Friday, March 19, 2021

Why the State Won't Tolerate Independence for Christianity

As Nisbet argues in his book The Quest for Community, a social group cannot survive for long if its chief functional purpose is lost, and unless new institutional functions are adapted, the group’s “psychological influence will be minimal.” No doubt the state has succeeded in centralizing so much power due to its success in poaching the historical functions of the church and family.
An interesting read - basically, as anyone can see, the state has gradually been replacing families and religions functionally, and is now more aggressively replacing them.

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Monday, March 08, 2021

Cargo cults as a theory behind much of the modern world

I always thought it was very odd how focused people were on "graduating college" as a marker of success, as if the act of graduation somehow guaranteed success. Now to a certian extent historcially it did as employers were using the colleges as a screening mechanism for the best of the best, something that no longer holds true when something like 25-33% of people have college degrees. Regardless, I thought the title linked piece tying it to cargo cults was somewhat intersting:

There are a lot of things that set the groundwork for this, and I am not an expert on post-modernism and critical race theory. But one factor that is not often credited is a cargo cult mentality. Folks look at successful white people and observe they all went to college, and then infer that if we just get all the black kids into college, they will be successful too. Their resulting plan is to reduce or eliminate standards that are perceived to be keeping black kids out of college. The problem of course is that college is not the cause of prosperity, but a marker (with prosperity) of other traits -- focus on long-term goals, discipline, hard work, and yes knowing 2+2=4.

For those unaware, cargo cults are basically religions that formed on Pacific islands where people thought that dressing like soldiers and building fake airstrips would get airplanes to drop off valuable cargo.


Monday, February 08, 2021

Did the city get out of the fiscal crisis with hard work and grit?

Turns out, it was luck and inflation, that made their debts go away. Sad but true. Which doesn't bode well for the future.
Well that is what actually happened to allow the City of New York to recover from the 1970s. In a “real” sense it only paid half, or less, of its debt and pension obligations. Not by formally going bankrupt the way Detroit did. Not by the people in the room agreeing to get less than they had promised themselves. They agreed to get every dime, as noted.

The City of New York paid half and less by paying a fixed amount in dollars, as the value of the dollar fell by half from 1970 to 1980, as a result of inflation. The bondholders and pensioners of 1980 found that the big tax-exempt score they had made in 1960s and early 1970s had been cut in half. It would then fall further. As one can see by using the Consumer Price Index calculator from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,

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Monday, January 25, 2021

Culture of Death

Apologies for my inexcusable absence, but I've been busy being angry on the internet. This also makes me angry, via Apples and Roses.
In short, a hard-working Polish man had a heart attack, sustained bad brain damage, and fell into a coma. Although he is by no means brain dead, his wife agreed with the hospital to cease life-sustaining treatment. As he could breathe on his own by December 15, that meant ceasing such basic care as clinically assisted nutrition and hydration until he was good and dead. So much for the corporal works of mercy.

However, the man's birth family, including his mother, objected to his being starved and dehydrated to death, and his aged widowed mother went through two-thirds of her life savings to stop this. Eventually the devoutly Catholic family turned to a British Evangelical Christian legal charity called Christian Legal Centre, the same people who fought for the life of Catholic Alfie Evans.
I've seen this repetedly in the hospital - simple things like hydration and food are now considered invasive medical care to be withdrawn when people are judged not worthy of life. We are living in a dark time and it is getting darker. Read there rest of the article and do what you can to fight it.

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Saturday, October 03, 2020

Groupthink in regulation

A very interesting look at the mechanism by which the chattering classes around the world arrive at a decision and force it on everyone - with a focus on how the regulatory environment of the last 50 years has prevented the world from getting better. Interestingly,
Where's my flying car by Robin Hanson summarizes Where's my flying car by J. Storrs Hall, and places the blame pretty squarely on over-regulation, of nuclear power in particular, but of all technology in general. We didn't turn to twitter because there were no ideas, but because that was, for a while, the only unregulated area for growth.

Gordon's central thesis was that our spurt of growth came from mastering fossil fuels -- essentially mastering electromagnetism -- and that's over.
The greatest engine for economic inequaltiy is the government trying to be nice.

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Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Rabbi Versus the Governor

Saving lives at the risk of losing your license to operate - I applaud you.


Tuesday, September 08, 2020

An instrument

"Be an instrument of gold or of steel, of platinum or of iron - big or small, delicate or rough. They're all useful. Each serves its own purpose. Who would dare say that the carpenter's saw is any less useful than the surgeon's scalpel? Your duty is to be an instrument."
The Way, 484

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