More Summer of Discontent

I am coming to dislike mundane days. That is rather discouraging. Most of my adult life I liked the first day of the week (Yes, I do operate on ice cream day being the last day of the week.) Yes, there were exceptions when I knew in advance that mundane day held some nastiness like a business trip or a medicalist visit or some such. But by and large I liked the promise of mundane day, of a week ahead to do something and not just be a vegetative member of society.

But now I am coming to dislike all days. Even the ones that offer an upcoming good, or perceived good. I am sure it is age, and being retired. ORFs are tolerated speed bumps of society that will shortly be hustled off to a burial park or a mason jar. The best that we can hope for is a studied indifference on the part of society. The worst is active harassment and pain.

But the worst is not doing anything constructive. I don’t count volunteering or being a greeter at MalWart. Those are definitely not creative. Except maybe for those people who not only didn’t create in younger life, but were destructive.

INTERMISSION: courtesy of Arab Electron Uncooperative. Another thing to dislike. They used to only go out unannounced on ice cream day mornings. When all the mystics were in services. Not now. It’s stochastic and diabolical.

Enough negativity. Go kill a giant or invent happiness or overdo exuberance. For me.

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Irrelevance of Food?

Ice cream day. Back edge of Week Out. Not started wonderfully. Walk in park middling. Podcast poor to dismal. And my morale is still low to absent. So that makes things perfect to comment on an article [Link] I saw earlier about work at Johns Hopkins U that looks at how GEN Ys lacking college “education” view reproduction. The quote

“Clearly, the role of marriage in fertility and family formation is now modest in early adulthood and the lofty place that marriage once held among the markers of adulthood is in serious question. It is now unusual for non-college graduates who have children in their teens and 20s to have all of them within marriage.”

This seems to be congruent with the theory of that anthropologist wonk at fair Hahvahd that marriage is all about cooking.

I can’t give you any more citation than that today because I have loaned out my copy of his book to some of my colleagues. But suffice it that the basics of his theory is that because we are intelligent – whether we use our brains or not – we have rather inadequate digestive machinery and our offspring are relatively underdeveloped at birth because of the size of our heads. Big heads and small guts. Or something of the sort.

Anyway, this fellow’s idea is that because the bairns are helpless for so long the mothers need some help in caring for the bairns until they can be self-sufficient. And they get this help by exploiting the sparseness of the human digestive track. Hence fatherhood is all about getting your food cooked by someone else.

Which is quite a far distance from the mambo-jumbo of the religionists.

But with all the technology poured into food these days and the availability of precooked packaged food and fast food “restaurants”, it is unsurprising that marriage holds faint appeal. The situation may be furthered by the insistence of women that husbands assist in household chores?

What the study doesn’t address is the interesting question of Why? Or more specifically, why are college graduates still getting married? Perhaps it’s social in some sense. Perhaps marriage has some other social value?

I would also have liked to see some geographic differentiation. Here in Greater Metropolitan Arab, in the midst of the religionist loony patch, I see very few who have children and have not been married. Lots of divorced folks, but few unweds.

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Plague of Bad

Into week out and no great joy in sight. FD SCP informs me we have duty tonight as dog sitters. Gad, I do dislike mammoth canines. At least they haven’t tusks nor trunks. And the weather continues pelting. We seemed to have five or six showers yesterday whose only advantage was that I didn’t have to water the new trees.

A fairly pleasant constitutional although the podcast was a bit yuck. I suppose it is the podcasters angst spilling over onto my own.

Not much this morning. A couple of cartoons. First, [Link]

that I found yesterday. Yesterday was a good day for cartoons. I find myself appreciating this cartoon. I used to have a couple of employees who were of scant value but firing them was too much trouble. So they got sent to every meeting no one else wanted to attend. And they never got promoted, but we were always happy when they applied for a job – elsewhere.

The horrible thing is that they were quite understandable. Fewer and fewer jobs these days are actually fun or even rewarding. They are drudge necessities of life. And with organizations being so self-centered and greedy, no loyalty exists in either direction.

The other one [Link]

is about my life. All too often these days are bad head day. They say that when you get to be a manager you have to submit to surgery to destroy parts of your brain. Well, when you retire you have to accept a lot of bad head days.

This one is a gem. It speaks to a lot more than this cartoon usually rises to. But it isn’t a dream, waking or otherwise. It’s a fully fledged daymare.

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Climate Benefits

One of the benefits of climate change is that the discontent i now almost year-round. It is no longer limited to winter. And the denialists are a big part of that discontent. Stupidity has always been an irritant.

Another is that the results of climate change will likely not discorporate denialists as much as adopters. Let them struggle with a lingering existence.


Duck Recognition

If we have a “country” where the government and army don’t function but gangs do then we have to recognize that this is not a nation-state. It’s a geographic collection of tribes and/or chiefdoms. But it’s not a nation.

So let’s quit pretending it is.

Identification of the countries is left as an exercise for the student.

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Two Stuff

Mixed bag this morning. Spent yesterday running about in house sopping up water blown through the door gaps by the house painter while pressure washing Castellum SCP. Highly educational. I cannot wait to inflict this, in the form of a problem, on students and boggish colleagues. Well, perhaps we will settle for an interminable parable for the latter.

But the gym was blissfully sparse, only one obnoxious weight bouncer, the one who breathes stentoriously and spends much of his time walking in circles, oblivious to whose feet he steps upon, and mumbles to himself. Some sort of christianist mystic? And the podcast episodes, especially the one from the Guardian on contemporary longitude prizes, was quite good if depressing. Especially about antibiotics.

So in response to the Yankee gestapo’s raids on people takers:

Discorporation to Slavekeepers!

Preferably by organ harvesting.

And finally, this cartoon [Link]

that captures what has been said about advertisements. They are all FALSE! Prevarications! Heed them not.

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Money Morals

Back to week in and not a well portended one. Rain returns just when FD SCP has arranged to get Castellum SCP repainted. Or so the weather beavers foretell. Of course they showed that visibility chart – the one prominently labeled “FOG” – this morning with none of the visibilities less than a mile. So much for any hope of weather beavers – and bogs? – understanding basic atmospheric optics.

The gym was pleasantly sparse this morning and the obnoxious weight bouncers were late arriving so I was able to depart before they went into their territorial troglyditism. The podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas”, was about a debate among politicians/economists, none Canadian, on the topic of whether the rich should be taxed. This was educational, if not informative, in a negative sort of way. First of all, I am now entertaining the hypothesis that all politicians and economists are sacci sterci – pokes of poo – especially the economists. The idea of testability of theory is entirely wasted – except as a perversion – on economists and economic theory. I fear the latter has to be lumped in with religionist doctrine as stationary photons.

Second, the whole thing was another of those nonsense farces conducted because of percentages. Third, it ignored the whole question of cheating in any substantive fashion. And lastly, it was an utter waste of time which was beneficial since it distracted me from my pain and perspiration. I suspect this was the only benefit extracted from this debate.

Debates are another farce. They settle nothing and are based on total artificiality and absence of test. As such they are highly appropriate to both politics and economics because both of those are the same. But they are not appropriate to reality and real human problems. Which both politicians and economists actually have no interest in and avoid as much as possible and sabotage when they cannot.

Hence into the day.

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I have noticed an increasing fraction of mail with “sustainable” mailing labels on. I have also noted that the labels tend to peel off during transit with near certainty (~ 0.9). A good body of this is mail, primarily magazines, that I am not receiving. Subscriptions will be cancelled. Which, it would seem, means that the issuing organization is not sustainable.

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Physicist Failure

Horrible day yesterday. FD SCP had me out cleaning the aft proch and my sinuses are agonizing. The walk in the park was an actual relief this morning. And the weather beavers have mentioned precipitation in the afternoon, or so I may hope.

But I did have opportunity to continue cogitation on the matter of lectures and learning, so I suppose I shall have to take up a recent grrr brrr about lectures. [Link]The contention is that learning is not effective in the lecture format and things have to be made more interactive. My immediate, and enduring, response to this is that it is an extro conspiracy promulgated on the idea that students have to be placated for professors to get paid. Rather like the teach to the test thing in the public schules.

First of all, only the extros participate in these “voting” things. Intros do not. They come to class, they listen, maybe take notes, they go home, read the book, work the problems, and think. But the thinking takes time. There are some things that I got told in freshman physics class I still think about today. And occasionally they give me insights. So the idea that learning occurs only in class is an olla sterci – a crock of feces. Yes, some learning occurs in class, but most of it, including almost all of the insight, occurs later, often much later, out of class.

I have mentioned previously a math methods class on Green functions that took me over thirty years to “fully” realize.

Extros don’t do this way. They don’t go home and read the book nor do problems. They think doing problems is for intros and geeks and nerds. Which they are afraid of becoming. And they don’t think about stuff once the course is over. And they don’t want anything but a good grade so they can get a diploma and have a wonderful career. Working for a nerd.

At least in the mode. There are exceptions. But most of these people are not going to become STEMs. They don’t think enough. And socialization is too important to them to spend time understanding.

I have mentioned Chad Orzel’s taxonomy before. It applies here, in resounding fanfare! The purpose of the lecture, in STEM at least, is to tell the student what is important so they can read the text, do the problems, and think. And learn. Notice that distinction? The learning is out-of-class. And afterwards. So yes, the lecture is ineffective if the metric is in-the-class learning.

But the metric is orthogonal to the reality.

Do the physics. Drop the ball!

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