The Scam That Keeps on Scamming


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Portion of US factory workers who have a college degree:  ¼

Portion of University teaching positions that are led by graduate students or adjunct faculty : ¾

Percentage of college professors teaching online classes who do not believe that students should receive credit for them:  72

 

These three facts tell of a world of trouble with the U.S. higher education, yet nobody dare pull the plug on it, because how else are we going to induce compliance with and bolster confidence in the absurd and completely artificial construct that sells internationally transferrable credit hours and certifications? What if the people who owe the over trillion dollars in student loans suddenly decide they were tricked and have no intention of repaying?

 

Higher education is our gatekeeper to jobs that let you sit in an air-conditioned office and play with your computer. If we let just anybody compete for…

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The Fundamental Error


back by popular demand

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THE FUNDAMENTAL PERCEPTUAL FLAW BEHIND MOST UNHAPPINESS

In the long run, what really matters is how we spend our time, not what we accomplish. If you have enough money to not worry about having enough money, then you can do something else with your time than make money. If you have enough stuff, then getting more will not make you happier. But what you do with this fleeting gift of time and health does matter. In fact, it’s all that matters.

Advertising and promotion make it seem like there’s something other than what’s right in front of you that will make all the difference to your happiness. That’s the fundamental error in a nutshell. Once you buy that lie, then you’re hooked on searching for different solutions to the same invented problem. So your life becomes a hustle, a chase, and the moments that might have been worthwhile…

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Flying Season 2017 in Thailand


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As of last month we were averaging four to five a week.

It’s flying season here in Thailand.  This is the time of year when foreign men, usually in their sixties, leap off the balconies of their condos in three main Thai cities, Phuket, Pattaya and Bangkok.  Many times they fly of their own volition.  At other times they have obviously had help getting aloft, reaching terminal velocity with a shove from the family or boyfriend of the women they’ve been sexually involved with and financially supporting.

During flying season many a caucasian body is found at the base of a high-rise apartment building.  The season begins in December and ends in May, when for some reason many of these old fellows either choose or are allowed to remain alive. If a note is left behind, it usually refers to health or money problems.

There are two on-line forums where surviving ex-pats can keep track of this activity.  Thaivisaforum.com and stickmanbangkok.com.  When the Thai police investigate, they always conclude it was a suicide.  In one notorious case, the man’s head was found in a plastic bag thirty meters from his body.  “Suicide,” the police report read.

Thailand serves the same function for the world at large that California served for the United States.  It’s the place you wind up when you bomb out of every other place.  I remember I had an uncle who abandoned his family in St. Louis and drank himself to death in San Francisco.  He was not alone in this, for there were legions of men just like him in California’s coastal cities, using alcohol to dissolve the shackles that bound them back east.  In Thailand, these men are from all over the world, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, the United States. They leave their third or fourth wife behind and come to the land of Rent-a-Wife.  If they have an addiction or two, they find to their surprise they have brought it with them. If the addiction itself isn’t their undoing, it does a bang-up job of demoralizing them along the way, and thinking with their wrong head, they make poor choices. Many a man with a substantial retirement account has limped back to the airport in Bangkok to head home, minus most of his savings. Those are the lucky ones, for they were spared the ten seconds of exhilaration their flying fellows knew as they soared off the balcony.

And then there are those of us who haven’t done that badly here, though it sometimes seems we are in the minority. I have met a few mentally healthy men who have taken an active interest in Thai culture, who have gone to the trouble to learn the language, and who seem to have meaningful relationships with their communities.

But these men don’t make the papers.  Mostly they gracefully age and die here, or scramble back to their home country before they become too infirm to fly.