When do you “talk truth to stupid”? Really…

Over on WUWT, I posted a comment about an impact event being the best solution to all the “odd bits” about the Younger Dryas.



Then, tonight, watching an NCIS episode ( where “Bad Abby” almost launches a Sarin gas attack in a stadium) I talked to the spouse about knowing how to kill thousands of people and not get caught (as part of a “Why Good Abby doesn’t want to play Bad Abby and why I’m like Abby” discussion). Somewhere along the way, I mentioned the “soap to explosives” process:


Later attempts at “discussion” were shut down with “This isn’t about explosives and dish soap is it?” and similar.

That is a common dynamic between us. I have something I understand, in great depth, that has importance. She wants to shut down communications as it has an element that is not cookies and light and Disney. I love her for her very positive attitude, but at times, the rejection of reality is a big painful hit to the face. You would think that a spouse who knows you have a blog, would actually read it, but as near as I can tell, nobody in my family bothers…

So that raises the question of just when do you bother to speak truth to the vacuum?

When do you say “Hey, I KNOW what is true.”?

For whatever reason, my spouse does not want to hear me on anything with negative emotional loading. Oh Well.

Then she wonders why it puts distance between us. Oh Well, again.

So do I LIE for effect? I’m very good at that, if needed… But have never found it really needed, so avoid it.

“The Incredible Power Of Stupid” is very very strong. Just when do you take up arms against it? Really?

My daughter is hard core “left” near as I can tell. We don’t talk much. Since I was not supportive of some of the wacky things she wanted to believe, we’ve grown more distant. Never mind that she now is doing things I said were more reasonable… I wasn’t “supportive” of Strongly Left things she wanted to believe… that now she is not doing…

The Spouse is not happy with me for saying I could kill thousands and not get caught, even though it was in the context of a TV show about doing just that and even though I could do it, and even though I have no interest in doing it, but in fact work to prevent it… I’ve saved thousands of lives due to something I can not mention. But it comes from just such a “dark side” ideation, and then telling those who needed to know how to stop it.

Thus my present dilemma. Just when do you “speak truth to stupid”? Really. Is it just my lot to STFU and say nothing. Knowing that there are a large number of Stupid Forces out their trying to take down modernity? Do I just let the corruption infiltrate, even into my family, and not say a thing about it for PC reasons? Do I let the spouse tell me, in effect, to STFU, because reality causes her to be unhappy and a fantasy of NCIS & Blue Bloods is better?

No, I don’t have an answer.
I like “Cop Shows” too, so we sit in silence and watch the empty pass by…

The reality is that there is a very limited amount of reality that most folks are willing to accept. It is far far less than the fantasy world they lap up by the gallon on “typical TV”.

There is, in fact, an “Incredible Power Of Stupid”, and it can not be defeated by truth, since truth requires the ability to perceive and understand. Properties “not in evidence” for the 50% of humanity who are below average. THAT is the thing that “The Left” have on their side. The incredible power of stupid. Something that can not be overcome with data, or argument, or understanding, as all those things are impervious to Stupid.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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37 Responses to When do you “talk truth to stupid”? Really…

  1. pearce m. schaudies says:

    Hi Chief. When you think you’re getting ready to talk truth to stupid stop and consider this. The person that just made that statement May believe it 100% emotionally and only 60% logically. However the way we have evolved means you cannot undo the emotional part.

    So when you first make an initial statement that contradicts a little part of their belief and you get push back that means it’s time to go out on the back porch and have a cold beer haha.

    The part about 50% of the population being on the bottom of the IQ curve is significant. some of those people say from 80 up to 100 can be slowly convinced of the error of their ways very carefully. The main thing is to not make any hint that they might be below the normal range. Then there is the hypothesis that if your IQ and the other party is more than 30 points different it will be very difficult to communicate.

    As in all free advice your mileage may vary.

    Minister of Future

  2. Power Grab says:

    My ex used to talk all the time about things I considered to be “fringe-y” issues. One of the things he mentioned was that he had some books that detailed how to do criminal (revenge) stuff and not get caught. He never really did a brain dump of any of them. I guess I was supposed to act interested.

    Most of the time I felt annoyed that he would go on and on about things like Mena and Rocky Ridge and Waco and imply that people who knew the truth should rise up and take action, or at least spend time listening to the shortwave broadcasts he listened to. In myself, though, I always ended up thinking, “I am the one who has to get up and go to work in the morning. How in the world am I going to stay up until all hours to listen to that stuff? And how would someone like me ever take action that he would want to have happen?”

    I mostly didn’t accept those fringe-y things at face value. However, one thing happened that made me sit up and take notice. It was when he had said that his sources said that Bill Clinton would be the next president, when i never even remembered hearing of the man, and there were a dozen or so Democrats tossing their hat in the ring. Well, when that prediction came true, then I thought I might do well to pay a bit more attention. I never re-arranged my schedule to listen to those broadcasts, though. Someone had to bring home the bacon, right?

    So we sort of had a stand-off (as it were). I figured his “thing” was to track those fringe-y issues and tell me what he had heard. My “thing” was to keep the lights on and food on the table and try to be a productive member of society. He didn’t tell me how to do my thing, and I didn’t tell him how to do his thing.

    Cookies and light and Disney? Hmmm…we should talk. ;-) I am TOTALLY DOWN with cookies! And did I mention that I wrote a song about Christmas lights last December? And lots of Disney music is present on my MP3 player. However, I don’t care for the current fad they’re pushing of glorifying the evil characters in their stable.

    Here’s the part that I hope will be helpful insight. Your spouse and I probably work really hard to keep a positive attitude. And since we (I?) have to operate in an environment that is controlled by TPTB, we are very cautious about exposing our mistrust for their dark side. For instance, when I am in the position of sharing the hidden knowledge that I think my offspring should know, I am hesitant to really lay the cards on the table. I understand that my offspring has to operate in (probably) an even more strictly controlled TPTB environment than i do. I have wondered how helpful it is to my offspring for me to describe the dark side, since carrying that knowledge and keeping it secret can be quite a burden.

    Or, perhaps your spouse has to work among people who are quick to point the finger and mount aggressive challenges when they smell blood (or detect a lack of enthusiasm for the Democratic/liberal/progressive agenda), or, God forbid! a hint of support for POTUS Trump and his program. So a person who wears their conservative heart on their sleeve will likely experience quite a few micro-aggressions every day and come home not a little battered in spirit.

    My sibling doesn’t like to hear the truth much, either. But sibling’s spouse and I have a high old time, one-upping each other: “Didja hear that O has this little factoid in his history?” or “Want to see my copy of the birth certificate? It’s not like the one that got splashed all over the web.” or “Want to hear my theory of MH370’s disappearance?”

    Sorry to hear that no family members frequent your blog. I think my dad would have enjoyed seeing one of his kids take up the mantle of pain-control-specialist from him. About the time I got married, he did give me a binder with copies of his “cheat sheets” and valuable notes about how he did what he did. Alas, my ex was so high-maintenance, I never got to dig into it. I may actually be doing some digging into some of those subjects.

  3. M Simon says:

    Truth to Stupid? It is very difficult. I got banned from a blog I used to write for because I used this link 3 times in their open thread comments (in replies to other comments). One commenter pointed out (before I was banned) that I think everything is connected to the Drug War. Well it is. For one thing it puts a lot of fathers in the criminal justice system. We compensate for that by increasing “single mother” welfare.

    The link: Demographics

    And here is a post on welfare. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-03/what-hunger-games-society-looks

    Note the costs taking off about the time Nixon instituted the War On Drugs.

    People decry the current Black Culture without getting that it is created by a number of government programs.

  4. M Simon says:

    Power Grab says:
    4 July 2017 at 7:19 am

    If Mena is of interest to you I have condensed the whole deal into a blog post.


    The post does not mention Mena. But consider it a backgrounder if you decide to dig deeper into the details of Mena.

    Note: I can get my wife to read my blogs if I send her a link. She mostly agrees with my positions.

  5. LG says:

    @ EM Smith.
    If I’m not mistaken, somewhere in eastern mysticism, it is stated: “When the pupil is ready, the master appears” or something to that effect.
    Also, “To know, to dare, to do and to remain silent” is a motto floating around in western mysticism.
    Some version of Luke 4:24 reads: “”Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.

    It seems that currently on this planet, the more insight and the more understanding one has , the more difficult it is to impart .., especially to loved ones
    All that’s left to do is just Love them …

  6. When I talk about something ” big” like the role of the USA on this planet or how muslims are building their caliphate or cancer or life on other planets, my girlfriend always brings the topic to something small and to brings it down to something in her own little world.

    If I tell her something like Argentina is the biggest producer of beef ( I tihnk it is… if memory serves) she brings the topic to something like groundbeef is on sale this week.

    I have been in many relationships with many women, and at least 95 % of them are exactly like that.

    They do not seem to be able to think ” big” to look at bigger things than their immediate little world, they do not see the big picture, they see what affects them in their immediate environment.

    Of course some men are like too but I see this more often much more ooften in women

    I remember about 10 years ago Amazon had published numbers on what types of books men and women buy…men were buying books about almost every topic from archeology to how to build a patio deck and not a lot of fiction…while women were buying mostly fiction ( novels, romance etc ) and books about women.

    I have read stats somewhere about scientific curiosity…men score higher on that, men are more curious about how things work from a bee hive to a solar system to a car automatic transmission.

    I have read stats many years ago that showed that a very tiny number of women read political blogs
    , what they were trying to say very politely was that not only did women not care to understand politics but they in fact did not understand politics or the issues or why a solution was better than another to a problem…they voted for the guy they liked or the guy they think is the cutest ( or the least ugly )

    Women have better memories than men do, women can do certain things better than men can, women usually have better hearing, they are better at complex but repetitive tasks ( like assembling a carburator…but they are not good at understanding how the carburator works )

    it is a well known fact that only a tiny microscopic percentage of women study hard sciences in university.

    Men and women are different

    the more feminists deny this the more it makes it obvious

    just as the more you try to treat a cat and a dog the exact same way the more this will make it obvious they are very different animals

  7. Even people who are rated “genius” can be incredibly stupid:
    William Thompson (aka Lord Kelvin) was a prominent scientist in his day yet he made some absurd statements such as these:

    “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”
    “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
    “Radio has no future.”
    “X-rays are clearly a hoax”.
    “The aeroplane is scientifically impossible.”

    Now Stephen Hawking has had a “Kelvin Moment”:

    It seems stoopid affects our intellectual superiors. Maybe that is why stoopid government has persisted for so long. Let us welcome a new dawn for “Common Sense” and deride the learned fools who rule us.

  8. @Canadian Friend,
    “I have been in many relationships with many women, and at least 95 % of them are exactly like that.”

    I know exactly what you mean. The way it works in my household is that I get to decide the big questions such as “Who will be our next president?”, while she decides the small stuff like “Which house will we live in?”

  9. A C Osborn says:

    EM Sorry, but I have to take exception at this statement.
    “There is, in fact, an “Incredible Power Of Stupid”, and it can not be defeated by truth, since truth requires the ability to perceive and understand. Properties “not in evidence” for the 50% of humanity who are below average. ”
    As GC, says it is not about being “Below Average”, unless you mean have below average common sense.
    Perceiving and understanding can easily be circumvented by the person’s ability to ignore “what they don’t want to know”, regardless of how intelligent or educatable they are.

  10. p.g.sharrow says:

    I have much the same problem with my lady. She comes home after several days in town at her business and chatters on and on about who did what to whom generally while I’m trying to pick up some tidbit on Fox Business news, then she switches the TV to some COP show or another mindless screaming loud, no value,”entertainment” offering. After nearly 30 years of telling her that my Autistic brain REALLY is distressed by loud, busy, confusion of these media offerings, you would think she would get it. Thank god for the internet………………..and the bedroom TV up stairs.

    Generally, Women are gathers and men are hunters. Women want to follow the known path, work in chatty groups, be nurturers and be protected by someone powerful with status.

    Generally men hunt singly or in small groups, quietly and often in unknown areas so must have a brain map of where everything is to be able to get home. Status is generally earned rather then acquired. Men tend to push themselves too hard in order to achieve immediate success while women tend to conserve their energies for later needs.

    In the wild, this specialization of sexes meant that a troop of humans of both sexes would have a better chance to survive and prosper.

    The thousands of generations of evolution of the human brain has also genetically imprinted this specialization tendency. Autism is valuable to a hunter, as the increase sensitivity to sound and details around him improves his chances of success and survival. Constant integration of new information of the world around him is also of great importance.

    @EMSmith; To retire is to die, Life is full of changes and challenges. You never know what might appear around the corner, so continue to explore the possibilities…pg

  11. jim2 says:

    My lady isn’t interested in much of what I am. So we share what we can. It works out. She is religious, I’m an agnostic. I’m into science and building various things, she into animals and sewing, which is a form of building things. Her family has some extreme lefties and some of them have ‘unfriended” her at various times. We are both libertarian/conservative.

    But work is a different story. Many lefties and a PC atmosphere. I occasionally express my views, but don’t push it. The perks are good and I don’t want to lose my job, so I moderate. That’s the main reason I’m anonymous on line. On line is the one place I can express my views and “let it out!”

  12. pboucher1 says:

    One of the reasons I really like your blog is that you come across as so honest. What you say about how you and your wife relate has such the ring of truth!.. I think you already know this, but just remember that you compliment each other and that she probably married you in part because you are a smart guy who is looking for ways to fix things and that is “your job”, not hers :) … I read a part of your post to my wife – not that she really wanted to listen, but was amused and could relate to your wife’s reaction. Lol. Have a good “Fourth”!

  13. Larry Ledwick says:

    That is one of my greatest frustrations, the internet in a way has opened up the world of stupid for all to see. When I was younger I used to assume that most people had more or less the same values, feelings and concerns that I did (at least in my local group/community). The internet with its lack of social restraints has allowed people to rip off their socially acceptable masks that they wear every day and show who they really are.

    It turns out, that an awful lot of people out there are really not very nice, and literally live in a different world than I do (as is the case for everyone). Due to differences in experiences and conditions, people develop this little internal image of the world around them and then project it on everyone else.

    I really wish I knew someone who I could sit down with and just have a free flowing discussion like we have here on line on your blog. It appears that there are only a handful of people out there that are truly in “my tribe” and have similar education, wide ranging interests, ever active curiosity, good humor, and don’t need to verbally beat others over the head in discussions, but can discuss / debate arguments on the basis of their worth. In recent years I have realized that most folks simply are incapable of debating a subject on its merits and acknowledging that someone else with a different view might have a good point, even though you disagree with their over all conclusion. Few can have a free flowing discussion on where ever the topics may go.

    The bad news, is we are scattered over a good fraction of the planet, the closest being several hundred miles away. Thanks to the internet, we can sit around the stove in the country store and chat here but meeting in real life on a regular basis would be impossible.

    I find the same as you EM, the power of stupid is strong. I have a friend that is literally a rocket scientist (used to work for United Launch Alliance). He is a smart kid, but he simply will not listen to any idea that does not perfectly match his preconceived world image.

    You make a statement and he says that he disagrees, you send him a link to show him a source that corroborates the statement, and he literally will not even read the info in the link. Immediately dismissing it from consideration for something trivial like the word choice used for a topic title. He is smart, but incredibly closed minded, very strongly influenced by titles, and appeals to authority.

    He simply cannot conceive that someone with a Phd might turn out crappy research ( like in global warming – he totally buys into the “97% of scientists believe” and says that anyone who does not agree, cannot be a scientist and must be wrong and not worth the time to even examine their argument. He has not figured out that people are influenced by who signs their pay check or where they get their research grants from, and has no clue how corrupt the peer review process is.

    In that sense the internet has been a great boon to understanding the variability of humans and that very few of the people you share the world with really see the world the same way you do. We each are truly unique and our search for truth only rarely intersects with someone else’s truth.

    More importantly the vast majority of people don’t want to know the truth about anything and are not at all curious. They just want emotional stimulation that they like (trash TV) and really don’t care why their car works or how food gets to the grocery store, or why . . .

  14. I know people with doctorates with IQs above 140 who believe what the main stream media says

    it is useless to show them evidence – the mountains of solid evidence now available thanks to right wing bloggers – that the main stream media is a mix of sensationalism, lies and pro-liberal propaganda, they think it is me who is naive and is being fooled.

    I even showed them United Nations documents that contradict what the left and their media claim; they reject them.

    what more can one do??

    it is a strange phenomena that high IQ people are as naive as 3 years old who believe santa actually can bring a bicycle down the chimney

    Intelligence is a weird thing

    I too in the past ave been fooled despite my above average IQ, but I never rejected solid evidence when someone presented it to me…no one likes to admit they are wrong, no one likes to admit they have been fooled, no one likes to look stupid, but when I see I am wrong, I correct the situation, I do not dig my heels ( or whatever is the correct expression, English is not my first language, French is )

    when I get corrected I see it as an occasion to “grow”, to become ” smarter” I do not fight reality and replace it with what I want to be right.

    liberals and religious fanatics are very similar…what they believe is the truth no matter what…reality be damned.

  15. Zeke says:

    There’s a line in the book, The Virtue of Heresy [refers to scientific heresy] where Haquar says, “I would love to rush you down the road to discovery, but that could get messy.”

    We have all made the mistake of thinking we could rush someone into an important realization, and it got messy.

    I had a friend who used to try to warn every one about the dangers of psychology and psychological methods creeping into the church. She also talked about the threats of psychiatry, and the trends of psychiatric diagnoses and drugging of people who have problems. All problems are spiritual, and need a spiritual solution, she would insist. I did not let much of it in at the time.

    But experience with schools who tell you your child must go on drugs, the acceptance of the diagnosis and the experts, and then the subsequent realization that Ritalin is chemically very similar to street drugs made us change course entirely. We did not know much, but what we knew, we acted on. I appreciate that friend and her message now more than ever. I can’t tell her that. The institutionalization and drugging of children and the drugging of their parents has now reached epidemic proportions and is going to cause enormous disruption of the mental development of every one in this country. I do not like living under the consequences of the decisions of people who are on drugs, and in a democracy, that is what is now happening. Pharmakeia is translated as “sorcery” in the Bible. It’s drugging another person to weaken them, like a spider bite. That is what my home town is like. People wandering around on drugs, worsening from year to year, Last night a guy was yelling on our street. He sounded like he was in a war. Now I understand what she was saying.

  16. Zeke says:

    That was my stepson by the way. The other three are home educated and just as a lot of the wise people here have said, you can’t always tell them much of what you know. Nor do we always share many of the same interests, though we could not be more closely related and could not love each other more!

  17. M Simon says:


    Christian “sorcery”. –> Hebrew Etymology

    Well it was Jewish before it was Christian.

  18. Zeke says:

    Hey. Does any one here think their younger self would have listened to Peter Thiel, if he spoke in the 70s? Come on, tell me the truth.

    What Is Multiculturalism Really About, dur 14 min. First 6 min. gives the gist of it.

    It’s good fun to think of what little you could try to tell your twenty-something self. I do that sometimes, but I know that everything that is real takes time, like the seed to the sapling to the tree, to the flower to the fruit. It takes rain and sun and many seasons, and each stage of metamorphosis in order, never too soon, never out of order. A lot of things we get convinced of are not real. What is real? This is real: “I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.”

  19. Zeke says:

    Simon says, “On page 44, she states, “The sacred character of hemp in biblical times is evident from Exodus 30:23, where Moses was instructed by God to anoint the meeting tent and all of its furnishings with specially prepared oil, containing hemp.” On page 41 Sula Benet writes, : In the course of time, the two words kaneh and bosem were fused into one , kanabos or kannabus know to us from the Mishna. According to the Webster’s New World Hebrew Dictionary, page 607 the Hebrew for hemp is kanabos.”

    Oh my. And what is the Hebrew word for chocolate? שׁוֹקוֹלַד
    Sound it out. Sho Kho Lat
    What is the Hebrew word for coffee? קָפֶה
    Sound it out. Co Pheh

    Simon, Jesus said, “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Come to the Rock, you don’t have to get stoned any more.

  20. H.R. says:

    I’m busy holiday-ing, E.M., but this was an excellent and very interesting post. I’ll be back for more direct comments to this post regarding my polar opposite missus of 40 years, but you brought up something that reminded me of an incident I had to share; it’s relevant.

    E.M. posted: “Then, tonight, watching an NCIS episode […]”

    A few years ago, my wife and daughter-in-law were watching NCIS, which I’d never seen. I was seeing all these people running around in black (blue?) T-shirts stenciled, NCIS. So I hazarded a guess, “What does NCIS stand for; No Clue I’m Stupid?”

    Well, you’d have thought I’d taken the Lord’s name in vain, stomped kittens, sacrificed babies to Burger King, and farted Big Bob’s Discount burritos from a 1/2-off night, after-closing beer binge.

    They couldn’t believe MY stupidity. They hung on every situation from every episode, and I still can’t say what NCIS stands for without a quick google-clue. (I could look, but I won’t.)

    So… just exactly who is stupid here? 😉

  21. Zeke says:

    Chief, look at this:
    קָוֹב פֶה פֶה
    Cov feh feh

    I think it means “Slash $3.6 Trillion of Government Spending in Budget” (:

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    @A C Osborn:

    Sorry, I was speaking “clipped” and dodged an important point. I was meaning that in the context of “the ability to perceive and understand”, not IQ points per se. The Left seems to cultivate barriers to perception (polluting of the input stream with pre-packaged beliefs) and pushes “education” that avoids learning how to understand in favor of memorizing beliefs.

    The spouse is a special ed teacher and I’ve done teaching and tutoring too. Often the lower IQ with more discipline does better. I’ve also often stated that higher intelligence mostly means you are better equipped to believe your own BS…

    So that was the point I’d intended to make. That the half+ of the population with damaged perception skills and understanding skills are the ones in question, regardless of IQ or degrees.


    Glad it comes across. I can “do” deception, but only as a learned skill. I’m just not interested in it if any other course is available. Part of why I only was so-so at rising up corporate ranks. Once you hit “Director” the politics and intrigue take over, and I’m just not interested in that game playing. It’s also sooo much easier to remember what you said or what positions you took when they are all constant and true.

    So for me, what you see is what you get is what I am. With only a very few exceptions.

    @H. R.:

    Naval Criminal Investigation something… ;-)


    Yeah, about right. That’s where I’m usually at. Just this time the “Go away kid, you bother me” was a bit stronger than most…


    Well, the war on drugs (like most any “war on anything”) is and was incredibly stupid. It has done nothing that I can see to improve the place. The world seemed to work OK between 1600 and 1900…

    But you do have a tendency to ride just the one horse…

    FWIW, a year or three back I’d discouraged “MJ Talk” as I was concerned about keeping the focus on Global Warming and Science. Needing to think of reputational attacks by the opposition. That phase passed, so I let things open up more ( I’m sure you remember when…) Somewhere in there I said it was just a matter of time anyway. Well, we’re there now.

    Nevada has made recreational use legal, and California is slated to do the same with sales in 2018. I think that will make it a ‘clean sweep’ of the whole left coast. Don’t know what the current map is, but pretty soon there will be more allowing than not. Early congratulations on the “win”.

    @Power Grab:

    Thanks for the words of support ;-)

    Yes, the spouse and I are opposites on several things and yes, most of the time that “completes” both of us. She’s very very religious, and all things positive. I’m anchored in the world of real wars and evil folks as I was the Security Guy for a few decades… Hard not to think about bad folks doing bad things when your job is to stop them… I also was in the draft for Vietnam ( #3xx in the lottery! so not called up). So for many years had to think about the likely requirement that I kill folks, despite my being against it.

    So when I’m down, she’s the bubbly light. When she is headed into “a bad place” I’m the one who sees the risks, or fixes the broken, or whatever. But apparently interrupting NCIS for a bit of reality thinking isn’t acceptable behaviour ;-)

    I think my Son does sometimes drop in, but not often. He’s got too much other he has to do to spend time reading blogs much. Newborns will do that to you ;-)


    I actually have a very easy time communicating with those of low formal IQ. Simply because I don’t think the testing means much other than that you are good at games. So I come at each person with respect for their life history. Whatever it might be.

    In first grade, I had a good friend. Marc. He sat behind me. We would play together. Later he was taken out of school and kept home (no real “special ed” then). I went to his house and asked if we could play. I was told, basically, no – go away. I went to the ally and look through a small gap in the boards, called out to say hi… That was the last time I saw Marc. He wore very thick glasses and didn’t speak well, or much. No idea what his exact diagnosis was, but he wasn’t going to make it in school. To this day I think of him from time to time. A “good guy” and I liked helping him.

    Similarly, I grew up in a very rural place, with lots of folks with no education. Dad didn’t finish high school, joining the Army with a month or two to go and went off to W.W.II. He was very smart, but not educated much. Lots of others in town were not so smart and just as uneducated. I learned how to say just about anything without using “big words”. I also worked as a tutor in high school…

    That was where my “Be The Mirror” philosophy first started. Reflect the performance level of your opposite and you can communicate. Works great. We had all sorts of folks come into the Family Restaurant. One would order a “chicky sandwich”, which meant two slices of white bread with a fried egg between them. I washed dishes at the “cup and glasses” sink behind the counter and talked to all of them at one time or another, as I was facing them on the other side of the counter. When you talk to a few dozen folks a day, for years, you develop communications skills… at all levels.

    One thing I learned was that the most devious and least amenable to reason folks were the ones who were “professionals” and had ego problems. They let themselves get between reality and their perception. The “common folks” could simply be shown things…

    I still prefer “Honest but slow” folks to “devious and smart”…


    Back in a bit to finish the rest of the comments…

  23. E.M.Smith says:


    It will be interesting to watch the Congress Critters desire to spend in their district and for their Patron Donors Benefit collide with Trump and a Real Budget…

    Per Diversity: It’s vastly over rated. Europe is FULL of diversity, and it was a royal PITA to get around it. I’m pretty good with different languages, but really, it was a great relief to get back to the USA and know I could just talk to folks without work… Similarly, just knowing I could find and order food and have a pretty good idea what I was going to get. I ordered something in Germany, and got something other than what I’d thought I was ordering… (Checking, it was, in fact, what I’d ordered, I just had my understanding wrong).

    There is great value in a single shared language and culture. It makes a whole lot of things work way more smoothly.

    Now, with that said, I LIKE having different languages and cultures in the world. Adds to the “spice of life”. So the best more rational path through that is many different countries each with their own “diverse” and unique characteristics, but with enough uniformity inside them to be efficient and comfortable for their citizens… Making a cultural salad in one country with a glob of contradictory laws on top to try and keep it from exploding is just a Very Bad Idea.

    @Canadian Friend:

    Feel free to use French as you wish. Lots of folks speak it (me among them, though my spelling is horrid…) and having it next to anything in question as a translation lets folks figure out for themselves the exact meaning. “Dig in your heels” is proper English, BTW.

    Yeah, one can be 140 IQ and still be Stupid. Over on WUWT there was a very bright fellow asserting that this interglacial had thousands of years to run. I presented reasons why that is highly unlikely, he rejected it. Prejudice is a very firm slave master. Along the way, mentioned that “peak clipping” of this interglacial was likely caused by a rock strick in the Canadian ice shield. His response? There isn’t any evidence for it, and what their is is bogus. I listed a few dozen bits of evidence, but didn’t want to engage in an argument so just left it with a statement that I didn’t expect him to look, or see… I’ve spent hundreds of hours digging into that impact event and likely evidence. Just don’t have the time or desire to “fight the stupid” over it. The evidence is there, but if someone wants to believe a paper written by “some guy” saying he didn’t find his particular Holy Grail Evidence and then leap to the conclusion that proves no impact, well, not my problem… So a very bright guy, likely with a decent mind, but blinded by per-judging and leaping to conclusions. Bad data input along with selective listening skills dooms many “smart” people to be very stupid. You see that in spades in the Climate Science Brigade..


    Sounds familiar. Hey, I was at Apple for 7.5 years… There are a lot of things you just didn’t say…


    I’m effectively “retired” now. I still have way more stuff I want to do and need to do than I have day in which to do it. I’m not one for feet up an sitting all day. So, for me, retirement just means shifting from active pursuit of paid work to doing what I want for my own work. Just looking forward to the Government Check ;-) at last…

    FWIW, women also navigate differently. It’s all landmarks and familiar paths to the berry vines. Men are direction and distance. Hunters cover new turf as an area is hunted out, so need to know how to get home without landmarks. I’ve seen this pattern lots of times in men vs women and directions…

    That also spills over into describing scenes. I’ll come into a show part way and just want to know some basic fact, so I’ll ask a specific question like “Is that guy the bad guy?” and get a long story about who was involved with whom and what their lives have developed into to reach this point. I just wanted to know “bad here, good there”…

    Oh Well. We each have our own TV now ;-)

    FWIW, I had a minor epiphany about how to write TV shows. Maybe worth a posting. The “short form” is that watching The CW series like Arrow I came to understand their pattern. It was enlightened by watching both the series GLOW and a documentary about GLOW (women’s wrestling lucha like). They blend a Soap Opera with a Fight Dance. The Soap for the ladies, the Fight Choreography for the guys. I’m now seeing that as SOP Std Operating Procedure in many shows on many networks. The art of making a “hit” is to have the two story lines blend well…


    My belief is that much of what passes for intelligence is just parlor tricks with symbols and a rampant ability to believe any BS shoved at you. I got into lots of trouble in school simply for challenging things. Often, things that turned out to be BS… My grades prior to High School were often “dismal”… To be a Very Good Student, you must not think for yourself nor challenge what you are told. I wasn’t a Very Good Student. By High School, I’d mostly learned the trick of “testing well” and I could soak up and regurgitate crap on tests without absorbing much of it… For me, things have to “fit” to stick… But I could do well enough on the “fit into the mold” to get OK grades (though I did flunk freshman english due to a horrid teacher and me deciding “screw it” and doing nearly nothing).

    Being the brightest kid they had seen helped a lot, though… and things that were reasonable and logical I did very well in. Math. Sciences. And more. So I had good enough grades to get into University.

    Now I knew a LOT of folks with nearly no education who were very smart. Even a fair number of “low IQ” folks who could run circles around others in some area where they were interested. One guy had a very hard time talking to people. Mumbled and soft spoken, shy, little eye contact. BUT, he could tame just about any horse out there. He would just make friends with them. One, with a fear of ropes from being tied up and abused, he eventually got to use a lasso! NOBODY knew more about horses then him. I doubt he could even finish an IQ test. Don’t even know if he could read much.

    So at University I met a bunch of folks who could absorb any crap uncritically, spout it back at you, and do symbol tricks. VERY VERY few of them had mechanical skills worth a damn. Later in life I met one such in a “Doc In The Box” when I’d cut my hand. (Ripped the top off a 1/2 gallon juice glass jug because the cap was stuck… now I don’t use full power on jars…) I’d dressed the wound after aligning the edges perfectly. He unwrapped the dressing and said something like “follow up wound check?” and I pointed out it was fresh and not healed. He proceeded to put in 1/2 dozen stitches, with the edges NOT aligned properly, and I know have an inch long irregular scar on my palm when I could have had a clean invisible healing. He was high IQ, and educated, and stupid when it came to wound care and sewing. I’d have been better off just doing butterfly closures at home.

    While the IQ test is useful in a general way, it misses a whole lot of other “intelligences” that are in many cases more important. It seems that it, mixed with schooling, selects for the most pliable minds, not the most skilled, then proceeds to ‘ply’ them into an acceptable state. But not necessarily a more functional one…


    Like the joke about how many gay men does it take to change a light bulb… but the bulb has to WANT to change!

    @Canadian Friend:

    This is changing somewhat. We’re now getting a pretty good crop of women doctors. I had a Black Lady MD for a few years, then she retired. Think on how hard she had to work to get an MD “back when”… VERY good doctor. Was also willing to listen to me when I had ideas about what I might have. Sometimes I’d ask or suggest something and she would say “Just a minute, I need to look something up” and run off to grab a book. Completely willing to let folks know she might not know it all and was willing to confirm things.

    Last “polyp check” colonoscopy I had a full women surgical team. Nurses, doctors, the works. Also, with small hands and sensitive touch, women make great surgeons.

    It takes a LOT of science to get an M.D….

    I do think guys like the science stuff more, but women are quite capable of doing it. Madam Curie and Grace Harper and Ada Agusta and more women have a long history in science and the technical arts.

    But yes, the thinking patterns are different. Don’t know which one is “better”, they both seem to compliment the other.

  24. Power Grab says:

    @ M. Simon: Thanks for the link. One of the deterrents to my studying the issues my ex discussed was the sheer amount of time he invested in acquiring the knowledge. A quickie article would be helpful.

    @ EM: You’re welcome. I’m glad you got the “kind words” angle out of what I said.

    I actually see merit in both your POVs. Whatever works, y’know? OTOH, I know what it’s like to share deep stuff with someone you want to be informed, and have them totally shy away from the attempt at inoculation. It happens all the time with me! I almost NEVER get even a listening ear from a female because (I guess) they just aren’t as curious about things as I am. The kindest thing they can think of is to say, “You’re really smart.” I just say, “I’m not afraid to look up words I don’t know. It’s really easy now, with the internet.” Most of the time I just get this look that says, “Oh, you’re one of THOSE, are you?” Then I smile and laugh and say I entertain myself with reading about those things.

    I’m not spoiling for a fight. I don’t think fast enough on my feet to make that approach work! And whenever one of those Whack-A-Mole Trolls (TM) jumps on me in response to one of my fringe-y posts, I just thank them nicely [for their abuse] and put them in my bad book. They’re too brainwashed to have any interest in learning something they didn’t pay inflated tuition for, I guess. I would rather have a civil exchange of ideas (or sources of information) and have the potential for learning something valuable, even if it’s not sanctioned by TPTB.

    As for ladies being interested in current crime series (or judge shows, or daytime gossip shows, or other shows about people doing stupid things to each other or themselves), I totally don’t get share the enthusiasm. I don’t get the devotion to the NCIS shows. I did enjoy Bones. My offspring actually was the one who introduced me to it. We have several seasons on DVD. It’s the closest thing to a soap opera that I ever watched for any length of time. My ex wanted me to watch Die Hard movies with him, but they just left me wanting to crawl into a hole and pull it in over me.

    I lived without a TV from 1976 to 1986. It was very freeing. I felt much less paranoid about going out of my apartment. :-) Before that, I watched as many crime shows as anyone else, I guess. But they left me feeling frightened and vulnerable. I don’t like to operate in that mode.

    I have read that women seek security, while men seek (oh, I forget at the moment…it’ll come to me). ;-) So that would probably help explain why EM’s spouse and I (and maybe most of the spouses of our posters) would prefer not to dwell on threatening issues they can’t control with their own hands.

    For instance, I can deal with the knowledge that bankers are a big part of the problem, as long as I can focus my efforts on staying out of debt. Or the issue that the drug-sellers (of whatever stripe) are a big part of the problem, as long as I can live my life without their wares. Or the issue that online so-called “adult” entertainment is a ruthless controller, not deserving of my attention or investment) by staying away from it as diligently as I can. (And that’s pretty diligent!)

    Dang! This is getting long! Well, before I stop, I want to thank EM for this forum. And thanks, EM, for all that digging you’re always into, and then coming back and reporting to us. I couldn’t stomach studying the Koran myself, but i appreciate your doing it and writing up your impressions. I do understand your stance as a defender, especially given your job history as Security Dude. “Thank you for your service!”

    And thank you, too, regular posters. I appreciate the measured, thoughtful responses that do help shed light on issues we discuss. I value your comments and look forward to reading more in the future.

  25. beththeserf says:

    E.M. says, ‘many different countries each with their own ‘diverse’ and unique
    characteristics but with enough uniformity inside them to be efficient and comfortable
    for their citizens.’ … Horses fer courses. Clever nay-chur!

    Serfs so enjoy yr musings, Chiefio ).

  26. philjourdan says:

    Is it just a “female/male” thing? With some, I will pontificated about things I know to be true. But for my wife, I do not want to preach, but to teach. So when a stupid issue comes up (these days the left provides for a plethora of them), I will ask leading questions getting her to think about things. It never gets far as she just shuts it down (e.g. – How old is Fracking? in response to her claim Texas has banned it).

    I do not come up with creative ways to kill people, I just want her to think beyond the Kardassians and to find the truth for herself. But that is rarely successful.

    Although every once in a while, I see the effect. She told me her boss was being stupid for advocating that every HS student be given the SOL in their native language.

  27. Larry Ledwick says:

    There was an interesting book I picked up about 25 years ago that talks about the difference in communication styles between men and women, and how their socialization differs as a result.

    It was called “You Just Don’t Understand” by Deborah Tannen (1989)
    She goes into how those differences in communication styles result in people talking past each other, as each is thinking and reacting in their own communication style and literally not seeing that the other party of the conversation has a different way of communicating.

    It is sort of like meeting someone who speaks a different language and talking louder thinking it will help them understand you. I need to dig that book out of the pile and re-read it as it had some interesting observations in it.

  28. D. J. Hawkins says:

    I have had a similar experiences with my better half. I’ll stop a show in midstream on the DVR, but she does me the courtesy of hearing out my “Words of Wisdom”. She’ll even ask an on-topic question from time to time. So, all in all, a more satisfying experience. I’ll have to remember to die first, ’cause I doubt I’ll find another like her.

  29. agimarc says:

    I think there’s a third dimension to this discussion – that of persuasion. It is a field that I don’t understand at all outside what I saw this last presidential campaign. Think of it as a world that exists at right angles to anything we are experienced in doing in the STEM world. If you follow Scott Adams blog and take a hike thru his reading list, it would be a good start. Personally, it makes as much sense to me as the first time I encountered quantum dynamics, but I aim to get smarter at it. Yet it works. Might be something to get smart about. Cheers –


  30. H.R. says:

    Thanks to all the commenters above. Lot’s of good stuff.

    Although my wife and I are nearly polar opposites, it’s what makes things work for us. She’s volatile, believes in the odd concept of ‘fairness,’ wishes life would be as she imagines it, and likes the ‘stories’ of T.V. series. I’m almost impossible to insult or anger, understand that life isn’t fair, I see life as a journey and appreciate that I will have to deal with the flowers and roadkill I will encounter each day, and I don’t give a rat’s patootie about T.V. If our 4 sets remained off forever, it wouldn’t bother me a bit.

    Where we agree is on financial matters, major expenditures, education and child rearing, politics, and division of household labor.

    That italicized bit above? That’s something I’ve been working on for 40 years and I am beginning to make tiny inroads. Best, quickest example so I don’t have to type much, is other drivers. When she see’s someone behaving badly in traffic, whether it affects her or not, it offends or angers her, particularly the unfairness of someone merging at the last feasible moment after she has been in the correct lane for a quarter-mile. She wants redress and wastes an enormous amount of emotional energy on what @#!% idiot-scumbag-of questionable-parentage that driver is and what she wishes she could to to the driver to show them the error of their ways.

    It has taken me years and years to get her to accept reality; that the only thing she can control is the steering wheel, brake, and accelerator on the car she is driving. There is not one darn thing she can do about any other car on the road. “Yes dear, the other driver is a compete moron, made a completely bone-headed, illegal, and just plain rude maneuver, but the other driver is beyond your control.”

    Mrs. H.R. is beginning to accept the concept of reality and that wishing things were other than they are, is… unproductive, though she now realizes that in reality, she can lay on the horn and give the other driver a one-finger salute :-)

  31. cdquarles says:

    Men and women are different. Some of that is that women bear the burden of birthing children. When to say truth to stupid? That one’s not easy or simple or even possible, at times. Lying doesn’t help, so I agree with the ‘moving on’ sentiment.

    Given how real birthing a child is, my impression is that women who are mothers lose some of that self-delusion (Prince Charming). Good luck, Chief.

  32. volintn says:

    I have enjoyed reading the blog and comments. I followed a link by a commenter at the Conservative Treehouse. He said there was a lot of good thoughtful discussion here and I agree. Have enjoyed my time reading and learning & will return.

  33. M Simon says:


    “Street Drugs” is an euphemism for empowering criminals. You do remember (from history) the “street alcohol” episode?

    BTW anointing oil was used to treat epileptics. With spectacular results. Cannabis treats epileptics.

    But, as you say, hearing is difficult when you don’t want to hear.

  34. M Simon says:

    And Zeke, since Jesus is not currently around to treat epilepsy we will have to go with the next best thing that works. So far if I recall correctly there are 44 States that currently authorize that method. CBD oil. A component of cannabis.

  35. larrygeiger says:

    You would think that by now you would have figured this out. Perhaps the lack of a southern upbringing. Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. There. You’re welcome. Get to work.

  36. larrygeiger says:

    “Larry Ledwick says:
    4 July 2017 at 3:34 pm
    That is one of my greatest frustrations, the internet in a way has opened up the world of stupid for all to see. When I was younger I used to assume that most people had more or less the same values, feelings and concerns that I did (at least in my local group/community). The internet with its lack of social restraints has allowed people to rip off their socially acceptable masks that they wear every day and show who they really are.”

    Proof: Kim Kardashian.

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