Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Well, yes and no...

Thanks to this little blurb at Little Green Footballs, I came to read this over at Zomblog. Their position on this seems to be that the Greenlining Institute and their ilk are responsible for the submarginal mortgage and loan crisis that precipitated the recent financial brouhaha.

Not really.

While I am sure even the leftist yahoos of the GI could not be stupid enough to not expect a fair number of defaults, which is in and of itself like encouraging a person to go to a loan shark when you know they will never be good for it and end up with their knees smashed, they do seem to have that blind faith of the left that if you just throw the money of old white men at something, it magically fixes it.

In a promotional preview on Starz for Crash: The Series (yes, I am rather "what's that" followed by "who cares" on it as well) Dennis Hopper is reeling off to a black character a statement about ghettos. He says that the first ghetto was in Venice and made because the Christians didn't want the Jews living with them, and forced them into separate living space.

He says further that despite this discrimination and mistreatment, the Jews of the ghetto still took care of each other, making businesses and financial arrangements, and schooling, and so forth. He asks the black character if that sounds anything like the ghetto he comes from. The cutaway from the scene occurs right about there back to the promotional self-congratulatory blather.

No, that's not jealously for their success, but mourning for the intellectual attention span of America when Crash can be a series.

Anyhow, that exchange aptly describes the problem with greenlining and throwing money at minorities and low income people in depressed areas. They are depressed for a reason. There's no viable economic base to work in, or what base there is, is inhospitable to them because of a lack of education and skills, and the people there no matter how many marches they show up for, are fragmented and at odds with each other.

Check out the statistics for black on black crime for instance. Black men who rape white women are nearly infinitely more likely to be hunted down and jailed than black men who rape black women and how fair is that to their victims? Where is the greatest success in forcing black men to be upstanding and financially support their children? Whites, not blacks. What children are constantly exhorted to stay in schools, watched to make sure they do, and set on the straight and narrow when they stray? Not black children.

No, poor minority neighborhoods are nothing like poor Jewish neighborhoods of yore and they face none of the officially sanctioned discrimination and violence the Jews of medieval Europe did. They suffer from the other white racism: not that black people are to be harried and pushed to the back of the bus, but that crime among black people is to be left to the circular file, black children to be written off, and black family cohesion is privately held to be a myth of Bill Cosby's imagination.

I use black Americans as the example as they are whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the bottom of the American socioeconomic barrel even after fifty years of civil rights agitation, legislation, and preaching. That the human race can build pyramids and space shuttles and remake the landscape and realign entire continents of nations' political landscape inside of one generation, but not only fail to make proper progress in this area but backslide in a similar direction to where it was being dragged from only says one of two things: either they are mysteriously incompetent and insane in this one area, or solving the problem was never the point of the movement and the huffing and puffing.

Which is easier for you to believe?

As long as the bottom of the socioeconomic barrel's problems are held by the white majority to be a de minimus thing not worth pursuing, no amount of money thrown will do a thing. It isn't that the money should not have been lent, for certain it should not have and in such numbers and with such silly and naive terms, but that it should have been lent to different methods and organizations.

Partly this problem is because the white middle ground is torn between caring for its own and caring for those others. Those on the left are reflexively for those others, but in a racist patronizing way and that can never help those it is ostensibly supposed to because those true believers naive enough to think that the ostensible purpose is real and actual will be pushing their efforts at a destination they will by design never reach and those at the top never had in mind any such thing and of course will be diverting the efforts where they are really supposed to be going: aggrandizement of themselves.

Think about it. If the civil rights movement actually succeeded at a color blind society, they would have nothing to do. They certainly would be of no consequence and no one would bother paying them hush money as the Greenlining Institute is alleged to have extorted from major lenders and those politicians who run on this subject of race and such would have no plank for it.

Human movements exist to perpetuate themselves as much as the humans who comprise those movements seek to perpetuate themselves. It can hardly be otherwise. If we are in G-d's image, then that which is in our's must be as we are. G-d's first attempt at perpetuating Himself was to make us and tell us He existed. We do the same by creating movements, organizations, structures, etc. simply to spread ourselves around.

You can, and I do, ascribe more paranoid and evil motives to them, for of course only an idiot can see that perpetuating this movement must necessarily be done at the expense of erasing race and color as an issue, and to keep those held to be on the losing side perpetually on that losing side and that side is defined by economic deprivations whether refused loans, or closed opportunities.

The civil rights movement must by virtue of its very construction and its inclusion of cult of personality and mass movement, keep its championed group in their place indefinitely. A few can escape and reach heights of success such as Will Smith, or Bill Cosby, and seem to be family men of great morality and reliance, but they themselves function inevitably as a component of that charade keeping those below down where they are.

The higher and farther the target to shoot for, the easier it is to make people miss. A slight obstruction early on will trip them up long before they get where they intend, nearly geometrically increasing the difficulty, putting the entire enterprise up against human will, and most will eventually lose interest in fighting their circumstances and bow to mediocrity and failure.

There are three things that must be done in the black American community for this to end. First, black on black crime must no longer be tolerated in any way and all cases treated as seriously as those against whites and there must be no exceptions. A black child who is sold drugs by a black dealer is as interfered with as if it was a white dealer and just as endangered as any white child. A black woman raped by a black man has been as victimized as if her rapist was white and as victimized as any white woman. Etc., etc., etc...

Second, black public school children must no longer be bused, traded, moved around as if white children we some sort of magic fairies from whom magic dust might rub off to make them better. Black children have excelled in the middle of slavery at reading and writing and working and being good and obedient to their parents, and they were chattel at the time. Now in a time of supposed freedom and opportunities, they are treated like some sort of radioactive material to be kept from critical mass. This has to stop and they need to be taught right there, right where they live, and by people from their neighborhood, who know what their lives are like, and who believes truly a priori that they can make of those lives whatever they wish and never gives up on those children.

Third, the educational system of the USA is a joke when it comes to reality and self-interest. It is within our economic interests to teach people far better before they get out of high school than we do. Barely being able to read, do a little algebra, and know where Croatia is on a map is not making people ready to take part in our economic system. The system must teach politically blind and neutral dry economics, business management dynamics, chains of command, methods and procedures of business, and how to think clearly, critically, and logically. They need to understand Internet technology, computing, electronics, mechanics, and the other things of basic jobs in the modern world. They need to learn how things are made from footballs to car engines and see all the various areas of work to be tried. Even janitorial work can be amazingly involved when you see what the chemistry of fighting inorganic and organic stains is like versus not damaging what you're trying to clean. Sort of like trying to find cures for diseases that don't kill the patient. If our schools taught things relevant to working across the employment landscape, they might be less shocked when they leave to enter that world.

None of these things will be done of course. There are too many people with too many self interests to allow it without a fight. The people must do it for themselves, take themselves away as fuel for the engine of self-aggrandizement of those at the top, for their own good, their own interests, when they get sufficiently tired of the lack of progress.

However, those who were young in the sixties are now not so young and cannot possibly be foolish enough to believe the movement did more than desegregate buses. Even so, they've done nothing. If fifty years of nothingness hasn't moved them, what will?

We already see the organic crawling away of the people from the old guard of the left. The embrace of rappers, gangsters, and bling. These may seem like children's toys to keep the facade up and the farce continuing, but they teach that one can go it alone and sneak out the side. What matters here is that they see it is not only in rap, but in any other area they choose to apply themselves. Lateral thinking, and lateral will are all that is needed.

When the poor black American community no longer listens to those that would call themselves leader (largely white people from privileged backgrounds you should note) and does things for themselves, much as the Jews did in the face of Christian oppression, then will loans of whatever terms no long be marginal, they will be guaranteed moneymakers for those receiving them will finally know they can go wherever and do whatever they put their minds to, and they will fully join the middle class where the money flows the most.

Empowerment comes not from money, but the will and drive to do anything with or without money. As poor Indians and other easterners keep showing, working your ass off like your life depends on it is vastly more profitable in this country of opportunities than anywhere else. With a little money, effort is magnified. What is lacking is the spirit and will to move one's behind, and the education in the first place to show one that it is even possible in the first place.

What is lacking is the will. It must be ignited.