Insanity & Doom Update LII

Insanity & Doom Update LII

Another all-reader-contributed week of doom!

Item Minnesota company gives ‘fur-ternity leave’ to pet parents (Thanks for Sheri for the link)

A digital marketing company in Minneapolis has adopted a new policy that it calls “fur-ternity” leave, allowing employees with new pets to work from home…

McCarthy adopted a Goldendoodle named Bentley in May, and wanted to help his puppy settle into his new home. He said he discussed the possibility of making adjustments to his schedule with this supervisor so that he could work and spend time with Bentley.

“I think it was great,” he said. “Within a couple of weeks, he was potty-trained. I was able to help out with that.”

McCarthy’s request was quickly approved and that it tipped company leadership off that animals were just as important to their employees as human babies, said Allison McMenimen, executive vice president for client services at Nina Hale.

This is true: animals are just as important to their people as human babies, if not more so. The article says of the leave policy “instead of a human baby, it’s a fur baby.”

It is not, of course, a fur baby. It is an animal. Which, if cooked properly would be delicious.

Item Maryland College Scraps Math And Physics Majors To Cut Costs

Goucher College described its move to phase out math, physics, music, Russian studies, and four others as part of an “academic revitalization,” reported The Washington Post. The private school has slightly fewer than 1,500 students.

“A small college can’t just keep adding majors,” Goucher President Jose Bowen told The Baltimore Sun. “Sometimes we need to move resources from one to another and subtract too.”…

“Student interests change, partly in response to how the world changes,” Bowen said. “One-hundred years ago, Goucher (like most colleges) offered (or even required) Latin, Greek and theology courses, and there were no computer science or environmental studies courses.”

Dropping math or physics majors is not per se the problem. Students at small schools should still learn these subjects, but the needn’t be called majors. The reason, then, this item makes its Doom entry is the watery statement “Student interests change…”

Colleges should be in the business of instructing students, who by definition are ignorant, not in what they want, but what is good for them. Catering to student whim leads to idiocy and ideology.

Item Body Augmentation. Thanks to Victor Domin, who provides the following comments about an article written by a Google employee who wrote “Without question, the human body is going to be augmented with a plethora of new technology over the next 30 years. . . . By 2075, perhaps 2100, all humans will be Augmented.” Domin says, and we agree, this:

Seems to me one of the current overarching philosophies, particularly in the tech sector, and courtesy of merging evolutionary metaphysics and religion (a la later Teilhard de Chardin), is the progression of humanity to a brave, new trans-human level of development, soaring ever higher in proud ascent through the deep firmament of the Ubermensch, fabricating a world completely in our own image (devoid of God and charity, of course). The Tower of Babel was nothing in comparison, and nothing’s off the table; we can do all things through Tech who strengthens us.

I’m all for medical advancements (and pray for improving treatments and cures for all the ills that ail us), but at what point do you cross the threshold into madness? Just because we can begin to manipulate the structure of DNA doesn’t mean it’s a good idea; the author himself stats, “Biologically, the path to Human 2.0 is underway – regardless of the fact that we don’t know the long-long-term consequences of these edits.” God confounding the plans of the proud aside, and given that we actually can devise a future according to our sci-fi intentions, how much do you wanna bet that there’s a strong correlation between one’s degree of augmentation and one’s net worth?

Item For Women and Minorities to Get Ahead, Managers Must Assign Work Fairly (Thanks to Byron for the link.)

Organizations have been trying to improve diversity in the workplace for decades — with little success. The most common techniques, such as one-time sensitivity trainings, haven’t worked. The numbers of women and people of color in leadership roles are still staggeringly low across industries. Also well documented are the high rates of turnover for women, especially women of color.

Who’s at fault for this lack of equality? The usual suspects. It’s never that the usual suspects just happen to be better at the jobs than, say, “women of color.”


  1. “Who’s at fault for this lack of equality? The usual suspects. It’s never that the usual suspects just happen to be better at the jobs than, say, “women of color.””

    We’ve gotten to the point now that they make movies about a few black women doing what ten thousand white men and women were doing at the time. (“Hidden Figures”)

    Diversity destroys standards and kills. (FIU pedestrian bridge)

  2. brian (bulaoren)

    Why not “pet-ternity?

  3. brian (bulaoren)

    Why not “pet-ternity”?

  4. “Pet-ternity” would be petriarchal. Down with the petriarchy!

  5. DAV

    fur-ternity discriminates against reptiles, birds and many others. Down with fur privilege!

  6. Sheri

    DAV: I doubt I could have convinced people I needed “furternity” for a boa constrictor I had. It lived to be 20+ and only bit twice—once it snagged my mother, once it got my elbow. However, the yorkie I had for 14 years bit at least one person a week (including me) for 13 of his 14 years, as soon as he had a full set of teeth. Even the vet muzzled him. Somehow, I always thought of the snake as being a “more lovable” pet than the hyper-alpha yorkie. (He was good for building quick reflexes however! The faster the reflexes, the fewer the bites!)

    Of course, I would never have taken furternity leave for any DOG I ever had—they’re dogs. Lovable and entertaining, but DOGS.

    Yes, some of you probably would have eaten the yorkie and I can’t say I would blame anyone for doing so. He was mean little snot. He was entertaining enough I let him live, but he was the equivalent of a psychopath for a kid.

  7. I like the idea of fur-ternity leave for a sick pet. Last Saturday I realised my dog was paralysed from a tick, and he got the antivenom in time. After three days at the vets he could come home however I have to nurse him for another 4 weeks~ to minimise a heart attack/choking on food. Thankfully I work from home. He’s my companion not my baby and once well he (they) will be outside again.

    A state in Australia just introduced new rules for construction companies bidding on gov projects: double the female workforce by 2023. Part of the “Women’s Strategy” (their poor punctuation) to reduce gender inequality…

  8. Joy

    I don’t blame your Yorkie either.

  9. Gary

    Colleges should be in the business of instructing students, who by definition are ignorant, not in what they want, but what is good for them. Catering to student whim leads to idiocy and ideology.

    Catering to customer whims is what businesses do. Today most colleges are driven very strongly by business concerns. If an institution wants to be an arts college, then that’s its business plan. It may succeed or fail depending on many factors, some of which are critical ones out of the college’s control. Lately, a whim of increasing numbers of students is obtaining satisfactory employment after graduation. Let’s make a distinction between idiocy/ideology and appropriate responses to market demands when criticizing colleges.

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