Reverse Luddites

One of my most memorable professors, Charlie Gilmore, had a saying: figures don’t lie, but liars do figure and statisticians are great liars!

2008 Education Data

Image: census.gov

Here the US Census bureau gives us some whoppers to digest. Heartburn is more like it: even today, there are those benighted folks committed to illusions of the past when today’s painfully obvious reality no longer supports their worldview myth. To draw fall 2011 conclusions from something so time-dependent as 2008 education market data is a painful adherence to a failed process.

This report also shows that even women in the most advantaged race groups earn less than men, in the most economically disadvantaged race groups. Tiffany Julian, Housing and Household Economic Statistics

PUH-lease! That tired old saw has been debunked here, here, here and here.

Thomas Sowell has written insightfully on this mentality many times: the aggressive refusal to embrace the responsibilities that come with rights. While Luddites were opposed to technological change and feared the new world that these changes brought, today’s protestors-for-pay are different because they demand, violently at times, that the world owes them the latest and greatest, all the advantages of a modern world, without the responsibility, discipline, hard work and willingness to sacrifice for a greater good, (be that family or a greater good such as our heroes).

The commitment to serve a cause larger than yourself is a timeless hallmark of true maturity so visibly lacking in today’s victims, protesters and multicultural advocates of class warfare.

According to this vision of the world, the problems of all sorts of individuals and groups — women, minorities, homosexuals, children — are to be solved by liberating them from the restraints of laws, rules, conventions, and standards.

They are to be liberated even from the threat of adverse judgments by other individuals. We are all to be “non-judgmental.” “Don’t Liberate Me”, Sowell

While the current White House administration seems to drink this swill by the gallon, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights wrote an recent opinion with startling clarity and common sense:

p. 46 …In reversing the Chamber’s judgment, the Grand Chamber does no more than confirm a body of settled jurisprudence (notably under Article 10) which recognises that mere ‘offence’ is not something against which an individual may be immunized by law. Lautsi et al v. Italy

A young woman highlights the moral muddle of so many today in demanding rights without responsibilities:

When a University of Wyoming student said she feared a campus smoking ban would force her to cross the street to smoke and increase her odds of being sexually assaulted, a student government representative told her she shouldn’t smoke, then. Disgusted that his response was to tell her to change her personal behavior and imply that women have some role in being assaulted… Slutwalks Create Controversy

Was that really your outside voice? Freedom is not the choice to do anything without consequence. Freedom is always the choice to choose the good. If you sincerely cannot tell the difference between good and bad, it’s been too many generations since your family has either hunted for their food, raised it from seed in the earth or otherwise been held to an objective reality that brooks no dissent. Gravity works whether or not you believe in it. So do many other things in life when the welfare state does not shield someone from the consequences of bad decisions.

At one time, it was well understood that adversity taught valuable lessons, which reduce the probability of repeating foolish decisions. But, today, the welfare state shields people from the consequences of their own mistakes, allowing irresponsibility to continue and to flourish among ever wider circles of people.

Amid all the concerns about the skyrocketing government debt, a front-page headline in the Wall Street Journal said: “Families Slice Debt to Lowest In 6 Years.” It is remarkable how differently people behave when they are spending their own money compared to the way politicians behave when spending the government’s money. “Random Thoughts”, 9Aug2011, Sowell

Regular readers of this blog know the oft-repeated phrase: Culture conquers all, yet when culture encounters physics, physics wins. The most pressing risks we face today are not whether the world will change, but rather we will be willing to embrace the change and profit by it, personally, professionally and socially, or will we adamantly argue with gravity?

Carpe Diem,

Matt

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