Bootstraps and Intellectuals

Highly intelligent people have their own version of “I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and so can anybody.” It’s their refusal to believe that intelligence is as genetically heritable as height. They want to think that they can take full credit for their brain power and feel robbed of a stellar achievement when it turns it that it’s not an achievement at all.

Even more annoying is their incapacity to fathom that not all brains work like theirs do. And trying to force people to perform intellectual tasks they are incapable of performing is as ridiculous as trying to get adults to change their height (or any other inherited trait) by the force of their willpower.

A lot of suffering, shame and misery stems from this utterly unscientific and vastly idiotic belief that intelligence is a) something that is completely within your control and b) something that doesn’t exist.

Rabbit Hole

I know I’ve been a shitty blogger with nothing interesting to say but there’s a reason for that.

I don’t do the kind of research where I hunt through the archives, trying to recover lost sources and poring through ancient black and white photographs. I’ve only done this kind of thing a couple of times in my life because normally what I study was published five seconds ago and I can do all of my research on Google Scholar and academia.edu. This is just as well because we don’t have a library or any funding for research. The idea of research is exotic where I am.

But then I stumbled across this project that was supposed to be for my personal enjoyment, and it’s been so much fun. I’m drawing genealogical trees and burrowing deep into online antiquarian book shops. I’m a typical addict. I can’t even drink a glass of water normally I have to gulp it down, dripping all over myself and making loud hen-like noises. It’s the same with these sudden interests I develop. I attack a subject and devour it. I haven’t even been watching Tucker, I’m so obsessed with this new hobby.

So this is how I’ve been entertaining myself. And then guess what? I received an invitation to participate in a conference and an edited volume… exactly on this subject. Even though it’s not my usual area of specialization at all. It was only supposed to be for fun! But apparently I’m destined to make this research public.

We Are Normal

Good news! Most people are normal.

ACB is an insanely impressive person. The only people who don’t recognize this are blinded either by deranged partisanship or by envy and resentment. It’s great that people are changing their minds and more will do so after they see her at the hearings. Also, it’s clear from this that people enjoy seeing competent, successful women, so this isn’t a massively sexist country, like some seem to insist.

ACB should be a feminist icon. We should see shelves of children’s books dedicated to her. And we will once we awaken from this temporary insanity that we are experiencing.

Power of an Argument

“It’s grandma’s birthday,” I explain to Klara. “But she can’t have a party or have anybody come over to say happy birthday because of the virus. It’s not allowed”

“If that happened to me,” Klara responds smoothly, “I’d know that people around me are not real Christians. Because real Christians would always find a way to do something nice for a person they love.”

I’m thinking that a supreme court nomination is in her future with this capacity to destroy an opponent in an argument. She can be the first Ukrainian-American on the supreme court. Hopefully, after she’s had the seven kids, of course.