For anyone who felt awkward as a teenager and desperately wanted to be popular like the ‘cool kids’ at school, a new study may seem like poetic justice. Scientists have found that teenagers who act cool in early adolescence are more likely to experience a range of problems in early adulthood, compared to their geeky peers. Children who are revered at school, for example, are more likely to have alcohol and drug problems, become involved in crime, and have problems in relationships.The actual finding is clear and unambiguous and ancient. Those who TRY TO BECOME COOL end up in trouble. Valid. No problem. But the explanatory comment by the profs and by the media shows a complete failure to understand social hierarchies. These are NOT the popular kids, NOT the 'revered' kids, NOT the cool kids. The cool kids don't need to do anything. They are automatically desired and revered and obeyed, no matter what they do. They are innately attractive and impressive, which means they generally come from parents with the same characteristics. Members of the leadership class don't run wild because they don't need to. (Think St Bernards and Chihuahuas.) I'm not at all surprised to find the media stupidly misunderstanding this point. Media get everything wrong. I'm puzzled by the main prof speaking to the media. He seems to be equally stupid. I get the sense that the grad students who developed and performed the study do understand coolness because they weren't cool. The prof who claims the credit and speaks to the media must have been innately cool and thus blind to the hierarchy.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.