Time for one of these, I’m told …
(Launch topic — Entryism.)
ADDED: Anyone applying for retro-entryist special ops from our side has first to pass one simple test. Re-phrase the following statement briefly in your own words, without sacrificing any of its intellectual rigor:
Once you’ve completed the exercise, you’re ready for this.
ADDED: … but this was supposed to be about Project Idaho. So a little prodding –
They had buried him deep, shuddering all the while, scattering their incantations of protection on the accursed grave, as if to entomb their memories there, interring everything they had known in the infinitely forgiving clay. What they begged silently to forget, most of all, was the prophecy that when the stars were right he — it — would return for some hideous completion. Time passed, in the exact measure that had always been necessary, until the moonless night came, unheralded, and unstirred by the slightest breeze, when the stars were — in icy, twinkling fact — perfectly and pitilessly right …
A solid traditionalist argument from Nick B. Steves concludes an exploration of self-deception:
What if the veneer of religiosity was cultivated not so much to impress others as to impress — effectively trick — oneself? The human person has a very nearly infinite capacity for self-delusion. That’s why I consider myself religious … but not spiritual. Whatever in religious practice may seem dull, mundane, and ordinary is more to be trusted than those parts of it which seem highly emotional or consciousness-raising.
ADDED: While we’re on the topic of religious tradition –
On one hand [Dawkins] believes that morality, being natural, is a constant thing, stable throughout history. On the other hand, he believes in moral progress. To square the circle he plunges out of his depth, explaining that different ages have different ideas of morality, and that in recent times there has happily been a major advance in our moral conventions: above all, the principle of equality has triumphed. Such changes ‘certainly have not come from religion’, he snaps. He instead points to better education about our ‘common humanity with members of other races and with the other sex — both deeply unbiblical ideas that come from biological science, especially evolution’. But biological science, especially evolution, can be used to authorise eugenics and racism. The real issue is the triumph of an ideology of equality, of humanism. Instead of asking what this tradition is, and where it comes from, he treats it as axiomatic. This is just the natural human morality, he wants us to think, and in our times we are fortunate to see a particularly full expression of it.
It follows from the analysis of socio-political modernity as a degenerative ratchet that identification of deterioration does not in itself amount to a program for reversing it. The vividness of this problem is directly proportional to the seriousness with which the nature of time, as a practical consideration, is addressed. The essential difference between reaction and neoreaction is adequately articulated as soon as this point is made.
‘Past orientation’ is an impressively defensible value (even by techno-commercial criteria). Retro-directed action, in contrast, is sheer error. This is too obvious an idea to labor over. Those who do not get it have chosen not to.
Unlike the many unsettled controversies of neoreaction, the temptation to simply return, however well-intentioned, merits no more than condescension. In this case — as in so many others — an image is worth a thousand words:
(click on image to enlarge)
The demented evil of this is pretty funny:
My positive spin on Suey Park is that she’s almost unique in her role as an agent of racial desensitization. The only way you don’t lose to move like this is by toughening up fast.
ADDED: So what is this joke saying? Be aware, you will be socially punished for noticing reality. It’s pure Sailer (but dramatized for laughs). With enemies like this, I’m guessing we can close down the propaganda unit.
ADDED: Further down the rabbit hole … (via @CBLangille)
ADDED: Some (vaguely) related intersectionalist comedy.
If you’d asked me what I think about The Prussian yesterday, I’d probably have assumed you were talking about Frederick the Great. Today I’m seeing his stuff mentioned all over the place (at least, by Bryce on Twitter, and Scott Alexander at his place). The two pieces being especially recommended share a tack (interesting) and a tone (impressive). The Outside in response to both is unsettled, but already uneven. At the very least, they initiate a conversation in a way that is unexpected and worthy of respect.
The highlight for me was this (to repeat the second link):
… when differences in African and Caucasian distributions of the ASPM gene that is involved in brain development, racialists jumped to argue that this was the long looked for basis for white cognitive supremacy (Derbyshire’s line). Unfortunately for them, it turned out that the variation does not affect IQ, but does affect the ability to hear tones, and is associated with a lack of tonal languages.
To be honest, this is a lot more interesting than any IQ mumbo-jumbo; that Indo-European languages (‘Aryan’ languages to use the term correctly, and not in the disgraceful way it was used) are non-tonal is one of the big puzzles, and may be a reason why civilization got started in these regions. This is a variant of Joseph Needham’s hypothesis of why China ‘got stuck’ at a certain level of technology. Needham argued that the Chinese failed to make the break to the conceptual level of science that the ancient Greeks did, and part of this is to do with the concrete-level of Chinese vocabulary. By contrast, the reduced sound range and hence, reduced word range available to Indo-European languages may have played a crucial role in making that initial great breakthrough.
Has the case just been made for a clearly identifiable genetic predisposition to digitization? It sounds that way to me.
ADDED: Theden gets serious on the genetics of tonal language.
The egalitarian religion finds the ways of the infidel difficult to understand.
ADDED: Harsh-but-fair comment on Dawkins by ‘aisaac’ (2013/10/31, 7:00 am): “Not only does he not dare to tell the truth, he doesn’t even keep his mouth shut about things he doesn’t dare to tell the truth about.”
You thought Slate had a lock on Cathedralist direct current? Then you probably haven’t been keeping up with The Atlantic.
I’m old enough to remember when The Atlantic Monthly was a serious magazine. That was before James Fallows took it over, and drove it into a ditch. It has since progressed to Atlantic Trench depths of comprehensive intellectual ruin. Some gratitude is in order for the clarity with which it exposes our destination, guided by the supreme Leftist Law: Any cultural institution that is not dominated by the oppressed talking about their oppression is oppressive.
As Professor Zaius explains in the comment section of the vibrant debate article:
… the judges, while they are experienced debaters and coaches themselves, don’t by and large subscribe to the notion that the “best argument” in conventional terms should win. Many, if not most, see debate as a means for advancing social justice and dismantling oppressive hierarchies of whiteness and patriarchy. Inasmuch as “logic” upholds these hierarchies and personal experiences from POC and non-linear storytelling and music fight them, then “logic” should lose.
We’re so screwed.
ADDED: “… while one has some sympathy for Hardy and the other traditional debate do-gooders, they seem to be pining for a format, and a world, that has already passed. Have a look at Twitter. Or MSNBC. Or the New York Times. Or Attorney General Eric Holder. Or any of the rest of the grievance-mongering chattering class for whom the unbeatable trump card these days is discerning ‘racism’ in their opponents. Debate isn’t what it used to be. The college kids might as well learn this brute fact sooner rather than later.”
Richard Fernandez on current geopolitical mind-games:
Putin is daring [Obama] to over-extend; to tread upon the European ice, which he knows in his heart will cave in under Obama. Fighting an all out sanctions battle would force Obama to rely on the EU, which Putin calculates will abandon him. In the resulting debacle, not only would NATO be shattered, Obama would be too. [... ]
One reason why Putin has made a special effort to humiliate the president is that his profilers may have pegged Obama as suffering from narcissistic personality disorder. Putin the secret policeman must be thinking: how do you get a narcissist to melt down? Answer: by personally and publicly shaming him, thereby provoking a narcissistic rage.
That rage can take either of two forms: a reckless act or a withdrawal into a fantasy in which the narcissist remains invincible in some universe of his own.
Either would suit Putin.
Related from Fernandez here, and here. For those who can’t get enough of that ‘back to the 1930s‘ feeling there’s WRM (sensible but lost) and Paul Johnson (lost), but both picking up on the real rhythm. It’s a mess (and it’s going to get a lot worse).
In a five-year-old paper, Tyler Cowen and Michelle Dawson ask: What does the Turing Test really mean? They point out that Alan Turing, as a homosexual retrospectively diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, would have been thoroughly versed in the difficulties of ‘passing’ imitation games, long before the composition of his landmark 1950 essay on Computing Machinery and Intelligence. They argue: “Turing himself could not pass a test of imitation, namely the test of imitating people he met in mainstream British society, and for most of his life he was acutely aware that he was failing imitation tests in a variety of ways.”
The first section of Turing’s essay, entitled The Imitation Game, begins with the statement of purpose: “I propose to consider the question, ‘Can machines think?’” It opens, in other words, with a move in an imitation game — with the personal pronoun, which lays claim to having passed as human preliminarily, and with the positioning of ‘machines’ as an alien puzzle. It is a question asked from the assumed perspective of the human about the non-human. As a Turing Test tactic, this sentence would be hard to improve upon.