kaizen
what's been floating my boat lately:

"How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think."
-Hitler-
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
-Albert Einstein-


6/29/18 (19:10)

  • "The End" features Starr's only drum solo in the Beatles' catalogue (the drums are mixed across two tracks in "true stereo", unlike most releases at that time where they were hard panned left or right). Fifty-four seconds into the song are 18 bars of lead guitar: the first two bars are played by McCartney, the second two by Harrison, and the third two by Lennon, with the sequence repeating.[65] Harrison suggested the idea of a guitar solo in the track, Lennon decided they should trade solos and McCartney elected to go first. The solos were cut live against the existing backing track in one take.[15] Immediately after Lennon's third and final solo, the piano chords of the final part of the song begin. The song ends with the memorable final line, "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make".
  • best album of all-time.
  • they should remake a bunch of classic movies, but within the current political climate. so, they tell the story of norma rae, but instead of starting a union because of legitimate grievances she complains to management about manspreading and doesn't get anything done because of systemic patriarchy. basically it could be a series of reimagined classics cut short because of political correctness.
  • in the last few weeks i've heard two distinct condemnations of banks and home lending practices over the last 15 years or so: 1) poor people of color can't get housing loans because banks discriminate. 2) poor people of color were duped into loans (predatory lending).
  • both these arguments have come from the left and seem in contradiction. i'm not sure what the perfect sweet spot is supposed to be for banks seeing as i have literally heard both ends of the spectrum being cited as examples of discrimination against people of color in specific regards to housing.
  • at some point i think we need to have a serious, honest, and frank conversation about the extent to which agency and free will exist. of course many people have this conversation in their 20s, in college, or whatever. but, as a society, i think we need to be a bit more honest and open about it and have it in those terms...to what extent can people be held responsible for their own actions? i'm not a determinist, but there are smart people who are. i'm also not a complete libertarian who believes that it's your job to be an expert in every piece of paper you put your signature on, but there has to be some expectation that all people take their own fate into their own hands. without this fundamental premise i think we may as well just pack it up and cut straight to the chase: socialism and equal outcomes for all.
  • a couple examples of government doing a good job to help protect consumers: cooling off period when you buy a car and 3 day right to cancel home improvement contracts. there are probably a lot more. this helps protect the impulsive consumer or the consumer who feels pressured by a salesman. i'm not sure if they have something similar for home mortgages. but let's be real - if you're making 25k/year and you own a $500k house then you have to (or should) know that something isn't adding up. maybe the salesman sold you on an adjustable rate mortgage, but at that point you probably wanted to be fooled.
  • TINSTAAFL. there is no such thing as a free lunch. if it's too good to be true then it probably is. you need a healthy skepticism and if you don't have that as an adult then i'm sorry, but that's not really society's problem.
  • what's good for the goose is good for the gander. if the above applies to poor individuals of color (or whoever your favorite victim group is), then it applies as much or more to banks that give shitty loans to people who have no chance of paying them off. i believe in moral hazard. the banks should become government property long enough to ride out the storm and sell to a bank that can handle it.
  • let's not forget the seven sins (the first two of which apply heavily here):
  • commerce without morality
  • wealth without work
  • pleasure without conscience
  • knowledge without character
  • science without humanity
  • religion without sacrifice
  • politics without principle
  • i talked about that last one just a couple weeks ago.
  • and regarding what the IDW is up against these days: All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships. -George Bernard Shaw
  • "wherever germany extends her sway, she ruins culture" - nietzsche
  • "It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much." -Yogi Berra
  • the incel movement got a bit of coverage lately. for those who don't know...an incel is an involuntary celibate. basically guys (mostly) who can't get laid for whatever reason. this tends to end up in them being very bitter and angry (mostly with women). basically, some of them are saying there is a right to sex. they have a right to sex because it's a biological imperative - a basic human need - and so society should take care of that for them. what's fascinating to me, and i haven't heard anyone else address it in quite this way, is that some of them have become sexual communists in this way. all the coverage i've heard about the subject has focused on them being women-hating psychos, but none of the mainstream coverage acknowledges the logic of the argument. perhaps it's because it's the same logic that communists use to justify their taking the labor of others for their basic needs.
  • to simplify things it goes like this: i'm a communist who believes in a right to housing, food, healthcare, internet, etc. i don't provide these things for myself (for legitimate or illegitimate reasons - it doesn't matter to the communists), so the rest of society should provide these things for me. all the incel movement has done is include sex in the list of human rights. i wrote about the issue of creeping "human rights" several months ago and a year ago, and here's yet another example of it. when i complained about it then it could be seen as a conservative complaint because i complained about things that liberals today are pushing for (free internet, healthcare, right to preferred gender pronoun use, etc.) and now it could be seen as a liberal complaint since the liberals have been big on reporting on the incel movement (probably because it's essentially an anti-woman movement and that fits nicely into their narrative).
  • i don't drink coffee and i don't care about starbucks, but it occurs to me that they're getting shit on a lot lately and it's an example of the left eating itself. they decided to take a day to talk about race and they got shit on for it being ham fisted or whatever. one manager maybe kicks out a couple of black guys and everyone shits on starbucks. it's really bizarre because they should be praised in a lot of ways. they provide free college opportunities for their employees, they offer good advancement, good benefits, good flexibility for students and parents, and good wages. yet they get shit on at every opportunity. if they had 100 stores instead of 27,000 then i think people would have a very difference opinion of them.
  • i'm in no way an economist, but i'd love to see some analysis of this concept that it seems like no matter how things change we always find a way to work roughly 40 hours a week at the median level. consumer goods cost less, food costs less, but those savings are just offset by new "needs" like cell phones or rising costs in healthcare or other sectors. it seems as though there's just a limiting societal factor of us working about that much and having whatever wage that works out to (adjusted for inflation or not) and the only issue is how that amount of work (as represented by money) is going to be divvied up by various potential needs or sectors.
  • i guess the counter point to this would be that we have higher levels of consumer debt than we did in the past.
  • malcolm gladwell is really hit and miss lately. he either really nails it or totally misses. one of his recent podcasts was about the nature of memory and how flexible and imperfect it is. he talked about studies where people recall being one place on 9/11 a year after the attacks and then a totally different place when they were asked again 5 years after the attacks. i find this mildly interesting, but not all that compelling. i remember precisely where i was and i know with metaphysical certainty that i'm remembering correctly. but that's besides the point. his point seemed to be that brian williams was simply misremembering when he told his story about landing in the middle east under terrorist fire. it's the story that got him suspended for a while and gladwell was doing his best to be an apologist for him. frankly, i think it's nuts. it's one thing to misremember where you were when a big event happened and it's another to misremember being in the middle of enemy fire when you're just a journalist (or hillary clinton since she also lied about something similar). being in a life threatening situation is just vastly different. memory isn't infallible...and when he addresses the role memory plays in a movement like #metoo i can see how it's salient to remember that there's two sides to a story and your memory of every detail can have holes. but this is very different from remembering 1) i was under rocket fire in a foreign country and my life was in legitimate danger or 2) i landed on a peaceful tarmac and nothing was happening. there's a clear binary that exists and it's a leap beyond all leaps to try to give the benefit of the doubt to williams on this. sorry not sorry.
  • in the further collapsing trust of our institutions the NBA continues to have ref issues to the point where people are posting play by play recaps of bad calls in playoff games. 1) people take this shit too seriously (i used to also) 2) society is fucked when we can't even trust foul calls anymore
  • did i write about oprah and her "speak your truth" nonsense? post-modernism run amok. it's also strange when people (usually liberals and PC academics) talk about speaking your truth but they shout down or deride any "truth" that they don't like. it's a very odd dynamic that they can't see the blatant hypocrisy. "you should speak your truth"..."but not you because you're a white guy and you can't know anything about racism, oppression, sexism, privilege, etc." for example. what about the truth of the trump voter? shouldn't they speak their truth? personally i think the whole idea is idiotic. you can give your opinion and your experience (and everyone should), but don't call it truth. but if you believe the nonsense mantra of "speak your truth" then at least have the courage to let it apply to everyone.
  • i wonder what would happen if trump tried to hire his brother for attorney general like JFK did. apparently the NYT and others gave JFK a pretty hard time about it. good to see some consistency on the nepotism topic.
  • wine seems to be a gross misapplication of resources. billions spent on cultivating grapes for minor differences in flavor. wonder what the global warming impact is on shipping glass bottles from italy and france to california. i wonder if wine drinking liberals care about that as much as i used to care about people driving SUVs.
  • wish we talked more about ideas, not individuals.
  • wish we talked more about individuals, not groups.
  • abortion and gun control people are basically the same - for each it's a religious issue. for the second amendment people they're fundamentalists - "never take my guns. never restrict me from having any guns i want." for abortion rights folks it's "never restrict my right to an abortion." neither group seems very willing to give in on even common sense restrictions or changes to current law.
  • for those who like to look to europe as enlightened:
  • from atlantic...germany on abortion: "women seeking first-trimester abortions are subject to a mandatory three-day waiting period and a counseling session. Abortions after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are forbidden except in cases of grave threat to the mother's physical or mental health."
  • finland on abortion: " abortion is available up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, unless the woman is under 17 years old, in which case she may have an abortion until she's 20 weeks pregnant. But even for early abortions, women must provide a "social reason" for seeking to terminate her pregnancy, such as poverty, extreme distress, or already having at least four children. While in practice most abortion requests are granted, it still forces women to prove to an authority the validity of their desire not to have a baby"
  • denmark on abortion: "abortion is available on demand up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Afterward, exceptions are made for cases of rape, threats to the woman's physical or mental health, risk of fetal defects, and -- revealingly -- in cases where the woman can demonstrate lack of financial resources to care for a child."

  • 6/12/18 (19:53)

  • so apparently there was a 7 year old who won the pride parade in LA. i'm not sure what it means to win the pride parade, but i guess they liked him. he's 7 and he's a trans person. just let that sink in. i guess there are a lot of people who find this to be really good news, but i can't say i'm one of them. saying that isn't really allowed in polite society anymore, but i guess i'm old because i care less about that every day. this is horse shit. this kid apparently knows enough about men and women and gender roles to reject what he was born with. an astonishing accomplishment at seven. it sure seems as though transgender people embrace gender roles as much as anyone else, including the most ardent conservative republicans.
  • there was a munk debate about political correctness recently wherein the side arguing that political correctness hasn't gone too far basically refused to address the core issue of political correctness. it was a bizarre debate because one side was at least attempting to argue the core resolution and the other side just talked about oppressed people and their oppressors. i suppose this is why the "con" side won the debate. i believe pretty strongly that this debate about political correctness is a valid and important one. politically incorrect speech is absolutely stifled in polite society, in leftist enclaves, in academia, and in the mainstream media. it's really something that i think moderates need to fight against, or else we'll all suffer the consequences of limited speech, limited action, limited political debate, exchange of free ideas, etc. of course, trump is partly a backlash against this. a vote for him is, in a very real way, a vote against incumbents and the political elites, but it's also a vote against a system of repressed speech and ideas...things that occur under the guise of political correctness.
  • this isn't to say that i like trump or that i think it was a wise vote to choose him over hillary because the system needed shaking up so badly or because PC culture has run amok. i've said it before that he's the wrong answer to the right questions. the concerns are valid and real and i sympathize with them very much, but trump was an awful choice. sanders also struck a nerve for many of the same reasons, but he didn't get quite the following for a variety of reasons.
  • jordan peterson was in that debate and he's one of the people identified as being in the intellectual dark web. i've seen the rise of these thinkers for the past two years or so and the NYT finally published something that seems to have gotten some legs on the topic. the common thread with the people comprising the IDW is that they are speaking out against homogeneous academia, against political correctness, and against basic notions that we can't have reasonable debates about topics that are considered taboo today. everyone mentioned in her article has been on my podcast rotation for a while now. i found bari weiss's piece on the IDW to be quite fair in a world where a lot of criticism against harris and peterson revolves around them being racists and shills for the alt-right. these are clearly attacks from people who either are wholly ignorant of what those two people stand for, or who are willingly lying for political purposes.

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