Randoms

- More on the death of god

- The US is a Puritan, Progressive country

- A paleo gin and tonic

- An interview about Alger Hiss. (Thanks to the reader that sent this link)

- Chuck is reading The Bonfire of the Vanities. So am I.

- What if someone did this on a national scale? Couldn’t happen, right? (Thanks to the reader that sent this link)

- Divorce rates and hours worked.

- DC is getting much whiter

- Randoms from OneSTDV

- Rethinking colonialism

14 Responses to Randoms

  1. Matthew says:

    Hendrick’s already has cucumber in it.

    I would buy unsweetened tonic water, honestly. The whole point of the jynnan tonnyx is the bitter, I say.

  2. Matthew says:

    A Man in Full is much more enjoyable (and arguably better) than The Bonfire of the Vanities.

    Except for the equine artificial insemination scene.

  3. PA says:

    Is there tension between liberals’ self-descriptor “progressive” and the observably regressive reality of the fruits of their work?

    Serious question, assuming their sincerity as progressives.

    “Progressive” is associated with a society marked by beauty, order, technology. Eugenics has always been a cornerstone of progressivism. And yet, what we’ve been seeing is the exact opposite of those things. So… is there dissonance between the ideal and the reality?

  4. Phlebas says:

    Although I’m sure the writer means well, the “God is dead” essay is poor.

    Turn the other cheek? Love thy neighbor? A proud man of the Right loves himself, his kin and his tribesmen, and he responds to aggression with aggression in turn. None of this slave-morality pussy-talk for us.

    This illustrates the problems that arise when people identify with a neurological disposition, rather than a set of beliefs about the world. Rightists do lack empathy towards members of the out-group, but that doesn’t reflect some universal truth. It’s an evolutionary flaw, which is entirely incompatible with the deeper thought and feelings of (more or less) all humans.

    >Christians brought down the Roman Empire.

    Setting aside the question of whether this is true, Christianity is responsible for sustaining learning for a few centuries after the fall of Rome and then restoring civilisation in its much-improved v.3 form, the fruits of which we enjoy today. What did Christianity ever do for us? All of the miracles of science and technology that surround us (and the canon of Western art).

    Oh but this was the “far more conservative Medieval version”. In that case what was the point of mentioning Rome, since we’ve established that the memeplex known as “Christianity” is changeable and therefore the modern theistic strain should be evaluated on its own merits?

    Not that I think that theistic Christianity has a future in intellectual circles. What an utterly ludicrous idea. Since when has Christianity been a choice anyway? The whole premise of this essay is bizarre, since as far as I can see it seems to be addressing the question of whether one should simply decide to start believing in God.

    A more interesting question is whether the masses should be encouraged to be Christians. Perhaps Frosty could apply himself to that more fruitful line of inquiry instead.

    >Most importantly, Christianity should have something to offer traditional, family-oriented young men and women. It doesn’t, and so we look elsewhere.

    The author doesn’t seem to have looked very far, unfortunately, since he appears as a shining example of decadence. This essay was followed by “Stop Making Excuses and Get Laid”.

    The self-serving argument tends to be along the lines of, “We care so much about civilisation, but since everything’s going downhill we’re going to behave like animals too”. Unfortunately for these “game” characters, the vocation of decadence and self-gratification isn’t a part-time job. Nor do I believe that timeless decision theory (i.e. formalised common sense – you should feel responsible when other people take the same harmful decisions as you, for exactly the same reasons) recommends defecting in civilisational prisoner’s dilemmas (and encouraging other people to defect) on such a flimsy basis.

    In case this trips the “white knight” alarm: no. I advocate “black knighting” instead. This coinage refers to an attitude of scant tolerance for slatternly female behaviour, and for people of either sex who peddle an ideology that encourages reversion to sexual mores that are incompatible with civilisation.

    • samsonsjawbone says:

      >Most importantly, Christianity should have something to offer traditional, family-oriented young men and women. It doesn’t, and so we look elsewhere.

      The author doesn’t seem to have looked very far, unfortunately, since he appears as a shining example of decadence. This essay was followed by “Stop Making Excuses and Get Laid”.

      I know, eh? This type of stuff always reminds me of a post I once read at Captain Capitalism; he was writing about women, complaining firstly that there were no “good” girls out there anymore, and then in the next sentence advising men to stay away from church girls as they were sexually unobliging. What else can you do but shake your head at these guys?

      Rest assured, the Church offers *much* for the traditionally-minded, but there’s no way to make these guys see what’s in front of them..

      • Phlebas says:

        Also from the comments to “Stop Making Excuses and Get Laid”, someone says:

        Dude, Toronto/DC/NYC/SF etc. have very little in common with the bulk of America. I live in a major city in Texas and women are overwhelmingly fat here. It is probably pretty easy to sit in Europe or wherever at a distance from this and not understand how bad it is. I can walk through a major mall here and only see 2-3 attractive women. It’s that bad.

        The sad thing is, these overweight women are totally oblivious to how being fat just totally wrecks there appearance, they think that because they dress well, apply make-up etc. that there still attractive, eligible women.

        For sure, American women are pretty fat. But why is he even looking at women in general and expecting them to be eye candy? The fact is that after the age of about 25, apart from a few supermodels women aren’t any good as sex objects. Once their motherly mode takes over the girlish disposition, it’s unsurprising that they get fat because they’ve had their 12 years and aren’t supposed (evolutionarily speaking) to be frolicking around any more.

        I don’t approve of decadent lifestyles at any age in a civilised context, but it strikes me as particularly sad to be trying to prolong the opportunity for hedonism past its mentally and physically natural timespan.

  5. Phlebas says:

    A couple more comments:

    What’s the difference between a Christian and Leninist? One believes in the virgin birth, the other in the New Socialist Man. Both are extraordinary claims, but I haven’t seen extraordinary evidence for either.

    This is obviously not a valid argument. For example:

    “What’s the difference between a Christian and a Nazi? One believes in the virgin birth, the other believes in the destiny of Aryan man. Both are extraordinary claims, but I haven’t seen extraordinary evidence for either.”

    The implication being that Nazis are a Christian sect. Moldbug has argued that Universalism (progressivism, etc.) is a strain of Christianity, cladistically speaking – and he has backed this up with evidence and sound arguments. Someone has also kindly directed me to “The Ego and Its Own” by Max Stirner, which is a 19th-century exposition of much the same idea.

    The real value of this idea is in allowing us to understand the problem of idealism. This is a big problem that needs to be dealt with – maybe this is one of the great challenges that humanity is now equipped (e.g. due to advances in neuroscience-inspired philosophy) to deal with. The fact that the ancestor memeplex happens to be Christianity isn’t all that important, because as long as one understands and recognises the nature of the idealist memeplex known as “Universalism” itself, and its brother memeplexes, this effectively screens off the inferential relevance of analysing older forms of Christianity.

    Frost’s excerpt above is suggestive of a common idealism in Christianity and Communism, but would require further evidence and arguments (such as those provided by Moldbug) in order to pin down a more specific relationship between the two memeplexes in question. Frost’s sloppy writing implies that this evidence can be skipped – but it can’t, otherwise (e.g.) one could just as easily argue that Nazism is also descended from Christianity, rather than being similar only in the sense of its being a form of idealism.

    What I’m trying to make clear is that this kind of soggy-headed writing ruins things by destroying the fine distinctions that characterise rationality and garbling important insights. I’m sure Frost can do better, but when he or anyone else emits slop, that shouldn’t be encouraged.

    You might hope, wish, or even pray that the Church will offer you an alternative, that the Church contains a community insulated from Cosmopolitan Magazine, Sex and the City, Heartiste and Roosh.

    But instead, you’ll find exhortations to Man Up And Marry Those Sluts! If it’s traditionalism you seek, you won’t find it under any 21st-century basilica.

    The fallacy of grey is the failure to distinguish between things that differ quantitatively, expecting all differences to be clear and qualitative. Yes, theistic Christians are less socially conservative than they once were; however, they remain on average significantly more socially conservative than atheists in general and ceteris paribus.

    It may be hyperbole, but hyperbole is supposed to be used sparingly to add piquancy to a careful argument – not in place of a careful argument.

  6. robert61 says:

    I believe Frost is planning a walking pilgrimage to Santiago de Campostela, so he will have ample opportunity to revisit his ideas about Christianity.

  7. KK says:

    I’m not familiar with Business Insider’s profile (i.e. what they wish to be true), but that divorce article comes across like it’s intentionally written backwards. Living in a high-divorce environment causes women to work longer hours, come on. As is hearteningly common these days, the same point is raised in the very first comment.

    I don’t know how strong an indicator online comment sections are about the general cultural zeitgeist, but that domain has definitely changed over the last 5 years.

  8. Phlebas says:

    Re: “deciding to become a Christian”.

    Perhaps Frost was never sent to Sunday school. But I had the state of being a Christian illustrated as follows:

    Suppose a man goes to church every Sunday. His neighbours know him to keep a bible by his bed and he is seen to pray frequently. You are the judge: is this man to be found guilty of being a Christian?

    And the answer was no, because the only real criterion for being a Christian is that you have repented your sins, and have asked Jesus into your life to be your personal saviour and absolve these sins. Only if you are purged of the taint of sin can you be admitted to heaven, and Jesus’s sacrifice is the means by which a person’s slate can be wiped clean – he took all of our sins upon himself when he was crucified.

    In hindsight, this lesson betrays a misunderstanding of the nature of the balance of evidence; still the point is clear. That is why the idea of humming and harring over whether to be a Christian yourself on the basis of its social effects is a nonsense. You can’t decide to believe in God, man’s sinful nature and the necessity of redemption, nor can you even decide whether you want to believe in belief. Christianity is a set of factual (if “metaphysical”) beliefs, not a lifestyle choice or an attitude – the social conservatism etc. are merely epiphenomena of these factual beliefs.

    If someone doesn’t understand that and tries to hold forth on Christianity, his scholarship is definitely lacking. I should add that the Christians I know are the only ones in their social class who get married in the late teens, lead a clean lifestyle and are generally nicer, more civilised and more conscientious people than atheists ceteris paribus.

    • spandrell says:

      All of which is true and good. The problem is that Christianity as an institution, and most Christians as individuals, are doing little to stop the suicide of Western Civilisation and the take over by the NAM deluge.

      Them being nicer than the average fellow doesn’t really matter in the big picture.

      • Phlebas says:

        Spandrell, the fact that theistic Christians remain more socially conservative (in certain cases dramatically so) than atheists is a salient item of evidence about the world. Salient e.g. when considering what is a rational direction in which someone with the power to do so should try to push the masses (or allow them to wander of their own accord), or simply in trying to make inferences about the world.

        It doesn’t mean that I think that theistic Christians will ever again be an intellectual force with hands on the steering wheel of Western civilisation – as I said above, that’s too silly to refute.

  9. Tschafer says:

    Frost is just reacting to the squishy leftism so very common in much of modern Christianity, and in a lot of ways, I can’t blame him. Now, most of us would say that much of modern Christianity is borderline-heretical garbage, but this is all that a lot of guys like Frost have been exposed to, so it’s really no wonder that they react this way. And by the way, the claim that “Rightists do lack empathy towards members of the out-group’ is crap. Right-wingers give a lot more to charity than lefties do, and love of one’s own is not a sin, far from it in fact. Conservatives shouldn’t parrot this kind of junk.

  10. Phlebas says:

    Frost is just reacting to the squishy leftism so very common in much of modern Christianity, and in a lot of ways, I can’t blame him.

    Frost is a 27-year-old man with a University degree and a semi-popular book to his name. His writing is also provocative. I don’t believe that leniency is due to this person in dismissing his pieces if they are of such low quality as to be destructive of clear thinking. However, I hope that he continues to write and am far more concerned with criticising ideas than chastising individuals.

    And by the way, the claim that “Rightists do lack empathy towards members of the out-group’ is crap. Right-wingers give a lot more to charity than lefties do, and love of one’s own is not a sin, far from it in fact. Conservatives shouldn’t parrot this kind of junk.

    I don’t believe in the concept of sin, and although your usage may be colloquial it’s inapt in this religiously-themed discussion. And let’s not conflate “love of one’s own” with “hate of those who are not one’s own”.

    My view on racialism is that people should as far as possible be allowed to live amongst whomever they prefer, and if they dislike people of other ethnic groups that’s their prerogative. Leftist-idealism is inhumane in this regard because it leads to people being forced together to the benefit of no-one, based on the demands of an ideal rather than real, flawed humans themselves.

    However, if I had quantities X and Y of pain and pleasure to distribute between a random negro and European of the same sapience, cet par I wouldn’t discriminate between them – or at least, the most rational part of me would endeavour to exercise restraint over any baser element that felt otherwise.

    Setting the question of value aside, and contemplating rightists and their lack of empathy just as a question of fact: is it not the case that classical in-group/out-group phenomena such as racialism are associated with conservatism (and by extension, the cognitive traits associated with rightism, which have recently been revealed by neuroscience) simply according to common wisdom?

    Giving to charity doesn’t seem to me a pertinent counter-example, since this doesn’t generally imply an intention or inclination to give aid to clear out-groups.

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