April 24, 2008

The black hole of American public policy discourse

A friend waxes metaphorical about the state of intellectual life in America:

The metaphor that's always come to my mind is that of living near some sort of singularity, gravitational or otherwise.

Basically, anything that gets too close to the singularity falls inside and disappears. People go around their daily lives, when suddenly someone accidentally gets too close---James Watson?---and Bam! He disappears.

The powerful tidal effects from the invisible singularity warp all sorts of social structures into bizarre shapes and behaviors. Gradually over time, more and more pieces of our world drop inside the singularity and disappear, until eventually the entire society collapses.

Back in the early 1970s, Larry Niven wrote a couple of short stories about the fact that if you just just took a tiny quantum black hole (that was before Hawking's evaporation theory came out) with the mass of a baseball or something and just dropped it into the ground it would fall to the center, swing back and forth through the core, and eventually gobble up the entire planet within a few years or centuries, becoming a somewhat bigger black hole in the process. Tiny black hole plus Earth equals bigger black hole plus no more Earth!

Officially believing in something that just isn't true has much the same impact, eventually gobbling up everything else in your society.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

23 comments:

William said...

Which describes pretty well the way race distorts the discussion of almost every political issue.

We could have welfare reform, but since certain racial minorities receive welfare more than most that would be racist.

We could have a better education policy, but since certain racial groups do more poorly than others that would be racist.

Immigration, education, welfare, crime & punishment, mortgage lending policies, business hiring policies - all these and then some are dramatically distorted by the fact that one or two groups will be offended by an honest discussion about them. SO we don't have an honest discussion, and witness the results.

So, yes there is a black hole of policy discourse. There is also a bronze hole.

Thrasymachus said...

The problem is the civil rights acts of 64 and 65. You have the constitutional right to say you don't think black people are equal, but you don't have the right to *think* it! If discrimination by race is prohibited (and the word discrimination means many things, basically any outcome not desired by a minority, or anyone who claims to represent minorities) then no one who thinks, or might think, or might be thought to possibly think this, can be entrusted with any sort of authority whatsoever, authority meaning the ability to deliver an undesired outcome, so no such suspect person can be nothing other than a non-supervisory employee of a menial sort, or self-employed with no employees. And even people in that category had better keep their mouths shut lest somehow be seen as incapable of executing their duties properly. (Janitor? Might not clean up after minorities as well as after white people.)

Freedom of speech implies freedom of thought, but freedom of thought is prohibited by these acts.

Steve Sailer said...

Brilliant comment, Thras.

David said...

We are living a gigantic lie enforced at gunpoint - the lie that the races are equal.

It leads immediately to many forms of blindness and terror and malfunction and destruction - conceptually first of all. We must believe the races are equal, but since they are not, we must also believe that race doesn't exist. But since it does and handouts are demanded, we must "give a helping hand" to races that don't exist and that, anyway, are equal to us if they do.

This mess of contradictions spreads outward, farther and farther - and inward, deeper and deeper into the soul. Corroding it.

Imagine the state of mathematics if "2 + 2 = 5" were not only enforced by law, but were also asserted 24/7 by media, church, school. With appropriate punishment meted out to heretics. Before long, the practice of engineering would be crippled. And chemistry. And accounting. To carry on, people would have to invent work-arounds, dangerous legally and difficult psychologically.

Our situation is even worse than that, because the people doing workarounds are being physically replaced, year by year, by what they are working around.

War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Diversity is our greatest strength.
2 + 2 = 5.

Believe or be damned.

TGGP said...

A baseball does not have enough mass to suck up the earth. Black holes simply do not work that way. A black hole the volume of a baseball and of density normal for a black hole might be capable of it though.

DissidentMan said...

This is, in part, the inevitable end-stage of Christianity, with its idea of everyone being born morally equal and then free will determining moral choices. Modern blank statism is a logical extension. If morality is determined by free will why not intelligence too? Once we've pinned everything on free will, observable disparities in outcomes will have to be blamed on the free-willed choices of someone, so say hello to Marx. Often I feel like a pagan in ancient Rome watching with horror as the Christians burn the libraries and persecute the non-believers. The treatment of dissenters is essentially no different from the historical treatment of heretics. Leftists would gladly do violence to dissenters as is evidenced by the ubiquity of angry hate-filled leftists shouting things like "Racist mothafucka!" in answer to any politically incorrect supposition concerning the nature of things. Empirical questions are now being decided by holy men and moralists. Historical questions are being decided by courts. This isn't just a dark age this time. This is the *death* age. Western civilization is about to be completely supplanted by other civilizations that are without the delusions and vanity of westerners. Non-westerners may mouth PC bromides for political advantage, but only westerners actually drink the cool-aid.

jaakkeli said...

tggp: A baseball does not have enough mass to suck up the earth. Black holes simply do not work that way.

Sure they do, if you drop one to the center of the planet. It wouldn't do the job by "sucking" all of the earth into it, though, but rather by having the pressure of all the Earth's mass above pushing the stuff closest to the hole down into sucking range until the whole planet would be consumed. The gravitational pull of a central black hole with the mass of a baseball would be neglible on the surface of the Earth, but it hardly matters as the hole starts eating up the core that rest of the planet stands on.

The analogy is actually funny. The higher up you are in society, the stronger the pressure to keep a PC line is, especially in fields like politics with a zero-sum competition for the few, most desired positions (meaning that there's always someone who wants your place waiting for a chance to cook up a scandal). That creates a natural death spiral: the pressure of PC isn't so strong for janitors, but janitors are irrelevant for public discourse; the pressure is the greatest for the people in politics, academia and media who are supposed to make up the supporting intellectual structure of public discourse. PC is crucial only for those who matter or who want to matter; the rest of us mainly just have to watch our language, so most people underestimate the extent of its destructive influence.

jmr said...

Race is not the only taboo subject; there also is gender. If anything, the feminazis are worse than the race hustlers. Remember Larry Summers. And then there is sexual orientation. The list keeps getting longer.

reno said...

Leftism isn't really new; it is the current manifestation of a puritanical streak that has been around for a long time.

There is a parallel between today's leftists and old-time puritans. The English Puritans were noted for being self-righteous, holier-than-thou, and so forth - rather like modern leftists. Leftism and Puritanism are two different manifestations of the same underlying impulse - an attempt to gain status by appearing to be morally superior. The methods change, but the motivation - status - remains the same.

If today's pc liberals had lived in the 17th century they would have been puritans.

JUms24 said...

I agree with the dissidentman thesis with a sort of amendment tacitly offered by reno. Hyperegalitarianism isn't so much a Christian impulse as a Protestant one, Bohemian and British in origin. Historically, Catholics would have chuckled at the notion that people absolutely HAD to be equal in one another's eyes - the believed people were equal in God's eyes. And who says people have to see what God sees?

By pretending to see equality when we can't, we are aping God, more or less.

Markku said...

The analogy is actually funny. The higher up you are in society, the stronger the pressure to keep a PC line is

Actually, it is not. If you're independently very wealthy, you can say whatever you want. Also, professors can be very hard to fire no matter what they do. Professors emeritus can definitely say whatever they please.

William said...

Also, professors can be very hard to fire no matter what they do.

Entirely an allusion. If a college administration wants to find a reason to fire someone, they will. "Racism" is certainly considered a justifiable reason for summary termination. Ward Churchills, of course, are allowed to collect their paychecks for years before finally getting the boot.


Actually, it is not. If you're independently very wealthy, you can say whatever you want.

You can? Not if you're engaged in the pursuit of becoming wealthier. In that case you must avoid pissing off the powers-that-be. You must avoid pissing off potential employees, especially, if as in tech, large numbers come from minority groups. You must avoid pissing off potential customers.

But I do thnk we misunderestimate the extent to which people on top actually believe in multiculturalism. They're globetrooters for whom borders are a mere nuisance to travel and to accumulating greater sums of wealth. They see white hoi polloi as no better than hoi polloi of any other race. They will never feel threatened by the political influence of other races unless and until those other races inflict a Zimbabwe-style wealth reapportionment on them.

William said...

If today's pc liberals had lived in the 17th century they would have been puritans.

Nah - you're too harsh on the Puritans. Puritans occasionally persecuted and killed people for idealistic reasons, but mostly they did it for reasons of good old survival. There's a story about Myles Standish slaughtering an Indian tribe that was supposedly conspiring to kill off the Mayflower colony. They did it with eery efficiency and, instead of it causing an uprising by their outnumbered opponents, the tiny little colony managed to scare them all shitless.

Concerned said...

"If anything, the feminazis are worse than the race hustlers. Remember Larry Summers."

Bullshit. Admittiedly, Summers lost his job due to PC, but I just saw him on some PBS show as an expert on his subject: economics. He hasn't been "disappeared" completely, he lost what is essentially a fund raising job.

Watson has been "disappeared," expunged, destroyed. It's like being called a counterrevolutionary in Stalin's Russia.

I hate feminazis too, but in no way are they are organized and lethal a force as blacks. They are mostly hackademic dykes and pseudo-pundits.

Also, it's not women who commit 40% of the murders in the US. It's black men. Are you telling me that women scare you? Stop being such a pussy.

Concerned said...

I just heard on the radio - today is DNA Day!!

That is: the anniversary of the day the double helix was described by....

(whisper)

J**** W*****

and

(you can say this name out loud)

Frances Crick

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the comment from jums24. Nietzsche blamed Christianity for radical egalitarianism, but it seems to me that Protestantism not Catholicism is the egalitarian creed.

Admittedly, the Catholic Church has flirted with egalitarianism in recent years, but there is plenty of support in Scripture and Catholic Tradition for non-egalitarian views.

It is instructive to consider that Protestantism has largely capitulated to feminism, whereas Catholicism has held out on the priesthood and so on.

Julian

Anonymous said...

reno: Leftism isn't really new; it is the current manifestation of a puritanical streak that has been around for a long time.

The puritans were actually pretty decent people [and many of the folks on this board are undoubtedly descended from them].

In historio-religious terms, the adjective you're after would be more akin to phariseeical, jesuitical, or maybe shakerite.

Although, ironically enough, many of the descendants of the puritans ended up in Universalist-Unitarianism [or Unitarian-Universalism], which is more or less equivalent to the above.

Anonymous said...

So who was behind the Civil Rights act of 64? Who was behind the immigration act of 65? Who benefited most from the fair housing act of 68? Liberals are born again Puritans? In a land of many tribes, the Jewish tribe is the best suited for inter tribal competion as long as the strongest tribe, that isn't a tribe, is distracted by black (and bronze) holes.

TiberiusClaudius said...

shakerite

Well, I'll be darned. From that link:

The Shakers did not believe in procreation so therefore had to adopt a child if they wanted one. Another way they could expand their community's population was to allow converts into the Shaker society to live and function as one. When Shaker boys reached the age of twenty-one, they were given the choice to leave the Shaker religion and go their own separate way or to continue on as a Shaker. The Shakers lived in "families" sharing a large house with separate entrances for each family within the "family"; thus the families were exclusively male or female — the sexes were segregated into separate living areas.

The nature of the Shaker religion set men and women equal to one another in religious leadership, as celibacy left women free to participate fully in the religious system without having to be distracted by childbearing.

Oskar Schindler said...

Thank-you for the phrase "hackademic," Mr. Concerned.

Anonymous: the weird pseudo-marxist (as in, "group pulling ze strings!") Jew talk is bizarre.

Dismal Jews reasoning on the basis of group identity are on par with...hackademics, I guess. Having some modest, congenital capacity for thought, Jews buy into stupid ideas more often, because they think, and are more involved in debates, at any given time, wherever they are. They're also most likely to send torpedoes flying willy-nilly at whatever the hell they like, as thinking individuals. See Jewish liberals, conservatives, Israel-backers, Israel-bashers, misanthropic comics and Jews who hate themselves and especially hate the Jews.

Jews are instrumental in shaping media and law because they're good at shaping media and law, but they are not immune from whatever nonsensical ideas prevail. Nobody told mid-twentieth century intellectual Jews there was a big difference between the racism of inferiority (Germany) and the racism of (economic) superiority (USA). (Look at me, getting all PC about making clear IQ deficits should not be taken as a qualitative measure of an individual or culture's inherent value! Next-gen, baby! Start talking like this and confuse them into victory. Drop anti-semitic innuendo, and the battle is already lost.)

They don't need a conspiracy. Get with the research! It's always good for the Jews, if the government and people legally lay off them. They think better in economically-significant spheres, and the greater their group loyalty, the better they do! That anti-racism, group identity thing works wonders for their bottom line. Kin loyalty is a practically-successful business strategy, for them. Get over it.

I'll buy Jews have an intellectual tendency to slide into "hermaneutical" cultism, perhaps as an outgrowth of their genome, but don't hate the player (Jews) hate the game (the human brain being a farcical device trading overwhelmingly prevalently in algorithmic, macro-like illusions and nonsense ((see Jew: Franz Kafka for more info)).)

William said...

Although, ironically enough, many of the descendants of the puritans ended up in Universalist-Unitarianism [or Unitarian-Universalism], which is more or less equivalent to the above.

SO let's start calling it Unitaritanical.

I certainly wouldn't mind, and my Puritan ancestors can sleep easy in their graces knowing they aren't being blamed for something they didn't do.

The descendants of Puritans are a very broad and diverse group. Sure some wound up in the liberal UCC or the Unitarian Church. Some of them became multicultualist brownshirts. But a lot of them also flooded out of New England to settle the rest of America, and adapted a variety of political and religious beliefs.

SFG said...

It is funny; ever taken a trip to Boston? You can find all these 'first X church in America' churches, presumably still extant, with rainbow flags and peace signs galore.

As for your Puritan ancestors: I'll quote Ben Franklin on this one: "He that hath neither whores, fools, nor thieves in his ancestry, is the son of a thunder-gust." Ancestors and descendants spread so far out once you go back or forward far enough that you can find an ancestor or descendant who did just about anything.

William said...

Ancestors and descendants spread so far out once you go back or forward far enough that you can find an ancestor or descendant who did just about anything.

Sounds like you're jealous.