Posts Tagged ‘distraction’

Modern Denial Hides Real Threats, Promotes Fake Ones

Monday, April 17th, 2017

We see a pattern time and again in humanity: deny the real threat by focusing attention on a false threat. False threats are easier to handle, since at some level one knows that they are not real, and this distracts from the real threat, which is harder to solve and possibly eternal or impossible to fully vanquish.

This is not just a human pattern. A mouse, thrown in a cage with a snake, will realize quickly that there is no escape. That being noticed, it will concentrate its last moments on personal grooming, removing the easy threat because the actual threat cannot be defeated. At that point, it is eaten.

Minds are designed this way to avoid locking up. When a big threat cannot be defeated, the brain can go into an infinite loop trying to figure out how to beat it, when what it really needs to do is go up a level by questioning its assumptions. Sometimes, this does no good; if the cage is sealed, the mouse is doomed, no matter how Indiana Jones its inclinations.

This is why we are waging war against climate change instead of overpopulation, and against smoking instead of looking at the real culprit, diesel exhaust. Diesel trucks are the backbone of our economy, and if they needed to be replaced, it would cost us as much as it would have for the South to replace slaves. Consider the toxicity of diesel exhaust:

Lung cancer is the major cancer thought to be linked to diesel exhaust. Several studies of workers exposed to diesel exhaust have shown small but significant increases in risk of lung cancer. Men with the heaviest and most prolonged exposures, such as railroad workers, heavy equipment operators, miners, and truck drivers, have been found to have higher lung cancer death rates than unexposed workers. Based on the number of people exposed at work, diesel exhaust may pose a substantial health risk.

The possible link between lung cancer and exposure to diesel exhaust outside the workplace has not been studied extensively.

How could this be? The threat comes from everyday events that all of us are subjected to, not exceptional and rare events or personal habits like smoking. Maybe smoking is also bad… but compared to the prevalence of diesel smoke, it is almost insignificant. Everyone is surrounded by diesel trucks and the air in the cities is thick with the exhaust.

Could it be that, like the tacit cooperation by media to demonize fat instead of sugar, that a large problem has been ignored in favor of attacking an irrelevant but symbolic lesser problem?

Over the past few years, the evidence against diesel has been accumulating to the point where it seems that we were misled by “science” and media:

Particulates – tiny sooty particles in the air – were the first of the pollutants to be identified as toxic, 22 years ago, in a big Harvard study. The seminal 1993 research, dubbed “the six cities study” compared mortality rates in half a dozen representative US urban areas, following the fates of 8,111 adults for at least 14 years. It found – after adjusting for risk factors like obesity, smoking and occupational exposure – that death rates were 26 per cent higher in the city with the highest particulate pollution than the two with the lowest.

By itself this did not constitute proof but, in the intervening years, hundreds of similar studies – some so vast they tracked more than half a million people – have come to similar conclusions, establishing the danger beyond doubt.

…As if this were not enough, the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) three years ago formally declared that “diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans”. It was particularly influenced by the results of a study of 12,315 workers in eight mines.

While we have been chasing symbolic issues like equality and diversity, the actual issue of the health of civilization and individuals has gotten swept under the rug to the point where what we eat, breathe and drink may in fact be toxic. Extrapolating that, our entire lifestyle may be toxic, including living and working in cubes, but this has gone without notice.

Ideological goals, generally speaking, distract us from practical goals. If you cannot save your civilization from collapse, you might as well talk about how well it is doing in terms of equality. If you cannot stop the use of diesel fuels, it is better to blame cigarettes for our ill-health than exhaust pollution, motionless city lives and toxic food.

We might even see the last thousand years as a distraction from the real issue. Our problems are decline and those who will invade us once decline occurs, and instead we have been chasing internal issues that are easy to tackle because they can never be solved. “Inequality,” for example, as a natural state of humanity, is a perfect enemy because it can never be beaten but can always be fought.

The Potemkin reality of the consensual hallucination that is modern living is unraveling before our eyes. Soon we will realize that how we live has doomed us, and we have spent the money and time needed to fix that instead jousting after windmills, such that we have doomed ourselves to the negative consequences of the industrial empire we have built.

Surface Culture Versus Inner Culture

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Mass culture creates surface culture by insisting on equality, which means that those who are qualitatively different from others are punished for being perceived to be exclusionary. That leaves only surface culture: attire, tattoos, accessories, clothing and piercings. But the most tattooed and pierced generation is finding that surface culture is not real:

“One of the things we teach is wear a very conservative suit. And I get push-back on that. ‘Do you want us all to look the same? You told us to differentiate ourselves.’ It sounds contradictory, but I want a dark suit and a light shirt or blouse so that people are looking at your face and listening to what you say. The tattoo doesn’t help. It is incredibly distracting.”

Individualism is the enemy of individuality. Individuality is lived through the decisions we make, how we spend our time, and what we believe. Individualism, because it requires the group to be supported because otherwise it is thrown out for being anti-realistic, is expressed through gestures, tokens and symbols because it never goes deeper than the surface.

What we might call “inner culture” provides a contrast. This exists in both the individual and the group, and consists of intuition as nurtured by a sense of values that fit the biological traits of that population, including inclinations toward a certain type of social order and personal lifestyle.

Someone within a culture comes from a long line of people with traits consistent with that culture, so their intuitive view of the world is consistent with culture, making it inner and therefore, it does not need to be enforced. Surface culture is enforced through media, social pressure and government, but inner culture springs up out of the individual, organically becoming prevalent.

Surface culture works because it requires nothing of those who are involved and, by providing constant distraction, gives them small rewards in the short-term instead of the more meaningful rewards that come with long-term action. It cultivates witless people who are highly socialized, and therefore cannot imagine a life where gesturing through social symbols is not important.

The squirts of dopamine that people receive for altruistic or social activity are addictive, which requires two things. First, the act must feel good, and second, it must leave the individual wanting more, usually by not actually fulfilling them. In this way, surface culture resembles the addictive nature of digital screens:

In a series of clinical experiments, a video game called “Snow World” served as an effective pain killer for burned military combat victims, who would normally be given large doses of morphine during their painful daily wound care. While the burn patient played the seemingly innocuous virtual reality game “Snow World” — where the player attempts to throw snowballs at cartoon penguins as they bounce around to Paul Simon music — they felt no pain.

I interviewed Lt. Sam Brown, one of the pilot participants in this research who had been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and who had sustained life-threatening third-degree burns over 30 percent of his body. When I asked him about his experience using a video game for pain management, he said: “I was a little bit skeptical. But honestly, I was willing to try anything.” When asked what it felt like compared to his morphine treatments, he said, “I was for sure feeling less pain than I was with the morphine.”

Sure enough, brain imaging research confirmed that burn patients who played “Snow World” experienced less pain in the parts of their brain associated with processing pain than those treated with actual morphine.

Instantaneous feedback creates an addiction. The surface culture devotees in our society constantly crave this stimulus because without it, they must face an empty void. Thus they are manic for Facebook and ten hour workdays, shopping and sports video, cell phone calls of ten thousand words and zero concepts, food, wine and sex.

Evil always provides a scapegoat in this way, and Leftism — a variant of Crowdism — is just one form of this evil. Surface culture promises a solution to all of life’s dark questions with simple distraction, and by staying in the constant feedback loop of the herd, people are able to forget about the need for meaning and death. While they do so, like addicts, they neglect their surroundings until it is too late.

Antiwork Ideas Spread In Sweden

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

Sweden has just mandated a six-hour workday. While this will irk the blustery “work hard and get ahead” American conservatives, it is in fact a move toward sanity:

“The eight-hour work day is not as effective as one would think,” Linus Feldt, the company’s CEO told Fast Company.

“To stay focused on a specific work task for eight hours is a huge challenge. In order to cope, we mix in things and pauses to make the work day more endurable. At the same time, we are having it hard to manage our private life outside of work.”

…He said the new work day would ensure people have enough energy to pursue their private lives when they leave work – something which can be difficult with eight-hour days.

The culture of perpetual work is viewed as a form of patriotism to our egalitarian ideal, in which all the smart people get tucked into miserable offices to work hard and pay for the rest. If you refuse this daily cuckolding, you are seen as striking a blow at the heart of our Republic.

And yet, because this work is nonsense two ways — most of the tasks are unnecessary, and most of the projects ill-conceived or pointless — people get caught into an ugly cycle. They hang out at the office, doing a whole lot of nothing, but cannot spend that time on something meaningful, so instead become trapped in a cycle of wasting time and then working too much.

The Swedes address the nonsense culture of work as well:

Mr Feldt has said staff members are not allowed on social media, meetings are kept to a minimum, and that other distractions during the day are eliminated – but the aim is that staff will be more motivated to work more intensely while in the office.

Sending people home for more hours a day enables them to have full lives and get to know themselves, at which point they are more able to make sane decisions regarding the world around them that previously was inaccessible. When we exist in a mutually consensual false reality comprised of human social interactions, actual reality becomes obscured.

The Right-wing parties have conventionally emphasized work as a good thing because to them, it is a valuable personal behavior. In doing so, they have subsidized the Left by creating a culture of constant work, so that Rightists have no time to fight Leftist insanity, and high taxes arising from the income generated. This is why they tend to bloviate on about the importance of work, and how they defeat themselves.

A more sensible Right-wing approach is to view civilization through an existential filter: the societies that are pleasurable and ascendant are the ones in which citizens are naturally productive, but this requires doing away with the notion of equality and replacing it with hierarchy, in the process moving along the parasites. This is why Leftism constructs itself around equality; it seeks to ensure that this does not happen.

In the meantime, the average Western citizen is subtly miserable, which is why people are destructive, dissolute and refuse to breed at replacement levels. Striking back against work culture and mindless brain-distractions provides one method of circumventing this damage.

Save Your Civilization With This One Easy Trick!

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016


Dear readers, I recognize that the internet of late has become a less favorable place for publishers and so many are turning to the type of sensationalism known as “clickbait.” Rest assured that we at Amerika Inc. would never stoop to such a level to draw in readers. Nevertheless, listen to this tip — which will also help you lose weight!

We know that throughout history no human civilizations have survived. Our rationalization hamster tells us that this is because civilization cannot survive, but looking at species which have thrived for three hundred million years, we then realize that the answer must be even simpler: every civilization makes the same mistake.

This mistake, a type of “cognitive pitfall” or common illusion to which humans are susceptible, leads to what is called Civilization Inertial Decay Disorder (el CIDD). This is manifested in excessive navel-gazing and self-pity, culminating in social movements to remove any accountability to reality, so that the mice may play while the cat is away.

Socialization itself — the act of interacting with others — transmits this disorder. The social group creates an echo chamber where untruths that are convenient for the human mind to grasp become accepted as ultimate truth and contrary information from reality is filtered out and ignored. The solution is to escape the echo chamber.

To save a human civilization, send people home. Cut their workdays by a third, and force everyone to get the same amount done in that time — they will not find it difficult, once the bellyaching and complaining ceases. Send kids home from school early, every day. Send people back into their own lives and souls, where they must find a reason to exist and love life that is independent of shiny material objects or social “kudos.”

People forced into such contemplation of life quickly either self-destruct or start to find a balance with eternity. They come to acknowledge their own relative unimportance, and with that, relax. They are no longer responsible for ideological purity, but only to live good lives according to the principles of their tribe. And so they relax and find hope.

Every day people are bathed in the propaganda of being busy. We send them into offices and schools where their time is taken up by activities of dubious realistic value, but of massive social value, because then everyone feels included and important (I&I). The hive buzzes happily at these events.

In reality, people need to feel the vast emptiness of time beyond the counting of years, and find a way to make themselves feel good about being alive independent from some social status, title or material reward. Normally, they are kept distracted by constant stimulus which keeps them focused on external tasks constantly; let us interrupt that, and return them to the internal dialogue, where they cannot react to stimulus but must create their own.

Western civilization has cracked itself out on constant activity that does not need to be done. It engages in this activity so that people do not need to face the void, or the failure of this civilization and the inherent emptiness of life. With recognizing the emptiness however, they are in a position to see purpose and God, and from that, to begin to like themselves again.

Our time is cruel but only in subtle ways. It removes from people the decisions they need to make in order to understand themselves, and through that, to know what of their world is self and what is reality. As a result, they wander in darkness and obscurity, never seeing the light hidden behind the facade of everything.

Liberalism is inhuman

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015


Good advertising pitches a simple formula: use this product and be successful. Liberalism promises a similar process, but in its case, social success is what is sold. Use the product named liberalism, and you will be popular or at least, fit in.

Unfortunately — as is well known — advertising does not equal reality. In fact, most advertising is strategically vague lying. Much is the same case with liberalism, which makes grand promises based on its intentions, but does not care to assess its intent relative to reality, which will show the results of those intentions. As Lloyd Marcus writes:

Liberals wrongfully get high marks for compassion. The truth is real compassionate leadership makes wise responsible decisions. Liberals define a compassionate nation as how long that line is of people showing up for their daily allotment of free fish. In America today, 94 million Americans are unemployed. And yet, they have all the necessities and many of the luxuries of working Americans. Forty-seven million Americans are on food stamps. Millions of capable Americans are receiving disability.

Conservatives define compassion as liberating citizens from government. Government handouts are always accompanied with government dictates and controls. There ain’t no free lunch.

Real compassion consists of achieving good results, not good intentions. After all, as our grandparents knew, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” This leads us a to further conjecture: advertising induces us to buy products in lieu of fixing bigger problems in our lives. What is liberalism distracting from?

A short list: ecocide by humanity, the declining amount of open space balanced against our rising population, the decay of our civilization, the foolishness of voters as individuals and as a mass, the rising third-world which wishes to exterminate us, a decaying infrastructure, corruption infiltrating our institutions, and visual pollution in addition to noise pollution and litter, toxins and rotting abandoned human settlements strewn across our natural land.

Those are actual problems. Liberalism presents distractions.

Something, Anything (2014)

Friday, June 12th, 2015


Some movies one chooses to entertain. Some one chooses to feel profound. Others are chosen because they take a grim reality and make a kind of beauty of it. Something, Anything looks into the void of modern life from a passive perspective, and absent two major flaws, evokes what more of us should be thinking about, and what is gratifying to see clarified in such a striking way.

The film centers on Margaret Montgomery, a recently-married woman with a job in real-estate who starts to have doubts about… well, everything. Her husband is distant because he views her as a means to an end, her job is directed at personal profit at the expense of others, and her friends view her as a social distraction or dolls for their own manipulative playhouses. The result is that in the midst of much activity, Margaret is completely alone. When a life-changing event comes her way, she scoots out of the disaster and retreats to a solitary life with a relatively menial job, small apartment and simple schedule. At the same time, she is distracted by a letter from a monk, who writes what may be the only authentic sentiment she hears in the film, and becomes fascinated by the monastic lifestyle, even discarding most of her worldly possessions in order to get better clarity in her own mind. The film contrasts external freedom, with money/job/popularity, to internal freedom or the ability to know oneself and through that, to be able to see the world clearly.

The film possesses two fatal flaws. The first is its Christian tendency which would not be offensive except in that it directs the film toward a pity object, namely English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, which is another form of grotesque empathy for the third world that lost white Christians use to convince themselves they have found meaning. The second is the ending, which relies on broad strokes of a brush in a film that has made a point of evading those in favor of introspection, but this is understandable as it is very difficult to convey internal development onto the screen. These glitches drop this movie from a recommendation to a passing phenomenon, because otherwise it perfectly portrays the emptiness and false choices of an externalized modern life, in a cross between Steppenwolf and Office Space.

Something, Anything is not a happy film. It is a film about how we fail to do any soul-searching, and make ourselves into plastic cutouts that stumble through life reacting to perceived needs without any knowledge of why we do these things and thus no ability to appreciate them. Like the best of modernity-critical works, it shows us how people essentially use each other as means to an end, and how there is never a goal beyond personal desires and it is suffocating people. Filmed sparsely and with deliberate attention to minimalistic detail, the film is visually beautiful and accurately represents the brainless emptiness of this time in a way that channels the viewer toward wanting to demand more instead of simply laughing, burping and purchasing something else to distract the numb brain for another few hours.

The liberalism bubble

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015


When you take on any task for a group, whether they pay you or not, a clock starts ticking. This clock measures the time between you accepting the task and when the group will want to see results, including the point at which they get frustrated and fire you.

Liberalism burst onto the world like a breath of fresh air, despite the warnings from wise elders that it was in fact a re-statement of what the ancient Greeks had wandered into during their senescent years. Starting with the transition from middle ages society to a mercantile society, the power of actual leadership was deprecated in favor of social popularity.

In 1789, liberalism eventually got the upper hand in France. It then began to spread through Europe and the world, taking over new places because it was hard to reject the face value of these “new” ideas, namely the thoughts of equality, justice, freedom, fairness and pacifism. Who wants to be known as against peace and justice? Like an aggressive salesman, liberalism kicked open the door with a smugly implicit accusation, forcing countries to defend themselves by adopting liberalism, or facing angry mobs tearing down all social order.

In 1945, liberalism completed its conquest with the destruction of the last two nations which did not base their worldview on liberal principles (although they were infected with them). Since that time, it has grown without meaningful opposition, since conservative parties are staffed by business leaders who specialize in getting along with others, and thus compromise, but since liberalism is the far vaster force even a 1% gain is for it a victory over the smaller conservative forces.

For those of us who grew up in the age of mass culture, it is clear that the herd is always wrong. They chase trends, fads and fetishes but never manage to do anything productive. This is because they are not focused on reality at all, or even other people, but themselves, and they use justifications such as altruism and egalitarianism to force other people to accept this behavior, but its actual goal lies elsewhere. What our governments, politicians, business leaders and clergy style as a great ongoing people’s victory is in fact the progress of degeneration, decay and narcissistic oblivion through our society and represents its final illness.

At the same time, the liberalism bubble — comprised of the time between taking on the task of “reforming” and “enlightening” our society and the time we demand results — has begun to pop with all of the soggy grace of chewing gum. It provided an absence of reality where people relied on the promises of liberalism and waited for them to be accomplished, in the meantime suspending their disbelief and any requirement to show past historical successes or even logical consistency. The result, as Rich Cohen writes over at Tablet Magazine, was a pocket of illusion:

The golden moment came after WWII, when the Jewish population of America crested—the population as a percentage of the whole. Maybe five in 100 Americans were Jews, which might not sound like a lot but was like a bumper crop to us, a remnant of a remnant…The unimaginable evil of the Holocaust seemed to kill anti-Semitism, even the polite country-club variety that shows up in the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. After the war, Hemingway disavowed Jewish jokes, which, he seemed to realize, were connected, in some way, to what happened. It created a bubble, a zone of safety not only for Jews but for other minorities. It’s no coincidence that the civil right movements came in the wake of WWII.

…This is my childhood, the world where I grew up. The horror of the Holocaust purchased us a 70-year vacation from history, though we didn’t know it. We believed the world had changed, as had human nature. Jews remained distinct in the new dispensation, but in a good way—a near-at-hand exotic, a symbol of exile, which we were told was the natural state of modern man. For perhaps the only time in history, you might actually want to be a Jew. Because of the close families and good husbands and yada yada. Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, Mel Brooks. To those of us who came of age in these years, the future seemed like it would be more of the same, the present carried on forever.

We were wrong.

Cohen views part of the bubble, and he sees it positively. In his experience, for about seven decades the threats were banished and the good times rolled. This is a common assumption after wars that do not eliminate the cause that created the conditions that assured their existence, only the outward manifestations of it. In world war II, we banished the symbolic enemy in the form of nationalism, but missed the point that modern liberal society itself is inherently unstable because its design — the logic of how it is put together — is inherently paradoxical. Like good politicians, we declared victory and went home, leaving the problems fully intact but having beaten back those who, having noticed them, attempted one type of solution (one that is incompatible with conservative ideals, as will be documented in a forthcoming post).

Our bubble in the West is larger however. It started before the Magna Carta with the dispossession of aristocrats by the new city-dwellers and their mercantile interests, as the caste of vaisya displaced kshatriya and brahmin castes. This process gained momentum over the years, and as it began to pull society apart, an apologist movement called “liberalism” rose up. This movement believed that we could live alongside the decay if we just made a few token concessions. These rapidly took on attributes of talisman and superstition. If society made everyone equal, the thinking went, we would eliminate the class warfare that was tearing us apart.

As a result, the idea of “equality” took on a religious fervor among its adherents who feared the explosion they felt was always lurking under the surface. In their view, dogmatic — Stalinistic — promotion of equality would prevent the greater horror they saw within. Little do these useful idiots know that they are in fact patsies and that their “solution” serves only to adopt the original agenda of class warfare as a euphemistic positive instead of the civilizational cancer that it is. Their blindness created a dogmatic ideological group known as Crowdists, of whom liberals are one manifestation, who demanded equality above all else as apologism so that they could use the ensuing chaos to get what they actually desired, which was “anarchy with grocery stores” or unhindered individuals — without social standards — that could take advantage of the benefits of civilization while destroying it.

In 1789, they formalized their offering: egalitarianism must prevail, and it must do so by displacing all hereditary aristocracy and replacing it with rule by the mob, where candidates shout out ideas and whatever sounds good to the drunken, unwashed, and distracted crowd bent only on self-amusement would carry the day. Over the next two and a quarter centuries, this terrible idea bore out its horrendous fruit, which is that no matter how many checks and balances we put on it, and no matter how many elites in academia and government we use to channel it, or how transparent the press is, democracy devolves to demagoguery. It will simply hide this fact behind pleasant illusions, fond visions, cherry-picked “studies” and celebrities telling us other how clever they are for having the “right” opinions. But all of this is false. The actual truth is that liberalism serves to usurp known methods of success and replace them with insanity:

From Aristotle to Edmund Burke, a fundamental tenet of conservatism is the notion that family and society didn’t just randomly happen, but that they evolved because a). they were based on a priori truths about human nature, and b). they worked.

Western civilization, and the freedoms we enjoy, were, as such, not the product of luck, but rather, the result of preserving time-tested institutions.

…Much of conservatism is based on the notion that society is fragile. And if we start tinkering with some fundamental pillars — redefining marriage, here, redefining gender, there — it could have dire, if long-term, unintended consequences.

Liberalism exists to distract from, obscure and muddle the above truths. All that it speaks are lies designed to turn the focus of our minds away from the obvious and plentiful truth, which is that some methods make healthy societies — and some others do the opposite. During the last days of Greece and Rome, increasing liberalization presaged the decline. There is a reason for this: turning away from hard reality, and the need to adapt to it in both a Darwinian sense and the conservative sense of striving for “the good, the beautiful and the true,” requires that we temporarily deprecate our own egos. This offends the crowd and they retaliate by demanding the cessation of all social order, which in turn furthers the decay of the society from which they are trying to distract. This vicious circle only stabilizes when there is nothing left to steal and the society languishes at third-world levels of corruption, poverty, hygiene, degeneracy and criminality. If we have a future, it consists of avoiding that reliable path and instead escaping liberalism for a hefty dose of realism.

Original sin

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015


For each powerful thing in our world, an opportunity cost is created. This can be what we forego in order to have that thing, or the disadvantages of using it. Opportunity costs represent the sum of costs and obligations incurred by doing something.

Civilization itself has an opportunity cost: the ideas of “freedom” and “free will” are dead, although people who want to sell you products will adamantly rant otherwise. Whether a contract or not, civilization is an agreement to cooperate made between all members of a group and entails not compromise necessarily but outright giving up of certain abilities.

For example, all of us hate annoying people; without civilization, when you encounter one in the wild, you gut him like a pig and use him to feed the worms you will use to go fishing next season. Problem solved. 100%.

In civilization, people need assurances that someone will not deceptively attack them while they are conducting the business required by civilization. In the wild, one is always on one’s guard; if that is attempted in society, it makes you a paranoid beggar living under a bridge.

Let us for a moment consider civilization as a game. That is, separate from all moral considerations — more on that later — how would you play it to win, to extract the most value from it with the least effort?

This question involves two sub-questions. One is acquisition, and the other defense. You want to acquire as much as possible but simultaneously must avoid allowing others to take any appreciable amount of it, acknowledging that some lossage is inevitable.

The game of civilization (not Sid Meyer’s enjoyable Civilization video game) requires that you understand the real currency of social groups: appearance. People need to know why they should do anything for you, even if they are compelled to do so, because performance of any task occurs by degree. If the guy in the cafeteria line hates you, you’ll get a small portion of watery eggs and a biscuit with dust on it. Technically, you were served.

To acquire things in society, you need a reason why people should consider you good and then a reason why they need your product or friendship. The best way to be good is public acts of altruism; the best way to sell a product is to essentially neg them by insulting some ability of theirs — usually centered around reproduction, sustenance and ability to stay cool in a conflict, the primal issues that our hominin ancestors also struggled with — and claiming that your product will invisibly heal the wound. Small penis? Buy a Corvette. No money? Credit card. Nervous? Designer jeans.

At the same time, you want to defend your status. The best way to do this is to advance some claim that you deserve it, namely by claiming that you are working for someone other than yourself. The old salesman says, “This price doesn’t even cover our cost, but we keep these around for nice folks like yourself.” An even better salesman gets himself appointed to the Homeless Rescue Team or Anti-Poverty Orphan Welfare Fund or even the Peace and Harmony Diversity Group. He takes a known social ill — homelessness, orphans, racial strife — and turns it into a marketing opportunity. By doing so, he externalizes the actual problem and creates a fake solution to which money is handed, while simultaneously protecting himself from criticism. This is the ideal product. As long as he keeps doing what he does, people will show up and hand him money and he gets to keep all of it except taxes, which he will dodge anyway by realizing very little of that wealth as personal income. What’s better than a high salary? Owning something valuable, and having it buy your car, rent your house, pick up the tab for travel and eating out and everything else that you can plausibly claim is related to business.

At this point, this person becomes a seller of distractions. Civilization has an opportunity cost which is that it requires people to find some way to motivate each other to work together. This opens a door for fakers, who benefit from the acquisition/defense strategy mentioned above, which is that they create distractions and sell them as solutions. This can be as simple as a beggar asking for money, then spending it on booze. The problem continues unchanged because the root of the problem is in the beggar. Similarly, when people sell junk products or useless charities the problem is in the charity and those who donate to it, because they are perpetuating a problem with the added parasitism of a false solution.

Let’s look at some common distractions:

  • Liberal lie: The rich are too rich, inequality is rising and it will destroy us!
    Actual need: We’re picking the wrong people to be rich and have created a society with too many people incapable of doing much of value.
    Liberals phrase everything they say as a description of the victimization of the people they are speaking to. It is taboo to say that the average citizen has become a doofus because that insults people. Instead, tell them that the average citizen has been victimized by… uh… oppression! Someone with power, money, good looks or a natural ability is oppressing the rest of us without those things. (This will eventually modulate into the smart people are the enemy we are familiar with from the third world, where inventors are regularly burned as “witch doctors.”) The real problem is that we make people rich for make-work schemes like Uber, for being good at sports or twerking, or for conformity to government regulations. Or even for just earning money. We could pick them by ability to lead well, which is different than earning money; earning money happens best by externalizing costs and creating a high-margin product that people think they need but actually do not. The liars and deceivers like psychologists, lawyers, marketers, bureaucrats, self-help writers, etc. grow fat on the stupidity fo the population, which becomes increasingly helpless and unable to do anything but staple TPS reports. The distraction hides this actual problem behind a football game style “us versus them” argument. The actual source of inequality is inequality of ability.
  • Liberal lie: Global warming is holocausting the world, so we need to cut our carbon emissions!
    Actual need: We have too many people taking up too much space.
    Humans have expanded to the point that nature cannot restore itself, a condition which did not exist when we had two billion people. When we expand, we use land, which cuts up ecosystems and chokes out various species that need lots of land for their own health as organic populations. Animals need space to hunt, breed and play; trees need to be spread widely so their internal genetic variation increases through mutation and they do not inbreed. Running roads, fences, pipes, etc. through these spaces destroys the ability of those species to survive. When we had only a billion people, this was not a problem because trees existed to humans in a ratio of tens of thousands to one; now, with far fewer trees, the forests cannot absorb enough CO2 to offset the human production. Our scientists — who claim to be intelligent — tell us that the forest can only absorb so much. The answer is yes, in its current state. But if you plant more trees, that changes. Europe and white-USA have already reduced population to a declining curve but the rest of the world is expanding rapidly. Each person requires new space, not just for an apartment as our media overlords hint and passively suggest is all that is needed, but lots more space for factories, hospitals, roads, schools, stores, etc. for that person. The only solution is to lower our population. Official population reduction efforts are a sham focused on teaching birth control and careers, which only cause the population to rise.
  • Liberal lie: White people are racist and are oppressing minorities, causing racial strife worldwide.
    Actual need: Diversity does not work and deprives groups of autonomy and thus self-esteem.
    Racial strife worldwide is the norm because it is part of natural selection within races: some groups break away, improve, and then conquer the rest. The four root races — Dravidians, Negroids, Euripoids, and Mongoloids — have each achieved internal variation according to this principle with some rising above the rest. Races do not co-exist, and history shows us zero examples of successful multiracial civilizations but rather reveals a long history of multiracial experiments leading to civilization collapse and third-world status, because they are optimized for different functions. Even more, people need to know they are from a group with clear behavior standards; this works better than police, who can only show up after a tragedy and try to arrest the right culpable person. In the meantime, a good person is injured and one of an infinite stream of useless ones receives a usually slight punishment. Minorities are not actually minorities, but a majority on planet earth. White people are the only group asked to “be diverse,” a euphemism for replace itself with a mixed-race population as is the norm in most third-world nations. Diversity is a way of tearing down the society of our ancestors and replacing it with a third world society, which liberals love because then there will be no troublesome social standards and awareness of better options to hold back liberals from whatever venality they desire.

It might make sense to see the distractors as in fact apologists for decline. Their actions say, basically, that society is not worth having and they would rather trade higher levels of civilization for higher levels of profit, which means that civilization itself offers little to them in their estimation. They are usually wrong, but only in the long-term. In the short-term, they would find a third-world society — the remnants of actual civilization — more profitable. With a lower average IQ, there are more idiots who want products. Government and law enforcement are easily bribed. Money is more easily spirited away and in the social chaos, there are few who will notice whatever corrupt, perverse or self-serving things that people do. The third world is the ultimate society of people oblivious to one another so they may each have total personal autonomy. Apologists do not want to stop this decline but hasten it, and they will do anything and say anything to deny the fact of decline. They want you to think that everything is not only fine but improving, and they will spill out ten lies in the time it takes to refute one, so that they keep you wondering and confused while behind the scenes they do what is necessary to secure power.

How does society defend itself against these parasites? With social standards, of course, which is why they are the first target of the apologists. Social standards demand that people put the health of society above their own non-necessary preferences. That is too many words and concepts for the voters, but leaders understand it. People must have the basics of life, but beyond that, their individual desires do not matter much. The reason for this is simple: all of us, until we refine ourselves with self-discipline and a drive toward truthfulness, are basically nothing more than monkeys with the gift of language. Our motivations are crap because all of them are justifications that hide our real intent, which is usually bad. We are selfish (the more advanced term for what your average rock band calls “greed”) and self-motivated, and to preserve that, we become oblivious to others. This mentality removes focus from the necessary task of maintaining civilization and replaces that with a narcissistic satisfaction of appetites.

I mentioned above that it was necessary to consider civilization as a game “separate from all moral considerations.” That is because all but a few people have no moral considerations. True, they talk in public loudly about their moral convictions and when it comes time for people to spend four hours on a weekend helping the homeless at a soup kitchen, they are there first. Why? Because it’s four hours of easy work. The whole rest of the year they can point to those four hours and ignore the other three thousand hours in which they did nothing for anyone but themselves other than to ignore them. It is the equivalent of buying candy for a child and then declaring oneself a good person so that one can take candy from children every other day of the year. It is laughable and yet to most people, it seems not only acceptable, but good honest proof! It’s hard not to laugh at this situation. The public, even the highly educated and successful “elites,” are total dunces who cannot recognize reality when it slaps them in the face and takes their wallets. They are literally oblivious and are so proud of their meagre achievements — a career, a trophy wife and family, a few possessions — that they ignore everything else and exist in a world of themselves. Swimming on self-congratulatory praise, esteemed in the eyes of (oblivious) others, they push aside all “negative thoughts” (e.g. reality) and instead direct their minds toward things that make them feel good. Then one day they retire, and reality catches up. Their children have grown up in a ruined society and turned out badly, their community is now bordered by crime-ridden slums, and all their achievements have been forgotten by a world rushing from one pleasure to the next. At that point, being fundamentally dishonest people, they do what every criminal does when he is caught: blame someone else, and claim to be a victim of oppression, because otherwise he must think himself worthless.

This is original sin. People are basically bad until they make themselves good through discipline and truthfulness, and most will not take on this path. To undertake civilization is to recognize that oppression is inevitable and is a positive thing when it oppresses the degenerate and preserves the good, but that in most societies it goes the opposite way — forcing the good to subsidize the degenerate until the good fade away — and destroys itself. Society is suicide. Trusting other people is also suicide. The only solution is to have high social standards and remove those that cannot achieve them, but that scares all the timid sheep of the herd who fear that they might actually not be good people. Instead of handling that in a mature fashion, and improving themselves, they band together to remove standards, in doing so dooming their civilization. It takes many generations to come to that point but when it does, what is left is a third world ruin like the rest of the world. Original sin has triumphed over its opposite, which is a state that joins religious morality and natural selection. That mentality says the best must rise over the rest and have 0% (zero) obligation to them; it recognizes that most of humanity is mostly monkey and that including them in a civilization will kill it. But already I have said too much that even the smartest among us cannot tolerate.

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
by Neil Postman
163 pages, Penguin Books, $8

Postman begins this authoritative book with a supposition: what if our cultural future were not the direct totalitarianism we read about in George Orwell’s 1984, but the subtler corruption from within by the pursuit of empty pleasures that makes Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World all the more terrifying?

He gently refrains from reminding us that Huxley, writing in 1932, wrote the original; Orwell is popular because he took Huxley’s idea and transferred into an easy Good-versus-Evil story about a man’s quest for freedom. Huxley is more disturbing because he posits that the quest for freedom creates a stronger version of 1984.

His point is well taken. The Huxleyian order is after all, invisible; we make choices and think they are ours. No “Big Brother” exists for us to agree is an enemy and rally against. Instead, it’s just a vast sea of us, imposing our own defects on each other, with the result being a reversion of the lowest common denominator. Postman writes about this tendency, but zeroes in on television as the major post-WWII change in American society.

Amusing Ourselves to Death offers witty insights into the ways television has changed our lives, with a dark undercurrent of hinting that we have ventured away from the safe areas of the park after dark, and are now in the grey area where whatever hits us will hit hard without us expecting it. In educated but not pompous prose, Postman shows us the split between reality and fantasy, but more importantly, how we’ve stopped caring because our heads are full of the narratives of television.

He calls this corruption of our ability to see reality “disinformation”:

Nonetheless, everyone had an opinion about this event, for in America everyone is entitled to an opinion, and it is certainly useful to have a few when a pollster shows up. But these are opinions of a quite different order from eighteenth- or nineteenth-century opinions It is probably more accurate to call them emotions rather than opinions, which would account for the fact they change from week to week, as the pollsters tell us. What is happening here is that television is altering the meaning of “being informed” by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation. I am using this word almost in the precise sense in which it is used by spies in the CIA or KGB. Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information — misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information — information which creates the illusion of knowing something, but which in fact leads one away from knowing. (107)

The entire volume pulses with such dead-on insightful prose, in which Postman joins great essayists like Mencken and Wolfe in cutting to the heart of a matter, yet doing so in urbane banter that is both pleasant to read and informative in a quiet way that takes weeks or months to fully absorb. This is a book that is digested, not read and concluded linearly; it is “outside the box” of what is normally discussed in our society.

In fact, from the viewpoint of an entertainment culture, this book offers a curious insight on a society. In Postman’s view, as in Huxley’s, social motivations have replaced any kind of practical thinking. The result is a world with one imperative, which is the generation of pleasant fantasy to obscure its fears and the resulting hollowness of its experience:

For television — bless its heart — is not congenial to messages of naked hate. For one thing, you never know who is watching, so it is best not to be wildly offensive. For another, haters with reddened faces and demonic gestures merely look foolish on television, as Marshall McLuhan observed years ago and Senator Joseph McCarthy learned to his dismay. Television favors moods of conciliation and is at its best when substance of any kind is muted. (116)

Television, like soma (the drug in Brave New World which blissed away existential stress), is a pure pleasure vector. It does not deal with the disturbing, except to titillate or convert into pleasant emotions. Postman’s ultimate point is that television pretends to be an information medium, when in fact it is an emotional and marketing medium, creating a pleasant pretend world in which consumerism is the ultimate solution.

In this, Postman expands on Huxley’s warning: the future is not the type of narrative we see on television, but something entirely outside this false world. Perhaps our entertainment has misled us to expect an easy world of Evil Tyrants versus Innocent Consumers as we see in 1984, and while we’re distracted, the real decay has exploded beneath the surface.

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