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The pleasures of Youtube

As the universe starts to unfold as it should (I refer to Elon Muck purchasing Twitter) I have a confession to make. I am confident that you, too, waste time on Twitter. I know I do, and I like it.  Examples:

Marty T. – who finds bulldozers and tractors in New Zealand forests and brings them back to life;

Post 10: A public-spirited weirdo who goes about unclogging blocked culverts with a rake and, if necessary, an axe;

Andrew Camarata: the upstate New York maintenance contractor who fixes, demolishes, cuts down, and repairs nearly everything mechanical, and who has a giant following;

Another mechanic, Jesse Muller

Sawing with Sandy-  the Ontarian woodlot operator with a Kubota tractor and a sawmill, and a thick Canadian accent

Mr. Chickadee – the Japanese-inspired fine hand-tools only carpenter from somewhere in the Carolinas

Cabin in the woods guys: Erik Grankvist, Sean James (pretentious poseur), Finnish Playground, The Outsider

Smiths and tool makers : Torbjorn Ahman , Robinson Foundry, Black Bear Forge 

Farmers: Millennial Farmer (who runs a huge operation in Minnesota), Laura Farms,

Colin Furze – Lunatic construction and mining projects, and very funny

 

What do these people have in common? They handle practical problems of repair, installation, creation, assembly, and maintenance. They do not discuss ideas. What do I learn from them? Respect, in the first place. Also, patience. Persistence. Some skills. I have been able to undertake projects now that I would not have felt confident enough to engage in before, not because I know more things or skills, but because I am better able to face difficulties, and that has transformed my approach to risk. I accept failure more easily because I am ready to risk more,

I also watch Triggernometry, Brett Weinstein and Heather Heying, Sabine Hossenfelder (bossy German physicist), various discussion shows about physics, and religion, the obligatory Jordan Peterson, Douglas Murray, So What you’re Saying Is, Veritasium (science), Theories of Everything, Lex Fridman, Joe Rogan, The New Culture Forum, Dave Rubin, After Skool, Dr. John Campbell (epidemiology), Rupert Sheldrake (philosophy of science), Rebel Wisdom, and lots more. While these shows (largely interviews) are often fascinating, they don’t tell me things I don’t already know.

All of these shows appear on a platform, and all are user-generated. The Canadian government believes that they should come under the obligation of government licensing or various forms of regulation. See bill C-11 for details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The coming clash of civilizations

From Russia Today

By Artyom Lukin, an associate professor of international relations at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia. Follow him on Twitter @ArtyomLukin

Instead of Bolshevik radicalism, Putin’s preference seems to be the old Tsarist model: No plans to build an overseas empire, just a vast continental autocratic power relying on nuclear weapons, ‘healthy conservatism’, and ‘time-tested tradition’. Putin’s system is utterly opposed to revolution. His rumored spiritual confidant, the Russian Orthodox Church’s Metropolitan Tikhon, has been incessantly warning about the dangers inherent in uprisings and upheaval. The Russian leader himself openly detests instability as a fundamental evil, having said, “Russia’s political system is evolving steadily so as to prevent any revolutions. We have reached our limit on revolutions.” Putin’s words often sound as if they were coming straight from conservative leading light Edmund Burke’s ‘Reflections on the Revolution in France’.

Putin’s Russia has its ideals mainly in the past. That’s a major reason why the ideology of modern Russia appeals to many right-wing conservatives in Europe and North America who see Russia as the last major state that adheres to the values of what used to be European Christian civilization. Putin’s Russia has another advantage. Among the competing ideologies, it is the most appealing aesthetically. This may be because for Putin’s state, order is prioritised over justice. Justice, especially the unlimited justice of the ‘woke’, is often messy and even ugly. Order, especially a hierarchical one, has a powerful beauty. Think of the aesthetics of The Lord of the Rings or Dune. Similar to Hollywood epics exploiting medieval narratives, much of the appeal of ‘the Putin universe’ may be drawing upon the themes of power, masculinity, hierarchy, and miracle.

Another attraction of the Russian system is that, despite being somewhat imperfect in terms of political and civil rights, it probably boasts one of the highest levels of private freedom in the world. The state in Russia is generally reluctant to intervene in the private lives of its subjects, if only because it lacks the capacity to do so – and apparently does not seek this capacity, outside of the most recent Covid-19 measures, which have been opposed and overhauled in equal measure.

The Russian model does have one major drawback. It is ill-suited to deliver economic and technological development.  For a decade now, Russia’s economy has been stagnating and it is unlikely to take off any time soon. However, the lack of economic dynamism might be a systemic feature Putin is perfectly aware of, accepting it as a reasonable price for political and social tranquility. To achieve breakthroughs in development, you need to be willing to conduct massive societal-scale experiments, sometimes bordering on revolution. For all the differences in their ideological credos, the West and the CCP-led China share the taste for experimenting with their future. It is an irony lost on few that the new facial recognition system being developed in China to provide security in public places is called Sky Net, echoing the dystopian AI that haunts the world of The Terminator films.

Humanity can now choose between the West’s wokeism, Russia’s neo-feudal conservatism, and China’s slightly dystopian digital socialism. It is far from a wide selection on the menu, but it’s good to have a choice anyway.

I cannot say it better

Rex Murphy and the Suffering Servant in conversation, despairing of the state of western civilization and culture. The intellectual standards of the western world are being wrecked deliberately by idiots hunting the great achievements of the past to demonstrate false virtue to the shallow present. Rex Murphy is incandescent in the beauty of his outrage. Education is an expansion of the person. Memorization of poetry  makes you grow.

 

Automated censorship, COVID, and Bill C-10

 

The idea that COVID was a bioweapon, and that it was unleashed accidentally, has gone from heresy to orthodoxy in the course of the last 18 months.  The chain of events is documented in Ron Unz’s American Pravda here. 

The transformation has taken slightly less than a month. On May 2 Nicholas Wade, the science writer, published a careful essay on the subject in a low impact website and which was then augmented in subsequent places and by significant endorsements.  Unz describes the amplification which the theory has received in various articles since then, which it is not my purpose to recapitulate.

As Unz writes about Wade’s work:

“Although nearly all the facts and evidence that Wade discussed had already been publicly available for most of the past year, his careful analysis and considerable journalistic credibility quickly transformed the intellectual landscape. He began his long article by explaining that from February 2020 onward a huge ideological bubble had been inflated by political propaganda masquerading as science, a bubble that was afterwards maintained through a combination of journalistic cowardice and incompetence. President Donald Trump had proclaimed that the virus was artificial, so our media therefore insisted that it must be natural, even if all the evidence seemed to suggest otherwise.”

If Trump had said that gravity worked, a host of science reporters would have denied it and called it “problematical”. The Office of the Holy Inquisition – AKA Facebook – changed its policy on COVID’s origins on May 28th, a mere five days ago.

Unz again:

“By May 28th, the Wall Street Journal carried the headline “Facebook Ends Ban on Posts Asserting Covid-19 Was Man-Made,” so that in less than one month a self-published article had already changed what nearly three billion individuals around the world were allowed to read and write. This illustrates the totalitarian control of information on the Internet held by American’s huge Tech monopolies, which determine the limits of permitted discussion worldwide at the flip of a switch. Can there be any better example of the ridiculous, Stalinesque climate of intellectual censorship currently enforced by those corporate giants?”.

Indeed.

And this brings me around to Canada’s Bill C10, an Act to Amend the Broadcasting Act. It is currently stalled in the House of Commons Committee on Heritage. This is a relief. What C10 seeks to do is to bring the large platforms, and everyone else communicating across the Internet, into the legal regime of “broadcasting”. There are two regimes of communication, essentially: printing and broadcasting. Printing requires no licence and makes you liable for what you have said after you have said it. Broadcasting requires a licence and imposes heavy consequences for “broadcasting” without a licence or contrary to the terms of the regulations under which you are privileged to communicate.

Publishing is a right, broadcasting is a legal privilege, like a driver’s licence. If Zoom calls are broadcasting, then you are subject to complex and expansive regulations, just as radio and TV are. C10 could well make zoom calls “broadcasting”, at the discretion of the regulator.

It is bad enough that the platforms have the power to automate the censorship of unpopular or unfashionable opinions, and I would be first to argue that something ought to be done about that power. However, the case for regulating the platforms, and user-generated content, is not to control the power of the platforms. No no no. It is to use the power of the platforms in conjunction with state policy to “harness” the Internet – to use a favourite terms of the CRTC – to public purposes. In truth the Liberal government intends not to curb the power of the platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, but to enage their power to shape public discourse in the way that government desires. The censorship is outsourced to the agencies with the power to effect it. Putting it more crudely, the government intends to deputize the platforms to perform the censorship that government has not the tools to do for itself.

Anyone who thinks that the power of the platforms will be curbed under C10, if it passes into law, is gravely mistaken. The platforms will become a new form of CBC adapted to the Internet age. The platforms will consult the government and be consulted by the government. The directives that will issue from the CRTC will be generated after public hearings, at which the platforms will be the dominant voices. The censorship will be smooth and oh so Canadian. Anyone who thinks the CRTC does not control content has not seen the system at work.

 

 

 

At last! Something interesting to report

Dear Charles:

Your last words to me before you died were “Call the instant anything exciting should happen!”. Unfortunately for the world, your friends and me, you departed to Valhalla before anything of sufficient merit occurred. Now I am pleased to report that something of interest has occurred, twenty years after your departure.

A 12-foot tall steel monolith has been spotted in the desert of southern Utah by a passing helicopter that had been intent of counting bighorn sheep. Investigation has not revealed whether it is an art project or an alien artifact. Naturally we should not call it a monolith because it is not made of stone, but let us not quibble, dear Charles, for this is actually interesting.

The report is here.

Charles Fisher (1914-2006) was always a poet and at various points in his life a soldier (Welsh Guards), spy (MI6) and stenographer in the Canadian House of Commons. Friend of many, mentor to the selected few. He died at 91 in Bangkok on vacation. I would like to think he was bedding a young lady at the time. He was famous for having people over for dinner and disappearing. “Where’s Charles?” someone would ask. Through the kitchen pass-through someone called back from the liviing room: “he’s gone to Cambodia”. “What do you mean he’s gone to Cambodia?” “He has gone to Cambodia” was the reply. He left the guests and acolytes to clean up.

I feel I have fulfilled my obligation, Charles, to report anything exciting, even if fourteen years late. You will have ways of getting the message. Of this I am sure.

His obituary in the Guardian is here.

His funeral was the only one I have ever attended where the mourners left the church walking an inch of the ground, so elated were they by the many recollections of this extraordinary force of life.

Now would someone please tell us what the monolith is?

Cultural appropriation

Have you noticed the ease with which all superior cultures absorb the cultures of others? Have you noticed the enormous influence of Chinese, Japanese and Korean musicians on western classical music? Kyung-Wha Chung? Yo-yo Ma? Michiko Uchida? Yuja Wang? Appropriate this, you people!

Gustav Holst’s symphonic band from the 1930s, performed by a Japanese wind band. They dont give a damn it is western. They only care about perfection. And we should appropriate that concept and make it our own, in an act of cultural appropriation.

 

The Kielburgers explained: transferring wealth upward under cover of high-mindedness

 

The main thing, says Eric Weinstein, at 2:00 into the interview,  is to find an ideology or sentiment that covers your trail. Thus wealth transfer upward to the elites can take place under cover of “we are the World”, concerts for Africa, or for the American farmer. “The dominant narrative of a time is a false narrative disguising how we can make money during that time.” [roughly] “There was some process by which globalization was a betrayal of your countrymen.That thing was the Davos idealism, which is now cratering because it was a wealth transfer program posing as a philanthropic effort.”

I may not agree with Eric on everything, but I agree with him on many many subjects. And one of them is his clear sighted take on how the noble vision has been used to disguise and legitimate the transfer of wealth from the working classes to the rich.

But back to the Kielburgers, those grifters. Do you see how it is done? Pose as champions of social justice. Get youth and politicians behind you. Ensconce yourself in the crowd of mega-rich. Virtue signal all the time. Find a narrative in which you are point men for world-scale caring and concern Shift the funds into real estate.

The Queen was overheard to say about one of the Kielburgers, when she was on tour in Canada, that he was a model little politician, or words to that effect. Don’t say we weren’t warned. One of the rotten aspects of Her Majesty’s job is to greet cordially people you know from the bottom of your heart are greasy-pole climbing frauds.

 

ImageMoments ago

just informed the Commons finance committee that in addition to the $312,000 paid to Margaret Trudeau for speaking at WE Day events she was reimbursed an additional $167,944 in expenses. So a total of $479,944. #cdnpoli #WEscandal