How to overcome overcomplication, and how to make progress

 
One of the big problems with extreme Leftist thinking in the modern age is overcomplication, also known as paralysis by analysis. Someone will say something constructive like, “Black people need legacy,” and the extreme Left will counter with something unconstructive, such as, “Well, it’s easier said than done. Black people have a legacy of slavery, therefore you can’t expect them to own businesses.” Someone will say something constructive like, “We need to fix the testing achievement gap,” and the Left will counter with some diversion like, “Tests are racist” or “what does achievement really mean?” You’ll mention that black kids study less than Asian kids, and rather than encouraging black kids to study more, they’ll encourage race-based admissions, thereby dismissing the very idea of the necessity of hard study and hard work. The end result is that people don’t improve. No progress gets made. Discussion of success devolves into excuses for failure.

The Son by Philipp Meyer (short review)

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Philipp Meyer’s The Son will be an interesting read for those interested in a guy’s novel. It’s a multigenerational novel about a young white boy who is kidnapped by Comanches and grows up to become a warrior and a cattleman in Texas during the 1880’s. It spans from the the boy’s young childhood to the childhoods of his great-great-grandchildren. This book was very ambitious, but Meyer succeeds.

Check it out.

Adoptees against adoption

Photo credit: Mark Neville for the NY Times

Photo credit: Mark Neville for the NY Times

Lots of Korean adoptees are returning to live in Korea. The NY Times reports it here. Not only are they returning to their birth countries, but they’re actively campaigning against international adoption, arguing that many of the single mothers who give up their children don’t know what they’re doing and are victims to social stigma in Korea, AND that it doesn’t help kids who are forced to grow up with White parents who don’t understand what children of color go through in America.

How to Fall in Love With Anyone

Fascinating article here. To summarize, a writer learns of a psychologist named Arthur Aron who, 20 years ago, was able to make two complete strangers fall in love in a lab experiment. The experiment was simple–two heterosexual single people ask one another 36 questions, followed by four minutes of simply looking into one another’s eyes. You can see the list of questions here. The takeaway is that the questions foster trust, vulnerability, and action. The writer tries the experiment herself, and so far it looks like it’s working.

Jimmy Lai

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Photo credit: Brent Lewin for the New York Times

 

Interesting piece on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy tycoon Jimmy Lai. Most businesspeople are not activists, and vice-versa. Jimmy Lai started in poverty, co-founded Giordano (the clothing line which everyone who went to HK in the 80’s knows), and eventually became a media tycoon. As the article notes, it’s hard to be both a businessman and an activist. Lai actually stepped down as chairman of his media company in order to pursue his activism.

I’ve always wondered what Batman would look like without the mask. Maybe this is it.

What Charlie Hebdo teaches us about the adults’ table vs. the kids’ table

It looks like it’s over. As predicted, the police caught up to the terrorists, and it looks like they’ve been killed.

This morning, David Brooks had an excellent Op-Ed on the teachable moment of Charlie Hebdo. Read it here: I am not Charlie Hebdo. In the Op-Ed, Brooks writes about how even though the world condemns the brutal murders of these cartoonists, America would not have opened its arms to welcome these cartoonists’ brand of humor. Instead, America would have castigated Charlie Hebdo as hate mongers, much the same way America castigates Bill Maher and Ann Coulter. On a college campus, Brooks writes, their publication would have been shut down.

Charlie Hebdo

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cartoon credit: Magnus Shaw

 

As many of you know, at least two gunmen shot up the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in France, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is great” in Arabic. They shot and killed 12 people, including some of France’s most respected political cartoonists. The gunmen reportedly targeted the magazine and asked for the cartoonists by name. There’s an intense manhunt going on right now. Charlie Hebdo was known to have (rightly) criticized some craziness committed by some Muslims. This may have been revenge.

Northern Blvd McDonald’s employee attacks old Korean guy with a broomstick

Last time the Northern Blvd McDonalds was in the news for kicking out old people who were loitering. This time, when an old Korean guy complained about slow service, an employee hit him with a broomstick. See the video above, or check the NY Times article here. He’s now suing for $10 million–which I think is ridiculous. Even if you’re 62, how can getting swat with a broomstick be worth $10 million in pain and suffering? Free Big Macs for life, maybe, but $10 million? I don’t think so.