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gulliver's Journal
gulliver's Journal
April 23, 2023

Wise People Protest Lack of Representation


Wise people from across the country convened for a demonstration on the National Mall for a day of "reflection, conversation, and community."

"We're here to protest the fool-archy and its growing dominance in our culture," said one participant who asked to be kept anonymous. "We're not asking that idiots be silenced or ignored. They're great as counterexamples for children, for example. All we're asking is that wise people be allowed to participate in the national conversation at a level commensurate with our representation in society. It's not zero! It's only close to zero!"

Attendees at the demonstration numbered in the tens. None brought signs or bullhorns.

"It really doesn't seem like much of a demonstration to me," said one junior reporter who was interviewing another junior reporter (the author of the current article). "These folks are just talking sense. A couple of them had physical books. None of them were even angry or resentful. I'm confused. They're just talking! They brought whiteboards!"


April 23, 2023

I'd need more information

In an era of what might be called "Trump/Santos" confidence tomfoolery, I'd like to know a little more about "foster parents" and what they put in the TikTok cesspool about the "private school." Just reading the article, these folks could be anything. They could be false flaggers. They could be utter charlatans. Evidence to the contrary welcome, of course.

April 15, 2023

Critical thinking can help keep the Dem Party from being misunderstood

Imo, we have a signal-to-noise ratio problem that confuses people about who Dems are and what we stand for. The strongest legitimate "signal" is arguably the Dem Platform document, but, unfortunately, its reach is minimal. It has to be looked up and read, so...

My question is, how do we keep the Dem Party from being misunderstood? How do we signal boost those who channel the legitimate platform? How do we mute (or equalize to a democratic level of representative legitimacy) noise? Third, how do Dems prevent intentional or unintentional co-opting of our group identity and reputation by message screw-ups or false flaggers?

I think the most practical way may be to teach all people critical thinking skills as if our lives depend on them. People who think critically know not to take wooden nickels like "if someone who typically votes Dem says it, it must be the opinion of all Dems."

April 10, 2023

Do folks sometimes forget that real people have to actually do jobs for them to be done?

I see a lot of, "Well, so-and-so didn't do their job!" or "fire so-and-so for doing their job wrong!" or "hold so-and-so accountable!" Familiar examples of "so-and-so" are teachers, cops, and politicians. I'm sure we can all think of tons of others.

A lot of people appear to assume you can gripe and fire and "accountability" your way to getting quality workers to do necessary work. Nope. People have to want to do the jobs you want done, and they won't want to do them if they are getting grief all the time.

On the flip side, a lot of people also seem to assume that if only there were monetary resources, every important job we need done would be done. Nope. No matter how much money is available, you can only hire from the available pool of people. Those people have to both be able to do the job you want done and want the job in the first place.

April 9, 2023

The paradoxes of identity games are no fun below the minor league level

It's all soccer ball chasing, red carding, tantrums, and parent misbehavior. The fundamentals of the sport are lost. The entertainment value is redundant with pro wrestling.

Can people just go back to time travel or something that the kids can play with too?

March 12, 2023

Mass harassment of people by occupation

The Internet has made it no fun to be in a lot of jobs. To me, it's just silly. The peanut gallery, the tiny fringes on the left and right, now have access to too much information and too little access to inhibitory social feedback.

Good healthcare workers get grief from COVID vaccine deniers and hydroxychloroquine bozos.

Good teachers get grief from...everyone.

Good cops get grief from FTPers, DTPers, and other fools.

Good politicians get grief from...everyone.

Imo, we have to be careful. If we can't, as a democratic majority group of wise people, shield good workers from the harassment of unelected, self-selected, attention-seeking, inadequately thoughtful fringe actors (on the left and right), we risk making key jobs untenable. Then, the better people will leave those jobs and the worse people will stay in and gravitate toward those jobs, even getting higher pay for the work.

February 26, 2023

Does Putin actually want to kill off a bunch of young Russian men?

A lot has been made of the fact that Putin seems to "not care" that he's causing the deaths of a lot of young Russian men. But, as with a lot of cases where someone appears to "not care" about something, the next question becomes, "do they actually want what they supposedly don't care about?"

Is culling potentially politically troublesome, perhaps disaffected Russian young men from the Russian population part of Putin's motivation? Is he, in fact, glad that potentially politically troublesome young men are leaving Russia, either to other countries or the afterlife?

February 26, 2023

Is the Media Racist? (Or Just Tending to Mr. Wallet)

I think much of the media sees race as a story supply, specifically a theme supply. I wouldn't say it's "racial animus" in most cases, just a need to eke out a living. In the case of race, some of the media rationalize race-angled stories as good for society, whether supplying the stories to a right- or left-leaning audience. It's very similar to Big Pharma and the junk food industry. "Someone's gotta buy this stuff to keep my house payments flowing. Good thing it's good for them!"

Scott Adams, whose cracked rant brought this up for me, probably correctly perceives that there is a market for making fun of the left now. Bill Maher has also noted that. It used to be—and very recently—that rightwing humor wasn't feasible. For example, consider Dennis Miller or the failed Fox News show (The 1/2-Hour News Hour) that attempted to be funny and failed miserably. The left was basically just a little too "nicey-nice," and that's pretty tough to make fun of reliably.

Now we have a situation where the images of the left and right are devolving into caricature in the popular imagination. Trumpism is a cartoon universe as much as it is a movement. The left suffers equally, although we don't yet have a Trump. We have a whole bunch of Trump wannabes, though, and the media portrayal of us gives rise to comedic opportunity at our expense.

There's no source of comedy so reliable as someone who thinks they're cool.

February 11, 2023

Not sure why all Wagner Group members wouldn't be subject to arrest and extradition to Ukraine

It looks like we're designating the Wagner Group a criminal organization and sanctioning at least some members.

US Labels Russia’s Wagner Group a Criminal Organization in New Bid to Blunt Its Power

But why are all of its members not simply considered felons, arrested, and extradited to Ukraine (or whichever country they commit the crime of belonging to Wagner in). Please don't tell me an American citizen could sign up with Wagner, fight against Ukraine, and vacation in Orlando while on leave. That "citizen" would be working against American security interests, not to mention costing taxpayers the money necessary to provide Ukraine with the weapons needed to kill that citizen on the battlefield. Just outlaw employment by Wagner internationally and with no statute of limitations.

December 26, 2022

Gotta keep the lights on

Sure, Abbott is a worthless jerk. But you do have to keep the lights on. Beto would also be doing whatever it takes for that if he were governor.

The challenge of climate change needs people to work together. It's why I'm so strongly in favor of strong democracy. The 95% of voices (on any given issue) get 95% of the power. The remaining 5% ahead-of-their-time geniuses, saints, provocateurs, zealots, and fraudsters get their say, but get 5% of people's attention, no more.

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