Archive for November, 2010

Why chastity?

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Conservatives can be divided into two groups: political conservatives and social conservatives.

Political conservatives believe a conservative approach is the best way to run a government and an economy. For them, conservatism is a management style and theory of resource use.

Social conservatives believe that a society is happiest when its customs, rules, and values are conservative. They may also be political conservatives, but not necessarily. For them, conservatism is a way of life.

Of the two, social conservatism is the most taboo because it places restrictions on the individual (as do all political systems, including anarchy, but less visibly). People like the idea that they can do whatever they want to whenever and wherever, with no consequences, and that we’ll still be forced by a rule on a piece of paper to tolerate them.

However, there are reasons for it. Notice how this article starts:

“Houston has a huge commercial sex industry and there’s some quotes that say that there’s more SOBs, which is sexually-oriented businesses, in Houston per square mile than there are in Las Vegas.”

Steven Goff is the project director for Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition. He says what many people don’t realize is the women working in those establishments are often there against their will.

“A lot of people think that trafficking just occurs in seedy places, you know in dark alleys or something like that. And while it does, it also occurs in plain sight. There are places that people in Houston pass by on a daily basis where there’s possibly human trafficking — modern-day slaves — inside those places, that are housed there for two to three weeks at a time and then rotated somewhere else.” – KUHF

So we know that modern slavery is a trade in young women sold as prostitutes, and that it happens in businesses right before our eyes, because apparently the community accepts them.

Well, why not?

If sex has no sacred role, and if sex is just another pleasurable sensation, why shouldn’t the selling of it be legal — just like selling a massage, or an ice cream cone, or other pleasurable sensations?

If we’re mature modern materialists we can recognize that sex just has a function in reproduction, and that it’s fun only to make us rut like animals, so we might as well deconstruct its role in marriage and family, and make it like getting a drink at a bar.

Since we’re revolutionary moderns, we know that the only people who oppose this idea are immature and afraid of mortality, because they don’t want to accept this notion of sex as having zero significance outside of a few moments of pleasure.

Of course, as revolutionary moderns, we are forced to recognize that if sex is for sale, it’s soon going to put a price tag on every set of genitals, and that people will be imported from the poorest regions to provide this service. Our only suggestion will be more cops and more bureaucrats to try to solve the problem, which has not worked for the last three hundred years or so.

Saner people will point out the obvious: if you sexualize a culture, and deconstruct sex from a sacred role, you’ve created an addiction to sex and a culture of permissiveness where rape and slavery soon get normed:

“We really need to end the demand for this. Guys in our city, guys in our state, thinking that this is a normal thing — that it’s normal to go to a sex club, it’s normal to call an escort service. Those are the things that really prompt a lot of this demand for children, for young prostituted girls — it’s this demand that we perceive as normal in the city of Houston that really is not normal.”

That’s from the same article. His point is simple: you don’t have sex slavery unless you have a city of sex-crazed people who don’t care where they get the sex from.

But I thought that we had deconstructed sex from any kind of role, like being a crazed obsession, and made it into something liberated and free?

The problem is that we didn’t separate it from its role; we only reversed it. In the social conservative view, sex is a means to an end like love, marriage and family. You don’t have sex to have love; you have love, and then you have sex. In other words, the sex isn’t a symbol of love, but something that happens as a consequence of love.

But when we reversed — sorry, deconstructed — that, we ended up with a contextless and entropic view of sex. It exists by itself. But it’s supposed to be fun. We like fun, right? So we pursue it, and soon it becomes a surrogate for love. We don’t have love, but we can get sex. And the more loveless our lives, the meaner we are when we buy it, which makes us casually not care if we’re raping at 12-year-old from Guatemala.

The ancient form of slavery meant that you took war captives and used them as labor, then sent them home after a certain number of years.

The modern form of slavery is people being treated as a product, in part because the rest of us treat ourselves as products. Sex is not a means to an end for us. Sex is like a signal we send to the world, saying that we’re having a good life and we’re having fun and we’re not losers, damnit.

Neil Postman, in his path-breaking book “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” saw the handwriting — or rather the images — on the wall. He lamented the demise of print under the onslaught of the visual, thanks largely to television. Like McLuhan, Postman felt that print culture helped create thought that was rational, ordered and engaging, and he blamed TV for making us mindless. Print not only welcomed ideas, it was essential to them. Television not only repelled ideas, it was inimical to them.

The seamless, informal, immediate, personal, simple, minimal and short communication is not one that is likely to convey, let alone work out, ideas, great or not. Facebook, Twitter, Habbo, MyLife and just about every other social networking site pare everything down to noun and verb and not much more. The sites, and the information on them, billboard our personal blathering, the effluvium of our lives, and they wind up not expanding the world but shrinking it to our own dimensions. You could call this a metaphor for modern life, increasingly narcissistic and trivial, except that the sites and the posts are modern life for hundreds of millions of people.

Which is where the revolutionary aspect comes in. Gutenberg’s Revolution transformed the world by broadening it, by proliferating ideas. Zuckerberg’s Revolution also may change consciousness, only this time by razing what Gutenberg had helped erect. The more we text and Twitter and “friend,” abiding by the haiku-like demands of social networking, the less likely we are to have the habit of mind or the means of expressing ourselves in interesting and complex ways.

That makes Zuckerberg the anti-Gutenberg. He has facilitated a typography in which complexity is all but impossible and meaninglessness reigns supreme. To the extent that ideas matter, we are no longer amusing ourselves to death. We are texting ourselves to death. – LAT

We’ve done the same thing with communication as sex. Where we used to communicate to spread an idea, now we communicate so that people can see us communicating. We have made it meaningless and yet obsessive, addictive like modern sex.

Maybe those social conservatives were onto something when they suggested that sex, or words, should be a means to an end and not an end in and of themselves.

Could it be that our modern thinking is wrong, and that social conservatives are right not just on a practical level, but a philosophical and mathematical one?

Did we reverse our thinking somehow, and now our assumptions make us insane?

How could this all have started with… with chastity, for ungod’s sake! That’s just ludicrous. Although reproduction does seem to be the most basic goal of a species, and with animals that nurture their young, the nurturing part is as important as the insemination.

The tail is wagging the dog. Instead of thinking from cause to effect, and setting up that cause as our goal, we’re thinking about effects only. We are then baffled when they, needing a corresponding cause, make it themselves. This is the nature of a virus or any other parasite: it acts like it works toward a purpose you need, but really, it serves itself.

The number of very poor countries has doubled in the last 30 to 40 years, while the number of people living in extreme poverty has also grown two-fold, a UN think-tank warned Thursday.

In its annual report on the 49 least developed countries (LDCs) in the world, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that the model of development that has prevailed to date for these countries has failed and should be re-assessed.

“The traditional models that have been applied to LDCs that tend to move the LDCs in the direction of trade-related growth seem not to have done very well,” said Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary general of UNCTAD. – Raw Story

No kidding. Are you for real? We thought that if we just brought them our style of society, they’d become us.

But evolution branched. They didn’t evolve our kind of society not because as Jared Diamond disingenously suggests in Guns, Germs and Steel they did not have the resources, but because they were not ready.

So instead of developing, they become our modern slaves.

This is popular in the West, because it lets us raise up yesterday’s white peasants to new levels of wealth and middle class comfort. We outsourced all the peasant jobs, so now our peasants get to drive SUVs, live in 3000 square foot homes, and make good salaries doing make-work jobs. Shuffling paper, being salesmen, maybe even designing some web pages (that somehow look like all other web pages).

What could go wrong is that in doing so, we detach ourselves from the actual point of a society. We as individuals are means to an end, which is perpetuation of a culture, an idea, and a civilization in which good people get rewarded and bad people get spanked down.

In our hurry to deconstruct wealth from merit and sex from love, we have reversed our thinking, so now the tail wags the dog, and all the wrong people are getting into power. All the wrong behaviors are being rewarded. And that makes us pathological.

In the end, it will make us all slaves. The social conservatives were right: chastity is better than free love, even if free love sounds good to our ears for the first four decades.

Voting with our feet

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

To us of an old-school conservative bent, you don’t get problematic government without problematic citizens.

While most of our fellow Americans think that we’re in the grips of some vast conspiracy, military-industrial complex, corporate takeover or media domination, we see a clearer truth:

Most people cannot manage their own affairs past the next paycheck, and their incompetence invites “managers” who then rule over them.

For all of known history this is how civilizations have risen to a hierarchical state. Most people can handle a few things, but get lost beyond that, so they pick leaders.

Normally, this is benevolent. But when the leaders start turning back to the people and saying, “But what do you want?” democracy becomes less a prospect of delegating responsibility and more a prospect of using proxies to achieve our selfish desires at the expense of the majority. It becomes a parasite.

Of course, our public fiction is that people are intentional and therefore, have a clear logical reason for their votes.

That’s not the case:

First, remember that people do not know themselves. That is to say, their self-reports on what influences them, what motivates them, how they make decisions, what they will do in the future — they are not reliable. People often have no idea why they do the things they do, or what would induce them to change what they do. They are very frequently wrong about such things, as about a million psych experiments have shown. Just as we are often mysteries to one another, we are often mysteries to ourselves.

If poll answers aren’t reliable reports about the inner states of respondents, what are they? This is the second part: It’s better to see poll and survey results as social evidence. A poll is itself a kind of record of social behaviors. Answering a poll question is an act, not a revelation.

In this light, the perpetual quest to increase the numbers on those polls is not a matter of trying to change people’s internal states, it’s a matter of trying to change their poll-answering behavior. That turns out to be a very, very different way of approaching the problem. When we think about changing internal states, we think about education and persuasion — i.e., we think about putting more information into the internal process, to make it come out correctly. But when we think about changing behavior, we remember that information alone is inert. This is a robust finding consistent over 40 years of social science: information alone does not motivate behavior.

Remember, answering a poll is a way of asserting identity. Beliefs tend to be reverse engineered, as it were: People tend to construct an identity around what they (and their tribe) do. That suggests that they will only construct a different identity when they start doing different things. – Grist

This is more significant than we’d like to admit: people vote by their identity, which they associate with a social group, which in turn is a measurement of their social status.

So if you want people to do something, make it seem like it’s what the hip kids or the Mercedes drivers do. They all imitate it, whether it’s gangster rap, Perrier or even voting Democratic.

This explains another troubling trend we find in democracies:

Here in the United States, one thing that strikes me about my most liberal friends is how conservative their thinking is at a personal level. For their own children, and in talking about specific other people, they passionately stress individual responsibility. It is only when discussing public policy that they favor collectivism. The tension between their personal views and their political opinions is fascinating to observe. I would not be surprised to find that my friends’ attachment to liberal politics is tenuous, and that some major event could cause a rapid, widespread shift toward a more conservative position. – Econlib

People talk liberalism, but act conservatively, because for thousands of years the behaviors we now call conservative have been evolving. They are simply a smart response to the problems of being alive.

This brings us to our central point: our methods have become detached from our goal.

While the founders of this country were liberal in method, they based that on a conservative goal — and a conservative status quo:

Nathaniel Hawthorne, who came along a couple of centuries later, bears some of the blame for the most repeated of the answers: that Puritans were self-righteous and authoritarian, bent on making everyone conform to a rigid set of rules and ostracizing everyone who disagreed with them. The colonists Hawthorne depicted in “The Scarlet Letter” lacked the human sympathies or “heart” he valued so highly. Over the years, Americans have added to Hawthorne’s unfriendly portrait with references to witch-hunting and harsh treatment of Native Americans.

But in Hawthorne’s day, some people realized that he had things wrong. Notably, Alexis de Tocqueville, the French writer who visited the United States in 1831. Tocqueville may not have realized that the colonists had installed participatory governance in the towns they were founding by the dozens. Yet he did credit them for the political system he admired in 19th-century America.

After all, it was the Puritans who had introduced similar practices in colony governments — mandating annual elections, insisting that legislatures could meet even if a governor refused to summon a new session and declaring that no law was valid unless the people or their representatives had consented to it. Well aware of how English kings abused their powers of office, the colonists wanted to keep their new leaders on a short leash.

Why does it matter whether we get the Puritans right or not? The simple answer is that it matters because our civil society depends, as theirs did, on linking an ethics of the common good with the uses of power. In our society, liberty has become deeply problematic: more a matter of entitlement than of obligation to the whole. Everywhere, we see power abused, the common good scanted. Getting the Puritans right won’t change what we eat on Thanksgiving, but it might change what we can be thankful for and how we imagine a better America. – NYT

Our modern political system misinterprets itself by confusing its methods with its goal.

It’s like asking a carpenter, “What do you do?”

“Well, I hammer,” he says.

Why do you hammer?

“It’s just what I do,” he says.

That makes no sense as a dialogue; he should be hammering to make a house or furniture. Instead, he’s imitating past actions in the hope that his future will turn out the same. He has lost sight of his goal.

In the West, we’re recovering from the 1600s when religion took over from the aristocratic system and empowered us all with equality. In doing so, we took the focus from having goals to the utilitarian notion of making us all happy.

Since that is impossible and we barely if at all know what we want, it is no surprise our society is careening out of control.

The high cost of diversity

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

We at generally tend to avoid trends, which is when in an attempt to figure out what they think, people band together and repeat the same ideas at each other.

We’re making an exception for the TSA debacle which has occurred as the American authority in charge of pre-flight safety has installed backscatter “naked” scanners, and made an optional close frisking the alternative.

People are freaking out, as they always freak out, because the fringes of our media freaked out, it’s an unpleasant experience to fly and this makes it worse, and the echo chamber of social judgment has trumped any individualism left.

And of course, they’re asking why this must happen.

  • Leftists whine that if we just made peace with the whole world, we would not need airline security.
  • Neoconservatives talk about their “freedom” as if that meant freedom from consequences like terrorist.

Neither makes any sense. If terrorism is a threat, we must do our best to prevent it; any leader who does not will be voted out of office and scorned by history.

But what no one has said is how our insistence on freedom, and as part of that, diversity, has engendered this situation. It’s our fear of more effective government that keeps us relying on these surface hack-jobs.

For example, we hate the idea that government agents might pull up a file on us and look over our actions since age 16. Then again, that would very clearly spot a terrorist.

We also hate any kind of profiling. Not just ethnic profiling, where we find anyone who isn’t native-born American white and pull them aside, but profiling by age, sex, income and patterns of behavior.

That’s what they do in Israel, a place where if you get it wrong, people die immediately:

Israeli officials profile. They don’t profile racially, but they profile. Israeli Arabs breeze through rather quickly, but thanks to the dozens of dubious-looking stamps in my passport — almost half are from Lebanon and Iraq — I get pulled off to the side for more questioning every time. And I’m a white, nominally Christian American.

If they pull you aside, you had better tell them the truth. They’ll ask you so many wildly unpredictable questions so quickly, you couldn’t possibly invent a fake story and keep it all straight. Don’t even try. They’re highly trained and experienced, and they catch everyone who tries to pull something over on them. – NYPOST

This requires two things we don’t have in America: first, a willingness to get really intrusive with people not just as physical beings, but look into their life experience. Americans freak out and claim they’re being judged and how elitist it is. Israelis realize that your path through life shows a lot about how likely you are to adopt an extremist ideology and act on it.

Second, we don’t want to hire intelligent, hard-working experts. We’d rather pay Joe Average more than he got stocking shelves at Target, and also pretend that he’ll do a credible job of stopping a wily foe.

However, government hates the idea of any kind of profiling, not only because it damages “diversity” (multiculturalism) but also because it ruins the illusion that we can do whatever we want without consequences, and no one is fit to judge us.

Nevermind that a real tyrant will never tell you he’s against freedom and diversity. He’ll embrace them because he’ll embrace anything to get you to hand him the power. It’s only the nerdy intellectuals who point out that aiming for “freedom” means we throw out all other goals.

Here it is from the Bush-era source:

At a debate last night hosted by Intelligence Squared US, syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock argued that “we want the TSA and others to recognize that the current threat to passengers and airliners comes almost exclusively from one source, and we all know what it is, young males between about 18 and 35 who practice a fundamentalist strain of the Islamic faith, and generally hail from the Middle East, as well as largely Muslim nations in Africa and South Asia.”

Countered former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff: “The problem with using racial and religious profiling is it takes you down a road to looking at people who you don’t need to look at and avoiding looking at people that you should look at. The fact is it would be an engraved invitation to al-Qaeda to recruit exactly the kind of people who don’t fit the profile…” – CBS

He’s dodging the question, of course. Profiling isn’t just ethnic or religious, but includes ethnicity and religion among other factors. But to Americans, including any of that or even officially recognizing it is racist, and a threat to diversity.

To Americans, looking into our pasts and our preferences is somehow judgment, and that’s bad, even if it’s the best way to find out if someone is prone to extremity.

So instead we all stand in line, equally, to get picked over, fondled, photographed and scanned, and we pretend we like it. Because it’s good for our “freedom.”

No sense of humor

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

“Your Page ‘Mark David Chapman’ has been removed for violating our Terms of Use. A Facebook Page is a distinct presence used solely for business or promotional purposes. Among other things, Pages that are hateful, threatening, or obscene are not allowed. We also take down Pages that attack an individual or group, or that are set up by an unauthorized individual. If your Page was removed for any of the above reasons, it will not be reinstated. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in the permanent loss of your account.”

“Hateful” is so vague it’s hilarious. Was celebrating Mark David Chapman as a modern hero so wrong?

When is a white person not white?

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Oh, those horrible Caucasians — we don’t hate them because they’re smart, successful and (sometimes) beautiful. We are morally opposed to them because they’re all racist hater-bigots!

There were 6,604 criminal incidents characterized as hate crimes reported in the United States in 2009, according to an FBI report release Monday.

The incidents involved 7,789 offenses resulting at least in part from bias toward a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin or disability, the report said.

Almost half of the incidents were motivated by racial discrimination, while almost one in five were based on religion. Nearly 19 percent of the crimes were due to a person’s sexual orientation.

Sixty-two percent of the known offenders were white, the report concluded. Almost 19 percent were African-American. – CNN

That sounds just awful. I should be ashamed to be white. Except that if you read the fine print:


The UCR Program uses the following five racial designations in its Hate Crime Statistics Program: White; Black; American Indian/Alaskan Native; Asian/Pacific Islander; and Multiple Races, Group. In addition, the UCR Program uses the ethnic designations of Hispanic and Other Ethnicity/National Origin. – FBI

If you read carefully, you’ll see that for the category race there is no distinction drawn between whites and Hispanics; sometimes, they’ll specific “non-Hispanic whites” to mean Caucasians from Europe.

But it makes for better hate-the-rich headlines if we just blame whites, who make 80% of the country, for over 60% of its hate crimes.

Diversity doesn’t work

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

For 200 years, nearly the entire duration of the country, America has been wracked by race. We write more about it than any other single, consistent political topic.

For the last 50 years, Europe has joined us.

For 2500 years at least India has wrestled with this issue; it is known also in China, to a much lesser degree, and was known in ancient Greece and Rome, particularly shortly before they dropped off the radar of history.

Why? Diversity, or multiculturalism, is a subset of a larger issue: how to maintain social hierarchy not through government but through inherent acceptance and desiring of the same goals and values.

Of course this issue is intertwined with social class; lower classes in every nation are those who are more prone to put their desires before their obligations, usually as a result of low intelligence. (You’ll probably object to me saying such a blunt and impolitic truth, but you have no problem paying Juanita the maid $10 an hour or buying those Chinese goods made by workers getting $4/week. Hypocrite, heal thyself.)

And yet we cannot face the truth of this issue, which is that diversity in any form does not work.

The problem is not blacks, or whites, or any other ethnic groups — it’s that combining them destroys cultural consensus and shared values, which are genetically encoded in every population, by averaging two or more distinctive and different cultures.

Culture makes ethnicity; ethnicity makes culture. We cannot separate the two:

Cultural and genetic evolution are intertwined. The human capacity for culture — a strong tendency to learn from each other, to teach each other, and to build upon what we have learned — is itself a genetic evolution that happened in stages over the last few million years. But once our brains reached a critical threshold, perhaps 80,000 to 100,000 years ago, cultural innovation began to accelerate; a strong evolutionary pressure then shaped brains to take further advantage of culture. Individuals who could best learn from others were more successful than their less “cultured” brethren, and as brains became more cultural, cultures became more elaborate, further increasing the advantage of having a more cultural brain. All human beings today are the products of the co-evolution of a set of genes (which is almost identical across cultures) and a set of cultural elements (which is diverse across cultures, but still constrained by the capacities and predispositions of the human mind). For example, the genetic evolution of the emotion of disgust made it possible (but not inevitable) for cultures to develop caste systems based on occupation and strongly supported by disgust toward those who perform “polluting” activities. A caste system then restricts marriage to within-caste pairings, which in turn alters the course of genetic evolution. After a thousand years of inbreeding within castes, castes will diverge slightly on a few genetic traits — for example, shades of skin color — which might in turn lead to growing cultural association of caste with color rather than with occupation. (It only takes twenty generations of selective breeding to create large differences of appearance and behavior in other mammals.) In this way, genes and cultures co-evolve; they mutually affect each other, and neither process can be studied in isolation for human beings. – The Happiness Hypothesis: finding modern truth in ancient wisdom, by Jonathan Haidt, page 233

This is what paleoconservatives called “race-culture theory” for centuries before Dr. Haidt so helpfully recorded it. In the conservative view, societies splinter by ability, with the wisest going to the top (aristocrats) and the intermediate becoming a middle class, with the lowest classes and castes reserved for those with few skills, low native intellience and/or low conformity or awareness of the moral standards of the society.

Since 1789, the West has been moving from a conservative model to a new one based on the wealth of our industrial revolution, or rather the pre-industrial revolution and consequent Enlightenment:

“Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic societies.” The acronym there being WEIRD. “Our findings suggest that members of WEIRD societies are among the least representative populations one could find for generalizing about humans. Overall, these empirical patterns suggest that we need to be less cavalier in addressing questions of human nature, on the basis of data drawn from this particularly thin and rather unusual slice of humanity.”

As I read through the article, in terms of summarizing the content, in what way are WEIRD people different, my summary is this: The WEIRDer you are, the more you perceive a world full of separate objects, rather than relationships, and the more you use an analytical thinking style, focusing on categories and laws, rather than a holistic style, focusing on patterns and contexts.

Now, let me state clearly that these empirical facts about “WEIRD-ness”, they don’t in any way imply that our morality is wrong, only that it is unusual. – The New Science of Morality, a talk by Jonathan Haidt

Facts don’t judge morality as right or wrong; its effects, such as the rise or fall of empires, can be measured a thousand years later to gauge how effective that morality was.

But his point is interesting:

The WEIRDer you are, the more you perceive a world full of separate objects, rather than relationships, and the more you use an analytical thinking style, focusing on categories and laws, rather than a holistic style, focusing on patterns and contexts.

Cultural consensus is itself based on patterns and concepts, namely the idea that an “order” of adaptation to nature exists for that culture, and that we all fit within it and work toward it. Only in the rich industrialized liberal-democratic West are we working toward a tangible manifestation of that, the individual.

So we have race-culture theory, and what opposes it, the modern individualism.

In another lecture, Haidt expresses how this connects to race/ethnicity:

The ingroup/loyalty foundation supports virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice that can lead to dangerous nationalism, but in moderate doses a sense that “we are all one” is a recipe for high social capital and civic well-being. A recent study by Robert Putnam (titled E Pluribus Unum) found that ethnic diversity increases anomie and social isolation by decreasing people’s sense of belonging to a shared community. – What makes people vote Republican?, by Jonathan Haidt

This is why diversity doesn’t work: morality binds us together toward a goal, and ethnicity encodes that binding in our genes, so that we then recognize any appreciable divergence — Haidt puts it at 20% approximately — will fragment that consensus and cause our society to collapse, much as Plato intimated it would.

This is why diversity doesn’t work. As this young woman found out:

Neely Fuller, Jr. basically says that if you are white and you are romantically/sexually involved with a nonwhite person, you are guilty of being the worst kind of racist. He likens it to an adult being involved with a child, because of the power differential. He says that a white person who is romantically connected with a nonwhite person is contributing to that person’s confusion and self hatred , and that any children produced from that union will be hopelessly lost in terms of self identity.

In Trojan Horse, the anonymous authors say that interracial relationships, particularly between Black men and white women, are one of the tools of destruction used against the Black collective by the system of white supremacy. They believe that an increase in interracial relationships will destroy Black society, and lead to the eventual extinction of Black people because the child produced by such a union tends to identify more with white people, and will marry/bear children with white people, thus producing offspring that appear to be white.

Now, as most of you know, I do date Black men. There are two main reasons for this choice. First of all, I am not attracted to white men, physically, mentally, or emotionally. Secondly, I cannot see myself being in an intimate relationship with a white man (whether sexual or platonic) because the fact is that MOST WHITE PEOPLE ARE RACISTS, and I do not wish to spend time in the company of hate filled people. In fact, I do not really associate with white people in general, except for my own family, and even that is kept at a bare minimum. All of my male and female friends are people of color. – Am I Contributing to the Destruction of an entire race?, by Joanna

Two interesting things here:

  1. Diversity is destruction. When you mix races, you destroy those races. This is why diversity (and not black people or white people) is the cause of racism: no one wants to be destroyed. And this isn’t idle: as we show above, race/ethnicity is the biological vessel of culture and values, so it’s that which carries on all that we strive for. Very important.
  2. Self-hatred is neurotic. She doesn’t want to spend time around white people because “most of them” are hateful racists; she has no problem generalizing against her own group. Why is this? She feels this group has betrayed its own values. However, the only way for that to work is for those values to be corrupt, which makes her a critic of the W.E.I.R.D. nouveau consensus and a defender of the ancient, paleoconservative one.

This issue has never gone away because we have never found a way to solve it. That is because the way to solve it, a recognition of hierarchy, violates our post-Enlightenment notion of the equality of all people.

A solution does exist:

First, the races/ethnies evolved separately and have separate values systems; mashing those together destroys them. End diversity, as it cannot work without a cost so high we don’t want to consider it. Without inherent values, we are left with scientific management at the hands of a government strong enough to enforce values a thousand ways per person daily — a totalitarian surveillance state. 1984 doesn’t occur because the people are good, but because they can’t agree what’s good, so a power structure needs to step in, figure out a way of defining good, and then impose it with force. Separate the races.

Second, caste systems always will exist — and are gentler than class systems, as they do not force every single citizen into constant competition for money to buy their way into the higher levels of class. Caste separates us by ability; class separates us by ability and willingness to accumulate material wealth. Restore the aristocracy, and throw some people into the laborer group and disenfranchise them for having a lack of ability to make judgments correctly about factual and long-term concerns. We are genetically different in ability, moral character and intelligence, and caste preserves this, while ending the incessant class warfare that marks W.E.I.R.D. nations to this day.

These are difficult truths and I expect them to be ignored until it is too late, at which point they will become common knowledge, and we will embark on the exponentially more difficult process of reconstructing when we could have simply changed direction. C’est la vie.

Why I’m not freaking out about the latest drama

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Our press makes money by selling intense emotional reactions. These are most commonly achieved through fear, sadness and pity. As a result, it is necessary for our press to keep us in a constant state of fear by dramatizing news stories.

Here’s the latest:

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill that would give the Attorney General the right to shut down websites with a court order if copyright infringement is deemed “central to the activity” of the site — regardless if the website has actually committed a crime. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) is among the most draconian laws ever considered to combat digital piracy, and contains what some have called the “nuclear option,” which would essentially allow the Attorney General to turn suspected websites “off.”

COICA is the latest effort by Hollywood, the recording industry and the big media companies to stem the tidal wave of internet file sharing that has upended those industries and, they claim, cost them tens of billions of dollars over the last decade. – Tired

The story editorializes before the first word with a headline reading “Web Censorship Bill Sails Through Senate Committee.”

Yet it’s not a censorship bill. Much like its predecessor, the DMCA, it provides content owners with a simple way of enforcing copyright: if a website receives a non-anonymous, documented complaint or complaints from a reliable source, and the presence of probable copyright materials is validated, it gets shut down.

Right now, that’s done by the ISP. The government wants to do it in the future, probably because enough people bought into ISPs to circumvent the existing DMCA. Furthermore, this bill is going to give our government the ability to filter foreign sites with US copyrighted materials on them. Aha! That’s actually valuable.

I think this new law will detract from censorship on the net, because it returns the focus of enforcement to theft prevention, and gets it away from blocking of “offensive” content.

Not to be a nag, but when someone spends $100m producing a movie — even a really bad movie — and I download it, thus depriving them of a potential viewer/buyer, I’m stealing. Even if I didn’t physically steal something.

If you own a house key, and I make a copy of it, I’ve stolen information that belongs to you — even if you still have the original key. If I then give or sell that key imprint to others, I’m still stealing, especially if each person with the key comes to your house and takes something.

Without law enforcement to prevent theft, we will have trouble having an industry that dumps out $100m blockbusters. While you and I both know that would be a good thing, trying to get to it through piracy is not going to work.

As a good amoralist, I’m not “against” piracy or judging piracy. In some cases, it’s positive. If a famous movie reviewer downloads your latest film and writes up a review that millions see, for example, as a filmmaker your fear isn’t that he didn’t pay — it’s that he didn’t see the best possible copy.

All of the media cases are trying to whip you into a frenzy with this “censorship” bill. They want you to think that big studios are bad, and you are good, even if you’re stealing from them. They want you to think that big corporations and government are censoring you.

The truth is far more prosaic. People are protecting their investments. Having a clear way for them to take down unauthorized content is positive and separates “I want this site down because it steals” from “I want this site down because it’s offensive.” Those of us who fall under the latter benefit from not having thieves use free speech as a defense.

How to distribute money fairly

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

One thing any government or culture is going to do is determine how it distributes wealth, because any successful society will generate wealth that doesn’t originate in a single person.

There are two basic theories:

  • Divide the spoils. If we have money, spend it on us. Make sure everyone gets a cut, and don’t let anyone get more than others. That’s fair.
  • Spend like a business. Put the money where it will make more money: with those who will buy high-end goods, stimulating the economy, and those who will invest in research and development.

Like most things political, this is a hard one because that which “appears” fair, just and best is in fact an unmitigated disaster.

When you give money equally to all people, it goes to the bottom of the economic pyramid: into groceries, luxury items, rent and car payments. In other words, it goes to expenditures where the value has already been added.

But when you drop money into the top of your economic hierarchy, giving it to corporations, the wealthy and R&D-heavy government agencies, you prime the pump. Value has not already been added in these areas, so there’s a chance to generate value:

  • Corporations buy raw materials and make them into products;
  • the wealthy buy high-end goods and raise up new brands;
  • R&D-heavy government agencies invent new technologies.

An analogue in a small town would be giving money to the farmers instead of the town bums. The town bums will use it to buy food and booze; the farmers will buy new equipment, new land and new seed, so everyone eats even better the next year.

Earmarking allows lawmakers to steer federal spending to pet projects in their states and districts. Earmarks take many forms. They can be road projects, improvements to home district military bases, sewer projects, economic development projects and even those Predator drone aircraft that are used to kill terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

They can also include tax breaks for a handful of specific companies, like a tax cut proposed years ago for manufacturers of hunting arrows.

The reason Capitol Hill’s favor factory has churned out so many pork-barrel projects so successfully for so long is pretty simple: Everybody did it, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives.

Not anymore.

Critics like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and incoming House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, have railed against earmarks for years, even as they proliferated when Republicans controlled Congress. Slowly, the tide has turned in their favor. – AP

Earmarks are a way of distributing income not at the national level, but directly to states. These often have little to do with priming the economy at the national level, but in subsidizing local economies. The result? Happy people at the local level, but a loss of value at the national level, which is where the income spent on these earmarks is collected.

Since 1950, the fastest rising segment of government expenditure has been on social costs; instead of aiming to provide a stable place for people to live, government has been trying to subsidize those people. It’s kind of like paying off the barn door after the horse is gone.

Earmarks are part of this culture not of building stability from the top-down, but subsidizing where convenient. Here’s another:

Unemployed Americans have collected $319 billion in jobless benefits over the past three years due to the federal government’s unprecedented response to the Great Recession, according to a CNNMoney analysis of federal records. – CNN

Since the 1970s, economists have argued that we need national health care and national job insurance but that instead of making these federal programs, we should privatize them and use the vast purchasing power of the federal government to achieve competitive costs and benefits.

Job insurance, like all insurance, doesn’t magically make problems go away. It spreads out the impact over time by storing wealth during good years, and spending it when bad things happen.

Health insurance will be the same way; for people with chronic and expensive conditions, no system seems to work except a bankrupt one, because such people are a massive draw. There are death panels now and there always will be, otherwise we can’t staunch the bleeding — in the health system itself.

Why do people distrust government bureaucracies?

  1. They are one level removed from oversight. In private business, you have a client and you satisfy them. In government, you have clients and if enough of them get dissatisfied enough to launch a petition, political campaign and catch slogan, they vote our your protector and then seven years later your funding ends. You aren’t responsible to anyone but the regulations on paper, which are vaguely worded to avoid being unfair, and so easy to circumnavigate. In addition, government specializes in hiring every disabled person, ethnic minority, homosexual and other discriminated group without checking to see if they are also competent.
  2. They have no self-regulation. When a government bureaucracy is out of control, the only solution is to create another bureaucracy to oversee it. Eventually you have layers upon layers of people pushing paper around under the guise of watching each other, but at that point, they’re just trying to get the paperwork right.

When we say we want limited governmentTM, this is what we’re talking about.

One in every seven hospitalized Medicare patients are harmed by treatment mistakes, according to new analysis by the Department of Health & Human Services released Tuesday.

The report cites a variety of “adverse events” or causes for treatment errors, including excessive bleeding after surgery, urinary tract infections linked to catheters and incorrect medications. Researchers estimate that these types of adverse events contribute to 15,000 deaths per month or 180,000 deaths each year, according to the report.

“The country is in a patient safety crisis,” said David Arkush, the director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division in a statement. “The only workable solution to preventing unnecessary deaths and injuries is to combine much more patient-protective hospital protocols with much better scrutiny by hospitals of physicians and other health care providers, and to appropriately discipline those whose performance results in preventable patient harm.” – CNN

No, David, the solution is not “patient-protective protocols” and “better scrutiny,” because that translates into more paperwork and more bureaucracy. That in turn eats up more of doctor’s time, such that they’re skimping on patient care.

The solution is to have fewer regulations and to focus more on the real capital here: the people. Get rid of all regulations except that our care-givers must be competent. Don’t let people hide behind paperwork or protected job classes. Encourage the free market motivation to reward good health care providers, and so channel smart, alert people into being doctors, nurses and other caregivers.

The more paperwork and bureaucracy you pile on your medical caregivers, the fewer competent people you attract. Why put up with that boredom and frustration? Go be a lawyer instead — there’s less paperwork than being a doctor. Or, even better, pick a really easy job like being a psychiatrist, chiropractor or homeopathic health expert. The money’s there without the regulation.

Our society is neurotic because we assume that more rules and restrictions will solve what is really a problem of people: we need to reward those who will spread the money downward through our economy, and we need to stop trying to regulate mediocre people into being excellent, and instead simply select for excellence.

Abdicate, William

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Today Prince William, heir to the British throne, announced he would wed Kate Middleton, a commoner.

Already the prole-conscious flatterers are cheering:

The days of dynastic marriages based on class are clearly over for the British royal family. This generation of royals, like those in continental Europe, lead more “normal” lives, or at least have experiences that resemble those of commoners. But have things changed so much that we’ll see a marriage of equals who will make household decisions together, cheer at their children’s soccer (football?) games and walk side by side? What barriers, personal or institutional, might stand in the way of a modern marriage? – NYT

They are cheering because they hate dynastic marriages and what the aristocracy stands for: the notion that not only are we all not equal, but that only a few of us have the qualities that make them “of the light” and fit to lead.

The British Royal Family is opting for a painless suicide through irrelevance. They fade out slowly, and disappear into a backdrop of modern neurosis and commoner problems, such that someday in a generation or two when someone proposes doing away with the royalty, it’s a foregone conclusion. After all, why would you put equal people with equally neurotic problems up on a pedestal?

Kate Middleton’s background:

Kate was born in Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, as the first of three children to Carole Elizabeth (née Goldsmith; born 31 January 1955), an air hostess, and Michael Francis Middleton (born 23 June 1949), a flight dispatcher for British Airways. Middleton is of English ancestry with distant Scottish and French ancestry.[1] Michael and Carole had married on 21 June 1980 at the Parish Church in Dorney, Buckinghamshire.[1] Kate’s paternal family came from Leeds, West Yorkshire, and her great-grandmother Olivia was a member of the Lupton family, who were active for generations in Leeds in commercial and municipal work.[2] Carole Middleton’s maternal family, the Harrisons, were working class labourers and miners from County Durham.[3] Middleton has two siblings, Philippa “Pippa” Charlotte[4] and James William.[5] Pippa Middleton, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, has received press coverage since her sister became famous, with focus on her relationships and lifestyle.[6]

In 1987, the Middletons founded their own company, Party Pieces, a mail order firm that sells party supplies and decorations.[7] They have since become millionaires.[2] – Please-Send-Us-Money-pedia

Aristocrats were those who founded societies by getting everyone else working toward a goal, not toward their usual neurosis (the “karmic nonsense” of unfocused minds: worries about self-drama, material things, pleasures and fears) but toward the process of building a civilization to equal the ancients.

They are different than you and me not because they are rich, but because they are the line of those who are “of the light” or descended metaphorically from the gods, those with the spiritual power to overcome the mundanity and reach toward the exceptional.

In the past, it was the custom for princes to abdicate the throne if they wanted to marry commoners. Instead William opts to destroy the line of the past and continue the “prole drift” that removes us from having any standards above the neurotic karmic desires that fascinate proles in every age.

The time of modernity is fast ending, and your misstep is out of place as we put this horror to rest, British Monarchy.

Abdicate, William.

Feed the kids crap

Monday, November 15th, 2010

I scanned this from the pages of a magazine, Cooking Light, that used to offer some very creative recipes. Then they kicked out their editor who had spent 30 years refining her skills in that area, and replaced her with an MBA-type dude who views the magazine more as coffee-table decoration.

And so you get some disasters:

I don’t know who approved this hilarious image, but it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “it’s easier to feed the kids crap than a well-balanced meal”!

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