Thursday, August 13, 2009 73 Comments

UR is on vacation

At an undisclosed East Coast location with intermittent connectivity and a lot of tiger mosquitoes. Normal service will return next week.

I did, however, manage a somewhat irascible contribution to this GNXP thread, posted by a young and surely well-intentioned Dr. Pangloss with a spreadsheet. Topics include the democratic crime epidemic, Chinese statistical poetry, and the etiology of male homosexuality. Toward the end, these themes merge into a single savage crescendo of penetrative numerical degradation. Not recommended for those under 18.

I also experimented a little with baiting the "senior public-health scientists and practitioners" (the plural seems questionable) and hardcore progressive propagandist(s) at Effect Measure. Note the difference in tone. If you want to seriously unsettle these people, you have to attack from above. They don't expect that. Appeal directly to their conscience. They have one, generally. You will never see it - but that doesn't mean it's too tiny and withered to hurt.

Unfortunately, after a couple of exchanges I set the hook too hard, as a fisherman would say, and ended up in the moderation basket. I fear "Revere" does not have quite Professor Burke's grasp of netiquette. Then again, this sort of thing is standard operating procedure in the world of policy science. It's not easy being an anaerobic bacterium in this strange new age of oxygen.

So I saved my last comment, and here it is. Not a substitute for a real UR post, I realize, but:
Dear Revere,

I hate to break this to you, but post-WWII American academia is in practice an agency of USG, because it (a) is funded by USG, and (b) drives USG policy. (Especially in fields such as yours, which exist largely for the purpose of telling USG what to do.)

Just as Milloy is beholden to the corporations who fund and/or funded him. Just as Michaels is beholden to the tort lawyers who fund and/or funded him. Who pays the piper, as you correctly assert, calls the tune. But those who live in glass houses, etc.

I notice, for instance, that Milloy appears to have no interest whatsoever in debunking corporate "junk science." I also notice that you appear to have no interest whatsoever in debunking the work of tort lawyers, environmental activists, and/or fellow professors. Do these people never, ever, err? If so, please show me where.

Here's an analogy that may help you understand my perspective. Perhaps you remember a country called the Soviet Union. Now, when you hear that Soviet science proved X or Y or Z, what do you think? You think: X or Y or Z might be true, or it might not. To know, you'd have to look into it.

Even if X or Y or Z was written in the Great Soviet Encylopedia. Even if it was endorsed by a unanimous vote of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Even if Chairman Brezhnev himself declared it to be an ineluctable consequence of dialectical materialism. You say: I'd have to look into it.

And why is this? Because you don't trust the process by which the Soviet system generated scientific results - despite the many excellent scientists who worked within it. And nor do I. We share (if I may assume) the belief that Soviet science could discover and amplify truth, and also discover and amplify error. Thus: "trust, but verify."

Now, if we compare (a) the organizational structure of post-WWII Western science, to (b) the organizational structure of pre-WWII Western science, to (c) the structure of Soviet science, we see that (a) looks a lot more like (c) than like (b).

Namely: it is centrally funded and centrally planned, even when conducted in "private" universities. Consensus can be produced by a few bureaucrats - excuse me, public servants - who choose to fund the believers and defund the deniers. Moreover, since these public servants (eg, at NSF or NIH) are scientists themselves, it is terribly easy for one faction to exclude another. There is no effective independent supervision. There is certainly no way to shut down an entire field that has become pseudoscientific.

Whereas before WWII and Vannevar Bush, consensus actually meant something, because the (much smaller) funding of science was decentralized and independent, and most important depended far less on the results of that work. To retain their status and funding, scientists had to convince critical, intelligent, and independent nonscientists. They had far less incentive to exaggerate the public-policy importance of their work. Whereas nowadays, even in my own field (computer science) the typical grant application is richly marbled with preposterous claims of public importance. Everyone does it, so everyone has to.

Thus a reasonable person would expect the type of scientific malfeasance so frequently seen in the Soviet system to emerge in the West. And when he sees it - for instance, in the likes of a Michael Mann or a Phil Jones, both of whom fail the most basic tests of scientific integrity and should be driving taxis for a living - but have been embraced and protected by their peers, rather than disowned - he has no reason to be surprised.

Yet (b) trades on the reputation of (a), and in large part retains it. For now. Would you like Western science to retain this reputation, which took centuries to earn? If so, I encourage you to behave as if (a), not (c), remained the real reality. In other words: try harder to convince the genuinely unconvinced. As any tort lawyer would tell you, insults and browbeating are not the way to the jury's heart. Nor are appeals to personal confidence and/or official authority.

So: sure, David Michaels is a friend and colleague of yours. Michael Mann and Phil Jones may not be, but they are on the same side as you. Thus their opponents are thought-criminals or "deniers," who in a just world would probably be prosecuted. Science, at least the old science, science (a), is not a matter of collegiality, team play, or argument ad authoritatem - it is a matter of truth. Nullius in verba.

Have you looked into these matters yourself? If so, you have every reason to defend your friends and colleagues, and you can do so using facts and argument, rather than Vyshinskyesque curses - "pimp," etc. If not, may I respectfully recommend that you be more careful when lending your own credibility to your friends. You may be a friend of Michaels and an enemy of Milloy. I am neither, and nor is most of the world. Your time is not well served by preaching to the choir.

For instance: if you've seen Milloy denying that cigarette smoking causes cancer etc, point me to it. As far as I'm aware, what he denies is that "secondhand smoke" is a serious health concern - a considerably more dubious result. (Perhaps you could share your position on "thirdhand smoke.") Again, you score no points by misrepresenting the position of your opponents.

And no, I am not a libertarian. I'm a fan of Mill's pal Carlyle. If you're uncertain as to what Carlyle thought, you can refresh your memory here. It's about as far from libertarian as you get. The proper term is reactionary, though I'll also answer to paleoconservative.

None of which matters. What matters is that you use terms you don't understand as pejoratives. No one who had any significant exposure to right-wing thought would call a mainstream National Review conservative like Milloy "far right." "Far right" means either a paleoconservative or reactionary, like me, or an actual neofascist. (It is also incorrectly applied to libertarians, who don't consider themselves right-wing at all.) When was the last time you read anything by anyone in any of these categories? Quite some time ago if ever, I suspect, since you seem unable to distinguish them.

You'll notice that I address you as a progressive, rather than a "far leftist," even though I have no idea who is to the left of you. (Who is? Are these people?) This is because I know, understand and respect the progressive movement.

(Indeed, my father's parents, CPUSA members into the '70s, always described themselves as "progressives." But I'm not sure today's young progressives understand the origin of the euphemism. In fact, given my preference for the likes of Metternich, I'm quite happy to agree with Earl Browder's claim that "Communism is 20th-century Americanism." Therein lies the whole of the problem.)

I have read your posts on BPA. What I'm looking for is not a prosecution, but a rebuttal. A rebuttal implies that you have read, engaged with, respect and understand those who disagree with you. Again, Mill:
In the case of any person whose judgment is really deserving of confidence, how has it become so? Because he has kept his mind open to criticism of his opinions and conduct. Because it has been his practice to listen to all that can be said against him, to profit by as much of it as was just, and to expound to himself and upon occasion to others, the fallacy of what was fallacious. Because he has felt that the only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion and by studying all modes in which in can be looked at by every character of mind. No wise man ever acquired his wisdom in any mode but this; nor is it in the nature of the human intellect to become wise in any other manner.
If you do disagree with this, I wish you'd say so. Mill himself is no plaster saint - he was wrong, for instance, in his great argument with Carlyle. I cite him because on this point I find him convincing, not to argue ad authoritatem.
Yeah, I know, that last Carlyle link is a little much. I got carried away.

Again, it takes a long, slow trail of M&Ms to bring an apparatchik face-to-face with his atrophied conscience. Don't expect it to overcome him, either, like Darth Vader at the end. But they are human - they bleed inside, but bleed they do.

73 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The description of agnostic as a Panglossian character is positively mentally jarring. I had come to think of him as a hedonistic lech, but perhaps that's my progressive programming speaking, which does not typically assign multiple categories of heresy.

I would probably pay good money (err... gold bullion) to see a conversation between MM and roissy.

August 13, 2009 at 3:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Again, you score no points by misrepresenting the position of your opponents."

After reading your Letter to an Open Minded Progressive I don't see why you would have a problem with this tactic. It appears to be one of your favorites.

August 13, 2009 at 5:50 AM  
Anonymous tenkev said...

Good argument there anon. I don't suppose you have any actual examples to share?

August 13, 2009 at 7:04 AM  
Anonymous tenkev said...

And anon1, please don't compare roissy to mencius. As much as I love roissy, that is just not a fair comparison at all.

August 13, 2009 at 7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TGGP's aspergery obtuseness is on full display at GNXP. How does that guy manage to chew through the straps and get to the keyboard before the attendant hits him with the thorazine?

August 13, 2009 at 7:12 AM  
Anonymous tenkev said...

Atleast he has the balls to have a handle. STOP POSTING ANONYMOUSLY!

August 13, 2009 at 7:31 AM  
Anonymous CVD said...

I'd throw something in the pot to get Roissy and MM conversing.

August 13, 2009 at 8:02 AM  
Anonymous snoffsx said...

I don't know why everybody keeps calling for MM and Roissy to have some kind of convo going.

They wouldn't have much to talk about.

Besides, Roissy would consider MM nothing but a huge beta verging on omega territory.

August 13, 2009 at 8:48 AM  
Anonymous tenkev said...

I doubt that very much snoffsx; but, I agree, that conversation would be pointless.

August 13, 2009 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger nazgulnarsil said...

do you really expect them to bite the hand that feeds? even as a thoughtcrime?

the myth of intelligence tells us that some people are more "reasonable" by virtue of their great ability to weigh evidence. the everyday experience is that the intelligentsia believe what they believe for the same stupid reasons everyone else does. they just happen to slowly be winning the status game and accidentally tell the truth every now and then.

August 13, 2009 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Carl M. said...

I am quite unconvinced that a weakening of the state is the cause for the crime rise. Several quite different factors come to mind:

1. The decline of the law abiding gun culture. Note how ordinary people had a gun available in Hollywood offerings for the 40s. Now look how only criminals and police supermen have guns. Civilian heroes are trending towards being martial artists instead.

2. The drug war. Duh! It began around the end of the Victorian era. The great fictional crime fighter Sherlock Holmes was into injectable cocaine. My, how attitudes have changed!

3. A massive increase in Omega-6 oil consumption. See: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/09/vegetable-oil-and-homicide.html

August 13, 2009 at 9:02 AM  
Anonymous snoffsx said...

tenkev,

"I doubt that very much snoffsx"

What do you doubt?

August 13, 2009 at 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Corrigan said...

In the GNXP thread on homicide rates that Mencius Moldbug alludes to in this post, Mencius makes the following point:

"To make it as retarded as possible, what I'm saying is that if you applied pre-1960 standards of journalism to post-1960 crime, every newspaper in America, every day, would look like an issue of the Gotham Globe: MURDER SPREE PARALYZES CITY. And, of course, the public would react accordingly. That's public opinion for ya."

After reading this in the morning, I went downstairs to have breakfast while reading my hard copy of the Washington Post. And on the front page I find the following article:

"Former Victims Mix Up an Antidote to Terror: After Home Invasions, 3 Md. Widows Find Strength in Friendship"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/12/AR2009081203411.html?hpid=topnews

August 13, 2009 at 9:17 AM  
Anonymous tenkev said...

I doubt that he would consider him a beta/omega.

August 13, 2009 at 9:24 AM  
Anonymous snoffsx said...

"I doubt that he would consider him a beta/omega."

About Me

Name: Mencius Moldbug

Stubbornness and disrespect, programming languages and operating systems, obsessive epistemology and formalist propaganda, Austrian economics and contemporary verse


Good one, tenkev.

August 13, 2009 at 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the way crime is reported these days:

I live in Sweden. A few days ago I grabbed my newspaper (Svenska Dagbladet, one of the biggest and most serious newspapers in Sweden, considered centre-right). We have had a number of murder cases this summer where young persons have killed other young persons. Now this has happened again. But the headline of the newspaper - printed all over the front page - was:

YOUNG PERSONS KILLING OTHER YOUNG PERSONS IS RARE

The actual news story only got the second biggest mention. I couldn't stop staring at that frontpage. I bet I stood on my porch looking flabbergasted for several minutes. It felt like something one would expect to find in the Soviet union. Yet it is here and now.

August 13, 2009 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Revere said...

Haven't read this yet, but you aren't banned or in a moderation basket. Like you, I am on vacation and am having trouble keeping track of things with a tethered internet connection and a spouse who thinks I should really be on vacation. Just so you know. I'll check the comments and release anything that got caught without my noticing (I don't check that often).

Enjoy the tiger mosquitoes. It's a gift from the free market (they came imported in tires).

August 13, 2009 at 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

MM is a dorky looking Jew, a complete beta. He has a reasonably nice looking wife (though not up to the exacting standards of Roissy's penis-centered world) and a cute kid.

I am sure MM could be an alpha (or at least a pseudo-alpha pickup artist) if he wanted to be. But the thing about real betahood is, you don't want to be. Because you just don't have that much sex drive. Romancing women is a total timesink even if you are a player. And if you're a man of great intelligence and not marinated to the gills on testosterone, 99% of women are boring. Bore-or-or-ing. There are more interesting things to do.

I wouldn't be completely surprised if a woman or two reads UR. I'd be surprised to find out any of our regulars are, though.

August 13, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

Leonard is wise. I never understood the beta-bashing over at Roissy's.

August 13, 2009 at 10:17 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

Revere,

MM is NOT a libertarian.

August 13, 2009 at 10:18 AM  
Anonymous micalp said...

Leonard says, "I am sure MM could be an alpha (or at least a pseudo-alpha pickup artist) if he wanted to be."

josh follows with: "Leonard is wise."

I'm sorry josh. Doesn't compute. Leonard's statement I think definitively proves that he isn't wise.

August 13, 2009 at 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Zdeno said...

These comment threads are getting embarrassing. This blog used to be one of the best in that respect, but it's degenerated quite a bit recently. Not only does this sap the entertainment and information value, but it doesn't reflect well on MM or his reactionary ideas.

I highly recommend an iron fist of moderation to end anonymous, short, and useless posts. Grasping the nettle and all that.

August 13, 2009 at 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Zdeno said...

I would also like to see some sort of Moldbug/Roissy crossover. Roissy's main area of interest, the decay of family and traditional marriage, is IMO a topic that is glaringly absent from the Mencius ouevre. I believe their blogs are very similar in purpose as well - lone reactionaries, each making their own distinct last-ditch effort to save some small shred of western civilization. If there's a hat being passed around, I'll chip in, on the condition that Roissy's commenters aren't invited.

August 13, 2009 at 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Sated said...

"3. A massive increase in Omega-6 oil consumption. See: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/09/vegetable-oil-and-homicide.html"

I always knew Crisco was responsible for the massive increase in homicide.

August 13, 2009 at 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Zdeno,

In your first comment you criticize this thread, but then your second comment basically follows in the same vein as the rest of the thread, calling for some sort of inane "crossover" between MM and Roissy.

August 13, 2009 at 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Thunmann said...

"I believe their blogs are very similar in purpose as well - lone reactionaries, each making their own distinct last-ditch effort to save some small shred of western civilization."

Blogging anonymously online qualifies as a "last-ditch effort to save some small shred of western civilization"? Really? Man, if so, then western civ really has declined. Standards just aren't what they used to be.

August 13, 2009 at 12:40 PM  
Anonymous josh said...

micalp,

I wa referring to this bit:

"the thing about real betahood is, you don't want to be. Because you just don't have that much sex drive. Romancing women is a total timesink even if you are a player. And if you're a man of great intelligence and not marinated to the gills on testosterone, 99% of women are boring. Bore-or-or-ing."

I think most Betas settle into their beta role and live happy enough lives, particularly married ones with one child.

I have no idea if MM could be a pick-up artist, but I suspect he could not.

August 13, 2009 at 2:13 PM  
Anonymous PA said...

"I believe their blogs are very similar in purpose as well - lone reactionaries, each making their own distinct last-ditch effort to save some small shred of western civilization."

I agree, also with what Zdeno said about Roissy's focus on the decline of the Western family.

Additionally, what's significant about Mencius and Roissy is NOT that they are some anonymous reactionaries.

It's that they are making the impossible possible: MM makes the right wing look smart, and R makes it look sexy.

August 13, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Alrenous said...

So Revere found time to approve a comment directing him here, but not to approve MM's comment.

I was going to ask for an explanation but, combined with Revere's comment here, the facts speak for themselves.

Lucky, as I realize I would never receive an answer.

August 13, 2009 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

I'd like to start off by present some assorted links I think would be of interest to readers. The New Republic had an excellent essay on Thomas Carlyle's thought as a foundation for that of Hugo Chavez. You should click "PRINT" at the bottom to get it on one page, it won't print it automatically.
As a sort-of-update to the discussion on historical homicide rates, some liberal claims that the official numbers greatly undercount murders in the first decades of the 20th century. When agnostic had originally posted the official numbers, MM wondered what caused the rise near the beginning and suggested labor radicalism. If Eckberg is right, such an explanation isn't necessarily because it was high from the beginning. That makes sense to me, since there was plenty of violent labor unrest in the late 19th century and I don't think there was a big upsurge near the beginning of the 20th.
Arnold Kling got Will Wilkinson riled up about voice vs exit (or democracy vs market authoritarianism) and the Distributed Republic nicely catalogues the back-and-forth here. MM is cited a couple times at A Thousand Nations posts linked from there.
Lastly, though it has less to do with UR, the Monkey Cage had an interesting post on liberalism, the media (more specifically the NYT) and the Supreme Court.

August 13, 2009 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Our first Anonymous associates panglossianism with agnostic's view on anti-trust/monopoly. Not quite. He thinks that the golden era of innovation was when monopoly ATT ("Mama Bell") and the Defense department were able to fund pretty much all the r&d without any competition. Since we have since fallen from those heights to a competitive marketplace of little innovation (in his view) we are clearly not in the best of all possible worlds these days. I think he's wrong about that, although this from Robin Hanson suggests he may have something of a point. His posts on diet, videogames and other things indicate a similar declinist view.


Anonymous August 13, 2009 7:12 AM:
I'm not familiar with the trope of aspergers being treated with straps and thorazine. Better watch out, they might categorize something!

August 13, 2009 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

tenkev:
Thanks for picking up the slack, even if in jest. I can give an example of MM misrepresenting an opponent, though perhaps imagining him to be an opponent constitutes the misrepresentation. He lambasted George Kennan here, mostly for what he imagined Kennan's position to be. In fact, Kennan was a great admirer of the Habsburgs as were Mises and von Kuenelt-Leddihn (though he'd settle for Schusnigg's conservative authoritarianism over democracy). He also thought the modern U.S was irredeemably decadent and ought to be broken into patchworks. MM isn't alone in maligning Kennan though. Lawrence Auster did so as well, on immigration. George Kennan would be a well-respected figure in an authentic American right, but I think the neoconservative turn which caused the rift between him and Solzhenitsyn (referred to in the Larison post I linked to) has put him in the shadows.


nazgulnarsil:
the myth of intelligence tells us that some people are more "reasonable" by virtue of their great ability to weigh evidence
I believe experiments have shown that more intelligent people tend to be less susceptible to some biases and are more apt to form a cooperating dynamic in the iterated prisoner's dilemma and similar games. I agree with Bryan Caplan that when the cost of irrationality is low (as in the case for politics) we are then more likely to indulge in it, but even there more intelligent people are less likely to support tariffs, minimum wage and so on.


Carl M:
I think the drug war timing does fit pretty well with crime rates (note that crime well greatly when prohibition ended). Boosts in enforcement tend to result in increasing violence, as has been on display in Mexico as of late. I'm a gun-owning NRA member myself, but from what I can tell gun-ownership doesn't have a significant impact on crime. "Gun culture" might be another story, as it indicates things like self-reliance and confidence that your fellow citizens can be trusted with firearms.


Zdeno:
Were you around when MM could say this sort of thing?

Coincidentally, at my blog I just put up a post that touched on my distaste for Roissy & co. I'm more a Roger F. Devlin man. Afficionados of reaction are encouraged to check out the Last Ditch, where he and others can be found. I've mentioned before that I wish MM would discuss the shift in gender relations more, which I consider possibly the most important social change of the 20th century.

August 13, 2009 at 10:08 PM  
Anonymous Heath said...

TGGP,

"He lambasted George Kennan here, mostly for what he imagined Kennan's position to be."

I'm glad you bring this up. I had read Kennan's memoir "Around the Cragged Hill" in which he sounds pretty damn paleoconservative, and downright reactionary in some parts. So when I read MM portray Kennan as some kind of "Georgetownist" stereotypical State Dept. type, I knew MM was mistaken and misrepresenting Kennan.

Glad to know someone else caught this too.

August 13, 2009 at 11:34 PM  
Anonymous Kerson said...

You can find a sketch of and a poem about Mencius Moldbug here

August 14, 2009 at 2:28 AM  
Blogger Carl M. said...

@Sated: Yes, the Crisco might be significant. But so could be omega-6 oils of the not so hydrogenated variety. The 6/3 ratio affects quite a few of the body's short range signals.

Case in point: drug use is way up despite the drug war. Something is making people unhappy enough to resort to excessive drugs. It could be dietary change, insufficient exercise, too much paperwork, poorly designed welfare system, loneliness, or whatever. That's the zillion dollar socialogical question.

@TGGP: I specifically said gun culture vs. gun ownership. If people are scared to wield their guns in self-defense/community defense, then guns have less impact. A gun locked away in a safe has little functionality.

My grandfather had loaded guns stashed around his house. He had a pistol by his side in his car as a matter of habit. My 8th grade agriculture teacher invited students to bring guns to school (!) to do shooting after school let out. (OK, the guns were kept in the principal's office until the afternoon, but still.) This was in the Carter years.

August 14, 2009 at 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Zdeno said...

@TGGP

Unfortunately no, I was not around back in the glory days when the comments section was an elysium of insight and wit. I was late to the UR party and slogged through the archives in a week or so, never even glancing at the comments. Then I noticed their abnormally high quality and began reading the full discussions in reverse chronological order. As great as the threads were, I was a little saddened by their gradual downward (or from my perspective, upward) trend in quality. This post's speculation on the alpha/betaness of MM, ad hominem's, and adversarial tone stood out to me as particularly bad, although there are several good comments mixed in with the rabble.

I also think it's ridiculous how quickly some people are to jump on Revere, who as far as I can tell seems honest and curious. Revere is the type of person we want to see reading this site, encouraging inklings of doubt regarding his generally progressive worldview to slowly seep into his brain.

@PA

Exactly.

Mencius and Roissy's blogs are entertainment, sure, but they are also information warfare devices. Mencius admits this, Roissy does not, but they have an agenda - the creation of an intelligent and sexy alternative to Progressivism. The extent to which reactionary ideas are going to gain traction with the thinking classes in the world is directly related to the ability of the react-o-sphere to market itself as 1) Correct, 2) Likely to succeed, and 3) A group of people any given potential heretic would like to be a part of.

This is why I think it's critical for UR to maintain extremely high standards for the commentariat, and why I would much prefer Roissy expend more effort limiting stupidity in his neighborhood.

Cheers,

Zdeno

August 14, 2009 at 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Ed said...

If you want to see Roissy's themes expounded upon with something approaching (but not quite there) Mencius' brilliance, then you have to check out F Roger Devlin's essays.

August 14, 2009 at 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Doonsby said...

TGGP,

"The New Republic had an excellent essay on Thomas Carlyle's thought as a foundation for that of Hugo Chavez."

This is nothing new. Throughout history Carlyle has been frequently attributed to forming the foundation of many authoritarian leaders, including Hitler, Stalin, etc.

I don't know enough about Carlyle and his thought to make an informed judgment on this matter, though I believe a lot of this blame Carlyle business is driven by liberals' hatred for Carlyle in the first place.

I believe Hitler did admire Carlyle and said that he influenced him, but didn't FDR influence Hitler as well? Never hear anything about this from liberals though.

August 14, 2009 at 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Doonsby said...

Ed,

I've seen a few of Devlin's essays here and there. Has he written a lot? Any good links to his work?

August 14, 2009 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Kerson reminds me of Howard Wulkan is Bald. Hey, there's this blogger named Mencius and he's...wait for it...JEWISH! I'm all for folks like n/a correcting MM's errors if/when he makes them, but most of the anti-semite commenters here are too lazy to bother contributing anything.

I misplaced the F in Dr. Devlin's name. The Last Ditch has a series of his writings here.

I agree that Revere could probably have a reasonable discussion here, even though his Effect Measure post read (as most political stuff does) like tripe. It's funny how MM purports to be explaining how to effectively converse with a progressive considering the results with Revere here and the proggles who used to read UR. Not that I actually expect anyone's minds to change. Was it Mises or Hayek who said we make up our minds by the time we're 20 and stay that way afterward?

Doonsby, MM himself has said that Carlyle helped inspire fascism and socialism. I have never heard it said that FDR inspired Hitler. Rather, both FDR and (to a greater extent) Hitler looked up to Mussolini.

August 14, 2009 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

The most recent post is a bit "lesser," but there's some interesting stuff from a female reader here.

I've really never gotten Roissy. Of course, I've never really gotten the whole alpha/beta/omega bullshit, either. Roissy seems like a dick who spends most of his energy trying to impress women & get laid.

That's the sort of annoying fucker I would think of as a beta-male -- like a betta fish, always posturing and fighting and talking about how big his dick was.

But whatev.

What I would like to see is a LD debate on the statement "order precedes freedom" between MM & the Bama.

August 14, 2009 at 9:24 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

most of the anti-semite commenters here are too lazy to bother contributing anything.

Anti-Semitism was much more politically powerful back in the good old days when we were simply blamed for killing Jesus and controlling the banks.

The racial anti-Semitism of the Kevin MacDonald school has been far less effective outside of WN circles and the impotent paleocon rump because the lower class whites who would normally be most attracted towards blaming outsiders don't know what the hell evolutionary psychology even is. Nor are they familiar with obscure Hebrew philosophers such as the New York intellectuals.

However, when KMac wrote CofC he was clearly aiming to convert a more upscale, conservative audience.

This strategy has largely failed because most white conservatives who are smart enough to have some understanding and interest in evolutionary psychology immediately dismiss him as a crackpot when they get to the "Judaism is a group evolutionary strategy" theorizing.

From a strategic point of view, MacDonald trapped himself between the worst of both worlds: His theories are too complex for lower class whites to understand, and too superficially loony for higher IQ conservatives to bother taking the time needed to deeply consider his arguments.

For the most part, the only somewhat smart people who think about his writings in detail are intelligent mental patients like Holocaust revisionists and the posters at sites such as Majorityrights; and, frankly, due to guilt by association, the anti-Semtitic websites that praise MacDonald to the heavens have done far more to marginalize his views than the ADL ever could have dreamed of doing.

MacDonald would have been better advised to zero in on Greenspan and Bernanke rather than Boas and Freud because central bankers and the Fed are much better known and easier to pin blame on.

August 14, 2009 at 10:11 PM  
Anonymous sicec said...

The Undiscovered Jew,

I agree with your comment, though to be fair to Kevin MacDonald he's an evolutionary psychologist and academic, not simply or only a propagandist or activist.

You and other Jews, along with the anti-anti-Semites, may consider him to be purely motivated by anti-Semitic hatred and using an academic/scientific facade in order to serve anti-Jewish activism. But in his mind at least his subjects of study were chosen not simply to propagate anti-Jewish ideas. They were chosen as serious subjects worthy of scientific inquiry, pursued for the sake of knowledge as an end in itself.

August 14, 2009 at 10:24 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I have no idea what his personal motivations are, I don't know the guy.

to be fair to Kevin MacDonald he's an evolutionary psychologist and academic, not simply or only a propagandist or activist.

Well, there are plenty of people in academia who are both.

They were chosen as serious subjects worthy of scientific inquiry, pursued for the sake of knowledge as an end in itself.

Actually, his scientific method is faulty because he's trying to extrapolate an evolutionary trend from only a handful of Jewish data points on the extremes of the leftist political spectrum.

If I select only a few data points on the libertarian spectrum, I could turn his own method around and argue that Jews are genetically programmed to help European cilization because:

A) Jews spent most of their time as merchants and money traders in Europe.

B) Merchants need stable societies to make the most money possible.

C) Therefore, helping European nations succeed is in Jewish ethnic interests.

D) Because social stability is in Jewish ethnic interests, Jews evolved to develop libertarian economic ideas (Mises, Rand, Friedman, etc) which have benefitted Western civilization.

August 14, 2009 at 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in re: drug use in the early 21st Century USA

I suspect, cannot prove, only suspect, that drug use in Western nations is so prevalent because the entertainment media have made it fashionable and the news media are constantly bombarding us with the idea that "experimentation" is normal, etc.

A certain Mr. Limbaugh has observed this phenomenon and described it as "defining deviancy down." In formalist terms, the minds that make up the Cathedral are much, much more worried about the prior social norms embodied by the old, now all but forgotten Optimate caste than about violent crime, and they regard violent criminals generally (the Morlock caste) as a paramilitary arm of The Movement, useful for frightening the soccer moms (the Eloi caste) into gibbering terrified submission and paying the Danegeld in the form of ever-higher taxes to give Dayshawn and Loqueesha fatter welfare checks, rather than doing what the old Optimates might have done, and what the Amerikaners will sometimes admit to wanting to do: putting Dayshawn, Loqueesha, and their seventeen IQ-55 crackbabies on a leaky old Liberty ship and sending them on a one-way trip to Liberia, which would be Racist, Insensitive, Inhumane, and might actually solve the problem.

So the agitprop from the movies and the televitz tell the Yoots of the Nation that drug use is normal and "cool," and the agitprop "news" broadcasts on the televitz tell everyone that cocaine overdoses at the age of eleven are a result of healthy, normal urges, and anyway they're Whitey's fault (diversity beez ouah strenf!).

So all the "adolescents," which is a category of human development that as far as I can determine did not exist before around 1955, are told by the televitz and the movies that they should be nonconformists, and they should signal their nonconformity by dressing exactly alike and smoking dope, in order to get even with Daddy for not buying them a pony when they were nine. And if Dayshawn and Rastus kill each other over who's going to sell nickel bags of horse on which playground, well, it's Whitey's fault anyway, plus the body count and flying bullets keep the soccer moms in a constant state of terror and amenable to the reasonable suggestion that perhaps Dayshawn and Rastus should have been encouraged to play midnight baxitball instead, so please vote "yes" on the city millage to build another basketball court and fund another gun buy-back program instead.

August 14, 2009 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Mitchell said...

Here's a test for UR devotees. Where does Edward Bernays fit into the historical scheme? Is he good, bad, both, neither, and did he matter or was he epiphenomenal?

August 14, 2009 at 11:23 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Where does Edward Bernays fit into the historical scheme?

Since he helped Calvin Coolidge, I would put him in the "good" side of the political ledger.

August 14, 2009 at 11:32 PM  
Anonymous sicec said...

"Actually, his scientific method is faulty because he's trying to extrapolate an evolutionary trend from only a handful of Jewish data points on the extremes of the leftist political spectrum."

The leftist examples Macdonald uses are the best known, but they aren't the only things he analyzes. They're an important subset, but they don't comprise his entire analysis. Macdonald extensively discusses Jews in the Roman Empire in his books, for example. He also has discussed non-leftist Jews such as neocons, Israeli ethnonationalists, etc.

Look, I never said I endorse his views, and frankly I don't really want to get into a debate over Macdonald, certainly not with someone named "The Undiscovered Jew." I know what these debates are like and how they end up. Fruitful and illuminating they are not.

"If I select only a few data points on the libertarian spectrum, I could turn his own method around and argue that Jews are genetically programmed to help European cilization because"

Well actually you can't argue this. And even if you could successfully argue such a claim, it wouldn't refute Macdonald because he never claims the converse, that Jews are somehow "genetically programmed" to destroy European civilization. Both of these are absurd claims, and you're misrepresenting Macdonald's claim here. It's akin to claiming that Anglo-Saxons are "genetically programmed" to destroy American Indians, Japanese are "genetically programmed" to destroy whales, human beings are "genetically programmed" to destroy nature, etc.

Your reasons A through D are silly and nonsensical, but perhaps that's part of your intention. And those 3 libertarians are hardly the best, or even good, examples. Mises and Rand were pretty hostile to much of the West and its tradition. I suspect you yourself can already infer as much regarding Rand, but for Mises, read his book Socialism where he's explicitly anti-Christian and anti-tradition. Extreme libertarianism/individualism is hardly an example of something that can be considered to help conserve Western ethno/racial identity and culture. One can easily anticipate Macdonald using these examples to argue in favor of his own thesis.

Anyway, like I said, I don't really want to get into a long debate over Macdonald. We should spare the other readers. I don't fully endorse or accept Macdonald, but as you can probably tell I don't completely reject him outright.

August 15, 2009 at 12:56 AM  
Anonymous Darius said...

"Where does Edward Bernays fit into the historical scheme?

Since he helped Calvin Coolidge, I would put him in the "good" side of the political ledger."

this is both an idiotic question and an equally idiotic answer. the man was first and foremost a businessman for chrissakes, offering his services to any and all clients willing to pay for said services. he handled publicity for the NAACP as well.

August 15, 2009 at 1:07 AM  
Blogger Mitchell said...

Darius: "the man was first and foremost a businessman for chrissakes, offering his services to any and all clients willing to pay for said services."

And is that a good thing, a bad thing, both, or neither?

August 15, 2009 at 1:18 AM  
Blogger Mitchell said...

P.S., according to his Wiki bio, he wrote: 'a public relations counsel "must never accept a retainer or assume a position which puts his duty to the groups he represents above his duty to society."'

August 15, 2009 at 1:20 AM  
Anonymous Ed said...

Doonsby

This 2blowhards post has links which comprise everything I've seen of his in the public domain related to relations between the sexes

http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2008/07/unpc_reading_2.html

Other than that he has written a book on Russian philosopher Alexander Kojeve who, i confess, i have never heard of.

August 15, 2009 at 7:33 AM  
Anonymous Ed said...

http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2008/07/unpc_reading_2.html

Half the link went walkabout for some reason.

August 15, 2009 at 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Ed said...

And again - anyway, you get the picture.

August 15, 2009 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Limbaugh? Try Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the same guy who sounded the alarm on fatherless black families.

August 15, 2009 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger newt0311 said...

@GM Palmer

Finally!! Somebody speaks the truth about Roissy. Roissy is not a reactionary. He is an ultra nihilist. To quote myself:

No better can be expected from Roissy. He no longer differentiates between humans and animals (and I am not sure he is capable of doing so any longer). With that kept in mind, his writings make perfect sense.

People must have game because, being basically animals, they lack the quaint human abilities of honor, judgment, thought, affection, sacrifice, or commitment. They cannot cooperate on a long term basis but must maintain a constant state of war. Two people of the opposite sex cannot appreciate each other for their human personalities and any indication that this is the case is simply a matter of one thinking the other is irrelevant.

Do some people act this way? Unfortunately yes, maybe even most, but definitely not all. Roissy's work falls apart when one lets humans be humans.


The only reason that he rails against the current state of affairs is because, as an ultra-nihilist, he is an equal-opportunity nihilist and therefore is not susceptible to the perverse trick that Justice Jackson used when he wrote in West VA v. Barnette:

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can
prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force
citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an
exception, they do not now occur to us.


I.e., We, the Supreme Court decree that nobody can make any decrees whatsoever concerning the matter of religion.

In any reactionary state, Roissy and his ilk would be considered the social equivalent of poison and treated accordingly.

August 15, 2009 at 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

"In any reactionary state, Roissy and his ilk would be considered the social equivalent of poison and treated accordingly."

Sounds like somebody dislikes Roissy a little too much. I presume his acerbic screeds ridiculing betas really hit a nerve and got to you.

Sure, he's a nihilist. But I wouldn't necessarily peg him as being any more nihilist than Mencius. They're both atheist materialists. I don't think Roissy would disagree with Mencius' conception of justice, for example, and I think they would both agree on a lot of things. And Roissy does make value judgments; he calls the current state of affairs and the coming future a "sexual dystopia" for a reason, and refers to the revolutionary changes in sexual relations of the past four decades as a "sexual apocalypse." He frequently laments the current "sexual" state of society, along with the present general state of affairs.

Also, if you've followed Roissy's blog rather than just sample his most salacious and outrageous posts, you should be aware that one of his running themes is that genuine "love" rather than mere empty sex and "picking up" women is a great thing. In fact I believe he's described it as one of the greatest feelings and things in the world. Understandably, this sentiment in his writing goes unnoticed. An example is this post. There are probably other posts that serve as better examples, but I can't really dig through his archives right now.

"People must have game because, being basically animals, they lack the quaint human abilities of honor, judgment, thought, affection, sacrifice, or commitment. They cannot cooperate on a long term basis but must maintain a constant state of war. Two people of the opposite sex cannot appreciate each other for their human personalities and any indication that this is the case is simply a matter of one thinking the other is irrelevant."

If this quote is any indication, I would have to say that Roissy is in a sense more reactionary than you are. Being reactionary means understanding and appreciating hierarchy, order, roles, duty, etc. And one of his main points is that men and women are, yes, fundamentally different. Your talk of abstract "human abilities" and "human personalities" smacks of extreme egalitarianism that doesn't take into fundamental differences between men and women, something a reactionary would consider seriously.

And do you even know what game is? Are you that naive? Or have you never flirted with a girl, or never playfully teased a girl? Game is not mutually exclusive with things like "honor, judgment, thought, affection, sacrifice, or commitment." It's hilarious that you somehow find game and what Roissy advocates as entailing a "constant state of war." I suppose when boys in school playfully tease and make fun of the girls they like (girls who in turn actually enjoy the attention and teasing, despite coquettishly protesting) they are really laying siege against woman in that eternal war between the sexes.

And I would like to remind you that, um, men and women reproduce sexually, and this biological fact entails competition and all the rest. It seems that the only form of reproduction that would satisfy your ideal conception revealed in this quote would be asexual.

August 15, 2009 at 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Donofrio said...

"I did, however, manage a somewhat irascible contribution to this GNXP thread, posted by a young and surely well-intentioned Dr. Pangloss with a spreadsheet."

I don't know if the other readers here follow the "Stevesphere" (the loose network of mostly, tho not all, quant bloggers who sprung up around Steve Sailer's influence) but I've found that the blogger "agnostic" who blogs at akinokure.blogspot.com, and is referred to by Mencius in the above quote, is arguably the most reckless and sloppiest thinker among these quant bloggers.

Though I enjoy reading him from time to time, and he does make an interesting point or two once in awhile, he frequently makes the most absurd claims based on the flimsiest and weakest empirical data. It's often clear that while he thinks he is engaging in inductive reasoning and developing theories out of a set of data, he's really just backing up his cloudy, initial impressions with often poor quality "data." It doesn't help that he's almost always overconfident in presenting his theories.

Even those without the degree of skepticism of inductive, stat reasoning that Mencius has should manage to see this.

August 16, 2009 at 11:32 AM  
Anonymous whatever said...

Roissy and his followers that pop on the ringroad of blogs around here are asshats.

I find some of Roissy's blog entries hilarious, and sometimes he can be insightful, but his commentators are generally morons, as evidenced above. But of course, don't call them out on that, cause they all think they are alpha geniuses that can probably bench press the earth, run the 100 metres in 6 seconds, have penises 6 foot long, and bang a bevy of models.

Curiously, they also have a hell of a lot of time to blog along with their supposed PUA lifestyles. Funny that. I'd wager good money that 90% of them haven't had sex in a long time, hence the appeal of Roissy's blog.

They are also the red state and LGF crowd. Exactly the sort of right wing that are wrong for the right wing.

Oh, and Roissy is verging on 40 years old. Unless he lands ass backward into money, he can't keep up his young women chasing forever.

August 17, 2009 at 4:33 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

Roissy has quite good insights into how feminism and the disappearance of the family are effecting male-female relationships. However, I find the posts on game boring and tend to skip those.

I also think he is a bit naive on evolution. Betaism is also a product of evolution, and its no coincidence that Beta tendencies are found more often in more advanced civilizations. I don't understand the hate.

August 17, 2009 at 5:02 AM  
Blogger Aaron Davies said...

i vaguely remember reading about six months ago a blog post (no idea where) to the effect that vegetable oil (in the modern sense, as opposed to olive) was a conspiracy by the linseed oil manufacturers to find customers after synthetic oil paint and linoleum killed off their original market.

August 17, 2009 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger Aaron Davies said...

re females, i'm fairly sure i found http://evilstylequeen.blogspot.com/ through either a comment or a link on UR.

August 17, 2009 at 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Wicklowe said...

"I find some of Roissy's blog entries hilarious, and sometimes he can be insightful, but his commentators are generally morons, as evidenced above. But of course, don't call them out on that, cause they all think they are alpha geniuses that can probably bench press the earth, run the 100 metres in 6 seconds, have penises 6 foot long, and bang a bevy of models."

Roissy acknowledges as much, and if he participates in the comments to his posts at all most of it is to ridicule his commenters.

"Curiously, they also have a hell of a lot of time to blog along with their supposed PUA lifestyles. Funny that. I'd wager good money that 90% of them haven't had sex in a long time, hence the appeal of Roissy's blog."

I think you misread a lot of those commenters. Most of them don't have PUA lifestyles, and they admit as much. Only a few of the regular commenters (and as you know there are quite a bit of commenters) claim to pick up a lot of girls.

"Oh, and Roissy is verging on 40 years old. Unless he lands ass backward into money, he can't keep up his young women chasing forever."

I don't see why you feel the need to disparage him in such a blatantly passive-aggressive fashion, or should I say like a huge beta (sorry had to say it ;) ) He won't really disagree with you here. He's pretty practical and realistic about not only female aging, but about male aging as well, including his own. He's posted before about how as he and other men get older there will obviously be fewer younger women available in their lives, and that what will be left over are only memories. That said, he doesn't believe (I think correctly) that younger women become completely unavailable to men as they get older, "younger women" being used relatively here. And he would say that money can't hurt, but it certainly isn't everything, especially considering that the older guys who only have money often end up unwittingly sharing their younger women with all kinds of strange men.

I wonder if hostility to Roissy is more directed at his style, rather than his actual substance. Because while his style can be initially pretty jarring, his substance doesn't seem too controversial. A lot of it is crude, and perhaps overly simplified, evolutionary psychology, sociobiology, etc., and most people are aware of this kind of thinking on some level, though they will ignore it or avoid it. Frankly, Mencius Moldbug's substance, particularly his views on history, democracy, and other subjects, seems quite a bit more controversial than Roissy's substance. Style, of course, is a different matter.

August 17, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Wayne said...

I would think that guys like Roissy and the social phenomena they represent have historical precedence, and probably appeared in previous epochs of decaying cultures and civilizations.

If Mencius Moldbug ever decides to address Roissy or subjects related to Roissy as several commenters here have urged, I would hope that it would be in this context, that is through some obscure historical work Mencius managed to somehow find that provides a lot of insight.

August 18, 2009 at 12:05 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Aside from both having an interest in sociobiology/HBD, Mencius and Roissy have hardly any other common points of reference. What on earth would Roissy and Moldbug talk about? Who had better game, Carlyle or Filmer?

I think it would make much more sense for Roissy to have an interview with Howard Stern than to debate MM.

August 18, 2009 at 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Anybody here ever heard of Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science by Martin Gardner?

Gardner lists the following five characteristics of cranks:

1. The crank considers himself a genius.
2. He regards other researchers as stupid, dishonest or both. By choice or necessity he operates outside the peer review system.
3. He believes there is a campaign against his ideas, a campaign compared with the persecution of Galileo or Pasteur.
4. Instead of side-stepping the mainstream, the crank attacks it head-on: The most revered scientist is Einstein so Gardner writes that Einstein is the most likely establishment figure to be attacked.
5. He coins neologisms.

Is it just me, or does this description fit Mencius Moldbug almost perfectly?

August 18, 2009 at 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

Patrick, yes that sounds like MM. So what?

Is it your assertion that all people who match those criteria are "cranks", by definition? (That goes beyond Gardner.) And of course that "cranks", also by definition, are wrong?

Since you linked the wiki, I won't, but do read the "Criticisms" section. I am afraid that if you want to convince me of anything, you will have to engage MM's thought on its own merits. But then again, I'm a genius, have coined a few neologisms, etc.

August 18, 2009 at 2:10 PM  
Anonymous parrott said...

"I think it would make much more sense for Roissy to have an interview with Howard Stern than to debate MM."

What difference does it make which one Roissy debates or discusses with? Jew filth is fungible.

August 18, 2009 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger nazgulnarsil said...

TGGP: I think everyone should be shocked at the fact that "more likely to" translates to a pretty pathetic level of correlation.

August 18, 2009 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger Cerberus said...

"Anonymous said...

TGGP's aspergery obtuseness is on full display at GNXP. How does that guy manage to chew through the straps and get to the keyboard before the attendant hits him with the thorazine?"


Thanks, you made me spit ice tea all over my keyboard.

August 19, 2009 at 1:01 AM  
Blogger nazgulnarsil said...

Robin Hanson vaguely grasps the nature of the cathedral apparently.

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2009/08/who-are-us-policy-elites.html

August 19, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Michael S. said...

Patrick, the 'cranks' Gardner attacked were all pseudo-scientists, many of them making medical claims.

MM deals mainly here with political philosophy and economics. Whether economics (or any other so-called social science) can really be considered a science in the sense that physics or chemistry clearly are sciences is doubtful at best. The greatest political fad and fallacy of the past century or more was based on the claim that a particular school of economic thought was 'scientific socialism.' The world has still not recovered from the resultant disasters, and the wretched pseudo-science in question still has its influential adherents - not least in the American academic/journalistic establishment. In marked contrast with this, MM adheres to the older concept of 'political economy' as a division of moral philosophy, founded in first principles and tempered by an understanding of history.

As for the "mainstream," Carlyle and most of the other writers MM admires were very much in the mainstream of their times. Carlyle was revered by the Victorians. Walter Bagehot, whose "Lombard Street" MM has cited on financial crises, was as well-known and respected an author on economics in his day as (say) Paul Krugman is now. I cringed to write that, because the only basis on which they could possibly be compared is popular acclaim. It ought to be clear to anyone who compares them that Bagehot is in every other way vastly superior, and that today's mainstream is but a polluted trickle in contrast with the pure and vigorous flow of years past.

Indeed, what MM routinely does is to hold up such examples with the intent of puncturing the illusion that there has been a comparable improvement in political and economic thought to that which has taken place in the natural sciences. Being a gadget-making species, it is understandable that mankind over the years has refined its old gadgets and developed new ones. It's a mistake to suppose that the same sort of refinement or 'progress' has taken place in other areas of human endeavor, where, instead, the discerning eye can and should detect degeneration and decline.

August 19, 2009 at 11:06 AM  
Anonymous lol said...

Patrick just got PWNED by Michael S.

August 22, 2009 at 2:49 AM  

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