Things I don’t understand even after they are explained to me

  1. Why public art is so ugly.
  2. Why the public are not up in arms about the ugliness of public art.
  3. Why I continue to drink and even occasionally desire beer even though it isn’t actually that tasty to me.
  4. Why people are evil. (Some people really are. No, some people are really, really evil, if you didn’t know. If you claim not to know, then either you haven’t seen enough of the world to know, or you’re lying. Or you have a stupid philosophical theory.)
  5. Why philosophers put so much work into some pretty transparently stupid philosophical theories.
  6. How people who have been taught the tools of critical thinking and independent reasoning end up following each other in what are more or less intellectual mobs.
  7. Why rich people pay massive amounts for truly ugly buildings that they proceed to work or live in. They can’t possibly like being there.
  8. Why parents and teachers continue to tolerate the entire appalling textbook system, generation after generation. (Most textbooks suck surprisingly badly upon a little examination.)
  9. Why there are so many people in the orbit of the Clintons who were murdered, committed suicide, or died in a plane crash.
  10. Why gazillionaires, who could buy whatever the hell they wanted, choose to buy some of the most godawful dreck on the market for millions of dollars.
  11. Why so many serious people seem to take such artistic taste seriously. (It can’t just be because a lot of money is spent.)
  12. Why public opinion about gay marriage apparently changed on a dime. (I have a theory, but I don’t find it that convincing.)
  13. Why some psychologists and journalists write things that for all the world look like pedophilia apology—as if the mental health of pedophiles were somehow more important than protecting children from predators.
  14. Why there aren’t more journalists that seem to care very sincerely about neutrality.
  15. Why, despite rough attempts, no one has made a real, credible effort to start a really neutral news service. (You’d have to think through what this really requires. Why hasn’t anyone done so? I don’t get it.)
  16. Why more quite intelligent people become such idiots when they talk or write about politics. Most people lose about 20 IQ points when they write about politics.
  17. Why people allowed child abuse to go on in the Catholic Church, and other institutions, for so long; why management seems to tolerate it and not keep a sharp lookout for it.
  18. Why educational psychologists have not systematically examined the very real (and quite easy-to-prove) phenomenon of teaching babies and toddlers to read. Makes no sense to me at all.
  19. Why Republican politicians keep voting for higher spending and, often, higher taxes.
  20. Why there are next to no schools that get rid of grades in preference to ability grouping.
  21. Why we seem so chummy with Saudi Arabia in particular, and not necessarily with other oil-producers.
  22. Why so many politicians believe in astrology. How do you get to such a position of responsibility and still believe in fairy tales?

Yes, I know I have a lot to learn still.

More coming.





Please do dive in (politely). I want your reactions!

2 responses to “Things I don’t understand even after they are explained to me”

  1. Clairvaux

    I picked up n°17, both because I have an answer to it and because it’s easy to explain.

    I could not understand it either, before Catholics themselves gave the explanation a short while ago.

    Catholics priests are, disproportionately, homosexuals. Paedophilia, or, more to the point, because this is the sort of “child abuse” going on within the Church, sexual relationships between grown-up men and pubescent boys, are exclusively initiated by homosexuals. Indeed, it’s the preferred and iconic type of sexual relationships for homosexuals.

    Why was this secret kept for so long ? Simple. Because opposing factions were interested in hiding it.

    Catholics (of all persuasions) could not confess, or even contemplate, for the majority who did not know, that so many of their ministers were breaking a core tenet of their creed. And that this was protected by the Church hierarchy. (I’m talking about being homosexual and a priest at the same time : this is not supposed to happen.)

    On the other hand, atheists of the left, who have a field day bashing the Church for its sex scandals, could not either bring up the real cause of the abuse, because that would have entailed abandoning a core tenet of their own creed : that homosexuality is fine and dandy, and we can’t have enough of it.

    So, paradoxically enough, after a few fringe traditionalist American Catholics spilled the beans, it took a leftist pope, Francis, to publicly acknowledge, and lament, that there was actually a gay lobby right up in the Vatican.

    If a leftist Pope complains about a gay lobby in the Vatican, imagine what must be going on on the lower rungs of the ladder.

  2. Eddie

    Public art is always ugly because it has to be approved by committee.

    The ugliness is directly proportional to the square of the number of people on the committee.

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