“The roots of transphobia run so deep they cause trauma that has profound effects on people years after their exposure to intensely transphobic environments.”
I have, in the past, referred to myself as human-supremacist, because that is a core value to me; if a morality system suggests that actually maybe you could/should side with non-humans or extinction isn't a bad thing, you have made many wrong turns. Non-humans aren't irrelevant; I prefer small-farm-eggs over battery-cage-eggs, but I would take battery-cage over no eggs ever. I'm reminded of a comment from Alex Kaschuta that humanity has become right-coded; the left prefers to talk about "the planet." That's overgeneralized, but I get where she's coming from, and it's a weird situation.
I feel the same way. Peter Singer has made a name for himself over the past few decades describing this as "speciesism" and comparing it directly to racism as a means of convincing people his view of universal utilitarianism is true -- I prefer just to bite down hard on that bullet and say I am not a racist for the same reason I AM a speciesist. All humans are superior to all other things, full stop. Human supremacy forever.
I think anthropocentrism has absolutely become right-coded, but only because it asserts that a hierarchy of concern and value exists, and humans are at the top.
I've been meaning to make an effortpost about this, but I think a key distinction between the right and the left, one of the fundamental building blocks of ideologies, is how they feel about hierarchies, even conceptual ones. When the rule of the day was (or is) "white people > black people" it's a left-wing thing to say that "white people = black people" -- sorry, I mean "poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids". The right (or a segment of it) upholds a hierarchy; the left tries to tear it down.
Conversely, when the rule of the day is "humans > non-humans," it becomes a left-wing thing to say "humans = non-humans."
The big thing in the philosophical debate is "what essential feature of a human makes them superior?" which I think is the exact wrong question to ask. The essential feature of the human being that makes them a member of the moral community is that they are human: they bear the human genome, possess a human body, have human traits and features, and ultimately (assuming all the equipment works correctly and a chromosomal defect has not manifested itself) can produce fertile offspring with a human of the opposite sex. I am a human, you all are humans, we are humans, what is important to humans is humans.
This is true whether the person in question is as smart as supercomputers or as dumb as boulders, but may not be true in the case of genuinely severe and horrifying birth defects, and the ones with which people live to adulthood are not included. We're talking about the ones that belong on eyebleach.
Long introspective monologues... And of course all the characters emote like a knitting circle full of menopausal aunts. But undergirding all of it is an undercurrent of neuroticism that utterly stifles anything from actually happening.
I think this is another one of the weird areas in which my attitudes and predilections are unusually feminine, because this is often the sort of writing I enjoy, and even more often the sort of writing I tend to produce, when I'm struck by the itch to write fiction. I was just telling my girlfriend about how I prefer books where the characters' internal monologues and emotions are central, while things like visual description and action are pretty boring to me.
I'm the type to read romance novels, if any on earth were written for straight men -- and trust me, I've looked.
Then again, I would also argue that what you're describing isn't universally female -- George Orwell is an author I personally find eminently readable, and his books are entirely full of internal monologues, undercurrents of neuroticism, and sweeping character emotions.
So I don't think this is just a woman thing, I think men can do it too. It's probably more of a personality difference.
My attitude towards STS is basically Scott’s attitude towards Las Vegas:
It is glorious that we can create something like this.
It is shameful that we did.
If only we’d done something with Apollo Applications instead of throwing it in the trash for a reckless space truck.
This hypothetical ur-racist is the exact sort of person utterly incapable of perceiving wokeness. It's just normal to them. "Being a decent person".
I still wonder incredulously about how this happened. How an ideology swept seemingly everybody and nobody noticed, and anyone who believes it refuses even to name it, to recognize it is a concrete set of views that can be evaluated, and affirmed or rejected. But I suppose that would require the ideas be put up on the board where they can be objectified and ogled at.
And I knew the DnD movie would be horrible but I appreciate the more detailed warning.
That was not an attempt at wokeness on our part, we [just] love emasculating leading men.”
Yeah, so that’s the wokeness, can they not see that?
It is certainly one of my big problems with the MCU.
I guess it's a part of a larger thing I don't like about a lot of modern media, which is that it often doesn't take itself seriously, and instead likes to break the fourth wall and tell meta jokes about its core concept, kinda mocking the story while telling it. I'm fine with the occasional silly joke, but I feel like the attitude just permeates mass media at this point. I think the Marvel films have been doing that since nearly the beginning and I think the popularity of those films is why this storytelling concept has caught on so much.
Personally, I really love stories that take themselves seriously, and present their story as something real and consistent, not something that lends itself to slapstick humor or self-referential breaking-the-fourth-wall jokes.
My guess is that writers are doing this because they know audiences want to see humor. Why exactly that's what audiences want to see is perhaps more a matter for the culture war thread than for here.
When Christianity spreads to another culture (as it has been continuously doing since the beginning), it faces a problem: how do you represent the major figures, including Christ and the saints? You can take two different approaches here:
Icons are representative, not realistic. So you can (and should) adapt iconography to the ethnic and cultural makeup of the people using them in order to make them more relatable and less foreign. Hence you have black, white, Chinese, etc. icons of Jesus, Mary, and so on.
Icons are representations of real people, so they should picture them as they actually are (as best as we can tell). This entails that Jesus, Mary, the apostles, and so on look eastern-Mediterranean, since that's how they actually looked; if people want icons that look like them, well, there are plenty of saints actually from their ethnicity, or will be soon enough.
The approach I prefer (and the approach which seems to be the de facto approach of Catholicism, even if it's not explicitly stated in full detail) is that Christ and his mother can be in any ethnicity you like, because their universal love for humanity, and their status as the new Adam and Eve, makes them theologically united with all the races of the world, spiritually speaking, but of course biologically they are and always will be Jews from Galilee.
Other saints, though, I'm less comfortable making them ethnicities that do not reflect their actual background, because a big part of the point of their veneration is that the Holy Spirit has gone out to all peoples of the world -- "from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues," as it's written -- and the best way to demonstrate the diversity of the Church is to accurately depict it.
The artist did get the colors wrong; usually Mary has a red outer garment (for holiness) and a blue inner one (for humanity).
I think they're just imitating Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which performs the same swap.
I don't know why the West and the East ended up swapping the colors of the Virgin's garments. But for some reason, her definitive color in the West is undeniably blue -- so much that T.S. Elliot called it "Mary's color" in Ash Wednesday -- while, as you said, Eastern Orthodox iconography strongly prefers the red-over-blue. I don't know if there was an actual swap along the way, or if both traditions developed entirely separately.
In his Reactionary Philosophy in a Nutshell post
Wow, I don't think I ever actually read that one. There's some really good stuff in there that jives extremely well with how I tend to think about things. Scott did a great job presenting the value he sees in an ideology he disagrees with deeply.
"Women aren't actually bizarre aliens from the planet Zygra'ax with completely inexplicable preferences" should also be stickied at the top of all conversations about dating.
I think it's true accounting for the actual religiosity of the people we're talking about. The poor tend more to claim they're religious, but rich people who are religious tend to follow their religion much more strongly.
I suspect that rates of devout and practicing religiosity aren't that different between the rich and poor in the US at least. What's different is that religion is still the "signaling you're a good person and not a defector" among the poor, while the rich have moved on to other things (like wokeness). So even people who aren't very religious among the poor tend to identify themselves as Christians, even if they have little interior faith and their conduct does not reflect religious values. See members of organized crime wearing crosses while shooting up people's houses.
Or, to cite an example calling back to a world before this bifurcation, that amazing scene in the Godfather where Michael participates in his son's baptism and answers the baptismal questions ("Do you renounce Satan? And all his works?") while the film cuts to scenes of violent massacres ordered by him. He didn't baptize his son because he "believes in the God the Father almighty" but because that's what you did as an Italian-American in 1950.
I'm looking for a sleep journaling app for iOS. I have automatic sleep tracking set up, but I want to be able to contrast that data with my own subjective sense of how long I slept and what hours. I've been using one of the CBTi apps designed for insomnia, and while I really like the sleep journaling feature, I don't think the overall CBTi method is helpful for my specific situation.
I know I could just write it down but I'd really prefer an interactive way to input the data, which can also show me graphs of my sleep over time.
I looked up a few search terms on the app store but all of the results seem super cloud-oriented and their laundry lists of user tracking were long. I'd prefer an app that collects the minimum amount of data from users, if possible. I just want to be able to store and look at the data locally.
Simple fact of the matter is that people do not enjoy being told to sit up straight and eat their vegetables, they do not enjoy being told that they are no better than anyone else.
And the sad reality is, that's actually the message people need to hear. It's the message that lends itself to psychological functioning, not just in trad societies but in all societies. I'm not relatively trad because I want to live in the 1850s, I'm trad because certain key aspects of the way in which people thought in the 1850s lent themselves to people living happier, healthier, more satisfying and successful lives.
I no shit believe that the average person in 1900 was happier and more satisfied with their lives than the average person in the 2023 west -- and that despite them struggling with infant mortality, disease, famine, back-breaking labor, and all sorts of material problems that your average person in 2023 doesn't deal with. If we could have vaccines and faith at the same time, there's no limit to what we could accomplish. But as it stands I think people are sorrowful with a great life materially speaking, and I think that speaks to our spiritual vacuousness -- not necessarily in a religious sense, but purely psychologically.
What I'm optimizing for isn't "a particular model of human social organization" but for "a particular model of human psychology," which I believe to be the actual one homo sapiens has. That's a factual claim, and I'm open to being proved wrong, but of course I believe what I do because I think it's correct.
I've made no secret on here that I struggle with mental illness. I hold generally socially conservative views, frankly, because I feel that acting in accordance with a largely conservative worldview is the only successful bulwark against my struggles disintegrating my soul, placing each molecule on the surface of a different burning sun, scooping my essence out of my body with a flaming ladle, and pouring it over hot diamonds. (Kudos if you get the reference.)
In particular, I feel like everything about me and my personality would scream super-woke to anyone who didn't know my race or sex. I see in myself the tendency towards catastrophization, the emotional liability, the ideological zeal, the tendency towards all-consuming contempt for people who oppose things I believe, the pessimism, the external locus of control, the insecurity and narcissism.
Certainly not all people who identify as progressive are this way. But I know the type, and I think the worst segment of the progressive left, the ones who do damage to themselves and society, are like me in so many ways. I look into the mirror and I see my worst enemy reflected back, covered by a loose collection of sinews and skin that make me their enemy.
Basically I think if I were anything other than a straight white man I would be the most frothing-at-the-mouth SJW, in all the worst ways, who ever walked the earth. And crucially, that's not because I'm a conservative as some way to fuck over people who aren't straight and white and male, and not being those things would take away that incentive -- most would probably believe this, but frankly it's not true. It's because everything about social justice as a worldview is optimized maniacally for appeal with people who have my kind of personality, regardless of its truth value. And the only thing that prevents me from being consumed by it is the fact that as the designated oppressor class of socjus, it offers nothing to me.
Contrary to what some might believe about Christianity, my religious impulses act significantly to temper my flaws, reminding me to be humble, to be merciful towards my enemies, to forgive, to recognize the value of even people I don't like, and furthermore to submit myself to a higher power and to recognize that I'm not God.
If I had no impulses towards spirituality, I don't doubt that my flaws would consume me and I would become twisted, unrecognizable, if not dead. In fact, this nearly happened, and that's why I have a spiritual side. I think if we wanted to get conspiratorial and society wanted to work to prevent the radicalization of young men, they would promote conservative Christianity. It offers the antidote to extremely online rightism.
Ok, now y’all have me convinced AI is going to destroy society. Will there be any employment left for human beings?
let's make pizza together sometime
New euphemism for sex just dropped.
I still don't like it as much as Scott's classic "derive gains from trade."
which, idk why you're on Tinder if you aren't because that's explicitly the point of Tinder
Well, recently on here it was explained to me that even on Grindr there is a significant chunk of people looking for friendship or other kinds of not-necessarily-sexual connection.
And Tinder, as far as I know (I have never used the app) has just become a fully-general dating app at this point; the old guard of online dating like Match have all but died, and Tinder is the heir. So people looking for dating on Tinder doesn't surprise me in the least. I would go so far as to suggest that's its primary use case nowadays.
See, this is my takeaway. It's possible this girl was indeed attracted to the guy and would have said yes to a date. If that was the case, I don't think what happened is that she immediately decided she hated the guy and wanted to destroy his life, my guess is she went home and cried because she's been single for a while and a guy she thought was cute thought she wasn't good enough to date.
I really don't understand what the motivation for not actually asking this girl out was and I consider that a bewildering mistake.
I'm slightly optimistic that there's going to be some level of Gen-Z backlash to the crazy 4th wave feminism we see now and that may prompt new personal commitment to having a nuclear family and shedding some of the "but how do I maximize my own personal emotional state?" thinking. I am not Gen-Z, however, and their customs and ways are strange to me.
Oh you sweet summer child, if only that were so. But no, the firm sense I get is that Gen Z is worse on every conceivable metric that might lead them to make such a choice. I say this as a zoomer.
Zoomers, even the older ones, aren't thinking about personal commitment, they are thinking about new and more creative ways to get high, while playing vidya and jerking off to whatever porn people are into nowadays. The Baptists are drinking beer (true story) and everyone's clinically depressed.
If you want a vision of the future, just imagine a lost, neurotic teenager screaming "How do I maximize my own personal emotional state?" into the void for a thousand years.
Well, first off, I think we can count out any potential romance between you and me because from your description of your ideal I'm probably a typological example of your worst nightmare of a potential mate, lol.
More seriously, for me, the essential thing in a partner is that they be independent-minded. I don't mean by that to say they should be rebellious, necessarily, in fact I would argue in this day and age the most independent-minded people are often not the most rebellious, because rebellion is in the water supply. But I would say being independent-minded means seeking out your own views on things rather than imbibing them from social relations. It means being conventional when convention is right, and unconventional when convention is wrong. It means being more committed to truth than to intellectual fashion, and more to virtue than to worldly success.
Deep down, I'm a philosophical person. Any conversation with me that lasts more than 10 minutes will eventually end up with a discussion about some philosophical concept or interesting social phenomenon -- if you want to talk about beer with me I might zone out for discussions about flavor profiles but if you let me talk about the intriguing fact that men seem to prefer beer and women seem to prefer wine I will love you forever. This is ultimately the essential component of my personality, and if someone doesn't know it about me, then frankly they don't know me at all. I like women who share the same disposition.
I've written about this preference of mine before:
This was actually one of my big dating complaints for a long time: I felt like I was meeting women who had no meaningful opinions of their own. They either mirrored what their parents told them was The Right Thing, or mirrored what people online told them was The Right Thing. I found that extremely annoying. It felt like talking to philosophical zombies who had nothing unique to offer once you scratched the surface. It's not that these women I was meeting were bad people or were objectively flawed... I just felt like I couldn't relate to them in the deepest way I can, which is ultimately philosophical and skeptical. Of course it's always nice to agree with your partner, but I'd much rather agree with them because we both explored and came to the same conclusions rather than because I or someone else told them they should agree.
This is obviously not a valid descriptor of all women, and it is especially unlikely to describe women who post on the motte, but nevertheless it's a common type. I do find it somewhat hilarious that you describe your use of themotte as "the least sexy thing about [you]" when I personally would find that a compelling thing in a partner. Needless to say, people's preferences are truly quite diverse.
Although I'm not an especially ambitious person and I find ambition for ambition's sake somewhat off-putting, I can see a similar thread of logic in the preferences you described and in that sense I can empathize with it. You seem to want a partner who knows what they want; I want a partner who knows what they think, and moreover knows why they think it. My equivalent of someone saying "I'm just kind of existing, I guess," is someone who says, "I'm just kind of a Christian, I guess." I'd much rather a partner disagree with me for strong reasons than agree with me by accident.
I think the old adage that "opposites attract" is total baloney: I think people are attracted to potential partners who are fundamentally like them, barring areas where the sexes are dimorphous and therefore different. So, women tend to prefer men who are low in neuroticism and low-ish in agreeableness (which, if she'll permit me a reference, @raggedy_anthem describes thus: "he has warned off strangers who stared at me"). Men, for their turn, and insofar as they have personality preferences for women, prefer women who are high in agreeableness -- "she's a sweet girl." This is the ultimate origin of the old and controversial phrase men once upon a time liked to apply to women: "the gentler sex." That was always more of an ideal than a reality, and feminists no doubt would (and with a level of validity) describe this as "the male gaze." But nevertheless I think there's a real preference that undergirded it.
In that connection, I wouldn't hesitate to guess that you are highly conscientious, and a big believer in being organized, dependable, ambitious, careful, and goal-directed. And, in turn, you rather understandably want a partner who shares that disposition.
I mean, you've basically written a job description for your partner and then written a cover letter about your own strengths. This is the most stereotypical "conscientious person dating" behavior I can think of. I also think the very obligation-heavy "here are the exact things I want in a relationship and the exact things I offer in return" is so on the nose for this that it's actually kind of funny. It kind of reads like you want a sex SLA! ("We offer 99.9% ahem up-time and high um throughput.")
In the same way, I'm obscenely high in openness to experience (the intellectual definition, not the parties-and-drugs definition) and so the women I find attractive share that trait. Approximately 100% of the women I have had successful relationships with would describe themselves as highly interested in smart and somewhat nerdy men. They might even use that old tumblrism, "sapiosexual." This is my exclusive high-status trait that I offer the dating market, and I have enough of it that it can make up for some of my flaws with the particular subset of women who find it highly attractive.
I wrote a comment about my own relationship in reply to some other conversation on the motte, but never posted it. I guess now is as good a time as any:
My girlfriend has a strong drive to learn about things on her own and come to conclusions based on what she learns. So, she tends to think things like, "yes, climate change is real, but most of the proposals offered to try and mitigate it will do more harm than good," and "yes, COVID is real, but the lockdowns did far more harm than good and masks probably don't help with coronaviruses." She gets really angry if you bring up masking.
I would say she's the only person I know IRL who has original culture war takes that aren't just regurgitations of what talking heads are saying. We have what I'd describe as a highly intellectual partnership, and it's a common occurrence for us to develop our views on an issue collaboratively, by asking questions that intrigue us and spitballing about our hypotheses.
I've talked before on the motte about how "independent thinking" is something really important to me in a partner. Because of that, I have so much respect for her and her outlook on life. Interestingly, I'm the idealist easily swept up by ideology in the relationship, while she's very grounded. She respects and admires religion a lot, especially in its ability to pass on tradition and form social bonds, but has a very scientific mindset and has difficulty accepting supernatural claims.
Despite our slight differences in personality, of all the people I have ever met, she is the most similar to me, of whatever gender. She says that from the moment she met me she knew I was someone she had to get to know, and basically chased me down and got me to date her. We are both -- and she would probably agree with this -- more similar to each other than to our parents. I don't know that I believe in such a thing, but if there are soulmates we are each others'.
It’s not just about icks though, it’s also about fear of rejection. Men HAVE to get over their fear of rejection, because they’ll die alone if they don’t. Women aren’t necessarily required to do that. So often they will express their interest in a man in a way that includes the plausible deniability, because the alternative is she cries for an hour about how her crush thinks she’s ugly. I can’t begrudge them acting according to their incentives, but I wish to god they would be willing to step up and shoulder some of the burden of rejection.
Note that this is also the strategy often unsuccessfully employed — I speak from experience (the crying for an hour may or may not be included) — by shy men to try and get dates, but which is picked up by women as friendly interest only. I’m of the opinion that in many cases, women don’t friendzone men, men friendzone themselves.
To substantiate this, note this graph, which comes from a study looking at data from high school seniors from 2005 to 2018.
I personally find that my politics tend to shift somewhat based on my mental health. When I'm doing well, I tend to get more liberal, in an "oh, wouldn't the government come in and help fix all these crises in the world" sort of way; when I'm doing poorly, I tend to get more conservative, in a "things are good, let's just hold the course and not make too many changes" sort of way.
I'd hold it to be kind of the opposite of the thrive-survive thesis about political ideology. While I think that has validity, I don't think it describes all of reality.
It's my anecdote, but it feels like the people I know in person follow the same pattern of conservatives generally being well-adjusted and liberals struggling. Note that this is largely reserved to the gen-z and late millennial people I know, and the correlation doesn't seem to follow for older generations. So I think largely this is a "young liberals are really struggling" thing. And I don't consider that an uncharitable take, because it's what young liberals say about themselves: ahem.
So I think it's largely a function of young progressive people being bombarded with messaging about the world is on fire, climate change is coming to destroy civilization, the police are systematically hunting down and murdering young black men, trans people are being murdered by the dozen by transphobes, Hispanic children are being ripped from their parents's arms for no reason other than spite, Donald Trump is personally the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler and has brought genuine fascism to America, and internalizing this very distressing view of the world. My solution is, "woah woah woah guys, things are nowhere near that bad, what evidence is this apocalyptic view of the world based upon?" My theory is that's the take most young conservatives have, and it's why they don't have as much distress.
I say as much distress, because distress is still rising across the board, which I attribute to things actually not being totally great, but most of all to the corrosive effect of social media on mental health.
I've thought about making an effortpost on this but I haven't been able to get my thoughts together on it.
Let me hit you with another plot. [Equally pernicious as 'Met online' goes to the moon 🚀, is that 'met through friends' is cratering, which honestly IMO is the best way to do it.][Article above contains non truncated y-axis]
I think the sex crisis is an offshoot of the friendship crisis, and I would cite this as evidence for my view here. I think loneliness in general is skyrocketing, especially among young men. I think about this graph. For a growing number of people, the number of close friends they have is "0". That's not good. And the number of friends the majority has is also shrinking, and fewer friends means fewer connections, which means fewer potential people who might be able to set you up with someone romantically.
My hypothesis is, whatever's reducing the number of friends people have is also reducing the number of romantic partners people have.
I also notice that the dating/gender war/sexlessness threads do NOT read like they are written by men who are getting healthy amounts of sexual satisfaction, yet every poster takes care to mention that of course they aren't having trouble getting laid and have had multiple deeply fulfilling relationships, they are speaking hypothetically about the 20-30% of young men which they are of course not a part of.
I would probably qualify as moderate on the totem pole of this issue, as I've had multiple fulfilling relationships in my life but with huge gaps of years between them, with a lot of mental suffering during those years and a deep fear they might become permanent. I usually don't write a lot for the dating threads because it's just too painful for me to write about most of the time, and I have a lot of insecurity about it. Heck, I start quivering when I think about my long dry spells. I would be counted as one of the 20-30% of men during those years, and I still have an great fondness for people who talk about dating woes among young people. I think things are really bad out there, and I think there's a genuine crisis of profound loneliness (romantically and platonically) that is 100% the biggest problem facing the world in recent times but is not often talked about by the powers that be because by definition people who are deeply lonely have few social connections and little social influence. It's an unseen and unspoken crisis that I think is ripping society apart by the seams.
One should never underestimate the male ability to completely not notice an approach by a woman. In high school, I once flirted intensely with a girl who was really into it, apparently totally blacked-out that from my memory the next day, and spent the next four months being friends with her thinking I had an unrequited crush, and only realized what was going on when she basically begged me to date her. There's also the time a in high school a girl approached me and asked for my phone number and I was so surprised I did not register this was probably a romantic approach and brushed her off, not realizing what happened until months later and promptly facepalmed. The same pattern of total obliviousness followed me into my adult life, and I hope to God I never have to date again.
This is also how my views go on China. I don’t like the Communist Party and I don’t like their growing power, but they at least seem to be acting in the world in a way that benefits their client states, while having strong real (and a lot of oppressed fake) domestic support. The US should focus on bread and butter issues, because free states can’t just oppress people into supporting the regime.
We have a lot of problems at home, and whenever we get involved overseas we have a habit of making things worse.
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