Thursday, March 03, 2016
I find that young people pay attention to their school and work history, because it creates a permanent record that others can, and sometimes do, check.
They pay less attention to their dating history - in part, I think, because there is no equivalent of a "permanent record."
What would happen if dating websites asked for a complete dating resume, including asking for explanations of gaps and omissions? Would students come to see that they have a courtship career that matters, in the same way that they have a school and work career with cumulative effect?
Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Michael Barone, in his excellent Shaping Our Nation, notes that New England did not have a significant influx of non-Puritans from the 1620s to the 1780s. As a result, the Yankees developed a strong regional culture.
I think this is a powerful, and generalizable, idea: regional culture depends on a long period without significant in-migration.
The advantage of such a situation is that the local culture has time to develop and become pervasive. The disadvantage is that the region can become backward. Such a region misses out on the energy of new immigrant groups. Worse, it misses out on the vibrant innovation that a mixed region must develop as it hybridizes old and new cultures into a new synthesis.
Low in-migration can account for why colonial New England developed such a strong regional culture. I think this also accounts for why the South developed such a distinctive culture up to the 1960s, and why Appalachia is distinctive to this day.
Monday, February 29, 2016
The Republican Party has been cultivating an authoritarian base since Ronald Reagan ran as an "anti-government" president.
Donald Trump is an opportunist. He has correctly seen what kind of opportunity this gives him to hijack the Republican presidential nomination for his own purposes.
The Republican establishment is already trying every measure they can think of to stop Trump. However, they have disarmed themselves of all checks and balances, and have not at all been able to unite. Each attempt they make to stop Trump just confirms to the authoritarians that "elites" are trying to take away their voice and vote - because they are.
Now the GOP is openly preparing to attack their own nominee, in an attempt to protect their Congressional candidates.
Nothing is certain. However, I can see how this election could turn into a debacle for the Republican Party worse than Goldwater's loss.