Monday, May 22, 2023

Why I'd generally prefer to have a liberal on my side when playing a strategy game

I saw this story about Elon Musk slamming those who want to work from home.  In a strange way, this is something that both sides appear to oppose.  When the lockdowns happened, many legions of workers had to work from home.  Happened in our house, and in households around America.

Well, one of the first things to go with the passing lockdowns was tolerance for this work at home culture.  Now I have no doubt that, with work ethics being what they are, in some cases productivity suffered from this work at home movement.  But I also know in other cases it didn't.  I know, as in my wife's department, productivity increased because most liked working at home and worked their tails off to show it could be beneficial to the company.   Plus, my wife's level of title and those around her means they spend much time meeting with people from almost anywhere in the world not down the street.  So where they actually are physically doesn't matter. 

Nonetheless, it's clear from media reporting on this subject that most to the left don't like this.  Why?  I don't know.  I have a feeling there is something rather freeing and family focused with people liking to be home.  They like being away from the mandated cattle herding.  They enjoy not having to turn the kids over to state regulated daycares at the age of six months forward. Something about that goads the modern Left. 

But why are conservatives against it?  Again, if productivity suffered I can see laying out an ultimatum that you'll get your act together or else back to the office.  But otherwise?  Why are conservatives assuming the worst from people who want to work from home?  Many of these workers, when asked, have said they like being home, close to the kids, allowing the kids to stay home and not be shoved into a daycare center to be taught by minimum wage workers.  They feel it has helped their families, their kids, and their overall priorities. 

Why are conservatives against this?  Shouldn't they be the ones charging forth and saying 'You're darn right, if the job allows and you are productive, you should be close to home, close to the family, close to kids. After all, we value those things!'

Instead, most conservative responses are right there with the liberals.  Only in the case of conservatives, it appears to be some 'only slipshod lazy loafers want to stay home because they're losers' reasoning.  No consideration for the family/kids angle.  In fact, in a few cases where I've seen people bring the issue up in an online discussion, the conservative response has been the classic Limbaugh principle: if you want to work at home, become a corporate mogul and you can do anything.  Otherwise, suck on it and put those kids in the daycares and get to the office since you're probably a slothful ne'er-do-well in the first place.'

I've never seen a movement more willing to shoot itself in the foot, and shoot one another, and destroy its own principles and values, than modern conservatism.  Conservatives often talk about liberalism coming after them to destroy what conservatives value.  I don't think the Left needs to. It merely needs to stand aside and let conservatives do all the heavy lifting where destroying conservative values and priorities is concerned. 

For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.  Luke 16.8b


  1. First, let me just say that I'm of the opinion: "let people work out what's best for them." I don't even know why we have to have a national debate on where people work, let each company and its employees figure out what they want to do.

    Now, it's not that you're entirely wrong, however I have become a lot more cynical and distrusting of late. I mean, remember what it was like trying to disagree with Mark Shea? He'd say something about getting rid of the death penalty, you might reply "well I don't know if that's wise, there could be extreme instances where it would be necessary" then he would reply with "OMG, you want to just kill as many people as possible, you bloodthirsty monster!" (barely an exageration, his words about Ed Feser on twitter recently were: Passionate advocate of war on the Church in order to murder 4 innocents as human sacrifices so that 96 people who do not need to be killed are slaughtered demonstrates yet again that Reactionary Catholics care about trivial aesthetics far more than about Catholic morality.)

    Now imagine that on a wide scale. And the media all report about how Dave just wants to kill people and is so bloodthirsty. And then someone like me goes, "Well I just don't know why Dave can't advocate for a more nuanced position, why does he have to go to these silly extremes for?"

    I've seen that plenty of times on the youtube debate sphere myself which often ends up proving one side is "editing" clips (an example). Or remember that time, I think it was you I talked with about, where the media went on and on about "Republicans reacted to Obama's tan suit!" but when you dug into it it was like... one guy, a minor house rep nobody even heard of who made one comment?

    That's why increasingly, if I see/hear anything that says "Republicans do/say/think X!" I ask myself, "did they really?" Or is this a part of the usual Left's tactic of declaring what someone is arguing and then repeating it ad nauseum until people believe it. (Like in this instance I think republicans in the KY legislature were looking at banning STATE employees from working from home, but then that is gov employees, nothing to do with companies.)

    So yeah, not that I find your claims unbelievable, but at this point I'm so jaded I just need to see a half dozen solid citations of acknowledged figures saying what is claimed before I believe it. The media is just too dishonest.

    1. Mark Shea literally supports abortion, so his opposition to the death penalty is comical. Perhaps he'd be less inclined to support child sacrifice if the unborn were capable of rape or murder.

      I oppose the death penalty, by the way. I just oppose the brain-dead pro-abortion-but-anti-death-penalty crowd. Stupidest people on the planet.

    2. I get the caution to be sure. And it could be that the press is purposefully ignoring Republicans or conservatives who might be trying to espouse variations on what I said. The problem is, they're still able to find those who aren't, and who seem quite happy to throw families back into the office no questions asked. Most stories I've seen don't focus on 'Republicans say' as much as they focus on the issue, including Democrats and Republicans with no real 'partisan' angle. The gist being this isn't even a partisan issue - everyone agrees all must go back to work. In fact, last night I saw another news cast on the evening news saying how failure for workers to return to the office is having a bad impact on taxes. Don't quite understand it, but it interviewed a variety of individuals, all agreeing it must happen, and some being clearly on the right of the line. All of this might suggest the press is up to something if it wasn't for the times I've seen it discussed and noticed that conservatives online are living up to the reporting. When it's been discussed, they seem every bit as supportive of pushing workers back in the office - and, as I said, with the added assumption that those who don't want to are slipshod lazy types at best. That's where thinking it's all the press runs into a reality check.

    3. Anon, I don't think Mark is pro-abortion as much as he is simply pro-left, and will defend anything at this point the left promotes. Word has it he's now zeroing in on opposition to transgender activism. Because, again, the left promotes it.

    4. If he's pro-left, he's pro-abortion. And he literally opposed the Dobbs decision. That makes him pro-abortion.

      Not sure why you still assume that he operates in good faith. He's a terrible person.

    5. Anon, the last thing I would ever do is accuse Mark Shea of arguing in good faith. He is the antithesis of that. My point is that I feel he is less pro-abortion as much as he's pro-Left. I bet if the Left turned on a dime and became radically anti-abortion, that Mark would do the same. As it is, the Left is zealously pro-abortion, and he must follow suit. He doesn't promote abortion as much as he simply attacks anything and anyone against it. Just as he is now engaging in attacks on those trying to stop the surgical mutilation of youth in the name of transgenderism. If the Left says it, Mark defends it by attacking all opposition.

    6. Shea did have something worthwhile to say, once upon a time. Very sad to see what he has become.

    7. John, Mark's primary worth online now is as a cautionary tale.

    8. Distinction without a difference. He attacks pro-life Supreme Court deecisions and repeats pro-abortion propaganda. That's what makes him pro-abortion.

    9. Anon, you're right in that he and pro-abortion activism is basically one and the same. Mostly in attacking opposition to abortion rather than promoting abortion. Same with transgenderism, which apparently he's doing the same thing with - attack, attack, attack those trying to save the kids from the madness, but not really promoting transgenderism in itself. My point is that I believe he does this because he is loyal to the Left without exception. That's why he is doing this. If the Left suddenly became anti-abortion tomorrow, then he would follow suit as well. That's why I mean less 'pro-abortion' as simply pro-left. In this case, the Left is all about eliminating the undesirables. Mark is, therefore, all about attacking those who try to stop the Left because of fealty to the Left.

  2. Eh, I'm not quite following you with how the thought about remote work and daycare correlates to playing a strategy game?
    Remote work was never the grand solution purported. ..Neither was daycare.
    Family separation from the workplace protect each from the other. Business proceedings need to focus on Children need to children. They have long been physically separated to best provide for both. Daycare (sort of) allowed women to work while their children played. Remote work (sort of) allowed someone to do business tasks from home. In both cases, ..results have been comparatively mediocre.
    I never understood seeking to be a parent, ..yet not seeking to raise kids.
    ..Then again, I've never understood why people howled about workaholic fathers, yet went mum (eh, quiet) about workaholic mothers. Well, ...I DO understand, yet not for genuinely good reason.
    Conservatism mostly suffers from ...unwillingness to tell the brutal truth Most problems have tolerably ready solutions; we cant implement most because people insist government or corporation must pay for it, not them. ..Yet they still want low taxes and high wages.

    Incidentally, I do find it (tragically) hilarious that most of the Left would howl about being "herded like cattle" or turning their children over to the state at 6 months. Most of this came about because of Leftist demands in the first place.

    1. You make a good point about the usual hypocrisy of 'bad workaholic dad', crickets about workaholic mom. But in reality, the family split up and sent to the four corners is a relatively new development, historically speaking. In fact, growing up in school we learned how industrialization was a first big hit to the family structure, as dad was pulled away from the house leaving mom to tend to the homestead with the kids. Probable truth to that. Not that moms never worked. I know several in my family who did. But the structures of society were such that the kids were often raised then by family, friends, neighbors or similar setups. Today, they're tossed in daycare centers from six months. I recall as late as the 1990s, some dared to say this might not be a positive development, that kids need something more at the tender age of 6 months than being one of two dozen and a minimum wage teacher. But I think this would be a chance for conservatives to do something they seldom do, and that's get ahead of a development. Too often they accept whatever the status quo happens to be, even if it's something conservatives a generation ago resisted. Even if there is strong evidence to suggest the conservatives a generation ago were right. Only once there is overwhelming need to reevaluate a situation do conservatives then step up to react, and by then they've lost the initiative.

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  3. I don’t think it’s a black and white issue necessarily. For instance, my son’s godmother just put in her notice as they no longer allowed her to work remotely for a job she could very easily do remotely. But staying at the job meant choosing her job over her family life even though it’s just she and her husband at home.
    The reason her job required it was be a they allowed work from home as long as there was availability to come in when needed. It simply came to a head when every employee called to come to the office could not as they had put themselves in positions of unavailability to do so (for reasons of distance or childcare, etc...) After that they had to start coming in again.

    There’s also this:

    I think this is kind of the type of attitude that’s driving some of the pushback.

    I definitely agree that conservatives don’t do themselves any favors but I kind of think it’s because they won’t draw hard lines in the sand or live out professed principles. For instance, yes, conservatives are “pro family” but they are also pro-divorce in practice. They’re pro faith and God but also pro “I can indulge in any immorality I want... don’t judge me.” I will give this to the Left... they are maddeningly consistent in living out their (warped) principles and insisting everyone else live them out too.

    1. You touch a raw nerve about conservatives. The Left is a 'thing', a revolution. A definite movement. A new world order. It has rules, dogmas, and you had best get in line or else. Conservative is, as often as not, simply not-left. To that end, many who call themselves conservative bear little resemblance to each other. Some are what I call 'bombs and bank account' conservatives. That is, a strong military to crush anything that stands in the way of financial gain. If God or religion have any value at all, it's because those came with apple pie and baseball as part of the American Dream package; a package whose only real benefit is for the acquisition of more and more stuff. That's why I say at any time, progressives can count on 1/3 of conservatives to back them up.

      With that said, my feeling is that conservatives, of a religious/social concern side, are missing the bus on this one. There was something that happened during the lockdowns, like people who were running the rat race, who threw frozen meals on the table, who passed their kids a couple evenings a week, who suddenly said 'hey, being here and actually focusing on the kids and family isn't bad.' Conservatives should pounce on that like a hungry dog on a piece of raw meat. As it is, I'm seeing far too many sound like that article. One thing I find conservatives lacking at is admitting the changes in the world. This is no longer Beaver and Wally's America. Buffalo Bob and Howdie are no longer filming new episodes. Many people today are trying to find ways to hold onto the best of the past in a nation increasingly saying all of the past must burn. Hearing people say 'but the kids' should be a call to act. I fear, however, that like so many things, it will be a bus to be missed where conservativism is concerned.

    2. (Tom New Poster)
      Most Anglo-American conservatives are anti-interventionist. Let the organic society (families, church, community) handle stuff and keep government small and out of the way. But what happens when those three decay? And what happens when the "free economy" we all support becomes part of the problem? We can hardly turn to a government run by those who hate what we stand for.
      Somewhere in the Federalist Papers, an antifederalist asked: how does the Constitution protect us against widespread popular corruption, should it ever occur. Hamilton responded that no free constitution could guarantee what he asked. It grows on my mind that we are approaching that stage.

    3. That's a true point. Increasingly people of good will see there is nowhere to turn, since these social institutions have either been corrupted (society), wrecked (family), or have surrendered and cowered in the corner (church). And yes, the 'free economy' is increasingly a major voice for destroying what good is left in our society. So where to go? Personal faith and devotion and loyalty to the Truth I suppose.

    4. I'll be perfectly honest...I'm a bit torn on this. It seems like this is more of a working woman problem than a man problem. As in the case of my son's godmother, all the women took advantage of the "work from home" situation to her personal and family advantage ultimately to the detriment of the workplace. I absolutely DO NOT blame them, but I kind of get the sense if these employees were men at least a couple of them would have been available to go in when needed and they could still mostly work from home. The parameters set up were not unreasonable, in my opinion, and the manager was willing to work with them if they maintained a certain availability. What, then, do you do with that when the conditions are not met?

    5. Bernadette, I have no problem companies laying down the rules and saying if productivity suffers, then back to the office you go. A company has every right to maintain its own needs in that case. But when it hasn't - and I know there have been cases reported where the productivity has increased - there's no reason at all to not allow them the choice. My wife is a perfect example. As I said, owing to her position, she mostly deals with execs around the world in her company's foreign offices. She is never face to face, nor are most on her team because they do the same. There is no logistical reason for them to zoom with someone in England from an office rather than here at home. Plus, they have all favored staying at home so have worked overtime to make sure goals set were more than achieved. Plus, her being home has allowed flexibility if something comes up, she can go in a 10PM, log on, and tend to it. There is no reason to say she must go back to the office, yet there is a strange bipartisan push for her - and everyone - to do so. I just think this is a place where conservatives can think outside the box, get ahead of the curve, and claim the high ground instead of waiting for progressives to do the same (and the fact that so many on the left seem so anxious to get parents back to the office should send up a few caution flags).

    6. I think we'll discover how remote work creates as many problems as it solves.
      It grew popular suddenly by providing a "solution" to a few problems: Women could be "close" to family, employers could prevent disease spreading by distributing labor to "infinite" distance, business could save money on facilities to house everyone, technology could allow resolving work-related problems at odd hours.
      All that seems great.
      Then you realize remote workers need focus on business; they cannot do a puzzle with a youngster 10 feet away. Most "business friendships" don't develop as readily--or inexpensively--because nobody chats in the office or in hallways before or after meetings. Workers discover they cannot work at all when a nearby storm inflicts a power-out; they also lose out if their internet provider chooses doing maintenance just then. ..They also discover they can't use the office for that; either they're hundreds of miles distant, ..or the company sold their office building to avoid building maintenance costs or legal liability from vagrants occupying the building. ... And sometimes families curse the computer because the remote worker will often be "called in" at 10 or 11 PM to handle a problem.
      I suspect many business interests will determine that costs of remote work have begun to overshadow benefits. Many will cut back considerably, maybe even completely. ..Many managers may begin insisting that a "crisis" that isn't life-threatening...can wait til morning.

      We're repeating history. My MBA coursework included reading The Victorian Internet, talking about the good and bad of the telegraph.
      It'll be very difficult for conservatives to "get ahead" on this one because ....we don't have much agreement about what "being ahead" looks like.

    7. You're right, in that how it happened is likely unable to be sustained. No doubt there was a lot of 'cut and paste' that went into how these workers were thrown back into the home. I just notice that people actually like working from home, and saying they like being there for the family isn't the worst reason. This might be a chance for conservatives to get ahead of the curve and take the initiative, instead of waiting until liberals inevitably step in to 'fix' the issue, probably through the government. Conservatives should say 'people wanting to focus on the family is a good thing, here's what we suggest.' Instead I fear they will do nothing, or just uphold the latest status quo (both parents working, kids in government regulated daycares), and do nothing at all but react when the liberals step in and do something. Just once to see conservatives not take this approach would be a joy.

    8. *scratches head* I don't think most conservatives view remote work, daycare, maternity leave, or related matters quite that...optimistically. Most often, a woman being a housewife has been portrayed as wasted talent, even enslavement. Sinful intent (when society still admitted sin existed). Daycare and maternity leave...tried solving these problems. ..We have never truthfully reached consensus about this being genuinely successful or not.
      I don't think conservatives can genuinely advocate for remote work. Remotely working... may provide a long-term answer in particular situations. I don't think it'll be the answer many expected. ...It may become more like the typical business conference call.

    9. I had a professor in college who said outright that a woman who spends her life focused on raising children will never be a full person. I think the problem is conservatives do value those things - at least on paper. At least motherhood. They simply won't get ahead of the curve and realize the world does change, and what worked when Ozzie and Harriet was on may not be the way it works today. Instead conservatives will do nothing, until liberals step in to somehow suggest a solution. Then conservatives will merely oppose it. I have no doubt remote working would need tweaked and not just plow forth as it happened. But the cries of those parents, especially mothers, who said they got a taste of something they liked where focusing on the kids is concerned, shouldn't be so easily dismissed as I'm seeing too many conservatives do.

    10. I am just getting back to this as I’ve had a really busy few weeks. Honestly, I haven’t actually seen the push for people to go back as a political thing. I’m not saying it’s not being pushed there, I just haven’t seen it. What I have seen is it does seem to depend on the company. My BIL is a salesman who now only works from home. A neighbor can come and go as he pleases, even my above mentioned friend can still work remotely one day a week.
      I think if anything, Conservatives have already missed the boat on this one as they’ve embraced feminism with two arms. They might value family life but they also value the economic advantages of limiting children and having a second least in practice.

  4. Elon is libertarian at best.
    It seems it is more eco friendly and conservative if you don’t need a building for people to do their job.
    I don’t understand why when most of Twitters work is online, that would be a problem working remotely.
    Maybe he thinks people aren’t doing their jobs?
    I think algorithms do most of it - AI. And then when they suspend wrong accounts, they have to go in and tweek or make exceptions.
    Sort of like people saying kids suffered from not being in school and ignoring how home schoolers seemed to flourish.
    Same reason our local Catholic school, which moved far away to rich area, still won’t offer online classes to rural areas at discounted rate.
    Those that see the value are scooping it up and reaping benefits.

    1. Good points there. I find ignoring mountainous amounts of inconvenient facts is how the press establishes so many false narratives. Whatever the reasons for wanting to push workers back to the office, they clearly have nothing to do with climate, families, kids or anything of the sort (my sons joke that it's because so many people have stock in oil companies). Nonetheless, I'm not sure why the rush to do so, and why it seems to cut across party lines. I just know for those serious about social conservative values, this is a chance to get ahead of the curve, rather than once again conservatives reacting a day late and a dollar short.


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