DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for the 'Think about it.' Category

Thought for the Day

22nd February 2018

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

The Difference Between Class & Income

22nd February 2018

The Antiplanner explains it all to you.

Business Insider is stunned by the notion that Silicon Valley residents who earn $400,000 a year consider themselves middle class. Yet they are; the only reason Business Insider doesn’t think so is that neither it nor Palo Alto Online — the source of Business Insider‘s data — understands the difference between class and income.

According to the Pew Research Center, “middle class” includes families of four that earn $48,000 and $144,000. But that’s not middle class; that’s middle income. While classes and incomes can be correlated, they are not the same. Social classes include upper, middle, and lower, but most of lower being working class.

Many people in America with top-tier incomes consider themselves ‘middle class’ and, effectively, they are — because their attitudes are ‘middle class’, since that’s the way they were raised.

This is more than just a quibble because working-class, middle-class, and upper-class people tend to have very different tastes and preferences. A working-class person who manages to earn $239,000 a year still shares more preferences with working-class people than upper-class people. An upper-class person who doesn’t earn much money one year still has tastes similar to other upper-class people.

One of the driving motivations behind rich people advocating higher income tax rates is a desire to keep middle-class people who just happen to have high incomes away from upper-class amenities such as hotels, restaurants, and resorts. Aside from the fact that these people, if they were serious, could just write a check to the IRS, the key is that they advocate raises in tax rates on ordinaryx income, such as wages, but not on the dividend and capital gains income that represents the chief source of really rich people’s wealth. The main reason Warren Buffet pays tax at a lower rate than his secretary is that she’s being taxed on wages and he’s being taxed on capital gains. But the fawning articles in The Press never tell you that.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Scott Adams at tReason Magazine

21st February 2018

Watch it.

An excellent interview.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Trump Ahead on Points

21st February 2018

Rush Limbaugh is reporting that Trumps approval rating is at 48%, as opposed to Obama’s 45% at this point in the first term.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Rule by Sociopath

21st February 2018

ZMan point out some inconvenient truth.

In the modern vernacular, the sociopath is someone who lacks empathy, remorse and an understanding of right and wrong. The sociopath sees no difference between the truth and a lie, only their utility. Additionally, they never think about the consequences of their actions. A sociopath sees no harm in telling people that his brain juice will prevent concussions. The veracity of his statements are meaningless. What matters is how well it moves product. People ending up with brain damage as a result is never considered.

The key thing about the modern sociopath is the ambivalence toward the truth. They think saying something is the same as doing something. What matters is if the words get the listener to do what the sociopath wants them to do. Standing in front of crowd, making false claims, is fine if it causes people to buy product. If the truth sells more product, then the truth is better. From the perspective of the modern sociopath, the difference is about the results, not the accuracy of the statements. The truth or a lie, whichever works.

Now replace “sociopath” with “politician” and “product” with “votes” and you have the modern managerial democracy.It’s not that our politicians lie. It’s that for them, a lie is indistinguishable from the truth. That’s why they seem so utterly shameless. Shame requires a sense of right and wrong, a knowledge that what you said or did is intrinsically wrong. For the people who rule over us, right and wrong only exist in the context of their own ambitions. Something is “right” if it benefits the person in the moment.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day

21st February 2018

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Historical European Martial Art: a Crossroad Between Academic Research, Martial Heritage Re-Creation and Martial Sport Practices

21st February 2018

Read it.

Hey, if firearms suddenly become inoperable, this knowledge will come in very handy.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Tucker Carlson Takes On Anti-Gun Activist

21st February 2018

Read it.

I find it difficult to take seriously a guy who wears earrings.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day: In the Navy

20th February 2018

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

How Long?

20th February 2018

ZMan has some words of wisdom.

There are two rules of modern life, with regards to how public debate is conducted, that are are always good to keep in mind when thinking about any issue. One is the Opposite Rule of Liberalism. Whatever the Left is howling about at the moment, imagine the opposite and you’re probably getting closer to the truth. The other rule is that cops rarely arrest a first time offender. Usually, someone caught in some sort of skulduggery has been at it for a long time. The law of averages simply caught up with them.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Count Rumford and the History of the Soup Kitchen

19th February 2018

Read it.

It’s no coincidence that a soup kettle was the symbol for feeding the poor, rather than, say, a roasting pan or a skillet. Soup has always been one of the most economical ways to provide nourishing, filling food to a large quantity of people. Although he was hardly the first person to come up with the idea to feed the poor, an interesting fellow known as Count Rumford is often credited with establishing the first real soup kitchen.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

WSJ: Tech Workers Plan on Leaving Silicon Valley isn Droves

19th February 2018

Read it.

A number of workers in Silicon Valley are planning to leave the tech hub due to a discomfort stemming from a uniform way of thinking in the industry and region, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The workers already are or plan on indirectly following the lead of Peter Thiel, a President Donald Trump-supporting venture capitalist. The billionaire entrepreneur recently announced he is leaving Silicon Valley for the slightly less liberal Los Angeles area to escape an allegedly pervasive discrimination against conservatives and some libertarians.

Citing a number of influential investors, and a couple of tech workers and startup entrepreneurs, the WSJ reports Thiel’s geographic “defection” is emblematic of an apparently larger trend.

“I think the politics of San Francisco have gotten a little bit crazy,” Tom McInerney, an angel investor who now resides in L.A., told TheWSJ. “The Trump election was super polarizing and it definitely illustrated—and Peter [Thiel] said this—how out of touch Silicon Valley was.”

Y’all come to Texas — we got plenty of jobs here and affordable housing.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Americans should boycott school if they want gun policy to change

19th February 2018

Read it.

Absolutely. Every school that declares itself to be a ‘gun-free zone’ ought to be required to have a big sign outside that reads VICTIMS! GET YOUR VICTIMS HERE! CAN’T HAVE AN ATROCITY WITHOUT VICTIMS!

Of course, that’s not what the article’s about — but it’s what the article ought to be about. So I helped.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day: Why I’m Not on Twitter

19th February 2018

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Trump’s ICE Gets Hundreds of Black Workers Jobs and Raises at Chicago Bakery

19th February 2018

Steve Sailer reports the news you won’t hear anywhere else.

In 2015, under the Obama administration, ICE inspected the documentation of Labor Network’s employees at Cloverhill. In May 2017, the Trump administration sent letters to about 800 employees, saying they weren’t authorized to work in the United States, records examined by the Chicago Sun-Times show.

Those Hispanic employees didn’t return to work, leaving the bakery desperate to fill their jobs. So the company turned to another placement agency, Metro Staff Inc., and it provided Cloverhill with workers screened through the government’s “E-Verification” program. Most of those new employees are African American.

Ed French, owner of Elgin-based Metro Staff Inc., says his company became the main provider of workers for the bakery and that about 80 percent of them are black

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Murder: Some Numbers

18th February 2018

Henry Racette puts things in perspective.

I find ironic the fact that we lose at least twice as many lives in traffic accidents each year as we do to guns, yet nobody is calling for ‘car control’, much less ‘sensible car control’. Nor are candlelight vigils being held, politicians bloviating in public, and the chatterati wringing hands and clutching pearls.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day

18th February 2018

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Inside Vancouver’s Brock Commons, World’s Tallest Mass Timber Building

18th February 2018

Read it.

Building tall stuff with wood seems to be all the rage.

Eventually perhaps we will be able to persuade buildings to grow themselves.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

In the Face of Uncertainty, Buy Options.

18th February 2018

Eric S. Raymond gives us some good advice.

A useful way to sort the decision challenges we face is into situations of high uncertainty versus low uncertainty. These call for vary different adaptations. In a situation of low uncertainty there is a single optimal choice; your effort should go into determining what it is and then executing it as hard and fast as possible. Unless uncertainty rises during execution (for example because you discover you made a serious mistake in your problem analysis), deviation from plan is most likely to be a mistake. Buying options is wasteful.

In a situation of high uncertainty you don’t know what your best choice is up front; there’s a broad range of possible ones that might be optimal, and there may be choices you can’t yet see. In this situation, what you need to do is enable yourself to collect on as many of the options as you can identify and afford to buy. Your hope is to be able to narrow the range of conditions you need to cope with as you learn more.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

City Farmers Are Learning to Grow Food Without Soil or Sunlight

17th February 2018

Read it.

Except that, like ‘renewable energy’, it can’t match the price of doing things the old way.

So it’s just a pipe dream at present.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Don’t Feed President Troll

17th February 2018

Matt Welch at tReason mag understands the dialectic.

Trump, an outsider con man who hustled his way into the most prestigious insider job in America by mastering the art of the troll, has not to date found his social media equal among the hydra-headed opposition. The president pecks out impotent bluster designed to inflame the haters, and Democrats, journalists, and establishmentarian Republicans take the bait every time.

Journalists are experts at giving the impression that they could do anything you can do better, if they only they put their minds to it.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day: Welcome to My World

17th February 2018

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

In Defense of Mediocrity

17th February 2018

Theodore Dalrymple peeks behind the curtain.

The son of a friend of mine applied for a place at medical school and was turned down on the grounds that his personal statement was inadequate. I don’t know what was wrong with it; perhaps he employed incorrect old clichés rather than the correct new ones. Having the means to do so, my friend sent his son to a tutor who specialized in personal statements (every bureaucratic requirement is an economic opportunity for an ex-bureaucrat wanting to strike out for himself). No doubt the tutor in personal statements advised him to put in more about his passion for social justice and equality. At any rate, it worked and he was accepted.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Thought for the Day

16th February 2018

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Will Density Make Housing Affordable?

16th February 2018

Read it.

California left-wingers who want to densify cities to make them affordable are getting some push-back from other left-wingers who think density will push low-income people out of neighborhoods. A proposed bill to eliminate zoning in transit-rich areas in order to allow developers to build high-density housing would, say opponents, displace low-income families from neighborhoods with high rental rates in favor of high-income whites who can afford to pay for high-rise housing.

The opponents aren’t wrong. On one hand, increasing housing supply would seem to make housing more affordable. But affordable for whom? With housing prices in some California cities averaging more than $1,000 per square foot, building high-density housing that costs $400 to $500 a square foot would allow people who can afford that to find a place to live. But hardly anyone can afford that.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

No Conflict Without Ideology

16th February 2018

Severian peeks behind the curtain.

One of the job requirements for being a Commie dictator is: Squaring your policy with the Scriptures.  Even minor-league nobodies like Enver Hoxha and Nicolae Ceausescu have Collected Works in the double digits; Kim Il Sung’s complete works run 100 volumes.  Behind the Iron Curtain, being an “intellectual” meant nothing more than justifying any and every policy shift as the quintessence of Communism, and the despot du jour as Marx’s one true dharma heir.

It’s the only way to keep your society on a constant war footing.  Which is why Game of Thrones fails, and will be forgotten five minutes after HBO’s tits-and-Brits rape spectacular goes off the air.  (Bet you didn’t see that coming!)

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Toddler Dies After Drunk Driving Illegal Immigrant Smashes Into Ambulance

15th February 2018

Read it.

How many such tragedies will it take to bring about sensible immigrant-control laws?

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

15th February 2018

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Hakuna Wakanda

15th February 2018

ZMan speaks truth to power.

The black utopia that is Wakanda, the mythical state in the movie and comic books, could never exist. If the white world suddenly stopped sending food aid to Africa, famine would set in within a month. The West sends about $50 Billion in aid to Africa every year. That’s the official amounts from governments. The billions that flow in from charitable organizations is on top of that. A world without white people means Africa experiences a mass starvation event, followed by a mass die off. Africa could end up depopulated.

The underlying argument from our rulers is that Africa is a mess, because of racism. The book Why Nations Fail is the model for this argument. Whites destroyed the native African institutions and left behind extractive ones. That’s why Africa is a mess. The reality is sub-Saharan Africans have an average IQ in the low-80’s. Eritrea is the “smartest” country with an average IQ of 85. What that means is most Africans are borderline to mildly retarded. The reason Africa is not and never will be Wakanda is it is full of Africans.

Now, you cannot fault blacks for celebrating this fictionalized black homeland where they are at the top of the heap. The promotion of this fantasy, however, makes the essential point of the Dissident Right. Humans naturally want to reign supreme in their own domains, surrounded by people that are like them. Wakanda would not resonate with black people if the ruler was a guy named Muary Greenblatt and his minions were all East Asians or Mexicans. Like everyone, blacks dream of a world without diversity.

The latter is the real point. The only people who ‘value diversity’ are white-guilt liberals and on-the-make minorities. There is no diversity in a street gang, or a crime syndicate, or Leftist activist movements like environmentalism.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Blade Runner 2.0

14th February 2018

Zman goes to the movies.

The thing about this movie, something you only ever notice these days when it is missing, is it is devoid of the sort of casual degeneracy we always see in pop culture. There are no 20-minute, soft-core porn sex scenes. There’s no grand chase where half the world explodes. That’s the thing about modern movies. They rarely treat the audience like an adult. It is assumed that everything has to be explained, the ending must be positive and, like horny teenagers, the audience demands extended sex scenes set to bad music.

It is entirely possible, if you are a young person seeing this film, that it is the first movie you have seen that is not overtly anti-white. Older people remember when movies were made to be good and would avoid celebrating multiculturalism. This movie does exactly that. It has white men acting like white men, not foils for the magic negro or as sidekick to the female star. In fact, the only black guy in the movie is a minor character who has a small role in the story.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day

14th February 2018

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Direct Instruction: A Half Century of Research Shows Superior Results

13th February 2018

Read it.

Direct Instruction was pioneered by Siegfried Engelmann in the 1960s and is a scientific approach to teaching. First, a skill such as reading or subtraction is broken down into simple components, then a method to teach that component is developed and tested in lab and field. The method must be explicitly codified and when used must be free of vagueness so students are reliably led to the correct interpretation. Materials, methods and scripts are then produced for teachers to follow very closely. Students are ability not age-grouped and no student advances before mastery. The lessons are fast-paced and feedback and assessment are quick. You can get an idea of how it works in the classroom in this Thales Academy promotional video. Here is a math lesson on counting. It looks odd but it works.

Needless to say, teacher Unions and other proglodytes hate it because it doesn’t fit the Narrative.

Many teachers don’t like DI when first exposed to it because it requires teacher training and discipline. Teachers are not free to make up their own lesson plans. But why should they be? Lesson plans should be developed by teams of cognitive psychologists, educational researchers and other experts who test them using randomized controlled trials; not made up by amateurs who are subject to small-sample and confirmation bias. Contrary to the critics, however, DI does leave room for teachers to be creative. Actors also follow a script but some are much better than others. Instructors who use DI enjoy being effective.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Political Violence

13th February 2018

ZMan is not afraid to ask the obvious questions.

Why is George Soros still alive?

For most of human history, a person who caused trouble for rulers found himself either on the run or on a pike. A earl or prince that made trouble for the king was dragged before the king, humiliated and then hanged. If he fought back, then the king sacked his lands, killed his family and made an even bigger spectacle of killing the the troublemaker. After all, the point of political power is to reward your allies and punish your enemies. Yet, George Soros, an international troublemaker, is free to make trouble wherever he likes.

The obvious reply to that is civilized nations no longer rely on political assassinations to handle their business. Political leaders have a self interest in discouraging the practice of killing heads of state. If ruler X has ruler Y killed, because it advantages him, the other rulers have no choice but to band together and kill ruler X. Otherwise, it is a lawless world of all against all. President Gerald Ford issued an executive order in 1976 prohibiting US intelligence services from conducting political assassinations for this reason.

That makes sense with legitimate political leaders, but George Soros is a rootless grifter, who has no allegiance to any government. Killing him would be no different than droning a terrorist. Some argue that international law prohibits targeted assassinations, but international law is mostly meaningless. The Israelis have been using targeted assassination against whoever they like for a long time, including the murder of Canadian engineer Gerald Bull. The US has droned more Arabs than we can count.

I’ve wondered about that myself. Offing people like George Soros is kind of what the CIA is all about.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Thought for the Day: Semper Fi

13th February 2018

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Bunky Mortimer’s Guide to Classical Music

13th February 2018

Read it.

Your musical day should start with works written closest to our own time, then work backward. The reason is simple. Nineteenth-century music is filled with the forward momentum necessary for the mornings; whereas early music—similar to jazz—is based on an interplay of harmonies, giving it the astral quality needed for late-night contemplation. The reason for this is also simple. Early compositions sought to mirror divine relationships—the Music of the Spheres—with a view to serving the listener in the matter of worship or dancing. Later compositions tend to mirror the busy minds of their creators, with which the hapless listener must keep pace. As a result, they are temporal, not eternal. This is as true of the works of musical nationalism as it is of “La donna è mobile”; whereas the nonlinear relationships within early music mean its possibilities are open, infinite—and, in my book, nocturnal.

Okay, let’s go with that. Here’s your wakeup. Follow it with anything you like, because it’s all downhill from there.

The last thing you hear before hitting the sack ought to be this.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Singer Cardi B: People Own Guns Because ‘They’re Scared of the Minority’

12th February 2018

Read it,

Even minorities own guns because of the minority. What do they know that she doesn’t.

Most black people who die from guns do so at the hands of other black people. But they never tell you that on the evening news.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Is Mike Tirico Black or Not?

12th February 2018

Steve Sailer is not afraid to ask the obvious questions.

But let’s look at Mike Tirico instead as an example of how rare it is in modern non-Hispanic America for somebody who appears to be kind of black not to claim to be black. I won’t call him “the exception that proves the rule” because that always triggers a lot of people, such as a certain federal judge, who want to explain that, logically, an exception can’t prove a rule. So I will call Tirico an example of somebody whose famous exceptionalness to the general tendency offers support for the tendency.

The tendency is that people who are significantly black by ancestry seldom self-identify as white in recent decades (assuming they aren’t from some culture like Latin America where that is encouraged). This in contradiction to the popular theory of White Privilege.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day: Party of the Little People

12th February 2018

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

The Applied Theory of Bossing People Around

11th February 2018

Deirdre McClosky fisks Richard Thaler’s Nobel Prize in Economics.

Adam Smith spoke of “the man of system” who “seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board.” Thaler and his benevolent friends are men, and some few women, of system. They hate the Chicago School, have never heard of the Austrian School, dismiss spontaneous order, and favor bossing people around—for their own good, understand. Employing the third most unbelievable sentence in English (the other two are “The check is in the mail” and “Of course I’ll respect you in the morning”), they declare cheerily, “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”

We humans face a choice of treating people as children or as adults. A liberal society, Smith’s “liberal plan of [social] equality, [economic] liberty, and [legal] justice,” treats adults as adults. The principle of an illiberal society, from Thaler’s to the much worse kind, is that you are to be corrected not through respectful dialog that treats you as an equal, but by compulsion or trickery, which treats you like a toddler about to walk into traffic.

What some on the alt-right call ‘Cloud People’ versus ‘Mud People’. In case you’re in doubt, you and I are Mud People.

Wikipedia lists fully 257 cognitive biases. In the category of decision-making biases alone there are anchoring, the availability heuristic, the bandwagon effect, the baseline fallacy, choice-supportive bias, confirmation bias, belief-revision conservatism, courtesy bias, and on and on. According to the psychologists, it’s a miracle you can get across the street.

For Thaler, every one of the biases is a reason not to trust people to make their own choices about money. It’s an old routine in economics.

And politics.

The Progressive economists believed they saw monopolies, spillovers, informational asymmetry, consumer ignorance, producer ignorance—in short, everyone’s folly and ignorance except the nudging government’s—to the number of over one hundred imperfections. They imagined a new one every year or so, and lately have been getting Nobels for discovering allegedly fresh market failures. Paul Krugman, for example, received the prize in 2008, supposedly for reinventing monopolistic competition for international trade. He deserved it eventually, though he got it embarrassingly prematurely (compare Obama’s for peace) because the social democratic Swedes wanted to buck up a left-of-center columnist. Krugman tweeted about Thaler: “Yes! Behavioral econ is the best thing to happen to the field in generations.” He would say that.

Lenin would have agreed, had he still been around.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day: Battle Lines Being Drawn

11th February 2018

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

How Old Were You When Heard Your Favorite Songs?

11th February 2018

Steve Sailer dives into popular culture and comes out with some truth in his mouth.

Songs that came out decades earlier are now, on average, most popular among men who were 14 when they were first released. The most important period for men in forming their adult tastes were the ages 13 to 16.

What about women? On average, their favorite songs came out when they were 13. The most important period for women were the ages 11 to 14.

I first started listening to popular music in 1964, when I hit high school, and quit when I got out of graduate school in 1985. I have favorites throughout that period, but don’t really care much for anything before (Elvis and Buddy Holly) or after (rap and hip-hop). And my ‘likes’ dip back into the 30s and 40s — In the Mood and Sing Sing Sing will always get my butt moving in the seat — and genres like boogie-woogie.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

The Essence of Civilization

10th February 2018

The essence of civilization is Carriage and Storage.

Without Carriage and Storage, you got nothin’. You’re living from day to day, sometimes hour to hour, and your future is so uncertain that it might as well not exist.

If you gather more than you can eat right now, you need Storage, or you’re mostly wasting your time. Dork.

If you kill more than you can eat right now, you need Storage, or you’re mostly wasting resources. Shame on you.

If your Storage doesn’t readily convert into Carriage, then you are fixed in one place, and eventually something (or someone) will find you and kill you. And they will eat what you have stored, and you will feel like an idiot, or would if you were still around.

Think about it. What are buildings? Partly shelter, mostly storage. What are vehicles? Exclusively Carriage. What would we be without buildings and vehicles? Chimpanzees without the hair. Not a pleasant prospect.

There is a reason the women carry bags, and men have pockets.

Think about it.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Why the Culture Wins: An Appreciation of Iain M. Banks

10th February 2018

Read it.

If you haven’t read any of the novels of Ian M. Banks, you probably ought to do so.

This article tells you why.

It also contains some useful discussion of culture, technology, history, and moral choice.

This is, I think, where Banks draws upon his most sociologically astute observation, again extrapolating from contemporary cultural trends. There are a variety of developments that are associated with modernity. One of them involves a move away from ascribed toward achieved sources of identity. The idea is rather simple: in traditional societies, people were defined largely by the circumstances that they were born into, or their ascribed characteristics – who your family was, what “station” in life you were born to, what gender you were, etc. There were a strict set of roles that prescribed how each person in each set of circumstances was to act, and life consisted largely of acting out the prescribed role. A modern society, by contrast, favours “choice” over “circumstances,” and indeed, considers it the height of injustice that people should be constrained or limited by their circumstances. Thus there is a move toward achieved sources of identity – what school you went to, what career you have chosen, who you decided to marry, and the lifestyle you adopt. “Getting to know someone,” in our society, involves asking them about the choices they have made in life, not the circumstances they were born into.

There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to both arrangements. The advantages of choice, for people living in an achievement-oriented society, are too obvious to be worth enumerating. But there are disadvantages. Under the old system of ascribed statuses, people did not suffer from “identity crises,” and they did not need to spend the better part of their 20’s “finding themselves.” When everything is chosen, however, then the basis upon which one can make a choice becomes eroded. There are no more fixed points, from which different options can be evaluated. This generates the crisis of meaning that Taylor associates with the decline of strong evaluation.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF A SANDWICH: Straw Laws, Meat Taxes, and when ‘Science’ Infringes on Freedom

10th February 2018

Read it.

A story out of the United Kingdom details a University of Manchester research project to determine the carbon footprint of the humble sandwich. The upshot: a prepackaged and refrigerated breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon or sausage, produces as much carbon dioxide as a 12-mile car trip. No word on what kind of car the scientists assumed in this calculation — likely not a Tesla charged with coal-fired electricity.

At the other end of the scale was a ham and cheese sandwich made in one’s own kitchen. Presumably the fact that such a homemade meal didn’t require an employee who had to commute to work to make the sandwich, along with the packaging, shipping and refrigeration for hours afterward, played a large role in that sandwich’s superior carbon footprint rating.

Once you know what the ‘carbon footprint’ is (assuming your calculations are anywhere correct, which I dispute), so what? The assumption seems to be that a ‘carbon footprint’ is a bad thing. Is it? Almost everything in life seems to have a ‘carbon footprint’ of some kind — but saying that doesn’t really tell you anything useful.

The Unarticulated Assumption of this whole effort seems to be that a smaller ‘carbon footprint’ is better than a larger one, but without any sort of scale by which carbon footprints can be measured, and some sort of idea as to what constitutes an ‘acceptable’ carbon footprint, it tells us Absolutely Nothing Useful. Another Unarticulated Assumption is that somehow human being are responsible for all of the ThoughtCrime ‘carbon footprints’ existing in the world today — which is proglodyte religious dogma, and (again) not useful. (What is the ‘carbon footprint’ of a whitetail deer? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?)

Presuming that the Manchester scientists are correct in their data, so what? As a former California lawmaker, I know the practical effect of such a study is to inform policymakers to “Do something!” That something most likely being a tax on prepared foods with higher carbon footprints.

My question is: How does increasing taxes solve whatever problem is caused by ‘carbon footprints’? Then theory seems to be that if we slap a tax on something, then less of that something will be produced. The flaw in that reasoning is that history teaches us that whenever we slap a tax on something, people just bend their minds to evading the tax, not toward decreasing the ‘carbon footprint’. The major disqualifying counter-argument is that, if a large ‘carbon footprint’ is a bad thing, then the proper governmental action is to ban the activity, not just tax it. (Somehow that never seems to occur to legislators.)

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Something’s Happening Here

10th February 2018

ZMan is very good at articulating what’s going on.

True believers are incapable of accepting disconfirmation. The reason for this is their individual identity becomes so entangled in the cause, that anything contradicting the cause is viewed as a personal assault. That’s why Progressives react to contacts with reality as if they have been violently assaulted. For them, there is no line separating themselves and the cause. An assault on the cause, even just contrary facts, is felt like a kick to the groin. It’s why Progressive women equate free speech with violence.

There’s another product of this and that’s the inability to adapt to political reality. They set off on a course, with a pleasing narrative in their head, and stick with it no matter what happens. This delusional determination is why the Left keeps at their pet causes with a great deal of success, but it is also why they eventually burn themselves out in an orgy of recrimination. They can’t let go of the dream, even when the cause is lost, so they look for people to blame.

The lunatics are sure they are winning. It is written in the prophecies. How can their elected leaders not see this? Why are they quitting just when victory is at hand? Of course, that’s not reality, but reality is far too unpleasant to accept, so they are re-imagining the present in order to hold onto the dream. The Democrat leaders, especially Chuck Schumer, they know what’s happening. Thanks to Trump’s political maneuvering, white voters now see the Democrats as the Brown Party.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day

10th February 2018

The guilty flee where no man pursueth.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

A Peek at the Democrat Playbook on Immigration

8th February 2018

I’ll bet you’re wondering why the Democrats are so committed to importing foreigners into the U.S.

Well, I’ll tell you.

When you say ‘American’ to a Democrat, they think ‘redneck Republican’ — hence their hostility to the use of the word ‘American’, the flag, patriotism, etc. Their immediate reaction to this is ‘Not Our Kind’ — and they’re right. The ideal Democrat country consists of Their Kind of People and an appropriate servant population, with nothing resembling a middle class to cause trouble.

There are two reasons why Democrats want tons and tons of foreigners to come freely to the U.S.

  1. They hope such people will vote Democrat (illegally if they can get away with it) in return for generous government benefits. (This is why Democrats also advocate ‘removing barriers to citizenship’, because it interferes with their process.) It was customary for Democrat city political machines (and may still be, for all I know) to provide ringers who would swear falsely that the immigrant had lived in the U.S. for the requisite period of time and was an upstanding candidate . My great-grandfather benefited from this system, being sworn in as a U.S. citizen the day he got off the boat from Ireland in exchange for a commitment to vote Democrat until (and, for all I know, after) he died. (My father was born a couple of weeks after my grandfather died, and my grandmother remarried a non-Irishman, which is probably what broke the chain.)
  2. Such people are already accustomed to being governed by a narrow corrupt ruling class that is more white than they are. They think it’s How The World Works and, while they’re not happy about it, they don’t see any prospect of changing it (because it never changes in the place from which they came). If you doubt it, look at the sort of countries from which Democrats prefer their immigrants: Latin America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa – any place that could accurately be described by a non-Democrat as a ‘shithole country’. Nobody from democratic countries in Europe or East Asia need apply.

There.

That was easy. Ask me a hard one.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Watch Beetles Shoot Hot Chemicals From Their Butts to Escape Toad Bellies

8th February 2018

Read it.

I think this is an extended metaphor about politicians and journalists but I’m not sure which is which.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

The Dark Knight

7th February 2018

Trump’s Dark, Bloody-Minded State of the Union – The Atlantic

Is Donald Trump’s Dark Russian Secret Hiding In Deutsche Bank’s Vaults?

In his first speech as president, Trump’s vision of America remains dark

Economists warn of Trump deficit’s ‘dark trajectory’

Trump, Xi and a dark year for democracy

Trump: How Dark Is His Dark Side?

The Donald Trump Conversation: Politics’ “Dark Heart” Is Having the Best Time Anyone’s Ever Had

Trump and the Dark History of Straight Talk

The Guardian view on President-elect Donald Trump: a dark day for the world

Trump’s Dark Deregulation

How Donald Trump Rode In On “Dark Money”

Trump’s Dark Vision Of America

Trump’s MS-13 speech takes a dark turn

How Did Trump Win? Follow the Dark Money

The Real Trouble With Trump’s ‘Dark Post’ Facebook Ads

Christian Bale Recounts Meeting Donald Trump During ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Donald Trump’s Glowing Orb – Dark Ritual

Image result for trump batman

Is Trump like Batman? College student’s paper wins national award

To the bat-cave, Robin….

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Study Makes Bizarre Claim That Global Warming Could Alter People’s Personalities

6th February 2018

Read it.

Why not? It’s already turned a number of supposedly intelligent and well-education people into paranoid morons.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »