– Was I totally wrong about Pinker’s book?

HBD Day!

Sailer: "Isn’t it about time to admit that Bonfire has turned out to be, just as Wolfe bragged, the Great American Novel of our lifetime?" Indeed. I wonder it feels like to have your worldview so effectively parodied so long ago and still cling to it so bitterly?

This has to bode relatively well for reactionaries, no? Maybe we should push for a law extending the length of time something stays copyrighted. It’d be great if people started reading lots of 15th Century works.

– I know people who are doing this. They don’t believe in HBD – of course! – but they just so happen to be taking out loans to remove their children from NAM-filled DC schools to put them in private schools that "carefully" select their student body.

– Rand Paul and war with Iran. Silly Rand Paul doesn’t seem to understand that declarations of war are totally 19th Century.


Jim Grant

– The difference between conservatives and reactionaries

– Do you know of Lizzy Seeberg?

17 Responses to Randoms

  1. moldbug says:

    TL;DR Professor Pinker is a fag. Total fag hair, for instance.

    My favorite metric for the level of general barbarism and disorder in a society is robbery. In an orderly society, only the State takes your money by force. In a disorderly one, any fool ass neighbor with a 9 can horn in on the robbin’ fun. Perfect index crime, very hard to confound, very cross-cultural.

    So… we see on page 17 of Raymond Fosdick’s American Police Systems that London in 1915 reported… 20 robberies. New York in 1915 reported… 838. Fosdick (big Rockefeller honcho) is shocked.

    Wikipedia tells us that NYC, in the “low-crime” year of 2008, had a robbery rate of… 265 per 100,000 population. With a population of 8 million, that’s about 20,000 (reported) robberies.

    London’s population in 1915 is almost the same – 6.5 million. Ie, the robbery rate 100 years ago in London is three motherfscking orders of magnitude lower than in “victory over crime” New York. Even violent, disorderly 1915 New York, which so shocks Fosdick, is over 20 times safer than Giuliani New York.

    Ie, Professor Pinker is a fag. Get a haircut, fag! And stop buggering your statistics to within an inch of their lives.

    • moldbug says:

      I suppose I shouldn’t post on the Internets after three beers.

      I stand by the statistics, however. And I still think Professor Pinker needs a haircut – preferably one costing less than $100.

  2. Alrenous says:

    Because it needs to be said, even if everyone is already thinking it.

    “But not only are beliefs indefensible in Pinker’s utilitarian worldview, so are values, which is why violence is central to Pinker’s meta-narrative. Utilitarians can really get behind only reductions in violence and increases in consumption.”

    I agree with the analysis.
    Pinker-style utilitarians value not valuing things. Or, worse, they value only valuing not-violence. Fail.

  3. Alrenous says:

    That reactionary definition works exactly for me.

    And it exactly explains why ‘left-right’ is stupid and meaningless. It’s actually orthodox-heretic. And it’s orthodox-heretic on one contingent, historically accidental philosophy.

    No one philosophy has yet been worth believing in its entirety. They’re all, at best, half-right. Whether a perfect truth-believer would be heretic or apostate to one particular philosophy shouldn’t matter to any scholar.

  4. Phlebas says:

    Re: Pinker the faggot.

    Never mind his hair, a man’s face reveals his nature. That is to say, for whatever evolutionary reason it seems that the mimetic muscles of a given human adopt a unique habitual tension pattern and thereby, apart from when his expression is unusually contorted by an extreme mood, underlie and modulate his facial appearance in such a way as to suggest certain broad personality traits over which transitory expressions of normal happiness, anger and so forth are superimposed.

    Pinker has a self-righteous, obnoxiously wide and pitying gaze – as though he is challenging you to open your heart to Jesus his brand of enlightened scientific reason, and is a little sad that he can’t save all of humanity – that’s his burden to bear – but also optimistic about the future. I don’t trust this type of person.

    For an easier example, Caplan’s face strikes me (much as I think that the extremes of bullying are a horror mostly brought about by schooling and other modern evils) as that of a man who might have benefited from a measure of forceful socialisation as a kid, or some other kind of confrontation with reality, that would have chipped from the stone a more grounded personality to complement his intellect. Malcolm Gladwell is another one in this class, although he possesses slightly more gravitas in his visage by virtue of his having (although I doubt he notices it himself) a smidgen of the pathos of the civilised, intelligent (but still) negro.

    I find that the judgement I make of someone based on his facial appearance is rarely if ever substantially different to the more considered judgement I might make after having learned more of him. Google Ron Paul: an extremely nice, fatherly but not entirely canny fellow. Google Nabokov: clearly a man of character, singular taste, intelligence and humour. And so on.

    • Alrenous says:

      When I went to verify ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ I ended up with what Phlebas has. Seems its mainly about trying to trick you into reading what’s plainly on their faces.

      The thing that strikes me about Caplan is his expression of surprise and puzzlement. “Oh hey, what’s this?”
      I don’t quite trust photos, I find they tend to be selective about which details they capture. I just ran a g-image on Caplan, and saw arrogance in some photos but not others, for example.

      My first impression of Pinker is that he very much wants you to think a certain thing about him regardless of whether it is true. “I very earnestly believe X.” Yes, well, I’ll judge that by your actions, thank you.

      It’s also fun to do this in the mirror, because I get mic-style feedback.

    • josh says:

      I met Bryan Caplan. He was conducting a seminar to which a distinguished philosopher had been invited to speak and to answer questions. He was wearing Nike sandals and sitting indian style in a chair. Is it too late to give this man a swirlie in the Carrow Hall bathroom?

    • Scrutineer says:

      Sometimes I wondered if other people noticed Caplan’s vacant, adolescent expression. Mildly disturbing.

      Jonathan Last at TWS is a similar case. How surprising that an adult who brags about his comic book collection and framed Allen Iverson jersey turns out to look like this. The magazine’s caricaturist must be mocking Last by butching him up into a Rat Pack wannabe.

  5. formerly no name says:

    On the positive side, Rand Paul is probably the greatest US Senator since Robert Taft. The only possible competition for the crown would be Joe.

  6. dearieme says:

    Much of Europe will hoot with laughter at the thought of an American making a fuss about using knives and forks as a marker of a civilising process.

  7. dearieme says:

    Forgive my being O/T, Foseti, but I’ve just read this in yesterday’s FT, and want an educated American to tell me whether it’s true. Could it be intended as an April Fool’s joke?

    A secret station was built underground at New York’s Grand Central Terminal in the 1930s, specifically so that Franklin D. Roosevelt could conceal his polio from the public. The presidential train – his armour-plated limousine on board – could pull in unseen underground, and the president would be driven straight off the train into a specially widened lift that opened direct into the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

  8. dearieme says:

    Thanks, Steve. But your link doesn’t really make the FT’s story trueish, more falseish.

  9. Fake Herzog says:


    More thoughts on your review here:



    You are a delight, if a bit crude for my tastes. You’ve been flogging those stats on the internet for years now and I’m glad you do — they helped sober me up quick about good government, HBD, police methodology, etc. I’m working on a long blog post all about you…I think you might find it (somewhat) interesting.

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