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I wrote the other day on a bestselling author who had written an op-ed on a person who sideswiped his parked car.  He was lamenting that the police observed that "People just aren't honest anymore."

His challenge was to ask the person who hit his vehicle to prove that wrong.

I went after him, and I believe justly so, pointing out just a handful of the myriad scams and frauds (that is, dishonesty) that permeates literally every nook and cranny of our society today.

Jason has written some pretty decent little puff pieces for Fox as of late.  But I gotta tell you -- I still think I'm spot on with my commentary, and here's why.

The simple fact of the matter is that it is Jason, and you, and I, and the rest of us, that make all these scams and schemes possible.  We do it through our silence, we do it by participating, we do it when we advocate for or support forcibly taking someone's money to hand to another in the form of food stamps or AFDC, Section 8, Medicaid or otherwise.  We do it when we go along with Obamacare or even allow the "traditional" health insurance rip-off model to function.  We do it when we accept the claim that "2% inflation" is proper, even though that is admitting to the wanton and intentional destruction of value of what we have previously earned and, absent such intentional interference purchasing power would increase as technology improves instead.  We allow politicians to run ponzi schemes that must mathematically fail and impoverish our children, grandchildren and those not yet born -- screwing our own kids.  We are complicit and thus to blame because we do not cast our wooden shoes into the gears of the machine, destroying it or at least slowing it down.

It's only when our car gets ripped up that we write columns about honesty -- or the lack thereof.

And therein lies the gist of my post, and the message behind it.

My decision to sell MCSNet was a long-considered process, just as was my decision to get the hell out of Chicago.  As with my decision last year to close down most of the forum all of the various factors, including where I am in my life, what I see on the road ahead at a personal level, how much flexibility I want (and expect to need) during the months and years ahead and how I both need and want to spend the remaining sand in my hourglass (given my inability to know how much is there until it is almost gone, as is nearly-always the case) bears large on these sorts of decisions.  No small part of any such decision for me is whether I believe I'm playing the part of Don Quixote or whether I'm advancing an important idea.

It's a funny thing, really -- I've written recently about 3+ Sigma events and that one should not ignore them, a lesson I learned in my 20s (and then I promptly didn't follow my own advice a couple of times in my 30s.)  While I would not change the outcome of those disasters, as on-balance I'm very happy with them with the benefit of hindsight, the fact remains that they were quite-arguably objectively wrong decisions without that benefit.  Who knows where I'd be today had I made a different decision at those critical times; what I do know is that I wouldn't be here.

We all have one life, and there are no do-overs.  But for those of us who have children, and the author that I was commenting on does (as do I), what we do extends beyond ourselves.  

If we take seriously the exercise of the greatest power mankind has -- the power to create life -- then I allege that to saddle our progeny with knowingly-fraudulent institutions and practices when they are too young to understand or do anything about them is an outrageously damnable thing to do.

I can defend walking off and disconnecting to the extent possible if you discern that you're not making headway on positive change.  Others, including your children, can follow that example and while it is by no means a perfect solution it has a positive delta.  I can especially defend it if, predicated on both your personal assessment and life you decide that winding it down to the extent practical will bring an increase in the number of times you smile (or better) in a day.

But what I can't support is complaining only when you get reamed by the very processes and societal "norms" that you exploit and countenance in your daily life, and which will screw your kids.

It seems that more than a few people simply didn't get it.

Maybe, with a bit more reflection, you will.

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It's amusing to me that when you start down a path confirmation bias starts to show its head even among things you have no actual control over.

PS: My 3-Sigma+ series of events just turned into an easy 4, and probably a 5.  Damn.

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2014-10-10 10:38 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 547 references

Do not ignore 3+ sigma outlying events in your life.

They are rarely a result of random chance.

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Odd, mystical and wonderful things have been known to happen....

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