Saturday, September 1, 2007

Well, THAT was Amusing!

Re-reading last night's lonely post. Fellows, don't drink and blog! I will let the post stand, however.

Wine, by the way, was Oxford Landing GSM (grenache, 56%; shiraz, 33%; mourvedre, 11%). More reviews here and here. Some folks love it, others seem to hate it (one equated it with "vomit sprinkled with Strawberry Quik").

At $8, it was a good value: peppery, fruity, with some tannins. Over time, though, it began to wear on the palate, with some of the black/sour cherry getting on my nerves, seeming a little harsh. Good with pizza, though.

And I was still able to get up and put in a hard run in the a.m.

In other news, Mike Nifong will be spending at least one day in jail. I wonder what the eventual compensation for the falsely accused Duke Lacrosse Players will be..?

Addendum: what I wrote last night was true, i.e., I no longer no what to do with myself when the family are not around. Raising a family weakens a man, makes him vulnerable, mortal (with mortality being something I think about quite a bit lately). I absolutely understand how family-making reduces a country's propensity to make war; indeed, it puts further light on my increasingly conservative response to the sexual revolution, ubiquitous birth control, easy access to abortion, etc.

Freedomnomics, a direct (and intellectually angry) response to one of my favorite books of late, Freakonomics, puts a whole different spin on the effects of easy access to abortion.

Freakonomics correlates increased abortion rates with lower crime (because, in a form of localized eugenics, "unwanted" babies--of the sort that would have worse financial, educational, and medical outcomes if they had lived--get aborted, so they are not around to do crimes).

Freedomnomics, on the other hand, correlates easy abortion with higher crime rates, the thinking being that women became less risk-averse, hence pregnancy rates are higher and, thus, while some women terminate their pregnancies, some (for a variety of reasons) who otherwise would not have gotten pregnant at all now bring their babies to term. Freedomnomics puts the stats out there in all their socio-economic gory glory.

I do find it interesting that Liberals, in pursuit of equality for all, favor policies whose meta-outcomes lean toward ethnic cleansing (e.g., African American abortion rates are triple that of other groups). Of course, I have always found the Liberal view toward certain groups to be condescending in any case (John Edwards admonishing Americans to forego their SUVs, while driving one, is just one simple example; affirmative action, which assumes that certain individuals, by the mere fact of their melanin, cannot compete academically is one of the worst cases).

In any case, my point here is that the joys of family are subtle, and take a long time to ferment. The way society treats men, women, and relationships does not seem conducive to the amount of time and effort required to build a really strong, really stable relationship. Easy divorce, long cohabitation (which, for men, is absolutely not the same as marriage; different thought process altogether), sexual access, acceptance of unwed mothers, all lead to a further fracturing of the male/female complementarity (a distinct goal of capital-F Feminism).

D-mn I sound like a fogey. And all this from a clear beneficiary of all the things about which I now complain... I guess, fundamentally, while it seemed worth it (i.e., fun) at the time, looking back I am saddened by the waste. I met my wife at age 16 (and I knew at the time that she was...important; indeed, her effects colored my cravings and relationships forever after); we married at 30. In between I, uh, "benefited" from several long-term cohabitations. Now, to me, that time seems, well, wasted and unproductive, time that could have been spent (seriously, it could have) with my wife. Some of the adventures I have had--most of which cannot be reproduced--are not part of our ongoing conversation.

But hindsight, as they say, is 20/20 (unless, of course, it has to do with recognizing, acknowledging, and undoing all the damage wrought by "progressive" social policy over the last 40 years). Praise be that I have time forward to spend with my growing family. Can't wait 'til they get back here!


Anonymous said...

OK, I read both Freedomnomics and Freakonomics, but how is Freedomnomics an angry response? It seemed like a pretty straightforward discussion of some of the central claims in Freakonomics. What was the difficulty with the lemons issue for cars or the abortion and crime point? How ere those angry?

Anonymous Bosh said...

"Angry" refers to the specific quotations, dismissals, and questioning of the Freakonomics' researchers politics and "short-sightedness." The book itself is not angry (i.e., not some venemous polemic one might find in sociology).

"Intellectual anger" is what I sensed when reading, a sort of indignation that Freakonomics was getting so much attention (i.e., that something so "wrong," according to Freedomnomics, is talked about to the point of being taken for granted.)

Freedomnomics was an attempt to "clear the air" of the stink over Freakonomics' popularity, in my opinion. Not saying either book is more correct ("How to Lie with Statistics" was my favorite book in the 10th grade); data are all about spin.

Frankly, I'm just glad to have TWO popular books on economics out there!