Real and Fake Worlds: Why the Trains are Failing
You need the real world for the fake one to thrive.
Eight guys who have done OK in life at a cigar shop in Miami. It’s one of those “Cuban cigar” places where they sell to tourists who don’t know the difference, but the chairs are comfortable and the music is good. As we are there, I ask people what they do for a living.
“Real estate investing,” “Private equity,” “Sales.” No one worked on planes, trains, or automobiles. Therein lies the problem.
We live in two worlds, the real and fake ones.
Money is fake. Or socially constructed if that’s how you prefer it. We’ve all agreed that these pieces of paper matter. Our agreement is strong enough that without money, you will die.
Malaria is real. It will kill you. This isn’t something we have to all agree on. Reality exists outside of our consciousness. Get bit by a mosquito. Die.
You need fake money to solve real problems, for example it costs money to produce, distribute, and acquire anti-malaria medication.
Most of the smartest people are going into the fake world, because it’s Infinite.
Airline pilot or train conductor is more important than Substack’er. By the end of the year, if trends hold up, I’ll be OK from this thing. That’s not fair. It’s not moral. It’s not practical. It is what it is.
People who go into finance have unlimited upside.
Why then would people want to work real jobs, which require mental horsepower and college degrees, when they could work in the fake world of finance, sales, and e-commerce?
IQ tests used to solve this problem.
In the olden days, you didn’t need a college degree to get a real job. You took an IQ test to get a job. In Griggs v. Duke Power Co, the far left wing Supreme Court all but outlawed these tests.
Employers thus started to required university degrees for jobs that a smart and ambitious 19 year old could have begun learning via on-the-job training and mentorship.
All the smart kids were forced to attend college. Most of them realized, “If I am going to go through all this hassle, I may as well sell insurance for State Farm upon graduation.”
Banning IQ tests for jobs, more than any other policy, hollowed out the middle. Millions of smart kids got left behind. We should care not for their sake, but our own.
The forgotten kids.
Standardized tests (a rough measure of IQ) were given to kids, who were then sorted or tracked into gifted programs.
It was to my own shock, as well ass my friends, that I was in the “preppy homeroom” for junior high. I scored well on those tests, even through my grades were always mediocre.
My parents were religious fundamentalists who didn’t put much value on school grades. (Maybe they were right all along.)
Anyway, I got tracked into the more advanced homeroom. This was typical of that era. Identify smart kids who may be in difficult or unusual circumstances, and try to push them up. All of society benefits when you identify and promote the higher IQ.
Now those gifted kids will be forgotten.
We have also agreed to shift resources from identifying greatness for other priorities.
Most won’t have the grades to attend college, or maybe they didn’t do their homework or have the prerequisites. They can’t test their way onto a job. Either they go to college, which is out of reach for most who grew up in my circumstances, or they fall though the cracks.
Society doesn’t care, as “flyover people” are seen as not really human.
As infrastructure crumbles, all will pay the piper.
When you put the fake world ahead of the real world.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg worked in the fake world of Harvard and consulting. Consultants do not improve business outcomes. They exist as a way to give cover to an executive team by saying that the executive team’s strategy is the correct one. This also means you can’t fire the executives for failure because the consultants agreed it was the right move.
Where do you suppose “Mayor Pete’s” priorities are?
Roads and train tracks can’t get more real. Polluted water is as real as it gets.
Racial identity politics are part of the fake world. We only get to fight over nonsense when infrastructure is strong enough to support our bloated selves.
The country has decided that the fake world matters more than the real world.
“T.I.V.” comes to U.S.A.
My wife and I lived in Vietnam for a spell. When the internet was down, or the power went out, people would say, “TIV.” That stood for This is Vietnam, in other words shrug your shoulders and accept it.
Vietnam is on the rise, and in twenty years from now, you won’t be saying TIV.
We will be saying TIA.
This is America.
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