Don't call it a spade
Monthly Archives: February 2016
I have a couple of long posts ready, but I take it that everyone’s attention is on Trump and Super Tuesday, so I’ll post something lighter for today.
As per my last post, it’s amusing that while Genghis Khan and his pals were banging the daughters of kings and utmost beauties of all the kingdoms from China to Iran, the great romanticist Bertrand Russell was singing the sublime pleasures of romantic love while banging this:
Now, Russell was no fool. Some of you will remember my being shocked at Scott Alexander and other MIRI cultists being “polyamorists”, which is a thing I didn’t even know existed. It didn’t took long for me to realize that “polyamory” such as it is, can only make sense if the people involved are unattractive, such as that sharing sexual partners doesn’t feel so bad. Nobody wants to share a good thing, but sharing a lousy thing, having the vague chance of trading up, is not such a bad deal. And variety itself is appealing to men. Apparently the whole idea goes back to Bertrand Russell himself:
As for Dora Russell, the story is incredibly perverse. Their marriage was, at first, designed by both of them, to allow for liberal bouts of adultery. Bertie became infamous, in the 1920s, for various writings, promoting their concept of the “marriage of the future.” The problem is, when Dora took the matter to heart, and started having children with another man, Bertie went berserk, and began a lifelong campaign of hatred and revenge against her, the which included an about-face, against his former “liberal” views on marriage. Monk’s descriptions, of how he dealt with Dora, from the late 1920s, on through the rest of his life, make for gruesome reading.
Read as: get a homely broad, with the advantage that she will let you screw other women, which he of course was eminently able as a celebrity aristocrat. He didn’t feel so bad about his homely broad banging outside, or perhaps he thought she wouldn’t be able to. But oh, that’s only male projection. Women are always able to find a mate, and she did, so much that he cuckolded him 2 children! Then Russell stopped finding the whole thing so amusing, and went total asshole on her and his children with her.
Gengis Khan on the other side, was attacked by a rival tribe on his young days, and his wife kidnapped. He eventually raised an army and beat the rival tribe, recovering his dear wife after 8 months or so. She was pregnant, and soon gave birth to a boy, Jochi. He owned the boy, as the timing was barely plausible, but doubts about the boy’s parentage never disappeared. He didn’t allow them, though, he owned the boy as his eldest son, and he grew to be a great general, his house eventually founding the Golden Horde. As fond as he was of the kid, though, he didn’t have him named his heir; his other children just wouldn’t have accepted that. But he did care and respect his first wife as his empress for all his life. You can see there he was a better man than Russell.
That sex is about power, and not about pleasure, is an old feminist trope, but there’s a nugget of truth in there. The pleasure of sex is fleeting, and women generally just aren’t that interesting. Sex is a natural urge, just as hunger, but the same way hunger can be satisfied properly, or can be indulged with gluttony, sex can be satisfied properly inside marriage, an institution which sanctions power of men over women, or it can be indulged with lust. Gluttony produces sick and disgusting fat people, and lust produces vapid and evil men.
I believe myself that romantic love is the source of the most intense delights that life has to offer. In the relation of a man and woman who love each other with passion and imagination and tenderness, there is something of inestimable value, to be ignorant of which is a great misfortune to any human being.
Said Bertrand Russell. He had 4 wives, 3 children.
The greatest pleasure is to vanquish your enemies and chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth and see those dear to them bathed in tears, to ride their horses and clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters.
Gengis Khan. Had thousands of wives, thousands of children.
Israel calls on world nations to regulate social media anti-Semitism
The Foreign Ministry on Monday called on governments around the world to regulate social media in order to combat anti-Semitism and violent incitement, reiterating the government’s support last year for Internet censorship during an anti-racism conference. (…)
“What is YouTube? What is Facebook? What is Twitter? And what is Google?” he asked. “Are they a free speech corner like [London’s] Hyde Park or are they more similar to a radio station in the public domain?” Referring to cartoons of Palestinians killing Jews and other such material circulating online, Tor asked why platforms such as Google search, You- Tube, Facebook and Twitter are “tolerating” violent incitement and “saying they are protected in a holy way by free speech.”
“How is it possible that the government of France and the European Union all feel that incitement in Arabic on social media in Europe calling for physical attacks on Jews is permitted and that there is no requirement from industry to do something about it,” he continued, adding that Israel is working with European partners to push the technology sector to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism so its constituent companies can “take responsibility for what they host.”
I got mildly triggered. Man, these Jews. It seems like they’re doing it on purpose to piss people off. Then I noticed the ad on the page:
Maybe they are doing it on purpose. To get clicks. An article a while ago put it well, that modern media are “rage profiteers“. Maybe Jewish agitation is just a business to get ad clicks. Jews have been at the forefront of the media industry since 18th century newspapers and they pretty much created the modern ad industry.
Europeans discovered continents and conquered most of the world as an afterthought of their quest for cinnamon to put in their mothers’ cakes. Britain unleashed the Opium War which resulted in the collapse of the Chinese Empire because they had no other way of buying tea. Ah, the free market.
Human rights? Check
Pensions? Pensions?? Yeah, Check
This one’s not about IQ. Listen up.
All human traits are normally distributed, with few people on each extreme. I don’t know to what degree character is inherited, but it sure as hell is innate.
A human trait, like any other, is the thirst for power. Call it sociopathy to get a better image. It’s probably not the same thing, but think of the evil striver who lies, fools, scams and does any manner of evil in order to climb the ladder of power and get to lord over others and enjoy riches gained through the exploitation of the people.
Think of Clinton, say. Any of them will do. These guys have an edge. They’re driven. They really really want power. And money. Lots of money. Apparently the Clinton’s are worth $100 million. Why do they want so much money? Isn’t $10 million enough? 20? No, they want more. That’s what they do, they seek power, money, and everything that is nice, they seek it in infinite amounts. Why does Hillary want to be president? What for? The satisfaction of power. That’s who she is.
But she isn’t the only one. There’s lots of people like her, in any country, in any institution. Jerry Pournelle had the Iron Law of Bureaucracy: every organization will always end up being led by people devoted to the benefit of the organization, not to doing whatever purpose the organization originally had. Which is another way of saying that any organization will eventually be led by people who only think of benefitting the people who lead the organization, i.e. themselves. The greedy power-hungry. Let’s call them Clintons, for lack of a better word. Every organization will eventually always end up being led by Clinton’s. Simply because they take care that they end up ruling. They seek power will all their heart, and they get it. That’s how you get Conquest’s Law too. All organizations not explicitly rightist will always end up turning leftist. Why? Because the left is simply what the Clinton’s do. The Left is whatever works at achieving power and keeping it.
In any Open Society™, well all positions are open. There is no privilege of birth, no traditional standards. There is to be open competition. Even the upper reaches of power are to be open to everyone, by free elections. Democracy. Who wins in a democracy? The Clintons. Why? Because they seek power, and have no qualms at doing whatever is necessary. Fraud, lies, treason. Murder. Whatever it takes, they will have power. That is what they do. Remember the Selfish Gene? The Hawks and the Doves? Hawks are evil, they hurt everyone. But you can’t get rid of them. They’re never too many, else they start killing each other. But at small numbers they always win. Michel Houellebecq first became famous with his novel, The Extension of the Realm of Struggle (Whatever). He points out how opening the sexual marketplace to competition advantages the ruthless and evil, to the detriment of everyone else. That works in politics too. The right edge of the Bell Curve always wins.
In a traditional aristocratic system, positions of power are given by family prestige. There is some level of striving and merit involved, but mostly it’s old families sharing positions of power according to traditional standards, which nobody really understands why are there. Mostly reflecting old Schelling points left by ancient conflicts. But they are there, and they are never touched. You don’t get to a position of power if you aren’t of the right blood. A Clinton can’t get to president. He can join the staff of some aristocrat, and schmoozing him to achieve influence by proxy. But you can only get so far that way; and positions in the staff are also subject to traditional limitations. There’s a firewall there.
Traditional power arrangements can be stupid and ineffective. They are by definition nepotistic, and often nothing gets done. But they have the important function of impeding the access of evil sociopaths to the highest reaches of power. You really don’t want those people up there; all they do is suck the coffers dry, and hurt everyone they fancy in order to satisfy their greed. Democracy, by opening the levers of power to free competition, all but guarantees that evil sociopaths will end up ruling everything. People who have no issue with giving sick men access to girl’s toilets, or bringing hostile barbarians to rape the women of their country. Monarchies can have a bad king. But Democracies always have a bad king.
A while ago I wrote about a funny story in the Chinese classical novel, the Water Margin, where the “heroes” want to poach a strong general, Qin Ming from their enemy. What they did is force the guy to defect, by telling his boss he already had. His boss being an evil asshole didn’t bother confirming the news, and vowed to kill him (and beheaded his whole family beforehand). Thus poor Qin Ming had no choice but to fall in the trap and defect. The same tactic was used with another hero-general, Lu Junyi.
In fact the tactic is even older. As far as I can recall, it was already used by Liu Bang, the founder of the Han Dynasty during the civil war before he founded the empire, 200 BC. The enemy, Xiang Yu, was an asshole, but he had a very capable general under his command, Ying Bu. Liu Bang sent an envoy to his camp and said to everybody who could hear it “Ying Bu has surrendered to us!”. Old boss, being an asshole, vowed to kill him, so the poor guy had to defect now even if he didn’t want to. Never fails.
All this was an introduction to paste a recent piece of writing by Scott Alexander. Now, the case isn’t exactly equivalent. For starters, there’s no need to frame him with a false accusation. He has accused himself. He said this:
People naturally divide into ingroups and outgroups. Although the traditional way of doing this is by race or religion (leading to racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, etc), in modern America this is gradually being replaced by a more complicated division based on social class and political affiliation. Rural working-class people have become a very different tribe (“Red Tribe”) than college-educated urban people in gated professions (“Blue Tribe”), with different food preferences, sport preferences, entertainment preferences, dialects, religions, mores, and politics. These two groups are vehemently opposed.
(if you only read one link in this piece, read that vehemently opposed one. The rest are just citations; that one contains an important piece of the story that’s hard to summarize).
While politics is about equally split between them, the media and academia are almost entirely Blue Tribe.
To make the point about the media: a 2008 study found that 88% of contributions by people in the media went to Democrats; a 2004 study with slightly different methodology that limited itself to journalists found an even larger bias. Here’s a survey that finds that if journalists were their own congressional district, they would be the most liberal district in the country, much further left even than Berkeley, California.
To make the point about academia: a recent analysis found that 91% of Harvard professors who donated to a presidential campaign donated to Hillary (with the remainder divided between Sanders and all eight GOP candidates). Jon Haidt’s does a lot of work on this atheterodoxacademy and finds that there’s a 14:1 ration of liberals to conservatives in the non-economics social sciences. Meta-analyses in psychology, psychiatry, and economics all find that the personal views of experimenters affect what results they get; the psychology study, which quantifies the results, finds a very large effect size – larger than most effect sizes actually discovered in social science, meaning we have no idea how much of what we know is real effect and how much is experimenter political bias. On a related note, only 30% to 50% of experiments in psychology persist after replication attempts (other academic disciplines are as bad or worse). On a related note, meta-analyses observe clear evidence of publication bias in politically charged domains – for example, this meta-analysis finds that papers are more likely to be published as opposed to file-drawered if they support the liberal position rather than the conservative one. Also, lots and lots of people in academia, even the very liberal people, will admit this is true if you ask them directly. Haidt, Tetlock, et al (see previously cited paper) have found lots of horrifying things like journal editors saying explicitly and proudly they’d refuse to publish articles that support conservative ideas, or professors saying that other academics whose research implies conservative ideas shouldn’t be hired or given tenture.
So given the fact that our knowledge of the world is coming from a 90-percent-plus liberal group that’s working hard to enforce orthodoxy, and then being filtered and broadcast to us by another 90-percent-plus liberal group that’s working hard to enforce orthodoxy, our knowledge of the world is … about as skewed as you would expect from this process. To give just one example, every number and line of evidence we have suggests that the police do not disproportionately target or kill black people compared to the encounter rate (see Part D here and this study) but the conventional wisdom is absolutely 100% certain they do and anybody who questions it is likely to sound like some kind of lunatic.
Once again, I think of these political differences as secondary to (and proxy for) more complicated tribal/class differences, and these tribes/classes really really hate each other and are trying to destroy each other (remember, multiple experiements – 1, 2, 3 – find that people’s party/class/tribe prejudices are stronger than their racial/religious prejudices). So imagine an institution that’s 90% Klansmen, with all its findings interpreted by and transmitted through a second institution that’s 90% Klansmen, and consider how useful (or not) the information about black people that eventually reaches you through the conjunction of those two institutions will be.
Because the Blue Tribe’s base is in education and the opinion-setting parts of the media, their class interest is to increase the power of these areas. I don’t want to sound too conspiratorial by making it sound like this is organized (it’s not), but classes tend to evolve distributed ways to pursue their class interests without organization. In this case, that means to enforce credentialism (ie a system where the officialness of your education matters more than your ability) and orthodoxy (whether you hold the right opinions is more important than ability). We see the credentialism in for example the metastatic spread of degree requirements. You need a college degree to have the same opportunities as you’d have gotten from a high school degree in 1960. This isn’t because jobs require more knowledge today; there are thousands of jobs that will take you if you’ve got an Art History degree, not because Art History is relevant to the job, but because they insist on candidates having some, any, college degree. The Blue Tribe protects its own and wants to impoverish anyone who doesn’t kowtow to their institutions. For the same reason, we get bizarre occupational licensing restrictions like needing two years of training to braid people’s hair, which have been proven time and time again not to work or improve quality, but which effectively lock poor people (and people who just don’t do well with structure) out of getting liveable jobs.
The opposite of credentialism is meritocracy – the belief that the best person should get the job whether or not they’ve given $200,000 to Yale. In my crazy conspiracy theory, social justice is the attack arm of the educated/urban/sophisticated/academic Blue Tribe, which works by constantly insisting all competing tribes are racist and sexist and therefore need to be dismantled/taken over/put under Blue Tribe supervision for their own good. So we get told that meritocracy is racist and sexist. Colleges have pronounced talking about meritocracy to be a microaggression, and the media has declared that supporting meritocracy is inherently racist. Likewise, we are all told that standardized tests and especially IQ are racist and hurt minorities, even though in reality this testing helps advance minorities better than the current system. For the same reason, colleges are moving away from the SATs (an actual measure of student intelligence), to how well students do in interviews, how well they write essays, and other things which are obvious proxies for social class and tribal affiliation.
STEM culture and nerd culture is (was?) this weird alternative domain that had Blue Tribe advantages like education and wealth, but also wasn’t drinking their Kool-Aid – they took pride in being meritocratic, they didn’t care what college you went to as long as you were smart, and they were okay enjoying their own weird culture instead of following sophisticated trend-setters. The Blue Tribe was spooked, so they called in their attack arm, and soon enough we started hearing these constant calls in Blue-affiliated media and circles to destroy nerd culture (2, 3, etc, etc) because it is inherently misogynistic, racist, etc. It’s why we’re told that Silicon Valley is full of “brogrammers” and “techbros” (compare “Berniebro”, which everyone now agrees was a Hillarysphere attempt to smear Sanders supporters). It’s why we’re told that tech is “incredibly white and male” and “needs to get less white” and just generally has this huge and unique diversity problem – even though in reality it’s possibly the most racially diverse industry in the country, at a full 60% non-white. It’s why we’re told that there is terrible bias against women in science academia, when in fact anyone can read the studies showing that controlling for all other factors, women are twice as likely to be hired for tenure-track STEM positions as men [bad link] and academic science is not sexist at all. It’s why we’re told women fear for their lives in Silicon Valley because of endemic sexual harassment, even though nobody’s ever formally investigated if it’s worse than anywhere else, and the only informal survey I’ve ever seen shows harrassment in STEM to be well-below the average harrassment rate.
What’s happening at GitHub itself right now is actually a pretty good example. The old CEO was fired because of various accusations (later investigated and found to be false; the firing was not revoked). The new CEO has banned the term “meritocracy”, replaced workers managing their own affairs with a system of no-doubt-well-credentialled middle managers, and given lots of power to a “diversity team” that declares all remnants of the old company culture racist and sexist. According to Business Insider, there’s now a “culture of fear” and a lot of the most talented employees are leaving. People are saying GitHub made some kind of mistake, but I suspect all is going according to plan, the talented employees will be replaced with better-credentialled ones, the media will call everybody who left “techbros” who were suffering from “aggrieved entitlement”, GitHub will join the general Silicon Valley 2.0 landscape of open-plan offices and Pointy Haired Bosses, lather, rinse, repeat, and ten years from now bright-but-lower-class unsophisticated people without college degrees won’t be able to find a job in Silicon Valley any more than they can on Wall Street or anywhere else.
I am pretty darned Blue Tribe myself – I’m pro-choice, pro-fighting-climate-change, pro-gay, pro-transgender, non-religious, pro-higher-taxes-on-rich, pro-single-payer, anti-gun, ready-for-Hillary, etc – and after having watched the Republican debate tonight I can honestly say I’m terrified at anyone other than the Blue Tribe having power. But just as I can be proud of my Jewish heritage but also upset about the occupation of Palestine, so I can be proud of the Blue Tribe and not too happy about their project of crushing everybody else with an iron fist regardless of the collateral damage. Doing anything about this is a dauntingly large project, but my own comparative advantage is in picking apart some of the sillier studies they use to put a fig-leaf over what they’re doing.
I don’t know who is boss is, but his metaphorical superior in the Blue Tribe, in the Cathedral, the Polygon, the Left or whatever you want to call it, well by definition the Left is an evil asshole too. So be very aware, this guy is not one of yours. I am not one of yours, and I can’t find anything to disagree with this piece of writing. Except the last paragraph, of course, which is retarded.
Not that I want him in my side. The dude has way too much baggage. But there’s always something to gain by denying the enemy from a good general. And the guy is smart, and he is the object of admiration of many. Look at his damn blog, he gets hundreds of comments of starry-eyed fans who go there just to share a micro-slice of his fame. I got a link from him a while ago and my referrer stats got flooded with accesses from MIT addresses. Which is very impressive. Surely beats the bunch of nazis I’ve been getting lately.
But still, if there is some SJW command out there, note that you are more than justified for (metaphorically) killing off this guy’s (metaphorical) family, and proscribe him away from your side, into the arms of your enemy. He’s not one of yours. He’s against everything you stand for. He has openly called for the removal of the racket that sustains your livelihood. He wants to deprive you of your bread! How can you tolerate this guy?
And hey, I do think we could use a psychiatrist. A bitter and resentful genius psychiatrist studying the intricacies of the Leftist Mind, ignoring all established procedure in order to find out what is inside the brains of his enemies, of the people who have tortured him since childhood. Now that sounds interesting.
(Stop your Ghostery or other extensions to see Twitter links)
One of the weirdest things in history was Byzantine iconoclasm in the 8th and 9th centuries. The Byzantine imperial house decreed that all pictures and portraits in Orthodox churches were to be destroyed. Not that I’m a fan of the art style of Eastern icons (I find it kinda gloomy and too flat), but that was a waste of perfectly fine artwork. The usual explanation is that the Emperor thought that Islam was strong due to its ascetic religion, and that Byzantines were losing the war because the wasted too much time and effort into drawing lame portraits. Whatever the reason, the Byzantines had adopted an important trait of Islamic culture without surrendering. “Aerial influence”, as linguists call it, made the trick.
Another example is the Taoist and Shinto religions. People talk of Taoism in China and Shinto in Japan as if they were ancient religions, with temples, and priests, and the whole package. But that’s bunk. When Buddhism came into East Asia, it brought temples, monks, books, influence peddling with rich and powerful, a very strong institutional package. Taoists and Shintoists just copied the whole thing, including the architecture of the temples, and much of its vocabulary. It’s like if some neopagans built Gothic Churches, and run weekly rituals where people were fed bread by a professional priest, after giving a homily on the state of the world.
Anyway, I was saying that maybe we should accept Islam, in order to bring some much needed social conservatism into European mores. But we don’t need mass conversion, Submission style. The sheer physical danger of having hostile barbarians around, and the refusal of the state to stop them, might bring women back home, make them require and seek the protection of their men, and make them have children so they can have someone to physically protect them after old age.
Just have some strategically placed White Muslims pushing a Salafist agenda so that the curse of affluence disappears. Imagine if Muslims in Europe were able to push the government into pushing women out of the workforce, or at the very least out of male workplaces. Just like that you solved the Two-Income Trap. All we need is to be a bit more tolerant. To stop protesting in the streets, to stop fighting the fight we cannot win, and focus in what’s really important: in going on with our lives, protecting our families and our friends.
I wonder what Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) are going to say when 100 million Christian Nigerians come to Europe saying that they need refuge from the evil Boko Haram Muslims from the North.
The Nigerians probably go to Church more than we do.
Data from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261133206_Fertility_Patterns_of_Native_and_Migrant_Muslims_in_Europe
Don’t know if “Total Population” here includes Muslims too or not. If it does, we’re busted.
Note how all those “success stories” about fertility rates, France and Scandinavia, all are under replacement, except Muslims.
All those Patriotic European Warriors (PEW): Surely you’ve been doing your patriotic duty and producing lots of white babies. Have you?
In 1927, the young Chinese Communist Party was having a meeting, and all those young Chinese Communists were doing their thing, discussing stuff using arcane Marxist jargon. Mao Zedong cut the discussion short, telling them: “People, cut the crap. We gotta focus on the military stuff. Governments are born out of the barrel of a gun.”
History proved him right, and his comrades know it. They know it so well that even after the Cultural Revolution killed and maimed most of his old comrades, his successors never disowned Mao or tarnished his legacy, the way Kruschov publicly said Stalin was an evil bastard. During the Cultural Revolution Deng was purged three times, his whole family imprisoned, sent away. His brother was forced to commit suicide. His son was thrown out of the window of his college dorm and became a paraplegic for life. Even then, after Mao was dead, Deng Xiaoping refused to criticize him. Why? “The only reason all of us are here is because Mao won the war”. Damn straight.
Now of course Mao’s quote isn’t completely correct. He didn’t grab a gun and win the war by being the best shot in the country. No, he won the war by having the best army. That means having a lot of guns, and having people willing the guns under your orders. So more precisely, power isn’t born out of the barrel of a gun. Power is born out of the ability to have people with guns do what you tell them.
Let’s apply this dictum to the present situation in Western countries. PEGIDA just run a series of protests against the Islamization of Europe. I’ve been writing about that these days. Well, what happened during those protests? A commenter was nice enough to post a link from the Daily Mail:
Plainclothes police officers wrestle a man to the ground during the PEGIDA demonstration held in Amsterdam, Holland, today
A man sticks his tongue out at the camera as he is led away from the demonstration by plainclothes police officers
Police officers in Calais, northern France, detain a man taking party in the demonstrations near the town’s railway station
This guy up here is a General of the French army. Leader of men. Alpha of Alphas. Kissing the ground.
If you want to get anything done, if you want to win, you gotta read about people who have won in the past. Like Mao. You need to own the guys with the guns. The police. The army. As long as those guys are against you, as long as those guys are willing to grab an awarded General and make him kiss the ground, all you’re doing is LARPing. Which has its place, of course it’s important to show that people are angry, and provoking the state gives us iconic images such as poor old General Piquemal. But let’s not kid ourselves. LARPing isn’t going to solve anything. Leftists don’t win because they are masters at protesting and PR. Leftists win because the guys with guns obey them. When General Piquemal goes to protest, he gets arrested and humiliated on national TV. When Antifas trash a whole commercial street, the police make a wall to protect them. When Blacks burnt Ferguson, the police went out to arrest the shopowners who wanted to defend themselves. When Somalis rape Swedish children, the police doesn’t answer the phone.
This state of affairs is often called Anarcho-tyranny, a coining of Sam Francis. It’s funny because there’s no word for that in most languages. Fish don’t know what is water; the Chinese don’t know what anarcho-tyranny is. Anarcho-tyranny is the natural state of affairs. The word only makes sense if you assume that the state is a social contract made for the defense of the rights of the citizens. But that’s a myth. A state is what comes out of the barrel of a gun. In simple evolutionary terms, the state will protect those that the state needs to protect to survive in its present form. You and I don’t want the state to survive in its present form, we very much want it to change forms. Well, they won’t protect you then.
You wanna get something done? You want to have influence? Then you gotta join those who get things done. Pull a Gramsci and join the police. They’re going to be expanding a lot in the next decades.