Archive for February, 2017

Quote note (#335)

America’s new court prophet explains:

We live in an increasingly volatile and primal era, in which history is speeding up and liberal democracy is weakening. As Vladimir Lenin wrote, “In some decades, nothing happens; in some weeks, decades happen.” Get ready for the creative destruction of public institutions, something every society periodically requires to clear out what is obsolete, ossified and dysfunctional — and to tilt the playing field of wealth and power away from the old and back to the young. Forests need periodic fires; rivers need periodic floods. Societies, too. That’s the price we must pay for a new golden age. […] If we look at the broader rhythms of history, we have reason to be heartened, not discouraged, by these trends. Anglo-American history over the past several centuries has experienced civic crises in a fairly regular cycle, about every 80 or 90 years, or roughly the length of a long human life. This pattern reveals itself in the intervals separating the colonial Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression and World War II. Fast-forward the length of a long human life from the 1930s, and we end up where we are today.

Most ominously:

Despite a new tilt toward isolationism, the United States could find itself at war. I certainly do not hope for war. I simply make a sobering observation: Every total war in U.S. history has occurred during a Fourth Turning, and no Fourth Turning has yet unfolded without one.

February 27, 2017admin 10 Comments »
FILED UNDER :History
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Twitter cuts (#118)

This would stir things up (just a little):

February 26, 2017admin 17 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Pass the popcorn
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Twitter Cut

@Outsideness has been zapped by Twitter without any explanation (as of yet). It’s probably a useful hint that it’s past time to look more diligently for a censorship-resistant platform.

This prompted me to give minds.com a look. It’s still in beta, and will probably take a while to get used to, but there’s an @Outsideness account now if anyone’s tempted to experiment with exodus.

I’ve had trouble getting through to Gab.ai (might be a VPN / China Internet issue).

We’ll have Urbit eventually.

ADDED: I haven’t sought out a fight with Twitter, but had I done so it’s hard to imagine there could have been a way to hurt it more than getting Outsideness banned in this way. There’s simply no possible case to be made that this is about ‘abuse’. There has been nothing remotely like harassment in the history of the account. It’s naked thought control. The platform is an undisguised leftist ideological operation. First it collapses down to a partisan bubble with zero credibility beyond its own constituency. Then it dies.

ADDED: Twitter @Outsideness restored this morning. No explanation (or communication from Twitter of any kind) about what just happened. The word that comes to mind for this kind of arbitrary aggressive behavior is abuse.

February 24, 2017admin 151 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Admin
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Quote note (#334)

The Anglosphere re-emerges:

From U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” to Brexiteers’ “Global Britain” and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “Great rejuvenation of the Chinese people,” nostalgic nationalism has become a major force in politics around the world. Appeals to past national glories animate far-right populist movements in Europe, fueling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s expansionism in his neighborhood, and animating Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman ambitions. Such a world is prone to conflict. Yet nostalgia can still be consistent with some form of international cooperation, especially where culture, history, and values overlap. And in that context, the re-emergence of an Anglosphere — a long-held dream for many proud Britons — is no longer so far-fetched. …

Even the Brexit-phobic Economist is catching the Anglosphere flu.

Think Anglosphere, and the impending death of NATO (or “the West”) has an entirely different valency.

February 23, 2017admin 44 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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T-shirt slogans (#19)

Democracy dies in darkness.

— This magnificent prophecy now stands just below the masthead of The Washington Post.

Continue Reading

February 22, 2017admin 35 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Slogans
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Twitter cuts (#117)

This blog had some concerns about sacrificing Silicon Valley to the post-Calexit People’s Revolutionary Republic of California, but that might be exactly the educational experience it needs.

February 21, 2017admin 26 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Ideology
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Twitter cuts (#116)

Taking his chicken game international probably is dangerous, but it might also be the only thing that works.

February 20, 2017admin 19 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Realism
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Quote note (#333)

Cochran:

There must have been some selection for IQ – without it, our brains would have disintegrated. But that selection can’t have been very strong, or intelligence would have gone up like a rocket. Today it’s going down at a rate of something like three points a century – think what would have happened if it had changed that rapidly, either up or down, over the last couple of millennia.

If humans aren’t already too stupid to live, they will be soon.

February 19, 2017admin 40 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Trends
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Twitter cuts (#115)

It’s almost impossible to over-estimate how important this is (and the trend matters more than the current level). Regime legitimacy is sunk in radical crisis.

February 17, 2017admin 43 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Media
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Slippage

Watch the whole of modern political confusion expose itself in a micro-tremor:

Locke’s commitment both to voluntary religion and voluntary, contractual government are mutually reinforcing. Just as people join and remain in religious communities by their consent, so they enter and sustain political communities. “Men being, as has been said, by Nature all free, equal, and independent,” Locke writes in the Second Treatise, “no one can be put out of this estate and subjected to the political power of another without his own consent.” If the members of a faith community believe their church is failing to uphold its spiritual responsibilities, they have a right to leave — without fear of reprisal. Likewise for a political society: If its members believe the political authority is failing to safeguard their natural rights — their “lives, liberty, and estates” — it forfeits the right to govern.

(XS emphasis.)

“Likewise”? Yet one leaves a church, but replaces a government. The fall from liberty into democracy takes only a single false step. With a little more consistency, the case for Exit-based control of government would have been solidly made centuries ago (intrinsically secure against all Rousseauistic perversion). Still, it’s not too late to do that now.

February 16, 2017admin 36 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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