Tag Archive | reason

When Scientists Become Pimps

Michio Kaku, Stephen Hawking, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye–

I’m looking at you.

I see you; I see what you’re doing, and it needs to stop. Your scientific credibility isn’t a whore for you to pimp you to lend weight to your political positions. There is no correlation between physics and immigration, yet that hasn’t stopped Michio Kaku from coming out and discussing how Trump is wrong about immigration*. The headline for the article? Why, of course! “This celebrated scientist says Trump is wrong!”

And? This celebrated scientist knows no more about immigration than any layperson who has read a few articles or books on the subject. But because he is a “celebrated” physicist, as there’s no such thing as some generic “scientist” except as a catch-all term for people who study a hard science, the media and the public treat his political position as though it has scientific weight behind it, as though being able to say “I’m a celebrated physicist” makes his statements about economics, government regulation, or immigration any more worthy of being accepted.

While obviously, Kaku, Hawking, Tyson, and Nye–and others, of course–it’s not your fault that the media chooses to treat your words in this way, but you know they do, and you know the public does. You know that if you say something about economics or the evils of capitalism–as Hawking has done–that your words will be taken to be truth as a given, and from there will become popular arguments for or against whatever it is you’re advocating. In this way, you have sacrificed your integrity. You have turned your scientific credibility into a whore, to be pimped out at your leisure in support of whatever Popular Opinion of the Day you think will help you sell books.

Don’t bullshit me, man.

There’s a reason that virtually every popular YouTube personality through 2016 came out in support of Bernie Sanders, and the reason isn’t particularly hard to see. Hell, half of those YouTube personalities couldn’t give a single, solitary reason, when confronted, why they supported Sanders. Yet they supported him anyway. Why? Because it was the popular thing to do. They’d have lost subscribers for coming out in support of Hillary or Trump–Stein and Johnson became more or less neutral. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit, where your words circulate the most, are overwhelmingly dominated by younger millennials, the same people who cast their lot in with Sanders whether they had any articulated reason to or not.

You’re doing the same crap. It doesn’t matter to me if you can pseudo-rationalize your positions, but I’m willing to bet that most of you can’t. Why? Because “scientists” today, as a class, have totally forgotten what the Dunning-Kruger Effect is, and seem to think that being an expert in physics makes one an expert in economics, politics, and the nature of the state. This, of course, despite the fact that all hard sciences are increasingly specialized, and a scientist in one larger field–say, “physics”–may be only marginally less ignorant than a layperson on some subfield–say, “plasma physics.”

Oh, here’s a shock for you: Bill Nye is pro choice. Well, I’ll be! Who would ever have guessed?

And while I’m pro-choice, too, I’m not out there pimping what little scientific credibility I had–because, let’s face it, Bill Nye is an engineer without an abundance of credibility to pimp out–to cast my lot in with a political side in the hopes of rekindling or enhancing my popularity. When I say something about abortion, I give fair treatment to the other side, and provide a logically consistent explanation for my position. I don’t say, “Hi, I’m Bill Nye the Science Guy. Here are some scientific facts interwoven with arbitrarily defined concepts presented as scientific facts, which combine into a pro-choice position. Good luck separating the arbitrarily defined concepts from the actual science, because I’m going to present this information in such a way as to make them indistinguishable to a layperson. Why? Because I’m Bill Nye the Fucking Science Guy, and if there’s anything worth pimping out for popularity and fame, it’s scientific credibility.”

You remind me of the left-wing media. And I’m curious, actually, whether the four of you would even admit that the dominant media outlets lean hard to the left, with the sole exception of Fox, which leans hard to the right. John Stossel recently wrote about his time at ABC, and reported that he was the only one who was stated to lean any direction; everyone else insisted they didn’t lean at all. Except they did–they leaned hard to the left, and they continue to. But that sort of bias is common–we know people don’t generally see or acknowledge their own biases. My father doesn’t think Fox News leans to the right. A colleague of mine thinks that Fox News is probably “as close to fair and balanced” as any media outlet is. They’re wrong, of course. Fox is right-wing. There’s nothing fair and balanced about any of it.

I would be fucking floored if the four of you didn’t honestly believe yourselves to be neutral politically. But you aren’t. You’ve jumped on the left-wing bandwagon. You’ve engaged in too much “What does my gut tell me about this?” thinking. You’ve mistaken your emotions for rational positions. And even if, by some freak chance, you do end up saying something that isn’t demonstrably false, you end up being right for the wrong reasons, which is only a little better than being wrong for the right reasons.

So here’s what you guys should do–I mean, assuming your scientific credibility and integrity are important to you. You should use some of that fame and popularity you’ve acquired by jumping on leftist bandwagons to remind people that, when discussing areas outside of your expertise, you are no more or less knowledgeable or insightful than any other layperson. You should take the time to remind the public that education and intelligence aren’t necessarily the same thing, and that holding a doctorate doesn’t mean you’re one of the smartest human beings alive.

Maybe you’ve studied some of these matters. That would be fantastic–but it would also show in your words and actions. For example, we know that Hawking hasn’t studied capitalism; he doesn’t even seem to know what capitalism is. However, this has not stopped him from repeatedly waxing on about the evils of capitalism and how it will bring about the destruction of humanity.

But no. He’s not biased at all. That’s totally not an alarmist, radically leftist position based on gut feelings, assumptions, and ignorance. How could he be biased? How could he be an alarmist, radical leftist basing his statements on gut feelings, assumptions, and ignorance? He’s Stephen Hawking! He’s a scientist! Surely he knows what he’s talking about!

* And yes, I agree–Trump is wrong about immigration. But the reason Trump is wrong about “immigration” is that “immigration” is an arbitrarily-defined concept based around arbitrarily-defined borders that don’t exist in the real world and that serve only to divide people. Borders are human inventions; they aren’t real. We simply treat them like they’re real, and they end up doing tons of damage. Trump is wrong about “immigration” because there’s no such thing as an immigrant; there’s only a human being who decided to exercise his innate right to travel.

 

More Subtle Sexism

Look, I’m not talking about how society is rigged against females or anything like that when I refer to sexism as being real. In fact, the only way in which I can verify that sexism is real is that women are repeatedly told that they are being emotional. Despite repeatedly putting forth factual and logical statements, I was just again told that I was being emotional–actually, I was told that I was on an “emotional rampage.” Wow, right? So what did I say that showcased this emotional rampage?

To start, I answered the question on Quora about whether America could ever become a direct democracy.

I answered:

It could, but there wouldn’t really be any benefit, while there would be terrific harm.

I’ve had a pain when breathing deeply for about two weeks. So what makes more sense?

A) For me to ask a doctor.

B) For me to establish a national poll providing a bunch of information, none of which is complete and all of which is complicated, and ask the entire nation to vote on what my treatment should be. Note that if they vote “Go see a doctor,” then they’re advocating representative democracy. No, I’m needing from them a diagnosis and treatment, and I’m going to do whatever they suggest.

It’s madness, isn’t it? Social matters aren’t simple ones. Most of these complex issues take years of study to understand. Democracy is turning the control of the ship over to the passengers, none of whom know anything about operating a ship and all of whom think “It’s just common sense” or that the gut feelings they have about this or that issue are enough to make an informed decision.

Economics is actually a pretty complex subject, but people tend to take their emotions and use those emotions to support their idea. Rather than learning about economics and how we might raise the standard of living, for example, masses of people who know nothing about economics instead vote to raise the minimum wage—a rash act based in economic ignorance that has severe consequences. It’s the Dunning-Kruger Effect Governmental System: people who know almost nothing about these complex, technical subjects instead think they know enough to dictate the course of the ship.

It’s certainly possible, and the Democrat Party seems to want it to happen (hence their party name), but it would be folly. The problems of democracy have been known and explored for thousands of years; there are very good reasons we’ve never tried it. Especially in the age of the Internet (if we could get a handle on our tech security), it wouldn’t even be that difficult from a logistic standpoint. But from a cultural and social one, it would (hopefully) be hard to sway people to give control of the ship to the passengers.

Replacing our government, whatever type it is, with one more suited to our liking is a right—the right of self-governance. If we decided we wanted a direct democracy, then by all rights our current government should step down. They wouldn’t, of course, and it would require revolution, and then the new government would be just as bad as the old one. Just different.

Every generation has the right to choose its own government. People who lived 200 years ago had no right to determine what type of government we must have, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. However, a republic government really is the best of a terrible situation. If we must have a state, a constitutional republic is the most pro-liberty and restrained.

So far, so good, right? Nothing emotional or irrational about that. Just a few facts and a few rational arguments. In came the comment:

Your answer relies upon a very narrow view of human nature and ignores extremely important principles of democracy. “Economics is a complex subject” is true and that is why there must be widespread and strongly independent news media along with journalists having investigative powers. In the US there used to be journalists who specialized in those issues and released their findings for all to consume. The “news” used to solve that problem for us but corporations have totally destroyed that part of America. [emphasis added]

Not overly polite, but okay. I decided to give Don Tracy the benefit of the doubt and replied:

I’ll be courteous and give you an opportunity to explain how my answer ignores fundamental aspects of democracy and is extremely narrow.

Obviously, I’m not too happy to be insulted–even if the insults are so dim and weak. Retaliation never gets us anywhere, though, and if Don was correct, I wanted to know it. Don replied:

You are narrow minded in forcing people into ignorant masses that can only think emotionally which is the whole premise of your answer. Without the metaphor of passengers passively going along for the ride what is your point? That is not democracy; it is not “mob rule” which immature philosophers of the ancient past claimed – they didn’t even know about the concept of a nation-state. Granted you say we have two thousand years of additional history but rather than claiming we haven’t learned in that time like you say the truth is exactly the opposite – mankind has learned a lot about government and politics over history. The “Democratic Party is folly” shows your biased agenda. Finally, you need to know that a republic is a type of democracy so your answer relies upon a weird personal definition of democracy that no one agrees with and is not accepted in general.

More viciousness. As it happens, I am correct, though, in my initial answer, so I defended my points:

See, and here I was being courtesy. *sigh*. That’s how it goes, though. Pro-democracy people really do love their insults.

You are exhibiting the Dunning-Kruger Effect, I feel I should warn you. It is a statement of fact that areas of complexity and expertise are significantly misunderstood and woefully underestimated in their complexity by the masses. I’ll provide this so that you can read it over it: Dunning–Kruger effect – Wikipedia

Democracy most certainly is mob rule, and that you cite “immature philosophers” as saying this shows how wrapped in the Dunning-Kruger web you must be. Some of the greatest thinkers in human history—those “immature philosophers” you are referring to—rejected democracy on exactly the same grounds that I did. Here is further reading on the nature of democracy—two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner: Is democracy in reality just mob rule?

Democracy is nothing more than mob rule… is an excellent resource, as well. One of those “immature philosophers” you may be referring to happens to go by the name of Thomas Jefferson, and he wrote plenty about the failures and dangers of democracy. Here are those, as well: About this Collection – Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606-1827

If you would suggest that you know better than these people who dedicated their lives to the study of governmental processes and society—those “immature philosophers” again—then you are, again, exhibiting the Dunning-Kruger Effect in shocking ways.

The last part of your reply shows exactly why democracy cannot be allowed: you have confused the question’s discussion of “direct democracy” with universal suffrage—that is, the right of the people to vote. In a republic, the people vote for representatives who enact policy. In a democracy, the people vote directly on the policies. No one has stated that universal suffrage is bad. I said that democracy is bad; e.g., the people voting directly on matters of policy is bad, for reasons outlined above.

You seem to think that universal suffrage and democracy are the same thing. They aren’t. A Democracy is a type of government where the people vote directly on the issues via referendums. It is not the right of the people to vote; that right is called universal suffrage. What, exactly, the people are voting for is what differentiates a democracy from a republic. If they are voting on matters of policy directly, it is “a democracy.” if they are voting for representatives who then vote on matters of policy, it is a republic.

“Democracy” has been twisted by the layperson into meaning “universal suffrage.” I agree with you on that, just as “theory” has been twisted to mean “educated guess” to the layperson. Use the layperson’s definition of “democracy” and “theory” if you would like; I will not. The only thing that differentiates the democracy from the republic is what the votes are for, not the existence of suffrage.

Regardless, the question deals with direct democracy—i.e., the people voting directly on the issues rather than going through representatives. The question is specifically whether the U.S. can/should remove the representatives from the process, not whether we should or shouldn’t have universal suffrage.

You’ve called me narrow-minded, limited, and biased. I’ve been nothing but polite to you. Learn the difference between universal suffrage, a republic, and a democracy, accept the wisdom of the people who came before you instead of calling them immature, and stop assuming that you know everything while you reject what people who have studied the matters have to say.

A lengthy rebuttal substantiating everything that I said. Cool. And Don’s reply?

Well, there you go again. I must say with all kindness that your ideas definitely are limited and biased but absolutely not you personally. I’m afraid you are on an emotional rampage but please understand that I am not a debater, not a professor, and not a lawyer. I have no idea what a Dunning-Krueger thing is but since you do then you must be pretty smart. So for a smart person, I don’t understand how you can have such stupid ideas. I checked the web page for “Democracy is mob rule” and have warn you it is obviously biased with an agenda to promote – you should not used it. Please re-read my comments above and give them some honest thought and consideration. Good luck my friend.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Now I’m having an emotional reaction, because now I’m pissed off. To present a valid, reasonable argument with citations and evidence, only to be insulted by some ignorant, sexist pig who can’t face the reality that he has no fucking idea what he’s talking about… It’s infuriating.

So I deleted his comments, but they’ll stay here as a testament. This happens quite a lot, and it never happened until Aria existed. Anyone who can read my rebuttal and take away “emotional rampage” is an unequivocal moron. It’s ridiculous that he doesn’t know what the Dunning-Kruger Effect is, since I gave him links to it. Rather than checking it out, he vomited out this spiel.

Look. If you reply to a girl who presents a rational argument with links and citations as she rebuts your insults and your unsubstantiated silliness with the accusation that she’s having an emotional rampage, then you’re a sexist piece of shit. Sorry, but you are. Because you know you wouldn’t say that to a guy.

Look deeper into what he said, too. “You must be pretty smart. So for a smart person, I don’t understand how you can have such stupid ideas.” I’ve talked about his before, this way that people tie their beliefs to their estimation of their own intelligence. It’s so… Dunning-Kruger-ish. “I’m right because I’m intelligent, so anyone who agrees with me must also be intelligent. If they are intelligent and don’t agree with me, then something is very, very wrong, because intelligent people agree with me! Maybe they aren’t intelligent after all.”

It’s so obviously circular.

The new deity with which they make their own ideas sacrosanct: intelligence.

It is such a dangerous thing, to tie “being right” with “believing what I believe” and with “being intelligent.”

Because no one thinks they’re wrong, and no one thinks they’re stupid.

Yet loads and loads of people are both wrong AND stupid. Yet no matter how wrong someone is, and no matter how stupid someone is, they will always–all caps, underline, bold–ALWAYS believe that they are both right and reasonably intelligent. You don’t see half the American population running around saying, “I’m wrong, but I believe it anyway!” and “I’m stupid! Hur hur hur!”

No. You see everyone saying that they’re right–self included–and everyone saying they’re intelligent–self-included. Why, it’s almost as though being right or wrong and being intelligent or stupid are completely and totally unrelated to a person’s ability to recognize whether they are right or wrong or intelligent or stupid!

If you gauge your intelligence by your own beliefs, such that people who agree with you are deemed “intelligent” while people who disagree with you are not, then you’re closing your mind to the possibility that you might be wrong about something. After all, “wrong = dumb” in that worldview, and we all value our egos too much to ever even allow the possibility that we might be stupid.

This is what I mean when I say that intelligence has become the new deity by which we make our beliefs sacrosanct. We all cradle our egos–right, wrong, intelligent, and stupid. So if you assess intelligence by whether or not people agree with you, you divide the world not into “people who think x” and “people who don’t think x,” but “smart people” and “dumb people.” This is an excuse to not listen to them–they become idiots, stupid–heathens, pagans, and apostates.

Being right or wrong have NOTHING to do with intelligence. They have to do with INFORMATION and a willingness–or unwillingness–to accept that information.

Socialism is Full Wagner On Steroids

Unless you’re one of 500~ people who like the page Shit Kyle Wagner Says, then you’re probably not going to get the reference in the title. If you’re an anarchist, voluntaryist, or libertarian, though, go to that page and enjoy what this self-professed “former anarcho-capitalist who ‘woke up’ and became a libertarian who ‘woke up’ and became a liberty-leaning conservative who still calls himself a libertarian even as he says some of the dumbest shit you’ll ever see” has to say.

I got into a discussion with someone recently about Socialism versus Capitalism, and the argument ultimately sank into emotional territory; after it was all said and done, the question asked of me was this:

There are four million homeless people in Spain and eleven million houses that are empty. This is a waste of resources, and it’s morally wrong.

At first glance, this is not a good argument but a great one, for how can he be incorrect? Is it not clearly a waste of resources for so many houses to go empty while so many people need houses? Is it not obvious that the efficient use of those resources would have produced exactly as many houses are needed and would have left no one homeless? We can address the “morally wrong” statement later; for now, are these things not obvious?

They are, but only at a surface glance–and a limited one that sees only the first ten feet. It is a car driving around at night whose headlights reveal only the next thirty feet of highway, so the driver assumes he can relax and take his hands off the steering wheel, never considering that there is a sharp turn thirty-five feet away. “I can’t see it, so it’s not there!” the driver proclaims. If you’d dispute this assessment, then you should go and read the actual comment chain, where the socialist argues exactly that, saying that because he can’t see the value of x job at thirty-five feet away, it must have no value.

What a strange notion.

Let’s examine, for a moment, what’s happening here. The anonymous socialist–who is almost certainly the same guy who gave a competing answer to the question–is making a valuation judgment on the use of these resources, saying, “They are without value.” Obviously, he is being hyperbolic, and I’m not faulting him for that. What he means is that the job has almost no value; there’s no way he means that the job has absolutely zero value to anyone. If nothing else, the job has value for the person who does that job, so we have to assume that he meant “The job has very little value.”

However, we know that all valuation judgments are subjective. He is deciding that this job has no value based on his internal understanding of what has value and what doesn’t, and his understanding is colored by his own biases and predilections. To see what I mean, let’s look at another value statement.

“Drugs are bad.”

Sure, most people would agree, but why are drugs bad? Well–for a moment putting on the appropriate hat–they are damaging to society and to the individual.

Okay, but why is “damage to the individual” bad? Why is “damage to society” bad?

We’ll find that these questions are actually impossible to answer. We can do this with any value statement. What we find are value statements built on assumed value statements. Drugs are bad because damage to the individual is bad. However, when pressed, when we trace this seemingly-infinite regress back to its source, we are left finding ourselves saying, “Because it just is!” Let’s do another, more controversial one.

“Murderers are bad.”

Again, virtually everyone would agree–as would I–but why are murderers bad? Because killing people is wrong. But why is killing people wrong? Because it’s a violation of their rights? That’s not an answer–it’s rephrasing the assumption. Why is it wrong to violate people’s rights? Again, we are ultimately left with only “Because it just is!”

It’s not a problem that we build our value judgments upon assumptions that are built on assumptions that are built on assumptions. I firmly agree that murderers are bad, and I would certainly say that they’re bad because killing people is wrong because it’s a violation of their rights. The point is that it can’t be demonstrated. It isn’t objective. This value that we’ve set–even if 100% of all people agree with it–is not objective. Murder is no more objectively wrong than homosexuality is objectively wrong. This is what led Nietzsche to his observation that power is good, and that which causes a will to power is good; what is bad is weakness. Strictly speaking, Nietzsche is more right with his valuation judgments than anyone else, but only because his good and evil–a Blue and Orange morality if ever there was one–is built on the notion that survival of the species, ensured through power of the individual, is critical. This, too, is an assumption–Why is it good for the species to survive?–and Nietzsche was well aware of that. However, we’re getting into topics here that aren’t really related enough to warrant this much attention.

In effect, what we have from this socialist are two subjective valuation statements that are being said as though they are objective truths. “The resources are wasted in this manner,” meaning that the value of the resources is higher than the value of how they are presently being used; “this is morally wrong,” meaning that this state of affairs is “bad.”

Not only are these built upon assumptions, but how are these comparisons even made?

As Henry Hazlitt observed in The Foundations of Morality*, what is happening here is that the socialist is comparing an is to an ought. I’ve spoken about this before, how we humans do this constantly, comparing one state of affairs to another, and often one of those hypothetical states of existence is an idealized perfect one. Hazlitt put it best, though–we are looking at what is and comparing it to what ought be.

Obviously, though, we have a problem. Our imagining of what ought be is based on our assumptions of what is good and what is bad, and our assessments of good and bad are built on other assumptions. We might say “The world is in poor shape because people still kill one another, and we shouldn’t.” On the surface, yes–absolutely. However… We are comparing the state of the world as it is to how we think it ought be. So how do we think the world ought be? It ought be free of murder. Why do we think that? Because murder is wrong. Why do we think that? Because a violation of someone’s rights is wrong. Why do we think that? Because it just is.

My contention here isn’t that these subjective value statements derived from various assumptions are wrong. How could I even begin to make such a case? That they are wrong is, itself, a value statement, which is, itself, built on other assumptions. Beyond that, though, I agree–“It just is” wrong to violate someone’s rights. Far from arguing that these assumptions must be discarded, I firmly agree that these assumptions are critical, otherwise we can’t get anything done.

After all, every single day we assume that reality is real. Why do you get out and go to work? Because you assume that you’d really starve to death and really become homeless if you didn’t. Are these assumptions valid? Probably–but we can’t say definitively. Maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe everyone else would, but you’re a magical human being who doesn’t need to actually eat. Can you say you’re not? Have you ever tried? Maybe you’d experience the pains and mental anguish of hunger but would never actually die from it. Can you say this isn’t true? No. Does this mean you should chance it, and sit at home and wait to see if you die of starvation? No–make the assumption that you would starve, and take your ass to work.

I don’t demand that we stop assuming things and that we stop assigning values based on these assumptions.

I’m simply saying that we need to be aware that they are subjective statements built on assumptions, and that not one of us is objectively or demonstrably right about any value statement.

We can see, then, the immediate flaw in the socialist ideology. Not only does it contend that the state can set values correctly, thereby assuming that a thing has objective values and thereby assuming that the state can find them, but it proceeds on that assumption as though it is an objective truth. In fact, I could–and did–make the argument that it would be a waste of resources to give the houses to the four million homeless.

Think about it like this. I have a spare $100, even after I’ve put money into savings. It’s just spare money for me, completely disposable. A hooker comes up to me and tells me that she’s got STDs and is addicted to meth, and that she spent all of her money on meth and now doesn’t have money to buy food. The socialist’s position is that it would be a “waste of resources” and an “inefficient use of resources” if I told her no and kept my money to myself, saving it for another day. “You should give it to the prostitute,” says the socialist, “because she can put it to use buying food.”

The value statements can’t end there, though. What is the value of this woman having food? She will continue going through the streets fucking dudes and probably giving them STDs in the process. This must be included in the assessment of efficiently used resources. Maybe her survival means that she gives birth to a kid who grows up to be the next Stephen Hawking. This must also be included in the assessment. To make any definitive value statement requires omniscience–that is what I’m getting at. We must be able to compare an is to an ought, and we must be able to identify every single variable and every single consequence of the action. This is an impossible task.

Regardless, I don’t see how forcing me to give $100 to a drug-addicted, disease-ridden prostitute is a more efficient use of the money than if I just kept it to be used at a later date. They may be equally efficient, and letting me keep it may be more efficient. We don’t know. We can’t know.

But the socialist claims to.

* A fantastic philosophical work, though I have to confess that Hazlitt is occasionally pretty hard to read. However, if you can get through Nietzsche and things like Thus Spoke Zarathustra**, then Hazlitt shouldn’t be a problem.

** Good luck with that.

R&R Ep 30 – The Millennial Zombie Apocalypse

zombiesAs it turns out, there actually was a Zombie Apocalypse. We just didn’t notice, because instead of eating our brains, the zombies just eat their own brains.

Extensive research suggests that the Zombification Virus is spread via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and, especially, BuzzFeed. Symptoms include: all the typical symptoms of a zombie, except their brains are devoured from the inside. Researches at MIT have learned that brains do, in fact, require nutrients to survive, and the best nutrient to aid in a brain’s survival is information. Without information to ingest, human brains have been shown by researchers at University of California: Berkeley to begin devouring themselves, much as the human body will eat away its own fat and muscle tissue if food is not ingested.

The result is the Millennial Zombie Apocalypse.

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Here are the comments that I read in the podcast. You can read them here: http://www.thejimquisition.com/augs-lives-matter/

I am not including comments that were not made at the time of recording the podcast, because I don’t need to get pissed off again, and it’s extremely hard to stay on topic and focused when dealing with such rank ignorance and obvious doublethink. There may yet be more comments since I recorded the podcast, but I can’t even read them right now. You can click the user’s name to go to their Disqus profile.

Max Whitely

What makes this game any different from the X-men franchise?

X-men is regarded highly yet this gets slapped down. Just Because the marketing department did their jobs correctly and got people talking about it.

As for BLM, from what I read and hear on the news the American sect have a point, it sounds like too many black men are being unlawful killed.

But after the stunt BLM have been pulling today in the uk, they just need to fuck off. Mark Duggan was shot 5 years ago and guess what…..it was lawful. FEEL BAD FOR THE KNOWN VIOLENT DRUG DEALER WHO WAS WANTED ON FIRE ARMS OFFENCES! Also witnesses say he threw a fire arm away from the car. Now answer me this question, would a fire arms team be called out to a drug dealer who has never been known to carry/use fire arms? The answer is no. And the fact that he was holding and trying to discard the fire arm put the nail in his coffin for me, the police made the right call as a loaded fire arm was in fact present during the attempted arrest.

Protests in that mans name have no meaning.

Aria DiMezzo

Honestly, the more you look into the actual numbers and facts, the more you’ll find this is also the case in the United States. Very few stop to think about how easy it is to manufacture indignation in the age of social media, or how easy it is for the media manipulate the truth. The Zimmerman case is the prime example: almost everything reported in the first week about it was quickly revealed to be utter fabrication, but by then the emotions were already created, the damage already done, and people’s minds made up. It doesn’t matter if we find that this person actually did have a gun, that person actually was a felon, whatever, a week after the media has already drummed up a frenzy. By that point, the narrative is woven, and it’s an act of futility trying to convince people otherwise.

Once the hype dies down surrounding any of the stories, or those that Jim mentioned, looking into a summary of the facts will often leave people stunned at just how wrong the media and Twitter were. Worse in the case of social media, with people basically sharing blatantly incorrect posts without thinking or looking into it. Let’s keep in mind that the reason so many of these stories are well-known is the same reason we see stories about how NASA totally confirmed the Earth stopped spinning for twelve hours thousands of years ago, “just like the Bible says!!!11!one!” And that the moon totally is going to disappear for one month in 2017, or whatever. There are entire websites dedicated to unraveling myths like these, but they won’t touch BLM stories for reasons I’ll outline below (even going in that direction results in someone being called racist–many would call yours or my comments racist). So instead we get stories of how Obama didn’t actually go over Niagara Falls in a canoe.

So the damage is done, and then confirmation bias handles the rest, not to mention that the media’s goal is to garner attention, not be honest (after all, if the media cared and was interested in more than clicks and views, they wouldn’t have basically given the nomination to Trump with constant free advertising), so they’re not talking about the 50% of Americans each year who are killed by police who are white, or the 25% who are Hispanic. Nor is any news agency held responsible for releasing a narrative that proves to be completely false and that contributes to an inaccurate representation of reality that feeds directly into manufactured social unrest. A week after any of these stories hits, it is absolutely impossible to convince people that the first few days reported incorrect information, even if the media itself has corrected the initial claims.

And people just ignore things. Jim not long ago said a gastly (pun intended, not a typo by Jim) number of black people have been killed. No doubt, and I speak out constantly against police brutality. I doubt someone has argued more against it than I have. However, if that’s the case, then an even gastlier number of white people have been killed (an indisputable fact). Yet it’s considered racist for me to even say that. Even pointing out a documented fact can be considered racist now. Yet the truth stands: we have a problem with police brutality, period, and it’s an issue that clearly crosses skin color. It’s quite obviously racist (By definition) to take a problem that applies to everyone, and pretend like it only applies to one race. Yet this doesn’t fit into their narrative, so they simply ignore it. Confirmation bias and willful ignorance in action. If anything, BLM is a striking case study in how easily we are manipulated.

What’s most interesting to me is that, for many people, even learning the actual facts won’t change their worldview. It’s all well and good to show them what actually happened and how police freaking kill everyone indiscriminately, but none of it will change what they already believe. It’s exactly like trying to convince a fundamentalist Christian that evolution does NOT suggest a Boeing could be created by a tornado in a junkyard. Their minds are made up. And, once made, it’s often impossible to change that, even when the “facts” that led to that worldview are revealed to have been wholly wrong. Find any “SJW” and show them the news story of the pervert who claimed to be transgender and then spent weeks taking pictures of underage girls in the women’s bathroom, and it won’t change their understanding. They won’t accommodate the new information into their worldview. They’ll acknowledge it, excuse it, and then ignore it. Goodness knows I’ve been guilty of this, but made the conscious decision to stop, once I became aware of it, and ended up a nihilist anarchist. Cognitive dissonance is dangerous, and on full display when people are confronted with the knowledge that their facts are wrong. When their loyalty to their belief is stronger than their loyalty to truth, it’s well-documented what people will do: they’ll ignore the new information.

diamond (Please note: if you click this guy’s profile, you’ll find he is a FULL-ON Regressive)

Zimmerman is a fucking racist piece of dogshit, that is a fucking fact. This year he retweeted a picture of Trayvon Martin’s body and also illegally uploaded nude pictures of his girlfriend onto the internet without her consent. So yeah he can go and die in a fire for all I care.

You sound unbelievably fucking ignorant, fact is black americans are disproportionately targeted by police all the fucking time.

Black people are only 10% of the U.S. population, that’s what you seem to forget, so more white people then black people being killed everywhere means absolutely fucking nothing.

Sounds like you’re the one that’s easily manipulated into this nonsense “BLM are EEEEEVIL” bullshit.

Aria Dimezzo

All you do is lie (no, black people are not “only 10%” of the population–bring facts or gtfo) and call people racists. Your lack of intellectualism is embarrassing. Please stop and go play at the kiddie table.

Men make up more than 90% of all people killed by police each year, but don’t come anywhere close to making up 90% of the population. Should there be a Male Lives Matter movement?

Max Whitely

Yes I agree with you. I can’t comment on America any further than what I read in the news but in England it’s very different. Police brutality isn’t a thing over here, they don’t carry guns. So if you have a couple of police officers beating you down you probably deserve it. As some one who has been on the reviving end, I can honestly say they wouldn’t randomly start beating you, black or white.

Every single British PC has a go pro on their jacket and they have to film every arrest they make. So every thing is caught on tape so brutalising people isn’t an option.

Reading the comments given from one of today’s protest organisers just makes me think that they just wanted to cause trouble.
She gave the quote
“Black people are three times less likely to be hired for a job.”
I don’t understand where they pulled that “fact” from but I have no way of checking it so I will give them the benifit of the doubt. But you have to keep in mind that in the last 10-15 years there has been a very large influx of polish workers who (illegally) work for well under our minimum wage, so finding a job is a very difficult.

So I’m guessing black life’s matter are lumping Polish people and British people in the same category because we are both white….. Thats kind of racist if you ask me.

Aria DiMezzo

There’s definitely still racism in the United States, but, like gender, it is not really a binary thing. My gargantuan video on the subject (it weighed in at 28 minutes) evaluated things and concluded that BLM is as racist as anything else, and it’s impossible to end the problem of racism with racism. There’s a reason MLK wasn’t arguing that black people should be treated better and instead argued that skin color shouldn’t be a factor; yet now we have Black Lives Matter that basically argues the opposite: regardless of her character, Ms. Gaines’ skin color should protect her from the police.

Yet many of the people fighting this are just as guilty, with their “Proud White Male” shirts and stickers while they criticize BLM for being racist. Just like BLM, people like Atheism is Unstoppable attempt to solve the problem of racism with more racism, even as they acknowledge that two wrongs don’t make a right.

As long as we let skin color, orientation, gender, etc. be factors, then racism, orientationism, and sexism will exist. More than ever, we need to be fighting for people to be treated as individuals, not as one of thousands of adjectives they could describe them.

But that message isn’t “any fun.” It’s fun to take part in these mob-like groups. Humans feel immense satisfaction from uniting together, and these are low hanging fruits.

I live about twenty minutes from Memphis, Tennessee in the United States, where BLM protesters shut down the interstate and primary bridge across the Mississippi river. I followed the event intensely, and it became increasingly clear that everyone was posturing, and no one’s hearts were in it. This immediately made me realise that it was absurd to the highest degree that BLM was protesting in a predominantly black city with a predominantly black police force, a predominantly black city council, and a long history of black mayors. Was the contention that black lives don’t matter to black police and black leaders? If so, that’s hardly a problem of “racism.”

Their protests in cities like Memphis revealed their hands: they will manufacture outrage wherever they can. Meanwhile, police chief Rollings (don’t remember now how his name was spelled), a black man, delivered some of the most beautiful and profound answers I’ve ever heard. But the point remains: Why is BLM taking their grievances to a black police chief who oversees a mostly black police force in a city that is mostly black and that has mostly black leaders? Something about this entire thing is wrong.

[It should go without saying, but before people are up in arms, let me clarify that “they” refers to BLM advocates, not people of any particular race. In fact, you’ll find it impossible to accuse me of being racist, because, unlike the SJWs who insist they don’t see color while they support BLACK Lives Matter, I actually apply that philosophy]

Max Whitely

Yes I agree, I think people who support groups like this just want to feel like they are a part of something.

I’m glad you have given a good example for me to read up on so I’m more clued up on the American side of this.

The whole BLM movement is such a first world thing, it’s cringe inducing watching today’s protests. A bunch of over privileged people getting enraged by things that are, at best, a non issue and at worst, non existent.

I would like to live in a world where racism doesn’t exist, and if I see racist behaviour I will point it out and stand firm. But let’s be honest here we’re never going to stop racism. It’s literally impossible. And telling non racist people that they are racist is only going to make the accused turn racist or completely submissive to the accuser, neither are good outcomes.

To others who might be reading this, look, oppression still exists on this planet. But it’s not where your protesting.
Look what happened to that Chinese lawyer… Jailed for subversion, THATS OPPRESSION!
Look how many rights a females in Saudi Arabia have that’s oppression.

Black lives matter forget that black men and women are needlessly dying every second in places like Ethiopia, but of course “those” black lives don’t matter, there not American are they. I feel like I’ve done more to help black men and women in third world countries than BLM has.

Please note here that Max and I are having a civil discussion about police brutality and racism in the west. Both of us acknowledge the existence of racism and have clear ideas on how the problem of racism might be solved. We have been entirely civil, entirely calm, and entirely careful with our words. Neither of us has said anything remotely racist or offensive, but it doesn’t matter. Not to regressives like “diamond.” Seriously, click his profile. It’s almost nothing but him insulting people and calling them stupid. He’s an absolute waste of a human brain. He is an Ur Zombie.

diamond (to Max Whiteley)

BLM is so not first world you fucking moron, if you lived in the U.S. you would get that.

BLM does not “forget” anything, it’s just focused on black people dying in the U.S.

Saying that because other countries have it worse then us means racism is not an issue in the U.S. is incredibly disingenuous.

I’m going to try to keep the analysis low, because I covered it all in the podcast, but wow! What’s that they say about glass houses, dude? If the first sentence in your reply is “you fucking moron,” then you have no right to call anyone disingenuous, as it hardly gets more disingenuous than ad hominem attacks.

diamond (to me)

BLM are not racist you dumb fuck. They are not “manufacturing outrage”(that’s the stupidest fucking thing i’ve ever heard).

Also anyone who uses stupid fucking terms like SJW unironically is a fucking idiot.

You sound like someone is racist but does not want to admit it.

Again, just… wow. “You’re wrong, you dumb fuck. You’re wrong, that’s the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard. You’re a fucking idiot. You’re racist.”

I mean, it is just exactly this, isn’t it? And it’s a bit of this, too. And definitely some of this:

And a lot of this:

I mean, I have fully described and explained this guy’s behavior long before he ever wrote his comments. Listen to those podcasts. Read those Quora links. It’s indisputable: I’ve completely identified people like him, and I call them faux progressivists. Others call them regressives, but I don’t think that’s true, technically speaking. They’re not regressive, because there hasn’t been any progress that can be regressed, as I pointed out in this video:

It is incontestable that I have analyzed this person’s worldview and ripped it to pieces as being shallow, pedantic, and based entirely on manufactured emotions. I have defeated him. The problem is–there are so many of them, and they still have all the influence. So their defeated worldview continues ruling the western stage. It’s no wonder things are in such disrepair. Anyway, getting back to the comments.

Aria DiMezzo

Answer this, then, since my reply is being moderated and I don’t know if Jim will approve it since it contains an external URL–to a relevant substantiating remark, of course, but still an external site.

Is “White Lives Matter” racist?

The answer, of course, is a resounding “Yes.”

But you would give different rules to Black Lives Matter? That you would give different rules to one race than you would another race, yes, that’s the definition of racism.

So unless you’re going to stand there and say that “White Lives Matter” isn’t racist, we’ve actually revealed that you, sir or madam or other, are the racist.

Bloodycrow

What a stupid question. Acknowledging the phrase and the movement behind Black Lives Matter does not mean any other race or standing of people is diminished.
However, changing BLM to “____ Lives Matter” does diminish the meaning and intent of the movement.

Aria DiMezzo

im, have you noticed that all of the lack of civility in this thread has come NOT from people like me, but from BLM advocates? All of the insults, ad hominem, and obfuscation has straight up come from BLM advocates. I think that should be a pretty strong indicator of what’s happening here.

That you, Bloodycrow and diamond, cannot have a discussion without immediately resorting to personal attacks and obfuscation, which does nothing but reveal the feeble weakness of your position.

I already addressed that racism is not tied to diminishing a race, but is defined as sectioning off one race from other humans and prescribing a different value to that race. Even if you say “Black people have big dicks,” you are STILL being racist.

“Black people have big dicks.” (Positive remark)
“Black people have little dicks.” (Negative remark)

Both are equally racist.

Whether the racist remark is positive or negative has NOTHING to do with whether it is racist, and I already made this point above. Of course, you ignored that (which I pointed out in my very first comment here), but it’s still obviously true.

Bloodycrow

I see you’ve edited the comment I responded to, well done. I’ll keep my comment as I stand by it.

Please don’t lump Jim in with myself or diamond, I think I can speak for all of us when I say we don’t speak for each other. 😉

When I said your question was stupid, as it was presented before your edit, it wasn’t meant as a personal attack. It was a stupid question, not to say that you are stupid. I feel like I shouldn’t have to point that out, and having to do so is stupid.

This is an abject lie. The question is, and has always been: “Is White Lives Matter racist?”

Aria DiMezzo

I have not edited that comment at all, you liar. If I edited it at all (I’m 95% certain that I did not, though I did edit this one, to add this), then it was to add the last paragraph, which changed no part of the question. The question was, and has been since I initially posted: “Is White Lives Matter racist?”

And you have still not answered the simple question.

============

Furthermore, he didn’t “acknowledge” the phrase or the meaning. He explicitly said that it is NOT racist.

Answer the simple question. Stop obfuscating. Answer the question.

It is not at all a stupid question. It shows your willingness to turn a blind eye to racism if a certain race does it.

If there was a White Lives Matter movement arguing against the 50% of police murders each year who are white, it would be called racist. We both know that to be true.

But when Black Lives Matter happens, people come out of the woodwork to doublethink their way into saying it’s not racist. I addressed your chronic need to ignore what people say already. Kindly actually answer the question.

So I was unable to avoid responding to two comments, primarily because Bloodycrow lied and stated that I edited a comment that I absolutely did not edit.

And here is the best proof I can provide: the Disqus page, though Disqus doesn’t show edits, this one links directly to the comment that had been replied to, which was mine. The way Disqus works, if you click a link to a specific comment, it will not load newer comments. It stands to reason that it will also not load edits that were made to comments.

proof

I’m not trying to reach any of these people, to be honest. I know that diamond’s mind is closed. Jim’s, however… is not. I do believe he can be reached with well thought-out positions and eloquent arguments. It is, however, extremely frustrating, dealing with people like this. It’s very hard to stick to the high road and stay on-point when dealing with a constant stream of ad hominem attacks, but that is what must be done. Any rational person reading that comment chain will go, “Okay, here are two people having deep, provocative, and intellectual conversations… and there are two ass-hats who think ‘you’re fucking stupid’ is an argument…”

The Death of White Conservatism

Not long after I posted a new podcast about this very subject, Milo Yiannopoulos, the gay conservative editor with Breitbart, was permanently banned from Twitter for hate speech. Milo is well-known as a “troll,” apparently, and I can’t weigh in on that, because I don’t pay any attention to him. He was also a Trump supporter, though I wonder if that’s changed now that Trump selected Pence as his VP, and now that the GOP has made a horrifically anti-LGBT party platform. They enshrined conversion therapy, for fuck’s sake. No one with any sense of human decency should be able to stand with them as they try to promote such an immoral thing. How any LGBT person can maintain any loyalty to the Republican Party after they write Pray the Gay Away into their fucking party platform is beyond me.

http://ariadimezzo.podbean.com/e/rr-ep-27-how-to-fight-regressives-2-incorrect-strategy-number-one/

That podcast specifically addresses three prominent Youtubers who, like Milo, are heading straight toward bans on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. I spoke of how they need to choose their words more carefully, mind their Ps and Qs, and make damned sure that they don’t say anything that can possibly be construed as racist, and I’m not going to run over the same old ground. I am, however, going to focus more on why these three are receiving channel strikes, what they’re doing wrong, and why they will all be crushed by these social networks if they don’t drastically alter their methods.

The fact is that wearing a shirt that says “White Male” is racist and sexist.

They are doing this and similar things as a response to Black Pride, Female Pride, Gay Pride, and so on, and they are trying to call attention to the fact that racism exists against white straight men, because one isn’t allowed to have White Pride, Gay Pride, or Straight Pride. They are correct, and I have been talking about that for years. I found TNB not long ago, through comments on an atheism video, and didn’t even realize he had a channel until a few months ago. I’ve only ever seen one of Autopsy87’s videos, and that was when I was hoping to call in some backup on my Liberal Redneck video, and I’ve never seen one of Atheism is Unstoppable’s videos. It may be presumptuous, then, to say what they’re doing wrong, but… trust me, it isn’t. I do see them through Twitter, as TNB shares various things.

These are all great guys, and I’m not talking bad about them. But their methods are entirely incorrect.

You cannot defeat racism with racism. You cannot defeat sexism with sexism. You cannot defeat… sexual orientationism… with sexual orientationism…

Let’s take a moment and operate under the assumption that Black Lives Matter is racist. We can make this assumption because… it is racist. It takes a thing that exists independently of the adjective (lives) and carves out a subset from the whole, and then assigns a value to that subset (that they matter) when the distinguishing factor between that subset and the whole is race (black). That is quite obviously racist.

Furthermore, let’s take a moment and add another assumption to that. Let’s assume that it’s not acceptable to have White Pride, Straight Pride, or Male Pride. We can also make this assumption because it’s not acceptable.

White-Pride--480x480This image on the left makes it indisputably clear that one is not allowed to have White Pride. If one attempts to take pride in being white, then one is called a racist, Neo-Nazi White Supremacist. Why? Having Black Pride doesn’t make someone a Black Supremacist, does it? Does Gay Pride mean that LGBT people hate or want to kill straight people? Of course not. Why, then, do we act as though Straight Pride means they hate gay people or want to kill them? These are obvious double standards, and what is the distinguishing factor between who gets one standard and who gets the other? Why, the distinguishing characteristic is race and sexual orientation. So quite obviously, that black people can have pride but white people can’t is racist; that LGBT people can have pride but straight people can’t is heterophobic*.

So now that we’ve a clearer understanding of the state of affairs in the United States, and we know that racism, sexism, and sexual orientationism** are acceptable in some cases, but whether they are acceptable for you itself depends on your race, sex, and orientation. We also know that it is not in any sense acceptable in society to be racist, sexist, and sexual orientationist (sigh) if you’re a straight white male.

So what do are they expecting to happen when they try to be racist, sexual, and sexual orientation as straight white men? Do they expect people in this environment to go, “Yeah, no, you’re right. If black people can have pride, white people should be allowed to have pride, too”? It’s way too late for that; that straight white male ship set sail two decades ago. They were too silent for too long for that to have any chance of working, for anyone to be reached with such ideas. That battle has been over for too long, and the consequences have been in place for too long; it is too late to start trying to curb them now. That’s done, and over.

Ignoring that reality, standing up, and proclaiming, “I’m a straight white male, and I am proud of that!” in the modern world will only get a person banned. We simply don’t live in a society where that’s acceptable, and “doing it anyway” isn’t going to make it acceptable. It will only see that you face consequences like being banned and having your channels deleted.

Nor can I say sincerely that “It would be great if you could stand up and say that you’re a proud straight white male,” because I don’t think that. As we’ve established, proclaiming that is sexual orientationist, sexist, and racist. It is sexual orientationist, racist, and sexist, just like someone standing up and saying “I am a proud black gay woman!” That someone is saying the latter, and thereby sectioning themselves off into various groups based on race, sexual orientation, and gender, does not justify a response that does the same.

At that point, you simply have two groups: one of “Proud White People” who proclaim that Proud Black People are racist, and one of “Proud Black People” who proclaim that Proud White People are racist. Since we’ve established that the former aren’t allowed to do this anyway, the latter will point this out, saying, “You’re not allowed to do that!”

The white people will respond, “Well, you’re doing it! We should be able to do it, too!”

To think that this is going to end well is, to be frank, delusional. It would ultimately end in a race war, and one that white people couldn’t possibly win, because there are too many white people who agree that black people should be allowed to have pride, but white people shouldn’t be allowed to. But it doesn’t matter who would win the race war anyway; we should not be trying to fight racism with racism.

Fighting fire with fire does not extinguish fire. It only sweeps the world in immolation.

Nor does racism end racism. It only extends it.

Yes, Black Lives Matter is racist. So is a t-shirt that says “White Male.” If you are arguing against BLM on the grounds that it is racist while wearing such a shirt, then you simply do not have any moral highground, and you are–I must use the appropriate word here–a hypocrite. I don’t like saying that because I respect these people and what they are trying to do in fighting against the regressive mindset that has glorified racism, sexism, and sexual orientationism for decades. However, as I said before: I will call it hypocrisy wherever I find it.

The reality is that Black Lives Matter isn’t the problem. Divisiveness is the problem. People being sectioned off into various groups, where this group can do this and that but the other group can’t, is the problem. Racism is merely one manifestation of that divisiveness problem. Sexism is another, and sexual orientationism is another. Black Lives Matter is, itself, merely one manifestation of the racist manifestation of the divisiveness that liberals have been encouraging and causing for decades.

In other words, Black Lives Matter is a symptom, but it is not the disease.

If you want to fight regressives, then you have to address the disease, not just its symptoms. Yes, the symptoms should be addressed as well, but we must not lose sight of the disease itself. You cannot fight the symptom of divisiveness that is racism… with racism. You cannot fight the symptom of divisiveness that is sexism… with sexism. You cannot fight the symptom of divisiveness that is sexual orientationism… with sexual orientationism.

If you want to fight regressives, then I would suspect that you want to hang around long enough to do so, right? Well, then it’s time to face reality. If you continue on as you are doing, then you will be removed from the battle as a racist, sexist, and/or sexual orientationist. How many people will you be able to reach, to spread your message, if your Youtube channels are deleted?

I must ask: How do you hope to solve the problem of people being separated into various groups based on irrelevant and inconsequential characteristics by separating people into various groups based on irrelevant and inconsequential characteristics?

* To borrow the left’s habit of taking every fucking thing and slapping -phobic at the end of it.

** I did this initially as a joke, but I don’t know how else to characterize it.

Study on the Effects of Estradiol, Part 1

Many people refer to me as the most rational and empirical person they know, and that’s a statement I can agree with. Through most of my life, it’s been a specific goal to allow emotions to impact as little of my decision-making as possible. In the course of this, I have entirely eliminated religious beliefs, socialist ideologies, and many other tendencies. Arguments with an emotional appeal have no impact on me at all, and it’s because my emotions don’t impact my position on something. We can see this in the abortion debate, with people insisting that this is a human being that is murdered, and the way that this claim has absolutely no effect on my position. We can also say this in Pro Minimum Wage arguments. “Everyone deserves a living wage!” has absolutely no impact on my position, because I know that an emotional idea like that doesn’t translate into sound policy. An irrational motivation leads to an irrational conclusion.

It’s a key part of Nihilism, in fact, and Nietzsche is often cited as being cold and emotionless–a label that is ignorantly applied to Nihilists such as myself today. This is merely a misunderstanding, however, as I’m more emotional than the average person. Because of emotions, I dropped my entire life and moved 2000 miles a year ago. So when I say that I don’t let emotions impact my decision making, that’s not true; I merely don’t let emotions affect my beliefs and conclusions. Nihilists are as emotional as anyone else (and in my case, perhaps more emotional); the difference is that a Nihilist carefully and rationally controls what their emotions are allowed to influence.

I didn’t do a podcast last night, and there’s a good reason for that. Aside from the fact that I got distracted by some transphobic douche on twitter, the truth is that I was terrified.

A few weeks ago, I began watching “creepy” videos on YouTube. Things from people like Mr. Nightmare and other notorious channels; horror movies have always been something I’ve loved, and I’ve watched probably thousands of such videos on YouTube with no ill effects whatsoever. However, I recently found myself unwilling to even turn on a light at night. The only light I would use was my bathroom light, for some innate fear that any other light would effectively serve as a beacon to “whatever is out there.”

This is very curious, because I know there is nothing out there. When I made the trip to Vegas, I stayed in the very back of a cheap motel in a shady part of Amarillo, and I did it without blinking. I’ve given countless rides to hitchhikers, and that has bitten me in the ass more than once. I used to allow a homeless man to come and stay in my home on cold winter nights. I don’t mention these to make you see me as altruistic, but because all of these are pretty reckless, devil-may-care things to be doing. I could add many others.

I live on the edge of a town. When I say “edge,” I mean exactly that. The property is rural, out of the way, quiet, and private–perfect for a transgender person in an area not particularly kind to transgender people. There is one house nearby, and it is lived in by a normal dude. On the west and north sides, I am surrounded by a field that is bordered by an untamed forest. I have a 38 special and a sawed off 12 gauge shotgun that is exactly the minimum length allowed by state law–I rationally know that I am fine, both because there is nothing out there and because I am more than armed. My shotgun is cradled on a shelf above my bed, and beside it sits a knife.

It’s not paranoia that causes me to do this, but common fucking sense. There’s only one exit from my bedroom–if I get caught in there by some invader, then there is only one way out, and that way out is through the assailant. So I merely have the tools necessary to go through the invader if required. It’s not because I think it’s likely to happen. I have nothing worth stealing, and there are 4 dogs that will make me instantly aware if there’s a human outside. While one or two routinely bark occasionally during the night at deer, coyotes, and wolves that happen to stray too close to the property, all 4 bark at humans. Dogs are curious like that. It’s also worth mentioning that these aren’t my dogs, but they do stay here with me. Long story. But they’re more or less just there.

It’s also true that Mississippi is not particularly friend to gay people, and certainly not to transgender people, and there’s always the possibility that someone learns the wrong pieces of information. It only takes one jackass to half-jokingly say “We should kill that faggot,” and then all of his friends will laughingly agree. The next thing you know, there’s a veritable lynch mob pulling into your driveway. These things happen, and on late nights after a few beers it becomes hard to predict what such people will do. Jokes get carried too far all the time, and peer pressure is the most underestimated force in American society.

But things have changed. I can no longer watch such creepy things and then be okay. It latches itself to something within me and refuses to let go. I have become terrified of turning on a light at night, for fear, as I said, that something “out there” will see it. I verify that all of my curtains are drawn, but I’m not convinced that all of this is to keep people from looking in. I think it’s to keep me from looking out. Because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that any fear and worry that I feel will be dispelled the very moment that I look outside.

It’s like my imagination constructs some creepy-video-informed idea of “what is out there,” and that imagining is allowed to fester until I look outside. It’s almost like that imagining is hesitant to die–abolition of the fear is never more than a few seconds away. Pulling back the curtain and looking is all that it takes, but I can almost never force myself to do it. Because what if…? What if I look and see that the imagined “out there” is what really is out there? What if I peel back the curtain and am met only by a grinning, maniacal face at one in the morning?

It’s that prospect that ties my hands and keeps me from looking, thereby allowing the imagined bullshit to grow to the point where I refuse to turn on lights, where I sit at two in the morning, scared to make a sound, telling my cats to knock off their rambunctious playing. It doesn’t matter that I know there will never be a haunted vestige of the devil himself staring back when I peer out into the world–no amount of reason and rationality can defeat this more primal fear of the unknown, and the obvious behavior of someone trying to shield themselves from the unknown.

This is highly unusual behavior for me. And though I’ve stopped watching creepy shit on the Internet, and though I know from experience that the mind’s hallucinations will steadily decrease until I once more think nothing about turning on the light in the kitchen, it doesn’t change the situation now. There is no doubt that this odd cultivation of primal emotions and irrational responses is a side effect of the hormone therapy, and “increased susceptibility to emotions” is no longer just a random line in an article somewhere. It doesn’t simply mean that I will be more prone to cry in sad movies; it has the very real meaning that I am, for the first time in memory, genuinely susceptible to the fear that there is something in the dark.

There is a really awesome angled mirror above my bed (use your imagination why that mirror is so freaking awesome), and I also have not been able to force myself to look into it–a result, of course, of creepy videos where a subject before a mirror moves, but the reflection does not. I have never had any problem with that, and it’s something I’ve actually pondered extensively because of the odd way that mirrors work. After all, if you touch your ear with your left hand, then your reflection touches its other ear with its right hand. But the same result comes from using the front-facing camera, which is why my guitar videos show a left-handed guitarist despite the fact that I’m right-handed. It’s nothing of significance, and, again, I know that.

But I have no rational control over this fear. No amount of reminding myself that we literally know everything there is to know about the surface of the Earth (underground and underwater still contain some question marks, of course) will erase these fears. No amount of reminding myself that I’m a fucking Nihilist who is more than aware that we live in a rational universe will dispel the fear that something unnatural is out there, not at one in the morning when I have the lights off and am lit only by the gentle glow of a television as I watch something–anything–desperate to take my mind off the fear.

For the first time in… probably twenty years… I am afraid. And I don’t know what I’m afraid of.

And that’s what makes me afraid.