DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for the 'Think about it.' Category

Uncivil Religion

20th November 2017

ZMan digs a little deeper.

It seems that the calls for “unity” have coincided with the spread of the American civic nationalism stuff. Thirty years ago, no public figure talked about “who we are” or made grand claims about a unified America culture. In fact, the lack of conformity was the gold standard of intellectual rigor. Democrats used to claim they had so much internal debate, it was like herding cats. Republicans used to crow about being the party of ideas, meaning that they had the bulk of free thinkers and dissident chattering skulls.

It’s not a coincidence that the flowering of the civic religion stuff has coincided with increasing calls for unity and now the un-personing panics. Religions, particularly in their growth phase, are highly intolerant of competing religions. It’s why the Left, even today, attacks Christianity. They see it as competition. In order to have a civic religion, it means stamping out ideas and movements that contradict it, even if those ideas are rooted in observable reality. In the name of unity, dissent must be crushed, along with the dissenter.

The Left is full of trendy little sects these days. Eco-Nazism is certainly a religion; just listen to the way they talk. Diversitaranism is certainly a religion; anyone who believes that adjusting a workforce so that the percentages of each ethnic group matches those in the general population automatically guarantees success is searching for the Promised Land.

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Thought for the Day

18th November 2017

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Foreign Automakers Are Investing in US Because of Pro-Business Climate

17th November 2017

Read it.

But never forget that Trump has accomplished ABSOLUTELY NOTHING during his first year in office.

Don’t let reality distract you from the Narrative.

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Thought for the Day

17th November 2017

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How Well Do You Know Your Medieval Manuscripts?

16th November 2017

Read it.

Hey — if we’re going to have a pointless click-bait quiz, let’s have a good one.

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Thought for the Day

16th November 2017

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If Your Partner Is Upset, There’s One Thing You Should Never Say

16th November 2017

Read it.

My guess was ‘Get over it’, but I was wrong.

My second guess was ‘Alright, be that way’, but that was wrong, too.

It’s discouraging how often I get these clickbait-article-title-questions wrong.

Yet: I persist.

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Trump Forces Europe to Pay More for the UN’s Global Warming Panel

15th November 2017

Read it.

But you have to keep in mind that Trump has accomplished ABSOLUTELY NOTHING during his first year in office. Never lose sight of the Narrative.

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Thought for the Day

15th November 2017

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Socialism’s Obsession With Race

14th November 2017

Read it.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times last August, the cofounder of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Cullors, stated that BLM would not sit at the table with President Trump, because he “is literally the epitome of evil, all the evils of this country – be it racism, capitalism, sexism, homophobia”.

Trump’s views and actions aside, calling capitalism evil and conflating it with racism is noteworthy. The same goes for the increasing tendency among racial justice advocates to embrace the left-wing economic agenda.

Pure Trump Derangement Syndrome.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Natalie Jeffers, who cofounded BLM in the United Kingdom, urged her followers to: “Fight racism with solidarity. Fight capitalism with socialism. We must organize – dedicate ourselves to revolutionary politic power.”

So it’s Just Another Left Wing Victim Group. *yawn*

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Thought for the Day

14th November 2017

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President Trump’s 2017 Report Card (first draft)

13th November 2017

Scott Adams does the numbers.

But of course Trump has accomplished ABSOLUTELY NOTHING during his first year in office. Just listen to the TV if you don’t believe it. Or read a major newspaper. Would they steer you wrong?

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Thought for the Day

13th November 2017

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Thought for the Day

12th November 2017

But you’ll learn. You’ll learn….

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The Myth of the Idle Rich

12th November 2017

Kevin Williamson brings the heat.

The Republican tax plan may be kind of dumb, but if it were three times as dumb as it is, it would only be half as dumb as the Washington Post’s analysis of it.

Don’t hold it in, Kevin, tell us how you really feel.

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The Allegations Against Roy Moore

11th November 2017

Paul Mirengoff sums up my position on the Roy Moore kerfuffle very efficiently.

Her allegations may be true. But based on what has been reported so far, I think her most serious allegations — the ones that, if true, would constitute criminal conduct — are more likely false than true.

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Adopting Caricatures

11th November 2017

Kathryn Jean Lopez wrings her hands.

The core of her argument is expressed as follows: “What’s so disappointing and infuriating about its initial exclusion is we do so very little, collectively, and in many/most of our cases, individually, to support and promote adoption in the first place.”

This assumes (without attempting to prove) two propositions:

  1. That adoption is a universal good that only needs to be stated to accrue universal support;
  2. That the tax code is the proper place (or at least a proper place) to promote this good thing.

If Ms Lopez likes adoption and wants to promote it, I have no objection.

If she seeks to persuade others, however, she needs to start farther back in the chain of reasoning than where she actually does.

And I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that, whatever one’s attitude toward adoption may be, use of the tax code for such ‘social engineering’ is a progressive, not a conservative, notion, one that I am shocked to see come from a writer for a supposedly conservative magazine like National Review.

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How School Stole Your Flow

11th November 2017

Read it.

Genuine play exhibits all the classic characteristics of flow. For the child at play, time seems to distort, self-consciousness disappears, and attention is absorbed. In play, there is no fretting, reluctance, or inhibition, so the activity feels effortless, even though the player may be putting forth strenuous effort, say, to beat a video game level. A player might even have a pained look on his face as he pushes up against the limits of his current ability, and yet will later report having had the time of his life.

For the school-minded, any activity freely chosen by the child, no matter how growth-inducing, is considered “mere play” in the denigrated sense. An activity is only deemed “work” and “learning” if it is involuntary and assigned by adults.

Wisdom. Attend.

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Thought for the Day

11th November 2017

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Uncommon Knowledge: David Mamet

10th November 2017

Watch it.

I love conversion stories, and this one (and David Horowitz’s) rocks.

He points out, very accurately, that most of what passes for discussion these days aren’t discussions of issues but rather interrogations about recognition signals.

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Thought for the Day

10th November 2017

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Nature Finds A Way

9th November 2017

ZMan promotes reality.

One of the more frustrating things about biological realism is that most people really wish there was no such thing as biological realism. The reason ad makers keep trying to sell stuff using little girl football players or race mixing campers is they know most white people wish all that stuff was true. Those ads and their assumptions are flattering to SWPL-ville types. The studied dismissal of human biology by our ruling elite goes largely unchallenged, because the great white middle class hopes they are right about all of it.

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The Next iPhone X Should Be Bigger. No, Smaller!

9th November 2017

Read it.

I agree.

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Why You Should NEVER Buy an Amazon Echo or Even Get Near One

9th November 2017

Read it.

The Echo has to be listening at all times in order to respond to the “Alexa” command. So the only question is whether Amazon or some friendly member of the surveillance state is recording then too.

Matches my thinking on the subject.

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How to Do Everything (Lifehacking Considered Harmful)

9th November 2017

Cory Doctorow is one of those people who appear to have an opinion on everything.

I was there when “lifehacking” was born. It was the 11th of February, 2004, at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, held in a giant conference hotel in San Diego. I was on the committee for ETech (as we called it) and I had lobbied hard for the inclusion of a talk called “Life Hacks: Tech Secrets of Overprolific Alpha Geeks” by Danny O’Brien, a technology columnist and former standup comedian who is also a good friend (I am now godfather to his daughter, Ada). I’d watched Danny compiling his research for the talk and I knew it would be a great one.

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I Got Your Aromatic Injection Right Here

9th November 2017

Joe Bob Briggs does food.

Two weeks ago I’m in Orlando, and my colleague suggests we Uber over to Winter Park for a restaurant that gets rave reviews on the internet. I love barbecue, so yeah, The Ravenous Pig, cute name, let’s hit it.

I should have thought about it for ten seconds first. Because why is it a ravenous pig instead of a hungry pig? A name like The Hungry Pig or The Hungry Hog would imply fat slabs of pork, whereas The Ravenous Pig is a red flag indicating we’re entering the Neverland of Food Disinformation, like one of those episodes of Iron Chef where the guy with the bow tie says, “I’m impressed that the sriracha doesn’t overpower the wine-shallot reduction, but the pilaf is a bland choice.”

Been there, done that.

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Let A Thousand Honkies Bloom

8th November 2017

ZMan does some poking around.

When I cruise around social media, the one thing that strikes me about the alt-right is its Yankee vibe. It is a very northern honky phenomenon. It’s also a very suburban phenomenon too. I’ve made the point for years that libertarianism was a suburban white boy ideology. Most of the guys calling themselves alt-right grew up in the suburbs and started out in life as libertarians. It’s why the alt-right has a greater focus on the JQ than the race issue or even immigration. Jews are simply more numerous in the North.

The thing with whites in the South and Appalachia is that race and heritage are the towering issues, which is not something people from Yankeedom understand. They won the Civil War and got to impose their culture on everyone else to their satisfaction. People outside of Yankeedom care deeply about preserving their culture, which is a unique subset of America. They are also far less concerned about the JQ stuff, as the only Jews they see are on television. It’s just not an issue for them.

It’s in the Midwest where the sense of alienation is strongest. Popular culture, politics, and economics are controlled by people who no longer look familiar to the average white Midwesterner.

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Organizing Myths

8th November 2017

Severian reminds us of some inconvenient truth.

Since we’re stewed in it from birth (and because our educational system sucks), we forget just how much of a myth the social contract really is.  Read Hobbes, for instance.  As much as I love him (I consider Hobbes pretty much the only political philosopher worth reading), he’s just wrong about some fundamental ideas.  There never was a State of Nature.  Life in mankind’s dawn was nasty, poor, brutish, and short, all right, but it sure as hell wasn’t solitary — people are evolved monkeys; we have monkey firmware; monkeys have the most elaborate social structure in the animal kingdom.  If ever there were a “social contract,” it was between meta-monkey troops living in nearby caves.

Rousseau was full of shit as well. ‘Man is born free, but everywhere is in chains.’ Sorry, dude, but man is born dependent on his parents and family and universally remains subject to them until puberty if not beyond.

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Virginia Election

8th November 2017

I first encountered Ed Gillespie when he worked for Dick Armey, back in the day. He was a Republican Establishment apparatchik then and remains a Republican Establishment apparatchik today.

Virginia has been turning more and more blue as the Washington environs attracts more and more bureaucrats and hangers-on. The surprise here is not Gillespie losing but how close he came to winning — he barely won the primary, so the Republican party was far from unified behind him.

The DemLegHump Media will, of course, be spinning this as a ‘referendum on Trump and the Trump program’, despite the fact that Gillespie’s campaign was run by never-Trumpers from the start. Trump’s name was not on the ballot, and Gillespie’s campaign didn’t make any attempt to grasp Trump’s coat-tails, in any respect.

Nevertheless, even though this guy Northam won, all of the talk will not be about him but about Trump. That demonstrates who is still the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

UPDATE: REPORT: Bannon Offered To Campaign For Ed Gillespie But Was Denied

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Thought for the Day

8th November 2017

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GOP Tax Plan Would Change Who Can Afford to Get a PhD

8th November 2017

Read it.

Apparently nobody has clued in these people to the fact that there are more PhDs out there than can find jobs.

The best students, the ones who ought to be going for these degrees, will get scholarships. That’s what scholarships do. Subsidizing the worse students through easy cash lending guarantees does neither them nor the rest of us any good.

(Hint: The children are NOT ‘all above average’.)

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California, the Rhetoric of Illegal Immigration, and the Perils of Ignoring Thucydides’s Warning

7th November 2017

Victor Davis Hanson commits the crime of of Noticing.

The English has been clear and exact for nearly a century: illegal alien (cf. Latin alienus) was a descriptive term for any foreigner who crossed the US border without coming through customs to obtain proper legal sanction.

Illegal alien, then, was a politically neutral, exact, and descriptive term: one used by both the Supreme Court and Internal Revenue Service.

But open-borders advocates did not like the adjective and noun because they accurately emphasized both illegality and the foreignness of those arriving into the United States from another country.

What followed was a slow Orwellian devolution. Illegal alien initially was reinvented as “undocumented alien,” as if the violation became one of simply forgetting (rather than never having) one’s supposed legal documents at home. But the noun “alien” still implied arrivals were somehow separate from US citizens by virtue of their illegal resident status. So next the noun changed to immigrant, as if undocumented immigrant gave the impression that forgetful visitors had just strayed innocently across the border.

The Left is very fond of distortion-through-adjective. ‘Justice’ isn’t good enough; it has to be ‘social justice’, ‘racial justice’, ‘distributive justice’, etc. — which is to say, injustice.

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Whatever Doesn’t Kill Trump Only Makes Him Stronger

7th November 2017

Victor Davis Hanson observes the phenomenon.

 

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Hunter Gored to Death by Cornered Deer in Rare Attack

7th November 2017

Read it.

These things happen. Those horns are there for a reason.

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Thought for the Day

7th November 2017

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Their Very Fine Line

6th November 2017

Freeberg ponders.

Think about THAT, now. We’re constantly told the democrats are the party of the little guy, of the underdog. The handicapped, who cannot do, couldn’t have done, anything to improve his present circumstances. Well, putting aside the fact that this is exactly how small children argue — “You’re stupid! I win!” — when the time comes for all of their hopes and dreams to depend on making an entire country angry at one guy, they see this as the most promising strategy. Promulgate the notion that he’s stupid, like they did with Sarah Palin and George W. Bush. Convince us he’s stupid, and our anger is automatic. And right, and good, and just.

Think about that…take all the time you need…

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Thought for the Day

6th November 2017

I’m holding out for ‘The floor of the Senate’.

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Thought for the Day

5th November 2017

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Sheepdog Puppy Leads Flock of Sheep Into Owners’ House

4th November 2017

Read it.

Probably organizing a union.

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Headless 400-pound Tuna Found in Massachusetts Woods

4th November 2017

Read it.

Maybe he crossed Hillary. ‘It’s an old Clintonian message. Bunco now sleeps with the squirrels.’

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Inside Russia’s Secretive Cult of Tsar Worship: How Royalism Is Thriving 100 Years After Murder of Nicholas II

4th November 2017

Read it.

They’re still using the Russian Imperial arms, why not have a Russian Imperial family? I doubt that a new tsar could be any worse than Putin.

Actually, the Russian Imperial dynasty was German from the time of Tsar Paul, so they might want to get some real Russians for a change; there are any number of Rurik-descended noble families that would do, such as the Gagarins, the Obolenskys, and the Dolgorukys.

If they want to go with the Hostein-Gottorp-Romanovs, the heir male was Prince Paul Romanovsky-Ilyinsky, son of Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich, who died in 2004. His son, Dimitri Pavlovich, an American citizen, would be a good pick.

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The Extraordinary Silliness of American College Grading

4th November 2017

Read it.

Imagine if marathon runners were ranked simply by taking their average time over every course. Some courses are clearly harder than others, and runners can choose which races to enter, so a runner could always improve her ranking by refusing to run on difficult courses. Even sillier would be to rank runners by their average finish position across all races: a world-class professional could just run against high-schoolers and finish first without even trying.

Strangely, the current system for evaluating American college students manages to achieve this extraordinary level of silliness. Since students can select their own courses, and grades from all courses count equally, they are rewarded for taking easier courses and punished for taking harder ones. A first-year student taking introductory English literature gets exactly equal credit as her classmate who precociously jumps into graduate-level literary analysis.

College grade-point averages (GPAs) are not merely a matter of pride. Medical schools, law schools and consulting firms, among other popular post-graduation destinations, have strict GPA cut-offs; any student who fails to make the grade will struggle to have their application even seen by a human. From an individual student’s standpoint, it’s completely rational to optimise for GPA, even at the expense of other considerations. From the university’s point of view, though, that expense is vast.

The problem with any system of grading is: Who’s doing the grading, and on what basis?

American military schools solve this problem by separating the teaching and the testing. Tests at the end of every two or three week Unit are standardized and are created and graded by a special testing group who build tests based on individual questions that have been used in past tests and which have values associated with them as to predicted performance, e.g. a question is historically gotten right by 64% or 73% or 45% of test-takers; tests are built from questions whose average predicted success rate equals the desired passing score. New questions are constantly being created and their initial values are derived from performance in tests to which they are added but in which they are not counted ‘for real’.

The closest approach to this in modern academia are the various ‘aptitude tests’ like the SAT and the ACT and the ‘gateway tests’ used by British-format school systems, such as the GCSE, O-Level, and A-Level exams. Attempts are being made to do something like this in the United States but are hitting rocks and shoals because (a) tests of absolute achievement allow teachers themselves to be evaluated for effectiveness, and teachers resist this to their least breath, and (b) such tests are subject to capture by political groups who want the educational system to indoctrinate students with their preferred political agenda and so write tests that reward that indoctrination.

 

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Eugenics 2.0: We’re at the Dawn of Choosing Embryos by Health, Height, and More

4th November 2017

Read it.

Science is not always your friend.

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A ‘Marxist’ Explanation for the Trump Revolution

4th November 2017

Read it.

I got a heads up about the comparison at a 2015 dinner, when I heard a congressman complain about the members of the House’s rambunctious and very conservative Freedom Caucus. “Right-wing Marxists,” he called them. Aha, I thought. That’s me.

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Thought for the Day

4th November 2017

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Bureaucrats Annoyed US Emissions Levels Are Plummeting Despite Leaving Paris Deal

3rd November 2017

Read it.

Obviously Reality doesn’t read the correct news media.

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Thought for the Day

3rd November 2017

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Culture Matters

2nd November 2017

Severian shares some thoughts.

Culture obviously matters quite a bit, as any breeze through a history book should tell you.  Heck, if you’ve made it past your own personal Wonder Years you should know this.  It’s not just nostalgia’s rosy glow; life really was different back then.  Watch episodes of old prime-time TV on Youtube; they look like they were made on Mars, for Martians.

I’m not just talking about ephemera, either, like Cosby sweaters.  They thought differently back then.  If the 1980s are too recent for you to see it clearly, go read some stuff from the Middle Ages.  You don’t really think, do you, that you could be the best doctor in Medieval France if you went back there armed with the germ theory of disease?

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Thought for the Day

2nd November 2017

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Rapid-Fire News Cycle Leaves Bump Stocks Behind

1st November 2017

Read it.

Everyone from Sen. Diane Feinstein (D – Cal.) to the leadership of the National Rifle Association was on board with some form of restriction and a flurry of bills were introduced to prohibit them outright.

Today, people seem to have forgotten all about them.

Guess they weren’t that big a deal after all.

 

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