Assuming an institutional recapture on the part of the forces of Those Trying to Live in Reality (disparate and eccentric as we may be) is a long-term generational project, are there practical ways as individuals we can begin to push against the critical consciousness bs? Or is an action plan the subject of a future essay?

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deletedNov 1, 2023·edited Nov 1, 2023Liked by Lorenzo Warby
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You are Ron around for the end game and that’s Cope.

Its cant as cope.

This is the endgame.



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deletedNov 3, 2023Liked by Lorenzo Warby
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Without speaking for Lorenzo, I can assure you there will be several future essays on that point.

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Sounds awesome. Until then I’ll continue to eat up the essays as they come. Thank you to you both for putting into words what a lot of us are trying to figure out

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Nov 1, 2023Liked by Lorenzo Warby

Trapped in theory, or trapped in dogma?

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Nov 2, 2023·edited Nov 2, 2023Liked by Lorenzo Warby

What I don't understand is why those who well-and-truly believe that reality is socially constructed aren't working very hard at constructing a much nicer one -- one where people aren't all walking around full of shame, guilt, anger and grievance? I get why those who are only in it for the power like this outcome, but what about everybody else? This Utopia they are aiming for -- putting aside the problem that it is impossible -- I don't find it very likeable on its own terms. Why go there?

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Why go there? POWER.

Because they exert power over you to go there, that you don’t want to go there but do is proof of the power.

Same reason for humiliation rituals like masks, the tests to see if you nod at their language, the endless humiliation courses from HR, and so on.

Madam that you get nothing but degradation out of it is the entire point.

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Nov 3, 2023·edited Nov 3, 2023Liked by Lorenzo Warby

I think I understand this, and totally agree, which is why I said 'I get why those who are only in it for the power ...', it's the everybody else that I would like to understand better. Having arrived at the point where you believe that everything is socially constructed, why construct a reality that is all about power? Can't you imagine something better? Alternatively, if you get to the point where you think, everything is about power, all the rest is socially constructed -- wouldn't you immediately take steps to restrict those cruel sadistic narcissists who want to lord it over everybody, starting with over you, in this classroom, right now?

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Nov 3, 2023·edited Nov 3, 2023

Hmmm. I just read this in an unherd article by Kathleen Stock: https://unherd.com/2023/11/dominic-cummings-is-no-reservoir-dog/ https://unherd.com/2023/11/dominic-cummings-is-no-reservoir-dog/ . She's musing about how the poor Brits got saddled with Dominic Cummings as a governmental advisor.

""" It’s hard not to wonder whether his appeal was so great for his employers

because, though they personally couldn’t understand what he was on about,

they were still impressed by the superficial signs of cleverness and staggering

self-belief and desperately hoped it all made sense to someone else. """

This makes me wonder if this is the secret behind the success of Critical Theory as well. Nobody had a 'this emperor has no clothes' moment?

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Dominic Cummings is much, much brighter than Kathleen Stock, and that piece of hers is the sort of thing a Midwit writes about a genuinely clever person.

I mean, in Cummings's position, I'd have scruffed the feminist adviser and booted her out the door as well, because feminism is nonsense. You can see the extent to which it is nonsense if you recall how, during the pandemic, so much focus was placed on "covid virus: women most harmed", when it was clear from very early that males over 50 with comorbidities were the most at-risk group.

Being clever in the way Cummings is clever does not, however, make him a good adviser. In the last 20 or so years we as a society have given far too much leeway to people with poor social skills who do not know how to function in any office environment, let alone the pressure-cooker of the Cabinet Office.

The reason there are no historical records of people who evince the "non-neurotypical" behaviours we associate with Aspergers Syndrome is because, historically, people who behaved like Cummings does as an adult when small simply had traits like that bullied out of them in the schoolyard.

I have no doubt this was unpleasant for the children involved. They did, however, grow up to be functioning adults who could use their intelligence for wider social benefit.

Meanwhile, we have now created a situation where we've saddled ourselves with bright, badly-behaved males who do not know how to work well with others and less-bright "diversity hire" females who want to tell everyone what words to use in text messages. Such a combination is never going to end well.

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"The reason there are no historical records of people who evince the "non-neurotypical" behaviours we associate with Aspergers Syndrome is because, historically, people who behaved like Cummings does as an adult when small simply had traits like that bullied out of them in the schoolyard.

I have no doubt this was unpleasant for the children involved. They did, however, grow up to be functioning adults who could use their intelligence for wider social benefit."

I'm not so sure about this one Helen.

I'm not going to touch the Dominic Cummings vs. The Establishment bit and I'd love to have Lorenzo weigh in on this, but I really think we can see a very long history of very strange men living on the fringes of society who can then come back in and use their intelligence for a wider social benefit.

Right off the top of my head I would cite Saint Francis of Assisi, who stripped naked in the public square and then walked off to live in caves in the mountains and talk to wolves, the moon and the wind.

All of that, to use modern legal euphemisms would be "grounds for seeking a compulsory treatment order".

The more I look for it the more I see it. Saint Anthony (The Great) lived in the desert for years and constantly plagued by visions of demons. It's hardly a Western Christian thing either.

The Chinese mystic Zhuang Zi lived in the mountains, most of his insights appeared as some sort of hallucination, and he was sought out for advice for advice by important government officials. He was offered political positions which he was smart enough to decline.

Baruch Spinoza was kicked out of his Jewish community for telling things that they didn't want to hear. He lived an ascetic life, declined official positions, but was sought out by some of the important people of his day.

I could go on.

The idea of a mystic weirdo living out on the fringe, who may give powerful advice to those who can find him is almost a movie & TV trope. Luke Skywalker begins his hero's journey with a quest to find Old Ben Kenobi who lives out by the dune sea. Later (because George Lucas could never resist milking an idea to death) it's Yoda in the Degoba system.

In the various versions of Bruce Wayne's quest to become The Batman, he usually has to journey to some mystic temple in the Himalayas.

Of course, if someone goes full celibate mystic, they will be totally cut off from historical (memetic) and family (genetic) history so they will never be seen again, but there could be enough of them who retain some tenuous link to human society that they could have a real effect on it.

This maybe a real "Mystic Shamen" version of the rather dubious "Gay Uncle" hypothesis. Even if it only pays off every few centuries, that might be enough evolutionary reinforcement to keep the particular genetic/memetic factors that make such men (and it's going to be 99.9% males) return in future generations.

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The prize case of “may be a wee bit Aspie but productive” surely goes to Sir Isaac Newton. Who was bullied at school, so maybe that explains his quite high administrative capacity: he was a very successful Master of the Mint.

But yes, there is a long history of very eccentric men on the fringes who were intellectually creative, in various senses. They were a small proportion of very eccentric men on the fringes who passed anonymously into history.

Some of them found homes in Christian and Buddhist monastic orders, or Sufi tariqa. Many religions have traditions of hermits.

Such men were not noted for having children, so seem rather an evolutionary dead end. Of course, that may be a way of sorting them out of lineages, as I have suggested for homosexuality. (There may also be a significant overlap between the two groups.) But, as with homosexuals, us being so much the cultural species enables them to contribute memetically if not genetically.

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And we've had at least a generation of... doubling down on being anti-bully.

My experience/default (being <4st wet thru at the time) was to channel the Aspie meltdown. Last time that happened (bullying) in school, it took three rugger props to get me off the cnut.

YMMV, but I've never met a member of my tribe (Even though I'm pretty much a recluse, I trip over A LOT of them regardless) that answers your parody discription. The rare instances have been unaware, unspotted, and undiagnosed; with sociopathy blanking anyone noticing that autism might be part of their psych make-up too.

We are attacked/bullied for baked-in difference. Long it was only noticed that we went ballistic; and never WHY. Put it this way: the "neurotypical" are Hamas and you are blaming the Jews. Give a dog a name and shoot it.

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A lot of folk are not up on the Theory but have been sucked into the status plays it generates. Which gets in the way of the normal mechanisms for restraining bad behaviour.

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Nov 2, 2023Liked by Lorenzo Warby

Brilliant analysis as always

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Nov 3, 2023Liked by Lorenzo Warby

Sanist? I can empathise.

Upfront and personal, I can say psychiatry is somewhat lacking an evidence base to say the least and I think I've had only one psych bod you could say was operating with a full deck. They wisely decamped to General Practice.

I've read about a 1/4 of the linked paper: having to be au fait by neccessity, I think I'm a fair enough judge, and so far there is a lot of dense verbiage; but Chomsky's "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" probably has more semantic range. If I didn't know its' origin I'd suspect it was a Boghossian; Lindsay; and Pluckrose wheeze. Before I'd heard of Peter & Co. I'd have said it was written by a schizophrenic in a particularly florid psychotic episode. I've listened to and read a lot of that in my time, (and written some too!)

I can empathise; but these fools are just making the case for the null hypothesis and then some. Yet more evidence for what happens when you close the institutions without having set up robust 'Care in the Community' first. :-)

A 'Woke', schizophrenic, psychiatrist & ECE. What could possibly go wrong? Its Canadian, so it might be worth seeing if there is something in the melt-waters from the receding ice cap contributing. What a poor benighted nation that is atm.

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Dec 26, 2023Liked by Lorenzo Warby

Re: Pernicious perfectionism

A (very-politically-incorrect) joke from my Engineering school days went something like this: A psychologist, wanting to learn the difference between engineers and scientists, placed a mechanical engineer and a mathematician at one end of a long hallway and a beautiful woman at the other. He told the two men that they could walk toward her, but they could cover only half the distance at a time. The mathematician left in disgust because he realized that he could never get there. The engineer started walking because he figured he could get close enough.

We live in a world of close enough. And close enough got us to the moon and back. Science is a process for discovering successively better approximations of yet-to-be-discovered, capital “T” truths - truths that exist, but that always seem to be just beyond our grasp. Maybe we'll never learn any absolute capital "T" truths (and if we do, how will we know?), but we'll get close enough to do amazing things.

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Very nicely put.

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Dec 26, 2023Liked by Lorenzo Warby

Thanks. I'm a (now retired) Mechanical Engineer turned computer jockey, and I started my IT career working on mainframe computers – which was then very much a “Big Blue,” IBM world. A co-worker once muttered that he hated IBM because they kept sending fixes and enhancements to their operating system rather than, “just getting it right in the first place.”

My response was, “Yeah, and how about those Wright Brothers, messing around with that stupid biplane instead of just building a 747?” The point is that complex systems aren’t built from scratch; they evolve.

And I think that holds true for moral codes as well. The system of ethics on which the founders based the Bill of Rights is no exception. Religious tolerance, for example, did not come out of thin air. Rather it was born out of European exhaustion following a century of bloody conflict between Catholics and Protestants. Even now, religious tolerance is largely confined to the West; religious persecution is the norm in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Slavery was practiced on every inhabited continent and by every race throughout history until Great Britain banned the slave trade in 1833 (and enforced the ban with their navy), and the United States ended the practice on this continent in a bloody civil war. Despite being nominally illegal in every nation today, slavery is still common outside the West: In India (14 million slaves), China (3 million), Pakistan (2 million), Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Mauritania, Haiti, Uzbekistan, and Nepal. Slavery also exists -- though at lower levels -- in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe.

Similarly, while equality under the law for women is the norm in western societies, it is far less common elsewhere. LGBTQ rights are largely confined to the West as well.

These rights took hundreds of years of conflict and debate to identify and enact. Indeed, western ethics is still very much a work in progress and always will be while the West remains vibrant, creative, and dynamic.

Paradoxically, Progressives reject Western Civilization based on a moral code that Western Civilization created, and which Progressives also reject. Their complaint seems to be that the West took too long to adhere to its principles even while those principles were still being debated, and that its adherence has still not achieved perfection. Furthermore, the West stands condemned for not, centuries ago, adopting moral standards that Progressives themselves only recently discovered.

By analogy, the Left would denounce the Wright Brothers not just for failing to fly a 747 on that windy day back in 1903, but for failing to fly a plane that currently exists only as a blueprint on a Boeing engineer’s drawing board.

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