Heh. “Science.”

At this point, I don’t think actual science, without the scare quotes, exists anywhere outside the most heavily fortified physics labs.

But in case you were curious, and if you somehow didn’t know this already: yeah, “social ‘science’” isn’t.  It’s just lefty cant with a few ass-pulled numbers attached.  Observe:

a study that sought to show that conservatives reach their beliefs only through denying reality achieved that result by describing ideological liberal beliefs as “reality,” surveying people on whether they agreed with them, and then concluding that those who disagree with them are in denial of reality — and lo, people in that group are much more likely to be conservative!

Oh, and again, in case you somehow didn’t know this already, “peer review” is bullshit by definition when all your peers agree with you:

This has nothing to do with science, and yet in a field with such groupthink, it can get published in peer-reviewed journals and passed off as “science,” complete with a Vox stenographic exercise at the end of the rainbow. A field where this is possible is in dire straits indeed.

Indeed.

“The Final and Utter Semisexual Craving of the Left”

This is why I’m not an award-winning nominated author.  This right here.  I’ll never come up with as good a phrase as “the final and utter semisexual craving of the Left, which is obliteration.”

How true is that?  I’ve been at least a dilettante Left-watcher for decades now, and I still haven’t managed to figure out what they actually want out of life.  Consider this knucklehead:

“What could I do that would eliminate having to work, would open up big opportunities, and be a really fun, interesting experience for me?” Chambers asked Campus Reform in an interview last week.

You read up on his subsequent “thoughts” about the slim pickings in a McDonald’s dumpster, and you’re forced to conclude that Patton Chambers, at least, wants his existence confined to a comfy chair, tv on an endless loop, a feeding tube full of delicious nom noms, and someone to change his diapers every now and again.

Or consider the UVa rape hoaxers (or the Duke Lacrosse rape hoaxers, or Lena Dunham lying about being raped by a college Republican, or….).  Or SlutWalk.  What is the end goal here?  As near as I can tell, all of this “blaming the victim” stuff boils down to “women in skimpy clothing should be able to get blackout drunk whenever and wherever they feel like it.”

This is “social justice”?

The endless hamster wheel of “activism” goes protest-regulate-litigate, even when — make that especially when — the end goals are undefined or, better, undefinable.  In what ways should, say, the financial or energy industries be regulated?  Which specific regulations would you like to see enacted, comrade?  Which specific statutes, since repealed, caused all the problems of “deregulation”?  Under what conditions can a business owner refuse service to a customer?  Clearly “conscience” is no defense.  How long, then, before penniless people are suing Mercedes Benz and Rolex, just because those companies claim the destitute can’t “afford” their products?  Is this not the worst, most arbitrary form of “discrimination”?

They don’t know.  They don’t even pretend to know.  They’re proud of their ignorance, and they spend endless amounts of energy on things that are designed to have no effect on the real world.  They consider too many consumer choices to be a mental disorder, and they term normal human interactions “microaggressions.”  They insist on “trigger warnings” before exposure to opinions, or even facts.  They insist there is no such thing as a fact.

Conclusion: They don’t want to achieve anything.  It’s impossible to actually live in Social Justice Land, and since living there is impossible — and they’re too cowardly for suicide — they want to make their lives as close to death as possible.  If they can, they want to stop their consciousnesses entirely, and reduce life to the autonomic.  If one must have food, and clothing, and shelter, and toilet paper, let there be only one kind of each, preferably delivered automatically at the first of the month.

George Orwell said that Eastasia’s version of IngSoc translated as “death worship.”  Once again, he was dead right.

[EDITED: Mr. Wright points out that he is award-nominated, not award-winning.  As terminological precision is important, I’ve corrected the post.  :) ]

Cromnibus

I’m a big fan of the “One Subject At a Time” Act.

I know, I know, “it’s not the way the system works”. Well how’s that working out, really?

That being said, no matter how much I don’t like “Omnibus” bills, I’m not going to abandon support for a politician who voted for it based on that fact alone.  Some of my more conservative friends have been seen excoriating Trey Gowdy, among others, for voting for the bill.

They have a strategy that may differ from ours, or some who may have preferred not to decided that signing on to this strategy was better than going it alone with their own and failing miserably.

It’s about like saying that the United States was “founded on slavery” because the union included slave states and didn’t outlaw it up front. There was a bigger, more complicated picture than today’s bumper sticker politics will allow room for discussion.

I read a great sentence this morning in the latest Imprimis — in an essay by Dr. Larry Arn. A lot of us would do well to ponder it.

“We hold convictions that are elevated above practical circumstances”

Recognizing this doesn’t mean we abandon our convictions. It is much better to hold convictions we strive to comply with and perhaps often fail to hit the mark than not to hold them at all.

Until enough of we the people demand that certain convictions be adhered to, a minority of us abandoning politicians that generally hold our principles the minute they do something we disagree with will only leave a vacuum for worse politicians to fill, and the rest of we the people who do not share our convictions will fill it with such a person.

What that means is we need to spread our convictions at the We the People level rather than try to elect it. We will almost always fail if we rely on the latter.

A Most Useful Metaphor

In the course of making some no-name SJW into his personal prison bitch, Larry Correia comes up with a most useful metaphor:

Yes, [H.P.] Lovecraft was a racist. He was a 1930s Democrat. It is actually kind of hard to find 1930s democrats who weren’t racists. Eugenics then was the “scientific” equivalent to Global Warming today. The “science was settled”. Proper good thinking folks didn’t question it and the world’s governments used Eugenics as an excuse for all sorts of programs that seem insane to us today.

Ooooh, that’s gotta sting.  It’s that kind of wordsmithing that makes one a New York Times bestselling author, I suppose.

Even Squirty likes H.P. Lovecraft

Even Squirty likes H.P. Lovecraft

Permanent Revolution

A followup to a thought I had over at Morgan’s place.

If you asked me to outline my ideal political program — something along the lines of “list the first ten things you’d do if you were made emperor for a day” — I could give you something coherent in fairly short order.  They’d be mostly or entirely negative, of course — “stop the government from doing X, Y, and Z” — but they’d be specific and implementable.

Can the Left do that?  I seriously doubt it.  As I said over there, the Left, being godless, is in a rather odd position.  They have to analyze everything in terms of raw, human power relations — Lenin’s famous “Who? Whom?” — but they themselves don’t fit into that scheme.  They are neither subjects nor objects, neither the who nor the whom.  They’re always agitating for the government to do something to or for some other group.

We’re so used to this that even those of us who make Left-watching a hobby rarely remark on just how weird that is.  How a-political, actually.  If politics is the art of the possible, or the working out of the general will, or however you want to define it, then your rank-and-file liberal rarely does anything explicitly political at all.  They suggest no compromises, offer no quids pro quo.  They rarely propose policies, and they sure as hell don’t follow up on the ones they do.  You could, in fact, make a pretty solid case, as Tom Simon does here, that they haven’t had a new idea since 1914.  (I’d personally argue for 1955, the publication date of Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization, but whatever – it’s been half a century at least).  And, of course, they’re famously unable to define their terms — just what is this “social justice” you keep going on about, comrade?  Does it come with a side of fries?

It’s almost Puritanical.  I’m not the first guy to suggest that Leftism is basically curdled Calvinism — Michael Walzer is, I think, and more recently this Mencius Moldbug guy — but neither of them, I believe, remark on the displacement activity aspect of it.  Puritans were famously pious, and were forever searching for signs that they were among The Elect, even though their own deepest convictions held that it was impossible to know, and wouldn’t matter in the slightest even if you did.

Modern liberalism is a lot like that.  Government should do something, rarely specified, for someone, even if — make that especially if — the someones in question don’t want it, can’t use it, or, as is increasingly the case, it’s not actually physically possible.

What do they — the advocates of these policies — get out of it?  They’re just endlessly spinning in place — permanent revolution, if you’ll forgive a bad pun.  Why?

An Irrefutable Argument for the Gamer Gaters

The GG people claim their beef is about ethics in game journalism.

The anti-GG people claim that this is just (poor) cover for misogyny.

Well, GG folks, I give you the UVa Rape Hoax for the win!  Here’s Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson on Twitter:

Tim Dickinson @7im Follow

2) But I’m appalled that people are turning a story about a public institution sitting on an explosive allegation of gang rape on campus

Tim Dickinson @7im Follow

3) into a conversation about ethics in gang-rape journalism.

Well, Timmy, the reason they’re doing that is — follow closely now — your reporter straight-up fucking lied.  About everything.
And it’s not just Krazy Konservative Konspiracy theorists who say so.  I give you the Washington Post:
B4iIlmaCAAAcHWa.png smallThere are really only three possibilities at this point.
1)This chick be cray-cray.  She made up a lot of stuff (because she cray-cray), and Rolling Stone‘s reporter bought it hook, line, and sinker, because all this stuff is just too good to check;
2) The Rolling Stone reporter made up nearly all of this stuff, and found a willing patsy to push it for her;
or
3) Some combination of the above.
My money’s on 3).
See, this is why journalistic ethics matter.  Yeah, Tim Dickinson, it is about “ethics in gang-rape journalism,” because the gang rape didn’t happen.  She made it up.  Just like — drumroll please — Crystal Mangum, of Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax fame, made it up.
There would be no “ethics in gang-rape journalism” problem to discuss if y’all would simply quit fucking making shit up.  Just as there would be no “ethics in game journalism” problem to discuss if game journalists would quit writing fake reviews of games in exchange for blowjobs from wildebeests.
It’s a simple, two-step process:
1) Quit fucking making shit up.
2) When you finally stop fucking making shit up, we can discuss the implications, including the “ethics,” of the real, actual, factual reports of events that really did happen somewhere other than the sick twisted fantasies in some SJW “journalist’s” head.
Mmmmmkay?

Hear Hear!

In other words, a small group of people will no longer enjoy the stranglehold they once possessed over politics, literature, philosophy, history, religion, music, and fine art, to “set the terms of Washington’s debates” and tell readers “what they should care about”.

This is supposed to be a bad thing? Are you kidding me?

Hear hear.  RTWT.

Good Will Hunting is a movie by, for, and about self-congratulatory liberal douchbags, but it does have one of recent cinema’s classic scenes, where Will Hunting tells the Harvard prick that anyone could get his fancy-pants “education” for about a buck-fifty in late charges down at the local library.

In the internet age, it’s even easier than that.  That same library card gets you free internet access, which allows you to become expert-level informed on any issue that takes your fancy.  You may not get the sheepskin with the fancy name on it, but you can take pretty much all of MIT’s course offerings online for free.

Of what possible use, then, is Ross Douthat?  Or Matthew Yglesias?  Or William F. Buckley Jr., for that matter?

Good riddance, boys.

Peer Review

Peer review. It’s not always what you think.

Publisher discovers 50 manuscripts involving fake peer reviewers

Also … check this out.  Fascinating.

Oooh, and I like this, too — added by the guy in the film as a comment.  ”Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit”

1.  Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”

2. Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.

3. Arguments from authority carry little weight — “authorities” have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.

4. Spin more than one hypothesis. If there’s something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives. What survives, the hypothesis that resists disproof in this Darwinian selection among “multiple working hypotheses,” has a much better chance of being the right answer than if you had simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.

5. Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours.  Ask yourself why you like the idea. Compare it fairly with the alternatives. See if you can find reasons for rejecting it. If you don’t, others will.

6. Quantify. If whatever it is you’re explaining has some measure, some numerical quantity attached to it, you’ll be much better able to discriminate among competing hypotheses.

7.  If there’s a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work (including the premise) — not just most of them.

8. Occam’s Razor. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler.

9. Always ask whether the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified. Propositions that are untestable, unfalsifiable are not worth much. Inveterate skeptics must be given the chance to follow your reasoning, to duplicate your experiments and see if they get the same result.

Reviewing the Customer

Now this is interesting.

Travelers are often asked to review their hotel, restaurant and car service. But increasingly, it goes both ways.

Drivers for Uber and Lyft, for example, rate their passengers from one to five stars at the end of each ride. If a rider receives three stars or fewer, the driver and passenger will not be paired up again. And at OpenTable, the restaurant booking system, customers are banned if they do not show for a reservation too many times.

These are among the ways that sophisticated rating systems can turn on the customer, identifying the best and worst among them.

As Vox notes, this will soon be overrun by the SJWs.  Or, at least, they’ll try to overrun it.  In this case, we might actually see some of those “code words” the left keeps accusing us of using — the phrase “obnoxious douchebag” might well come to mean “is a liberal” on review-the-customer sites.  Who, after all, is likeliest to complain about anything and everything, act all entitled, and then leave a 50 cent tip to the female-minority server?