• Culture,  Political Correctness,  Politics

    My definition of Woke – the short version – take 1

    Since this seems to be all the rage – I hereby offer my definition of “woke”

    I define “woke” as a belief that society is by default divided into two groups – the oppressors and the oppressed. All social interactions are a zero sum conflict between those two groups. All of history is merely a record of this conflict and nothing else. By default neither group can see this model of reality. However, it is possible for people to see the world accurately for one reason or another. (the process of this realization varies and is not essential to the worldview). This worldview is largely an extreme version of a class based view of the world, however instead of dividing the world up into “workers” and “capitalists”‘ there are many, many more subgroups who make up the oppressed class, and many more subgroups that make up the oppressor class.

    By virtue of having this knowledge one can see the hidden threads throughout history and choose to exercise virtue, which is by advocacy for particular groups in the oppressed class. This is largely expressed as secular evangelism for those groups, and active efforts to reduce the social status of the oppressor class groups.

    The pose is that of evangelism, i.e. convincing people to see the world their way, but the tactics are all destructive, in terms of social media and social status. The focus is entirely on raising and lowering the social status of different groups.

    This worldview is notable for being younger, more tied to social media, fashionable consensus, signaling and being disproportionately female. I suppose a common sense of alienation from society is a necessary part of the definition as well.

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  • Election 2020,  Politics

    The best cases for Trump and Biden

    For Trump:

    1. Regulation – it’s down, hopefully that will continue
    2. Pushback against the lockdown everywhere urge. A nuanced view is the one to have, Trump seems to come closest to that, depressingly.
    3. Foreign Policy – Trump is the most peaceful president since Jimmy Carter – which is of great surprise
    4. A profound lack of ambition and desire for a place in history – mixed with decline in energy due to age means that the pros/deep state are in charge – we’ve survived that for quite a while.

    For Biden

    1. State capacity
    2. Should Biden be elected then the American effort will become a giant success, and the lockdown efforts can get a bit more intelligent
    3. A general cooling down of mood
    4. Similar to #4 above decline in energy due to age means that the pros/deep state are in charge – we’ve survived that for quite a while.

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  • Politics

    The main reason to be against Elizabeth Warren

    I had the realization that she has a lot in common with Trump – namely in that she’s picked a group of resentful people to champion and marketed herself to that group – much like Trump did in 2015-2016. Both she and Trump are walking enemies lists – and America can do better.

    Or maybe it can’t – on the whole Trump has impressed me with the wonderful lack of activity (government governs best that governs least). Maybe not on purpose, but you take what you can get.

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  • Politics,  Quotes

    Selective Lack of Sentiment is the Value-Add of Ideology

    Kevin Williamson kicked off the thought process with this paragraph – referring to the Nation and Mother Jones magazines

    Rather than bring out the best in them — the muckraking, the unsentimental view of American life made possible by a politics not excessively burdened by patriotism — President Donald Trump and his merry men have driven the Left deeper into daft identity politics and vague conspiracy-mongering. Where once there was Christopher Hitchens, now there is the “interactive privilege simulator.” That is not progress.

    Which does raise the thought that it is the unsentimental side of an ideology that has value.

    That would break out to

    Liberals (not the populist left) contribute insight onto

    1. The military
    2. Foreign Policy
    3. The criminal justice system
    4. Come to think of it, anything involving flags and guns
    5. What life is actually like on the bottom

    Conservatives (not the populist right) contribute insight into

    1. Education
    2. Poverty/anything even remotely resembling an underclass
    3. Anything involving the “intersectional/priviledge” – though that is probably a recent development

    Libertarians (there are no populist libertarians) contribute insight into

    1. The actual working of the state, and it’s victims
    2. Insight about the planning fallacy, and central planning – that probably includes all of the insights libertarians have
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  • Politics

    Word Salad – the term for the times

    I heard the closing moments of the Kennedy Nixon debates on Radio Free Bernstein a few weeks ago and was struck by how novel it seemed. – they both seemed genuinely smart, and off the cuff, not rehearsed.  The most striking thing was that there were almost no pauses for emphasis, which meant that the listener has to actually listen (any modern speech you can do the auditory equivalent of skimming, thanks to the pauses).

    Word Salad seems to be the most apt phrase for modern political speech.

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  • Politics

    The notion of privilege

    I think much talk of “privilege” is actually false modesty on the part of the speaker – probably 90% of it actually.  However, Arnold Kling has a list of other factors, particularly

    • being tall
    • having attractive features (or at least not being extremely unattractive)
    • being naturally outgoing (extroverted)
    • not having mental disorders, such as autism, depression, or schizophrenia
    • not having debilitating physical ailments or physical handicaps
    • growing up with your biological father (particularly if you are male).
    • having artistic gifts

    There is no political advantage to either side for these so no one ever talks about them…

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  • Politics

    The 2012 Circus: My problems with Romney

    Problem 1: A liberal, a moderate and a conservative walk into a bar. The bartenders says “Hi Mitt”. Bring unpredictable is not a good thing for a president.

    Problem 2: Mitt had an eye for cutting deadwood, but he doesn’t seem to have a taste for it anymore.

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  • Politics

    The 2012 Circus: My problems with Gingrich

    Problem 1: His magnificent faith in government. Whether it be moon colonies or a costless war with Iran, his optimism towards every government act would embarass most Democrats.

    Problem 2: low moral character. Say what you will about the institution of marriage, but the rules are clear. As we’re living in a sluggish police state I would prefer a chief executive who is not talented at rationalization and comfortable living with contradictions. Divorce is acceptable in a candidate, but since his platform is based on making the government bigger and bolder then his adultery disqualifies him.

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