Mossy Momo writes: Killing brown people for
fun and profit ...what, exactly? Anti-vaxxers I just don't get at all. More thorough bad news here. Most of it related to comfortingly tractable problems like multi-generational wars.
Heebie's take: Anti-vaxxers are a mix of malicious players, more or less like Russian disinformation campaigns (and probably intersecting) and gullible dupes who have nameless dread about the world but can't evaluate information sources. It's just so completely awful because it was a solved problem. We had beaten these diseases. And it was deliberately undone for profit and malice.
I can't recall ever feeling this much dread for a coming year. In the past I've sometimes even looked forward to election season, even if I do get sick of it by the end. (It may have been the optimism of youth.) It's sapping the potential for interestingness of posts.
The mechanical arm that prevents people from driving over the railroad tracks two doors down from our house has been down for over two hours. It's interesting to determine how long cars will wait before giving up and turning around.
I could use some good escapist books. I'm between books right now. The last time I made this request was right after the 2016 election. I suppose I don't feel quite as decimated as I did then. It feels better to be gearing up for a fight than to be bracing yourself for the incoming shitstain-in-chief administration.
Why do we ever change out of sweatpants?
Do the people having the worst go of it, politically, like the detainees at the border or people stuck in jail for the wrong reasons, do they think we all abandoned and betrayed them? Isn't that interesting how I can take their pain and make it about me? Good job, Heebie.
It's like I have two gears: overly structured time and resenting it because I'm tired, or unstructured time where I mull and have trouble getting anything done. I gave my last final exam yesterday and now I'm in the lower gear.
Wow, this is a real mushpot of an entry. Good job, Heebie.
Well, it's impeachment day. Who would have thought it would feel so anticlimactic?
Here's Trump's six page rant at Pelosi. (They disabled the highlight feature, so it's a modicum of work to get pull-quotes from it.) I am 100% sure that the writing process went like so: he gave a verbal screed that someone took as dictation, and then they polished it and made it readable, and then they read it back to him, and he said, "No, that's not right" in certain spots, and made them re-write it to match his verbal spewings more closely.
Next the media game will be to predict how many Republican defectors in the Senate there will be. They will make it into a horserace and go into depth on Murkowski and Romney. My prediction is: 0. It will land like a thud.
For some reason, the only part of this that is truly blowing my mind is that Giuliani went back to
the Ohio State the Ukraine in the middle of an impeachment hearing.
Mossie Charactie writes: Hukou elegy:
Surveys by Rozelle's team have found that more than half of eighth graders in poor rural areas in China have IQs below 90[...]Over the past 70 years, he explains, only 15 countries have managed to climb from middle- to high-income status, among them South Korea and Taiwan. In all those success stories, three-quarters or more of the working population had completed high school while the country was still in the middle-income bracket. These workforces "had the skills to support a high-income economy," Rozelle says. In contrast, in the 79 current middle-income countries, only a third or less of the workforce has finished high school. And China is at the bottom of the pack.[...]They found that 27% were anemic, an indication of malnutrition; 33% had intestinal worms; and 20% had uncorrected myopia.[...]nutrition, providing vitamins in the trial's intervention arm. But follow-up tests showed that the supplements had marginal impact and that mental development scores deteriorated in both intervention and control groups.[...]After mothers left home to work in another city, mental development scores among their children declined significantly[...]In the intervention group, when the mother was present the baby's Bayley scores rose to normal. But when a grandmother was raising the child, the Bayley score barely budged.
Heebie's take: It's a fascinating article.
I went to our housekeeper's daughter's college graduation party yesterday. I totally adore this family. The daughter is going to Mexico for a month or two, and as she and her sister put it, they go back to Mexico when they're low on gas in the tank. They spend time with family, find inspiration, and come back to Texas ready to get back to work. Whereas my friend, the mom, speaks about Mexico with much more practicality. She goes to visit family.
It strikes me that there's a generational ebb and flow to sentimentality, and that I have an excess of it, and am sometimes embarrassed to feel so sentimental about the things that strike my parents as the mundane practicalities. But it's also an internal temperament. Some people just aren't. (I don't know what's wrong with them and why they're not more obsessed with staving off thoughts of mortality.)
Also, one's degree of sentimentality also corresponds to the quality of the past, although not in a universal way: some people have shitty childhoods and cling to the scraps, where other people have shitty childhoods, grab two beers and jump down the inflatable slide, telling everyone to fuck right off.
Of course, being sentimental about the wrong things is just cloying and saccharine. There's a fine art to knowing what to weep over.