Want to save the planet? How about starting by saving the birds. Here’s a Pareto graph that gives a strong hint of where to start:
That’s right, get the cat population under control. Eradicate feral cat colonies, and euthanize cat collections (oh, and institutionalize obsessive cat ladies). The whole country needs to grow up and get that “cute little kitty” lie out of their heads, and replace it with something more realistic, like “bird murderer.”
What a wonderful time it is for the scammer, the conniver, and the cheat: the underage drinkers who flash fake I.D.s, the able-bodied adults who drive cars with handicapped license plates, the parents who use a phony address so that their child can attend a more desirable public school, the customers with eleven items who stand in the express lane. The latest group to bend the law is pet owners.
Take a look around. See the St. Bernard slobbering over the shallots at Whole Foods? Isn’t that a Rottweiler sitting third row, mezzanine, at Carnegie Hall? As you will have observed, an increasing number of your neighbors have been keeping company with their pets in human-only establishments, cohabiting with them in animal-unfriendly apartment buildings and dormitories, and taking them (free!) onto airplanes—simply by claiming that the creatures are their licensed companion animals and are necessary to their mental well-being.
What about the mental well-being of everyone else? One person’s emotional support can be another person’s emotional trauma.
Later in the article, one Special Snowflake asks
Are you going to ruin it for all of us?” one of my dog-fancying friends asked, when I told her that I was writing this article.
My workplace has a new President; based on his periodic pronouncements I’ve started calling him President Diversity. Notre Dame’s Professor Patrick Deneen calls this The Ignoble Lie:
Meritocratic ideology disguises the ruling class’s own role in perpetuating inequality from itself, and even fosters a broader social ecology in which those who are not among the ruling class suffer an array of social and economic pathologies that are increasingly the defining feature of America’s underclass. Facing up to reality would require hard questions about the agenda underlying commitments to “diversity and inclusion.” Our stated commitment to “critical thinking” demands no less, but such questions are likely to be put down—at times violently—on contemporary campuses.
It’s not uncommon here to see chickens roaming in their owners’ homes or even roosting in bedrooms, often with diapers on, according to Leslie Citroen, 54, one of the Bay Area’s most sought after “chicken whisperers,” who does everything from selling upscale chickens and building coops to providing consultation to backyard bird owners. Her services cost $225 an hour. Want a coop and walk-in pen (known as a run)? You can expect to pay $4,000 to $5,000 for a standard setup.
…that somebody, Trout Unlimited in this case, called an auto manufacturer on those ceaseless TV ads of off-road vehicles crashing through forest, field, and stream, tearing up everything in sight. After a week or so of seeing that crap on the tube, I’m surprised there’s an intact meadow, stream, or game trail left anywhere in North America. Off-roading is a hobby that is incomprehensible to me. Besides being an enormous money pit, it looks a lot like high-tech vandalism of nature.
This is Luhn’s legacy: He helped show that computers and computation weren’t just the province of mathematics, statistics, and logic but also of language, linguistics, and literature. In his day, this was a revolutionary way to think about machines.
Turns out there may be an upper limit to automating retail businesses. When confronted with self-serve checkouts, many folks turn into thieves:
“There is NO MORAL ISSUE with stealing from a store that forces you to use self checkout, period. THEY ARE CHARGING YOU TO WORK AT THEIR STORE.”
It’s so pervasive that it’s not even called shoplifting any more; it’s “external shrinkage.”
This is going to continue until retailers wise up to the idea that it’s cheaper to have a flesh-and-blood cashier ringing up–and collecting payment for–purchases, than it is to have the stuff just walk out the door.