The characteristic of genuine heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not weakly try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common the heroic.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The koseki is Japan’s family registration system. All legally significant transitions in a person’s life — births, deaths, marriages, divorces, adoptions, even changes of gender — are supposed to be registered in a koseki; in fact, registration is what gives them legal effect. An extract of a person’s koseki serves as the Official Document that confirms to the Rest of the World basic details about their identity and status.
Need to prove when you were born? Koseki extract. Need to show you have parental authority to apply for a child’s passport? Koseki extract. Want to commit bigamy? Good luck; the authorities will refuse to register a second marriage if your registry shows you are still encumbered with a first.
Compared to “event-based” Official Documents (birth certificates, divorce decrees and so forth) that prevail in places like America, the koseki is more accurate. An American can use a marriage certificate to show he got married on a particular date in the past but would struggle to prove he is still married today. A koseki extract, on the other hand, can do just that.”
A nephew recently turned 18 and I had an opportunity to say a few words at the reception. What follows below is based on my hastily written notes, composed at the table just prior to speaking. I will leave out the honorifics and introductions and stick to what I advised. I was filling in the gaps left by the other speakers, hence some missing topics.
1. Learn how to think
Learn how to think like scientists and engineers. Your ability to think – clearly, rationally – will have a tremendous effect on your wellbeing and success. Critical thinking, Scientific thinking and the scientific method are extremely powerful tools you can use to understand anything. Make sure you understand the importance of falsifiability, experimentation and failure-as-success.
Supplement your sharp thinking with mental models - the core ideas that underpin the world. Systems theory, supply and demand, evolution, Physic’s standard model – these example are all maps of the substrate of the world. Learn to determine reliable models with critical thinking and always have a conscious, working model of any important systems and environments.
Learn to question, and question constantly. Asking good questions is often more powerful and useful than knowing answers. Kipling’s six honest serving men will always serve you well:
“What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.”
I would add “What if”. That is a powerful question that has driven enormous change throughout history.
Understand biases and heuristics. They explain our mental blind spots, how are we manipulated, how do we fool ourselves, and why we make bad decisions. Learn the science of persuasion, not to abuse it, but to know how to recognize and defend against coercive persuasion. Oh, and one more thing. You are probably a worse driver than you think. Search for Lake Woebegone effect to see what I mean.
Finally, invest some time understanding core human nature – the Human Givens – the psychological forces that drives that govern human behavior. Understanding core drives and needs will help you understand what is going on underneath symptomatic behavior. It will also allow you to understand and empathize with out-groups even though their behavior might seem odd or even disgusting.
The Thinker’s Guide to Scientific Thinking [Free PDF book]
Charlie Munger – Large mental model section
2. Establish a philosophical foundation
Self-knowledge will help you build a foundation by providing a base of principles on which to rest your your ethical character and personal morality.
Try and get to know yourself. Really know yourself. Understand the operating system of your mind. What do you really believe? Why?
If you have beliefs, then understand them intimately. Be able to argue for them. Understand the best arguments against them. If you base yourself solely on inherited wisdom and just-so reasoning of others, a robust attack on your beliefs will knock you over.
This is one of the core arguments in favor of free speech. Free speech for everyone exposes us to heterodoxy – opposing beliefs – and that exposure either improves and strengthens our beliefs or supplants them.
Do not make too many pronouncements too soon. Support conditionally – movements, political parties, people, ideas – because they serve your moral and ethical ends. They should not be the end’s in themselves. Confirmation and consistency biases can keep us trapped in defunct mental models. As Charlie Munger said in his now famous speech on The Psychology of Human Misjudgment:
The human mind is a lot like the human egg, and the human egg has a shut-off device. When one sperm gets in, it shuts down so the next one can’t get in. The human mind has a big tendency of the same sort…And of course, if you make a public disclosure of your conclusion, you’re pounding it into your own head. Many of these students that are screaming at us, you know, they aren’t convincing us, but they’re forming mental cage for themselves, because what they’re shouting out [is] what they’re pounding in. And I think educational institutions that create a climate where too much of that goes on are…in a fundamental sense, they’re irresponsible institutions. It’s very important to not put your brain in chains too young by what you shout out.
So figure out what you are for, but base it on stable moral principles and keep it to yourself. Do I have any guidance on what to believe?
It is hard to beat kindness as a moral north star. As a man I would also encourage you to be a gentleman, by that I mean the best sort of man you can be. What that means is culturally transmitted, but love and respect for women has been at the core of chivalric thinking since it’s birth. In my culture it meant never taking liberties, that is never abusing power, advantage or privilege. It means never cheating, which entails knowing what it means to cheat. It meant a deep respect for yourself and others, especially your elders. It meant being courageous (doing the right thing despite fear or consequences), defending your loved ones and what is now know as inclusivity – concern for the needs of others. Finally, good manners will serve you well anywhere that civilization is thriving.
You may be wondering about religion, comings you do from an atheistic culture. There is a lot of wisdom coded into the world’s main religions, but there is also an abundance of utter nonsense. Pick and choose what makes sense to you. I see a lot of wisdom in Buddhism, especially in the ideas of suffering, non-attachment and observing the mind through meditation. New Testament Christianity is a beautiful moral philosophy. Islam is a powerful totalistic belief system, meaning, it regulates every realm of life. It is a manual for how to behave morally, wage war, conduct your marriage and so on. But all of these main religions have not been updated in thousands of years. Their believers will tell you this does not matter, the truths are eternal, but it does matter. If I were you, read Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy and understand what unifies all these systems of belief, then formulate your own belief system, backed by evidence and science, but borrowing from wherever you see fit.
Finally, even if you choose to reject religion entirely. There is no need to reject spirituality. The universe is utterly glorious and fully of majesty and mysteries. My personal belief if that there is indeed something greater than me, greater than us, some intelligent force occluded in nature, but present. Not a bearded old testament God with a prayer-o-phone, but a god of sorts who is uninterested in me, but very interested in us.
3. Treasure your health
One important kindness is your kindness to your future self. The planning fallacy means we tend to push hard work, toil and exercise to our future self already. Try and avoid pushing disease and pain to them too. Take care of your health, which thanks to our amazing default to healthy bodies means mostly taking care of it by feeding it properly, exercising it regularly, resting it properly (including sleep) and doing routine maintenance with experts like dentists.
Protect your teeth. Many do huge damage to their teeth in their 20s. Drunkenly crashing out without brushing. No flossing (yes, I know this is now disputed), and avoiding the dentists for years on end. Don’t do this. Learn to brush and floss properly. Go to the dentists regularly even if you have to pay yourself. Your future self will thank you.
And don’t get fat. It’s hard to get unfat once you are fat. There is no need to lecture you on the role of obesity in just about every medical malaise. Just avoid it. Set tripwires. Promise yourself if you break a threshold to get professional help and actually do it.
As for the rest, well, health its is mostly about nutrition, avoiding toxins, especially carcinogens and sufficient movement. Given its importance, it is surprising how much disagreement there is about what constitutes a healthy diet, but part of the explanation is the magnificent diversity of human beings. We have had over 100 years of averagism, but that is slowly being rolled back. You will see the new age of individual medicine and nutrition.
Right now I think that a mostly plant based diet seems to correlate with most healthy outcomes. I do not include many grains though, I am with the anti-wheat crowd. What works for me is low-carb, high protein, moderate fat. But that’s me. You need to experiment to see what work’s best for you from a weight control and health perspective.
4. Always have a go
At the end of their lives, many people rue their lack of boldness. They wish they had been braver. The top wish was that “they had the courage to live a life true to themselves, not the life others expected of them”. The number three regret was “They wished they had the courage to express their feelings”. This is particularly true when it comes to romance. We guard our dignity so violently that we spurn all sort of opportunities to connect. My advice to you is to have a go. Try it on – in a decent way – if you find someone attractive. Don’t be a stalker or a pest. There are techniques for asking for anything in a way that is courteous, respectful and dignified whilst still being clear and to the point. Don’t waste time learning sneaky techniques to try and seduce. Learn instead how to spot genuine interest and seize opportunities those opportunities when they arise. Do not have sex with people who are very drunk or under the influence of drugs. Wait until the next morning. If someone wakes up with you and still wants to make love, that counts as enthusiastic consent. Never beg, pressurize or threaten anyone into sexual intimacy. At best you are humiliating yourself, at worst you could be raping them. Any sign of reluctance is a warning sign to stop. The only way to win is by earing unambiguous, enthusiastic, sober consent.
This is not just about romance. Do not ever hold yourselves back from doing what you believe to be the right thing. Chivalry and kindness often require boldness. Asking a crying stranger if they need help demands at least some courage to act. Find it and use it.
5. Always break bread with friends and family
In this internet age we communicate excessively and connect rarely. Meet your friends and family in real life as often as you can. You draw more energy and love from this than any other source. Not Facebook, not Instagram or Snapchat – in person. One personal regret is that I do not see my friends and family enough.
Also, be present for those you care about. Attention is scare in an economy designed to consume it. Giving someone attention is an act of love and respect. Conversely, being artificially present is deeply insulting. We all know the person who keeps typing and muttering “uh huh” as you talk to them. We have all been that person.
6. Be kind to yourself. We have brutal inner critics.
Many of us turn on ourselves and corrode our mental well-being from the inside. Physical autoimmune disease are recognized for their danger and severity, yet we have equivalent psychological diseases that are equally as ruinous yet unnamed. Inoculate yourself from crippling diseases of no self-belief AND delusions of superiority by subjecting your own thoughts to the same scrutiny and skepticism you would apply to someone else.
Use meditation to learn how to observe what the voice in your head is actually saying. You will be astounded by the babbling ravings and stream of nonsense. You may also find yourself horrified by the violence and sadism of your inner critic. Do not listen to this demon uncritically. It is not really you, just a subroutine of your mind that cleans up the filth. Ignore it. Treat your own declarations like any other assertion. Does it match the evidence? If not, reject it. If yes, accept it. Is it a matter of subjective judgment (“You are stupid, ugly”), the definitely ignore it.
7. There is no average , just you
As I mentioned earlier, the age of average is ending. Humans are simply too jagged to be classified as averages. Averages are valid for groups, but never individuals:
During the 1950s, the United States Air Force began thinking a lot about averages. At the time, pilots were having trouble controlling their planes. As Rose explains, at first the problem was pinned on pilot error and poor training. But the real problem turned out to be the cockpit or, more specifically, the fact that the cockpit had just one design: one for the average pilot of an earlier era, the 1920s.
The Air Force…measured more than 4,000 pilots on 10 dimensions of size that seemed important for fitting into a cockpit — torso length and chest circumference, for example. The thinking was that once they redesigned the cockpit for the average pilot of the 1950s, controlling the plane would no longer be so troublesome. Most pilots, they assumed, would be within the average range on the majority of dimensions and that a good number would even be average on all 10 dimensions.
“Do you know how many really were?” Rose says. “Zero.”
Even when just three dimensions of size were picked, fewer than 3.5 percent of the pilots fell within the range defined by Daniels as average. Instead, what Daniels found is that every single pilot had what Rose calls a jagged profile. One pilot with long arms may also have long legs while another may not. Not everyone who was average height (5 feet 9 inches) had the same chest circumference or head size.
Finally, the Air Force had its “aha” moment: If every pilot had a jagged profile and the cockpit was designed for the average pilot, it was actually designed for no one. Its response was bold — it banned the average and forced reluctant manufacturers to instead design “to the edges, ” meaning a cockpit that would be adjustable for even the extremes — the tallest or the shortest, for those with wide or narrow chests. Manufacturers balked, but once they realized the Air Force wasn’t budging, they figured it out, creating options like adjustable seats.
You hear the platitude “You are unique” very often, but what does it mean? It means that you should never compare yourself to others – good or bad. Many of our comparisons and our normative values are based on flawed concept of the average. Reject it as old fashioned bunk that it is. Design your life around your uniqueness. This is no more selfish than adjusting the seat of a car or a belt.
8. Choose to be great
It is a choice. Unconscious, but very real. Try to remember to choose yourself and choose to be great. This is not an invitation empty self-congratulation and egotism decoupled from reality. Rather is a way to structure the narrative of your life. No matter where you are, whatever the setback, however badly you messed up, you have chosen to be great so this is a waypoint to that greatness. Just choose to be great and let your mind do the rest for you.
9. Bad people
Most of the bad things in the world are the result of error, stupidity, and self-righteousness. There are, however, genuinely evil people. You will do a great service to yourself if you train yourself to recognize the signs of two psychological conditions at the root of much human malevolence.
The first is psychopathy (psychopaths). Psychopaths are sane, but they are extremely dangerous emotionally and physically. They are often charming and very attractive. They are characterized by three clusters of traits: boldness, disinhibition and meanness. There is no taming, reforming or rescuing these people. Adult psychopaths are neurologically programmed to be the way they are. It is hard to overstate how dangerous and destructive these people are.
The second type of person, closely related to psychopaths are pathological narcissists. These people are often delusional but have an odd ability to trap well meaning people in relationships by oscillating between neediness and abuse. Don’t be the person that people ask of each other “How does he put up with that!?”
10. Self-righteousness is the root of most evil
Evil may be banal, but it runs on self-righteousness. Watch out for big moralists. Almost every historical evil you can think of came about from people thinking they were doing the right thing, fighting the good fight and defeating some evil. I am not saying it is bad to have ideals and principles, but always remember that you may be wrong, in fact you probably are. You may actually be one of the the bad guys.
“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.” ― Theodore Dalrymple
The BBC recently reported on the “Islamic Sufi prayer ceremony known as Zikr“. It is pretty popular in the Caucasus.
Years ago I remember seeing a brief news spot on Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman ruler of Chechnya. He was doing what I now realize is the Zikr dance. At the time I was absolutely intrigued, and I still am.There is something fascinating about this. Must be the raver in me.
There is an entire Youtube channel devoted to Zikr.
And because it is the internet, there is a pisstake (this dance set to rave music, which highlights just how similar dance/trance and these spiritual practices are to each other).
A Whirling Sufi Revival With Unclear Implications – NY Times, 2006
Chechnya: Kadyrov Uses ‘Folk Islam’ For Political Gain – Radio Free Europe, 2016
Kadyrov Turns to Zikrism to Legitimize His Rule – The Jamestome Foundation
Very nice piece from The Economist on the wakiness of Danish Kids TV. Despite being here for years I still find myself surprised occasionally. This topless mutant mermaid (above) was on DR Ramashang at 11:00 on the 18th August.
I completely understand why Nottingham police want to fight back against the street harassment of women, but I think we are treating the symptoms, not the causes. Additionally the medicine proposed by Nottingham Police is also toxic. It erodes civil liberties, misallocates police resources, reinforces victimhood culture, allows subjectivity into a domain where evidence is vital to justice, sexist and open to abuse by malicious women or pressure groups with an interest in exaggerating the scale of the problem.
What are the misogynistic hate crimes that Nottingham Police will record separately and make a “police matter”?
“Incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman.”
- Staring at body parts (breasts)
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Unwanted physical or verbal contact
- Unwanted mobile phone messages
- Taking photos without consent
None of this is evidence based. It is all about subjective experiences, how the women feel.
Nor is it even about crimes. The mere recounting of an alleged incident will result in a recorded “hate” incident….
What are we to make of all this?
I really want us to solve this problem. I come from a family and culture where male respect for women and being a gentlemanliness are highly valued. Where I grew up, the abuse of women – verbally or physically – would earn any man a thorough hiding at the hands of other men. Merely swearing in front of women was considered an embarrassing lapse that might earn you a smack on the ear from an older male.
I am the father of two daughters and I want them to live in a safe, decent society free from harassment of any sort. I also want them to live in a free and fair society, not a nanny state where every human interaction needs to be policed and the mere feelings of a designated member of a “victim class”- entirely independent of evidence or objective standards – are sufficient to criminalise actions. Those feelings are also enough to classify any public encounter or incident as a “hate incident”, again unlinked to evidence, which will lead to a body of “evidence”, that will possibly derange public policy and policing.
We have the familiar cast of bunglers in this story. The state trying to shore up collapsing social mores with ham-fisted and discriminatory over-legislation and destruction of civil liberties. We have social worker-bureaucrats – like Nottingham’s “hate crime manager” David Alton- securing their jobs generating a growing list of hate-crime victim groups and classifications. We have pressure groups grinding their political axes.
My main gripe with this police reaction is that is addresses the symptoms not the causes. In Turkey, they understand this.
Women’s rights groups, lawyers and doctors have condemned Turkey’s decision to introduce a mandatory chemical castration programme for convicted sex offenders, arguing the treatment does not address the underlying reasons for widespread violence against women, and that bodily punishment will instead lead to increased abuse.
Özgül Kaptan, director of the Women’s Solidarity Foundation (Kadav), has condemned the law – which came into effect on 26 July, at a time of extended legislative powers – as misguided.
“It’s a very bad and dangerous decision,” she said. “The law reduces crimes related to sexual abuse and rape to the one offending individual and to that individual’s body, which disregards the systemic problem of why so many men in Turkey commit these crimes or are violent against women.
“Men are taught to think that they have a right over women. We need to change ideas about gender equality and masculinity. What we really need is a change of attitude, of education. That cannot be done by passing such a law, or overnight.” – The Guardian, “Chemical castration of sex offenders in Turkey condemned by women’s groups“, Monday 15th August 2016
The Turkish feminists have an unlikely ally, Rob Slane writing in Conservative Woman magazine. All emphases mine:
The other big problem with the statement itself is that it is so vaguely worded as to be essentially meaningless. It could include just about every attitude or example of behaviour men exhibit towards women (or should that be men exhibit towards woman?), and is thus at the mercy of entirely subjective definitions of what does and what doesn’t constitute a misogynistic hate crime. Does it include a man attempting to give up his seat for a woman on public transport? The definition is vague enough to include it if the lady in question perceives it to be demeaning.
Of course you might say that this is not the sort of thing Nottinghamshire police are talking about. What they are actually trying to address is real, low-level harassment that women in their area often face. What do you say to that then?
Simply that this is a hopelessly foolish way of dealing with it, and the method merely confirms that we took a wrong direction way back when. In the first instance, police forces continually complain about overstretch and of the need to free up resources. How does this woolly-worded initiative achieve this? It doesn’t. What it could end up doing, though, is forcing officers to spend their time investigating hundreds of low-level instances of harassment, and so missing the more serious incidents.
So how do you deal with incidents of low-level harassment? There are no quick fix answers to this, but the clue is to work out how we got here. How did we get to the stage where young boys today have immeasurably less respect for girls today than they would have had even 20 or 30 years ago? How did we get to the stage where multitudes of young men see females through the porn filter? How did we get to the stage where the chances of a woman finding a man who will be responsible and faithful to her are becoming less and less each year?
…Much of what are now being labelled “misogynistic hate crimes” are simply a consequence of the tearing up of the very relationships and social expectations that once required males to be respectful towards women. Yet having done it, we are surprised to see the outcome – a generation of males who are less respectful towards women. As C.S. Lewis put it, “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”
And so having torn up those relationships which were so vital, women must now apparently look to the State to step in and deal with the consequences. In the past, other men would have performed this function. A man who was seen to be hassling a woman would have been told in no uncertain terms by others in the community to quit it. And he would have quit it, knowing that the consequences of continuing were most unfavourable to him. Who will do that now? Those that might be prepared to do so know they run the risk of being beaten to a pulp.
The answer to the disrespect and unpleasant hassling of women is not to be found in yet more laws and more policing of such incidents. Instead it is in recognising that far from bringing liberty and a more civil society, the hacking away of the relationships and social boundaries mentioned above has largely destroyed the foundations from which true liberty and civil society can begin to flourish. Only when we have reconciled ourselves to this might we begin once again to see boys growing up into men who really do respect women.
I agree with Rob on this. We have gone badly wrong somewhere and the solution is not the police. It is cultural, political and educational. It is about values. Involving the police seldom helps and sometimes even inadvertently hurts:
Carceral solutions to structural problems have a tendency to have the most negative consequences for more marginalised people. They also tend to help marginalised people the least.
…What we are very likely to see with treating misogyny as a hate crime is that there could well be more arrests and prosecutions, but only under particular circumstances: when a Nice White Lady™ is victimised by a Nasty Black Or Brown Man™.
…It’s a repeated pattern in carceral solutions, and means that help will not go to the women who need it most because the police would rather come down hard on people that they already despise.
At the end of the day, the solution to misogyny is the same boring old thing that is the solution to everything else: societal change, starting with ourselves. Challenge it where you find it and nurture and embody alternatives, and support and believe survivors. The police are not, and have never been, the magic bullet for solving problems that they cannot even begin to solve.
Misogyny is misogyny, and the police have never been our salvation.
Another gripe I have is that many of these laws are unenforceable. The dreadful spate of sexual harassment crimes and rapes now plaguing Sweden show us that even with dozens of witnesses, stringent police attention and tokenism in the form of “Don’t Grope” bracelets, almost all the cases “were dropped due to lack of evidence or problems with identifying suspects.” These were large scale group molestations of young women and girls, even gang rapes, and the police are pretty much powerless. The culture of the perpetrators – in this case recent migrants to Sweden – is a key factor in the problem. The police are too overstretched and weak to protect women. Their powers and staffing are designed to manage a law-abiding culture where women are respected and safe. A sudden growth (through migration) in the numbers of men who do not share those values have overwhelmed them with dreadful consequences for Swedish women and girls.
We also have the now familiar discrimination against men we find so often in gender stories these days. Why does only the harassment of women count as a “hate incident”? This definition is sexist towards men by downgrading harassment against them, and prioritising crimes against women, even though men can and do experience harassment at the hands of women. Why not just expand the gender hate crime category if you have to, even if you know the victim split is 10 to 1. At least it does not actively discriminate against one gender.
The Nottingham police provisions also reinforce victimhood culture and the continued atrophying of our ability to conduct ourselves with agency and independence without needing to resort to authority to adjudicate every minor dispute:
We’re beginning a second transition of moral cultures. The first major transition happened in the 18th and 19th centuries when most Western societies moved away from cultures of honor (where people must earn honor and must therefore avenge insults on their own) to cultures of dignity in which people are assumed to have dignity and don’t need to earn it. They foreswear violence, turn to courts or administrative bodies to respond to major transgressions, and for minor transgressions they either ignore them or attempt to resolve them by social means. There’s no more dueling.
Campbell and Manning describe how this culture of dignity is now giving way to a new culture of victimhood in which people are encouraged to respond to even the slightest unintentional offense, as in an honor culture. But they must not obtain redress on their own; they must appeal for help to powerful others or administrative bodies, to whom they must make the case that they have been victimized.
…The key idea is that the new moral culture of victimhood fosters “moral dependence” and an atrophying of the ability to handle small interpersonal matters on one’s own. At the same time that it weakens individuals, it creates a society of constant and intense moral conflict as people compete for status as victims or as defenders of victims.
I have other misgivings. The vague wording and muddled definitions are also based on notions that are inimical to legal justice. The idea that that feelings and pure subjectivity are sufficient to establish guilt. It is not. Evidence and objectivity are the cornerstones of justice. Granting powers of judgment exclusively to women, without any restraining requirements of evidence or even clear rules, creates a Judge Dredd like situation on the streets of Nottingham where all humans identifying as women are the judge and jury of any man they encounter.
As we have seen with false accusations and feminist abuses in Canada, malicious women abusing the legal system to persecute men is far from rare. These sorts of laws are wide open to abuse by miscreant women. Even the most ludicrous, paranoid, divorced-from-reality compulsive liar attention-seeker will have serious police attention, their incident added to the official register of “hate” incidents and some innocent man will suffer the all the trials of the falsely accused “hate” criminal.
The saddest thing about the Trump phenomenon is that the people he now represents – the poor, mostly white, left-behinds of modernity – have legitimate grievances and deserve proper political representation, but all they have is Trump. A people already demoralized, demonized and literally dying have pinned their hopes on a hopelessly unsuitable megalomaniac who is so inept he will lose to one of the most repellent Democrat candidates ever fielded.
The Democrats are the party of elite whites and minorities. The Republicans, presiding over a declining demographic and hamstrung by big business and the Christian right, are a basket case party representing no one. These people have absolutely no one genuinely on their side. Poor bastards.
The good thing is that PC / political doublespeak is mortally wounded. The managed message /narrative neatly limned by the Overton Window is a thing of the past. Look what a maniac like Trump managed to do by harnessing disaffection and speaking plainly.
Prediction: Trump will lose. HRC will be the most divisive and unpopular president since G.W Bush. We will have a proper Julius Caesar-like right-wing demagogue in 2020…
Update: Wrong wrong wrong!
On the eve of the referendum…
Something far deeper is at stake in this week’s vote. A wave of resentment against the elites is sweeping Europe, and in Britain this summer, as John Harris has written, we have seen a working-class revolt. The referendum is a form of displacement activity. It’s about something other – or much more – than what it is supposed to be about.
Those forces, for which Euroscepticism is a wholly inadequate word, range from crude racism and nativist dislike of immigrants, to humble patriotism and yearning for a maybe imaginary lost age. The referendum turns not so much on the national interest as on a national idea.
As Robert Tombs, the Cambridge historian and author of The English and Their History, recently put it: “The campaign seems hardly about Europe at all, but it’s all about us and the English identity.” Both of the first two British attempts to join the Common Market were vetoed by Charles de Gaulle, and it was he who also said that all his life he had been inspired by “une certaine idée de la France”. Behind our present turmoil lurks a certain idea of Britain, or of England. We are trying to find our identity.
…Penty of those reading this may tend to view “Europe” in a benevolent light. But any honest remainer must admit that there is a very strong case against “actually existing Europe”. The European Union is dysfunctional, corrupt, and afflicted by a kind of corporate folie de grandeur. Part of the tragedy of our predicament is that the wrong people have been making a critique of “Europe”. There were always honourable radical or liberal reasons for opposing European integration and centralism – as exemplified by Maastricht.
If the EU is to survive, it needs drastic reform, and demanding such reform is what could be called the true Eurosceptic position. But reform can only be achieved from inside. The Europhobes’ problem is that, with all their instinctive antipathy to Europe, they have no practical alternative to offer, except nostalgic national legends.
- Information science – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – Information science is an interdisciplinary field primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval, movement, dissemination, and protection of information
- Information architecture – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – Information architecture (IA) is the structural design of shared information environments; the art and science of organizing and labelling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability; and an emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape
- xkcd: Tech Support on shibboleth –
- Kettering Cosmos: How school children exposed Soviet secret –
- ‘Hard to watch’: Afghans react to $6m Australian film aimed at asylum seekers | Australia news | The Guardian – Australia has done a Denmark. They made an entire film to dissuade Afghans from attemting to migrate to Australia and The Guardian has an approving review. When Denmark printed posters in Lebanon warning migrants of the dangers of the crossing to Europe, The Guardian and other left leaning newspapers denounced it. Odd double standard.