Brexit

The UK voted to leave the EU.

Some posts about it here, and here, and here, lots of articles at ZeroHedge, and I’ll add more later.

A few general thoughts: centralized, distant, bureaucracy-heavy control never works. It can’t. But people are lazy and easy to scare, so it’s easy to entice them into a honeytrap by promising them something for nothing and security. Orwell and Kafka and Rand understood it only too well, and people don’t want to hear the truth. But when reality is staring them in the face, they can wake up and make the hard decisions… because they see that although the short-term cost is high and painful, the long-term cost is crushingly unbearable. Congrats. UK. Now let’s see what you can do with the follow-through.

Updated thoughts: It’s likely that the powers that be, the global elite power-brokers, will try to make an example of the UK, making the break-up as painful and expensive for the people of England as possible and still not appear to take deliberate and public (i.e. visible) punitive actions. They will do it as a warning to anyone else that tries to gainĀ  freedom for the chains of distant bureaucracy and. The bankers will save their own, but make others pay the cost, for all their tears they shed. It’s going to be a particularly ugly few years for the islands. But if they suck it up and live up to traditional “stiff upper lip” standards, and face the economic reality of the bad end of the debt cycle when the debts come due and the soul-crushing spirit-suck of the welfare state, they will survive. If they cave in like an addict that can’t go cold-turkey and go back for another hit of easy credit and cheap immigrant labor and overlooking corruption and incompetence and the downsides to diversity, then they are doomed.

I really, REALLY hope Kratman’s Caliphate doesn’t predict the future. And this may well be the inflection point, the fork in the road, where Europe goes one way…or the other.

Back on the job-search treadmill

The school year is over, and yet another leave-replacement contract is done. Back on the search path for something in teaching (which I love, and most of the kids in my classroom like me), or maybe it’s time for a career-change if the money is right. My tech is a little dated, but I’m a fast learner, good speaker, decent writer, and can explain things to almost any audience. Anyone know of any open positions?

I’m doing all the normal job searches in the school districts that are a reasonable commute distance, but they mostly seem to want specialists (like a BS in bio to teach a bio class) and special ed, and while I’m “highly qualified” in five things (including science, math, and social studies) my MS in computer science doesn’t seem to be enough to generate much interest when they are winnowing twenty applicants down to the five they’ll interview. I’m good at connecting the classroom to the real world, if anyone wants that, and connecting different subjects that are usually taught as stand-alone and disconnected from any real meaning to life.

Eh, I’m sure something will turn up. But if you know of anything, a pointer in the right direction would be most appreciated.

Remembering the fallen

Memorial day is set aside to remember those who lost their lives while serving the nation in uniform. I’m known many who served, and did so myself for a term, but not been particularly close to any that died in service. I’ve known a handful of them personally, having met them a few times, but not known any of them closely. On the one hand, that’s good – I don’t feel as though I’ve got the aura of death that falls on those around me. OTOH, it is a somewhat remote thing when I hear that someone I met has died.

I honor their service, and for those that gave all they had, through bad luck away from the action or with great heroism right in the middle of it, you will not be forgotten. The 300 Spartans at Thermopylae died in uniform, it is true, but they are remembered much more intensely than the accountants and merchants that they protected who lived long and ordinary lives.

Salute!

Are not needed versus won’t work

Reading through the comments on this post, which has a reference to a Fred blurb, I came across a very astute summary of the problem.

Reading Fred, I see by the very questions the culture shock.

Cargo culture shock. They want the cargo only produced by high-trust, long time preference, but not change their culture or virtue. DNA might deal them a bad hand, but human beings can bluff. Simply think a moment. So they build totem towers.

Both liberals and libertarians don’t realize the experiments in law will fail. The 55 page iPhone ToS isn’t read, and at some point Tim will be Cooked because law and force are the opposite of trust. The libertarians too design elaborate replacements – DROs, arbitration, etc. not realizing in a trust/posterity/K society they aren’t needed, and in a suspicion/me-now/r society they won’t work.

And that is the crux of the problem when trying to mix heterogeneous cultures. Cargo Cult culture cannot contribute to creation-of-cargo culture anything other than consumers. What is the term in biology for an organism that only consumes of its host and contributes nothing back?

A little water-navy story

I was inspired by Pournelle’s “littoral navy” story to whip up a short story of mil-fic for a somewhat nearer water-navy story. A new type of ship. It’s been long enough since I read modern navy fiction I’m forgetting the terminology, and there are likely some minor problems with protocol. Any former squids / bubble-heads out there want to take a gander and offer feedback?

GoodReads

GoodReads is a book review site that was bought by Amazon a while back. It claims to be the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. It’s also rather interesting in that they do not require a person to have actually read a book to review it, and they do not appear to have any consistency of policy at all WRT the enforcement of their own rules as to what posts or comments are considered acceptable.

I received an email that said: Continue reading GoodReads

… And a happy new year

Oh, the joys of home ownership.

Need to install a new garbage disposal (old one made it about 18 years). Done.

Need to fix a broken bathroom faucet. Need to replace the valve/float system of a toilet to stop it running. And that’s on top of replacing a septic pump last August. Houses are sort of like boats in slow motion – an endless repository for money and time spent on maintenance and repair. Yet what is the alternative? Renting, where you are at the landlord’s whim, and gain no value from money spent? Trade-offs, always trade-offs.
I.e., life happens.

I quite imagine that a space ship, even a sentient one, is in many ways the same. Especially if it’s a warship.

Merry Christmas

Went well. Parents and family are here.

One funny bit – when we sat down for dinner, I asked “who says grace? I asked, so I don’t have to.” The 9-yo son says “I can do it.” And he did a fine (if rather short) job.

Well done, sprout number two, well done.