C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce is about a final split between all things heavenly and all things hellish.
It is told in first person, as an account of a dream. The narrator comes to his senses in a dreary town. The general mood of the inhabitants is quarrelsomeness. Later we learn that this is, of course, hell.
He gets into a conversation with someone who has been there longer, who mentions that he knows two people who journeyed to the house of Napoleon Bonaparte in hell.
“They went up and looked through one of the windows. Napoleon was there all right.”
“What was he doing?”
“Walking up and down— up and down all the time— left-right, left-right— never stopping for a moment. The two chaps watched him for about a year and he never rested. And muttering to himself all the time. ‘It was Soult’s fault. It was Ney’s fault. It was Josephine’s fault. It was the fault of the Russians. It was the fault of the English.’ Like that all the time. Never stopped for a moment. A little, fat man and he looked kind of tired. But he didn’t seem able to stop it.”
Does this remind you of anyone?
“They went up and looked through one of the windows. She was there all right.”
“What was she doing?”
“Walking up and down— up and down all the time— left-right, left-right— never stopping for a moment. The two chaps watched her for about a year and she never rested. And muttering to herself all the time. ‘It was Comey’s fault. It was WikiLeaks’s fault. It was Pepe the Frog’s fault. It was the fault of the Russians. It was the fault of misogynists.’ Like that all the time. Never stopped for a moment. A little, fat woman and she looked kind of tired. But she didn’t seem able to stop it.”
Woods is now my second favorite celebrity, second only to a certain real estate developer and reality TV star who got himself elected President through the outrageously unorthodox method of telling the truth about important things.
ABSTRACT: We examine the predictive validity of survey-measured left-right political ideology by testing whether this measure is able to explain observed choices regarding equality versus efficiency. We study this in a real-effort distribution experiment, in which decision-makers allocate money equally or efficiently… We find that, conditional on entitlement concerns, self-reported right-wing ideology significantly predicts preferences for efficiency. Reported left-wing ideology does not have predictive value in explaining preferences for equality.
Leftists don’t have beliefs. They have things which they are currently shouting about.
As just one example, before the election of 2016 it was, “Oh my god! Trump refuses to acknowledge that it’s totally impossible to interfere with US elections! That proves he’s a fascist!”
Immediately after it was, “Russia interfered with US elections! Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge that is a fascist!”
Normal people have beliefs, meaning things they believe. Leftists have slogans that they shout for political reasons. The semantic content of these slogans is not much more important than the semantic content of loud music played to keep people awake during sleep deprivation torture.
It’s the volume that matters, not the words.
As the “no election meddling!”/“election meddling!” thing shows, Orwell in 1984 did not exaggerate about the whip-fast reversal of leftists’ slogans.
People on the right need to stop giving credence to this distraction. Anonymous Conservative, e.g., has gone down the rabbit hole with this lately.
5) Note on the current holiness spiral: Aside from the main driving dynamic, which is essentially a Prisoner’s Dilemma with a large number of players, I suspect it’s exacerbated by the left’s obsession with Saul Alinsky. One of Alinsky’s “rules for radicals” is:
The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
This strikes me as good advice as long as you haven’t achieved your goals. But when you’ve achieved your goals, or all your reasonable ones anyway, and you keep up the pressure, that just means you’re pushing for things that are unreasonable, and then, in short order, downright insane. Trannies in your daughter’s school bathroom, abolishing all immigration enforcement, etc. At that point you’ve started destroying your own broad-based support. Then you start experiencing things like losing elections you thought you had a 98.5% (LOL) chance of winning.
So here is an aspect for which Alinsky’s advice helped the left at first, but eventually ended up hurting them.
By the way, we on the right are nowhere near having achieved all our reasonable goals, obviously, so every person on the right should read Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. It’s cynical as hell – he was a leftist, after all – but also practical.
6) A lot of people a month or so ago were worried that Trump was going to cuck on the border wall and the shut-down brinksmanship. I admit, I was one of them. But he’s holding firm so far, and if anything, dialing up the pressure on Congressional Democrats. See the post and comments here, for example: https://blog.jim.com/party-politics/white-pill-on-the-shutdown-and-wall/
I had forgotten that when we’re told that President Trump is caving, there are two things to keep in mind:
(1) Don’t heed the media, DUH! They love to say that he’s caving, partly because they know it can de-moralize some of his supporters and partly because they’re prone to wishful thinking.
(2) Vox Day’s two-day rule: Whenever it looks like the T-Dawg is caving, wait AT LEAST two days before you react.
There’s also a possible third force in play: That people like Ann Coulter, and many others expressing their anger at the apparent cuck-out, influenced Trump for the better. Given that, I am not at all inclined to tell everyone to remain calm all the time, because it may be that a little UN-calm is helpful. Coulter has one point of view, and though maybe she goes a leeettle too far sometimes, I think voices like hers help to remind El Maximo Presidente that we are paying attention and that the immigration issue is still crucial. It wasn’t a brief fad of public opinion that happened to matter around Election Day 2016.
7) Here’s a project for somebody with too much time on his hands:
Do bands fronted by a chick have lower life expectancy than all-dude bands?
I expect so, because a woman fronting a band will often cause unnecessary drama, strife, and conflict.
Going after this question empirically would be an enormous undertaking and I am not going to do it. If anyone wants to do it they should, I think, limit it to bands with a song in the Top 20 in a given year. Then go to Infogalactic or wherever and find the date the band formed and the date of the breakup (or the first breakup if the band gets back together later). Grabbing data from one year, say 1990, might be enough of a data set; I imagine there are a lot of bands in the Top 20 (or Top X, you choose X).
8) Red Pill in Reality: A female lion forced to live with a beta male kills him:
From: Mrs. Stanton, Middle School Music Director
To: Michael Porkwit, 8th grade
CC: Steven Brenner
Re: The Winter Holiday Concert
A memorandum about last night’s Winter Holiday Concert. As was necessary last year, I must ask you to moderate your behavior to respect those in the audience and members of the school community who have more delicate sensibilities.
1) Regarding the carol “Angels We Have Heard On High”: You started in unison with the other students, singing the opening lines
Angels we have heard on high,
sweetly singing o’er the plains.
But the next the lines are, emphatically, NOT
Why do angels eat hair pie?
It’s something no one can explain.
I Googled that expression after the concert, Mr. Porkwit, and I am appalled.
In the Introduction to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Santa’s last two reindeer are not The Donald and Blitzkrieg. (And Rudolph’s nose is not red because “He hits the hooch too much.”)
2) On your behavior backstage:
Kissing under the mistletoe is a charming and romantic holiday tradition. One does not hold it over one’s crotch and say to girls, “How about a little Christmas sugar, Sugar?”
If you look at the CC line on this email you will note that I am copying Mr. Brenner, the Choral Director for the High School, which you’ll be attending next year if you graduate eighth grade. He’ll be keeping an eye on you.
Thanking you for keeping these requests in mind,
and with Best Wishes for a Happy and Well Mannered Holiday Season,
One day Polly Proposition went out without her context. Suddenly a grammarian leapt out from an alley! “Hey, baby,” he leered, “I’d like to split your infinitive.”
Polly feared he was a serial comma. Feeling tense, she tried to dash away, but the brute caught her.
He removed her parentheses and every article she wore, and told her, “At first I wasn’t sure what gerund you are; I thought you might have been a transitive. But now I see you have a nice figure of speech.” She hoped he was neuter, until she saw his participle dangling right in front of her. But it wasn’t dangling for long; it quickly became like irony at the cite of her.
“Please, sir, I’ve never been inflected, and–”
“Don’t be so demonstrative!” he said. He bent her over a table of contents and made her give him headings. Polly couldn’t believe he made her do verbal! Then he explored her cleft sentence until he exclaimed a large amount of pleonasm.
When he was done he said he was passive voice and he wanted Polly to dominate him, to treat him like her subordinate clause, but she told him she was a nonrestrictive modifier.
Angered, he put her in an inverted position until she was totally redundant, and she felt him in her semicolon. She protested, but he ignored her and plunged into her Deep Grammar. He diagrammed her until he achieved conjunction. After he interjected Polly ran home.
“He totally treated me like a direct object!” she said to her friend Penny Preposition. “I didn’t mean to be naughty… it’s just that my boyfriend, Oxford, is so pronominally possessive. Oh, I’m such an idiolect for going out singular!”
“Poor thing,” Penny sympathized. “Had you ever done that before?”
“No,” said Polly. “He’s the first person! And not only that… He back-channeled me!”
“Oh! You mean he used your assonance?”
“Yes! But that’s not the worst,” Polly sobbed. “He didn’t just take me. In fact, he took me… out of context!” And she broke down in tears.
“You can have him arrested,” Penny said. “Do you know where he lives?”
“It’s indefinite,” Polly wept. “If only he’d been a homophone,” she added.
A few days later Polly missed her period. “Something’s implicit within me!” she bemoaned to Penny.
“Are you sure?”
Nine months later Polly started experiencing contractions, and she soon gave rise to a large set of unintended implications.
The moral of the story:
Don’t be an oxymoron: Never leave your context without your brackets, or your future could be imperfect and for your wayward ways, you’ll pay a syntax.
1) Programming note: For fans of the Red Pill in Fiction series, it’s still very much alive; I’ve just been busy with other stuff lately. Teaser: The next one is actually going to be Blue Pill in Fiction.
2) Hillary Clinton says of blacks, “they all look alike.”
Dems and NeverTrumpers are really squealing in pain over this ad, so we know we’ve got ’em!
Speaking of hostile invaders: Media coverage of the invader caravan has changed from “There’s a caravan and here’s some video of them marching toward us” (what the hell were they thinking with that?) to “That bastard Trump is trying to turn the caravan into a political issue!” Trying to turn it into a political issue!? Like it’s not inherently a political issue!? Like he started it?
Whatever. Their anger at his mentioning this fact proves they know this issue is a loser for them. Hence the “Stop talking about this!” Uh, no. We’re going to talk about it. Loudly and frequently.
I also noticed that the media has largely replaced photos and video of the caravan marching, with maps showing its progress. The left has acquired a clue that vivid images of a hostile force marching toward our border are devastating for them.
And it illustrates how insane they are that this wasn’t obvious to them to begin with.
6) In response to the President talking about the invasion caravan, the left is busting out the “Nazi/white nationalist” stuff.
Wow, in the 1940s Nazis invaded other countries. Now apparently “Nazis” are those who object to invasions!
As if that isn’t bad enough for Evergreen,
“All of this is happening as enrollment at competing schools is up. This year the University of Washington announced it was welcoming its largest freshman class ever. So this is not a regional trend. This is about Evergreen and what happened there last year.”
8) Google employees stage a walkout over Google’s “treatment of women.”
Reposting this today because it’s October first, a good date to put up stuff about skating. If your local rink isn’t open for the season yet, they will be soon. I think I’ll repost this every year on Oct. 1 (until I forget or get bored).
Aright, bitches, ’tis the season, so listen up.
Ice skating is awesome. When you’re going fast it is the closest a human being can get to flying. The American Psychiatric Association defines “not liking ice skating” as a mental disorder. It’s in their diagnostic manual.
I always see a lot of n00bs ice skating, which is great! Here are some tips.
(1) You will fall. Get used to it.
(2) Ice skating is not walking on ice. The physics is different.
When you walk, you push backward with one foot. (See Figure 1.) If your foot has good traction on the ground, it can’t slip back, though, so instead you are pushed forward. (Newton’s third law of motion, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”)
You cannot do this on ice skates, padawan, because you are on a blade that’s like a sixth of an inch thick. If you push your foot straight back, there is not enough area of the blade making contact with the ice to produce good traction. (See Figure 2.) Instead of being planted on the ice and thus propelling you forward, your foot will simply slide back. Then, because you’re a n00b, you’ll fall down. (Newton’s lesser-known fourth law of motion, “N00bs fall down.”)
How do you deal with this? Well, plainly you need more area of the blade making contact with the ice. Simply turning your foot somewhat sideways does it. (See Figure 3.) This gives your foot enough traction, so when you push it back, the only thing that can happen is that the rest of you goes forward.
Meanwhile you are pointing the other foot in roughly the direction you want to go, so you glide forward on that foot. (As per Newton’s fifth law, “Ice is slippery.”)
Then the feet switch roles, with the gliding foot becoming the foot you’re pushing back with, and the pushing foot becoming the gliding foot. Repeat.
Once you learn this, it really is easy and natural.
(3) On falling: One of the problems is that your instincts about righting yourself when you’re off balance are all wrong. Moves that help you regain your balance when you’re on terra firma don’t necessarily help you, to put it mildly, when you’re skating on blades on ice. You have to learn new reflexes (if learned reflexes isn’t an oxymoron). I can’t re-wire your neural wiring that handles these reflexes, so I don’t know what to tell you here, except that you have to practice.
(4) “Crossover,” logically enough, is the term for when you cross one foot over the other. You’ve seen this: It’s that thing a skater does where it seems like his feet are moving independently of the direction his body is traveling in, so it looks like he’s moonwalking or something.
Crossovers function best when you’re turning at high speed and really leaning into the turn. You do this naturally when you turn while running on ground, but when you do that your foot is planted. When you’re skating, in contrast, you continue to glide on that foot as you shift your weight into the turn, so that for a moment the foot is actually moving in a different direction from your body’s center of mass.
Crossovers are a great way to add speed with relatively little effort, because gravity is doing some of the work for you. When you change direction you lean in the direction you want to go in. So you start to fall in that direction. Before you fall very far, though, you put a foot out under yourself so you glide in that direction instead of falling.
By the way, when you take a turn with a fast series of crossovers, it actually is as fun as it looks. Hell, it’s much more fun. There’s a power and smoothness that is like nothing else. Cf. comment above, in re: “flying.”
(5) Control: As long as you’re not going too fast, turning is so easy that it’s practically subliminal. (No crossovers for the moment; I’m not talking about that level of speed.) What is actually going on, of course, is that you’re shifting your weight ever so slightly in the direction you want to go in. But it feels like you’re just thinking yourself into changing direction. Telekinesis!
(6) Efficiency: Another way you can tell n00bs, even after they’ve learned to not fall much, is by how much energy they waste. In extreme cases it looks like they’re expending half again as much energy as they need to per foot-pound of work accomplished.
If this is you, don’t worry; this takes care of itself over time. Your body’s natural reluctance to waste energy will quickly make you adjust so that your motion is economical.
(7) Stopping. Several n00bs at rinks have asked me for advice, particularly about how to stop.
The correct answer is: Stopping is for the weak and timid! Are you a wuss!? Are you!? Huh!? Good, I didn’t think so. Let’s have no more nonsense about stopping.
If you insist, though, you can just point yourself at a wall. That usually works.
All kidding aside: There are basically two ways to slow yourself down, and if you keep slowing long enough you’ll stop.
The first I call the two-feet method: Just point your skates toward each other, while keeping your legs stiff so your feet don’t actually come together. If your feet bump into each other you’ll fall, obviously. But if you hold your feet apart at that angle, the blades will scrape against the ice, slowing you. And if you keep doing it, stopping you.
You can feel and hear the scraping, at least if you’re not at a rink where they constantly blast fucking country music over the sound system at full volume, what the actual fuck, not that I’m complaining or anything, but what the fuck? Don’t they know that playing that shit voids the warranty on your speaker system? Anyway…
The second method of stopping is the much-admired “hockey stop.” That’s the one you think of when I say “how to stop,” where they turn sideways and kick up ice shavings.
Just turn sideways and dig the blade of your leading foot into the ice. You’re also using your trailing foot, of course, but more for balance than friction, at least the way I do it (YMMV). Also, you’re doing some rapid adjustment of your balance, naturally.
When you first try this you’re going to think, “I shall now attempt a hockey stop.” That’s well and good, but you learn faster if you just think, “Shit! I need to stop!” and imagine what you’d do if you really needed to stop suddenly. This makes it more instinctive and less cerebral.
(8) Sharpness matters so your blades dig in. You need this (a) for acceleration, so your pushing foot can bite into the ice, (b) to slow yourself and stop, and (c) to execute a crossover. (Probably for six other reasons that I’m not thinking of at the moment too.) When you’re doing a crossover, the gliding foot has to bite into the ice to a certain extent or the foot will just slide out from under you. This happened to me once when I was trying to take too steep an angle with my gliding foot. Foot shot backward, rest of body went, “Hello, ice!”
The blade has some thickness; it’s not a knife blade. It’s the blade’s edges that are sharp. Once I actually drew blood from my hand accidentally with the edge. But that was probably right after they’d been sharpened; normally blades aren’t that sharp.
(A) Little kids on the ice are cute, but DANGER DANGER DANGER!!! Partly this is because they can’t control themselves yet, and partly because even the ones who can control themselves have no social awareness whatsoever. If they see Mom over there, they will simply turn with no warning in that direction, and if you’re behind them you’re going to be doing some fancy dancing to not hit them. This leads to hilarity and occasional bruises, because of course you’re going to steer yourself into a wall or shift so that you fall, instead of plowing into a little kid.
I recently cracked my elbow into the wall of a rink because I had to dodge a little one who seemed to execute a right-angle turn right in front of me with no warning. I had to do something to avoid smashing into him and ended up saying Hi to the plexi-glass. He didn’t even realize it had happened, but I did get a sympathetic look from someone on the other side of the glass.
They can also turn quite suddenly because their centers of gravity are so low. It’s like they’re equipped with little inertialess drives.
Just remember this:
Little kids on ice = Brownian motion + inertialess drives.
(B) Use your ears as well as your eyes to help maintain awareness of other skaters in your vicinity. Thus you can avoid pulling a “little kid” and turning suddenly just when someone’s coming up behind you.
Caveat: In the corners of the rink, noise bounces around weirdly. Sometimes it sounds like someone is coming up behind you and just about to smash into you. You’re like “Gah!” but when you look around there’s no one within ten yards.
(C) Downhill skating. Sweet! But why didn’t they have this when I was 19? You kids today don’t know how good you have it, let me tell you, when I was your age I had to skate 40 miles to school, and it was uphill both ways! By God!
(D) This is a politically incorrect blog, so an observation about the sexes. Normal people, continue to read; shrieking feminist shrikes, go somewhere else (permanently).
Still with me? OK, a fun observation:
All good skaters have both power and grace, strength and fluidity. But there is a difference between good female skaters and good male skaters. Good female skaters have power – you can’t be a good skater without it – but they have more grace compared to male skaters. And good male skaters have grace – you can’t be a good skater without that, either(*) – but they have more power compared to female skaters. Just a nice little “the world is gendered” observation to affirm normality and freak out the screaming SJWs.
If you’re like most people, i.e. psychologically normal, you understand (there was a time when no one denied this!) that the sexes are different and that the differences, in so many ways, can be a source of delight to everyone. This is just a small example of that.
* Even the most brutal hockey player, 190 pounds of muscle and missing three front teeth, who starts throwing jabs at the slightest provocation, has grace on the ice. If you don’t believe me, Youtube is your friend.
(10) Have fun!
UPDATE: DON’T TEXT OR TAKE SELFIES WHILE SKATING! FUCKING RETARDS!