Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose

I used to be a newspaper editor for a weekly, and boy did I learn a lot from that job.

First of all, the publisher of the entire chain was a MBA from a Top 10 school, and he didn't know what he was doing. I have no use for MBAs, whom I consider worse than worthless - they're dangerous (and there really is an Old Boy's Network).

The first general manager at the paper was a woman, and she was semi-competent and was asked to find another job.

The second was a guy, who had inherent manager skills. In fact, he left and took all the ads with him.

The third general manager was a woman, and she was a complete catastrophe with no managerial skills. I mean none.

I knew how to do my job, and was good at it. I had mastery. Under the secpnd manager I had autonomy. I never really had any purpose, except writing things that entertained me and sometimes my audience (the purpose of newspapers is to sell advertising).

The third, utterly incompetent woman tried to take everything from me, which means we did not get along at all. So she got rid of me.

Not surprisingly, about after a month after she fired me, she was fired. She didn't understand why. She thought she was doing great (this is called the Dunning-Kruger effect, when someone incompetent doesn't know it and thinks they are competent, but super-competent).

I work for myself now.

I've posted similar TED talks like the one above. The lesson isn't hard. Autonomy, mastery, purpose - and productivity and profits will go up.

"April 2006 Message from Dan"

I ran across Dan Simmon's writings about 15 years ago and found him amazing. I started reading science-fiction at the age of 11 and found it was, for want for a better world, a psychedelic drug that opened entire new worlds.

Most of the science-fiction today is pretty awful, but Simmons's writing are not.

I don't agree with everything in this short story, but that's not the point. No one can tell the future, but everyone tries.

I thought this story was still rather prescient, now that Muslims have tipped their hand with the Rotherham tragedy.

If I had my way, every Muslim in the West would be deported, and the neocon traitors who got us into these messes would spend the rest of their lives in prison.

This story is from his site.

"Greetings Readers, Friends, and Other Visitors:

"The Time Traveler appeared suddenly in my study on New Year’s Eve, 2004. He was a stolid, grizzled man in a gray tunic and looked to be in his late-sixties or older. He also appeared to be the veteran of wars or of some terrible accident since he had livid scars on his face and neck and hands, some even visible in his scalp beneath a fuzz of gray hair cropped short in a military cut. One eye was covered by a black eyepatch. Before I could finish dialing 911 he announced in a husky voice that he was a Time Traveler come back to talk to me about the future.

"Being a sometimes science-fiction writer but not a fool, I said, 'Prove it.'

“'Do you remember Replay?' he said.

"My finger hovered over the final '1' in my dialing. 'The 1987 novel?' I said. 'By Ken Grimwood?'

"The stranger – Time Traveler, psychotic, home invader, whatever he was – nodded.

"I hesitated. The novel by Grimwood had won the World Fantasy Award a year or two after my first-novel, Song of Kali, had. Grimwood’s book was about a guy who woke up one morning to find himself snapped back decades in his life, from the late 1980’s to himself as a college student in 1963, and thus getting the chance to relive – to replay – that life again, only this time acting upon what he’d already learned the hard way. In the book, the character, who was to experience – suffer – several Replays, learned that there were other people from his time who were also Replaying their lives in the past, their bodies younger but their memories intact. I’d greatly enjoyed the book, thought it deserved the award, and had been sad to hear that Grimwood had died . . . when? . . . in 2003.

"So, I thought, I might have a grizzled nut case in my study this New Year’s Eve, but if he was a reader and a fan of Replay, he was probably just a sci-fi fan grizzled nut case, and therefore probably harmless. Possibly. Maybe.

"I kept my finger poised over the final '1' in '911.'

“'What does that book have to do with you illegally entering my home and study?' I asked.

"The stranger smiled … almost sadly I thought. 'You asked me to prove that I’m a Time Traveler,' he said softly. 'Do you remember how Grimwood’s character in Replay went hunting for others in the 1960’s who had traveled back in time from the late 1980’s?'

"I did remember now. I’d thought it clever at the time. The guy in Replay, once he suspected others were also replaying into the past, had taken out personal ads in major city newspapers around the country. The ads were concise. 'Do you remember Three Mile Island, Challenger, Watergate, Reaganomics? If so, contact me at . . .'

"Before I could say anything else on this New Year’s Eve of 2004, a few hours before 2005 began, the stranger said, 'Terri Schiavo, Katrina, New Orleans under water, Ninth Ward, Ray Nagin, Superdome, Judge John Roberts, White Sox sweep the Astros in four to win the World Series, Pope Benedict XVI, Scooter Libby.'

“'Wait, wait!' I said, scrambling for a pen and then scrambling even faster to write. 'Ray who? Pope who? Scooter who?'

“'You’ll recognize it all when you hear it all again,' said the stranger. 'I’ll see you in a year and we’ll have our conversation.'

“'Wait!” I repeated. 'What was that middle apart . . . Ray Nugin? Judge who? John Roberts? Who is . . .' But when I looked up he was gone.

“'White Sox win the Series?' I muttered into the silence. 'Fat chance.'

"I was waiting for him on New Year’s Eve 2005. I didn’t see him enter. I looked up from the book I was fitfully reading and he was standing in the shadows again. I didn’t dial 911 this time, nor demand any more proof. I waved him to the leather wingchair and said, 'Would you like something to drink?”

“Scotch,” he said. “Single malt if you have it.'

"I did.

"Our conversation ran over two hours, but the following is the gist of it. I’m a novelist by trade. I remember conversations pretty well. (Not as perfectly as Truman Capote was said to be able to recall long conversations word for word, but pretty well.)

"The Time Traveler wouldn’t tell me what year in the future he was from. Not even the decade or century. But the gray cord trousers and blue-gray wool tunic top he was wearing didn’t look very far-future science-fictiony or military, no Star Trekky boots or insignia, just well-worn clothes that looked like something a guy who worked with his hands a lot would wear. Construction maybe.

“'I know you can’t tell me details about the future because of time travel paradoxes,' I began. I hadn’t spent a lifetime reading and then writing SF for nothing.

“'Oh, bugger time travel paradoxes,' said the Time Traveler. 'They don’t exist. I could tell you anything I want to and it won’t change anything. I just choose not to tell you some things.'

"I frowned at this. 'Time travel paradoxes don’t exist? But surely if I go back in time and kill my grandfather before he meets my grandmother . . .'

"The Time Traveler laughed and sipped his Scotch. 'Would you want to kill your grandfather?' he said. 'Or anyone else?'

“'Well . . .Hitler maybe,' I said weakly.

"The Traveler smiled, but more ironically this time. 'Good luck,' he said. 'But don’t count on succeeding.'

"I shook my head. 'But surely anything you tell me now about the future will change the future,' I said.

“'I gave you a raft of facts about your future a year ago as my bona fides,' said the Time Traveler. “Did it change anything? Did you save New Orleans from drowning?'

“'I won $50 betting on the White Sox in October,' I admitted.

"The Time Traveler only shook his head. 'Quod erat demonstrandum,' he said softly. 'I could tell you that the Mississippi River flows generally south. Would your knowing about it change its course or flow or flooding?'

"I thought about this. Finally I said, 'Why did you come back? Why do you want to talk to me? What do you want me to do?'

“'I came back for my own purposes,' said the Time Traveler, looking around my booklined study. 'I chose you to talk to because it was . . . convenient. And I don’t want you to do a goddamned thing. There’s nothing you can do. But relax . . . we’re not going to be talking about personal things. Such as, say, the year, day, and hour of your death. I don’t even know that sort of trivial information, although I could look it up quickly enough. You can release that white-knuckled grip you have on the edge of your desk.'

"I tried to relax. 'What do you want to talk about?' I said.

“'The Century War,' said the Time Traveler.

"I blinked and tried to remember some history. 'You mean the Hundred Year War? Fifteenth Century? Fourteenth? Sometime around there. Between . . . France and England? Henry V? Kenneth Branagh? Or was it . . .'

“'I mean the Century War with Islam,' interrupted the Time Traveler. 'Your future. Everyone’s.' He was no longer smiling. Without asking, or offering to pour me any, he stood, refilled his Scotch glass, and sat again. He said, 'It was important to me to come back to this time early on in the struggle. Even if only to remind myself of how unspeakably blind you all were.'

“'You mean the War on Terrorism,' I said.

“'I mean the Long War with Islam,' he said. 'The Century War. And it’s not over yet where I come from. Not close to being over.'

“'You can’t have a war with Islam,' I said. 'You can’t go to war against a religion. Radical Islam, maybe. Jihadism. Some extremists. But not a . . . the . . . religion itself. The vast majority of Muslims in the world are peace-loving people who wish us no harm. I mean . . . I mean . . . the very word ‘Islam’ means ‘Peace.’'

“'So you kept telling yourselves,' said the Time Traveler. His voice was very low but there was a strange and almost frightening edge to it. “But the ‘peace’ in ‘Islam’ means ‘Submission.’ You’ll find that out soon enough.'

"Great, I was thinking. Of all the time travelers in all the gin joints in all the world, I get this racist, xenophobic, right-wing asshole.

“'After Nine-eleven, we’re fighting terrorism,' I began, 'not . . .'

"He waved me into silence.

“'You were a philosophy major or minor at that podunk little college you went to long ago,” said the Time Traveler. 'Do you remember what Category Error is?'

"'It rang a bell. But I was too irritated at hearing my alma mater being called a 'podunk little college' to be able to concentrate fully.

“'I’ll tell you what it is,' said the Time Traveler. 'In philosophy and formal logic, and it has its equivalents in science and business management, Category Error is the term for having stated or defined a problem so poorly that it becomes impossible to solve that problem, through dialectic or any other means.'

"I waited. Finally I said firmly, 'You can’t go to war with a religion. Or, I mean . . . sure, you could . . . the Crusades and all that . . . but it would be wrong.'

"The Time Traveler sipped his Scotch and looked at me. He said, 'Let me give you an analogy . . .'

"God, I hated and distrusted analogies. I said nothing.

“'Let’s imagine,' said the Time Traveler, 'that on December eighth, Nineteen forty-one, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke before a joint session of Congress and asked them to declare war on aviation.'

“'That’s absurd,' I said.

“'Is it?' asked the Time Traveler. 'The American battleships, cruisers, harbor installations, Army barracks, and airfields at Pearl Harbor and elsewhere in Hawaii were all struck by Japanese aircraft. Imagine if the next day Roosevelt had declared war on aviation . . . threatening to wipe it out wherever we found it. Committing all the resources of the United States of America to defeating aviation, so help us God.'

“'That’s just stupid,' I said. If I’d ever been afraid of this Time Traveler, I wasn’t now. He was obviously a mental defective.'The planes, the Japanese planes,' I said, 'were just a method of attack . . . a means . . . it wasn’t aviation that attacked us at Pearl Harbor, but the Empire of Japan. We declared war on Japan and a few days later its ally, Germany, lived up to its treaty with the Japanese and declared war on us. If we’d declared war on aviation, on goddamned airplanes rather than the empire and ideology that launched them, we’d never have . . .'

"I stopped. What had he called it? Category Error. Making the problem unsolvable through your inability – or fear – of defining it correctly.

"The Time Traveler was smiling at me from the shadows. It was a small, thin, cold smile – holding no humor in it, I was sure -- but still a smile of sorts. It seemed more sad than gloating as my sudden silence stretched on.

“'What do you know about Syracuse?' he asked suddenly.

"I blinked again. 'Syracuse, New York?' I said at last.

"He shook his head slowly. 'Thucydides’ Syracuse,; he said softly. 'Syracuse circa 415 B.C. The Syracuse Athens invaded.'

“'It was . . . part of the Peloponnesian War,' I ventured.

"He waited for more but I had no more to give. I loved history, but let’s admit it . . . that was ancient history. Still, I felt that I should have been able to tell him,or at least remember, why Syracuse was important in the Peloponnesian War or why they fought there or who fought exactly or who had won or . . . something. I hated feeling like a dull student around this scarred old man.

“'The war between Athens and its allies and Sparta and its allies – a war for nothing less than hegemony over the entire known world at that time – began in 431 B.C.,' said the Time Traveler. 'After seventeen years of almost constant fighting, with no clear or permanent advantage for either side, Athens – under the leadership of Alcibiades at the time – decided to widen the war by conquering Sicily, the ‘Great Greece’ they called it, an area full of colonies and the key to maritime commerce at the time the way the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf is today.'

"I hate being lectured to at the best of times, but something about the tone and timber of the Time Traveler’s voice – soft, deep, rasping, perhaps thickened a bit by the whiskey – made this sound more like a story being told around a campfire. Or perhaps a bit like one of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon stories on 'Prairie Home Companion.' I settled deeper into my chair and listened.

“'Syracuse wasn’t a direct enemy of the Athenians,' continued the Time Traveler, 'but it was quarreling with a local Athenian colony and the democracy of Athens used that as an excuse to launch a major expedition against it. It was a big deal – Athens sent 136 triremes, the best fighting ships in the world then – and landed 5,000 soldiers right under the city’s walls.

“'The Athenians had enjoyed so much military success in recent years, including their invasion of Melos, that Thucydides wrote – So thoroughly had the present prosperity persuaded the Athenians that nothing could withstand them, and that they could achieve what was possible and what was impracticable alike, with means ample or inadequate it mattered not. The reason for this was their general extraordinary success, which made them confuse their strengths with their hopes.'

“'Oh, hell,' I said, 'this is going to be a lecture about Iraq, isn’t it? Look . . . I voted for John Kerry last year and . . .'

“'Listen to me,' the Time Traveler said softly. It was not a request. There was steel in that soft, rasping voice. 'Nicias, the Athenian general who ended up leading the invasion, warned against it in 415 B.C. He said – ‘We must not disguise from ourselves that we go to found a city among strangers and enemies, and that he who undertakes such an enterprise should be prepared to become master of the country the first day he lands, or failing in this to find everything hostile to him’. Nicias, along with the Athenian poet and general Demosthenes, would see their armies destroyed at Syracuse and then they would both be captured and put to death by the Syracusans. Sparta won big in that two-year debacle for Athens. The war went on for seven more years, but Athens never recovered from that overreaching at Syracuse, and in the end . . . Sparta destroyed it. Conquered the Athenian empire and its allies, destroyed Athens’ democracy, ruined the entire balance of power and Greek hegemony over the known world at the time . . . ruined everything. All because of a miscalculation about Syracuse.'

"I sighed. I was sick of Iraq. Everyone was sick of Iraq on New Years Eve, 2005, both Bush supporters and Bush haters. It was just an ugly mess. 'They just had an election,' I said. 'The Iraqi people. They dipped their fingers in purple ink and . . .'

“'Yes yes,' interrupted the Time Traveler as if recalling something further back in time, and much less important, than Athens versus Syracuse. 'The free elections. Purple fingers. Democracy in the Mid-East. The Palestinians are voting as well. You will see in the coming year what will become of all that.'

"The Time Traveler drank some Scotch, closed his eyes for a second, and said, 'Sun Tzu writes – The side that knows when to fight and when not to will take the victory. There are roadways not to be traveled, armies not to be attacked, walled cities not to be assaulted.'

“'All right, goddammit,' I said irritably. 'Your point’s made. So we shouldn’t have invaded Iraq in this . . . what did you call it? This Long War with Islam, this Century War. We’re all beginning to realize that here by the end of 2005.'

"The Time Traveler shook his head. 'You’ve understood nothing I’ve said. Nothing. Athens failed in Syracuse – and doomed their democracy – not because they fought in the wrong place and at the wrong time, but because they weren’t ruthless enough. They had grown soft since their slaughter of every combat-age man and boy on the island of Melos, the enslavement of every woman and girl there. The democratic Athenians, in regards to Syracuse, thought that once engaged they could win without absolute commitment to winning, claim victory without being as ruthless and merciless as their Spartan and Syracusan enemies. The Athenians, once defeat loomed, turned against their own generals and political leaders – and their official soothsayers. If General Nicias or Demosthenes had survived their captivity and returned home, the people who sent them off with parades and strewn flower petals in their path would have ripped them limb from limb. They blamed their own leaders like a sun-maddened dog ripping and chewing at its own belly.'

"I thought about this. I had no idea what the hell he was saying or how it related to the future.

“'You came back in time to lecture me about Thucydides?' I said. 'Athens? Syracuse? Sun-Tzu? No offense, Mr. Time Traveler, but who gives a damn?'

"The Time Traveler rose so quickly that I flinched back in my chair, but he only refilled his Scotch. This time he refilled my glass as well. 'You probably should give a damn.' he said softly. 'In 2006, you’ll be ripping and tearing at yourselves so fiercely that your nation – the only one on Earth actually fighting against resurgent caliphate Islam in this long struggle over the very future of civilization – will become so preoccupied with criticizing yourselves and trying to gain short-term political advantage, that you’ll all forget that there’s actually a war for your survival going on. Twenty-five years from now, every man or woman in America who wishes to vote will be required to read Thucydides on this matter. And others as well. And there are tests. If you don’t know some history, you don’t vote . . . much less run for office. America’s vacation from knowing history ends very soon now . . . for you, I mean. And for those few others left alive in the world who are allowed to vote.'

“'You’re shitting me,' I said.

“'I am shitting you not,' said the Time Traveler.

“'Those few others left alive who are allowed to vote?' I said, the words just now striking me like hard-thrown stones. 'What the hell are you talking about? Has our government taken away all our civil liberties in this awful future of yours?'

"He laughed then and this time it was a deep, hearty, truly amused laugh. 'Oh, yes,' he said when the laughter abated a bit. He actually wiped away tears from his one good eye. 'I had almost forgotten about your fears of your, our . . . civil liberties . . . being abridged by our own government back in these last stupidity-allowed years of 2005 and 2006 and 2007 . Where exactly do you see this repression coming from?'

“'Well . . .' I said. I hate it when I start a sentence with ‘well,’ especially in an argument. 'Well, the Patriot Act. Bush authorizing spying on Americans . . . international phonecalls and such. Uh . . . I think mosques in the States are under FBI surveillance. I mean, they want to look up what library books we’re reading, for God’s sake. Big Brother. 1984. You know.'

"The Time Traveler laughed again, but with more edge this time. 'Yes, I know,' he said. 'We all know . . . up there in the future which some of you will survive to see as free people. Civil liberties. In 2006 you still fear yourselves and your own institutions first, out of old habit. A not unworthy – if fatally misguided and terminally masochistic – paranoia. I will tell you right now, and this is not a prediction but a history lesson, some of your grandchildren will live in dhimmitude.'

“'Zimmi . . . what?' I said.

"He spelled it out. What had sounded like a ‘z’ was the ‘dh.’ I’d never heard the word and I told him so.

“'Then get off your ass and Google it,' said the Time Traveler, his one working eye glinting with something like fury. 'Dhimmitude. You can also look up the word dhimmi, because that’s what two of your three grandchildren will be called. Dhimmis. Dhimmitude is the system of separate and subordinate laws and rules they will live under. Look up the word sharia while you’re Googling dhimmi, because that is the only law they will answer to as dhimmis, the only justice they can hope for . . . they and tens and hundreds of millions more now who are worried in your time about invisible abridgements of their ‘civil liberties’ by their ‘oppressive’ American and European democratically elected governments.'

"He audibly sneered this last part. I wondered now if the fury I sensed in him was a result of his madness, or if the reverse were true.

“'Where will my grandchildren suffer this dhimmitude?' I asked. My mouth was suddenly so dry I could barely speak.

“'Eurabia,' said the Time Traveler.

“'There’s no such place,' I said.

"He gave me his one-eyed stare. My stomach suddenly lurched and I wished I’d drunk no Scotch. 'Words,' I said.

"The Time Traveler raised one scar-slashed eyebrow.

“'Last year you gave me words about 2005,' I said. 'The kind of words Ken Grimwood’s Replayers in time would have put in the newspaper to find each other. Give me more now. Or, better yet, just fucking tell me what you’re talking about. You said it wouldn’t matter. You said that my knowing won’t change anything, any more than I can change the direction the Mississippi is flowing . So tell me, God damn it!'

"He began by giving me words. Even while I was scribbling them down, I was thinking of reading I’d been doing recently about the joy with which the Victorian Englishmen and 19th Century Europeans and Americans greeted the arrival of the 20th Century. The toasts, especially among the intellectual elite, on New Year’s Eve 1899 had been about the coming glories of technology liberating them, of the imminent Second Enlightenment in human understanding, of the certainty of a just one-world government, of the end of war for all time.

"Instead, what words would a time traveler or poor Replay victim put in his London Times or Berliner Zeitung or New York Times on January 1, 1900, to find his fellow travelers displaced in time? Auschwitz, I was sure, and Hiroshima and Trinity Site and Holocaust and Hitler and Stalin and . . .

"The clock in my study chimed midnight.

"Jesus God. Did I want to hear such words about 2006 and the rest of the 21st Century from the Time Traveler?

'Ahmadenijad,' he said softly. 'Natanz. Arak. Bushehr. Ishafan. Bonab. Ramsar.'

“'Those words don’t mean a damned thing to me,' I said as I scribbled them down phonetically. 'Where are they? What are they?'

“'You’ll know soon enough,' said the Time Traveler.

“'Are you talking about . . . what? . . . the next fifteen or twenty years?' I said.

“'I’m talking about the next fifteen or twenty months from your now,' he said softly. 'Do you want more words?'

"I didn’t. But I couldn’t speak just then.

“'General Seyed Reza Pardis,' intoned the Time Traveler. 'Shehab-one, Shehab-two, Shehab-three. Tel Aviv. Baghdad International Airport, Al Salem U.S. airbase in Kuwait, Camp Dawhah U.S. Army base in Kuwait, al Seeb U.S. airbase in Oman, al Udeid U.S. Army and Air Force base in Qatar. Haifa. Beir-Shiva. Dimona.'

“'Oh, fuck,' I said. 'Oh, Jesus.' I had no clue as to who or what Shehab One, Two, or Three might be, but the context and litany alone made me want to throw up.

“'This is just the beginning,” said the Time Traveler.

“Wasn’t the beginning on September 11, 2001?' I managed through numb lips.

"The one-eyed scarred man shook his head. 'Historians in my time know that it began on June 5, 1968,' he said. 'But it hasn’t really begun for you yet. For any of you.'

"I thought – What on earth happened on the fifth of June, 1968? I’m old enough to remember. I was in college then. Working that summer and . . . Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. “Now on to Chicago and the nomination!” Sirhan Sirhan. Was the Time Traveler trying to give me some kind of half-assed Oliver-Stone-JFK-movie garbled up conspiracy theory?

“'What . . .” I began.

“Galveston,' interrupted the Time Traveler. 'The Space Needle. Bank of America Plaza in Dallas. Renaissance Tower in Dallas. Bank One Center in Dallas. The Indianapolis 500 – one hour and twenty-three minutes into the race. The Bell South Building in Atlanta. The TransAmerica Pyramid in San Francisco . . .'

'Stop,' I said. 'Just stop.'

“'The Golden Gate Bridge,' persisted the Time Traveler. 'The Guggenheim in Bilbao. The New Reichstag in Berlin. Albert Hall. Saint Paul’s Cathedral . . .'

“'Shut the fuck up!' I shouted. 'All these places can’t disappear in the rest of this century, your goddamned Century War or not! I don’t believe it.'

“'I didn’t say in the rest of your century,' said the Time Traveler, his torn voice almost a whisper now. 'I’m talking about your next fifteen years. And I’ve barely begun.'

“'You’re nuts,' I said. 'You’re not from the future. You escaped from some asylum.'

The Time Traveler nodded. 'That’s more true than you know,' he said. 'I come from a place and time where your grandchildren and hundreds of millions of other dhimmi are compelled to write ‘pbuh’ after the Prophet’s name. They wear gold crosses and gold Stars of David sewn onto their clothing. The Nazis didn’t invent the wearing of the Star of David . . . the marking and setting apart of the Jews in society. Muslims did that centuries ago in they lands they conquered, European and otherwise. They will refine it and update it, not toward the more merciful, in the lands they occupy through the decades ahead of you.'

'You’re crazy,' I cried, standing. My hands were balled into fists. 'Islam is a religion . . . a religion of peace . . . not our enemy. We can’t be at war with a religion. That’s obscene.'

“'Have you read the Qur’an and learned your Sunnah?' asked the Time Traveler. 'It would behoove you to do so. Dhimmi means ‘protection.’ And your children and grandchildren will be protected . . . like cattle.'

“To hell with you,” I said.

“'Your dhimmi poll tax will be called jizya,' said the Time Traveler. His voice suddenly sounded very weary.'Your land tax for being an infidel, even for fellow People of the Book – Christians and Jews – will be called kharaz. Both of these taxes will be in addition to your mandatory alms – the zakat. The punishment for failure to pay, or for paying late, a punishment meted out by your local qadi, religious judge, is death by stoning or beheading.'

"I folded my arms and looked away from the Time Traveler.

“'Under sharia – which will be the universal law of Eurabia,' persisted the Time Traveler, 'the value of a dhimmi’s life, the value of your grandchildren, is one half the value of a Muslim’s life. Jews and Christians are worth one-third of a Muslim. Indian Parsees are worth one-fifteenth. In a court of the Eurabian Caliphate or the Global Khalifate, if a Muslim murders a dhimmi, any infidel, he must pay a blood money fine not to exceed one thousand euros. No Muslim will ever be jailed or sentenced to death for the murder of any dhimmi or any number of dhimmis. If the murders were done under the auspices of Universal Compulsive Jihad, which will be sanctioned by sharia as of 2019 Common Era, all blood money fines are waived.'

“'Go away,' I said. 'Go back to wherever you came from.'

“'I come from here,' said the Time Traveler. 'From not so far from here.'

“'Bullshit,' I said.

“'Your enemies have gathered and struck and continue to strike and you, the innocents of 2006 and beyond, fight among yourselves, chew and rip at your own bellies, blame your brothers and yourselves and your institutions of the Enlightenment – law, tolerance, science, democracy – even while your enemies grow stronger.'

“'How are we supposed to know who our enemies are?' I turned and growled at him. 'The world is a complex place. Morality is a complex thing.'

“'Your enemy is he who will give his life to kill you,' said the Time Traveler. 'Your enemies are they that wish you and your children and your grandchildren dead and who are willing to sacrifice themselves, or support those fanatics who will sacrifice themselves, to see you and your institutions destroyed. You haven’t figured that out yet – the majority of you fat, sleeping, smug, infinitely stupid Americans and Europeans.'

"He stood and set the Scotch glass back in its place on my sideboard. 'How, we wonder in my time,' he said softly, 'can you ignore the better part of a billion people who say aloud that they are willing to kill your children . . . or condone and celebrate the killing of them? And ignore them as they act on what they say? We do not understand you.'

"I still had not turned to face him, but was looking over my shoulder at him.

“'The world, as it turns out,' continued the Time Traveler, 'is not nearly so complex a place as your liberal and gentle minds sought to make it.'

"I did not respond.

“'Thucydides taught us more than twenty-four hundred years ago – counting back from your time – that all men’s behavior is guided by phobos, kerdos, and doxa,” said the Time Traveler. 'Fear, self-interest, and honor.'

"I pretended I did not hear.

“'Plato saw human behavior as a chariot pulled by precisely those three powerful and headstrong horses, first tugged this way, then pulled that way,] continued the Time Traveler. “Phobos, kerdos, doxa. Fear, self-interest, honor. Which of these guides the chariot of your nation and your allies in Europe and your surprisingly fragile civilization now, O Man of 2006?'

"I stared at the bookcase instead of the man and willed him gone, wishing him away like a sleepy boy willing away the boogeyman under his bed.

“'Which combination of those three traits -- phobos, kerdos, doxa -- will save or doom your world?' asked the Time Traveler. 'Which might bring you back from this vacation from history – from history’s responsibilities and history’s burdens – that you have all so generously gifted yourselves with? You peace-loving Europeans. You civil-liberties loving Americans? You Athenian invertebrates with your love of your own exalted sensibilities and your willingness to enter into a global war for civilizational survival even while you are too timid, too fearful . . . too decent . . . to match the ruthlessness of your enemies.'

"I closed my eyes but that did not stop his voice.

“'At least understand that such decency goes away quickly when you are burying your children and your grandchildren,' rasped the Time Traveler. 'Or watching them suffer in slavery. Ruthlessness deferred against totalitarian aggression only makes the later need for ruthlessness more terrible. Thousands of years of history and war should have taught you that. Did you fools learn nothing from living through the charnel house that was the 20th Century?'

"I’d had enough. I opened my eyes, turned, reached into the top left drawer of my desk, and pulled out the .38 revolver that I had owned for twenty-three years and fired only twice, at firing ranges, shortly after it was given to me as a gift.

"I aimed it at the Time Traveler. 'Get out,' I said.

"He showed no reaction. 'Do you want more than words?' he asked softly. 'I will give you more than words. I give you eight million Jews dead in Israel – incinerated – and many more dead Jews in Eurabia and around the world. I give you the continent of Europe cast back more than five hundred years into sad pools of warring civilizations.'

“'Get out,' I repeated, aiming the revolver higher.

“'I give you an Asian world in chaos, a Pacific rim ruled by China after the vacuum of America’s withdrawal – this nation’s full resources devoted to fighting, and possibly losing, the Century War – a South America and Mexico lost to corruption and appeasement, a resurgent Russian Empire that has reclaimed its old dominated republics and more, and a Canada split into three hateful nations.'

I cocked the pistol. The click sounded very loud in the small room.

“'We were speaking about ruthlessness,' said the Time Traveler. 'If you fail to understand it at first, you learn it quickly enough in a war like the one you are allowing to come. Would you like to hear the litany of Islamic shrines and cities that will blossom in nuclear retaliatory fire in the decades to come?'

“'Get out,' I said for a final time. 'I’m ruthless enough to shoot you, and by God I will if you don’t get out of here.'

"The Time Traveler nodded. 'As you wish. But you should hear two last words, two last names . . .religious judge Ubar ibn al-Khattab and rector-imam Ismail Nawahda of New Al-Azhar University in London, part of the 200,000-man Golden Mosque of the New Islamic Khalifate in Eurabia.'

“'What are those names to me or me to them?' I asked. My finger was on the trigger of the cocked .38.

“'These religious officials were on the Islamic Tribunal that sentenced two dhimmis to death by stoning and beheading,' said the Time Traveler. 'The dhimmis were your two grandsons, Thomas and Daniel.'

“'What was . . . will be . . . their crime?' I was able to ask after a long minute. My tongue felt like a strip of rough cotton.

“They dated two Muslim women – Thomas while he was in London on business, Daniel while visiting his aging mother, your daughter, in Canada – without first converting to Islam. That part of sharia, Islamic law, is called hudud, and we know quite a bit about it in my time. Your grandsons didn’t know the young women were Muslim since they both were dressed in modern garb - -thus violating their own society’s ironclad rule of Hijab — modesty. The girls, I hear, also died, but those were not sharia sentences. Not hudud. Their brothers and fathers murdered them. Honor killings . . . I think you’ve already heard the phrase by 2006.'

"If I were to shoot him, I had to do it now. My hand was shaking more fiercely every second.

“'Of course, the odds against one sharia court in London sentencing both your grandsons to death for crimes committed as far apart as London and Quebec City is too much of a coincidence to believe in,' continued the Time Traveler. 'As is the fact that they would both be introduced to Muslim girls, without knowing they were Muslim, and go on a single dinner date with them at the same time, in cities so far apart. And Thomas was married. I know he thought he was having a business dinner with a client.'

“'What . . .' I began, my arm holding the pistol shaking as if palsied.

"The Time Traveler laughed a final time. 'All of your grandsons’ names were on lists. You wrote something . . . will soon write something . . . that will put your name, and all your descendents’ names, on their list. Including your only surviving grandson.'

"I opened my mouth but did not speak.

“'According to their own writings, which we all know well in my day,' continued the Time Traveler, '‘Hadith Malik 511:1588 The last statement that Muhammad made was: 'O Lord, perish the Jews and Christians. They made churches of the graves of their prophets. There shall be no two faiths in Arabia.' And there are not. All infidels – Christians, Jews, secularists -- have been executed, converted, or driven out. Israel is cinders. Eurabia and the New Khalifate is growing, absorbing what was left of the old, weak cultures there that once dreamt of a European Union. The Century War is not near over. Two of your three grandsons are now dead. Your remaining grandson still fights, as does one of your surviving granddaughters. Two of your three living granddaughters now live under sharia within the aegis of New Khalifate. They are women of the veil.'

"I lowered the pistol.

“'Enjoy these last days and months and years of your slumber, Grandfather,' said the scarred old man. 'Your wake-up call is coming soon.'

"The Time Traveler said three last words and was gone.

"I put the pistol away – realizing too late that it had never been loaded – and sat down to write this. I could not. I waited these three months to try again.

"Oh, Lord, I wish that some person on business from Porlock would wake me from this dream.

"It was not the horrors of his revelations about my grandchildren that had shaken me the most deeply, shaken me to the core of my core, but rather the the Time Traveler’s last three words. Three words that any Replayer or time traveler visiting here from a century or more from now would react to first and most emotionally – three words I will not share here in this piece nor ever plan to share, at least until everyone on Earth knows them – three words that will keep me awake nights for months and years to come.

"Three words."

"Egalitarianism Destroys Labor Markets"

I tell people I never learned a thing after first grade, and I didn't, either. And by the time I got into seventh grade, things went completely haywire.

For one thing, I was wondering why I was in school with all these dumbasses. I spent a lot of time just trying to survive.

And then there was shop, which all the boys had to take starting in the seventh grade, since all of us were supposed to work at the local steel mill. Never mind the fact the shop classes had nothing to do with working in the mill. It was the about same as the school training you to work on Model Ts when the mills needed guys who could work on BMWs.

There was a complete mismatch between what the schools taught, and what we needed to survive in the real world. And it started in kindergarten.

I don't see much difference now.

I don't know exactly what the high-school dropout rate is (it varies from state to stare) but where I used to live, I'd go for a walk every morning down the bike path nd see 12 or so high-school dropouts seeing under a tree in park.

Why not drop out? What did they have to look forward to? A lifetime at McDonalds?

I personally wasn't so much driven nuts by school as much as bored. I daydreamed a lot, and by high school that's I did, except party on the weekends - and that's what got me through school.

The public schools are not going to change. Bureaucracies exist to protect themselves, not the students. Students are expendable; if they weren't, we wouldn't have the dropout rate we do, and so many unemployed or underemployed people.

I've also pointed out we no longer have the free market since the government interferes in everything, contrary to the retarded who praise Wal-Mart and McDonalds (both of whom are gigantic welfare whores) as paragons of the free market.

I see no cure at all - except to pull your kids out of public schools.

What the author is talking about here is what I call the difference between the Machine State and the Natural State. In the Machine State you serve the Machine. In the Natural State the machine serves you.

All people - and sometimes their quest gets very perverted - seek the Good, the True and the Beautiful.

This article if from Henry Dampier, and of course was written by him.

"I dislike the fashion among economics writers to say that technology has rendered most laborers ‘obsolete.’ That I dislike it does not necessarily make it false. But I will make the case for my beliefs here, nonetheless.

"In this post, I will hash out why the ideology of human equality floods labor markets with unqualified workers and ultimately undermines the market system by generating destructive political feedback loops.

"The reason why debates about labor markets take on such urgency in the Western world is that so many people are in desperate or at least insecure states of personal economy. Savings rates are perilously low, particularly among young people. Labor markets are chaotic, with too many people in inappropriate jobs, and plenty of fields besides that have labor shortages that spike wages. This is all exacerbated by a diversity human resources regime that forbids effective filtering of employees and a social welfare system that seizes large portions of wages paid to labor.

"First, it was a grievous mistake to purge the vestiges of feudal culture. While it is hard for me to make a positive argument for chattel slavery, assigning the exact same level of legal rights to all men and women over 18 rests on a lot of faulty assumptions about the intrinsic moral and intellectual capacities possessed by each person. It also neglects to provide people with individual choices about how many legal rights they ought to have.

"While one might suppose based on a lifetime of propaganda that no one with the option would surrender their freedom in return for something, in practice, we have seen such arrangements take place throughout history and in the current day. Student loans permit you to indenture yourself to either the government or an authorized lender provided that you enroll within an accredited institution. Husbands and wives, even today, surrender some of their rights in return for a contract and certain soft privileges.

"As this relates to the labor market, democratic courts forbid the restrictive apprenticeship contracts that were common even in the American colonies up until relatively recently. The need for skilled workers has not abetted (if anything, it has increased), but the historic legal framework that bonded apprentices to masters is no longer present.

"Even in the construction trades, we see the consequences in the differences between pre- and post-war architecture. The stonemasons that carved the ornate facades on New York City buildings built before the New Deal are no longer maintainable because that trade has shrunk to almost nothing. No one remembers the lost art. Skilled furniture makers have similarly been replaced by mass pulp manufacture, not necessarily because the latter produces better products.

"It is my intuitive sense that it has more to do with the spiritual differences between mass-man and the old type of man that existed before the standardization of culture pushed through by the mandatory education system. IKEA would not appeal to a culture that still produced large numbers of skilled artisans capable of producing beautiful furniture at an affordable price.

"Particularly as mass education has turned to promising a life of bureaucratic mind-work to everyone regardless of intrinsic capability, useful trades of all kinds need to be subsumed by automated substitutes.

"Mass democracy has flooded labor markets in certain parts of society while either ignoring or heavily discouraging entrance into other segments, based on the temporary enthusiasms of education bureaucrats, mayors, and presidents. Markets equilibrate to the political system, outside of conscious design.

"Second, the ochlocracy pushes far more people into the labor market than ought to be there. The frogmarching of women into the workplace throughout the 20th century, which became a high state priority in the late 1960s, is a key example of this. The state attempts to push as many people into work as possible because wage labor is easily taxed, whereas household labor is not.

"It is entirely possible that there are many people who would be better off working as gardeners, maids, and nursemaids in a bonded servant relationship rather than in an expressly wage-labor relationship. But the state prefers to reward the 40-hour-a-week format for standardization, ease of taxation, and in a vain attempt to create a worker’s paradise on Earth. The notion that ‘full employment’ is even desirable rests on a set of strange quantity-before-quality assumptions about the nature of work and human society.

"It is also a difficult frame to smash: it is shared by all the people of quality, and only rogues believe otherwise.

"What it ultimately does is create a dispirited, demoralized, Soviet-like population of ugly, fat, slutty, and unhealthy people. The property of the middle class gets routinely redistributed through various tax-and-inflation policies, keeping them in the labor market for too long.

"Idiots mix with the capable, destroying business productivity. Young people do not enter the skill-building relationships that they need to, because they are illegal. Shortages and gluts appear regularly, which generates political chaos, and because democracy is incapable of producing effective leadership, the solutions chosen only exacerbate the underlying structural problems.

"Modern economics writers will almost never broach these topics. No one wants to tell a generation of ‘strong, independent women’ that they probably cause more chaos and damage to the business world than is warranted. A hardworking housewife reduces the amount of cash income that a man needs to bring in to provide for his family.

"The technology argument here is, again, a lazy argument to make (partly because it is force-fed to Western students in the schools as an explanation for various enormous 20th century changes). You can always spend more time cooking a better meal, working on an art project with a child, beautifying a home, sewing a dress, or otherwise discovering new ‘jobs’ within the household that improve quality of life.

"No one wants to tell mediocre people that they would be better off as bonded servants, monks, or enlisted soldiers than as skilled workers. It is easier for someone like Tyler Cowen to instead say that they ought to be all ‘taken care of’ by magic welfare fairies that will somehow not cause any negative effects (to say nothing of the dysgenic impact). It says a lot about the failure of imagination and historical memory that the only solutions that our famous fatheads can come up with involves handing out more magical debit cards filled with digits to any low-life with a pulse.

"The Marxist slogan ‘to each according to his needs, from each according to his ability’ has been diluted to the point where no one expects ability from anyone, and the new needs claimed by everyone reach to infinity. Fortunately, the world has limits.

"No one respectable wants to admit that in areas like the arts and the skilled trades, America has declined in a shocking way in the post-war era. The narrative that must be maintained at all costs that every chart that anyone be allowed to look at in any circumstance must always be going from the lower left to the upper right without exceptions.

"By telling people that they are all equal, we guarantee a steady progression of failure. By banning most enforceable legal relationships that smack of hierarchy, we consign countless people to dull, unsatisfying, and increasingly insecure lives.

Monday, September 1, 2014

You Have No Rights at All

When I was about 21 an unattractive, overweight woman said to a friend and me, "I have the right..." (We were in college and she was a busybody sticking her nose into what was none of her business.)

I said to her, "You have no rights."

And she didn't.

It was John Locke who came up with the concept of our having the "natural rights" to "life, liberty and property." It made it into the Declaration of Independence as "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Now those ideas are what works best for everyone, for society, for the purpose of government. Unfortunately, those "rights" are just ideas in our heads we impose on reality.

That's why that woman had no rights. If I had beaten her or killed her, she could not have stopped me.

"Rights" are ultimately based on violence or the threat of violence. Nothing else.

Fortunately most people are good-natured enough to subscribe to "live and let live." Most. Some don't, and those we define as criminals. They steal, they mug they murder, they rape.

If someone wanted to, they could kill a lot of people before they're stopped - by violence. Think Ted Bundy, and how long it took to catch him.

That is incredibly scary, if you think about it.

There is a hierarchy of ideas, from the bad ones to the good ones. The good ones lead to the greatest eudamonia for people - those old qualities of the Good, the True, the Beatiful. The bad one lead us straight to hell on earth.

The bad ones, when implemented in society, cause all sorts of mayhem - chaos. When government subscribes to those ideas (which is often called "the Political Means") we get the worst catastrophes that exist.

The good ones lead to peace and prosperity (I've heard those called "the Economic Means").

In other words, bad government is the worst thing ever. And it always get out of control. Think Ted Bundy multiplied by millions of times.

Ultimately, then, everything is defined by ideas.

Why I Refer to Nearly Everyone as "Sir" and "Ma'am"

I refer to everyone - every clerk, every waiter or waitress, every pizza deliverer, as "sir" and "ma'am. I do not say it to anyone with a white-collar job.

By the way, I once had a well-do-do girlfriend who treated waiters and waitresses like shit. It didn't work out between us.

This post is so good I had to repost it. I don't much read Return of Kings because there so much nonsense on it, but this is right on the money. It was written by "AV8R".

"Do you know what I call the guy that picks up my garbage? What about the person that works at the convenience store, or the construction worker that’s fixing pot holes on my street? I call them 'sir' or 'ma’am', and why do I call them that? Because I’m grateful that they exist. I’m glad there are men willing to bust their asses for 8-12 hours a day in 95-degree heat or 30-degree cold to build, fix, and create things for the betterment of my existence. Far too many women in this country can’t see it because they’re too busy looking down their stuck-the-fuck-up noses at everyone around them. This just in ladies—you ain’t shit.

"The women that say they are 'strong and independent' are the most insolent, intolerable, and incapable vagina-possessing human beings you will ever meet. People that are strong and independent don’t go around trying to convince everyone in their vicinity of how strong and independent they are—it’s on display for all to see. Their actions and abilities will showcase their true potential. A running mouth isn’t compulsory to getting the point across.

"The 'strong and independent' woman is nothing more than a talker—a blabbering mouth that moves at a thousand miles an hour and only stops when there’s a dick nearby that needs to be sucked. It would be nice to see some talents other than fellatio come along to keep that mouth company, but I won’t be holding my breath. And I know, for certain, I’m not alone."

My Horrible Precognitive Dreams

I don't remember many of my dreams, and good thing, too, because when I do they're almost always vivid nightmares.

I think all dreams have some meaning to them; you just have to figure out what.

Here's an example of a precognitive nightmare:

For some unknown reason I appeared to be driving an '87 Impala with a stick-shift and a carburetor. I don't think they exist in reality.

My trunk, however, was full of advanced weaponry. Some not so advanced, such as swords. And when I say advanced, I mean advanced. Like laser pistols, and hand-held rotary guns.

And my trunk was just stuffed with them, along with your basic high-capacity semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and maybe a sniper rifle.

Not so surprisingly, I ended up having to kill two guys trying to steal my car. And the reason I was driving such a primitive car is because in reality I can repair everything on it. I can use a lot of weapons, too, though I have no idea where the laser pistol and rotary gun came from.

Let's just say you can make every weapon that exists in a fully-stocked machine shop - and I have seen the entire setup in a detached garage. And with 3-D printing these days...

Now here's the kicker: there were no women anywhere.

When I thought about this, I realized what was going on: in a societal collapse women are going to end up in some sort of fortified compound. There will none in public. That's why there were no women in my dreams.

Contrary to women's delusions, they are completely helpless on their own, and their safety is assured only through the good graces of some men. Not all men. If men became savages, women would be raped and then most probably murdered...along with some men. Think Mad Max.

If our soft technological society collapsed, women's freedom would collapse along with it. They couldn't make it on their own, in the slightest. How many women can repair a car or even change a tire? How many can shoot a firearm, or know how to dissemble one? That girl with the bow-and-arrow in The Hunger Games? Pure fantasy.

I once had a girlfriend who had a MBA and made $120,000 a year. I could never get her to fire a pistol. Her hands sweated even holding one.

When I was a kid I read a story titled, A Boy and His Dog, by Harlan Ellison (made into a movie of the same name, with Don Johnson, looking about 16).

Society had collapsed, so technological civilization had moved underground, while feral men lived in the ruins above-ground.

Where do you think all the women were kept? You know where. Underground.

One excessively horny and promiscuous woman did sneak aboveground to sample the savagery, and not surprisingly she ended up not only dead but eaten by a dog.

My dream was telling me that sooner or later civilization will, let's say, "go backwards" in some form or another, and when it does, women's parasitical, make-work jobs (which is about 99.99% of them) will disappear, while patriarchy will assert itself - for one thing, for women's safety.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Women's Manipulation of Gullible Men

I have suggested before that if men are trying to "Alphas" it's not because the want to be, but it's due to some women's manipulation. That is, they think if women like confident, funny men, some men try to be those things (but misname it "Alpha" then pile on a bunch of garbage with it - like the name itself).

But still, it's in response to women's unconscious manipulations.

"Hi, my name is Mystery and I wear a fuzzy hat and mascara to try to get laid - no matter how ridiculous I look!"

Scott Adams, he of Dilbert fame, has a cartoon showing Dilbert putting his head in a drawer and slamming it on his head, in response to a woman's claim that he had to do it to date her. Her last words in the panel? "And they're supposed to be on the ones who run the world."

If women only dated men who dressed like court jesters, men would start dressing like court jesters.

In the past, one of the things that a man is supposed to be is one who does not change his behavior in response to what women want.

I've mentioned this before, but I know guys who have slept with over a hundred women. Not surprisingly they were wimps and by middle age, were desperately dependent on one women. They didn't love them; they were just desperately, anxiously dependent on them.

One of the reasons why is because they never their own man. They did what women wanted so they could get laid a lot. And some never understand that.