Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for April 2018

Only poor people are rich in free time

This article in The Economist

Though leisure time has increased overall, a closer look shows that most of the gains took place between the 1960s and the 1980s. Since then economists have noticed a growing “leisure gap”, with the lion’s share of spare time going to people with less education.

In America, for example, men who did not finish high-school gained nearly eight hours a week of leisure time between 1985 and 2005. Men with a college degree, however, saw their leisure time drop by six hours during the same period, which means they have even less leisure than they did in 1965, say Mark Aguiar of Princeton University and Erik Hurst of the University of Chicago. The same goes for well-educated American women, who not only have less leisure time than they did in 1965, but also nearly 11 hours less per week than women who did not graduate from high school.

reminds me of an observation I made several years ago about poor neighborhoods. When you go to a poor neighborhood, you see people sitting around on their stoops doing nothing. You never see stoop-sitters in affluent neighborhoods. Affluent people are always busy doing something.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 24, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Bobos

I’ve decided that cats are way cuter than dogs

After looking at many cat and dog pictures on Instagram, the cat pictures almost always strike me as being cuter than the dog pictures, and I am more inclined to “like” them.

Now, it’s possible that this is because I’m infected with toxoplasmosis because I touched cat doody when I was a kid, but I’m going to go with the theory that cats self-domesticated themselves to be cute, because the cute cats received more food gifts from humans and thus were more successful at surviving and passing on their genes to future generations of cute cats.

Because dogs were domesticated by humans for practical reasons like guard duty and assistance in hunting, they didn’t have to be cute to get fed.

* * *

I also have come to the conclusion that cats are stupid animals, but their instinctive behaviors make us humans think they are smarter than they really are. Cat may even be less intelligent than the rats they prey upon!

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 24, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Biology, Science

Beta-male rage in Toronto

Shortly before the attack, a Facebook profile with the same name uploaded a post which read: ‘All hail the supreme gentleman Elliot Rodger’.

The post also mentioned ‘incel’, which is a term used to refer to men who have been made ‘involuntarily celibate’ because women continually reject their sexual advances.

The post says: ‘Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161.

‘The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!’

Yup, NOT Islamic terrorism as some people who unnecessarily jump to conclusions assumed.


One classmate, who worked on a project with him at Seneca in 2015, described Mr. Minassian as someone with a significant social or mental disability who had a hard time speaking to people, difficulty under pressure, and constant physical tics where he shook his hands and tapped his head.

Alek Minassian, like Elliot Rodger whom he was emulating, suffered from severe social phobia and was underperforming in college relative to his intelligence. Minassian, 25 years old, should have been a college graduate and working in a decent-paying computer job by now.

* * *

Reminder: My previous definition of beta-male rage, written a month before Elliott Rodger became the most perfect incarnation of the concept. (“Perfect” meaning that he perfectly fits the theory and not that I admire his crime.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 24, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Crime, Uncategorized

Crazy headline of the day

This Chiago Tribune headline caught my attention: We should be able to eat waffles in peace — but Trump and the NRA accept this kind of terrorism.

There’s no way in hell that a SWPL reporter from Chicago would ever eat at a Waffle House.

Of course I agree that one should be able to eat at a greasy prole restaurant in Tennessee without fear, but the reality is that I am VERY AFRAID to eat at a McDonalds in a black neighborhood in New York City even though New York City has strict gun laws.

In fact, I’d feel a lot safer at that Waffle House. Rednecks never bother a middle-aged white guy.

* * *

And another dumb headline, this time from the NY Times: Nobody Tells You How Long a Marriage Is.

I thought at every marriage ceremony, they say it’s until death. If you can’t figure out that’s a really long time, then you’re too stupid to be a New York Times reader.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 23, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Bobos

Podkayne of Mars (1962) by Robert Heinlein, review

There are two previous short posts on this novel:

Now reading: Podkayne of Mars (1962) by Robert Heinlein

Podkayne is biracial

Warning: this post has spoilers, but I feel that the plot isn’t the point of this book, so knowing what happens at the end doesn’t make the book any less readable. Also, this book is not on my recommended list of Heinlein reads. However, you have been warned.

Should Podkayne be considered a “juvenile” novel? As you know, most of Heinlein’s early novels were targeted for teenage boys, and they feature a teenage boy as the main character who goes on adventures in space. Podkayne is a little bit different. Although the main character is a teenager, she’s a girl and not a boy. And this is the only Heinlein novel written as the journal of a teenage character, although one chapter of both Tunnel in the Sky and Farnham’s Freehold was written as the journal of one of the books female characters. Once Heinlein got an idea, he would repeat it in several books.

As an adventure story, it’s not as good as Heinlein’s earlier “juveniles.” But as I’ve stated before, I think that Heinlein is so important not merely because he was one of the founding fathers of modern sci-fi, but because his political philosophy has had a strong influence on a certain strain modern conservatism that is not fully credited to him. I keep seeing Heinlein-influenced comments on my blog all the time, even if the commenters are not aware of the source of the influence. So although this novel is not so great as an adventure story, it does have a lot of Heinlein’s philosophizing and opinions in it.

But before I get into the philosophy and opinions, a comment on the story itself. Although Podkayne is the main character, she is more of an observer than someone who does stuff. Her poorly characterized 11-year-old brother, Clark, is the main driver of the story. Even though Clark is supposed to be a genius, he comes off as too genius, too physically strong and capable and self-confident to be a realistic 11-year-old. Did Heinlein ever meet any real-world 11-year-olds, even ones who are exceptionally gifted?

Is the brother supposed to have Asperger’s Syndrome? That’s probably a syndrome that Heinlein never heard of when he wrote the book. I think that Heinlein believed that girls are naturally social and loving, while boys have to raised well by parents to become like that, and because Clarke’s mother was too busy being an engineer to have time to be a proper stay-at-home mother to her son, Clark turned into an asocial brat and perhaps even a little monster. The mother’s selfishness in pursuing her career was a rant by Podkayne’s Uncle Tom in the original published ending of the novel. How anti-feminist of Heinlein! People today would call him “misogynist” because he believed that women should quit their careers once they have children. Yet at the same time, in this book as in many other Heinlein books, Heinlein tries to tell us that girls can do anything that boys can do, even be good at math or be an engineer or a spaceship captain. Except that girls should hide their competence from boys in order to “snag” a desirable one. And that girls are even better at taking care of babies than men, so a sensible distribution of labor is for girls to that when the time comes instead of the other stuff they do as well as boys but that boys can do just as well without any harm done to babies.

Mars is presented as a prudish society compared to Venus. Venusberg is a satirical over-the-top version of Las Vegas. Thus the story is told from the point of view of virginal and sexually naïve Podkayne, but Heinlein drops hints that her great-uncle Tom is sexually interested in her, and Poddy might even welcome it if Tom only acted on that. Given that Heinlein wrote approving of incest in Farnham’s Freehold and that it happened and was approved of in Time Enough for Live, I am sure I didn’t misread the hints.

About satire: Heinlein was unable to avoid satire in his later novels. I was annoyed by the satire at the end of Tunnel in the Sky, and Stranger in a Strange Land is more satire than serious science-fiction (as well as Heinlein’s worst novel of those I’ve read).

On libertarian politics, Heinlein believes in small government. We learn from Tom that Mars would lose its freedoms if it lost its independence and joined up with Earth. Tom believes that the solar system is better off if Mars, Venus and Luna all remain independent of Earth, and Tom is one of those characters we find in every Heinlein novel who speaks with the voice of Heinlein.

Regarding the ending, there is very little difference between the two endings. In the ending originally written by Heinlein, Podkyane is killed by Clark’s nuclear bomb because she went back to save the baby “fairy,” a species native to Venus that is more intelligent than chimpanzees but far short of human intelligence. Clark considers them mere animals, but the baby fairy aroused Poddy’s maternal instinct which overcame her logic. It’s interesting to note that in Star Trek, we never encounter any subhuman species like these Venirian fairies. In Star Trek, all aliens are at least as smart as humans. Some aliens can be superior like Vulcans, but never can they be inferior. Even the Ferengi were shown to be smart but merely morally bankrupt, and the Ferengi Nog was able to overcome his inferior culture and become a morally enlightened Starfleet officer.

The publisher made Heinlein change the ending, so in the ending originally published in 1962, Podkayne is seriously injured by Clark’s atomic bomb, but not killed. But it’s in the altered ending where Uncle Tom rants against Podkayne’s mother for pursuing her career instead of being a proper mother to her children.

My advice is to skip this novel. Farnham’s Freehold is the best example of 1960s Heinlein, that’s the one I recommend reading.

* * *

I don’t know if I intend to read any more Heinlein novels. If I do read another one, it would either be Time Enough for Love or another one of his “juveniles.” Right now, Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life is next up.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 23, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Books

Waffle House shooter

Seems like a clear case of paranoid schizophrenia.

Police reports show family members expressed concern for his welfare after an extended time exhibiting delusional behavior, including his belief that the entertainer Taylor Swift was stalking him and hacking his phone and Netflix account.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 22, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Crime

The misuse of “authoritarian”

Boy has this been pissing me off the last few weeks. Well, it has been pissing me off since Trump became big in the news and the Trump-hating liberal media accused him of that, but it has pissed me off extra for the last few weeks.

Liberals are using “authoritarian” as a sinister-sounding synonym for “conservative.” Saying “Trump should be impeached because he’s conservative” sounds like the words of a sore loser, but “Trump should be impeached because he’s authoritarian” sounds less sore-loser-like.

The only authoritarian thing Trump has done as president is bomb Syria (without authorization from Congress), twice, and that’s the only thing he’s been widely praised for. Liberals love authoritarians as long as they are doing stuff that liberals like. It was incredibly authoritarian of Obama to create DACA out of thin air with no legislative authorization, and liberals loved him for it.

Authoritarians get stuff done, and Trump has gotten nothing done. All of his executive orders on immigration (to implement laws enacted previously by the democratically elected Congress) get blocked by the liberal-controlled courts.

An authoritarian would never let himself be investigated for a year by his own government. All Trump does is whine about it on Twitter. Obama would have fired everyone in DoJ and FBI who dared investigate him, and the liberal media would have approved and said he was just firing the “racists.”

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 20, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in News

My favorite social media

My favorite social media is obviously this blog.

The reason why I don’t like Facebook is that, with a few exceptions, it only shows me posts written by people I know (or once knew, or briefly met) in real life. Those real life contacts are boring people. Or not as smart as they think they are. Or if they are smart, then they are smart enough not to say anything interesting when they are using their real name.

So obviously my preference is for social media that is both (1) anonymous (so I say whatever I want without losing my job) and (2) able to interact with people whom I don’t know in real life.

I prefer Instagram over Facebook because it allows me to interact with people whom I don’t know in real life, or at least get my content out to a bigger audience than I could with Facebook because Instagram encourages interaction between strangers.

Instagram is like a blog except that every post requires a photo, and you can’t put links into your posts. And probably only 2% or so of the people bother to read the text that’s associated with the photo, so it’s mostly about the photo.

However, unlike with WordPress, it’s dangerous to think of Instagram as being anonymous. Zuck will figure out who you are based on using Facebook from the same device, and will then suggest as Instagram friends all the people you are connected to directly or indirectly on Facebook.

* * *

In other social media news: Baby’s first Instagram account.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 20, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

Equal Rights Amendment now!

With men being a minority, and all sorts of special privileges being granted to women, it’s about time we have a Constitutional Amendment that forces the government to treat men equally and give us the same rights as women.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 20, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Males and Females

Evolution and how to influence your teenage children

Frau Katze writes in a comment:

I raised two [teenagers], and once they hit 12 or a bit older they completely identified with their peers.

They did not care what I said or thought. Not at all.

It’s an evolutionary advantage: who will they have to get along with as adults? Not senior citizens, but their peers.

People do have a lot of influence over their teenagers, but it’s indirect influence by having influence on who their friends are.

At a young age, parents have absolute control over who their children’s friends are. These days, it’s normal to set up “play dates” for your children. Yep, complete authoritarian control.

Once they start going to school, they will encounter other children outside of your control, but you control what school they go to. And that’s why it’s so important to make sure your kids go to a school where they can only become friends with other children of the right social class. Private school will always have the advantage, because it’s an expensive and non-default choice. Even in expensive zip codes, there will always be some losers at the public schools whom your kids might fall in with.

As to the evolutionary reason for why this is the case, my theory is that a major reason why status is extremely important to humans because when there were bad famines and people starved to death, it was never the people with high status who starved to death. That’s on top of the usual reasons discussed in manosphere blogs and internet forums, that women will have more descendants if they have sex with high-status males, because some of the high-status genes are passed onto the women’s male children who will be more successful with women because of that.

Listening to your parents was, obviously, from an evolutionary perspective, not an effective mechanism for gaining status compared to listening to your peers.

* * *

Yakov writes in a comment:

Don’t make me laugh now. It’s important for kids to be themselves, function on their own level and be happy so that they shouldn’t grow up to be neurotic status seeking misfits. People are who they are, why make a kid crazy by loading him with status and inferiority complexes from the get go?

That’s not what private elementary schools do. Just the opposite, it’s public schools with relentless drill and test, large class sizes with teachers unable to give individual attention to students, and bad behaving delinquents, that create a stressful and unhappy environment for children.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 19, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Biology

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