kaizen
what's been floating my boat lately:
  • Lorn
  • Nick Drake

  • "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-

    1/25/21 (21:25)

  • Backlash to the backlash. Ryan Long is great.
  • If you think that Trump is the problem then you're either clueless or wildly optimistic.
  • Good episode from Jordan Peterson recently. S4E2 with Douglas Murray. I don't agree with everything Murray says, nor do I disagree with everything he says. Murray is definitely on the right and Peterson is center right. If you haven't heard anything from Peterson (where have you been?) then this might be a good first episode. Not because it's quintessential JBP, but because he seems to be reacting to his place in society as a center of controversy who is feeling introspective. I like this incarnation of him
  • If I were president I would have done a lot of things differently, but one thing that I would have done, that would have been in keeping with the Trump ethos, is to make the COVID thing into a national competition. "Look the chinks are beating us right now and so are the Japs and the Nazis...we need to get our numbers down. Let's kick their ass by wearing masks, taking vitamin D, quitting smoking...go outside and get some cardio to help your general health, etc. We're number one." Something like that.
  • I've heard our policy called abstinence only, which I think is pretty accurate. We know how to shut down the economy and pay people to not do anything. Beyond that we're pretty much closing our eyes and plugging our ears. Why is getting plastic surgery okay, but eating outside isn't? None of the decisions being made are making much sense. I used to really dislike governor Newsom's reaction to COVID and then I came around to it. Then he went to the French Laundry with his buddies proving how important his guidance really is and he botched the vaccine roll out so I'm off team Newsom again. What a douche.
  • Another chapter in the changing demographics and entitlement of current bay area residents...I got a service request about a tenant (in Berkeley, figures) who needed some work done (I didn't do any of this work) and the list was: needs blinds, windows have paint splotches, baseboards in closet don't completely align, bedroom outlet is crooked. I texted the tenant and told him "I ordered the blinds for you. I'll be in touch as soon as they arrive to install them and take care of the other items you listed." He replied "Hi Chris, sounds good. Please let me know as soon as possible, it is difficult to live without blinds." I'm going to need a few bullet points to unpack this...
  • It's difficult to live without blinds. This might be the most first world sentence I've seen in a long time. Again, my general disposition in life is that I'm lucky that I get to shit in a heated room, press a lever, and have the shit disappear. I don't have to go outside to the out house to take a crap and this is a glorious thing. I don't take indoor plumbing and electricity for granted. I definitely get annoyed when the internet isn't working (in part because I can't even use my phone without internet because I don't get cell coverage at home), but I've never uttered a phrase even close to "it's difficult to live without blinds." Life is difficult. Sack up you shit head.
  • Let's give the devil his due...maybe he works nights so he wants blinds to help him sleep during the day. I plan on asking about this when I'm there. But, let's go ahead and stipulate that he works the graveyard shift (I've done this before so I can sympathize)...in which case it wouldn't be very difficult to use a thumbtack and some sheets or towels to block the sunlight.
  • Lastly, this is the unit that you looked at before you rented the place. None of this was a surprise.
  • Another one I'm dealing with...young lady wanted two broken blinds replaced so I ordered new ones online. Color was kinda tan so I ordered the "biscuit" color, which is the builder's version of light tan. The blinds I got are from a different manufacturer so the color is different. She wrote an email complaining that they were white and didn't match the third set of blinds in the room. No, they're not white. No, they don't match perfectly...why exactly does that merit a complaint? So, I'm going to order a third set of blinds to match the other two. I'm going to throw the third, perfectly functioning set of blinds, in the landfill where it will live for a few hundred years because she couldn't stand looking at mismatching blinds. Can't be reused unless I find the same size window elsewhere (very unlikely). I could take it to a salvage place, but my experience with those places is that they are quite picky to the point of it not being worth my time.
  • Perhaps this is the core problem driving global warming and overconsumption...people not being willing to put up with slight discomfort or things that aren't perfectly aesthetically pleasing. Deal with what you have and move on. Keep the thermostat a bit outside your comfort zone and take one for the team. I definitely am keeping employed (at least in part) as a result of this, so maybe I shouldn't be pointing this out, but it's really aggravating to see people send me pictures of perfectly nice kitchens that they want to rip down and replace. People want to throw out well functioning blinds from a place that they rent...this shit kills me. You're a renter, just live with what you have - this is the place you signed the lease for.
  • Have I mentioned recently how much I don't like the identity politics of our times? Everything has to be made into a race or gender issue. People not wearing their masks...hm, I noticed that men aren't as good about it so let's call them out about it. Of course this all goes one way ----> white cis men. It's not like anyone ever is allowed to say "wow, the students in our country are really fucking dumb and 37% of them don't know any of the rights protected by the Bill of Rights...let's blame women since 76% of teachers are women." This isn't a useful way to go around the world. It's going to get us in a lot of trouble if we insist on seeing things this way all the time.
  • Men commit the most crime, solve the most crime, and are victims of the most crime. Blacks disproportionately commit more crime and are disproportionately victims of crime. Up to you and your narrative what you want to focus on - if you're inclined to think of things this way.
  • Heard a little radio bit about a city (I think it was Fremont or Hayward or some smaller East Bay city) council meeting where they voted on an issue (can't recall what) and some people didn't seem to like the way the vote turned out. In the story they mentioned that the vote was at 1am. This, to me, was meant to signal to the listener that this vote was surreptitious. In reality, many of these votes take place quite late and there are a couple good reasons for this. In many cities council members and board members make very little so they often have other jobs. They also often have city/board meetings "after hours" in part because of the members and in part because the citizens are encouraged to give their feedback. During these meetings you'll often get many people coming to the microphone giving their two cents. This, along with the formalities of these meetings, makes the meetings drag late into the night. All this together equals late night votes. Of course the media doesn't say anything about that...they just give an untethered fact...one without context, but heavy in innuendo. This, again, is not useful. The media is failing us at every level and this is a way bigger problem than Trump, Republicans, Koch Brother(s), Mercers, corporate personhood, racial inequality, and whatever else you're getting from the Nation and Mother Jones. And, in case it isn't obvious, the media are a way bigger problem than Pelosi, AOC, Soros, unions, Antifa, and whatever else you're getting from the Blaze and Gateway Pundit.
  • I've written about it before, but it really sticks in my craw...MMT is one of those so smart you get dumb issues. You have these super genius economists who go full retard and end up on the other end of the horseshoe (my version replaces "far left" with "dumb" and "far right" with "smart" [or vice versa if that offends]) to the point where they become so smart they're actually closer to being dumb.
  • To reiterate quickly...according to MMT the government can spend as much as it wants and debt doesn't matter. Inflation matters. If inflation gets too high then the government can just raise taxes to bring some of the money out of the economy and it's all good again.
  • One issue they will bring up is that Congress isn't very good at raising taxes quickly enough to bring that money back. So, they say let's just have an automatic trip wire that raises taxes if inflation reaches, let's say, 4%. Problem solved...free money!
  • My issues with this are many and range from the conspiratorial to the specific to the fundamental nature of life:
  • conspiracy - This whole thing sounds like a good way of just raising taxes and taking way our money. If you, a middle class-ish person, think that won't affect you, you're living in la la land.
  • specific - I don't think they are good at measuring inflation and SO much of this scheme relies on accurately measuring inflation. Does anyone really think that inflation has held steady at just 2% for the last several years? Our biggest life purchases (education, health, home) occur at varying times in our lives and have all gone up by double digits. This just doesn't pass the sniff test. I know there's a lot of debate about tracking inflation and they debate the CPI basket and what can be substituted, etc. I'm not saying they're not thoughtful about it, but things just don't add up. Add in wage stagnation (also debatable) and I think you can definitely make the case that relying on a single metric like inflation is dangerous at best.
  • fundamental - you don't get shit for free in life. You can't just make money, spend it, and think that the gravy train can last forever. Life doesn't work that way, so why would a macroeconomic theory like MMT work if that's what it's essentially doing?
  • Another fuck the media point - how often and vigorously do your media sources cover bipartisan legislation? It does exist, but they just don't cover it the same way that they cover the issues on which the D and R parties disagree. The First Step Act is a good, recent example. It's the kind of bill everyone should celebrate, yet it got very little coverage. Probably received about as much coverage as the Mike Pence fly.
  • Aphorisms are the collected memory and wisdom of a society. If you see variations of these across cultures and time then there's a pretty good chance that there's a fundamental truth that they are getting to. One that I like, and is apropos of the tenant discussion above, is "if you give an inch they'll take a mile." A Mexican friend of mine said they have one that's similar - "give a man a hand and he'll take your whole arm." Sayings like this don't last because they're false.
  • Found a podcast with Bill Gates and Rashida Jones. It's okay overall. I think Gates is one of the great people we have living in the public consciousness today. In episode 5 Jones is talking about how when she was younger she was pretty militant and saw people who disagreed with her as her enemy...but now she has matured and understands that the world is very complicated. This occurs around the 3 minute mark. Then about 4 minutes later she talks about whether or not it's possible to change your mind and understand how your enemy thinks. Gates calls her out on her use of the word "enemy" right away and I'm glad he did. I found it especially hilarious because she was just, 4 minutes ago, talking about how she didn't see people who disagreed with her as enemies anymore. I think what's more likely is that she came to the point where she knows not to call them the enemy anymore...to tolerate them to some extent...but she still probably sees them as a hindrance to her vision of the world. I don't fault her for this, necessarily. I think it's pretty much the norm for humans and I really understand it. However, this is the crux of the problem. This is what we need to get away from. Again, it's not just that the right wing is shitty, but let's tolerate them. It's that we actually need the right wing in order to be our best. We need to take the best they have to offer and the best the left has to offer and combine them. There can be a tug of war in the middle as things go back and forth a bit in that middle zone, but you really do need the strengths of each side's ideology in order to achieve a productive and fulfilling societal balance.
  • Maybe we need a single issue voter bloc that places accountability or compromise above all other issues. Probably better than the single issue voter who picked gun rights or abortion.
  • One of the things that's happened in the era of wokeness is that racism has been redefined to include only whites. It's explicitly stated that you need to be white in order to be racist today. It's because of this Marxist obsession with power that the definition has warped in such a way to exclude blacks, latinos, or asians from possibly being racist. I don't really accept the new definition, but whatever. Ultimately, I don't see the point. So a Latino person who doesn't like blacks isn't racist, they're just a prejudiced bigot...what's the difference? It's a very odd thing to have done, but we live in odd times. I don't understand much of critical race theory.
  • It's no coincidence that Trump finally won the presidency when the attention economy was at its height. How many other times did he run and lose? He didn't change, we did.
  • It's no coincidence that Blacks and Native Americans are the most screwed over groups and they're the ones still doing the worst.
  • Bill Barr was totally spineless until the last few weeks of his tenure. What a piece of shit.
  • What's the deal with Kimberley Guilfoyle? Married to Newsom for 5 years. Now partnered with Trump Jr.
  • Jill Biden's title as "doctor" was in the news for a few days. This is pathetic for so many reasons. It's weird to insist on being called an honorific of any kind, imo. It smacks of wanting to be called Maestro. It's pathetic that someone wrote and op-ed about it. It's pathetic that it was published. It's pathetic that people drew battle lines over it. It's pathetic that I took note of this and brought it up weeks later. It's pathetic that this bullet point has continued for this long. Sad!
  • I was against the recall of Gray Davis when it happened. I thought it was a slippery slope at the time and didn't think much of Arnold as a politician. He turned out to not be that bad and would have done better under the pandemic seeing as he funded emergency masks, etc. as part of a pandemic preparedness team which Jerry Brown later defunded. Anyway, now people are thinking of recalling Newsom. I think I've changed my mind on the recall issue. Now that I see accountability as of extreme importance, I'm not as against recalls as I was before. Newsom should at least be threatened with a recall...and the threat means something since we've done it before.
  • Should I point out that the Obama administration was the one that said all the Facebook purchases and mergers were a-OK? And that the Trump administration was the one that fought Facebook?
  • up too late. too much work to do.

  • 1/20/21 (21:24)

  • Watched the 60 minutes segment on Alex Smith. Long time readers know I have always liked him and was upset when Harbaugh benched him for Kaepernick. Anyway, in 2018 he had a really bad broken leg and someone pointed out the following coincidences about his injury and Theisman's equally brutal leg break:

  • Joe Theismann - Nov. 18, 1985
    Alex Smith - Nov. 18, 2018
    -Both breaks happened in Washington
    -Both games ended 23-21
    -Both broke right tibia and fibula
    -Both quarterbacks were tackled by the only three-time defensive played of the year winners, JJ Watt and Lawrence Taylor
    -Both happened near the 40 yard line
    -Both quarterbacks were playing against red, white, and blue jerseys
    -Joe Theismann was at the game when Alex Smith broke his leg
    -Theismann�s Pro Bowl left tackle, Joe Jacoby, wasn�t on the field due to injury
    -Smith�s Pro Bowl left tackle, Trent Williams, wasn�t on the field due to injury
  • Trying a new color for a bit. Good?

  • 1/19/21 (22:27)

  • My line of work is kinda fun because it takes me to a lot of places. I have clients who are rich and middle class. I work for a property manager who has properties that run the gamut from low to high end. I get to see the variety of ways that people live. How messy their house is, how it smells, what kind of work they do, how picky or not they are. I go through the best and worst parts of town on a regular basis. I see the burnt out cars, the cars with the engine removed up on blocks, the homeless encampments all over the city, I've worked in one room while a junkie is doing crack in the other, I've worked around needles on the job site more times than I can count, I've worked upstairs while I can see the prostitutes working on the street downstairs...these are all just realities of urban decay and the work I do.
  • I work more with immigrants than I do with natives. I think I've written about that before - people from Uzbekistan, Russia, Ireland, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador...all coming here for a better life. All have a better view of the country than most of the people I went to college with.
  • Since COVID the job has changed a bit...people have gotten more picky (maybe gentrification, maybe people just more isolated and wanting to control things more). I've written about the volume fluctuating and the type of work going from mostly renovations to mostly tenant improvements. I've also done a fair amount of jobs for commercial properties (storage facilities). They have been lucrative and fairly easy. Commercial maintenance work is good because you don't have crazy codes and union requirements since it's not a new build, but you get to charge a bit more and the customers are more function oriented. You're not going to get five emails about the paint color, like you might from a residential customer. This is much more preferable to me.
  • COVID has also helped the traffic situation a lot. I do a fair amount of driving and being able to get around has been a really welcome change. Especially March-June-ish was wide open.
  • It hasn't helped the permitting situation, however. Getting a permit that once was a 4-8 hour task can now be months long. City workers are using all their vacation time and, apparently, the vacation time is being matched 100% by some kind of COVID pay...so people can take up to 40 weeks of vacation without any downside to them. So, you have city bureaucrats, working from home, with a bunch of vacation time...recipe for months long delays.
  • Ezra Klein had Stacey Abrams on a while back. They talked about the "tyranny of the majority" argument as a false one used by Republicans to actually have a tyranny of the minority and how it's destroying democratic rule. I don't think they understand the concept, which is odd since they are both very smart. This is motivated reasoning at work, though. They've lost the clear and simple definition of a concept like the tyranny of the majority and twisted the argument to such an extent that it loses the point. Tyranny of the majority refers to the democratic idea that the majority can vote away the rights of the minority. It's a very real thing. A simple example is that if there are three people in a room and one of them is Bill Gates...it's not going to be long before he loses most of his money because the other two will vote to institute rules that confiscate his wealth. That's an abstract example. A concrete one might be slavery. The tyranny of the majority idea is a reminder than democracy isn't the highest good - which is something a lot of Leftists are leaning on these days.
  • The Left is understandably upset because Republicans are ruling Congress and the Executive from a minority position (they have recently received fewer votes than the Democrats in the House, Senate, and Presidential elections and yet were (until 2018) in power of those branches for a good deal of time). This is clearly unfair and undemocratic. Fair enough point. However, that doesn't mean that you can place democracy above the rights of others. Democracy is important, but it's not a first principle in this country. Limited government power is a first principle. It's laid out in the Bill of Rights. Anti-democratic principles are laid out in the Constitution - in the makeup of the Senate, for example.
  • You can argue that this was a practical consideration that needed to happen (like the 3/5 compromise) in order to get the new country reformed after the Articles of Confederation proved a failure...but it's nevertheless a part of the Constitution. I think that the founders didn't want a democracy. Not just an Athenian democracy where you vote on every single thing...I think they purposely wanted something less democratic because they didn't think the people made great decisions overall. In other words, I think Abrams and Klein are very wrong when they discuss democracy and our government. They're working off faulty assumptions, they're missing the point of protecting the minority, and they're doing it because they are motivated to do so. I don't think they ever really tackle the core problem - even though Klein brings it up.
  • I think the problem of Republicans winning despite consistently winning a minority of votes is indeed a problem. However, I think they are wrong in their approach.
  • Football games on some stations are covered really poorly. This weekend the NBC coverage was really awful. Specifically the view of the field was way tighter than it should have been. Most coverage consistently leaves a quarter of the players out of the frame almost as soon as the play starts. Safeties, DBs, WRs are all off screen doing god knows what while we're focused on the QB and the lines. These are important elements, to be sure, but the fact that we always miss what's happening in the secondary is a major loss in the viewing experience. Football is the only sport where this is a big problem. Soccer misses players, but they're not important until the ball comes near them and they get on the screen by then. Basketball and hockey are small enough that everyone is included in the frame. Baseball is slow enough that you can show shifting fielders, etc. without missing anything. Baseball may have the most to gain from being on TV because it's easier to see the pitch selection, strike zone, etc. Football really needs to be seen live to get the full experience. Most people have TVs that are 40"+ nowadays so I don't understand why they don't zoom out a little.

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    1/14/21 (21:34)

  • Interesting year. COVID, Trump, George Floyd, etc. We all know the long list.
  • Personally it was interesting. Seeing two kids die and not being able to save them was pretty rough. COVID changed the business a bit. We also stopped doing much work for Meryl's brother, but that was more because of market conditions than anything else and was planned to happen before COVID. Laid off one employee, lost another to him returning home to Mexico (I miss him). Hired another employee and he's working out. Got more PPP money than we probably deserved. Saved more money than we could have hoped for given what happened this year. That said, it was also the first time I was struggling to fill a work week. Signed a new agreement with a property management company to handle the vast majority of their maintenance work - something that's been in the works for a year and came at a really good time.
  • COVID slowed things for us for sure, but about 95% of the year was pretty much business as usual in terms of staying busy and making money. The type of work shifted, but we were out in the field nonetheless.
  • Merritt started kindergarten online, which is a bummer. Zoe continues to teach herself better than I could ever hope. Both my girls are so great and I'm so lucky to have them. They both have tablets (for online learning only) and Zoe and I had an email exchange once that went like this:
  • zoe: Dad where me and Merritt good at getting ready today???
  • me: Yes, you guys did a great job! We were out the door before 8am and I'm working right now. I love you guys so much! Love, Dad
  • zoe: Ok!
  • me: I am such a lucky Dad to have two such wonderful daughters who are so full of love and life and happiness. Love, Dad
  • zoe: You are!
  • I highly recommend the new Carlin podcast episode (garbage in garbage out). Listened to it twice today. His last two have been absolute gold and I agree with pretty much everything he says. It's really heartening to hear someone who sees the world in the same way. It can be pretty lonely being a true independent. I pretty actively avoid having any allegiance and the result of that is I'm not on a team so there's not much solace because everyone thinks you're not on their side. I have a lot of political stuff saved up, but I'll be up all night if I start writing about that.
  • One thing I really hope for is that when Trump isn't in office the media stops talking about him. He will no longer be required reporting and he's never been very interesting or important - outside of his role as president. No reason to talk about him anymore. I've been making this point since he lost the election and seeing him banned from Twitter, etc. actually gives me hope that this will happen. My inclination until now has been to think that the media will continue to dip into the Trump well for content, but now I'm less certain. We'll see.
  • The vaccine timeline is interesting. We're seeing this in a few sectors in government now where things that usually take a long time are now greatly accelerated. It leaves you wondering why things take as long as they take if they can obviously take a lot less time. I wrote before that the record before this was 4 years for the mumps vaccine. This isn't just an issue of developing the vaccine, but also of doing the tests and getting through the regulation. So we're faced with a situation now where we either have to question the old timeline/process as excessively long and onerous or question the safety of the current vaccine. I'm inclined to think that the old timeline/process was overly drawn out (as is typical with the government). That said, it's impossible to know the long term effects of a vaccine when it's been developed over the course of less than a year.
  • I incorrectly predicted the GA senate outcomes. Surprising outcome imo.
  • "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize that half of them are stupider than that." - George Carlin. I think he means median person, but, pedantics aside, this is a good way of understanding why we are where we are.
  • According to NPR's Indicator podcast Amazon warehouse workers are making more than market rate and this is pushing wages up. This is probably bad news for people who like to hate Amazon.
  • The stories we tell each other about our family, the videos we watch over and over again...those become the perception of our family. Stories and images matter. Now extrapolate that out to how the media presents our country. What are the stories the media tell? Have they chosen to focus on the positive or the negative? One more way in which the media is so corrosive to our socio-political situation. And as I've been pointing out a for a while now - Trump will be gone soon and the media remains with us.
  • One thing that's nice about getting older is that you start to see patterns in society. Things aren't as novel as they once were. It's a lot easier to see how shifty things can be. For example, when I was growing up it was clear that conservatives were the ones who wanted to run your life - no abortion, rap is bad, being gay is sinful, puritans telling you how to run your life. Nowadays, though, the liberals are the ones telling you what car to drive (SUVs are bad), what coffee to buy (Starbucks is evil, need to buy fair trade, shade grown, organic whatever), what movies to watch (Gone With The Wind is verboten), what views to have, what jokes are off limits, etc.
  • Work lately has been a lot of unit turnovers. People are leaving the bay area and rents are dropping. People who didn't want to agree to buyouts before are now asking if the offer is still on the table. Landlords are the ones hurting and I'm sure no one is shedding any tears.
  • Our goal for a little while has been to buy a warehouse and live there. We'd build it out for living and also have storage space for all the staging materials (Meryl is fully into the staging business now) and tools, materials, shop stuff. We figure we need 6,000 s.f. minimum to make it work. 1500-2000 for living and office space and the rest for work stuff. More would be even better. Found a nice place and put an offer on it, but it's in contract so we only get a chance if it falls out of contract. I'm not super hopeful, but would really like to get the place. Lots of room so I could finally have the space I need.
  • One thing about being a GC is that I do a bit of almost everything. If I were just a plumber then I'd only need plumbing tools. I'd probably have more materials on hand like extra copper or cast iron or whatever, but I wouldn't need any of my electrical stuff, carpentry tools, tile tools, HVAC tools, extra hardware, simpson strong ties, etc.
  • Then you add up all the tools that I have multiple copies of...Sometimes I'm running 3 jobs at a time. I could cart one set of tools all around the city, but doing that just gets old. All that stuff takes up a lot of space. I've wanted more space since I was building CD cases in my apartment. I'd say a warehouse would finally be enough.
  • The other thing is that I have a car (the Chevy Volt) that I try to use most of the time for commuting and I have the truck that I use for bringing tools and materials to/from the job. Demo day means I usually bring the trailer and of course that means I need the truck. When I take the Volt I don't have as much space so keeping the tools on site is a much better option. Of course that also means I run the risk of a theft and that's an unfortunate part of the calculus for everything. If I'm on a job a long time then I run the risk of a burglary. All these considerations add up to more expense and difficulty. If I lived in the country I'd have a truck and a trailer and I'd bring the trailer wherever I'm working and I could leave it there until the job is done. Around here, parking and theft make that impossible.
  • So much of my job is logistics. What jobs should I go to today? How can I keep Edwin and Antonio busy? What jobs do I need to look at for next week or later down the line? What materials do I need for now and later? Actually doing the work is basically the easy part at this point. I guess that's an accomplishment since there was a time when that was a struggle. Nowadays most of the jobs I get are pretty easy for me to execute from a building perspective. Getting the right materials and people to the job and dealing with people...those are the hard parts of my job.
  • Dealing with flaky suppliers, material availability, and customers are the most annoying things for me on a daily basis. Home Depot is basically the only game in town for getting a variety of materials in one stop (Lowe's is far away) and none of them around here are run worth a damn. I know more about their products than most of their employees. I rented an insulation blower from them a few weeks ago and the guy renting it to me had no idea how it worked or what materials it worked with. I had to give him a tutorial and set it up for him. This is just one example. The lack of basic competence is a constant source of frustration.
  • Customers are more annoying the last year or so than ever before. I'm guessing that part of that is COVID getting to people and the other part is that more people are moving from SF to Oakland. Oakland used to be more working class and laid back - live and let live. These days, there's definitely a shift towards annoying people who are entitled, picky, and overbearing. Basically it's the Berkeley/SF-ification of Oakland. In this way, I definitely can sympathize with the anti-gentrification crowd.
  • So, that's work.

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    1/11/21 (23:44)

  • Lots to say about things lately, but not much time. Staying up late to work and not much time to gather thoughts and write here. Will definitely get to it soon, though.
  • If you recall the Carlin podcast I recommended a couple times a few months back, that is as relevant now as ever. He talked about being angry when he was young and now just being really disappointed. That's where I am. Really embarrassed and disappointed by everything that's going on. Not only what's happening with the protests, but with the reactions to it. The way the media spins it. The way each side responds. The totally oblivious nature of the responses on both sides. Hopefully this is the wake up call we needed, but I think it still needs to get worse before it gets better. Part of that is each side acknowledging their own stupidity. The reckless nature of their extremes. Their own culpability in ratcheting things up. Their unwillingness to acknowledge the importance of the other side to keep things running well. This is something I write about a lot here. Maybe it comes off as apologetic for the Right. What it really is is an acknowledgment not just of the legitimacy of both sides, but the necessity of both sides. We need a right wing and a left wing to fly. Unfortunately both sides think that the other side is a mortal enemy. What makes it really difficult is that both sides have good evidence to back up some of their claims. There's enough blame to go around and never enough accountability and responsibility. Often I write here about the limitations, hypocrisies, failures, and blind spots of the Left. I do this not because I dislike the Left more than the Right (I've pointed out before that I'm more Left than Right), I do this in part to point out to my Leftist audience that your shit stinks too. If you can't acknowledge your own frailties, how do you expect them to acknowledge theirs? Without consistency there can't be accountability.

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    1/5/21 (11:26)

  • It's not the podcast I look forward to the most, but it may be the most important podcast I listen to. Hidden Brain has a lot of good stuff and the host is doing a real service to the country. He sees the commonalties between the left and right more than most and, lately, Hidden Brain has done a lot of work to show those commonalties.


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