Ready to Go

Klara says two girls at her preschool have daddies who aren’t living with them.

The Christian school she’s attending for kindergarten can’t start soon enough.

Terminology Wars

I just discovered that the term “Latin America” as a substitute for “Spanish America” or “Hispanic America” was introduced in the 19th century by the French to advance the goals of French imperialism.

Basically, “Latin America” was the 19th-century “Latinxs.”

Accents

Klara doesn’t understand the British pronunciation and refuses to listen to books on tapes narrated in it. But she’s perfectly fine with the West African pronunciation, even a very heavily accented one. I wish there were books recorded in it. Alternatively, maybe I should scare up a couple of British kids for her to play with.

To Defeat CRT You Need to Be Cool

I hate CRT and CRT-based teaching. I’m sending my kid to a private school in large part to spare her being taught CRT that is now mandated in Illinois. (We aren’t allowed to give teaching licenses to anybody who hasn’t undergone a lengthy CRT conditioning. I posted screenshots proving it before and I’d rather not do it again.)

But these anti-CRT bills that some states are trying to push are moronic. I’m sorry, but they are. Here’s the one from PA:

See what the problem is? Anything can be deemed a racist or sexist concept. Anything. Birds, water, apple juice. All this does is bring more fear, persecution, and ideological insanity into teaching as people battle whose racism is racister and who is the racistest of all the racisting racists.

You can’t win this battle through legislation. You can’t exercise power to make people stop acting crazy and believing insane stuff. Wokeism captured academia, the arts, and the tech fields not because somebody passed a law. People are genuinely and sincerely attracted to the woke worldview. It’s winning because people like it. The only way to defeat it is to propose a more attractive alternative.

In the USSR, we had the strictest censorship imaginable. Yet by the 1970s, only the tiniest minority believed in the woke dogma that was taught exclusively and aggressively everywhere. Soviet people turned away from wokeism not because somebody passed a law but because the other side was so much more alluring. It had better music, cooler clothes, more engaging ideas, more talented journalism (that people listened to secretly on old radios in the dead of night), better books. It was the same thing in the Franco dictatorship. Younger people simply turned away from the state-mandated dogma because it was boring, old-fashioned, and really uncool.

You can’t legislate the woke madness away. But you can make it so kids yawn and share memes mocking the frumpy oldster trying to pontificate about systemic racisters in class.

“Venceréis, pero no convenceréis” – you will win but you will not convince – famously said Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

“Long live death! Death to the intelligence!” yelled fascists in the audience.

We need to make our own “death to the intelligence” folks uncool. We can’t order people not to believe this garbage. But we can offer a more attractive alternative. In Spain, there’s now a whole generation of young, crazy cool, really talented anti-woke artists. There’s also a crowd of crazed wokesters who call them fascists and scream like unhinged banshees. But the woke banshees are so uncool and unattractive that I have no doubt who will win that particular battle.

I love the legislative path for many things but not for the battle of ideas.

I know people hate long posts, so sorry but I had to let it all out.

A Big Difference

This is what I find funny. In Russia there’s wall to wall propaganda. People turn on the TV, and it’s lies, lies, lies, except for a single show on a single channel. Facebook closes dissident accounts that say anything against the government in minutes. People get hounded for disagreeing with the official line. In short, we all know how it looks.

But the result is quite different. In Russia, the people who disagree with the propaganda and preserve their sanity are all writers, poets, journalists, intellectuals. Not all of them, of course, but if you are to find a dissident, it’s going to be a person in an intellectual profession. Regular people are all completely gone, their brains eaten by propaganda.

And in the US it’s the opposite. You can much more easily find people with intact brains and independent thinking outside of artistic and fancy-schmancy ultra-intellectual circles. I come to work, and the janitor is the only person I can talk to who has fresh, interesting thoughts and zero interest in listing his pronouns. I go on social media, and the only people who aren’t zombies are regular folks, many with no college at all.

Confessional Brunch

I’m telling N, “on Saturday, I’m going to a brunch with a friend in St Louis and after that I’m going to confession at the church.”

“What are you planning to do at that brunch,” N asks, “that will require an immediate confession after?”

P.S. Before anybody says you should fast before confession, I know but I have blood sugar issues, and not eating until 3 pm is out of the question. I’ll be hospitalized before I get there.

Win Stupid Prizes

As I mentioned before, N is interviewing for jobs. He’s in what they call data science. The interview process is all task based. You either know the math or you don’t. You either can write the code or you can’t. There are several stages to each interview and they are all highly technical. You need to study these beta binomial distributions or whatnots for years to qualify. It’s useless to ask N what he did after school at 16, 19, 25. The answer is always, “went home and studied.”

I’m writing all this because of the endless stream of news about how advanced math programs are being shut down in schools because of equity. Who do you think will be hired for these highly technical, extremely well paid jobs 10-15 years from now? If there’s demand, there’s going to be supply. Also, this kind of work is going long-distance for good. Even a couple of years ago it wasn’t possible to do this work completely off-site but now it is. (Why do you think N started to interview now and not 5 years ago?)

So who will be hired for these jobs? Who will get a chance to learn enough to be hired? It’s going to be people from places where “I failed Calc I because the teacher doesn’t look like me” isn’t considered a profound insight. It’s going to be people from places where everybody managed to accept the simple reality that some have the brains for this kind of stuff and others don’t and those who do should be given a chance to learn.

The first college I went to, by the way, was a polytechnic. I figured out after one semester that I wasn’t capable of passing the advanced calculus even though the profs all “looked like me.” So I dropped out and did something else with my life. I’ll never get paid as much because the skills I do have are not as rare and valuable. But that’s ok. Somebody I know who went to that polytechnic now works for NASA. And I’m perfectly fine with that.

Why are we playing this idiotic game? Of course, the companies who hire these people don’t care whether the workers are sitting in Shanghai or Moscow. But shouldn’t we care? We are playing a stupid game that everybody else is laughing at. But the game will have real-life consequences.