Saturday, June 9, 2018

Housekeeping & Racism (HT:GDA)

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who aren't here yet) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

[Blogaramians: Blogarama renders the links in my columns useless. Please click on View Original to solve this problem and access lotsa columns.]

Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse and back scratcher 
Iggy -- My designated Sticky
Dana -- My designated gentlereader

"Bias and prejudice are attitudes to be kept in hand, not attitudes to be avoided." -Charles Curtis, Hoobert Heever's VP (and a politician that could legitimately claim Native-American ancestry).

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies,

This part, the housekeeping part, is directed mainly at my gentlereaders. FYI, this missive exceeds the WPC limit by a hundred words or so, but you get two columns for the price of one.

I'm sure you're probably sick of the endless media info-storm so let me answer the question all my gentlereaders are asking. Why did he reverse the direction of the Blog Archive?

As those of you who read my column at the source (my web page) already know there's a techno-generic looking button at the top and to the right labeled Blog Archive. Until recently, clicking on this button would provide access to every column I've written in the last (almost) three years, counter-clockwise counter-historically.

Clicking on that same button now will still provide access to every column I've ever written, but now, clockwise historically.


Think of it this way.

If you had printed out all of my columns from the very beginning and put them in a binder, my very first column would be the very first column you would see upon opening your treasured binder.

Click the Blog Archive button and you will have this same experience, virtually.
The archive starts with my first blog post/column/letter.

[Uh huh... why?]

When I first began cranking out my feeble scribbles, I mentioned in the About Me box (scroll down a couple of inches below the Blog Archive button) that reading the columns in the order they were published would provide an extra dimension or two as to what I'm trying to get across.

Once (much to my surprise...) I had accumulated quite a few columns because I'd actually stuck with my plan to write a new one every week, advising gentlereaders to read them from the beginning seemed goofy.

However, the mysterious GDA credited in the title of this missive pointed out that reading me from the beginning does indeed provide an additional dimension (maybe two) to what I'm trying to say. That's not exactly how it was put but it's close enough and in this space (although unfortunately nowhere else) I'm God (GRIN).


It occurred to me (eventually...) that at the end of every current letter one can scroll down and not only comment -- or click on a Smile/Enlightened Infotainment/Epic Fail button without Facebook adding it to your Permanent Record Card (just sayin')...


Older Posts is floating around down there (it should look like a button but doesn't) that will provide access to the previous week's letter (which will provide access to the letter before that...) if you just want to dip into the past with a virtual big toe.

The Other Part

This part is directed to anyone who is still reading. It contains an opinion and a fact. I don't wish to dedicate an entire column to them because both are about the race thing. I'm in the midst of dealing with some serious health problems and I've no desire to court controversy.

[Excuse me, the race thing?]

Yeah Dana, the race thing. A subject that's beaten to death daily but never dies. According to social justice warriors, I'm a member in good(?) standing of the White Heteropatriarchy. As such I have two things I wish to say about the race thing and I'm done.

First, the opinion. I'm old. I've been around long enough to have met a lot of people and I confess that the majority were/are white. I estimate that Nowadays 99% of the melaninically challenged Citizens of the Republic could give a damn what race/color/creed/sexual orientation/etceteration anybody, including our fellow privileged saltines, identifies as or with.

Live and let live; pay your own way if at all possible. If you really can't, we want to help/have you helped. Let's get real. The welfare state isn't (and shouldn't be) going away. What we're fighting about its structure and size. Personally, I think that Singapore figured it out a long time ago.

Hint: They have a cradle to grave social security system built on real money and individual choice/responsibility, not a Ponzi scheme run by The Gummit.

Second, the fact. The concept of implicit bias is pure, unadulterated bonkercockie -- it's also a growth industry.

1998, the implicit association test is born, the world will never be the same. A very long story short...

Two social psychologists "...developed a new tool that measures the unconscious roots of prejudice." (from a press release).

2013. A bestselling book, by the same shrinks, spreads the word. Implicit bias goes viral.

2015. The same two "scientists", in a jargon-heavy paper written in Mandarin, referencing said wonder-tool (am I the only one reminded of Ron Popeil), point out that its "problematic to use it to classify persons as likely to engage in discrimination," and "attempts to diagnostically use such measures for individuals risk undesirably high rates of erroneous classifications."

[In other words... Sure, our test is bogus, but we're still making a very nice living (and so are a lot of other people) by pretending it ain't.]

Full disclosure: the preceding was gleaned from The Creators of the Implicit Association Test Should Get Their Story Straight by Jesse Singal, an article that explains the scam in detail (and in English) if you're interested.

Lotsa money is being made by "experts" laboring to exorcise the demons of implicit bias based on science discredited by the original scientists. They even managed to close all the company owned Starbucks for a day. Hoo-boy. Poppa loves you.

Have an OK day.

[P.S. Gentlereaders, for 25¢ a week, no, seriously, for 25¢ a week you can become a Patron of this weekly column and help to prevent an old crank from running the streets at night in search of cheap thrills and ill-gotten gains.

If there are some readers out there that think my shtuff is worth a buck or three a month, color me honored, and grateful. Regardless, if you like it, could you please share it? There are buttons at the end of every column.]

©2018 Mark Mehlmauer   (The Flyoverland Crank)

If you're reading this on my website (where there are tons of older columns, a glossary, and other goodies) and if you wish to comment — or react (way cooler than liking, and Facebook doesn't keep track) — please scroll down. 

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