Bio-Engineering

 

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We’re engaged in very weird bio-engineering experiments and we don’t know what we’re doing, or how it works, or what the results will be.

It’s become an open secret that many of the “mass shooters” are either people who are on anti-depressants or who just quit them.

My kids probably needed medicine for ADHD. Look, my husband and I have all the stigmata. There’s a very good chance. But I fought against giving the kids ritalin when they were really young, because I had seen a ton of kids where they got ritalin and their personality changed completely. Worse, they never learned to deal with themselves, to manage themselves and who they are, for lack of a better term.

We are now for the first time in history, as far as I can tell, having entire generations come of age who never knew who they are chemically unaltered.

And it’s not “just” ritalin and anti-depressants, either. It’s a ton of other things, some of which are not supposed to have psych or emotional side effects. But do. Perhaps in a minority of people, perhaps in a majority, but it does have effects.

I know that illnesses can, too, like the flu.  The flu can cause an “after effect” of extreme depression.  Doctors tend not to tell you that. But I’ve had it a few times. Now I know what it is and I discount it.

But there are other things. I got very, very ill with singulair.  People keep telling me that singulair doesn’t even have side effects of that sort. But get any doctor alone, a good doctor, and they’ll squirm and say “Yeah, we keep hearing that. We just don’t know how or WHY.”

The effects on me were terrifying. I’m just now starting to write again. It shouldn’t have anything to do with that.  Maybe. But I know that from about the first week, my ability to remember things started to come back. At the end there, I couldn’t hold a thought in my head for more than five minutes. So… It was affecting me, but I didn’t know.

Which is the most terrible part of this. We trust the thinking meat, but what we’re thinking with is affected, and you don’t know it…

This came to mind because the boss over at instapundit had an article at USA today about selling contraceptives over the counter.  And I was talking with a friend about the weird psychological effects of the pill on some of us.  They put me on it twice, once while they were doing a bunch of tests for the infertility treatment and, in terms of liability, they couldn’t risk my being pregnant.  Once a few years ago, trying to figure out what would fix it.

Both times, I had a major side effect of depression and the hormones didn’t work as they should.  I got pregnant while on the “menopausal pill” which is weirdly weighted and very small.  Apparently it made me more “normal”.  Eh.

But there are psychological effects, and those are the worrisome ones.  Women on the pill prefer more “feminine” men, men who are less aggressive and have softer features.

Since most women these days pick their husbands or boyfriends while on the pill, they’re changing what the next generation is selected for.  And btw might have a lot to do with “toxic masculinity” because that type of men tend to have a more underhanded “dominance” than larger, more masculine men.  There’s a name and a pattern for it, and Dave Freer has told me it’s the same in ape bands, so it’s something very deep.

But heaven help us, that’s what the west is selecting for, without even knowing it.

In the same way, we’re feralizing our pets, animals who are practically our symbionts.

This occurred to me a while ago, and then I realized that other people have been thinking the same.

Think about it.  We know from the Siberian fox experiment you can tame an animal in ten generations of selective breathing.

Now think about the best cats and dogs.  None of them are reproducing.  In the US compliance with spaying and neutering is so complete that shelters are importing strays from other countries to be adopted. (Dogs. Cats are more likely to escape young and reproduce in vast feral colonies.)  Even twenty years ago there were guys with boxes of puppies outside walmart. Now we have to get puppies (or dogs) from elsewhere.  And then we spay them.

Now, I understand this is really bad in places like Australia, where felines can take down vast swathes of marsupial wild life.

In the US, the impact of feral cats is not the same as that of one “eco-power” windmill.  Not saying they don’t have an impact, mind. It’s just not the same.

We’re not going to eliminate feral cat colonies. And maybe that’s a good thing, because escaped or discarded cats that are still predisposed to like humans are still reproducing.  Dogs… Dogs who’ve been our best friends and without whom we’d not be where we are? The ones we allow to reproduce are either bizarre or come from countries where they’re practically feral.

What does all this mean?  I don’t know.

It looks like we’re conducting these bizarre experiments, which I’m not 100% sure where they lead.

Yesterday on Facebook someone said something about “we’ll go to the stars. And when we go, we’ll leave the Earth so clean no one will know.”

And I wonder. I wonder if it’s happened before.

What if there was a great civilization before us, and they did the type of bizarre biological things we’re doing, to themselves.  And what if they feralized their pets with their “responsible breeding.”  Perhaps some of the animals who now hang around humans and are domesticated but not tame are what remains of those pets.  Perhaps the great symbiont of humanity’s last civilizational interaction was the Raccoon.

And what will our descendants look like, as we’re allowing all these chemicals to change who we are, how we think, with whom we mate?

I don’t know. And neither do you. And neither does anyone else.

And maybe it’s for the best….

Humans are, after all, the self-domesticating animal.  We change the world, but most of all we change ourselves.

Perhaps we’ll get to the stars and we’ll meet aliens who are us.

And perhaps–

Perhaps it will turn out for the best in the best of all possible worlds.

But I’d feel better if anyone at all were thinking about it, instead of careening merrily down the same path, all together, without a thought.

 

Yeah, It Was Supposed To Be A Guest Post

Yeah, it was supposed to be a guest post, but the hamsters ate it.

So, since I’m actually being nibbled to death by ducks (in league with the hamsters) we’re going to devote today to “D*mn it, Babylon bee, you had one job!”

I mean, I understand they’re supposed to be satire.  They probably do too. But when Poe’s law reigns, the Bee has become…

America’s paper of record!

Ocasio-Cortez: ‘Everyone’s Pay Should Be Equal, But My Pay Should Be More Equal Than Others

Chick-Fil-A Celebrates Pride Month By Serving Delicious Chicken Sandwiches To Everyone Just Like All The Other Months

House Democrats Draft Legislation That Would Make It A Hate Crime To Eat At Chick-Fil-A

Vox Calls For Dictionary.com To Take Down Definitions Of Words They Don’t Like

I mean, really.  How hard is it to write satire.

This one is a good example, actually.  Who would promise to cure a disease if elected?

Elizabeth Warren Promises To Cure Smallpox.

Oh, wait, never mind.

Messages and Beliefs

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It is one of the distressing things of our time that we have a semi-functional (when not engaging in happy fun circular firing squads. Also, still unable to do anything about massive voter fraud in any coherent fashion. Also still wanting to be loved by the dying press) political party and one that has lost its frigging mind.

Okay, to believe Heinlein the Democrats lost their frigging minds on or about the second world war, by being infiltrated by communist agitators.  But this kind of alien taking over (and wearing an Edgar suit) takes time. Anyone who listened to them and had lived abroad had a pretty good idea what was going on from the late 70s or so, and heck, at the very least we knew — because of the fashionable left entertainment creators in the media and literature, not to mention the news which were part of the same complex — that they’d decided the Soviet Union was gong to win, and all they could do was lose slower.

This didn’t make those people particularly different from the Republicans, who also thought that Communism would win out, and maybe had some kind of upper moral hand — at least as punishment for our sins, I guess — except that on the left side of the isle they seemed more willing to actively collaborate with it, perhaps for a dascha on the Ptomac.

The fall of communism shattered that.  Even though the truth didn’t come out (I can’t do enough to recommend you buy and read Judgement in Moscow) and in fact the wholly-owned left refused to let the people know just how horrible life behind the iron curtain was (which has allowed them to engage in tu quoque and attack the minds of our school children with the idea that our free economy is “just as horrible” because it’s not paradise.) the shock still propagated through the system.

Before 91 I’d say there might have been some true-believing communists, some young, indoctrinated and thoroughly naive people who thought communism would bring about paradise on Earth.  Heck, some of them were my friends in college. They were too young to comprehend the disillusionment that Stalin caused in another group of true believers (leaving behind only the cynical and the opportunistic) and like today’s young people, in much of Europe and the “best” schools of the US had been kept in the dark and fed fertilizer.

Are there still young and naive true-believing communists?  Kind of.  It requires a level of stupidity or at least unthinking that makes us all make fun of Occasional Cortex. But even she is not so stupid that she buys into communism — oh, oops, sorry, “democratic socialism.” Gulags with a smile — without extra incentive.  The extra incentive is that tu quoque. I.e. the educational establishment has doubled down on the idea that the US is no good, very bad, practically a horror show, uniquely awful among nations.  In Europe they add that Europe is not much better.

So when you bring up people standing on bread lines as in the Soviet Union, or rummaging trashcans in happy democrat socialist Venezuela, that old horror, Bernie, afraid of dying before he gets his dascha on the Potomac comes back with nonsense about how at least they get a minimum, while in the US — a country in which our poor have obesity problems — they starve in silence.  (The only people close to starving are drug addicted homeless, and we wish they’d be a little quieter on the streets of our major cities, but no one can accuse them of being silent. Also, you know, our poverty and starvation is why Central America is trying to immigrate en masse.  No, he’s not that stupid, but he thinks we are.)  And always there is the “Capitalism is ruining the environment” with a date line no more than ten years off, because, you know, that’s scary and will stampede the sheep into socialism/communism even though the results — even from socialist-lite Europe — are always horrific.

In the name of making communism — that no longer can be held up as a perfect system — more appealing, the left has taught people to hate their own countries, their own cultures, and ultimately their own species.  We deserve to go extinct, or live like bands of foraging apes, for the “environment.”  As though the “environment” had some sort of sentience.  And their scares, btw, are always nonsense.  When global cooling, global warming, ozone and the heartbreak of alar all have as a solution “more state control” even though communist countries have some of the worst environmental records in the history of man, you know you’re dealing with something that has nothing to do with pristine rivers and green forests.

I think this is what has caused the latest attack of stupidity, the bizarre, sideways upside down nonsense they’re engaged in.

You see, man does not live of bread alone. Or of fear and disdain alone.  To motivate their troops they need a narrative.  Hell, to stop them thinking and straying off the reservation, they need a narrative.

What makes me giggle is that in this as in so many other things, the boomer who are older than I (I never considered myself a boomer, since boomer used to stop in 55 or 56 when I was young. And they called us stuff like they call the millenials now) the ones who had their hey-day in 68 refuse to believe the world has moved on or that their nostalgia isn’t our nostalgia.

We’ve seen this over the years in movies where the parents are still that generation, even though that generation no longer has kids in high school.  Or in which everyone still looks in awe at their “activism.” Or whatever.

Now they’re trying to bring nostalgia as a motivator into the political realm.  They’re trying to make Trump into “Literally Nixon.”  By bringing in John Dean to… I don’t know. Say Trump is worse than Nixon? With hilarious results. Also, note that every Republican president since Nixon has been “worse than Nixon” according to this fraudulent jailbird.

What do they expect from this?  Well, what happened in their youth. They expect people to fold and just believe them.

They’re missing several things:

1- They no longer have control of all the media, and their gabs at the tech companies are just going to get them treated as publishers and monopolies.  Some of what they’re doing borders on RICO.

2- People know they’re not the only ones who aren’t leftist. This is not going back in the bottle. It just isn’t. At best they can piss us off, but they can’t squeeze us back into that place of dark loneliness.

3- The democrats have for real gone completely insane.  (I almost typed inane and that applies too.)  Their electoral promises now amount to “we’ll destroy you faster.”

4- the people who remember sixty eight and were actually protesters, have a tendency to be in mobility scooters and tote oxygen tanks.  (Remember the peace demonstrations under Bush?)

5- They still have the press, but the press doesn’t have the power to amplify their nonsense into “really important” and “the wave of the future.”  The women’s marches for nothing much look and feel like the women’s marches for nothing much.

The thing that amplified the unrest in the sixties was that all the best minds were convinced each successive generation would be larger, and so the “youth” would be a massive and undeniable voting block. The kind you couldn’t ignore.  And the media gave the impression that everyone in that generation was ultra-left.

Neither of those applies. No one is afraid of nursing home protesters.  Heck, we’re not even particularly afraid of antifas who melt and cry when they meet with anyone fighting back.  And who can only have any type of foothold where the police connives with them.

What we must remember is this: People need something to believe in and something to fight for.  What the left is offering is “Lets all kill ourselves because we’re the worst ever, or destroy ourselves with socialism in expiation of our sins.”

That’s not — ultimately — a good motivator.  People who are chronically depressed and miserable destroy things, but they can’t build.

If we go around convinced that “in the end they’ll win” we’re just cooperating with them.  We’re also as wrong as people were in the sixties and the seventies.

In the long run nihilist cults never win. Are you going to let them destroy Western civilization in their self-immolation pyre?

No?

Then keep in mind that though things are going to get worse — much much worse — because the other side is dying and will fight back with everything: in the end we are on the side of reality.

In the end all they can do is LARP their big victories while preaching nihilism, punishment and death.

We don’t win tomorrow. And it’s going to get worse. As I said, they have corroded our body politic, our education, our press.  But note they’re not acting like they’re winning. Because they know they can’t.  At some deep level, they know they’re just trying to keep the illusion long enough to move stage (ah) left. But the worm is already turning.

Build and preach life.  The future is so exciting and limitless and all we have to do is open our eyes and work for it.  Build, learn, create.  The universe waits human colonies. (All species colonize. The ones that don’t die.) There’s amazing knowledge to gain.  The stars are calling us.  And in the stars there’s freedom.

In the end we win, they lose. Be not afraid.

 

 

Those Who Will Not See

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When our time is looked at in history, future historians — if there are any — will be torn between laughing their heads off and disgust.

Recently fell across someone on FB who thought the West had started the crusades against “peaceful” Islam, just out of how evil and imperialistic we were, just because.

This person has a university degree.

When told how wrong she was, she fell back on how the past is unknowable.

You know these are things she was taught, at great expense and effort.  Further, her teachers inculcated in her the idea she was so smart and special, the culmination of all intelligence and knowledge in the history of man, which prevents this person and her cohorts from ever examining what they were taught in the light of reason.  I mean, they don’t want to come to different conclusions, and thereby become “stupid”.

It’s not official censorship, the “church” of SJW can’t formally excommunicate you, but everyone on twitter knows they do, anyway, and worse, destroy your life, for having just one slightly unapproved thought.

Neither government nor church, they managed to make knowledge and belief into a virtue signal, which keeps their devotees and at this point many who just want to have a job and a life cowed and quiet and unable to read or research the real past.

Thus we have:

-People who attack capitalism with tu quoque fallacies, while never facing the HUNDRED MILLION graves of socialism.  Yes, I know “capitalism is just as bad indirectly.”  (Even though that can never be proven, it’s what they say, as deflection.) Which is why refugees go only in one direction.  Also, socialism is JUST AS BAD INDIRECTLY. But they never think that, or that the world is nowhere a utopia. But capitalism has fed and clothed more people than any other system, ever.

-Attack and destroy the statues of people who made an uneasy peace with slavery, never considering that maybe the future will consider something they cherish — say elective abortion, for instance — just as great an evil, and thereby topple all the “sacred” cows of our time.  Ability to look in a mirror? None.

They believe so intensely in the “arrow of history” of Marxist faith, and the idea that they’re so advanced that it never occurs to them it is not for the future to judge the past.  You weren’t there. Yes, you can say slavery is an evil. (Arguably one of the greatest evils humanity can do.) BUT you can’t say that whatever people did in the past to cope with it/compound with it, invalidated all the good they did.

Slavery appears as evil to us now, starkly so, because it’s uneeded. We have machines for most of the unpleasant/awful labor. In the past, most people knew it was an evil, but couldn’t let go of it.  Oh, and they had their rationalizations, too. Just as we have them for things we know are evil but tolerate or compound with, because how is one single person to stop it?

Being human means you live in the time you live in. And people are not the same across time, nor are their circumstances.

-Make idols of foreigners they don’t understand, or despicable characters — Che Guevara! — whose history they don’t even know.

-Read only the approved tracts, because history is unknowable and knowing the “wrong things” mean you’re “uneducated.”

-Believe there was a perfect, utopia-like matriarchy, which the evil men destroyed (apparently unhappy in paradise, who knew) and men have since then conspired across cultures, languages and possibly time to keep women subjugated. Instead of looking at biology and the reproductive processes of mankind as to why women have by and large not been as influential in public life.

-Ignore the fact that women are probably more influential than men in early childhood education and training. Always were. Will always be. And that this shapes civilizations.

-Only believe in female power when it involves taking male power.

And many, many more outrages you guys can probably conjure up.

It occurs to me that though no cage or bars are visible, they’re as much prisoners as anyone kept in a too small cage and taught to hate freedom.  This applies:

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.
                                                                                                                   -Robert A. Heinlein

The same that goes for state and church goes, with bells on, for “Any execrable philosophy dreamed up by a 19th century grifter who created a just-so tale of which the intelligentsia refuses to let go.”

If You Don’t Work, You Die- a Blast from the Past from July 6 2013

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If You Don’t Work, You Die- a Blast from the Past from July 6 2013

I was reading a Nero Wolfe book the other day and there is a man we’re obviously supposed to dislike going on about how it’s stupid to try to feed all the hungry in the world.  It puzzled me how this could be even disputed, much less a bad opinion.  Given the different kleptocratic kakistocracies around the world, trying to feed all the poor is in fact to support dictators and evil men. Trying to feed individual, targeted poor is different, but then you can’t feed “all the poor in the world.”  Of course, this was a time when the power of governmental organization and “scientific governance” were considered forces for good. (This man is also referred to as a Nazi, even though he’s clearly against all forms of socialism, national and otherwise.  Never mind, Rex Stout is dead and his time is not our time. Perhaps he was referring to someone who actually existed and there was stuff about this man I can’t now know.)

My grandmother, who was normally very shrewd had a blind spot a mile wide.  When I was little, we got door-to-door beggars.  (One would like to believe that was stopped by greater prosperity and better programs to help the poor.  One would also like to believe that pigs can fly.  Actually downtown in the city has as many beggars as ever, but the crime rate is so much higher that anyone begging door to door is likely to starve.  People don’t open the door to strangers, anymore.)  Grandma had real trouble not giving to beggars.  Mind you, she rarely gave them money (she rarely had cash money on hand, other than needed to run the house.)  But she’d give them sandwiches, eggs, bread, lengths of fabric.

This drove my mother nuts.  I even understand why, since at the time in Portugal there was an (unofficial) beggars guild and families of hereditary beggars, many of whom mutilated their own children to make them deformed/blind so they could beg.

When we all lived in the same house, more or less (well, mom and dad’s home was a shotgun apartment built out of what used to warehouses along the east side of the house) mom would follow my grandmother to the door when the bell rang “to act as her spine” if the pitch was obviously stupid/false.  Though it will tell you the sort of household I grew up in when you consider that both women agreed you should too give a generous amount to the guy who told the most ingenious, if obviously false story – and also to the guy who could not lie and therefore begged with “Please give me something, for neither my mother nor my father are blind.”  Mom and grandma spent the morning giggling and dissecting his pitch.  “Maybe he means since his parents aren’t blind they see how ugly he is and have cast him out.”  And then people think I’m strange…

Sometime a few days ago, I was reading a book about dinosaurs and it referred to how a dinosaur “probably earned his living.”

Yes, there is a point to all of this.

The other day in this blog, a commenter asked me about the Gods of The Copybook Headings by Rudyard Kipling.

These are supposed to be the lessons of the fables in copybooks, and you write them at the top of the copy, in your fairest hand, to show you got it.  (I will note I was raised on Aesop’s fables.)

And they are – yes, all of them – true even those I wish weren’t.  Anyway, the Copybook headings are a great way of getting a spine when faced with reasonable begging pitches.

How reasonable?  Well, pitches about feeding all the hungry in the world.  Who wouldn’t want to do that.  As someone who did have times of hunger now and then (which is not the same as times of appetite) I very much would like it if it were possible for us to feed, clothe, house everyone in the world – if that were the base level to work from. It’s not possible.  It will never be possible no matter how much our science advances.  The flaw is not in our science but in ourselves.

Someone at the panel on transhumanism spoke out against extending life because “we already don’t have enough food to feed everyone.”  I couldn’t beat that one down, of course, because it went into politics and policy, into the governments people choose, into how redistribution is always redistribution of famine.  I couldn’t go into it because it had nothing to do with technology of life extension.  It had to do with Old Adam.  Or perhaps Old Cain.

There is no such a thing as a lack of food in the world.  And when there is in a particular region, at a particular time, it is usually the result of a truly craptastic government.  Anyone who looks at the two Koreas can’t but conclude that the fault is not with lack of food but with a government so constituted that it makes it impossible for people to “earn a living.”  (Anyone but our president, who, having been thoroughly indoctrinated in Marxism likely thinks that SK steals from NK.)  Anyone who knows the history of Rhodesia can’t but realize that Zimbabwe is poor because its government chooses not to let its people earn a living.

In fact, it is normally the governments who ignore the gods of the copybook headings and decide everyone must eat, whether they work or not, who bring that sort of ruin and famine to their people.

There is a reason for this.  It is fashionable in the US to talk about people who are on welfare and don’t work.  That is not precisely true.  Yes, there are people on welfare who neither have a regular job nor look for one.  But what might not be understood is that these people are working: they are navigating the labyrinthine bureaucracy and making sure they meet all the guidelines to keep the money flowing.  That is work.  It is just not productive work.  It is a work that is the result of perverse incentives.  These people have become convinced that’s the only thing they can do to survive – so they do it.  And the government functionaries who derive power from their “service” want as many of them as possible under their sway.  So they teach more people how to work at getting money for “free”.  And they put more barriers in the way of those ever wanting to leave that condition.

Then there is minimum income.  We do have the ability to give every adult a certain minimum income, I think.  Or at least we did before we ran the presses at melting speed.  Heinlein in his Fabian socialist days envisioned this as a way to get the economy going.  If every adult has some tiny income, enough to live on if you have three roommates and live on Ramen noodles – say 10k a year – then everything you make above that is in a way disposable.  Not only is there no need, but there is more disposable income to stimulate the economy.  (To understand the appeal of this to Heinlein you have to understand that his most frequent contention with his sister was that they only had a pillow between the two of them.  It’s poverty we now can’t begin to imagine.)  Also, one presumes, since breathing and over eighteen was the criteria, we might spend less on that that on our current welfare system.

And maybe it would be.  Except we hit up on the snag of human nature.  A wise man said “The poor, you shall always have” and He seems likely to be right.  First of all, poverty is relative.  When that man walked in Galilee being poor was usually a fatal condition.  You simply didn’t make enough to eat, or to keep off the cold.  You might not be able to reproduce because you couldn’t support children.  It was a condition of terminal failure.  Unless you somehow clawed up, you’d die of it.

Nowadays, our poor are likely to live in air conditioned houses.  They often – if they’re on assistance particularly – have more children than the very wealthy, and the children have toys and clothes.

Nothing wrong with that, but they’re still considered “poor” – they’re poor in relation to people like me, who are not on assistance, and who live in larger houses and own more stuff and/or who can buy a book just because.  Just like I’m poor in relation to those people who can afford to take European vacations or even who own a mountain cabin to hole up and write in.  (Okay, most people don’t write in mountain cabins.  I don’t know why not.)

The point is that humans are not angels.  This is both good and bad. We’re built on a frame of the great apes, and the great apes are social creatures.  This means they’re also creatures of status.  What we consider poor is a matter of relative status, which means it keeps changing.  If our government doesn’t succeed in Zimbabweing us and we end up in a future where houses clean themselves, where you can have anything you can dream up and order t-d printed, there will still be the “poor”.  They might be those who lack the imagination to have their… replicator create really nifty things, but they’ll still be poor.  They’ll lack status.

The good and bad of the status seeking in humans is envy.  Good?  How can envy be good?  Envy is good when it makes you want what the others have, and instead of this leading to you organizing the community to steal it from them or – alternately – leading a communist revolution, it makes you work harder to “get there”.  Many an Horatio Alger worked so hard they forgot what they were working for and when they got there they couldn’t enjoy it.  BUT many more made it and enjoyed it, and all of them contributed to the wealth of society in general and building that.

There are, however, a group of humans with very low status envy.  Possibly a very large group.  In the seventies, Denver experimented with a minimum guaranteed income scheme.  So did other places.  The results were always the same.  No matter how low you set that income – even if it’s at a level like 10k where you really have to make a crazy effort to survive on it – the majority of people will live on it and stop trying to work or find work.

This might be an evolutionary trait.  The idiot hunter who went off and felled mammoth after mammoth was not only wasting food because his tribe of fifteen could barely eat a mammoth before it spoiled, much less ten – he was also depleting the mammoth herd and ensuring future starvation for his people.

So, the survival trait we inherit is “get enough to live on with minimal work, and don’t strive for more.”

Some of us are broken.  We were given both envy and high principles.  We can’t even contemplate bringing others down to level things, but instead we work madly to increase our status.  (No, it’s not how I think about it, but it’s probably what’s going on in the back of the monkey brain.)  Most of humanity however is functional.  Give them enough to eat, and a place to live, and no matter how unvaried the diet and how small/terrible the place, most people will stay put.

“But Sarah,” you say “Where are the gods of the copybook headings?  Even you say that it’s possible, if we arranged it that way, to feed most people so they don’t need to work.  Why shouldn’t we?”

We shouldn’t because the gods of the copybook headings in fire and terror return.

Government produces nothing.  It doesn’t build that. It doesn’t build anything.  It can’t.  Government is force.  It can, on threat of that force, seize enough of what someone produced to give to someone else.  Even when it “builds” roads or power plants, it does so with confiscated wealth and at the expense of what the owners might have done with that wealth.  (They wouldn’t have?  How do you know?  Remember status.  Throughout history humans have funded research – often in useless stuff – and paid for innovation.  How do you know left to its own devices private capital wouldn’t have created neighbordhood-sized nuclear plants?  Or who knows what?  The one thing we know is that nothing done by government has ever come in on time or under budget.)

When governments start thinking in terms of “feeding the hungry” which in our day becomes “giving things to the continuously redefined poor” what it is actually doing is reducing the number of people working in the productive sector.  Between the bureaucrats working to redistribute wealth and the people working to keep getting the handouts, a huge contingent of people is removed from the productive sector.

When that number reaches the point where the productive sector can’t keep up, a crash ensues.  An Earth-shaking Kaboom, you might say. The “you” in the poem is collective in this case.  “You” individual might survive for a time, without working, given a very wealthy society.  But no society can remain wealthy when it doesn’t “work” – ie. When it produces nothing.  And eventually the gods of the copybook headings, in fire and terror return.

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

There Is No Time Or Distance

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Actually this post should be called “there is no difference.”

This weekend there was an unfortunate kerfuffle in one of the private groups I belong to on Facebook between two people who both read this blog and who both are normally level-headed if feisty.

Unfortunately, as you guys know, I decided this was a fine weekend to sand my living room floor, which, courtesy Euclid Cat had two massive stains (it takes a lot to stain four coats of polyurethane, and thank heavens it hadn’t got to the flooring, but we had furniture there while we worked on the dining room floor and, as a result, we couldn’t even see where he was peeing. I knew it was somewhere in there, but I couldn’t reach it. So…) So I wasn’t aware of the flare up till 14 hours later.

I’m not going to go into the details of it, but I’ll say the reader who is Australian was making a perfectly responsible and sane argument FOR AUSTRALIA. Meanwhile the reader who is American and knows the conditions here didn’t even understand what this person was getting so hot about, since there isn’t the slightest resemblance between the two countries, and the culture is different enough too.

This is when something hit me between the eyes and was a bit of a shock.

I don’t think anyone who hasn’t actually acculturated between two countries understands how different cultures can be, deep down, at the bone level and the most basic reactions level, let alone what causes the difference, from inherited influences to just deep built in assumptions about climate/physical plant/fauna.

And some of the people who have acculturated, at that, might not be self-aware enough to see the difference, and just replace one set of assumptions with another and roll with it.  (Or get caught somewhere between. Well, to some extent we all get caught somewhere between.  The question is, what percentage is in the new country.  I’d say for me, after being in Portugal recently, probably 95% American. There are things trained in before the age of 3 which I’ll never let go of, though some got truly weird with the acculturation, like how I react to “shame.”)

That experience this weekend was the “clicking in” of something that’s been bothering me for a long time.  In our writers’ group I used to run across people who projected modern AMERICAN female back into the time of pharaohs.  One of my best friends refused to believe me when I told her there was zero chance of an alien race having the same university system as the US since even Portugal (avowedly human) doesn’t.  There were other things. You guys have heard me rant about several “historical” books that make the past exactly like the future only with different tech.  The fact that they don’t understand that tech affects not just how people live but how they think, feel and react is another of those things I don’t get, as I think even within living memory we should be able to see how different things have gotten.  See for instance not wearing of aprons, because the clothes are cheap enough and abundant enough that ruining a shirt is not a big deal, unless it’s a very good shirt.

Then there is the foreign thing.  No, seriously. I was utterly stunned when in Friends there was a reference to a Portuguese couple as “Swingers.”  Sure, I’m sure there are Portuguese swingers. There were in the seventies.  And sure, it’s possible to find a couple of them in the US, but that reference was the culmination of a lot of references to the Portuguese are free-flowing, open-minded (in a sexual way) people, and it made my jaw drop.  Portuguese are the product of Moorish and British (in the North) cultural influences. They tend to be repressed around sexual stuff, and even if they do it, don’t talk about it in public.  Then at a conference someone said something about one of my stories betraying the “guilt free” (to sex) attitude of Latin culture.

Not all Latin cultures are the same.  Even Romans, the original Latin culture, were somewhat repressed, for their time, it was the things that they were repressed about that were unimaginably weird.  So, you know, hanging a mural of animal-child copulation in the living room? Cute.  Having sex with your wife midday? Shocking.  Eh.

I think people project Brazilian (because of the language) and maybe French onto Portuguese, but seriously, it’s not the same.  There’s more difference than between American and British (for various reasons too long to go into.)

So I’m used to running into this in the US, but this last trip to Portugal was a LONG and frustrating chain of running into this from the Portuguese side.  I’d already had minor run ins with it in the past — the Portuguese refuse to accept that “My God” jeans isn’t a big brand in the US, for instance. — but this time it was all sorts of things and at all levels, probably reflecting the fact that I’ve been here 34 years and therefore even their minor assumptions rub me wrong.

Assumptions? Oh, sure. There are markers of class. And ideas about what brands are “good” and how you should never ever use or wear the others (and a complete lack of understanding some of those brands don’t exist in the US) and and and and…  It had me rolling my eyes and talking about cultural provincialism.

But until this weekend I didn’t realize how prevalent and universal it is, since the clash took place between two people from native anglophone cultures, both of which are denizens of the net and contact people of other countries, regularly.  Okay, one of them didn’t know she was dealing with a foreigner (except maybe Canadian and those, sorry Chris, aren’t real foreigners. Oh, they are, but… Canada is America’s hat. So, closer.)

This weekend I realized people don’t really believe in foreign countries either. They’re willing to accept that some things (and those usually conform to their mental picture of the generic “culture” or “region”) are different, but that the fundamentals and the cherished unexamined assumptions might be different is unthinkable — literally.  And if we can think of them, we still assume the other country is somehow “wrong” or worse “pretending” to be different to be contrary.

This means, ultimately, that even an era of instant all over the world communication, human tribalism still wins.  And with it, I suppose, nationalism.

There might be a limit to the area a “culture” can occupy, and arguably the US is straining that.  I mean, for those of you who haven’t moved across the country (several times) the culture can be really, really different here too.  Which means we’re even more of a puzzle to foreigners than your average country.  (Confusion to our enemies is good, but I think we also confuse our allies.)

There are other implications: since it’s virtually impossible to avoid faster communication and more widespread travel in the future, this is going to make the next couple/three centuries a series of epic clashes, until either some sort of understanding emerges or polarized cultures can immigrate to the stars and far far away from each other.

Mass immigration is a REALLY bad idea (‘mkay) not that this is a surprise to any of you.  People inhabiting enclaves of “their kind” are slow to acculturate (three generations, if it happens at all.)  And the number of people coming over the Southern border is like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. And trust me, in terms of functionality, you do NOT want to import any culture descended from 17th century Spain. There is a reason that the American countries South of us are in crisis on a more or less permanent basis, and that Brazil, screwed up though it is, is more functional than the others.  No, just no.

This is a huge issue, as friends were talking, not really seriously, about the fact that the only way for Mexico to be functional is for Mexico to be occupied by a functional country.

This type of scenario was often posited, even by Heinlein, in which the US had taken over most of the world and made it into cultural copies of the US. Or alternately the other countries had adopted American culture, because it was more functional.

Let me just say that is one more proof of “people don’t really believe in foreigners.”

Sure, a lot of American culture is triumphant and imitated.  Only it’s more “spoofed” because what they imitate is what they see in movies, and proving that humans prefer narrative to lack there of, even when it makes no sense, the bad parts are often picked up first.  And they’re often bad parts only seen in movies, btw. Like certain underclass behaviors being seen as glamorous.

But it’s an overlay. At a deep down level, these people dressing in jeans and t-shirts are still foreign and — THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT — don’t believe Americans software-in-the-head is different, which leads to cargo-cultish attempts to import American successes without getting what brings them about, from innovation, to social mobility to freedom of speech.  Not really, not at a deep level.

Remember that I, as in love with America as I was, still took a good ten years to understand what was under the things I loved and wanted to imitate.  And it was painful and a little like going insane.

Most of all this means that barring a major cataclysm that only leaves the US alive, the dream of a future world-like-America is nonsense. Even if some of our greatest writers believed in it.  So is a world-like-Europe.  Or a world like much of anything.

This means the left’s project of “fighting nationalism” is not just doomed, but it’s stupid as eating rocks, and will cause only unending misery suffering and war.  (So, SOP for Marxists.  In fact, chalk this whole internationalism bullshit as something else Marx was wrong about. workers of the world unite, my little sore feet.)

It’s time to stop dreaming the impossible dream, and to accept humanity as it is, broken monkey brains and all.  It is time to create the future that can be created and stop sacrificing people and cultures to the kumbaya hand-holding no-nations future that can never be.

It’s time to start rebuilding.

 

 

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo

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Book Promo

*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com.  One book per author per week. Amazon links only.-SAH*

FROM MACKEY CHANDLER, NOW IN PAPERBACK:  Family Law.

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(I’m very proud of the wrap around cover for this print edition, btw.- SAH)

People love easily. Look at most of your relatives or coworkers. How lovable are they? Really? Yet most have mates and children. The vast majority are still invited to family gatherings and their relatives will speak to them.

Many have pets to which they are devoted. Some even call them their fur-babies. Is your dog or cat or parakeet property or family? Not in law but in your heart? Can a pet really love you back? Or is it a different affection? Are you not kind to those who feed and shelter you? But what if your dog could talk back? Would your cat speak to you kindly?

How much more complicated might it be if we meet really intelligent species not human? How would we treat these ‘people’ in feathers or fur? Perhaps a more difficult question is: How would they treat us? Are we that lovable?

When society and the law decide these sort of questions must be answered it is usually because someone disapproves of your choices. Today it may be a cat named in a will or a contest for custody of a dog. People are usually happy living the way they want until conflict is forced upon them.

What if the furry fellow in question has his own law? And is quite articulate in explaining his choices. Can a Human adopt such an alien? Can such an intelligent alien adopt a human? Should they?

Of course if the furry alien in question is smart enough to fly spaceships, and happens to be similar in size and disposition to a mature Grizzly bear, wisdom calls for a certain delicacy in telling him no…

The “April” series of books works from an earlier time toward merging with the “Family Law” series.

FROM PAM UPHOFF:  Guardsman (Wine of the Gods Book 43)

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Lucky Dave has survived, saved his Commander and his brother.

Now he needs to learn how to live a thousand years in the future. How to fit in.
How to continue to keep a Prophet alive in a world where the Prophets are nearly mythical.

And after that . . . he has to keep a new friend alive through a violent presidential race.
And learn more magic.
And fall in love.

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: graceful.

I ATEN’T DED

I aten’t ded. I just started on a little home improvement project that SHOULD have taken two hours at 9 am, and have finished the first phase (where the varnish needs to dry) now.
Other discoveries made: I’m too old for this stuff.  Everything hurts. Ow.

Unfreedom of the Press – Pt 1 Or how to drive the mainstream media insane in a few easy steps By Amanda S. Green

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Unfreedom of the Press – Pt 1

Or how to drive the mainstream media insane in a few easy steps

By Amanda S. Green

Let’s face it. Mark R. Levin is far from beloved by the MSM. Conservative, a never-Trumper turned into cheerleader for the President. Someone who loves to poke holes in the liberal agenda. Now, compounding his sins against his liberal betters (yes, I almost choked writing that) comes his latest book, Unfreedom of the Press. Let me tell you, Levin holds no punches as he attacks the liberal media.

With the release of the book two weeks ago, a number of media mavens have attacked not only Levin but the premise behind the book. That’s not unexpected. After all, he’s attacked their way of doing business and is unapologetic for it. How dare he point out a bias they try very hard to tell the rest of us isn’t there!

They claim he didn’t visit any newsroom—despite the fact he’s worked for Fox News and had his own syndicated radio show. They claim he didn’t come to them for comments. They condemn him for—gasp—using research and facts gathered by other sources, sources they often use themselves to push their own agenda. His only sin, it seems, is in failing to stick to their narrative.

Bad Levin! Bad!

Before I get to what bothers me about the book, what does Levin have to say? In the opening chapter or two he pretty much lays out the roadmap for the rest of the book. The media has strayed from its origins and no longer just reports the news but is trying to shape the way we, the reading and viewing public, not only see it but believe it.

He admits the news has never really been unbiased but he points out that, in the not-too-distant past, newsrooms at least tried for diversity. This isn’t diversity in the way we think of it today. The editors didn’t worry about what sex or color or religion their reporters happened to be. What they wanted was diversity in opinions and beliefs. They wanted conservative and liberal reporters to balance out one another.

That “diversity”, according to Levin, helped the public have more trust in the media than it does today.

In short, Levin opens the book by claiming that it isn’t attacks from President Trump or any other form of government action that is destroying the freedom of the press in our country. It is, according to Levin, actions by the press itself:

“Indeed, social activism, progressive groupthink, Democratic Party partisanship, opinion and propaganda passed off as news, the staging of pseudo-events, self-censorship, bias by omission, and outright falsehoods are too often substituting for old-fashioned, objective fact gathering and news reporting. A self-perpetuating and reinforcing mindset has replaced independent and impartial thinking. And the American people know it. Thus the credibility of the mass media has never been lower.” (Unfreedom of the Press, pg 6)

That’s not to say opinion hasn’t been present in the news before. It has from day one. After all, many of our earliest “papers” were nothing more than reporting arms for political interests. But everyone knew those were opinion pieces, meant to convince voters to support a certain candidate or issue. Today, however, we get opinion instead of facts, propaganda instead of fair reporting.

If that wasn’t enough of a slap in the faces of all those media mavens who turn purple at the very mention of Levin’s name, he makes sure they understand he isn’t their friend:

“Unlike the early patriot press, today’s newsrooms and journalists are mostly hostile to America’s founding principles, traditions, and institutions. They do not promote free speech and press freedom, despite their self-serving and self-righteous claims. Indeed, they serve as societal filters attempting to enforce uniformity of thought and social and political activism centered on the progressive ideology and agenda. Issues, events, groups, and individuals that do not fit the narrative are dismissed or diminished; those that do fit the narrative are elevated and celebrated.” (Unfreedom of the Press, pg 7)

Part of me sits here as I type this, nodding and drawing comparisons between what Levin says about the media and what we’ve been seeing in book publishing for years, especially when it comes to fiction. But that’s another post for another time.

If you want examples of what Levin is saying, look at some of the coverage from yesterday’s D-Day commemoration in France. How many of the reports started out talking about how Trump thanked those who stormed the beaches at Normandy but ended up taking swings at Trump because, well, Trump? Even in stories that should have been testimonials to the greatness of the human spirit, these so-called reporters had to editorialize and take a swipe at a man they still can’t accept sits in the Oval Office instead of Hillary Clinton.

“It seems ‘the media’ are loath to investigate or explore ‘the media.’ However, when the conduct of the media is questioned as biased, politically partisan, or otherwise irresponsible, they insist that they are of one mission: fidelity to the news and all that stems from it–protecting society from autocratic government, defending freedom of the press, and contributing to societal civility and justice. Moreover, they typically claim to pursue and report the news free from any personal or political agenda.” (Unfreedom of the Press, pp  12-13)

Ain’t it the truth?

Levin goes on in this chapter to cite a number of polls and studies about the media, going back almost half a century. What his research shows is that the general public trusts the media less now than they have in a very long time. Oh, the liberals polled distrust it but not to the degree conservatives do. The reason for that is simple: a liberal media says more what liberal voters want to hear. Those numbers were flipped when the media was more conservative.

Levin notes an interesting possible explanation for why the media is becoming ever more liberal—the ownership of our newspapers and other media outlets. Gone are the days when our major media providers were privately or locally owned. Now, many of the are owned by corporations that are not steeped in journalism. That means they are more focused on the bottom line than they are on reporting the news, much less reporting what local readership is interested in. (Again, it reminds me of what goes on it publishing, specifically in bookstores. Now you have corporate offices in faraway places telling the store in Podunk what to stock instead of stocking items of local interest.)

I could go on, and I will next week, but you get the gist of the first couple of chapters. Levin is no fan of journalism as it stands today. But, to be brutally honest, he is guilty of many of the same sins he condemns his liberal counter-parts of. In this book, he is unashamedly pushing his own political agenda just as he has with his Fox News show and his radio broadcasts. The only difference is he doesn’t make any attempt to say he is being unbiased.

As for the complaints about the book, these first chapters are a bit of a drudge to read. He spends so much time trying to give us all these different sources showing how bad journalism is today that it bogs down. Facts and figures are great, but he needs examples as well. He also needs a good editor to break the chapters into sections—with sub-heads—to make them easier to read.

However, he does point out a real problem in our country right now. A free press is necessary to help protect our Republic. But that press needs to be representative of the people, to be diverse in ideas and not to be working hand-in-hand with a single political party.

The media owners need to step back and take a good, hard look at why their readership has declined. The answers are there, if they would just take a good, hard look at themselves. But that’s not going to happen. It is much easier to blame Trump and conservatives than it is to admit they have gotten to blatant with their propaganda we all recognize it and resent the hell out of it. Since we have alternatives—blogs, podcasts, etc—we don’t have to rely on what the corporations put out. We have other ways of getting to the news without it being fed to us through a liberal viewpoint.

The danger, of course, is that the conservative media is doing the same thing all too often as the liberal media is.

There’s an answer out there, if only the media will stop and start taking a hard look at itself.

(Help Amanda drink enough to keep snarking the unbelievable twaddle that passes for deep political thought these days.  We’ll collect for her liver transplant later. Hit her Pourboir jar now! – SAH)

Just Deserts

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Lately there has been a baffling revolt on the left against “meritocracy.”

As with almost every one of these crusades the left goes on, it ain’t what they’re saying it is.  And those of us on the right(ish) who think that it’s all part of a master plan to destroy society so the great communist utopia appears automagically aren’t precisely right.  I mean, most people on the left would welcome collapse, because, yes, they believe a communist matriarchy is ONLY waiting for the “oppressors” who create capitalism and patriarchy to vanish (oblivious to the fact that “capitalism” is trading, which seems to be a natural condition of the human monkey and not eradicable by any regime real or imaginary; and that “patriarchy” doesn’t exist in the west.) But that’s not the point, because they don’t think they’re bringing about collapse. They think they’re fighting injustice.

When we say “merit” and “meritocracy” they think we’re using “code words” to say “white males.”  There are reasons for this, besides the fact that the left is heavily into Manichaean thought systems that go something like: identify problem-find a person who MIGHT be responsible for/benefits from the system as it exists-assume that if that person were removed, the problem would be gone.  See, French Revolution.

The initial confusion on the left arises from the fact that they might never, in fact, have witnessed meritocracy in their dealings or those of people around them.

This is because, as part of the long march, and to secure absolute control of all fields and institutions, the left has a mythology (the manichaean thing again) that anyone who disagrees with them is evil. And of course, you don’t hire evil people.

The problem with that type of hiring is that you’re NOT hiring the best.  And most people know they’re not the best. And hire someone less bright than they are.  This in four generations takes you to the level of management/operation that takes monarchies twenty generations of inbreeding to achieve.

Right now, in everything but the hard sciences and STEM (and they’ve gotten into some of those, and can’t always be routed around.) the people in power would consider pouring piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the sole a feat of unachievable genius.

Most of them are so vaccuous they don’t even know they’re incompetent.  Or, like Michelle Obama in her essay on why everyone was mean to her at Harvard, they assume everyone else is just as incompetent.

The reason they get hired, stay hired and continue to get push/accolades/power is that they have the “right picture in head” by which you should understand “the left picture in head.”  They view the world exactly as they were taught to view it by their Marxist teachers and professors.  Reality is Manichean, and if there is any issue at all, you find the person who might be causing it (hint, usually you find the person who is a heretic to the left, even if in a minor thing) and you attack that person.  If the person is not immediately obvious, you look for deviationism or examples of hidden thought crime.

It’s appalling, and in a society with no protection for the individual, it fills mass graves, but it is the way their minds — for lack of a better term — operate. They’ve been trained to operate that way.  Not to look at human nature, or the conditions in the world, or even the limits of engineering and materials (what’s holding us back on batteries, for instance.  They prefer to think oil executives, personally, are holding back the all-electric solar cars we should already have.) No. “Find the culprit” “Eliminate him/her” “Everything is beautiful in the garden.” Seen in this light, the Green Nude Heel makes “perfect sense.” And is a genius work in scope.  Which is why she got all upset at criticism and thought that it only meant people wanted her to find all the little subculprits and work out all the details of the pogroms necessary to make it work.  Not getting that people were saying “Not in this world, not with these humans, not in this REALITY.”

Given those thought limitations: the fact that they’re privileging people who have a picture in their heads that doesn’t match reality except in trivial aspects (I’m fairly sure, for instance, they see humans as bipedal. Though I would NOT lay a small bet.) and that the results are often unexpected and most of the time disastrous (sometimes due to a lot of other factors, the thing they think they’re doing works, just not the way they expected.) the worlds seems even more chaotic to them than it is.

In a chaotic world, in which results might have nothing to do with input (in their minds) the best you can do is hire morally good (for their definition) people and hope for the best. They think of this as Meritocracy.

But since we oppose their views of hiring by leftist ideology (with bonus points for victimhood experiences according to the Marxist scale) they think we must have an opposite and competing view of who the morally good people are.  So they invert their scale and think we mean we should hire ALL white conservative males.

It’s insane, but not inexplicable.

This is reinforced by the fact that even if they’ve seen merit hiring in the real world, they’ve also seen failures of merit.  Most of us have run into people much better qualified for xyz position than the person currently occupying it.  This is because in the real world, the ability to get a position/job/sale has a component of luck.  It’s not as high as most people think. I mean, look, if you know a field really, really well and know an inexplicably uncessuccessful person (or only mildly succesfull when by ability they should be huge) you often can tell why they’ve never hit the big time, beyond ability.  Hell, I can with my own stuff. (I seem to be attracted to really off beat stuff, that leaves normal human beings scratching their heads.)

But there is still a component of luck. Who you know. Where you are. Even what you expect all go into it.  It’s no use, for instance, to be perfect for a job in Alaska when you live in CA and can’t leave for personal or family reasons. Tough luck.

The left run into as many people who “should be doing better” as the rest of us, only because of their circles, these people tend to be various flavors of Marxist victim. All of which feeds their suspicion there’s a parallel system that favors the opposite of theirs (and also that patriarchal oppression and white supremacy are real.) And since we insist we hire by merit, they go “Ahah! Code word!”

Which leads us to total insanity, of course.

Granting that merit is never absolute — for instance, having been close to people with the power to hire, I know they’ll pass up a fractious genius for an agreeable “smarter than average.” — and that luck and other unfathomables play a role — we have to, since our mental model is NOT Manichean — merit is still the base line and THE BEST model of hiring.

More than that, it is possibly the only one that has allowed the US to get where it got by the mid twentieth century.

I watched with concern as in the late nineties and early oughts hiring devolved to “who you know” in large measure, because nepotism is 99.9% of what keeps Latin countries poor and struggling.

When you hire for any reason other than merit (however weighted by other real-world conditions) you’re corroding the structure of society. You’re introducing weakness into key components, which will either cause it to collapse or shamble into oblivion.

A great part of the death that’s come upon publishing and journalism, and soon to hit teaching and other fields, is not only that tech allows them to be performed outside the system, but that the system has got UNBELIEVABLY bad at doing what it hsould be doing.  There are enough people in there hired for reasons other than competence.  As a result, the few remaining competent people are either hamstrung, or spend their entire lives compensating for the “work” of the dunces.  Sometimes an entire field is aiming in a completely insane direction, anymore.  (Publishing — fiction publishing, specifically — thinks their job is to educate and enlighten the public, not to sell books.)

This is the problem we’re facing.  And everytime I get to know someone in new (to me) fields, I find the rot is much deeper and worse than I thought.

We’re at this point hanging on by a very few competent individuals holding the world aloft.  And yes, Atlas MIGHT shrug at any minute. And if not, in the course of human nature, will die, and the person hired is most likely to be one of the incompetent “morally good” people of the left.

The left, notice, also knows that the system is collapsing. They just don’t know why and can’t understand the failure points.  And since their system of thinking ASSUMES the default of humanity is communist utopia, unless distorted by evil people, their way to deal with this is to fight what they’re sure is JUST our version of “meritocracy.”

To them merit and competence don’t even exist. It’s all a matter of propitiating the right ideas, and removing evil thinkers.

As it becomes more obvious they’re spinning into failure and oblivion, expect them to become even crazier in their attempts to demonize and deplatform us.

Fun times ahead.

Stay aware. Stay as safe as you can. And build under, build over, build around.  Get ready to take the weight, because it WILL fall.  And only you can prevent the misery that will ensue in the place of the communist paradise the left is sure is coming.