Paleo Retiree writes:

About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff and very glad to have left that mess behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
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6 Responses to Linkage

  1. slumlord. says:

    Something to remind the architects. Dietrich von Choltitz , defied Hitler and refused to destroy Paris, even though his sons were still in the German Army, whilst Le Corb was quite prepared to flatten Paris to “improve” it.

    The bastard is still seen as a “pillar” of the architectural establishment. Btw, his vastly over rated Villa Savoye leaked.


  2. amac78 says:

    I scanned Fred Reed’s rant after reading Heather Mac Donald’s sober discussion of the current hockey stick inflection in urban crime, in Saturday’s WSJ (behind paywall). SJWs self-enlisted in the War Against Noticing are sure to be triggered by both.

    The Voldemort of how to make sense of the world — to say nothing of public policy — is the idea of differences between groups of people. Exhibit #1 of Your Lyin’ Eyes: the concepts of ‘dumb’ and ‘smart’ don’t mean anything, and can’t be measured anyway.

    Except when they do and can. The linked report of the NYT’s South Asia chief of New Delhi’s horrific air pollution itself links the abstract of a 2008 paper on the baleful effects of childhood air pollution on IQ. “Children with no known risk factors for neurological or cognitive disorders residing in a polluted urban environment exhibited significant deficits in a combination of fluid and crystallized cognition tasks…”

    Whaddya know. Cognitive ability is real, measurable,and important, at least when it comes to environmentalism. Better yet, this act of noticing won’t get our Timesman disinvited from the best cocktail parties. Nor will it stunt his career, greengrocer-style.

    For the flyover country people who have to live under the Eric Holder orthodoxy as far as crime, education, and the like — “I guess it sucks to be you.”


  3. agnostic says:

    Every year they write the same article about “Are thongs finally going out?” They have been going out since a peak in 2003. Low-rise jeans and tattoos on 20 year-olds have been vanishing since that time too.

    Why are the writers and readers so out of touch? It’s not like in 2005, there were articles still asking “Is the era of Big Hair finally coming to a close?”

    Was the thong so scandalous that it still has the power to titillate readers, 10-15 years after its demise? Whatever the reason, it goes to show how much contempo journalism is meant purely for titillation rather than reporting on the state of things.


    • JV says:

      Thongs are click-bait, dude. I totally clicked on that article because thongs are hot. Duh. I lament the demise of the thong, for the most part, and am not looking forward to the Era of High Pants, Part II.


  4. JV says:

    It’s interesting to observe which doomsday prophesies people latch on to and where on the political spectrum they fall. Climate change seems to resonate mostly with liberals, while overpopulations seems to mostly worry conservatives. To my mind, these alignments have everything to do with lifestyle preferences. Liberals have vague allegiances to “the environment” while not minding and sometimes preferring densely populated living, while conservatives generally don’t like anything, including animal habitats, to get in the way of economic “growth” while preferring sparsely populated areas.

    After typing that paragraph, it seems so obvious I’m not even sure it’s worth hitting Submit here. But, while reading the Kunstler piece, I kept substituting “climate change” for “overpopulation” in my head, because his willingness to jump on this particular bandwagon seems no more tied to a determinable outcome than those who’ve climbed aboard the climate change train.

    Me? There’s yet to be a doomsayer who’s been proven correct, so I take all of these things with a grain of salt.


  5. agnostic says:

    The history of the CD is too tech-focused and ignores major sociological and psychological changes that brought an end to the medium.

    They touch on cost-cutting as a major motive for record companies to pursue CD rather than vinyl. But do you think managers with that mindset would stop there? Of course not: before long, they started compressing the hell out of the data in the masters, giving the audience something barely better than mp3 quality.

    It’s no wonder that listeners couldn’t tell a huge difference between the two formats at the beginning — they weren’t listening to high-quality CDs from the ’80s and early ’90s, before compression.

    Cost-cutting by the makers of playback equipment made the difference even harder to detect. Some crappy CD player that was just one piece of a jack-of-all-trades boom box that became the standard during the ’90s, plus the crappy speakers that came with the boom box, were not going to showcase sounds regardless of whether it was CD, FM radio, cassette, or whatever.

    Then there was the push by consumers for convenience, namely portability. It started with the boom box that could be easily unplugged and moved to any other room in the house, or even played outside if you wanted to blow through $20 worth of batteries in an afternoon. Then it was the car CD player, and the Discman.

    You couldn’t do any of those things with records, or even with early CD players, which were supposed to replace the turntable within the overall stereo ecosystem, but not alter anything else — you’d still have the receiver, tuner, separate cassette player, powerful speakers, and all of that equipment would be firmly planted in the music area of the home.

    With that mindset, there’s no way consumers would continue with CDs when mp3s are even more portable.

    Both of these changes — cheaper products and more convenient products — come from a single underlying shift away from music as something sacred to be respected, and toward a disposable background thing.


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