Nuh uh! Nuh uh nuh uh nuh uh! Racist! Nuh uh!

“As a result of these disparate admissions standards, many students spend four years in a social environment where race conveys useful information about the academic capacity of their peers.” — Hard Truths About Race on Campus, by Jonathan Haidt and Lee Jussim

Clearly what’s needed is a generously funded graduate center to support a program to give students the tools to successfully ignore this kind of “information.”

UPDATE 19 May 2016: Gist: college policies to promote Diversity cause the racism they seek to eliminate.

An aesthetic conflict

In Neal Stephenson’s novel Reamde, there’s an MMORPG called T’Rain. There are quests and adventures within a foundational narrative of standard D&D good and evil. Players can customize their character’s appearance, and a hack lets them use whatever colors they want instead of the colors chosen by the designers. Some people keep the default muted browns and greens, while others dress their dark-elf warrior-mage in, for instance, acid yellow chaps, fluorescent green dinner jacket, and red panama hat. There’s a strong element of social class in who chooses bright colors and who chooses earth-tone colors.

In a secondary story line, war arises between the “forces of brightness” and the “earth-tone coalition.” Though it has no basis in the game’s narrative, this conflict over-rides the good vs. evil back-story. Brightly dressed orcs and brightly dressed elves join forces to attack characters dressed in earth tones, even ambushing players in their own raiding party.

The current presidential campaign may be about aesthetics more than policy. It’s probably not really the case that everything the candidates say is a lie, but certainly what they say has nothing at all to do with what will happen if they’re elected. Once every voter knows that, what’s left? Who tells the lie I like best, who is most electable, who do I least want to see and hear for the next four years.

Trump is wearing a shiny suit and florescent orange sombrero, Sanders a yellow argyle sweater-vest and fire-engine red Tyrolean, and Clinton a dark pant suit and a black hat with a wide brim and conical crown.

Anyway, Reamde is an excellent action adventure novel with engaging characters and an ingenious plot. It’s way more entertaining than the current election cycle.

Trump and hate

The Republican party is now more hated than it’s been in 24 years because of Donald Trump, it says in the paper.

Now I don’t much like Donald Trump, but is it his fault people hate Republicans? It seems like there might be more to it. There’s this, just for a recent example: Congress moves to require women to register for military draft. That would be the Republican congress, right? Republican politicians have embraced political correctness, labored to compromise, and brought forth Trump. And Trump’s popularity has grown partly because of his opponents, like these Mexican-flag-waving rioters. They don’t like Trump either.

But I just don’t understand, the LA Times explains:

“…in Santa Ana, a group that was part of the anti-Trump demonstrations Thursday, said the presence of the Mexican flag at rallies and other gatherings is often misunderstood.

“While many may see it as un-American, the Mexican flag is actually used to express diversity within the United States, especially in California, where many are of Mexican heritage, the activist [David B. Villanueva, 23, of Chicanos Unidos] said.

“‘Protesters chose to bring out the Mexican flag to demonstrate their culture and not their nationality,’ Villanueva said. ‘In this election year, I find the fact that people are waving Mexican flags more important than people waving American flags because of the diversity within our own American culture.'”

Sure; it’s about culture and heritage, just like the confederate flag.

People don’t hate Republicans because of Trump; and they didn’t turn to Trump because they hated the Republicans. But hate is the reason. People turned to Trump because the Republicans hate them.

ESPN

“What a joy it must be to be a leftist knucklehead. There’s your opinion – and then there’s hate. There’s free speech for all – except those who disagree with you. There’s tolerance for everyone – except the opposition. There’s every kind of diversity – except diversity of thought.” — UnAmerican ESPN, by Andrew Klavan

Nazi shortage

There aren’t enough Nazis to go around. People try to fill in with Klansmen, but it’s not the same. Lately it just seems like there’s never a hater around when you need one. So here’s the deal:

From now on, anyone who objects to letting men use the women’s room is a Nazi. He’s not uninformed, or wrong, or old. He’s evil on two legs. He is … a Nazi! At one stroke this makes about about a hundred million people Nazis.

This is America. If we need Nazis, we make Nazis, even if it means making them up. Now we just need to figure out how to make them wear the uniform.

Trump’s crazy ideas

I’m not a Trump fan, but the mainstream reaction to his nutty ideas is instructive. Consider his crazy scheme to deport everyone here illegally, and stop any more people from coming here illegally. The reaction to this goofy piece of extremism masks a real fear. That fear is, that his plan might work. It has to be presented as impossible, unworkable, insane, inhumane, Islamophobic, homophobic, racist, sexist, communist, whatever, as long as it is on no account ever tried. Consider this made-up quote from a notional Repblican consultant:

“What is it those rubes are always going on about? How much we spend? Tell them a wall will cost a trillion dollars. Wait, it says here that focus groups identify five hundred billion as the amount of money currently perceived as largest. Tell them five hundred billion dollars. Tell them deportation will cost another five hundred billion.”

Because, you see, the Democrats and the Republicans are really afraid building a wall might work. Plans that will not work can be supported, but plans that might possibly work must be, not even opposed, but denounced.

Enforcing our laws must be presented as impossible, because they don’t really want to enforce those laws. The Republicans manage the demands of their “base” to do so by presenting themselves as powerless. Like another totally made-up Republican politician didn’t say:

“We don’t want illegal immigration, oh dear no, but what are you gonna do? Politics is the art of the possible. And anyway, it’s a two-party system.”

In fact they do want illegal immigration, just as much as the Democrats want it, and they want the illegals to stay here, and they want more to come here.

UPDATE: clarified that quotes are fictional.

Failed leaders

There is one strong, startling, outstanding thing about Eugenics, and that is its meanness. Wealth, and the social science supported by wealth, had tried an inhuman experiment. The experiment had entirely failed. They sought to make wealth accumulate–and they made men decay. Then, instead of confessing the error, and trying to restore the wealth, or attempting to repair the decay, they are trying to cover their first cruel experiment with a more cruel experiment. They put a poisonous plaster on a poisoned wound. Vilest of all, they actually quote the bewilderment produced among the poor by their first blunder as a reason for allowing them to blunder again. They are apparently ready to arrest all the opponents of their system as mad, merely because the system was maddening. Suppose a captain had collected volunteers in a hot, waste country by the assurance that he could lead them to water, and knew where to meet the rest of his regiment. Suppose he led them wrong, to a place where the regiment could not be for days, and there was no water. And suppose sunstroke struck them down on the sand man after man, and they kicked and danced and raved. And, when at last the regiment came, suppose the captain successfully concealed his mistake, because all his men had suffered too much from it to testify to its ever having occurred. What would you think of the gallant captain? It is pretty much what I think of this particular captain of industry. — Eugenics and Other Evils, by G.K. Chesterton, 1922