Feb 13 2018


With Anna from Frozen, no fooling.

But first I want to… nah, that won’t work because you’ll think I am and the problem is that writing (at least in the context of a formal essay) is a one way method of communication (you can comment you know, if you’re having a problem you can email- no spamming, we block those).

I have a complication with my social intercourse (oh, get your minds out of the gutter) in that because I’ve been “The Expert- Listen To Him” for so long I tend to assume I’m the smartest person in the room.

It’s often true.

I’ve had a ton of formal leadership training by people whose names you’d recognize if you were part of that scene (I’m certified myself, just like I have a Water Safety and Lifesaving Instructor ticket) and one exercise we called “Labels”.

The idea was that you would strap on these head bands that identified your role in the group that you couldn’t see and everyone else could. Like “Leader” or “Clown”. They were assigned by the moderator in non random ways, either to reinforce or contradict the common perception. The other members of the group were supposed to react to you as dictated by your label, I ignored them because I think leadership games are stupid and manipulative.

Still it was instructive in retrospect to see how I could instantly validate even a “Clown’s” opinion and yet everyone would turn to the “Leader” for final disposition. Keep in mind I had no idea of my own label. People value conformity and obedience.

At the end the moderator explained the game and everyone had a good laugh. He insisted the assignments were by chance. My future boss, capo di tutti, took me aside and explained that wasn’t true at all. “I’m expecting great things from you.”

So, no pressure.

I have been so stupid so often that I am consumed with self doubt and it comes up in every session with my Therapist. The burden of expectation is deeply internalized and leads her to question why I choose to live in a system of self imposed deadlines I constantly fail to achieve.

Me too. Yet I can’t suppress my habit of donning the label which leads to awkward interactions when someone doesn’t accept it. I have many other faults and this is probably not my chief grief but what I want you to understand is that if I seem condescending and arrogant…

I am.

Anyway, in conjunction with Ellen DeGeneres, Kristen Bell has started a series of YouTube videos titled Momsplaining that I find both horrifying and amusing.




Weren’t expecting that, were you?



American Fertility Is Falling Short of What Women Want
By Lyman Stone, The New York Times
Feb. 13, 2018

Sometimes, it’s the little things that drive these trends. For example, Americans across many ages and marital statuses are having less sex than they used to.

Data from the General Social Survey shows that the share of people 18 to 30 who have not had sex in the past year has risen to nearly 20 percent today, from about 10 percent between 1990 and 2010, while the share having sex at least two times a month has fallen to about 65 percent, from about 75 percent from 1990 to 2010.

Diminished face-to-face interaction, and possibly increased use of pornography, may explain the fall in sex, and both of those trends may be explained by the rise in cellphone usage and other screen time.

Smartphone ownership rates have more than doubled for every age group in America since 2010, meaning that almost all of us now carry a get-out-of-human-interaction-free card in our pockets 24/7.

But these are all long-term trends. What’s driving the decline right now?

Answering that question may be more about where than what. Using census population estimates by sex and age for states and making some simple extrapolations to monthly data, we can make a reasonable guess of where birthrates per-childbearing-age-woman are falling or rising most.

(T)he steepest declines have been in Western states, especially previously high fertility states like Utah. Only Alabama and Connecticut have posted any likely increase in their general fertility rate over the last three years. Connecticut’s fertility rate has been roughly tied for lowest in the nation for several years, however, so a small gain isn’t saying much. Alabama’s increase is more interesting, but peaked in late 2015 and has been declining since.

Blah, blah, blah, Social Security. Remove the damn cap on taxation. That will fund it for a thousand years. You thought this had no political purpose. All fun up front, all business in the back.