Thursday, 11 July 2019

Thoughts on the system - 31

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:
  • Wikipedia’s main utility is information laundering.
  • Ineptitude is the hallmark trait of modern progressive life.
  • Women will never let you love them in the way you want to love them.
  • Feminism requires immigration because it lowers the birthrate by removing women from motherhood.
  • Good men only wish for the praise from other good men.
  • The loser men are not trying to help women, they are trying to create a system in which they have a better chance of having sex with the hottest women.
  • What will "They," whoever they are, orchestrate next?
  • If women could play sport as well as men, there would be no need for all-women teams and competitions.
  • America dominates women’s soccer for the same reason South Korea dominates women’s golf: nobody else cares.
  • When data reveals widespread patterns of behaviour in society, such as a paycheck cycle, then something in that society creates that behaviour.
  • Given how brutal the ageing process is for women, you’d think they would treat birthdays more as sombre occasions instead of celebrations.
  • Everyone knows something's wrong with them, they just don’t know what it is. Everyone wants confession or some cathartic narrative, the guilty especially. But everyone is guilty.
  • Misogyny is a disease you catch from women.
  • There is an ever-increasing amount of transactions paid for with government assistance. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next 20 years 50% of GDP is due to the government buying its citizen’s own goods by proxy.
  • Power is not given, it is only taken. That should tell you everything you need to know about feminism.
  • Obsession is something lazy people use to describe dedicated people.
  • To come to your senses you first have to go out of your mind.
  • There is no objective media, it is all proxy battles.
  • Never date women who have pet rabbits.
  • Well behaved women seldom own cats.
  • Women are particularly concerned about rape because they are secretly suspicious their only worth is their sex.
  • In the next modern war, the citizen will immediately be locked off the internet as the military designates the bandwidth for itself.
  • The United States is the logical and extreme expression of British Protestant strategy.
  • Have you considered that humanitarian workers could actually be the bad guys?
  • A good beard is the padded bra of masculinity.
  • You can tell a lot about the health of a society by how many people cover their mouths when they cough/sneeze.
  • Men like nice women, but not vice versa.
  • "Controlling" is what girls say when you point out what they’re doing is slutty or stupid.
  • When guys were kids they didn’t want girls around because girls were tattletales and crybabies, some things never change.
  • You cannot satisfy those whose existence depends on being unsatisfied.
  • If everything can be boiled down to a question of rights, then power sits with the judicial system, not the politicians and certainly not you.
  • Self-love is good, but self-awareness is more important.
  • If women had a logo it would be a pair of empty hands.
  • You will not be asked to tolerate something which is good, the only question is who decides what is good.
  • Modern immigrants are like women. They have been let into a country and given power, but act like they took it.
  • I wonder, if it wasn’t taboo to deny the Holocaust, how many would believe it happened?
  • Democracy turns out to be one dollar one vote, rather than one person one vote.
  • As soon as you take the bible out of the church it becomes a revolutionary manifesto.
  • Mediocrity can’t beat experience.
  • Everyone acts selfishly all the time. At least hedonists are honest enough to live openly.
  • The problem with WWII in a nutshell: how does being the more efficient killer with the most destructive weapons settle any question of truth?
  • There is no person more dangerous than the tertiary-educated man with no prospects that he can use to show his worthiness.
  • If you are about to say the truth but first think of the consequences of saying it, then in that moment you no longer control your own brain.
  • Saying "I'm blessed" is narcissism, as if some higher power chose you.
  • Women cannot feel love for you without first feeling jealousy. Suspicion and jealousy create the most delicious cocktail a woman can experience.
  • Sex is everywhere. Due to advertising, you can’t even buy a sandwich without being aroused.
  • If one of your life principles is that other people can’t have their own principles, then the problem isn’t the other people, the problem is you.
  • Is there a God like there’s a tree or an apple? Is God a thing?
  • In protests, violence increases in direct proportion to the anonymity of the protesters and the police.
  • We all ask about the origin of evil, but no one asks where good came from.
  • The only way non-white and non-normal people can live together is by collectively scapegoating white and normal people. There is no reason for them to cooperate otherwise.
  • She didn’t reject you, she rejected your approach.
  • I’m starting to think the reason Trump won in 2016 is that the New York Times went behind a paywall in 2011. You can’t control the narrative from behind a paywall.
  • Not "I think therefore I am" but "I am seen therefore I am" is the premise of modern society.
  • The presumption of equalism is really the victory of the feminine imperative.
  • Conditioning works by making us assume things we think should be obvious to everyone, a set of default assumptions.
  • Just because you are the boss doesn’t mean you are a boss.
  • If a man tries to reach out for help he’s called a loser, if he bottles it up it’s called "toxic masculinity."
  • Change is neutral, it can lead to improvement or degeneration.
  • In law, there are only two things in the universe: person or property. You are one or the other.
  • If you’re obsessed with sex, then that’s all you’ll get.
  • Language is the determining source of ethnicity.
  • The caste system in India is a religious manifestation of usury, it is a hierarchy of creditors and debtors from which no one can escape.
  • Not only are you wrong, you are wrong in the most important way: pro-status quo.
  • Concepts can become a scapegoat; exhibit A: fake news.
  • In the scapegoat mechanism, being "born again" means discarding all your mimicked ideas and choosing your own thoughts.
  • A loser is a guy who lets his girl make his happiness.
  • It is easy to change people’s preferences, and what is a person but a bunch of preferences?
  • Your enemy is your choices.
  • Modern people live out narratives rather than authentic lives.
  • Fascism is the default system of democratic government. The idea is always for us to come together. The question is: who is "us"?
  • A woman will condemn a man for his weakness but expect understanding for hers.
  • Your predictability gives other people a sense of control.
  • Self-improvement is a state of being.
  • You can’t fall in love with a woman at first sight because all she's selling is her looks.
  • Philanthropy is the gateway to power because opening a door for someone means they owe you.
  • Even if you don't believe Jews are responsible for degeneracy, it is suspicious that they have been discussed in the same way for 2000 years by independent cultures.
  • In an age of feminism, the dog that didn’t bark is the almost complete lack of female inventors.
  • While you may not adhere to Christ, you certainly adhere to Christianity.
  • This entire society survives due to the blood of sacrifice, known as abortions.
  • What happens when the internet breaks in two, who controls the pipelines?
  • Do you hate Nazis because of their actions and ideas or because they lost a war?
  • In the last 100 years, we moved from human cultures in conflict with other cultures to a near total awareness of all existing cultures we find incredibly annoying, and now we hate everyone equally.
  • The modern woman wants to be loved like a traditional woman while being respected as a traditional man.
  • Immigration policy will go the way TV wants it to, the media controls the horizontal.
  • To say that more women in power means that men have less power assumes men haven't figured out how to use women to gain their own power.
  • Anyone who tells you we are living in the end times is wrong about pretty much everything.
  • Increasingly, the only same-race couples displayed on ads are homosexuals.
  • In a world full of opposites, one side must lose. Why should it be me?
  • Girls who code isn’t impressive, pretty girls who code would be impressive.
  • Do autistic kids really lack empathy, or do they just lack the practice? In other words, is calling it autism and treating it as such part of the reason it continues?
  • We are all looking for careers in a land where there aren’t any. We still think it’s 2006 because the impact of 2007 hasn’t fully altered the system yet.
  • Servility is the psychological motivation behind a mother telling her daughter to settle for a man, and a father telling his son to settle for a good job.
  • When you see a person on TV, the first question you should ask is: what does this person code for? What does the image make you assume? Or, said more accurately, what does the code not make you think?
  • If we wanted a government that told us the truth unconditionally, then we would vote that government into power.
  • The most dangerous thing about being smart is having more elaborate ways to bullshit yourself into thinking nonsense is correct.
  • Whether she is aware of it or not, every woman’s priority is love. Women were not designed to be alone.
  • If she’s not your biggest fan then she shouldn’t be your girlfriend.
  • You can build positive feedback loops or negative loops, either way you’re in a cycle and everyone is connected.
  • Resentment is weakness disguising itself as strength through hate. This is the story of Christianity.
  • Since love and hate are the same thing, what should we make of the call to ban hate speech but not love speech?

What is the real target?

There’s a placard going around that says: “If God hates gays, why do we keep winning?”

Good question, but it’s the sort of question that can only be asked by someone with a fundamental misunderstanding of how power works.

The Iron Rule of Tiresias is: You cannot be given power, it can only be taken. Leafing through the history books, I notice there was no homosexual versus heterosexual war. So, they aren't "winning" because they never "won" anything on the battlefield. Their existence in positions of ceremonial or procedural power (not actual power) depends entirely on heterosexuals giving them access, and that access can be taken away at any point.

The homosexuals and feminists and all the others know this to be true, deep down, which is why they constantly ramp up the rhetoric and anger. It distracts the heterosexuals and naturally powerful types of men from realising who truly holds the reins and convinces them to keep focusing on things like careers and earning money.

But it is painfully obvious that something has definitely changed in our society and the homosexuals appear to be proxies of driving this change. So, just who and what is the nature of this hidden faction to which homosexuals and feminists and others are aligned?

The answer is a group of people DID actually win a war (a major one) and as a result, it controls the default assumptions of modern society. This faction calls itself "progressivism," which is a loose term connecting a lot of people by an undirected (bottom-up) synopsis that can trace its roots back through Puritan Massachusetts, Roundhead England, Calvin and Luther. This faction won the Long War of 1914-1991 and is the most successful sect of Protestant Christianity extant today.

The homosexuals are proxies of this Christian sect. The sect hides in plain sight because it called itself “secular” and therefore isn’t subject to the laws of separating church and state. Secular Protestantism might sound like a contradiction in terms, but only to those who don’t understand Protestantism. And it will make even less sense to those who don't understand how power works: if you win, you get to write the rules.

The progressives' main enemy is Trinitarian Christianity (with its core in the hierarchical structures of Orthodox and Catholic Christianity, but also any Christian who still believes in an actual divine Trinity). Everything the Trinitarians accept, the progressives (Protestants) invert while remaining within the boundaries of broader Christianity, adhering to concepts like egalitarianism, freedom, world peace, tolerance and equity. The Puritans said you must become a member of the elect to be saved, which is precisely what progressives say too. The fight is over control of the Christian empire, and since WWII the progressives are in the lead. Sometimes, when they’re feeling especially powerful, they will call themselves Unitarians or Universalists, and claim they are “taking back Christianity.”

What makes progressives (Protestants) tough to fight is because a key part of their success is quite literally the use of the "leaderless resistance" model based on the doctrine of rejecting the Roman Catholic Church's idea that it is the one true church, believing instead in the invisible church which consists of all who profess faith in Jesus Christ. If all these people work with the synopsis, there is no need for a central authority and therefore nothing to attack.

In other words, the Protestant doctrine of the invisible church is the genesis and the foundation of communism and terrorism. You cannot get to Karl Marx or Osama bin Laden through the doctrines of the Catholic Church. There’s a reason why all marginally successful insurgent or terror groups eventually adopt the leaderless resistance model – because it works, and the Protestants proved it.

For this reason, if you don’t like “the gays” and want to reverse the madness of the homosexual vanguard (or whatever inversion of reality you're talking about) the correct target is Protestant Christianity. Every other target is a waste of energy. Why take an axe to the branches?

But the real question is: if the structure of the Catholic Church allowed for the development of Protestantism, of what use was this structure? We are in a moment of history where either we return to another bout in the Roundhead versus Cavalier battle of the last few centuries and slip into Nietzsche’s flat circle of never-ending madness, or we rethink the default model of society. Maybe this new model includes parts of doctrinal Christianity, maybe it doesn’t. But the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

And boy oh boy, we must look insane to a Martian right now.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

The history behind the Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong's relationship with China is proceeding exactly as it must. As Thucydides said in the Median Dialogue: "You know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

First, the protester’s audience is almost certainly the West. We’re supposed to look at Hong Kong and agree that nothing should change. The question is: what is it that shouldn’t change? Generally, Westerners think of Hong Kong as it was in the ‘80s and ‘90s "cyberpunk" popular culture when its streets and urban ecology became the source images for Hollywood’s Asian future capitalism.

Mamoru Oshii's "Ghost In The Shell" depiction of future cityscapes was based on Hong Kong (more than Tokyo, in his view). "Blade Runner" too, according to Ridley Scott. I believe the father of cyberpunk, William Gibson considers Hong Kong a major source for his worlds as well. Hong Kong offered a vision of a dynamically free hybrid society fueled by technological growth. Singapore just isn’t as fantastical, and Chinese boomtowns like Shenzhen under the Chinese Communist Party, much more tech-fueled in reality than both, still less. So what’s happening in Hong Kong then unconsciously becomes a crushing of those images for modern Western audiences.

It’s the kind of argument which says: "Those yellow (black, Muslim, whatever) people over there don't understand or care about democracy" seems to have worked for Hong Kong when it was part of the British Empire, but not now that it’s part of China. That’s very suspicious. The Chinese who moved to Hong Kong in the 19th century didn't know or care about democracy, but they did eventually rely on its fair judicial system and other civil liberties. A British dictatorship could keep those mostly intact, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) can’t. So the people have more to lose now. Also, by the '90s Hong Kongers did understand democracy and were looking forward to it and promises were made. It's hardly surprising they’re upset that those promises are being reneged on. Just as they would have been upset by continued British rule.

Remember, Kowloon Peninsula, excepting Kowloon Walled City, was leased in perpetuity to the British. The New Territories were leased for 99 years, which expired in 1997. However, both became increasingly integrated over the 20th Century, increasingly developed, and about half of Hong Kong's population lived there at the time of the handover. The British sensibly decided that a rump Hong Kong of only the island was non-viable because it contains less than 10% of the total land area, and as of today, only about 20% of the total population. And in any case, if push came to shove, China could have snatched it back whenever they felt like it, like India did with Goa.

It’s not exactly fair to blame the British for what’s going on, but I do think the British could have permitted wider democratic rights earlier, knowing full well that Hong Kong would be handed back eventually. If they had allowed a full and open franchise back in the ‘70s, it would have been nearly impossible for the Chinese to remove Hong Kongers’ right to vote in ‘97, and those democratic institutions would have been considerably stronger. In that scenario, while the sovereign would transfer from the Crown to Beijing, presumably far fewer powers would have transitioned. For instance, today, if Beijing couldn't stack the Legislative Council of Hong Kong with its own appointees, then Carrie Lam wouldn't be the Chief Executive, and Beijing wouldn't have a simple mechanism to exert control. I think this was a huge mistake on behalf of London.

I think the reason the British didn’t do this was out of fear that if they increased local autonomy before the transition China would use it as an excuse to invade. There was no way for the British to defend Hong Kong against a Chinese invasion. Hong Kong provided no real strategic or commercial benefit to the UK, especially after WWII, and the UK hung on to protect the local inhabitants. Thankfully, from looking at the example of Hong Kong the Chinese have now realised that communism doesn't work and started to transition China a market economy before ‘97 anyway, which, again, is why Hong Kongers are annoyed. But imagine if the takeover had happened at the height of Maoism.

To claim that the UK did not give Hong Kong democracy, while correct, misses the point that they didn't have to. The UK did not come to rule a Hong Kong that already existed. Instead, when British rule was first established, the population was tiny, around 7,000. That means that almost everyone in Hong Kong today is descended from predecessors who came to live in Hong Kong after it became a Crown colony. In other words, they made a conscious choice that life under British colonial rule – with no democracy – was preferable to life in "sovereign" China. To borrow a quote from Lenin, the people who moved to Hong Kong "voted with their feet".

And then, in ‘97, Hong Kong was transferred to China, not because the people of Hong Kong were consulted, but simply because at that point the UK had no choice but to concede. The handover took place over the heads of the people. So the lack of democracy under UK rule is completely irrelevant to the current situation. Had the British installed democracy in the years leading up to ‘97, it would simply be in the process of being extinguished today by the Chinese government.

Since the transition, a high percentage of the previous generation are immigrants from China trying to avoid the communists' rule. Hong Kong is not considered home for them, but it is a far better place than where they came from. They were not asking for democracy when they moved. All they wanted is to avoid the cultural revolution. Hong Kong has given them a place to live comfortably and make money. On the other hand, as far as I can tell by listening to their English interviews, most of the protesters are born and raised in the city, so it’s natural for them to want more say in what happens to their home city.

China’s view of Hong Kong has changed in 20 years too. In 1997, China's economy was 20x larger than Hong Kong's economy and today it is closer to 50x. Was Hong Kong's economy 2.5 times as important to China in 1997 than today? Hong Kong was still pretty trivial then to China as well. Hong Kong has become less important as a financial centre precisely because the Mainland has become freer (though still authoritarian by our standards), allowing Shanghai, Shenzhen, etc. to develop as alternative financial and business hubs. That’s why it’s not completely accurate to portray Hong Kong protestors as pro-freedom, many probably wish the Mainland were less free to block the competition in financial and business services. Kong Kongers’ complaints about China frequently shade over from legitimate criticism of the CCP to gripes about Mainland tourists, shoppers and investors.

Also, notice that there’s no unrest in Macau, which is in the same position as Hong Kong. Maybe that’s because the Mainland hasn’t legalised gambling, allowing Macau’s economy to remain one of the richest in the world. I bet there would be protests in Macau if the Mainland legalised gambling, but even then I wouldn’t call such protests pro-freedom. That would be competition, just like in Hong Kong. Maybe Hong Kongers are resentful that their economy grew slower relative to both the Mainland and Macau? Macau had a pro-communist government since the 1960s so its success doesn’t seem fit the standard narrative about how Hong Kong’s success is due to British institutions.
Hong Kong percentage of GDP in China's economy

On the other hand, Hong Kong is a "normal economy" whereas Macau has a bizarre economy with a heavily inflated GDP per capita that is not driven by local living standards. Macau is an extreme outlier by world standards, almost on the level of Qatar. The Macanese model probably does relate to a small population (7.8% the size of Hong Kong) following an extreme model of tourism and tax haven policies (which would be impossible with a high population, even if you wanted them, which you wouldn't if you care about the living standards of your people). The CCP is going easy on the Macanese because they don't "rock the boat."

It’s a bit strange that Hong Kongers decided to spend their legitimate protest energy now on countering China’s plans for extradition laws. All nation-states like to demonstrate power over individuals. Why should the CCP be any different? I’m not saying it’s right, just that China isn’t acting weird, it’s acting like a nation-state. Would the US tolerate a semi-independent US territory like Guam refusing to extradite people to the rest of the US? I suspect not. The CCP’s behaviour still fits the prevailing narrative: "Economic freedoms are fine but political freedoms are not. Do not question the rule of the Party."

But still, extradition is a weird hill for the democratists in Hong Kong to die on. Within 10 years people will be fleeing Hong Kong as China continues to push its own laws. The transnational elites care very little about Hong Kong, they’re only there for the banking. As things get more dicey and China-y, they’ll be the first to leave. Beijing doesn’t really care because China developed Shenzen to reduce the status and desirability of Hong Kong and today people discuss the up and downsides of living in Hong Kong versus Shenzen, something unthinkable in ‘97. The city-state was always unlikely to become the next Singapore, and China is determined it will never become the next Taiwan.

The lesson of Hong Kong is that, as with protectionism, (almost) everyone wants more rights and freedom for themselves and fewer rights and freedoms of others (which inevitably impinge on their own rights and freedoms). Of course, this could be solved by compromise. But since everyone is looking out for #1, there will be ongoing friction. Compromise is hard.

Which, I should add, is the thesis of Enter the Dragon. That’s your weekly dose of irony...

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

When is a science not science?

Last week, I asked Dr Michael Osterholm about the connection between vaccines and autism. He works at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, so if anyone would know I figured it’d be him.

The issue with vaccines isn’t vaccines, exactly, but mixing multiple vaccines together. The claim is that no one’s quite sure what happens then and the 30% increase in autism rates in the US since 2008 has made a lot of people - both crazy and not-crazy - correlate the two in some giant scientific conspiracy.

Dr Osterholm waved his hands and rejected the correlation, but he suggested something more intriguing. He wasn't going to dismiss the rise in autism but instead pointed to the skyrocketing use of antibiotics (about 838 antibiotic prescriptions for every 1000 people in the US in 2015, 2.5 times higher than in Sweden) as the more likely cause. He said data is still coming in to confirm this, but the effect of antibiotics on babies’ neurobiology in utero appears to fit the trend much closer.

Again, he emphasised that we need more data, which is exactly what any decent scientist should say. But it got me thinking about how easy it is to see patterns in activity and to assume you’re looking at science.

My question is: what is science? Why do we believe in its results? Is it just the latest version of religion, or does it actually make sense?

I'm referring to the Popperian definition: science is a discipline that makes falsifiable, reproducible predictions. Of course, the word predates Karl Popper, but the reason I like the definition is that in the last few decades, science has come to mean “authoritative and indisputable truth” instead and become an arm of the State. Authoritative truth has become Official Truth.

Of course, facts without inferences can certainly be authoritative and indisputable, I’ve no problem with that, so long as they are collected by disinterested people who don’t fiddle with the data. That's unfortunately very common these days, as is drawing conclusions where they shouldn’t be.

My beef is that these conclusions, as in the case of Margaret Mead, have major effects on the outside world, just like Dr Osterholm’s theory might if he’s proven correct about antibiotics. If Mead had just written a travelogue, no false authority would have been assumed. Instead, she told millions of readers that science confirmed what they wanted to hear and caused really bad government decisions about social policy for decades.

Once upon a time, we thought science worked because it was reasonable. After all, it’s difficult for a reasonable person to disbelieve something that makes objective statements about reality that can be confirmed by independent experiments, especially if (as Popper taught us) they can be disproved. Back then, science was considered the newest branch of the Aristotelian tradition of rational philosophy and it pretty much set the foundations of the modern world.

The nice thing about this view is that it allowed for a whole world of reason that had nothing to do with dropping balls off the leaning tower of Pisa. Science was important to the Enlightenment, but to say it wasn’t all about inductive experiment is historically inaccurate.

Karl Popper
Then something strange happened. Science was no longer the domain of aristocratic gentlemen puttering about with ideas living off their centuries-old estate incomes. Sometime in the 19th century, even the stupidest of them started to realise a new world was being born, and it wasn’t just a restoration of classical civilization. What did we have that the Greeks and Romans didn’t? In a word – science.

This is the cultural trope that gave us positivism and scientism. People no longer believed that science worked because science was reasonable. They decided that if reason worked, it had to be because reason was scientific. Can you see the change?

What the positivists, empiricists, pragmatists, progressives, etc, who came up with this view didn’t see is that by rejecting reason, they were surrendering pretty much all reality and human experience, which is (like economics) not open to inductive experiment, to the forces of violence and superstition they all assumed were a thing of the past.

For instance, why is cultural anthropology considered a “science?” No controlled experiments can be conducted here, no falsifiable hypotheses can be stated and no underlying quantitative structure can be imagined. On the other hand, it does end in “ology,” so I guess it has that going for it.

Imagine you were a member of some super species which is as different to humans as humans are to fruit flies. One day you decide to set out pairs of human cultures that are different in only one variable, holding all others constant. If you could do that, then “humanology” really would be an experimental science because at least it would produce testable ideas.

Now imagine talking to someone who claims to be a humanologist and finding out he doesn’t construct controlled experiments at all. Instead, his work is based on one test planet called “earth,” which he just created and left in the fridge for a while. He says this planet has a bunch of random cultures that developed organically which he has been comparing in “natural experiments.”

Shouldn’t the first thing you tell this guy be to go read Richard Feynman on cargo cult science? Because if humanology without controlled experiments is a pseudoscience, it’s a pseudoscience. Simple as that. It cannot produce any falsifiable results. It doesn’t matter who is doing the experiments.

An easy way to spot an unjustifiable position like this is that, rather than finding the one or two watertight arguments that justify it and ignoring everything else, the person spreads its efforts across everything that sounds vaguely right. This is often a sign that there are no watertight arguments, only false justifications. A classic case of this was Johnnie Cochran’s defence in the OJ trial. Cultural anthropology follows a similar strategy.

Before the last century’s mass insanity, people did “cultural anthropology” and “social science” in a very different way. They knew perfectly well that they were flawed humans writing about other flawed humans in an entertaining way about how we all live and work and play. Perhaps it’s interesting, when reading about the Yanomamo Indians, to know the percentage of fathers who have killed other Yanomamo males. But without the ability to treat this tribe like fruit flies, statistics will get you about as close to real science as a good trampoline will get you to Jupiter.

One example of this is the tendency to fit models into existing data. That’s called hindcasting, and because there’s no distinction between hindcasting and data dredging, I think it's a scientific crime. Every hypothesis must be tested with evidence that was not used in constructing the hypothesis. That's science 101. Yet this is precisely what happens all the time in anthropology which after a century of collecting data on the habits of every Papuan cannibal tribe is pretty low on out-of-sample data.

The problem is easier to see when looking at history (the study of civilised human beings). For the past 150 years, everyone from Comte to Marx to Peter Turchin has been claiming to invent a science of history. Turchin’s is even quantitative, with, like, models and shit. Yet no one has come close to making a testable prediction. History is always happening. Every day it gives us a new little nugget of fresh, steaming out-of-sample data. But there’s no useable model in any of it.

The worst thing is that it's all paid for by the State – as in, by you and me. Everything the State does has to be Official and Important. And the more of both the better. So, as a matter of normal Darwinian funding processes, the simple task of looking at other humans and writing about them becomes larded over with pretentious maths, forty-dollar words and outrageous claims about universal truth.

What good does any of this busywork, this intellectual pork, this mindless and mind-numbing nonsense, produce for anyone? Besides, of course, the legion of academics? I suppose it keeps them from making trouble in the streets, at least most of the time. If history shows us anything, it shows that smart people are dangerous. But if the government reorganised its budget and assigned the academics to, say, copying manuscripts, at least it’d have something it could put on TradeMe. Lord knows it needs the cash.

Thoughts on the system - 30

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:
  • The repression of free speech leads to acts of terrorism. Terrorism leads to more repression of speech. This dialectic ends in the creation of a revolutionary crisis.
  • Women somehow think the only way to achieve power is to take someone else’s power away.
  • The terms "white" and "Nazi" have been weaponised as an excuse for unprovoked violence and as a way of scapegoating traditional morality. This can be traced back to Wilhelm Reich. His term was fascism.
  • Presenting something in opposition to what you hate is the most powerful branding.
  • New World Order strategy: give the top 10% all the money but give the bottom 90% social media.
  • The more you touch a woman, you'll get a better sense of how attracted to you she is.
  • The value of an investment is always dependent on your time horizon. Ideally, your holding period should be "forever," just collecting dividends until the end of time.
  • America is like Russia in the 1990s. It's a colony which is colonised by oligarchical Americans who extract wealth from their own country to tax havens.
  • Propaganda doesn’t succeed because it is manipulative, it works because people want it, need it. It gives their life direction and meaning and guards against change.
  • Many US cities are in terrible economic and social distress. High levels of opioid use, abuse, overdose and suicide (killing 60,000 a year and leaving millions harmed) are a symptom of that distress.
  • Thinking that your perception of your self-esteem affects everything in your life is not an insight, it is the system’s long con to convince you that you need to buy products. 
  • Pragmatic utopianism is the root of US tech entrepreneurship. That's why it moves so much faster than anywhere else. A utopia provides a target to innovate towards. This tradition started with the Calvinists working to re-Edenify the world. But now that target, for a great many US tech entrepreneurs, has shifted from a religious Eden to a sci-fi utopia.
  • Propaganda doesn’t get you to believe something, but to do something. Almost always that instruction is to do nothing. It doesn’t matter what you believe so long as you do it from behind an iPhone screen sitting on a chair in your house.
  • Washington looks broken because the national security establishment still sees the world through a Cold War lens. Trade policy is only a minor tool, something to be trotted out to enforce some national security goal.
  • You know a relationship is at an end when you spend most of your time ensuring the other people in the relationship fail.
  • Marriage is great for the men who need marriage to get at least one woman.
  • We don't judge something true or false on its merits, we judge it based on how well it fits a pattern we already support.
  • You may be beautiful as you are, but the system knows you need to do something to yourself to feel good. Hence why makeup and moisturiser cost $30 but a paperback book costs $10.
  • The goal of all modern politics is to control social AIs.
  • Warfare in the moral dimension is an amazing thing in real time. You can taste the anxiety, fear and alienation.
  • A traditional protest is only useful if it's supporting a larger, online effort.
  • The person at Facebook in charge of censoring the personal conversations of 2.5 billion people graduated from university in 2011.
  • All cooperation is based on fiction. Lose the fiction, lose the cooperation.
  • In this world, the metric of consumer benefit is used for everything.
  • Every movement turns into a business or a racket because the leaders of the movement would lose their jobs if they told everyone to go home.
  • Resentment is an emotion that will never let you down. Its only downfall is that it makes you concentrate on what you can’t do, rather than what you can do.
  • Israel’s best and last friends are white Republican gentile American men in their 60’s and 70’s who honestly believe it’s still 1990.
  • When high rents force nightlife venues to close down and make it harder for young people to live in the city, even successful young men get their sex lives ruined.
  • The past is something you can know but can’t change, the future is something you can’t know but can change.
  • We no longer believe in roles, only identity. Which is why it’s so easy to intimidate a lawyer. His identity means he forgets he is part of a massive machine that could crush me into oblivion.
  • The progressives pride themselves on listening to the experts. They are a policy party, not a political party.
  • Why is it worse to attack a doctor than a woman, even if both are female? Because the former is an attack on a symbol of the system while the latter is just an attack on a woman.
  • Reducing yourself as a sign of solidarity is a female move (SlutWalks or shaving your head when a friend gets cancer) or, said differently, only a woman would allow another person to reduce themselves as a sign of support.
  • It turns out when a taboo is removed, like sex, people become less interested in it.
  • Perhaps the reason identity politics is predominant is because Jews own most media and academia. After all, Jews are most well-known for calling themselves the “chosen ones,” which is a racial term.
  • The logic of university is assumed to be about creating a society of producers. But the system is designed to raise consumers, which is why the university has become a factory.
  • If love is whatever we can still betray (Le Carre) then betrayal is whatever we can still love.
  • Being pretentious is a bad strategy because it doesn’t allow you to adapt to a situation. Only honesty lets you fit in anywhere.
  • Testosterone is the “do something” chemical. It compels men to go out and get sex. Women don’t have much testosterone, which explains their general passivity.
  • Why do I need to open my brain and let Silicon Valley in?
  • A dark truth about sex is that women find men who take what they want attractive. Women swoon over men who just closed a deal, started a business or haggled with a salesman for a better price.
  • Modern society redefines violence to make the most violent institution of all human history - the State - seem like a god-given peacemaker.
  • The popular misconception is that science today is excellent. But it’s really engineering that is excellent. Science has stagnated.
  • Envy is hostile worship.
  • The silliest thing you can want from your job is to feel personally valued by doing it. The only value you should want from a job is in the form of dollars.
  • The word is fireman. A firefighter is just a woman pretending to be a fireman.
  • The question isn’t if there better cultures, the question is: if the world ended and you were in charge of creating a new default culture, which one would you resurrect?
  • The anal stage comes after the oral stage. In other words, producing only happens after you consume. But you do actually have to advance to the anal stage. Instagram is for people firmly in the oral stage. Nothing of what they film is made by them, everything is consumption. Not even the act of taking a picture reflects a creative drive.
  • Many believe anger to be an emotion that justifies whatever is done in its name.
  • I wear a tie to work not because I want to display myself as better for my job, but because I am better than my job. My tie is a sartorial representation of the multiplicity of my self.
  • Women read fictional romance novels and consider themselves well read.
  • Why should I care that I will die alone, I came into this world alone.
  • Nationalists can talk to each other, internationalists have no way to do this.
  • A woman can be easily convinced to forgo a raise if it’s not enough money to flaunt or if something else - like a title - can be flaunted instead.
  • Since we no longer have sacrifice, the West has skyrocketed its creativity and power, but without a replacement for the scapegoat, the West lacks a mechanism for defending against the mimetic crisis.
  • You cannot get happiness from something to which you’ve adapted, only contentment.
  • Domination has nothing to do with aggression. It is simply a way of projecting yourself onto others.
  • Women are supposed to be watching men have fun. Women don’t really know how to have fun. All they say is “you go girl” over and over.
  • What would really happen if men stopped letting women work? If women started rioting, do women expect men to just let them riot? Has anyone actually thought this through?
  • We no longer use the word "invention" because losers are lifted to places of influence by the system, while the winners focus only on earning quick money. All we have left is "innovation," building the better mousetrap. But which of us could build a mousetrap if it didn’t exist?
  • Progressives are happy to say you’re born homosexual, but they don’t want to talk about how you’re born with a certain amount of intelligence.
  • If crime is a result of poverty and oppression, then why are almost all crimes committed during good weather?
  • All social movements are just attempts by the losers to become more attractive to the highest value women - who are always and in every culture blonde women.
  • It’s strange watching old TV shows because the propaganda no longer serves the initial purpose.
  • Necessity is a virtue. If you can’t seduce multiple girls, you’ll call monogamy a virtue.
  • We already believe that competition is for losers and monopoly is for winners because we allow governments to monopolise the printing of money and supply of security.
  • "50/50" is classic women-code for being in control. She wants to be responsible for all the good things that happen (to her) but also a have way to blame the man for the bad things that happen (to her). Women want the benefits of responsibility without the consequences.
  • You don’t have to listen to me, but I hope one day you don’t wish you had.