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  • Dating While Being a Trump Supporter, in Manhattan

    Posted by David Foster on December 20th, 2018 (All posts by )

    Pamela Garber write about her experiences.

    What motivates the people who are expressing such rage about the President and his supporters?  While surely some of them have thought through the issues and come to their opinions through their own reasoning processes, I think that for many of them, the explanation can be found in a comment at this post, which is about the “progressive” anger at Israel:

    Leftist political dynamics are, in my opinion, as clear an example of emergence (i.e, an apparently complex property of a collective possessed by none of the individuals, but caused by simple interactions between the parts) as exists. Like the schooling of fish, or the beautiful murmurations of starlings, Progressives can intellectually turn on a dime in the most amazing and – if you’re viewing from a distance – beautiful ways. While scuba diving, I loved poking my finger in a school of brilliantly colored reef fishes and watching the entire school turn in perfect simultaneity like the members of a North Korean dance troupe or dancers in a Busby Berkeley film. To achieve this level of perfection, each individual in the collective needs to know nothing about about the larger picture, only what the immediate neighbors are doing. From a distance, Democratic “talking points of the day” murmurations require no intellect, no opinions to “re-examine”, but are more akin to crystal formation on a window in wintertime.

    Garber, who is a therapist, offers her own thoughts about the psychological dynamics at work in the anger.

     

    36 Responses to “Dating While Being a Trump Supporter, in Manhattan”

    1. Vincent Says:

      I like your comment more than Pamela Garber’s post. Yours has wide application to help me understand the herd behaviour I see online, and which once probably ruled in close-knit villages.

      Hers is imbued with the predicament of a particular school of fish: the Manhattan-dwelling single woman or single man.

      Sometimes the city feels like a friend. Between the East River and the Hudson are various neighborhoods full of life, expressive personalities, and warm small talk. New Yorkers bask in a mode of shared circumstances that evoke an awareness that life is in the present moment.

      Implication: every day is good weather for mate-fishing?

    2. Helian Says:

      “What motivates the people who are expressing such rage about the President and his supporters?”

      Human nature – the ubiquitous ingroup/outgroup trait found in virtually all members of our species. Just look for it. It’s always there. The outgroup have ye always with you.

    3. David Foster Says:

      Vincent…to clarify, the school-of-fish comment wasn’t mine, it was from the commenter Dr. Irredeemable Dreg.

    4. Mike K Says:

      Many years ago, I read and subscribed to The New York Review of Books. I was amused one time to see an ad in the “Personals” section, “Women looking for Men” describing herself as 50 and attractive, then adding “No Republicans.”

      I think that pretty well described the readers at the time. I let my subscription lapse soon after.

      I have a daughter who is very bright, has graduate degrees and is a leftist. Many years ago, we were on a trip together when I finished reading Stephen Pinker’s “The Blank Slate,” which makes arguments against the Blank Slate theory of Stephen Jay Gould and other behaviorists. They believe that humans are born with “a blank slate” and all behavior is based on experience or child rearing. Pinker, based on twin studies, believed that behavior was mostly genetic.

      She had a BS (Honors) in Anthropology and was (is?) a firm believer in Gould’s theory. I suggested she read Pinker’s book when I finished it. She told me she would only read it if I read Gould’s book. I replied I had read it and it was in my library. She then said she would not read Pinker’s book anyway.

      Pinker’s premise is now supported by others, including Plomin’s “Blueprint,” which uses DNA technology, new since Pinker’s book was published 20 years ago, to confirm the same relationship between genetics and behavior. Plomin attributes about 50% of behavior to genetics.

      I haven’t talked to her about it as we avoid politics but she did take a trip to Cuba not long after the exchange about behavior. I over heard her talking to a friend about the trip. She said she had wanted to see if “Socialism works.” Sadly, her fluent Spanish resulted in her rapid recognition that Cuba was a prison.

      By now, she may be too sophisticated in real life to believe what she did when she was 20. But we don’t discuss it.

    5. Bill Brandt Says:

      That woman in the ad – when I read that I imagined how much fun she must be, and understood why she was single. It seems to me that people of the hard left – as opposed to liberals – have a dourness about them.

      On the old genetics vs environment debate, I think there is room for both, although heavily weighted in genetics. But there have been people who have changed – some radically. Michael Medved – I am trying to think of the other man in media who went from very left to conservative. There have been some – but not many.

      Then there is Winston Churchill’s adage about movinkg conservative as one ages:

      “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

    6. Mike K Says:

      I am trying to think of the other man in media who went from very left to conservative. There have been some – but not many.

      There are actually quite a few. David Horowitz is a good example. He was a “Red Diaper Baby” just like several of the prominent leftist radicals today.

      Krauthammer was another although I think his change was mostly in foreign policy.

      There are a number of others that I can’t recall just now but there are more than a few.

    7. Grurray Says:

      I just heard someone (twentysomething) say the other day that they couldn’t date a conservative woman because it would be too much like dating a man. I told them that’s not it at all. It’s more like dating an adult, as opposed to their usual prospects. That’s the biggest divide. Leftism is a state of perpetual childhood.

    8. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      I don’t like guessing at individual motives, but there are trends, and comments like the ones reported automatically suggest that people are responding emotionally rather than intellectually. Perhaps “socially” would be even closer, as Helian notes. Hitler? Destroying the world? Must by definition be lacking in empathy? Be serious, folks.

      My take is that leftists perceive with some correctness the threat to their world, to their cultural power, and expand that – in a very primitive manner – to the conclusion that everyone else’s world is in danger. It’s why they are often forgiving of dead conservatives – they are no longer a threat. It is related to the comments by politicians that “this is the most important election of our lifetimes.” Well, it’s the most important election of their lifetime, maybe. Mine, not so much. In New York and DC, events that take place in other places are mostly just counters on the board game of political and cultural power. It also explains why the anger is so much greater in those places. Those who do not conform are perceived as invaders or traitors; and we know what tribes do to such folk in wartime, if they can only get their hands on them.

    9. Tatyana Says:

      AVI – what will you say of this anger? It sounds not less ugly to me than indoctrinated party-speak by the other side.

      I’ve read men’s comments yesterday on another Right-Conservative blog, in discussion of a news item of two young Scandinavian women who had their throats slit while biking in Morocco. Some said: the these -obviously leftist – women forgot their duty to society (which, being of fertile age and attractive looks, was to make many similar babies, to support their grandparents in the old age). Some – that instead of marry young, they were obviously lesbians (since traveling together), and “thoughtlessly enjoyed life”. One said, I quote: “I’ll never get over how retarded white women are.”
      And there was one that took the prize. This guy said: these two got their just deserts for being childless; that Nature have a purpose for women (all women, you’ll note): to deliver 10-15 children; every time they have one healthy egg ready they should be impregnated, and in between-time their natural place is at the washing machine (I guess, he is a kind master…a sterner one would’ve prescribed cold river-washing, with ashes instead of Tide). Those women who consider this natural way demeaning and outmoded, are punished by Nature with ovarian and breast cancer.

      How many women, do you think, will be attracted by this kind of attitude for their potential partner? Be they on the Left or the Right, politically.

    10. Mike K Says:

      it would be too much like dating a man. I told them that’s not it at all. It’s more like dating an adult, as opposed to their usual prospects.

      I think the rebellion against men is really a rebellion against adults and adulthood. It’s too bad because at one time adults were often women who had to think of home and children.

      My grandchildren are all the children of my sons.

    11. Bill Brandt Says:

      I’ve read men’s comments yesterday on another Right-Conservative blog, in discussion of a news item of two young Scandinavian women who had their throats slit while biking in Morocco. Some said: the these -obviously leftist – women forgot their duty to society (which, being of fertile age and attractive looks, was to make many similar babies, to support their grandparents in the old age). Some – that instead of marry young, they were obviously lesbians (since traveling together), and “thoughtlessly enjoyed life”. One said, I quote: “I’ll never get over how retarded white women are.”
      And there was one that took the prize. This guy said: these two got their just deserts for being childless; that Nature have a purpose for women (all women, you’ll note): to deliver 10-15 children; every time they have one healthy egg ready they should be impregnated, and in between-time their natural place is at the washing machine (I guess, he is a kind master…a sterner one would’ve prescribed cold river-washing, with ashes instead of Tide). Those women who consider this natural way demeaning and outmoded, are punished by Nature with ovarian and breast cancer.

      Tatyana – that certainly isn’t typical right conservative talk. At least not in my world. It is a shame that we aren’t listening to each other more (or more accurately at all) these days. Both sides have become rigid and inflexible. It is funny to learn of each side’s stereotypes of the other. I get the feeling that people like that woman think of Trump supporters as Troglodytes.

      I’ll bet if that Manhattan single 50 year old woman would actually listen, she’d discover that she and the Trump supporter would have beliefs in common.

      Back in the 80s, I was working in a job that involved a carpool. One of the members was a woman from Belgium. Her politics were “typical Green” politics of the younger generation of so many in northern Europe.

      She would start out with a premise (e.g. “NATO is bad for Europe”, and then we’d discuss it. She conceded some of my points and I conceded some of hers.

      It was a delightful way to commute.

      I wrote awhile back on the subject of a Jeffersonian Dinner. Thomas Jefferson used to have these wonderful dinners that included people of various beliefs, and they would talk to each other.

    12. Tatyana Says:

      Bill, wonderful sentiment, I’m sure, but your premise is incorrect. You assume I am “from the other side”and the thread I quoted does not exist, it’s my biased fantasies.
      I am a Right libertarian, my reading circle does not include lefties.

      Here’s the link to the thread I quoted (you must be able to read in Russian, though) – and assure you: they ARE conservatives. Well. I did provide a link to another similar conversation, in perfectly native American English – have you noticed? Will you tell me Cold Fury guys are not conservatives?
      Besides, didn’t Mike K in the comment below mine just expressed similar thought, noting absence of grandchildren via his daughter, who happens to be leftist?

    13. Tatyana Says:

      Ugh, apologies, haven’t linked the thread.
      Here it is.

    14. Mike K Says:

      didn’t Mike K in the comment below mine just expressed similar thought

      I have three daughters. I don’t consider them “unless:” because they don’t have children, but I do consider it interesting that none do.

      One daughter is conservative/libertarian and the youngest but still 28. She is very pretty but no marriage prospects that I know of.

      The oldest will be 52 in May. The one I referred to was married for a few years to a guy (nice guy) who only wanted to play video games. He had a good job but zero social life. She is dating again. She has announced in the past that she does not want children although she wavered when seeing how good a mother her sister in law is. My oldest son is a leftist trial lawyer with two daughters.

      If I thought you were really comparing me to that “Cold Fury” type, I would be insulted and would have some thoughts about you typing strangers by their political sentiments.

    15. Mike K Says:

      Autocorrect ias getting worse and worse. “Useless” not “Unless.”

    16. Tatyana Says:

      Mike, don’t get offended – that’s why I carefully phrased my impression of your comment as “similar” thought. I don’t personally know you or your daughter(s), my conclusions based exclusively on what you say yourself.
      I noted similarity of it to this part (and note that I was paraphrasing a longish thread into one sentence): “women forgot their duty to society (which, being of fertile age and attractive looks, was to make many similar babies, to support their grandparents in the old age”. The word “useless” was not present.
      I know, you don’t need your grandchildren to support you, and – my guess – your concern of your daughters’ childlessness has more to do with sense of fulfillment of their lives. Still, isn’t underneath it lies a sort of regret that they did not performed their duty of “home and children”? If not – I apologize for my mistake.

    17. ColoComment Says:

      David Mamet is one of those who changed his political outlook. His piece from 2008, explaining why:
      https://www.villagevoice.com/2008/03/11/david-mamet-why-i-am-no-longer-a-brain-dead-liberal/

    18. Mike K Says:

      Still, isn’t underneath it lies a sort of regret that they did not performed their duty of “home and children”? If not – I apologize for my mistake.

      It is an interesting error to assume I meant a “duty.” I think there is nothing more sad than an old person who has no children or grandchildren.

      I have elected to live in Arizona while four of my five children live in California but we drive back every two months or so and have them to Arizona several times a year. I once, rather innocently, angered a gay doctor I knew but did not know his sexual orientation. I said something about childlessness and he erupted at me. Since then many gays have decided I was correct and have had children with various deviations from the usual biology.

      I have reservations about children raised in those homes but research is unobtainable.

      My concern about my daughters is that they will miss the pleasure of having your own children around when you are old.

      My mother was 40 the year I was born but that was The Depression. My sister was 36 when her first was born. She now has five grandchildren, as I do.

      I feel sorry for those who have no children and a ,.little less sorry for those with no grandchildren.

      Nothing about “duty” although I wanted six children to grow taxpayers. I only got five.

    19. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      @ Tatyana – my response is that one can find such things on the conservative fringes. I never see such things unless I go to unusual right-wing sites. I say “unusual” in the sense that they have some overlap with conservative ideas, but do not hold consistently to any of the major strains of the right – not social conservatives, not religious conservatives, not economic conservatives, not nationalists, not libertarians. They share some elements, that is all. I do acknowledge that they exist – you can find even more of the at Unz Review, which publishes many dissident voices, if you like.

      I hear such things as this women reports from the left from the mainstream left – from people who I work with at a hospital, or from writers who get published in supposedly respectable sources, from people who get elected to political office. The two groups are not on all fours. Both exist, but one is fringe and the other dominates one of the two major parties in the country.

    20. Phil Ossiferz Stone Says:

      Mike — this just in: half the child molestations in the country are committed by the 3.6% of the population that gets off on pain and enemas and human crap. This just in: They like to bang twinks. This just in: an 11-year old boy in drag just danced for a bunch of queers in Brooklyn while they showered him with dollar bills. The health data is there and available for kids raised by queers; I can’t post screencaps or I’d show you. At any event it would do no good. You don’t want to look at it.

      Tatyana — you link to a Russian-language blog and then try to tar and feather American conservatives for the crash-bang material in the comments section? That is malicious and disgusting and dishonest as hell and I am calling you on it.

    21. Mike K Says:

      At any event it would do no good. You don’t want to look at it.

      What is that about ? Anti-Christmas spirit ? I’m about to leave and spend the holiday with my kids and grand kids.

      I have probably sewn up more assholes turn apart by fist f**king than you can imagine. I spent 25 years practicing surgery about 10 miles from Laguna Beach. I’ve had to tell guys who you would not guess were gay that they had AIDS and that was when it was 100% fatal.

      I think I’ve seen more trouble than you have.

      Merry Christmas.

    22. Bill Brandt Says:

      Tatyana – those people that you linked I would call neo-Nazis or skinheads – certainly not “conservatives” – never assumed you were from “the other side” –

    23. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      @ Mike K – a reasonable answer. I see deaf ears in your future.

    24. OBloodyHell Says:

      She then said she would not read Pinker’s book anyway.

      Typical liberal. Probably never would have read it even if you’d newly read Gould.

      Not, in my experience, a very principled bunch, PostModern Liberals.

    25. OBloodyHell Says:

      I told them that’s not it at all. It’s more like dating an adult, as opposed to their usual prospects. That’s the biggest divide. Leftism is a state of perpetual childhood.

      Indeed. I have made the observation many times before, the thing most lacking in PostModern Liberalism is a near-absolute lack of anything resembling wisdom, aka, “The capacity to learn from experience” (as opposed to intellectualism, which is “the capacity to learn from books”)

      So, they inevitably seem children, because of their positions always coming from an abject “lack of experience”, e.g., the failure to properly absorb what experience they have had.

      Add to this the “Zero self-responsibility” aspect of their behaviors, and, yes, again, they seem like children.

      I suspect we are rapidly approaching Tiger Time — when the tigers get loose and they will be forced to either wake up or die. They’ve been held at bay for far too long.

    26. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} How many women, do you think, will be attracted by this kind of attitude for their potential partner? Be they on the Left or the Right, politically.

      No one ever implied that there were not morons on the Right… ;-)

      }}} Tatyana – that certainly isn’t typical right conservative talk. At least not in my world.

      Indeed. I know of few people like this, and some of them are just trolling.

      }}} Both sides have become rigid and inflexible. It is funny to learn of each side’s stereotypes of the other. I get the feeling that people like that woman think of Trump supporters as Troglodytes.

      I do not believe the Right is “rigid and inflexible”. They’re just sick and tired of being taken advantage of when they are. The left pushes, the right gives in in a spirit of compromise — and gets zero back in return.

      When that happens over and over, the proper and intelligent reflex is “an eye for an eye, with forgiveness”, as the Iterated prisoner’s dilemma goes. “You give, I give. Otherwise, fuck off”.

      As to stereotypes. I’d be amused at your source of stereotypes being any better than Tatyana’s source of attitudes towards a horrific event.

      I think they girls did bring it upon themselves, but deserve it? No. What they did is akin to crossing a street without looking, not punching someone and not expecting to be struck back. It was stupid to the point of insanity, but hardly deserving of their experience.

      }}} I wrote awhile back on the subject of a Jeffersonian Dinner. Thomas Jefferson used to have these wonderful dinners that included people of various beliefs, and they would talk to each other.

      LOL, there’s a meme floating around… A picture of a bunch of different people of varying looks and ethnicities.

      “A Hispanic, a Jew, a Muslim, a New Englander, a Southerner and a Hippie walk into a bar.”
      “A polite discussion ensues… because none of them are assholes.”

      ;-)

    27. OBloodyHell Says:

      Tayana:

      “Кандидаты на премию Дарвина”?

      This is clearly not an American conservative site. I can’t nor would I want to comment about the social attitudes of the conservatives of other nations. I gather men outside the USA tend to be a lot more “paleolithic”, esp. outside of Europe. That some post in English hardly means they are even Western European, much less American.

      }}} David Mamet is one of those who changed his political outlook. His piece from 2008, explaining why:
      https://www.villagevoice.com/2008/03/11/david-mamet-why-i-am-no-longer-a-brain-dead-liberal/

      Thanks, I have the link to that but had forgotten all about it.

      Neo-neocon
      She’s not a celebrity, but she’s been blogging for over 15 years, now.
      https://www.thenewneo.com/
      Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: conservative. My friends and family didn’t want to hear about my inexplicable conversion, so I started this blog to tell the tale of my political change and provide a forum for others. I have a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (not practicing), but my politics make me a pariah there, too. Little did I know that I moved in such politically homogeneous circles.

      With her degree in psychology, she wrote quite a bit on the events/experiences leading to her conversion here:
      A mind is a difficult thing to change, part one – Intro:
      https://www.thenewneo.com/2005/02/21/mind-is-difficult-thing-to-change-part-2/
      It’s a long multipart story, but excellent.

      She also writes about the leftist condescension as she left the fold…
      http://www.thenewneo.com/2005/03/28/condescension-and-leaving-political/

    28. MIke K Says:

      My middle daughter still, I think, is a leftist but she is surrounded by them in Santa Monica and working in the art world.

      We will have lunch today but not discuss politics. She has purchased property in northern Idaho, near Sandpoint, a pretty conservative place.

      She wants to build a cabin and we visited last summer. It will be interesting to see how well she copes with that sort of challenge.

      Her close friends, a couple she has known since high school, have built a cabin next to her property. They live there year around and work locally.

      The friends are pretty adventurous too. The woman spent years teaching in Thailand and is now an occupational therapist.

      My daughter lived a year in Spain and speaks four languages. She is not a snowflake.

      I watch the evolution quietly. Her oldest brother is a leftist trial lawyer, but that goes with the territory. I have a story in my “War Stories” book about another trial lawyer who told me he was “A bleeding heart liberal” but continued a case in which he was defense attorney until he got an affirmative action prosecutor. He said “This is business.”

    29. Tatyana Says:

      Haven’t checked here for for a few days, and so delayed responding.

      Mike K: it is not an error; it is how your comment reads – without knowing the background. Thanks for expanding on it a bit. Have a great get-together with your family and Merry Christmas.

      AVI: I wish you were right. Guess it’s a sort of selection bias – they are not in your reading circle, so you think they are very few & far. By the same token, it could be my selection bias, too – that I see them everywhere. Got a modest but interesting collection, over the years: https://creakypavillion.wordpress.com/?s=conservative
      But I have a more personal reason to be aware of them, being a woman.
      You’re right in assessing Left’s attitude as dominating the party; but I wanted to point out that caricature of the Right that the Left draws has basis in reality, however small a percentage of instances. So it’d be a mistake portraying “our side – angels” and “theirs are all devils”.

      Phil Ossiferz Stone: I did no such thing. Read my comments and click on links again, then apologize to me.

      Bill Brandt: ah, if only. They are conservatives on all other issues (browse Cold Fury blog; I am surprised you’re not familiar with it) – and there is a huge overlap btwn Mike’s and my opinions on economics, Republicans in Congress, the Left, the military, immigration, &&&.

      BloodyHell: again, you, like Phil O.S. above, erect a strawman and proceed rigorously demolishing it. Ouch! You unmasked me: they write in Russian!!! Except it was I who said it first. The thread at Gb0 – whom I called “right conservatives”, not Americans – I translated and summarized. Thread at Cold Fury (whom I linked) – I brought as example of American-born commenters @ the Right blog – and quoted.
      Besides, why do you think people speaking Russian can not be Americans? Let me disabuse you: about 90% of participants in the thread at Gb0’s LJ are American citizens and are physically in US, mostly in Silicone Valley (majority are high-level computer scientists and programmers). Also, they are definitely on the Right; since you’re such an expert reader in Russian, you can evaluate their views on all other usual right-wing subjects. (Tip: indistinguishable from what I read on this blog, f.i. I share most of them).
      On the subject of those two women killed in Morocco: I agree with you. They were fools for not accessing degree of real danger and probably for naively taking at face value the nonsense spread by MSM.

    30. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      @ Grurray – I would say that they are adolescents, rather than children. Precision, precision. Bright highschoolers, or even collegians.

      @ Mike K – you are right to note the context that your children’s politics occurs in. A few writers at Volokh Conspiracy have written at length that our individual votes, and our individual influence is usually slight, and we all tend to adopt the politics thaqt produces the most group comity.

      Then there are those like me who lean in the opposite direction to wherever we feel the runaway train is going. A (liberal) friend used to speak of “balancing the room.” there is something to that. I started as a liberal, fairly socialist, because I thought the Right was a runaway train when I was a cool adolescent. Working among liberals, I decided that it was the left that was the runaway train that needed intervention. Because what I fear most are runaway trains, I tend to be contrarian.

    31. Anonymous Says:

      Quoted by Tatyana: “… that Nature have a purpose for women (all women, you’ll note): to deliver 10-15 children”

      Let me first admit to a bias — I have been fortunate to make a few trips to different parts of Russia and the former Soviet Union in recent years, and have been impressed by what I saw and the people I met. On the other hand, I have not met a Russian man who has made the kind of assertion (whether joking or not) to which Tatyana alludes. However, let’s step back and consider some historical context.

      The Great Courses series of historical lectures by Professor Harl of Tulane University are well worth a listen. In one of his lectures about the Roman Republic, Prof Harl mentioned that the average woman in those days had to have 10 or more children just to keep the population stable, given the very high death rate. If that seems a little incredible, it is worth considering one of the many nice places to spend an evening in the glittering cosmopolitan city of Abu Dhabi — the Kennedy Restaurant. It is named in honor of the doctor and his wife who were invited by the Sheik in the 1960s to set up a hospital in Al Ain. At the time, infant mortality in the area was about 1 in 3 — and maternal death rate was not a whole lot better.

      We are all the descendants of uncounted generations of human beings who had to take seriously the admonition to ‘Go forth and multiply’; those who dissented from that behavior have mostly disappeared from the gene pool. Cultural practices grew up to enhance the likelihood of successful continuation of the species, for in Mark Steyn’s famous dictum: “The future belongs to those who show up”. Thankfully, due to (in historical terms) very recent medical progress, getting pregnant is no longer Russian Roulette for the woman, and a baby is almost certain to survive to puberty. Throw in improved contraception and generous taxpayer support for single mothers, and we are in a whole new world. Whether it is a Brave New World remains to be seen.

      All I am trying to suggest is that human brains have not evolved beyond the millenia in which it was necessary for most women to spend most of their short lives producing large numbers of mostly doomed children. And it is not at all clear that our social evolution has found a sustainable way of adjusting to current medical realities. The comments of certain Russian men and the challenges of dating in Manhattan are reflections of those unresolved tensions.

    32. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      My apologies — that Anonymous was incompetent me.

    33. David Foster Says:

      AVI….”Then there are those like me who lean in the opposite direction to wherever we feel the runaway train is going. A (liberal) friend used to speak of “balancing the room.” there is something to that. I started as a liberal, fairly socialist, because I thought the Right was a runaway train when I was a cool adolescent. Working among liberals, I decided that it was the left that was the runaway train that needed intervention. Because what I fear most are runaway trains, I tend to be contrarian.”

      Very rational.

      If you are trying to get a train to stop at a station platform, you need to be aware of *both* the train’s position and its direction of movement. If you are half a mile from the platform and going 30mph, then it would not work very well to use as your decision algorithm: ‘Well, I’m still not where I want to be, so I’d better advance the throttle.” That would lead to you badly overshooting, and then duplicating the same errors in reverse.

      Similar with political policy.

    34. Mike K Says:

      Mike K: it is not an error; it is how your comment reads – without knowing the background.

      OK. You might be interested that she announced yesterday that she is 9 weeks pregnant ands has a clip of the ultrasound on her iPhone.

      Prof Harl mentioned that the average woman in those days had to have 10 or more children just to keep the population stable, given the very high death rate.

      Cities were population sinks until the last 100 years. My great grandparents, on my father’s side, had 12 children, 9 sons, and all grew to adulthood. They lived on farms. My grandparents had 10 children, also growing up on farms and, again, all grew to old age. My father died at 66 of emphysema, a plague of the 1930s and 40s. He was the youngest to die.

      My mother’s grandparents also had a large family in Canada and, again, they lived on farms. All lived into adulthood.

      It is probable that Russian peasants lived in less healthy circumstances than Illinois farms. My great grandfather, whose name I bear, died in 1905 of gastric cancer after surgery by two surgeons who came from Chicago to the town where he lived. He was 76.

    35. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Your family seems to have been blessed with strong genes, Mike.

      For the other end of the spectrum, consider the well known case of Queen Anne of the none-too-United Kingdom, who almost reached the age of 50, 1665 – 1714. Per Encyclopedia Britannica: “Although Anne was pregnant 18 times between 1683 and 1700, only five children were born alive, and, of these, only one, a son, survived infancy.”.

      As Queen, it seems reasonable to assume she got the best medical attention available in the late 1600s — over a millennium after the Roman Republic. 18 pregnancies in 17 years sounds pretty much like a full-time job! And yet she still failed to produce any heirs, since her one son who survived infancy died in 1700.

    36. Mike K Says:

      the well known case of Queen Anne of the none-too-United Kingdom, who almost reached the age of 50,

      She was an unfortunate example. She was ill most of her life and obese so her pregnancies were probably part of her health problem.

      Her sister Mary also had no surviving children so, on her death the crown went to the Hanovers.

      The Hanovers continued to produce heirs and so continue to rule.

      Certainly, farm families were large because of the need for labor. My grandparents, in addition to ten children, always had several hired girls and hired men. They can be found in the census records.

      My Irish immigrant ancestors came to upstate New York about 1820. My mother’s ancestors arrived about the same time in Canada, right across the St Lawrence River from the Kennedys. Some of her cousins are still there and I visited some of them about 20 years ago. My great grandfather’s siblings all moved to Illinois about 1850, probably following the canals and better transportation.

      My mother’s maternal grandparents had seven children, all of whom lived to old age. That family followed the Canadian Railway to the west and ended in western Ontario, where some still reside.

      Her father’s family goes back to Rhode Island in the 1600s. Lots of siblings, most of whom lived long lives. Yes. Good stock.

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