Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for June 2020

Comment about (primary/secondary) education at the NY Times

Link to the article.

The comment posted by “L”:

I’m having to manage a modicum of Schadenfreude in an attempt to provide an equitable perspective on this situation. Having taught Americans, Europeans and Asians, I can’t help but think that now that they are confined with their own children for the bulk of the day, American parents are having to face the consequences of their own practices first hand, practices they’ve long asserted with the force of certainty and which aren’t producing largely self-motivated kids in need only of guidance. Teachers should not have to deal with the degree of indiscipline I found in American students. From a lot of them, I got the feeling they felt quite sufficient already without having to demonstrate any commitment. This is arrogance, not to be confused with self-esteem. It is something I hope never to deal with again. The qualities of focus and self-discipline have to be instilled at home. Generally speaking and of course with exceptions, I have noticed that since the 90s Americans are raising children to have less discipline, humility, respect and consideration than previously, and than I found in other nationalities. Make these qualities important and there is a higher likelihood they will be self-motivated and mature. Teachers are treated like underpaid staff without authority, and yet parents have abdicated responsibility for instilling qualities that set kids up to be self-sufficient. Teachers are quitting in droves. Parents have to raise your own children even if schools do reopen.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 30, 2020 at 11:38 AM

Posted in Education

I moved to Parler

Parler allows 1000-character tweets, so may maybe I can just move all of my blogging there.


Parler needs to let people read stuff you post there without requiring them to sign up. The requirement for a mobile phone number in order to sign up, while effective at keeping bots away, will also keep the people away.

And given that Parler is just a Twitter clone with fewer people using it and a crappier interface, there’s no compelling reason for anyone to join except to give Twitter the middle finger.

So I guess for the time being, I will just re-post everything I post on Twitter also to Parler, and see if anyone is reading me on Parler (probably not).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 26, 2020 at 11:40 AM

Posted in Technology

Addressing various work-from-home issues

(1) People really like working at an office

Well “work-from-home” is probably the wrong term. It should be called everyone-working-remotely.

I’ve previously made fun of WeWork, saying that it’s where people without real jobs go to feel like they have a real job. And WeWork took a huge hit from the pandemic. But once the pandemic ends, companies like WeWork can fill the void for people who don’t want to work in the same building where they sleep. But instead of long commutes into Manhattan, you could live in a small city with lower housing costs and drive a short distance to the nearest WeWork office.

Perhaps a common feature of new planned residential communities will be a shared office space in the community.

(2) Cheaper labor in India or other countries will take your job if it can be done remotely.

From the perspective of whether WFH becomes permanent, this makes it more likely. The purpose of corporations are to make profits for the CEOs and Wall-Street types, not to make life good for the lower-level workers.

Likely, people who have jobs will keep them, at least for a while if not longer, but it will make it a lot harder for people to find new jobs because they will be competing against the entire world and not just people in commuting distance from the job in question.

(3) You employer will lower your salary if you can work in less expensive places remotely.

See #2 above.

(4) Managers hate WFH, they like to micromanage their employees.

This is a gross generalization. Sure, some managers are like that.

But the only managers that count are the C-suite level, and if they feel the company will be more profitable with permanent WFH (thus making their stock options worth more money), then the middle managers who don’t like it won’t have any say in the matter.

Right now, the word from the news media is that the vast majority of companies find that work from home isn’t harming productivity, or at least not enough to outweigh the potential savings of not having to rent expensive office space.

(5) Sales can only be done face-to-face

This is only a problem for the people doing the selling, not a problem for the buyers. So I don’t see how this makes mass-adoption of permanent WFH less likely. Sales will have to evolve to the new reality.

On the other hand, I see this being an overall benefit for the economy is if buying decisions are made more logically in the absence of face-to-face salesmen.

(6) How will new people be bought into the remote team if they never meet anyone face-to-face?

My company has been doing it, and life has gone on. So it’s not the major roadblock that’s imagined.

(7) Can so many jobs really be done remotely?

It has now been proven that something like 99% of the jobs people are doing in office buildings in Manhattan (not including the janitors and security guards and blue-collar people like that) can indeed be done remotely.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 25, 2020 at 3:48 PM

Posted in Labor Markets

Work-from-home means the end of cities?

The ability to work from home as easily as we work from the office is a pretty new phenomenon. The technology that makes it so easy just wasn’t there in the 1990s, and only somewhat there in the naughts.

The development of work-from-home technology didn’t lead to an immediate exodus from the office. Not at all. No major company wanted to be the first. People always had to go to the office to work, and big companies don’t like radical change.

But according to an article in today’s NY Times, not only are companies finding that workers are just as productive at home, in many cases companies have found that the workers are MORE productive at home!

So now that companies have been forced to go WFH and they’ve discovered that it works just as well as working from the office, maybe even BETTER, plus they can SAVE MONEY by not having to pay for expensive office space in big cities, why not make it permanent?

When the factories left Detroit, Detroit went into a death spiral. Office buildings are the factories of major cities today, and if those factories move from the office building into peoples homes, then why won’t cities like New York or San Francisco also go into death spirals?

On top of that, there are two other important trends that spell doom for cities;

(1) There’s the virus itself. There’s the perception that dense cities aren’t safe. (And certainly, crowded rush hour subways are not safe during a pandemic, so the perception isn’t false.) I have no doubt that after a few years go by, this perception will fade away, but by the time it fades away it will have already done its damage to cities.

(2) The BLM protests will lead to soft-on-crime policies that will cause crime to come roaring back. I remember the 80s when people had the perception that cities were dangerous places because of crime, that perception will return. The riots and the subsequent boarded-up windows have already given Manhattan a very dystopian feel to it.

Thus we have the perfect storm of factors that will spell doom for cities. Once things start spiraling downwards, it’s very hard to reverse course. Detroit couldn’t do anything to save itself. Neither will New York City be able to save itself.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 23, 2020 at 7:10 PM

Covid-19 mortality by race

(Mortality rate means the percent of the total population that dies. This is NOT the case fatality rate which is the chance of dying after being diagnosed with the disease.)

A lot of people lump latinos and blacks together as similarly situated minorities, but that’s certainly NOT the case when it comes to the Covid-19 mortality rate. Blacks are more than twice as likely to die from the virus than whites, but latinos barely so. (And Asians, not at all. Back in February, the comment section was full of alt-right morons insisting that only Asians would die from the virus and there was some vast conspiracy to hide the truth. The alt-right morons are just like liberals, they will never apologize for being wrong, they will just move on to the next conspiracy theory, usually one involving the joos.)

This is pretty mysterious. You would think that latinos would be more like blacks. Latinos are more likely to work in “essential” jobs and more likely to live in crowded households, so they ought to have higher mortality rate like blacks.

One possibility is that latinos are genetically superior (on average) at fighting off the virus than other races, and this counteracts their great likelihood to be exposed to the virus.

Another possibility, and one never discussed by mainstream media, is that blacks are much worse at social distancing than other races. Latinos, or the most part, obey authorities the same way that whites of similar IQ do, but blacks are extremely resistant to doing what they are told to do, even though it’s for their own good. It’s my impression that black communities are flagrantly ignoring social distancing rules, but the mainstream media isn’t reporting it, and the police aren’t doing anything about it because it’s “racist” to enforce laws against blacks.

In addition to being reflexively anti-authority, blacks also have lower IQs, so they don’t understand the rules of social distancing as well, they have lower future-time orientation so they just don’t care as much about dying because that’s something that happens in the future, and they are more extraverted, and extraverted people are less happy staying home and staying safe.


I made the totally horrible mistake of ignoring the age of different demographics. As you know, mortality rate is several times higher in older populations.

Here’s a link:

The Nation’s Latino Population Is Defined by Its Youth

As you can see, Hispanics are disproportionately younger than whites, and there are especially few Hispanics who are Boomers, Silents, or older than that.

Hispanics actually ought to have less than half the mortality of whites given how many fewer older Hispanics there. So in reality, Hispanics are as badly effected by Covid-19 as blacks, and it’s all explained by the usual reasons of Hispanics working at “essential” jobs and living in households with more people in them.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 22, 2020 at 11:03 AM

The King of Staten Island

Very good movie, captures the essence of Staten Island. Some critics thought the Staten Island accents were overdone, but obviously those critics have never been to Staten Island. It’s a comedy, but it’s also a drama. They call that a dramedy.

Is it making fun of proles, glorifying them, or maybe a little of both?

Whenever the the audience scores at Rotten Tomatoes are higher than the critics’ scores, especially for a long sometimes slow-moving movie like this, you have to wonder what’s going on. What social justice box didn’t this check? It’s certainly much better than that awful Star Wars movie which the critics loved.

While critics praised the performances of the female actresses, the story is a story about men. About the the importance of having a father. Scott is screwed up because his father died when he was seven, and he grew up without a father. It’s totally fitting that I watched this movie on Father’s Day.

After Scott moves into the fire station and lives with a bunch of older prole males who act as father figures, Scott gets his life back in order. At the fire station, he escapes the toxic femininity of his mother, sister, his mother’s boyfriend’s ex-wife, and he learns how to be a man.

The message of the movie doesn’t fit the liberal Narrative.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 21, 2020 at 10:15 PM

Law school

A reader asked me about law school.

Bad idea. Unless you can get into a top law school. I’m not sure if the Top 14 is still a thing or not, so to be safe, go for a Top 7 law school.

Also, helps to come from a rich family, even better if your mom or dad is a lawyer, which gives you an in with potential employers. Don’t go to law school in a distant city unless it’s for a Top 7 law school.

An interesting thing about law is that, while everyone else is going to go to a work-from-home arrangement, lawyers need to be near the courts, so you can’t work for a NY law firm while living in Hawaii. This is an unappreciated downside to a career in law.

You’re better off getting an MBA. That Amy Cooper woman, who appears to be off her rocker and a very annoying person, has an MBA from Chicago and consequently she had a pretty good job as a “Vice President” at Franklin Templeton (before she got fired for being a racist).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 17, 2020 at 5:37 PM

Posted in Labor Markets, Law

Is Akihabara Majokko Princess racist?

This is my favorite music video ever, but is it my white privilege that likes it?

The Japanese men in the video are depicted as short with bad teeth and with a perverted interest in sexualized anime girls with gigantic breasts. The Japanese women in the video passively dress up as anime characters to appease those perverted men.

And then along comes Kirsten Dunst, super-hot white woman who revels in her white superiority over the Japanese. Japanese men want her, and Japanese women want to be her, but all know that she is hopelessly out of their league and all they can do is stare at her brilliant glory like deer transfixed by headlights.

Or maybe I’m just imagining all that.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 16, 2020 at 5:35 PM

Posted in International

How will police arrest those who don’t want to be arrested?

If the police come to arrest you, and you don’t want to be arrested, what are the police to do?

Middle class people with high-future time orientation won’t refuse to cooperate because they know that if they don’t, there will be even worse legal consequences in the future. But the criminal element has very low future-time orientation and they don’t think that way.

Traditionally, the police would beat up people who didn’t cooperate with the arrest, and if the arrestee was too good at defending himself from getting beaten up, then they’d shoot him. This was very effective in getting compliance when they needed to arrest people, because it was well known there would be immediate consequences for not cooperating.

However, the traditional method came to be seen as violating people’s “rights,” so the police moved into more scientific methods of constraining non-cooperating arrestees without, theoretically, harming them. Thus the various wrestling maneuvers that the police now use on arrestees. (Also, I do believe that because these wrestling maneuvers are seen as being non-harmful and constitutionally approved, police have become too quick to turn to them instead of giving the arrestee an opportunity to cooperate and be arrested with dignity. [Whereas, traditionally, beating people up was seen as sometimes necessary but not something to be done routinely.] So there is a little bit of legitimacy to those who are critical of the police.)

But what happens when the police aren’t allowed to use any sort of force at all to arrest people? The answer is that a large percentage of arrestees will just refuse to be arrested, and chaos will ensue.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 10, 2020 at 10:29 AM

Posted in Crime

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