New Word Needed

Morgan likes inventing new words.  I’ve taken a few cracks at it myself.  But I’m stumped by this one.  What’s a good word for the idea that difference is a problem?

Maybe it’s a subspecies of solipsism.  You know the kind of thing I mean:

What does it mean for a man to be truly feminist? Is that even possible, or is a man only ever, at best, a feminist ally and a recovering misogynist? . . .
For feminist women, dating men can feel like a lose-lose proposition. Either you settle for someone who invalidates your politics and therefore your personhood, or you gamble on a man who claims to support your cause but may or may not actually give a s–t.

Admittedly, we’re so used to hearing marxoids talk like this that it’s just word salad — a pathetic mix of buzzwords lying limply there under a sneeze guard at the end of the intellectual buffet line.  But let’s take Ms. Sloan far more seriously than xyr deserves and actually analyze some of this verbiage.

Is it even possible for a man to be truly feminist?  Judging by feminists’ behavior I’d have to say no, but their dogma says yes.  Gender, like everything else, is just a “social construction,” which means people are completely malleable.  Arrange society just right — and shoot everyone who disagrees — and you’ll have the New Soviet Woman in no time.  It is, as Lenin assures us, science.  There is no difference; only apparent antitheses that have not yet been resolved into the glorious Marxist synthesis.

Which leads to

invalidates your politics and therefore your personhood

which is a fascinating equivalence, implying as it does that either A) politics are immutable, or B) one’s personhood can change at a moment’s notice if the mass line requires it.  In practice, of course, there’s no problem, since they all believe A but do B.  But think about how weird it must be to write a line like that.  Whatever “feminism” is today — and not even Ms. Sloan would, I think, argue that it came down complete from heaven like the Koran — then that’s what I am today.  It could be completely different tomorrow, and therefore so will I.

When you look at it that way, it’s clear that what these people really want is no distinctions whatsoever.  No difference at all.  Everything is what it is, and it always will be, and nothing can ever be different.  The True Believer is finally personality-less, merged into the all-consuming whole.

Is that just pathological solipsism?  Or something else — Acquired Marxoid Narcissism, maybe?  What do y’all think, Four Regular Readers?

Always Fighting the Last War

Funny how liberals say this to denigrate the military, when their entire thing is as retro as it gets.  It’s been that way since Karl Marx — that whole “capitalists own the means of production, peasants have nothing to sell but their labor, alienation, etc. etc.” deal is actually a spot-on description of feudalism, not industrial capitalism.  In the same way, they’ve been fighting the Civil Rights Movement for the last 50 years, as if tranny-free bathrooms were in any way equivalent to colored-only water fountains.

The last Liberal Great Awakening ended when their policies produced enough crime, stagflation, and international humiliation that their footsoldiers couldn’t stand it anymore.  But there’s not going to be any Reagan prosperity this time around….

It’s the end of an era, y’all.  Just to stick with a theme, let’s look at what happened at the end of the Middle Ages. We see the same things happening now.  For instance, a vast doubling-down on the outward trappings of the old order by the Elite.  Most of the stuff we think of as quintessentially “medieval” was a fabrication, of course, but it was a fabrication of the very last days, when the world it pretended to describe was almost totally gone.  The things that weren’t fabrications were elaborately useless — the expansion of the peerage while Parliament increasingly held all the real power; vast, days-long tournaments in 100 lb armor when firearms and pikemen made cavalry charges gaudy suicide.  Vastly expanded sumptuary laws to keep the nouveau riche from outshining the impoverished aristocracy; tighter and tighter guild monopolies to throttle international trade.  (Our Elite are the globalists now, but the principle is the same).  The most elaborate and sweeping declaration of papal supremacy was written in 1302, just as the Church was about to plunge into 200 years of schism and turmoil and, ultimately, Reformation.  And, of course, the Inquisition….

We — alt right and cuckservative and liberal and moonbat — are mostly still trying to process events under the old paradigms. The alt-right doesn’t understand economics much better than the moonbat left, so they try to shoehorn everything into “race realism” (and, of course, Teh Jooooos!).  The moonbats, meanwhile, cling to a notion of economics that was garbage in 1909, and a view of humanity that should’ve been decisively disproved in 1793.  The cucks still think we can definitively prove, with the postulates of Aristotelian dialectic, just how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.  Meanwhile the tectonic plates keep shifting, and the earth rumbles….

It’s gonna be bad.  Hopefully just Reformation-in-England bad, not 30 Years’ War bad or World War I bad.  My money is on barbarians-crossing-the-Rhine bad….

If You Were Serious….

Co-Blogger Philmon has a category called Stop an Echo — challenging those moldy, rotten chestnuts that everyone “knows” but that ain’t so.  One of my favorite techniques for doing this is to take liberal claims seriously, and extrapolate the implications.  If they don’t have an answer to even the most incandescently obvious consequences of their statements, they’re just parroting talking points.  Like so:

imagesIf you really believe in Global Warming, why are you still driving a car?  Heck, why haven’t you shorted oil company stocks, and gone long in green tech?  You’ll make zillions!  Even if you don’t want to grubby up your hands with capitalism, have you done anything — anything at all — to modify your own personal lifestyle?  Or are you just getting off on telling other people what to do?

If you’re convinced there is no God, why do you keep picking fights with believers?  I don’t go out picking fights with liberals, because Reality’s gonna do that for me.  More to the point, has that ever worked?  Has the ol’ smirk-n-snark ever changed one single mind?  Doesn’t it bother you that, argument-wise, you’re the Washington Generals?  If you’re so wedded to facts and reason, shouldn’t your 0-and-whatever lifetime record be the slightest cause for concern?

If “reason” is so “heavily masculine-coded” that it’s just a buzzword, how do you expect to change any male minds?  We’re reasoners, after all — heck, according to you, that’s our main problem!  And if you don’t expect to change any male minds, how do you expect to break free of the shackles of Patriarchy that, according to you, is “the system which operates within a patriarchal social order to police and enforce women‘s subordination, and to uphold male dominance”?  Poor benighted male that I am, you’re going to have to give me some step-by-step instructions on how to “smash patriarchy.”  Do you have a manual I can read?

I’d love to learn some “Game.”  Problem is, I don’t have the time or the money to hit the clubs every night.  And I can’t really do “Day Game,” because I have a “day job.”  And I don’t live in a ginormous city, so there are a limited number of clubs to hit… and since I’m not already an expert, and since those clubs have regulars, I’m now well known as that creepy guy who keeps “stacking routines” to “initiate kino.”  I’ll keep plugging away — practice makes perfect! — but I have to assume I’m not the only guy with these problems.  If y’all are really out there “sarging” every night — and I totes believe you — there should be lots of resources on “how to get laid on $15 a night,” “how to keep bouncers from throwing you out because you keep bugging all their regular customers,” “how to look good in work clothes after hitting the clubs until 3am and waking up in a stranger’s bed on the other side of town,” and so forth.  Can y’all point me to some of those sites?

How do laws against murder fail to prevent murder?  Y’all keep telling me that mass shootings are the result of our pathetically inadequate gun control laws.  I’m all for passing the most draconian gun laws… as soon as you explain to me how those laws will work when the laws against murder don’t.  Jihad Johnny is heading out to shoot up a nightclub.  He’s got murder in his heart.  He knows it’s illegal — in fact, is a death penalty offense in a lot of jurisdictions– but he’s willing to sacrifice it all for Allah.  But then he sees a sign that says “no firearms permitted on premises” and calls it off…. right?  That’s really how it’s supposed to work, right?

Come to think of it, I have a similar question about drugs.  Y’all are all about pot legalization, because cannabis has all those medical benefits.  But… how do you know?  Pot possession has been illegal in every jurisdiction in the land for almost your entire lives.  Since passing gun control laws will — according to y’all — make sure nobody has access to guns, I have to assume that “pot control” laws have completely eliminated access to pot.  So how do you know how great getting high is?  Or is this all theoretical?

How much money is “enough?”  I really thought we’d get the answer to that one when Obama said “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”  As the press loves to hold Obama’s feet to the fire — according to y’all, the media has a conservative bias — I was certain they’d get Him to put a precise dollar figure on that… but no.  So it’s up to y’all.  Heck, round it off to the nearest thousand dollars; just give me a ballpark figure.

Speaking of, can you give me a similar figure for “fair share”?  Y’all keep insisting that all our financial woes would be solved if only “the rich” would pay their “fair share.”  What amount is that, to the nearest thousand?  How about the nearest percentage point?  And while you’re at it, could you give me a quick definition of “the rich”?  I’ll need to see the criteria on this one, not just the dollar figure, since there are so many ways to define “rich.”  Are we talking AGI, net worth, investable assets, what?  (Since you’re so deeply informed on financial matters, I assume you know what those are and how to calculate them).

And while we’re talking money, y’all assure me that so much of our current predicament stems from “deregulation.”  Well, there’s an easy fix for that!  Let’s re-pass all those old regulations.  But I’ll need you to remind me: which specific regulations were they?

Last money question, I promise:  How much should “health care” cost?  I know, I know, it’s waaaay too high now, and single payer will fix it.  I totes believe you about that, too.  But since some of my nearest and dearest work in the field, getting those health care costs where they should be is going to cause some big changes in their standard of living.  Doctors have student loans too, you know.  Am I going to have to put my heart surgeon nephew up on my couch for a few weeks while he finds a second job at the local Walmart?  How do they manage it up in Canada?

I’ve got lots more, but that’ll do for now.  Please leave your answers in the comments.  Thanks!

Propaganda Fail

I don’t care about Chickbusters, or whatever clever name we patriarchal troglodytes are supposed to be calling it.  (Honestly, I didn’t think the original was all that great anyway).  But I’m happy it’s flopping so hard.

Theodore Dalrymple has already written the epitaph of art in the West:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

Chickbusters is overt propaganda.  It was designed to fail.  The original movie was funny (in the parts where it actually was funny) because of the chemistry between the four male leads — and everyone knows that.  Cast anyone other than Murray and Ackroyd as Venkman and Stantz, and the original would’ve bombed, too.  So… we’re supposed to laugh at the same “jokes” that wouldn’t have been funny delivered by any other two men on the planet, now that they’re being delivered by two women?

Riiight.

We’re supposed to say “Chickbusters isn’t funny,” to which the scripted reply is: “But it was funny when a man said it!”  No, it was two particular men who made it funny, but whatever.  Propaganda is as propaganda does.  I’m just glad that the public at large still recognizes it as such.  Not all is yet lost….

Fixing it Matters

Muslim man shoots up gay nightclub, claiming he did it in the name of ISIS and Allah.  But we don’t know the motive.  It must be Christian hatred and the NRA.

White cop shoots black man.  Has to be white racism.  Clearly there is no other explanation than systemic white racism.

#BlackLivesMatter.  #WhitePrivilege.

Over and over we find that the people peddling these hashtags have rushed their narrative to the media before the facts all come out — because they know what gets out there first sticks, and people have a natural instinct to root for the underdog. Saul Alinsky knew this and advised how to best do it to your advantage.  “Rules for Radicals” *is* the Bible for the American Leftist Activist.

We saw old younger pictures of an angelic-looking Michael Brown rather than the big thuggish bully he had grown to be.  The one who had just robbed a convenience store and assaulted the Indian manager, and who tried to wrestle a gun from a cop who had just advised him not to walk down the middle of the street.  Trayvon Martin was just a young innocent teen, shot for being black by a “White Hispanic”, not because he was bashing Zimmerman’s head into the ground in a potentially lethal fashion. And “White Hispanic” was a term they came up with out of whole cloth when it turned out the initial reports that Zimmerman was white turned out to be far more complex and in fact was actually raised with black other children.

I look at situations, not skin color.  They look at skin color regardless of the situation.

Now … is a police officer (white or black) more likely to fear for his life when confronting a black suspect than a white suspect?  Quite possibly, even probably.  Is this bad?  Yes it is.  Is it rational?

Yes it is.

Both of those things are true.  This is tragic.

So what do we, as a society, do about it?

Here’s what we DON’T do:  Blame white people.  Which is exactly what the terms, not accidentally chosen, “white privilege” and “black lives matter” do. The people peddling them claim it doesn’t, but the rest of their rhetoric and actions make it clear that this is exactly what they intend.

“Black Lives Matter” implies that white people don’t think that black lives matter – that the problem lies simply with white people seeing black skin and thinking somehow the person inside matters less.  It is insulting to white people. Even if it were true, insulting people is not the way to bring them to your side.  And the reality of the reaction being referenced is far more complex than that (which we’ll get to in a minute).  The suggestion is inherently racist.  The whole thing is divisive.  Divisiveness will not solve the problem.

The same goes, even more so, for “white privilege”.  White people are not privileged.  Black people are treated unfairly as individuals.  White people are being treated the way all people should be treated.  It’s nothing special. But black people *are* treated with more suspicion in our society.  And there are deep psychological reasons for this that have far more to do with culture than skin color.  And it is culture that is the underlying problem.

Consider this … why aren’t white people leery of Indian, Asian, Brazilian, or Polynesian Americans?  Why are even black people more leery of black strangers than strangers of other races (see Juan Williams et. al)?

It is the association with violent crime.  Violent crime is far more prevelant in the black population.  It wasn’t always this way.  It is something that developed during the latter half of the last century.  But it’s real.

Now the other side will argue that it’s not, it’s just a disproportionate number are picked up because they’re watched more carefully.  And the numbers may skew slightly higher for that reason, I will acknowledge.  But it’s not responsible for all of it, or even most of it.

The fact of the matter is, if race is what it’s about, black lives apparently matter far less to black people than they do to white people — most black people who are killed are killed by other black people, typically gang on gang.  This is a cultural issue.  And in the modern, Western Civilization worldview (before it was bastardized by Marxist shills) culture is not dependent on race.  There may be correlation.  But race is not the cause.  It is this correlation which must be broken to solve the problem.  This cannot be done by denying the correlation.

The Marxist shills, however, are interested in keeping us divided, for they want to build coalitions of aggrieved people to overthrow the order of Liberty.  This is called (by them … most of us hadn’t heard of it until 2008) “Community Organizing”.  They don’t really want it fixed, so they deny the correlation and insist everyone do the same. They use it to push their cause de jour.

They want the black American community to feel aggrieved, and to feel that they are powerless to change their lot outside of demanding concessions from “white” America.   It is also in the shills’ interest to keep white America aggravated to help justify the narrative that whites hate blacks and live to keep them down and protect their “privilege”.

The truth is, the rest of America would love for black America to be just as “privileged” as it is.  That is, it would love for black Americans to be treated the way all people should be treated.

The best way for that to happen is … assimilation.  Like the Italians.  Like the Irish.  Like Asian Americans, and a lot of American Indians, and Indian (dot!) Americans, and Hispanic Americans.  You can keep cultural elements as a part of your identity, but to join our culture, you can’t insist on a separate one.  You have to join it.  Melting pot. Remember?

This problem cannot be solved overnight.  And white people cannot solve it for black people by turning a blind eye or tolerating bad behavior so as not to appear “racist”.  Everybody black, white, whatever — must hold themselves to the same basic standards.  No races elevated or denegrated.

I always find it fascinating that the people who scream the loudest about racism make absolutely *everything* about race.  There’s nothing more racist than that.

Dumb Guy’s Revenge

Provided we survive it, the Trump phenomenon has the potential to finally kill one of the worst mental pathogens of our age: being Smart.

First, check this.  I know, I know, it’s Rod Dreher quoting Ross Douthat, which is nearly enough to form a supermassive black hole of Cuck.  But stopped clocks and all that.

And here is why it’s tribalism: [the Globalists] see anyone outside the tribe as barbarian. The fact that they see themselves as sophisticated and advanced instead of mere partisans of a different tribe, with their own prejudices and limitations, is what makes them so hard to take. Technocratic liberalism is their religion, and its god is a jealous god.

I further know the fact Cucky McCuckerson wrote this piece should also create a supermassive black hole of self-unawareness.  But evidently time itself does survive past the event horizon, because this stopped clock is still right.

The reason the Globalists don’t see themselves as a tribe, of course, is the same reason Liberals insist that facts have a liberal bias — they’re Smarter Than You.  That’s it.  Being Smart, they have access to a level of cognition that’s simply beyond us.  Facts don’t matter when you’re Smart.  Put a blue-haired bicurious vegan slam poet in a debate about astrophysics with Einstein, and within a minute she’ll be telling him his so-called “facts” don’t count, because math is racist.

Trump’s platform thumps all this.  Not because Trump is Dumb — though, of course, he is; he’s Not Our Class, Dear — but because in attacking Trump, the Smart people have finally made it obvious what Smart means.

Smart people have no nation, no culture.  In fact, they have no identity whatsoever, other than being Smart.  And being Smart consists of….?

Since we’re rending holes in the fabric of space-time already, let me recommend a book by the cuckiest cuck of them all, David “Pants Crease” Brooks.  Bobos in Paradise perfectly describes what it’s like being Smart.  Or, at least, what it was like in 2001, when the stock market was up and social mobility was still upward.  It’s all fashion — limousine liberalism as a substitute for old-school conspicuous consumption.  If it’s vulgar to flaunt one’s wealth on bling and Bentleys like a rapper, it’s nonetheless perfectly acceptable to flaunt it by serving only locally-sourced, shade-grown, free-trade tofu at your daughter’s pre-preschool (did you know there’s a 6-year waiting list?  And a top quintile score on the Stanford-Binet is the minimum qualification?).

The problem with this is: There’s no there there.  It’s nice to pretend one is a transnational cosmopolitan sophisticate when one can afford to shift with the wind.  In 2001, for instance, when the Bobos were still in paradise, Cloud Person opinion on gay “marriage” was largely what it was in 1999 — a horrible patriarchal imposition by the breeders.  How dare they force monogamy down gays’ throats?  But by 2004 it was a fundamental human right, and by 2015, of course, it was enshrined in the Constitution.

So with any and all Smart fashions.  So long as one has the money, one can still play make-believe.  So long as the stock market is up, then, one can aspire to make enough money to pretend, and you can fake it til you make it — parrot all the fashionable make-believe, and people will think you’re rich enough to be Smart.

Dumb guys, by contrast, have real identities.  They know what they like, and they know why they like it.  It might not rise above the level of “I like NASCAR because of the crashes,” but hey, it’s something.  A redneck knows who he is, in the way a faux hipster sophisticate simply can’t.

But both can feel which way the wind is blowing.  In this economy, you will be proletarianized.  The question is, how do you make your peace with it?  Personally, I’d much rather be a redneck than whatever you call a barista who’s forever chasing the Bobo life on $8.75 an hour.  And that’s really what the choice between the candidates boils down to.  Vote Hillary, and you’re voting to let people like Hillary maintain her lifestyle at your expense.  She can shift with whatever wind, because she can always sell a few more national security secrets to the Chinese if she’s low on ready cash.  Vote Trump, and maybe you tell the world you’re a redneck… but at least you don’t have to pretend anymore.  When you don’t have two nickels to rub together, being forced to play make-believe by some shrieking harpy who obviously considers you a dupe and a rube is the final indignity.

If being Smart is letting Hillary et al force me to work my fingers to the bone buying her a fourth yacht, then fucking forget it.  Sign me up for the NASCAR channel.  I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Mission Civilisatrice

The bad news is that lots of The Current Year’s problems could have easily been foreseen if people read history (not “took history classes,” read.  History profs are among the ditziest leftoids in captivity.  Learn to seamlessly combine a few basic buzzwords — CisHetPat etc. — and you can ace any history class at any college in America).

The good news, though, is that history provides the solution, too.

By the French Revolution, it was generally taken for granted that the whole of the non-Western world was in need of French civilization. The idea of the mission civilisatrice did not originate in 1870 with the Third Republic, but it acquired a particularly strong resonance after the return of democratic institutions to France. The French colonizers were attempting overseas what French republican administrators and teachers were trying to accomplish in the rural areas of metropolitan France. A zeal to modernize and cast out the perceived demons of ignorance and superstition was as characteristic of domestic republicans as it was of their colonial counterparts. The mission civilisatrice ensured support for the imperial enterprise from otherwise democratic elements in the French population.

We tend to think of the French as the runners-up in the Great Game, but some of their colonies were wonders to behold.  I’m not an expert, but it seems to me that the main reasons they rate #2 behind the British are: 1) No India-equivalent (despite their best efforts, Vietnam et al just don’t cut it), and 2) greater proximity to Germany (Japan had to take Britain’s Far Eastern colonies by force), and 3) the MS seemed more Catholic than the white man’s burden was Protestant*.

And as a coherent program, the MS beats the British “system” cold.  With the admittedly huge exception of India, the Limeys didn’t much care about the natives under their rule.  As long as they didn’t have to pay to put down insurrections, they could care less what Rhodes, Lugard, and the rest got up to south of the Sahara.  Much more cost-effective, but see Decolonization, problems of, for some of the more obvious consequences.

Were I a betting man, I’d wager that the MS is going to come back in a big way here in the next few decades.  Effectively re-colonizing Africa is an easy solution to a lot of the world’s more intractable problems (as Jonah Goldberg, of all people, noted at the turn of the century).  As the epic Olympic clusterfuck in Brazil is illustrating for us every day, modern civilization requires a certain skillset that our darker brethren seem to lack.**  Once realism about IQ comes back in vogue — and Our Betters are working 24/7 to set up the mass muggings, beatings, and rapes it’ll take — starry-eyed world-savers will start wanting to treat the problem at its source.  (Plus, this will let them self-righteously torment people without nearly as much danger of someone shooting back, as Evil Whites are wont to do).

Alas, this wouldn’t be my post without some gloom-n-doom, so here goes: I doubt it will be Westerners bringing back the MS.  We’re too far gone.  It’ll be the Russians and Chinese, who tend to interact with The Other with AK rounds.  As I keep telling all my liberal dimwit acquaintances in academia, if you thought European colonialism was the axis of evil, you’re gonna just looooove the Chinese version.

 

*Not necessarily true, of course — the British were as keen on spreading Churchianity in their domains as the French were to spread Catholicism in theirs.  Cf. Brian Stanley’s The Bible and the Flag, which paints British imperialism as an almost entirely missionary effort.

** I read somewhere that foreign policy wonks used to joke that Brazil is the up-and-coming country of the next century, and always will be.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings: Profit Motive

I know, I know: Capitalism is eeevil.  Alas, in the real world filled with actual humans, science fiction novels are luxury goods.  The “pink SF” crowd seems determined to learn this the hard way.

I did that with my WIP, swapped the male lead to female, then had the same people read what I had so far. The women loved it, the men hated it, whereas before the men loved it, and the women were just sorta meh about it. Made me decide to leave it as a female lead. I figured, if it was making the men so uncomfortable, then I was doing something right.

Emphasis mine.  This is what the CisHetPat philosophy crowd calls a “category error.”  The point of writing science fiction novels is not to make men uncomfortable.  The point is to GET PAID (a.k.a. the Tao of Larry Correia).  If you’re not writing to reach your audience — and you can tell if you are, because you’re GETTING PAID — then you’re not really a novelist.  You’re a preacher.

Which is fine; the world needs preachers, too, and there are millions of street corners on which to rant.  But don’t expect to be taken seriously as an author of science fiction.  (Same deal with the preacher — a minister whose every homily is about Ringo Rocket’s battle with the Robo-Men of Planet X-22 is going to be minus a congregation).

Settled Science Update

On the many, many problems with “peer review.”

The thing is, most people have no idea how academia works (this is, of course, deliberate).  Most folks who hear that this or that is “peer reviewed” think that other professors have scrupulously followed all the references, and/or actually sat down at the lab bench and replicated the experiments.  I can’t personally vouch for the labwork part of it, but knowing what everyone knows about scientific research — that it costs an insane amount of money, using hugely expensive machines that need to be tightly scheduled — does that assumption pass the smell test?  Can Joe Schmoe the peer reviewer at Flyover State really get some time with the Large Hadron Collider to check some data?

I do have some experience with peer review in the humanities, though.  Everyone who has ever taken a graduate course does.  Here’s how it works: You’re doing some reading for a project and you come across an interesting tidbit.  So you check the footnote.  It says Jones, Marxoblather, page 22.  Hey, so maybe there’s a whole book on this!  Jones probably has much, much more.  So you check Jones out from the library and flip to page 22.  He’s got the same fact, footnoted to Smith, Capitalism is Evil, vol. 2., p. 158.  So you hit the stacks again, pull the copy of Smith, check his reference, and… Williams, Ass-Pulled Assertions, p. 45.

….and quite often, that’s where the trail goes cold: With an ass-pulled assertion in an old book, that gets cited in so many places and in so many ways that the original just kinda disappears.  But here’s the kicker: Even if Williams gives you a beautifully detailed citation to a primary source, you’re still out of luck.  Because, of course, Williams found his evidence in an obscure archive on the other side of the world.  Unless you’ve got the free time and spare change to jet off to the Turkmenistan National Archives (and read Zambezi or whatever language it’s in), you’re SOL.

This is how you end up with things like the Bellesiles Affair.  He simply made up his key evidence, because he knew nobody would check — he was, after all, a member of the Guild, telling other Guild members exactly what they wanted to hear (that the Second Amendment doesn’t mean what it says, basically, because the Founders didn’t really have too many guns and thought guns were icky anyway).  It took an amateur — a software engineer — to point out that hey, the sources don’t say what the professional says they say, in part because there’s no way some of the stuff he cites actually exists.

In effect, “peer review” means “I, who have some kind of degree in a vaguely related area, can’t see any glaring errors in this article I’m skimming in my free time.”

But yeah, we should definitely enact global socialism posthaste, because science.

From the “Cognitive Dissonance is BS” Files

Ace of Spades, on last night’s overnight thread:

When you try to delegitimize somebody’s vote, you don’t change his mind, only his willingness to talk about it.

Ace of Spades, all day every day:

Trump is behind in the polls!  Hillary is inevitable! Doooooom!!!!

How’s that old song from Sesame Street go?  One of these things is not like the others… one of these things just isn’t the same….