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Spirituality is entirely fake until you make it real


User ID: 1884



0 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 November 17 22:26:19 UTC


Spirituality is entirely fake until you make it real


User ID: 1884

But that guy doesn't need to tell anyone he's a Republican. I'm not American, but I talked to an American colleague about this recently, and he says no one will ever know who he votes for. My dad takes that attitude as well.

Pretty interesting analysis of the complex systems fuckup that the Hamas attack was:

Some former members of the IDF who served on the border have in recent days testified on social media that the fence really was a technological marvel. Not so much as a stray cat could get anywhere near the border without setting off alarms, they recall. And the government and military certainly seem to have believed it was indeed impenetrable and really had changed the reality on the ground; hence partly why, by the start of this month, they had redeployed most of their regular military forces to guard the West Bank and northern border instead.


In any case, Hamas was able to begin their attack with the element of surprise. This was aided by an initial early-morning barrage of rocket fire, which was a relatively routine experience for the Israeli garrison forces, but which survivors recall sent most of their number hurrying as a standard precaution into fortified bunkers where – critically – they could not physically observe the approach to the border. They would normally have instead relied on the surveillance cameras to monitor the situation. Hamas, however, used small, off-the-shelf drones rigged with mortar rounds and other explosives to attack and disable the communications towers powering the network. These drones were too small and low-flying for radar to detect, so would have had to have been spotted by eye and ear. Without the cellular data link provided by the towers, the cameras did not function, and neither did the sensors and alarm systems.

With the surveillance and communications systems down, Hamas commandos then used their now infamous paragliders to simply fly over the fence. There they faced little armed opposition. The remote-controlled machine gun emplacements, if they could even operate without wireless data, had also been destroyed by drones. Now isolated, 23 high-tech observation posts each manned by a single soldier – all of them young women – were ambushed and rapidly overwhelmed by the first attackers. Those who tried to report the attacks would have found they couldn’t easily communicate. Meanwhile Hamas used bulldozers and wire cutters to quickly level around 30 sections of the fence without resistance. All of this took only a matter of minutes.

Operational command and control of the IDF division guarding the border had been concentrated into a single centralized base close to the fence. As some 1,500 Hamas terrorists surged across the now open border, this base was quickly overrun and the senior officers there killed or captured. They likely received little-to-no warning, given pictures circulating of scores of soldiers having been shot while asleep in their barracks, many still in their underwear. The subsequent sudden absence of central leadership and breakdown in the chain of command, along with the communications problems, meant that the scope and gravity of the overall situation could not easily be pieced together or communicated to either local forces or to national-level military command. Thus in the end it took hours for leaders to fully grasp what was happening and for reinforcements from elsewhere in the country to be successfully contacted, mobilized, coordinated, and moved to the south to confront the threat.

But did anyone understand those is the real question? Because there were quite a few people who understood what I wrote.

Order and Progress is, if you think about it, the central conflict of the Culture War, so it's really very funny that the Brasilians put it on their flag. I explore this conflict for a bit and speculate on a possible resolution.

You know, I can understand him just fine with my paltry 115 IQ (as estimated by the Wonderlic). I once wrote something that it seems @naraburns, who is much smarter than me, didn't understand (others did though), so I'm wondering if there is some writing that is meant to be apprehended by faculties other than reason.

Hell, my best friend and I used to get drunk and make free online texting numbers just to bother his ex-gfs, when inevitably the new boyfriend would text back threateningly, we would issue a florid challenge to fistfight and then give him an address at an empty house we'd find for sale online in the wrong town. Only two of them were ever dumb enough to actually show up, then text the fake number to call his putative opponent a pussy. It was great fun, normal human behavior.

This seems pretty douchy and childish.

Curtis Yarvin wrote about this clusterfuck: Gaza and the nomos of the earth. It makes some humorous connections between American foreign policy and dog fighting pits, and visualizes a world where America stops trying to meddle and just lets "might makes right" rule:

But this is how might makes right. Now, picture this victory—the victory of force and order over turmoil and chaos—worldwide, cleaning up all the world’s open sores. You are picturing the fall of the American empire—and realizing that, like the USSR (if much better), the GAE can actually fall upward. Almost all the problems it supposedly exists to solve will rapidly solve themselves as soon as it is gone.

Curiously, he's arguing for the US cutting Israel loose, militarily and diplomatically, but that this would lead to Israel finally sorting out the Palestinian problem, through force. I say curious, because I'm not sure if Israel is actually strong enough to stand on its own without the US supplying weapons, but if they are, well, I say Israel is illegitimate, but so be it: I don't believe in wandering into a barbaric hinterland to impose one's sense of justice or civilization, which is a big point of agreement between me and Yarvin.

Definitely felt called out hard by this line:

Are you addicted to Anglo-American missionary imperialism? Test yourself with two easy checks. Do you genuinely, emotionally, care about the plight of the Palestinians? Do you know where Stepanakert is? If your answers are “yes” and “no,” you need help.

I need help I guess, except I don't believe in militarily intervening in favor of the Palestinians.

I wonder what is the proper relation of a civilization to the barbarians. Yarvin says:

The basic way for a country to be neutral in a war is, as Hamilton observes, to trade freely with both sides, but not sell weapons (“contraband of war”) to either.

And yet, so much of the world is barbaric. Kinda makes you hope Better Angels of our Nature is true.

That actually is the truth yeah, I didn't have a particularly strong opinion on this, though I suppose I was never pro-Israel. I'm not pro-Hamas either, although, to be fair, I don't know who has the moral authority to actually punish them. Possibly only the Palestinians themselves. Reading up more on the history of Zionism prior to the partition, I'm increasingly of the view this was a bad idea. Two of the quotes came from The Intercept article I linked to, Netanyahu's from this thread, and the Sam Kriss article I read months ago when it came out.

There is a possibility for something truly great that would shock the world here: do nothing. Just beef up defenses around Gaza so they don't catch them with their pants down again, but actually demonstrate what the high road looks like. Perhaps some will claim they have taken the high road many times, but I'm not so convinced.

Personally, I really do feel that the Arab nations are not civilized, so they play by different rules. It ticks me off more when a nation pretends to be of a superior sort, but then not actually live up to the supposed superiority.

They should have handled the situation differently back then, do anything other than the Nakba, but the way they acted shows they don't respect anything but their own power. Reading up more about the history, I'm just against Zionism as it was practiced, the people actually living there weren't liking it, and I really dislike that a displaced people could just decide to pass the buck on and displace other people, particularly when the ones doing the displacing are supposed to be civilized.

Either pack up and leave, or adopt a semi-pacifist policy towards Gaza: beef up the defenses around it, but there is to be no retaliation.

Are you sure about that? They may be the most pragmatic solution after all. Why do you think they're doing it if they're not necessary?

“It’s time to be cruel,” and Knesset member Ariel Kallner calling for a “Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of 48,” a reference to the massacre and expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians upon Israel’s founding.

So I looked up more on this Nakba:

Before, during and after the 1947–1949 war, hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages were depopulated and destroyed. Geographic names throughout the country were erased and replaced with Hebrew names, sometimes derivatives of the historical Palestinian nomenclature, and sometimes new inventions. Numerous non-Jewish historical sites were destroyed, not just during the wars, but in a subsequent process over a number of decades. For example, over 80% of Palestinian village mosques have been destroyed, and artefacts have been removed from museums and archives.

You shouldn't be able to get away with this sort of thing right in the middle of the 20th century. After that, it's no wonder if there are Palestinians who will never accept Israel, and I also think Israel doesn't really have a leg to stand on to negotiate, as it's not really a legitimate state, just a top-down imposition.

Debating this elsewhere, some reactions were "Oh, but the Arabs wouldn't accept the partition plan", but why should they, why does the UN have the right to just impose that on them? Actually, the UN involvement just makes Israel seem like another High Modernist fuck up, another of the numerous errors of the first half of the 20th century.

Addressing something Ike Saul said below:

I don’t view Israelis and Brits as colonizers any more than the Assyrians or the Babylonians or the Romans or the Mongols or the Egyptians or the Ottomans who all battled over the same strip of land from as early as 800 years before Jesus’s time until now. The Jews who founded Israel just happened to have won the last big battle for it.

No, I am not moved by appeals to ancient history. That cycle has to end at some point, and the end of WW II seems like a good stopping point for that sort of shenanigan.

Also, you can't have your high officials expressing themselves like the guy above and like this:

Gallant said that he had ordered “a complete siege of the Gaza Strip,” which is home to 2.2 million Palestinians, nearly half of them children. “There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed,” he said. “We are fighting human animals, and we act accordingly.”


The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.

You can't talk like this and then pretend you're the civilized party here! Though of course, looking at the so-called developed nations, especially America, maybe they don't talk like this, but they sure behave like it, so maybe there actually are no or few civilizations around.

But that doesn't make me think Israel is legitimate, it just makes me think the developed world is fake too.

Sam Kriss had a great article on Israel from some time ago:

It was almost inconceivable that this wasteland had been made by Jews, that my people and my religion could have created something so ungodly. I did not recognise myself in this mirror. Jews—like Mel Brooks, like Franz Kafka, like Albert Einstein, like Bruno Schulz, like Woody Allen, like the Coen brothers, like Walter Benjamin, like me. People with sexual hangups and a good sense of humour. Bookish men with overbearing mothers. Latkes and lokshen pudding. Candles on a Friday night. Jews, the guilty conscience of Europe, the bearers of messianic hope through every generation—reduced to this.

American support for an ethno-nationalist state can't last. All it takes is a sufficiently left-wing administration coming around to undo this by simply withdrawing support, which could easily happen in the next few decades.

Apologies if this is too much heat, but looking at the circumstances of Israel's founding, Israel genuinely just seems to me to be an injustice. Maybe Israel could have happened legitimately if they hadn't been in such a hurry, and maybe the hurry could have been excused because of the Holocaust, but not to the point that you pull a Nakba.

EDIT: And of course, Hamas' attacks were barbarous, but that doesn't really conjure up legitimacy for the state of Israel. Why should they?

Well yeah, Israel is pretty much Fitzcarraldo. It should never have existed.

Do you have principles? I mean, you are letting lust get in the way of love here, and if your principles cannot override your emotions, well, you don't really have principles then!

I mean, it's not like you can affirm this lust as some kind of important value. It's just a strong emotion. It can't even be that strong: 2 or 3 new partners a year? How long were the dry spells then? Were they so unbearable? This time, it's not like you won't be having sex, so it's not like you're signing up for one long dry spell either.

I heard keto can screw up your kidneys or have other side effects. You ever heard of that?

Kanye West famously said "I like Hitler". He also said more:

“I see good things about Hitler also. I love everyone. Jewish people are not going to tell me you can love us, and you can love what we’re doing to you with the contracts, and you can love what we’re pushing with the pornography. But this guy that invented highways, invented the very microphone that I use as a musician, you can’t say out loud that this person ever did anything good, and I’m done with that.”

This is, of course, insane. But there is a method to the madness, a signal in the noise. It is this: the implications of never forgiving Hitler are nasty.

Hitler did evil of a particularly noxious sort. It's not just that he aroused the passions of the hearts of millions to serve his purposes, it's also how he bent science and reason into doing so much harm. It's like if someone got it into their head to fully manifest the meaning of the word infernal, an ultimate perversion of ordinarily good things.

We do, however, have to let him go. Because to not do so would be to grant validity to the idea of anger, resentment, outrage, even hatred, because Hitler would always remain a valid target for these sentiments. And to believe these sentiments are good and beautiful is just poison.

We don't, of course, consciously think that of these sorts of emotions. But unconsciously, we do think outrage can be good and proper, else we would just have collectively tut-tutted or smirked at Kanye. Few would attempt to mount a defense of hatred and outrage, so what is the point of allowing them to exist in your soul? Can you really look inside you and call your outrage beautiful, regardless of its cause? What is the point of carrying around ugly things in your head?

To forgive Hitler is not a fundamentally novel idea, but it hasn't sank into the consensus yet. Even so, Eva Kor, an Auschwitz survivor, did it. And in a sense, so did World War II veteran Kurt Vonnegut in The Sirens of Titan: a segment of the novel features Martians who are hypnotized into invading Earth. Their invasion is pathetic and swiftly crushed, so pathetic that the Earthlings are ashamed of what they did and the memory of the Martians becomes part of a new religion. That is a way forward for forgiving Hitler and the Nazis: not to see them as evil, but as sick and deluded. Because the sick are a target of pity, not of outrage.

Ah, but I say these words, and even as I say this, I sense a smirk in me at what I myself am saying. It is just a smirk: I cannot question it, I cannot reason with it, I can only amplify it and see what it has to say. And here it is:

Oh silly, don't you see? We must have hatred, we must have outrage, or else, where would we be?

And once said, it dissolves. Everything arises and passes away if you will let it. Did you smirk too at what I have said? What did your smirk have to say?

And can you tell me that it was a good thing?


So how does one fix this mass of suffering?

Well, I used to shill my substack with no issue back on /r/themotte. I went by AntiDyatlov, and previously mooseburger42 over there. We have spoken before, though sadly mostly when I was in a psychotic or semi-psychotic state.

As to speak plainly, I don't know, people understood me in /r/sorceryofthespectacle and /r/RationalPsychonaut. But yeah, maybe The Motte is not really in the target demo for this, it's just that I always viewed the main page of this place as a free for all.

Though I think there is definitely something to be said about rationalists, about how there is no fire to their equations. But that is not this article, even if it is related.

When I do come up with a version of this article but for rationalists, think you will let it through?

Do these memes and so on really serve a deeper purpose than communicating the vibe 'TECHNOCRACY BAD'? Paul Kingsnorth for example, seems to see Schwab for what he is, though I grant Mr. Kingsnorth is hardly a central example of a rightist:

A smooth, clean, ordered world, free of dangerous melons on little market stalls, free of small businesses and anarchic commercial arrangements and awkward human interactions of any sort - a world run by efficient, clean, digitised corporations offering ‘e-solutions’ for any activity that might threaten our safety and wellbeing: this has been on offer for years now, but the pandemic - as Schwab openly acknowledges - has been a blessing for those behind it. We are prepared to accept things now which would have been inconceivable three years ago. What will be conceived next year? And who will listen to the ragtag mob of conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, fascists and nutters who want us to say no to it?

This is the sort of thing that fuels the genuinely weird ‘conspiracy theories’ around Schwab and his agenda. But it’s not necessary to believe that the virus was deliberately released or doesn’t exist, to simply observe the wider picture. For decades now, nation states and their political leaders have been progressively disempowered by globalisation, and power has been concentrated in the hands of those who create and control the world’s technological infrastructure. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Klaus Schwab, Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, Ray Kurzweil and the like have been moulding our reality for decades, and the limbic capitalism they pioneered has been hyper-charged by covid - as has awareness of it, and a growing counter-reaction.

We are living through a time in which the conflict between technocracy and democracy has spilled out into the open: the battle is being fought daily now on street and screen. Schwab has caught the spotlight because he is publicly attempting to put a storytelling framework around this conflict. Only last month, at a conference in (where else?) Dubai, he made this ambition explicit by rebranding his Great Reset as the ‘Great Narrative’. The world needed a new global story to unite it, he said. He and the WEF would help to ‘imagine the future, design the future, and then execute the future.’

One can respect people who are not one's equals yes, but I think this is conditional on one not thinking very often, or at all, of the ways in which one is superior, particularly if intellect is the disparity. Which suggests a way forward here, since it doesn't seem like individualism will be making a comeback: the truth about black IQ can't be in the water supply. It probably can only be safely handled in the ivory tower, though even there there's a vigorous effort to squelch it. But no, it would probably be healthier to come up with a way to process it.

As far as I'm concerned, treating other people politely, refraining from insulting them, and such is perfectly adequate

The problem is, people are asking for more than that. But yes, it is true respect is a spectrum and not a binary. It would be interesting if the case of the janitor could generalize to race relations, but it doesn't seem like it can because of the commitment to equality. It still seems impossible to attempt to use an analogy like that to handle a genetic explanation for the black IQ gap.

If this is the case, why did Scott come up with that "at least two of true, kind and necessary" posting rule? It only makes sense if some truths are unkind, which is one way a truth can have moral valence.

I think some truths are value neutral, but not all of them, and this particular one has nasty implications under common sense reasoning. Yes, you can't derive an ought from an is, but that's only true at max rigor, which isn't how most people operate most of the time. With good reason: with enough rigor, the world dissolves into a fine mist.

Good comment, but then, this makes it sound like he should have said "The truth cannot be racist*", with the asterisk expanding out into the kind of impossibly nuanced argument that would allow one to claim "yes, they are generally dumber than you, but you should still respect them!".

I mean, can one respect someone while simultaneously claiming they're duller? Seems like it would take some real contortions, common-sensically, once you feel someone is not at least your equal, you don't respect them. Sure, you can still feel compassion for them, but it sounds very disempowering to say "whites should be compassionate towards blacks". Arguably, that's the attitude wokes take, but I think that's the reason they often say things that sound awfully racist.