The Digital Opiate

Imagine a science fiction scenario in which you and your crew discover a planet inhabited by intelligent beings that possess no written or spoken language. This strange species communicates entirely with facial movements, eye contact, and other non-verbal gestures. Perhaps in addition to an astonishingly complex set of facial muscles, they have additional limbs used for signaling complex ideas. Whatever sounds they make are more like mood music than spoken language.

It is a crazy image, but it is a useful way of thinking about language. While it is possible such a communication could work, the one obvious problem is that initially all knowledge would have to be communicated in person. If you wanted to pass on information to the guy in the next village, you would either have to go to his village or have someone do it for you. It would also mean information could die with the holder, so the culture would need lots of redundancy to retain its knowledge.

Most likely, such a communication system would be so costly, whole categories of information would be eliminated. History would have to be truncated. Imagine the effort required to pantomime the history of the Peloponnesian War. Communicating advanced math would be impossible. Imagine describing a Lorentzian manifold with hand gestures and facial movements. Even a highly advanced visual communication system would rule out large swaths of information.

It’s not just that the categories would be constrained. The concept of history, for example, may not exist at all. If it did, it would be highly personalized, since all communication would be personal. Without a writing system or some other way to record information that is independent of the sender, the concept of a fact-based history would be improbable. This species could conceive of the past, but only in the most personal sense of it and as related to the present.

There would be something else about such a communication system. Because the lack of efficiency, time would have to be compressed. That is, the highest priority would be on the events of the present time, then those in the very near future and then the immediate past. The further events, ideas or concepts got from the present in either direction, the less important they would be to the society. The species with only a visual communication system would live almost entirely in the moment.

In the 1984 book, Amusing Ourselves To Death, Neil Postman argued that a particular medium can only sustain a particular level of ideas. The written word requires the intellectual involvement of the reader. The information presented can be tested and contemplated as it is consumed. Oral communication is more immediate, as the listener cannot playback what was just said, unless it is recorded. Video is the most superficial, as the viewer is a passive participant.

The thesis was that the superficial nature of video communication was removing facts and reason from public discourse and replacing them with emotion. People will take one side or another of an issue, because they favor the people making the argument, not because they think about the facts. Politics ceases to be about facts and arguments and becomes a sales pitch, like an ad for a product. No one thinks about the claims made in the presentation, just how they feel about the presenter.

Postman was writing before the internet. He could not contemplate how that would change public communication. The internet has immediacy. In addition to the superficiality of visual communication, it now comes as a steady stream through the wide array of screens in our lives. Even if you are not on social media, you will still absorb a steady stream of small bits of information. These are intended to elicit an emotional response regarding some pubic issue.

For older people, the legacy mediums still play a large role. Old people still read physical newspapers. Radio talk shows and television still have an audience, but the audience is generally those who came of age before the internet. Old people are on-line, but they experience it as a digital form of the legacy media. At the other end of the age curve, kids get all of the information on-line. Social media, YouTube and live streams are their exclusive sources of information.

Think about the last two months of virus panic. First the stream was intended to frighten everyone with images of overwhelmed hospitals and morgues. The factual content of the presentation was nonsensical. We did not see actual hospitals or people staggering around suffering from the virus. Instead it was models and people pitching the panic, like salesman in an infomercial. Postman’s framing of television news as infotainment has now been supercharged in the internet age.

We have moved beyond the three mediums of written, oral and visual, by adding the element of time. The rapid stream of information coming to us in mostly visual formats, or at least as superficial as the visual, amplifies the emotional aspect that was always central to visual presentations. People are bombarded with inputs that are evaluated in the moment and the appropriate emotion is generated. It is why people get so angry at contradiction on-line. That’s the point of the experience.

Our modern media environment is now something like “the feelies” in Huxley’s Brave New World. This was a popular form of entertainment that combined the senses of smell and touch in a movie format. The “movie” lacks the normal content of a movie, but instead stimulates the viewer into certain emotional states. The responses created in the viewer, combine with images, reinforce the social order. It is a form of propaganda that circumvents the rational mind and appeals to the emotions.

The live stream phenomenon is similar. These are often ad hoc, with the streamer starting his stream when the spirit moves. Some are more regimented in their schedule, but they rarely start on time and they go as long as they like. The people tuning in are not looking for facts and reasoned arguments. Instead they want reassurance and confirmation. These streams have communities that exist around the live streamer. It’s virtual information and a virtual community.

This brings us back to that civilization of aliens. They would inevitably be trapped in the present, because of the limitations of their communications medium. Their information would also be highly personal, as there would be no way to communicate without the idiosyncrasies of the sender getting tangled in the message. Part of the information the receiver would get is the particulars of the sender. Information could no longer stand outside the person. It would be defined by the sender and receiver.

We are seeing this today. Live streamers are making a living by talking and playing games as a type of performance. Their community sends them money in order to get mentioned or have their comment mentioned. In fact, the community becomes a part of the performance, a sort of codependency. The streamer interacts with the community in order to move the show along, but the community interacts with the streamer in order to tailor the experience to their desires in the moment.

Of course, it also means our public discourse must be even more shallow and superficial than what existed in the peak of the television era. It also must be even more intensely present tense. The old written information stream was an interconnected collection of facts and logic. The new information stream is a constant series of highly personalized, but disconnected bits of data intended to elicit an emotion. The digital opiate keeps the sender and receiver in a constant present.


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joey junger
joey junger
11 days ago

I think the net has also exacerbated what Paul Fussell called “Prole Drift,” the habits of the lower class filtering to the upper class. I see article titles from mainstream publications that sound like hip-hop “diss” records. They’re crap media, but even AOL or Yahoo News should not have a piece titled, “Trump claps back at Obama,” like they’re trading shots in a housing project. Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman had an article titled, “Hating on Bernanke.” The use of black underclass culture, the deliberate filtering of it through every stratum of media, is toxic to anglosphere people. From the time… Read more »

Yves Vannes
Yves Vannes
Member
Reply to  joey junger
11 days ago

The class difference is eclipsed by the racial difference. A hundred years ago+ all classes shared a common heritage (cultural and genetic), a common aesthetic predisposition and a system that allowed for a high degree of upward and downward mobility(dependent upon talents, motivation and luck). Households often had people of all classes living in the same space or neighborhood. The intelligence and cultural affinities between them was fairly narrow. The maid could have a deeper sensitivity to beauty and a higher intelligence than her employer the bank executive. The evening playhouse putting on Shakes, O’Neill, Shaw, Sophocles or Steele MacKaye… Read more »

Epaminondas
Member
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

Wonderful insight…and so true. I’ve seen this myself. The wealthy walk around thinking they’re Celeborn and Galadriel, when in fact they look like older preppies with tattoos and dementia.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

Meanwhile Jack Dorsey looks like he’s recovering from a bender.

Hoyos
Hoyos
Reply to  Paintersforms
11 days ago

Which I think we can all respect.

Jay Dee
Jay Dee
Reply to  Paintersforms
11 days ago

Benders are temporary. Dorsey consistently looks like a Grade A San Francisco vagrant. And I exaggerate only the slightest.

greyenlightenment
Reply to  Paintersforms
11 days ago

more like black dorsey./ he really wants to be black , it seemscomment image

Hoyos
Hoyos
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

On that note google the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas. Lawyer strikes it rich suing Johnson & Johnson, and in a marvelous non-stereotypical move, uses his new found fortune to create a gorgeous complex open to the public featuring a full size replica Byzantine chapel, an extensive library based on Oxbridge libraries, and exhibits including fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls and one of the best CS Lewis collections in North America.

UFO
UFO
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

Upper middle class whites are FUCKED for the future. Most of them are “travelling”, and bumming around. They live off of their parents’ money and achievements. They’re studying meme degrees. When they decide they want a job they’ll find all the decent paying jobs are now in the hands of non-whites, either 2nd/3rd gen immigrants or visa imports.

They seem destined to live off their inheritance until it runs out. The era of the white UMC is quickly running out. Middle class and lower whites are fully Negro-ized.

HoratioHornblower
HoratioHornblower
Reply to  UFO
11 days ago

Mummy and daddy booted me out at 17 during their contentious divorce. I earned scholarships and worked my way through 11 years of higher ed, living very poorly. Engineering and CS grad then LLM in IP tucked into a 3-year JD with all the fluff honors. I am a multimillionaire patent litigator. I have never met a foreigner or minority who can perform at my level. Not once. I know one perhaps two women who are as good or better and that’s it. No small hats remaining (they used to dominate). My competition are white nominal Christian alpha males.

Hun
Hun
Reply to  HoratioHornblower
11 days ago

Family must stick together and wealth must be preserved within the family, from generation to generation. That is the only long term viable way. It worked like that for thousands of years. I’ll never understand the American habit to kick kids out of the house when they reach 18, nor will I understand giving the kids a trust fund without requiring any responsibilities.

Apex Predator
Apex Predator
Reply to  HoratioHornblower
11 days ago

I know a guy with two Maseratis, a 145 IQ, who discards super models like fast food wrappers, and has more money than God. My point being… So like you, he is the exception not the rule. For every one like you that worked your ass off another hundred white boys could not even get -into- the school, grades be damned because ‘muh diversity ratios’. Nor could he get the scholarship for the same reason. Nor could they become a top tier attorney because EEOC and sheeit. Even for those with the drive and motivation the deck is heavily stacked… Read more »

vxxc💂🏻‍♂️😉 Toxic masculinity vector
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

I wonder if we can see a difference between Bezoes and say Rockafeller, Morgan, Carnegie?

What could it be?
Is it possible the Marxist class dialectic is (((obscuring))) something?

sam the man
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

A Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega Y Gasset predicted that in the future, in the age of democracy the culture will degenerate to the lower level. He wrote about 100 years ago. The book is titled Rebellion of the Masses.
But before written works there were epic stories told by storytellers. Mahabharata –an Indian epic takes many hours to tell. There is one in I think Kirgistan that takes a week.Some illiterate people have great memory. Iliad and Odyssey were told by story tellers before Homer wrote them down.

.

d. deacon
d. deacon
Reply to  thezman
10 days ago

equality = modernist appeal to the massive and mechanic approach to equalize everything, and thus leads to chasing lowest common denominator, as materialism approaches its natural limitations and Babel gathers enough reactant to explode… again. not for the first time, may (it) be the last time? to quote Jagger, idk… this all goes back to Bastille Day, and perhaps further back to Reformation, nominalism, and pretty much the sum of all heresies. in short, disorder. why else would we be addicted to these opiates, whether information medium or otherwise? granted, i rather not go too far the other way and… Read more »

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  joey junger
11 days ago

The upper class also tried to be worth looking up to, even if it was only a public face for some of them.

Tykebomb
Tykebomb
Reply to  joey junger
11 days ago

A depressing truth is that assimilation into America is working fine. Hispanics act more and more American every year and generation they are here. The rates of church attendance, use of abortion clinics, english use and racial consciousness are all wildly out of sync with their homelands.

It’s just that they are assimilating to Blacks.

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
Reply to  Tykebomb
11 days ago

Is that objectively true? I don’t really know. Pretty certain that 3rd generation Mexican imports aren’t doing so great on the college tracks.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Tykebomb
11 days ago

This is why our elites don’t fear Muslim immigration beyond some momentary cultural indigestion. They are betting that in a few generations, the progeny of devout Muslims will be looking for hookups on Tinder and taking ecstasy at raves.

KGB
KGB
Reply to  LineInTheSand
11 days ago

Yet it appears that in the more heavily Muslim areas of Europe, it’s the second and third generations that have proven fertile ground for fundamentalist rejection of Western values. I wouldn’t wager that future generations of Muslims will wind up surrendering to our culture.

Tykebomb
Tykebomb
Reply to  KGB
11 days ago

I was reading up on this phenomenon and a story always stayed with me. A first generation invader couple took their son to a beach and showed him all the women walking around in bikinis. How would he give all that up to become a fundamentalist, they asked. He would eventually die in Syria as part of ISIS. But I totally get it. Those women in bikinis aren’t for him. He could (barely) look but not touch and even if he could, they were hardly marriage material. So he retreated to his culture and like any convert became the most… Read more »

UFO
UFO
Reply to  KGB
11 days ago

It depends on the area. In Canada, the general sense is that they are slowly “assimilating” and getting pozzed. The young Muslims now have “boyfriends/girlfriends”, probably having sex, but then get married insteaed of sleeping around. In 20 years they’ll probably be degenerates. In Europe, no doubt, one can see the hatred coming out of their souls. It would be most laughable to see the plan of pozzing the Muslims fail. There is also source selection; more Muslims into USA/Canada are “economic immigrants” and families, whereas the European refugees are really the bottom of the barrel. Muslimahs really are beautiful… Read more »

Tykebomb
Tykebomb
Reply to  UFO
11 days ago

Modernity is a weapon we should learn to use. In the demographic age, a female POC scholarship is a powerful weapon. The goal is to poz the POCs, while whites embrace conservative, demographically positive lifestyles. Agree and amplify is the tactic. Abortion should be supported, in low income areas, subsidized for vulnerable POCs even. White women should have to pay more for abortions to subsidize their oppressed sisters. Every POC career woman is one less POC baby. To destroy a people, put their women to work and their fathers out of the way. It was done to whites, we should… Read more »

UFO
UFO
Reply to  Tykebomb
11 days ago

*The goal is to poz the POCs,* And this is working. More black babies are aborted than born in NYC every year. Fertility rates for all races are now below replacement; whites are higher than Asians and not much lower than blacks. Hispanics are dropping the fastest. *while whites embrace conservative, demographically positive lifestyles.* Unfortunately white men are also getting badly pozzed. They’re told that in order to get laid they need to emulate negroes. White men fail to maintain relationships and instead go for the pump and dump. White men are a bigger problem than white women, tbh. White… Read more »

usNthem
usNthem
Reply to  Tykebomb
11 days ago

I noticed this phenomenon a number or years ago. We used to go down to Mexico a lot back in the ‘90’s. I always thought the locals were friendlier and more polite than their Americanized cousins. As you mentioned, a couple of generations of exposure to our degrading culture was enough to do the trick, although compared to the average jogger, they’re another flight up.

Anon
Anon
Reply to  usNthem
11 days ago

With few exceptions, every émigré community in America becomes a tacky, vulgar parody of their old-world cousins within two generations, retaining the bad traits of their blood while jettisoning everything that was formerly required of them to maintain civilization.
A guest mentality takes hold not dissimilar to the mild-mannered euro who turns into a wild degenerate on his tour of South East Asia.
That and rootlessness makes them more susceptible to pozzing from the relentless entreaties of lowest denominator consumer culture.

KGB
KGB
Reply to  Tykebomb
11 days ago

Very much true that Hispanics in America emulate black culture. The Puerto Ricans near me are almost indistinguishable from blacks in most ways.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  KGB
11 days ago

Genetically, Porter Reekins are much more African than the mestizos from the rest of Latin America. No wonder they behave like Hutus.

UFO
UFO
Reply to  Tykebomb
11 days ago

I can’t believe how rapidly the Negro-ization of young white guys has occured. In the past 3 years or so it’s become near ubiquitous for high school and college white kids. Wasn’t like that 7 years ago when I graduated. Their dialect changes around blacks and they switch to half assed ebonics. It’s embarrassing for our race. It’s part the fault of the white older generation. Our young whites have no masculine role models. It’s hard to blame young whites because our own culture is full of sissy homos and weak fathers. If they had strong role models theyd snap… Read more »

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  UFO
11 days ago

Young men have a tendency to do what they perceive young females like to impress them. Unfortunately too many young females are allured to Black masculinity and culture. Women are the gate keepers in these relationships. They must control their urges for degenerates and white boys will shape up PDQ. But you’re right, a strong male role model is a good thing, however for the women perhaps more than the men it seems.

Johnny Burma
Member
Reply to  Tykebomb
11 days ago

Tom Wolfe wrote about this in Mau Mauing the Flak Catchers all the way back in the 60s. He noted that in order to pressure white bureaucrats for government money, Chicano activists in San Francisco started imitating black speech patterns and mannerisms. The really depressing part is that the Chinese, Samoans and Filipinos were all doing the exact same thing.

UFO
UFO
Reply to  Johnny Burma
11 days ago

It’s the magic negro effect. It just works on most white people for some reason. Doesn’t work on me.

The negro knows this. So he also has his “smart black man with glasses” voice he pulls out when the white is unimpressed with his magic ebonics act.

These 2 tricks fool about 98% of whites, even the supposed racists. When they hear the smart voice they think “oh, he’s one of the good ones”.

Johnny Burma
Member
Reply to  UFO
11 days ago

True, but in Wolfe’s case the various ethnic groups were acting like angry hoodrats in order to scare white people into giving them money. Picture a Mexican activist in a poncho and a red beret yelling in Ebonics with about 20 others behind him and you get the picture. It’s easy to see how the ghetto culture spread into immigrant communities and even among white people who were the beneficiaries of these Great Society programs.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  UFO
11 days ago

A Hutu is a Hutu is a Hutu. A rattlesnake that sloughs its skin is still a rattler.

tarstarkas
tarstarkas
Reply to  joey junger
11 days ago

This is bound to happen in a society that puts these people on a pedestal. Just as the phenomenon of white people pretending they are black, we get the people who try and make themselves culturally black. It has even seeped into the dissident right with terms like THOT and Simp. Those who cannot be named, “teen” or “jogger” can be emulated, apparently.

Polynikes
Polynikes
Reply to  joey junger
11 days ago

The beauty of the internet, much like the printing press before it, is that it allows mass information to filter down to the people not bequeathed birthright status–and in many forms. This is a good thing. In this vein the elites can not become a slave to convention lest they get left behind by nimbler, more capable people who have had the field leveled a little. This is what helps underpin a democracy surrounding individual rights. But I do agree that there is little reason for institutions to degrade themselves by chucking all well-established societal conventions. Being open to better… Read more »

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  joey junger
11 days ago

Working in San Francisco, it was usually the case that the wealthiest person in the room was the most casually dressed, following Zuckerberg’s hoodie. The most dramatic example was when my company was acquired by a bigger company. The owner of the bigger company showed up at our office for a meeting and I thought he was a bike messenger. He was wearing sandals and shorts while the rest of us were wearing button up shirts and khakis.

Member
Reply to  LineInTheSand
11 days ago

Men should not wear sandals. In fact, even women with great legs and pretty feet should avoid them.

Hun
Hun
Reply to  Libertymike
11 days ago

Why not? Even Roman soldiers wore sandals and they were tougher than most men today.

Member
Reply to  Hun
11 days ago

Sandals are lame and effeminate. Besides, who wants to see bare ugly male feet?

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Libertymike
11 days ago

First sentence, yes. Second sentence not only no, but hell no.

Member
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
11 days ago

Ostei, heels and hose.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Libertymike
11 days ago

As a certain poster on this site knows well, I love a woman sashaying about in heels, but that does not preclude appreciating a lovely set of tootsies in sandals.

vxxc💂🏻‍♂️😉 Toxic masculinity vector
Reply to  joey junger
11 days ago

Its actually by design the upper classes poisoning the lower with Decadence and filth, idiocy. Their own degeneracy as deluge of filth.

Actually the commons are far more civilized now – the elites are both effete and barbaric.

People who only see degenerate “proles” should consider moving to Red areas, white areas.

“Prole” – snort. You mean Negro, say Negro.

Phoenix
Phoenix
Reply to  joey junger
11 days ago

The ‘upper class’ or ‘aristocracy’ you speak of, is what created this nightmare of mainstreamed primitive cultures…and you want to blame it on ‘white trash’! They simply follow along in whatever direction the powers-that-be steer them-just like they always have…They have zero power and influence-that’s all on the ‘aristocracy’.

Andrew
Andrew
11 days ago

There was a time when if someone wanted to know something they had to travel to a library. Look in an index card file, write down a number, then look for the book on a shelf. That was only the beginning. Then they had to read the book, to hopefully find what they were looking for. That process helped to develop critical learning and the ability to reason. Now whenever someone wants an answer, they whip out the smart phone and look up the answer. They have the answer but, haven’t learned anything. Quite often the smarter the phone the… Read more »

bilejones
Member
Reply to  Andrew
11 days ago

The degree to which the information they get on the phone is propaganda is understood by far too few people.
Whitney Webb looks at the “fact-checkers” and who their owners are.
Well worth the read- interesting site
https://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/censorship/this-is-why-you-cant-trust-the-fact-checkers/

ChetRollins
ChetRollins
Reply to  bilejones
11 days ago

The Snopes people and others are clever in their propaganda. They usually don’t state outright falsehoods about their enemies, but rather give the most asinine, bad-faith interpretation of a person’s view or statement, or debunk the most outrageous version of a popular meme, while ignoring the core content of what is being said. They also avoid debunking the most powerful memes that are practically unspinnable, like 13/50, and let the smear merchants just shout it down.

Of course, for their allies, they do the opposite.

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
Reply to  Andrew
11 days ago

On some level, most people realize how shallow their knowledge is really is. This has led to the “Cult of the Expert”, or the logical fallacy of “Appeal from Authority”.

They’re experts! How do we know? They said so! And they know something, apparently, while we can’t be bothered to read more than a couple of sentences.

It’s how we get moron leaders following insanely bad models from adulterers from “The Imperial College”.

(mmm…IMPERIAL! Sounds legit)

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  ProZNoV
11 days ago

The only corrective to this phenomenon is to cultivate a first-class BS-detector. A good general baseline of broad knowledge, high levels of self confidence, and powerful intuition cut through “expert” BS like a blowlamp through sour cream.

SamlAdams
SamlAdams
Reply to  Andrew
11 days ago

Read this when originally published. Spot on. And more importantly the brain starts to rewire to the “Google” input mechanism.https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/

Range Front Fault
Range Front Fault
Reply to  SamlAdams
11 days ago

The last couple years I have awoken to this speeding up of the brain and taking life in soundbites. Am consciously fighting it by restructuring my life. The computer is off no later than 8:30 at night, often earlier. Some nights we watch Tucker, some nights we don’t knowing I’ll throw a show through the TV. In the morning I read Z and a few others, then done and on with the day. I’m walking >4X’s a week up the canyon. Great beauty. My current project is arranging to buy at the end of summer a half beef for freezer… Read more »

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  Range Front Fault
11 days ago

Hi Range! Might I recommend a “fair animal”, raised and shown at the state fair or expo? They are usually auctioned there, and you could go in halves with a neighbor or friend. As a former butcher, I can tell you that the quality and texture of a fair animal is consistently like nothing you get from commercial sources. Perhaps your gal friends are entirely or somewhat hand raising their cattle. In any case, the difference from commercially raised cattle is a big one

Kibernetika
Kibernetika
Reply to  Andrew
11 days ago

Is there anything more wonderful than wandering around a quality, pre-internet era, physical library? Floors, aisles, rows… “stacks” of physical books on physical shelves. Most good universities have them, but they’ve been closed during the Great Shutdown.

I think I learned and discovered more things while cutting class and lurking around libraries than in any classes. Books hundreds of years old just sitting there on a shelf, and we can pull them out and see the frontispiece, page through the contents — with gentle handling, of course.

Stranger in a strange land
Stranger in a strange land
11 days ago

RE: “the “movie” lacks the normal content of a movie, but instead stimulates the viewer into certain emotional states. The responses created in the viewer, combine with images, reinforce the social order. It is a form of propaganda that circumvents the rational mind and appeals to the emotions’.

‘…people tuning in are not looking for facts and reasoned arguments. Instead they want reassurance and confirmation’….

That’s an apt description of the latest joggers narrative. But then, it’s all much like ketchup – it can be slathered on everything.

Ganderson
Ganderson
11 days ago

Good food for thought on a Monday morning. There is a wonderful scene in Bruce Beresford’s wonderful movie ( did I mention that the movie was wonderful?) Black Robe in which the Jesuit demonstrates writing to the Algonquin chief. Since it is the transmission of knowledge without the spoken word, the Indians immediately assume that the priest Is some kind of wizard and resolve to kill him. Books aren’t dead, but are on life support- the vast majority of the kids I teach watch stuff- abetted by special ed departments who cook up phrases like “he’s a visual learner” And,… Read more »

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Ganderson
11 days ago

Girls as hookers and boys as bums dress codes are a product of the parents and court system, with a dollop of liberalism thrown in. I remember all too well the many battles over the generations to overturn dress codes on the grounds of discrimination on the poor and latent “racism”. Private parochial schools have held their ground little better it seems to me.

UFO
UFO
Reply to  Compsci
11 days ago

It’s impossible for divorced parents to parent properly. If Becky’s dad says she can’t wear ripped jeans, he’s a big mean mean and her mom will gain her favour. It’s basically a constant fight between divorced parents to keep the approval of their kids. In effect this means you can’t discipline them.

That Canadian guy from Alberta who posts here knows all about it.

3g4m
3g4m
Reply to  Compsci
11 days ago

Compsci – Uniforms serve a purpose. As far as holding their ground, it varies. Once the kids reach the middle-school years you start seeing the girls (always the girls) pushing the boundaries. Rolling up their skirts to shorten them, adding all sorts of ornaments to regimented book bags, etc. The Christian schools who let this slide reap what they sow. This need to decorate and personalize everything is such a modern female fetish. While I enjoy a certain amount of jewelry on my person, my black car has no stickers or decals, and my phone has no ‘bling.’

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  3g4m
11 days ago

3g4m. Very true. As might be construed, I am a parochial school brat. From 1st grade on, the uniform was dress shoes, navy blue pants and tie, white shirt. Navy blue jacket in winter or for church events. Worked for me. Yeah, we looked a bit funny, but there never, ever was any problem with one student feeling ashamed or left out of the “club”. No BS over $200 Nike’s and other ghetto crap. When I left the city to move out West, the uniform changed, dress shoes, dress pants, dress shirt. No tie, no jacket. Hell, it was 100… Read more »

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Ganderson
11 days ago

Good for you for educating the next generation. I sometimes hear from teachers that the young white boys are instinctively drawn to dissident right memes because they subvert the anti-white, anti-male culture of school. Do you see evidence of this?

Ganderson
Ganderson
Reply to  LineInTheSand
11 days ago

That maybe true, but expressing dissident memes is presumed to be an offense and the discipline for acting out In such a way is administered by women and soyboys The culture of the typical public school is feminine, and getting more so. I’m a Catholic school kid- unis for grade school, army uniforms for high school . It’s a good system. I’ve also become convinced that single sex education is the way to go- more for the boys. than for the girls. The point about divorced parents is spot on- when I’m having trouble with a kid i always check… Read more »

3g4m
3g4m
Reply to  Ganderson
11 days ago

The one year my younger son attended public school, I was appalled at how difficult it was to merely navigate the hallway – groups of teachers and parents standing in the middle, kids running in all directions, etc. While perhaps the regimented way we lined up when I was a kid is unnecessary, it still used to be assumed that one stayed to the right. Even in church, I would be trying to go upstairs on the right and others would be going up on my left, and those from upstairs coming down right into me. Absolute chaos.

3g4m
3g4m
Reply to  Ganderson
11 days ago

I often ponder the fate of the written word in almost any form. Reading an actual, physical book is becoming a lost art, and the vocabulary level drops every year. Books now considered classics and taught to college kids were, when written, considered common and serialized in cheap installments for the lower class readers who consumed them. While Christian (and presumably non-religious private) schools still teach cursive, public schools do not. Inherit a bunch of your grandparents’ letters? Nah, can’t read them – not interested. The history and Latin and sociology I pick up doing genealogy wouldn’t be possible if… Read more »

bilejones
Member
11 days ago

I’ve been mulling this over for a while.
Comparing the complexity and nuance of English to what it became in the hands of West Africans: Pidgin- the most widely spoken tongue in the region- that it beat out all competitors says a lot about what the locals produced natively.

The BBC has a radio service directed at this audience.
https://www.bbc.com/pidgin

Meanwhile, in more bad news for the Panic-ists It turns out that the model that started it all is the biggest fuck-up since the Armada.
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/why-covid-19-model-inspired-uks-lockdown-may-be-most-devastating-software-mistake-all

Ganderson
Ganderson
Reply to  bilejones
11 days ago

The biggest fuckup since 800 AD when Hrolfgar the Saxon confused a flock of geese with a Viking invasion of Mercia…

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

Speaking of blacks and languages, I’ve always been fascinated by the general lack of accents among blacks – except, perhaps, some rural blacks in the South. But, in general, blacks across the country sound pretty similar, whereas whites almost immediately started having different regional accents as they spread and settled the country.

Wolf Barney
Wolf Barney
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
11 days ago

I’ve always noticed the lack of accents among blacks as well, except as you mention, rural southern blacks. From watching the “The Last Dance” (I know, sportsball…) you can detect a slight difference in the way Scottie Pippen (rural Arkansas) speaks compared to most other blacks. I notice today that whites’ accents from all over the country aren’t nearly as strong as a couple of generations ago. They’re becoming more standardized. It’s easy to point to mass communication, except television and radio has been around for quite a while. This is something fairly new I’ve started to notice.

sam the man
Reply to  Wolf Barney
11 days ago

In 1977 I walked across Delaware which is almost a northern state and the accent was very thick southern. 3 years ago I was in Arkansas which is considered deep south and they talked with hardly any accent.

UFO
UFO
Reply to  sam the man
11 days ago

Delaware is a state nobody talks much about.

1990: 80.3% white, 16.9% black
2010: 65.3% white, 21% black

Birth data in 2018: 48.7% white, 26.1% black, 16.1% Latino, 6% Asian.

Seems like the great replacement is happening very rapidly there. Why?

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  UFO
11 days ago

Tourism workers? Delaware beach used to be small. In the last 20 years it’s started catching up to OC.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  sam the man
11 days ago

Interesting place. It was a slave state that stayed in the Union. Didn’t ratify the 13th amendment until 1901. You’d think it would have more of a northern flavor being so close to Philly, but it’s its own thing. Lots of farms, right up to the ocean. The whole DelMarVa peninsula is like that.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Wolf Barney
11 days ago

Lots of rural, blacks in Texas do have a fairly strong Texas accent.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
11 days ago

My best guess: it’s because most blacks came from the south a century ago, and they’re pretty tribal. Blacks vs. the world etc.

tarstarkas
tarstarkas
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
11 days ago

That’s odd. For me, it’s the opposite. I almost never hear blacks without an accent. It’s all the same accent though. So much so that it’s memed. Gonna call my bish on the sail foam. lemme axe you a kweshon..

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  tarstarkas
11 days ago

Tarstarkas,

That’s my point. They have an accent different from whites, but it’s the same accent around the country. There’s no regional black accents.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
11 days ago

Correct. Black people everywhere in the States use a watered down variant of a generic Southern accent.

james wilson WebSite URL Mpg2J wpdiscuz_captcharef
james wilson WebSite URL Mpg2J wpdiscuz_captcharef
Member
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
11 days ago

I lived in Boston five years and their are two or three accents in New Yawk City that are as ridiculous but none as ugly. Still, I never ever heard a New England Aferican speak in it.

Maus
Maus
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
11 days ago

They may not speak with any discernable accent; but whatever they’re saying isn’t English. Ebonics was just a fancy way for prescriptive linguists to mock the poor grammar and mispronunciation of blacks. But just as rap transmogrified popular music, the descriptive linguists won the battle and elevated bix nood to American Black Vernacular English. The only proper resolution is Apartheid Now!

tarstarkas
tarstarkas
Reply to  Maus
11 days ago

Apartheid is untenable. We need full political separation. If America is to survive as a nation, it needs to break up and it needs to kick them out into their nation. Like we are no longer any European ethnicity and cannot be expected to go “home” because there is no home for us outside of North America, American blacks have nowhere to return either. So we should give them a few Southern States and be done with it. Just abandon whatever portion we give them and put guards on the new borders. As long as we try to remain in… Read more »

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  tarstarkas
11 days ago

Georgia is on the way there I hear.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  tarstarkas
11 days ago

Give ’em Missibama.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Maus
11 days ago

Apartheid in the form of secession.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  tarstarkas
11 days ago

Black New Yorkers definitely have a strong New York accent.

Stranger in a strange land
Stranger in a strange land
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
11 days ago

very localized near Charleston, SC, but there is the Gullah…dialect, more than an accent.

MemeWarVet
MemeWarVet
Reply to  Stranger in a strange land
11 days ago

There was a children’s TV show in the 90’s about Gullah. Really odd show; had a six foot tall frog.

james wilson WebSite URL Mpg2J wpdiscuz_captcharef
james wilson WebSite URL Mpg2J wpdiscuz_captcharef
Member
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

I can’t find the two hour video now, it’s been referred to here once or twice, two Chinese road builders in Africa with their African translator. He speaks Chinese, French, and several African languages. The African is always with them, and is also helpful in making them understand the peculiar local business practices. The Chinese are well aware how unintelligent Africans are but they admire them for their ability to survive in that environment. Still, it takes them, and us, more time to understand that this gifted translator is also unable to hold an abstract thought. This great divergence in… Read more »

Lineman
Lineman

I think the one you are referring to is called Empire of Dust…

Tom K
Tom K

I saw that. A very interesting documentary. In one scene a bunch of blacks sitting around their campsite were discussing how they were thought of as apes by non-Africans. Why would anyone think that?

Mike_C
Mike_C

Yep, Empire of Dust.
Funny thing is that the African guy has a better (“classier”) accent in Mandarin than the Chinese guy.

I didn’t get that the Chinese have any admiration for Africans from that film. Or in any other situation either. Chinese are the second most ethnocentric people in the world and consider every other group inferior in one way or another. In the case of blacks, Chinese consider them inferior in just about every way. Say what you like about the Chinese, at least they worship not at the twin altars of Negrolatry and Holocaustianity.

Range Front Fault
Range Front Fault
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

Interesting! Which goes to show that intelligence is extremely compartmentalized.

3g4m
3g4m
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

They’re fairly good at mimicry. You make the connection.

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

“Africans seem to be the best at acquiring new languages.”

I’ve heard/read this multiple places. Spitballin’ here, but I wonder if that ability has anything to do with impulse control (or lack thereof). Perhaps the Bantu brain has greater plasticity (of the sort wherein children are able to pick up languages with an ease that adults have lost).

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  bilejones
11 days ago

Ebonics was the rage when I was a grad student. I attended more than one lecture where the speaker talked of the intricacies of the”language” and how it was every bit as good/complex as “standard” English and should be fostered/understood in the schools, not suppressed. Hell, I was expecting that soon we’d have classes in Ebonics as we had in German, or Spanish, or in those days, even Latin and Ancient Greek.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Compsci
11 days ago

Looking back, it’s surprising that the ebonics movement was suppressed. I wonder why our elites chose not to push ebonics harder such that “we’d have classes in Ebonics as we had in German, or Spanish.”

You’d think our elites would have delighted in forcing young white children to labor over the proper pronunciation of “Yo yo you be illin’.”

Badthinker
Badthinker
Reply to  LineInTheSand
11 days ago

Probably would’ve been too close to noticing dey be dif’rent.

ganderson
ganderson
Reply to  Compsci
10 days ago

I have no problem with Ebonics per se. Lots of subcultures have their own argot- the problem I have is expecting the rest of society to adapt. Swiss German is spoken in most homes- standard High German is the language of instruction and public business.

North American Vespers
North American Vespers
Reply to  bilejones
11 days ago

The most interesting nuance of francophone west African language (pidgin French) is that they use no other tense but the present. There is nothing in the past that informs, nothing in the future to plan for – a perfect analogy to the processes that govern the typical West African’s Brain.

bilejones
Member
Reply to  North American Vespers
11 days ago

Same as Pidgin English then.
Looks like a feature rather than a bug, dunnit?

3g4m
3g4m
Reply to  bilejones
11 days ago

bilejones – Doesn’t matter. They’ll just double down. This morning, I was one of perhaps 5-10% without a mask. And I was the only one who ran to help a young White mother (also maskless!!) put her baby’s stroller in the back of her car – all the other ‘men’ were too busy hiding their masked faces in their phones.

CAPT S
CAPT S
11 days ago

Glad you’re referencing Postman’s work; although pre-internet his insights are particularly relevant today. Reading this book, along with reading your blog, helps me live in this alien world. When truth is verbalized in our culture there are 3 possible responses, in descending order of likelihood: 1) Blank stare & vacant eyes; “did he just say what I think he said?”, or 2) Radiated Irritation and/or hatred; “how dare he object to my illusion of reality!”, or 3) Eyes light up; an alliance with a fellow truth-seeker is established. When I get to a #3 AND find they’ve read Amusing Ourselves… Read more »

The Babe
The Babe
11 days ago

“The digital opiate keeps the sender and receiver in a constant present.”

But the people controlling the platforms are playing a long game, a very sinister long game.

sam the man
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

The creators of these platforms are captive to them.
Yes the machine has already taken over.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  thezman
11 days ago

I think it’s a bit of both. Some know not what they do, while others seek to control and use their creations for very malign effect.

MemeWarVet
MemeWarVet
11 days ago

While it’s true the Internet contributes to our shallow and overly emotional level of discourse; I’d lay a much larger section of the blame at the feet of the 19th Amendment.

Sperg Adjacent
Sperg Adjacent
11 days ago

Everything in this post seems true enough.But the key point is that we have to accept the reality–and even use it.

If moment-to-moment emotional manipulation is how to reach the hearts and minds of the kids, then that’s just what we’ll have to do.

In other words, the meme war must go on. Complaining about and then retreating from the social media won’t help us at all.

CAPT S
CAPT S
Reply to  Sperg Adjacent
11 days ago

Depends on what stage of life you’re in I think. We home educated and emphasized books over internet. No phones until kids get a license – all that’s necessary at that point is a $15 Tracfone. I used a smartphone when my job required it … now I share a dumb-phone with my wife. Key issue when parenting is to rear mature young adults that can look men in the eye, speak truth, shoot straight (literally & figuratively), think and problem-solve without Google. But then don’t go all Luddite either – use the internet as you would any tool, but… Read more »

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  CAPT S
11 days ago

Amen my Brother…Hope you are doing well…

CAPT S
CAPT S
Reply to  Lineman
11 days ago

LM – Great to hear from you. Let’s touch base soon. Planting season here, along w/ fence-repair season, firewood-cutting season … “lockdown” is profitable for homestead productivity!

Mike_C
Mike_C
Reply to  CAPT S
11 days ago

“adults that can look men in the eye, speak truth, shoot straight”

Classic Persian (Aryan) education for a young man: to ride, to shoot straight, to speak the truth.

greyenlightenment
11 days ago

>The live stream phenomenon is similar. These are often ad hoc, with the streamer starting his stream when the spirit moves. Some are more regimented in their schedule, but they rarely start on time and they go as long as they like. The people tuning in are not looking for facts and reasoned arguments. Instead they want reassurance and confirmation. These streams have communities that exist around the live streamer. It’s virtual information and a virtual community. That seems dismissive of livestreams and their audiences. The advantage of a livestream is it allows creators to interact with their audience in… Read more »

Severian
11 days ago

I saw the effects of this in the classroom back in my teaching days. This was a routine experience. I’d pose a question in the middle of a lecture. “Ok, now how would A respond to B?” Silence. ” Ok, recall what we know about A. ” Silence. “Ok, i know you know this, because we covered it five minutes ago. I watched you copy it down in your notes. Flip back there and read me what you wrote.” They did. “Ok, so how would A respond to B?” Silence. Even staring the information in the face, it didn’t stick.

greyenlightenment
Reply to  Severian
11 days ago

That is what happens when you have compulsory schooling. 90% of students are not smart to benefit from schooling beyond 9th grade and or have no inclination to want to be there.

ChetRollins
ChetRollins
Reply to  greyenlightenment
11 days ago

It’s always amusing when a cognitive peasant says something like “We’re most educated generation in history”, like a tenth of even college graduates today have the critical thinking skills to do what the average high school graduate 100 years ago could manage without blinking.

Maus
Maus
Reply to  ChetRollins
11 days ago

I’m just going to engage in little critical thinking and suggest that this 90th percentile categorization for the uneducable you and grey have fastened upon seems based on an emotive response to anecdotal evidence rather than on cold, hard statistical analysis. No question that there are some stupid people and some foolish education policies; but the idea that only 10% of people can benefit from secondary or tertiary educational opportunities simply isn’t credible.

greyenlightenment
Reply to  Maus
11 days ago

You just moved the goalposts. First you say uneducable and then you say ‘ secondary or tertiary educational opportunities’ There is a huge difference between the two. For someone to be uneducable suggests a serious
mental disability. The 90% figure is not completely arbitrary but based on the data that , until standards were lowered, graduating from high school roughly corresponded with having an IQ of 100. So that alone eliminates half the population. , The other 40% are those who graduate but against their will or those who barely graduate.,

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  greyenlightenment
11 days ago

Grey, tend to agree. But what I find most problematic is that forcing students beyond what they are capable of, or interested in, causes a decline in the rigor of the curriculum for all. Therefore a lessening of the effect of education. I was struck by this with my one experiment with my first born and the public school system. He came home one day (Wednesday), quite proud of his math accomplishment—he had finished his automated weekly “computerized module” and was told to go play computer games for the rest of the period. Thought nothing of it, but then the… Read more »

Member
Reply to  Compsci
11 days ago

I was actually encouraged to find out at my daughter’s school this year (her second year in a public school), that when the teacher recognized her math ability, rather than just having her idle away her time in the classroom doing garbage, she set her to working ahead independently. But there are other teachers she has who are clearly going through the motions.

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  Compsci
11 days ago

Hell, that’s really the concept of the Old West one room school house isn’t it?
That’s one of the things I want to bring back when I have enough families in my Community is the one room schoolhouse…

Glenfilthie
Glenfilthie
Member
Reply to  greyenlightenment
11 days ago

Hogwash. This is what happens when you put your kids in public schools staffed by unionized pooch screwers, vibrants, and wahmen. That’s only 50% of the problem too… the parents are the other 50%.

CAPT S
CAPT S
Reply to  Severian
11 days ago

Had the same experience in my one year of teaching in an all-white private school for privileged “smart” kids. Their IQ genes were fine but they were absolute imbeciles because of those damned Chromebooks & smartphones. The high schoolers had the attention span of a kindergartner … they couldn’t work a 5 minute algebra problem so I had to break them down into 1-minute, bite-sized pieces. Part of this is a systemic problem with institutional education … the kids are taught to put factoids in short-term memory and vomit it all up at test-time, but cannot collate data and formulate rational conclusions.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  CAPT S
11 days ago

Hell, even I have this problem because of the internet and pocket devices. I’ve trained myself (unintentionally) to float from 5 minute topic to 5 minute topic. That’s what I mean when I decry myself becoming mentally lazy. Most noticeable when I must force myself to actually sit and read a technical book or paper. Start, stop, drift, nap, rinse, repeat. Can take an hour to finally get to mentally working as I once did routinely at the University. Sigh. However, I had the 40 years of high level production before stumbling into retirement stupor. Better than most folk and… Read more »

One of Many Georges
One of Many Georges
11 days ago

(*Shakes head balefully then goes and checks Twitter*)

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
11 days ago

seems like there is a cave metaphor in there somewhere…

TomA
TomA
11 days ago

None of this is surprising. It’s in our genes. Our ancestors evolved in jungles and on the savannas of central Africa. Seeing an unknown individual, species, or predator either close-by or in the distance elicited an immediate emotional (amygdalan) response of flight or fight. Doing so enhances survival in a world of existential threats. Only within the relative safety of the familial camp or village could language be employed for discretionary purposes.

BadThinker
BadThinker
11 days ago

There’s a bit of how the Plains Indians communicated history in Thomas Berger’s fantastic novel, Little Big Man. Other than for that special instruction, the Cheyenne didn’t run a school. They never read nor wrote their language, so what would be the purpose? If you wanted a point of history, you went and asked an old man who kept it in his mind. Numbers got boring when you run out of fingers, so to report the size of an enemy war party you had spotted would go something like this: “The Ute is near the Fasting Place Butte. They are… Read more »

Tax Slave
Tax Slave
Reply to  BadThinker
11 days ago
Apex Predator
Apex Predator
Reply to  BadThinker
11 days ago

I’ll give you a very relevant and recent example of this primitive thing and how much it still exists even today outside the West. Westerners who don’t use their passports are very insulated from the complete dysfunction of other places. If they WENT to those places they would probably not be quite as eager to invite everyone from there to here, thereby, remaking the place locally. Costa Rica. I went there and I had heard about how completely unreliable commerce was ahead of time. Packages may eventually get places. Food may eventually arrive at the table when your order, etc.… Read more »

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  Apex Predator
11 days ago

What’s worse is the AWFL world traveler who goes to those places and thinks it’s all “so quaint”.

Judge Smails
Judge Smails
Reply to  Apex Predator
11 days ago

The sad thing is I have read that Costa Rica is considered an advanced Latin American country.

Jim Smith
Jim Smith
11 days ago

Many comments here (including by Zman) hit on the socio-cultural phenomenon of nostalgie de la boue, an upper-class affectation mocked by Tom Wolfe in Radical CIic and Mau-Mauing the Flack Catchers. It means literally “nostalgia for the mud,” and involves aping the fashions and behaviors of the lowest classes. Read all about it at http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/phrase-day-nostalgie-de-la-boue.

H I
H I
Reply to  Jim Smith
11 days ago

Marie Antoinette had retreated to her make-believe farm, Petit Trianon, complete with peasant outfits, right before her head got chopped off. Reality intruded.

Tax Slave
Tax Slave
11 days ago

The Medium is the Message.

Neil Postmen is a name I and others associate with Marshall McLuhan. Still, people poopoo Mcluhan. I for one don’t dismiss him so quickly. He was by no means an advocate of “the Global Village” brought on by the advent of television that he is made out to be. To the contrary. He was merely making observations. Most his observations were dead on.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/marshall-mcluhan-who-internet-predict-google-doodle-media-theory-philosopher-canada-a7852276.html

Feelings Don’t Care About Your Facts
Feelings Don’t Care About Your Facts
11 days ago

To me the strongest sign that media designed to elicit a thoughtful counterargument has been replaced with media designed to elicit an emotional response is that we once used to say “I think…” when speaking with each other, but now we almost always say “I feel like…”

The switch seems to have occurred just about the time social media emerged.

Fabian Forge
Member

That brought back a memory from law school over 40 years ago. First year, Constitutional Law, one of the most talkative students began answering a question on a case with “The Court felt that…” and was immediately corrected by the professor. “No. Courts don’t feel. They opine.”

The professor, funnily enough, was Robert Bork.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Fabian Forge
11 days ago

You studied Constitutional Law under Bork! Lucky man.

Fabian Firge
Member
Reply to  LineInTheSand
11 days ago

Thanks. He was a great teacher and a good man, but he never really recovered from the SC nomination mess.

Another example: we were discussing a sex discrimination case. The issue was annuities. The complaint was that the monthly payout for women was less than for men. The defense was the actuarial fact that women lived longer than men, so a lower monthly payout totaled up as equal.

Bork’s comment, with a grin: “Of course, with increasing numbers of women going to law school, we can expect that to change.”

Judge Smails
Judge Smails
Reply to  Fabian Forge
11 days ago

You’ll never equal the bragging rights of those who studied Constitutional Law under Professor Obama!

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Judge Smails
11 days ago

Must have been a hoot…all those law students correcting Obama. 😉

Crimethink
Crimethink

You can also separate American society into different groups that are furthest along into emotional “crimestop” (as Orwell described it): – Older generations have picked up modern lingo like everyone else, but are largely still accustomed to reasoned argument. So they’ll say “I feel like…” instead of “I think…” like everyone else, but will still follow that with a reasoned argument. For example, “I feel like that is less true today than it used to be in the past.” Replace “I feel like…” with “I think…” and that’s still a reasoned argument. – Younger generations have degenerated a step lower… Read more »

Feelings Don't Care About Your Facts
Feelings Don't Care About Your Facts
Reply to  Crimethink
11 days ago

To that end, check out the historical use of the word “emote” or “emoting.” I never used to hear people “emote”; they only ever used to “express their thoughts”:comment image

BadThinker
BadThinker

I expect the term is more seen now also because of ’emotes’ in online text conversation (games, etc)

Compsci
Compsci

Looks like a pretty strong correlation with the rise of Feminism. Who’d have thunk?

Feelings Don't Care About Your Facts
Feelings Don't Care About Your Facts
Reply to  Crimethink
11 days ago

Also observe the explosive overuse and misuse of “literally” among the young to refer to either figurative activities or to real activities that would never have needed “literal” emphasis in the past because the distinction between the figurative and the literal was much clearer. I think the prevalence of “literally” among the youngest generations is a sign that as a society we’re gradually losing our ability to do anything but emote, to react emotionally. A figurative reaction is by definition cerebral: you can’t react instinctively and you need to expend some thought on a response. If everything turns “literal” it’s… Read more »

Dutch
Dutch

Replaced the kitchen sink, one Saturday morning some months back, with a big new one, which weighed a few hundred pounds. Had the new one ready to drop into the countertop hole, using the trusty old engine lift, and a sling made with a big board and the straps dropping through the drain holes. The kiddos and their friends were there, playing Dungeons and Dragons. Our kids know how Dad rolls, but their friends were “triggered” and freaked out over the whole operation. Danger and a potential for catastrophe! Well, the two outcomes are either success, or a slip and… Read more »

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  Dutch
11 days ago

Boys!?! We’re doomed.

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  BadThinker
11 days ago

Boys and girls, though the wymmins were more dramatic about it.

Mark Stoval
Mark Stoval
11 days ago

Yes, I am really old. I am so old that I think that books form the foundation of civilization. I use the internet to find things to read when I am not engrossed in some book. I read non-fiction mainly now and obsess over certain topics until I am satisfied I have read all the sides and understand what I have read. This means I am a weirdo compared to today’s mainstream. But, oddly, I don’t really mind being so far out of step. I was never “where it is at” even as a young guy trying to be cool… Read more »

vxxc💂🏻‍♂️😉 Toxic masculinity vector
11 days ago

Yet around us the narratives abound- then Die. “Hollywood” failed.
1619 failed.

The edge for us in personal primitivism is atavism. You know – our own skins.

JR Wirth
JR Wirth
11 days ago

The internet allows the information content to be as deep or shallow as the viewer wants, unlike TV which is perpetually shallow information in a top-down format. Just imagine going back to 1992, and having access only to the information you had at the time. It would be maddening. No wonder I was into short wave radio at the time. It was a desperate attempt to find alternate content. You would have a few good articles in subscription based magazines, but nothing, nothing like the unlimited content on the internet. I feel far more informed and make far better decisions… Read more »

Mark Auld
Mark Auld
Reply to  JR Wirth
11 days ago

JR, Absolutly right. It is an expansive and easily used tool for those that want to explore

Apex Predator
Apex Predator
Reply to  JR Wirth
11 days ago

“Over 90% of the internet is shallow because humanity itself is shallow. They don’t matter anyway. They seek out video clips of Kardashians. But for the deep thinkers, even if only 5% of the population, it’s a golden age.” 100% correct. I make this point very frequently about what a banal age we live in. My normal phrasing is: “In your pocket you hold an order of magnitude more computing power than was available to send men to the moon and all the knowledge that mankind has amassed since the dawn of civilization, but you mainly use it to look… Read more »

Dave
Dave
11 days ago

The aliens you describe live among us; they’re called “deaf people”.

Range Front Fault
Range Front Fault
Reply to  Dave
11 days ago

Basic Husband! I think he went deaf having to live with me.

3g4m
3g4m
Reply to  Dave
11 days ago

Those born with the disability of being deaf have my sympathy. Today’s “deaf activists” who push a disability as an equal and alternative lifestyle and culture, or those like the deaf women who deliberately sought out a deaf sperm donor to ensure their progeny would also be deaf, need to be culled.

Fulwar SKipwith
Member
11 days ago

I never read Postman, but my first degree was in Literature (and I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express one night). Even in the university setting it was obvious that film and video studies were significantly more primitive than even the simplest written materials. There are penalties at the higher end of the range of expressive possibilities in exchange for making something more accessible to the midwit crowd. It is impossible not to read the words to a 13th century sonnet, and then watch a sitcom today, and not come to the paradoxical conclusion of Planet of the Apes…the… Read more »

bilejones
Member
Reply to  Fulwar SKipwith
11 days ago

“the earlier civilization is the more advanced.”
The same observation will be made by future historians of the days we live in. They will view the first quarter of the 21st Century as the time that all the gains of the Enlightenment were lost.
In view of what is planned for this winter: Long planned and previewed by the now familiar suspects, , it might be called the Endarkenment,

https://www.unz.com/wwebb/all-roads-lead-to-dark-winter/

https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/events-archive/2001_dark-winter/about.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Dark_Winter

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  bilejones
11 days ago

Most of the ‘gains’ of the enlightenment were paid for with a bag of silver. Chickens coming home to roost, and all that.

Maus
Maus
11 days ago

There is no question that the evolution of media has led to a devolution of discourse. The movie Idiocracy is proving painfully prescient: https://youtu.be/B_obeR1OIm8

SidVic
SidVic
11 days ago

I’m having trouble ascribing our problem to a particular modern situation or form of communication. Our culture has been infected with a virus by the alinsky types that targets integrity. I remeber how shocked i was in college at how fast and facile evrebody was to cheat. I was raised in the old tradition where a man aspired to be good and honest and have honor. Even as i type this, i cringe because holding these values makes one a fool in this culture. The most evil aspect of the culture is that it necissitates you become a liar to… Read more »

BadThinker
BadThinker
Reply to  SidVic
11 days ago

That happened to me in high scool. Cheating abounded.

Dutch
Dutch
11 days ago

Not directly touched on yet, by host or today’s commentariat, is that the Internet provides essentially unlimited immediate grazing of information and visuals. Back in the day, books, magazines, and newspapers provided the “popular entertainment”. Then movies, radio, and later TV, with as many as three or four channels in the big cities. Popular fiction and other print media were considered déclassé, simple feeding of the masses. Movies and radio were certainly considered as such, early on, and TV as well. Sports were also considered a mindless pastime. But all had to be sought out in time and place, and… Read more »

Exile
Exile
Member
11 days ago

The generational conflicts we experience arise in part by each generation’s media of choice/convenience – written and spoken/radio media for Silents, TV for Boomers & Xers and Internet for Y’s and Zoomers. Narrative and imaginative formats like the written or spoken word gave us Homeric, Norse & Celtic oral traditions, Greek comedy, tragedy and poetry. The early years of television demonstrate this legacy, with some programming that aspired to highbrow tastes as well as lowbrow game shows. Spoken & written media engaged the imagination and developed our capactity for “internal dialogue.” Silents had movies but it wasn’t practical for most… Read more »

Gravity Denier
Gravity Denier
11 days ago

Excellent overview of our current intellectual malaise, Z. I don’t read printed newspapers or news magazines, but I’m old enough to have retained certain expectations from when I did before the hostile takeover by electronic media. So almost everything experienced through modern platforms seems curiously bleached of context. Your analysis goes a long way toward explaining why. The video/internet axis is based on conveying feelings and attitudes, so looking at background or adding a wider dimension is understood by producers and video face workers as a distraction. What happened in contrast to today’s subject, or before last week, is irrelevant… Read more »

jwm
jwm
11 days ago

Anyone have a movie recorded on one of those LP sized video discs? Like a movie on Betamax, it’s probably not getting much screen time these days even if you do have the obsolete machine to play it on. What happens to all the information stored on an SD card if these is no computer that can read it? What happens to all the information, all the “content” stored in the cloud when and if the technology either advances past it, or is lost from an EMP attack, or just lost through creeping incompetence ala “Idiocracy”? Future archeologists will be… Read more »

HoratioHornblower
HoratioHornblower
Reply to  jwm
11 days ago

I’ve taken a gazillion photographs, most snapped within the past two decades using digital cameras. Even the small percent I’ve printed on a fancy color machine will not survive like the old film-based photos did. There are paper copies of my birth certificate stored in a file room in my dinky West Michigan home town because the town admin doesn’t want to spend on digitization. Aside from treatise chapters and articles I’ve written, and the birth certificate, no trace of my existence will persist beyond two years following my death. From a historian’s perspective, I may as well have never… Read more »

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  HoratioHornblower
11 days ago

From a historian’s perspective, I may as well have never existed
Now that is saddening…No kids I take it so all your time and effort getting those degrees and the millions you have made will be all for nought once you pass on… Society has done it’s part in making a lot of us just drones or a cog in the machine…There is still time to unplug and start making it where you will be remembered…

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Lineman
11 days ago

You’ve got great kids!

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  LineInTheSand
11 days ago

Thanks Brother…They are good kids despite of me raising them😉

bilejones
Member
Reply to  Lineman
11 days ago

Horatio is unique of his kind. We all represent about 3 billion years of consecutive successful reproduction. He will be the first (and last) failure of his line,

abprosper
abprosper
Reply to  bilejones
11 days ago

All men, all nations, all peoples die. In time the sun, the universe itself will die.

What happens after no one knows but its folly to strive to be remembered for just a little longer. Just live or Be Here Now if you like.

All else is beyond understanding and beyond our control.

Compsci
Compsci
Reply to  Lineman
11 days ago

Same here. But this thought really doesn’t keep me awake at night. My general thinking is that my hope for “immortality” rests upon my children and their children and their children’s children.

Now of course this is itself iffy. Since White folk don’t care to reproduce much at their current level of prosperity. But it is somewhat more probable than myself at this stage in my life doing anything memorable outside of direct family. I passed my genes on, and that’s all most of us can hope for.

abprosper
abprosper
Reply to  Compsci
11 days ago

Asians aren’t reproducing and many races of Hispanics aren’t either. The birth rate in Brazil is the same as ours. Of the more fertile races, MENA peoples and the rest, up to a quarter billion may starve near or to death this year and maybe more for some years to come as locusts ravage crops and a broken world can do nothing for them.We don’t have the extra food. In any case humanity is way past its carrying capacity, past the soils health, our wounded oceans health and near beyond what the air can carry. Our numbers must and will… Read more »

abprosper
abprosper
Reply to  HoratioHornblower
11 days ago

It is the human condition that almost no one is remembered .

Countless billions have been born , lived, died and no one remembers them.

No one knows how many civilizations there have been in human history either. For all we know there were many hundreds before Egypt all lost to time.

Hell for all the glory of the pyramids, they are so old as to be beyond our understanding.

Just live.

G Lordon Giddy
G Lordon Giddy
11 days ago

I grew up with television and have worked in the television industry. Yes, it’s a vast wasteland and it has negative repercussions on society and it’s follow up the internet is equally destructive. What I notice about my own life is the effects of the smartphone on my attention span. The longer I am looking at Twitter feeds the less patience I have with a good book. Having said that I think there is value in You Tube streaming or streaming in general as there was and is value in television, we just have to control our consumption of it.… Read more »

tz1
Member
11 days ago

The Digital Opiate addict is as crippled, virtually, as the typical homeless heroin addict.

I have mused the Zombie Apocalypse started years ago, only because they don’t have parts falling off, and can produce coherent if nonsensical speech, we haven’t noticed yet.

But you see the non-zombies exiting their homes and the zombies screeching.

Karen is a zombie.

anonymous
anonymous
10 days ago

It seems like the alt-right picture of human character (or at least the one presented on this blog) is that men are helpless products of their environment (and genes, but here you’re positing environmental determinism). If their environment contains things that are dangerous, they’ll inevitably hurt themselves. If their environment contains things that are addictive, their brains will dissolve as inevitably as a rock rolls down a hill. The fate of mankind outside of some narrow range of evolutionary adaptedness that produced our minds is to derange under the unnatural influences until we no longer function. Time will tell if… Read more »

Dinothedoxie
Dinothedoxie
9 days ago

People imagine a better past. That never was.

This was the winning presidential ad from 1952

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmCDaXeDRI4