22 March 2007

know-nothing party

As I state, I know nothing this month. It is a time dominated by two things: NCAAs and tax forms. Of the second, I have nothing to say besides don't get a refund next year (go ahead and get your money back this year).

Of the first, I'd have to say its hard to tell if knowing anything helps or not. I seem to be doing alright this year. Last year was a debacle, but then it was for most. I was most disappointed in pegging the final eight (besides the school named for a Founder) and then only getting one into the final four. That was disheartening. I haven't a shot of winning anything this year. Despite a good showing. Too few surprises thus far.

Of the only good news, not much has happened this month. Usually March is a bad month for me historically. I'm not sure if its just the timing, or the post-winter fever pissing everyone off or what. I've had my grandfather's death, 5 traffic citations, two accidents, a car transmission go out, a girlfriend breakup, another pending (but didn't pan out, still a helluva week), post-tax penalties for neglecting to file those stupid school district taxes. That's just the past 4 years. I could go back to the formative high school years, but that's just pecking away at a dead carcass.

I really should move somewhere where there aren't kids and old people. I'm tired of supporting both. Aren't people supposed to be self-reliant? I keep coming back to the argument with the teacher's kid earlier this year, where self-esteem comes up as somehow important. Top among cross-sectional groups on self-esteem are convicted criminals. I'm guessing its not a very important feature of individual success. Self-efficiacy yes. Teach people to take care of their own business, then they can worry about how they feel about it. If its done, they should feel pretty good. If it's not, then they shouldn't. I fail to see where this is a harsh judgment for children. If they can't do it, then making them feel good about not doing something isn't a good reinforcement (of course neither is letting the other children ostracize them; kids are nasty and mean and don't forget it for a second). Anybody feel like rewarding a dog for taking a dump on the floor? I wouldn't either. Kids aren't that complex yet. Simple reinforcers and restrictions tend to still have some effect. Worrying about how they feel and giving them counseling without some sort of traumatic event seems a bit overblown. And I'm tired of watching it. Parents, let the kids grow up once in a while and we'll all be better for it. That way when they reach the old folks homes, they'll have some things set aside so they aren't burdening the youngens with their problems. Does it seem any wonder that health care (old and very young people problem) and education (young people) are two biggest skyrocketing costs in society today? Somebody figured out what to prey on didn't they.