Friday Night Fragments #39

The internet was marketed as being a gateway to a new age of ever more open communication. In some ways, that is true. And yet, it is hard not to notice that in an age in which every tweet is cataloged and almost no place on earth is beyond the reach of a cell phone camera, the vast majority of people are far more guarded about what they say. Censorship, it seems, is facilitated by openness; a dynamic that seems odd at first until you remember how there is not a man alive who does not intentionally reveal his true thoughts equally among all he knows, but rather, saves certain things only for that small group of those he trusts.

Censorship through openness. Conformity through the quest for uniqueness. Silence through the cacophony of everyone speaking at once.

What a world we live in, huh?

Original zinger of the week from the mind of Donovan Greene:

Change for the sake of change is the imbecile creed of those too naive to realize that they will never even understand one thing about how the world works.

Dispense at your leisure.

I met up with a non-zero number of neoreactionary figures last night. I won’t say how many. I won’t divulge identities. What I will say is that Neoreaction is dead. Yep. Totally. Absolutely dead. Dead as a doornail. Seriously. There is as much spark of life and vivaciousness of soul in Neoreaction as there is in Hillary Clinton’s eyes.

Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropThere is no reason to expect anything further from Neoreaction. None whatsoever. So don’t even bother. Seriously.

Now that the jokes are rolling off the assembly line, let’s get into some linkage:

First on the menu, we examine the question of whether Honduras will be better off with ZEDEs (Zones for Employment and Economic Development…essentially a breed of special autonomous economic zones). The argument in favor is that these types of zones have a proven track record of success in increasing material well-being and standards of living. The argument against seems to be that these projects provide benefit to people who are of a higher class of skill than the type of “labor” we see sneaking across the Rio Grande, and that we should do everything humanly possible in life to avoid rewarding people who have the genetic defect of actually having redeeming qualities.

I’m all for freedom and liberty and free choice, but I see shit like this and I realize just how damn important it is for the unrepentant shit-stains of the world to be neutralized and oppressed and generally prevented from doing any harm to people who actually have the potential to offer up any sort of value to the world.

Speaking of harm, you would think that being co-operative and working together with people will in all circumstances make you better off. This is true when everyone else wants to work together and do no harm. Were this actually the case, we could all live in a fantastic libertarian paradise with no need for the physical removal of undesirables.

We do no live in such a world. We live in a world in which unflinching co-operation is not the most prudent course of action, but rather, being able to assess who is a good ally and who will turn on you someday.

All that sounds pretty nice, but really, it’s just a poor lead-up into the recommendation of Sprandrell’s post on Trade and Peace. Well worth the read.

Finally (at least in terms of this week’s link round-up), we have Social Pathologist’s perspective on rationality and the reflective mind. It’s a very important read, and it also offers a theory on why the phenomenon that I like to call “the high-IQ idiot” exists:

High IQ is no protection against stupid if your conception of how the world works is wrong, of if you have faulty understandings of cause and effect and are romantic impulsive. Furthermore, the failure to error check and test your theories seems to make one prone to irrationality. Indeed, one of the big factors with seems to be strongly correlated with rationality is thinking styles or personality.  People who are conscientious, deliberative and committed to the truth seem better at thinking rationally than those who are not.  What’s interesting to speculate upon here is the relationship between values culture and intelligence.  High IQ is of little protection when you ditch a commitment to the Truth or embrace ideologies (Marxism) which negatively affect rational thought.

Especially in light of the passage above, I don’t think it should be too difficult to figure out exactly the sort of person I mean to refer to when I say “high-IQ idiot”.

It is said that one ought to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves, but I’m not so sure I see how that is possible. Wisdom is scar tissue of the mind, a memorial to wounds long past and a reminder of the consequences of naivete. It is a mark of suffering that is earned by making painful mistakes that slowly strip one of one’s innocence.

It’s a good thing that “innocent” in this context means pure-hearted and well-meaning. Otherwise, we might have had a serious problem here.

Don’t despair if you find yourself no longer a dove. Even serpents have their role to play.

3 thoughts on “Friday Night Fragments #39

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