The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Charles Darwin's Humblebrag
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

In The Atlantic:

Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think
Here’s how to make the most of it.

by ARTHUR C. BROOKS JULY 2019 ISSUE

“It’s not true that no one needs you anymore.”

These words came from an elderly woman sitting behind me on a late-night flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. The plane was dark and quiet. A man I assumed to be her husband murmured almost inaudibly in response, something to the effect of “I wish I was dead.”

Again, the woman: “Oh, stop saying that.”

I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but couldn’t help it. I listened with morbid fascination, forming an image of the man in my head as they talked. I imagined someone who had worked hard all his life in relative obscurity, someone with unfulfilled dreams—perhaps of the degree he never attained, the career he never pursued, the company he never started.

At the end of the flight, as the lights switched on, I finally got a look at the desolate man. I was shocked. I recognized him—he was, and still is, world-famous. Then in his mid‑80s, he was beloved as a hero for his courage, patriotism, and accomplishments many decades ago.

As he walked up the aisle of the plane behind me, other passengers greeted him with veneration. Standing at the door of the cockpit, the pilot stopped him and said, “Sir, I have admired you since I was a little boy.” The older man—apparently wishing for death just a few minutes earlier—beamed with pride at the recognition of his past glories.

For selfish reasons, I couldn’t get the cognitive dissonance of that scene out of my mind. It was the summer of 2015, shortly after my 51st birthday. …

Who is this?

Flight from California to DC, “courage, patriotism, and accomplishments many decades ago,” an idol to airline pilots. I’m guessing … Chuck Yeager, now 96.

But, the first wife of the great pilot who broke the sound barrier in 1947 died in 1990, and his second wife is 41 years younger. Also, he lives in the Lake Tahoe area so he would be more likely to fly to DC out of Reno rather than LA.

Buzz Aldrin, age 89, lived mostly in California, although he’s had 3 wives and left for Florida perhaps before 2015.

So, forget the pilots.

Brooks was head of the conservative American Enterprise Institute until recently, so perhaps a Republican politician: John McCain, Bob Dole, or G.H.W. Bush? All of them were guys who came close to dying in combat in the service of their country.

The problem with being an executive is that you naturally rise up to higher and higher levels of executive command until the Peter Principle kicks in.

For example, Charles de Gaulle was one of the greatest men of the 20th Century until in 1968, under the pressure of the student riots, his courage cracked and he secretly fled to exile with French armed forces in West Germany. His right hand man Georges Pompidou came to get him and explained a simple deal to extricate themselves: offer the Communist workers higher wages and then crush the college students. Pompidou’s plan saved France.

I was not world-famous like the man on the plane, but my professional life was going very well. …

But I had started to wonder: Can I really keep this going? I work like a maniac. But even if I stayed at it 12 hours a day, seven days a week, at some point my career would slow and stop. And when it did, what then? Would I one day be looking back wistfully and wishing I were dead? Was there anything I could do, starting now, to give myself a shot at avoiding misery—and maybe even achieve happiness—when the music inevitably stops?

… I have been on a quest to figure out how to turn my eventual professional decline from a matter of dread into an opportunity for progress. …

The Principle of Psychoprofessional Gravitation can help explain the many cases of people who have done work of world-historical significance yet wind up feeling like failures. Take Charles Darwin, who was just 22 when he set out on his five-year voyage aboard the Beagle in 1831. Returning at 27, he was celebrated throughout Europe for his discoveries in botany and zoology, and for his early theories of evolution. Over the next 30 years, Darwin took enormous pride in sitting atop the celebrity-scientist pecking order, developing his theories and publishing them as books and essays—the most famous being On the Origin of Species, in 1859.

But as Darwin progressed into his 50s, he stagnated; he hit a wall in his research. At the same time an Austrian monk by the name of Gregor Mendel discovered what Darwin needed to continue his work: the theory of genetic inheritance. Unfortunately, Mendel’s work was published in an obscure academic journal and Darwin never saw it—and in any case, Darwin did not have the mathematical ability to understand it. From then on he made little progress. Depressed in his later years, he wrote to a close friend, “I have not the heart or strength at my age to begin any investigation lasting years, which is the only thing which I enjoy.”

Presumably, Darwin would be pleasantly surprised to learn how his fame grew after his death, in 1882. From what he could see when he was old, however, the world had passed him by, and he had become irrelevant. That could have been Darwin on the plane behind me that night.

Uh … actually, Darwin was more of a late bloomer. He probably came up with the idea of natural selection in 1837 but didn’t publish it until after Alfred Russel Wallace came up with it independently in 1858. He published Origin of Species in 1859 at age 50.

Darwin was not terribly healthy. One theory is he suffered from Chagas Disease that he contracted on the Beagle’s round-the-world voyage in the 1830s. But he soldiered on. Perhaps his next three most important books were published from age 59 to 63:

1868: The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication
1871: The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
1872: The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals

That’s a pretty impressive late-middle age. Maybe Verdi or Michelangelo or Barzun or Frank Lloyd Wright or Franklin had a better old age, but still …

Darwin published five more books, of a more technical nature, before his death at age 73 in 1882.

From Charles Darwin’s autobiography, written when he was 67 in 1876 (if you need to remember Charles Darwin’s age at any point, he was born the same day as Abraham Lincoln, February 12, 1809):

I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. … I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did. …

This curious and lamentable loss of the higher aesthetic tastes is all the odder, as books on history, biographies, and travels (independently of any scientific facts which they may contain), and essays on all sorts of subjects interest me as much as ever they did. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. [Bold mine-SES]

Okay, but being the 19th Century’s greatest “machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts” was no small thing, Chuck, as I suspect you fully appreciated.

Anyway, I’m reminded of this by commenters who suggest that All I Really Need to Do is become a Linux maven in my 60s or whatever so I can save $500 per year on my computer.

Nah, I just want a computer that won’t get in the way of me grinding out general laws out of large collections of facts without me having to get distracted by having to learn new technologies.

Granted, most of my laws are less like Darwin’s Law of Natural Selection and more like Sailer’s Law of Female Journalism, but still …

 
Hide 172 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. “Darwin was born the same day as Abraham Lincoln…”

    Now, if only Lincoln had read some Darwin, think how much trouble we all could have been saved.

  2. jim jones says:

    And yet, here we are in the 21st Century with people still thinking that wearing a specific type of head covering will get you into Heaven.

    • Replies: @Anon
  3. What was that? The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex? Eh?

    I thought Mendelssohn’s peas were from the middle ages but this indicates he was a Victorian monk…

    • Replies: @Sam Malone
  4. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Lincoln, like Queen Victoria, Disraeli, and Gladstone, read Darwin’s anonymous 1844 predecessor Robert Chambers:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/golf-and-evolution-the-missing-link-discovered/

    The descendants of Chambers and Darwin became famous golf writers who collaborated in the 1940s on a history of golf in the British Isles that emphasized how golf was a product of the British evolutionary urge.

  5. anon[203] • Disclaimer says:

    “This curious and lamentable loss of the higher aesthetic tastes is all the odder, as books on history, biographies, and travels (independently of any scientific facts which they may contain), and essays on all sorts of subjects interest me as much as ever they did.”

    Wow-this is happening to me, too-I’m in my mid 50’s-though its more related to modern ‘art’ (tv, movies, modern music, etc-essentially our pop culture). I had suspected that the internet was to blame (that it is ruining my focus). Maybe its just age.

    Maybe as we get older, we’ve ‘seen it all before.’ Not only literally (how many identical versions of Spiderman are necessary?), but figuratively (how many rewrites of Romeo and Juliet do we need?).
    Maybe art is imprinted early on our consciousness, and everything after that is weaker sauce, and by the time we get old, we realize it, and have given up (A la recherche du temps perdu). In my own case, I have eerie nostalgic feelings for ‘Somewhere’ in West Side Story, and ‘Help’ by the Beatles: not because they are historically significant songs, but probably because I heard them at age X (3? 6?) when they were imprinted on my consciousness, and always bring me back.

    In other words, the significance of Darwin’s musings aren’t that Darwin experienced them: its that everybody experiences them.

    joe

  6. Schwarzkopf died in 2012. Colin Powell was only 78 in 2015.

    Hmm.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    , @GeologyAnon
  7. @Percy Gryce

    Don’t strain yourself. He probably made up the story, or at least seriously embellished it. A version of the old journalist’s chestnut, the ‘taxi driver‘ tale.

  8. Anon[343] • Disclaimer says:
    @jim jones

    Imagine if there WAS no heaven. Then we could save all the money spent on religious head coverings, spend it on carbon credits, and save the world from Global Warming!

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  9. @Mr McKenna

    Agreed. The fact that he didn’t reveal who the passenger behind him was kind of hints that the tale is fiction. The piece is a long and preachy one in which the author seems to miss his own point.

  10. Consider this,

    There is no law of natural selection.

  11. “Who is this?”

    Perhaps Mr. Brooks…

    ..made up this tale in order to set the premise for the rest of his article.

    Although, if it is a true story, I’m guessing it’s a comedian, like Don Rickles maybe? Famous comedians always seem to be reported as brooding and dark when not in the pubic eye.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  12. BB753 says:

    The human brain works best between the ages of 18 and 38. After that, you’re on autopilot, grinding on. If you’re lucky. Past 65 years old, all bets are off. You might become an imbecile overnight or keep barely enough of your brainpower to soldier on.
    The sad truth being that the human being is not really built to survive past 50 years old and we can’t change that fact.

  13. SFG says:

    In Darwin’s defense, he had no idea his scientific ideas were going to make him one of the most important men in biology.

  14. Barnard says:
    @Mr McKenna

    I also assumed it was made up or embellished. None of the politicians Steve mentions would have been flying commercial in 2015. John Glenn seems possible, but like Yeager, he was not in his mid 80s in 2015. In our celebrity obsessed culture, it would be somewhat surprising for most the passengers to recognize a man in his mid 80s who “was beloved as a hero for his courage, patriotism, and accomplishments many decades ago.”

    • Replies: @Sam Malone
  15. American society has tried to make old people useless. First, they destroyed the family and with it the role of the old paterfamilias. Then, they declared war on the past, so being a sage or a walking history book is a not just useless but an actual threat to the retconners.

    Fuck them. By trying to make fatherhood meaningless, they made it more meaningful than ever. Solidifying and strengthening my family will be the most important thing I do for the rest of my life. It was a lot easier for my dad, who finished his work before most of the bullshit, like being a soldier in peacetime. Now it’s wartime and I’m leading the regiment. Every war creates its heroes.

  16. One of the better ones of all poems known to me quotes the same line by Darwin which Steve Sailer has put in bold letters above. Its titled C. R. D. (1809 -1882) and begins with the words:

    The man who did not want to.

    The earth below his feet made him seasick.

    “Conquerer”, “revolutionary”, “genius”, “a Titan”

    He did not want to, he resisted

    from the beginning, by all means.

    Retching, migraine, hypochondria.

    (…)

    His marriage – “a terrible waste of time”

    Kids: “At least better than a dog.”

    He evades any amusement;

    amusement ist the ultimate horror.

    (…)

    (by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, in the (utterly brillant) collection Mausoleum)

  17. Buzz Mohawk says: • Website

    Nah, I just want a computer that won’t get in the way of me grinding out general laws out of large collections of facts without me having to get distracted by having to learn new technologies.

    Typical boomer complaint. Sheesh. Next you’ll be asking for donations to buy a sports car, you old fart.

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
    • Replies: @Jack D
  18. If you don’t feel like a failure at the end, you haven’t been trying hard enough.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  19. Anonymous[224] • Disclaimer says:

    “Schaeffer’s Number” – *the* fundamental constant of economics in advanced nations, was one of the more profound theorems to come out of the Stevosphere.

    In short, the curt simplicity and austerity of Schaeffer’s Number – so pure in concept that the antis can’t fudge, lie or bullshit about it – on its own, blows *all and every* shill of massive uncontrolled immigration to western economies right out of the water.

  20. Luke Lea says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Lincoln was a fatalist and recognized many of the facts of HBD. It’s what he did with the latter—the universalizing of human rights— fueled by his own monomaniacal ambition and poetic imagination, that made for his greatness. He knew who he was and wanted the world to know too before he died, the manner of which he seems to have anticipated if not actually planned or at least hoped for. At least this is my theory. Edmund Wilson’s biographical essay in Patriotic Gore is a good introduction to this side of his personality.

    He was also great company and the world’s first stand up comedian..

    • Replies: @Logan
  21. dfordoom says: • Website
    @anon

    Wow-this is happening to me, too-I’m in my mid 50’s-though its more related to modern ‘art’ (tv, movies, modern music, etc-essentially our pop culture). I had suspected that the internet was to blame (that it is ruining my focus). Maybe its just age.

    I’m roughly the same age as Steve. Over the past decade I’ve lost all interest in music, something that used to be very important to me. I’ve lost all interest in poetry as well. But there are lots of things that do still interest me.

    Maybe as we age our interests get more focused? We lose interest in things that seem to be mere distractions.

    • Replies: @Lot
    , @Anon
  22. dearieme says:

    He probably came up with the idea of natural selection in 1837 but didn’t publish it until …

    Could be, but Hayek suggested that Darwin learnt about evolutionary theory when he was an undergraduate at Edinburgh. The WKPD entry on “History of evolutionary thought” certainly mentions some people who, it seems to me, might have been relevant:

    “Between 1767 and 1792, James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, included in his writings not only the concept that man had descended from primates, but also that, in response to the environment, creatures had found methods of transforming their characteristics over long time intervals.”

    Further “In 1788, James Hutton described gradual geological processes operating continuously over deep time. … From 1830 to 1833, geologist Charles Lyell published his multi-volume work Principles of Geology, which, building on Hutton’s ideas, advocated a uniformitarian alternative to the catastrophic theory of geology. Lyell claimed that, rather than being the products of cataclysmic (and possibly supernatural) events, the geologic features of the Earth are better explained as the result of the same gradual geologic forces observable in the present day—but acting over immensely long periods of time. … his concept … would strongly influence future evolutionary thinkers such as Charles Darwin.”

    Does anyone know whether there is a scholarly consensus on who first came up with, or published, something that recognisably contains the essential elements Darwin’s theory? Even better, published the theory and appended a decent amount of evidence for it?

    I suppose I’m asking whether anyone has anything to add to the WKPD section “Anticipations of natural selection”. It’s not perfect, not least because it lacks a reference to Mr Sailer’s discussion of Mr Chambers.

  23. prosa123 says:

    Mindful of the earlier comment about an embellished/made up story, and taking Arthur Brooks at his word, who could that have been? Chuck Yeager is doubtful; even though the “wife” might have been his oldest daughter, he would have been 92 in the summer of 2015 and therefore well past his mid-80’s (unless Brooks deliberately changed the age to misdirect readers?) I’m also not sure if many passengers would have recognized him.

    Other mentioned candidates:

    Bob Dole (b. 1923): at first he’s a great choice, being recognizable, accomplishments were decades in the past, wife would have been elderly, but past the stated age range.
    John McCain (b. 1936): highly recognizable, but too young for the age range, wife is far from elderly, accomplishments were quite recent.
    Bush Senior (b. 1924): past age range, probably not capable of long distance travel in 2015.
    Buzz Aldrin (b. 1930): perfectly fits the age range, and even though he lives in Florida a LA-DC flight is not an impossibility, but there’s the wife issue. I also doubt he’d be particularly recognizable.

    Of these, I’d probably go with Bob Dole, and attribute the age discrepancy to either an error or misdirection.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  24. Jack D says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    There are some people who as they age lose their willingness or ability to adapt to new technology (and others who are lifelong Luddites) but this is not specifically associated with Boomers except that some Boomers are reaching a “certain age”. Generationally the Boomers have been tech adopters all their life. When it comes to tinkering with cars for example, Boomers are MORE willing to look under the hood than later generations. The current generation seems strangely uninterested in any aspect of cars or anything other than their phones.

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
  25. Currahee says:

    Or maybe, like most journalists, Brooks just fabricated the incident.

  26. Aft says:

    Relax Arthur C Brooks, you were never that important.

    And Steve is right: Darwin was definitely a late bloomer. It’s almost like these journalists are pre-selective based on their very loose relationships with actual facts (especially NYT types…)

  27. My guess is John Glenn. Glenn would have been in his 90s, not 80s. It is common for gossip sites to change minor details to avoid lawsuits and that may be what The Atlantic or Brooks did with Glenn’s age — afterall, this is gossip. Glenn was married to the same woman from 1943 until his death in 2016. He was in poor health. He had heart surgery in 2014, reportedly a stroke in 2015 and vision problems, but he was able to make public appearances and give speeches and interviews throughout 2015 until at least November. Although he lived in Columbus, Ohio, he still had a home in Potomac, Maryland, so that may or may not have had something to do with the DC leg of the flight.

  28. It was Elvis. That’s why Brooks kept it a secret. Steve suspected as much, that’s why he used the Darwin quote about losing appreciation for music.

    It’s all spelled out, plain as day.

  29. slumber_j says:

    Unfortunately, Mendel’s work was published in an obscure academic journal and Darwin never saw it—and in any case, Darwin did not have the mathematical ability to understand it.

    Huh? I don’t recall having any trouble understanding Mendel’s work…in 9th grade. Is there some secret mathematically abstruse Deep Mendelianism that Mr. Brooks knows about that I don’t?

    • Replies: @Aft
    , @Jack D
  30. @Triumph104

    Avoid lawsuits?

    You can’t libel the dead. Not legally, at least. That may be why so many of the most scurrilous claims about celebrities come out after their deaths.

  31. Aft says:
    @slumber_j

    Must have been that mystical monk math.

    Or maybe like most journalists and “social scientists” Mr. Brooks was not too good with basic probability and projects that onto someone three levels of intelligence above him.

    Are there any correct factual statements in this article at all? (Besides that he’s probably right: pundits don’t age well. Their own blend of nonsense of the day rarely ages well. Except HBD types: Jensen and Murray aged pretty damn well…. Helps to be right.)

  32. El Dato says:

    Who is this?

    Saul Tigh?

  33. OT, but it had to happen:

    Southern Poverty Law Center Adds Itself To List Of Hate Groups

    The Babylon Bee gets better and better and while they claim they print Satire most of the time what they produce is more relevant that the #LyingMSM!

    • Agree: fish, jim jones
  34. I think, Mr Steve, you mean the Neoconservative American Enterprise Institute.

  35. prosa123 says:
    @Triumph104

    Glenn would be a good choice, assuming Brooks tweaked the age reference, but it looks as if the man was still alive as of a couple months ago (“he was, and still is, world-famous”).

  36. Jack D says:
    @slumber_j

    He was wrong to say that the problem was Darwin’s lack of math, but new scientific breakthroughs can be surprising hard for even highly qualified scientists to understand at first because our minds tend to operate in well work conceptual grooves – at first the work of a crank and that of a genius seem indistinguishable. Schoolkids today can understand the basics of relativity (and helpful illustrations such as a bowling ball resting on a trampoline have been devised to make it accessible) but when Einstein proposed it, even the greatest minds had trouble dealing with the warping of space-time at first. Who dares to question Newton?

    In Darwin’s case, his problem (as Brooks admits) is that he never saw Mendel’s work at all. It’s pure speculation to say what his reaction would have been if he had actually seen it, but it’s entirely possible that he would not have grasped its full implications since no one else did at the time (but not due to their lack of math).

    According to the Wiki.

    About forty scientists listened to Mendel’s two path-breaking lectures, but it would appear that they failed to understand his work. Later, he also carried on a correspondence with Carl Nägeli, one of the leading biologists of the time, but Nägeli too failed to appreciate Mendel’s discoveries.

    It took another 35 years until a later group of scientists re-invented Mendel’s wheel before they realized that Mendel had already done this work decades earlier. Sure to us it’s easy to understand the idea of dominant and recessive genes but at the time the common belief was that cross breeding lead to a sort of averaging – you cross a black person with a white one and you get a cafe au lait person (and that matched a lot of real world observation).

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  37. Romanian says: • Website

    First world problems. Most people work to live, not the other way around, and anonymity will be their lot in life.

    Who knows? Maybe we’ll finally get around to burning noticers and this will provide a boost to their fame.

  38. Erik L says:

    I have a relative who used to work at Universal. Some time after Seagram’s bought MCA/Universal, he ran into Lew Wasserman (whom he knew well) and asked him how things were going. Lew replied “I just wish, every once in a while, someone would ask me a question”.

    And the young people at my tech company wonder why I (and another “old guy”) are secretive about our ages.

  39. @Triumph104

    I doubt it was Glenn. He was the sunniest and least crotchety of the Mercury astronauts. I saw him give a speech at 90 and he could have passed for 65. And by the time he reached decrepitude, his wife was probably unable to travel. She was in a wheelchair and unable to stand up to receive an ovation during said speech. She’s still alive at 99 but declined before he did.

    Famous astro-grouches include Wally Schirra and Frank Borman. Borman especially was a real hardass, but I still like him. When he was a VP at Eastern Airlines and one of their L-1011s went down in the Everglades, he helicoptered to the crash site and waded into the muck to pull out survivors.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Anonymous
  40. @Steve Sailer

    “Lincoln, like Queen Victoria, Disraeli, and Gladstone… read Robert Chambers.”

    Lincoln and company read The King in Yellow?

    That would certainly explain a lot.

    • LOL: Kevin O'Keeffe
  41. Whiskey says: • Website

    Steve —

    Time to join 2019 — Linux installation and usage day to day is dead easy. If you can follow a cookbook recipe you can install any of the mainstream Linux distributions easily. Any of the Ubuntu flavors are easy to install and easy to maintain.

    Yes, back in 1998 installing Linux was an all day affair, now the only difficulty you will see is Broadcom wifi chips and those don’t work well on PCs either — its the underlying hardware. At worst a $15 usb wifi device will get you up an going. And you can boot without installing to see if you like it. No need install to check it out.

    And I will say this, in many ways Linux is SUPERIOR to Mac OS in day to day usage. Unlike Mac OS now (it was far better ten years ago) I don’t have to do a Windows style download a huge binary blob and stop all work while a system update is installed. I can literally install a new kernel and continue working. Even better, a sensible and mainstream distro like Ubuntu has done the hard integration work for me, I can get not just system but APP updates like LibreOffice, Firefox etc WHILE I AM WORKING.

    I can have a browser open, a spreadsheet open, a Libreoffice Writer doc open, and continue to work while streaming audio and having my updates run in the background automatically. Meaning I get performance and security patches DAILY with a minimum of fuss.

    The savings is not $600 either. More like a $1,000 when comparing comparable MacBook Pros vs. Windows version.

    The best part however is that Linux does not spy on you from the OS level. Some apps may or may not — that’s true for all consumer laptop applications, though Open Source has less leeway to conceal syping on users. But be damned sure that Tim Cook’s crew is vacuuming up all the consumer data and particularly bad thought badness they can for purge lists.

    Given the tidal wave of anti-White hate today, it would be a good idea to have less spyware on your daily computer. It might make the difference between the Gulag and a mass grave somewhere.

  42. ‘…Nah, I just want a computer that won’t get in the way of me grinding out general laws out of large collections of facts without me having to get distracted by having to learn new technologies…’

    Hear, hear and for fuck’s sake, yes.

    Car makers don’t decide it would be exciting to make the steering controlled by your feet and the brakes voice-activated this year — yet computer makers are endlessly altering everything so that every time you go to buy a new computer (which happens roughly as often as one needs a new car) you have to learn a whole new line of rigamarole.

    One would think that they would grasp that for most of us — almost all of us — the computer is a tool to do things, and we just want to sit down and use it — not figure it out. When I take a new car to go get some groceries I don’t have to figure anything out except maybe where the gas cap release is. Why we should have to put ourselves through all this when we buy a new computer escapes me.

    At this point, it’s not as if PC’s are a new technology, still feeling their way. They’ve been common for over thirty years now. The designers can keep making improvements — but under the hood, please. I just want to write something down — not figure out what a ‘charm’ is. That doesn’t entrance me at all.

    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  43. I don’t think Charles Darwin is a good example for any of us little people to use. His dad was rich and Charles never actually worked one single day in his life. It is analogous to drawing from the life of Kim Kardashian. Neither one would answer our phone call or e-mail in a million years.

    It would be great if there were some unbiased documentation on the events where he published the evolution story after getting the favor of a leak from some other rich asshole that Wallace was going to scoop him.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  44. @Percy Gryce

    I like how fast it was memory holed that the architect of the 1991 war was born in Tehran. I’m pro Iranian, but I think it’s interesting that it never comes up.

  45. RobUK says:

    His right hand man Georges Pompidou came to get him and explained a simple deal to extricate themselves: offer the Communist workers higher wages and then crush the college students.

    Sweet.

  46. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    Anyway, I’m reminded of this by commenters who suggest that All I Really Need to Do is become a Linux maven in my 60s or whatever so I can save $500 per year on my computer.

    They say Linux is free if your time is worth nothing. Hence it’s fine for young nerdy guys short on cash and with lots of free time, but not really worth it for everybody else.

  47. @anon

    It may be changes to the brain or just the “been there, done that” principle. But it seems that most people do experience predictable changes in aesthetic tastes with age.

    Steadily losing interest in ephemeral pop culture and mass produced things like action movies is probably part of the process.

    At this point, you couldn’t pay me to see a Marvel superhero movie. But on the other hand I find myself drawn to things that aren’t even objectively “good,” but that have some sort of quirky or nostalgic quality that evoke a different time or place.

    It’s no coincidence that Hollywood writes off anyone over 45 or so as outside its target “demo.”

  48. John McCain, Bob Dole, or G.H.W. Bush? All of them were guys who came close to dying in combat in the service of their country.

    George McGovern, too, who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. But he died in 2012, and his wife in 2007. McGovern doesn’t seem like the type pilots would vote for, but they’d certainly have admired a decorated fellow airman.

    Had they known. McGovern’s war service seems to have been played down in 1972. (He’s the opposite of Dukakis-in-the-tank.) It no doubt clashed with his bring-the-boys-home stance.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  49. @Faraday's Bobcat

    I doubt it was Glenn. He was the sunniest and least crotchety of the Mercury astronauts. I saw him give a speech at 90 and he could have passed for 65.

    My college girlfriend was from Ohio and would say that Glenn was the most boring, droning politician she had ever seen.

    Let me guess– the “sunny” Glenn spoke about a subject other than politics!

  50. @Whiskey

    “If you can follow a cookbook recipe you can install any of the mainstream Linux distributions easily.”

    Well, that rules me out then.

    • LOL: Buzz Mohawk, dfordoom
    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
  51. Corvinus says:

    “Nah, I just want a computer that won’t get in the way of me grinding out general laws out of large collections of facts without me having to get distracted by having to learn new technologies.”

    Sailer’s Gristmill Of Glittering Generalities–Employ unorthodox ways to generate opinions by sifting through data points while simultaneously offering self-indulgent praise.

    “Granted, most of my laws are less like Darwin’s Law of Natural Selection and more like Sailer’s Law of Female Journalism, but still …”

    Let us count them, shall we?

    Sailer’s first law of NOTICING THE UNNOTICED–The media, mainstream or alternative, furnishes us with convenient concepts, such as “white fragility”, “safe spaces”, “race realism”, or “KKKrazyKlue”, that make it easier to remember the facts they prefer you to know and harder to remember the facts that undermine the concepts.

    Sailer’s addendumb to the first law of NOTICING THE UNNOTICE–Alt Right authors use cliche terms like “human biodiversity”, “race traitor”, and “demographic genocide”. It is an entire genre built upon complaining about the lack of wokeness by normies, aka the “mushy middle”, with the intention to virtue signal them to death.

    Sailer’s second law of NOTICING THE UNNOTICED–The media, mainstream or alternative, deftly employs different terms with the purposes to mislead normies and to smooth over the rough edges of the opposing narrative.

    Sailer’s rule of journalism in action–Always quickly follow up an initial post with another post to ensure the lede from the first post is further buried and to solidify a premise that will be used as Alt Right fodder.

    Sailer’s Wonky Woky–The super-annoying common denominator of “woke” writing assumes whatever point it is trying to make is already “settled science” just because some other wokesters believe it is true.

    Sailer’s “Plausible Undeniability”–Incorporate “winks and nods” in the narrative for your audience to understand your alleged stone cold truth is in reality wild speculation.

    Sailer’s iron rule of femme fatalism —> A sardonic, prototypical Alt Right piece in which a male author offers “staccato grievance commentary”™ about some obscure female writer’s vignette as “proof” of the widespread influence of an Ivory Tower concept.

    Sailer Pro Bono–Accuse your opponent of exactly the machinations you allegedly disdain, yet religiously employ. [Perhaps we can raise Lee Atwater from the dead and craft Southern Strategy 2]

    Sailer’s Folly–Whenever there is some pattern to be NOTICED, despite historians, economics, sociologists, and political scientists having explained it clearly and concisely in the past, it is done in a manner that is mind-numbingly stupefying.

    • Replies: @bored identity
  52. Thoughts says:

    Steve reads Blind Gossip! I knew it!

  53. Hopscotch says:
    @Jack D

    Boomers will adopt new technology, as long as it jives with their worldview. They will line up at the Genius Bar to understand new features on their iPhones or MacBooks.

    But when it comes to the technical aspects of software, particularly writing software, they have tended to look down on it as a tradesman’s skill. Boomer executives tried to offshore most of the jobs. Many Boomers will use pejoratives to describe developers, like “computer nerds”, “techies”, “back office”, etc. Only now, after they see the trillion dollar companies and 20 year-olds making outsized paychecks, do they begrudgingly acknowledge it.

  54. @simple_pseudonymic_handle

    I don’t think Charles Darwin is a good example for any of us little people to use.

    I would respectfully dissent. Darwin was a good exemplar of a certain Victorian type — a member of the gentry who could have lived a dissolute life of ease and status, but instead felt compelled to actively discover things and contribute to science and art.

    By all accounts Darwin was very liberal minded and reasonable and not at all a snob. He kept privately honing and writing his Origin of Species for decades. But for some reason he didn’t have the confidence to release it.

    Wallace did scoop him on ‘natural selection’ but only as to the bare concept. Darwin, by contrast, had already privately worked out an elaborate set of real world examples and nuanced evidence that was pretty much a fully formed and complete theory.

    He alway gave Wallace 100% credit and promoted him rather than trying to steal the glory only for himself. It’s just that Darwin’s theory was so much more thoroughly worked out that we know it today as ‘Darwinism.’

    I also think Darwin is interesting because unlike – say Newton or Einstein – he wasn’t necessarily a super-genius. He was just a reasonably smart guy who “did the work.”

    Mostly he made lots and lots of careful observations (like how certain species traits varied from island to island), and then logically connected the dots.

  55. the age when you peak depends on what you are doing. early for mathematicians, musicians, athletes. later for surgeons, coaches, generals. somewhere in between for most engineers and scientists.

    but what’s actually important about this article is not who was on that airplane or what the author is trying to talk about, but the author himself. Arthur C Brooks. this guy SHOULD be a nobody who never held any important jobs. instead, this political moderate who holds no strong positions on anything, and who is a mediocre intellect, keeps getting appointed to moderately important positions in the ‘conservative’ politisphere.

    he’s never said anything that matters. he’s written entire books that are just a bunch of nothing. everything he thinks, says, does, or recommends, will be swept away by the democrats in a few years when they take permanent political control. what is Arthur C Brooks’ important contribution to ANYTHING? nothing, that’s what.

    and that’s why conservatives always lose. who would hire a liberal who has been registered as a democrat to be the head of your conservative think tank?

  56. Lot says:
    @dfordoom

    “Over the past decade I’ve lost all interest in music, something that used to be very important to me.”

    Vape some THC and watch one youtube music video… and soon it is 1:30am.

    • LOL: Jim Don Bob
  57. Lot says:
    @Steve Sailer

    A happier time for him and America.

  58. @dearieme

    Hume’s Dialogues on Natural Religion served a ‘destructive’ role in evolutionary theory I would think, by tearing down ‘design’ theology. And at times Hume gets close to speculating about something resembling natural selection. Not sure if Darwin would have read Hume.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @dearieme
  59. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. … I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did. …

    So it turns out that understanding life itself to be an entirely arbitrary and mechanistic struggle to murder and copulate… isn’t conducive to a rich spiritual life and interior light. Startling!

  60. @Corvinus

    Sailer’s rule of journalism in action–Always quickly follow up an initial post with another post to ensure the lede from the first post is further buried and to solidify a premise that will be used as Alt Right fodder.

    1.) Tell us more about your childhood.

    2.) Show us on the post where exactly were you touched.

    3. ) It’s time to put painful experiences with Uncle Sailer behind you.

    4.) What you really deserve is a clean Slate.

    • LOL: Kylie
    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  61. @Colin Wright

    Preach it, Reverend Wright! I have said the same thing in this way:

    Software is supposed to be a tool, dammit. You learn how to use your tools, and then you do work with those tools until the day they break. I’ve got a table saw. I don’t bring it out of the garage every 2 months and see that the switches are moved around and you clamp the fence differently, and the thing now needs an adapter or power supply to run on a different voltage! It just stays being a fucking table saw.

    Just 3 days back, my phone updated its software on its own, though I’ve been clicking “Remind me later” for MONTHS. My boy said, “well, it got tired of reminding you, Daddy, and it had to take care of it.” How ’bout an option of “No thanks. Leave everything alone!” next time? I missed a bunch of calls because it defaulted to ringer-off, “apps” were in different places, and so on.

    Peak Stupidity has a number of posts on this curmudgeonry, under Artificial Stupidity, including, right here, “Software as a tool”.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
  62. @Mr McKenna

    That was my first thought as well. I continue to be perplexed by the high esteem Brooks is held in by so many.

  63. “I wish I was dead.”

    I feel the same way after reading Arthur Brooks.

    I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me.

    Funny, but I still enjoy reading Shakespeare: Charles Darwin, on the other hand ….

    All I Really Need to Do is become a Linux maven in my 60s or whatever so I can save $500 per year on my computer.

    You’ll spend $2,000 worth of your time writing the drivers for the graphics card you’ll need to run the snazzy monitor combo you want. Then you’ll have to re-write them when you foolishly decide to upgrade the kernal.

  64. @blank-misgivings

    A bunch of people got right up to the edge of the idea of natural selection.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @candid_observer
  65. Realist says:
    @Steve Sailer

    A little more nuanced, but the same with relativity.

  66. anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    wwebd said – funny thing is that in person the average astronaut in the first couple of decades of space flight – typically a lieutenant colonel in the military – was almost always a lot more dull than the average lieutenant colonel from those decades who was not an astronaut.

    They — the astronauts —- were like athletes who were chosen for their stamina, mediocrity, and lack of any ability to surprise, rather than for their talents or for their prior athletic successes. A good recipe for finding people who would not mess up, but an ever better recipe for finding competent guys who were dull as dishwater, compared to what they should have been, given their advantages in life.

    Just saying.

    I never met most of them, so I could be wrong, but it is really really hard to think of a famous American who risked his life once or more for anything noble who does not come off as much much more interesting than poor John Glenn did.

    But, assuming Brooks was not engaging in journalistic fraud, the sad old man on the plane could be Rickles, he was brave in his youth, and as a pal of Jerry Lewis, he was world famous – famous in Paris and Vegas, anyway, which I guess counts.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @JMcG
  67. dearieme says:
    @blank-misgivings

    Not sure if Darwin would have read Hume.

    Hume’s ideas are presumably the sort of thing Hayek thought Darwin must have met at Edinburgh. You can be pretty confident that he wouldn’t have met them at Cambridge. Oxford and Cambridge were terrible at the time.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  68. @Mr McKenna

    Personally, I always follow Hypnotoad’s Law of Annecdotes: The odds that a story is fake is equal to how well it meets the author’s need to illustrate a point, divided by the reader’s ability to fact-check it.

    • Agree: Charon
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  69. anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    wwebd said – but the self-pitying old man sounds a lot more like Powell than it does like anyone else who has been mentioned, from the point of view of the “psychology of the individual”, as Jeeves used to describe it.

    And of course Brooks was not completely accurate with his parameters, that would not be the sort of thing one would expect from him in that context.

    and, for the record, I have met a couple hundred people who were lieutenant colonels in the glory days of the astronauts. Collins and Armstrong and Aldrin were (are) all great and fascinating guys in their way, but I think they were the exceptions.

  70. The whole story seems absurd, and the “clues” make it even more unlikely.

    Unless people are shouting, it’s quite difficult to hear what people in the row behind you are saying on an airplane, particularly in first class, where they were all likely to be traveling, and spacing is wider.

    If Brooks and the pilot both recognized him, it’s unlikely it was any astronaut other than Glenn or Aldrin. Glenn went to the moon in his 70s, so wasn’t just famous decades ago. Both Lovell and Boorman seem likely in that they were long ago famous, the right age,and are still married to their first wives, but while the pilot would recognize them, I can’t see Brooks picking them out of a crowd.

    Politicians seem more likely. But McCain was famous and working up to the moment he died. Not for the life of me can I see GHWB, father of one president and father of a presidential candidate who, in 2015, he probably thought would win, thinking he was useless.

    Don Rickles? Not for patriotism and service to country.

    Bob Dole, maybe, except he’s not much for self-pity and even today, he’s kind of known for being involved and interested in GOP politics–he stuck up for Trump, for example, and was the only prior GOP candidate to go to the convention.

    But honestly, Brooks is the kind of guy who tells stories that just don’t ever pass the swallow test.

  71. Anon[410] • Disclaimer says:
    @dfordoom

    You have to develop the habit of going out and actively searching out new music to listen to. When I do, I always find interesting stuff I’m very glad I found. The music that’s hit me the hardest is stuff I didn’t discover until the last 4-5 years, and I’ve been listening to music since the 1970s.

  72. @anon

    I have of late, (but wherefore I know not) lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition; that this goodly frame the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave o’er hanging firmament, this majestical roof, fretted with golden fire: why, it appeareth no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man, How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, In form and moving how express and admirable, In action how like an Angel, In apprehension how like a god, The beauty of the world, The paragon of animals. And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  73. What you are saying is, you are a member of the new Ford Nation.

    Ford Nation was people born and through their youth when the automobile became a widespread product for general use. Almost all of them learned to drive a Ford Model T. The Model T has nothing in common with a “modern car” in its user interface save for a steering wheel. It has different levers and pedals in different places. And the first “modern cars” had the “modern layout”, but nonsynchronized manual gearboxes and they took a different but also more complicated skill set to drive.

    Despite the T being slower, cruder, and more rickety than the Model A and its hundreds of competitors, Ford Nation stuck with the Model T and would drive nothing else usually for the rest of their lives. After the end of WWII, most Ford Nationers had died off, and the sale of model T replacement parts dropped drastically. Their often lovingly maintained T’s were junked or made into hot rods.

    The head of Ford Nation, if unwitingly, was Henry Ford himself. He never really liked driving any later car than the T, and if he had to would wind up grinding the gears and driving erratically. Evventually, as the last billionaire on earth for another 30 years could, he stopped driving entirely and was chauffeured.

    There were, far smaller in size, also “nations” of Stanley steam car and electric car drivers who also would not switch (the latter being women) and they kept those anachronisms in production for fifteen years or so after they became technically obsolete.

  74. @Reg Cæsar

    McGovern’s war record was very impressive. I don’t know why he didn’t have it played up more in 1972. Perhaps he was too dignified?

  75. @Reg Cæsar

    Yeah, it was an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of his Mercury flight.

  76. @Jack D

    Mendelism is easier for us to understand because we are used to digital stuff, but in his day most things seemed analog.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  77. @dearieme

    Chambers’ 1844 bestseller failed to come up with natural selection. What he did was make the general concept of “development,” as seen in cosmology, geology, and biology, seem overwhelmingly obvious. Chambers basically won the debate with Creationists in the 1840s so Darwin’s theory of evolution pushed on an open door in the 1850s.

  78. @prosa123

    I can recall a 1980s Saturday Night Live sketch about the GOP candidates including Bob Dole and Pat Robertson, in which Dan Ackroyd was memorable as a bleak Bob Dole brusquely challenging Pat Robertson to have Jesus fix his war-ruined right arm. I have no idea if this was an accurate portrayal of Dole, but it was pretty electrifying at the moment that it stood out.

    Dole is a very witty man, so he might well have depressive episodes like many comedians.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  79. @Steve Sailer

    A bunch of people got right up to the edge of the idea of natural selection.

    Not really, I think:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection#Pre-Darwinian_theories

    The idea that natural selection was a creative force that brought about all species was really first conceived and developed by Darwin — and of course Wallace later.

    It’s quite a big leap from anything previous.

  80. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Although it took a while for the hardware to catch up, Boole laid out the underlying math (what came to be known as Boolean algebra) for digital computers in 1847.

    Darwin and Boole were English gentlemen of about the same age – it wouldn’t surprise me if they knew each other:

    http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Extras/Boole_Darwin.html

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    , @MEH 0910
  81. Looking up famous people born in 1930 who would have been 85 in 2015, I see Gene Hackman (joined Marines at age 16), Clint Eastwood, and Sean Connery. But I don’t imagine movie stars tend to have elderly wives.

    Tom Wolfe is a possibility. He always dressed in a manner to call attention to himself, and an airline pilot might well have read “The Right Stuff” as a boy and become a big fan. But the “still is” part is ambiguous. Does it mean the man is undying or just his fame? Wolfe died last year.

    Okay, how about Ross Perot? Born in 1930, died July 9th of this year. One wife, a patriot, a courageous man, but also prone to mood swings. On the other hand, I imagine Perot owned his own jet, as would George Soros.

    Belafonte or Poitier?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  82. anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:

    “I don’t imagine movie stars have elderly wives”

    The ones who were raised Catholic, Episcopalian, Mormon, or Jewish do, more often than not.

    And they generally travel around the country with their wives, not their mistresses.

    “A girlfriend in every port” works for a long time if you are rich.

    I mean it shouldn’t – but these are old men who are almost half a century older than they were the last time a woman looked at them with love in her heart for who they were instead of for the fact that they are celebrities.

    Most people have no idea how ordinary and easy that temptation is for the old dudes.

    And, while they cheat on their elderly wives, they travel around the country with their elderly wives, and they are otherwise mostly kind to their elderly wives (they don’t really care enough to be be anything but polite) , and it is not as if they are doing any big favors to the younger women who out of some weird sense of kindness have sex with old men they find unattractive.

    If you know much about LA real estate, there are about 500 to 1000 actual celebrities in LA, and there are a couple hundred houses paid for by old dudes with elderly wives lived in by young women who do not ever go on plane rides with the old dudes.

    Don’t ask me how I know that. And in any city where there are celebrities, even if it is not an LA type of situation, there are a few houses lived in by young women paid for by old dudes, local celebrities or world famous celebrities, who should not have paid for those houses, if they were honest,

    So yeah, there are lots of elderly wives out there in celebrity land. And trust me the wives get to hear the self-pitying nonsense, the young mistresses don’t allow themselves to be subjected to that nonsense,

    Or maybe I have been reading too many Enty Lawyer slanders ….

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  83. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Now, if only Lincoln had read some Darwin, think how much trouble we all could have been saved.

    That sounds like a radical misunderstanding of Lincoln–and more broadly the sentiments that motivated a typical “Free Soiler” or later a “Republican”.

    Sure there were some denialists–mostly the New England good-thinker, usual suspects. But most people who opposed the expansion of slavery, simply wanted territory saved for free men. They wanted to live in a real republic–a nation of free white men.

    Of course, their “slave power” opponents be they Jeff Davis or the Iowa farm who hired Molly Tibbets rape-murdered don’t tend to be HBD denialists either. They are just … greedy scum.

    Understanding HBD really wasn’t the fault line. It was power, money and what sort of society do you want to live in.

    ~~

    The US had the incredible good fortune to have a slew of really 1st class men alive and working together at our founding. Ergo its success.

    But the plain truth is the US just did not have that quality of leaders in the mid-19th century. One can certainly criticize Lincoln’s sloth in responding to the crisis, and his choice of war to solve it. However, if Lincoln’s leadership wasn’t all it could have been, the South’s was absolutely abysmal. Even beyond the lack of republican virtue, the lack of foresight–about technological change, the future of slavery, and the sort of society they would have maintaining slavery with a 2000 mile border with the US–stunning.

    Though, to be fair, that was 1860. Given the information available today, nothing compares to the arrogance and stupidity and sheer evil of our current “elites”. One cadre contemptuous of actual Americans. Another greedily grasping for cheap labor … while automation and robotics killing millions of jobs looms right in front of us. HBD–and sexual!–denialism the order of the day. Or current elites make the runts of 1860 look like mental and moral giants.

  84. “Then in his mid‑80s, he was beloved as a hero for his courage, patriotism, and accomplishments many decades ago”

    That doesn’t describe any of those names, does it?

    He’s instantly recognizable and served in the military. Any actor in that category who was also instantly recognizable would be working and well known, and I can’t imagine an actor saying “no one needs me anymore” anyway.

    Thus it seems likely it’s a politician, one who served but was out of office for a long time, recognizable. Astronaut if well known, but not sure who that would be other than the ones we’ve discussed.

  85. 95Theses says:

    in any case, Darwin did not have the mathematical ability to understand it

    Interesting, that, because David Gelernter’s recent abandonment of his long-held belief in Darwinian evolution was due to the fact that the math simply will not support the theory. I.e., if Darwin did possess the mathematical ability and was aware of DNA’s role, he would never have published Origin of the Species.

    It’s a must-read/must-watch in my humble opinion.

    Giving Up Darwin
    2019, May 01 | David Gelernter
    https://www.claremont.org/crb/article/giving-up-darwin/

    Mathematical Challenges to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
    2019, July 22 | Hoover Institute

    • Agree: utu
  86. Logan says:
    @Luke Lea

    He also built his cabinet out of his main rivals for the Republican nomination, all of whom thought they were far better qualified to be president than he was.

    With one exception they all became Lincoln loyalists within a year or two. That right there tells you something about the man.

  87. Then in his mid‑80s, he was beloved as a hero for his courage, patriotism, and accomplishments many decades ago.

    As he walked up the aisle of the plane behind me, other passengers greeted him with veneration. Standing at the door of the cockpit, the pilot stopped him and said, “Sir, I have admired you since I was a little boy.” The older man—apparently wishing for death just a few minutes earlier—beamed with pride at the recognition of his past glories.

    For selfish reasons, I couldn’t get the cognitive dissonance of that scene out of my mind. It was the summer of 2015, shortly after my 51st birthday. …

    — mid 80s
    — in summer of 2015
    — passengers greeting him with veneration

    is a rare mix.

    Mid-80s in 2015 is too late for World War guys. It’s too young for Vietnam guys, including McCain.

    Many of the Apollo astronauts–like Armstrong, Aldrin, Lovell–are in that frame. But Armstrong was already dead and do people even recognize most of these guys?

    Along with Jim Lovell, i’d offer Ross Perot. He stayed married to the same gal his whole life. He’s distinct enough in his looks people could recognize him. But then his bravery isn’t really personal. And “veneration” would be a bit much.

  88. @anonymous

    Clint’s marital life is notoriously complex:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_life_of_Clint_Eastwood

    Hackman is on his second wife, as is Connery, although his wife is the same age as him.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  89. @Stebbing Heuer

    Why did Shakespeare write the great Quintessence of Dust speech in Hamlet in prose?

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
  90. @Steve Sailer

    It was a bad time to play up one’s being a soldier in Vietnam, most especially with the voters he was supposed to impress.

  91. Buzz Mohawk says: • Website
    @Redneck farmer

    First heard this one at an encounter group:

    “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.”

    ― George Bernard Shaw

    That sounded good when we were young and going to encounter groups.

  92. @Steve Sailer

    ‘McGovern’s war record was very impressive. I don’t know why he didn’t have it played up more in 1972. Perhaps he was too dignified?’

    Maybe in 1972 on the left, flying B-24’s in World War Two made you a baby killer.

  93. @Steve Sailer

    McGovern’s war record was very impressive. I don’t know why he didn’t have it played up more in 1972. Perhaps he was too dignified?

    That in part, yes. But in the Democratic Party of 1972, especially the youth, pushing his war record would have been like touting one’s descent from the First Families of Virginia in today’s party.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  94. @Steve Sailer

    ‘Dole is a very witty man, so he might well have depressive episodes like many comedians.’

    Dole was the sort of American politician you could respect. The only one of any consequence around now of whom I can say the same is Bernie Sanders. I don’t agree with him at all on most things; but at least I can respect him.

  95. anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    To run the numbers, Eastwood (born in 1930, technically the 1920s but for almost everyone without a math degree, the 1930s) is easily one of the ten most famous heterosexual male actors born in America in his natal decade.
    My best guess is that in LA there are 5 houses he paid for, lived in by ex-wives or ex-girlfriends, and I also guess that, out of the 100 most famous male heterosexual American actors born in the 1930s, he was not far off the curve.
    So, assuming a Gaussian distribution (and why not – Gaussian distributions are often close to accurate in small standard samples) that is at least 200 or 300 houses (right now) lived in rent-free or fully-paid-off by former or current girlfriends/ex-wives of the 100 most famous actors born in the 1930s, both living and deceased, and there are probably double that many from the following cohorts of the 1940s and 1950s, which is a lot of real estate.

    This information is not useful for very many purposes, I get it.
    But my point is, you can be old and successful and world-famous and still be a chump (not saying Eastwood is one, just making a general point that may or may not be uninteresting).

    • Replies: @Pericles
  96. @AnotherDad

    “The mind is the terriblest force in the world, father”
    — Stevens

    Jokes are koans. Koans are jokes.

    Everybody knows implicitly what was meant by the Lincoln/Darwin line. Historicity is not the issue.

    Not everything needs to be “unpacked”.

  97. JMcG says:
    @anonymous

    Pete Conrad was certainly not dull.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  98. Anonymous[418] • Disclaimer says:

    The celebrity at beginning of Brookes’ piece is prob Norman Schwartzkopf

    —Anon in Arkansas

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  99. @BB753

    You’re wrong. When you get older you’ll be thankful that you’ve made a mistake in this regard.

  100. Kylie says:
    @BB753

    And then there’s Richard Strauss….

  101. @Faraday's Bobcat

    Agreed.

    Trying to figure out “the guy” to fit the bill is fun.

    But this is weird stuff:

    But I had started to wonder: Can I really keep this going? I work like a maniac. But even if I stayed at it 12 hours a day, seven days a week, at some point my career would slow and stop. And when it did, what then? Would I one day be looking back wistfully and wishing I were dead? Was there anything I could do, starting now, to give myself a shot at avoiding misery—and maybe even achieve happiness—when the music inevitably stops?

    … I have been on a quest to figure out how to turn my eventual professional decline from a matter of dread into an opportunity for progress. …

    I figured out i was going to eventually die by the time i was about five. And any old guy should have been coming to terms with it for years. Which, of course, doesn’t mean all the decline doesn’t suck.

    But the answer to dealing with this without misery and hopefully happiness is … have kids!

    You raise up some kids, then pass the baton to the next generation for them to carry our civilization into the future.

    It shows the pathetic and degraded state of America that a man who’s made a living as a “conservative” doesn’t just viscerally understand that, but writes as if he thinks of himself as an independent atom just floating in a sea.

    That a lot of people are lost and unhappy no doubt has to do with the fact that we have an elite that is contemptuous of and has made war on the very idea of the specialness and beauty of our culture and heritage, our race and civilization. Having people in charge who push their view of America not as our nation to preserve, but as their marketplace to loot … then sure growing old and passing on becomes a lot more depressing.

  102. @Whiskey

    Time to join 2019 — Linux installation and usage day to day is dead easy.

    Whiskey is a Linux enthusiast?

    No wonder the poor fool can’t attract any women.

  103. @bored identity

    iSteve won’t let me push your “Agree” button because I haven’t posted enough volume of comments in a short time. Is iSteve not getting enough comments to moderate?

    With remarks like yours, it is no wonder I am not posting very many comments. I could not have expressed what I am thinking any better than what you just wrote.

  104. prosa123 says:

    Okay, here’s an extreme long shot candidate for the famous older man on the flight. World-famous, heroic and patriotic, major accomplishments long in the past, right in the correct age range, physical feature makes him immediately recognizable. His wife died well before 2015 but it might have been another woman with him.
    There’s really just one question:
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    Does Mikhail Gorbachev speak English?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  105. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @JMcG

    I’ve met several astros and SR pilots (just as elite) and few are dull.

  106. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Faraday's Bobcat

    Famous astro-grouches include Wally Schirra and Frank Borman. Borman especially was a real hardass, but I still like him. When he was a VP at Eastern Airlines and one of their L-1011s went down in the Everglades, he helicoptered to the crash site and waded into the muck to pull out survivors.

    Borman was a stand up guy but he was totally unsuited to corporate politics. He let two douchebags-Lorenzo and Charlie Bryan-rip his airline apart.

  107. @Hopscotch

    But when it comes to the technical aspects of software, particularly writing software, they have tended to look down on it as a tradesman’s skill. Boomer executives tried to offshore most of the jobs. Many Boomers will use pejoratives to describe developers, like “computer nerds”, “techies”, “back office”, etc.

    So, you’re a computer nerd.

  108. @Steve Sailer

    OT – Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch on his 2nd and 3rd at bat today, making him the all time Cubs leader in hit by pitches. Both pitches hit the back of his upper right arm (same pitcher), and the second time he appeared to experience tingling and or numbing in his right hand.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  109. @MikeatMikedotMike

    Anthony Rizzo broke the Cubs record for most career hit-by-pitches, surpassing Frank Chance of Tinkers to Evers to Chance fame, who played in the Merkle’s Boner game of 1908. They didn’t have helmets then, but they probably only threw about 75 mph I’m guessing. Third place all time for the Cubs is young Kris Bryant.

    I think Rizzo is a great guy, but how much should you sacrifice your body for your team?

    As Rodney Dangerfield said in Back to School, “I’m in such bad shape that when I die, I’m gonna donate my body to science fiction.”

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  110. @Steve Sailer

    Looking up famous people born in 1930 who would have been 85 in 2015, I see Gene Hackman (joined Marines at age 16)

    Not long before that, he used to pester his big brother by tailing along with his clique at Danville High– which included Donald O’Connor, Bobby Short, and Dick Van Dyke.

    That’s got to rank among the top teenage gangs of all time. Has anybody done a study?

  111. @Steve Sailer

    I’ve met both Rizzo and Dangerfield. I told you a couple months ago about meeting Rizzo at my cousin’s wedding this past July.

    I met Dangerfield at Pierce College in 1996, where he filmed a football bit for his up coming 75th Birthday Celebration Special. I was on the Pierce College football team and we were the extras used in the vignette. Strangely, I cannot find that special on youtube anywhere.

  112. @dearieme

    The WKPD entry on “History of evolutionary thought” certainly mentions some people who, it seems to me, might have been relevant:

    Out of this gang, only the opinion of Miss Quarters, if any, would carry any weight:

    Whether it does or not, Bailey looked great on a bike at seventeen:

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  113. Kronos says:
    @anon

    One day, Charlie Brown will learn that football kick is a ruse.

  114. @Steve Sailer

    Considering your current Mac setup, is there any reason besides limited room that you are using a laptop + auxiliary screen? Maybe a Mac mini would be a better piece of hardware… for one thing, it has a better cooling system than a Macbook Air. And you can shoehorn whatever screens you want into your limited workspace: ports aplenty!

    $1300 to get Steve a top-line Mac mini with 16GB RAM, folks! Steve, on every post append one of those charity fundraiser ‘thermometers’ so we can spectate on your progress. 😉

    https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/mac-mini/3.0ghz-6-core-processor-with-turbo-boost-up-to-4.1ghz-256gb

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/11/01/mac_mini_uninhibited_and_for_grown_ups/

  115. Kronos says:
    @Hopscotch

    “Boomer executives tried to offshore most of the jobs.”

    I thought they actually did. John Derbyshire did a whole thing about it roughly 1/2 a year ago. This was during the MSM’s nashing of teeth against the “Learn to Code” meme against fired online journalists.

  116. @Steve Sailer

    It seems he weighed the prose and cons and went with prose.

  117. Svigor says:

    Anyway, I’m reminded of this by commenters who suggest that All I Really Need to Do is become a Linux maven in my 60s or whatever so I can save $500 per year on my computer.

    LoL. Linux? No. Windows is fine. And you don’t need to be a maven – you just need to know how to do a g**gle search. After a few years, you’ll become a maven via osmosis.

    And it’s not just about saving money on the hardware. It’s about how Windows software selection is like 50x bigger than Apple software selection.

    Really, it’s about what you want to be able to do with your computer. If you have vanilla needs (standard, non-customized web browser, maybe some office software, a lil’ video editing here, a lil’ photo editing there) then Apple is fine. Better than Windows, in fact. If you want to be able to spread your wings and try a lot of different shit with your rig, Apple falls flat.

    In this regard, Linux is no better than Apple, AFAICT.

    Linux is where I’d go if I wanted stability uber alles.

    $1300 to get Steve a top-line Mac mini with 16GB RAM, folks! Steve, on every post append one of those charity fundraiser ‘thermometers’ so we can spectate on your progress. 😉

    Once you get the evergreen peripherals out of the way (case first and foremost, but PSU/mouse/monitor too, too a lesser extent), you can get a good PC for like $500. FFS Apples are overpriced.

    • Agree: education realist
  118. @BB753

    Well, one solution is to be so much smarter than people that you’re still smarter than them 50 years later.

    Noam Chomsky was legitimately, objectively the most important scholar in his field for at least five decades–the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s.

    I don’t mean he was just the most famous based on his past accomplishments but was still clearly the most important active scholar. Full professors–not students–at Harvard would go to MIT to sit in on his *classes* in the 90s to take notes because that was the only way to keep up with the field. He was still publishing major stuff in the early 2000s but seems to have finally slowed down now.

    • Replies: @Pericles
    , @BB753
  119. Nachum says:

    The “2015” line seems tacked on and too late for the memory. Probably a ruse to cloud the issue if it isn’t made up.

  120. @BB753

    One must wonder how old you are. Surely you must know some high functioning older folks, and by older, I mean over 38. Our host here, Mr. Sailer, seems to still be able to spot the brain cell. As for not designed to go on past 50, it is well documented back into antiquity that lots of folks who made it to 50 hung around for long after that. The real danger zone for humans was before attaining the age of 5, not after 50. Also, isn’t everyone on the Supreme court over 50?

  121. @Reg Cæsar

    So true…

    …especially if y’all.take into account that both of these flower-powering ladies had plenty of experience on the given subject.

    The Damn Dirty Hippies.

  122. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @BB753

    Mick Jagger seems to be doing ok at 75, but Keith has looked dead for the last thirty years. still he soldiers on. Townshend is 74, also doing sort of okay.Mark Knopfler is 70, and plays quite well indeed.

    On the distaff side, Christine McVie 975), Debbie Harry (74), Stevie Nicks (70) and Chrissie Hynde (68 this week) seem to be in good shape.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  123. Pericles says:
    @anonymous

    But my point is, you can be old and successful and world-famous and still be a chump

    On the other hand, George Soros is no chump. Perhaps a cheap, greedy old Portnoy who wants to defile and destroy the goyim, but not a chump.

    https://nypost.com/2011/08/13/soros-jilted-ex-on-their-5-year-affair-and-his-sudden-change-of-heart/
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2024790/George-Soros-refuses-ex-lover-Adriana-Ferreyr-1-9m-Manhattan-apartment.html
    https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/george-soros-ex-girlfriend-berserk-deposition-court-papers-article-1.1606326

    “A–h–le! You piece of s–t!” Ferreyr, 30, allegedly screamed at Soros, 83, when he passed her in the hallway on the way to the restroom.

    When the lawyers agreed at 1 p.m. to break for lunch, Singer said, Ferreyr “suddenly and without warning … lunged at Mr. Soros — who is 83 years old — and struck his head with her hands, knocking off the headphones he was wearing to amplify the audio in the room.”

    “Ms. Ferreyr pulled back her arm to strike Mr. Soros in the face. I was able to grab both of (her) arms to move her away….I let go of her arms. Ms. Ferreyr immediately swung at my face, knocking off my glasses.”

    Though I view the above more as a public service that really any passer-by would and should have assisted with.

    Perhaps the parties then convened for the actual meeting and final cheating.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  124. Pericles says:
    @anonymous2space

    I don’t mean he was just the most famous based on his past accomplishments but was still clearly the most important active scholar. Full professors–not students–at Harvard would go to MIT to sit in on his *classes* in the 90s to take notes because that was the only way to keep up with the field.

    Sorry, what classes were those? His linguistic theories seem to have mostly been adapted in automata theory (60s or 70s?) and discarded elsewhere. As far as I know, Chomsky was basically the archetyphal tenured radical after that.

  125. @95Theses

    I don’t think his “abandonment” of Darwin is recent, I think I remember hearing something similar by him over twenty years ago.

  126. BB753 says:
    @anonymous2space

    Chomsky surrounds himself with cultists. From the mid 1970’s, his former students took over the development of Chomskyan linguistics, a dead-end if there ever was one.

  127. BB753 says:
    @Joe Schmoe

    I said you can keep grinding on long after 38 or so, functioning reasonably well, but that you’ll never be as good as you were in your early thirties. It’s a fact in all human endeavours: the arts, science, math, sports, etc.

  128. BB753 says:
    @Joe Schmoe

    Fifty years is the expiration date. The human body can live longer but we’re not really designed to last more than fifty years. And it shows. Modern medicine, higiene and a milder lifestyle than in the Neolithic makes us assume that we’re not old when in fact we are.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  129. Harland Sanders didn’t franchise his first KFC until he was 62. This was the same age that Orville Redenbacher launched his unpopped popcorn. So don’t be discouraged.

  130. @Reg Cæsar

    Believe it or not, young Miss Smithers was only 16 in that picture.

    As for her and her castmates, they really fell off the face of the Earth. They tried giving Johnny Fever TWO TV shows. They cast him as the husband in the last season of One Day at a Time, then they gave him his own show in Head of the Class. He managed to get himself fired off of his own show a la the late Valerie Harper.

    As for Head of the Class, those kids also fell off the face of the Earth. The only exception was the fat kid at the computer, who produces all of those teen-girl shows on Nickelodeon.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  131. @BB753

    As Dr Johnson might have said: “Speak for yourself, sir.”

    • LOL: BB753
    • Replies: @BB753
  132. @BB753

    It is what it is.

    At some point you have to recognize what other relevant people say.

    And this is what someone said in a relevant book:

    “Look, there are a lot of smart people at MIT and Harvard…I don’t know else to say this but…Noam put all us to shame. And that was hard to take.”

  133. @BB753

    Everyone in Cambridge, no matter what their field, saw Chomsky as a strikingly elite genius.

    Here’s John Maynard Smith, responding to Chomsky *criticizing* him:

    ” I see Chomsky, and I think Dennett would agree, as one of the half-dozen commanding intellects of this century.”

    ‘this century’ being the 20th century of einstein, bohr, godel, turing, et al. And Maynard Smith–whilst being criticized–just casually puts Chomsky in that category. He doesn’t even argue it; he just assumes that *another* critic of Chomsky, Daniel Dennett, would recognize Chomsky’s status.

    • Replies: @BB753
  134. Dan Hayes says:
    @Pericles

    Pericles:

    Too bad his financial choices weren’t as dunderheaded as his significant other choices!

  135. BB753 says:
    @anonymous2space

    What does John Maynard-Smith know of linguistics? Today, the most promising linguistic schools are of the cognitive or functional kind. What have the various iterations of Chomskyan linguistic achieved? Very little outside of phonology. Strangely, Americans have a very parochial mindset when it comes to linguistics, contrary to literary studies, where Europeans are all the rage. Chomsky has been amply refuted time and again since he took Harris’ transformations to absurd extremes, mixed with a profound misunderstanding of Humboldt and his “energeia” . Minimalist theory is a joke.
    If you want to read a thoughtful analysis of Chomsky, Humboldt and in general of functional linguistics, look up Eugenio Coseriu’s bibliography.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenio_Co%C8%99eriu

    As for Chomsky’s political thought, what can you say as bout an admirer of Pol Pot’s political theory and practice?

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
  136. Travis says:
    @Joe Schmoe

    during the paleolithic times humans often lived to 70 years-old. People who lived passed 14 would be expected to live another 50 years. While the average lifespan would have been 25 , very few would have died at age 25 , with more people dying in their 60s than in their twenties.

    From studying the remains of Paleolithic cultures and the life patterns of modern hunter-gatherers, researchers have concluded that human mortality fit to a U-shaped curve. Infancy and childhood were dangerous, but if you survived to 15, you could expect a reasonable lifespan: mortality rates started to increase again at around 45, doubling at 60 and again at 70. Gurven and Kaplan found that the modal (most common) age of death for hunter-gatherers who survived past 15 was 72.

    The basic pattern of Paleolithic mortality was probably close to these observed patterns in modern hunter-gatherer societies: a shockingly high infant mortality rate, but a relatively high life expectancy for those who survived to reach puberty, with most deaths caused by diseases that pose relatively little threat to people in modern societies. Many people misunderstand these patterns because they only look at the “average” lifespan. The mathematical average of the ages at death of everyone in a Paleolithic group might have been 25, but breaking down this number by age reveals a very high infant mortality rate bringing down the group average: either you died at 3, or you lived to be 60.

  137. El Dato says:
    @Hopscotch

    20 year-olds making outsized paychecks, do they begrudgingly acknowledge it

    I begrudingly acknowledge the existence of the monetary bubble, where skill-deficient and frankly dangerous coder fag**ts are getting rewarded with pension money to write code that resembles the interior of a cow’s orifice, mostly with the goal of mining more money from sloshing “quantitative easing” cash or to perform “deep behavioural analysis” with “influencing” of people’s facebook behaviour.

  138. @Joe Schmoe

    Interesting topic. It involves some strong inhibitions against understanding the nature of human life. With my usual tact and delicacy, here’s the structural description of what’s going on. Note the absence in this explanation of weakly god-like entities who control everything.

    Human (H. Sapiens) society seems to have evolved around provisioning [1]. That is, women bear and nourish and care for their children, but are unable to support them economically – the children just consume too many resources. In fact, the kids seem to consume whatever resources are available, and quite often more than they want (e.g. medical treatment, esp. dental treatment) at the behest of parents and sometimes unrelated people (social workers). Helicopter parents are the most recent adjustment upwards in provisioning the women and children. Note that the increased provisioning doesn’t always produce better adults (e.g. it can produce fat adults), but it tends to be provided or even forced nevertheless. We’re dealing with genetically driven (“instinctual”) behavior here.

    This has been realized for quite some time in a general way (there’s an article in _Science_ about “male provisioning” back in the late 1960s, and the old “women and children first” is a very old saying. It didn’t always hold, especially among groups of men in desperate military circumstances, but it was also the usual practice — it had to be, if there was to be a next generation.

    And this led to the survival of old people. Women past menopause can assist their daughters in caring for a new child, provide experienced answers to questions, assert social authority in favor of her daughter, etc. Mothers-in-law can do much the same for their sons. Father’s can, if they have the social standing, also provide information services (advice, memory). All this means the relatives of these old people can raise more, or at least better children. (Obviously, this isn’t working now in the West, at least on a grand scale. Too few rich kids. That’s what took down Classical Greek society after Alexander the Great. )

    Note that much of this goes out the window when there are severe stresses on society. A city under siege would typically discard all it’s old people, and might (as Vercingetorix did) also drive out the city’s women and children. Some peoples in harsh environments have quite frequently been unable to keep old people [2].

    Today, industrial productivity has enabled Western society to keep old people and improved medical care has kept them (quite often ) from debilitating diseases, so they can remain a good source of information and even original ideas that require extensive experience on both sides of various propaganda curtains. Industrial society has grown so well provisioned that it has (rather like a very fat middle age person) developed various dysfunctions as well: preservation of structures that consume much more than they produce, not removing the political structure that enforce this preservation, even ignoring its own displacement [3] while loudly proclaiming the “end of history” for all except itself.

    But remember the Eskimo example. When things get rough, the luxuries go [4]. That includes the old people.

    Counterinsurgency

    1] https://family.jrank.org/pages/892/In-Law-Relationships.html

    2] http://www.theinitialjourney.com/features/eskimos-old-age/

    3] Martin Van Creveld.
    “The Fate of the State”.
    _Parameters_, 1996.
    Now available as download from:
    https://www.scribd.com/document/172408353/The-Fate-of-the-State
    I was unable to establish a link to _Parameters_ site.

    4] The usual argument boils down to “It’s them or me, and I choose me”. Surprisingly often, in my experience, the old agree with the decision [2] or enforce it, even when it isn’t strictly speaking necessary for their relative’s survival. We’ve been living an a Golden Age, which is any age that doesn’t force such decisions to be made.

  139. BB753 says:
    @Simon Tugmutton

    Alas, longevity with relative intact brain function is the curse of my family! My father says that life after 70 is crap and not worth living and he’s still relatively in good shape at 86 years old. Becoming decrepit and being aware of it, plagued with pain and disconfort, living in a world you feel no affinity for, takes its toll on the soul.
    Personally, I favor the good-old fashioned .38 special retirement, courtesy of Messrs. Smith& Wesson.

  140. “Nah, I just want a computer that won’t get in the way of me grinding out general laws out of large collections of facts without me having to get distracted by having to learn new technologies.”

    Actually, the question that has roiled the intellectual world for the past ten years has been, “Whatever happened to Steve Sailer, author?”

    Right after publishing a brilliant Obama-book in 2008, he wrote a series of brilliant articles on the Minority Mortgage Meltdown, and I just assumed that that would be the topic of his next book. But it never materialized.

    Affordable family formation? Diversity journalism? Golf and nature?

    Has nobody offered him a book deal (e.g., Regnery?). Has he not pitched any book proposals? I realize that he’s wildly popular as a writer of articles and blogs, but there’s something about a book you can hold in your hands, plus the royalties keep trickling in, long after one’s hit the backlist.

  141. @dearieme

    Terrible? They were magnificent: dreaming spires and sleepy undogmatic clerics presiding over contented sons of the nobility and gentry quietly preparing themselves for life on their estates : a Trollopian paradise.

  142. @Hypnotoad666

    The odds that a story is fake is equal to how well it meets the author’s need to illustrate a point, divided by the reader’s ability to fact-check it.

    Well said. Division by zero is undefined.

  143. @Jack D

    They’re tinkering with Carburetors . Carburetors suck and are pretty much 30 years out of date for cars.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  144. @Jack D

    Boole was an impressive genius, but, as the son of a shoemaker, he was certainly no gentleman.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  145. Jack D says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Boole was of humble background but by the end of his life he had been made a full professor of mathematics, a Fellow of the Royal Society, been granted honorary degrees and won various medals, etc. I think this would have qualified him to sit in the company of gentleman.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  146. @Jack D

    You are moving the goal posts just a tad here: I have no doubt at all that Boole was fit to “sit in the company of gentlemen”, but that is rather different from actually being one.

    I use the word, of course, as it would have been understood in his own time, and I have no doubt that he himself would have been puzzled and embarrassed had he found himself addressed as such.

    That aside, the idea of Boole and Darwin discussing evolution together is a diverting one.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
  147. WJ says:
    @Mr McKenna

    Absolutely made up , fabricated bs. People don’t act like that on airplanes from what I have seen. The pilots could probably not care less who they fly around on their airborne buses. Too convenient for Brooks to hear this conversation.

  148. J.Ross says:
    @prosa123

    Almost all Soviet officials over a certain level could read it. I am seeing claims that he spoke in English to Thatcher in the 80s, and after he left power he had a busy life as a public speaker, but that he hasn’t done it since becoming too old.

  149. @Anonymous

    Keith claims to have been clean for decades. His aging had a head start, but plateaued to normal levels.

    Joni Mitchell is in a wheelchair.

    Melanie is doing fairly well. She sang like an old lady in 1969, then like a little kid in 1973. Now she sings her little-kid song like an old lady. Halfway through, she introduces her weightlifting daughter Jeordie Schekeryk, who follows with her own song. Good shape for her forties.

    (4:06 if the time stamp doesn’t work.)

    By the way, Melanie and Peter Schekeryk had one of the great marriages of the rock era. They were on tour when he dropped dead in a Framingham Best Buy.

    She says she’s a libertarian. Not bad for an old hippie. (So is Arlo Guthrie, I hear.) The lyrics to “Beautiful People” could almost be the campaign song for her fellow Queens County native Donald Trump.

    If I weren’t afraid you’d laugh at me
    I would run and take all your hands
    And I’d gather everyone together for a day
    And when we gather’d
    I’ll pass buttons out that say

    Beautiful people
    Then you’d never have to be alone
    ‘Cause there’ll always be someone
    With the same button on as you
    Include him in everything you do.

    Beautiful people
    You ride the same subway
    As I do ev’ry morning
    That’s got to tell you something
    We’ve got so much in common
    I go the same direction that you do
    So if you take care of me
    Maybe I’ll take care of you

  150. @BB753

    Take it easy. Noam is likely a descendant of a Founding Father.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  151. @BB753

    Modern medicine, higiene and a milder lifestyle than in the Neolithic makes us assume that we’re not old when in fact we are.

    Your observations on scientific matters would carry more weight if you spelt basic words correctly. Also, your claim that people died of old age in their 50s before the 20th century needs some citations. That wasn’t even true in ancient times.

    Rossini may have retired at 39 (for 39 years!), but humans can’t be productive after 38? That’s just weird. Irving Berlin was still writing songs in his 90s, albeit long after his last hit. Elliot Carter was still publishing his compositions after 100, and getting them performed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Elliott_Carter

    • Replies: @BB753
  152. @Neil Templeton

    Noam is likely a descendant of a Founding Father.

    Yes– his namesake:

    • LOL: BB753
  153. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @everybodyhatesscott

    Where I live, unless there’ a tour of Model As or prewar CCCA classics coming down Metcalf, any old car that isn’t a hooptie beater has either had modular/LS/(new)Hemi swap or has been converted to EFI by either adapting junkyard nineties systems or megasquirt and Ford EDIS.

    No one runs carbs any more.

    That said, before Emissions was a thing , they had carbs down to a pretty good science. Once warmed up, a 1966 stone stock American car in good tune runs pretty well. They got crappy during the emissions years.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  154. BB753 says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I never said that people died of old age at fifty. Just that human physiology starts to crumble at that age. You may last longer in good shape but ultimately after middle-age comes old age, and death sooner or later. Are you gonna dispute the fact that we all eventually grow old and die?

  155. slumber_j says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    All true. I’d say that Jack D moved the goalposts a bit on my original comment too: I was, as I indicated, baffled by the idea that Darwin wouldn’t have had the math necessary to understand Mendel.

    I think Steve Sailer isn’t quite right either: my 9th-grade experience in 1979-80 didn’t inhabit a particularly binary atmosphere, mathematico-culturally speaking, or however one would put that.

    In any case I do take Jack D’s point that it’s often hard to recognize the truth of a really big conceptual leap. My point was only that the notion that Charles Darwin lacked whatever mathematical foundation one would need to understand Mendel’s work–which is as far as I can tell vanishingly small–is absurd.

    • Replies: @candid_observer
  156. @miss marple

    Steve, you let some real dross through in the comments.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  157. @Barnard

    Yeah, John Glenn was the first and really only person I could think of. Before I saw the 2015 date, I thought he was going to say it was John Wayne. He would have been instantly recognizable to everyone, lived in California, and was associated with courage and patriotism.

    But who alive in 2015 had achieved wide fame based on heroic achievements many many decades before, say in the 1960s, and would still be recognizable to much of a plane’s passengers? I doubt that John Glenn as he looks today would be instantly recognizable to many people, and as you point out, he was in his 90s by 2015.

    So maybe, like someone else says above, this guy made the whole thing up. Or it’s a pastiche built upon some kind of past rumors of someone once having overheard a person like John Wayne or Ronald Reagan quietly voicing such sentiments.

  158. @95Theses

    I stumbled upon exactly that discussion myself just a couple weeks ago, and as you say it is fascinating and shocking. I’d heard something of this before, that while Darwinism works at the micro level describing how organisms change, there are problems in explaining how cellular life came to be at all.

    Apparently the length of time it ought to have taken for enough random mutations to occur to create the cellular machinery of life – if that cellular machinery even could be developed one step at a time randomly through mutations that each were beneficial and made evolutionary sense – is way longer than the universe has been around. This might hint that some kind of intelligent intervention occurred, hence why most scientists would rather the issue just went away.

    And indeed, at least two of the scientists in that discussion are theistically inclined, which makes me cautious. Still it seems pretty clear that there are some real problems to be resolved and questions explained for Darwinism to continue being taken as the complete and final answer to the origin and development of life.

    Below is a short video on the same subject matter, very interesting and well presented, with Stephen Meyer, who was one of the participants in the other discussion.

    • Agree: utu
  159. @ScarletNumber

    The only exception was the fat kid at the computer, who produces all of those teen-girl shows on Nickelodeon.

    Ever wonder what happened to Looking Glass, whose hit “Brandy” was ubiquitous in 1972? Watch some cheapo teen flicks from the ’80s and ’90s and you’ll see the name of the singer and songwriter, Elliot Lurie, in the credits as “musical director”.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  160. @slumber_j

    It’s not even clear that Darwin would have found Mendel’s work as relevant to his own. In fact, if he deemed it relevant, and not instead as describing some kind of exceptional process, he might have seen it as a major problem for his approach.

    Mendel’s work focused on the effects of single genes which brought about discrete effects. Darwin’s notion of heredity instead focused on the gradual, continuous change in traits. It required a major advance in evolutionary biology, the so-called Modern Synthesis, to reconcile the two.

    Interestingly, one may think 0f the insight behind Darwin’s thought and that behind the Modern Synthesis as being akin, except going in opposite directions.

    Darwin’s leap of intuition was to see how continuous change across vast stretches of time could bring about discrete things — species. The insight underlying the Modern Synthesis sees, in the other direction, how a vast number of discrete things — genes — could bring about continuous change.

  161. @Sam Malone

    I have found Steve’s moderating to be peculiar, to say the least.

  162. @Reg Cæsar

    No, Looking Glass was before my time, although I have heard “Brandy”. It turns out they the started at Rutgers.

    As for musicians turned musical directors, don’t forget Mark Mothersbaugh and Danny Elfman.

  163. The Principle of Psychoprofessional Gravitation can help explain the many cases of people who have done work of world-historical significance yet wind up feeling like failures.

    Did Gioachino Rossini feel like a failure when he retired at 37*, or was it the opposite? He’d already conquered the world. Nobody can dismiss his later works because there were none.

    Or did he quit just so he could play around with Olympe Pélissier?

    *Rossini retired from opera shortly after his eighth birthday– literally. (Literally literally.) He was born on Leap Day.

  164. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    Once warmed up, in good tune, pre-1966 — this is asking a lot. Sometimes it’s cold and damp. Sometimes it’s been a while since the last tuneup.

    Probably even more than fuel injection, electronic ignition has been a real game changer. In my youth, starting on a cold damp day was a crapshoot involving starting fluid (ether) for the carb, silicone spray to dry the ignition wires, voodoo incantations, prayers that the battery wouldn’t die before your 10th attempt to start it, etc.

    I don’t remember the last time I had a modern vehicle fail to start except due to a dead battery (in which case it starts as soon as you jump it). Having a reliable hot spark makes a big difference

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
  165. @Jack D

    Attained intuition about fire was fundamental to the development of our species, and retained intuition is probably not detrimental, though probably no longer essential.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments are moderated by iSteve, at whim.


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS