Problem Solving and Planning

It seems sometimes if the dominant media and opinion-makers on the left (but I repeat) are seemingly deficient in two areas: problem solving and planing ahead.

Strange, since in order to become somewhat successful they needed to do both things. Strange also that they don’t deny the existence of these qualities, but refuse to believe that society as a whole can implement these characteristics.

I’ll get back to that: They refuse to trust others to problem-solve or plan ahead.

Problem Solving

If you didn’t have an identification document like a birth certificate, could you get one pretty easily?  I got an official birth certificate in two weeks using a phone and a debit card and by contacting the county of my birth.

In a situation where my food would stop arriving, or the water was going to be turned off without some legal ID, or if I was going to lost the right to vote, I think I’d solve that problem. I trust others to do the same.

Why then do talking heads figure poor and/or minority folks can’t do this? Leftist idea people figure that some folks can’t problem-solve their way around this dilemma.

Planning Ahead

I know some folks online who are preppers. Sometimes prepare for week-long outages of water, gas or food deliveries. Some plan for what’s call SHTF. They have “bug out bags” with water and stuff in case they have to move out of somewhere fast. Some have weapons and the skills to use them, plus cans of beans. 

Last week a hose valve outside the house broke, and for the first time in 20 years, we had to shut off the water to the house. I looked pretty smart when I pulled out the case of bottled water, and the jugs of water — which were helpful for flushing.

Dad planned ahead.

When TV folks talk about weather crises, and teacher’s with guns…It bothers me that they assume that no one will be able to deal with things until the government arrives. As if we can’t ever plan ahead, but only plan for help to arrive.

We learned with the Florida shooter that even a fully trained police officer can turn tail. But that does not mean that everyone would. We also hear from battle-hardened experts on cable TV that in a confrontation with school shooter, the teacher might miss. Yes, in the case of an actual exchange of gunfire, I’ll bet even the school shooter would become a poor marksman.




I hear people saying that a teacher with a small handgun would stand no chance against a school shooter with an AR-15. The people who say this have never held either. Nor have they put water in the closet (rotating it out every 6 months or so for freshness.) Neither have they tried to strategically solve problems — or trusted others to do the same.

Based upon some of the folks I see on television, I could believe that we are not a country of problem-solvers and planners. Truth told, those folks on TV are poor representatives of America.  



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10 Responses to Problem Solving and Planning

  1. onwyrdsdream says:

    Hayek pretty much put socialists into the bucket of planners. I’m pretty sure he meant “central planners.” The thing about central planning is, it’s based on the innate assumption that everyone except the central government is too incompetent to plan.

    Pretty much anyone in a position of power with a collectivist/planner take on the world spends most of their time thinking, “The peasants are revolting.” Though they don’t mean there is a revolution.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I resent being told that regular people need to be supervised by their betters. Especially since some of the people saying this know zero about America.


      • onwyrdsdream says:

        Bill Whittle said that the smartest person in the world was thousands or millions of times too stupid to run everything, on the basis that no matter what they knew, they didn’t know the little things about the countless people’s needs and wants. Adam Smith used “The Invisible Hand” to represent “in a free market economy, self-interested individuals operate through a system of mutual interdependence to promote the general benefit of society at large.” (from )

        It’s really more of an invisible brain. The way that an economy works is nearly identical to how a neural net works in artificial intelligence. While I’m not an expert, I’ve studied both neural networks to the extent that I can build one, and economics to the extent that I’ve read dozens of volumes, so I don’t think I’m mistaken. As a market acts like a brain, more or less, it will probably at no time actually be at the optimum solution given the set of resources and the set of needs, but it should always track the local optimum, and with countless individuals attempting their own things, it will tend toward the actual optimum. This sort of problem, with hundreds of billions of inputs and hundreds of billions of outputs, is far beyond the ability of an individual, an committee, or an organization to deal with.

        Practically every aspect of the market that the left hates is just a brain far smarter than they are reacting to changing signal levels. When prices go up in an emergency, it doesn’t change that there are a finite number of a particular resource available, rather it encourages people to increase that finite resource. Profit is signal. Loss is signal. Industries rising is signal. Black markets are signal. Tax avoidance is signal. All of it is this massive intelligence attempting to direct resources in the fashion that most optimally meets our needs and desires. When the government doesn’t even understand my preferences in Pizza how is it supposed to support every aspect of my life on it’s own?

        Liked by 3 people

  2. recherche says:

    Your first three paragraphs are very snarky about polarising/politicising the debate, and ridiculing the “other side” as being inferior to “your side”. I believe that it’s fair that, given such a start, you’ve set a very high bar for yourself in how you conduct yourself in the rest of the blog post.

    or if I was going to lost the right to vote

    If you’re going to preach your beliefs and values to us in a blog post, and especially put some of them in italics for emphasis, it’d be nice if you took care about things like grammar and spelling, such as the difference between “lost” and “lose”. Attention to detail matters when making a presentation; Some of the way the recipients evaluate the quality/validity of the message is to evaluate visible traits exhibited by the speaker.

    Looking at wider community issues, not just the gun debate, it’s clear that sometimes government laws and regulation are worthwhile: For example, what if the laws for roads weren’t homogenous across the country, including standard line marking, but even including anarchy such as no agreement about speed limits, or perhaps even which side of the road to drive on? And separately, what if there were no National Parks, or any environmental protections encoded in laws/regulations? You could have a “tragedy of the commons”, where individuals would grab resources for their own benefit.

    Whether you like it or not, there are cases where consensus, including being willing to concede some of your values/ideals to others that may not be “your betters”, but just be “regular people”, ends up with a net better result for everyone in the community.

    I’m not trying to start a flame war, but I know that many readers here will strongly be against what I’ve written. So be it.

    [Side note: I’ve tried (in the last week or so) posting on one other conservative blog, and have had a very hostile reception. I accept that the same is very likely to happen here; that’s completely fair, since it’s your territory (blog), not mine, and I strongly suspect that the blog’s audience will have attitudes/opinions closer to yours than mine.]

    — recherche


    • crawford421 says:

      Nice straw men.


      • recherche says:

        Sorry, as an Aussie, and so not very familiar with the American history and/or government hierarchies, can you please tell me what is my “straw man” argument? (I honestly did not intend to debate using this tactic.)

        My best guess is that the lesser things I’ve noted are from law/regulation sources, whereas the gun question is enshrined at a much higher legal level — the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

        As time has shown, the interpretation of the Constitution, and/or any of the Amendments, is not above being questioned by the judicial arm of the Country. [I don’t know what powers, if any, the executive arm of the Government (Congress), and/or the President has, either.]

        — recherche


    • Obviously the issue with lost and lose is an issue of poor typing/proofreading. Can we agree that that’s nit picking.

      As far as the reception at conservative blogs, sorry. It does mirror the reaction of Bible clinging conservatives who comment at liberal sites.

      As for “very snarky about polarising/politicising the debate,” I’m late to the game on politicizing. It was politicized already. Snarky? Guilty.

      Please feel welcome here.


    • Pablo says:

      The government that governs least governs best. Of course, there are valid purposes for laws. No one would argue otherwise. That’s where your straw man lives.


    • I’ll pick one out. What if there were no National Parks? Is it that you think parks can’t or won’t exist without being national?
      Is it that you think the lovely terrain features would not exist if they weren’t under the Federal government’s control?


  3. recherche says:

    Thank you to all, and especially Dave, for being relatively tolerant towards me.

    FIY, the “other conservative website” is a somewhat-protracted dialogue I had (over at Sonoran Conservative ) relating to a single blog post, which, now it has fallen of the front page, has stalled:

    I feel compelled (by my overblown ego, sigh) to quote, in full, my last post in that comment stream. (Some items there relate to earlier comments, but I believe that it has a wider focus that may be relevant here.) Interestingly, I posted that *before* Trump claimed he would enter buildings “even if unarmed!” I’d like to note how a few seconds, let alone four minutes, during the event, can seem like an eternity after the event, and I worry that the first seconds of incomplete information and general confusion would compromise the chances to be able to react very quickly. There’s also a curious question: What would Trump do once he’d entered the building where the shootings had been identified as occurring? Act as a human shield? Try to tackle the gunman before he (Trump) had a chance to be wounded?

    [Almost totally unrelated aside: Trying not to be snarky, and posting from Australia (the forcast maximum for Moomba today is 41 degrees Celcius, which is cool compared to the 43 DegC forecast for Birdsville (my calculator tells me that’s 109.4 degrees Fareheit, if you can still trust computers these days).]

    G’day JXMcKK* and others,

    Yes, I do have insurance on various things, to lower the cost to me if Bad Things happen. Insurance is a way of spreading low-likelihood risk amongst a pool of people. However, there’s a quote I’ve heard that “Taking out insurance is not only gambling in a game that’s not just giving you good odds, the owner of the table is also the one setting the odds.”

    I’ve always maintained a position that it’s impossible to eliminate risk — the next breath you take may contain the pathogen, or perhaps the speck of asbestos, that ends up killing you — so focus instead on becoming good at managing risk.

    If you accept this premise, then anyone that tries to sell you a solution that makes you “100% safe”, “gets rid of all the nasty germs”, “clinically proven to eliminate disease X” etc is selling snake oil.

    My gut feel is that slogans that have been tossed around such as “our kids deserve to be [unspoken 100%] safe in schools” is sailing very close to the wind — it would change the dynamics of the situation, but is less certain in exactly how things would pan out.

    For example, if the teacher is known to be armed, what’s the chance that they misunderstand a situation and kill an innocent person? Or turn it around the other way, if a malicious actor knows the teacher is armed, he may choose to aim to kill the teacher first; alternately, people have been known to plant explosives in order to create confusion and mass movement towards Assembly Points, and then be ready to fire upon those Points.

    Thought experiment: if there’s gunfire coming from four different people, three of them probably are armed school personnel, and the fourth is the malicious actor… but how to make a choice in a few fleeting seconds, when a four minute delay is effectively an eternity in such a situation?

    Okay, let me backtrack to Guantanamo Bay, and especially to the treatment of the Australian David Hicks. People who call for “capture, collect information, then kill” would have killed an innocent man, because the law that he was charged with didn’t exist when he was captured (2001): It was later enacted, and retrospectively applied to him (2006) by the US Government. Would you like another government to do that to one of your citizens? Here’s a snippet from the Wikipedia article:

    In October 2012, the United States Court of Appeals ruled that the charge under which Hicks had been convicted was invalid, because the law did not exist at the time of the alleged offence, and it could not be applied retrospectively.[9] The efforts of the US to charge Hicks have been described as “a significant departure from the Geneva Conventions and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, quite apart from the US constitution”, the implications being that “anyone in the world, who has suitable radical connections and who is in a war zone fighting against Americans, is guilty of a war crime”.[162]

    Finally, I’d like to briefly note some phrases that have been used in the preceding series of posts, and make me uncomfortable because they’re far from neutral:

    “criminals” — sometimes the question of “who’s the criminal?” only becomes clear after the event;

    “Cowards who are taking guns to other people do so out of evil […]”… I’m reminded of the quote from Catch-22: “They told him not to kill, and he did not kill. Then he joined the Air Force, and they told him to kill, so he killed.” “Cowards”? “evil”? Who is appointed as the ultimate authority on these judgemental terms?

    “US courts are tied up in how, or whether to execute, these animals […]” — “animals”?! — talk about the commenter being the judge, jury and executioner in using that term in the middle of a debate!

    “[…] selling liberty for a false sense of security.” No, I was talking about trade-offs, not simply yielding meekly. I’d prefer to see multiple layers of protection: Defense in depth (multiple overlapping mechanisms), not just one step.

    You guys have treated me quite well (given the nature of the forum), so again, thank you. I’d just like to reiterate that different cultures make debate hard (thanks to SC for saying that also), and I’d also like to reiterate my plea to try and avoid language that’s loaded towards one viewpoint over another.


    — recherche


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