Left-liberals remind me of a conversation between a man and a servant in a movie I no longer recall very well. The man tells his servant that he doesn’t know why “dog” is a cuss word. The man says he loves dogs, that dogs are the most lovable animals he’s ever known—and that he’d be honored if someone calls him a “dog”. The servant calls him just that, and gets slapped hard across his face. Left-liberals are like this man. Left-liberals don’t know elementary social science. But this is not the only reason why they don’t see themselves as cheap, little rascals. They are not introspective enough. So they are not able to see how their conscious beliefs clash with their assumptions.
Now how do their beliefs clash with their assumptions?
A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court upheld death penalty for the four convicts in the Delhi rape case. Liberals condescendingly call this girl “Nirbhaya”. Even her mother thinks there is somethingwrong with this. It’s a damning indictment of Indian journalism that even today, virtually all Indian journalistsbelieve rape is not about sex. Every self-aware man knows this is nonsense. Every decent researcher who professionally handles literature on gender knows this is nonsense.Feminist dogma is not science. Activists, politicians and journalists are not scholars. It is entirely besides the point that many unhappy single women well past their prime think rape is about power. Facts lie flatly against this. All credible scholars think this is nonsense. But lame Indian journalists are convinced that rape is about power and abuse. Why does this happen? The really smart kids don’t become journalists. So, it’s not surprising you see all the shabbiness of third world self-styled intellectuals in its fully glory in Indian journalists. But why are they so bent on believing that rape is about power? There are many reasons, but this is one reason: They assume if rape has roots in male sexual desire, rape is excusable.Continue Reading
Every morning you leave your cramped apartment in Manhattan’s East Village to go to your laboratory at the Rockefeller University in the East Sixties. You return in the late evening, and people in your social network ask you if you had a good day, just to be polite. At the laboratory, people are more tactful. Of course you did not have a good day; you found nothing. You are not a watch repairman. Your finding nothing is very valuable, since it is part of the process of discovery—hey, you know where not to look. Other researchers, knowing your results, would avoid trying your special experiment, provided a journal is thoughtful enough to consider your “found nothing” as information and publish it.Continue Reading
When I met Mr. Individual, he was standing besides his masters, like a slobbering golden retriever. They were all mediocrities, but I did not mind that. Individual was not even a mediocrity. His IQ was lower than that of a symidae. For many months, I was at the beck and call of this contemptible nonentity who oiled his way into a middle-classjob by being totally ruthless in performing the moral equivalent of a blowjob for his eternal masters.
When the reporters come back in the evening after a hard day’s work, he looked like a happy man. They stood behind the desk of this cheerful fellow, giggling, with their hands covering their mouths, when he occasionally stopped to wonder, “Ideology ka spelling kya he?” If it were productivity or talent that mattered, an ambitious college smarty would have long replaced him. His masters had no intention to do so, for reasons best known to them. Useful idiots too have their uses.
Everyone wanted to believe that Individual was simple and humble because he was as dumb as a mule. A colleague once told me, “Individual is very, very dumb. He is also spineless. But, everyone thinks that he is nice because he is such a contemptible moron. I hate him more than anyone in the office.” Everyone was enduring the truth, but only the strong would have seen the obvious. Continue Reading
An incident that happened almost two years ago. Ralph Vartabedian called me to get my take on the members of President-elect Obama’s economic team. I answered his questions. At no time did he ask me my ideology. Here’s his article.
So I wrote him the following:
I saw your piece. I’m not a conservative. I notice also that not only did you get my ideology wrong but also that I’m the only economist to whom you ascribed an ideology. What gives, Ralph?
I thought your comment about Summers and Romer came from a viewpoint of significant concern about what the Obama Administration was going to do, so I used the reference only as an indicator that you are critical of at least Summers. As for the conservative label, I based that on a couple of points…clearly Hoover is known as a conservative organization and I have honestly never known anybody in it who was a liberal. I believe you were on the council of economic advisors under President Reagan, no? You seemed pretty critical of the liberal members of Obama’s team and our data base at the Times indicates you are a registered Republican there in the Monterrey area. I can give you a call later today.
The Reason I Jump is a memoir of Naoki Higashida, a 13-year-old boy on the autism spectrum. Excerpts:
“Even at my age, I still enjoy this TV programme for kindergarten kids, ‘Watching with Mother’. Reading that, you must be thinking, ‘Ah, this guy’s just a big kid, after all!’ But that’s not the case, in my humble opinion. Sure, we may appear to resemble small children – our fondness for gentle, kind, beautiful things – but we tend to prefer simpler, more straightforward stories, not because of childishness, but because we can more easily guess what’s going to happen next.”
“I don’t know whether people think I’ll understand baby-language better, or whether they think I just prefer being spoken to in that way. I’m not asking you to deliberately use difficult language when you talk to people with autism–just that you treat us as we are, according to our age. Every single time I’m talked down to, I end up feeling utterly miserable – as if I’m being given a zero chance of a decent future. True compassion is about not bruising the other person’s self-respect. That’s what I think, anyway.”
Criticizing people, winding them up, making idiots of them or fooling them doesn’t make people with autism laugh. What makes us smile from the inside is seeing something beautiful, or a memory that makes us laugh. This generally happens when there’s nobody watching us. And at night, on our own, we might burst out laughing underneath the duvet, or roar with laughter in an empty room ….when we don’t need to think about other people or anything else, that’s when we wear our natural expressions. Continue Reading
Many believe that Chetan Bhagat’s novels are not “great literature that reveals the human condition, though he tells interesting stories that people love to read.”It is a more profound skill, to tell interesting stories that peoplelove to read. Isn’t it true that his readers are idiots? But, if his readers are idiots, the rational inference is not that he is dumb. The rational inference is that he is talented. Even movies fail to hold the attention of people. It is not easy for a novelist to make them read. Most people would rather be lashed. His critics could not have done it. Think. If Chetan Bhagat sells because his novels are dumbed-down, his success is not the result of a complex strategy. But, is it even plausible that in a country of 1200 million people no one else knew how to dumb it down? Was there no one to beat him to it, in this catchpenny scheme? If generations of Indian children grew up reading western novelists and short story writers, it probably means that the Indian fiction writers bored them. Remember. His critics’ claim that their novels are profound is merely an assertion, an unproven one. But, if it is indeed true that people now buy books like soap, or a bag of chips, isn’t that the greatest compliment one can pay to a society?
It is now almost a “consensus” that rape is not about sex. But, if men will not use force to satisfy an important need of theirs, everything we know about male sexuality and human nature is wrong. Think about this. A century ago, even eminent psychiatrists had claimed that man’s primary sexual activity is a sign of aggression, of madness. If this is true, even the best intellectuals have proven their willingness to argue that near universal human behavior is an aberration. To maintain this, they should lie, at least about themselves. Are they lying? I would assign a probability of 1.
In a world where reciprocity is not a two-way street, trust is mentioned, trust-worthiness is not. But, a man who observes the world with his pure, uncorrupted eyes will find it obvious that people cannot be trusted. You hear about trust from a particular kind of girl that is not trust-worthy, and is unaware of the law of causality. Trust is often demanded as a gift, as an ultimatum. There are economists who want to believe that distrust imposes a heavy tax on the society. But, it is possible for everyone to trust each other, even if trust-worthiness is not the norm. It is only that people who cheerfully default on agreements will find this very convenient.
When people lock their cars parked in the inner city, when they hire watch-men, and when women hesitate to walk through the streets at midnight, no one complains that what the society suffers from is “a break-down of trust”.
But, I do not see this as a naïve view. This is a dishonest view. Mistakes of this scale are never an accident. It is immensely popular only because people are so much in sync with this fraudulent society, and are oblivious to fraud. When a decent man hears about the importance of trust, he feels nothing but contempt, nothing but disgust. He knows that the world is not a wonderful place where he only needs to trust other people because he was always their victim. People believe in such nonsense because they have such a shallow understanding of morality. They need such delusions. They truly have such low personal standards. This is an important concept with much wider implications. Continue Reading
I likeRolf Dobelli’s essay against news. I too have long been arguing that news is irrelevant. But, read this excerpt:
A car drives over a bridge, and the bridge collapses. What does the news media focus on? The car. The person in the car. Where he came from. Where he planned to go. How he experienced the crash (if he survived). But that is all irrelevant. What’s relevant? The structural stability of the bridge. But the car is flashy, it’s dramatic, it’s a person (non-abstract), and it’s news that’s cheap to produce.
I can imagine this making sense to people who are not very smart.But, is this true?I think not. Why? So many reasons:
We live in a division of labor society. Every day, we consume countless products and services. It is humanly impossible to understand these products. When we use soap, we often do not know the chemical composition of the soap. It is wise to rely on some statistical generalizations when we use products that we do not understand. It might be important information to people involved in the production process. But, it makes little sense for a typical consumer to really understand the products he use. Continue Reading
Manu Joseph makes an interesting observation on bleeding-heart liberals. The iniquitous social system which persists in poor countries like India strengthen a minority elite which leverages the unfair privileges, and before long slowly turns against the system which made their wealth and self-righteous indignation possible. They are, like Arundhati Roy, “an anomaly that completes the system”.Their heart of course, lies with the real India waiting to get in, but is still kept out by the elitist middle class. With misty eyes, they tell us that the dull masses will never go away. It might be their only hope, but they have something called vote which will humiliate their betters. When the middle class and the rich are busy partying, they will doggedly march to the polling booth in hordes once in every five years and press the button with glee, throwing all the rascals out. It would be quite an inspiring sight!
The great 20th century polemicist H.L. Mencken had hinted that democracy originated in the poetic fancies of refined men who felt like putting the donkey into the cart to revolutionalize transport, saddened by the fact that it is over-laden.
There was no mass movement which was different. The Austrian economistLudwig Von Mises had pointed out that behind all socialistic ideas we see the hands of the wicked scion of one of the prominent aristocratic families of royal France. Marx never did a honest day’s work, and lived off Engels, who was a wealthy industrialist and a much more original thinker. The anti capitalist ideas were by no means an achievement of the masses, but of that of much pampered intellectuals and artists who never had to wonder where the next meal would come from. Rustic poetry on the pleasures of country life was never written by shepherds or village idiots, but by urban poets. Murray Rothbardwas one among the many who noticed that most intellectuals who complain about the ugliness of cities and worship primitivism were firmly ensconced in these crowded cities. Continue Reading