Thursday, June 29, 2017

-The Quantitative Consequences of Fisticuffs in Your Fifties

There is a point in a young man's life where the acuteness of consequences for actions increases consistent with age and profession.
Almost every boy from the time they were walking until college age must have engaged in at least one physical combat away from the field of sport. Whether it was the school bully or the neighborhood jerk or even a sibling, our DNA is programmed to include this trait.
There are those that sought fights: we can call them punks or bullies.
There are the others that learned their lessons and quit fighting after their first severe beating or the disciplinary hand of mom or dad put a stop to it.
There are those that continued to be punks because their parents decided to be their friends rather than offer discipline; a common trait in turn-of-the 21st century liberal parents.
With all the hoopla in the media about Antifa and colleges being held hostage by spoiled children, there are several consequences to actions. These "punks" are adults and will be treated as such by law enforcement and other adults. Getting into a physical, violent altercation as an adult should be a rare occurrence. Once you have achieved "maturity" you should be expected to be mature. The NRA has come under fire from liberals for an advertisement that shows Antifa "protesting" (destruction of property, physical assaults, etc...). NRA and non-NRA people that just want to be left alone quickly defined that if you threaten my life, liberty or property, we will meet force with force.
Back to fighting:
Physical altercations as an adult usually result at a minimum in humiliation and at a maximum, hospitalization and arraignment.
As a young adult, an arrest record for acts of violence, assault, harassment, and terrorist threats will stay with you for your entire life or at least until you try to expunge your record. It will destroy your career before your career begins. This extends beyond your job.
I am instructed by by companies not to hire anyone with a criminal record or an arrest record for violence. NEXT. I am also asked to question a business contract where the contra-party to the contract may have such a record. I am instructed to document it and move on to the next contra-party.
Things are not cut-and-dried in all instances.
Recently, my wife was being harassed by a co-worker. Not in a sexual way, but enough to upset her and piss me off. Do I take a lunch break and meet this guy in the parking lot? No, I can't.  If I even threaten this guy I potentially lose my job and negatively impact  my home life. My wife understands this and doesn't expect me to go to extremes. It is frustrating that I cannot even call this guy to quell the threat. The wife has gone to HR, documented the infraction and received a less than luke-warm response. They assure her that this guy (a very immature 40-year-old)  will be put on notice.

The last time I got in a physical altercation outside of rough-housing with my brothers was 30-years ago. I received cracked ribs and bruises all over my body for making the mistake of trying to "break-up" a fight between people that I thought were my friends. Unfortunately, there was a crowd of people that wanted to see a fight and thought that I was a combatant. Lesson Learned. If you have no business on the battlefield as a combatant, leave the battlefield.

The only other time after that  was when one of my sister's was threatened with physical violence by some frat-boy at her western PA university.  The guy was 6'2" 240 lbs of beer gut. I was 5'8" and 170 lbs.  It was told to me by a friend that the guy took a swing at her after she tried to have the guy removed from her off-campus house. I drove to her campus for her graduation weekend with the intention of proving a point. Whether I would get my lights punched-out was factored-in. It was quite possible. My plan was to confront the guy during the pre-grad parties knowing that the majority of the faculty and student body would be in attendance. My sister's friend pointed out the guy after I explained I was going to get an apology out of him. I intercepted him at the makeshift bar. Plenty of faculty around. He, not knowing me, gave me deference to the bar access. I declined and asked him if he was "Marty". He said "yeah, who are you?". I got in his face (literally nose-to-nose), explained who I was and why I was there. Demanded an apology to my sister. He wanted none of it and started threatening me with the usual "I'll kick yer ass!' People broke it up right away but no shouting (except for him). We were separated and Marty was with his "bro's".  It was quite but for the murmer of  people asking who I was...
I used the opportunity to loudly and clearly state: "This guy Marty took a swing at my sister. He was not punished for it. I ain't going anywhere because I am right and he's wrong. He took a swing at a girl. Think about that. That's the kinda guy you call your friend? A guy that gets drunk and tries to punch girls will graduate tomorrow. You let it happen."
I spent the rest of the evening reminding people of who "Marty" truly is and why they are guilty. I directed this at Marty's friend's and professors. My sister never forgave me. Her friend's applauded my effort. I never saw "Marty" again. He probably got a brokerage job somewhere selling annuities to old ladies.

I avoid fights. I avoid people that look for fights. It's not rocket-science.
I'm 50 now. Still in good shape and permitted to carry a firearm. I don't need broken bones and I don't need to lose my job. Unfortunately, there are people in all walks of life that continue to look for trouble. There is a neighbor of mine, a doctor in his late 30's. I've never had a run-in with him but lately he starts giving me strange looks. The doctor likes to drink beer. Last week he had a few in him on the beach and decided to shoot his mouth off. I wasn't present, but he made some off color comments to my wife and others about me... enough to piss her off and give any bystander the impression that he is fixin' to make a stink with me. Why? Who knows? Again I don't even know this guy other than in passing!
What do I do? Clearly he has a lot to lose if he wants to fight. If I see him this weekend I'll demand an apology. If he's drunk and wants to make it physical, I'll remind him that - conveniently - he's a doctor. I won't fight, but I won't take no for an answer.
It's weird to think that a medical doctor with a burgeoning practice can turn into Mr. Hyde, but then again there are people that can handle their liquor and then there are those that are colossal assholes that require nothing more than a "buzz" to re-vert into adolescent behavior.  I'll give him a chance to save face, but I will not instigate.
Happy Independence Day.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

- Choosing A Career

The other day I wrote a piece on college. Well for the kids I recently learned through my daughter, are sometime readers of this blog, I’d like to give a brief overview of what comes after that. Career selection.

Many kids go to college with no idea of what they want to do or why they want to do it. That’s OK because you’re still young, and have nothing but options. But too many end up with degrees in Feminist Art-History, and 250K in debt. This leaves them prepared for nothing but ‘raising awareness’ while serving coffee or manning the McDonalds drive up window. This is a tragedy in my view. So I thought I’d say something about what I know – the private sector world of business.

What attracted me inevitably to a mathematics based vocation, was the desire for fairness. When I was a kid, all I ever wanted was to be treated and judged the same as everyone else. The world is not fair, you see. It offers advantages to some and not to others. T’was ever thus. And since I wanted to compete with the Exeter/Harvard types but had nothing like their elite connections or ‘breeding’, I thought my mathematics skills could level the field. “My numbers were as good as the next guy’s numbers”, was my thought at the time.

That word – fairness – is much abused these days so let me be just a bit more clear. What I wanted was a place in the world where I would be judged on my merit alone. If I was better than everyone else I thought I should be treated better. I was ready to work harder than everyone else, and be more productive, and I wanted a place where that would be seen as ‘better’, and I wouldn’t be held back just because people didn’t like poor white trash like me.

I never found it, probably because it doesn’t really exist. But I got about as close as anyone ever comes to it. My job as a Hedge Fund Portfolio Manager relied on a single number that was in my own personal and complete control, and it was printed every day at the bottom of the page. It was my profit and loss number. If it was a big positive number I was rewarded, and if it was a small or negative one, I was not. That’s what I meant by fairness. My P&L was exactly the same as the next guy’s, and it was the only one of my entire world of numbers that anyone I worked for ever really cared about.

And to get that ‘fairness’ I made huge sacrifices. Crushingly long hours, a stress level so high it’s unimaginable by anyone but combat soldiers, and a daily life filled with nothing but staring at a screen and trying to outsmart the very smartest and most motivated people in the world. But that competition wasn’t a burden for me, it was my salvation.

I’ve always loved solving problems. I love taking a thing that’s not working as well as it could, figuring out the problem, and making it into a smooth running machine. I started trying to figure out how the economy worked, which led me to Wall Street. There I learned all about Market Economics and a great deal more as well.

Eventually I got to the point where I knew enough to do the same kind of problem solving with entire businesses. I’m still doing that now. These days I look at the world, see what’s missing, and make it. Then I get others to help me make it better and sell it – because it’s too big a job for just me. But that took me 25 years and a workload unimaginable by most of today’s kids. Going forward, I wouldn’t recommend it. A more conventional path is the right way to go for almost everyone.

Being an entry level cubicle drone is dull, there is no doubt. But it’s an opportunity for education. It’s a place to learn how the business world really works; to learn why one project moves forward while another is set aside. Why the men and machines that have built the world choose to do what they do. It isn’t all oppression and exploitation – in fact quite the contrary. No business can force its customers to buy from it. You need to give them something they think is worth more than the cost. At best you can ask them to buy something. Only the government oppresses, because they’re the only ones who can use force to extract the money they need. Everyone else must be better than someone.

Here’s something no one will tell you in College. Your boss in that cubicle farm is hoping every single day, to find someone who justifies promotion. He’s looking for someone who is responsible, reliable, and unlikely to make big serious mistakes. He (or she) is looking for someone who understands what you’re all trying to accomplish, and can credibly handle more responsibility. They want someone who has the knowledge and people skills to be in charge.

There is nothing as valuable to a manager as someone they can delegate to because a managers most precious asset is his time. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do all that needs doing, and at some point he’s going to have to trust someone else to see that through.

You can be that person. It won’t happen quickly, because a mistaken promotion is expensive, and managers can’t afford unnecessary expense. But if you are the most reliable, competent, and credible person in the room, you’ll get it. Your bosses want nothing else, and will go to incredible lengths to make it happen. You can have everyone on your side just by being the right person. Who’s that? He (or She) is the person who does the right things. Businesses don’t care if you’re male or female, or if you’re black, brown, green blue or pink. They only care if you can see the problem, and come up with a workable solution.

Businesses in some sense, are all alike and can be broken down into component parts where your specific skills will be more likely to lead to promotion. Going from front to back they are sales (which really requires only first rate people skills but often comes with considerable stress), operations (which involve orderly thinking and organization, as well as some people skills and some stress capacity), and broadly stated, analysis and accounting (which involve high precision and math skills, but don’t necessarily produce much stress.)

And in each of those departments and for the company in general, decisions are made by the following process more or less. First there is planning, which is done predominantly by management, then there is the execution of the plan, which is done in the middle and bottom organizational tiers, then the reporting on the execution which is done afterward and passed back to the management team to arrange the next plan.

Though it varies greatly based on the industry and specific company, Sales and the ‘front office’ is more planning work, operations is all of the above, and reporting is done more by analysis and accounting. Though since reporting is done to management in order to form the next plan, where the process starts and ends is kind of subjective. I think of it as starting at the top because it’s where I am personally in the organization structure. But the truth is I did market analysis to make my initial business plan, and all I talk about these days is execution, so it could really be anywhere.

Wherever it starts and ends though, round and round it goes with some level of planning and some level of execution and analysis done in all departments, and throughout the management layers. Small projects are handled in each department by middle managers, and larger projects by more senior managers, all the way up to the Executive offices which plan strategically for the whole company. Everyone offering their specific expertise and perspective.

This was true in the hedge fund world as well, though you wouldn’t know it from the outside. Sales was the ‘investor relations’ departments though it flowed over a little to the PM’s and investment decision makers who came up with the ideas that generated the investment return we were ‘selling’. Then came ‘operations’ who were the Traders, and (literally) ‘operations staff’ who ensured the investments we intended to buy in fact got bought and paid for. Then finally, the analysis and accounting departments of Risk and Financial would determine if we really took the risks we thought, and it really made the return we hoped for, and would report this back to management. It’s the same basic process in every business.

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in. In a business properly run, it’s always done this way. Every decision involves a plan, executing the plan, and then reporting on the execution to form the next plan. And as you gain knowledge of the business and demonstrate that you’re the right kind of person, you will increasingly be brought into ‘planning’ work, and execution will become less and less a part of your job. A CEO does almost nothing but planning.

You might have noticed that I didn’t mention the IT department. And that’s because in any company, the IT department is like it’s own company with the business itself as its customer. Every industry requires IT now because business decisions are no longer made by ‘experts’ and are instead, increasingly being made (in well run businesses) by data.

IT interacts with every department at every level. And every company I’ve ever worked for had some things it did well in IT and others it did poorly. And to be clear, Apple and Google are not IT companies, they are companies that offer an IT product, and have internal IT departments that meet their internal needs. Apple, for example, sells phones. It designs them, builds them, markets them, sells them, and fixes them, with planning, execution, and reporting happening in every department. All for a price. But it’s internal IT departments work with Apple sales, apple operations, Apple Analysis and Apple Accounting.

A good Desktop Support staffer can work in any company, selling any product in any market, and his job will look the same. Every single modern company on the planet needs Network administrators, whose job doesn’t change if the company is making shoe laces or jet engines. It’s a world unto itself, that touches everything.

So what do you love? How do you want to interact with the world? You shouldn’t worry about having a job that makes people think you’re important, because no matter what you do, if you want to ‘make a difference’ you can do it anywhere. The world is full of unemployed people holding out for a job that they think properly signals their virtue. Unless they have 250K in college debt, in which case it's back to the drive-up window.

As I’ve said many times, Apple and Microsoft have done more to improve the lives of the poor than all the charities and NGO’s in history combined. Businesses build EVERYTHING. Even your rainbow flag, megaphone and "Hey Hey, Ho Ho" banner was made in a business someplace. Want to see how the world works without business? Have a look at Venezuela. Some business do it well and others do it poorly, and that's actually a good thing. Because no one does it poorly for very long, and that gives you a chance to do it instead of them. With that said though, nothing last forever, and you should choose an industry that looks to be around for the longer term.

That isn’t always easy to see. In the film the Graduate, Dustin Hoffman got the advice to think of Plastics, which was all the rage in the 60’s. But by the 90’s , growth in east Asia and lower cost labor had all the plastics companies in the country moving there, and the jobs disappeared. Detroit once boomed with the Auto-industry of the post WW2 period, but now it’s a Hell Hole.

Something similar has happened more recently in my industry of Finance. The deregulation of the 80’s made the industry boom for 30 years and I got in on some of that. But the hyper-regulatory Obama years and the general ‘punish the rich for getting rich’ attitude of the country has now all but killed it for guys like me. Politics is as likely to shatter your career as make it, and you need to be careful about doing something that seems ‘cool’ for political reasons because the wind will change and it will go away when you have fewer options than you do now.

I personally think the very popular ‘sustainable energy’ industry will one day soon fall on hard times. That industry only makes money because of the huge government subsidies they get. The technology can never stand on it’s own in a free market, and when the political wind changes so too will the future for ‘sustainability’. Windmills were invented in the 5th century BC, and we’ve been praying to the sun for 15 centuries before that. Coal and Steam are new technologies by comparison. If ‘sustainable’ technology were ever going to be the thing that drives energy production, it would have certainly done so by now.

And since we’re talking about things that don’t work by being better than everything else and instead rely on politics, let's have a talk about Government.

Government is essentially a monopoly on force. It can both force its customers to take its products (try not paying you taxes and see what happens) and since it’s a monopoly, it doesn’t have to be better than anyone, at anything. It can be as poorly run and inefficient as it likes and the answer to it’s ‘customers’ is always the same. “Fuck you… pay me.” It’s a place that attracts the worst, most unscrupulous people, to do a variety of stupid and usually damaging things.

My mother always wanted me to work at the post office because it was safe, but that was right for her, not for me. It was safe because “merit” in government doesn’t matter at all. You have to be a REALLY bad postman to get fired from the post office. If you’re a teacher in a public school, you can’t really be fired at all. And that goes all the way up the management chain. So in government your boss can be a really bad boss, and no one will punish them for it. And from my perspective, there is nothing worse than working for a bad boss.

I couldn’t face a life in a world where merit meant nothing, like it does in government. Where you get promoted based on who you are and who you know instead of what you contribute. That, I was certain, was no place for ‘poor white trash’. It seemed to me to be a place where every decision would be made unfairly which is what I wanted to get away from in the first place. And history more or less confirms that this is all too often the case.

Working in the government is no place for anyone with a soul. No place for anyone who is in any way concerned with fairness. Politicians won’t tell you this, but Government is really about redistribution. Most of what the government does is take money from people who earned, it and give it to people who didn’t. Why? Because those people vote the way the politician wants them to – for him. It’s a kind of organized theft, done on a famously grand scale. There are good people in government, but they are in a serious minority, and got to the top, in many cases, based on their lack of merit rather than because of it.

To work in government is to be a part of that process - a part of the corruption and redistribution from deserving people, to the undeserving. Yes, we need a military and the courts. But those portions of the government aren’t known for their ‘fairness’ either. That’s how it all looks to me.

One last thing. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you’re going to have competition when you get there. Suppose you’re my polar opposite and have decided that you’d like to make you’re living exclusively on your charm instead of your intellect and work ethic. Well when you get to a job that only requires charm, there will already be a bunch of VERY charming people there, already doing it. Some of them will be doing it better than you and will resent the fact that you’re crowding their turf. Like I said … t’was ever thus.

So the things to think about aren’t your politics and how ‘cool’ something is. The thing to think about is what you excel at. What simple tasks make you feel good every day. If you like working with people more than things. If you like being organized or prefer problem solving. If you like working with your hands, or with ideas, or with persuasion; If you feel more competent with numbers or words, or trinkets, or tools. That’s how you choose what to study, and how it will lead you to a career.

Don’t feel pressured. You don’t have to know today. College is a time for figuring that out. The world will look like a very different place for you in a few years than it does for you now. Just think about how you thought of the world 5 years ago compared to today. It’s still changing that quickly for you. And when you get there, all these questions will be much clearer in your mind.

You just want to be careful not to waste too much time or energy on something that leads to uselessness.

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It's kind of trite, but one thing you hear often is that you should do somehting you love so you'll love what you do or some such nonsense. It's not all nonsense, it's just not much help. What in the world do you 'love' at 17? If There is something to be said for doing a thing you're good at, because when you do, you'll succeed more than fail. I've written about this before. But love? It's not about love. What most people love about their careers is when things go well, and they hate when things go badly. Better to find something you can tolerate doing, that has the right combination of tasks that makes it 'not unpleasant' for you, and then go to an area that gives you a chance to work with your best skills.

But here is the simple fact. The best paying jobs in the modern world require a skill set that includes complex reasoning. And not everyone is going to be smart enough for every job. But here's the good news. I know a lot of true geniuses. One of my very good friends was 1st in his class at the Chinese equivalent of MIT... 1st! He's probably one of the smartest men alive. And I wouldn't let him paint my bathroom. Complex reasoning is ALL he can do. If a job is too simple he overthinks it, and he's not very good at physical tasks.

No one is good at everything, but no one is good at nothing either. One of the richest men I know is a potato farmer (he has his own jet and about 3,000 employees) and another owns a demolition company. There are a lot of tasks where you can make a lot of money if you're good at them. You just need to understand the things you're good at. It might be math, and it might be communications, it might be sales, or design, or logistics, or project management. There are a million ways to find success in a free economy.

So the best advice I could give any of you is to know yourself. Look inward and be realistic about the things you can't do well, but also be realistic about the things you can do well. Give yourself credit for the strengths with the same vigor that you criticize your own weaknesses. If that's all you learn in college, then everything is going to work out fine for you.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

- Taking Gender Fluidity Abroad

It's apropos of nothing, but the Obama girls are in Bali having a grand old time with mom and dad. I've spent several weeks in Bali and learned a little about the people and traditions. And I did notice one small detail about the Obama girls.

In Bali, the Sarong is traditional wear for both men and women, but men tie them differently. In order to preserve modesty, women tie their knot on the side, accentuating their curves and placing a flat portion of the garment in front, while men tie their knot in the center with an elaborate and descending fold, in order to obscure their guy parts. Here are the Obama girls:

This doesn't mean that the less attractive Obama girl is a dude, she obviously isn't. But in this age of gender fluidity, largely heralded in to American culture by her dad, it seems to me to be very colonialist for the young miss Obama to impose this standard on the Balinese people.

Then again, who gives a fat F*** about the Obamas anymore?

Monday, June 26, 2017

- "Gay" Is Almost Mandatory

Thanks to 'Pride' month, this past weekend was a big one in Greenwich Village, culminating in the big pride parade yesterday. With the ascendancy of the LGBTQ (?) movement as our latest cultural masters, it's actually made the parade a bit more sedate and mainstream. The spectators however seem as creative as ever. I only found 1 used hypodermic needle in the gutter when I took the dog for a walk this morning (though my daughter and I found three on the Subway tracks yesterday), so I think it's safe to say that being Gay in America is much less stigmatized.

That discarded needle in my neighborhood is kind of a big deal. My area of the village, just north of Washington Square around University place, is very well off - kind of like Beverly Hills. It's full of old Jews, at least one Baldwin brother, and a number of lesser known actors and actresses. The sidewalks are clean, the police are many, and Medical waste is not the kind of thing you see every day here. Clearly it's a byproduct of the crowds drawn for the parade.

In the Alt-Universe I inhabit, the joke is that we're gonna wait to be gay until it becomes mandatory. Well thanks to a link I found in a Takimag piece, that seems to be one step closer.

Gay men are no longer allowed to have a racial preference.

I personally think who you sleep with is up to the individual and is one of those things that won't change no matter how many protests you hold. But in the end changing who people choose to sleep with is the reason for the 'social constructionist' movement and Feminism in the first place, so I commend them for being so honest about it.

And it's clearly just a matter of time before you're no longer allowed to be straight.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

- A Word On College

Over the last 20 years I’ve hired a lot of recent college grads. Some were really spectacular, and others, not so much. And speaking from the perspective of my role as a hiring decision maker in the private sector - one who has spent his career at some of the most elite and highly selective institutions in the country (all of them much more exclusive and far harder to get into than Harvard), I have something important to say for those of you who are looking to obtain employment after school. By far the most important thing I have to say is this:

Learning about the myriad ways that cis-gendered white males have historically used the patriarchy to oppress, women, minorities, LGBTQ people, and ‘people of color’ simply isn’t that useful in the real world.

Toward that end I can’t give you precise percentages, but many of your college courses are a sham. They are nothing but platforms for your instructors to have a good time imparting their personal political beliefs to you, and will grade you on the degree to which you agree with them at the end of the course. That’s a shame, especially for you who may be paying a lot of money to receive this ‘instruction’. But it’s a fact.

Which courses? It’s hard to say. And it may vary from institution to institution. But certainly anything that casts an otherwise serious topic in a ‘Feminist’, ‘deconstructionist’, ‘post-modernist’, ‘post-colonial’ or ‘critical thinking’ light applies. On those classes you have wasted both your money and your time. Take too many of them, or heaven forbid, choose one of them as your major, and you have sent a signal to potential employers, that you are not to be taken seriously as a job applicant under any circumstances. You announce that your ideas are not your own, and you have no interest in, or are in fact capable of, thinking for yourself.

But before I get too deeply into that, let’s talk about the college you choose.

The Ivy League opens doors, but for people without family connections, it doesn’t keep them open. A degree from Harvard will get you an interview absolutely anywhere, but the Ivy League has been producing over-entitled candidates for long enough that an interview is all it buys you. This isn’t just my personal view. A great many other top tier employers share it. You need to be able to demonstrate in interview that you were at a top tier institution for sound reasons of aptitude and character. And with what’s happened in the last decade in US Academia, that’s going to be harder than it looks.

With the possible exception of the Princeton Physics department, I would take a candidate from the next tier of schools much more seriously out of the box than almost any Ivy League Candidate. MIT, Cal-Tech, Stanford, and the best of the big State schools would always be my first choice. Those applicants don’t expect the world to be handed to them, and are generally more humble than the Ivy Leaguers. I personally have also had great luck hiring from more conservative ‘Catholic’ institutions, like Seton Hall and Notre Dame. Though others mileage may vary.

Those students all seem to learn humility. And there is a lot to be said for humility because, to quote the film Good Will hunting, when you graduate college “you’ve dropped 150K on an education you could’ve gotten on $1.50 in late charges at the public library’. If your education has been about anything but the absolute basics, then you really know less think you think you do. College is really only a proving ground; an elaborate and expensive sorting mechanism. At it’s best it only gives you the credibility to begin your ‘real’ education.

And that’s what it’s about – like so many other things. It’s about credibility. A serious degree from a good institution buys you credibility. It proves you can take on a big and enduring set of tasks and see them through to fruition. Nothing else. It may teach you some basics skills as well, or familiarize you with the things underlying some businesses. But for the most part it teaches you nothing useful about the industry you’ll be working in. And that doesn’t change no matter which school you go to.

The playing field for University selection levels out very quickly just below the Ivy League regardless of what the institutions will tell you about themselves. I’d rather have a candidate with a good attitude, and a sharp mind from Kansas State or Texas A&M than an average candidate from Duke or Georgetown, even though the latter are slightly more prestigious. But the difference can be made up in course selection. So let’s get back to that.

If you take serious courses that teach serious things, and that teach the basics of the real world, you will be favored over those that don’t. Accounting is a good one. Finance is a good one. They are useful for any industry. English composition is better than Art History. Stem course are better than all of the above. Give me someone who knows the undergraduate basics of Statistics and Probability and I can teach them how to do basic data science (Which you cannot learn correctly in any undergraduate program, no matter what they tell you.) And there is no field in 21st century America more important than that one.

But other applied science course will help too, as will any course of study where math is applied to a non-mathematics discipline. Geologists are in very high demand these days, particularly those who know their way around the data world. At the moment I’m looking to hire someone to work in computational linguistics, which is a blend of science, math, and language, with a window on psychology. (Though I’m looking for a senior candidate with a PHD or graduate level knowledge, so don’t get too worked up about this specific job.)

And here’s a fact that must be obvious to you, especially given the format of this missive. A basic understanding of how computers work is essential in any 21st century job. Any programming course teaches you to think in ways that are useful. Garbage in, garbage out, isn’t just a phrase for programmers, it’s a microcosm of this entire University discussion. Programming teaches you about logic, causality, and the basics of decision-making. All of those are useful skills that too few college graduates can demonstrate these days.

And here’s a word about Graduate school. A Masters Degree in ‘Feminist’ anything condemns you to a life of asking people if they would like fries with their order, or sweetener in their tea. It is evidence that you are unable to think clearly about anything, including yourself. An ‘ethnic studies’ degree may get you a soul sucking job in the booming racial grievance business, professionally ginning up resentment among minorities. But not so for women’s studies because women are actually a majority, and aren’t actually oppressed by anyone except ‘Feminist Theory’ instructors.

If you want to be taken seriously as a candidate, focus on the classics. A popular ‘hip’ major will make you look unserious to a future employer. Remember that the job market is all about supply and demand. And if a major ‘sounds cool’ then lots of unserious people will choose it.

You are better off as a job applicant, being in the middle percentile in Statistics major at Alabama State, than the top 10% of your class in ‘Earth and Environmental Sciences’ or ‘Psychology’ at American University. ‘Sustainability’ isn’t really a thing apart from ‘sustainability policy’, and that’s only true because government is far too involved in our lives. Take away the massive government subsidies it currently enjoys, and the whole ‘industry’ will blow away on the wind. Yes, it’s booming today. But when the political pendulum swings back (as it inevitably will – one way or another) the economics of that entire industry stops working. In that sense it’s an extension of government spending. And that pier is shorter now than it used to be.

With all this said, I work with numbers so I am probably placing too much emphasis on them. There are areas where you can work with people and words instead of math and things. But learning to write is more useful than learning to read. Composition is a more useful tool than knowledge of medieval literature. Writing helps you think clearly (it certainly does for me.) And thinking clearly is an asset whatever your choice for work. No one loves Shakespeare more than me, but I was reading Hamlet in the third grade. Surely a college undergrad can do better than that.

My brother has a really great way of stating the metric which I think encapsulates what college should be, but all too often isn’t. What you should be doing in college is taking hard course. Learning difficult things. If a course is easy for you, you’re being done a disservice, and paying a lot of money for it.

College should be a lot of things. And I think it can be. But you’ll only be there for 4 years, and you’ll live the rest of your life with the consequences of those decisions. Choose what you love, but think about your future too. How college looks in the rearview mirror will be very different than how you see it now. And there are many ways to have an interesting, meaningful and happy life in any industry. All businesses involve dealing with people. All trade involves talk. You don’t have to be a math guy to make a good living. And you don’t have to work and an NGO to ‘make a difference’.

Also... profit isn’t evil. Apple and Microsoft are both wildly profitable, but have done more to improve the lives of the poor than all the NGO’s that have ever existed. And they aren’t hiring any “Feminist Art History” majors at Apple.

And here is one final thing that almost no one will tell you.

I went to a second rate State school, and still ended up in one of the most prestigious and high paying jobs, at the most prestigious institutions, in one of the most prestigious industries in the whole world. When people draw a line between rich and poor they say the “New York Hedge Fund Manager” at one end, and the “Kalahari bushman” at the other.

I was the former. And it can be done, no matter where you go to school or what you study. So long as you manage to resist "Intersectional Indoctrination", the decision you make about College will not make anything impossible for you. But it was hard for me. Almost unspeakably hard. I had to do several 'impossible' things to make it happen, and I was forced to make real and powerful enemies in the process. Enemies who did me real financial harm, and effected my future in big ways. But it doesn't have to be that way for you. Everyone can be on your side. And you can make that happen right now, with the decisions you make today.

Hard choices now will make the things you want to do later in life, much, much easier. There is something to be said for taking a longer term view. That isn't 'giving up on your dreams'. It's opening the doors to them. Your dreams can be real. They just have to involve looking at the real world.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

- Founder's Wisdom

This story is all rumon an innuendo which in Washington means F*** all. But it's fun to think about:

The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration's travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground.

The biggest news of all, though, would be if Justice Anthony Kennedy were to use the court's last public session on Monday to announce his retirement.

Imagine that! It would mean that America would be one geriatric chest cold away from conservative domination of the courts for as long a 2 generations. (The betting odds are that Justice Ginsberg isn't as spry as she used to be.)

Just goes to show you. At the moment when the very fabric of our culture is being shaken to the core by the flat earthers who would destroy it, the founder's vision puts up a major roadblock to their ambitions.

That, of course, and Trump.

- Isn't It Funny....

That a piece run in the MSM that's clearly designed to rally horror and disgust of the plebs, is actually the exact thing that makes 4/5ths of the country cheer:

Number of refugees admitted to U.S. drops by almost half

They really don't understand us at all.

Friday, June 23, 2017

- Personality and Political Affiliation

I'm about 30 hours total into Jordan Peterson's impressively prolific youtube contributions. And though I find his connections deeply logical and reasonable, as well as his conclusions for reconciling psychology, philosophy, evolutionary biology, and religion, the thing I'm most impressed with for explicit revelation is his area of direct expertise.

For instance, one thing I've always known but have never heard verbalized so clearly, is that the two big personality categorical differences between liberals and conservatives are in the areas of orderliness, and conscientiousness. Conservatives tend to be orderly, liberals not so much. Conservatives tend to be conscientious, liberals, REALLY not so much. This is useful in understanding relative success since the combination of IQ and conscientiousness are the greatest predictors of lifetime success, and it explains why the boss is always conservative.

Well with that thought in mind I'd like to suggest some changes to our political processes that I think will help things along, particularly for centrist Democrats, the first of which I ripped off directly from Dr. Peterson.

1. All conservative college campus speakers should be scheduled to speak before 11:00 AM. The protesters won't be able to get up in time, and the event will come off without a hitch. A corollary to this is to hold all non elective courses between the hours of 4:00 AM and 10:00, no other times. The earliest hours should be reserved for Women's and Ethnic studies, and the most corrupted of the Social Sciences Education, and Humanities, or those course from other topics which are applying a social justice perspective.

2. For the purpose of easing traffic congestion, all voting from national to local, should be held between 4:00AM and 12:00AM, no exceptions.

3. Any member of congress who misses three consecutive votes without medical emergency, is subject to an immediate special election.

4. All federal employee work hours which don't concern direct interaction with the public, are now shifted from 9:00AM to 5:00PM, to 4:00 to 12:00 noon. Three consecutive late arrivals are grounds for immediate dismissal without appeal.

5. Members of congress can meet with registered professional lobbyists, only between the hours of 4:00 AM and 6:00AM. Any deviation will result in loss of registration. Lobbying without registration is now a Felony which involves a $500,000 fine and 3 years in jail, per offense.

Since none of these issues involves any mention of Race, Sex, gender fluidity or any other bias, they all seem perfectly fair to me. And since we know there are no biological differences between anyone, I don't see any reason for complaint - even from the SJW's who complain about everything. One rule, to rule them all. (grin)

- Zuckerberg As Social Engineer

“Facebook sucks”, is one of the many rallying cries of our day. The degraded narcissistic culture and the endless objectified whining of the social justice warriors (who even liberals seem to have had enough of), are both common complaints. But at the risk of being called a Zuckerberg fanboy, if you think it sucks, it’s only because you don’t understand it. I have the same cultural complaints about it that you probably do. But I don’t blame Facebook for it, and I think we should ‘give the devil his due’.

I’m not a Facebook user myself, at least not personally. But out of necessity I’ve had to learn about it from a technical perspective. And from that standpoint it’s a work of elegant brilliance. It's what I would call a semi-open system. And reminds me of a scene from the brilliant hunting movie “The Ghost and The Darkness”.

In that movie, a work gang building a railroad bridge in Africa for the British, is being attacked nightly by 2 lions who have developed a taste for humans. So they build a wall around their encampment made of thick and nasty looking African thorns. The lions could certainly push, slash and hack their way through the thorns if they really wanted to. But since they have left a portion of the fence open - the portion where two hunters are perched in trees nightly – they know the lions won’t bother.

Facebook is exactly the same.

You could, if you really wanted to, write a program to go to any users page on Facebook, read the combination of CSS and JSON data users see as the Facebook interface, and obtain all their public information. Their likes, their friends, and a variety of other statistics. It would the equivalent of the lion, slashing and hacking through the thorns. But if you do that you run the risk of any change Facebook makes disrupting your code. So it’s no way to do it, if you want it done reliably. Better would be to go through the Facebook API, their official access point for program access, which is remarkably easy to use.

But when you do, there are hunters in the trees.

To access user information through the API, there are a series of structural firewalls that you need to get permission to see beyond. Each of those permissions must be gotten from the user involved, if you want to see what’s what, and even when you do there are FB imposed speed limits. It’s an easy thing to do. Facebook even has videos on youtube that explain exactly how to do it. They make it as simple for you as it possibly can be. But then they also know precisely what you’re up to and have a variety of statistics to monitor you, and keep you from mayhem or mischief.

This is a very simplified description of course, but it will do the trick for the non-technical. And take my word for it, the elegance of this solution goes much deeper than I’m describing here. It’s so lovely that I’m compelled to go to the trouble of writing this piece about it. I quite literally can’t think of any other technical innovation in recent years that matches its poetry. Twitter, by technical comparison, is a dumpster fire that’s constantly plagued by fraud and abuse.

So. I’ve given credit where it’s due I think. Now let’s talk about Zuckerberg.

He’s a smart kid, of that I have no doubt. But smart doesn’t make you noble. Smart doesn’t give you character. IkaIka had a piece up a few weeks ago describing him as an aspiring Super Villain, and in the comment section I said that my biggest worry where he’s concerned is that he’s never had a failure. He went from Harvard, to CEO and Billionaire, without so much as even a minor setback. His biggest failure in life to date has been that some girl from BU dumped him for being an annoying little bitch.

I just don’t see how that could possibly build the kind of character we need from our cultural leaders.

As women measure men, Zuckerberg is a king. He’s one of the richest men alive, and has all but limitless power of self determination. He can ignore law, ignore custom and ignore tradition. There are so few constraints on him that he’s got more in common with Michael Jackson than the ‘man on the street’. If he decided to populate his Bay area mansion with Giraffes and Ferris wheels, all the appropriate zoning regulations and land use restrictions would be tossed out the window faster than you can say “As you wish Master!” But we all know how that turned out for Michael Jackson.

There is a cultural concern for me too. It’s no doubt that Zuck’s views are far to the left of the American center, and he’s as unlikely to see that as the next liberal. He’s a Jewish kid from a prosperous family on Long Island, who attended Harvard, and only dropped out to become one of the richest men alive. It’s very easy to imagine him strutting around in his ‘this is what a Feminist looks like’ T shirt.

Which is to say that as men judge men, he’s hardly an alpha male. He’s a low beta, with a mammoth checkbook. Women would never admit this, as is their way, but in all likelihood he could get any woman alive to move into his mansion with he and his wife, and build a harem of supermodels. But no man would ever want to be in a Foxhole with him. Except for Lena Dunham, he would probably be the very last human chosen for a task like that.

And he clearly has acquired no wisdom in his meteoric rise to the top. According to him, Facebook now has a new mission:

“For 10 years, we focused on doing everything around connecting people with their friends and family,” Zuckerberg said. “Now I think that there is a whole lot of similar work to be done around communities: Meeting new people, getting exposed to new perspectives, making it so that the communities that you join online can translate to the physical world, too.”

This is silly and obviously transparent code-speech for increased polarization - a polarization controlled by Zuck. He wants to build communities around their biases. This he believes, will give him power to influence the minds of the plebs, and he’s probably right. But I find it very difficult to believe this will be done without imposing a few of Zucks own personal biases as well.

There are better ways to do what he intends, and I’m trying to do one of them. Give me a couple of years. In the meantime, be wary of the new Facebook mission and the new Facebook 'groups'. Because Mark Zuckerberg may have had one transcendently beautiful technical idea, but social engineering is a little harder than I think he imagines it to be.

And he isn't the only smart guy in America.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

- Jordan Peterson Explains National Review

I can't stand long introductions to things like this. I'd recommend starting at the 17:50 mark or so. With that said, Jordan Peterson is explaining what happened to National Review, and the old right in general.

- Why I Read Steve Sailer

I'm not a politico, so I'm not much interested in election mathematics. But tidbits like this interesting little hate-fact are why I ALWAYS read Steve Sailer's Blog at Unz:

I can explain why The Establishment (e.g., the Democratic Party, the media, the Soros-like NGOs, etc.) aren’t pushing Black Lives Matter hard any more in one word, a word not mentioned in this article: Dallas.

BLM followers murdering all those cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge got Donald Trump elected president.

Besides alienating non-blacks by unleashing a huge upsurge in violence in black cities, both riots and black on black homicides, BLM didn’t even boost black turnout.

You can get more useful watercooler 'shut your idiot mouth' points to use against liberals in 10 minutes on Steve's site, than you can from 3 months of reading Fox News and watching Tucker Carlson.

And it feels good to know that facts still matter someplace. Yes, in this case I'm calling attention to Steve's opinion. but I've learned that what usually separates the two is usually just ex-post verification.

- The Eichenwald Way

Personally, I'm a pretty plain vanilla guy when it comes to those private moments. I'm a heterosexual man which means, for those younger readers who have probably never heard of such a thing, I'm a man who is physically attracted to women. Though 'women' is probably overstating it because I generally prefer to be with them only one woman at a time.

I also prefer them 'age appropriate', because I've found that you do have to occasionally talk to women. If a woman's reaction to me saying "What you talkin bout Willis?" is to say in a totally deadpan voice, "Who's Willis?", there is going to be an inevitable communications gap.

About the 'weirdest' thing in my romantic life at the moment, to the eyes of someone in the same position as me 50+ years ago, is that my girlfriend is Asian and I'm not.

I didn't pick her because she was Asian, I picked her because she's smart, and charming, and very good looking. Her fashion sense and how she looks in high heels had more to do with her appeal than her skin color. And although she looks a little different than I do and is a substantial number of years younger, she was born in Oregon, so there is a very small cultural gap.

All this means that while I'm unusual in many ways, my sexual preferences aren't one of them. I don't begrudge anyone their own proclivities so long as they involve consenting adults. I just think that sort of thing should be kept private. In the age of public weirdness and aesthetic as a political identity, "Do what you like, but leave me out of it" has become my motto.

But all this 'normalcy' makes me strange in a different way, in that, strangeness still seems strange to me.

These days we're supposed to applaud people for their strangeness, but I have a problem with that. If you're only sexually attracted to amputees, or get turned on by dressing up as a stuffed Teddy bear and being spanked with food products, I have a very hard time relating to you. And I can't help but think that having a proclivity as odd as those makes your mental processes very different from mine. In effect, it makes me wonder about your character in other areas.

Which is why I keep coming back to second rate columnist and serial public forum liar Kurt Eichenwald. I can't help but think that his character is warped in some way, at least when compared to mine. I don't care about him per se. It's just that the world we live in gives a guy who does his job a great deal of influence in directing our culture. And the direction of more 'tentacle porn' for 21st century America, doesn't seem to me the direction we all want to go.

Luckily for us all, Mr. Eichenwald is also pretty careless. So instead of quietly propagandizing a more 'tentacle friendly' lifestyle choice in the pages of Newsweek, he's stepped on a landmine by letting the 4chan guys find out about his weirdness. They have continued their non-stop ridicule of the man and his habits, to the entertainment of us all.

- Mental Illness As A Political Philosophy

Calling things what they are:

Probably NSFW. These days, who can tell.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

- Don't Let The Interns Drive

In a typical example of the stalwart gang at National Review standing in the road of history yelling stop, while being crushed into the tarmac by the liberal steamroller, one of the interns has some important commentary on free speech:

This is obviously quite problematic. Reasonable people can, of course, disagree about the propriety of giving a platform to those with views that engender wide, bipartisan disgust.

I'm not linking it, go look it up yourself if you're curious.

In the young lady's defense (wait... is the word 'lady' now a microaggression? No, that's just in Canada.) the article is defending Dave Rubin and a smear by mother Jones. So it's the same old BS from them. Ceding moral authority to the left, while ostensibly defending the right.

I've seen her (trigger warning) picture, and while she seems more masculine than most of the people at NR, I don't think they should be encouraging this. Then again, the men (trigger warning) there don't have much resistance to Grrl Power, so by September she and her lawyers will probably be running the place.

- Different This Time

You're probably getting sick of Jordan Peterson by now. The shame of it is, the readers of this blog don't need to see this stuff. The people who really need it are the destructors - those mentally ill idiot children dedicated to the destruction of the west for the shallow and pointless goal of getting laid more often, who really need to see them. All those thoughtless idiots pulling down statues and burning the past. They need to see it.

In this one, Peterson makes reference to the cultural revolution in China, where it's estimated that 100 million innocent civilians died. This is well within living memory and I have a quick story to tell there.

When I worked in research at Moore Capital, I had a brilliant Analyst/Programmer working for me, a man I liked a great deal and still much admire. We got together in off hours occasionally, and after having Dim Dum in queens one day, I ended up back at his place and had the chance to meet his mother, who lived with he and his wife. His mother told me this story about China and the Cultural Revolution.

She (his mother) and her husband were academics, and were therefore comparatively well off and insulated from many of the horrors of the cultural revolution. But she told the story of the refugees from the worst of the starvation. Long lines of people who walked everywhere, with no specific goal in mind, just the hope that they'd find somewhere 'better'. One day she saw a woman who was obviously starving, shambling along the road, glassy eyed, and carrying what she could clearly tell was a dead infant. She stopped the woman, and said "Sister please... your child is dead. We need to stop and bury him." The woman responded:

"God help me, I know he's dead. I'm only carrying him because I might have to eat him."

My friends mother, obviously horrified, replied "Please... we'll feed you...you can have everything we have. Take whatever you want from our kitchen, but you have to let me help you bury your child." The woman, thankfully complied. This wasn't one of those "I know a guy who knows a guy" stories. This was a first hand account by someone who was there at the time, witnessed it first hand, and was obviously very affected by it. It's a story of one nameless random woman, not unlike 100 million others in China then. Not an enemy of the state, or some political activist. No one of any real import at all. No one will ever know if she survived or not, or what became of her.

I haven't seen my old friend in a while, and I hope his mother is well. But I wonder how she would react to the "burn it all down" attitude of the social justice warriors. Mrs Derb, who is Chinese born, has often remarked how similar the Social Justice movement is to the cultural revolution. The only difference is that they don't have the power of the state to starve their perceived enemies into submission. And we had all better hope they never get it. Their response would only be "It will be different this time."

They're right of course. It would. Because you can't willfully starve 100 million heavily armed people. It would be more likely that every single trans person in the country and their alphabet soup allies, would all end up swinging from lamp posts. But I don't want to see that and neither should they. So they might want to take a lesson from history.

Jordan Peterson:

Monday, June 19, 2017

- Either We Talk... Or We Don't

It's no secret what bullies the Social Justice Left has become. But I can't believe they realize what they're doing here. In Canada it's now a crime to not call someone by their sex pronoun of choice. If I go to Canada and demand that people refer to me as [insert absolutely any word here] the person who fails to do so is committing a 'human rights violation'.

The point Professor Peterson has been trying to make is that if we can't talk then we have no choice but violence. This is very true. Violence is something you can control, but your speech is now officially subject to the potentially rapidly changing whims. the people detailed in the video below can demand to be called he at this moment, she the next, Xe, the moment after that, and the second you fail to keep pace with they changing opinions, you've committed a crime.

But if you refuse to speak to them at all and simply beat them in the street with a stick the moment you see them, well that you can control. It would be wrong of course, and a crime. But at least it's a crime you can only be convicted of, if you decide to commit it. And I'm quite certain that there will be some people somewhere who now feel that's their only rational course.

A white man ran down a bunch of Pedestrians outside a Mosque last night in London, in what seems to be an act of retribution for the London Bridge attack. I'm quite certain the 'Trans' bullies of the left can expect the same treatment from someone. Especially now that disagreement with them has become illegal.

- The Problem With Equity

Most thoughtful people agree with the things that Jordan Peterson is saying. It's a shame he's the only public figure out there who has the courage to say them.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

- Happy Father's Day

You all know how important being a father is to me. Well I have suggestion. Ask the women in your life to give you the gift of 1:57 minutes, watching this:

Saturday, June 17, 2017

- The Cosby Mistrial

The Cosby mistrial cause is obvious. There were women on the jury. At least one of those women sat there in the jury roum, filled with gyrrl power and said "I don't care what the evidence is or isn't, I say he's guilty and going to jail."

Personally, I don't know if he's guilty or innocent, but I find it hard to believe that in this climate, it would require actually proving he's guilty to find him so, and because of that I'd like to see him acquitted. Mine is a purely political position.

I remember Cosby mostly for his classic comedy, and his assertions about the black community which I found to be clear headed. I can't find the latter, but this is one of the best bits from the former. This is what you should think of when you think of him:

- Disrupting Shakespeare In The Park

Very interesting occurrence in light of today's Radio Derb. If you want to know why, you'll have to go there and listen for yourself.

I'm quite certain the Derb will have a reaction to this, so you'll probably have to listen to next week's podcast to hear that as well.

- A Holy War on Republicans

James Devine:

“I am sorry if my #HuntRepublicanCongressmen hashtag hurt the feelings of any GOP snowflakes but you have not engaged in civil discourse,”

Why is it always NJ?

Much has been made of James Devine's endorsement of political violence, but I don't think that's the telling part of the story. Let's be honest, the thing keeping most hard leftists from violence isn't a lack of commitment or some high minded principle, but a lack of courage. More than anything they don't want to risk getting hurt. This is why they collect into mobs before engaging in violence, rather than doing it individually like 'what's his name' (I know, I just won't say) from the Alexandria shooting. Just look at the professor from the Antifa Berkeley riots, who struck a man in the head with a bike lock before bravely retreating back into the mob.

But Devine gets right to the matter by accusing the right of not engaging in civil discourse. The only way a statement like that can make sense in today's climate, where no left wing speaker has been shut down but right wing speakers are constantly shut down with violence and threats of violence, is if you see the sin of the right as a lack of faith.

Devine's problem with the right is that we don't believe. We are heretics, who are unwilling to accept the precondition that all issues are discussed, and only discussed, from the progressive post deconstructionist perspective. First we must admit that the invisible forces of hate that they say are secretly controlling all aspects of American life are real. Then, and only then can we all engage in "civil discourse".

How do you determine if something is real according to a progressive? That's easy. You take it on faith. Logic, reason and evidence are all just tools of the patriarchy, constructed from whole cloth by a racist misogynist society in order to keep the oppressed down.

Assuming you aren't a delusional madman, you probably have some small problems with this. I don't blame you. But the question remains. How do we do anything about it? The National Review 'Let's all be reasonable here' argument is an obvious failure. The Proud Boy style 'hit him back twice as hard' things works on the small scale, but if it ever gets big enough to make a real difference it's going to come with it's own set of problems. So what do we do?

Mostly hang on I think. Delusion, even widely held mass delusion, can't endure forever. Reality has a way of crowding it out over time. In the meantime, we work, we build, we maintain, and we wait for the madness to run its course. We defend ourselves and our loved ones since the state either won't or can't. And we wait to see if there is enough cumulative sanity left in American culture to weather the storm of liberal psychosis.

FYI - Congrats to our feeder blog MoreMonmouthMusings for being the VERY FIRST to break this now national story. They're getting no credit from the big media outlets, which is a shame. But some of us have noticed.

Friday, June 16, 2017

- 'Fake News' And Duplicity

The stories for anyone right of center, are legion. An MSM reporter contacts you for an interview and is all sweetness and light promising impartiality. You agree to an interview which is done in something like a reasonable way, and then in editing, you're made to look stupid or crazy or both. You're portrayed as a psychotic, racist, misogynist, blah blah blah. You know the drill.

Achieving the leftist goal is probably easier when you are a little crazy, and Alex Jones may be. But he has followed the new playbook of the right when dealing with the press, and surreptitiously recorded his interview with Megyn Kelley. And he's announced that he'll be releasing the tape.

If you don't agree with the left, you can't expect fair treatment from the left. No secret there. Secretly recording the 'actual' interview is some defense, and it seems to have worked in some cases. I don't know if it will in the case of Alex Jones, but this high profile example will probably put the lazy, duplicitous press back on it's heels a little bit.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

- Ace: "Why Are The Shooters All Democrats?"

I had a conversation years ago about this topic with Jonah Goldberg, of all people. My thinking was that since Liberals believe that all it takes is 'the right person' to make Communism work, the corollary is that they think they can change a failing system by eliminating the 'wrong person'. There is also the question of Liberals who are driven by passion instead of logic and reason, which makes them more comfortable with rationalization.

Conservatives meanwhile typically see the system as the problem because they believe in incentives. Get rid of a Nancy Pelosi (not that I'm saying you should... quite the contrary) and another dim witted power mad grandma will pop right up to take her place. Maybe a Maxine Waters. Then some new young, power mad crazy person will simply fill in the bottom of the crazy train.

In fact from a conservative perspective, you can get rid of scores of people and it won't really help things. The malignant system will simply continue unabated in it's malignancy, because the incentives for the power mad continues to remain.

These days it's much easier than ever to draw a connection between shooters, who are almost always crazy, and the left, who are almost always crazy. At the time, Jonah had no definitive comment, but in retrospect I think that means that it was probably true, but he would never say so until he knew how angry it would make the left to call attention to it.

Ace's piece is at the link.

- The Tools Of The Oppressor

I’ve been familiarizing myself with one of those ‘most hated villains’ for the Feminist left, Jordan Peterson. Professor Peterson is a Canadian Psychologist and Psychology professor with over 20 years of clinical experience. But most of what he’s known for is his refusal to use the long list of morally compulsory ‘gender pronouns’ of the laughably named ‘Canadian Human Rights’ council.

His talks tend to wander around between psychology and philosophy. But his big beef is with post-modernism, and any sentence that ends with ‘…is a social construct’. Using the language of statistics and science, he unambiguously calls this ‘wrong’. As usual, those who disagree with him either hurl invective about his Nazi-ism, or run away as quickly as they can from any potential debate. He speaks about facts, and since facts can’t be shamed or harassed away, the left has no interest in engaging with him.

This matches my personal experience as well. The left has totally lost the war of debate, logic, and reason. In fact, says professor Peterson, they don’t believe in ‘logic’ or the science that’s constructed upon it, and instead call it a ‘tool of the patriarchy’ that is specifically designed to keep the oppressed down. In one particularly comical rant he complains about people using their computers to type that the foundations of thinking that make that computer work, don’t exist. For that reason he can’t take them seriously. But this puts the left in an interesting mental position.

When logic, reason, and discussion are all identified as ‘tools of your oppressor’, what other option do you have for resolving disagreement than grabbing a gun and shooting up the place?

The left pretends that anyone who disagrees with them is an inhuman monster. That’s a useful thing because it justifies violence, and makes it emotionally possible for those who are unwilling to accept their own monstrosity. The Nazi guards at Auschwitz thought the same thing about the Jews. How else could anyone push women and children into gas chambers?

There are a number of leftists, it seems to me, who would happily do this to the President and his family. Even 10 year old Baron, who by any estimation I’d take seriously is a complete innocent, would be murdered by many if you gave them the chance. And it’s still an open question how many members of the left would do the same to anyone who disagrees with them, but we do know one detail there. Whatever the number is, it’s greater than 1.

James Hodgkinson took the decision making process of the hard left to it’s inevitable end. He didn’t believe the people he despised were well intentioned. He believed they were filled with hate, and dedicated of the destruction of their opposition by any means necessary, just like he was.

The word for this is psychological projection. And it’s an intersectional issue pulled into the post-modernist left from Feminism. This is what the left recommends as a replacement for the ‘logic’ that’s not only used to oppress them, but is expressly designed to do so. In essence, it’s the way the left pretends that they still have a valid argument.

But they aren’t the only ones who are pretending. The right has it’s own set of delusions. National Review, as is typical of the NeverTrump right, refuses to see that the left has changed. They still think making logical arguments will have some effect on a group that has identified logic itself as a tool of the oppressor. This has been described as playing politics by a set of rules that the left refuses to recognize, but it’s more than that. It’s a willful decision to lose.

Emotional reasoning doesn’t go down that road. Emotionally hysterical people like James Hodgkinson (and the multitudes from the left supporting him on Twitter) don’t ‘change their minds’. It’s a better description to say that they don’t have any minds to change. Their entire motivation is their own fear, their own hatred and their own emotions, none of which have any basis in reality. They look at the same world as us, but they don’t see the same world as us. What they see are the inhuman opposition and the holy martyrs. The divine, and the deplorable. Nothing else.

The 21st century left doesn’t need dialog, they need psychotherapy.

This raises a point I’ve mentioned here before when discussing the black average IQ, but really applies across a spectrum of issue for the left. What would you do when the incontrovertible facts point to you as lacking the components required to ‘win’? How would your ego cope with an inescapable fact, which points to your basic inferiority to others? Suppose the only way to get into a an Ivy league University was to be able to dunk a basketball? What would you do if you were only 5 feet tall?

The answer, of course, is deny the validity and rationality of the test. The answer is that you would probably rationalize it away. That’s easier to see when the question is as arbitrary as the example I provided. But this is what the left sees in the liberty of free market competition. They cannot succeed against people who are smarter, faster, and stronger than they are. So they deny the tests of logic and reason, and work to change the game.

Failing that, as they clearly are – their only other option is violence. And now that violence has arrived.

The left has what they see as an unsolvable problem. If they play by our rules they will lose. They have come to realize this, so they are changing the rules – with or without our permission. The rule of law has become a tool of the oppressor. Western Civilization is a tool of the oppressor. Dialog, logic, math, and reason are all just tools of the oppressor. The only thing that matters to them now is their own hatred and fear, and the ability of their egos to project that hatred and fear onto others.

Plan accordingly.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

- The Republican Shooting

I've been reading the news and I've got this all figured out.

A lone wolf (probably conservative) terrorist (probably) member of a (probably) white wing militia group went on a shooting spree because of the lack of gun control. He shot several people of color and a few members of the colorless, using an ultra high powered armor piercing sniper rifle.

The reasons for this, according to the news, is obvious. It was obviously because of hatred, xenophobia, a lack of support for illegal immigration, islamophobia, hatred, Trump, and a lack of gun control.

Also Racism.

The race of the shooter is unknown, but it is known that he was a misogynistic and toxic male, who was a misogynist, filled to the brim with misogyny and hate.

Also... Racism, and Russia.

Unnamed government sources have confirmed all of this.

It's all true. I read it on the internet.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

- And Now... Some Controvery

And since Jordon Peterson generates controversy among the ideological, let's see why:

- Rejecting Radicalism

Jordan Peterson is the darling psychologist of the Manosphere these days because he calls real scientific attention to some of the obvious difference between men and women, without bias or ideology. Naturally, the left and particularly Feminists despise him for this. And when idealogues despise you, I think you're probably on the right track.

Personally I prefer Steven Pinker right now, since he has an overlap in my current work, and more of a Friedman-esque charm. But I get why Jordan Peterson is winning so many hearts and minds.

But this bit below struck a chord for me.

This is really up here for my daughter, who I know is lurking here these days. As I've said in past comment sections, I'm worried that she'll fall into the easy route of believing all the nonsensical programming dished out at Universities these days.

They tell pretty lies to kids about how their life isn't really their own and all the bad things that may happen to them aren't under their control, but are the fault of unseen evil forces. It's the fault of whites, of men, of heterosexuals. The evil white male cis-normal heterosexual patriarchy. They (the kids) are just object who are either victims, or to the degree they resist psychological indoctrination, oppressors. None of them are treated as individual agents who are capable of acting on the world, as well as being acted upon by it. there is no individual responsibility, only collective guilt, collective victimhood, or collective oppression.

That's all bunk. But they've gotten so good at lying that many kids end up believing them. They don't realize that they're being fed an ideology rather than actually 'thinking'. They don't see the left as being about radical destruction, because the people who shovel it at them don't believe it is. No cult calls itself a cult. And that's what a University is these days, especially the programs that end in the word 'studies'.

But she won't believe me if I say it cause she's a teenager and I'm her dad. So instead, here is Jordan Peterson, a serious cognitive scientist, telling them why it's a bad idea to embrace any radicalism. Because if you do, you're never really making up your own mind.

I just wish he had admitted that the 'National Socialist Party' (Nazi for short) is really a creature of the left.

- Pols Pretending For the Cameras

MSNBC Pretends an Obama Campaign Director Is 'Everyday Folk' in Man-on-the-Street Interview

Tis sort of thing happens more than you think.

Way back when I was working on the Trading Floor at Moore Capital, then one term Mayor of NYC Rudy Giuliani was running for a second term, and since he had gotten more than a couple of campaign donations from Moore employees, he stopped by for a little Q&A. A few softball questions were lobbed at him from the group, but then the room fell silent. We were all voting for Giuliani after all - he was wildly popular at the time, had just cleaned up Times Square, banned the squeegee guys, and had implemented the police practices that made NYC safer and cleaner. We were all big supporters and didn't care much what he had to say.

But that doesn't play in politics.

So another question was tossed out from a crowd of people near the elevator who had collected there from the back office. Giuliani offered a pad answer, but it occurred to me that I didn't recognize the voice that asked it. when I looked more carefully, it was clear that this was his campaign staffer, more or less just providing the Mayor a chance to launch his talking point.

This was a relatively small, private, friendly crowd, so it didn't seem such a big sin to me. But it always struck me as a reminder of how much of politics is just play acting. The cameras are complicit in the whole thing. Life is just a play and we are all but players, blah, blah, blah.

As you would expect, MSNBC takes this a little further than they probably should, but it's not as shocking as the PJ folks are making it out to be. At least not to me.

Monday, June 12, 2017

- Some Bad Advice From Slate

Offered here:

I’m in my early 40s, never married, no kids, but always wanted both. I’m in a relationship of 10 months. The guy could not be sweeter or a person of better character. He loves me and treats me well. I was so in love the first six months but he is increasingly getting on my nerves—he is a bit quirky and goofy. And I don’t always find it amusing; increasingly I find it irritating. I have had several relationships like this (start out great, then fall apart at eight months or a year), and I am starting to wonder if I’m just projecting my insecurities onto him or if I need to end the relationship. I am in therapy. I just feel like there’s got to be something wrong with me if I have dated all these different men and nothing’s stuck. I long to be like most of my friends: married, settled, happy, in a family, kiddos running around.

Well bad news toots. At age 40 your reproductive chances are now roughly 2% of what your chances were in your prime. If you can get pregnant at all, and it's not the way to bet, the risk to your own health and to the health of the child are much higher. So high in fact that it doesn't sound like you (and your therapist) will be able to handle it.

I'd recommend a French Bulldog instead.

It's a shame that you've missed the boat on parenthood, but based on the fact that you project your insecurities, you get bored when the vangina-tingle of a new relationship starts to fade, and most importantly, you look to Slate to solve your personal problems, I'd say you'd have probably been an awful parent anyway so it's all just as well.

Some people are just too insecure and self involved for the life a parent, and this pretty clearly is you. Maybe you should instead start thinking about all the therapy you've spared your never to be born children, who would probably not grow up to be any more emotionally stable and responsible than you are. It's a shame that Feminists can't seem to grasp this reality, but being angry at me for not being afraid to be honest with you isn't going to change any of the facts.

Not that you'll let that stop you.

You can't have it all. But it isn't me who says so, it's reality and father time.

- Meanwhile, Back In Reality

Janice Fiamengo dissects the Evergreen College Fiasco.

- In Praise Of Beta Males

I'm finding stuff on the internet, only to post it and immediately learn that Ace is finding it all too.

Great minds.

I wanna throw this up though. The Manosphere has a lot of almost negative things to say about Beta Males, but they do Beta's a serious disservice because women judge alphas as more valuable. Well they shouldn't. You don't have to be a real leader in a real leadership role to be a real man. You don't have to be some pu** magnet to rate as far as men are concerned. That's a woman's standard and we should have our own.

There is nothing wrong with being a Beta. Bets's sign up, betas take direction. Beta's are the the men who actually build a civilization. They care for their home and family, and take responsibility. They are the ground troops of civilization. They are the men who leave the world better than they found it. More developed. More productive. More efficient. Victoria's Secret models may not be attracted to them, but they are very much worthy of respect anyway.

The differentiation should really be, between Beta's and Omegas. An Omega is the kind of person who buys into Feminism whole hog and sometimes even becomes more of a Feminist than the women who advocate it, because he knows it's his only shot. They are the unattractive, socially awkward, damaged, clueless losers (think Antifa boys) who still think they should be in charge. Omega's should be striving for Beta-dom, but because of their fragile and deluded ego's they typically want to be awarded 'alpha' status, even though they wouldn't know what to do with it.

At my last gig there was an Omega who worked in a mid-level managerial role in another department, which by no coincidence, was run by a woman. He would scream in meetings, berate his staff, and sulk if he didn't get his way. Emotional outbursts over non-emotional issues was his norm. He would go off on his own, ignore the strategic plans of others, and struggle to find the 'big idea' that would catapult him to the executive suite, without ever realizing that he didn't understand what was going on in the company well enough to even be involved in planning, let alone to perform any of it. The result was a staff who despised him, other departments who avoided communicating with him, and his own department which was so mismanaged and generally useless that I had to promote a guy on my team just to be his babysitter, and to make sure he didn't get the company into into too much trouble.

Thousands of what could have been productive hours, wasted.

An Omega is a woman in thought if not deed, trapped in a man's body. The same solipsism, the same emotionality, the same fragility. He may be a heterosexual, but in most cases it doesn't matter. They call them Omega's because they are the last men women would choose on their own. They are the 'little bitches'. I'm sure you all know one.

But Betas aren't like that. Betas build, save, and protect. Beta's are the guys you see with the dad pants, living in the suburbs, and working in middle management - more or less happy with their wives, their kids and their golf scores. They are the salt of the earth men who still follow the old rules, in spite of the odds being stacked against them, and rely a little on luck to have things all work out.

The POA's may not like them, but real alphas not only admire them but value them. Real Alphas are never going to let the woman's standard for judging men be the only standard. Betas are the 'good soldiers', and may with proper maturity and care, become a lesser breed of alpha themselves. Leadership may not be perfectly natural to them, but they are capable of learning it.

Women might not see it. Particularly young women. But a Beta man is the man that most women should be looking for because alphas are too high risk and too rare for most women to get for the long term anyway. Not all women are supermodels after all. And a house in the burbs, in a good neighborhood, with a man who is ready to sacrifice his own agenda for the wellbeing of his wife and kids, isn't a bad deal in most cases. This guy who is talking to Steve Crowder strikes me as a Beta man who may one day be an alpha. He's not going to stand around and let women be pummelled by the LGBTQAFGRESDGETPMOUSE girls and Omega crowd of Antifa. He's going to stand up. He's going to help. He's gonna be a man.

He deserves as much credit as any alpha. In some ways, maybe more.

- So THAT's what Intersection Means

This is fun. A gay pride parade was blocked by a black lives matter protest, preventing the parade from continuing. The two marches quite literally 'intersected'.

One can only assume that they squared off and accused each other of various oppressions, micro-aggressions, and privileges, in a verbal scurry to demonstrate which group was the more aggrieved. All they'd need to make the picture complete is a bunch of blue haired and psychotic Feminist activists running around topless, while accusing everyone of rape and toxic masculinity.

No heterosexual white males could be reached for comment. They were all too busy building functioning societies.

There are 320 million people in America, and some of them are bound to be such crazy losers that they have nothing better to do than things like this. But why in the world would we value the effect of mental illness so highly that all of these tiny, broken, fringe groups that can't get out of their own way (wink) are driving our broader culture? The only real intersection here is between, the 60's, the media, and early onset alzheimers.

- The Jewish Media

Jim Goad is talking about the dreaded 'jewish question' over at Takis today. My position on the broader 'jewish question' is well known, and sounds a great deal like the one Jim attributes to Jared Taylor which reads: 'They look pretty white to me". I'll expand that to say that with a very few tiny differences, they 'act' pretty white too.

This is really about a confluence of the word 'Tribe' with the word 'Race'. You can be of the same race and be of a very different tribe. While no one has any doubt that I am white, (We're so white that my dad usually returns home from the beach in an ambulance) I myself am a merger of two major, and several minor tribes.

Genealogically, I'm an American, Anglo-Norman Irishman. Which is to say that while I was born in America as were my parents, all of my ancestors on both sides of my family, are either from the Norman splinter of the Anglo-Normans, or the Irish which my family helped rule over for for at least a few hundred of the roughly thousand years they spent there. Since my family left the Welsh coast just 3 generations or so after they showed up from Normandy with William the conqueror (the curious can look up "The Marcher Lords"), I don't imagine I have much in the way of Saxon mixing, though I guess you never really know for sure.

But what about the jews? Well the ashkenazim have been very resistant to the kind of mixing with the locals that my family had no issue with. Religion will do that to you. And as a result, they have a few tribal idiosyncrasies which have hung on through the ages. As an example, they tend to be more matriarchal than my tribes. The mother is the center of life, and often dominates the man in the home. This is a peculiarity whose modern effect I have some questions about, but having nothing concrete to offer I'll simply say: "OK...whatever they're in to".

They also tend to be very urbane and to focus a great deal on the benefits of advanced education. Here in America, they also seem to overrepresented in media careers, and this has no doubt had an effect on the state of our media. Media and entertainment, let's not forget, is utterly dominated the world over by America. It's one of our chief exports, and along with financial and legal services, is one of the areas where America most excels - one other being the very non-jewish career of food production.

This isn't an accident, and the effect of 'jews' on the media is much debated.

I was speaking to a prominent jewish opinionator about 'the Jewish question' a few weeks ago. For obtuse reasons that are too difficult to explain here he has to remain nameless, though I doubt he'd personally mind being quoted. He had just published a favorable piece on the alt-right and I had mentioned that when I saw it I had to pour through the comments section to slap down anyone who impugned his clarity of thought by virtue of his 'jewishness'. No such comments were forthcoming (thankfully) and we both chuckled about it a bit.

But what he said about the current state of 'Jewish Media' was that there is a schism in the Jewish community. The jewish community is either the 'tough jews' or the psychoanalysis jews. The tough jews simply accept the fact that many people will hate them and devote themselves to fighting back with force when necessary. The psychoanalysis jews believe that they are smart enough to 'cure' the hate, and therefore object to fighting.

I very much respect the man (you probably do too), so I found myself persuaded. And that meant that on the chicken and egg question of which came first, the leftist or the jew, I come down on the leftist side as a root cause, rather than jewishness. Moreover, every big mistake I've ever seen made (and I've seen some expensive ones over the years) was made as a result of someone believing they were smart enough to solve a problem, that was either completely unsolvable, or unsolvable by them. It's a surprisingly common mistake, so I tend to forgive it.

I don't think anyone can argue that Academia (another jewish dominated arena) has swung far too much to the left. But I think it's an aberration. I think it's a curable condition. And when academic after academic goes smashing face first into realities that contradict their thinking, some portion of them will have no choice but to reform that thinking. It will be slow, but it will happen. Facts are in the end, more universally persuasive than any opinion.

That will, in the end, cure much of leftism in academia, and that will in turn cure the leftism in the media. And I don't think it much matters if it's run by jews or not. Any man of any tribe can see reality when he is left no other choice. And bit by bit, the facts of reality are reliably chipping away at the lies that modern leftism needs to endure.

- Today in Puerto Rican News

Instead of voting to throw off the chains of racist oppression and exploitation by the evil white man, Puerto Rico has instead voted to become a State:

Puerto Rico on Sunday overwhelmingly voted for statehood. But Congress, the only body that can approve new states, will ultimately decide whether the status of the US commonwealth changes.

Ninety-seven percent of the votes in the nonbinding referendum favored statehood, an increase over the results of a 2012 referendum, official results from the State Electoral Commission show. It was the fifth such vote on statehood.

I have some experience with 'working' in Puerto Rico. My first startup got its funding from BPPR based in San Juan, and they gave us free office space. So it was me and a bunch of Chileans, trying to cope with a place where no one who wasn't an illegal immigrant actually did any work. As far as we could tell, nearly 100% of the population was on welfare.

My former partner and longtime friend has a great story about it. He (still) tells the story of when he went with his wife to see an R Rated matinee movie and found little kids playing hide and seek in the aisles. The man behind him never paused his long cellphone conversation for the movie's dialog, so my friend asked him to quiet down. In response the man took his phone from his ear and said "Hey... can't you see I'm on the fucking phone asshole?"

These are cultural problems with PR, as is the breathtaking brain drain the tiny island has had.

But let's not be silly. There is a ruling class in PR, much like our own, that makes the decisions. Like the decision to borrow 70 Billion dollars in US guaranteed debt - 68% of GDP - and piss it away on useless 'public works' projects and swiss bank accounts. They know 'someone' is paying that bill, and they don't want it to be them. Throwing off the oppressive yoke of the white man means throwing off his debt guarantee, and that would mean they'd have to pay the bills themselves.

And you can't very well pay your own bills when no one does any work.

That Puerto Rican Statehood would be a bad idea for the US, should go without saying. There is a big net cost, and virtually no net gain. Which means that the yoke of racist oppression might actually be on the other sandal.

On the plus side, there were zero rapes reported at this years Puerto Rican Parade in New York City. That looks like a big improvement and a step toward peace and progress. That is, it does until you realize that this year's grand marshall was a convicted terrorist and murderer. So now I guess it's the decision makers who are the ones endorsing crime.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

- The Tragedy Of Former Beauty

Paulina Porizkova was at one moment in history, the most beautiful woman in the world. She still looks pretty good, but for women, all status is relative. And as she became an anti-depressant addled middle aged mom, her sexual options dropped precipitously compared to her former glory. She says America made her a Feminist. I say it was solipsism, age, and a world class cratering of her sexual options.

Now, she’s past the age of childbearing. And thanks to Feminism, older women are no longer valued for the things that made them important. An older woman now is nothing but a small weak man, usually filled to the brim with hyper-emotional resentment that even middling quality ‘actual’ men are still considered higher quality men than she is.

Paulina doesn’t make that connection, but you can’t really blame her. She is a woman after all, and objective reasoning about their place in the world is not their strong suit - especially after 5 decades of non-stop indoctrination from popular culture about how nothing in their lives is ever their fault. It’s ‘The Patriarchy” you see. I’ve been to the Patriarchy meetings, every one of them, and I should know.

Paulina always seemed pretty bright, especially for a woman of her astounding youthful beauty. A woman that attractive doesn’t hav eto think, but she learned to do a little thinking anyway. And yet, she still married Rick Okasek, who by the way must be a True Alpha male to have roped in a girl like that in her prime. Yes, he was a really big star back in the early days of MTV, when they still played music. But the guy always looked like a train wreck, and still does.

I saw the two of them together on Third avenue (right near Astor Place) about a year ago. She looked good but old. He looked like a much older version of his same gaunt self. No beauty prizes for either of them. But where he was never a prize winner for his looks, she definitely once was. So it's she who has 'lost' the most thanks to the ravages of father time.

If you want to know who she is now, don’t look to the past. Those days are gone for Paulina, much to her regret. If you want to know her now, have a look at this. This is what Paulina Porizkova is today. An increasingly irrelevant, drug addled mess. A woman who once ‘topped the charts’ but these days, just isn’t there anymore.

It’s a shame to see her fall so far from perfection. But it will happen to all of us eventually.