Worst. Year. Ever.
I mean, it wasn’t as bad as the beginning of World War I or II. Or, the year when the Spanish Flu took off. Or, The Black Death. Or, The Plague of Justinian. Or… (Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the worst EVER) But, it’s the worst in MY lifetime. And, unless you’re older than my 50-something years, it’s the worst in your lifetime too.
The irony is that this year was bad for other reasons than the China Virus. All that the China Virus did was to reveal the mental viruses running around, along with how stupid and corrupt our governments were.
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This Week’s Playlist:
Before I get started, I just want to hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas. I know that it’s not the actual day when Jesus was born. I know that December 25th has some bad pagan connotations to it. And, I know that it was the murderous Roman Catholic Church that set the day for this celebration.
I get it.
But, Merry Christmas, anyway!
Any time we can share the good news of Jesus Christ, is a very good time, indeed. And, the fact that a pagan country like Taiwan gets to hear beautiful music about the coming of Jesus Christ, is truly an awesome thing. As I write this, I have the windows open and am listening to a church choir belt out some glorious praise to God – blocks away but audible enough to sing along.
Joy to the World, indeed.
And, the pagans here in Tainan get to hear all of that. And, outside of the cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung, there are few places on earth as pagan as Taiwan. All the stuff that Paul talks about, in terms of pagan temples, are all here on this island off the coast of China.
So, I’m glad that we have Christmas, so that we can share the gospel amid such darkness.
Now, what was I going to talk about?
(NOTE: The title “2020 WON” came to me via Mrs. Little,
who got it from a Swede with a dangerous sense of humor.)
2020 won. Big.
Every year is a battle. And, the older that you get, the more of a battle it becomes. And, every year, you hope that YOU are the one who wins. Unfortunately, all of us lost this one. 2020 beat all of us. Some of us got beaten more than others, but I’ll tell you what got beaten the most:
Most of you probably thought that your government was pretty bad. It’s a common thought. But, I doubt that any of you thought that your government was THIS bad. Right? Even I was a bit surprised at how bad they showed themselves to be.
I always knew that government officials and government workers were pretty stupid. I actually worked for the state government of Indiana for a short time and saw some really amazing stupidity. It was the most soul destroying job that I’d ever had. But, I still did not believe that the government would take their stupidity to such an enormous level.
They turned it up to eleven, and kept going.
Then, there’s the corruption. And, it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between corruption and stupidity. Some of the conspiracy theories running around have their origins in someone doing something stupid – that looked like evil intent. But, once you allow for the colossal amount of stupidity out there, the corruption that is left is choking. Mind numbing. You wouldn’t believe it, if you weren’t seeing it with your own eyes.
Most people did not believe that their government could be as corrupt as it is, right now. And, the destruction of the illusion of benevolent government has been difficult for a lot of people to handle. Even, at times, myself. And, I find it strange, that after all the years of looking at how corrupt government is… that I could still be shocked at how bad they are. And, if you are as surprised and shocked as I have been, well that just means that you had some illusions about government. And now, those illusions are gone.
The Blessing In Disguise
You might say that 2020 was a kind of blessing in disguise. It showed us that things were not as good as we thought that they were. And, that things were probably NEVER as good as we thought that they were.
What a painful thing.
Oh, and here’s another blessing in disguise – something that we probably would not have figured out as easily without the awfulness of 2020:
The Elites are Stupid.
I’ve spent decades knowing, first hand, that the Elites wanted to rule the world. I won’t get into HOW I knew that here, but suffice it to say that I had a fairly well-connected relative who thought that the Elite agenda was a good thing. And, I always had this sense that the Elites were pretty smart. They might have been evil and corrupt, but I thought that – at a minimum – they were pretty intelligent and even capable.
I’m afraid that smart is the last thing that we can accuse the Elites of being. They’re dumber than a box of rocks AND a bag of hammers. And, I feel a little embarrassed that it took me so long to see how foolish they are.
And no, I’m not talking about the colossal stupidity of denying the existence of God. That’s a whole class of stupid all by itself. Only a moron could look at human history and current events and not realize that God is real. So, if you believe in God, well done.
If you believe in God, you are smarter than George Soros and Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab – put together.
But, the Elites have an EXTRA bit of stupid. What surprises me about their extra stupidness, is in how unable the Elites are to actually make their plans happen. They literally do not seem to know what they are doing. Their plans are a mess. Their followers are worse, and their attempts to get us to agree with them have proven to be utterly pathetic.
I know that the words ‘The Great Reset’ sound ominous. And, there’s a lot of hullabaloo surrounding that phrase – especially when spoken with a thick Bavarian accent – like the one that Schwab has. And, there’s some realistic fear to go with that phrase. But, the people who came up with the idea of ‘The Great Reset’, are complete morons.
Klaus Schwab is a complete and utter mouth-breathing idiot. He’s the perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, where “people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are.” We all suffer a little bit of that ‘effect’, but Schwab has it really bad. He’s stupid, and doesn’t know it. Unfortunately, there’s something really dangerous about stupid Elites.
What is becoming clearer and clearer to me, is that we are in more danger from the stupidity of the Elites, than from any of their ‘plans’. As their ‘dream’ of a ‘brighter future’ falls apart, they will flail about with more and more energy, trying to fix their ‘dreams’ and killing lots and lots of us in the process.
A Dangerous Utopia
Just look at human history. The most dangerous people have always been those who believed that utopia was possible – that a glorious and perfect world was achievable, if only they could get us all to believe it. Think of all the great massacres and genocides. They all started with a utopian idea – and killed off those who didn’t agree.
One day, the greatest ‘utopian’ to ever live will rise up and convince the world that he is a god. He will massacre all who disagree, and we will call him The Antichrist.
The Message Of Jesus
How ironic that Jesus gave us a different message. He told us that we were incapable of utopia. He said that we were sinful and foolish, and that we needed a perfect God to come to earth, to die for our sins. He gladly accepted false accusation and a sinner’s death. He was humble and gentle and caring.
And, He called us to follow His example.
I don’t understand how God could love us so much. I don’t get it, but I don’t have to. I just accept it with all of my heart and my life. I am grateful beyond words.
One day, we might even be grateful at how awful 2020 was.
How Awful Our Computer Technology Is
For months, I have been engaged in a titanic struggle to keep writing and recording videos, while dealing with the flaws in the computer technology that runs our world. It started with the seemingly benign idea of replacing a badly worn out computer with one that might last another four years. What I got instead was a box that churned out some of the worst, most incomprehensible crashes (BSODs) that I’ve ever seen.
I think that I might still have a little PTSD from all of that. There’s a certain shade of blue that still gives me the shivers, when I see it. What a nightmare that was.
Then, I decided to switch to a different Internet server. Actually, to two different servers. That has NOT gone as smoothly as hoped. One of the web hosting providers that I chose, forgot to tell me that they limit the number of emails that you can send to just 100 per hour.
Then, when I chose another web hosting provider, one that let me send as many emails per hour as I liked, I discovered that I had to build up the server from scratch. I wasn’t quite expecting that – which was why I was up till 5:20 am, Christmas morning – trying to get Debian installed, configured and running. On a remote computer. Via command line interface.
It brought home to me just how awful our technology is.
You thought that we have this absolutely fabulous set of computer networks that run our world. And, some of it really is pretty awesome. After all, I’m able to write articles and record videos, from a tiny island off the coast of China, while you are probably somewhere in the United States – literally on the other side of the planet.
That’s pretty great, right?
The only problem is that our technology is really just a bigger and faster version of what we had in the 1980s. What I’ve had to do over the past days and weeks, isn’t all that different than what I did on the VAX 11/780, when I was in college. Or, even on any of the other Unix-type systems that I worked with. But at least, in the ’80s, the software was generally well-written.
Today, our software is badly written, poorly documented and run by managers who don’t really know what they are doing. In the ’80s, a few kilobytes of memory and a megabyte of storage was pretty cool. Forty years later, we have gigabytes of memory and terabytes of storage, but we’ve thrown a lot of that advantage away with sloppy programming. And, if we somehow get our applications to work, we forget that people need good documentation to use them. And then, there are the managers who seem to be clueless about what any of this means.
The Intel Corporation Example
Take Intel as an example.
When was the last time they had a truly unique innovation?
For years they dominated the CPU industry, but they were only able to do that because their competition – essentially AMD – made a big mistake. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) had a history of coming up with new ways to make old technology work better. They were the first to make 64 bit CPUs possible for the average PC. They were the first to create multiple core CPUs. The did a lot of things well, before they tried something code-named Bulldozer. That blew up in their faces, giving Intel a chance to coast along and make money without working too hard for it.
If you haven’t figured this out by now, Intel Corporation is run by complacent, lazy engineers that don’t have a shred of ingenuity. They only start working hard when AMD kicks them in the butt.
Unfortunately, that’s the story of all the ‘marvelous’ technology that you see. Very little of all that ‘high tech’ is really new or even all that innovative. Yeah, it’s more compact. It might be faster. There are more pretty pictures involved. But, underneath all of that shininess is a hodge-podge patchwork of chewing gum and bailing wire. And, the only marvelous thing about it, is that they’ve been able to keep it working.
We had forty years to make something new and interesting, and we didn’t. And, that’s one of the reasons why all of what we are going through is so annoying. We wasted our chance to make something great and even impressive. Instead, we let morons take over and run our world.
Oh, And Security As An Afterthought
Oh, and here’s another thing that makes me mad. Programmers and the managers who run programming teams, never seem to understand that security is important. It’s always tacked on afterwards. As an afterthought.
It’s like creating a nice, shiny new car and forgetting to put in the brakes. Or door locks. Or keys for the ignition.
Yeah. It’s that stupid.
What makes me even more mad is our lack of willingness to track down the persons-of-uncertain-parentage who exploit security vulnerabilities. We could stamp out the scammers and spammers. We could get rid of child pornography and the heroin trade. We could get rid of a host of evils that run rampant on the Internet, but we won’t – ‘cuz we don’t want to.
The next time that you see a scammer or spammer in your inbox, remember that we could stop that easily – if we wanted to. But, we’re too lazy and corrupt to do anything about all that.
Where The Antichrist Fits In
This is where I think the Antichrist fits in.
No, not the Antichrist himself, but the guy in Revelation 13 that has two horns like a lamb but speaks like a dragon. (Revelation 13:11) I’m willing to bet that he will be like Steve Jobs or Henry Ford. He’ll be absolutely brilliant and innovative. He’ll be at just the right place, at just the right time, to create something interesting that turns the world upside down.
Maybe he is the one who fixes our badly managed Internet?
Maybe he’s the guy who creates an operating system that isn’t just a graphical interface for a Unix command line?
Of course, at the same time, there will be the Antichrist who is a military leader with political power. So, there will be two brilliant men who will be able to take over the world. And, I’m betting that this brilliance and innovation will be a complete surprise and seemingly come from out of nowhere.
Running The World On The Peter Principle
A couple weeks ago, when we were going through the local Costco, I found Mrs. Little standing at the book table. A dangerous thing. She picked up Thomas Sowell’s book on Economics – translated into Chinese. But, as I looked around the table, I saw ‘The Peter Principle’, and I told her that The Peter Principle is more important than the book on economics. So, she got both. And yes, Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, by Thomas Sowell, is a great book to read, if you want to learn about economics.
Again, the more important book is The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong by Dr. Laurence J Peter and Raymond Hull. The observations in that book speak more to how the world actually runs, than any book on economics.
The Peter Principle basically says that people get promoted to their level of incompetence.
Someone who is a great clerk will often get promoted to middle manager. If she’s a reasonably good manager, she’ll get promoted to department head. If she keeps doing a reasonably good job, she’ll keep getting promoted until she is unable to do her job. If she turns out to be a terrible head of her department, she’ll stop getting promotions. But, she’ll stay on as the head of her department and continue making horrible decisions.
That’s how organizations work. Everyone who is good at an entry-level position, gets promoted. If they do well at the mid-level position, they get another promotion. Eventually, they get promoted to a job that they just aren’t able to do.
My first technical writing job was just like that. My boss was a great technical writer. He was so good that he got promoted to the head of the writing team. He was absolutely terrible at that position and completely mishandled my assignment. I was a Unix guy who was given the job of maintaining the API guide for an OS/390 application.
If you know anything about Unix and OS/390, you’ll know that they do not mix. At all. And, the team leader could not see the problem. He’s a great guy, but even to this day, he still doesn’t quite understand what happened.
A worse example happened when I was back in the US. I found a job writing guides for a custom application being developed in-house for the Indiana Department of Child Services. The government of Indiana was spending millions of dollars to develop this software, but the head of the department tasked with running this effort destroyed all of it through inept management.
Millions upon millions of dollars and a massive amount of effort were lost because the manager running the program had been promoted to her level of incompetence. And, there was absolutely no way that you could tell her that she was destroying the program – along with everything that she touched.
She had probably been a great social worker. She might even have been a great manager of social workers. But, when she was promoted to a job that oversaw in-house software development, she was terrible.
It was the most soul-destroying experience that I’d ever had. But, it helped me see how government agencies work, and how they are ruled by The Peter Principle. And, it also encouraged me to take the first opportunity to leave the US for Asia, to do evangelism.
It was God, putting me in an uncomfortable position, so that I would make the right decision at the right time.
The Key Takeaway
The main thing that you need to understand is that large organizations always Always ALWAYS fail. And, a big part of this failure is due to the promotion of good people to positions that they just cannot handle. And, since more and more of the world is being managed by big organizations… the world will continue to be horribly horribly mismanaged.
I will not know more about my CLL or whatever-it-is until the LAST DAY OF 2020. That’s right. December 31st. Hopefully, the diagnosis will be more positive than this year has been. This year started out with Mrs. Little in the hospital, and I don’t want it to end with Mr. Little in the hospital. I don’t think that there’s much of a chance of this happening, but you never can tell.
Again, 2020 has been an… interesting …year for all of us.
Also, my apologies to everyone who needed to hear from me and haven’t. Technical issues have kept me from proper communication. Lord willing, the worst of those issues is over.
The Best Links For The Past Week
As an experiment, I’ve put them on… TWITTER.
We’ll see if this works.
Go here, to my Twitter page, for the best links and what I think about them: