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The successful narcissist

by Greg Krehbiel on 19 September 2014

Today, while listening to a presentation at an industry conference, I think I realized why narcissism is so closely associated with success. The narcissist believes in himself, in what he’s doing, and in his life’s mission and work. He thinks it’s all very important and worthwhile, and that kind of dedication is crucial to success. 

-- 4 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-19  ::  Greg Krehbiel

A looming catastrophe, but a promise

by Greg Krehbiel on 17 September 2014

This is really worth reading — not because it’s right, or because I agree with this guy, but because of the insight it provides into the AGW leftist mind.

Let’s Reject the ‘Inevitable’

Dig this.

… the payoff for seriously fighting climate change is not only the survival of our species (and others) but a better society.

So the very survival of the species is at stake because of climate change? Never mind that humanity has already lived through much more drastic climate changes than even the most rabid AGW advocate predicts, and that they did it with extremely primitive technology. No, despite that we’re facing total annihilation!

I think you have to be “of a mind” to believe that sort of thing.

But it’s not hopeless. It’s not just doom and gloom. Don’t just give up and smoke dope and eat Doritos, for tomorrow we drown under rising seas. There’s something worth fighting for.

As Naomi Klein says, “Climate change isn’t just a disaster. It’s also our best chance to demand and build a better world.”

Sure. They envision a better world — where marching college students set the agenda and leftist professors control everything.

I’ve said for years that the real issue with global warming is not stopping carbon emissions. If it were, there would be more proposals about scrubbing CO2 out of the air, planting forests and other mitigation measures.

The real agenda is to fundamentally change human civilization. They don’t like industrial society, and they don’t like all those people running around doing their own thing without some expert minding them. They want a “better world” where some nut with a theory is telling you what to do.

-- 11 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-17  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The so-called science of sex

by Greg Krehbiel on 16 September 2014

Allegedly scientific studies are tearing apart the pretty little lies we tell one another when it comes to sex and mating. Here’s an interesting article that’s worth scanning, at least.

The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating

I draw your attention particularly to this one — “Research shows, if men didn’t need to impress women, they probably wouldn’t leave the couch” — because it is a major part of my argument in Eggs are Expensive, Sperm is Cheap.

The rest of it is interesting but not as important, in my opinion.

-- 14 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-16  ::  Greg Krehbiel

How to get an Ezekiel-hard forehead

by Greg Krehbiel on 15 September 2014

Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like emery harder than flint I have made your forehead. Ezek. 3:8-9

I live in a liberal state, work in a liberal city and have built my career in a liberal profession. While there are pockets of conservative thinking here and there, and some people are more tolerant than others, for much of my life I’ve been surrounded by people who assume the liberal side of things — vehemently. It’s simply in the air they breathe, and they can hardly imagine an alternative — except among the mad unwashed out in the hinterlands, or maybe as a funny creature on display at parties or … maybe in a museum or a funny movie.

I’m sure that to some extent it’s the same in reverse in other places, where conservative ideals are in the majority and liberals are mocked and scorned. (I say “to some extent” because — at least in the U.S. — no matter how far into conservative-land you go, the liberals still control most of the news media, TV, movies and a lot of the music.)

This all came to mind today as I watched a discussion about the Adrian Peterson case. (In case you haven’t heard, he’s in trouble for disciplining his child with a switch.) Some people are absolutely livid about it and don’t believe parents should ever spank their kids or hit them in any way. Ever. No excuses.

It’s not an unreasonable position to hold because the “experts” (i.e., child psychologists who are on their fourth marriage and have raised two or three kids who have been in constant counseling since they were two — people who really understand how families work) tell us that spanking is always wrong. And it’s always safe to trust the experts, anyway, right? Especially if they’re scientists of some sort.

However that plays out, it’s particularly interesting to me how quickly these things change, how quickly the “right-minded” people conform to the new doctrine. and how sure they are of the righteousness of the new position.

“Oh, sure, that was common 40 years ago, but we’ve advanced since then. You can’t say that now!”

The chronological snobbery can be breathtaking, but that’s not my main point here.

What is it that makes people so hard-headed about things?

It’s not just that they’re opinionated. I know lots of opinionated people who realize that there’s at least something to be said for the other side, and are willing to listen and debate on a decently rational basis.

What I’m wondering about is the people who can’t even listen to a contrary idea. It simply offends them so deeply that they have to shut it off.

When it comes to other areas of life, people (the type who like to engage in arm-chair psychology, anyway) would take knee-jerk rejections like this as evidence the person is suppressing their true feelings. IOW, they can’t bear to listen to X because deep down they really believe X and they’re ashamed of it and suppressing it.

I think that’s bosh. I think the attitude that won’t even consider counter-arguments stems (at least in part) from an emotional attachment to whatever it is you believe. Person A won’t listen to position X because Person A is deeply, emotionally committed to non-X.

It’s not the thinking. It’s the feeling.

So the way to get an Ezekiel-hard forehead — or the way to get your minions to reflexively reject anything that contradicts your party dogma — is to focus on rhetoric and emotion over argument and logic. Make the other guys into monsters.

People who develop the habit of listening to cool-headed analysis are more likely to treat a contrary view as a kind of intellectual treat or challenge — something to examine or dig into, while people who develop the habit of seeing the other side as evil beings from outer space are going to be deeply offended by contrary views.

Or … maybe this is all nonsense and there’s some completely different explanation, like personality types or something.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-15  ::  Greg Krehbiel

NPR embraces the hijab?

by Greg Krehbiel on 15 September 2014

This is an interesting and confusing story from NPR. Covering Up With The Hijab May Aid Women’s Body Image

“There had been three or four previous studies showing that more modest or conservative clothing is associated with a healthier body image,” [according to a person cited in the article]

Really? Is NPR going to promote veiling women?

I doubt they would have published such a nice story about Christians dressing modestly, but since it’s Muslims ….

[A]cross all parameters, the women who wore the hijab, at least some of the time, had more positive views of their bodies on average. They had less desire to be thin. They appreciated their bodies more. And they weren’t as influenced by media messages about beauty standards.

Wait a minute, who says that’s a “positive” view of their bodies? What’s wrong with women wanting to be thin? I thought we had an obesity epidemic.

I guess they mean a “positive” view in the way that U.S. students think they’re good at math, even when they’re not. That’s “positive.”

“The hijab allows you to do that [challenge society's norms of beauty] in a certain way [in Britain]. … Feminism does the same thing.”

Ah. So now we’re going to see “feminists for the hijab”?

It might be an improvement. While driving through the local university campus the other day I saw a woman who was barely recognizable as a woman. Her hair was cut like a man’s, she was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, Chuck Taylors, no make-up or jewelry, etc. Very butch. The hijab would have been an improvement.

I’m in favor of women dressing modestly, but I admit that I find it very odd to see NPR giving the story this sort of spin.

-- 2 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-15  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The real crisis in America right now is that we’ve forgotten due process of law

by Greg Krehbiel on 11 September 2014

This is a year of object lessons in why we have attorneys and courts of law and discovery and rules of evidence and all that civilized sort of stuff.

The story coming out of Ferguson seemed so clear. A cop shot a nice, peaceful, unarmed young man because he was black. Then we found out that he wasn’t so nice and peaceful, and the cop may have been acting in self defense. Videos from the scene and forensic evidence seemed to confirm that (depending on who you asked). But now, different videos tell a story more consistent with the first version.

There’s no way for us to know what happened and who is to blame without a whole lot of clear evidence — along with cross-examination. But apparently the attorney general of the United States figured it all out without needing any of that stuff.

Then we have the Ray Rice story, where the man is assumed guilty based on the news reports. And he’s not the only one who’s guilty. The NFL commissioner is guilty because he didn’t come to the conclusion that all the right people think is obvious. They know who’s good and who’s bad from the news reports. Because reporters always get it exactly right. And football players are like that anyway. Everybody knows that.

While all this is going on we have a rape crisis in colleges where there’s a “rape culture.” Nobody has examined if that’s really true or not. We’re simply told that’s the way it is and we’re all supposed to do the proper song and dance in reply, which basically means riding young men out of universities and ruining their careers based on unproven accusations.

Then we hear that cops are pulling people over and taking their money on the presumption that they’re using the money for nefarious purposes.

There definitely is a crisis in America right now, but it’s not the one the evening news wants to talk about (because the real crisis won’t get clicks on social media). The real crisis is that we’re all addicted to the rush to judgment.

Maybe it’s because we expect everything to be instantaneous. A tweet has a shelf life of about six seconds, so you need to make up your mind about one before you move on to the other. You can’t expect people to wait around for months! (how uncivilized) to find out the truth.

No, the rule of modern life is (1) first impressions based on emotion and cleverly manipulated trigger words, (2) find out what the cool kids think about it, (3) a quick follow-the-crowd judgment, and (4) move on to the next topic.

-- 22 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-11  ::  Greg Krehbiel

No, it was not the worst day, and the world didn’t change

by Greg Krehbiel on 11 September 2014

I don’t mean in any way to belittle the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks. It was an absolutely awful thing, and like the rest of you I remember it fairly vividly. I remember the confusion and fear in D.C., the jammed cell phones, metro trains and traffic as everybody tried to do everything at once, and I remember watching fighter planes fly over my house that evening.

It was very serious and very awful.

But I’m a little tired of some of the things people have taken to saying about it.

First, it certainly wasn’t the worst day in our history. Pearl Harbor was worse. Antietam was worse. The burning of Washington by the British was worse.

Second, the world did not change. There have been terrorist attacks for a long time. Some people forget the attack on our barracks in Lebanon, or the attack on the USS Cole, or the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. (That one mostly failed. Fortunately, many of the modern terrorists are clueless dolts.)

There have been evil, murdering lunatics around forever, and they do horrible things from time to time. That’s not new.

Some things did change. We decided to stand up and take notice of the growing threat of Muslim extremism — although we were very conflicted about it and couldn’t reconcile our desire to be multi-cultural and accepting and all that nonsense with the fact that we really were dealing mostly with Muslims.

We finally got over the “baby killer” stuff from the 70s and started appreciating people in uniform — including firemen and police and even clergy. I remember the stories about the men who were rushing in to the World Trade Center to try to save people. God bless ‘em.

It was a pivotal moment in our history, but let’s not be silly about it.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-11  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Marines in slippers

by Greg Krehbiel on 11 September 2014

I’m glad that President Obama has been reluctantly dragged to a point where he will take ISIS seriously. I hope his strategy of using U.S. advice, intelligence and air power in support of Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces will work. We’ll see.

Obama is right to try to push Iraq to take care of its own problems and for the U.S. to lessen its involvement. I don’t agree with the way he’s done that, but it’s the right goal.

My main concern going forward is that decisions will be made for political and not tactical reasons. Obama may be so committed to “no U.S. boots on the ground” that he’ll end up making stupid decisions.

I don’t think it’s wise to set those kinds of limits on our actions. It was wrong to set a date by which all U.S. troops will leave, and it’s wrong to set strict limits on what U.S. troops can and can’t do in Iraq.

If a U.S. pilot is shot down, will there be a rescue team or not? Will we have to rely on an Iraqi rescue team because of a silly political decision in Washington? I hope not.

-- 3 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-11  ::  Greg Krehbiel

“The soft bigotry of low expectations” about Muslims

by Greg Krehbiel on 11 September 2014

Bill Maher is a jerk, but he has some sense. He rejects the ridiculous view that all religions have the same problem with extremism and is willing to say that Muslims have a unique problem in that regard.

Here’s a transcript of a conversation with Charlie Rose. (HT Dave.)

-- 9 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-11  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Isaac and the garden fairy

by Greg Krehbiel on 9 September 2014

If you have a young reader in your house, give this a try.

Isaac and the garden fairy

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-09  ::  Greg Krehbiel

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