Get thee to a Memery

As memes go, this is the first time I’ve heard of this one. Still, there are T-shirts…

“When I was young my father said to me:
“Knowledge is Power….Francis Bacon”
I understood it as “Knowledge is power, France is Bacon.”

I empathize: When I was 9 I read Treasure Island, pronouncing “island” in my head as “Is Land” the entire time.

Kids those days. Go figure.

I think it was over a year before I understood my mistake. That is the closest I can come to epiphany regarding the point of postmodern literary critical theory: Not the bits claiming meaning resides solely with the reader, and changes with the reading – no matter the author’s intent – but that I made an egregious error from ignorance. And it damaged my understanding of reality. Which, of course, is the postmodernist’s point.

Phonic reading instruction has its drawbacks, though they are nothing compared to “whole language,” or whatever they’re calling it today. Probably “Intersectional Critical Textual Parsing.”

California Screamin’

Extract or Die

Makers being blamed for political failure. The creation of wealth equated with exploitation. Ayn Rand wrote a book or two about it.

Now California is contemplating taxing residents who move away. That’s a prelude to capital controls. Human capital. Like North Korea – you can never leave.

Statism always goes this way. It’s been untenable since the Berlin Wall fell to pretend the consequences are unintended. Which is why the Marxists switched from class politics to identity politics.

Federalism lets states conduct this sort of experiment. Unfortunately, Federalism has morphed into bailing these nincompoops out. And SloJoe, ably assisted by HeelsUp, is just the pair to do it.

And NY and IL.

Seeing like a State

From our friends at the International Monetary Fund comes this innovation.

“Credit scoring using so-called hard information (income, employment time, assets and debts) is nothing new. Typically, the more data is available, the more accurate is the assessment. But this method has two problems. First, hard information tends to be “procyclical”: it boosts credit expansion in good times but exacerbates contraction during downturns.

The second and most complex problem is that certain kinds of people, like new entrepreneurs, innovators and many informal workers might not have enough hard data available…

Fintech resolves the dilemma by tapping various nonfinancial data: the type of browser and hardware used to access the internet, the history of online searches and purchases. Recent research documents that, once powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, these alternative data sources are often superior than [sic] traditional credit assessment methods, and can advance financial inclusion, by, for example, enabling more credit to informal workers and households and firms in rural areas.”

“[C]an advance financial inclusion…” By definition, then, it can advance credit exclusion.

Websites, Twitter accounts, YouTube videos, hosting platforms, and credit card processing are all already being cancelled, shadowbanned, disappeared and denied for political reasons. Now they propose to use your computer model, search history, and the sites you visit to determine your credit score.

If you visit the Southern Poverty Law Center too often, or QAnon more frequently than you “should” according to some algorithm; if you search for “All Lives Matter” or “Green Nude Eel;” if you use a Chromebook or an obscure brand tablet – then your credit score may suffer. That could turn out to be the least of your problems.

I can’t count the number of times people have told me they aren’t worried about such corporate espionage when I point out what Facebook really is, or tell them why to use Duck-Duck-Go instead of Google search. “I’m not doing anything wrong and have nothing to hide.” The problem, I explain, is that they aren’t the ones who decide that.

“The old cliché is often mocked though basically true: there’s no reason to worry about surveillance if you have nothing to hide. That mindset creates the incentive to be as compliant and inconspicuous as possible: those who think that way decide it’s in their best interests to provide authorities with as little reason as possible to care about them. That’s accomplished by never stepping out of line. Those willing to live their lives that way will be indifferent to the loss of privacy because they feel that they lose nothing from it. Above all else, that’s what a Surveillance State does: it breeds fear of doing anything out of the ordinary by creating a class of meek citizens who know they are being constantly watched.”

~ Glenn Greenwald

Doktor Biden

Is Mrs. Biden’s insistence on the honorific “Dr.” pretentious. Yes.

Should she cease demanding it? Yes.

Are Democrats calling anyone who suggests these things sexist pigs? That’s rhetorical.

Did Mrs. Biden’s Ed.D dissertation, STUDENT RETENTION AT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE: MEETING STUDENTS’ NEEDS, meet student needs? Yes, if she’s referring to herself in the plural. Yes, if she’s complaining about class sizes over 100%, and no, if she’s excluding Asians and non-resident aliens entirely:
Three quarters of the class will be Caucasian; one quarter of the class will be African American…the remaining seats will be filled with students of Asian descent or non-resident aliens.

The remaining seats are in the hallway.

And also no; if she’s trying to argue for more funding based on the percent of enrollment increase, which is ‘approximately’ double her calculation:
By 1963, public and private two year headcount enrollment stood at 850,361. By 1980, enrollment had grown to 4,526,287… approximately a 230 percent increase in student attendance.

Keep her well away from budget discussions.

On the patriarchy contention, a counterexample: President Woodrow Wilson was a PoliSci Ph.D, President of Princeton, and he won a Nobel Prize. He assumed his academic credentials gave him the knowledge and insight to ignore the Constitution and decide how the riff-raff should conduct their lives.

Jill Biden certainly may share those characteristics. One characteristic she does not share with President Wilson is an insistence on being addressed as “Dr.”

Perhaps her insecurity will be assuaged by “FLOTUS?”

Update: 2:40PM
It occurs to me that some people won’t know how Jill Biden’s predilection became an issue, and that the guy who’s been partially cancelled over it could benefit from a plug.

The issue:
Cancel Culture Fights for ‘Dr.’ Jill Biden

Some books:
The author of the now infamous piece is 84, and probably doesn’t much care. Still, here, and here are a couple of his books you could buy to stuff a little capitalism in the cancel crowd’s apertures.

P.S. I bought this one because of the one negative review.