Monthly Archives: April 2012

Since when was Covetousness a Christian value?

Here’s one Mr. Sirota at Salon discussing left-wing Christianity and spouting ignorance. (h/t Secular Right).

in England 1) “religious people are more active citizens (who) volunteer more, donate more to charity and are more likely to campaign on political issues,”

Same in North America. In fact, in North America conservative religious people donate and volunteer more than liberals. You see, conservative religious folks believe in these little things called charity, community, and loving your neighbour, rather than using the state as a device for sanctioned mass looting so individuals can feel free to ignore the poor.

First, they tell us that, contrary to evidence in the United States, the intersection of religion and politics doesn’t have to be fraught with hypocrisy.

Notice how Sirota thinks an ideology based upon freedom, tradition, and/or order is contrary to the Bible, but left-wing ideology based on greed and covetousness is somehow congruent with it.

Summing up the situation, scholar Gregory Paul wrote in the Washington Post that many religious Christians in America simply ignore the Word and “proudly proclaim that the creator of the universe favors free wheeling, deregulated union busting, minimal taxes, especially for wealthy investors, and plutocrat-boosting capitalism as the ideal earthly scheme for his human creations.”

The Creator of the Universe never spoke much about the political economy, except in relation to the tribal polity of Israel in the Old Testament. To assign God to any political ideology is simply silly.

In addition, plutocrat-boosting capitalism is primarily an ideology of liberalism (be it the neo-conservative, socialist, or progressivist kind). Actual right-wingers believe in a neutral free market of uncoerced exchange.

Of course, many Americans who cite Christianity to justify their economic conservatism may not have actually read the Bible.

And most liberals who cite Christianity to justify their economic theft don’t believe the Bible is truth.

No doubt, only a few generations ago, such a conflation of religion and right-wing economics would never fly in America.

That’s because a few generations ago, the left hadn’t begun waging all-out-war on Christianity.

Anyway, I dislike when anybody tries to say there’s a “Christian” political or economic system.

There’s a few political and economic systems that might be inherently unchristian, such as those based on gassing Jews, massacring priests, or purposely starving millions of people, but unless your system requires those kinds of atrocities, there is no “Christian” or “unchristian” system, because Jesus didn’t much talked about the political economy. He mentioned something about rendering unto Caeser his own, but that’s more or less it.

Jesus never said, “woe unto thee who opposeth the welfare state” or “truly, I say to unto thee goods should be exchanged freely in an open marketplace” or “blessed be those who raise taxes”.

Jesus’ message, the Christian message, is spiritual, not material and not political.

So, please Mr. Sirota, refrain from making yourself look silly.

Unplugging

I was reading the Hawaiian Libertarian archives, and came across this post on the media. It got me thinking about my own media consumption habits, which reminded me of this passage from CS Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, where Screwtape, a greater demon, advises a lesser demon on tempting a man:

As this condition becomes more fully established, you will be gradually freed from the tiresome business of providing Pleasures as temptations. As the uneasiness and his reluctance to face it cut him off more and more from all real happiness, and as habit renders the pleasures of vanity and excitement and flippancy at once less pleasant and harder to forgo (for that is what habit fortunately does to a pleasure) you will find that anything or nothing is sufficient to attract his wandering attention. You no longer need a good book, which he really likes, to keep him from his prayers or his work or his sleep; a column of advertisements in yesterday’s paper will do. You can make him waste his time not only in conversation he enjoys with people whom he likes, but in conversations with those he cares nothing about on subjects that bore him. You can make him do nothing at all for long periods. You can keep him up late at night, not roistering, but staring at a dead fire in a cold room. All the healthy and outgoing activities which we want him to avoid can be inhibited and nothing given in return, so that at last he may say, as one of my own patients said on his arrival down here, “I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked”.

The Screwtape Letters (which I’d heavily recommend reading) was written before TV became the dominant form of media consumption, but is an excellent description of what TV does.

I’ve was always more of a gamer, but years ago I would watch TV regularly. Often I found myself watching TV, but not enjoying it. I would watch shows that I didn’t find entertaining simply because I was too bored or lethargic to do anything better with my time.. I would stay up late watching crap or simply flipping through channels watching nothing in particular, neglecting my sleep, but not really having fun either.

Then, I moved into a friend’s house. He didn’t want to pay for cable and neither did I, so we went without. I found I didn’t miss TV at all. I would occasionally have a hankering to watch the Simpsons, but other than that I found there was no loss to my life or happiness, and I had more time for other things.

Now, I still watch some shows (such as Archer and Futurama), because sometimes I just need to lie down and relax for a few hours, without having to read or think too much.

But I only watch shows I have specifically downloaded or purchased on DVD. So, when I do watch TV, I only end up watching what I know I enjoy, so I never find myself wasting time on boring stuff.

I’ve been considering subscribing to Netflix as there’s a show or two on there I want to watch (Community and Arrested Development, specifically). My concern though, is with that much easy selection I might again be tempted to waste more time watching TV than I would like. So, I haven’t subscribed yet, but am considering it.

As for other media. I never listen to the radio anymore and haven’t since I got an MP3 player; I find the talk radio boring and music radio plays only crappy music (ie. non-metal).

I never really watched TV news; I found it was really hard to see through the bias to the deeper meanings at the speed of television and so many of the stories were complete wastes of time.

I did read newspapers regularly, but I’ve been trying to cut back. I still read newspapers as part of my job requires it, but I try to avoid it on my own time.

Keeping up with the news is mostly a waste of time and can actually be harmful. Nassim Taleb wrote about this in the Black Swan (another book I’d recommend); the best filter for news is what you hear from others and too much news can actually be harmful to your thinking as you become trapped in minutiae and narrative.

Besides, the news almost never changes, you can predict exactly what your average newspaper will have each day, all that changes is the details:

  • Local violent crime
  • Heartwarming human interest story
  • Political scandal
  • Political leaders debate bill to remove freedom
  • Middle East violence

If anything is novel enough to care about, you’ll learn about it from somewhere. If you really want to keep up, choose an aggregator, such as Instapundit, it will summarize the bigger stories without requiring much time.

The last form media is the internet; this is where most of my media attention goes. I try to read most of the sites on my blogroll fairly regularly, and I have no regrets about that.

What I do find is that it is very easy to waste time just clicking around doing nothing, rather than doing something more useful. Facebook, and political debates on there are especially bad for this. I find I can waste a lot of time debating useless politics with my friends. I enjoy it, usually, but it’s not really productive. I’ve been trying to post less in the last few weeks, and this blog is helping in that. When I can use the Lightning Round to make snide remarks and larger posts to talk about other interesting topics, I think I waste less time posting and debating things on FB, but it’s something I’m working on.

One other special difficulty is late night; it is very easy to continue to waste time, even when not really having fun or learning anything useful, rather than going to bed to get the sleep I need, but I’m trying to work on that. I did quite good in going to bed at a decent time for a few weeks when I first started trying primal living, but have started staying up late again in the last couple weeks. It’s something to work on.

In conclusion, some tips for readers: if you have cable, get rid of it; you probably won’t miss it. If you need to watch TV, use DVDs or downloads, possibly Netflix, so you can ensure you only watch TV you enjoy. Don’t read newspapers or try to keep up on the news, it’s an unproductive waste of time. Subscribe to an aggregator and/or follow a couple of blogs you like; you’ll get all the news that’s actually important. Try to go to bed on time; that important thing on the internet keeping you up, isn’t really that important.

The Bookshelf: Worthless and Freedom 25

Today, I am going to review two books from the manosphere: Worthless by Aaron Cleary and Freedom Twenty-Five by Frost. I read these books a month or two ago, so the reviews will be fairly short and based on what I remember, but these were the first manosphere book I read and I figure I should give some props to them for their influence, as both the Captain (though more his blog than the actual book, as I graduated a few years ago) and Frost really made me reconsider aspects of my life.

Worthless is more or less a guide to choosing a university degree. It’s a fairly short book, but it goes through a lot of the considerations someone entering university should think about. It outlines which degrees are worthwhile; ie. the STEM fields (or at least most of them) and which you should avoid ie. the liberal arts. The book pulls know punches and presents the harsh reality of the current post-secondary education system. It’s an enjoyably written screed that presents the necessary information without having so much data it overwhelms the narrative.

The one criticism is that a lot  fair amount of the data was Minnesota specific. I don’t think national data would have changed the book much, but would have been somewhat more convincing.

If you are thinking about university buy this book; if you have a loved one thinking about university, buy them this book. If neither applies to you, check it out if the subject matter interests you; it’s still a good read, but not essential.

Freedom Twenty-Five is essentially a short guide to red-pill living. If you’ve been around the manosphere for a while, you probably already know most of what is in the book. On the other hand, I’ve never seen anything else that collects and distills red pill thought in such a convenient matter. The information in there, while mostly basic red pill knowledge, covers information that would otherwise require reading hundreds of posts on dozens on blogs to acquire. The book reads well. The only complaint is that he has some braggadocio that can at is at times be tiring.  The book spoke to me because as I’ve mentioned I found a fair number of similarities between his life and mine prior to when he started his blog and quit his job. It prompted me to try the primal diet (I had known and read of it beforehand, but never tried to apply it). It was also a driver in me starting this blog to explore things for myself.

I heartily recommend the book, especially for those who are just starting to learn of the red pill. Even if you’re familiar with the manosphere, it’s a handy summary of knowledge.

Sexbots

That probably got your attention.

Researchers are now claiming that sexbots will replace prostitutes in the future. Of course, they’re only a half decade behind Roissy (but thanks for coming out, anyway).

The wide-scale use of either sexbots or virtual reality sex seems inevitable. Males’ desire for more realistic pornography and masturbation aids is insatiable.

“The biggest part of the sex experience … is interaction with a woman,” he noted. “He wants to tell her stories, wants her to listen, wants her to act like she cares – a robot’s not going to do that.”

It’s not going to matter. While sex with a real woman will generally be preferable for most men, the people who will be driving the demand are likely those who do not have that option. Roissy more or less has the general trends down.

Omegas will flock to sexbots; the herbivores in Japan have already started to use dating sims, virtual girlfriends, hentai body pills (sorry, no link to that), and other such pre-sexbot aids in large numbers. North American omegas have started to pick up on RealDolls (sorry, again) and the Japanese stuff as well. Omegas have little hope of having sex anyway, so the lack of interaction with women is not going to effect their decisions in the slightest.

For betas, it will be a cost-benefit analysis. Is the expected marginal benefit of a real women over a sexbot worth the cost of putting up with all the crap of dating? For many, I don’t think it will be.

The demand for alphas will increase, but even then, alphas may demand sexbots. They also have a cost-benefit analysis; some alphas might use sexbots once their realistic enough simply because it will be easier than spending hours tolerating painfully stupid conversation in a nightclub.

What Roissy misses though is other major drivers of demand, those who can have the sex they desire with real women due to consent and legality issues.

About a third of men have rape fantasies, something that can not be legally acted upon. Up to 7% of males are clinical pedophiles, something which they can definitely not legally act upon. Then of course, there are the array of fetishists with fantasies that are biologically impossible, such as sadists, furries, or those interested in dickgirls (no links here).

I think that these groups will be some of the biggest customers for sexbots, so they can enact their fantasies which are either impossible or illegal in real life. There will demand for a sexbot that resists, cries, bleeds, and generally acts like it’s being raped and/or abused. There will be demand for sexbots that look eight-years old. There will be a demand for sexbots created in ways that are biologically impossible.

The demand for pornography is already nigh limitless. The demand for realistic sexbots is as well.

The technology will eventually get to the point this demand can be met. Realdolls have become increasingly realistic. Conversational AI is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Robots are becoming increasingly capable. Artificial sex organs are becoming increasingly widespread as masturbatory aids. At this point, it’s simply a matter of degree and putting it all together into an affordable package.

When this occurs, the introduction of sexbots into the marketplace is an inevitability.

Of course, Half-Sigma could be right, the state could ban them.

Social conservatives will also fight them tooth and nail, but will lose the fight as they’ve eventually lost on every fight they’ve fought.

Feminists will most assuredly fight sexbots, as they would greatly reduce females’ power in the sexual marketplace. Feminists have traditionally had great sway over policy, but in this case, I do not think they would realize their power was slipping away until it was too late. At first they will ignore them, as who really cares if a bunch of creepy nerds pleasure themselves with some fancy toys? Then it will slowly move up the sexual value chain from omegas to lesser betas to greater betas and finally to alphas. By the time it’s removed enough betas and alphas from the dating pool for feminists to notice that there are fewer men to date and that those men are demanding more, sexbots will likely already be a fait accompli.

What I think will be the most likely to lead to their restriction introduction will be this:

“And the robots can assume any identity virtually … though we just have 18-plus as the age that the robot behaves like.”

While this company might avoid it (at first), someone will eventually create a sex doll that looks and acts like a five-year-old (or worse, a child-like sex-bot designed to cry and act afraid and in pain); there is too much demand for them not to.

When a child-like sexbot is created, the disgust most people have for pedophiles will boil to the surface and create a general backlash against sexbots. This backlash may succeed in having them banned (barring, of course, the unlikely event of a general rise in acceptance of pedophiles similar to the acceptance of homosexuals, bdsm-types, and the like).

If they are banned though, this will simply create a black-market for the products, just like there is for child pornography and prostitution. The ability for men to be able to act out their most depraved fantasies without suffering the guilt of actually hurting a real person is something that the government will not be able to stifle.

Also, I expect some psychologists and the like to come forward defending deviant sexbots, as it will allow deviants to engage in their sexual activities without harming people, which will probably be good for their mental health,s reduce the likelihood of deviants actually hurting someone, and reduces the demand for prostitution. This could tip the balance towards the liberalization of sexbots.

With sexbots being inevitable, what will be the effects of their introduction? Well, generally not good. As the sexual costs of reclusiveness, unemployment, social awkwardness, etc. decrease, more men will go their own way, leave the marriage market, and contribute less to society economically. Marriage rates will further decrease.

On the other hand, the improved options for men will force women to increase their bids for men still in the market, so the problems of frivolous divorce and unjust family courts and laws may be ameliorated. On the other hand, improved options for men, might increase mens’  instigation of frivolous divorce and tip the scales in the other direction.

Lightning Round – 2012/04/25

Public schools do not exist for the benefit of students. They are holding cells to employ teachers and free women to teach other women’s children.

When you sell your children’s souls to secular culture, why be surprised when secular culture claims them.  (h/t CMDN)

When you sell your soul to those who hate freedom, why be surprised when they try to take yours? (h/t Glenn)

Man up.

On the other hand, some remain free of secular culture and the state. In my province, this would not be possible just living together for a few years means the state controls your domestic relationship.

You mean after they lied to us, stolen from us, and betrayed us at every turn, we’re losing faith in them? How could that possibly happen? (h/t Glenn)

The rabble should know their place.

Nothing to see here. There is no bubble. Related.

Who could have guessed that when the US started towards a European-model economy, they’d have European levels of unemployment? Enjoy that 50% OWS. (via the Captain)

The state wishes to control even the foods you eat and the advice you give. Be wary of advocating paleo, they may come for you. (h/t DG)

Why trying to reason with pro-abortionists and feminists is a waste of time. When they can not even conceive that the other side may have an argument beside being mentally disturbed, there is no point.

A ginned up show trial ends. He won’t be serving time, but since when can failing “to hold cabinet meetings focused on the spiraling crisis” possibly be considered a crime.

A union boss being hypocritical. Colour me surprised. (h/t Glenn)

Choice and Freedom

Slate had an article from last week I read today. For the most part it’s typical liberal feminist rhetoric: women are oppressed, men are treated better, Republican’s are waging “war on women” but the “mommy wars” don’t exist, etc, etc.

But, there’s an interesting question asked in the middle:

For starters, ask yourself why we talk about American men using the language of “freedom” and women in the language of “choice?”

Why is it that women are the sum of their “choices” and men get to just live their lives?

Having asked a rather interesting question, the authors then simply blame it on evil Republicans who hate women, a thoroughly unsatisfying answer to any who aren’t ideologically-blinded feminists.

So, why do we talk about freedom when referring to males, but choice when referring to females (or at least to feminists)?

The first, and most obvious, reason would be abortion. Feminism has irreversibly joined itself to pro-abortion policies and uses the language of choice when discussing the mass killing of the unborn.

But, even when not addressing abortion, or even feminism for that matter, the dichotomy of male freedom and female choice remains in political discussion. Why?

First, we have to look at what is meant by the two words:

Freedom is generally used to mean the ability to act without external constraint. Some have tried to pervert the word with the phrase “positive freedom” (ie. forcing someone else to help you to act), but the original conception, sometimes referred to as “negative freedom”, is the most commonly accepted: the ability to do as you wish with yourself and your resources without someone else using force to stop you.

Choice, on the other hand, refers to the act of selecting an option. Choice implies that options are available and one is selected.

So, how does that relate to politics and sex differences?

Nobody else can give you freedom, others can only take it away. Freedom also implies responsibility: if you are free to act, you are free to act stupidly and will have to live with the consequences of your actions. On the other hand, freedom does not imply that you have the ability to act; just because there are not external constraints, does not mean there are no internal constraints. I am free to fly, but not being Superman, I have to walk.

Choice can be given by others. Choice also implies that I have the ability to act. Because I am not Superman, I can not be said to have the choice to fly.On the other hand, if I lived in Metropolis, Superman could offer me a ride; if he did I would then have the choice of flight.

Knowing this, we can see why men have freedom and women, or at least feminists, have choice.

Men are encouraged to act and when they fail, they are rarely given help; they are expected to pull themselves up. Men who do not provide for themselves are shamed. In the political sphere, the more masculine ideologies (libertarianism and conservatism) are based on freedom.

When men (rarely) organize politically for the benefit of their sex, it is never to demand they be given special privileges or for others to provide for them, it is always to be left free: the fair enforcement of marriage contracts, to not be discriminated against when applying for jobs, to not be treated as de facto guilty when accused, etc.

They advocate for freedom. Men in politics are more inclined to work towards freedom and are not inclined to requiring other to provide for them.

On the other hand, females are encouraged to rely on the state. When they fail, the surrogate husband will take care of them. Women who are provided for are not shamed. In the political sphere, the more feminine ideologies (liberalism, feminism, and progressivism) are based on choice, on giving people choices, even if it requires the state help them, redistributing resources, or removing freedom. They also tend to advocate that the state prevent them from having to live with the consequences of their actions.

When modern females organize politically for the benefit of their sex (ie. post-second wave feminism), the demand for other to provide them with choice is always there: affirmative action, quotas for hiring women, state-funded daycare, state-funded abortions, mandatory contraception insurance, ending sexist jokes, sensitivity training for others, increased welfare, gender parity, increased alimony, etc. Feminists demand choices and demand that others provide these choices for them.

That is why we talk about men in the language of freedom and women in the language of choice.

If feminists do not like being consigned to the language of choice, they can accept freedom.

They would have to accept that freedom may limit choice. If a person can not afford daycare, they go without.

They would have to accept responsibility that comes along with it. If a person has children, they are responsible for raising them and paying for them.

They would have to accept that freedom means that others won’t be forced to provide you with choices. There would be no affirmative action or gender quotas, no state-funding to support choices, little to no welfare, etc.

But, until feminists embrace freedom, they will be consigned to the language of choice.