Aug 03

Cerebration of ideas

It takes a long languid time to think deeply. Sometimes I spend years pondering ideas and their implications. Scholars do this too, of course, but less so than in the past. They just can’t, and also do all the work of getting grants while constantly churning out pubs.

Our entire society in reality militates against this sort of extended thinking. The in itself partially explains the slowdown of interesting ideas — not just the “low-hanging fruit” hypothesis.

Aug 02

Gilmore

I watched the first episode of the Gilmore Girls. Mostly, I liked it.

Felt really uneven, though, but shows often feel that way in their first few episodes. I appreciated greatly the “master shot” filming style. Dammit, I want to watch the characters not meta-watch the camera jumping around like it’s doing a fucking Hopak.

It’s easier for me to get into a show that features mostly women rather then men. I just identify with women more. That alone I already knew made me more likely to enjoy the show. And Rory is bookish like me, and in an authentically-presented way that TV shows almost never portray.

About its choppy jaggedness, it’s as if in the first episode it can’t decide if it wants to be a sitcom or something more. And perhaps the creator didn’t know the answer to the question at the time. If it does metamorphose into a sitcom (which I don’t expect), I won’t continue to watch it.

Rory and Lorelei and the people in the town portrayed are really nothing like me at all, but are drawn with some care and some magnanimity toward all the flaws and ridiculousness of being human, and that goes a long way.

I will keep watching.

Aug 01

Never who?

By the way, the media is greatly over-reporting the relatively-small #NeverTrump movement and completely ignoring the much larger fractures in the Democratic party.

This is not surprising — Bernie was a much larger real threat to the rich (who control the media) than Trump is or ever will be. Anything that can be done to minimize him while was in the running and diminish his movement now that he’s out is exactly what will be done.

It’s not some conspiracy; no more than it was some sort of conspiracy to give Trump outsized coverage during the primaries.

But it is happening and in many ways Hillary Clinton is just as clueless as Trump as she has no idea what’s happening in her own party and why. Trump at least understands that about his party.

Jul 30

Blat her

Here I blather on about why I can’t get aboard the Hillary Clinton train. I won’t reiterate what I wrote there.

I truly do understand the idea of voting for Clinton because of her gender and because of the vast and vile misogyny she’s faced over the years. But damn, I just wish there were a better choice.

The choices this year are between clueless (about different things, but clueless both) rehashes of last century’s thinking, with the same failed prescriptions of and from the past that will in fact doom the future. Their only art is artifice; their only skill is to project is a simulacrum of shared humanity. Neither candidate comprehends what it is to govern, but rather both wish to rule. Neither nominee understands the epochal changes underway in both their own parties or more importantly in the world.

The only “bright” spot to either is that both will speed the inevitable collapse due to global climate change, and from that we might be able to construct something better — if we survive it.

Jul 30

Immi not great

About the immigration debate: why we are supposed to conclude against all evidence that mass immigration of millions of people either explicitly or de facto opposed to Western liberal values is not harmful to the societies into which they are immigrating?

I’m not talking about terrorism, though that’s a part of it. I’m talking about women being afraid to go out on the street (Munich), about harassment and sexual assault (Sweden, Germany), and about why it’s ok to sacrifice Western liberal values for this.

That’s the real debate, but no one is engaging in that one of course.

Instead, you have idiotic racists on one side screaming that all brown-skinned people are evil, and idiotic racists on the other side screaming that Ahmed just can’t help raping that German woman, because that’s his “culture.” And that she brought it on herself anyway for being, like, white and not wearing a burka. And that’s the “liberal” side!

Some debate.

Jul 29

CR

Fuck, I thought I was going a little nuts. But turns out I wasn’t — at least not in the way that I suspected.

Scientists and journalist have sworn over and over in numerous articles that no one ever claimed or wrote that a new ice age might be imminent during the 1970s and 1980s, despite me and many others having very clear memories of just such a thing.

Knowing the corruptibility of memory, I just assumed I was misremembering somehow, despite the fact that I recalled it being conventional wisdom that a new ice age was likely.

But no, it did happen.

Third, the climate change movement inflicted a disastrous own goal on itself by insisting that nobody with scientific credentials ever claimed that an ice age was imminent, when anybody over fifty whose memory is intact knows that that’s simply not true. Any of my readers who are minded to debate this point should get and read the following books from the 1970s and 1980s:  The Weather Machine by Nigel Calder, After the Ice by E.C. Pielou, and Ice Ages by Windsor Chorlton and the editors of Time Life Books. These were very popular in their time, and they’re all available on the used book market for a few bucks each, as the links I’ve just given demonstrate. Nigel Calder was a respected science writer; E.C. Pielou is still the doyenne of Canadian field ecologists, and the third book was part of Time Life Book’s Planet Earth series, each volume of which was supervised by scientific experts in the relevant fields. All three books discuss the coming of a new ice age as the most likely future state of Earth’s climate.

Glad my memory wasn’t that faulty. I’m not over 50, but I started paying attention to such things 15-20 years before most people do (when I was seven or eight, specifically.)

Why would the climate change movement do such an idiotic thing, claim that something that millions and millions of people remember never happened?

How does that even help?

Jul 29

Town

So strange to see something from one’s small hometown just pop up on Reddit.

Before I even read the words (there are numerous towns yclept “Lake City” in the US) I recognized the streetscape behind the sign. Funny how a place gets into your brain like that.

For the interested — all none of you — here is the approximate spot from which that photo was taken, within 20 feet.

Know that spot and that park well because it’s three blocks from the library and as a kid I tried to get someone to take me there as often as I could cajole, beg or guilt someone into driving me that far.

Jul 29

Why I’d never live

The reason this guy declined a job offer from Amazon is the same reason I’d never live in a “hub” American city again: Seattle, Los Angeles, NYC, or any place like that.

Right now, I make a fairly high salary in a pretty cheap area. Not as inexpensive as most of Florida, but my salary here is much larger than any I could earn in FL and here I could find a new job in a week (real recruiters contact me nearly every day with actual interviews and offers).

In Seattle (where I once lived), I’d need to make about $300,000 a year to have the same standard of living as I do here. Think anyone is going to pay me $300,000 a year?

Of course not.

And on the flip side, if I said “screw it” and decided I wanted to work much less or do something else, here I could live on almost nothing. In Seattle or LA or San Diego, to have any sort of decent middle-class-ish standard of living (ok housing, food, etc) you need to earn at least $60,000 a year.

Here, I could get by on 1/3 of that and not suffer.

What’s the reason for moving to a hub city, then? The housing stock is worse and is also ridiculously expensive. The jobs don’t pay enough to remunerate one for all the inconveniences and expense of living in such a place. And they are only getting worse and more untenable for anyone not making well above six figures, so your standard of living will decline over time.

Jul 28

Same same

Review: Radiohead Revels in the Key of Dread.

Well, I dread hearing a Radiohead song, and I find it dreadful when someone accidentally torments my ears with one.

They are the band that I find it most inexplicable that anyone can like. Well, there’s the old rancor-ready standby Nickelback, but at least all their songs sound the same so the pain is predictable.

With Radiohead, every song is terrible in its own unique way, with its own special torment to be inflicted on the unwary and unsuspecting.

To be fair, I saw Radiohead live in 1993 and they were surprisingly good. But that’s because they sounded nothing like their albums and nothing like they do now.