David Thompson
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July 22, 2016

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Hal

Korean cinemas knock it up a notch.

Alamo Drafthouse, San Francisco and elsewhere . . .

R. Sherman

I want the train set.

Hal

It’s a quaint Swiss villa and also a bunker.

Ehn, because it keeps coming to mind, Mr. White should have had one . . .

PiperPaul

One cool thing about liquid hydrogen is that it is so cold that improperly insulated piping conveying it will liquefy surrounding air. Then the liquid air will separate into nitrogen and oxygen creating an oxygen-rich environment and causing an increased fire risk. Oxygen fires are no fun at all.

Lancastrian Oik

Why crashing into the Sun is harder than you think.

My mind can cope with Newtonian orbital calculations and Charles Mingus bass lines.

But that just made me feel dizzy.

Hal

“This just looks impossible.”

Oh, right; it's a variety of high jump.

The edge on one side provides an additional launching platform to spring off of, where yes, there's the apparent who knows how far drop underneath, but most high jumps merely have a bit of sand or whatever underneath which the conventional jumper also leaps over anyway.

Nah, not interested in trying that as a proof of deconstruction m'self, I have other hobby ideas that I'd rather work on . . .

jones

And finally, make your own sperm fitness videos:

I know how healthy my sperm is feeling by how much he pulls on his lead when I take him out for a walk in the morning.

Chester Draws

Why crashing into the Sun is harder than you think.

It's harder than you think, and it was interesting to see why, but not as hard as they made out.

You use a nearby planet to brake your speed relative to the sun in a "slingshot" which points you in the right direction (and speeds you up in the process). It's how they build up speed for most deep space missions, and you just apply the same process in reverse. Any rocket capable of making it to the moon would be able to do it.

jones

Chester, thank you, you've triggered an idea.

I'm off down to my basement, I may be some time.....

PS. Does anyone have any spare extra-large elastic bands I can borrow?

David

Morning, all.

Meh

Laurie Penny:

https://medium.com/welcome-to-the-scream-room/im-with-the-banned-8d1b6e0b2932#.7i9c95vcv

I wonder why it's on Medium. Didn't a newspaper want it?

David

Laurie Penny

Actually, I think that’s one of Laurie’s better pieces – stylistically, I mean. Yes, it’s riddled with errors, lazy conceits and wilful distortions – there’s a big one we’ve already talked about in the very first paragraph – and given Laurie’s track record, I’m reluctant to assume that the events she mentions actually corresponded with her descriptions. But it’s more… evocative than her usual overdriven boilerplate, and funnier:

Since that day, there is absolutely nothing I have been able to say to Milo to persuade him that we are not friends. The more famous he gets off the back of extravagantly abusing women and minorities, the more I tell him I hate him and everything he stands for, the more he laughs and asks when we’re drinking. I’m a radical queer feminist leftist writer burdened with actual principles. He thinks that’s funny and invites me to his parties.

I mean, that’s a good paragraph.

rjmadden

I mean, that’s a good paragraph.

Did our host just compliment Laurie Penny? *rubs eyes*

David

*rubs eyes*

Heh. I think Laurie’s hyperbolical worldview is usually quite unmoored from reality – the world, as she sees it, is always “on fire,” whether writing about football or pubic glitter. But the gathering she attended was, it seems, quite odd, as such gatherings tend to be, and at times a little surreal. A big US political convention, regardless of tribe, will to some extent overlap with Laurie’s trademark overstatement. And this election season has been stranger than most.

PiperPaul

"Morning, all."

That has been happening much more ever since the demise of the drafting table and it became "easy" to make changes with CAD.

"If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out of it but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled and no-one dares criticize it."
- Pierre Gallois

TomJ

I saw this rather splendid video of macro and micro scales this morning: https://www.facebook.com/kripu.kasumarthy/videos/1011891972221362/

JL

You use a nearby planet to brake your speed relative to the sun in a "slingshot" which points you in the right direction

Yeah, but "Set the controls for a slingshot that points us to the heart of the Sun" doesn't have the same ring to it.

[+]

Did our host just compliment Laurie Penny? *rubs eyes*

*faints*

David

*faints*

It was a very small compliment. Let’s not go crazy.

sH2

“This can be done without getting semen on the phone.”

Third time's a charm.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Shot:

I’m a radical queer feminist leftist writer burdened with actual principles.

Chaser:

He thinks that’s funny...

So do I. Actually, I think that is a) delusional; b)as rare as a real hippogriff.

PiperPaul

You know technology has run amok when even phone sanitizers are losing their jobs.

Oh, and sorry, I couldn't resist:

David

So do I. Actually, I think that is... delusional

I wonder if Laurie ever considers the possibility that the people and cultural phenomena she says she despises – Milo, Trump, a rejection of political correctness, etc. - are in part a reaction to, and fuelled by broad resentment of, the influence of people very much like herself.

Patrick Brown

Laurie clearly likes Milo despite herself. Her piece reads like the beginning of a bad romcom.

David

Laurie clearly likes Milo despite herself.

Cue flatshare comedy.

Crawford

"pubic glitter"
Aaaaaaaargh the visuals, the visuaaaaaaaaaals...
*claws out own eyes with a kangaroo paw back scratcher*

Aaaaaaaaaarghnononono, I can still see the glitter, how it sparkles in the eternal darkness of my lidless, empty eye sockets. David what have you done?

David

No refunds, credit note only.

Adiabat

I like how in Laurie’s own piece, which you’d expect to be biased towards her and show those she dislikes in the worst possible light, Milo comes across as fun to hang out with and she is the killjoy.

I suspect that she actually had a lot of fun and she’s putting on a show for her regular readers in her article.

Man_With_Three_Buttocks

“This can be done without getting semen on the phone.”
Now you tell me.

Connor

A bit of music for you.

https://youtu.be/Tk-5RVMerfI

David

A bit of music for you.

I see the joy of the weekend is upon us, then.

R. Sherman

Laurie seems to be experiencing a bit of cognitive dissonance regarding Milo. That is, a person she's vilified turns out to decent and fun to boot. I wonder whether she secretly believes that Milo is putting on an act merely to garner fame and money and secretly is as left-wing as Laurie. That is, the flamboyant gay guy can't really be a conservative if he's this interesting and fun. Ergo, he must, must be really like me.

Patrick Brown

Cognitive dissonance is Milo's thing. It's how he's able to provoke American college students into such extraordinary paroxysms just by showing up on their campus.

Joan

I’m a radical queer feminist leftist writer burdened with actual principles

That's one for your collection, isn't it, David?

David

That’s one for your collection, isn’t it, David?

It’s practically a punchline.

What’s interesting to me is how Laurie appears baffled that anyone could be in favour of Trump or his pronouncements, even as a last resort, while many of her own statements reinforce the fears and suspicions voiced repeatedly by his supporters. As, for instance, when she says, “Donald Trump has just been confirmed as the presidential nominee, to the horror of… 15,000 members of the international press.” That many voters might regard such a uniform political inclination, or presumed inclination, among the media as a bad thing, a dangerous thing, doesn’t seem to occur to her. I’m no great fan of Trump, but his willingness to accuse the media of being baldly partisan, and to press that point, is, I’m sure, part of his appeal.

Geezer

What I like best about Mr. Trump is that he is not Hillary.

Ray

This can be done without getting semen on the phone.

Yeah, how many times have I heard that?

JerryC

Her piece reads like the beginning of a bad romcom.

Is there any other kind?

Fred the Fourth

JerryC: There is. Try "Saving Face". I recommend seeing it with children of Chinese immigrant parents.

Hal

Try "Saving Face".

Oh, yes, very good one, that.

However . . .

. . . like the beginning of a bad romcom.

Is there any other kind?

JerryC: There is. Try "Saving Face".

Errrrrrr . . . . . Romance, yes, but comedy?!?!?! Bloody only in a classic sense, happy ending all around, the situational buggering of that hospital director claiming to be The Father, and all that(1) . . . .

I'd say more standard dramaIsh, definitely rather than comedy . . . .

As a parallel example of very good and definitely not comedy, and for that matter, for an actual father being an actual father, see The Wedding Banquet . . .

(1) DO NOT READ IF WISHING TO WATCH FIRST . . . . .

Hospital director issues threats to hospital staff member, demanding a break up with ballerina so that the ballerina can go off to Paris and a "good career". Ultimately the ballerina declares bugger that and the director, and comes back from Paris anyway.

David

Heh.

David

What I like best about Mr. Trump is that he is not Hillary.

I’m not convinced Laurie understands that many American voters might want a president who will be proudly American and who won’t regard that notion as unsophisticated or embarrassing. A president who won’t favour porous borders and uncontrolled illegal immigration, or excuse thugs and criminals as victims of the ‘privileged’. A president who won’t encourage the spread of identity politics for everyone except working class white people, especially white males.

Whether or not you think Trump is the man to deliver on any of that is of course another matter. I have, shall we say, reservations. But I don’t think Laurie even understands the desire for such things, having spent so much time disdaining them, and disdaining “angry white dudes” in general, and thereby feeling superior. It seems to me her career as a “radical queer feminist leftist writer burdened with actual principles” is premised on disdaining such things as alien and unworthy.

Surreptitious Evil

“radical queer feminist leftist writer burdened with actual principles”

I think that she now realises that most of her peers have not got "actual principles" is a significant improvement. Add a bit of self-knowledge and we might be getting somewhere.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Jerry C.:

Try The Palm Beach Story. Or The Awful Truth. Or Libeled Lady or Love Crazy. Or The More the Merrier or its remake, Walk, Don't Run.

Of course, other than the remake, all of those movies are at least 70 years old. And even the remake is 50 years old.

Lisboeta

That Roman shoe is infinitely more interesting, and stylish, than either Laurie Penny or Trump.

Fred the Fourth

Gee, Hal, I think you and I watched different versions of Saving Face. For us (Anglo guy Chinese wife) all the humor is in the doctor daughter / mother / patriarch relationship. We were laughing our asses off at that stuff. Guess it helps to be familiar with that particular dynamic.

Fred the Fourth

Re: Roman shoe - it is a tragedy that The Manolo of The Shoe Blog is retired.

Charlie Suet

"It’s what happens when weaponised insincerity is applied to structured ignorance."

This is the most highlighted sentence in her article: the sort of pseudo-profundity that appeals to the semi-educated. Other parts are rather better written

I agree that Trump, and Milo, and MRAs and all the rest are the mirror image of leftist identitarians. It's a reaction to the whining about 'old white men', not a proper refutation of it. Just because Milo annoys the right people doesn't make him worthwhile.

It's also interesting how Trump's rhetoric differs from that of Reagan, at least on a superficial level. Reagan told Americans that they were special, that they could return to greatness by hard work and self-sufficiency. Trump tells them that they've been cheated by furriners.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

"Man" quits his job to play Pokeman Go full time.

“I wanted to have an adventure,” Currie told The Guardian. “I have been working for six years and I was desperate for a break. And Pokemon gave me the chance to live that dream.”...“Tom is a very spur-of-the-moment, independent kid, he always has been,” Tania Dobbs said. “His nana and I don’t understand the game but I remember him loving it in his childhood..."

Lives at home with mom and granny, quit job as a barista after 6 whole years, you couldn't get more stereotypic if you tried.

Read the whole thing including the comments to see how many people think this is swell (OK, it is PuffHost) and for some historical insights such as:

Ashley Jones · Customer Service Assistant - Drug GM at H-E-B I consider building Pearl Harbor just as much a threat as the attack on it. If someone built a naval base off the coast of an island you lived on, would you not be threatened.
Hedgehog

Ashley Jones · Customer Service Assistant - Drug GM at H-E-B

Sheesh. I consider Texas to be one of the less fucked up places in the US, but apparently they've got their share of morons. I just hope she works at an H-E-B in Austin, not in Lubbock or Amarillo. I can deal with Austin being far out, man... The blueberry floating in a bowl of tomato soup, I believe Governor Rick Perry called it.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

...but apparently they've got their share of morons.

Alas, this one is handing out medications - that or doing, shall we say, quality checks on the stock. Either way, I wouldn't recommend getting your prescriptions filled at H-E-B.

Darleen

Ashley Jones · Customer Service Assistant - Drug GM at H-E-B

Another proud product of contemporary gubmint skools where such irrelevant subjects such as geography and history must yield to LGBT contributions and social justice activism.

Darleen
I chose not to reveal Jessey’s sex on his birth announcements because I wanted to share my excitement in welcoming this new baby into the world, not as a baby whose sex would be synonymous with girl or boy but as a baby who had yet to be named. I waited to name him because I felt he needed time adjusting from existing in utero to living in the wide open world. There needed to be a pause to give him the opportunity to make himself known — to try out different names and gauge his response. I felt and still feel similarly about gender.

Reading further, one gets the distinct impression that this really is not about Jessey at all.

David

one gets the distinct impression that this really is not about Jessey at all.

It rarely is.

wtp

Re Ashley Jones...Y'all did read the other comments there which were not too much further afield? This isn't about H-E-B (wtf that is) or little blueberry-Austin, this is the default setting for America's youth. Not so much the geographic ignorance, though there's much of that as well, but the idea the EVERYTHING America has done, is doing, or will do in the future is evil, wrong, bad. Even defeating the Axis powers in WWII. I see it in the conservative-leaning college grads that I have worked with in software in the defense industry. I see it in the mentality of many younger libertarians, even some older ones. I even saw it in my youthful self to a smaller degree for a short while, ashamed to say. It is ingrained in the culture. It's a educational stain that you cannot reason them out of. It will require considerable work and, I hate to say it but peer pressure. They have all now "been to college" and are thus quite confident in their education.

Will

One cool thing about liquid hydrogen is that it is so cold that improperly insulated piping conveying it will liquefy surrounding air. Then the liquid air will separate into nitrogen and oxygen creating an oxygen-rich environment and causing an increased fire risk.

I once saw in interesting demo: Take an aluminum can, fill it with liquid nitrogen, then suspend it over a small flame. Oxygen will condense on the can, and drip onto the flame causing impressive little flares.

Use at your own risk, no warranties expressed or implied.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

This isn't about H-E-B (wtf that is)...

A very large supermarket chain in Texas. However, regarding the default setting for America's youth, it is not just the ignorance, but the overwhelming slacktivism, the utter disregard for responsibility, and the notion that it is fine and normal for a 24 year old unemployed nitwit to piss about playing a game on a cell phone.

Matthew from Boise State U:

If he's saved up enough to take a couple months and catch Pokeman, great. People should enjoy life when they can. Sure, it seems like a frivolous passion. But in the grand scheme of things everything is trivial. Whatever makes you happy is the most import thing for each person.

Yes, everything is trivial. These people have no clue.

Ashley again:

So just because his vacation involves a game he's boy? Can't stand people who don't understand gaming culture.

Jay Ayy from somewhere (this isn't just a US thing):

What's wrong with someone living at their mom's house anyway? It's not affecting you or your life. Is it envy? You wish you can have that life, but you have to work? :(

Heather Lynn from Long Island:

At least he's happy! Most countries other than the US know how to take a vacation! Now THAT'S living a dream. His dream is his dream, and no one can take that away! The envy and jealousy here is crazy

Lots more of that "vacation" yammering. A) Quitting a job is not a vacation, it says he quit, if he was doing this on a vacation, that would be one thing entirely different, people do weirder things, but then they go back to work; B) his great dream in life is to play a game on a cell phone ? Not develop a game, just play it, and if he catches all the Pokemon, it is done, dream over. Now what for our plucky "adventurer" ?

Finally, the voice of sanity from one Henry C Norcom

The forever children generation will never get it.
Darleen

The forever children generation will never get it

You know, 1984's The Peter Pan Syndrome wasn't written as a 'how-to' book.

R. Sherman

Regarding Ashley's comment about Pearl Harbor, I can't help being reminded of this* when I read some factual idiocy in comment sections.

*Posted to maintain the general frivolity for which this blog is justly renowned.

Fred the Fourth

R.Sherman, I was expecting a link to John Belushi's "When the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor..." bit.
Get with the program, man!

pst314

David:
Laurie Penny has penned a piece attacking gay conservative blogger and speaker Milo Yiannopoulos:
https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/239510/#respond

pst314

Oops--I see that another commenter has already noted this.

Tim Newman

Penny:

The gang kills time by asking if I’d rather shag Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage.

Bwahahahaha!

R. Sherman

@Fred

Actually, now that I think about it, and given the comparative distances, I now understand why Great Britain periodically bombs the crap out of our navy base at Norfolk, VA. It's actually closer to London that Pearl Harbor is to Tokyo. You can't be more provocative than that.

dicentra

I wonder if Laurie ever considers the possibility that the people and cultural phenomena she says she despises -- Milo, Trump, a rejection of political correctness, etc. -- are in part a reaction to, and fuelled by broad resentment of, the influence of people very much like herself.

The fact that she characterizes herself as principled relative to Milo the "sociopath" is highly revealing. Mao-lings never see their opposition as having a valid point -- the tyrant's motives are pure and beyond reproach; ergo, any opposition must be pure, distilled evil.

So yeah, she knows that she and her tribe are resented and rejected, but only by horrible people.

Heads she wins; tails you lose.

Hedgehog

the overwhelming slacktivism, the utter disregard for responsibility

Yes, that struck me as well. These kids will not do well when the shit hits the fan. As I fully expect it to in the not-so-distant future. And the idea that somehow other countries know how to live because they go on VACATION while in the US it's work, work, work... What a load of drivel.

I see it in the conservative-leaning college grads that I have worked with in software in the defense industry.

Probably true, but college grads have always been like that, no? When I graduated from engineering school in France 35 years ago one guy I knew who got a degree in astrodynamics was concerned about his job offer from a defense contractor. He wanted to work on rockets, not on missiles, he said. We told him that he'd be ok, he'd be working on rockets that only go one way and that only get used once. He ended up taking the job anyway.

Hedgehog

I wonder if Laurie ever considers the possibility that the people and cultural phenomena she says she despises -- Milo, Trump, a rejection of political correctness, etc. -- are in part a reaction to, and fuelled by broad resentment of, the influence of people very much like herself.

No, she doesn't. And it's not limited to her and her ilk. I see it every day in the people I work with. All educated, white-collar, left-leaning, bien-pensant individuals who can't for the life of them comprehend why there is a certain amount of dissatisfaction with the global elites among the hoi polloi. If there's one reason why I want to see Trump get elected (besides the fact that he hasn't sold access to the State Department for speaking fees), it's to see the look on their faces the day after the vote. I'd venture to say that there'd be a lot of Pauline Kael moments in offices across the land.

Jimmy

Milo believes in almost nothing concrete—not even in free speech. The same is reportedly true of Trump, of people like Ann Coulter, of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage: They are pure antagonists unencumbered by any conviction apart from their personal entitlement to raw power and stacks of cash. (unlike Penny, ofc!)

Oh lord, someone wake me up from this nightmare called life

David

From Laurie’s article:

That’s why I’ve always refused to debate Milo in public. Not because I’m frightened I’ll lose, but because I know I’ll lose, because I care and he doesn’t — and that means he’s already won. Help and forgive me, but I actually believe human beings can be better than this.

This is a bit I don’t quite understand. When confronting her political opponents, Laurie has been willing to ambush them, interrupt them continually (to the point of having her microphone cut off by an exasperated moderator), and has been happy to lie repeatedly about her opponent’s motives and private affairs, as seen, for instance, in her now-famous exchange with the historian David Starkey. So how would being sincere, as Laurie claims she is, be such a crippling disadvantage?

It sounds like an excuse. Sort of, “Milo often wins debates with people like me, almost identical to me, because he doesn’t care about the issues, he just does the research and remembers facts.” Or, “I can’t make Milo pretend the way I do, therefore I will lose.” Or, “I don’t need to actually win a debate to prove that I’m right, and righteous. I just am. Because I keep saying I care.”

wtp

Probably true, but college grads have always been like that, no? 

Always? As in since the beginning of time, the beginning of the Republic, the beginning of the 20th century, the end of WW2? No. Not like this. Not to this degree.

To imagine that the breadth and depth of leftist, America/western hating ideology being taught in our academic instituions is not having a serious, possibly irreversible effect on our culture is just whistling past the graveyard.

wtp

It sounds like an excuse. 

Like how Venezuela is only suffering because of the weak oil market? Or that that country has run out of toilet paper because of something Kimberly - Clark did? Yeah, like that.

PiperPaul

"college grads have always been like that, no?"

My guess is yes, but now they have near light speed communications so that stupid ideas, attitudes and idiocy gets transmitted and absorbed worldwide by morons and attention-seekers instead of being localized and slow-moving.

Hedgehog

wtp: re whistling past the graveyard. I certainly don't disagree with you about the general deterioration in our culture. Still, I think college grads have indeed always been like that, meaning stoopid. It's the nature of college grads. I don't think I was any different, at any rate. And look at me now (he says).

I do think that our culture is doomed. That, too, is the nature of cultures. And leftist ideology will have a lot to do with that outcome. But again, that's the nature of leftists. The ones we see in our institutions nowadays are not that different from at least some leftists in the past. The drive to completely remake society, along with the destruction of everything that has gone before, is not peculiar to them. The fact that it always ends in tears isn't going to deter them this time around, because they always know better, and their indignation never knows any bounds. Just look at the French revolution, or the Russian revolution.

I just hope I live to see the counter-revolution.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Probably true, but college grads have always been like that, no?

Not that I have seen. Having gone from one of the civilized states in South Flyoverlandia to a predominantly liberal north eastern US university about 40 years ago, there was a small segment of smelly hippies who thought they could kumbaya their way through life, but even the leftmost leftists among the non-hippies understood the concept of school > job > money > get things you want/need. About 6 years later at a midwestern grad school, same thing. Another 10 years later at another grad school, same thing, and in both cases not just the grad school, but the universities in general.

I realize that my experience is a couple of frames from the whole movie, but the difference between then and now is exactly what PiperPaul said. My second spin in grad school, the innerwebs were barely off the ground (though you did get AOL disks nearly daily) and cell phones still a bit of a novelty. In addition, Angry and Useless Studies departments were just beginning to spawn.

The obvious result is that if a bunch of ninnies in the Zamboangan Everyday Feminist Studies department at East Sasquatch U wanted to convey some crackpot grievance theory to their obligate mouth breathing counterparts elsewhere their options were long distance phone call, letter, telegraph, or write a journal article that only got published in hard copy and for which one had to pay.

Now one of them takes "offense" at an innocent comment in the streets of Zamboanga, the twat Tweets, and the Laurie Pennies are up in arms half a world away seconds later, just as PiperPaul said. For all the good of modern communications they are also a megaphone for the stupid, amplifying the infection, and thus where we are today.

Burnsie

because I care and he doesn’t

Ah, modern liberalism crystallized in all of its adolescent, narcissistic glory. Penny could've stopped right there.

wtp

I don't think I was any different, at any rate.

Nor I, to some degree as I stated above. I am fine with young people being exposed to different and even heretical ideas. But our institutions increasingly present the most failed of these ideas to students as the ideal. There is no reason there couldn't be more balance in these institutions such that there wouldn't be more balance in the leaning of their "stupid". I do not believe that the young are or have always been "stupid", they are just, by design, more open to ideas and more eager and willing to learn new ones. But the natural laziness of...I was going to say the human animal, but all animals really, will lead them to fall for the more pandering (thus leftist) ideas. It is the responsibility of the older generation, not just the institutions themselves, to lead them in the more productive, well proven path.

Being young means you are both malleable and lack real-world experience. Going to an academic institution to be taught by people who are career academics gives a false sense of understanding. What is first learned, especially the younger one is, is much harder to displace.

What we need is to get young people out of these miserable, debt accumulating institutions and working at jobs in the real world. They'd be happier, the source of revenue to these blood sucking, culture undermining institutions would dwindle, and everyone would be better off. There is no reason a young man or woman of 18-20 can't be interning at an engineering firm, bank, chemical lab, even hospital or doctors' office. Good engineers come out of construction firms and repair shops as well. More people starting down professional paths early would make society much better off. Run in parallel with an education path, but by working in the real world they will be far more likely to understand what education they need, why it is important, and thus spend their education dollars/pounds/etc. more wisely.

R. Sherman

For all the good of modern communications they are also a megaphone for the stupid, amplifying the infection, and thus where we are today.

Yup. Thirty to forty years ago, the idiots were merely holding forth on street corners. Now, they Tweet and blog to their hearts content and to an every more amplified chamber of like-minded doofus-es. Modern communications have allowed the lunatics to congregate in packs, God help us.

PiperPaul

"There is no reason a young man or woman of 18-20 can't be interning at an engineering firm..."

Many of the traditional entry-level tasks at engineering firms have been automated (detail drawings automatically extracted from 3D models, as one example) over the past 20 years or so. This often results in inexperienced people running great big machines after the "expensive people" have been "right-sized" into unemployment or retirement. And the "expensive people" are "right-sized" because someone east of the Suez will ostensibly perform the same task for 20% of the cost at 90% of the quality via the internet with sophisticated software.

I do agree enthusiastically with your post.

Fred the Fourth

Piper, wtp:
Engineering interning is certainly different than when I started back in the 70s, but that's hardly all there is.
I have a niece, for instance, who is "interning" at Macys supposedly to help with a training program but actually spending time on the sales floor doing actual retail sales. A real eye-opener for her, I'm sure. She's a daughter of the 0.1%.
I worked as a carpenter's mate & maintenance gofer at a lodge / summer camp in the Sierra - that job, I'm 100% sure, was not offshored (though it may be filled by an illegal these days.)
There are few I despise more than the person with no real-world experience who is in, or wants to be in, a position to influence public policy. Folk like Bernie and Hillary. And, no doubt, Laurie P.

Patrick Brown
I chose not to reveal Jessey’s sex on his birth announcements because I wanted to share my excitement in welcoming this new baby into the world...

Articles more or less identical to this pop up quite regularly. But I don't think I have ever seen one where the child whose gender is being concealed is a girl.

David

But I don’t think I have ever seen one where the child whose gender is being concealed is a girl.

Attempting to unmake boys does seem to be a more popular entertainment.

wtp

Many of the traditional entry-level tasks at engineering firms have been automated...

And yet many aren't. Make coffee, fetch lunch, format web/wiki pages, basic testing, etc. with graduating difficulty/responsibility as parallel education permits.

But of course, thanks to BS like diversity training, harassment issues, etc. etc. that the government and/or legal system forces on employers it can be impractical to hire them too premature.

I'll admit there are problems, but this crap of 4-6-8 years of college before being viable for work is ridiculous. Where once a bachelors degree was sufficient, a masters is now desired. For the same reason what once required a high school education, now requires an AA or BA.

For all the good of modern communications they are also a megaphone for the stupid

Yes, but why should that be the case? A megaphone is a megaphone. Why can't it be used just as well to refute the stupid/encourage the smart?

Fred the Fourth

wtp:
I am a member of an investment club. We are entirely voluntary, are not incorporated, are not an LLC or similar. We wanted to have a person who was not eligible to be a full member (under SEC rules) participate as an unpaid intern, basically to hand-hold guests at our quarterly meetings.
However, since we charge a small fee for attendance at various seminars we give (just covering costs), some of our lawyer members advised us that, under California's rococo labor laws, we would have to pay any such intern. That would also require us to incorporate or create an LLC, which we don't have the money for. So, impasse. No intern.

wtp

Fred,
And that's exactly the problem. Possibly driven more by lawyers and fear of law suits than what that law passed by a (somewhat) accountable legislature might actually say. But try explaining that to say...an economics professor and he'll brush it off as insignificant while turning to some BS about marginal propensities to consume increasing by raising the minimum wage.

Hal

For all the good of modern communications they are also a megaphone for the stupid, amplifying the infection, and thus where we are today.

Yup. Thirty to forty years ago, the idiots were merely holding forth on street corners. Now, they Tweet and blog to their hearts content and to an every more amplified chamber of like-minded doofus-es. Modern communications have allowed the lunatics to congregate in packs, God help us.

Which god?

---'k, I'm Buddhist . . .

Two plus two will still equal four.

$14M subtracted from $3M will still result in bankruptcy as the project is just getting ramped up, if it even gets that far.

A stage manager---regardless of the type and nature of the stage---will still be needed to run the traffic, barring the occasional extremely polished and well trained company . . . which solves its own issues anyway.

A plumber will still be needed when the pipes break, and will still need to be an actual, capable, competent craftsman . . . regardless of what kind of pipes . . .

Lunatics being able to scream loudly only means that they've discovered karaoke . . . .

Fred the Fourth

wtp: regarding the net as megaphone, the problem is that there are many more ignorant fools with various ideas in the world than there are sound, experienced thinkers with tested ideas. With the net, all of these have similar reach for their messages. Their audiences are self-selecting, there's no trust (nor should there be) in vetting by "establishment trusted editors / gatekeepers".
None of that is surprising given the nature of the net.
What's deeply annoying is the craven bias and sheer sloppiness of the so-called trusted sources, the NYT et al., CNN,..."network news", etc.
The only solace is dear, hardworking David.

Hal

I'll admit there are problems, but this crap of 4-6-8 years of college before being viable for work is ridiculous. Where once a bachelors degree was sufficient, a masters is now desired. For the same reason what once required a high school education, now requires an AA or BA.

The title of this paper might seem a bit pretentious until one considers what is laughingly referred to as education in the early 21st century. In the early 1970s, one could pick up some near random comic book or two, and one would soon find an ad proclaiming that one could indeed get one's very own High School diploma, and thus achieve social success, peace of mind, and lots of money.

In 2011, a very real assessment of exactly the same educational network can be made by observing that there is just one primary difference between any random print shop and a masters degree program---particularly one of the uber-mega-executive-deluxe-hyper-masters-in-business-administration varieties of program---The very clear and ascertainable difference is that the print shop doesn't charge five to seven figures and take one to three years to print out the exact same piece of paper.

A megaphone is a megaphone. Why can't it be used just as well to refute the stupid/encourage the smart?

That requires thought.

Rather than pick up a megaphone and waste time and energy and time, and energy, the much easier and more effective option for the smart is to assess a workaround that can just sidestep and continue on around, past, utterly ignore the loud and unthinking, and Just do that workaround . . . .

---Yes, in place of a megaphone, one certainly can use such useful tools as the WWW to leave assorted notes parked here and there, and let those present the commentary . . . .

When the loud and unthinking finally notices being ignored, mebbe there will be silence as the LaU finally wanders over to what works, or if instead there are further objections and protests, the LaU can just continue to get ignored and remain a live and audible exercise in what to sidestep and continue on around, past, otherwise utterly ignore . . . . .

David

The only solace is dear, hardworking David.

Well, that’s a worrying thought.

Chester Draws

I do think that our culture is doomed. That, too, is the nature of cultures. And leftist ideology will have a lot to do with that outcome.

Um, no.

We fought off economic Marxism, despite its backing of a superpower. We'll fight off cultural Marxism too, because it doesn't work.

The people doing the shouting have megaphones, but they don't get many votes. Yes, the Democrats and Labour are heavily into identity politics, but that isn't making them any more popular. In British Labour's case (and NZ Labour's too) it is one reason that they struggle to win anymore.

Attempting to unmake boys does seem to be a more popular entertainment.

No it's not. It's vanishingly rare.

In NZ the single sex boys' schools are becoming so popular that they are starting to reject boys. Far from the cultural Marxists winning this campaign, they are very obviously losing.

Even my Teachers College, a veritable bastion of Leftism, had no time for pretending boys and girls were the same. It's a hard line to justify when the evidence is in front of you every day.

David

It’s vanishingly rare.

Yes, it’s rare. But when it’s reported, the guinea pig does seem to be male more often than not.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

What's deeply annoying is the craven bias and sheer sloppiness of the so-called trusted sources, the NYT et al., CNN,..."network news", etc.

There is why the megaphone of instant world wide communication doesn't work for the smart. As hackneyed as it may sound, the vast majority of the MSM is so in the tank for anything leftist that it is a microphone and bank of Marshall stacks for the megaphone.

A case in point is the global cooling global warming climate change climate disruption nonsense. There are plenty of smart voices actually looking at and showing data that shows it is a seriously overblown issue, but that which gets parroted is crap like the SoS's latest idiocy that air conditioning is a greater threat than ISIS, or that the Arctic ice cap is vanishing while the fact that a bunch of "researchers" are stuck in the ice is on page 78D below the fold. Same with the "rape culture", "Hands Up Don't Shoot", or damn near any other thing that has the left exercised these days.

R. Sherman

For the same reason what once required a high school education, now requires an AA or BA.

Two cases on point: My mother worked as a bookkeeper doing accounts receivable and payable for 30 plus years for a major U.S. company. She started right out of high school. When she retired, the company advertised for a replacement and she helped do the interviews. The minimum educational requirement was a bachelors degree in accounting.

Second, my dad was hired out of high school in 1935 to supervise country road surveying crews because of his high school math courses. A couple of years ago, I ran across one of the surveys he'd prepared when he was 19 to see whether the location of the road "on the ground" meshed with the survey. Recall this was before lasers and GPS. The margin of error on his survey was less then six inches in about four spots on a ten mile stretch of gravel road.

Times have changed.

Fred the Fourth

The only solace is dear, hardworking David.

David: Well, that’s a worrying thought.

Many many moons ago my manager told me a story. He had previously worked for Ball Computers [aside: Yes, this was the same Ball as the company that made all those canning jars your grandmother had on her shelves. Seems there was a theory that expertise in mass production of glass objects could somehow be translated into computer production, since (in those days) computers inevitably came with a big heavy glass thing in the kit.]
Now, Ball Computers was on one side of a street which dead-ended at a brewery. Across the street from Ball was a Delicatessen. So an advanced bit of management theory was therefore developed which went like this: "Do you have Beer Truck Insurance?"
I.e. can your project survive the untimely demise of a team member (due to said member being run over by a speeding beer truck while on the way to get a lunch sandwich)?

So, David: What assurance can you offer us, your more-or-less loyal readers and partners in crime? (And no, I won't be fobbed off with a "credit note", so don't even try...)

Daniel Ream

There is no reason a young man or woman of 18-20 can't be interning at an engineering firm, bank, chemical lab, even hospital or doctors' office. Good engineers come out of construction firms and repair shops as well. More people starting down professional paths early would make society much better off. Run in parallel with an education path, but by working in the real world they will be far more likely to understand what education they need, why it is important, and thus spend their education dollars/pounds/etc. more wisely.

The engineering university in Canada I attended pioneered the concept of alternating study and paid working placements, and to this day requires all engineering undergrads to complete their education this way.

Tim Newman

There is no reason a young man or woman of 18-20 can't be interning at an engineering firm

Well, we had an 18 year old intern at our major oil company a couple of summers back. They filled her head with plenty of woolly corporate guff but after a month in our department she confessed she had no idea what we actually did. I told her not to worry: it took me several months to figure our what our department did as well, and after that I realised what we did was pointless and we ought not to exist.

David

Well, that escalated quickly.

pst314

"A case in point is the global cooling global warming climate change climate disruption nonsense."
Don't forget "climate chaos".

PiperPaul

"The engineering university in Canada I attended..."

Waterloo!

Hedgehog

Waterloo!

It just struck me that for a Frenchman this exclamation probably has another connotation than the one that is intended.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

It just struck me that for a Frenchman this exclamation probably has another connotation than the one that is intended.

That, and ABBA fans...

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