Class or prosperity levels broken out by psychological effect of most common dilemmas

Uber-rich: Never have to choose between two good options, the answer is always “both”. “I want to go to Harvard, but the Oxford library is so rich with tradition. I’ll just fly back and forth.” If the uber-rich are ever faced with a situation where the answer logically can’t be both, the uber-rich’s servants will end up moving moving heaven and earth to make it appear as if they were able to choose both, either to forestall narcissistic rage or to get a pittance from that sweet Vanguard money. After repeatedly choosing both, the psychological effect is to convince the uber-rich that they can have their cake and eat it too. This is how Greek tragedy levels of hubris are born.

Rich: Never have to choose between two bad options and follow the decision through to the end. For example, a person without health insurance is often faced with a choice between financial devastation and going without medical treatment. In modern America this applies to the middle class and up: not only do they never/rarely have to make such choices, they come to believe that no one ever has to make hard choices and they have contempt for the poor people who do. This gives rise to such beliefs as “Everything will work itself out/God will provide/We’ll find a way/Never sacrifice X for Y.” If you’re poor, a common experience is for a rich person to offer to help, get discouraged by the facts after hitting the first obstacle, and lose interest for lack of comprehension. For example, my sister in law once made a budgeting spreadsheet for me for all possible futures (which was very charitable of her, how many people do you know who will spontaneously put in half an hour to do your budget?). When we put in the actual numbers, all possible futures turned red. She wandered off in a daze because she wasn’t able to comprehend that a person could be in a financially hopeless situation.

(NB: There ended up being a solution, but it required some lateral thinking, a decade of financial support by family members, a course through the weirder corners of the internet, a lot of time, and a lot of good luck.)

The Messy Middle: This is an area where the most common choices are between good and bad options (“Should I have a beer with lunch before doing electrical work?”), but they also have exposure to good-good dilemmas and bad-bad dilemmas so it produces people who are psychologically normal. In current-day America, this is the lower middle class.

Poor: Always choosing between two bad options, like between payday loans and delinquency. This is usually due to an incapacity to follow through on the good options that are available to others, and most often due to mental retardation (or other forms of disability). Making choices of this sort repeatedly produces learned helplessness, pessimism, and fatalism. Behaviorally, it produces the tendency to procrastinate on hard decisions in the unrealistic hope that something will change to make the dilemma go away, which is rationalized with a combination of dark humor and copes: “Maybe I’ll be dead then/I’ma hit it big/All rap lyrics/Q is calling all patriots to the January 6 protest!/Obama he gave us a phone, he gonna do more”. But procrastinating on hard decisions is usually the worst choice in a double-bind, so it’s a vicious spiral. There’s also the issue of not following through on one of these decisions, e.g. “Art history at a private college was a bad financial decision but dropping out is worse…” then dropping out anyway.

Uber-poor: Never get to choose between bad options, you just get to watch in horror as other people make the worst choices possible every time, with very few exceptions. Untouchables. In America, this would be the profoundly disabled, such as locked-in syndrome (see: Ghost Boy), kids in the foster system, and sexually trafficked people. This intensity of emotional experience over a long period produces a very emotionally labile person, similar to a neurotic person except also capable of great joy and profound empathy. They will tend to have strong religious beliefs one way or the other, but they’re also at risk of falling into the learned helplessness spiral of the poor group above if they escape their captivity.

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WINNARZ except the other guy cheated

The forthcoming rant applies to conservatives, Nazis, neo-Confederates, Edenists, and other assorted whiny losers. Here’s the formula for how these conversations go:

>Group A is superior in every way. They’re happy and spiritual and win at everything.

Examples of Group A: noble savages, the moral majority of American normies, Aryan warriors, Southerners, Neanderthals.

>But Group A lost to Group B so totally that they don’t exist anymore.
>Yeah, but Group B cheated.

This is where the bitching begins, which is funny because these tend to be internet WINNARZ who idealize psychopathy. The conversation will be a long list of horrible atrocities Group B did because they’re such cheaters losers and blah blah blah. But hang on, I thought Group A were winners in every possible way?

>Group A always wins on a level playing field.
>How are you going to do things differently this time so that it’s a level playing field?
>We’re going to do exactly the same things except harder.
>Are you superior to the historical Group A?
>No, they were perfect in every way.
>So you’re going to lose again.
>We’re going to win because Group A are winners.
>But Group A was driven to humiliation, slavery, and extinction.
>Group B cheated.
>How are you going to stop them from cheating this time?
>X, Y, and Z.
>Didn’t Group A do that before?
>Yup, we’re going to imitate their successes except harder.

And on and on. What it comes down to is that doing something differently from Hitler means admitting he wasn’t perfect and then you have to turn your left brain back on to decide which parts to keep.

This rant was inspired by James LaFond and Nick Mason making fools of themselves on and really showing off the limits of intelligence without character. In their case it was “hunter gatherers are superior and happy and winners” and Adam Smith repeatedly asking them why hunter gatherers are winners if they always lose, go extinct, and get replaced. It was painful to listen to.

Maybe if something happens the same way every time we should pay attention to that. But no, you need character to face realities you don’t like, and no amount of intelligence can fill in for a lack of character. If you think everything good has to feel natural and intuitive then you’re hamstringing your ability to apply yourself wholeheartedly to something important, because you’re literally defining the exertion of moral effort as immoral. Hard work is never going to feel natural, that’s why we call it hard work. The thing you want to do is called “feeling inspired”, which is great and all, but it’s no replacement for hard work.

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Re: Wartime supply chains in post-America

If I post enough chatroom copypasta does that make me a genius?


Holy shit. Cars are going away.
Forget owning a house as a middle class aspirational thing, try owning a car
My first car, my parents bought below market from my grandpa. Second car was a basic white sedan for 3k, something like 70,000 miles
Basic sedan with less than 100,000 miles on it is like 9k minimum now
My starter car was 3k when I got it, a replacement for it was like 7k when I checked a few years back. Looking at 14-16k for a semi decent sedan made within a decade.
Prices are going up, interest rates are going up, and good luck finding a mechanic for your beater car.
Itz going to be MORE expensive to buy a 200k mileage POS because you can’t get parts, and labor is insane.
What kid is going to be able to afford a 30k loan on a McDonald’s part time gig?
Or $200 a month for the beater car plus another $1000 every time something breaks down.


You may want to invest in backyard DIY hydro.
The future is electric dirtbikes.
Tbh probably something with more than two wheels so you can pull a payload.
I just want it to be dirtbikes because that would make me happy.

Yep. I remember a story about the USSR around the time of The Jetsons and The Flintstones.
The people in USSR saw that show and thought it was American propaganda, like their own propaganda.
“One guy working construction can afford a house, car, appliances, kids, and still have time to go bowling? Bullshit!”
I hear The Jetsons was inspired by Detroit. Not anymore!
No joke, contemplating stockpiling a couple years worth of toothpaste of various qualities.
The lesson of COVID is that market prices are illegal, so you get shortages, rationing, and handouts for rich people.
Oh, and a black market.
Good blockquote here about what happens when they sink one container ship

For me the lesson of Covid is that the masses have a revealed preference for not waking up.
So talking to them is irrational.
They’ll walk into the sea in a single-file line until the genetics have shifted to people who are afraid of water.

Can’t really argue with that.
I recommend light teasing and constructive mockery
The median ‘saw it coming’ guy is a single man, with female rescue dog, hopelessly pissed at the sheeple that STILL AREN’T WAKING UP and therefore deserve the hellfire that’s coming

Fortunately I already have a religion for that, so I don’t have to get all excited about it.

I’m resolved to still have friends, so I read the ‘saw it coming’ guys for info but remind myself that the sheep are all women, can’t help themselves.
It really does help, the idea that we’re all toothless meth heads compared to Jesus, so maybe don’t be too hard on your fellow man
Anyway, great time to have already had a decade to kit out a shed in the back with power tools.
If I was in the mood to start a business, I’d be working on a minimum viable low power machine shop/scrap reprocessing center.
Anything large and… “Wartime production measures. We’re taking all your equipment and will pay you in 2022 dollars. You’ll get a check some time in 2033”
Eh, that’s work though.

All right, I read the Denninger blockquote of doom and gloom. He’s not entirely wrong but not entirely right either.
His mistaken assumption is the idea that people are helpless, passive victims in cascades like this.
In reality what we’ll see is massive, sudden government infrastructure spending to try to keep the system alive.
There will be propaganda about our brave electricians and auto mechanics the way there was about nurses during Covid.
People will have times when they open their windows and clap for our heroes.
This is also the part where he’s correct, because we’ve lost the human capital to make big initiatives like this succeed.
Remember when GM tried to make N-95 masks?
I was there as it was happening, and it was an “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men” scenario.
And that’s not even considering the emergency Covid response funds that went directly into private pockets.

To make a mask, need specialized equipment. To get specialized equipment, need specialized equipment industry with slack. Turns out we had a specialized tax farming industry. Maybe try China.

Hmm…correct for all practical purposes.

More or less correct is the best kind of correct! More or less…

The bottleneck was in engineering design and deployment under extreme scrutiny from the C-suite.
To pull something like that off you need to have the right specialists with the right leadership with the right support and the ability to procure the right resources and plenty of time working while not being bothered by idiots.
We’ve spent the last 70 years peeling away every layer of that onion.


Basically they were like:
>this is our moment to shine
>send in the union reps
And that’s where the space program came from.
Again, that’s to say nothing of organized criminal activity in the C-suite.
Returning to the original point for a moment (hey, this is a blog post now isn’t it), the real collapse happens when the normies defect from the national state of emergency after realizing the chips coming out of the new factories don’t work and it’s illegal to say so.
That takes a while. You saw how white ladies reacted to BLM.
“Mostly peaceful protests” wasn’t for you.


So it’s going to be slower than old Karl has been prophesying for the last 30 years, because society will strain itself to adapt to economic conditions.
The real problem is it’s forgotten how to adapt after so many years of doing the opposite on purpose to flex on competent people.

The quo can stay status longer than you can stay fully prepped

Pretty much. I still think the language of the future is Mandarin.
But I could be wrong.

Sell your vault and buy a gas station

The American continent is worth too much money to be properly depopulated.
Someone is going to be here using electricity.
Probably even computers!

Sounds about right. I’m betting on brown countries starving ‘for Ukraine’ and everything being 40% shittier and twice as expensive here.
Complex things are starting to go, simple things we no know how to makey.

Yup. I’m convinced India is our future.

I think the sweet spot is get just big enough to get grants to make complex parts ‘any day now’ and use the money to build a second machine shop.
More simple things

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Further Owl convo re: JUA

anyway, JUA suggestions?
the point I keep coming back to is motivation…PUA had obvious motivation, (indeed, the most intrinsic)
but JUA isn’t going to fill a need unless that need is known, acknowledged, and accetped
now, there’s the Henry Ford approch of mkaing something first so people know what they want after they see it
This is going to have to be any first step. we then have two reelvant camps of people
those who realize they need basic norms and institution-building, and those who can be brought to need it
*rather, brought to accept the y need it
in time, success is the best advertising, but bridging the gap between this point and that one is going to require smart planning, flexibility, and a bit of luck

one intersting aspect of this we face is the human capital element
we can’t assume this is going to have significant input from those already pro-social and capable already
using Vox’s terms, we have to accept that this is mostly going to be low-delta phenomenon with significant proportions of omegas and gammas
the weakness of PUA ended up being that is was broken people doing dancing monkey routines, and that’s an end result we need to avoid
which implies there needs to be a deeper element to it

They were successful for a while, but then the immune system of society adapted.
This is comparable to the world of sales and robo-calling.
There’s a similar dynamic here because the immune system of society is designed to prevent disfavored men from having sex, etc. And we’re talking about disfavored men having male relationships, which is more or less equally desirable.
And the immune system both passively adapts to new strategies and actively seeks out disfavored men to destroy them.
What I’m referring to as “the immune system” is basically just the men who are on the top.
Correction: The common interest of those men and its mimetic network.
In our society the common interest is essentially organized crime with a facade of respectability.

Regarding the spectrum, where we’re proposing to collectivize the low end, I think it pays to conceive of it as the head girl-to-hermit spectrum.
A bestiary, ranked by GFP, will help.
What’s a good suffix that could replace -cel?
Maybe that’s a question for later.
So on the one hand, you have people who don’t need to be told to form groups.
They do it like breathing. Their social networks are wide and deep. Everyone likes them.
If they wanted to form a new church, they’d just say so and it would happen because they were born to organize people and have applied themselves to practice their profession for their entire lives.
Despite the “head girl” term, the majority of 9s and 10s are going to be men.
Do we think this is a bell curve or Pareto?
I.e. Genetic or biographical?
We’re more or less proposing a self-help curriculum for learning demogoguery.
Maybe call it a mix of demogogue and…whatever you’d call the administrative part.
The former is going to overlap significantly with sales skills and the latter will overlap significantly with “soft” skills like maintaining a CRM.

For example, there’s an idea in B2B sales to big companies (ref. the eponymous Jill Konrath book) of finding the “decision maker” among the chaff.
In terms of organizing a group, this is the equivalent of identifying the influencers.
Back in the day the government tried to organize the black community by giving money to “community leaders” before they realized nobody listened to them, because black people don’t listen to anybody.
That’s more or less the situation now among white men, except we’re operating under the assumption that there’s genetic potential that’s being actively suppressed.
We should probably quantify the actual difference between genetic potential for cultural activism versus the realized potential.
As usual, this gets us into the weeds about definitions. Are Asians better at cultural activism than white people just because they have higher IQs and higher GFPs? Or is it just verbal IQ that matters?
Does art count?
What’s the preferred ratio of men to women in a farmer’s market? A school board meeting? A knitting circle?

that last bit is probably a bit too “trees” versus “forest”
and while i still think there’s merit in the term cultural activisim, we should be careful not to let the language cloud our thinking
ultimately, this is just regrowing cultural and civil society
occidental culture has always been one of organizations: clubs, salon, lodges, socieites…etc

In that case, it may help to define why we want to nurture a culture and society.
What’s in it for you?

big-picture: better life outcomes.

For you?

better health, better social relationships, healthier counry and culture
for me personally or for our particular target indivudal?
latter: hopefully what we’ve defined
me personally: what’s the point of life if you don’t leave something positive and lasting behind?

If I may summarize your governing philosophy, salus populi.
Salus populi suprema lex esto.

broad strokes, pretty muhc

And I’m inclined to summarize your intrinsic reason as the philosophy of Solidus Snake.
Do you want/have children?
Solidus focused on memetics because he couldn’t have children.

definitely want but don’t have them yet

There’s a very good chance your priorities will shift once you do.
At that point it’s salus domus lex something something.

so i’m told. i accept this

In my case it’s Jean Valjean’s choice. I’ve been driven to the choice of being either a saint or a monster.

“Did he understand all those mysterious murmurs which warn or importune the spirit at certain moments of life? Did a voice whisper in his ear that he had just passed the solemn hour of his destiny; that there no longer remained a middle course for him; that if he were not henceforth the best of men, he would be the worst; that it behooved him now, so to speak, to mount higher than the Bishop, or fall lower than the convict; that if he wished to become good he must become an angel; that if he wished to remain evil, he must become a monster?”

i think i’ve seen that fork in the road once or twice

And since I want to go to heaven and not hell, it’s a simple choice. Albeit not an easy one.


It’s like when I talked about how aspies don’t have the option of being human, because that’s a two-way street between you and society. At best, we can be conceived of as a force of nature.
We’re also uniquely suited to fill that role, which offers a connection back to humanity, albeit a different one.

it’s a different piece of the bigger puzzle

There’s great value to society in being an unmoving, objective reference for the normies.
Heaven and earth may fall away, but while floating in the all-changing ether if you find an internet connection you will find a new video of Reviewbrah being disappointed by Burger King’s latest creation.

the genuine dearth of unmoving objective references is a fsacinating thing to think about, especially in a bigger picture sense
i think the most fascinating fact in astrophysics is that even time itself is only measured relative to phsyical objcets
solar versus sidereal day, and that sort of thing
but even the bigger units of time such as years also involve reference to points such as the first point of Aries and that sort of thing
i’m a bit rusty on all this as its been a while. my terminology might be imprecise
anyway, my point is that we don’t get any objective measurement of time without an unyielding, permanenlty fixed point on which to base everything
and even in the really foundational stuff, the points have moved over thousands of years
if we knew exact universal center, we could finally have a single fixed reference point
but we don’t
that’s always struck me as a problem that exists in all realms of human knowledge and inquiry
where is the fixed point?
and “God” is an easy answer that only theoretically answers the question

Well, by analogy you could use the Big Bang in astrophysics.
And presumably for physics generally.
Although that probably gets into questions about definitions I’m too dumb to understand.
The typical strategy is to define things by the nearest, biggest, most predictable thing.
So…the sun, things like that.

sure. obvious move, and one that works when dealing with the human scale

We have a theoretical reference and a practical reference, what’s the problem?

my fascination isn’t with the day-to-day “how do we measure things”, whihc is pretty well sovled after thousnads of years, it’s the bigger question of absoulte understanding
it’s the whole philosophical “lac of absolute certainy in the things we think we know” thing

I’m an epistemological pragmatist, if that helps.

so am i, in truth
but more out of habit and necessity than genuine conviction

Oh I see, we’re in the same boat that way except it doesn’t bother me.
By nature I’m inclined to gnosticism and the “gnostic fallacy” as I described it.
But life beat that foolishness out of me.

i wouldn’t say it bothers me, but it’s certainly an interesting wrinkle to how i think about the world
maybe it all ties in with ideas about the priscia sapienta and all that
the quest for the unmovable, fixed point from which all genuine knowledge can flow


well, te general flow of metaphyscis from descartes to hume to kant

These days I’ve come to realize even logic, as defined by Aristotle, could be a delusional schizophrenic type of certainty.

really, the central conceit of western metaphysics in a nutshell, i suppose

But again, in pragmatic terms Descartes is an excellent starting place.

well you can derive anything logically depending on your inputs
as in programming, data science, and a lot of other fields: garbage in, garbage ut
if i start with the assumption that i am actually a mermaid, i can derive no shortage of magnificent but untrue conclusions

You could also come up with mostly true conclusions.
It’s always struck me that people of all belief systems can agree on the most practical statements of fact.
Molyneux and I may not have much philosophy or religion in common, but we can both give directions to the nearest gas station.
That example has served me well in thinking about lies and deception.
Even a murderous psychopath will typically give correct directions to the gas station.
The only two examples that come to mind for deception in that scenario are a high school senior giving the wrong directions to a freshman on the first day of school as a prank (trolling) and a predator who has thought of a way to entrap prey this particular way.
Both are very unlikely, although the former happened to me.
Returning to philosophy, I’ve noted that what people tend to disagree on are the more momentous things, and what they agree on are the more trivial things.
I believe Jesus is Lord and my next-door neighbor is going to hell because he doesn’t, but we agree where the gas station is.
He thinks Russians should be exterminated, I think Ukrainians should be exterminated, but we agree where Russia and Ukraine are on the map. Surely the former is more important.
(This is a hypothetical, I don’t think Ukrainians should be exterminated and I haven’t met my new neighbors.)

yeah, point taken

That’s more of a psychological observation.
Oh! The point was to say that if you believe you’re a mermaid I bet you can still give directions.
Unless you’re a woman.
I suppose this observation is ultimately why I became an empiricist at heart where I’m inclined to be an idealist by nature.

well some forms of knowledge don’t need a grand theory
you don’t need to parse heidegger to find a gas station
and i wouldn’t trust someone to build a gas station using only being and time as a reference guide
we would definitely get the idea of a gas station, and yet quitle likely not the key substance
anyway, better knowledge comes from 1) refining your inputs and 2) refining your data processing

Call it a day here?

sounds good

Next week?

next week works for me
and i shall strive not to be late next time!

Very good sir. My German side dominates my personality in the world of business.
Don’t know why, but it’s certainly preferable to the Irish approach to business.
>Be genial
>Lose focus
>Lose money

It’s the mullet approach
Prussian in the front, gaelic in the back

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Owl convo re: Art, big 5, cognitive styles, sensualism as an -ism

Hank Oslo’s article on Hellraiser reminded me I have a couple of textwalls lying around. Here’s the first one. (I disagree with Oslo’s identification of the Cenobites as simply gay fetishists, I think they’re a personification of something more fundamental to Barker’s fictional world’s metaphysics. See the short story “The Book of Blood” and pay attention to the description of the woman “unlocking” the spirit world with sensation. It presages the puzzle box, which is again a more concrete representation of the abstract thing expressed in “The Book of Blood”.)

I’ve been wrestling with some ideas on visual media versus the written word and the different temperaments that are drawn to, say, painting versus poetry, but it’s all very inchoate at the moment
there’s porbbaly an melons/thals/croms perspective on it
anyway, if you have anything to spitball on it off the top of your head thta could be fun

I’d imagine there’s an edenic angle on it, yes.
But maybe not a simple one.


I imagine all melonheads liking paintings from a young age, very few cro magnons, and only 1/3 of the troothals who get fixated on drawing and stuff.
Basically the same for poetry. Overall I conceive of melonheads as very smart theater kids.
Whereas neanderthals are various shades of Dilbert. Their art appreciation is going to be more restricted and incidental to their life experience and the things that border on their obsessions.
So if they’re into drafting they might really appreciate 3D perspective painting and accidentally get into art that way.
Or it could be something they picked up in childhood, or in the pursuit of a problem.
I think it’s effectively random which type of media thals like, but the selections within that media will be very stereotyped.
The ones who like reading will like Lord of the Rings.

Speaking only for myself, the poetry I actually enjoy is pretty stereotypically boy stuff, the equivalent of toy trucks and guns.
Kipling is the main one.

Cro magnons, if they’re smart, appear to develop a taste for very neurotypical, very heterosexual art choices.
As opposed to melon theater kids, who are more into a broader palette and weirder stuff to include less hetero material.
Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to mind, although I haven’t seen it.
But it feels like entry level, Harry Potter level melonhead stuff from the outside.
Thal girls seem to have similar tastes to melonhead men.
Melonhead women I’d expect to be into the classics in a big way, maybe even stereotypically, and actually appreciate them through sheer autism.
Homer, Shakespeare, and so on.
I think that’s all I got off the top.

There are a couple inserting points in here and it’s made me realize how few people are actually “into art”

“Into art” unpack this plz.

as in, seriously seek out art beyond the passive absorption of popular culture
As defined by actually going to museums, seeking out literature, finding books, poetry…etc

That makes it sound like foodies.
I don’t think that’s the essential difference.

ok, so I’m making a difference between just “things they enjoy” versus “things they treat as a hobby”

What’s the drive being served? What do they feel like when they get less of it than they need?

spiritual, cultural and moral deprivation

What does the world around you feel like under those conditions?
Do you find yourself more or less likely to engage in the arts yourself under such conditions?
My own experience is that a cycle of deprivation and abundance produces the best crop.
Usually in the Autumn-equivalent phase, which is interesting.
The downslope but not the trough proper.

the reaction to the decline proper but while there’s still enough energy and material to make use of
for my own part i seek out artistic expression to experience a broader range of human experiences than i get from ordinary life

Comparable to taking vitamins.

a good analogy if we take a page from older times and view art as an important tool for moral and social development

Is this driven by your nature as a sensory hedonist?

honestly, probably yes

Drawing too clear of a line between sensation and edification may not be profitable here.

well it goes back to your questions about what drives are satisfied by art

I recommend Clive Barker’s short story on this subject, The Book of Blood.
It’s a prototype for the book The Hellbound Heart (also an excellent treatment of the subject), which became the Hellraiser movie.
The metaphysics of that world is that various sensations and experiences can be like playing with a Rubik’s cube that can occasionally unlock portals to different worlds.
The Book of Blood is much more explicit about this.
Whereas The Hellbound Heart is a cautionary moral fable about sensualism.
But they’re both about sensualism as an -ism.

Sounds like there’s a lot to wrestle wiht there
That’s a very rich way of looking at…a lot of thigns

I’d caution you that Clive Barker is gay and that bleeds into his work.
With the remarkable exception of The Hellbound Heart, which is extremely heterosexual.
That’s interesting on its own.
I expect Mr. Barker was a reader of Foucault.

or at least, a reader of people who claim to have read foucalt
he’s one of those writers where most people who take about him only ever deal with him second- or thirdhand
taking things back a bit, we talk once ages ago about musical theatre being a very upper-middle class art form. we can add to that here that’s it’s a very “head girl” art form
not really a cro-mag thing, and probably not serious enough for obsessive thals (but enjoyable for others)

Female cro mag?

maybe, because fun, excitement, music, and dancing

You’re the first person I’ve heard describe it as not serious.
But it checks out, intuitively.
So it’s the girls equivalent of Transformers.

one way of looking at it

No one quotes West Side Story like it’s a work of art.

even the more “serious” works like Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables don’t pretend to be nuanced examinations of the human spirit, moral dilemmas, or anything like that
obviously this is not to say that they aren’t enjoyable, but the natural comparisons are 1) opera, which is 50% of the all about moral tragedies and the disasters that arise from human vices and 2) straight theater, which can cover a full range of artistic expression but can be extremely weighty

How much of this is just precedent by great artists?
Shakespeare made theater great.
Before that it was minstrel shows.

precedent very important here

I’d throw anime in as another example because I’m hopeless.

Rogers and Hammerstein made “classic” american expresions of optimism, good-naturedness, and hope
Sondheim was more modern, adding more emotional complexity, but not quite heaviness
Andrew Llyod Weber probably did the most to make musicals serious and respectable, but again, even Phantom of the Opera doesn’t have the emotional weight of a Don Juan

I’m not familiar at all with either area.
I’m only barely aware that Mozart did Figaro, and I’d want to Google that to check.

I like opera, but it still carries the history of being very much an upper-class art form
and it’s very verbal and musical-oriented, not visual

As distinct from upper middle?


Sort of a stark Norman religious will-to-power mixed with piety.
Versus upper middle pretense and infantilism?
That’s uncharitable but it’s not untrue.

that’s probably fair
i bet you’d find some interesting results if you needs physiognomy studies on opera appreciators versus musical theatre enjoyers

I remember that musical theater enjoyment is basically a proxy for femininity.
And agreeableness, IIRC.
I’ll try to look it up.

that sounds right to me, intuitively

The correlation with social justice is probably 1.
Hmm, I may have remembered wrong.
I’m looking at that Big 5 vs. Movie preferences study Steve Sailer popularized a while back.

oh, good thinking
one thing i’ve had in the back of my head this whole chat is 1) whether big 5 tracks with preferred art medium and 2) if it does, does it track more or less than dominant cognitive style

Correlations with musicals:
Openness: 0.229
Conscientiousness: -0.223
Extraversion: 0.025
Agreeableness: 0.158
Neuroticism: 0.066

i wonder if those results are equally true for musical theater or if there’s a differences as compared to “movies that are musicals”

The latter is initially suprising because that’s weaker than the correlation between the female sex and neuroticism.
I’d guess the difference skews with income/social class. The higher your class, the more likely you are to enjoy musicals in person and all dressed up.
Whereas if you’re a mud person, you stay home and watch Glee at 4 am on your phone while eating Cheetos.

agree with the class angle

I’m trying to find the list of preferred movies by extremes.

thinking of the other comments I had for this…don’t have much experience with melonhead women into art, though I have a case study on an owl with professional dancing experience (dancing dancing, not stripping)
congitive style impacts how people process same art, which tells you a lot about them (which is why it’s always a fascinating topic of conversation)
big question is whether verbal/visual/muscial arts correlate with each other or not. Does appreciation of literature track with poetry or are they too different?
and, as you mentioned earlier: anime

Here, this may help:
For example, the low extraversion table is almost entirely anime.

which i find fascinating because it combines very simplified emotional expressions with very nuanced moral and philosophical examinations
usually all those things track in western art

I wish these were broken out by IQ.
Especially the Openness ones. I want to know what low-openness supermen are watching, and I suspect it’s not the Hannah Montana movie.

IQ range would be fascinating
suspect anime would have the widest range from highest to lowest IQ, probably followed by film in general
but i wouldn’t be surpised by either having the widest range

I feel like it’s time to retrace our steps back to a main topic or just call it.
Something something visual art versus verbal art.
I bet there’s already a study.

there’s got to be

I’m hacking into the mainframe.
Best I can find quickly.

maybe to sum up, the medium thals appreciate most ends up being random, but within their bucket they end up coalescing around a few expected choices, melons probably track more with verbal-tilted works with rich in complexity (OR very abstract visual art), and cro-mags gravitate to normie human baseline as expressed through the appropriate mediums for their class
that’s my hack-job of a working hypothesis

It’s a good start. My elaboration would be to tag them with Big 5 identifiers (melonheads like high-openness movies) and try to control for IQ.
So why the hell don’t I just do that.

let’s give it a shot!

Neanderthals, in order of precedence:
Low extraversion, because anime.
Low agreeableness, because masculine brain.
High openness, because IQ and associative horizon.
Cro magnon, in order of precedence:
(This one is hard, I’m not really sure about them.)
High conscientiousness
High extraversion
Male female subsplit on agreeableness and neuroticism

High openness
Low conscientiousness
Low extraversion
I’m inclined to throw high neuroticism in there.
This one is essentially the lists which offer unusual sensory experiences.
Ip Man is something you can experience in real life.
Friday Night Lights, same.
My Neighbor Totoro, less so.
How do you feel about comedy movies?

most are dumb, but genuinely good comedy is fantastic

Examples of the latter?
And do you enjoy it for the laughs or because it inspires you to be funny yourself at parties?

my personal preferences basically span across “dumb people being dumb humor” (“A Fish Called Wanda”) to biting satire (“Dr. Strangelove”, “Death of Stalin”)
I enjoy it for the sake of being able to appreciate the absurd in life
so satire tracks pretty well
big fan of dark humor

Do you enjoy making people laugh?
I.e. has standup comedy ever appealed to you?

i’m good at, but i’ve got a very particular dry wit
I’m better at riffing off of things that are already happening
I’ve never felt the need to try stand-up ocmedy

That’s interesting, because it appeals to me somewhat.

and i don’t feel the need to steal material from comedy films

Better not to draw a clear line between inspiration and stealing.
Part of my interest is practical (being professionally funny would take my social skills from a 2.5/5 to a 4/5), part of it is probably just Irish geniality, and part of it is raw talent looking for an outlet.
For example, I regularly suppress the urge to write my best jokes down.
I’ve been doing the same with my urge to learn how to draw for years and in the last few months it’s been getting a little out of hand.
The latter is interesting because my interest in drawing used to be absolute zero and only starting peeking out around age 26, 27.
Whereas I’ve always been pretty funny.

oh that’s interesting
i started getting interested in drawing baout that age as wel

Huh, here I thought I was this unusual basketcase of a dualback creative genius with no comparison group.
At about the same age I started losing my interest in computers.
And I feel these were related in my case.

that would be interesting to dig into
what’s the overlap between interest in computers nd interest in drawing?
do these things track?
artists and comp sci people are definitely differnt tribes…but what can we learn from people who are into both about what drives most to gravitate towards one or the other

Possibly related:
“Every age of man has its own appropriate philosophy. The child appears as a realist; for he finds himself as much convinced of the existence of pears and apples as of his own.  The youth, overwhelmed by inner passions, must observe himself, feel his way forward; he is transformed into an idealist.  On the other hand, the man has every reason for becoming a skeptic; he does well to doubt whether the means he has chosen for the purpose is indeed the right one.  Before acting, in acting, he has every reason for keeping his intelligence mobile, so that he need not subsequently be sorry for having made the wrong choice.  The old man, however, will always espouse mysticism. He sees that so much seems to depend on chance:  the irrational is successful, the rational fails, fortune and misfortune unexpectedly coincide; so it is, so it was, and old age finds comfort in Him who is, who was, and also who will be.“
I suspect that we both entered a different stage of life at around 27.
Which one that is may be up for debate.

i seem to have hit the mysticism stage well before old age
i think this might be correct

Here’s my working hypothesis: we have similar cognitive ability distributions, and this stage of life is where the neglected visual ability is making itself known like a shadow function.
So even though we’re very different in most respects, our similarity is in our slight cognitive strength in the verbal and conceptual area.
And a life history characterized by overdependence on that verbal-conceptual strength.


Am I wrong?

not on my end

I want to be in on the funny.

i’ve found that exploration of the visual has helped express, solidify, and confrim certain personal ideas

MM pointed out a while back that the quality of my blogging correlates almost perfectly with how much anime I’ve been watching.

for example, i enjoy straight lines buy also spirals, which i think is related to a “desire to find/create order by building self-sustaining feedback loops”
as for the funny, it was just how “nail on the head” you whre with the overreliance on verbal/conceptual intelligence bit

Oh, well you’ve hinted at how your job is writing-heavy.

it’s only been in the past few years i’ve been able to develop and bring to bear other tendencies to any serious degree

probably more accurate to say that i’ve leaned into my verbal/conceptual abilities and employed them as a primary tool

How about calling it here?

works for me
we got a lot more out of the art stuff than i expected

I hope it gets you closer to the center of the thing you were getting at.
The end of such an inquiry is to express it in a single profound sentence.
“Men are taller than women, except sometimes.”
I cried a single tear.

i’ve definitely got a lot more structure for thinking about it all going forward
“Art both investigates and expresses the totality of the human experience, and if we devote ourselves to studying its mysteries there is nothing about our fellow man that we cannot learn.”

What’s the difference between studying human nature and politics?

human institutions always, in the end, gravitate towards sociopathic behavior. humans themselves tned to be far more messy and emotional. studying politics adds the element of how institutions affect the outlets have for human behavior

That was a more analytical answer than I was expecting.

so, for example, bureaucracies and political parties can be looked at as anthrpomoprhized sociopathic entties in the way they pursue their goals, but they are also ocmposed of humans who behave in certain ways. who is in charge and who is filling key roles has drastic impacts on the ways those entities carry out their goals and how succcessful they are
the institutions and the humans both have an effect on how the other behaves, and studying human nature only looks t part of this dynamic

So there’s a human element, the element of crowds, the element of proper channels, and the element of the institution’s behavior itself.

very well-put

Thank you.
I may be so bold as to mythologize the former two as Lucifer/Behemoth and the latter two as Ahriman/Leviathan.

that could work

Now feels like a much stronger endpoint.
Old mystics should respect such feelings else we anger the fates at the crossroads of ill-tempered leylines.
The thing is you have to, like, go with the flow.
You good for next week?

next week a bif more iffy. i’ll let you know in the next few days if i can make it or not

Roger. I should be good for it.
In the meantime, may the feng shui of your home office cultivate good fortune.
(Zoom background feng shui, underserved market?)

highly underserved

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On abortion

Adding my 2c to Banned Hipster’s post. I assume it’s inspired by election year TV where conservatives think the Supreme Court is on their side all of a sudden, because…uh…reasons like…uh…LETS GOOOOO

Recently an older lady tried to set me up with a girl. It didn’t pan out, but it was a nice gesture and typical for this very feminine lady. But when I told her that the girl had flaked she got this animal look in her eyes and, being distracted while doing something with her hands, was unable to suppress a passing expression of glee. It was a momentary thing, but it disturbed me enough to reflect once again on how women (particularly the feminine ones) appear to be complete psychopaths, but the phenomenon has a different feel or flavor to it than psychopathy proper. If you’ve ever known a real dark triad person, you know there’s this constant feeling of repression that comes off them as they work to maintain the mask of civilization they present to their audience so they can go about their business. With women it’s much more like a childish lack of self-awareness or lack of distinction between reality and imagination where, when they tell you they ate their whole dinner and deserve dessert, they actually believe it because it feels appropriate to the situation.

The thing to understand about abortion is it’s about power, and to a lesser extent haggling and negotiation. The feminine will-to-power is expressed in the takeaway: taking away sex, taking away jobs/livelihood, neglecting children, up to and including teenage suicide attempts. What men have a hard time understanding is that women fantasize about punishing authority figures with suicide the way we (men) fantasize about beating an incompetent and unjust authority’s face in. Men kill themselves to escape frustration or leukemia, women do it for revenge. They’ll be all sad because the female brain has no synaptic connections between the hindbrain and the forebrain (and the latter exists to produce emotions that rationalize the observed behavior of the former), but if their biology were otherwise they’d go out with a shit-eating grin. This is why otherwise very nice Christian girls, if they aren’t well-indoctrinated fundamentalists, will at least resist the idea of making abortion illegal. Why, in the great poker game called society and life, would a person willingly give up their best trump cards in exchange for nothing? The mechanics of our dopamine response to power would never allow it- once a person has power, only a saint is capable of letting it go. Giving up your negotiating position for no reason other than religious belief is comparable to withstanding torture. Asking a girl to give up her biggest takeaway trump card is like asking a man to forever sign away his right to use violence against another man, no matter the situation, and receiving nothing in return. The difference is that we can look at men’s affairs directly because of the iron law: men are expendable, women aren’t.

Get it yet? Asking women to give up abortion is like asking men to accept the gravest injustices committed against them, because it means they have no recourse. It’s like willingly going from a high caste to a low caste where people are allowed (encouraged even) to victimize you and don’t need a reason, and you aren’t allowed to seek justice or revenge. I suppose white people living around black people these days have a pretty good idea of what that’s like, but imagine being a man and choosing that position in society on purpose rather than having it imposed upon you by women, Jews, and political skullduggery.

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Found another useful application for associative horizon (very large systems)

A long time ago Glenn proposed that the purpose of associative horizon is to masquerade as higher intelligence for self-promotion. It sounded cynical enough to be plausible, or at least plausibly part of the reason it exists. Maybe Paul Cooijmans was doing his own Sigma male Category X thing by making a special trait for special geniuses who are creative and great because they are such special bois. How would you argue otherwise to someone who doesn’t have it? The reason we laugh at Dilbert comics where the pointy-haired boss or CEO refers to himself as a “big picture” or “idea” person is that people who say that are generally useless and trying to mask it with claims of ephemeral productivity in the world of spirits.

Cooijmans suggests that, other than creativity/problem solving, associative horizon can, in combination with intelligence and conscientiousness, contribute to achievement in comedy, art, and science (through anti-instinctiveness), and it maps moderately well to Charlton and Dutton’s description of the endogenous personality or Eysenck’s psychoticism. I hadn’t come up with a lot of additional useful applications on top of Cooijmans’ original ones, other than it makes you good at playing with children, but recently I had an experience working on a big, legacy piece of software with a group that suggests such a task may only be possible for people with high associative horizon. (And I have notes on the experience lying around in various chat logs, so you get a blog post about it.)

At the beginning of the semester the groups in this class were given a 25,000-line piece of abandonware to modify into something else. This isn’t actually all that big in the software world, but the point is that it’s big enough that a single person would have trouble memorizing the mechanical guts of it in the space of a 3-credit course. We were told we would be graded on how much coding we did and to expect to write about 500 lines of code per week on the group project, which takes me about 10 hours when I know what I’m doing reasonably well (50 LOC/hr, where comments, whitespace, and braces aren’t counted). Before this point in the software engineering program, we’d all been making everything from scratch or educational templates that say things like /*TODO: implement this method*/. This teaches good fundamentals. So of course everyone in my group starts the project by furiously coding new classes to meet the requirements.

I’d like to stop for a moment and say this is not a criticism of my group. I had a hand in picking who was in it and it’s the best group I’ve ever had. They’re all that perfect mix of competence and long-sighted laziness that you want in people who are creating automated systems. “Let’s make X decision now, which technically hits all the requirements, and make the small thing perfect rather than make the vanity project half-perfect, and save ourselves from Y and Z trouble in the future. Then if we have time and feel like it we’ll do the side tasks (and we won’t feel like it).” Our meetings were a perfect mix of task-orientation and good humor of the sort that’s de facto illegal now, everyone had their homework done, you get the picture. Still, it was a pretty hard class and three of them had families so none of us had extra bandwidth to spend on silliness like digging into a bad piece of abandonware just for the satisfaction of a job well done. This was 130-IQ Delta male oil change real world, not 160-IQ Sigma male DIY engine internet world.

Returning to the point, the other guys jumped in and started coding new functionality. But this is no longer a purely educational tutorial situation, this is a decent simulation of a real-world project where you’re trying to modify an existing codebase that no one understands without breaking it by triggering any of the easter eggs hardcoded in by the men who went before you (men of renown). About 25% of the way through the project, I raised the unfortunate point that none of the new code was interfacing with the 25,000-line system it was supposed to go into. (It’s great curriculum planning to have us encounter this in a junior-level class, and I mean that sincerely.) In contrast, I looked for the existing feature that was the closest to what I wanted to make and spent a week tracing the method call sequence line-by-line to the part I wanted to modify, taking notes. I think my first code commit was five lines of copypasta adding a couple of parameters to the method that stored and retrieved data, and this ended up being the only functioning code in our first submission and later the core of our interface with this black box of a system. The moral of this story, and the next, is that I’m a 160-IQ Sigma male, but there’s another moral about associative horizon later.

Maybe 2/3 of the way through the project I’m telling this story to Boneflour and explaining that we now have three distinct bodies of code that aren’t talking to each other, where the data in our configuration files isn’t showing up in the GUI elements we made, and he asks if it’s because these guys have decided it’s good enough for the grade or they just don’t care. I told him it’s because they don’t know it’s broken. I think he was a little horrified by the idea, but it’s hard to express how many details they’d have to hold in their heads simultaneously to make this connection. Just reading the project requirements alone took about ten hours, because it was spread out over about fifty pages’ worth of self-referential material (think of a legal document if that helps). Now imagine you have to follow all of those rules (as best you can) while also designing new functionality from scratch, writing code that actually works and proving it with whitebox tests, keeping up with what five other people are doing, all while in the process of teaching yourself the legacy system without any documentation, and also doing this in about an hour per day on average. Connections between little bits of information are going to get missed.

The project works now. I knitted the front end changes, the new work, and the back end changes together at the very end after everyone else had submitted their final commits and moved on. For the purpose of studying human dynamics, I’ll note it wasn’t as hard as I expected because I was connecting pieces that were internally functional and already existed (because these guys are good coders for college juniors). The hard part was diving into the details and simultaneously thinking clearly about what needed to be done, which was likely enabled by my unusually high ego-strength (hence the ability to be content with the same meal three times a day for months: unusually low habituation). Microblogging my thoughts helped a lot. But the primary reason it had to be me is no one else thought it was their job to notice and fix the problem. The takeaway is that most people (maybe just coders?) are happy to stay in their lane and make their own world functional, and don’t care about what’s going on outside their line of vision. It takes a person with unusually high associative horizon to be annoyed that the system of functional little worlds is dysfunctional, or more precisely to know that it’s dysfunctional (rather than simply saying it’s dysfunctional because you’re a mess inside and would complain in any situation).

Thank you for coming to my TED talk. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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Write my hackbook

Your royalties will be the pleasure of a job well-done.

This is a criminally underappreciated book: I want to steal the hackbook idea from the easy peasy method and repurpose it for community-building like best president Obama. This is the same find/replace game that I play with anime, so I’m probably even more qualified than best president. For example, if you find/replace “company” -> “community” then the working title is:

This is already looking like a very strong start to a very successful project. An historical moment–drink it in. It might even get completed because I have a full three days ahead with nothing to do except my part-time job, an unheard-of amount of bandwidth to do something constructive with my life.

Here’s my starter find/replace algorithm:

Company -> Group/community/country/nation/tribe
Bad -> Unhealthy
Good -> Normal
Great -> Healthy
Safety -> Health and beauty
Success -> Survive/reproduce/thrive
Bad actor/etc. -> Bad actor
CEO/Executive -> Cultural elite
Middle management -> Bourgeoisie
Front-line workers/etc. -> Working class

Example excerpt after find/replace:

In short, a normal group can typically address its problems if it is aware of them and has the desire to fix them. Even if the problems are massive, normal groups have the infrastructure of people, leadership, and attitude to stay the course and reproduce themselves. Unhealthy groups do not have the ability to do that. They cannot identify their problems or appreciate the gravity of their problems, and certainly do not have the perspective and the horsepower to fix anything about themselves. They are so insecure and dysfunctional that anything more than doing what they do every day is a bridge too far and not worth even contemplating.

Classically, dysfunctional groups have huge cultural and systemic issues. The basic pieces are not there or, at best, are only partially there. Institutional leaders are weak, overwhelmed, or misdirected. Cultural elites and the working class are typically disconnected and perhaps even at war. Political processes are ineffective or nonexistent, and accountability is absent. The people are generally unhealthy, ignorant, poorly managed, and depressed. There is no effective strategy for future generations. Any plans for improvement are half-baked and poorly supported, and they fail quickly. What exists is basically a culture of failure where elites and the masses avoid reality and operate within the illusion that everything is fine. People at all levels are in survival mode and their fear of making a mistake or alienating a person of status is more important than accomplishing something. Not only is the unhealthy group drowning in its own mediocrity, it lacks the ability or the will to recognize its problems and do anything about them. The people in the unhealthy group are generally victims of a relatively new term, “Group Think,” where everyone agrees that they are doing it right and everything is fine.

Example excerpt before find/replace:

In short, a good company can typically address its problems if it is aware of them and has the desire to fix them. Even if the problems are more massive than normal, good companies have the infrastructure of people, leadership, and attitude to stay the course and be successful. Bad companies do not have the ability to do that. They cannot identify their problems or appreciate the gravity of their problems, and certainly do not have the perspective and the horsepower to fix anything about themselves. They are so insecure and dysfunctional that anything more than doing what they do every day is a bridge too far and not worth even contemplating.

Classically, dysfunctional companies have huge cultural and systemic issues. The basic pieces are not there or, at best, are only partially there. Leadership is weak, overwhelmed, or misdirected. The corporate office and field operations are typically disconnected and perhaps even at war. Processes are ineffective or nonexistent, and accountability is absent. Personnel are generally inadequate, poorly trained, poorly managed, and not motivated to succeed. There is no effective strategy for success. Any plans for improvement are half-baked and poorly supported, and they fail quickly. What exists is basically a culture of failure where management and employees avoid reality and operate within the illusion that everything is fine. People at all levels are in survival mode and their fear of making a mistake or alienating a person of status is more important than accomplishing something. Not only is the bad company drowning in its own mediocrity, it lacks the ability or the will to recognize its problems and do anything about them. The people in the bad company are generally victims of a relatively new term, “Group Think,” where everyone agrees that they are doing it right and everything is fine.

Chapter 1

You get the idea. If you have ideas for the find/replace or you want to knock out a chapter or two, let me know.

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Re: !Zeb! re: JUA

“Civic establishment artistry” begins with the assumption that all men want the same thing- to feel good about themselves and their station in life. we meme the virtues that lead to doing the right thing the way that players did for women.

Good summary.

Action plan: the action plan/ dopamine-success pathway is found in the small scale shifts…

This is important to highlight because unrealistic timescales are counterproductive to self-help plans. The key is the feedback loop between success and expectations while avoiding hubris (less likely these days).

However, it’s important to keep in mind that this will be driven more by changes in oxytocin, and specifically oxytocin in women. They will generate the demand, the point of training men is to produce the supply.

“Dopamine modulates large-scale social network group cohesion, whereas oxytocin modulates social cohesion in the context of family, friends, and other small-scale social connections. (Pearce et al., 2017 )”

“The goal of chapter 3 is to point out that many of the current societal trends presented in the previous chapter, especially the rise of populist nationalism and its related phenomena, are presumably created by a combination of high levels of dopamine in human populations, and how stress hormones oxytocin (primary female stress hormone) and vasopressin (primary male stress hormone) increase the intergroup divisions.”

Click to access Generational-Hormone-Theory.pdf

…of 1) an individual’s overton window to the Right…

My first instinct was to quibble here, because who cares what their politics are, but then it occurred to me that conservative politics and oxytocin are the same thing.

…and 2) the individuals autonomic integration/ willingness to engage in action (AIDA).

Initiative is for the 0.01%, and it’s usually squandered through eccentricity (high-agency people tend to have fewer problems and therefore lose touch with reality). The remainder of humanity run the spectrum from moderately trainable midwits to untrainably dense alcoholic dimwits. The better thing is to aim for the eminently trainable midwits and actually train them in basic community formation and activism principles.

Root Virtues: true integrated virtue is what allows people to communicate vialue.

Practice makes perfect.

in this case, the sales pitch is the value of being a delta/beta member of an alpha tribe.

I disagree, the value we offer is survival via group defense, communal welfare, and specialization as civilization breaks down and food becomes illegal for white people. The point is to turn disillusioned Betas, Deltas, and Gammas into the next rank up by detaching them from the system and giving them the job description and a guidebook. The Alphas are hopelessly bought in and will continue feeding from the trough. The reason for this is they get to disproportionately outcompete the other ranks if things stay on course. Everybody else gets soft-killed by rising overhead costs while they populate the next generation.

Jim talked about ownership of women being #1,

Women are owned by whoever can take them without penalty, the rest is distribution. There’s no sense is talking distribution without power, and if you think otherwise it’s because you aren’t a threat to the real political power structure (and it’s not Trump).

collective identity in a group centered around those ideals. underground revolutionary->hero -> fat cat statusquo holder.

This identity is key to conviction, as Q showed. The opposite for agency though, so it’s important that the leaders in training internalize that the buck stops with them, not with their enemies.

the overcoming of the shit test (calling someone racist/sexist/bigot), rapport, comfort, and confidence-building with the foundation of the philosophy.

All good details, but I’d argue day 1 is “how not to call federal attention to your little farmer’s market”. The Nazis have the most practice here.

and frame and overcoming of the rhetoric-based mental resistance by breaking down the strongholds of normietude: fear of uncoolness, fear of discomfort, etc

These are all standard self-help curriculum.

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Good taste, bad taste

Paul Fussell once explained that popular understanding of good taste is the providence of angry, intelligent, old white men. Therefore I bring you this boon.

Good taste: Savory, meaty, smooth, bitter, dark, deep, primitive, hearty sauces, no flavors hidden under other flavors, and if there’s a hint of mold on the cheese, rot on the meat, or the grapes are going bad, this is considered a feature to be cultivated to its highest perfection. See: French cooking.

Bad taste: Sweets, confections, fruity flavors, spicy foods, ethnic transplant foods, hiding flavors considered bland or bitter rather than bringing them out (e.g. ketchup on steamed vegetables rather than simply frying them in butter), anything deep-fried that should be pan-fried, anything grilled that should be slow-cooked, etc. New things, quirky things, simple things, and especially infantilizing things.

Good taste: Liquor should either taste like pure alcohol or something you’d rub on pork ribs, or somewhere in between depending on how bad of a mood you’re in. The experience of drinking the latter should be like drinking gravy made from the fatty runoff of your meat with the dry rub mixed in. The former should taste like fire because drinking liquor is a form of recreational self-harm, though more enjoyable than a teenage girl’s cutting, and if that’s not what you’re looking for you shouldn’t be drinking liquor.

Bad taste: This mixed drink has so much sugar you can’t taste the alcohol, and I like drinking melted jolly ranchers because I’m five. It’s sooooo goooood. I’m still in the mood to engage in self-harm as entertainment but I’m in denial about it because I’m in denial as a matter of ingrained habit.

Good taste: Video games should prioritize writing, then art direction, then sound design, then the feedback between difficulty curve and sensory rewards. Nothing else matters.

Bad taste: User interfaces of any sort, cleverly designed skill trees, detailed graphics, large open worlds, RPG elements, any system that can be “gamed”. A good UI is like a good woman: silent, invisible, intuitive to use, and constantly anticipating the user’s needs in each situation.

Good taste: Black coffee, espresso, cappuccinos.

Bad taste: Mix-ins, sugar, lattes, mochas.

More to come as I think of it.

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