Cool Capitalism

Here is a perfect illustration to Jim McGuigan’s point about neoliberalism coopting and monetizing dissent:

People are trained, like Pavlov’s doggies, to experience an immediate rush of gratifying emotions when they see the words “white supremacy, intersectionality, racial, and queer.” After that, all you need is to sprinkle the words in no particular order in an ad, and that’s how you sell product.

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Forever Gone

We are seeing all these anti-abortion bills pass in Alabama, Missouri, etc precisely because abortion decisively won the battle. These bills are empty, meaningless salutes to the world that is gone forever.

So I don’t know what the hell we are being so dramatic about. People’s capacity to refight ancient, outdated battles in the world that poses a completely new set of challenges is the only constant we can count on.

Not New

Trump proposes a new points-based visa called the “Build America Visa”. Potential immigrants will receive more points for:

– Being younger
– Skills
– Employment offers
– Advanced education
– Higher wages
– Financial self-sufficiency
– Patriotic assimilation
– English knowledge

It’s identical to the Canadian merit-based system, except for the additional requirement for French. And it wasn’t “more points.” If you were over the age of 45 or had no degree in a very specific list of professions, they refused to look at your application altogether.

This is the exact process I went through 21 years ago.

Useful Fools

These poor little fools who celebrate the Harvard snowflakes’ success at hounding a professor out of a job. They honestly, seriously believe that the snowflakes are on their side. They don’t want to realize that the snowflakes will graduate, go work for Google (Apple, Microsoft, a shiny new startup, whatever), and will hound them out of their jobs.

The professor is just a trial run. And yes, he’ll be fine. But you won’t. When you are declared “unsafe” and hounded out of existence, you are not going to be fine.

The author of the linked piece can’t figure out why everybody cares about a minor event at Harvard. He is convinced that the snowflakes will see how successful they’ve been and say, “Hmm. This works. Let’s never do it again.” Or maybe he thinks that making himself very small and smiling at the snowflakes very reassuringly will put them on his side. Maybe he thinks that joining them in the hounding will protect him.

But it won’t.

Tech Question

Folks, if I delete a text message conversation I had with somebody, will it be deleted from his phone, too? Together with any record that we TMed?

I know it’s a weird question but I had a long TM conversation with somebody, and now that conversation is not on my phone. I didn’t know people could unilaterally do that.

So What?

Let’s say it’s true people experience the kind of adversity that prevents them from having college-ready vocabulary and math skills. Let’s say the SATs are easier to pass for those who can pay for tutors. There’s no evidence to support this but let’s say it’s true.

The question is, so what? Why should professors and college-ready students be punished for this?

There is a ton of unfairness in life. Some people are born with diabetes or congenital heart defect. Some grow up in abusive families. Some don’t have parents who read to them and play with them. It all sucks.

But it won’t cure diabetics to put everybody else on no-carb diets and insulin. It won’t help the illiterate to ban books from colleges. There’s some sort of a misfortune involved in people having poor literacy and bad math skills as they graduate from high school. It can be genetic, it can be environmental, whatever. But filling college classrooms with people who can’t read an academic text – irrespective of how much tragedy led them to this situation – won’t help them and will do damage to others.

There are illiterate people in the world. Should we burn down the libraries to make them feel better?

I’m not getting this logic at all.

Entry Ticket

A Honduran man attempting to cross the border with an unrelated 6-month-old infant last week underscores what U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents have described as an increasing trend of fraudulent families presenting at the border in order to take advantage of loopholes in immigration laws and avoid being detained by immigration authorities.

And didn’t I say a long time ago that this was going to happen?

Infants are more convenient for these purposes because they can’t talk and tell the truth. Turn a child into an entry ticket, and you guarantee that this starts happening. What’s to prevent every gangster and evildoer from stealing or buying a baby to haul across the border to try and get in claiming to be a terrified parent?