Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Harvest Or A Jackpot?

The Ochlophobist on the state of Christianity:

As I am beginning to tell my kids - in this day and age, run from all earnestness. All convenient proofs. All spin. All of that so goddamn obvious preaching to the self -- clearly to overcome anxieties and/or neuroses.

Seek the calm, the quiet, the still. And if you can't have that, then go for the jugular and don't play around pretending to act.

But hey, that's just me.

The ruins are everywhere now. All the old boundary markers are gone. Go where you are best able to pick up a few stones and make an altar to the one true God. Stay in that place as long as you are able. Keep your head low. Hide as needed.

We use the language of growth in an age of destruction. I often feel like telling people that I know work hard that they aren't working, and the thought 'wait, they are working- in many cases harder than me,' stops me from saying it. But recently I got that image of a casino, where people put in a lot of work, but they are working for a jackpot, not a harvest. This is what evangelism, regardless of the denomination, tends to look like nowadays. It is also what the inordinate attention to the poor looks like; you can feel really good solving a bunch of twenty dollar problems, but the structural problems that we need to fix never get fixed. And should we fix the structural problems, we will still have poor, because we will still have people who pick instant gratification over long term goals.

Health and healing is where this can be obvious. One part, one tiny part, but nonetheless the big emotional, possible jackpot part of healing is someone laying hands on you and praying for you. But what if your troubles exist because you don't have enough vitamin D? Sure, you could be healed miraculously, but what next? Don't you need to learn that you need to go out into the sun, and/or eat vitamin D rich foods? If you start looking at this seriously, you see there is a whole infrastructure to healing that should be in place, and building that infrastructure, growing the food, is a mundane task. It is not glorious, it doesn't have the same feeling as that daring step to go lay hands on someone and pray for them. We've been trained to go for the jackpot and ignore the infrastructure, to pretend we can live off of crap and yet manage to do something coherent or true.

The Blessed Economist recently said he found it intriguing that his prophecy book outsells his healing book.

This was my comment to him:

Let me be cynical for a moment. A healing ministry can easily be evaluated. Either people get healed or they don't.
A prophetic ministry is not necessarily so easy to evaluate. One could 'prophesy' a lot of things that aren't falsifiable, vague things, words of comfort and unity, etc... The happy, happy, joy, joy cult will confirm all your words and make you feel very important, but some guy with an illness you can't heal is going to notice he isn't healed, even if he thinks you are sincere.

I've had a neuralgia in my face since 2010, and have had to put up with modern evangelical nonsense for twice as long. I know most of these folks are mainly just fooling themselves, wanting narrative in their lives that gives them a larger sense of importance than they actually have.

Personally, if anyone wants to be a prophet, I'd tell him to shut and go farm, shepherd, or otherwise engage in manual labor. God seems to take men from such labors and have them prophesy, while the guild of prophets in the city tell the king whatever it is he wants to hear. In this day and age, the guild prophets seem to tell women whatever it is they think they want to hear, since nobility has pretty much been rooted out of the land.

The payoff for the mundane work is the harvest, and the pattern of a life-rich farm is similar to the pattern of a life-rich city. The payoff for modern work doesn't exist for most of us, because if a jackpot comes at all, it comes to some random person we don't know. And in the realm of evangelism, when the initial high wears off, a lot of people find there is no jackpot at all.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Question For The More Right Crowd: Are You For Or Against Intellectual Property?

The folks over at More Right agitate for a monarchy, though their path from here to there seems to leave something to be desired. I suspect they are engaging in massive battles on twitter, for they don't appear to allow comments on their blog. Monarchies shall not spring forth from one hundred and forty characters. Instead, I suspect I have seen a few people who aren't interested in monarchy, per se, at all. They are interested in growing healthy food- Paul Wheaton and Joel Salatin spring to mind.

The process of buying land and trying to put it in sustainable production inevitably leads to systems that begin to seem reminiscent of more ancient, and as the More Right folks suggest, more correct forms of government. Indeed, Paul Wheaton has run the veritable hippy gamut of all sort of communal systems and has decided that the only thing that works for a community is one person must rule, so he jokingly calls all his enterprises his evil empire.

So, it occurred to me that if you are like the folks at More Right, and you want an aristocratic class to rise, and perhaps even achieve a monarchy, then you should be against intellectual property. By artificially valuing the intellectual, you devalue actual property. The aristocrats had actual property- authors, inventors, musicians, etc...- are a middle class lot. Things are even more complicated now, due to so many corporations owning intellectual property.

As always, the primary problem is this zombie republic, long dead, animated by political greed alone. It will instinctively strike out against any legitimate form of authority. Intellectual property can even be seen as part of a systematic attempt to keep a natural aristocracy from forming. By legislating all sorts of 'property' they can create a false economy and draw wealth, value, prestige, away from people with potential.

I think this is an example of a principle- i.e. intellectual property is not property and therefore shouldn't be invented by government to transfer wealth from everyone. Intellectual property hurts everyone- we know it hurts the poor, but since the nobility has all but been stamped out, and all our 'elites' are bureaucrats, we don't think about what the effects would be to the nobility. Intellectual property seems quite fine to the bureaucrats- indeed it expands their franchise. But to a monarch?

A monarch shouldn't decree intellectual property on principle, and as I have suggested, he shouldn't allow it because it is bad for himself.
It seems some of the folks at More Right argue the monarch should be able to do anything, yet clearly some of the things monarchs have done in the past have helped destroy their realms. One wonders what could have been done in Austria, with the initiators of the Austrian school of Economics right there and the Hapsburgs desperately needing clarity. It should not be underestimated how much the traditional leaders floundered for lack of principle as industrialization took hold. They operated out of what they knew, past experience, but what worked reasonable well for populations eking out an existence on the land did not work as people migrated into industrial work. It was relatively easy for the industrialists to gain the ear of the monarchs and get concessions that were ultimately unfair to the poor and probably contributed to the monarch's eventual demise. The pro-growth, pro-industrial policies exemplified by the Trans-Siberian Railway, in hindsight, seem to have contributed to the demise of monarchy. There were all sorts of excuses to mistreat the poor worker, and to secure assets from the state (which ultimately weakens the monarch) in order to drive the engine of industry forward.

Principle makes the prince. Anything else is pointless.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Isometrics & Gym Machines

I started experimenting with isometrics because my calves do not seem to respond to exercise. Isometrics turns out to be one of those useful ideas, like sprinting, ice baths, and other things highly useful but probably only done if you've got a coach making you do it.
But isometric exercises make the gym machines somewhat useful. I can see some improvement, and recently Ben Greenfield brought up something new to me on Dave Asprey's show. Apparently, lactic acid can be turned into glucose and used as fuel; isometrics increases lactic acid, which in turn encourages the body to upregulate the enzymes necessary to convert lactic acid.

Isometrics also start out faster than doing normal reps and sets, but you get more time under tension with isometrics. You can reliably get forty to sixty seconds of time under tension at whatever given weight and then increase weight. You can also increase the time interval as well, but I suspect there will eventually be a point where there are diminishing returns. There are benefits to full range of motion exercises too, so if the interval gets to be too long, I will probably want to return to something more traditional.

I can see one situation in which isometrics ought to help a lot, though, and that is at franchise and/or hotel gyms that aren't set up for barbells and free weights. One could conceivably manage a decent workout in under 15 minutes.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Climate Predictions Predictably Failed

ESR on a recent climate change paper:

Here’s the money quote: “The most recent climate model simulations used in the AR5 indicate that the warming stagnation since 1998 is no longer consistent with model projections even at the 2% confidence level.”

That is an establishment climatologist’s cautious scientist-speak for “The IPCC’s anthropogenic-global-warming models are fatally broken. Kaput. Busted.”

Lorenz spawned Chaos Theory, which purported to tell us a lot about the world, yet it also told anyone who wanted to listen a lot about multi-variant computer models- indeed, it told us about multi-variant computerized climate models specifically. Nobody wanted to listen, and so the government has subsidized a massive amount of computer modelling. Additionally, we've got these hackneyed descriptions of the butterfly effect, which purports to tell us something about the world. Now, I suppose, on a simplistic level, a butterfly flapping its wings somewhere may have some effect on a storm somewhere else, but in the real world there are all sort of variables, systems, and reactions that simply aren't present in the computer model because the computer model necessarily has to be simpler than the real world. So the butterfly effect is deeply imbued into computer models, but may be all but non-existent, due to compensatory factors, in the real world.

But this doesn't matter much for subsidizers. Computer generated 'Science!' is big business, and it produces exactly the sort of sound and fury the politicians seem to enjoy. And when your researchers don't even want to show you their work...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

NATO- BLATANTLY STUPID

NATO Calls Ukraine Developments "Dangerous And Irresponsible", Urges Russia Not To "Escalate Tension".

Here is Russian propaganda, which is definitely more accurate than NATO and State Department propaganda:

Anonymous Ukraine Klitschko e-mails and Nuland/Pyatt dialogue prove US-backed coup.

Why? Nuland- and I have heard the audio on this one, definitely picks Arseniy Yatseniuk over more popular Ukraine figures:

Nuland: I think Yats is the guy who's got the economic experience, the governing experience. He's the... what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitsch going in... he's going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it's just not going to work.

Now, our people hate anyone capable of thinking ahead. The Russians have been seriously patient with the crazy games we've been playing, but they've got people in Ukraine. The Crimean Republic is mostly Russian. These are a people who mobilized for the Slavs in WWI for crying out loud. We've played games in Georgia, Syria, most of Eastern Europe- and now Ukraine. See what I did there? The time period? Actually remembering history? Nobody wants us to do that. They want us on drugs, watching TV, incapable of thinking or remember a damn thing.

And they want to pretend Russia is escalating?

Bullshit.

We are run by children. Wait, let me scratch that. Children have more sense. A five year old eventually notices that big guy in the corner could hurt him. The five year old stops when the big guy stomps his foot, or slams his fist down on the table, but our morons keep poking. Ron Paul would stand up and talk about blow back with regard to the Muslim terrorists, and then these idiots would shout him down. There will be blow back coming from actual nations, especially if they keep this ridiculous meddling up. Russia is very obviously not happy, and they actually are trying to point that out nicely, via outlets like Russia Today. But our leaders keep pushing the envelope, both with Russia and China. We apparently just have to meddle in small countries that the Russians or Chinese have made serious investments in, while acting like pious little promoters of freedom. How about some freedom right here in America?

Russia isn't escalating. Russia is defending. Ukraine is right next to Russia. There are Russians and Russian assets in Ukraine. It is NATO that is escalating, and Western interests that are invading. And they've already put up with pretty much every color coded revolution meddling with their interests- their cultural sphere.

None of this should stand. Overthrow an elected official and then call it democracy? Endanger a nation's borders and then call defense offense, or at least escalation? Then there is the question of what Ukrainians actually want. I doubt this nonsense about them feeling European. They have a tendency to be nationalistic. I think what they probably want jobs and food that they can afford, but the global politics/protest movements don't feed anyone. This just promises to create more hardship for people, regardless of who wins.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Principle Might Get You a King, Foolishness Will Get You Nowhere

Michael Annissimov was one of the writers I picked up via the 'Dark Enlightenment' media stunt. I was reading a bunch of the bloggers identified as such, but neither Nick Land nor Annissimov proved to be particularly enlightening since I learned about them. Indeed, when he talked to Noah Smith, I felt a wish that I could get a hold of Annissimov and put him through a boot camp of sorts. They talked about 'all men are created equal' for example, which is easily dealt with, for it is a biological reality that we are all born helpless and dependent on our parents. It is therefore simple enough to dismiss it as addressing what is clearly part of our common human condition, and obviously not the sort of thing our founding fathers- who were rather aristocratic in nature (they did found a Republic with wealthy landowners as the voters, not the rabble)-meant to deny the obvious inequality we find in the world. Annissimov didn't coherently deal with even something this simple, and it seemed Smith just pushed the conversation along as he saw fit.

Annissimov started quoting a lot of Julius Evola on his blog, so I checked out some of Evola's work. Evola turns out to have a somewhat decent handle on the state of the world in his time, but not on how to deal with it, for his first and rather fatal premise is 'to be yourself'. This is the beginning of his prescription for 'transcendance,' having decided, given the rather sad nature of Christians, that Christianity must have nothing to offer. Evola probably should have known better, given that those actually capable of transcendence were pretty much rooted out of Christendom during it's destruction. What Christ could have brought for Evola is a different starting point- perfection. If you begin with yourself you can be tricked, for there a quite a lot of things technically larger than yourself, to which you can 'transcend' only to find things that are not so good for you. The modern state is something 'bigger than yourself' and you can certainly tie yourself to it. There are also less than perfect beings who can waste your time or even damage you.

(I will very likely write something a bit more extensive about Evola and what he missed about Christianity.)

At some point it occured to me Annissimov reminded me of this transhumanist I eventually stopped reading. When I googled him, I found Accelerating Future, which appears to be the Annissimov's other blog that I gave up reading long ago. Why would a Christian read transhumanist stuff? Well, to the degree they are pursuing perfection, I generally like it. Unfortunately, they often support unconscionable shortcuts and set themselves up for the same scam the so-called transgendered already are subject to. I have no doubt surgeons will happily perform surgeries on transhumanists too, if they can figure out a way to provide a simalucrum of what transhumanists want.

But all that is prelude.

Annissimov is now attacking various components of this not really existent Dark Enlightment. He attacks the Manosphere, he attacks economics. He wants to debate the pro-immigration libertarians, who, at this point, could eat him for lunch. It is like he got mugged one night and then decided he needed someone to keep the street safe. For some reason he's landed on this principle of monarchy, but he seems to have only one.

But for the rest of us, we've been collecting principles. The principles found in Austrian Economics are principles that led me to realize a monarchist who understood such principles could rule well. Furthermore, I also understand the beneficial effects of a royal family acting, as it were, a biological target, assuming they could actually listen to Erasmus and not marry outside their own realm. This would create a people with a strong identity, and it would harness the currently unhinged feminine traits that happening to be contributing to the destruction of the modern world.

Now, it just so happens that a monarch who believes in Austrian Economics would not have much of an economic policy, especially not of the type and scope that Evola would protest against. There is very little benefit, in the Austrian view, to the growth promoting policies modern states have become addicted to, given that this results in misallocation of resources.

So too, does the Manosphere inform us of principles, but nobody is going around hugging the cads. If they write a good piece that touches on principle, they get kudos that, not for being cads. This is how I know about those unhinged feminine traits and how reintroducing a healthy form of hierarchy- for they currently sort of make it up as they go along, trending towards heavily muscled thugs with tattoos, since they seem to invent hierarchy out of thin air if there isn't one there- would help rebuild civilization.

The principles form the foundation for ANY change, not just the change Annissimov wants. Yet he seems to want to swing round his one idea like a club, and he knocks out all the other ones, whereupon I wonder why the hell I care. I was a libertarian, a private property anarchist first. I can see a logical progression, to a natural aristocracy, and to a monarch. I can see how careful arrangement of incentives leads to all that Annissimov wants and more, but I can't see how Annissimov himself leads to it. He might as well advocate for a super hero, for it is only through superpowers that his king could keep his office. Mortal rulers need to be accepted by the ruled.

Whatever. My time is probably better spent planting a garden. This is the other idea that keeps creeping up on me. Maybe we just have to walk away, find some easily defendable land, grow food, possibly build enough of a society where we can see something decent bloom. Whether that's a small hope or a big depression depends on the day.

Friday, February 21, 2014

On Liking Moral Things

I am not sure that this puts one in the same boat as the Pharisee, but if you like traditionally moral things, well that is not quite the same as making moral choices. It is certainly helpful to feel a strong, powerful urge to decent, moral, domesticity- far more easy to simply adhere the the rule set. If the rule was Thou Shalt Not Eat Chocolate, and you had a strong preference for the much blessed Butter Pecan, well, you are simply not making the same sacrifice as the one who really likes chocolate.

There is, perhaps, another point to be made, in that it is getting a lot harder to actually get the moral things, and those that like the moral things are, in large part responsible, because those that like moral things don't go on much about expanding the moral franchise, so that more people can have moral things. For instance, they look at the merely shacked-up and say, 'tut-tut' and don't put much thought into how fraught with danger modern marriage law, feminism, and lack of decent jobs has made things. The moral infrastructure is in terrible disrepair; to some extent at least, it would do you well to think about moral things like products- if moral things are available, then more people will choose them, and even some of those that I mentioned above who don't like moral things might do so, for people are occasionally convinced by your moral arguments.

Occasionally, too, an immoral thing can go under the radar, rationalized because it props up, improves, cares for, or maintains all your lovely moral things.

Anyway, there are a great many moral things I like, and I've recently watched the first season of House of Cards, and the Underwoods don't appear to like moral things at all. If they were to try and be moral, well they'd almost immediately be more moral than me, since they would be choosing what to do out of principle, rather than simply liking moral things. I do have principles as well, but they are moral things too, and since I like them, in one sense my collection of them is no more morally impressive than the philatelist's collection of stamps.