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November 16, 2016 | 13 Comments

The Demon In Democracy by Legutko, Part I: History — WMBriggs Podcast

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I’m still sorting out my audio difficulties, which exist mainly due to my inexperience and inability. Please be forgiving as you adjust your volume and headphones. I’ve had great tips from readers on pop filters and microphones. These will be implemented.

I’ve also had requests to make the podcast a video series, or to do a class on my book. Problem is, I don’t own a camera. If readers want to substitute money from my bail fund to a camera fund, or just support the podcast, click below.

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For the next five weeks, we’re going to step through this book:
The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies by Ryszard Legutko.

The book is a must-read new work (newly translated, anyway) from one of our leading political philosophers. How could ex-communists from socialist countries immediately after the collapse of communism have adapted so easily to the liberal-democratic political systems which were imposed on them? Answer: there’s not much difference between the way socialism/communism and liberal-democracy works. The history of this thesis is explored this week. Next week: Utopia.

Audio only. Sorry.

November 2, 2016 | 16 Comments

No Matter Who Wins, We’re Doomed — WMBriggs Podcast

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Note: This was written and recorded last Wednesday, before DickiLeaks et alia, but due to other events I had to delay posting it until today.

The return of the podcast! First I was on e-holiday, which is not only recommended, but which should be mandatory, like fasting. Then I made the mistake of upgrading my 32-bit version of Kubuntu on my ancient laptop, which broke certain processes which I used to produce the broadcasts (obviously now fixed).

The equipment in use is scratch and bare, but it works, albeit producing a less-than-optimal sound. Pretend you’re listening to AM radio and all will be well.

I still predict, as I have from January, Trump will win. If he does, then we’ll have much to discuss, not forgetting poll accuracy and the behavior of the state media and politicians.

Incidentally, that is the term I think best to describe those people who, in collusion with the government, create and dispense the “news” meant to shape the opinion of the public. This includes “conservative” organs like Fox and WSJ. How much more honest were they when they called themselves ministers of propaganda!

That collusion is real, as was long known; but it is now a truth given concrete form with the Project Veritas exposé. On that, here is an Info Wars chicky asking some of the 300 or so people “streaming” out of a Hillary event if they had seen the videos.

PV tape

Now I edited that and there’s plenty more. This was before the third Donald Duck video.

Hillary barks

I said duck, not dog!

Don’t be harsh on the people who thought the PV videos were a lie or otherwise fraudulent. They were told to think that, just like they were told to think the Planned Parenthood baby chop shop videos were faked and frauds, just like they were told to ignore the Wikileaks revelations, which didn’t matter but which anyway were fakes and frauds. They were told to think these things, and they trusted those doing the telling. This trust in authorities is a good quality, with a bad effect.

There are two problems. These people—no people, left or right—in a country and form such as ours has any business directly electing their leader (the small adjustments due to the Electoral College are negligible). Whoever wins, these people aren’t going anywhere and the people lying to them will still be with us regardless who wins.

If Trump wins, state media hacks will be mollified and will duck and cover for, what, two weeks? And then they’ll be back to normal. Some will, as is natural to their breed, suck up to the new administration, seeking to do for the new power what they did for the old. But most will recognize Trump is naught but a respite. They’ll soon reorganize to restore the old elite, and themselves.

There will not be a wave of honesty among flacks, nor will there be a reduction in gullibility among the indigenous populants of this once United States. Unless Trump turns out to be an American Vladimir Putin, it will very soon be business as usual.

And if Hillary wins, look for a sort of reverse Anschluss. Here’s the headline, “Editor of Austria’s Largest Paper Charged with ‘Hate Speech’ over Migrant Article“.

Calling the majority of the migrants “testosterone-driven Syrians”, Mr. Biro recounted the multiple reports of migrants carrying out, in his words, “extremely aggressive sexual assaults”.

He also detailed Afghan men had slashed the seats of the trains that were transporting them to Germany because they refused to sit where Christians had previously sat…

The prosecutor in the Styrian capital of Graz has confirmed they will be seeking charges against Biro for his comments after the case was brought to them by left-wing SOS Mitmensch. The group released a guide for Austrians earlier this year on how to successfully get people tried for hate speech crimes.

It’s not hate speech against “migrants” over which Biro is being prosecuted, but for speech against the government. SOS Mitmensch is part of that government, albeit without portfolio. Or, rather, with it, but without official letterhead.

Horrors

Here are some items, each by themselves horrific, all of them seemingly disparate. Unless we can tie to a theory of doom, that’s all they are, individual stories.

Funeral ‘celebrants’ offer eulogies with a personal touch: “‘Many people are more spiritual and don’t want religion introduced into the service,’ said Simanoff, of Melville, LI.”

Washington Uses Homosex as a Weapon of Regime Change in Moldova: “Hillary Clinton makes a cameo in the video, which should come as little surprise to anyone familiar with the general unsavoriness of the Clintonista family.”

Why I Fear America Could Enslave Black People Again: Trump’s Make American Great Again triggers writer to say “To what specific period of American greatness are you wanting us to return? When black folk suffered segregation after slavery?” After his tirade, the writer, who moved on to say he thought blacks could become slaves again under Trump, insists, “I’m not an angry black man”. To the Left, the slippery slope is the only argument.

‘We can’t prove sex with children does them harm’ says Labour-linked NCCL: “EVIDENCE has emerged that the views of the Paedophile Information Exchange influenced policy-making at the National Council for Civil Liberties when it was run by former Labour Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt…Childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adult result in no identifiable damage.”

Norwegians now can change genders legally with a mouse click: “Norway, a wealthy, progressive nation of 5 million people, recently became the fifth country in the world to allow adults to legally change genders without a doctor’s agreement or intervention. Argentina, Ireland and Denmark have similar laws. But only Malta and Norway have extended the liberalized rules to children.” Progressive.

Iraqi refugee who raped a 10-year-old boy at a swimming pool in a ‘sexual emergency’ has his conviction overturned because the Austrian court ‘didn’t prove he realised the boy was saying no’: “Amir A, 20, violently sexually assaulted the boy in the changing room of Theresienbad pool in Austria claiming it was a ‘sexual emergency’ because he had not had sex for four months. But an appeal court in the country accepted the defence lawyer’s claim that the lower court had not done enough to prove he knew the schoolboy was saying no and overturned the conviction.”

Rise of ‘predictable’ exam papers due to fears of social media backlash, expert argues: “Examiners are too scared to set hard questions for fear of being shamed on social media, an advisor to Ofqual, the exams regulator, has claimed. Professor Robert Coe, from Durham University, has also said papers have become too easy and predictable and that ‘low-level thinking’ is increasingly being rewarded in exams, the Times Educational Supplement reported.”

Peter Thiel Shows Us There’s a Difference Between Gay Sex and Gay: This is from the Advocate, now. “Since the Paleolithic Age, people have had sex with people of the same gender. But the notion that this made someone ‘homosexual’ or ‘gay’ was a relatively recent phenomenon in human history. Beginning in the late 19th century, doctors, sexologists, and others began to argue that same-sex sex created the category of sexual orientation…By the logic of gay liberation, Thiel is an example of a man who has sex with other men, but not a gay man. Because he does not embrace the struggle of people to embrace their distinctive identity.”

No Christmas lights in the small towns of Advent.

‘Living here doesn’t make you one of us’ Danish Queen tells Muslims to adopt West’s values: “She said: ‘It’s not a law of nature that one becomes Danish by living in Denmark. It doesn’t necessarily happen. We thought that these things would take care of themselves. That if you walked through the streets of Copenhagen and drank the municipal water and rode the municipal bus, you’d soon become a Dane. It was so obvious to us, and therefore we thought that it must also be obvious for those who settled and lived here. It wasn’t.'”

Northwestern U. scholar: Christian fundamentalism ‘more dangerous’ than Islamic terrorism: “fundamentalist access to United States armaments is the number one threat to state security.”

Theory of doom

Now these examples could be multiplied with ease and endlessly; indeed, they are a cataract. What binds them together? Bad question. Here’s a better one: do they have a common cause?

Fellow at Zero Hedge is betting on a conspiracy, or something like it. The Elimination Of Reason. “Since the dumbing down has been so consistently prevalent over the decades, it’s clear that this is no accident, nor is it an experiment in ‘alternative education’ that hasn’t worked out as was intended. It’s clearly the result of a conscious effort to diminish the average person’s ability to think. As such, it’s had a long gestation period and was expected to require generations, but was nevertheless a conscious goal.”

I believe “Durden” is right and wrong. Although there are conspiracies, such as we met with Wikileaks, and there is collusion among elites in the leftwards fall of the West, our doom will not be the result of the actions of a mysterious cabal. Instead, what is happening is right out in the open, and is even desired by the majority.

The cause is liberal-democracy. This does not mean a liberal society, nor a democratic society: it means the combination, which is deadly. This is not an unknown thesis. It forms the subject matter of the book The Demon in Democracy by Ryszard Legutko, newly translated into English, and the true point of this podcast. For over the next five broadcasts, we’ll go through this book chapter by chapter, in an extended review which proves the thesis, and which demonstrate its consequences, and which will prove the prediction that we are doomed.

June 29, 2016 | 7 Comments

You—Yes, You—Are Doing Probability & Statistics Wrong — Podcast

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Fellow users of probability, statistics, and computer “learning” algorithms, physics and social science modelers, big data wranglers, philosophers of science, epistemologists; other respected citizens. We’re doing it wrong.

Not completely wrong; not everywhere; not all the time; but far more often, far more pervasively, and in far more areas than you’d imagine.

What are we doing wrong? Probability, statistics, causality, modeling, deciding, communicating, uncertainty. Everything to do with evidence.

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June 8, 2016 | 11 Comments

Trust Me. I’m A Scientist — WMBriggs Podcast

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You’ll have to listen in. This is the busiest time of year for me, so I haven’t the time to write out a transcript of the show. However, here is an outline.

1. Scientism, scidolatry, scientific clericalism;
2. Science as culture and dogma;
3. ‘Impact factors’ and the quantification of the unquantifiable;
4. Grants and democratic inflation;
5. Uncritical peer-review and criticism;
6. Cheating, scheming, shifty liars;
7. A return to metaphysics and philosophy.