Tag: youth

Youth Is Wasted on the Young


I swear that some younger engineers are absolutely unteachable (unlearnable?). They not only know little of the industries they serve but are ignorant of how and why their industries do things in particular ways. I could of course cite Chesterton’s Fence as one example, but there are plenty more besides.

Over the last few days, I have had a back-and-forth with a younger engineer at a long-time customer, who seems keen to change how his company is doing things, but fails to understand why they are doing what they do in the first place. He’s going to have to learn the hard way, just like all the other younger engineers. What follows is just the condensed transcript of my emails back and forth.

Customer: I want to spec part Y on my vehicles.

There Is Hope


I will be the first to admit, I easily become very gloom and doom when looking at the state of our nation, especially when I talk about Millennials and Generation Z. I know young people get a bad rep – and to be fair – they deserve it. Seeing as I am technically on the older end of these self-described “woke” generations apparently wiser than their forebears, I can call it as I see it.

They are the first generations since our nation’s inception to protest for their rights to be taken away, who see kneeling during the anthem as a productive avenue for change, and are so emotionally weak they utilize university-sponsored coloring pages, cry-ins, and safe spaces to protect them from words they don’t like.

Since less than a third of Millennials say the United States is the greatest country in the world and in need of drastic change, they gather in droves to support a “new” system of government; a system already responsible for the deaths of over 100 million people.

Quote of the Day: Youth and Politics


“All people are good at making distinctions about the things they are acquainted with, and each is a good judge of those things. Therefore, good judgment goes along with the way each one is educated, and the one who has been educated about everything has it in an unqualified way. For this reason, it is not appropriate for a young person to be a student of politics, since the young are inexperienced in the actions of life, while these are the things about which politics speaks and from which it reasons. Also, since the young are apt to follow their impulses, they would hear such discourses without purpose or benefit, since their end is not knowing but action. And it makes no difference whether one is young in age or immature in character, for the deficiency doesn’t come from the time, but from living in accord with feeling and following every impulse. For knowledge comes to such people without profit, as it does to those who lack self-restraint; but to those who keep their desires in proportion and act in that way, knowing about these things would be of great benefit.”

This quote comes from one of the first three chapters in Book One of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, with which Aristotle intends to set as a prelude to his discourse regarding how it ought to be received as well as what the task is that “we have set before ourselves.”

Quote of the Day: Two Little Words


Few things exercise the Ricochetti more than a spirited discussion of the woeful state of public education in the United States today, unless it’s despairing angst (is there any other kind?) over the direction of the country in general, the state of mind of its youth, or the general lack of gratitude for anyone or anything shown by anybody under the age of [pick a target demographic, probably based on your own state of middling-to-advanced geezerhood]. Sometimes, it seems that there’s nothing we like better than a good, and dreary, moan about the state of things.

So, just to be contrary, and with the recognition that, perhaps I’m a lone voice crying in the wilderness (wouldn’t be the first time, and probably not the last), or that, perhaps, my family has been lucky to have tapped into the one-and-only decent public school system in the country (unlikely that, I can’t help thinking), I’d like to shower today’s quote of the day on a little institution in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania: “Thank you,” Charles W. Longer Elementary School (the school appears to have been named after a local educator who served for many years as the superintendent of the district. Thank you, Charles W. Longer, himself.)

Our most recent occasion for showing appreciation occurred yesterday when Mr. She and I made the trek of about 130 miles Northeast from Chez She to Hollidaysburg (home of the Slinky), the county seat of Blair County, PA. The first thing I was grateful for when I got there, was that it wasn’t 38 degrees, blustery, and pouring with rain, inside the auditorium. Thank you. One of the worst drives of my life. Ever. But totally worth it, although by the time we got inside, the two of us were shivering and resembled nothing so much as two drowned rats. (The drive home was worse, though. Over three hours.)

Edward L. Glaeser addresses the challenges of convincing skeptical millennials and younger Americans about the merits of capitalism in the Manhattan Institute’s 2018 James Q. Wilson lecture.

Young people in the United States are moving steadily to the left. A recent Harvard University poll found that 51 percent of Americans between ages 18 and 29 don’t support capitalism. The trend is visible on the ground, too. Phenomena driven largely by millennials—such as Occupy Wall Street, the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, and, more recently, the wave of Democratic Socialist candidates for state and federal office—are all signs of an intellectual shift among the young.

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As a kid, I wanted to be Steve McQueen. But, for me, it wasn’t the McQueen who tooled around San Fran in that iconic green Mustang GT 390. It was an earlier McQueen–the one who opened in New York City on this date in 1965, alongside (take a breath) Edward G. Robinson, Karl Malden, Ann-Margret, […]

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Thoughts from CPAC


Most of the big wigs are being shown live on the news. From Media Row, so far we have had the pleasure of watching Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Scott Walker, Kellyanne Conway, Betsy DeVos, Reince Priebus, and others. We are taking a Secret Service hotel sterilization break due to Vice President Pence coming.

Like most political conventions, the real action is outside in the halls, breakout rooms, and media stars (Jesse Watters is very popular). This convention is part post-election celebration, part thanking the faithful, and part planning for the future. The one takeaway from today thus far was seeing the elusive Steve Bannon telling the crowd he is intent on ensuring every promise Trump made will be fulfilled.

With my trusty “producer” and good friend Melissa @6foot2inhighheels, we are scoring interviews while competing against actual reporters and real media outlets. Tenacity is the key to success!

A collective cry resounds from coast to coast: “We’ve got to fix our broken education system!” Yet, what do we do? Young Americans are caught between schools’ requirements to maintain certain levels of testing and garnering a valuable, useful education that can manufacture valuable, able-minded citizens.

E. D. Hirsch is a pioneer in the field of cultural literacy. Being literate on one’s cultural is as important as being literate in letters and the two are indeed married. When one’s ability to read and write at an appropriate level is below certain levels, of course their understanding of their environment and culture is retarded as well.

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This is my most recent Boston sermon. It went over just fine with the folks in the pews, but apparently enraged the young ministerial intern–enough so he stormed out as soon as the service ended, without waiting for me (the guest minister) or speaking to me. What did I say? Preview Open

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Back in June, there was a long Ricochet discussion of transgender people, the psychology of gender dysphoria, and more.  I recall mentioning the hypothetical of someone who wanted to be a child again in Bryan’s thread, but the issue dropped off the radar. Then I read this off of Jonah Goldberg’s twitter. Preview Open

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The Essential Conservative Reader for Adolescents


animal-farm-book-cover1As my children (currently first and third graders) get older, I’m increasingly concerned about how to inoculate them against the incessant liberalism they will be exposed to on a daily basis through school and media. I already have to deal with cartoon dogs lecturing them about global warming and teachers not letting them eat snacks because — heaven forfend! — the yogurt contains Oreo crumbles.

Dealing with that stuff is pretty easy now; I just tell them the problems with what they’re hearing on TV or in the classroom, or I ignore the issue because the attempts at liberal indoctrination have failed. But at some point, sooner than I would like, they are going to need more. So I started thinking about a reading list for when that time comes to help my kids realize that a lot of liberal pablum is misguided at best and overtly destructive at worst. I want them to think critically about these issues.

The reading material needs to be accessible to a seventh grader (or thereabouts), so the Road to Serfdom, Capitalism and Freedom, and Liberal Fascism are probably out. I also don’t want the material to seem hectoring or overly preachy about the virtues of conservatism.

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Today head-slapper: According to a new Harvard study—based on data gathered from focus groups, interviews, and several surveys, including one of roughly 20,000 11-to-18-year-old boys and girls from 59 public and private secondary schools—nearly a quarter of girls preferred male over female political leaders. What’s more, when asked about their gender preferences regarding managerial roles […]

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What is it that young voters want? Michael Smerconish wrote a bit about his college-age son in last Sunday’s Tribune-Review.  In this piece, he discusses his son’s choice of party affiliation. …I wasn’t sure what he would do with his own application. I stood silently watching him fill in his personal data, waiting to see […]

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Adulthood Is Awesome. Embrace It.


2407282649_c52cbc624f_zOkay, maybe it’s just the existential crankiness that comes from turning 31 today, but I have to get this off my chest: Why do people complain about being called “mister,” “miss,” “sir,” or “ma’am”?

I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. If one was past puberty, one was a mister or a miss. My babysitter was Ms. Stacy; my sister’s best friend’s mom was Ms. Sheri; the gentlemen who owned the pool across the street was Mr. Hazelwood — that was even how I referred to him when I told my parents of his recent death. It was the same dynamic at school and a church. As kids, we were stuck with just first names, but the adults had titles! Mr. and Mrs. for most, Brother and Sister for the really old school folks in the congregation.

Then we moved to the Kansas City area. My first Sunday, I was introduced to the Sunday School teacher who laughed when I tried to call him Mr. Robin. This has been a recurring experience ever since — I attempt to show some respect to an adult, and the responses are variations on “Mr./Ms.So-and So is my father/mother” or “Are you trying to make me feel old?” (I especially find the latter type strange when the speaker is clearly over 60).