Science is being taken over by a bunch of people whose paychecks are connected to promoting public hysteria. They differ from Jussie Smollett in that they’re credentialed either in science or journalism.
Tyler Cowen blogs at Marginal Revolution and he is Holbert L. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Director of the Mercatus Center.
He is also a polymath. Here, he interviews another of my favorite polymaths.
When I wrote my first book, which was Maps of Meaning, I was very curious about whether the tension between the communist viewpoint and the Western viewpoint, roughly speaking, was merely a matter of opinion, which is something you might think if you were a moral relativist, or perhaps even a postmodernist — that there’s a multitude of ways that you can set up a society and they’re each equally, arbitrarily valuable. And there’s an infinite set of methods by which a society might be generated. That’s one hypothesis.
As I got deeper and deeper into the analysis of both systems, I thought, “No, that’s just wrong.” There’s some things that the West got. What we designed in the West is a playable game, technically speaking, and what was designed by the communists was a nonplayable game. It was destined to degenerate across time because it couldn’t function in a real-world environment. It was an abstraction that couldn’t maintain itself if it was iterated…
…[W]hen you insist that the right way to view the world is victim versus victimizer, and then you coddle people into exaggeration of their own negative, emotion-centered pathology, you’re going to ensure that the political structure becomes more and more neurotic. If you’re aiming at something and you’re moving rapidly towards it, you’re likely to hit it. And that’s exactly what’s happening on the campuses.
Highly recommended. Interesting comments on the purpose of universities, media disintermediation, sex discrimination, and much else.
Mark Steyn features in a couple of the links which will appear soon in a 14th Anniversary post for this blog, but I’m not waiting for February 19th to post this bit.
This Just In! –
A Cockwomble Reaches for The Hockey Stick
Steyn could use your help defending himself, and the First Amendment, against both Michael “Hokeystick” Mann and Cary “Crazy” Katz.
Punitive lawfare is a preferred weapon of the anti-freedom-of-speech elite, and Steyn is at the forefront of these fights because he wouldn’t abase himself. Under the US justice system, the process has become the punishment.
The Mann case has dragged on for 8 years. Katz, who definitively lost a suit he initiated against Steyn (and refuses to pay up), is a very rich guy who… well you’d have to read about what an evil looter he is, and we don’t have space here.
His fight is your fight.
What can we learn about masculinity from the Covington Catholic High School foofaraw? Who acted like a Man? How would we decide?
Let’s start with what it means to be a Man by revisiting a bit from an earlier post; the Feminist list of toxic masculine traits – stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression. Feminists focus solely on the negative aspects, but there are also positive behaviors associated with that list:
Stoicism. Self-control and fortitude. Overcoming adversity. The absence of whining, enabling men to work in dirty, dangerous, uncomfortable jobs.
Competitiveness. The entrepreneurial impulse. The urge to scientific curiosity. The drive to co-operate by winning within the rules.
Dominance. Negotiating skill. Drive to succeed. Good leadership.
Aggression. Protecting the weak. Response to threats.
Who demonstrated the plus side of those traits? Our competitors are Nathan Phillips, ‘Vietnam era’ Marine and long time Leftist “activist,” and Nick Sandmann, a high school student.
The focus of the SJW ire was (amazingly still is, in many cases) on Sandmann. They want to destroy his life.
But, it was Sandmann who stood calmly while Phillips approached him, chanting and glaring, and continually beating a drum inches from Sandmann’s nose. It was Sandmann, while engaged with Phillips, who signaled to another student to knock off arguing with another protestor after that protestor had said, “Go back to Europe, you don’t belong here.”
There’s little argument that Mr. Sandmann was stoic. After an hour of filthy verbal abuse from the Black supremacists protesting on the Mall, the chaos escalated. In Mr. Phillips, Sandmann suddenly faced an even more confusing and potentially dangerous situation. He did so without complaint. He wasn’t stone faced, you could see the emotions flashing across his face when Mr. Phillips rudely challenged him, but Sandmann controlled them. Mr. Phillips claim he was trying to protect the Black supremacists is ludicrous on its face. Which bring us to competitiveness…
Mr. Phillips’ game was, “I get to play the victim. You get to play the oppressor. 1) I’m going to force you to move, or 2) make you push my drum away from your face. I win when you retreat. I get bonus points if you get physical.”
Turning away is potentially dangerous. If you ‘run,’ you look like prey. If you touch the drum, all hell is likely to break loose. Mr. Sandmann was forced to play, but, seeking a peaceful outcome, he recognized the rules permitted a third choice. Stoic tolerance.
Dominance? Well, Nathan Phillips was obviously trying to incite Mr. Sandmann. Mr. Sandmann peacefully stood his ground despite having his personal space noisily invaded. And, he showed leadership in urging a classmate to cease an argument with one of Mr. Phillips’ fellow protestors.
Finally, aggression. Mr. Phillips was clearly the aggressor. Mr. Sandmann’s response to the threat was controlled and appropriate. Particularly for his age. His parents should be proud of him. Mr. Sandmann’s performance under fire was exemplary.
The Man here was Mr. Sandmann. Mr. Phillips was the toxic adult.
I score it 4-0.
The Maim Scream Media™ should be ejected for the season.
In the United States, we just let Google and Facebook track us. With Twitter brownshirts and the Maim Scream Media™ as the enforcers.
On the whole, the Chicoms are likely fairer, and they’re certainly more circumspect.
See Mark Steyn: The Drumbeat of the Mob
I don’t much like Donald Trump, but, sorry, he’s not the problem.
Talk about toxic personalities and hate speech… you collectivists seriously need a privilege check.
I see some “conservatives” telling the Covington boys, “Don’t wear MAGA hats so you can avoid confrontation.”
That is teaching the wrong lesson on so many levels it’s sickening.
But let’s only deal with the free speech implication:
“Your freedom of speech is subservient to confrontational, subjective, racist, fake, hate-filled, collectivist-mob tropes. Even if you don’t say anything. And even if you maintain a calm demeanor.
You should cover your face and kneel, or some adults might Tweet threats to kill you and your family based on their subjective interpretation of your state of mind in a video deceptively edited by people who hate you on sight.”
And an addendum from their own school leadership:
“We not only won’t help, but we’ll castigate you. Because we have accepted that white males have their own peculiar, indelible original sins.”
And what were the Black Hebrew’s chants if not “hate speech?”
And, sorry, I can’t just leave it at free speech. One other implication is, “Dressing like that is ‘asking for it’.” Well, I guess that’s free speech, too.
For those interested, a complete list of Proctor and Gamble brands can be found here.
I made a list of products we do or have used, and was surprised at the extent of it.
Head and Shoulders
There are many, many more. And many, many alternatives.
For me the toughest ones to give up are Tide (I do the laundry, and Tide is superior) and Old Spice (used it for over 5o years, though it’s not what it used to be).
Ah well, it’s a PITA, but Persil works as well as Tide, and I can always find some Bay Rum somewhere.
Michigan paper fires reporter for bias against GOP Senate candidate John James
A reporter called senatorial candidate John James’ campaign asking to set up a post-election interview, and left a voicemail. She didn’t realize her attempt to hang up at the end of her message failed, and unknowingly had disparaging comments about Mr. Jones recorded. The mega-shaming of social media has been brought to bear.
“I have listened to the voicemail left by Brenda Battel to Mr. James‘ campaign, and find no reason to defend this behavior,” said Kate Hessling, editor of The Huron Daily Tribune. “Brenda Battel’s employment has been immediately terminated.”
It can’t be that Ms. Hessling didn’t already know Ms. Battel’s sympathies, and very likely heard similar expressions of them around the office.
She (Hessling) is just embarrassed to have such obvious bias made explicitly public. It threatens the idea of objectivity to which the paper pretends. HA. Ha and ha. Nobody with an IQ over 75 thinks news media are neutral purveyors of fact.
The “reason to defend this behavior” Ms. Hessling is unable to locate would be the First Amendment. What better time for the press to invoke it, than when they are calling Trump Hitler every day for calling them liars and hypocrites. Despairing that John James might beat Debbie Stabenow pales in comparison.
I object to the firing. Battel’s got a First amendment right to her bias, and she works for an organization that not only agrees with that bias, but supposedly holds the First Amendment sacred. Though that doesn’t protect her employment, should she expose the obvious, she didn’t threaten anyone or incite violence.
The Huron Daily Tribune’s smart move would have been to require Battel to read and then write reviews of The Road to Serfdom (free copy at that link) and The Vision of the Anointed, or some similar tomes. You know, sensitivity training.
Mr. James’ smart move would have been publicly objecting to her firing.
I have to point out, contrary to the linked article, that her insults weren’t “inadvertent insults,” they just weren’t supposed to be made public. The worst she’s guilty of is technical incompetence combined with conduct unbecoming a professional. If these were firing offenses for journalists, there would only be a half-dozen of them employed world-wide.
A question I have – idle curiosity – is whether she was speaking to someone else (I couldn’t tell from the recording), or just muttering to herself. If the latter, could it be something encouraged by the environment at The Huron Daily Tribune?
If you think Big Social Media is strangling free speech, or you’re just fed up with being the product, or you are realizing what privacy you’re giving up by using them, or you’re just tired of them lying about all of that; you might find this article of interest.
Never fails to impress, and this is even better than most.
Interviewer (hostile): Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person’s right not to be offended?
Peterson: Because in order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive. I mean, look at the conversation we’re having right now. You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable. […] You’re doing what you should do, which is digging a bit to see what the hell is going on. And that is what you should do. But you’re exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me, and that’s fine. More power to you, as far as I’m concerned.
… a few seconds pass…
Peterson (chuckling kindly): Ha. Gotcha.
Interviewer:You have got me. You have got me. I’m trying to work that through my head. It took awhile. It took awhile. It took awhile.
Watch the whole beautiful thing. Half an hour well spent.
And, BTW, Peterson has a new book out. My copy will be here next Tuesday.