2014 October 11 Saturday
Do You Live In A Bubble? Take The Quiz

This quiz on the PBS News Hour site comes from Charles Murray. The lower your score the more isolated you've been from the middle and lower classes.. I scored a 45 on a 0 to 100 scale.

I expect a growing fraction of the lower classes to become unemployable. So being able to insulate your family from them is a good idea. But if you are too isolated from the working lower class and the hostile dysfunctional segments of society then you'll be foolish - like left wing college professors.

So it is a tricky thing. You need to understand reality. But you also need to be able to protect you and your own. The accurate understanding of reality is made harder by entertainment and news media which present very misleading pictures on a whole assortment of topics.

My advice on TV: kick it. Go cold turkey. Detach. Also, search for dissident opinions and especially highly empirical observers who aren't mentally caged by the left's system of taboos. Hard, I know. It is hard to find high quality when even many dissidents are just cranks.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 October 11 09:35 PM 

James Bowery said at October 12, 2014 1:30 PM:

In a low signal to noise ratio regime, the optimal strategy, looking at the two partial derivatives, is to add signal, not suppress noise. That means if you think dissidents are just cranks (my god, take a look at the establishment!!!) then the optimal move is original research and publication to generate signal.

Nick said at October 13, 2014 2:12 AM:

A simple step is to know people from a broad cross-section of society. I've made it a point of befriending people, or at least having acquaintances across the spectrum. This gives me a much more accurate picture of society than anything the Media put forth. Just walking around in your local big city is a good way to observe many things you'd never learn otherwise.

Seth W. said at October 13, 2014 3:09 PM:

I got a 47. Maybe we are more isolated than I thought. I think you're right. We should go out there and search for dissent opinions, because we've grown too subborn. Maybe there's something to learn from the left and those we call mentally caged. Maybe we're also mentally caged and tabooed in many respects. To set just one example, I think we've grown to believe that our forefathers and founders are very different than how they really were. Gee, let's just look around and see how different our grandparents are from us!! We've probably disregarded them too much.

Check it out said at October 13, 2014 5:16 PM:

Fucken A Randall and Seth. No shit Sherlocks. I see that you are now considering searching for "dissident opinions", good for you. Oh, but again we see the narcissism lingers when you cling to your belief that you are not part of the ones you call "mentally caged".

Thank you for your advice Randall, I mean kicking your t.v. is, after all, such a drastic thing for all you lazy-minded bums. Now, I got just a few more pieces of advice for you. Learn to walk long distances and stairs in tall buildings, to ride a bike to work, to use public transportation even if you have a BMW out front, to take one or two cold showers in winter even if you have hot water, to grab a shovel and learn to use it even if you can pay a gardener, to spend 24 hours without any food just to see what it feels like, even is the fridge is full; to take a hike under the summer sun, even if you thing sweating is in bad taste; to jog 3 miles in the cold winter, even if others are watching you, to talk to all those you consider trash, talk to people from other cultures and races, even if it's not trendy; to smoke some shisha with arabs and some tacos with mexicans; learn to speak another language, how about Arabic or Spanish or Russian; Go catch some crab in Alaska; plant a fucken fruit tree someone else is going to eat from, even if they call you Johnny Appleseed; learn to take a shit in the woods and wipe with leaves; Try drinking plain tap water and not another fucken soda in a year or two; learn to pull chicken guts and or clean meat; learn about Astronomy, Biology and History. You really, really gotta stop thinking you're so fucken special. You're not. Stop thinking you're so fucken above the human race. Your shit stinks just the same. Stop thinking that you'd act differently had you been born in a lowlife hood. Stain your hands; get a little dirty even if you're ready to whine "that is not my job".

Anyway, kicking your t.v. is a start. Getting up from your lazy mental ass is next. I see so many of you are taking your first steps in considering that the Earth is actually not flat and that it actually moves around the Sun. Oh, but some of you are so damn slow.

ROFL said at October 13, 2014 7:23 PM:

Check it out said at October 13, 2014 5:16 PM:


Jim said at October 14, 2014 7:21 AM:

I got 15. According to Murray's interpretation I'm on the lower rungs of the upper middle class. Sounds about right.

Audacious Epigone said at October 14, 2014 2:13 PM:

I got a 45, too. No wonder I feel like you could be speaking for me with nearly everything you write at Parapundit.

Engineer-Poet said at October 14, 2014 6:27 PM:

31.  Then again, I'm a homebody and seldom even see my neighbors regardless of where I am.

The Dude said at October 14, 2014 11:20 PM:

I scored 50. I went to Harvard with Obama, grew up in the sticks, sang gospel music at a hillbilly "singing convention" and welsh hymns at a Gymanfa Ganu, drafted briefs in the Apple v. Microsoft litigation, smuggled icons out of Russia 35 years ago, worked in a cheese factory, did legal research for HLS profs, been coon hunting, got a 3.98 gpa in STEM from a Big 8 U, ran a welding machine in a hydraulic cylinder factory, bought a Hindu wife for $125 in Bombay, had dinner with Harlan Ellison, blew tubes as a FOWT on a D-type boiler in the Persian gulf, built a prototype microprocessor-based gene electroporator for Nobelist Prof. Oliver Smithies, smoked Gudang Garams in The Radio Bar (and whorehouse) on the Jakarta waterfront, built a prototype PCR thermal cycler for Kodak, romanced a Communist party boss's daughter (19) on the moonlit shores of the Black Sea after an opera in Odessa, deposed witnesses, sat third chair on medical device litigations, ran a trot line, sat in on an HP board meeting in San Jose, driven the Kankamagus Highway and Chief Joseph Highway on motorcycles, attacked beefsteaks at Smith & Wollensky's (complete with postprandial Cuban cigars), played the elephant calf in The Elephant Calf and attended Willie Nelson's Bicentennial Fourth of July Picnic (on my cousin's ranch).

I'm not sure where I fit in Murray's hierarchy, but it's been one helluva ride.

I did not attend Woodstock.

The Dude said at October 14, 2014 11:29 PM:

I also plowed behind a mule ... and dropped acid.

Stephen said at October 16, 2014 5:54 PM:

That's a great CV. Looking back, do you think that having broad and varied experience marked you down or up in terms of the jobs market?

I don't know how old you are, but assuming 40+, what would you tell your 18yo self?

WCN said at October 16, 2014 8:53 PM:

I've covered a lot of bases in my life. Score: 65

destructure said at October 20, 2014 10:42 PM:

I started pretty far down the totem pole and climbed several classes. Financially, at least. You never really outgrow the class you grew up in. Scored 58.

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