Monday, December 21, 2020

Vae Contradictus

New hypothesis: Americans are stupid because of alcohol. When they say it kills brain cells they aren't kidding. (In genuinely shocking news, there's something mainstream that isn't a lie.)
The Princess Bride iocane episode is real. If you consistently see a poison, the body maintains antibodies for that poison. Ancients, who by and large drank weak beer every day, would suffer much less from occasional binges, [drinking to excess], than moderns do. Moderns instead punch a hole in their brain every time they get drunk. 

I sometimes rate writers by their mean free path between self-contradictions. Journalists are in the 2-3 range. Moldbug used to rate in the 90s. Now barely reaches 50 on the best day. Severe sleep deprivation is also on the table. 

"Not only is it [election skulduggery], it may even be proper."
"We know exactly what a genuinely secure 21st-century voting system looks like. It looks like Sweden, Mexico or even Iraq." 

Security is improper. Got it.

"A democracy in which the losing party routinely and effectively delegitimizes the election is not a stable democracy. No one is thrilled that this seems to be the new normal." wait I'm lost again.

"It is quite right and proper for the Department of Truth to declare the truth of the election."

Oh okay, lies are good. I...think? The truth is whatever the victor declares it is.
Yeah, that's definitely how it works.


"(All this is completely decentralized, of course. No one orders it—it just happens.) [...] A decentralized truth ministry, like ours,"
"managed to create an unaccountable government above the government.[..] The Times has its own form of government: literally, a hereditary absolute monarchy."

On the left you I present to you a fine exhibit of the the famous headless, decentralized monarchy, the kind that doesn't issue orders. 

"Only a fool would disregard these history lessons, and there are no Supreme Court seats set aside for fools."

Is that so?

"This bad philosophy has burned itself into their brains [...] The conservacon always gets nowhere [...] because he has the wrong goals."

I.e. they have been fooled. 

"it’s even tougher to be a general with the wrong map."

Is that so?

"not because he is a bad person"

We can easily see the political utility of soothing the ego of those you hope to take into your flock. Unfortunately, it is inconsistent with vae victus. If we assert the latter, someone who fails is a bad person. 'You're not a bad person, you just consciously dedicated your life to a lie and failed to even conserve the lie. No big. Failure of due diligence could happen to anyone.' 

"There he pleads that it was an accident and he could do no better. He is probably lying."

Americans aren't garbage, it's just that every leader born to an American is garbage, as part of some sort of Satanic miracle. 

"What if America prevailed not because of its philosophy, but despite it? A heavy thought, man."
What if America is full of garbage ideas because it's full of garbage people? Lightweight. Garbage thinkers produce garbage ideas which are lapped up by garbage peasants. Break any link in the chain and the transmission fails. The only thing that's surprising about this is the fact most of the rest of the world is even worse.

Are we sure? We are sure. Alternatively, America is a communist-occupied territory and its poor oppressed peoples are forced to swallow whatever raw sewage the occupiers choose to pump down their gullets. In which case the distinct lack of freedom found in the Land of the Free would be the main issue, rather than which exact shade of sewage is being delivered this week. The latter is, optimistically, a distraction.

Except...vae victus. The poor oppressed people suck for allowing themselves to get occupied. Eat garbage, garbage people! Haha oops!


Anyway, these unmistakable errors give you the flavour of it. I also counted 25 discrete falsehoods and 30 significantly misleading omissions. The essay is just over 100 paragraphs, so that's one serious error every other paragraph. It would have been faster to count the bits that were worth putting to HTML. The amount is nonzero! So, that's nice.

"In the 1850s, the Justices attempted to prevent the Civil War by using the supposed sovereignty of the Court to permanently quash what they saw as the cause of the impending war: the antislavery movement. In the 1930s, the Justices tried to stop the New Deal by using their sovereignty to write libertarianism into constitutional law.

In the first case they were brushed aside and in the second they surrendered."

Decent! Hardly perfect, but I have no serious complaints here. 


The first goal of any blog-like post ought to be to demonstrate good character. Facts and arguments are merely means of doing so; the nature of the facts is secondary. Problem: writing a blog-like post is itself a demonstration of a character flaw. 

Ockham's razor suggest that Moldbug sounds like a moron because he has become a moron, the only question is why and who else has been or will be affected. Ockham'z razor also suggests that the latter question has already been answered: practically everyone in America is a moron, suggesting they have already been affected or will be soon. 

Booze is a plausible explanation. If you're surrounded by morons, it's significantly more comfortable to dumb yourself down to their level. The sauce can do this temporarily - and perhaps also permanently. Reminder that playing the cards you're dealt is a loser/peasant habit. Decide your own hand or leave the table.

Things that simply will not happen, volume 28.
"The reason is to regain our ability to think calmly, reasonably, collectively and in public, in the presence of a vast tornado of political fear and loathing."
As above, I think the problem is alcohol. If not booze, it's some other irreversible past mistake. If you can't keep your own ideas straight, let me suggest nobody need attempt doing it for you.
Consider this conjunction: Moldbug is producing drek. Moldbug is the best public American writer. 
'The reason is to run a marathon...'
>collapses at the 200 yard mark. 
Yeah, okay. Not holding my breath. 

"“Might makes right” is not an ideal but a fact."
Sure, why not.
Only, Gnon is the mightiest, not America. Insofar as Jehova and Jesus spoke for Gnon, we can see America rebels against God. Are you shocked to see revolutionaries portray God as the bottom and themselves as the top? God is merciful, and thus America survives. For some values of [survives]. Merciful until He isn't, that is. Perhaps when He sends a plague.

George Washington was a traitor to America. Pure stuff from the 9th circle of Hell. I kid I kid - he was a traitor to George III too, plus obviously Washington was a puppet and I'm using him as a symbol to refer to his backers. America upholds this treacherous tradition to the present day. When it runs out of allies to betray it betrays itself.


parisian said...

I had already demolished enough cognac to kill Bigfoot

That's rather embarrassing, no matter about the drunkenness in itself. Drinking huge quantities of cognac has never been impressive in any way but once in all of history, (I have to tell you these things because you're too young and wholesome to know them); it is just short of being as declassee as getting drunk on Cherry Heering or either colour Creme de Menthe (all horrible.) So I'll dedicate this piece of song to Moldbug's increasing and creeping dypsomania.

After one whole quart of brandy
Like a daisy I'm awake
With no Bromo-Seltzer handy
I don't even shake.
---Vivienne Segal as Vera Simpson in Pal Joey Rodgers and Hart, Music and Lyrics and John O'Hara, Book. You really ought to hear all the lyrics, but I know how strict you are.

He's also tacky on 'pinot grigio stains'--Pinot Grigio doesn't make a stain, although I guess that can be taken to the lab too.

Interesting you think he might have a drinking problem. I can't even drink weak beer every day because of acid reflux. I wish I could and will have some red wine anyway on Xmas Day. Otherwise, I find that half a beer twice a week is enough. I do agree that drinking fucks up thinking, that's another reason I don't drink except minimally, although my brain is none too polished at the moment in any case. You probably don't ever drink alcohol.

I don't know what you people will do with Moldbug demonstrating disgustingness with every new substack.

Alrenous said...

That one's good. I like it.
"Don't even shake," ha!

My body is a temple - but not by choice. If I drink a small amount it messes up my sleep. If I drink enough to notice I get to play [find the brain damage] the following morning. E.g. last time I almost lost high fidelity audio memory. I rather suspect the only difference between me and others is that I keep account of my cognitive abilities and thusly notice when they disappear. A cup of coffee, likewise, gives me ~2 hours of a boost in exchange for messing me up for a week minimum.
My body is very clear. "Don't, fucker." Rightio, message received.

It is also true that I have no idea about the class implications of cognac, beyond the class implications of intentional self-mutilation.

parisian said...

Reminded me of the greatest opera soprano of the last half of the 20th c.--Dame Kiri TeKanawa, who described her voice as being 'like a Ferrari' in terms of very high maintenance necessity. I have heard of this 'keeping account' meticulously as you describe, but only read about it, not spoken to anyone.

This was interesting. Did you find you were often not functioning well if you didn't keep close watch? Or is it a natural attraction to doing it because of your deep science orientation? In any case, you've worked it out yourself over the years--a physician or dietician couldn't work out these refinements.

So you have this very sensitive reaction to (I guess) many things. Is any of it related to your AS (I hope I'm not being rude, you used to mention it a lot on Twitter)?

I suppose you have to watch every kind of food as well. I think I keep mostly healthful habits, but I was brought with all fresh food and meat from our garden and my grandfather's huge farm. Which is to say, I don't think about it minutely like you.

I was especially struck by such an extreme reaction to a cup of coffee, which I once stopped for about a year (that may have been the same year I did vegetarianism.) I know you're very particular about bacon (I rarely have it because I find it now absurdly priced, but once in a while get it), but are you able to eat all other meats if fresh? I don't envy your allergy to coffee, as I want it at breakfast, although it requires eating more than a sweet, or there's a kind of depression-crash. I usually have an apple with whatever else for breakfast, but never do the bacon 'n' eggs that I was brought with; I do that for a lunch or dinner sometimes. I usually have (strong espresso) coffee at what is somewhat parallel to English tea-time, but not so formal, with their dozens of sandwiches and cakes. Normally, I have 2-3 glasses of wine at a restaurant, but that hasn't happened for a long time. But the effect was favorable if it didn't go over that limit. I also used to smoke one cigarette a week, and it was sort of a rush. Then I simply forgot to smoke again about two years ago. I don't pay attention to such things as 'a cigarette takes one day off your life'. The health-food hardcore types used to always say coffee and chocolate were terrible for you, but ate things with sugar. Now the talk is that coffee is good and unsweetened chocolate is definitely healthful. That's one thing I watch--never too much sugary anything, but I want a bit of something with sugar or honey most days, and don't have digestive problems, only very rarely a stomach-ache.I find the sugar substitutes unacceptable. I'm with Julia Child on butter--no life without it.

Maybe you are uncomfortable if you're not absolutely tip-top at all times, it has to be perfect or it actually seems to hurt. I am like that too, but other things in life creep in to cause disturbances, and have to be dealt with, no matter what. It can be grief, horrible paperwork, dumb customer reps screwing things up for you, any number of things, not being able to figure out something important momentarily, not liking to ask for advice.

Alrenous said...

Comes to think, the ASD probably does make me more sensitive. ASD is partially a nerve disorder, meaning I'm already using my spare capacity to deal with glitches and don't have any left over for tolerating foreign contaminants.

I kept watch because philosophy done properly is highly challenging and I needed every advantage. Now it's a habit.

I recently found out I don't handle broccoli well. Apparently sprouts are fine though?
Meat in general is fine, although I find poultry isn't worth eating. It's not bad, merely empty. I have a small amount of fish regularly.

When I said [coffee] what I really mean is caffeine. I have decaf coffee and tea all the time, though my preferred drink is cafe au lait with cream instead of milk and tea instead of coffee. Used to do milk/sugar but sugar does me dirty. I found even milk has too much sugar, hence the cream. Plus it's more efficient in terms of money since milk is essentially expensive water.
Though I'm sensitive enough to caffeine that I can't have chocolate.

I prefer pork to beef but pork is lean so I add butter. Ghee. Close enough. I find it goes well.

Instead of a Ferrari I compare myself to a Formula 1, with some irony. High performance, but also if you screw up the tolerances it explodes.

Yes, because I keep careful track of my health I feel like I've failed myself if I'm not in peak condition. And I'm not wrong. Could certainly consider that a downside.

Weird connection tangent: I can tell I'm running low on calcium when my dreams start getting low-res.

parisian said...

All very fantastic and inspiring, brilliant and ambitious refinements. I had a longer comment till I read the new post, and after 4 times, I am still struggling with it, but I thought to put just a few thoughts in response here would be less appalling than putting food things on your new post. Fuck, I'll have to read it 8 more times, I guess.

Anyway, no, I knew you meant the caffeine, not 'coffee or tea' per se, but that's still rather extraordinary to be affected by it for a week (or at least I've never heard of it.) Even though I always want the caffeine, I too make even the strongest espresso 'cafe au lait' with lots of milk (I don't care too much for cream in coffee, don't use anything in tea, and sugar in neither as well.) I tried decaf (probably in that vegetarian period, a saga I'd like to forget), but don't find it satisfying even if gourmet.

You seem to be saying about most of it that the object is just to leave you in as clear a state as possible (desirable in any case), but are not especially interested in cuisine in itself.

Cream sauces is another thing, they're always the best. I'm going to have either of two Georgian (who ever thought of Georgian food? But if you've got Ethiopian, I guess it's not strange, although no Ukrainian or Tajikistanian that I know of yet) entrees on Xmas--Beef in Walnut Sauce with saffron and garlic and grits, or Grilled Cornish Hen in garlic cream sauce--probably the latter, because although Southern food is sublime, I never had any sympathy with grits. Already got a Rioja--Spanish wine is the only inexpensive wine not rotgut; even cheap Italian is shit, forget about French.

Veggies: You may know that one of the best is Brussels Sprouts still on the stalk bought at a Farmer's Market--no resemblance to that nonsense in boxes covered with plastic. Bitter greens I don't like, kale sucks. Turnip greens as we had in the South are fantastic and still unavailable here. Spinach (plain or fancy-dish) or Swiss Chard, and Beet Greens are delicious. Broccoli never going to be like Marzipan, but I guess sprouts are good for you--but I cannot stand them. Sorry you have to leave out all sugar. Mostly it causes a problem for people who eat almost nothing but sugary things (and cheap shit too) or junk food in general.

I don't think it's possible to be in peak condition at all times, but there is a lot of blame to be spread around besides just oneself being slightly negligent once in a while. I sometimes 'feel like I've failed myself' in other ways, but no possibility it's not external elements harassing one as well, and mostly I can snap out of it and begin admiring my usual near--seamlessness by now. I wrote about that previously, my technique of doing that, but it wouldn't apply to you. I'm a much more bestial creature.

Alrenous said...

Beet greens are some kind of gift from the heavens.

I have no conflict with leaving out sugar. All the stuff I shouldn't eat ends up not tasting like food once I've gone off it for a while.