Fungus in the Gism

I do enjoy aerosol in the morning. Especially when I can walk in it. And the extinction coefficient is reasonable. A half or so. Which it was this morning. Enough extinction to shade things but not enough to blind one in the back scattered light from one’s lamps. It was a bit chilling – thermally – and so I was happy to retreat to a warm castellum, but the constitutional was indeed good for my constitution. 

I make note of an article [Link] about all of the trans-species DNA we humans have picked up. There is something rather comforting about knowing that my DNA includes bits of microbes and fungi and arthropods in it. Especially fungi. What is so intriguing about fungi? Could it be the difference? 

We seem to have less understanding of fungi than any other biological entity. I am likely inaccurate on this, not being a biologist but lacking some correction by a biologist, and not some religionist, I will persist in my delusion. That is, after all, how we navigate and propagate (as in trajectory although as I consider it, perhaps also reproduction?) most of the time, by our delusions. 

We humans are not what we like to think. I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

and was a bit taken by it. Not by the accuracy of motherhood/childhood. That is patent. But by extension to marriage. And the insight that marriage has a component of both partners being parent to the other’s child. 

But it does strike at why FD SCP won’t let me have a trebuchet. That and admitting that there is a day care facility across the street from Castellum SCP.  She does let me accumulate rather a lot of gear, most of which I could likely live without. So much for any trace of Buddhist. There. I have offended all the good Protestants of Greater Metropolitan Arab. But their marriages are similar. Or failures. Which they could never admit until fully ruptured?

Apparently one of the strong points of christianity, the organized variety, at least, is its strength as a delusion about human nature. 

Liberal Uselessness

Thor’s day and the end of gym for the week. And liquid is falling from the sky. Is that an event that needs be shared with chickens? Obviously I am in strange mood today and perhaps I can blame it on the expedition yesterday to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill/

I recently ran across an article [Link] of statement by four college presidents trying to justify the existence of “liberal arts”. I found it telling that one of them flatly stated that the studies (?) in secondary schule were adequate for adulthood.

It seems strange to me that high schule is adequate for anything. When I attended it was an information desert combined with a harassment Tartarus. I feel that I learned more in one semester, certainly one year, in college than I learned in four years of high schule. And it was overall useful stuff.

My strongest complaint is that in neither did I learn syntax nor composition in the classes that were supposed to teach that. The nature of the failures were surprisingly consistent: abysmal teaching; inadequate and irrelevant information; and too much distraction. I’ll take each in serial.

Let me start by saying that the teachers were not bad people, nor ill intentioned. They were overall good people with good intentions. But they were not good teachers. That is, in my taxonomy, I didn’t learn from them. That’s what makes them bad. In many cases I liked them but I didn’t learn what I needed.

Second, what they were trying to teach me on syntax and composition wasn’t what was needed. Drawing pseudo-Feynman diagrams of sentences is not useful, nor is writing essays. I have never been called on to write an essay, nor any other type of literary article. I have written novels, short stories, journal articles, books, and theses but never any literary poof. So what they were trying to teach was almost entirely orthogonal to need and want.

Lastly, what they were trying to teach was too little. Too much of it was literature, reading and discussing stories and novels that I would never have read if not compelled. Almost entirely these works were boring and unengaging, and largely irrelevant to either education or entertainment.  It is not that I dislike reading; I was going to the (public) Carnegie library thrice a week and chewing throuigh six to eight books a week but they were books I picked not forced upon me. That’s my chief indictment of the liberal arts; it’s stuff I don’t want forced upon me.

I did learn syntax and composition. Some was learned in college writing nerd stuff and afterwards writing more nerd stuff. But so far as I am concerned liberal arts is what people who can’t do study in college.

Green Beer and Antipathy

Today is supposed to be the name day of Saint Patrick. I have to admit to being unable to comprehend this occasion. I can comprehend that the person did all sorts of wonderful things in Ireland for the sake of the Church of Rome, but I fail to see how that translates into non-religious parades, river dyeing, and green beer consumption. Happily since I have little Irish DNA, I have a convenient reason to rebuff the orgy. But I am still not grokking.

On which azimuth I ran across an article [Link] about how African-American graduates of high quality (?) colleges receive fewer and lower paid job offers than European-American graduates of the same colleges. This appears to be one of those academic befuddlement things or, possibly, academic legitimization. 

It seems that part, at least, of what we have here is a failure of tolerance. The nation seems to have grown tired of tolerating “minorities” without reciprocal tolerance. This seems to be the social theme of the times. European-Americans are supposed to be tolerant of African-Americans who by maintaining a separate social construct decline to reciprocate that tolerance. The same seems to exist for numerous religionist communities but especially the Muslim. Anyway, what I observe is an increasing reticence to tolerate others (who are different) if they do not reciprocate that tolerance.

This seems strangely Christianist. An application of “do unto others”. I fear this is how feuds fester. Friendship rebuffed or ill returned often leads to animosity and violence. It signals a failure of social cohesion and the ascendancy of a collection of inimical communities. If so, then we have to ask how this is related to a governance by two imiscible political parties? Symptom or cause?

The world wonders. 

Stupidity Epidemic

One has to wonder whether a requirement for membership in the Repro-denialist party is intelligence removal? Unlike them, most foreign government officials study history and recognize that Woodrow Wilson failed to make the Yankee republic part of the League of Nations because the Yankee Congress failed to confirm the treaty.

Now that same Congress is lecturing furrin officials? I’m not sure which is worse, the stupidity of the Congress Critters or the insult to those furriners?

Perhaps we can persuade those Congress Critters to go back to assaulting, maiming, and killing each other and not the nation?

Bonsai Gardening

Once more into week in. Gym was survivable, the population was sparse and the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealt with (human) parasites. There is a certain thrill to knowledge of yucky things that are maybe good for one. Rather like obligatory reproductive activity?

I ran across an article [Link] this weekend out of Michigan State U that debunks the idea that one can devote 10 K man-hours (MH) to learning something and become a master at that thing. This work establishes that one has to have talent for this thing or those 5 MY are wasted. I now feel much better that I abandoned juvenile athletics as quickly as possible, much to the disappointment of my parents. I have always contrasted the original assertion, now proven conditional, with the idea that one needs to change “jobs” every five years.

I was fortunate in that my parents did not “force” me to do many learned activities. My father wanted me to do sports but I was so abysmal that he quickly subsided. My mother was more determined with ballroom dancing. I still cannot dance to this day despite three summers of lessons as an adolescent. Nonetheless, I have always viewed this as a form of child abuse and was always careful with SCPdatter to help her do things she wanted to do, that I considered worthwhile, and not force her to do things I thought she should do. Other than schule work, of course. Now that I am a grandparent I fear she is morphing into a helicopter. With bumpers. Revenge of the species?

I am not sure it matters much. Children must find their own paths in life. They will be alienated from parents regardless of our acts. But I still fell more comfortable letting children make up their own way. And that’s probably as best as it can be?


Take That Alabama

Ran across an article [Link] about how to optimally (????) visit all the states. The route, for the lower 48, at least, is

I call your attention to the amount of distance (time thereby?) spent in Alibam. About right I would say, both for the traveler and for those of us who think tourism is an acute rectal pain. 

Of course the council of thieves in Muntgum and the moneyed interests (their masters?) won’t like this since not enough portraits of dead caucasian politicians will end up in their coffers. That also is a good thing.