Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Best Anti-Macintosh Rant Ever


1984 - The Mac is friendly, it's the future, lalalala. Reality: 128k machine with 4 pieces of known software.

1987 - The Mac is more efficient than IBM PCs, it's the future. Reality: It's four times as expensive and people quickly learn Windows.

1995 - The Mac is a better operating system than Windows, it's the future. Reality: holding down the mouse button suspends the entire operating system.

2000 - The Mac is superior, it uses PowerPC chips and custom hardware. Reality: it's slower and Apple starts making Intel boxes.

2008 - The Mac is superior, it's "green." Reality: it's still a hunk of plastic you chuck in the landfill, and being made by the world's most neurotic computer company, it's more likely to break.

I used to believe in Apple; eventually I saw that, like most things hyping "hope" and "change," they were marketers and not revolutionaries. They sold a lie.

/.


People who buy Macs are like people who bought Chryslers because Mercedes briefly owned the company. They need a cause. We should just set them up with gloves and trash bags and have them scour North America for litter.

Hollywood Does Not Share Our Moral Values, Say Americans

Woe to all from abroad who think Hollywood "equals" America... or reality, in any form.


A majority of Americans say Hollywood doesn't share their moral values, according to a poll commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League.

-- 61% of respondents agree that "religious values are under attack in this country," while 36% disagree with that statement.

-- 43% said that Hollywood and the national media are waging an organized campaign to "weaken the influence of religious values in this country."

-- 63% disagree with the statement that "the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews," while only 22% agree with that point. When ADL conducted its first survey on anti-Semitic attitudes, in 1964, nearly half of the respondents believed that the television and film industries were run by Jews.

-- Nearly 40% support the notion that "dangerous ideas should be banned from public school libraries," and nearly the same number disagree with the statement that "censoring books is an old-fashioned idea."

-- Nearly half of those surveyed -- 49% -- believe that the United States is becoming "too tolerant in its acceptance of different ideas and lifestyles; 47% disagree with that statement.

HWRP


They've sold you on a pluralism, and only now are you realizing what that means: no central culture or values, only different flavors. Want to try being evangelical today? How about anal bondage? Mere sanity is not an option. Get freaky or get reactionary.

The anti-Semitism data is interesting.

Getting Mature and Realistic About History

I have come to really enjoy Ron Rosenbaum's reality-based critiques of history. Unlike the emotionally out-of-control people who bloviate on historical topics, he tends to stick to the facts and realistic interpretations. I think if we approach politics and history with this viewpoint, it becomes less of this baffling array of wildly divergent opinions that are basically products -- designed to be "unique" enough to merit their fifteen minutes of e-fame.


Isn't it obvious by now what this is about? Our need to prove that Hitler was not "normal," thus not like us, normal human nature thereby exculpated from producing a Hitler. It fills a need to reassure ourselves there is no Hitler potential in human potential. We're off the hook.

{ snip }

Downfall purports to offer the "inside story" of the last days of Hitler in his Berlin bunker and implicitly makes the case that the Holocaust wasn't the fault of the German people—no, they were victims, too!—but rather of one man, Hitler, and the small coterie of madmen and evil women surrounding him. Nothing to do with Germany's eager reception of exterminationist anti-Semitism.

{ snip }

There's no excuse now for this incessant dwelling on Hitler's sexuality, as if it tells us anything about the true nature of his evil. No, all the obsession can tell us about is the way the culture as a whole exhibits a refusal to face the profundity and complexity of evil and instead—with some honorable exceptions—prefers to escape responsibility for Hitler and the Holocaust by blaming it all on ludicrously unserious and ahistorical sexual mythologies, and the Freudian-influenced notion that all behavior has a sexual explanation at heart.

Slate


I've always thought it was stupid to blame Hitler's acts on his upbringing, medical issues, sexuality, or anything but his thought. He was an autonomous being like ourselves; even more, he was acting on what he thought was the right thing to do, just like today's green and civil rights activists, as Will Smith tried to tell us:


In a story published Saturday in the Daily Record, Smith was quoted saying: "Even Hitler didn't wake up [saying], 'let me do the most evil thing I can do today.' I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good.' "

The quote was preceded by the writer's observation: "Remarkably, Will believes everyone is basically good."

CNN


Interpreting this one level further:

It's stupid to blame the German people at all.

The forces of history created an opportunity, and Hitler fulfilled it.

WWI had forced upon people a dislike of the nation-state and the empires that, inspired by colonial wealth, formed alliances against one another to jockey for dominion of Europe.

The threat of disunity in a time for national unity made outsiders like Jews a target. They, after all, were not of the heritage, religion, language and some would say values of native Germans.

As Theodor Herzl, a Jew and Zionist, pointed out:


The Jewish question persists wherever Jews live in appreciable numbers. Wherever it does not exist, it is brought in together with Jewish immigrants. We are naturally drawn into those places where we are not persecuted, and our appearance there gives rise to persecution. This is the case, and will inevitably be so, everywhere, even in highly civilised countries—see, for instance, France—so long as the Jewish question is not solved on the political level. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.


In other words, until there was a Jewish nation with a fixed geographical boundary -- like Israel -- Jews would always be subject to anti-Semitism, because they would always be outsiders in a world of nation-states.

While many leftists think the answer is multiculturalism, there is zero historical evidence to show multiculturalism can exist for long, and in the long term, it seems to do nothing but help dying cultures collapse inward.

A better solution is Zionism, so that Jews are always protected within a homeland. Of course, the left opposes this and the right is divided over the issue, so I always get in trouble when I say it, but it seems to me the obviously best way to prevent against future Holocausts.

Some Philosophical Tidbits


The main principle of Pyrrho's thought is expressed by the word acatalepsia, which connotes the ability to withhold assent from doctrines regarding the truth of things in their own nature; against every statement its contradiction may be advanced with equal justification. Secondly, it is necessary in view of this fact to preserve an attitude of intellectual suspense, or, as Timon expressed it, no assertion can be known to be better than another. Thirdly, Pyrrho applied these results to life in general, concluding that, since nothing can be known, the only proper attitude is ataraxia, "freedom from worry". ("By suspending judgment, by confining oneself to phenomena or objects as they appear, and by asserting nothing definite as to how they really are, one can escape the perplexities of life and attain an imperturbable peace of mind.")

The Mob's Encyclopedia-analogue


Sounds a lot like a nihilist.


Conservatives agree that history is the appropriate starting point, but some of them believe that it is not a contingent fact that certain political arrangements have historically fostered good lives, while others have been detrimental to them. Conservatives who believe this think that there is a deeper explanation for the historical success or failure of various arrangements. There is a moral order in reality, political arrangements that conform to this order foster good lives, those that conflict with it are bound to make lives worse. These conservatives are committed to a “belief about the nature and scope of rational understanding, which, on the one hand, confines it to the promulgation of abstract general propositions and, on the other hand, extends its relevance to the whole of human life - a doctrine which may be called ‘rationalism’. And there is as much difference between rational enquiry and ‘rationalism’ as there is between scientific enquiry and ‘scientism’, and it is a difference of the same kind. Moreover, it is important that a writer who wishes to contest the excessive claims of ‘rationalism’ should observe the difference, because if he fails to do so he will not only be liable to self-contradiction (for his argument will itself be nothing if it is not rational), but also he will make himself appear the advocate of irrationality, which is going further than he either needs or intends to go.”2

Rationalistically inclined conservatives are willing to learn from history, but only because history points beyond itself toward more fundamental considerations. That these considerations center on a moral order is agreed to by all of them. But they nevertheless disagree whether the order is providential, as it is held to be by various religions; or a Platonic chain of being at whose pinnacle is the Form of the Good; or the Hegelian unfolding of the dialectic of clashing forces culminating in the final unity of reason and action; or the one reflected by natural law, which, if adhered to, would remove all obstacles from the path of realizing the purpose inherent in human nature; or some further possibility.

John Kekes


A Platonic conservatism; intelligent.


For the man who has once stooped to consider such questions, and to reckon up the value of external things, is not far from forgetting what manner of man he is. Why, what is it that you ask me? Is death preferable, or life? I reply, Life. Pain or pleasure? I reply, Pleasure."

"Well, but if I do not act, I shall lose my head."

"Then go and act! But for my part I will not act."

"Why?"

"Because you think yourself but one among the many threads which make up the texture of the doublet. You should aim at being like men in general—just as your thread has no ambition either to be anything distinguished compared with the other threads. But I desire to be the purple—that small and shining part which makes the rest seem fair and beautiful. Why then do you bid me become even as the multitude? Then were I no longer the purple."

Epictetus


I believe in tragedies... and I believe in aesthetics as a guide. Nature is logical; what is beautiful is most often good. And an action matters more an an idealistic sense, of its contribution to this order, than in a material sense.


Human beings exist in a meaningful world. When we use terms such as "mind" and "mental" we are referring to some aspect of this world. But this is not something internal, locked away inside a physical body. Think of a painting by Picasso: the famous "Guernica," perhaps. How do we understand and appreciate this? The type of pigment is important, as are the brushstrokes used. So too are the colours and the shapes of the figures. But to understand what the painting means and the genius of its creator we reach beyond the canvas itself to the context in which it was created. This entails historical, political, cultural, and personal dimensions. Without engaging with its context, we could never appreciate "Guernica" as a work of genius. Its meaning does not reside in the pigment or the canvas but in the relation between these and the world in which it was created and now exists. Similarly, we will never be able to understand the various elements of our mental life such as thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and values if we think of them as located inside the brain. Trying to grasp the meaningful reality of sadness, alienation, obsession, fear, and madness by looking at scans or analysing biochemistry is like trying to understand a painting by looking at the canvas without reference to its wider world.

BMJ


In other words, context defines meaning by defining the tokens of meaning.

Meaning is a response to reality, not an abstraction independent of it.

So when we look for meaning, we look for things that effect changes in the context of ultimate existence that we call reality.

Philosophy Re-Discovers De-ontological Morality


The aretaic turn is a movement in contemporary moral philosophy and ethics to emphasize character and human excellence or virtue, as opposed to moral rules or consequences.

The Mob's Encyclopedia-analogue


As usual, with Wikipedia, you get the people who have nothing better to do filling in the blanks, so you get the C+ papers repeated as "fact." They get part of everything right and they're so convenient, so we all rely on them at some point or another.

In this case, they partially understand something. Let's look at another one of their kwalitee "definitions":


Deontological ethics or deontology (from Greek δέον, deon, "obligation, duty"; and -λογία, -logia) is an approach to ethics that focuses on the rightness or wrongness of intentions or motives behind action such as respect for rights, duties, or principles, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequences of those actions.

The Mob's Encyclopedia-analogue


What this and the "aretaic turn" have in common is this:

The idea that there's a right way to do things that exists outside of rules and measurement of public opinion, or condemnation if a good idea goes wrong. For example, you often get punished for doing the right thing, because others prefer that we all do the wrong thing, so that way their wrongs don't get noticed as much.

Keeping an abstract goal is always good; it makes even more sense if it includes a natural correspondence to reality, which is why their definition of de-ontological morality is flaky. The idea is to do what's right and not what's convenient, or socially defined as right. And that is the hidden truth between the lines of these wackypedia entries.

Nihilism: In Search of a Working Definition

Nihilism



I've always defined nihilism not as "believing in nothing" but "not believing in the value of anything." Subtle difference. You can't not believe in reality and exist for long. You can however claim, like the Russian nihilists did, that nothing has any meaning and you might as well just do whatever. Then there's the Vijay Prozak definition, which is that we should just do away with belief in judgments made by others, and stick to strict logic and the clear differences between stupid and genius actions.


Nihilism, in my view, is the removal of all value to things except what I will call the inherent, leaving that term for later definition. When people wail about Satan, or the war against terrorism, or the great quest for equality, you can look those straight in the eye and say, "These have no value except what we impose upon them." By the same token, when people tell you how important it is to see the latest movie, go to that exclusive party, or own a fancy car, you can similarly dismiss the concerns. Nihilism is a removal of all except the inherent.

It is a gateway philosophy, as I see it, meaning that it is the initial realization on a course of learning. In contrast to the "devotional" philosophies such as Christianity, where all who come and recite an oath are considered to have received wisdom, the philosophies of life that are not a charade embrace esoteric views. Esotericism says that wisdom comes to those who seek it, and in varying degrees; there is no magic threshold to cross after which one can write the holy sign on one's forehead and be considered knowledgeable. Infinite learning and infinite potential pitfalls instead await. When one embraces nihilism, one has undertaken the first step of this initiation, by removing all value externally imposed, including by other humans. Herein begins discovery.

Nihilism


He also tries to define it elsewhere:


Rejection of all inherent value frees us from a fascination with both materialism and moralism. These beliefs assert that what exists has ultimate value, and therefore that it is an end in itself and not a means to a life process. Nihilism asserts the opposite, and thus begins a path which leads us past fear of death to a heroic worldview.

In a diseased time, such as the current era, the individual is constantly assaulted by a barrage of imaginary reality, including morality, politics, economics and social factors. Any mind which wishes to become aware beyond this barrage must find a persistent means of removing this, and the best method is nihilism: denying all value except the meaning of experience and outcome.

{ snip }

Most belief systems operate by establishing some form of "objective" linear truth by which adherents must abide, and thus proscribe nihilism as a destruction of all that holds such belief systems together. The proper name for this form of belief system is politics, as it operates by inducement and coercion to create uniform behavior among a disparity of people.

{ snip }

From the point of view of such systems, there are two realms for the human individual, the subjective (mind) and objective (body), so divided because the subjective is limited wholly to the perceptions of the individual, and the objective to physically verifiable events such as the realm in which the body exists.

The derivation of truth, and attainment of goals in the language of truth, is a process of uniting mind and body that transcends subject/object division. These perceptions are not objective in that they originate and end in the individual, but are stimulated by and acted upon within objective space. The individual, and its thoughts, are part of the mechanism of life.

For this reason, moral distinctions such as "mind your own business" and "thou shalt not kill" are meaningless, since they presuppose the barrier between subject and object, and mind and body, to be absolute.

{ snip }

In the modern (post-liberal) view, at this point humanity would diverge into as many different goalsets as exist individuals, but to an idealist, because all values are based on adaptation to the same objective reality, what is present are many viewpoints with the same basic values interpreted according to the ability of each individual.

"Rationality" is a word used to express the degree of correspondence between an intended course of action (mind) and its consequences (body). Much as a highly refined mind can describe the structure of an idea, or predict the results of an experiment, or throw an unhittable pitch, rationality varies with intelligence, experience and discipline of the individual.

This line of thought shows the idealist how there is only one reality, often called "ultimate" reality, based in the physical world, including the workings of each mind with its specific degree of rationality. It is known to us through metaphor, meaning the consistency of its operation according to abstract rulesets, and therefore whether its mechanism is mind or body is irrelevant; its operation can be measured and predicted without knowing its composition.

Love and Nihilism


In this piece, he differentiates between human judgments which are subjective and designs, patterns, mechanisms which are objective. His point is that a nihilist reduces the value of everything so he can re-assess it all, saving the latter and pitching out the former.

Interestingly, this piece also describes nihilism as an esoteric philosophy. It's a gateway to other ideas that removes the human illusion, lets us see "ultimate reality," and then see how the world is mind-correlative or "idealistic," (see The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, whose entry for "idealism" is excellent). Then, the logic goes, once we've seen that physical reality and thoughts use the same abstract organizational system -- what Plato refers to as "forms" since they are neither material, nor judgment, but composed of matter and recognized by judgment -- we become realists, or those who see reality and want to make it function on its own terms, because we realize that addressing reality on anything except its own terms is delusional activity.

One more aspect of the Prozakhian definition:


Nihilism remains one of the most controversial topics of the modern era, for a good reason: science has supported a form of nihilism by steadily revealing more of the underpinning behind natural processes, making things that once seemed to be unique objects appear as a collaboration of different effects. Slowly the post-animist ideas of the things we refer to with nouns being unique and of a consistent content are being exposed as structures of granular objects intersecting according to natural laws and constraints. This process threatens many of the social and emotional constructs used commonly in human society with a destabilization based not in the threat to the concept in question, but to the concept archetype from which those concepts emerge.

Despite this recent condition, nihilism is an eternal question in the human experience. As the definition above illustrates, there is a split in the meaning of the word. The most common meaning in our current society is a conflation of the lack of inherent value with a fatalism and aimlessness in intellectual choice-making; the second meaning is one in which an epistemological sandblaster is applied to all new input to remove social, mental, moral, emotional and political conditioning from the meaning, perception and differentiation of objects. It is the second meaning in which the word is used here, since fatalism and passivity are so well known as separate phenomena there is no need to confuse them with what can be revealed as a separate phenomena.

{ snip }

As research probes further into the complexities of the human mind, it becomes clear that the mind is far from being a composite thing which is an actor upon its world through thoughts; rather, thoughts compose the mind, in the form of connections and associations wired into the tissue of the brain, creating circuitry for future associations of like stimulus. The schematic of this intellectual machine builds separate routing for situations it is likely to encounter, based on grouped similarities in events or objects. In this view of our computing resources, it is foolish to allow pre-processing to intervene, as it creates vast amounts of wiring which serve extremely similar purposes, thus restricting the range of passive association (broad-mindedness) or active association (creativity) possible within the switching mechanism of the brain as a whole.

{ snip }

The "positive" effects of nihilism on the mind of a human being are many. Like the quieting of distraction and distortion within the mind brought about by meditative focus, nihilism pushes aside preconception and brings the mind to focus within the time of the present. Influences which could radically skew our perceptions - emotions, nervousness, paranoia, or upset, to name a few - fade into the background and the mind becomes more open to the task at hand without becoming spread across contemplations of potential actions occurring at different levels of scale regarding the current task. Many human errors originate in perceiving an event to be either more important than it is, or to be "symbolically" indicative of relevance on a greater scale than the localized context which it affects, usually because of a conditioned preference for the scale of eventiture existing before the symbolic event.

Nihilism as a philosophical doctrine must not be confused with a political doctrine such as anarchism; political doctrines (as religions are) remain fundamentally teleological in their natures and thus deal with conclusions derived from evidence, where nihilism as a deontological process functions at the level of the start of perception, causing less of a focus on abstracting a token ruleset defining the implications of events than a rigorous concentration on the significance of the events as they are immediately effecting the situation surrounding them. For example, a nihilistic fighter does not bother to assess whether his opponent is a better fighter or not that the perceiving agency, but fights to his best ability (something evolution would reward, as the best fighter does not win every fight, only most of them). As a result of this conditioning, nihilism separates the incidence of events/perceptions from causal understanding by removing expectations of causal origins and implications to ongoing eventiture.

This may seem like a minor detail; it is. However, it remains a detail overlooked by the Judeo-Christian "Western" nations, and as a result, our cognitive systems are bound up in conditioned preconception and moral preprocessing, separating us all too often from a pragmatic recognition of the course of change brought about by events, and thus hamstringing our ability to give these events context in processing. Consequently, forms of social and political manipulation remain unchecked because to people conditioned in this form of perceptual preprocessing, the error of this poor mental hygiene is not only invisible but essential for cognitive process.

Nihilism


And then there's the (related) site Nihil.org which has this definitional spectrum:


Nihilism is the theory that meaning beyond the immanent is irrelevant.

Nihilism is the foundation of objectivism. Through removing external value one sees what is actually there, which, given the workings of the universe, has equal value and is thus equally impermanent.

Nihilism is beauty.

The brand of nihilism that we advocate is not merely a flippant rejection of societal norms or an angry reaction caused by being powerless under the weight of a capitalistic society whose leaders alone determine values, potentials and human futures based on their economic reward to those in power. Rather, our nihilism is a cautious and studied result in which every value asserted by society has been inspected and has never failed to ring hollow.

Nihil


So that's how nihilism is defined in Prozakhistan. What are other definitions?

Wikipedia

Although this dictionary is notoriously plagiarized from the research notes of graduate students and blighted by basement-dwellers, they offer a very generic and plodding definition:


Nihilism (from the Latin nihil, nothing) is a philosophical position that argues that existence is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Nihilists generally assert that objective morality does not exist, and that no action is logically preferable to any other in regard to the moral value of one action over another.

Wikipedia


This conflicts with the Prozakhian definition in two ways:


  1. Nihilism does not deny existence is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value; it denies that existence is without anthrocentric "objective" (subjective, moral judgment) meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value (moral value, from moral judgments). Nihilism denies the should/ought in favor of the is/could be.

  2. While the article makes a good point that nihilists deny that any action is morally preferrable to another, the big point that it misses is that nihilists deny morality (should/ought) in favor of practicality. Nihilists can believe in the value of life so long as it is not anchored in human judgments, but in logic and immanent values (Platonic forms).



Wikibloviation continues:


Nietzsche noted the "death of God" and the atrophy of traditional absolutist morality in his time. However, he never advocated nihilism as a practical mode of living and was typically quite critical of what he described as the more dangerous nihilism, the rejection of the material world in favor of a nonexistent "heaven".[7][6] His later work displays a preoccupation with nihilism.

Nietzsche characterized nihilism as emptying the world and especially human existence of meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value. He hints that nihilism can become a false belief, when it leads individuals to discard any hope of meaning in the world and thus to invent some compensatory alternate measure of significance. Nietzsche used the phrase 'Christians and other nihilists', which is consistent with Christianity in general as Nietzsche describes nihilism, though as nihilism is now commonly construed, Christian philosophy is its opposite.


God, as separate from material life, was what replaced the traditional morality, which was a form of moral attention and not a moral binary, mirroring dualism of heaven and earth, of good and evil.

The word nihilists use for Nietzsche's nihilism is "fatalism," meaning people who believe life is pointless and need to reward themselves with little uplifts: pity, material rewards, religious promises, political identities. Fatalists are common and show up in just about all forms.

We could divide nihilism into two categories:


  1. Negative Nihilism: Removal of all value, including the ability to have value.

  2. Positive Nihilism: Removal of all non-inherent valuations (judgments, categories, social logic) so that immanent values can be perceived and reconstructed.



Positive nihilism is found in agnostic, atheist, Hindu, Buddhist and pagan value systems.

Counter-Order

Freydis at counterorder.com offers us another view of nihilism:


We so need the lie drug.

The collective desperation for myth is palpable... send us a savior to correct our behavior!

Anyone who can live without the lie drug is a true nihilist. A nihilist can interface reality with all its beauty and unpleasant consequences with their personal sense of the tangible because the two are the same.

Freydis


The search for collective myth, in the Joseph Campbell sense, is a cornerstone of postmodernism. People cannot connect the past to the future, so have no idea what to do in the present.

I think what Freydis is describing, however, is what Prozakhians would refer to as "social reality," or the network of social half-truths we use to describe reality in quasi-euphemism, hiding that which threatens the human individual so we can all just get along. It's formed of good intentions; it has the worst results, like all good intentions not mated to hard, scientific-philosophical reality.

History of Political Philosophy


Nihilism has both a metaphysical and a moral meaning. Metaphysically, it means that nothing is, i.e., not that there is absolutely nothing, which would be absurd, but that there is no unchanging ground, no eternal God or Being such as the Western tradition since Plato has imagined to underlie the flux of experience. Thus, the innumerable things that according to our experience so evidently “are,” in fact only seem to be and are actually constantly changing, constantly becoming something other than what they are in a chaotic and utterly unpredictable way. Without some unchanging ground or foundation to this flux, however, it is difficult to see how truth, justice, and morality are possible.

- Michael Gillespie, from “Martin Heidegger” in the History of Political Philosophy 3rd ed. pg. 888-889
AK


Postmodernism, after all, is the search for a narrative. In this flux, we have no center -- like the sun rotating around the earth -- on which to base our need for morality and truth, justice, etc.

Of course, we could just look at nature, see how it works, and then state our preference for which of the possible outcomes to our actions we would prefer. We might even find a "meta-value" better than truth, justice and morality.

Turgenev


"That comes from the Latin nihil, 'nothing,' so far as I can judge; consequently that word designates a man who who recognizes nothing."

"Say, 'who respects nothing,' " put in Pavel Petrovitch, and devoted himself once more to his butter.

"Who treats everything from a critical point of view," remarked Arkady.

"And isn't that exactly the same thing? " inquired Pavel Petrovitch.

"No, it is not exactly the same thing. A Nihilist is a man who does not bow before any authority whatever, who does not accept a single principle on faith, with whatever respect that principle may be environed."

"And dost thou think that is a good thing? " interrupted Pavel Petrovitch.

"That depends on who it is, dear uncle. It is all right for one man and very bad for another."

"You don't say so. Well, I see that that is not in our line. We people of the old school assume that without principles it is impossible to take a step or breathe. . . . We shall content ourselves, therefore, with admiring these gentlemen -- what do you call them? "

" Nihilists," replied Arkady, with distinctness.

SHSU


A very basic definition. I like the statement of relativity (not relativism): "it is all right for one man, and very bad for another."

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The venerable Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy shows us another aspect:


Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.

{ snip }

Early in the nineteenth century, Friedrich Jacobi used the word to negatively characterize transcendental idealism.

IEP


Wait, transcendental idealism? Where did we last hear of that... oh, it's what Vijay Prozak was endorsing. Why was he doing that? Because transcendental idealism, like Plato's cave-dwellers seeing sunlight for the first time, is a scientific form of transcendentalism, one that denies values in favor of looking at reality itself, adapting to that reality, and finding beauty within it instead of projecting beauty or the human form upon it -- and thus requiring its destruction (dominance of nature leading to ecocide).

Their definition is partially correct. All values are baseless -- unless corresponding to reality. And here we come full circle with our definition of nihilism: in a dying time, when values are bad and have become divorced from reality, nihilism is like the wolves that gather to carry away the weak and diseased, to slaughter the unwary and oblivious, and in general to do horrible things to individuals that strengthen the population as a whole.

Clearly humanity -- with seven billion people, and only a half billion capable of an occasional clear thought or sincere intention -- needs nihilism now and urgently.

Freedom's Just Another Word... For Commerce


For 20 years the Brownies have spread their festive cheer in the Marlowes Centre, aimed principally at the elderly and disabled. But this year there is a new tree and more mobile trade stalls, so the carols have had to be sacrificed.

It is increasingly apparent that ‘health and safety’ legislation is becoming a hazard to British customs, traditions and heritage. It contains the ‘catch-all’ regulations which can be zealously over-applied and exploited by those of the ‘liberal Left’ for distinctly illiberal purposes.

One wonders why the ‘mobile trade stalls’ were permitted to expand to such an extent that just 100 bodies in one area might block the fire escapes.

ACM


Freedom means the ability to do whatever you want.

Because that reduces society to a ruin, we keep it in check by insisting you pay for it.

In turn, that means we translate freedom as "the ability to conduct commerce -- however sleazy, depraved, stupid or crass -- wherever you want, whenever you want" and of course the ability to take advantage of that commerce.

Freedom's just another word for commerce, because when we started overthrowing aristocracy, tradition, etc. we also overthrew culture, and in doing so, descended into chaos.

Friday, November 28, 2008

More on Celtic Mummies in China


Solid as a warrior of the Caledonii tribe, the man's hair is reddish brown flecked with grey, framing high cheekbones, a long nose, full lips and a ginger beard. When he lived three thousand years ago, he stood six feet tall, and was buried wearing a red twill tunic and tartan leggings. He looks like a Bronze Age European. In fact, he's every inch a Celt. Even his DNA says so.

But this is no early Celt from central Scotland. This is the mummified corpse of Cherchen Man, unearthed from the scorched sands of the Taklamakan Desert in the far-flung region of Xinjiang in western China, and now housed in a new museum in the provincial capital of Urumqi. In the language spoken by the local Uighur people in Xinjiang, "Taklamakan" means: "You come in and never come out."

The extraordinary thing is that Cherchen Man was found - with the mummies of three women and a baby - in a burial site thousands of miles to the east of where the Celts established their biggest settlements in France and the British Isles.

DNA testing confirms that he and hundreds of other mummies found in Xinjiang's Tarim Basin are of European origin.

The Independent


Neat to see how ancient peoples are always far more advanced that we thought they were.

Industrial Cuisine Wrecks Your Taste Buds


"Americans eat a pound of sugar every two-and-a-half days. The average amount of sugar consumed by an Englishman in the 1700s was about a pound a year," said food historian Kathleen Curtin of Plimoth Plantation, a historical site that recreates the 17th-century colony. "If you haven't had a candy bar, your taste buds aren't jaded, and your apple tastes sweet."

Wired


Wired continues to do a great job with this topic. Read the article.

People breed for money


Indeed, lawyers and financial advisers have reported a 50 per cent increase in the number of divorce inquiries since the financial markets collapsed in September.

A recent survey conducted by community website makefriendsonline revealed that a third of 10,000 respondents believe that financial hardship will cause a relationship to fail, while matrimonial law specialists Mishcon de Reya have reported up to 300 per cent more inquiries.

{ snip }

"As soon as the financial wobbles started, she must have joined some upmarket dating agency because somehow she's found another very rich man pretty damn fast.''

{ snip }

'We are being targeted by women on the fence between leaving their husbands who are on the brink of losing their wealth, and wanting to meet someone extremely rich straight away,'' she says.

{ snip }

Yet Susie Ambrose thinks such women ''are like businessmen – utterly ruthless". The rich man is the career path, the meal ticket, and it doesn't matter how fat, old, balding or unattractive he is – it's solely about money.

The Telegraph


When there is no stability or order in society, and having money is all that matters, you will find this syndrome: people marry for money, and then justify it as love/health etc.

Normally, we call people who have sex for money "prostitutes," which would apply to both male and female parties in this chain.

Technology Was Supposed to Set You Free


Since the 1950s we have had a 400% increase in productivity as a result of manufacturing technologies. In just 11 hours of labour today we can produce the same amount of goods as somebody working for 40 hours in the 1950s. Today, for the economy to function we must consume 400% more than we did in the 1950s.

The Ecologist


I generally don't read pro-Green sources because they are so smug, so morally pretentious and so violently arealistic that they drive people away from being green.

This tidbit caught my eye. So we've made ourselves more efficient, but we're all still working all the time? I wonder why.

Maybe it's because our growth has left us with so many people -- especially so many fools -- to support.

A lion in the forest knows what to do with a fool: he eats him. We should be so wise.

The Universe Recognized Its Emptiness, And Created Somethingness And From That, Life


Astronomers have detected a building block of RNA floating within the hot, compact core of a massive star-forming region in the Milky Way. The molecule appears to have formed with all of the other stuff that makes up planets, suggesting that many other worlds are seeded with some of life's ingredients right from birth.

{ snip }

Using the IRAM radio dish array in France, a team of European astronomers has detected glycolaldehyde--a simple sugar that makes up ribose, one of the constituents of RNA--within the core of what appears to be a coalescing disk of dust and gas in a star-forming region called G31.41+0.31, about 26,000 light-years away. The sugar molecule can apparently form in a simple reaction between carbon monoxide molecules and dust grains.

The discovery is significant for two reasons. First, G31.41+0.31 lies far away from the radiation-filled center of the Milky Way, so if any biological processes start up there, they will have a chance to establish themselves. Second, the abundance of glycolaldehyde in the G31.41+0.31 cloud suggests that the molecule is "common throughout star-forming regions," says astrophysicist and co-author Serena Viti of University College London. The implication is that wherever there is starmaking and planet formation going on, organic building blocks could be assembling as well.

Science Now


What an interesting living cosmos. First we find out that rocks evolve, and next, that the cosmos creates its biological foundation and spreads it far and wide.

Bring Back the Aristocracy

From the Prince of Wales:


Gandhi realised that humanity has a natural tendency to consume and that, if there are no limits on that tendency, we can become obsessed simply with satisfying our desires. The desire grows ever more potent as we consume ever more, even though we achieve very little of the satisfaction we desire.

{ snip }

I'm sure that many people know it is wrong to plunder the Earth's treasures as recklessly as we do, but the comprehensive world view persuades us that such destruction is justified because of the freedom it brings us, not to say the profits. Our tendency to consume is legitimised by a world view that puts humanity at the centre of things, with an absolute right over Nature.

{ snip }

The movement responsible for the imbalance - it is often called “Modernism” - rose to dominance at the start of the 20th century.

{ snip }

“Modernists had a Utopian desire to create a better world. They believed in technology as the key means to achieve social improvement and in the machine as a symbol of that aspiration.”

{ snip }

Modernism fuelled a fundamental disconnection from Nature - from the organic order of things that Nature discloses; from the structure and cyclical process of Nature and from its laws that impose those natural limits which Gandhi was at such pains for us to recognise.

As a result, our perception of what we are and where we fit within the scheme of things is fractured. This is why I consider our problems today not just to be an environmental crisis, nor just a financial crisis. They all stem from this fundamental crisis in our perception. By positioning ourselves outside Nature, we have abstracted life altogether to the extent that our urbanised mentality is out of tune with the key principles underpinning the health of any economy and of all life on Earth. And those principles make up what is known as “Harmony”.

{ snip }

In cutting ourselves off from Nature we cut ourselves off from what we are; from our inner selves.

{ snip }

All I am saying is that we simply cannot contend with the global environmental crises we face by relying on clever technological “fixes” on their own.

The Times


I agree with this article entirely, except that blaming Modernism is too shortsighted. It's convenient, however, and the Left will like it.

But I think the disease runs deeper than that, and goes back to the revolutions we had in 1789 or so: the idea that the individual is superior to the order around them, and that we should re-order the world around human individuals, not ideas.

As Aldous Huxley pointed out, that's a one-way path to the pursuit of convenience and ignorance of anything more complicated. Materialism comes from individualism.

While historically this problem may have exploded in the 1700s, Plato tells us that it happens to every civilization. They have a birth-death cycle: when new, they are run by strong leaders, then by the military elites, then by oligarchs, then by democracy and finally, anarchy leading into tyranny.

We either fight the attitude that the individual is King -- which brings with it materialism, Modernism, disconnection from Nature -- or we fall prey to that which has brought down innumerable civilizations before us.

Social Media is The Crowd: impulsive not sensible


As blogger Tim Mallon put it, "I started to see and (sic) ugly side to Twitter, far from being a crowd-sourced version of the news it was actually an incoherent, rumour-fueled mob operating in a mad echo chamber of tweets, re-tweets and re-re-tweets.

"During the hour or so I followed on Twitter there were wildly differing estimates of the numbers killed and injured - ranging up to 1,000."

What is clear that although Twitter remains a useful tool for mobilizing efforts and gaining eyewitness accounts during a disaster, the sourcing of most of the news cannot be trusted.

A quick trawl through the enormous numbers of tweets showed that most were sourced from mainstream media.

Someone tweets a news headline, their friends see it and retweet, prompting an endless circle of recycled information.

CNN


Social media, crowdsourcing, the wisdom of Crowds, etc. are topics for very delusional people. Like socialism and our fond notions of capitalism, they presuppose that everyone else out there is neurotic, harmless and just trying to help.

The reality is that a Crowd is comprised of individuals giving in to their selfish impulses, but wanting to hide behind "hey well everyone else is doing it." It's the human equivalent of a slow stampede.

And when you're in a Crowd, you want to stand out, so everyone starts bloviating at once and trying to make themselves look important using the information they supposedly care about... yeah. No surprise it's an incoherent mess.

You can see crowds at work in Democracy, the inaccuracy of wikipedia (except the manga articles), lynchings, food riots, and the wisdom of the average investor. Crowds are death for common sense.

Repeat After Me: Individualism is Good


They found that places where individualism is valued over the collective good also tend to be places where a lot of beer is consumed.

The researchers also found they could take a group of college students and manipulate those individualist-versus-collectivist impulses a bit, which in turn influenced how thirsty those students were for beer.

“Previous research on this had shown a correlation between individualism and impulsive buying,” said L.J. Shrum, marketing department chairman at UTSA, who with lead author and marketing Assistant Professor Yinlong Zhang conducted the study published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

“The definition of an individualist is that we act on our attitudes, we be ourselves,” Shrum said. “Whereas in collectivist societies that's more frowned upon, and you want to make sure you reflect on the good of the group.”

My San Antonio


First, there are no rugged individualists left. No frontier. No real challenges. What you have left is the urban iconoclast, who picks a "unique" attitude because it sounds cool.

Next, of course the individualists like to drink -- they're pleasing themselves. They also like to impulse buy. This is good?

The implication of the article, as in all propaganda coming from the Crowd, is that individualism is for the hip, smart, fun (drinking is fun, repeat after me, drinking is fun) and independent, while everyone else is a stupid sheep.

Anyone who believes that is the dumbest sheep of all.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Between Legal and Illegal


Researchers say they have located the world's oldest stash of marijuana, in a tomb in a remote part of China.

The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly ``cultivated for psychoactive purposes," rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany.

The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China.

The Star


1.

I liked it better when cultural norms, not financial incentives or institutions, determined what was legal. Dope should probably be between legal and illegal; legal for those who need it, like shamans, and considered stupid for others to pursue.

The law shouldn't be enforcing this. Communities should, and exiling those who are just drug addicts while leaving those with legitimate uses alone.

2.

A blue-eyed Caucasian in China? 2700 years ago? WTF?

Are You Third World or First World, in Bed?


She found that men who were judged to be more "masculine" and women who were considered more "attractive", were likely to be seen as more inclined towards casual sex - and to actually be so (Evolution and Human Behavior, vol 29, p 211).

{ snip }

It also raises the more fundamental question of why individuals have such widely varying attitudes to sex in the first place. The answer is not simply that beautiful people have more opportunity.

{ snip }

They found that certain attitudes and behaviours co-vary - people who tend to have more sexual partners are also likely to engage in sex at an earlier point in a relationship, are more likely to have more than one sexual partner at a time, and tend to be involved in relationships characterised by less investment, commitment, love and dependency.

New Scientist


I'll cite another source, and let you draw the comparisons between these two sources:


Most recently, an "environmental" r-K theory has been espoused (see Figure 4). Belsky, Steinberg, and Draper (1991, p. 647) succinctly described two diverging pathways: One is characterized, in childhood, by a stressful rearing environment and the development of insecure attachments to parents and subsequent behavior problems; in adolescence, by early pubertal development and precocious sexuality; and in adulthood, by unstable pair bonds and limited investment in child rearing; the other is characterized by a stable and secure childhood and longer lasting marital bonds in adulthood.

LRA


r strategy: breed chaotically, frequently, and invest little in offspring;
K strategy: breed deliberately, with partners for life, and invest a lot in the offspring.

Sluts are r strategists, e.g. nonstrategists. Breed like an r, end up producing dumb, narcissistic, reckless children -- a path to the third world.

Traditional values (home in first world nations!) emphasize not only K strategies, but finding a transcendent reason to see and amplify beauty in it. We call that love.

Neat Stuff 11-27-08



How Propaganda Works


Implicit attitudes on race are assessed by tests like the Implicit Association Test. (You can take the test here.) Subjects are presented with photos of blacks and whites in succession and asked to pair positive or negative words (e.g., "intelligent," "law-abiding," "poor," "success") with the photos.

Eighty percent of whites take longer to associate positive words with blacks than with whites. This is interpreted as indicating that whites have implicit negative stereotypes of blacks.

The interesting thing is that there is a gap between whites’ explicitly positive attitudes about blacks and their implicitly negative attitudes. Even white liberals show implicit negative attitudes toward blacks, although their implicit attitudes are less negative than those of conservatives.

In fact, white liberals are more hypocritical about race than conservatives: There is a larger gap between implicit attitudes and explicit attitudes toward blacks among white liberals than among white conservatives.

What’s happening is that the conscious, explicit brain is thinking positive thoughts about blacks because it reads the New York Times. And it is suppressing the negative thoughts that are deep below the surface in the implicit part of the brain.

VDARE


Fascinating analysis. It's more interesting to study this in non-taboo areas (e.g. not race) because it affects all aspects of our political and social experience.

You can apply this idea -- there's a split between implicit and explicit knowledge, or internalized and externalized experience -- in how we approach all of what we know. We know we can't trust our politicians, but we must elect one. In public, we have to say nice things about people we think are stupid. And we know most people are stupid, but we uphold the fiction that they'll magically elect us someone good.

Our society is split between a false social reality and a personal "closer to actual reality" reality as a result. This is how propaganda works: it forces reactions that reinforce social reality, but at the same time, spreads paralyzing neurosis within as we realize the image doesn't match up to what we know, inside.

Addiction: Not a Disease, a Social Pathology


Ninety per cent of the young people who seek treatment for compulsive computer gaming are not addicted.

{ snip }

But the clinic is changing its treatment as it realises that compulsive gaming is a social rather than a psychological problem.

Using traditional abstinence-based treatment models the clinic has had very high success rates treating people who also show other addictive behaviours such as drug taking and excessive drinking.

But Mr Bakker believes that this kind of cross-addiction affects only 10% of gamers. For the other 90% who may spend four hours a day or more playing games such as World of Warcraft, he no longer thinks addiction counselling is the way to treat these people.

"These kids come in showing some kind of symptoms that are similar to other addictions and chemical dependencies," he says.

"But the more we work with these kids the less I believe we can call this addiction. What many of these kids need is their parents and their school teachers - this is a social problem."

{ snip }

For Mr Bakker the root cause of the huge growth in excessive gaming lies with parents who have failed in their duty of care.

{ snip }

Mr Bakker sees a time when addiction centres like Smith & Jones could close down if parents and adults in the community took more responsibility for the habits of their children.

BBC


From my own experience:

People who have any kind of addiction are compensating for something. Usually, they are "functionally miserable," or able to lead normal lives but through a fog of self-doubt, horror from the past, basic depression.

Chemicals and video games give you the signal that life is OK without life being OK, so they're massively addicting. This includes sugar, nicotine, tea, coffee, heroin, video games, sex, sports, violence, marijuana, LSD, psilocybin, methamphetamine, cocaine, chocolate, morphine and DXM, plus many more.

Any compound that triggers a response in your brain, in large enough doses, is going to unleash some dopamine and other neurotransmitters, making a happy effect and side effects -- hallucinations, speediness, giggles, etc.

People come to addiction because they are tired of being miserable and want to fight back. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. There is a personal component to this, in that they are usually low self-esteem, which originates in a screwed up home. It doesn't even need to be violent. Divorce or a parent absent at some job and incommunicative will do it.

There is a social component to it as well, in that these people are often smart individuals who are dismayed at the fact that our society is heading downward. (If you don't see this, you're a delusional blockhead with evidence piled around you.)

Bakker is correct: if you want to treat addiction, start with the parents. Then branch out to society itself: why are our lives pointless? We're chasing money and pleasing the Crowd. What might be better? More focus on culture, on family, on doing things the right way instead of the financially and socially expedient way. What's in the way of this? The peasant revolution and pluralism -- let go of those and we have a decent civilization again.

It's Official: America Provoked Her Own Entrance Into World War I

The American government sent a ship full of civilians to carry weapons to the Germans, knowing they'd sink the ship, knowing it carried munitions:


The British passenger ship Lusitania was carrying small-arms ammunition in its hold when it was sunk by a German torpedo in 1915.

An Irish dive team Tuesday recovered a sample of Remington .303s, which had been listed on the cargo manifest but were never proven to have been on board.

The wreck of the Lusitania lies about 300 feet below the surface in Irish territorial waters approximately 12 miles off the coast of County Cork.

{ snip }

The cartridges are in the hands of Irish authorities, awaiting further study. The .303 British was the official military rifle cartridge of England and the British Empire from its adoption in 1888 until the 1950s.

"The size of the shipment was significant and therefore resulted in a valid charge that the ship was carrying war material and as such qualified her as a legitimate target for the German submarine," said Gregg Bemis, a Santa Fe venture capitalist and sometime Republican candidate for Congress and the state Legislature. He has been sole owner of the wreck since 1982.

{ snip }

At the time, many people speculated that Winston Churchill, then first lord of the admiralty, conspired to have the Lusitania sunk to draw the U.S. into World War I. The American president, Woodrow Wilson, sent a formal protest to the Germans, but the U.S. didn't enter the war for two more years.

SFNM


Dirty, dirty Winston Churchill. Wonder what else he may have been lying and scheming about?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

5% CO2 increase makes much warmer climate


Fossils from the mid-Pliocene epoch reveal a far warmer planet with a concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of only about 5 percent more than exists today, said Harry Dowsett, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist. A reconstruction of the climate 3 million to 3.3 million years ago shows slight increases in CO2 may produce large temperature changes, he said.

Bloomberg


Should be interesting, since things are converging: climate change, pollution prevalence, nuclear proliferation, rise of new industrialized nations, religious-national-ethnic-values extremism, fish stocks falling, lack of open land, oceans acidifying, etc.

What happens when your country becomes third world?

Argentina used to be a nice place. Then the usual: populist revolts and strong leaders. Hope and change.


This isn’t as easy to understand for people that come from places where things do work.
How can I explain this?
It’s all a big fat lie, ok?
This government ( and the ones we had for the last 20 years and beyond, both democratic and dictatorships) are so corrupt, it all disappears in a labyrinth of corruption and bureaucracy.
People in other countries are used to seeing people that don’t work form a line once a month and get paid unemployment or coupons.
That doesn’t happen here.
They talk, do a lot of talking, but the population never sees any of it.
For example, our gov. received 250 MILLION USD by the BID to get the terribly polluted “Riachuelo” river cleaned, a problem that is constantly causing deaths and chronic diseases to those of us that live in the south suburbs of Bs As.
Thank God I’m not that close, but those that live closer to it suffer all kind of problems, specially increased the infant death a lot.
Money disappeared. The population now has to pay for the loan, but the river? Never got cleaned at all.
They announce incentive and support to promote national small and medium industry?
My wife owns one such medium industry.
All they get from the government is corrupt inspectors and tax inspectors that threaten to cause trouble if you don’t pay them bribes.
You have everything in order, pay all your taxes?
Ok, one they you go to the bank and find that a tax inspector froze your account, due to some “suspicious” things he supposedly found.
When you confront such inspector he claims it was all a mistake.. but unfortunately your have to “tip” him a bit, if you want your account released sooner than say … 6 months give or take.
So if your business can survive that long without it’s account, that’s all good.. if not you have to pay this scumbag.
Where do you go? The authorities? They ARE the authorities.
How about real poor people?
Same kind of corruption going on.
The 300 bucks poor unemployed families are supposed to receive. Only get distributed among those that go to the protests, conferences and rallys supporting the current political power.
If not, you don’t get nothing.

FerFAL


This is what happens when the masses revolt: they create chaos, and strong leaders step in -- usually, self-serving strong leaders. The masses find themselves oppressed again, but this time, they've eliminated the power of those who could politically offset the oligarchs/tyrants in control.


And democracy
comes into power when the poor are the victors, killing some and
exiling some, and giving equal shares in the government to all the
rest.

{ snip }

Tyranny springs from
democracy much as democracy springs from oligarchy. Both arise from
excess; the one from excess of wealth, the other from excess of
freedom. ‘The great natural good of life,’ says the
democrat, ‘is freedom.’ And this exclusive love of
freedom and regardlessness of everything else, is the cause of the
change from democracy to tyranny. The State demands the strong wine
of freedom, and unless her rulers give her a plentiful draught,
punishes and insults them; equality and fraternity of governors and
governed is the approved principle. Anarchy is the law, not of the
State only, but of private houses, and extends even to the animals.
Father and son, citizen and foreigner, teacher and pupil, old and
young, are all on a level; fathers and teachers fear their sons and
pupils, and the wisdom of the young man is a match for the elder,
and the old imitate the jaunty manners of the young because they
are afraid of being thought morose. Slaves are on a level with
their masters and mistresses, and there is no difference between
men and women. Nay, the very animals in a democratic State have a
freedom which is unknown in other places. The she-dogs are as good
as their she-mistresses, and horses and asses march along with
dignity and run their noses against anybody who comes in their way.
‘That has often been my experience.’ At last the
citizens become so sensitive that they cannot endure the yoke of
laws, written or unwritten; they would have no man call himself
their master. Such is the glorious beginning of things out of which
tyranny springs. ‘Glorious, indeed; but what is to
follow?’ The ruin of oligarchy is the ruin of democracy; for
there is a law of contraries; the excess of freedom passes into the
excess of slavery, and the greater the freedom the greater the
slavery. You will remember that in the oligarchy were found two
classes—rogues and paupers, whom we compared to drones with
and without stings. These two classes are to the State what phlegm
and bile are to the human body; and the State-physician, or
legislator, must get rid of them, just as the bee-master keeps the
drones out of the hive. Now in a democracy, too, there are drones,
but they are more numerous and more dangerous than in the
oligarchy; there they are inert and unpractised, here they are full
of life and animation; and the keener sort speak and act, while the
others buzz about the bema and prevent their opponents from being
heard. And there is another class in democratic States, of
respectable, thriving individuals, who can be squeezed when the
drones have need of their possessions; there is moreover a third
class, who are the labourers and the artisans, and they make up the
mass of the people. When the people meet, they are omnipotent, but
they cannot be brought together unless they are attracted by a
little honey; and the rich are made to supply the honey, of which
the demagogues keep the greater part themselves, giving a taste
only to the mob. Their victims attempt to resist; they are driven
mad by the stings of the drones, and so become downright oligarchs
in self-defence. Then follow informations and convictions for
treason. The people have some protector whom they nurse into
greatness, and from this root the tree of tyranny springs. The
nature of the change is indicated in the old fable of the temple of
Zeus Lycaeus, which tells how he who tastes human flesh mixed up
with the flesh of other victims will turn into a wolf. Even so the
protector, who tastes human blood, and slays some and exiles others
with or without law, who hints at abolition of debts and division
of lands, must either perish or become a wolf—that is, a
tyrant.

The Republic by Plato

Rocks Evolve (This Rocks)


A landmark scientific study co-authored by a Canadian geologist has identified a sudden explosion of mineral diversity after the emergence of life on Earth, and advanced a "revolutionary" theory that rocks have been evolving - much like plants and animals - throughout the planet's history.

Wouter Bleeker, an Ottawa-based researcher with the Geological Survey of Canada, is one of eight members of an international team whose theory of "mineral evolution" - the idea that many of the Earth's rocks are dynamic "species" which emerged and transformed over time, largely in concert with living things - is generating a major buzz in the global scientific community since its publication last week in a U.S. journal.

"The key message," Bleeker told Canwest News Service, "is how closely intertwined the mineral world is with life and biology." He said human teeth - with their key ingredient of apatite - are vivid reminders that the "seemingly static, inorganic" physical Earth should be viewed more like a "living organism" underpinning the biosphere.

Vancouver Sun


Most of us avoid the word Gaia, because it's usually bleated incomprehendingly by mouth-breathing disillusioned underachievers who lack all sincerity, but this is what we're seeing: life is a mathematical property of the universe, and of matter. Don't look now but Schopenhauer told you first.

The Best of Vijay Prozak

Some people complain, which requires they look at the effect of something and whine about it. Others -- maniacs -- try to figure out what caused this, how it can be fixed, and to abstract that into principle.

Today we call them hobbyists and people with bad financial sense, since no one wants to buy a product that actually fixes fundamental problems, but in former years, we called them philosophers.

Vijay Prozak is one such individual. Writing for the American Nihilist Underground Society (ANUS) he dissects modern society and makes those who understand the value of his words long for a better time -- one that he says we can easily achieve.

Why Multiculturalism Doesn't Work

From a blog comment:


Multiculturalism doesn't work, no matter what ethnic group are involved; it's not the fault of the ethnic groups but multiculturalism that multiculturalism doesn't work.

Therefore, the Nanny/Police State is gonna force it on you, because many people are still resisting it, like they resist other forms of state control that are based in unrealistic suppositions.


Multiculturalism, or multi-ethnicism, is an excuse for importing people from other nations.


  • Industry loves it because it gives them cheap labor and new customers to buy all the products required to start up homes. Also, these people have no cultural prohibitions on buying certain things that were previously unsalable.

  • Liberal politicians love it because it gives them an easy-to-pander-to, instant voting base.

  • Underconfident, depressed, underachieving, disillusioned, self-pitying, low-self-esteem individuals love it because it gives them a way to take revenge on the demographic majority, who are perceived as thriving in a situation which these underconfident people are not thriving in.



This is the intersection of groups that want multiculturalism.

To everyone else, especially those who read history, it makes sense to have a nation of people pulling in roughly the same direction:


  • Values systems.

  • Culture.

  • Heritage.

  • IQ, ability and wealth.



That's how you get a stable society. People who are upset with our current society, or upset at themselves, or simply jockeying for power, are willing to sacrifice a stable society for their own needs.

That is why multiculturalism is the new taboo, and criticism of it is "bad" in the same way Satan, Stalin and nerve gas are "bad."

Of course, history shows us that we're not the first civilization to go this way. The Greeks observed how once a nation became a trading mecca and had naval power, it inevitably began to include a motley group, and eventually collapsed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cystic Fibrosis is "Racist"


The Carleton University Students' Association has voted to drop a cystic fibrosis charity as the beneficiary of its annual Shinearama fundraiser, supporting a motion that argued the disease is not "inclusive" enough.

Cystic fibrosis "has been recently revealed to only affect white people, and primarily men" said the motion read Monday night to student councillors, who voted almost unanimously in favour of it. The decision caused heated reaction and left at least one member of council calling for a new vote.

Vancouver Sun


I almost applied to that retarded college. Glad I ducked that bullet.

The Left is Psychotic in its Denial of Science


WHEN I first stuck my head above the parapet to say I didn't believe what we were being told about global warming, I had no idea what the consequences would be. I am a scientist and I have to follow the directions of science, but when I see that the truth is being covered up I have to voice my opinions.

According to official data, in every year since 1998, world temperatures have been getting colder, and in 2002 Arctic ice actually increased. Why, then, do we not hear about that? The sad fact is that since I said I didn't believe human beings caused global warming, I've not been allowed to make a television program.

{ snip }

I've seen evidence, which I believe, that says there has not been a rise in global temperature since 1998, despite the increase in carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere. This makes me think the global warmers are telling lies: CO2 is not the driver. The idiot fringe has accused me of being like a Holocaust denier, which is ludicrous. Climate change is all about cycles. It's a natural thing and has always happened. When the Romans lived in Britain they were growing very good red grapes and making wine on the borders of Scotland. It was evidently a lot warmer.

{ snip }

There's no proof, it's just projections, and if you look at the models people such as Gore use, you can see they cherry-pick the ones that support their beliefs. To date, the way the so-called Greens and the BBC, the Royal Society and even political parties have handled this smacks of McCarthyism at its worst.

The Australian


My view: who cares.

It's clear we're committing ecocide in many ways. Carbon may be the least of our worries regarding pollutants.

The real killer is that we're taking up space animals need for our housing, farming, infrastructure, etc.

The only solution: fewer people.

That's why people love global warming. It's a surrogate for actual action on the human-caused changes to our world, and an easier one: buy green products! buy carbon credits! Be trendy!

Bellamy touches on this:


Yes, the lakes in Africa are drying up. But that's not global warming. They're drying up for the very simple reason that most of them have dams around them.

{ snip }

The thing that annoys me most is that there are genuine environmental problems that desperately require attention. I'm still an environmentalist, I'm still a Green and I'm still campaigning to stop the destruction of the biodiversity of the world.

{ snip }

Mother nature will balance things out, but not if we interfere by destroying rainforests and overfishing the seas. That is where the real environmental catastrophe could occur.

Society is a Storm of Stress That Can Kill You


Managers with hopeless leadership skills seemingly drive men in particular so mad with stress they can send them to an early grave.

Tim and the others at Wernham-Hogg paper merchants were more likely to develop heart disease than those who worked with bosses who offer better support, a study has revealed.

And if a direct link is confirmed by further research then managers' behaviour should be targeted to try to stave off serious illness among their staff, Swedish psychologists say.

{ snip }

She said the findings of the ten-year-study of 3,122 men held true irrespective of education and income or other risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and diabetes. During the study,74 cases of fatal and non-fatal heart attack, acute angina, or death from heart disease occurred.

Metro


And when your society is run by bad bosses, and you suffer the stress of their stupidity every day?

Media Excels in Implied Slander

Every movie you see, Texas characters are the same way:

Not intelligent, slow talkin', bigoted, hateful, etc.

Never mind the ethnic separation issue for this moment; what matter is that Texans are stupid, as far as Hollywood is concerned, and backward, primitive, not enlightened like these new geniuses of our culture.

So then you see this:



And you think, it's those dumb Texas white farmers again.

Here's the real news:


A Muslim charity and five of its former leaders were convicted Monday of funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the retrial of the largest terrorism financing case since the attacks of Sept. 11.

U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis announced the guilty verdicts on all 108 counts on the eighth day of deliberations in the retrial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, once the nation's largest Muslim charity.

{ snip }

A chaotic courtroom scene ended last year's original trial, which lasted nearly two months and kept jurors deliberating 19 days.

The Chronicle


They don't tell you here, but the jury was mostly non-white, and the judge was Hispanic.

Who's ignorant now?

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Hope" and "Change" -- Not So Much, Actually


At the quarter point in the transition process, Obama has surrounded himself with a cadre of seasoned political operatives and Clinton administration veterans known more for their expertise than ideology. Beltway savvy and centrist policy chops have, so far, trumped partisanship.

{ snip }

But the selection of so many centrist insiders has skeptics wondering whether the idealistic ex-community organizer is capable of backing up his promises to shake up Washington and promote a more activist government.

Yahoo!


No surprise here.

Huckabee Talks Sense to Republicans


Those in office, he said, "have to show that they are competent to lead," whether at the governors' level or city council. That way, Republicans can point to those people as examples to justify why they should be given a chance in the future.

"If we don't live up to our own principles, then we can hardly criticize the other party for not living up to our principles either," he said.

Huckabee boiled down the blueprint for his party's future to a three-step plan: "Clarify what the principles are that we want to govern by; get elected on those principles because we are authentic in believing them; and thirdly, when elected -- implement those principles and show the benefits."

He add, "I think when it comes to politics, the answer is 'show me the results.' "

{ snip }

"To take an idea on their kitchen table, sketch it out on a paper napkin, and make it happen. I still want that kind of America for anybody," he said.

CNN


Good points, Mike, but if you make that idea-to-happen there for anybody, soon you'll have a very chaotic society.

Carbon Dioxide Levels Already Dangerous


A team of international scientists led by Dr James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, say that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are already in the danger zone.

Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere currently stand at 385 parts per million (ppm) and are rising at a rate of two ppm per year. This is enough, say the scientists, to encourage dangerous changes to the Earth's climate.

As a result we risk expanding desertification, food shortages, increased storm intensities, loss of coral reefs and the disappearance of mountain glaciers that supply water to hundreds of millions of people.

CNN


We've tried to ecocide nature.

No foul if she tries to remove us in turn.

Let's get it on. My only hope is that we can save the approximately 10% of our population that has an IQ above 118 and thus is likely to produce any kind of compassion, literature, art, music, architecture or technology worth celebrating.

After all, smarter people play nicer:


That's the result from a new experimental study of 1,000 people attending truck driving school. The authors tested all of them with Raven's Progressive Matrices, a real IQ test. They then put pairs of them through a prisoner's dilemma game, and found:

[M]easures of cognitive skill [CS] predict social awareness and choices in a sequential Prisoner's Dilemma game. Subjects with higher CS's more accurately forecast others' behavior....[S]ubjects with higher CS's also cooperate more as first movers.

This set of genuine experiments improves on this older paper, which found that students at high-SAT schools cooperated more in prisoner's dilemmas than students at low-SAT schools. Now we know it's not just because posh, high-SAT schools facilitate a "culture of cooperation" or something like that. Smart individuals just figure it out on their own.....

Bottom line: More evidence that smarter groups are more likely to think win-win.

GNXP


And smarter people make nations that are nicer places to live, even if they're not as fertile as Africa, Central America, Western Asia, Florida, etc:


The book argues that differences in national income (in the form of per capita gross domestic product) correlate with differences in the average national intelligence quotient (IQ). The authors interpret this correlation as showing that IQ is one important factor contributing to differences in national wealth and rates of economic growth, but that it is not the only determinant of these differences.

Wikipedia


The truth is in front of us: humanity needs a "bottleneck event" to clear out the stupid and replace them with people who could create a great civilization.

Problem: in democracy, that ain't gonna happen, because the 90% are going to use their numbers to stop it.

Consequence: humanity self-destructs.

Rebellion is a Trend for Self-Important Bigots


big⋅ot
   /ˈbɪgət/ [big-uht] –noun
a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

Dictionary.com


People today use the term "bigot" to mean anyone who opposes the idea that we can mix all different creeds, beliefs, opinions and heritages in one big melting pot and come up with something workable. Of course, since preserving different things by separating them is tolerance itself, this is a backward usage.

But the word does apply to those who blindly refuse to believe any way but their own is the only way for all people on earth.


Some fans in China relish how the album discomfits the establishment. "Rock 'n' roll, as a weapon, is an invisible bomb," says one.

{ snip }

Democracy is a touchy subject in this country. Elections are limited to votes for selected village-level officials, and senior leaders are all chosen in secret within the Communist Party. Many Chinese wish for greater say in their government. But others -- including some rockers -- think too much democracy too quickly could lead to chaos, and they resent foreign efforts to push the issue.

Mr. Chen, the guitarist, says the "Chinese Democracy" album title suggests "they don't understand China well" and are "just trying to stir up publicity."

{ snip }

The new album's title track, already released as a single, begins with eerie, high-pitched noises that sound vaguely like chattering in Chinese. In the song's three verses, Mr. Rose sings of "missionaries," "visionaries" and "sitting in a Chinese stew."

The overall message is unclear, but his most provocative lines aren't. "Blame it on the Falun Gong. They've seen the end and you can't hold on now," Mr. Rose sings. It is a reference to the spiritual movement that Beijing has outlawed as an "illegal cult" and vowed to crush.

{ snip }

Fresh barriers went up after a Shanghai concert in March by the singer Bjork, who punctuated her song "Declare Independence" with shouts of "Tibet!" Officials thought it sounded like agitation against Beijing's rule of the restive Himalayan region. In new rules issued later, they threatened to hold promoters responsible for performers who violated its laws, "including situations that harm the sovereignty of the country."

WSJ


Rebellion... it's so easy. Blame someone else, like the government, and take your mind off your problems.

Do we understand Tibet here in America, or in Iceland? Do we understand China? We're not Chinese; why are we making moral judgments about them?

Life is better when people mind their own business except when there's a clear threat. Yes, in Tibet there is; here, there is not. We need to fix our own houses before we tell other people what to do. America roils with social unrest, discontent, slackerdom and other signs of a failing empire. China? Tibet?

But they're so easy. Shout "Tibet!" and suddenly you're an individual, not part of the crowd. A rebel. You don't stand for everything that's now, including what's wrong. You'll show them. Be against what is.

It makes you look cool. You're now the ultimate altruist, a Jesus figure concerned with the welfare of the downtrodden, and obviously (obviously!) well informed. Even if you don't know what you stand for, except vague terms like "justice for all" and "peace in our time." No shit, Sherlock; everyone likes those ideas. But what do they mean? The defining, in real world detail, is the hard part that rock star wannabes avoid.

Personally, I think it's kind of a dickhead move to go to some foreign country and start telling them how they're wrong and you're right. They like you for your music... and if your ideas were any good, you'd be famous for those, not the backward logic of getting famous for music and then having people treat you like a guru.