It’s very distressing to realize that my country of origin is now filled with so many stupid people, so many…. The very idea that less than 15 years after the obvious (to anyone with a brain I would have thought) swindle of the War or Terror and Weapons of Mass Destruction a substantial part of the country would fall for yet another obvious (to anyone with a brain) swindle using the same goddamned tactics is just too much to be calm about.
The only consolation is that at least the second swindle wasn’t as catastrophic as the first. The con men that whored themselves out for the Weapons of Mass Destruction and those 2who supported them have the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people on their conscience (or would if they had consciences…). Those who whored themselves out for non-existent ‘Russian collusion’ just look like the dumb yokels they’re fond of ridiculing.
I guess it’s true – first time tragedy, second time farce.
When all is said and one, people have no way of extrapolating out from one reality and predicting what another reality will be like. Think of the poor Kremlinologists who spent countless hours studying the Soviet press and painstakingly noting the seating arrangements in pictures form official functions and size of official pictures and slight discrepancies in different printed versions of speeches by those in the Kremlin in order to predict what the USSR would do next… and they were almost never right.
Area specialists had 44 years to theorize about what would happen when Iron Curtain socialism finally fell and almost none of the theories panned out. Once the Soviet Union announced it wouldn’t engage militarily in the satellite countries reality changed and none of the theories that relied on Soviet militarism in Europe were worth anything.
That’s why I’m skeptical of exact predictions whether about climate change or demographic dynamics or political realignment. Once a key event takes place that fundamentally changes the dynamics that predictions are necessarily based on then all bets are off and all people can do is be ready.
Of course it’s a good idea to have ideas about what might happen and how but it’s dangerous to get too attached to any of them – when the status quo fundamentally changes they’re all so much smoke and memories.
Be prepared to be surprised and to get over the surprise in a hurry….
No matter what people say, no significant actions on climate change will be made. The main reason for this is that almost no one wants to change their own behavior. In sociological terms this is called the Desirable (that iswhat other people should do) while the Deisred (what people really want) is to not change themselves.
Every single proposal I’ve seen (even if accepted and implemented this second) would be insufficient. No plastic straws? Well howdeedoo and merry christmas! There are rivers all over the third world where the water is hidden from view under piles of plastic bottles and other garbage and no more straws won’t change that.
Carbon offsets? Enough to make a maggot puke – IIRC just a couple of hours of jet travel a year to completely overcome an individual’s efforts to lessen their carbon footprint.
The only strategy with any chance of success in terms of climate would involve wrenching changes to almost everyone’s quality of life and of course no one wants that. Who wants no possibility for travel beyond walking, horses, bikes and electric mass transportation?
Who wants having to spend hours every day cultivating small gardens to make up for not being able to fly vegetables across the continent?
Who wants to have to learn to use looms or foot powered sewing machines to make clothes because container ships from China use too much oil?
There’s no way to significantly curtail carbon consumption without forcing vast track of humanity into semi-permanent peasanthood – tilling the soil and doing without. I’m no exception, I don’t want to live like a medieval peasant for the sake of an uncertain future – but I realize and accept my limitations and don’t expect others to be ready to make sacrifices I don’t want to make myself.
There’s always the chance of a miraculous technological breakthrough which will make today’s concerns irrelevant, but without that climate change will happen and all people can do is… be prepared (as if you could be prepared for a new reality).
(CN: extreme vagueness in the interest of anonymity for all concerned… as much as possible)
The place I work was officially… ‘abolished’ in late December. This has been followed by a whole bunch of tedious time-wasting meetings dealing with the fallout. My employment has never been an issue (as one colleague put it: I’m not worried about my job, I’m worried about who I’ll be working for…). As far as can be told, the entire affair was caused by a single narcissist involved in a personal dispute with the head of the department (rough translation Polish university divisions have almost nothing in common with American ones).
After the latest meetings last week, and talking to a few people Friday I have an idea that things will probably be resolved relatively soon with the place being reconstructed in a very similar form which raises the question… what all that fuss was about (apart from creating a set of deep personal and professional rifts in what had always been a pretty nice place to work). If that doesn’t work I’ve gotten a few offers for a place within a newer entity that might take its place and which would likely allow me to not have anything to do with the characters that brought all this about.
The whole thing has been a lesson on how to never underestimate the damage a single malignant narcissist can do (especially when there is a perfect storm of poor administrative decisions (the administrator who ‘abolished’ the unit has as much as admitted it wasn’t the best option) and a couple of opportunists who think they can use the narcissist for their own… incomprehensible purposes (no one I’ve talked to has any idea what the motivations of another key administrator can be beyond destruction for the sake of destruction).
It’s been an education… of sorts.
I’m very late with this but want to comment on it nonetheless. One of the things it took me a very long time to realize is that people can become addicted not only to substances but to… behavior and reactions from other people. This is why when the boundaries of tolerance begin expanding, it seems to create increased unhappiness. Many people assume identities as much to provoke reactions in other people as to express themselves. Lots of people are, in essence, addicted to disapproval and if you express tolerance for their latest foolishness it just provokes them to adopt even more outlandish behaviors so they can get the hostility that they crave.
Note in this incredibly stupid example that the grave error committed by the racist knitter was…. being excited and happy about the chance to go to India. For the author a white person expressing interest in India is a grave insult. This is clearly an unstable personality that wants and needs white disapproval of India so she can savor the sweet, sweet feeling of self-righteous anger. Absent real colonial discourse and repression she has to latch on to preople expressing the wrong positive emotions or expressing the right emotions in the wrong way.
This raises the question of what the knitter could have said that wouldn’t anger the vox writer…. Maybe expressing solidarity with the brave resisters of colonialism (after all it only ended just over 70 years ago…).
It’s also an another example of how diversity is a generally rotten idea. You can maintain diversity only by maintaining strict walls between groups and the easiest way to do that is to be generally unpleasant to outsiders and no fun to be around.