Thursday, May 26, 2016
You do not know it, but you are a slave. You are not enslaved by a central authority, but by the Crowd. Their opinions determine what you can say; their product-buying choices determine what’s on the market; their government preferences create a “window” of acceptable ideas and anything else is excluded. This is tyranny by the Crowd…Add this by Roger Simon:
Jonathan Peter Wilkinson
"JPW works as an Operations Research Analyst. This line of work has trained him to view the world in a systemic fashion. In solving the System Identification Problem of modern society, he discovered that the system was not truly designed to make us happier or more successful. Secondly, an unflinching evaluation of the ongoing outputs of the current system show its marked decline in quality and success."
As far back as 1979, Christopher Lasch published a now famous book The Culture of Narcissism that described the American behavioral patterns as largely narcissistic. According to Lasch, our family structure had produced a personality type consistent with “pathological narcissism.” We were constantly seeking attention from the outside world, making us a nation of insecure weaklings forever in search of validation to tell us we were alive, to give us a raison d’être.Moral Narcissism and the Least-Great Generation.
Now go read: 12 of history's greatest philosophers reveal the secret to happiness
- "There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path" — Gautama Buddha
- "The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less" — Socrates
- "I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them" — John Stuart Mill
And one other: "If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present" — Lao Tzu.
Compare to Jesus, Gospel of Matthew 25:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? ... And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? ... Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today."
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
I wrote in 2012 in The American Totalist party,
It is time for plain speaking: true to its Leftist, "progressive" nature, the Democrat party is the American proto-fascist party, pure and simple, on this as on most every other public matter. An apt description of fascism is that is it one variant of what psychiatrist and historian Robert Lifton called “totalism.” Professor Anna Geifman explains the Totalist political world view:
... Its devotees — anarchists, Marxists, or Islamists — want to impose a new order based on an “all-or-nothing claim to truth.” They operate within distinctive parameters of a “theology of Armageddon — a final battle between good and evil” – in which the stakes are nothing less than universal salvation. As outlined in Eric Hoffer’s classic, The True Believer, such movements have mastered the art of “religiofication,” that is, converting political grievances into messianic aspirations and “practical purposes into holy causes.” [HT: American Digest]
No one gravitates to the Left in order to let others live their lives as they see fit. The beating heart of Totalism in all its forms is power and control over others. This has become the raison d'etre of the Democrat party.
The goal, as is always the case with such movements, is to remake humanity. What the people behind this latest version won’t tell you is that their project requires each and every one of us to deny our own humanity.
And so with mandates about gender and gender identity:
In such a scenario, the state controls all personal relationships right at their source: the biological family. The abolition of family autonomy would be complete, because the biological family would cease to be a default arrangement. The “family” would be whatever the state allows it to be. Again, in the de-sexed world of gender politics, all personal relationships end up controlled and regulated by the state.
Martha Fineman, a gender legal theorist, touched on this in her 2004 book The Autonomy Myth. In it, she argues for the abolition of state-recognized marriage because it allows for family privacy, writing that “Once the institutional protection [is] removed, behavior would be judged by standards established to regulate interactions among all members of society” (emphasis added).
Gender ideology is an effective statist tool. Cultural Marxists use it to corrupt language and sow confusion, especially among children. It paves the way for the removal of the institutional protections for freedom of association and family privacy that stand in the way of “regulating interactions among all members of society.”
In 1932, Mussolini defined Fascism for the Italian Encyclopedia. It included this nugget:
The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State. The conception of the Liberal State is not that of a directing force, guiding the play and development, both material and spiritual, of a collective body, but merely a force limited to the function of recording results: on the other hand, the Fascist State is itself conscious and has itself a will and a personality -- thus it may be called the "ethic" State....
...The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone....
Mussolini also summed the Fascist principle another way, explained in March of last year by the "Classic Liberal" blog:
A popular slogan of the Italian Fascists under Mussolini was, “Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato” (everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state). I recall this expression frequently as I observe the state’s far-reaching penetration of my own society.
What of any consequence remains beyond the state’s reach in the United States today? Not wages, working conditions, or labor-management relations; not health care; not money, banking, or financial services; not personal privacy; not transportation or communication; not education or scientific research; not farming or food supply; not nutrition or food quality; not marriage or divorce; not child care; not provision for retirement; not recreation; not insurance of any kind; not smoking or drinking; not gambling; not political campaign funding or publicity; not real estate development, house construction, or housing finance; not international travel, trade, or finance; not a thousand other areas and aspects of social life. ...The American experiment was great while it lasted, but really, we should have known that it could not last and perhaps we should be surprised that it lasted as long as it did.
But it's over:
Totalists, both of them, and even more so that socialist in chief Bernie Sanders.
Perhaps the first major 20th century writer to realize that the ambition of all true Communists should be to become billionaire revolutionaries was Hilaire Belloc. In his 1912 book, The Servile State, Belloc argued the then-burgeoning Communist movement would find more success ditching Leninism in favor of an alliance with Crony Capitalists to reinstate Slavery. "Slavery, or a Servile State in which those who do not own the means of production shall be legally compelled to work for those who do, and shall receive in exchange a security of livelihood."That is where we are heading now (Europe is long gone by) and there will not be a wholly peaceful reversal, if there is even a reversal at all. (An I do not think there will be one.)
This modern form of slavery would address not only the concerns of the revolutionaries by fixing job insecurity and guaranteeing retirement on a plantation basis, but also assuage the monopolists, who stay up nights worrying about preserving market share in the face of competition. An alliance between socialists and crony capitalists would solve both problems at once. The only price to pay for this convenience is the loss of public freedom and that is readily paid.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Physicist Enrico Fermi is well known for posing a famous paradox now named after him, the question that if life in the universe is (presumably) not uncommon, "Where is everybody?"
Fermi had calculated that once any species in the Milky Way achieved the capability to travel through space, it would be able to reach every extent of the galaxy in five million years. Since the galaxy is many billions of years old, he postulated, we should be practically surrounded by alien life or evidence thereof.
But we're not. So back to the question: "Where is everybody?"
The entire paradox depends on the assumption that earth and humanity are typical examples of planets and life anywhere else in the universe. This is usually referred to as the Theory of Mediocrity, that earth and its creatures are just average, universally. The problem is that Mediocrity is not a scientific conclusion but a presumption that is necessary for ETI searchers to do any work at all.
Many serious solutions have been offered as the paradox's resolution, but none really hold up.
But now I know!
Quite simply, the alien civilizations became so advanced that they fell victim to utterly incompetent self government. In other words, they fell into the deep, dark pit of socialism, and they fell into it one more time than they were able to get out.
And so the scene today on a typical alien planet:
Update: Five recent examples showing no matter where, no matter how, giving the Left political power is a comically stupid idea. The relevant part?
Typically, governments which fail catastrophically will invariably fold. The universal understanding that in order to maintain power a government will have to provide the necessary functions of a public sector — national security and law enforcement, infrastructure, basic health and education services, courts and the rule of law.
What we know in the 21st century is that the failure to provide adequately for those necessities, and particularly in concert with substituting other functions that are not necessities like wealth redistribution, regulating the intake of soda drinks, and micromanaging the use of real estate, is no longer sufficient to produce the removal of an incompetent government. What we know now is that rather than turn out a poisonous, overreaching gang of troglodytes in charge of a particular jurisdiction, the people contributing the tax base said troglodytes misappropriate from will simply decamp for better locales — and the rulers happily preside over the ruin that results, free of any particular threat of a middle-class revolt.
It’s this dynamic, playing out across the globe, that shows us civilizational decline in an advancing state.
Relatedly, technologically-advanced reality simulation has been proposed as an explanation for the lack of nearby aliens. First, this answer says that hyperdrives and FTL travel simply were never developed (and so may be impossible) and that the unimaginably vast distances of the galaxy make exploration simply too hard.
Then we have this: Virtual reality will completely transform children into zombies.
|A girl tries virtual reality glasses at the Infosys's stand of the 2016 Hanover industrial trade fair in Hanover, Germany.|
While girls average a healthy five hours a week on video games, boys average 13. The problem? The brain chemistry of video games stimulates feel-good dopamine that builds motivation to win in a fantasy while starving the parts of the brain focused on real-world motivation. He'll win at Madden football, but participate in no sport.
And that means - since we assume evolutionary processes are much the same everywhere else as here - that those species become addicted to virtual experiences more than real ones.
The result is that we don’t seek reproductive success directly; we seek tasty foods that have tended to promote survival, and luscious mates who have tended to produce bright, healthy babies. The modern result? Fast food and pornography. Technology is fairly good at controlling external reality to promote real biological fitness, but it’s even better at delivering fake fitness—subjective cues of survival and reproduction without the real-world effects. Having real friends is so much more effort than watching Friends. Actually colonizing the galaxy would be so much harder than pretending to have done it when filming Star Wars or Serenity. The business of humanity has become entertainment, and entertainment is the business of feeding fake fitness cues to our brains.Yuval Noah Harari, a lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem:
Instead of morphing into omnipotent, all-knowing masters of the universe, the human mob might end up jobless and aimless, whiling away our days off our nuts on drugs, with VR headsets strapped to our faces. Welcome to the next revolution. [Link]So species that could explore space don't for no reason other than it simply isn't fun enough. More here.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Frederic J. Stimson was the first United States Ambassador to Argentina 1915–1921. Previous envoys held the title Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. He was a Harvard Law graduate and writer of several influential books on law.
He understood socialism perfectly well, much better than almost any American today.
Here is the text in context:
Meanwhile, the collapse of socialism in Venezuela cannot possibly be held to be surprising except for the speed which it occurred.
A couple of years ago, the then minister of education admitted that the aim of the regime’s policies was “not to take the people out of poverty so they become middle class and then turn into escuálidos” (a derogatory term to denote opposition members). In other words, the government wanted grateful, dependent voters, not prosperous Venezuelans.
Update: Richard Fernandez: The damage done by socialism,
could never have been inflicted by the mere round-the-clock bombing of 1,000 B-29s dropping high explosives. No rain of bombs could have obliterated every store, business, factory, school, hospital and larder with the fine-grained thoroughness achieved by the ideas of the Communist Manifesto. Only an idea capable of seeping into every nook and cranny can do that. The destructive potential of a squadron of B-2 bombers is trivial compared to the potential inherent in a Sealed Train carrying an agitator or a thousand radical madrassahs preaching murder far into the night.If every sigificant naval power in the world had united to blockade Venezuela's ports the people of that country would not be suffering much worse.
Monday, May 16, 2016
What Happens to Your Brain on Sugar, Explained by Science
"So basically, Oreos are legal crack."
It's an apt comparison, see "Is sugar worse than cocaine?"