Lessons from the Printer

The other day, my printer started giving me trouble. A green light kept flashing that normally never flashes. An amber light was illuminated and a dangerous looking red light was flashing over the door for the ink cartridges. I pushed the button for printing out the diagnostic page and the results were not good. While the print heads were in fine shape and the ink cartridges more than half full, the pink cartridge had expired. In fact, it had expired last year, meaning I had be using an ink corpse for almost a year.

I removed the pink, which is called magenta for some reason, and examined it. I did not see any signs of decomposition, so I put it back in and the lights returned to normal. I was able to print whatever it was I was printing. The next time I tried to print something, the bad lights lit up and I had to go through the same process. For some reason, taking the cartridge out and putting it back in tells the printer to ignore its own concerns about the fitness of the ink cartridge, but only for one print session.

Of course, expiry dates on ink cartridges are ridiculous. In theory the thing can dry up, but that’s just another version of empty. The whole point of doing this is to force users into buying new printers. In my case, the ink replacements will cost twice what I paid for the printer. Only an idiot would do that, so I’ll buy a new printer for $100. Apparently, something happens to ink cartridges to make them cheaper when they are wrapped with a new printer. That means trashing a working printer because pink has expired.

Imagine buying a cheap compact car and finding out that a brake job or a new set of tires costs more than the car. That would never happen, of course, because public outrage would force the government to crack down on the car makers. Built-in obsolescence is fine if it only applies to styles or fashion. When it is part of the engineering process of a good, then the state is expected to step in and put an end to the practice. Planned obsolescence is a form of fraud. The maker is using insider knowledge to trick you.

There has been at least one court case over the practice of the obsoleting of ink cartridges by HP. The resolution was a few million bucks, nothing to discourage the printer oligopoly from continuing the practice. Third parties have tried to get into the print cartridge business, but the makers abuse patent and copyright laws to thwart them. Lexmark went all the way to the Supreme Court in order to block these companies from reproducing cheap ink cartridges. Lexmark lost, but only on narrow grounds so the practice continues.

This is an example of something Steve Sailer has pointed out about Silicon Valley. This industry has thrived as much by thwarting the laws that apply to other industries as they have by pushing the barriers of technology. Whether it is patent laws or labor laws, these big tech firms have played by a different set of rules. In fact, they have often been given the right to make the rules.. Volkswagen is facing a criminal probe over gaming the emissions system, while Apple faces none for tampering with your phone.

The other thing that the printer scams, and now the phone scams, are signalling is the end of the technological revolution. Companies like Google and Apple stopped being technology companies a long time ago. Instead, they are oligopolists. In the case of Apple, they were never a technology company. They were a design and marketing firm that repackaged existing technology into cool consumer products appealing to cosmopolitan hipsters. They sell expensive display items for the trend setters and the fashionable.

As a reader at Sailer’s site observed, Google now resembles an adult daycare center where mentally disturbed women terrorize the few people doing real work. Google has not don’t much of anything, in terms of tech, once it gained a near monopoly of on-line advertising. The reason Susan Wojcicki can wage endless jihad at a money losing division like YouTube is it is owned by an oligopolist given a special right to skim from every internet user on earth. Google is now a tax farmer, not a tech company.

The end of the Industrial Revolution featured civil unrest and industrial scale violence across Europe. In the US, it resulted in great social reform movements that ranged from public morality to economics. By the middle of the 19th century, it was clear that the old feudal governing system was no longer able to maintain order in Europe and the colonial model was not working in America. A century of war and revolution resulted in social democracy, a Western governing system compatible with industrial societies.

What my printer is telling me is not just that the pink has expired, but the social arrangements that allow this scam have also expired. The Technological Revolution has made the old arrangements untenable. It’s why our ruling class struggles to do even the minimum. It may turn out that the managerial state is the perfection of industrial age governance, but entirely unsuited for the technological age. Whether or not we are on the verge of a century of social tumult is hard to know, but that’s the lesson of history.

This also suggests that the great biotech revolution is unlikely to happen. The Industrial Revolution happened outside of state control. Similarly, the Technological Revolution happened outside of the regulatory scheme. Biotech is pretty much a government funded and regulated enterprise at the moment. There are no entrepreneurs in their garage challenging the boundaries of genetics. All this work happens in government sponsored and regulated laboratories. History says revolutions from within never happen.

A Pointless Ramble About YouTube Stars

Every week, I get e-mails from the social media platforms suggesting ways to promote my podcast. Spreaker sends out something a few times a week. Mostly these e-mails are tips about metadata, topic descriptions and video features. They seem sensible, but I can’t help but wonder if it matters all that much. A professionally done, cleverly described and expertly distributed video on model train collecting is still going to be a video of interest to people into model trains. Ultimately, content is the determining factor in this stuff.

That said, it is useful to wonder why some YouTube people have huge audiences and why others have small audiences. Until recent, PewDiePie was unknown to me, despite his having 59 million subscribers. He is the #1 YouTube personality. Having watched some of his videos, I sort of get it. Young people are wired to imitate one another, which is why pop culture is a young person thing. PewDiePie plays video games and tells naughty jokes that very gently and subtly lampoon modern piety. Kids like seeing that stuff.

On the other hand, someone like June Nicole Lapine has close to a million YouTube subscribers. She pitches herself as a liberal anti-feminist and her videos are intended to be satires of social justice warriors. Not being an unmarried millennial woman, I’m probably hard wired to not get her appeal. I watched some of her videos and she is annoying and her act is trite. The earnestly stupid female who really, really cares about stuff has been done to death. At least I thought so, but apparently not.

While reviewing the above videos, this channel was suggested to me by the gods of YouTube. The assumption is they recommend channels based on prior viewing, which means some portion of June Nicole Lapine’s audience is into husky lesbians. The star of that show appears to be a carny, who bills herself as a lesbian comedian. She has half a million subscribers and 70 thousand Twitter followers. After watching some of her videos, I’m reminded of why the phrase “jolly lesbian” does not exist.

Now, half a million subscribers is not big by YouTube standards. To crack the top-100 you need 20 times that number, but most of the top channels are professionally produced music channels, backed by global corporations. Given that there are (maybe) 4 million adult lesbians in America, it suggests that Arielle Scarcella has figured out how to tap into this audience, so to speak, that is not easily understood by watching her videos. The people watching and enjoying her work, are very different people from anyone I know.

It is easy to be puzzled by the popularity of alien performers, but in researching this post, I did learn that Filipinos share the American distaste for the Speedo. That aside, I was made aware of a popular alt-right YouTuber named Andy Warski. His channel has over 250 thousand subscribers. He hosted a marathon debate between Richard Spencer, Sargon, Styx and some others, which is how I learned of him. His live show set some sort of record for viewers, but I don’t have numbers on it. He mentioned it in his show.

Now, I follow the alt-right and listen to some of their bigger personalities. I never heard of the Waski guy until last week. Watching some of his videos, I’m thinking he smokes a lot of weed and has a drawer full of hacky sacks. I’m not getting the popularity, but maybe I’m simply too old to appreciate bro talk anymore. There was a time in my life when my peers used the words “dude” and “whatup”, but that was a long time ago. As with PewDiePie, young bros probably like listening to other young bros talk bro stuff.

I watched some of the Spencer – Sargon battle on that Warsky show and I kept wondering how Sargon got popular. In fact, it was the genesis of this post. Every time he said something stupid, which was pretty much every time he spoke, I thought, “why would anyone like this guy?” He’s just a portly British version of Goth Fonzi. Yet, he has 750 thousand subscribers to his channel, most of whom are probably Americans. According to his Patreon page, he makes $8,000 per month as a YouTube star.

Like many of these popular YouTube stars, Sargon’s gimmick is assurance. He soothingly repeats the platitudes his listeners desperately want to be true. Americans always assume a British accent means intelligence, so Sargon’s fans are being told they are right about the world, by a smart British guy, who sounds confident and reasonable. It’s why his clash with Spencer was a disaster for him. He was revealed to be a petulant, argumentative airhead. His act only works when he is unchallenged and scripted.

It is a good reminder, though, that the audience for libertarian self-flattery is much larger than realism. People like easy answers and magical thinking. It’s why the number one right-wing Progressive is Ben Shapiro. His podcast is number one in terms of downloads, according to those claiming to know these things. I’m always suspicious when rankings are used in lieu of hard numbers, but a search of YouTube reveals his Daily Wire stuff gets about 250 thousand views. His channel has half a million subscribers.

All of that said, the people popular in their YouTube segment all have a couple things in common. One is their presentation is calm. Internet video is like television. It is a cool medium. Shouting and craziness on video, come off like shouting and craziness in person. You can be a crazy Mark Levin, screaming like a madman on radio, because radio is a hot medium. The better YouTube people could just as easily being doing their show from your bedroom. Most shoot their shows from their bedrooms and living-rooms.

The other thing they do well is they make no effort to imitate the legacy media. YouTube is not public access TV or a poor version of cable. The authenticity of the presentation seems to be what works. People like hearing people like them confirm what they think about the world. Watching a polished TV airhead repeat threadbare platitudes, even soothing ones, is not as effective as hearing a friendly voice, that sounds like you, saying the things you think in private. YouTube is a collection of mirrors that clap.

Major Waste

Way back in the tyranny of Bush the Minor, I read a funny article in one of the news magazines, while waiting for a haircut. This was in the early days of his administration when the accounting scandals hit and the tech bubble burst tanked the economy. The liberal media was sure it was all the result of the gods being angry over Bush getting elected over Gore, so they filled their pages with horror stories about the economy. The story was a tale of woe about Ivy League grads unable to find work.

The one example I always remember was about a girl who had graduated from Harvard and was unable to find a job she deserved. Instead she was reduced to waiting tables (gasp!) and doing temp work in offices. The story went through her struggles to get interviews and her process of considering alternative career options. Finally she landed a job as a social worker for the city. The piece wrapped up with a quick summary of her story and it was revealed that she had majored in folklore at Harvard.

Whenever the topic of college majors comes up, I always think of that story. I’ve made a hobby of rooting around in the course catalogs of liberal arts colleges, looking for bizarre classes and majors. Nothing so far has topped the Harvard Folklore and Mythology degree. Our colleges are full of lunatics doing useless work, of course, but there is some effort to dress it up as legitimate academic work. There’s no way to dress up a major in folklore. Exactly no one has ever said in an emergency, “We need a folklorist!”

Anyway, this post on Greg Cochran’s site brought all that to mind. His post links to this cool graphic put together by NPR displaying the majors over time, relative to other majors and college graduates as a whole. It’s one of those things that could be done with charts or traditional graphs, but it is a lot more fun hovering over that thing. I learned that there is such a thing as a fitness major, which sounds a lot like gym, but my bet is it has lots of “queering” and race stuff to it. Pointless majors tend to go hard for the crazy.

Another interesting tidbit is the fact that zoology has just about disappeared as a college major. It looks like the annual numbers are in the hundreds now. Maybe colleges have re-branded it as something cooler. Biology has not had a ton of growth over the last few decades either, so maybe not. It does suggest that young people no longer have an interest in the natural world. My guess is the number of young people experiencing the natural world is at an all-time low. Kids are not into hunting, fishing or farming.

The volume of business majors is the eye opener. Greg asked in his post what readers thought was the least valuable degree. That’s a loaded question, but objectively business has to be on the list. Most of the course work is stuff you never need in the business world. Accounting courses are useful, but few kids retain any of it. The math courses should be helpful, but many business majors never take more than the minimum of math required for graduation. The SAT scores for business majors explain the popularity.

The truth is, college is a major waste of time and money for most of the students. Only 59% of students graduate from college in six years. Some fraction of the rest go back and get their credential, but by that point it has lost its market value. This assumes it has a market value. A Ivy League diploma still carries weight. A Stanford degree opens secret doors that most don’t know exist, but in the case of the elite, it is not the degree so much as the connections. Mixing with tomorrow’s rulers is the real value of the degree.

Outside of STEM fields, it is hard to judge the value of a college degree. The constant refrain from the college industrial complex is that college graduates earn eleventy billion more in their lifetime, compared to non-graduates. There a lot of fun with numbers in those studies. People with “some college” tend to earn about the same as people with four-year degrees, suggesting IQ is the real issue here. If you are bright enough to get into college, you are as bright as the people who get out of college with a degree.

The only way to measure the value of a diploma is on a case by case situation. If your goal is to be an engineer, then you need the paper. On the other hand, if you are walking out of college with $80,000 in debt, by the time you pay off the loans, the real cost is 30% more in interest and opportunity cost. Your lifetime earnings probably justify that initial investment. On the other hand, if your goal is to be a medieval folklorist, you’re probably better off playing a lot of Dungeons & Dragons or World of Warcraft.

All that aside, the college rackets are another example of how social trust has declined in America over the generations. There’s little doubt now that colleges prey on the angst of middle-class families. The declining value of a college diploma corresponds with the skyrocketing cost of getting it. It is a bust out, the sort of thing predators do to people they view as strangers. Just as the college campus is a collection of grifters pretending to be colleagues and academics, America is a land of strangers pretending to be citizens.

Fences Make Good Neighbors

Way back during the election, when Trump was still just an annoyance in the Republican primary, the obvious way to cut him off at the pass was to co-opt his issues. This is a tried and true way for establishments to neutralize outside challengers in electoral politics. In the case of Republicans, they just needed their guys to take immigration and trade seriously. A guy like Kasich was perfect, as he had been pretty good on both issues in his career. He could have been the reasonable guy and stolen both issues.

That did not happen, of course. Instead, all of the candidates went the exact opposite direction, thinking that their ticket to the winner’s circle was to be the most over-the-top anti-Trump loon on the ballot. It was a crazy thing to watch. No matter the reason, the decision has turned out to be a big one. In the fullness of time, it will be looked upon as one of those small decisions that had world changing, downstream consequences, and not just for Americans. News brings word that Mexico is looking for a Trump of their own.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s campaign rhetoric can make him sound like a Mexican Donald Trump.

The left-leaning front-runner in Mexico’s presidential race is overtly nationalistic, pushes “Mexican people first” policies and peppers his speeches with anti-establishment slogans that thrill the working-class Mexicans who flock to his rallies.

But while his style might be distinctly Trumpian, his policy prescriptions could not be more different. Indeed, the election of the former mayor of Mexico City could be disastrous for Trump and his administration, creating an even more charged relationship between the two countries that could reduce cooperation on border security, trade and immigration.

That worries U.S. politicians and business leaders, including House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas), who was not shy about expressing his disdain for López Obrador at an event last fall hosted by the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.

“I do not want to see President [López] Obrador take office next year,” McCaul said, adding he fears the Trump administration could increase those chances if it mishandles talks on revamping the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.

We live in a time when every event will be cast as bad news for Trump, every Trump move will be bad news for us and all the good news will be pitched as bad news in the long run. This was the pattern in the Reagan years.The booming economy was always bracketed by stories about the homeless and stories about middle-aged men working at fast food joints. That’s what we see here. Mexico electing a nationalist may or may not be bad news for Mexico, but it is unquestionably good news for Trump and America.

The one card the globalists have to play against the nationalists is that globalism promotes peace and cooperation among national elites. The rulers of European countries meet over cocktails and wildly expensive appetizers, rather than on the battlefield. Cooperation, between Mexican elites and American elites, means cordial relations between the two countries on issues like trade, drugs and migration. If every country is going for nationalists leaders all of a sudden, the globalists no longer have that card to play.

In the case of Mexico, their elites are so corrupt they make our elites look like good government idealists by comparison. As Steve Sailer is fond of pointing out, Mexico has been run by an organized crime family for generations. The Bush family is monstrous, but they are nowhere near as toxic as the Salinas family. That said, populism in that part of the world tends to mean crazy Marxists and deranged academics, who also happen to be Marxists. Making Mexico Venezuela is the most likely result of populism.

Still, the right answer for Americans is for our rulers to put pressure on Mexican elites to stem the flow of drugs and migrants into America. The dirty little secret is that the migrants coming over the border are not Mexicans. These are Central Americans given safe passage and aid by the Mexican government. The same is true of the drug trade, which is a key source of revenue for the Mexican ruling class. It’s not an accident that Mexican Donald Trump is promising to amnesty drug war criminals.

The bigger issue though is a tough talking Mexican president would crystallize support in America for a hard line with Mexico. Americans may have doubts about Trump, but they will rally to his side in a dispute with a foreign leader. With a booming economy, fear of economic repercussions lose their bite. That and good times give American presidents more room to maneuver on the world stage. The last thing the Mexican ruling class needs right now is a head of state who is going to be a foil to Donald Trump.

The truth is, the Mexican ruling class needs to be on good terms with America. If the cost of doing that is reining in their criminal element, that’s good for the people of both countries. Mexico does not have to be Afghanistan, where warlords run the countryside, living off criminal enterprises. If Trump’s rhetoric helps put pressure on the Mexican political system, forcing a degree of responsible government on them, that’s good for Mexicans and Americans. if not, then we just need to build a big wall on the border.

The Tectonic Paradox

On my morning run, the local temperature read -3° F. That’s an unusually low temperature for this part of the world, but not unprecedented. Modern times makes extremely cold weather not much more than a curiosity. Everyone has shelter and plenty of heat. Even the poor have central HVAC in their homes and plenty of resources to get their energy bill paid for by others. The local bums had to be rounded up, but there are shelters for them as well. Otherwise, it is something to chat about at the office or experience at a distance.

This was not always true. Not long ago, extreme cold resulted in a lot of death and damage. A hundred years ago, deaths from cold were not uncommon in the northern parts of the world. Some of it was due to disease spreading quickly among people huddled together indoors. There was also the poor nutrition that came from not enough food in the winter months. Even so, people did not have what we have now to deal with the cold, so it was not uncommon for people to die when a serious cold snap hit the region.

Go back further and the problem gets even more perilous. A thousand years ago, humans living in areas that got extremely cold, or had long winters, were faced with unique challenges. This required long term planning in order to have enough food, heat and shelter for the winter. It also required a different type of cooperation. Specialization increases productivity so a people facing long winters would be more dependent on one another. Many hands make a light load, but many different skills make it even lighter.

It is generally accepted that humans migrated out of Africa about 60,000 as genetically modern humans. Most likely this meant following a path along the Red Sea and then into Asia and Europe. As the ice sheets receded, humans followed them north to settle into northern Europe and Asia. When the ice sheets began to expand again, these more adaptable and resourceful people moved south, conquering and displacing the people to their south. The slightly improved people became the stock of settled civilization.

Most of this is speculative, but genetics is slowly filling in a lot of blanks. The implication has always been the that harsh environment selected for more resourceful people, who figured out large scale cooperation, burden sharing and so forth. That sounds good until you consider that settled societies did not first start in the north. They began in the mild climates of the Middle East. The data says that the first settled farming communities were in Mesopotamia, which is why it is called the cradle of civilization.

Further, when the Egyptians were building the pyramids, the people in the British Isles were building Stonehenge. That’s an interesting structure, but it was built by people who were barbarians compared to the people of the Middle east. When the Sumerians were writing down things on clay tablets, Europe was lightly populated by people. who had just barely mastered stone tools. Even into the late Roman Empire, the tribes of Europe were hard pressed to do much more than organize a primitive village surrounded by farms.

Of course, all of this has changed. A great puzzle to the blank slate crowd is why it is Europeans rocketed ahead of the rest of the world, in terms of technology and organizational might, starting around the late Middle Ages. When Europeans arrived in Africa, they found a people, who had yet to master the wheel. The ancient civilizations of the Middle and Near East had fallen into squalor. In the new world, the Incas were about where the Egyptians had gotten 5,000 years prior.

It is widely understood that modern humans, homo sapiens, emerged from the speciation phase of sapient humans in Africa about 100 000 years ago. The genetic record supports this conclusion and it provides details in support of the dispersal. Not only are all modern humans walking around today descended from those original humans, a baby born today is not very different genetically from humans of 100,000 years ago. While there is genetic variation in modern humans, significant physiological evolution ended 100,000 years ago.

The archaeological record, what there is at least, says that humans dispersed around the world over the next 50,000 years without much change in behavior. Then seemingly all of a sudden, humans began to change culturally. The first agriculture appears in Mesopotamia and soon after large scale settled societies. New technologies spread in fits and starts as people figured out how to contend with and modify their natural environments. This is the period, up to today, that science refers to as the tectonic phase.

The sapient paradox is the puzzle as to why it took so long for humans to go from hunter-gathers to settled people. The genetic evidence and lots of wishful thinking say that people in Africa 50,000 years ago were not much different from people 10,000 years ago in the Tigris River area. Why did the people in Mesopotamia figure out how to plan and organize large agrarian societies, while the people in Europe were still living off the land in small tribes? Most important, why did it take so long for humans to accomplish it?

The tectonic paradox, a term I just made up, is the puzzle as to why modern Africans were never able to master the wheel or build a structure taller than a man. When Europeans were conquering the globe, the people in sub-Saharan Africa had yet to adopt a written language. At the same time, how is is that the English, who were no more advanced than Arabs in 1066, were the ones to lead the Industrial Revolution? The great gap in material and cultural progress between the big races is recent and unmistakable.

Genetics is starting to unriddle this great puzzle. Even though the genetic difference between human groups is tiny, it turns out that small difference can have huge downstream consequences, particularly with regards to cultural evolution. The high risk environment of northern Europeans, for example, is most likely the root of the wide variety of hair and eye colors that don’t appear anywhere else on earth. A small difference results in people who look like a different species from their close cousins in sub-Saharan Africa.

What this means is that human evolution is not just recent and local, but the behavior differences between populations is not amenable to social engineering, at least not in the short term. The Arabs flowing into Europe are going there because like all mammals, they seek safety and easy access to food and shelter. They are not Germans, however, and no amount of proselytizing will change Mother Nature’s mind on the subject. We may not know exactly why people are different, but we know they are and there’s no changing it.

Tribal Lunacy

I had a segment in the podcast on the situation with Jews in Europe. The flood of Muslims into European cities has brought with it all the things we have come to associate with modern Islam. The new arrivals are assaulting Jews, beating up homosexuals and harassing women in western dress. What’s interesting about this is Jews in Europe have been the biggest supporters of open borders and allowing so-called refugees to come into Europe. This raises the prospect that European Jewish leaders are insane.

The general view on the alt-right is that Jews are clannish and they put the interests of Jews above all else. You hear that all the time from alt-right people when they talk about current events. They rely heavily on Kevin McDonald’s work to create a framework in which Jews are a super clever, alien group that seeks to undermine the majority population in order to benefit the Tribe. They can make a compelling case, as long as they leave out big slabs of observable reality, like European Jews supporting the Muslim invasion.

In America, the obvious smart play for Jews is to oppose immigration and support nationalists and populist causes. American nationalism has always celebrated the fact that the population is a mix of people from the Old World. Therefore, it is soul and soil nationalism, rather than blood and soil. This works to the benefit of highly successful ethic groups like Jews and Asians. Yet, the greatest opponents of even a very mild form of American nationalism are Jews. Many are nakedly un-American.

If the alt-right could conjure bogeymen to go around social media, as examples of the great nemesis facing white people, they could do no worse than someone like Jonathan Weisman, or any of the neocon nutters. These people are straight out of alt-right central casting. The only thing they don’t do is post pics of themselves, rubbing their hands together. The impression they give is that they know it and they are deliberately playing this role in the hope of conjuring a response, so they can be victims, like great grandpa.

The self-destructive instinct is most obvious when it comes to Trump. No president has been as pro-Israel and pro-Jewish as Trump. He has literally married his daughter into the Tribe and embraced his son-in-law as a son and close adviser. His business partners are mostly Jewish and his chief business adviser is Jewish. It is not possible for a President to be better for Jews, but Trump’s loudest and most enthusiastic antagonists are all Jewish. They even accuse him of being an anti-Semite and white nationalist.

Of course, much of this lunacy has its roots in the Russia lunacy. The “Russian Hacking” nonsense hit the g-spot of the neocons and NeverTrump loons, who have a deep paranoia about Russia. For reasons that defy easy explanation, the neocons are convinced that Tsar Alexander III has been reincarnated as Vladimir Putin and he is about to initiate pogroms against Jews in America. Therefore the only way to prevent this is to restart the Cold War and maybe initiate a nuclear exchange with Russia.

Way back in 2017 Steve Sailer had a go at explaining this stuff in a Taki post. He covers a lot of familiar ground, if you are a Sailer fan, but it is an interesting read nonetheless. His point is that Jewish paranoia may simply be the result of success. Jews in America have come to dominate the culture. As the new ruling class, they are naturally anxious to retain their position. Sailer also makes the case that the weapons of multiculturalism used by Jews in the 20th century could easily be turned on them, hence the bizarre paranoia.

The thing is, most Jews are not anywhere near as crazy as Max Boot or Bill Kristol. In fact, there is a decent sized wing of the Tribe that views this stuff the same way as everyone else views it. Paul Gottfried has been working this side of the street for decades. Go to a Mencken event and the room will be full of Jews highly critical of neocons and paranoid Jewish intellectuals. The madness we see on display from prominent Jewish leaders does seem to be exclusive to the most successful Jews.

Maybe the answer is that in addition to getting high levels of numeracy and literacy, elite Jews also come equipped with high levels of tribal paranoia. So much so that they begin to sound like paranoid schizophrenics once they reach the highest ranks of society. This would explain why Jewish leaders in Europe support the importation of Muslims. They are so paranoid about the locals, they are blinded by the threat of Islam. Similarly, American Jews who reach the top are sure Richard Spencer is hiding under their bed.

Alternatively, maybe the self-ghettoizing instinct is the result of tribalism in an open society. For centuries, clannishness was a great survival mechanism for Jews in Europe, as it allowed them to survive as a distinct population on the fringes of society. In America, where barriers to success are minimum, clannishness is not all that useful and a detriment to the ambitious and capable. Perhaps in an open society, clannishness mutates into a paranoia. After all, many of these people are also anti-Jewish.

Simple Madness

This is the first podcast of the year and my first podcast with any serious audio editing. I decided over the holidays that I needed to tighten things up a bit and that means learning how to edit the podcast after recording. I believe this is what the professionals call post-production. That’s when things are cleaned and unnecessary pauses and weird background noises are edited out of the show.

Until now, I have just made some notes for each segment and rambled on for about ten minutes or five minutes, depending upon the bit. I would then edit out the obvious stuff, but that was it. One of the strange side effects of doing a podcast is you spend a lot of time listening yourself. My gross lack of professionalism and all too frequent hemming and hawing have started to bug me so I’m determined to up my game this year.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. YouTube has the four longer segments from the show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones.

This Week’s Show

Contents

Direct Download

The iTunes Page

Google Play Link

Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On YouTube

The New Zeroes

In the coming decades, Western nations are going to be faced with a number of problems stemming from the technological revolution. Some are already with us. We are now post-scarcity societies, where we have more than enough food, medicine and housing for our citizens and even some non-citizens. The pruning force of scarcity is no longer doing its magic to keep the population fit or even sensible. The next big problem is what to do with the tens of millions of extra humans, no longer needed to contribute to society.

The hardest part of the automation wave coming in the next decades will simply be language. What do you call people who no longer have any purpose, in terms of producing goods and services through their labor? For as long as anyone has been alive, the very small slice of the population that has fit this definition could simply be dismissed on moral terms. The underclass is assumed to be lazy or anti-social. Trying to fix this has been a good way to keep the useless off-spring of the middle classes busy is social work.

When the numbers swell as automation eliminates the need for human labor in wide swaths of the economy, it will be impossible to dismiss the idle. When many of the idle are people who formerly occupied office jobs or semi-skilled laboring positions, blaming their condition on a lack of ambition is not going to be possible. The current labor participation rate is about 63% right now. This is about where it was in the Carter years. In the coming decades, that number will fall below 50% due to automation and demographics.

The other challenge is how to support the swelling ranks of the useless in a way that keeps them from causing trouble. The hot idea currently is the universal basic income, which is being experimented with in Finland. In the US, some states are talking about how to replace their welfare programs with something more simple like the UBI. Libertarian economists like the idea of the UBI, because it theoretically allows the under classes to participate in the market economy, unencumbered by the state.

The trouble with this idea, one that they can never overcome, is math. If all citizens have a floor, in terms of their basic income, whatever that floor is, will be the new zero. The only possible way to have a negative income, in real terms, is if someone is paying their employer for the right to work. There may be some bizarre situations where that exists, but in the main, zero is the smallest number that can appear in box #1 of your W2. If that number is bumped up by the UBI, that becomes the new zero, the lowest possible.

Think of it this way. Imagine the government decides to help BMW sell more cars, so they offer every citizen $5000 if they spend it on a BMW, rather than some other car. BMW is now facing a wave of people coming into American dealerships toting a $5,000 check payable to BMW. The logical thing for BMW to do is raise the price of their low end models by $5000. That way, they don’t increase production costs, but they increase the profit per car. In effect, the floor for entry level buyers was just raised by $5000 by the government.

There’s a pretty good real world example of this. The government decided to do something to help working class people get into college. Since many need remedial help, before taking on college work, the scheme was to offer a subsidy to be used for community colleges. The students would use the money to prep for college then head off to a four year university, presumably using loans and aid at that level. The result, however, was the community colleges just raised their tuition by about 65% of the subsidy.

The Universal Basic Income would most likely follow the same pattern. By guaranteeing that no one would earn less than some amount, in lieu of traditional welfare payments, the absolute floor becomes the subsidy level. In effect, the new zero becomes the subsidy so all other wages would be based off that, as the price of goods and services would correspondingly adjust. It is really no different than printing up money and dropping it from helicopters into the ghetto. The UBI would be as inflationary as debasing the currency.

The truth is, the zeroes that our rulers will be forced to address are zero population growth and zero TFR among the surplus populations. For example, you could fix Baltimore in a generation with mandatory Norplant for the underclass. A generation of childless females means the last generation of 80 IQ residents with a propensity for violence. The reason Baltimore is a violent city is not an excess of hard working, college educated STEM workers. The reason the city is a violent mess is the surplus of violent stupid people.

It also means zero immigration. When 80% of today’s immigrants end up on public assistance, the immigrants of tomorrow will be nothing more than useless people to police, feed and house. Japan is the model to follow. They have no immigration and their population levels are about to drop in the coming decades. They are the only nation on earth that is truly ready for the automated future, as they have the demographics to meet a shrinking demand for labor. They also have the cultural confidence to pull it off.

There’s one other zero the West will have to tackle and that is zero participation. The fact is, free-market consumerism and mass democracy work when the right answer is not obvious. As automation takes over more and more tasks, the number of issues that need to be hashed out collectively will diminish. Rule by robot means exactly that, which means voting and popular government will have to be reconsidered. What’s the point of being mayor when there are no more patronage jobs to dole out to friends and family?

Civil War

Over the holidays, this was a topic on one of the e-mail lists I read. Oddly, it is a list about statistics, but the topic got a lot of replies. Apparently, lots of people worry that America is headed toward a civil war of some sort. Perhaps people with an interest in statistical methods worry about civil wars, in addition to methodological wars. It could also be that people fond of math know that society is fragile and it would not take much to topple it over. The distance between us and Somalia is not a big as we like to pretend.

Anyway, it is a good brain teaser. What would a civil war in America be like this time around? The country is a vastly different place than the last time. The north is still richer than the south, but there’s a Midwest, Southwest, West and Northwest now. More important, nothing is made in the Northeast anymore, other than trouble. The North is also the oldest part of the country, lacking a robust male population. By the standards of the last civil war, the North would be at a demographic, cultural and material disadvantage.

But that was then and this is now. Civil wars tend to be territorial and the regionalism of America is not what it once was. Lots of people from New England have moved south to the Carolinas, for example. Florida is full New Yorkers and is the retirement home to much of the Northeast. Northern Virginia is a region full of strangers, brought together by high paying government work. In event of war, people could move back to their home turf, but it would mean millions of people moving from one part of the country to another.

There’s also the fact that civil wars are almost always between the elites of the host society. The people are dragged into it by the warring factions at the top. In modern America, the elites have never been more unified. In fact, they are so united we now have one political party, the Bipartisan Globalists Fusion Party. In all seriousness, the reason that you can’t tell the difference between the political opinions of Jonah Goldberg and Ezra Klein is that ideologically they are the same guy, with the same paymasters.

If there was to be a civil war in America, it would first have to start as a revolt and gain enough steam to be a genuine threat to the status quo. If a revolt grew into a serious threat to the interests of the ruling classes, then you might see some elements decide to throw in with the rebels. In all likelihood, it would be the younger, lower level members of the elites, looking for an opportunity to leapfrog their superiors. Alternatively, the revolt could quickly grow an elite of its own, like the Marxists did, to challenge the elites of the status quo.

Of course, there is the racial angle. It’s funny in a way, but the two groups convinced of the coming race war are blacks and white nationalists. The trouble with this idea is the time for a race war was fifty years ago in the Civil Rights Movement. There were plenty of young black males thinking they had nothing to lose and plenty of young white males thinking they had everything to lose, Today, the only people thinking race war are mentally unstable black guys and white nationalists. Hispanics have little interest in racial politics.

There’s also the technological issue. The lesson of the two great industrial wars on the early 20th century was that conventional warfare was no longer a plausible option for settling disputes. Putting aside nukes, conventional weapons had simply become too lethal and too destructive. Prior to the great war, winning a war meant gaining useful territory or shaking down the loser for money. Modern warfare means destroyed cities and fractured economies for both sides. Nukes make conventional war even less appealing.

That reality would be even more salient in a civil war. New Englanders would love to re-enact Sherman’s march to the sea, but they would end up killing more allies than enemies and the economic cost to the North would be devastating. The degree of integration in a modern society would work against the instinct to destroy the other guy’s stuff. Throw in the regionalism issue above and conventional warfare with set piece battles and troop formations is not going to serve the interests of anyone in the next American civil war.

There’s also another problem. The US military is about 1.3 million people, but about 80% are in administrative and support roles. We have more people in uniform pushing buttons at a keyboard than carrying a pack in the field. Of that fighting force, about two-thirds are deployed at any one time. It is not an accident that our political class is not a fan of keeping large numbers of combat ready troops on US soil. In a civil war, the US military would probably disintegrate early and be reduced to guerrilla units for all sides.

Now, America has been waging non-lethal war on the world for a long time in the form of financial war and now information war. Economic sanctions are a form of warfare intended to create unrest in the target society. A big motivation for North Korea’s quest for nukes is the economic war we have been waging against them for two decades. The Bush people took steps to cut them off from the banking system and thus starve the regime of hard currency. That’s made the elites of the regime much poorer and weaker as a result.

In a civil war, the tools of finance would come to bear. Assuming the civil war began as a revolt, the ruling class would first attempt to squeeze the rebels financially, by cutting them off from the financial system, making it hard to raise money. In this age, that means shutting down their PayPal accounts and booting them from crowdfunding systems. Credit card processors would be pressured to discontinue service. When that failed, banks would be forced to close accounts and the seize assets of trouble makers.

This would also discourage members of the elite from getting any ideas about supporting the rebels against the senior elements of the elite. This would be augmented by the use of information war to undermine the moral authority of the rebels, thus starving them of ability to gain popular support. Humans are social animals and they instinctively seek to distance themselves from those the culture has declared taboo. That would mean using mass media organs to evangelize against the rebels, while cutting them off from media access.

If all of this sounds familiar, it should. America, and the West, is teetering on the verge of civil war, but a modern, technological civil war. On the one side is the globalist elite, who have purged their ranks of anyone skeptical of the project. The brewing revolt is mostly the people willing to question the prevailing orthodoxy. The panic we saw last summer by the tech giants was motivated by a fear that the internet revolt was becoming a revolt in the streets. The financial war on dissidents is a part of this effort to suppress dissent.

This is the face of modern civil war.

The Mighty Whitey

Over the holidays, I saw this floating around social media. It’s not a new story, but I guess it was relevant to whatever was being discussed. What caught my attention was a comment someone made along the lines of “Stowe is the quintessential New England town.” I think the person meant it looks like what people think of when they think of New England towns. It is a picturesque little town and it is a wonderful place to live, not just for the architecture. The the von Trapp family thought so, which is why they settled there.

Lifestyle sites love putting together lists like this. Cooking sites will have an annual “50 Best Restaurants” or “10 Best Overlooked Dining Towns.” I have an old copy of a cycling mag that lists the best ride in each state. I keep it in case I find myself in an unfamiliar state with some time for a ride. In the olden thymes, popular magazines like Time would do special issues on America’s best towns or best school towns. These sorts of articles are popular, because they mostly flatter the sensibilities of middle-class white people.

Anyway, looking at the list from Architectural Digest, I recognized many of the towns, but others were new to me. I’ve been to about half of them. Reading over the list, the thing that struck me as that all of them are very white. More precisely, they have very few blacks. The first one on the list, Traverse City, Michigan, is 94.4% white. Native Americans and Asians have bigger numbers than the blacks. Doing a little math, there are roughly 100 blacks in this town. This town probably has more left-handed lesbians than black guys.

Jacksonville Oregon is the next town on the list and it has more people describing themselves as “other” than calling themselves black. Here’s a pic of the local high school basketball team. I’m guessing they don’t win many games. My first thought was that it was a town full of middle-aged divorced woman, but the census tells me that the median age in the city is 54.9 years, with 65% of the population over 45. It seems that Jacksonville is a quaint little town for retired white people and some of their less ambitious kids.

Now, Oregon is a state roughly as white as New England, so I looked at the next town on the list, Dahlonega Georgia. The Peach State is the fourth blackest state in the nation, with a black population of 40% and a sizable Hispanic population. The most charming small town in the state is 5% black. It is 90% white with a respectable number of Hispanics, but they are most likely laborers and service workers, as Dahlonega is now “the heart of the North Georgia Wine Country.” Many locals claim Cherokee ancestry, so it is all good.

Figuring that the good whites at Architectural Digest would be painfully aware of their whiteness, I took a look at the towns on the list in heavily Hispanic areas. One of the tricks Progressives use to get around their aversion to black people is they point to the Hispanics or Asians in their towns and claim the maximum diversity points. I have an acquaintance who swears he moved to Arlington Massachusetts for the diversity. This is a town that is 2% black, but there are plenty of Asian professors and Hispanic maids.

Taos New Mexico is one of those towns that Boomer women like visiting, because they have warehouses full of turquoise dangle ear rings and dream catchers. The last census says it is 61% white, but only 40% non-Hispanic white. Taos is less than one-percent black, which means there are 30 black people in the whole town. The high school basketball team is probably not very good. This is a funny town though, as it is more of a resort town, that serves whites who fly in for skiing and the southwestern arts scene.

That’s the common theme with all of the towns on the list with relatively low white populations. Marfa Texas has become a funky little arts town that is mostly Hispanic, but has a small white population to run the tourism business. Bisbee Arizona became a hippie attraction and is now is fully gentrified. You can be sure the readers of Architectural Digest are not taking trips to see the run down neighborhoods where the mostly Hispanic servant class lives. Still, the trend continues. None of these towns have many black people.

The blackest town on the list, interestingly enough, is Berlin Maryland, on the eastern shore of the state. It is 68.8% white and 23.3% black. The town started out as a trading post for the Burley Plantation in the 18th century. This part of the state was tobacco plantations until the Civil War. The interesting thing about the black population, though, is it is declining quickly. In the 80’s the black population was close to 50%. By the 2000 census it was down to 30%. Gentrification follows the same pattern, even in small towns.

All of this is very interesting for race realists, but it does speak to the great divide in the American culture. The sort of people reading Architectural Digest are the sort of people who enjoy lecturing the rest of us about race. These are the people telling us that diversity is our strength, yet when it comes to where they live and where they visit, diversity is the last thing they want to see. Baltimore has some spectacular Federal architecture, but you can be sure Architectural Digest is not telling its readers to visit Charm City.

The challenge before us in the Dissident Right is not to shake our fists at the gross hypocrisy of the good whites. That’s been done to death by Buckley Conservatives and Civic Nationalists. The good whites simply don’t care. My acquaintance in Arlington Massachusetts will forever hate me for pointing out to him that his town is as white as Reykjavik. The challenge is to convince the good whites that the rest of us want the same things they want. We want our towns to have the same complexion as their towns,

That would be mighty white of them.