What ails the USA

The two primary problems are debt and immigration, as can be seen by this comparison of 1952 and 2020 prices.

Any program or policy that does not directly address those two problems, or remove those responsible for creating those two problems from influence, will fail.

Mailvox: an objection to the trilemma

DSC objects to the philosopical concept of Münchhausen Trilemma. Posted without comment.

I object to the notion that what is called “fundamentalism” is no better an epistemological foundation than the other two parts of the trilemma. 

Why do chemistry, physics and biology involve so much lab-based education? Seeing something first hand offers the hope that a person can better delineate between the realm of conjecture and “real” reality, the stuff that doesn’t give a fig what you think. I find that the older I get, the more of an empiricist I become. While I have broad personal experience in but a minute part of the whole world, I base my pyramids of trust on people whose primary premises match up to my own personal experience. Those who have very little first hand experience in anything must have very little data on which to base their pyramids of trust.

I aver that there are four kinds of questions: Those answerable by logic, those where experiment yields what is essentially certainty, those that yield answers that can never be better than “today’s best guess,” and those that cannot be answered by empiricism at all.

  • As you know, some things are true by axiom, ex. a consumable cannot be consumed and still remain available for consumption. These axioms are the foundation for what Hans Hermann Hoppe describes in his essay The Democratic Leviathan.
  • Hard science rests on experiments where the outcome is the same no matter how many times one considers repeating it. While dropping a stone a thousand times to see it fall may induce someone to posit that on the 1001th try it will rise when released, such a belief is clearly irrational. 
  • Much of today’s “science,” as you’ve well described, falls into the third category. It is the realm of statistical study, where confidence intervals, poisson distributions and Student T tests live. The 95{5c1a0fb425e4d1363f644252322efd648e1c42835b2836cd8f67071ddd0ad0e3} confidence interval of course posits that the hypothesis is 19/20ths likely to be true, but this is not remotely the same standard as category 2 above. Vast amounts of “social science” attempt to mimic this style of study, but there’s no substance to it at all. “Real” science, in my view, is that where variables can actually be controlled, a condition that is laughably absent in a vast amount of what today is billed as science.
  • What happens to us when we die? Do we have consciousness beyond our physical envelope? Is there life on distant planets? What color is a virion, and if we could see it like we see a golf ball, what would it look like? These and myriad other questions cannot be answered via empiricism. Providing systematic answers to empirically unanswerable questions is the province of religion. Today’s Equalist Cult religion is particularly odd, in that most of its dogma and sacraments are actually at odds with empirically-derived reality. It is thus a pure exercise of the “power” Orwell illustrated when O’Brian forces Smith to “see” a different number of fingers than O’Brian extends. The first step toward wisdom comes by calling things by their right names.

The author notes that “Human beings are rational animals.” This is daffy on its face. Most humans may be capable of reasoning, but it’s self-evident that few spend any time at all in this part of their mind. As Kahneman shows, experiment after experiment documents that most of the time we let the nearly autonomic part of our brain do all the thinking. Only rarely do we invoke our deliberative, analytical mind. Most people are largely creatures of emotion, and their decisions are based on what action or belief would yield the greatest emotional comfort…and it’s usually to think and do what the herd surrounding them thinks and does. I was dismayed to confront that intelligence does not coassort with rationality. Very smart people are especially good at rationalizing their folly. 

 These are the premises on which I base my objection to axiom and empiricism being lumped in with circular reasoning and “turtles all the way down.” Reality exists. The notion that people see different things when observing the same thing is baloney. If I drop a golf ball and simultaneously launch one horizontally, they will always hit the floor at the same time, no matter who insists with great fervor that the dropped one lands first. If, upon observing them bounce simultaneously, an observer still insists that they hit at different times, it’s not a case of competing epistemologies. Some systems of thought rest on axiom. From axiom comes reliance on empiricism, trusting ones eyes when what’s seen conflicts with others’ ideological constructs. This is not a three part problem. Two of the trilemma’s legs are folly, the third is the only means of attempting to align with reality in order to decide and act. Among today’s great follies is insistence on baseless conjecture as fact. Our society is structured under Taylorist notions, that there’s one best way to live, and the dogma that populates this conflicts openly with observed reality.

A modern example: Say’s Law is “In order to consume, you must first produce.” This is a logical axiom, given that if people consume without producing, eventually there’s nothing produced and thus nothing to consume. If that’s “fundamentalism” and somehow not axiomatically true, show me (Mr. Macris.) Monetary Madness since the 1960’s posits that the ability to enter the market (to consume) can be created out of thin air via the act of borrowing. The IOU (generally a T-bond/T-bill) becomes wealth, and the borrowed loot goes straight into someone’s hands to be used (mostly) to consume. No production precedes this consumption, so the net effect is less product available (but a vastly rising perception of wealth, both in holding the debt and in the rising prices of assets goosed by a tsunami of credit money.) 

Since the bond market low in 1981, the US gov’t didn’t need to tax in order to spend. This is why spending could skyrocket as tax cuts were passed. Domestic production could be shipped to China, who then sent us endless pre-landfilled junk in exchange for Treasury Debt. Since China doesn’t trade in dollars, that loot came back here…and we now see that Americans pawned their land, their businesses and THEIR POLITICAL SYSTEM in return for some trinkets. China bought our legislatures, our executive branch agencies and our judiciary. Pretty smart on their part. With the helicopter drop of $1,200/person thing this summer, we now see that credit creation has entered a new phase, where the government still does not need to tax, and people no longer need to work in order to consume. Everyone’s a welfare recipient now., not just people on SSDI, AFDC, Section 8, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Prior to this summer, only Big Business oligarchs and financiers received such loot. 

Where’d Say’s Law go?

Forget the ticket

 Apparently it’s the earworm that you have to take if you want to sell your soul. AC is, unsurprisingly enough, on top of the recent Joe Rogan antics.

One thing talked about in surveillance is the tendency of operators to fidget with their ears, due to discomfort with, and apparent intermittent unreliability of the deeply seated hidden earpieces. I assume they can move slightly while deep in the ear, making the sound diminish or change, and squishing the outside of the ear can jiggle them back and return higher sound levels. 4Chan is all abuzz, because during the Alex Jones interview, Joe looked bothered, reached under his headphone and began to mess with his ear, and suddenly a female voice can be heard saying, “Relax, we’re here.” People think it was Joe’s CIA-Cabal earpiece which tells him what to say malfunctioning, as somebody in the control room messed with feeds and accidentally put it through the main feed. I would have rated this a 51{5c1a0fb425e4d1363f644252322efd648e1c42835b2836cd8f67071ddd0ad0e3} likelihood of being interesting. But then 4CHan was immediately hit with post after post talking about Schizos and meds. That is not something the casually curious normal poster would post, but it is what you will see on any post talking about surveillance, gangstalking, or any other topic the powers that be do not want discussed.

And to precisely no one’s surprise, Spotify disappeared the Alex Jones interview. In Rogan’s defense, it’s entirely possible that he didn’t actually realize he was selling anything when he signed his big money deal. He’s legitimately dumb enough to believe that his numbers actually justified the price. It will be interesting to see how he reacts when he finds out that they think they own him, as I tend to doubt he’ll react in the “definitely not meth” path blazed by Jordan Peterson.

More peaceful beheadings in France

 Multiculturalism strikes again, this time in Nice:

At least three people have been killed – two of them beheaded – and several others stabbed in a terrorist knife attack at a cathedral in Nice.

The attack began around 9am just as Mass at the Notre Dame basilica – the largest Roman Catholic church in Nice – was getting underway. Two of those who were killed died inside the church, French media reported.

It’s time for another Crusade, albeit one to reclaim the West for Christianity. Multiculturalism isn’t just wrong, it is dyscivilizational evil. Which is why there will be no peace until the repatriations are complete. More political bleating about “not being divided” are stupid, pointless, and offensive. Divisions and borders exist for a reason.

Arkhaven production

 A glimpse behind the scenes:

VD: I finished AH #9. Attached in case you want it for reference.

TLCD: You’re still in single digits?

VD: You can’t see it, but I’m waving a single digit in your direction.

It’s not easy working with a legend. Especially a legend who is an insufferably bad winner. And yes, this means that all 12 issues of Chuck Dixon’s Avalon are written and illustrated.

You already policed my speech, Jack

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey has the gall to try to hide behind free speech in an attempt to prevent Congress from removing Twitter’s ability to engage in the publisher/platform dance:

Section 230 is the Internet’s most important law for free speech and safety. Weakening Section 230 protections will remove critical speech from the Internet.

Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation. People from around the world come together on Twitter in an open and free exchange of ideas. We want to make sure conversations on Twitter are healthy and that people feel safe to express their points of view. We do our work recognizing that free speech and safety are interconnected and can sometimes be at odds. We must ensure that all voices can be heard, and we continue to make improvements to our service so that everyone feels safe participating in the public conversation—whether they are speaking or simply listening. The protections offered by Section 230 help us achieve this important objective.

As we consider developing new legislative frameworks, or committing to self-regulation models for content moderation, we should remember that Section 230 has enabled new companies—small ones seeded with an idea—to build and compete with established companies globally. Eroding the foundation of Section 230 could collapse how we communicate on the Internet, leaving only a small number of giant and well-funded technology companies.

We should also be mindful that undermining Section 230 will result in far more removal of online speech and impose severe limitations on our collective ability to address harmful content and protect people online. I do not think anyone in this room or the American people want less free speech or more abuse and harassment online. Instead, what I hear from people is that they want to be able to trust the services they are using.

Twitter doesn’t believe in free speech, Twitter believes in actively and aggressively policing speech. The God-Emperor is right when he calls for the repeal of Section 230. 

I was banned by Twitter, without cause and without any reason or justification given, years ago. So, I don’t believe a single word that is coming out of Dorsey’s mouth. The fact that he is defending Section 230 is sufficient reason to eliminate it.


Libraria Castalia in the wild


It’s interesting to observe how the real 22k gold is actually less shiny than the gilding used on the Library editions. We’re also learning that the goatskin dyes tend to turn out a little more subdued than the cowhide dyes; we’d expected the midnight blue of AWAKE to be a little darker. But regardless, the results have exceeded our original expectations.
There is still time to subscribe for Plutarch; the November/December book will be Summa Elvetica. We’ve decided that all the Selenoth books will feature the same blue for the Library and very dark green for Libraria.

A trilemma transition

Contemplations on the Tree of Woe contemplates the implications of what appears to be a Münchhausen Trilemma transitory period playing out in modern society:

The so-called Münchhausen Trilemma is actually Agrippa’s Trilemma, attributed to Agrippa the Skeptic of the Pyrrhonist school of 4th Century BC. Agrippa’s Trilemma phrases the attack a bit differently:

  • Circularity: The truth asserted involves a circularity of proofs.
  • Progress ad infinitum: The truth asserted rests on truths themselves in need of proof, and so on to infinity. 
  • Assumption: The truth is based on an unsupported assumption.

However it is phrased, the Trilemma presents a choice of “three equally unsatisfying options.” Or so it is claimed. Is that the case? Perhaps one of the three options is not “equally unsatisfying” and there are good reasons for adopting one of these three. But before we delve into that, let’s first explain why it matters. It seems a strange thing, after all, to dwell on an unsolved 2,500 year old philosophical dilemma. Why should we care?

Human beings are rational animals; each of us is endowed with our own sense organs and our own mind. By our sense organs we receive precepts about the world, from which we form concepts about what we have perceived. What we perceive and conceive is unique to each of us; no one else has access to the qualia of our senses or the thoughts of our mind. Our consciousness is independent of others.

Human beings are also social animals, who by nature flourish only in society with others of our kind. To exist in society, human beings must cooperate, which requires establishing and asserting their needs and wants, and consensually exchanging value for value with others of their kind. When humans cannot or do not cooperate, they struggle instead, using force or fraud to extract value from others nonconsensually. In both cases, our existence is dependent on others, either as creators, traders, looters, or moochers.

The juxtaposition of our independent rationality and dependent existence creates the necessity for agreement on what can be justified as true. Man in solitude doesn’t need to know or care what others think is true. Man in society must know and care what others think is true: The very concept of exchanging value without fraud presupposes the existence of not-fraud, which is to say, truth.

When human society is simple, the justification necessary to establish truth is equally simple, and typically based on foundationalism relying on sense perception. “Is it rain out?” “Hand feel wet. Yes.” As the complexity of human society increases, the justification necessary to establish truth also becomes more complex. More and more matters arise over which each independent consciousness might disagree. “Does Theodore rightfully own Breckenridge manor?” is no simple question.

As a result, every society of sufficient complexity has created institutions such as courts of laws, trials by jury, assemblies of law, boards of peer review, and other tools to decide what is true. Each such institution fundamentally works the same way: The individual consciousness, with its ability to reason, is embedded within a group of other individuals, and a method used to force the group to come to an agreement (often by deliberation and voting, as in a jury or parliament, but sometimes randomly, esoterically, or even violently).

Over time these institutions, in the process of defining what is true, build a great scaffolding – law, custom, tradition, craft, and practice – that collectively form its culture. But always it remains that what is true about complex matters is reliant on a core set of propositions which are deemed foundational and outside the scope of deliberation. (In the words of America’s founders: “We hold these truths to be self-evident.”)

That is, the culture of every society has historically arisen from a series of agreements made out of necessity to permit cooperation to accept certain propositions as justified, with these agreements developing over time in a hierarchy as society becomes more complex, with all ultimately justified by reference to propositions held by that society as foundational.

But Münchhausen’s Trilemma holds that foundationalism is merely one of three “equally unsatisfying” resolutions to the impossibility of proving any truth. And if there is no possibility of proving any truth, it would seem there is no possibility of justifying the culture of any society as good, beautiful, or right. Worse, those who would argue against our society’s way of life do not even have to grapple with its truth-claims at all: They can simply develop another culture, based on another set of propositions that are self-consistent with themselves, and dismiss our own as irrelevant, unfounded, and wrong.

Read the whole thing there. Because what we tend to regard as a culture war is just as much a philosophical war as it is a spiritual war. The reason American society is showing cracks is that its philosophical foundations have been under assault for nearly 120 years.

“A blatant lie”

Joe Biden is publicly called out for lying about his connections to his son’s business dealings on Tucker Carlson:  

Bobulinski and Hunter formed a company in 2017, specializing in infrastructure investment. No deals appear to have been completed, and the firm folded in 2018. Joe had left the White House and was a private citizen at the time. Nevertheless, he has insisted he and his son never discussed business – which Bobulinski claims is untrue. 

‘That’s a blatant lie when he states that,’ Bobulinski told Carlson. ‘It’s a blatant lie. It was made clear to me that Joe Biden’s involvement was not to be made in writing, but only face to face.’

Bobulinski is listed as one of the recipients of a May 13, 2017, email detailing their business deal, and he claims that ‘the big guy’ mentioned is a reference to Joe, whom he claims Hunter regularly asked for business advice. 

Joe has always insisted he was not involved in Hunter’s numerous business ventures. 

It should be interesting to hear how the Bidens otherwise account for the massive payments made to Hunter by a variety of foreign sources. It’s not as if the guy isn’t a complete screwup totally incapable of doing legitimate business to save his life. 

These are direct, credible, and easily provable allegations. And given the other Hunter Biden scandal, there can be little doubt about them being true.