Win Conditions

Today’s flavor comes from an unintentional thematic stew. This morning I read an article about the early 20th century eugenics movement, watched part of the second episode of The Man in the High Castle, and read a Republican’s vow to work against a Trump presidency they feel would be “the greatest threat to American democracy since the Great Depression”.

All three touch on fear and disgust toward those who are different, a desire to eliminate those who are deemed impure, and a belief that a pure society is achievable.

Whether the inferior foe is “the feeble-minded”, non-Aryans, or Muslims and Mexicans, the proponents of these ideas believe that they can be removed from society. The means vary—sterilization, genocide, or really big walls—but the stated end goal is the same: “We won’t have to deal with those people anymore.”

But here’s the problem for these would-be purifiers: keeping all your followers excited enough to maintain your power means perpetuating the masses’ agitation over the aliens in their midst—and that means you can’t run out of aliens. Even if you eliminate that first foe you rallied them against, there has to be another or they don’t need you anymore.

There can be no complete success. The perfect and pure society never comes because totalitarian power never wants to step down.

Consider the opposite then: an openness toward those who are different, acceptance of multiple ways of being in the world, and an acknowledgement that any society of more than one person will always contain diversity.

Power, goals, and the definition of success are much more open under this scenario. The existence of difference doesn’t equal failure.

And that prompts King George from Hamilton to sing in my ear the surprise of the former point of view when it encounters the nimble success of the latter.

“They say
George Washington’s yielding his power and stepping away
‘Zat true?
I wasn’t aware that was something a person could do
I’m perplexed
Are they gonna keep on replacing whoever’s in charge?”

I’m voting xenophilia.

Donald Trump

“Win Conditions”
category: tweets

New researcher gear for Dinah!

Thanks to @thelancearthur's sharp eyes and insider info, I now have a lightweight mug and a new backpack for books/laptop.


See the fine researcher-friendly features of my swanky new Timbuk2 Q backpack ($99):

  • Easy access separate front pocket for empty lightweight mug (Delta Insulmug, bought at REI, $16). I can stroll out of the house with my morning tea, finish it before I go in a library, shake or wipe it dry, and then have it out of my way until the next morning.
  • Separate pocket for laptop power cable. Love!
  • The usual nice organizer found in Timbuk2 bags. I've stocked this bag with its basics (pens, pencil, good eraser, library and museum membership cards, business cards, a few little scraps of paper for noting call numbers, iPhone cable and earbuds, tissues in case of poorly serviced bathrooms, hand sanitizer, handkerchief, a few cough drops, a Luna Bar).
  • Big space for books, including a mesh pocket for large supplies like my bookweight.
  • Side-access padded laptop pocket.

This will be my third Timbuk2 bag, I believe, plus I've made good use of Joe's smaller messenger bag. Great products—and so pleasing to be able to buy locally.