Ruminations On The Way Down The Mountain

Yesterday, I made the trip to the Imperial Capital. I passed through the majestic gates of the Secret City, ascended the golden staircase into the heavens, to be among the Cloud People. I stood beneath the Glasir and watched Eikþyrnir and Heiðrún graze on the leaves of Læraðr. Despite the weather on the ground being dreary and drizzly, for us in the clouds, it was sunshine and gentle breezes, perfumed with the odor of honeysuckle. It was everything you imagine it is, among the Cloud People.

Actually, I was in meetings all day, in buildings that resemble the administrative structures you see on a typical college campus. In TV and movies, corporate and government structures are imagined as cold and sterile buildings made of glass and steel. In reality, they are almost almost always like the administrative buildings built on colleges that the boomers fondly remember from their youth. The new Apple lair is like something from a comic book, but only if the super-villain is a middle-aged homosexual.

Being a man of two worlds, I’ve found it easier to adjust to the Cloud than the other way around. When circumstances require me to spend extended time among the Cloud People, the trip back to the ground is like coming home from the 10-day dream vacation. It’s nice to see the old familiars, but there is a certain ennui. I always imagine it is the same feeling Adam and Eve had when they were ejected from the Garden. I also imagine it is what the Cloud People fear it is like too, which is why they avoid it at all costs.

For reasons I cannot go into, I was required to sit through a presentation by a middle-aged woman on the new diversity strategy for their organization. Of course, not a single person in the room was diverse. It was wall-to-wall honky. The presenter did not mention it and, if I had to guess, did not notice it. There was a ceremonial feel to it, as if she was leading the group in prayer. In fact, I had flashbacks to my youth in Jesuit schools where every class began with a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer or a Hail Mary.

Communists used to work the civil religion angle this way, by having indoctrination sessions for workers before their shifts. They would also have struggle sessions for those who wandered off the reservation. My guess is this is the inspiration for the constant harangues about diversity among the Cloud People. The difference is the Dirt People are not participating. We’re more like audience members now. Instead of the ideological enforcers mingling with the workers to educate and discipline, the prols are now ignored.

It suggests that the Revolution has moved onto a new phase. In the French Revolution, after the White Terror, the Constitution of 1795 established The Directory. This was the start of a new phase in which the lower classes were mostly ignored, as the new ruling class consolidated its power. That may be what we are seeing with our managerial class as they largely ignore the results of recent elections and enforce discipline in their own ranks. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it may be useful in analyzing what we are seeing.

There is another angle, one you can see in this Scott Alexander post a few weeks ago, that was popular with the cognoscenti. Star Slate Codex is popular with people who not only think they are smart, but see themselves as steely-eyed reason machines. It’s also popular with people who like to believe stuff like this:

Yes, CNN leans liberal, but it’s not as liberal as FOX is conservative, and it’s not as open about it – it has a pretense of neutrality that FOX doesn’t, and although we can disagree about how realistic that pretense is I think few people would disagree that the pretense is there. Nor is there a liberal version of FOX that lacks that pretense of neutrality.

That’s a very believable argument if you have no familiarity with cable news or you look out at the world from deep inside the Progressive fever swamps. It is the sort of thing people write when they want to seem like the people who write things like this. It’s the worldview of someone confusing a mirror with a telescope. To Alexander, Fox is way out on the fringe and they are brazen about it. CNN, on the other hand, is maybe a little biased, but they are good people, my people, so they mean well.

Of course, there is the omnipresent hive mindedness. The world for Scott Alexander, and most of his readers, is a world of black hats and white hats. There are those inside the walls, the people of light, and the people outside the walls, in the outer darkness. The people outside are an undifferentiated collection of eyes peering out of the darkness, which is why they routinely misuse works like “conservative” when describing the people outside the walls. Words like “conservative” and “right-wing” just mean the outsiders.

Animals that find themselves isolated, like on an island, evolve in different ways, compared to those on the mainland. Insular dwarfism is the process where large animals get smaller over a number of generations when their population’s range is limited and isolated, like on an island. The reverse can happen where a small animal ends up on an island without predators. This is known as island gigantism. Some argue this is what happened with dinosaurs, but there is debate about that.

We may be seeing a form of this with our managerial class. Their isolation is shrinking their understanding of the world outside. The lack of interaction is resulting in a narrowness of the caste, to the point where we are as alien to them as they are to us. The latter is normal, while the former is dangerous. Similarly, their isolation is allowing their confidence to grow out of all proportion. Read Scott Alexander and what oozes through is a naive sense of confidence that he has it all figured out.

On the way down the mountain, into the land of the Dirt People, I started thinking about the not-so-silent coup that is unfolding in Washington against Trump. It’s not really fair to call it a coup. It is more of a tantrum. Trump is not going anywhere. But, the managerial class attempt to de-legitimize Trump is somewhat analogous to the Coup of 18 Fructidor V. After the elections in which the Royalists made great gains, republicans purged all the winners banishing 57 leaders to death in Guiana and closed royalist newspapers.

After the election of 2016, we are seeing a panicked managerial class trying to pick off members of the Trump team and isolate him from any base of support he may enjoy in his own party. Just as with the Directory, the people in charge seem to be wildly out of touch with the reality of their circumstances. Trump is not Napoleon, but Napoleon was not Napoleon at that point either. The point here is our managerial elite’s determination to circle the wagons and enforce ideological discipline may be weakening their position.

 

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87 Comments on "Ruminations On The Way Down The Mountain"

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karl hungus
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Trump’s army has 60 million soldiers. The dem party is in collapse, they have been routed and are now in a panic. Their fund raising has cratered as the loons drive off the non-maniacs. As the current system winds down, and the new system starts emerging, I have a feeling that Cloudland will not be with us much longer. maybe some new age Donovan will write a song about them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Wv43EU4KVs

Allan
Guest

The Democrats have been “routed”? If only. They are far from being crushed, sent fleeing in a disorderly way, and dispersed. If ever they are so routed, we will know it from signs such as millions of them fleeing for Canada and Europe.

Karl Hungus
Guest

seen how many seats they have lost at all levels? that is a classic rout.

Allan
Guest
Karl, the Democrats lost some seats. It was a little setback, not a rout. If a rout against the Democrats is what you seek, we will need to take up arms against the GOP, the center left party of the USA. It would be just as if we were communist revolutionaries, which is interesting, since some leftists would be willing to help. Anyhow, extinguish it. Extirpate it. Eradicate it. The GOP. In what appears to be a genuine communist revolution. Afterwards, the Democrats will break into two pieces, both palpably communist, due to disagreements about how to set up their… Read more »
Member

Will I need a hunting license?

karl hungus
Guest

sorry, that was too long to read.

james wilson
Guest

Karl, steady man. Trump may spy a way through, even I can in my less sober moments. But remember this–the Republican Party has zero love for Trump. The bi-elections are coming, never good in these cases, and Trump is not preparing candidates to replace cuckservatives. Trump is not a party man, any party, and Republicans will continue to be Republicans. Not a good combination.

karl hungus
Guest

agreed on the gop. dealing with them will take time and patience. think about this scenario: trump drops the hammer on key dems and gops based on evidence comey collected. he appears bipartisan while dealing with two groups of enemies. the rest of the gop pussies will fall into line tout suite. and he busts up amazon, google, and apple on anti-trust charges.

Member

Trump can fix the GOP with a couple of simple actions: Show the pictures that NSA has of Little Linda Graham diddling little boy, prosecute Insane McCain for corruption.

LetsPlay
Member

Jones, you are on a roll with a good idea! Don’t stop there. We need to get rid of Ryan, McConnell (and I don’t care if his wife is in the Cabinet!), and re-institute the UnAmerican Acts Laws and go after all the Leftist politicians and scum like Bill Ayers that still walk the earth and suck O’s.

Karl Hungus
Guest

revoke their citizenship and expell them from the country.

LetsPlay
Member

Karl, you are the first person I have heard mention busting up those behemoths. Anti-trust. Anti-competition. Just how Bezo’s was able to buy his way into acquisition of a “news” organ is worthy of investigation. I hope that while Sessions has recused himself from all this Russian BS, he is busy building cases for all manner of other BS that is really important.

Joey Junger
Guest

Trump is making some of the same mistakes as Napoleon, that cost the Corsican all of his gains in combat. I get that Trump can’t really trust anyone but his family members at this point, but having Kushner and Ivanka or his sons too close to the actual doings of government and policy is not a good idea or a good look. Nepotism was a large part of Napoleon’s downfall, although (ironically) Russia played a large part in it, too.

Member

Nepotism made Napoleon, too. His brother in the Directory facilitated his rise.

Karl Hungus
Guest

really enjoy and appreciate your sharing your knowledge of revolutionary era france 🙂

Bill in Tennessee
Guest

Since you’ve used the “Trump’s army” metaphor (and I consider myself among them), when does the actual SHOOTING WAR start? I’m ready and I hear from many others that they’re ready too. Ready to finally, decisively end this silly struggle we’ve had with the lunatic left for decades now. We’ve had enough transgender-high-tax-climate-crazy-it-takes-a-village stupidity and want it to end. NOW!

Karl Hungus
Guest

I expect their will be a 10M march on DC, ostensibly peaceful, before the midterms. a trooping of the colour.

Member
Thanks for all you do, Z man. For some reason, I wandered over to Sean Hannity’s twitter thread on Seth Rich. It was 98% sub-morons repeating 140-char talking points. The remaining 2% were witty repackagings of the same 140-char talking points. I’m not even counting the attaboys to the witty posters. It’s nice having a corner where I can talk to smart people who support their arguments with evidence. A coup it is and solely in the informational realm… so far. I’m wracking my brain this morning trying to come up with an example of a sovereign who was shamed… Read more »
karl hungus
Guest

the only one i can thnk of was that english king guy who stepped down to marry an american whoore.

BillH
Guest

As long as Trump understands what is going on he should be OK, and he’s done enough of this over the years that he should understand. The problem may be the ’18 midterms, where we, the great unwashed, don’t fully understand, become disaffected, and elect a bunch of GOPe/Dem scoundrels to Congress.

Karl Hungus
Guest

am expecting trump to roll out big push to primary all the skunks, sometime early in 2018.

Dutch
Guest

He had better do it, a lot of people will boycott the skunks. I do have confidence he is not going to tip his hand too early, he understands how timing works. For evidence, see your interesting link below.

justObserving
Guest

The problem may be the ’18 midterms, where we, the great unwashed, don’t fully understand, become disaffected, and elect a bunch of GOPe/Dem scoundrels to Congress

I think this is why GOPe are slow-walking a final resolution to this ObamaCare repeal fiasco. The House has yet to submit a bill to the Senate for consideration. I think they are actively trying to wait this out until the mid-terms, for exactly the reasons you stated.

Dutch
Guest

Nixon

LetsPlay
Member
To paraphrase someone I heard on FOX News, who knows Trump as a Real Estate guy, he built his success having to deal with the Mafia, City Inspectors and Unions, a most evil trio as you can imagine in any sector of the galaxy! I don’t believe there is much in the way of new villany on this planet that will surprise or get the better of him. I must admit to having some apprehension at his going to Brussels but on seeing a picture of him flanked by T-Rex and McMaster, I felt better knowing that the so-called “masters… Read more »
karl hungus
Guest
Drake
Guest

I saw that earlier. Not that off-topic. An inside glimpse at how Trump is battling the parasitic class. Fascinating how widely the media is trying to spin this stuff.

Ryan
Guest
As always, it’s hard to distinguish between actions that weaken a position and actions that evidence a weakened position. My tier zero interpretation is that the Cloud People have come prepared to re-fight the same war they had with Nixon. Their key advantage in that war was complete control over public knowledge. But even die hard SlateStarCodexers nowadays probably realize the Russian collusion angle is obvious hogwash. In lieu of making a prediction about the specific outcome, I’ll offer this: in 1973 only a very small number of people recognized what took place as a coup. If the Clouds manage… Read more »
Member

I guess that when the media started calling themselves “the Fourth Estate,” that should have been a strong tell. I’ll admit I missed it.

As Scott Adams might say, 1973 is the movie they have playing in their heads with flashbacks to the Reichstag fire and the Glorious Revolution thrown in for extra drama.

Dutch
Guest
Nixon’s family had a Quaker background and Tricky Dick knew how to feel shame. Donald Trump demonstrates no such capacity. The Donald will go down swinging, and his attitude alone, no matter the truth of the charges, will carry millions of followers a long way with him. Many people have no idea how much quiet power a true Alpha male can carry. Which is why so many people and organizations who do understand it will do anything to kill the Alpha traits in any white male. Alpha males who wield their power well are the most powerful and dangerous people… Read more »
Ryan
Guest

Totally agree about throwing punches to the very end if it happens. A lesser man might have dropped out after grab em by the pussy. Trump kept on.

Drake
Guest

“Nor is there a liberal version of FOX that lacks that pretense of neutrality.”

1. What a poorly written sentence. Is it good if they pretend to be neutral?

2. Has this guy really never watched MSNBC? Or is that his idea of unbiased reporting?

Dutch
Guest
CNN is (silently) on the bigscreen in the lobby of my work building. They use this multi-camera technique where there are three or six or eight people on the screen at once. It reminds me of the old Brady Bunch intro of my misspent youth. They all have huge exaggerated frowns, all the time. No doubt there is some sort of CNN corporate edict that there will be no smiling during Trump’s tenure. It doesn’t matter at all in the big scheme of things, but do these people ever have one minute when they are not pawns of their Cloud… Read more »
Karl Hungus
Guest

is a robot ever human?

Horace Pinker
Guest
Scott Alexander recently banned the term “human biodiversity” and “HBD” in comments on his blog. He didn’t ban the discussion of HBD-related topics, and it seems that he did this because SJWs were searching through the comments and looking for people who they could identify in real life to go Middlebury on. It’s kind of weird to see that happening in the rationalist community, but maybe I don’t pay enough attention to it. A year ago it seemed like neoreactionaries were a tolerated minority in the comments on SSC. A couple of weeks ago commenters were becoming apoplectic over a… Read more »
notsothoreau
Guest
Well, I guess it’s better than my trip to Portland on Monday. Lots of “Black Lives Matter” signs in the white, upscale part of town. There were also signs that appeared to be of an American Flag. But each stripe at a lecture about “my America”. “Immigrants are respected” and “Diversity is our strength”. Haven’t seen them before. But don’t you dare open a burrito food truck if you are white! The Cloud People don’t notice the mental gymnastics they have to do to believe the things they believe. So CBS has a story about Manchester and has to mention… Read more »
Dutch
Guest

I understand that in Portland, Mexican food outlets owned by whites are being shut down because they are exercising “cultural appropriation”.

Don’t those ISIS guys know that they are culturally appropriating explosives from the Chinese? Have they no shame?

notsothoreau
Guest

It’s one way appropriation. Any race can appropriate from the whites but whites are the only group accused of cultural appropriation.

Dutch
Guest

If the white culture didn’t get appropriated by the others, most of the rest of them would be living in dirt holes in the ground, foraging for their next meal.

Member

Don’t the Mexican’s know they are appropriating technology from Germans with their foodtrucks?
Herr Diesel and Herr Benz would surely object.

Drake
Guest

Those are like Buddhist Prayer wheels. If they keep reciting the mantra long enough, they can overcome logic and believe their own bullshit. Or at least ignore their hypocrisy.

TomA
Guest

I have been banned from Scott Alexander’s blog many times over the years, mostly for posting acerbic commentary much like what you see here. In most cases, the communal SSC response was hyperventilation followed by visceral attack (think Chihuahua frothing and barking hysterically to ward off danger from a Rottweiler). Being that Scott is resident psychiatrist, I once asked him when hypersensitivity becomes a psychosis. He has hated me ever since.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Z Man; Not sure your French Revolution metaphor works for the current situation, but if it does Alexander is trying out for the Marquis de Lafayette role*. That is, seeking (he thinks) to bridge the air-gap** as the media middle ground is being emptied. He’s even sorta right about why it’s being emptied, namely Progs having lost all sense of restraint and common citizenship with the rest of us. But, as you say, he’s wrong about the virtues of his chosen side (evidently he can’t bear to give up the Cool Kids lunch table) what that the emptying media middle… Read more »
Member
“The point here is our managerial elite’s determination to circle the wagons and enforce ideological discipline may be weakening their position.” The way you beat a bureaucracy is by using its own rules against it. The Government Party has a certain way that they fight. The classic examples from 2016 being the bizarre KKK stuff, the Corey Lewandowski non-battery, and tax returns. That’s how they fight. When you don’t fight in that way, you force the Government Party and the bureaucracy to fight in ways that violate their own rules. The leaking of classified information is a great example of… Read more »
Member

I think the explanation for the cloud people is much simpler: They are a group of people who believe their own bullshit.

Karl Horst
Guest
Having lived in Silicon Valley for 10-years, I’ll admit every time I return to the States, I connect more with American “dirt people” than these uber-liberals who have not one single clue about anything past their immediate neighborhoods. From Florida to South Dakota people are as you say, down to earth and not full of themselves at all. Germans can be a bit “stick up the butt” and maybe a bit liberal as you say, and I get that. But it’s was a refreshing visit to spend time with those in the south and mid-west. I used to be a… Read more »
Dutch
Guest
The opposite of hate is not love, but apathy (it has been said). What percentage of the German citizenship is apathetic about Angela Merkel? I ask this because, love Trump or hate him, Americans of all stripes appear very engaged right now in what is going on. Ultimately, what the Cloud People want from the rest of us is disengagement, the “oh well, whatever” attitude. That is how they cement in place their hegemony. Hillary Clinton as President would have encouraged such an attitude. Is that attitude widely shared in Germany and in Europe generally?
Karl Horst
Guest
@ Dutch – This is just my opinion, but I would guess a large part of most working, tax paying Germans would probably agree – Angela Merkel, love her or hate her, has been good for Germany over all. Unlike some of our former Chancellors, there are no scandals under her administration, and she has done a pretty good job for Germany. Our economy is strong, people who want to work have jobs, companies are not off-shoring, so things continue to work well for us. Ask a Frenchman, Spaniard, Greek, Italian or Englishman that same question about their leaders and… Read more »
LetsPlay
Member
Yes Karl, some of us know about the long history with the Muslim Turks including the WWII involvements. But that is not of your generations doing. What you should be focusing on, however IMHO, is Merkel’s role with the EU in foisting this ME immigration on your neighbors and the chaos it is causing all along your borders. I think you will agree that the Obama administration including Clinton and Kerry State Departments were utter failures in developing any kind of stability. The recent, say since 2014, mass refugee crisis, which was created by other forces, was not a direct… Read more »
james wilson
Guest

It would be a bad idea were Trump to stop tweeting. When he is not setting the narrative he is poking a stick in the prog eye. It keeps them occupied and off balance.

karl hungus
Guest

by pausing his tweets, he builds anticipation , and provides real snap when he gets back online. always leave them wanting more, as the wise man once said.

Karl Horst
Guest

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.” – Abraham Lincoln (Solomon 17:28)

LetsPlay
Member
Come on Karl, don’t you find it rather refreshing to have a businessman running things rather than the old, tired stereotype politician who talks a lot but doesn’t accomplish much? Take a look at Trump’s Contract with Americans and look at the things he has accomplished based on the “promises” he made to the American people. Yes, Trump is not smooth, or scripted but that is rather novel in this day and age of PR managed everything about politicians who can’t go off script because of what the latest polls say. If anything, I fear he might become too guarded… Read more »
LetsPlay
Member

It is the velocity of his actions that keeps the Left off balance. Just when they get settled in to attack mode on one issue, he is off on another topic or two, or three. They are having trouble keeping up. Hence, they are trying to stop the train by using faux investigations as if a smoke screen or fog will keep the mighty Trump frozen when he has night vision, flir, and radar running simultaneously. Kinda like the Predator in the Alien movie series, able to switch modes when the enemy is using outdated tactics.

karl hungus
Guest

karl, do german women have healthy sexual appetites, in general i mean? they usually look kind of sour to me.

A.B. Prosper
Guest
Germans have been the subject of jokes about sexual proclivities for centuries Homosexuality “The German Disease” back in the 19th and 20th and these days “Industrial S&M” rubber and metal Its partially true like most stereotypes, Wiemar Germany was degenerate even by modern standards However when the circumstances are right,, Land, Faith and Prosperity Germans can breed fast. A huge percentage of the US population has some German blood, yours truly included and they started as a small minority Problem is they are without religion, crowded and don’t feel especially prosperous , pretty much same as everyone else.
Karl Hungus
Guest

I am 5th gen Californian, due to a relative (paternal side) who came over (from DE) for the gold rush in ’49.

Karl Horst
Guest

@ Karl – We Germans are well scattered across the US. I ran into many first, second and third generation Germans during my trip.

Karl Horst
Guest
@ Karl. Interesting question. I would say Germans are not exactly “passionate” people as one thinks of the French or Italians. But we’re not as bad as the Swiss, I think! It may be because we tend to approach life a bit more seriously. I hate to admit it, but we are not known for a sense of humor either, which I think one must have to make light of things in life. But we do have beer, which makes up for that. However a drunkard husband would explain the wife’s sour face! I think it is safe to say… Read more »
karl hungus
Guest

other karl, thanks for the response, i was genuinely curious. you are being a little disingenous when you use Fiat as a measure of italian engineering (and i think you know what i mean here 🙂 )

Karl Horst
Guest

@ K. Hungus – Disingenuous is when you build a sports car in the Mazda factory in Japan, using nearly 90% of Mazda parts (less engine) and market it as a Fiat Spyder 124.

If you’re talking Italian super-cars, that’s a very different conversation. 🙂

karl hungus
Guest

Ferrari

LetsPlay
Member
Mr. Horst, you answered the question as “Germans are not exactly “passionate” people” when I think the answer should have pertained to German women. I would think the answer would be self evident … that women are pretty much the same the world over as far as cultural differences on romance or child rearing go; those are different but Mr. Hungus was specifically asking about “sexual appetitos.” I guess an honest answer would depend on your ability to draw a conclusion based on varied experience between German women and women from other countries/cultures, no? In my limited experience, one of… Read more »
karl hungus
Guest

to quote the great Clark Gable ” when a cold mama gets hot, boy, how she sizzles”

that was kind of what i as wondering about Teutonic babes. they seem kind of bitchy on the outside, but seem to be capable of some fireworks.

Kentucky Headhunter
Guest

I’ve never met a corporate diversity flogger who wasn’t a black woman.

John the River
Member

1. Cultural Appropriation.
2. White Privilege.
3. Virginity.

Three greatest illusionary concepts of the Western World.

Severian
Guest
That’s what makes life in academia so fun – they’ve been able to present their opinions as facts for so long that they think they ARE facts. Their intellectual immune systems decay accordingly… with, I hope, predictable consequences — just as an island ecosystem is extremely vulnerable to any outside pathogen, so it is in the Cloud. The pendulum, when it swings, is going to swing back very far, very fast. Which is why I say that today’s blue-haired bicurious vegan slam poet is tomorrow’s obergruppenfuhrer. Give it ten years and the inevitable economic dislocation, and today’s SJWs will be… Read more »
Member

Where will the “whiff of grapeshot” come from this time?

karl hungus
Guest

michelle obama’s giant ass

CaptDMO
Guest

“Animals that find themselves isolated, like on an island, prison, or university, evolve in different ways,…”
Just thought I’d help.

Krass92
Guest

Now cloud people l are developing a video game where you can kill said ‘outsiders’: http://www.pcgamer.com/ubisoft-reveals-first-far-cry-5-art-and-its-a-doozie/

dad29
Guest

my youth in Jesuit schools where every class began with a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer or a Hail Mary.

Back when YOU were in H.S., the Jebbies might have actually meant it, too.

karl hungus
Guest

for all who attended a catholic school: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089264/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_1

really well done and very entertaining.

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