November 26th, 2012

The Captain's Prop

The Miasma School of Economics

Waaay back in 2008, I came up with a theory of conservatism I called the Deist Miasma, an attempt to understand for myself why the religious in general and conservatives in particular have such violent reactions against theories that challenge traditional interpretations of reality (specifically in that post, Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection vs. Creation). In Part II, I further delved into the why of the conservative reaction by tying their rejection to the more emotional parts of the brain that irrationally reject concepts that create a sense of disgust. I got that concept from Steven Johnson's The Ghost Map, a fascinating book that chronicled the 1848-49 cholera outbreak and how a new germ theory of disease challenged the prevailing miasma theory.

Never heard of the miasma theory? Collapse )

And judging by our current economic situation, I'd say it well and truly isn't.

Addendum, later that day: chron_job's TED video embedded in the comments gives a good intro to the topic of how our brains are warped by disgust. Wish I had it for the initial post.

High flyin' retail

In case the video above doesn't embed (thanksalot, LJ, I myself can't see it), Menard's hiring local workers [Eau Claire, WI] to commute weekly to North Dakota store: Minot, that is part of the problem. There are too many jobs and not enough people to fill them.

"You hit that labor pool and you start running out, and we have this need, and we think this is the best way to fill it," said John Leonausks, the Marketing Director for Menards.

The oil boom is a mini gold rush in a way, driving people out west for work. Leonausks says it is a way to bring some of that prosperity back to Eau Claire.

"From our perspective, we have planes, let's find people in Eau Claire and get people hired in Eau Claire and fly them out there to take care of those jobs," he added.

The starting wage is $13 per hour. On top of that, a weekend bonus, extra for working in the yard, overtime and meal stipends, too.

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Putin - the myth and the truth

Our series of stories about Russia (hehe) continues with the recent changes in Dear Leader's behavior from the last few weeks. Comrade Putin hadn't appeared publicly in the media for quite some time, until a couple of Sundays ago when at long last his adoring subjects were able to enjoy his awesomeness live on state television. The one thing that made an impression was that he was standing upright for the first time in a month. But how couldn't he? It was Unity Day (November 4), so he had to gnash his teeth and swallow the pain, and put some flowers at the monument.

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