as you do, and have had similar experience. Biggest reason retail loses people is because of zero training and immediately pushing new people into customer-facing nightmares.

        1. And because management will ALWAYS back the customer, no matter how obvious the lie or how much their request violated corporate policy.

          1. Yep, and don’t get me started on retail cleaning and having to accommodate every Karen who thinks their bladder and their butthole is special then getting griped at because another Karen complained about how filthy the bathrooms are when you never could clean it because of repeatedly having to let people in (or getting called off to clean up half-inch drops of water). I wonder how I didn’t get fired from that job many, many times.

          2. Oh the times I’ve stood in line and made cutting remarks to a client berating the person checking out. Oh. I’ve gotten glared and screamed at. … What? I don’t work there. I have never worked retail or service. I wouldn’t last.

            1. Back when I worked in The Supermarket, I decided that if I ever won PowerBall, I was going to hire R. Lee Ermey (RIP Gunny!) to stand beside my counter and go full Gunnery Sergeant Hartman on rude customers. Yes, I would have been fired and we both probably would have been banned from The Supermarket, but it would have been worth it.

                1. I never needed a bathroom guard (thank God!) but I was chased into the back a few times. The one that sticks out most was the insane Karen who showed up at 9:00 PM on Easter Saturday, hours after the Meat counter had sold out of hams. I was on the Deli counter, and she DEMANDED that we sell her one of our hams for the same price as one of Meat’s hams, which were not the same. And then she began screaming “FIND ME A HAM! FIND ME A HAM!” until my manager told me to go ahead and clock out (my shift had ended at 9). Krazy Karen chased me into the back screaming “YOU ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE UNTIL YOU FIND ME A HAM!” Only time I ever talked back to a customer. I don’t recall exactly what I said, but IIRC it was to the effect if, “It’s not my fault you waited until the last minute, I’m off the clock and going home, and if you don’t get out of the Employees Only area then I will call security and have you removed.” Apparently she tried to complain and get me fired, but we had her on camera going into the back, so she had to drop the issue.

                  1. Glad I never met that kind of crazy and be grateful you never had to need one! That was also the job where I learned if you take one nobody else wants to do seriously, no matter how much it’s visibly hurting you, you end up becoming too good where you are and just can’t escape it without escaping elsewhere and running into the Minimum Required Experience and other insane games you mentioned. No wonder things are such a mess, huh?

                    1. Oh yeah. That happened to me too, again at The Supermarket: I wanted to transfer from Deli to Cheese Shoppe because I was told that having experience in multiple departments looks good if you want to advance up the ladder into management (which I did). When a position in Cheese Shoppe opened, I told my manager I wanted to apply and asked for their recommendation (per company policy). I was told up-front that my request would be denied and I would not get their recommendation because I was too valuable in the Deli department.

                      That was when I started looking for a way out.

                    2. At least they were up front about it, My experience always went the same way. A new assistant manager comes in, sees that the high stress poop business isn’t good for me, has an idea for another area that’ll fit me better, I get to help out in a particular area for a bit, the potential transfer quietly dies, and when I ask about it I get told something like “You do such a good job” with an implied “where you’re at.” I’ll admit the stress was highly visible and I didn’t do myself any favors but it really was abusive behavior – hitting all my weak points then blaming me for not holding up while keeping someone who takes a particular job seriously. I thought I’d never get out and it took me three different interviews and some former co-workers vouching for me before I got my current job back when it was actually a decent place to work and not the concrete prison I vent about elsewhere.

    1. Oh, and I forgot one: sometimes HR and the department with the vacant position aren’t on the same page with what the position’s requirements are, and/or HR decides it knows better.

      Which is how you get hired as a technical writer for a software company with ZERO technical writing experience or meaningful knowledge of how software, you know, works.

      THAT was six months in an extra-special sort of Hell. HR had hired three technical writers before me who apparently couldn’t write, so they decided to hire someone with decent writing skills with no technical knowledge or experience. Their idea being that the department would teach me the technical stuff. Only they never actually told the department heads that they were also supposed to teach me. So I was supposed to write about stuff I didn’t have the faintest understanding of, but I wasn’t allowed to ask anybody for help because everybody was “too busy” to teach me.

      That place was all kinds of weird. Especially the Head of Security whose picture is probably in the dictionary next to the word “paranoid.” But that’s a whole different story.

      1. Yep, all of that sounds very familiar, both this part and the first post. The Minimum Required Experience part keeps tripping me up and makes me think I’ll never get out of one form of employment hell or another.

    2. I hit the wall that way in the Civil Service. To get job X , you must have training Y. But to qualify for training Y, you must be already approved for job X. I managed to get one version of training Y by “cheating,” (I sent my application directly to the school rather than through the command screening system) but it didn’t help my chances. It did, however, give me a welcome morale boost.

  9. “Yes, they grew up with more “material goods” and greater ease than most of us did.”
    And well they ought to. Such should be the goal of every right thinking parent, that their children have things better than they did.
    There are a couple of easily understood macro issues at work right now.
    One is demographic. The baby boomer generation was huge, dramatically bigger than generations on either side of it. They had the advantage of an education system that still generally worked (more on that in a minute), and they were generally encouraged to avail themselves of higher education but weren’t ostracized for going after good paying blue collar work.
    GenX enjoyed some of the same advantages but we were only maybe 60% the size, and even then the rot was starting to set in to education while we were simultaneously taught that working with our hands was not something “smart” people did.
    Starting with the Millenials and carrying right on into GenZ we have seen massive misallocation of resources when it comes to education and careers, which necessarily involves massive misallocation of capital for same. In short: they haven’t received an education or training that’s really good for anything, in a very large percentage of cases.
    There is a dramatic shortage of technically skilled workers in this country. I work in a skilled technical blue collar field, and I make more money with better benefits than most STEM degreed graduates. There are some jobs that are absolutely CRITICAL for our complex technological society to function and at the end of the day those jobs WILL be filled at whatever cost it takes. The problem is that all of the highly skilled and knowledgeable boomers have retired out and there where nowhere near enough GenX to replace them and few millenials that are qualified. I’m seeing GenZ’rs that have woken up to this and are flooding into technical fields but it’s going to take a generation to sort this out.
    In the meantime, inflation is depressing unskilled wages in terms of buying power and those jobs are really unattractive to most people who used to fill those jobs, who have now “traded up” in terms of job quality and income potential. Wages are going to have to go up for even the low end food service jobs, which means prices still have a long way to go.
    For instance: the Midland/Odessa area has a good oil services boom running right now, to the point that the local McDonalds franchisee is paying $17/hr and providing shuttle vans for transportation to and from work. That’s where we are headed.
    The demographic problems were inevitable. But our globalist TPTB came up through the education system in the 1950-1960s and that’s their stronghold and they have wrecked it for its intended purpose. We are paying the piper for that now.

    1. Don’t worry about the unskilled labor….that’s what the horde of criminal invaders are for. (/bitter sarcasm)

    2. “There is a dramatic shortage of technically skilled workers in this country. I work in a skilled technical blue collar field, and I make more money with better benefits than most STEM degreed graduates.”
      Absolutely 100% true! My youngest son graduated high school less than a year ago. He’s got a year and a half experience as a diesel tech and just finished his first semester at the local community college in their Diesel Mechanic program. He is starting a new job in January. At his new job, he will be making more than his 25 year old cousin, who has a master’s degree.
      (I keep teasing him that he is the child of mine who will be supporting me in my old age.)

  10. “They were given French teen magazines and told to cut pictures, and make collages. They were taught to sing French songs. What they were never given was the basics with which to decode those things into language- learning experiences.”


    No, probably not, but that was my first response. Because the only thing that’s teaching is teaching kids to fail at languages. Any language. All of them.

    You can teach a four year old French and German at the same time they are learning the English alphabet. I know. I was one of them, even with a shorter attention span for anything other than stories than your average four year old. You do it by memorizing first.

    Vocabulary worksheets. Test that. Do that over and over and work in simple sentences and grammar rules after they have some words down pat. Inch your way forward until you get them reading coherently. It works. Memorizing is the foundation of human learning. Always has been.

    It’s stuff like this that makes me itch for the tar and feathers. You want to teach a kid to hate learning in general? Do stuff like that, and reward them for pitiful efforts. That’ll ruin a child.

    Learning should be challenging. Heck, learning should be fun, too, sometimes. Once the kid’s got a decent enough grounding in basic vocab and grammar, give them some Asterix and Obelix in the language (they’re translated into pretty much everything, I think) and watch them go.

    Somebody, and it may actually not be the teachers (though I wouldn’t put it past many of them) really hates kids. Somebody making these lesson plans that get spread out to all the schools out there, the ones they have to use or lose funding. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for stuff like that.

    1. Somebody, and it may actually not be the teachers (though I wouldn’t put it past many of them) really hates kids. Somebody making these lesson plans that get spread out to all the schools out there, the ones they have to use or lose funding. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for stuff like that.

      It’s the people who built the school system. This was always the goal. It’s just that for a very few years the people on the ground had weird ideas about doing the right thing.

    2. That actually sounds like what passed for math class in the private (Friends) school I was in from kindergarten through the first half of 2nd grade. In 2nd grade, we were still “learning our numbers” by gluing toothpicks to construction paper in different shapes. No, I kid you now. “How many shapes can we make with two toothpick? Very good! Next week, we’ll see how many shapes we can make with three!”

      Mama and Papa Raptor transferred me to public school for the spring semester once they found that out (and for a whole host of other reasons). But was far enough behind that I never really caught up with my peers, and to this day I am terrible at math.

    3. Public schools could teach languages so much better just by having the students use Duolingo or Babbel. Those companies have figured out how to get people reading, writing & conversing in foreign languages quickly with short, easily assimilated lessons.
      But then they wouldn’t need that certified language teacher union member on staff…

      1. Rosetta Stone works OK for kids…Fluenz is preferable if you have a firm grounding in English. It’s more of a “traditional language course in online packaging”.

      2. Even though I have been playing with Duolingo for over 4 years now, I don’t think it’s all that good for really learning a language. It’s not bad for brushing up on languages one already knows, however.

  11. Our kids are stressed — you’d be shocked to know how many, particularly girls, are on psychiatric drugs by prescription — and unhappy, and running in place, all the while being told how easy they have it, and “pull up your socks, young thing.”

    They’re also told this is the best time of their lives.

    One of those early online fads that I really liked was “it gets better.” Consisted of people just assuring Kids These Days that yes, it got better. It may be tough right now– but if you just hold on, and keep going, it gets better.

    1. This. Being a teenager is a wretched experience. You’re a child when it comes to money and freedom of action, an adult when it comes to responsibilities…and all at the convenience of your elders. Not to mention the dubious charms of being an inmate in a school system that doubles as a minimum-security prison. Add in an overall lack of perspective (comes with age).

      Telling the kids “These are the best years of your life” is a recipe for a high suicide rate. No. Tell them, “It gets better, if you don’t screw it up.” Then they’ve got a fighting chance.

      1. Meanwhile, your brain is under construction, and actually works worse than when it was a child brain. Yes, it’s adding lanes and stuff but the road was easily to drive when it was a single lane without construction!

    2. One reason I’m determined to live a happy, prosperous life from now till it’s gone is to show young people that getting old is in many if not most ways really cool. It really does get better, and I want to be a living example. Because kids have gotten the big shaft.

    3. I had a high school teacher who said “Anyone who tells you these are the best years of your life is lying.”

      I’m kinder, I add “… or amnesiac.”

      But seriously, I make it a point to tell teenagers—even random teenagers at high school events—that your teen years suck simply because of biology, with random hormone calibrations slamming your mood against the ceiling and the floor for no apparent reason, and somewhere around 21 or 22 and with no other changes, it gets easier because the calibration gets dialed in and the mood slams stop. (Obviously, brain chemistry misalignments can still happen, we’re talking averages.)

      It’s amazing how many of these kids look relieved when I say that. No, kids, these aren’t “the best years of your life.” They can be good, they can be bad, they’ll usually be stressful, but for the most part the people I know enjoy life more as they get older.

  12. School is a terrible thing in general. Learning on a schedule kills the joy of learning. GPA teaches envy. Liberal arts are bureaucratic arts. And all this was the case a half century ago. Things have gotten worse.

    I could go on and on. Come to think of it, I already did go on and on:

    And provided some solutions. For example, replace letter grades with levels. You know, the levels they use in video games and Dungeons and Dragons. Much more dynamic and motivating, and easier to focus on the end goal, vs. teacher compliance.

    1. And the curricula all appear to be purposefully designed to make the subjects as boring and/or depressing as humanly possible.

      We called my 9th Grade English (World Literature) curriculum “The ‘Slit-Your-Wrists’ Reading List” because it was comprised of nothing but the most depressing books that the administration could find to the point where they would make you want to… you get the idea. The House of the Spirits. Nectar in a Sieve. Midaq Alley. Things Fall Apart. Harp of Burma. I never actually read Harp of Burma: that was the last book of the year and I was emotionally spent. So I just listened into the lectures and parroted back whatever the teacher was talking about in my essays.

      And the worst part is that kids will want to learn if they enjoy it! Little Brother used to help teach inner-city kids math and science when he was an undergrad. Those students, according to him, hated math and science because it was all theoretical and presented in the driest possible manner, e.g. “If side A of a right triangle is 24 and Side B is 40, find angle X.” So Little Brother would rework the problems to make them “applied math” and fun at the same time, i.e. “If Batman is standing on top of a building that’s 24 feet tall and the Joker is standing on the street 40 feet away from the building, at what angle does Batman have to glide in order to land on the Joker and catch him?” Complete with him drawing pictures of Batman and the Joker on the whiteboard. The kids loved that.

      If an actual widespread effort was made to make education actually interesting and fun, I suspect a lot more students would take it seriously and want to learn.

      1. > “at what angle does Batman have to glide in order to land on the Joker and catch him?”

        That is BRILLIANT.

      2. Physics 1, 8am, Professor Sleepaid.

        If a ball is moving upwardszzzzz at velozzzzz …. what izzzzzz. Huh? Or ratherzzz….zzzzzz.


        Substitute professor biker- redhead Dr B.

        “The bionic woman hurls an angry alligator straight up at ……”

        Yup, looked like 1%-er biker. Made basics -fun-, or at least funny.

        1. LOL! Your Physics 1 sounds like the Theories on the Origins of Life course I had to take spring semester of my Junior year. 8 AM, most boring professor on the planet who spoke in a sleep-inducing monotone. That was the class that got me drinking caffeine (tea first, then coffee) on a regular basis for the first time in my life.

          The fact that he’d go off on lengthy, random tangents mid-lecture that were unrelated to the actual topic of discussion, and would “answer” our questions with more long, meandering, unrelated tangents only made it worse, to the point where one of my classmates left the class in tears convinced she was stupid because she couldn’t understand what he was talking about. The rest of us had to assure her that no, it wasn’t her, he hadn’t actually answered any of her questions and none of us had any clue whatsoever about what he was talking about.

          To this day, I am not sure how I or anyone else actually managed to pass that class.

          1. OMG. Mean I am not the only one? Lecture? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Almost guarantied. Thank you Cliff Notes and Labs (for classes that had them). There were a some classes that did not happen with. All of them were where the professor was animated about the topic.

            1. My second semester, senior year in college, when I’d already quit caring, my parents’ threats of dire doom if I didn’t get A’s held no fear for me any more, and I had an 8:00 am IBM 360 Assembler language class with the absolute most boring prof in our entire department. Nice guy, but completely monotone and slow. I think I quit showing up five weeks in. I genuinely am not sure how I passed that class, or indeed my last semester with a 2.2 GPA (and still graduated with a 3.4). Once I had a job offer halfway through the semester, my f*cks garden was barren.

              1. My first or second semester Freshman year, I took adolescent psychology. Waste. of. time. 50 minute class, right? Prof would spend the first half of the class doing devotions (Christian college), then the next fifteen to twenty minutes reviewing what he (was supposed to have) taught during the previous class, and then if you were lucky, he’d start covering new material. Prof was the head of the psychology department too, so as soon as I could I changed my major from psychology to English.

                To this day, I am honestly not sure if I accidentally skipped most of the classes. Because while you could maybe show up one day a week and not really miss anything, I still had the fear of my parents ingrained deep in my psyche. And again, I have no idea how I managed to pass the class since we didn’t really learn much of anything.

      3. I had a physics professor wake up an entire 100+ person lecture hall in physics with the words “And this is why your car went off the road and flew into the ditch this weekend.” So it doesn’t even have to be too far into the ridiculous, just ‘hey this is REAL’.

          1. Nah, most of the folk there hadn’t spun out, but we all knew someone who’d wound up in a ditch because they’d taken a turn too fast.

    2. “thanks to modern medicine, iambic pentameter can now be cured”

      From your part two. ROFL.

      And I’ve enjoyed the articles. But in this case, to a degree, I think you are missing something. You don’t appreciate stuff in Iambic pentameter (or other similar) just reading it on the page. YOu need to speak it, chant it, declaim it. Then it comes alive and then you realize why the poets of old used it.

      Of course chanting such makes almost all modern poetry seem completely crap, but there could be a reason for that….

      1. Decades ago, when my first wife was still in college, I met one of her fellow Theater majors who could extemporize in iambic pentameter. Now, I can squeeze my brain into a strange shape and do it for a line or two, but he could go on for paragraphs.

      2. Years ago, in a McDonald’s in a rural part of Appalachia, mi mama was listening to two young locals having an argument… and realized that the entire thing was in iambic pentameter.

        She quoted an example to me: “You never kiss me now that we’re engaged.”

        When said with the accent you get up in the hills and the hollers, it comes out perfectly natural.

      3. Kenneth Branagh managed to make a couple of Shakespeare movies that I could appreciate, but I rarely can appreciate poetry, whether it’s Shakespeare or Hip Hop. And for the former, it’s not just the archaic language aspect. I have found reading Le Morte D’Arthur to be much more enjoyable than Shakespeare, even though it reads at times like a cross between Axe Cop and the transcript of someone playing a text based adventure game. Charmingly bad vs. the irritating badness of Hamlet.

        I can better appreciate poetic prose such as Spinrad or Vance.

      1. This.

        And the National Zoo. Those poor non-human animals don’t deserve to get nuked. Now, the architects for the National Museum of the American Indian and African-American history? Don’t get me started. But the giraffes and so on, plus the plants at the Botanical Garden, need a break.

        1. A Zoo and a Botanical Garden are cheap prices to pay for our freedoms. No one cares about the politicians nor their government whores, most of which are their kids who are too stupid to run for office. It Hunter wasn’t a complete and total screw up he would’ve had a cushy government job as well. By the way do you know how hard it is to get thrown out of the Navy when your father is Vice President?

            1. And, yes, zebras might seem nasty pieces of work compared to J. Random Equine, but… AFRICA. The amazing thing is that zebra herds DO NOT go on lion-trampling rampages.

      2. I love hearing about how the Smithsonian got established. Smithson, a British science geek, had a ton of money and left it to his nephew, with the caveat that if the nephew didn’t have kids, the money would go to the US for the creation of a science institute, because he thought they needed one.

        Nephew had no kids, money went to found the Smithsonian.

        IOW, science geek saw a chance to share science with a whole lot of people and had the means to implement it, and now there are multiple free museums because of a geek. Hooray for geeks.

  13. Reports of foreigners showing up for engineering positions requiring a security clearance troubles me greatly. I spent 40 years working for DOD…and if you were not native-born, you could pretty well forget getting a clearance in the 1980s (when we took it seriously). Non-citizen? Non-employable on a DOD program in any capacity.

    I keep wondering how much our ruling class is being paid…and by whom.

    1. China and Ukraine (and probably Russia too), and if the amounts their net worths are increasing well above their official salaries are any indication, quite handsomely.

    2. Indeed, you need to be a US citizen to get clearance. Much stuff you see is tagged with NOFORN, which means No Foreign, not even NATO allies are given it without special dispensation. And there is still ITAR regulations. Worked in a building where where KSA (Kingdom of Saudia Arabia) would come in to be (notionally) wined and dined and provided a Powerpoint presentation on the latest updates for their purchases. When they were in the building (which also had manufacturing for a variety of radars and missile seekers and such like) their movement was VERY controlled and if one broke loose/got lost it was made clear that they should be (very politely but firmly) escorted to the nearest Security desk. This was because their mere presence in areas where military hardware was be manufactured could be construed as “exporting” information.

      If that has changed (hasn’t at least where my younger daughter works) we may be well and truly screwed.

      1. It was that way when the Reader retired 4 years ago. The Reader stayed far away from tours involving foreign nationals; given what he knew opening his mouth was an export. When the Reader went to technical conferences he never asked questions in a public forum for the same reason.

        1. Well the Executive branch does control clearance and classification and we know how much the Turnip In Chief cares (or knows) about Sovereignty and National Security. There SHOULD be an executive order changing that but again this administrations adherence to law or legal principles is basically 0.

      2. I’ve cooled my heels in a reception area/lobby a number of times while my US citizen of a boss got briefed on things in the DC area. And held a product sales presentation in a coffee shop near Yokosuka because I’m not a Japanese national for that matter too.

        The tricky bit is where you have to give the report in a particular secure room but aren’t allowed to go to the room to give it….

        1. Sounds a bit like my grad-school buddy who won a history award from the CIA for an article he did for their in-house history magazine. Had a great visit to Langley to get his certificate, but he can’t get copies of the article to use in his portfolio because the magazine is classified!

          (He also wanted to buy the wall-mounted electronics disabler. His minder got a thoughtful look and said, “You know, almost every professor who comes here wants to buy one for the classroom.” That was over ten years ago!)

      3. Technically itar just needs appropriate licensing and so forth. Plus a lot of stuff gets compartmentalized so the product may be itar, but widgets 1-75 that make it up are not.

        1. The Reader remembers explaining to a not very bright business development VP that he could NOT bring a foreign national to my office – there were ITAR restricted trinkets everywhere because the Reader used them as learning prompts for young engineers. He also made it clear to said VP that if he had to meet with said foreign nationals he would generate a script for the meeting, get it approved by our export control folks (who were sticklers), read it and not answer any questions. It did get the Reader out of the meeting.

        2. This was at Andover Raytheon Plant. It has both development and manufacturing. There was stuff all over that was unclassified, but ITAR restricted. In particular some of the Juki machines that put the parts on boards (not classified clearly) were proudly displayed putting the parts on circuit boards for Patriot and Hawk back behind glass being tended by (mostly ladies) in white smocks. Not that you could tell much from the 10 ft away vantage point, but legally still ITAR export, and the fines for violating that made even Raytheon cringe.

    3. Do not visit San Diego Third Fleet HQ. It is an appalling security violation in every respect. I worked with a Chinese woman who had at least Secret. She said openly that if America went to war with China, she was on China’s side. Secret Clearance.

        1. We did question it at the time, and a few times along the way. I have zero trust that it was handled properly and I have no evidence that it wasn’t.

          1. Yeah, at this point if I were motivated to report anything, it would be anonymously (as much as possible). With the current crop of idiots in charge, I consider it more likely that the person taking the report would add more negative “social credit points” (spit) to my score than take any other action.

            1. If you report anything, ever, you’re gone. There is no secrecy. The whistleblower program isn’t secret and everyone knows it. You only report is you truly don’t GAF, or if you’re ready to quit.
              And don’t try to get work in government contracting again. 🙂
              It was worth it.

    4. George H.W. Bush changed the policy. Under Bush, naturalized citizens could get even the grain storage thingies.

    5. I keep wondering how much our ruling class is being paid…and by whom.

      If it were that simple, they could be bought off by Elon Musk.

      Most of the ruling class, while they want money, much more desperately want a return to the feudal system, with themselves as the rulers, and everyone else as peasants they can kill on a whim, without consequence. Or just straight slavery, with themselves as the masters. No amount of money will make up for their desire to control and destroy those “beneath” themselves.

  14. Here are the 18 Republican senators who voted for the $1.7 trillion omnibus:

    Blunt, Boozman, Capito, Collins, Cornyn, Cotton, Graham, Inhofe, McConnell, Moran, Murkowski, Portman, Romney, Rounds, Shelby, Thune, Wicker, Young.

      1. And thank Vichy Mitchy for Murkowski.

        When the Republican who got the most votes ‘lost’ the election because of Democrat ballots, you know the fuckery is afoot.

        1. Oh, you haven’t seen fuckery, but you will. Apparently large chunks of the Democrats election takeover legislation are buried in the omnibus.

          1. Washington D.C. should be treated as a hostile foreign power. It has been infiltrated and taken over by our enemies.
            ‘Progressives’ suppress free speech because they don’t have the means to suppress free thought.


      2. Massachusetts has many things it must Answer for and Our loosing Mitt Romney and Romney care on the US is one of them. If Utah elects him again in 2024 I feel we of Massachusetts will no longer be responsible for his miscreant behavior.

  15. Thought provoking, as usual. Please allow me to put the ‘grouchy old man’ perspective out here. A few points of disagreement. Everything is changing and things are either in ascendancy or decline. I believe America is in decline. Yes, opinion. And while the ‘boomers’ have a part in that, I don’t think the boomer class is monolithic. I think there’s always been a big divide between liberal boomers (the ones that didn’t go (Vietnam) and demonstrated against the war, and the ones that did, or ‘sort of” did (went into the Reserves or National Guard or college (deferred). I would say, there are the ‘Larry David’ boomers and there are the ‘Mike Rowe’ boomers.

    As far as the younger generations, I think a big change and a negative, is the rise of the Video game players and also the poison the feminists have given to young girls and women.

    Another big difference I see, having lived it, is that when I was a boy, the big Gubmint welfare programs did not exist, and the programs that did exist had a stigma. So, I and my five siblings, right here in America, in Philly, had a ‘hungry’ childhood. My father worked hard, but was not paid enough to put enough good food on the table. I know we were not alone in that regard. What’s the big problem today, nutritionally speaking? Childhood obesity. Too much bad food.

    As for schools. My parents put us in Catholic schools because everyone knew they were better. But it wasn’t free. My father had to ‘volunteer’ his time after work, doing janitor work at the elementary school. I went with him and worked his side, mopping, cleaning toilets, etc. But we received a superior education at the Catholic schools. (Don’t know how that is these days). So, parents today, might have to spend some of their free time (I know they don’t have much) teaching the kids what the schools are NOT teaching them. I know about this ’cause I had to do it. My kids learned the ‘multiplication tables’ They learned grammar. Some of it they learned from me and the ex and some of it they learned at these ”math clubs’ and such that sprung up all over the SF Bay Area, as everyone was realizing that the schools were shortchanging the kids.

    When it came time to go to Catholic high school, we had to get ready. We, having graduated elementary school, received a ‘packet at the beginning of summer vacation listing things that we had to have in September and work that we must do prior. We received a ‘reading list.’ I loved it! Some kids hated it. In Freshman year we had algebra, intro to science, a language (Spanish, French, German, Latin, or Russian). We had typing, gym, English, history, etc. It was not easy as the Christian Brothers who taught us expected the work to be done. If you couldn’t or wouldn’t do it, there was always West Philly high school, or Bartram, both ghetto with lousy teachers and out of control students. So, we, as teens, ‘decided’ whether we were going to work, or just flunk out.

    I like your point about kids being raised by the parents and also by the culture. Of course, as a child, I was not aware of the culture, must as a fish is not aware of the water. But years later, as a parent, I was aware of , and very concerned by, the culture, as it was in the throes of Hip Hop and Rag garbage. And yes, that had an influence on my son, particularly, as he is not Caucasian and saw ‘artists’ with similar skin tones putting out that (c)rap. I got him in scouts, Boys and Girls Club after school, did everything I could. But, yes, the garbage culture did have an effect. But he seems to have mostly gotten past that all.

    The “I should do better!” maxim. No kid is born with that, of course. But I think that it should be imparted by the parents. They won’t get that in today’s schools. To ‘do better’ implies that the other kids are not doing well, which is ‘shaming,’ I guess. Sometimes a little shame is a good thing.

    One thing about today’s public schools. I’ve been in some a couple years ago as I was subbing. And I saw some teachers who were devoted and challenging their students. The problem was, when the challenges became more ‘challenging,’ some of the students rebelled. They didn’t want to go there. And so they ‘acted up,’ disturbing the class. The teacher, one in particular, grew angry, started yelling. But at best all he could do was to have the trouble maker stand out in the hall for five minutes until someone from the principal’s office said he had to take the kid back in. Bottom line, in my day, that kid was either put in a lower level class, or expelled to go to the public schools. Not today. Teachers cannot get rid of the slow and the troublesome.

    When it comes to work today for young people. One big problem they have that we did not, is the phone. I’ve talked to people who work (I no longer work) and they tell me that young people work, but when things get a little slow, they’re on the phone instead of looking around for stuff to do, being ‘pro-active.’ Also, younger people seem to abuse sick leave. Sorry to generalize, but this is what people who are out in the workplace tell me.

    Also, as far as young men go, too many of them, don’t know the percentages, seem to believe that physical labor is for ‘stupid’ people, that includes the ‘trades.’ I’m with Mike Rowe on this. The trades and physical labor have been tarnished with this stigma. But a good tradesman makes way more than someone with a Sociological Degree. A good diesel mechanic can probably ‘start’ at 100K/year.

    Anyway, thanks for allowing me to throw my two dollars (inflation) in here.

    1. As far as the younger generations, I think a big change and a negative, is the rise of the Video game players

      This is a popular position and has been for a long time. There is one small problem: the actual evidence says the opposite.

      Where field after field bent the knee to progressivism without a fight, gamers hit back against the progressives. And they hit hard enough that the progressives are still crying about it 8 years later. Hell; a lot of the new generation of culture warriors got started in that fight.

      1. I knew I’d get some pushback on that. My son is a ‘gamer.’ But I don’t think I’ll ever change my opinion on that. For a lot of young men, it’s like cocaine. They can’t just ‘do it a little.’ They spend days and days at it. Also, I think a large part of it is due to young women no longer making themselves available to young men, so it’s a sometimes substitute.

        Reading, study, getting outside and doing things… all vastly superior to playing video games. No one will ever convince me otherwise.

          1. So, if video games are neurologically superior to watching TV, are they superior to reading books? Both watching TV and reading are ‘passive.’

            And on another note… we’re down to ‘my opinions’ and ‘ other folks’ facts.’ I can change my opinion if presented with enough facts. Problem is, I’m often presented with a lot of opinions, not facts.

            But, I’ll leave it there.

              1. TV can refer to two different things. TV in the sense of aimless vegetation, yes, probably the absolute worst.

                But if we filter that out and only consider them as storytelling mediums of equal writing quality, Books and Games take different top spots based on their different advantages, closely followed by long form serial TV shows, then a long way down are Movies.

                There just isn’t enough room in a single movie to tell much of a story.

                1. TV doesn’t provide the carefully metered dopamine hits that gaming does. So TV may be worse neurologically but I would argue that gaming is probably much more addictive.

                  1. Yeah, but addictive personalities are gonna get addicted. To SOMETHING. I once got addicted to fan fic. We should give more tools to kids to recognize the problem and get it under control, is all.

            1. “No one will convince me otherwise.”

              That’s a declaration that facts don’t matter to you. You’ve staked out your position, and no one can convince you otherwise.

              So, since you declared that nobody can convince you, why should anyone bother with more than “you’re wrong, there are studies”? Going to the bother of looking up and linking the studies won’t move you, according to you.

              1. Well, you must know, that these days, millions and millions of dollars are pent creating studies that lie. Think of the whole covid scam. Anyway, on this one point, video games… I don’t see the value in them other than frittering away one’s time and perhaps learning better hand eye coordination.

                So, yeah, I’m going to remain an agnostic on that. Don’t waste your time telling me about studies. Yeah, but thanks anyway.

                1. There is a difference in how studies are conducted, sometimes you can learn things even when the study is completely dishonest.

                  In the case of videogames, almost all of the studies have been funded and ran by people desperately trying to prove that they are the root of all of societies ills. The only conclusion they have ever been able to find is that they couldn’t find anything but maybe with more funding they could.

                  Though like with 2A, I don’t base my opinions on the studies. They are simply a nice bit of confirmation.

                  1. Thanks. I’m sure the people making billions in the video gaming industry never conducted or paid to be conducted, their own surveys that fond that video games were as necessary for a young man’s maturation as milk was when they were babies.

                2. You very neatly ignored my actual point, that you declared yourself immune to being convinced.

                  You said your mind can not be changed. So why would anyone even bother to try?

                  1. Yeah, I said my mind could not be changed on this subject. Now, if I said that, “The elections are now rigged, and I believe that the 2020 and 2022 elections were definitely rigged for the democrats…. and then someone came along and said, ‘well, there are studies out there that prove that these elections are fair and square. I wouldn’t waste my time taking a deep dive into that. I hope this helps explain myself to you.

            2. So what stupid things do young men do? They can drink excessively, they can use drugs excessively, they can watch Football ( Either definition) or other sports excessively. In previous eras they could play pool/billiard (trouble right here in River City) attend theater (that Shakespeare dude is ruining our society), Participate in Christmas (Puritans hated Christmas) or Not participate in Christmas(annoying Mr Dickens), etc on and on a. Computer Games is just ONE of the things. The issue isn’t the action (well maybe I’ll give you physical drug addiction) its the nature of young men. Young men LIKE to spend time competing with each other or just hanging out with each other. The gaming world as it exists now be it Xbox, PlayStation or PC has group chat audio and MANY games have an online component where you cooperate or compete with others. That competition is squelched in the academic realm as that style of teaching/learning is gone as it fits females poorly. Similarly they are ridiculed for wanting to hang out with their buddies as that is considered being exclusive. If a young man is being obsessive in ANY manner it is part of a parent’s duty to help shape and redirect them. A thirteen or fourteen year old has little perspective. If an adult someone, say a friend, needs to tell them, just as you might if they had an alcohol or gambling issue if they are ruining their life. Otherwise we should butt out and let them learn, sometimes the burnt hand teaches best. I also think some of our view of this technology fits into a set of statements I saw from Douglas Adams on technologies:

                  Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
                  Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
                  Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
              Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to work out how old you are.

              Here for me I started with arcades in my teens and early 20’s, Gaming systems started to show up into my 20’s and 30’s. So they are naturally part of my world. I also Loved early PC gaming, trying to get a early machine (sol-20, TRS-80, Commodore PET, Apple II, all were out of reach). I’d rather play a computer game (or a board war game, ) than spend time watching almost any kind of sport. I enjoy the outdoors, but for me camping other than in a cabin or similar is far too unpleasant for the hobbitish side of me.

              I did ultimately get involved in computers and computer graphics based to some degree on my fondness for computer gaming. It has provided me with a comfortable living even though other than hacking up a Space Wars clone with a buddy I’ve done no game programming, and certainly non of commercial value. I’m certain it will be so for some of those young men. In a similar fashion like those that like Baseball or Football, some will gain scholarships or other value from their sporting endeavors. A lot won’t, some of them will ruin their lives pursuing a hopeless goal. Once adults this is their choice. nay their right.

              1. Well, I found one thing in your essay (you need more paragraph returns) that I can agree with, “Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.” I would put in that category, all the new genders that have been invented, and the new Truth, that Drag Queens are just helping little children find the queer within.

                Thanks for sharing.

                1. Carl, how old are you? How many people under oh, 40 do you know?
                  Because if you don’t know younger people, “this is my opinion” and “those darn gamer kids” means nothing.
                  My kids both game when they have time. They also read. The eldest isn’t great on watching TV. Just like I’m not.
                  They both have busy lives with friends and hobbies. And all their friends are the same way.
                  I think when you conflate “Stays in parents’ basement playing games” as the CAUSE of the problem, you don’t see it’s an effect, instead. If they can’t get into a normal life ANY WAY yeah, that’s all they can do. This is particularly true of boys.
                  At that point blaming them for their predicament again is throwing anvils, not buoys.

                  1. Yes, of course, I have younger friends, a writer or two, and musician friends, all under fifty. And yes, I’m sure some or many of them ‘game.’ I guess I’m speaking mainly of myself when I say video games are a big waste of time. Yes, they are for me. I have a son, 36 and a daughter, 35, and sadly, at this point no grand children. But if they ever get busy and have some, when the little tykes are older, I will tell them, ‘hold the phone!’ BTW, the cousin of the video game, the little hand held computers we call phones… People on here must know that in the heart of silicon valley(s), techie parents are not giving their little ones ‘phones’ to play with because they know it RETARDS their learning and social skills. These are the people who get wealthy making and selling phones. So, there’s that. Also, I’m 74. Big whoop.

                    Oh, Merry Christmas to all!

                    1. Techie parents in the heart of SV are few and far between, have maybe one child, seldom see that child, and virtue signal like crazy.

                      You may also want to look at what the kids look like when they grow up. The results tend to look rather similar to the ones coming out of Hollywood.

        1. > “Reading, study, getting outside and doing things… all vastly superior to playing video games.”

          My reading and math skills shot way up after I discovered computer games as a child.

          1. So did our son. Our son is a gamer. Both computer and board games. He is not a reader of book fiction. Game fiction and scenarios, yes; which involve extensive reading and math. He also has a bachelors. He is an Eagle Scout. He played sports, team sports up until HS. Individual sports in HS (track, golf, and electric carts; latter of which he and his team built). He had better than decent HS grades and very good SAT scores. He is not alone.

            Did it take us staying on top of what he was learning? 100% Not sure how that was different when I was in school in ’60s – early ’70s.

        1. 100%. It is interactive. It requires quick decision making. It requires hand/eye coordination. It can be mentally exhausting.

          Heck. It is recommended that elderly play computer games. It keeps the brain active.

          1. See I’ll disagree there. Gaming can be addictive.

            In the same way that literally every other “non-addictive” action can be addictive in the wrong person’s hands, or if someone has nothing else in their life.

            1. Science disagrees rather fervently in this case. (Admittedly that means less post-Covid that it used to.)

              As well, I strongly question the use of the word “addiction” in your assertion.

              The word addiction implies that the game is the thing that creates the obsession in an otherwise healthy individual, which is backwards.

              An already -unhealthy- individual obsesses over video games and usually quite a few other things. Some people do suffer from obsessive/compulsive disorder. That’s a thing. Those obsessions latch onto all sorts of objects. The list is long.

              Alcohol and opiates -create- addiction. Video games do not.

              1. The Phantom DSM-5 seems to agree with your definition(e.g. , listing several substances and one action (gambling) which they consider addictive. That said other sources seem to list gaming ( and sex and half a dozen other things) as “addictive”. I think your assessment of the nature of addiction

                “The word addiction implies that the game is the thing that creates the obsession in an otherwise healthy individual, which is backwards.”

                leads insight into why gaming MIGHT be considered addictive. Like many activities we find pleasurable there is a reward feedback loop where some thing causes our bodies to release substances/hormones (endorphins, Oxytocin, other brain chemicals) which we perceive as making us feel good. Games can be an escape from unpleasantness in the life or home, they can be a place where a person thwarted in other pursuits can find success, a place where we can become ” or at least pretend to become” something else. Thus the person again and again come back for that experience to get that boost. But just like with the addictive substances over time it takes more and more of an input to get that boost. This is part of the classical feedback loop of addiction. This need for more to the exclusion of other tasks is part of that addictive behavior loop.

      2. How hard did the gamers hit back? The gamers hit back so hard that the progs who caused Henry Cavil to leave The Witcher have been trying to use Gamergate as an excuse to explain Cavil’s actions. Gamergate, and the pushback that the left got, is a boogeyman to the progs. It’s like a more mild version of TDS.

    2. Concur 100% on the Brat Boom decade group. About half of them, maybe more, are decent folks. But the others are trash. Very strong bimodal distribution.

    3. Since you got piled on, let me chime in with a bit of support for your side:

      A certain subset of videogames are designed to be psychologically addictive, and the game programmers will talk about the specific mechanisms they target in explicit terms. Usually it’s some form of grinding coupled with a set of rewards with some probability: The probabilistic nature of the reward holds people’s attention more than a deterministic outcome would. Very similar to slot machines in a casino.

      As game mechanics go, these are pretty mindless and empty ones too, and they serve to waste people’s time. They aren’t an achievement in the comprehension or exploitation of some mechanic, they aren’t an achievement in precision or accuracy. They’re just dutifully pulling the slot machine lever enough times. Simulated drudgery somehow made compelling. If an RPG is a way of telling a story in an interactive visual-audio-form, then this is mindless filler used to get in the way of that so that it can be padded out to however many hours instead of the tenth of that that is actually there.

      I certainly don’t believe gamers need to be bothered by a moral crusade, or the Stalinist lunacy of our time, any more than 80s D&D players needed Jack Chick. I also think the medium is a legitimate form of art or way of telling a story, and the interactiveness provides possibilities that don’t exist in any other form. But it can be turned into something harmful.

      (Interactiveness, the degree and immediacy of it, is also why something like computer programming can become compelling to people of a certain mindset, enabling things of great complexity to be learned without any perception of difficulty, and with a sort of legitimate fun to it. If that could be transferred to anything else it’d be a revolution in education, though deliberate attempts to do so always seem to fall flat.)

      1. Thank you for that. I do know a little about programming, very little, as I took a course in Basic in college in the 80s. I know that’s kindergarten level, but I picked up a little with it. And I’ve had classes on digital architecture — or, nor, and, nand gates, that sort of thing., courses in data transmission, data storage, CPU architecture and functions. I got a AS in Electronics Technology and worked as a tech writer most of my life. Used to know how to read a schematic. So, I know more than most about what is happening beyond the keyboard or mouse. And I also know, the more complex it all becomes, the more ‘magical’ it becomes to some.

        Anyway, long way of saying that I’m not a tech illiterate, nor am I a Luddite. But it, gaming, leaves me cold. Also, I will agree, that gaming contributes to certain skills. Case in point, one of my son’s friends (they used to game together) parlayed his interest and skills into a job as a gaming programmer. He programs video games. Makes good money.

        Anyway, thanks for your explanation.

        1. Not a gamer. Never have been. In fact video games make me nauseous (think motion sickness) to even give a little bit of attention to. As many gaming programming studios that have been year locally, that is something I never applied to work at. I don’t play them makes no sense to make them. I programmed for 35 (ish) years. I found programming addictive, fun, addictive, financially rewarding (not the big bucks, but not chicken feed either), still addictive. I’ve turned away work since I’ve retired because I refuse to get sucked back in. Addiction does not have to be destructive.

          1. > “video games make me nauseous (think motion sickness)”

            Not ever having had this problem, I’m curious: does this apply even to non-action games? Does a computer version of chess bother you, for example?

            > “Addiction does not have to be destructive.”

            When I was young I was told that I’m psychologically addicted to breathing. I always thought “Maybe, but I don’t plan on kicking the habit any time soon.”

              1. Sub-addictions of worldbuilding, editing, storycraft, poetry, characterization, and plotting. Yes, plotting. Very much plotting…

                I get cranky when I can’t engage in story in some form or other. Writing scratches the itch. I can stop anytime. Any. Time.


            1. It is the movement of the games. I’d rather read than play card games or minefield. Have no desire to compete on game boards.

              “psychologically addicted to breathing”

              Me too. Agree. Don’t plan on kicking that habit anytime soon either.

              1. That’s not that uncommon; it was first noted in Doom, possibly the first “first-person shooter” (Wolfenstein doesn’t have quite the same movement). Apparently the perspective that “you” are walking somewhere with your head moving as you step, while your body isn’t actually moving, really bothers some people.

                1. My wife had that problem with older PC games. As textures have gotten better and more detailed in games, it’s slowly gone away. But 20 years ago, she couldn’t play a first-person perspective game for more than a few minutes before getting mild vertigo.

                  1. I get more than mild vertigo. Not that I haven’t tried newer action games. OTOH I get vertigo with 3d movies like those at Disney, and Museums. Also easily get car motion sickness, vertigo, on narrow winding roads. Same problem when I tried transition-multi-focus contact lens. Not interested in trying again anytime soon or ever.

                    Nice to have it confirmed. I don’t know of anyone else who admits they have problems too.

                    1. My astigmatism causes me to get queasy in the back seat of cars if my prescription needs changing. Any flashing light – certain movie and TV scenes, video games, some rock concerts – causes me trouble if I can’t look away to a dim, non-flashing thing. It varies from game to game. I first noticed it back in the late 1980s and it hasn’t gone away.

                    2. “astigmatism” <
                      I have astigmatism too. Often it has been The Only Reason I have needed prescription changes. Required when I was wearing contacts. Less, unless huge change, now that I’m wearing glasses not so critical. OTOH my astigmatism diagnosis tends to change eyes. Optometrists tend to go “huh?”, until they’ve seen it happen year after year. Now that I’ve diagnosed with cataracts hasn’t happened much. I am going to need new glasses, now after 4 years, but only because the frames are starting to slightly fail. That and the reading portion has been getting worse each year.

                      I went back to glasses, which I despise, over contacts because with contacts I had to have reading glasses all day. With glasses, even with progressive lenses, I could read, do programming, without the glasses. Resulting in rarely wearing glasses. Got so unless needed the sun lens transition, or driving, never wore them. Now? Need them to read … On computer of phone can compensate for that. Labels, and books, not so much.

                2. That’s what causes motion sickness: your senses disagree about what’s out there, which could be poison, and your body decides to rid itself of the most likely cause of poisoning: what you last ate.

                3. it was also theorized years before as ‘VR sickness’ and it has very much proven real as VR headsets became a real commercial item.

        1. Phone games are mad addictive, but even there, you need to have …. vulnerabilities. Dan became addicted to them when he was here alone while I was finishing the other house…. But he got over it, when we got here.

          1. Phone games (the whole gacha game genre in general really) and also many of the more modern games that use a lootbox system can be addictive to an extent. MMORPGs are also notorious for sucking people in to grinding for long periods of time to earn rewards. (I know nothing about this despite having played World of Warcraft for eighteen years. Nope. Never happened. Not once. Ever. Nuh-uh.)

    4. The folks that taught the millennial and zoomers? Boomers and gen x. The politicians, generals, and gsa administration folks? Boomers and gen x. CEOs, managers, money men? Boomers and gen x.

      The gens may keep getting worse, but they are digging in the holes made by those coming from before. I’m sadly classified as millennial, but I couldn’t even vote until duh won. All of the idiots in power today won office before my parents met.

  16. <

    blockquote>This kind of abusive system destroys people.



    The abuse and the destruction are, as far as I can tell, the point, and all the parts of the system that aren’t directly aimed at that, are there to give deniability to the abusers and the destroyers.

  17. I enjoyed shoving in my professors’ faces in college that I wanted to be a housewife and mother. Of course. this was back when doing the work well meant you could still get a good grade, even if your professors thought you were an evil subversive Conservative.

    Maybe it’s the circles my kids run in, but most of my kids’ friends have come from some pretty messed-up family situations, from parental abuse, to parental alcoholism, to being kicked out of the house without warning on your 18th birthday. Yeah, bad parents have been around forever, but I don’t think they used to be around in these numbers. Like I said, maybe it’s just the friends my kids picked up. Having daughters, I’ll also add that there don’t seem to be a lot of guys looking to settle down with a nice young lady and start a family. Your mileage of course may vary. My eldest daughter did marry, to a young man with a crappy family situation of course, but they divorced because she wanted to become a he, and he wanted to become a she. Now eldest daughter is on testosterone and has legally changed her name, and I do wonder if I did something wrong somewhere, but I’m learning to cope with what happened.

    Then of course, there are the kids that are permanently messed up. By that I mean the kids who were supposed to be learning language at a certain age, and didn’t because of the WuFlu, and now that ship has sailed, and they can still learn, but not at the best formative time to do so. I also wonder how kids who were forced to eat outside in the cold, six feet apart, with masks on, are going to fare in the future.


    The above is evidence of the un-ending, all-pervasive psyop being run on all of us, and especially our kids, by government.

    More healthcare, there was a MAIDs colouring book released by a governmnemt office to explain MAID to kids. It sounds like a questionable joke from the Babylon Bee, but they really did it. MAiD = Medical Assistance in Dying. Coloring book. For realz.

    In other news, parents of the kids at Oakville Trafalgar High have resorted to suing the school board, because the male teacher with the enormous fetish breasts is still teaching, wearing said fetish get-up. Lawsuit announced this week.

    The kids are doing pretty good in the face of that, you ask me.

    1. because the male teacher with the enormous fetish breasts is still teaching

      I think the people who were saying that “he can’t possibly be serious, he must be trolling” were whistling past the graveyard.

      1. I say he’s a safety hazard. A woman teaching in that environment, if heavily “endowed” would do all she could to make sure she didn’t get her superstructure hurt. That dude . . . Ick.

            1. That big circular saw shown in one of the early videos has my vote. 😀

              I’ve got one of those. You keep everything you don’t want cut well away from the blade.

              1. Oh yeah. I have profound respect for all power tools, large and small. Anything with a blade or bit can bite you, but hand-tools at least take a bit longer to do major damage. (Most of the time.)

                1. When I was in cabinetry school I counted my fingers at the beginning of the machine room session and counted them again at the end. A little secret ritual to be sure I didn’t lose any. Worked so far, still have the original set.

                  In all truth, with hand tools I’m constantly getting little nicks and dings in my hands. Those oopsie moments that ensure every piece I make contains a little bit of me. ~:D But in my experience it would be difficult to cut off a digit with hand tools. You’d have to be a world-class idiot.

                  But with a table saw? One blink will do it. I go heavy on jigs and fixtures to avoid getting my fingers near the spinning blades of destruction. Machines are not a good place to be brave. Cowardice is the order of the day.

      2. Oh yes, Mr. ShopTeacher is deadly serious about his cosplay.

        So is the school board. They maintain that they have no power to enforce a dress code. So is the teacher’s union, they maintain Mr. ShopTeacher can do whatever the F- he wants, and nobody can say anything about it. So is the school, they’ve called the cops on demonstrators multiple times for daring to stand around on the sidewalk with signs.

        Is anyone thinking about the kids in all this? Their parents are, hence the lawsuit, but zero official government bodies have moved to curtail Mr. ShopTeacher’s pursuit of his fetish to the exclusion of all else.

        Likewise I thought the official MAiD colouring book had to be a gag. Had to be.

        Nope. It’s real. Contains links-chain to the real thing through Twittler. They really did go there.

        So in case anybody says your kid is a wuss for having anxiety disorder these days, there’s your comeback. MAiD colouring book and mentally ill sex-fetishist shop teachers, both official government programs.

        1. Yesterday the British cops arrested a woman for standing on a public sidewalk outside a closed women’s health center (which performs abortions). Just standing. Praying silently, but you couldn’t tell without asking her.

          So now standing on a sidewalk is A Threat To Their Authoriteh! which Must Be Punished!

          1. I saw that. SOCMMOB is now illegal in England. (Standing On the Corner Minding My Own Business) That should be an interesting court appearance.

            Can you arrest someone who does not have a restraining order against them for standing outside a given location, doing nothing? I strongly doubt it. But hey, it’s a brave new world eh?

            Still, another great example of why we do not talk to the cops. We do not answer their questions, we do not offer explanations or information. We provide name/rank/serial number when required by law, and that’s it.

  19. I’ve taught hundreds of boys and girls, starting at age 6-7…and while it’s not a random sample (mostly middle or upper middle class), I have found that, on the whole, they are impressively impervious to nonsense…I always stress that they should think for themselves, be creative, and that I might be dead wrong on something, so don’t take anything as a given..(they know I graduated from an extremely famous school, or two) ..But by Junior High, some of them have conformed to the current nonsense, but most have not, without getting in trouble…My own kids, pretty much the same…

  20. Very well-put, Sarah, both you and Raptor in the comments with some of his experiences (and Ian, too). Even having found your group and knowing that what I’ve been through isn’t unusual despite being older than both of your sons I still feel completely lost and like I failed thanks to all the messes you and Raptor described, not having a degree (despite being lucky enough to have only had a small amount of quickly paid off debt from it). And despite the age difference I find a lot of what your older son talks about in the area where the discussion that inspired this series happens very relatable (as well as what you’ve reported your younger son has been through – and is going through for that matter). All of this really did need to be said and I hope anyone who reads it is at least seriously considering the points made. These are very real problems and you don’t want to send people suffering from them over to the other side just because they at least seem to be listening and offering understanding even as their actual solutions are just making these problems worse.

  21. I’m not going to comment on my observations at Day Job, for several reasons. I will say that Gen-Covid is struggling mightily to regain those lost eighteen-months to two years.

    1. The kids who graduated in 2020-2022 are floundering and opting out of the traditional paths. Boys slightly more than girls.

      I’m around mostly home schoolers and their non-home schooled friends. I see a bunch of them recognized the very dubious value of video college classes and sat out. A bunch of them found the vax mandates too high risk and sat out. A bunch of them still can’t get entry level work, or can only get part-time.

      A kid who sat out of college a couple years, can’t get hired, and has spent the last two years loose on the interwebs sharing bootleg copies of Jung, selling original music on Spotify, getting paid to help people through video game quests, and selling crafts on Etsy is a very different sort of person than a kid who graduated and went straight to college. I don’t think college attendence will recover any time soon.

      I suspect that’s part of the crackdown on online payment systems, and part of the governmental hostility towards gig workers: the kids are opting out, and they can afford it as long as they sacrifice some of the luxuries young adults traditionally have, like automobiles and moving out of parental homes.

    2. Yeah Elder Daughter teaches 8th grade. The kids that were in 6th grade in 2020 have hit her class. One of the most charitable things her coworkers have called them is semi-feral. They have no self control, don’t really understand proper classroom behavior, missed LOTS of content that would have been taught in the end of 6th and through 7th grade. and are VERY hard to redirect/control. Even her advanced Algebra class (which in previous years was a set of Hermione Grangers, both male and female) have far less control and focus. High school is NOT going to go well for them. I think Zoom teaching worked well for almost no one.

  22. Why? Well, they’re cheaper.

    Not really true any more and never the real reason.

    They are indentured servants in all but name, and ones you don’t have to house, clothe, or feed.

    But if they quit or are fired that H1B visa goes bye-bye and you go back to the old country. So, you work on Saturday and Sunday and show up at 0600 and leave at 2200.

    In theory you do more work, but in mentally skilled jobs burnout happens long before 40 hours, much less 100. But on paper theylook cheaper because they log 2x to 2.5x hours for roughly the same pay you could get a desperate citizen to do.

    And unlike they desperate citizen they’re afraid to tell you to f-off and quit.

    Managers preferring H1B are less about cost savings and more about the thrill of having their own digital Tara.

  23. Nicely said. Interesting perspective on how the system has been warped to handicap the younger generations.
    We pulled our son out in the middle of sixth grade. I felt I never homeschooled properly, and he was left to do a lot of his own educating. He seems better “educated” and has more common sense and sense of “reality” than most of those I run into in his age bracket.

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