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Archive for September, 2021

Universities in USA and Anglosphere Have Dismal Future Prospects: 1

September 26, 2021 21 comments

One of the most interesting tweets I came across in the past few months can be summarized as follows.. the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than causing any new problems, merely exposed the severe underlying rot and many vulnerabilities already present in the system. And this brings me to the one sector the economy which it exposed in a most unforgiving manner. As many of you know, my opinion of the education system (both K-12 and university) is less than flattering.. to put it mildly. While this might seem a bit off for somebody with a MSc and PhD, I prefer to live in the real world- even if it is not as bright and shiny as I would prefer.

With that in mind, let us talk about the dismal future of universities in this country and rest of anglosphere. Some of you might have recently come across an article about the percentage of men enrolled in universities steadily going down over the past decade. While feminazis and the alphabet people might celebrate this as a victory in the fight against “cis-male patriarchy”, real life factors behind this trend are much more worrying. For starters, this trend is far more pronounced for white men than non-white men. But why is that a bad thing? For starters, the decision to not attend university in this group is voluntary and driven by cost-benefit analysis rather than being unable to do so.

Anyone who can fog a mirror in this country can also get a large but non-dischargeable student loan. Standards for admission and staying in university are also much lower than at any time in recent decades. There are those who blame this trend on colleges putting as many non-white faces as they can find in their advertising brochures to reaffirm their fealty to “diversity”. While this could have a very minor effect, it does not explain why the trend in declining male enrollment picked and accelerated a full decade after such advertising became the norm. Other claim that this has a lot to do with anti-male environment in universities. Perhaps.. but then, universities have never been full of especially masculine men.

In my opinion, the accelerating fall in male enrollment in universities is largely due to an honest cost-benefit analysis, especially in a rapidly deindustrializing country. And the most important factor behind the cost part of that analysis is the “business model” of universities in this country and rest of anglosphere. To understand what I am getting at, let me ask you a simple question- why hasn’t total university enrollment in other developed countries with noticeably older populations (Germany, Japan, France etc) merely plateaued rather than fallen like in this country? This becomes even more glaring when you realize that universities in this country and rest of anglosphere are very busy recruiting students with rich parents from countries such as China, India etc.

In fact, without foreign students, many American universities would have to cut back much further and layoff far more people than they have to date. There are those who blame this on “demographic trends”- specifically that the kids of baby boomers have finished university by 2010 and the generation after them has noticeably fewer kids in addition to be less numerous themselves. However, as I just pointed out- even countries whose total population is shrinking have not seen the same fall in university enrollment as USA. And it is not just this country as others such as UK and Canada also have either stagnant numbers or extremely anemic growth in spite of aggressive recruiting of overseas students.

So what is the fundamental problem with the “business model” of universities in USA and anglosphere? Well.. the model is based on the institution being profitable rather than producing anything which benefits the surrounding society. That is why American universities are full of showy (and often ugly) new buildings and facilities which are curiously understaffed. And the problems go much deeper.. the vast majority of courses are taught by temporary faculty paid near poverty wages while there is never a shortage of openings for highly-paid and useless administrative positions. My point is that universities run under this neoliberal “business model” became credentialing rackets- which sorta worked until the scrap of paper they sold could no longer provide a positive return for their marks.. I mean.. students.

The post-WW2 continuous expansion model which is the underlying organizational principle for universities in this country and rest of anglosphere also contributed to this problem, but did not cause it, since other developed countries which increased university enrollment after WW2 do not face the same problem- at least in the severe form we see in this country. While many universities are pretending that this problem can be fixed by more foreign students or more temporary academic staff it is my opinion that this problem with unfixable because the American university is now nothing more than a credentialing scam run by greedy and incompetent administrators with a very short-term focus.

In the next part of this short series, I will go into how other self-inflicted injuries such as SJW-ism, HR-ism and COVID-19 restrictions have further accelerated the richly deserved ongoing demise of universities in this country and rest of anglosphere.

What do you think? Comments?

Interesting Podcast about Ineffectual Policies Surrounding COVID-19

September 19, 2021 8 comments

Here is a recent and interesting episode of a podcast, featuring two well-known mainstream physicians, about the ineffectual policies pursued under the name of “public health measures” for controlling COVID-19. In it, they talk about issues ranging from recent clinical trials which demonstrate the relative ineffectiveness of face masks in preventing viral transmission, the incredibly irrational policies surround schools, daycare and universities, the potentially nasty political and other violent blowbacks from vaccine mandates, the serious lack of good data to support boosters, risk of second-dose myocarditis in teenage boys and young men, liberal media overreaction to Ivermectin and much more.

What makes this podcast even more interesting is that both have respectable mainstream medical and academic careers in very blue cities in blue states. It says a lot when even people living in such parts of the country clearly have had enough of this ‘liberal’ nonsense. One of them even writes articles for very mainstream medical publications and liberal puff pieces such the Atlantic. Here is a list of more articles by him in MSM and non-specialist journals and outlets. So you see.. even otherwise liberal people in the medical field have now reached the point where they are speaking up about this nonsense. You might also have recently seen many previously mainstream narrative supporting journalists trying to hastily distance themselves from the ongoing slow-motion train wreck. The next few months look interesting..

What do you think? Comments?

Actually Useful Advice on Buying a Telescope for Amateur Astronomy

September 17, 2021 5 comments

Long time readers know that I have been interested in astronomy since my childhood. Over the years , I made and bought many telescopes. During my late teens, I seriously considered going into astrophysics instead of.. let us say.. the area of biomedical research. With that in mind, let me tell you something which has always bothered me about amateur astronomy. It goes something like this.. if you ask any semi- well known amateur astronomer about the best telescope a budding amateur needs to buy, they will tell you something that goes like this..

“instrument aperture” is important for capturing faint objects and relatively inexpensive (for the size) dobsonian reflectors such as something from the Orion SkyQuest lineup is the best starter amateur telescope. Some of these aspies (amateur astronomy has a lot of them) might also say something about how refractors are best for the moon, planets and double stars while newtonian reflectors (classical or dobsonian) are best for nebulae and galaxies. A minority might even suggest one of the cheaper Catadioptric telescopes (either a Schmidt–Cassegrain or Maksutov–Cassegrain) such as this one or this other one.

I find these recommendations to be cringe, formulaic and laughable. Even worse, they put off a lot of otherwise interested people from either getting interested in amateur astronomy. In the off chance that somebody decides to spend 500-600 bucks on such a recommendation- most will quickly get tired of using their new toy. But why is that so? Well.. because very few people are born with a strong interest and aptitude in astronomy. To make matters more interesting, the majority of people in western countries live in or near light polluted cities and suburbs making it hard to do decent astronomical observations.

But the problem goes much further. The “starting” telescopes recommended by most amateur astronomers are too unwieldy and hard to setup for children- and here is why this matters. See.. most amateur astronomers start out being interested in astronomy as children, hence anything which cannot be easily handled by a 10-15 year old boy (it is almost always a boy) is a shit “starter telescope. Also, a telescope which is portable, easy to setup and intuitive to use will be used far more frequently than one which is big, unwieldy and finicky to use.

With that in mind, here are my recommendations. The ideal first telescope for anybody is not a telescope at all.. it is a pair of 7×50 or 10×50 binoculars (something like this one or this other one. Even a 10×42 like this one or its slightly more expensive sibling are great tools for finding your way around the sky- something which is absolutely necessary if you decide to buy bigger and more powerful telescopes. Best of all, they all cost less than 200 dollars and can be readily used for other purposes if you decide that astronomy is not your cup of tea. Oh.. and almost everyone in this country either has an outdoor lounge chair or can get one from Walmart or your local home-furnishing store for less than 50 bucks.

Just dress warmly if the weather outside is cold and anybody can start observing from their backyard. While a pair of handheld binoculars wont show you the rings of Saturn (clearly) or the bands on Jupiter, they are more than sufficient to let you see the 4 major moons of Jupiter, the 1 major moon of Saturn, bigger craters on moon, at least a couple hundred decent star clusters (open and globular), star clouds in the milky way, tons of artificial satellites, at least 2 large galaxies in the local cluster (M31 and M33) and probably 50-60 more if you know where to look. Sure.. they won’t look like the carefully color corrected and photoshopped pictures taken over multiple minutes and hours which you see in books on the internet, but at least you are seeing them in person.

I mean.. you actually see a giant galaxy like M87 which is 55 million light years away with a 10×50 binocular on a clear and moonless night. And ya.. it doesn’t look anything as grand as the photos taken through large telescopes, but then again- what were you expecting? Which brings me to the topic of good books for budding amateur astronomers. Once again, I have to say that some of the older books, which can still be used, are far better than newer ones. Here are a few good ones (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4 and link 5). A red color flashlight, like this one, is useful for reading paper star-charts without spoiling your night vision. Star-charts and apps on smartphones are not as useful you might think, especially if the temperature is low and the battery decides to keep losing its charge.

But what if you still wanted a “real” telescope. Well.. here is my principal suggestion- Orion Observer 80ST 80mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope Kit (under 200 dollars). Just make sure you read up, or see a YouTube video, on how to setup an equatorial mount before using it for the first time. You can get the non-kit version for just under 150 dollars, but the kit version is better value for money. I can think of other options, but they are all above 200 dollars- and it is hard to justify people spending more than that on something which they may, or may not, continue using regularly after purchasing.

And don’t forget Stellarium, a free and open-source planetarium software (if does much more) to get an idea of what you see in the night sky from any place on earth and time, including through specific telescope and eyepiece combinations.

What do you think? Comments?

Social Media is Causing Serious and Long-Term Damage to Liberalism

September 12, 2021 12 comments

You might have read some of my more recent posts about how elites and a significant minority of younger generations in west have little to no contact with, or understanding of, physical reality. It is also noteworthy that the dominant worldview of current western elites and more vocal part of the younger generations is, at its core, a version of liberalism. We can certainly argue about whether it is representative of “real” liberalism or “classical” liberalism- but those arguments are meaningless in real life. Every ideology is always defined by its most common implementation. For example- It is hard to argue that state communism of the type practiced by USSR was somehow not “real” communism, just like the type of structural changes seen in American economy after late 1970s cannot be dismissed as not being “real” capitalism.

My point is that while it is certainly possible to talk about why a given ideology morphed over the decades, we cannot deny that it most popular current implementation is somehow not the “real” thing. So we cannot pretend that the attitudes and behaviors of most people who claim to be liberals are not “real” liberalism. So why does this matter, especially today? Well.. for starters, have a look at the mindset, attitudes and behaviors exhibited by those who represent liberalism. What do they represent anyway? Based on what you read, but especially from their own mouths, it seems that they represent a worldview based in belief in their own supposed intellectual and moral superiority. Which is funny, when these same people use words such as menstruators to describe women. Though no fan of women myself, even I find the way these supposedly “woke” dumbfucks refer to women a little.. crude and demeaning.

Call me old fashioned.. but referring to a vagina as a “front hole”, grooming little kids from dysfunctional families to become “trans”, encouraging teenaged tomboyish girls to undergo double mastectomies and inject themselves with Testosterone is somehow not the product of anything approaching a normal mind. But what makes all of this especially problematic and very likely to cause a serious backlash is the fact that the liberals pushing this stuff are very active on social media- often with the support and encouragement of those corporations. To make matters worse, this iteration of liberalism has a bit too much support from institutions who should now better than destroy their credibility by wading into politics and social clashes. The result is that today it is hard to not associate liberalism with the most deranged rants and actions of loudmouths pushing something which repels a large part of the population. Libs of TikTok documents some of the most deranged rants of these people.

It does not help that while liberals are busy trying to push identity-based politics, they have deliberately ignored real socio-economic problems faced by the majority of people. Liberals have stopped giving anything beyond occasional lip-service at election time to issues such as housing costs, single-payer healthcare, rising costs of useless degrees from universities and much much more. They also don’t care about the jobs of people employed in many industries such as oil and gas extraction, auto manufacture, airplane manufacture, industries dependent on tourism and anything else which does not fit their narrow and farcically delusional view of how the world should work. These idiots cannot even perform basic calculations to understand how much of that unreliable “green energy” would be required to run their “environmentally-friendly” dystopia. Then again, proficiency and real-life experience in Science and Engineering is remarkably absent among Liberals. Once again, what makes it especially bad for liberalism is that dummies with these brain-dead ideas are especially prominent on social media.

To add to all of this, we now have liberal commentary about the COVID-19 pandemic. If you had hoped that only a faction of liberals were delusional, this pandemic has destroyed that illusion and now we can say with a high degree of confidence that liberalism (at it currently exists) is a dangerous cult full of brain-dead idiots. We have seen famous gay liberals clamor for “vaccine passports”- ignoring the rather interesting application of that logic to HIV- which still mainly afflicts that group. We have also seen famous gay liberals celebrate the death of alleged “Trump followers” who succumbed to COVID-19. They apparently forgot how the majority saw them in the 1980s. I also find it funny that they think the pendulum cannot swing back in that regard. Then again, living in the real world or thinking through the logical outcome of your ideas is apparently not compatible with liberalism.

The pandemic has also brought out a ton of previously hidden neurotic and delusional liberal thinking to the forefront. Take face mask mandates for example.. how can these idiots believe that normal face masks and surgical masks which had never shown usable efficacy at blocking transmission of every airborne virus they were tested against somehow magically work against this one. As things stand right now, we know that the real world efficacy of facemasks in stopping COVID-19 transmission in adults (more than one study) is somewhere between 0 and 11%- which is in line what we know to be the case for other respiratory viruses. It is also clear that mask mandates make do difference in the amplitude of COVID-19 case waves when you compare adjacent countries and states having different rules concerning masks. Yet, time and again, liberals vociferously claim (especially on social media) that they work while mindlessly chanting that they “follow the science”.

Or take the issue of whether drugs such as Ivermectin, Fluvoxamine, Indomethacin etc can reduce the risk of hospitalization and deaths in COVID-19 patients. Liberals, who have never actually done a day of honest work in a lab or clinic, somehow magically know that none of these drugs work and anybody who believes they do are taking “horse dewormer”. Of course these are the same retards who refused to believe the lab leak hypothesis until it suddenly became OK after Biden was elected in Jan 2021. Once again, what makes their stupidity dangerous for their own future is that now everybody can see how dumb and out of touch these parasites really are. Or look at how these same idiots are pushing for “domestic vaccine passports”, claiming that COVID-19 vaccines prevent infection and transmission (they don’t) and placing undue burden on children and young adults in schools and universities. This is in spite of strong real-life evidence to the contrary of each position.

The way I see.. the majority of people will increasingly not identify with liberalism and ignore liberals. However it would not be surprising if they took the next rational step and all of this because social media has exposed the inner workings of the contemporary liberal “mind” for all to see. It is quite a piece of work.. isn’t it.

What do you think? Comments?

Noam Chomsky, and Western Leftists, Were Always Feeble Cowards

September 6, 2021 9 comments

Recently I came across a short clip of Noam Chomsky (on Twitter) where he was extolling the virtues of “voluntary” segregation of the “vaccinated” from the “unvaccinated”. The responses to that clip ranged from pity for how senile Chomsky looked in it to jokes about all academic leftists are ultimately shills for the status quo. And let us be honest, he is not alone among academic leftists in his peculiar support for vaccine passports and other bullshit. The neoliberal performance artist who masquerading as a brave philosopher aka Žižek has expressed similar views on that subject. So what is happening.. has the COVID-19 pandemic made cowards of academic leftists? As it turns out, I have a different opinion on this topic for many years and it can be summarized as follows: academic western leftists have always been sad boot-licking cowards with no impact on events in real life.

Academic leftists have two main roles in western countries. Firstly, they help provide the shoddy illusion of ideological diversity in those societies. That is precisely why somebody like Chomsky was comfortably employed at Berkeley and other “liberal” universities for decades. Let us get real for a moment.. would somebody whose existence or work was a real threat to the people and institutions running this country be comfortably employed at a “prestigious” university? Which brings us the other role played by boot-lickers such as Chomsky and Žižek in western societies- helping prevent any movement for real change. That is why these boot-lickers spent all their time talking and writing about “consent is manufactured” rather than do anything to actually destroy the system which is exploiting the majority.

To understand what I am talking about, let us quickly go over a short list of people who have actually changed the world in past 100 years- for better or worse.

Regardless of what you think about Hitler, his actions resulted in the most significant global changes within past 100 years (directly and indirectly). Whether you like it or not, his effect on the course of history over past century makes the impact of fat losers such as Churchill or wheelchair-bound Roosevelt seem insignificant. Let me remind you that if WW2 had not occurred in the manner it did, a lot of the modern world including its associated technology and social changes would not have exist today. The map of the world would have also looked very different from what it looks now. All of which brings us to the question- what aspect of Hitler’s personality was most responsible for his ability to change the world forever (including in ways contrary to his wishes). For starters.. Hitler was not a boot-licking academic cosplaying as a radical. He actually believed in a lot of what he wanted to implement.

Then there is the fact that Hitler, for all his highly problematic beliefs, was not a simpering coward. During WW1 he distinguished himself as a brave solider who volunteered for some of the riskiest jobs on the frontlines. He was almost killed more than a few times and twice decorated for bravery. Ironically the superior who recommended him for one of those two decorations, Hugo Gutmann, was Jewish. He also survived multiple assignation attempts once he came to power. My point is that, despite the horrendous beliefs motivating his worldview, Hitler (unlike Chomsky, Žižek or any other academic leftist) was not a coward. He was actually willing to risk it all for spreading his worldview, however twisted it may have been. Can you say the same about any “leftist” academic shill trying to sell books, lecture tickets etc.

The second most consequential man of past 100 years, Stalin, was always not a coward. A good part of his early adulthood was spent organizing and stirring up real protests against Tsarist authorities. For this he was arrested and sentenced to three years exile in Siberia. After 1905 he was involved in setting up and running many informal armed squads that stole from the Tsarist government and ran protection rackets on large local businesses. More pertinently, he was personally involved in organizing many of the large robberies, running protection rackets, money counterfeiting stuff and kidnappings. After his next arrested in 1908 and being exiled, he managed to escape again and was rearrested and exiled a couple more times. My point is that Stalin took a lot of real risks in his life and was not a cosplaying academic sophist and bootlicker like Chomsky and Žižek.

The same is true Of Lenin and Trotsky. Let me remind you that Lenin’s older brother was executed for plotting against the Tsar. This did not stop him from also becoming a political radical and activist who was imprisoned and exiled for a few year to Siberia and then expelled from Tsarist Russia. Oh.. and after the October revolution, he survived two assassination attempts and was the leader of then nascent USSR during the very bloody civil war. Trotsky, even though came from a fairly rich family, went down the revolutionary path and was arrested and exiled multiple times before the October 1917 revolution. Then there is his controversial role during the Russian civil war. To summarize, neither Lenin or Trotsky were phony public intellectuals and bootlickers like Chomsky and Žižek.

Tito, was also, not a coward. In fact his life story is more fascinating than many movie scripts. The guy survived impalement though his chest, pneumonia, typhus, influenza during WW1- and he escaped from POW camps. After WW1 he organized agitations in then Yugoslavia, was arrested, imprisoned, escaped to USSR, then came back to Yugoslavia when it was invaded by Nazis during WW2, led a successful armed resistance movement, became its leader after WW2, had a public split with Stalin, survived multiple attempts by Stalin to have him assassinated, outlived him by decades and hen died at the old age of 87 in 1980. And this is the life-story of someone who had a real impact on the world around him.. unlike some cowardly careerist academic teaching leftist theory at some allegedly “prestigious” university.

In case you think my examples are too Eurocentric, have a look the early lives of Mao, Kim Il-sung and Ho Chi Minh. Regardless of whether you agree with their worldview and actions, it is indisputable that they did change the world around them. Oddly enough.. none of them or anybody who actually had a big impact on the world was a “credentialed public intellectual”. To reiterate, careerist bootlickers who are employed by “prestigious” universities should always be the object of public mockery and derision. They are nothing more than cowardly cosplaying clowns and should always be treated as such.

What do you think? Comments?

Ventriloquism-Based Spoof by Jeff Dunham on the Biden Presidency

September 1, 2021 3 comments

Here is a new and funny ventriloquism-based spoof on the Biden presidency by Jeff Dunham. It touches on many topics from Biden’s obvious senility, his scripted public appearances being controlled by handlers, the atrociously bad messaging on COVID-19 and much more. It also pokes fun of many famous mainstream journalists and Donald Trump.

Enjoy! Comments?