Remember This When You See The Hate

Societies always operate on one of two models:

The individual manages and makes the decisions regarding their life.
Someone else manages and makes the decisions regarding your life.
Nearly everyone looks at those two models and instinctively desires to manage their own affairs and make their own decisions. However when we look back at human history this model of the individual managing their own affairs and making their own decisions is quite rare. Why would anyone choose to have others manage their affairs and make their decisions for them?
That is a good question. The pitch is usually made along the lines of “Give us power over your life and we can do things you the individual are incapable of doing that will enhance your life.” Of course that is always a lie on one count and usually two. The one count on which it is a lie is that there is nothing which giving power to another can accomplish that voluntary cooperation can not always accomplish as well. The second reason that this is usually a lie is that the people making this pitch are no more competent to organize and operate a society than you are – hence you typically end up with a less enhanced life, not a more enhanced life.
Voluntary cooperation is the mortal enemy of those who wish you to hand over your individual rights.They have throughout history typically engaged in combat against cooperation by attempting to convince you that the ‘others’ hate you and will not cooperate with you and are not to be trusted – and that if you cooperate with them you are a traitor. The entire model operates off of hate, suspicion and distrust. That is their stock in trade.
Remember this when you see the hate.

Universities Fuel Growing Clash Between Fascism and Free Speech

 
An unlikely player is eroding one of America’s crowning contributions to human freedom. In a perverse role reversal, American universities are laying the ground work to alter the meaning of the First Amendment and the protections it has afforded free speech and inquiry for generations. The irony that the institutions thought to symbolize human learning and exploration should be leading the movement to control and restrict those pursuits seems lost on the activists and academics pushing that direction.
 

Recent violent and threatening incidents that prevented conservative or anti-leftist or simply provocatively intellectual figures from speaking at Middlebury University, Berkeley, UCLA and elsewhere have highlighted growing opposition to speech Leftist don’t want to hear. It’s not a new phenomenon. Researcher Stanley Kurtz reminds that protests to silence conservative speakers reach back to disrupting figures from the Reagan administration in the 80s, and have continued intermittently for speakers identified with Israel or the second Bush administration.

 

What’s changed is that the frequency and variety of incidents of mob censorship seem to be accelerating, students and activists are becoming more brazen and unyielding in their demands, they are taking their mission from the campus out to the streets, and university faculties and administrators are increasingly siding with the students and providing intellectual cover for the suppression of unwelcome ideas.
 
Now, we have unruly mobs not only blocking events on campus, but violently disrupting rallies supporting Trump on public streets. Berkeley’s paper, the Daily Californian publishes an essay by unidentified members of antifa–anti-fascist as they style themselves–asserting that to protect free speech and community safety, they will don masks and “militantly” disrupt speech they oppose.
 
We have the student government of Middlebury College–where hooligans recently chased off campus the eminent sociologist and author Charles Murray and injured the neck of the liberal professor who dared to accompany him—adopt an extraordinary resolution rejecting punishment for the disruptors. The audacious document declares that protest is a legitimate avenue not only to be heard, but to “compel decisive actions” by institutions. (Nice of them to let us know who is in charge). It also rejects resort to law enforcement because “arrest and criminal charges are associated with police violence and the carceral [sic] state,” smack of “the new Jim Crow,” stigmatize the protesters, and chill their future opportunities.
 
If this strikes you as lunacy, don’t look for backup from the “adults” running the university. Ulrich Baer, a professor and dean at New York University recently penned an essay in the New York Times “What the Snowflakes Get Right About Free Speech” siding with the students: True “free speech” should be understood to protect marginalized and victimized segments of society from dehumanizing and oppressive ideas of more powerful segments.
 
This creeping unofficial amending of the First Amendment is not going unchallenged. Legal Rights organizations like the Foundation For Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) have represented students and won many important cases against abusive campus actions. But, the victories can be Pyrrhic as universities are some of the wealthiest institutions in society. Litigation can drag on for years, recoveries are usually modest in amount, and school coffers barely feel a sting. Universities are either more fearful of, or likely more ideologically aligned with the leftist militants on campus than they are about an occasional legal setback.
 
Recognizing this dynamic, some commentators propose congressional action to reclaim liberty on campus. Legislation could change universities’ cost benefit analysis either by withholding federal funds from institutions that fail to protect free speech on campus, and allow mob veto to disrupt the rights of others, or awarding much higher levels of damages to students and faculty whose rights are trampled.
 
The debate is heating up. It’s not as if Congress has proposed a Constitutional Convention or study committee to reconsider the meaning of the First Amendment. But, leading harbingers of culture and education certainly have. The Convention is underway and the future of freedom is at stake.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The March For Science And Curing Cancer

Last week there was the ‘March For Science’ and as a result there are now endless internet memes to the effect of “You don’t believe in science” and “No – YOU don’t believe in science!”

Those who marched were by all appearances not marching for ‘science’ but marching for the continued government interference in science. Those ridiculing the march are not ridiculing science but are opposed to the continued government interference in science. I suppose calling this event the “March For The Continued Interference Of Government In Science” was just not catchy? This is symptomatic of our entire society – we have politicized everything and the contamination of politics is so pervasive that we simply cannot imagine returning to the days where science could be science and not an ideological football.
Yesterday an article was published claiming that Fred Hutch had made very significant progress in curing cancer. I doubt there is a human being alive who does not want cancer cured and want it cured today. Curing cancer has to be one of those very rare items left on the agenda which can unite us. I am by no means qualified to validate the scientific merit of any news concerning the curing of cancer but reputable people and institutions and publications indicate that progress is being made which brings us much closer to a cure.
It would appear that a cure for cancer is now a matter of when and not if.
When that cure for cancer arrives will it also be politicized? Have we become such a vile people that we would engage in such abhorrent behavior as politicizing the cure for cancer? Of course we will!
No society in the history of this planet which has politicized everyday life as we are striving to do has ever achieved anything but abject misery. The obviousness of that statement paired with the equally obvious fact that what Taleb called the ‘stubborn minority’ is intent on politicizing every single thing in life leads to the obvious conclusion. There is a subset of American society intent on making each and every other American as miserable as they are and they will not stop until they have fulfilled that mission.
We get what we deserve…

Latest From Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The latest post from Nassim Nicholas Taleb is out addressing ‘The Dictatorship of the Small Minority’ and I guarantee something in it will offend you but you will be smarter for having read it.

A taste
“This large payoff from stubborn courage is not just in the military. The entire growth of society, whether economic or moral, comes from a small number of people. So we close this chapter with a remark about the role of skin in the game in the condition of society. Society doesn’t evolve by consensus, voting, majority, committees, verbose meeting, academic conferences, and polling; only a few people suffice to disproportionately move the needle. All one needs is an asymmetric rule somewhere. And asymmetry is present in about everything.”
“Outcomes are paradoxically more stable under the minority rule — the variance of the results is lower and the rule is more likely to be emerge independently across populations.
What emerges from the minority rule is more likely to be be black-and-white.”
“Let us conjecture that the formation of moral values in society doesn’t come from the evolution of the consensus. No, it is the most intolerant person who imposes virtue on others precisely because of that intolerance.”
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