Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us

Posts tagged as: status

Dicks versus leftism

Back in my libertarian days I remember reading a piece (or was it an interview?) by David Friedman, about the future of freedom or something like that. He said that there are 2 mainstream wings of libertarians. There are those who think that what is needed to further freedom is a change in the culture, i.e. we need to persuade people into valuing freedom. And there are others who think that it is a legal problem, that what we need is more libertarian laws, a better designed constitution, etc. Then he said that both views were shortsighted because they fail to take into account the fact that statism may not be contingent, but a necessary by-product of states. That all bureaucracies, by their sole nature, will necessarily grow bigger and push for more statism. That the intrinsic structure of power will always push for more power. I was young and I thought this guy was a genius. What I failed to understand is how his conclusion didn't make him stop being a libertarian. It certainly helped me grow out of it.

In a way this reminds me of a similar issue in the altright movement. We are the enemies of leftism, and at the present stage most of us writers and thinkers are mainly engaged in the analysis of the leftist hegemony. The Cathedral's rule is so pervasive than rather than think "how do we get out?", many of us are still mostly concerned with the "how did we get here?". There are three mainstream etiologies of leftism circulating among us. Most famous, old, and simp...

Who built whom

So last week there was quite a brouhaha over Cathedral priestess Elizabeth Warren telling businessmen that they couldn't have made money if the state hadn't helped. All business minded people in the US have risen in righteous outrage. Which is amusing. I mean the kind of speech that Warren gave is common sense in Europe. It's drilled to schoolchildren. Nobody cares to contest its truth. But in the US there is a sizable population that grew up with Wild West movies and others who grew up reading Ayn Rand, which is the teenage jewish version of Nietzsche. And they won't tolerate this insult against the individual drive.

tax farmers

But she's right, isn't she? Roads were there, courts are there, police is around. Not sure I agree about the value of the state-educated workers, but still, what's all the fuss about? Of course it's not about the objective fact that the state is everywhere so there's always a rationale for collecting taxes. Any reader of history knows that states are little more than sanctimonious stationary bandits, but the fact is they build the infrastructure. Of course all the brouhaha is not about the reasonable point she makes, it's about the wording. "You didn't build that". For business owners, whose status and self-regard depends on their having built something...

Clausewitz, Lenin, Robin Dunbar

Power is fascinating. It shouldn't be though. Nothing good comes from the fascination towards power, especially for those who don't have it. But we can't help it. We are a political animal. Which means we share a common descent with these fellas down here:

.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TufiAgq--FU]

.

We being monkeys, we aren't really fascinated with power, in abstract. After all it's quite hard to even define what 'power' is. What does it really mean to have power? What does power do? How does it work? One of the first signs a word/concept is too vague is that it doesn't translate well. In Chinese 'power' generally translates as 力量, but political power is translated as 權力.  It doesn't help that 權 generally translates as 'right'. As in 人權, human rights. And that's a recent coining, borrowed from Western political science jargon. You'd think Chinese would have their own ideas about power after 2300 years of centralized empire, but they don't have a clue.

So most people don't have a good understanding of what power is. What we do know is powerful people. Those are everywhere, and God are we obsessed with them. Fascinated. They're everywhere, and everybody's talking about them. We are fascinated with the powerful. How did they get it? What do they want it for? And how do they use it?

And oftentimes, rather than fascination, we are more like mystified. Bemused. Stupefied. What the hell are they doing? I guess that is the commo...

High Level Entitlement Trap

I wrote recently about the High Level Equilibrium Trap in which China had fallen to in the modern era. Point was that Chinese labor and infrastructure was just efficient enough so that developing new machinery was never worth the trouble. Not to say they didn't invent machines, but they never caught on, in a similar fashion to Classical Europe which we know was full of cool gadgets which the Graeco-Romans just couldn't be bothered to use. Accumulation of capital makes less sense when you're banging Thracian slaves in your Tuscan villa since puberty.

A famous anecdote is that China had automatic spinning wheels for hemp already in the 14th century, but after the introduction of cotton it fell into disuse. The funny thing is that instead of trying to develop something similar for cotton fibers, they just went back to hand spinning and never bothered automatic a process that had been automated for centuries. They just didn't bother. Or in modern parlance, the incentives just weren't there. Also see this story about why firearms never went mainstream in China: their bows were good enough.

This piece of history is universally acknowledged as a bad thing, as machines are good, more productive, and the inability to develop machines is a bad thing, a very bad thing as the subsequent history of China shows. People...

Leftism is just an easy excuse

To expand on the Maoism post. Marquez came up with the flattery inflation theory to explain how cults of personality evolve in mechanistic terms. But the same idea can be used to explain not only Red Queen spirals of sycophancy. Any ideological innovation, both in states and inside small cults or organizations, behaves under the same principles.

Any political system, any organization, even the smallest one, is going to have people in power, and people out of power who want to be in power. Or at least marginally increase their level of power.

Which means you need to challenge those who are in power. The powerful are powerful because they have organized themselves into a power coalition, bound by ties of loyalty. A solid power block where all members are strongly loyal is, for all purposes, indestructible. So the only way to challenge the powerful is to try to incite disloyalty among its members.

More likely than not, some members of the ruling coalition are not very loyal. They'd rather defect. But they can't backstab the coalition just like that. You don't do that; it looks bad. Your comrades will go against you. There are costs to defection.

Unless you're not the only defector. You need a way to signal your intention to defect, so that other disloyal fucks such as yourself (and they're bound to be others) can join up, thus reducing the likely costs of defection. The way to signal your intention to defect is to come up with a good excuse. A good ...

The Social Module

It's common now among scientists of the brain to propose that the brain is made out of separate modules, which receive input, process it, and produce an output, often in the form of behavior. If you've read any Haidt or Pinker you know what I'm talking about.

Letting aside the question of whether the brain actually works like that, even if we understand the idea of "module" as metaphorical, it does seem to be a productive framework.

Imagine that human beings all have a number floating above their heads. Like the HP floats above a character on a RPG or a strategy videogame. Let's say it's a three-figure number. That's your Status Points. It's more of an ordinal system; 001 means you're awesome, 999 means you're some omega piece of shit.

Now, we can't actually see that number (maybe we could in the lost ancient Golden Age of Magic); but we have a pretty good feeling for it. For all purposes a big chunk of a brain is dedicated to perceiving this number in oneself and in others. Some people are better, some are worse, there's a bell curve of SP perception. But all humans are pretty good at that.

The number isn't quite fixed. It hovers around a certain range, depending on the social circle you are at on a given moment. We all know people who are alpha at work and beta at home, people who are bullied at school but high status with a different group of friends. The SP number hovering around your head changes in these circumstances, and everybody else is...

The Relentless Pursuit of Advantage

Let's see if I can expand SP theory.

Early October is the anniversary of the foundation of the People's Republic of China, and the people there get a one week vacation. As a result a billion people start moving in one direction or the other. Tourist spots in China become hell on earth, the closest thing to an ant colony. Those who can afford it choose to travel abroad, where there's bound to be less people. The yen being quite cheap these days, Japan is one of the top destinations for Chinese tourism.

You gotta give it to them, that the Japanese bureaucracy can really pull stuff off when it puts itself to work. 5 years ago I started to hear how one of the "growth strategies" of Japan was to be tourism, and the Japanese government was starting to move in order to achieve that. I thought it was madness; have they looked at a map? Japan is far away. There's not that much to see to be honest, most old cities having been burnt by Curtis LeMay, and replaced with quite uninspiring jungles of concrete. Japanese hotels are also old, small and expensive. And nobody speaks foreign languages. It can't work.

Well, 5 years later Japan has more than doubled the number of visiting tourists. From 8 to what might well reach 20 million this year. That has a lot to do with Chinese tourists. The yen being quite cheap right now, Chinese tourists find Japan to be quite cheap. It's also quite close. So a zillion Chinese came to Japa...

Paris

I have nothing interesting to say about the Paris attacks. Given that they understandably took attention out from my last post, as a blogger my duty is to try to explain the Paris attacks and their likely consequences in terms of Status Point theory. Yes I'm starting to sound like a broken radio, but at least I'm not just rambling about it's all the fault of the Jews. So listen up.

France will do nothing about these attacks. Nothing will change. The Front National won't win the elections. Immigration won't be stopped, nor French Muslims will be incentivized to leave. 120 murdered is a lot of people; but people only care as much as the media reports about it, and the media only reports about it as much as the Cathedral wants to. The Cathedral doesn't want to report about it, so in 2 weeks people will have forgotten the same they did about Charlie Hebdo. They will remember their Facebook filters and Twitter tags much more clearly than the 120 murdered. They didn't actually know any of the killed, but they of course have clear memories of how good it felt to signal virtue on social media.

If anything can happen is that the US uses the chance to bomb some more of Assad, and France joins up to signal toughness against terrorism or something; then some neocon arranges for a Russian convoy to get bombed, and Putin responds in kind. That'd be... interesting.

Why will nothing happen? Why will France not bother to defend its own people? In the capital, under the...

Facts are useless

My post on the Chinese Cultural Revolution and Mao's mangoes still gets a lot of traffic, which is nice. I do feel like the title wasn't very elegant, but I wanted to make the point about ideology as "currency". Unfortunately it didn't get through. Let's see if I can explain myself better.

An inspiration for that metaphor was a post by Nick Szabo (who apparently isn't the inventor of Bitcoin. I hope at least he did become an early adopter and is now filthy rich), about the origins of currency. He talks about how humans have been collecting and making completely useless stuff such as shells or beads since way before agriculture. Money often was not only useless, it was completely harmful, like the Chinese toy swords and plows. Metal is useful. You make weapons and farming tools with them. You don't fucking waste precious copper in making toy knives. But they did. Of course they did.

Szabo's point is that the point of money is to be a cognitive aid for remembering favors. I did something for you, if I am not to be a sucker I'll want to get something back from you eventually. So grab me that shiny shell you use as a wristband, so I can remember. David Graeber made a similar point on his famous book about Debt, which is pretty good if you get the fact that Graeber is a lame c...

Schadenfraude and Reflection

https://twitter.com/arthur_affect/status/796420056544641028

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNi1hKi9Z5c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXUaQe3ziEY

You might remember that I called leftists "psychopathic status maximizers". Look at these people. Look carefully. Do you think they "believe" in some set of values?

No. It's all crap. We know since David Hume. We humans don't really know anything. You can't. You only get to be quite certain after a lot of trial and error about a very narrow area that you are good at. Everything else is signaling. And signaling is done to gain social status. Everything is crap that people say to get at you, to gain some advantage and fuck over others.

Moldbug said it well too: journalists love power. Journalists in Elizabethan England didn't care about human rights, they cared about the Great Virgin Queen. Who was widely hated, by the way. But you'd never know because those psychopathic status maximizers just did what they had to. And all these upset leftists who are uploading their narcissist signaling to Youtube will come around if the state religion ever changes. If Trump stays in power; they will adapt. And soon enough you'd be seeing the very same people, often the same individuals saying the complete opposite things, but in the same tone of voice and with the same insufferable attitude.

Self-Deceptive Status Filters

People call me cynical because I say ideology is crap. It's just stuff people say to look good to their peers. Signaling, that is. And I support this claim by pointing out that people just don't know shit. David Hume proved that. We don't even "know" the laws of nature with any certainty. Yes, we're used to some things happening after certain things. There's chains of events that strongly hint at causality. But you can never know for sure.

Of course that kind of fuzzy knowledge is good enough for human purposes; people do get by in their lives, do things expecting consequences to occur, and they almost invariably do. But the strength of that knowledge depends on the frequency of their repetition. So people only really know what they're very familiar with. Their job, generally. This maps to Conquest's Second Law: everybody is conservative about what they know best. People are not conservative (i.e. they are leftist) on the things they don't know. Why would they be? They don't know much about it. And yet they have an opinion about it. They talk about it. Why would you talk about something you don't know about? Signaling, of course.

Signaling doesn't exactly equate leftism, but it kinda does. Signaling is about gaining status. That's why you signal, that's what living in society is about. If you were a tiger you'd be in the jungle eating animals and looking for females to rape; as it happens humans are social primates, and we need to get along with other humans...

Fighting

The Dark Enlightenment is Dark. That's the whole thing about it. The more you know the truth the darker it gets. The very term was coined by Nick Land who is pretty much a Skynet apologist. He doesn't seem humans have it in them to get out of this shit. Now most people don't agree with that, but the term Dark Enlightenment has stuck, and there's a reason for that. Many understand that truth is dark, and that we're heading to dark times.

I also get called very gloomy and pessimistic myself. I think that's a bit unfair; I write more about history, which is plenty dark, and more abstract points on how human society works. There's always some room for uncertainty when you write in the abstract. You wanna see real dark? Real, concrete, visceral dark? Take a look at this guy.

Now I don't know who this David Hines guy is. But he knows his stuff. He knows it really well. Some snippets:

https://twitter.com/hradzka/status/820107066933202944

https://twitter.com/hradzka/status/820107288459546624

https://twitter.com/hradzka/status/820107345695035393

https://twitter.com/hradzka/status/820107423683899392

https://twitter.com/hradzka/status/820107598234087425

Of course they are. The Left is about Power. The Left is where psychopathic status maximizers go in order to attain power, i.e. maximize their status. It follows that the Left will always have the...

Behaviorism in Context

Let me explain what I mean when I call myself a Behaviorist. No, it's not about blank slatism, or being able to completely manipulate anyone at will. It's about not taking what people say at face value.

See this tweet:

https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/827054957329260544

No, no. Just, no. Please, somebody just close all the psychology faculties. Or close the whole universities while they're at it. But this is completely wrong. Nonsensical, really. "People believe that..." doesn't make sense. Look at this closely. It assumes that people have stuff inside their heads ("ideas") and that that stuff inside their heads has some causative effect in how they behave. This is an utterly wrong way of thinking about this.

I mean, you don't know what's going on inside people's heads. You just don't. Look at this study in particular. They ask people about their own eating behavior and that of others. The answer to that question is not the "ideas" in the people's heads. I mean, just look at the setting closely. You have:

1. Some college students

Being asked some question by:

2. A professor or grad student

About their own behavior.

And surprise, surprise, they make themselves look good and make others look not so good. Why would they do that? Well... maybe they want to make themselves look good. Because they want to appear high-status because that's what people do.

Imagine this other setting: you are in Berkeley, and leftis...

Why do people go to class

Not to learn, certainly.

David Friedman says:

I have long been puzzled by why lecturers were not replaced by books shortly after the invention of printing made books cheap. Video is just the latest incarnation of that puzzle.

Well if you've been puzzled for long, why don't you think about it? Come on, Mr. Friedman. You're a smart guy. If you don't understand something, just think a bit harder. Or better still: think outside the box.

Some guys out there put theories about humans being wired to pay attention to lecturers, more than to books or videos. I don't know. Certainly didn't work like that for me. A boring lecture is a boring lecture whether on video or in person. I'm not the most patient guy so your mileage may vary but I surely didn't pay much attention myself to my professors unless they were particularly good.

The answer to the question is obvious. I mean, come on. People don't go to college to learn. They go because it's the official way of attaining high status. That's what education is for. The guy who just wants to learn already reads the book and doesn't bother with the lecture. The fact that we still have lectures and pay lecturers, as some guy said over there, "pay thousands of professors to give exactly the same Calcul...

Dunbar Feminism

I think I should stop selling "behaviorism". By which I mean, I should stop calling what I sell "behaviorism". I shall call it "immediatism".

Basic points are: all politics are local. All cognition is local. Nothing is abstract. People behave so as to immediate conditions. Here's an example. Sweden.

http://www.government.se/government-policy/a-feminist-government/

Let me quote:

Sweden has the first feminist government in the world. This means that gender equality is central to the Government’s priorities – in decision-making and resource allocation. A feminist government ensures that a gender equality perspective is brought into policy-making on a broad front, both nationally and internationally. Women and men must have the same power to shape society and their own lives. This is a human right and a matter of democracy and justice. Gender equality is also part of the solution to society’s challenges and a matter of course in a modern welfare state – for justice and economic development. The Government’s most important tool for implementing feminist policy is gender mainstreaming, of which gender-responsive budgeting is an important component.

Feminism gender gender feminism power gender feminism. And first. You get the gist. They also had this sort of battle picture:

...
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The Journalistic Mind

Yesterday I wrote that the leftist media (i.e. all of it) can't shut up about the alt-right because they're fascinated for finally having a worthy rival. They see the appeal.

Another possibility is that journalists basically spend all their lives in Twitter, and our Frog-Twitter friends are trolling them so hard that their Dunbar brains are just saturated with alt-right people. And so they react. And react, way beyond the real world importance of them. It's like high-school kids talking all the time about their classmates. Of course they do, it's where they spend their whole lives. But it's all absolutely trivial in hindsight.

Here's some evidence of how journalists work, and why they're brains are basically on drugs with Twitter. This is a passage from David Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest, a 1972 book detailing how the Cathedral back then, the media and the bureaucracy, botched the Vietnam War because they couldn't stop sucking each others' dicks. Basically because everybody wanted to suck JKF's dick.

David Halberstam was a fairly successful journalist, who took a long leave of several years in order to write a book. He writes how hard it was to quit his usual routine as a journalist for the lonely job of writing a book who would only be complete after years of work.

The hardest thing I had to do at the start was to take leave of my byline for the next four years. Ours is a profession built upon the immediacy of rew...

Biological Leninism

This is the first of three essays on the topic of Biological Leninism, the organizational principle of the contemporary left. You can find the second part here, and the third part here. I also gave an interview with some more thoughts on the topic which you can read here.

It's 100 years now since the Russian Revolution. The Soviet Union. Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Leninism. It's been 100 years already, but you realize how present the whole thing remains when you look at the press these days. People are still praising or damning the revolution. As if it mattered anymore. As if it were something more than history. As if the left and right of today had remotely anything in common with the left and right of Lenin's day.

I won't praise Lenin, an evil man. But great men are often quite evil. I'm not very interested in Lenin, the man; but I'm very interested in Leninism. Lenin is very dead (if not yet buried, I wonder what Putin is waiting for); but Leninism is quite alive. And the Western press has just realized that China, the second power in the world, in place to become the first in a few years, is a Leninist state. It's taken 5 years of Xi Jinping shouting every day about the Leninist orthodoxy of the Communist Party of China for people to realize. N...

Bioleninism, the first step

This is the second of three essays on the topic of Biological Leninism, the organizational principle of the contemporary left. You can find the first part here, and the third part here. I also gave an interview with some more thoughts on the topic which you can read here.

Some things I said in Twitter yesterday. Man, 280 characters feel *way* better.

https://twitter.com/thespandrell/status/940732305265610752

Bronze Age warfare used to be about great lords going around in their chariots, shooting arrows here and there, then getting on foot and engaging in Single Combat. Early Samurais also did that. They'd go around on their horses, shouting who they were, their house, their pedigree.

But eventually somebody figured out that winning a war is really profitable. So they'd just raise a big army of common people, give them cheap weapons, a cheap shield, drill them into having rock-tight discipline. And they'd win. A disciplined team always wins against the most talented man.

The theory of democracy was that rich people, with the leisure to educate themselves about public policy, and a financial interest in the government of the nation, would run for individual office, represent their constituency, be reelected if they did their job well, replaced if they didn't. But laws are p...

Leninism and Bioleninism

This is the third of three essays on the topic of Biological Leninism, the organizational principle of the contemporary left. You can find the first part here, and the second part here. I also gave an interview with some more thoughts on the topic which you can read here.

Happy New Year everyone. I left a bit of a cliffhanger on my last post, which I intended to resolve in a few days, but I've been pretty busy, not really in the mood to write long form.

I am sorry about that, but do note, this blog is a free service, so I hope you understand it doesn't quite take the priority of my time. Again, there's a Bitcoin address at the sidebar, so if you want me to write more, I'm sure we can arrange something.

2017 has been a quite eventful year. I guess the overall mood was disappointment. Trump didn't get anything done. Doesn't seem like he'll ever get anything done. Europe slowed down the refugee invasion but not by much. And China has realized that AI makes state control so much easier. It's showing the way in censorship and crowd control. All China is doing will be done on the West in a few years, with the aggravating factor that Western states will use Orwellian tools to ...

Interview on Bioleninism

A few weeks ago, a great artist who runs the blog Parallax Optics was kind enough to ask me for an interview on Bioleninism, to follow up on a great piece he published recently where he interviewed the man responsible for the Twitter account Woke Capital. That interview was great, and I had never done an interview before, so I thought it could be a good idea to try this new format. As it happened, the interview went great, and I very much enjoyed the process.

What follows is the whole text of the interview for those who missed it up at Parallax's. Let me use this chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy year end holidays. 2018 has been a quite eventful year. Hopefully it has been good for you personally as well (unlikely if you're invested in the stock market, but nobody's perfect). A lot has been going on in the reactionary sphere, much of it good. Bioleninism has become a widely known concept. Here's for a great 2019.


Bioleninism has widely been acknowledged as perhaps the most important contribution to reacti...

Class Struggle is underrated

So our good Russian friend Anatoly Karlin had this take on his blog

http://www.unz.com/akarlin/climate-bioleninism/

I paste the complete link because the URL is quite ominous, "climate bioleninism". Imagine that. Karlin there makes a point that ideas that flatter the upper-class, like global warming, become entrenched, while ideas that they find inconvenient, like the genetic load of IQ or HBD more generally get killed or ostracized, no matter how solid the science behind them.

https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1133547242588168195

Seems Karlin thought I wouldn't like talk of Class Struggle, but he's wrong. I'm a great fan of the idea. The perhaps most basic part of my thinking is that whatever exists, exists for a reason. It follows that whatever is popular must have something going on for it. I'm certainly no Marxist, but there is much wisdom in Marxist theory, and I personally think that Class Struggle was a conceptual bomb which was so good and so powerful at the time that it basically destroyed and replaced Christianity all by itself. Well, I exaggerate, but not by much.

Incidentally, and I only learned of this recently, apparently in China, the idea ...

Hong Kong and the Perils of Nativism

There's an old saying, that Paris would be lovely without the Parisians. I don't actually agree with that. They can be a bit arrogant, sure, but on the whole I find Parisian men quite civil and Parisian women classy and sexy. So I hope they stay.

There is one place though where that saying absolutely fits. Hong Kong. HK is a very cool city. It is a first world city built on a landscape of high tropical mountains, and you can see how the force of modern industry has made humans conquer the environment, fitting skyscrapers into the mountain bedrock and open-air escalators to reach them with ease.

https://twitter.com/CarlZha/status/1165490546883715074

Hong Kong also produced Hong Kong cinema, one

of the few non Anglo film industries with a distinctive style and which aims to

entertain and not preach to the viewers. There's also Hong Kong music, which...

well, no, that's pretty bad. On the other hand Hong Kong has, in my view, one

the best food industries in the world, or at least had until 5 years ago when

mainland China started to up its game. All in all, Hong Kong is a great place.

I used to go often and enjoy every visit

But that doesn't mean it has a great people. Oh no. Hong Kong is indeed a cool city...