Friday, June 11, 2010

Boat girl's parents: Negligent or Noble?

Many of you may have read about the 16-year-old teenage girl who was recently found on her boat in the Indian ocean after trying to break the world record for sailing around the world. A number of commenters to the article in the NY Post blame the parents for the girl getting lost as they allowed her to fulfill her dream. Here are some examples:

this 16 year old shouldnt be alone on the sea period. what is wrong with her parents? i guess kids can do what ever they want to do huh?

Her parents ARE negligent. How can you allow your "child" to leave home - alone - and go out into the open sea thousands of miles away from you? Of course there are dangers are land, but at least you can get to your child within a reasonable time if they need you. But to be in Thousand Oaks, CA - on the phone doing guess-work - while your child is at least a 22 hour plane trip away is ridiculous. And everyone defending them must be either bad parents or have no children at all.

This is a tough one. As a parent, you want to protect your child, but if your child has a dream before they are 18, isn't one of your goals as a parent to try and teach them to be autonomous and reach that goal? When I was 14, I wanted to be an airplane pilot more than anything in the world. My parents delivered me to the airport every week to fly Cessna 150s as long as I paid for it through my job. I know my Dad was a bit nervous that I was flying in the mountains but he never said a word.

To this day, I admire my parents for allowing me to fly and fulfill that dream, though because of bad eyesight, I never made it as a pilot. However, my time in the air and my parent's ability to let go taught me to make it on my own. For that, I am forever grateful to them. I bet that one day, this young sailor will be to her parents also. People think these parents are negligent, but perhaps they are simply overcoming their own fear of letting their kid venture forth. I think this is noble, not negligent.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Stuart Schneiderman: The American Man: R.I.P?

It's about time..

I just saw that The Road to Serfdom is #1 on Amazon (via Instapundit). Apparently, Glenn Beck was flogging it --but it's good to know that Hayek's work is being read by more people. I have two copies on my bookshelf next to my computer and refer to them all the time. If you haven't read it, do so.


The power of self-discipline?

I picked up a book that was recently sent to Glenn entitled No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline because it looked like it might have something interesting to say. The book basically takes the premise that you don't need wealth, luck or contacts to succeed--you need self-discipline. From the amazon page, the description states that people don't succeed because "they take the path of least resistance (in other words, they’re lazy) and/or they want immediate gratification: they don’t consider the long-term consequences of the actions they take today." I used to believe this, I no longer do.

I spent my life working hard, taking personal responsibility and thinking about long term consequences. I watch in mild disgust while those who thought only about today and want immediate gratification are bailed out, while those who used self-discipline to turn themselves into a success are made to pay the price for those who aren't. Now, I call myself a sucker--not a disciple of self-discipline.

What is the point of self-discipline? Is the intrinsic reward it might bring enough? Any thoughts?


Monday, June 07, 2010

Okay, this is just insulting. There is no way Steve Green is only #20.

The stupidification of America

Shrinkwrapped: "A society that "educates" its children to believe that 2 + 2 = 5 is "close enough" and that they are the smartest and most special because to be found wanting might damage their self esteem is a society that has already committed suicide..."


Male whistles, simulated murder and videogames

A reader sends in a post (thanks) from a woman by the name of Leigh Alexander, who writes about a new videogame called "Hey Baby" that shoots and kills men who make comments to women on the street. Here is a description of this lovely game:

Ladies, are you sick and tired of catcalling, hollering, obnoxious one-liners and creepy street encounters? Tired of changing your route home to avoid uncomfortable situations?


Alexander is just rendered powerless by men on the street who (gasp!) ask her to smile:

It's latent misogyny that happens in big cities; it takes my power away. It makes me an object in front of people I don't even know, and that's not okay whether they're nice about it or not. It is nothing less than a slow-burning chronic trauma.

My favorite catcall in the 'Hey Baby Game'? "Smile for me, baby." It fills me with rage that a stranger on the street feels at liberty to demand that I smile. I smile when I feel like it, and I sure as shit don't want to do it for you, buddy.

I lived in NYC for 7 years in alphabet land on the lower east side among drug dealers and pimps. Never once did I feel powerless when someone made a comment. I never smiled for anyone if I didn't feel like it and went about my business. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Women who let catcalls on the street make them feel angry enough to need revenge through simulated murder are no better than the guys they denounce for shooting hookers in Grand Theft Auto. Or maybe these "feminists" are just as sadistic as the men they denounce and they need a reason (men are asking me to smile--how dare they?!!) to give them the balls to play a game that acts out their long-standing internal rage. Whatever the reason, comments on the street may be annoying but they are hardly a reason to wish someone dead.

The other thing I find ironic about these "feminists" is that while they call for the simulated murder of men who dare whistle at them, they typically believe in gun control and try to take away the rights of women in real situations of danger such as being robbed or raped. Maybe they should focus on gun rights for women in real danger instead of simulated murder to give embittered women a thrill whose only danger is that they can't stand to have a man ask them to smile once in a while.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

What are the best places for the avoidant?

I just got back from the gym this morning and it was almost empty, it was great. It's usually full of people getting on the machines and staying there while listening to music, talking on the phone or just plain staring into space. I also got up at 6 this morning to get on the phone to try and get our internet connection fixed. I actually got a live person on the phone. I must admit that Glenn finally fixed it but that's not the point of this post. It is the sheer joy of finding few or no people in my immediate surroundings so that I can get some peace and quiet.

At this point, if you are an introvert like I am, you totally get what I just said. If you tend more towards extroversion, you will write me off as a kook. Fair enough. I have talked to numerous introverts that go to Wal-Mart in the middle of the night, grocery shop at odd hours and basically avoid people like the plague. Some call them odd, I call them comrades. There are other experts who say that being an introvert is a positive thing. I agree.

Are you an introvert? If so, where do you go or what do you do to avoid people when you feel overwhelmed by them?

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I just read that Rush Limbaugh got married to his long time girlfriend Kathryn Rogers. I hope he has some kids, we need more like him.