Archive for May, 2021

A Certain Amount of Pain

Saturday, May 29th, 2021

It continues to surprise me, how many people say “We need to come together and stop being so divided,” and then immediately turn around and support a political party dedicated to bringing pain.

We shouldn’t have such a party in the United States, let alone a major political party. No organized party should remain organized after making it their priority that it should hurt this much to make a quarter millions dollars a year. Or that it should cost this much to hire unskilled help, should the need arise. Or “No justice, no peace.” Or that every divorce that might possibly happen, has to happen. Or that it ought to hurt this much to buy a gun, or the ammunition for it. Get hired/promoted when you’re a white guy. Register your car. Buy a kilowatt-hour of energy. Buy groceries. Water your lawn.

They always have these excuses. You can’t raise a family of eight and pay for their college educations on $3.25 an hour, or we have to break storefront windows to show how upset we are over the latest police shooting, or she was in an abusive marriage and didn’t realize it. Or something to do with spotted owls, or snail darters, or shrimp in the vernal pools. Or, the public debt is out of control. That last one, by the way, justifies any & all initiatives to make things more expensive, which is over half of the pain deliberately brought. So it’s odd that I haven’t heard it for a very long time. When I was coming of age, federal spending was just about to cross the trillion-dollar-annual threshold. That really got people’s attention. People of all political stripes worried about the increasing debt. “Stagflation” was looming large in the rear-view mirror. Liberals said “We have to make the rich pay their fair share” and it sounded sincere.

Now no one gives a crap. But democrats still say “make the rich pay their fair share” which proves they’re really just all about hurting people who are trying to run their businesses. They never cared about anything else. And the casual consumers of news, who know little but claim not to be intransigently tethered to one side or the other, thinking themselves to be above it all, slobber like Pavlov’s dogs. Oh yes, make those rich so-and-sos pay! They have to endure a certain minimum of pain! Well, why?

These people are lying and don’t know they’re lying. They get away with it a lot, because they look sincere. Well that’s the thing about lying to yourself: You look sincere, because you are, and yet if you aren’t being truthful with yourself then you can’t deal truthfully with anyone else. And the truth is, an agenda of hurt is going to cause division. You can blame the division on the other guy, but there’s nothing divisive about “Please don’t make it painful for me to run a business when you aren’t helping anybody by doing so, just to make it painful to run a business.”

We are always going to have destructive people, because destroying things is easy. We’re also always going to have people like me, who think things through all the way, lack any desire to destroy or bring pain to anyone just-because, and say “When that guy pays more taxes, and the receipts get blown on nonsense, that doesn’t help anybody.” We’re always going to have both these types. So an agenda of “This perfectly legal thing that helps many and hurts nobody, ought to hurt a certain amount” will always drive a wedge between the two. That’s where the divisiveness is.

Also, it’s undignified. It’s proof that whoever thinks this, labors under skewed priorities. They’re looking for new problems, probably because they’re not dealing with enough already. Haven’t had to accept any real responsibilities in life. Have it too easy. And that’s probably because the businesses they want to tax more just to make it hurt more, have made it that way.

What Fact Checking Is

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

If I take the term “fact checker” literally, I’m not left thinking of it the way they want me to think of it, because they want me to think of them as a sort of filter. Someone makes a statement, the statement goes into the hopper, then the fact checkers check it to see if it IS a fact. If we really believed that was the process, and wanted to come up with a phrase to accurately describe it, they would be statement checkers.

They could be statistic validators. Maybe statistic checkers, statement validators or verity verifiers.

“Fact check” means a fact is what goes into this hopper. Logically, what happens within the innards of the mechanism, must be something besides making sure the fact is a fact, as that must have already been done.

And so I am to believe that these professionals and volunteers apply their talents and resources to something already known to be true, and check it for something. Like for example, whether the people for whom they work, have an interest in the rest of us knowing that fact, or whether they have an interest in that fact being suppressed. That’s what a tin-eared technically-precise reading of that term would mean. Reminds me of one of David Burge’s most famous tweets, about covering the stories. With a pillow until they stop moving.

Ironically…that’s a completely accurate way of looking at it.

Victory Lap?

Monday, May 24th, 2021

Fourteen months ago, just a few days after our first “shelter in place” order, I predicted in a round-about way that for this debacle to come to a close, there would have to be some sort of civil disobedience. I didn’t like that idea then and I don’t like it now. We’re a nation of laws, laws require definition, and you can’t function according to “this law counts because we like it but that other law doesn’t count because we’re civilly disobeying it.”

But I do have to admit, even at the beginning of this I could see this is not absolute. Our nation got started, after all, with civil disobedience. Still & all, like everyone else, I’ve been learning.

Stay inside, don’t go anywhere, and watch teevee ALL of the time like a couple of liberals? No problem, we like each other. And we’ve got all the James Bond movies! We’ll watch one a night and after 24 nights, this thing is bound to be over!

Heh…heh…no really, that was our plan. Oh, the Governor might keep this going into June 2020? Shocker! We-ell…we have more movies…

Okay. So we’ve been met with a series of surprises. Our leaders/rulers/aristocrats, call ’em what you will, “public health officials,” etc…well, there’s no point arguing about it anymore. There is no doubt. They’ve exploited the crisis. It’s just so obvious that writing it down or saying it out loud is an exercise in redundancy. It’s like saying water is wet. No one arguing honestly is going to doubt it or question it, so if they’re doing that they’re just wasting your time.

Scott Morefield at Townhall says Never Again…Never, EVER again.

Like a snowball that’s turned into an avalanche, the restoration of the rights and liberties millions of Americans, particularly those in blue states, lost over the past 14 months seems to be unstoppable at this point. Indeed, the precipitous fall of Covidstan has happened quicker and in more places than any of us could have possibly predicted even three weeks ago. We’ve got a long way to go, particularly with schools, workplaces, and public transportation, but I never imagined that restrictions and mask mandates would end in places like New York, Connecticut, and Virginia anytime before 2022, but thankfully, here we are.

That’s good news we should all celebrate heartily, but if you think this sudden relinquishing of unconstitutional governmental power has anything to do with our overlords’ sudden, Damascus-road-like grasp of ‘science,’ I’ve got an autographed picture of Gretchen Whitmer at a mask burning to sell you. From the CDC’s constant mixed messaging to Dr. Anthony Fauci finally admitting that he was wearing a mask after being vaccinated only for show after indignantly denying it to Sen. Rand Paul just weeks earlier, any attempt to portray these blubbering fools as anything short of utterly incompetent or pure evil is going to fall on deaf ears with me.

No, they’ve loosened their iron grip on forced public masking, not because they ever “followed the science” (LOL), but because WE forced them to do so. And by “we,” I’m talking about a pretty big tent. If you at any point during this charade pushed back by refusing to comply, speaking out in some capacity against local or state authorities, or even engaging in the information war by telling the truth to those in your circle of influence, however small or large that might be, YOU had a role in winning this battle.

I dunno, it’s too soon to say. I do agree people like me deserve a high-five. And the people who are actually civilly disobeying, deserve a bigger one. See, I haven’t been doing that. I’ve refused to wear a mask when alone, and I’ve maintained that since Day One just because I know what’s stupid when I see it. But in the grocery store, when the sign says you have to wear a mask, I wear one. But does it matter? A year ago it wasn’t all about masks, it was about staying home. Masks were in there, to be sure. But the larger concern was that these assholes were shutting off our jobs, like flipping a giant light switch. And because they themselves had never had a real job, we could see they were laboring under the delusion that when you’re ready to restart the economy, you just flip the switch the other way. The quiet panic was over the fact that this all-important consideration wasn’t receiving the attention it deserved.

It’s difficult to see exactly where you are, when you’re actually right there. It’s much easier to make the observation in hindsight, so we’ll have to wait awhile on this. I do like that headline though, never ever again. Damn straight.

Because for the last year, our high advisers who hold themselves to be so superior to us, have outwardly identified public trust or lack of it, as the problem. And they’ve been right about that. We’ve watched as they peg this sense of trust, accurately, as a high value asset in the struggle to slow the spread of the China Virus. And then they got rid of that sense of trust as fast as they could, as if it were a liability. In most cases, it’s genuinely difficult to envision how they could have done a “better” job of that. This has been a debacle wrapped in a flaming dumpster fire wrapped in a shitshow. A disaster bigger than Biden or Trump…although historians will blame it on one or the other of those guys, depending on which way they lean, and you can guess which way the loudest “historians” will lean. But the big takeaway is what it takes to enable a loss of liberty on such an unprecedented scale, and how well it works. I’ve read about it in the write-ups over all the stuff that happened before I was born, and it did make an impression on me, but now that I’ve lived through it — words don’t do it justice. I’m just genuinely shocked. There’s-a-virus-out-there and…that’s it? That’s all it takes? Just like that, we’re a command economy with stay-at-home orders and you need a Mother-may-I to do anything?

Just speaking for myself, it’s a thing I needed to have happen. I had no idea we as a species were so pliable. And here in America.

But it’s not all humble pie for people like us. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Anybody who chastised me for “paying too much attention to politics” before the Voldemort Virus came along, can apologize to me anytime they want. And I do have some names in mind. But people also suffer from the sin of pride, so I know if I expect no apologies I won’t be disappointed.

Liberals vs. Leftists

Saturday, May 22nd, 2021

I’m not in favor of replacing the word “liberals” with “leftists.” It is true that much of the criticism we have for the liberals should more fairly be redirected toward dedicated leftists, and in a lot of cases it is true that the real problem is there, with leftism. But not all the criticism, and not all the cases.

There is something we could call, for lack of a better term, a “liberation fallacy.” We have been inundated for the past several decades with a variety of movements to “liberate” women, minorities, or this-or-that designated-oppressed victim-group. And we have become accustomed to an all-but-expected bait-and-switch fake-out of sorts. We see the most vivid evidence of this in what we consider to be “higher education.” “You’re liberated, so don’t listen to anything anybody in authority has to say, at least without questioning it — unless the authority is me, your college professor.” I have never understood how this works. It’s almost like a magic spell from a fairy tale. Familiarity breeds contempt, or something? The kid’s parents are so uncool, if they say it’s sunny outside that must be proof it’s raining. But the prof can decide on their grades, and they see their grades as their gateway to their glorious future, I guess. I dunno. Like I said, I’ve never fully understood.

Doubt all those uncool gassy old people, but believe everything the professor says.

Before that it was in the labor unions. Don’t listen to that boss of yours, he can’t tell you what to do. He’s in “management.” But we’re the union! Men who laugh at the law, tremble in fear at our edicts. We’re the new boss. You’re liberated from those guys over there. Not from us.

Feminism has treated women no differently. Their narrative for half a century has been that women can, or ought to be able to, choose

1. Whether to work or not
2. Whether to live out the sex life of a nun, housewife or whore
3. Whether or not to dress to appeal to the male gaze
4. Their religion/spirituality

And nobody should deign to influence a woman in any way about any of this under any circumstances. But the feminist movement, which illustrates itself as the bringer of all this freedom, so deigns, pretty much constantly and without a second thought. The movement has been constantly pressuring them to work, to flirt, to divorce, to abandon Christianity, and as far as how to make up and dress…well, thanks to the magic of the “fashion industry” it’s gone back and forth on that. Liberated fashion, what is that? You have to buy magazines to find out what it is. Today. It’ll change tomorrow.

But everyone who’s been “liberated” has been subjected to a similar mind-scramble. It’s quite invasive. You might as well peel back their skull and stick an egg beater in there. What’s that like, anyway? Us white males can only guess at it. The liberation-fallacy doesn’t focus its mind-control on us, it just casts us as the bad guys. I don’t have any basis of comparison, but I think I’d prefer it that way. The activists want to blame us for everything but they’re not trying to bamboozle us, gaslight us or confound us. Our opinions aren’t that important to them.

The point is — the above is quite a lot of detail. All of it is accurate. None of it really applies to “leftism.” This is how modern liberalism works. Through a fallacy.

It’s the same practical joke played out over and over again, just like…fishing. Fishing is a joke, the same one applied repeatedly throughout thousands of years. We name liberals after the thing they promise to provide but don’t provide, which is “liberty.” We do this because the liberals want us to do it. Every person participating in communication in English, is a potential recruit. If each participant were similarly susceptible to the practical joke played by the fishermen, the fishermen would have an interest in being represented according to what they purport to provide but are not actually providing, and we would call them “worm givers.” But they play their joke on fish, not people, so that’s why we call them fishermen.

Liberals, like fishermen, do not care if their joke fails on an individual level. Here and there, now and then, a woman may be “liberated” and appreciate the “liberty” she has…and use it to make a choice that the liberals don’t like. She may decide to become a housewife. And the liberals will react with scorn, ridicule, stigma, and a subtext of “Hold up there, we wanted you to have the choice so you could make it the way we want you to make it.” Some women pick up on this, are not bothered by it in the least, and keep on homeschooling. They’re very much like the fish making off with the bait. Liberals being concerned with group dynamics, will just ignore her and go on about their business of recruiting others, just like the fisherman reaching for another worm to put on the hook. It’s a bulk process, concerned with breadth and not depth. That’s why liberal ideas are derailed and devastated with just a little bit of honest inspection.

Liberalism works according to this fallacy: You’re oppressed, you’re put-upon, we’re going to march in the streets and achieve “change” so we can get even with the dirty rotten so-and-sos. This is what was born with the Storming of the Bastille in 1789. It is an indoctrination tool, a sort of on-ramp to the highway of leftism. Leftism, being the superset, incorporates everything else; the moral relativism, the nanny-state nonsense, the big-government tax-and-spend redistribution schemes, the graft, the grift, the thuggery, the corruption. “If you’re friends with us, we’ll just wave all those environmental restrictions and you can go ahead and build.” That’s leftism. They aren’t synonymous.

I like, admire and respect Dennis Prager and everybody else who’s trying to recapture the word “liberal” and restore it to its original meaning. Your intentions are noble. Just a little misguided is all.

Memo For File CCXVII

Saturday, May 22nd, 2021

Where do we go from here? Can we hope to reverse this massive power/freedom transfer imposed on us by the Voldemort Virus? Where is the technology taking us? These are complicated questions because technology changes us as it evolves; and we evolve with it. But, it seems, never in quite the way we expected. In fact when history records how it all went down, in the end we can’t trust the history.

First we have to understand what we mean when we use the word “technology.”

Technology, we think, began with fire. Or, hunting weapons. Spear points, maybe. We don’t know for sure because we weren’t there. But we can be pretty sure the first invention came from the arsneal of tools you have to have to kill an animal, cook it and eat it. Vegans, lacto-ovo, health nuts and other meat-haters would protest that the rabbit-food diet came first so their tools must have come first, but that won’t work because you can eat that pottage without tools. We must have built things first to take down the small game. Traps, maybe. But also fire.

Community arrived, with all of its challenges, when someone killed something too big for their family or clan to eat. Others who were outside the clan wanted some, because the smell of the pig meat over the fire was delicious, they’d never experienced anything like it. Anyone who’s smelled pork roast at a barbecue understands this. Pigs, I surmise, were built by God to smell good over a fire, to serve as a launching point for what came next. After a few false starts, some “sucks to be you,” and some rotting pig carcasses lying around going to waste, the clan had to settle on the unavoidable thought: We have nothing to gain by keeping this to ourselves, we can’t eat all of it. And so multiple families would gather around a common fire with a common carcass roasting over it, because, why not? What a beautiful evening that must have been. The birth of community. Think about this when you have those cookouts King Joe is thinking about maybe allowing you to have. You’re celebrating the first time humans became genuinely better, through their own innovation.

And from this came a question: Can I have seconds?

And so community arrived with its first challenge: Apportionment. We have gathered together to bring a demand commensurate with the supply. How do we figure out who gets what? And so there was capitalism. There was ownership. This caveman brought down the boar. That caveman did not. Therefore, he must remit a service. Professions, starting with “the oldest profession,” came from that. “Performance reviews” came from that. If a hunter sucked at hunting, it wasn’t just an isolated opinion, it was evident to everybody.

With just this much technology, and no more, there was merit. If a “leftist caveman” tried to “earn” a bigger share of the roast pig by way of his charisma, giving fancy speeches, or writing poetry, he would have been ostracized. Perhaps leftism got a brief but abortive start back then when community was born. The conversation would have been very short. “You did not hunt the pig, what will you do to earn more?” “I know, I’ll make all the decisions about who gets how much, so you don’t have to worry about it! How’s that?” “Hmmmm…fuck off.”

We’ll never know for sure, but we do know you need some more technology to sustain that nonsense. Cavemen wouldn’t have tolerated it. We tolerate it just fine.

The nonsense might have started with simple machines. Maybe with the wheel. Look what I built! It rolls! That’s really great…I have no idea what you did and I can’t understand how it works, so use your wheel to bring me things. Uh, what? And so slavery was born. And the dysfunction that enshrouds us, to this day, was born. He who can do things, must serve the one who doesn’t bother to try.

The guy who fixes your computer will understand this perfectly. He knows how to do something, you don’t know how to do it. So you get to order him around like he’s your little bitch because you “need” him to do it. You break the computer, he fixes it, after he leaves you find you can’t do the thing you used to be able to do, so you blame him. This is why he hates you.

Ah well…maybe I’m letting my personal experiences get in the way. Slavery must have existed before tech. It is the default condition. It’s our Original Sin. Although, if technology can’t be blamed for our desire to enslave others, we probably can blame it fairly for enabling our hunt for excuses. Before technology there was only one justification for it: I’m bigger than you are and I’ll kill you if you don’t serve me. With technology, as kingdoms and civilizations rose and fell, the excuses thrived and multiplied. The Sun God Ra, or Jupiter, or Yahweh, or Allah, put me and my friends in charge. Our secular types fancy themselves to have ended all that, but they haven’t ended anything at all. Instead, they’ve started something, and what they’ve started is a whole new round of these excuses.

We’re doing it for “the workers.” They have nothing to lose but their chains.

Vox Populi Vox Dei; the people chose me. You have to do what I say.

We have to decrease the surplus population. We can’t have undesirables breeding faster than normal, better people.

We’re just taxing you to make you pay your fair share.

A lot of evolving civilizations older than ours, and ours included, claim to have “ended slavery.” It would be nice if that were true. But you don’t need cotton fields or whips and chains to have slavery. It’s in the human heart. Theft of services is our default behavior. Technology has served to highlight this, and often to eliminate it by getting rid of the opportunity. But it’s also given us new opportunities for slavery.

The latest is “climate change.” People with access to the instrumentation that can measure our climate, have begun publishing alarmist gossip about the measurements they’re making. They can detect variations they weren’t detecting before, which stands to reason because the instrumentation is more precise than it used to be. But it’s really just a new wave of Malthusianism — the Chicken-Little “sky is falling” screed that humans will overpopulate the planet and deplete its resources, triggering a mass extinction event.

It’s true that the Earth has seen mass extinction events. But if the past has taught us anything about these events, it’s that when they’re sudden, they require sudden triggers. History has all but falsified the notion of population, or any other gradually changing metric, slowly trudging toward some “tipping point” and setting off a cataclysm. The Earth is a living thing, and living things adapt to changes on a micro scale by way of adjustments on a micro scale. The Malthusian dread did not come to pass, because as the population increases, resources become available to service them, until they can’t for whatever reason. And where the resources are no longer available, the population doesn’t increase there. It increases somewhere else. It’s how nature works. It’s really quite amazing.

Carbon in the atmosphere works the same way. There’s no such thing as “too much” of it. If you get a heavy saturation, what you have is a global environment that’s just a tiny bit friendlier to plants and a tiny bit more hostile to animals. So in a few generations you’ll have more plants and fewer animals. It works both ways. If there isn’t “enough” carbon you’re going to get more animals and fewer plants. It’s like a pendulum, and the fossil record shows it’s been working that way. Again, it’s all really quite amazing.

Ah…maybe I’m wrong about all this. The above contains all sorts of stuff I can’t prove, just like the existence of God is something I can’t prove. These are matters of faith, and inferential reasoning based on circumstantial evidence, and my knowledge of history and technology, which I admit fall short of what could be considered exhaustive, or even commanding. I’ve been waiting for years with an open mind to see something that will upset it and require a macro-scale rethink. Occasionally it’s happened, and now, in 2021, that’s where I am. That’s how I see it. Technology made us better, thousands and thousands of years ago, when it created a necessity and offered a reward for our coming together and sharing things. Since then, it’s done some amazing things but it hasn’t made us better people. The Internet was supposed to have done that. It was supposed to make us better informed. Then someone figured out that a lot of what’s on the Internet is nonsense. And so we needed “fact checkers.” But no one with a working brain takes the fact checkers seriously anymore, because fact checking has devolved into just one more way for unproductive people to mold and shape the most intimate aspects of the lives of more productive people. There we go again. Another excuse. So no, the Internet has not made us better. It hasn’t even made us more informed. We can probably credit it for clarifying our thinking about challenges that were confronting us before we had the Internet, so that our responses to the challenges improve. But on the whole, the Internet has been an exercise in over-promising and under-delivering. Buying and selling things is quicker and more convenient, thank goodness. There are always cat pictures. And who can ever get tired of Fish Branice looking women soaking up the sun, using fish as bras? But, life goes on, and we just keep on truckin’, now with Internet.

Others in my profession do not see it that way. They look forward to some near-future event, just around the corner. Some prognosticate a terrible event, like war, famine, disease, the above-mentioned “climate change” apocalypse. Others foresee something glorious, a “technological singularity,” in which the automatons attend to their own programming and do it so well, and so quickly, that human suppositions about anything & everything will become irrelevant.

They’re succumbing to emotional reasoning. You can tell this because the event that’s going to change everything and turn it all upside-down, is always just around the corner. That’s what commands attention, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that that’s what’s really true. And it has not escaped my notice that my colleagues who most enthusiastically look forward to the technological singularity, are the ones who speak of success and failure only in vague terms, obfuscating and avoiding questions of cause and effect. They speak of this country over here, or that company over there, “doing/did it right” and that other one “doing/did it wrong.” You would reasonably expect, if you were to take these verdicts seriously, there would be a meticulously fleshed-out recipe bundled in showing how the successful entity did it “right” so that other attempts can follow suit. The pattern I’ve noticed is that you very rarely get that, and if you don’t get it, what you’re seeing is essentially cheerleading, not the sober, reasoned assessment of the results it’s pretending to be. I have also noticed these emotional-reasoners, in assessing the processes that turned out “right” or “wrong,” form their opinions in echo chambers. They compare notes with others who think like they do. They don’t ask the people most directly impacted. Some of them build things. But it isn’t in their pattern to hang around after someone has used their creations, and gather end-user evaluations, wart & all.

I do not believe technology is bringing us to a singularity. This is not to say I doubt the ability of automatons to program themselves. That much has already been done. The ramifications for the field of cryptography are real, interesting, and promising. But for us to experience what they’re talking about, the machines would have to do what the singularity-proponents are not doing, and assess. Note that God, who supposedly does everything perfectly, stops, looks back and assesses. Six times, in Genesis 1, He makes the observation that “it was good” — there is no way to interpret that, without some consideration for a residual potential that it might not have been good. It is, clearly, some sort of question getting settled by means of an assessment. And then the seventh time, at the end of the chapter in 1:31 “He saw that it was all very good.” Six unit tests followed by a system test.

This is a uniquely human contribution to the cycle. Machines, by & large, can’t do it. This is why I reserve a special carve-out for cryptography and maintain some hope for a micro-singularity in that one field, because distinguishing success from failure is so easy: Your algorithm is good, if this other self-programming automated process can’t break it. If that other process can break it, then it’s back to the drawing board with you. I see a potential for getting rid of the human element in that one evaluation chore, but in none other. Singularity-proponents don’t understand this. They don’t evaluate.

With the deterioration of monarchal rule just a couple hundred years ago, the idea emerged that humans ordering other humans around without compensation, just by virtue of having been born into some higher station, is wrong. Here in the United States, we’re dedicated to that. But, we don’t always uphold it. This, I think, is where we’re headed. The unproductive people are going to continue to sniff around for excuses, always with the aim of restoring the feudal system and inserting themselves as a higher layer of aristocracy, ready to tell the rest of us when to jump, how high, when we can come back down again. Technology will continue to evolve and improve, providing the rest of us with more & better tools for getting our work done — and providing them with more & better tools to pull their scams. Young people will fall for these scams, since young people can only acquire the knowledge that comes from others, which requires gullibility. Then they’ll get snookered, and become wise. We’re all going to have to do that as the scammers become more and more sophisticated. Sometimes, we’ll achieve this knowledge without having been suckered into commitments, or having established new entitlements that can’t ever be demolished or reversed. Other times, we won’t be so lucky, and we’ll be trapped.

Meanwhile, the massive increase in public debt from the Biden bail-outs, is a millstone around our necks. In our near future, that’s got some influence. If you’re looking for things to worry about that are imminent, worry about that, because it’s there waiting for us no matter what technology does. Buckle up bitches.


Sunday, May 16th, 2021

People all throughout the First World are wondering, if we’re all supposed to want the same things then why is there so much arguing on the Internet? The Internet comes off looking not too good; it looks at first blush like we’ve been properly taught throughout all these generations, “Don’t argue about politics, religion or sports” and we obeyed, keeping a long-lived albeit fragile peace, then along came the Internet.

I have a long record of preaching against this. I’m of the opinion that the Internet is one giant tempest-in-a-teapot, not because there is lots of arguing, or because there is mean-spirited, undisciplined arguing. The problem is the level of skill is so low. This “don’t discuss it” thing has worked against us; people are out of practice. They find themselves defending premises they never in their wildest dreams thought would ever be challenged anywhere, and they don’t know how to do it. Lacking the knowledge or the experience needed to defend an axiom with a justifying argument, they retreat into some sort of soothing protective shelter. I examined some of this a month ago by taking a look at the You See people. Poor, sniveling wretches living in a tiny mental cloister in which their idea must win, all the time and every time, because it’s just such a novelty. They are utterly undone by the realization that their idea is not novel.

The Internet is a raucous and noisy place, because people have this need to defend the indefensible, and when that germinates into a need to do some arguing when they don’t know how to argue, they use these templates. The templates exist on what might be thought of as a sort of tree, just like a tree you’d find in a redwood forest, or — forgive me, it’s become part of my vocational discipline to see things this way — a sort of class-inheritance tree you’d find in an application or module written in an object-oriented language. “You see” is at the root. Some well-known and often-seen you-see stuff includes

1. Gender is nothing but a social construct
2. Mankind is a poison on the planet
3. Capitalism is the disease and socialism is the cure
4. “Robber Barons” blah blah blah…

All nonsense. Honest argument and open, scrutinizing discussion would reveal all this stuff to be nonsense, so the purveyors retreat to their dopamine rush of you-see, comforting themselves in this false realization that they’ve hit on something titillating, intellectually stimulating, and new.

And then there is:

5. You see, what we’re trying to do is…

Now you know you’re dealing with a progressive, or at least someone who would like to think of themselves that way. They’ve joined up with a movement that is bigger than themselves. And they think they’re being uplifting, positive, welcoming types by encouraging you to climb aboard the bandwagon. You see, what we’re trying to do is forks off into all sorts of other silly garbage like

1. Atone for the sins of the past
2. Shatter the “glass ceiling”
3. Eliminate inequality in all its forms
4. Make the rich pay their fair share
5. Help the blah blah blah…

Notice that none of this is really an argument at all, it’s just an effort. “You see, what we’re trying to do is” is a sort of escape hatch. The speaker is not arguing, quite to the contrary he’s calling for a cessation of arguing. The subtext is something like: If you’re not onboard with this, no harm no foul, just let us go about our business and you won’t be affected.

But of course you will, if they’re successful. That’s the whole point.

And then there is:

6. You see, what we’re trying to do is make a new world in which…

The poor dears, you almost have to feel sorry for them. They think this spares them from any scrutinizing questions, but anyone who’s been paying attention can see each and every single one of the irritants of our modern world, is a direct result of someone in the past laboring away at world-building. Building that perfect world…in which no one with a working brain would really want to live.

You see, what we’re trying to do is make a new world in which is a launch point for such toxic garbage as

1. Everyone can get…
2. There is no…
3. People assume that…

You see, what we’re trying to do is make a new world in which everyone can get branches off into

1. Health care
2. to vote
3. Housing
4. Food and/or food stamps
5. College tuition
6. Abortions
7. Whatever gender (identity) they want

You see, what we’re trying to do is make a new world in which there is no comes from watching too much Star Trek. The theory is that after we conquer all these undesirable conditions and undesirable behaviors, we can start exploring the stars and meeting alien civilizations or some such thing.

1. Bigotry
2. Intolerance
3. Poverty
4. Illiteracy
5. Disease
6. Fossil fuel consumption
7. Guns
8. Meat
9. Judeo-Christianity
10. Home schooling
11. Nuclear families
12. Individuality
13. Advantage to being a pretty woman
14. Responsibility
15. Distinction between X and Y

You see, what we’re trying to do is make a new world in which people assume that is mind control. These are the people-programmers, telling strangers what to think.

1. Women can do anything men can do
2. White people don’t belong wherever they are
3. The United States was actually founded in 1619 and its purpose has always been to keep slavery alive and what-not

You see, what we’re trying to do is make a new world in which there is no distinction between X and Y is the template-argument of the equivocator. An equivocator is a prevaricator, whether he wants to admit it or not, because a lot of these things they want to pretend are the same, are actually different.

1. Republicans and democrats
2. Men and women
3. Illegal and legal aliens
4. Standard of living of ambitious people vs. the standard of living of lazy people

Why is the Internet such a noisy, argumentative place? The problem is that there is a demand for arguments, that outstrips the supply because too many people don’t know how to build an argument.

The other problem is, with such a demand that is greater than the available supply, we have managed to come up with a supply. The arguments are being mass-produced, by people who know how to produce little-to-nothing else. And they’re creating “arguments,” like the ones above, and others, without much thought.

After this past year of “plan-demic,” we have seen how natural it is for people to come up with strange, arcane and counterproductive new rules without taking any responsibility for the end results. It is an intrinsic attribute of our species, I’m afraid. In our heart of hearts, we seek to enslave each other, to come up with these new rules under which others are supposed to live, but not to abide by them ourselves. And we like to think we’re ready to discuss the pros and the cons, but all too often, we’re not. We fall back on these templates.

The Internet has not created the problem. It has revealed it.

Liz Cheney’s Real Constituents

Sunday, May 16th, 2021

I’m celebrating Liz Cheney’s defrocking by thinking about her constituents, and I don’t mean Wyoming people. I mean her real constituents. The #NeverTrump types can see with their own eyes that someone’s performing competently at a job, and still wish to replace him because they don’t like his vibe. They’d rather let a building burn to the ground than call a fireman who happens to chew tobacco, or use profanity, or skip Church, or watch Beavis and Butthead, or, or, or…

These are people you can invite up into the hills for berry picking, and they’ll go, but they’ll wear the nice slacks they wear to church, along with dark socks and formal business shoes, because they don’t own anything else. So you end up turning around miles earlier than you intended because you don’t want them to slip and break a leg.

Some other things they don’t own:

1. A car that burns gas and has a stick shift.
2. Tools. Spare parts. Anything for which you’d have to remember “righty tighty, lefty loosey.” Which they’ve never heard before.
3. Sneakers, jeans, hiking boots — signs of society’s degeneracy!
4. Any kind of outdoor grill.
5. Lawncare or gardening tools; you hire people to do that.
6. Any music of any genre that was written after 1939.
7. Pretty much anything that has anything to do with sex at all.
8. Buzz saw, chop saw, saw table, router, power drill, power washer, shop vac, chainsaw, etc.
9. Work gloves.
10. Guns & ammo.

This is the guy on the camping trip who isn’t good for anything and complains so much you wish you left him behind. He bought a Thermos along filled with flavored Cuppaccino. He says things like “full of you-know-what” and “poo poo” and “ca ca” when there aren’t any kids in earshot, or even any women. You tell a dirty joke, and he doesn’t get it. Even worse, maybe he does get it, finds it funny, everyone can see he thinks it’s funny, and he still winces in cosmetic disgust as if St. Peter is watching. It’s a familiar gesture. A grimace, a nose-wrinkling, a shaking of the head.

People like this live in tiny worlds, which is fine. We’re all born into tiny worlds. But they work so hard at keeping theirs tiny. They want to do that. They hurt people to do it. They may have lots of kids and they may tell all those kids “You can be anything you want to be in life,” but they don’t really mean it. They don’t give a fig about immediate or eventual results. They’re protocol-obsessed.

They hate Trump because they don’t value what he did. They’ve never had to count on a job actually getting done right, never lost anything because it didn’t happen. They don’t even understand the concept of “an important job”; to their way of thinking, a job is important when it’s a job done by a person who is important, and what makes a person important is their power over you. Their parents paid their college tuition, and to this day, they’re not too sure of how it got done. Their graduation was a ritual and everything after that has been a ritual. You can explain to them until you’re blue in the face that they’re safe because hard men protect them, and are unafraid of doing terrible things, and they’ll nod and agree like they understand. But they don’t. There’s no reason.

They’re important people. We have our current President because of them. They always know who to fire. As far as the long term plan, they haven’t a clue.

We’ve got a lot more people walking around among us who have some awareness of this and think of it as a sort of harmless preference or taste thing. Well yes, they say, there were people hurt by the old ways of doing things and Trump did help them, but my friend coworker neighbor or relative was deeply offended when he said “Grab ’em by the pussy” so she can’t stand him, and I’ve known her for like forever so I support her decision…

Things change when you’ve actually seen good people hurt by bad policies. Things are different when you know there are people in the building that’s burning.

There are words we can use to describe people who want the building to keep burning, knowing there are people inside roasting alive, because their business is in resisting any & all efforts from the fireman or anybody else who uses coarse potty-mouth language. Knowing full well there is human suffering happening that ought to be the focus of their energies, but isn’t. People upholding some cosmetic veneer of decency, while stripping themselves of all empathy for those whose lives are directly impacted by the question at hand.


Style-over-substance, high-hairdo, prickly, over-sensitive, brittle, puritanical, empathy-deficient people-hating sweater-wearing monsters.

As far as I’m concerned, Congresswoman Stefanik hung the moon. It’s true I’ve held other conservatives in high regard and a little while later they disappointed me. Liz Cheney is one of those. Maybe Stefanik will someday too, but to date it hasn’t happened.

Here she is going after Congressman Schiff for his lying about the “whistleblower.”

I am willing to bet a large amount that Elise Stefanik owns hiking boots. And I’ll further bet she looks awesome and fantastic in them.