Ouroboros

2014 has come to a close. I’m not the type to chomp at the bit to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the coming one, but it’s an important ritual and so one ought to pay some respect to it.

WordPress tells me I wrote 75 posts this year, so I suppose this makes 76. I guess I can’t claim to have been prolific, but 76 isn’t a terrible number. I think I’ll shoot for at least 100 next year.

Looking back, I think these posts were the best and/or most important ones that I wrote this year:

Emotion, Neoreaction, and the Hearts of Men: A dissection of the wave of attacks on Neoreaction that took place at the beginning of this year.

From Russia with Love: I note that Russians are once again becoming Hollywood’s go-to bad guys and predict that the US will continue to antagonize Russia and that the relations between the two countries will begin to deteriorate. I wrote this in January, and given all that’s happened this year, I think I nailed it (if I do say so myself)!

Subversion versus Exit, East versus West, and Eternal Recurrence: A quick eulogy for the West paired with a proclamation of its coming rebirth.

Batman, Noblesse Oblige, and the Perennial Nature of Aristocracy: An argument that the desire for a ruling aristocracy is ingrained in the human psyche and that we are seeing it cry out all the more loudly these days.

Genealogical Musings and Hypothetical Solutions: Social Justice is the White Man’s Burden of our time. While I didn’t go so far as to point out that Progressivism and the White Man’s Burden are two sides of the same coin, hopelessly intertwined and unable to live without each other, I really should have done so.

A Multicultural Gedankenexperiment: Some thoughts on ethnic diversity and cultural cohesion. Ethno-nationalism is not necessary for a highly functional society, but without it, you need a strong, homogenous, overarching culture.

Gay Pride, Status Signaling, and Fetishes: We fetishize what we do not have, and in certain circumstances this can lead to self-destructive feedback mechanisms.

IQ Shredders, Theory of Mind, and Vladamir Putin: We are losing the ability to understand that other people can have beliefs and goals that are very different from our own. Why? I put forth some ideas that will become very important for my “Theory of Mind” series and I nab a “Quote Note” from Nick Land in the process.

Fire and Ice: Life and Death. Male and Female. Fire and Ice. They are all connected. Definitely on the more mystic side, but it manages to avoid being opaque.

An Age of Monsters: Darkness corrupts those whom it touches young, and the time will come in which some very bad things will be done by those who were raised in the shadow of burning towers.

The Way of the Gang: Criminal Gangs are a form of modern-day tribalism. They are well-placed to take advantage of any potential challenges to the primacy of the nation-state.

A Theory of Theory of Mind: Part One: Some bold claims and speculative hypotheses on the relation between theory of mind, verbal IQ, and associative horizon.

I was also published on Social Matter and started letting some of my more fragmented thoughts fly in a series of posts that has been immense fun for me to write and that people seem to have enjoyed greatly.

I ended 2013 somewhat unsure of quite what I was doing with this blog and where to go with it. I am ending 2014 in much the same way, but I’m still having fun writing and I’ve certainly run across quite a lot of interesting and highly intelligent people by having done so. Neoreaction saw an impressive influx of voices and minds this year and I’m grateful that I was able to become acquainted with so many of them.

So there’s that.

Now, what do I plan on doing in 2015? Well, there are a few milestones coming up for me on a personal note. I suppose I’m looking forward to them. Otherwise, however, 2015 is going to be a strange year for me. 2014 was a year of excitement, adventures, and challenges, while 2015 looks like it will be much more a test of endurance, patience, and dealing with repetition. Ugh. Here’s hoping I can manage to make it stimulating enough for me to deal with it properly!

On the blog front, there are still a few topics I need to handle, including theory of mind, the teleology of society, and how we model the world. Expect ideas on deep states to pop up from time to time, as well as thoughts on Atlanteanism. I’ve also got a post in the pipeline about how we use the word “Reactionary”, though I’m still putting my thoughts together on the matter and I’m in no rush to get it out.

I did also promise a long time ago to write some Neoreactionary fiction. While I can’t bring myself to finish the one story I did start, I do have a few other notes written up for other short works. I might get around to putting them together. We shall see, I suppose…

I know some people enjoy these sorts of things, so here are my blog stats for the year 2014 (as of right now):

  • Roughly 21,000 unique visitors (it’s 21,175 at the moment).
  • Over 53,000 views (it’s just a hair over 53,850 at the moment, so with a decent push I might break 54,000 before year’s end).
  • 270 comments
  • 95 likes on my posts
  • Excluding search engines, the top three referrers were freenortherner.com, xenosystems.net, and neorxn.com. Free Northerner deserves a extra-large “thank you”, given how he’s taking up 2 of the top three spots, but Nick Land hasn’t been too shabby either. Thank you, you two, and thank you to everyone else who’s been sending traffic my way this year. You all know who you are, and don’t think it goes unappreciated.

Finally, I’d like to extend a special thanks to Vulture of Critique. He is perhaps one of the most underrated bloggers I know of, and there’s no one better I know of to call me out when I make an illogical jump or just outright say something stupid. He manages to hit an astonishingly wide array of topics and he always has something interesting to say. If you aren’t reading him already, I recommend making a habit of doing so in 2015.

That’s all I’ve got to say for 2014. It was a great year that I’m glad to be done with and 2015 will be a rough year I look forward to experiencing. I hope you all have something worth looking forward to in the new year, and I’d like to wish a very Happy New Year to everyone reading this!

ANNUS MIRABILIS

Friday Night Fragments #8

First on the menu:

HAPPY BOXING DAY!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that it was full of spending time with your families or drinking eggnog or dancing around naked on the solstice or whatever it is that all you degenerates do (We pretend not to judge here at The Legionnaire).

I suppose I should throw together some kind of “year in review” and/or some kind of look towards the future. We’ll see if I can put something together or not. Frankly, this year went by so quickly I don’t think I’ll be able to get it all processed until March or so.

That said, let’s start fragmenting:

This little piece is not relevant to anything in particular at the moment, but it was great food for thought.

If large numbers of people believe something, this is very good reason to view it with skepticism, but if no one believes it, there’s probably a good reason for that too.

There are two types of power fantasies: proactive and reactive. Proactive fantasies are those in which an individual is willing to put forth effort and actively engage with the outside world in order to accrue power. Reactive fantasies are those in which power is given to you and you do nothing more than take advantage of it. A fantasy of going off to train in a shaolin monastery for a few years to become an expert in kung fu is an example of a proactive fantasy. Discovering that an unknown relative has bequeathed you a considerable fortune is an example of a reactive fantasy.

Obviously, this can be broken down into various components (how you get power, what you do when you have it…etc), but even taking this into account, I see two big trends dealing with power fantasies lately:

1. Women overwhelmingly gravitate towards reactive fantasies.

2. Reactive fantasies are becoming the dominant narratives in popular culture.

Make of this what you will. I certainly know what I think.

I received a tip-off from a acquaintance working in retail that effeminate-looking guys who work in sales can sell anything to a woman if they use their gayest voice. Their hypothesis was that women will buy anything from you if get them to envision you as some kind of surrogate “gay best friend”. I can’t say that I fit the criteria to pull this off, but I figured I’d pass this along for my readers to test out if they happen to be both effeminate-looking and in some kind of sales position.

In a previous Friday Night Fragments, I suggested a quick tie-in of the 4 temperaments with MBTI. One thing I think I failed to do is emphasize how that was a relative, not an absolute, classification. When I say something along the lines that “INTPs are phlegmatic”, I am saying that they tend towards being generally more phlegmatic than the other rationals. I am not saying that they necessarily are always going to be more phlegmatic (or even that they could necessarily be classified as such).

What makes a society thrive? Many reactionaries would say stability. Yet, how can we define stability? Is it a lack of disruptive influences? Is it the ability to weather numerous challenges? Is it the ability to adapt and overcome changing circumstances?

Is it better to have a stable society or an adaptable one?

Which one to prefer? Which one are we to support? Which one ought we try to build?

Here’s another scribbling from my notebook that I somehow forgot to touch on when I was dealing with all that “Deep State” stuff:

“Deep States and organized criminal associations are manifestations of the same phenomenon.”

Every once in a while, certain ideas pop into my head and I have to reverse-engineer how my mind arrived at the conclusion. This is one of those instances. It looks like what I was thinking here was that the same sort of economic, political, and social conditions that give rise to the emergence of mafia-like organizations also create the same kinds of conditions in which leaders of  government and other important institutions begin to exercise power through “less than official” means.

Sounds feasible to me.

Speaking of organized crime, this TED talk is one of the few that isn’t horribly shitty (well, at least the transcript was good…I don’t watch them anymore because it’s so much faster to just read them).

Most people, when trying to figure out what something “is”, resort to trying to understand the ontology of a thing. The general trend with certain neoreactionary types as of late has been to understand the teleology and derive the ontology from that. What it interesting about this approach is that it frequently yields different ontological conclusions than if we had simply tried to understand the ontology itself. what are we to conclude from this?

Have we ever bothered explicitly hashing out what the neoreactionary position is on the relationship between teleology and ontology?

Nick B. Steves has half-jokingly accused me of “dense millennial mysticism” with my “Love the Way You Lie” post. Considering how even I still haven’t figured out quite what it’s about, that’s not an unfair generalization. In the spirit of accommodating St. Nick (see what I did there?), I thought I finish this up with just a bit more dense millennial mysticism:

Fire is strong in proportion to what it is trying to burn. The biggest the tinder the hotter the burn. Men of fire are those who always and inevitably rise to the occasion, gaining — not losing but gaining — energy in the face of nigh-insurmountable challenges…

…And we deflate to apathy and lethargy when there is nothing interesting to do.

AD MULTOS ANNOS!

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

The fire is popping and crackling next to me. The rest of my family is asleep, save for my brother, who is engrossed in his laptop and paying no attention to the world around him. The lights on the tree are shining and the light is illuminating the presents under the tree.

I move out of my chair and sit in front of the fire. It’s been burning since last night, and though it was starting to die down when I came downstairs, a couple pokes in the right spots were enough to get it blazing up again.

Soon the rest of my family will rise. There will be eating. There will be drinking. There will be laughing and joking and a great lightness of spirit. We will open presents and rejoice in our love for each other. Then we will visit our cousins and there will be laughing and joking and merriment anew.

I continue staring into the fire. I have a busy day before me, but at this moment I am content to gaze into the flames. The fire is roaring now, licking at the magnificent yule log that we threw in there the night before. The warmth of the fire on my face touches me more deeply than the combined impact of all that I have experienced this year. It speaks to me of all that has happened and all that is yet to come. It speaks to me of the timeless essence of the human spirit, always burning, always bright, unstoppable and indefatigable, even when all seems meaningless. It speaks to me of joy. It speaks to me of hope.

The sun is starting to creep over the horizon now and the first rays of light are seeping in through the window. Soon the rest of my family will rise. Soon.

For the first time this year, I feel at peace.

Merry Christmas.

PAX TECUM

A Theory of Theory of Mind: Part 2

I ended my last post on this subject with a question. Is verbal IQ directly related to theory of mind?

It’s a tricky question, of course. This sort of thing is a venture into highly speculative territory (which is, of course, what makes it so fun). I believe the answer is “yes”. I believe there is a direct link between verbal IQ and theory of mind.

(Side Note: Why then did I devote so many words in my last post to hypothesizing an indirect connection? To explore some ideas I had and start laying out a possible map as to which cognitive processes are most strongly connected to each other.)

Bryce hit the nail on the head in the comments section, however.

“How do you verify the usage of words? By comparing observable behavior.

How do you construct a theory of mind? By comparing observable behavior.”

 In short, one becomes good with words by observing how they are used and how they can be manipulated, which is the same way that one learns to interact with people.So where does that leave some of my previous speculations? Well, let’s begin.

Before we tie up all these threads together though, it’s worth reading this article that was suggested to me by commenter Lesser Bull.

Let’s do some synthesis.

Charlton suggests the existence of two types of minds: Systemizing and Empathizing. The former is primarily wired to understand things, the latter is primarily wired to understanding people. These categories map fairly well onto my Verbal/Mathematical mental split. The Systemizers/Mathematical people tend towards developing mental models based on rational conclusions and step-by-step analysis. This makes them more inclined to mathematical reasoning and other subjects that require rigid frameworks (things that make sense…i.e mathematics, physics, Chess…etc). The Empathizers/Verbal people tend towards developing mental models based on empirical observations and prior results. This males them more inclined towards subjects that are less rigid and offer more of a human elements (things that sometimes seem irrational…i.e. psychology, poetry, anything heavily involving people…etc).

Interestingly enough, certain fields have a tendency to rely heavily on both types of intelligences (i.e. philosophy, law…etc) which enables people of both predilections to be able to succeed as long as they are able to shore up their weaker aspect.

Furthermore, I think the mathematical types tend to have more conscientiousness than associative horizon, and the verbal types more associative horizon and less conscientiousness than the mathematical types, though I’ll admit this is just wild speculation on my part.

Are these hard categories? Of course not. They are fuzzy clusters at best, and each of the components could be flipped to the “other” one without influencing any of the other characteristics (i.e. an introvert with high verbal IQ, associative horizon…etc). It is worth emphasizing that these are caricatures designed to represent opposite ends of a spectrum. Such extreme examples are uncommon in practice, but in understanding them we can better recognize patterns that occur.

Here’s a few more threads I think need to be tied together:

It’s my suspicion that Verbal IQ isn’t just tied to the written word, but also the spoken. Although spoken comprehension and written comprehension are slightly different skill-sets (as you will know if you have ever tried to develop proficiency in a foreign language), they are both tied to verbal IQ. Now, what happens if you are good at speaking? You can converse well with people, which gives you a better idea of what they are like, which contributes greatly to theory of mind. It’s tenuous, I know, but it’s something, and there seems to be something to it.

Additionally, let’s look at something I wrote previously:

“I have a powerful intuition that theory of mind is strongly linked to verbal IQ, which would imply that verbal intelligence is strongly linked to navigating social environments and the commensurate abilities that entails, such as being able to tell friend from foe and engage with people who are either of those things. If this is the case, perhaps it is not a good thing that IQ shredders might only be deleterious to verbal, and not mathematical or visuo-spatial intelligence…

I also suspect that verbal IQ also be related to ones ability to navigate rules and social structures. I have no idea how this connection might work, yet I can’t help but suspect that there is a link here that is waiting to be uncovered. I will return to this subject if I manage to put together a plausible-sounding theory or otherwise find evidence to support or disprove this possibility.”

Let’s see if I can do any better than I did 5 months ago. Theory of mind and verbal IQ go hand-in-hand due the the underlying way in which both are developed, which is through empirical means. This ability to speak well and deal with people well not only lends one to navigate social structures well, but also established rules. Why should this be?

The social thing should be obvious enough at this point. As for the rules? Well, part of this boils down to that rational-type processing interacting with the verbal-type processing (knowing EXACTLY what the rules mean and being able to understand the EXACT implications) and part of it boils down to being able to understand what the people who set the rules were thinking, what the people enforcing them are thinking, and how to get away with breaking them.

Finally, I think I’ll conclude by stating explicitly what I have already been implying: that a preference for rationality contributes to skill in mathematical processing and a preference for empiricism contributes to verbal IQ and theory of mind. Does this process also go the other way (verbal IQ contributing to preference for empiricism and mathematical IQ contributing to preference for rationality)? I don’t know, but I suspect that this is very much the case.

I can’t speak to the role of genetics in this process, but I will guess that the tendency to which one gravitates is determined mostly by genes.

Is there some deeper underlying factor that I might be missing here? Possibly. In fact, I’m half-expecting that (I generally assume that there is probably some factor that I’m missing when I dive into these sorts of things). Still, I think it is safe to assume that verbal IQ and mathematical IQ, while correlated with many cognitive factors, are more strongly correlated with some processes than others and that they are decent indicators of two very particulars types of mind at work.

I started digging into this topic to answer a single question: Why is it that people who are brilliant at objective analysis are terrible at understanding people (and vice versa, to a certain degree)?

My final answer? People who are good at analyzing objects have a cognitive processing style that makes them good at analyzing objects (i.e. mathematical IQ, conscientiousness..etc). Their skill in this area comes at the expense of understanding people, who are not objects and behave differently than objects, and so require a different suite of cognitive traits to understand (verbal IQ, associative horizon…etc). It may not be the best answer, but I think it is a fairly good one.

You’ll notice, however, that this schema falls apart when applied to sociopaths, autistics, and anyone else who is not quite “neurotypical”. Dare I wander into this morass and sort it all out?

I can’t wait to find out…

SPQR

Friday Night Fragments #7

It appears that we’ve hit the lucky number seven on these round-ups. That’s actually a fair number of fragments, and I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve so far been able to think of things to put out each week.

Surprises aside, there have been quite a number of interesting things being said elsewhere this past week, and it only seems fair to give credit where credit is due. As such, this is going to be more of a link-fest than anything else this week.

-Free Northerner took me up on the challenge to tackle bisexuality through a Neoreactionary lens. He makes a clear distinction between bisexuality as a behavior and bisexuality as an innate preference, which I think is an important separation to make.

-Illimitable Man has put together a proper examination of “the shit test”. The shit test, like so many red-pill concepts, is widely conceptualized in a very narrow, limited way and given less analysis than is due. I suppose this failure of imagination is a side effect of the tendency of so many red-pill men to have no further ambitions than getting laid and lifting weights. Illimitable Man is one of the few who has any inclination to see a bigger picture, and thus one of the few red-pill guys left who has anything interesting to say. Both his blog and his Twitter are worth following.

-The term Neo-Reactionary seems to have made its way to the European continent. This is either convergent evolution of a most linguistic sort, or a poaching of the term (you’ll note they use the hyphen, which is so 2012). For what it’s worth, I’ve had 314 visits to this blog from France since its inception. Make of that what you will…

-There was this:

To publicly promote a political profile of peculiarly self-congratulating moral earnestness it is simultaneously necessary to feed the shadows. What happens unseen is essential to the purification of the image…As democracy ‘matures’, reality is processed increasingly in secret.

Nick Land

The more that your world is an illusion, the more you have to turn to the occult to understand it. In a world of so many illusions, the most dangerous people are the ones who know how to fight in the shadows.

-Finally, Nydwracu proposes a tripartite political classification based on the Atlantean/Hyperborean distinction, but with a third category: Turanian.

I think I’ve got that Atlantean and Hyperborean concepts down fairly well (mercantile, cosmopolitan, driven by creative destruction versus traditional, hierarchical system primarily bound together by ethnic and/or religious ties), but I feel like there’s a lot I’m missing and my interpretations are more akin to a caricature than a nuanced interpretation.

For what it’s worth, I’ve conceptualized the two as mobile river/sea people versus sedentary farmers. The tricky bit is in adjusting these mental conceptions to fit with a three-part classification.

I’m not going to pretend I understand this “Turanian” thing. If this is really a sea/synthesis/land distinction, shouldn’t they be the farmers? What if this thing is more akin to sailors/farmers/miners? That doesn’t seem right, but the only clue as to what Turanian encompasses is “Turkmenistan”, which doesn’t tell me much. Maybe Turanianism relies on having large deserts and massive reserves of natural gas? That would tie in chunks of the Middle East, interestingly enough. This may actually be the correct classification for one or two countries in that region (depends on where the split between Turanian and Hyperborean lies).

Or maybe it just means being the gatekeepers of the Door to Hell.

Atlantean: Trade and commerce; Hyperborean: Agriculture; Turanian: Resource extraction? And where the hell does industry fit in?

I’m really hoping we get a more fleshed-out explanation of all this.

Last week, I devoted a big chunk of the fragments to a quick overview of the way I conceptualized ideas of the “deep state” in American society. Normally, talk of such things goes hand-in-hand with a hostility to the idea of secret elites controlling everything and demands that ordinary people (and/or honest politicians…like there is such a thing anymore) do something in order to throw off the tentacles of the deep state. You won’t see any of that with me. I see no need to respond with some knee-jerk reaction that presupposes that the existence of such a thing is such a bad idea. It might be, but I’m not going to jump to that sort of conclusion straight away. Hostility on my part towards any sort of “deep state” is commensurate with the degree to which its interests conflict with mine (which is the same standard to which I hold pretty much everything), not its existence.

Side note: To what degree is the development of a “deep state” an inevitable outcome of a government that becomes as large and complex as that of the United States? Corruption seems to play a key role in the evolution of such a thing (note how initial analyses of the deep state idea were based mostly on Italy and Turkey). My guess is that you need a large bureaucratic network, a certain level of corruption, and an official diffusion of key power in order to sow the seeds that lead to the formation of such things, but that’s just me spit-balling off the top of my head. I have no doubt that someone with 5 minutes and a better understanding of how political systems form could produce a better analysis, but this seems like a decent (if rough) start.

Related: Nick Land has begun a discussion of how to practically deal with a Deep State while simultaneously laying the ground work for a Neoreactionary defense of such a thing, which has prompted Bryce to start putting together a theory of the Deep State. Is the Deep State the next meal on the Neoreactionary platter? I do hope so.

I’m still not totally convinced that it was really North Korea that hacked Sony, but the media sure did hop on that narrative and run with it. What are we to make of that?

SPQR

Love the way you lie…

“The only way to a woman’s heart is along the path of torment. I know none other as sure.”
– The Marquis de Sade

 

The feeling in my fingers was slowly slipping away. The wind was howling across my arms and chest, sapping the warmth from my body. I continued hitting the pads with jabs and crosses and kicks. It was freezing. So what? It was the middle of the night. So what? I wasn’t going to quit, and neither was my training partner. Back and forth we went, swapping the pads at intervals to give the other the chance to move around and warm up a bit on this freezing night.

What drives a man to practice Muay Thai in the freezing cold in the middle of the night? Why were the two of us out there when everyone else was cozying up in their warm beds?

The pursuit of pain and struggle. It was not enough for us to train in the warmth of the heated gym. We knew that if we were going to make the kind of progress we sought, we would need to go beyond normal training methods. We know that pain makes you strong, and the more discomfort you can handle, the more progress you can make in transcending your former limitations and carving yourself into something stronger, tougher, harder, and better than before.

We knew we were succeeding when we found ourselves sweating and shivering at the same time.

They say that man will always rise to meet the occasion. This is false. Man will rise to the degree that he is capable of rising. Those with the greatest inner strength will rise the most. If you are never forced to rise, you will never be able to develop the inner strength that will carry you onwards. You can train yourself to rise, but this requires forcing yourself into situations that force you to overcome yourself.

If you really seek to turn yourself into the living fire you must encase yourself in ice.

I have mentioned a couple times recently that getting emotionally involved with an unstable woman is a bad idea. A really bad idea. I hope I’ve made that clear. It is a path of pain.

Why does it hurt so much? Because it takes some very ugly truths about the worst traits of humanity and magnifies them before your eyes, making it impossible not to see them.

Humans are violent and irrational creatures. Most of the time, we seem to manage just fine. Most of us are calibrated so as not to devolve into our darkest, most bestial qualities unless circumstances are very dire indeed. Not all of us are so finely tuned. Some people are triggered in much less trying circumstances.

If we are not careful, these people can create the kind of circumstances that push even the most even-keeled to the brink; the kinds of circumstances that magnify that turbulence at the heart of all people and enable us to see clearly things that remain in calmer times muddled and hidden.

Once such things are seen, they can never be unseen. To have such characteristics exaggerated for us so explicitly  trains us to spot them in other people and in other contexts in which we would otherwise have missed them.

Projection. Denial. Blame-shifting. Rationalization. Ego. Lust. Wrath. The death drive. Depression. Violence. Greed. Lying. Loneliness. Self-deception. Doublethink. Ire. Revulsion. Addiction. Rationalization. Validation. Self-hatred. Cognitive dissonance. Insanity. Complicity.

Imagine all of those compressed into the span of 10 seconds. It’s a high-octane crash course in human psychology. It will break you, but the game doesn’t end there.  Imagine navigating those waters again and again and again and again. For months.

Your breaking is only the beginning.

There is much that you learn about others. There is much that you learn about the human mind. There is much that you learn about yourself.

You won’t like all that you learn. You’ll wish that you could forget some of the darkest truths and most horrible secrets that have been forced upon you. You never will.

If you don’t get out in time, you will learn how to deal with people who should not be dealt with. You will learn exactly how they work. You will reverse-engineer every though that goes through their head. You will be able to perfectly comprehend the mind of a crazy person. The price of this is a piece of yourself. Once it is complete, there will always be a part of you that is stark raving mad. 

The creeping horror comes when you realize that the crazy part of you better understands other people then the normal part. That’s when the truth hits you.

Everyone is crazy. Even you. And no one knows it.

You don’t become the only sane man in the sane asylum. You become so insane that you achieve a level of self-awareness that most people will never muster. And you realize that everyone is just as crazy as you are, and they will never realize it.

Man needs danger and play. The level of each that he needs is not set in stone. The right circumstances can drive him to need more of the one than he should, and very easily too.

Get addicted once to danger, and for the rest of your life you will always crave more.

Get addicted to the pain, and you will know love, for love is the only way to cope.

If someone hurts you enough, you won’t be able to help but falling in love. Don’t think that having a penis makes you immune to this. If you swallow the bait and get hooked, then you won’t be able to tear yourself away from what happens next…not until the pain becomes too much and something has to give.

If it never hits that point, you will never get away.

If you get away, you’re one of the lucky ones. Like Odysseus, you hear the song of the sirens and came out on the other side in one piece. In one piece. In one piece. In one piece.

In one piece?

Get addicted once to the pain, and nothing else will ever be able to give you the same rush.

What you do get is relief, though. If you’re really lucky, the relief will balance the need for the rush. If you’re really lucky, you end up just as functional (or even more so), once you come out the other side. Be proud of yourself. You dodged the bullet. You took a heavy shot and come up standing.

You wonder what would happen if you got hit harder. You never stop wondering. And one day, you’ll realize you desire to be hit again…

What happens when you hit that fork in the road?

How easily we forget that in building paradigms in order to better understand what we can see, we only make ourselves less capable of seeing what truths lurk in the blind spots that we do no know we have.

The same thing I discussed toward the end of this post applies. The amazon thinks that only the alpha can handle here. Is she right? yes. Why would the alpha want to, though? That’s a different question entirely, but suggesting that a true alpha would never have reason to involve himself with such a woman is the act of a coward masquerading as some kind of big man.

Everyone has a dirty lens, and no matter how much we try to clean it, it will still distort reality like a funhouse mirror.

Just as it takes hard work and a lot of pain to make significant strides in the physical realm, so too do you have to deal with people in the best of circumstances and the worst of circumstances to truly understand them. A proper theory of mind cannot be built starting from a priori assumptions and rationally discerned. It has to be forged, and the worst of circumstances provide the best material to incorporate and synthesize.

There are a lot of ways to do this, and some are definitely more painful than others. A lot of times, though, there’s a pay-off. Is it worth it? Only you can know how you will answer that question.

The same principle applies here as that of training Muay Thai on a cold December night. I can’t recommend it. It’s a stupid idea. No one same and rational would do it.

If you seek pain, though, and all that pain can teach you, the calculations are a bit different.

I cannot recommend it. I will never recommend it. If you go in with full knowledge of how much it will hurt, how much it will change you, and how much you will learn, though, I cannot bring myself to stop you. I can only wish you the best.

If you really seek to be able to tame the void and grasp both the wonders and the horrors that lie within, you need to cast yourself into the howling dark and trust that your inner fire is sufficient to handle what will come hurtling in your direction.

Even if it is, though, walking the path will change you forever. How far do you dare go?

UBI DOLOR, IBI AMOR

Friday Night Fragments #6

Here’s a little scribbling I wrote to myself in my notes for this week:

The Cathedral: The true Deep State, or a cultural and political juggernaut at war with the Deep state?

I’ll be honest, I thought it was fairly clever of me to see a distinction. It looks like I wasn’t the only one, though, and it seems my self-satisfaction was misplaced. Nick Land beat me to the punch on the subject with this post, and several of the ideas that are suggested indicate that I was on the right track but I’d started to go off the rails a bit.

Having perused Land’s post and the relevant links, I think I’ve started to put together some idea of how concepts are intertwined and the relationship they have with each other.

The Cathedral – The high church of modernity. The media and academia give sermons and guidance, while non-profits, NGOs, and the State Department promote the good works.

Shallow State – The network of American political consultants that earn their keep of off knowing how to play politics. Essentially political mercenaries, the degree to which they actually influence policy is probably slim, but ambitious politicians across the world will pay lucrative sums for their expertise. “State” is probably not the right word to use for this group of individuals.

Deep State – An amalgamation of major defense and intelligence agencies, co-ordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council. The NSA has co-opted Silicon Valley into the effort, but the degree to which this is voluntary or coercive is up for debate. The same is true of the Deep State’s relationship with Wall Street, which seems to be conducted through the Department of the Treasury. The degree to which Wall Street is an independent player is unknown.

Three entities, each with a certain degree of ambiguity both in their definitions and in their membership. We might be tempted to write off the shallow state, were it not for the fact that it seems that the major shallow state players are tied in closely to certain organs of The Cathedral and of the Deep State. What is their role?

The relationship among the three can only be speculated by those of us not in the know, and even with more information, I fear that any attempt to tease out the connections will be an act of blind men feeling an elephant. Whatever is going on, it is big, it is secret, and there is essentially nothing that we can know for certain.

The degree to which these elements are disparate is also the degree to which their goals may not always align. What happens if there is a conflict among the players in this tripartite web of intrigue?

To the degree do the designs of the Cathedral run counter to the goals of the Deep State?

What if the Cathedral is just a tool of the Deep State to consolidate its power and keep the people in line?

Also in my notes this week, I postulated this:

ENTP – Sanguine
ENTJ – Choleric
INTP – Phlegmatic
INTJ – Melancholic

This is more a general rule of thumb and not a ironclad law, obviously, but anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that this is generally the temperamental pattern that (more often than not) people seem to gravitate towards. If I had to guess, I would go even further and say:

ExxP – Sanguine
ExxJ – Choleric
IxxP – Phlegmatic
IxxJ – Melancholic

Interestingly enough, this would seem to suggest that it is one’s relationship to the outside world and how one perceives it that influences personal temperament (or vice versa…it’s hard to tell and the causal relationship could go either way), and not cognitive processing style. This is odd, as it makes sense to expect that cognitive processing style would have an impact here, but I guess the influence of cognitive style is one of the murky factors that make this a general correlation and not a hard and fast rule.

To what degree is it a good idea for a young man to learn a few foreign languages and some other in-demand skills and become a globe-trotting, techno-commercialist financial/business mercenary?

I’ve linked to Paul Cooijmans before, including some of his stuff on genius (long story short, his theory is that Genius = IQ + conscientiousness + associative horizon). I had a weird thought recently regarding the relationship between IQ and conscientiousness. It seems likely to me that a deficiency of conscientiousness would mildly hamper performance on an IQ test (inattention to detail and things like that causing someone to incorrectly answer questions that their intelligence would predict them to answer correctly), which would lower the final score. In light of this, low conscientious people might score 1 – 3 points lower (my unsubstantiated guess…actual number may be higher) on an IQ test than they would otherwise have received.

A lot of people are square boxes in round holes. Most get ground down into the proper shape over time. Some never do. What sets these people apart is an intrinsic quality and strength of self that makes it impossible for them to ever be ground down to the degree they are “supposed to be”.

If you are one of these people, you will always be one of them. No matter how well you may fit in, no matter how well you may play with others, no mater how functional and successful you may be, you will always be a square peg in a round hole. You will never quite fit, and there will always be a part of you that yearns for the life of the wanderer, always seeking out new horizons and always searching for something new to master and conquer.

You will always be restless. You will very quickly find that staying in the same place and doing the same things is anathema, and anathema is death.

You are cursed to never be content.

Once you accept this, though, there is nothing you cannot do.

ARCANA IMPERII