Back from the High North!

Sunburned, windchapped, flybitten, barkscraped, shovelsore, pickaxe-blistered, toddler-weary, glad to be home, and already planning our next trip to Tequila Springs.

This was our boy’s first camping trip. He loved it. Dirt, sun, sticks, rocks, bugs, and no baths for a week. What could be wrong with that?

His mother was not quite as refreshed as he was by the experience.

Somehow, whenever he was in frame, I didn’t have a spare hand to take a picture of him. Next time.

On this trip we started digging our little hobbit hole! It is about 10’x12′, and will eventually be a partially-subterranean dwelling built entirely by hand, using materials found on-site, to the exent that can be managed. As you can see in the pictures there is no shortage of beautiful weathered limestone on the property, so that will likely make up the bulk of the walls and floors. We are still working out how we are going to make the earth-and-timber roof watertight without any newfangled stuff like rubber pond liners, tar paper, concrete, etc.–but we’ll figure it out. So far it is just a big hole, and there is a lot of digging left to be done, so the roof is Future Alex’s Problem.

On Fools

Fools speak first and loudest, heeding no one.

The Righteous speak passionately, and hear those who will serve them.

The Wise hear all, and speak when they must.

Cowards do not speak, and might as well be Fools.

Inequality creates crime

The other day I listened to an excerpt of a talk by Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He claimed with great certainty and conviction that reams of social science data more or less definitively prove that violent and property crime across the world stem largely from one source: inequality.

The crux of his argument is that the common wisdom that poverty breeds criminality is incomplete, if not flat-out wrong. It is not absolute poverty that creates crime, but rather relative poverty–particularly that kind of poverty that creates an immobile underclass of young men starved of social status, without any way to improve their prestige without breaking the rules–in other words, by committing crimes.

Now, this made so much intuitive sense to me that I had to look around and make sure it wasn’t too easy to be true. But lo and behold, the World Bank, hardly to my mind a paragon of progressive thought, backs this up in a 40-page study that I won’t quote from heavily. But here’s the money from the abstract:

“Crime rates and inequality are positively correlated within countries and, particularly, between countries, and this correlation reflects causation from inequality to crime rates, even after controlling for other crime determinants.”

In other words, mo’ inequality, mo’ problems. Continue reading “Inequality creates crime”