Saturday, June 25, 2011

How to View the Past

This came to me in an epiphany the other day.  I'm sure this is not original wisdom, but I'm not sure who I'm borrowing from so I'll gobble up all the credit for myself.

The past is not part of a "timeline".  Forget about "timelines".  The past is an instruction manual to the present and future.  Conceiving of the past as on the same line with the future means you are lumping what you can change in with what you cannot, like whiling away your time before an exam by wishing for a bigger brain instead of studying.

If you wish for a time machine to go back and change the past, you are wishing for the facts in your instruction manual to be deleted and replaced by fantasies.  This is a natural tendency.  It is childish rather than evil.  Maturity means focussing on learning and responsibility.  Responsibility is the reality of freedom; superpowers are the fantasy.

This is a discipline I in particular need since I am an incorrigible dreamer.  My fondest dream is the First World War never happened.  The dream is beautiful but ultimately it is a burden.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why Anti-Male Bigotry Makes Me Uncomfortable

Like a lot of offices I've worked in, my current workplace is riddled with angry, aging feminists who loathe men and constantly feel the need to belittle and insult them.  For a few weeks now it has been tying my stomach in knots and I've been wondering why.

The insults aren't particularly clever zingers or any of that, it's usually bromides along the lines of "Men are lazy!  Har har har!"  So my reaction was a bit of a mystery until today when a coworker asked me when our learning module on diversity was due.  (We have little learning modules between bouts of real work; in a learning module you watch a video on your screen about sexual harassment or various legal matters.)  I thought back to the parts of the module that recommend that you report cases of sexual discrimination, hostile work environment, etc.

Of course, it goes without saying that the rules would never be used to protect a man or punish a woman.  All of the examples the learning module uses have the white males as villains, and everyone else as victims and heroes.  They give away their bigotry right there, but of course you have the nominal right to fight discrimination regardless of who you are.

The smaller part of what bothers me is that they are so shameless in lying.  I don't know if I should snicker or scowl or smile placidly when I am hearing my affirmative action loving employer go on about "equal opportunity".  I wish I could laugh but it is just nauseating.  I suppose this is because I know that, if I were a different person, I could and would stand up to the bigotry, talk in Jared-Taylor-steady voice about how I feel like the company needs to abandon AA and start treating whites and males decently, etc.  I refrain partly because I need the job, and partly because I emphatically do not have a Jared-Taylor-steady voice.

So I suppose the larger part of what bothers me is the knowledge that I am not technically helpless in this situation, I am just functionally helpless.  White males who complain are always isolated and mocked, often interrupted, threatened, misquoted, and accused of having violent intentions.  Dealing with this effectively is really, truly beyond my abilities.  Something about that realization feels like I have just downed a large glass of milk only to realize it has gone bad right after swallowing the last drop.

I know that the mockery and the humiliation is not an accident on the part of the left - they humiliate productive people first by design, and later out of habit.  I simply don't have the superhuman poise that is required to nod and smile when I see a huge, megarich corporation engaging in this sort of bigotry.  Adults aren't supposed to think that males are made of puppy dogs' tails.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Loser = Uppity

Recently I've been reminded of a phenomenon I noticed in junior high school.  (With the Death of the Grownup, an increasing number of sociopolitical phenomena are starting to remind me of junior high school.)   For these purposes I'm dividing JH students into the cool (high-status kids who intimidated others), the masses (kids who weren't cool but seemed to accept the heirarchy), the outsiders (kids who didn't really accept the heirarchy but didn't fight it either), and the uppity (people who noted that the whole thing was a sham, based - whether they knew it or not - on the inverted value system common to post-civilization groups).

The cool kids became cool largely by insulting others, an approach which was sure to work if the others chose to respond with logic or reason.  Once the coveted label of "cool" had been achieved, no behavioral rules applied to you, including the supposed rule against complaining and the injunction against "having a thin skin".  It was perfectly acceptable for the cool kids to complain of having hurt feelings, not so much because people rationalized it, but because they didn't notice.  When cool kids pointed out that so-and-so hurt their feelings, the masses would uncritically believe that so-and-so was an incorrigible bastard.

Even though the outsiders may not have accepted "proof by accusation" in the case of the aforementioned incorrigible bastard, they would still enforce the injunction against complaining, and the injunction against thin skin.  They may have noticed the double standard and the doublethink that allowed the captain of the soccer team to insult away any constructive criticism, but they still applied one half of the standard ruthlessly to anyone who spoke of injustice.

This brings us to the uppity.  These were the guys who noted that both the rules and the emotionality were completely bogus.   For example, while the masses claimed to care nothing for academics or the people who excelled scholastically, they didn't casually dismiss grinds and nerds at all, but rather acted out bewilderment, disgust, and obvious hurt feelings whenever anyone performed better than average.  The uppity occasionally called BS.  Like everyone else, outsiders felt like no one should speak of the double standard, and joined in the chewing-out of the uppity at any opportunity.

The point is not to tell you about my junior-high.  The point is to show how similar this is to the blogosphere.  To be honest, as a happily married man I don't really care much about either Men's Rights Activists (MRAs) or Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW).  The main thing I keep noticing about them is that MRAs and MGTOW make a whole lot less noise than the people who loathe them, at least at the right end of the blogosphere.  Everyone is just so absolutely sure these guys are "losers".  Technically, a lot of them have "lost" if you take their divorce history into account.  It kind of puzzles me why people feel the need to complain about them so much, especially about their habit of complaining too much (be the change you want to see in the world!)  They certainly don't complain more than the Anti-Defamation League, the National Organization for Women, or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The analogies are:
cool ... journalists, professors, judges, and civil servants
masses .... masses
outsiders ... alternative rightists, neocameralists
uppity ... men's rights activists, MGTOW, white nationalists

If MRAs and MGTOW are irrelevant (and they probably are), then it follows that there is no real percentage in putting them down.  Doing so only confirms for them that the masses don't respect white males who don't follow the rules.  (Incidentally, doing so also proves that white males are still the victim of a double standard, which should perhaps cause anger to be focused in directions other than at white males.)

Might be better just to ignore the whole matter.  If you want to prove MRAs and/or MGTOW wrong, tell one of them that you respect him, and that he's way too good to spend his spare time focussing on the wrong that's been done to him when he could be doing something useful, like volunteering for Numbers USA or passing out Unamused's flyers.  Then again, I don't want people to lie, and I know it's hard for most people to respect "losers" they have been conditioned to hate.

Question is, can you rise above your conditioning?

Monday, June 13, 2011

It may not have been about student loans

According to Death & Taxes, the US Department of Education denied that it raided Kenneth Wright's house and detained him for six hours because his estranged wife was in arrears on paying her student loans.  It says that the raid was authorized by a magistrate and that the reason is currently a secret, under seal by the court.

The official shotgun of the US Department of Education is the trusty Remington 870, 12-gauge pump, with a 14" barrel.

(One thing I like about Federal contracts is how specific they are.  If I decided to confound all the mall ninjas by idolizing a US force other than the Navy SEALs, and I were willing to pay a $200 transfer tax for the short barrel, I could copy the Education model part for part.  I think the Army's Long-Range Surveillance units are by far the coolest anyway.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Best and Most Frightening Article I Have Read in Some Time

Jason Collins wrote an excellent, concise article on a Malthusian meta-trap, in which K-selection (not Collins's term) only provides temporary escape.  High technological-economic growth follows from quality-preference (Collins's term) in family size (i.e., when people invest a lot of time and effort into mate selection and education, famine and poverty can be defeated).  Unfortunately, this era of plenty begins favoring quality-preference as people who are unwilling to choose mates or invest time in raising children have their children surviving at increasingly high rates.  This in turn kills the environment for prosperity, throwing the economy back into the Malthusian trap.

Easy to question the assumptions, but harder to disprove the prediction, based on the recent past.