If you’ve poked your head out of the cave lately, you’ll have noticed a pattern.
Our rulers want to change our lives.
They suddenly want us to eat bugs, live in pods, refrain from eating beef, enjoy our lack of privacy and own less stuff. They also want us to travel less, especially in Australia where travel for most is banned.
It’s Woke, global warming, Covid and WEF nonsense rolled into a single, unified campaign against the common man.
Who stands to benefit from us eating bugs? Who wins by stopping us from flying to Bali for a holiday?
In terms of absolute monetary benefit, no one. There’s not much money in marketing bug burgers or renting out bungalows at Bonnie Doon.
This article examines the antics of five athletes to synthesize a grand unified theory of why the Olympics are cactus.
I’m old enough to remember the Sydney 2000 Olympics. It was a special time – just about all Australians were proud to have it and hoped to put on a really good show for the world.
Do you remember Eric the Eel? He had no Olympic-sized pool back in Equatorial Guinea to train in so he almost drowned. The crowd cheered him on wildly and he just made the distance. Unkind people thought we were being racist and/or condescending but far from it – we genuinely admired his spirit. The balls of the guy, to even make the attempt! That is the Olympic spirit.
I have nothing against the concept of the Olympics. The world’s greatest sportsmen gathering every four years to compete in peace and friendship. Going back the Greeks, it was a triumph of human creativity and abstract reasoning to put aside conflict for a couple of weeks, enjoy the show and perhaps imagine a better world.
What killed the Olympics? Various things. Cheating, politics (i.e. banning Russia), IOC corruption, professionalism, corporate sponsorship, cost overruns, white elephant stadiums. No doubt there are more. The Olympic spirit has been dying for decades. Why cheer drugged-up pros who are playing for millions of dollars? Give us the good old days of mustachioed, pot-bellied accountants stopping for a fag and a dram of whisky as they run the 1896 marathon wearing hats and bow ties.
An almost inescapable facet of modern existence is that much of our lives is online. Problems and divisions can seem exaggerated and we don’t meet enough people outside our bubble to challenge our thinking.
This issue has quintupled since lockdown. They’re still rolling here; hopefully your area is better.
I finally managed to escape the bamboo hut for a trip to a cafe on the beach that was allowed to open because it’s slightly south of this quarantine zone. No, the rules don’t make sense. Never did. Let’s leave that and get on with the story.
I rarely speak to Westerners because there are few around here, they are mostly older and busy with kids, and I don’t have a scooter. Plus lockdowns. But on this day I met up with an American acquaintance in his late 60s and had a chat. I’ve mentioned him before.
I knew he was a leftie so, as always in such cases, I strenuously avoided argument and tried to talk about something – anything – non-political. It’s hard. Half the West seems utterly obsessed with nonsense we used to ignore. Mention how the economy is going in Australia and he’s carrying on about socialism. Talk about the weather, the traditional Safe Subject, and we’re on to climate change. Dare refer to any recent event in the US and it’s Trump, Trump Trump for the rest of the day.
Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson said he became aware of the reports last night and had stood aside COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria’s (CQV) general manager of infection prevention and control, Matiu Bush, pending a review into their conduct and behaviour.
Adult: No you’re not, you’re playing with that truck. Put them away now.
Kid: Okay, okay. (Continues to play)
Adult: Toby, I’m going to stand right here and watch you put those toys away.
(Kid begins picking up the smallest toys and putting them away at a glacial pace, waiting for the adult to turn his back.)
Adult: Ten. Nine. Eight. (Toby will finish right on zero. Occasionally slightly after to test the boundary.)
This power play increases the cost of enforcement.
The more resistance, the more resources have to be put into compelling people to follow the rules.
Right now there’s yet another lockdown and we’re not allowed to go to the beach. First we feigned ignorance and got shoed away. We gave some cheek to the enforcers. Not enough to get arrested; just enough to annoy them and make them sick of telling people off for swimming at the beach. Enough that they’ll ask to be reassigned or reconsider their line of work. Demoralize them. Make it clear that, while they didn’t make the rules, they’re going to feel our ire for enforcing them.
Let’s learn what the 90s were like via this music clip:
I know you’ve got questions so let’s go through it bit by bit.
The sound: that’s called a melody, used to be quite common in pop songs. Zing!
The clothes: it was cool in the late 90s to dress like an old man or wear something with a stripe down the side.
The location: this was a shopping centre or ‘mall’, where we bought things before we could order stuff online. It was also a popular hangout for young people. I know they still exist and what’s different now but let’s not say it out loud. It was always an artificial, consumerist space but seems weirdly organic and wholesome these days given that people actually left the house and saw each other.
People often talk about how much Western values have transformed since the 1960s, an interval of 60 years, but social change can happen much, much faster than that. Cultural norms can shift in 15, 10 or even 5 years under the right circumstances.
In 2006, 49% of Americans believed that it was ‘very important’ for couples with children to be married. By 2020, that percentage had fallen to 29%.
People overuse the term, ‘The world’s gone mad.’ I knew a guy in Asmara who’d say it all the time: when the rainy season lasted until December, when there was a crackdown on protesters in Sudan etc.; as though there had never been unusual weather or trouble in Africa before.
But 2020 was nuts in the sense that everyone went crazy. Look at social or mainstream media. Talk to people. Look anywhere.
Yes, protesters in fancy dress taking selfies of themselves in the Capitol are going to face many years in prison while BLM and Antifa rioters burned down city blocks and attacked federal buildings with near impunity.
If you ever have one of those rare opportunities where you’re arguing with a Woke person and they ask you to give them one article that could change their minds, this is the one.
Scott Alexander is in the Blue bubble looking out:
According to Gallup polls, about 46% of Americans are creationists. Not just in the sense of believing God helped guide evolution. I mean they think evolution is a vile atheist lie and God created humans exactly as they exist right now. That’s half the country.
And I don’t have a single one of those people in my social circle. It’s not because I’m deliberately avoiding them; I’m pretty live-and-let-live politically, I wouldn’t ostracize someone just for some weird beliefs. And yet, even though I probably know about a hundred fifty people, I am pretty confident that not one of them is creationist. Odds of this happening by chance? 1/2^150 = 1/10^45 = approximately the chance of picking a particular atom if you are randomly selecting among all the atoms on Earth.
About forty percent of Americans want to ban gay marriage. I think if I really stretch it, maybe ten of my top hundred fifty friends might fall into this group. This is less astronomically unlikely; the odds are a mere one to one hundred quintillion against.
You’ve probably seen this photo before. Look at the dress and tell me what colour it is:
Some people see black and royal blue. Others see white and gold. Unlike other optical tricks like the vase vs two faces image, no matter what you do, you are unable to see what the other group sees.
This went mad on social media because it is a perfect example of what researchers have discovered makes an issue exquisitely controversial: the answer seems obvious to both sides, yet these answers differ completely. This leads each side to suspect bad faith and evil intentions on the other side. It is hard to believe that someone really does see colours you cannot see. It seems like a giant prank.
In the West, we have split into two groups like this on many, much more pressing issues. Our perceptions of reality are irreconcilable. Can you remember these proto-squabbles:
Was Trayvon Martin murdered, or did George Zimmerman kill him in self defence?
Even our idea of what the two look like, and whether Zimmerman was white or Hispanic, depends on our source:
The trouble with people living in WEIRD countries is, we don’t know how WEIRD we are.
WEIRD stands for Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic. Many countries have some of these characteristics, but only a few have them all, which makes them . . . weird.
The map above shows where 90% of psychological studies come from, adjusting country size by population. These WEIRD countries account for only about 15% of the world’s population. Some researchers are starting to think these studies must be culturally biased, and that broader studies are needed to understand human nature more fully.
This is because WEIRD countries are different. They have certain Read More