Literary Status Envy: “Peddle your angsty crap elsewhere, lit-fic wannabes! Let’s put SF back in the gutter where it belongs!”

The victims of literary status envy resent the likes of David Weber, and their perceived inferiority to the Thomas Pynchons of the world; they think the SF field is broken and need to be fixed. When they transpose this resentment into the key of politics in the way their university educations have taught then to do, they become the Rabbits.

The Evil League of Evil is fighting the wrong war in the wrong way. To truly crush the Rabbits, they should be talking less about politics and more about what has been best and most noble in the traditions of the SF genre itself. I think a lot of fans know there is something fatally gone missing in the Rabbit version of science fiction; what they lack is the language to describe and demand it.

via SF and the damaging effects of literary status envy.

How Guns Made The Civil Rights Movement Possible

Chinn was already a legend in Madison County, Mississippi, because of his unwillingness to bend to white power. David Dennis, then CORE’s Mississippi project director, recalls being in the courtroom of the county courthouse in Canton, Mississippi one morning in 1963, attending a bond hearing for a volunteer who had been arrested on a traffic violation, when C.O. Chinn walked in. Chinn was wearing a holstered pistol on his hip, which probably would not have raised an eyebrow if he had been white.

“Now C.O,” drawled the judge, “You know you can’t come in here wearing that gun.” Madison County Sheriff Billy Noble, was also in the courtroom; Chinn looked over at him, and responded, “As long as that S.O.B. over there is wearing his, I’m gonna keep mine.”

The enmity between Chinn and the sheriff was well known throughout the county and, half-expecting a shootout, Dave Dennis thought to himself, “We’re all dead.” But the judge spoke coaxingly to both men: “Boys, boys, no. Why don’t you put your guns on the table over here on the table in front of the bench. Let’s be good boys.” Both men walked to the table, and — eyeing one another “very carefully,” Dennis remembers — set their pistols down.

via Strong men keep a-comin’ on – The Washington Post.

A Non-Conformist’s Guide to Success in a Conformist World

I found this unexpectedly comforting; I myself am an example of point #10.

1. Don’t be an absolutist non-conformist.  Conforming in small ways often gives you the opportunity to non-conform in big ways.  Being deferential to your boss, for example, opens up a world of possibilities.

3. In modern societies, most demands for conformity are based on empty threats.  But not all.  So pay close attention to societal sanctions for others’ deviant behavior.  Let the impulsive non-conformists be your guinea pigs.

6. Fortunately, the content of modern education is neither linear nor cumulative.  You can safely forget most of what you didn’t feel like learning right after the final exam. 

8. Educational success hardly guarantees career success.  But educational credentials open a lot of doors – including most of the doors to non-conformist-friendly careers in academia, science, and yes, bureaucracies.

10. Social intelligence can be improved.  For non-conformists, the marginal benefit of doing so is especially big.

12. When faced with demands for conformity, silently ask, "What will happen to me if I refuse?"  Train yourself to ponder subtle and indirect repercussions, but learn to dismiss most such ponderings as paranoia.  Modern societies are huge, anonymous, and forgetful.

There are more at the link. Via A Non-Conformist's Guide to Success in a Conformist World, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty.

Potentially “Lethal Blow” For Obamacare: Subsidies Invalid In Most States

in what NBC classified as a "potentially lethal blow to Obamacare" a federal appeals court has ruled that the federal government may not subsidize health insurance plans bought by people in states that decided not to set up their own marketplaces under Obamacare. The law clearly says that states are to set up the exchanges. But 34 states opted not to, and the federal government took over in those states. The court ruled that federal government may not pay subsidies for insurance plans in those states.

I have to say I am partial to anything that has the potential to consign Obamacare to the ash heap of history. Maybe after that we can get something like market reforms into place, in terms of “real” insurance and published prices, instead of the perverse-incentives payment-plan system we have now. Via In Potentially "Lethal Blow" For Obamacare, US Appeals Court Finds Insurance Subsidies Invalid In Most States | Zero Hedge.

A Catch-22 When Acting In “Provider” Role

Choreplay doesn’t work. Romance doesn’t work. Vacations don’t work. Talk doesn’t work. Men have tried those things many, many, many times. Here is why it will never work to do what a woman says you need to do in order to make her want to have sex: the moment you do what she tells you is necessary, that "creates pressure" on her to fulfill her end of the implicit bargain. And women under pressure to have sex don’t want to have sex, because women don’t want to have sex under pressure, ergo doing what she tells you necessarily ENSURES that she will not want to have sex.

This also applies to providing “emotional support” for a woman you’re attracted to. Via Alpha Game: Female advice and the Sex-22.

Voting For Moral Purity, Instead Of Policy

The average voter — in particular, the average primary voter — cares a lot about moral purity and expressive politics. So if you disempower the money, you empower the ideological purists who want candidates first and foremost to demonstrate fidelity to shared principles.

Everyone with a party affiliation (formal or informal) thinks this applies only to people of other parties. Bad news: it applies to you too.

Also, as I have opined in other venues, if you remove the money then you are left only with personal connections. Money is a much more transparent and quantifiable way to see who is influencing whom, than trying to decipher who is connected to whom.

Via Money Still Fuels the Political Machine – Bloomberg View.

Endogenous Sexism?

Claim: Even in this rarefied setting, sexism will endogenously arise.  Men will find the men they personally know to be better than the women they personally know.  Women will find the women they personally know to be better than the men they personally know.  And if people extrapolate from the people they personally know to all humanity, men will think that men are better than women, and women will think that women are better than men.

Read the whole article before commenting. I thought it was an interesting exercise, and sure to make a certain subset of readers irate. Via Endogenous Sexism, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty.

The Women’s Movement

To read even desultorily in this literature was to recognize instantly a certain dolorous phantasm, an imagined Everywoman with whom the authors seemed to identify all too entirely.

This ubiquitous construct was everyone’s victim but her own. She was persecuted even by her gynecologist, who made her beg in vain for contraceptives. She particularly needed contraceptives because she was raped on every date, raped by her husband, and raped finally on the abortionist’s table. During the fashion for shoes with pointed toes, she, like "many women," had her toes amputated. She was so intimidated by cosmetic advertising that she would sleep "huge portions" of her day in order to forestall wrinkling, and when awake she was enslaved by detergent commercials on television. She sent her child to a nursery school where the little girls huddled in a "doll corner," and were forcibly restrained from playing with building blocks. Should she work, she was paid "three to ten times less" than an (always) unqualified man holding the same job, was prevented from attending business lunches because she would be "embarrassed" to appear in public with a man not her husband, and, when she traveled alone, faced a choice between humiliation in a restaurant and "eating a doughnut" in her hotel room.

The half-truths, repeated, authenticated themselves. The bitter fancies assumed their own logic. To ask the obvious-why she did not get herself another gynecologist, another job, why she did not get out of bed and turn off the television set, or why, the most eccentric detail, she stayed in hotels where only doughnuts could be obtained from room service-was to join this argument at its own spooky level, a level which had only the most tenuous and unfortunate relationship to the actual condition of being a woman. That many women are victims of condescension and exploitation and sex-role stereotyping was scarcely news, but neither was it news that other women are not: nobody forces women to buy the package.

via The Women's Movement.