Archive for the ‘Realism’ Category

Mythic Imagination

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016


Writing with characteristic insight, Bruce Charlton writes a comprehensive metaphysics of knowledge:

The hierarchy of knowledge…From highest to lowest…

  • Imagination — attained by Intuition

  • Rationality — attained by Reasoning, including Logic ( ‘Philosophy’)

  • Empirical Evidence (‘facts’) — attained by Observation, including Experiment (‘Science’)

…What, then, validates ‘Imagination/ Intuition’? The further assumption of divine revelation – which needs to be both internal and external – we need to have something divine within in order to respond to divine revelations from without.

Some time ago, your author (writing under the pseudonym Vijay Prozak) crafted a an essay titled “Philosophical Essence of the Northern Traditions” for the first volume of Norther Traditions (now re-booted as Mimir: Journal Of North European Traditions) in which the concept of mythic imagination features heavily.

The essential idea of mythic imagination comes from Immanuel Kant, who wrote of the root of knowledge as being intuition; combined with other notions of the “acausal” or “synchronous” nature of metaphysical structure, this suggests a situation in which object and subject influence one another under certain conditions, possibly reifying the object through a convergence of both entities. In this way, the ancients were able to awaken a metaphorical style of imagination which connected them to intuition, and in doing so, brought about a world which came alive with the supernatural.

That disturbs our modern notion of material causes. For the modern person, gods must exist in some tangible form in order to be real, instead of being observed through a combination of insight and creativity. If we need to know why God has died and we have killed him, it is that our method of understanding precludes any possibility of the supernatural which rests on an informational “lattice of coincidence” perceived in the patterns found in objects more than their material order itself. This view is consistent with Germanic idealism, which holds that all of existence is information-based or thought-like, and therefore, that hermetic principles of attraction can render things incarnate — even those removed from us by time and space.

When we say that the universe is “infinite,” this applies to more than material dimensions; it is also informationally infinite, suggesting that possibilities which exist may not be directly present but can be induced to manifest. In this sense, the patterns of thoughts which match up to patterns of information can attract those, and bring them from non-existence into daily presence. This makes the ancient focus on honor and clarity of thought come to life as what it was: a method of maintaining connection to a metaphysical world which did not exist removed from our world, but immanent within it, like another dimension discovered through a qualitative improvement in thinking.

This concept was described in some detail as a leap of faith but also, an evolution in cognition:

When we get past the modern mindset of linear logic, called rationality, we can begin to think clearly again. The energy spent forcing complex data into simple data structures is over. Instead, we join it all at once. The process called “mythic imagination,” by which we use our imagination to construct metaphorical narratives around the whole of reality, comes from this.

Mythic imagination beats scientific analysis for anything but materials science. It allows us to see patterns, and not just in isolation, but across time and beyond even the material world. At this point, we see how linear causality is only part of the story, and a complex causal system must underlie all that we see and feel.

Joseph Campbell wrote most convincingly about mythic imagination and the possibilities it exposed, explaining both why those are inaccessible to us today and why the ancient experienced a world with more balance and purpose than modern people hope to experience. Fred Nietzsche describes this condition as being dreamlike and inspiring the greatness of ancient civilization more than need:

Pascal is right in maintaining that if the same dream came to us every night we would be just as occupied with it as we are with the things that we see every day. “If a workman were sure to dream for twelve straight hours every night that he was king,” said Pascal, “I believe that he would be just as happy as a king who dreamt for twelve hours every night that he was a workman. In fact, because of the way that myth takes it for granted that miracles are always happening, the waking life of a mythically inspired people — the ancient Greeks, for instance — more closely resembles a dream than it does the waking world of a scientifically disenchanted thinker. When every tree can suddenly speak as a nymph, when a god in the shape of a bull can drag away maidens, when even the goddess Athena herself is suddenly seen in the company of Peisastratus driving through the market place of Athens with a beautiful team of horses — and this is what the honest Athenian believed — then, as in a dream, anything is possible at each moment, and all of nature swarms around man as if it were nothing but a masquerade of the gods, who were merely amusing themselves by deceiving men in all these shapes.

Under this view reality becomes sychronous, or composed of manifestations which have not a single cause but a similarity of structure which makes them manifest independent of which is subject and which is object. This finds compatibility in another Kantian vision, in which he described our knowledge of reality as the product of a mental filter which reduces vast formless chaos to recognizable objects. Somewhere in that blaze of intensity are things we have overlooked, and with mythic imagination, we can give them metaphorical form and render them into existence as we know it.

While the modern world is based on reducing reality to symbols that make subsets of the whole stand for the whole (synecdoche), the ancient world is based on an integrative ideal where all parts of reality work in parallel and the patterns between them are the actuality, as opposed to the material substrate in which they are expressed. It is no surprise that this worldview leads to the discovery of forces beyond our “control,” or ability to force our intent on the world by reducing it to equal bite-size portions, and that these threaten the empire of the Ego which currently controls the West.

Working Hard Kills Civilizations

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016


Responsibility will be the death of us — or rather, the second type of responsibility will. The original type is responsibility for one’s actions, which means that the person is obligated to use self-discipline to make sure their actions will have the desired results in reality, and then is estimated based on the success or failure of an action and all actions by that person before it. We call that reputation and it is highly important.

The second type of responsibility involves a proto-subsidy for those who are not thriving. In this responsibility, the weak eat the strong, because the strong are compelled to take care of the weak. This is the fundamental security hole in society itself: anyone who chooses to become parasitic can simply not succeed, and then all the “good, decent and prosperous” people will try to help them, which enables those who are not actually failing use society as a host for their own sustenance and progeny.

Back when humanity was small, parasitic people could be denied property within the boundaries of the town or city, and had to go live in the wilderness. Now that the wilderness is the minority, this cannot be done, and they would have to be formally exiled to the many third-world nations whose population dwarfs that of the first world. Instead, the productive people fear being seen as threatening by others, and include the parasites in society by giving them unnecessary jobs, subsidies/welfare and political voice.

Every successful civilization to date has destroyed itself with some variant of this method. They cannot summon the will to replace natural selection and the hierarchy of the wolf-pack with a social equivalent, and so those who could not survive without civilization increase, while those who could survive under any circumstance are destroyed by the miserable life that is created: constant obligation to work to support the parasites, incessant ineptitude and delaying tactics by the non-thriving, and waiting around while the simpler bungle their way through non-complex transactions — and then have their lives complicated and slowed down by the bureaucracy that springs up to address the bungling.

What humanity instead needs is a mandate for leisure: people need more hours a day not working at jobs, sleeping or doing the other work-like tasks of survival than they spend on those pursuits. Leisure does more than give us rest; it allows our thoughts to wander, so that we have more options in our mind than the robotic ten or so responses that are called for by jobs, bureaucracy and socializing. We need to discover ourselves. Leisure — loafing, wandering, woolgathering, daydreaming — this is the core of the human soul.

The Kraftwerk song “The Robots” tells us all we need to know about modern humanity:

We are programmed just to do
anything you want us to
we are the robots

We’re functioning automatic
and we are dancing mechanic
we are the robots

Ja tvoi sluga (I’m your slave)
Ja tvoi rabotnik (I’m your worker)

This is a mechanical time, not from technology, but from its basis in binary assumptions. If we assume equality, anything which is seen as anti-equality must be destroyed. If we assume democracy, then anyone who speaks against democracy must also be destroyed. This is why our modern society moves forward like a machine: discarding the bad, enforcing obedience, and never contemplating its own programming.

What the constant pressure from society achieves is this robotic mentality. We are engaged in repetitive tasks, even when disguised as high-level diagnoses like those used in the professions (medicine, law, architecture). This narrows our ability to see anything other than our assumptions, and programs us to apply them reflexively because this leads to success. In this way, we become zombies who cannot consider the outcomes in reality of their choices.

The more that this plagues us, the more the demands rise. Now people spend very little time alone, or without obligations, and as a result they become even more robotic and defensive. We have reduced our big brains to the level of reflex and rote, missing out on the point that we should carefully consider all that we do in terms of its consequences, not its appearance to others.

As historians of the future look through the ruins to figure out why the most promising human societies self-destructed, they will find this robotic tendency: social pressures enforce assumptions and discourage questioning them, which creates a death spiral where societies obsessively attempt to force failed ideas onto reality. Once that happens, it is time to raise the headstone and move on.

If Einstein Were Applied To Evolutionary Pysch It Would Turn Massively Consequentialist

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016


I appreciate it when somebody knows all the answers. It makes being lazy less costly. You don’t have to discover the truth, you just have to contort logic and reason in its defence the way a dextrous Yogi can turn themself into a pretzel while enhancing the inner calm. Luckily for all us chickens, the real smart Smart Guys from UCLA have arrived with the veritable Lamp of Wisdom to dispel our pitiable ineluctibility.

According to this orthodoxy, all of the specific content of the human mind originally derives from the “outside” — from the environment and the social world — and the evolved architecture of the mind consists solely or predominantly of a small number of general purpose mechanisms that are content-independent, and which sail under names such as “learning,” “induction,” “intelligence,” “imitation,” “rationality,” “the capacity for culture,” or simply “culture.”

According to this view, the same mechanisms are thought to govern how one acquires a language, how one learns to recognize emotional expressions, how one thinks about incest, or how one acquires ideas and attitudes about friends and reciprocity — everything but perception. This is because the mechanisms that govern reasoning, learning, and memory are assumed to operate uniformly, according to unchanging principles, regardless of the content they are operating on or the larger category or domain involved.

I can respect a kernel of truth in the quote above. It explains, in part, why good, effective teachers, schools and churches are both good and effective. However, it isn’t quite safe to till-deer these academic guys. The screed really doesn’t get too theological until that run-on sentence at the end of Paragraph II. It could do with a snappy re-write. The Koran was much more snappy in declaring Mohammad The Seal of The Prophets.

As we evaluate the sacred verses of scripture, we find that environment is literally everything. Every young mind that enters the world is… dare I say it? A Blank Slate. I’ve preached against the other, Hard Determinist extreme. However, these guys at UCLA are no closer to reality than the Calvanist Edict that only the Elect will end up being saved.

So what I propose is a truce on this stuff. Anyone with the courage to give this John Derbyshire piece a fair and impartial reading would have to concede that genetic hard-wiring based on race, nation and family impacts the life of all children born into the human species. We start with a subtle but important edit to Paragraph I of the sacred scripture above. “Ceteris Paribus, all of the specific content of the human mind originally derives from the ‘outside’…”

Once we’ve inserted the necessary lawyer clause above, we can then get down to the dirty business of explaining how ceteris ain’t always paribus in the brutal and unfair game of life. As Einstein once put it, Newton’s Laws hold true within a closed frame of reference. Outside the specified reference frame, relativity degrades the predictive power of this model. When examing human cognitive development, we replace frame of reference with human bio-diversity. We are all equally blank slates when we lie there dead on a slab.

Now that this superior model has been kicked into play, we can no longer just assume stupid things about societal development and cultural history based upon assumption without loss of generality from The Standard Social Science Model preached at us by geniuses from UCLA. Once we’re all just Blank Slates, Guns, Germs and Steel presents a defendable view of human history. It implicitely posits that if Shaka Zulu had gotten his hands on Mongolian Horses instead of Zebras, he could have eventually invaded Poland like the Mongols.

The Blank Slate Theory totally fails to explain what happened just two centuries after the functionally illiterate Apache Tribes in Texas and Arizona got their hands on some decent ponies. They tied the US Cavalry into knots and utterly terrorized the early Mexican settlers in Texas. The Apache were somewhat kinder and gentler than their hard-partying neighbors The Comanche. Somehow the poor, underpriveleged Comanche figured out the finer sadisms of torture with no cultural access to Fifty Shades of Grey whatsoever.

The Blank Slate Theory of Human Evolutionary Psychology spawns from the delusion born of drinking the nasty bong resin water of equalitarianism. God does indeed play dice with the universe. Human races are cognitively different. The world of human genetics is inherently unfair and Mr. Logic could truly care less if that hurts your feelings.

Hard Determinism is laziness. God offers you certain oportunities. Only once did Jesus offer anyone a free lunch. In the end, you are responsible for what you make of yourself, your family and your culture. IQ, physical measurables and other genetic traits never won anyone a Rugby World Cup or a Fields Medal. A lazy idiot’s “Clean Slate” will get totally covered with profane grafiti. Life is consequentialist and much of the life you live will result from your personal endeavors regardless of your environment or genetic heritage.

Walmart As A Late Amerikan Empire Free Rider

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016


If you’ve ever dabbled in Role-Playing Games, there’s one type of adult player you need to watch like a hawk: the professional engineer. Engineers, you see, are able to understand whatever mathematical system the magic, the space travel or the combat runs off of.

They will identify the loopholes and the weaknesses and then munchkin. By munchkining, I mean they will drive a truck through the mathematical limits of the rule system and either make the referee redesign the whole game universe to make it “fair” again or they will walk off with all the swag and totally ruin the game for everyone else.

In RPG circles, this tendency to munchkin the gaming system is an annoying yet amusing idiosyncrasy. When someone powerful hacks a game that matters, the bemused disgust gives way to actual, legitimate anguish. Munchkining of an actual social system, rather than The Magical Kingdom of Equestria, is essentially an act of real world brigandage. Walmart has effectively performed just such a feat of nerd-cheating and sometimes it literally leaves orc-bodies in the wake.

Go into any town or city, and you will discover that the local Walmart is a criminal magnet. Walmart has seemingly hacked Amerika’s criminal culture and become a symbiotic co-parasite on the society at large. The great James LaFond takes to his Harm City BLog to describe how this works over in Bodymore, Murderland.

Of those 300 jobs provided by a super Wal-Mart one will be in the low six figures, and four will pay enough to permit that assistant manager to rent an apartment or go in together with a spouse in the purchase of a house. The other 295 employees will work at or below the poverty line under poor conditions with no benefits, and will require subsidized housing, home sharing, apartment crowding, food stamps, and, most ominously for you, public transportation which will permit youths to transport drugs and violence as low risk mules and insurgent pioneers into your area. As Wal-Mart gets the lion’s share of food stamp transfers [EBT cash and food] than this operation amounts to a 19th century Appalachian coal mine with its own company store, with over half of the employees spending most—or even more than—their salary at the Wal-Mart register, literally a captive market and labor force in one.

This urban blight could and probably is indicative of far more than Walmart’s destructive influence. Yet this sort of hand-waving doesn’t describe the entire extent to which Walmart is guilty of free-riding on public infrastructure. This gets us back to the crime. Walmart’s corporate policies exacerbates the crime and then passes this cost on to local police forces as a negative externality. This, as I’ll explain a little further on below, gets passed on back to us.

Bloomberg Businessweek describes just how much of a festering pustule Tulsa, OK finds Walmart’s presence to be.

It’s not unusual for the department to send a van to transport all the criminals Ross arrests at this Walmart. The call log on the store stretches 126 pages, documenting more than 5,000 trips over the past five years. Last year police were called to the store and three other Tulsa Walmarts just under 2,000 times. By comparison, they were called to the city’s four Target stores about 300 times.

So why do criminals flock to Walmart? It sounds idiosyncratic. Why steal where the stuff is cheap? Because it is easy. Walmart does less than any other major retailer to deter crime. Tulsa PD Officers joke that Walmart gathers all their bad guys in one place. One stop shopping for cheap hoodlums as well as inexpensive, plastic junk. Other officers aren’t laughing at the sardonic humor.

Robert Rohloff, a 34-year police veteran who has to worry about staffing, budgets, and patrolling the busiest commercial district in Tulsa, says there’s nothing funny about Walmart’s impact on public safety. He can’t believe, he says, that a multibillion-dollar corporation isn’t doing more to stop crime. Instead, he says, it offloads the job to the police at taxpayers’ expense. “It’s ridiculous—we are talking about the biggest retailer in the world,” says Rohloff. “I may have half my squad there for hours.”

And this is not just something that happens out in Indian Country. The Buccaneers don’t just play football in Tampa. They also rob and cut-up over at Walmart. And all of this impacts others who go nowhere near a Walmart. The costs of the Walmart crime negative externality manifest themselves in several manners.

  • 9-1-1 is a joke. An officer taking 2.5 hours to arrest a petty shoplifter at Wallymart is not available to assist if your daughter is getting butt-raped by a pack of human jackals.

  • You will pay taxes for police overtime and additional officers. Cleaning up the lifestyle cesspool at your local Walmart costs money. It costs the public money in Walmart won’t pay to do so themselves.

  • Property Values decline in the vicinity. Real estate markets adjust rapidly when a neighborhood goes into the toilet. Tax collections go down. Less desirable tenants occupy the surrounding area. More desirable tenants and people avoid the Walmart. Social and financial capital flees the Walmart.

Walmart has hacked the system of our declining Amerikan empire. It is the Alpha scavanger. It will make a killing off of the societal carrion. It is how the powerful use the weak. It is how the manipulative game the system. It is how our national decline is the Era of The Munchkin. It is how things are after the goldrush.

The Beauty Of Stress And Warfare

Saturday, September 17th, 2016


The modern world creates a vast amount of stress, but most of what is written on this topic misses the point becaue instead of seeking out the cause of stress, it becomes mired in victimology.

Richard Spencer mentioned in one podcast that people get “red pilled” by life (referring to the movie The Matrix) causing them to “see” realism. Psychologically this might be categorized as “developmental stress”. Here is one description:

In our Trauma Continuum, we recognize “developmental stress” as a unique and separate category of behavior. It involves the neocortex part of the brain and the Social Engagement System part of the autonomic nervous system. We describe stress as “developmental” because an excess amount of it delays children’s development. Stress is simply the body’s adrenal response to an increased demand for energy.

Developmental stress has distinct behavioral symptoms, and involves awareness that is anchored in present time. The Social Engagement System (SES), a set of five cranial nerves identified by Stephen Porges, help keeps people socially and emotionally engaged during stressful relational experiences. The SES allows people to receive support from those closest to them, which reduces the flow of cortisol and other stress-related hormones.

The take-away in this argument is that excess stress can delay children’s development. This means that adults emerging from this “condition” are effectively “behind” and getting “red pilled” won’t work actually. It is therefore futile to think SJWs just need to get pilled. What happens in my opinion is that they become virtually entirely dependent on the SES.

For the non-SJWs getting stressed can also be a problem, as described herewith:

Distress causes concern or anxiety, is experienced as exceeding our normal ability to cope and feels unpleasant. It can be short-term or longer-term, typically decreases the ability to perform tasks and if long-term can lead to mental and physical fatigue.

Eustress is a term for positive stress that helps to motivate, to focus attention and energy   and feels exciting. Eustress improves our ability to perform short-term tasks that are within our normal ability to cope. Stressors are difficult to categorize objectively because people react differently to similar situations. Having a child, taking a holiday, getting married, beginning a new job, buying a home, retiring, moving and receiving a promotion all seem like eustressors because they imply positive events.

The take-away in this argument is that stress can be positive or negative. In a negative sense it decreases performance and in the positive sense it increases performance. However, what the article does not mention is that:

The left (brain) hemisphere controls the muscles on the right side of the body while the right hemisphere controls those on the left.

The take-away from this left-right brain to body alignment is that it affects stress response. In other words, a person will benefit from eustressors only as far as his body alignment allows. For example, if a right-brained person with a dominant right hand is being stressed by something, that person will not be able to write. Or if that same person has a dominant right leg he/she will not be able to run. This mechanical inability will increase stress levels, which, if unaware of this condition, this person’s performance will deteriorate further.

So, there are a number of natural conditions that prohibit humans from experiencing positive stress. The point however, is that stress provides additional energy that can and should be used to each person’s benefit. This can also be used to organizational benefit of course. For example, the Military is famous for testing soldiers where only those unaffected by stress will stand a chance to be qualified.

This is when war becomes glamorous. The best men become soldiers fighting for the family, country and their God. They perform the most beautifully timed and daring acts to become celebrity stars with uniforms and flashing medals. The projected military expansion is expected to maximize the use of drones combined with Special Forces soldiers on the ground. Everybody is enamored with drone technology while it all would have been impossible without soldiers that can handle stress.

Closer to home, home-owners and workers also need to be able to handle stress. This is reflected by the recognition given to people confronting criminals and hoaxers. We are still glad when hearing about some grandmother slapping a mugger with her purse.  Then we are amazed when we hear how some journalist or television channel has been lying to us.

The stress the media and their billionaire shareholders put us under inhibits our performance and is slowing us down because we only realize that our own representatives (people like us) are playing us after the fact. Then we become dumbfounded because you cannot seem to stop this fraud and corruption, meaning that we have become powerless and afraid.

Quite simply put, this is “Politics-of-Fear” perpetrated by liberal-democrats. This is what we have become – fearful and powerless. But fortunately stress is also positive and already leads the way out of this mess. All we have to do is to follow our new warriors (who enjoy the stress) to fight all those traitors in our midst while soldiers fight foreign enemies.

Therefore the term warrior requires redefinition because our declining civilization requires a “reset” (sic). Our new warrior dispensation has been described by Curt Doolittle as follows:

We need warriors in the following matrix: three classes i.e. upper, middle and lower class squared off with three specializations i.e. Force (soldiers), Communication (gossip and trolling) and Trade.

I believe that we have advanced some way down this path already. I believe that many of us like to have stress while our liberalized enemy is literally afraid of it. With such an effete enemy it’s going to be beautiful.

Ashes To Ashes

Friday, September 16th, 2016


Greetings to the Committee for Interplanetary Archeology,

I hold in my hands one of the most unusual artifacts we have recovered from an eliminated civilization. It is marked AMG-1208C1, and it is unusual for one salient trait: it is a belt-fed machine gun that fires a single round at the time.

To understand why this is rare, we must understand Earth warfare, which involved large groups of humans charging at one another. The machine gun was invented to prevent these charges by firing bullets in a continuous stream, allowing the user to sweep it across the fields of his fellows, killing them and ending the charge.

This gun would be useless in such a circumstance. It also features a trigger which is designed to be operated by an electric spring, and not human hands. Let me describe to you how its use came about.

During the late days of the elimination of the Earth species and its civilization, a few of the citizens awakened to what was happening and determined to reverse it. Seizing power through a populist movement, they quickly created an authoritarian government and began to remove from their continent people they saw as unable to be compatible with that society.

This provoked a counter-reaction. The rest of the species was offended by this choice, and waged war upon them. The breakaway continent, using superior technology, conquered this other group, and then made a decision of momentous importance: they would eliminate the threat.

On the island of Réunion, they built a massive sarcophagus. It was seven of their unit of measurement, kilometers, long and nearly four wide, and rose one-tenth of a kilometer above the earth. Made of white stone, it had a deep foundation and a single door at the top of a long shaft. This was designed for a single purpose.

These insurgents were intelligent, and so they used automated technology to collect individuals from around the world, drug them with a mixture of Fentanyl and Valium, two popular sedatives, and then fly them to this island and lift them to the gateway. This is where the AMG-1208C1 did its work.

We have found remains of giant loudspeakers apparently used to blast music at the people corralled to this gateway, and evidence that they were further drugged with alcohol and indole alkaloids at the top of the sarcophagus. Then, they were ushered through a narrow passageway by automated arms, where a laser sighted them and the AMG-1208C1 shot each one in the head, at which point they were placed in orderly rows at the bottom of the sarcophagus by robotic arms.

The gun used a special round that was designed to stay intact as it passed through the outer layer of bone, then expand rapidly in all directions, liquefying the brain. Death was instantaneous. After each layer of bodies was deposited, it was covered in a slurry of sewage and pulverized animal organs, specifically those of the pig. We believe this was done to hasten decay and discourage salvage.

Using this method, the people of Earth eliminated over eight billion people.

At first, the insurgent group exterminated every other ethnic group. This left only about a half-billion. Then, they used automated DNA testing to eliminate those who were partially mixed with other groups, cutting the number down to about 200 million. At that point, they selected for not only their founding ethnic group, the “Nordic-Germanic” tribe, but also eliminated those of low intelligence, high criminality, sexual fetishism and other disadvantages.

When it was all over, the planet had only eight million people, each capable of great things.

It is unclear why the elimination event proceeded. Our investigation of their records suggested that they retained a system of government based on personal omnipotence, called “egalitarianism,” which caused internal division and a series of revolutions and social disorder events which fragmented the civilization like an unstable spacecraft descending into a high-oxygen atmosphere.

For our own study, we can learn much from this and other civilizations which have experienced elimination events. Outside of ourselves, we have found none that have survived this crucial threshold, as crucial as the ability to tame fire, which seems to test species for fitness and eliminate all but one percent of them at most.

We have marked the Earth planet as a galactic heritage site and death memorial, and will incorporate this knowledge into our own history.

Submitted this 29th day of the 11th month by Avrghxzq Hbtilinien, archaeologist.

The Necessity Of Genius

Thursday, September 15th, 2016


The cornerstone of the Alt Right is that genetics determines culture, and culture determines everything else. Genetics also determines hierarchy. The question then arises, how do we find the best? Dr. James Thompson advances a good entry-level argument that centers the debate on the actual topic, instead of the tangents that most people will pursue:

In summary, you can spot exceptional minds early, if you bother to test for them. Verbal and mathematical tests provide powerful predictors. Adding spatial tests (done for some of them in later testing) assists in getting even better predictions. There is no upper limit after which additional smarts make no contribution. On the contrary, every increase in ability, like additional height in a basketball player, adds to achievement in life. Very bright people contribute a lot to society.

My digression is to note that although a simple explanation for the different directions these very bright people take in their occupations is that they play to their strengths, the observed differentiation is similar to the patterns of international trade as noted by Ricardo in his theory of comparative advantage. Ricardo sought to explain why a country like England which in 1817 could produce many things more efficiently than most other countries (such as Portugal) still bothered to trade with them. Similarly, why do very bright people, very much better at virtually all intellectual tasks than most people, still bother to specialise in only one of their manifold talents? Applying Ricardo’s theory to these very bright people, if any two eminent minds capable of producing two products, say Words and Sums, engage in a free market then each eminent mind can increase their overall consumption by selling the good for which they have comparative advantage while buying the other good, provided there are differences in productivity between both eminent minds. Bright people who are better at words will do wordy work, even though they are very much better than 9,999 other people at Maths. It is comparative advantage rather than absolute advantage that is responsible for intellectual specialisation and the trading of intellectual products.

While the basics are sound, it misses a couple of other key points:

  • Economic system is a proxy. Smart people are useful when they are rewarded for their work, because not rewarding them creates a de facto disadvantage because rewards for performance and non-performance are the same, making performance inefficient.

  • There are grades of highly intelligent. The above makes an initial cut for the talented people who are genetically gifted enough to offer thinking that no one else can do, and sensibly divides them between words people and maths people. But there are divisions within that structure as well.

In addition, we should identify that rarest of rara avis, the creative genius as identified by Bruce Charlton:

But why is genius so rare, even in places where there are a high concentration of geniuses – as there were here in England in the past few hundred years?

1. Genius requires very high intelligence – in a country with a high average IQ like England, this means in the top ten percent (above 120) and considerably higher for some subjects (e.g. mathematical subjects). But often geniuses are at intelligence levels of about the top one in ten thousand. Some societies have much lower average IQ than England.

2. Perseverance, self-motivation to pick-out and work in one area without need for external encouragement, autonomous indifference to the evaluations of others, ability to go it alone.

3. Creativity. This is Eysenck’s big contribution.

Creativity is associated with a style of thinking that is relatively loose in its associations, inclusive in its linking of disparate elements – a style of thinking akin to that of dreaming sleep, psychotic illness, and intoxication.

This would be the upper echelon of genius: the artists, philosophers, writers, composers and rare public figures like Arminius and Charlemagne.

On top of that, it must be said that lack of verbal ability excludes people from some fields. The greatest intelligences of my acquaintance, in the course of venturing through the top echelon of our educational and social layers, have been of the verbal variety as paired with a high ability to organize thoughts in a non-linear fashion, which seems to equate to the spatial or something like it.

STEM people, while intelligent, came nowhere close. This has been consistent for many years. STEM requires linear analysis of finite tasks; this is a bit easier than non-linear analysis of multiple factors, any of which may be weak or fallacious. That kind of balancing — a sort of architectonic thinking — belongs to the artists, writers and philosophers, and those are the upper crust of intelligence.

It is worth noting two points from Schopenhauer; first, the rest of us are Dunning-Krugered when it comes to genius, because we will not recognize it and it will sound like raving drivel to us:

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.

If we use the merely-talented/talented-plus-genius dichotomy, the merely-talented are generally confined to STEM fields, where the talented-by-genius can venture toward less concrete forms of thinking.

These modes of thought in the humanities are maligned by the Leftist takeover of these departments which occurred because most conservatives focus on the practical, allowing the Leftists to occupy this “lesser” territory. This parallels the difference between mainstream conservatism and actual conservatism: humanities as taught in US/EU 2016 are far different from humanities as they are understood on their own terms.

Schopenhauer also suggests that genius is not of practical value, but is useful in understanding the true nature of things and the transcendentals:

Although the intellect exists only to serve the will, in certain humans the intellect accorded by nature is so disproportionately large, it far exceeds the amount needed to serve the will. In such individuals, the intellect can break free of the will and act independently. A person with such an intellect is a genius (only men can have such a capability according to Schopenhauer), and this will-free activity is aesthetic contemplation or creation. The genius is thus distinguished by his ability to engage in will-less contemplation of the Ideas for a sustained period of time, which allows him to repeat what he has apprehended by creating a work of art. In producing a work of art, the genius makes the beautiful accessible for the non-genius as well. Whereas non-geniuses cannot intuit the Ideas in nature, they can intuit them in a work of art, for the artist replicates nature in the artwork in such a manner that the viewer is capable of viewing it disinterestedly, that is, freed from her own willing, as an Idea.

A genius can dig more deeply into structure — the patterns of existent, not their material substrates — and in so doing undertake the mentally-demanding task of ascertaining their true nature. Here Schopenhauer agrees with Charlton on the dream-like state of genius; the person bearing genius has transcended his human state, and as a result his thinking is not constrained by self-interest.

If anything has promoted the West, it has been its abundance of genius — especially in leadership. Most of the geniuses of the West are unknown to us because their work formed the groundwork for popularizers to express to the world, and history remembers those instead. But for every great discovery, the path ahead was found by lone geniuses working independently toward understanding the root of the problem.

Currently, our society is opposed to genius, because nothing makes a crowd feel less equal than the presence of genius. In fact, that it exists seems to refute our idea of equality entirely. At the far-right of the IQ curve, people are targets for the herd, which in its loss of confidence seeks to eliminate the symbols of its inequality.

The Essence Of Supernatural Thinking

Thursday, September 15th, 2016


The question of the supernatural boils down to a simple metric: is the world organized by material, or by information?

If it is organized by material, then bits of stuff just bounce into one another and create what we know of as reality. Opponents call this nihilism because it believes in no ordering force. Intelligent Design tries to work around that by saying that a cosmic chess-player designed those material pieces to create an emergent order.

If it is organized by information, material is the canvas through which order is expressed. This suggests that what happens in reality is more of a calculation, or interaction between material parts to derive informational results, than a pre-planned order. It is both emergent and animate.

The argument for an underlying mathematical or informational order to reality is separate from the question of purpose. We are agents of choice by virtue of being alive; we make choices based on our ability to perceive and our honesty in doing so; there is no inherent right or wrong, but those who choose to pursue reality find it has much to teach.

In discovering reality, one finds oneself look at structure or patterns, and comparing what one knows of how things work to what is seen. This can lead to a perception of an underlying system of order:

A lot of people don’t realize what’s really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidents and things. They don’t realize that there’s this, like, lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. Give you an example, show you what I mean: suppose you’re thinkin’ about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly someone’ll say, like, “plate,” or “shrimp,” or “plate of shrimp” out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin’ for one, either. It’s all part of a cosmic unconsciousness.

The above, from the movie Repo Man, is designed to be humorous, but illustrates the basic point: either we think there is a principle of organization, or not. If there is a principle of organization, it is not material.

This presents a quandary to our highly material minds. We work from the original material, which is our bodies and their needs, and inevitably extend that into the social sphere because it is composed of other bodies like us. Bodily needs and desires are universal; contemplative analysis of the order of existence is not.

But over time, we see how patterns repeat. How those implicate other patterns. And how, at the heart of it all, the entirety of existence appears to be alive.

Bruce Charlton illustrates this with his insight into synchronicity:

But this understanding of synchronicity assumes that Life is nearly-all discrete, granular, autonomous and unconnected events: just ‘bits’ of information.

In contrast, synchronicity is ‘telling’ us the opposite about Life – that in reality our Life is a web of relationships between conscious entities – like a dream.

The point of synchronicity is really very simple, and does not need decoding – because it is not a informational message. Synchronicity is the sudden awareness that Life is a web of connected and purposive relationships; and that there are many entities around us involved in these relationships – things as well as people.

The division comes down to the alive-ness of life. If you sense that reality acts like an organism, pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place. This is an esoteric understanding, however, and not accessible to most. But, as many of our smartest and best people have discovered, it is the understanding which unites all the parts of reality.

This seeming paradox exploded into public consciousness with quantum mechanics, which affirm an order which works outside linearity and likely, outside materiality:

Some claim that it shows quantum mechanics implies action-at-a-distance, period. Others maintain that we can still avoid action-at-a-distance by denying that quantum mechanics is a theory about a reality in space and time. Either way, the consensus is that Einstein can’t have what he wanted – a real world in space and time, without action-at-a-distance.

…Ordinarily, we think that the past is fixed while the future is open, or partly so. Doesn’t our freedom to affect the future depend on this openness? How could we affect what was already fixed? These are deep philosophical waters, but we don’t have to paddle out very far to see that we have some options. We can say that, according to the retrocausal proposal, quantum theory shows that the division between what is fixed and what is open doesn’t line up neatly with the distinction between past and future. Some of the past turns out to be open, too, in whatever sense the future is open.

Interestingly, the most likely solution to this problem is relativity across time as well as space:

Costa de Beauregard pointed out that Alice could affect Bob’s particle without action-at-a-distance, if the influence followed an indirect, zigzag path through space and time, via the point in the past where the two particles intersect. But there are no zigzags like that in standard quantum mechanics, so if we put them in we are actually agreeing with Einstein that the theory is incomplete.

This gives us an interesting model: two events can influence one another across space and time, with each event adjusting itself to match the other, not so much as if they were entangled but as if they were different computations whose results rely on one another. We can see the same effect in microprocessors where a thread is dependent on the outcome of another thread, and must adjust the form of that outcome, for example number of decimal places, based on what is calculated in the other thread.

In my hopefully-upcoming book Parallelism, I argue for another approach: events are not just dependent on one another across time, but can partially create one another through pattern similarity, such that things which are potentially true become true when they find structural counterparts in another event, including a person. In this view, we create supernatural reality from supernatural possibility.

At that point, we have taken the world-organized-by-information to the place where the cosmic idealists of the past visualized it: the universe as a vast informational construct, with a purpose of its own, in which we can by emulating its patterns gain greater power, if we so choose.

Very little in life is simple. This approach is not as simple, popular or gratifying as exoteric liberal Christianity or materialistic atheism, but it is more logical in a world where most is mystery, and the underlying patterns dwarf their material outcomes in importance.

Monkey Dynamics

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Monkey Dynamics

Throughout human history, one constant has appeared in all ages: the temptation to give in to evil.

The root of evil originates in individualism, or the desire for the individual to be more important than the order of reality. In the classic view, all of reality is a hierarchy, with the divine at the top and the rest arrayed below, and everything has a place like in an ecosystem, assuring balance and harmony with a constant inner struggle that produces people and things of quality, much like Darwinism or martial competitions.

We might refer to that abstract natural order as the plan. It includes the bigger picture: the civilization, the structure of existence, the goal, ideals of integrity and conquest, morality and nature.

All people at all times contain the tendency to desire what is evil. They want the individual to be larger than the plan. They fear the plan, because it ranks the individual, and their egos want them to be bigger than they deserve to be.

This fear compels them into a psychology of resentment: they must tear down any that are higher than they are, so that the lower are just as raised as the rest, and therefore no one looks bad for falling short of an ideal. This pathological mental state appears throughout human history as a necessary consequence of individualism, and always justifies it with a form of pacifism, equality, which states that all will be included in the group regardless of how they rank according to standards or questions of contribution.

Humans have called this “evil” through history because it is pathological, which means that it repeats itself obsessively regardless of success or failure. Where most people try something, then step back to see if it worked, the egalitarians repeat their actions with obsessive insect-like reflex action, blindly destroying in their need to assert these ideas as true.

We can see this evil in operation through how it is represented in mythology. The Greeks called it hubris, or a type of arrogance that reflected self-importance above the role of that individual in the plan. In the Bible, the hubris of Adam and Eve in the Garden resulted in their exile from a life of innocence/excellence. When humans try to place themselves above God and God’s order, chaos and horror results.

This extends to the mythical fall of Satan. As an individualist, Satan thought his personal desires were more important than the plan. As a result, he fell from heaven and became king of a different domain, but this was also his punishment: in Hell, all good things are inverted or turned into their opposites.

Then we turn to nature. Hubris can be seen in monkeys as well. A monkey tribe will gang up on any monkey who does not conform to the low standards of behavior of the group, and individual monkeys will frequently challenge the leaders — alphas — of that tribe with provocations. It is human behavior, in microcosm.

The conformity that is being forced is equality, or the rule that everyone must do the same thing, and any who exceed that are seen as a threat to the rest for having raised standards. If standards rise above the mediocre, it will alienate many in the group, and that threatens the feeling of equal inclusion that seems to prevent conflict — again, this is a form of pacifism, or bribing people with acceptance, tolerance and moral relativism in order to avoid friction.

Seen through this lens, evil is more of a mathematical certainty than a mystical force. In any group, a tension will exist between having standards and having universal inclusion, with most people desiring the latter because it creates a guarantee for them personally that they will be accepted. This is why the root of collectivism is individualism, even though it is collectivized as the group demands what each individual in the group desires, much like a union, street gang or lynch mob.

From this comes the great evil of the modern time: the compulsion to dominate the personalities of others. Created from equal parts pathetic need and a mental violence that demands satiation through victimizing others, this predatory mental state demands that nearby personalities be subjugated through social pressure, including humiliation. Like other forms of mind control, this method does not use sci-fi technologies, but simple peer pressure or psychological manipulation through the threat of what others might think.

The typical vampiric predator-parasite of the modern social scene seeks others around him, usually of lower self-confidence, and immediately begins to sow doubt in their minds. He attacks what they believe indirectly, so it does not seem like an assault, and then introduces a plausible but unproven alternative. Now the passive-aggressive begging-the-question attack begins in earnest: if they do not agree, he asks them why they are denying the truth, or the obvious, or some other phrase implying social agreement with what he has said. He then bullies them into accepting his view of reality, all for the simple reason that it makes him feel more powerful, in the absence of real power like the ability to change the failure-bound direction of his society.

Personality parasites appear in abundance because people are given no other mode of power than that which can be had through enforcing the official ideology of the Crowd, which is always egalitarianism, plus a perception of individual exceptionalism. In other words, individuals demand equality because these individuals believe they are exceptional, but must rationalize their lack of influence by believing that they are unrecognized geniuses instead of entirely average. This produces the poisonous and viral state of mind which demands that they compel others to recognize them, validate them and by doing so, recognize them as exceptional; that in turn requires that everyone be pulled down to the level of a faceless mass above which the narcissistic individual believes he can rise.

All of this is illusion. Social recognition is fleeting because the impetus behind social activity is directed toward the individual, so other individuals allow themselves to be dominated in order to achieve the sense of being part of something bigger than themselves, which makes them feel important. Looking at the audience of the average rock concert or political rally, one can see that the audience acts as if they were the ones on stage, even as they acknowledge their presence there for the concentration of social energy triggered by those actually on the stage.

Monkey dynamics persist in all human behaviors, and this tendency toward projection is no exception. It reveals the true struggle of humanity, which is not for any of the various issues that people advance as part of their psychic vampirism, but for sanity. Sanity means a clearing of the mind, and then enforcement of self-discipline, so that one can first adapt to reality, and then select the most optimal means of engineering it so that the best possible results ensue.

Modern people — like any people in a society in its last stages, regardless of technological level — find themselves under constant assault by those who want to dominate them and force them into the reigning narrative. The old saying “misery loves company” applies here: most people are miserable, and wish to drag others down into that misery, to feel better both for having dominated others and having validated their rationalization of their condition as inevitable and necessary. The modern person faces a social order in which most people are outright evil in intent and conceal it behind normalcy, “everyone does it,” and other statements of social endorsement for that evil.

The war for sanity is a quest to discover reality and escape the prison of our minds. The individual mind finds it more convenient to work through other minds, since they share a language, whereas reality is not human in nature and requires application of self-discipline to understand it. This is the nature of the hive-mind, groupthink, the echo chamber, mob-rule and other forms of the Eternal Human Dysfunction: a lonely ego, finding in other egos the ability to deny the world, which is a path of least resistance compared to understanding and finding beauty in reality.

It was for this reason that our ancestors, dating back to our origin, selected from us the best: those who were able to adapt to reality and choose excellence, because that benefited the civilization. The problem is that, over time, making civilization stronger extends that protection to those who cannot understand the importance of civilization and take it for granted, thus immediately begin to conspire against it for their own benefit. They want “anarchy with grocery stores” because that provides the broadest canvas on which to splash their egos, and the unsatisfying result makes them pathologically demand more of the same, like a drug addict who has reached a high level of biological tolerance for her substance of choice and can no longer feel the high.

When power is given to the best, they become a combination of babysitter and war-leader for the rest, giving them direction where they are afraid or incapable of thinking. This will exhaust and destroy them unless the civilization implements some method of filtering out monkey behavior where it can constrained, and exile of those for whom there is no cure.

Western Civilization has been awash in parasitic, resentful and poisonous people for too long. These are perhaps a fifth of our own people, but they have disproportionate influence because they appeal to the lowest behaviors, such as panic, emotional gushing, self-pity, fear and envy. A sane society will protect its leaders by sending its toxic people away to the third world, which is more appropriate for their anti-civilizational mentality.

This is how one fights the evil that threatens to destroy civilization, the loss of which will make all work and hopes of the individual futile and impotent.

The Slow Death Of The Blank Slate Continues

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Some years ago, a popular science writer named Malcolm Gladwell penned a book in which he insinuated — short of outright claiming — that what made epic talent was practicing a certain number of hours. In his view, because the greats did this, it meant that it was what made them great.

We call that “blank slate” reasoning because it assumes that people are identical in ability. Our society must assume that, because it is based on the assumption of human equality, and ability serves as a proxy for wealth and power. Therefore, we must pretend that everyone is the same, even though when it is time to choose a doctor we want a smart and naturally talented one.

Gladwell has one massive talent, and that is recognizing the crest of a wave created by a notion that will flatter people that is about to float into public consciousness. What the top ten percent knew twenty years ago will become available to the lower ninety percent today, and the writer who scripts it in an engaging text will get quite rich.

Against the blank slate assumption however have emerged a number of challengers, especially The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker. In this view, people are not equal; genes determine abilities, and some people get more of this or more of that than others, in a matter of degree. This explains how some people have genius or talent that can be shaped by those hours of practice.

On the topic of genius studies, a recent article on the innate nature of genius hammers a further nail into the coffin of the blank slate:

“Whether we like it or not, these people really do control our society,” says Jonathan Wai, a psychologist at the Duke University Talent Identification Program in Durham, North Carolina, which collaborates with the Hopkins centre. Wai combined data from 11 prospective and retrospective longitudinal studies2, including SMPY, to demonstrate the correlation between early cognitive ability and adult achievement. “The kids who test in the top 1% tend to become our eminent scientists and academics, our Fortune 500 CEOs and federal judges, senators and billionaires,” he says.

Such results contradict long-established ideas suggesting that expert performance is built mainly through practice — that anyone can get to the top with enough focused effort of the right kind. SMPY, by contrast, suggests that early cognitive ability has more effect on achievement than either deliberate practice or environmental factors such as socio-economic status.

Since democracy inevitably mutates from the idea of “political equality,” or treating everyone the same by making them go through a bureaucratic process, to the notion of “actual equality,” or the mistaken thought that people are identical in ability, the notion of democracy — and related notions of class warfare, diversity, sexual equality and pluralism — will die with the blank slate.

For that reason, the Left and the everyday useful idiots who fear change are hanging on with their fingernails to the idea that Gladwell advanced, which is that you can take any human and run him through the right education, instill in him the right opinions, and make him undertake 10,000 hours of practice and he will be a genius. The reality is the opposite: a genius, if not deprived of the ability to practice extensively, will gift us with acts of genius, where the average person will merely occupy space that displaces geniuses in a society based on equality.