I’ve been sort of absent lately, for several reasons. First, I get depressed from following all the political and societal trends; observing the depraved nature of godless people only reminds me that I am far from where I want to be, and this is not pleasant, to put it mildly. Second, I put on too much weight from just sitting behind the desk and eating all day, so I had to lose weight and put on some muscle. Third, there are difficulties at work that demanded my attention. And fourth, I didn’t feel like writing because it felt redundant; many things that sounded almost crazy when I first wrote about them, became all too obvious now, too obvious for me to even say “I told you so”.

So, I had a prolonged vacation, if you can call it that, from September to mid-November, where I worked mainly on getting my body into shape: water fast, and then ketogenic diet with 8:16 intermittent fasting. Body mass went from 94.7 kg to 82.5 kg. Upper body muscle mass went up enough to replace all the fat with muscle; I can do a hundred push-ups before breakfast now. I still have problems with my back, and those might be the most difficult ones to fix because I’m still sitting most of the day, and that’s just how it is, especially during the winter. I’m off the ketogenic diet now; my physical condition no longer requires such radical interventions, and it took too much effort to maintain for me to even consider it long-term. 

My oldest kid is in high school now, and it’s quite a difficult one (MIOC) so this was stressful. Also, my car was 14 so that needed to be replaced; that was initially expensive but regular maintenance is now reduced to filling it up and cleaning leaves from the windshield. At one point when I played some music for my son on my computer I decided that I’m too old to waste what’s left of my hearing on computer speakers, so I got a proper HiFi set as my computer audio output – NAD C-316BEE V2 amplifier, PSB imagine XB speakers, NAD C538 CD, and I connected it all to my computer’s digital output via a DAC (which is actually a CD player unit my brother made 20 years ago, and since the CD drive died of old age, I re-purposed it). Now I no longer need to use headphones if I want to hear what something actually sounds like. If all of this sounds as if I’m finding inconsequential things to do so that I don’t go crazy thinking about what’s actually going on, then you’re getting the right picture. Although, going crazy might actually feel like an improvement, compared to full awareness. I don’t feel like trying it out, so I’m left with fixing inconsequential things and waiting for either a nuclear blast, or God’s mercy. Whichever comes first.

Fuck football

With all this football world cup bullshit, I wish there was a nuclear shelter nearby wherein I could lock myself with water and survival rations, because this global bipolar disorder over ritualized tribal warfare thing is getting ridiculous.

To hell with egalitarianism

I keep hearing things about privilege – white, male, this, that. Let’s analyse this.

The implicit assumption of the concept of privilege as a bad thing is egalitarianism. Everybody is or should be the same, and so everything that gives some individual or a group advantage is essentially anti-egalitarian, and in a culture that is able to define “good” only in terms of how equal everything is, we get the strange result of everybody aspiring to be “different”, and lauding differences as strengths and so on, and yet when different means having a quantifiable advantage over others, this is supposed to be evil, an injustice that needs to be redressed.

So, when they try to brainwash us about diversity, what they mean is the most superficial diversity, that of race, gender or sexual orientation. They dabble with the diversity of culture when they want to promote Islam, but they don’t really mean it – they see Islam as something brown people have, and it’s dressing differently and having different customs, they don’t really get into what Islam actually teaches and means. To the diversity-promoting people, Islam is just another form of transgendered faggotry or skin color that needs to be accepted as equal. They don’t really mean that a religion, with its alternative views on politics, should be seen as equal. No. What those people actually mean is that they cannot even imagine someone seeing religion as a serious matter. Since they cannot take it seriously, they cannot understand the people who can. So, they see diversity in terms of people of various skin colors and genders getting along. They don’t see it in terms where we should accept the Nazis because they are different, and the more diversity the merrier, yes? So, obviously, all kinds of diversity are fine as long as everybody shares their opinion about everything that matters. If not, he’s the member of an enemy group that needs to be killed.

So, one problem with egalitarianism is that all kinds of diversity are fine as long as everybody is exactly the same. Because, if everybody is not the same, there’s “inequality”, which is terrible, especially if you’re not in the top 1% in terms of wealth. Also, there’s a problem with people who are too smart. If someone is in the top 1% in terms of intelligence and competence, he will completely wreck all the egalitarian ideas, and we can see how egalitarianism in schools, for instance, systematically suppresses smart children and works against them, to the extent where the most competent people tend to leave the educational system altogether, with varying degrees of success.

Let’s return to the concept of privilege. Yes, privilege exists. If you were born poor, you are at a serious disadvantage compared to someone who’s born rich. It’s not just about not being able to afford a new Lamborghini, it’s sometimes about not being able to afford books, or even food. I’ve been there. Being poor seriously sucks, but the worst thing you can do about it is become resentful and envious of the rich. You need to accept the fact that we’re not supposed to be equal, and that you need to stop comparing yourself to others, and instead work on improving your own situation. Additionally, I very much agree with Putin’s declaration of intent when he initially became the prime minister: he said he doesn’t care about wealth differences and that the Soviet system, which tried to prevent some people from being rich, failed; instead, he will try to make a system which doesn’t care how rich the richest are, as long as nobody is hungry. This is a pragmatic approach that I admire: prevent poverty, suffering, humiliation and other kinds of evil. Equality is an irrelevant goal. Prevent misery and suffering, that’s much better. Once you did that, and it turns out that some are much better off than others, oh well, fuck me if I care. I don’t care that Bill Gates is a zillion times wealthier than I am, as long as I’m fine. But if he’s super wealthy, and I’m hopelessly fucked, I might see this as a problem.

So, my objection to egalitarianism is that it essentially doesn’t mind everybody being poor and fucked up, as long as everybody is equal. This is a worldview that produced communism, and I saw enough of it never to want a repetition. Also, egalitarianism is inherently inconsistent with the concept of diversity, and people who attempt to combine them essentially reduce diversity to the most superficial properties. The third problem is that egalitarianism is a substitute for having a coherent ethical framework. For instance, Buddhism considers suffering to be a problem, and tries to eliminate it. Egalitarianism sees differences of outcome as a problem, and tries to eliminate them. So, as a result, a practice of Buddhism produces a world with less suffering, and a practice of egalitarianism produces the universal misery of Soviet Russia, or the slaughterhouse of the French Revolution. Egalitarianism doesn’t have a problem with killing people, as long as they are qualified as the enemy group. Buddhism, a system of belief with suffering-averse ethics, will have a very serious problem with killing even the people it classifies as evil – rather, it will incessantly attempt to make them good. Christianity, another ethically sound system, also has a serious problem with fighting evil people – in fact, it recommends to love your enemies, not fight them. It doesn’t see other humans as enemies – the true enemy is Satan, the seducer, not the seduced, ignorant victims of that great evil that corrupted them, turned them against God and doomed them to eternal death. Both Buddhism and Christianity have a coherent ethical system, with goals higher than life, higher than equality, higher than wealth, higher than worldly success. Also, they have a process of validating success that resides outside of man: with Christianity, all deeds are judged by God. You can’t just make shit up and be your own judge. You will do what you will, and God will have the last word. In Buddhism, you can also do whatever, but karma exists, samsara exists, the laws exist and if you make bad choices there is an endless ocean of suffering ahead of you, with no necessity of it ever ending, so yeah, knock yourself out. You can’t just make shit up. But with modernist and postmodernist systems, which actually ridicule the concept of an extrinsic validation system, essentially saying that there’s no God, there’s no absolute truth, all viewpoints are equally valid, and if you managed to pull something off, more power to you – well, is it really such a surprise that people who subscribe to such a worldview tend to be evil, and commit unspeakable atrocities? Egalitarianism also means you can’t say a certain viewpoint is better than any other. You can’t say your religion, or culture, or anything, is better than any other. So, what’s the point of having a religion or a culture if you can’t take it seriously and think it’s better than the alternatives? Yeah, the concept of egalitarianism, in that sense, is identical to nihilism, because if every opinion is equal, then all opinions are worthless.

And then you get to live a meaningless existence, where you have nothing to believe in, nothing to aspire to, nothing to admire, with no virtues outside of equality, where you hate intolerance and inequality, but you can’t really explain why, because you are not allowed to say that something is better than something else.

The price of avoiding this kind of hell is not high. All you need to do is accept the following:

  1. Someone will always be better than you, and he most likely deserves it. The fact that God, some angel, or a saint, is better than you, is reason for you to admire them and aspire to be better. It’s not reason to resent them or be envious of their greatness. Don’t try to make others smaller, because it won’t make you feel less like shit.
  2. You can be better than you already are. In fact, that’s the whole point. Don’t allow anyone to be better than you are on the path that you’ve chosen, but not by limiting them, but instead by exceeding your own limitations. Don’t just concede that someone loves knowledge or beauty or reality more than you do. Aspire to the greatest virtue.
  3. Whatever you do, there will be consequences, and they will be determined by forces greater than yourself. You can’t just make up your own rules as you go. Whatever you do, do it with awareness that at one point you will stand before God and He will tell you what He thinks about your actions. Avoid the actions that will have him evaporate you in anger, or those that will make you cower in shame. Aspire to those that will make God proud of you, and praise you above all others.

And there you go. Happiness. Achievement. Eternity.

About the way I argue

I’d like to explain something about my behavior that might frustrate some people needlessly. You see, if you get into an argument with me, and if this argument is longer than a few sentences, you will lose. If you’re on an ego trip, you’ll behave like a hissy critter and complain how is it that I’m always right, and the answer is, no, I just tend to pick my battles very carefully, and if you pay attention, you’ll see that most arguments end before they have really started, because I immediately concede to any valid point anyone makes; I don’t argue when someone’s right, or when I think the other side of the argument might be as valid as mine. So, it’s a matter of very careful triage, where I estimate how correct the other side is, and how important the issue itself is. If the issue is not important, I will shrug and say that it doesn’t matter who wins, or the difference between the opposing sides isn’t large enough for it to matter who is right. An example of this are arguments regarding equipment. Canon vs. Nikon, or PC vs. Mac, or iPhone vs. Android. Who cares. Someone will say that brand A is better, and I will shrug and say that the differences aren’t large enough for me to care. Basically, don’t compete if the prize isn’t worth winning.

The second case is when it isn’t clear who is right. For instance, if science isn’t clear on something, such as the string theory, I will refrain from having elaborate opinions and simply say that the theory sounds interesting or compelling, but the evidence for the whole thing just isn’t strong enough. It’s a case of don’t compete if it isn’t clear what the victory is; if it isn’t clear what the truth actually is, it’s impossible to say who won the argument.

The third case is when the other side is making a correct statement. If someone says that Hydrogen is chemically reactive, I will say “yes” and that will be the end of it. This will be so even if I otherwise strongly disagree with the person on other points, because the most important thing about winning arguments is not allowing yourself to be sidetracked, which includes opposing someone when he’s right about something just because you think he’s wrong about something else. If I think someone is the worst person in the world and he states that Paris is the capital of France, I will agree. If you think that you have to disagree with absolutely every single statement someone makes because you want to make a moral statement about his person or philosophy, you’re stupid and emotionally immature. If Hitler states that conserving the environment and building good roads is good, and you disagree because you disapprove of his racial policies, you’re an idiot. The correct way of arguing with Hitler is to say, yes, conserving the environment is good, and building roads is good, but if you really believe your race is superior, then meritocracy is the only credible way you should approach the issue, since inferior races will fail to compete with yours in the market of ideas and will die off. If you think you have to actively exterminate someone because he’s outcompeting you, then he’s obviously not the one who’s inferior. Essentially, you concede obvious truths and do not allow yourself to be sidetracked, you concentrate on your opponent’s core issue, try to figure out where he is wrong or his actions are contradictory to his beliefs, and then reduce the argument to a clear and compelling line of thought that is difficult or impossible to refute.

So, essentially, the reason why people think I’m “always” stubbornly insisting on defeating “everyone” is because they simply don’t add my early concessions to the tally of the arguments I participate in. Having done that, it would become obvious that I actually concede most points, or I ignore issues because I don’t find them important enough. However, it then becomes obvious that in a small minority of cases, where I do actually choose to fight, I do so by exploring the entire tree of possible arguments and counter-arguments in order to find weak points and flaws in my thinking, and before I express a thought, I am already aware of all the possible refutations, and if none of them are valid, only then do I state my case, and the reason why I do so with such certainty is because I already tested it against all the objections I could think of, and I am very good at thinking of test-cases for debugging code. So, that’s something to have in mind if you want to argue with me: I don’t pick losing battles. If I’m confident enough about something to insist, it means I probably tested my idea against a very large set of possible objections before having initially stated it, and unless you thought of something that I missed (which happens every now and then, but not frequently enough to be something a reasonable person would bet on), you will lose. Sure, in some cases I make intentionally controversial statements just to fuck with people and snap them out of their stupor, but even then the argument serves the purpose of getting you to think hard enough to see the way out. The fact that it’s wrong doesn’t mean that I missed something, it means I left it to you to figure it out.

Another important thing to have in mind is that for me, arguing isn’t about an ego trip, it’s about truth and virtue. I argue in order to oppose falsehoods and establish a correct way of handling things, not to win battles. That’s why I’m my own arguments’ harshest critic, but that’s the part you don’t see, because it precedes the point where I actually write the argument down. You don’t see the part where I mercilessly test it against possible objections. So, it’s not a case of “I’ll win some, and you’ll win some”. If you want to build up your self-worth by opposing me every now and then just so that it doesn’t look like you’re a “yes-person”, you’re in for a world of hurt, because if I recognize your argument as something I already tested my own argument against and rejected the objection as invalid, I will dismiss you in a way you will find quite abrasive to your self-image; in fact, if I recognize your argument as a lazy one, as something that doesn’t survive even the most superficial scrutiny, I will do things to your ego it might not recover from.

So yeah; if I really insist on something and if I act as if what I’m saying is a fact, it probably means that I tested the argument beforehand and I am convinced it is solid, and now I want to test it against other people’s ideas in case I missed something; in this case, I will appreciate good input, but my tolerance for nonsense is always low. You need to really turn your brain on, and in most cases it will be much wiser of you to concede than to argue, and I will think more of you if you do, because if I say water is wet and you argue against it, I will think you a fool; not because I like yes-men, but because I dislike insecure fools who think they always need to argue lest they be considered yes-men.