My sister and I were talking about success, and she said something very important. Successful people, she said, are those who have an unshakeable, overwhelming, almost delusional belief that everything is in their hands, and if something isn’t working out, they just need to work some more, learn more, find the answers, and it will work out.

What I like about this definition is the part about such people being almost delusional in their belief that anything is possible. I think that this is an extremely attractive quality. My sister meets some very successful people, and they are all like that.

I wish one could encounter this more often in academia. I really love seeing people who seem almost drunk with the sense of the extreme importance of their research and teaching. It’s like they have the opposite of the impostor syndrome.

When Cultures Meet

The party went great. The American still hates my food because I put some seasoning on the blasted chicken. Just a very basic rub. Some oregano, some cumin. But no, that’s too exotic. The poor guest had to pick off the visible bits of seasoning manually. At least, the mashed potatoes seemed to be satisfactory.

The Latin American guests were stunned that N was the one to do the dishes and lay the table for dessert.

“I told you, she’s a feminist,” one explained in a whisper.

Klara discovered zucchini bread and loved it.

N said one whole sentence to an adult other than me at the party.

And I was in heaven because I had Latin Americans to talk to.

Exercise in Logic

Russian mercenaries have arrived in Venezuela to protect Maduro.

Now would be a good time to figure out that the news sources defending the Maduro regime might be operated by Kremlinbots. The next logical step would be to realize that other news items these news outlets have been peddling might have come from the same source.

I’m only writing this because there’s been so much interest in figuring out who does Putin’s dirty work yet nobody is willing to try these easy ways of finding out.

Planned Parenthood

Yet another horror story about Planned Parenthood. It has nothing whatsoever to do with abortion, by the way. This one is about exploitation and sexual grooming of minors.

There are very many stories like these. And not only about sexual exploitation of minors. The organization is actively invested in the most out-there measures that promote the neoliberal worldview.

I understand that nothing is harder than accepting new evidence and changing one’s mind. For most people, letting new information come in is absolutely impossible past the age of 13. I was a rabid fanatic of PP for years, so I get the emotional attachment and the resistance to a different perspective. But as information kept coming in, I couldn’t keep playing happy ostrich and hiding from it.

Obviously, the linked story will persuade exactly no one because see above.

Sorry, I Couldn’t Resist

Some women are no good. They gossip, they hit their kids and cheat on their husbands. They bring pedophile boyfriends into the home and let them abuse the kids. Is this the best a woman can get? Be the best a woman can be instead!

Some African Americans… OK, this isn’t funny even as a joke.

Some Ukrainians become alcoholics. They engage in extreme rates of domestic violence, don’t pay taxes, cheat on exams, and whine like it’s their job. Is this the best a Ukrainian can get? Be the best a Ukrainian can be instead!

And so on.