Never go full Curmudgeon!

Posted On: Thursday - December 22nd 2022 6:30AM MST
In Topics: 
  Curmudgeonry  Artificial Stupidity  Inflation

That's what they tell you, but this post will come awfully close. Our very first post on Peak Stupidity's Day One was about curmudgeonry. In that post, we asked ourselves (those in the Curmudgeon Community) whether the bad attitude about the world is because we have gotten kind of sick of the way it works, or because the world itself has changed for the worse.

From reading and talking to people of all ages about the political and cultural world, I'd say the answer is the latter. One might get called generational insults for providing the right solutions, but most agree there at least the world does suck more. On the other changes to the World, such as the rise of "TECH" in all aspects of life, yeah, I'm a Curmudgeon with lots to say today. Plus, this stuff is easer to write!

Bowling used to be considered pretty square, at least starting in the 1980s. (There's one movie about bowling, King Pin - from 1995 with Woody Harrelson - that I know about. It's pretty good.) Things change. I've seen quite a few new ones crop up. Nowadays, the bowling alleys have been modernized, with quicker pin-placement equipment, automatic scoring, balls color-coded by weight, all kinds of colored lighting, more TVs, fancier food, and louder and crappier music. The music SEEMED louder, but I can't verify this. I can verify that it sucked, especially compared to what came out of the jukebox back in the day.

Rather than go full Curmudgeon, I did try to go with the flow. There were 3 kids, not all mine, at the alley, only there in the first place due to a gift card. Of course, the auto-scoring meant that they weren't necessarily going to learn the bowling scoring system. It just did what it did. There were TV screens on the far ends of the lanes. Hopefully it was on purpose that the screens at the end of the lanes in use had non-moving ads, while the others had football on.

We paid for a lane based on time. It used to be by the game where/when I bowled long ago. Because we paid that way, we used to take our time and savor it, so we'd be there a while on the 2 games each we could afford. I can remember numbers like $1.50/game. We may as well pull up MoneyChimp and do another REAL inflation calculation. Because we were paying by time now, and they were kids, they played fast. The rate would have been* about 15 games/hour (3 kids x 5 games each). The $77 for the 1.5 hours would be just over $5/game. The shoes were free, but I remember one had to pay a quarter or so for them back in the day. That would probably wash out with the faster rate we played. Inflation in bowling comes out to only 2.5% over the many years. That's not too bad, but, man, 77 dollars!

OK, we went off to get food with that $43 left on the card. I won't complain about prices - nobody cares ... especially not a computer that we were told we needed to use in a manner suggesting "what century are you living in?" This is the kind of thing I do go Full Curmudgeon on, because I'm right! I can learn, and punch it all up on, the touch screen (almost) as well as the kids. However, when trying to run the gift card to pay, we got a "cannot connect to server" error. I mean, the kids tried 5 times, each time going back through the choices on the touch screen from the beginning.**

So all that fancy technology did for us was to get all of us hungry people to head out the door and drive to our favorite (NY style) pizza place, 25 minutes away. Nobody cares though, back at the bowling alley. We had been the only ones in that restaurant. We couldn't connect with the computer server or the human server in the back there, sitting on his ass making his hourly pay focused on some app on his phone.

Well, I won't stop there. On the way home, one of the other kids requested I turn on the car radio. I suggested that the radio music sucked (honestly, I wouldn't know which station to tune in is all) and turned on the CD player which had a Fleetwood Mac album in it (oddly, that my kid and I had found by the sidewalk 5 years ago). Kids these days are insistent, and upon a further request, he deserved an explanation. "Why can't we use the radio? Because it's not 1975 anymore!" That shut him up and will end this post.

* The equipment failed at about 1:05 in. That took about 6 minutes, and by that time, the kids were hungry and complaining. (Not my kid, and that's another thing!) We bailed and went to the restaurant there. It was as if spending OPM with the gift card too.

** Part of that was changing the gratuity from the default 20% to 15% - after all, the server - wait, which kind of server? Were we tipping the computer? - wasn't doing jack squat to help with the ordering!

Saturday - December 24th 2022 9:35PM MST
PS: Yes, that IS a lot. A gift card feels like an EBT card. I doubt we'll go there on real money.

Merry Christmas to you and M, Adam!
Adam Smith
Saturday - December 24th 2022 1:01PM MST
PS: Christmas Eve Gift!

$77 for one and a half hours of bowling‽‽‽ For three kids‽ Wow! (Must be the Strong Dollar or something.)

Kinda on topic...

If anyone ever has the misfortune of finding themselves in that dirty old poisonous rust belt city on the eastern end of Lake Erie* on a Friday evening, you can enjoy a good fish fry here**...

*Hopefully it's summer! if this happens to you.

**I haven't been there in like a decade, but it's probably still good.
(It's also a bowling alley, which makes it kinda on topic)...

Happy Saturday!

Friday - December 23rd 2022 7:33PM MST
PS: Haha, a singularity! "But then I read your What is Peek Stoopidity explanation that Stupidity will max out at the onset of social collapse, where people will need to revert to making sense to survive, at least at the level of 1950s America." I think it's the financial stupidity that will cause this collapse that will bring on the drop in stupidity, as you wrote. Yes, people will need good sense again to survive.
Friday - December 23rd 2022 7:31PM MST
PS: Thanks for reading, Math Karen. It is outrageous that 6 years and a month after the site's been up, I am told that I used the wrong 2nd derivative symbology. Thank you so much for catching this! I haven't dealt with those files in a long while, but this should be easy enough to change.

Sometimes the search engines use that Calculus at the top in the blurbs. I wonder if it's be better for them if I had some normal text up there - I've thought of some good ones over the years.

However, this ought to be right!

Have a good evening, and I hope we'll see more comments from you.
Math Karen
Friday - December 23rd 2022 2:37PM MST

New to your wonderful blog, and I always wondered about Peak Stupidity, which implies that stupidy will after a point decline. Shouldn't your blog be the Stupidity Singularity, where delta Stupid/delta t approaches infinity?

But then I read your What is Peek Stoopidity explanation that Stupidity will max out at the onset of social collapse, where people will need to revert to making sense to survive, at least at the level of 1950s America.

Then again, your banner not only gives the mathematically necessary condition of delta Stupid/delta t = 0 at the stupidity peak but also states the sufficient condition to be delta Stupid^2/delta t^2 < 0.

Do you mean delta^2 Stupid/delta t^2? That is the more common mathematical expression that the trend in stupidity will head downward after reaching the peak.
The Alarmist
Thursday - December 22nd 2022 2:47PM MST

Strange, but true...
The Alarmist
Thursday - December 22nd 2022 1:22PM MST

“It’s not 1975 anymore.”

I hear ya, bro. I think my 1975 car had an FM converter the size of a toaster oven hanging below the dash, but it played sweet, sweet music.
Thursday - December 22nd 2022 11:21AM MST
PS: Thank you for reiterating that one, Mr. Blanc. I couldn't remember the guy's name. Memory always get worse?
Thursday - December 22nd 2022 11:17AM MST
PS Rosenberg’s Rule: Everything always gets worse.
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