Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Three book reviews

Not to excessively shill my own books here, but I've been meaning to post two of these rather substantial reviews for a few days, so when a third happened to appear, I thought I'd better just post them all at the same time. First, a review of Cuckservative, which is characterized as "something of a primer on the main positions of the Alt-Right":
The Alt-Right is a recent  movement in western politics. The rise of the Social Justice Phenomenon and their takeover of the mainstream left, and the inability or refusal of the current political elite to address let alone being to deal with a febrile global situation has led to a resurgence of ideas that had for decades been lingering at the fringes.

Lingering not because they were defeated, empirically wrong or quite quite mad, but because they challenge a set of assumptions without which the current political consensus cannot operate.

The media’s monopoly on the dissemination of information and their complicity in maintaining a crumbling narrative has been smashed by the cunning and sophisticated use of the internet by alt-right writers. These writers are actually performing the function of the fourth estate and the present American election may be the first where a candidate’s campaign has been undermined by “citizen journalists”. It is a movement whose time has come, and which has the tools to change, possibly even save, a beleaguered Western culture.

This book was recommended to me by one of the authors after I asked for clarification of his position on Free Trade, and can be seen perhaps as something of a primer on the main positions of the Alt-Right.

The book is not a dense academic thesis and is aimed at the general reader, with a conversational tone throughout. Technical elements are clearly presented yet not simplified into error. The philosophical and historical underpinnings of some of the arguments are also clearly, compellingly and accurately presented.
An agnostic, Jose Camoes Silva', has some thoughts concerning The Irrational Atheist, which are generally favorable, although I must correct him on one point. I do not believe, and have never argued, that "Goodness of religion ⇒ Existence of God [of that religion]". I believe reading my book with Dominic Santarelli, On the Existence of Gods, would suffice to disabuse him of that notion. But that is a minor point, made only in the interest of clarification.
 Sam "reincarnation might be possible" Harris

I remember Sam Harris saying something along the lines of that quoted phrase at a conference. He really seems to believe a lot of mysticism and superstition. But his audiences forgive him those small trespasses, as long as he continues to attack the religious, under the guise of attacking religion.

I did read one of Harris's books; it made me want to relapse into the Catholic faith of my upbringing. (I didn't.) That's how biased, poorly thought-out, poorly researched, supercilious, and absurd it was. I thought that was the worst possible case for atheism one could make.

Then I watched Harris in a conference and realized that a worse case was possible. If I had any doubts regarding my agnosticism, I would have become a young-Earth creationist speaking in tongues and handling snakes right then and there.

If anything, VD's takedown of Harris is too kind.

Paraphrasing an earlier essayist, Harris's books aren't to be tossed aside lightly; they should be thrown with great force.
And finally, it was a distinct pleasure to learn that Robert Wenzel of the San Francisco Review of Books not only reviewed SJWs Always Lie, but thought rather highly of it.
The book is brilliant. Day understands the tactics used by SJWs and he understands the psyche of SJWs. What's more, he has done heavy battle with SJWs in the science fiction arena and as an original player in #gamergate.

Day is an Alt Right leader and I don't agree with all his views and I don't agree with all the tactics he suggests in his book. I consider the battle against central planners, and other authoritarians, to ultimately be a long game, intellectual battle, where SJWs are mere grains of dirt in the eye.

My guess is that Day sees short-term skirmishes with SJWs as important in the long battle. I don't. However, I do see Day's tactics as extremely important survival techniques, so that SJW attacks don't knock you of the box when developing your long game.

And, heaven help you, if you are in the corporate world minding your own business when SJWs launch and attack on you/

Thus, I consider this book  must reading for anyone in the corporate world so that corporate-types know in advance how to react and what to do if they are the target of an SJW attack.

It is also necessary reading for anyone in the intellectual battle, academics, bloggers, etc. SJWs don't play fair and they could do serious harm to your career if you respond incorrectly.

Finally. it is a valuable book for anyone who finds himself in debate with SJWs. Day brilliantly explains why logical debate doesn't work with SJWs and he shows how to win in debate against them.
Anyhow, there is a little light reading available for those of you who are only familiar with my work here on the blog and are interested in diving a little deeper down the rabbit hole.

Labels: ,


Blogger vosvos September 06, 2016 9:27 PM  

Still hoping "on the existence of Gods " will come out in a hardcover! Was also thinking why not just print the second pressing of SJWs Always Lie on fluorescent (pick a color) paper? Save everybody some time and a pack of markers.

Blogger D. September 06, 2016 10:20 PM  

> I consider the battle against central planners, <

so art V conv. of states: no debt limit increase above $25,000,000,000,000 without 3/4 state legislature approval?
all federal land sold for debt reduction?

Blogger Lazarus September 06, 2016 10:30 PM  

Not to excessively shill my own books here,

Dancing in the end zone is not frowned upon in these modern times.

Blogger D. September 06, 2016 11:25 PM  

>}A SPECTER is haunting Eastern Europe: the specter of what in the West is called "dissent" This specter has not appeared out of thin air. It is a natural and inevitable consequence of the present historical phase of the system it is haunting. It was born at a time when this system, for a thousand reasons, can no longer base itself on the unadulterated, brutal, and arbitrary application of power, eliminating all expressions of nonconformity. What is more, the system has become so ossified politically that there is practically no way for such nonconformity to be implemented within its official structures. . . .

{2}Our system is most frequently characterized as a dictatorship or, more precisely, as the dictatorship of a political bureaucracy over a society which has undergone economic and social leveling. I am afraid that the term "dictatorship," regardless of how intelligible it may otherwise be, tends to obscure rather than clarify the real nature of power in this system. . . Even though our dictatorship has long since alienated itself completely from the social movements that give birth to it, the authenticity of these movements (and I am thinking of the proletarian and socialist movements of the nineteenth century) gives it undeniable historicity. These origins provided a solid foundation of sorts on which it could build until it became the utterly new social and political reality it is today, which has become so inextricably a part of the structure of the modern world. . . . It commands an incomparably more precise, logically structured, generally comprehensible and, in essence, extremely flexible ideology that, in its elaborateness and completeness, is almost a secularized religion. It offers a ready answer to any question whatsoever; it can scarcely be accepted only in part, and accepting it has profound implications for human life. In an era when metaphysical and existential certainties are in a state of crisis, when people are being uprooted and alienated and are losing their sense of what this world means, this ideology inevitably has a certain hypnotic charm. . . .

{3}The profound difference between our system-in terms of the nature of power-and what we traditionally understand by dictatorship, a difference I hope is clear even from this quite superficial comparison, has caused me to search for some term appropriate for our system, purely for the purposes of this essay. If I refer to it henceforth as a "post-totalitarian" system, I am fully aware that this is perhaps not the most precise term, but I am unable to think of a better one. I do not wish to imply by the prefix "post" that the system is no longer totalitarian; on the contrary, I mean that it is totalitarian in a way fundamentally different from classical dictatorships, different from totalitarianism as we usually understand it.


Anonymous Ezekiel Cassandros September 06, 2016 11:34 PM  

"...where SJWs are mere grains of dirt in the eye.

My guess is that Day sees short-term skirmishes with SJWs as important in the long battle. I don't. However..."

Each individual skirmish may well be unimportant, but the sheer number of them makes it a matter of war, if not thermodynamics. The SJW narrative has had free reign to terrorize a defenseless populace too demoralized to fight back; but the more books like this end up in the hands of people who need them, the more they will find themselves fighting a guerilla war against a prepared enemy.

A small effect on a large number of small people is a large effect. The SJWs are merely mosquitoes, but most men are merely mosquito-sized.

Anonymous tublecane September 06, 2016 11:52 PM  

I am an unbeliever and was captivated by your "Irrational Atheist," which I read shortly after stumbling upon SJWsAL. Because I despise militant atheists.

Blogger JimR September 07, 2016 12:05 AM  

@6 ditto, I don't believe, but I don't despise those that do

Anonymous Mr. Rational September 07, 2016 12:51 AM  

@7 I despise those who deny things which are obviously part of creation—things which the "Creator" they worship had to have done, but they run away from.  Human chromosome 2, with its telomere sequences in the center, dual centromeres and sequence of genes laid out exactly as they would be if 2 ape chromosomes fused to make it, prove that you DID come from a monkey, on the way from dust.  So-called Christians who deny what incontrovertible evidence proves to be true are as bad as Muslims, in that they are dangerous and immune to reason.

Blogger Were-Puppy September 07, 2016 1:51 AM  

6 and 7, meet 8 ...

Blogger S. Thermite September 07, 2016 2:01 AM  

Mr. Rational, you're like a guy pretending to believe the Earth might be carried on the back of a giant turtle, and then arguing that turtle's shells are observably too thin to support a planet's mass. I believe this is rationally called Arguing in Bad Faith.

Also you're an idiot if you think a programmer doesn't exist because there's evidence of re-used code, or that children are as bad as ISIS executioners because neither meet your (observably flawed) standards for rational thought.

Blogger S. Thermite September 07, 2016 2:10 AM  

Congrats, Vox. FWIW, as an adult I've read and own more of your books than anyone's except C.S. Lewis.

Blogger Shimshon September 07, 2016 2:41 AM  

Wenzel is great but he is missing the incredible intellectual development (and rigor) in the alt-right. All he sees is trolling and memes and assumes that the tactic is what defines the alt-right.

For those who missed it, Vox's arguments vis a vis free trade made an appearance at a recent episode of the Tom Woods show:

It sounds like Tom is coming around. His guest, Gene Epstein [or (((Epstein)))?] constructs a bunch of weak straw men and constantly wrings his hands about the benefits free trade accrues to the "poor Chinese."

Blogger Phillip George September 07, 2016 2:46 AM  

8. shut the fuck up and go to a laboratory and do the abiogenesis experiment.

religious turd passing philosophical materialism off as science.

Blogger JimR September 07, 2016 5:18 AM  

@8 that's so sweet! bless your heart!

Anonymous VFM0265 September 07, 2016 5:49 AM  

Bwah-hahahah, oh Phillip. That was good. I've learned to _swallow_ my coffee before reading stuff _here_. Hah!! Well done, Good Sir!

Blogger Lovekraft September 07, 2016 6:01 AM  

@ 8: perhaps you could explain to us how the eyeball can evolve in the time period we're talking about, with the unbelievably intricacy it holds. To think this is just a random development is childish.

Blogger Unknown September 07, 2016 6:32 AM  

Not to excessively shill my own books here

Hahahahaha. You're funny.

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 07, 2016 8:21 AM  

A review by R. Wenzel. Good show!

I like Wenzel but he drives me crazy with his utopianism.

Anonymous Mr. Rational September 07, 2016 8:59 AM  

S. Thermite wrote:you're an idiot if you think a programmer doesn't exist because there's evidence of re-used code
So a Supreme Being who can literally will an entire universe into existence ex nihilo is so starved for originality that He has to re-use code?  Further, in EXACTLY the same pattern as would be the case in common descent?  Really?

I believe this is rationally called Arguing in Bad Faith.
Hypocrisy is despicable.

Lovekraft wrote:perhaps you could explain to us how the eyeball can evolve in the time period we're talking about
Eyes have evolved multiple times, with slight variations.  Scallops have eyes with lenses which evolved independently; the retinas have the neural connections in the back, unlike ours (which is why we have a "blind spot" in each one).

To think this is just a random development is childish.
Part of the dezinformatzia you've been fed is to keep you from ever understanding that selection is anything but random.

Anonymous Onlooker September 07, 2016 9:32 AM  

Vox, thanks for introducing me to Jose Camoes Silva. I'm intrigued. Now I'm gonna spend entirely too much time exploring his blog.

Blogger S. Thermite September 07, 2016 9:58 AM  

@Mr. Rational

How was my argument in bad faith, and therefore in your eyes despicably hypocritical, when you have no evidence I''ve taken a position I don't believe in? Answer or retract.

Anonymous Mr. Rational September 07, 2016 10:29 AM  

@21 Answered that in the very same comment.  It is effortless to see things that fall in your blind spot by turning your eye, but seeing things that fall into the blind spot in your mind takes work.  It takes vastly more work when you've been indoctrinated all your life that you'll lose your soul if you so much as understand such things well enough to accurately paraphrase them.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 07, 2016 10:55 AM  

I do not believe, and have never argued, that "Goodness of religion ⇒ Existence of God [of that religion]".

Dante argued this. It's more of a heuristic than an argument, but I'll bet there's logic hiding underneath the heuristic for anyone who wants to look closer.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 07, 2016 11:00 AM  

Were-Puppy wrote:6 and 7, meet 8 ...

Watch out, I hear 7 8 9 xD.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit September 07, 2016 12:23 PM  

Past time I supported Castalia by buying these. Done.

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 07, 2016 12:41 PM  

@19. Mr. Rational September 07, 2016 8:59 AM

Then, you would be arguing against the "Supreme Being" because the lack of commonality within the creation.

Anonymous Mr. Rational September 07, 2016 2:33 PM  

@26 How nice of you to tell me what I would be thinking and arguing, in some other world that is wholly a figment of imagination.  Why don't you come do my math and plot my book timelines for me, since you're so sure you can be me better than I can?

Blogger Jose September 11, 2016 3:57 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Jose September 11, 2016 3:58 PM  

I've corrected my review of "The Irrational Atheist." Reading "Somewhither" now.

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts