– Mangan vs Paleo Retiree on porn. I certainly have no strong objection to porn, however I’ve taken Mangan’s point to be that we don’t have any idea what the long term effects of free and immediate access to hardcore porn will be on certain people in society. I can’t argue with that.

– I have a non-trivial amount of contact with the House Financial Services Committee. Needless to say, this blog strongly supports Maxine Waters as the head of the Committee. If she can’t convince you that the temporary government does nothing, no one can.

– We’re number 1! DC has the most hate crimes. I read a fair amount of local news, and my guess is that nearly all of it is black on gay.

Self control:

This is the “free man” which the libertarians promote: the man without self-control, not a master of his passions, but their thrall in “free expression” — and a thrall also to those who know how to manipulate and control the passions of others.

The proles get prolier.

– Imagine Tom Wolfe walking around this place.

– More on good government from Simon Grey.

– Anyone know what’s up with this?

37 Responses to Randoms

  1. anonymous says:

    8 out of the top 10 states for hate crimes are blue, and DEEP blue at that… it would be weird if I didn’t know.

  2. wobbly says:

    What are the long term effects of free and immediate access to a pornographic girlfriend?

  3. Zimriel says:

    Nick Land explained that it was just a server glitch.

  4. Handle says:

    I left some comment over at Mangan’s post related to Paul Graham’s thesis that the addictiveness of the world is accelerating – porn being but one manifestation of the broader phenomenon.

    As for Art Basel – where were the figures having sex in the glass tubes? “This Nelson Leiner piece is made entirely of stickers.” – I swear to God my preschooler brought that exact thing home the other day. Like Jon Derbyshire said, the real test of art is that, if you ask, “Is this real, or a hoax?” and you can’t tell – then it’s not art. These days, no art is art. The animals made out of ammunition casings, however, did make me smile.

    • Harold says:

      To adapt an old joke:

      Did you hear about the man who left a piece of modern art in the passenger seat of his car? After parking his car in a carpark he’d set off on foot. However, after walking only a few blocks he realized that he’d left the window rolled down. He raced back as fast as he could, only to find he was too late. Someone had already left another piece of modern art beside the first.

      A few months ago I came across a link to an article about a museum curator in Italy who had resolved to burn an artwork a day (if I rememeber correctly) in protest of some government scheme. Fearing the worst, I clicked on the link. You can imagine how relieved I was to find out it was only ‘contemporary art’.

      So this gives us another test to determine wether something is art: How would you feel to learn it had been destroyed or damaged?
      How would you feel to learn ‘ Young Mother Gazing at Her Child’ by Bouguereau had been destroyed?
      How would you feel to learn ‘ Four Darks in Red’ by Rothko had been destroyed?

    • James says:


      Is this painting worth preserving?


      To what extent do you agree with the below?

      Nature contains the elements, in colour and form, of all pictures, as the keyboard contains the notes of all music.

      But the artist is born to pick, and choose, and group with science, these elements, that the result may be beautiful—as the musician gathers his notes, and forms his chords, until he bring forth from chaos glorious harmony.

      To say to the painter, that Nature is to be taken as she is, is to say to the player, that he may sit on the piano.

      That Nature is always right, is an assertion, artistically, as untrue, as it is one whose truth is universally taken for granted. Nature is very rarely right, to such an extent even, that it might almost be said that Nature is usually wrong: that is to say, the condition of things that shall bring about the perfection of harmony worthy a picture is rare, and not common at all.


      If you had to erase three of the below works from human memory, which would you pick?

      Le Sacre du Printemps
      Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
      Tchaikovsky’s Manfred symphony
      Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge
      Delibes’s Sylvia

      (I ask these questions out of genuine interest, because I find them difficult to answer.)

      • Harold says:

        #1 Yes.
        #2 Almost entirely.
        #3 You set an impossible task! So here is an impossible answer: Koyaanisqatsi, Sylvia, Grosse Fuge.

        I was writing up a more elaborate answer but it was growing tortuous with qualifying accretions as new thoughts that occurred as I wrote it threw doubt on what I had already written. It was turning into a mess so I scrapped it and have not the energy to start over. Sorry.

      • James says:

        I’m not well educated in arts, but I believe the Whistler painting in #1 to be the first significant piece of “modern art”.

        It was the subject of a controversy between Ruskin and Whistler; Ruskin said:

        I have seen, and heard, much of Cockney impudence before now; but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face.

        Ruskin was widely thought to have overstepped the bounds of responsible art criticism, and Whistler sued him. Whistler was awarded a very small sum in damages, but both men were ruined by the affair.

        I think I agree with Ruskin: this painting is self-indulgent. Ruskin was actually an advocate of impressionism, so he didn’t propose that artists should paint exactly what they see. The painter should not only capture nature in its most evocative configuration (like this photo) but also portray his own subjective impression of it by highlighting and diminishing certain elements, changing colours, exaggerating physical dimensions, suggesting motion &c. I find the quote in #2, which is also by Whistler, quite a good expression of this idea.

        The problem with Whistler’s Nocturne in Black and Gold is that his “impression” is opaque and unintelligible. I don’t believe that he really had this impression; rather, the painting is ideological. It suggests radical subjectivism—that the Universe is without order, so why not suppose that there is no sense to be made of nature? I guess this attitude accompanied the rise of atheism. I’m not a theist, and I don’t think that atheist art is impossible, but I do think that it is responsible for unhealthy intellectual currents.

        Although Whistler was prodigiously talented, once great artists no longer strive for profound communication and aesthetic perfection, this opens the door for art to become a status competition in which mediocrity triumphs. Tom Wolfe portrayed this in The Painted Word—he describes the erstwhile trend in painting towards “absolute flatness”, the flatter the better, which scarcely coincides with powerfully moving art or technical skill.

        As for #3, the challenge is to compare “modern”, discordant music to elegant music that flatters the ear.

        Like Whistler’s Nocturne in Black and Gold, it seems to me that Le Sacre du Printemps is where “modern art”, i.e. radical subjectivism (how can music have rules, when there is no rulemaker, and nature is indifferent to humanity?), in music really began. It even caused a riot. And again, Stravinsky was a genius (who could also write beautiful and tonal music) but his imitators are not.

        There is no question that a lot of modern classical music is utter tripe. The people who stage concerts know this; in order to have audiences listen to it, they deliberately sandwich modern efforts in between crowd-pleasing pre-20th century pieces.

        But unlike Nocturne in Black and Gold, I think that Le Sacre du Printemps is a great piece of art that deserves to be preserved. This may be a lucky coincidence—our musical sense is naturally more subjective than vision, so radical subjectivism is a little more true in music than in painting.

        I would get rid of the Grosse Fuge. Stravinsky was a big fan of it; he said it is:

        an absolutely contemporary piece of music that will be contemporary forever.

        I am not sure if it was an early example of radical subjectivism, or just Beethoven losing his way a little. Either way, I think that the high repute in now enjoys is ideological, rather than musical. I don’t think that it is any more profound than Beethoven’s other late quartets, and somewhat less pleasing to the ear.

        The only piece that should certainly be destroyed is the Manfred symphony, which is simply mediocre and offers nothing in addition to Tchaikovsky’s other work.

        This leaves us with three pieces of ear candy, and Koyaanisqatsi. In my humble opinion, Koyaanisqatsi is the best of the four, and I would probably get rid of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (only because Mozart was more prolific than Delibes and Rimsky-Korsakov, so Sylvia and Scheherazade are more unique).

        For all its flaws, one advantage of 20th century music is that it dips into a wider palette. Nothing is off limits, so Philip Glass at his best is able to express things that Mozart couldn’t. Because the environmental theme of the film Koyaanisqatsi is something that obviously touched and inspired Glass, his music for it has integrity. It obeys the rules that need to be obeyed, in order for a genius to portray in music his real impression of the theme of the film. So perhaps if people truly believe in and are moved by some humanist cause, they can create art even though we live beyond the reach of God.

    • spandrell says:

      I had a flash insight yesterday in the shower which was very close to that comment you wrote.
      Giving people what they want and making money in the process is a very stable system. No wonder we find it so hard to attack.

  5. Dalrock says:

    Thanks for the linkage!

  6. SOBL1 says:

    The Audacious Epigone has run hate crime stats to see who is doign what to whome. Blacks are 3x as likely as whies to commit a hate crime on gays. The bigger picture takeaway si that in the multiculti gay is okay future liberal world, there will be a lot of crimes deemed hateful.

  7. josh says:

    W. Michael Jones has a book called Libido Dominandi, which for me is self-recommending, but your mileage may vary.

  8. Avice says:

    Your criticisms of “libertarians” are always so wide of the mark that I can’t even be sure who you’re reacting to. If mainstream “libertarians” are the target, why even bother? Otherwise, I doubt I would be able to come up with a better parody of a typical neo-conservatard’s oblivious criticisms of libertarianism. If libertarianism is problematic, attack it, and stop nipping at the heels of Glenn Beck.

    • Foseti says:

      Most of my life I’ve considered myself a libertarian. Mostly the heretical (mises.org) type rather than the mainstream (stop requiring hairdressers to have licenses/Reason type).

      If the world was filled with the sort of people that read this blog, I’d still be one. Additionally, if I was in charge things would be a lot more libertarian in a lot of ways (but a lot less so in others).

      I only make fun of libertarians because they’re worth making fun of.

      • Avice says:

        I’m sure they’re very flattered.

      • Allan says:

        I thought the miseses WERE the mainstream. I guess I’m out of touch. Anyway, I don’t think von Mises, if he cared, would want to require hairdressers to have licenses.

      • foseti says:

        No, the Mises folks are decidedly outside the mainstream. They (famously) broke with the Reasonoids a long time ago – the results were accurately predicted by Rothbard (surprisingly nobody outside of Reason HQ).

        Most recently, the glee with which the Reasonoids denounced Ron Paul as racist should have left no doubt.

      • nydwracu says:

        I’ve always liked that “Ron Paul is racist” theory. Since most of the ‘problematic’ newsletter quotes were from when he was out of office… well, shouldn’t politicians try to give the people what they want? Surely the system there was working as intended! The progressive must reply, “to hell with the system and to hell with the people”… and then I agree and pass them a copy of Patriarcha.

        (Well, not really; I don’t think they even make pocket-size Patriarchas… hell, Christmas season is coming around and we don’t have any monarchist stocking stuffers. Curses, foiled again!)

      • Foseti says:

        Who needs the liberal thought police when you have the libertarian one!?

    • asdf says:

      Libertarianism is liberalism for upper middle class white male STEM nerds who want lower tax burdens for themselves and oil barons who want to pollute a lot. It shares all of liberalisms core assumptions and differs only in method.

      It exists in essentially no other groups. Even upper middle class white males that aren’t nerds don’t support it. Religious people correctly see it as godless evil. And most white people predisposed to libertarianism will just get it over with and become liberals, there is more money in it.

      Libertarianism exists in no other races or females in anything but minuscule amounts.

      Politically it has accomplished little more then its own death. Its only major policy victories are strengthening corporate power (leading to corporatism) and importing tons of immigrants hostile to libertarianism.

      Ironically the “most libertarian” country that libertarians often sign hymns to is Singapore, which is led by a dictator who would consider libertarians batshit insane. The fact that everything outside its tax rates is very statist only shows how its less about freedom and more about low tax burdens for upper middle class dudes with boring low status jobs that can’t hide income well.

      • nydwracu says:

        I’ve met a higher than chance number of female libertarians (mostly Objectivists), most of whom tended toward reaction (one even reads Moldbug now!), but I run in odd circles.

        My experience in PG County was that a lot of libertarians came to libertarianism as either the antidote to Brahmin colonialism or an answer to the race problem (more the latter there, of course), and only paid lip service to the economics of it.

  9. lesterhunt says:

    That quote about libertarians is just weird. And if you go to the original post, it;s even weirder — casually referring to socialists and liberals as libertarian. It’s a garbled mess.

    • Bill says:

      Try harder. Libertarians, liberals, and socialists are the same. Not in the sense that they endorse the exact same policies but in the sense that they have the same basic idea of the good: that the good is the autonomous, self-defining individual seeking its own conception of the good subject to the least constraint possible.

      The various flavors of the left differ in which exact features of current and past social arrangements they think were getting in the way of the autonomous ubermenchen awesomely self-defining and in which exact policies they think will best liberate their sure-to-be-awesome, awesome, autonomous-icity.

      The real right consists, pretty much, of everyone who denies that autonomy is the good. Sometimes the denial is explicit and self-conscious, sometimes it is implicit and unknowing.

      There are people who straddle the line, of course. One moderate between left and right would be a person who is contemptuous of the idea of proles having autonomy (not contemptuous in the sense of thinking it’s a bad idea, exactly, but contemptuous of the idea that it is possible) but who thinks that the “natural aristocracy” should have autonomy.

      There are other ways to straddle this divide as well. Lenin and Trotsky were unambiguous leftist monsters—they were trying to bring about universal autonomy via central planning socialism, terror, and mass murder. Stalin and his successors were a kind of moderate. They were willing to genuflect vaguely in the direction of some vaporous future autonomy, but, in the mean time, had no interest in it.

      If you think the movie Footloose is basically on the right track, you are on the left. If you think everyone involved should be burned at the stake, you are on the right.

      • asdf says:

        The simplest explanation is between those that believe in objective truth (and that it is possible to come to “some” understanding of what it is) and those that believe there is no such thing as objective truth (everything is relative and subjective).

  10. chucho says:

    “The art world is the biggest joke going. It’s a rest home for the overprivileged, the pretentious, and the weak.” – Banksy

  11. samsonsjawbone says:

    I certainly have no strong objection to porn

    I’m always dumbstruck when I see an adult who says this. A father, with children, no less. You and Mangan simply *must* kick against the pricks, mustn’t you?

    • Foseti says:

      What can I say? I’m a product of my times . . . even though they’re as fucked up as they are.

      • Handle says:

        You probably have no strong objection to things you, coming from a particularly far-right slice of the bell curve, can absorb without significant detrimental effects on your welfare. But if you start to think paternalistically about how these things probably affect the equivalent far-left slice, then you would begin to find many objections. The same could be said for almost all “victimless crimes.”

      • Foseti says:

        Again, I think Handle’s point is Mangan’s point, and I don’t disagree with it.

      • nydwracu says:

        The same could be said for almost all “victimless crimes.”
        Nah, I’m okay with the ones that will keep them off the streets. Moldbug’s thing about VR has the same problem as the SciAm set’s rattling on about transhumanist intelligence-improving technology or whatever and completely ignoring nootropics: chemical solutions are far more elegant than technological ones. But I certainly wouldn’t want them (or anyone, really) getting their hands on PCP.

        (Now I wonder… is there anything that functions like the weaker opiates but without the addictive properties or tolerance buildup?)

      • Handle says:

        @nydwracu: Having prosecuted (and taken depositions from) a few people for using some of the newer cannabimimetics, some of them describe the effect that way. Your liver exists, from a certain point of view, to try and help you build tolerances to any compound. It certainly kept those synthetic stoners in their dens!

        But, “addictive” or not, they were all on a path of progressive degradation that would have led to them doing anything to get the money to get their next high. The duller ones get caught somewhere earlier on that path, but which ironically is also past a point of no return for their type from a irreversible corruption of character. Again – with this stuff, you’d hardly ever see see any of this in a 75+ percentile person, so it really is a matter of class paternalism and noblesse oblige if you’re going to enforce the same prohibition for everyone. Also, none of these substances produce infertility, and obviously none of these disappear existing offspring – and seeing what happens to the innocent little kids will tug at even the most ruthless reactionary’s heartstrings.

        Now, without getting into to too much detail, what I can reveal is that these people all led decent, functional, working-family lives before they met the drug. And what anybody with a lick of sense would have said upon seeing these dim, but contributing, salt-of-the-earth types is that they should never, ever, be exposed to something like this. That, if you could somehow keep it out of their hands, they’d make an ok existence for themselves, but it they touched it, then it would ruin their lives and their poor kids. And so it did.

  12. james wilson says:

    Porn is a minor player within the damage which universally consumed television has done to the individual and the social fabric. The medium is, by its nature, mesmerizing, leveling, and stupefying without limit.

  13. anonymous says:

    RE tom palmer,

    his page still has a banner at the top mourning the death of his cat (“my best friend”) that died in 2010

    what a joke of a person

  14. Firepower says:

    In light of yet another stunning Manganite observation of “we don’t have any idea what the long term effects of hardcore porn will be on certain people in society”

    I blithely suggest we all just take a good look around at the people using it most. Then, compound and extrapolate an educated projection of what they’ll be like in 10 years.

  15. Dan says:

    Regarding hate crimes…

    Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi have the lowest rates of hate crimes in America according to the FBI. Interesting indeed considering that everybody is programmed to think of the deep South in general and Mississippi specifically as the home of the hate crime.

    We’ve come a long way since Mississippi Burning, as DC has 100x the rate of Mississippi. Yay, multicult!

    Now would the media please report this?

    – D.C. native

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