Chaos Patch (#8)

I’m setting off for a family Vietnam and Cambodia trip today, lasting for a couple of weeks, so blogging will be lighter than usual for a while. The off-the-shelf answer to that, of course, is a Chaos Patch. I’ve already received some suggestions from people for off-topic discussion items to get it started.

Angkor Wat is on the travel itinerary, so there’s bound to be some stimulation from my side. If I can get comparatively coherent short travel pieces together, I’ll post them separately — but odds and ends will be dropped in here.

It’s the last few days of the Year of the Snake, so everyone needs to hurry up and get any cold-blooded business finished. (The Horse comes next.)

ADDED: Apologies in advance to anybody whose comments get caught up in moderation for longer than usual — I’m bound to be drifting in and out of Internet connectivity, so some disruption of normal service is to be expected.

January 15, 2014admin 40 Comments »
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40 Responses to this entry

  • Erik Says:

    Looking deeper into the “Triggers” briar patch:
    http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/jfr/link_why_im_not_on_the_rationalist_masterlist/abk6

    The sentence that stands out: “Attempting to discuss such issues dispassionately is a sign of privilege, and insisting that they be discussed dispassionately is an act of oppression.”
    It’s heavily downvoted (currently standing at 12 negative, 2 positive votes), so give LessWrong some credit for resisting the ballsy power grab going on here when “tedks” demands that LessWrong be a witch-hunting Cathedral outlet making itself “unsafe” for people expressing opinions tedks hates, or even people expressing opinions that people like tedks might hate (“…discussions that probabilistically trigger response modes corresponding to male privilege…”) or people expressing opinions that aren’t sufficiently supportive. (“It must be unsafe to discuss the oppression of social groups as an abstract intellectual concept rather than as a lived reality”)

    Still, the response I was hoping to see would be something along the lines of: “For LessWrong to be actually rationalist, it must be an unsafe space for people like you. It must be an unsafe space for people who demand that discussion start out by cheering for their side, and act oppressed by the people who aren’t cheering. It must be an unsafe space for people who want to fight disagreement with witch-hunts instead of arguments. It must be an unsafe space for people who are triggered by dispassionate discussion of the issues.
    Go start up your own rationality site with hookers and blackjack and social justice. In fact, forget the rationality.”

    While I’m at it, let me analyze some of the other flaws in the post:
    “Feminism, feminist theory, critical race theory, and social justice in general are not something humans automatically get correct. They cannot be intuitied.”
    Neither can calculus. This is a reason to provide explanations of social justice – not a reason to condemn people who fail to cheer for calculus. (In fact, I’m pretty sure I can intuit social justice in general much better than I can intuit calculus. Social justice warriors want to stick it to straight white adult married Christian heterosexual able-bodied Western males, whom they feel have immorally usurped far too much of the world’s power, because God, who does not exist, wouldn’t allow power to be unevenly distributed in a moral society.)

    “arguments about feminism or anti-racism on Less Wrong commonly come to a feminist stating some widely-accepted notion from feminist theory or feminist psychology, and a LWer stating that the notion must be false because of some intuition.”
    Less commonly, but I’ve got a specific example rather than handwaving, arguments about feminism or anti-racism come to a social justice warrior stating some accepted notion from social justice, like the poor underrepresented minorities needing their own subreddits on LessWrong, and a LWer stating that the notion is false because of some contradictory data.

    “This sort of dismissal and appeal to intuition comes from male or white privilege.”
    Asserted without evidence. Dismissed per Hitchens’s razor. Whereupon tedks will surely reiterate that this meta-dismissal comes from male or white privilege, and we’ve got ourselves a kafkatrap, meticulously dissected by ESR.

    “If a man at a LW meetup said something objectifying, misogynist, or racist, would another male LWer call them out for it?”
    Fallacy of ambiguity! “Objectifying, misogynist, or racist” are underspecified terms that I expect tedks will juggle about to suit her meaning, switching between misogyny-as-witch-hunting and misogyny-as-not-supporting-50%-quotas-for-women. As noted earlier, tedks thinks it’s oppressive to have a neutral discussion of the issues, and I’m fairly sure a male LWer won’t call another male LWer out for having a neutral discussion of the issues. However, I’m fairly sure a male LWer will call out another male LWer for saying that women belong barefoot in the kitchen.

    “It’s possible to identify as a feminist but appoint yourself gatekeeper of acceptable feminist politic — imagine the irony of a “feminist” man telling a woman what feminism is!”
    Compounding the objection to dispassionate, abstract discussion, tedks here engages in misandry while complaining about misogyny.

    [social justice et al] “…come from a space of questioning deeply held beliefs and holding those beliefs up to the highest possible ethical considerations.”
    This isn’t an argument, it’s holiness signaling which applies equally well to the social justice of tedks, the Spanish Inquisition, and the fever-dream parody of the Spanish Inquisition that I suspect tedks believes in. Torturing heretics for Christ comes from questioning deeply held beliefs (for example, “torture is bad”) and holding those beliefs up to the highest possible ethical considerations (for example, “but maybe I can save his immortal soul for all eternity, albeit at the cost of my own”) too! LOOK HOW VERY ETHICAL AND MORAL AND HOLY I AM! PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE WITH ME ARE UNETHICAL, IMMORAL, SINFUL HERETICS, AND SHOULD BE BURNED!

    “It’s impossible to be dispassionate about a boot on your own face.”
    Probably true as stated, but irrelevant hyperbole. It’s definitely possible to be dispassionate about people disagreeing with you on the Internet, and I suspect that’s closer to the real state of affairs than an actual boot on her face.

    “I’ve tried to introduce LW to several of my friends, partners, and comrades, as I believe its lessons to be useful, but nearly all of the people without male privilege have been turned away by it.”
    Considering how much she’s fucked up the discourse already, I’m going to guess that tedks is probably using a circular, recursive, or situational definition of “male privilege” as “not being turned away by LessWrong, which is full of male privilege”. But this is just my cynicism talking.

    [Reply]

    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    LW is doomed to irrelevance because they care too much about pleasing their enemies. If they have to choose between being “nice” and being “rational,” we’ll see which they really serve.

    [Reply]

    Wilhelm von Überlieferung Reply:

    In time, the progressives do our work for us in sorting the wheat from the chaff. While LW may be pulled closer into the abyss, those who learn to react against the current will most assuredly come to temper our cause.

    [Reply]

    Stirner Reply:

    Angry progressives are one of our best recruiting tools. The more they foam at the mouth, the more the thoughtful liberals among them begin to question their peers. Before, these folks had to go out into the wilderness alone, or convert over to being libertarians or conservatives. Now, there is the meme-plex of the DE to offer them the red pill and a comprehensive framework for answering many of their nagging questions about the progressive intellectual framework.

    Erik Reply:

    Why do you say LessWrong cares too much about pleasing their enemies? This post got downvotes and upvoted disagreement.

    [Reply]

    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    Downvotes and upvotes mean nothing. When skin is in the game, we’ll see what they choose.

    Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 8:06 am Reply | Quote
  • tryptophan Says:

    I’ve been travelling around SEA in the past few months, so I can, al Baz Luhrmann dispense this advice now……

    Hanoi – Try a food tour or for the best Pho Bo in town go to the imaginatively named “Pho Bo” on Hai Ba Trung, make sure you try the deep fried things with the Pho.

    Saigon- Watch out for cyclo scams, spend a day or two in the mekong delta if you can.

    Cambodia – Arrange exactly where you are going in the temples before accepting a tour, cycle around if you can. The best time we had is in temples where there aren’t crowds of other tourists, so try and get off the “small loop” if you can. Don’t feel you have to spend the sunset on the roof of the oldest temple with 3000 other people.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Thanks. The Cambodia wisdom squares well with our intentions.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 4:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alex Says:

    This looks intriguing:

    http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/cao-dai-holy-see

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Heading to see that tomorrow.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 9:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ex-pat in Oz Says:

    As Nick has suggested, this is a fire free zone for topics, I’ll through out this non-serious offering:

    I was reflecting on various DE-type pop culture, which might be of interest to younger visitors as they have dated a bit. The first is a BBC 70s era series called “Fall of Eagles”. It covers the lead up to the collapse of the three great monarchies of continental Europe—the Hohenzollerns, Hapsburgs and Romanovs—following the close of WWI. The series (available on DVD and via torrent) chronicles the slow-mo manner in which all three were pressured into permitting liberalism to creep into governing arrangements and thus hasten their demise. It captures a period in which the current madness began to raise its head and is instructive in the way in which liberalism insidiously presents itself as the “modern” approach to societal organisation.

    From an American perspective, visitors might want to watch “Ragtime”, which looks at the abdication of the WASP elite to a new 20th century liberal paradigm. Also a bonus for those who want to see a young Elizabeth McGovern in action (she of current Downton Abbey fame—woo woo!).

    And finally, I’d ask a general question on what I suspect would be a fave of most DE denizens—what to make of Lawrence of Arabia in light of NR perspective? I’ve watched it dozens of times and have, as a result of recent NR thinking, now stripped TE of his hero status. If there was a hero, surely it was Auda?

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 9:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:

    Would be very curious to see any and all travel writing you are inspired to produce in Vietnam and Cambodia. In Saigon, the Hotel Majestic is wonderful — colonial architecture, spectacular city views from the rooftop outdoor restaurant, 5 stars, sub $100/night …

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 16th, 2014 at 1:44 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Vietnamese vocabulary is heavy on chinese borrowings, but it’s written with Roman letters. Your kids might be able to understand some street signs.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    We were here, in Saigon, a couple of years ago. The kids get on fine with the six tones …
    Cambodia is all new though. Arriving there in a few days.

    My main challenge is microenvironmental, dealing with this new tablet which is my sole interface with cyberspace for next two weeks. Hence impoverished punctuation. No parentheses, hyphens, or apostrophes until I learn to find my way around. Treating it as an ascetic discipline.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    ((( ))) … that ordeal didn’t really have legs.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 16th, 2014 at 4:27 am Reply | Quote
  • Karl F. Boetel Says:

    “Angkor Wat”

    lucky!

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 16th, 2014 at 5:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • Phlebas Says:

    I would like to clarify a few things, and then take Ken White’s advice.

    Firstly, I estimate that I have an IQ of 133. “Handle” is in a different bracket, especially since his recent change of pace, and others here might be smarter than me. However, smart people can be foolish sometimes…

    I find it hubristic when people try to manipulate my identity, let alone people no more talented than me. (I found “Fanged Noumena” queer but I did enjoy it. I can see why Nick Land has been the most convincing neoreactionary.) This is an effortless, amusing form of intellectual combat; they tried to invade Dracula’s castle armed with a plastic sword. Shouldn’t that be the case for everyone? So because of this, and also the rational arguments pitched way too low, “idiots” felt like an appropriate description.

    Regarding this, I agree except:

    As a vector, rhythmic hip hop is a powerful learning tool which could as easily be used to teach Shakespeare for grammar school students, or human anatomy for nursing students.

    Of course not. I like hip hop (which is all entirely rhythmic) firstly because it’s cathartic in the unnatural situation of being seated at a computer. Less obviously…well this is hard to explain. Some of these rap lyrics round off into spontaneous koans.

    E.g., “shiver me timbers, yo head for the hills, I picked a weeping willow” turns into “Yo, nigga me timbers and a-head for the hills, I be a weeping willowwwww”. Or: “Yo, nigga me timbers and a-head for the hills, I be a weeping willowwwww, and play it again, nigga me timbers and a-head for the hills, I be a weeping willowwwww, and play it again…”.

    If you listen to the way he raps the original lyric, it lends itself to meditative repetition; there are many such koans.

    Thirdly, I like the idea that Snoop Dogg & co are philosophers. It’s one of those generative, comforting and useful absurdities. “With so much drama in the LBC, it’s kinda hard being Snoop Dee Oh Double-G”. This opens a world of possibilities. Laid back, “Rollin’ down the street, …” This is intended for the left side of the bell curve, but what can it do for me?

    Regarding (two or three) “people are dogs”, this is just the image that spontaneously came to mind in those cases. Now if someone suggests I read Matt Yglesias…isn’t he a little dog with glasses? Heheh. Most people don’t trigger this type of association.

    It has happened in the past that I say or do something that people find bizarre. Once someone asked me whether I would like to accompany him to the shop, which was near to the lobby area where I was sitting. I began to visualise the journey there, and what might happen in the shop, and became lost in thought. So it took 20 seconds before he asked me whether it was a difficult question. Also when I was a bit younger, I was walking somewhere and then I started to run. Some older boys ran after me, and then when I stopped and started walking again one of them asked me whether I was in the Mafia.

    Regarding teenage girls: they are the world’s great exhibitionists. But I don’t think they should be interfered with. Actually I’ve never interfered in the very slightest sense with a female who wasn’t a masseur—and even then…—partly because I am certainly not a hedonist, only interested in one thing. So I find it ironic that a feminist would dislike me (or am I totally confused?) I’ve barely spoken to any women for five or six years, apart from one friend and my mother, how could I possibly oppress them. Anyway, I agree with Andrei Tarkovsky that this image has truth and beauty.

    Regarding white nationalism: I was formerly a racialist and bigot, albeit not in a personal or serious sense. I regret that; those beliefs are repulsive, harmful and deeply shameful. Emotion is the mind-killer. “Nationalism” is a bad idea, and so is blunt, state coercion of people based on race, sex or other incidental characteristics. A point of agreement is that random, or careless mating is disturbingly entropic, as a matter of personal conscience, although it can’t be helped in every case. In the longer term, I think ethnic groups’ physical appearance will become irrelevant, and in any case subject to modification. I also think that highly localised ethnocentrism can help people to be self-sufficient without centralised power. I used to be critical of the idea of open borders, but changed my mind; immigration restrictions are indeed one of our worst problems, but I have serious reservations about the way this issue is presented within the Cathedral.

    Regarding “demotism”: this isn’t actually a concept I use. However, I think it is similar to Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s use of “herdism”. To put it briefly, demotism is the theory that if an agglomeration of humans have a burning passion, their desires ought to be enacted without further ado. In this way, evolved and sophisticated means of dispute resolution are washed away, replaced by the capacity of informal elites to manufacture opinion. Opinion comes down from elites in any case, but if the state-structure is crude the emergent order becomes correspondingly ugly. An example of anti-demotism would be if suffrage were based on IQ; anti-demotic theories are intended to persuade the intelligentsia.

    Regarding pitchforks and riots: I agree, that’s a very silly idea. I would add, however, that the SOPA protests had a good effect and I’m glad the Tea Party exists. In a long essay that I deleted soon afterwards, I took these ideas, and the echo of Moldbug’s reboot theory—along with all the bad antinomian memes that circulate in our mainstream culture—as a palette to explore a problem that occupied me at the time. Viz., why does the conventional notion of “checks and balances” feel wrong? The answer is that checks and balances aren’t static: they flow in time.

    Regarding insults (I guess I’m getting this right): I don’t mind being mocked. I have insulted people before for no good reason, and everyone is quite within xir rights to use xir free speech to insult me. Certainly I have many flaws, such as sloth, which I shall rectify in future. (Re: local college, well I am bit insane; make some weird decisions. But I didn’t want to go to college so I was thinking of money.)

    Regarding hatred: I don’t hate progressives, or anyone in particular. Sometimes I lose my temper about a bad idea, or especially what seems like an emblematically bad idea. Of course, this is a character flaw.

    In general: I may not have thought so a couple of years ago, but at this point I would regard social justice advocates, racialists, traditionalists, men’s rights activists &c as people who use their sometimes impressive intellects to carefully sculpt a pawn piece, when it’s a lot more fun and worthwhile to consider the game on a high level. From “Player of Games”:

    Another revelation struck Gurgeh with a force almost as great; one reading—perhaps the best—of the way he’d always played was that he played as the Culture. He’d habitually set up something like the society itself when he constructed his positions and deployed his pieces; a net, a grid of forces and relationships

    I’m still not sure what kind of player I would be. This is the kind of thought I find fascinating:

    The discourse is *simultaneously* epistemic and constructivist (but what it constructs is indeterminate because it is not defined a priori) This is hugely powerful—at least as powerful as progressivism, likely more so. Because of the ontological commitment to a reality that is not magically subjugated to primate sensory capacities and value preferences, there is a lot of experimentation. (If progressivism is social construction, neoreaction is just construction—maybe of Pythia, or a Basilisk?) The Basilisk may just be a vehicle for ontological horror. It is indeed germinal and allows the possibility to think horrible things. In an Hebbian way, the basilisk may not survive but its progeny may. This is one of the reasons, I think, why neoreaction is so much more attractive than every other critique of progressivism.

    Excellent! The supposedly absolute contradiction between progressivism and neoreaction becomes a natural development: social construction to construction.

    Yet we disagree about Ouroboros, the open-source live-programming society; I find it exciting and promising.

    P.S. I had a dream last night—again, a true dream. My mother was driving on the motorway in America, and I was hanging onto the back of the car. Her driving was very erratic, and I was worried that I would fall off. Subsequently, I drove; but I haven’t driven since I passed my test, so I was even worse. I couldn’t even drive on the right side of the road, and I mixed up the pedals. Eventually, I somehow reached an airport. Inside, I met an American girl with blonde hair. She sat on a bench and seemed to invite me to sit next to her, so I did. I asked and she said she was in the first year of college. I was quite excited, but when I tried to talk to her she very quickly became bored.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    You’re the same Phlebas who used to comment at Foseti’s? What happened to you

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 17th, 2014 at 3:24 am Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    Apropos of the discussion of demotism, here is Timothy Sandefur on Oliver Wendell Holmes and the issue of natural law vs. majority rule. The link to M.J.C. Vile, Constitutionalism and the Separation of Powers, also looks interesting.

    http://www.volokh.com/2014/01/16/holmes-helps-americans-go-hell/

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    The discussion is interesting because it highlights the fact that there were two streams of late 19th / early 20th century progressive thought that were in competition. One was much more self-consciously Nietzschean / Nihilist – what Ross Douthat would call ‘eliminative materialist’. I’d say Holmes and Mencken both shared this perspective, and they were hardly alone.

    The basic idea is that we are all just emergent phenomenon of particle physics, and there is no such thing as the supernatural, or purpose, morality, or rights, or good and evil, right and wrong, etc. that it’s all just fabricated illusion. They occasionally wrote about free-will and ‘the self’ also being illusions, but they never seem to embrace or internalize those ideas and their implications. People toy with those notions, even find arguments in their favor persuasive, but then proceed to ignore those insights and live life and conduct discourse as before. The joke is, ‘I believe in free will, I can’t help it’.

    Well, this vision is tolerable to some people, but awfully dismal and bleak for others. Elsewhere (I don’t remember where) I think it was Shaw who said that while he thought this was all true, he had second thoughts about the desirability of living in a society where everyone believed it was true and acted accordingly. At any rate, even the firmer nihilists felt, like Nietzsche, that humanity could still consciously devote itself to a grand project of creating something new and better than what had come before. Nietzsche had his superman, and now there is the AI.

    The other strain of atheist progressivism sought to continue the ancient effort to recreate a secular ethics and morality and theory of ‘rights’ via reasoning from first principles. I think you could put Dewey and Croly in that camp. They settled on a combination of tenets of Liberalism, Socialism, and Christianity. The materialists criticized them for engaging in incoherent folly, but the moralists insisted that it could be done.

    The second strain was more adaptive and won, and you can hardly find any genuine amoral nihilists who are willing to admit to it in public. Instead, modern commentary is drowning in atheist-origin moral language and sanctimoniousness. Even the economists, with their dismal science and cold equations, supposedly utilitarian and consequentialist in their reasoning, are lecturing us about right and wrong these days. They don’t even have the courtesy to be moral-relativists anymore, disclaiming that they are merely expressing personal preferences, and instead speak in blunt objectivist, universalist assertions.

    The contradiction is rarely noticed and, even when realized, rarely bothers anyone or affects their beliefs or behaviors. Ross Douthat has tried repeatedly to point out the inconsistency of this hollow-universalism, but to no avail. It’s strange listening to ‘scientific’ moral zealots who, when asked to explain why their assertions should be compelling to a skeptic, can’t point to a reference any better than ‘because I really think it ought to be true’.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    Having read some Thomas Schelling, I tend to look at this stuff in terms of bargaining games.

    Regarding the “eliminative materialist” stream: “Morality” is an ambiguous, overloaded word, but mostly I think of it in terms of social norms. What does particle physics have to do with social norms? This looks to me like an attempt to delegitimize someone else’s concerns without addressing them.

    Regarding the “hollow universalist” stream: A friend of mine defines “postmodernism” as the idea that “There’s no such thing as right and wrong, except that you’re still wrong.” The “incoherent folly” I think I see here is people pretending for propaganda purposes that their sentiments are objective facts. Federico once wrote, “Deontology is rationalized emotion.”

    One of my hobbies is teasing Objectivists by sending them links to a Madsen Pirie video (Economics is Fun #1) about value being subjective.

    I don’t get the determinism vs. free will business. One seems to be about fundamental physical predictability, and the other has to do with whether threats of punishment are effective. They seem orthogonal to me.

    I’m having a similar discussion (i.e. the accusation of “incoherent folly”) over email with a couple of Christian friends involving Arthur Leff’s “Memorandum from the Devil” (via Instapundit).

    http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3822&context=fss_papers

    “My own opinion is that the Hand that holds you suspended over my fiery pit doesn’t abhor you, but has forgotten completely that It has anything in It.”

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Yes, I agree morality is an overloaded word, but sometimes it’s ok to speak in common shorthand.

    ‘… people pretending for propaganda purposes that their sentiments are objective facts …’

    Ross Douthat says this has two levels.

    1. Intentionally misrepresenting one’s actual position for the purposes of social influence and manipulation (noble or otherwise)

    2. Negligently fooling themselves into biased cognitive dissonance.

    Not exactly the quote you had above, but more like, “You’re not just wrong in your notion of what is objectively right, but you are wrong about there being any objective right. Meanwhile, I’m objectively right. Also, better, superior, and more righteous and enlightened. And so are all my co-believers, aren’t we guys?”

    Just like atheists see religious people’s blind spots better than they can see them themselves, religious people can detect the same in the atheists. It’s not so much that intellectuals openly lie about their enemies when they criticize them – they do of course, but the criticisms are often valid – it’s the hypocrisy of overlooking the same vices amongst their friends.

    One the one hand, an ‘eliminative’ person may have their philosophical or materialist blades sharpened against, say, a Christian, by asserting their morality cannot be ‘grounded’ or ‘proven’, and that there is nothing but ‘subjective’ preference and the ‘mere’ psychological appeal of certain ideals.

    And on the other hand, the same individual lacks a certain amount of self-awareness (or his ego somehow shields him from it), and so never engages in the same interrogative introspection or turns the microscope and his usual arguments in on himself, and so goes on actually believing in the objective validity and even superiority of his own notions of right and wrong. Surely you’ve met some of these people. I certainly have. I think Coyne and the late Christopher Hitchens are good examples of them.

    Now, since there is such a huge reward for wining (getting people to act and believe the way you want them to which they wouldn’t otherwise do, i.e. ‘power’), there is always huge amount of perpetual competition for Deutungshoheit, to establish ‘social norm moral-narrative air dominance’. And, yes, as usual, the best liars are the folks who can fool themselves into really believing their own lies. It helps in suppressing one’s tells.

    Ok, but the question is why does the propaganda work so well? I think it’s more than ordinary gullibility, clever and charismatic sales techniques, and assent-bias. There is the basic selling point of ‘giving people what they want’. And there is a heavy impulse in many people to want to believe their social norms are more than ‘merely’ arbitrary social norms. They also want to believe in supernatural things like God, the soul, psychic powers, and life after death, and so on.

    But contemporary intellectuals seems much more comfortable dismissing all the latter bits, but extremely allergic to dismissing the former – that there is a ‘higher validity’ to the norms they wish to propagate. Douthat knows that, because everytime he asks these intellectuals about it they deny the relativistic arbitrariness of their morality. There was a time when at least some progressive intellectuals were less allergic, but that strain died out for some reason. I think it died out because most people can’t be comfortable with nihilism or pure consequentialism.

    People want to believe their norms are not really ‘theirs’ – reduced to equivalence with a banal preference for chocolate over vanilla, – but that they are ‘true’ in a deeper, cosmic sense. And as a result of this deep, cosmic, objective truth, that their social norms are not merely particularist – belonging only to a particular time, place, and people – but Universalist like a natural law, being true for everyone, everywhere, always. I think this natural desire and implication is a more plausible explanation for contemporary universalism and internationalist cosmopolitanism than Moldbug’s protestant thesis.

    The result is a kind of moral scientism. And I see this style of thinking all the time: “Moral progress is just like Scientific progress. Man can discover and reveal the moral natural laws by a process of observation and reason, and make moral progress by displacing the erroneous, superstitious, mythological moral theories of the past.”

    It’s certainly easier to morally judge and label people in the past in very different contexts, and posture for social status, when you believe you can evaluate all actions by the same, contemporary, standard.

    Anyway, the point, I think, that Ross Douthat is trying to make is that, if you care about being coherent and consistent, you should take one of the two following approaches as axiomatic priors / premises:

    A. Morality is in principle groundable outside ‘preference’. And we can debate whether it has been grounded, or what that ground should be, or how to rank systems, or what process we should use to find that ground, the proper jurisprudence of hermeneutics, interpretation, derivation, etc.

    B. Morality is not groundable beyond preference (Like that Devil’s Memo you linked). So I’ll stop pretending it is and that I’m in possession of the best enlightened form of it.

    Douthat says people like Coyne use general ‘strong not-groundable’ arguments against traditional religious morality – that is to say, argument that are not specifically only anti-religious and are of the nature of (A) – but then immediately start lecturing us about their awesome, enlightened, universal form of secular ethics as the best substitute alternative as if they really believed in (B) after all.

    Whenever supporters of secular ethics hear this argument they go nuts, get very emotional and insulted, etc. But they aren’t very good at actually responding to the claim. Personally, I think Douthat is correct, and I’ve never read a counter-argument from these folks that was at all persuasive.

    So the question now is ‘Why do they go nuts?” If they were in possession of a solid argument then perhaps they could just make it and be done with it. But that doesn’t happen. Possibilities (not necessarily mutually exclusive)

    I. They have a solid argument, but it unpersuasive or intellectually inaccessible to us stubborn, biased, and stupid types, and banging their head against us just makes them frustrated and irate.
    II. They don’t have a solid argument, and:
    II.A. As with case (1) above, they realize they need to act ‘insulted’ and ‘as if they do’ in order to defend the ‘noble lie’ that is central to maintaining the deutungshoheit essential to their propaganda efforts.
    II.B. As with case (2) above, they think they have a strong, sufficient argument, but are both biased and mistaken on this point and unable or unwilling to realize their error.

    I think Douthat’s position is II.B. And that when you tell a II.B person that they are a II.B. person, they scoff and act insulted and go nuts for two reasons.

    First, there is a ideological-inertia bias, and a personal, emotional, ego-preservation, psychological-defense mechanism reaction whenever someone tells you that what you sincerely believe is bunk you’ve been fooled into believing. Again, I’m sure we’ve both witnessed, and even personally experienced, reactions like this.

    Second (and regardless of whether or not you have a strong argument, or whether or not you believe in it), there is the social implications of the prospect of other people coming to believe you’re a II.B. You’ll lose credibility, trust, status, and influence. The stakes are huge, and so you’ll deny it vociferously until your dying day, call the charge ‘plainly stupid’ and try to mock, ridicule, and otherwise downgrade the status of anyone making the charge.

    And this, in my view, is precisely what Noah Millman tried to do in his response to Douthat. “Douthat needs better atheists” is a funny kind of argument to make from someone sympathizing with the side opposing Douthat. It’s one thing to say “We need better critics”, it’s another to say, “Since Coyne wasn’t able to deal with your argument, he must be one of those simpleton public intellectual atheists. I’m sure there are better critics against you, I just don’t care to express here and now what it is that they would say to you. But there must be something, right? Because lots of smart people, or something. So, the argument you made must be pretty weak, so people can rest assured it’s insufficient and feel free to ignore it and presume it must be invalid and illegitimate.”

    Personally I think Douthat’s correct. There are two consistent streams that do not intersect, and that the anti-religious moralist-atheists are trying to have their cake and eat it too while denying that they’re doing so out of either dishonesty or incompetence.

    Of course, one of Moldbug’s arguments is that a moralistic religion that pretends it’s not a religion is the natural candidate for domination of the ideological ecosystem when there is a separation between ‘church’ and state.

    Handle Reply:

    Also, my favorite Leff note, and I think the best expostulation of his overall argument: Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Law

    Posted on January 17th, 2014 at 1:49 pm Reply | Quote
  • Karl F. Boetel Says:

    Meanwhile, “anthropologist” Nina “Skin Color Is an Illusion” Jablonski is still doing her best to muddy the waters of race science. Begging questions, strawman arguments, definitional games—all for a good cause! Don’t miss the anti-history of the slave trade.

    [Reply]

    Rasputin's Severed Penis Reply:

    That is a talk about nothing, delivered with the utmost levels of repugnant sanctimony.

    [Reply]

    Mark Warburton Reply:

    Let’s meet next week – New Cross – Exvatica and I will be around.

    [Reply]

    Rasputin's Severed Penis Reply:

    OK, Tues eve would be good for me – will email you.

    Posted on January 17th, 2014 at 10:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin's Severed Penis Says:

    An example of somewhere the Cathedral has yet to reach [warning non-explicit donkey sex]:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VKWLC87Uzw

    How’s that for multiculturalism? Personally I find it much more honest that the Cathedral UK position that no one under the age of 21 can have sex without it constituting some form of abuse.

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Legal in California soon. The logic of post-morality rational-basis jurisprudence. Wouldn’t want to be judgmental or get in the way of anyone’s good time, you know?

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 19th, 2014 at 4:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin's Severed Penis Says:

    Cathedral.ca obviously has a different / much more permissive take than Cathedral.co.uk.

    In these parts sex is considered very useful as a tool of oppression because i) everyone is either having it, or ii) wants to be having it, so there is always enough rope to hang people with when the Cathedral wants to pull them into line for Thoughtcrime / something else.

    Scharlach wrote a short but interesting piece on pedophilia a while back. It’s ages since I read it, but I think it questioned whether rights for pedophiles could be absorbed into the progressive narrative and concluded that this was unlikely because they conflicted directly with the rights of children, but, more significantly, pedophilia as a concept was too useful – when repurposed to include stuff that healthily functioning adults were biologically programmed to find attractive – because it could be used to police peoples behavior more generally.

    In the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, The Cathedral is conducting a purge of the BBC for crimes against minors and women committed in the 70’s and 80’s, which I think has some quite far reaching implications. It is fascinating to watch the BBC self-flagellate, but also to see how some genuinely sick and twisted stuff (!) gets conflated with stuff that was more boarderline / culturally acceptable at the time, which is reframed and reinspected in the ultra-Protestant / PC light of today.

    The piece on boutique multiculturalism you linked to was very interesting relative to this kind of stuff. Here the Cathedral seems pretty schizo on which of the three models it’s running. Its ‘bottom line’ basically seems to be boutique / universalist i.e. other cultures become more progressive / universalist, intervening internationally to ensure this happens abroad, etc, but with strong multi-culturist image projection issues, meaning that it suffers from really bad cognitive dissonance and misfires all over the place every time it encounters a conflict of (minority) interest, which is pretty much all of the time really.

    But you probably have some more full-formed thoughts on this stuff?

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 19th, 2014 at 7:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin's Severed Penis Says:

    @ Handle:”People want to believe their norms are not really ‘theirs’ – reduced to equivalence with a banal preference for chocolate over vanilla, – but that they are ‘true’ in a deeper, cosmic sense. And as a result of this deep, cosmic, objective truth, that their social norms are not merely particularist – belonging only to a particular time, place, and people – but Universalist like a natural law, being true for everyone, everywhere, always. I think this natural desire and implication is a more plausible explanation for contemporary universalism and internationalist cosmopolitanism than Moldbug’s protestant thesis.”

    This claim really interested me, in particular when juxtapoised against Foseti’s recent thoughts on Moldbug:

    “Moldbug argues that Richard Dawkins – instead of being an atheistic critic of Christianity – is a hardcore adherent of the world’s most successful sect of Christianity. Instead of arguing against Christianity, Dawkins is arguing for one sect of Christianity over all others. How’s that for a red pill? If that’s correct – and I think it is – almost everyone is wrong about everything.

    If pressed, I’d go further. If I was forced to pick the one key tenet of the neoreaction, I’d pick this understanding of Progressivism. To the reactionary, Progressivism is a nontheistic Christain sect. If you don’t understand Progressivism in this way, you simply don’t understand Progressivism.

    From this understanding of Progressivism, all other reactionary ideas flow. For example, here’s reactionary history in one sentence is: “Massachusetts, of course, later went on [i.e. after conquering the US in the Civil War] to conquer first Europe and then the entire planet, the views of whose elites in 2007 bear a surprisingly coincidental resemblance to those held at Harvard in 1945.” Similarly, political correctness and diversity-worship really can’t be understood unless they’re viewed as religious beliefs – at which point their operation becomes startlingly clear…

    …It is many of these ideas – Moldbug’s alternate histories and his criticism of both Progressivism and mainstream varieties of conservatives – that have attracted many other “reactionaries.” For our purposes, we can close by noting that these ideas are included in the series on Dawkins precisely because one can only reasonably reach these (apparently at least somewhat attractive) results from the initial idea that Progressivism is a nontheistic Christian sect.”

    Have you undertaken a post about this already? Or debated the issue elsewhere?

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    So, consider the best push-back comments at Foseti’s about the use of the the terms Cathedral and Religion and the Protestantism-lineage / Cryptocalvinism hypothesis. I think plenty of smart people will reasonably reject these notions in good faith, partly as a result of vagueness and miscommunication, and I think some clarification is in order. So I want to write something like ” how progressivism is, and is not, like ‘religion’ ” and what we really mean when we say ‘religion’. I’m been mulling it over for a while, rereading a lot of Peter A. Taylor’s stuff.

    Mostly, those of us that know particularly fanatical progressive zealots recognize the kind of Psychology of the religious true believer who stubbornly holds to a doctrine he absorbed by indoctrination and social osmosis despite it making clearly false claims about reality, and unfalsifiable claims about morality. The rabid emotionalism of social offensive and defensive techniques against rival ideologies is also relevant to the charge.

    My own provisional historical theory is that two things happened at the same time which confounds the analysis. On the one hand, late 19th century progressives has abandoned religion – and even the possibility of valid normativity – but were living off the still potent cultural inheritance of Christian society with its beneficial societal norms and traditional ideas of ‘the good’ remaining extant and self-propagating by a kind of cultural inertia. They inherited a kind of cultural consensus that was taken for granted and which took time to break down once severed from its root.

    The public intellectuals at the time attributed their preferred aspects of this consensus to Christianity, and felt warmly towards the role Christianity had played in establishing it, but thought they could keep it and simultaneously drop all the superstitious nonsense and build upon that foundation a new society based on rational principles.

    Later on, as Christian norms and bourgeois virtues gradually faded, they came under attack, the norms became open for debate, and the Deutungshoheit was definitely up for grabs by the 60’s. The progressives were ‘re-moralized’ because of homogenous indoctrination in elite academic institutions, because most humans feel a strong need to fill the moral void, and because it’s adaptive in terms of public influence when competing with religion when you are ‘fishing for souls’.

    Also, consider this question, “This Christianity thing claims to be pretty critical of Judaism. And yet we can see from Historical analysis there is a direct descent of Christianity from Judaism. Wasn’t Jesus a Jew, who was called ‘Rabbi’ and who chastised the Jews when they weren’t being sufficiently pious and respectful of Jewish holy sites? In fact, Christianity turns out to be a particularly virulent form of post-messianic Judaism!”

    And you could play the same game with Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, and Protestantism. The danger with all ‘evolutionary’ arguments is the Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. You can never prove ‘genuine, rupturing innovation’ to someone who wants to emphasize in ‘direct descent with national selection’.

    And a Christian could reply, “Um, no. There was a definite and critical rupture there, not some slight mutation or gradual selection of phenotypes that tend to be part of the typical population variation. When doctrinal changes are sufficiently rapid and stark, it’s more than just a mild schism or adaptation in evolutionary descent. That’s the difference between qualitative changes in kind, and quantitative changes in degree.” It’s comparable to the introduction of Quantum mechanics into Physics. You can say, “Well, you know, Boltzman and Statistical Mechanics, and ..” No. The new theory was something revolutionary.

    Of course, no revolution is total. You can always trace a lineage of some commonalities before and after. The French didn’t stop speaking French or drinking wine or making fantastic cheese after they had guillotined their aristocracy. The question is whether, in the contextual matter that you are considering, the revolution is more relevant than the continuous tradition.

    Consider also the Confederacy. A continuous cultural tradition was severed irreversibly by the Civil War and Reconstruction era punitive measures. There is such a thing as genuinely new and radical ideas, and they can play the same role in their native environments as foreign conquest can. If the local crops have recently been cut down or plowed under the still-rich soil without the use of herbicide, you should expect weeds to take over, which could just as probably originate locally as be invasive imports from elsewhere.

    So, personally, I view the ‘de-theologized Protestantism vs. secular rupture’ debate as akin to the ‘Nature or Nurture’ debate. And in both cases my view is that it’s a false choice and that the truth is probably about 50/50.

    [Reply]

    Rasputin's Severed Penis Reply:

    Thanks for the response. I think that this is very important, because if we reject Moldbug’s theory that ‘Progressivism is a nontheistic Christian sect’, or even take a more moderate 50/50 approach to it, we diminish the explanatory power of his diagnosis considerably – leaving the concept of the Cathedral as his most significant construction. And I think the two are tied together too tightly to undermine one without adversely affecting the explanatory power of the other.

    I enjoyed reading (most of) Peter A. Taylor’s recent long-form critique of ‘A Gentle Introduction’ but was rather left wondering if it was necessary for him to identify as a Neoreactionary, even on a P/T basis, given the extent of what he seemed to be questioning / rejecting.

    One point: in terms of the genetic evolution metaphor, my understanding of adaptive evolution is that while slow-mo change happens, the introduction of new genus – the branching out of one ‘species’ to become form a new one – is itself revolutionary ie occurring over a relatively condensed time period from mutations within outliers of the original genus. And the whole thing could be understood on a more generative evolutionary basis, as you suggest, progressively jettisoning the more ‘supernatural’ elements of religion but maintaining its moral meta-structure, which was highly adaptive when in the business of “fishing for souls”.

    Anyway, I am not sure exactly where I am going with this, but Foseti’s claim:

    “If I was forced to pick the one key tenet of the neoreaction, I’d pick this understanding of Progressivism. To the reactionary, Progressivism is a nontheistic Christian sect. If you don’t understand Progressivism in this way, you simply don’t understand Progressivism.”

    is certainly under attack here, and, if you are right, I think that this challenge points towards a significantly watered down version of Neoreactionary doctrine going forward.

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Notice – just as Land predicted for 2014 – how there is a lot of jostling around lately for semantic, narrative, and doctrinal control over what ‘Neoreaction’ ‘really’ ‘means’. That includes me, so be careful, but also Foseti, Peter, and so on.

    I emailed Adam Gurri – who is writing yer another article about NR – about it, and said that all idea-communities experience this struggle and infighting in their early stages, and some never lose it. Thing about trying to define early Christianty, or ‘Feminism’ (which wave), or ‘Communism’ (Stanilist? Trotskyite?)

    Adam replied wisely:

    … I’ll make a clear disclaimer: neoreaction, as with any movement, isn’t a set of principles enumerated on stone tablets. Instead, it’s a community of individuals who signal their affiliation with the group label, and have a rather diverse, semi-overlapping set of ideas about what it means to be a member of that group.

    Just so. One of those overlaps is a preference for truth, accuracy, and integrity, and I’d hate to think I’d be excommunicated as not a True Scotsman for hedging a bit in my adherence to certain common claims if I think they are debatable. I think progressivism as cryptocalvinism is a 50/50 story – like Sailer says, there comes a point when you say, ‘there’s been too much water under the bridge’ – and if we define NR as ‘belief in cryptocalvinism with p=0.9′, then maybe I’m more of a distant cousin than an equally inheriting sibling.

    So, I would submit that we ought to allow a distinction between ‘Neoreaction’ and ‘Moldbugism’. I admire the guy, and think he’s brilliant and his work is seminal and inspiring, but it’s not a personality cult.

    Nevertheless, I would like to point out that what you call progressivism (a ‘religion’ or ‘mere sociopolitical ideology’), or how you speculate as to its historical origins and development, is very distinct from what it actually is, how it operates, its errors and strengths, the psychology and sociology of its adherents, and the danger it poses to our preferences for society and civilization.

    Let’s say all that History was irretrievably destroyed. (We were ‘alienated from that Truth’, in Gnostic jargon). Well, so what? All we would know if that there are these people that call themselves progressives, they have these strong beliefs, many of which are false and dangerous, and they seem to have come to dominate all the major institutions of the influence environment – which are able to penetrate every minute of our modern lives – largely in a conscious effort to propagate their beliefs.

    What would be the useful lessons of that Lost True History when it comes to actually contending with progressivism? Perhaps you could develop the adaptive-meme-model of the evolutionary / viral spread of ideas via selection. Maybe you could try your hand at prediction and forecasting where the trend will inevitably lead us if not effectively resisted. Maybe you could observe a pattern of vulnerabilities of ‘Christian-type’ dominant / official belief systems. Putting those lessons together, maybe you could develop a strategy for gradually bringing progressivism down, or just letting it collapse and being prepared and ready with a better replacement.

    I think ‘The Cathedral’ – the takeover by the like-minded elite of all institutions that dominate the public influence environment – is a compatible and complementary key tenet to the one Foseti has proposed. The facts that those elite beliefs are quasi-religious in nature, and, to the extent they resemble any other religion, that they are closet to secularized Protestantism, and that this makes sense Historically, are all consistent with that approach.

    The question remains how does the philosophical / political / ideological homogenization of elites occur? And I think the simple answer is ‘elite (selective admissions) higher education in a meritocratic system’. Consider this Sailer post on the Gulenists.

    So, you get all the kids in your country. You test them for intelligence, conscientiousness, determination, ambitious, and conformity. You collect up all those best and brightest, send them to the same school, and indoctrinate them all the same way. Then, naturally, they are hot commodities for every important institution in your society, because everyone wants top talent. And of course, they are talented and hard working, and eventually go on to top leadership positions in those organizations, because everybody wants top talented leaders (and if you don’t, you won’t survive long anyway).

    And those leaders go on to both enforce the belief system and values of the indoctrination they picked up in school – the same way in every institution – and they also pick the next generation of key-institution workers and leaders, usually coming from the same elite academies.

    If you control the prime indoctrination institution, your students will, soon enough, becomes like a fifth-column deep-state at the head of every organization – especially public influence organizations and your doctrine eventually takes over the whole country.

    And that’s why what only Harvard thinks in 1945, everyone else thinks by 2014.

    Handle Reply:

    One more followup:

    If you buy my elite-youthful-indoctrination and then deployment-as-societal-leaders mechanism-of-propagation theory, then you will also observe that the content of an ideology is orthogonal to its success in the short term. This is because the ideology gets to piggyback on actually competitive mechanisms and processes.

    If the best and brightest, most powerful, influential and wealthy, keep recycling themselves and their progeny through your central indoctrination institutions, it’s almost impossible to loose status to competitors. You may gradually be killing to Golden Goose for the whole nation, but on a relative basis, your folks are always going to be in every institution’s 1%.

    The only thing you really have to fear is competition from the outside, so the race is on to multi-nationalize every organization and capture elites and spread influence globally so that there is no outside.

    Land says, “Exit, Escape, Outside, Secede, Bypass, Let It Burn”. Foseti and Moldbug tend to say, “Given the robustness of the current modern structure, your only hope is to gradually convert the elites, and that’s perhaps not impossible, but it is a long shot, not to mention risky because they’re hypersensitive to efforts to do so”. VXXC says, “Rise Up, Unite, and Revolt, ye remnant middle-class masses!”

    I pick the Foseti / Moldbug option as a first choice, with the Land option as a insurance hedge.

    Handle Reply:

    Oh, and I can’t resist, one more thing:

    If you’re going to play the ‘convert the elites’ strategy, then civil argumentation – logic and evidence – is never enough. It’s not enough to say it works ‘better’ – they’re elite, so by definition what they already have is working pretty well for them.

    You have to offer them something that they want, that even their eliteness cannot easily achieve for them if their society complies with the current Blue Orthodoxy.

    I should clarify that by ‘elite’ I don’t mean Charles Murray’s ‘narrow’ elite (the top 0.1% influential / powerful / wealthy working adults, maybe 100,000 people in the US), but something more like Tyler Cowen’s thrivers in his Average is Over scenario – more like the top 10% or top million households. In the US income distribution, this starts at $191K per year for a married couple.

    I won’t get into the whole argument now of the Calculus of Variations to discover the Path of Least Resistance for elite conversion, but my guess is that while you can’t budge the 1%, there is indeed something you can offer to the 2-10%.

    They want the SWPL version of Sailer’s affordable family formation, but without having to flee to the suburbs. They want hip cities which are also safe and high quality for child-rearing, with pleasant mass transit full of well-behaved people just like them, and with real estate costs that aren’t bid up to levels that suck away every last dime of consumer surplus.

    Progressive government cannot offer this to them without contradicting some of its core principles. Sometimes it tries to resolve the tension sub silentio, as with disparate-impact stop-and-frisk for NYC, but not for thee. Sometimes they are willing to look the other way if it seems that neighborhoods are gradually gentrifying.

    But there is always that tension, and in the end most SWPL top 10%’ers won’t be able to afford to get what they want. So, like Marx suggested, it’s probably worthwhile to ‘heighten the contradictions’ of conflicting ideological and material desires, and to offer a kind of Faustian Bargain of SWPL paradise in exchange for a little ideological flexibility.

    Says Mephistopheles (Hebrew for ‘destroyer by means of false propaganda’),

    Well, yes, according to what you think now, maybe my proposal is a little evil. Ok. But, surely you can see it is the lesser evil when compared to the prospect of the profound wickedness of all you good people never being able to get what you need, what you deserve, and are entitled to have? And once you have that, we can always try to mitigate and remedy the things that give you qualms about it. And wouldn’t that be the best the best of all possible worlds? So, really, it’s ‘good’, when you see it from the proper subtle perspective of nuanced enlightenment. While only very intelligent and noble people like yourselves truly can. So try it, you’ll like it.

    Of course, after the Deal With The Devil has been in place for a long time to everyone’s satisfaction, the residents of the new order will think the new normal is perfectly enlightened instead of merely a lesser evil. And once that idea flows through the influence and indoctrination institutions long enough, it might as well become the new official state religion.

    Posted on January 20th, 2014 at 12:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin's Severed Penis Says:

    OK – that’s a great response. And your more hedged position almost has me persuaded, but I am still rather attached to the idea of Progressivism operating (effectively) as a religion, whether its cladistic origins reveal it to be directly descended from Christianity or not.

    The internal struggle for self-definition is one of the most exciting aspects of the Neoreaction at the moment, and clearly also one of the most necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly wouldn’t want NR to ossify into some kind of static-doctrine, built around a personality cult, and lose its sense of flux and momentum. But as the different gospels are being written, it is fascinating to probe them from the sidelines and see what sticks.

    [Reply]

    handle Reply:

    Another possibility for a complement to the key tenet is”what is the cause of the current problems with our government and society? Democracy, because maintaining power relies upon devoting all your attention to fighting to achieve popularity through dominating the influence environment by any means necessary, which gets as close to public thought control as feasible. The consequences and implications of that are what has yielded the things you complain about, and there is no way to fix those things and also preserve democracy.”

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 20th, 2014 at 7:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin Says:

    So we have three (complementary) key tenants:

    (a) Progressivism is a non-theistic Christian sect.

    (b) The Cathedral is the takeover by the like-minded elite of all institutions that dominate the public influence environment.

    (c) Democracy is divided authority, diverting attention and energy to popularity and mind-control, hyper-inflating time preference.

    They culminate in the Left Singularity aka Hell on Earth.

    What else would you add to this stripped-to-the-bone framework?

    Something like this with more information might be what’s needed to create some flow charts indicating the user journey taken from progressivism / libertarianism to Neoreaction.

    Clear concise diagrams / user journeys might really help expedite conversion of susceptible people who’s parasite is already coming a bit loose…

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 23rd, 2014 at 11:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mark Warburton Says:

    When life reminds you of the scars of wars and whores.
    It is time to slow down – a head in a #enclosed space’, not even remembering ‘bubble head’ of the colour of his own surroundin’ (toilet).
    The breeze swaying even the oldest of oak trees, so easily – plus a man who got hit by a nicotine rush.

    I throw my hand out to feel something. Like a fisherman hopes the bend of his line is not an old boot.

    I look at someone one, like she isn’t the post-modern banality of a west-end art group.

    I feel myself, onside. I wake up – mouth dry. I – I – I. Everything else is abstraction and reaction and feigned sincerity. There is a quiet narcissism. One that syncs in – and without – amongst the other animals of this world.

    Spittle is the only thing that lasts. It thickens around the mouth when ranting makes sense to the speaker. He cries because the christmas tree was taken down.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 24th, 2014 at 2:55 am Reply | Quote

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