The Theory of Dark Suckers

10 Cents and I were discussing light bulbs on the late night phone call. And it brought to mind an old piece of text explaining why we should not call them light bulbs, but rather “dark suckers”. I have not the time to convert this old text to incorporate the newer LED type of dark suckers, but here it is in the older format.

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A must see: The Ingraham Angle

IMHO; it ain’t only the Clintons…  Desperate Obama wants credit for Trump economy. (No surprise there, I never trusted that man. I took an oath to respect the office of the president, I did and I will respect the office, But I could never respect that man that held that office for those turbulent eight years.)

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Ion-powered aircraft flies with no moving parts

Ladies and Gentlemen, we truly live in a wonderful age, an age of inventions not ever imagined by anyone before us, (us being those of this time).

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Michael Rectenwald on Postmodernism, Social Justice, and Academic Conformity

Professor Michael Rectenwald of New York University used to describe himself as a “libertarian communist” and spent many years embedded in the leftist milieu of the academy.  He then underwent an awakening to the madness of political correctness, the social justice agenda, and the absurdity of postmodern intersectional critical studies of dozens of genders and began to speak out on Twitter, eventually publishing Springtime for Snowflakes, a book about his experiences and what he learned.

Here is an hour and a half interview of Prof. Rectenwald by Glenn Beck on the latter’s podcast.

This is long, but it provides an in-depth look at the history, intellectual roots, and fundamental errors of the disease which has infected the campuses and is spreading into the larger society.  Say what you want about Glenn Beck, he is a superb interviewer who gets out of the way and lets the guest speak directly to the audience.


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An interesting video…. (from Pangea to Today)

An interesting video, granted it’s based on a christian point of view, but still interesting. It seems they, the makers of this clip, have all their ducks in a row.

Noah’s Flood and Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (from Pangea to Today)

Anyone want to take it apart?

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Standards II (revisited)

OK, the last post about standards drifted way off topic, or so it seemed to some. I tried to get a screen grab of an interview with the owner as seen on FOX News. Since I could not get a direct link to the clip, I grabbed it and reduced it in size to post. Unfortunately the video clip is still too large, even after I reduced the resolution by 50%, so here is the audio from the clip. The video just included stock footage that many have seen before. The point is that he took the effort to exceed standards, deeper pilings, special windows and accepting the fact that the first floor would be swept away.


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No bear yet…

Boy am I eating crow….

From Oct 16, first at 1245 AM, second at 331 AM and finally at 808 AM.

I’m not sure how big the rack on the buck was, maybe a 7-pointer.

My wife is gloating over my invisible bear…

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The Heart of a Teacher

Dave Ramsey often encourages people to look for an investment advisor with the heart of a teacher. I’m learning more about what that means.

Some people are in the position of training a new person, on the job, for example. But they don’t enjoy it. They hope the person will learn the new skills as quickly as possible, and go away and not ask for any more training. They want the new person to do their job, and do it well, so that the reluctant trainer won’t get in trouble with their supervisor.

A person with a teacher’s heart loves the learning process. They like the challenge of finding new ways of explaining the lesson. They demonstrate the skill once, then ask them to do it while they shadow them. They are willing to repeat the lesson until the person gets it.

A teacher has a patient heart, and enjoys the teaching process–and the learning process. Teachers, whether by vocation or avocation, are usually lifelong learners, and often enjoy reading and traveling for that reason.

A person can have a teacher’s heart no matter their profession. I believe both my parents were teachers, though they earned their bread in other ways.


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TOTD 2018-09-27: The New 95

Peter Thiel created the 1517 Fund, named after the year when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg (this story may be apocryphal, but the theses were printed and widely distributed in 1517 and 1518).  Thiel’s fund invests in ventures created by young entrepreneurs, most beneficiaries of Thiel Fellowships, who eschew or drop out of the higher education fraud to do something with their lives before their creativity is abraded away by the engine of conformity and mediocrity that present-day academia has become.

The goal of these ventures is to render impotent and obsolete the dysfunctional scam of higher education.  There is no richer target to be disrupted by technology and honesty than the bloated academia-corporate-government credential shakedown racket that has turned what could have been a productive generation into indentured debt slaves, paying off worthless degrees.

On the (approximate) 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses, the 1517 Fund published “The New 95”: blows against the fraudulent academic empire.  Here are a few choice excerpts.

15. Harvard could admit ten times as many students, but it doesn’t. It could open ten more campuses in different regions, but it doesn’t. Elite schools are afraid of diluting brand equity. They’re not in the education business. They’re in the luxury watch business.

19. In 1987, the year Stephen Trachtenberg became president of George Washington University, students paid $27,000 (in 2017 dollars) in tuition, room, and board. When he retired twenty years later, they paid more than double — close to $60,000. Trachtenberg made GW the most expensive school in the nation without improving education at all. The degree “serves as a trophy, a symbol,” he said. “I’m not embarrassed by what we did.” There are buildings on campus named after this guy.

28. The problem in schooling is not that we have invested too little, but that we get so little for so much.

36. There’s no iron law of economics that says tuition should go up — and only up — year after year. By many measures, universities are the same or worse at teaching students as they were in the early 1980s. But now, students are paying four times as much as they did then. Imagine paying more every year for tickets on an airline whose planes flew slower and crashed more frequently, but that spent its revenue on one hell of a nice terminal and lounge instead. Would you put that sticker on your car’s back window?

48. The people who give exams or evaluate essays and the people who teach should not be one and the same. Creating the best content for people to learn and creating a system to certify that people have achieved some level of mastery are two different problems. By fusing them into one, universities curtail freedom of thought and spark grade inflation. Critical thinking is currently mistaken for finding out what the professor wants to hear and saying it.

57. Professors should be better than snowmen. Snowstorms cancelling class tend to bring more joy to students than learning new ideas. What a strange service! Higher education, root canals, rectal exams, and schooling are the only services that consumers rejoice in having cancelled.

78. Every academic and scientific journal should be open and free to the public. It is much easier to check results for reproducibility with a billion eyes.

84. Too much of school is about proving that you can show up every day on time, work, and get along with the people around you.

Read the whole thing.

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No Republicans Need Apply

This is article is stating what we already know. It takes in the political affiliations of 51 of the top 66 schools in US News top ranked institutions.

Democrats dominate most fields. In religion, Langbert’s survey found that the ratio of Democrats to Republicans is 70 to 1. In music, it is 33 to 1. In biology, it is 21 to 1. In philosophy, history and psychology, it is 17 to 1. In political science, it is 8 to 1.

The gap is narrower in science and engineering. In physics, economics and mathematics, the ratio is about 6 to 1. In chemistry, it is 5 to 1, and in engineering, it is just 1.6 to 1. Still, Lambert found no field in which Republicans are more numerous than Democrats.

These are institutions that are subsidized by government dollars. If that tax money is going disproportionately to one political party, isn’t that in effect a campaign donation?

This bad but if there is an education bubble and universities go under, it will be nice to know most Republicans are safe.

I hate to mention this but Blumroch was right about engineers being decided less liberal. Hopefully he will not read this.

Could a reason the GOPe who graduate from elite universities be so Prog-Right their good grades at Lib U?


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Stupid Is As Stupid Does

I had the dubious pleasure of spending a few hours at an office of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to renew my driving license. Normally, I’d renew by mail but since California’s standard license does not meet the RealID requirements (dating from 2005) of Los Federales, it was necessary to appear in person. There’s a decision tree to help folks determine which documents they need to bring to obtain a RealID. While I was waiting for service, more than one person was heard to lament that his RealID application was rejected for failing to have the correct combination of documents. This put me in mind of Linda Gottfredson’s discussion of the challenges people face in daily life (from which the illustration is cribbed) and its relation to cognitive ability. She focuses on error rates relating to healthcare.

It turns out people are Stupider Than You Realize:

For example, in 1992 out of a random sample of US adults, 7% could not … find the expiration date on a driver’s license.

A more recent article expands on this using PISA (OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment) questions, which tests students at age 15. There are six levels of questions of increasing difficulty. Though only math questions are plotted, there are also problem-solving and financial literacy questions. You can try sample questions at the PISA site.

It’s not surprising that many people cannot handle everyday tasks such as assembling the correct set of documentation to obtain a RealID or to take proper care of their medical conditions. Imagine how much worse the situation is among populations with lower IQs, as illustrated in the table, selected portions of which are graphed below. The results are similar for the other question categories. One could argue that 15-year-olds still have time to learn more and catch up. This applies more to math questions than to problem-solving skills but the gaps might close somewhat. Nevertheless, the adults who can’t find an expiration date on a license or figure out how to take their medications aren’t going to be getting any smarter.

percentage of correct answers for each question level

There are implications of these data beyond filling out government forms and taking care of one’s health. Many tasks require a level problem-solving skill that sets a threshold for competence. The proportion of individuals capable of higher-level tasks falls to a negligible value for higher-level tasks. This is a property of the tail of any non-fat-tailed distribution function, which cognitive ability appears to be. The gap at for the higher-level questions is best illustrated by plotting the same data logarithmically. The gaps are at most factors of two or three for easy question, factors of 10 or more for hard ones. For Qatar and Colombia, the percent correct for harder questions cannot be plotted on this graph because they are indistinguishable from zero.

logarithmic plot of the data

In short, life is an IQ test.

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Modern Educayshun

For my last public *post* (do not yet rejoice : I’m not gone yet, I’ll comment and [dis]like too), I was thinking of a few quotes by one of the best kept secrets of clever intellectual reaction, Nicolas Gomez Davila, Reactionary Extraordinaire (I had the title : QILWOWPN, for Quotes I Like While Others Will Probably Not). But I realized this would probably not have been a great success, even with a recommendation from Ernst Jünger and Jean Raspail. For the principle, and in order to honor the idea, here’s a good site about him (and it’s in decent English, too !) :

https://don-colacho.blogspot.com/

Then, I had another idea and I did my homework using the “Advanced Search” feature : as I found no reference to the clip I had thought of, I may hope the thing is not already widely known to Ratizen. I’ll add the thing seems less and less entertaining with time, even considering the fact its director is *not* exactly on our side — which is weird. Enjoy (I hope) ! 😉


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