A Foundation of Nonsense

Math and science are built upon axioms. Very simply, an axiom is something that is always true and assumed to be true. An example is the reflexive property in algebra. A number is always equal to itself. Axioms are the building blocks, from which new truths are discovered. A proof is an inferential argument for a mathematical statement, using other previously established statements. That means a proof can be traced back to the original, assumed truths, those axioms that are the foundation of mathematics.

This is how we accumulate knowledge about the physical world over generations. The proofs based on those building blocks are eventually incorporated into the building blocks of math. The theorems and proofs multiply, slowly building up the stock of things that are known to be true. Calculus was built upon algebra and physics was built upon calculus and so on. It why a student can quickly go from zero to trying to discover new truths about the world. They inherit a supply of things assumed to be true.

This accretive process of increasing our stock of knowledge is not limited to math and science. It is the way human societies evolve over time. We start with basic truths about the human condition and the realities we face as a society. Over time we acquire new knowledge, by building on what we know or that which we think we know. For example, Libertarians rely on the concept of homo economicus. This asserts that humans are consistently rational and self-interested agents pursuing their ends optimally.

In theory, at least, this is the basis of democracy. One side builds a set of policies and proposals, allegedly based on the assumed truths. The other side does the same thing arriving at different policies. After a vigorous examination of the competing claims, a consensus is formed around one solution. If it works out, then that becomes part of society’s truths, from which new problems will be addressed in the future. That’s not really how it works, but people believe it. It is axiomatic that democracy works this way.

What we know to be western liberal democracy, assumes certain things about humanity to be true all the time. The blank slate is the most obvious example. Everything about our politics and culture assumes that humans are infinitely malleable. From school policy to prison reform, public policy is based on the assumption that people can be whatever they choose, because they have free will and a blank slate that can be erased and re-illustrated at any point in their life. You are what you make of yourself.

It’s how our rulers arrived at the idea of importing millions of foreigners. Those foreigners can be re-purposed into tax paying westerners, through education and enculturation, to pay the pensions of the native stock. Those Somali goatherds can be plopped down into Minnesota and over time, develop all of the habits of the average Minnesotan, just by emulation and proximity. Race laws are all based on the assumption that you can train people to stop noticing racial difference and therefore, end racism.

Of course, science is putting the lie to the blank slate. Genetics is everyday filling out the truth of the human condition, which is that we are the result of our coding. The thousands of mating decisions, made by those who came before us, are what make us what we are as people. Everything from our height to our sense of humor is baked into our DNA. Our health outcomes and our life outcomes are the results of that coding. Not surprisingly, the closer our coding is to others, the greater the similarities.

While no one is prepared to say free will is a lie, at least not publicly, no serious person accepts that we are infinitely malleable. The argument that you can change your personality is as nutty as saying you can make yourself taller or younger. This reality used to be a building block of Western thought, but was “discredited” by the blank slate theorists, but it is now being reestablished by genetics. In other words, one of the main building blocks of modern social democracy is about to crumble.

That’s a big one, but it is not the only one. Both Freudian and Jungian psychology still cast a very long shadow over western culture. Freud is no longer taken seriously, outside of his historical importance. The idea that your emotional state is the product of childhood sexual trauma is a click less realistic than phrenology. Jungian psychotherapy is also being overrun by neuroscience. Few people still think they can talked out of their madness anymore. Instead, pharmaceuticals are used to treat diseases of the brain.

It’s not just the quackery. The moral philosophy that underlies our political philosophy is similarly built on a foundation of nonsense. The Enlightenment thinkers all started by considering man’s natural state. It was either a harmonious communal existence or a brutal war like existence. From both starting points, they worked forward to build a model how man went from the state of nature to what was then civilization. The resulting moral philosophy is the basis of our political and legal philosophy today.

Property rights, the rule of law, the relationship of man and state, these are all based on those assumptions about man’s natural state. Libertarians and so-called Conservatives take the Lockean position that society is built upon the social contract. Those on the Left assume Hobbes was right and order must be imposed on society. Marxists further accept the materialist claims about the nature of man. All of the iterations and flavors of political ideology are rooted in one of those two broad assumptions about humanity.

Those assumptions are all wrong. We know that much now. Better archaeology and anthropology is helping illuminate the pre-history mankind. Evolutionary biology is also helping explain the fossil and archaeological record. Genetics, of course, are re-writing the map of mankind, explaining how we spread across the globe. What we are finding out is that man, in his “natural state” was not what Hobbes imagined nor what Locke imagined. Man’s “natural” state is much more complicated and much more local.

The implication should be obvious. Like psychology, as the underlying assumptions give way to new knowledge, the conclusions built on those axioms must give way as well. If tomorrow we learn that two plus two is not always four, everything we know about the world stops making sense. If everything we thought we knew about humankind and human civilization turns out to be wrong, we suddenly don’t know a whole lot about how we should organize ourselves, other than the old rules are probably not going to work.

It seems today that Western societies are painfully re-learning things that were common knowledge a few generations ago. The old axiom, fences make good neighbors, was replaced with “diversity is our strength.” Every time a swarthy fellow blows up in the public square, we inch a bit closer to the realization that diversity is a nightmare. That’s the part we see. The part we don’t see, at least not yet, is the crumbling of the foundation stones of the modern West. That foundation of nonsense is giving way to biological reality

122 thoughts on “A Foundation of Nonsense

  1. “Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever. I’m awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly color. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.”

  2. “Those foreigners can be re-purposed into tax paying westerners, through education and enculturation, to pay the pensions of the native stock.” Come on now Z, you know that these immigrants are to be the low IQ stock for their industrial feudalist state.

    • “Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever. I’m awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly color. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.”

  3. Our Elites have also ignored the basic truth of genetics, which people have observed for thousands of years, that the apple doesn’t usually fall far from the tree. If the parents have IQs of 85, so will the kids, on average, with a range of 70-100….So bringing in low IQ 3d worlders is a formula for disaster.

  4. Equally interesting to me are the questions of how discoveries become permanent knowledge. The second question is how knowledge can be lost. In between these, I wonder if a step is lost (say, how to build a secant for Astral navigation), how long would it take to rediscover it in order to return where we are? I think that many things have been “noticed” and discovered many times, but never being made public by their noticers, don’t become a store of permanent knowledge. Farming knowledge is one that strikes me as being particularly prone to this : if a certain practice is no longer done, I would guess that in 3 generations it becomes necessary to rediscover. Thus we find ourselves “rediscovering” what was probably a basic assumption from 4 generations ago, concerning genetics. A bit like the sun/earth debates : religious custom requires us to abandon the scientific method in order to ignore the results found. Disobeying this stricture has social consequences. These days it is blank slate/HBD.

    • The scientific method is shepherded around politically troubling subjects by it’s handlers. That’s why there are scientific ethics committees in every university that have to approve projects.

  5. It’s not either or. The fact that the blank slate is an error does not mean that there is no free will.
    Things are not entirely deterministic; nor are we entirely made of plastic.

    • you had no choice but to say that. after you subtract from 70 years, the time to perform all necessities – sleep, eat, bathe, eliminate, hygiene, how much time is left anyway?

  6. People cannot be changed, but they can sure as heck be REPURPOSED.
    A surgeon’s scalpel can be repurposed as a murder weapon.
    Prim Christ-fearing puritans can be repurposed as humorless PC enforcing SJWs.
    It all depends on who is doing the wielding.
    A scalpel is controlled by the grip of a hand.
    A human is controlled by the morals of his society. He will do the moral things — the things that gain him status & avoid the things that cost him status.
    Who sets our society’s morals that determine high-statues behavior? Universities. Who disseminates these morals? The Media.
    Do these institutions have any interesting features of tribal composition that distinguishes them from the population at large? Could that be a contributing factor to the kinds of moral code they push?

  7. While no one is prepared to say free will is a lie, at least not publicly, no serious person accepts that we are infinitely malleable

    That is a confusing sentence as Free Will does not have to do with whether or not we are malleable.

    Do you think that Free Will is a lie?

    • It’s possible. It’s also possible that the world as we know it is actually a science experiment for a race of super aliens. It’s possible the ID’ers are right and life is is following God’s script. None of those things are worth knowing, so I don’t spend too much time on them. Free will, if it is false, is useful for managing human societies.

      • The Four Last things – Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell are practically the only things worth knowing as they have to do with your existential existence and whether or not you will spend eternity being rewarded forever in Heaven or suffering forever in Hell.

        We know from Divine Revelation that life is not the result of science experiment by aliens and it is disappointing to read such an obviously intelligent man make such a claim but it does very well illustrate the truth of Free Will.

        God created you and He gave you the freedom to chose to believe in Him or not and you clearly do not and He will give you what you choose because He loves you.

        Right now you choose to live apart from Him and if you continue that way until you die, He will give you what you have freely chosen- eternity apart from Him

        • ‘Free will’ is the heart of ‘blank slate’.

          That the entire universe was created so you were free to choose or not choose Jesus, and only Jesus, is another way of saying we can make Polynesian islanders into perfect Englishmen.

          • That is an absurd statement.

            We were not created as a blank slate but, rather, we were created in the image of God and we have an immortal soul and even pagan polynesians were created with the knowledge of right and wrong

          • You don’t seem to realize that every item of the Christian religion — including Christ — is by the hand of man, not god.

          • Incarnation, Miracles, Resurrection, everything, huh?

            Jesus is God, so, there’s that …

            Adios

          • What if they lack self-awareness? What if a human is mentally retarded or an African and they literally aren’t intelligent enough to view themselves objectively?

            I ask this because the fastest growing human population has an average IQ of around 70.

            What of Neanderthals? Homo Erectus? Were they made in the image of God?

            What about a very intelligent gorilla, like Amy, with an IQ of 75. Made in God’s image?

          • Short answer, yes, the Christian faith teaches man is made in the image of God. Whether retarded, low IQ, in a coma or a fetus, all are made in the image of God and fully human. The very intelligent gorilla is not. This is the province of faith and not science, which is not omniscient or infallible, by the way.

      • “not worth knowing”??? of course they are worth knowing, but since they are unknowable you dismiss them as not worth knowing. of course knowing what this whole grand show is about is worth knowing.

      • Well, you have spent considerable time exercising your abstract intellectual capabilities, not one iota of which is attributable to evolution

  8. If I remember correctly, a friend who was an Ayn Rand fanboy told me that the blank slate is part of the objectivist dogma. Of course, he didn’t use the word ‘dogma.’ I think it is supposed to be self evident or logically proveable.

  9. For each of us, some of what we are is derived from our genetics (innate behaviors) and some derives from the habits we acquire in early childhood development (wetware programming during brain growth). It is the combination of these that ultimate form our individual persona.

  10. There is a word for the people (here, and elsewhere) that think human personality is malleable. And that word is “gullible”. You are all chumps being conned by low born 3rd worlders. You can no more make a liar into an honest man, than you can make a dog into a parrot. What you can do is punish the liar with sufficient consequences that he is too afraid to lie…but he is still a liar. Same goes for a somali or a syrian etc etc etc.

    The dogooders of the world will be the death of us all with their delusions of sainthood. Hopefully each of you will get what you deserve, good and hard.

    • Karl is certainly right, but the opinions of those of us on this blog don’t matter much. The opinions of Bill and Melinda Gates matter quite a bit, and Bill has been acting rather gullible. Is Bill really that foolish? If not–why is Bill pouring millions in the effort to make Lashonda into a rocket scientist?

      Bill has an incentive to virtue signal. Telling the truth costs Bill more money than throwing money away on hopeless foundation projects. How can we change Bill’s incentive? Torches and pitchforks come to mind, but that process can get ugly real fast.

      Is Moldbug right? Would things be better if Bill formally owned the country? As an owner Bill would not profit from Detroit becoming a cesspool, and he might try to steer LaShonda into a career a more realistic career choice. Our system as it exists gives Bill every incentive to pretend to believe in the foundation of nonsense.

    • It has to do with truth, not do goodism. Are you saying that there are no cases ever in the history of the world of people reforming themselves? You know that’s not reality.

      • Why would a person reform? For that matter why tell the truth when lying is profitable?

        There are three primary means to encourage someone to reform: Force/law, moral argument/religion, and trade/incentives.

        Our elites pretend that HBD does not exist along with other lies. A healthy society would uses all 3 methods to discourage dysfunctional behavior.

    • You can no more make a liar into an honest man…

      That is an indefensible claim- with that or you are right and Jesus is wrong.

      Have you never heard of Saints who did just that?

      Have you never read St. Augustine?

      • hahaha I almost thought you were serious there; good one. I put more faith in Samuel Pepys than Saint Augustine (and yes, I have read both).

        • Karl. It may be true you know yourself but you most assuredly do not know me or my motives.

          Had I desired what I wrote to be considered a joke I would have made that clear.

          The Confessions of St Augustine illustrate a substantial and real metanoia but because that truth is opposed to you ideology you reflexively gainsay it.

          Ideologues are like the delusional – facts can’t change them

      • It’s the only thing I’ve ever seen that can really change a person. True faith. It’s hard for non-believers to see because they’ve been so scandalized by the hypocrites within the faith they assume we are all are they same.

  11. If sociology were a real science the textbooks would be full of mathematical language. Tom Malthus noticed that populations rise and fall cyclically and described one of the important reasons why. Systems that behave cyclically (such as the rise and fall of civilizations), can be described in terms of transfer functions.

    Systems, even big ones like society, can be modeled by integrating a system of partial differential equations over time. The hard part is that we don’t know what all of the variables are, and finding the coefficients would be just a wild guess. This does not make mathematical sociology completely worthless. The Anonymous Conservative’s description of R/K selection in human society is an example of one person thinking about an important variable.

    Even though we cannot construct a model, we do have enough information about humanity to decide whether a particular variable involves positive feedback (unstable), or negative feedback (tends toward stability). Unrestricted democracy is an example of a self reinforcing positive feedback loop, and it can never work for this reason. Even so, it is mistake to blame all of our problems on democracy–people never voted for transsexuals in the bathroom.

    Curt Doolittle’s work at Propertarianism.com is important since he is one of the few people around who are thinking about society dynamically. Those of us in math and physics have it essay since we define all of the axioms underlying our models first. Human society is too complex to construct absolute proofs; therefore, we can only state how the various pieces tend to interrelate. Curt’s big thing is testimonial truth. Curt may be one of only a handful of mathematical sociologists out there. If western civilization can be saved his work may be part of the reason.

    • A big wrench in mathematically modeling modern society is the exponential rise in technology over the last 3 centuries. The variable are no longer simply population and en environment with a constant carrying capacity. We now “eat” petroleum.

      • The term for this is a perturbation. An electronic system may be oscillating around a quiescent operating point, and then the system is suddenly changed. The system will eventually return to a new and possibly different quiescent operating point. (Or perhaps you are left with smoke and melted parts.)

        What takes less than one second for an electronic system may take a thousand years for society. This makes it a bit hard to study. The least we could do is learn to think like Malthus. Does a system contain a positive feedback loop? (also known as a perverse incentive)

        I think Malthus could identify the problem with a welfare state rather quickly. Welfare encourages reproduction of more welfare recipients who demand more welfare, who reproduce more, etc. This is such an obvious positive feedback loop that it seems absurd to even mention it.

        Part of the problem is that our elite are not the cognitive elite as Jim’s blog has pointed out.

        • Tony Soprano doesn’t need to be an English or math professor, he’ll frickin’ buy one if he needs him.

        • Part of the problem with Malthus is that his models never successfully predicted jack shit. Most people of his age called him a genius but also realized that nothing he said ever seemed to pan out. See his correspondence with Nassau Senior.

          • Both Darwin and Wallace came up with the theory of evolution, independently of each other, from malthusian theory. Of course, Malthus was wrong. I wonder if that’s significant

    • RR,
      One of the interesting features of the “crises” promoted by SJWs is the absence of negative feedbacks. Has any climatista ever spoken of negative feedbacks in the earth’s climate system. The studious avoidance of any search for negative feedback leads the left to their sweet spot: imposed draconian measures with themselves as police, prosecutor, udge, and jury.

  12. It’s an odd, odd thing. I’ve been reading a good deal about religion lately, and a pretty universal characteristic of the successful ones is the consistency with fundamental truths about human nature and especially human psychology. In contrast the progressive religion is based on so, so many falsehoods. I suspect people have tried to prop up false religions in the past but they simply didn’t survive the evolutionary environment. I have a bad feeling that when the progressive religion eventually collapses under the weight of its lies that a whole lot of misery and physical destruction will come with it.

  13. “A tiger never changes its stripes,” as the old saying goes. One of those axioms from long ago that is still true.

    However, people can and do frequently change. Their core personality might never change. They might be a liar or a cheat or a saint with a heart of gold. The fatal flaws are the fatal flaws in any system…human or machine. I meet students all the time who I can tell where things are heading for them after about 15 minutes of talking to their parents.

    That being said, people may not be infinitely malleable, but they ARE malleable. The US Military has been proving this for centuries. People can be trained. They can learn new skills, and they can learn to do things and to behave in ways with sufficient training. All we’re really talking about is how MUCH or how WELL they can be trained.

    Sometimes it’s not so much that they changed, but that we uncovered what their potential was all along. If I drop an apple on the ground, I’m going to get an apple tree. I may hope for a pear tree or a maple tree, but I am going to get an apple tree. The seeds are not “infinitely malleable”. But I CAN water the tree, care for it, maintain it, shape it…so to that I will one day have a basket of apples from which I can grow many more trees. That is also an axiom of life.

    But I cannot plant that tree in a place where it was not meant to grow. This is something I’ve learned in our meager alpine tundra climate in Colorado. There are trees I can plant and ignore and they’ll do just fine. And there are trees that I call “repeat customer” trees which look pretty at the tree farm, or in the brochure, but simply cannot survive in the soil and climate here. They are not infinitely malleable, and to the extent I want them to grow at all, I will have to put a huge amount of effort, time, conditioning, water, etc. into the endeavor.

    To me that’s where the debate currently exists. I think both sides of the spectrum recognize that not all trees grow in all climates. One side – pretty much inhabited by Government Party types – presupposes that they need only spend more money to create conditions for growth. The other side – pretty much everybody else – understands that if you have to pour $1,000 into a $10 container tree just to have it scrape by, you might praise yourself for your ingenuity, but you don’t have a tree that will one day shade your grandchildren on a hot summer day.

      • And yet we share our homes and bounty with them, provide medical care, etc, and in return we gain a benefit for ourselves.

        I’ve simply learned to accept my dog’s limitations.

        • You can personally accept the limitations of low functioning minorities, but an expanding net-negative tax-base is still an existential problem for your society. Any arguments about reducing government spending to help them regain their lost marginal potential fails when faced with the fact that they vote anywhere from 7:1 to 9:1 for the continued expansion of public resources on their behalf. And bear in mind that this is -direct- public subsidy and does not include the myriad public make-work schemes that employ the vast majority of your non-Asian-minority middle-class.

    • I can pump water uphill too, but eventually the pumps stop and the water flows back downhill. Our society is WAY out of trim and requires constant pumping to maintain order. It’s better to have a society that doesn’t require a lot of pumping to maintain order.

    • Hok;
      Well said. As mentioned before, the classic ‘twin studies’ of identical twins reared apart have shown that even where the genes are identical, the life outcomes can vary significantly. Those studies posit that ~ 50% – 60% of our personalities, etc. are explained by genetics. That’s a lot, but it still leaves significant room for family influence, chance, circumstances and personal effort.

      IOW, human biodiversity is important but not dispositive. So we ought to be discussing how to reshape our politics to take this knowledge into account.

      Because the Prog religion is so self-evidently insane and false on its face, it’s hard to reject it without snapping to the opposite pole of genetic determinism.

      Genetic determinism, besides being demonstrated to be false scientifically in all but the most broad circumstances, is off-putting to normies because they are made well aware of individual exceptions and, hopefully, they have historical knowledge of how it has been misused in the past for evil purposes.

      We could do worse than pick up the (apparently much despised hereabouts) Lincoln’s aphorism to the effect, ‘I have always believed in pulling up a weed where I see one and planting a flower where I thought a flower might grow’.

      • When correcting for things like measurement error, the known and measurable genetic impact is ~65%. What’s most important though is there is zero percent of traits attributable to shared environment. Put another way, what you are is at least ~65% genetics, 0% shared environment and 35% Unknown. Some portion of the unknown is most likely genetic. Some portion are unique factors that either cannot be replicated or should not be replicated.

        Genetic determinism can quickly become circular reasoning, so it’s a good idea to avoid it. Even if we are all following a script, there’s no benefit to knowing it. Free will could be a lie, but it is a useful one.

        • It can also be observed that my lungs and a pear contain roughly the same amount of water but transplanting a pair of pears for my diseased lungs would not be a good idea.

          It is not what is common about each of us but what is uncommon that is crucial.

          For instance, unless one is Baptised, one is not a child of God and when that child of God receives Jesus in the sacraments that person gains a share of the divinity of Christ and if one twin is a child of God and faithfully receives the sacraments he is an entirely new man vs the atheist twin who chooses not to believe in God, and is not baptised and does not receive the sacraments.

          Of course, one can not measure a soul and so scientism is of no avail here

  14. We live in a culture that refuses to accept facts (math and science), yet insists on the truth of things that can never be proven correct or incorrect, and which also largely contradict each other (blank slate versus human malleability). History is full of examples of cultures that prevailed over others because they found and exploited the math and science that they were able to discover and manipulate. Our culture is not traveling a good path now.

  15. Zman, are you enjoying the world series going on? What’s your call for game 7 tonight? Blows my mind to see Koufax in the stands watching the games…

    • It’s been an excellent post-season and this World Series has been a lot of fun. I have no dog in the fight so I’m hoping for a nailbiter tonight. I think the Dodger win late.

    • It’s been a good series, but dear lord, how long the games take. The first game I ever saw in person was a World Series, early sixties, Yankees versus Giants. Bill Stafford pitched and won for the Yankees and the game took just two hours and six minutes. I think that just gets you into the third or fourth innng now. Of course, they’ve got no choice but to do so to generate the cash they need. Killing the game to do it though. I don’t watch, just hit MLB.com every once in a while to check the score. Tim

  16. I somewhat disagree with the premise of this blog….you are arguing that man is not malleable, not a blank slate….but here you just destroyed a straw man….no one is saying that man is infinitely malleable…that is not the argument…the truth is that man is very malleable–IF he is shaped and molded from a young age…no, these foreigners do not belong–for many reasons…

    but the truth is that american/western minds have been shaped by elite propaganda for decades now…that is the truth…the elites have used an anti-white version of history to shape and mold young minds, to instill the seeds of white guilt in young and malleable white minds…you yourself have touched on this issue before…and yet this undeniable truth contradicts your thesis here…

    and this is not new knowledge…mankind has know this for thousands of years. ….. “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” … Proverbs 22:6

    • I will pay you good money if you can shape a 70 IQ somali kid into a white collar professional. But if you lose, you agree to stop voting.

        • I can’t see why people are down voting propaganda hacker here? Seems to me that his point is valid. Humanity is malleable. Human beings do respond to incentives. The 70 IQ Somali kid might become a law abiding member of society doing some form of less intellectually demanding work if he had an incentive to do so.

          Our elites have set up a system of perverse incentives that encourage the Somali kid to become part of the criminal underclass, and refuse to admit that this is what they are doing. Why? Our elites are responding to a set of incentives too.

    • Yes, people are malleable. But it seems that ‘some restrictions apply’. Modern man, especially western modern man has a brain map that is seriously different from, say, the Romans.
      Society changes us as much as we change society. (Could this be the reason for the flinn-effect?)
      However that does not mean that we can choose how we want to change the brain. Some of the bigger items like violence in childhood etc are known. But the influences that shape a mind are so complex that it is impossible to attempt a targeted change. And some of those brain shaping effects may even occur before birth. (I even heard of aspects that ‘skipped’ a generation!).
      Which leaves me with the conclusion that while it is possible to assimilate small numbers of immigrants that are well dispersed through the indigenous population, it is stupid to try this with large numbers that tend to cluster.

      • All this talk of HBD brings to mind M. Scott Peck’s “all symptoms are overdetermined.” Yes, he was an ass in his personal life, but I think he got at least this right. ” I want to scream this from the rooftops: ‘All symptoms are overdetermined.’ Except that I want to expand it way beyond psychiatry. I want to expand it to almost everything. I want to translate it, ‘Anything of any significance is overdetermined. Everything worth thinking about has more than one cause.’ Repeat after me: ‘For any single thing of importance, there are multiple reasons.’ My shrillness in this matter is provoked by a problem with the Age of Reason. Because we assume there is a reason for everything, we go looking for IT when we should be looking for THEM. ” You can’t squish everything under an HBD umbrella and make it all an either/or proposition. I can agree that HBD is true without forcing it to act as the answer to all our ills. There are other factors at play, as well.

        • Seems like you are conflating ultimate causes with proximate causes. Ultimate causes are unknowable. Why did the apple fall? Cuz the wind blew off the tree. But why did it drop? Gravity. Why gravity? Cuz every body with mass attracts every other body with mass. Why mass? Why? Why? Why?

        • The real beauty of HBD is that it informs arguments that are not addressing a (moral) reason. It implies no antecedent action, which requires a moral dimension. This is the antithesis of over-determination.

        • so true, so very very true…hbd and IQ are just two variables…there are undoubtedly many other biological variables in play, most of which we probably know little about…aggressiveness by race, etc…

  17. Funny. Im at a training today on the old money Mainline suburbs of Philly. We had a break so I took a stroll through some of the district to get some air and see the architectural delights on display. Absolutely gorgeous 19th and early 20 century mansions. Many still sporting their Halloween decorations. Scarier than any ghost or plastic skeleton…Nearly every one of these multimillion dollar properties sported signs stating “Hate has no home here” and “I dont care who you are or where you are from I glad that you’re our neighbor. Very emblematic and very telling on many levels.

    • Yeah, but if you were to walk far enough east on US30 (Lancaster Pike), in short order you would reach a part of Philly that nobody in those mansions would be caught dead in after sunset…

      I spent a lot of my youth in Bryn Mawr up through Villanova. Even as a kid I remember driving with my dad down around the old 69th street terminal which (by that point) was 100% ghetto. He would just sigh, and tell me to look really closely at the houses, look past the trash, and you’d see these beautiful homes in neighborhoods that had been destroyed. He had grown up in South Philly, and it just made him sad what had become of it.

      • Lived in Philly during my competitive rowing days back during the reign of the “Bombs Away” Goode. During the crack epidemic the break-ins got so bad in Fairmount that I went to bed every night with a .38 in a holster fastened under the nightstand for quick access.

      • Replayed over and over again in all our major cities (and now happening in smaller ones). It’s a crime what has happened to these places over the last 50+ years.

    • Milord;
      Yeah. Definitely a diagnostic feature of Cloud Bubble Land. I saw exactly the same thing last week on a visit to Denver CO. Virtue signaling signs in $500k/house Yuppie-ville while on the other side of the nearby major artery is Thug Country. No yuppie goes there and their kids’ certainly don’t go to school there either.

    • Yep, we’ve got the same here. And Lord help you if you don’t join in the virtual signaling. But the funny thing is, back when the neighboring, mostly poor black city wanted to demolish some old factories right on the border and put in two shopping centers, holy dogshit, these same people came out of the woodwork opposing the project because one of the major access roads ran through one of the most expensive neighborhoods in town. And no matter how clearly you tried to explain the folly of arguing their “quality of life” against hundreds of jobs for poor black kids, they could not be swayed. “Feelz” is a bad way to manage your life. Unfortunately they pissed away a $1mm in legal fees and destroyed any leverage with the developer to get traffic remediation paid for. Brilliant.

    • International terrorist Carlos the Jackal – a.k.a. Ilich Ramírez Sánchez – is notorious for plotting to assassinate French President Charles De Gaulle, but after being captured and incarcerated in a French prison, he converted to Islam and wrote a book called “Revolutionary Islam” (“L’islam révolutionnaire”), in which he stated: “Only a coalition of Marxists and Islamists can destroy the United States.” He later wrote then-President Obama, praising him and ending with the salutation customary between Muslims, “Allah Akbar!” before closing his letter.

      In theory, Islam and Marxism would seem to be inimical to one another. In reality, however, both ideologies share much in common and are united in part by the shared goal of destroying western civilization, including the United States. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and so forth.

      Of course, time will tell whether one side is using the other or not. Common sense suggests that leftists are the “useful idiots” for Islam who do not know what they are dealing with – but then again, maybe they do, because many cultural Marxists are converting to Islam, just as Sánchez did.

  18. It’s a problem reaching the educated urban/suburban folks who won’t consider thoughts about the genetic realities of race, which in their view, only yucky uneducated, unenlightened rubes and hicks from flyover country believe.

    • I think that’s what we’re seeing with the alt-right. Spend time around these people and you notice they are always from very white middle class suburbs. It’s why they don’t get along too well with the proletarian white nationalists. There’s a stark class divide and an educational divide. Diversity and multiculturalism are starting to sting the bourgeoisie.

    • I’ve never understood the level of delusional thinking that is required to believe that “we’re all the same”, but that “diversity is our strength”. Where is the diversity if we’re all the same? You can point to the fundamental physical differences between the races, but somehow these manifestly different traits, like skin color, skin texture, hair color, hair texture, noses, eyes, fat content, bone structure, muscle types, etc., prove that we are all the same on the inside!!!??? We know that we do not have the same levels of intelligence, but this can somehow be overcome by changing the environment that negroes reside in. Even though it hasn’t happened in at least two generations, it will eventually because muh belief structure. And since we all “bleed red” the soul, spirit, and life essence itself are the same for every human being on the planet. Well, dogs “bleed red”, too. Does that mean that all animals on the planet, insects and reptiles as well, are “all the same”? Of course, most of you will recognize this for the religious zealotry it is. Unfortunately, those which possess this worldview see this as fact, not religion.

      • It’s at this point in your argument that libs make you go away by name-calling, yelling and screaming.

      • like i said in another comment here, the mindset and beliefs are humans are very much malleable if they are immersed in propaganda from an early age….that is what the elite have done via the educational curriculum–generating white guilt by using a cherry-picked anti-white version of history that makes angels of nonwhites and demons of whites…thus planting the seeds of white guilt in young and malleable white minds….this allows the corporations to manufacture consent for mass immigration and multiculturalism, which allows the elites to prop up the ponzi economy, allowing for GDP growth and asset value increases via population growth and growth in consumer demand via mass immigration

    • It’s a problem reaching the educated urban/suburban folks…

      A big part of the challenge is that they aren’t educated, but merely credentialed. They’ve only gone through the motions of becoming educated.

      • That’s exactly it. Your degrees are less than worthless; they actually have negative value, because they make you think you’re smarter and more accomplished than you really are. I had a lot of seniors this semester. The things they don’t know, the mistakes they make — basic, BASIC stuff. I had to spend an entire lecture on “how to proofread a paper,” including a section on “where to put the apostrophe.” (Needless to say I don’t teach English). But wow just wow can they whip out “Social Justice” jargon…

    • There are a few of us urban/suburban dwellers who are living the hellish experience, due to decades of encroachment from the cities, of being surrounded by idiots. These liberals are not educated in the sense they have learned how to think. They can’t. They have been crammed full of unrelated facts… a little bit about everything but they cannot put together the pieces of the puzzle for any coherent reasoning. Throw a stick in the spokes of their narrative and they cry like you did when you crashed your bike the first time without training wheels yet they are adults (maybe not). They still need their safe spaces. Most of them haven’t clue what winning feels like. Only what it feels like to lose, hence all the crap about “feelings” and that losing was followed by a hug and a participation ribbon as the winner was escorted quickly away.

      We who live amongst the idiots have learned the ways of espionage as we blend, we listen and watch. Every now and then we toss out a “what if” the narrative is wrong… comment.

      These liberals refuse to acknowledge that facts regarding genetic differences even exist. We cannot ever convince these liberals they might be wrong. It’s not worth the energy it would take besides if SHTF happens, their reality will suffer a huge “punch in the face” while those who incorporate new facts into daily life will adapt a prosper regardless.

  19. Every one of these muslim attack is going to be put on the Dems. Won’t take too many more before people start killing Dem judges who try and protect the muslims. And the dems will just keep doubling down no matter how many seats they lose. Hopefully this blowback will force more cucks on the gop side out, too.

    • Karl, I’d like to think you are right. However, all that will happen will be more handwringing and wheel spinning until we are all taken over by events. Somebody said, “Things are hopeless but not serious. When they become serious they will no longer be hopeless.””

  20. I don’t see this sinking in anymore than it did in the past. When progs and the numbskulls out there are confronted with incontrovertible evidence they just double down on their stupid so called belief systems.

    Why in God’s name are we even debating basic things that our ancestors knew and took for granted? Why should we have to.

    Ideologically possessed indeed.

    • Good example of this is NYC Mayor DiBlasio press conference surrounded by Muslim group reps. squawking how horrible it is to condemn Muslim terrorism.

    • Exactly – sooner or later we’re just going to have to tell the progs and numbskulls to STFU and force the issue.

      • It’s that “representative” part that seems the problem. Representing whom? ‘Cooling our passions’ and all that- while inciting other ‘passions’.

      • It gets tiresome reminding people that the United States was not setup as a “representative democracy” – but rather a republic with democratically elected representation.

        This lie has been pushed by the lefties for so long and so pervasively – that nobody seems to get the difference any more. There were a number of the founders that very clearly stated that they wished to avoid “democracy”.

    • Black crime was higher back then, but ordinary Black people were more friendly, and there was a harder line between law-abiding Blacks and criminals than there is now. Law-abiding Black people were actually willing to condemn Black criminals then, rather than sticking up for them, and making excuses for them. Prominent Blacks like Bill Cosby (yeah, I know) and Jesse Jackson actually publicly called out blacks when it came to crime.Looking back on it, the 1980’s may have been the Golden Age of American race relations.

      • It may have just been coincidence, but things seemed to change about the time of the OJ Simpson verdict.

      • It’s individual vs group psychology. Individual psychology is much more transitory. An individual can mimic the personality of the other temporarily but a group is restricted to the hardwired personality of it’s constituents.

        This is why white people act “white” both individually and in large groups but black’s behavior changes when they amass in groups.

        Group psychology in the cities tell them they are the biggest baddest mofos around, which is why they hate cops. Cops are the only “group” standing in the way of their psychological dominance.

        • White people in large groups act differently too…they vote Democrat, kill their fetuses, and march in gay parades.

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