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Chesterton’s Schoolhouse

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Peeps in my Twitter feed sometimes talk about homeschooling their future offspring. I get it, public schools are awful – the kids are bullies, the teachers incompetent, and the curriculum is hogwash bathed in whatever leftist ideology happens to be in vogue. Public schools turn children into brainwashed drones.

But then… I remember a time when people used to be voluntarily indoctrinated en masse. Back when it was normal to put on your Sunday clothes and sit on a bench while receiving sermons in fictional stories. It seems like there was some value to having everyone congregate once a week, act polite to those of different economic backgrounds, maybe even feign an interest in others’ lives.

If nothing else, religion created a common fear of some paranormal force. That’s nothing to laugh at — the Roman banks began in temples consecrated to the ancient gods. Shared truths keep a community together, even if they’re not founded in fact. Buuuut these particular truths were oppressive to alternative lifestyles, and now they’re all but dead.

Another oppressive institution that no longer exists: Conscription. People used to be acutely aware of every war because they or their kids or the neighbors’ kids could all get drafted for service. Now that we’ve moved to an all-volunteer military force, the country is blissfully unaware that we’re fighting ongoing wars in seven different countries. I mean, the kids from Appalachia and flyover states are fighting those wars, and probably they know a thing or two about Libya and Yemen. The rest of us stay home and focus on more important things like Equality.

Nixon ended the draft in 1973 to get the hippies to stop protesting Vietnam. It worked, but… maybe it was better to have the entire population aware of ongoing warfare?

Another thing: I lived in Los Angeles during the 1992 riots, when the city basically turned into a warzone. It was too much for LAPD, so the cops moved to strategic containment and let the inner city have at it.

That’s when the Rooftop Koreans appeared. They were recent immigrants in South Central LA, left high and dry to defend their shops and homes.

The Roof Koreans didn’t just hop onto buildings on a whim. South Korea has mandatory military service along with annual training for young adult males. Given proximity to North Korea, they take military preparedness quite seriously. When all hell broke loose, these ex-Armed Forces guys knew how to grab their guns, face the front line, and coordinate a defense.

That’s a valuable life skill! Second Amendment advocates insist that the right to bear arms will protect against government tyranny, but 90% of the country doesn’t even know what to do with one of these things. We’re still trying to figure out how to get the chainsaw attachment to go on the assault rifle. Which end up? The rooftops will be sparsely populated, is what I’m trying to say.

Public schools suck, but maybe there are some overlooked skills that can only be provided by a public school education. I just did a search and found a list of things that kids learn in kindergarten. The first two are “Share everything” and “Play fair”. There are valid societal reasons why it might be good to have children brainwashed with these ideas, yet these are things that will definitely be lost in a homeschool based on Ayn Randian Objectivism.

Maybe I’m out of the loop and the exodus already happened, and anyone who still attends public school is like the last person in a coal mining town. In the future, everyone will live in their own community of One.

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plewis
33 days ago
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An Apple a Day

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Even the powerful, tart Granny Smith cultivar is proving ineffective against new Gran-negative doctors.
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109 days ago
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alt_text_bot
127 days ago
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Even the powerful, tart Granny Smith cultivar is proving ineffective against new Gran-negative doctors.
tingham
127 days ago
Now I want a bushel of Granny Smith apples.

Waiting for the But

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Listen, I'm not a fan of the Spanish Inquisition OR predatory multi-level marketing schemes...
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plewis
150 days ago
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Covarr
162 days ago
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Listen, I just met you, and this is crazy...
Moses Lake, WA
alt_text_bot
162 days ago
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Listen, I'm not a fan of the Spanish Inquisition OR predatory multi-level marketing schemes...

touyahikaru: “As workers, most men in our culture (like working women) are controlled, dominated....

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touyahikaru:

“As workers, most men in our culture (like working women) are controlled, dominated. Unlike working women, working men are fed daily a fantasy diet of male supremacy and power. In actuality, they have very little power, and they know it. Yet they do not rebel against the economic order or make revolution. They are socialized by ruling powers to accept their dehumanization and exploitation in the public world of work, and they are taught to expect that the private world, the world of home and intimate relationships, will restore to them their sense of power, which they equate with masculinity. They are taught that they will be able to rule in the home, to control and dominate, that this is the big payoff for their acceptance of an exploitative economic social order. By condoning and perpetuating male domination of women to prevent rebellion on the job, ruling male capitalists ensure that male violence will be expressed in the home and not in the work force.”

— bell hooks, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (via heavyweightheart)

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169 days ago
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ScottInPDX
175 days ago
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I really wish this didn't feel as true as it does.
Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth
32 days ago
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shanel
177 days ago
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Yuuuuup
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Turmoil

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

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At first, the Encouragement Drones seemed so innocent...


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See ya tonight, geeks!



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plewis
177 days ago
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afeman
197 days ago
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I want a "down with consumerism" t-shirt

Older Fathers

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I don’t trust science anymore. Especially not when it’s presented by the New York Times.

Here’s an article about The Risks to Babies of Older Fathers, and I instantly thought of my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Ariel Procaccia’s recent post about the need to teach statistics to scientists. See, anyone who has observed the slightest amount of animal husbandry knows that this NYTimes article is bullshit. Stud animals are bred until they can’t get it up anymore; in fact breeders prefer older males so they can avoid propagating animals that develop health problems later on.

I feel like a lot of our misconceptions regarding genetics and the heritability of traits could be totally avoided if more journalists had participated in 4-H.

Anyway, back to this research regarding the Association of Paternal age with Perinatal Outcomes in the United States. It’s published in the BMJ, a reputable British medical journal. The authors are physicians and professors at Stanford, an institution more infallible than the Pope. The study claims a sample size of 40.5 million births — that’s a lot!

Of the 40.5 million births, only 1.2 million (about 3%) had fathers over the age of 45. Out of that 3%, 61% of the babies had mothers over the age of 30. Of the 97% of babies with fathers under the age of 45, only 14.5% had mothers over the age of 30. So this is in fact a relatively small population with a skewed maternal age distribution.

The study claims to adjust for maternal age. The “adjustment” is a stratification of mothers into three groups: <25, 25-34, and >34. The <25 bucket has wide error bars, because there are very few babies born with young mothers and old fathers. The 25-34 and >34 buckets do show an association between adverse births and paternal age, but the buckets themselves are ridiculous. There’s a huge difference between a 25-year-old and a 34-year-old mother, and a massive difference between a 34-year-old and a 54-year-old (the oldest mother used in this study!). Older fathers are more likely to pair with older mates, so by lumping the mothers into such wide groups, the study does the exact opposite of adjusting for maternal age.

In conclusion, The Risk To Babies of Older Fathers is that their mothers tend to be old too. #FakeScience

The thing is, I would love for the NYTimes article to be true. Biological differences are the root cause of so much gender inequality in the workplace, and I honestly think the world would be a better place if men succumbed to the same biological clock as women. Of course by “better place” I mean, A Better Place For Me. Isn’t that what equality is all about?

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187 days ago
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