The Third Rail looks prescient on Jan 6 in retrospect

Kinda reaching for content for the last post this week, but it’s worth noting that these guys had visceral reacts that couldn’t have been more accurate after eight months of additional information coming to light. And don’t forget that includes the Revolver expose.

Similarly, despite my aversion to Greg Johnson’s homosexuality and my suspicion of anything creative a gay man does, he’s the only person I know of whose 2016 reactions to Trump are still a good look in 2021.

I like to say that you can predict a person’s politics with perfect accuracy from their top five entertainment sources (because both represent unconscious wish fulfillment, but never you mind that). So consider this an endorsement of Borzoi and company as an entertainment source.

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FTN 431 clip

Original episode here. I can’t even remember why I wanted to highlight this clip in particular, it’s been on my list for a month.$/embed/Dan-Price—Raising-wages-rising-profits/828513ab66517cf6262ebce82adda6963d5f3e20?r=8jAWpx7U1g2zDvaWEQYQeBAmCk2rYeqW

Since I’m here anyway, I’ll respond to something Jazznds said in a different episode:

The majority of collaborators are philo-Semites for whatever reason.

The reason is because they’re high in narcissism, and narcissists want to hang out with and imitate the strong horse, there’s not much else to it. These people happen to have been born into the elite class where you get to see very concretely who the strong horse is. This dynamic is also why you saw a lot of grifting in the Alt-Lite in 2016 and 2017–the Alt-Right looked like a strong horse at the time.

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Boomer irony vs. Gen Z irony

The Boomer kind is when you lack cognitive dissonance because you lack self-awareness, the Gen Z kind is when you’re signaling that you can handle a lot of cognitive dissonance because you grew up in a hellish world full of narcissistic lying adults who were supposed to feel responsible for you.

The former is when you say “Thank God it’s the weekend, right?” to the guy handing you your burger and fries. (That’s more common than you’d imagine if you haven’t worked in the food industry.)

The latter is a defensive mechanism for surviving a childhood where all the adults are grifters trying to feed off your precious bodily fluids (sometimes literally, as in the case of Peter Thiel). It’s why all their art has weird distortion effects on it.

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An unexpected benefit of associative horizon

I am the undisputed world champion of distracting children.

My kids are still playing the Duplo world AP helped them make yesterday. They have been happily and quietly been playing it for hours between yesterday and today…it is wonderful

My greatest achievement in life, to date, is watering plants with my nephew and nieces for no less than four hours in one day. The key to being patient with the repetitive nature of playing with children is to realize that wasting time is how you win the game. Then you’ll start looking for ways to kill time. “Hey, let’s dig a big hole! Yeah! BIG HOLE!”

And kids don’t mind if you 99% of things you say are jokes for your own benefit, they’re just glad you’re there.

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Took a couple of months, but I thought of a good word for this. So now when I’m trying to quickly express that Trump was a fake and gay diversion, I can refer to him as a decoy.

Other good terms related to this but don’t catch the full meaning: Diversion, chaff (as in what fighter jets throw off to distract heat-seeking missiles), red herring, sidetrack, cardboard cutout. The main trouble in finding words for this is most of them (like “pretense” or “misnomer”) refer to things that could be incidental or disinterested rather than ill-intentioned, but a “decoy” is never incidental or disinterested. Something more abstract like a fake customer service line might be better referred to as a sidetrack, a facade, a time-suck, or a black hole, as in “Stop trying to sidetrack me. Your customer service line is a pretense and you know it is.” For less formal situations, variants of fraud/counterfeit like “grift”, “fake and gay” or “vaporware” are probably still the way to go. But if you tell your grandma Trump was a grift you’re going to have to spend 15 minutes explaining.

If the simulacrum leads to positive punishment rather than just negative reward, it could be referred to as a lure, bait, a trap, a scam, or some synonym of those.

This morning, I was trying to imagine explaining to a 17th century person how to navigate the modern world full of advertisements and Nigerian princes. I imagine him reading the first e-mail in his inbox and coming to me saying we need to speak to the king about something very urgent and important, and I have to explain to him that almost nothing in the modern day is urgent or important. And not to believe 99% of what he sees, reads, or hears, everyone is selfish, everything is a distraction, and to ignore his natural emotional reactions to these provocations until he barely feels them anymore. “Most people spend their entire lives trying to inflame your passions to distract and misdirect you for their own profit, and we’ve gotten very good at it.”

In other words, I would have to train him to foster the cynicism that characterizes a modern person. And that’s because the world is 99.999% filled with decoys, and maybe the reason we’re so nihilistic is because our filters have to be turned up so high. I don’t even SEE most of the e-mails in my inbox anymore. Can you imagine training someone from scratch how to do that without creating a small-souled bugman?

I suppose the obvious follow-up question is, what do you call someone who tells you the decoys are real because they want them to be real? Other than a Boomer, I mean. Quick story for inspiration: I just met my landlord. He’s been trying to collect money from a next-door neighbor and I asked him what the dealio is. I was then treated to a 30-minute rant about how easy it is to make money if people would just try hard like he did as a kid back. Literally the same rant as every time. Every Boomer started out at $2/hr and they were happy. I’ve given up on explaining inflation to them. Did you know $2 in 1975 is $10.15 in 2021? (Mind you, that’s before the recent hyperinflation.) And you started at that with no experience, references, or interview when you were 12?

This is a great example of someone who wants it to be true that kids can go into HVAC and make six figures, because America’s so great that we don’t need to shoot all the landlords and start over. So in the context of a con job, what do you call an unwitting shill?

[Update: I’m retarded, the term of art is useful idiot.]

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Retrospective on 2021 goals to date

The primary takeaway is, if you’re trying to balance goals to achieve more than one at once, you have to set explicit priorities on them. The 4.0 GPA goal has been eating the others. I wasn’t expecting it to push everything else aside, but I had a rough Spring B semester.

understanable. i think we’ve mentioned before how having one clear first priority usually leads to everything else taking aback seat

Full disclosure: I didn’t figure this out, Boneflour told me it was time to let go and start cutting some things, but I still give myself full credit for taking good advice when it was offered. He actually wanted me to prioritize something else, but I pushed back on that part of his advice because school was objectively the most important thing I was doing at the time and therefore the 4.0 GPA was the priority goal. I then excused myself from all social commitments, put my nose to the grindstone, missed my second half-Ironman, abused nicotine and caffeine a bit more than I’m comfortable with, and scraped out an A-plus, an A, and two A-minuses. As of last semester, my GPA is back above that precious 4.0 number.

sounds like a success story to me

Another reason I missed the half-Ironman is because I made a bad training decision and hurt myself, but I ascribe that to the stress at the time. (Lesson from that is never make impromptu training decisions under the influence of endorphins.)

now who’s an old man lol?

I was born old. My mom says I came out all wrinkly. It was very sad but I talked myself through the emotions on paper and felt all cathartic by the next day, which is itself a sort of success.

emotional maturity. more proof of oldness

Another lesson from this year has been to protect my bandwidth. Big parts of my new routine that really work for me:

1) Just think about stuff until 10 AM. I let my thoughts sort themselves out, no matter how strange or unproductive they seem at the time. Probably a creative person problem, but the upside has been great. When I spend this time thinking through whatever’s on my mind things just happen smoothly like magic. It’s great. I get at least as much done as before and it’s more fun.

not unprecedented. i once read that bill clinton did the same thing while he was president
now, “thinking” might have been code for something completely different on his schedule, but surely once in a while he actually did it

You may not like it but this is what peak performance looks like. Anyway, it turns out Brian Tracy was right: thinking really is the most important thing we do. And it turns out there’s an optimal amount of time to do it.

2) An hour of relaxation and visualization after working out. If part of this turns into a nap, even better. The visualization bit has been key because I hate school, so I’ve been propagandizing myself to like it. I’ve noticed significant hits to my motivation after missing just one day, and that usually translates to inefficient work, frustration, and procrastination. But one of my best times of day to work on coding/etc. is right after doing this visualization session. It’s not uncommon for me to blow through a coding task in half the time I was expecting. Part of that productivity depends on having designed the thing in my head and on paper in the morning though. But it’s surprising to perform well so soon after a hard cardio workout. In fact, I’ve had the problem recently of getting my coding done so quickly that I don’t know how to use the extra time, and I end up squandering it.

3) The treadmill desk. Have I shared this gospel with you before?

i’ve heard of its wonders but i can’t recall if it was from you
how is it?

If you have ADHD, it’s like being on Adderall. My theory is that it’s because it gets your heart rate up around 90 (about the same as coffee) and dispels the stress of frustration through the impacts of your feet. Doesn’t hurt endurance numbers either, although it hasn’t been boosting them as much as I’d hoped it would. Walking must train fairly different muscles than running. Well, one notable exception: it’s helped me make the transition to barefoot running a lot easier. (Not really barefoot, I wear the zero-drop shoes. Because I’m a SWPL now. Also this is related to the injury I mentioned)

just having another source of stimulation probably helps too

Yup. It’s great for shallow work, which is the majority of work. But I’ve stopped using it for deep work, because it narrows my focus too much. Associative horizon and introspection go out the window.

4) I treat deep work like coding the way I treat cardio. Instead of trying to do marathon sessions or take breaks or whatever, I schedule out sessions with the expectation that I’m going to be rested at the beginning of the 1 to 2-hour period and mentally tired afterward. So my first one might be at 10 am, then I’ll do another at 6 pm after a hard workout and visualization/nap. And I never sit down to the computer without knowing exactly what I’m going to accomplish, with a pretty good idea in my head what the final product will look like. If I have a session scheduled and I haven’t written the thing in my head already, I spend as long as I feel like staring out the window and designing in my head until I feel the keyboard pulling me toward it.

Again, the effect of all this is I spend about the same amount of time overall, but it’s more enjoyable. The old way was to spend a big chunk of time hacking away at something, getting frustrated, procrastinating, losing motivation, and finally finishing whatever three hours later. The new way is to spend the first hour just thinking, the next hour meditating on what I’m trying to accomplish and why, and the last hour breezing through the actual work. Hence the importance of protecting my bandwidth. If people hear you’re spending three hours in the morning just thinking about stuff, they get dollar signs in their eyes. But no, that way lies burnout and A minuses.

Last note on that, I suppose: Another thing that helps is to think through the designs of the bigger projects earlier in the week so I can slow-boil them while I work on all the little, stupid stuff. Slow-boiling is the great secret.

always good practice.

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Some analysis of compulsive corporate talk

(Adds to: Lineage comparisons as aristocratic trust-building exercise)

This is going to be partially a rant about how the upper-middle class refuse to make explicit distinctions between things when they’re talking.
It’s the opposite of straight talk. Literally everything is communicated by connotations.

The trouble with rich professionals (i.e. technocrats) is that they’re all used car salesmen on the inside but they’re smart too, so they learned some systemizing in college.
But even though they’re putting everything into stereotype boxes inside their heads (“nice old lady”, “criminal underclass thug”, “idealistic Aryan boy”) they are always speaking in the language of a car salesman.

The example that really ticked me off was in a podcast where they were discussing something completely innocuous that snowballed. One of them said “Of the multiple avenues available to students, the one you’re offering is special.”
The other guy corrected him to say it was “different, not special”.
The guy who’d made the “mistake” was horrified at himself and insisted I edit out that entire line of conversation.
Keep in mind, it’s the guy who’s on the podcast trying to boost his thing making sure it isn’t described as “special”. Because that might offend that one in a million person from one of the other avenues (who might be the source of his next job).
Because he’s always working every possible angle.

God forbid he’d said something is better than something else, for any reason or purpose.
So every conversation with people like this goes: “This is a really great product, and there are a lot of other really great products out there, and I’m not saying this is the one a person should take, but for some people, sometimes, it might be the right choice, but even then maybe not, and who knows, and you just have to feel what’s the right answer for your situation…”
And the other professional is sitting there thinking “What a great sales pitch” while I’m going “AAAAAAAAAAA”.

I’ve ranted to you before about how corporate people answer every question by saying “it depends” and then waffling for half an hour without yielding any information. It’s like an entire demographic that speaks entirely in corporate platitudes even in their personal lives.
I can appreciate it by imagining a sort of Machiavellian glee from talking this way, because it’s basically a flex.

“Sir, do you know how fast you were going?”

“We believe following the law is of the utmost importance for upstanding citizens and we’re very excited to explore these synergies with you.”

In fact, I think I’d describe it as information-withholding rhetorical speech. The only purpose is to communicate a mood in a fog of cultural associations and connotations, like a banner ad made of meaningless jabber.

And what’s so freaking annoying is they rarely turn it off, and they get frustrated when they have to.
At least a proper psychopath can answer a simple question like “should the website be blue” without expecting you to read his mind.
It’s no wonder our ruling elite hate tradespeople.

“Which toilet do you want?”

We’re trying to create a place that’s comfortable for guests and blah blah blah…

“The best one is the expensive one.”


How indiscreet!


i’ve always found this style of communication equal parts fascinating and incredibly frustrating
it was only in the past few years that i grasped that it’s an extreme risk-aversion strategy
never say anything off-kilter, never say anything that could ever be construed as possibly offensive to one person anywhere, or else you get hounded out of your job and polite society

It’s like refusing to name your number in a negotiation, turned up to 11, and raised on an information diet of Game of Thrones.

The level of competitiveness is unnerving, frankly.
My brother brought up an interesting study in conversation lately, because he’s starting to read about employee turnover.
References don’t necessarily predict high performers, but they’re a superpredictor if you’re trying to avoid lemons.
If employees are ranked 1-5, then hiring only based on references will exclude the ones.
From that, I realized that the yakuza-like ritual of going through your lineage (work history with these C-level types) and finding common references is a great process for weeding out these lemons.

Oh, you worked at X in 2017? Did you know A? I worked with A at Y in 2013.

Oh how wonderful! Did you know B at Y? I worked with B at Z for five years.

Again, this can be frustrating because these conversations can go on for 20 minutes. And I think that’s because it’s more instinctual than anything.

well these people have been programmed to act like this AND they literally cannot think of any other means of interaction
there’s an interesting diversio between “i do this because i have to” and those who do it refelxively and unrefledtedly

I think it’s something they absorb as a class marker from growing up around similar people. Also it’s going to be heavily genetic, like in those twin separation stories.
Middle class people don’t have to be told to go to Granite City.

figuring out this behavior and convincingly aping it has increasingly seemed like an imperative for me
my temperment inclines me towards the opposite and i’ve lwys recoiled from it

We shall invent nu-Game, the seduction system for metrosexuals.

but now i feel like the spergs dissecting normie behavior and getting a more fleshed-out pciture than the normals
and the melon ambition basically inclines me toward “i will get better at this than you and achieve monumental feats because of it”

That is precisely what we’re doing, so lean into that feeling :-P

“i know what I’m doing and why, and you don’t even know we’re playing a game”

The normie fears the melonhead’s autism.

basically he thought process behind anyone working towards somethign
“craves, worships. obeys”

Lol, my thinking exactly.

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Question for you parental types

If all goes according to my perfect plan that can’t go wrong, I’ll be having my first child at approximately the worst time in American history, circa 2026-2027. This changes a person’s priorities, so that you can’t go around suicide bombing over the smallest little things. Since I won’t have much bandwidth to adapt as things are going to shit, what heuristics do you use for things like risking your life, your lifelihood, deciding which hills to die on, when to bend vs. break, etc?

Or, more briefly, what advice would you give to a new dad who has to decide between principles and his duty to his family? I’m good on the extremes like not disavowing Jesus when there’s a gun pointed at my head, and not going on suicide missions when there are unattached young men around for that kind of thing. It’s the more pedestrian stuff like “Do I join my homeschool co-op’s protest of some legal attack on us, or are they too cuckservative to be trusted in a risky situation?” Maybe imagine the feds are insisting that homeschool girls absolutely must attend a module where they put condoms on bananas.

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Owl react to my essay on 2020 being the death of classical liberalism

(Responding to this.)

Profound and poetic
The true mark of an insight that hits the mark
I agree with you about how perceptions dramatically changed, with the caveat that a large percentage are aggressively choosing not to see and still think things are perfectly the same as “the before times”
Reminds me of de Tocqueville’s comment on America that in europe there was diversity of opinion but in america no one would think to have a different opinion
still, the tide’s out and it turns out everybody was swiming naked, so any kind of moral high gronud is lost and the npcs are the only ones even trying to keep up the illusion

Oh damn it, I missed that opportunity to do the emperor’s new clothes tie-in.
Great connection.

i seem to remember one chat a while ago we talked about how the apocalypse was more of a revealing, a shattering of perceptions than a physical end of the world
I’d say that we ended up being quite prescient

Memory fails me here, but that has more than a whiff of Joseph Campbell.

my understanding is that the word apocalypse itself derives from ancient greek for “codex” or “collection of sacred books”, though that’s not a claim i’d stake much on without spending a year or two studying the language
again, i beleive that this is also why the bible book is called “revelation”, but again

My autism can serve you here.

not a claim i can discuss intelligently without study of greek, vulgate latin, and aramaic
*vulgate greek? coffee hasn;t kicked in yet

Apocalypse comes from apo, meaning “falling away from” and Calypso.
Calypso means “to conceal”, and in myth was a nymph who detained Odysseus for 7 years.


That’s particularly interesting if we take Odysseus as an archetypal melonhead.
We can therefore interpret Calypso to mean “mystery” and therefore “Apocalypse” to mean “mystery falls away” or “unveiling”.
In the context of the behelit myth, Calypso is the mystery that enraptures Sephiroth or whoever the nephilim stand-in is in your story.
Then after he solves the mystery, Apocalypse.

Maybe the 7 years bit in Revelations is literal.
It would make sense that, after an overreach like 2020, societal events would play out on a basically predetermined timeline.
Plus, if shit goes down precisely 7 years after January 6th of this year, that means I was exactly right if I pegged the end at 2028 😀
If this 7 years bit works like in Revelations, then the next 3.5 years will be characterized by prosperity.
Then the 3.5 years after that will be characterized by really bad times, followed by catastrophically bad times.
I.e. Put your money in the stock market until July of 2024, then pull it out IMMEDIATELY.
If things play out like that, it’ll verify my reading of Revelations as referring to all apocalypses, not just the big one.

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Update on weird octopus dream


So I spent a month this summer helping my parents with projects around their new property. They’re trying to build a house, etc., so they can live there. At least until they get bored and find another way to waste money. Well, one day we pulled up some gnarly treestumps with the skid-steer that looked like little cthulhids and I realized this was the location of that original dream. When I say “little” I mean almost man-sized.

Differences in the dream:

  • The inlet of the driveway was in the wrong direction. The direction that took me “out” in the dream would take me back into the woods in real life.
  • It was a dead-end in the dream. That may be important.
  • The location was on the outskirts of a barrio/trailer park in the dream. In reality, it’s very woodsy and there are foothills on all sides separating the property from the neighbors.
  • In the dream the guy there was my HVAC tech neighbor, whereas in real life it was my dad.

What I’m taking away from this is that Patrick’s interpretation is the most correct one: This dream represents my dalliance with the blue-collar tradesman lyfe, which represented the “smart redneck” option as a form of primitivism. Both my dad and my neighbor represent the smart redneck archetype in my mind. In contrast, I’ve taken Borzoi’s motto to heart: “The only way out is through.” (That’s why he’s been diving into postmodernist books and why I’ve been diving into training for the bourgeois technocracy.)

We are de facto political prisoners in an open-air prison. I think that’s where the comment about prisoners in the dream came from, and also where the primitivist impulse comes from. The van life is an alluring bitch, especially to someone like me. I’m never not talking myself out of the bill-free life. There’s a part of me that knows I could live off of stolen food for a while. (Of course, that’s a young homeless man’s game.) You can walk out of Kroger with a bag of rice and nobody’s going to stop you. But that’s very much a short-term strategy.

On the other hand, when the apocalypse gets well and truly underway that’s when the short-term strategies need to come out. You can’t live in a bunker for more than about six months at best, but there may come a six-month period where that’s the right call. So the key to resolving this tension is timing. The time to steal food is the leading edge of when everybody else is doing it. Then you hole up and get ready to shoot looters.

The thing to do before this is prep. And prepping costs money. I saw firsthand that, Boomer assertions aside, there’s no money in the trades. Prepping costs time too. No one in the trades has free time. They work overtime and spend their precious free time smoking weed to cope with the stress of being a tradesman. You might also think they learn important skills too. Not even that is true to any great extent. Again, I’ve witnessed it firsthand. Learning to do a few useful things extremely well over 25 years with one company was a reality in Boomerworld. Just like making $30/hour was a reality. But the trades have suffered the same problems as universities. These kids are hacks rushing through as many credentials as possible as quickly as possible, and on the other end of it they can’t boil an egg without googling it.

And after 5 years my neighbor is making $22/hour, and that’s only because of his OLD contract. Same goes for code camps, the exception being if you’re a wamen or minority. IF you can get a junior web dev job writing PHP for some useless jackass, the mid range is 42k. The web isn’t what it was in 2015.

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