Archive for the ‘Practicalities’ Category

Quote note (#332)

Eli Lake on the Flynn flip:

In the end, it was Trump’s decision to cut Flynn loose. In doing this he caved in to his political and bureaucratic opposition. [Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Representative Devin] Nunes told me Monday night that this will not end well. “First it’s Flynn, next it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it will be Reince Priebus,” he said. Put another way, Flynn is only the appetizer. Trump is the entree.

If there’s not much more to this than there looks, it’s hard to see it as anything but an unforced invitation to the hyenas. Or, turned around the other way, if Trump turns out to be anything like as incompetent as his opponents predict, he’s toast.

February 15, 2017admin 43 Comments »
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Quote note (#277)

Fernandez on the subsidence of security into the occult:

If America still mounts guard on the Wall, it must do so in secret. Recent events show that only acceptable way to provide the guard is with Special Forces and drones and spooks and PMCs. In a word, the West must be defended by things that are deniable and disposable.

Democracy ensures that grown-up government can only happen in secret.

(This was prompted by Fernandez, too, on basically the same topic.)

August 27, 2016admin 70 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#79)

Embedded citation: “I don’t have any interest in turning back the clock because I don’t believe it can be done. You can only observe and describe.” — Houellebecq

Anything not dealing with ratchets is wishing modernity away, rather than engaging it.

August 21, 2016admin 31 Comments »
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Sentences (#62)

Fernandez:

the winning position of the anti-Left position is merely to exit and prosper.

(It’s about Brexit, but it could be about anything.)

June 30, 2016admin 47 Comments »
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Quote note (#262)

A short, illustrative tale from Peter Brimelow:

Around Easter of 1980, I was in Paris trying to persuade my first wife, whom some of you knew, to marry me. I thought that, in the interests of full disclosure, I ought to tell her everything. So I said, look, I’m involved in an anti-Communist faction in journalism and we’re going to lose. I think there’s a real serious possibility that we’re all going to end up in a Gulag.

And, besides that, it’s crippling to our careers. I’d been approached by the CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Corporation] to do on-camera reports about business. I could have been Lou Dobbs! [Laughter] But when they heard I’d written anti-Communist stuff, they said they couldn’t possibly hire an anti-communist — even though what I would have been covering was entirely non-political.

Maggy was a Canadian and wasn’t particularly political. She listened to this and said she’d not thought about it before, but, now that I’d explained it, she could see it was true.

So, she asked with female practicality, why didn’t I change sides?

The XS takeaway: What’s socially ‘practical’ isn’t a socio-historical constant. That makes it potential cascade material.

June 26, 2016admin 38 Comments »
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Age of Independence

Don’t be distracted if (like me) you find the PUA antics ridiculous. Clarey’s argument here is important — and even an essential jigsaw-puzzle piece.

Maximally compressed: Left Mind-Control strategies depend upon the persistence of certain socio-economic realities that they are themselves profoundly subverting. It’s impossible, at one and the same time, to threaten people with expulsion from the mainstream economy and also destroy this same economy. Yet that paradox is where the SJW army makes its home. The consequence: the perverse production of a type of “man who has nothing to lose, and therefore nothing the SJW’s can threaten.”

The SJWs aren’t doing this on their own. A range of technological and economic developments are converging on the creation of a new, collapse-phase rugged individualism. The Left call it the ‘precariat‘ and insist that ‘neoliberalism’ is to blame. It doesn’t really matter, as far as Clarey’s point is concerned. The essential thing is the the hostage-holding presumption of SJW activism is not a reliable social fixture, and their own activities are hastening its disappearance.

The final irony Clarey points to, is the creation of a new entrepreneurial sector that lives, precisely, from the depredations of the SJWs. Their attacks constitute the basic pipeline of cultural raw-materials off which this little group survives — at once a source of content and a publicity machine.

While those on the dissident right discuss the Exit question, SJWs are busy pushing us off the gangplank. There’s only one attitude that makes any sense to those already bobbing among the waves: “Come on in, the water’s fine.”

Note: ‘SJW’ is not being used here as a slur, but only in its technical sense. It means something like ‘a Red Guard of the Cathedral’.

August 13, 2015admin 23 Comments »
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Stock and Flow

Some clear, sensible, extremely practical suggestions on balancing production (via). It’s a problem — tractable in principle, but tricky, and easy to get wrong — that a lot of people are working at right now, NRx very much included. I’ve not seen it stated with such conceptual elegance before now.

… stock and flow is the master metaphor for media today. Here’s what I mean:
* Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people that you exist.
* Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what people discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.
I feel like flow is ascendant these days, for obvious reasons — but we neglect stock at our own peril. I mean that both in terms of the health of an audience and, like, the health of a soul. Flow is a treadmill, and you can’t spend all of your time running on the treadmill. Well, you can. But then one day you’ll get off and look around and go: Oh man. I’ve got nothing here. […] But I’m not saying you should ignore flow …

NRx epitomizes the problem. It’s been through a phase of excited flow, but the question of stock-building is becoming unavoidable. Correct too hard, and the current dies altogether. Fail to correct at all, and nothing gets built. Every time I see someone burn out of Twitter, it looks to me as if the stock-flow balance problem has claimed another casualty. At least, that’s what I now realize I’ve been seeing.

April 23, 2015admin 29 Comments »
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