Randoms of the day

Tyler Cowen thinks that it would be better if states had a disincentive to catch and punish prisoners. Clearly, he lives in Virginia and not in DC. He probably only comes into DC for Ethiopian food and then congratulates himself on his openness to diversity.

Ferdinand is starting a new project, which sounds great. I wonder if he wants a book reviewer . . .

I wrote about reactionary pessimism a couple days ago. Don Colacho says, "The Church’s function is not to adapt Christianity to the world, nor even to adapt the world to Christianity; her function is to maintain a counterworld in the world." I think that’s a good summary of the point I was trying to make about reactionaries. All we do is maintain a counterworld.

Matthew Yglesias lists possible reasons why education reforms can’t work: "Say it’s true that we don’t know how to make schools better. That could be for two reasons. One is that it’s an epistemological problem—we have no idea what makes a school effective. Another is that it’s impossible—learning outcomes are all about parenting and schools are irrelevant." Can you think a possible third reason?

The picture and caption from this Keoni Galt post made me laugh.

Speaking of GBFM, he’s on a roll in this comment section – don’t miss the GBFM approved spellings of butthex.

5 Responses to Randoms of the day

  1. Bruce Charlton says:

    “Can you think a possible third reason?”

    Because we are not even *trying* to teach kids.

    I was talking with a teacher today and was astonished to discover that it is current official Scottish education policy for all kids of Primary School age (4-11) that teacher’s keep regular records of the kids’ self-evaluations of their own abilities and (following the children’s self-analysis of their progress) their own educational needs and objectives.

  2. I wonder if he wants a book reviewer . . .

    Since I lack the funds to pay people to write for me, I’ll take who I can get.

  3. Handle says:

    I think I’ll have to write an essay in opposition to pessimism amongst reactionaries. What follows is not that essay, but a short preview:

    There’s a lot of truth in our pessimism, of course, but it’s not all true, and the question is whether we can afford the negative side-effects.

    Here, Foseti says we should (and, by implication, can only) maintain a counterworld. Maintain it how? For who? To what end? This is inherently future-and-posterity oriented, the duty to preserve some remnant of a good inheritance for our children and their descendants, as hard as that will be. Very hard, but not impossible. Realistic Pessimism lulls us into the Unrealistic Fatalism of impossibility.

    It’s a corrosive attitude whether or not it is based in realism because it foments defeatism and sanctions indolence, laziness, and apathy. It chills people from even attempting to achieve what little can be accomplished.

    It is the difference between surrender and retreat.

    There is a distinction between coming to grips with the brutal odds one faces in any particular battle in a long war and being merely resigned to some foregone conclusion in the enemy’s favor. But the current manifestation of Pessimism in the Reactionary Blogosphere is more like the “acceptance” that comes as the final phase of Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief. When one is in stage-5, everyone else who still has some fight in them looks like they’re naively in stage-1, “denial” – which cultivates condescension from those who think they’ve come to the only objective conclusion about the futility of having ambitious aims.

    It is a preemptive psychological defense to the pain of dashed-hopes and the inevitable and agonizingly intense frustration and impatience that will come from any hard and lengthy struggle. It is human nature, especially among the mature and experienced, to resist gleeful hoping in order to avoid the predictable and equally powerful agony of disappointment when the expectations built up are set back.

    The comment about himself and Obsidian that Ferdinand highlights in his noble attempt at novation, from Alte at “Traditional Catholicism”, is a good start, but I’m afraid the argument needs to fleshed out more fully to uproot the default emotional disposition which has become firmly set in this community’s culture.

    I have a dream. Some victory before I die. But our Reactionary wisdom tells us that the strength to achieve even the tiniest advances in the next decade can only come from Hierarchical Mass Organization, Enlightened and Bold Leadership, and the congregation (empowered by this internet) of all our scattered, atomized, and isolated fellow-travelers into a cohesive institution. A diamond with many facets.

    I call this hypothetical institution “The Chain Reaction”. Our opposition has Their Orthodoxy, full of foul, anti-human, and unreal manipulative lies, and we have The Antithesis – an ideological work in progress which will logically systematize the equal and polar opposite framework of our ideas in a consistent and cohesive whole.

    We should be realistic, but we should also maintain our motivation to do the ground work and set the intellectual foundation for our successors-in-interest to build upon as they continue the fight in their generation. We must allow ourselves to dream our good dreams, and to care. Else, this is all nostalgia after abandonment, and nothing more.

    We can have the “maintenance” that Don Colacho assigned to the Church’s role, and we can have more too.

  4. […] Handle writes in opposition to pessimism among reactionaries. […]

  5. sardonic_sob says:

    There are three possible responses to overwhelming military defeat: To surrender, to rout, or to retreat in good order. Retreating in good order, especially under fire, is the most difficult tactical evolution in all of military practice. But it is the only one that offers any hope that the situation may someday be retrieved. If you don’t believe that, then you might as well just surrender and get it over with. (Routing is the worst possible response for obvious reasons.)

    The analogy is left as an exercise for the student.

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