DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for the 'Think about it.' Category

How Much Is Your Body Worth on the Black Market?

2nd May 2016

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Ponder the term ‘black market’ — does it say something about the market, or the person who uses the term?

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May Day!

2nd May 2016

Gates of Vienna is having a fundraiser. Please give generously.

As is often remarked these days, the nations of the West — Europe, Canada, the United States, and Australia — are drifting inexorably into a Soviet-style totalitarianism. Soft totalitarianism, mind you — no gulag necessary just yet — but still Soviet-like in its insistence ideological conformity.

So what artistic style would we associate with the democratic totalitarianism that dominates the post-modern West? What ideology are we obliged to conform to in our visual representations if we, the artists, want to get ahead?

Why, Multiculturalism, of course. What else could it be?

Walk into a post office, or a bank, or a supermarket, or a pharmacy, and all the images you see will display a uniformity of iconography. Images are chosen carefully to include a certain selection of exquisitely represented races and ethnicities. And they’re gender-balanced, too.

Of course.

We have no choice: the future is multicultural.

Such has been decided for us, for our own good, by people who know better than we do. Left to our own devices, we would be racist throwbacks, little Nazis and bigots wearing Ku Klux Klan robes, goose-stepping around the mean streets of our white supremacist dystopia.

But with the help of our cultural betters, we can recover from our atavisms. Through education and diversity training, we can learn to truly celebrate the wonderful inclusive rainbow quilt of cultures!

Then we can buy the world a Coke and live in perfect harmony.

Uh-huh. Yup.

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Mass Transit Use Is Declining As Millennials Buy More Cars

2nd May 2016

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Turns out young people actually like driving.

Imagine that.

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Gender Roles and Shopping Don’t Mix

1st May 2016

Lileks.

We went with my wife’s choice, which is fine. She has excellent taste, too, and by deferring to her choice I accumulated husband points, which I can spend on a new 4K TV.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

1st May 2016

Christos Anesti

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The Sinister, Secret History of a Food That Everybody Loves

30th April 2016

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The study, published last year by economists at the United Kingdom and Israel doing novel work on archaeological and anthropological evidence, attempts to explain a strange pattern in agricultural practices. The most advanced civilizations all tended to cultivate grain crops, like wheat and barley and corn. Less advanced societies tended to rely on root crops like potatoes, taro and manioc.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in our vegetables, that we are underlings.

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Thought for the Day

30th April 2016

Dilbert Is Antisocial - Dilbert by Scott Adams

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Making Your Bed is a Total Waste of Time

29th April 2016

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So I have always thought.

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The Secrets of Medieval Fonts

29th April 2016

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Just to remind everybody that this blog is about what I’m interested in, which may not necessarily be what you’re interested in.

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Thought for the Day

29th April 2016

Online Shopping

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DIY Urbanism

29th April 2016

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Over the years I’ve belonged to a variety of different organizations that had the ostensible goal of accomplishing X or Y. At a certain point I would realize that all anyone was doing was exercising their fears and frustrations. Most of all they were trying to stop other people from doing things they didn’t like.

I’m impatient. I want to get on with the business of actually doing something tangible. Waiting for someone else to come along and accomplish your goals for you is a really bad plan. Trying to change government policy is endless. Expecting “the market” to magically solve problems isn’t realistic. So where does that leave any of us?

Writing a blog, maybe? It doesn’t get anything done but you feel better about yourself. Those of us with Native Indolence Syndrome tend to prefer the low-effort option.

Enter the Incremental Development Alliance. Let’s say you have a problem in your neighborhood. It needs a grocery store. It needs bike infrastructure. It needs more public gathering spaces. It’s in decline and needs new investment. It’s in the process of being gentrified and people are being squeezed out. Whatever. Why not be the person who brings the desired change? You. Right now. Go do it.

I doubt seriously that anyplace outside of mainland Europe ‘needs bike infrastructure’; that tends to be the compelling fetish of Hipster Whiteopias like Portland and Seattle and San Francisco. Nor do I see any compelling nned for ‘more public gathering spaces’ in a world where staring down at your cellphone is what most people below the age of 60 spend their day doing. And the innate contradiction between ‘in decline and needs new investment’ and ‘being gentrified and people are being squeezed out’ suggests that the author is either incredibly confused or writing for the incredibly confused. I’m not sure I want a confused person and his confused audience to ‘bring the desired change’; such people cause more problems than they solve.

Easier said than done, right? This isn’t easy stuff. There are zoning regulations, building codes, financing obstacles, bureaucratic landmines… The red tape is endless.

Said as if ‘red tape’ falls from the heavens on the just and unjust alike — which it does, of course, but unlike Global Warming it has an easily detectable cause. RED TAPE IS CAUSED BY GOVERNMENT. I’ll repeat that. RED TAPE IS CAUSED BY GOVERNMENT. Those who want to ‘bring the desired change’ need to GET THE GOVERNMENT OFF PEOPLE’S BACKS.

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A Man Spent Six Months And $1,500 Making a Sandwich From Scratch

26th April 2016

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And he did it without any government help. Isn’t that amazing.

Cooking something “from scratch” can mean different things to different people. For some it means heading to the farmers market for some fresh ingredients. For others it means skipping the frozen goods section. But for Andy George, host of the show How to Make Everything, it means spending six months and $1,500 growing a garden, turning ocean water into salt, making cheese, and killing a chicken all so he can take a bite of a sandwich truly made from scratch.

Now, for all the work that went into crafting this chicken sandwich, you’d expect it to be the best thing George has ever eaten. You’d expect it to be a sandwich that would inspire future George to spend every Thanksgiving telling his patient family about the time he had a real sandwich. You’d expect it to be so good that he would consider spending six months and $1,500 to make another one. But it isn’t any of those things.

“It’s not bad,” George said. “That’s about it. It’s not bad. Six months of my life for not bad. Yeah.”

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Zizzi Cuts Staff Tips and Free Meals After the Introduction of the National Living Wage

26th April 2016

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Markets work, even when you don’t want them to. Raise the cost of labor, and the money is going to come from somewhere.

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The Unfavorability Illusion

26th April 2016

Scott Adams continues his masterful analysis.

No traditional politician could overcome a 70% unfavorability rating at this stage of the election cycle. But Trump isn’t a traditional politician. He’s a persuader.

Keep in mind that Clinton’s unfavorability is also high, at around 56%. That’s a 14 point difference from Trump. Can a Master Persuader close a 14-point gap before November?

I would rate that task as “easy.”

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Why Democrats Are Becoming the Party of the 1 Percent

26th April 2016

Vanity Fair, a Voice of the Crust, allows some truth to seep out.

Yesterday’s primary handed victories to Trump and Clinton, and, if Michael Lind is right, Trumpism and Clintonism are America’s future. Lind’s point, which he made last Sunday in The New York Times, is that Trumpism—friendly to entitlements, unfriendly to expanded trade and high immigration—will be the platform of the Republican Party in the years going forward. Clintonism—friendly both to business and to social and racial liberalism—will cobble together numerous interest groups and ditch the white working class. Which might be fair enough, but Lind didn’t mention rich people. Where will they go?

The Democratic Party has not been a total slouch, offering policies friendly to health-care executives, entertainment moguls, and tech titans. In fact, financial support for Democrats among the 1 percent of the 1 percent has risen dramatically, more than trebling since 1980. Traditionally, though, the Republican Party has been seen as the better friend to the wealthy, offering lower taxes, fewer business regulations, generous defense contracts, increased global trade, high immigration, and resistance to organized labor. It’s been the buddy of homebuilders, oil barons, defense contractors, and other influential business leaders.

In a world of Trumpism and Clintonism, Democrats would become the party of globalist-minded elites, both economic and cultural, while Republicans would become the party of the working class. Democrats would win backing from those who support expanded trade and immigration, while Republicans would win the support of those who prefer less of both. Erstwhile neocons would go over to Democrats (as they are already promising to do), while doves and isolationists would stick with Republicans. Democrats would remain culturally liberal, while Republicans would remain culturally conservative.

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Nothing But Fear and Aapital Stand in the Way of a Nuclear-Powered Future

25th April 2016

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And government regulation, and pandering politicians, and eco-Nazis, and fearful special snowflakes, and….

 

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The End of Democracy in America

25th April 2016

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Alexis de Tocqueville was a more prophetic observer of American democracy than even his most ardent admirers appreciate. True, readers have seen clearly what makes his account of American exceptionalism so luminously accurate, and they have grasped the profundity of his critique of American democracy’s shortcomings. What they have missed is his startling clairvoyance about how democracy in America could evolve into what he called “democratic despotism.” That transformation has been in process for decades now, and reversing it is the principal political challenge of our own moment in history. It is implicitly, and should be explicitly, at the center of our upcoming presidential election.

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Inconvenient Study: CO2 Fertilization Greening the Earth

25th April 2016

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International team reports CO2 fertilization prompted plants and trees to sprout extra green leaves equivalent in area to two times the continental USA, or nearly 4.4 billion General Shermans (largest giant Sequoia tree).

Well. How about that.

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The Minimum Wage and the Dangers of Government-by-Decree

24th April 2016

Kevin Williamson fisks the Democrat Presidential contenders and their enablers.

Bernie Sanders doesn’t have to think too hard about the minimum wage. He lets other people do his thinking for him, which, in his case, probably isn’t the worst idea most of the time. There’s a movement afoot on the left for a $15/hour minimum wage, there is a reasonable chance of prevailing, and that’s all Senator Sanders really needs to know. His approach: Take what you can get now.

Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to think too hard about the minimum wage. She lets other people do her thinking for her, which, in her case, probably isn’t the worst idea most of the time. There’s a process under way in New York in which the minimum wage probably will be raised to $15/hour, with a moment’s pause around $12.50 to evaluate the effects of the change. New York supports this, and that’s all she really needs to know. Her approach: Take most of what you can get now, but make sure there’s a Plan B.

The thought probably never has crossed a mind such as Senator Sanders’s, but Professor Krugman the economist can distinguish causes and effects, even if Mr. Krugman the columnist cannot. Low wages are an effect. The underlying cause is that American workers do not provide labor that is highly valued under current economic conditions. Professor Krugman insists that this is not a reflection of skill, inasmuch as wages for college graduates have stagnated in real terms for 15 years. It does not occur to the gentleman from Princeton that this may reflect the markets literally – literally, Mr. Vice President — discounting the value of U.S. college degrees, a perfectly rational thing to do given the recent direction of college education. Caitlyn may have worked very hard for her women’s-studies degree from Butterscotch College, but that isn’t going to help her income very much if she messes up my tall flat white.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

24th April 2016

Kyrie

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Machines Replace Migrants as Maine Blueberry Harvest Booms

22nd April 2016

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A steady push toward mechanization in Maine’s blueberry industry is reducing the number of migrant farmers who travel to the state to rake the crop, which is vitally important to the state’s economy, state officials and industry leaders said. Maine’s blueberry harvest attracted more than 5,000 migrant farmers 10 years ago and it’s down to about 1,500 today, said David Yarborough, a University of Maine professor of horticulture.

I doubt that the machines are making $15 an hour.

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Israel’s Very Effective Golan Heights Fence

22nd April 2016

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Who’s Trump gonna call?

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Plastic Bags Are Good for You

22nd April 2016

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Here is a list of things that are thicker than a typical plastic grocery bag: A strand of hair. A coat of paint. A human cornea.

High-density polyethylene is a miracle of materials science. Despite weighing less than 5 grams, one bag can hold 17 pounds, well over 1,000 times its own weight. At about a penny apiece, the bags are cheap enough for stores to give away and sturdy enough to carry home two gallons of milk in the evening and still be up to the task of scooping Cujo’s poop the next morning.

Yet almost as soon as grocers started offering their customers the choice of “paper or plastic?” these modern marvels became a whipping boy for environmentalists, politicians, and other well-intentioned, ill-informed busybodies. Plastic bags for retail purchases are banned or taxed in more than 200 municipalities and a dozen countries, from San Francisco to South Africa, Bellingham to Bangladesh. Each region serves up its own custom blend of alarmist rhetoric; coastal areas blame the wispy totes for everything from asphyxiated sea turtles to melting glaciers, while inland banners decry the bags’ role in urban landscape pollution and thoughtless consumerism.

But a closer look at the facts and figures reveals shaky science and the uncritical repetition of improbable statistics tossed about to shore up the case for a mostly aesthetic, symbolic act of conservation.

How did one of the most efficient, resource-saving inventions of the 20th century become an environmentalist bugaboo?

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“Ignorance of the Law” Is a Great Excuse if the Law Is Incomprehensible

22nd April 2016

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“Ignorance of the law is no excuse,” says an ancient legal nostrum.

The reason for it is simple enough: If ignorance could excuse any crime, then ignorance might excuse every crime. Rather than impose on the legal system the obligation to prove a defendant’s knowledge of the law — with the defendant’s incentive running in the opposite direction, toward ignorance of the law — the legal system assigns to itself no obligation in this regard. Upon which defendants find that they have an enormous incentive to know what the law is and to comport themselves accordingly.

Sounds great, but no — this is a rationalization made up after the fact. The real reason the ‘ancient legal nostrum’ came about is that it originated in a time where ‘the law’ was simply what every rational person would or wouldn’t do; the whole concept of ‘the common law’ is of a ‘law’ to which everyone is subject because it just made ‘common’ sense. Don’t kill or maim people, don’t rape, don’t burn down people’s houses, don’t steal their stuff — all of these were things that every sensible person would understand were ‘no-no’s. It was only later, when ‘law’ became a thing of legislatures rather than ordinary life that this self-serving statist ‘nostrum’ became popular. Indeed, that interpretation became so popular (especially with those charged with enforcing such ‘laws’) that people (including lawyers) are scarcely aware that there is any alternative.

 

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The Barber’s Community Service

22nd April 2016

Bluebird of Bitterness tells the tale.

On Monday, a florist went to a barbershop for a haircut. But when he tried to pay the barber, the barber said, “I can’t accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.”

When the barber went to open his shop on Tuesday, he found a thank-you card and a dozen roses waiting for him at the door.

Later that day, a baker came in for a haircut, and when he tried to pay the barber, the barber again said, “I can’t accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.”

On Wednesday morning when the barber went to open his shop, he found a thank-you card and a dozen cupcakes waiting for him at the door.

Later that day, an English professor came in for a haircut, and when he tried to pay the barber, the barber again said, “I can’t accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.”

On Thursday morning when the barber went to open his shop, he found a thank-you card and a dozen books waiting for him.

Later that day, a congressman came in for a haircut, and when he tried to pay the barber, the barber again said, “I can’t accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.”

On Friday morning when the barber went to open his shop, there were a dozen congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.

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Earth Day and the Triumph of Dogbert

22nd April 2016

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It is Earth Day, when pieties flow like wine, when the self-applause of the right-thinking is deafening, when the antihuman core of modern environmentalism shines bright, and when the destructiveness of groupthink becomes ever more pronounced. And when an understanding of its true meaning is served by the profound wisdom of that noted political philosopher and sage observer of the human condition, Dogbert: “You can’t save the earth unless you’re willing to make other people sacrifice.”

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Special Thought for Earth Day

22nd April 2016

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Ira Einhorn was on stage hosting the first Earth Day event at the Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on April 22, 1970. Seven years later, police raided his closet and found the “composted” body of his ex-girlfriend inside a trunk.

Hey, man, it’s like organic.

(Is it just me, or does he look like a Bernie Sanders supporter?)

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Thought for the Day

22nd April 2016

Chip Bok, Creators Syndicate

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How Powerful is Persuasion?

21st April 2016

Scott Adams continues his masterful analysis.

Here’s a little experiment to try at home. Record one of Hillary Clinton’s televised rally speeches and put it on TV with volume high (but not too high) when you expect a female friend or relative to knock on the door. Answer the door and say nothing about the television in the background. Then watch the expression on the face of your guest. Two-out-of-three times you will see a pained grimace. For many people – male and female – listening to Clinton’s speeches actually hurts.

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Thought for the Day

21st April 2016

bernie-sanders-is-my-comrade-close-up_grande

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‘The Queen at 90. Her greatest merit of all is that she upholds our constitution.’

20th April 2016

Andrew Grimson has an interesting take on the subject.

The monarchy is one of the greatest, though least observed, checks on arbitrary power. It occupies the space a dictator would need to occupy.

Because it is unthinkable in Britain to push the monarch aside, tyranny itself becomes unthinkable. In countries where for understandable reasons the monarchy was overthrown – France in 1789, Russia in 1917, Germany in 1918 – tyranny was not unthinkable.

The US is a disguised monarchy. The president promises to defend the people against the scoundrels in Washington, and having failed to do so, is replaced by someone else who promises to do the same thing.

In modern times, our monarchs have served the public by going above politics, and becoming instead a kind of hereditary umpire.

The Queen plays this role with exceptional and unwearying conscientiousness. She does not have to declare any Prime Minister out: the public elect MPs who do that for her.

But she stops the politicians, few if any of whom remain popular for long, from getting above themselves, and obliges even a convinced republican such as Jeremy Corbyn to play by the rules.

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How The Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive

20th April 2016

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I wouldn’t have noticed the difference if it weren’t for my affection for unusual pens, which brought me to my first good fountain pen. A lifetime writing with the ballpoint and minor variations on the concept (gel pens, rollerballs) left me unprepared for how completely different a fountain pen would feel. Its thin ink immediately leaves a mark on paper with even the slightest, pressure-free touch to the surface. My writing suddenly grew extra lines, appearing between what used to be separate pen strokes. My hand, trained by the ballpoint, expected that lessening the pressure from the pen was enough to stop writing, but I found I had to lift it clear off the paper entirely. Once I started to adjust to this change, however, it felt like a godsend; a less-firm press on the page also meant less strain on my hand.

Modern roller-ball and gel pens work the same way as fountain pens (I was raised with fountain pens and still use them on occasion); don’t know what this person is on about.

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Estelle Balet: Snowboarding Champion Killed in Avalanche During Film Shoot

20th April 2016

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Let that be a lesson to us all. Think of it as evolution in action.

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The San Fran Whitening Plan

20th April 2016

Steve Sailer peeks behind the curtain.

With San Francisco being one of the epicenters of the environmental movement of the past half century, local homeowners are adept at using progressive verbiage for justifying keeping San Francisco in stasis. As a conservative, I rather admire the cleverness with which liberals have contrived to keep San Francisco physically looking much like it did in the past.

That’s why I always say that soi-disant ‘progressives’ ought to be called regressives instead.

Of course, most of the people denouncing other people for being white and wanting to live in San Francisco are white San Franciscans themselves.

Indeed, that’s the case almost everywhere.

Paradoxically, under its current antidevelopment ideology, San Francisco—like Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn, and unlike almost all the rest of the country—is becoming more white. In 1990, young people in San Francisco were only 22 percent white, but by 2014 they were up to 33 percent white. And the future looks even whiter.

The dirty little secret of these hipster utopias.

In fact, this is a broad pattern. We see exactly the same incentives at work with elite colleges. While Arizona State and Florida International have added capacity for tens of thousands of additional undergraduates, Stanford, Harvard, and Yale have barely added any undergrads, even as demand soars. Stanford, for example, kept its class size virtually unchanged for over three decades despite having a 13-square-mile campus, the majority of it undeveloped open land.

To quote W. S. Gilbert, ‘When everyone is somebody, then no one’s anybody.’

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Tell-Tale Signs of the Modern-Day Yuppie

19th April 2016

Read it.

(Who better to track that particular spoor than the New York Times?)

Collectively, these microyuppies are just as strong in their ranks as their progenitors, if not more so. Three decades ago, the yuppie was viewed as a self-interested alien invader in an America that had experienced a solid 20 years of radical activism and meaningful progress in civil rights and women’s liberation. A generation and a half later, we have so deeply internalized the values of the yuppie that we have ceased to notice when one is in our midst — or when we have become one ourselves.

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Layman’s Guide to Understanding Scientific Research

19th April 2016

Bluebird of Bitterness does the heavy lifting so that you don’t have to.

A slice:

“It has long been known…” I didn’t look up the original reference

“A definite trend is evident…” These data are practically meaningless

“While it has not been possible to provide definitive answers to the questions…” An unsuccessful experiment, but I still hope to get it published

“Three of the samples were chosen for a detailed study…” The other results didn’t make any sense

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Amazon Echo Is Magical. It’s Also Turning My Kid Into an Asshole.

18th April 2016

Read it.

I suspect pre-natal influence, but you never know.

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Resolving the Contradiction of “Progressivism”

18th April 2016

Steven Hayward scratches his head.

Historians and political theorists have long puzzled over how to resolve the glaring contradiction of Progressive ideology—namely, that Progressive “reform” emphasizes greater “democracy,” and championed innovations like the direct election of Senators, the initiative and referendum, etc. Give the people what they want! Up with democracy! At the same time, Progressives also advanced the theory of government administration deliberately remote from politics and popular accountability—the Administrative State staffed by elite “experts.” We can’t have those grubby people telling the government what to do! Down with democracy!

It is hard to make out, but there is a deeper dialectic at work in the Progressive mind, not unlike that more famous dialectic conjured up by that hairy German fellow. The purpose of the Administrative State—best understood with Saint-Simon’s famous single sentence description about how “the government of men is replaced by the administration of things”—is to create a new people.

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Unqualified Reservations by Mencius Moldbug

18th April 2016

Check it out.

Apparently he’s winding up the blog, but he has all of the good stuff online.

Highly recommended.

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The Trump Chess Board

18th April 2016

Scott Adams continues his masterful analysis of the Trump candidacy.

With the New York State primary tomorrow, let’s see how the chess board is set up for Trump.

Read the whole thing.

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How Wild Animals Are Hacking Life in the City

18th April 2016

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Mountain lions and ants are among the many species great and small figuring out clever ways to live among people.

That’s what gun control laws get you….

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How To Be Really Good at Dealing With Something That’ll Probably Never Happen

17th April 2016

Lileks.

There are two kinds of people when it comes to disaster preparedness.

1) I have a generator, food for a month, water purification tablets, candles, solar-powered radios, flint, a full medical kit and classic board games; we will sit in our house playing Clue until order is restored.

2) I have a baseball bat and a map to the first guy’s house.

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Voting for ‘None of the Above’ an Option in Manitoba Elections

17th April 2016

Read it.

Would that we could do the same.

The correct way to handle this is that when ‘none of the above’ wins an election, the existing candidates are barred from running again and the election is repeated. Of course, no real-world political unit would actually do that. Still, it’s a nice dream.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

17th April 2016

If 10% Is Good Enough For Jesus

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Why Do Democrats Hate Their Own Presidents?

16th April 2016

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It has been widely observed that Hillary Clinton is having to repudiate the policy legacy of her husband’s tenure in the White House in the 1990s, which is extremely telling about how far down in the deep end Democrats are today. After all, Bill Clinton’s tenure coincided with robust economic growth, a balanced budget, and expansion of free trade. It also saw two of the greatest social policy achievements of the postwar era—a radical reduction in the welfare rolls, and the beginning of a sharp drop in the crime rate. Ah, yes—liberals don’t like those last two things. And they don’t much like the balanced budget either—and they really hate free trade. Remember that it was near the end of Bill Clinton’s tenure that saw the famous “Battle in Seattle” of leftist protesters against the World Trade Organization, which is ironic, since the Left usually likes any organization that has “World” in the title. Despite this, and Clinton’s shameful personal life, he left office in 2001 with high public approval ratings.

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Life Lessons From Villains, Crooks, and Gangsters

16th April 2016

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No, they’re not talking about politicians, except incidentally.

Beyond the morally reprehensible side of criminals’ work, some business gurus say organised crime syndicates, computer hackers, pirates and others operating outside the law could teach legitimate corporations a thing or two about how to hustle and respond to rapid change.

Well, maybe Obama.

While traditional businesses focus on rules they have to follow, criminals look to circumvent them. “For criminals, the sky is the limit and that creates the opportunity to think much, much bigger.”

That certainly sounds like Obama and the Constitution.

While Devin Liddell, who heads brand strategy for Seattle-based design consultancy, Teague, condemns the violence and other illegal activities he became curious as to how criminal groups endure.

I ask myself the same question about Planned Parenthood.

Some cartels stay in business despite multiple efforts by law enforcement on both sides of the US border and millions of dollars from international agencies to shut them down. Liddell genuinely believes there’s a lesson in longevity here.

Perhaps it’s because they provide something that people want in spite of ruling-class nannying.

One strategy he underlined was how the bad guys respond to change. In order to bypass the border between Mexico and the US, for example, the Sinaloa cartel went to great lengths. It built a vast underground tunnel, hired family members as border agents and even used a catapult to circumvent a high-tech fence.

Like Hamas in Gaza. A perfect example.

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Man Hit in Face by Brick ‘Which Rebounded After He Threw It at Charity Shop Window’

15th April 2016

Read it.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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‘The Wall Street I Have Known’

15th April 2016

Joe Rosenberg takes Bernie to the woodshed.

Bernie Sanders should ask people like me—refugees from collectivist paradises—about income inequality.

Oh, I don’t think that will ever happen. Bernie doesn’t like to ask; he likes to tell.

It takes an immigrant like me to parse the poison that Bernie Sanders is peddling to the naive youth of this country. It takes someone who has experienced socialism’s failures firsthand—as I did, initially as a small child, later as a young adult—to see why Sen. Sanders is succeeding: We elders, immigrants and native-born alike, have failed to teach our children and grandchildren about the economic history and false promises of the myriad forms of socialism that infest our world.

Very true.

As an example of kibbutz ideology: Does it make sense for a person running the washing machines in the laundry to be receiving exactly the same pay and living benefits as someone who might be the community doctor after going to medical school? That may sound like an extreme example, but the same principles apply throughout the economic structure of a collectivist economy. Unlike Chinese or Russian collectivism, Israel’s was voluntary—but insane nonetheless.

You could never get me into an arrangement like that. The whole ‘voluntary collectivism’ was tried by innumerable hippies in my generation, and it all invariably came crashing down.

My experience is far from unique. I have many colleagues who left supposed paradises, socialist countries like China, Russia and Greece, and now strive to succeed on Wall Street. They’re seeking not a handout but a piece of the American Dream, just as I did. When I entered the business Wall Street was a far clubbier place than today. It has increasingly become a meritocracy open to people of every background.

Not to listen to Bernie and Hillary it isn’t.

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A Few Reasons Why Free Community College Is A Terrible Idea

15th April 2016

Ammo Grrrll has some thoughts.

ONE: People do not value things that are free. We have a strong cultural belief that “what you pay is what it’s worth.” I offer as just one case in point, how free entertainers are treated. I offer the example with sadness and vast experience. Trust me when I tell you that all entertainers could fill their calendars every day with nothing but free gigs. People who would never dream of approaching a carpenter or a dermatologist and asking them to work for free think nothing of hounding an entertainer to work free for every charity, disease, battered women’s shelter and political candidate. I mean, these are all worthwhile causes, are you some kind of heartless profiteer, Mr. Musician, Ms. Comic?

TWO: Nothing should be free, but for sure not higher education. The students have no skin in the game; the colleges have no skin in the game; and the taxpayers who are skinned alive have no say at all. If free education were valued, then all students would graduate high school and community college would not be necessary as a kind of do-over high school.

Read the whole thing.

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California Drought Caused Plants to Evolve in Just Seven Years

15th April 2016

Read it.

In a paper published today in Molecular Ecology researchers announced that they found genetic differences between the ancestors and descendants of two separate populations of field mustard both of which evolved during the California drought between 1997 and 2004 to flowers earlier.

But of course ‘climate change’ will mean massive crop failures and WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE. Uh, no. Mother Nature is smarter than most eco-Nazis.

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