The Force Field of Self Esteem

That armor's too strong for blasters...

That armor’s too strong for blasters…

Wait, no, that’s not the one I want…


Ah yes, much better.  Anyway, a brief thought inspired by this and this.  The latter is about religion:

According to reports coming out of Hope Community Church, first-time visitor Brittany Wilson remains unsure about why she needed “this Jesus guy” in her life after the pastor spent the entire Sunday sermon reiterating how awesome, amazing, unique, and special she is.

“The message was super-encouraging. It was all about how I need to let the goodness within me shine and ‘just do me,’ without worrying about all the haters,” Wilson said after the service.

“But then the pastor said I needed Jesus, out of the blue. Like, what? It made no sense. I’m not sure what He has to offer that I don’t, based on how wonderful the pastor said I am.”

The former is about social changes causing political restructuring.  At Z Man’s I said:

The biggest challenge is going to be handling the precipitous drop in functional intelligence. NOT IQ, which is grossly overemphasized (by us deplorables, anyway), but functional intelligence. Big problems require sustained thought, and lots of us can’t do it. And of those who can’t, the vast majority — looking at you, Millennials — not only don’t know they can’t do it, but think they ARE doing it. Consider that a blog post over 500 words doesn’t get read… and even 500 is a slog when you’re used to Tweets. Reading multiple posts (or, God forbid, an entire one of those “book” thingies), taking notes, collating information, sifting, evaluating… not only do lots of us not know how to do this, we don’t even know that it can be done. Trump isn’t Hector Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho, but any government structure that retains a popular vote in the Twitter age will trend hard that way, without major structural overhaul.

I’m only pointing out the obvious, but someone has to, I suppose, and at least you got a Slave Leia picture to sweeten the deal.  Combine the two — the Gospel of Self-Esteem and Twitter, I mean, not Slave Leia and another Slave Leia —


wait, what were we talking about again?  Ah yes, combine self-esteem and the ADD-inducing effects of technology, and you get an entire generation that’s incapable of sustained thought… and worse, thinks it is so capable, and in fact does it all the time, and how dare you suggest they don’t know how to do something?  Because, as the Jesus lady says, if you’re special unique and perfect just the way you are, why would you ever need any but the skills and knowledge you already possess?

And we all fall victim to it.  For instance, I’m frequently bewildered by liberals’ ability to flagrantly contradict themselves — often within a few sentences, sometimes in the very next breath — without suffering aneurysm-inducing cognitive dissonance.  I shouldn’t be, though, as I “teach” Millennials day in and day out.  They think in Tweets.  I mean that almost literally (“literally,” he said, snapping another selfie with is iPhone) — every sentence they hear is a discrete, context-less meme.  It doesn’t matter if the meme is true, since there is no “truth,” only popularity.  If it doesn’t get retweeted or upvoted, it ceases to exist.

Thus, “contradiction” is a meaningless concept for them.  Both X and Not-X get upvoted, so both of them are somehow true.  Look, I don’t pretend to understand it, but then again, I’m comfortable with the fact of my own limitations.  When I say “I don’t understand it,” it’s taken as read by us old farts that that’s why I’m posting my thoughts here — I’m thinking it through, and would appreciate input.  These kids, though, don’t grok limits to their understanding — if they don’t understand something, it is by definition irrelevant, and can, indeed must!, be ignored.  Contrary information and badthoughts get bounced off their force fields.

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6 thoughts on “The Force Field of Self Esteem

  1. P_Ang

    I literally got to about word 500 and stopped and looked at all the pretty pictures. You get a downvote for Luke masturbating and and upvote for the second picture. I’d give you an upvote for the article but I don’t Grok it fully so it doesn’t exist.

    Well, at 44 maybe I do. I can’t tell you the number of kids when I went back to school a few years ago to study software design that told me, “I’m gonna be a famous game-guy!” “Well, what are you PLANNING to do…be a designer, programmer, artist, QA, producer?” “Naw, I’m just going to be famous. They’re gonna recognize I’m really good at games!” “Good at MAKING games?” “No! Good at PLAYING games!”

    I could go on an on, but they didn’t even grok the point I was trying to make. They were just SO AWESOME at something no-one who had money would actually pay them for (none of them being Korean) that their fortunes were made! There was no point in even doing the assignments. FAMOUS DAMMIT!

      1. Severian

        Nah. You’ve just said everything else that I could’ve said. I get so frustrated with them that, if I weren’t SURE it would end me on the carpet in front of the Dean, I’d ask them “so what the f*ck are you even in this class for, since you know all the answers already anyway? And if you don’t already know the answer, you’ll bitch and moan until I give you credit for it anyway, since it hurts your pwecious widdle feewings to be held accountable for anything?” Trust me, I spend about as much time battling with Special Snowflakes and their precious unique bullshit as I do teaching. “No, Taylor / Tyler / Britney / Jordan, you can’t just give me some story about how your grandma died back in October and you’re really broke up about it, so that’s why you never came to class or did any of the work.”

  2. Montefrío

    Can’t speak for the US, but in South America, it seems there’s a major divide between rural millennials and their urban counterparts: the rurals mostly have their heads on their shoulder and the urbans have their heads you-know-where.

    1. Severian

      In the US, too. The farm kids may not be the best students, but at least they know why they’re there, and that the guy at the front of the class handing out the syllabus, i.e. me, is in charge and knows the material, and that the purpose of the exercise is information transfer, to them from me via lectures and assignments. The city kids are George the First: They know nothing, and desire to know nothing; do nothing, and desire to do nothing…. but expect a cookie and an A+ for their efforts.

  3. philmon

    I think we need a remake of “Brazil”, only instead of elections, it’s about what exists and what doesn’t. And instead of polls, it’s about tweets. As things get tweeted, they take form. As they get re-tweeted and liked, they get more and more solid and real, and even gain power as laws of nature. But as they fall off in popularity, they disappear and become not only untruths, but nonexistent.

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