Hinge Point

Joining the army. A few months after I joined, a few former friends of mine fired a gun into what they thought was an empty car. It wasn’t empty and they severely injured a woman. They were caught, and went to jail for quite a long time.

If I hadn’t joined up there’s a chance I would’ve been in the car with them. I would’ve tried to stop them (I know myself pretty well), but not sure I would’ve been able to or even realized what they were going to do in time.

That’s not the only way I was likely to end up in jail or dead in North Florida, but that one was immediate and obvious. So glad I did not stay there.

Meat Slice

I wonder when meeting in person and bonding over shared interests is going to become socially verboten. Probably not far away. We are already moving away from the world-that-was. These days, meeting not in an online meat market is becoming rarer, and having something “fraudulent” like a shared interest that prompts a connection and a relationship is becoming suspicious…because what if he (or she) only developed that interest to be a better person, and thus more attractive to others? Isn’t that deception? That’s deceit and dupery, right? One should only be judged on how one appears and nothing else. This is the world we are moving to, try to deny it all you want.

The incels are not completely wrong in their ideas — just that blaming and harming women won’t help in any way, and is morally corrupt.

The future really isn’t going to be cooler.

Divergence

Given the divergence of our current built and social environment from that in which we evolved and as a species mostly dwelled in, it’s amazing that we handle it as well as we do. Humans are nothing if not adaptable.

However, thinking about how much more common depression, obesity, diabetes and suicide are, perhaps we are not handling it all that well after all.

Sherman

“Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal…. Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any person or persons to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding fifty thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.”

-Relevant text from the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890

History Matters

Yes, a whole lot of bad things are occurring under the Trump administration.

But another heap of things are being blamed on Trump that go all the way back to the Clinton administration. Trump has become a convenient blame dumping ground for bad policies, bad actions and terrible decisions that other presidents and Congresses have foisted on the American people, and that Trump had little or nothing to do with.

Mostly, it’s liberals doing this, which makes sense. Everyone, though, is getting into the game.

Paul

I saw a headline that said “Rand Paul Downplays Election Interference” and I parsed it at first as “RuPaul Downplays Election Interference.”

Before I realized what it actually said, I thought we’d sunk to yet another new low in the popular discourse. Not yet. We will get there, of course, but not quite yet.

Truth

I know it’s hard for people to understand who didn’t lead traumatized childhoods where nearly everyone treats you like garbage, but this is so true. I usually don’t like things like this, but this one at least spoke to me.

When you emerge from that, when someone genuinely treats you with love and respect, you think it’s a joke. A prank. Because people have pulled “pranks” on you like that before. Many times. You get so that don’t trust anyone. Your every move is defensive, or pre-emptively defensive. When my to-be high school girlfriend expressed interest in me, I coldly rejected her the first time around because I thought she was running some game on me to attempt to horribly embarrass me. Luckily, she was persistent and patient and just as blunt and direct as she needed to be to convince me. Was she ever the right person at the right time. But the little speech she gave me and how she went about it all is a tale for another time.

Even with that, with people like her helping, it takes a long time to un-learn those negative behaviors. In some ways, they never completely disappear, just lessen over time.

Training

Well, the problem is that trains are very damn expensive. Much, much more expensive than buses to run, to maintain, to operate and to build.

Trains are more romantic, and that’s why people are attached to them, but most of the time trains make little to no sense when you could just have buses. Much cheaper, vastly more flexible, and with none of the other enormous drawbacks.

Trains cost roughly 10x as much as buses, all in. And when you consider that the road is already there….

Propaganda At It

I’ve been noticing more articles like this lately.

Please see these for what they are: propaganda efforts. With a few minor tweaks, everyone could retire by 65 in perfect comfort. Yes, even with the ratio of young to old decreasing as productivity has increased vastly much since Social Security was instantiated in the US.

The idea that we will all have to by necessity work until we keel over at our desks is pure propaganda and nothing else. Expect to see a lot more of it in the near future as the push to eliminate Social Security, Medicare &c. reaches a fever pitch.

Working It

In the army, I had to work out much harder than other people because I don’t sweat much. And because I don’t sweat much, people assumed I wasn’t putting forth any effort. That got me punished in some cases or at least pushed to do more in other cases. So I’d often end up doing 2-3 times or more as many reps as someone else, or run much farther.

It sucked, but it also made me at the time very buff.

I can’t help it that I hardly sweat. Been that way my entire life.