what's been floating my boat lately:

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

11/21/19 (20:29)

  • "Prevalence induced concept change" explains a lot of things and puts a name to something I've thought about for a while. Basically it states that "When instances of a concept become less prevalent, the concept may expand to include instances that it previously excluded, thereby masking the magnitude of its own decline." An example is in woke culture where seemingly every micro aggression is seen as racism, while losing sight of what real racism can look like. In the 1950s racism was putting black people in the back of the bus, different neighborhoods, and creating a totally different class within society. In 2010s racism is calling a black person eloquent. There are a ton of examples of this treadmill effect in society. I've spoken before about the widening definition of "rights" as normal human rights are taken for granted. In this case, the real rights are so prevalent that they are forgotten and so the concept needs to expand to include other instances which were previously excluded.
  • In a recent episode of Forum (local NPR program) they were talking about the mass shooting stuff. They had a sociologist on talking about this new database of mass shootings (which for some reason excludes gang related shootings and domestic shootings). I think those exclusions are quite a big deal and I'm not sure why they decided to leave them out. Also, surprisingly (and contrary to the dominant media narrative) half of the mass shootings in the database (after exclusions) were by non-whites.
  • My personal experience indicates to me that people would rather live in a gutter because of their own decisions, than take the advice of others and live in a decent place with a steady job. People place a very high premium on being able to say they're doing it their own way. I'm probably one of these people, but I'm also not begging on the street so at least there's that.
  • Democrats talk a lot about voter suppression. To be clear - voter suppression shouldn't happen, but it's not the thing they think it is. They think it's the reason they lose close elections. The reason they lose close elections is that 45% of eligible voters didn't show up in 2016. Meanwhile they bitch about 1% of the people who were maybe purged from voter roles or whatever. It's the "Nader stole the election" shit all over again and it has become such a pathetic stereotype of the party. They're the party of no personal responsibility (in the minds of die hard Republicans) and this constant blaming of others for their losses just feeds that narrative. Hillary blamed just about everyone but herself (Putin, Russia, deplorables, Comey, the media, voter suppression, a vast right wing conspiracy, etc.).
  • 2016 saw a 55% turnout. The 2014 midterms saw a 36% turnout. Was that voter suppression? In 2018 the midterm elections saw a 50% turnout. 5 percentage points lower than 2016, but 14 points higher than the most recent midterm election. Again - is that voter suppression? The greatest voter suppression is a shit system with shit candidates who lie, cheat, and steal all the time. Be better and people will turnout more and care more. Or, you know, you can piss and moan about the Republicans and see where that gets you. It sorta worked in 2018?
  • The truth is that Democrats are kinda lazy and they just don't turn out for the midterms. Look at the black vote in 2016 - without Obama to vote for it dipped greatly and Hillary lost. If the black vote turned out like it did under Obama then we'd have Hillary as president. 538 has pointed this out several times. Maybe the Democrats should blame blacks for not turning out next? Eventually they're going to have to do that after they run out of other people to blame.
  • Just a reminder that the Democrats lost 1,000 seats under Obama. Maybe they need to change their strategy a bit? Again, 2018 seemed to work for them, but you can't run against Trump forever (hopefully you won't ever be able to again after 2020).
  • Niners are looking pretty good this year. One loss to Seattle in OT. As I noted to Luke before the Seattle game - they've played 8 games, but the teams they played had a total of 22 wins at that point. I think they only faced like two teams with a winning record. Going forward I foresee some tough games a as many as 5 losses. Ending the season 3-5 would be a disappointment for sure, but they would still probably be in the playoffs so that's a big win. But at 8-0 going against Seattle as a +7 favorite, I definitely had Seattle in that one. Always look at the schedule.
  • Check out the Frontline documentary on Trump and DACA. It was good (they almost always are). Steve Bannon really seems to open up about the inside discussions. Say what you will about him, but he's a smart guy and a strategic and deep thinker. He ends up on the "wrong side" of most things, but he's definitely thought about this stuff and had a strategy early on. Ann Coulter getting laughed at because she said that Trump had the best chance of winning (out of all the remaining Republicans at the time) was a highlight. It pretty much summarizes how a lot of Trump voters probably feel - they feel like they're right while all the intelligencia class are constantly laughing at them like they're common morons.
  • Private security is a major industry these days. This has happened fairly quietly over the last 20 or so years. To me it shows two things: the class divide in America between those with money and those without AND the failure of local governments to carry out a basic portion of their mandate. Most big stores have private security on site now - Ross, HD, etc. It's really a sad state of affairs.
  • We're facing major failures of another kind of police - the government regulators. The SEC new about Madoff's ponzi scheme and did nothing about it until they were essentially forced to by a single person. The FAA failed with Boeing because they didn't understand the changes and failed to ask questions. The CPUC failed with PG&E and enforcing maintenance schedules. The FDA failed with Juul (vaping) because they bought the claim that vaping was better than smoking (probably true) and didn't insist on any testing (oops). With all these failures (and plenty more), we have to ask if the government should be trusted with even more things to regulate. These regulatory arms seem to be basically in bed with the firms/sectors they are supposed to regulate at the higher levels. At the lower levels (mom and pop outfits) it seems like they just increase the cost of doing business. This is definitely a simplification, but there's a not insignificant portion of the regulatory apparatus that is failing to perform basic functions.
  • Back hurts. at my age, and doing what I do, it seems like I always have a pain and it just moves around my body. Sometimes it's in my shoulder or elbow or wrist or back. I haven't been pain free for about two years.
  • On an old episode of Ezra Klein he was talking about how we don't have discussions about what it means to be a good person anymore. He went on to argue that it was a result of individual thinking...I don't recall the exact reasoning behind this, but it seems to me that it's far more a function of a postmodern society than it is on a society that emphasizes the individual. After all, how can we make any judgments on what it is to be good if everything is just a construct of those in power? How can one thing be better than another if nothing means anything and all cultures and choices are arbitrary and equally acceptable? Unless you contend with this mindset you'll never be able to have a discussion about what being a good person is because a good person is a hierarchy of values. Being good means that you can place one value above another and you can't ever do that if it's all just made up, arbitrary, and the result of rich white guys who have always been in charge.
  • Hugo Black was a Supreme Court justice appointed under FDR. Earlier in life he was also in the KKK. FDR - liberal hero and top 5 president of all time. The one who literally put Japanese-Americans in concentration camps. With the level of revisionist history and looking into people's past that is occurring these days, it's remarkable that any of our presidents are considered good anymore. FDR defeated the Nazis, so he's always got that going for him.
  • Speaking of being sanctimonious...why is it that Justin Trudeau is always in blackface? And why are some media outlets calling it "brownface?" Weird.
  • The Virginia governor situation seems to have gone away. It's hard to keep track of all this shit. I think they were able to ride it out...the governor wore blackface and the lt. governor had sexual assault allegations, IIRC.
  • Harvard is being sued by Asians who say they are discriminating against Asians in their admissions. I haven't looked into it much, but the numbers I've heard seem to indicate that this is true. Of course they're smart enough to not make it too obvious. But everyone has crafty way of being racist without seeming racist. When selecting a jury you're not supposed to select by race, so lawyers will use proxies for race instead. My understanding is that courts have historically judged that if the EFFECT is racist then the intent doesn't matter. This effect vs. intent issue doesn't always apply, though, and that's deeper into the weeds than I remember. But in lots of law, saying "no one who likes Wendy Williams is allowed in this store" is basically the equivalent of saying "straight men only" and, thus, is against the law. Anyway, Harvard is going to say they're selecting based upon hardship or some other range of criteria that just happens to disadvantage asians.
  • My problem with this is that we need to be consistent. Kentucky has one of the best basketball programs in the country. Perhaps they should start denying spots on their roster to black players to make room for Asians who might just need more access to better coaching and workout facilities and might bring in a diversity of thought on zone vs. man on man defenses. If the country's best university can select based on race to the detriment of Asians can Princeton do it to the detriment of blacks? I truly don't understand where you draw the lines on this stuff. Please explain it if you do.
  • The US is more religious than most of Europe and yet they have more restrictive abortions laws than we do (in terms of limiting how late you can get one). I wonder if US-based pro-choice advocates would be okay with a cap on abortions at 12 weeks? If it meant funding planned parenthood, would they be open to that? Also interesting to note that women are actually more pro-life than men in most of the polls I've found (51/46). So that whole narrative of "men are telling me what I can do with my body" is a bit off (it also misses the entire pro-life argument that a fetus is a life - hence it's not your body). Women also tend to be more religious than men so that's probably part of it.
  • Chappelle got some flack over his latest special, but I thought it was vintage Chappelle. Thoughtful and funny. I've said before that when it comes to a man's right to choose that you shouldn't expect to have a choice once you do the deed. Don't stick your dick in crazy and you won't have a problem. The notion of only having sex within the confines of a committed and serious relationship seems to be lost these days, so new rules need to be made. Chappelle basically said that he supports a woman's unilateral right to choose, but that (in exchange) a man should also have a unilateral right to abandon the baby. Sounds fair enough. I guess these are the dumb rules we end up making when the sex after marriage rule gets kicked to the curb.
  • Apparently the 3 richest people in the world have the same wealth as the bottom half.
  • Liberals: our inner cities are suffering from years of disinvestment and police brutality, etc. etc. etc.
  • Trump: our inner cities are shitholes.
  • Liberals: our inner cities are thriving areas of diversity and inclusion and should be lauded for their greatness
  • Please explain. You'd think this would at least be the beginning of a conversation. Both sides agree that ghettos exist and are no good, but as soon as Trump says it, liberals seem to feel the compulsion to prove him wrong. The exact thing happened with Obama. He even adopted their shitty healthcare plan and they dropped it like a sack of potatoes. All these people are just so fucking stupid and inconsistent.
  • Some day there will be another natural or man made disaster and the government will say it's okay to go outside and buy stuff or return to normal life. You'd be wise to not believe them. Not just because the government is full of liars, but because they have a history of lying about this kind of things specifically. I remember seeing the towers go down and the news reporting that the government was saying it was okay to be outside while the towers were burning. Always seemed pretty odd to me. Same thing happened after the Flint crisis. The city officials said that the water was okay to drink, but they hadn't even tested it. Meanwhile people were dying because of Legionnaires. Classic.
  • Kaepernick got some workouts. I don't see him going anywhere. I've never thought he was that great, but I was always an Alex Smith fan. I think he probably deserved to be in the league and has a good case for being discriminated against, but the pain in the ass factor is high with him and the juice just isn't worth the squeeze in his case. He's a middling QB with one or two throws and a low football IQ. His rating actually showed some improvement his last year, after declining most of his career. The ESPN QBR tells a different story, however (not sure of the difference between QBR and rating...maybe takes into account W-L). His win-loss record and the kneeling buried him. If I had a bunch of time I'd compare these numbers to the mean QB and see where he landed. The last couple years he put up mediocre numbers on a bad team. I think Alex Smith was better at this time, but I don't think Kaepernick was the worst QB in the league, and the numbers support that.
  • Year Rating QBR (ESPN) W-L
    2012 98.3 71.8 5-2
    2013 91.6 65.7 12-4
    2014 86.4 60.9 8-8
    2015 78.5 43.4 2-6
    2016 90.7 49.5 1-10


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