Quantum hocus pocus

 

Robert J. Sawyer is a Canadian science fiction writer, one of only three science fiction writers ever to win the Hugo, Nebula and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards. Accordingly, when I saw his book, Quantum Night, dealing with consciousness and quantum physics, I took the risk and bought it. The book started well, but its principal virtue – if that is the word – is how it reveals the essential conceits of the leftist mind.

The protagonist is a psychology professor at the University of Manitoba who has, it appears, developed a foolproof technique for discovering psychopaths. He is also a vegetarian, is highly ethically motivated, teaches the greatest good for the greatest number, and worries about world problems. He is earnest, charmless, and bright, and worries about deniers of anthropogenic global warming, among other things. Very conventional NDP attitudes, as the plot reveals.

The science-fictional basis of the plot  is that through quantum science principles it has been determined that the mind is generated out of quantum processes rather than classical physical processes. Okay so far. It is very unlikely that mind could be generated out of meat machines.

A word of explanation more. Have you ever driven to work, navigated the traffic, got out of your car and were climbing the steps into your building and suddenly realized that you drove to work on autopilot? That while you handled the steering braking and signalling, your consciousness – understood as the focus of attention – was elsewhere?

If you can imagine there are people who are like this all the time, then you can envisage the philosophical zombie. The difference between the philosopher’s zombie and my  example is that the zombies do not have thoughts that are elsewhere while they perform the tasks of life. There is no inner dialogue. There is no attention directed elsewhere while they manage to iron a shirt. They do not wake up and marvel that they got to work by driving while their thoughts were working on other problems.

In essence, the McGuffin of the book – the plot driver – is that, through quantum hocus pocus, it has been determined that there is a strict division of the human species into zombies (mindless conformists) , psychopaths (who are conscious but have no conscience) and the awakened, who have both consciousness (inner dialogue) and conscience (they empathize, feel regrets, and take the larger view). The ratio is something like 70/20/10.

The protagonist of the story is the man of conscience, as are most of the the other major characters. They belong to the top 10%, the psychological and moral elite.

The author, Mr. Sawyer, through his protagonist, fights racism, sexism and every bad political and moral tendency, yet he posits the strictest division of the human species into an immutable division more severe than the Hindu caste system.

The zombies obey, and fake their way through life adapting to the rules, like flocking birds. The psychos run businesses, governments and armies and exploit the zombies, and the enlightened try to clean up the mess created by the denizens of the unconscious and less conscious states of mind.

In this world view then, Putin and Trump belong to the 20% who are psychopaths. No question of moral choice arises in this vision. It is all biological. The superior class is more morally aware, perhaps, but the quantum construction of their minds makes them so. It is deeply un-Christian, and it is a kinder and gentler version of Hitler’s biological/racial determinism.

I know it is only science fiction, and that too much weight cannot be placed on it. But I think Sawyer’s work illustrates the Hindu-like caste system at the core of leftist thinking: the led, the exploiters, and the enlightened.

You are never allowed to disagree with people of this sort. Disagreement is merely the evidence for your lower level of spiritual and moral development. One is not allowed to have different views based on different interests, views, or tendencies of mind.

It is ironic – to say the least – that the people who are the most opposed in their ideology to the biological as the basis for explaining differences in historical outcomes between individuals and cultures find it convenient to imagine that the biological is the basis for human moral differences. This is a new caste system indeed, brought to you by an earnest NDPer out to do good in the world. And while Sawyer is a million miles from Hitler in decency and social concern, they both expound a deeply and I would say exclusively biological explanation of human differences.

 

UN to ban smoking worldwide?

From CBC News Posted: Jun 13, 2017 8:13 AM CT Last Updated: Jun 13, 2017 11:09 AM CT

Indigenous advocates from around the world are calling on a UN committee to ban the appropriation of Indigenous cultures — and to do it quickly.

Delegates from 189 countries, including Canada, are in Geneva this week as part of a specialized international committee within the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations agency.

Background on tobacco from Wikipedia.

Tobacco has long been used in the Americas, with some cultivation sites in Mexico dating back to 1400–1000 BC. Many Native American tribes have traditionally grown and used tobacco. Eastern North American tribes historically carried tobacco in pouches as a readily accepted trade item, as well as smoking it, both socially and ceremonially, such as to seal a peace treaty or trade agreement. In some populations, tobacco is seen as a gift from the Creator, with the ceremonial tobacco smoke carrying one’s thoughts and prayers to the Creator

That is it folks. Enjoy your last smoke before this is adopted by WIPO and Trudeau ensures that Canada is the first one to sign up for this.

This is for Allah

 

Dawn brought news of the latest slaughters by Muslims of Christians on the streets of London today. As usual, our political leaders decry this as a perversion of Islam. No, my leaders, this is not the perversion of the religion of peace. Islam promises peace to those who have submitted, who are “muslim”, it promises war to those who have not, which is the rest of us. Dar el Harb, dar el Islam: house of war, house of peace.

Our leadership is trying to understand Islam as if the Koran had not been written. Fifteen centuries of Islamic aggression against themselves and everyone else, and a culture-wide stultification of thought are on record. One has only to open a book and read it. Imagine trying to understand Marxism without reading Marx, or decrying Leninism as a “perversion” of Marx. As the USSR was at one time the only state under the thrall of an officially Marxist regime, perhaps it would be appropriate to read Lenin as if he had some insights into Marx’s doctrines.

Heather MacDonald has written an insightful piece on the Left’s reaction to the Manchester bombing that will apply with equal force to today’s events.

The New York Times editorialized after the Manchester bombing: “It is important to recognize this attack for what it is: an attempt to shake Britain—and, by extension, the rest of Europe and the West—to its core, and to provoke a thirst for vengeance and a desire for absolute safety so intense, it will sweep away the most cherished democratic values and the inclusiveness of diverse societies.” This response is narcissistic. The attack was an effort to kill British girls and their parents, period. The terrorists win every time they pull off such massacres. They are not monitoring the legislative process and plotting how to move the needle on Western security protections in a way contrary to their own self-interest. If a society were exclusively Christian, Jewish, or even Muslim, it would be just as much the target of attack by ISIS or al-Qaida as a more “diverse” society.

You can read the rest of Heather MacDonald’s article to profit and pleasure, but before you do, I want to bring to your attention a most enlightening interview on the Mark Steyn show with a long time ex-Canadian script writer and Hollywood conservative, Lionel Chetwynd. Chetwynd is a man of considerable accomplishments. At one stage of his early life, he was reduced to joining the Black Watch regiment to get his life in order, and his time in the service affected his thinking thereafter.

Much later in his career, he was pitching a movie to be based on the unsuccessful raid of Dieppe, in 1942. The reaction of the potential financiers to his proposal lends insight into the entire liberal mind. After the pitch was made by Chetwynd, the sound of silence in the room, and then the finance person asks: “This is great, but who is the enemy?”. “The Nazis, of course” said Chetwynd. “No, I mean, who is the REAL enemy?” At which point Chetwynd overturned the table.

The poverty of the liberal imagination is such that the enemy: be it Nazi, Islamic, Mexican drug cartels, can never be the REAL enemy. It is always us. Or some corrupted portion of us: stupid generals, Haliburton executives, evil intelligence agencies.

As long as this solipsism persists – there is no real force in the world except ourselves alone (solo ipse) – we will never be able to envisage what evils beset our civilization. The real enemy is, as you might expect, those Americans and other bien-pensants who call themselves “liberals”, the mould in the jam so to speak, that systemically destroys our will to prevail. They are not liberals, they do not deserve that term. But whoever they are, they know who our enemies are, and they are never our real enemies. They are so unfailingly wrong, they are reliable in that sense.

See the anecdote Chetwynd relates at minute 49 of the interview.

We need more people like that Black Watch sergeant, and fewer like Theresa May.

 

Trump is the anti-Christ, says Warren Kinsella

When you cannot distinguish a tough, vulgar, self-promoting New York liberal property developer from the Anti-Christ, I would say you have poor judgment. When the Wahabist menace to civilization escapes serious scrutiny, but slight departures from political correctness, and a reorientation of American foreign policy, elicit volcanic upheavals of hatred, fear and derision, I would say that some have reached terminal fatuity. Warren Kinsella is not alone in this; he is merely a convenient representative of Trump Derangement Syndrome. It appears to me that many otherwise sensible people have lost their minds; and I exclude Warren Kinsella from the category of “otherwise sensible people”.

Donald Trump is the Anti-Christ

Quote of the day

 

Jonathan Kay resigned a few days ago as editor in chief of Canada’s Walrus magazine. He writes:

….One of the lingering problems at The Walrus — and this is something I was never fully able to extirpate — is a failure to accept the fact that great educational journalism will inevitably step on toes and anger some people. Because the magazine was conceived as High Canadian Holy Writ delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps on the wings of angels, Walrus old-schoolers still lose their owl feathers if a Walrus writer challenges any of the many suffocating ideological taboos cherished by the cultural Eloi.

I cannot resist comparing the earnest do-goodedness of the Walrus to the  assured tone of the old Idler Magazine (1985-1993), which was David Warren’s highest secular achievement. The Idler lacks even a Wikipedia page by which to remember it, alas. For certain the old Toronto Idler challenged every one of the suffocating ideological taboos of the cultural Eloi, even as it was the product of dissident Eloi.

Speaking of suffocating cultural taboos, I recently heard an American professor speak of the need for glasnost and perestroika in North America, openness and restructuring. I do not think he meant de-communization in any formal sense. What he meant was the same as Jonathan Kay meant: our lives are being crushed or confined by suffocating taboos. Those of us who are old have escaped the full weight of them, but I think younger people are experiencing totalitarian cultural conformity on university campuses. It is a totalitarianism enforced by social media, which is to say, by the worst-acting in any population. Or the Eloi being conditioned by Morlocks, to follow the metaphor.

 

 

Demonization is not the answer

 

I have  been increasingly concerned for the state of free speech in this country and in the States. At every turn we witness resignations, purges, denunciations, firings, exclusions, bannings and condemnations for the slightest deviation from particular policy lines in every medium of communication.

Not to put to fine a point on it, the heretical expressions concern any attempt to qualify the general guilt of white people for their various actual, historical, real or imagined sins, including especially any attempt to explain why the complaining group ought to tone it down, think another way, or mollify its criticism. I say usually the target is white people. In this exercize of demonization, I would submit that the actual race of the complained-against party is largely irrelevant. If North American society were composed mostly of Japanese people, the rhetoric would be anti-Japanese. Whatever is normal, straight, traditional, reasoned, moderate, and which assigns praise or blame wholly or partly on the basis of the complaining group’s own behaviours, cultures, and manners, is forbidden.

The announcement that Jonathan Kay, editor until yesterday of the Walrus, had felt forced to resign his position because he had come to the defence of free speech in the pages of the National Post, is but this week’s leading example.

There will be more of such events. They seem to be numbered in the dozens a month.  A micro-eruption in an unread art magazine leads to the resignation of a person coming to his defence in a wider-circulation politics and arts magazine. Why? Why was Jonathan Kay’s continuing editorship felt to be untenable?

Amidst the lunacy the article by Conor Friedersdorf in the Atlantic magazine comes as a breath of fresh air. Friedersdorf tries to explain why the political Left is in general, losing the battle (even as it seems to me they are everywhere triumphant).

He cites Andrew Sullivan at one point:

“Among many liberals, there is an understandable impulse to raise the drawbridge, to deny certain ideas access to respectable conversation, to prevent certain concepts from being ‘normalized,’” Sullivan wrote, anticipating the objection. “But the normalization has already occurred — thanks, largely, to voters across the West — and willfully blinding ourselves to the most potent political movement of the moment will not make it go away. Our job in these circumstances is not to condescend but to engage — or forfeit the politics of the moment (and the future) to reaction.”

I saw this once on CBC TV, when during the usual political talking heads round-up,  the NDP spokesman said “we shouldn’t even be debating this!”, when discussing the topic was precisely what needed to happen. The urge to ban speech they do not like is overwhelming them, and generating a deep-rooted repugnance among the sane.

I confess I am getting closer and closer to the contemplation of political actions to oppose the tide of leftist oppression, including: federal government defunding of large parts of illiberal higher education, or the shutting down on entire departments of literature, sociology, women’s studies, and the like. But I digress too soon from analysis to recommendation.

That a serious politician will soon make such proposals is foreseeable; that they will be implemented is conceivable, if the survival of liberal democracy seems to be at stake.

From Friedersdorf again, this time quoting Phoebe Maltz Bovy:

Trumpism isn’t about weaving poor and working-class white men back into discussions of socioeconomic inequality. It’s about declaring whiteness and maleness forms of marginalization.

At last we get to the essence of the matter. The modern form of Leftist discourse – I use the word ‘discourse’ to describe shouting through megaphones- is to place the honest and hard-working people who make the country a success and seek to place them permanently in the wrong by reason of their sex, their race, and their class.

This is racist, sexist, classist and – a lesser sin – utterly snobbish. It is to judge people on the colour of skin rather than the content of character. Making people permanently wrong on these bases is designed to achieve futility and heartache.  Why do it?

I confess I do not know. And I also confess I am less and less concerned with understanding the Left’s psychosis and more and more concerned with how we are going to fight it. I am worried that I am seeking less and less to understand and more and more to have some heads cracked and some people fired.

The range of what is allowed to be said has been shrinking since I left university in the 1970s, but the shrinkage seems to be accelerating.

We in the West badly need glasnost and perestroika, openness and restructuring.

American political hysteria

People I know and like, and people I hardly know, are going out of their minds with Trumpophobia. I have been approached recently on several occasions by people overwrought with fury and consternation about Donald Trump. One fellow even was boasting of a German passport he had recently obtained, saying that he could consider emigrating to the centre of the free world, Frau Merkel’s Germany. I am not making this up. I look forward to his discovering how actually free Germany is, with its tumultuous Muslim problem, its anti-free speech codes, and its thought policing. And as he is probably a Jew, I also look forward to his discovering how well his religion and ethnicity goes over in militantly anti-jewish Muslim circles and with German greenies. But of course he was only posturing; if he acted on his mistaken principles I might actually have respect for his mistaken position.

Other, less virtue-signalling Americans are droning on relentlessly of Trump’s supposed subordination to Vladimir Putin, the fixed election, the calumny, the stupidity, the venality, the awfulness of Trump.

This summer I confidently expect to have to endure the Democrats whining constantly during their summer migration and stay in the village where I have my country place.

I have some advice:

Shut up!

You are being tedious beyond any reasonable limit!

I am fed up with your whining. I am not interested. Go away! If you persist in this,  Trump will drive you into chemotherapy, catatonia, or dementia.

To quote the Master, Oscar Wilde,

-in matters of society, it is not a question of being right or wrong, but of being charming or tedious.-

And you are all being tedious in the extreme. Get over yourselves. Talk by 60 year old seriously privileged white people about -resistance- to Trump is more fatuous than you can imagine.

“In China, you cannot criticize the government, but you can criticize Darwin”

Said a Chinese paleontologist:

“In China you cannot criticize the government, but you can criticize Darwin. In the United States, you can criticize the government, but you cannot criticize Darwin.”

One of the books pushed aside by Whittaker Chambers’ Witness has been “Darwin’s Doubt”, by Stephen C. Meyer, which I have now resumed. I confess that, the more I read into Darwin and Darwinism, and I read a lot about Darwinism, it is evident that:

  • He published two entirely distinct theories of evolution, natural selection and sexual selection.
  • He published “The Descent of Man, or Selection in Relation to Sex” thirteen years after “The Origin of Species”.
  • Accordingly, natural selection is not a complete theory of evolution. A complete theory explains all the facts in its purview. The Origin of Species does not pretend to do so.
  • The fact that Darwin published two distinct theories means that he did not consider that natural selection is a complete theory of evolution. (This is to his credit as a serious scientist).
  • It follows that, if two theories of evolution have been promulgated by the greatest biologist of the 19th century, there may be more mechanisms or explanations for evolution.

The longer you look into the question, as a lawyer examining evidence, the more you are compelled to conclude that the case for the origin of species in naturalistic or purely materialist theories is unproven. The Darwinian case is plausible; it is not proven. Nor can such a thing ever be proven. It can be argued, and argued persuasively, but it is beyond human capacity to prove,

Natural selection cannot be a “fact” in the sense in which that philosophical illiterate Richard Dawkins speaks. It is and will always remain a theory, more or less – I would argue less – plausibly demonstrated. Evolution may be an observed fact, but whether it occurs through natural selection exclusively or by other causes is, as Darwin attested,  an answered question. It occurs by at last two forces: natural and sexual. Whether there is a third or fourth cause of evolution has not been established, but in principle it cannot be ruled out.

And we get this far merely by noting that Darwin promoted at last two theories of the causes of evolution of species.

When will people take account of this obvious fact? If two theories were promulgated by Darwin maybe

a) natural selection was thought insufficient by the Master himself;

b) maybe a third or fourth explanation is equally available

We can get this far without any discussion of intelligent design whatever.

Now you may be ready for this movie.

In the United States, you can criticize the government, but you cannot criticize Darwin. I recall Francis Bacon saying that if he had the ability, he would burn all of Aristotle. I understand now why he wanted to do so. It was not Aristotle, it was the position that the Church had put him in. And Darwin has been similarly quasi-deified by a materialist establishment.

 

You heard it here first

Female sexual restraint  is the basis of civilizational progress.

The matriarchy disincentivizes male energy.

The matriarchy is the result of female liberation.

A feminist future is an oxymoron.

Feeling better now?

By way of contradiction, if this video represented the whole truth, why are Islamic societies so fucked up? Disposable male energy is obviously not the whole answer, else these Islamic  fuckheads would be running the world, as they think they ought to be, but so clearly are not. So there must be some other factors at work besides female chastity and suppressed sexuality that make for progress. Free inquiry?

 

Whittaker Chambers

 

Whittaker Chambers (1901-1961) was, from his mid twenties until his late thirties, a Communist and a spy for Soviet military intelligence (the GRU), who departed the Communist Party and his spying, and became a senior editor of Time magazine. He was a very gifted writer, and wrote a truly great book, Witness. His insights into what Communism was, why it nearly succeeded, and the enormous difficulty many Americans had in believing that there was anything the matter with the Soviet Union, are relevant to this day.

Books I read compete for my attention. I keep three or four on the go and more ready to to take up the slack at any time. At the moment, Witness has blown past the other respectable contestants by a furlong and is heading down the track to claim the prize.

People of a certain age will be forgiven for not understanding how much the 20th century was shaped by the Communist promise. It fell like Sauron’s Barad-Dür in 1989, contrary to every respectable opinion leader in western society, except the true hardened east European anti-Communists, to whom no one paid much attention.

Whittaker Chambers remarks that the driving force of Western intellectuals supporting the Party was not a belief in the economic doctrines of Marx, which hardly anyone read, but the promise of an egalitarian society and the end of material want. The age old and senseless suffering of man could at last come to an end, and if it took a few crimes to achieve it, then it was worth it. They had the Plan. No one else did.

It must be recalled that the Soviet Union, betrayed in its alliance with Hitler, took most of the casualties of World War 2. There was deep-rooted appreciation for the Soviet Union and its wartime sacrifices across most sectors of enlightened liberal opinion until at least 1948 and longer. The desirability of central planning of the economy was an assumed truth in almost every quarter of literate opinion. I recall George Orwell reviewing a book by Hayek, the Road to Serfdom. Orwell was aghast at Hayek’s bold denunciation of central planning of the economy. Says Orwell:

Professor Hayek denies that free capitalism necessarily leads to monopoly, but in practice that is where it has led, and since the vast majority of people would far rather have State regimentation than slumps and unemployment, the drift towards collectivism is bound to continue if popular opinion has any say in the matter.

But the vogue for central planning was underlain by a deep seated belief that Communism had the correct blueprint to understanding and acting in history.

Chambers’ view of Communism was that one could serve it for many years, and still not penetrate to its essence. Then, sooner or later, one would hear screams in the night.

Whittaker Chambers wrote:

What Communist has not heard those screams? Execution, says the Communist code, is the highest measure of social protection. What man can call himself a Communist who has not accepted the fact that Terror  is an instrument of policy, right if the vision is right, justified by history, enjoined by the balance of forces in the social wars of this century? Tose screams have reached every Communist’s mind. Usually they stop there. What judge willingly dwells upon the man the laws compel him to condemn to death – the laws of nations or the laws of history? (page xliv)

What provoked my interest was a passage much further along in the book concerning why the vast mass of American bien-pensants  revolted at the notion that Chambers was right in denouncing well-born native Americans who were part of his spy apparatus. Readers of this blog may be expected to have heard names like Alger Hiss or Harry Dexter White but may have forgotten the enormous brouhaha that erupted across the United states when in 1948 Chambers was summoned to publish his  accusations by a Congressional committee. Quite simply, he said these people were part of his spy ring. He knew so because he picked up documents from them weekly for years for the purpose of microfilming and passing on to Colonel Bykov, his GRU controller. Chambers was not believed by many liberals, and was sued by Alger Hiss for slander twice.  Hiss eventually went to prison for espionage. His guilt has been more than adequately proven by subsequent decrypts of Soviet signals traffic.

Chambers had to deal with the enmity of those who believed that Communism was basically a force for good in the world, and that he was wrong or mentally unbalanced for believing otherwise. Speaking of these “liberals”, Chambers wrote:

They were people who believed a number of things. Foremost among them was a belief that peace could be preserved, World War III could be averted only by conciliating the Soviet union. For this no p[rice was too high to pay, including the price of wilful historical self delusion. Yet they had just fiercely supported a war in which one of their ululant outcries had been against appeasement; and they were much too intelligent really to believe that Russia was a democracy or most of the other upside-down things they said in defense of it. Hence like most people who have substituted the habit of delusion for reality, they became hysterical whenever the root of their delusion was touched, and reacted with a violence that completely belied the openness of mind which they prescribed for others. Let me call their peculiar condition… the Popular Front mind.

The Popular Front mind dominated American life, at least from 1938 to 1948….Particularly, it dominated all avenues of communication between the intellectuals and the nation. It told the nation what it should believe; it made up the nation’s mind for it. The Popular Fronters had made themselves the “experts”. They controlled the narrows of news and opinion. And though, to a practised ear, they never ceased to speak as the scribes, the nation heard in their fatal errors the voice of those having authority.  For the nation too, wanted peace above all things, and it meant it could not grasp or believe that a conspiracy on the scale of Communism was possible or that it had already made so deep a penetration into their lives.”

Does that remind you of something?

97% of scientists believe that ….?

Anthropogenic global warming?

Climate change?

I am waiting for the Whittaker Chambers of the anthropogenic global warming movement to write his book on the scale of the deception, the skullduggery and the extent of the conspiracy. It will be resisted to the same extent that Whittaker Chamber’s testimony was, and by the same sorts of people. The AGW thing has not arisen to totalitarian power anywhere yet, but not for want of trying.

In any case, for any number of reasons,  Witness makes for compelling reading, not least because it is a great story well told about the struggles of the 20th century, and of a man and his God.