Life is like a poker game and any time you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.Paul Newman
PARSING THE BULLSHIT SPIGOTFILTER
The only things that matter in the ongoing relationship of the citizen and the government is time and the law. Government has a monopoly on legal violence. Government makes law, from time to time. Legislation created, deleted, or amended is the only meaningful focus for the public conversation.Benjamin Disraeli
They talk a lot about the importance of pronouns like he and she, but they don’t give enough attention to the most evil of pronouns: we.
We is deep in our genes. We is the community. We is the home group, the familiar, the trustworthy. We love we. We is belonging. We comforts us. We exalts us. We is the pride in other people’s achievements, while taking them for granted as an entitlement. We is white privilege; and black privilege and brown privilege and any other privilege that includes or excludes people you don’t know. From we, the nebulous idea of the stranger gets defined as everyone out-group, impersonal danger gets imposed on the real world.
We is the origin of the Untermensch. We is the complicity with proxy brutality against unseen human beings. We cherry-picks its gods and its devils, to worship or murder with conscience absolved. We is a trick.Yevgeny Zamiatin
- Rhetoric is bullshit. Fine words, however well-spoken, are worthless.
- Tribalism is bullshit.
- Symbols are a fascist shorthand.
- Opinion is not proof. Opinion about fact is Bullshit Spigot.
- Opinion points the way to evidence.
- Expert opinion points the way to better evidence less time to assess.
- Evidence is the only currency of proof. All else is Bullshit Spigot: gossip, rhetoric, media, propaganda, snake oil selling, lies, misinformation repeated, etc.
- Voters must hold the government to account for not holding corporations accountable.
- Profit made from strangers risks corruption unless there’s personal accountability to the source of the profit, i.e. you.
- Corporations are not accountable but must hunt profit with every human ingenuity, from any exploitable source.
- Public corporations are accountable only to profit, which makes corruption inevitable.
- Government is the only regulator on corruption but rarely acts because it is mostly never held to account.
- If it’s not legally binding, it’s not worth anything.
- Politicians and other public-facing professionals know this.
- Because they know this, expect any non-binding promise to be a smokescreen unless it includes the binding details and commits to a reasonable timeframe.
- Compelling the conformity of strangers – when the behaviour does no direct harm to you – is fascism.
- Doesn’t matter if the compelled conformity is forcing religious dogma (anti-abortion) or ideology (woke identity politics); it’s two cheeks of the same fascist butt.
- Virtue signaling is a lie.
- Virtue signaling is virtue without risk.
- Virtue signallers are usually corrupt.
- BLM by rich corporations
- MeToo by network executives
- Green New Deal by college students or Presidents who’re not legislating environmental solutions
- Climate Change Policy by corporations profiting from biomass when it’s just burning trees instead of coal
- Virtue signaling is an implicit submission to power.
- Identity politics and religious fundamentalism are covers for compelled conformity, and therefore ciphers for fascism.
- Fascism is a dog-eat-dog world where dogs divided by breed compete ruthlessly for dominance.
- In the fascist worldview:
- Mercy is weakness
- Forgiveness is a weakness
- Different breeds are Untermensch
- Untermensch individuals don’t matter
- Ingroup individuals are kin by dint of being the same breed
- Cross-breeding is an anathema
- Untermensch must be subordinated to serve the rules as defined by the most powerful breed.
- Most fascism comes from a legitimate struggle that starts “punching up” but gets poisoned by ambition, weaponized by sociopaths, corrupted in pursuit of power e.g. starving Germans in the 1930s, systemically abused Americans of color, Russian proletariat ground down by decades of totalitarian communism, women subjected to never-ending misogyny, etc.
- Resist the Bullshit Spigot at all times. Never drink without a proven filter. No filter? Don’t drink. It’s sewage.
- The news media business is about profit and power. Their rofit comes from clickbait. Power comes from political orthodoxy.
- Corporate news media is not a trustworthy source.
- The main political function of all media is smokescreen and conditioning.
- Smokescreen aims to distract from reality, which may compromise to allied power, or may fuel demands for real-world accountability on real-world acts. It distracts through gossip and manufactured fear/outrage interlarded with pro-narrative catharsis.
- Conditioning aims to define the orthodoxy to the citizens so the terms of the conversation. The rules of team-purity tests are known to all.
- Ideological news media is not a trustworthy source.
- Expertise means distilled experience, time devoted to analysis so you don’t have to; but could, given through time.
- Professionalism rituals and qualifications, obstacles that ringfence careers that don’t deal with objective knowledge research or everyman data analysis are a sign of entrenched wealth, power and corruption.
- Don’t trust the jobs that hide behind a career where progress isn’t defined by objective knowledge.
- Anyone can be President. Not everyone can teach advanced astrophysics.
- The most damaging (and, ironically, the most helpful) conditioning is unconscious.
- Unconscious conditioning uses animal brain training.
- It’s benign when it’s you training yourself in good fitness habits.
- It’s harmful when it’s you training yourself to be sexually dysfunctional by watching too much porn.
- Conscious conditioning is higher learning. It’s more difficult when there’s no deeper motivation.
- Social media is evil because it’s weaponizing the brain’s natural social E.S.P. to train higher function media messaging.
- It’s unconscious conditioning without a stake in the user’s self-improvement.
- All its resources devoted to prolonging the time spent attached to the conditioning. This dynamic is easy to abuse. It’s abused across the board.
- The simpatico techniques drive extremism and fundamentalism.
- By dint of being unconscious, they’re incompatible with nuance, context, or anything else that requires conscious thought – as it distracts from the path of least resistance between unconscious stimuli and the animal brain reward system.
- In a system with a billion or even millions of organic components – like a country’s population or demographic – it’ll be possible to find outrageous examples of anything. Don’t let this abuse of scale and human instinct manipulate your perceptions of a thing.
- Media uses this cheap tactic all the time, for clickbait and to play with the emotions of the mob. Example: mis-characterizing a protest movement to publicly discredit it and make it an object of fear, like “Black Lives Matter Thugs Riot and Loot” based on photo-reporting a couple of violent actors to headline an otherwise non-violent protest of 100,000 citizens trying to draw attention to genuine grievances.
"Because advertising is only a tiny fraction informative and is mostly manipulative, the ideal consumer has to be in an unconscious autopilot phase, in order for adverts to cause them to buy a car they wouldn't have otherwise bought or buy different deodorant than they'd otherwise buy. And so... in order to be useful to advertisers, we have to be unconscious. And the only way to keep us unconscious is not to challenge us. Basically, to tell us what we think we already know, rather than what we need to know..."
"Programmers have a very precise understanding of truth. You can’t lie to a compiler. Try it sometime. Garbage in, garbage out. Booleans, the ones and zeros, trues and falses, make up the world programmers live in. That’s all there is! I think programming is deep, it teaches us about the non-cyber universe we live in." - Nick Geoghegan
"The forces at work making consumers passive unconscious and receptive are dumbing down mainstream society in brand-loyalty echo chambers. Cognitive bias grows more extreme, more blind to anything but the unchallenging orthodoxy. It is less challenging to be actively doing violence as part of a mob - even if it's a groupthink in your own mind - than to confront a thought-provoking contradiction."
Ostrom's law is an adage that represents how Elinor Ostrom's works in economics challenge previous theoretical frameworks and assumptions about property, especially the commons. Ostrom's detailed analyses of functional examples of the commons create an alternative view of the arrangement of resources that are both practically and theoretically possible. This eponymous law is "a resource arrangement that works in practice can work in theory".
COMPASS, GUNPOWDER, PRINTING
"Again, we should notice the force, effect, and consequences of inventions, which are nowhere more conspicuous than in those three which were unknown to the ancients; namely, printing, gunpowder, and the compass. For these three have changed the appearance and state of the whole world; first in literature, then in warfare, and lastly in navigation: and innumerable changes have been thence derived, so that no empire, sect, or star, appears to have exercised a greater power and influence on human affairs than these mechanical discoveries." - Francis Bacon (1620)