Tuesday, July 25, 2017

With Folded Hands

I loves me some Richard Fernandez, aka Wretchard The Cat on Twitter. His essay today on AI and robots displacing people and possibly not turning out with a cost-benefit ratio we want is typically excellent. Here's just a single tidbit that caught my eye. Read, as the man says, the whole thing.
(Chuck Schumer's newly unveiled Democrat agenda) "Better Deal" is in fact FDR's big state "New Deal" only 80 years older. "Our better deal is ... about reorienting government to work on behalf of people and families." But who needs government if robots are working for everyone? Any AI which can replace doctors can displace bureaucrats whose repetitive, rule driven jobs are prime candidates for automation. A guaranteed basic income would require minimal bureaucracy most since the amount remitted to everyone is the same.
The Democrats have one play in their playbook and keep running it over and over and over and over and over...

But the thing that really caught my eye was the effect of automation and AI on the bureaucracy. All those people checking forms and filing documents and creating spreadsheets and writing reports and giving status briefs, all gone, all put out of a job by AI. Hmm.

If you've never read it, I highly recommend Jack Williamson's With Folded Hands. It is directly applicable here.

Monday, July 24, 2017


During the peak of the refugee crisis in Europe, which is still going on, by the way, I referred to the refugees as Muslim light infantry. After all, the "refugees" are nearly all young men of military age. Near the end of the excellent book, The Strange Death of Europe, the author notes that Saudi Arabia did not bring in a single Syrian refugee to convert them into a Saudi citizen as the Europeans were doing. They did, however, build over 100 mosques in Germany.

Hey, if the infantry is going to be there, they might as well be on your team. Go Wahhabis!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?

Does anyone really care?

A follow-up to yesterday's screed. This video is worth watching. I start it at the point some nameless, orthodox digit drones on and on about the real risk posed by terrorist attacks. That is, it might increase support for the "far-right," whatever that is. If you watch a little farther, Douglas Murray, author of the excellent The Strange Death of Europe, argues in incredulity that keeping facts from the populace isn't a good thing.

Think about what the digit is saying. If the general populace knew just how bad the situation was, they'd never give their support to my political party. We cannot trust the people to make informed decisions so let us not inform them. They are, after all, swine. It's all about keeping his political enemies in check.

But the situation probably isn't all that bad for the digit and his family. He probably lives in a posh neighborhood, goes to the nicest cafes and socializes only with the educated and elite. He's at no risk of having his daughter raped by an immigrant. Oh sure, the rest of the native Britons are, but they deserve it for all the racism and imperialism and islamophobia. The good people are doing just fine, thank you. And they're keeping their consciences clear by welcoming anyone and everyone. Just look at how compassionate and generous they are!

Well, they're not generous themselves, it's not their neighborhoods being occupied or their money going to feed and house the immigrants. No, it's the working-class neighborhoods and money from the Central Banks, printed so the elites can hand it out with a flourish and a gentrified wave.

But what if the population has a better grasp of the situation than the elites?  The elites don't think there's any problem at all, as far as I can tell from videos like this and statements from Angela Merkel. As long as the "far-right" is soundly defeated in elections, it's all good and we've got plenty of time to deal with whatever minor misunderstandings arise from bringing in tens of thousands of people from a dramatically different culture.

But do they really know what time it is? Do they care?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Apologies For Cultural Sins

... are uniquely Western.

I'm about 2/3 of the way through the outstanding The Strange Death Of Europe. The most recent chapters have dealt with the collective guilt of the European elites. It's the usual crew of the media, academia and politicians, each writhing in masochistic, orgiastic pleasure every time they find a reason to blame themselves for anything.

Well, they're not really blaming themselves, are they? They're blaming their ancestors and their culture. None of them are taking personal responsibility for anything. Instead, they get all of the pleasure of confession and atonement without any real risk to themselves. In fact, you ordinary slobs in flyover country are the ones who need personal confession and atonement if you don't agree you're guilty for our collective pasts.

Also, the formulation: the media, academia and politicians doesn't really describe the mechanisms properly. The academy is the source of the self-loathing. It educates the media, which is made up of journalists too stupid and slavishly fashionable to think for themselves and object to any of it. From there, the media flogs the politicians according to the catechism of the academy. Politicians are weak creatures by nature as they must follow the whims of the voters, so the flogging is particularly effective.

And so here we are, reaping the harvest sown by the warped post-moderns in the academy. Handicapped by our guilt for having succeeded where everyone else, at best, only partially achieved their goals.

The Aztecs did a bang-up job conquering, enslaving and murdering, but as they were too dim to invent some crucial technologies, they weren't able to expand beyond the reach of their foot soldiers. Likewise, the Ashanti (and others) were delighted to round up and sell off millions of their fellow Africans at a handsome profit, but they could never extend their reach, either. Helpful hint: next time, look into inventing the wheel. You'll be able to enslave and sell more.

When it comes to imperialism, the Ottoman Empire did a decent job of it before getting trounced by the Poles at the Battle of Vienna. The Mongol Empire weren't slackers, either. I'm sure the countries around China might have something to say about their past as well.

So where are the apology tours for these guys? To take one in particular, when was the last time a Nigerian leader came over to the US and made a grand tour of black neighborhoods and begged them for forgiveness, dramatically, publicly and accurately describing their very plentiful and hideous sins?

We don't have to go that far back, do we? How about as far back as, oh I don't know, yesterday. Any Islamic leaders apologizing for female genital mutilation, which goes on every day in the West at the behest of their religion? No?

No. It's just us crawling across the floor, pleading to be forgiven. It's pretty sick when you think about it. And when they think about it, they're sickened as well. Sickened into utter disrespect for a culture so corrupt and decadent that it hates itself. That link is a long and worthy essay about Afghanis raping Europeans that explores why this is happening. Here's what the author, no one's idea of a crazed, "far-right" racist, finds the most likely one.
This brings us to a third, more compelling and quite disturbing theory—the one that my Afghan friend, the court translator, puts forward. On the basis of his hundreds of interactions with these young men in his professional capacity over the past several years, he believes to have discovered that they are motivated by a deep and abiding contempt for Western civilization. To them, Europeans are the enemy, and their women are legitimate spoils, as are all the other things one can take from them: housing, money, passports. Their laws don’t matter, their culture is uninteresting and, ultimately, their civilization is going to fall anyway to the horde of which one is the spearhead. No need to assimilate, or work hard, or try to build a decent life here for yourself—these Europeans are too soft to seriously punish you for a transgression, and their days are numbered.

And it’s not just the sex crimes, my friend notes. Those may agitate public sentiment the most, but the deliberate, insidious abuse of the welfare system is just as consequential. Afghan refugees, he says, have a particular proclivity to play the system: to lie about their age, to lie about their circumstances, to pretend to be younger, to be handicapped, to belong to an ethnic minority when even the tired eye of an Austrian judge can distinguish the delicate features of a Hazara from those of a Pashtun.
We've hated ourselves into being raped and pillaged. Dig the underlying statement in that excerpt: There's no point in assimilating because the West won't be around long enough to make it worthwhile. Good luck with that whole millions-of-refugees thing, you idiots.

Way to go, elites. Great job, academics. Of course, there's a way to put a quick end to all this.

What do you say we take 10,000 Afghani refugees, all young men, and house them at Harvard? Harvard's got a huge endowment, over the $34B mark. They can afford to build housing and take care of them. At the same time it will be a boon to the, err, diversity of the place. I recommend integrating them into student housing so everyone gets a good, close look. Who knows, the geniuses who run Harvard might actually learn something.

Friday, July 21, 2017

When Did Algebra Become Such A Hurdle?

I know others have commented on this and I'm kind of beating a dead horse, but here's a short take on this.
Algebra is one of the biggest hurdles to getting a high school or college degree — particularly for students of color and first-generation undergrads.

It is also the single most failed course in community colleges across the country. So if you're not a STEM major (science, technology, engineering, math), why even study algebra?

That's the argument Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of the California community college system, made today in an interview with NPR's Robert Siegel.
Our daughter had to take it in high school. No one's idea of a good student, she was able to pass it. What's up here? It reminds me of the stats from Baltimore where 4 high schools didn't have a single person competent at reading or math.

I guess the solution is to stop expecting literacy and basic math skills.

Maybe we could replace algebra with fire-starting.
Nah. Too hard.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fear That Leads To Delusion

So right now, I'm listening to The Strange Death of Europe. It's written by a gay, British journalist who spent time trying to understand why he's welcome in less and less of Europe, specifically the Muslim parts. He travelled the Continent and did extensive research on the political evolution of multiculturalism with tons of direct quotes and data. It's really an excellent work of journalism.

I heard one particular sentence last night that blew me away. It went something like this: The European elites believe that Muslims can and will be integrated into European society because they need it to be true. Emphasis mine.

In the late 1930s, anyone who read Hitler's blueprint for Nazism, Mein Kampf, listened to his speeches and saw Germany take over Austria and Czechoslovakia had to engage in active self-delusion to see anything other than what was coming - a massive European war. And yet, they still did it. Neville Chamberlain waved his piece of paper and said he had "peace in our time" because he needed it to be true.

Europe had just experienced slaughter on an industrial scale in World War I. It was simply unthinkable that they'd have to go to war with Germany again and lose another million or so. French and British cities had plenty of cripples, widows and orphans already. Maybe there was another interpretation of events and quotes than taking them at face value, one that would show that peace was possible.

Maybe there's another way to interpret "Death to America!"

Maybe there's another way to interpret the polls showing European Muslims' homophobia.

Maybe there's another way to interpret burkas, FGM, honor killings and rape.

Maybe this isn't all that widespread:
Because the alternative is simply to terrifying to contemplate.

The face of fear.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Wizard Needs Food Badly

How can you write a serious blog post when there's something as hilarious as this to be shared? From Five Iron Frenzy, a Christian ska-punk band comes ...