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Micro variety pak (update +bonus)

June 9, 2018

2 short links today, with a very late breakfast on a bright cloudy day.

When Presidents Write Fiction… [Politico] – I read the review so you don’t have to! j/k. An intresting digression into not just Bill Clinton’s new book but his predecessors (such as the rather prolific Newt Gingrich).

Dem Primaries, DCCC vs Berniecrats [NakedCapitalism] – Factoid that leapt out at me was the 2006 version of this – the DCCC elected many of its pro-Wall-street candidates in genuinely competitive races vs Republicans, but most of them quickly alienated their voters and ended up being one-termers.

UPDATE – bonus!

Jordan Peterson’s intellectual limitations [Phil Ebersole] – This is a succinct and very well made analysis/response to the JP message, which via book and youtube, I think does resonate with the young conservative audience.

Some more disorganized thoughts on Peterson and the conservative-vs-X debate he leads into:

A common theme I see in JP videos is: “it’s a rough world” / “human nature verifiably contains great potential for ugliness” / “the prescription is basically to reaffirm social-conservative structures.” I do not believe the conclusion follows from that at all! In fact the opposite. All the defects of individual and group human behavior are motivation to form mutually protective social structures. By that I mean, ones that are egalitarian and promote openness and tolerance. Why this should be so is a vital and even interesting debate to have. This debate gets stuck at the starting point very often, where conservatives, liberals,  progressives, and proponents of more radically egalitarian systems get mad at each other, just for having worldviews that center around their own kind.

For example, “conservatives” of working-class cultural origin view the liberal-arts-college atmosphere as something that is essentially built to exclude them on a cultural basis (in fact, it’s on a class basis, IMO.). Similarly, people of coastal middle/upper-middle class cultural origin view their conservative counterparts as culturally backwards, and thereby blind themselves to the class dynamics. And then you don’t even get to have the real debate. Most often, people try to resolve this by just throwing the entirely real defects and contradictions of either side into the face of the other, and of course that doesn’t work. Add race, gender, and religion into the mix and it’s easy to see how it goes bad.
Peterson cuts through this by going to psychology (and as Phil points out, he misses the social structures stuff). Also JP is Canadian, and that’s a place where I think the divides in national culture don’t have the nasty edge of the US. (based on totally anecdotal evidence-  Canadian’s I’ve known, all universally super chill, and my one brief visit to a Canadian industrial facility, where I found much more protections and dignity for workers than a handful of equivalent US facilities on the other side of lake Ontario.

Really  feeling the summer. I kindof want to do a review of the latest star wars movie (liked), hopefully soon. Today’s program: overeat. lose a few grams of weight. scout for picnic locations. Learn how to apply spraypaint from a can in an even coat (much harder than it looks!).

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