The interview speaks for itself.
Senior educated white male.
Thomas Sowell has spent a life time fighting the unconstrained vision which, crudely, comes down to “I know best and there is no institution that should stand in my way of doing good as I conceive it”. The sincerity and passion with which they hold their view is the guarantor of its truth. “Man is born free, and yet everywhere he is in chains” said Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Only bad institutions make us behave badly. Since man is the creature of social arrangements, if we change the institutions we will change man, for the better. Nothing prevents us from the attainment of this goal except reactionaries, people of ill-will, ignorance, and the forces of evil.
Sowell, on the subject of sincerity in politics:
“People who have the constrained vision will understand that people make mistakes. and so therefore when someone says something the disagree with,…they see no need to question his sincerity, his honesty or whatever. But for those with the unconstrained vision, what they believe seems so obviously true, that of you are standing in the way of it, either you must be incredibly stupid, utterly uninformed, or simply dishonest.” (at minute 24 of the interview)
Hence, in the days when I still watched broadcast television, I saw the three political party reps talking about gay marriage (as I recall). The little faggot from the NDP [there is no more swiftly accurate designator] was insisting “we shouldn’t even be debating this”. His views exactly typified why normal people find leftists so intolerant.
And that is how it is with everything on the Left. We should not even be debating this, when what they think should not be debated is precisely what should be debated.
George Gilder was right about a lot of really important things, including especially the future of the computer, the one that you now hold in your hand, called the smartphone. You have forgotten how revolutionary that prediction was in 1990 when he published “The Death of Television”. Some of you were not even born then, I suppose.
Now Gilder has published another significant book, predicting the demise of Google, or at least its dominance.
Gilder observes that by supplying things for free, Google avoids many problems that arise from payment, including the obligation to provide security, to a great extent. Worse, Google avoids the learning process that is acquired with capitalist transactions.
He considers that blockchain technologies will fix much of what is ailing in America. [In this I remain skeptical, but hopeful as well.]
“They [the Silicon Valley apostolate] have a business plan and solutions which are inappropriate to the human mind”. He sees the human mind as the essential source of value, and that Google and cloud-dependent technologies are over-centralized. “Blockchain is an answer to the cloud mind”.
The number of IPOs has been falling, the number of companies on the stock market has also been falling. Consistently with Peter Thiel’s thesis, we do not seem to be getting the innovation that we ought. According to Gilder, the invention of Etherium has halted this decline.
Consequently he takes issue with Ray Kurzweil, the guy thinks we are approaching a singularity of machine intelligence. Says Gilder, “if you don’t understand consciousness, you don’t understand thinking. Thinking doesn’t produce consciousness, consciousness produces thinking. All these computer scientists are trying to explain away consciousness….To say, oh well, we don’t know what consciousness is, but our computers will compute so fast that it wont matter, that consciousness will emerge like one of their clouds, is I think, one their fundamental vanities of the [Silicon] Valley”.
“What I am against, as Bill Buckley used to call it, ‘immanentizing the eschaton‘; imagining some technology that you came up with last week will end the human adventure, that will subsume all our minds in the clouds, governed by eight giant companies in China and the US, with a few nerds in Israel contributing all the new ideas. This is the vision that I don’t think is going to prevail. I think the human adventure will continue after Google.”
Amen to that, brother.
At 79 years of age, George Gilder speaks as if he were suffering from some neurological ailment that I am not qualified or able to diagnose. Yet he remains a formidable thinker, a seer. I like him. He believes that in principle, machines cannot think, and I agree with him. He foresees the end of the dominance of the current masters of the universe, and how it may come about. He has addressed a vital issue of public interest in Life after Google. Curiously, paradoxically, Gilder reminds me of Timothy Leary, the acid apostle, by his great optimism, but unlike Leary George Gilder is grounded in a formidable mind
At some point in my university career, I was selected to replace the leftist management of the campus newspaper. A campaign of distortion, lies and vilification thereupon was unleashed such as I have never before or since received. I was sunk into a dark abyss of personal abuse. Hysterical little creeps running around calling you a fascist, racist, warmonger are as unpleasant as you can conceive. To be the subject of total lies, as I believe that Kavanaugh has been, must be insufferable, and yet he must endure it.
I wonder how this will affect his life as a judge. Here is a man who has followed all the rules and succeeded in life. Now he is subject to abusive crap in the New Yorker about the sin of having a bunch of male friends who are supposed to have protected him. What protection? Indeed, as many an author is now realizing, we are in 1984, we are in Oceania. This is so even if we have not undergone any formal change of our political or constitutional arrangements.
No law is cited against Kavanaugh. He supposedly put his had over a girl’s mouth at a party when he was 17 and she was 15 and rubbed up against her. Can you imagine, all you males, ever having behaved this way between 15 and 21? Can you imagine, all you females, ever having repelled the unwanted physical advances of some over eager and loutish young male? In consequence the supposed victim had to go off to Hawaii and live a life of recovery and wellness therapy.
Now imagine if, as a thought experiment, nothing of the kind had happened? Imagine being the centre of this vilification. Imagine his wife and children enduring their father and their husband’s vilification. There is no life so blameless that a leftist will not seek to destroy it.
Thus, when Brett Kavanaugh is eventually confirmed, imagine how much vengeance he will feel in his heart towards his abusers. Imagine him acting on this feeling for the next 25 years. So you can see why the Left is desperate to derail his approval by the Senate. They know what awaits them.
I am reaching the stage where I will punch an abusive leftist in the face in social situations. I think social, not civil, war is upon us. They have brought it on themselves and they must suffer the consequences.
In case you think that our search engines are neutral, I have a bridge to sell you.
Be assured, as Victor Davis Hanson reports, every Mexican American he knew who spoke English voted for Trump. Apparently 29% of American “Latinos” voted for Trump to the shock of many.
Partisan and pro-Democratic action by Google is undenied. It makes the nonsense about Russian-sponsored Facebook advertisements seem trifling.
You are not alone if you have begun to cotton on to the idea that “diversity” does not include you, dear reader. You are probably male, probably over forty, probably white, and you do not fit into the desired categories of “diverse” people that the Left favours. Tucker Carlson started into the diversity mantra the other night by asking some long overdue questions.
Diversity is hogwash. I come from a formerly diverse society. It is called Quebec, and whatever you might feel about the French Canadians, they are very sound on the diversity question. They will have none of it, as long as diversity presents an English-speaking face. They have resisted “diversification” for centuries, which they call assimilation, and will continue to do so until they disappear demographically, which is a long way off. Having been raised in a society where I was the rejected outsider, I have come to appreciate how normal it is for a society to reject multiculturalism, and insist on the society’s right to perpetuate itself, even at great cost.
Perhaps by reason of personal history I am skeptical of diversity, or at least conscious of where it begins and ends. A common language is good, though not essential. But a common set of civic values is essential to the maintenance of liberty, order, cohesion, and yes, actual tolerance for diversity.
If you want to experience “diversity”, go to India. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains Sikhs, Parsis: all vie for space, respect, and resources. Forty, or is it four hundred, languages create a babble of mutual incomprehension. Racial, caste, and ethnic differences are as great as anything in all of Europe, even considering how it is after the Muslim refugee invasion.
I want everyone to start questioning “diversity”.
A new bumper sticker is needed.
Sergei Brin, cofounder of Google
(Paranoid note: every other video I have loaded appears in full, but Google’s video of its own meeting appears only as a hyperlink).
“I certainly find this election deeply offensive” said Sergei Brin, co-founder of Google. “So many people don’t share the values we have”.
And it goes from there. Fear. Everyone is supposed to feel fear at the prospect of the Trump regime. Minorities are in danger and need to be stood up for. Women likewise. Liberal values are to be stood up for. Yet the same corporation endlessly touting its values fired James Damore in August 2017 for politely protesting the corporation’s bias towards preferential hiring of women.
I have had experience with Google employees at several levels of seniority over the years, and I feel quite certain that the vast majority are leftist Democrats, which is not surprizing considering the San Francisco Bay area culture. But what bugs me – as the movie reveals – is the enormous self-vaunting, the endless prattling on about their “values”. This is a company whose core business is to sell advertizing. It guts previous business models and replaces them with its own. This is normal creative destruction, in the manner that Schumpeter spoke of. However painful, this is the stuff of economic progress. And talk to former newspaper people if you want to know what Google has wrought.
When the Vice President says that “this is a place where you can bring your whole self to work”, clearly she does not include conservatives (min 16:30)
“We all talk a lot about what it means to be Googley”, said CFO Ruth Porat. The endless blather about tolerance, respect and diversity grates when one compares it to the outrageous and actual treatment of Damore. More, the tone of the film is that the poor people of Google have endured something like the 1940 Blitz of London, or having been unhoused by a hurricane, and that they need reassurance and a group hug, and assurance tot the 10,000 or so working on visa that their visas will remain valid.
Values, values, values: it is irritating and faintly nauseating.
A few years ago the late Jane Jacobs published a marvellous concise book called Systems of Survival. It dealt with the differences in morality between what she called Guardian institutions – the church, the regiment, the academy – and commercial institutions.
If you hand a suitcase of cash to a businessman, that is right and proper, because you are exchanging cash for a private benefit. If you hand a suitcase of cash to a public official, that is a crime of corruption. Why? Her book seeks to answer the question. She also said that corruption occurs when a commercial corporation adopts Guardian values. Thus, the old telephone monopolies constantly appealed to their status as institutions serving the public, and they had a genuine public service ethos. They could afford the attitude because they were monopolies.
Google has Guardian values, but instead of public service being its goal, that is, actually doing something for the general public, it constantly propagandizes its membership/employees with the notion that it stands for superior values: tolerance, inclusion, and diversity being the modern conception of virtue. It thus succeeds in being smug, intolerant, exclusive, and as proud of itself as the Roman Church of centuries past.
Is Google morally bankrupt? Is that not too harsh? It all depends on whether you pay attention to anything Jesus said about Pharisees, about words without deeds. It is not what we put into our mouths that defiles us, but by what comes out of our mouths that defiles us.
In the case of Google I am prepared to argue that the company needs all the self-vaunting talk of values to disguise from itself and its staff that its real business is centralizing the control of information. In short, an illiberal idea being carried out by liberals prattling on about their superior values.
Here is Joe Rogan talking to James Damore, and you will find out all you need to know about Google’s values:
Readers of this blog will not need further persuasion that this Liberal government of Canada is deeply unserious. At a time when Trump could place tariffs on the cars that Canada produces, at a time when trade negotiations are at a critical stage, our chief trade negotiator, Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, took time off to be a speaker at the the Women in the World Summit on Monday in her riding in Toronto, on the panel “Taking on the Tyrant.”
Nothing that I heard the minister actually say was dreadful, wrong or even objectionable. It was all said in defence of a rules-based order and liberal democracy. No objection here.
It was the close to incredible apposition of our foreign minister allowing herself to be associated, in a public stage, with an alarmist video likening Trump to Assad, Putin, and other unsavoury tyrants in this crucial stage of negotiations
Not a single American, Democrat or Republican, feels the least restriction or inhibition in slamming Trump for vices and defects real and imagined. At a US Embassy function in Ottawa earlier this summer, I hear a few – by no means all – American officials allowing themselves some serious criticism of their President. Okay, I understand how they can make anti-Trump noises to appease their many Liberal Canadian guests, and not too much should be read into it, except for this: they are free and feel themselves to be free, even as civil servants.
At a dinner party this summer, my fellow dinner guests were quibbling whether America is in the early stages of National Socialism or the early stages of Italian fascism. Yet not a single Democrat politician has been arrested, assassinated, or prosecuted. Not a single reporter has disappeared.
Freeland made a number of cogent points regarding the relationship between people having jobs, feeling secure, and not looking for magical solutions in politics. [I take issue that the implementation of effective immigration law in the United States constitutes “magical thinking”.]
Yet that is not the point. To associate oneself with a conference in which a movie of goose-stepping Chinese troops and alarmist blather introduces the panel on which you choose to sit, then all your talk about diversity, inclusion and the need for economic security will never be heard. You look like a complete wanker, Chrystia. And so does the Liberal government of Canada at this stage.
So here is some Steve Bannon- just to keep you steadfast in your determination to resist the multi-culti, irtue signalling twaddle.
I like books that go to the root of things. Charles Mann has written one such. He is the author of 1491 and 1493, which explored, respectively, the world of the Americas immediately before the European discovery of America by Columbus, and the world after it. We continue to live with the consequences of that discovery.
Mann is not afraid to tackle large subjects. In his latest, the Wizard and the Prophet, he writes of the contest of views between the original ecologist and catastrophist, William Vogt, and the original optimist-scientist improver, Norman Borlaug. The latter man was the author of the Green Revolution. The former is the proponent of the view that we must all live within the limits imposed by Gaia, and that we are abusing the planet’s carrying capacity.
Canada cannot get a pipeline built, in part because our Liberal government inclines more to the Vogt position than the Borlaug position. Society is in turmoil because of fears of catastrophic global warming, overpopulation, and ocean acidification because of the views propounded by William Vogt and his catastrophist successors.
Charles Mann has done us a great service by laying out the debate and the values behind the debate about the good life that each man, Vogt and Borlaug, embodied.
The Wizard and the Prophet resembles another great book, Arthur Hermans’s The Cave and the Light, which treats of the continuing unresolved and unresolvable conflict between the approaches to reality expounded by Plato and Aristotle. The two books are lively, high level, and important, and to read them is to gain an education in something of supreme importance in the struggle of ideas.
Unfortunately we live in an era when people seek to win arguments by preventing argument from happening. “We shouldn’t even be discussing this” is the motif of the mindless hordes of the PC brainwashed. “It is settled science”.
With respect, no, it is not settled and cannot ever be settled, because the issue is not the science, it is a choice between experiment, innovation, risk and growth, on the one hand, and conservatism, control, stagnation, and the management of greater poverty, on the other.
Yes I am a rational optimist. I chose to get out of the Club of Rome catastrophism in 1976, while a huge swath of the intelligentsia seem to be still stuck there.
And hence we cannot get pipelines built. Ideas have consequences.