Toddy Cat: What’s astonishing about this article is that the author actually admits that the Immigration Pause of 1924-1965 had some good social effects. Considering that this was published in the New Yorker, that’s astonishing. That’s like Commentary publishing an article that expresses doubts about the full extent of the Holocaust, or NR giving props to Commies.
Toddy Cat: Yeah, I overstated a bit. But the arrogance of a guy like Adams gets me. I mean, I’m sure he’s not dumb, but his opinion of what the future is going to be like is no more valid than that of my mechanic, who is also not dumb.
Pelekesi: Two things: low ground clearance and it looks like it’d generate lift.
Kent: Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes.
Rollory: Well, Adams is a bit smarter than Toddy gives him credit for, but I do agree that Adams is vastly overstating his case. The most interesting people that I know today tend to be the ones who pick and choose precisely which elements of technology they wish to use and why, and control the “gimme” impulse almost instinctively. The people who jump on new shinies as soon as they see them are the low class types. I think massive adoption of the sort of stuff he’s talking about...
Cassander: This is wonky, but I’d object to the notion that the Marian reforms naturally made troops loyal to their generals. The reason generals often ended up paying their troops was that the Senate often ended up not paying them. Had the Roman Senate been better at paying, the troops would have been better at not rebelling. As for the idea that Iraq is majority middle class, Iraq has less than half the per-capita GDP of Mexico and is considerably more dependent on oil than it is. It is nowhere...
James James: Sturgeon’s Law: most people in favour of Scottish independence are morons; most people against Scottish independence are morons. So you can’t just look at what the morons want and do the opposite. On the “No” side we have the united British establishment. I have not heard a single public figure in England call for independence. On the “Yes” side, in Scotland, apart from the SNP we have a rag-bag of communists: Greens, poets, etc. From a strategic point of...
James James: So the US and the UK are “majority middle-class”, democratic, and doing just fine? This “majority middle-class” criterion is not enough to stop people from extracting short-term value from the state at the expense of long-term value.
Lucklucky: A very interesting text, but it fails because he doesn’t understand the nature of the “Middle Class”. Here in Portugal the Middle Class is vain enough that it wants to be the Aristocracy — entitled — and the fast way to get Aristocratic privileges — rights that others pay for — is to vote Socialist.
Wrath: I understand the black sheep and the odd year effect, but is there a corresponding “white sheep” effect? Celebrities and Noveaux Riches that buck the system?