Charles Johnson manages to channel George Gilder the sexual theorist and George Gilder the tech guru in the same article. Around these parts, that’s a good thing.
Playboy once asked author Ray Bradbury why science fiction was the “purview of young men.” His response is worth recalling now that Ellen Pao has resigned as Reddit’s CEO amid a censoring scandal.
There are two races of people—men and women—no matter what women’s libbers would have you pretend. The male is motivated by toys and science because men are born with no purpose in the universe except to procreate. There is lots of time to kill beyond that. They’ve got to find work. Men have no inherent center to themselves beyond procreating. Women, however, are born with a center. They can create the universe, mother it, teach it, nurture it. Men read science fiction to build the future. Women don’t need to read it. They are the future.
Young men take risks (invent the future) to win over young women (the future). They conquer frontiers to be worthy. America was once that frontier, but with illegal immigration and restrictive housing policy, she’s filling up. The few frontiers that remain are in the mind. Science fiction, Steve Sailer has written, was the new gateway to that “final frontier.” But even that frontier is fading. NASA is grounded and appeasing Muslims while SpaceX rockets are blowing up.
Where are the places for young men to imagine the future in a filled-up frontier? They have but two choices: videogames, where there are infinite worlds to explore and conquer; or the Internet, where there are unimaginable fortunes to be made from weaponizing social science and software. With everything to lose, these young men are fighting back against corruption (#Gamergate) and censorship (Reddit revolt). Aristotle argued that the human sciences were capable of infinite progress because man’s mind was capable of infinite thought. As aging boomers increasingly regulate the world of stuff and atoms, the Internet—that home for infinite thought and bits—is the only place where that freedom frontier is possible.
George Gilder wrote a monograph supporting the gold standard. In it he recounts his theory of money as information. Excerpts:
The older case for gold sprang from the idea that its value as money derives from its objective value in economic activity. But this view has it exactly backwards. Researches in Bitcoin and other digital currencies have shown that the real source of the value of any money is its authenticity and reliability as a measuring stick of economic activity. A measuring stick cannot be part of what it measures. The theorists of Bitcoin explicitly tied its value to the passage of time, which proceeds relentlessly beyond the reach of central banks.
Bitcoin is a major experiment in new Internet infrastructure, but gold works the same way in the global economy. Gold can function as money because it operates outside the financial economy as an index of the time it takes to extract it from the earth. Because it becomes more costly and time consuming to extract thinner and deeper lodes of the metal from more remote places, gold remains a lodestar amid the monetary turmoil. The cost of extraction rises almost in proportion to the advance of mining technology. Gold thus cancels capital and technology and becomes almost a pure measure of time.
The source of the value of money is time—irreversible, inexorably scarce, impossible to hoard or steal, distributed with remorseless equality to rich and poor alike. As an index of time, gold imparts the accurate price signals needed for sustained economic growth and expanded opportunity.
As an economy grows, with ever more abundance deriving from ever more learning, only one resource grows relatively scarce in proportion. That resource is time. It is the most real and irreversible of all constituents of value.
The expansion of per capita wealth and income in an economy means an increase in choices and possibilities, ways of using your time, and claims on your attention. Although some new goods and services increase your efficiency and some extend your years of good health, the growth of an economy inexorably presses in on the residual resource—the hours in your day.
These hours (and minutes and seconds) are what you actually spend or waste, invest or splurge, save or sleep away. Money offers an accurate measure of earnings and expenditures chiefly as it reflects these costs of time, gauged in two irreversible ledgers—physics and biology: the speed of light and the span of life. If it does not represent these fundamental scarcities of human life, our economics will diverge from reality and betray us.
Muddling much of economics is a mirage of money itself as power, as if the supply of money itself can impel economic activity. Monetarism (control of money), Keynesianism (control of spending), and Mercantilism (control of trade) all foster the illusion that government power can drive economic growth and wealth creation.
What government can do (and does do) under this illusion is redistribute wealth, usually to the already rich and other politically favored inside players. Government can properly create the conditions under which knowledge—yielded by millions of falsifiable experiments in entrepreneurship—is created. But the lessons too many people learned under Communism still comprise the central economic lesson: power cannot order wealth—new knowledge—into being.
In the name of managing money, the Fed is trying to manipulate investors’ time—their sense of present and future valuations. But time is not truly manipulable. It is an irreversible force impinging on every financial decision we make. The Fed policy merely confuses both savers and investors and contracts the horizons of investment, which in some influential trading strategies have shrunk to milliseconds.
Charles Hugh-Smith writes:
In a highly leveraged financial system such as ours, when the phantom collateral vanishes, so does the illusion of solvency. Losses are forced down somebody’s throat—either the lender or the owner, or both.
When that happens, the ability of lenders and speculators to leverage debt on collateral is impaired: once the phantom collateral vanishes, there’s no foundation to support additional debt and leverage.
And once the ability to pile on more debt and leverage goes away, the entire debt-dependent financial system does what this building in China did: collapse.
The only way to sort the wheat (real collateral based on enterprise value) from the chaff (phantom collateral created by central banks’ speculative bubbles) is for a crash to force price discovery and the cramdown of losses.
To Marie Harf and her colleagues in the Administration, he's obviously a victim of economic deprivation whose urge to blow up America would be mitigated by a decent economic-stimulus package. In fact, the poverty is all on our side: a poverty of imagination, the inability of Marie Harf and others to understand that not everyone thinks like you do. And until we respect our enemy sufficiently to stop assuming he’s just Marie Harf with a beard and a scimitar, we will keep losing.
Richard Kelsey gets real on immigration at CNS News:
Open borders advocates, big business types, and political demagogues of all stripes have rallied around the false flag of comprehensive immigration reform. The phrase itself is political speak for lax enforcement and amnesty. The entirety of the immigration debate has been solely to focus on how many people who have come here illegally get to stay, and under what conditions. It’s a farce. Americans are not even talking about what matters in immigration policy. The central premise of a national immigration policy must be that immigration policy first and primarily serve Americans, not immigrants. Recent events serve as a stark reminder that real comprehensive immigration reform is not just about letting illegal immigrants stay; it is about choosing who gets to come here legally. Our broken immigration system is not broken just because of illegal immigration; it is broken with respect to our legal immigration practices.
Wanting to come to America is not a valid immigration criterion. Needing a better life for yourself and your family, likewise, is not a sole determinative immigration criterion for U.S. citizenship. An intelligent immigration policy looks to invite the best candidates to apply for citizenship, and applies a harsh, thoughtful, unapologetic screening process to ensure that those who do come will ultimately enrich American life and add to the fabric of our success. America is too great and too important to have an open admissions policy.
In recent days, some have suggested that our immigration policy block prospective immigrants from Muslim countries. That’s a pretty radical idea by any measure, but particularly radical in a country that prides itself on amorphous concepts such as diversity and tolerance. The notion that we could or would “discriminate” against a particular religion offends our American sensibilities. Indeed, the word “discriminate” has become so hyperbolic that it can’t be used in its traditional sense, as its sole meaning to many connotes illegal, repulsive conduct. It no longer means merely to separate based on selectivity. As once used, it might be said that Jackie Onasis Kennedy had discriminating taste in fashion. When it comes to immigration policy, we too must be discriminating.
Some say our immigration policy should be nondiscriminatory. What they mean is blind to outcomes.
Dr. Helen thinks things that might pull her away from libertarianism:
I wonder what freedom means to a younger generation. Is legalized pot and gay marriage freedom? (Since when is state-sanctioned marriage freedom?) Many Millennials seem to think so. Have they been so indoctrinated that as long as they perceive that freedom is a bong hit away, they will be a docile easily manipulated group? I sometimes think so.
“Family equality” is a thing. Christopher White writes in Public Discourse:
Hours after the Obergefell decision was handed down, University of California Irvine law professor Douglas NeJaime took to the pages of the Los Angeles Times to lament that “marriage equality doesn’t immediately or necessarily erase cultural and legal attachments to biological, dual-gender parenting.” In other words, those of us concerned about assisted reproductive technologies and their very real harms to both women and children need to simply rid ourselves of such quaint “attachments.” As skeptics in Ireland feared and the naïve in the United States are now realizing, “marriage equality” inevitably leads to the push for “family equality”—almost always by artifice.
NeJaime goes on:
even though marriage equality doesn’t immediately erase all attachments related to biological, dual-gender child rearing, it points us in the right direction ... the majority [of the Supreme Court] affirmed a model of parenthood based on chosen, functional bonds rather than biology alone.
In other words, the movement for “family equality” will forever diminish the significance of our biological ties. The state must now act in a way that both accepts and promotes a non-biological vision of parenthood and family. Thus, the market for eggs, sperm, and wombs must be expanded.
Many states will soon be under pressure to follow the example of California and Maryland, where the state legislatures have passed laws that would that mandate insurers provide “infertility” treatments to same-sex couples. In 2013, when California enacted its legislation, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano boasted: “Reproductive medicine is for everybody’s benefit. To restrict fertility coverage solely to heterosexual married couples violates California’s non-discrimination laws. I wrote this bill to correct that.” In a recent article in JAMA Internal Medicine, Brown University physician Eli Y. Adashi praised the Maryland bill and encouraged other states enact similar legislation. According to Adashi, “Building a family is a universal human principle shared by single individuals and unmarried opposite-sex couples, as well as gay and lesbian couples.”
Infertility coverage for couples who are inherently infertile! It’s necessary to ensure those whose essential natural limitations that the created order is prejudiced against have a fair shot of accessorizing their life with a child. Of course the created order is wrong, and the zeitgeist is right. You can’t make this up. The technization of life continues apace.
Polygamy is coming.
“If there is no magic power in opposite sexes when it comes to marriage, is there any magic power in the number two?” –William Baude, New York Times
You cannot argue with that logic. Seriously. If the premise is given, the logic is sound.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that existing civil rights law bars sexual orientation-based employment discrimination—a groundbreaking decision to advance legal protections for gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers.
“[A]llegations of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation necessarily state a claim of discrimination on the basis of sex,” the commission concluded in a decision dated July 15.
The independent commission addressed the question of whether the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars anti-LGB discrimination in a complaint brought by a Florida-based air traffic control specialist against Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx.
The ruling—approved by a 3-2 vote of the five-person commission—applies to federal employees’ claims directly, but it also applies to the entire EEOC, which includes its offices across the nation that take and investigate claims of discrimination in private employment.
For the nth time, sexuality is a changing, behavioral characteristic. Man is not a beast incapable of subduing his natural appetite. In fact he can and he should, for he is better for it. That he can’t is the lie of this age. Man will become like a beast if the ethos that demands he comport his will to truth and goodness is removed.
Andrew T. Walker writes in Public Discourse:
The color of a person’s skin has no relation to his or her moral action, while sexual orientation and gender identity do. Unlike race, sexual orientation and gender identity are known through conduct, which can and should be ethically evaluated.
The discussion ends there. I’ll let C. S. Lewis wrap it up:
Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.
Rehabilitation is impossible if you preclude the truth that convicts sinners and heals them. World Net Daily reports:
The policy states that DJJ staff, volunteers and others “shall not imply or tell LGBTQI juveniles that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful or that they can or should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Kristor at the Orthosphere writes about gnostic despair:
For the atheist gnostic, there is no safe harbor anywhere in life. Yet we are so made as to want purity and righteousness, and to feel their lack as a painful defect of existence. We cannot rest until we reach a place worthy of rest. But in a wholly bad or meaningless universe, there can be no such place.
This is why the Overton Window must always move. It cannot ever rest.
So gnosticism tends to nihilism, and to despair, and to hatred. (Emphasis added)
God has pre-packaged the answer to the “painful defect of existence”: Jesus, love, giving.
My most popular blog post to date is about Tobias Buckell’s affront to science fiction, Arctic Rising. In it, “global warming” has reduced the Arctic ice cap to a small icicle upon which people live in microstates that can explosively detach and float away. But the thickness of Arctic sea ice, no more than a few meters, can’t support heavy structures, even if the ice wasn’t melting.
So not only is global warming a manipulated-data-dependent myth, not only is Arctic sea ice doing well, but Buckell’s absurd plot rests on a third fallacy: the ability of ice to support hundreds of tons of infrastructure. His future isn’t speculative, it’s impossible.
By the way, the only reason that post was popular is because Buckell linked to it. If I had my druthers, I would wish greater popularity on my more creative stuff, like my poem “Truest self” and the hoax article about Atticus Finch. I had fun writing those.
Pat Buchanan sees a fundamental shift in the way America engages the Middle East:
Syria is probably where the next collision is going to come between the United States and its old allies.
For Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel all want the Assad regime brought down to break up Iran’s Shiite Crescent and inflict a strategic defeat on Tehran. But the United States believes the fall of Assad means the rise of ISIS and al-Qaida, a massacre of Christians, and the coming to power of a Sunni terrorist state implacably hostile to us.
Will Iran play nice with the Saudis? Will they continue to outfit terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah? Will they bolster Iraq and Syria against ISIS? Will the mullahs be complacent after this taste of power?
These questions aren’t rhetorical. Their answers are very much in the air. I’ve heard of potential Saudi aggression in reaction to the Iran deal. But I haven’t heard anyone consider yet the possibility of the mullahs or the Iranian hardliners reacting to the deal in a way that undermines or hijacks our sudden stake in Iran’s regional hegemony.