1. Welfare for invaders worsens the problem.
“The Welfare Magnet Hypothesis: Evidence from an Immigrant Welfare Scheme in Denmark,” by Ole Agersnap, Amalie Jensen and Henrik Kleven. American Economic Review: Insights vol. 2, no. 4, December 2020, pp. 527-42.
ABSTRACT: We study the effects of welfare generosity on international migration using reforms of immigrant welfare benefits in Denmark. The first reform, implemented in 2002, lowered benefits for non-EU immigrants by about 50 percent, with no changes for natives or EU immigrants. The policy was later repealed and reintroduced. Based on a quasi-experimental research design, we find sizable effects: the benefit reduction reduced the net flow of immigrants by about 5,000 people per year, and the subsequent repeal of the policy reversed the effect almost exactly. The implied elasticity of migration with respect to benefits equals 1.3. This represents some of the first causal evidence on the welfare magnet hypothesis.
2. The first rule of holiness spiral is…
A remark I made in the comments on my “True Beliefs” post of May 2020:
“Sooner or later the concept of holiness spiral—perhaps under a different name—is going to be a standard concept in political science, sociology, etc., and preventing them is going to be an acknowledged Big Problem. But since current academics are involved in a holiness spiral, they cannot acknowledge that a holiness spiral is happening, so a significant change in academia probably won’t happen until after The Big Show.”
It’s notable that “holiness spiral” is a thoughtcrime which people involved in a holiness spiral cannot acknowledge. Why? Because participating in a holiness spiral requires keeping a rhetorical straight face. If you say “The average woman makes just as good a soldier as the average man,” you can’t add, “And by the way, I’m only saying that because I’m in a holiness spiral.” That defeats the purpose, which is to pretend to assert the proposition sincerely. Acknowledging that there is a holiness spiral, i.e. acknowledging that people are saying things that make no sense for political reasons, ipso facto puts one outside the holiness spiral.
Thus for people in a holiness spiral there is a kind of unspeakability of it. It is not like being in an old-fashioned socialist revolution, in which you could say to your socialist friends, “We’re in a socialist revolution and I’m a socialist revolutionary.” It’s not like being in the mafia, where you can talk about the omerta (code of silence) with other mafia guys, as long as you don’t break omerta and blab to outsiders. A holiness spiral is a weird social dynamic which by its very nature prohibits its participants from ever speaking of it.
While this is not rational, it is presumptively evolutionarily optimal: Falsely detecting agency where there is none generally has small or zero costs, but for an animal that deals with social dynamics constantly, failing to detect agency where it exists could be very costly. Suppose you have an enemy who tries to kill you by rolling a boulder down a hill at you. If you think it’s just an accident, you’re not alert for later attempts on your life. As a result, you die. If you have a bias to thinking it was an attempted murder, you’re alert for further attempts on your life, and you live.
In contrast, a false positive, i.e. thinking that it was an attempt to kill you if it actually wasn’t, doesn’t cost you anything.
So of two targets of attempted murder, one with a bias for concluding that there was agency survived to leave more genes in successive generations. Since neural structures are to an extent inherited, evolutionary pressure favors people who over-detect agency.
That humans are adapted to think in terms of agency is obvious, and there’s an wonderfully simple and persuasive demonstration of this in psychological experiments: The Wason Selection Task.
Basically: Take a certain pure logic problem and present it to people. Only about 10% of them solve it correctly. Take exactly the same logic problem, in terms of formal structure, but embed it in an example in which someone might be trying to get away with breaking a social rule. Catching rule-breakers requires solving the logic problem. Result: 75% to 80% of people get it correct. Plainly it engages a brain module that evolved to detect cheaters.
(By the way, the logic problem involves a rule of logical inference called the contrapositive. My blog’s tagline from 2020 illustrates this: “If you’ve got a modem, I’ve got an opinion. Therefore, by the contrapositive: If I don’t have an opinion, you don’t have a modem.”
If this makes you laugh (and I hope it does), it’s because the contrapositive is not an intuitive mental rule for humans, outside of certain social contexts that we’re evolved to deal with.)
4. Outside of Dungeons and Dragons, there is no “lawful evil.”
In 1986, Fortune magazine ran an article on the 50 biggest Mafia bosses in the country. Thirty-three years later, 49 of them were dead. The only one who survived was Michael Franzese.
Franzese says “I don’t know one family of any member of that life, including my own, that hasn’t been totally devastated.”
Evil really fucks up the evil. They like to pretend that they’re happy, that they’re successful, that they’re winners, that they can easily cooperate with each other… but it’s all lies. It simply isn’t true. Their life expectancy sucks. They’re unhappy, stressed out, devastated, and constantly at war with each other.
“But evil is winning!” you say. “They just terminated American democracy and installed themselves in power!” I didn’t say that they don’t fuck up the world for the non-evil as well as each other. Obviously they do. But they are not at ease, can never be at ease, because they’re a pack of cannablistic jackals (apologies to jackals) who attack each other as naturally as they attack anyone else.
See New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s current crisis: His fellow leftists are not only attacking him rhetorically (an excellent example of Jim’s “He’s falling, falling, fallen” rhetoric, by the way); they’ve appointed an “impeachment committee” in the state legislature! This guy was until five seconds ago a darling of the left, a Democrat whose COVID policies killed lots of old white people (i.e. Republican-leaning voters). Now Dems think they don’t need him any more – it’s a solidly left-voting state – so they try to oust him. I chuckle with satisfaction whenever I think of how bewildered he must be right now.
Joining the leftist gang at best provides you with temporary protection from them, which can end unpredictably at any time.
5. Purple Pill in Fiction: The Lives of Tao
The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu is a mediocre (being generous) SF book and the male-female stuff is mostly noticeably blue-pilled. For example Our Hero, who is sucked into some high stakes cloak-and-dagger stuff at the start of the book, has to learn all kinds of combat. In the hand-to-hand training, a chick is constantly beating the crap out of him, and this is portrayed as not at all being a barrier to her being attracted to him. Lordy.
However, on page 329 (paperback edition) we suddenly get a red pill passage in the form of a little speech made to Our Hero by the father of a chick he’s dating. The thrust of the speech is, “My daughter’s getting close to The Wall, so you’d better not be toying with her.” There is nothing startling in this passage (especially for a reader of this blog), except for the fact that it comes in the middle of a book which is otherwise so blue-pilled. And after it, we go back to the blue-pill nonsense. Interesting.
Here’s The Conversation, edited for brevity.
“Look, Roen,” Louis began, “let’s get a few things clear. This is the second time that Jill has introduced us to one of her boyfriends, so it’s a big deal. Now, I’m just a country boy from the swamps of Alabama, so I’m going to tell you some of my country-boy sexist philosophies, and you’re gonna listen.”
Roen gulped and nodded. His mind raced as her tried to mask his terror. [Don’t be such a pussy!]
“I like you,” Louis said. “So here’s my philosophy on life and women. I’ve always viewed God as very fair. Girls in their twenties – the world’s their oyster. They’re beautiful. Older men want to date them. Guys pay for everything, and everyone desires them. Men on the other hand, when we’re in our twenties, we’re dumb, we’re poor, and women our age want nothing to do with us.” [They sure don’t if you don’t know how to handle them.]
“But like I said,” Louis continued, “Our Lord is a fair and good God. Women shine bright, but they burn out fast. [Like Roy Batty in Blade Runner.] Their lives are over by thirty. What do you geeks call it? Half-life? Shelf-life? Whatever. It’s shorter than for us men. They have to find the right guy right away or it becomes a game of settling. Guys are like wine. We get finer with time. We start earning money. [Money doesn’t matter as much as blue-pilled people think, but anyway…] We become more confident. Younger girls will still date us. You get me?”
Roen nodded. “I think so,” he mumbled politely.
“So,” Louis continued, “if you waste the best years of my little girl’s life because of your fine-wine-aging process, I’m going to kill you.”
[Appropriate way to deal with this: Get the father fuck-faced drunk, drag him into a poker game and clean him out, then escort him home. (You also might learn some Irish drinking songs. It just hit me, I don’t know enough Irish drinking songs.)]
The father adds, annoyingly, “I might even call you son one day, as long as you know how to hunt and fish.”
What is this weird “son” thing? And who likes to fish? I used to know a couple of dudes who lived near me who would get up at like four in the morning to go fishing. What the fuck? You’d be hard pressed to get me out of bed at 4:00 in the morning for anything other than my house being on fire, let alone for fishing, a pastime so boring it makes golf look dynamic.
By the way, there’s another irritating feature of this novel, which I’ve been seeing a lot lately. Advice to aspiring authors tells them to make their opening chapter, especially their opening paragraphs, exciting or weird or otherwise grabby so the reader is hooked and drawn in. The problem is, a lot of mediocre authors have internalized this advice and spent a lot of time refining their first couple of chapters so the stuff is actually reasonably good. Then you read it and the rest of it turns out to be mediocre pap. Grrr. Thank goodness for libraries; they’ve saved me from buying a lot of crap the first few chapters of which looked good on Amazon.
6. On attempts to design religions or found political movements in existing religions:
Most regulars over at Jimbo’s already get this, I think, but it doesn’t seem to be stated tersely anywhere, so for clarity: Outside of its explicitly prescriptive parts (“Don’t steal”), your religion should restrict itself, as far as possible, to assertions that are true, or assertions that are metaphysical and therefore meaningless by positivist standards. Assertions that are empirically meaningful and false are an entry point for a lot of problems.
“Alligators have teeth.” OK.
“Alligators have metaphysical souls which survive their deaths.” OK.
“Alligators do not have teeth.” No, bad!!! This gets you into all sorts of trouble. See modern leftism with its insistence that e.g. men and women are interchangeable, and so forth. Founding major parts of the ideology on such naked falsehoods has led to all kinds of avoidable complications for the left, viz. necessitating taking over the entire media and educational establishments just to slow the propagation of truth.
(Lately leftism has entered an advanced stage in which it insists that, e.g., everyone assent to the notion that a person’s sex is whatever the person wants it to be, a flagrantly obvious falsehood which is asserted because it is a flagrantly obvious falsehood. But that is not doctrine designed to acquire and unify adherents; it is a naked bullying power flex perpetrated by an entrenched ideology. It generates opposition; leftists are willing to pay that price because they’re a bunch of power-mad sadists. And of course they’re caught up in a holiness spiral.)
MarketWatch October 1, 2020 runs an article on saving stategy:
The accompanying photo is very, extremely, CURRENT YEAR.
- Supreme Court will review Trump plan to exclude undocumented immigrants from calculations for congressional seats.
WHAT THE FUCK? Why is this even being “reviewed”? The US government doesn’t represent people who aren’t citizens of the US, let alone those who snuck into our country illegally! What the fucking fuck!?
The Washington Post says, “The justices put the case on a fast track and said they will hold a hearing Nov. 30. By then, it probably will be a nine-member court again, if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed, giving the court a 6-to-3 conservative majority.”
(No, there will be no 6-3 “conservative majority,” since Roberts always votes with the left when (a) it’s important, and (b) his vote makes a difference to the outcome. We will see if we have an occasional 5-4 sanity majority.)
How can this even be a question that is being asked?!
- Why is there no substitute for experience? Can this fact of life be explained in a terse way? Yes, actually. Here’s Ted Chiang in “The Lifecycle of Software Objects,” an otherwise pedestrian story about an attempt to create AI:
Experience isn’t merely the best teacher; it’s the only teacher. If she’s learned anything raising Jax, it’s that there are no shortcuts; if you want to create the common sense that comes from twenty years of being in the world, you need to devote twenty years to the task. You can’t assemble an equivalent collection of heuristics in less time; experience is algorithmically incompressible.
Experience is algorithmically incompressible. That nails it.
Real-world experience is somewhat compressible, of course; to use a thematic example from this blog, that’s why we preach “Chicks like guys who aren’t that into them” to young men. But the application of that idea in the real world is, in technical terms, nuanced as fuck. Memorizing the dictum orients the learner to focus on certain aspects of female behavior, and so accelerates the learning… but just memorizing the dictum doesn’t even get you halfway to using it effectively. That can only be done by the algorithmically incompressible process of going out and interacting with real-world chicks.
In the language of information theory, women are high-information, thus not (completely) compressible.
This is why Claude Shannon was such an unstoppable bad-ass at pickup. (I kid.)
Obviously chicks are merely an illustrative example. It’s much more broad and deep and profound than that; it’s about life in general.
At least that rink’s ice is open!
Via Ace: http://ace.mu.nu/archives/390769.php
- Study: 56% of Liberal Women Under Age 30 Have Been Diagnosed as Mentally Ill
Scandal erupts in the psychiatric community as they try to figure out how they missed the other 44%.
- This AI meme generator has some funny stuff, e.g.
Via Ace: http://ace.mu.nu/archives/387051.php.
- Eddie Van Halen died earlier this month, as I lamented in a recent post. It occurred to me later that most artists don’t attain their peak reputation until after their deaths. Therefore, his reputation is probably going to go up from its already Guitar Mount Everest level to… What’s above Guitar God?
(Update: I’d originally meant Mount Rushmore, but now that I think of it, Mount Everest works too.)
I’d planned on reposting this every year on October first, but I forgot because the goddamn virus bullshit involves closing all the rinks down! Fuck, I’m going crazy! Anyway, if you’re a noob and you can skate in your area (outside or whatever), you might get some benefit from this.
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!
Speed runs that would make your eyeballs bleed. Insane harmonics. Outrageous end-of-the-world divebombs.
But that was just the start. All this and an awe-inspiring sense of melody, and absolute JOY in playing: The lively, joyful spontaneity of his solos, that I’m-doing-something-crazy grin on his face, the sheer LOVE he had for playing guitar.
Eddie always WAS the band. They changed lead singers like a teenage girl trying on outfits at the mall, but the heart of it was always the guitar. Someone once said that even in the songs that weren’t their best, who cares, because “You always knew there was a solo coming up.” The lyrics, in the early days, probably took about as long to write as they did to sing, and Lord knows you weren’t listening for Alex Van Halen’s just-behind-the-beat drumming (so annoying, stop playing like you have bricks attached to the ends of your drumsticks). No, it was always Eddie’s guitar playing.
The band Van Halen was often mis-categorized as metal, but this was wrong: They were a hard rock band. You could also call them a party band. David Lee Roth, way back in the early days, said, “We play rhythm and blues, shot from a canon.” To get a sense of “rhythm and blues, shot from a canon,” listen to their take on Ice Cream Man from their first album. Unfuckingbelieveable. Play it loud.
From their self-titled debut album:
Eruption, of course. When I first heard that in the mid-1980s, after I had been playing guitar for a couple of months, I blurted, “Is that just one guy?” A lot of people thought he had doubled himself up on the tape. Not a chance; he played it live all the time. (And now I’ll never get to see that! Fuck!)
An underappreciated piece on this album is On Fire, where the guitar work is pure aggression. And yet it’s so full of Eddie’s usual joyful energy. If such a thing as joyful aggression is possible, the guitar work on this song embodies it.
But really, the whole album, with the exception of the perhaps regrettable Atomic Punk.
Second album, Van Halen II: Spanish Fly, which is Eruption squared… on an acoustic. One guitar player in the comments: “Inhuman.” (Another comment, from yesterday: “Angels get to listen to this live now.” Reading that kinda fucked me up.) If you know anything at all about the guitar and have never heard this, click through and listen. After you regain the power of speech you’ll thank me.
And the intro to Women in Love is cool. On this one he does double himself up, or rather, he uses a lot of delay to get the notes to pile up on each other in just the right way. Just listen to the first 0:33.
If you just wanna rock, the best songs on this album are the anthems Outta Love Again and Somebody Get Me a Doctor.
Fair Warning: Unchained. The opening riff is pure rock and roll, pulled down from Plato’s World of Forms and laid down on vinyl. Eddie’s guitar sounds like a fucking chainsaw.
1984: The best guitar work is on Girl Gone Bad and House of Pain, though the latter doesn’t really start blazing until the second half. You can also listen to a semi-isolated guitar track on Girl Gone Bad; the highlight is the solo from around 2:20 to 2:50.
5150: Try the title track. The only opening riff in all of rock that equals the one from Unchained.
Best of Both Worlds is also a fun stompy romp, not for blazing guitar work, but just because. Once I heard this on the car radio with my mother. When the lyrics got to “You don’t have to die and go to heaven, and hang around to be born again,” she was like, “That’s so true!” LOL, Van Halen, mother-approved!
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge: Try the solo on Pleasure Dome. Definitely not one of their better songs, and it runs too long. But damn, that solo! Dear God! It goes from about 4:00 to 5:05.
One moment from I Can’t Stop Loving You. Wait, don’t laugh! Yes, it’s a sappy song, but there’s one moment when Eddie’s (very brief) solo, having just been a very simple melody for about 2 bars, suddenly goes into an amazingly fast run across the fretboard. The whole passage is only 2:36 to 2:44. And it’s absolutely fluid! There are other guitarists who can play that fast, but no one I’ve heard could play something that blazingly fast and make it sound so fluid, so natural, so effortless. It’s like water running over some rocks. And this, by the way, is one of the many reasons that Van Halen imitators always sound like exactly that: Van Halen imitators. No one can really copy the man; it’s simply impossible.
I could go on. I haven’t even mentioned highlights from all the albums. But this isn’t supposed to be comprehensive, just to give you an idea what all the fuss is about. Though in a sense this blog post is pointless: If you don’t understand the guitar (or fretted string instruments in general) it might be impossible to convey to you what a master Eddie Van Halen was. (IS, dammit, and always will be The Master.) And if you do have any acquaintance with the guitar, you’re almost certainly already familiar with his work. But on the off chance that you’re not, wow, what a treat you’re in for!
Heaven just gained an awesome guitarist. God, the rocking that there was in heaven last night!
My favorite comment from the last couple of days: Edward Van Halen, predeceased by many stereo speakers.
R.I.P. King Edward.
(1) Video: Arizona Senator Martha McSally calls CNN “reporter” a “liberal hack” to his face on camera. It’s around the 0:45 mark in the linked vid. I originally saw this clip at RazorFist/Rageaholic (lost that link) and he comments that that moment made him want to propose marriage. That was exactly what I blurted when I saw the clip.
Her: “Manu, you’re a liberal hack. I’m not going to talk to you.”
Me: “Marry me!”
McSally is now selling “liberal hack” T-shirts, bless her.
(2) Speaking of leftist agitprop operatives, here’s a practical definition of chutzpah: Greg Sargent of the Washington Post:
“Trump and his propagandists are actively trying to engineer violent civil conflict, by signaling to white Americans that they are under siege in a race war that they’re losing.”
Unbelievable. A lefty reporter, in the current environment, claiming Trump is stirring up civil conflict? The brazenness of leftist lying really is unlimited.
(3) Starting in early June there was a burst of people arriving at my site from searches involving the idea of a second American civil war. While most search engines now mask the search terms that lead people to your site, not all of them do. There have been occasional searches on this theme over the years, but only two or three per year. Check out the recent ones:
June 7: 1 hit from the search term second american civil war.
On June 8 there were two such terms, the 2nd civil war has started, which generated 4 hits, and possibility of a second american civil war, which generated 1 hit.
June 10: second american civil war is starting.
Jun 11: what a second us civil war would look like 2020
June 12: 2nd american civil war 2020
June 23: the 2nd civil war has started
June 24: will the left start a civil war
June 30: civil war 2020
July 1: when will the left start civilwar (sic)
July 5: can the left win the civil war
July 14: Two, time to give the left war tehy want (sic) and is the united states heading for a civil war
People can see what’s happening.
(4) After the riots of late May through (so far) mid-July, the left is freaking out about Trump winning the November election. An additional reason is the Congressional elections. Now that everyone paying attention knows that Democrats are the party of literally burning buildings down, the Dems’ chances of re-taking the Senate just got much lower, and their chance of losing the House got a lot higher. No wonder they’re freaking out!
I pray that every soccer Mom in the U.S.A. sees Minneapolis and all those other cities burning.
(5) I wonder if social media might, in the last analysis, be good for stopping the holiness spiral short of an all-out civil war. The reason is that it makes the holiness spiral accelerate so fast that normies can’t help but notice.
Even people on the left are beginning to notice, and yelp about it. E.g. the petition that Noam Chomsky et al recently signed, Matt Taibbi’s recent article (https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-left-is-now-the-right), etc.
Nah, pipe dream. Holiness spirals are so inherently unstable by their very nature that they can’t really stop, short of being forced to stop by externally-imposed force. But it is nice that even the “old” brand of leftists like Chomsky – himself pretty damn extreme – are starting to wish the brakes could be applied. That cannot hurt, and maybe it will help.
(6) It’s a notable fact that the right is now the intellectual leading edge of the western world. The left is doing nothing, intellectually, but trying to come up with new ways of calling people “racist” (…sexist, this-aphobe, that-aphobe, etc.). While the right has come up with, to name just a couple, the concepts of holiness spirals, shit-testing (as a concept that is used in political thinking), hypergamy (ditto), Chesterton’s fence (ditto), etc. Intellectually, the left has nothing but “White people are horrible!” and lamely trying to come up with new ways of saying that. The Right is where all the energy, intelligence, intellectual openness, and sheer intellectual alive-ness are. People on the right are not just fighters. We’re intellectually alive and curious and genuinely interested in understanding things. That never existed on the left; it was always just another lie (“left-wing intellectuals”), which they used to help them consolidate power in the universities.
(7) Missouri: Prosecutor Kim Gardner’s Office Tampered With Evidence to Charge The McCloskey’s With Crimes. The handgun the woman was holding was not operative, thus under Missouri law preventing them from charging her with “felonious threat” or whatever. So the prosecutor’s office re-assembled the gun so it would be operative, so they could charge them with a felony. Holy fuck.
In response to being called out for falsifying evidence, the (black) prosecutor and her defenders called the people calling it out “racist.”
President Trump has been following this case. He should send federal marshalls in to arrest her for conspiracy to deprive people of their civil rights, which is a felony. He really should do this. It’s a perfect case for this kind of action. What’s the media going to do to shield her, defend evidence tampering? (Of course they will, but not effectively.) If nothing else the light his tweets shine on it will prevent her from getting away with it. But that’s way too little in response to the crime. And when will we ever get another case this clear?
(8) Let’s end on a couple of cheery notes:
July 23, 2020: Twitter ad revenue plummets by 23%:
Twitter (TWTR) is actively exploring additional ways to make money from its users, including by considering a subscription model, CEO Jack Dorsey said Thursday. The move comes as Twitter suffers a sharp decline in its core advertising business.
“You will likely see some tests this year” of various approaches, Dorsey told analysts on an investor call held to discuss the company’s second quarter earnings results. Dorsey said he has “a really high bar for when we would ask consumers to pay for aspects of Twitter,” but confirmed that the company is seeking to diversify its sources of revenue…
Twitter reported second-quarter ad revenues of $562 million, a 23% decrease compared to the same quarter a year ago.
Quarterly ad revenue of $562 million seems nice, but the 23% drop, and other info they have, obviously is making them alarmed, or they wouldn’t consider the subscription model, a desperate move for a social media company.
Ace comments: “Most of the country… remains captive in their own homes with only the internet for diversion, and Twitter still can’t sell ads? LOL.”
(9) The ideal woman, based on porn data:
Based on [porn website] xHamster’s survey of 50,000 respondents from over 150 countries, Cosmopolitan Magazine reported in May 2019 that “the ideal dream woman is a 25-year-old, 5’5”, Eurasian, bisexual woman named ‘Shy Yume.’” This supposed “ideal” woman has blue eyes, straight, dark, long hair, an “average” body size, “fully shaved” genitals, and is “not a feminist.”
Sounds pretty fucking awesome to me, though I’d go a couple of years younger than 25. How about 20. And who cares what her name is?
Here’s a fitting celebrity. Can you identify her?
It’s actually a digital amalgamation of Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie.
Since I’ve read Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil a couple of times I allow myself the liberty of dipping back into it at random every now and then when I have some free minutes. Here are some reactions from a random sampling from June 2020:
1. Nietzsche as Frenchman
The opening of the Preface:
Supposing truth is a woman— what then? Are there not grounds for suspecting that all philosophers, insofar as they have been dogmatists, have been very inexpert about women? That the gruesome seriousness and clumsy obtrusiveness with which they have usually approached truth so far have been awkward and very improper methods for winning a woman’s heart? What is certain is that she has not allowed herself to be won— and today every kind of dogma is left standing dispirited and discouraged. If it is left standing at all!
My first reaction: Interesting opening. Unfortunately the book does not consistently live up to this opening, though it has its moments.
My second reaction: How very French! If you didn’t know N. was German, you’d probably guess that was written by a Frenchman. You can see why post-moderns like Nietzsche: For stylistic as well as substantive reasons.
Also, note the red pill knowledge here: The gruesome seriousness and clumsy obtrusiveness with which they have usually approached truth so far have been awkward and very improper methods for winning a woman’s heart. Indeed. The essence of seduction is obliqueness.
Speaking of French sensibilities, try this from Section 1:
The will to truth, which will still tempt us to many a hazardous venture, the famous truthfulness of which all philosophers have hitherto spoken with respect— what questions has this will to truth not laid before us! What strange, wicked, questionable questions! It is already a long story— yet it seems as if it had hardly begun. Is it any wonder if we at last grow distrustful, lose patience, and turn impatiently away? That we should finally learn from this Sphinx to ask questions too? Who is it really that puts questions to us here? What in us really wants “truth”?
Indeed we made a long halt at the question about the cause of this will—until at last we came to a complete stop before a yet more fundamental question. We asked about the value of this will. Suppose we want the truth: Why not rather untruth? And uncertainty? Even ignorance?
The problem of the value of truth came before us—or was it we who came before the problem? Which of us is the Oedipus here? Which the Sphinx? It is a rendezvous, it seems, of questions and question marks.
Not sure what the hell all that means, but it sure sounds profound if you don’t think about it too carefully. And oh so French.
This part again: The problem of the value of truth came before us—or was it we who came before the problem? That sounds like a low-brow person’s stereotypical image of “intellectual bullshit spewed by ivory tower eggheads.” Nietzsche’s not doing intellectuals any favors here.
Nietzsche employed his style… or did his style employ Nietzsche? Which is the artist here, and which the art? Or is this questionable question too dangerous to ask? Perhaps it will take harder men, sterner philosophers of the future, to look this question in the eye and (blah blah).
I had a friend who maintained that N. took himself way too seriously. I think not even N’s fiercest partisans can deny his guilt on that count. Here is a relatively mild sampling, from the end of the same section:
It almost seems to us as if the problem [of the desirability of truth] had never been put so far— as if we were the first to see it, fix it with our eyes, and risk it.
2. Nietzsche as Stereotypical “Nietzschean”
The first sentence of Section 29:
Independence is for the very few; it is a privilege of the strong.
That sounds like something that stereotypical Nietzsche would say. There actually is a lot of justice in Nietzsche’s popular reputation. What people like Otto from A Fish Called Wanda miss is that N’s interest in strength and independence were primarily about emotional and intellectual virtues.
3. Nietzsche as Post-Modernist
From Section 38:
The French Revolution… noble and enthusiastic spectators all over Europe have contemplated it from a distance and interpreted it according to their own indignations and enthusiasms for so long, and so passionately, that the text finally disappeared under the interpretation. So a noble posterity might once more misunderstand the whole of the past, and in that way alone make it tolerable to look at.
Or rather, isn’t this what has already happened? Have not we ourselves been that “noble posterity”? And isn’t now precisely the moment when, insofar as we comprehend this, it is all over?
In this passage, especially the emphasized part— the emphasis is in the original— one again can see why the post-moderns liked N.
4. Nietzsche as (Possible) Social Darwinist
From Section 62:
The hitherto paramount religions… are among the principal causes which have kept the type of “man” upon a lower level: they have preserved too much that which should have perished… when they had given comfort to the sufferers, courage to the oppressed and despairing, a staff and support to the helpless, and when they had allured from society into convents and spiritual penitentiaries the broken-hearted and distracted: what else had they to do in order to work systematically in that fashion, and with a good conscience, for the preservation of all the sick and suffering, which means, in deed and in truth, to work for the deterioration of the European race?
It’s not clear to me whether N. is actually talking about genetics here or purely cultural effects. But he is obviously saying that coddling the weak is bad.
5. Nietzsche as Intellectual and Would-Be Prophet
From Section 212:
The philosopher, being of necessity a man of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, has ever found himself, and had to find himself, in contradiction to his today: his enemy was ever the ideal of today.
A fun perspective on intellectuality… but it has been the source of much mischief in the last 100 years. Think of Marxism, for example, with its hordes of genocidal disciples convinced they were leading humanity into the future.
Also, this quote exemplifies a hilarious theme in Nietzsche’s thought: he’s a real believer in progress! This from the guy who sees himself as a provocative Loki, running around questioning everything, kicking out the legs from the sanctified beliefs of his day by means of radical skepticism! In the passage I quoted from Section 1 he even goes so far as to question whether truth is valuable. Yet he believes it’s possible to anticipate the future’s major beliefs. (Or perhaps he saw himself as creating those beliefs.) The guy who sees himself as a sort of epater le bourgeois crusader, attacking with glee the cherished beliefs of his day as the horrified gentility look on— that guy couldn’t even see through the 19th century belief in Progress! My God, that is funny! That. Is. Hilarious.
N’s belief in progress is in fact a major theme of all his writing, manifest in his constant talk about new philosophers coming up. E.g. the end of Section 2: “One must await the advent of a new order of philosophers, such as will have other tastes and inclinations, the reverse of those hitherto prevalent—philosophers of the dangerous ‘maybe’ in every sense of the term. And to speak in all seriousness: I see such new philosophers beginning to appear.”
6. Nietzsche as Actual Prophet
Nietzsche, writing in the 1880s, looks forward to the twentieth century:
From Section 251:
I have never yet met a German who was favorably inclined to the Jews; and however decided the repudiation of actual anti-Semitism may be on the part of all prudent and political men, this prudence and policy is not perhaps directed against the nature of the sentiment itself, but only against its dangerous excess… That Germany has amply enough Jews, that the German stomach, the German blood, has difficulty (and will long have difficulty) in digesting even this quantum of “Jew” …is the unmistakable declaration and language of a general instinct, to which one must listen… “Let no more Jews come in!” …thus commands the instinct of a people…
A thinker who has the future of Europe at heart, in all his perspectives concerning the future, will figure the Jews, as the Russians, as above all the surest and likeliest factors in the great play and battle of forces.
Well! After World War II and the Cold War, that seems pretty damn prescient!
From Section 208:
I do not say this as one who desires it, in my heart I should rather prefer the contrary—I mean such an increase in the threatening attitude of Russia, that Europe would have to make up its mind to become equally threatening—namely, to acquire one will, by means of a new caste to rule over the Continent, a persistent, dreadful will of its own, that can set its aims thousands of years ahead; so that the long spun-out comedy of its petty-statism, and its dynastic as well as its democratic many-willed-ness, might finally be brought to a close. The time for petty politics is past; the next century will bring the struggle for the dominion of the world—the compulsion to large-scale politics.
This passage prefigures the Cold War and the European Union project!
One could also do a section on “Red Pill Nietzsche” or “Nietzsche on Women” or something, but that topic deserves its own blog post.
(For more on self-referentiality, click here.)
It’s a momentous occasion, and it calls for something special. So I’m going to “take down the barriers” and let people see the real me, the sensitive Neuropoison that you always knew was in there somewhere. Here’s a little ditty I wrote, inspired by an old song from like medeival times or whatever. (The meadeiaval period is defined as the period so long ago that no one knows, or cares, how to spell “miedeivael” any more.)
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Remember Mita Whonhoo lives there.
She once was a true love of mine.
Tell her to make me a sandwich right now.
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
And if she delays, say, “Do it, you cow!”
Then she’ll start making that sandwich of mine.
Tell her to make it with sourdough bread.
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
And then when I’m done, she’s to give me some head.
Then she’ll be a true love of mine.
Tell her to lube up her asshole for me.
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
I’ll assfuck her hard, and I’ll do it for free.
Then she’ll be a true love of mine.
Then when we’re through she’s to fetch me a beer.
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Then I’ll fuck her so hard that the neighbors will hear.
Then she’ll be a true love of mine.
Damn, I’m sensitive. Sometimes I’m so sensitive I almost make myself cry. I like taking long walks on the beach too. At sunset. It’s so good to be an enlightened, sensitive, twenty-first century man.
Only the little people suffer at the hands of Justice; the creatures of power slide out from under with a wink and a grin. If you want justice, you will have to claw it from them. Make it personal. Do as much damage as you can. Get your message across. That way you stand a far better chance of being taken seriously next time. Of being considered dangerous. And make no mistake about this: being taken seriously, being considered dangerous, marks the difference—the only difference in their eyes—between players and little people. Players they will make deals with. Little people they liquidate.
—Altered Carbon, Chapter 15
Well, they don’t always liquidate “little people,” no. But they do ignore them. They treat “little people” with contempt, with the smug disregard of someone whom it is safe to attack, someone who cannot fight back. We have to show them that if they provoke us—let alone attack us—they will suffer.
Taking Sex Differences in Personality Seriously, by Scott Barry Kaufman, December 12, 2019.
Sub-heading: New approaches are shedding light on the magnitude of sex differences in personality, and the results are so strong and pervasive that they can no longer be ignored.
In a particularly devastating result for the “nurture” crowd,
“While there was cross-cultural variation in the effect, there was a general trend for more developed, individualistic countries with higher food availability, less pathogen prevalence, and higher gender equality to show the largest sex differences in global personality.”
[Emphasis in original.]
“I must bulli, because there is no rational argument to be made with an antinatalist. It is as viscerally and obviously sick as a cult promoting suicide. You do not reason, you hit with stick.”
With the exception of actual neo-Nazis and a few others, there isn’t anyone in America who’s trying to promote the idea that whites are inherently superior to blacks or Latinos. Conversely, there are loads of Americans who display signs of overt racism—or unconscious bias or racial insensitivity or resentment over loss of status—in varying degrees.
This isn’t just pedantic. It matters. It’s bad enough that liberals toss around charges of racism with more abandon than we should, but it’s far worse if we start calling every sign of racial animus—big or small, accidental or deliberate—white supremacy. I can hardly imagine a better way of proving to the non-liberal community that we’re all a bunch of out-of-touch nutbars who are going to label everyone and everything we don’t like as racist.
Ya think?! A decade or so too late on that one, dude.
(5) One Charlie Jane Anders is a tranny sci-fi author (So brave! See #7 below) who wrote a novel called The City in the Middle of the Night. The second paragraph:
As the two of us walk back toward campus, a brace of dark quince leaves, hung on doorways in some recent celebration, wafts past our feet. Their nine dried stems scuttle like tiny legs.
“Brace” means “pair.”
But the really awesome part is the dedication. It starts like this:
For my mom, who taught me about colonialism…
LOL. You really cannot satirize lefties any more.
(6) I don’t know what color pill this is, but it sure as hell isn’t blue:
“Sleeping with the enemy: An essay on mixed identity in the context of violent conflict.” Ralph Hartley, University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Social Identities, March 2010.
When competition between groups becomes violent the female of a mixed marriage and her offspring are often vulnerable to violence by not only the group from which her male partner is assigned but also to violent acts by members of the group with which she is identified. When the goal of an adversary is to eliminate manifestations of identity the role of the individual within a society, including children and other non-combatants, is of little consequence. Using the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda as a focus this essay takes a bio-social and cultural comparative approach in exploring the situational factors underlying genocidal behavior wherein the woman in a mixed conjugal union and her offspring are disproportionately vulnerable to violence. The possible co-evolvement of individual behaviors with group-level institutions is considered as worthy of more focused attention in an attempt to understand the intense vulnerability of some women and children in environments of lethal conflict.
The lesson as I think it applies to the current western world: White women who think that they are making themselves safe by marrying non-white men – because they’re staying on the leading edge of current SJW political moves – may be… misguided. They and their children may find that out, sadly, when our political situation goes from warming up to boiling over.
(7) Speaking of pills of various hues, Elon Musk tweets “Take the red pill” to his 34 million followers. Sweet. Ivanka Trump responds “Taken!” in re-tweeting it. The usual “I’m so offended” crowd says “I’m so offended.”
Bonus: in the Guardian link we learn that there’s something called “the Brave Space Alliance, an LGBTQ support centre led by black and transgender people.” Yes, they call themselves “brave.” I guess they don’t want to wait for us tell them, “So brave! Thank you for this.” However, I think you guys are too modest. You know how Wile E. Coyote upgrades himself from “genius” to “supergenius”? You guys should upgrade yourselves from “brave” to “superbrave.” Don’t let any bigots tell you otherwise!
Captain Save-A-Ho in popular music:
I’ll quote only the most relevant passages from the lyrics for copyright reasons.
Angel in Blue – The J. Geils Band
A table top dancer
She would smile on cue
Oh those lips of an angel
Angel in blue
She’d been dancin for ages
Through cities of bars
She was kickin’ the habit
Of scoring in cars
She’d been drained of her spirit
All caged up in this zoo
A wild cat angel
Angel in blue
And as she stared out into nowhere
I thought yes I thought she might break down and cry
Oh when I whispered I thought I could love her
She just said, “Baby don’t even bother to try”
And the bees they had stung her
The birds they had flown
There were guys she could number
But none had she known
And she never had dreams
So they never came true
Oh my fade away angel
Angel in blue
The Geils band is somewhat redeemed by the fact that their sax/harmonica player gave himself the excellent stage name “Magic Dick.” You just have to respect that.
Little Red Corvette – Prince
I guess I should of known
By the way you parked your car sideways
That it wouldn’t last
See you’re the kinda person
That believes in makin’ out once
Love ’em and leave ’em fast
I guess I must be dumb
‘Cause you had a pocket full of horses
Trojan and some of them used [FUCKING GROSS]
But it was Saturday night
I guess that makes it all right
And you said what have I got to lose?
And honey I said
Little red Corvette
Baby you’re much too fast
Little red Corvette
You need a love that’s gonna last
I guess I should of closed my eyes
When you drove me to the place
Where your horses run free
‘Cause I felt a little ill
When I saw all the pictures
Of the jockeys that were there before me…
Little red Corvette
Baby you’re much too fast, yes you are
Little red Corvette
You need to find a love that’s gonna last
And the number one “Captain Save-A-Ho” song is…
Roxanne, by The Police, the literal Captain Save-A-Ho song:
You don’t have to put on the red light
Those days are over
You don’t have to sell your body to the night
You don’t have to wear that dress tonight
Walk the streets for money
You don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right
You don’t have to put on the red light
I loved you since I knew ya
I wouldn’t talk down to ya
I have to tell you just how I feel
I won’t share you with another boy [DUDE, YOU ARE SO WRONG ABOUT THAT.]
I know my mind is made up
So put away your make-up
Told you once, I won’t tell you again it’s a bad way
You don’t have to put on the red light