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California droughting is making a lot of news again.

Here:

For example, since 1914, the SWRCB has had the same maximum amount of water to be allocated per year: 370 million acre-feet. (For reference, approximately one acre-foot of water is consumed by two households annually.) But currently, the average annual surface water flow is only 70 million acre-feet, and it will be even less than that if droughts continue to plague the state.

Here (link) 

 

And best of all, here:

THE first rule for staying alive in a desert is not to pour the contents of your water flask into the sand. Yet that, bizarrely, is what the government has encouraged farmers to do in the drought-afflicted south-west. Agriculture accounts for 80% of water consumption in California, for example, but only 2% of economic activity. Farmers flood the land to grow rice, alfalfa and other thirsty crops. By one account, over the years they have paid just 15% of the capital costs of the federal system that delivers much of their irrigation water. If water were priced properly, it is a safe bet that they would waste far less of it, and the effects of California’s drought—its worst in recorded history—would not be so severe.

This is yet another indicator that California, a blue state over the hill and lost in ideonostalgic navel-gazing, overrun by do-gooders and un-realists, will continue to decay. Whether you’re looking at (summary here) governance, political pandering, law enforcement, demographics, taxes and taxes, traffic, economics, ease of doing business, legal restrictions, infrastructure, cost of living, or virtually any other real metric, California’s a shitty place to live and work and better left for visiting.

And on top of it, state subsidies and cartels for water wreck the economy and lead to massive droughts and further water rationing by the idiots responsible for the shortage in the first place. This is what happens when the pointy-heads mess with price signals by enacting subsidies – you end up with market distortions, which is exactly what this drought is symptomatic of. 

The problem (or one of them) is that people don’t perceive it as an economic problem or a governance problem – they perceive it as a water shortage problem. It’s another case of politicians being insulated from the effects and consequences of their ignorance and ill-conceived policies.

The only reason to live there is if you absolutely need  the network effects or talent pool of population density in specific industries like  industries in Tech or Oil or Transportation or Agriculture. It might be worth going to school there in a couple places, as well. If you’re self-sufficient or mobile, there’s no reason to kick yourself in the shins by moving to CA.

 

The problems that today’s young dating-minded women are facing can be summed up thusly: A smorgasbord of cock. It’s too hard to keep track of all the available men to make a decent choice and stick with it.

It’s known that having too many choices can lead to a sort of decision paralysis:

In a California gourmet market, Professor Iyengar and her research assistants set up a booth of samples of Wilkin & Sons jams. Every few hours, they switched from offering a selection of 24 jams to a group of six jams. On average, customers tasted two jams, regardless of the size of the assortment, and each one received a coupon good for $1 off one Wilkin & Sons jam.

 

Here’s the interesting part. Sixty percent of customers were drawn to the large assortment, while only 40 percent stopped by the small one. But 30 percent of the people who had sampled from the small assortment decided to buy jam, while only 3 percent of those confronted with the two dozen jams purchased a jar.

 

That study “raised the hypothesis that the presence of choice might be appealing as a theory,” Professor Iyengar said last year, “but in reality, people might find more and more choice to actually be debilitating.”

In the case above, the number of those who purchased in the choice-rich and choice-poor outcomes differed by roughly an order of magnitude:

choice outcomesThis suggests that people who are confronted with choice end up with markedly sub-optimal outcomes – they’d have more chances to get it “right” but the sheer availability of what “right” might be is too overwhelming.

Similarly, in today’s dating market, using Tinder leads to decidedly indecisive and suboptimal outcomes. Tinder is fascinating because it’s a mass sorting mechanism, but it also introduces an incredible amount of choice in the dating market – much more than anyone would encounter in the course of an average day. Even after separating the chaff out, the dating options are still more than anyone has time for or can really cogitate through.

And as noted before, the chaff present a significant game-changing variable here: when the effective sex ratio is 1.3, attractive women are in hot demand. They are selected more often than any other group and have the most options. Naturally, even in ordinary conditions (school, work etc) they are the flakiest, hardest to keep hold of, and in most need of game to keep on the hook. I’d expect this is compounded hugely on Tinder, as shown in the jam experiment – imagine the jam experiment with hundreds of options instead of 24, always available, always changing. Flakiness would go through the roof; girls wouldn’t know how to cope in a rational manner, resulting in lots of irrational coping and largely feels-driven decision-making (but I repeat myself).

I have no hard data on this, but some experiences: This has led to first dates with even moderately attractive women, but little follow-up afterwards despite employing all manner of game and approaches. The most common pattern is a meeting for drinks, bounce to a couple locations, making out to various degrees, an enthusiastic parting, and female flaking on the next meeting for all varieties of excuses.

One gal let slip that she was going out so much that she couldn’t keep track of all the guys she was going out with. That was the smoking gun… too much choice, hitherto unexperienced by none but the hottest women throughout history, but now available to the remaining 6s for the price of a download on a phone.

What’s a guy to do? This isn’t a unique experience to your humble author. Women are shooting way out of their league, incentivized by a genuinely new socio-sexual geography. After all, if very sharp, good-looking, well-incomed, educated, experienced, provisioned, moderately game-able men can’t get a 6 or 7 or 8 local 2nd-tier babe to go out for a 2nd date by this method, what’s left?

The response, should you choose to continue with Tinder, is to always go for first-date bangs. Statistically, any other approach is likely to lead to lack of further contact – at least sex is worth something as an indicator of investment leading to an ongoing concern, while a wasted evening and subsequent flakes is worthless.

Alternately, the answer is to accept that although Tinder and its ilk are tantalizing for the opportunity they offer, like the jam experiment, if you want to walk away with something, find a smaller venue and get off of the winner-takes-all social-media facilitated dating carousel. Don’t waste the time and effort.*

This if implemented widely of course leads to a last-man-standing effect where only the ‘best’ men left will get the ladies – but who cares? Get yours somewhere else.

 

 

* Before the “you just need to learn game / improve yourself / get used to the people / quit being a schlub” notes, keep in mind that the author just actually be writing from the vantage point of someone who has gamed and caught and kept some attractive gals and has a good point of reference

William Deresiewicz writes in the New Republic that you shouldn’t send your kids to Ivy League schools.

Is there anything that I can do, a lot of young people have written to ask me, to avoid becoming an out-of-touch, entitled little shit? I don’t have a satisfying answer, short of telling them to transfer to a public university. [Ed: Heh, the irony] You cannot cogitate your way to sympathy with people of different backgrounds, still less to knowledge of them. You need to interact with them directly, and it has to be on an equal footing: not in the context of “service,” and not in the spirit of “making an effort,” eitherswooping down on a member of the college support staff and offering to “buy them a coffee,” as a former Yalie once suggested, in order to “ask them about themselves.”

Instead of service, how about service work? That’ll really give you insight into other people. How about waiting tables so that you can see how hard it is, physically and mentally? You really aren’t as smart as everyone has been telling you; you’re only smarter in a certain way. There are smart people who do not go to a prestigious college, or to any collegeoften precisely for reasons of class. There are smart people who are not “smart.”

I am under no illusion that it doesn’t matter where you go to college. But there are options. There are still very good public universities in every region of the country. The education is often impersonal, but the student body is usually genuinely diverse in terms of socioeconomic background, with all of the invaluable experiential learning that implies.

If there is anywhere that college is still collegeanywhere that teaching and the humanities are still accorded pride of placeit is the liberal arts college. Such places are small, which is not for everyone, and they’re often fairly isolated, which is also not for everyone. The best option of all may be the second-tiernot second-ratecolleges, like Reed, Kenyon, Wesleyan, Sewanee, Mount Holyoke, and others. Instead of trying to compete with Harvard and Yale, these schools have retained their allegiance to real educational values.

I believe him – he’s spent his entire life in the Ivy League and hasn’t yet learned how to really think.

He’s telling other people to do what he thinks they should do to fix society – Thomas Sowell’s “We”  is on full display here.

Although the funny rejoinder is a bit facetious, Mr Deresiewicz is quite wrong. In fact, if your kids are going to college, you should send them to the best school they can get into, given that that school meets some minimum performance bars for cost and graduation employment rates in the chosen program.

If he’d read my article about sources of value in education, he’d have realized that all his BS about privilege and self-development and “learning to think” is a bunch of crock. To recap – There are 3, and only 3, sources of value in a college education:

1) Actual skills learned

2) The brand or credential

3) The network

Ivies tend to offer a good blend of all of the above. They in effect guarantee that the attendee will be accorded an assumption of a certain level of intelligence and aptitude, and be able to reach out to people in industries. Many other schools offer an Ivy-price tag, but not the benefits.

But what about “learning to think”? Isn’t that valuable?

Let’s turn that around. I’ve named 3 definite, quantifiable metrics that a college experience can be graded on (even discounting the many degree-ROI studies that have been done, which are a subset of “skills learned” + brand). Can anyone who advocates “learning to think” as a benefit of college explain exactly what that means and how to measure it? If they can’t do that, can they really seriously advocate taking on the huge opportunity cost of money and time that college requires?

Telling parents not to send their kids to Ivies (assuming they have the option, which is a bad assumption for a large portion of the population) smacks of this counter-intuitive self-serving (but funny) mindset, except that Mr D appears to be in earnest.

He voices the common lament of old people regarding young people in education, which is chiefly that

There are exceptions, kids who insist, against all odds, on trying to get a real education…

The first thing that college is for is to teach you to think. That doesn’t simply mean developing the mental skills particular to individual disciplines. College is an opportunity to stand outside the world for a few years, between the orthodoxy of your family and the exigencies of career, and contemplate things from a distance.

This is nostalgic idiocy from someone who’s past the point where he to actually make a living after graduating. College, despite the brochures, is not some idyllic place where people sit around and read Ovid and Homer in the original Greek for edification and go on to live a full and rich life.

That perception is manifestly a crock of self-defeating horse-hockey for anyone growing up today, when student debt is non-dischargeable and credential inflation is rampant. Much has been said on this already.

When you’re a kid and you take time to “find yourself” and “get a real education” and “learn how to think”, you’re going to end up with a liberal arts major, debt, and no job. On balance, at that point, you’d rather have the brand of an Ivy behind you than State U, because you’re going to be competing with the Ivy grad, and the Ivy grad goes into the interview with the hiring manager assuming he’s smart – you have to earn it.

 

Should one want a serious relationship culminating in a permanent marriage, and should one be a male in today’s America, one must ask: What are the odds of me finding someone eligible for marriage?

Today’s popular messaging bombards younger men with conflicting messages: Sexy ladies everywhere in TV shows, ads, movies, popular culture… while at the same time pushing messages of acceptance, “man up”, and various other mechanisms to get men to pull the trigger on marriage. This has been well documented at Dalrock, Heartiste, Alphagame, et al. (see side links)

Heartiste, in particular, made the astute observation that obesity has had severely deleterious effects on the dating/mating landscape. To wit:

Which brings me to my theory: Game has been refined, taught and embraced by men in direct proportion to the shrinking pool of attractive thin girls. As the reduced supply of skinny chicks have seen their sexual market value skyrocket, they have adjusted by pricing their pussy out of reach for the average guy.

Etc. This led me to wonder what the actual numbers look like for sex ratios (ratios of M/F) for eligible women. We will stick with Obesity as the defining eligibility (disqualifying) characteristic for time being, and make a couple assumptions:

1) Social misfit-ism is equally disqualifying for both sexes (not quite true, but maybe they pair up together)

2) Obesity is much more disqualifying for women than men. I assume that all obese women are disqualified, and only a fraction for men. This is (or should be) a commonly accepted truth, and the preponderance of fat-acceptance propaganda suggests that women inherently know this. If it was as bad for men as women, I suspect we’d see a whole other set of media messaging centered around how men should get off their asses and work for women.

3) I disregarded looks, education, earnings, social ability, etc  from these figures. Initially, I’d decided to disqualify any women who were <3s on the 1-10 scale, as well as determining a male ineligibility metric, but decided that I could net out both male equivalents and women for simplicity, notwithstanding that men can improve in that SMV area significantly, and women can do so only marginally. So I stuck with obesity as the only disqualifier, because otherwise the numbers go down a rabbit hole.

As usual, this is a ballpark and not intended to get 3 significant figures of accuracy.

Behold, Excel and various government data sources (from 2010 census):

Women1

Notice that the effective Sex Ratio is approximately 12% higher than China’s  with its one-child-murder-your-daughters policy. Obesity by itself, and even given some flex in the numbers, has resulted in a worse sex ratio than a policy that was designed to reduce the population and which resulted in a ratio of 1.2.

People have been speculating about things like war due to China’s M-F imbalance, and lack of available women to marry. What about here in the US? Must be something to do with only 5M men being unable to find suitable mates, instead of 60M, but this is still a terrible landscape to deal with, given that the natural human sex ratio is 1.01 (101:100).

If you want to talk about the marriage strike, if you want to talk about men not responding to incentives to work, there’s the fact right here: There are simply not enough truly eligible women out there, and taking one of the fatties is a non-starter for many men. This is even disregarding any cultural barriers to marriage.

If you believe that 60% of all adults are overweight, and hold that overweight doesn’t diminish men’s marketability as much as it does womens’ , then the ratio grows even more stark. This does not bode well for anyone trying to actually find a wife, and suggests that 30% of men are currently SOL from the get-go.

In conversation with a girl recently, we were talking about why people break up and in a moment of untrammeled linguistic brilliance the word “prebound” danced off my tongue to describe the pre-breakup fling that people (often women) will use to rationalize why they are out of love or “have to” leave their current “relationship.” It’s when a girl knows it’s over for some reason or other, but is searching for a reason to end it (or get the guy to end it), in the name of “finding herself”, “getting to know herself” or any of a dozen other miasmic euphemistria.

Use: “I wasn’t connected with myself, and my prebound convinced me that my relationship really wasn’t making me happy…”

This is obviously in contrast to the “rebound” in which the person (again, often ze womynz) searches for a post-split lover to wean herself off the addicktive oxytocin cocktail (heh) of a warm embrace (if she was dumped) or to convince herself that there’s actually something better waiting (if she’s leaving her betahubhubhub).

Guys can have prebounds, but that’s usually “lovers” or “mistresses” or “fuckbuddies” – they don’t go through the same rationalization process ladies do.

I’ve written about how rape statistics in the military are bogus. Now we have another (of many, actually) voice saying that the hissy fit frenzy of military rape panic is hostile to creating a winning culture in the military and detracts from the military’s mission, which is to, you know, actually fight and win our nation’s wars.

The author of the article “Harassing The Military”  is Gail Heriot, who among other things is on record saying (my paraphrase) that hate crime legislation is idiotic. This of course endears her to me immediately as someone who applies a common-sense, fact-based, rule-of-law lens to circumstances, and not circumstances to law.

In this case she observes that:

No wonder Congress has since been feverishly pursuing legislation to deal with this seeming national scandal—from a top-to-bottom overhaul of the military’s criminal justice system proposed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to mandatory minimum sentences for sexual assault backed by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio).

There is just one problem: Precious little of this story has any basis in fact. Contrary to what many assume, there is no evidence that the military has a higher rate of sexual assault than, say, colleges and universities. Indeed, what paltry evidence there is suggests the opposite.

And later

Insofar as there is evidence, however, it suggests that the military is now more aggressive in prosecuting sexual assaults than civilian jurisdictions. For example, when a rape involving military personnel occurs off-post, civilian and military authorities both have jurisdiction. On those occasions in fiscal year 2011 on which the civilian jurisdiction took the lead, prosecution rates were 11 percent. In contrast, the military’s prosecution rate was 55 percent. Even greater gaps were documented for prosecutions of aggravated sexual assault…

Indeed, some charge that in the military’s zeal to placate its critics, it is now going too far. “[T]here’s this myth that the military doesn’t take sexual assault seriously,” said former Army judge advocate Michael Waddington. “But the reality is they’re charging more and more people with bogus cases to show that they do take it seriously.” Similarly Bridget Wilson, a defense attorney specializing in military law, told the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, “There is an increasing perception that the deck is stacked against someone accused of a sexual assault.”

The “increasing perception” is a common one among feminists and popular media, but as I’ve observed, it’s absolutely false. Commanding Officers are tripping over each other to appear more tough on sexual assault than the next. Why? Feminist and PC compliance is the flavor du jour of military PC and is therefore key to promotions. No commander wants to be left behind, and so needs to have some hard results for those OER bullets. Prosecuting aggressively shows proactive address of the “crisis”. So the system is stacked to incentivize 1) false reporting and 2) aggressive prosecution. Therefore, the military cultural climate is toxic to actual reporting and investigation, and rewards commanders’ overreaction, resulting in a chain reaction of publicity and further scrambling for promotion points.

This of course is despite the lack of statistical comps that Heriot correctly calls out as she notes that no one is doing comparisons of the military with colleges or cities, much less comparable demographic groups. If that was the case, the military would likely come out looking like a veritable sex-assault-safe haven for our young men and ladies in uniform.

Then later:

The military is a large and complex institution with many priorities. But only one can be No. 1. If combating sexual assault and sexual harassment is the military’s No. 1 priority, that means defending the nation from foreign aggression is not. It’s time to sober up.

Gail is almost spot-on here (except that the military’s “Number 1 Priority” should be “Fighting and Winning Wars,” not “defending from foreign aggression”, but that’s a small quibble and forgivable for a civvie lawyer). However, she leaves out the many other priorities that are ahead of winning wars for our military:

Promoting Women

Putting women in combat roles

Diversity task forces

Generals’  pensions

Homosexual integration and marriage

Downsizing

Choosing the wrong uniform

Celebrating victims

The army’s so tone-deaf at winning wars (not battles) that these things dominate the headlines even as its failures in talent retention (a symptom of much deeper structural organizational failings born of soviet-style central planning and a hierarchical structure that rewards actions not causative of war-winning) and strategic thinking condemn it to continue stumbling over silly bullshit while soldiers die from the incompetence.

An interview with an Air Force fighter pilot:

 

20 years, over 600 combat hours, 151 combat missions, 21 hard kills on surface-to-air missile sites, four Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor, eight Air Medals with Valor, five Meritorious Service Medals, one Purple Heart. Dan Hampton is one of America’s most decorated fighter pilots of modern times and he holds nothing back when it comes to his views on air combat…

#3: What was the most frustrating thing about being a fighter pilot in the USAF?

That flying is not the focus of the USAF. It sounds axiomatic but it’s true. Political correctness, appearances, humanitarian missions, and not offending anyone are the focus.

Certainly not! Warfighting is obviously the first and foremost mission of our brave selfless servant warriors:

The White House has picked the first female general to head the Air Force in the Pacific, which will make her the first non-pilot to command air power in such a large theater of operation…

Gen. Robinson was nominated amid a diversity push by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and a general focus on women’s issues by the White House. Mr. Hagel has vowed to stamp out sexual assaults in the military and said he is open to studying whether transgender people are permitted to serve.

Calling Tony Carr

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