Saturday, 5 January 2019

Thoughts on the system - 16

There’s no way to describe the system, the organism. Its vocabulary is grossly underwhelming. The following rough thoughts are an attempt to outline the unoutlineable:
  • You are the product. You, feeling something. That’s what sells, not sex.
  • The GDPR is a sneaky way of setting the default assumption that a person’s identity is the same as their internet browsing history.
  • You’re acting like young people are just some fresh version of us. But they’re not. Young people don’t know anything, especially that they’re young.
  • Get out of here. Move forward. This never happened. It will shock you how much this never happened.
  • The greatest gift you can give a child is personal responsibility. Teach them that nothing ever happens to them. They are always to blame. That is freedom.
  • Guys are trying to get pussy without having to give up time. Girls are trying to get time without having to give up pussy.
  • The consumption model is a massive long con to remove a family’s wealth and make it impossible for individuals to advance through society.
  • The only way to defeat the system is to ensure that the only person who can spend the majority of the money you earn in this life is your great-great-grandchild.
  • No woman will ever be the best at some task men can fairly compete in. If men could get pregnant, we'd even be better than women at doing that.
  • The only type of conversation I ever have with girls ultimately comes down to what they should do next. That is never a conversation women have with a man.
  • If you’re with a loser, then you’re also a loser too.
  • Treat people equally but differently.
  • Attitudes are contagious, is yours worth catching?
  • If you’re going to make a mistake, at least make it your mistake. Don’t copy anyone else's.
  • Successful people don’t say would’ve, could’ve, should've, etc.
  • Three recipes for disastrous thinking: what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; life is a battle between good and evil.
  • Choose two: love, happiness or career.
  • Any discussion about diversity comes from two groups of people: losers and manipulators. Winners don’t do anything as part of an identity, they just do it.
  • If you can be sent to a conference for five days and the business keeps going without you, you’re probably a loser.
  • Women have rape fantasies because it means they can have sex that isn’t her fault.
  • No one prepares for natural disasters anymore, instead, we just socialise the costs.
  • Since almost no one understands what narcissism is, the term is thrown around by boring people as a smear for charismatic people.
  • For the feminine imperative to survive the 21st century, the internet must be broken or controlled. The internet is the most important invention for the freedom of males ever devised. Even guns are used to keep men under the control of the female goals.
  • Equality is the religion of women.
  • You don’t want to listen to me? Fine. I just hope you don’t reach a point in your life where you wish you had listened.
  • Girls don’t care what you look like. They only care about what their imagination makes them think your look means.
  • Her “biological clock” doesn't start ticking down at 35, it's been declining since 21. She just pretended it wasn't a real thing and now she's wasted her time.
  • Change the tools and you change the rules.
  • The idea that humans share a common historical destination is a remnant of monotheism.
  • Women hate a man who must be told to be dominant and confident.
  • “Let’s just be friends.” Ha, screw that. You’re not interesting enough to be my friend. We both know all you have is sex and if you don’t want to give it to me, then why would I pretend like you have anything else just to avoid seeming like an asshole?
  • In a digital world, the analogue is a scarce resource.
  • It is perfectly reasonable that the media represents men as brutal oppressors of females. What would be the sense of men’s daily economic struggles if the women for whom they are struggling are not also in need of their protection? What would happen if men were told that they are, in reality, the ones who are enslaved?
  • The phrase “true love puts your partner's happiness first” follows the female definition of love. The man overrides his own definition. Every time he feels for a woman what she expects of him - putting her happiness first - he is not happy. Every time he is happy with the woman he has been putting himself first, which is what makes her happy too.
  • You’re angry that he wolf-whistled to you? Grow up. He’s whistling as practice to become the kind of masculine man you need him to be. Do you think you’re so valuable that you’re above being practice for his development to become a man? How can you be so arrogant?
  • Don’t wish the game was easier, wish that you were better at playing the game.
  • Women are the enemy. They are constantly trying to save you from your manness.
  • A true patriarch is a man who acts as the provider and knows this gives him the right to give orders to those for whom he provides as the core social contract.
  • To find yourself in bed with a stupid partner is the loneliest feeling in the world.
  • Man cannot find a woman he can love, and a woman who values a man’s love more than his protection cannot be lovable.
  • Fundamentalist Christianity is a reaction to the progressive Christianity of the late 1800s and early 1900s when progressives evolvedChristianity into a faith they thought would help it survive during a modern time of technological change.
  • Feminists are women who judge their own sex by male standards.
  • The reason men feel sheepish about prostitution isn't shaming, but because men know anyone can have sex with her which means he can’t display his worth by “getting” her.
  • A person makes war to win, not because it is just.
  • Sexuality is one of the few aspects of our lives where class barriers still exist, even in a welfare state: which sex partner a rich man can attain depends strictly on its income.
  • Power is proportional to the intensity that one person can make another person love him.
  • The whole point of modern schooling is to teach a male to be submissive and allow externalities to guide his life.
  • It’s amazing that the worst thing a woman can claim a man did to her is to take her pussy against her will. Not death, not torture, not mental abuse, nothing. The worst thing - for a woman - is to take pussy. It’s almost like women suspect they’re only worth is their body.
  • In this feminised world, a woman is a man who doesn’t have to be a man, but a man is a woman who is not allowed to be a woman.
  • The unequivocal evidence that women are the more frigid sex is the absence of male prostitution. Even Tinder is just a form of using sex to locate men with the most resources.
  • There is no such thing as racism. There is only sexual competition for the most attractive women and the anger that comes from not being able to get the kind of woman the man thinks he is entitled to.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Notes on the system - 13

Saying what the eye sees – rather than what the brain sees – is like a camera shutter. Long exposures soak in more light. Short exposures are for speed. The following rough notes are about light:

(In)equality

Equality is always framed as women and minorities wanting to equalise with white men, intimating that these groups feel inferior to white men. From the system's perspective, that is a perfectly acceptable direction because the end result is that nothing changes and the default assumption remains the same: the white male system is superior to all other systems. Women and minorities travel upwards to the status quo. The truly dangerous movement would be to demand white men are dragged down to the income, living standards and ambitions of women and minorities. If women and minorities succeed in removing white men from their positions of power, they will only succeed in positioning themselves in those positions, not changing the system that created and allows for those positions. They lose even if they win, which is why no one is trying to stop their movements.

Guerilla America

The Taliban have kept three major empires from defeating Afghanistan using simple guerilla tactics and small arms. So, it actually still makes a lot of sense for American traditionalists to want the Second Amendment. The Taliban prove both that a well-regulated militia can be effective against a professional military force and that such a professional military force is not using its full weight. If the US Army treated the Taliban in the way Lord Cromer conducted his campaign in Egypt, that haphazard band of goatherders wouldn't survive very long. What are the chances that the US military would prosecute a guerilla war in America with the same kid-gloves it used in Afghanistan? Exactly.

How to play the game

In the marketplace of ideas, you should be able to say whatever you want. But in the actual marketplace, you can't do anything because the system matters more than your actions, and that's why regulators exist. The illusion is not that you can say whatever you want, because you can't, but that there is a marketplace of ideas. There never is. The only thing that exists is speech in the required direction. It's a surprising amount, but it cancels certain types of speech because, just like theft and alternate forms of finance, they threaten the status quo. Never forget that you are only a battery. It's just as simple to turn you on with education, symbols and money as it is to turn you off with those institutions. If you've been bought, you can be sold. And the price of getting rid of a person who threatens the system is far cheaper than letting that person threaten the system. Invest accordingly.

Making humane children inhumane

No small child dreams of growing up to be a murderer, violent rapist, paedophile or priest one day. Children are born humane. They're made to be insane. The only question is how and why. The answer is confronting and many refuse to accept it. The reason children kill and rape is because society conditions them to want to kill and want to rape. The motives that explain the illogical desire to kill are easy enough to identify: we live in warrior societies of pure evil rationalised as "good" by virtue of imagined necessity. Wars require children raised to want to kill. Women want to sell men the illusion that pleasuring them is highly desirable when the truth is simply that men pleasure women but women cannot pleasure men. Men are validated by sex but the instinctive need to please is hijacked by women who want men to pay for the right to pleasure them. To convince children that pleasuring women is a highly desirable prize for men, society conditions boys to imagine there is value in rape. The only men who believe this lie are potential rapists. Men who are not confused have no desire to pleasure women against their will and they pity the confused men who do. Outrageous injustices are inflicted on children to preserve the entitlement to sell what amounts to fraud.

On Brexit

The Remainer position betrays a deep sense of distrust in the structure of Britain among progressives. They seem to think that it would be impossible for the UK to do anything useful outside of the EU. And yet at the same time, they attribute great competence to the British civil service when acting within the Brussels framework. Well, which is it? Either the civil service is useless or it's fantastic. You can't choose both.

So many Red Pills, so little frame control

Men must start applying the logic of dealing with the feminine to the remainder of the system. We spend all our energy trying to regain control of the frame from the progressives. Every time they act we react. We're like a bunch of women. There may be a culture war out there, but has anyone bothered to check whether the battlefields created are worth fighting over? Stop focusing on where the lines are drawn, and start focusing on who draws the lines. A second spent not diverting your energy to their actions is a second you can spend on thinking about actions of your own. The feminine/progressive/liberal system is a structure just like all human structures. That means it has weaknesses and strong points. Do you think they would let you fight in battlefields that threatened their weaknesses? Take a leaf out of Julius Ceaser's book. He spent weeks dancing around rival armies to gain the best possible battlefield for combat and assure his victory. He didn't just leap into any fight offered by his rivals. Red Pilling may be the start for many men, but they must apply it above and beyond pussy. You'll be surprised how many of its lessons apply across multiple spheres of society. The Red Pill is like dynamite, but we're just using it to get laid. If RooshV knew what he actually wrote in his book Game, he would find a way to encrypt, weaponise and deliver it like a smart bomb to the minds of all the men who see clearly. We've spent the last two decades sharing our discoveries about women, figuring ourselves out in the process. But we have to stop asking, "why am I like this?" We're like a car up on the blocks gunning the engine, wasting our energy impotently. The only question that matters is: "what next?"

Sex=bad, violence=ok?

50 of the 68 words you cannot say on American television are related to sex because women only care about preventing their daughters from talking about sex (fear of competition). They are not concerned about preventing their sons from violence. The National Coalition on Television Violence estimates that an American child will witness 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence on television by the time they finish elementary school.

Not everyone is individualistic

Progressives who hate populist movements think the supporters are deluded or deceived. The possibility that these movements are exploiting needs of cooperation and conformity that highly individualist societies cannot satisfy is never seriously considered. For most people being part of a community in which they can recognise themselves is an integral part of a worthwhile life.

Selfishness of men

Since I have never heard any woman take full responsibility for her actions, it follows that men are responsible by default. So, what sort of responsible man lets a woman do this to herself? I see a lot of men shake their heads at the sky-high abortion rates and terrible life choices women make, but so few stand up and say anything? What are men scared of? What's the worst that women can do to us? Men don't say anything because they are afraid that somehow it might result in them being denied sex by a girl. But so what? There are a million girls out there. Who cares if this one rejects you? No matter how much freedom men give women, they are never going to assume any responsibility for their actions. How much do you have to hate women to stand there and let them ruin their lives?

Outright lies

There is outright lying, not just incompetence, in many areas of the social sciences. One of main drivers of corruption here is “scientism,” used as it is to manufacture consent in democracies. Scientific governance in a modern technocracy is a sham used by the powerful to eliminate possible rivals, under the pretence of empowering the weak. The key thinker explaining this dynamic is Bertrand de Jouvenel. This same drive for deception, the “ingsoc” drive, isn’t a strange feature just of Communism and Nazism but was present in FDR’s regime as well. It metastised universally in the 20th century. Epistemically, liberal democracies were no healthier than the other two major forms of mass opinion derived legitimacy. It's long past time when people should reconsider their priors on political theory, economics, culture and ethics by reading people who lived before the age of mass consent. A key step in this process is the writing of Thomas Carlyle.

The trick of legalising drugs

Why is no one more suspicious that, at the moment it looks like robots will take most of our jobs, the state begins to legalise marijuana? I mean, if you wanted a drug to keep a populace broken and docile, you couldn't really choose a better one. And, you know, for a group of people who claim to be anti-state and anti-control, the progressives sure are doing everything they can to usher in Huxley's Brave New World of addicting a population to sensuality and pleasure while Big Government consolidates its power

Better than you

If you look at whole groups of people and notice that some do better at particular things, then it would be wise to increase the likelihood of those things by grouping such people together. For instance, if you want a winning basketball team, you should gather together some tall people. From this, it follows that a tall person who does not play basketball could legitimately say tall people are better than short people at playing basketball, and he could feel good that he could play the sport if he wanted to precisely because he is tall. Same with men and invention. If men have invented pretty much everything, then a man who has not invented something can feel proud of being a man knowing he could put his effort into invention at any time and likely be successful precisely because he is a man. But it would be more impressive if a woman invented something considering how few women invent. Both sexes can feel proud of their sex, but the two have different reasons for that pride.

No way to know

While men have clear metrics to display their worth as a person (success, power, intelligence, etc), there is no clear metric to know that a woman has useful genes from a social perspective. You might say a beautiful woman clearly displays her good genes under a C-cup bra, but I think you're just repeating the Just-So stories you've been taught at school and in the media. A woman's beauty tells me exactly nothing about her mind, personality or social usefulness. Men are often castigated about how our weak genes are responsible for this or that nasty thing a child does, but I'm starting to wonder if the genes passed down from women are an unconsidered but major cause of social problems. Men are always complaining about beautiful women being arrogant, selfish and vindictive, and yet beautiful women are the most sought after for reproduction. I doubt beautiful women are responsible for the majority of births due to how few there are, but it does make me wonder why we haven't invented some metric or social filter that better calibrates the usefulness of a woman's genes, and that isn't based on her looks.

Mothers

I think mothers are the root cause of society's ills. Mothers have near-monopoly control over every child's brain from year 0-10 and are therefore responsible for teaching and passing down every status quo assumption, both good and bad, that child/adult has for the rest of his/her life. And yet mothers are almost universally out-of-bounds from criticism, which makes perfect sense if they are the ones with all the power.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

I'm angry at atheists


I

Asking if God exists is like asking if love exists. Or hope. What's the evidence confirming the existence of hope?

Physics tries to describe the physical realm. Great. But it is fundamentally imperfect in that it is possible some things go unobserved that invalidate its laws, and it may never fully describe the entire physical world. By some measures, the universe is 70 billion light years across, but we can only observe about 15 billion. We can never ever know the rest of it. There could be delicious quantum pies out there or perhaps an angry 55-billion-light-year-wide God. Who knows?

Most definitions of God place him above/outside/beyond the physical realm. Therefore physical law can't prove or disprove him. So where does that leave us? Faith, belief, emotion. No one knows either way. You can form an opinion, but if that opinion isn't subject to revision every time the discussion comes up, then you're mind is closed and cannot be illuminated.

That goes double for atheists.

II

I'm angry at atheists who don't realise that a belief in the non-existence of a God who is by definition unknowable is just as much a matter of faith as someone who believes in God's existence. I'm angry at atheists who don't understand that promoting atheism is proselytising. I'm angry at atheists who adopt cultural outfits to attract political credibility but then attack religion which is neither political nor atheistic. I'm angry at atheists who can't see how progressivism is in fact thinly veiled anti-Catholicism/Papist. Guess what, Galileo believed in God, and he was the one being persecuted.

I get that religion kills and hurts people, and drives people to hurt others. But sex kills, sex hurts people. So does money. In fact, other than revenge, the most common motives for murder are sex and money. Religion may have a checkered history, but that means its history is both black and white. Churches have run homeless shelters, soup kitchens, orphanages. They also provide community support in times of crisis.

Most of the deadly parts of religion are subverted for political ends. Not the other way around. Religion is not about power dynamics here on earth, yet politics is. Religion often makes a great cover story for politicians, but the ultimate decisions are always about consolidating power for the already powerful. When politics and religion mix - and they do mix, often - it is difficult to determine where one ends and the other begins. But politics is generally done behind closed doors, so what we see when the two are mixed is generally spin and PR.

Like I say, God is by definition unknowable. Any request for evidence is silly. If God could be known by way of evidence, then he wouldn't be unknowable, and that would not meet the definition of God. To ask for proof of God is to completely misunderstand what people who believe in God think God is, it just betrays you don't understand belief. Someone who says, "there is no God" is making an objective statement about the non-existence of God, which means the burden of proof in this context is on the atheist, not the believer. They aren't saying "I do not believe in God," which would be a statement about belief (which, by the way, is also totally unprovable and unknowable to anyone else).

A believer believes in a God that, by definition, cannot be proven under the rules of logic or science. God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent (everywhere at once, all-powerful, with complete information about the universe at every moment). That's what Ansalem argued when he said: "Now we believe that [the Lord] is something than which nothing greater can be imagined." Therefore God is at least the universe, and it's possible the universe may be an aspect of God. After all, something can be omniscient without being sentient. The universe has all knowledge because knowledge is part of its fabric, but the universe isn't sentient.

III

God is always defined in such a way that he violates the fundamental laws of physics. It doesn't mean he can't exist, it means that physics can't define him, or be used to demonstrate existence, which reflects a deficiency in physics, not God, according to the believer. But if the atheist believes there is no God, then the atheist is stating that nothing can exist outside the laws of physics. What is the proof of this assertion? More significantly, what are the implications when the person saying so isn't a physicist and probably doesn't have a complete understanding of all of physics?

The non-existence of a Three-O God can never be known to any non-trivial certainty because a God can always be defined as the sum total of everything humans know, the denial of which is absurd. The believer defines God in a way that is literally impossible to prove. It's a matter of faith, not proof. But the atheist does not believe this. Specifically, the atheist must believe that God cannot exist, not merely that he does not. The impossibility of God's existence has to be impossible under some set of rules. The laws of mathematics? Physics? Logic? In what context is God impossible? How does the atheist define God so as to refute the idea? Atheists are bound by the laws of the universe, as humans have imperfectly defined them, in a way the faithful are not. Atheism is more than a mere statement of disbelief, but how can anyone be so certain? He wants to persuade others of the non-existence of God with proof that cannot be supplied.

"But no one should believe in something without evidence?" Assuming you aren't an engineer or physicist, do you own a cell phone? When you dial a number, you believe it's going to connect and let you talk to a friend, right? Do you know how it works? All of it? The coding, electronics, radios, switching systems, etc.? If I gave you a stack of manuals describing every piece of equipment and precisely how they work, could you understand it?

If you aren't receptive to the evidence of cellphones, the evidence is jibberish. You (we, collectively) believe things work because they have worked in the past and because people who claim to understand them say they work, and we trust those people. We will let a brain surgeon cut open our heads not because we have evidence for brain medicine - which exists, although most of us do not have the evidence, nor would we understand it if we did. We lie back on the surgery table because we believe someone else has the medical evidence and understands it. Isn't that a form of faith?

No one arrives at everything we think we know based on personal evidence. We can at most verify that the world works as expected, but we don't verify for ourselves that it's working in the expected way science predicts. So it's not unreasonable that people surrounded by other believers in God conclude that there probably is a God, especially when they're told God brings them joy, love, hope, etc, and they actually experience joy and love and hope.

IV

I think the question of whether God's existence matters or not is personal and without an objective answer. Personally, I'm not convinced God exists, but I'm comfortable saying "I'm not sure" or "I don't know."

But I disagree that the unknowability of God renders it a meaningless concept, quite the opposite: it goes to the heart of the matter. Unknowability simply means the human mind cannot comprehend it. Everywhere God is described in the Bible, it is defined in impossible or contradictory terms: "the beginning and the end," "life and death," "omniscient," etc. How can something be both the beginning and the end, and everywhere at once? How can God be both life and death? How can something be its own antithesis?

We get hung up on the word "God" and read into it all the attending religious and historical baggage, none of which bears of the question of existence. At its heart is our mind's ability, or inability, to engage with the infinite or the impossible. Can you imagine a thing that is also not itself? Is it the limitation of our minds that renders that phrase nonsensical and impossible to comprehend? What is death? We will all experience it one day, but what will it be? What does it mean for life that there will be death? If God is life and death, isn't that precisely the thing that we are not?

Grappling with this illuminates what we know about what we can know. Everything cannot be limited to what is demonstrable by science, because the method excludes things our minds are capable of defining and then inquiring after which cannot exist. If consciousness emerges from a higher organisation, then perhaps that process is iterative over time and hasn't fully finished. That would at least comport with evolution. Can we push ourselves to a higher consciousness by creating mental concepts unpermitted by the rules of the universe and then dwelling on these things?

We know that love exists in our minds, and love doesn't have any less existence than a rock or the sun. If everyone died, love would cease to be. Everything in the universe will cease to be, right? So when the universe ends and everything that exists now no longer exists, when it is no longer possible to know if any of it ever existed, what will exist? When the universe ends, all that will exist is that which isn't the universe or constrained by it. God is the only concept humans have created that would, in theory, survive beyond the death of the universe. Isn't it fascinating then, that the idea of God (some god, any god) has been with humans since we emerged on earth?

The anthropomorphising of God is so often done by people who don't think he exists. Whatever God is, or isn't, he doesn't behave like a human. If atheists want to argue this God - the bearded man in the sky - doesn't exist, knock yourself out. It isn't the argument the rest of us are having. If, for the sake of argument, this God exists. Now what? Does believing in it now benefit my existence? If not, what do I gain by believing and why should I bother? How does the existence of this God change how I live my life? Does this God care how I live and whether I worship it? How would I know if it did?

V

I hate it when people say things like "logically, there X reasons for God's existence." They are idiots. "Logically"? Logically, you should never fall in love or feel sad!

And you know what's more annoying than religionists discussing science? Scientists discussing religion. Physicists are less qualified to discuss religion than theologians, just as theologians are less qualified to discuss physics than physicists. A scientist's extensive knowledge and thorough understanding of the intricate workings of the universe has absolutely no bearing on the subject of God. If you want to keep religion out of science, then scientists must cease the quasi-religious crap they spew to popularise science. Stop calling it the "God particle," stop trying to explain the afterlife as "other dimensions" and no more debates about what Einstein meant by "God doesn't play dice with the universe."

Scientists miss the point of religion. They think a suitable stand-in for religion (it's always Christianity, by the way, but I'll get to that shortly) is some Southern Baptist creationist teacher. But no major mainstream denomination which is at least 200 years old interprets the creation stories literally. Scientists also fail to appreciate that as science has extended the limits of our understanding, society has increasingly embraced religion because the two have absolutely nothing to do with each another.

The God question is not germane to the pursuit of science. Physics begins from the assumption that the universe can be entirely understood through logic, reason and observation - God is assumed out. It would be silly to reintroduce God into physics now because its assumptions haven't reached a point where it cannot advance further naturally. Assuming it will eventually (there's no reason to think this must be so), we'll still be left with the business of defining what God is.

VI

But there's a larger reason why we're still having this "discussion" about religion (re: Christianity).

Scientists say they're defending themselves against a mounting threat against science. But the real reason is politics: there are a lot of Trinitarians (traditionalists) hanging around - the fastest growth is in Mormonism and evangelicalism - but all religions are growing. Americans might change their religion, but they very infrequently drop out entirely. The Middle East is becoming more Islamic, not less so, and Russian orthodoxy is flourishing despite being buried underground for 80 years.

The political power of Trinitarians is very small in the US, but its quick rise over the past 20 years is spooking progressive Christians who do possess institutional power and consider traditionalists to be their mortal domestic enemies. Right now, all “born-again” institutions are voluntarily organised with little or no support from Washington and their entire revenue stream is dependent on direct commitment from their base. This is why they evangelise – they have to.

This position is starting to approach that of Catholics in 17th-19th century England. And the arguments of those who want to repress them further, like Richard Dawkins, are reminiscent of the arguments of those who opposed Catholic emancipation. Perhaps, to paraphrase Nixon, we’re all Cromwellists now...

Unfortunately, Dawkins can't see the dangers of progressivism because there is no objectively discernible difference between civic (good) and political (bad) religion. Of course, the term “political religion” is absurd because all religions are political if they inform people about whether a form of government is righteous or wrongtious. (I know this isn’t a word, but I love it anyway.)

A better term for progressivism is “nontheistic religion,” leaving us with three classes of religion: polytheistic, monotheistic and nontheistic. The West has immune defences to the first two viruses (such as the First Amendment) to keep them from power, but the separation of church and state provide no protection against a class 3 religion when it sneaks in the back door. I can’t help noting how effectively the immune defence allowed the world's dominant progressive faction of Christianity to use the First Amendment to pretty much outlaw its traditionalist foes. It's actually really creepy.

Nazism and Marxism are the most common examples of “political religion.” Defining them as nontheistic religions would put them in the same category as Buddhism, Confucianism and Legalism (Qin Shi Huang). But why does classification matter? Why is theism a useful tool for categorising religions? Would Nazism have been different if it had said Hitler was divine, or if it had worshipped, say, Thor? Getting this kind of thing right matters because theism is still significant in the West, which places great importance on Christianity or any ethical system derived from it, like progressivism.

George McKenna’s book, The Puritan Origins of American Patriotism was really good on this. The title may be slightly misleading – it could have been called The Puritan Origins of Everything Everyone Believes, Or At Least Is Supposed To. And it focuses a little too much on America and not enough on its connections with thinkers in England. I also really wish he'd started with Cromwell. But the book is an excellent intellectual history of the modern universe, and it almost completely avoids the trap of classifying thought as theistic or nontheistic, “religious” or “secular.” Besides, it’s published by Yale, so it must be right.

VII

People like Richard Dawkins have made atheism into a progressive cause by turning it into a positive thing (not meaning "good," but in the sense of giving atheism a characteristic, rather than merely being the lack of a characteristic). The problem is that causes and religions look the same. They have their leaders with ideas and followers who adopt the ideas without much criticism or modification.

Dawkins failed to truly secularise atheism because he offered no alternative for the things religion is really about (the non-physical). He thinks faith is an attempt to convince oneself "in the teeth of evidence," which completely misses the point. Faith is not about knowing or convincing. If I know something, I know it, and I no longer have to pursue it. If I'm convinced of something, I've accepted it and no longer need to debate or struggle with it. Once convinced, the debate ends, and the person has achieved a steady state perspective.

But because progressives "know" certain (Christian-derived) ideas are true - like human rights, the "arc of history" and egalitarianism - they quickly project this confidence onto their political enemies as well. But if you think you know God, or are convinced of him, you are wrong. It doesn't matter if every single Christian thinks they know God, they are all wrong. You have to purse the God question your whole life and pursue the meaning of your life and the meaning of your non-life after you die - not the meaning of life's accomplishments, but ask, at the moment of the heat death of the universe, what will your life mean then? What is existence in the face of non-existence?

That's what the atheist progressives miss. Religion is pursuing a mystery you know is unknowable but you pursue it anyway. Science has no analogue to this. It's an entirely different intellectual discipline. For some reason, every culture seems to have felt the need to pursue the idea of God. Be they secular, non-secular, oppressive, open - the details of the question might change, but not the fact that everyone seems to be curious about the same mystery.

Dawkins is really arguing that faith is bad for scientists. I agree. But faith is great for artists and musicians, and it's useful for putting science into context. Let me put it another way: when (if) the universe ends, science too will become an irrelevant fiction. There will be no way to prove how humans made science relevant in understanding the universe, and there will be no present or future for science to enlighten. At the end of time and space, there is nothing left. So the question is: Is something there? Something outside?

You can say there's absolutely nothing, that there is no there there - but you cannot prove it. Or you can say yes, there is something, an I-don't-know-what permeating the void. But you can't prove either. All that remains is the meaning.

What does the first answer mean? What about the second? Grappling with the meaning here is lost so easily these days. To a rat, are we not like gods even if living in caves? Is it possible for our gods to wonder if there are gods, or for their gods to be meaningless or not directly useful to us? Why not?

VIII

I remember thinking, as a kid, how horrible Heaven would be because everything would remain the same. In Hell, it’s all the same too, but at least there was the distraction of torture.

The good thing about infinity is that it goes on forever and any model will always be incomplete so you’ll never figure it out - you’ll never truly be trapped within the self and the hell of endless echoes and reiterations of boring things.

The bad thing is it goes on and on forever in endless night you can never fill or hope to understand in a terrifyingly vast universe where even comprehensive grand notions are less than a speck of dust and where even the comfort of knowing you might be part of God - or even the whole of God - hiding from being in an endless iterative dance of existence, means having to dodge the absolutely horrific knowledge your existence is infinite and that you must eternally avoid knowing yourself or be hopelessly damned to a single unified state of endless stagnant being.

Or at least that would be a great bedtime story...

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

This whole machine runs on debt


What, like a boxing match? Very poor choice of words

The US doesn't need a wall, 300 million people need to cut up their credit cards. Debt is the lifeblood of the "developed" world. Search for the "debt clock" if you want to see just how much parents hate their kids.

But the real problem was never the money. It's the self-esteem debt and intellectual debt that will kill us all. We borrow from a hypothesised future "self" for happiness today through the purchase of useless goods, cosmetics and clothing. All our ideas are someone else's, and far too few of us know the effort required and pleasure of actually earning the path to a position. No wonder we're so easily led by Power. It's always easier for a musician to play a riff he invented himself while sitting in the back of the tour bus than for him to play a cover of A Perfect Circle on Saturday night. It's not his song. The only way out of consumerism is to figure out how many of your thoughts are actually yours. The answer will terrify you.

Even love is in debt today. Want to know what “free love” means? Look at porn. Nothing is free because every click of a mouse borrows from the possible experience you could have gained by seducing a real girl. You skip straight to the sex without learning how to develop a personality or the skill of attraction. That debt has to be repaid somehow, and you're not going to like how it washes out. For instance, it's obvious that sales, invention and sex utilise pretty much the same skills. Porn is the same as someone signing on the dotted line and then asking the customer's name, or presenting a fresh invention and then asking what about the market problem. Everything is inverted. A debt economy is far more insidious than just some stupid $$.

You know what's funny? If Americans had more babies instead of abortions and focused on their families instead of their dumb careers, then the corporations that need more consumers to grow wouldn't need to lobby Washington to import millions of replacement people. There is no "depopulation conspiracy," despite what the tinfoil hats say. There are only millions of "individuals" wanting there to be a conspiracy like that to justify why they all chose to waste time working 55-hour weeks and pointlessly having promiscuous sex during their prime family-raising years without any plan for how any of this can possibly carry on long-term. The Jews and feminists didn't trick you into being selfish. When the system of that caters to your innermost animal desires tells you what to do, you have no choice but to obey. How are you expected to stand up to a machine that promises everything?

I get it, you're special, unique. You can't pause your life to raise a baby, that would be terribly inconvenient. You're too busy earning all that juicy money for... for what? To play video games and buy an iPhone to take better selfies? What is the origin of all this frantic activity? What is the teleology of the system? I'm sure your 20s and 30s were a blast with all that club-hopping, multiplayer online games, pointless university degrees and filling rooms with useless junk. But I am asking you, what was achieved with all your freedom? In all the yelling and screaming no one stopped to ask if there isn't any difference between forcibly sterilising women and encouraging them to work “careers” until they can no longer safely have children.

"But we want to be able to buy a house." So, let me get this straight. Yesterday you were protesting how the Baby Boomer generation screwed up your prospects with their narcissistic borrowing against your future, but now you want the right to do the same thing to your children? "It's only fair!" I'm sure your children will understand. Oh right, you don't have any kids...

You've been giving the consumer system a spectacular blowjob for 40-60 years and now you act surprised that it wants more? I understand why you've chosen to live by irony, it makes you feel superior to all the wage-slaves and salarymen. But irony is the specific psychological ability to affect a distance from something while participating 100% in it, thereby avoiding any personal change. But irony also serves the wider system because how can any social change occur without first amending your own flaws? When you’re given labels that display an identity to other people (envy is powerful branding), you will do nothing to threaten any system that made you who you are. Which is why no one who complains about "the system" will ever criticise the universities, even though these institutions are responsible for all modern ideas, good and bad. Being "academic" is the only identity these people have. Not only will they not criticise universities, they cannot possibly see ]education as the cause of their woes. It is simply outside the universe of possibililty. Because to criticise it requires criticising themselves.

The consumerist system doesn't see you as "white" or "black" or "male" or "female." It cares only that you consume. University isn't creating producers, it is designed to build consumers. All that time at school, and what have you done with the skills? Your useless university degree and student loan did two things: removed you from society for 3-4 years at your most youthful and active life-stage and, because you can't use the degree, added an extra tax to the government keeping you exactly where you are for longer. The Illuminati couldn't have planned this better, someone should check to see if they didn't. Consumerism cares only that you act in the required direction, which in this example means shut up, push the buttons and spend all your precious pieces of fancy green paper rectangles on redundant shiny objects.

But seriously, why do we think the civil rights and woman's rights were successful? Black people and women never fought a war to defeat the terrible white man, and war is the only way to cleanly transfer power. Yet everyone acts like there was a racial or gender regime-change in the last 30 years. There wasn't, this is madness. Nassim Taleb talks about the importance of an "anti-fragile" structure, something that gets stronger the more energy it absorbs. Here's an example: while homosexuals fought for and got marriage, today we find out that marriage is irrelevant in society. What they didn’t fight for - and this is exactly my point - was the specific power of a homosexual relationship being taken seriously without a marriage certificate. Do you see?

Those groups were allowed to walk through opened doors. Under the guise of helping these groups, some men realised that, in a system of consumerism and democracy, the more people plugging in and casting ballots, the more power they could accrue. What good are you if you can't help someone else get power or wealth? So, sure, let the women vote and the black people into the workplace. It all serves to lower labour costs and increase demand for more useless junk. In the progressive, egalitarian utopia of Universal Basic Income and "Human Rights," do retail sales go up or down? Exactly. The system has won.

The most hilarious thing about last year's "caravans" moving through Central America towards the US is that none of those immigrants will ever stop to wonder why they were on TV or why they were allowed to march in a caravan. They think they're being transgressive or revolutionary, but with the size of the US military and police force, who are they fooling? If everyone has the same opinion, that should signal to you that it is the wrong one. Do you really think if it wasn't in Washington's interest to let these people get a Visa card that they could take one step over the border?

Of course not. True happiness is the ability to say, “I have enough.” But in a debt economy, what is an orgasm? It is a moment before you need another orgasm. What you're seeing across the Western world has nothing to do with politics. Left/right/red/blue. Forget it. It's all a neat smokescreen to keep you thinking that living with debt up to your eyeballs is an existence worth defending. You'll fight anyone who threatens the status quo out of some misplaced sense of loyalty to a system that only cares what you can do for it. We're so deeply trapped in consumerism that even an escape route just ends up sending you further into the belly of The Beast. Most things today aren't rights but merely desires.

Sure, have babies. I won't stop you, I'll even applaud it. But I have to ask why you want babies. Aside from spawning fresh consumers, what's the point of new life? What are we doing? What's all this energy for? I ask, not to piss you off, but to make the point that if you don't control your own reason for existence - the ideas for which you strive - then someone else will. You might not be interested in power, but it is interested in your life - you can't make it disappear. Someone's going to have it.

The entire system is contradictory. The premises are 1) the fewer children we have means more wealth for adults, but 2) the more people we have the more wealth is created. These desires are mutually exclusive, they will never work. They can't work. It is madness.

We were so caught up critiquing labour theory that consumerism snuck in ate everything. It’s always much easier to control people by making them want things and then giving them what they are told to want, than teaching them how to want. I have sympathy for you because that's not how you grew up, but how much do you have to hate your kids not to teach them the one set of lessons that will save us from all this mess.

Oh, that's right, you don't have any kids.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

In a guerrilla information war everyone is a participant


"World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation."  - Marshall McLuhan (1970)
McLuhan envisioned WW3 as a vast online conflict with remarkable similarities to what we're experiencing today. A conflict between those holding new identities and thinking patterns spawned by rapid technology change and those still clinging to traditional identities and patterns. The internet is proving not to be a transformative force for the betterment of mankind and instead is hurting us towards a deep and protracted civil conflict that may engulf the world. Social networking crams us together by radically reducing our proximity as we become global villagers in the full sense.
Marshall McLuhan

The utopians hear this and say even louder that the internet frees us from the passive time-sink of television, allowing us to spend leisure time on productive activities like Wikipedia, making Youtube videos and propagating silly memes that are beneficial for everyone but are simultaneously made available at a near-zero cost. Others say the idea of cyber-utopia poorly understands how markets work and that geopolitical complexities prevent Twitter or Facebook from having any real transformative effect. Both sides assume transformative forces must offer a "better" future than the present. But I don't think it's a question of the future or the present. It is a question of alternatives in the present. After all, free thinking doesn't fit premade patterns of thought, it identifies new ones or reframes those that already exist. And anything that helps people reframe their world is a dangerous tool.

If we accept the premise that one narrative isn’t "better" than another, the mere fact that it is different, and, importantly, can’t be accommodated by the first, probably makes it "better." In other words, if we’re going to judge an alternative narrative based on an outcome, then it is "better." Of course, by that logic, Scientology is better, especially for actors. But to change the world, you do not have to promise a better world. You simply have to demonstrate that this world is not real. Specifically, you have to show that what people consider to be the real world is not, in fact, reality but rather a construction, a narrative of reality that is demonstrably false.

The US is so poorly run today because it never hit the narrative reset button after the Cold War. The essence of the "Google Doctrine” is a stark reminder of an overconfident conviction, inherited from Cold War propaganda, that the simple spread of information beyond the reach of state-sanctioned channels has the power to topple authoritarian regimes. But the 2011 Arab Spring had far more to do with the internal stresses of a dying demographic order. The progressive "Google Doctrine" papers over a vast nexus of real-world causation. It also misses the point of what the everyday user of social networks uses this technology for: escape. Reading CNN or CNBC is just as much as an escape as social networks. Entertain, make my heart race a little, nudge me to search for bikini pics of that reporter, give me emotions that I don’t really have or need, etc.

What both the cyber-utopianists and their critics fail to grasp is that this “Google Doctrine” is actually a tautology. The moment a view of reality is shown to be wrong, that view must adjust or it will collapse. If we view the state-sanctioned channels and state-controlled media as a nation’s “spectacle” in Guy Debord’s terms – the combination of signs, symbols and messages standing in for reality, community and truth on all matters beyond the local range of a viewer’s personal life – then anything that challenges this spectacle immediately and directly undermines not only the spectacle itself but also the state that sanctioned it.

To put it differently, by carefully controlling what people see or read, either as news, pop culture, literature or art, the state regulates, limits and defines within a single universal narrative all activities, thoughts and events of its citizens' lives in a way that reinforces state power over them by crafting a certain universal narrative. In the twentieth century, television was the autocrat’s narrative force-multiplier because controlling the reality of TV meant controlling what people thought was reality.

This form of control places all interactions and relationships among people into a rigidly bounded cognitive space of acceptable activity. In other words, crime is whatever those who have the power to legislate or enforce declare it to be. The First Rule of Law is that everything is against the law. You're only breathing because power lets you breathe. Any new thoughts, forms of relationships and ways of being that exist outside of this bounded space, which the state cannot fold back into it, immediately undermines the authority of the state to define reality for its subjects. There is always a required direction for citizens to move/act, we are constantly being encouraged to perform certain activities and not others.

This is why state-controlled media always exists alongside a secret police apparatus. The former defines the acceptable reality and openly glorifies it, the latter exists outside it, but brutally and secretly imposes it. We saw this play out in Egypt where social networks allowed Egyptians to see a version of reality different to what state-controlled media presented. It didn't matter whether this new version of reality was “true” or simply another skewed narrative of a different order and origin. What mattered is that it was a) different and b) not included in the narrative as told by the state. The cyber-utopianists believe the transformative power of the internet lies in creating not only a different version of reality but a subjectively better one, and everyone else makes the mistake of accepting the form of the question and focusing on whether it really is "better." But being “better” is irrelevant.

French semiotician Jean Baudrillard once said society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs, and that, in fact, what we know as reality is actually a simulation of reality. His ideas formed the core of The Matrix movies, although that in itself would require a whole essay to unpack. Baudrillard doesn't question whether a tree is a real object, he just points out that a tree growing outside your house is likely there as a mnemonic of the idea of nature – despite being a very long way from "nature." Most people choose a tree as an example of something real because it's the epitome of solidity and naturalness. It is more than a plant. It becomes symbolic of the "real." Although the tree outside is a real plant, it is only living in your street because it was deliberately placed there and kept alive to provide a sense of reality. In this sense, the tree has been written.

Trees and gardens are useful to contemplate the simulation of the larger cultural narrative, what is often referred to on this blog as "the system." The classic garden is a simulacra of nature-as-it-should-be without all the nasty, messy bits. Gardens are often a barren and sterile idea of nature and without their human support would collapse. But the garden/park/nature/reserve has in many ways become more natural than nature itself. That bit of wasteland at the end of your road, full of weeds, rats and rotting garbage, seems a pale shadow of the blossoming hyper-reality of the garden, doesn't it? Our "natural" world is written to be risk-free. If you take GPS into the Amazon, are you really in the Amazon, or are you defining a location with reference to coordinates? Is GPS giving you the experience of Borges map?

So, for a technology to be socially transformative, all that matters is that the alternative narrative is different in a way that the existing narrative cannot be amended to contain. It is always the inability to reconcile disparate narratives that frustrate dictatorships and governments. In the past, Middle East states could reconcile the openness of the West with their closed regimes by labelling the West as corrupt or decadent, the two things those states swore to defend their people against in the name of Islam or Arab socialism. Framing like this was only possible because the narratives of the West came primarily through the cultural dominants of film and television, both of which could be easily controlled, restricted or re-contextualised by state censorship and media control. But Egypt in 2011 lacked any way to reconcile their narratives with the alternate narratives of Facebook and Twitter which couldn't be censored or contextualised in real-time.

Faced with those irreconcilable differences, the Egyptian government did what autocratic governments do best: they panicked and pulled the plug. But the moment the internet was blacked out, the curtain was pulled back on their illusion of power. Shutting off the internet amounted to an explicit admission by the state to the people that state-controlled media was pushing a false version of reality, constrained for the purpose of tightening its control. Protest reinvented itself to become not about changing governmental policies, but for engaging and accelerating social conflict. And once people disconnected from systems, traditions and courtesies that served to mitigate conflict, disorder ramped up uncontrollably.

Tyrants love mass media because it projects their messages to the masses. But they do not like social networks that allow people to individually choose to ignore the approved messages and listen to entirely new and different messages. The problem that both the utopians and their critics have is that their arguments are made within the context of our narratives of reality, which is why they focus on the question of what is “better.” After all, to focus more broadly means that we in the West will have to accept that our world isn’t real as well.

It’s not the massness of the media, it’s about who is providing the content. What’s important isn’t that the state’s narrative is undermined, nor does conflicting information necessarily undermine that narrative. If people believed it to begin with, they'd be hard to shake. What’s important is that people who aren’t the state can now communicate with each other. It’s not that they’re suddenly exposed to a new narrative and the scales fall from their eyes. It’s that they can plan independently and agree on actions which are not encouraged by the state. In the old Soviet bloc, it was axiomatic that everything in state-media was a lie. In Egypt, most people never trusted Mubarak. That’s old. What’s new is that social networks mean we can now all be on the same page about exactly how and when to object to state control.

The way for the state to wield the new media cascade is similar, yet different, from the old way. they simply have to follow the old French proverb that calls for change so that things stay the same. This new user-created media differs from the old mass media in that it has no direct control over the substance of the message. A smart state would not concentrate on censorship or blacklisting, but on the values of the producers. In other words, on the simulacra. Twitter, more than any other social network, has become the way the establishment synchronises its moral and emotional conjugation of news and trolling is a tactic used in the psychological dimension of warfare where the goal is to make it difficult/impossible for a target to think clearly - just like with advertising. The state hasn't quite figured out a way to do this at scale yet, but its many human proxies are doing it indirectly, maintaining the status quo.

I always liked this George Orwell piece on the British way of speech control. What he wrote referring to the practical effects of restricted media ownership applies at least as much today as it did then, though the issues are slightly different:
"Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news — things which on their own merits would get the big headlines-being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that ‘it wouldn’t do’ to mention that particular fact. So far as the daily newspapers go, this is easy to understand. The British press is extremely centralised, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was ‘not done’ to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals."
Read that, and tell me it isn't exactly how media operates today. Wikipedia works on a slightly different basis, in that it's not a matter of wealthy owners imposing their views on the senior employees (and of what Orwell would no doubt have viewed as bourgeois society protecting its class interests) but of political bias in the body of motivated volunteers. But the results are the same. This isn't simply about media or political-level censorship. This is about "deep censorship" that controls what can or can't be said in our conversations.

Many words and concepts we use today didn’t exist a hundred years ago. It could be the case that names are created for situations that never happened before, but what about those things that were always there but never named? Could it be that naming things can be a part of the reason we think they exist in the first place?

Orwell's premise is that if you intentionally limit the number of words in a language, particularly the words that describe sentiments or philosophies the ruling elite do not want to be discussed, you could effectively control people's thoughts without really trying. It would be a monumental effort at first, but eventually, the job would be done. Once completed, no revolution is possible without words for liberty, personal property, divinity, family, etc. Without them, no one can effectively complain about their lack.

From the state's perspective, all the blogs, tweets and Facebook status updates are a result of too many individualistic values. These individual vectors pointing in different directions (citizens with smartphones) can sometimes transmogrify into a dangerous solidarity machine which cannot be controlled by the state. People want their voices and opinions heard, to be seen and to be something. The motivation for this may be narcissism and selfishness – to create a projected image of self for the world to accept. But the result is fundamentally deadly to the status quo.

Because of those motivations, when the state tries to control this it feels like a narcissistic attack, like hosing down an oilfire with water making everything worse. That's why a wise state will try to control the narrative indirectly, by packaging the rebel Tweeter beforehand through school or advertising, construing approved identities they can buy into and safely "express their individuality." Done well, the anarcho-syndicalist, new leftist, or alt-right typecast voice will be seen as a characterisation of that stereotype, not as an individual. This defuses any tension by making the protagonist happy wearing a supplied persona as an ideal self-image of being an Angry Young Man®, with a Che Guevara t-shirt and fair trade coffee pack.

As Edward Luttwak said, "insurrection, the classic vehicle of revolution, is obsolete. The security apparatus of the modern state, with its professional personnel, cannot be defeated by civilian agitation." In a social-networked world, construction of reality is still done by the media, but on a deeper level than obvious lies and manipulations. The two forms of media (mass and social) do not exist in a vacuum, they are more like an overlapping Venn-diagram, or a feedback loop, of reality. The wise state creates a series of approved dissidents because it understands that people want praise more than individuality, which is why empty celebrity works just as well as accomplished celebrity and you can't tell if Julian Assange is important or not.

The state is to be most feared not when it hunts down dissidents, but when it domesticates them.

One more from Marshall McLuhan (1977):
"The literate man is the natural sucker for propaganda"  
Make of that what you will.