October 28, 2020

In The Interests of Equal Time...(UPDATED)


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October 23, 2020




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October 21, 2020

C'est la Tempête Qui Arrive.

As part of our ongoing policy of attempting to appear big brained and sophisticated, we at Brickmuppet Blog are going to evaluate the results of having the post title in French, which none of us actually speak.


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October 18, 2020

Incoming Storm?

It may not seem like it, but Brickmuppet Blog does generally try to put the political posts below the fold. There are, of course some exceptions to this in an election year, and in general things like the Chinese Social Credit System or clear and present threats to free speech may not be fastidiously placed below, but we do try to not get struggle sessions in your fluff. 

Of course in current year, when everything is crazy and political the policy just not always tenable. 


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October 15, 2020

Why the Uproar?

In the comments to the post before last, a question was asked that about the recent story regarding Biden's E-Mails. It's a question I've seen asked rather a LOT. 

 What I really don't get is why everyone is freaking out about this. Everyone has KNOWN this. 

Indeed the story is not new, and was reasonably well sourced.  But there are solid reasons that this story is causing so much distress on both sides of the aisle right now. 

A: The left has been denying the story about VP Biden extorting Ukrania on behalf of his son... but the New York Post article appears to be a smoking gun that not only refutes the denials, but indicates that Biden specifically, and deliberately lied before Congress when questioned about the matter. 

B: However, the big reason that this "news" is NEWS is the reaction of Facebook, Twitter and other venues outright banning the story.  This is the most blatant and widespread 'Ministry of Truth' crap we've ever seen in the U.S. The media are killing a story that exposes a politician they support. They are cancelling the social-media-accounts (ability to be heard) of anyone who dares LINK to the story on their platforms, and the New York Post's presence on popular social media sites has ended...presumably until they retract. So the Patricians of PaloAlto have their own 50 cent army, the implications of which are terrifying. Note too that Twitter even shut down the president's campaign Twitter feed, an action which is, in effect, a huge-in-kind contribution to the Biden campaign. 

C: This story is troubling even to those not on the right,  and confirms that what we on the right have been saying about media bias for 35 years is true and actually more scary than even we imagined. 

D: Those pictures of Hunter in the tub with the crackpipe, while pathetic,  are priceless. 

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October 12, 2020

Blasphemer !

I was going to write something on this story, but Pixy found a video that sums up this dumpsterfire nicely. 

Makes a not entirely applicable but still non-terrible intro to the previous post. 

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It's Good to Learn the Mistakes of Others. It's Better Yet to Not Repeat Their Mistakes

Pete Zaitcev linked to this piece by Hillel Ofek in The New Atlantis that looks at why Islamic countries tend to have such a dearth of scientific achievement today, despite having been the undisputed world leaders in the sciences early on. 

The article is well researched and informative. While my history degree did not have islamic society in particular as its main focus, this article certainly comports with what I have researched regarding the matter, and clarifies a few specifics regarding the ascendancy of a particular strain (denomination?) of Sunni thought that is generally considered to be the culprit, but as the article proposes, may well have simply accelerated existing trends within the civilization. 

Honest critiques of "The Religion of Peace" are hard to come by in this day and age as they tend to be either the "woke" apologia frequently produced by todays very PC academia or the product of independent researchers who in response to that Islamophillic dynamic....overcompensate to say the least. It's a good article and I suggest you read it in full. Given today's publishing climate and academic realities I'd go so far as to call it brave.

However, the greatest relevance of the article to us today may not be what it says about another society's past, but the implied warnings it holds for our future. 

While it is commonplace to assume that the scientific revolution and the progress of technology were inevitable, in fact, the West is the single sustained success story out of many civilizations with periods of scientific flourishing. Like the Muslims, the ancient Chinese and Indian civilizations, both of which were at one time far more advanced than the West, did not produce the scientific revolution.

Humans have been humaning for as much as 300,000 years over those 30 millennia there have been flashes of brilliance and periods of innovation that gave us math geometry and the ability to do engineering feats build aqueducts to bring water 56 miles from Subbiaco to the Capitoline hill and many other innovations that are not to be sneezed at, but the massive cascading tsunami of knowledge building upon itself without regard to where new knowledge came from as long as it was testable, that we've enjoyed since the renaissance and enlightenment....well that's sort of thing has started a couple of places, but such golden ages always petered out after a decade or two, or were strangled in the crib by entrenched interests (as in  China and Rome)...except for the two closely linked phenomenae of the Renaissance and Enlightenment begetting the industrial revolution. These bizarre bank shots involving a series of very specific, political, cultural, and religious conditions allowed for something that had not occurred in humanity over its  many endeavors over a third of a million years. Using Thomas Newcomb as a completely arbitrary start for the industrial age, we've been in this happy state for about 300 years. 

That's a thousandth of the time we know that humanity has walked the earth (and we can be reasonably sure the earliest known remains were not the earliest people). So, going into the past of humanity and picking any one year there is a one in a thousand chance that one will land in a world ruled by tyranny, oppression, superstition, backwardness, malthusian cycles of despair looming over lives brutish and short with little or no hope of it ever getting better. That's the norm....the median state of humanity...the direction in which history bends. 

The idea that history and the universe inevitably bends towards progress is a product of 300 years of everything getting better every year. Between 1803 and 1903 we had gone from near feudal agrarian societies of subsistence farmers, to cars, electricity, and airplanes. 66 years later there were human footprints on the moon, shortly after that we were sending rock-&-roll, bagpipe music and porn to the STARS! It is easy to see how, given the short lifespans of humans, some saw this as an inevitable trend, but it is a divergence from the mean that represents only 1/1000th of humanities existence.  

Western civilization, and those others that have used its insights to rekindle and build upon their own lost glories are not examples of the arc of history inevitably bending towards progress, they are an example of a middle finger raised against the very norms of the universe. Our societies are like a kayaker fighting heroically against the flow of a maelstrom threatening to drag us down to the foetid depths that humanity will reach by regressing to its mean. 

And we've stopped paddling. 

Returning to Ofek's article, look what was happening in Islamic universities at about the time that Europe was beginning to leapfrog Islamic civilization. 

  No one paid much attention to the work of Averroës after he was driven out of Spain to Morocco, for instance — that is, until Europeans rediscovered his work.

Sounds like Averroës got cancelled. 

The things that made this wondrous aberration in which we live possible are under attack from multiple quarters. The so-called cancel culture used by the cultural enforcers of "wokeness" is becoming every bit as pernicious and stifling as the ash'erite courts in stifling anything outside the accepted norms. One of the reasons that Ofek points to the Ash'erite school for Islam's fall is the inability of the Islamic leadership to reconcile reason and faith, impericism and theology. Christianity explicitly allows for "rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's" in fact Christ himself (not a prophet or apostle) implored people to do so. There is a very distinct understanding in Christianity, that there is a separation between the secular and the sacred. (The cultural basis for the church /state separation so important to our progress).  Sunni theology sees this as another example of how Christians are weak, and that Christianity is the religion of slaves. 

Likewise, the secular religion that is so sweeping our ruling classes sees itself as fully integrated into the power structure and government, which its adherents see as weapons to be wielded against unbelievers. Certainly that is hyperbolic, but it does not seem to be far from the practical result. A twitter mob is little different from a sharia court, except that it cannot dispense an amputation or direct death penalty yet. It can ensure that someone who commits apostasy, or blasphemy against the received wisdom of those in charge, looses their ability to engage, their banking privileges, and their ability to live in peace.   There were, of course, such blacklists, extortions and literal witchunts, in Europe, but given Europe's balkanized nature, one could leave and go somewhere else. Today, the long arm of the blue-check-stassi can reach you anywhere. 

And it gets worse.  

Unlike Islamic theology, which is based on the Koran, today's transgressions can change minute to minute on the whims of hash tags, and be fiendishly non-intuitive (did you know that understanding that astrology is bollocks is...SEXIST?)  

The pernicious influence of Foucault, Derrida, Sarte' and others is attacking the very foundations upon which this civilizational edifice is built, and the implications are terrifying. 

I'm not suggesting that there's going to be a collapse like the Greek dark age (where they literally forgot how to write and had to re-invent the alphabet) . Technologies are rarely lost. Even after the fall of Rome only a few closely held trade secrets like the chemical formula for the Roman's better concretes and the methods of hydraulic excavation were lost. The beau monde wine-moms are unlikely to discard the washing machines and microwave ovens that have liberated them from 300,000 years of domesticity. It's worse than that. You see the very technologies that make the Twittermob so effective can, as we've seen in China, enable a panopticon undreamed of in the worst nightmares of Orwell. That's a set of technologies that the beneficiaries of these toxic trends are unlikely to see fall by the wayside. Getting out from under such a system would be nigh impossible, not only because of its capabilities, but its stability. After all, freedom as we understand it has been an alien concept for the vast majority of 300,000 years. 

We need to really embrace and promote the values of the enlightenment and push back against those who blame it for our ills. Because if we don't, we will not have cast off our chrysalis,  and moved on to greater things in the stars, but, instead, like our many forebears we will regress to the mean...a bad place to be indeed.   

This dynamic might have implications for the Fermi Paradox, but it has more urgency at the moment for us. 

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