Friday, 29 December 2017

The Lindsay Shepherd Affair: Context & Analysis

These matters are not simple and straightforward, and I am glad that there are those with developed skill, knowledge and understanding who are shining a spotlight on these matters.

There is a historical context here - to large degree, the west is struggling through the long term consequences of recent history. The threads are often tenuous, tangled, and reach back decades. It takes time and effort to follow them back to their origins, and some of the origins go further back, they are ancient, seemingly written into our evolutionary biology - which would neatly explain why these issues continue to reoccur in one form or another throughout human history.

Though small groups, such as a family, can and do work according to the underlying ideas of socialism, the connection between effort and gain within that unit is still understood - children gain much but can contribute little, the family exists exactly because of this reality. That situation is transitory; children grow, contribute more over time, become self-sufficient, self-supporting adults. The connection between gain and effort, between effort and gain, re-establishes itself over time. In any larger society, should the principle be applied, that connection becomes increasingly tenuous, (the connection between effort and gain is not re-established over time), and as soon as it becomes invisible (through distance between members of larger society) the whole social system collapses. In short, when it is possible that an individual gain from the efforts of the group while contributing little, it is entirely consistent with human nature that they do so, and that the inclination then spread through the group as it becomes more obvious that some gain as much as others through little effort. The whole output of the group declines, eventually to the point that there is no output and the whole group suffers the consequences of that.

There are so many examples of collectivist principles applied to societies of various sizes, including but not limited to entire nations and empires that failed - every single time - that it seems incredible to me that it is not generally accepted common knowledge. Here is just one example... yes, it is a long piece by Stefan Molyneux (who has a problem being brief, but these matters are complex and require full analysis) but worth your time:

Now, back to the title.

"During the proceedings, Shepherd was accused of breaking the law, both federal (Bill C16) and provincial, violating Wilfred Laurier's standards of conduct, and of being actively transphobic. Rambukkana compared me directly to Hitler (and Milo Yiannopoulos, to be fair), failing to recognize that what I predicted would happen in the aftermath of Bill C16 (see was exactly what was undertaken by the tripartite disciplinary panel he headed."

Yes, this is also long, but also very much worth your time.

If you tend to feel you don't have time, then here's something shorter and more fun. I'm pretty sure that no one who reads my very occasional posts will fall into the snowflake category of human being, so I'd guess you are more likely to laugh than be offended.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

RIP Jerry Pournelle

Though we never met, I find I feel the loss quite personally.

We have lost a Champion of Reason.

Dr. Pournelle's blog holds a wealth of insight and information spanning many years. You will not have to spend much time there to realize that we have lost someone far more than significant that those who think of him primarily as a writer of Science Fiction.

Chaos Manor

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Libertarian Game of Thrones

Stumbled across this today and thought I would post it here. Yes, it is as funny as you might think, but...

... but there is as deep a flaw with Libertarianism as any there is with other ideology. Real world functionality relies on all members of a society understanding, accepting and acting on its principles at all times. And that isn't going to fly.

There are several reasons why, but the most obvious is that the Big Five personality traits exist - they are real - and we are each born with a propensity toward a mixed bag of those traits, which leads to us each being unique, especially when factors of environment and personal experience are figured in. In short, getting a society to abide consistantly by the same set of rules is no easy task. Bad enough, but worse when it is clear that our species has a desire to control its environment... a passive, non-controlling ideology is about as contra-evolutionary reality as you can get. As a species, we did not evolve to be Libertarians, and attempting to adopt a philosophy that is fundamentally against our evolutionary biology is just about as futile an objective as I can imagine. A significant percentage of people wil work against it, work to influence, control, steer the ship, grow their following, and utliamately dominate.

Yes, it's a shame. But we are what we are and need something a little more robust and structured to keep more-or-less all of us more-or-less in line within a functioning society more-or-less all of the time. One society, one set of rules, within which we can compete without violence.

I don't think I'm going to explore that line any further, right now. Instead I'll pass you on to someone else who has a few thoughts to express that might be useful in developing or refining your own ideas: /Before western civilization - sowing the wind

There is more to the article than I reproduce here, and I recommend the visit required to read the whole piece.

"It is self-evident that men and women are not equal in all respects. It is self-evident that all men are not created equal. It is self-evident that all women are not created equal. The Bible exhorts us to be kind to strangers – but not submissive to them. Western tradition tells us to act as if it were self-evident that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; those principles became the common heritage of much of the west, but they are only an assumption; we have no proof, only the observation that things work better if we accept them.
That, of course is not strictly true; there is a great history of philosophy that leads to modern Western ethics and moral principles; but the average citizen of the west does not know this, other than having a vague knowledge that those who should know can teach it to those smart and interested enough;  but for practical discussion, the fundamentals of Western ethics and morals are assumed. We assume these truths to be self-evident even though it is really self evident that they are not literally true.
But like all rules contrary to observable facts, it is easy to carry them too far – and to assume that others share them when they do not."

Sunday, 9 July 2017

That's Not Fair!

Stumbled across this vid' just a little while ago and had some thoughts about it. Probably best watch it first or you won't know what I'm talking about. It's short but sweet.

So, something we probably already knew is demonstrated fairly well. What child hasn't spontaneously put together the concept of 'That's not fair' all by themselves?

What this Vid' demonstrates is that the concept is built into our evolution at a very early stage. In a natural environment, effort and reward would be fairly equal. When inequality is artificially introduced, it is noticed really fast.

For me, this is kind of a wasted experiment, though. Wouldn't ti be interesting to push the boundaries a little? What would be the response if the greater reward were given for greater effort, or a more complex task? What response without access to the tools of that task, and then with the needed tools? With and without the ability to watch and learn the complex task? I think a good deal more insight into our own nature could be squeezed out of a series of experiments building on this theme.

I was instantly reminded of the story of Cain & Abel, for reasons which will only perhaps become clear if you invest the time in watching a much longer and more complex Vid' - but I do recommend it. The insights here have great value and are worth your time.

Friday, 9 June 2017

What is God? What is Religion?

These are questions we tend to answer flippantly, if at all, but given that every single culture in the whole of human history has proposed answers the questions must be rather more important than we might tend to think from a modern perspective.

Here are the answers I think are most useful, a condensed subjective view derived from the work of Jordan B. Peterson (I'll link below because I really think that JBP's work has practical value for any individual).


If we conceive God as the most ideal, moral leader possible then a couple of useful things happen. One, there is an ideal to aim for, whatever that ideal may be. Two, that spot is already taken by an abstracted ideal so that any given living glorious leader cannot delude themselves that that are that perfect ideal - the top spot is already taken. Nor can the people, or any substantial percentage, think that their glorious leader is God.

A good deal of historical nastiness could have been avoided. A good deal of potential future nastiness can be avoided.


If we conceive of Religion as a blueprint for 'how society should be' then it is literally possible to look around the world and see which blueprints are most successful when mapped onto reality. It is even possible to break that down into subsets of a given religion. Even done in a cursory kind of way, some useful results can be gained.

Adopting the most successful blueprint might be an idea. Consciously attempting to improve that blueprint might be a better idea. Discard all such blueprints look to me to be a ludicrous waste of a great deal of effort expended over a long long time.

One other useful aspect of religion is that it provided moral absolutes. Without those, morality within a culture becomes subjective, each individual making unique decisions about what is and is not moral. It doesn't take much thought to see where that path leads; the first and most obvious consequence being that every single individual you meet would be an unknown interaction of potentially conflicting moralities. The word 'Dangerous' doesn't even begin to cover that situation.

Maps of Meaning

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Climate Change (AGW) Meme

The experiment explained. An-example-of-cognitive-dissonance

I am not going to reproduce any of the text from Scott Adam's blog here. That would kind of ruin the experiment, and I think it's a worthwhile experiment. So, read the cartoon, react, then go look at the blog. Or not. Your call.

I have been saying for a while now that a meme is a dangerous thing; an individual does not posses ideas, ideas possess the individual. A meme is like a virus, an idea that spreads from mind to mind often without notice, let alone analysis. This was and is (you still have time if you haven't read the cartoon, reacted, etc) a fair way to test yourself to see if you are possessed by an idea. How did you do?

Sunday, 28 May 2017

In The Wake Of Manchester, some soul-searching is going on.

The Immediately below is lifted from Facebook. Brendan O'Neill writes primarily for The Spectator (google will show you the way there, and his FB links are intact). I read some of what he writes and agree with some of it to some extend and disagree with some somewhat, depending on what he is saying - predictably enough.

Before reading that, almost as an aside, I'll mention a Ctrl Left individual I encountered long before some of the current situations developed. I was talking about Spain, and mentioned fairly casually that I liked Spanish people. "People are the same everywhere!" she snapped, as though revealing an Obvious Truth. I held myself in check, public place and all that, but I was annoyed some, because in fact she was repeating an Obvious Lie. Cultures and peoples have developed in semi-isolation over long periods of and have different characters as a consequence. Individuals also differ, but the Ctrl Left won't have that either. It is an absurd position, contra to everyday experience, and everyone knows it. But, as Jordan B. Peterson said, "You don't have ideas. Ideas have you," and that 'people are all the same' idea has invaded our culture to a large extent. It is one of many consequences of a Pathological Openness (Openness in this sense is one of the Big Five personality traits) and other unhealthy psychologies and philosophies. More about that another day, but for now let's look at what Brendan has to say here. It's not uninteresting in itself.

"How predictable that Salman Abedi considered himself a victim of "Islamophobia". Apparently he complained about a schoolteacher who asked him what he thought of conflicts in the Middle East and the practise of suicide bombing -- he thought this was an "Islamophobic" line of questioning. When a friend of his was stabbed to death, he assumed, without any evidence, that it was an Islamophobic hate crime. He reportedly said Britons are "unfair" to Muslims, especially Arab ones. His sister says his bombing was revenge for all the "victims" of the West's hatred for and wars against Muslims.
This is a common feature among the young radical Muslims I have met: a seemingly boundless capacity for self-pity; a deep conviction that mainstream society hates them; an incredible sensitivity to slight and even to everyday conversation about Islam. They embody the Ali G attitude to the world: "Is it because I is a Muslim?" And it isn't hard to see where they get it from. When politicians and the media and the Islamophobia industry constantly tell Muslims they're under threat and that everything from jokes about Muhammad to criticism of the hijab is "Islamophobia", it is not surprising that some come to see themselves as victims, as being under siege, as basically on a war footing against the rest of us. We tell them society hates them, and what happens? They start to hate society. It's so dangerous.
This is what's so worrying about officialdom and the media's handwringing over Islamophobic hate crimes after the Manchester attack and their cry of, "Oh God, there's gonna be an Islamophobic backlash": they are fuelling the radical Islamist politics of victimhood that sees ordinary Britons as stupid, hateful creatures who possibly deserve to be punished; they are fuelling the very sentiment that lies behind atrocities like the Manchester attack."

I added the Bold for the bits I find particularly interesting, and next we have another article which explains Why I find those comments interesting. Brendan O'Neill touched on something relevant, and then drifted off point without exploring it properly imho.

Freearabs Ideas - an interesting site in itself, and worth a look - here's the article I thought of...

I am a stereotypically normal Arab in that half the time I complain about people being lazy, and the other half I am too lazy to bother. I live almost always in a state of nail-biting, eye-rolling jealousy.
Why jealousy is as ubiquitous here as saturated fats are in America, is because the region suffers from the inferiority complex. To start, you condescendingly refer to us as “Third World countries.” What’s that supposed to mean? Like we care? We don’t even want to join your snobby developed world anyway. We’re not stupid, your governments only say they care about Arab nations, when they want our oil. Almost everyone in the Arab world is married, we know a selfish, abusive relationship when we’re in one.
Our insecurities are best demonstrated in fights. The first words exchanged in any argument, regardless of context:
Arab A: “Who the hell do you think you are?”
Arab B: “Have you any idea who I am?”
Arab A: “You think you’re better than me, don’t you?”
We’re so insecure that during the Egyptian revolution, parents worried about being judged because their shameless youth were “being difficult.” Actually, whenever anything bad happens in the region, the society is usually more concerned with how the world will “laugh and gloat,” rather than the actual impact.
It is rumored that Arab societies collectively suffer nightmares about walking naked into the UN assembly.
Anyone who is inferior to us financially or socially is a sad, sad soul who needs to try harder because they’re of little use to the world. And anyone who is superior to us financially or socially is a sad, sad soul who needs not try so hard because they’re of little use to the world.The average Arab will spend the first two decades of his or her life trying to get into that better college, to have that better job, to land that better someone, to prove that they’re better than people who are better than them.
I, like most Arab women, have a central figure on which I direct all my negative energy, the seemingly perfect Mozza (Arabic for “hot girl”) who has done nothing wrong, to me or anyone else, but will suffer regardless.
Mine is little miss captivatingly beautiful philanthropist sitting ahead of me in design class turning everything she looks at into art, gracefully humming classical French music, and periodically flashing her million dollar smile at anyone with eyes.
My seemingly perfect Mozza is the worst type, the kind that doesn’t know they’re a seemingly perfect Mozza. They flip their hair backwards and blush at compliments, whereas when I’m flattered, I snort like a guinea pig and only flip my hair to shake the wind-blown bugs out of it.
The seemingly perfect Mozza is any Arab girl’s worst nightmare. First, she is a Mozza. Second, she isn’t a slut, no matter how many times you argue to the contrary, so you can’t look down at her. Third, they are always tall, so you’re always looking up at her. She is an Arab girl’s living and breathing reminder of what Allah has cruelly denied her and generously bestowed to some mild-tempered, decent human being.
And the fact that Mozzas are visible to men only adds insult to injury. Cats can compete with fellow cats over food—but against a cheetah, they’re doomed.

Shoving the Mozza aside, there is still an infinite number of people more successful than us to relentlessly ridicule and hate.

To Arabs, success can be measured. We measure it in weight, grades, money and social status. Anyone who disagrees with us is either a self-help book author or an idiot.
This is also why Arab students get so many As, because the comparison with others and the jealousy that follows is so daunting, that they go to great lengths to make sure they win these hypothetical competitions, which are simultaneously taking place in the minds of others. A B grade is an insult, and a D is a good reason to slap one’s face with both hands. Hard.
Some Arabs, particularly Gulf Arabs, like to show off their success by cruising the streets in expensive, obnoxiously large vehicles, posting pictures of themselves cradling piles of money on Facebook, and casually airing their bank account balance sheets. Then there are those who dye their hair an implausible shade of blond, pretend not to understand Arabic and speak a heavily accented English, hoping to pass for a foreigner, which is always cooler than being Arab.
“According to the envy theory, ownership of anything valuable would raise the bushy eyebrows of friends and family (who secretly harbor a grudge against you for being so naturally better than them) and earn you their admiration co-mingled with spite and jealousy, which will certainly lead to the complete annihilation of the admired object, if not the owner as well.”  
On the other hand, working class and more old-fashioned Arabs, who are the majority, like to keep a lid on things, following the “if you screen your burning candle, it will glow” logic. This renders the years of trying to achieve superiority useless, because showing “evidence of success,” by buying anything might attract attention, or worse yet, admiration.
According to the envy theory, ownership of anything valuable would raise the bushy eyebrows of friends and family (who secretly harbor a grudge against you for being so naturally better than them) and earn you their admiration co-mingled with spite and jealousy, which will certainly lead to the complete annihilation of the admired object, if not the owner as well.
That object could be anything—a newborn child, a fiancĂ© or a new pair of shoes. Everyone believes in envy, but the extent to which they are willing to act upon these feelings differs. A particularly fearful Arab might lie about their unborn child being a girl to ensure a safe pregnancy and delivery of a boy, the far more coveted choice of offspring for Arabs. The lying parents would later set things right in an awkward hospital room full of congratulating visitors, were they would claim that “the doctor just thought it was a really big clitoris.”
Meanwhile, a less fearful Arab will inwardly recite verses from the Quran for protection, while cautiously telling you their midterm scores. A particularly honest Arab, however, would do so out loud and wave their fingers in your face to ward off your envious eye energy.
Envy and jealousy are probably the most feared and cherished concepts here, because while all believe their effects to be devastating, they still relish the thought of being so much better than someone who makes them mutter “lucky fucking you.”
*Nour Ali Youssef is an Egyptian writer and blogger. This article was originally published on McSweeny’s.
No need for me to 'bold' the bit I found relevant, the piece of the puzzle O'Niell seems to be missing, as Nour Ali Yousseff has placed it front and center. The character of a people will manifest itself, especially in the Ideology they are possessed by. The Arab character and the Ideology that possess the majority of Arab peoples are an explosive mix (and yes I did struggle to see if I could find another way of saying that but decided in the end that it was perfectly apt and to change it would be dishonest).

Should nothing change, nothing will change, and that's not a realistic option. Something has to change, it's just a matter of what or who and how.

Being an arrogant SOB, I have my own ideas, so I'll share them here - or (once again) have someone who knows a little more on the subject do it for me. As a spoiler (because this is a long youtube video, though historically interesting) what I would most prefer to see happen is for Muslims to do something they actually have quite good reason to do, to convert wholesale to Christianity. After all, their iconic leader once looked to Judaism and was rejected. Christianity would Accept All who turned to this more useful faith (It promotes the individual over the state, after all, and I'm all for that). Pragmatism again, you see. Problem solved, and no one needs to get nailed to anything.