My Boss Pledge
April 30, 2009, 1:53 am
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Things I would never do if I were a boss of some other person:

  • Tell my employee to do something I could’ve done in less time than it took me to tell him to do it.
  • Tell my employee to ask some other person a question I say I want the answer to, in situations where I could’ve just as easily asked the person directly (and I know the specifics of the question better).
  • Tell my employee to do something I can’t, myself, articulate.

Believe it or not, I get these things all the time.

Now: if you’re a boss, and you do any of these things, I’m not saying you’re necessarily an a-hole. But you probably are. ;-)

Finally, here’s Andy Samberg’s take on boss-ness:

The Patronage Explanation
April 29, 2009, 11:45 am
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In any political debate, close your eyes and pretend that every person involved is motivated by only one thing when deciding which position to favor:

Setting up jobs, cashflows, sinecures, and/or high status for themselves – and for their friends & people they see as similar to them – using other peoples’ money.

Then open your eyes and look around and observe peoples’ actual positions. You’ll be surprised how seldom the result changes, how seldom there is any difference between peoples’ actual positions and what they would be if they were purely motivated by the above (i.e. by patronage).

Whether that’s what actually motivates people is open to dispute. What I am saying here is simply that most people behave as if that’s what motivates them. If it weren’t what motivated them, they wouldn’t be acting any different or adopt different opinions.

How you interpret that fact probably depends on how cynical you are.

I’m feeling damn cynical recently.

Questions Truthers Need To Be Asking Themselves For Consistency
April 29, 2009, 1:41 am
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Remember how the Bush-Cheney cabal orchestrated 9/11 so that they could achieve their Neocon goals?

Howcome President Obama hasn’t ‘opened the files’ on all that and brought the conspiracy out into the light?

Why is he covering up for them?

Could he be… in on it?


These links were interesting to me.

When in doubt, and there’s nothing else to post, never hurts to post more links.

  • Seth Roberts, on how Jane Jacobs helped him understand why he didn’t like Jared Diamond’s book Collapse:

    Jacobs says that the ecological disasters described in Collapse were due to economic stagnation. In a stagnant economy, problems pile up without being solved. A common problem is too much reliance on one thing. In a healthy economy, new goods and services are constantly produced, often to solve problems created by old goods and services. In a stagnant economy, this doesn’t happen. A rich economy can be just as stagnant as a poor one.

    Diamond understood none of this. Not even close. Instead he proposed twelve reasons for the collapses he studied. They included “overhunting,” “overfishing,” and “population growth”….

    Jane Jacobs was smart.

  • Steve Sailer asks who benefits from ‘cap and trade’. I answered him in the first comment: finance. Others seemed to agree with me.
  • Good post at House of Eratosthenes, too long to excerpt, on why Democrats seem to have gotten themselves into a fit, still constantly trying to prove that Republicans are bad.
  • Interesting point made here that US health care system is more socialist than most OECD countries (including Germany, Canada, Norway, etc), if you measure by share of health care spending paid for out-of-pocket. As I’ve said before, the question is never ‘are we socialist or not’, the question is how socialist are we. Lefties who want us to ‘be socialist’ need to address the fact that to a large extent, we already are – and, by the way, it’s at the root of many of the things they complain about. HT: Militant Skeptic.
  • Tom Maguire on troop withdrawals: “The US is on schedule to withdraw combat troops from Iraqi cities by June. City boundaries are being re-drawn so that current US bass are outside of them and units are being re-imagined as something other than “combat troops”, but we are on schedule.”


  • Finally, End The University As We Know It:

    GRADUATE education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans).

    I don’t agree with all the prescriptions therein, but as for the diagnosis, speaking as a former grad student who spent far too long in university, I couldn’t agree more.

    I watched friends and contemporaries enter the private sector and become successes (or just mediocre), enabling them to buy houses, start families, in some cases get in on the ground floor of things, building wealth earlier and if desired starting families earlier. Europeans and Chinese would come over and made snide remarks about how few Americans go into grad school. Didn’t this prove how dumb Americans were? I’d respond: “No, it’s just that the smart Americans are mostly too smart to go to grad school. They’ve figured out it’s not worth it and they have better opportunities elsewhere.” There is a huge misconception in certain circles about postgraduate schooling – even about college. It is completely overvalued.

    The only caveat is that increasingly, the college degree has become required – like an entry ticket – to get any reasonable job (whether the job itself really needs college training or not). Similarly, the graduate degree is necessary for college teaching. This is all very stupid but it’s what you’d expect of a system set up and dominated by people with too many degrees after their name (and full disclosure, I am one such person) who want to ensure that society provides sinecures for themselves and their friends. Notice the recent news story that Obama promised “3% of GDP” or somesuch for “research”. This will no doubt include “green” research, climate research, research into “alternative energies”. All of them could be worthwhile, no doubt, but it is hard to escape the suspicion that what all these things are really about is Obama and like-minded trying to preserve the vaunted position society currently supplies to the educated class. Indeed, it’s hard to escape the suspicion that this is precisely why the educated class went ga-ga for Obama: because they knew he’d throw money and positions their way.

    I sure am cynical recently. The way I see things, everyone has self-centered motives for virtually everything.

Young Livers
April 28, 2009, 1:34 am
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“Young Livers” by Rocket From The Crypt.

P.S. For some reason when I ripped this album onto my PC to put on my iPod, iTunes decided that the song is called “Young Lovers“, so that’s the way it shows up now. Infuriating. “Lovers”? Almost ruins the whole experience. Not really though, because nothing could ruin this song. Isn’t it just perfect?

Fairer Sex
April 27, 2009, 11:33 am
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Reading this story on doctor being punished for having a doctor-patient relationship, a thought occurred. Isn’t it strange that we’ve become more prudish on such matters. Notice that as a society we’re supposedly getting more liberal on these things. Sexual freedom, right?

But speak about a doctor & his patient, or a college prof & his student, and suddenly the room gets cold. Even the most ‘liberal’ types often have problems with it. More so, perhaps. But why? It’s very strange because this represents a move in a less liberal direction. Watch an old movie from the ’50s. They are full of such relationships. How did you meet your husband? Oh, he was my college professor. Oh, he was my doctor. Really? My, my! So romantic?

So what’s going on? What’s changed?

My thought was this: Maybe such rules aren’t about ‘protecting’ the patient (or student, or…) at all. Maybe they’re about keeping the playing field level for sexual participators. Recall my theory of how politics plays out in the sexual dimension: in particular, that one of the motivating factors for lefties is a desire to make sure society supplies them with a steady stream of ready/willing sex partners.

Now imagine you’re a lefty who is motivated by that, and then you hear about this doctor-patient relationship. What’s your first thought going to be? Is it going to be “that woman was taken advantage of”? Heck no. It’s gonna be:

“Hey, that’s not fair!”

And the righty will go along with that (because righties are motivated by minimizing the amount of sex in the public sphere overall).

In short, maybe rules against these asymmetric relationships (doctor/patient, teacher/student, etc.) aren’t so much about protecting the ‘subordinate’ as about making sure people in the superior role don’t have an unfair advantage over the rest of us (in particular, over us horny progressives) – an unfair advantage in what? In the sex-getting game.

Japanese Beatbox Kid
April 26, 2009, 1:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Making the rounds.

I like imagining that this clip somehow gets transmitted into outer space, and long after humanity is dead and buried, it’s the only artifact a civilization of faraway aliens receive from our society. Let them try to decipher it!


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