Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Listen to the science experts

When I deconverted from my first layer of religious belief, I went to a Sceptics meetup where I met microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles.

That was well over a decade ago, and it’s nice to see her ability to communicate science has gained her a growing number of interviews over the years. I never interviewed her because she doesn’t really have anything to do with business. But she’s become well known recently due to her explanations about Covid-19.
Siouxsie Wiles

So, what am I supposed to make of this article?:
“Here in New Zealand videos spreading conspiracy theories about the source of the pandemic have even resulted in the destruction of crucial infrastructure. It’s time media giants like YouTube stopped being complicit in this.”
The best criticism of a scientist's opinion on public policy is this: Your opinion on the subject is irrelevant. Because it is. If you're a scientist with a policy idea, put it in a paper and submit to a peer-reviewed journal. Oh, but see, she isn’t really a scientist, not anymore. Now she’s become a “science expert.” The expert is a media creation meant to deliver a truth to an audience from the perspective of a particular field. But in practice, the expert functions to deprive the audience of the opportunity to disagree with the opinion the media outlet is presenting as fact. The expert says this is what the truth is, who are you to disagree with science? Do you see the trick?

Once someone is designated by the media as an expert in one area, they automatically become an expert everywhere. Likewise, Richard Dawkins is a biologist, but the media made him a “science expert” and from there it was a quick hop to getting him to talk about the non-existence of God on television.

The question you should be asking is if experts are a creation of television media, why do we still have them on the internet? You can email a question to any PhD professor in the world – hell, you can even email them all at once – and probably get a sober answer. But it won’t feel right to you, because it isn’t coming from an expert. A TV expert. There is a dangerous trend at work here: the status conferred on the TV expert has worked its way over to the internet, which was supposed to be decentralised, crowd-sourced, diverse and open.

This is happening because the ability for people to use their judgement was suppressed by TV through the deployment of "experts" and has atrophied from decades of disuse. Now that we have a technology that gives us the opportunity to voice strong, thoughtful, insightful judgments on our own to the broader public, we can’t. We don’t know how to perform a rigorous and critical analysis without involving our visceral emotions. And we don’t know how to hold others to that standard when they present their conclusions to us. We’ve lost the ability to judge, to discern, to evaluate. So we turn to proxies to do it for us. Sound familiar?

I’ve written about this before, but you can sense a power shift has been occurring from religion to science, using the same tactics of word manipulation that religion uses, and which should never be involved with science. For instance, why did physicists call the Higgs-Boson the "God Particle"? That's the stupidest lay term in the history of science. The particle has nothing to do with God or any of the characteristics usually ascribed to God.

A better title would have been "The Goldilocks Structure" because it does not imply a designer. "Goldilocks" is a metaphor for "just right." The original story isn't that someone made her some porridge that was just right, the story is that she found one that was just right. We should be using the term that properly conveys the truth and then let the idiots argue with the truth. If you play language games with the truth then your opposition can argue with you as a person, and that's an argument they might actually win. But "Goldilocks Structure" doesn’t sell books. And more importantly, it doesn't elevate the science experts, like Siouxsie and Richard, to some greater position of authority. There is something else going on here.

The purpose of language manipulation and the creation of anointed experts is to replace the authority of religious figures with the authority of physicists and great scientists. It is not about replacing religion with science – science has absolutely nothing to say about the moral or ethical questions at that heart of religion.

This trend is about shifting power from religion to science. It isn't merely that people are spreading misinformation about epidemiology, it's also that the science behind this theory is so complex and esoteric that only truly advanced microbiologists can understand it. The rest of us, who don't understand the maths or the science, who haven't studied the data, must simply accept their word for it. We need people like Siouxsie to interpret the science for us. Again, sound familiar?

We believe scientists are smart enough to understand these issues so we believe they are correct. Even if we listen to them, we are taking the "leap of faith" that the maths behind the predictions works out the way their statements imply. We have no way of knowing for ourselves unless we suddenly embark on a multi-decade immersion into mathematics, epidemiology and microbiology theory. It doesn't matter that Siouxsie, in fact, may actually be superbly smart and correct. What matters is that for us, we believe what she says is true, but we don't know it is true.

For years, scientists have wrapped their science in the language of divinity to steal the authority that divinity still conveys in society. An individual scientist should have absolutely no authority. Science is about the theory, not the person who invented the theory. But once we decide to listen to a scientist like Siouxsie and not others about issues beyond the narrow scope of her work, we are making a political choice, not a scientific one. Anybody who says “just listen to the experts” is really telling you to listen to “their” experts. Because the second you start listening to “experts” who disagree with their experts, they say you are listening to the wrong experts.

What happens when science gets to the truth that runs contrary to common sense? Science's job is done at that point. It is the role of science to say "Guess what? It turns out driving cars is destroying the environment" (or whatever, you get my point). But that statement is made by a scientist acting in the role as a scientist. It is absolutely not the role of science to say "Drive less." That is what people do.

And that is my point. Scientists are trying to extend their authority outside of science into other spheres. I'm not necessarily saying this is a bad thing, as long as other voices are heard too.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Why ISIS is back

Great, more bad news.

A spate of attacks across Iraq over the last few weeks shows the Islamic State (ISIS) is still around and taking advantage of the leadership transition in Baghdad to re-emerge.

I have a question: what would Lord Cromer do about this?

Who is that? Well, about a hundred years ago, the British governed Egypt for 25 years. In 1908, the population of Egypt was about 10 million which Lord Cromer controlled with 5500 soldiers. Not only were all the costs for this enterprise paid for by Egyptian taxpayers, but Egypt also had no militias, private armies, political parties, ethnic mafias or any other armed group anywhere. Lord Cromer achieved all of this without assault helicopters, main battle tanks or UAVs.

I'm not sure what an Egyptian pound was worth back then, but part of the cost of maintenance for Lord Cromer’s budget was, including occupation fees, 141,375 Egyptian pounds. Bear in mind that Egypt’s Government also had a "reserve fund" roughly equivalent to its annual expenses, which is quite frankly unthinkable for any government around today.

The $US6.4 trillion question: what changed?

Why couldn’t the US, with all its might and good intentions, occupy and govern a foreign country? An Indian was once asked how the British had conquered and ruled India with so few men. He replied, "the British didn't betray each other."

The answer is depressingly simple: Americans betray each other.

After nearly 20 years, Iraq remains a jihadi magnet. Fortunately, it is a jihadi magnet in the middle of nowhere. Despite what CNN says, ISIS isn’t fighting because its members are "motivated by the US occupation." That’s just Wilsonian nonsense. They are motivated by the desire for power, money and glory, like everyone who fights. Even the kamikazes were told their actions would cause Imperial Japan to win the war, or at least survive it. That did the trick.

But there’s a difference between the kamikazes and ISIS. While both are equally fanatical, all resistance in Japan stopped once the US won the war. Why? Read JCS 1067 for a clue. Why was there no Confederate insurgency? Look at the Lieber code and the tactics the Union used when an insurgency was attempted. Finally, read Trinquier and Luttwak on modern war and counterinsurgency. None of this happened in Iraq so the country is still having trouble with ISIS, it really is that simple.

Despite what progressives might say, a military occupation of a foreign country is not difficult. Here’s how Lord Cromer would deal with Iraq:
  1. Create an Iraqi government with Iraqi employees and American executives;
  2. Form an Iraqi army with US officers but Iraqi soldiers;
  3. Suppress all political parties, mafias, militias, etc, hanging or imprisoning as many people as necessary until all such groups are cancelled;
  4. Set up a transition plan to hand over a stabilised Iraq to a real, trained ruler or split the country into emirates and pick a prince to govern each.
The reason the US failed any of this is that its own domestic political system (the Pentagon/State Department civil war) made it impossible. Washington is incapable of effective administration, even at home. Why would you think it could do it in Iraq? Lots of people say the US invaded Iraq for oil. But if that’s true, Americans would have conducted themselves very differently.

Even if Washington’s twin rival factions agreed to cooperate in Iraq, Americans themselves would be whining about Iraqi "human rights" even though they don't give a shit about Iraq or Iraqis. No one cared about Vietnamese human rights in 1975. The real motivation of Americans at any time post-1945 is the defeat of their own domestic enemies across the Potomac. The Pentagon’s error in Iraq – and in any conflict since WWII – was to think it could win a political victory back in Washington by winning a fight in Iraq. The State Department was on to that game and there was no way it would let that happen. If the Pentagon wants to take over Washington, it should grow a pair of balls and do it the old-fashioned way.

Forget what you’ve “learned” about colonialism, Lord Cromer’s system was enormously profitable and worked extremely well. But it was more profitable in 1800 than in 1900, and more profitable in 1700 than in 1800. The problem with colonialism was that it got nationalised. Colonialism run by chartered companies is a wonder of economic engineering. Colonialism as a government department is a disaster, as Lord Cromer found out.

ISIS is back in town in 2020 because of this disaster, which means the Iraq mess can only be understood as a continuation of the postcolonial disaster, which can only be understood by understanding colonialism. The thing is, no one who understands colonialism would ever suggest that colonialism doesn’t work. It worked quite well until the progressives (Whigs) in Britain turned it into postcolonialism.

If you read Alexander's book in the link above, you’ll see how progressive British politics was a constant problem for the Egyptian administration and led to its collapse. Even back then, you can see the basic alliance forming between progressives at home and nationalists abroad. In The Truth About Egypt, the "Panislamic" movement is even mentioned, which is basically the precursor to ISIS in Iraq today.

The reason Lord Cromer’s magnificent management of Egypt was undermined is described in Charles Francis Adams Jr’s essay "A National Change of Heart" (it's in Lee at Appomattox, which for some dumb reason is not online). His essay is not about Egypt, but Britain. He asks why America and Americans became so popular in Great Britain in the second half of the 19th century and concludes that the British “cool kids” were impressed with US power after the Union victory. That faction in Britain was, of course, the progressive Whigs. Adams intimates that the root cause of the disaster of nationalism in the Middle East is not resentment, education nor the telegraph. Rather, nationalism works because it had a chance of success because it meant the British would betray each other.

This is why ISIS is in Iraq. The pattern, for the last 60 years of Middle East history, is that the insurgents of today tend to become the rulers of tomorrow. Anyone with half a brain and an AK-47 in that region knows the Americans are a) pussies and b) going to leave the region sooner or later. Since they are pussies (no Iraqi ruler in history would have tolerated ISIS) fighting offers the chance of riches, power and glory. Why did ISIS beat the US military? Why might it still come out on top? Do you think this makes the Pentagon happy? Do you think the last 20 years are how the Pentagon would handle things if it had its way back in Washington? Of course not. Something else is going on here.

What killed colonialism and the Middle East was interference with the colonial governments by the homeland authorities back in London, particularly the lawyers, ministers and diplomats. At worst, these people created a quasi-military, unacknowledged alliance with foreign insurgent forces against their own compatriots like Lord Cromer. None of these British progressives were friendly with Arab nationalists. But they both knew each was more likely to achieve its goals because of the other's actions. As al Qaeda's #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri put it: "The Democrats should not forget that they owe their victory [in 2006] to the mujahedin." Well, Ayman old chap, I'm afraid that one works the other way as well.

Sure, US foreign policy makes Muslims angry, but the mechanism is not quite what people assume. In most countries, the educated elite is hooked on the State Department party line, which is a direct result of the re-education of Europe after 1945. The only country in the world with any meaningful right-wing political element is the US. This is not a coincidence. WWII ensured the Americans defeated any possible political rival that even sniffed of being right-wing. When you fight a world war and win, you win the world. And the prerogative to do, well, whatever you want.

That's why Islam really doesn't have anything to with ISIS.

There are two kinds of countries: those which are American-style progressive governments and those which will become American-style progressive governments. The countries which have already converted to the progressive religion are divided between the Pentagon and the State Department (for instance, Israel is a Pentagon client, while Palestine is a State Department client). The message the State Department client countries and intellectuals chant is: "we want less Pentagon." No one ever says they want less of the US. They couldn’t get away with that. Anti-Americanism is either hatred of the supporters of the Pentagon or the supporters of the State Department, not of America itself. Presently, the governments of most countries are firmly under State's control.

For example, take Pakistan’s General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The State Department promoted Kayani and fired Musharraf in a very simple way: it sent a high-level delegation to Islamabad in 2007 and had them meet, alone, with Kayani. State can get away with this because the Pentagon was weak at the time because Bush was a lame duck and the guy who was about to replace him was somewhere to the left of Che Guevara. Is this promotion of "democracy" (the rule of bandit chieftains) in the interests of US citizens? No way. All it does is promote State, and that's all that matters. Who cares if it also leads to thousands of deaths.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left), US State Department head John Kerry and
Pakistan General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani

That’s empire, baby.

Also, the belief that the US is run by a Zionist conspiracy indicates a complete lack of geostrategic awareness. Pentagon elites are overwhelmingly Anglo and European and the grand strategy of the US is the product of rational self-interest. Zionism is tolerated by the Pentagon elite because it aligns with its interests. Neither of the two Washington factions wants to surrender the Middle East to the Russians just as much as the Zionists don't want to let Iran grow in power.

Carroll Quigley told us who was in charge decades ago. "Israel made me do it" is just a New England trick to disguise their bloodlust. Both the Pentagon and the State Department use different kinds of Jews for their own interests.

A forgotten episode from 2014 was when Israeli intelligence firm SITE released an ISIS beheading video before ISIS itself released it. The gaffe was covered over with claims that SITE was just good at its job. Yeah, ok. Also, who remembers when John McCain’s staffer’s laptop was hacked and a photo was released of an ISIS beheading video being created at a soundstage? I remember.

The only way out of this mess is if the US shuts down its entire foreign policy, closes and sells its embassies, phases out its subsidies to its money-losing client states, brings its military home and makes it clear to the world that its nuclear umbrella protects only its own head.

Don’t let anyone tell you the invasion of Iraq failed. It was the occupation that failed. But since no one intended the invasion to be either a British-style punitive expedition which destroyed Saddam and then came home or a full-on 1945-style reconstruction, the whole plan was a mistake. The correct scalable solution is deterrence, not empire, which at least some in Washington are attempting to achieve through a strategic balance between Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel and Turkey. Of course, deterrence is a solution to terrorism as well. And so is just closing the goddamn borders.

I feel sorry for the Iraqis. It must suck to be punching bags for such an incompetent and selfish empire.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Thoughts on the system - 46

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:
  • When a girl says a guy “made it” she means he has qualified himself to “win” her because she sees herself as a trophy.
  • Everyone is a hypocrite, that’s a non-starter. The fight is over who’s ideas should be universal.
  • If people groups show clear differences in intelligence, how long would you need before these effects play out on a population due to mass migration?
  • No wonder stock markets are disconnected from the real market, they are run by artificial intelligence.
  • The enemies of a global system can only be internal because there is no outside.
  • It’s much easier to control an English-speaking country because English doesn’t have gendered meanings so you can't tell which concept is masculine or feminine.
  • Porn is communism, the virtual sharing of the idea of sex.
  • The political quadrant is a desperate attempt to avoid the inevitability of the Hegelian dialectic.
  • “There’s more of us than there is of them.” Yeah, well, define “us” and I think you’ll see that’s a lie. At least the police have a uniform.
  • Power appears in four types: military, economic, political/persuasion and perception/ propaganda.
  • “You’re a lucky guy” means two things: 1) I would bang your girlfriend and 2) I will never bang your girlfriend because I think like a woman by assuming sexual attraction is just luck.
  • Holocaust is another name for burned sacrifice.
  • At some point, capitalism was overtaken by usury.
  • We are told to love our enemies precisely because it is the opposite.
  • If your values are to exploit other people while protecting your own, you will always frame any backlash against your exploitation as oppression.
  • Every successful revolution leads to a civil war among the revolutionaries.
  • People strive to get their message into media because they know media is powerful, but the same people refuse to believe it is possible for the owners of media to have power by using the media to magnify their own message.
  • Jesus couldn’t have been born to a queen because royalty is the delayed scapegoat.
  • The reason people make fun of dissidents as being virgins is that the definition of a dissident is someone who does not support the feminine imperative system.
  • The coronavirus is really smart. It doesn’t contaminate supermarkets workers but it sure will get you at churches, hair salons, restaurants, bars and any other small business.
  • It shouldn’t surprise anyone that virus activists and climate activists want the same goals: to shut down the global economy.
  • The editing in any show is the real performance, not whatever the actors are doing.
  • People can’t be trusted to value anything.
  • If this is the Information Age, we are nowhere near ready to advance to the next age. We have only just begun to collect all the possible data generated by human society.
  • Let's try universal basic income, but it’s $1m for everyone when they turn 18. How they spend it is up to them, but all the consequences are owned by the individual and no one is allowed to complain about inequality ever again.
  • There are three types of people: males and females and people with mental illness (who are either male or female).
  • In a world where mimetics cannot take root because people aren’t seeing models to mimic (adblocker, few movies and TV shows, no walking outside, no public gatherings), how can consumerism survive?
  • Every time a historian writes about a time they didn’t experience, they make it harder for people to discover the texts written by people who did live through those times.
  • How can a government be responsible to its citizens if those citizens don’t have any guns?
  • Progressives know mass migration is a terrible idea but there was no way to stop it without undermining their moral high ground. The coronavirus is a perfect opportunity to stop migration and come across as morally superior.
  • Girls say yoga pants aren't a sexual display. And yet men, who are better at all sport rarely wear anything tight when doing exercise.
  • The one great truth about life it is that the responsibility to make truly great conversations happen is yours.
  • The media is just playing Calvinball now.
  • Women are so solipsistically obsessed with sex they will destroy a 2000 year civilisation just to get pleasurably fucked to death by a group of terrible males.
  • What’s with the prevalence of red-heads making up a disproportionate number of white people who convert to Islam?
  • Joe Biden is a rapist and he’s going to get the feminist vote.
  • The default assumption of the coronavirus restrictions now being created is to frame those who value freedoms as selfish, extreme, irresponsible, hateful, irrational and lawless.
  • Playing the victim gives one a powerful position of privilege in a Christian society.
  • A simple spreadsheet is the main competitor of 90% of software startups.
  • 51% of children born to millennials are to single mothers.
  • The sovereign decides the exception.
  • On the internet, truth is called “harmful misinformation.”
  • If there’s one thing women hate more than unwanted attention it’s not getting the attention they want.
  • “Free” is the most expensive business model ever created.
  • The length of the marriage is inversely proportional to the cost of the wedding.
  • A woman can destroy a baby’s health by smoking and drinking alcohol and it’s perfectly legal.
  • If you break into my house, then you value my stuff more than your life.
  • People are perfectly happy to accept that a handful of powerful families ran everything in Rome, China or Persia. But today, they reject as a conspiracy theory the idea that the Rothschilds or the Morgans are involved in power at all.
  • Nature always wins in the end.
  • People aren’t being given money during this crisis to help them pay for food, the money is so they keep paying their debts.
  • People are happy to let the system remove anonymity from the internet because in the absence of anything else to define them, at least their internet activity gives them an identity.
  • The system doesn’t care if you hide your face with a mask if you also carry your smartphone.
  • There is a difference between official reality and actual reality.
  • “White supremacy” is a Jewish codeword for Christian.
  • If a girl sincerely believes she loves you, be sympathetic. She simply doesn’t know herself yet.
  • Adam’s real mistake was that he sinned to avoid loneliness.
  • Sometimes you just have to shake hands with who you are.
  • Some actions are wrong regardless of the consequences. The sooner a kid learns to behave a certain way, not because of anything, but just because, the sooner he will develop his own superego strength.
  • A lot of people believe in magic. They yell at their kid\but then say they don’t hate the kid. They think saying “I don’t hate her” is a magic spell to bend the reality that yelling is the action that defines the parent/child relationship.
  • Everyone thinks they’re doing the right thing. Only the lucky or strong get to say they are.
  • From the state’s perspective, diversity makes it difficult for people to unionise or band together for political ends.
  • Good cops help sell the lie that the laws are good.
  • Any democracy with mass immigration will be taken over by Islam and lose both its democracy and mass immigration.
  • Women love to be lied to, as long as it’s something they want to hear.
  • You don’t have to lie, you just have to speak in a way that creates an opportunity for the other person to draw the wrong conclusion.
  • A licence is just permission from the government to do something which would otherwise be illegal.
  • The mandatory vaccine is a red herring. The point is the database tracking.
  • The BBC is the propaganda wing of the UK Foreign Office in the same way the New York Times is for the State Department.
  • Not admitting there is a monster right in front of you is the most dangerous thing you can do.
  • I might be wrong but I’m not lying.
  • It’s not about where the line is, it’s whether you have a line.
  • A woman who spends a lot of time on her outside has no inside.
  • Sometimes the best way to love your neighbour is not to tolerate their bullshit.

Monday, 11 May 2020

This isn’t the end of the world, but you can see it from here

I

The just-in-time supply chain model is like feminism: only possible when everything else is working well. 

Ironically, once these two things begin to exist, they create conditions which erode the foundations that allow them to exist. And so, the existence of feminism and outsourcing should be a warning of the looming end of both feminism and outsourcing. Let me explain.

II
We like to say manufacturing doesn’t make a country rich and we should become a service economy. But if manufacturing has terrible ROI, how do you explain China? Quite frankly, I don’t think businesses ever really measured themselves correctly. They thought the only thing consumers wanted was cheap products, so they tasked China with making them for next to nothing. But what they didn’t realise is that consumers are producers as well, and people primarily.

Kiwis would be willing to pay $0.03 extra for a bar of soap if it meant they could create the soap at a factory. Because while they’re making that soap, they are also practising a skill which trains their brain to think in a specific, imaginative way. Some of them will go home, tinker with tools in the garage and come up with a new, smarter way to manufacture soap. Or, better yet, a new way to generate electricity to power the factory which potentially leads to a massive leap in human knowledge.

The thing is, none of that experience and practise is quantifiable by bean counters at the company’s HQ. They don’t factor it into their report for the CEO, who decides that, on the weight of the evidence presented in dollar form, he will shift the factory to China to save $0.03 on making soap. 

But what happens to those factory workers? They don’t go and earn a PhD because if they were the kinds of people who earn PhDs, they would already have a PhD. No, they head to the local call centre or services company. Rather than practice a skill all day, they cycle through computer-generated lists of lapsed Vodafone customers before going home to watch Netflix or play online games. The garage (if they have one) lies fallow gathering dust. Multiply this by thousands of companies over four decades and you have an answer to why productivity is low and no one talks about “invention” any more.

Instead, all we get is inane, self-congratulatory talk about “innovation.” I know plenty of folk “innovating” a better mousetrap, but how many people do you know who could invent a mousetrap if we didn’t already have one? Isaac Newton didn’t magically invent the concept of gravity because an apple hit him in the head. He specifically told us how he did it when he said he “stands on the shoulders of giants.” No one is born on the shoulders. You must climb your way up from the ankles, to the knees, past the hips and over the chest until you can even think about crawling to the shoulders. Newton is talking about skill, talent and perseverance. That requires reading, practising and experimentation. Newton invented the idea of gravity because he did the work. You can’t “do the work” if that work is being done in China.

III

I just think this Covid-19 crisis gives us a chance to rethink what kind of people we want to become.

It might be fun to work 9-5 in service jobs (which we don’t even perform at the global benchmark, by the way) so we can scoot home to spend maximum time watching TV shows or sailing our yachts on the harbour. But then you can’t really complain when you notice no one is inventing things anymore. Ask yourself, if you removed all the screens from your house, how could you prove you weren’t still living in the 1980s? The last real invention was the internet and the microchip. We’re quickly hitting diminishing returns on both. It should bother you that not only are we not cracking the “next big thing,” we’re not even producing the kinds of people who could crack the “next big thing.”

If you really “care” about people, stop trying to vote in some socialist and, instead, be willing to pay a fair price for locally produced goods. The benefits of looking after your own people flow deeper than anything in the accounting books. I can only hope once the pandemic ends and everyone comes out of isolation, they no longer have any enthusiasm for the “normal” world. Restaurants and bars will open but sit empty. Cinemas will announce the latest movies but nobody comes. The stadiums never fill. Students never return to their university classes.

IV

God, universities… 

Why is it that nearly every bright, educated male I know is struggling to find a role in the modern economy and is often relegated to the service industry? Yet every mediocre woman somehow has a master’s degree and a comfy job in marketing or publishing. It's baffling. I know tons of men in their late-20s mid-30s wondering how they're ever going to make enough money to start a family, yet every woman is graduating at 24 and immediately finding a $70,000 spreadsheet nonprofit job. How does this work exactly? You’re being played: quotas don’t hurt the “old guard.” A plan for 50% female representation means there is a zero chance of being hired if you’re a young man. The “old guard” was smart enough to be the 50% penis crew. Oh, sorry, did you think this was about empowering women? 

What's happening is a form of barbarism. I remember being in Rome on a tour of the Colosseum and I noticed all these pockmarks in the facade at weirdly uniform distances. The tour guide said they were holes leftover from when the barbarians tore out the bronze reinforcing struts to reuse. That means, after conquering and living inside Rome for centuries, the barbarians could not (or refused) to learn Roman lessons and maintain the city and its technology. The barbarians called themselves consuls, emperors and patricians, but in reality, they were like hermit crabs living inside the hollow shell of Rome. None of them knew why the city was built and couldn't appreciate anything except the temporary riches it gave them.

This situation lasted perhaps for a few centuries as the barbarians pretended they were Romans. But it inevitably collapsed. When it did, the barbarians were so lost they forgot how to mix together copper and tin. None of them were practising. None of them cared to practice. None of them cared about anything other than themselves. How is sending manufacturing to China any different?

Civilisation was once a concept shared by a certain class, while barbarism was outside and also in the weak and stupid people inside that civilisation who were never trusted with power. In modern democracies, the separation between these two groups has disappeared. Everyone is now given access to higher forms of culture. Schooling, museums and literature is given to all. So is the vote. But barbarism remains an active force all around us. Those who hate civilisation know it cannot be destroyed by direct assault, it must be captured from within. I can't help but notice the decline in productivity and invention gets worse the more women enter the workforce. 

The 1960s feminists generally had some sort of degree but still lived domestic lives. Technology liberated them from housework while chemistry released them from unwanted pregnancies. Differing from their predecessors, those feminists made one innovation: they hid the idea that they want to transfer power to them. They also operated entirely on the principle that their demands were morally just. Women must have their indignation and moral righteousness exploited to turn them into effective radicals. So, feminists turned the home into a prison, the factory into a happy liberation and husbands and fathers into oppressors. 

Radical feminism set men and women against each other as competing teams in the same game in which all the rules were built by and for men. Only by making the mistake that women have identical talents and inclinations to men can they keep saying the game is rigged, rather than making their own game and rules somewhere else. Feminism has no nuance. "A career is meaningful," she says, as she fills out another spreadsheet instead of hanging out with her kids.

But now with all the women in male positions, where are the inventions? Where is the progress? I’m starting to think civilisation is the sum of clever men developing traditions or inventing things. From Thales and Euclid to Edison and Musk, almost all were male. Men create civilisation. Feminists may say it isn’t fair to judge on this, but setting women up as the weak team compared with men is the game they want to play. Radical feminism says women can only be equal if they excel in exactly the same activities as men. Feminist tribal consciousness depends upon this. But it just isn’t going to happen.

Western civilisation is unusually open and many women have had access to education for a long time. From the 18th century onwards some women developed a taste for taking up professions restricted to men. By the 19th century, they had entered the universities and broke into many male fields. Few women devoted their lives to these fields. But this was only a problem for those who take their ideas from statistics. The key to modern Western civilisation is its openness to talent wherever it comes from. This is the progressive's own propaganda. Once women enter a field, the status quo has no weapons to stop the advance. The goal of the attack was to get women into higher workplace ranks.

V

How did the feminine imperative succeed? What happened? 

The best way to control a society is to make its strongest members think they are the weakest. Feminists were a small group, but their message convinced many women and most men had wives/daughters who they wanted to help. Sigh, every time we try to make something idiot-proof, nature builds a better idiot… Political parties used feminism to get power and then advanced legislation citing "equal opportunity" to stay in power. Soon the idea seeped into the powerful bureaucracies and the courts became involved. Hiring by skill and ability then became prohibited because it demonstrates that men and women were unequal.

Decades later, some workplaces are largely women-free (construction, combat, ditch-digging, etc) But these have all been attacked because although women are unsuited to the actual work, these sectors have excellent managerial opportunities. Even then, fitness tests are called discriminatory and standards are lowered, attracting a worse kind of male who erodes the sector even more. Yet the entire time, the feminist idea was open the safe, high-paying office work for women but keep the dirty jobs for men. Even feminists know they need men to unblock the toilet.

Why did men allow barbarism? Most men think like women, just not for the reasons most women believe men think like women. Males who aren't trained to be men can’t reconcile their nature when women call them evil oppressors. And once a retreat begins, it is hard to control. Each concession is used to demand further concessions in the name of consistency. Poorly trained men may not see anything wrong with rule concessions because they were raised by single mothers who lack any understanding of a wider culture outside of themselves. The big breasts of women, their deep eyes, curves and full lips – and their displays of innocence and helplessness – are all used as weapons to con weak men into handing over the keys to power. Weak men put “women” on a pedestal. A universe of games has grown up around this attitude, from the bar to the bedroom, and the saloon to the shop. 

VII

Civilisation only advances because of inventions. And those ideas only come from leisure, which the Ancients called work (as opposed to a "job"). It was in these moments of leisure when real thinking gave birth to invention.  Men and women deal with leisure differently. For women, the terror of boredom creates drama. For men, leisure is an opportunity to think, invent and inspire. Men invent things and conquer nature. Men climb mountains or sail alone around the world.

Only after men have done it do women have a go. Genius remains beyond most men, but invention remains the speciality of men. Women can run a house, but they need the house to be built in the first place. Without defined gender roles, it’s hard for leisure to exist. Since most useful ideas come from men, if women do not support men, they will have no time to advance society. Do you see?

Let’s put this into perspective. The US economy has now lost all the jobs it created since the last recession. What took 11 years to make only needed five weeks to destroy because some women said they were scared of Covid-19. The only response males had – the only action they were trained to take – was to “believe all women.” Protecting women from feeling bad about their bad decisions is a massive conspiracy to prevent women from learning from their mistakes. Now what? 

Civilisation has been conquered from within by those we least suspected of treason – who lived in our homes. Single mothers have spent decades shaming, denigrating and vilifying masculinity, now every "leader" is a gutless, spineless, progressive chickenshit. The men who let this happen stripped our culture of its natural resilience. Equality is just a treaty between the conquerors and the conquered. Women have forced their way into money and status, sometimes beyond their merits. So far, the conquerors have not killed the geese that lay the golden eggs, so the surface of civilisation is still intact. But underneath that surface flow currents no one understands.

VIII

The longer the feminine imperative rules the hearts of men, the closer we get to a point of no return where our combined earthly resources are sufficient only to keep the ever-growing masses of consumers entertained, but any large-scale projects in outer space will be impossible. The moment of transition would be a quiet, invisible one, and that is what makes it so dangerous because it may already have passed. Earth will eventually lack the resources to invents the ideas needed to support a serious, large-scale conquest of outer space. And by resources, I also mean the mindset and capacity for grand visions that must necessarily precede any space-faring. Already people choose not to believe in the moon landings. Barbarians staring at the Colosseum’s bronze struts.
Yet the gates have been opened from the inside. Being replaced by foreigners in your own homeland is what happens after you lose a war. The question is: which war did we lose? Look, the women are opening the gates. But why wouldn’t they? Western men have failed the gigantic punk test called feminism by believing that women actually know what they want. They don’t. All they know is that they want a strong man who doesn’t listen to them and does what he knows is right.

Why shouldn’t solipsistic creatures like women roll the dice with foreign men? Sweden proves that women find peaceful men boring and less desirable than the threat or actual instance of rape and oppression. 

What bothers me is that we have one shot at going solar. We can choose to have a planetary-scale infrastructure and finally transition to fully spaceborne humans, or we can turn the world into one big Disneyland for a short period of time, but not both. Only men have the will and spirit to think and act on the necessary scale. 

But I don’t know anyone like that.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Transparency and humility in a time of coronavirus

No one really expects the Government to be omniscient but everyone is terrified of a Government which isn’t omniscient. It must be tough for politicians to square that circle.

The last time citizens were warned about a “new normal” was 20 years ago after 9/11. On September 10, the world was one way, a day later it was another. But the fact remained: the US Government failed to live up to its propaganda of being omniscient. Three thousand people died to prove this was always an illusion and that a bit of humility would have been better for all.

Back then, plenty of folk thought the US Secret Service had surface-to-air missiles on the top of the White House. There weren’t. Even more people assumed the dozen US intelligence agencies talked regularly to each other and robustly cooperated. They didn’t. 

Fast-forward two decades. News services and international health organisations say a global pandemic of coronavirus has broken out. Thinking New Zealand’s health system was one of the best in the world, Kiwis assumed it would have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) in storage since the risk of a pandemic was surely part of a competent Government’s plans.

It turns out sufficient PPE was in remarkably short supply, just like the competence. Every other day, the Ministry of Health spokesman tells Kiwis that the Government has fixed that oversight and now has enough PPE to go around. But this is a half-truth.

The Government has sufficient PPE now because some private dentists and medical clinics are still importing masks, gloves and other equipment into the country. In other words, the Government can pretend it is competent only because private companies actually are. It probably makes little difference if a private group brings PPE into the country or the Government does. But for a Government committed to transparency, it’s a bit disingenuous not to clarify.

Last month, doctors also said they had too few influenza vaccines. Judging by the sudden 1000% increase in Twitter epidemiological expertise, most people know there’s a difference between influenza and coronavirus. But that’s not the point. The doctors were worried the lack of flu vaccines might mean the Government will make the same mistakes with a Covid-19 vaccine.

The prime minister “disagreed” with the doctors’ assessments and told media the country had plenty of flu vaccines and blamed District Health Boards for not distributing them. But a leaked letter from the Ministry of Health last this week showed there weren’t enough flu vaccines after all. The GP Owners Association said the prime minister had been “misleading” the public.

The recent history contact tracing isn’t much better. The Government belatedly released an Otago University independent report on its contract tracing efforts. The report showed the country doesn’t have a workable contract tracing system and lacks the hardware and expertise to run it.

In response, the Ministry of Health sheepishly pushed an extra $55 million to 12 public health units so they can expand their capabilities. Yet one of the conditions for coming out of lockdown will depend heavily on whether a contact tracing system is trustworthy. The Government still is not being proactive by releasing information on whether the system will be ready.

It has other questions to answer. For instance, does the technology for a contract tracing system capable of reliably informing people when they are near an infected person exist? And even if it did, would it require drastic alterations to privacy law? To many folk, the pursuit of contact tracing appears to be more about rebuilding the illusion of Government omniscience than about fighting Covid-19, which at least explains why there has been so little said about its status.

Every journalist knows the first story is always the wrong story. Time and new data change all estimates. The computer models warned of 88,000 deaths from Covid-19 without a lockdown. New Zealand has had 20 deaths. The models weren’t simply off, they were wrong.

The Government could righteously say its lockdown decision stopped 88,000 people from dying. But one could just as easily say the virus wasn’t all that deadly to begin with, given the exact number of asymptomatic people carrying Covid-19 is still unknown. Without that figure, the Government is being disingenuous when it says the lockdown was effective. It can’t possibly know this.

Indeed, this problem alone has split the universe in two. One group of people say the lockdown stopped a deadly virus, while another group say it was an overreaction because the virus was less deadly than people thought. The thing is, neither group will ever have enough data to prove they are correct. The Kiwi Covid-19 experiment had an n-size of 1 – there is no second planet on which to test the competing theory. A bit more humility about this reality would be welcome.

Perhaps the greatest missing piece of murky information is what, precisely, was the Crown Law advice for the police during the Alert Level 4 lockdown protocols. The new Police Commissioner said asking for more transparency on this issue right now is unimportant when the virus is still being fought. Yet sooner or later those rules are bound to come out. 

The problem here is the way the Official Information Act work. The OIA necessarily creates a buffer between the moment a rule is created and the time when the public hears about the rule. Last year, in a world without a pandemic, perhaps the public could swallow this delay. But in extraordinary times it can tempt a Government to shoot first and ask questions later.

The OIA lets politicians plausibly convince themselves that since journalists will eventually discover what went on, they don’t need to be transparent today and can get on with running the country. Yet it is precisely the extraordinariness of extraordinary times that should compel the Government to be extraordinarily transparent. Hiding behind “but the rules say” is not a good excuse if the game has fundamentally changed. 

As after 9/11, once this Covid-19 crisis is over, it probably won’t take long for the public to forget the life-lesson learned over the past few months: Government is not omniscient and should never claim to be. 

Being honest about how little it knows is at least forgivable. Obfuscating or misleading the public only diminishes faith in the Government and weakens civic trust between Kiwis. That’s not the path to “unity.”

Last week the Government passed the wrong bill in parliament. That got a giggle from anyone mature enough to realise that in any large organisation – public or private – the default is always incompetence. It’s much better to be honest about that than pretend to be all-powerful and all-knowing.

After all, transparency and humility are the foundations of unity. Without them, those two universes that have now been created by the Covid-19 lockdown – “did it work” vs “was it necessary” – will only pull New Zealanders further apart.