Exterminidiot

31 07 11 - 01:11

Awash in a tide of fools, empowered by equality:


Stupidity seems a concern to a growing group of scholars. Last month alone two arXiv papers appeared that both refer to a 35 year old essay by the Italian economic historian Carlo Cipolla entitled "The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity". In this humorous yet thought-provocative treatise Cipolla warns against the power of stupidity. Three of Cipolla laws of stupidity I reproduce here. The first provides a definition for stupidity, and the latter two highlight the abundance and the effectiveness of stupidity:


"A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses."

"Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation."

"Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake."


Cipolla describes stupid people as an unstructured, yet powerful group. He argues that when you suffer due to the actions of others, it is likely not due to malevolent actions, but rather due to stupid actions. - Science20


As the old saying goes, never attribute to malice what stupidity/incompetence can explain.

In particular, note that our world is awash in incompetence, which is a result of being oblivious to results.

If you cannot tell the difference between a good result ("that's a sturdy house that will resist wind, rain and animals") and a poor result ("this shack of dubious construction will resist nothing stronger than a good wind") you are by definition incompetent.

Yet incompetence is popular because it's harmless, and we all like to have someone lower than us. For two reasons: (a) a legitimate reason -- predators will eat that person; (b) a social reason -- if the idiot is tolerated, we will be too (surely).

We're compounding it by, in the name of equality, praising the trivial and making the stupid feel "eeeekwale" to their betters:


Facebook and Twitter have created a generation obsessed with themselves, who have short attention spans and a childlike desire for constant feedback on their lives, a top scientist believes.

Repeated exposure to social networking sites leaves users with an 'identity crisis', wanting attention in the manner of a toddler saying: 'Look at me, Mummy, I've done this.'

Baroness Greenfield, professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, believes the growth of internet 'friendships' – as well as greater use of computer games – could effectively 'rewire' the brain. - Daily Fail


Maybe it's time for daily competence tests more complex than talking about sports/television.

Maybe in order to get there, we need a society that values those who rise about -- not those who are merely "eeekwall"

If we're lucky, we don't need pogroms against the stupid to get there.
 

Ostrich buries its head in first-world living

28 07 11 - 18:02

From the usual blather:


So if there is no road back to how things used to be, to the naïve fearlessness of what was untouched, there is a road forward. To be brave. To keep on as before. To turn the other cheek as we ask: “Is that all you’ve got?” To refuse to let fear change the way we build our society. - NYT


This drooling nordmoron misses the point: you were living in illusion, promoting ideologies and actions that were obviously destructive, and someone finally called you on it.

You're no different than the pushy driver who eventually encounters someone else who doesn't stop. "Well, you ran that stop sign -- I just didn't figure I should stop to fix things for you, so I smashed your car, and it's your fault. Get ready to pay my insurance company."

Afloat on wealth and luxury, you kept making suburban-idle-person decisions. Sure, bring in more immigrants. Liberalize the schools! Teach propaganda! These things make me feel better about myself. I have no intention of participating in them, but I feel like a little Jesus Christ for demanding them. And my friends -- who also work easy desk jobs, are empowered and protected by a vast legal system -- think the same way. Society won't change. We're just making it better.

Then those things fail and you keep chattering on, with your head in the clouds.

Finally you wake up when someone shoots up your cities. But you wouldn't have otherwise, which is why he did it.


Josh Foster (of the University of South Alabama) and I are releasing a study today showing that narcissistic traits are increasing even faster than we previously thought. From 2002 to 2007, college students' scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) rose twice as fast as we'd found in an earlier study that covered changes between 1982 and 2006. (The NPI measures narcissistic traits among the normal population, not necessarily rising to the level of a clinical diagnosis).

Then there's the shocking data recently released by researchers from the National Institutes of Health. They surveyed a nationally representative sample of 35,000 Americans about symptoms that can add up to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), the more severe, clinical form of the trait. They asked if someone had ever experienced these symptoms in their lifetime, so you'd expect that older people would have a much higher rate than younger people since they've lived more years. However, the data go the opposite direction: Only 3% of people over 65 had ever experienced NPD, compared to nearly 10% of people in their twenties. It's possible that older people forgot some symptoms from earlier in their lives, but that would have to be a large amount of forgetting to account for this big a discrepancy. With almost 1 out of 10 people in their twenties already experiencing NPD, it's sobering to realize how high that number might go in the coming decades.

So the whole society has become more narcissistic - not just the people, but our entire value system. - Psychology Today


Narcissism is self-worship and to a large degree, denial of the world outside the self.

You can get away with it for a little while, but then it comes crashing down.

We have been living on illusions for too long because these illusions are popular and seem positive.


(2) It was really inevitable that shipping all the jobs overseas to places like China and Taiwan for rich people could make a lot of money would be unsustainable in the long run – the vain hope for an “information economy” and a “summer of recovery” and a “Sputnik moment” have, alas, come to naught.

(3) It was really inevitable that the wish of racial equality and all the social programs designed to create racial equality (think of Head Start or No Child Left Behind or housing projects) would fail because it was always based on a lie that was refuted by even the most cursory objective examination of the facts.

(4) It was really inevitable that the Universal Church of Political Correctness would lose its media monopoly as technology democratized narrative power.

(6) It was really inevitable that feminism and abortion and loose living – the sort of degeneracy known to the Ancients, discarded by “Wise Men” technocrats, the wisdom of generations we call “tradition” – would destroy Europe and America in the long run in exactly the same way that Rome fell after it was depopulated and invaded by barbarians.

(7) It was really inevitable that people who are utterly disconnected from the physical creation of wealth – cloistered in universities where they have created a language of “racial progress” even more complex than Scholastic theology – could lead us into the bright utopian future of tomorrow. - OD


Living in an illusion, you get mad when people disturb you.

You blame them for somehow "ruining" your nice happy oblivion trip.

But the fact is they ruined nothing. Life could go on as it had.

But now you're afraid to do that because you and others have seen that it is illusion.

The fear is from within. Breivik is in jail. It's the rest of you trembling now.
 

Northern Traditions II: Call for Papers

27 07 11 - 06:31

Following up to a triumphant Northern Traditions I:


Northern Traditions II is the second volume edited by Gwendolyn Toynton, and contains a collection of material from both Traditional and contemporary sources, encompassing a viewpoint that is intended to be both scholastic and for the spiritual practitioner. The Content level is semi-academic. By combining academic level material with practical work the aim of the book is to take contemporary pagan practices to a new level where they can be accepted as a serious spiritual movement.

Northern Traditions II will concentrate on articles on the indigenous pagan Traditions of Northern Europe.

Content ranges from in-depth mythological studies and translations of texts through to ritual reconstruction. The book is divided into two halves, with one section containing Traditional and historic content.

Submissions are to be between 5,000 and 10,000 words in length.

Endnotes are required for articles dealing with historic and/or traditional content, and the Oxford system of citation is preferred.

The final date for submissions is 30th March 2012.

- Primordial Traditions


For all the kiddie angsty stuff out there, solid work in either conservatism (along the lines of Huntington, Buckley, Weaver, Hardin and Lasch) or tradition (Stephen Flowers, and this Primordial Traditions outfit) really trumps the field. It's practical. It's interesting. You can participate, and help overthrow the cultural domination by the forces of confusion.
 

Victor or victim?

27 07 11 - 06:03

This somewhat lengthy/rambling piece over at Groin verbalizes a few thoughts about dating and marriage that I wish they told us all when we were 16:

 

Urban evolution

26 07 11 - 22:44

From those who work in the margins to spot the new rising before it forms:


“We get police called on us a lot,” said Dr. Munshi-South, an assistant professor at Baruch College. “Sometimes with guns drawn.”

Dr. Munshi-South has joined the ranks of a small but growing number of field biologists who study urban evolution — not the rise and fall of skyscrapers and neighborhoods, but the biological changes that cities bring to the wildlife that inhabits them. For these scientists, the New York metropolitan region is one great laboratory.

White-footed mice, stranded on isolated urban islands, are evolving to adapt to urban stress. Fish in the Hudson have evolved to cope with poisons in the water. Native ants find refuge in the median strips on Broadway. And more familiar urban organisms, like bedbugs, rats and bacteria, also mutate and change in response to the pressures of the metropolis. In short, the process of evolution is responding to New York and other cities the way it has responded to countless environmental changes over the past few billion years. Life adapts. - NYT


Do we want a natural world that depends on us? We're the flakiest element in the food chain right now.
 

This is a paid advertisement

26 07 11 - 20:54

If you're a moron, you'll think CNN just decided this was news:


But did you know you can order (and eat) a pizza in an Apple store? Come dressed as Darth Vader and get someone to look at your broken iPhone? Or even visit a store with a live goat?

Apparently, you can. We know this now courtesy of comedian Mark Malkoff, who tried all these stunts and more in a video posted this week to MyDamnChannel, the Gothamist and other sites.

"I will not rest until every electronics store in America allows goats," said Malkoff on Twitter Tuesday.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. - CNN


Everyone wins. Apple gets to pretend they didn't know about this, and look like a fond parent tolerating rebellion. This comedian dude gets to advance his career. It's us, the media sheep of the consumer wasteland, who are expected to read this and think positive things about a product.

How about instead, we think positive things about goats? Goats are much better than any product to come out of Cupertino.
 

Primitive

26 07 11 - 04:33

We know so little, yet claim to know so much:


Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that ancient footprints in Laetoli, Tanzania, show that human-like features of the feet and gait existed almost two million years earlier than previously thought.

Many earlier studies have suggested that the characteristics of the human foot, such as the ability to push off the ground with the big toe, and a fully upright bipedal gait, emerged in early Homo, approximately 1.9 million years-ago.

Liverpool researchers, however, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Manchester and Bournemouth University, have now shown that footprints of a human ancestor dating back 3.7 million years ago, show features of the foot with more similarities to the gait of modern humans than with the type of bipedal walking used by chimpanzees, orang-utans and gorillas. - Eureka alert


We like to think of evolution as linear. What if it's two way and in at least two dimensions? Meaning that as some things evolve, others devolve; in the process of evolution, there are also both expansive and contractive phases simultaneously. Humanity isn't a family tree, more like a forest, with us having a record of what survived best.


Poplawski proposes that the universe in which the Earth exists may be located within the wormhole of a black hole which itself exists in an even larger universe. A universe could exist 'inside every black hole,' claims scientist

Using an adaptation of Einstein's general theory of relativity, Poplawski analysed the theoretical motion of particles entering a black hole. He concluded that it was possible for a whole new universe to exist inside every black hole, which could mean that our own universe could be inside a black hole as well.

"Maybe the huge black holes at the centre of the Milky Way and other galaxies are bridges to different universes," he told New Scientist.

{...}

Dr Poplawski explains that this "bounce-back" effect is caused by the torsion of space-time having a repulsive force against the gargantuan strength of gravity in a black hole. - Daily Galaxy


Maybe go back to the Hindu knowledge and point out that it's informational instead.

This isn't about the interaction of matter -- it's about the interaction of information. Heisenbergian, that which influences another forces an expansion, and vice-versa.

When we try to find purely physical reasons for things, we end up contorting the nature of matter itself.
 

The high cost of low standards

25 07 11 - 20:55

Lost generation II, look what you get to inherit!


Call it credential inflation. Once derided as the consolation prize for failing to finish a Ph.D. or just a way to kill time waiting out economic downturns, the master’s is now the fastest-growing degree. The number awarded, about 657,000 in 2009, has more than doubled since the 1980s, and the rate of increase has quickened substantially in the last couple of years, says Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools. Nearly 2 in 25 people age 25 and over have a master’s, about the same proportion that had a bachelor’s or higher in 1960.

“Several years ago it became very clear to us that master’s education was moving very rapidly to become the entry degree in many professions,” Dr. Stewart says. The sheen has come, in part, because the degrees are newly specific and utilitarian. These are not your general master’s in policy or administration. Even the M.B.A., observed one business school dean, “is kind of too broad in the current environment.” Now, you have the M.S. in supply chain management, and in managing mission-driven organizations. There’s an M.S. in skeletal and dental bioarchaeology, and an M.A. in learning and thinking. - NYT


You have a few things to thank for this -- all of which are low standards, which result in a college degree signifying nothing more than four years of "attendance":


  • Grade inflation. Precious snowflake must be precious, says the parent who pays bills. Or we complain and wreck your career. OK, says the professor, I'll give everyone an A. This means no one really gets an A.

  • Affirmative action. Jizzy Debop is transsexual, a member of a minority group, gay and from a war zone. This means heshe should be admitted to Harvard! Except Jizzy really isn't all that bright. But we want to look good to the politicians, so here's a degree in Transsexual Vegan Gay War Zone Studies. Next person who sees a Harvard degree with think it's worthless, too, even if it was in Physics.

  • Specialization. Bill Doofus wants a degree, so he got one in web design. Well -- that's fucking worthless. Web design is something you learn on top of another degree or skill. But now he's spent four years learning this crap, and the college -- eager to take his money -- encouraged it at the expense of other departments.

  • High school. High School degrees have been toilet paper for 30 years now. Once the 1968 reforms hit public schooling, they shifted from teaching the smart to trying to bribe, cajole, fake and fool the underperforming into being "equal." High school is so dumbed down that college now teaches what high school once did, leaving no time to teach collegiate-level stuff (you do that in grad school).



While you were busy complaining about the high cost of college, they raised the price -- and lowered the value.

Next time someone tells you that grade inflation, affirmation action and moron majors don't cause you problems, think twice!
 

Deindividuation: how they use it to justify harming you

25 07 11 - 20:34


The psychologists call it "deindividuation". It's what happens when social norms are withdrawn because identities are concealed. The classic deindividuation experiment concerned American children at Halloween. Trick-or-treaters were invited to take sweets left in the hall of a house on a table on which there was also a sum of money. When children arrived singly, and not wearing masks, only 8% of them stole any of the money. When they were in larger groups, with their identities concealed by fancy dress, that number rose to 80%. The combination of a faceless crowd and personal anonymity provoked individuals into breaking rules that under "normal" circumstances they would not have considered. - The Guardian


Is it anonymity, or delegation of authority? These people want to believe it's anonymity so they can punish people with deviant opinions.


A year-old start-up, Social Intelligence, scrapes the Internet for everything prospective employees may have said or done online in the past seven years.

Then it assembles a dossier with examples of professional honors and charitable work, along with negative information that meets specific criteria: online evidence of racist remarks; references to drugs; sexually explicit photos, text messages or videos; flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly identifiable violent activity.

Mr. Drucker said that one prospective employee was found using Craigslist to look for OxyContin. A woman posing naked in photos she put up on an image-sharing site didn’t get the job offer she was seeking at a hospital.

Other background reports have turned up examples of people making anti-Semitic comments and racist remarks, he said. Then there was the job applicant who belonged to a Facebook group, “This Is America. I Shouldn’t Have to Press 1 for English.” This raises a question. - NYT


The Crowd doesn't want you to have anything that can possibly defend your ass against them.

Now who is the deinviduated lynch mob: the authorities, or the internet trolls?
 

Interesting Times #7 released

25 07 11 - 18:12



The seventh edition of Interesting Times magazine has just been released in free pdf and nominally expensive print on demand (sold at cost, non-profit). This graphically-intensive publication covers the intersection of hacking, survivalism, planning for collapse of civilization, and exploring alternate ways of comprehending human society.

Articles for this issue:


  • How to be a virtual world badass

  • A new breed of retiree – profiting from decades of knowledge

  • The career ladder is dead – long live the opportunity cloud

  • The Hackerspace as bat-cave and lifestyle-lab

  • How to arouse a woman

  • Hacking your tactical kit, part 1: Ferfal’s favorite clothing & gear modifications

  • Review: The Language Hacking Guide

  • How to learn anything and have more ”I know Kung-Fu!”-moments

  • Creative home engineering – makers of the best secret passages

  • Cassandra be damned: Incremental resiliency for the long emergency

  • 10 ways to obliterate your fears and expand your comfort zone

  • The Myth of approach anxiety

  • Designing your life and living your dreams

  • Dr. Strange Investor (Or how I learned to stop worrying and make a fortune by betting on the New world order)

  • The Conflict cycle

  • On inner drive and the way to your goals

  • Can pick up be guided by the Financial markets?

  • The Memory palace: A venerable technique for remembering historic dates, your shopping list and phone numbers of random girls



It's also worth checking out the back issues of the magazine. If you have a cyberpunk bone in your body, this is ripe fodder for exploration, and it's free (as in both beer and speech). Visit the Interesting Times homesite today.
 

Hipsters: blight

24 07 11 - 09:05

When your civilization gets ready to die, it first loses hold of any purpose held in common.

That leaves us with the drama of the individual.

People who are either (a) exceptional or (b) self-actualized duck out of this, of course. They are more interested in using themselves as a means to an end, as paradoxically, that's the only way they get a positive experience of life.

But people with nothing going for them become either humdrum idiots commuting to pointless jobs, or humdrum idiots commuting to pointless jobs and pretending to be important.

The most visible sub-group of that group are the hipsters: ordinary people who camouflage themselves as extraordinary using eccentic collections of cultural objects for the purpose of self-aggrandizement through uniqueness/ostentation/flamboyance/absurdity/"different"ness/irony:



From Your Scene Sucks. Note this better description of the hipster: Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization.

With apologies to Glenn Benton:


You are the one we despise
Day in day out your words comprise lies
I will love watching you die
Soon it will be and by your own demise

Buried in hypocrisy
Lacerate your faith in trends
Morally diseased
On the fixie of drama your body so unexceptional

Blessing as you hate
Loyal to your enemies
Fashion is your faith
As hip you'll pay for the lies of your prophecy
Sanity wants you dead

Kill the hipster, kill the hipster
Kill the hipster, kill the hipster
Kill the hipster, kill the hipster
Kill the hipster

Armies of justice unite
Destroy their clubs and pubs with fire
Where in his world will you hide
Sentenced to death, the anointment of lies

In due time your path leads to me
Remove you from your misery

The death of pretense
Kill the hipster

Kill the hipster...dead!
- Deicide
 

Andrew Berwick / Anders Behring Breivik manifesto

23 07 11 - 19:04

Video manifesto:

  • Knights Templar 2083 - Movie Trailer


  • 1500 page written manifesto:

  • A European Declaration of Independence
  •  

    Anders Behring Breivik

    23 07 11 - 04:01

    Posts by alleged Norway shooter Anders Behring Breivik: Google translation of Anders Behring Breivik posts to document.no


    • "For me it is very hypocritical to treat Muslims, Nazis and Marxists differently. They are all supporters of hate-ideologies."


    • "The so-called anti-multiculti in the U.S. based their rhetoric on ethnocentrism alone which thus differs greatly from Europeans. This is the main reason that we must separate the American and European cultural struggle. I usually stay away from American issues as a result."


    • "Best case scenario for Europe is that we end up with a super-capitalist system such as the U.S. with large sub-class / class differences. It does not sound very humanistic"


    • "Conservative Culture (of order preservation / patiot / nationalist / monokulturalist) and kulturmarxistisk (internationalist / multiculturalists / kosmopolitanist / globalist).

      However the majority of humanists but also many liberals are anti-nationalists, and is therefore by definition kulturmarxister. Promote either multiculturalism (cultural Marxism) or monoculture (nationalist), there is nothing in between, even though most do not dare to admit this yet."


    • "The problem is that Europe lost the Cold War already in 1950, the moment they allowed Marxists / anti-nationalists to ravage freely, without restrictions for the positions they could have and the power positions they had the opportunity to obtain the (teacher / professor positions in particular).

      The result, in particular Norway and Sweden is the extreme Marxist attitudes have become acceptable / everyday while the old-established truths of patriotism and cultural conservatism today is branded as extremism (of kulturmarxister and humanists). Anti-nationalist attitudes have unfortunately not only become mainstream but is now required as a basis attitudes to be able to climb in PK hierarchies."


    • "One can not fight racism (multikulti) with racism. Ethnocentrism is therefore the complete opposite of what we want to achieve.

      We have selected the Vienna School of Thought as the ideological basis. This implies opposition to multiculturalism and Islamization (on cultural grounds). All ideological arguments based on anti-racism."

      This has proven to be very successful which explains why the modern cultural conservative movement / parties that use the Vienna School of Thought is so successful: the Progress Party, Geert Wilders, document and many others. "

     

    "A Fistful of Pizza," by Jon Konrath

    21 07 11 - 18:28

    So I'm ploughing through this one in my copious spare time, thinking that it's totally bizarre and I know a website full of people who might dig it.

    John "Sodomlord" Konrath is the publisher of Xenocide zine, a death metal zine from back in the day, as well as his own books Summer Rain and Rumored to Exist, not to mention his literary magazine Air in the Paragraph Line.

    The new book is small size, about 200 pages, and $8 through mail order.



    Expect Burroughs/Saunders/DFW style instant detonation recombination of the esoteric random at high speed, with plenty of social mockery, death worship and sodomy.


    An advance copy of "A Fistful of Pizza" showed up in my inbox a week ago, so I loaded it into the Kindle, and haven't been able to put it down since. These are ripping, fast-moving tales that feature a David Foster Wallace or William S. Burroughs style pastiche of esoteric randomness tied together on an invisible thread of logic. Be ready for the unexpected and sometimes terrifying, but all the stories turn out all right; these are at their heart, old school literature that hopes to take you to a place far away and from there, to show you the mundane world in a new light. This is a quick but quirky read for the postmodern bookworm. - Lulu.com
     

    This man is my hero

    21 07 11 - 16:57

    From ancient news:


    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A man has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill members of the band Korn.

    The threats were made on the Internet and included some graphic detail.

    Adrian McCoy, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty in federal court last Friday to threatening the band.

    The prosecutor told ABC23 that McCoy made threats on a metal underground-related Web site in January of 2006. While metalunderground.com did not confirm if McCoy made threats against Korn on their site, one user using the name, LordAgony, was kicked off the site at that time for making threats against the band, saying he wanted the band destroyed. - Bakersfield News


    If our society had any brains, we would let this man do his holy work.

    Nu-metal (noomoo) is an aberration in the eyes of taste, God, decency, common sense, self-respect, biology, sociology and animal instinct.

    Purging it from this earth would be a task of extreme divinity.

    While others rant about the "rights" and "equality" of the members of Korn and 10,000 other noomoo bands, we should remember this:

    Every sainted man like Adrian McCoy who walks this earth, purging it of abominations, is an angel of God.

    Life is beautiful not because of good, or because of evil, but because of the interplay between the two. Evil must be evil, and good must fight it.

    Do not hand this man a prison sentence. Hand him a sword.
     

    Democracy is Demagoguery

    21 07 11 - 16:53

    Don't invent false meta-levels:


    The end result of complete cellular representation is cancer. Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms. - William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch, p. 112


    Existence is self-referential; human delegates to handle existence are not, or rather are externally referential while blocking access to that thing. This result in schizophrenia that's not really much fun.

    We need leaders; we do not need representation. The last thing we need is individualism/freedom/equality, which makes each person a rogue cell. Instead, we need cooperation through organic hierarchy, e.g. monarchism.
     

    GNAA

    20 07 11 - 15:06


     

    The meek shall inherit -- ideally, cruelty.

    20 07 11 - 11:47

    Watch what the meek do when they "drive safely" by driving slowly:


    Slow drivers are one of the biggest dangers on the road and should be treated like speeders, a report says today.
    Nearly a third of motorists have had a 'near miss' caused by someone travelling slowly.

    More than a quarter (27 per cent) of drivers questioned want an explicit ‘ slow lane’ on roads to combat slow drivers. - Daily Fail


    Slow drivers obstruct the road.

    They think they are driving slowly, therefore are safer; this would make sense only if they were the only cars on the road.

    Instead, they fail to see that traffic is like a flow of water, and they are obstacles forcing others to go around them.

    Like all things meek, they destroy by letting their personal fears get in the way of a larger process.

    Clearly their souls need mortification through cruelty, and then release.
     

    Reconstructing the past

    19 07 11 - 14:13

    The old narrative was too simple; the new narrative is being formed as they try to assimilate the data:


    Some of the human X chromosome originates from Neanderthals and is found exclusively in people outside Africa, according to an international team of researchers led by Damian Labuda of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center. The research was published in the July issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution.

    "This confirms recent findings suggesting that the two populations interbred," says Dr. Labuda. His team places the timing of such intimate contacts and/or family ties early on, probably at the crossroads of the Middle East.

    Neanderthals, whose ancestors left Africa about 400,000 to 800,000 years ago, evolved in what is now mainly France, Spain, Germany and Russia, and are thought to have lived until about 30,000 years ago. Meanwhile, early modern humans left Africa about 80,000 to 50,000 years ago. The question on everyone's mind has always been whether the physically stronger Neanderthals, who possessed the gene for language and may have played the flute, were a separate species or could have interbred with modern humans. The answer is yes, the two lived in close association.

    "In addition, because our methods were totally independent of Neanderthal material, we can also conclude that previous results were not influenced by contaminating artifacts," adds Dr. Labuda. - Eureka Alert


    This comes on top of other conjectures that run contrary to the normal wisdom:


    New research suggests Africa was not the birthplace of the ancestors of monkey, apes and humans as long believed, U.S. scientists say.

    Instead, a researcher from the Carnegie Museum of National History in Pittsburgh says, the earliest "anthropoids" colonized Africa from Asia, The Independent reported.

    "If our ideas are correct, this early colonization of Africa by anthropoids was a truly pivotal event -- one of the key points in our evolutionary history," says lead researcher Christopher Beard.

    Researchers say new fossils found in central Libya dating to 39 million years ago contain a surprising number of species, including three distinct families of anthropoid primates, the British newspaper reports. - UPI


    I have another suggestion: parallel evolution.

    Anywhere life persists, it works upward until you get a human-like form. It is a type of geometry.

    These may even be able to interbreed -- across races, across continents, across planets.

    If that breeding produces a better being, it rises...

    Otherwise, devolution returns us to an apelike state.

    Our scientists have a lot more to learn before anything they say surpasses conjecture.
     

    Primordial Tradition

    19 07 11 - 06:00

    You may have needed an antidote from modern "backward" religion:


    Perennial Philosophy, also known as ‘philosophia perennis’ (Latin: Eternal Philosophy) was utilized by Gottfried Leibniz to designate the common, eternal philosophy that underlies all religions, and in particular the mystical or esoteric components – in this way it is also similar to the Hindu idea of Sanatana Dharma. As such, the philosophia perennis is an intellectual transmission of gnosis, based on the study of the religions, not in isolation from each other, but rather in a conjunction wherein the underlying ideas converge, independent of the concept of communitas (as defined by Victor Turner as the social aspect in religion). Normally, because of the cultural boundaries exerted by the principle of communitas ‘religions are cut off from one another by barriers of mutual incomprehension’.[2] Schuon elaborates on the nature of this cultural barrier further by stating that “There is no metaphysical or spiritual difference between a truth manifested by temporal facts and a truth expressed by other symbols, under a mythological form for example; the modes of manifestation correspond to the mental requirements of the different groups of humanity.”[3] Here we see expressed the notion that the symbols found in religion have been equated as truth values – what lies at the root of mutual miscomprehension and mistranslations between cultures is not that some religions are inherently wrong or different to others, but rather that the principle of communitas, the social and communal mode of religious behaviour actually serves to distort and hide the essence of the symbols themselves. The same ties of communal religious behaviour that serve to bind a community together as a distinct cultural group, can also hinder the process of understanding different religious traditions.

    This is quite similar to Kant’s interpretations of how religious solidarity is defined; it is not the universal meaning of the symbol (on in this case the Primordial Tradition) but rather how symbols are interpreted and applied to social behaviour within a specific community or culture.


    As Kant sees it, genuine religious solidarity does not rest on the confession of a uniform symbol or creed anyway; Kant suspects such creedal formulas of contributing more to a spirit of hypocrisy within people and between them than to anything else. What unites believers in rational religion is not the content of their beliefs but the morality of their dispositions and their propensity to associate their moral vocation with the thought of God.[4] - The Primordial Tradition, by Gwendolyn Toynton


    According to Schuon the link that connects the many different cultural strands of religious thought, is gnosis, or the philosophia perennis (which has already been explained as homologous with the Primordial Tradition). Therefore, to fully ascertain how there can be a ‘fluid’ transmission of gnosis occurring between different communities and social groups, and to fully understand what the Primordial Tradition actually is requires, as an a priori, a lucid and working definition of how gnosis is to be understood in this context.


    Even if you hate integralist philosophies, this is worth reading -- you'll find overlap with your own ideas.
     

    Death to the hipsters. Death in the wood chipper.

    18 07 11 - 16:02

    Known chimpanzee Grace Bonney, who's making a ton of money off bored housewives and degenerate design students with her vapid blog Design*Sponge (the thing in the middle is a sphincter), has finally gotten called out on her circle-jerking in-group self-promoting mutual self-esteem masturbation society:


    Of late, it seems to me that most of the spaces featured are similar: white-ish rooms, an eames chair or two, random art patterned specifically on the wall.

    I want to see varied houses from regular people, with regular connections and budgets that aren’t necessarily in design or art fields of one another, but that just have wonderful, unusual, or even ridiculously wacky taste. IT people, or secretaries that don’t make prints to sell on etsy in their spare time.

    Don’t get me wrong, this space is attractive, but I feel like I just saw it. I love you, Design Sponge, but you know what they say about familiarity… - "SNEAK PEEK: SHAYNA KULIK + JUSTIN KALIFOWITZ"


    You figured out that it's a circle jerk.

    These "designers" are not important. Except that they say they are. Which means they are not.

    Their "creativity" comes from doing the unusual, e.g. illogical and frankly, ugly and tasteless.

    But they have managed to fool the credulous idiots out there for whom first impressions are last impressions.



    Yet if you look deeply, you see the emptiness and the rage bellowing from hollow souls.

    "We must be important!"

    This reveals the grim truth: a hipster is a very ordinary person who thinks that in order to rise socially, they must disguise that ordinariness.

    With what? Surface appearances.

    How? The "unusual" and "different" and "ironic," e.g. the ugly, twisted, dysfunctional and perverse.

    To what end? To have a little circle-jerk going where they all praise each other's vapid crap, and hope that they fool enough consumers into buying this junk. Enough consumers to have heroin money and a little something to show Mom and Dad (who made their cash in air filters for trucks) next time the allowance runs short.
     

    Baby Boomer 9-11

    18 07 11 - 11:29

    Baby Boomers are so fucking odious that many people will destroy themselves just to also destroy a Boomer:


    A Swiss man has died after piloting a rented plane into the home of his estranged mother.
    Minutes before the attack, he phoned her from the cockpit to say: 'Are you home? I am just going to drop by!'

    Then Konrad Schmidt, 47, banked the twin-engined aircraft over his mother's home and flew past it three times before flying at top speed into the house in Oberhallau.

    Schmidt's body was later found in the rubble of the house. His mother Rosemary, 68, only survived because she was in the basement at the time of the suicide attack, and is being treated for shock. - Daily Fail


    Sadly, the Baby Boomer survived because in true Baby Boomer fashion, she was pursuing irrelevant self-expression in the basement at the time.
     

    Rural versus urban values

    18 07 11 - 10:52

    Our moron-media likes to talk up the tough life on the streets, etc. and other tired cliches for morons. But that's the product: make images morons find comforting.

    Since most morons live in the city, or live in the suburbs and want some reason to feel that their ueber-comfortable lives are terrible and thus they are victims, talking up the hard life of the streets (,cat/yo) is popular.

    Yet in reality, the country is a more difficult place. You're not anonymous; you have to find a way to work it out with your neighbors. Nature can actually kill you, unlike the city which is a process of socialization.

    And, of course, you have to make hard decisions to stay away from the epicenters of drama and instead, make a nice normal life:


    They live just 300 miles apart and both earn £50,000 – the income most Britons think spells affluence. But while one family enjoys enviable luxury, the other’s struggling to make ends meet. Here the Mail investigates a tale of two nations.

    The Sewell family are getting used to making sacrifices. The soaring cost of fuel meant they thought twice about putting the heating on last winter.

    They have had to resign their gym membership because they can no longer afford the subscription and last year, for the first time, they went without their traditional family holiday abroad so they could buy a new living room carpet instead.

    Meanwhile, 300 miles north, the Salloway family are fortunate enough to be living in rather more affluent circumstances. In fact, in the words of post-war Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, they’ve never had it so good. - The Daily Fail


    I am told that on Brokeback Island (UK) the North-South divide is reversed from the USA, where the South is rural and the North is an industrial wasteland (with lots of nightclubs).
     

    Idiocracy, predicted

    18 07 11 - 06:55

    Ancient wisdom:


    I know that many of my contemporaries are not the least embarassed by this difficulty. They claim that as the citizens become weaker and more helpless, the government must become proportionately more skillful and active, so that society should do what is no longer possible for individuals. They think that answers the whole problem, but I think they are mistaken.

    It is easy to see the time coming in which men will be less and less able to produce, by each alone, the commonest bare necessities of life. The tasks of government must therefore perpetually increase, and its efforts to cope with them must spread its net ever wider. The more government takes the place of associations, the more will individuals lose the idea of forming associations and need the government to come to their help. That is a vicious circle of cause and effect. Must the public administration cope with every industrial undertaking beyond the competence of one individual citizen?

    The morals and intelligence of a democratic people would be in as much danger as its commerce and industry if ever a government wholly usurped the place of private associations. Feelings and ideas are renewed, the heart enlarged, and the understanding developed only by the reciprocal action of men one upon another.
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America II, p 515


    Democracy makes people into domesticated children. They lose the sense of I PRODUCE and replace it with I WANT, with a subset of justification by moral process.

    The result is many fetuses screaming demands while a society collapses from within.

    Democracy is failure. All hail aristocracy! All hail eugenics! All hail meritocracy! and sodomy
     

    He makes a good point

    17 07 11 - 19:59

    Culture are the values we expect and expect to be rewarded for upholding.

    It's like a shared agreement on what's important.

    It recognizes that to most random people, nothing is important. They are miserable, lost without context, and they lash out at any happiness or any standard, which brings happiness by giving people context. They keep up the illusion that they are happiest with no rules, yet they all seem to be miserable deep within.

    "Culture is your operating system" is a good way of describing how it functions. It's what lets you interact with the machine of reality without re-inventing the wheel constantly, and being in constant debate that is never resolved except in the lowest common denominator compromise.

     

    Darwinism needs Idealism

    17 07 11 - 14:37

    From everyone's favorite group blog:


    Quantum Darwinism is a theory explaining the emergence of the classical world from the quantum world as due to a process of Darwinian natural selection; where the many possible quantum states are selected against in favor of a stable pointer state. - Wikipedia


    Essentially, any interaction exists in multiple states of possibility until finalized through the relative interaction between its parts.

    That means that the cat in the box is both alive and dead until the box is opened; the opening of the box, and interaction with air and other elements of the environment, determines the life of the cat. The observer is part of this but not necessarily the decisive part.

    Much like ideas in our mind, which form in a sheaf from which we pick the most plausible as balanced against all the other factors of decision, life continually works by the Darwin principle: create possibilities to fill all variations, then compare them and find the key that matches.

    I'm not sure how this relates to sodomy; the penis inside the ass is both alive and dead until removed.
     

    Why people are nuts

    17 07 11 - 05:24

    From an insightful Slashdot post:


    I imagine it's pretty easy to become depressed in our society.


    • Consumerism people judge themselves by products (Apple, car brands, discount retailers), they depend on corporate products to do what they could otherwise do, they are powerless to the system, they buy cake mixtures or microwave teleivsion dinners.

    • Devoid of meaning I'd hazard that most people feel that their life is meaningless which brings me to my next point.

    • Life = job People (by necessity) live life a job, not a life. office workers and labourers.

    • Unchecked capitalism Capitalism doesn't feel soft and fuzzy. You feel powerless. Advertising is harmful.



    People who live a job rather than a life do things that advertising and media tell them to do or what other people in their situation do to escape. They turn to alcohol, nightclubs, meaningless sex, gambling, smoking or anything that is meaningless or self destructive.

    I imagine that these factors, plus the fact that everyone seems to be a big asshole these days contribute to people turning to drugs. Ultimately, people feel disconnected from other people, they are ostracized and bullied. Drugs don't solve problems. You do.

    I feel powerless because of the following:


    • My Privacy invaded day by day

    • My Government and the US government is massively corrupt, doesn't tax companies

    • The unjust succeed while the moral wither

    • Everyone thinks they are right so nothing gets done



    As Adam Smith said, agriculture is the root of all progress. Our society is unsustainable and growth seems to be on top of artificial markets. For example, digital markets like the domain market. Or on advertising. - improfane @ slashdot


    Straight out of The Republic, yo...
     

    Nationalism rising

    16 07 11 - 15:15

    From an informed source:


    Because American national identity tends to emphasize the civic dimension (based on supposedly universal principles such as individual liberty) and tends to downplay the historic and cultural elements (though they clearly exist) U.S. leaders routinely underestimate the power of local affinities and the strength of cultural, tribal, or territorial loyalties. During the Cold War, we persistently exaggerated the strength of transnational ideologies like Communism, and underestimated the degree to which national identities and interests would eventually generate intense conflicts within the Marxist world. - Foreign Policy


    Nationalism is a powerful force because unlike politics, it relates to who you are and what real-world values you have, not some airy preference for whatever political-economic system you have to keep the proles in line.
     

    Measure my anus

    16 07 11 - 14:23

    Truth is weirder than trolling:


    A Spanish priest, Andrés García Torres, who has a parish in the Madrid dormitory town of Fuenlabrada has said he will go to Rome to show that he is being expelled from his parish unfairly.

    It comes after the Bishop of Getafe has demanded that he goes under psychiatric therapy to ‘cure’ his homosexuality, and has an HIV test, following claims made that he has had a relationship with a 28 year old Cuban seminarian, claims which are based on a photo of him hugging the man on a trip to Fátima. Both men are shirtless in the photo.

    ‘Let them measure my anus and see if it is dilated’, said the priest who insists that they are only friends. He complains that his mother has not stopped crying at what has happened. - Typically Spanish


    I'd take him up on it. At the very least, it's a good excuse to put anus pictures on national TV.
     

    Work in IT? Your kid'll be a twitcher.

    16 07 11 - 09:23

    Asperger's/autism clusters around technology centers:


    Baron-Cohen and Rosa Hoekstra, a Dutch researcher, analysed diagnostic information on 62,500 children in three similar sized regions in the Netherlands: Eindhoven, Utrecht and Haarlem. They found that “autism spectrum conditions” (ASC) were higher in Eindhoven (229 per 10,000 children) than in Haarlem (84 per 10,000) and Utrecht (57 per 10,000).

    Eindhoven is the country’s main technology centre; 30 per cent of the region’s jobs are in IT and computing. The comparable proportion in both Haarlem and Utrecht is about 16 per cent.

    As a control, the study also analysed diagnoses of two other childhood developmental disorders, dyspraxia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Both showed similar prevalence levels, suggesting there is something special about autism in Eindhoven. The results are published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

    The researchers predicted that autism would be more common in populations geared towards “systemising”, the drive to analyse how systems work and to predict, control and build systems. These skills are required in disciplines such as engineering, physics, computing and mathematics. - Financial Times


    Again we see that the bleeding edge of human consciousness produces lots of breakdowns. When do we become more than clever apes? (checks watch)
     

    ANUS on Google+

    16 07 11 - 08:43







    Click the button, type "Disregard that; I suck cocks" (or the sexual, racial, religious or historical epithet or your choice) and join the newest stampede.
     

    Kill the Baby Boomers, part MCMXXXLVII

    16 07 11 - 07:02

    Germany may have won WWII.

    America, the UK and the former Soviet Union are in tatters -- from within.

    The victors of 1945 raised up their proles to middle-class status through a giant crack pipeline of war-borne wealth.

    This in turn made them resentful. The women resented not working; they used to have wartime jobs, more money and no family responsibilities. The men became drugged on moral superiority and went on a jihad to liberate everyone from anything that looked like a Hitler. They spread moral snobbishness like a plague.

    Their kids rebelled against this by trying to destroy all of the old world. They turned this moral snobbishness into crusades for the third world and those formerly considered deviants; they unleashed sexual and hedonic appetites to destroy the notion of family. The hippies then wrecked the legal system and opened the floodgates to import not only people from all over the world, but to eliminate any checks/balances on the quality of individuals both domestic and immigrant. It was no longer acceptable to shut out a trailer-dwelling moron or to not accept an immigrant from a war-torn country.

    At that point, they had pretty much lit the fuse, and counted on dying before the bang. This is why we hate Baby Boomers: they're destructive brats.

    Now they're lamenting our refusal to follow them to doom:


    Famously, Jong (in the guise of her heroine, Isadora Wing) invented the idea of ‘the zipless f***’. This meant instant, irresponsible, no-guilt sex, when ‘zippers fell away like rose petals’ and ‘you never get to know the man very well’.

    Yet now, this pioneer of the sexual revolution is doing the unthinkable — and has declared that ‘sex is passé’.

    Writing in the New York Times, she muses on the fact that younger women — including her daughter — are not so obsessed with sex as her own generation (also mine) was, back in the years of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.

    Jong says she is ‘fascinated to see, among young women, a nostalgia for Fifties era attitudes towards sex’. She argues that older women are ‘raunchier’, but younger ones are ‘obsessed with motherhood and monogamy’.

    While some people have jumped to the conclusion that Erica Jong has finally seen the error of her wild ways and started to question the ‘anything goes’ attitude of her youth, sadly this is not the case.

    Jong laments the fact that her daughter’s generation seems to have rebelled against this obsession with sex, and she is bewildered to observe that while her generation ‘idealised open marriage’ their daughters ‘are back to idealising monogamy’. - Daily Mail


    Still trying to destroy everything, the Baby Boomers took it out on their children.

    First, you are deprived of responsible parent-figures. Instead, you get to hear about their wild partying and loose sex. This makes you think your own existence is just a random error or choice of convenience.

    Next, they sabotage you emotionally and psychologically with extensive dogma for their own screwed-up points of view. How many generation Xers found that, unlike their parents, they had 60s-70s rock 'n' roll pushed on them by their parents? Or were encouraged to be liberal?

    Finally, they extend their drama to you. "We suffer daily so you don't have to." Guess what: that means you get to do the same. They whine endlessly about society, make negative predictions, talk about how we're all doomed, and then look at you as if to check and see if they've pissed you off. After all, you're the one who's going to see these collapses, not they.

    It's time to take them all out to the open ocean, put them in wire cages and drop those in the water. At 200 feet down they'll figure it out and do an interpretive dance, then pause forever in silence.
     

    Jenkem: The Specter Haunting America's Youth

    15 07 11 - 06:09

    It's rising again, from the ashes of a fogged brain:


    I have always leaned towards the 'exotic' in my experiences and experiments in life. I was instantly taken aback by the Jenkem testimonials on YouTube and stuff I had heard and read so naturally I was game for this experience. However, I just didn't want to try my own 'all too familiar poo and pee' for the ingredients. Fortunately for me, an exotic pet store is within walking distance from my house.

    I seek out the most exotic animals and when the staff is distracted with their duties, carefully remove the excrement from the cages and enclosures. I can tell you this: The Jenkem one creates from our friends in the animal kingdom is like comparing Dom Perignon to TwoBuck Chuck. And the effects? Startlingly more magnificent! After a few weeks of experimentation, I have migrated towards the reptile kingdom for my product. More specifically, Lizards, skinks and a few species of Gecko. Note: Avoid the Dwarf Sand Geckos as the gases their poo creates is so toxic it will rip your balloons. Most other geckos are safe and make the utmost highest quality product.

    On the street I can get 200 dollars a bottle for my Non Human sourced Jenkem.

    I now drive a Killer new Ranger Rover and moved out of my shitty apartment and bought a house in a very good neighborhood. Jenkem is the way up...and the animal highs of non human Jenkem will expand your mind so far you can do anything, be anything, accomplish anything in the world you aspire to. Success is just a deep breath away! - Jenkem Group


    JenkTrolls of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains!
     

    Neoconservatism: classical loony liberalism that loves war

    13 07 11 - 15:20

    Insightful narking on neocons:


    Neoconservatism is but the most recent species of what most students of political philosophy now call “Enlightenment liberal rationalism.” That this is so is easily gotten from the causes that the neoconservative is disposed to support, especially the cause of “Global Democracy” — the enterprise of toppling regimes throughout the Middle East and beyond for the sake of establishing “democratic” governments in their wake.

    On this account, reason is a unitary phenomenon whose capacity to supply “solutions” to the world’s problems is potentially unlimited. To realize this potential, to achieve infallibility, rational agents only have to strictly observe those relatively few fundamental principles of which reason consists. As for what these principles are, rationalists have differed among themselves. Descartes, for example, thought that as long as we didn’t grasp for that which we didn’t conceive “clearly and distinctly” — as long as the will didn’t attempt to trespass the limits that reason imposed upon it — we could never go wrong. Others, like William Godwin, held that beliefs that were the fruits of prejudice, prescription, desire, custom, tradition, and, in short, any and every source that managed to escape the tribunal of the unencumbered Intellect, were species of irrationality to be stamped out. But what all rationalists seemed to share in common is the conviction that there existed one and the same rational power for all, a single standard by which all peoples in all places and at all times could be judged.

    It is this belief, many now recognize, that was enlisted in the service of the colonial and imperial enterprises upon which European peoples embarked during just that period when the conception of omnipotent Reason was at its zenith. Blind to the culturally-specific character of what he took to be a universal understanding of Reason, European Man assumed that because most of the world’s inhabitants in places such as Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas failed to satisfy his canons of rationality, they weren’t rational as such. In spite of the frequency with which it is repeated, the notion that whites at this time viewed non-whites as non-persons is incorrect. Rather, failing to see his own image in this socially and historically particular conception of reason that he identified with Reason itself, European or Western man regarded the non-white peoples of the world, not literally as non-persons, but as potential persons who could actualize all of the potentialities of which their circumstances permitted only if their wills were made subservient to his. - The New American


    In other words, all liberalism arose from the Enlightenment, a time when reason rose above empiricism and inner knowledge.

    Not all are in favor of this Enlightenment jazz:


    Long regarded as the foundation of contemporary political and intellectual culture, by way of influences ranging from the American Declaration of Independence to the scientific method as embraced from Isaac Newton on, the Enlightenment was based on the belief that all society's ills could be vanquished by the application of reason

    {...}

    "We cannot go on like this, just imagining that the principles of the Enlightenment still apply now. I don't believe they do. But if you challenge people who hold the Enlightenment as the ultimate answer to everything, you do really upset them."

    Instead, the Prince advocated a holistic approach to the world's problems -- including housing, healthcare and agriculture -- that involved local initiatives rather than globalisation, and worked in harmony with nature rather than against it.

    "I believe it is of crucial importance to work with, in harmony with nature, to rediscover how it is necessary to work with the grain of nature, as it is necessary to work with the grain of our humanity," he said."What is the point of all this clever technology if at the end of the day we lose our souls, and the soul of nature of which we are a part?" - The Times Online


    In fact, there are many reasons to suspect reason itself -- rationalism -- as a giant human failing:


    Rationalism is most often characterized as an epistemological position. On this view, to be a rationalist requires at least one of the following: (1) a privileging of reason and intuition over sensation and experience, (2) regarding all or most ideas as innate rather than adventitious, (3) an emphasis on certain rather than merely probable knowledge as the goal of enquiry. While all of the continental rationalists meet one or more of these criteria, this is arguably the consequence of a deeper tie that binds them together — that is, a metaphysical commitment to the reality of substance, and, in particular, to substance as an underlying principle of unity. - SEP


    Reason as separate from the world is like dualism projected into science. Relying on certainty instead of approximation guarantees deconstruction in an uncertain world. Innate ideas guarantee a false universalism.

    And then there is bringing the dualities -- faith/reason, tradition/logic, self/world, ego/id -- back into alignment:


    Reason, conservatives from at least the time of Burke have insisted, is inseparable from tradition. That is to say, far from being the monolithic power that neoconservatives and other rationalists envision, rationality can and has been conceived in a multiplicity of ways. And since each conception varies with cultural and historical circumstances — habits and customs —what this in turn means is that rationality is a thing local and concrete — not universal and abstract.

    Due to their tradition-centered understanding of reason and knowledge, conservatives — even during the height of the Enlightenment — have been, at the very least, reluctant to lend their support to enterprises designed to erode the traditions and customs of foreign peoples in order to coerce them into acquiescing in Western or Eurocentric ideals. - The New American


    We venture forth bravely into this new era.
     

    No one wants to buy a sick cow

    12 07 11 - 03:17

    No one wants to buy a sick cow. There are other cows available; why pick a sick one?


    What makes this "recovery" so different? Perhaps the simplest answer is that labor has been broken as a force that can put pressure on management, so there's little incentive for employers to turn profits into wage hikes or new jobs. Instead, employers are squeezing more out of the workers that they've got, and investing in equipment upgrades and new technology instead of human assets -- labor productivity has risen sharply since the end of the recession.

    Globalization also plays a potent role -- and not just as a source of cheap labor to undermine the bargaining power of American workers. The Journal notes that many companies "are benefiting from demand from emerging markets, where they are deriving an increasing share of their sales." Job creation is probably following the sources of new demand. If the Chinese and Brazilians and Indians are the ones buying American goods and services, then it makes sense to staff up overseas. But with American consumers still shellshocked by the economic crash and dutifully obsessed with paying down their debts while trying to hold on to their homes, domestic demand is hardly a force to be catered to.

    Wages are moribund, unemployment is stuck at 9 percent, and the corporate bottom line is doing just fine. You could be excused for thinking that if ever there was time to put the stake through supply-side economics, it would be now. Wall Street and big corporations are doing just fine, but absolutely nothing is trickling down. And yet Republicans are still pushing the same old song and dance, passionately holding the entire creditworthiness of the United States hostage in return for even lower taxes on corporations, adamantly refusing to countenance even the slightest revenue increase to help cushion the hard times for the Americans who are getting a raw deal out of the current recovery. - Full Derp Magazine


    Why aren't they investing in America?

    It's a sick cow.

    America spends its money like an idiot:


    The idea is, as Newt Gingrich might say, simple liberal social engineering. You take the million or so poorest 3- and 4-year-old children and give them a leg up on socialization and education by providing preschool for them; if it works, it saves money in the long run by producing fewer criminals and welfare recipients — and more productive citizens. Indeed, Head Start did work well in several pilot programs carefully run by professionals in the 1960s. And so it was "taken to scale," as the wonks say, as part of Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty.

    It is now 45 years later. We spend more than $7 billion providing Head Start to nearly 1 million children each year. And finally there is indisputable evidence about the program's effectiveness, provided by the Department of Health and Human Services: Head Start simply does not work.

    According to the Head Start Impact Study, which was quite comprehensive, the positive effects of the program were minimal and vanished by the end of first grade. Head Start graduates performed about the same as students of similar income and social status who were not part of the program. These results were so shocking that the HHS team sat on them for several years, according to Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution, who said, "I guess they were trying to rerun the data to see if they could come up with anything positive. They couldn't." - Time


    And spends its money bribing the world to go along with the American agenda:


    The United States is assessed at 22% of the U.N. regular budget and more than 27% for U.N. the peacekeeping budget. Mr. Obama has requested $516.3 million for the U.N. regular budget and more than $2.182 billion for the peacekeeping budget for 2011.

    The United States is also assessed for numerous other United Nations organizations as well. More than $6.347 billion went to U.N. organizations in FY 2009.

    The United States also provides money to the U.N. through the State Department, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies.

    Andrea Lafferty of The Traditional Values Coalition writes: “The U.S. taxpayer is forced to pay billions to an inefficient organization run by world leaders who hate America and the free market system. This doesn’t make any sense – nor does our paying 22% of the cost to keep this bureaucracy alive when we have only one vote in the General Assembly.” - AIM


    And we spend even more billions -- over half of our budget -- on entitlement programs, most of which go to our permanent underclasses.

    How's socialism working out for you?

    -- Of course. It never does.

    The sick cow has been brought on by the demographic warfare of Democrats. As Thomas Sowell notes, in 1965 they switched strategies -- start importing voters.

    They did that because they can count on those imports to grow in number, and never vote for the majority:


    The growth rate of the Palestinian population inside Israel is highly instructive. In 1948, the Arab population of Palestine (which included the land today called Israel) numbered 1,319,000.

    Of this figure, over 1.2 million were driven out in the 1948 civil war which erupted following the establishment of Israel, and by the time the dust settled, there were only 160,000 Arabs left inside Israel’s 1948 borders.

    It is this figure of 160,000 which has now multiplied, through natural growth only (bearing in mind that Israel does not allow Arab immigration) has now reached 1.5 million. It is a staggering increase, and is certainly higher than the Jewish population growth rate, which has been aided greatly by immigration from Europe, the USA and the former Soviet Union.

    Palestinians already form the majority of the population in the Galilee and Triangle regions, and the Jewish population in the northern part of Israel is declining.

    Dr. Wahid Abd Al-Magid, the editor of Al-Ahram Weekly’s “Arab Strategic Report” predicted that “The Arabs of 1948 (i.e. Arabs who stayed within the bounds of Israel and accepted citizenship) may become a majority in Israel in 2035, and they will certainly be the majority in 2048.”

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called this a “demographic bomb” in 2003 and he specifically said that if the “percentage of Arab citizens rises above its current level of about 20 percent, Israel will not be able to maintain a Jewish demographic majority.” - BNP ideas


    How about a Palestinian president of Israel? Think he'll vote for what's in the best interests of Jews, or Palestinians, when those interests collide?
     

    The one human failing

    12 07 11 - 00:48

    The really old school (read: medieval) view is that people either accept the divine order of life, or choose selfishly to make themselves come before it.


    Kouri, who's a vice president of the National Assn. of Chiefs of Police, has assembled traits such as superficial charm, an exaggerated sense of self-worth, glibness, lying, lack of remorse and manipulation of others.

    These traits, Kouri points out in his analysis, are common to psychopathic serial killers.

    But -- and here's the part that may spark some controversy and defensive discussion -- these traits are also common to American politicians. (Maybe you already suspected.)

    Yup. Violent homicide aside, our elected officials often show many of the exact same character traits as criminal nut-jobs, who run from police but not for office. - L.A. Times


    This sounds like the classic narcissist to me.

    Whether a pick-up artist or a criminal, he/she denies the world exists -- and uses it for his/her own ends.
     

    Paradox of Freedom (continued)

    11 07 11 - 06:57

    The story that should have taken over from Casey Anthony but not supplanted violent flash mobs:


    A MAN HAS appeared before Limerick District Court charged with ordering his Alsatian dog to have sex with a 43-year-old mother of four, who died from an adverse allergic reaction to the intercourse.

    The Irish Daily Star adds that McDonnell and the deceased woman had discussed the arrangement on a bestiality internet chat room, and that Gardaí are satisfied that the intercourse was consensual. - The Journal


    Oh my.


    Libertarian: What's the problem? Intercourse was consensual.

    Traditionalist: This isn't wickedness, per se, but degeneracy at least.

    Eugenicist: All we need to do now is sterilize him, his offspring, and her offspring, and we are in for the win.

    Mainstream Republican: We need to arrest this deviant.

    Mainstream Democrat: We need to celebrate this martyr to the cause of freedom with a book and movie.


    BUT THE POINT is well-made: if we have freedom, does it have limits? Well, no -- then it can't be freedom.

    But on a practical level, no one wants to live in a society where rape, theft and murder are the norm.

    Most of us, despite our protestations of open-mindedness, do not want to live near people who have sex with dogs. Something about it hits our deviance indicator, which suggests that further bad comes of it.

    In fact, I figure very few of you would move into a community where over 20% of the people were dogfuckers.

    I guess I'll side with PETA on this one -- poor doggie.
     

    The way to willpower

    11 07 11 - 06:38

    There are many things to like about libertarianism. Like most other methodological criticisms, it's not a solution in itself -- by itself it would be a disaster.

    But as a spirit that informs other attributes of a political view, it makes sense. Its founding principle is self-reliance; its grand method is letting markets and individuals take over from bureaucracies.

    True, as Plato noted, it's mainly a rebellion of the capable against the ongoing revolution by the incapable...

    But sometimes good things come of it. One is Henry Hazlitt's The Way to Will Power. This 1922 book is like many from the era, a proto-self-help and proto-religious text about how to organize your mind to be effective.

    These were popular as a way to learn success strategies back in the 1900s-1920s. After that, they got replaced by How to Sell Ice To the Eskimos and other not-so-inspiring stuff.



    Courtesy of the Ludwig von Mises institute.
     

    Entroper

    08 07 11 - 05:03

    The fail meme has failed.

    FAIL is no longer rare, or all that amusing. In fact, it's the norm. We call it equality (equality or quality: pick one).

    US government debt: FAIL.
    Pop culture: FAIL.
    Fast food: FAIL.
    Role models: FAIL.
    Traffic: FAIL.
    Racial harmony: FAIL.

    I could go on, but why... instead, have some win: when stuff just goes the right way.



    With a little luck, this will happen to us when we get sick of the constant FAIL haranguing us from the sidelines.
     

    Human sacrifice: enlightened

    07 07 11 - 18:02

    Many mysteries are not that mysterious.


    Thousands of human bones have been found inside a Stone Age tomb on a northern Scottish island, archaeologists say.

    The 5,000-year-old burial site, on South Ronaldsay (map) in the Orkney Islands, was accidentally uncovered after a homeowner had leveled a mound in his yard to improve his ocean view.

    {...}

    Meanwhile, recent studies of remains from the nearby Tomb of the Eagles suggest that life among Orkney's Neolithic community of cattle farmers was much less harmonious than previously thought.

    At least 20 percent of skulls from that 5,000-year-old site—about a mile from the Tomb of the Otters—show signs of trauma consistent with violent blows from sharp and blunt-edged weapons. - National Geographic


    This is a kind of mass grave, visited rarely, as if people were brought there every now and then and pitched in.

    Interesting.

    They are all ages.

    Also interesting.

    And we think some of them may have signs of violence, if not to the head, elsewhere.

    Sounds like another cultural artifact:


    The bones of six humans—including two children—jade beads, shells, and stone tools are among the Maya "treasures" recently found in a water-filled cave off a sinkhole at the famous archaeological site of Chichén Itzá (picture) in Mexico, archaeologists say.

    The ancient objects are most likely related to a ritual human sacrifice during a time when water levels were lower, sometime between A.D. 850 and 1250, the researchers say.

    It's "very improbable" that the remains and artifacts were "just tossed" into the sinkhole, known as a cenote, expedition leader Guillermo Anda told National Geographic News in an email. Rather, he said, they were likely placed there during a ceremony to appease the Maya rain god, Chaak. - National Geographic


    Human sacrifice takes many forms, but generally one purpose: eugenics.

    If Dave is a total retard, or a predator, or even just a career criminal, what do you do? Same thing you do with a rabid dog: euthanize.

    To do this, you tell him the gods have called him home. He's going to the land of Endless Free Dope and Boobies.

    You drug the hell out of him, feed him well, then cut out his heart and offer it to the gods. Then toss the bones into your ritual chamber to explain lack of burial and give them a special place.

    If Dave is mentally retarded or criminal, you might do it to his whole family.

    This is more enlightened than our punitive system now where we have to create a show trial, and wait for the idiot to finally kill someone, before we can lock them up for life at $50,000/year or stop their hearts with fancy drugs.

    Save several million dollars, and do what all the smart people in the room know needs to be done anyway.

    If Dave is retarded, deformed, criminal, perverse, predatory, parasitic, obese or otherwise pathological, he is a broken animal.

    Death is probably happier for him, especially if you give his family an excuse to say the gods needed him.


    However, there’s another issue that cannot be packaged up as a legal case: Casey Anthony is unfit to be a parent. She is the type of person most middle class people do not want in their neighborhoods.

    Our law doesn’t let us say that we should spay Casey Anthony, or that we should be able to exile people like her from our towns and cities. After all, she has the “right” and “freedom” to be wherever she can afford to buy, and to conduct her disaster of a life however she wants — even the dumbest American learned this at school.

    But we don’t have an outlet for what she took from us. She took away our ability to live in a community where a child’s life is sacred, and we think people who think otherwise need to move along to somewhere else. She took from us the ability to set community standards.

    All of the media outrage is fake, and the “solutions” like “Caylee’s law” are stupid. We don’t need more laws; we need more common sense, and fewer stupid people. Fewer rights and more responsibilities. Fewer politicians and media manipulators telling us we need more rights and laws.

    Caylee was a doomed child. Of bad genetics, born into a bad family, in a bad situation. Casey Anthony is a failure. Her life is a constant disaster and will continue to be a constant disaster. Both Casey and Caylee would be better off dead. - Amerika


    A maxim for a healthier time:

    To each according to his due and process in the hierarchy attaining the goal.


    • For those who contribute, that is contribution.


    • For those who do nothing, that is nothing.


    • For those who damage, that is damage.



    It is even more civilized to give them a final method of giving back through their loss of life.

    We are told human sacrifice is inhuman, but what if it were a greater form of humanity?
     

    Death to all hippies

    07 07 11 - 15:27

    Morons tell you that the spiritual secret to life is love, etc.

    They make it sound so easy.

    Idiots, here is the challenge:



    Nature is phenomenally evil. Bloody, painful, brutal, cruel and violent.

    How do you reconcile the good in the universe with the bad?

    You can be like a moron hippie and pretend that the bad isn't bad. They don't want to hurt you -- they're just misunderstood. Shoot John Lennon again, please.

    You can be like a fatalist and pretend the good isn't good. It's all just heading toward the end. < shrug >

    Or you can realize that what makes life amazing is that it balances these two and makes good out of them.

    You cannot have something without nothing.

    You cannot have life without death.

    You cannot have good without bad.

    This is the essence of relativity (not relativism, which is dogma for hippies): things only become distinct when they have opposites. Light/dark, hot/cold, metal/metalcore.

    Hippies and other assorted mental cases deny this and so miss out on the true meaning of spirituality, which is literally that only the pattern remains.

    Especially after you feed those hippies to the snapping turtles.
     

    Be open-minded

    07 07 11 - 10:31

    The way to seem profound to a group of people who found no direction in life:

    Tell them that having no direction is not only OK, it's enlightened.


    Despite his dedication to classical music, Speltz says it's important to have other interests, too.

    "I went to a public high school, and I was interested in sports, in socializing, in all kinds of music - from rap to rock to jazz. Having a relatively normal adolescence helped keep me grounded. A lot of people in classical music become totally single-minded about it. But when you focus on something completely different for a while, you come back to your music refreshed. It's important to be curious not just about music but about everything else, too.

    "I have to confess that too much of my happiness depends on the success of the Lakers." - The Houston Chronicle


    If this idiot couldn't uncover the great variety in classical music, he's tone deaf.

    Then again, he's probably lying and just telling us what "we" want to hear.
     

    More reading

    07 07 11 - 03:25

    Philosophy



    Sex and Men's Rights



    Politics

     

    Identitär Idé seminar 2011

    06 07 11 - 19:11

    Identitär Idé (Identitarian Ideas) is a seminar arranged by the blog portal and think-tank Motpol, in collaboration with Arktos. Lectures and speeches by Andrew Fraser, Dr Alexander Jacob, Dr Tomislav Sunic, Markus Andersson and Lars Holger Holm. Musical performance by neoclassical band Winglord. The conference will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, on August 27 2011.



    For more information, buy a ticket or visit the website (where it helps if you speak Swedish, or read it at least).
     

    As the eternity opens

    06 07 11 - 19:06

    Stare into the night sky, wonder if stars are balls of data much as our thoughts are, a million convergent paths of thought outlining in silhouette an idea:


    What is largely forgotten is that Weaver was making a play on words, and that his primary reference was to Plato's famous Theory of Ideas, a metaphysical thesis that has cast a long shadow over the history of Western civilization. Indeed, Weaver's view was that this metaphysical vision is what made Western civilization possible, that its abandonment was the primary source of the pathologies of the modern world so decried by conservatives, and that its recovery is essential if those pathologies are to be overcome.

    {...}

    Plato's view is also sometimes called the "Theory of Forms," and "form" rather than "idea" better conveys what he meant.

    Take the example of a triangle, which has a form that distinguishes it from a square or a circle. In Plato's usage, this "form" includes not only its shape, but all the properties that make it the thing it is: the length of its sides, its area, the fact that its angles add up to 180 degrees, and so forth. Now any particular material triangle (such as the ones drawn in geometry textbooks) is going to have certain properties that are not part of "triangularity" as such, and will also lack certain properties that are part of triangularity as such.

    For example, it will have a specific color -- green, say -- and lack perfectly straight sides, even though greenness is not part of triangularity and having straight sides is part of it. So in Plato's view, when the intellect grasps the form of triangularity, it is not grasping something material, since nothing material manifests triangularity in the strictest sense. But neither is it grasping something mental. For there are certain facts about triangles -- the Pythagorean theorem, for example -- that are entirely objective, and discovered by the human mind rather than invented by it. Moreover, these facts are necessary and unchanging rather than contingent and alterable: the Pythagorean theorem is true eternally, whether or not any human mind thinks otherwise or would like it to be otherwise. "Triangularity" is therefore something that exists apart from either mind or matter, in a third realm of its own: the realm of Forms. And the same thing is true, according to Plato, of the Forms of everything else -- squares and circles, plants and animals, human beings, beauty, truth, and goodness.

    It is important to understand that talk about the Forms existing "in" a "realm," and so forth, is purely metaphorical. Literally they don't exist "in" anything, since "in" is a spatial term and the Forms, being immaterial, are outside time and space. - Ideas in Action


    Think of the bell curve.

    It is not matter, yet it manifests in matter.

    There is a pattern, and it does not exist in time and space.

    Where does it exist, then?

    It is derived from the properties of objects and spaciotemporality, a/k/a logic.

    And what defines that pattern?

    A thought-like nature underlies everything in the universe.


    Shunyata is a key concept in Buddhist philosophy, more specifically in the ontology of Mahayana Buddhism: ''Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form.'' This is the paradox of the concept .

    Emptiness is not to be confused with nothingness. Emptiness is non-existence but not nothingness. Also, it is not non-reality. Emptiness means that an object, animate or inanimate, does not have its own existence independently. It has its meaning and existence only when all the elements or components it is made of come into play and we can understand and impute its existence clearly.

    By way of explanation, we are asked to observe a cup or any other container. Is the cup empty when it does not contain any liquid or solid in it? We say yes, it's empty. But is it really empty? No, it's not. It is full of air. Even when the glass is in a state of vacuum, it is not empty. It still contains space, radiation and maybe light.

    Therefore the Buddhist point of view differs from convention. The cup is always full of something or the other. To describe it philosophically, the cup is devoid of its inherent existence. It has come into existence because of many other conditions coming into play. - Times of India


    The empty cup tells us that somethingness has been conceptualized, thus it is in the process of formation.

    What came before matter? Energy. Matter and energy are convertible -- what came before energy?

    All of our concepts refer to one another.

    This is a cosmic game bejeweled in delights.
     

    Lost in ourselves

    06 07 11 - 19:05

    Modern society creates a copy of us in external social space and a copy of reality in our minds, ensuring that we are bonded by two clones that do not exist in reality.

    At its extreme, this produces narcissism, otherwise known as being ironic/interesting/hip/popular/whatever:


    If narcissists were just jerks, they would be easy to avoid. The fact that they are entertaining and exciting as well as aggressive and manipulative makes them compelling in the real world and as subjects of psychological scrutiny.

    A cross section of the narcissist's ego will reveal high levels of self-esteem, grandiosity, self-focus, and self-importance. They think they are more physically attractive and intelligent than just about everyone, and would rather be admired than liked. They are enraged when told they aren't beautiful or brilliant but aren't affected much if told they are jerks.

    Odious as these qualities may be, we've all got a narcissistic streak within. Narcissism is a stable trait that varies in degree from person to person. Some aspects, including confidence and self-sufficiency, are healthy and adaptive. It is only at the extreme end of the spectrum that narcissism becomes a disorder, often because toxic levels of vanity, entitlement, and exploitativeness are on display. The idea that narcissism is a constellation of traits that exists on a continuum, rather than a single, dichotomous label (you are or are not narcissistic), is reflected in plans to jettison the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder in the forthcoming DSM-V, the diagnostic manual for clinicians.

    Narcissists thrive in big, anonymous cities, entertainment-related fields (think reality TV), and leadership situations where they can dazzle and dominate others without having to cooperate or suffer the consequences of a bad reputation. - PT


    Some people take it even farther and become permanently twisted like this.


    The ballot proposition, sponsored by the indefatigable Ward Connerly, banned racial discrimination by state colleges and universities and by state government generally. It is consistent with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and in line with the aims of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

    Its chief goal was to ban the racial quotas and preferences long used in admissions by Michigan's state universities. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 overturned the explicit quotas used by the University of Michigan's undergraduate college but, in a controlling opinion by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, approved the "holistic" admissions process of Michigan's law school.

    The 6th Circuit ruling seems unlikely to stand. Its citation of Supreme Court precedents is unpersuasive. The proposition that a state's voters cannot ban racial discrimination seems palpably absurd.

    But it does stand as a monument to the contortions that liberal lawyers and judges will go through to perpetuate the racial quotas and preferences that have become embedded in important parts of American life.

    The first step in these contortions is to ignore the fact that any racial quota or preference violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Discriminating by race is racial discrimination, even if your intention is to help black people. - Washington Examiner


    Who said anything about helping black people?

    Racial quotas are to prove we're better than you.

    Nicer. More egalitarian. Fairer. More compassionate.

    And you? You're just ignorant.
     

    The Cull Chain

    06 07 11 - 06:45

    7 billion humans.

    Next stop, nine billion -- and after that, twelve. After that, 20 billion humans.

    Even if we cram every one into a 650 sq ft apt, the resources they are going to need will be massive.

    Food. Water. Roads. Hospitals. Schools. Malls. Workplaces. Factories. Sewage. Religion.

    The concept of a planet covered in plastic, concrete and steel, where "animals" and "plants" are museum pieces, fast approaches. When we have total technological domination, there are no "bad areas." We just cover it all.

    If we love life, we should be ready to cull.

    As opposed to genocide, or eugenics, or even murder, culling is a process of saving people: identify the ones who should live. Assume everyone is dead, because we have taken a path of doom; however, pick the ones we should save, and either (a) focus on keeping them safe or (b) kill everyone else, guaranteeing the safety of the ones who should live.

    My suggestion is simple -- we set up a merit/demerit system:


    Merit

    College education +1
    IQ over 119 +2
    IQ over 129 +3
    Started own business +1
    Military service +1

    Demerit

    Violent crime -3
    IQ under 109 -1
    Drug addiction -1
    Drives SUV -1
    Promiscuity -1

    Add them all up: if over zero, keep.


    Surely however there are more factors we should consider. Graduate education? Costco membership? Likes disco?
     

    There is no wisdom of crowds

    04 07 11 - 20:20

    The wisdom of crowds has been a popular topic after a book by the same name came out, suggesting that humanity is a bottom-up self-organizing system that magically produces the right answer.

    Like a group of delusional dunces, the people who buy such books clap their little hands and exclaim, "Oh, so it will all work out right after all!" -- without anyone's intervention, of course. Keep grazing, buying, breeding and basically, doing whatever you wanted to do before someone told you that maybe you were dooming us all.


    As he walked through the exhibition that day, Galton came across a weight-judging competition. A fat ox had been selected and placed on display, and members of a gathering crowd were lining up to place wagers on the weight of the ox. (Or rather, they were placing wagers on what the weight of the ox would be after it had been “slaughtered and dressed.”) For sixpence, you could buy a stamped and numbered ticket, where you filled in your name, your address, and your estimate. The best guesses would receive prizes.

    Eight hundred people tried their luck. They were a diverse lot. Many of them were butchers and farmers, who were presumably expert at judging the weight of livestock, but there were also quite a few people who had, as it were, no insider knowledge of cattle. “Many non-experts competed,” Galton wrote later in the scientific journal Nature, “like those clerks and others who have no expert knowledge of horses, but who bet on races, guided by newspapers, friends, and their own fancies.” The analogy to a democracy, in which people of radically different abilities and interests each get one vote, had suggested itself to Galton immediately. “The average competitor was probably as well fitted for making a just estimate of the dressed weight of the ox, as an average voter is of judging the merits of most political issues on which he votes,” he wrote.

    Galton was interested in figuring out what the “average voter” was capable of because he wanted to prove that the average voter was capable of very little. So he turned the competition into an im-promptu experiment. When the contest was over and the prizes had been awarded, Galton borrowed the tickets from the organizers and ran a series of statistical tests on them. Galton arranged the guesses (which totaled 787 in all, after he had to discard thirteen because they were illegible) in order from highest to lowest and graphed them to see if they would form a bell curve. Then, among other things, he added all the contestants’ estimates, and calculated the mean of the group’s guesses. That number represented, you could say, the collective wisdom of the Plymouth crowd. If the crowd were a single person, that was how much it would have guessed the ox weighed.

    Galton undoubtedly thought that the average guess of the group would be way off the mark. After all, mix a few very smart people with some mediocre people and a lot of dumb people, and it seems likely you’d end up with a dumb answer. But Galton was wrong. The crowd had guessed that the ox, after it had been slaughtered and dressed, would weigh 1,197 pounds. After it had been slaughtered and dressed, the ox weighed 1,198 pounds. In other words, the crowd’s judgment was essentially perfect. Perhaps breeding did not mean so much after all. - AWC


    Even though this is only one example, the modern twist to the story is clear: elitist visits fair, realizes that most people are right after all! Democracy wins; we are all saved!

    But now the experiment has its second part.

    If you gather a group of people, you can use their knowledge to determine averages and statistical optimum outcomes.

    That is what happens, of course, if you impose a leadership situation where all are forced to focus on the same thing and produce an answer.

    Left alone?


    As Surowiecki explained, certain conditions must be met for crowd wisdom to emerge. Members of the crowd ought to have a variety of opinions, and to arrive at those opinions independently.

    Take those away, and crowd intelligence fails, as evidenced in some market bubbles. Computer modeling of crowd behavior also hints at dynamics underlying crowd breakdowns, with he balance between information flow and diverse opinions becoming skewed. - Wired


    This is in dramatic contrast to the happy prole-o-vision idea, which is always a simplistic fantasy based on the individual being eternally important and right.

    In movies, it's the misfits joining together to overthrow the popular kids.

    In economics and politics, it's the idea that a sweaty unwashed mob of selfish people somehow arrive at the best answer through self-interest.

    In reality, it's that a mob can answer a question correctly -- if you average their responses. Much like how they fit into a bell curve, they cover a spread that centers statistically on a reasonable answer.

    We don't see it working out so well in reality, but it's nice to dream.
     

    How long have humans been, you know, smart?

    03 07 11 - 08:01

    They used to tell us 10,000 years. Some still do; others are dating it to the time of "Out of Africa," e.g. 186,000 years or so ago.

    There are doubts however:


    In 1976, when paleoanthropologist Andrew Hill and a colleague were tossing elephant dung at each other in Laetoli, a hominid archeological site in Tanzania. As Hill dived out of the way, he stumbled on what turned out to be one of the wonders of prehistoric finds: a trail of hominid footprints about 3.6 million years old.

    The prints, say experts on hominid body structure, are strikingly different from those of a chimpanzee, and in fact are hardly distinguishable from those of modern humans. The only known hominid fossils of that age in that location are those of Lucy and her kind, the small-brained but upright-walking hominids classified as Australopithecus afarensis. PBS


    They look very modern human. Maybe we were closer than we thought, 3.6 million years ago, and all the old tales are right: humans have been here in modern form a lot longer than is commonly believed.
     

    Men's Rights and Men's activism

    02 07 11 - 15:02

    We've launched a new blog for men's rights activism and related thought:

    GROIN

    Forgive us the name. We cannot help ourselves!

    Primarily, it's my writing, but maybe others will come on board:

     

    Why We Fight: Manifesto of the European Resistance, by Guillaume Faye

    02 07 11 - 13:52

    Reviews ahoy:



    Great book. Short version: the metapolitics dictionary is the stunner, in which he reconstructs politics away from historical distortions; the rest is a clearer, more emphatic version of his previous writings that is a great short introduction to the European New Right (ENR).
     

    Exoteric religions fail

    02 07 11 - 11:38

    From the Evolan playbook:


    "What missionaries do not tell people here is that Christianity is losing popularity in Christian countries. Why it is losing popularity is that actually it does not teach much. For becoming a Christian you have to believe in something. Once somebody becomes Christian he is assured that he is going to heaven. So much so that even if I kill or loot somebody, it does not matter as my going to heaven is certain because of my having become a Christian. Therefore it removes responsibility. They do not have much to offer in terms of teaching. Also if you ask questions, it is not appreciated."

    {snip}

    The process of converting to a prophetic religion is giving up everything else. In this type of conversion the loyalty to one type of teaching becomes important. It is a conversion of loyalty from one belief system to another belief system. Their truth is the only truth and has to be followed. This is the kind of consciousness that is there in Christianity and Islam. If you are a Christian you are good and will go to heaven but all others would go to hell. For a good Christian, the Christianity is more important than your family, than your community and even more important than your country. So the religion becomes more important than your father and mother and your brother and sister. You can leave everyone but not Christianity. So in this case, tolerance for others is bad and the concept of tolerance does not exist. When you convert to this kind of prophetic religion you gain the attitude that you are going to heaven while others are going to hell. You are right and others are wrong. This could even make you a bit high headed." - Hinduism Today (subscribe)


    I don't agree with his take on Christianity. Christianity is a buffet of all the religions come before it, with the sole change that Godhead->God.

    However, prophetic religious ideals -- which can strike anywhere -- are like dogmatism, the root of the nation state: you must pledge allegiance to dogma, and once you've done that, you're in and all is assumed to be OK.

    There is no challenging yourself with learning or adaptation.

    Hinduism, like nationalism and naturalism, is an integralist idea. You do not separate a mental conception of the world from the world; you bond to the world.

    It is not an ideology or dogma. It is an explanation.

    Christianity is losing popularity because in the hands of populists/proles/drones/averages/betas, it has become wholly exoteric.

    In reality, it can be seen as a subset of Hinduism, much as Hinduism is a subset of the original Indo-European religion, transcendental idealism/monism.

    We should reconquer Christianity, Satanism, Judaism and all other faiths with this truth, which is not a type of religion, but a true observation about the universe in which we live and to which (ahem) we must adapt.

    Allahu ackbar!
     

    Land of the free

    02 07 11 - 11:24

    "Freedom" means nothing.

    You can have "freedom from x," but freedom without an object is like supremacy: an unfounded and contextless assertion.

    Still, remember, you have freedom, and that's why we're fighting Nazis/Commies/Israel/Islam/Hackers/Satanists/Elitists/Classists/Racists/Misogynists/etc:


    This is a no-refusal weekend, which means anyone pulled over under the suspicion of DWI will be asked to take a breathalyzer test. If that person refuses to take the test, police can arrest them and draw blood to test for blood alcohol levels.

    The numbers speak for themselves: 28 people have been killed in the past four years in highway crashes during the 4th of July weekend in Louisiana. State police say many of those deaths involved alcohol. Last year, 553 people were injured in 330 crashes. - They have television in Louisiana already?


    If we have real freedom, let us drive drunk. That's a method.

    If we create a destructive consequence -- e.g. drive badly, even if no wreck occurs -- haul us into court.

    Then use the drunkenness as proof of gross negligence, and cut up the driver's license.

    But don't engage in this stupid charade. It's basically welfare.

    Welfare for proles who "need" to go out and get drunk all the time.

    Nanny State says: "well, that's OK, so long as you don't drive drunk."

    Which means everyone will drive drunk, the state will profit from busting them, and every now and then we'll have these showy events of anti-DUI activity.

    But we'll never question the culture of drinking ourselves into oblivion as our only means of "happiness."

    Never!
     

    Nature-nurture

    01 07 11 - 13:54


    Edward O. Wilson is probably the dominant theorist in neuroscience today. He once said in an interview -- he probably would never write this as clearly -- he said every human brain is born, not as a blank slate waiting to be filled in by experience, but as a negative -- as in the film, negative in a camera -- that is waiting to be dipped into developer fluid. And the idea is, it can be developed well, it can be developed badly, according to the environment. But no matter how it's developed, you're not going to get any more than is on that negative at birth. Which, of course, gets into the whole theory of genetics and things like hard-wiring of the brain and so on. - Tom Wolfe


    Great metaphor; the brain is potential that can be either developed or damaged, but the level of potential never changes.

    The proles wish otherwise of course. That way, any person and every person can be Superman, if they just work hard enough!
     

    Prole arrogance

    01 07 11 - 12:04

    The following examples are of people who cannot write.

    However, most people think this is "good writing" because it's accessible. Even though it's incoherent and overdone, like a Cadillac with gold rims and a tinsel fringe along the velour top, the proles love it because no matter how much they get "educated," they still have no ability to discern aesthetics, ethics or long-term logic.

    The people who are writing this crap are arrogant proles who think their overuse of common words in "novel" (read: awkward) combinations makes them geniuses.

    They want you to bow before them, and acknowledge them as important, even though they've done nothing of importance. They don't think about whether what they're doing is important, only that they want to do it. We can be paid for this so we should do it!

    Feast your eyes on this terrible writing:


    An assemblage of various bits of ephemera and art along with our special drafting table, which serves a million purposes.

    {...}

    The wolf is another piece by the lovely d.c. ice, a gift to Grey on the occasion of the final show at her gallery. The Hasselblad reminds us to keep shooting, and the wasp’s nest was actually found with the bird’s nest inside of it! - Design Sponge


    We all know the gig with Design Sponge: it's entitled hipster children of wealthy Americans, preaching to an audience of "educated" lower-middle-class Americans who just want a cause in life, because they work at do-nothing jobs or are stay-at-home moms without a clue. But this takes it even farther.

    Around these people is a whole culture of entitled mediocrity, in which the focus is on them as people. Their "art" is a means to that end. They are all about their own drama, and if they can fool you into liking it, they get more powerful and they can laugh at you over drinks at the local wine bar.

    For such people, charity is a means to feeling good about themselves.


    Invisible, but manifest in his works, he would turn up from time to time in the news, like some demon Forrest Gump -- not his face of course, but flashes of his labor, his jack-in-the-box violence. When the smoke cleared, all the FBI would be left with was a sketch of his mysterious terrorist-from-the-funny-papers countenance, the mad monk in hood and sunglasses, a post office icon that did not age. - Mad Genius: The Odyssey, Pursuit and Capture of the Unabomber Suspect, by Nancy Gibbs, Richard Lacayo, Lance Morrow, Jill Smolowe, and David van Biema


    What a stinker. The drama! The awkward wording! The stacks of cliches.


    For a band dedicated to expanding their palette, it’s kinda hard to pinpoint that evolution, as their catalog is stylistically squirrelly. A cathartic doom metal band with shoegaze and stoner rock expansion packets has transformed into a pop band with trippy electronic and metal tinges – a cyborg Stooges with an occasional affinity for narcotic dream pop. - Invisible Oranges


    Let's get wicked stupid on PCP so that makes sense. Actually, it never will -- it's just garish.

    Fuck off, proles. Leave writing and thinking to people who graduated from real colleges because they have real achievements. I don't care if your Daddy's oilfield equipment company paid for you to live on a trust fund; I don't care if you think the world owes you something because you grew up in a working class neighborhood. You're dummies pretending to be wise, and when we take you out of your comfortable zones of hiding, you stand revealed for what you are: peasants pretending to be kings.
     

    The whore of repetition

    01 07 11 - 11:34

    Economics theories work in parallel to natural selection, thought selection and even desire:


    The concept of diminishing marginal utility -- i.e. that equal increments of a good / yield diminishing increments of utility -- was already widely known.

    {...}

    Dupuit did not rest his demand curve on empirical intuition but rather identified the demand curve as the marginal utility curve itself. Dupuit's basic idea was this: as quantity rises, the marginal utility of the good declines. Consequently, one should also say that as the quantity rises, the willingness of a person to pay for that good declines.

    {...}

    Unlike Dupuit, Gossen clearly distinguished the marginal utility curve from the demand curve. Gossen posited that demand is derived from the utility-maximizing choices of the consumer. Gossen's "Three Laws" can be stated as follows:

    (1) the amount of utility derived from the consumption of a good declines with each additional unit of that commodity (i.e. diminishing marginal utility, or, to use Gossen's term, "diminishing worth of the last atom".)

    (2) a person maximizes his utility when he distributes his income among various goods so that he obtains the same amount of satisfaction from the last unit of each good or, if money is being used, he obtains the same amount of satisfaction from the last unit of money spent upon each commodity (i.e. equality of the ratio of marginal utilities to the ratio of prices, i.e. MUi/pi = MUj/pj for any two goods i, j).

    (3) a good has value only when the demand for it exceeds supply (i.e. subjective scarcity is source of value).

    Of Gossen's three laws, the second is perhaps the most remarkable. The idea that, at the margin, the consumer substitutes between goods so that he obtains the same marginal utility (in terms of money) across goods yields the downward-sloping demand curve for each of the goods. To see this, merely note that when the price of a good rises, the marginal utility in terms of money (MUi/pi) declines and thus, by Gossen's first law (diminshing marginal utility), less of that good will be bought. - "Phases of the Marginalist Revolution"


    The concept that is vital here:

    People seek to derive a certain amount of power, enjoyment or utility from everything they buy.

    When a type of thing becomes common, they switch to something else to get the same impact.

    This explains why "nothing gold can stay": even a good thing, if common enough, becomes taken for granted.

    When you think about civilization decline, this explains how individualism makes it occur: over time, a stable and rising civilization is no longer valuable to the individual.

    Only to a wise leader.