You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down

With a hat-tip to Nick B. Steves, here’s a post-and-thread you might like to read, if you have some time. The post, at the computer scientist Scott Aaronson’s blog Shtetl-Optimized, is a protest against the Trump travel ban, from a familiar perspective, and ends with a challenge to Trump voters: “go ahead, let me hear you defend this.”

He got his wish, and a (very) long and lively comment-thread has ensued. Among those representing the Right are “jim” (who will be familiar to you NRxers) and “Bran”, but the sharpest is a chap commenting as “Boldmug”.

As Bernoulli said of Newton, “we know the lion by his claw“, and it’s nice to see Mr. Yarvin on the ramparts again. He writes at considerable length in this thread, and applies the poignard to the clerisy with impressive skill (not to mention stamina, and obvious relish). I believe he’s grown restless on the sidelines, and we welcome him back to the fray.

A very tiny sample, on the Left’s conceit that they are “speaking truth to power”:

Let’s be real: which is stronger, the universities or the proles? West Virginia can take it in the tail for decades; if Berkeley (or worse, one of Berkeley’s pets) stubs a toe, it’s a monstrous violation of the Constitution and George Washington is spinning in his grave.

Where are you absolutely positioned on a line segment whose length is 1? To answer this question is to ask: how much room would you have to move left? How much room would you have to move right?

Berkeley can teach the Marines all about how to fight wars (which, the latest research tells us, can only be won with a sensitive grasp of intersectionality). Imagine if the Marines instead taught Berkeley how to socialize 18-year-olds.

So not only are you listening to only one side of this power dynamic. You’re listening to by far the most powerful side.

(See also this comment, in particular, which I won’t excerpt here.)

As I said, the thread is long — but if you are interested in seeing, not the usual shouting and name-calling, but serious combat between the Progressive intellectual hegemon and one of its most articulate critics, then go have a look.

Update: see also this excellent entry late in the thread, by commenter “Bran”, on the near-impossibility of productive political dialogue.

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  1. JK says

    I had occasion to, not long ago, get “advised” that being as I have a Trump sticker (just below the Navy Veteran parking sticker) on the rear window of my pickup that I’d “likely enjoy life longer” were I to 1) remove both or 2) put duct tape over at least the Trump sticker.

    Instead I prominently placed my address on the particular venue (taking care to unzip the down vest I happened to be wearing revealing …) then issued a hearty, “Y’all come an’ visit me anytime. I’ll leave my yardlights on so to keep y’alls footwear outta the dogshit.”

    I’m supposing them damn fools have yet to learn to read a 911 map.

    Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink
  2. Whitewall says

    You are right! A lot of fire power on that thread! Most way beyond me I think. I guess my world of “Implementation” comes later on after this kind of discussion.

    Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink
  3. Well, I charged into the fray, albeit just as a lurker, and read the entire comment attributed to “Bran”, whose word count exceeds most people’s original posts. After that, my stamina for an entire thread of such worthy commentary collapsed.

    So my question is: Does a thread like that ever lead to some sort of consensus on any aspect of any of the ideas within it? Or is it just as I imagine it to be — a mental circle jerk? Seriously, I’m just askin’.

    Posted February 15, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink
  4. Asher says

    The intellectual dishonesty from the left in that comment section is just breathtaking.

    Posted February 15, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink
  5. coyote says

    Bhenry has it- circle jerk interrupted by a few alt-righters, glimpse or two of moldbugs genius- presto they change hands and back to virtue signals, sound and fury signifying nothing.

    Posted February 15, 2017 at 9:43 pm | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says


    So my question is: Does a thread like that ever lead to some sort of consensus on any aspect of any of the ideas within it?

    Nope, not really. The more or less respectful dialogue between Moldbug and Aaronson in that thread is about as close as you’ll get. Meanwhile there are other commenters castigating Aaronson for even allowing Moldbug a place to air his “hate” and “drivel”.

    What can happen, though, is that other readers might show up and get their first real taste of the red pill.

    Posted February 15, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink
  7. Asher says

    I saw at least two commenters asserting that democracy must be placed beyond questioning. Do these people even listen to themselves?

    The only reason to engage a leftist is to publicly humiliate them as much as you possibly can. While you are not likely to reach a consensus, you can have fun wrecking others for the benefit of an audience. Personally, I’ve found “lying shitbag” is the perfect antidote to, and far more powerful than, “racist” or “hateful”.

    Humans have a clearly evolved instinct to disdain lying. “Racism”? Yeah, not so much.

    Posted February 15, 2017 at 10:26 pm | Permalink
  8. “Do these people even listen to themselves?”

    I have often wondered that myself. My wife, who knows a lot more about psychology (as well as many other disciplines — she is a voracious reader) than I do, tells me many of them actually believe the nonsense that emanates from their mouths. That, of course, makes it an order of magnitude more depressing.

    I have also come to the sad conclusion, after years of trying the tactic of “public humiliation” and/or mockery, that it is futile in most cases. The Leftist trolls are extremely well versed in their party-line “talking points” and continually embellish their fabricated responses to their online opponents. And don’t even think about reasoning. They are completely immune to it.

    Posted February 15, 2017 at 11:37 pm | Permalink
  9. Asher says

    Yes, henry, this is war. In war you hurt people, there is nothing else.

    No consensus.

    No convincing.

    No reasoning.

    Just inflicting as much pain as you can.

    I have leftist friends, communists even. People I cherish and probably even love. We just don’t talk politics. At the end of the day we will all be nothing but dust and sometimes there is something more important than winning.

    Posted February 15, 2017 at 11:59 pm | Permalink
  10. Asher says

    In more hilarious news Susan Sarandon is 70(ish?) and still cant figure out who she wants to fuck. “Better late then never” has to have a statute of limitations.

    Posted February 16, 2017 at 2:55 am | Permalink
  11. Whitewall says

    Blandcorp did a pretty good follow on after “Bran”. The pointless effort of productive engagement. It may be a mistake to assume the Left has Any intellectual base. For them, deceit and dishonesty are natural and permitted to advance their goals of domination. Kind of like that which is allowed under fundamental Islam. Whatever it takes to get the job done. There is no reasoning with that side of the brain. There is no middle ground between Chaos for the sake of power vs reason for the sake of Order.

    Posted February 16, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink
  12. Malcolm says

    At the risk of seeming prim, Asher: coarse and off-topic.

    Posted February 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  13. antiquarian says

    I didn’t read all the comments on that blog, but one thing did stand out to me. Aaronson referred to Moldbug dismissively as “the notorious Mencius Moldbug”.

    That was unworthy of Aaronson. Moldbug’s arguments were calm, straightforward and respectful, and if Aaronson actually believes in real intellectual diversity, he is obligated to respond in kind. If he disagrees with that, he deserves to lose.

    Posted March 2, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink