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Friday, December 06, 2019

Latest news: nothing happened again today!

No news is good news. Is it the end of history or the calm before the storm?

W ell, it finally happened: a Daily Mail front page with hundreds of articles and not a single one is credible. Wait, I take it back: there's a story about a cat that says “Well, haaaai!” in an American Coastal Southern dialect. That one I believe.

All the other stories are the same trash we get on American news sites: hit pieces on Trump, phony stories about celebrities, and stories about people claiming to have been discriminated against.

People keep nattering about the “fast pace of change” but I don't see it. It seems instead like eerie silence: a reasonable facsimile of peace has broken out, disturbed only by incidents of people falling off cliffs, electric cars erupting into unquenchable balls of fire, and cats saying witty things.

Sleeping caterpillar
Nothing to do but sleep

The map of the world has scarcely changed since the Iron Curtain was dismantled in the 1980s and 90s. The age of exploration is long past. If our ancestors had been like us, they would have populated the landscape in the New World with Starbucks and cell phone towers and electric charging stations before anyone would have felt it was safe enough to come over.

Young people are milling around, looking for things to protest but not finding them, so they protest the weather. Last week, for instance, someone named Miley Cyrus tweeted:

This year I just want people to start accepting CLIMATE CHANGE as a f**king fact and commit to doing SOMETHING about it !!!!"

Until she tweeted that, most people thought the climate never changed. They thought global warming was just some trick to rid the world of gullible people by tricking them into not reproducing. Now we know the truth. Whenever some­body uses the F-word it means they're really really serious. Yes, we can learn many things from Hollywood stars.

The Ohio abortion law story

That's not to say people aren't finding real problems. The Guardian, a low-to-moderate credibility news source, is saying that an Ohio law preventing abortion is misogynist, claiming it provides the death penalty for anyone having an abortion.

The proposed law apparently demands reimplantation of ectopic pregnancy, which is further evidence, if any were needed, that politicians everywhere are in desperate need of online STEM courses. But even if the law is revised to make it possible to comply with, it will still be unenforceable, and even the writers at The Guardian probably know it. They just forgot to mention it.

They also forgot to mention that the proposed law is also racist, Islamophobic, and homophobic, and even worse they forgot to mention that it was caused by climate conflagration, or whatever their latest term for it is, so nobody much cared. Misogyny is just not as big a draw as it used to be.

Sorry about that last paragraph, but the Blogger's Code of Snark requires me to include at least one snarky comment in every article.

But honestly, I never thought I'd end up reading Pravda to get accurate news. Pravda has a story about a Russian guy suing Apple Corporation for turning him gay. The guy is quoted as saying “I thought, really, how you can judge something without trying it first.” So he started dating a man, and now he cannot go back and he can't tell his parents. So he's suing Apple.

American culture has swept the world. We should be proud.

Proven truth never changes. And the biggest truth of all, as Francis Fukuyama discovered, is that when you think history is over and the only stuff that's worth talking about is gay people, stupid laws, scowling teen­agers, and cats, history is only sleeping, a tiger resting before starting to prowl.

Calm before the storm

Apocalyptic claims about climate only gain traction because people think there's nothing else really to worry about, at least nothing we can put our finger on. But somehow it feels like the calm before the storm.

We all missed the biggest story. The Mail, as the Brits call it, also has an opinion piece by Piers Morgan complaining that Pirelli Tires' latest calendar doesn't have any sexy pictures on it this year.

You might be asking: Where oh where is Jeremy Clarkson when you need him?

A calendar is a trivial cultural artifact, though I bet the Druids put sexy pictures on Stonehenge—thirteen-foot-high Celtic beauties no doubt—but give Piers Morgan credit for noticing. Piers is intuiting something that neither he, nor the press, nor the feminists grasp. Little things like that calendar, the MeToo movement, people turning gay and trying to change their sex, the shift against abortion, and even the flood of fake news from the press aren't isolated cultural events. They're clues that human behavior is influenced by factors we don't understand.

My theory about Stonehenge is that it was the neolithic equivalent of a car repair shop, or garage as we call them in the States, and those big rocks around the outside were the decorative calendar that all garages are required by law to have.

Whenever the humans' biological fitness is imperiled, humans are programmed to take appropriate action, completely unaware what they're doing or why. They will set events into motion thinking they have some rational reason for it, but they're actually acting out pre-programmed behavior.

Just as men automatically test women to see if they are sexy enough, which I think is where Piers is coming from, women automatically test men to see if they are aggressive enough.

It may be no coincidence that it was a woman who threw open the gates of Europe to migrants. In prehistoric times, a tribe that was not aggressive enough would have little chance of survival. Those conditions would have left their imprint on our DNA. Without realizing it, Angela Merkel might have been expressing that genetic programming, testing European men to see if they were sufficiently aggressive to merit survival. Of course we have no way of knowing for sure, and genes and culture are inextricably intertwined, but her actions might have had less to do with economics than with pre-programmed behavior that men and women always do.

Another example happens with fertility rates. They're programmed to increase when there's a catastrophe that threatens human survival. Other times, they decrease. After 9/11, many New Yorkers reported a sudden urge to reproduce, without having any clue why. Science has only begun to recognize that there's a connection between our behavior and our genes that goes way beyond what we used to believe.

Something important is starting to happen right under our noses. What's scary is that we have no clue what it is, but we can be sure of one thing: we are programmed not to notice.

dec 06 2019, 4:41 am. edited dec 07 2019, 4:14 am

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