Monday, October 11, 2021

Hope, Change, and Superiority

Continuing with the previous post, we were discussing the Moldbuggian concept of the Cathedral, which we call the progressive Matrix But first, an embarrassing confession.

Even back when I was a liberal I was always looking for systemic unity and conceptual integration -- in other words, I wanted to understand how facts and ideas that appear unrelated on a lower level are unified at a higher and deeper level. 

Nothing wrong with that, because it's simply what thinking is and does, whether in science or the humanities -- or in pseudoscience and the subhumanities. As always, the question isn't whether the mind seeks unity and integration, but whether the integration is true -- whether it conforms to the Permanent Real.

Pick any entree from the progressive kookbook and you will immediately notice that it offers a kind of unity -- a pseudo-unity to be sure, but unity just the same. For again: all humans, by virtue of being human, seek unity, and the very progress of human thought can be seen as a ceaseless struggle between good and functional unity -- AKA progress -- and regressive and dysfunctional unity. 

It's not a matter of left and right, but rather, up and down. Truth, or necessary being, is up, its entailments and contingencies down. Unless you are a postmodern progressive, in which case contingency is at the top and bottom. Which reduces to power.

An allied problem is that in the contemporary west there are waaaaay too many thinkers, or people who presume to think. These latter are indeed presumptuous, and with good reason, for to say intellectual is to say pride. The self-regard of these mediocretins is off the charts, but Humility knows what comes next. 

Just as there is the true guffah-HA! experience, there are any number of counterfeit ones. How to tell the difference? The false version excludes in order to unify; as such, it functions more to eliminate the ambiguity of reality than to unify the psyche at a higher level. At the same time, it takes no notice of anomalies. In short, it is not bothered by the cognitive dissonance that troubles a normal person.

For example, in response to the shock of the 2016 election, Democrats identified a unified theory that explained everything: President Trump is a Russian agent! It is no coincidence that these same people have embraced the conspiracy theory that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election. 

More generally, you will have noticed that the conspiracy-prone can easily flit from one theory to another. The form scarcely matters, because it's the function that counts, and the function is to organize an otherwise disordered, chaotic, and anxiety-ridden mind. For it is not the healthy who need a doctorate in gender studies or queer theory, but the sick. 

Take a feminist. Please. Back in my day, such women would enter psychotherapy in order to figure out why they were so miserable. Before that they would just get married and have children. Problem solved. 

But feminism -- or any ideology for that matter -- allows one to politicize the human condition, and why not? Promise a facile solution to an insoluble problem, and you've got a lifetime Democrat.

Life is hard -- full of pain, loss, conflict, compromise. Adopting an ideology accomplishes two things: it 1) locates an easy enemy to explain one's unhappiness, while 2) offering hope that the unhappiness will be eliminated in the future once the enemy is vanquished. In short, it allows one to externalize pain in the present while promising a cure in the future.

Hope and Change. Give the prophet Obama credit: he abstracted the deeper form of any and all ideology and promised it to his supporters, who consisted of -- not coincidentally -- the over- and undereducated, AKA Lowfo and Nofo voters, those most susceptible to promises of false Slack. Just like today's promise, it will pay for itself!

Anyway, the embarrassing part is that, back when I was a liberal, I wanted to figure out the "real reason" why conservatives could believe such clearly stupid and even evil nonsense.  

Looking back on it, I realize that my liberal beliefs were completely unexamined, in part because they existed not on an epistemological plane, but rather, on a moral one. In other words, they were all about virtue signaling: I am better than you, for I care about women, children, immigrants, native Americans, blacks, gays, labor unions, trannies, you name it. I care. I am smarter than you, and I have an advanced degree to prove it.

Mother was right: I am a good man. 


Gagdad Bob said...

The conspiracy never ended, it just took a new form.

Gagdad Bob said...

If western civilization is a conspiracy against native Americans, how come Homo sapiens aren't a conspiracy against Neanderthals?

I'm not virtue signaling. I just care about Neanderthals more than you do.

julie said...

How white liberals feel when they say they hate white people

Looking back on it, I realize that my liberal beliefs were completely unexamined, in part because they existed not on an epistemological plane, but rather, on a moral one.

I'm reminded of how so many white Americans honestly believe that they have no culture. When I was young and stupid, I thought the same thing, because we were taught, essentially, that our North-American-European-accepting-of-everyone culture is actually some kind of a bland default for all of humanity, when in reality Americans are probably one of the most culturally colorful populations in the history of the world. Not to mention the weirdest. It's easy for young people to miss it, though, because they are in the middle of it; like fish who don't know they are wet.

Gagdad Bob said...

Exactly. The asshats who despise the west and celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day aren't self-hating, rather, the opposite: self-exalting.

Anonymous said...

Reality is perception. Had Bob gone down a dark path, whether mistaken and leading towards some slippery slope, or being intentionally misled into being pushed off a cliff, to then overcome whatever severe adversity, methinks he’d be thinking quite differently.

This is why I disregard Davila. Sure, like Teddy Roosevelt he was sickly as a youth. But he was rich too. Too rich to work. After Roosevelt had his falling down moment he chose to challenge himself physically and psychologically and gained a fair amount of public respect for acquiring the ability to perceive the thoughts and feelings of those far less fortunate than himself in the process. As far as I know, Davila just locked himself into his ivory tower library and started aphorizing. Not much street cred in that.

Methinks most neutral others will think the same as I do. Who overcame the most, while maintaining an ethical integrity, is gonna earn the most respect. Maybe Bob needs to be talking about severe adversity which he overcame, thanks to his faith in God, and the Christlike appreciation for "God's losers" which he acquired in the process?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:
"Maybe Bob needs to be talking about severe adversity which he overcame..."

One thing about Bob is that he does not include and complaints about his personal situation in the blog.

He has been ill, never whines about it or having diabetes. Bob seems to accept the cards he is dealt.

When his home was threatened by fire one year he did not apparently feel much angst.

I'm guessing Bob has learned to trust God. Some people call this "letting Jesus take the wheel." It is about acceptance of what happens.

The Dalai Llama, a notable who seems cheerful much of the time, was on the boarding stairs of his aeroplane when someone asked him to provide his method for staying cheerful.

The Dalai Llama replied "I don't mind what happens." And then off he went.

That all being said Bob never tires of complaining about progressives. Bob's charmed life of opulence slack is seemingly beyond the reach of the barbaric rabble with the pants-down-low and the ivory tower tenured apes who give the commands.

As far as we know his suburban neighbors do not give any grief. So again, Bob sticks to his pattern of not remarking on personal hardship.

Bob is a complex kid. Far from satisfied with the cosmos, he tirelessly prates against progressive evil-doers while rejecting any notion progressives should be contravened forcefully.
Unless there have been any changes in that doctrine as of late?

Bob nurtures a special distaste for tenured educators, but as far as we know he had never been harmed by one. Abuse can happen (but I'm not implying it did). However it would be odd if some form of personal offence did not drive that persistent ill-will towards the tenured. The grievance is so specific and focused there must be some fire behind the smoke.

Anonymous said...

"It is no coincidence that these same people have embraced the conspiracy theory that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election."

Conspiracy theory? Sounds like something right out of 1984. Right... the democrats are such clowns that can't do anything right, but they managed to steal an election and hide all proof of it that nobody can find except the nuts on OANN and the like, yet you with a PHD are gullible enough to believe it and can't ever manage to come up with any evidence. Even Donny never sites anything concrete. He just repeats the mantra that there is a lot of evidence of fraud without ever providing any. How can you believe that?

here were dozens of recounts and over 70 baseless legal challenges, all of except one was thrown out or lost. Many of the recounts and legal cases were in republican. There is not a shred of evidence that Biden didn't win and you or nobody on this site have ever offered one. It is not a conspiracy, it is fact. How could you believe otherwise? And if you do believe otherwise, how can you do so without being able to provide any reasonable proof.

It isn't leftist, rightist, anything-ist. It is absolute reality which you won't and can't refute. How can a democracy function if people refuse to accept valid election results? This is getting very dangerous. Civil wars get started over things like this.

Instead of calling me names, how about backing try to back up your claims.

Mollie said...

Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections

EbonyRaptor said...

This obsession with Bob has gotten creepy.

Walter said...

That creep can troll.

F. Joe Biden said...

C'mon, man! Only 56% believe Dems cheated.

Gagdad Bob said...

That is a shocking statistic. Only 44% are wards of the state?

Anonymous said...

It'd be a lot easier to just say that big corporate is only in it for the money and that they've bought most of the politicians. Jibe with most of what's going on, and with the Bible too even.

Me, I'm still waiting for the wall to get built, her to get locked up, climate change to be a hoax, and America made great again.

Made, not allowed. Remember, the core philosophies of freedom and liberty is all about Americans being allowed to make America great, to not be restricted by big government, and not having some demagogue around to have to make it great. But "Allow America To Be Great Again" doesn't have quite the big savior daddy ring to it, does it? But then that just gives even more money to big corporate to buy up even more politicians. Quite the pickle methinks.

Duder said...

Gotta feed the monkey.

Anonymous said...

anon @10/11/2021 03:42:00 PM,

Yeah, I’ve read the self-help gurus who’ve proclaimed that taking total personal responsibility for your own life leads to a kind of life-skills philosophical moxie where nothing that kills you only makes you stronger. The problem with that idea is that the assholery goes up so much it becomes a cultural value. When being had by lying assholes is always your own damned fault, society tends to become a rabble of lying assholes. And then when you try to throw Jesus into that mix to rationalize to yourself a lot of curious bystanders notice and get turned off. And then you have to spend most of your time trying to reconcile all that discrepancy hoping others will buy it.

I don’t think this jibes with what Jesus taught, not to mention that the many low-cost foreign workers which corporate assholes keep letting/bringing into this country will note this discrepancy and not be taking Christianity very seriously. At least not the spiritual part.

We'll wind up with a non-Christian nation owned by the pathologically selfish few with millions of heat stroke avoiding brownies coming up from down south trying to overtop our cobbled-together border wall like a scene outta World War Z. Maybe the robots will save us. When they get all the jobs they can patrol the border wall too. That will be like a scene outta Terminator, except with millions trying to get into robot town instead of running away.

Walter said...

"Brownie" is not the preferred nomenclature. Undocumented Democrat, please.

Anonymous said...

I think we now realize the stolen election was not a matter of falsified votes. That notion did not pan out. But, there was undue influence put on vulnerable voters by the Democratic propaganda machine.

Any voter who was exposed to the pernicious messages had little choice but to vote Biden/Harris against their own best interests. Direct coercion.

Big tech promoted pro-Biden messages and suppressed Trump support unfairly.

We can now say, with metaphysical certainty, the Democrats stole the election. The proof is actually so prominent it is easy to miss, much like a fish may not know it is in the water. We get side-tracked counting votes when actually we should look at the big picture; we are marinating in a media onslaught which, like the science fiction movie, is a Matrix.

And that's how elections are stolen. You commandeer reality to such a degree that nobody can figure out what's going on.

Trump stood up to this false reality, but it was too powerful and he lost the presidency.

Anonymous said...

I'm a tenured professor of Women's Studies at a prominent university.

The use of tenure keeps our civilization thriving; it is the single most important innovation in education ever devised.

Why? Because it allows the best and brightest educators to follow their own stars and blaze their own trails, free of restrictions. All of our nations greatest achievements, without exception, are the direct result of the tenure system.

We can't to have anyone trying to dismantle the tenure system; that would be the quickest route to a collapse of our civilization.

We must support tenure and keep the tenured pioneering new subject matter, enlarging our understanding of gender choices and foregrounding ever increasing diversity as our primary goal.

Won't you please join me in celebrating tenure. I have over sixty years of experience in education.

Thanks, Professor Juanita W.

EbonyRaptor said...

The creepiness slithers on.

Anonymous said...

While some say that tenure is a creepy concept, I say that God is the king of tenure.


Agent Smith said...

anon @10/12/2021 06:21:00 PM,

For the longest time, I was the only one who seemed to liken Donald Trump to Oracle. Come, join me. Together we can both liken Donald Trump to the Oracle. As long as you let me touch you.

EbonyRaptor said...

While tenure has been corrupted, like so many other human endeavors, I wouldn't call it creepy. Creepy is the thing haunting the comment section.

Gagdad Bob said...

Why is the left always characterized by literally unbelievable lies? As usual, good stuff from Rob Henderson's newsletter:

Why display public lies that everyone knows are lies, and that are easily verifiable as lies?

Instilling pro-regime values and attitudes is one aim of authoritarians. But it’s not their only aim.

Alongside their desire to brainwash people, authoritarians also want to remind them of their power.

Costly endeavors to broadcast unpersuasive messages is a credible signal of just how strong and all-powerful a regime is.

... even if everyone knows what they are seeing is nonsense, the fact that everyone is seeing it means that the regime is strong enough to broadcast bullshit.

Propaganda is intended to make individuals fear the regime, not brainwash them.

Moreover, these official messages dictate the terms of acceptable public discourse and drive alternative ideas underground.

Anonymous said...

"People with low self-esteem tend to blame themselves when things go wrong. People with high self-esteem tend to blame external factors, such as other people, the situation, or various obstacles."

…and people with ridiculously high self esteem tend to blame election officials. Never heard of him, but I like this Rob Henderson already.

ted said...

Looks like Bezos is truly a Klingon!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ted:

Bill Shatner took a ride into orbit and was impressed with the sights up there. So I don't see why Bezos could not be a Klingon.

Ebony Raptor beware, Klingon Raptor-class starships are particularly deadly. Did Ebony still want to be called Raptor? It is not a friendly name. How about Ebony Sugar? Ebony Spice? Ebony Everything Nice?

Ted, do you shop on Amazon? If so, then you support Bezos, and by extension, privatized space travel. I endorse this as a good thing.

The sooner we access the untapped riches of our solar system, the sooner we can all enjoy more slack and good living.

And did I mention beer. Lots of beer.

The question I pose to the panel: What would you do with extra slack if you could get it?

Anonymous said...

Ebony Raptor said: "While tenure has been corrupted, like so many other human endeavors, I wouldn't call it creepy. Creepy is the thing haunting the comment section."

I wonder if I am the thing haunting the comment section. Lord I hope so.

Petey said...

A modest thing but thine own.

Anonymous said...

I never knew a Christian called EbonyRapter. Why not something more pious and heroic, like WhiteEagleWarrior4Christ?

I knew an Indian once who had a name that started with Rai... and following that had virtually the entire alphabet with many letters used at least twice. I once told him that I didn't have time for a name like that and that I'd only be calling him "Ray" from now on. He told me that his was a good name, that in Hindi it meant "Honorable warrior who sits on the right hand of the golden throne of Vishnu". So I asked him what Ray meant in Hindi. He told me that I didn't want to know. Then he told me that he hadn't chosen that name, his father had. So I spent some time learning how to say his whole name.

Now, I don't think that EbonyRapter's father chose that name for him. I think he chose it for himself. I wonder why he would chose such a name? But then I may be wrong. I've been wrong before.

Anonymous said...

I worked with another Indian whose name sounded like "Orangutanian poontang". He took a lot of crap for that. Not just the length but the content. He got so peeved that he changed it to "O.C." He changed it on his work badge as well. It seemed a lot catchier too.

I knew a girl in high school who's name was Tran Sambam. But everybody called her Trans Am Bam. Some guys got the wrong idea and she got asked out a lot. Not sure if she ever went out with any of them though.

Anonymous said...

Gagdad wrote conspiracy theories had a function, and "...and the function is to organize an otherwise disordered, chaotic, and anxiety-ridden mind."

Interesting. Believable.

Gagdad, you have labeled our society as a Conspiracy. I took that as a joke. You are careful to to draw a line between unproven conspiracies by presenting evidence.

I have noted your evidence usually not very convincing, mostly relying on the writings of others. This would be called second-hand or heresay.

So you are left with the task of convincing a hard audience (namely me) that your thoughts about the progressives are not a conspiracy theory and instead are factual.

Thus far you partially succeeded in that regard, but there is more work to be done. If you were to present actual observations you have made and interviews you have conducted with progressives, then you might gain some traction.

But you might not care what I believe. What am I to you? A disembodied series of words on your blog's comment section.

Anonymous said...

Anon, Cambodian names are super-fun and super-funky, as you have noted. Trans Am Bam probably came from the land of Angkor Wat.

The street providers in Pnom Penh ask if the client wants "boom-boom or yum-yum." The economy of language is marvelous. We know exactly what is being offered.

The word "Orangutan" meaning forest man comes from one of the many languages of Indonesia. They also have some very cool names going on in that land. "Krakatoa" and "Java" come to mind.

They know how to talk in Southeast Oceania. They got the gift of gab.

And the Norwegians say this best: "Release the Kraken." Their gift to the world.

Van Harvey said...

Gagdad quoted "...also want to remind them of their power."

Yep. But not just remind them, power cannot be 'enjoyed' without being exercised. Continually. Always. In all ways. If it is not, then those with power will discover that they have achieved nothing, and that they can never allow. They pursue that, always, but work desperately to never know that they've achieved it.

Van Harvey said...

...sorta like our aninnymice.

Anonymous said...

I knew another Indian with a name that sounded like Pleassirmayihaveanother. He proudly kept a framed picture of standing in the group behind Trump at one of his rallies, with a large arrow pointing to himself. As if being the only little brown guy wearing a MAGA cap wasn’t enough of a giveaway. Maybe he thought people would be confused by all the other MAGA caps.

EbonyRaptor said...

"...sorta like our aninnymice" - good one, but I'm not convinced it's not aninnymouse with multiple personas.

Van Harvey said...

I would not either, what with it being Legion, and all.

Anonymous said...

You have three main aninnymice.

We are referred to as Sock Puppet (SP) #1, #2, and #3.

Here's how to tell them apart.

SP#1 wites about rishis and "the ancients." Only SP#1 refers to those things.

SP#2 writes about offshoring jobs, corporate psychopaths, and China. Only SP#2 writes about these.

SP#3 writes about the absurdity of the stolen election conspiracy theory and rails at those who lack proof. Only SP#3 writes this argument (and it is a good one).

All of the above will assume varied personas and when they do that the reader can't tell them apart at all except by style.

SP#1 makes a lot of typos and the prose is slightly stilted and the vocabulary is vaguely 19th century at times. SP#1 will engage the blog author by name trying to elicit a response. SP#1 is creepy and may be the "thing that haunts the comment section."

SP#2 has a wry sense of humor and always writes of personal experiences. SP#2 can be fun and entertaining at times.

SP#3 writes in precise and professional sounding prose; it is generally organized and lucid. SP#3 probably has a high IQ. SP#3 tends to be rational.

What all of the Sock Puppets have in common is general disagreement with the blog author. Since one my can't disagree with Gagdad, even on such matters as jazz, and still be a "Raccoon friend," the three are reduced to sock puppetry.

Joan of Argh gets credit for coining the term. Joan so loathed the troll she accused them of being non-human bots.

Anyone who knows anything about the internet knows Gagdad has himself the finest stable of trolls anywhere. This reflects well on Bob. You don't get trolls by being ordinary. Take a bow.

What does Van Harvey have going in the way of trolls? Van, you want to weight in? How 'bout your Raptor? What is your Sock Puppet count?

And we can't be bought. You must earn. Word.

EbonyRaptor said...

Hilarious. Me thinks aninnymouse doth protest too much.

Anonymous said...

Anon#2 here, FWIW. Again.

To modern conservatives all leftists look alike. That’s why Bob once called MSNBC a progressive outfit. In their world the typical leftist is an androgynous brownish wokish Californian transexual, with many tattoos and a nose ring. When the typical leftist challenges, perhaps with a “So why is Nancy Pelosi nothing like that?”, modern conservatives just roll their eyes and proclaim: “Case closed!”

Personally, I’d rather be spending my time figuring out why Mexico doesn’t have any Taco Bells. But it gets tiresome hearing conservatives proclaiming that Mexico does have a Taco Bell, in Mexico Missouri and therefore the left is full of shit.

So I wind up here in frustration.

Anonymous said...

Gagdad wrote "Democrats identified a unified theory that explained everything: President Trump is a Russian agent!"

Uh, no. Democrats developed a certainty that President Trump was an asshat.

Glad to clarify that for you.

Walter said...

Asshat-American, please

Anonymous said...

I assume 10/16/2021 06:56:00 PM was SP#3.

All information presented in this place must make it through the filter of "trusted information source" to be taken seriously by the anointed. Since all other information sources are seen as demonically possessed, calling Trump "an asshat" will be seen as par for the demonic course and be ignored.

Think of trying to persuade a Haridi of something non-kosher while wearing a payot and shtreimel found at a costume store. They'll notice and suspect you a non-kosher goy and politely ignore your commentary. Unless the payot and shtreimel you're wearing are of very poor halloween costume quality, in which case they'll rudely call you a name or two before stomping away in a huff.

I know it's goofy, but I'd advise using anointed information sources wherever possible to back up your refutations, unless of course you're writing for the rest of us, in which case, we'll be chuckling in agreement.