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Quality Contributions Report for March 2024

This is the Quality Contributions Roundup. It showcases interesting and well-written comments and posts from the period covered. If you want to get an idea of what this community is about or how we want you to participate, look no further (except the rules maybe--those might be important too).

As a reminder, you can nominate Quality Contributions by hitting the report button and selecting the "Actually A Quality Contribution!" option. Additionally, links to all of the roundups can be found in the wiki of /r/theThread which can be found here. For a list of other great community content, see here.

These are mostly chronologically ordered, but I have in some cases tried to cluster comments by topic so if there is something you are looking for (or trying to avoid), this might be helpful.

Contributions to the Main Motte








Contributions for the week of February 26, 2024

Health Scare



Affirmative Faction



Why Not Both?


Contributions for the week of March 4, 2024







Let's Talk About Us



Contributions for the week of March 11, 2024





What is a Man?





Contributions for the week of March 18, 2024






Free as in Software




Contributions for the week of March 25, 2024




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Ah man, I have been getting busy :(

We had a full fledged India discussion, and I missed it.

Glad to see the other folks generally echo my opinion. India is a beatuiful mess. The left ran India for 50 years. Nehru was a university professor turned cult-leader. Indira was Nixon. Rahul Gandhi made his own grave and earned his 'Pappu' moniker. There are no left-wing or right-wing parties in India anymore. They are all socially-conservative, and try (unsuccessfully) to be fiscally liberal.

Ah, springtime for populism.

Nice to break back into the AAQC's. Interesting to reread that thread too; went down some nerd-culture wars rabbit holes(what does the hotness of female videogame protagonists have to do with the life script? I still don't know but we got there somehow) and predictable motteizean relitigating of heredity and IQ and wealth, but there was some good discussion about economic trends that probably wouldn't have happened otherwise.

Honestly, six motte comments from HBD sounds like a heck of a drinking game.

Let's Talk About Us


"The Motte is not intended, nor is it fit, to Do Something."

Interesting comment chain.

This place as a nest of civil discussion ironically does more than any heated reactionary flame could. I'm waiting for more people to wake up to the fact these emotional spasms against progressivism never work -- they just swing the pendulum back even harder, so now you've got the guards and camera watching you like you're Hannibal Lecter. You know raw power isn't going to cut it, you know every site is monitored, so what's even the point? At best, you sacrifice your one good asset to win a single battle, and lose the war.

They say Great Man Theory is bullshit; I doubt it. Napoleon wanted to become Alexander, so he lived and breathed strategy. He constantly read, and in conversation he'd ask people to rank generals all the time and compare their merits, memorizing all the famous battles. When you're trying to turn the tide of history, that's what it takes: analysis. You need to understand people, institutions, and ideas. Most importantly: Why progressivism? "Propaganda" is not the answer; it can only play on desires that are already there. The point is only when you understand why this stuff appeals to the average Joe and Jane is there any hope for you, because only then can you begin to conceive of its replacement. Not to exhort anyone to try and become the next Napoleon, that's probably impossible. Just saying, that's the only real point of optimism (among other total ass pull scenarios, this still ranks pretty high).

Napoleon wanted to become Alexander, so he lived and breathed strategy. He constantly read, and in conversation he'd ask people to rank generals all the time and compare their merits, memorizing all the famous battles.

We actually have copies of homework assignments from the Roman Republic, including the answers of some Great Men of History, where a standard essay question was "Could Alexander have Conquered Rome?" Which was generally analyzed along the same lines that we see historical comparisons of sports teams or boxers today:

-- Competition analysis. Alexander beat up on Tomato Cans, but was overrated for going undefeated against nobodies. Rome beat real tough guys, over and over. Alexander never faced a Hannibal, or even a Vercingetorix.

-- Stars and Scrubs vs Depth. Roman Republic produced more and better generals, it was a factory for Great Men, where Alexander was a once in a century first draft pick superstar. After Alexander died the Macedonian conquests stopped, after the Romans lost a general, or even an army, it was next man up all the way.

-- Common foes and styles. Rome beat Pyrrhus and other Macedonians who used similar styles and modeled their generalship after Alexander.

All of which is to support your point. Rome got good at this, became a Great Man Factory, by focusing on this. They went out there and built the prospects they needed to keep going out and conquering, until the gravitational pull of the Capital became such that further expansion was too difficult relative to civil war.

So many times in the NBA or MLB draft, there's a story of a player just being obsessed with the game from a young age. Bijan Robinson carried a football around like a security blanket from age 4 or some bullshit. I recall reading about a basketball phenom who walked on his tiptoes from second to fourth grades. Arnold Palmer was the son of a groundskeeper who just played golf obsessively in Latrobe, hitting balls long into the night every night.

Obsession has value.

On great men.

NBA has had a huge surge in twins. My trying to explain it is being tall is a huge filter for the nba. But one tall kid by himself won’t develop skills. He’s going to being taller than everyone else and win on that. Anyway feel like this fits with great men factories.

I think this is what made Rome great. They had entire systems that gave great rewards for creating great political leaders and military leaders. And they started grooming people into those positions fairly young. Ambitious young men would seek status by working for a great patrician leaders and later do things like build public works, conquer new territories, or work for the government.

Come to that I think the reason for our current malaise especially for men, goes back to us not allowing men to just be men and therefore learn that they can achieve status by doing great things. Men trash talking and competing learn to achieve. Achievement gets them stays and further develops a taste for achievement. Then they go out and do more in hopes of getting more status and in the meantime build the confidence to actually try. This creates a virtuous cycle and if it’s widespread, it creates a culture of achievement.

You may have already seen it, but there are some cool articles about this here and here. The route to any high office involved a specific series of logistics and command offices. So basically anyone who made it to the Senate had some hands-on experience.

Two contributions after months of none at all? I knew that March had been a sluggish month for work for me, but you don't have to rub it in like that!

Alternatively, March was a wildly productive Motte-month. I like to believe that AAQC posts tend to have required a bit of actual thought to get the framing and message to hit the way you're looking for. Not exactly a money-maker, but helpful for trying to keep the noggin joggin.

Having been an aggressive mostly-lurker since the beginning of TheMotte on Reddit, I was absolutely surprised to see my name pop up for this.

I’d like to thank the academy etc etc etc… gets played off stage

Same here, I was practically shitting my britches when I saw the notification. Hugely honored.

I guess those dozens of hours I spent torturing myself by learning about local government dysfunction finally paid off.

If you are a mostly-lurker and you have that itch that crosses the line that stops you from posting it's often something others either appreciate the thought behind or passion behind.

So congrats! You are now quite literally in the top percent of posters! Tens of thousands of lurkers. Thousands of posters. Dozens of AAQCs.

It's like Lays, once you get a taste for it, you can't settle for just one.

Amazing what entirely arbitrary positive feedback does to a community, but hey, people like being appreciated for their effort, who could have guessed?