If you come in my cage I'll eat you too!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Miss C has to give up a few expectations

I have been re-reading the Bell Curve. A few weeks ago I read a fabulous book called, The Feast of Reason. Both of these books have had a very profound effect on me. I read The Bell Curve when it first came out and it pretty much reinforced what I had been thinking already. That is, your IQ pretty much determines your place in the world. In my nearly 45 years of living on this planet, as a strong, healthy, intelligent and attractive (for my culture) human being, I have had many advantages over others whose natural born traits were not the equal of mine. However, my own IQ precludes me from entering certain professions. I could not become a lawyer for instance, but I am moderately successful. Life seems infinitely more difficult for people who are not very smart. They are not able to make intelligent decisions or weigh the consequences of their actions.

The other day I was talking to one of the security guards at work and he began to tell me about his problems with credit and how he does not have a bank account. This is a guy in his late 30's who lives with his mother. I was full of advice for him, but as I talked with him I realized that nothing I said would make a damn bit of difference as he did not have the capacity to learn from his experience and find a different way of being. It just is not in him. To him the simple path is, get a credit card and charge it up to the max while buying things you want at the moment, regardless of the consequences later. I have friends who get joint accounts with relatives, in order to help them repair their credit, only to have the relatives turn around and ruin their own credit. One friend had a joint card at a jewelry store with a boyfriend. After the boyfriend left her for another woman he bought his new girlfriend a diamond ring with the card and did not pay the bill. My friend was stuck paying $7,000, for a rival's engagement ring.

Often there is a lot of onus on mortgage companies that charge poor people high interest rates. But I can not name one low income person I work with that has good credit. They often will stick with a bad mortgage broker who will keep refinancing them over and over with a balloon mortgage. Their thinking being that they will never pay off the mortgage anyway. This type of thinking is rampant. On the other hand my smart friend and her husband are trying to pay off their mortgage as fast as they can. They have a 15 year mortgage. They pay their credit card bills when they become due and have never carried a balance. They also have a large savings set aside. Now, my smart friend has repeatedly tried to set up our other friends with her mortgage broker. I refinanced with the broker myself and she gave me the best advice I ever will get. She told me to refinance at a lower interest, but to still pay the same amount as I was before, with the over payment as extra principal. That way I would pay the house off a lot sooner and save hundreds of thousands of dollars. I am able to understand this thinking, but many other people are not. So I will be more successful and better off financially than those who can't. It is not because I was raised to be fiscally responsible. I was not. my mom wrote bad checks all over the neighborhood for many years. But I learned from her mistakes.

The Feast of Reason author talks about rationality. There are very few rationals in the world. They are a minority elite. There are even fewer altruistic rationals (of which I am not one, as I am not much given to public service) so we must expect that most of our institutions are run by altruistic irrationals. Because of this, we must expect some chaos in the way our institutions are run. Education is a primary example. I find public school teachers to be some of the most over-emotional, irrational human beings on this earth. Perhaps this profession attracts them. So we must never expect that the educational system in the US will be well run. The same with any social service agency. We just have to accept humans for the flawed beings they are.

Most children will never do well in school anyway, because most of them are not intelligent. It's not that the school system is so bad, so much as the kids can only use the brains they've got. The problem is that the rational cognitive elite in the US are undereducated and unchallenged academically because we have dumbed down the system to fit the unintelligent. What I think I am hearing on my bus rides are undereducated teens, mixed in with slightly stupid and very stupid teens.

There is not a whole lot to be done about this. The more people in the US the more stupid people there will be, I just have to relax and not let it get to me. I have been thinking too much like a liberal and expecting humans to be perfectible. They are not.


At 2:31 PM , Blogger gary said...

Well, take a look at how stupid the average person is--and then think, half of them are stupider than that.

At 3:00 PM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

That is the sad truth Gary. Unfortunately our laws protect them from themselves but they don't protect us from them.

At 5:41 PM , Blogger Gerry said...

It's how the 60s counter-culture bent the teachers' generation. The former teachers were different, and much better. But most quit years ago.

Those of us who are old enough to remember the previous culture, now very largely displaced, are among the relatively few who know about that.

For instance, I entered 1st grade in 1936 and graduated high school in 1949. We moved a lot, so I attended 4 primary schools, 2 middle schools and 2 high schools. That was in 4 towns in 2 states.

In none of them did I ever have, or hear of, a teacher who performed on the basis of feelings and emotion, not thinking and reason. (Well, except for one really lazy driving instructor married to the Superintendent's daughter!)

They were all disciplinarians, tough, courteous, all good at their work and satisfied in it.

Their students performed at a level much higher than now. They read better, earlier and more books. Good spelling, grammar. Good in math, earlier. Knew far more history and geography. Had at least 2 years of foreign language.

Human nature has not changed, of course. But human NURTURE has.

IQs have not changed either. But there has been a dumbing down at all levels.

It is sadder for those of us who can remember: the better schooling, the tiny crime rates and the mostly 2-parent children. A different world.

There were almost no social workers before LBJ's 1965 'War on Poverty', BTW. Somehow we managed without them.

It is painfully sad when my generation remembers that all this came from stupid choices made, by the very smart, even brilliant, but over-confident people who led the process. Sad to say, I had a part in that.

Where we are now is right where they dreamed of taking us.

Unfortunately, they got to build their dream into our present reality. Now it is "normal," the new norm.

Only their utopia has become our dystopia. To most it seems inevitable, irreversible.

Those of us who understand what happened, when and how, will not be around to explain the difference much longer. But we do know their way is not the only way. We just hope more of your generation will 'get' that too.

At 5:47 PM , Blogger Gerry said...

Oh, and how could I forget. The reason that all teachers were good teachers then? The bad ones got fired! No teachers' unions! Competition works, when we let it.

At 7:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should check out the movie Idiocracy by Mike Judge. Excellent premise of the dumbing down of America. Not nearly as good as Office Space but still had its laugh out loud moments.

Then again Im half a moron and my taste in movies borders on the imbecilic.

At 9:07 AM , Blogger gary said...

I agree with Donkey. He is a moron.

At 9:59 AM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

Wow Gerry, thank you for that. I believe that you know what you are talking about. I have nothing to add to what you have said on this subject and bow to your superior knowlege.

At 12:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well as my momma used to say...

"Son you may not be smart, but you sure are stupid"

or my favorite...

"You may not be handsome, but you sure are ugly"

Damn I loved that woman. Great sense of humor...wait she was joking right?

Completely agree Jerry and C, unions time have come and gone. Competition does work. Its funny that when I was in the Teamsters I rose through the ranks as a result of hardwork (and a bit of ruthlessness) but once I acheived I certain position I was actually encouraged (ordered) to promote laziness in my crew. It fucking sickened me and after fighting a losing battle in my local was the deciding factor im my career change to a decidely non union industry.

At 3:37 PM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

Donkey, Gerry knows an awful lot. She is a former leftist, Robin Hood style, urban guerilla who served hard time in prison. Now she is a born again Christian and a real life anti-poverty crusader. She has seen the world from both sides and has come to a very informed opinion on the world and its inhabitants. I am so thrilled that she even left a comment on my blog.......
As for your looks, Donkey, you's alright, it's no hardship to look upon your countenance, glassy eyes and all.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home