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Jay Gordon
Attended Western Michigan University
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Jay Gordon

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Alternatively titled: Cry Me A Bentley.

'The pathology of the rich white family is the most dangerous pathology in America. The rich white family is cursed with too much money and privilege. It is devoid of empathy, the result of lifetimes of entitlement. It has little sense of loyalty and lacks the capacity for self-sacrifice. Its definition of friendship is reduced to “What can you do for me?” It is possessed by an insatiable lust to increase its fortunes and power. It believes that wealth and privilege confer to it a superior intelligence and virtue. It is infused with an unchecked hedonism and narcissism. And because of all this, it interprets reality through a lens of self-adulation and greed that renders it delusional. The rich white family is a menace. The pathologies of the poor, when set against the pathologies of rich white people, are like a candle set beside the sun.

There are no shortages of acolytes and propagandists for rich white families. They dominate our airwaves. They blame poverty, societal breakdown, urban violence, drug use, domestic abuse and crime on the pathology of poor black families—not that they know any. They argue that poor black families disintegrate because of some inherent defect—here you can read between the lines that white people are better than black people—a defect that these poor families need to fix.


Peddle this simplistic and racist garbage and you will be given a column at The New York Times. It always pays to suck up to rich white families. If you are black and parrot this line, rich white people are overcome with joy. They go to extreme lengths to give you a platform. You can become president or a Supreme Court justice. You can get a television talk show or tenure at a university. You can get money for your foundation. You can publish self-help books. Your films will be funded. You might even be hired to run a company.

Rich white families, their sycophants opine, have tried to help. Rich white families have given poor people numerous resources and government programs to lift them out of poverty. They have provided generous charity. But blacks, they say, along with other poor people of color, are defeated by self-destructive attitudes and behavior. Government programs are therefore wasted on these irresponsible people. Poor families, the sycophants tell us, will not be redeemed until they redeem themselves. We want to help, rich white people say, but poor black people need to pull up their pants, stay in school, get an education, find a job, say no to drugs and respect authority. If they don’t, they deserve what they get. And what the average black family ends up with in economic terms is a nickel for every dollar held by the average white family.

The misery and collapse of community and family in Roxbury were not caused by an inherent pathology within the black family. Rich people who treated the poor like human refuse caused the problems. Layers of institutionalized racism—the courts, the schools, the police, the probation officers, the banks, the easy access to drugs, the endemic unemployment and underemployment, the collapsing infrastructures and the prison system—effectively conspired to make sure the poor remained poor. Drug use, crime and disintegrating families are the result of poverty, not race. Poor whites replicate this behavior. Take away opportunity, infuse lives with despair and hopelessness, and this is what you get. But that is something rich white families do not want people to know. If it were known, the rich would have to take the blame.

The rich white family has an unrivaled aptitude for crime. Members of rich white families run corporations into the ground (think Lehman Brothers), defraud stockholders and investors, sell toxic mortgages as gold-plated investments to pension funds, communities and schools, and then loot the U.S. Treasury when the whole thing implodes. They steal hundreds of millions of dollars on Wall Street through fraud and theft, pay little or no taxes, almost never go to jail, write laws and regulations that legalize their crimes and then are asked to become trustees at elite universities and sit on corporate boards. They set up foundations and are admired as philanthropists. And if they get into legal trouble, they have high-priced lawyers and connections among the political elites to get them out.

You have to hand it to rich white families. They steal with greater finesse than anyone else. If you are a poor black teenager and sprint out of a CVS with a few looted bottles of shampoo, you are likely to be shot in the back or sent to jail for years. If there were an Olympiad for crime, rich white families would sweep up all the medals; blacks would be lucky to come within a mile of the first elimination trial. I don’t know why black people even try to compete in this area. They are, by comparison, utter failures as criminals. The monarchs of crime are rich white people, who wallow in their pilfered wealth while locking away in prisons a huge percentage of poor men of color.
The rich white family is a menace, and the sickness within it is the most dangerous threat to America. - 2015/05/17
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+Jay Gordon Sadly I don't have much spare time for reading these days.

This is my daily life now.  I don't know how I managed to end up with this cursed placement but the amount of overprivileged I deal with on both the workforce side and the patient population so thick I some days just want to quit on the basis of that alone.


A related notion anyone will ever be as good as them:

What's really fun is that despite me finally earning my position amongst the rich white folk.. I might well be umm... white trailer trash still.  I'll occasionally go out on a date and they find out my parents are barely surviving (one off inadequate social security, the other only slightly better) and it's kinda odd how the conversation turns into, "It was nice meeting you! (Don't call me, I'm not available)."

If you're not born into the club, you're never getting in.  Even if you're new money, at least where I'm at.
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Resharing for discussion.
 
In a post by +John Baez, I accidentally triggered a red herring by mentioning how Chomsky's linguistics is now an irrelevant and largely embarrassing past failure. The other parties in the derail was +Bill Reed and +John Wehrle, so in order to avoid making my misstep worse, I will take this particular subject here.

The main reason why Chomskyan linguistics can be dismissed out of hand is that it has completely divorced itself from what people actually speak.

As language is clearly learned by ostentation, through listening to others using language, actual daily-day usage is THE essential thing to understand, if one wants to know what language is.

Instead, in order to defend his crassly generalized assumptions, Chomsky has had to retreat completely out of actual language use, hiding between ever more abstracted layers.

At this point Chomsky is studying at most linear semiology, that is, he is studying which properties arise from having to use linear strings of signs, something that applies as much to computer code as to natural language - but which for that same reason can shed very little light on what is particular to human language as opposed to general linear semiology.

Real linguistics, today, builds on the largest possible corpuses, with as many different languages as at all possible. It is not at all unusual to have models of grammar built on hundreds of languages from all available language families and diverse regions.


Another sign that Chomsky is completely wrong is that all attempts at formulating a generative semantics have failed. This is, again, because Chomsky has given himself to a study of something that doesn't involve semantics, namely the common properties of systems of linear signs.


Now, can something be learned from studying linear semiology on a very abstract level? Sure. But I am sure even that can be done better without a flawed hypothesis as a basis.
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+Faruk Ahmet It is good that there are still people trying to salvage the wreckage...
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"I remember that once, pressed by an overload of worries, in the middle of a conversation about the French adaptation of his book FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE, I asked him one of the few personal direct questions I ever ventured with him, "Marshall, what does faith mean to you?" and he answered right away, as a matter of fact, a simple evidence: "Paying attention, faith is paying attention, not to the cliches of religion only, but to the ground of the total man, which is the archetype. You come to the faith by prayer and by paying attention.""

http://www.media-ecology.org/mcluhan/mc_pass.txt
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Secularism and the problem of evil. The citation below follows from the passage photographed.

'As so often is the case secular thinking follows a pattern dictated by religion while suppressing religion's most valuable insights. Modern rationalists reject the idea of evil while being obsessed by it. Seeing themselves as embattled warriors in a struggle against darkness, it has not occurred to them to ask why humankind is so fond of the dark. They are left with the same problem of evil that faces religion. The difference is that religious believers know that they face an insoluble difficulty, while secular believers do not.

Aware of the evil in themselves, traditional believers know it cannot be expelled from the world by human action. Lacking this saving insight, secular believers dream of creating a higher species.
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'In the most ambitious versions of scientific materialism, human beings are marionettes: puppets on genetic strings, which by accident of evolution have become self aware. Unknown to those who most ardently profess it, the boldest secular thinkers are possessed by a version of mystical religion. At present, Gnosticism is the faith of the people who believe themselves to be machines.' -- Gray
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The ideological cleansing also happens to white candidates. In one of the most memorable incidents, the committee almost rejected an extraordinarily qualified applicant because of his obvious Christian faith (...). In writing, committee members questioned whether they wanted his “Bible-thumping” or “God-squadding” on campus.
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w00t. I'm getting my John Gray Fix tomorrow. 
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Jay Gordon

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#morninginspiration

'The Aztecs did not share the modern conceit that mass killing can bring about universal peace. They did not envision a future when humans ceased to be violent. When they practiced human sacrifice, it was not to improve the world, still less to fashion some higher type of human being. The purpose of the killing was what they affirmed it to be: to protect them from the senseless violence that is inherent in a world of chaos. That human sacrifice was a barbarous way of making meaning tells us something about ourselves as much as them. Civilization and barbarism are not different kinds of society. They are found -- intertwined -- whenever human beings come together.


If you take the Aztec world seriously -- and it was, after all, one made by human beings -- you will see the modern world in a new light. Humans kill one another -- and in some cases themselves -- for many reasons, but none is more human than the attempt to make sense of their lives. More than the loss of life, they fear the loss of meaning. There are many who prefer dying to some kinds of survival, and quite a few that have chosen to go to a violent end.

At this point it easy to think of jihadists courting martyrdom, but not all who choose a violent end are religious believers. Suicide bombing has often been taken up for pragmatic reasons: it is a cost effective method in asymmetric warfare, which can have benefits for the bombers' families. But the practice has spread because it appeals to a need for meaning. The Tamil guerrilla fighters in Sri Lanka who first developed the explosive suicide vest were disciples of Lenin, as were some of the suicide bombers in Lebanon in the Eighties. Rejecting any idea of an afterlife, they cherished the far more absurd fantasy of making a new world.

Alone among the animals, humans seek meaning in their lives by killing and dying for the sake of nonsensical dreams. Chief among these absurdities, in modern times, is the idea of a new humanity.

In the 20th century, the worst episodes of mass killing were perpetrated with the aim of remaking the species. If followers of Lenin dreamt of a socialist humanity, the Nazis imagined they were bringing into being a 'superior race'. Western governments that launch wars of regime change may seem in another league, but impulses that drive them are not altogether different. Critics claim that the true aim of these adventures are geopolitical [...] No doubt geopolitics plays a part, but a type of magical thinking may be more important. Serving no realizable strategic objective, wars of regime change are an attempt to secure a place in history. By intervening in societies of which they know nothing, western elites are advancing a future they believe is prefigured in themselves -- a new world based on freedom, democracy and human rights. The results are clear -- failed states, zones of anarchy, and new and worse tyrannies; but in order that they may see themselves as world changing figures, our leaders have chosen not to see what they have done.'
Compared with that of humans, the life of the marionette looks more like an enviable state of freedomIn his brilliantly enjoyable and fre...
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That cover is brilliant.
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I wonder if I could work out a deal where I just skipped class read a bunch of stuff and wrote a paper minimally relevant to the class but maximally relevant to whatever my interests were at the time?
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+Jordan Peacock Why are we not surprised?
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A lot of people I've talked to have been led to believe that learning Fullstack JavaScript easier than Rails since all they would need to learn is JavaScript.  This is based on the incorrect thought that learning the syntax of programming is the hard part, when in reality it's learning the processes you need to take to learn new things.

Checkout this blog post, which talks about the right way to learn web development (finding the right tool for the job).

http://blog.thefirehoseproject.com/posts/nodejs-vs-rails/
NodeJS vs. Rails - Understand the key differences between both web development frameworks and learn how to choose the best technology for the job.
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Ok, I read that article. Good advice if you are training yourself to try to get a job, but tradeoffs happen. Rails has more jobs than Nodejs now, but Node job listings are growing faster and Node programmers are scarcer.

On the other hand, Node is harder to learn than Rails. 

I started in Python and Django 10 years ago. If I had it to do now, I might start with Node. But I was already an experienced programmer, which makes a difference. There seem to be more Python jobs than Ruby jobs, but almost all Ruby jobs are for Rails, while a lot of Python jobs are scientific or quants (working for some branch of finance capital). I suspect there are more Rails jobs than Django jobs.

If any of that did not compute for you, yell.
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#freedom. Man this is so much better than Sam Harris' nonsense. 
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While I don't agree at all with Harris on religion, I still think that his book on free will was fairly accurate on many points. He just cleared a few essential points (speaking as a biophysicist here).
What Gray is talking about here is a completely different topic, something like "social freedom". And I wish I understood what he means by "state of the soul" or "turning within themselves".
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Whoops, the plain reading of the bible advocated by fundamentalists is not turning out as planned. 
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Basic Information
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Jay
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Doubt Truth to be a Liar
Introduction
'Chakravath parivartante dukhanichaiv sukhanichaiv.' (Both good fortune and bad fortune ever turn like wheels on a cart).
Education
  • Western Michigan University
    M.A. Epistemology and Philosophy of Science, 2010 - 2012
  • Rollins College
    B.A. English and Philosophy, 2004 - 2009
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