to the backlash. Ryan Long is great.
If you think that Trump is the problem
then you're either clueless or wildly optimistic.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
-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
-Theisman'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?
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.
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
me: I am such a lucky Dad to have two
such wonderful daughters who are so full of love and life and happiness.
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
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
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
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
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
So, that's work.
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
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
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.