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March 10, 2018 | 4 Comments

Insanity & Doom Update XXV

Item Why LIM wants a ban on sibling marriage. (This article is in Norwegian, a language I do not speak; therefore, I used Google translate: use caution. I quote first a sidebar on the organization in question, then the main article.)

LIM (Equality, Integration, Diversity) is a non-governmental organization that promotes immigrants’ participation, trust and belonging to Norwegian society. The organization wishes to act as a speaker of liberal and secular values ??and counteract segregation of society on ethnic or religious grounds. LIM’s overall goal is a peaceful and inclusive society, where the individual’s universal right to freedom and dignity is safeguarded.

LIM (Equality, Integration and Diversity) has published a memo with several proposals for action against honorary violence and negative social control. One of the measures is to forbid sibling marriage…

Our recommendation of a ban is rooted in two independent assessment bases. One is the fight against culture and social control, and against a structural pressure that exists in some environments that girls should marry their relatives. This maintains strong social control and restricts women’s freedom.

The news outlet is not embracing doom, but arguing for the ban. That the ban had to bruited is the problem. By the time you see a law of this sort, it’s always too late, and a sure indication there will be many indications the law will be broken. Proving, at the least, government is not the solution: culture is.

Item The patriarchal race to colonize Mars is just another example of male entitlement

The presumed right to use and abuse something and then walk away to conquer something new is a hallmark of colonialism…

These men, particularly Musk, are not only heavily invested in who can get their rocket into space first, but in colonizing Mars. The desire to colonize — to have unquestioned, unchallenged and automatic access to something, to any type of body, and to use it at will — is a patriarchal one. Indeed, there is no ethical consideration among these billionaires about whether this should be done; rather, the conversation is when it will be done. Because, in the eyes of these intrepid explorers, this is the only way to save humanity…

The Friday before SpaceX’s launch, legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin reiterated to me over lunch that it is imperative that we talk about space exploration in terms of “migration,” rather than using words like “colonize” or “settle” when talking about going to Mars.

Through a feminist lens, Aldrin’s deliberate word choice revealed an important reality of the space race: This 21st century form of imperialism is the direct result of men giving up on the planet they have all but destroyed.

As if history hasn’t proven that men go from one land to the next, drunk on megalomania and the privilege of indifference…

This means that while men compete with each other over whose rocket is the biggest, fastest, and best, and send playthings off to become flashy space junk, women around the world are fighting to stay alive against violent assaults on their personhood — and their planet.

I didn’t quote all, but the effeminate female author (of course) managed to tie the evils of space exploration to Donald Trump.

If this article doesn’t prove to you that progressivism is both inaptly named and a sure path to cultural death, nothing will. Progressivism is the triumph of the effeminate.

Item Clergy gather to bless one of the only U.S. clinics performing late-term abortions

Yet that was the Rev. Carlton Veazey’s task as he led a prayer in Bethesda on Monday. “God of grace and God of glory, in whom we move and live,” he said, as he opened a prayer for the well-being of the doctor and nurses who facilitate abortions at a clinic here and for their patients. “Keep them safe and keep them strong. And may they always know that all that they do is for Thy glory.”

Veazey was one of four Christian pastors and one rabbi who gathered to bless this Bethesda abortion clinic in an unusual interfaith ceremony. (A Hindu priest who was supposed to attend from a local temple, who has blessed an abortion clinic before, didn’t make it.)…

“Jewish rabbinic authorities, starting with the Middle Ages, say that a fetus is not a person,” said Rabbi Charles Feinberg, who is retired from Adas Israel synagogue, after participating in the ceremony. “Judaism has always said abortion is never murder. It may not be permitted, depending on the circumstances — how far along the pregnancy is, how seriously ill the mother-to-be is — but it is never murder. It only becomes that once the baby is born.”

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens.

Again I remind you that you never hear those who support slitting the throats of babies say, “I wish my mother aborted me.”

March 9, 2018 | 6 Comments

Do Some Men Have A Uterus?

An apparatchik at a branch of our country’s most prominent abortion factory last week tweeted “Some men have a uterus“, and repeated the phrase eleven times.

Now this was very curious. I had done a lot of work in medicine, but as a statistician and not an anatomist. I had never run into, nor heard of, a man with a uterus. But what did I know? I could have been mistaken.

So I reached out to the prominent gynecologist Dr. Manos Suaves and asked, “Do some men have a uterus?”

“No,” he said.

“Not even in a place we haven’t yet looked because insurance won’t cover the test? Or in a vestigial sense?”

“No,” he said.

Two things sprang to mind. One, the people who are buying parts from aborted babies had better check the merchandise carefully. When human beings are that small, it’s difficult to tell the difference between a spleen and a uterus, especially if the parts have been filtered through a vacuum. And given the questionable legality of the purchase, who is going to ask for their money back?

Two, since it is clear that no man has a uterus, but that this (presumably) woman said they did, and that this woman by virtue of her position is surely educated and would know basic medicine, she must have meant something else besides the plain-English “Some men have a uterus.”

What could this something else be?

She might have meant that uterus was not a womb strictly, but any reproductive organ in general. Men have reproductive organs. Therefore, if uterus is taken to mean any reproductive organ, then it is true some men have a uterus. (Some in logic includes the possibility of all.)

This interpretation is not likely. Why repeat an obvious truth, agreed to by all, eleven times? Likewise, we can reject that by some she meant no, as in no man has a uterus. In the same vein, we dismiss the idea have meant do not have.

That leaves men.

In plain English, men is a group of biological males. She can’t have meant that. Instead, as might by now be clear, she invoked Gender Theory to redefine male. According to this academic rage, a male has no biological characteristics whatsoever: it is a gender, which itself is an attitude, a desire, a mental state.

To avoid confusion with English, let us prefix any Gender Theory word with mental, e.g. mental-gender, mental-male, mental-uterus, and so on.

According to Gender Theory, a mental-gender is anything a person wants to be. A person can be mental-gay, mental-straight, mental-cis, mental-queer, mental-trans, and on and on.

That “on and on” is to be taken in a literal sense. There is no end to gender classifications. There cannot be an end, either, since they are all based on desire, and desire is infinitely various. There are already “on the books” at least a hundred of common gender-based terms, with…click here to read the rest.

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March 8, 2018 | 1 Comment

Don’t Look To The Market To Protect Your True Rights

Anybody have a count of the corporations who flew the Sodomy Standard after Anthony Kennedy foisted his fantasies on the nation?

How many minutes after the Supreme Court announced they found tucked away in a forgotten corner of the Constitution a “right” to same-sex “marriage” before major companies released perverted rainbow images superposed over their own corporate logos?

It wasn’t days, nor even hours. Meaning they had these monstrosities ready to go.

Who were they? NBC, Coca Cola, 7-11, Lyft, Facebook, American Airlines, IBM, Oreo cookies, Walmart, Doritos, Disney and on and on.

Their message to about half the country, and therefore half their customers, was Twbbpppt! Plus a big fat Whaddaya gonna do about it?

What indeed? Boycott them? Do so and lose the ability to conduct any sort of business or to buy or sell most things.

This didn’t happen just in the States, of course. When Australia had their recent referendum on same-sex “marriage”, “More than 840 corporations…registered with the Australian Marriage Equality organisation in supporting same-sex marriage including Airbnb, Apple, American Express, McDonald’s, Mirvac, Ten Network, Virgin Australia and Telstra.”

Mandatory Uniformity

I have a colleague employed by a major corporation which cannot be named. The Human Resources department mandates a certain kind of diversity training. (HR which manages people as fungible resources, like trees or fuel oil.)

In one “class” the employee is asked what he should do if were to see a cross on a fellow employee’s desk. The “right” answer is to report (rat out) the cross-bearer to HR.

Yet—and you saw this coming—this training also encourages the “celebration”, “pride”, and “diversity” of various non-reproductive sexual desires and acts.

Diversity training, a.k.a. the inculcation of progressive ideology, is now commonplace at large companies, such that it’s rarer to find it missing than present.

Men Shalt Shower With Girls

Then there was that national debate over grown men suffering from the delusion they were women who wanted to slip into the same shower stalls as our young daughters.

Some municipalities and states, such as North Carolina, said enough and felt forced to create or propose legislation barring men from women’s toilets.

The push-back from corporate American, particularly those businesses involved in frivolous entertainment, was immediate.

The pencil-necked NBA Commissioner Adam Silver threatened to move the NBA’s All-Star game from Charlotte. But also IBM, Paypal, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Salesforce condemned the law.

Guns as Virtue-Signaling Ammunition

Our latest virtue-signaling extravaganza is gun support and sales. Well, not the latest, since those who would remove our means of self defense have been vocal for decades. But anti-gun actions are now the loudest corporate cause.

We have seen in the last two weeks one major corporation after another tumble over one another to boast of their…

Why don’t you tumble on over here and finish reading this fascinating article.

March 7, 2018 | 7 Comments

Against Moldbug’s Reservationist Epistemology: Reason Alone Is Not Reasonable

For most, Mencius Moldbug will need no introduction; for those who do not know him, this review of his work is succinct (which Moldbug never was) and fair.

We’ll not discuss his political ideas today per se, but instead tackle his thoughts on what he called his reservationist epistemology.

The central dogma of reservationism is that reason is irreducible and untranscendable. Reason is no more and no less than common sense. It is not possible to construct a useful definition of common sense, nor is it possible to construct a system of thought that improves on common sense. Any system that purports to do so is either (a) bogus, or (b) justifiable via common sense, and thus a special case of it.

For example, mathematics is a special case of reason. Mathematics proves theorems by reducing complex formal propositions to a series of obvious steps. Since there is no mathematical definition of obviousness, there is no mathematical definition of proof.

My disagreement begins at the beginning. Reason is not irreducible, nor is any system of epistemology relying solely on reason reasonable (Dear Internet: this last is a joke). Reason is no more than a tool—a necessary tool—to work with ideas. Ideas themselves can and are produced by reason, but not often and usually only in specialized contexts, like mathematics. Ideas—concepts, universals, call them what you will—more often are the product of insight and intuition, which is to say, some form of inspiration, insight, instinct; i.e. a case of induction (see this article for the various types).

Moldbug is right that mathematicians prove theorems, which is to say, that they demonstrate the truth of certain ideas. Reason is used to build the ideas, the end result of theorems, and can even generate them in some contexts. But usually the mathematician’s intuition—or insight, or inductive powers—provides him with the goal. Reason fills in the blanks between ideas known before, and the new inuited idea. Do not forget, what is often forgotten, that the proof supplied by the mathematician does not make the idea true. It is, was, already true. The proof is only a demonstration of the truth.

Plus, no mathematical theorem could ever get off the ground without first assuming truths (ideas) that cannot by definition proved by reason. These are the axioms, which are supplied and massaged and put into readable form in some small part by reason, but again the bulk of the work is done by intuition (induction). Axioms are incapable of proof by strict reason. Yet everybody believes them (or most of them), because, of course, they are obviously true. Faith (in intuition, in the unproved axioms’ truth) is just as necessary as reason.

The limitations of reason are not restricted to mathematics, but apply everywhere. Since reason is just a tool, it has to have material upon which to work. Think of reason as a lathe, a complex apparatus which turns a shaft of wood into a newel post. The newel post, which like all famous artists we can say was always “in” the wood but needing drawing out, is not the lathe’s idea, either. It must be directed. We couldn’t get to the post without the lathe, so neither is reason dispensible.

This goes for morals, politics, logic, everywhere, including, in part, religion. Religion provides a different source for ideas beyond, or rather underpinning, reason, which is revelation or inspiration. There are many ideas which are held (such as the Eucharist) which can only have been proved by divine authority. Reason, as ever, is able to take these inspirations and push them forward, but only incrementally. We cannot do without intuition or inspiration.

Moldbug says that the “The great enemy of the reservationist is the automatist. An automatist is a small, grubby person who believes he can reduce or transcend reason.”

Automatists tend to fall into four camps. The stupidest are literalists, who believe that instead of thinking, we should accept the literal text of some holy book or other. The most dangerous are officialists, who believe that truth is whatever the government says it is. The most annoying are popularists, who believe that the most fashionable thoughts, as of right now, are the most likely to be true. And the most pernicious are algorithmists, who believe they have some universal algorithm which is a drop-in replacement for any and all cogitation.

I’ll man the barricades side by side with Moldbug against officialists, popularists, and algorithmists, though I would fend off the last with compassion, since most of these folks are nothing but overly earnest nerds too in love with their toys. Officialism and popularists need to be bayoneted mercilessly—intellectually speaking, of course (or in hope).

Bayesians, at least many serious ones, are inveterate algorithmists, as Moldbug rightly notes. Too many believe they have discovered in Bayes’s rule a formula for, well, everything. But Bayes’s rule, as I have pointed out before, is not needed. It is only a computational aide. It is the mathematical equivalent of the lathe, accepting numbers as input, massaging them a certain way, and spitting them out. It can even be skipped, bypassed, as we can figure probabilities without it. Bayes needs input, as all probability is conditional, and that input can’t be provided by the rule itself, but must come from outside. (Moldbug, like many, writes the theorem wrong; e.g. writing P(B), when no such object can exist. We can only have P(B|E), where E is the evidence probative of B we assume or believe.)

Moldbug chooses as his representative literalist a dogmatic chemist who believes “the CRC Handbook is the literal word of God.” Such a man does not exist, except in mindless computerized form (as an algorithm), for every human chemist knows how the tables in the Handbook were generated, and knows therefore of the potential for changes and error.

Perhaps Moldbug thought religion too easy a target, or that because of his sympathy for the religious (he admits he’d prefer an orthodox Catholic over a Bayesian as dictator) and desire not to cause them explicit grief, he instead constructed his lignin-cellulous man. Moldbug is forced into condemning literalists by his worship of reason and eschewing inspiration. Yet the ideas produced by inspiration, unfortunately for Moldbug’s theory, cannot be proved true or false by reason. Not wholly, that is; some claims of inspiration are subject to debunking, but only when those claims intersect the contingent world. For instance, we can test prophets and would-be prophets. Anyway, it is unreasonable to reject the possibility of inspiration. Any argument saying inspiration is impossible is, or would be, circular (try it).

“Reservationists,” Moldbug says, “are fascinated by the interpretation of human affairs. In human history, politics, and economics, we observe patterns which appear to be patterns of cause and effect.” Human affairs are a fine thing in which to take an interest. And it is good to hope the patterns we see really are patterns caused by forces we think we have identified, and that therefore can be used as analogs for forecasting. But how to do this?

Moldbug sees that Bayes theorem cannot provide the structure or foundation of this system of interpretation. Bayes is rejected because it is a mere algorithm, but then so is reason. Reason takes what is given and acts on it, producing output, just like Bayes. Therefore we must reject reason as our epistemological basis, too. Which means we’re right back to the hard problem of figuring out how inspiration intersects with intuition and reason. As for that, I have nothing new to offer.