It’s surprising that Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex and Father Dwight Longenecker reach related conclusions: The Catholic Priest in When the Benedict Option Is the Only Option; The practicing psychiatrist Neutral vs. Conservative: The Eternal Struggle.
Or maybe their conclusions aren’t all that similar. Anyway, it’s interesting to read one after the other and consider both.
I think there is a big divide in society between people who use reason and argument to find out what is true, and people who use the trappings of reason to win arguments. These two men are on the same side of that divide.
The last time we flew on United, one of their employees at the gate was absolutely obnoxious; another was polite and helpful, which is really the least any employee should be. The flight was miserable, largely because the flight attendants seemed to be deliberately acting to make it so. At two o’clock in the morning, nobody wants the lights on, nobody wants coffee, and nobody wants the attendants running up and down the aisle asking if you want anything. The attendants know this, because they were not doing any of that in first class, where the lights were out and everyone asleep. I suspect United has policies to make coach miserable, to incentivize customers to buy an upgrade.
Other airlines we’ve flown on over the last year have been less unpleasant. American was okay; Virgin and Southwest were very nearly good.
The TSA at one end was obnoxious; at the other end they were not obnoxious, which is as close to good as they ever get. There’s little to be done about that.
Often I consider buying from a business that has just sustained a big customer-service black eye, on the theory that they’ll be exerting themselves to do well, and their prices will be a little lower as customers chose their competitors. In the case of United, I won’t be doing that. Their obnoxious employee at the gate, the (I think deliberately bad) service on the last flight, and other incidents like this make me think that this is their business model, and will remain so until they come up with another model — no easy task. Also, the president of United gives the impression of being a lying weasel who can’t figure out what lie to tell. It’s hard to imagine him fixing things. So I won’t be flying United, and their CEO’s apology tour isn’t going to change that.
Arma virumque cano
Now, a reminiscence. In the early eighties I went to an Army recruiting station to enlist. I’d called the recruiter first, and he seemed quite keen for me to come in. When I got to the office, the recruiting sergeant said to a young man who was sitting there being recruited, “Get up and let Mister _____ sit down.” Welcome to the Army, kid. He got up, and I sat down, initially thinking this looked like a pretty sweet deal. On later reflection, I suspected what was done for me today would be done to me tomorrow, and I was right.
And it’s not good news. Scientists created a part-human, part-pig embryo.
That’s evil,and insane. God did mankind a favor at Babel.
“The LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the people had built. Then the LORD said: If now, while they are one people and all have the same language, they have started to do this, nothing they presume to do will be out of their reach. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that no one will understand the speech of another. So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. — Genesis 11, New American Bible
UPDATE 30 January 2017: Summary of chimera research.
General Patton said, “No sane man is unafraid in battle, but discipline produces in him a form of vicarious courage.” Similarly, the rules of a traditional society make possible a kind of vicarious wisdom among the unwise. These rules restrain the capable, so removing them lets the intelligent, the prudent, and the creative do better, at the cost of the not-so-capable doing worse, but having plenty to eat.
After Priggery – What? (On Wicked Journalists) by C.S. Lewis Doodle:
“In my Travels, as I walked through many Regions and Countries, it was my chance to happen into that famous Continent of universe; a very large and spacious Country it is…
“The people are not all of one complexion, nor yet of one Language, mode, or way of Religion; but differ as much as (’tis said) do the Planets themselves. Some are right, and some are wrong, even as it happeneth to be in lesser Regions.” — The Holy War, by John Bunyan, 1682
The people differ – well, sure. But “Some are right, and some are wrong?” Isn’t that hate speech?
- No amount of gritty determination will get all of us into the upper half.
- Sawing an inch off one end and nailing it onto the other does not make the board longer.
- Some business plans are unsustainable in a democracy.
- The funny thing about a cargo cult is, sometimes the planes come.