Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thoughts of the day

At bigWOWO's post on the Psy controversy, my attempt to correct misconceptions about the Iraq mission in the comments is a depressing reminder that pushing back against the memetic wave of the false narrative on the Iraq mission doesn't make a difference. The pattern is they'll first confidently state the false narrative as truth, become sullen when I introduce my case, and then disengage the discussion to avoid further disturbing their beliefs or they'll circle back to insist on the false narrative. By now, the false narrative, with the damage it has wrought, is hardened and impossible to loosen. Anti-Iraq protestors have too much invested in it. Even in 2003-04, when minds were not yet set about the Iraq mission, I found to my frustration and sadness the same unwillingness to weigh the argument for the Iraq mission against the misinformation tidal wave. They self-select into the echo chamber. Their mindset is adversarial - tribal and competitive - not inquisitorial. The phenomenon speaks to the tribal uniformity theory of political beliefs. They don't want truth; they want their narrative. They don't want peace; they want allegiance.

My failure to make a difference after 9/11 fuels my impulse to turn away from my INFP idealism and go MGTOW. I feel like the boy hero of the fable of the Dutch boy who stuck his finger into a leak in a dike, stayed there faithfully through the cold night, stopped the leak from growing into a destructive flood, thus saving his home. Except my heroic finger didn't slow the leak in the slightest. Instead, the dike has crumbled around my finger while many other large leaks have sprung. The dike is collapsing, the flood is growing, and I wonder what further point there is for me to keep sticking my fingers into holes that are larger than I am.

My leadership in SU4A, MilVets, and CU ROTC advocacy showed I can make a difference when I'm in position with sufficient authority and power to do. However, my failure to influence the course of events after my leadership also showed the very limited effect of talking when not coupled with the power to do. If I can't do and lead others doing, then talking about what should be done is mostly wasted effort. I can set a course when in charge, but I'm not confident my course will be followed when I'm not steering the ship.

Interesting concept: the Cathedral, or academia + education + entertainment + media that work together to form, propagate, and reinforce the dominant set of public beliefs of a democratic society. The government and effective NGOs are not part of the Cathedral per se, but bureaucrats conform and build the social structure based on the dominant set of public beliefs. Mencius Moldbug's Cathedral seems loosely related to the famous The Cathedral and the Bazaar concept.

It is useful to know the different axes of political discourse (h/t Mad Minerva):
My hypothesis is that progressives, conservatives, and libertarians view politics along three different axes. For progressives, the main axis has oppressors at one end and the oppressed at the other. For conservatives, the main axis has civilization at one end and barbarism at the other. For libertarians, the main axis has coercion at one end and free choice at the other.
It's illustrative of the evolution or manipulation of popular political language that the outlook classically assigned to Marxists - "the main axis has oppressors at one end and the oppressed at the other" - is assigned to progressives, instead, while the outlook classically assigned to progressives - "the main axis has civilization at one end and barbarism at the other" - is assigned to conservatives, instead. The axis for conservatives should be order on one end and chaos or anarchy at the other.

For most, risk incentives (fear, loss, failure, suffering, shame, danger, ostracization) are more powerful motivators than reward incentives. For the primitive hindbrain, losing is worse than gaining is better. We most want security, stability, and reliability.

Law professor lectures on the 5th Amendment's "right to remain silent" and not volunteering information to law enforcement authorities.

My brief breakdown on American gun culture: 2nd Amendment, principle of liberty and independence, anti-authority or loss of faith in authority * . . . self-defense and property defense . . . self-reliance, robustness, and resilience, up to survivalists and doomsday preppers . . . rural American life, hunting, pioneer and frontiersman tradition . . . sport, hobby and collectibles. *Loss of faith in authority pervades the 1st 3 groupings.

Chilling horror stories of once-upon-a-time success stories: St Johns Dean Cecilia Chang (who earned her Ed D at Columbia) and Flushing developer Thomas Huang. My god, is that what it takes for someone of Taiwanese descent to make it in New York?

The living ideal combines health, peace of mind, the ascetic life, and the aesthetic life. Self-reliance, robustness, resilience, and independence. Music and dance - active, rather than passive, art of mind and body. Athletics, too, maybe, for health and socializing.

Feedback loop. OODA decision-making loop. Breaking out of a slump. Aware and self-aware, analytical and reflective, fluid and adaptive, self-conscious invention of self. Mining life for building blocks. Developmental, rather than judgemental, learning style - experience is scarring for growth, like building muscle, not win/lose or pass/fail (by what judgemental standard anyway?). Like this admirable blogger who changed her life with a 2012 new year's resolution.

Dating advice from 1923 for women reads like modern dating advice for men, ie, Game. The alternative to Game? One-two, one-two, knock-out.

The socio-sexual hierarchy.

In the same self-help and MGTOW spirit of watching Les Stroud's and Ray Mears's survival shows, I should watch more TED (acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks on youtube. This appears to be TED's official youtube channel.

Website with useful military technical references that are contemporary with my service, eg, this 2000 11B manual and FM 21-15. The site is likely temporary since the information is for participants of a March 2013 combat simulation.

Bachelor chow classic: About $1.50 worth or about half a 20.8 oz box of ground turkey, $1 28 oz can of crushed and pureed tomatoes, $1 10 oz box of frozen chopped broccoli or whole spinach, roughly 3/4 of a $1 16 oz box of pasta. (Disclaimer: all items bought on sale.) A little season salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Maybe garnish with cheese. I've taken to mixing types of pasta for a little added variety in the texture. The canned crushed and pureed tomatoes are too thin to work on their own as pasta sauce; it tastes like unflavored pasta with a thin watery tomato-flavored garnish. The crushed and pureed tomatoes work fine in a meat sauce, though. The dish cooks up easily and relatively quickly: brown the meat, cook the pasta, add the tomatoes and broccoli to the meat, add the cooked pasta and extra liquid for the pasta to soak up, simmer, and done. It looks like a large long-lasting heap in the electric skillet, but it's easy-eating comfort food that disappears fast with 2nds and 3rds.

More bachelor eating tips: Tip 1: Tostitos dip 15 oz glass jars make fine drinking glasses due to their size, shape, and wide mouth. They hold hot drinks, too. (Caveat: While I microwaved broth in the jar without an apparent problem, instructions on the jar say dip should be microwaved in a separate container.) Tip 2: Boil the leftover bones from a meaty meal and add salt for a tasty broth. It may help to crack the bones, especially uncut bird bones, before boiling them. Tip 3: Used cooking oil may taste stale rather than infused with the flavors of past tasty meals. Tip 4: Vegetable (soybean) oil smells bad and hardens into a solid like hard rubber that is difficult to remove and smells gross when reheated. Tip 5: The Nesco 6 quart roaster oven, because the heat comes from the sides, is a poor choice for cooking that's best done with direct heat, like heating soup, scrambling eggs, or popping corn. Tip 6: Using the lid on the Sunbeam electric frying pan makes it an effective oven.

Bachelor cookware (1 quart = 4 cups = 32 oz): Set of 1/2/3-quart nested Farberware Classic stainless steel mixing bowls, 9 cup Sunbeam electric frying pan, 5 cup Salton rice cooker, 6 quart Nesco roaster oven, Toastmaster basic burner, T Fal square griddle pan, Maverick Henrietta Hen egg cooker, George Foreman grill, Regal 5 cup poly hot pot, Proctor Silex toaster oven, Sharp Carousel microwave oven.

The right-end nail of my improvised poncho curtain fell out while I was trying to tighten the taut-line hitch on the curtain's ridge line. There are now 2 enlarged holes on the right end that can no longer hold a nail, at least nails of the diameter I'm using. The other 3 nails (left end and 2 weight-bearing nails, although the right-center weight-bearing nail is now the right-end nail) are still holding, but the 2 current end nails are bent and may pull out like the failed right-end nail if I attempt any more adjustments that are less than gentle. In retrospect, a tug-and-tie-off trucker's hitch would have been the smarter knot given the awkwardness of adjusting a taut-line hitch at that angle, but the same thing could have happened if I tried to fix the sag in the ridge line with a trucker's hitch. I later discovered after my best effort to tighten a line using the same accessory cord on 2 door hinges that the line sags when significant weight is hung from it; I believe the ridge line sags under weight because the accessory cord is stretchy, not because it's loose. Oh well, sorry, nail. Why nails don't work above my window: There's a weight-bearing concrete or possibly metal lintel above my window that requires a special drill and inset pieces. Hammered nails only go in about a 1/4 inch. Thicker nails than I'm using might be strong enough to hold up a poncho, though. There may also be adhesive hooks I can use instead.

The NFL Films bells song, Power and Glory: A New Game by Tom Hedden. I've wanted the NFL bells song for a while. Bonus: The NFL Films opening song The Power and Glory: Classic Battle by Sam Spence.


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