People are Not Rational

Quote of the Day

It would appear that New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s emergency order banning the carrying of firearms in Albuquerque has had an unintended consequence: Sales in the city’s gun stores are booming.

Melissa Fine
September 16, 2023
‘Busiest day I’ve had in months’: Guns flying off shelves in Albuquerque after gov’s anti-2A move

People buy banned books because they are, or are about to be, banned. The same applies to guns.

In this case the buying more guns in the face of a ban to carry them in public doesn’t make quite as much sense. But maybe they were buying them so they could carry them in public in defiance of their criminal governor.

You would think that a politician capable of getting elected governor would have a better sense of human nature. For someone that opposed to gun ownership one would think she would not engage in behavior that would, obviously, increase gun ownership and public carry. But, yet, she did.

People are strange. Rationality is just a thin veneer over a whirl of emotions. And many people don’t even have that veneer.

Gifted People

Quote of the Day

Most people live in an inner reality that is only very tenuously related to actual reality. To be capable of achieving that level of self-delusion must be nice. We’re all capable of it to a degree… but some people are very gifted.

Sebastian @SebastianSNBQ
Xeeted on August 2, 2023

Today I was to a coworker on almost this same topic. Smart people can be very convincing about their delusions.

Do you want to break through the delusion or at least determine for yourself if they are delusional or perhaps more closely in touch with reality than you?

Ask this question of both them and yourself, “What is the process by which you determine truth from falsity?” Then compare the two processes as applied to your current situation.

Liberalism Causes Mental Disorders

Via a text message from Stephanie:

The Pathologization Pandemic: Why youth mental illness is surging

A 2020 Pew survey of over 10,000 Americans found that self-described liberals aged 18-29 were more likely than self-described conservatives of the same age to report suffering psychological problems over the last week. They were also more than twice as likely to say they’d ever been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Furthermore, those who were “very liberal” were more likely than those who were just “liberal” to report poor mental health. The group most likely to report poor mental health was young white liberal females, an alarming 56% of whom reported having received a mental illness diagnosis.

Crucially, controlling for worldview narrowed the gender gap considerably: liberal men were more likely to report poor mental health than conservative women. It would seem, then, that the mental health epidemic among girls and young women is associated with their tendency to have a more Left-liberal mindset than boys and young men — a difference that’s becoming more pronounced over time.

Initially I gave this post the title, “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder”. But given the actual content of the article that would have been a stretch. This is the critical thesis of the article:

An analysis of data from 86,138 adolescents found, in line with the Pew survey, that between 2005 and 2018 the self-reported mental health of liberals had deteriorated more than conservatives’, and that this deterioration was worst for girls. The researchers blamed this on “alienation within a growing conservative political climate”. However, the New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg debunked this explanation by pointing out that liberals’ mental health woes began while Obama was in power and as the Supreme Court voted to extend gay marriage rights — hardly a conservative political climate.

A more robust explanation lies in the difference in outlook between liberals and conservatives. Central to Leftism is equality, which is best justified by the idea that people’s fortunes and misfortunes are not their own doing, and therefore undeserved. As such, Leftism de-emphasizes the role of human agency in social outcomes, while overemphasizing the role of environmental circumstances. As the West has shifted culturally Leftward — due to most writers and artists leaning Left — the depiction of people as puppets of their environment has become dominant.

I found the article be very insightful and thought provoking. Perhaps a much more healthy was to reduce the political divide in our country is to encourage a change of  mindset, of all people, not just those we are politically opposition with:

The solution to pathologization, then, lies not in politics but in psychology.

The polar opposite of pathologization is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Although referred to as therapy, it’s closer to a form of mental training. Based on the Ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism, it teaches a lesson the West has all but forgotten: that our feelings are not always valid, but often deluded and self-destructive. It trains people to overcome harmful emotions by reframing harmful thoughts into alternatives that are more agentic and soluble. So, “That made me angry” becomes “I reacted to that by getting angry.” And “Life sucks” becomes “I feel like life sucks right now.” Where pathologization places problems outside your control, CBT places them within your control. Where pathologization bundles many small issues into one giant insurmountable problem, CBT breaks down giant problems into small manageable pieces.

No approach in psychiatry has been as rigorously tested as CBT, and its effectiveness in restoring agency and reigniting hope is documented by decades of research.

Direct opposition and yelling at each other doesn’t seem to be working. Let’s try something else.

Thinking Critically is Obsolete

Quote of the Day

We no longer know how to think critically. Subjectivity and nihilism rule supreme: the deranged, post-modernist woke cargo cult claims that there no longer is truth, just our truths. Ideas are at best positional goods, fashion statements and markers of social hierarchy, and at worst tools of oppression.

Allister Heath
May 31, 2023
The idiot West is sleeping as the end of the world draws near

Rational thought is a relatively recent innovation in humans and is nothing but a thin dressing over a mixed fruit salad of emotions. And as I have pointed out even that thin dressing could be said to be lacking in many, perhaps most, people today:

As I have said before:

We do not share a common basis for communication or for determining reality. We share the same planet but they are in a different world. So of course they get angry with us. In their minds we are aliens in a turf war with them.

Habitual Dishonesty Reduces Applied Intelligence

Quote of the Day

In modern intellectual life, honesty is punished and dishonesty is rewarded; honest brain pathways decay, dishonest brain pathways enlarge.

After years and years of conditioning in dishonesty, the typical modern intellectual (whether journalist, scientist, lawyer, teacher, doctor or whatever) becomes physically unable to think straight.

Bruce Charlton
July 19, 2013
Dishonesty reduces applied intelligence: re-wires the brain

Emphasis in the original.

If true, this would explain the stupidity of so many politicians. For quite some time I’ve known liars will frequently lie without any possible motive and, in fact, it is against their best interests. How strange, I thought. They seem to be unable to help themselves. This could explain why that happens.

Via email from Rolf.

Gun Owners are Fearful, Isolated, Rhetoric Filled Individuals

Interesting claims:

“It’s the fearful, isolated, rhetoric filled individual that feels such a great need to defend themselves all the time and everywhere. And it’s hard to value another human when you’re not connected to them, even when your view of them comes from social media news and not the unbiased stuff that you and I grew up on that went away in 1987 when the FCC got rid of the fairness right, the fairness rules for media, the Fairness Doctrine. So what we did is what we look for in those,” he said, discussing the effect these sources have on people’s psyche.

“And the more you fill your head, your psyche, and the more you read and watch, the more you get disrupted, and you feel far more vulnerable. And now fear and anxiety and worry starts to make choices, including protecting yourself,” Dr. Gilliland continued, addressing how social media does not only impact adolescents negatively but adults as well.

Citation needed.

This is what they think of you.

I claim it is the fearful, bubble isolated rhetoric filled person who has never been to a gun range, match, or store who harbors such a dystopic view of our culture. Just watch the KING5 Evening Magazine video on Boomershoot or any of the other media coverage and you will see this guy is delusional and/or lying.

The news was unbiased prior to 1987? Ouch! My sides hurt from laughing so hard.

Mental Health of Liberal Girls

Quote of the Day

I believe that Greg Lukianoff was exactly right in the diagnosis he shared with me in 2014. Many young people had suddenly—around 2013—embraced three great untruths:

They came to believe that they were fragile and would be harmed by books, speakers, and words, which they learned were forms of violence (Great Untruth #1).

They came to believe that their emotions—especially their anxieties—were reliable guides to reality (Great Untruth #2).

They came to see society as comprised of victims and oppressors—good people and bad people (Great Untruth #3).

Liberals embraced these beliefs more than conservatives. Young liberal women adopted them more than any other group due to their heavier use of social media and their participation in online communities that developed new disempowering ideas. These cognitive distortions then caused them to become more anxious and depressed than other groups. Just as Greg had feared, many universities and progressive institutions embraced these three untruths and implemented programs that performed reverse CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) on young people, in violation of their duty to care for them and educate them.

Jon Haidt
March 9, 2023
Why the Mental Health of Liberal Girls Sank First and Fastest: Evidence for Lukianoff’s reverse CBT hypothesis

Interesting stuff. It is worth reading the whole thing. It could also explain why the assertion Liberalism is a Mental Disorder has some truth in it.

Anti-gunner demonstrates personality disorder

Quote of the Day

The incel vibes are strong with these screenshots.

Which makes sense because a “semiautomatic rifle” is a physical replacement for their limp, sad little “packages”.

MRDucks_CMEDBD_Wings? @MrDucks216
Tweeted on December 15, 2022

It’s not only another Markley’s Law Monday, it is another science denier!

Via In Chains @InChainsInJail who commented:

“Gun control” cultists have misogynistic dick jokes. We have Supreme Court rulings.

I would also like to point out that “gun control” cultists frequently, as in this case, believe they can read minds and/or know the character of people with little or no information about them. This is an indicator of a personality disorder.

We may be headed into a new Dark Age

Quote of the Day

Last month, at the City University of New York, I lectured about how evolutions in data-led policing strategies helped New York City reduce annual murder numbers from 2,245 in 1990 to just 292 in 2017 — and from 93 annual fatal police shootings in 1971 to just six a half-century later. At the same time, city jail and New York State prison populations have also seen their numbers more than halved.

The “war on data” made its biggest inroads during the administration of former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who prioritized feelings and emotions over cold, hard facts during debates about his landmark prison reform initiatives.

My presentation was layered with both data and descriptions of the tensions inherent in researching neighborhood crime dynamics. Following my talk, I invited students to discuss these notable statistical shifts. What I heard from those bold enough to actually speak floored me: They told me it was racist to use data to discuss policing. All the more so, because I’m a white woman.

Hannah E. Meyers
March 11, 2023
Why NYC crime policy-makers are now ignoring data

Emphasis added.

We may be headed into a new Dark Age. Prepare appropriately.

Changing minds through coercion

Quote of the Day

The same cultural rot that produced trigger warnings, produced the obsession with announcing (and insisting on) preferred pronouns.

It stems from wanting to change someone else’s mind about something without having to do the work associated with argumentation & persuasion.

Don Kilmer @donkilmer
Tweeted on March 4th, 2023

There is probably more effective than you realize.

If you can change someone’s behavior, even at the point of a gun, you have gone a great way toward changing their mind. Repetitive actions builds a habit. This is an actual change in the brain. The more frequently used neural pathways become more myelinated. This speeds up the speed of conduction. Those responses, even if coerced, then become the default action.The mind has, literally, been changed.

Most actions and things people say are not carefully thought out. Ask someone why they did or said something, and they will search for and give a reason, many times this is even if there was no such reason before you asked. When a person’s behavior, even through coercion, has changed they will find those “reasons”. It is very difficult to change such minds through logic and facts.

Sentencing guns to death for their crimes

Quote of the Day

When we seize drugs in our city, we don’t put those drugs back on the street and give them to a different drug dealer. We destroy them. Why don’t we do the same thing with guns? I want our city to do our part and permanently destroy illegal guns that have been used to commit crimes once in our city. Once is too many.

Craig Greenberg
Mayor of Louisville Kentucky
February 16, 2023
To Sidestep Law, Louisville To Disable Confiscated Guns Before Giving Them To State Police For Auction

You can almost make sense of the quote above. But reading the article you get more context and you realize the guy is nuts:

In an effort to sidestep a state law that mandates guns seized by law enforcement be auctioned off by the Kentucky State Police, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said Thursday that the city would now disable firearms before turning them over to the state police force.

Going forward, he said, the Louisville Metro Police Department will render seized firearms inoperable by removing their firing pins before giving them to the Kentucky State Police.

Louisville will also place “warning stickers” on disabled guns turned over to the Kentucky State Police stating that the firearm may have been used in a homicide.

Think about this. Dumping used guns on the market will drive down the demand and price of guns. Destroying the guns means the market demand for new guns and prices will increase. The “evil gun manufacturers” will make more money and the local police will have less money. I can see, in a twisted sort of way, they want the police to have less resources. This will increase the crime problem and “justify” more gun control.

I can make the case they are really clever to help defund the police in a roundabout way. But my favorite hypothesis, which seems to fit all the data, is they are incapable of rational thought.

Does he really think the gun will commit a crime on its own if the firing pin is not removed? Or warning stickers will cause people to watch them extra careful to avoid further crimes?

And/or perhaps they believe that once a gun has committed a crime it is more likely to commit another and should be destroyed.

Delusions such this are is not as unusual as you might think. See, for example, Guns in Hell. And, as pointed out by Neal Knox, things like this go back over a thousand years. But, reading the history of deodands, the original purpose actually makes more sense than these modern day nutcases.

Lesson for people managers

Quote of the day

Being the most talkative person in the room may be a good way to get people’s attention, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have the best ideas.As a neuroscientist, I’ve worked with large companies like Google and Deloitte on how to attract and retain top talent, and I’ve found that employers tend to favor extroverts.

But there are some surprising strengths that introverts bring to the table, and they shouldn’t be overlooked.

Friederike Fabritius
February 7, 2023
A neuroscientist shares the 4 ‘highly coveted’ skills that set introverts apart: ‘Their brains work differently’

This could be the theme of my entire career. I clean up the messes of the incompetent extroverts who then get the promotions.

A couple of years ago someone who is not an engineer, never been an engineer, and never will be an engineer (lacking in math ability as well as some other things that are beyond them) was given a position as Principal Engineer that I also applied for. I asked HR, “How did they even get past the resume screening? They didn’t meet any of the ‘required qualifications’ and only partially meet two of the ‘qualifications’.” At my manager’s request, I had WRITTEN most of those qualifications around my skill set. HR assured me that the best candidate had received the promotion because, “This position requires someone who is well known.”

A Principal Engineer requires someone who is, “Well known”? But they are not required to have any engineering skills or do any engineering?” Being “well known” was not even hinted at in the qualifications for the job.

I was so upset at this I terminated the conversation. There was no point in further discussion with someone like this and I was not in any state of mind to talk without high risk of saying something which was “career limiting”.

Today I received notification of my yearly salary, bonus, and other compensation changes. No promotion. I’ve been in the same position for almost eight years with nothing but high verbal praise but not a single promotion. Being constantly called the team’s ‘Q’ (as in the James Bond movies) is nice, but I would rather be promoted. I’ve seen interns promoted to my job title in half that time. They were decent engineers, female, young, and, of course, extroverts.

People are weird

As I’ve pointed out before people, in this case it is mostly women, are really weird:

A woman has been creating a lot of buzz lately, but for all the wrong reasons, after declaring her “love” for the prime suspect in the Idaho quadruple murders case. Brittney J Hislope on her Facebook page has released multiple posts, pronouncing her admiration for Bryan Kohberger. She also apparently has sent several letters to him.

There is some sort of strange psychology going on here. This not a rare occurrence.

I have personally known two different women who married prison inmates. They did not know them prior to their incarceration, but were attracted enough to them to overcome the obstacles and marry them while they were in prison. One was murderer. The other tortured and raped a teenage girl.

If you read deep into the arrest, incarceration, and even execution, of serial killers, the letters from women nearly overwhelm the jailers at all stages of the murderers stay in law enforcement custody..

What is going on those minds that they are attracted to these scumbags? We have long known some women are attracted to “bad boys”. I suppose this is just an extrapolation of that. But I do not understand it even in the mildest form.

Quote of the day—George Skelton

It is very rare that anything monumental gets done in America’s political system without strong public support. That’s certainly the case with gun control.

The emphasis here is on strong support.

What we need to attain that is a hefty gun safety TV ad campaign.

Polls have consistently shown that the vast majority of citizens support gun control — but not strongly enough to force meaningful bills through Congress, such as requiring universal background checks and banning assault weapons, particularly their high-capacity magazines.

It’s not at the top of voters’ priority lists — and hardly thought about between mass killings at schools, churches, bars and dance halls.

That’s not true, however, of hardcore gun addicts. They’re single-issue voters whose candidate choices often depend solely on a politician’s uncompromising allegiance to unrestricted gun rights. That enables them and the gun lobby to wield extraordinary influence over members of Congress, especially Republicans.

And it’s why America’s national firearms restrictions — unlike California’s — are pathetic.

George Skelton
January 30, 2023
How do you win voters over on gun control? Meet them where they are — in front of the TV
[I find it very telling that the question of minority rights never come up in his proposal. Would if the majority of citizens supported the deportation of communists? Or lying in public? Or the banning of abortion? Or citizenship and government ID to vote? Or a tax on your skin color based on the number of “your kind” in prison?

This is not a majority rule country. And to suggest a majority supporting the denial of everyone a specific enumerate right is sufficient basis to do that is either a demonstration of profound ignorance or evidence of evil intent.

One of the things I have observed in the last few years is our opponents are far more open about their intentions. In the 1990s and through the 2000s as they were advancing they kept “reassuring” us they didn’t intend to take our guns. And they “respect the 2nd Amendment”. The big players make almost no mention of the 2nd Amendment now. It is further conformation of the observations made in the When Prophecy Fails book. When their prophecies fail (the 2nd Amendment doesn’t apply to individuals, gun control saves lives, blood will flow in the streets with concealed carry, etc.) instead of revising their beliefs to match the facts they proselytize all the more vigorously. They are “doubling down” on their failures to connect with reality.

Notice also that people who vote for the protection of civil rights are “addicts”. That is what they think of you. That is their dehumanization in preparation for the next big “reveal” of their true intentions.

Prepare and respond appropriately.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jason Jay (@leftyleftyleft)

Ohhhh…. You want to bring 2A into this?!? Well I exercise my 2A right also but unlike you I realize gun cause so much pain when abused like in Uvalde, Parkland, and countless others. I don’t feel the need to open carry cause I have insecurities downstairs like you have

Jason Jay (@leftyleftyleft)
Tweeted on October 12, 2022
[It’s not only another Markley’s Law Monday, it is another science denier!

Via a tweet from In Chains @InChainsInJail.

He doesn’t even make sense. What do schools shootings have to do with open carry? But, as I have often said, expecting people to be rational is irrational. And with anti-gun people they have that truism dialed up to eleven or higher.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Julia Gorin

Sexual and psychological insecurities don’t account for ALL men against guns. Certainly there must be some whose motives are pure, who perhaps do care so much as to tirelessly look for policy solutions to teenage void and aggressiveness, and to parent and teacher negligence. But for a potentially large underlying contributor, psycho-sexual inadequacy has gone unexplored and unacknowledged. It’s one thing to not be comfortable with a firearm and therefore opt to not keep or bear one. But it’s another to impose the same handicap onto others.

People are suspicious of what they do not know-and not only does this man not know how to use a gun, he doesn’t know the men who do, or the number of people who have successfully used one to defend themselves from injury or death. But he is better left in the dark; his life is hard enough knowing there are men out there who don’t sit cross-legged. That they’re able to handle a firearm instead of being handled by it would be too much to bear.

Such a man is also best kept huddled in urban centers, where he feels safer than he might if thrown out on his own into a rural setting, in an isolated house on a quiet street where he would feel naked and helpless. Lacking the confidence that would permit him to be sequestered in sparseness, and lacking a gun, he finds comfort in the cloister of crowds.

Julia Gorin
March 8, 2002
The anti-gun male
[Via Don in a comment to Quote of the day—Glenn Harlan Reynolds.

It turns out I have quoted from this article before. Read the whole thing.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Glenn Harlan Reynolds

Guns, and their use, on the other hand, are pretty darn real. You can’t fire a shot now for “future use.” You can’t correct a mistake in a future edition. You can’t do a write-through on a bullet.

What’s more, you can’t spin your way out of a mugging or a rape. Guns, simply by existing, are a reminder that there is another, more concrete world out there, one where reality is more fixed, and where actions have inescapable consequences, consequences that can’t be talked out of existence. I suspect that most journalists are threatened by this world, and perhaps by the sense that they wouldn’t do very well in such situations. Their hostility to guns is a way of dealing with insecurity and a form of denial fueled by performance anxiety: If you’re afraid you’re not up to protecting yourself or your family, you compensate by deriding the means of such protection. And, given that it’s a defense mechanism and journalists are herd animals, any colleague who disagrees is a threat who must be shouted down. (Unsurprisingly, of all the journalists I’ve dealt with, the folks at Popular Mechanics—where they write about real things with concrete consequences all the time— were the most comfortable with guns).

If I’m right, then there’s not a lot gun enthusiasts can do to win over journalists in large numbers. You may change a mind or two, but most of them hold their opinions because doing so is less threatening to their self-esteem than agreeing with you. Those who wield a pen have a vested interest in believing that the pen is mightier than the sword. And apparently they’ve been that way at least since Mark Twain’s time.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds
August 2020
Why So Many Media Members Are Opposed to Your Freedom
[See also yesterday’s QOTD about insecurity and performance anxiety.

I’ve read enough insider stories by fed up journalists and seen disconnected from reality reporting of gun events where I was there to know the national mainstream media is, almost without exception, delusional and/or evil. The primary exception is the Newsweek writer who attended Boomershoot (pictures here). But she had Stephanie Sailor “holding her hand” for a couple days and I’m sure that made a big difference.—Joe]