We suffer from a partisan bug. 

“An NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Sunday found that just over half of Americans are worried that a family member may catch the virus that causes COVID-19,” Fox News informs us, “and that six in 10 say the worst is yet to come regarding the pandemic.” But there is a huge difference whether you are a Republican or Democrat: “Sixty-eight percent of Democrats said they were concerned that a family member could contract the virus,” Fox News goes on. “But that number dropped to 40 percent among Republicans. Nearly eight in 10 Democrats felt the worst was yet to come in coping with the pandemic. That number dropped in half to 40 percent among Republicans.”

So why? 

Just to get Trump?

Not likely. The poll, we are informed, was taken mostly before Trump’s big viral speech.

What’s going on?

Let me speculate.

According to Jonathan Haidt and Jordan Peterson, those on the left are much more “open to new experiences” than are those on the right, while conservatives tend to be far more conscientious than liberals.

Being “open” suggests activities likely to spread contagion, so those who lean left are also more open to contagion, while more cautious and indeed suspicious conservatives would be less likely to catch bad stuff. Additionally, conservative defensiveness and readiness to defend the in-group — which is said to be a hallmark of “the right” — breeds a constant readiness, which, when crisis comes, means conservatives would be less likely to panic. 

Not so those on the left. After their incaution comes the panic. And the spontaneous lust for a Messiah — their favorite pagan savior, the State.

The trick is to find some balance. We must be open, but we must also be cautious and ready to defend self and in-group from aggression and . . . contagion.

But we cannot expect a lot of balance during a crisis.

Which suggests we should work on the balance in better times.

Episode 3 is up:

LocoFoco Netcast #3.

It is available on iTunes and Spotify as well as on SoundCloud:

Dennis Pratt himself provides a thorough guide to this episode on the Libertarian Writer’s Blog on Quora.

From Business Insider India.

There are two distinct ways to think about good, citizen-controlled government: (1)  the State must be limited to defending our rights; or (2) the State must be channeled to promote the general welfare, either by (a) avoiding the worst disasters or (b) promoting universally understood good things or (c) both.

I am really big on Job 1, and find it hard to argue against Job 2a. It is in 2b and 2c endeavors where things get murky and citizen control of government difficult, perhaps illusory.

There are two distinct threats to the world right now: (1) the budding COVID-19 epidemic and (2) Asteroid 1998 OR2.

We all know about, if not much about, (1) the now-declared pandemic. But we aren’t much worried about (2) the fly-by of an asteroid big enough to destroy civilization and send our planet into a conflagration.* 

Eric Mack, writing at C/Net, starts off by stating “A huge asteroid is set to make a close pass by Earth in April, and although it’s considered ‘potentially hazardous’ to [sic?] astronomers, the only show it will be putting on over the next few centuries will be in the night sky.”

OK. No need to worry then, eh?

The potentially dangerous asteroids have been largely mapped — a coordinated private-public effort. The comets are trickier.

With a lot of unknowns facing us, expecting the government to serve us makes sense, but to assume the government can flawlessly save us may be more dangerous than Asteroid 1998 OR2. 

We must not become a cargo cult, praying for the lordly President to bring us all the goodies of a mysterious, magical civilization.

So heavily criticizing President Trump’s speech, last week, may not be our most rational response to the coronavirus pandemic . . . or the continuing threat from above.


* Followed by a deep freeze like we haven’t seen since the megafaunal extinction event of the Younger Dryas, approximately twelve thousand years ago. 

How Lines of Inquiry Get Shut Down

Finally, someone smart and not a coward asks the obvious questions and expresses the requisite incredulity:

The lack of professional curiosity among journalists about the Jeffrey Epstein case is astounding. Eric Weinstein is speaking truth — to power, even (for the Fourth Estate is indeed a power) — here, simply by denying the lies commonly used to smother public interest and coverage of the subject.

But I have a conjecture. I may know why.

Indeed, I suspect everybody knows why: for everybody knows that at the highest levels of government, and feeding around The Giant Pool of Money, the institutions and people are fantastically corrupt. No, that is too light. Everybody knows that at the top, there is profound evil.

You know it, your neighbor knows it, and the media mavens know it.

But the knowledge is suppressed, quite willingly, by nearly everyone. Why?

Well, most people depend upon — and even obtain their sense of “identity” from — the governments that are evil. Everyone is morally compromised, “journalists” most of all . . . because they seek to be the manipulators of public opinion, and they (for the most part) want the power of the State to grow. Everyone has dirty hands and compromised consciences, so the knowledge of the evil at the heart and mind of the modern state is rarely spoken of, and those who do speak of it are scorned or derided or ignored.

We pretend it isn’t knowledge, and because we all speak of it so rarely, the knowledge ceases to be public, and thus not testable. And this, in turn, discourages tests.

It is a feedback loop of corruption, and it extends from the pinnacles to the barnacles.

Of society.

And Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.

Where do human rights come from?

…as answered on Quora….

Rights are human instruments, in law and ethics.

Where do they come from?

Well, they come from human beings’ need to control themselves and others, and from our expressions, judgments, claims, counter-claims, etc. But that isn’t the whole of the story, for just “being an instrument” of purpose and need does not mean that the instrument in question cannot be abandoned, or that all rights are created equal.

There is something about the inherent concept of a right that disallows many common conceptions. Philosophers and jurists and politicians have been working on the ideas for centuries or longer, but I am going to skip most of that. Suffice it to say that the rightness of a right, so to speak, is not its instrumentality alone.

But let us not forget what a right is, sans its utility, goodness, or justification — let us remember what even an unacceptable right would be.

right is a claim to obligatory treatment. For every right there is at least one obligation — so understanding a right requires understanding obligation, or duty.

Rights are a way of articulating duties.

In law, the obligation marshaled by a right amounts to a legally enforceable — by coercion, compulsion — performance. Or, outside of law, but in ethics, legitimately required and sanctionable. If I have a right to liberty, you have a duty not to initiate force upon me. If you have a right to health care, then I must supply you medical aid. When someone fails or refuses to perform the specified duty, at law a case will be somehow made, in criminal or civil court, or merchant law, or the like, to compel the performance of the duty, with penalties.

Now, I wrote above that it is coercion or compulsion that is threatened in the articulation of the right. Well, the threat can be something less than force, but in political philosophy we are usually talking about force, so let’s restrict ourselves to that.

Oh, and I just wrote that word “threat.” A right is a specific kind of articulation of a threat. Human social systems are dominated by two types of interaction, threats and enticements. Rights are civilized threats. Since we do not like to be threatened, there is a reason that rights that are promoted universally, that all may have, are commonly favored, and, indeed, narrow the field and winnow out many forms of posited duties. Rights that only some may have at the obligation of all are suspect.

So, we can expand our definition somewhat: a right is the positive, beneficiary focus of the articulation of a threat that has as its targeted focus an obligation.

Now we have to make some distinctions. For there are dimensions to rights and obligations: who has the right? who is obligated? what is obligated? To be brief and hastily move through an ideascape that Jeremy Bentham should have covered but did not quite, we have specific rights when the number of rights-bearers are few and the numbers of the duty-bound are few, or singular (I have a right to $100 from a client; the phone company has a right to $200 from me) and we have rights that all have and to which all are obliged. We have several names for these kinds of rights:

  • natural rights
  • universal rights
  • basic rights
  • human rights

There is something to be said for and against each of these. If one were of a certain type of mind (as I am, on Tuesdays) we could treat each as a distinct term of art. But suffice it, here, to say that these very elementary and foundational rights are what we are most interested in political philosophy, and which deserve all of our attention.

I believe that because of the very construction of this tool, “a right,” most propounded universal rights fail to pass muster.

A human right should make sense in most human societies, and should be performable without causing social chaos and conflict rather than social stability. I have argued, and will argue again, that many of the “rights” some people most desire are mere imposition farded up with the lipstick of effrontery. A right to “healthcare” for example. Folks who talk about these types of rights demand too much of others, literally. For every obligation there is coercion, and it is not reasonable to promote universal servitude. The more rights you propound, the more coercion you thrust into our social reality.

Which is why the right to liberty strikes me as the best contender for a universal, basic, fundamental right: all of us having it at baseline personhood means that all of us have a very simple obligation set, a sort of “do no harm” duty: to not initiate force. This is an easy burden, as obligations go. It requires mainly defensive force for their maintenance in society. Not offensive. It is not imperialistic. It rests upon a tolerant, undemanding, liberal stance.

So you can see where the “imperativeness” comes from, what makes this right a right indeed: universalizability, and a reasonable enticement to all not to promote violence. To reduce the degree of threats in society.

A right to liberty works better than all other contenders because the threat element in the substance of the right is reduced to a minimum for the benefit of all.

Yes. There you have it. Rights are threats, sure, but they must also offer an enticement to reasonable, peaceful people.


I avoid a number of issues of extreme interest to me, but they are not really germane to the question at hand — though they are not utterly tangential, either. These include, especially, what is so “natural” about a “natural right”? and how do we “have” rights?

One of the odd things about our time is how virtuous some folks feel doing things they themselves would regard as evil were it done to them.

At base, in this madness, is in-group/out-group antagonism, which one can read about in an early analysis in The Inductions of Ethics by Herbert Spencer (Principles of Ethics, Part Two). But if you are looking for examples, you can almost pick one at random. Here is an answer on Quora that Quora itself directed me to this morning:

Read Siddharth Paratkar‘s answer to What disgusts you? on Quorahttps://www.quora.com/widgets/content

I suppose I may have heard the sad story of Ms. Ames before, but I had forgotten, so this Quora answer was new to me. But it is an all-too-familiar tale. And it is bitterly “ironic,” in that she was hounded out of what was, to her, civil society . . . by people who thought of themselves as defending sexual choice — those of gay and bi- men — for her own sexual choices.

Principles got lost in the tribalism. That often happens.

But tribalism is primary among humans, and inter-tribal antagonisms are built into our way of thinking. This has always been confusing to earnest people who seek consistency, as Spencer notes:

As the ethics of enmity and the ethics of amity, thus arising in each society in response to external and internal conditions respectively, have to be simultaneously entertained, there is formed an assemblage of utterly inconsistent sentiments and ideas. Its components can by no possibility be harmonized, and yet they have to be all accepted and acted upon. Every day exemplifies the resulting contradictions, and also exemplifies men’s contentment under them.
When, after prayers asking for divine guidance, nearly all the bishops approve an unwarranted invasion, like that of Afghanistan, the incident passes without any expression of surprise; while, conversely, when the Bishop of Durham takes the chair at a peace meeting, his act is commented upon as remarkable. When, at a Diocesan Conference, a peer (Lord Cranbook), opposing international arbitration, says he is “not quite sure that a state of peace might not be a more dangerous thing for a nation than war,” the assembled priests of the religion of love make no protest; nor does any general reprobation, clerical or lay, arise when a ruler in the Church, Dr. Moorhouse, advocating a physical and moral discipline fitting the English for war, expresses the wish “to make them so that they would, in fact, like the fox when fastened by the dogs, die biting,” and says that “these were moral qualities to be encouraged and increased among our people, and he believed that nothing could suffice for this but the grace of God operating in their hearts.” How completely in harmony with the popular feeling in a land covered with Christian churches and chapels, is this exhortation of the Bishop of Manchester, we see in such facts as that people eagerly read accounts of football matches in which there is an average of a death per week; that they rush in crowds to buy newspapers which give detailed reports of a brutal prizefight, but which pass over in a few lines the proceedings of a peace congress; and that they are lavish patrons of illustrated papers, half the woodcuts in which have for their subjects the destruction of life or the agencies for its destruction.

Herbert Spencer, Inductions of Ethics, first chapter: “Confusion of Ethical Thought.”

People who think of themselves as just and kind often find themselves behaving unjustly and cruelly. But they do not notice it, are often oblivious to their contradictory thoughts and behavior. This ability to flip a switch and cease acting within the amity paradigm to going all in for enmity? Breathtaking, in its way. But a commonplace.

Against this understanding, though, are the pieties of our moral traditions; for many folks, even admitting that there are two orientations (at least) in ethics offends against heir self-image and their understanding of what they call “their values”:

A silent protest has been made by many readers, and probably by most, while reading that section of the foregoing chapter which describes the ethics of enmity. Governed by feelings and ideas which date from their earliest lessons, and have been constantly impressed on them at home and in church, they have formed an almost indissoluble association between a doctrine of right and wrong in general, and those particular commands and interdicts included in the decalogue, which, contemplating the actions of men to one another in the same society, takes no note of their combined actions against men of alien societies. The conception of ethics has, in this way, come to be limited to that which I have distinguished as the ethics of amity; and to speak of the ethics of enmity seems absurd.
Yet, beyond question, men associate ideas of right and wrong with the carrying on of intertribal and international conflicts; and this or that conduct in battle is applauded or condemned no less strongly than this or that conduct in ordinary social life. Are we then to say that there is one kind of right and wrong recognized by ethics and another kind of right and wrong not recognized by ethics? If so, under what title is this second kind of right and wrong to be dealt with? Evidently men’s ideas about conduct are in so unorganized a state, that while one large class of actions has an overtly recognized sanction, another large class of actions has a sanction, equally strong or stronger, which is not overtly recognized.

Herbert Spencer, Inductions of Ethics, second chapter: “What Ideas and Sentiments Are Ethical?”

Spencer was writing at a time when Christianity was still earnestly and reflexively held to by the majority. And with that majority understanding he had to contend. Nowadays, we live in a post-Christian context where the dominant religion is statism whose priests are journalists and whose divines are academics. So there are some new wrinkles to the cognitive dissonances in ethical thought and practice.

I would be remiss in this discussion of the ethics of enmity vs. the ethics of amity to cite Spencer for the basic concepts but not, at the same time, cite his discussion of sexual conduct in the same volume. His chapter on this in The Inductions of Ethics is called “Chastity.” How quaint:

Conduciveness to welfare, individual or social or both, being the ultimate criterion of evolutionary ethics, the demand for chastity has to be sought in its effects under given conditions.
Among men, as among inferior creatures, the needs of the species determine the rightness or wrongness of these or those sexual relations; for sexual relations unfavorable to the rearing of offspring, in respect either of number or quality must tend towards degradation and extinction. 

Nowadays, responsibility for the maintenance of he young has been increasingly shifted from individual onus and domestic arrangements to a state system that Spencer only had nightmares about. Perhaps not coincidentally there has arisen an anti-progenitive ideology on personal and social levels. So sexuality is now largely conceived almost wholly as a consumption, not a production, activity, leading to bizarre and quite decadent sense of virtue. In the story cited at top, a woman who engaged in sexual activity as an entertainment activity was morally disallowed from having say in her partners, on grounds of safety. Not even that tiniest bit of chastity — the merest quantum of the virtue — was allowed her by the mob.

We are close to Sodom’s rape mobs, here.

But Spencer is remarkably open-minded for a chaste Victorian bachelor. “Bad as were the gods of the Greeks, the gods of the ancient Indians were worse,” he writes, astounded over what he found in ancient Sanskrit literature. “In the Puranas as well as in the Mahabharata there are stories about the ‘adulterous amours’ of Indra, Varuna, and other gods; at the same time that the ‘celestial nymphs are expressly declared to be courtesans,’ and are ‘sent by the gods from time to time to seduce austere sages.’ A society having a theology of such a kind, cannot well have been other than licentious.”

But in our society, the somewhat hysterical drive to defend women as an oppressed class has been abandoned for the defense of non-heterosexual people — and, most bizarrely, those who pretend to be, or seek “to become,” members of their opposite sex. So women are now, increasingly, expected to accept as women who dress up as (or merely declare themselves to be) women, to compete against them in women’s sports, suffer them in women’s restrooms, and the like. The issue is forced inclusion. We are not allowed to exclude others from our company, at least when it comes to sex, for reasons that doing so is said to be oppressive.

This ethic of forced inclusion is one way of transcending the amity/enmity split. The other, the outsider, the excluded, must be let in.

And since monogamy is no longer required for the nurturing of the young — state programs of redistribution have seen to that — polyandry is the norm, utter licentiousness is the norm, and the control is that one may “not discriminate” against people identified as of oppressed groups.

This arose out of the racial divide in the United States over the Jim Crow era’s handling of the descendants of slaves. Many of the laws in the South segregated public accommodations, government and private. This was a bad thing, so the discriminatory laws were not merely repealed, but anti-discrimination laws were put in place, not for private people (you could eject anyone from your home) but for “public accommodations,” businesses that regularly dealt with the public. Forced inclusion. That became the rule. Anyone, regardless of race, was to be included as customers and employees.

In the case of Ms. Ames, her business activity of engaging in sexual intercourse disallowed her from discrimination on the grounds of sexual partners’ previous sexual behavior, even prudentially, for her own safety. By not fucking bi-sexual men, she was the oppressor.

The new gospel of inclusion thus reached its absurdity point: forcing women to accept into their bodies cocks they don’t want.

The Twitter mob was, by my lights, quite vile, even evil. But behind it all loomed the eminence gris of the welfare state, which has robbed couples of their senses of responsibility. It had made them mad.

Spencer’s linking of militancy with promiscuity is not wholly convincing to me — or even to himself, as he admits. But the general tenor of his discussion seems about right: “It remains only to emphasize the truth, discernible amid all complexities and varieties, that without a prevailing chastity we do not find a good social state.” Here is his summary:

There are three ways in which chastity furthers a superior social state. The first is that indicated at the outset–conduciveness to the nurture of offspring. Nearly everywhere, but especially where the stress of competition makes the rearing of children difficult, lack of help from the father must leave the mother overtaxed, and entail inadequate nutrition of progeny. Unchastity, therefore, tends towards production of inferior individuals, and if it prevails widely must cause decay of the society.
The second cause is that, conflicting as it does with the establishment of normal monogamic relations, unchastity is adverse to those higher sentiments which prompt such relations. In societies characterized by inferior forms of marriage, or by irregular connections, there cannot develop to any great extent that powerful combination of feelings–affection, admiration, sympathy–which in so marvelous a manner has grown out of the sexual instinct. And in the absence of this complex passion, which manifestly presupposes a relation between one man and one woman, the supreme interest in life disappears, and leaves behind relatively subordinate interests. Evidently a prevalent unchastity severs the higher from the lower components of the sexual relation: the root may produce a few leaves, but no true flower.
Sundry of the keenest aesthetic pleasures must at the same time be undermined. It needs but to call to mind what a predominant part in fiction, the drama, poetry, and music, is played by the romantic element in love, to see that anything which militates against it tends to diminish, if not to destroy the chief gratifications which should fill the leisure part of life.

Romance, now, plays second fiddle — or distant rebec — to inclusionary mobs seeking to promote the last underdog group they can find. Next stops: pedophiles and necrophiliacs.

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The third episode of my new podcast will go up on Monday. Until then, here is a preview:

For over three years, Dennis Pratt has been working full time answering questions on Quora — about libertarianism. This is a preview on my personal channel of what will appear on my official podcast channels on YouTube and SoundCloud.

A few years ago it came as something of a surprise to me to learn that UFOs and associated paranormal phenomena are not merely dismissible as misunderstood natural phenomena, hallucinations, dream experiences, psychopathological ideations, desperate frauds, and the like. There is a strange-yet-physical reality to these data that I had previously dismissed.

I was aided in getting over my “skeptical” programming — and more open to the vast volume of UFO reports and evidence — by the lesson I was learning, simultaneously, involving new information about the end of the last Ice Age, which turns out to be hugely significant for our understanding of religion, civilization and Homo sapiens sapiens.

How so?

We now know that there were indeed worldwide floods — that, in other words, the Deluge was real, if not entirely congruent with Biblical or other mythic accounts. With a reality now almost certain behind the worldwide mythology of a universal flood — or multiple ones, as Plato’s lore instructs — then other universal myths also had to be considered, including the possibility of a race of superhuman/non-human civilizers, tales of giants, and, of course, the tropes of Enoch and Ezekiel . . . “wheels within wheels.”

But what the reality behind the data is, I know not. The extra-terrestrial alien hypothesis, of which I was familiar from science fiction as well as the popular craze from the days of my youth, Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods (1968), seems a natural enough conjecture.

But others must be considered, as I did yesterday.

Nevertheless, it remains the case that the ET/Alien Hypothesis looks pretty good. It turns out that the Carl Sagan’s early work involving the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence was a scientific exploration of what we now think of as the Ancient Alien Hypothesis, not SETI:

[P]eople who think they know Carl Sagan invariably know him the way that influential individuals and powerful institutions in charge of his legacy want them to know him. All along, throughout the course of his 40-year professional career, Carl Sagan believed that advanced extraterrestrials exist and that they have been to Earth. Carl Sagan was an ancient alien theorist, convinced that human civilization was a gift from visiting aliens.

The truth is that from 1956, when Sagan was a 22-year-old whiz kid at the University of Chicago hobnobbing with Nobel laureates, until December 20, 1996, the day of his death, Sagan not only believed in ancient aliens, he single-handedly built a scientifically rigorous model that makes it possible for ancient alienism to hopefully, one day soon, become a legitimate field of inquiry.

Donald Zygutis, The Sagan Conspiracy: NASA’s Untold Plot to Suppress The People’s Scientist’s Theory of Ancient Aliens (2013).

Now, sure, author Donald Zygutis may overplay his hand in the passage quoted above. Did Sagan “believe” in the ancient alien hypothesis? Or did he merely continue to float it as a conjecture worthy of scientific investigation?

As I often warn my friends: on matters of an unsettled nature, my beliefs may not be as important or as interesting as my suspicions,

In any case, Sagan did elaborate the ancient alien hypothesis before von Däniken:

Sagan thought that in a few centuries, humans will have developed the technology for interstellar travel. If that is true, he pondered, shouldn’t aliens, having civilizations possibly millions of years older and millions of year more advanced than ours, have already been to Earth? In the 10-year period between 1956 and 1966, he wasn’t writing popular books, appearing on the Johnny Carson Show, or hawking the virtues of space exploration to the masses; he had his nose set to the grindstone, engaged in the most ambitious project of his life: to build an airtight science-based argument that Earth has been visited by advanced extraterrestrials.

Zygutis quotes one of Sagan’s lines of conjecture:

Some years ago, I came upon a legend which more nearly fulfills some of our criteria for a genuine contact myth. It is of special interest because it relates to the origin of Sumerian civilization. Sumer was an early—perhaps the first—civilization in the contemporary sense on the planet Earth. It was founded in the fourth millennium B.C. or earlier. We do not know where the Sumerians came from. Their language was strange; it had no cognates with any known Indo-European, Semitic, or other language, and is only because a later people, the Akkadians, compiled extensive Sumerian-Akkadian dictionaries.
The successors to the Sumerians and the Akkadians were the Babylonians, Assyrians, and Persians. Thus the Sumerian civilization is in many respects the ancestor of our own. I feel that if Sumerian civilization is depicted by the descendants of the Sumerians themselves to be of nonhuman origin, the relevant legends should be examined carefully. I do not claim that the following is necessarily an example of extraterrestrial contact, but it is the type of legend that deserves more careful study.
Taken at face value, the legend suggests that contact occurred between human beings and a non-human civilization of immense powers on the shores of the Persian Gulf, perhaps near the site of the ancient Sumerian city of Eridu, and in the fourth millennium B.C. or earlier.

This is not really all that “out there.” But in this passage Sagan explores one angle of the possibility:

There are three different but cross-referenced accounts of the Apkallu dating from classical times. Each can be traced back to Berosus, a priest of Bel-Marduk, in the city of Babylon, at the time of Alexander the Great. Berosus, in turn, had access to cuneiform and pictographic records dating back several thousand years before his time.

Carl Sagan, in Sagan and Shklovskii, Intelligent Life in the Universe (1966).

There are many reasons to doubt the theory that Sagan developed. But it deserves careful attention. That most “smart people” dismiss it says no more about it than the academic and political support for fiscal stimulus programs says about the merits of Keynesianism.

And “smart people” should wonder: why are they so easily led to shaming techniques and irrational, social bullying paradigm defenses?

Similar to the case of “conspiracy theories,” a term of derision parlayed by the CIA via the major media in the late 1960s to direct citizens’ attention away from the bizarreries of the facts in the case of the JFK assassination, the bad odor of the ET Hypothesis (to explain what we have so far learned about UFOs) and the Ancient Alien Hypothesis (to fill in the lacuna in our knowledge of the fast growth of civilization after the fifth millennium B.C.) may in part be the result of a psy-op from the masters of psy-ops within the Deep State.

Sure, much nonsense surrounds these two related theories. There is a lot of cringe in popular accounts — I have seen Ancient Aliens (2009-) and its ilk, and its standard “could it be” meme gets mighty annoying after its third iteration. But “smart people” are supposed to be resistant to ad hominem and guilt by association techniques. We wouldn’t dismiss Einstein’s two theories of relativity because television science fiction and college freshman get them horribly, horribly wrong. Though we use ridiculousness and poisoned fruit notions as rules of thumb, if we are ruled by intellectual rules of thumb only, and not a philosophical and scientific epistemic, we must relegate ourselves to the lowest form of ideologue.

It has been my experience in dealing with scoffers about UFOs and the like: they do not know much about what they are talking about, and though they keep demanding “evidence,” they tend to ignore lots of evidence.

Applying Occam’s Razor is a fine thing. Considering the simplest theories without multiplying “explanatory entities” is great. But epistemological shavers don’t get to damn whole sets of data. The idea is not to multiply explanatory entities needlessly, not diminish the number of facts to be explained.

twv

The interstellar civilization hypothesis (“aliens”) does not exhaust the possibilities for the paranormal sightings of UFOs now having been witnessed by thousands of people for generations on this planet. There are other contenders, which I list below. Note that many of these are only fuzzily distinct. And also note that few of these are more comforting than “aliens.”

Some of the names, below, are standard, while others are my coinages:

  1. The Niburu Hypothesis — the civilization responsible for UFOs is off-planet but from our solar system. Named for Zecheriah Sitchen’s specific theory, but the originary planet could be Venus or Mars or some Jovian moon, obviously, not “Niburu” — and the asteroid belt suggests almost a smoking gun.
  2. The Silurian Hypothesis — the civilization responsible is millions, perhaps billions of years old, but from Earth, and from (perhaps) a non-hominoid genetic line.
  3. The Atlantean Hypothesis — the culpable civilization is human or at least hominid, but from the last or some earlier Ice Age, or interglacial period, with said civilization’s chief structures perhaps buried, dead, under water, and remaining outposts deep underground or on the far side of the Moon.
  4. The Secret Society Hypothesis — the civilization is a breakaway group from a past advanced Holocene efflorescence, but remained underground (perhaps quite literally) or off-planet.
  5. The Secret Society Hypothesis 2 — the breakaway civilization in question developed in more recent centuries, perhaps from Freemasonry or German nationalism (or Nazism), or the American Deep State. See Walter Bosley’s work.
  6. The Heavenly Host Hypothesis — the craft and beings witnessed are from some angelology or pantheon of ancient myth, and perhaps to be understood in a quite religiously orthodox manner. Literally “angels and devils.” We could call this the Principality and Powers Hypothesis.
  7. The Parallel World Hypothesis — the civilization(s) is (are) Terran but from a parallel universe(s) with radically different timelines.
  8. The Perpendicular World Hypothesis — we are dealing with extra-dimensional beings, and the other reality/universe/what-have-you is not Terran or even much at all like our physical reality.
  9. The Perpendicular World Hypothesis 2 — popularly known as the Simulation. It appears to me that this explanation would likely make us NPCs and the UFOs the actual players/controllers.
  10. Time Travelers — with the UFOs run by descendants of ours, possibly machine-based or otherwise artificial.
  11. The Emanationist Hypothesis — with UFOs being projections of a world or solar-system intelligence, perhaps based on electromagnetic fields and solar/planetary interactions.
  12. The Stefnal Fraud Hypothesis — the whole subject area is a fraud perpetrated by the Government, leveraging science fiction ideas in a vast psy-op campaign.

I consider that last one the least likely and the most disturbing.

What have I missed?

Well, perhaps the weirdest idea . . . that paranormal phenomena in the UFO general category fall into several of these categories.

twv

Rep. Jim Clyburn calls for a halt to the Democratic debates, which is a variant of my prediction of March 2 (Facebook, below). Democratic insiders’ favored candidate is so hopeless that he must be sequestered, as much as possible, from the public. Clyburn argued, before the Tuesday Triple-M threat primaries, that if Biden wins and becomes the “prohibitive” [sic: he means “presumptive”] nominee, then the Democratic Nationa Committe should “shut down” the primary process:

The idea?

To protect himself and his party, Biden must be quarantined.

But not to protect him so much as for fear that
Biden will contaminate the whole process.


My Facebook post:

March 2 at 2:40 PM · 

Democrats now face three active and significant campaigns: Bernie’s, Liz’s, and Joe’s . . . oh, a fourth, too: Mike’s.

Liz is pathetic, unpleasant, and would lose to Trump in any debate. Utter humiliation.

Bernie is a loud grump as well as a puerile and deceptive fanatic, and Trump would clobber him in a debate.

Joe is senescent, and Trump would run circles around him in debate.

Bloomberg, on the other hand, though not a good debater, might have some advantage over Trump: two billionaires duking it out, but only one of them really an impressive business manager — Trump’s a (mere?) branding wizard. Bloomberg’s insults could sting.

But ‘Get it done Mike’ is himself an unpleasant figure, has New York Elitist Jew written all over him, and is an anti-populist who wants to run people’s lives, right down to the Big Gulp level. If Trump can make that stick in a debate, he wins.

So, there is a good chance of NO PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES this autumn.

But Bloomberg is the wild card, and who knows the extent of his proud folly? His staying in the race may throw the whole winnowing-out process out of wack (whack?) and give the nomination to Bernie. 

Now, I suspect Bernie is much less popular than polls SEEM to show, an opposite of the Trump Effect in 2016. Being popular with progressives is no signal of strength, it could be nothing more than a McGovernish trajectory. So Bloomberg trying to ‘buy the nomination’ may give the Democratic Party not only a non-Democrat, but a “democratic socialist’!

This is going to be a fascinating election year. Popcorn sales may go up, anyway.