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Homeward Bound

Well, the lovely Nina and I are on our way back. We’re traveling a day later than we meant to: we’d flown from Boston to Vienna (and had left our car at Logan Airport), but while we were overseas the carrier, Air Berlin, having declared bankruptcy, canceled all flights to Boston forever. So now we […]

Notes From Abroad

Vienna, September 19th — As it was last time we were here, Vienna — unlike so many other European cities — still manages to maintain its European character, at least in its more affluent districts (I should note that we have not moved around the city much this trip, and have only been inside the […]

Europe: Prostrate And Bleeding

File this under “Diversity and its Blessings”. I’m off to Vienna and Prague tomorrow; I’ll let you know how things seem there.

Pit Stop

Well, I’m back home in Wellfleet after a splendid three-day weekend on Star Island. (The high point of the weekend was a tribute performance we gave on Saturday night in honor of the late Walter Becker, consisting of a baker’s dozen of Steely Dan’s greatest hits. (It would have been impossible to get that together […]

Service Notice

I’ll be away this weekend (as I was last year at this time) for our annual musical retreat on Star Island. Back early next week. The comment-box is open, if anyone would like to broach any topics for consideration. Related content from Sphere

Blood Sport

Mencius Moldbug on fascist-hunting: Unfortunately no central statistics are kept, but I wouldn’t be surprised if every day in America, more racists, fascists and sexists are detected, purged and destroyed, than all the screenwriters who had to prosper under pseudonyms in the ’50s. Indeed it’s not an exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands of […]

Moscow On The Hudson

Here’s the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, quoted in New York Magazine (my emphasis): Q: …Where has it been hardest to make progress? Wages, housing, schools? A: What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, […]

Take 3… Rolling!

A happy item in the New York Times today: Power Station Studios, where I was a staff engineer from 1978 to 1987, has been bought by Berklee College of music and will be re-opening after a long-overdue renovation. Power Station, Studio A: my alma mater. This is the second time this magnificent facility, which in […]

This Brother Is Free

I didn’t see this coming: Walter Becker is dead at 67. If you’re a musician of my generation, or a fan, that’s a heavy blow.

It Ain’t Necessarily So

Many of you will have read Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer-decorated book Guns, Germs, and Steel. It makes what has seemed to many (even to me, when I first read it) an overwhelmingly persuasive case that the persistent inequalities in power, influence, and prosperity among the world’s population groups — why, for example, did Europeans colonize the […]

From Worse To Bad

Here’s Hanson again, with some comparative analysis.

Doggo

Sorry it’s been so slow around here. It’s August, when I always take it easy a bit — but I’ll confess that I’m also getting a little spooked by the extent to which we are all (and I’m no exception) living more and more of our lives online. Our attention, which is more precious than […]

Arcs And Circles

Victor Davis Hanson (my emphasis): For the last decade, we were lectured that the arc of history always bends toward our own perceptions of moral justice. More likely, human advancement tends to be circular and should not to be confused with technological progress. Just as often, history is ethically circular. No Roman province produced anyone […]

Meanwhile…

Our discussion of “white supremacy” continues, over at Bill Vallicella’s place.

Paradise? Bah.

I don’t like the tropics; they’re too profuse. Anything goes, completely unchecked. Give me the North. Each winter Life’s follies, feints, and flourishes are weighed, measured and tested. The ones that make it back the following year need to show something serious: at best, ingenuity, but at the very least, genuine toughness. Everything in the […]

The Futility Of Memorials

For nearly all of us, a gravestone or other physical memorial is in any real sense as temporal, as evanescent, a thing as we ourselves are. For when such memorials no longer serve as a token, reminder, or feeble proxy for the deceased in the minds of those who knew them, they simply display a […]

Pick One

Here are two syllogisms about race. The first: (1) All human groups have identical statistical distributions of cognitive, behavioral and personality traits. (2) Human groups, when considered as groups, have measurably different life-outcomes and levels of success in our societies. (3) Given (1), these different outcomes can only be due to wholly exogenous factors, such […]

Hey, Hold On There

It would be an awfully suspicious coincidence if Truth turned out to be exactly what we think it ought to be.

R.I.P.

I had sad news today: my old friend and colleague Jason Corsaro died yesterday of cancer. I’m not sure of his age, but he must have been about my age, 61. Jason and I came up together as assistant engineers at Power Station Studios (now Avatar); he was promoted to full engineer just before I […]

Tar Baby

Last week a Google engineer expressed, in a perfectly reasonable memorandum about human diversity, the view that the company had become a left-wing monoculture in which dissenters actually might have to worry about being fired. For publishing this essay, he was fired. Now Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has announced that the company is giving a […]

“White Supremacy”

Our e-pal Bill Vallicella, the Maverick Philosopher, has a post up about “white supremacy”, a loosely defined term that is very much en vogue just now. Dr. Vallicella quotes Robert Paul Wolff: Hatred has fundamentally very little to do with White Supremacy. White Supremacy is a policy of domination and economic superiority of Whites in […]

Diversity For Dummies

I’ve said quite enough about Diversity lately, so here’s statistician William Briggs to help shoulder the load.

Today’s Lesson

A comment on Charlottesville: this sort of chip-on-the-shoulder activism is a no-win for the Right. It attracts too many of the lowest, stupidest, and most undesirable elements, and as we have seen, it results in officially sanctioned violence. I remember a slogan from back in the Vietnam War era: Fighting For Peace Is Like Fucking […]

What Goes Around

What never seems to occur to those who anathematize and seek to bury the past is that they in turn prepare the future for their own erasure. The result is a sullen and solipsistic presentism in which, as Burke foresaw, men become nothing more than “the flies of a summer”. Related content from Sphere

Wagging The Dog

It is a great temporal vanity to see, in the study of history, only the present struggling to be born. It is, quite literally, preposterous.

Soft Construction With Boiled Beans

  Pax Dickinson gives his eyewitness account of what happened in Charlottesville on Saturday, here. [A quibble: Mr. Dickinson writes that the chaos created by the police stand-down (and the apparently deliberate throwing-together of the “Unite The Right” demonstrators with the hungry Antifa mob) “ultimately led directly to the vehicular incident that killed a woman […]

Rut-Roh

Four years ago, I wrote the following thing: America’s ideological landscape is like the continent itself: transected by deep fault-lines at the irregular boundaries of rigid plates. Though crushed tightly together, these great masses seek to move in different directions, and so they strain relentlessly against one another. The pressure builds, and builds — until, […]

Hold The Door!

Have a look at this time-looping defense of abortion, by Princeton professor Elizabeth Harman. Somewhere in the back of my mind I just can’t help forming a sneaking suspicion that Professor Harman arrived at her conclusion first, rather than being dragged to it by the irresistible force of her argument. Related content from Sphere

The Fools On The Hill

Every Tuesday evening, in the ten o’clock hour of his program, radio host John Batchelor discusses Russia with Stephen F. Cohen. Dr. Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton and NYU, and is a rare voice of sanity in this time of anti-Russian hysteria. Mr. Batchelor’s show is always worth listening to — […]

Service Notice

More than a few readers have complained to me about the “Captcha” used to screen comments here. I’ve just installed a new one that, for most of you, shouldn’t be visible at all. I hope it works well enough that I can keep using it. Related content from Sphere

The Narrowing Effect Of Diversity

I’ve just read an article at Crisis magazine called The Day the Music Died. (Hat-tip to Bill V.) From the article: When pursued to its logical conclusion, multiculturalism leads to monoculturalism, and eventually to a monochrome society. That’s because without a common culture to unite them, multicultures break down into competing subcultures. When this happens, […]

Derbian Minimalism

In this week’s podcast, John Derbyshire makes the case for a severe throttling-back of immigration. Listen here. The comment-box is open for discussion.

Resistance, And Reactance

With a hat-tip to Bill Vallicella, we have an essay by David Gelernter on the “Resistance” to Donald Trump, a term embraced even by some “conservatives”. We read: I’d love for him to be a more eloquent, elegant speaker. But if I had to choose between deeds and delivery, it wouldn’t be hard. Many conservative […]

House Of Cads

Here’s a savory morsel: a class-action suit, filed by Democratic voters, against the DNC and the gratifyingly beleaguered Debbie Wasserman Schultz for their conspiratorial malfeasance during last year’s primary season. Thanks to our indefatigable JK for the tip. Related content from Sphere

Cats In A Bag

There was a bit of a ruction today in the White House press room, between Trump adviser Stephen Miller and CNN’s Jim Acosta. Acosta was taking the Trump administration to task for proposed immigration restrictions, in particular the frightful idea that an English-speaking nation might give preference to immigrants who can speak English. (Before I […]

Alien Corn

From my pal Dennis Mangan: a warning about industrial seed oils (which are everywhere in the modern American diet). Here.

Coda

I’m saddened today to hear of the death of guitarist Chuck Loeb. I hadn’t seen Chuck in many years (we worked together on many records and other sessions back in the 80’s and 90’s), but he was one of the finest musicians I ever knew, and a good man besides. He was only 61. Chuck […]

Ugh

I’ve just spent a few weeks almost entirely offline, paying almost no attention to the news (except for John McCreary’s weekdaily NightWatch digest, that is). Each day’s news being, in general, a reeking bucket of offal, the hiatus was pleasant — but old habits die hard, and I’ve had my nose back in the bucket […]

Plus Ça Change…

I’ve just finished an excellent book: The War for Righteousness: Progressive Christianity, the Great War, and the Rise of the Messianic Nation. The author is Richard M. Gamble, who holds the Anna Margaret Ross Alexander Chair in History and Politics at Hillsdale College. The book covers the period leading up to, and immediately following, the […]

I Repost It Thus!

With a hat-tip to our e-pal David Duff, here’s a tasty little post by “Theodore Dalrymple” on the lasting value of Samuel Johnson’s clarity and insight. Dalrymple notes Dr. Johnson’s observations about the utopian busybodies and professional uplifters of his day: We must snatch the present moment, and employ it well, without too much solicitude […]

Imagine

Making the rounds recently: an excellent article at Quillette about the ongoing purge of moderates and conservatives from the social sciences. After beginning with some evidence that the purge itself is real, accelerating, and is driving the academic community sharply to the left, the author, Uri Harris, compares two ideological narratives. The first is the […]

Back!

Well, our daughter’s wedding happened this past Saturday, and it was a splendid event. We still have guests in town, and follow-on activities, but things are getting back to normal around the Pollack household, and I’ll soon be back in harness here at the blog. Thank you all for your patience. Meanwhile, here are just […]

Pwned

With a hat-tip to Nick Land: Anti-Fascist, Trump protesters applaud speech comprised entirely of Hitler quotes. This is the best thing on the internet today😂 pic.twitter.com/HD2CPusckI — Tennessee (@TEN_GOP) July 8, 2017 Related content from Sphere

Service Notice

I apologize for the slowness around here. With house-guests, and a wedding coming up, the actual world has pre-empted the online world for a little while now, and will do so for another couple of weeks. If the Muse grabs me by the collar, I’ll find the time to write, but posting will likely be […]

Yes!

President Trump gave a fine speech in Poland yesterday, in which he seemed, at times, downright reactionary. He spoke in rousing terms of the great Western heritage, and of the dangers it faces both from within and without. Some exhortatory excerpts: As I stand here today before this incredible crowd, this faithful nation, we can […]

CNN Delenda Est

Here’s RamzPaul commenting on CNN’s publicly threatening to dox a meme-creator they don’t like. Normally I wouldn’t pay an awful lot of attention to this sort of thing — it is simply a given that mainstream news outlets like CNN are Cathedral clerisy, and will say and do whatever they believe advances their religious hegemony […]

When In The Course Of Human Events…

Here we are again: it’s Independence Day, 2017, and the nation feels more deeply divided than ever in my lifetime — even more profoundly so, it seems to me, than it did in the Sixties. I say this for two reasons. First, back then the nation was far less heterogeneous; the real demographic inundation of […]

Florida

I found myself chatting online this morning with an old friend from my New York studio days. I was dismayed to learn that he’d moved to Florida. I’ve never seen the appeal, I must confess, of the “Sunshine State”. It’s always seemed to me a tacky and unserious place — like southern California without the […]

By The Numbers

Here’s an interesting angle: using Benford’s Law to spot falsified data in academic papers.

Come ON Already

Donald Trump unbosomed himself of yet another pair of catty and adolescent tweets this morning, resulting in the usual fuss. Yes, Mr. Trump has been the object of relentless personal assault, and the vilest invective, since he became a candidate, but we expect that sort of thing from the spoiled and sullen Left. Would it […]