Peter A. Taylor relayed this magnificent cladogram of world religions:
(Click on image to enlarge.)
If there’s such a thing as a comprehensive cultural map of the world, it’s woven on to something very like this. No opportunity to comment on it right now — but I’m confident it will spark some responses.
So, it’s happened:
This strikes me as a poly-dimensional crisis moment — or at least cultural storm signal — (for NRx, for Google, and for the USA), so I’m obviously on tenterhooks to hear what people think.
ADDED: The anti-Tunney (or one of them).
Not a new point in this neck of the woods, but formulated with exceptional elegance:
There are only two possibilities regarding the Constitution of the United States. One is that it is working as it was intended, in which case it is a monstrosity. The other is that it was broken somewhere along the way – in which case it failed.
The prod back to this topic is appreciated, because it really hasn’t been properly processed yet. (This blog has yet to do more than stick a tag on the problem.) Insofar as constitutions are at least partly functional, they are involved in the production of power. As abstract engineering diagrams for regimes they should no more be expected to rule than rocket blueprints are expected to blast into space — but they matter.
Turbulence is nonlinear dynamism, so remarking upon it very quickly becomes reflexive. In any conflict, an emergent meta-conflict divides those who embrace and reject the conflict as such, and ‘meta’ is in reality reflexivity, partially apprehended. So ignore the sides of the war, momentarily. What about war?
Moldbug really doesn’t like it. The closest he ever comes to a wholly-arbitrary axiom — comparable, at least superficially, to the libertarian Non-Aggression Principle — is exhibited in this context. Following some preliminary remarks, his first exposition of the formalist ideology begins: “The basic idea of formalism is just that the main problem in human affairs is violence.” As with Hobbes, the horror of war is the foundation of political philosophy.
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 — Continue Reading
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.
ADDED: A critique of the Anti-Racialist Q&A at The Right Stuff.