Will be going off to my dacha this week so probably not much poasting.
This week’s events have been dominated by the Charlotteville clashes, and the resulting cyberpurge of the Alt Right and mass felling of Confederate monuments.
Now comes news of the resignation of Steve Bannon.
It will certainly be fun to see the 666D chess theorizing on this one. T he man himself, at any rate, isn’t bothering: “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over.”
This just leaves Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka as representatives of the populist wave that brought Trump to power. All the others have been purged.
Meanwhile, power has drifted towards Wall Street/Goldman Sachs globalists, the Kushner-Trumps, and a triumvirate of warhawk generals (Chief of Staff Gen. Kelly; NatSec Advisor Gen. McMaster; Secretary of Defence Gen. Mattis).
In foreign policy terms, I suppose the main saving grace of this administration – as opposed to an alternate history Hillary Clinton’s – is that Trump has alienated much of the rest of the world. Acording to a recent PEW poll, most countries trust Trump even less than Putin, who needless to say has some major PR problems of his own.
This was, perhaps, unfortunate back when America First was the order of the day, but now that the US is ruled by a nepotistic junta guided by Kushner’s vision, the world’s skepticism towards Trump might become a blessing in disguise, limiting the damage that the people around him can do in the next three years.
* Scott Alexander covers Effective Altruism Global 2017:
I got to talk to people from the Qualia Research Institute, who point out that everyone else is missing something big: the hedonic treadmill. People have a certain baseline amount of happiness. Fix their problems, and they’ll be happy for a while, then go back to baseline. The only solution is to hack consciousness directly, to figure out what exactly happiness is – unpack what we’re looking for when we describe some mental states as having higher positive valence than others – and then add that on to every other mental state directly. This isn’t quite the dreaded wireheading, the widely-feared technology that will make everyone so doped up on techno-super-heroin (or direct electrical stimulation of the brain’s pleasure centers) that they never do anything else. It’s a rewiring of the brain that creates a “perpetual but varied bliss” that “reengineers the network of transition probabilities between emotions” while retaining the capability to do economically useful work. Partly this last criteria is to prevent society from collapsing, but the ultimate goal is:
…the possibility of a full-fledged qualia economy: when people have spare resources and are interested in new states of consciousness, anyone good at mining the state-space for precious gems will have an economic advantage. In principle the whole economy may eventually be entirely based on exploring the state-space of consciousness and trading information about the most valuable contents discovered doing so.
If you’re wondering whether these people’s research involves taking huge amounts of drugs – well, read their blog. My particular favorites are this essay on psychedelic cryptography ie creating messages that only people on certain drugs can read, and this essay on hyperbolic geometry in DMT experiences.
* Wired: Biohackers Encoded Malware in a Strand of DNA.
So this is how Tyranids beat Necrons.
* Wongupparaj, Peera – 2017 – The Flynn effect for verbal and visuospatial short-term and working memory: A cross-temporal meta-analysis
Based on the findings from a cross-temporal meta-analysis using 1754 independent samples (n = 139,677), the Flynn effect was observed across a 43-year period, with changes here expressed in terms of correlations (coefficients) between year of publication and mean memory test scores. Specifically, the Flynn effect was found for forward digit span (r = 0.12, p < 0.01) and forward Corsi block span (r = 0.10, p < 0.01). Moreover, an anti-Flynn effect was found for backward digit span (r = − 0.06, p < 0.01) and for backward Corsi block span (r = − 0.17, p < 0.01). Overall, the results support co-occurrence theories that predict simultaneous secular gains in specialized abilities and declines in g.
James Thompson review: Working memory bombshell
* Davies, Gill – 2017 – Ninety-nine independent genetic loci influencing general cognitive function include genes associated with brain health and structure (N = 280,360)
We found 9,714 genome-wide significant SNPs (P<5 x 10-8) in 99 independent loci… Genetic association results predicted up to 4% of general cognitive function variance in independent samples. There was significant genetic overlap between general cognitive function and information processing speed, as well as many health variables including longevity.
The pace of progress in this sphere is blistering, with major papers published nigh near every month.
* Rabbit reacts to Trump’s Alt Left smear.
(The traditional Alt Left considers itself to be a subset of the Alt Right that but with less thot hate and more rocket ships and radical life extension).
* Noah Carl – 2017 – Cognitive ability and socio-political beliefs and attitudes.
This thesis looks like a very solid, comprehensive overview of the subject.
* New York Times: The engines in North Korea’s newest ICBM’s have been pinpointed to the Yuzhmash missile factory in the Ukraine.
After doing some of my own investigation (thank you Google), I am of the opinion that this story is well-supported by multiple sources of evidence. The engine that NK has been using since Sept 2016 is definitely related to the Soviet engine that this factory built until the 1990′s. This factory still has these engines, and officially continued maintaining them until mid-2015. North Korean spies/officials were detained by Russia in 2011-2012 when they attempted to enter Ukraine to head to this factory. Ukraine fell apart economically and politically in the 2013-2016 period, and this factory announced it would go bankrupt in early 2015, but then somehow managed to survive. Ukraine has a long history of substantial black market arms trading, some of their rockets have ended up in Iran, Syria, and Pakistan. The best Soviet engineers were stationed in Eastern Ukraine during the Cold War for mainly political reasons (most Soviet leaders were ethnically Ukrainian). As for the engine/missile itself, the trajectory of the launches are similar to tests in the Soviet Union during the 70′s-80′s. The design is very similar in the photos that NK has shown. The dimension of the rocket body and the stages are almost a mirror image of the 1980′s examples. US intelligence officials, and the former CIA head, hinted that the US intelligence community was “caught offguard” by the “unlikely pace of the NK missile program” because of “certain factors”. That seems to indicate that the CIA believed (as of late 2016) that NK had somehow received foreign help that substantially boosted the program. Finally, NK has utilized similar tactics to gain a hold of short and medium range missile technology in the 1990′s. They worked closely with Central Asia, Pakistan, and Ukraine to boost their Ulan missile program. Let’s not forget that NK is well-known for its very savvy black market program and unofficial spy network. There were even NK officials found in Syria back in 2015, most likely eyeing the S-300 missiles that Russia brought there.
* Thomas Piketty et al. – 2017 – From Soviets to Oligarchs: Inequality and Property in Russia, 1905-2016
Uses his methods from Capital in the 21st Century to calculate historical inequality in Russia, one of his conclusions is that the welfare of the median Russia hasn’t budged relative to 1989.
There is a point to Bershidsky’s critique that inequality in the USSR was primarily expressed in terms of access, not income differentials, so making direct comparisons with capitalist countries are questionable.
* Latest Navalny investigation: The son of Putin’s spokesman Peskov, Nikolay Chole, lived as hoodlum chav in the UK, with convictions and prison time for stealing cell phones with his Black and Pakistani gangmates; gets luxury car collection, horses on returning to Russia.
* Apart from all his other faults, Alexey Navalny is also a console peasant. Sad!
* Kirill Nesterov, my partner on the ROGPR podcast, has produced two (Russian-language) videos:
* Steve Sailer: Is India the world’s most reactionary civilization?
* Nicholas Nassim Taleb: The insidious racism of Mary Beard and the “diversity” operators
* Some baizuo: Beyond the pale: China’s cheerful racists
To many Chinese, ideas about racial hierarchies are not outdated anathema but unquestioned belief.
In Britain, a politician who uses a defunct idiom like ‘nigger in the woodpile’ loses the whip. In China, racism is a standard undercurrent of public debate. A few months ago, Pan Qinglin, a Tianjin politician, announced to reporters that he had found out how to ‘solve the problem of the black population in Guangdong’ — a province with a small amount of African migration. Warning that the new arrivals brought drugs, sexual assault and infectious diseases, he urged local policy-makers to tighten controls to prevent China turning ‘from a yellow country to a black-and-yellow country’. …
If China wants to realise its aspiration of replacing America as the country the world looks up to, it will need to sort out its race problem. It is an issue which fuels unrest at home, and damages the country’s reputation abroad. Xi Jinping has talked about a ‘Chinese dream’ — let’s hope it exports tolerance, not racism.
* % Europeans that say that generally most people can be trusted. Belorussia can into Hajnal Line!
* Nature: China’s embrace of embryo selection raises thorny questions. (Can anyone spell them out to me?).
* James Thompson: Google Culture Wars (if anyone is still interested in the James Damore affair)
This is really just about the continuing fallout from Charlottesville.
* NYT: Amateur Sleuths Aim to Identify Charlottesville Marchers, but Sometimes Misfire.
The intensity of the meltdowns is something to behold. I have seen people disowning their children/parents/siblings just for supporting the racist/fascist Trump. Really hard to understand this mindset.
For instance, the father of Peter Tefft, a participant in the Unite the Right rally, went so far as to write a public letter denouncing and disowning his son. Not that this saved him from the SJW horde, which began to ask questions about the family’s responsibility for the son’s racism.
His sister, BTW, is a pot-smoking lesbian anarchist. One can perhaps imagine why he radicalized.
It’s hard to be surprised after this, but perhaps the most striking case of Charlottesville Derangement Sundrome I found is a man with self-evident mental problems thinking about reporting his pharmacist for Nazism at /r/politics.
The patient’s reasons for suspicion? Because his pharmacist has a “1776 tattoo and I think maybe an 88 one too, he’s pale and blue eyed and has shaved his head.”
This was apparently an open and shut case according to the denizens of /r/politics: “Get his ass fired!”
The irony that they were singling out someone for persecution on the basis of his skin color flew right over their heads.
No wonder more and more people are writing about the potential of US Civil War II.
But keep things in perspective – the US doesn’t have the ethno-religious fragmentation of Syria or sharp ideological gradient of the Ukraine, and casualties to date have been far lower even than in the 1970/80s terror campaigns of fringe Communist groups in Europe and Japan.
* Audacious Epigone suggests the Alt Right adopt the Maltese Cross of the Crusaders instead of the Nazi swastika.
* In response to Jeffrey Goldberg’s strange claim that Saving Private Ryan was about “a group of very aggressive alt-left protesters invading a beach without a permit,” Timofey Pnin points out that American GI’s were hardcore Alt Right by today’s standards.
More on the Cyberpurge
* Matt Forney: Night Of The Digital Knives: Silicon Valley Launches Biggest Internet Censorship Purge In History
* Jason Reza Jorjani, one of the three main people behind AltRight.com (the other two are Richard Spencer and Daniel Friberg), is resigning from the Alt Right to focus on creating an Iranian nationalist party in exile:
What this also means is that from this moment onward my responsibilities to the cause of liberating Iran from the Islamic Republic have dramatically increased. As I see it, we have several years to form the nucleus of a new regime, before rootless globalists and their Islamist pawns succeed in steering the collapse of the Islamic Republic in a direction that further erodes Iran’s territorial integrity and aborts its cultural rebirth.
* Greg Johnson has compiled the most comprehensive list of shuttenings I have seen to date:
- Counter-Currents has been booted by PayPal and our Facebook page has been deleted.
- Both Red Ice servers were hacked, as were the site owners’ Twitter accounts, and still have not recovered.
- VDare, AltRight.com, and AmRen were bounced from PayPal.
- VDare’s conference next April has been shut down by the venue.
- TRS was taken down by their webhosting company, but got a new host and were back online in 3 hours.
- Mike Enoch was banned for the fourth time from Twitter.
- KickStarter, GoFundMe, and IndieGoGo have all vowed to shut down campaigns related to White Nationalist concerns.
- Pax Dickinson’s Twitter has been shut down.
- Hatreon is offline.
- PolNewsForever’s Twitter has been shut down.
- The Daily Stormer has been targeted with massive DDOS attacks.
- The Daily Stormer domain registration was dropped by GoDaddy, transferred to Google, and then seized by Google.
- The Daily Stormer discord server has been shut down.
- The Altright.com discord server has been shut down.
- Vanguard America’s WordPress and Facebook accounts have been shut down.
- Spotify has removed 27 “hate” bands as defined by the SPLC.
- GoFundMe has taken down campaigns to help James Fields.
- RootBocks has been taken down by its hosting company, but is back online.
- Xurious has been removed from Bandcamp and Soundcloud.
- Daniel Friberg and Christopher Dulny, both Swedes, have been barred from entering the United States because of their presence at Unite the Right.
- Lauren Southern’s Patreon account has been taken down.
- Lauren Southern’s Instagram has been taken down, but is now back up.
- NPI’s Paypal account has been shut down.
- Two upcoming speeches by Richard Spencer have been canceled.
- Identity Europa’s PayPal has been shut down.
- Christopher Cantwell’s Facebook, PayPal, and website are gone.
- Weev’s LinkedIn account has been shut down.
- The Paranormies and other podcasts have been kicked off of Soundcloud.
- YouTube had demonitized controversial videos, making it impossible for dissident video bloggers to make a living from their work.
- Airbnb combed through the social media of people with Charlottesville-area registrations on Unite the Right weekend, and canceled the reservations and accounts of Unite the Right attendees
- Uber has cancelled Baked Alaska’s and James Allsup’s accounts.
- Squarespace is dropping multiple Right-wing sites.
- A Toronto free speech event with Faith Goldy, Jordan Peterson, and Gad Saad has been cancelled.
- Christopher Cantwell’s OKCupid account has been closed.
- Expedia cancelled flights of people they suspected were attending Unite the Right.
- Google removes Gab app from Android store.
- Alternative Right, ed. Andy Nowicki and Colon Liddell, removed by Blogger
- Mailchimp drops accounts from American Renaissance and Identity Europa.