March 29, 2010

Provocateurism, 9

In an earlier thread — under a post made famous by its violence toward women and its Steve McQueen fantasies — Nishi asks rhetorically, “where are the conservative professors, filmmakers, comics, scientists, actors, artists?” Her point being that a (perceived or actual) dearth of prominent conservatives in those fields equates to a population among conservatives of those who can cultivate neither the requisite intellect or social sensibilities to join those ranks.

“Yes we can’t’s” answer seemed particularly forceful:

I don’t know. Where were the anti-Soviet professors, filmmakers, comics, scientists, actors, artists in Russia from 1917 to 1989? They didn’t exist, either. Lefties deliberately like to purge “their” institutions of dissenting voices by making life a living hell for anyone who doesn’t toe the line, and then they use the success of such purges as an argument for their moral superiority! Talk about chutzpah!

Larry Summers was the youngest PhD ever to graduate from Harvard. Larry Summers was liberal icon Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary. I disagreed with Larry Summers on a lot of stuff, but it was apparent that he was a decent man, and a genius, to boot. And he gets up at Harvard and gives a speech about how his little girl plays with dolls and his boy plays and it’s funny cause it just happened that way without any parental intervention, so maybe there’s some nature at work along with nurture … and what did Harvard do? They drummed him out. Lesson: no amount of liberal bona fides can save you when the witch hunt starts. Think about it. If Larry Summers super genius and friend of Bill can’t fit in at Harvard, then who the fuck in his right mind who isn’t part of the gleichschaltung would want to be part of that environment? I’ve been in academia. I’ve been in the arts. Once those people discover that your not on board with their politics, they make it their mission in life to make you miserable. Again, who wants to work in that environment? Why would any normal man work in a place where he can lose his job for saying, “I’ve noticed my son is different from my daughter”?

Also, look at your list: professors, filmmakers, comics, scientists, actors, artists. These are all people who are 1) Often on the take from the government, and with the exception of scientists are 2) insulated from any real experience of cause and effect and 3) live in an imaginary world and 4) don’t require the systematic accumulation of capital in order to ply their trade. Actors? They draw a huge paycheck for being pretty. They don’t have to save up money to buy a new oven for the restaurant, or a new packaging machine for the assembly line, so why would they care how high taxes are? As long as they have enough money for blow, who cares? As far as scientists go, notice that the harder the science the more libertarian they lean, generally. Engineers with a lot of experience tend to be very practical about politics because they have learned through hard experience that the intended effect of something is different from the actual effect and that there is a real world out there.

[my emphasis]

Like our commenter, I have spent time in both the arts and academia, and as my late unpleasantness with Professor Kiteley made abundantly clear to me, I was no longer welcome in the company of either, at least, so long as people like Kiteley are willing to read heretics out of the party, and so long as “the arts” and academia are de facto progressive guilds (anyone who’s sat in on faculty hire interviews for an English Department slot can tell you that, while politics are generally not specifically broached, a candidate’s politics — and thus his or her fitness — are easily discoverable through an examination of his or her theoretical sensibilities).

It strikes me, too, that Nishi — in her initial list — likely would have included mainstream journalism, were it not for FOXNews and its success. Still, even there the strategy has been to suggest that FOXNews is but a propaganda arm of (depending on whom you ask) the GOP or the “far right” — a characterization that will prove useful when “media reform” begins to take shape, and organizations like FOXNews don’t qualify for government subsidy on the grounds that they are not really “news” outlets.

Nishi is fond of saying that science is the heresy that destroys orthodoxy. And yet it seems to me that it is the orthodoxy that is ascendant in the fields she describes.

Where are the heretics responsible for troubling the orthodoxy, one might ask? Where is the science in such social scientific gloatings?

Discuss.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:25am
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Comments (0)

  1. Or don’t. Your choice.

  2. Try spouting conservative ideas to twenty year old artists and see where that will get you, you would never get laid.

  3. Nishi only proves her idiocy. Solely by picking a fight over intellectual ground so unsuited to any defense. Which the trolls will quickly confirm when they arrive and attempt to change the subject.

  4. Where are the heretics responsible for troubling the orthodoxy

    they’re the ones not on the gov’t/foundation grant/payroll

  5. Ah yes, the absence of evidence is evidence of absence meme, or the self licking ice cream cone, particularly when there seems to be an affirmative action program that establishes the absence of evidence as an end state goal.

  6. I think this is a pretty good summation of how things are now. Could be why the arts, for one, are so lacking at this moment. Any why universities are producing such an overwhelmingly inferior product. College seniors barely know more than the freshmen. They are in the thrall of liberal ideology, stigmatizing and driving away the intellectual and creative force of the “right.” They’re out there. They’re just doing other things.

    I’m pretty ok with folks like Nishi underestimating us.

  7. I see the “purges” as part of a plan to set up a “compound” wherein a separate “culture” will be practiced. Like a religious sect.

    The point being to embed it into the minds of the young people passing through so that they will go out, some consciously, some unconsciously, as missionaries to spread the word of this “culture”. In so doing to help it become the mainstream for all. The idea that all “cultural evolution” always ratchets to the Left is formed because the Left works to select for that movement.

    When Nishi asserted that “cultural evolution” always moved to the Progressive side she was as a milk cow, remarking that increased milk production was the natural direction of cow evolution. Seemingly oblivious to the long term project that has been engaged in to direct cow evolution toward better type of milk cow. Better as defined by those who consider themselves to be masters of the cows.

  8. Well, I suppose that I can only speak for myself. I got a BS in Physics, but instead of spending the rest of my life in acadamia (7 years of grad school, and then most physics jobs are institutional), I decided to get an MBA and become a process engineer. I still get to use my technical and statistical know-how, with the added bonus of knowing that I am a producer instead of “on the take from the government” – and the pay is better to boot.

    So, where are the conservative scientists? If they are like me, they ended up out of the public spotlight, working in private industry as members of the productive class.

  9. I read a comment somewhere last week, may have been here that pointed out the opposite of diversity is university.

    Pretty funny, I thinks.

  10. “Where are the heretics responsible for troubling the orthodoxy, one might ask?”

    Here’s one, though he wouldn’t call himself a scientist and likely would have questioned whether the so-called social sciences are scientific themselves.

  11. I’d comment but after watching Avatar I now completely agree with nishi.

    Which, frankly, is a nice change of pace. Being trapped in a Gigli worldview for six years was pretty damn confusing.

  12. Maybe she meant to ask “Where are the conservative filmmakers who donate their time to produce deep thoughtful art, as opposed to the ones who make films that actually make money.”

  13. There is no reason to consider Jeff’s arguments. He is unclean.

    And so is David Thompson, so we might as well include him in. Remember this gem?

    I Don’t Deserve This Shabby Treatment, because I’m a liberal and therefore good.

  14. I found Fellini’s La Dolce Vita to proffer remarkably traditional/conservative moral message – the seven deadly sins and the emptiness of life in the service of vice and all that – insofar as the cool types would say that we’re beyond silly notions of sin and redemption.

  15. Where are the heretics responsible for troubling the orthodoxy, one might ask?

    We’re at work right now. But a few more landmark legislative actions like health care reform, and we won’t have jobs to distract us any longer.

  16. And I am trying (and failing) to find a comment over at David’s blog from an art teacher who was trying to tell his art students that when they sell their art, it’s just as “consumerist” as when someone buys a rug or couch.

    Or when THEY buy paints and canvases and such. They couldn’t absorb such a thought.

    But… but… it’s ART, they’d protest, as if that made a difference. As if purchasing something that had no utilitarian value whatsoever were more moral than buying a couch whose aesthetics you found delightful.

  17. Brilliant post.
    Nishi is an important component of the evolution of good thought here. We take her for granted, at some level, because without dross, we have no sense of the quality of the forged metal.

    I have spent a LOT of time in MSM–I am still in it with my book work and freelance stuff– and I can say that as long as you are good in your job, your politics dont terribly much matter. YET, I have never seen an industry that is more “herdlike” in its orientation. Go figure.

  18. I found Fellini’s La Dolce Vita to proffer remarkably traditional/conservative moral message

    No kidding. He made sure that the audience was well fed-up with watching the antics of self-absorbed, shallow people. It’s one of those films you watch once to get the point, but never again, because it’s so tiresome.

  19. I can’t fully agree with including most artists in with this. Yes, the government/ museum/ college arts complex is huge but still I think the bulk of people are scrounging around the edges, freelancing or working as movers, plumbers, contractors and bartenders. I always hope for some kind of Hernando DeSoto type to show them the other path.

  20. It’s just me, but I scoff at Nishi’s list because I don’t assume that those occupations necessarily represent any kind of pinnacle of prestige, profundity or human evolution. “Scientists,” maybe, but then, there’s real science, and wannabe science, so there’s some sorting out to do.

    Cordially…

  21. “Where are the heretics responsible for troubling the orthodoxy, one might ask? ”

    We’re at work right now. But a few more landmark legislative actions like health care reform, and we won’t have jobs to distract us any longer.

    To paraphrase Glenn Beck (badly); “Where have the Conservative protesters been all these years? AT WORK.”

  22. ut still I think the bulk of people are scrounging around the edges, freelancing or working as movers, plumbers, contractors and bartenders. I

    Yes, right. But they are largely shut-out when they don’t mouth the correct orthodoxy. I imagine it’s similar to what happens when old friends look me up on Facebook. They’re excited for about two minutes, until they discover the link to my blog.

    Then they stop conversing with me. Suddenly they’re no long interested in how many children I have.

  23. When’s the last time a good progressive actor in Hollywood or in academia forwent a paycheck in exchange for the ‘services’ they provide to society in the interest of “greater good?”

    Does Sean Penn work for free? How about Noam Chomsky?

    And if not, then why are they betraying their sociopolitical ideological and moral heritage?

    Would Marx or Engels be proud of him if Sean Penn pulled down $15 million for pretending to be somebody else and reading a script in a movie nobody really cared about when there are so many starving children in the world?

    Questions.

  24. Then they stop conversing with me.

    UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!

  25. while politics are generally not specifically broached, a candidate’s politics — and thus his or her fitness — are easily discoverable through an examination of his or her theoretical sensibilities

    From a casual email to a friend:

    I think [Goldstein] gets what’s up with the management of thought incumbent in American leftism. This is important because it exposes the left. The sacred ideological means of the Sixties were, as it turns out, not rooted in principle or a successful philosophy as much as they were in the lust for an upset in power.

    For example, the left used to value free speech. The left used to protest war. Today the left seeks to manage thought – this is the academy and media – and promotes war: See the entire Democrat establishment pre-Iraq and see Obarky’s Afghanistan.

    Classic liberals still regard the principles of and the philosophy that trades in liberty, responsibility, tolerance, and as much non-interventionism as allows them to stand.

    We are the new progressives. The left is The Man.

  26. Ha. Yea, pretty much Dicentra.

  27. If you can’t put numbers to it, it’s not a science – it’s an art. Even if the title specifically says “science”, as in the case of Political Science.

    Sorry, mis-named.

    Then there are the “studies”, which are your sinecures for the loony left. “Gender studies”, “Queer studies”, “Study studies”, it’s endless – and it’s 100% USDA Prime bullshit. Yum!

  28. I’m not going to make excuses or revert to competing examples like Jeff does. We conservatives are just too stupid to be any good at interpretive dance.

    Sure, we feel we can be the flower, but when we try to bloom, we suck.

    I, for one, have accepted that fact.

  29. s. We conservatives are just too stupid to be any good at interpretive dance.

    Pablo has some back-yard security video tape that says otherwise.

  30. Where were the anti-Soviet professors, filmmakers, comics, scientists, actors, artists in Russia from 1917 to 1989? They didn’t exist, either.

    They did exist, I think, but were hidden, or say rather, hid themselves in plain sight. I still believe that those who survived yet remained anti-Soviet kept inwardly to themselves and where they chose to expose their difference, encoded that difference where the knowing could find it and their masters, such as Stalin, could not. The Soviet Union however, is rather a special case where compared to the US academy, for in the Soviet Union there was nowhere to go, save to escape the country altogether, whereas here, at least until now, one could leave the academy and find a measure of freedom of expression elsewhere in other work.

  31. Nishi is fond of saying that science is the heresy that destroys orthodoxy. And yet it seems to me that it is the orthodoxy that is ascendant in the fields she describes.

    nuggie will earn some modicum of respect when she concerns herself with the base of the existential, scientific, observable pyramid of existence; this wholly comprehensive and objective nature of reality she currently imparts strictly to science: Where in in her pet quantum states she finally admits that everything ultimately hovers above void, perfectly responsive to either it or itself, eternally, faithfully.

    The it is of it is. The mystical states comprehended generations before nuggie’s first two cells followed the rules imparted to them by something she can’t begin to understand but yet places perfect trust in. Trust is one thing but claiming comprehensive knowledge before the fact is entirely another.

  32. By the way. I’ve been promised a detailed breakdown of my reprehensible tone — and how my tone IS my politics — from Marc Danziger, who characterized my “Lie of Liberal Arts Education” piece thusly: “a self-righteous screed about how the wimpy liberals won’t tolerate the truthtelling he’s doing on his blog.”

    Does that seem a fair assessment to you all? Because it doesn’t to me. Which means I don’t hold out much hope for a very rigorous analysis of my troubled psyche coming from the same source.

  33. Hey, Jeff, I’m throwing darts blindly here, but how frequently do you receive solicitations from whichever institution you studied with Kitely? Assuming K is still residing there (big if), you may want to consider returning said requests with an explanation of how representatives of Alma Mater have pre-requested you sever ties, and as such you may have no choice in declining these and future requests.

    The other side is big on consumer bullying and going over heads. Maybe it’s worth a shot.

  34. a very rigorous analysis of my troubled psyche

    Don’t deny the lad his logical non-starter. It’s something.

  35. And include a voided check for five million dollars.

  36. We’ve all been meaning to speak to you about your threatening tone……..but we’re all too afraid.

  37. Liberal Obama supporter threatens to kill Eric Cantor and family.

    Well, it’s just that moral superior-ness that induces this behavior, right?

  38. Marc Danziger, who characterized my “Lie of Liberal Arts Education” piece thusly: “a self-righteous screed about how the wimpy liberals won’t tolerate the truthtelling he’s doing on his blog.”

    It would seem that Danziger is a graduate of the Nishi School of Reading Comprehension.

  39. Pablo has some back-yard security video tape that says otherwise.

    ROTFL!

  40. Does that seem a fair assessment to you all? Because it doesn’t to me.

    What doesn’t seem fair to me is that people like Kiteley most likely opposed the linking of Obama to Ayers in 2008 as somehow “unfair” and “guilt by association,” yet at the same time he understands that he will pay a price in the academy for allowing the historical fact that you once studied under him to exist expressed in written form somewhere on the internet. That, it seems to me, is evidence not just of a double standard, but of the ideologically-driven discipline actively executed in the academy which we are told does not occur.

  41. They did exist, I think, but were hidden, or say rather, hid themselves in plain sight.

    There was enough snitching and people being sent off to the Gulags that most of them ended up in the Kolyma gold mines or another bleak work camp.

  42. a self-righteous screed about how the wimpy liberals won’t tolerate the truthtelling he’s doing on his blog

    OOooh! The projection! It hurts usssss!

  43. This one didn’t.

  44. Buddy —

    My wife is a Phi Beta Kappa grad of the same university. She was there on a full ride, and used to help with the recruiting. I think the next time the school contacts her, they might get the reaction you suggest. On her terms, of course.

  45. Oh. And full disclosure: I don’t beat her.

  46. Oh. And full disclosure: I don’t beat her.

    Really? Danziger asks “when did you stop?”

  47. By the way. I’ve been promised a detailed breakdown of my reprehensible tone

    I, for one, can’t wait. But, we’ve been disappointed so many times before. Perhaps it’s too soon to start popping the corn?

  48. Just for the record, if Jeff has been citing Kiteley’s words in support of an argument that Kiteley does not support, then Kiteley would have been within his rights to ask Jeff to stop citing his words like that. Or at least to ask for a disclaimer stating that Kiteley doesn’t agree with the way that Jeff is using his words.

    I showed this kerfuffle to my brother, who remarked

    Wow. “You’re not only wrong, but unclean.” I know that caricatures are painted by both sides (conservative = good, liberal = Stalin), but it’s always scary to encounter people who only see an ideological opponent and
    don’t even see a fellow human being who is worthy of basic respect.

    I know enough left-leaning folks who are fine enough people if you look past their intellectual blinders. After a while, we figure out we don’t have much common ground in politics, so we talk about other stuff. I mean, I think there’s some dangerously stupid thinking out there, but I allow all men the privilege of thinking my ideas are dangerously stupid, too. Man, that professor was crossing a whole different line, especially considering this was someone he knew.

    Is that “dehumanizing an ideological opponent” more an Internet thing, or do folks act like that in flesh and blood, too?

    I told him that yes, it’s more frequent on the Internet (because it’s easier) but that it also happens in real life, and that the excommunication always originates on the Left.

  49. Oh. And full disclosure: I don’t beat her.

    I’m sure you make her say that.

  50. Good Grief JHo. You couldn’t be more wrong about Nishi.
    She is a Sufi who utterly believes in the visionary power of mysticism.

    Now I on the other hand am a deep skeptic about the mystical, noting how many ridiculous things people get mystical about:

    God,
    Nature,
    Stars,
    My country,
    Trees,
    Daffodils,
    The proletarian revolution,
    The Aryan race.
    Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Fuhrer.

    Can all those things really be deep truths?
    Or is mysticism merely the most esoteric form of masturbation?

  51. Here’s a possibility: Art pooped out. By the 20th Century, all the boundaries had been pushed to the utmost. All that was left was to try nihilistic art and purely lascivious art. There was nothing else to do, other than reprise the tradition, which is not very interesting to most artists. Consequently, the artistic space was mostly relegated to nihilism and lasciviousness, in which conservatives would have no interest.

    Artistic space merged almost entirely with leftist space. This situation is enforced by the leftist taste for perpetual purges.

    There are conservative artists. Painters in the tradition. I’m a good jazz double bassist, interested only in reprising the standards of the 30’s-50’s, and there are other conservative jazz musicians with that interest. But you don’t become famous for reprising the tradition. You become famous for originality.

    There is very little left to be original about; in the last few thousand years, the territory has been pretty well covered. All that’s left is originality’s simulacra: nihilism and lasciviousness, the cool and the hot. Art must be leftist now. When nihilism, lasciviousness and leftism grow tiresome, art will settle in to its final, permanent role: reprisal of the standards. Then, only virtuosity will be the criterion for fame.

  52. Pablo has some back-yard security video tape that says otherwise.

    That wasn’t me, dammit! I keep telling him JD borrowed the tutu that week.

  53. You’ve got a point there Jim. After the 20th century, in which the greatest originality is shown to be the industrial scaling of death, taking it straight to a factory floor at Birkenau, what surprise should the airplane attacks of September have been, though surprise they surely did?

  54. “Oh. And full disclosure: I don’t beat her.”

    THAT is why she talks back so much. And that last beer you asked for? Came a bit slow, didn’t it?

  55. Nishi asks rhetorically, “where are the conservative professors, filmmakers, comics, scientists, actors, artists?

    What is the glaring similarity? Give Up? None of these careers produce wealth in the community. They do not take seeds and produce food for the hungry. They do not take wood and make shelter for the homeless. They do no dig wells or tap rivers to give water to the thirsty. They do not weave textiles to clothe the naked.

  56. maybe on topic

    As part of a “Week for Life” series of events held at Duke over March 15–19, DSFL had reserved a Women’s Center space for a “Discussion with a Duke Mother” on March 18. A Duke student and mother was to speak about motherhood and the challenges of being in both roles. But the day before the event, the reservation was abruptly canceled in a voicemail to the group.

    Meeting with the group on March 18, Duke Women’s Center Gender Violence Prevention Specialist Martin Liccardo said that because the event was associated with the Week for Life and DSFL, the event could not be held at the Women’s Center.

    Liccardo told the group that the prospect of holding a pro-life event in the Women’s Center during Week for Life was too upsetting for some students: “We had a very strong reaction from students in general who use our space who said this was something that was upsetting and not OK. So based on that, we said, OK, we are going to respond to this and stop the program.” …

    link

  57. Define what I meant by mysticism, Keid A.

    The point is that citing science to explain Everything while discarding one’s own projected dissent is an amusing falsity. Or a convenient, elitist dodge when deployed so convincingly against pw’s many NASCAR voters. Isn’t that our nuggie?

    God,
    Nature,
    Stars,
    My country,
    Trees,
    Daffodils,
    The proletarian revolution,
    The Aryan race.
    Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Fuhrer.

    Can all those things really be deep truths?

    God and narrow human constructs or God or these narrow human “truths”, do you mean?

    Or is mysticism merely the most esoteric form of masturbation?

    Can be and therefore probably regularly is. Universally required to be, not so much.

  58. JHo, what does “while discarding one’s own projected dissent” mean?

  59. You are wasting your time on me JHo.
    I have zero interest in woo.
    And even less in word-games.

    Ironically Nishi would be far more sympathetic to you.
    To me you are a wanker already.

  60. It means crap that way, sdferr. ;o) I’ve seen nuggie project scorn on those who dissent with her “scientific” view of reality, is what I tried to say and failed.

  61. I’m sure I am, Keid A. It’s an honor.

  62. There is very little left to be original about; in the last few thousand years, the territory has been pretty well covered.

    I disagree. It’s not the subject that is original, or the technique, or inspiration, it is the artist’s inspirational interpretation of the subject, and how he uses that technique to get his message across that makes art original.

  63. She is a Sufi who utterly believes in the visionary power of mysticism.

    That’s weird, cause I always thought she was a half-educated poser who believed in the visionary power of verbal diarrhea.

  64. *I’m sure I am, Keid A*

    Seems to me Keid is Nishi. Writing style is almost identical and makes about as much sense.

  65. The only problem with what Nishi has to say is then I have to make a wee bit of typing effort to point out how it’s stupid.

    It’s no strain, mind you, but it’s getting boring.

  66. Matt, not so, I think: a review, and another.

  67. I disagree. It’s not the subject that is original, or the technique, or inspiration, it is the artist’s inspirational interpretation of the subject, and how he uses that technique to get his message across that makes art original.

    What about the theme of mocking the beliefs, mores, and attitudes of those you perceive to be simple, common folk? That makes for an abundance of great art, no?

  68. Progressives like our little president man get frustrated when conservatives don’t conform.

    lately nishi more shrugs.

    I think it’s largely cause of Sarah Palin has had the power of rendering things in very stark terms. Nishi is very right about that, and cause of she is right about that and some other things she is provocative.

    Sarah Palin is the gift what will keep on giving to the dirty socialists I think. It’s mostly cause she’s stupid and her stupid damages the Team R brand, but also it’s cause she’s a distraction I think. But it will never not be meaningful that a huge chunk of Team R thinks she’s chockit ice cream wif sprinkles.

    Gack.

  69. Matt,

    Anyone who knows Nishi, knows she has had a lifelong obsession with mysticism, beginning with the Christian mystics, like Theresa of Avilla,
    In recent years this has culminated in her conversion to Sufism. Sufism is a gnostic, mystical form of Islam.

    I am a total rationalist. Our views are diametrically opposite.

    Which part of opposite views don’t you understand?

  70. Keid A is up above it not down in it I think

  71. oh. but JHo is not a wanker that is a misread

  72. I think we should kill Palin for all the trouble she’s causing by virtue of being, happy. Break a few eggs and all that.

    Oh, and just in case certain people are reading, I mean “kill” her in a very humane, non violence-against-women kind of way.

    Like maybe with a nice gas.

  73. Mondays are declining in value I think.

  74. It’s not my fault Sarah Palin.

    I blame Meghan’s daddy.

  75. Biden’s demonstrable stupidity is an asset, we are told. He’s folksy or something like that.

  76. On the aforementioned Sarah Palin, Norman Podhoretz in the WSJ, wherein Podhoretz quotes Iowahawk fritzing Christopher Buckley, among others, in the persona of T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII. I think there is something far beyond Sarah Palin going on here.

  77. To paraphrase Glenn Beck (badly); “Where have the Conservative protesters been all these years? AT WORK.”

    Which is also why the right owns radio and the left television.  Radio is for riding to and from jobs, or listening to while working.  TV panders to the idle.

  78. I think it’s funny that Palin’s stupidities are important and must be discussed ad nauseam, but nishi’s stupidities are dismissable because she likes music that is cute and smart, and uses the word meme a lot. Which is smart, maybe.

  79. Jeff G,

    I’ve a suggestion: Perhaps you could encourage Marc Danziger to hurry up and provide his “detailed breakdown of your reprehensible tone.”

    After Marc finishes, we get to tear Mr. Danziger apart. Along with mocking Marc back to the his grungy lair under the refrigerator.

  80. Mrs. Palin looks good in leather, by the way.

    Link: http://tinyurl.com/y9ecqef

  81. Here’s a possibility: Art pooped out. By the 20th Century, all the boundaries had been pushed to the utmost.

    There is your answer.  Art got lazy.  It  became more about “pushing boundaries” that mastering a craft.  Go look at the work of the old masters, then look at the shit, literally in some cases, that is being called art today.  The only talent most of them have is in obtaining grants.

  82. Ok, knock off all this unseemly frivolity and mirth!

    Racists.

  83. Sarah Palin is shorthand is what I mean to say sdferr. Short hand for Team R dumb > Team Dirty Socialist dumb.

    Team R is a lot challenged these days when its public face is that Michael Steele doofus and Meghan’s “I’m not strong on economics” daddy and Princess Lindsey and Romneycare and Michelle Bachmann etc…

    What I mean to say is there are a lot of tards on Team R what reinforce Sarah Palin’s well-funded and massively orchestrated “let’s brand Team R the tard party” campaign.

    Team R is in massive denial about how tard-ridden it is, and you can think of Sarah Palin the poster child of this malady.

    Paul Ryan is the hopefulest sign in many moons, in that Team R is celebrating a non-tard for a change.

  84. I think it’s funny that Palin’s stupidities are important and must be discussed ad nauseam, but nishi’s stupidities are dismissable because she likes music that is cute and smart, and uses the word meme a lot. Which is smart, maybe.

    If a certain someone is trying to get laid, that certain someone could do us all a favor and let us know that this is what motivates that certain someone. Also, certain someone would do better in pursuit of this worthy goal by other means, and certainly not by putting a certain other someone on a pedestal.

  85. I am a total rationalist.

    If it ever strikes, totally let me know what reason tells you about the “deepest” particles currently known.

  86. Well yes hf, of course she is. My point though is that sometimes, dumbs will simply outnumber smarts, overrun and crush them, in fact. That possible eventuality isn’t to be taken as either a particularly good or bad thing, circumstances being critical as to any such judgment. Put another way, dumb know things too — they know what dumbs know — and these knowings will count.

  87. I am pro-crushing.

  88. Sarah Palin is the gift what will keep on giving to the dirty socialists I think.

    ‘feets, it wouldn’t matter what Sarah did or did not say; the dirty socialists would characterize her as stupid and very stupid and bumpkin. Truth is no defence with them.

    Just as they have been characterizing the Tea Partiers as racists from the off, regardless of all the black folk who are organizing them, and they’ll call us violent even when the lefties shoot out windows, throw eggs in Searchlight, drop sandbags on buses from overpasses at the RNC convention, and generally cause mayhem and blame it on us.

    Stop worrying about Sarah doing damage. She isn’t. She’s only embarrassing you in front of that special someone who Alec referenced in his last.

    You’ve never denied it, have you?

    Chercher la femme!

  89. I saw some thing yesterday I re-call not where, wherein some Ivy educated guy writes that he discovered his education did not fit him to live in the world during an encounter with a plumber who’d come to work on his newly purchased home. He found that he couldn’t communicate with the man at all, and honestly it seemed to me, chose to blame this on himself rather than on the plumber. What a world.

  90. Can we have a Palin-free day? I’m thinking Mondays? Starting NOW.

  91. I’ve never been convinced – unlike our progg overlords – that one can learn everything necessary and sufficient to govern in a classroom.

    Plenty of highly intelligent people are stupid. Most, in awe of their own intelligence, never seek to become wise. Very few intelligent people nurture virtue, and very many are particularly vicious. Intelligent and vicious men are a danger to life and liberty. I have a particular one in mind right now.

  92. JHo,
    Contemporary physics doesn’t really believe in “particles” – it believes in quantum fields.
    Quantum fields can have particle-like states, though.
    Strictly speaking they are “quanta” – excited states of a quantum field – not particles in the classical sense.

  93. It’s too late for that, Carin. Too. Late.

    Oh, the humanity.

  94. Alec, if you mean Obama, I have yet to see any proof of his alleged “intelligence.” He certainly isn’t “highly intelligent.”

    Then again, that might be my viciousness talking. Boo!

  95. If a certain someone is trying to get laid

    A certain someone should not aspire to getting laid via the Internet, because on the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.

    Take it to email, is my recommendation. Everyone knows that dogs can’t email.

  96. Or even better yet, a precedent.

  97. dicentra I think more it matters that the Dirty Socialists are left unmolested to embody a rejection of Palinesque tardation, a rejection what voter people can use to flatter themselves.

  98. Alec, if you mean Obama, I have yet to see any proof of his alleged “intelligence.”

    He’s intelligent, but not nearly as intelligent as he himself believes and as he has been told over the course of his life to date.

    That’s a problem.

  99. it wouldn’t matter what Sarah did or did not say; the dirty socialists would characterize her as stupid and very stupid and bumpkin.

    And I think it wouldn’t matter what the dirty socialists do or don’t say — happyfeet will always find an excuse to remind us that he’s embarrassed by her existence.

    But that’s okay. I’ve been having a long string of happyfeet-free days lately, even in threads where he comments.

  100. oh. Sorry Carin I just think Palin is the river what runs through it. A really dumb river, with duckies and rowboats.

  101. The Podhoretz column in WSJ is pretty germane here:the response to Sarah Palin on the left is of a piece with the liberal hatred of Richard Nixon, Reagan and George W. Bush. It was a hatred that had less to do with differences over policy than with the conviction that these men were usurpers who, by mobilizing all the most retrograde elements of American society, had stolen the country from its rightful (liberal) rulers. But to a much greater extent than Nixon, Reagan and George W. Bush, Sarah Palin is in her very being the embodiment of those retrograde forces and therefore potentially even more dangerous…

    …I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the same species of class bias that Mrs. Palin provokes in her enemies and her admirers is at work among the conservative intellectuals who are so embarrassed by her.

    What she does know—and in this respect, she does resemble Reagan—is that the United States has been a force for good in the world, which is more than Barack Obama, whose IQ is no doubt higher than hers, has yet to learn. Jimmy Carter also has a high IQ, which did not prevent him from becoming one of the worst presidents in American history, and so does Bill Clinton, which did not prevent him from befouling the presidential nest….And yeah, he quotes Iowahawk. Woohoo, Burge rulez!

  102. Turns out it DOEs matter how you spell “blockquote” in the tags.

    Stupid computer literalism.

  103. Pod is very blah blah blah… I think Sarah Palin is a nuisance what is not helpful and what seems mostly concerned with enriching her unaccomplished quitty ass.

    Simple as that.

  104. “You’ve never denied it, have you?”

    Could be too, a case of not wishing to dignify an absurdity with a response. Why don’t we lay off the personal stuff for a change?

  105. Just thinking about Social Science. I mean if you have to put science in the name, it probably isn’t.

    I am reminded of the comic (George Carlin I belive) who used to make fun of processed cheese, which at the time was listed as processed cheese food. “If you have to put food in the name of the product, it probably isn’t something you should eat.”

    Or like the store I saw the other day, “Upscale funiture”. If you have to tell people it’s an upscale store, IN IT’S NAME, it pretty much proves that it isn’t.

    Similar to the quote. “If you have to ask how much it costs, you probably can’t afford it.”

  106. Pod is very blah blah blah… I think Sarah Palin is a nuisance what is not

    The only place she nuisances me is in your comments. I go days and days w/o reading about her anywhere else.

  107. Contemporary physics doesn’t really believe in “particles” – it believes in quantum fields.
    Quantum fields can have particle-like states, though.
    Strictly speaking they are “quanta” – excited states of a quantum field – not particles in the classical sense.

    Sure. The point remains: turtles all the way down or turtles down to a certain point – you choose. Is the Universe self-generating, and if so, isn’t the view that everything about it can be understood in some future state the ultimate in faith? Faith in endless turtles or faith in turtles supported just because they are.

    As a sidebar, quantum physics are such that mysticism is as useful a frame of mind to consider them as any. As I take her, the nuggie-notion is that reality is science’s domain. I find this, therefore, akin to a great faith in the unknown.

  108. I think Sarah Palin

    wears leather well

  109. He left out Gerald Ford, who was savaged brutally for being an imbecile, even though he was probably one of the most intelligent Presidents ever.

  110. I mean, it’s like last election when Nishi kept going on and on about how the Republicans were Christianists and all that. But, it was HER and left that were pushing that meme for all it’s worth. Everyone else appeared to be mostly concern with other issues.

  111. Palin palin palin palin palin retard palin cunt paliN!

  112. I am 100% certain physics, quantum or otherwise, does not believe in anything.

  113. Artists who aren’t raging capitalists are usually unsuccessful until their early death, at which time their very capitalist manager/second wife/parents slap their dead mug on cheap t-shirts and make a fortune.

    And lawsuits.

  114. Just thinking about Social Science. I mean if you have to put science in the name, it probably isn’t.

    Oh, nifty!

    Christian Science
    Creation Science
    Climate Science
    Computer Science

    Hey, it works!

  115. I think this is a very very concerning issue Carin. We just had 2008 where Team R had fuck all to choose from as far as non-odious candidates went, and then that’s over but bam it’s like Harry Potter waved his happy little Potter wand and from the ashes of that fiasco rises Sarah Palin, a new goddess forever enshrined in Team R’s pantheon of dumb.

    A pikachu could lose faith.

  116. “I think it’s very disingenuous to suggest that Sarah Palin is extraneous to Mr. Jeff’s posting,” sniffed happyfeet sniffily.

  117. JHo,
    turtles all the way down or turtles down to a certain point

    Turtles until I have verifiable evidence of not-turtles.
    Until then I decline to speculate.
    Or at the very least, I don’t take my speculations seriously.

  118. I am 100% certain physics, quantum or otherwise, does not believe in anything.

    Just like progg Scientists™.

  119. She sure as heck isn’t the heresy that destroys orthodoxy, if that’s what anyone’s thinking.

  120. I am fairly certain the beliefs of physicists spans an extensive gamut.

  121. Turtles until I have verifiable evidence of not-turtles.
    Until then I decline to speculate.

    So external self-propagation is an option. Sounds faithful.

    Isn’t philosophy built as much on questioning and reason as it is on available concrete evidence?

  122. i think palin causes flatulence in some people

  123. “I think it’s very disingenuous to suggest that Sarah Palin is extraneous to Mr. Jeff’s posting,” sniffed happyfeet sniffily.

    I don’t know what this means. Do you really think Palin is the subtext here? Or other posts in which she’s not explicitly mentioned or referenced?

    She sure as heck isn’t the heresy that destroys orthodoxy, if that’s what anyone’s thinking.

    To the GOP’s “intellectual class” and its hold on the conservative narrative as a pragmatic electoral preference for Democrat light, she most certainly is — at least insofar as the “rabble” is concerned.

  124. So external self-propagation is an option. Sounds faithful.

    It’s an option, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and in the meantime there is Ockham’s razor and we have serious work to do understanding all the stuff we have evidence for.

    Isn’t philosophy built as much on questioning and reason as it is on available concrete evidence?

    I wouldn’t know. I have little interest in philosophy. I am an empiricist, my interest is understanding Nature. I have no evidence, and therefore no reason to believe, anything else exists.

  125. Comment by Slartibartfast on 3/29 @ 12:46 pm #

    That cut like a freakin’ K-bar. Ouch.

  126. I am an empiricist

    How can you be certain?

    Uh oh.

    Have at it, sdferr…

  127. Mr. Jeff what I mean to say is I think a discussion of Sarah Palin is appropriate in a nishi-inspired discussion of whether conservatives are under-represented in the creative and or smartness professions. It’s a conversation what is at least in part about how people perceive conservatives I think, or what would it matter?

  128. How can you be certain?
    I am persuaded by its efficacy.
    And by, what seems to me, the sterility of every other approach.

  129. Oh, sorry, I was off watching the end of Martinsville so it’s gonna take me awhile to catch up.

  130. “To the GOP’s “intellectual class” … she most certainly is”

    Is a perfectly fair reading of them, I think, and to that extent I’d say you’re right. The heretic I offered upthread, however, couldn’t be farther from Palin were we to seek one.

  131. What constitutes sterility in this context Keid A?

  132. That was not me in the tutu, McGehee. And you could not prove it even if it was. So there …

  133. I am an empiricist, my interest is understanding Nature. I have no evidence, and therefore no reason to believe, anything else exists.

    Nothing else exists? I question that Nature is built on ether. After all, the chase for answers begins with deconstructing matter.

    Except matter is built on ether, which is to say, everything is. Isn’t that kinda mystical?

    Anyway, you intend to be an empiricist, self-limiting the view in order to be so. Specialists cannot grasp Nature, say you. If you have no reason to believe anything else exists, will it?

    Yet if you were nuggie at this point you’d stop wielding Science™ as the cudgel of reason and objectivity — nuggie’s sacred and exclusive pursuit of truth. It has the ring of naivete to it; having debunked the Church on the center of the universe, all of Science’s™ Galileos can go around eternally slamming thought with sacred evidence.

    Viewed by current knowledge, Nature fairly demands that we re-ask some eternal questions about how and why. Science mostly refuses to do that thing. The disconnect leaves the nuggie-Scientist™ limited when it comes to using the tool of science to argue sociology or whatever narrow view she holds, which is that typically us Republican morons hold to our cartoon celebrities and miss all the cool progress going on everywhere else.

  134. How could someone without an ear finely-tuned to pestering the Humorless Humps Of Leftsville pen this?

    Warning: Subject to New Politically Correct Language Police Censorship

    March Madness battles rage! My family and I join millions of Americans enjoying college basketball’s finest through March Madness. Underdogs always get my vote as we watch intense competition bring out the best in these accomplished teams.

    The Final Four is an intense, contested series (kind of like a heated, competitive primary election), so best of luck to all teams, and watch for this principle lived out: the team that wins is the team that wants it more.

    To the teams that desire making it this far next year: Gear up! In the battle, set your sights on next season’s targets! From the shot across the bow – the first second’s tip-off – your leaders will be in the enemy’s crosshairs, so you must execute strong defensive tactics. You won’t win only playing defense, so get on offense! The crossfire is intense, so penetrate through enemy territory by bombing through the press, and use your strong weapons – your Big Guns – to drive to the hole. Shoot with accuracy; aim high and remember it takes blood, sweat and tears to win.

    Focus on the goal and fight for it. If the gate is closed, go over the fence. If the fence is too high, pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, parachute in. If the other side tries to push back, your attitude should be “go for it.” Get in their faces and argue with them. (Sound familiar?!) Every possession is a battle; you’ll only win the war if you’ve picked your battles wisely. No matter how tough it gets, never retreat, instead RELOAD!

    – Sarah Palin”

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=375184908434

    There’s crosshairs all over it! O NOESS!!!1!11eleventy

  135. What constitutes sterility in this context Keid A?

    Empiricism produces an so-far endless torrent of new, and useful-for-survival, knowledge. Nothing else that I know does.

  136. Bah, best go read it in the original Facebookese, as it loses a bit of oomph in the non-italicized translation I offered up…

  137. That Baylor center girl is an awesome athlete. Freakish, almost.

  138. here is the inverse of this post I think… you want you can click the link and see

  139. Here’s a possibility: Art pooped out. By the 20th Century, all the boundaries had been pushed to the utmost. All that was left was to try nihilistic art and purely lascivious art. There was nothing else to do, other than reprise the tradition, which is not very interesting to most artists. Consequently, the artistic space was mostly relegated to nihilism and lasciviousness, in which conservatives would have no interest.

    Artistic space merged almost entirely with leftist space. This situation is enforced by the leftist taste for perpetual purges.

    I think there’s a lot of truth in that. But I think a bigger factor is that conservatives are not wired to piss away their twenties trying to find themselves or grinding out an existence in the hopes of making it as an artist. The odds are so against enjoying any kind of financial success that the pursuit really lends itself to the self-indulgent, the perpetually adolescent and those who are not family-oriented. I mean, there is plenty space in the arts – executionally – for being edgy without defiling our little country and its culture, there just isn’t a critical mass of people attempting to do so.

  140. Hey Happy, SUCK IT!

  141. ohnoes… damn revisionist proggs

  142. Empiricism produces an so-far endless torrent of new, and useful-for-survival, knowledge.

    All the more reason to stop associating mere sociopolitical assertions with empiricism.

    Eh, nuggie?

  143. That’s the third link of that Podhoretz piece in a single thread.

  144. I am not gonna suck it I don’t think easyliving person. The Pod person’s choice to write about how Sarah Palin understands in her head that America is Good only underscores the nuisanceyness what is Sarah Palin if you ask me.

    These are understandings what set the understanding bar very low I think.

  145. Do you think of schemes of political organization as useful for survival Keid A? That is, to take one at random, the scheme the founders of the United States cooked up for example? The question then is, is that scheme empirical under your definition of empirical? Or does it wander somewhat outside the bounds of the strictly empirical into the field of speculative philosophical endeavor?

  146. Just above 2% of all posts. To maintain that pace someone will have to link it again at around #186.

  147. Maybe I should volunteer and bring in a twofer in a double-doubling sense? Shit, talk about recursion. Oh, wait, were we talking about recursion?

  148. Here’s a reader email to K-Lo at The Corner:

    I like Sarah Palin though I think McCain should have chosen Romney. But, I think the emailer who cringes when Sarah Palin shouts “America. Do you love your freedom?” is only contributing to the big problem conservatives face. This is about freedom. Not everyone can be as eloquent as Mark Steyn, but that doesn’t make the starkness of that question any worse. It does, of course, depend a lot on what follows. But the real problem isn’t that she’s being too simplistic or even that a reasonable person may be convinced that she’s too simplistic. The real problem is that a vast number of liberals, lacking any reasoning skills, simply try and convince you that they are convinced she’s a simpleton. So, if by groupthink they can convince enough people that they and many others are convinced Sarah Palin is a simpleton, then it’s not even debatable and she’s diminished in stature. Similarly, anyone who supports Sarah Palin is also a simpleton, red-neck, right-wing militia member, etc. It’s a way to shut off debate and we have to stop letting it happen.

    Seriously ‘feets. What’s her name? Who’s the skirt you’re trying to impress?

  149. Good art is like a push up bra, it is meant to lift (our spirits) and separate (wheat from chaff, so to speak). What passes for art these days does neither.

  150. dicentra, honest to christ, the sexual references are beneath your dignity.

  151. Could be too, a case of not wishing to dignify an absurdity with a response. Why don’t we lay off the personal stuff for a change?

    It could be that I am engaging in some good-natured ribbing, as well. Ought I to lay off that?

  152. Yes, if you choose. Same goes for everyone else. My pointing this out isn’t a demand but an observation, something on the order, how would you feel about this were it done to you?

  153. is ok… I… I think that is overwrought though about what how K-Lo says it’s essential to the fate of the Republic that we rehabilitate Sarah Palin…

    Sarah Palin is just a self-appointed spokesmodel now, and an unelectable one at that. She can lie in her own bed with all her money I think. Just… I think she should busy herself with cookbooks and merchandising and reality tv. I’m sure Kimmy K would be happy to share her experience in these matters.

  154. There must have been a new link to the Rape of Liberty post; lots of fresh outrage piling up. Can that thread hit 2,000?

  155. Would that SNL or some other comedy show did this to Obama right after the election. This was the “mainstream” media’s view of Ronald Reagan. Done at the beginning of December 1980 just after the election and well over a month before he took office.

    I’ve linked this before so I only linked one part, Right where “RR” shows up for the party.

  156. On the Kim K, SP and K-Lo business: There’s a Burlesque revival going on up in Seattle, I think it is. My sister sent me a link NSFW, REPEAT, NOT SAFE, to a movie someone she met has made called “A Wink & a Smile“. Gangbusters? Could be, we’ll see. Looks a little like Weimar Germany to me though.

  157. sdferr
    Do you think of schemes of political organization as useful for survival Keid A? That is, to take one at random, the scheme the founders of the United States cooked up for example? The question then is, is that scheme empirical under your definition of empirical? Or does it wander somewhat outside the bounds of the strictly empirical into the field of speculative philosophical endeavor?

    I think it was originally a theoretical construct, but based on long empirical observation of political structures. Since then it has produced the greatest republic in history. So many aspects of the scheme have proven their value empirically.

    All the same though, there seems to be an entropic decay occuring. The republic is drifting further and further from its original inspiration. This is not something new. It goes back to the early 20th century, Hoover, FDR, at least.

    Was it useful for survival? It was to those who could handle the freedom. It placed great demands on individual resourcefulness though. Perhaps not everyone is that resourceful. I suspect it alienated a lot of people that couldn’t handle the demands of real freedom.

  158. Keid A, I think the survival value can be seen in the argument of Robert Fogel, at least to the extent that the political organization contributed to creating the conditions entailed (I think mightily, though I recognize this is a subject of some dispute).

  159. On questions of the Empiricism and recursion, see this, if you have not already.

  160. I think she should busy herself with cookbooks

    i think they have a cook at the white house

  161. I am persuaded

    Doesn’t sound terribly empircist-y.

  162. Would that SNL or some other comedy show did this to Obama right after the election

    Charles Rocket as Rocky Horror? Fail.

  163. Wasn’t Charles Rocket, wasn’t even SNL. ABC’s SNL takeoff, Fridays. With Larry David and Michael Richards among others.

  164. A very younger M Richards no?

  165. That is, than the Seinfeld one, I mean.

  166. Heh. That was Season 6 or 7, I think, which wasn’t exactly one of their peak seasons.

    Except that’s when they hired Eddie Murphy, IIRC.

  167. Seeing Kramer in that is beyond odd. I can just imagine stumbling upon that skit when I was six. I’d have thought, “Adults are f’n crazy.”

    Btw, my brain lesion prompts me to offer Popper’s critical rationalism as an alternative to empiricism. Three cheers for falsifiability, three jeers for inductive reasoning.

  168. And by, what seems to me, the sterility of every other approach.

    The nebulosity it…, it…

    Well, it doesn’t do very much at all.

  169. Yes, very young, before Seinfield. Probably led to the Seinfield gig as Larry David was a performer and writer on Fridays. They were beating the SNL 6th season which sucked mightily.

  170. Paul Ryan is the hopefulest sign in many moons, in that Team R is celebrating a non-tard for a change.

    But he’s just so goddamned lifey! 0% NARAL, 100% NRLC. What’s a good progressive conservative supposed to do?

  171. You know who is just awesome, as far as a politician can be said to be awesome that is? Sarah Palin. God I just love her.

  172. sdferr,
    On questions of the Empiricism and recursion, see this, if you have not already.

    This philosophical approach has little appeal for me.
    Nulius in Verba,

    I think of empiricism as being deeply rooted in Bayesian probability theory.
    Where Bayes theory functions as an extended logic.
    – The reasoning that applies in the presence of uncertainty.

    The canonical treatment might be ET Jaynes, Probability Theory – The Language of Science
    You can download the first three chapters for free here. It contains the meat of the argument.

  173. Have you at least come to grips with it Keid A? Or do you see it as simply an investment not worth the energy necessary to do so?

  174. Paul Ryan is the hopefulest sign in many moons, in that Team R is celebrating a non-tard for a change.

    How long will he be the Flavor of the Month? What horrible things will the proggnuts say about him? How much PW threadspace will subsequently be devoted to denouncements of the embarrassing Paulie Ryan?

    Tune in next month!

  175. I’ll tell you my problem sdferr.

    I am a secular humanist.
    Even if your God exists, Man is still my god.
    The only reason I would want to find your God, is to kill him and steal his Power for ourselves.

  176. What the heck is this your God you are talking about?

  177. The only reason I would want to find your God, is to kill him

    He thinks he’s a Klingon.

  178. You tell me.
    My point is the progress of Man is all I care about.
    Empiricism is all I need to achieve that.
    No matter how flawed the philosophers say it is.
    It works.

  179. It’s sort of gay how lifey he is, but if all lifeydoodles were lifey like Paul Ryan was lifey that would be aces I think.

  180. How am I to tell you about a subject you broach? Are you nuts?

  181. Maybe Levi should go the burlesque route hf? oh, wait….

  182. levi johnson is dysfunction. palins not so much

  183. hf

    that’s very stupack of you

  184. Wait for it…

  185. What part does morality play in your brand of pure Empiricism Keid?

  186. Hey, you guys see the Norman Podhoretz column in the WSJ today?

  187. Are you nuts?
    Probably

  188. My point is the progress of Man is all I care about.

    Define progress.

  189. What part does morality play in your brand of pure Empiricism Keid?

    You know, there’s more and more evidence these days for an innate foundation to morality.
    It seems to be what evolves in a species composed of highly-social Darwinian agents.
    Then culture modifies it and vice-versa. It evolves along with us.

  190. Human nature has no history. But, progress!

  191. I am a secular humanist.
    Even if your God exists, Man is still my god.
    The only reason I would want to find your God, is to kill him and steal his Power for ourselves.
    […]
    My point is the progress of Man is all I care about.
    Empiricism is all I need to achieve that.
    No matter how flawed the philosophers say it is.
    It works.

    Bravo. An encapsulation of the viewpoint that gave us the bloody 20th century and threatens to make the new one an even bigger extravaganza of blood. Lust for power and whatever works is good.

  192. I’ve got pie!

  193. Again, damn.

  194. Define progress,

    I think one can define it in darwinian and informational terms.
    We progress as our survival options increase.
    We are an intelligent species so for us progress usually occurs as we accumulate knowledge – Especially the kind of knowledge that empowers us to survive and flourish in a often-hostile universe.
    It’s somewhat circular.

    I think one can define a Rational Darwinian Agent.
    It would be a Darwinian agent whose mental energies are devoted to maximizing its inclusive fitness.
    Presumably the genome is already near-optimised for that purpose.
    As it achieves its goals it can be said to “progress”.

    Because intelligent lifeforms can store huge amounts of knowledge externally.
    Knowledge can be cumulative for us.
    We progress as our knowledge grows and the knowledge empowers us.

  195. That’s nice, Keid A.

    To what end, then? Are we in the business of reproducing meat?

  196. And horseradish sauce.

  197. Lust for power and whatever works is good.

    You think what doesn’t work is better?
    How do living things survive without power over their circumstances?
    Most things in Nature are dead or dying.

  198. Perhaps milk. Evolution as arrow, flying toward a target certain, but no archer.

  199. To what end, then? Are we in the business of reproducing meat?

    Yes we are, JHoward – Thinking meat.

  200. I’ve got pie!

    You know you’d better have enough for everybody.

  201. Though thinking meat flops just a tad unappealing when so reduced, Keid A, not to say this isn’t a more or less accurate account. After all, no small function of the thinking part is writing in — or back in — all the rest of the story, some vast portions of which contribute to the mystery monkeyshines that storytellers like human beings love so much. So we work to account for these. And the remainders of our peculiar behaviors.

    hf, Um, not on this pie we don’t. On that other pie though, you betcha. the horseradish sauce, that is.

  202. To what end, then? Are we in the business of reproducing meat?

    Yes we are, JHoward – Thinking meat.

    Predictably, this is where we differ. Now, what system best honors both of our pursuits? And which destroys mine to order to promote its own?

  203. Whatever “works” is short for the ends justify the means. However as ends can be said to justify means, means will also determine the actual end that will be achieved. The means used will warp the end.

  204. Oh, thank goodness for the tangents. I was really afraid the regulars here found Nishi 207-comment-interesting.

    I’m happy for the outbreak of normalcy.

    Cordially…

  205. I think one can define it in darwinian and informational terms. We progress as our survival options increase. We are an intelligent species so for us progress usually occurs as we accumulate knowledge – Especially the kind of knowledge that empowers us to survive and flourish in a often-hostile universe. It’s somewhat circular.

    I think one can define a Rational Darwinian Agent. It would be a Darwinian agent whose mental energies are devoted to maximizing its inclusive fitness.

    So how does a society that is focused on using all the wealth and resources created by the capable and productive to support the inept and nonproductive fit in to this? That seems to be just the opposite of maximizing fitness.

  206. Somewhat on-topic, here’s an excerpt from 1939 The Lost World of the Fair by David Gelernter (1995). Highly recommended, fwiw.

    Technology is one of my central themes, and the fair was remarkable for the way art and technology were blended and balanced there. Technology and art faced each other eye to eye at the fair. Art is no longer in a position to look anything in the eye; since 1939 it has spiraled listlessly ever downward in public esteem. If you stop an average college graduate on the street this afternoon and solicit the names of a distinguised living painter, a poet, and a classical composer — please don’t yold your breath awaiting an answer. In the thirties you might have been tolds “Picasso, Yeats, and Stravinsky,” or maybe “Diego Rivera, Eliot, Gershwin.”

    [ … ]

    In 1939 art was good enough, technology revolutionary enough to compel public attention. When the public turned to the wide world it found a rich and varied menu of topics for contemplation. We are just as hungry today for famous people and spectacular achievements, but we satisfy our craving with junk food. Granted, 1939’s public was better educated and arguably more sophisticated than we, but the public didn’t force art and technology from office; art and technology abdicated. We have celebrities. 1939 had authorities.

  207. Somewhat on-topic

    TOPICALIST!

  208. You know, B Moe, because we are an intelligent lifeform we live in a mental world of ideas as well as a biological one. There are many ways to be productive from that point of view. Of course if we devoted ALL our energy to support the inept and nonproductive then we could not progress.

    The nearest thing today to a totally captive culture might be North Korea – socialism in one family.

  209. Yeah, all that Darwinian bullshit is kinda stultifying, Rick.

    Maybe nuggie’s next moniker will be the name of an imaginary red dwarf circling its primary just outside the Roche limit and spewing green-hot radiation from the poles.

    Because of the novelty. NASCAR voters don’t do novel.

  210. “NASCAR voters don’t do novel.”

    Don’t box me in JHo. Jeez. Damn man. I readed a novel once.

  211. Nope. The productive don’t need to be subsidized. Every dime spent subsidizing failure is a time lost to true progress, and we are running out of dimes.

  212. Since this evolution here is not that of genetic, but of cultural/social evolution, the markers for fitness do not have the solidity of “survival of the species” They can be markers laid down by those having the power to do so and thus be of use in directing the course of what evolves.

    As was said in another context having also to do with power.

    It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.

    Deciding what is to be considered as “fit” is the power point. In a free society that decision would be made in small everyday decisions by all individuals freely. A free market. Be nice to have one someday. A means without a selected ends.

  213. Every dime spent subsidizing failure is a time lost to true progress, and we are running out of dimes.

    That’s an idea I have a lot of sympathy with.
    This is particularly true when we are talking about vast disfunctional organizations, too big to fail.

  214. That’s silly easyliving1… I was a big supporter of Sarah Palin and painfully slow to see her for what she is. I think I first realized she might could be a hoochietart was when she bailed on her governor job for the bright lights and easy money of the big city. And then when she announced she thought what America needed was six more years of Meghan’s piece of shit daddy she really really lost me. Also I thought that when she had no problem with the idea that a ostensible Team R presidential candidate should be cashing checks from Fox News she displayed a level of judgment that was at best Huckabeesian.

  215. You know, there’s more and more evidence these days for an innate foundation to morality.

    I’d be curious to take a look at this evidence.

    It seems to be what evolves in a species composed of highly-social Darwinian agents.
    Then culture modifies it and vice-versa. It evolves along with us.

    So morality itself is relative, but the knowing that we should have a moral code is innate? Under this structure if the Germans had been successful in creating their master race and pushing it to the rest of the world, then this would have been become moral simply because they proved themselves to be the most fit. Or am I missing something?

  216. plus she has no purpose … Team R does not need a spokesmodel it needs ideas and a hoochietart what babbles drillbabydrill and then campaigns for the most undrillingest fuck on Team R is not where you look for ideas I don’t think.

  217. This is particularly true when we are talking about vast disfunctional organizations, too big to fail.

    Like the Federal Government?  That is the vast dysfunctional organization I worry about.

  218. Orwell believed every successful tyranny had to stamp out the ability to think by reducing information content, and ultimately by reducing the language itself into a kind of pidgin called Newspeak. A few big and simple untruths are always easier to peddle than complex reality.

    link

  219. Team R is not where you look for ideas I don’t think.

    you don’t like lesbian bondage clubs?

  220. Makewi: to take a hypothetical path toward the issue, suppose for a moment that there simply isn’t a deity. Yet the morality human beings possess or hope to possess (setting aside for the time being any question as to whether morality is relative) is still an in-our-faces big fucking deal, as our Vice President might style it. Where then does it come from if not from what we call nature? Or, to put it another way, why would we say a priori that nature couldn’t evolve us in this fashion?

  221. Like the Federal Government? That is the vast dysfunctional organization I worry about.

    That too I have a lot of sympathy with.
    Please note however, my Federal government is not your Federal Government. Not that the flaws are that different though.

  222. If you wingnuts would let the lesbians go to prom they wouldn’t need their own clubs.

  223. If you wingnuts would let the lesbians go to prom they wouldn’t need their own clubs

    what they do with clubs?

  224. Achille and his Harmonica at the Prom. He don’t got no club.

  225. I’d be curious to take a look at this evidence.

    Google evolution of morality. Plently of resources. 2.6 million hits.

    So morality itself is relative, but the knowing that we should have a moral code is innate?
    No I don’t see that. We have a shared foundation to morality. There seem to be broad moral values that are near-universal in our species. Mostly the kind of things evo theory would predict. Within that broad framework cultures evolve their own variations and fine-tuning. As culture evolves so do sensibilities.

    The relationships are complex. Did slavery disappear because of refined moral theories or because the industrial revolution finally allowed us to enslave machines instead? Maybe modern society is more ethical in some ways, because it can afford to be. The Nazis are pathological because in the final analysis they are at war with everybody.

  226. Did slavery disappear because of refined moral theories or because the industrial revolution finally allowed us to enslave machines instead

    moral theory as the industrial rev wouldn’t really take til about 1870-1880

  227. “Both Tipton and McConnell say their campaigns have not had any direct contact with Palin or “Sarah PAC” since the announcement — but both of them would be “very interested” in bringing her to Colorado to stump for them.”

    You can’t stop it.

  228. sarah got a rifle she don’t need no club

  229. the industrial rev wouldn’t really take til about 1870-1880

    The industrial revolution in England is a century earlier than that. It’s having impacts all over the Western world. Manchester, cotton mills, newcomen engines, canals, global markets. Water wheels.

  230. Having never heard of a newcomen engine, I googled it. Turns out there was an earlier steam pump called — and this early commercial phrasing is what I enjoyed — the Miner’s Friend. That could describe anything from shovels and buckets to alcohol and prostitutes.

    Its problem, the Miner’s Friend? The reason it’s not well known? You couldn’t pump water very far with it. So I guess it was more of a Moderately Deep Hole Digger’s Friend and that wasn’t a large enough market.

  231. Sarah can always use a Moderately Deep Hole Digger’s Friend for when she campaigns in Arizona.

  232. ohnoes. That was me!

  233. Y’know, I’d never noticed quite how many definitions there are under the query head. A load, lemme tell ya. And the hydraulic ones are wa-a-y down there toward the bottom of the well.

  234. Having never heard of a newcomen engine,

    I am finding it hard to believe that you never watched the show “Connections” where it was featured in episode 6.

  235. Where there’s pumps, there’s leaks. Somehow I’ve managed to miss the birth announcement of the new kewl thing ’til now. Bodes ill, it does, the thing, not the missings.

  236. re Newcomen engine,
    worse than that. It was very inefficient so it could only be used where fuel was very cheap e.g. Pumping water out of waterlogged coalmines in soggy England.
    The first industrial revolution was based on coal and wrought iron refined in reverberatory furnaces.

    e.g. Coalbrookdale 1801

  237. Actually, Geoff, never saw the show but read this book when I was, I don’t know, 20?, and don’t remember it from that.

    Trying hard now, I don’t think I remember anything specific from that book. Maybe something about vulcanized rubber or the like.

  238. That’s a cool painting… you know if you zoomed in it’d get all Flemish where it’s red and white.

    Maybe that’s just a feeling I have.

  239. industrial revolutions are nevertheless very exciting things all in all

  240. but they’re better with backlighting

  241. It was very inefficient

    yea watts and thompson didn’t sort it out til 1850 then there’s a war in america then the full scale industrial revolution begins you know with lots of undersea telegraph wires to tell everyone your shit had been received

  242. my question for the crowd is: the ether that einstein discarded would it have been more flavourable with horseradish? only poincare knows.

  243. I heard you can grow your own horseradish … it’s like some kind of underground tuber.

  244. you grate it like cheese or that guy in Senseless

  245. spreads like wild-fire hf, wherever it’s happy. almost weedylike

  246. I should like to plant some in mah bucket.

  247. Here bh at the 2:30 point to the 5:00 or so.

  248. then the full scale industrial revolution begins

    Obviously your history books were written in the USA.
    That’s like WWII started after Pearl Harbor.
    Well, yes, it did for the USA.

  249. Dickens wrote about Industrialness and he invented capital letters.

  250. Dude, Geoff, you’re a legend. I’m going to end up watching every minute of that show on youtube.

  251. The known unknowns are the things I bookmark but then never read. The unknown unknowns are the things I should be searching for on youtube but never occur to me.

  252. Anything for a fellow fan of Santa Sangre. Gotta stick together. It was a good series, enjoy.

  253. I look at Youtube and Google like I used to look at library card catalogs. Browse in a random fashion sometimes to discover things unknown. Like the THW I sent, though that was from a typo which is also a sorta random thing.

  254. Algorithmically? I do that too, Geoff.

    Sometimes just to reseed MCMC-wise.

    Connections, as the English bloke might say.

  255. Note to self: Freaky math allusions kill threads. My bad.

  256. I know what that means, markoff chain monte carlo

  257. Yeah, but I killed the thread, Keid A.

  258. Well fuck all, that doesn’t do the rest of us any good though. ;-)

  259. Btw, if you weren’t on the lookout to kill god, we’re remarkably close in outlook.

    I wonder a bit if we can’t fine tune our guesses that we’ll then check empirically/scientifically/rationally, though. That’s my emphasis on Popper. Which might be undue but, shit, I’m not past that yet.

  260. the ether disappeared. is it on a milk carton?

  261. nay POINCARE or the jerk lorentz or michaelson with his thingy

  262. Are you an engineer, newrouter? I know you’re speaking in a voice but you’re an engineer, right? What sort are you?

  263. Being as it’s Passover, hence nearing onto Easter, let’s try a revival. How’s some dribble-over from the highjinks in the Pub? And if lesbian spanking inferno won’t do it, we can muse further on How Little We Know?

  264. if you weren’t on the lookout to kill god, we’re remarkably close in outlook

    There can be only one bh. I believe that one should be H.Sapiens.

  265. Does anyone know if Slivovitz is kosher?

    Too late.

  266. Well, it’s not so much that I’m anti-god killing. It’s more that I figure the options are more a) no god to kill or b) he’s really buff and has a bazooka.

    I do dig the Highlander reference though.

  267. Or, irrelevant or impossible.

    Or, we gain the power of each immortal we behead. In which case, I’ll fight you for the role of Scottish samurai!

  268. 1. I believe god possibly exists.
    2. it is probably a computer.

  269. Wow.

    We are remarkably alike.

    I’d give some slack on the definition of #2 though. As we can’t really say, being dumb as shit, comparatively.

  270. Still figure he/she/it’ll see us coming.

    Perhaps better to bow down and simply point to the nearest star.

  271. If it’s not a Darwinian agent, it may not mind dying.
    My PC doesn’t mind dying.

  272. That’d be best case, yes?

    But, yeah, in that circumstance, I’d be down with deicide. But, you know, it really wouldn’t be -cide at that point. It’d be like, “Wow, thanks, super intelligent looking-to-die entity”.

  273. Anti-gayjesus decision gets a Boo from this quarter over here. That’s the quarter I’m standing in.

  274. Except…..by the time we are in a position to make that move, we may be mostly computers too.

  275. Kinda figured that. And we’d be we, probably. Which would be weird, from right now, here in my remarkably dumb one man brain.

    Maybe we wouldn’t want that deal. Maybe as super-efficient small machines seeking local energy pockets, we’d be more likely to say, “Yeah, thanks, but no thanks”. We’d shrug and say, “We’re all in the same boat now, Mom/Dad”.

  276. Perhaps it’s not really a question of wanting to kill God.
    Perhaps it’s really a question of wanting to be allowed to become truly Man.
    And knowing that I cannot do that unless I am truly free to play my own game.
    A god who doesn’t get in the way is OK.
    So really it’s about freedom and what it means to be truly utterly free.
    There can be only one, if Man is to be truly free to pursue the fullest implications of his own possibilities.
    It’s in that sense that Man, to be fully Man, must be A-theistic.

    Karl said it best. One of the few things he got right IMHO.

    Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.
    -Karl Marx

  277. Hold on, KA. brb.

  278. Found the Ivy educated guy I mentioned upthread over at Maggie’s. His whole article, beyond the snippet I had seen at Maggie’s, is somewhat more burden shifting than I expected. Silly me.

  279. What if one was simply A-gnostic? Functionally, what’s the difference?

    As it is, I don’t form opinions about things I have no knowledge of. To me, as I’m in no way constrained, why make any determination whatsoever? I don’t even need a working hypothesis towards the supernatural as far as I can tell.

  280. No difference as far as I can see. If you think of agnosticism as don’t know, can’t know, don’t need it anyway.
    Then I am without God. A-theist for all practical purposes.

  281. I still haven’t grokked why you chose to try to pin one on me there Keid A? Was it something I ate?

  282. It’s a Thomas Huxley thing. Agnosticism as the default.

    Or, let’s put things in sets. God is in the same set as a presumed but specific grammatical rule on undiscovered planet y or the existence/non-existence of substance z.

    It’s a way of thinking. Or, more accurately, a way of not pretending to think about things I have no knowledge of.

    It applies to everything. God included.

  283. Atheism takes a positive stance, doesn’t it bh? “I know that this [god] is not.”

    Whereas agnosticism refuses that stance, choosing instead to bestride the unknown with “Dunno.”

  284. Keid A:

    Towards sdferr, he’s a down the line philosopher (of the natural variety) as far as I can tell. He’s probably the most skeptical person I’ve ever met online. Adjust expectations accordingly.

  285. And unclean, don’t forget.

  286. However I am still a humanist.
    So I guess Man is the god you have when you don’t have a god.

    Did I pick up the wrong vibe there sdferr. I apologise.

    I also apologise to JHo if I was wrong there.
    But I have seen all sorts of nasty stuff aimed at Nishi, and there are some things she is really not guilty of.

  287. I’ve barked at nishi a time or two, but mostly try to leave her alone to her follies.

  288. Say Keid A, ever hear of the Yaghan?

  289. sorry about that, please to swap out the g and h for one another.

  290. No Yahgan. Should I google?

  291. You can I suppose. How about Jemmy Button, York Minister, Fuegia Basket, and Boat Memory?

  292. You ever get the feeling that someone was actually someone else? Heh or double heh possibly. I’ll give it a good times, because, hey, it was.

    Keid A, as I’m one of the only people here who actually thinks nishi is smart, I’d only hope for her to show it in her comments rather than griefing potential friends.

  293. Nope, nope, nope and nope. I feel so uninformed. Provincial.

  294. There’s a chance that this was an incredibly funny thread that I didn’t catch ’til very late.

  295. It may only amount to a trivial anecdote, but that four were the Tierra del Fuegans picked up in the Beagle, taken back to Britain, thence (being 3, for B.M. had died on the trip up) back to TdF with Darwin on board. Anyhoo, I heard tell one time that this people, the Yahgan, had no word for God in their language. Now that’s interesting, thought I. Hadn’t heard that said (though I be no anthropologist) about any people. Still haven’t, which isn’t to say some such may be out there beyond my ken. Dut a whole people, as I might say, without a god! Cool! and what’s up with that? Turns out, quite a bit.

  296. “…this was an incredibly funny thread…”

    Which?

  297. See, nishi, we can be friends. When we’re having fun and just talking about things, good times follow.

  298. #304, sdferr.

  299. I read a heap over at the JOM bh, and have that very sense of the place all the time, that is how friendly it is. They lost someone a week ago and man o man was it painful. But the conversational flow goes on.

  300. Okay, time to sleep.

    Night, all.

  301. seize ya, and dittoes

  302. bh,
    Nishi is smart but she has this mysticism obsession.
    And she identifies way too much with the causes she adopts.

    The mysticism thing is particularly damaging.
    I found her much more fun when she was a pagan/agnostic.
    Wrapping your whole being in medieval thoughtforms is constraining in all sorts of ways I think.
    I keep hoping she gets over it soon.

  303. Very weird thread.

    Okay, now I’m going to sleep.

  304. Where are the heretics responsible for troubling the orthodoxy, one might ask? Where is the science in such social scientific gloatings?

    Well, would you look at that. The emperors, pretty much every one of the lot of them. Naked as jaybirds.

  305. Nishi is smart but she has this mysticism obsession. And she identifies way too much with the causes she adopts.

    Which isn’t a very smart thing to do.  I liked the Nishi who first showed up here, but she has devolved into a misanthropic cartoon.  She probably is smart, but she needs to start acting like it.

  306. I’d like Jeff to check IP’s. Maybe the hunch that nuggie = Keid A bears up.

  307. If true she really is bat shit crazy. I don’t think it likely.

  308. Sure I have no problem. You would find Nishi and I post from different continents.

    I am not in USA. I am not an American.

  309. “We’re pleased to partner with Gain to celebrate close friendships in a fun and light-hearted way,” says Melissa Joan Hart. “Soleil and I have been friends since we were children, and we can certainly attest that our experiences have been better when shared together.”

    “Melissa and I have so many fantastic memories, and it’s been really great to be able to share these stories with Gain fans across the country,” says Soleil Moon Frye.

    On IloveGain.com, Gain fans can upload their personal stories, play interactive friendship games and hear more about Melissa and Soleil’s most favorite shared memories. *

    this is how people get fired

  310. there are some things she is really not guilty of

    Dyscalculia not being one of them. Nishi may be smart, but if so she hides her light with blackout-curtain effectiveness.

    2. it is probably a computer

    That sounds more like wishful thinking or speculation than a statement of probability. My question is: why would you want God to be a computer? And if God is a computer, who wrote the program?

  311. Makewi, This may be of some value to you: Sam Harris at TED on Science can answer moral questions.

  312. And if God is a computer, who wrote the program?

    A bigger God-computer, of course! And so on ad infinitum.

    Hopefully somewhere along the line we would find one Captain Kirk can’t talk into self-destructing.

  313. Slartibartfast
    That sounds more like wishful thinking or speculation

    Try This.

  314. HA!

  315. Philosophers should ALMOST never attempt mathematical arguments, I think.

  316. A skeptic would need to suspend a great deal more disbelief to accept Professor Bostrom’s theory than they would Christian Dogma. I mean, at least Christian Dogma doesn’t rely on the argument that you actually have no idea of the nature of the reality around you.

    I’ll have to read the argument more fully later when I have the time, but I wonder what came first, this argument or The Matrix

  317. The HA! was intended for McGehee, but would have done just fine for Nick Bostrom’s paper.

    Obviously, for an unsimulated post-human civilization to occur, an unsimulated human civilization would first have had to occur. If they bother to simulate ancestors, those ancestors must first have had to exist. Bostrom may have just as well argued that we’re inevitably unwitting support cast in some historical fiction/alternate reality simulation.

  318. Or that we’re all characters being visualized by someone reading a novel that ridicules the utility of Internet philosophical discussions.

    Because what are the odds of that happening, anytime in the next infinity years?

  319. FWIW I can think of several models.
    Bostrom’s Idea,
    Tipler’s Omega Point,
    and the idea that the universe is a natural quantum computer, perhaps as a result of the ground of reality being some sort of cellular array of quantum logic gates.

    In the latter model quantum information theory would be the ultimate theory of everything.

  320. I suppose my response to Bostrom would be:

    1) Are you seriously arguing that there was no actual human technological civilization that led to a post-human civilization?

    2) If you’re not, what is the probability that that actual civilization existed? And what is the probability that individuals who actually lived in that actual civilization existed?

    One may as well argue that because there are so many possible, parallel timelines (let’s just say that there are infinitely many such) that the odds of any particular one occurring is nil, therefore: we can’t possibly exist.

  321. Another parallel argument would be somewhat Creationist:

    If you’re fond of probabilistic arguments, consider the probability of life having evolved exactly the way it did, so as to result in a being exactly like you, without preconditioning that all of human evolution has already occurred.

    It’s so close to zero you don’t have enough subatomic particles in the known universe to serve as decimal places.

  322. In the quantum multiverse of MWI, everything that can happen, does happen, somewhere, sometime.

  323. it’s not very efficient for to have everything happen like stupid Lucky Charms marshmallows that don’t look very lucky at all

  324. A Kid’s song

    Evolution has a goal
    Ee i ee i oh!
    To man’s perfection it will flow
    Ee i ee i oh!

    Just break an egg here
    Break an egg there
    All our omelets will be fair

    Evolution has a goal
    Ee i ee i oh!

    Darwin’s arrow flies so straight
    Ee i Ee i oh!
    No archer, yet it knows it’s fate
    Ee i ee i oh!

    With a target over here
    And a target over there
    Arrow knows which one and why

    Darwin’s arrow flies so straight
    Ee i ee i oh!

    Human perfection, leftist meme
    Ee i ee i oh!
    Direction by their hand unseen
    Ee i ee i oh!

    With a little push here
    A big shove there
    Their hand behind the curtain everywhere

    Human perfection, leftist meme
    Ee i ee i oh!

    Human = God, results are known
    Ee i ee i oh!
    In blood of millions written so
    Ee i ee i oh!

    With a Gulag here
    And a camp over there
    Eggs for the omelet broken to declare

    Human = God, results are known
    Ee i ee i oh!

  325. A skeptic would need to suspend a great deal more disbelief to accept Professor Bostrom’s theory than they would Christian Dogma.

    I’d take that a step further and suggest that it would take a significant leap of faith.

  326. why would you want God to be a computer? And if God is a computer, who wrote the program?

    Nevermind. If God is God, then it’s time to kill It so as to allow man to be fully man. But if God is a computer, we’ll all coexist fine.

    What malignant rubbish.

  327. FWIW I can think of several models.

    Including one that perpetuates itself? Including the one (or the many) that wrote all physical laws?

  328. I never said human = God.

    I said,
    Even if it’s true that God exists.
    Man is still MY god.

    And it may not be true that Darwin’s arrow flies straight,
    But human evolution may no longer be under entirely natural control, once transhuman technologies mature.

  329. A skeptic would need to suspend a great deal more disbelief to accept Professor Bostrom’s theory than they would Christian Dogma.

    There’s a great irony in the Darwinian atheist’s assertion that everything evolved from nothing except the development of what’s arguably most rational, elegant, and pragmatic solution to/for soul. Unless they cartoon it, of course.

    The only remaining argument is that all religionists are mad.

    Yet neither assertion holds with the history of the mind.

    So why did mind evolve and why did that evolution also produce the spirit?

  330. “…may no longer be under entirely natural control, once transhuman technologies mature.”

    This causes pause: what stands as natural, or of nature under this distinction? And why? Don’t take me amiss though. My sense is the term nature has its origins as a term of distinction in the relation phusis v. nomos. However, this paired distinction has largely been either overlooked or overthrown in many modern rubrics.

  331. human evolution may no longer be under entirely natural control, once transhuman technologies mature.

    Human evolution hasn’t been under entirely “natural” control since the first human appeared. To what I take to be your point, the mind’s nature is to modify everything it can. Isn’t this what you call progress?

  332. JHo,
    But if God is a computer, we’ll all coexist fine.

    If god is a natural computer, then or if we are living in a simulation, then it’s hard to see that as being a threat to our identity.
    It’s not exactly a personal God judging us, imposing commandments, etc.
    It’s more like pantheism.
    Nature is organised at a higher level than just “forces”.

    Including one that perpetuates itself? Including the one (or the many) that wrote all physical laws?

    If the natural quantum computer is true, then that would suggest a repeating cellular structure, in itself it could be very simple like a crystal.
    The ultimate law of physics could be a very simple, endlessly repeating, mathematical symmetry.

  333. Isn’t this what you call progress?
    It’s progress to the extent that it enhances our possibilities for survival. For flourishing as a species.

  334. I have this notion in my head that posthumans will think of themselves as “human”.

    Discuss.

  335. sdferr,
    This causes pause: what stands as natural, or of nature under this distinction? And why?

    Yeah, I see what you’re getting at. But you also know what I mean. In the sense of naturally evolved rather than manufactured to human design and purpose.
    Of course we are entirely natural and everything we do is natural. So this is biological evolution one step removed. Bootstrapping itself to the next level of meta-evolution.

  336. If god is a natural computer, then or if we are living in a simulation, then it’s hard to see that as being a threat to our identity.

    A natural computer like a mind? A simulation of what? Is God currently “a threat to our identity”?

    For example, has the Christian God been somehow proved to be an encumbrance, providing that Christians ascribe all higher emotions and principles to that God?

    It’s not exactly a personal God judging us, imposing commandments, etc.

    Or “imposing” free will, choice, love, awe, redemption, clarity, joy, association, and truth, you mean?

    It’s more like pantheism.

    A pantheism of what, exactly? A pantheism for what end? A pantheism of what virtue by way of that pantheism?

    Nature is organised at a higher level than just “forces”.

    Then do tell. Are, for example, the virtues I listed forces? Is the soul/mind a vessel of/for positive forces?

  337. It’s progress to the extent that it enhances our possibilities for survival. For flourishing as a species.

    Define flourishing.

  338. Hopefully we’re not next going to hear about the rise in IQ available with Uplift.

  339. The only remaining argument is that all religionists are mad

    Never JHo. Never would I say such a thing.

  340. Of course we are entirely natural and everything we do is natural.

    Including exterminating ourselves?

    Maybe you see the essential need for purpose, and that purpose needs a definition, leading us to some principle or another. If the mind evolved to identify, debate, and implement principle, why did this occur?

    Why does why exist, Keid A?

  341. The only remaining argument is that all religionists are mad

    Never JHo. Never would I say such a thing.

    Than we can conclude that faith as a conduit for higher utility, expression, hope, and perhaps actualization is the “natural” course of the mind. That in turn leads us back to the validity of questioning what it is in exploration and proliferation serves mankind, and from there, that at least we think human purpose exists. This I’d call progress, actually.

  342. that serves mankind”, actually.

  343. I sort of knew what you mean, but I also know this meaning contains a friction in these two senses of “nature”. Such frictions give me pause, is all. I’m sensitive to grinding transitions between definitions, so wonder whether both or which apply.

    The Greeks’ distinction is useful though, amounting more or less to “what humans order and control by will” and “what happens whether humans like it or not due to some [indistinct] inborne principle”

  344. JHo,
    I’ll answer one of those questions. The only one that I felt was substantial as opposed to emotional outrage.

    Define flourishing.
    Think of a tropical rainforest, that’s the analogy I was drawing on. Diversifying, spreading out throught the cosmos. Developing ever-richer cultures and technologies.

  345. Why does why exist, Keid A?

    Because it has survival value. The same reason all the other “spiritual” qualities you listed exist.

  346. I can’t blame you, Keid A. Such sheer effrontery absolves you of supporting your views. Kindly accept my apology.

    And subscribe me to your newsletter.

  347. Developing ever-richer cultures and technologies.

    The Romans did that, IIRC. I think that a major issue in the construction of this Utopia would be identification and avoidance of paths that lead to Downfall.

  348. Because it has survival value. The same reason all the other “spiritual” qualities you listed exist.

    You’re welcome to back that claim. For example, did Bach enhance survival? Were victims of religious persecution survivalists?

    Was Christ a survivalist? Did Christ teach survival as a virtue? Does Christianity concern itself with survival?

    I could go on but for the emotional outrage.

  349. Trial and error, discovery and correction has been a prominent method for a long long time. One of our more persistent problems is keeping what we’ve learned, avoiding repetition, hence conservatism. Who was it, Twain maybe, who jabbed “history is that study which informs you you’ve made the same mistake again”?

  350. you know it’s not easy fielding questions from several people at once.

    JHo.
    did Bach enhance survival?
    he enhanced his own survival through his career in music.

    Were victims of religious persecution survivalists?
    No but their persecutors possibly were.

    Was Christ a survivalist? Did Christ teach survival as a virtue? Does Christianity concern itself with survival?
    No Jesus died without descendents unless you believe in Mary Magdalene theories etc.
    The historical Jesus is a controversial figure. I can’t get into it here. Long Long argument.
    Christianity AFAIK concerns itself with “survival” in a nonexistent post-death world.

  351. did Bach enhance survival?
    he enhanced his own survival through his career in music.

    Is or is not faith a boon to survival?

    Were victims of religious persecution survivalists?
    No but their persecutors possibly were.

    In other words, faith is an impediment to the survival of the faithful. Which brings us back to the purpose of what you agree is not a disorder, namely faith. So what is the purpose of mind, Keid A? Making meat?

  352. JHo,
    Is or is not faith a boon to survival?
    Perhaps once, a long time ago, in the EEA, the environment of evolutionary adaptiveness.
    But we have science now.
    It gives us a far more reliable source of knowledge about reality.

  353. In other words, faith is an impediment to the survival of the faithful.

    Martyrdom is bad for life-expectancy. Apostasy under coercion is cost-free to non-believers.

  354. [science] gives us a far more reliable source of knowledge about reality.

    Now that you’ve gone vague and self-referential, do have yourself a nice day, Keid A.

  355. I need to take a few hours break from this thread too.

  356. “Art pooped out.” at #52

    Literature certainly did. Literary Modernism ran aground with “Finnegans Wake” in 1939. That work has been my hobby for 30 years, and the labor has repaid me with an aesthetic experience like no other. Joyce made the work too hard to have much experienced influence, however. This had the fortunate effect of precluding the launching of a new genre.

    I have no idea what writers among our contemporaries will be eagerly read a hundred years hence. I find few candidates to champion.

  357. It gives us a far more reliable source of knowledge about reality.

    Thanks for the link upthread. Science is limited. I mean science is merely a framework by which we obtain knowledge of the world around us. It doesn’t help us at all with the determination of whether a course of action is right or wrong for society or for an individual. Science needs philosophy to ask if a thing should be done and at what cost.

  358. I have no idea what writers among our contemporaries will be eagerly read a hundred years hence. I find few candidates to champion.

    Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy.

  359. You guys should try being the only conservative Union local president in a public sector union. Now that’s some real fun!

  360. I have no idea what writers among our contemporaries will be eagerly read a hundred years hence.

    Neal Stephenson, I would bet.

  361. Don Westlake and Orson Scott Card will be remembered, I think.

  362. At the risk of being redundant, I’ll offer that, at least in terms of turtle-dom, I demonstrated almost two years ago that Nishi is identical to a very small computer program.

  363. nishi is splendid

  364. A splendid turtle.

    Two years ago she was promising lab created nano-life in two weeks.

  365. I need to take a few hours break from this thread too.

    When you return, kindly follow MC’s link and fisk the Universal odds you find there. Thanks.

  366. All of the arguments there are flawed. It’s hard to know where to start.

    I’m not sure this is the right place for this.
    There are no quick single sentence answers.

    The origin of the universe and the origin of life are two of the deepest problems in science.
    As you might imagine both of them are subject to intense research.

    I would say that the last 30 years has seen tremendous progress in both subjects.
    The origin of the universe in particular requires an understanding of deep physics.

    It might surprise you how much we already know.
    For example we have very strong constraints now on the conditions that prevailed shortly after the Big Bang.
    The Large Hadron Collider is beginning its first serious experimental run now, and is expected to return a feast of data on conditions that are believed to have existed at the point that the Weak force separated from the electromagnetic force. It is hoped that it will shed light on the origin of mass, the Higgs boson. It will test the standard model. But the most exciting developments might be the ones that are unpredicted. No-one has gone so far in probing the conditions that are believed to have existed in the early cosmic fireball.

    Experiments like WMAP probe the relic heat radiation from the cosmic fireball. It too constrains our theoretical models. For instance, we now know that the BB was 13.75 Billion years ago. The error is in the last decimal place. The Lambda Cold Dark Matter model is holding up well. The dark vaccuum energy appears to be a cosmological constant to a high accuracy. The evidence is consistent with the idea that there was an inflationary stage when the universe blew up from a point to an unimaginable vastness. The visible universe seems to be only an infinitessimal part of the real cosmos. That cosmic inflation, suggests the vacuum energy was much stronger in the past than it is now. The vacuum seems to have multiple energy states and undergoes phase transitions as it expands. It’s a bit like water freezing into ice, or boiling into steam – phase changes.

    This naturally raises the question of what conditions prevail in the vast non-visible parts, beyond the red-shift horizon. Many theoretical models suggest that the laws of physics are not constant in the wider universe. The symmetry-breaking that gives rise to the strengths of the different forces, seems to be quite unconstrained by the laws we know of now. If we allow them to vary randomly then we see a cosmic landscape with local regions all with different laws of physics. If this is true then we can explain the cosmic coincidences by the simple expedient that life can only evolve where the laws are favorable to life. This is known as the Weak Anthropic Principle.

    But how to exlain the big bang? Again there multiple models. There are variations on cyclical models. The universe cycles. Or perhaps it expands forever until the matter in hugely spread out and one day a quantum sized vacuum transition creates another inflation event. Remember the evidence suggests the vacuum has multiple energy states. Spontaneous quantum transitions can occur between these energy states. It’s a bit like radioactivity in a lump of uranium. Every now and again one of the atoms blows up. Maybe the vacuum is like that too. The vacuum is unstable and periodically explodes giving rise to a new big bang.

    There are eternally inflating models. The universe inflates, but even as parts of it decay into a stable cooling spacetime the remaining parts continue to inflate, more than replacing what was lost in the decay. The cosmos is infinite and constantly inflating. This is mathematically possible in infinity.

    There are multidimensional models. The universe exist on “branes”, lower dimensional surfaces in multidimensional hyperspaces. As the branes collide they create cosmic explosions that give rise to big bangs as seen locally.

    Nearly all of these models have theoretical justifications somewhere in physics. Often in string theory. The problem is to know what to rule out. The experiments and observations, like the large hadron collider, help to narrow down the possibilities. Any unexpected new things we find will add new ideas to the mix.

    Ask me again in a hundred years.

    Any silly errors in the above are caused by me typing at faster than the speed of thought at midnight in my timezone.

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