Sometimes it’s like herding sheep…

A special kind of sheep. The kind that herd themselves.

A perfect example is in this story from Australia about a woman who climbed over a safety railing and then back again, without falling over a cliff. A perfectly ordinary event in my view. I wouldn’t have done it but then I don’t like high places.

Safety railings do not grow on cliff edges. Someone put them there. The sensible response should have been ‘well, it’s definitely safe on this side of the railing but if you want to climb over it, that’s up to you’. That is never the actual response. The Daily Mail reports the story with breathless horror, as usual. This could have happened or that could have happened or even something else!

Nothing did happen, naturally.  She climbed over the railing, took a look over the edge, took a photo and climbed back again. This became a really big deal because she took her daughter with her. The daughter looks easily old enough to have climbed over herself. It’s not as if she let a toddler loose on the edge of a cliff. Yet the ‘onlookers were all horrified’ and one took pictures and sent them to the Mail as evidence. Evidence of… what?

Evidence of the sheep that ignored the sheepdogs, that’s what. Get back in line, stay inside the fences and wait for the big truck to come. No actual dogs required in this case. These are the sheep that herd themselves. They are all over the comments too.

While the sheep herd themselves, the farmers sit back and count their money. Occasionally they put out a ‘we know best’ propaganda peice disguised as a news story.

All those billionaires are not just clever, they are ‘scary smart’. The drones must believe that the rich are more intelligent than them and do indeed know what is best. Unfortunately the last line of the article totally gives the game away…

I think we should deeply consider the implications when a select group of scary smart people also tend to hold a disproportionate share of global wealth and power,’ he said. ‘We depend on these people to make wise decisions for all of us.’

Really? I think I’ll make my own decisions, even though I have no money at all. Looking at the decisions some of these rich people are making now, I wouldn’t trust them to decide what I have for breakfast. If they are truly the super-intelligent elite, they are exceptionally good at hiding it.

No, they do not have ‘scary smarts’. All they have is money. Bits of paper and metal. Increasingly, all they have are numbers on a screen. Let them have that. Let them dodge their taxes while insisting we pay the few pennies we owe. I have enough, I have no ambitions concerning fast cars and huge houses (the cleaning would be eternal!). I don’t want employees living in my house.because it’s too huge to manage alone. As for boats, I like building models of them but oddly enough, hate being on the real ones.

This ‘article’ and the Studies have Shown report it is based on is nothing more than the farmers telling the sheep who is boss. Keep them in line. They’ve been a bit restive lately, time for some reminders. We’ll start with a gentle one.

That report author equates ‘intelligence’ with ‘posh schooling’ and misses the point that many of the students in such places are there because of parental income rather than ability. George Bush went to a posh school and came out possibly dimmer than when he went in. Intelligence is not a result of schooling, it’s what you have to have to absorb more schooling than other people. And you do not have to use your intelligence to amass education.

Another story in that same issue is also about a billionaire. A very smart man indeed. What a pity he can barely read or write. Somewhat blows the ‘all billionaires are brilliant at everything’ line out of the water, doesn’t it? Oh, and this guy didn’t inherit so much as a tin of beans. He did it all himself. He also has no interest in controlling anyone else’s life.

Those ‘scary smart’ ones should pay attention to him.



12 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s like herding sheep…

  1. Typical Ozzy attitude to safety seen on a sign in Western Australia right on the coast on a cliff edge – (paraphrasing as its some years ago since I saw it) “Going beyond this point is up to you but we won’t bust a gut to save you if you get into trouble”.


    • I’d be happy with signs along the lines of “Go past here, you might die, you might not. Your decision, your problem, matey.”

      It’s the fence that gets the sheep minds going. “It’s a FENCE. Put up by authorities. None shall pass.” Well, one did, and came back unscathed. The sheep minds just can’t cope with that.


  2. Australians have welcomed the nanny state ethos – booze and fags are outrageously expensive, State anti-sin advertising is rampant, you have to wear a bicycle helmet even on a bicycle path. I have abseiled the Three Sisters, and have photos to prove it. The only person in our party wearing a helmet was a ten-year old boy.

    Posh schools usually require you to pass an entrance examination and once you are in, the competition and workload are fierce. Any slacking and your investors (parents) are advised immediately. It’s like merchant banking without and claret and cocaine.

    My school was different – it was the equivalent of a grammar school here. I probably needed the rigour of a public school and my brother agrees – my nephews go to a posh school. Dispassionately viewed, a more arduous education would have been worth about an extra 20% in my matriculation score – but it wouldn’t have made me into a billionaire

    Having said all of that, Mrs 20, her two sisters and brother went to Posh Schools. One sister married into money but the rest live in straitened circumstances.

    I hate to say anything too positive about GWB, but he was rated in the F-102 and an idiot cannot do that. Perhaps all the booze addled his brain – something I aspire to.



    • Posh schools in the UK have entrance exams but they can be circumvented by cheques with a lot of numbers on them.

      I actually passed the entrance exam for Cambridge while at school but fluffed the interview. There was something about the place I wasn’t comfortable with, nothing I can define, perhaps it was just a country-boy meets townie thing. Anyway I fluffed the interview so it didn’t matter.

      I doubt the theory that booze addles the brain. I have been testing this extensively for years and have seen no results yet.

      It does bugger up your typing ability though. Maybe the brain is fine, just not properly connected to anything else?


  3. I usually don’t click on Daily Stale links, but was intrigued by the new billionaire who cannot read or write, Chris Dawson, owner of the Range stores (never heard of them).

    I find that once I start reading the comments, it’s difficult to stop. Have you noticed that two people can make the same point, but phrase it differently, so that one gets lots of green arrows and the other mainly red ones?

    Shows the power in using the right words combined with the inability of DM readers to process information.


    • The Range stores don’t seem to be nationwide but since the guy has a Roller and a hell of a lot of drive to do even better, they might be one day.

      I have no idea what they sell.


  4. Insomnia struck, and I was starring at late-late-late TV. Someone in the plot had to die, and so he developed lung cancer because he had, “Smoked a cigarette once eighteen years ago. Damned thing just lingered and lingered and lingered and finally got him.”

    It was a joke, told about anti-smokers, right out loud, as though there were nothing wrong with it.

    Made me shiver, and I got up and shut the window to keep out evile spirits.


    • If you smoke, shutting the window keeps the evil spirits in.

      And makes the canary die 😉

      I should get a canary. When it keels over, I’ll know it’s time to open a window.


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