February 12, 2017

"More Women in Their 60s and 70s Are Having ‘Way Too Much Fun’ to Retire."

Headline at the NYT. The article begins:
Kay Abramowitz has been working, with a few breaks, since she was 14. Now 76, she is a partner in a law firm in Portland, Ore. — with no intention of stopping anytime soon. “Retirement or death is always on the horizon, but I have no plans,” she said. “I’m actually having way too much fun.”
This work is fun meme.... It can lead to pain. Most people who work need to work for the money. Does it help to burden them with the idea that work is supposed to be fun? And is this something special about women, this idea that work isn't for the money but for some deep fulfillment or pleasure?

This reminded of that article I blogged last night, "'It's the breaking of a taboo': the [mothers] who regret having children/It’s tiring, often boring...." I got the feeling that women believe what they do is supposed to be continually emotionally rewarding. It's great if you love what you're doing, but what about the people that don't love what they're doing and have a need or a duty to keep it up?

Most of the things we do with our time are not like sexual intercourse — where we talk about ongoing consent — "affirmative consent" — so that at every new moment in time, you're entitled to actively like what you're doing. Outside of the realm of sex, you take on commitments that you work through without continually asking: Am I having fun now? How about now? And now?

I doubt if believing in continual fun is even much fun, and frankly, I don't trust the women who work at challenging jobs and insist that they're having "way too much fun" to stop. This is self-reporting, and I'd like to read a study of: 1. the phenomenon of declaring that one is having fun, 2. the connection between assertions of fun-having and actual emotional fulfillment, 3. the effect of declarations of fun on other people (e.g., mothers who feel worse about what they are doing because they imagined motherhood would provide automatic elation), 4. gender difference in the frequency of declarations of fun having, 5. the correlation between perceived fun-having and professional success, 6. the dark side of fun (i.e., what are fun-dependent people really afraid of?)

174 comments:

Meade said...

"Most of the things we do with our time are not like sexual intercourse — where we talk about ongoing consent — "affirmative consent" — so that at every new moment in time, you're entitled to actively like what you're doing. Outside of the realm of sex, you take on commitments that you work through without continually asking: Am I having fun now? How about now? And now?"

Cacao?

sojerofgod said...

Oh boy. I imagine it is easy to get a favorable quote from an upper middle class lawyer who rules as the mistress of her little castle. Why don't we check in with the 60 year old lady who was standing in the Walmart door last night as a greeter, and to check the receipts of people leaving to make sure they weren't stealing the goods in their carts that were not in bags? I stopped to talk to her last night while waiting for the wife to check out... She had been on the floor since 1 PM ( it was about 8 then) and had an hour to go. Her feet hurt. she wasn't having so much fun. It is galling to have neurotic upper class white women act and presume to speak for all women everywhere. ( In the US of course. Women in the rest of the undeveloped world simply do not exist.)
I believe this article is of a class of puffery set to reassure these selfish, guilt ridden and driven professional women that they really made the "right" choice and allow them to swallow their regrets. Why else would you even need to bring this up?

Michael K said...

"a class of puffery set to reassure these selfish, guilt ridden and driven professional women that they really made the "right" choice"

Yes, does she have any kids ?

Bruce Hayden said...

I always figured I would work until at least my 70s, as my father had. That is one of the beauties of the practice of law. Turns out though that patent law, to some extent, is a younger mans game (and software even more so). It is more appearances than anything. One brother, an exec in a high tech company, dies his hair. And, the mother of my kid shortened her name to something more modern. Just to look younger, and more with it. So, I have spent the last five years essentially sliding into real retirement, with my patent clientele slowly dropping off. This may be the year when I tell the rest of them goodbye - last year I lost my biggest client, and my second biggest has been looking for six months for a merger partner, which means that they haven't paid me. Two houses, moving back and forth between them, and taking care of a woman who needs someone there more than she would like, keep me busier than I ever expected. We have at least two solid months of work here, at the new house in AZ, before we run back to MT for the warmer half of the year. I don't think that I will even get started at organizing my huge science fiction collection, that I finally have room for, until next fall.

Owen said...

Professor Althouse: so many questions about having fun. Are you having fun? You do it well!

sojerofgod said...

In some ways it is a question of priorities.
Work over family?
Power over irrelevance?
I know a few who are terrified of retirement. They view it as a death sentence.
I have always felt that there is no right answer, it is an individual choice.
I do have a problem with the endless propaganda aimed at women.
This can be summed up with the cliché, "You can have it all"
No, you can't.

Can't leave without a relevant movie quote:

" Life is about pain, Princess. Anyone who says different is selling something" *

* extra credit for guessing the source.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do wonder if part of these women's problem is that their identities are so tied up in their jobs and professions, that they aren't sure of who they will be when they finally fo pull the pin, and retire. Which has been a male problem with retirement in the past. Used to be that women could define themselves through their children, grandchildren, etc. that doesn't work though, when you have only a couple kids at most, and 40 years or so of working life to fill (and the most successful women professionally tend to be childless anyway). So, the end up like the men, at a similar place in their lives.

roesch/voltaire said...

Sometimes you have to take people at their word. Enjoy ,engaging might be a better words than fun for the many people I know who work in some capacity after 70-- I myself retired this last year at 74 because i didn't feel the passion for teaching I once did and miss the interaction with students. Paying close attention to what one does and doing it well and make any job rewarding, I believe.

Otto said...

Ease up AA. Don't let that hussie make you feel guilty for retiring:-). Play golf,laugh a lot, work in a soup kitchen and never let your brain go dead. As for everything else , just let it slide.

Quayle said...

Is it sexist to conclude that feminism primarily benefited upper-middle class and upper class women (and the sexual revolution likewise, which also greatly benefited men) - all to the intractable detriment of lower class and poor women on whom the burden primarily fell?

At least for me that conclusion was hard to escape as I became involved in the lives of women seeking and getting legal aid to (once again) get a divorce from a man who had already left them.

And add to that Grandmothers raising children of their drug addicted daughters - the drug addicted daughter often emotionally devastated by the by men who fathered one of her children then so easily left them both high and dry, for another women. Of course, the other woman was so willing to have him (there's sisterhood for you!) and the father faced no social cost at all for solely dealing in the sexual spot market.

For every female law partner in New York who loves her job, there are probably 50 women in Texas carrying such burdens. And the only sop the job-loving law partner throw to the 50 women is the right to get an abortion.

Dark-side enough? It is dark. And no one writing at the New York Times or New Yorker want to shine a light on it and truly talk about the root causes of such burdens (unless it can be glossed over and laid at the feet of Republicans.)

As Janice Joplin used to sing: freedom is just another word for someone else's burden.

Kate said...

When I was nursing my first child I attended La Leche League meetings, looking for support. Although important and rewarding, breastfeeding is also an emotional grinder, tearing down everything a young woman believes about herself and rebuilding her into a new woman. After two meetings I realized that unless I wanted to talk about sore nipples or the glow-y joy of it all, I should just go away.

I hate this emotional veneer women construct to avoid talking about our trials.

Laslo Spatula said...

Harriet, the 72-year-old Prostitute says…

People tell me ‘Harriet, you’re 72-years-old, maybe it’s time for you to retire’. Hell no: I’m having too much fun…!

I meet all kinds of interesting men every day, and every day is a new adventure. I mean, look at today for an example: one of my customers for the last forty years brought in his grandson to lose his virginity! How can you NOT feel special, being a part of something as wonderful as that…!

Another customer I have had for thirty years has always wanted to do anal, but could never afford it. Just the other day he had finally scraped up enough of his Social Security money, and he got to fuck me in the ass! It was like, after thirty years, his dream finally came true, and I was the one to make it happen…!

It’s not just old men all the time, either. I get some men in their fifties who just like a woman with experience. Sure, I worry that I might break a hip doing some of the more athletic stuff, but even with a broken hip I could still suck a cock better than any young girl…

I have to say, being a prostitute at my age keeps me young at heart. Every morning I have my Metamucil and bagel and can’t wait for the day to begin! And I won’t lie: I sure don’t mind the money: the Government checks only go so far…

My only regret is having blown so much money on frivolous things in my youth: if I had saved wisely my trusty vagina would have made me a millionaire by now…

Still, that is a small thing. I have seen a lot of cocks in my day, and yet there is the possibility every day that I will see one larger than I ever had before — how can that not be inspiring…?

I’m Harriet. I work the corner of 43rd and Brooklyn. Why don’t you stop by: maybe we can have some fun, sugar…

I am Laslo.

Quayle said...

"tearing down everything a young woman believes about herself and rebuilding her into a new woman....I hate this emotional veneer women construct to avoid talking about our trials."

For some reason we all resist what I believe is one of the great lessons life tries to teach us, which is that giving ourselves away for someone else - to help or take care of them - is the most satisfying and joyful and self-establishing thing one can do. But we all fear "giving ourselves away" because it is counter-intuitive. We're not always able to see clearly that by giving away we end up with more. But it seems we do - more of us individually, and more loving people around us.

The alternative is seeking more and more "me time" until we find out that "me" is alone and there really is not much of or to "me"

Anyway, that's one way of looking at it.

JCC said...

Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

83 and having too much fun setting new standards for SC justice behavior.

AllenS said...

Unlike the vast majority of people who comment here, I did factory work. I loved my job as a pressman on a 4 color web offset press. I took great pride being able to switch the press over from running a 2 color job with two webs to a 1 web 4 color job with different width paper, changing the folder over, then getting the registration and colors correct. We had some women in the press room, and they retired as fast as they could, if they made it to retirement. I'd be willing to bet that Kay Abramowitz didn't vote for Trump, and I'd also bet she has no friends doing hard physical work. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but how heavy is a pencil?

AReasonableMan said...

Quayle said...
Is it sexist to conclude


Silly more than sexist. The antediluvian attitudes of some working class men towards women made many of their lives a misery. Feminism and the accompanying changes in social attitudes gave them an escape route. Are working class woman's lives difficult now. Yes they are. They have always been difficult. Existing at the bottom of the socioeconomic totem pole has never been easy.

jimbino said...

I worked as a tour guide on the 5-day tour of Champagne in France. And with every vineyard tour, the bus driver and I each gained a bottle or two of wine to take home. Hard to believe, but even daily consumption of fine French wine and food can get old.

Bob R said...

I find it interesting that "fun" is clearly the wrong word. Almost no jobs are a source of amusement and glee. They can be pleasant, satisfying, challenging, or engaging; but are rarely fun. Does the use of "fun" serve as a cover for real motivations? I think that the connection to the post on childlessness is that a noticeable fraction of people hang on to jobs because of narcissism. Much better to cover that up by saying you are having "fun." I think these are the people who have to constantly prob their souls and ask, "Am I a self-absorbed asshole, or am I having fun?" They come up with the answer "fun." People who are childless because of infertility or work into their 70's because they need the money don't have to do this.

Drago said...

jimbino: "I worked as a tour guide on the 5-day tour of Champagne in France. And with every vineyard tour, the bus driver and I each gained a bottle or two of wine to take home. Hard to believe, but even daily consumption of fine French wine and food can get old"

How dare you sir?

The Ghost of Churchill weeps.

Michael K said...

Paying close attention to what one does and doing it well and make any job rewarding, I believe.

I spent 30 years doing surgery and my partner used to say, "I hope they never find out I would do this for free."

Then an old back injury from college caught up with me and I had to retire after a 14 hour surgery.

Since then, I have done more sedentary medical things. One big disappointment was that my plan to work on improving medical quality, after a year getting another degree at Dartmouth, did not work out because no one, absolutely no one, was interested in medical quality.

Anyway, I keep busy enough and love what I do. It's not surgery but it is medicine.

rhhardin said...

All the retired mathematicians I know are doing math.

Interesting and engaging, not fun.

AReasonableMan said...

Bob R said...
I think that the connection to the post on childlessness is that a noticeable fraction of people hang on to jobs because of narcissism. Much better to cover that up by saying you are having "fun." I think these are the people who have to constantly prob their souls and ask, "Am I a self-absorbed asshole, or am I having fun?" They come up with the answer "fun."


Is it really so difficult to believe that some people might enjoy their jobs even if they are somewhat challenging? Rupert Murdoch might look like death warmed up but he apparently still enjoys his job.

Bob Ellison said...

AllenS said, "Unlike the vast majority of people who comment here, I did factory work."

You're probably right. I worked for a few months at minimum wage in an office that had its own print shop. That was fantastic. The printer, an acerbic craftsman, showed me a few basic skills just to help him do his job better. Nothing remotely approaching what you did-- just things like how to handle paper and square things up here and there. How to load the folding machine.

Everyone would benefit from at least a little of that kind of experience.

Kate said...

@Quayle: Well said.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I think Tom Brady thinks his job is fun, even though he is well past the usual retirement age for his profession, and doesn't need the money.

Michael K said...

Blogger rhhardin said...
All the retired mathematicians I know are doing math.

Interesting and engaging, not fun.


Have you run across any of Csikszentmihalyi 's books?

I always have to cut and paste his name. They are about what he calls "Flow" the pleasure of accomplishing a challenging task.

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance.

This is a new edition of the book I studied 25 years ago at Dartmouth.

mockturtle said...

ARM describes the antediluvian attitudes of some working class men towards women made many of their lives a misery.

Before the flood?

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

"I doubt if believing in continual fun is even much fun, and frankly, I don't trust the women who work at challenging jobs and insist that they're having "way too much fun" to stop. This is self-reporting, and I'd like to read a study . . ." A few more skeptical posts like this, and you're gonna need a "feminism bullshit" tag. Unless you already assume what the rest of us know, that all invocations of feminism, implicit or explicit, are bullshit.

Henry said...

The word "more" in the headline calls out for retirement. I would have written "A Non-Zero Number of Women..."

Original Mike said...

My 68 year old wife continues to work because she loves the interaction with colleagues and patients. She's a "people person" and needs the stimulation.

rhhardin said...

Vicki Hearne says that mathematicians are more movitivated by the feeling that here, at least, everything will be settled.

Paglia says math is an escape from women.

The two may go together.

AJ Lynch said...

Michael K said:

"One big disappointment was that my plan to work on improving medical quality, after a year getting another degree at Dartmouth, did not work out because no one, absolutely no one, was interested in medical quality."

From what I hear, they don't listen to people with real medical experience when they try to improve medicine. Instead, they hire the MBA types with a Masters degree in Public Health and no medical experience. That is where you went wrong Michael.

mockturtle said...

Quayle asks: Is it sexist to conclude that feminism primarily benefited upper-middle class and upper class women (and the sexual revolution likewise, which also greatly benefited men) - all to the intractable detriment of lower class and poor women on whom the burden primarily fell?

Not sexist at all. Most of us in the 60's Revolution which spawned the modern feminist movement were from UMC families. That we had the spare time and lack of responsibilities made the movement possible. While thinking ourselves champions of the oppressed, were arrogant and intolerant. Sound familiar?

AJ Lynch said...

I'll be 65 this year and expect to work full time for 2-3 more years. After that, I will probably continue on part-time on a project basis.

Henry said...

I think Tom Brady thinks his job is fun

Or, if not fun, meaningful. The average one of us, gifted with Tom Brady's skills, would find his job unbelievably unfun. The training would be shear drudgery.

David Ortiz retired this year despite having a superb season. It wasn't playing the game that informed his decision, it was the six months of off season training to be ready to play the game.

PJ57 said...

Most work is hard and unpleasant, although some can produce moments of "flow" and genuine accomplishment. Jobs with indoor plumbing, which are the kinds most working women do, are likely to be less onerous. But people who claim to be having "fun" either don't know what fun is or are pursuing another agenda.

Ann Althouse said...

"Professor Althouse: so many questions about having fun. Are you having fun? You do it well!"

I think "flow" is a better concept than fun. Flow is often best achieved in work, but also in many nonremunerative things — such as sports. I have always blogged for the intrinsic reward of it. I have great flow doing this, and I retired to minimize nonflow activities, even though some parts of my job were good for flow. One thing is, when you have responsibilities to other people — clients, students — you can't prioritize your own pleasure and in fact that can be ethically wrong. One reason I wanted to be retired was so that I wouldn't have to think about the ethics of enjoying my life. Not that I would do anything unethical as a job-free person, just that I'm avoiding complications in my life that cause ethical conflicts.

I don't like to be in the is-this-as-good-for-you-as-it-is-for-me situation. With the blog, if it isn't good for you, you wouldn't be here reading. There's nothing you need to get from me that is extraneous to the what I'm offering in the moment, a reading and writing experience. In teaching, there the in-the-moment conversation and the students are sitting there listening and some unknown percentage of what they are doing (possibly 100%) is that they need to get a grade and course credit from you. Meanwhile, you think you're talking about interesting things and asking provocative questions, and maybe for them all of that is just annoying or painful. Free of the problem of needing to do it for the money, I removed to a higher ground.

PJ57 said...

But taking pictures of dogs is fun. Not sure why Meade gave it up (or at least stopped publishing the results).

Roger Sweeny said...

Quayle, actually what Janice Joplin sang was, "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." A very Dostoevskian sentiment from the song's writer, the Rhodes Scholar Kris Kristofferson.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Fun and rewarding aren't always the same.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sometimes you have to take people at their word."

Yeah, but one of those times is not when aging affluent ladies are quoted in the NYT saying they're having "too much fun" to retire.

You have to take people at their work when some action is demanded of you and their word is the best evidence under the circumstances for figuring out what to do.

There are other times when you don't have to take people at their word but you might be best off choosing to do so: 1. When acting on the assumption that they are honest is the best way to get them to do something that you need to get done, 2. When it's the easiest way to blow them off and move on, 3. When you care enough about them not to want to hurt their feelings but not enough to really include them in your world as a serious person.

mockturtle said...

Roger, I believe Quayle knew that and was just paraphrasing.

mockturtle said...

You have to take people at their work

Interesting typo?

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse - do you watch more TV these days? Amazon has a few very good original shows. If you have Amazon video, I recommend you check out two of them: Sneaky Pete and The Man in The High Castle.

John said...

"Find something you love doing so much that you would pay to do it. Then get so good at it people pay you to do it."

I heard this from Zig Ziglar quoting one of these guys that has a TV fishing show.

"The effective executive never knows whether he is playing or working. He is always doing both." (Quote from memory) Peter Drucker The Effective Executive

I've been lucky enough to find a line of work that is more fun than I could have with my pants on. I get to go to interesting places, meet fascinating people, work with interesting processes and machines and do some good at the same time. AND get paid for doing it.

I can't think of anything I could possibly do that would be more fun than my work. I use the word "fun" on purpose.

John Henry

William said...

I never had a job that was remotely glamorous. Most of them were mostly drudgery, leavened with moments of squalor.. I was quite glad to pack it in. I know of no activity in life more rewarding than rolling over and getting another hour's sleep in the morning.

Mark said...

Most people who work need to work for the money. Does it help to burden them with the idea that work is supposed to be fun?

It burdens them that they cannot even get a job because someone who doesn't need it has taken the position and the firm doesn't have the money to hire more people.

If this person wants to do law for "fun," if she doesn't need the money, then maybe instead of self-indulgence, she work exclusively pro-bono, representing real people who are of average income (or below or even above average income) who could never afford to pay the extortionist fees that lawyers charge today.

David said...

I'm not sure I would like to be the client of a lawyer who thinks it is all great fun. I would suspect that she is, consciously or not, avoiding the non fun parts that might be of use to me.

Angel-Dyne said...

sojerofgod: Can't leave without a relevant movie quote:

" Life is about pain, Princess. Anyone who says different is selling something" *

* extra credit for guessing the source.


I like Orwell's formulation, too:

"Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise." (From his essay on Tolstoy.)

epador said...

Hmmm, re: 2/12/17, 8:59 AM AA

There sure must be a big difference between teaching law students in Madison and teaching medicine anywhere. While I've always known there is a per centage of students in any situation who are there only to get credits/grade and ultimately a piece of paper that may or may not open doors for financial and social success, I know most of the students, interns, residents and fellows I've taught and learned with were there for and got a lot more than that. That a few narcissistic individuals stand out as failures in that regard does not sadden or frustrate me - its just the nature of humanity. That your projecting such a negative picture of that teaching personal experience does sadden me.

tim in vermont said...

#6

Oso Negro said...

I think that people who do not really find satisfaction in their work, and I believe that includes our hostess at the end of her university career, feel resentful of people who actually enjoy their work. Putting the quibbling over the meaning of "fun" aside, I quite enjoy my consulting practice. As John, I travel to interesting places, meet good people, who struggle with interesting processes and machines, and help them get better at their work. I don't see a reason to quit until fate breaks my stride. And unlike some professions, the older I get, the more value I am perceived to have as a consultant.

epador said...

Angel-Dyne:

Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line...

tim in vermont said...

I would have done most of the work I did over my career for free.

Fernandinande said...

By age 65, male and female labor force participation is close to half of what it was for people in their 50s. (from 70/60% to 35/30%).

dreams said...

I believe Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn and other old rich men who are still doing whatever they're doing that's making them even more richer are having fun but they're the exceptions, I think.

jaydub said...

John Henry said: "I get to go to interesting places, meet fascinating people, work with interesting processes and machines and do some good at the same time. AND get paid for doing it. I can't think of anything I could possibly do that would be more fun than my work. I use the word "fun" on purpose."

From your previous posts I know that you are a Lean transition facilitator, which to me explains why your job is fun for you. I did a four stage, TPS based enterprise level transition for a medium sized company over a 12 year period, then consulted on lean greenfield startups for several years after that, mostly on smaller chemical plants and light manufacturing operations. Nothing could be more satisfying and enjoyable for an engineer than that type of employment. I even unretired twice to take a new plant challenge. Most people won't understand getting a rush from process improvement through employee empowerment, but I suspect you do. Enjoy!

Paddy O said...

People who retire are selfish.

AReasonableMan said...

mockturtle said...
Most of us in the 60's Revolution which spawned the modern feminist movement were from UMC families. That we had the spare time and lack of responsibilities made the movement possible. While thinking ourselves champions of the oppressed, were arrogant and intolerant.


The arrogance here is that upper middle class women, whose lives have been made even more comfortable by feminism, feel that feminism is no longer of importance to poor women.

Michael K said...

a big difference between teaching law students in Madison and teaching medicine anywhere.

If it was not for the Electronic Medical Record, I would probably still be teaching medical students and would have stayed in California.

It was introduced as part of Obamacare and is a mess, like Obamacare.

From what I hear, they don't listen to people with real medical experience when they try to improve medicine. Instead, they hire the MBA types with a Masters degree in Public Health and no medical experience. That is where you went wrong Michael.


Yes, the jobs I was offered were usually ones that involved some company renting my medical degree and having me sign papers. A few were even fraudulent.

I enjoyed teaching students although I did get to attend one lecture by the "Dean for Diversity" in the medical school and I had to take an online course on recognizing sexual harassment.

The students seemed to like my curmudgeonly approach and the medical school has an engineer program which includes a PhD in biomedical engineering. When the engineers found out I had been an engineer, I wound up with that group and it was lots of fun.

The EMR was the last straw. The new LA County hospital was also a mess and the combination was too much,

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

Angle-Dyne, was the quote not: "Life is about pain, highness"? The Princess Bride?

mockturtle said...

ARM opines: The arrogance here is that upper middle class women, whose lives have been made even more comfortable by feminism, feel that feminism is no longer of importance to poor women.

Feminism has hurt poor women more than has anything else. The notion that you can have and raise children without a husband accounts for more poverty than any other modern myth.

AReasonableMan said...

mockturtle said...
Feminism has hurt poor women more than has anything else. The notion that you can have and raise children without a husband accounts for more poverty than any other modern myth.


If this were a core tenet of feminism you might have a point. But it isn't and you don't. Feminism simply means that women should be treated as equally as possible as men.

Robert Cook said...

"Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance."

When I was young I worked for 3 years at a fast food hamburger place, Mr. Swiss. (A midwestern concern, with franchises down into the south.) Unlike many or most such places, we cooked the food to order, and did not have pre-cooked patties sitting under a warmer waiting to be slapped on a bun. We also served pastrami and corned beef sandwiches and hot dogs and offered 36 flavors of milk shakes, (later reduced to a paltry 16 flavors). One of the owners made the corned beef right there in the store. Then, after it cooled, we'd slice it and pack into little waxy paper bags. (I almost severed the tip of my finger on that slicer once.)

There were times when we were busy when I experienced "flow," with the grill full of patties, the fryers full of fries, the front thronged with people--especially after the football games at the Junior High across the street let out--and just moving from reading the orders, going through all the steps to make each sandwich on each order as requested, putting it all together accurately but quickly and interacting with the customers...it was exhilarating and fun!

mockturtle said...

I was a feminist in the early 70's. One of our 'clever' mottoes was, A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

At one end is funemployment, where it is OK that young people can't find work 'cause they are so fulfilled by their broke, work-less lives.
At the other end I guess we have funretirememt, where older people (maybe just women?) keep working/can't retire and that's OK since theit work is so fulfilling and important. It has nothing to do with their lack of savings/capital, the fact that they are much more likely to be single now, the super low interest rates...etc.

I can remember when e knock on America was that we weren't more like enlightened western Europe, retiring at 50 and sipping wine all day. Weird how the NYTimes view of what's good seems to change in a manner designed to avoid cognitive dissonance (between the belief that the Obama years/Progressive ascendancy were great and the material reality of our world), isn't it?

mockturtle said...

Thank you, Cookie! What a great reminiscence! Undercover Boss would probably have promoted you. :-)

Yes, work can be fun. I suppose 'fun' has to be defined to be properly attributed. To me, accomplishment is satisfying and...fun. Yesterday I replaced a faulty GFCI outlet in my new house. First time I had done it and I felt very satisfied with my accomplishment. More fun than, say, watching TV. Some people's hobbies are actually more 'work' than their jobs. My father was a workaholic but retired at 50 so he could play golf every day and sometimes played 36 holes. And he never used a power cart.

BDNYC said...

There's a lot of social programming out there and it doesn't take much to notice it. Why would such an article be written about women? I can't imagine what it must be like to be a woman and be bombarded with all the messages about happiness, fulfillment, having-it-all, etc. Many professional women I know care deeply not so much about their work but about what other people, generally other women, think of their accomplishments. Some of the happier ones quit the law firm, have babies and find something else to do with their time. And those are rh ones who only wasted five years or so of their lives on chasing some dream they never really had.

It's all very confusing and most of the stuff I see in the media about it makes my bullshit detector go off. Very few of the important choices you make in life will be easy and you will have regrets.

tim in vermont said...

ARM knows that the definition of feminism is whatever helps you score points in your current argument.

Michael K said...

If this were a core tenet of feminism you might have a point. But it isn't

I think you are wrong about that. I remember the beginning of this whole movement with "The Female Eunuch." and "Feminine Mystique."

I knew young women who left their husbands and went to law school or some other thing they thought was more fulfilling than marriage.

The birth control pill had a lot to do with it and may well have been the real spark that set off the explosion.

Women got the idea from lesbians like Catherine MacKinnon (A law professor who seems not to have retired) that heterosexual sex was rape,

Angel-Dyne said...

ARM:

If this were a core tenet of feminism you might have a point. But it isn't and you don't.

Theorists wanking about what is and is not a "core tenet of feminism" is irrelevant to any discussion about what effect feminism had and has on the lives of working class women.

Feminism simply means that women should be treated as equally as possible as men.

See above.

Boring, too.

What feminism is and is not is arguably the most pointless and boring discussion that it is possible to have in the entire universe.

tim in vermont said...

It's like the definition of misogyny, we will not tell you what it is, but we know it when we see it. It makes appearing to win arguments so much easier.

Angel-Dyne said...

Robert Cook @10:52 AM:

Hey, I had that job, too. Can't say I much liked it overall, but I did like the really busy times best, because one can make a game of working as fast and efficiently as possible. Same for other, later jobs I had in my youth that required more technical skill, but not enough to keep things interesting for very long.

AReasonableMan said...

This discussion on Quora generally agrees with my original statement.

tim in vermont said...

Maybe ARM can explain to us which purported feminists are real and how the whole fish/bicycle, all sex is rape stuff fits in.

It's only reasonable.

AReasonableMan said...

I have a daughter and I am now a feminist. Feminism to me means that she has all the opportunities that I had plus the advantage of a wonderful father.

tim in vermont said...

Like all lefties, he provides a link and disowns his statement. He could have cut and paste a short excerpt, but then he would be obligated to defend it when he would rather chuck insults.

tim in vermont said...

So now it's what it means to ARM. Whatever.

AReasonableMan said...

I am currently sitting in a math class for 5th graders. Feminism means that when all the boys are shouting out their incorrect answers the teacher (a Ukrainian woman) asks my daughter for the right answer.

tim in vermont said...

Means something different to everybody, it seems.

BJM said...

In a culture fixated on youth older women become invisible, and retirement can exacerbate the negative aspects of aging. Retaining a job that provides status is means for women to remain visible in our culture, if that is what one desires.

I find the cloak of old lady-hood to be a great tool. One can say the most outrageous things and be quite pushy when it serves. Or one can put on heels and a smokey eye and throw elbows with the best of the bitches. What's not to like?

tim in vermont said...

Yes, we all know that if it weren't for noisy boys, girls would have string theory sorted by now. It used to be that feminism meant that girls and boys could not have separate classes.

Fritz said...

"Find something you love doing so much that you would pay to do it. Then get so good at it people pay you to do it."

I heard this from Zig Ziglar quoting one of these guys that has a TV fishing show.


Yep. A close friend of mine is a fishing guide here on Chesapeake Bay. He fished 222 days for work last year, and when his boat was in the shop getting worked on, he was bumming rides from friends.

tim in vermont said...

Plus feminism means boys are stupid, I guess.

Michael K said...

I have a daughter and I am now a feminist. Feminism to me means that she has all the opportunities that I had plus the advantage of a wonderful father.

I have three daughters who are doing well. I paid for a bachelor's degree for each.

One is a lawyer.

One is a graduate but still finding herself.

The middle daughter is now interviewing with Apple for a position in their design team.

I worry more about my grandson.

tim in vermont said...

College seems to be 60/40 girls now, but still education oppresses girls.

SockPuppet#55 said...

I have several daughters and have always been a feminist. I've worked and I've been a stay at home parent. My daughters all grew up to be feminists, have married, have children, have careers and professions they practice when they see fit. I'd say the demonization of feminism is ridiculous.

The Cracker Emcee said...

" From what I hear, they don't listen to people with real medical experience when they try to improve medicine. Instead, they hire the MBA types with a Masters degree in Public Health and no medical experience. That is where you went wrong Michael. "

That's because the regulators and inspectors aren't doctors. They're 23 year old Poly Sci majors with hair dyed pink and a need to find something, anything, wrong, to justify their absurd existences. Their ignorance is truly shocking.

Saint Croix said...

Old lady lawyers having too much fun to retire? I wonder if this article is about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

After 8 years of desperately telling her to retire...

now retirement is not an option!

Saint Croix said...

I expect 4, maybe 8 years of liberal puff pieces about old people working hard and how beneficial it is

I hear that's the new NYT motto!

"All the news that's old people doing yoga and tai chi."

Yay old people! We love you! Eat right, stay healthy, never quit, never retire, work is awesome.

Saint Croix said...

Next the NYT will be sending out thugs to break the kneecaps of Ezekiel Emanuel "Shut up, Zeke, you idiot! There are more important issues right now than killing off old people. Ruth Bader is 83, fuckwit!"

A few smacks with the baseball bat and he will get his mind right. "I want to live! Please let me live!"

Saint Croix said...

Next up in the NYT: "The power of Green Tea. It works for Japan. Work until you keel over and die!"

Michael K said...

They're 23 year old Poly Sci majors with hair dyed pink and a need to find something, anything, wrong, to justify their absurd existences. Their ignorance is truly shocking.

We went through that stage in California when I was still in practice. Jerry Brown appointed political cronies to the Medical Board and renamed it "Board of Medical Quality Assurance. Everybody called it "Bumqua." They went after doctors for interesting reasons., I actually attended a trial of one. He was a south American doctor with a Spanish speaking practice in east LA. Bumqua sent a series of undercover operatives o see him and ask for narcotics or controlled drugs. There had been a burglary in his office and prescription pads were stolen, a very common crime. Forged prescriptions went used and the Bumqua geniuses convinced themselves the prescriptions were not forged and he was prescribing drugs.

The undercover types lied and simulated chronic pain, etc. Every doctors sees this from addicts.

He had refused to write some drugs requested and suggested harmless substitutes. They still charged him and put him on trial.

A professional witness testified that he had not done "good faith" exams before prescribing. It was ridiculous. The "witness' testified that a whole battery of tests had to be done before prescribing a sleeping pill. None of these involved narcotics.

I don't know if he was convicted. I couldn't stand it after the first day.

I'm sure his 90% welfare Spanish speaking practice appreciated the diligence of Bumqua in closing his office.

Saint Croix said...

Also, blueberries!

Saint Croix said...

Next up in the NYT: "!0 Reasons Why New Zealand Sucks And You Should Not Retire There."

Saint Croix said...

Next up in the NYT: Why You Should Delegate Your Legal Writing To Clerks From Tribe's Class

Saint Croix said...

Ruth Bader, she's our hero! And having so much fun!

Fun, Fun, Fun! Hard work is fun! Washington D.C. is fun! Donald Trump is fun! Aren't you enjoying this fight over Roe v. Wade? And the street protests? And the riots? It's fun! We're happy, we're healthy, we're the Notorious RBG! Stay perky, hot mama. Don't forget the sit-ups and the blueberries. Also, did we mention Green Tea? Boy that's a fun and healthy drink. I don't know about you, but I feel like drinking a gallon of Green Tea and writing a 60 page dissent. Or, you know, supervising the work of others. It's all fun, I know that! Fun and life-affirming and boy does retirement suck.

Next up in the NYT: Why Oliver Wendell Holmes Worked Until 90 and Why You Should Too

mockturtle said...

ARM boasts: I am currently sitting in a math class for 5th graders. Feminism means that when all the boys are shouting out their incorrect answers the teacher (a Ukrainian woman) asks my daughter for the right answer.

Couldn't be because her father is sitting in the class. Could it?

Henry said...

ARM boasts: I am currently sitting in a math class for 5th graders. Feminism means that when all the boys are shouting out their incorrect answers the teacher (a Ukrainian woman) asks my daughter for the right answer.

What answer did you shout out? ;)

BTW, is that Russian School of Math? Two of my kids took their tutoring sessions. I don't remember a lot of boy power in the classrooms.

AReasonableMan said...

Henry said...
BTW, is that Russian School of Math


Practically it is a Russian School of Math, in the sense that it is a math school run by Russians (and Ukrainians) but it is not called by that name. Not sure that would be good branding.

It is funny watching these classes as a man, with a daughter. I find myself becoming quite irritated with the boys and their constant interruptions, yet I am sure I was no different at that age.

tim in vermont said...

Not demonizing, just asking for a definition that holds up. Practicing one's profession when one sees fit sounds more like female privilege than equality.

So enlighten me.

Michael K said...

The lack of self awareness on the left is sometimes amazing.

One daughter who is a lefty was telling me about a terrible incident a Texas.

A school board had required teaching creation alongside, not instead of, evolution.

I asked her if she thought evolution was more important for fourth graders than learning to read and do math.

She thought for a moment and agreed reading and math were more important.

I have hope for her. She is the one Apple contacted to interview for the design team. They saw some of her art work.

She reads and speaks four languages. I don't worry about her.

Luke Lea said...

OTH, maybe she's writing up legal actions against people she hates?

Henry said...

@ARM -- Russian School of Mathematics is pretty big in the Boston area as a supplementary instruction resource. I think they started here, but they are nationwide now. Russians know their math. That's the branding. Of course a large percentage of their students are Chinese and Indian kids.

n.n said...

teaching creation alongside, not instead of, evolution

Instead of "teaching" evolution, they could educate students about the logical implications of chaos, and let people reach their own conclusions. Similarly, instead of "teaching" sexual education, they could educate students about human biology (alongside of principles of morality/temperance), and let people reconcile natural and moral imperatives.

rcocean said...

When I was growing up in the 70s there was a big push for mandatory retirement. It was felt that old people shouldn't "selfishly" hang on to top jobs they really didn't need and make way for younger people who DID need them. It was also felt that oldsters were out-of-touch and shouldn't be making decisions for young people.

Of course, now that the boomers are old, this has been flipped on its head. Now its just "Great" that 75 y/o lawyers and 85 y/o judges are hanging on to jobs just to have "fun".

I say bring back mandatory retirement. Old people get out of the way, let the young people rule.

rcocean said...

When I was growing up in the 70s there was a big push for mandatory retirement. It was felt that old people shouldn't "selfishly" hang on to top jobs they really didn't need and make way for younger people who DID need them. It was also felt that oldsters were out-of-touch and shouldn't be making decisions for young people.

Of course, now that the boomers are old, this has been flipped on its head. Now its just "Great" that 75 y/o lawyers and 85 y/o judges are hanging on to jobs just to have "fun".

I say bring back mandatory retirement. Old people get out of the way, let the young people rule.

rcocean said...

When I was growing up in the 70s there was a big push for mandatory retirement. It was felt that old people shouldn't "selfishly" hang on to top jobs they really didn't need and make way for younger people who DID need them. It was also felt that oldsters were out-of-touch and shouldn't be making decisions for young people.

Of course, now that the boomers are old, this has been flipped on its head. Now its just "Great" that 75 y/o lawyers and 85 y/o judges are hanging on to jobs just to have "fun".

I say bring back mandatory retirement. Old people get out of the way, let the young people rule.

Jupiter said...

AReasonableMan said...

"I have a daughter and I am now a feminist. Feminism to me means that she has all the opportunities that I had plus the advantage of a wonderful father."

Yes, that's pretty much what life is about. Opportunities and wonderful people.

SockPuppet#55 said...

"Not demonizing, just asking for a definition that holds up. Practicing one's profession when one sees fit sounds more like female privilege than equality."

If there were true "equality" as you put it, men would be able to physically bear the children, but since nature gave that responsibility to women, I won't be stingy and deny them a wee bit of "privilege" in exchange for their sacrifice of their body, health and time. Also nowadays men can choose to be the stay at home parent.

Jupiter said...

AReasonableMan said...

"Feminism simply means that women should be treated as equally as possible as men."

Why "as possible"? Are you suggesting that there are differences between men and women that make it impossible to treat them identically? Isn't that homophobia or something?

cubanbob said...

roesch/voltaire said...
Sometimes you have to take people at their word. Enjoy ,engaging might be a better words than fun for the many people I know who work in some capacity after 70-- I myself retired this last year at 74 because i didn't feel the passion for teaching I once did and miss the interaction with students. Paying close attention to what one does and doing it well and make any job rewarding, I believe."

Very well said. We all live in the moment viscerally. We know we are getting older but we seem to forget that 70 isn't 60 and 80 isn't 70 and that on average we have a life expectancy of mid eighties. Got to leave some time to enjoy other aspects of life while we have the energy to do so.

Robert Cook said...

"The lack of self awareness on the left is sometimes amazing.

"One daughter who is a lefty was telling me about a terrible incident a Texas.

"A school board had required teaching creation alongside, not instead of, evolution.

"I asked her if she thought evolution was more important for fourth graders than learning to read and do math.

"She thought for a moment and agreed reading and math were more important."


Well, it's also important to try to insure your children are not taught superstitious fables, as "science." (Not to mention, as creationism is a religious precept and not science, the school would be violating the Constitution by promoting a religion.)

If I were in that situation, with no alternatives, I would at least tell my child that "creationism" was what "some people believed as part of their religion," but that there was no physical evidence to support it, and therefore it was not science.

Michael K said...

"they could educate students about the logical implications of chaos,"

These are fourth grade kids. They can't do math but they know all about recycling.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

These are fourth grade kids. They can't do math

They don't need to perform the analysis to understand or at least appreciate the concepts. For example, they can learn about the separation of logical domains: science, philosophy, fantasy, and faith. They can learn why there is a scientific logical domain and how the de facto scientific method: observation, deduction, reproduction, reduces propensity to conflation and extrapolation. The analysis of chaotic systems may not be readily accessible, but we are well suited to consider conceptual knowledge, which serves as a foundation to integrated perception.

mockturtle said...

I volunteered at a walk-in clinic after retirement. It was fun. Always new, never boring.

harryo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Cracker Emcee said...


"If I were in that situation, with no alternatives, I would at least tell my child that "creationism" was what "some people believed as part of their religion," but that there was no physical evidence to support it, and therefore it was not science."

I suspect that at that level it's more science history than scientific method and inquiry. And, though it may make some folks uncomfortable, a desire to better understand the works of an Intelligent Designer is inextricably mixed with much of scientific inquiry through the centuries. Silly and dishonest to pretend otherwise.

AReasonableMan said...

Henry said...
Russian School of Mathematics is pretty big in the Boston area as a supplementary instruction resource.


Did not know this. Our school was started by Russians working at a local physics institute. They were dissatisfied by the math teaching in the public schools and created an alternate curriculum that I assume mimics what they were taught in the eastern bloc. It is neither tutoring nor a supplement but a complete alternate curriculum. They would probably see the schools math program as supplemental.

Mark said...

Every year I teach a certain short-term course. As part of it, one of my first questions, the answer to which is key to the rest of the course, is -- What is the meaning of life?

After they struggle for a moment or two pondering this question that has been asked for thousands of years, I tell them to imagine that they are on an airplane over the middle of the ocean and the pilot suddenly announces that they forgot to fuel up and they only have ten minutes before they crash into the ocean. OK, ten minutes to live -- push comes to shove, what do you do? Besides a quick prayer, what is the most important thing in your life right then, because there is no time for anything else?

Not one person has ever answered, "I would call my workplace. I would check my work e-mail. I would finish up that TPS report for my job."

Invariably, they all give the same answer. And in that answer, they realize the meaning of life.

Mark said...

And then there is this phenomenon which often plays out --

Suppose you could work any job you wanted for as long as you wanted -- have as much fun working as you ever dreamed of. Then you are told that after a certain amount of income, say $20,000 annually, equal to about ten hours per week, you would pay a 90 percent tax rate.

How many folks do you imagine are going to work more than 10 hours per week? How about an 80 percent income tax rate? 70? 60? What if the government only took half of what you earned, if the government only took half of your labors?

Still having fun after the hours per week?

Most people, after earning a certain amount that they can live on comfortably, will not work more, they will not produce more, if the fruit of sweat and labor is going to be stolen by the government. Their time becomes more valuable than the paycheck.

n.n said...

The only conflict between extra-universal creationism and evolutionary creationism is incompatible beliefs about origin (or source). If anything, the Judaeo-Christian philosophy is more strict about separation of logical domains, than its "secular" alternatives, and emphasizes that we exist in the scientific domain, which needs to be characterized and exploited to increase fitness (i.e. natural and moral). Also it benefits from specification of a moral philosophy with principles that may be internally, externally, and mutually consistent (e.g. not Pro-Choice). Another value of the former, is that in acknowledging the known, unknown, unknowable, and superior, there is cause to mitigate narcissistic progress (e.g. god-complex, chauvinism).

Earnest Prole said...

Upper-middle-class American women have the greatest power, wealth, and health of any women in human history, and yet they are congenitally unhappy -- one of the great mysteries of modern life.

robother said...

Work as fun is just the flip side of consumerism. In each case, the risky spiritually meaningful world human mind evolved from has been replaced with a flat materialistic horizon. Work for some is a time wasting distraction from the basic boredom of modernity that others find in shopping or gaming or travel.

Mark said...

Not that mysterious. Nature tends to win out in the end. That is, the truth of our essence as human persons. And where there is dissonance, where one thinks and lives contrary to her true ontological nature, when one is living a lie, she will usually be unhappy.

mockturtle said...

n.n. says: Another value of the former, is that in acknowledging the known, unknown, unknowable, and superior, there is cause to mitigate narcissistic progress (e.g. god-complex, chauvinism).

The 'man is the measure of all things' myth.

mockturtle said...

Earnest Prole asserts: and yet they are congenitally unhappy

Not all. Just those on the left.

tim in vermont said...

My problem with teaching creationism is that it is rife with logical fallacies. You are hurting the kids abilities at critical thinking. Same as when you teach them global warming is settled science.

n.n said...

tim in vermont:

Creationism, evolutionary or extra-universal origin?

What are the logical fallacies?

tim in vermont said...

Give me an argument for it and I will show you one.

tim in vermont said...

My personal belief is that God spoke once,at the Big Bang, and dropped the mic.

n.n said...

My personal belief is that God spoke once,at the Big Bang

While I prefer to limit my speculation to the scientific domain, I am open to tolerate both articles of faith. There is cause to be curious and wary of the belief systems of theists and atheists alike.

tim in vermont said...

Well that's true enough. I like to say I used to be a nihilist, but I don't even believe in that anymore.

Meade said...

You might like pantheism.

tim in vermont said...

Pantheism sounds like too much work.

vicari valdez said...

Quayle said...
Is it sexist to conclude that feminism primarily benefited upper-middle class and upper class women (and the sexual revolution likewise, which also greatly benefited men) - all to the intractable detriment of lower class and poor women on whom the burden primarily fell?

At least for me that conclusion was hard to escape as I became involved in the lives of women seeking and getting legal aid to (once again) get a divorce from a man who had already left them.

And add to that Grandmothers raising children of their drug addicted daughters - the drug addicted daughter often emotionally devastated by the by men who fathered one of her children then so easily left them both high and dry, for another women. Of course, the other woman was so willing to have him (there's sisterhood for you!) and the father faced no social cost at all for solely dealing in the sexual spot market.

For every female law partner in New York who loves her job, there are probably 50 women in Texas carrying such burdens. And the only sop the job-loving law partner throw to the 50 women is the right to get an abortion.

Dark-side enough? It is dark. And no one writing at the New York Times or New Yorker want to shine a light on it and truly talk about the root causes of such burdens (unless it can be glossed over and laid at the feet of Republicans.)

As Janice Joplin used to sing: freedom is just another word for someone else's burden.

2/12/17, 7:42 AM


i support the class warfare rhetoric of this post, fuck yeah.

tim in vermont said...

I take that back, Meade, Pantheism seems right. I was thinking polytheism.

I have quibbles, of course.

n.n said...

tim in vermont:

Based on your declaration of faith, religious/moral orientation expressed in your comments, and the acknowledgement of a chaotic system (i.e. characterized by evolutionary processes), I would guess that you are neither atheist nor agnostic, but a theist or some combination thereof.

That said, Genesis describes a scenario where an extra-universal entity, God, was the origin -- as opposed to spontaneous conception in the "secular" hypothesis -- of our system and its processes (e.g. physics, chemistry). Furthermore, it also specifies a fitness function including high-level religious/moral principles that establish a motive and serve as guides to reconcile diverse causal forces (e.g. human life).

mockturtle said...

Since no one knows how the universe and life on earth were formed and out of what, no one should be teaching it at all. There is plenty of science with supportive date to teach.

Robert Cook said...

"...though it may make some folks uncomfortable, a desire to better understand the works of an Intelligent Designer is inextricably mixed with much of scientific inquiry through the centuries."

Yes, and, theoretically, the Big Bang and all the cosmological processes that have followed, including the formation of the stars and planets and the evolutionary development of life (on at least this planet, but almost certainly countless more) was an Intelligent Designer's means of "baking the cake," as it were. However, as we can never apprehend or prove this, it falls outside the realm of science and should not be taught as such.

"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." (Wittgenstein)

n.n said...

mockturtle:

Origin is known to be unknown and unknowable. The rest of the exercise is practical and useful, if people would acknowledge the narrow limits of the scientific domain, and separate origin and what proceeded from it. The other source of conflict, other than political and faith, is assessing motives (e.g. fitness function, religious/moral principles).

AReasonableMan said...

mockturtle said...
Since no one knows how the universe and life on earth were formed and out of what, no one should be teaching it at all.


This is an overstatement. Some things are known some mysterious. But, it fails to get the main point of science. Science happens at the interface between the known and the unknown. Pushing out the boundaries of the known is the whole point. To ignore poorly understood areas of science would be to miss some of the most interesting questions.

mockturtle said...

Interesting questions, ARM, do not constitute science. They merely give it impetus.

tim in vermont said...

No, I just accept that religious faith often confers evolutionary fitness. Shakers notwithstanding.

I think that Jesus was a great philosopher who moved the human race forward.

My problem with Spinoza is that he asserts that dualism is incorrect. He's arguing semantics. He can't know. Even Spinoza can't prove a negative on that scale.

tim in vermont said...

"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." (Wittgenstein)"

If only.

AReasonableMan said...

mockturtle said...
Interesting questions, ARM, do not constitute science.


Formulating interesting questions is arguably the most important step. Anyone can repeat the old experiments and confirm the known. It is teasing out a pathway to new knowledge that separates the sheep from the goats in science.

Science is not about certainty it is about discovery.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"it falls outside the realm of science and should not be taught as such."

Is it being taught as such? I haven't seen that asserted anywhere. I think the "uncomfortable" automatically assume that any acknowledgement of God means the speaker is somehow rejecting all science. Which is absurd. Whether you're delving into the micro or the macro you inevitably reach a point beyond which scientific explanation fails. And you can move that point till the crack of doom and the infinite unknowable will still lay beyond it.


n.n said...

tim in vermont:

I won't belabor the point. It's enough to synthesize a character profile. The remainder is an intellectual curiosity.

n.n said...

Science is about characterizing the system and processes using observation, deduction, and reproduction (i.e. scientific method) with the implicit understanding that accuracy is inversely proportional to the product of time and space offsets from a frame of reference.

n.n said...

The Cracker Emcee:

The acknowledgement of God (e.g. source, motive) does not contradict the use of the scientific method to characterize (and exploit) the system and processes inside the scientific domain. In fact, some forms of theism (e.g. Jewish, Christian) explicitly advise a separation of logical domains. The source of conflict between belief systems (e.g. theist, "secular") can be traced to each group's beliefs about origin (e.g. extra-universal conception, spontaneous conception) and motives (e.g. fitness function, religious/moral principles, political).

Meade said...

"I take that back, Meade, Pantheism seems right. I was thinking polytheism."

Right. I was afraid you were thinking polyamory. Now that really would be too much work.

The Cracker Emcee said...

I love how far these comments have wandered from the original subject. I don't know if Althouse finds that frustrating but I think it's a testament to her commenters that they can range so well.

SockPuppet#55 said...

"Earnest Prole asserts: and yet they are congenitally unhappy."

"Not all. Just those on the left."

2/12/17, 3:07 PM

Nonsense.

mockturtle said...

ARM, scientific research investigates the unknown. I worked for ten years in the field of scientific research. What I was referring to is what is taught in schools. There is enough known about chemistry, physics and biology to teach in middle and high school without delving into the sketchy, at best, field of species origins and formation of the universe.

I believe Michael K. commented earlier that fourth graders don't know math but they do know about recycling. I'm sure they learn about depletion of the rain forests, too. They are being taught agendas rather than science.

Paddy O said...

"freedom is just another word for someone else's burden."

When I teach on the crucifixion, I note a distinction between pax romana and pax christi. In the Roman approach to peace, other people bore the burden for the peace experienced by some. To have the Roman peace continue, a lot of people on the margins had to suffer.

That is a peace that required crucifixion.

In the peace of Christ, Jesus bears the burden for the peace offered to all. His peace required the reception of crucifixion, which was a confrontation with the ruling powers who said this is how things have to be. This is a peace, a freedom, that is oriented by bearing the burdens of others, for others, so they too can be free.

Do we use our freedom to take from others or use our freedom to help others become free? To we bear the weight so others can find peace where peace hasn't been? Or do we make others bear the weight so that we can live lives cut off from the realities of this world?

Not all freedom requires burdens on others. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

It's a different way than what most assume.

mockturtle said...

If we are not free in Christ we are in bondage to Satan. There is no in-between.

AReasonableMan said...

mockturtle said...
If we are not free in Christ we are in bondage to Satan. There is no in-between.


Pretty sure this is not science.

Michael K said...

The analysis of chaotic systems may not be readily accessible, but we are well suited to consider conceptual knowledge, which serves as a foundation to integrated perception.

How many fourth graders do you talk to ?

mockturtle said...

Pretty sure this is not science.

You are right. It isn't.

Paddy O said...

"Pretty sure this is not science."

Yet.

Science can't say one way or another. If it's true, then it's also science, but we can't establish it yet based on current scientific abilities. But quantum mechanics was still true in the 1800s, just not understandable or discoverable let alone provable.

And sure there's in-between. It's all throughout the Bible. Orientation rather than picking sides. That's why the prophets often offered judgment on the people of God and why some folks get esteemed. Rahab, not a Israelite, confesses in word and action. The Ethiopian seeking wisdom in the Scripture, finding hope and clarification. Meanwhile, Ananias, a Christian, is killed for lying. If you don't have a doctrine of the Holy Spirit it becomes either-or, I guess.

By the by, I teach Creation theology and evolution in my classes. A right understanding of either doesn't negate the other. But both sides like to speak out of their area of concern, so run into trouble.

n.n said...

Michael K:

Doesn't conceptual knowledge precede analytical skill?

In my experience, this relationship reinforces learning.

n.n said...

wandered from the original subject

Evolution. Embrace the chaos. Live.

John said...

Jaydub,

I work with lean sometimes when a client wants me to. I generally don't promote myself in that area as there is too much competition. I have a niche within lean, specializing in reducing setup times. For example, someone mentioned changing presses from 2 to 4 color job. that might take 60 minutes. I can probably show them how to reduce it to 50 minutes or less. Doesn't sound like much, but every 10 minutes of daily downtime saved, for example in setup, means an extra week of production. That 10 minutes might be worth hundreds of thousands per year. (10min/day X 250 days/yr = 2500 minutes or a bit more than 41 hours.)

More info at www.changeover.com

Michael K mentioned that hospitals do not seem interested in improving their processes. I was once faculty advisor on a Master's Thesis to reduce turnover time in operating rooms. It seems that hospitals would rather build additional ORs than improve the usage of the ones they have.

I've talked with various hospital administrators and there is no interest. A friend of mine is on the board of a big hospital in NJ and in his non-hospital day job is very familiar and a fan of lean. He tried to get me into their hospital. I even offered to do it for free. No interest.

I think it has to do with the way hospitals are financed.

John Henry

urbane legend said...

tim in vermont said...
"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." (Wittgenstein)"


Good to see him observing his rule. We haven't heard much from ole Witt lately.

Unknown said...

Too many people confuse satisfaction and fun. It can be immensely satisfying to raise children, hilarious, joyous, and exhausting all at once. It isn't fun that often, fun as in riding horse is fun or going to a ball game is fun. If you expect your life to be fun all the time you will be grumpy and resentful if it isn't, and it won't be.

mockturtle said...

I don't know, Unknown...I've had LOT of fun with my kids both when they were young and when they were grown up. Not so much as teenagers.

Michael K said...

Blogger n.n said...
Michael K:

Doesn't conceptual knowledge precede analytical skill?

In my experience, this relationship reinforces learning.


Fourth graders are better off memorizing times tables, IMHO.

It's like New Math. They think they understand but can't make change at age 17.

n.n said...

Michael K:

We should do both. We do, in fact, do both. We develop our mechanical skills through repetition (e.g. reading, writing, counting) and expand our capacity through conceptual knowledge (e.g. morality, philosophy, abstractions, logical constructs). The latter is an exercise in characterizing our environment and ourselves. I will concede that the formula varies with context (e.g. individual, age, circumstance). We are, after all, optimizing learning systems with overlapping, even converging, and unique features.

Bay Area Guy said...

I enjoy raising my daughter. She's the youngest, a teenager. She got pissed at me this morning because I made a snide comment about women's college basketball. I told her there's no reason to have "separate but equal" college basketball teams - there should be one team that both sexes can try out for, best player of either sex gets a roster spot.

"That wouldn't be fair, Dad - no women would make the team!" she declaimed.

"That's my point, kiddo,"

She then threw a pillow at me, raised her fists into a boxing stance, and told me to, "Square up"

She's a great volleyball player, and I love playing on the street with her, practicing the bump, set, spike, but I get winded pretty easy these days. I used to throw the baseball and football a lot with her older brothers - I guess she watched and learned.

I don't want her to grow up to be some man-hating feminist Lesbian. I want her to become like her mother - a self-confident, beautiful, polite, hard-working young lady, who falls in love with a nice guy, with a good job, and raises some great kids.

Everything else is gravy.

tim in vermont said...

Funny how feminism says women deserve perks because childbirth, but men don't deserve any because it is their role to continually work to support their families. Because equality!

mockturtle said...

Doesn't conceptual knowledge precede analytical skill?

I think not. Do we not conceptualize as a result of our analysis?