Thursday, January 05, 2012

From Steve Sailer
The American and British class systems, and Cold War fighter planes
  • Pittsburgh and Portland vs Cleveland. I hate to think of SWPLs overrunning good old western Pa. but it probably won’t happen. Like associates with like. The people who on average are book-smart or those who aren’t. Fine. As long as the government doesn’t force it. The SWPLs never admit it, unless they’re putting down other whites. As movie sales give away (people with money want to watch themselves), they don’t really care about minorities. Such are only props in their preening for other whites (fellows and poorer). Sailer explains outcomes. I agree but defend equal opportunity. He and Takimag should make their point cleanly; making fun of the on-average poorer peoples is rude.
  • Thatcher. Freeman Dyson: In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. ... I learned to look on the commercial middle class with loathing and contempt. Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher, which was also the revenge of the commercial middle class. The academics lost their power and prestige and the business people took over. The academics never forgave Thatcher... Fascinating person; politics both good (American-style bootstraps social rise) and bad (something like American neoconservatism). In the recent combox about ‘Brideshead’ (giving young fogeyhood a boost 30 years ago) Jim reminded me of John Mortimer and the very good miniseries ‘Paradise Postponed’, even-handed to rich lefties (the rector and his doctor son), toffs (the other son and Titmuss’s Tory frenemies... at best Burkean? Noblesse oblige?) and Thatcherites (Titmuss). (The very late ’60s: the toffs played hippie; hard-working, lower-class Titmuss didn’t.)
  • How Cold War fear pushed airplane technology beyond safety. In retrospect, most supersonic jets designed in the 1950s were kind of nuts. The whole idea of supersonic flight has turned out to be, at best, a luxury. We have this cliché of the 1950s as a carefree, innocent time, but to grown men who held positions of responsibility then, the 1950s were terrifying. Pearl Harbor and the blitzkriegs had shown the feasibility of the Sneak Attack, which was then multiplied in terror by the advent of the atomic bomb. Hence, the pursuit of jet designs that pushed the envelope of performance with the crude technology of the time to levels that seem crazy today.

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