Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Young Inconsequentials

 

I haven’t posted in…like…forever. But all the recent Thomas Sowell posts got me thinking (as Sowell tends to do for all of us). His concept of “consequential knowledge” versus “inconsequential knowledge,” introduced in Intellectuals and Society, has always stuck with me because, you see, I have no consequential knowledge. Zero. Zilch.

I am fully aware that in the coming Zombie Apocalypse I will be one of the first to be pushed outside the safety of the compound, provided only a gun with a single bullet, while the useful humans attempt to make their escape. You see, I write music for a living. And there is nothing terribly consequential about that when the world is coming apart at the seams.

Bottom line, I am pretty much useless in a less-than-civilized society.

In that way, I share a great deal in common with the Left Wing protestors and urban terrorists now plaguing certain cities in America. These poor people have no genuine consequential knowledge – no skill set that really matters in the real world. Many of them – young, middle-class white kids – are angry because they know deep down they’ve wasted they’re lives on a useless education in some sort of “Studies” program. They don’t know how to do anything useful, so they just wanna tear everything down.

But here is where the Young Inconsequentials (yes, I just made that up) and I differ. I’m wise enough to know that I can’t survive without all the Consequential folks that tend to keep society ordered and moving along. (For crying out loud, I don’t even own a gun – and I live in Texas!) I’m no idiot – I know full well that artists, philosophers, and “Studies majors” are at the bottom of the “Call in Case of Emergency” list. I need Consequential folks to keep things running, so I can make music and get paid for it.

Sadly, the Young Inconsequentials don’t see that. They don’t yet realize that should they get their wish for society to crumble, their own complete and utter uselessness will cause them to be the first ones pushed outside the walls to slow the zombie onslaught.

So then, how hard is it to learn to be a plumber? (Asking for a friend.)

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  1. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    In times of strife, music is considered essential.

     

    Northern Nevada Chapter, Fife and Drum

    • #1
    • August 9, 2020, at 8:46 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Well, I am like @songwriter in having few really useful skills. But I can happily join the “fetch and carry” brigade, which will still remain useful, even at my advanced age. Unfortunately, those young inconsequentials will probably refuse that kind of duty, since they think of themselves as higher-class than a ditch-digger.

    • #2
    • August 9, 2020, at 8:53 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor

    You also forget that you are consequential because you bring beauty to our lives through your songs. Without beauty, the hard work of the consequential folk would be painful and ugly. 

    • #3
    • August 9, 2020, at 9:04 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. TreeRat Member

    So then, how hard is it to learn to be a plumber?

    Can’t be too hard, I learned (to the extent that I have) by osmosis, or something akin to that.

    Advanced knowledge is obtained by experience. This includes how to fix/cleanup the consequences of inadequate knowledge.

    Key fact to remember: If you haven’t made at least three trips to the hardware store, you have missed something important.

    • #4
    • August 9, 2020, at 9:21 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  5. Arahant Member

    If you’re doing something that people are paying you for, it is at least situationally consequential.

    • #5
    • August 9, 2020, at 9:36 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. I Walton Member

    Few, if any are really necessary, but if most play positive roles the society can survive and sometimes prosper. (Creating music is unambiguously positive and necessary, even lousy artists are necessary.) If those who do not contribute survive we can live with them, but there are also those who just destroy, or consume without producing. There are limits to how many of that bunch we can survive, but they’re hard to recognize unless they’re low level criminals, and some of all sorts surprise us, so the best thing is to just do what we’re good at well, and limit how much power anyone has.

    • #6
    • August 9, 2020, at 9:53 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Barfly Member

    One key to understanding the broader sheepmass of the left is they have not matured and become independent. Their pronouncements and demands make a lot more sense if one assumes that we all have a common parent. 

    • #7
    • August 9, 2020, at 10:05 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Songwriter Inactive
    SongwriterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    In times of strife, music is considered essential.

     

    Northern Nevada Chapter, Fife and Drum

    Well I did begin my musical journey as a drummer. 

    • #8
    • August 9, 2020, at 10:16 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  9. Songwriter Inactive
    SongwriterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    If you’re doing something that people are paying you for, it is at least situationally consequential.

    They are paying a lot less these days for music. 

    • #9
    • August 9, 2020, at 10:17 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. JoelB Member

    “The City on a Hill” addresses these concerns well.

    • #10
    • August 9, 2020, at 10:28 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. Quietpi Member

    @Songwriter, you’re selling yourself much too short. Music, after all, is the window and language of the soul, and that’s anything but inconsequential. Consider its connection with enduring truths – It is the direct product of mathematics and physics, which never change. Every culture has produced its own music, unique in some ways, but meeting the same consequential laws in their most basic elements. Isn’t one of the oldest relics we find of any ancient civilization some forms of musical instruments? And it provides an important element of structure to our lives.

    Sometimes music provides us a unique view of our own culture, not always pleasant, and sometimes hard to face in more concrete terms. Haven’t we in this culture slid from Bach a few centuries ago to rap? What do we learn here about our culture’s soul?

    No, you and your contribution to all of us is anything but inconsequential.

    • #11
    • August 9, 2020, at 11:02 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. Songwriter Inactive
    SongwriterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    @Songwriter, you’re selling yourself much too short. Music, after all, is the window and language of the soul, and that’s anything but inconsequential. Consider its connection with enduring truths – It is the direct product of mathematics and physics, which never change. Every culture has produced its own music, unique in some ways, but meeting the same consequential laws in their most basic elements. Isn’t one of the oldest relics we find of any ancient civilization some forms of musical instruments? And it provides an important element of structure to our lives.

    Sometimes music provides us a unique view of our own culture, not always pleasant, and sometimes hard to face in more concrete terms. Haven’t we in this culture slid from Bach a few centuries ago to rap? What do we learn here about our culture’s soul?

    No, you and your contribution to all of us is anything but inconsequential.

    You’re very kind. And trust me – I know what I do is difficult. (A smarter person would’ve chosen a different path, believe me.) But music, like all the artsy “Studies Programs” in higher ed these days, rests atop a bedrock of civilization. I couldn’t do what I do (and be paid for it) in the post-apocalyptic future these kids seem to be chasing. And sadly – they don’t see that they are among the most expendable, as well. They don’t yet understand that society needs them to be productive, not destructive. The irony, of course, is they seek to destroy what would protect them.

    • #12
    • August 9, 2020, at 11:34 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Flicker Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    You also forget that you are consequential because you bring beauty to our lives through your songs. Without beauty, the hard work of the consequential folk would be painful and ugly.

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    @Songwriter, you’re selling yourself much too short. Music, after all, is the window and language of the soul, and that’s anything but inconsequential. Consider its connection with enduring truths – It is the direct product of mathematics and physics, which never change. Every culture has produced its own music, unique in some ways, but meeting the same consequential laws in their most basic elements. Isn’t one of the oldest relics we find of any ancient civilization some forms of musical instruments? And it provides an important element of structure to our lives.

    Sometimes music provides us a unique view of our own culture, not always pleasant, and sometimes hard to face in more concrete terms. Haven’t we in this culture slid from Bach a few centuries ago to rap? What do we learn here about our culture’s soul?

    No, you and your contribution to all of us is anything but inconsequential.

    Music is also a major form of worship no matter what religion or tribe. Music is a motivator and a uniter. If I could write music, I’d write anthems or psalms.

    • #13
    • August 9, 2020, at 1:13 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Quietpi Member

    Songwriter (View Comment):
    You’re very kind. And trust me – I know what I do is difficult. (A smarter person would’ve chosen a different path, believe me.) But music, like all the artsy “Studies Programs” in higher ed these days, rests atop a bedrock of civilization. I couldn’t do what I do (and be paid for it) in the post-apocalyptic future these kids seem to be chasing. And sadly – they don’t see that they are among the most expendable, as well. They don’t yet understand that society needs them to be productive, not destructive. The irony, of course, is they seek to destroy what would protect them.

    Granted, but: “The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his afections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the Music.” – Wm. Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice.

    Funny you should mention plumbing. It’s a skill that always fascinates me. Every time I encounter a problem for which I can’t imagine there being a simple solution, I go to the hardware store, only to find somebody has created a fitting that does exactly what I need to do.

    Do you know Mike Rowe’s story? I couldn’t find the article I was seeking, but this appeared in my search:

    https://www.barbershop.org/mike-rowe-is-returning-the-favor-to-an-inspiring-music-educator

    I agree with you in part. Music is not, and will never be, inconsequential. That these snowflakes don’t understand this is a very poor statement on many things.

     

    • #14
    • August 9, 2020, at 1:33 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Lois Lane Coolidge

    Well, @songwriter, all I do is teach history. While I think this is undervalued in our current society—the “inconsequentials” would not be so destructive if they understood the lessons of the past!!!—People would also give me the stink eye if we were all sitting around the fire during the Apocalypse. Of course, I do know how to shoot a gun… hmmm….

    • #15
    • August 9, 2020, at 2:01 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul StinchfieldJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Songwriter: I am fully aware that in the coming Zombie Apocalypse I will be one of the first to be pushed outside the safety of the compound, provided only a gun with a single bullet, while the useful humans attempt to make their escape. You see, I write music for a living. And there is nothing terribly consequential about that when the world is coming apart at the seams.

    To be fair, there were poets and storytellers thousands of years ago when nearly everyone lived closer to the edge.

    • #16
    • August 9, 2020, at 2:08 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. Eeyore Member
    EeyoreJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    So then, how hard is it to learn to be a plumber? (Asking for a friend.)

    I was talking to a plumber about the day he applied for and was hired as an apprentice. Right away, a radio call came in for a job. His boss said, “Okay, let’s go.” He replied, asking whether they might want to, you know, train him. The boss replied “Two things you need to know about plumbing: s*** flows downhill and payday’s Friday. Let’s go.”

    • #17
    • August 9, 2020, at 2:21 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  18. Songwriter Inactive
    SongwriterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Songwriter: I am fully aware that in the coming Zombie Apocalypse I will be one of the first to be pushed outside the safety of the compound, provided only a gun with a single bullet, while the useful humans attempt to make their escape. You see, I write music for a living. And there is nothing terribly consequential about that when the world is coming apart at the seams.

    To be fair, there were poets and storytellers thousands of years ago when nearly everyone lived closer to the edge.

    True. But they didn’t get royalties for their songs. :)

    • #18
    • August 9, 2020, at 2:29 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Steve C. Member

    I live in Texas and don’t own a firearm.

    It’s not required. Just strongly encouraged. 

    • #19
    • August 9, 2020, at 2:32 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. Henry Castaigne Member

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3HZyKANxeg

    This is why VDH likes working class folks.

    • #20
    • August 9, 2020, at 2:36 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. Henry Castaigne Member

    Songwriter: I am fully aware that in the coming Zombie Apocalypse I will be one of the first to be pushed outside the safety of the compound, provided only a gun with a single bullet, while the useful humans attempt to make their escape.

    That’s if the remaining humans decide to not eat the useless people. You might cannibalized.

    • #21
    • August 9, 2020, at 2:36 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  22. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    TreeRat (View Comment):

    So then, how hard is it to learn to be a plumber?

    Can’t be too hard, I learned (to the extent that I have) by osmosis, or something akin to that.

    Advanced knowledge is obtained by experience. This includes how to fix/cleanup the consequences of inadequate knowledge.

    Key fact to remember: If you haven’t made at least three trips to the hardware store, you have missed something important.

    Just wanted to add, to the above: For the same project.

    On the same day.

    • #22
    • August 9, 2020, at 2:59 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    Eeyore (View Comment):

    So then, how hard is it to learn to be a plumber? (Asking for a friend.)

    I was talking to a plumber about the day he applied for and was hired as an apprentice. Right away, a radio call came in for a job. His boss said, “Okay, let’s go.” He replied, asking whether they might want to, you know, train him. The boss replied “Two things you need to know about plumbing: s*** flows downhill and payday’s Friday. Let’s go.”

    I like that.

    There’s nothing inconsequential about work – it’s what you do to keep the roof over the head, or keep yourself happy and sane, or both.

    The fact that sometimes, some skills are less in demand does not make them inconsequential. But it might mean a change is in order, and maybe that’s just in the short run.

    Which is really a way of saying that keeping marketable skills updated is a way of mitigating downturns, but that’s easy to say. If you’ve thrown yourself into a career like songwriting, it won’t leave a lot of time for Excel courses or getting up to speed on Oracle.

    So think of something else as a fallback. Work is just work. I’ve worked temp jobs as an adult at age 35 or so, pure grunt-work stuff, to keep money coming in, to feel better about myself (not working is no bueno for you), and to make sure I kept my “work face” up to speed. Meaning professionalism, even if the temp gig had zero to do with anything I might want to do, I dressed the part, when my colleagues were wearing jeans and t-shirts. I work dress pants, button shirts or polos, and dress shoes.

    You are not inconsequential. Neither is your work. Think of it in those terms and you’ll (I hope) feel better about what’s going on, things beyond your control.

    • #23
    • August 9, 2020, at 3:08 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Songwriter Inactive
    SongwriterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    I live in Texas and don’t own a firearm.

    It’s not required. Just strongly encouraged.

    Guys like us are counting a sort Texas herd immunity. Only with guns. 

    • #24
    • August 9, 2020, at 3:26 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Songwriter Inactive
    SongwriterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):

    Eeyore (View Comment):

    So then, how hard is it to learn to be a plumber? (Asking for a friend.)

    I was talking to a plumber about the day he applied for and was hired as an apprentice. Right away, a radio call came in for a job. His boss said, “Okay, let’s go.” He replied, asking whether they might want to, you know, train him. The boss replied “Two things you need to know about plumbing: s*** flows downhill and payday’s Friday. Let’s go.”

    I like that.

    There’s nothing inconsequential about work – it’s what you do to keep the roof over the head, or keep yourself happy and sane, or both.

    The fact that sometimes, some skills are less in demand does not make them inconsequential. But it might mean a change is in order, and maybe that’s just in the short run.

    Which is really a way of saying that keeping marketable skills updated is a way of mitigating downturns, but that’s easy to say. If you’ve thrown yourself into a career like songwriting, it won’t leave a lot of time for Excel courses or getting up to speed on Oracle.

    So think of something else as a fallback. Work is just work. I’ve worked temp jobs as an adult at age 35 or so, pure grunt-work stuff, to keep money coming in, to feel better about myself (not working is no bueno for you), and to make sure I kept my “work face” up to speed. Meaning professionalism, even if the temp gig had zero to do with anything I might want to do, I dressed the part, when my colleagues were wearing jeans and t-shirts. I work dress pants, button shirts or polos, and dress shoes.

    You are not inconsequential. Neither is your work. Think of it in those terms and you’ll (I hope) feel better about what’s going on, things beyond your control.

    I really am all good. Was being a little self effacing. I just recognize that so many gigs (like music) can’t really thrive without the folks with “consequential knowledge.” And these clueless protesters seem to not understand that. 

    • #25
    • August 9, 2020, at 3:38 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Flicker Coolidge

    Eeyore (View Comment):
    “Two things you need to know about plumbing: s*** flows downhill

    I remember once having a long conversation with a water reclamation specialist. After a couple hours with him describing settling ponds and chemical treatments, I said, “So in other words, s*** flows downhill.” And with delight, the man said, “Yes! Yes! That’s it! That’s exactly right!”

    • #26
    • August 9, 2020, at 3:46 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Full Size Tabby Member

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    I live in Texas and don’t own a firearm.

    It’s not required. Just strongly encouraged.

    Guys like us are counting a sort Texas herd immunity. Only with guns.

    Friend of ours – young mother with four very small children – told us she counts on that. She owns and knows how to use guns, but doesn’t want to carry because she worries that one of those small children might get hold of it. But she is confident that there are enough people around her, especially men, who are carrying (Texas) who will protect her if a problem arises. And the criminals no doubt know that as well. So, yes, herd immunity works with guns. The criminal never knows who might be carrying. 

    • #27
    • August 9, 2020, at 7:52 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Full Size Tabby Member

    Songwriter:

    But here is where the Young Inconsequentials (yes, I just made that up) and I differ. I’m wise enough to know that I can’t survive without all the Consequential folks that tend to keep society ordered and moving along. (For crying out loud, I don’t even own a gun – and I live in Texas!) I’m no idiot – I know full well that artists, philosophers, and “Studies majors” are at the bottom of the “Call in Case of Emergency” list. I need Consequential folks to keep things running, so I can make music and get paid for it.

     

    You also recognize that you can, with your music, build up a society that keeps the Zombie Apocalypse at bay. By making civilized society more beautiful and attractive for the Consequential folks, you help the Consequential folk want to keep society together. 

    If the Young Inconsequential paid closer attention to @LoisLane and her history lessons, they might realize that instead of getting angry about what they don’t like about history, and directing that anger toward tearing down the society that came out of that history, they could use that history to help build an even better society using the foundations provided by history. 

    • #28
    • August 9, 2020, at 7:59 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. Eeyore Member
    EeyoreJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ya know, Songwriter, I think you could make quite a chunk of change if you could write a song that does to Antifa what Slim Whitman’s Indian Love Call did in Mars Attacks!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSbigjiKLoU

    • #29
    • August 9, 2020, at 8:19 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  30. Lois Lane Coolidge

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Songwriter:

    But here is where the Young Inconsequentials (yes, I just made that up) and I differ. I’m wise enough to know that I can’t survive without all the Consequential folks that tend to keep society ordered and moving along. (For crying out loud, I don’t even own a gun – and I live in Texas!) I’m no idiot – I know full well that artists, philosophers, and “Studies majors” are at the bottom of the “Call in Case of Emergency” list. I need Consequential folks to keep things running, so I can make music and get paid for it.

     

    You also recognize that you can, with your music, build up a society that keeps the Zombie Apocalypse at bay. By making civilized society more beautiful and attractive for the Consequential folks, you help the Consequential folk want to keep society together.

    If the Young Inconsequential paid closer attention to @LoisLane and her history lessons, they might realize that instead of getting angry about what they don’t like about history, and directing that anger toward tearing down the society that came out of that history, they could use that history to help build an even better society using the foundations provided by history.

    Plus the greatest, happiest, most wonderful of all Saturday morning cartoons were from School House Rock. I loved those, @songwriter. Did anyone not love those? (Of course, the history ones were the absolute best.)

    Do Saturday morning cartoons even still exist?

    • #30
    • August 10, 2020, at 4:33 AM PDT
    • 3 likes