Correct me if I am wrong, but the United States military has not engaged in one constitutional (congressionally declared) war, and won very few of its many undeclared conflicts, since the formation of the CIA and NSA.

Coincidence?


The reason to defend Trump from the bizarre prosecution that the press goes into paroxysms to celebrate is not that he is our guy. He is certainly not my guy.

The reason to defend Trump is that he is not their guy, and if they get away with removing him from office because he is an affront to their values, because he sullies their image of what America should be, then no future challenge to their power will amount to squat.


Government should not do some things that it can successfully manage to accomplish, and to great acclaim, just as individuals should refrain from doing some seemingly praiseworthy things.

This basic and obvious truth is obscured in our times, because of “democracy,” which popularly judges the goodness of state action on the grounds of public support and government policy on whether we can identify a benefitted constituency. This is a political delusion.

If it is not dispelled, tragedies will continue to occur unabated, and the comedy of postmodernity will grow to gallows-heights.


Found “meme.”

The femme fatale ceased being a popular fictional archetype and recognized commonsense reality during my childhood. But the everyday type did not disappear.


Two solutions and a compromise regarding immigration:

1. Let people migrate freely, sure, but bar any non-citizen from collecting tax-sourced aid benefits. This would include charging immigrant parents for their children’s schooling.

2. Make the only form of “foreign aid” be the stipends immigrant workers and entrepreneurs send back home.

COMPROMISE: Let the conservatives and progressives wrangle out how many people should enter the country, but establish a new rule: anyone here legally may work and make legal contracts of any kind that can be fulfilled in the time of their stay.


If you believe that it is not possible to be racist against whites, you are a white supremacist — you believe that whites are supreme and exceptional, and that there is something that makes them so other than a mere happenstance of time and place. 

If you believe that hatred of whites “as a whole” is morally acceptable, or that it is appropriate to castigate individual white people for being white, you are a racist.

These truths are pretty obvious. One almost hates to bring them up.

But it is the essence of postmodernist leftism to elaborate memetic mechanisms to convince us that straightforward reasoning from premises to conclusions does not hold — and is itself racist!

This would be horrific if it were not so funny. To watch intelligent people be sucked into a cult is a grim sort of comedy. 

Yet it is indeed grim enough not to laugh.


There is nothing more disappointing than Man. Feminism is the delusion that this statement only applies to the male of our species — that misandry makes sense but misanthropy does not.


The great ideological challenge of our time appears to be dealing with people who condemn the West using Western standards. 

Now, criticizing Western civilization using standards that are uniquely Western is the genius of the West. 

But criticism is not wholesale condemnation. And this is where that genius, or daimon, becomes demonic in the Left’s usurpation of it: instead of honing Western values and principles in the course of correcting bad practice, the Left seeks a great revolutionary upending of all values, by turning the principle not against the West’s defects but against the West itself. 

Using defects against the West as an excuse to consign the West to oblivion, while not similarly using the usually worse defects of other cultures as excuses to attack theirs as well? Worse than hypocrisy. 

It is a double standard that excuses not only the crimes of other civilizations, but the future crimes of the Left itself. 

It is here that we know that when the Left gets the power it lusts for. Today’s leftists will, if given the opportunity (enough power), commit mass crimes of a horrific nature, just as their forbears did under Lenin, Stalin and Mao — for they have already excused such crimes.


Scientists aren’t just scientists. A scientist is just a person who sometimes does science. The demarcation problem isn’t among people, distinguishing “scientists” from “non-scientists,” but among theories and paradigms and research programs. People are “doing science” when they engage in public testing. They are not when they avoid public tests and refutations and insulate themselves from criticism, etc. Right now, the whole scientific world, but especially the human sciences, has a replicability problem. This is the result of institutional corruption in the journals and academic programs and the granting structure. The politics and journalism surrounding science is especially unreliable right now. Cultic attitudes are everywhere.


[E]thics is not an exact science. It is not a body of ineluctable truths. Its precepts, often paraded out as a series of propositions, or truth statements, are “true” not like a purported factual statement can be true (or false) but “true” as a blade is true. A true blade is a blade that is sharply honed and does its job well. As a tool. And the truths of ethical precepts rest less upon some matters of fact (though one can often rewrite them to appear so — while losing something in the translation) but on matters of usefulness. That is, utility . . . as promoting some human satisfaction or advantage.

random sententia from myself, Quora

People are born cultists — and trained as cultists. Every age has a cult. Or a hundred. 

You can spot a cult not by the object of veneration but by the manner of denigration . . . of non-cultists and to skeptics of cult dogma. 

Cognitive dissonance arises in almost every acolyte for a variety of reasons, mostly to do with the social dynamics of belief formation, propagation, and maintenance. The dominance of social controls (shunning, marginalization, preference falsification, esoteric teaching orthoganal to exoteric teaching, etc) over rational discourse (reason and evidence) is the key to turning an idea into the focal point of a cult. 

Cults are not merely demand-driven, however. There are individuals and groups that homestead cultic patterns and work those patterns to their advantage. Master cult leaders — maximum leaders — aim to supply memes the better to milk the benefits from cultists, gaining prestige and power in the process.

One reason to be reluctant to advocate ideas in a major public way is to avoid the temptation to become one of those memetic parasites.

Any idea, any meme even of high truth-value, can be packaged as a memeplex that survives not by rational scrutiny or a competitive market utility test but, instead, by being so constructed as cultic dogma.

Oddly, I have not encountered, yet, discussions of memetics that go far enough in distinguishing the complexion of memes that would provide tools to unravel memetic traps.

Cultism is a memetic trap.


One way to detect cultic thinking lies in noticing an over-fondness for dualities. Promoting binary options is one of the easiest ways of manipulating people. So when you find someone always resorting to an A/B or A/not-A, they are probably trying to manipulate you — though they might be mostly innocent, having been manipulated or otherwise deceived by a dualism in the past.

Unraveling error in most issues often involves reconceiving an apparent binary or duality as two of multiple points in a spectrum, with the old opposing two concepts as at most at one extreme and at a midpoint. Finding the actual spectrum of possibilities in any given problem is a key to wisdom.

A classic error in economics, for example, is the diamond-water paradox, which rested upon an absurd collapsing of a problem set to a dualism of value-in-use and value-in-exchange. The problem was solved when economists noted that exchange was just one use to which a good could be put, and that value questions always amount to a spectrum of ranked uses of a good in question — and that, in addition, the value of any fungible unit of a good in a stock of such goods depended on the value of the use jeopardized by the choice of a subtracted unit (or, contrariwise, the value of the use secured by the choice of an additional unit).

Whew.

A problem understood as a duality ceased being problematic when recast in a dialectical fashion.


Partisanship can seem rational when ideological. But these days, it is usually just embarrassing. The two major errors of our time, by normal Americans and politicos alike (and folks around the world) is TRUMP HOPE & LOVE and TRUMP FEAR & HATE. Both are examples of TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME.

I would say at least half the American population is deranged. 

Get over your political commitments, folks, but stay true to your standards, if you have any that merit consideration. Accept that the president is unlike any other we have had, and that he does both good and bad things. His rhetorical style got him into office in a particular political climate, and your own values may have led to his election, especially if your values opposed what you think Trump stands for. Almost no one comes out with clean hands in our current political mess, and any stance of self-righteousness is almost certainly undeserved. 

America is going a bit crazy because neither major party can responsibly address the systemic crises of our times. Everyone knows this on a gut level, but almost no one can confront their suspicions.

Why?

Partisanship is a big reason.

Arguably, Trump is in office because partisanship has become pure poison. He doesn’t fit any previous mold because all previous molds have produced deep embarrassments (think the Bushes, the Clintons and Barack Hussein Obama). 

Trump is no Messiah for America — the very idea is ridiculous — but he is in office because one is needed. And one is needed because partisan politics is so dysfunctional. Thor being unavailable, Loki has come in to lead. 

And when Loki leads, expect no low-key response or results.


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