Archive for March, 2014

Quote notes (#67)

Jim on the corruption of science:

The climategate files not only give us reason to disbelieve “Climate Science”, but discredit all peer reviewed science. Peer review means you don’t get the actual evidence, but rather the consensus about what the evidence should show if it was not so wickedly prone to evil heresy. Peer review means that a consensus is quietly established behind closed doors, and then the evidence is corrected to agree with the consensus. This maximizes the authority and prestige of official science, at the expense of disconnecting it from reality. Science got along fine without peer review until the 1940s. The core of the scientific method is “Nullius in Verba”, “take no one’s word for it”. Peer Review reverses that for taking the word of a secret committee of scientists reaching agreement behind closed doors, reaching agreement for secret reasons on the basis of secret evidence.

March 20, 2014admin 11 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

Progressive Religion

This argument seems strangely familiar. Still, if the central thesis of Neoreaction is becoming common wisdom on a path that bypasses Moldbug, it remains something to be celebrated. Cultural convergence could simply be an index of truth.

Jaded as I am by NRx, Goldman’s review doesn’t quite make me rush out to buy the book (since we’ve been treating this argument as a basic reference for years). It’s still good:

The desire to be redeemed from sin (redefined as a social fact) identifies the post-Protestants as children of the Puritans. That insight is what makes his new book a new and invaluable contribution to our understanding of America’s frame of mind. Just what is a secular religion, and how does it shape the spiritual lives of its adherents? Bottum deftly peels the layers off the onion of liberal thinking to reveal its Protestant provenance and inherited religious sensibility. The Mainline Protestantism that once bestrode American public life never died, but metamorphosed into a secular doctrine of redemption. And that was made possible by the conversion of sin from a personal to a social fact in Walter Rauschenberg’s version of the social gospel. Bottum writes, “The new elite class of America is the old one: America’s Mainline Protestant Christians, in both the glory and the annoyingness of their moral confidence and spiritual certainty. They just stripped out the Christianity along the way.” By redefining sin as social sin, Rauschenberg raised up a new Satan and a new vocabulary of redemption from his snares. According to Bottum, his “central demand is to see social evil as really existing evil — a supernatural force of dark magic.”

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March 19, 2014admin 34 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction

Nihilism and Destiny

Readers of Nietzsche, or of Eugene Rose, are already familiar with the attribution of a cultural teleology to modernity, directed to the consummate realization of nihilism. Our contemporary crisis finds this theme re-animated within a geopolitical context by the work of Alexandr Dugin, who interprets it as a driver of concrete events — most specifically the antagonization of Russia by an imploding world liberal order. He writes:

There is one point in liberal ideology that has brought about a crisis within it: liberalism is profoundly nihilistic at its core. The set of values defended by liberalism is essentially linked to its main thesis: the primacy of liberty. But liberty in the liberal vision is an essentially negative category: it claims to be free from (as per John Stuart Mill), not to be free for something. […] … the enemies of the open society, which is synonymous with Western society post-1991, and which has become the norm for the rest of the world, are concrete. Its primary enemies are communism and fascism, both ideologies which emerged from the same Enlightenment philosophy, and which contained central, non-individualic concepts – class in Marxism, race in National Socialism, and the national State in fascism). So the source of liberalism’s conflict with the existing alternatives of modernity, fascism or communism, is quite obvious. Liberals claim to liberate society from fascism and communism, or from the two major permutations of explicitly non-individualistic modern totalitarianism. Liberalism’s struggle, when viewed as a part of the process of the liquidation of non-liberal societies, is quite meaningful: it acquires its meaning from the fact of the very existence of ideologies that explicitly deny the individual as society’s highest value. It is quite clear what the struggle opposes: liberation from its opposite. But the fact that liberty, as it is conceived by liberals, is an essentially negative category is not clearly perceived here. The enemy is present and is concrete. That very fact gives liberalism its solid content. Something other than the open society exists, and the fact of its existence is enough to justify the process of liberation.

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March 18, 2014admin 52 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations , Political economy , World
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NRx with Chinese Characteristics

While recognizing (at least some) of the manifold complexities involved, Outside in holds to a fundamentally cladistic determination of Neoreaction. NRx is irreducibly Occidental, emerging from a highly-specific twig of Anglophone Ultra-Protestantism. It is only to be expected that most of its adherents are situated within English-speaking countries, exposed intimately to radically accelerating civilizational decomposition. The response is natural:

As a guest of the Middle Kingdom, the problem looks very different. The very last thing that is wanted here, from a reactionary perspective, is a reboot. On the contrary, the overwhelming priority is conservative, which is to say — more precisely — the imperative that whatever modernization takes place absolutely does not take the Western path. Near-total stasis would be preferable to even the most deeply intelligent reform, if the latter included the slightest hint of submission to the democratic ratchet (spelling inevitable, comprehensive social destruction). Among the reasons to support the thoroughgoing extirpation of all liberal-democratic inclination from Chinese society is the consequential real liberation this would make possible, by confirming a path of Confucian Modernization free of demotic corrosion.

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March 17, 2014admin 128 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations , Neoreaction

Unspoken Agendas

Zombie proposes a key to contemporary American politics: White liberals despise black people and can’t admit it. This is smart conservative jiu jitsu rather than anything remotely neoreactionary, but as a wedge to lever things apart, it has some intriguing potential. The central claim of a carefully-elaborated argument:

White progressives believe that black people are too dumb to make rational decisions on their own and too uncouth to behave civilly. So the progressive urge is to heap rules upon rules to control blacks and render them harmless to themselves and others. At the same time, progressives are terrified of being perceived as racist. So they hit upon a solution: Make rules which restrict everyone‘s freedoms, even though the progressives are actually targeting African-Americans. The collateral damage in this cynical equation — law-abiding citizens of all ethnicities — erroneously assume that the intrusive rules are aimed at them. But they’re missing the point: Progressives don’t enjoy restricting their own freedoms along with everyone else’s, but can conceive of no other legal mechanism to deal with what they see as misbehaving blacks while still appearing to be race-neutral.

ADDED: PJM apparently going all-in with this meme — “But [Obama and Kerry] do — and here’s the irony in Obama’s case — have the traditional white man’s view of that same Arab world — to wit, Arabs are crazy and primitive.” We’re the true anti-racists!

March 16, 2014admin 24 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations , Pass the popcorn

Quote notes (#66)

Gregory Clark on his new book:

Because America is such an unequal society there has been more emphasis on the possibilities of social mobility. How else are you going to justify the incredible inequalities in the US? So it’s going to be very unwelcome news for people in the States that there really are very slow rates of social mobility. Now what’s interesting about this book is that its message seems to be equally unwelcome to both right and left. The left loves the idea that there are slow rates of social mobility. But they want to hold on to the idea that there’s going to be a political programme that will end this problem. But the book says that there’s absolutely no sign of our ability as a society to change that. The right hates the idea that there are very slow rates of social mobility, but they love the idea that there’s nothing you can do about it.

Liberals: “Things are unfair, we need to change that.”
Conservatives: “No, things are fair enough, we don’t need to do anything.”
Reactionaries: “Things are vastly more unfair than you can possibly imagine, and all of our attempts to change this situation amount to a fantastic calamity.”

March 15, 2014admin 27 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

Scrap note #8

The next installment of sub-cognitive fragmentation became too snarled in self-involvement to manage, splintering its crate, and leaving a debris trail of scrap notation. When a flicker of proto-intelligence finds itself out beyond the ledge, tumbling into the abysmal self-problematization of Gnon, it has either to surrender itself to the plummet, or scrabble quickly for some arresting roughness on the cliff walls. This isn’t the time for a deep descent (so my figurative fingernails are gone).

After seven years in an apartment at the edge of Xujiahui, we have moved to a slightly larger one in the Jing’an District (with space for each of the kids to have their own room). It’s up on the 19th floor — above the mosquito level — with a view of the Wheelock Square tower (an impressive KPF structure). The move was only completed over the last couple of days. So life this end has been vastly more chaotic, is becoming a little more spacious, and is already far more high-rise. Some of the recent gusts of disorder stem from this.

The scrap-reduced sub-cognitive fragment goes something like this: NRx has its own micro-decadence, which is expressed through a fixation on values, asserted as an alternative to thought. This is, I realize, overtly and dramatically controversial. If thought is confused with reason, and values identified with inherited intuitions, it might easily appear as a direct attack upon the most sacred commitments of the reactionary attitude. What, after all, are the feeble tremblings of embryonic intellect compared to the grandeur of what has been received?

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March 12, 2014admin 20 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Uncategorized

Quote notes (#65)

Derbyshire on Brynjolfsson and McAfee’s The Second Machine Age:

It’s all happening very fast. The field of Artificial Intelligence was dominated for decades by Moravec’s Paradox: Tasks that are very difficult for human beings, such as playing grandmaster-level chess, are fairly easy to get computers to do, while tasks any two-year-old can accomplish, such as distinguishing between a cat and a dog, are ferociously difficult to computerize.

That’s beginning to look quaint. The authors tell us about some robotics researchers working on SLAM — simultaneous location and mapping. That’s the mental work of knowing where you are in an environment and where other things are in relation to you. It’s the kind of thing the human brain does well, with very little conscious thought, but which is hard to get machines to do.

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March 11, 2014admin 22 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Technology

Range Finders

A politically-incorrect short history of the Wild West. (Jim at his rough realist best.)

March 10, 2014admin No Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

Charlton is Right …

… on this question, at least. The sole real puzzle is the precise quantity of dysgenic deterioration that has taken place in Western societies over the last 150 years, or more. Charlton estimates a one SD decline over this period in the UK, which seems entirely credible. Due to the small sample size, his argument from mathematical excellence has an inevitable anecdotal quality, but it would be hard to contest its general direction. 

A fascinating paper by Michael A. Woodley (via @intelligenceres) is able to be more comprehensively persuasive. Its second table describes the innovation rate per capita across  a sample of European countries falling by almost three-quarters over the period 1845-2005, and roughly halving from 1945-2005. (Great Stagnation anyone?)

It shouldn’t need adding that it’s impossible to read this often enough (it’s always there in my ‘Resources’ roll).

Two more, somewhat more distantly related links.

(We’re so screwed.)

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March 7, 2014admin 52 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations