Tag: If I were a — I would —

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I’d start by coming up with a solid goal. Destroying the world. or even destroying civilization, is pointless. I currently rule nothing, after destroying the world, I would still rule nothing, and have harder time getting toilet paper. Ruling the world is almost as bad. I have a target painted on my back 24-7, and […]

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If I Were CDC Director…


I would start by taking the various department heads in a room to get my point across:  Professionalism and competence earn respect. At the beginning of the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic, 80% of people in the US trusted the CDC for information on the pandemic. It is now near 50% and falling. If the CDC is not trusted by the American people to provide advice on a pandemic, what is its purpose? (Aside from paying bureaucrats.)

The CDC must be a conservative organization. One of Conquest’s laws of politics is that any organization that is not explicitly conservative will become liberal over time, so the CDC must be conservative. What this means in practice is a presumption against restricting people’s freedom. People need to take risks and determine what is safe. We give them information so that they can make an informed decision. When we practice quarantine and lockdown measures, it should be treated like going to war or invoking martial law – never done lightly.

If I Could Change 1 Big Life Decision, I’d Listen to My Faculty Advisor


I was a psychology major in college, for the wrong reason. Earlier, when I was in junior high school, my parents took me to the University of Washington Adolescent Clinic. It was their opinion that I was a screwed-up kid, and needed help. In my opinion, I was just fine, and someone else in the family was the problem. But since I was the kid, parents ruled. The intake procedure for the clinic was a big meeting around a conference table, with me, my mother, and four clinicians, including a psychiatrist. They asked me and my mom questions, and we answered. I enjoyed the meeting and answered everyone’s questions honestly. After the meeting, I met with the psychiatrist, a very nice lady. What she told me was that I was correct. I was fine. Mom was the problem. That took a huge weight off me, and I decided then and there that I wanted to be a psychologist when I grew up. Uh, wrong.

So I majored in psychology at college. I really, really wanted to be a counselor, so I could help kids like I was helped. In my senior year of college, I was required to take a course called “Research Participation”, or “rat-running” in the local psych slang. I had to design an experiment involving running rats through a maze; compile the data; and write a paper with the results. I had no real interest in research, but I did it anyway. I came up with the bright idea of exposing one group of rats to loud noise, and the other group of rats to no noise; run them all through the maze afterward, and see if the two groups’ performance was different. My lab partner was my boyfriend, who was afraid of rats! So I handled the rats, and he compiled the data. We found some really screechy music, and I took the record to the AV lab and made a continuous loop of tape with this really awful music, to play for the study group of rats (the others were the control group). Then, every night for a week, I would go to the lab and for an hour I played the noise for the study rats, then spend some time with the control rats, so they all saw me for the same length of time.

If I Were the Pope, I’d Deal with China Differently


The Catholic Church, in her long and storied history, has lots of experience dealing with dictatorial powers that see her as a rival.

Throughout much of European history, bishops were a different class of wealthy noblemen. Rulers rightly saw bishops as potential threats. Many kings and princes attempted to control the ability to appoint the bishops within their rule. The response of the Church varied over time and place, but the essential lesson is that the Church should not, can not, cede her power to appoint bishops to the local authorities. When she does, it goes badly.

If I Were Someone Else, I Wouldn’t Be Me


The theme for this month’s Group Writing challenges us to imagine a different scenario for ourselves. When I was a child, I read a lot of the Childhood of Famous Americans series from the school library. (I think I read nearly every book in the school library, and the librarian would let me come in between class changes and grab a book off the shelf without checking it out, knowing that I would read it on my lap under my desk during the more dull classes and bring it back before the end of the day.)

The stories of people like John Muir, Osceola, Babe Didrickson, Robert Fulton, Annie Oakley, Sam Clemens, Crazy Horse, and so many others moved me, inspired me, gave me ideas. I imagined myself as those people, and what I would do in the situations they faced, and I learned what I wanted in my own life. My mind was opened to amazing and strange possibilities, but I also saw the constrictions they faced, the challenges that existed for them even from a young age.