How long before Steyn gets Derbyshired?
ADDED: (From Aos):
In the aftermath of the Woolrich slaughter in England, the British police immediately arrested… a man for making anti-Muslim comments on Twitter.
And I thought, “Ah well, that’s Britain. They’re doomed, but we already knew that.”
Prompted by Surviving Babel, The Arbiter of the Universe asks: “Who speaks for reaction?”
Nick B. Steves replies: “Nature… or Nature’s God… or both.” (Jim succinctly comments.)
“Nature or Nature’s God” is an expression of special excellence, extracted (with subtle modification) from America’s Declaration of Independence. For Steves, it is something of a mantra, because it enables important things to be said in contexts where, otherwise, an interminable argument would first need to be concluded. Primarily, and strategically, it permits a consensual acceptance of Natural Law, unobstructed by theological controversy. Agreement that Reality Rules need not be delayed until religious difference is resolved (and avoidance of delay, positively apprehended, is propulsion).
“Nature or Nature’s God” is not a statement, but a name, internally divided by tolerated uncertainty. It has the singularity of a proper name, whilst parenthesizing a suspended decision (Pyrrhonian epoche, of which much more in a future post). It designates rigidly, but obscurely, because it points into epistemological darkness — naming a Reality that not only ‘has’, but epitomizes identity, whilst nevertheless, for ‘the sake of argument’, eluding categorical identification. Patient in the face (or facelessness) of who or what it is, ‘we’ emerge from a pact, with one basic term: a preliminary decision is not to be demanded. It thus synthesizes a select language community, fused by the unknown.
Endless conversational stimulation is to be found in the fact that the most basic distinction of modern politics is profoundly incomprehensible, and at the same time almost universally invested. Almost everybody thinks they understand the difference between the Right and the Left, until they think about it. Then they realize that this distinction commands no solid consensus, and exists primarily as a substitute for thought. Perhaps the same is true of all widely-invoked political labels. Perhaps that is what politics is.
Spandrell directs a winding, intermittently brilliant post to the topic, which is enriched by a comments thread of outstanding quality. Like the Right/Left distinction itself, the argument becomes increasingly confusing, the closer it is examined. The ‘rightist singularity’ of the title is introduced as a real political alternative to the Left Singularity modeled by James Donald, driven by analogous self-reinforcing feedback dynamics, but into nationalistic rather than egalitarian catastrophe. For societies menaced by the prospect of Left Singularity, it offers an alternative path. China is taking it, Spandrell suggests.
Foseti, commenting at his own place, asks rhetorically:
Don’t you think that writing to save the world is – in itself – fundamentally progressive in nature (not to say wildly presumptuous)?
Even those tempted to answer in the negative need to think this through patiently, because the pretensions this question punctures are typically distinguished by their thoughtlessness. Modern politics became psychotic when agitated scribblers convinced themselves that they had the tools, the right, and even the duty to re-order the world in accordance with their pamphlets. This is a Left tradition that few have yet derided enough.
To carve out cognitive independence is one thing, to deform it into practical idealism is quite another. Indeed, dripping our dark poisons into the milk of idealism might easily be the most practical difference we can make. Soaring words and rallying cries have already done far too much. It makes sense to take a step back, into skepticism, humor, undistorted proportion, and the hypothetical mode, before advancing further down our tracks … wherever they lead.
If Leviathan needs a mascot, here‘s the guy.
If there’s one thing everybody seems to agree about the history of zero, it’s that it was driven primarily by notational considerations. More specifically, zero was required to enable positional notation. The historical record reinforces this assumption, to such an extent that it becomes apparently obvious, and thus unproblematic.
For instance (grabbing what’s immediately to hand), John D Barrow’s The Book of Nothing organizes its discussion of ‘the Origin of Zero’ by relating how
… the zero sign and a positional significance when reading the value of a symbol, are features that lie at the heart of the development of efficient human counting systems.
Robert Kaplan, when discussing the retardation of Greek arithmetical notation, explains:
… the continuing lack of positional notation meant that [the Greeks] still had no symbol for zero.
A couple of remarks on the recent unpleasantness which have every chance of becoming thoroughly mainstream. First, a reminder from Mickey Kaus:
… there’s a good argument that “welfare benefits + ethnic antagonism” is the universal recipe for an underclass with an angry, oppositional culture. The social logic is simple: Ethnic differences make it easy for those outside of, for example, French Arab neighborhoods to discriminate against those inside, and easy for those inside to resent the mainstream culture around them. Meanwhile, relatively generous welfare benefits enable those in the ethnic ghetto to stay there, stay unemployed, and seethe. Without government subsidies, they would have to overcome the prejudice against them and integrate into the mainstream working culture. Work, in this sense, is anti-terrorist medicine. (And if you work all day, there’s less time to dream up ways and reasons to kill infidels.)
Secondly, from Richard Fernandez:
The Washington Post sets out five charts to explain Sweden’s “youth riots.” “The violent youth riots that spread across Stockholm’s suburbs this week seem at odds with the public perception of Sweden as one of the world’s most liberal and tolerant countries.” We are told the “youth riots” are due to the relative underprivilege of the “foreign born.” But does the Post mean Chinese immigrants then? No they don’t. The Washington Post knows what it means and we are supposed to know what it means, but we are not supposed to admit that we know what it means.
ADDED: Foseti ties things together, beginning with this exquisitely ominous sentence: “In Sweden, only dark explanations can explain the burning cars.”
ADDED: Considerably less likely to become ‘thoroughly mainstream’ any time soon.
So, latching onto both the theme and purpose of the Chaos Patch … Having too many places for community building is worse than not having enough of them. A lot of amazing commentary happens on all the different blogs of reaction-space, but it takes a full-time commitment to read them all.
— Survivingbabel (announcing blog plans, last time)
That says it all … or most probably not.
As SB suggests, detailed division of labor is one obvious solution to the dark-energy driven cosmic inflation problem. Perhaps overwhelming traffic congestion will catalyze that.
ADDED: The flood of darkness continues.
ADDED: CP#2 Topic Summary:– Abortion
— Does entropy always win?
— New blog announcement (Francis St. Pol)
— Khem chaos
“It’s becoming impossible to keep up” — that’s probably a direct quote from at least 17 different dark side blogs, so I won’t try to pin it down to anyone in particular. One response to the mania is to drop all pretense of a round up, and go meta. A round-up of reactosphere round-ups is still doable (at time of writing), with Foseti still master of the art (here and here), challenged by infant upstart Nick B Steves (here and here). How long before the depressive phase of the cycle begins, and we can all get some sleep?
More on overload (and time).
Competition on the reactionary–visualization front arrives from James Goulding, embedded in an excellent post (among many recently).
‘Spengler’ on the disastrous consistency of American foreign policy.
In encouraging news for explorers of the abyss, Lee Smolin argues that outside time is still time (the time of the outside): “Time must go all the way down. It must not be emergent, it must not be an approximate phenomenon, it must not be an illusion. … It seems to me a necessary hypothesis that the Big Bang was not the first moment of time but was an event — a transition, something like a phase transition before which there was a universe that had possibly different properties and different laws.”
Could we really be getting off this rock?
Non-reactionary, but probably close enough to get into trouble.
I’m slow getting to this, but slow’s the norm: “… a decline of ~1.23 IQ points per decade or fourteen IQ points since Victorian times.” (HBD* chick has more.)
Hyperinflation in strange places.
Two good race reality pieces. (+ “i are a scary”)
ADDED: Spandrell is on fire.
Of all the reasons to read Kant, the most important is to understand Mises, and thus the template for a functional world (however unobtainable). Austrian economics, as formulated in Human Action, consists exclusively of systematically assembled synthetic a priori propositions. Insofar as action is in fact directed by practical reason, the conclusions of organized praxeology cannot be wrong.
It is pointless to ask an Austrian Economist whether he ‘believes’ a rise in the minimum wage will increase unemployment (above the level it would otherwise be). The praxeological construction of economic law is indifferent to empirical regularity, as to anything less certain than rational necessity. Does one ‘believe’ that 2 + 2 = 4? No, one knows it, because the irreducible values of the signs compel the conclusion, and are inextricable from it. There could be no value ‘2’ unless its doubling equaled ‘4’, or any meaning to ‘wage’ unless its doubling reduced demand for labor. Empirically sensitive Austrianism isn’t Austrian at all.