Discover more from bad cattitude
asches to ashes, all fall down
fear of speaking simple truth is a one way ticket to having your society hijacked. reclaiming it is the path back.
orthogonal is a great word with a lot of meaning and connotation.
of or involving right angles; at right angles.
(of variates) statistically independent.
so when one speaks of an issue being “orthogonal” to another issue, one is saying “it’s not related, it’s not correlated. A does not predict B.
many false presumptions find root in such orthogonal structures. we think that being A means being B. but it doesn’t.
one of the great ones is intelligence.
“is intelligence proof against authority?”
as we have seen so much of late, no.
perhaps a more interesting question is “is it even orthogonal?” i now have doubts.
i used to think it would be, but now i think it’s probably positively correlated to authority submission and authoritarian penchant because it’s a function of the self-regard and status seeking of the smart.
they have more to lose from “being wrong.”
we replicated the asch conformity test in my ivy league psych class. it’s a simple experiment. you’re told you’re taking a vision test. you get a card with 3 lines of different lengths than a second card with one line. you are asked “which line is it most similar to?” it’s an easy test. taken alone pretty much everyone passes. but the real test is a test of conformity. you take it in groups, you are last to go, and all before you pick the same wrong line. most deny their eyes and joins the crowd. i remember being so sure that this would not work on our class. it did. they performed worse than many past sets.
they got about 75% compliance.
we got more like 90.
quite the narcissistic blow for me and for them. but a useful one. i cannot help but wonder how many smart people might wind up better off for having been run through this and seen their own vulnerability first hand.
i did not actually take the test, so i cannot speak to what i‘d have done with any certainty, but i did come away with a deeply useful conclusion:
it’s easier to co-opt the intelligent because they hate nothing so much as looking stupid and they fear being wrong alone far more than they prize being right,
this renders the denial of a simple truth a bluff most “intellectuals” dare not call.
i’ve shared this graphic before:
covid was a serious acid test, but the more i look around at what is going on, the more general i suspect this case to be. and the goal here is see the trick coming so it fails to fool. most of us raised in the US had never really seen propaganda and manipulation like this before. propaganda and brainwashing seemed like quaint ideas of a bygone era. but my friends from eastern europe and russia have been screaming about this for ages.
i thought they were being overly dramatic.
i was wrong.
but once you realize how this works, you see the trick. and you develop an eye for it. i suspect many people could be made to fall for the asch conformity tests over and over so long as you kept changing the subject matter and did not tell them it was a test. but i also suspect that you can teach around this and generate societal antibodies to this sort of manipulation. and free and open speech underpins it all.
we need to create a societal immune system to such predation because it’s making the self-styled “intelligencia” unspeakably dangerous not only because of their conformist tendencies, but because they look at experiments like milgram and stanford and don’t see the risk. they see the opportunity to be the authority figure or the guard. that’s the essence of technocracy.
the thing that breaks this cycle is just the thing that breaks asch: the presence of a true partner. ~25% of people simply do not cave to asch style conformity (at at least this was so in the 1950’s, it may be far lower now and among “intellectuals”) but for the rest, having even one other person in the group speak the correct answer dramatically increases the likelihood that the subject will.
unanimity is VERY powerful.
but as soon as there is dissent, this power breaks.
and this is the way.
there is a reason woke is so savage in its accusations and attacks: it has to be. if it is not, there are too many “true partners” around and the spell breaks. that 25% must be cowed into silence, de-platformed, and disallowed from the debate because if they are not, they might wake up the rest.
so, if woke is to survive, it MUST be oppressive, censorious, and suppressive.
this gathers to it a set of folks with dark psychological traits and melds them into a mass of self delusion that is rarifying itself and driving itself mad as the act of compelling others has even more pernicious effects upon those who inflict the compulsion.
it seems to be suddenly everywhere at a level of stridence that seems to accelerate and become ever more implausible.
it looks fearsome. it’s not. it’s the sign this is all about to unravel.
the very commencement of the breaking of the spell is what induces the magician to give the rest of the game away.
and it’s bizarrely everywhere, right?
and it’s not just the academics going wild with it. it’s the powerful unions and even corporate titans.
now, it’s easy to just presume this is nothing but craziness and the endless keening of a symphony of one note flutes that see the same picture in every inkblot, but if this is so, then let’s ask a question: then why has it been so effective?
how has it managed to dominate the debate and to what end?
how and why has this disseminated so widely into colleges and companies and kindergartens and the mission statements of federal agencies?
how is this even passing for discourse, much less ethos?
because let’s face it, this is not actually a terribly compelling philosophy:
you’d laugh a child out of room for this. and yet here we are in rooms and stadiums and cities full of it. and it’s long past the point of being funny.
something, at core, is driving this. we can argue about whether and to what extent it’s deliberate and cultivated as a means of divide and rule societal conquest with a side order of “distract everyone from the real debate” or just an out of control runaway emergent phenomenon as activism as identity becomes the golem no one can figure out how to shut off and that is mindlessly digging a hole to the center of the earth, but which pertains is not actually that relevant to the assessment of what is going on as process and how to stop it.
in the end, it just boils down to simple salients:
if you can be made to believe absurdities, you can be made to commit atrocities.
if you can be made (even if just through fear and not belief) to accede to wild, obviously false claims, you have been made pliable and submissive. it’s a tool of brainwashing. your name is not bob, it’s paul perhaps it’s barbara. demanding freedom is fascism. 2 + 2 = 5.
and if it seems like everyone around you is agreeing, the pressure to conform even when you know its wrong becomes a dominant social force.
that’s how you get all this contagion.
the power of seeming unanimity. the power of seeming ubiquity.
we get so caught up in the bewilderment of marveling that anyone could say something so obviously inaccurate that we lose sight of the fact that the inaccuracy is not a bug, it’s a feature.
and we keep repeating it.
which makes it seem omnipresent.
it’s how you break people.
it’s how you break minds.
these stories from folks like owrell were not chance, they were astute observation of a fascist moment. they became something that felt like fiction because that moment and the propaganda that accompanied it abated. but it was neither fantasy nor fantastical. it was always chillingly real.
“make orwell fiction again” is pithy hashtag but basically wrong.
it was always truth.
when winston gets dragged to the “ministry of love” to be tortured by the thought police, we see the whole shape of this modern movement to twist and weaponize empathization.
“this is love! it says so right on the door!”
it’s always you who are the criminal for failing to comply with criminal acts and intrusions.
it is always you who must have empathy for me and i shall never have any for you.
this road is entirely one way and some empathy is more equal than others.
there is no darkness. this light is always on and the struggle session awaits you eagerly. the people who run such things never rest, are never satisfied, and are always ready to drag you down to room 101.
all the inversion in naming is deliberate. it’s classic propaganda 101. always accuse the other side of that which you are guilty.
once programmed, it’s a perfect pretext for any atrocity and the worse one acts the worse that which one projects onto everyone else must become to justify it which in turn generates an even more intense need to suppress such an evil enemy.
it’s a sort of societal perpetual warfare machine because the very act of attacking and brainwashing others brainwashes the brainwashers most of all.
winston being battered into accepting that 2+2=5 or that 3 fingers are really 4 is at least understandable. tortured beyond tolerance and wits, a mind breaks. faced with seemingly implacable and irresistible authority a mind breaks and cannot resist forever. faced with seeming social norms and peer pressures, a mind questions itself and struggles to stand alone.
all this is well known and studied.
some other things, perhaps, are not.
but what of the authority figures? what happens to their minds? what stories must the one cranking up the electricity to ensure that the tortured get in line on 2+2= 5 tell themselves to make it OK to be such a person? not good ones, i’ll tell you that.
we may not be dealing with some sinister plan here. it may well mostly be a self-inflicted accelerating insanity curve. even that which started as “marxism 101” to eliminate loyalties and indoctrinate faces this risk of running out of control as the grifters are replaced by zealots and that can only go one way:
once you start this process of demanding that others ascribe to your hallucinatory worldview and cow them to your indefensible ethos, it’s just about power.
it can be about nothing else.
you’re running up a form of psychic debt from playing the bully and the villain and being beastly to people. everyone is the good guy in their own movie. they do not and cannot be “the monster.” it’s basically not psychologically possible.
so such movements start by sucking in aspiring vanity and narcissistic/dark triad personality types, but what it does to them once inducted is something altogether more horrible.
it grants power, privilege, and prerogative through the imposition inversion and nonsense. it pretends that oppression is empathy. it makes viciousness into virtue and slavish illogic into ideological intellectual regimes of imposition whose practitioners mistake it for pluralism and tolerance. because it must. because that is the only way that the people who are doing such things can tell themselves that they are the heroes of these stories. and each atrocity or attack you commit drags you deeper into debt and more dependent on stories of ever accelerating stridence.
the big lie is covered by bigger lies.
consider susan above. it’s racist/homo/transphobic to remove pandemic protections and you are a fascist if you try. i suspect she sincerely holds this view. but every single part of it is an inversion and the rationalizations are stacked like a matryoshka doll of self-delusion.
but these “protections” were nothing of the sort. none worked. they were made up pseudoscience, were known to be such, and have been proven over and over to be ineffective. they were imposed by diktat despite this in violation of all manner of rights and morality. but now you’re racist and fascist and want to “erase” her if you want your life back.
this ethos takes from you then changes all the definitions so if you try to keep anything it is you who are committing “violence” and you who are evil and you who must be resisted and stopped at all costs because your choice is existential threat to susan joudry, phd and the chicago teacher’s union and all the poor little marginalized common folk they have mascotted and purport to defend so that they may wreathe their own desire to dominate in a false cloak of empathetic sponsorship.
and in one sense, susan may be right: your choice does represent an existential threat.
but only to her.
only to her sense of self and her aspirations to power.
2+2 can only equal 5 while she holds this power. it reverts mercilessly to 4 the minute she does not because reality is not optional. it take great energy to hold it in this false state and make others play along. the further out into unreality one climbs on this ideology as identity hallucination, the wilder the lies must get, the more extreme the othering and vilification, and the harder it is to keep “true partners” in check.
this is suddenly absolutely everywhere because we’re hitting the exponential, the doubling and doubling again where suddenly everyone has the flu instead of a few folks. it’s also how this blows off. it’s the bridge WAY too far and this whole academic and thought leader infection vector is about to burn itself out as cancel culture rounds upon them. they have reached the breaking point where it’s just too much, too absurd, and no one wants to play this crazy game with them anymore.
we want to reclaim logic and sanity.
and as one, we begin to speak.
the path is very, very simple.
because this whole set of claims is internally indefensible.
flashpoint personification dylan (video here) believes that calling him a man should be illegal.
let’s consider what that means:
however one feels about gender identity, one thing remains clear:
demanding the right to one's own worldview is not consistent with demanding that all others alter theirs to agree.
it's self refuting.
if you will not accept the choices of others, why should they accept yours?
we're not talking about slavery here or theft.
it's not a violation of the right to self determination, the sanctity of one's person, or a right to property.
and everyone gets to have one or no one does.
the kinds of positive rights structures that would allow me to require by law that you only describe the world as i see fit do not create a world any sane person should want to live in.
equating that with "tolerance" is a shabby rhetorical trick.
it’s not tolerance, it’s aggressive intolerance of any viewpoint save their own. it’s the adoption of entitlement and the presumption to dictate.
it’s not about choice, it’s about taking choice away.
if bob wants to call himself bobby-sue and wear a dress, well that’s bobby’s business. but if bobby wants to start demanding that a gynecologist perform a pap smear on male genitalia or be convicted of a hate crime, well, that’s quite a different thing, isn’t it?
that’s not tolerance, it’s room 101.
it’s the demand to impose one’s own views on others without regard to anyone else’s preferences. it’s why i so often liken woke to the childhood game of “punch no punchbacks.” because that’s exactly what it is.
“the whole world must abandon its views and adopt mine because, empathy” is literal lunatic level narcissistic projection.
and if it seems like “everyone is going along” a society fails to be able to see this and thought gets drowned in herd behavior.
i’m not even clear there’s a plan anymore.
i know there is the marxist conceit of “social breakage from which to build anew” but i suspect it may simply have broken itself in some sort of ouroboros self-cannibalism because you just cannot control stuff like this once you let it off the leash.
it’s not 8d chess.
it’s people driven mad by having so savagely brainwashed so many others that they cannot even hear what they have become and the sort of self-hatred they would experience if they realized it makes them ruthless in direct proportion to how fragile they have become. it’s addict behavior. it’s a world view eating itself but not yet in full retreat because of how emotionally messy it’s going to be for them and how little else they have to support them and their sense of self-importance.
but it’s coming. woke was over the picosecond it became OK to criticize it. the rest is just negotiating the terms of the surrender.
just keep calling it out. just keep speaking the simple truths aloud.
be the true partner, for we too may learn from teaching.
we may learn that we are the many and they the few.
we may learn that we are free and always were.
it’s hard to see from inside, but what’s going on right now is the flashpoint of flameout for woke.
every new set of claims is just setting more of their own house on fire but they cannot turn around and they cannot stop.
they will undo themselves because their whole ethos is self-abnegating.
i know it seems out of control, but this is what being about win feels like.
and it’s going to be fun.
remember the slogan of the counter revolution:
peaceful. implacable. and with joy.