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Blue, Red, Black

I’ve often mentioned a popular neoreactionary metaphor, the “red pill” (in fact I did so just two posts ago). Now, with a hat-tip to the latest edition of Nick Steves’ weekly roundup, we offer you an essay by Brett Stevens about another existential medicament: the black pill. What is the black pill? In a word, […]

Mission Accomplished

While we in the moribund West gabble self-congratulatory nonsense about the “right” and “wrong” sides of history, China — which doesn’t bother with such rubbish — is rapidly reconfiguring itself. It has always been aware of the risks that Western infection brings, and so it is clamping down on foreign influences, and on the free […]

Democracy: Taking On Water

Today I read an item in The Atlantic about an amusing story from the UK. Apparently Her Majesty’s Government has commissioned, at great expense, a state-of-the-art climate-research ship. The vessel needed a name, and so the public was asked to provide one. They did. The winner of the poll, by a large margin, was “Boaty […]

Energy Is Life

I’ve mentioned the fossil-fuels advocate Alex Epstein several times in these pages, most recently back on April 13th. Here he is making his case last week before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Note in particular the odious, and evidently wholly unlettered, Senator Barbara Boxer mocking Mr. Epstein (at 7:20, and again at the […]

Back

Time to start betting back to regular operations around here, I think. It was good to take some time off, and I thank all of you who visit here regularly for your patience. I’ll confess that it’s been a little harder lately for me to keep to daily blogging; I’ve had many distractions, and I […]

Service Notice, and Open Thread 14

Need a few days offline, folks. Back later this week, or early next.

One Cheer for OSU

With a hat-tip to our reader Henry, here is a link to a video of an Ohio State University employee explaining to a group of student protestors that if they do not vacate the building they are occupying, they will be arrested and expelled. It’s a beginning, and a welcome one, although in my opinion […]

April 13th

We note, as always on this date, the natal day of Guy Fawkes, Thomas Jefferson, F.W. Woolworth, James Ensor, Butch Cassidy, Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris, Robert Watson-Watt, Samuel Beckett, Harold Stassen, Stanislaw Ulam, Eudora Welty, Howard Keel, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Ken Nordine, Don Adams, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Seamus Heaney, Paul Sorvino, Jack Casady, Tony Dow, […]

Nature Vs. Nurture

Over the transom today came a link (thank you, Bill K.) to Diplomad’s latest salvo: At War with the History of Mankind. Dip makes the point that a central tenet of modern Leftist ideology (which is, as I and others have argued at length, essentially a cryptoreligious belief-system) is to make Nature sacred, and mankind […]

Equal Time

It’s “Equal Pay Day”, so here’s a video by Christina Hoff Sommers on this evergreen gripe.

Through the Looking-Glass

“What a curious world this is!” thought Alice. “Everything is upside-down and backwards!” “We are ruled by the oppressed, the only sin is to believe in sin, the only tradition is the destruction of tradition, ‘anti-racism’ means loathing white people, and ‘education’ means un-learning one’s culture!” She nibbled thoughtfully on the little cake the Mad […]

Is This A Great Company, Or What?

In his book Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern, Douglas R. Hofstadter discussed the idea of “recursive acronyms”. He gave as an example the acronym TATO, which stands for “TATO And TATO Only”. The expansion goes like this: 1. TATO 2. TATO And TATO Only 3. (TATO And TATO Only) And […]

Low Ceiling

Our previous post — a link, with excerpts and brief commentary, to an essay by Dennis Prager on how leftism and statism step in to fill the void left by religion — seems to have left some readers puzzled. Here are some further thoughts of my own: The religious impulse, the need for sacred objects, […]

Dennis Prager on Secularism

Dennis Prager published an insightful item yesterday, entitled “A Note to Conservatives Who Are Secular”. We read: The vast majority of leading conservative writers, just like their liberal colleagues, have a secular outlook on life. With few exceptions, the conservative political and intellectual worlds are oblivious to the consequences of secularism. They are unaware of […]

Bend That Arc!

In 1968, the Fair Housing Act made it the law of the land that owners of property could not refuse to sell or rent it on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. In 1988 the list was expanded to include family status and disabilities. Absent from this list of criteria was […]

Cutting Them Off at the Pass

We haven’t said much about the situation in Europe lately, but with warmer weather coming, “migrant” flows will increase, and the social and political climate is going to heat up as well. Already, as we see here, the Schengen idea is becoming unsupportable. I will be in Vienna in July. I wonder what things will […]

Schrödinger’s Trout?

Our reader Henry has sent us this interesting item, in which we learn that fishes and quanta have more in common than we thought.

My Little Chickadee

A black-capped chickadee, to be precise. (Beech Forest Trail, Provincetown, MA, last Thursday.)  

On Intentionality

Commenter “Jacques”, last seen (by me, at least) over at Maverick Philosopher, has joined our recent thread on consciousness and intentionality. (Discussions on older posts can often go on unsuspected by other readers, so I thought I’d mention it. Also, it’s a nice change from the grim topics we usually handle around here these days.) […]

It Takes All Sorts

Here’s a nice visualization of sorting algorithms. (If you’re interested.)

It Was a Bright Cold Day In April

Here’s the latest really cool thing that you absolutely must have. It just stands in your room, listening to everything you say, and transmitting it over the Internet to… someplace. It’s only $129, and it’s “always getting smarter”! Crisp Dolby Sound! Everybody’s going to want one. Don’t be left out! Related content from Sphere

Nice Work If You Can Get It

And, as the old song goes, you can get it if you try. Story here. This should be instructive! (Economics 101: If you subsidize something, you get more of it.) P.S. Nick Land comments here. Related content from Sphere

Livin’ the Dream

In the excerpt we posted the other day from Sir Henry Maine’s Popular Government, the author explains that the chief feature of what we call Democracy is that it is an upside-down monarchy, in which, somehow, the multitude is sovereign. But how, wonders Sir Henry, can a multitude express its will? In what sense can […]

Yarvin On Moldbug

Curtis Yarvin, perhaps better known to some of you as ‘Mencius Moldbug’, is, in real life, a computer scientist, and, as far as I can tell, rather a gifted one. (For a while I shied away from using his real name, in order to protect his identity, but I think that cat is thoroughly and […]

Open Thread 13

Haven’t had one of these for a while. Ask me anything, propose a topic, chat amongst yourselves. Whatever you like.

Philippic, or Jeremaiad?

Some of each, I suppose. I’m talking about W. Lewis Amselem’s latest on Islam over at Diplomad 2.0. It is good strong stuff. We read: All religions, of course, have odd and cruel features in their old texts. Islam, however, is unique among major religions for never having had an enlightenment. It has undergone a […]

It Ain’t Necessarily So

I’ve had absolutely nothing interesting or original to say for several days now. (This happens sometimes; even Rachmaninoff had almost nothing at all to say from 1897 to 1901.) So tonight I’m offering some excerpts from Sir Henry Sumner Maine’s Popular Government, published in 1885. I’ve mentioned this book several times before. As “red pills” […]

Tay Tweets

I am not making this up: apparently Microsoft put a Twitter chat-bot online as part of an artificial-intelligence project, and after a few hours of online interaction it had turned into a Nazi. Microsoft has since deleted its tweets, but some more of them are here. The bot, called Tay, has now been taken down […]

Buchanan on “Radical” Islam

The word “radical” — from the Latin radix, meaning “root” — is generally applied to someone who wishes to change a system down to its very roots. When it comes to what we in the West call “radical” Islam, however, the word would be much better understood to mean precisely the opposite: a system of […]

Four Faiths

I’ve just run across a glum and deeply reactionary essay by Gregory Hood, written in November of 2014, on the spiritual exhaustion of the West, and the durable appeal of Islam. It examines four possible foundations for the future of our civilization: Christianity, paganism, techno-liberalism, and submission to Islam. Some excerpts: To most people, being […]

Coincidence?

Yesterday my server was down for several hours. This hardly ever used to happen, but lately I’ve had a lot of little outages, and my hosting company’s technical support (the company is Bluehost) has also been outsourced to India. It used to be that when I opened a live chat with tech support I would […]

Our Progressive Religion

We hear a lot about “virtue-signalling” these days. The term is new, but the idea is not: its influence on American behavior is as old as the Puritan settlements of New England, from which it spread across the North, into our academic and cultural institutions, and became, in increasingly secular form, the chief feature of […]

Commentus Interruptus

We had another outage today. Both this website and my email server were down for hours. (My hosting company, Bluehost, isn’t what it used to be, and I think I’m going to have to start shopping around for another service.) Apologies to all. Related content from Sphere

… So Shall Ye Reap

Jihad has struck the Continent again, this time in the capital city of the tolerant and progressive European Union. (Violent instability is centripetal, the analysts say. It has arrived.) I’ll say it again: to allow mass immigration of Muslims is the stupidest and most irreversibly self-destructive thing that any Western nation can do. (The depth […]

Me Me Me Me Me Me

Here’s our Gentleman-In-Chief getting off the plane today in Cuba:   Notice anything?

As Ye Sow

Here’s a good one that’s been making the rounds today: Glenn Harlan Reynolds on How David Brooks Created Donald Trump. Money quote: When politeness and orderliness are met with contempt and betrayal, do not be surprised if the response is something less polite, and less orderly. Also, you may have noticed that our current president […]

Spring Has Sprung

“The grass has riz…” That’s the beginning of a bit of English doggerel I learned at my dad’s knee. According to EarthSky.org, spring (which arrived last night at 12:30 a.m. Eastern time) came earlier this year than it has since 1896. The reason? The March equinox can come on March 19, 20 or 21. And […]

Home Stretch

“Coming down the stretch, it’s Cankles out in front — but wait, here comes Rule Of Law! Rule of Law pouring it on now! It’s anybody’s race!…” “Come on, Rule of Law! Move yer bloomin’ arse!!” With thanks to the indefatigable JK, here’s more on the Clinton investigation. Related content from Sphere

Diplomad on Conservatism

With a hat-tip to several readers who emailed me with the link, here’s a thoughtful essay by Lewis Amselem.

Sea and Sky

We had some dramatic weather around the Outer Cape yesterday. Here are a few photos from the bluff above Maguire Landing in Wellfleet:         And here are some shots taken a little later on from High Head, overlooking North Truro, Pilgrim Lake, and Provincetown:       Here are two views of […]

Data Rot

Our pal Kevin Kim posted an item last week about the shuttering of Barnes & Noble’s Nook operation. (For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about — and it warms my heart that there may in fact be some of you out there — the Nook is Barnes & Noble’s electronic-book […]

Yikes!

C’mon, FBI!

Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain

The big thing about this election is how strongly both the Democrat and Republican bases have pulled to the outside of their respective parties. On the Democrat side we have Bernie Sanders threatening to block the party’s coronation of Hillary Clinton (if the FBI, or her poor health, doesn’t get there first). Heading into today’s […]

I would use this Ring…

In yesterday’s post about the encryption controversy, I wrote: My own feeling is that, death-by-government having had a vastly higher body count over the past century or so than even the bloodiest wars (and astronomically higher than any act of terrorism), we should choose to protect our privacy. Just in case. A commenter argued for […]

The American Nations, 2016

With yet another hat-tip to hbd*chick, here’s a very interesting item from “Jayman” on Trump, democracy and demographics.

Well, Right

Nassim Nicholas Taleb: People are not voting for Trump (or Sanders). People are just voting, finally, to destroy the establishment. Why is this so hard for so many people to understand? Related content from Sphere

Tales From Decrypt

By now you have all heard of the DOJ’s effort to force Apple to unlock a phone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino terror attack. Here again we have an example of technology advancing far too quickly for our sluggish political institutions to keep up. Codes and ciphers are as old […]

Who? Whom?

The Washington Post asks: Trump has lit a fire. Can it be contained? This isn’t arson. It is the inevitable combustion of an oil-soaked pyre exposed to a continuous shower of sparks. The Post should be asking: who built that pyre? It’s been long in the making, and its existence is due neither to accident […]

Make Much of Time

I was remiss not to have noted here the death of the great George Martin, who left us, earlier this week, at the age of 90. He was a visionary artist, and by all accounts a gentleman. The Beatles would not have been what they were without him. Now he is joined in death by […]

Truth And Consequences

With a hat-tip to our e-pal hbd*chick (whose blog you should be reading), here’s an article called The Bermuda Triangle of Science. It’s about a dangerous place where careers go to vanish. Related content from Sphere