Sunday, September 29, 2019

Mailvox: "a bastion of sanity"

A reader emails:
"A post-literate age." This term resonated with me the moment you uttered it. I’m now seeing it almost daily.

The requests to ‘dumb down’ the language are approaching comedic, and I currently operate at government levels. I was asked to explain the difference between ‘woman’ and ‘women’ just last week.

In response to one recent request, I (in totally undisciplined irritation) asked if they’d prefer the document produced in brown paper and crayon. I try to be patient, but it’s getting harder.

Once again, your blog is a bastion of sanity.
We are living in the Crazy Years. It falls to us to build fortresses and monasteries of sanity. It is our responsibility to preserve knowledge and truth. It is our honor to stand up for that which is rather than that which someone feels it should be. And it is our responsibility to show up for the future, in order to ensure that the insane do not inherit the Earth.



Blogger rumpole5 September 29, 2019 8:09 AM  

I've noticed this for some years. Obvious mistakes in publications and broadcasts where such would have been caught and corrected before year 2000 or so. My theory was that the last schoolmarmish grey head had retired and was replaced by a pimpleface know it all in a tee shirt. An alternate theory is the penultimate effects of affirmative action. This is how great civilizations fall into ruin.

Blogger Sologamer September 29, 2019 8:14 AM  

A lot of people are functionally illiterate. A lot of people have IQs below 90. They have always been there the - the plebs. The difference is, we are now supposed to ignore the fact that they are different from us, the kind of people, who perhaps, can do long division, think probabilistically,or have even a vague understanding of the development of English literature.

Blogger Thad Tuiol September 29, 2019 8:21 AM  

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Blogger Z MAlfoy September 29, 2019 8:21 AM  

Golly, I feel like I could have written much the same note. I also wok in government, and was expressing irritation over lack of literacy just this week to an office-mate. I've found that it's worse the higher up the chain you need to go for an approval.

I also find this blog to be a refuge of sanity and clear thought. It has helped me finish clearing out all the brainwashing from my years of mandated schooling, and my unfortunate years at university.

Blogger Thad Tuiol September 29, 2019 8:22 AM  

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Blogger Thad Tuiol September 29, 2019 8:23 AM  

My son's former college now accepts pidgin English written in essays and exam papers as legitimate dialects of English. We are in clown world and circling the drain.

Blogger Charles September 29, 2019 8:28 AM  

And grammar has become so poor I'm becoming illiterate myself. So much of what is posted online by "professional" news organizations is so poorly written and cratered with missing words, run on sentances, and lack of even minimal punctuation, that the prose is often incomprehensible in the first paragraph and I quit reading. And articles seldom deliver on the headlines. It's too much work trying to figure out what was meant. It's all tossed word salad.

And I'm confident a lot of what is written was generated by artifical ignorance prose generators (yes, that's a "thing", I suspect the Dailymail uses them) that while clever, they perform at an 8th grade level (well, what used to be 8th grade).

Blogger Slen September 29, 2019 8:32 AM  

It is now "Idiocracy" and you can too!

Blogger Keyser Soze September 29, 2019 8:44 AM  

At work I write emails at a 6th grade level. Avoids confusion with my supposed college graduate colleagues. Sad

Blogger DougW September 29, 2019 8:56 AM  

Sort of related: my teen daughter said that in class last week one of the other students was surprised to learn that Delaware is a state; she thought it was a beach in Maryland.

Blogger Vaughan Williams September 29, 2019 9:07 AM  

A few short years ago I was surprised when the front page of a daily newspaper that services the entire province, had the reporter talking about her "camel toe" without any irony. I think it was in 2015.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 29, 2019 9:13 AM  

A bazillion words have been written about the fall of Rome, I just say it ran out of Romans.

Blogger MJ September 29, 2019 9:18 AM

The illiteracy crisis is worse than you probably imagine.

Blogger Silent Draco September 29, 2019 9:19 AM  

Newspapers were supposed to be written at a 6th grade reading level. Professional journals and articles were supposed to be written at a 12th grade to collegiate sophomore level. Software tools can analyze text and provide the RGL. My fear is being realized; the state of writing is at those now-debased standards. This is made worse by overuse of large but inappropriate compound words, creating a cargo-cult wall of text. Women and gammas rarely make simple, direct communication.

I enjoy the precision-grade writing in the blog, no matter how serious or light-hearted the topic. The RGL is right, and the language and grammar are ruthlessly correct. The comments are generally good, from serious work to awful puns. Consider it recess for the higher-end minds.

The Darkstreams carry more content than expected. IIRC from a book titled "Read All About It", you can tell someone a story which is 2-4 RGL above their reading comprehension. Although we can see Vox actively working to use simpler words, the concepts conveyed are very complex. The moderators need to hush everyone, and encourage focused replies. Of course, the periodic Barkstreams have a message all of their own. A well-wagged tail has an eloquence and message which need no translation.

Blogger Unknown September 29, 2019 9:29 AM  

I am an engineer in a manufacturing plant. When I design & commission a machine for production personell to use, one of the last tasks is to write an operating procedure, which is reviewed by others in the organization before being approved. Over the last several years, I've had to dumb them way way down & yes, I have threatened to present them as 'coloring book & crayons' on a couple of occasions due to some of the juvenile questions I get.

We are in bad shape, folks!

Blogger tuberman September 29, 2019 9:36 AM  


Blogger John Bradley September 29, 2019 9:36 AM  

Now I want to buy an anthology of "every dog's a Good Boy" short stories called A Well-Wagged Tale. You know, something for the SDL to crank out in his copious free time.

Blogger urthshu September 29, 2019 9:37 AM  

It is only grown up writing which can convey grown up concepts, mostly to grown ups.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 29, 2019 9:37 AM  

Speaking of bastions, I've been watching what amounts to is a show about the making of the TV show Vikings and last night they highlighted a raid upon Galacia in Spain in the 9th century, talking about bastions, muslims on one side crazed proto-Democratic voters from the sea on the other side.

Blogger Homesteader September 29, 2019 9:38 AM  

A Canticle For Leibowitz.

Literacy is imitative- we write only onsofar as we have read. With the coming of the internet, and then smart phones, books now sit unread, as librarians become zookeepers for their bedraggled remnant, and the contemplative oasis of bookstores are forgotten. And the great books- the classics- now don't even get to the stage of "a book everyone's heard of.."

So be it. We are not allowed to despair- it is another form of vanity. Roll up your sleeves,pray, and tend to your community, as best you can.

"If you can watch the things you gave your life to, broken, and stoop and build 'em up again with worn out tools"...

Blogger Damelon Brinn September 29, 2019 9:40 AM  

I saw an "Employee's Only" sign yesterday. My brain reflexively thought, "Who is the employee, and why is he so proud of his sign?" I didn't say it out loud, though, because no one would have gotten it.

Blogger HouellebecqGurl September 29, 2019 9:57 AM  

Recently I asked the nurse at my husband's general physician about a specific dosage titration for a medication.
She said, "Titration, what's that?"


Blogger Al From Bay Shore September 29, 2019 10:04 AM  

In my opinion, K-12 public education is responsible for the literacy issues plaguing the whole of society. It tossed out things that worked (ie. Latin) in exchange for flavor of the month instructional fads. Lately, it has incorporated "woke" pedagogy. Unfortunately, I don't see how this changes since the colleges and universities have had their teacher and admin. training programs commandeered by "woke" people.

Maybe there is opportunity in this. Former SJWs, about 10 years from now, can be a market for online classical education coursework.

Blogger kmbr September 29, 2019 10:09 AM  

I see a lot of white folk on social media purposely using ebonics now too. White middle aged women not just kids.

"Who got dat?" "I be about dat" " "I serious do(ugh)"

Blogger Al From Bay Shore September 29, 2019 10:13 AM  

I have to add that I'm encountering quite a few kids who have garbage penmanship skills. This includes the way they hold pens and pencils. And too many, in my opinion, cannot write in cursive. This is important because penmanship (letter formation) is a building block of literacy. It also develops cognitive skills.

Blogger NewTunesForOldLogos September 29, 2019 10:13 AM  

Homeschool or die.

Blogger Dave September 29, 2019 10:23 AM  

Al, they don't teach cursive in most schools now. Common Core and computers, don'cha ya know.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore September 29, 2019 10:35 AM  

@27 One of the biggest scams is the "technology in the classroom" approach. Tech companies get enriched, per-pupil expenditures enlarge in grotesque ways, and students never develop their minds.

Some adults were fortunate enough to have gone to school in a time when the only search engine was a card catalog, and their teachers had learned and taught in the 1920s and 1930s. These adults still have some connection to instructional methods that produced intelligent people.

Blogger MJ Meyers September 29, 2019 10:43 AM  

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Blogger Ominous Cowherd September 29, 2019 10:44 AM  

HouellebecqGurl wrote:Recently I asked the nurse at my husband's general physician about a specific dosage titration for a medication.

She said, "Titration, what's that?"

Not actually a nurse, then, regardless of title or credential. Is this a game of ``guess the race?''

Blogger MJ Meyers September 29, 2019 10:47 AM  

I work with the general public, often with people of an SD or two below the norm, often on financial matters. I've been trying to perfect my ability to ask about cash as opposed to money in a bank account or on cards.

"In the next seven days, will you be carrying any green paper cash, currency, coins, and the like, be it in your wallet or buried in shoebox on Mars?"


"In cash? I'm talking about the green paper kind. Not what's in a bank account."

"Oh. Well, I dunno."

I don't trust people to read documents and understand them, so I go through and explain it thoroughly. I understand someone not understanding what "security" or "collateral" means. So, I ask, "Do you have any they-can-take-it-if-you-don't-pay-it arrangements with anyone?" They get it. But the cash versus bank account distinction gets very difficult.

I also have to remind people that Paypal accounts are indeed a sort of bank account, even if it's not called that.

It's just not that many people are a little slower either. Many are shockingly dishonest. Not most, but I will use the word "many" think that if the truth gets them X result and a lie gets them Y result, Y not? Y is a no brainer. I have to say, "Look. We can't lie. We can go to prison for that. They'll know. Aristotle, way back in the day, believed lying to an oath court was a worse crime than murder in many scenarios. Because if word got out that people could just tell an oath court anything they wanted, nobody would trust it and the whole society would collapse; whereas a murder just harms one individual and his family. Thankfully, governments aren't as harsh as they used to be, but we still aren't going to lie."

On a related note, we cook a lot more often than my younger days, but occasionally we all order food at quick-service and restaurants to go. The propensity for order-screw ups has been a little less than 50% in the past 2 years. I now accept the fact that I must audit every single order before leaving. My favorite restaurant in town screwed up an order. I went home and we called to tell them. They apologized and we came back for the correct order, and they screwed that one up too. The management, when we e-mailed them, were so embarrassed we got a $50 gift card. I feel kind of bad for them, as I can tell the place is run very well. It's just very difficult to get competent help. I don't recall in my younger years hardly ever picking up an order wrong that was incorrect.

Blogger Doktor Jeep September 29, 2019 10:50 AM  

Men are not created equal.
Public school was an attempt to fix that.

Blogger tublecane September 29, 2019 10:53 AM  

Everyone here has probably heard of the Nockian Remnant, supposedly "keepers of the flame" for traditional culture and knowledge which may be useful at a later date. I remember when considering applying to graduate school having trouble with an essay topic, which was something like: "Why are you bothering us?" Whatever other people put--change the world, make more money, etc.--I had no proper answer. Which is just as well, because I never went.

However, I did write up a bit of an answer, which was related to being a member of the Remnant. Not sure what their reaction would have been. Probably they'd pass over it with glazed eyes. But if they caught its true import, they might have had me burned at the stake.

Blogger tublecane September 29, 2019 11:03 AM  

@23- Thinking back on what we were assigned to read in high school English class, it was almost entirely short stuff in fairly simple language with oodles of room for "interpretation." Huckleberry Finn, Lord of the Flies, Tequila Mockingbird, Great Gatsby.

And Shakespeare, of course. But you weren't expected to actually comprehend the plays, and they showed us movie versions.

I often forget this, with the different kinds of literature I've consumed since those days. Some of it is simple and easy, and I breeze on through. Other stuff takes forever to slog through and I have to look up references several times per page.

Blogger pyrrhus September 29, 2019 11:08 AM  

We have also entered the post-history phase...e.g. State University students in Illinois, with university funds, erected a tribute to "Abraham Lincoln, Democrat"...

Blogger Curlytop September 29, 2019 11:10 AM  

I could rant for hours over this topic. Homeschool or Die, indeed. However, men make sure your wives aren't slacking and closely monitor what curriculum they choose. The caliber of homeschooling families has dropped tremendously as well in the past 5yrs.

Blogger Latigo3 September 29, 2019 11:12 AM  

Reading articles today is like someone scratching a chalk board with their fingernails.

Blogger pyrrhus September 29, 2019 11:14 AM  

@32 >Men are not created equal.
Public school was an attempt to fix that.

Nonsense...Public schools were established, and made compulsory, to create compliant factory workers...and people like Henry Ford said so at the time...While the likes of Woodrow Wilson pointed out that the Elites would always get a real education in private schools.

Blogger Argus Bacchus September 29, 2019 11:15 AM  

@23, 25 Al

I have middle school honors science students who can be so damn lazy that they can't even be bothered to write their entire names on assignments, but rather just part of it, randomly cut off.

One Asian student a couple of years ago used "da" for "the" in response to a sort answer question on a homework assignment.

"I am your teacher, not your homeboy." was my written response. In big red letters.

A couple of times I've had to forward an email from our office staff to my VP with the request to "please translate this into intelligible English for me. Thanks in advance."

Blogger Al From Bay Shore September 29, 2019 11:18 AM  

@34 The best thing I've ever done for myself was undertake a one year study of Latin using the grammar translation method. Before doing that, I struggled with reading. I couldn't make it through the first few pages of "The Iliad". Had to watch "Richard III" in order to have some grasp of the actual text. After that year of study, and it was only basic stuff with simple translation exercises, there was an improvement. I finished "The Iliad" and was engaged throughout each sentence - I was able to form the images created by those sentences which made that epic interesting. I went on to read other things in that category of classical texts (I cannot recommend Ovid's "Metamorphoses" enough!).

I'm shaped by my own experiences and what I perceive may only be that but I don't think so. I think learning Latin (something I think is essential for building reading and writing skills) must be required for school aged children from grades K-12.

In my opinion, I had to learn some Latin to understand how to use the English language. And I now understand why my 1st and 2nd grade teacher (Mrs. Scarlato) frequently complained about the absence of Latin instruction in the schools.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore September 29, 2019 11:25 AM  

@39 HA! You correct papers using red pen. That's awesome! No sarcasm.

I remember attending a required "professional development" in which an educrat (curriculum specialist) told us that we should not use red pen because it is harmful to the self-esteem of the students. Immediately after that PD session, I went to Staples and purchased several boxes of red pens.

Blogger Silent Draco September 29, 2019 11:27 AM  

MJ Meyer, we had a similar problem this summer, explaining operating capital to a non-profit's agent. It took about eight weeks for a +2SD to explain this to a -1SD, finally in the context of "you don't write checks on your own bank account if you don't have the money, just because you have checks left." Degrading the center of the curve puts hidden distractions and stressors on the right hand side. This gives crazy and foolish more space to run with power tools.

As a related thought, can a reader or one of the Ilk give us a recommended book or link on double-entry accounting? This will become invaluable in hard copy, like works on gardening, metal work, and masonry. The practical and mechanic arts are literally the foundation for liberal and fine arts.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd September 29, 2019 11:39 AM  

Al From Bay Shore wrote:@27 One of the biggest scams is the "technology in the classroom" approach. Tech companies get enriched, per-pupil expenditures enlarge in grotesque ways, and students never develop their minds.

Amen! In another thread I wrote Technology distracts from the essence of education. ``Learning games'' aren't learning, and preclude learning. Working on screen lowers the quality of your thinking.

Blogger Unknown September 29, 2019 11:42 AM  

And you spelled sentences wrong too haha

Blogger Argus Bacchus September 29, 2019 11:42 AM  

@41 Al

The redder, the better.

Curriculum specialists are quite often a special kind of stupid and naive. Many of them became "specialists" because they could not classroom manage their way out of an open paper bag.

I would expect to hear such foolishness from them as that's the kind of crap their moronic professors drilled into them, along with profound insights like "Never say anything that might embarrass a student, especially in front of other students."


"What, you don't want to come up and sing in front of the whole class? You prefer to do it only within earshot of your near neighbors? Not in here pal. It's open mic day in my class. Come on up!"

Blogger DonReynolds September 29, 2019 11:44 AM  

Ordinarily, there is a right answer to every question. What has changed in my lifetime is the idea that there are very many answers to the same question and they should all be given the same respect and considered equally valid. The insane and the misinformed and the irrational are all perfectly happy in a world where any answer is the equivalent to the right answer. This also breaks the monopoly of the Truth and religion is whatever people prefer it to be and the law is nothing more than a strongly-worded suggestion. After all, what is there to teach young people anymore? Just tell them they are always right, puff up their confidence, and tell them the world really belongs to them.

We are certainly in the crazy times and I do not doubt that the crazies already outnumber everyone else and democracy is the last thing we need. Then the lunatics will have legitimate power and authority and be running the asylum and making the rules for everyone else.

We need to be, and what may turn out to be, the lone voice in the room with no friends. We can expect to be driven into apparent exile and banned from the public square, consigned to live alone at the fringes of the civilization that we helped to build and maintain.

The question that matters is whether WE have learned anything by this experience. Will the next copy of civilization permit the wrong answers to be regarded the same as the right answers? Will my freedom be abbreviated so someone else will feel better about their less-than-average selves?

Blogger MichaelJMaier September 29, 2019 11:46 AM  

This post and the comments make me want to cry.

Blogger Ska_Boss September 29, 2019 11:49 AM  

It's just a matter of time now when cursive will become a more secure method of transmitting sensitive information than 256 bit encryption.

*Clown world intensifies*

Blogger Al From Bay Shore September 29, 2019 11:53 AM  

@43 I'm coming to understand the value of using physical text (a book), pencil, and paper. I think it is best to learn in the analog world instead of teaching in a digital context. The latter is predicated on the former but, in my opinion, American education has discarded the former under the idea that the latter is better.

It appears that we are creating an entire generation of people who will know how to use digital formats but have now idea on how to rebuild and replace them when they wear out. And then they'll have to relearn those things which created the digital world but they may not know where to begin to learn what some describe as "The Lost Tools of Learning" (see Dorothy Sayers).

Blogger John Bradley September 29, 2019 11:55 AM  

She said, "Titration, what's that?"

Little known fact*, but during WWII access to big ol' boobies was severely limited in order to support the war effort. Unweaned infants, teenage boys, and dirty old men alike were issued coupon books full of so-called "hooter stamps".

"Save the titties for our fighting men!" was the rallying cry of the day, and woe unto the man found to be hoarding pinup girl magazines.

* for obvious reasons.

Blogger Ariadne Umbrella September 29, 2019 12:14 PM in classroom....

Texas has "Robin Hood" funding for schools: the rich districts pay more than half their property taxes into a state educational fund. Our district pays 66% out to other districts. The poor districts are majority minority. The kids drop out.

The remaining 34% pays for everything at the school. Books are expensive. What the district has resorted to is handing out sturdy Ipads loaded with textbooks. The Ipads also allow downloading of PDFs and other books. Kids end up downloading PDFs or free copies of real books, rather than relying on excerpts of books in textbooks. Right now, textbooks are leaning towards very woke and very retarded, so this is better, overall.

I want to say the teachers write their own curriculum, too. Or at least some of them do? I think? I'm not sure. I don't understand it, but I know the school turns out really well-educated students. I want to say there was a lawsuit against another school district when a physics teacher moved- something about curriculum and texts.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore September 29, 2019 12:44 PM  

@51 This made me think of something:

"Texas has "Robin Hood" funding for schools: the rich districts pay more than half their property taxes into a state educational fund. Our district pays 66% out to other districts. The poor districts are majority minority. The kids drop out."

In metro-Atlanta, local politicians who are Black and democrat (leftist) fight tooth and nail to oppose any attempt at the majority white parts of Fulton County from seceding from that county and forming their own.

Sorry for getting off topic but I had to say this. The politics of popular Black culture, which are a subset of SJW politics, promote parasitism.

Remember how SJW Marvel was completely unable to develop their own characters and had to commandeer established characters? And then there is the Star Wars franchise.

Blogger plishman September 29, 2019 12:50 PM  

Would a society that claims to be civilised allow a person to be held to a contract that they cannot understand - one that is beyond that person's comprehension at his level of intelligence (invincible ignorance)?

Isn't that what the UK bank insurance mis-selling scandals were about?

Blogger Brett baker September 29, 2019 1:13 PM  

On behalf of Gen-X, I apologize for us listening to rap and hip-hop.

Blogger Brett baker September 29, 2019 1:23 PM  

@tumblecane: That's one of the problems with education reform. Everyone thinks that they attended a hard school, but everything went to crap after they went to school. Grading on a curve, and partial credit are pretty old, but people act like they're brand new.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore September 29, 2019 1:30 PM  

@54 I'm curious as to how many Gen-X people fled rap and hip hop and found residence in a jazz coma.

Speaking only for myself, I was once a listener to rap and hip hop but now only listen to jazz stations. Jazz, for the most part, is a happy sounding music. Rap and hip hop, frequently veers into the nihilistic and dark.

Blogger Calvin809 September 29, 2019 1:41 PM  

This is really annoying in church where the "worship band" plays songs that remind me of Christian camp songs for middle school age children from when I was growing up. The only place you can find higher level hymns are the liberal churches which I find strange.

Blogger Crush Limbraw September 29, 2019 1:54 PM  

Five second attention spans do not develop reading comprehension.
Where do I see that?
On most sites, commenters engage in wizzing contests. I am not including internet trolls - I mean Conservatives, NeoCons and Christians who haven't stopped fighting DaLastWar which ended 30 years ago.
When I try to refer them to some edifying article or a whole series on a subject by various authors (including a good dose of Vox Day)- they will not read it -they want spoon feeding.
Most of the time, when someone replies to my initial comment, it's a response
to a dog whistle word or phrase - almost never the context.
Again, to repeat, I'm not referring to trolls.
As Vox said today, we have to save the sane remnant of an insane world.
Four years ago, this became my fundamental premise for my internet presence: " I will shed no tears when this system finally collapses – it will be a liberation.
From here on, I’ll build new things and will have nothing to do with the old.
My friend – a good man – agreed.
The good and productive people of this world deserve something better than the abusive dominators that seek to control their every move, and we are more than capable of building it. But we have to stop waiting for permission from the lords of the status quo – they will never give us permission to bypass their domination.
We have to make our own decisions and simply start building something better. We are able, and this system is unworthy of our efforts.
Now would be a very good time to start.” - by Paul Rosenberg.

Blogger Seth S September 29, 2019 2:02 PM  

This whole impeachment thing has turned up the clown world dial. Idiocracy here we come.

Blogger Sam September 29, 2019 2:10 PM  

Nonsense. If you want to train people to work in factories jobs, you send them to factories.

Blogger Crush Limbraw September 29, 2019 2:15 PM  

To Calvin809 - I archived this in my library - - it deals directly with the P&W phenomenon.
As to the liberal church's higher level hymns, you can word search the same library on various church issues.
The bottom line is that Ephesians 6:12 is playing out in various forms - we are dealing with wicked spirits in high places - all carried out by human beings who have been deceived to do the devil's work based on their specific weaknesses.

Blogger Stryker4570 September 29, 2019 2:28 PM  

Calvin809 @57 Go to a conservative Lutheran Church (LCMS) or Presbyterian Church. You will hear the old hymns there. The LCMS is criticized because for a long time they set the hymns to the oldest tunes associated with that hymn. This results in us regularly singing songs where both the words and the tunes are several hundred years old. Both the music and the words to many of our hymns would be considered 'college level.' Not modern college level which is akin to grade school level back in the day, but old school college level,requiring that you be literate in the English language.

Blogger Raker_T September 29, 2019 2:42 PM  

@59 I think that's another kind of illiteracy, the 'headlines is the news' illiteracy. It's the only way I can figure that anyone would fall for this bizarre political situation.
@20 In the book "Drawing with the right side of the brain", the author says the same thing; that adults who draw primitive sketches are picking up where they left off.
@21 The inappropriate apostrophe syndrome is getting worse, way worse. It formally was reserved to the unlearned, but recently, I was asked to join a group at a SM site. The sticky description had a few wrong apostrophe marks. I sent a private message saying "Cool group, but..." this apparently wasn't well received, he went and added the mark to every word that ended with an s in the entire lengthy paragraph.
@35 I was having a small sign made at a print shop. It had a picture of George Custer and his name in large text. The 20 something clerk didn't know who he was. I guess I'm older than I feel, but Custer??? C'mon.

Blogger Linda Fox September 29, 2019 2:52 PM  

I'm a retired teacher. Too many kids are being passed along with insubstantial basic skills, mis-education, and a complete overestimate of their own literacy/numeracy.

I can't blame the kids - admins and parents feel (they really DON'T think) that if Little Emily or Derrik receives a poor grade (anything less than an A/A+), it could only be because:
- The teacher personally HATES them
- The teacher is a racist/sexist/homophobe - sometimes, all three
- The teacher is stupid
- The teacher is incompetent

Or, all of the above.

Without honest feedback, people don't learn about errors/insufficiencies in their performance. I've had kids flat-out tell me I was a horrible teacher, because their Biology teacher gave them A's.

After a few years of this, I learned to begin every new semester by explaining that Biology uses a different skill set - lots of reading and regurgitation, some drawing/reading diagrams and illustrations, and lots and lots of memorization.

Chemistry has a different skill set, requiring applying the math learned so far in what are essentially word problems - lots and lots of word problems.

Those kids having difficulty are generally those with weak reading and/or math skills.

Explaining all that didn't completely stop the complaints, but it did reduce them.

Blogger Ty Richards September 29, 2019 2:54 PM  

Agreed. The Blog, the Darkstream and the Bears community has been a bastion of sanity. The only place outside of my home where truth can be spoken freely.

Blogger Anthony September 29, 2019 3:06 PM  

She's not entirely wrong...

And at least she knows that there is a place called Delaware somewhere in the vicinity of Maryland.

Blogger Anthony September 29, 2019 3:26 PM  

Cursive is a scan to feminize boys. My cursive is almost unreadable, even by me, yet I am able to read at a collegiate level, and write readable technical documents regularly. My 12-year-old daughter cannot write in cursive, but reads and understands freshman-level linguistics. You don't need cursive to be literate.

Blogger Gregory the Tall September 29, 2019 4:15 PM  

If the funtions of a hoover, a smoothie blender or a photo editing software cannot be understood intuitively and/or explained solely by pictograms to anybody's satisfaction sorry guys, then the product is too complicated and will not sell.

Blogger Haxo Angmark September 29, 2019 4:18 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger The Lab Manager September 29, 2019 4:48 PM  

What is with 'lose' versus 'loose'? I can't believe how many times I see people mix these two up.

Blogger Ariadne Umbrella September 29, 2019 6:36 PM  

Well, take blacks, 12% of the population, and then add Hispanics, in a state right on the border with a majority Hispanic nation with a porous border. Now add in illiteracy, resentment and a culture where the parents pressure kids to drop out.

There's one majority Hispanic high school that we were zoned for. I spoke to white kids that were being pressured by their family to drop out and start earning. Mind you, kids in the top 10%- they had automatic admittance to state universities. One kid had a full-ride scholarship. His parents wanted him to drop out of high school like his friends. I freaked out on him, telling him about my terrible life- I had been forced to drop out of a majority minority high school- and wow, doors close.

When my son was being railroaded into this school, we ended up having to sell our house and move. The Hispanic kids could waiver out of the school, but poor white kids could not. The neighborhoods that feed into this school- realtors say "waiver...waiver..." without specifying that minority kids waiver, white kids are forced into an 88% minority school. People sell their houses to get away. Our friends' families had to sell to protect their sons.

The districts that pay over half their property taxes to districts that they know are corrupt- they aren't spending the money on the kids- keep suing, keep negotiating, keep trying to pass laws- and all for naught. The plan was put in place by a judge, not by voters.

People who move from districts that receive money, or are in the middle, neither receiving nor giving, are shocked at how shabby the physical plant is, how ungenerous the benefits for teachers are, how mingy and accountanty everyone is- every penny has to stretch. I still want to punch this woman griping that these kids didn't get to rent an air-conditioned tour bus to go visit a museum. They used the regular school bus, and everyone had to pitch in to pay for gas.

The kids that grow up in this system- the minute the Boomers die, gloves are off.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd September 29, 2019 7:48 PM  

@60, schools had three purposes:
1) to train initiative out of children, so they could be ruled by a factory bell,
2) to separate Catholic children from their parents' faith,
3) to educate and bring about Utopia, in accordance with a Yankee heresy.

Blogger rumpole5 September 29, 2019 9:59 PM  

@Anthony Re: "Cursive is a scan [sic] to feminize boys." Please tell me that this is a humorous take off on the movie "Idiocracy" where they were calling the protagonist a "fag" because he was speaking in ordinary proper English. You do realize, don't you, that all of our founding documents are in cursive. Do you really want to be that ignorant? Additionally, how can you take quick notes if you have to laboriously print everything? Are you against learning to type on a keyboard too? Our government school educators should be hanged for this! Thank God I sent my son to a Classical Christian school. No wonder our airplanes are crashing!

Blogger Psyrus September 29, 2019 10:52 PM  

@Silent Draco,
A comprehensive and user-friendly introduction to financial accounting is "Financial Statements" by Thomas Ittelson.

Blogger tublecane September 29, 2019 11:51 PM  

@Ominoud Cowherd- Also:

4) political indoctrination (which goes with your Yankee Utopia, but normally takes a much more specific and immediate form)
5) "socialization," which conditions kids away from family and community life, as well as virtually all other kinds of informal human interaction.
6. picking diamonds out of the rough. Which is to say identifying and grooming talented kids to join the Managerial Class.

Blogger Greg James Beam September 30, 2019 2:17 AM  

Dont despair. Laugh at the devil.

Blogger Greg James Beam September 30, 2019 2:41 AM  

Same scenario popped into my head.

The value of learning a new skill involving fine motor skills is immeasurable. There's likely some neurolinguistic or psycholjnguistic benefits that I'm not smart enough to discuss.

Blogger peter blandings September 30, 2019 4:42 AM  

"It is our responsibility to preserve knowledge and truth." but HOW exactly? we need to have a specific strategy and to develop specific tactics. as i've said the media literally CONTROL REALITY. they own it. the schools are lost, the culture is lost, the "news" is lost. you hit the nail right on the head the other day: most euro people would rather see their own children killed than to be called a "racist". you see examples of it everywhere. if that's not enough to make you realize that the war is over and WE LOST, then i don't know what it's going to take.

the u.s. is an occupied country and we have to go to guerilla tactics right now. that is the ONLY chance we have, and it is a mighty slim one. this will be removed for being "defeatist", but if you refuse to acknowledge reality how are you going to fight, let alone win.

you yourself made the comment about people preferring the demise of their own children rather than be called a "racist" (i think we should stop using that term altogether), if you don't consider that losing, then please, by all means, tell me what "losing" is.

we need generals, not philosophers, not anymore stupid gotchas, pointing out the hypocrisy of the left. we've only got one year left to stop this insanity.

"The value of learning a new skill involving fine motor skills is immeasurable." really??? when the enemy is bearing down on you with a bazooka and all you've got is a new skill? i don't think so. it's time to fight in one form or another. you can learn how to make pottery later.

Blogger Silent Draco September 30, 2019 5:57 AM  

Thanks, Psyrus. I was treasurer once for an organization, years ago, and forgot many details. I need to recall or re-learn parts of this.

Blogger VD September 30, 2019 7:20 AM  

the u.s. is an occupied country and we have to go to guerilla tactics right now. that is the ONLY chance we have, and it is a mighty slim one. this will be removed for being "defeatist", but if you refuse to acknowledge reality how are you going to fight, let alone win.

No, it won't be removed for being defeatist, merely laughed at for being nothing but cuckish posturing. You won't do anything. You will never do anything. You're literally talking about "guerilla tactics" on a public forum. Quite the strategist you are....

Just stop your preening and posturing and posing already. It's tedious.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd September 30, 2019 8:23 AM  

peter blandings wrote: ...we have to go to guerilla tactics...
we need generals, not philosophers...

Leaderless, decentralized movements are hard to subvert, hard to decapitate. We need a bunch of NCOs and soldiers. If you have no comms to HQ, no headquarters at all, attack! Find some evil and deal with it.

Every gamma wants to be a general. Guerillas don't need generals, they need Godly philosophers to call out evil, and folks willing to attack evil right where God has planted them.

Have children, homeschool them. Don't tolerate PC, don't tolerate perversion. You can have some control, some influence, over your life, over your family, over your friends and your neighborhood. Use that influence for God. Don't be a cowardly cuck, enabling evil so you'll be eaten last.

Blogger CM September 30, 2019 8:26 AM  

Or the lack of fountain pens.

Blogger peter blandings September 30, 2019 8:35 AM  

but of course you're right. i meant ....tactics in the abstract sense, as in unconventional and innovative, much as trump's tactics were such during the campaign. not in the literal sense. i'll be more careful in future. i don't believe there is anything other than political actions that could succeed. i certainly didn't mean the term in the literal sense. again, i'll have to be more disciplined from here on. as for doing anything, i call my representatives twice a week and write them physical letters twice a month. and i urge others to do the same. i have volunteered on several campaigns and will continue to do so. i also call the white house twice a month to express support for the president. if we could get 15 or 20 million trump voters to do the same i think we would make a very real difference. i've worked with politicians and the only thing that motivates them is the prospect of losing their next election. if you get enough people in their district you will vote for their opponent forever, it gets their attention. but you need a lot of voters. i have to stop with the hyperbole, thank you for the reminder.

i believe that political moves would have a chance of regaining some lost ground. i don't believe there would ever be any kind of physical uprising that could succeed, and i always express that opinion when others speak of it. in 1776 the disparity of force was small. now it is so vast nothing could ever overcome the gap. and with that said, i'm banning myself. again. i really don't need the punishment.

Blogger CM September 30, 2019 8:45 AM  

This is really annoying in church where the "worship band" plays songs that remind me of Christian camp songs for middle school age children from when I was growing up. The only place you can find higher level hymns are the liberal churches which I find strange.

In traversing the world of music for a couple decades in a variety of churches, it boils down to knowledge and education.

The most conservative church with amazing music I attended was Truro in DC. They had an incredible size of music graduates filling their choir and many young instrumentalists.

Typically, the liberal churches have access to that kind of talent - performing arts music graduates. There's a cathedral here that doesn't even require church membership to audition for their choir. Such graduates lean heavily liberal.

Conservative churches tend to not be magnets for that kind of talent, either in location or a tradition of putting low value on it. (Baptists don't put high value on high art)

The guitar worship is a byproduct of low-wealth churches who can't afford costly instruments and the "small" praise team in the front is one of architecture that never allowed for a choir. What started due to limitations has become a metastasized and vaunted form of corporate worship.

Blogger eclecticme September 30, 2019 6:20 PM  

@77. Greg James BeamSeptember 30, 2019 2:41 AM
"Same scenario popped into my head.

The value of learning a new skill involving fine motor skills is immeasurable. There's likely some neurolinguistic or psycholjnguistic benefits that I'm not smart enough to discuss."

I understand Waldorf schools teach knitting from early on as kids sit at their desks. They start with finger knitting and move on to more complicated needle knitting.

I read that new beginning surgeons have poorer fine motor skills than before.

Blogger Tanjil Bren September 30, 2019 6:34 PM  

"Guerillas don't need generals, they need Godly philosophers to call out evil, and folks willing to attack evil right where God has planted them."

I believe the Wehrmacht referred to this as Auftragstaktik, these days referred to as Führen mit Auftrag: 'saddle orders'.

These are orders that focus on the objective rather than specifics (tasks or methods).

Blogger eclecticme September 30, 2019 7:02 PM  

"Post literate age" is very disturbing to me and has been for a while. People's brains operate much differently when they read, parse sentences, maybe re-read. I see that in the MSM's analysis of issues. I compare that to Putin's pithy textual responses.

I noticed that I get along better with people who read. That included an ex BIL, college drop out, who only read Tom Clancy and old Western cowboy novels.We never talked about books. I prefered him to the college grads who never read. I don't know why.

I think reading rewires brains. I have wondered if Russians reading literature will have an advantage over Americans reading shampoo bottle labels and the first and last chapter to Moby Dick. There is a book about Common Core "The Story Killers" that describes the CC asault on reading literature.

I had some WWII documentaries on, "Secret War" series. I was struck by the literacy of the elite and the clerical competency of lower employees. I first thought, well of course people breaking codes were bright as they were selected for that. But take the top 1% today and how literate are they?

Then there were the ranks of Brit women who listened to German Morse code and transcribed them. Apparently with few errors. Some had to understand German. Many of the US fed civil service lower ranks only undersand Ebonics.

There two sayings.
1. You have not thought something through until you have written it down.
2. Writing is God's way of showing you your ideas don't work. (from a law prof).

What happens when people don't read or write?

Blogger Mikel October 01, 2019 3:46 PM  

It is changing English prose style too. Consider the deliberate use of sentence fragments. I am not necessarily criticizing such evolution. I find myself using sentence fragments, writing much shorter paragraphs and such ever more frequently. Because it works. :)

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