Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us

Posts tagged as: academia

on Ethics

It used to baffle me that universities have such a thing as an Ethics department. I had read enough philosophy during high school to know that ethics is just one aspect of philosophy, and the hardest one to get any consensus. I also was under the Humean spell, namely that you can't drive an 'ought' from an 'is'. The fact is the only societal ethics that work are those enforced under the power of religious coercion; you make up some shit and kill people who don't agree with it.

So I wondered: what are those Ethics majors doing? Well I still don't know. The guys doing Ethics were mostly creepy dorks who I, desperate to get some poon back then, couldn't afford to befriend. Still after some time I did get some appreciation for Ethics studies. The fact is ethic problems are huge conundrums against which the basic logic we use in our everyday lives seems quite useless indeed. The old aspiration of objective morality reveals its impossibility when asked the old switch dilemma: push the button and one person dies, don't push it and 5 die. What is one to do? And why? Those puzzles are fun.

What's more fun is that there's some people who get paid for making up solutions for those puzzles. And as I was saying, those solutions are not based on any sound logic, because ethics doesn't work that way. Ethics works by making up convoluted and unfalsifiable shit, throw it somewhere and see what sticks. Guys like this do the throwing:

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Leftism is the mind killer

I remember as a kid reading about Congenital Analgesia. That's a rare genetic disorder that renders people unable to feel pain. How cool is that? You could play around, burn myself, jump off buildings, get in fights, all without fear of getting hurt. Awesome!

Then I thought it better. Why does pain exist anyway? It must serve a purpose. And then I realised that are supposed to be afraid of pain, because pain is proxy for other nasty problems like burning yourself (tissue gets burned), jump off buildings (bones get broken), etc. In fact, the unfortunate kids with this condition all end up having all kinds of problems, for example they get severe eye damage because they are  unable to feel foreign objects inside them.

So you see, pain is bad, nobody likes it, but it's useful. It serves a purpose, which makes it good for you. But how can that be? Bad things are bad, aren't they? They can't be bad and good at the same time. Bad things are nasty and unacceptable, and must be made away with. Preferably with pills of some sort.

That's the kind of reasoning modern leftists do. You can see that I as a kid was more perceptive and profound than modern leftist. I'm not bragging, it's true. See this:

Heart disease drug 'combats racis...

Satoshi Kanazawa rehabilitated by the Cathedral

I was reading The Economist yesterday, amusingly checking out what the Cathedral and its minions are up to these days. I checked in vain for any news about Kate Rothschild, but it seems the family won't touch the subject. Oh well.

I did find something amusing though, if totally unrelated. An interview with Satoshi Kanazawa! Yes, Kanazawa the evolutionary psychologist. He used to have a very good blog at Psychology Today, titled “The Scientific Fundamentalist”. Well he titled it wrong. Last year he was expelled, widely denounced and lynched in the internet for daring to write a blog post about the fact that black women are considered ugly by most races. Besides being true, Kanazawa is the first guy who wouldn't want to talk about race and sex, he being an Oriental man, whose odds in the sexual marketplace are almost as bad as black women's. But he is a fundamentalist for truth, so he wrote it. Well, the other, real deal fundamentalists cracked down and sent him to exile.

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I thought he had...

Babies like stuff, researchers shocked

The 60 minutes show on the Yale University Baby Lab has been doing the rounds on the internet, and it has caused quite a stir. And rightly so. It's important that people are putting the resources to try to test nature vs nurture. And it's important that they are ready to admit that nature exists too.

And admit they do, but it's very funny how bewildered they are when nature shows herself. Shocked, shocked! I tell you. Babies can tell friend from foe! Well no shit. One of the best things of having been to Moldbug's is you get to identify the American elite as the Puritans they descend from. So I imagine those peasant protestant fanatics of the 17th century, and they look a lot like these people on 60 minutes.

BREAKING: Do babies have a sense of morality? (self-important voice tone)

I can find a thousand ways of framing psychological experiments on babies. Baby cognition is a fascinating subject. But of course our priestly elite doesn't care about cognition. They care about morality. That's all that matters in the whole damn world. Are you good? Are you holy? Are you holier than me? No, I'm holier than thou. See how in the end all they talk is about applying the findings to "eradicate racism". That's all they care about. Ivy League researches will develop fusion power, grapheme mass-production and genetic load curing, but it will only be used if it can help "eradicate racism". Oh God...

Stuff White People do

The Chinese in their ancestral wisdom, have proverbs for every single situation. In fact one of the hardest parts of learning the language is their reliance on idioms, which tend to be verbatim quotes of classical works. 3000 years of writing in the same language means there's a vast pool of wise insight and sharp wit to choose from, but the old language isn't intelligible as such, so you have to memorise the idioms by rote. Once you do though, you literally have a comeback for everything.

It's so much part of the culture, that the tradition doesn't only rely on classical texts. Chinese are prone to make up idioms in the vernacular just as often. There is one I particularly like, which describes people who do pointless stuff. Some time ago Xi Jinping, the recently declared big boss in China, had these words to say:

有些吃饱了没事干的外国人,对中国指手划脚.

This was translated by the South China Morning Post as: "Some foreigners with full bellies and nothing better to do engage in finger-pointing at us". The translation is quite literal, and pretty good as it is. The point on this sentence is "full bellies and nothing better to do". This is the standard way of describing people who do something pointless out of what it's assumed is too much leisure. As any beginner learner of Chinese knows, full bellies in China used to be a very uncommon sight, to the point that people...

He just can't get enough

What is the supreme personal virtue for liberals? Tolerance. You have to be nice and accept others and their opinions. Voltaire wrote a whole Traité sur la tolérance to argue that we are all humans, sons of the same god, and should tolerate each other. It doesn't get any more liberal than that. In 1763.

Funnily though, tolerance is very polysemic, and it has another well-known meaning. In pharmacology tolerance is the progressive loss of reaction to a given dose of substance, meaning that you need to increase the dosage to get the same effect as before. So you need a gram of cocaine to get a dopamine high, you keep doing that every day, after a week you need 2 grams to feel anything.

But surely this stimulant-brain chemical correlation is not limited to physical substances. After all there are many things that can cause to get high and happy, and only very few of those involve putting refined chemicals into your bloodstream. You can get high after climbing a mountain, while screwing a hot girl. Or you can get the most sublime high after giving an interview to the media trashing some racist scum. Oh, the sanctimony high. That one's awesome. It's like a female orgasm. It's the best thing after Soma.

So Stephen Hawking is in the news for joining an academic boycott on Israel.

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Ought / is

T. Greer linked to this (long) article by Adam Elkus about the relation between academia and politics. Academia and politics are quite different institutions, made up by very different people with often antagonistic tempers. But they also have a lot in common, both claiming to have authority, and in most states they have tend to be integrated into the power structure. They make two of the three big pillars of the Cathedral.

Or so we tend to think of them, as a common tenet of neoreaction takes elite academics as perhaps the shadow power behind the Cathedral. Academics control the education system, and thus the brainwashing of common people. And they are also the "experts" that every media organ or politician cites when he wants to make a point. It would seem that academics are the ones setting the (evil) agenda of the Cathedral. Somebody on twitter recently asked if journal editors aren't the most powerful people in the world, given that they decide what gets published in science journals, i.e. they get to decide what is officially true.

Yet when you think about it, it doesn't make much sense. For one there are way too many academics, and being numerous is not a characteristic of a powerful class. Also modern academics are often compared with medieval priests, which also were in charge of sett...