Archive for September, 2021

Process and Outcome

Saturday, September 25th, 2021

Way way back in the olden days, back when going to a movie or dinner at a restaurant was simple, I had comments to make about process vs. outcome. Since then, the Trump Era has come & gone…for now…and we’ve been battling the China Virus. I’m reminded of what my Uncle Wally told me about what one of his editors used to say to him: “The world is divided into two groups of people, the ones who go around dividing everyone into two groups, and everyone else…”

There are “process people” and there are “outcome people.” How do you tell them apart? Remember that old saying that insanity is repeating a consistent behavior with the expectation of an inconsistent result; that’s how.

Process people engaged in a bad process headed toward a bad outcome, won’t care about the outcome. They’ll defend their adherence to the details of the process, nevermind the fact that the process, also, is bad. Their defense is that there’s some authority or weight invested in this bad process, and they’re adhering to it. Their hope is that whoever is in a position to adjudicate, will put all the emphasis on following process and ignore outcome, the way they did. If it works, it works, and if it doesn’t work, they just appeal to a higher authority. So they never learn they did it the wrong way, because there’s no reason for them to learn this.

If you listen to them carefully, you can hear them ‘fessing up that this is how it works. “Our response was/is in line with guidance from the CDC.” It’s an answer to a question no one was asking.

No-on-recall, keep Gavin Newsom, was all about process versus outcome. Who in their right mind is going to defend the outcome of having Newsom in charge? Taxpaying residents heading for the hills, shit on the sidewalk, the place is literally in flames…but our guy in charge does have a defense. It’s all about “gonna follow the science!” — not about what’s supposed to be the whole point of leadership, leaving things in a condition better than how you found them.

When process people defend themselves this way, things get awkward fast because they’re bolstering a claim of premiere excellence, atop an accumulation of evidence that supports nothing better than adequacy. You can’t do an excellent job of following a process; that’s strictly pass-fail. But this doesn’t stop them from trying. Lookit me following the science! I’m following the CDC! They yell jump, I say how high? Clearly, I’m irreplaceable!

Everybody likes to be thought of as intelligent, but intelligence is the ability and the willingness to learn. Learning is a non-instinctive behavioral change. You have to screw up and admit you did it wrong. Only outcome people can do this, because only they monitor the outcome, with a genuine potential for saying to themselves, if the situation calls for it: “Well, that sucks. Let’s do it differently next time.”

When we debate taxing businesses, we’re actually debating destroying businesses. Outcome people tend to be pro-business, because you really can’t run a business while ignoring outcomes, unless your “business” is some government agency that never runs out of money. Conversely, you aren’t going to fit into any of those “businesses” in any capacity, unless you’re a process person.

The China Virus has polarized us deeply, because we’ve responded with a thorny thicket of rules rules and more rules, which are refined day-to-day by process people. You’ll notice this refinement, back to the very beginning, has had very little to do with results. That’s why. Meanwhile, the people who are fixated on these rules rules and more rules, and obliged to live under them, are outcome people. We care about the results. “But my shelter in place order was the approved method at the time” doesn’t mean an awful lot to us.

“Masks are how we keep each other safe!” is fraud, not because it’s demonstrably untrue (although certainly, support for it is lacking). It’s a deceitful statement because it’s what process people say when they’re pretending to be outcome people. They don’t care about keeping each other safe. They’d prefer people be safe versus not safe…maybe….but they really care about following and enforcing rules.

“I’m following the guidance from the CDC” is, at least, honest. It’s a process person presenting himself or herself as a process person. The final outcome which is on everybody’s mind, is a mere afterthought to such a person, but at least there’s no effort spent to pretend otherwise.

When people are forced to give up one thing for another thing, and thereby make clear what their priorities really are, the thing that rates highest to everyone with a working brain is a good outcome. When push comes to shove, no one with functioning intellect really cares about process, except as a means to an end. We’d sacrifice it in a heartbeat for the other, because we’re rational. But we’re not letting outcome-people actually make any decisions about anything. From the beginning, we have invested all the authority in process people. Here we are a year and a half into it, wondering what we did wrong. That’s what.

Masks and Manners

Sunday, September 19th, 2021

Mask maniacs, cornered by the obvious problems posed to Mask Theory by real science, lunge for this loophole of “It’s good manners” or “It shows we care about each other.”

I am one of the people who understand they shouldn’t be doing that.

See to me, if something comes naturally to me because Mom raised me that way, it’s not included in “good manners” because I don’t have to put in any effort. Someone else might think “Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you'” means good manners, but for me, it would be much harder not to do it. Good manners, for me, include only things that are difficult…for me. So in my case, since I have opinions other people don’t have, good manners must include what’s hard for me to do: showing proper respect to people who disagree. I have to work a little harder to keep in mind that people who reject my opinions, or maintain other opinions I find to be opprobrious, might very well be intelligent people. There are people who think, for example, that if women ran the world we would have less fighting. There are people who think the Washington Redskins should have changed their name. There are people who think Barack Obama is a “lightworker.” It gets very hard for me to show proper respect and keep in mind these people might have brains in their heads…which, maybe, they’re not using.

Other opinions are even worse. There are people who think paper straws and single-use plastic bags will save the planet. There are people who think increasing the minimum wage doesn’t impact employment, or might even result in more businesses hiring. There are people who think we’re (somehow) living in The Handmaid’s Tale. Opinions like these, for all purposes, logically exclude the possibility that the holder of the opinion has a working brain. In these cases I can’t bear in mind a possibility that isn’t there, so I have to pretend. Good manners, to me, have a lot to do with all this. Occasionally people will object to what I say and remonstrate me about keeping such things to myself. The response to which is…snowflake, you should hear the things I do keep to myself. And then I have to make that one of the things, and leave it unsaid. This is all very challenging and that’s what makes them good manners. In my case.

So if masks are good manners, we’ve got a big problem here.

That’s because Dr. Fauci is apparently getting bored with epidemiology and is branching off into manners. Hence, the problem. When the subject is epidemiology, people insist I should defer to Dr. F’s vastly superior knowledge and experience. This makes sense to me, and I so defer. But I will not defer to his understanding of etiquette or “showing each other we care.” I refuse. It makes no sense for me to do such a thing.

When it comes time to show proper respect to a person holding an opinion he doesn’t like, Dr. Fauci is not the top dog, or the go-to. He’s not on the bottom either, but he’s close to it. He’s definitely in the bottom 50%. Maybe even in the bottom 10%.

From all I have seen over the last year and a half, when Tony the Tyrant is speaking off the cuff and encounters an opinion he doesn’t like, or sees one of his own opinions questioned in a way that doesn’t suit his fancy, he turns into one of the rudest little cunts I’ve ever seen. He does this rather speedily, and reliably, like he thinks he’ll be subjected to a tax or penalty if he leaves behind any lingering doubts about his disrespect for the dissenting viewpoint, and the person holding it. He is very far from any sort of Manners Master, about as far away from that as someone could get. No. I will not enshrine him this way. Absolutely not. An alley cat would be a better choice.

“Wear a mask because Dr. F. says it’s good manners” isn’t going to wash, with me.

The Hystericals

Friday, September 17th, 2021

All your life you have heard “Women fought for and won the right to vote” and it makes it sound like men were the Evil Galactic Empire and women were noble brave Ewoks on Endor…but, no. It was a constitutional amendment that had to be ratified by 3/4 of the states, and in order to ratify, you had to be a man. Men gave women the right to vote.

Ever since then, we have been dominated by what we might call The Hystericals. These are people who are driven into hysterics when they figure out there’s danger around…just humdrum, everyday, ordinary danger. In network security we call it “residual risk.” It goes with simply living life. When The Hystericals figure out residual risk has not been reduced to zero, which is an impossibility anyway, they insist on turning everything upside down. They don’t feel completely 100% safe yet, because they’re not, and so everyone else has to do some more accommodating. We need more taxes and more rules, to suit The Hystericals.

This is why we have a “pandemic”…or “shamdemic.” “Plandemic.” All our official diktats are built around calming down and soothing The Hystericals. It’s not about “following the science.” The science says forcing little kids to wear masks is a futile endeavor, and a cruel one. The science says there’s no point imposing a vaccine mandate on people who’ve already been infected, and recovered. This propagation of an evil deadly virus is a hundred year event, and we’ve gone through it before, but a hundred years ago we didn’t handle it this way. Woodrow Wilson never said anything about Influenza, did you know that? Not one word. He actually caught it and nearly died. That’s your tip-off: Everything we do with this problem, and all the others, is about soothing and mollifying those who refuse to be soothed or mollified. That’s what politics is now, and it started with Women’s Suffrage.

Here’s the thing though.

All women are not Hystericals. And all Hystericals are not women. When we gave women the right to vote, we created a new potential for marketing irrational progressivism, and the progressives took the opportunity to do the marketing and they’ve never stopped. They manufactured The Hystericals. It’s really no different from the boost progressivism got when they lowered the voting age to eighteen, even though all progressives are not 18-21, and all 18-21-year-olds are not progressives.

But then here’s another thing.

Ever since we’ve gone down that path of kowtowing to The Hystericals who go apeshit whenever they figure out there’s residual risk…we have put women in a danger they didn’t have to face before. As “civilized” society has gelded itself, it has made itself more hazardous to women in general. A lot of this has come from the erasure of definitions. We’re supposed to refer to Alana McLaughlin as “her” and “she,” but that’s a dude, dude. And now that society is ball-less and slap-happy with slapping down definitions of things, he gets to rough up women and punch them in the face. It’s sick, disgusting and wrong.

Mark Steyn wrote of the “culture of positivity” shortly after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, making reference to earlier carnage:

Every December 6th, my own unmanned Dominion lowers its flags to half-mast and tries to saddle Canadian manhood in general with the blame for the ‘Montreal massacre,’ the 14 female students of the Ecole Polytechnique murdered by Marc Lepine. As I wrote up north a few years ago:

Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not [the shooter] but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over…they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.

And now we have the tragedy — we think — of Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie. He came back from the cross-country trip without her, and her whereabouts are unknown. Mr. Laundrie is not talking. Police have already tried to question him, and that’s supposedly reached a dead end because supposedly, the Constitution says if he doesn’t want to tell anyone where she is, or isn’t, nobody can make him. So he lawyers up, and anyone who wants answers out of him has to settle for pre-fabbed statements from his attorney.

Yes it’s supposed to be constitutional, but we’ve had the Constitution for a long time. Once again: Men are being unmanly, and women are facing new dangers. It’s a new thing. The Constitution didn’t make it this way. You see, this is why it’s important to study history, and to think logically about such things. We are abandoning women to terrible fates at the hands of not-quite-men, because of the Supreme Law of the Land…which predates our doing such a dreadful, passive, pusillanimous thing. This tells us, however much we may wish to deny it, that there’s more to our actions than just the law. There is culture too, and ours must be on a rapid decline. If it’s on one, someone must have put it there. The enemy is us.

Someone should say something, because we have a lot of women who are not Hystericals. They, being mature grown-ups, can accept residual risk, and it has not gone unnoticed by me that some men could learn a few things from such women. But such women are capable of accepting reasonable residual risk. They do not plan on being smashed in the face by Mr. McLaughlin, or filed into a room to be perforated by the likes of Mr. Lépine and his Ruger Mini-14, or to be driven out in the middle of nowhere and abandoned or who knows what else by Mr. Laundrie.

The Hystericals have made it popular for everyone, particularly those in positions of power, to assume testosterone is “toxic.” In fact, they’ve made it hazardous to assume anything else. The rest of us are supposed to take note of their issues, that they’re still falling short in their goal of complete safety and security; and leap to the conclusion that everyone else has to nudge them a bit closer to that unattainable goal, by getting rid of the testosterone.

Experience, on the other hand, is counseling us toward the opposite. It is this drive to get rid of testosterone that is putting the women in danger. A lot of these women never fell for the ruse in the first place, and those others among us who are still falling for it, are doing them a dangerous disservice.

It’s time once again to extract civilization’s cranial unit from it’s own sphincter cavity. The reminders are coming at us thick and fast now, and they’re all symptoms of a common problem.

Death Wishers

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

There are at least three occasions in The Bible in which flawed humans have to be rebooted because there’s just no fixing ’em (us): the Great Flood; the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; and the Apocalypse.

That we’re flawed, is not a matter of degree that changes across time — we just are. And I discard as a possibility that the dates are predetermined (except maybe for The Flood I suppose); something deteriorated to a level where there emerged a decision-point. Therefore there had to be what one might call a “social dynamic” that had degraded to the point where it was no longer salvageable. The collective forms a social code, which may be viable or not, and social codes can slouch over time like fruit on the ground, rotting. Eventually you get to the point where good conduct, at the level of the individual, doesn’t matter. You create a collective situation in which you have to be an asshole in order to survive. At that point, an overseeing deity would have to merge the rotten collective with a good one and hope the cultural absorption would work in the right direction, wait for the bad behavior to dissipate by way of attrition, send His son into the middle of it to preach some & get crucified, or flush it all.

Anyone who’s attended public school K-12 is going to understand the situation.

And you can see it now. People start off their little speeches with their drive to “follow the science” and their determination to avoid being seduced/distracted away from it…by what, one wonders? And then that translates into a resolve to be obedient…to whom, one wonders? And before they’re three or four sentences in, they’re celebrating that someone got sick and died, or looking forward to it.

No, I don’t think these are End Times. I’m sure God has much bigger things on His plate. This crisis, in my view, is just an advance preview, a “revelation” of sorts of what people are like inside, what they show when things get tough. It’s not pretty. Yes we have some heroic first responders, but those are individuals. The group dynamic is deteriorating at a rapid rate. “Death-wishing” should, by rights, be an unpopular thing, and instead we see it is quite fashionable. It’s emerged as the first-and-foremost way people deal with their day-to-day stresses & distresses: Seek out, or imagine, those with disagreeable opinions, and wish death on them.

We’re Arguing About the A-Word Again

Monday, September 6th, 2021

The Supreme Court has declined to intervene with the “Texas Heartbeat Bill,” for now. There is sure to be more drama coming.

It’s like the 1980’s all over again. Everywhere, I see people offering their opinions about abortion, and a lot of these opinions consist of nothing more than a showy cranky statement that some certain set of other people shouldn’t have opinions. Of course that’s a dishonest way to present a non-argument argument. What they’re really trying to say is “We want this other set of people to have a license to kill, but we know if we argued it that way we’d lose, so we’re going to argue about not arguing about it.”

That’s the way they presented it some forty years ago. We did what they said, and for the most part, stopped arguing about it. I can see now, the “Abortion is a done deal, let’s stop arguing it” people were wrong. We did what they wanted us to do, and for a long time. Now that abortion is a thing to argue about again, it is evident there are a lot of people out there who look at men, women and children all cock-eyed. Their viewpoint, which has gone mainstream, is what used to be a fringe-kooky radical viewpoint and we haven’t noticed this because we’ve been so busy not-arguing about any of it.

They think children are liabilities and not assets. You’ll notice our whole society is built around this idea now. “Who’s going to take care of him or her?” “How are you going to afford child support for three kids?” “Oh you are collecting child support from him, aren’t you?” “Better keep her happy fella, she’s a Fertile Myrtle and that would be one expensive divorce.” “He has special needs, how are you going to get him the help that he needs?” Etc….it used to be, the poorer the farmer, the more kids he would have to have. Children were assets, even if you were heartless, and if you had a heart they were a blessing. We don’t look at it like that anymore because, let’s be honest, we can’t. Liabilities aren’t blessings.

Before the child is born, these people think he is an illness that has happened to the woman’s body, like a disease. How is she going to get access to health care? What do you mean, she’ll have to pay for it? How dare you!

The man putting her in that state, has done something to her, taken something away rather than adding it. To even inform him that there’s a plan to murder his child, is the exception now, with the rule being that she’ll have to clean up after him, the way we pick up candy wrappers and potato chip bags in our corner lot left by who-knows-who.

If she keeps the child, she still doesn’t have to tell him. There is no expectation that she should bother to do so. No expectation that he’s anywhere around to find out about it.

If a mother mentions the problems she’s having with a child, be it schoolwork, discipline problems, kid getting picked on by bullies, losing his equipment & supplies, medical misadventures, etc., it has become socially expected that she won’t mention any father involved. Also, that if she doesn’t, no one will ask. This seems like good manners until you stop to consider: We have now accepted the idea that there’s no father. We have accepted a new default in which humans breed the same way cattle breed. The “bull” is expected to do what it takes to get things going, and then move on to other things. An exception to this would be just that, an exception.

And then we busy ourselves with rewriting history, imagining things have always been this way and that men were never held to any kind of obligation, legal, social, any other kind, to take care of women. There was no Code of Chivalry, no social code in which gentlemen offered ladies their seats, opened doors for them, walked on the side of the sidewalk facing traffic, etc. That never happened, it was just thousands of years of exploitation. And since we’re wrapping up five thousand years or so of men exploiting women, supposedly it’s time to turn things around and see to it women make all the decisions, run everything, that they graduate from college and earn degrees in higher numbers, that any decision any one makes is above question and beyond appeal.

Oh, you certainly can heckle a woman in power if she supports Donald Trump. Marjorie Taylor Greene knows all about that. But, our culturally-accepted woman-in-power is not like her, not at all. We have a great understanding of what a powerful woman should look like, and she’s a termagant in a pantsuit. Part of the reason congresswomen like MTG and Elise Stefanik get heckled, is because they don’t fit into the required mold. We’ve put together a fairly complete, crisp profile: Hardcore left-wing, pantsuit every damn day, scold scold scold, maybe shake a finger too, cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, living in an alternative reality, launching into a how-dare-you monologue anytime anyone mentions 2+2=4; negative, toxic, unpleasant and shrill. I’m talking about which one? So many fit into it, and every year there are more because it’s what we expect and accept. For all my description, I could be talking about any one from a vast number and I’ve specified nothing. Pelosi and AOC. Klobuchar and Clinton. Boxer, Feinstein, Warren, etc. etc. etc. etc…….

Being male, I’m only mildly annoyed and bored with it. If I were a woman, I would be insulted. We have granted women — in fact, they always had — the power to say go, and to say stop. Let’s do this, let’s not do this. Pregnancies, by default, have to be stoppable because it would never work out right with that guy? But she picked him. Yes feminists want us to imagine rape scenarios, and all of the time, whenever we argue about abortion. They don’t think all pregnancies come from rape, but they’d be pleased if everyone else thought of them that way. Well…back in the olden days, Daddy picked the dude. He had veto power, and a lot of the feminist movement had to do with rebelling against Daddy, “empowering” the woman to pick her own dude. Now it’s just so terribly important to terminate pregnancies? What does that say about the terrible, awful judgment of women? Feminists seem to think women are a bunch of dummies, who would have been just as well off leaving the crucial, life-making decision up to Daddy. Insulting doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s wrong with this.

So I’m glad we’re arguing about abortion again, in a way. It’s tiring. But it exposes this idea that men are a pestilence, children are liabilities not assets, and women should be acrid, acidic shrews who go to Washington and systematically mass-produce terrible ideas about how to control others. The alternative is to not discuss any of this…but allow the idea to reign supreme. That’s been given a fair shot now, for many years. I’m not pleased with the results. So by all means, let’s go back to arguing it again.

Questioning Things

Sunday, September 5th, 2021

“Liberals question things and conservatives don’t” is an axiom that’s been wandering afield. It has been losing fidelity to what’s real — but not, I see, popularity or currency — about as quickly as “democrats are the party of the Little Guy and Republicans represent rich fat cats.” And for pretty much the same reason: The democrats and the liberals have been chasing dependent, unproductive people as a constituency, along with casual lazy thinkers who don’t question the things they’re told.

Comforting LiesBetween those two, it is the question-things change that has lately had a greater impact, and is more sneaky, sultry and seductive. We have become accustomed to it happening and now it’s just a matter of routine. Liberals, or those who fasten their interests to the interests of liberals, say “You see, what we’re trying to do is make a new world in which there’s no blah blah blah and/or everyone has access to blah blah blah.” And with that simple declaration of mission-statement, you have something people can choose to believe uncritically, to question, or deny altogether. As an aside, there’s an interesting binary-choice playing out here. Liberals can’t seem to think about increasing or decreasing something; they have to drive it from the planet forever, or flood everybody & everything with it so you can’t get away from it. Between those two extremes, in their world, there isn’t anything.

Get rid of mask hesitancy, vaccine hesitancy, any notion that there are only two genders, this that & that other statue, this emblem, that brand, any & all unsavory opinions, make sure white people are properly outnumbered, gas powered cars and trucks, Imperial measurement system, meat, family, capitalism…

Saturate everything with eco-cups, heavy plastic bags, the masks, paper straws, gay gay gay make everything gay…

Lazy thinkers say, as they’re supposed to say: Great! Who could possibly be opposed to this? Whoever opposes this, must be some kind of monster!

And then it falls to conservatives to ask the necessary questions:


How then is anybody going to do X, that relies on this thing you’re eliminating, or on an absence of whatever it is you’re promulgating everywhere?

How exactly is that going to work? California’s under-powered and incendiary electrical grid, just magically fixes itself in time for everyone to be driving an electric vehicle…everywhere?

How do you know what you think you know?

Could you be cocking up the incentives by doing this? What’s that do to supply and demand?

How is this going to affect the upbringing of children? Apart from pushing more of them to become liberals…

Is the technology really ready for that?

At what cost?

We’re left with a persistent problem of polarization, which is due largely to the liberals maintaining their problem with labeling. A deceptive, or mistaken, caption under something will snooker ’em every time. They cannot distinguish between packaging and contents. They see someone saying “twelve years left to save the planet” to get attention…we know these are people who will not stand to be cornered, a year from now, with “So now there are eleven years, right?” The honest ones will say: I exaggerated to get a little bit of extra attention. The less honest ones will change the subject. Meanwhile, the well-mannered liberal won’t factor in any of that, then or now. He will simply think what he’s told to think. Twelve years, start that clock. Run around screaming and panicking, and a little bit of arms-flailing-overhead wouldn’t hurt either.

I don’t think “liberals question things and conservatives don’t” has been a good rule-of-thumb since somewhere around LBJ’s time, if even then.

Labor Day, 2021 Status Check

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

One of the Quora kids who think they know everything, tries to make the point that what would have passed for lunacy in 1999 is standard Republican intellectual fare today.

An opinion can be well-founded and/or well-reasoned. His is neither, but it’s important anyway because it reflects the feelings of so many. Ah, there’s that problem again. Feelings. You see the damage being done when you stop to realize: None of what the Quora commenter listed is nearly as off-the-rocker as “I voted Biden/Harris in 2020 and I’m not sorry.”

The President is senile. Electronic and print media are pretending he isn’t. His communications apparatus is presenting his embarrassing failures as successes. The media is doing little to nothing to correct this.

We have this new industry of “fact checking” that answers to no one and forms questionable conclusions in a bubble and as a monolith. They label things as “misinformation” that are not false, and in some cases, are provably or demonstrably true. We have become numb to this, after years of seeing persons in positions of authority add their signatures to things that are known lies, forced to conclude what people must say in totalitarian dictatorships: “Maybe it’s a lie, but there’s nothing I can do about it, so whatevs.” If any one resource is “caught spreading misinformation,” someone somewhere with power takes steps to disconnect them. There is usually no appeal and we almost never know who exactly is making the necessary judgment call. They cite “community standards” that do not exist in any written, open format that could be cited or referenced. They just suspend/disconnect and that’s that.

Unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats suspend or shut down entire industries on the shaky pretext of a deadly pandemic, leaving literally millions unemployed. They don’t suspend-until some such-and-such a specific date. They just suspend. While those affected stumble around wondering when or if they’ll ever see an honestly-earned dollar again, these decision-makers get to collect a regular paycheck.

And then there is the Afghanistan embarrassment. The news is still changing too quickly for me to insert an excerpt or a link, we just have to keep watching it. It’s sort of a combination of “hard to look away from a derailment” and “I can’t trust anybody’s version.”

We need to update our “misery index” again, because you need to start with that before adding in unemployment/inflation, bank lending rates, etc. Economic indicators are like the top floor of a building. The overall mental health of our society is like the foundation.

None of it is doing too well right now.

The people who were lining up to get rid of Bad Orange Man are very quiet. I have to say, I’d be quiet too.

Puppeteer-And-Puppet People

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

So, it’s “Please wear masks regardless of your vaccination status.” And apparently everywhere, multiple counties. China Virus stats are up, so our leaders are clamping down hard…on us. Good to know.

We’ve been through this before. A few times. Once again, it’s up to me to point out the obvious…to point out what everybody with a brain knows already, but people with better manners are going to leave unsaid.

What we’re seeing play out here, is a conflict between two ways to look at medicine. There are the very loud people, what I call the “Puppeteers and puppets” people, who perceive it’s the job of the medical authorities to tell us what to do…and our role is to do what they tell us. This seems reasonable, at first, until you ponder the most obvious question: Are they sure? And the clear and obvious answer is, no they’re not, and that’s okay. It’s science, which is supposed to constantly evolve as we learn more things. It’s science about what is still essentially a novel virus.

And then there are the people like me, who understand what’s wrong with that. The puppeteers are not sure, and that’s okay. But the central premise for everything we’re doing, is that they are sure. They’re scientists, after all! Are you a scientist? Am I a scientist? No and no. They outrank us, so let’s pretend they’re sure when they’re not.

So I guess you call us the “No Pretend” people.

“Puppeteer and Puppet” people will demand to know, with some justification…what does it matter? If they’re not sure, but they know more than we do, we might as well pretend they’re sure even if they’re not sure. Are you worried there’s a danger with the vaccines? Are you worried there’s some perceived cost involved in wearing the masks? The answer in my case is no & no. I just refuse to pretend.

If we see things as they really are, and think about those things the way they really are, we have to admit to an unsavory truth: It’s the Puppeteer-and-Puppet people, not us, who can’t handle this lack of certainty. We, as a whole, are romping around in the tall-grass looking for a Cracker Jack prize…we’ve been doing it for nineteen months now…haven’t found it yet. So it’s worse than a lack of certainty. We literally don’t know what we’re doing. They can’t handle that, so they’re observing this sanctimonious never-ever-circumvent hierarchy, with Tony the Tyrant on top, as a substitute for knowing what we’re doing. The people at the top are supposedly giving us the very best of known science, which is probably true. They’re probably being candid and sincere, usually, about everything they know. The problem is they don’t know. So the Puppeteer-and-Puppet people want this rigid chain-of-command observed, and all of the time, as a substitute for knowing what we’re doing. because they can’t handle the truth that we don’t know what we’re doing.

We won’t do this pretending. The Puppeteer-and-puppet people say that means people like me are putting them in some kind of danger. But that’s just more pretending. They pretend the science backs them up on this, but every now and then they have to deal with the fact that the science doesn’t back them up on this. So then they have to veer off into this “manners” thing, protesting that we have to wear masks to show we care. They want to pretend their Puppeteers are authorities on manners, rather than medicine. Well, anyone who’s actually dealt with a few doctors knows why we shouldn’t put doctors in charge of manners. We No-Pretend people aren’t ready to pretend that either.

Maybe this is my bias talking, but I think we No-Pretend people are the ones who have it right. We shouldn’t pretend clearly unknown things are known, or that clearly false things are true. It’s important we refrain from doing that, because pretending leads to more pretending. Now we’re supposed to pretend a higher vaccination rate is what’s needed to get rid of COVID, and that we’re almost up to that level, but not quite there yet. This, as a foundational premise, would legitimize more puppeteer-and-puppet rule-making, so a lot of people want that. We can pretend that’s “evidence” if we want to pretend that. But it isn’t.

A lot of people are “string” people. They’ve been making real nuisances of themselves. They fancy themselves to be superior to the puppets, and they want to tell the puppets what to do, but they have to receive instructions from the puppeteers about what to do. They’ve invested a lot of their identity in this chain of command, in which they take up this middle-position, playing no role in formulating the commands, but rather in enforcing them. They are often heard issuing the final conclusive staccato note in these deliberations, something to the effect of “just do it!” They’re accustomed to the puppets complying, because they seldom to never are confronted with the obvious rejoinder: That’s not a logical argument. That isn’t even an assertion. It’s just being pushy.

We’re divided right now because we’re being prevailed upon to pretend good crowd management is the same as good individual management; someone has taken a stab at the vaccination rate needed to bring about herd immunity, and their guess is that it’s very high. So the narrative is that unvaccinated people are selfish and harmful. We’re all supposed to pretend there are good scientific arguments in support of that, when there aren’t any, and the No-Pretend people aren’t pretending while the string people are yelling “just do it!”

Puppeteer-and-puppet people are prone to buy into “Let’s Try This Let’s Try That” medicine. That’s where the doc sees he’s not going to figure out exactly what’s wrong with your kid, or your pet, anytime soon, but the parent/owner is just a little bit off her rocker so he’d like to get her out of his office, but he’s figured out his role is more like a psychologist than a medical doctor, and he sees an opportunity to fulfill expectations without finding anything definite. So he prescribes something to treat the whatever…let’s just try it and see what it does. This makes the kid/pet into an experimental subject, which lends cachet. For a lot of parents/owners, that’s a huge plus. It makes for a good story to tell. But, it also just might possibly work, so there are valid reasons to opt into this, and there are valid reasons not to opt into it. It’s generally a good discussion to have. It’s also generally a discussion that, when all’s said & done, doesn’t happen.

“Let’s try this let’s try that” medicine is popular…with some. That’s another reason we’re divided. The Puppeteer Class has been wrong so often in this thing; people point it out, and the rebuttal is “Yeah but that’s to be expected, it’s how science works.” So it is! But because that’s how science works, y’all can stop pretending, anytime you want, that the No-Pretend people are hurting you just by being No-Pretend people. Also, let’s stop pretending the puppeteers are taking actual responsibility for end results. They aren’t.

You have your vaccines now. If you’re worried about the China Virus, take your vaccine. And your booster shot too. Pretty soon, there are going to be multiple booster shots…and the people who’ve taken all five of them, will be blaming the people who’ve only taken four.

But let’s not have any more pretending about “We’d be all done with it by now if it weren’t for that guy over there,” or about “doing this” or “getting rid of it once and for all” or “kicking COVID’s butt.” Y’all aren’t doing that.